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Day 1 Act 2 Qingdao
Qingdao hosted the Olympic sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Games in addition to being a stopover port for both the Volvo Ocean Race and the Clipper Race but the people of Qingdao haven't seen anything like the Extreme 40s before and although these first two days are non-public days, hundreds of public gathered along the huge pedestrian breakwater to see first-hand the boats in race mode.
Six races were staged today on the outside of the breakwater in a good easterly breeze between 10-15 knots and the 'open water' courses, still close enough for the spectators to follow each race unfold. The gloves were off from the beginning and it was clear the 11 teams were going to push for every inch of water, resulting in two minor crashes which saw Groupe Edmond de Rothschild collide with Alinghi and Red Bull Extreme Sailing barrel into the back of team Niceforyou's port hull.
Tonight the 11 teams will be attending the 'Official Opening Ceremony' at the Shangri-La Hotel attended by Qingdao's city dignitaries and the Qingdao organising committee.
View the Qingdao promotional video here.
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
History Made For Two
Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella sailed into the record books this morning when their Owen Clarke designed IMOCA Open 60 GAES Centros Auditivos broke the finish line of the Barcelona World Race in sixth place, stopping the clock at 07.17.18hrs UTC for an elapsed time of 102 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds.
The morning was chill with dark grey clouds hanging low over the Barcelona skyline as the GAES Chicas sailed their final miles upwind, but their smiles radiated their sheer happiness from several miles before the line: "We were unable to sleep last night because of the nerves and emotions." Confessed Anna Corbella this morning, jubilant to have completed the Barcelona World Race.
Caffari,who has more experience of such race and record finishes, was nonetheless rendered almost speechless by the warmth of the welcome offered her by Corbella's home city.
Corbella becomes the first Spanish woman ever to sail and race non stop around the world, while the unstoppable Caffari maintains her remarkable record in the extreme discipline of short-handed and solo ocean racing, by completing her fourth circumnavigation since she first went all the way around the globe in 2004-5. No other sailor in the world has sailed around the world more often in the last six years!
Dee Caffari extends her world record to become the only woman ever to have completed four circumnavigations, adding a second non-stop eastabouts racing passage to her sixth place in the epic 2008-9 Vendee Globe. And she returns to Barcelona a much more balanced individual having sailed twice westabouts, upwind against the prevailing winds and current, and now twice ' the right way' eastbouts - Cape of Good Hope to Cape Leeuwin to Cape Horn and back to Barcelona. And Caffari has her sights absolutely set on a fifth, as she targets the 2012-13 Vendee Globe.
Since her 2004-5 Global Challenge race, Caffari's record has been incredible especially considering she made a quick transition to the IMOCA Open 60 only in 2007, a complete culture change from her 178 days solo against the winds and current record of 2005-6.
GAES Centros Auditivos crossed the finish line to complete their Barcelona World Race at 07.17.18hrs UTC on Monday April 13th. Their elapsed time for the course was 102 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 18 seconds, an average speed for the course of 10.219kts for the 25,200 miles theoretical course. They sailed an actual course of 28,653 miles, at an average 11.61 knots.
Dubarry Crosshaven - The Best Gets Better
You'd have to go around the world to find a better boot than Dubarry's Ultima or Shamrock - so they did. Green Dragon's raced round the world in Dubarry boots and their Southern Ocean feedback helped to create the world's best offshore boot. Top of the Dragons' list was a waterproof built-in gaiter with top draw-cord to make sure your foredeck forays don't result in a bootful of briney. They're warmer too, lined with GORE-TEX® Duratherm waterproof insulation, heel and toe reinforcement and a new super-supportive footbed inspired by Formula 1 technology.
Dubarry Crosshaven - boots born in the Southern Ocean.
Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship
This year's Wilson Trophy, which will take place on the Marine Lake in West Kirby from the 6 - 8 May, has, as expected, attracted another high quality entry list, with the 32 selected teams coming not only from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, but from Ireland and the United States as well.
Sailing in identically matched, colour coded Firefly dinghies, used exclusively for this event, the 32 teams will fight it out over three days of Swiss league and elimination rounds, culminating in a thrilling Grand Final to be sailed in front of a packed spectator grandstand on the final afternoon.
The Wilson Trophy is a major logistical undertaking. Over the 3 days, more than 300 races are started, finished, accurately scored and uploaded to the online rolling results service. On the water, a twenty-five strong team of international umpires are on hand to give instant decisions on rule infringements and dish out the appropriate penalties.
2010 winners, Team Extreme from the USA are back to defend their title and will be looking to reproduce the calm and composure with which they swept undefeated through the qualification rounds last year, before inflicting an uncharacteristic and uncomfortable 3 - 0 whitewash defeat on local heroes the West Kirby Hawks, in the Grand Final. But the Hawks were on ruthless form at the recent UK RYA National Team Racing Championship; dismissing locals Spinnaker Auspicious in the final, to retain their UK National Team Racing Champions title.
However with top quality teams like the Woonsocket Rockets (USA), the Royal St George Yacht Club (IRL) and the New York Yacht Club (USA) and several others with their eyes fixed on a Wilson Trophy victory, Team Extreme and the West Kirby Hawks will have their work cut out if they are to set up a return Grand Final showdown.
An-Tiki Completes Atlantic Crossing
The 2,800-mile crossing to this Caribbean island, led by Anthony Smith of London, took about two months and was generally smooth except for damage to two rudders on the large, sail-powered raft.
"Some people say it was mad," he told The Associated Press when he arrived in St. Maarten Wednesday. "But it wasn't mad. What else do you do when you get on in years?"
The jovial crew said they wanted to raise awareness about the environment and to prove the elderly are capable of embarking on adventures that are mistakenly considered dangerous.
They also aimed to raise money for the British nonprofit group WaterAid, which provides potable water to impoverished communities.
The crew of the An-Tiki included John Russell, David Hildred, captain Anthony Smith and Andrew Bainbridge.
The raft, named "An-Tiki" after Thor Heyerdahl's famous Kon-Tiki raft, was loaded with food including oranges, avocados, potatoes, cabbages and a pumpkin.
The raft was built with four water supply pipes nearly 40 feet long, and 14 cross pipes.
Seven pipes held the crew's fresh water supply.
Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race
Hickman, a veteran ocean racer with string of major ocean racing victories spanning as many years as his yacht's age, has proved time and again that the age of a yacht is no barrier to winning races.
"It was a long race and we're very excited to have come away with the win. It makes me happy that a boat created by Bob Oatley in late 1985, that I had the privilege to purchase (in 1991), is still holding its own in her division and in this first class fleet," Hickman said
Hickman's win, along with the second place of Greg Zyner's Radford 12 Copernicus, skippered in this race by Jim Nixon in Zyner's absence, and third placed Victoire, the Beneteau 45 owned by Darryl Hodgkinson, secured a treble for the CYCA, where all three owners are members.
With all of the original 18-boat fleet now finished, the CYCA's 2010-2011 Bluewater Pointscore Series (BWPS) has been decided in favour of Stephen Ainsworth and his Loki. The Reichel/Pugh 63 has been the standout yacht of the past 18 months and much of the credit must go to her crew.
Ainsworth won the 2010 Audi IRC Australian Championship and the Audi Docklands Invitational in January, netting him two brand new luxury Audi vehicles; an A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI Quattro S tronic valued at over $90,000 and an A4 Avant to drive for 12 months for the latter event.
Victoire's chance of stealing the Blue Water Pointscore from under the bow of Loki ended this morning. Her third overall was not enough to overcome Loki in the seven-race series of which Ainsworth won the first four races, finishing the Series with a seventh overall in this Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race.
Pretty Fly III was second on line, close to five hours behind the line honours winner, Loki, which finished in the elapsed time of 1 day, 6hrs, 48 mins and 23 secs, well outside the record of the 15hrs 57min 53sec she set in 2009.
Only one yacht retired from the race; Dennis Cooper's Amante, when time became an issue due to other commitments.
Normandy Channel Race: Definitively International
Gryphon Solo 2, skippered by Joe Harris and Josh Hall, is officially on the entry list. An experienced duo, who've known each other since 2005, Joe and Josh previously won the Transat Jacques Vabre in a 50 foot monohull.
There is also news of a mystery crew, who have already registered their entry and have finally revealed themselves... Phesheya Racing is back! South-Africans Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt, competitors in last year's race, were charmed by the course. Aboard an Akilaria built in 2006, they've already done a lot of sailing. In 2010, they ranked 6th in the first edition of the Normandy Channel Race and this year they have a double objective: to win the race and qualify for the Global Ocean Race.
A further boon to the entry list comes in the form of Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken, respectively English and German, who are the second all female crew to sign up for the Normandy Channel Race. Aboard "40 Degrees", a Class 40 that came second in the 2010 edition, this duo will certainly be worth keeping an eye on.
And the French in all this?
Our photo gallery is also mobile friendly, always displaying the latest album added with a simple menu for past albums.. and now if you tap on a thumbnail image within the newsletter, single images and albums are all in a simple phone- and pad-friendly navigation format.
Your humble narrator has stubby fingers. I hate those tiny keyboards on phones and blackberries... and it seems counterintuitive to have to type in MORE letters to get to the mobile version of a website. (One would think that Formula 1 would have figured this out..) mobile.something.com is SO 2009...
We've coded scuttlebutteurope.com to automatically detect your phone or iPad and serve you the proper template for both the website and the photo gallery. One address, one database, multiple displays. As it should be.
We've even set code in place to allow us to update scuttlebutteurope.com by email / phone / iPad for those low-bandwidth travel and sailing days.
Today in US and Western Europe, 90 percent of mobile subscribers have an Internet-ready phone. Greater numbers of people will access conventional websites on mobile devices. In the US and UK that's already upwards of 25%. Source: Gartner www.gartner.com
ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be on 4 May 2011 and will include the Semaine Olympique Francaise, France, the fourth regatta of seven in the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
World Ranking Leaders - 13 April 2011
Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) - Finn
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Men's Skiff - 49er
Men's Keelboat - Star
Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Women's Windsurfer - RS:X
Full rankings at www.sailing.org/rankings
SL16 2011 International Training Program
The training sessions are free and open to all sailors with high level SL16 coaches at the disposal of the teams for 3-4 days training each time, sharing all their on the boat knowledge and multihull skills.
The first international training session will be held at Carnac, France, from 26 - 28 April followed by the Eurocat regatta. Teams from Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Singapore and five from Great Britain are set to attend the course alongside 12 French teams. All will sail in the Eurocat regatta.
A second international training session will be held from 27 - 30 June at La Baule, France.
With teams preparing for the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia the training would be great experience for confirmed or beginner multihull sailors who are heading to Croatia from 7-16 July.
Infomation at www.slica16.org/index-en.html
Snakes and Ladders: Day One - Oyster Regatta Grenada
Grenada's lush, green paradise relies on rain and on the morning of Lewmar Race Day, the Oyster Fleet certainly got that. But despite the torrential downpour, the mood in Port Louis was up beat and all of the fleet left the dock, to perform a parade of sail, before heading out to the race area.
As if by magic, shortly after the start an easterly wind blew away the rain clouds. Providing dry, if somewhat tricky conditions. During the course of the day, there were numerous wind shifts, predicting these changes was the secret to success. A light airs start was followed by a building breeze, which piped up to fifteen knots by the end of the race.
Starts are always important but especially in fickle breeze and the Polish Oyster 46, SunsuSea, judged the line to perfection, to get away well. Owned by Mariusz and Paulina Kierebinscy, SunsuSea came to the Caribbean in the 2009 ARC.
In Class One, Lush, with F1, racing analyst, Eddie Jordan on board, sailed a smart race to win, but the powerful Oyster 655, owned by Eddie Jordan's family trust, was pushed all the way by Chris Shea's Oyster 72, Magrathea, who sailed a near perfect beat by using the lifting breeze, along Grande Anse Beach. Jonathon and Jane Mould's Oyster 72, Koluka claimed a well-deserved third in class.
Alan Brook, taking part in his first Oyster regatta as a competitor with his wife Sue in their Oyster 56, Sulana, won the first race in Class Two, the meticulously prepared yacht was extremely well positioned on the racecourse to win by a fair margin. Scott Bickford's American Oyster 53, Contingency was second and Ian Galbraith and crew, racing his Oyster 53, Jigsaw, kept their concentration to take third. -- Louay Habib
A fast offshore racing cat with wide-beam stability and set up for short-handed sailing. A modern design for the sailor who appreciates cutting-edge, exciting sailing and does not want to be overtaken!
Current owner has sailed on her many miles offshore single-handed, but she could be raced successfully with 3-4 man crew. This boat is demountable.
Brokerage through Patrick Boyd Multihulls: www.yachtworld.com/pbm/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
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