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Ian Williams Wins Congressional Cup
This win was for mum back in the UK, and her pride in her son shined through Saturday's gloomy overcast that couldn't dim his victory in the Long Beach Yacht Club's 47th Congressional Cup.

Leukemia claimed Ian Williams' mother Karen in midweek, but he left his grief on the dock in driving his team to 17 wins, including a 2-0 sweep of defending champion Francesco Bruni of Italy for the championship.

"It's a time to keep focused ... part of the job," Williams said. "She was a keen sailor. It's what she would have wanted me to do."

If Williams hadn't been here, Bruni might have gone undefeated. His only losses in 22 races were one to Williams by one second in the double round robin and the two in the title match by seven and 17 seconds. Williams' final count was 17-5. After sweeping former champion Mathieu Richard of France by one and 20 seconds in the semifinals, as Bruni blitzed Finland's Staffan Lindberg by 43 and six seconds, he never trailed against Bruni.

His tactician was Bill Hardesty, a San Diego native who sailed as skipper for a fourth-place finish a year ago and knows these waters well.

Williams' team collected a check for $10,000 of the $41,500 total purse, which included a $1,000 bonus to New Zealand's Phil Robertson for winning the fleet race for the six boats that didn't reach the semifinals. -- Rich Roberts

Standings
Double round robin

1. Francesco Bruni, Italy, 17-1.
2. Tie between Mathieu Richard, France, and Ian Williams, Great Britain, 13-5.
4. Staffan Lindberg, Finland, 9-9.
5. Dave Perry, USA, 8-10.
6. Tie between Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, and Simone Ferrarese, Italy, 7-11.
8. Evgeny Neugodnikov, Russia, 6-12.
9. Tie between Taylor Canfield, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Phil Robertson, New Zealand, 5-13.

Semifinals
Williams d. Richard, 0:01.
Williams d. Richard, 0:20.
(Williams wins, 2-0)

Bruni d. Lindberg, 0:43.
Bruni d. Lindberg, 0:06.
(Bruni wins, 2-0)

Finals
Williams d. Bruni, 7 seconds.
Williams d. Bruni, 0:17.
(Williams wins, 2-0)

concup.com

Virbac-Paprec 3 Less than 1400 Miles to Finish
As anticipated by many, Virbac-Paprec 3 has tacked north again this afternoon, taking a short hitch to avoid passing directly through the Canary Islands archipelago and the likely long wind shadows cast bay the high mountains, especially Tenerife. With some 90 miles left to reach the westernmost extremity of the islands, Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron will take a short hitch back to the north before extending east all the way to the Moroccan coast.

Iker Martinez retains his fierce optimism, believing that there will be chances to pull back some miles on the leading pair after MAPFRE passes the Canary Islands.

"As far as strategy goes there is not much before the Canary Islands, we make a mainly northerly course and will tack to the east depending on the evolution of the anticyclone, but what seems more complex is after the Canaries to the Straits of Gibraltar when it seems like there will be less wind." The Spanish double Olympic medalist explained on this morning's visio link up with MAPFRE. They remain determined to be resigned to second place, but he admits "our destiny is for sure not 100% in our own hands."

If the Spanish sailing icons don't feel particularly compromised on this long upwind leg since the Equator by the damaged dagger board, Martinez saying it might be causing them a small fraction of a knot of difference, Boris Herrmann and his co-skipper Ryan Breymaier are much more frustrated by the fact they cannot cant their keel to its maximum, so losing valuable righting moment as they duel with Estrella Damm. Herrmann's assertion is backed up by their loss of 14 miles over the last 24 hours to their Spanish rivals. Estrella Damm are now 36 miles ahead.

The biggest repair of all has been that of Central Lechera who have been in Wellington since 3rd March when they arrived with their broken mast, but the team informed Race Direction in Barcelona that they intend to set out from the Kiwi capital tonight.

"Our objective was and continues to be the completion of the circumnavigation. As the Mexican song goes, 'finishing first is not really the important thing, the important thing is to know how to finish'. We really have this desire to complete what we started" explained Juan Merediz, while his co-skipper, Fran Palacio, explains: " Our shore team, management and the FNOB are doing all in their power for us to be able to fulfill our dream. We do not have enough words of gratitude to express all we feel for this help. Without a doubt we have worked with the best".

Standings of Sunday 27th March at 1400hrs

1. Virbac-Paprec 3, 1401 nm to finish
2. Mapfre + 242 nm to leader
3. Renault Z.E, 1081
4. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 1236
5. Neutrogena, 1271
6. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 1846
7. Hugo Boss, 3367
8. Forum Maritim Catala, 3855
9. We Are Water, 5640
10. Central Lechera Asturiana, 10149
RTD Foncia
RTD President
RTD Groupe Bel
RTD Mirabaud

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Stephen Park (GBR)
The manager of Great Britain’s Olympic sailing team ran multiple class champion Nathan Outteridge close at the end - just five votes splitting the two. ‘Sparky is what the sport lacks, managers who manage what they should and keep out the way the rest of the time’ - Simon Keijzer; ‘Absolute legend’ - Louise Nicholls; ‘Ruthless and very determined’ - Sarah Button; ‘A gift to his team’ - Judith Figgures; ‘The man behind the medals’ - Simon Morgan.

This month's nominees:


Bilou (FRA)
It’s now or never if we are to recognise the big contribution to the success of the Imoca 60 class made by the enormously popular French skipper. Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain is about to forsake the slippery red monohull on which he dominated his class in the last Route du Rhum to switch sides to the new MOD 70 trimaran fleet, where he will be going up against many of his former adversaries once again... albeit a fair bit more quickly.


Pascal Rambeau (FRA)
Rambeau and his new helm Guillaume Florent pulled it off to win this year’s Bacardi Cup by just 1pt to add to this Frenchman’s lengthening tally of Star class success including two world championship titles and an Olympic bronze medal won in Athens. He also once partied his way into Miami’s ‘legal system’, but we won’t dwell... Great guy! Ben Ainslie’s Finn nemesis from Athens, Florent, is also getting the hang of it.


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at
sailor.seahorsemagazine.com/seahorse-sailor-of-the-month.html

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Dubarry Sligo - Dash of a Different Kind
Dubarry Maturity's a directional thing - not that everything's going south you understand, but with wisdom and experience, you move up the professional ladder and back in the boat. Tearing around the foredeck is great for kids but it takes the brains at the back to make the right calls. Dubarry's new Sligo reflects your style and seniority in five stylish colourways, with its seasoned, quick-drying leather and classy waxed canvas upper, comfortable footbed to calmly absorb any shocks, and award-winning sole to give your decisions a firm footing.

Dubarry Sligo - the only deck shoe you'll ever need.

www.dubarry.com

Gutek Leads Velux 5 Oceans Fleet Out of Punta Del Este
It was Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski who took an early lead over his race rivals as the fourth ocean sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans got underway from Punta del Este today. The 36-year-old former Polish national dinghy champion snuck across the start line in Operon Racing five seconds in front of fellow competitor and overall race leader Brad Van Liew on Le Pingouin.

In one of the closest starts of the round the world race so far, all four boats blasted across the line in Punta del Este bay within a few minutes of each other. Gutek laid down his intentions for the race ahead rounding the first mark ahead of the fleet but close behind were Le Pingouin, Derek Hatfield's Active House and Chris Stanmore-Major's Spartan.

conditions were near perfect for the start of the fourth of five ocean sprints which will take the solo sailors 5,700 nautical miles to Charleston on the east coast of the US.

Sprint four will see tactics become more important than ever as the skippers battle their way north through the St Helena High before facing the Doldrums for the second time since the race started in La Rochelle back in October. Once across the Equator the fleet will then pick up the north easterly tradewinds allowing the skippers to take a relatively direct course towards Charleston.

A new addition for ocean sprint four is the option to use 'stealth mode', enabling each skipper's position to be hidden from their rival racers and the public for 24 hours. Skippers will be allowed to enter stealth mode twice during the leg, but not in the first 48 hours of racing or within 500 nautical miles from the finish line. When a skipper enters stealth mode his position on the Velux 5 Oceans race viewer will be frozen for 24 hours.

www.velux5oceans.com

Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series Naples Edition
Photo by BPSE/Guido Trombetta. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 20 Naples, Italy: Claudio Recchi's Let's Roll with tactician Lorenzo Bressani and Federico Michetti on bow have won the first stage of the 2011 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series in Naples, hosted by Circolo Canottieri Napoli. They champion the 31-strong field of competitors and win over second place finisher Federico Strocchi on Cheyenne and Luca Domenici on Notaro Sailing Team in third.

Proudly, Marco Zaoli, along with tactician Enrico Zennaro on Shadow, and Francesco Farneti with Branko Brcin on tactics aboard Reggini Sailing Team, respectively won the fourth and fifth heats in the weekend race series.

On the Gulf of Naples, light and shifty breezes from the south continued, making the racing conditions super tough for the Audi Melges 20 fleet. Zaoli took a huge lead in the first race of the day and won, followed by Domenici in second, Stefano Sacchi's Jingle 3 was third. Farneti put his best speed forward for the last race of the day taking the win ahead of Domenici, again finishing second. American Michael Kiss with Chris Rast on tactics and crew Jamie Kimball aboard Bacio was third.

Clearly, conditions took a brutal toll on the overnight leader, Guido Miani on Audi. Miani accepted an 11th and 14th on the final day pushing him to finish fourth overall. Bressani kept Recchi and team right on the edge with a 7-4 result, enabling them to take the overall win by five points.

The next appointment for the Audi Melges 20 happens in Scarlino on April 16-17.

Top ten final results:

1. Claudio Recchi/Lorenzo Bressani, Let's Roll, 23 points
2. Federico Strocchi/Gabrio Zandona, Cheyenne, 28
3. Luca Domenici, Notaro Sailing Team, 35
4. Guido Miani/Gabrielle Benussi, Audi, 37
5. Dario Levi/Andrea Casale, Fremito D'Arjia, 41
6. Alessandro Molla, Spring Sailing Team, 42
7. Mirko De Falco, Peccere, 49
8. Marco Zaoli/Enrico Zennaro, Shadow, 51
9. Francesco Farneti/Branko Brcin, Reggini Sailing Team, 53
10. Enrico Pegoraro, Karma, 55

melges20.com

Camet Code Zip Performance Shirt
Camet This high-performance technical shirt works great as your only layer in warm weather and as an under layer in cooler conditions. The double circular knit engineered fabric is lightweight, breathable, dries quickly and has a wicking finish to move moisture away from your body while still offering maximum UV protection. The shirt features a mini-mock neck for sun protection and a long front zipper for added ventilation.

For more information please see
www.camet.com

The MOD70 Race For Water Christened In Lorient
Photo by Christophe Launay, www.sealaunay.com. Click on image to enlarge.

MOD70 Launch Lorient, France: The MOD70 Race for Water, the first of the new series of oceanic one-design multihulls, was christened Friday night, by French actress Anne Richard in Lorient. A week full of great events has gone by: the launch of the boat, an educational day with the children of Lorient schools, the organization of a Forum "Ocean racing, a platform for sustainability?" attended by several specialists, Catherine Chabaud, Roland Jourdain and Vincent Lauriot-Prevost. Multi One Attitude Foundation's ambassador boat, the MOD70 nr. 1, skippered by Steve Ravussin, will participate this year in two races and in a fleet test match.

Marco Simeoni, Multi One Design and Multi One Attitude Foundation President: "This has been a fantastic week. The Foundation has launched the first actions aiming to increase public awareness about water preservation, both with the children and with the nautical industry community. " He continues: "The MOD70 Race for Water is not only the ambassador of the Foundation, but also the ambassador of the entire MOD70 series. Already 4 teams are registered and we will announce the 5th team in April. We are confident that 12 boats will be on the start of the first Ocean World Tour".

www.mutionedesign.com

Racing Abandoned at SAP 505 Worlds
Racing has been abandoned for the day at the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship at Hamilton Island when weather predictions of 18 to 30 plus knots winds came to fruition earlier than expected.

Race Officer Kevin Wilson went out onto the race course and came back to base with the latest: "There are 2 meter swells on the course area and sharp backs on the waves. Right now it's an ebbing tide, which is due to change at 12.00pm. That will bounce waves up even more, making it treacherous," he said.

"We monitored the wind and got 24-30 knots regularly. Tomorrow isn't looking too good either, but right now the plan is to reassess early tomorrow and aim for a 10.00am warning signal if conditions are sailable," he said.

And gusty it is, with squalls hitting the Bay relentlessly, accompanied by intermittent rain.

While racing may have been abandoned for the day, not so other matters on the agenda, event organizer Carter Jackson announcing: "Happy Hour will go ahead at 5.00pm as planned."

Top ten after 2 races:

1. Wolfgang Hunger / Julien Kleiner, GER, 2.0 points
2. Ted Conrads / Brian Haines, USA, 9
3. Sandy Higgins / Paul Marsh, AUS, 9
4. Mike Holt / Carl Smit, USA, 9
5. Jens Findels / Johannes Tellen, GER, 10
6. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 12
7. Howie Hamlin / Andy Zinn, USA, 14
8. Mike Quirk / Sam Heritage, AUS, 18
9. Ian Pinnel / Charles Dywer, GBR, 21
10. Luke Molloy / Jim Turner, GBR, 25

Family and fans can follow the fleet live via the tracker with SAP analysis, video and more on the official site at: www.505sapworldchampionship2011.com

Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship
Photo by Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League. Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiff Championship Sydney Harbour, Australia: Scott Babbage, John Harris and Peter Harris took Race 14 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship today in Gotta Love It 7 but the overall champions are John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson in Yandoo.

Going into today's final race of the championship, the Yandoo team had an unbeatable lead and their third place in today's race saw them take the title by 18 points from Gotta Love It 7.

Gotta Love It 7, skippered today by the regular sheet hand Scott Babbage, took line honours by 2m44s from Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) with Yandoo a further 43s back in third place.

Final placings overall were: Yandoo 47 points, Gotta Love It 7 65, Red Claw Wines (Matt Searle, today Archie Massey) 76, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 79, Smeg (Nick Press) 94 and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) 119.

It was big rigs all around today as a light southerly wind greeted the fleet.

Video coverage of today's action can be seen on www.18footers.com.au - 'video'.

Today's race was the final race of the season and we would like to thank all those who have given us so much support throughout the season.

Our 2011-2012 Season will commence on Sunday 9 October. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au
www.flying18s.com

Don Nordqvist Drowns
The Swedish Olympic sailing coach has died in Alicante, Spain.

Despite warnings from locals, Swedish Olympic sailing coach Don Nordqvist drowned on Wednesday when leaving Denia harbour in Alicante, Spain in bad weather to personally check the racing area and decide whether to continue with his training programme.

Strong easterly winds sustained over the last two days in the area have created a big swell and powerful currents outside the harbour entrance. Force 8 gusts and sea water temperature of 14°C were registered on Wednesday at nearby Oliva weather station.

In charge of the Swedish Olympic sailing coach team, 52-year-old Nordqvist had spent one month as a guest of Denia City Council and Club Nautico and was training two school student groups from Swedish town Motala.

At around 13:30h, the experienced sailor was leaving Denia harbour on a RIB crewed also by a 30-year-old woman when a large wave flipped the boat over. Neither were wearing lifejackets.

Onshore witnesses were able to throw a life ring to assist and later rescue the woman, who was taken to hospital with hypothermia, minor injuries and shock.

A helicopter was used to rescue Nordqvist, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

https://plus.ibinews.com

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Featured Brokerage Boat

* From Bob Fisher: In order to substantiate the earlier claim of the South West Shingles Yacht Club to the site of its clubhouse, erected in 1988, an expeditionary force of the club's commodore and some of its officers landed on the Shingles Bank at around noon (BST) on Sunday 27th March and uncovered the commemorative stone laid there 23 years ago. The Commodore was pleased to receive the first decorative burgee from a visiting club - the Royal Southern YC - from its rear-commodore, but noticed the absence of a similar gift from the Gurnard Sailing Club and doubts the veracity of its claim. He has also been in negotiation with the firm of estate agents to offer it a 0.0001 percent commission on the sale of the property, but has subsequently been advised that no one ever responds to that particular firm's advertisements! The memorial ground was tended, the club bar was visited and the health of absent members drunk in pink Champagne.

Click on image for the photos...

Pic 1988: shows the original erection in 1988
Pic 010: is the commemorative stone
Pic 018: left to right: Commodore David Latchford, Rear-Commodore John Caulcutt, and Custodian Bob Fisher with the SWSYC burgee and the decorative burgee of the R Southern YC, and to the right the commemorative stone.

Featured Brokerage
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The boat is "Turn Key"

Growing family puts this boat on the market.

Brokerage through Bosun's Yacht Sales: www.yachtworld.com/bosuns/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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The Last Word
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