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America's Cup Entries Surge
The new era of America's Cup racing has attracted 15 teams from 12 countries who will begin their quest for the Cup with 2011 America's Cup World Series stops in Cascais, Portugal; Plymouth, England; and San Diego, California.

As the entry period closed at midnight on March 31, 14 challengers had filed applications for the 34th America's Cup to be held in San Francisco, September 2013. Twelve of these have been validated while the remaining two teams will be checked against the qualifying requirements in the coming days. With ORACLE Racing previously accepted as the defense candidate, a total of 15 teams could be confirmed.

The current list of vetted and accepted competitors is a geographically diverse field: ALEPH EQUIPE DE FRANCE (France), Artemis Racing (Sweden), China Team (China), Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand), Energy Team (France), Mascalzone Latino (Italy), ORACLE Racing (USA), Team Australia (Australia), and five undisclosed teams.

America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) revealed the inaugural AC World Series would begin in Europe in August of 2011. Formal announcements will be made with officials in each individual city.

2011 AC World Series Schedule

Event One:
Cascais, Portugal
August 6 -14

Event Two:
Plymouth, England
September 10-18
(Read more about the Plymouth event here)

Event Three:
San Diego, California
Dates TBD, to be set between mid Oct. and early Dec.

"We have selected venues that reflect both the prestige of the America's Cup, as well as can bring the action on the water to those on land," said Richard Worth, Chairman, ACEA. "Similar to San Francisco, all of the inaugural AC World Series venues enable spectators to watch the racing live, which will help expose this great sport to more people worldwide."

ACEA is making significant progress on broadcast partner and sponsorship discussions, backed by a robust commercial offering that includes a high level of AC World Series events in the years leading up to the America's Cup Finals, a new CSR program and a full broadcast and online strategy. The first broadcast partner will be announced in the very near future.

* With a letter addressed to Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria, the Golden Gate Yacth Club has accepted officially the Venezia Challenge into the 34th America's Cup.

Venezia Challenge joins Club Nautico di Roma (ITA, the "Challenger of Record"), Kungliga Svenska Segal Sallskapet (SWE), Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (NZL), Aleph Yacht Club (FRA), Yacht Club de France (FRA), the Mei Fan Yacht Club (CHN), the Sail Korea Yacht Club (KOR) and four other undisclosed Challengers. In total, there are now 15 entries for the 34th America's Cup, including Defender candidate ORACLE Racing Team.

Venezia Challenge Management Team:

Carlo Magna, Co-founder - President
Emanuela Pulcino, Co-founder - Vice President
Elio Faravelli - CEO
Cesare Pasotti - Team Manager
Geronimo Emili - Communication Manager
Alfonso Granieri - Art Director

* Editor: Note that this press release speaks of the Sail Korea Yacht Club... umm... that means there are now 3 undisclosed teams unless that was a serious typo...

"Victory Within Our Grasp"
Click on image to enlarge.

Virbac-Paprec 3 D+93. On the day before their victorious finish in Barcelona, Jean-Pierre and Loick are currently sailing in a beam wind in the middle of the Balearic Islands. The wind should calm during the day and slow down Virbac-Paprec 3's headway towards the Catalan city. During the official radio contact at midday, the mood on board Virbac-Paprec 3 was excellent. The French duo is expected tomorrow morning in Barcelona at around 09:00 hours. "We are really delighted to be approaching the finish.  It will be a magic moment. Three months is a long time. I'm dying to see my son again." In the 16:00 hour ranking, Virbac-Paprec 3 was 90 miles from the finish.

How are things going on board?
JP: "We've slept well and I had breakfast with Loick. This morning we passed Ibiza with a good breeze. Unfortunately, it won't last long. The wind should ease off during the day bringing a flat calm. MAPFRE is at a very respectable distance. Victory is within our grasp. This finish is at our fingertips.

Loick: "It's not going to be simple during the night, since there won't be much air. I'm delighted to be nearly there even if we haven't crossed the finishing line. Anything can happen yet, although nothing will stop me from sleeping, apart from maintaining the watch for cargo ships and keeping an eye on the running of the boat."

Victory is at your fingertips, how do you feel 24 hours from the finish?
JP: "We a really delighted to be reaching Barcelona. We can already imagine the welcome. Seeing our families, friends, sponsors, and my team again; these are magic moments. Three months is short, but it can also be very long. My son is now 7 months old. He has doubled in age since I left. This will be a shock for me.

You went swimming in the Mediterranean yesterday, during the calm.
JP: "Yesterday, when the Mediterranean was calm (for 7 hours we were sailing at 0.4 to 2 knots at the most), both Loick and I took it in turn to go for a swim. The Mediterranean is like a ventilator.  It's either ON or OFF! Going for a swim is a good thing. The cold clears the mind and helps you relax while you're waiting for the wind to return. It was also an opportunity to check that everything was okay. The keel is still there and there's no delamination of the hull. I stroked my boat, because she's suffered a lot. I have become really attached to my Virbac-Paprec 3."

You can follow the finish of Jean-Pierre and Loick in Barcelona live on as well as on twitter (Dick_JeanPierre). The first images of the finish will be uploaded on reception. After the finish, the press conference will be broadcast live on the Barcelona World Race website

Dubarry Crosshaven Boot
Dubarry Crosshaven Boot You make mistakes onboard and you learn. That's experience, and it makes you better. Imagine how much experience you'd get spending weeks in the Southern Ocean. Dubarry used all Green Dragon's experience in the roaring forties to develop the Crosshaven boot. It had to be dry, so they covered the classic Cordura and leather with a self-draining waterproof draw-cord gaiter. It had to be warm, so they lined it with GORE-TEX® Duratherm waterproof insulation. It had to grip, so they gave it their award-winning sole and a super-supportive, hi-tech footbed.

Dubarry Crosshaven - boots born in the Southern Ocean.

Sodebo Crossed the Finish Line after 61 Days and 7 Minutes at Sea
Photo by Thierry Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Sodebo Coville After setting out on Saturday 29 January at 11h07'28'' (GMT) on the solo round the world record attempt, the skipper of SODEBO crossed the finish line off Ushant on Thursday 31 March 2011 at 12h15 (GMT) after 61 days, 7 minutes and 32 seconds at sea. Thomas Coville took 3 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes and 26 seconds longer than Francis Joyon on IDEC in 2008 (57d 13h34'06'').

Paradox: the challenger was faster than the record holder. However, due to less favourable weather conditions, which meant that Thomas wasn't able to follow as direct a route as that of the record holder, the skipper of Sodebo covered 28,431 miles at an average of 19.42 kts, or 2,031 miles further than Francis Joyon, who covered 26,400 miles at an average speed of 19.11 kts.

Message from Francis Joyon:
"In a world where oil escaped from the sea bed for weeks on end offshore of New Orleans, a world where nuclear power stations are throwing out radioactive clouds and where seawater has been irradiated to the extent that it has damaged life for generations to come, Thomas Coville has proven, through his journey around the world under sail, that natural energies aren't lacking in strength.

The fact that he hasn't beaten the round the world record isn't the most important thing. The key to this journey is that our circumnavigations of the globe, in crewed as well as solo configuration, have been more effective under sail than under power.

Right now, no boat powered by an engine has managed to circumnavigate the globe as quickly as we do under sail, due to their weight and range associated with the massive amount of fuel required aboard.

If our sail boats could influence the upcoming decisions about energy, which are both vital and urgent, they could help us understand that the only way forward is free of pollution, CO2 and radiation, using natural energies: the wind, the current and the sun...

Congratulations to Thomas for this fast, damage-free journey across the ocean. -- Francis Joyon"

Hunger and Kleiner Win SAP 505 Worlds
Wolfgang Hunger and Julien Kleiner. Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image for photo gallery.

505 Worlds Reigning champions Wolfgang Hunger and Julien Kleiner (GER) have taken out the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship at Hamilton Island Australia and the final race could not have been scripted better.

It was Hunger's fifth 505 world title win (he also owns two 470 world titles) and Kleiner's second 505 title (both with Hunger). It was also the second time Holt and Smit have had to play bridesmaid. "I have no choice but to go to the Worlds in La Rochelle next year - I'm hooked," Holt said.

An outside chance for the title, South Australians Sandy Higgins/Paul Marsh scored their worst result today, a ninth, but were able to maintain their third place overall of yesterday to finish the SAP 505 World Championship in third place. The much crowned sailors last won the Nationals 2009, with second places in 2006 and 2008.

To make up for today's disappointment, Higgins/Marsh won the 505 Australian Championship, sailed in conjunction with the Worlds. Their nearest rivals were Moth world champion and double 49er world champion, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in ninth place and 35 points in arrears. The two will now return to their 49er Olympic campaign.

Going into the final race, the Germans held a three-point advantage over Mike Holt/Carl Smit (USA) with a drop in place. Both pairs knew what they had to do to claim the crown. And while Americans Howie Hamlin/Andy Zinn led the race early on, and won the race by a country mile, all eyes were glued to the top two.

The best placed woman in the fleet was Meike Schomaker with crew Holger Jess, the German 505 supplier. Jess previously won the 505 Worlds with Hunger in 2005, 2003 and 2001.

It was also a milestone to have a Hong Kong entry back at the Worlds; it's been 27 years in between and by the same crew who represented at Hamilton Island; Laurence Mead, and his skipper Mark Thornburrow, who contested 28 years ago.

The SAP 505 World Championship was a shortened seven-race series. Race Officer Kevin Wilson had to abandon racing for three days after the opening day, because of exceptionally heavy winds and big seas accompanied by incessant downpours of rain that only stopped shortly after the final race started today. -- Di Pearson

The 2012 SAP 505 World Championship will be held in La Rochelle, France, from 17-27 July.

Provisional top 10 places with one drop:

1. Wolfgang Hunger / Julien Kleiner, GER, 17 points
2. Mike Holt / Carl Smit, USA, 20
3. Sandy Higgins / Paul Marsh, AUS, 25
4. Howie Hamlin / Andy Zinn, USA, 26
5. Luke Molloy / Jim Turner, GBR, 40
6. Ted Conrads / Brian Haines, USA, 41
7. Jan Saugmann / Morten Ramsbaek, DEN, 49
8. Ian Pinnell / Charles Dwyer, GBR, 49
9. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 60
10. Mike Martin / Geoff Ewenson, USA, 61

Seahorse May 2011
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

You'd have thought that 80-years young, things might have started to calm down in terms of International 14 development. Not so, explain designer/sailor/builders George Nurton and Tom Partington

Time and place
In 2005/6 VO70 rig world was all about PBO cables then 3 years later it was carbon bundles. Now the standing rigging market has opened up even further as Phil Anniss explains...

Terry Hutchinson earns his Extreme 40 stripes, Giuliano Luzzatto talks to Maxi class godfather Gianfranco Alberini, Paul Bieker brings lessons of nature to his foil designs and Stan Honey... le navigateur

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

Laser Class Major Rule Change - A Disaster Says Bruce Kirby
This week, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) has asked its membership to mmediately vote YES on a fundamental rule change, probably the most important one in the history of the class. It would have a major change on the class structure.

In a document distributed to ILCA members worldwide the Laser Class Association amongst the arguments for voting Yes said - ' a builder also needs a building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. This provision is mostly historical. The rule was instituted at a time when Bruce Kirby held certain design rights. The ILCA is not a party to any of these 'Kirby' agreements.

'We also took legal advice. We understand this is the only possible solution in order to promote the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser boats and to maintain ILCA in its current set-up. The lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patents had in fact expired.

'Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the 'building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc' requirement." decided to talk to Bruce Kirby. 'Two and a half years ago, I sold my rights to the New Zealanders, the Spencer families' Global Sailing. I am 82 as you know, and this move was what you would call estate planning.

'The Spencers have been building Lasers through Performance Sailcraft Australasia for umpteen years. I simply figured the Spencers had the good of the class in mind - far more so than anyone else that was on the horizon - and that they would do the best job in looking after the class and promoting it and enhancing it.

'Now it would appear that Laser Performance Europe doesn't want to recognize the fact that this transfer has taken place. It is really weird because they paid the royalties to Global Sailing for two years as they were supposed to do, and then all of a sudden they stopped doing that. That action has caused issues between LPE and Global Sailing and they will have to sort it out.'

What was his response to the ILCA statement 'Lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patent has in fact expired.'

Kirby responded. 'That's total bull s--t! There never were any patents. You can't patent a sail boat design. These were contracts, legitimate contracts drawn up by lawyers and there is no suggestion that I had a patent on the boat. These were long term contracts that were renewable every so many years. No-one's ever questioned them so I don't know what lawyer they found that suggested this course of action. It's crazy!' * is continuing to interview the key players and will have more in the coming days. -- Rob Kothe and the Team

Full article:

* Editor: One wonders if this is the same team of razor-sharp legal minds that convinced the ISAF that they held all media rights to any event using the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Third Sailing World Cup Event Ready to Hit The Water in Palma
The 42nd Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE is ready to start on Monday in all the 10 Olympic events and the paralympic 2.4 on the beautiful Palma bay.

The four clubs and the organisation team, which count none less than 160 people involved across all areas, are adding the last touch in the regatta preparation. The international race officials team composed by 16 race officers, 24 judges and 9 umpires, is of high level to insure great racing and fair sport.

Racing will starts on Monday 4th of April with the Women Match Racing opening round robin series scheduled to start at 1000hrs, followed by the other classes at 1100hrs. Two races are scheduled for all classes except for the 49ers who will race three per day.

49er, 470 men, Finn, Laser Standard and Radial (the RS:X groups will be confirmed after registration tonight), will be racing in groups from the 4th to the 6th of April, before racing the finals. The other classes will have fleet races.

The medal races and the Women match racing finals will be sailed on Saturday 9th of April except for the 2.4mR who will conclude their competion on Friday 8th.

Eight racing areas will be set in the bay of Palma to provide maximum flexibility with racing and will allow all classes to start racing at the same time in the morning.

* British sailing's Olympic and World Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson will make their first foray into competitive action in the Star class in eight months, as they prepare to race at the next leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series starting in Palma, Majorca, on Monday (4 April).

The Beijing gold medallists join 57 of their Skandia Team GBR teammates at the Princess Sofia Trophy, which marks the start of the European Olympic classes sailing season.

Having not competed in their two-man Star keelboat since the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth and Portland last August, Percy and Simpson see the Palma regatta as the real start of their road towards 2012.  They opted for intensive winter training in Portugal rather than racing at the Miami World Cup event in January, so are looking forward to honing their racing skills against a high quality fleet comprising 40 boats.

* Twenty-four teams from eighteen countries are in Palma de Mallorca, Spain to compete for the Women's Match Racing title at the 42nd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE.  In addition to the individual event title, the teams are competing for the overall 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup (SWC) title. The final SWC standings will be used to determine which twelve countries will be invited to the Olympic Test Event in Weymouth in August 2011.

Sailing out of the Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP), the twenty-four teams will sail initial stage round robins to seed the knock-out stages for the top eight and ultimately the series between the final pair to determine the champion on Saturday.

The teams will compete in equally matched event-provided Elliott 6m keelboats - the same boats that will be used in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth, England.

The field will be extremely competitive with 16 of the top 20 teams in the ISAF World Rankings competing in Palma.  Amongst the favorites are Claire Leroy (FRA), Renee Groeneveld (NED), Nicky Souter (AUS), Lucy Macgregor (GBR), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), and Ekaterina Skudina (RUS).

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Rob Martin: re: South Africa's entry to the Americas Cup...

You forgot to mention Johnny Clegg's assistant will be Robert Mugabe with the support of Julius Malema, the staple diet of the team will be SMILEYS(SHEEPS BRAIN).

The technical team is considering Iron Wood for the hulls and the Wing will be Banana leaves from Natal with Bamboo support.

Knysna Elephants will come in handy to drag the hulls to the water if they could still be found. The entire kit will be shipped out including the Elephants on South Africa's new Aircraft Carrier ... Banana Republic

Featured Brokerage
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A fine example of an A35 with an impresive record. Fully equiped and ready to go. Please contact David Pike at +44 (0)1752 226650.

Brokerage through Wessex Yacht Sales Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many. -- Baruch Spinoza

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