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Luna Rossa Win Act 2 In Qingdao
The dramatic second Act of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series at the Olympic sailing venue in Qingdao, that proved to be the perfect amphitheatre for the stadium format racing, has come to a close. Capsizes, collisions and after 29 races over five days just five points separated the two former America's Cup adversaries, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand at the end. The Italian team fought to the finish to claim the Double Star Cup in the very final double-points race.
The Qingdao public witnessed the 11-boat fleet in survival mode on Friday and tactical light-wind battles over the last two days, with fleet racing inside and outside Fushan Bay, one on one match racing and speed duels
"The last few days the weather has been difficult but you know we have to be prepared for the difficult conditions," said Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper who talked down his disappointment: "Realistically five boats were still in a position to win the event this morning. We had a couple of shockers yesterday but all in all it went pretty well so I'm very satisfied. The Almeria event was only October last year so being on the podium here is a big improvement, but we still have a long way to go."
The all-French team on board Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, winners of Act 1, also sailed brilliantly today to clinch the final podium place in third.
Red Bull Extreme Sailing, one of the capsize victim's, will be disappointed with their fourth-placed result here after such a strong start in the early stages of Act 2. Similarly disappointed were the Swiss team of Alinghi, who went into the final day challenging for the podium: "We started the event well but it didn't go really well today with a few mistakes on the start lines, tactical decisions, speed of the boat, everything was tough for us," said skipper Tanguy Cariou . "That's a shame, we are really disappointed with the result but we have to analyse and debrief to improve in Istanbul."
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
Extreme Sailing Series 2011 Overall Standings
A Tactical Depression Looms
At 2000 miles from the finish in Fort-de-France, the traffic gets denser in the Atlantic and lonely all seem to endorse the policy of "stay grouped! Indeed, despite some small shifts marked according to the opportunities on the first leg of the Caribbean route, no one has taken a radically different course.
Currently subject to a regime of North North East force 4, which will gradually move north, the soloists have seen very changeable conditions because of the first effects of this second depression. The cold front expected tonight could generate gusty winds of force 5 to 6, turning north north west. Less intense than expected, the phenomenon will be easier to negotiate as a whole.
But in the West, we expect winds gusting to force 6 to 7, with the threat of that moving over the entire fleet. In the East, the force flow 4 will in turn become irregular. Preparing for this sensitive phase - that is sleep and recovery - was on all minds.
Top ten at 17/04/2011 at 19:00
1. Fabien Delahaye, Port De Caen Ouistreham, 2099.6 nm to finish
A Retrospective on the Barcelona World Race, and Look Forward to Future Plans
It appears that Iker and Xabi are looking offshore, towards the Volvo Ocean Race, for their sailing for the present, but may return to inshore racing if a multihull is brought back into the Olympics, and are looking to enjoy other aspects of multihull sailing in the future
AH: How do you enjoy racing around the world on a 60 foot "skiff", doing running repairs to fix the boat, and not physically seeing your opposition, compared with day racing a 49er, having someone else on hand if need be to fix the boat, and having all your other competitors in sight all the time?
XF: Racing around the world is almost a different sport comparing with the Olympic sailing. It is just different and you must like if you want to enjoy it, if not it could be the worst place in the world to be. We knew the offshore sailing long time ago and we know very well we like it a lot so you just enjoy it every day.
Repairing things on board is one more thing of the offshore sailing, you have to be prepared and the satisfaction after repairing anything at sea is very big. Of course normally you don't do a good job but you make all you best and it makes you feel good.
Even if you don´t see the opponents physically, today with the technologies we have on board we know every 4 or 5 hours where the others are, so we make a thousands of 4 hours races to keep the tension of racing!
AH: Round the world racing has a large element of logistics and boat preparation, for which Olympic sailing does not require anything like so much time. What do you particularly like about each of Olympic sailing, and round the world racing, please?
XF: The preparation of any race is the key to winning any race. I personally don´t think that is more preparation for a big boat than for an Olympic boat. Of course they are different and the boat is bigger so you need a lot of people but if you want to prepare properly your boat and yourself for going to the Olympics you have a lot of work to do. -- Anne Hinton and SailRaceWin.com
Full interview at sailracewin.blogspot.com
Dubarry Lahinch - Hanging Ten In Style
Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.
18 Skiffs In Europe 2011
The 2011 European 18ft Skiff Grand Prix Circuit gets under way with the first regatta at Lake Balaton, Hungary on 12-15 May, and is certain to progress the class in the Northern Hemisphere if the preparations receive the support they deserve.
New Secretary of the European 18 Foot Skiff Class Association, Norbert Peter (Germany) is a progressive thinker with a real love of the class and the skills necessary to help bring the various countries together in a more organized manner.
Soren Clausen (Denmark) is the man driving the highlight event of the European season, the Mark Foy Trophy at Sonderborg, Denmark from 6-11 June, and his work in organising TV support from Eurosport has been nothing less than brilliant.
Norbert Peter: "For the Mark Foy Trophy regatta, we expect to have teams from Denmark, Germany, UK, Hungary and Netherlands as well as teams from Australia, USA and New Zealand".
"For the other tour events, we will have more participants. There will be teams from France and Switzerland as well as more from Hungary. We also hope there will be others as well".
The opening round of the Grand Prix circuit at Lake Balaton is the first Hungarian national regatta and is a boost for the class, particularly as their top team, Liberty Sailing Team, skippered by Miklos Ujhelyi-Gaspar, is the reigning European champion.
Other Grand Prix events on the circuit are the German Grand Prix at Travemunde from 23-26 July and Swiss Grand Prix at Lake Urnersee, Switzerland from 23-25 September.
The UK 18ft Skiff Association will also stage four Grand Prix in the UK between April and October, while the International 18ft Skiff Championship will be sailed at San Francisco, USA from 21-26 August.
Former Giltinan champion and now President of the Australian 18 Footers League, John Winning is fully supportive of the European 18 Foot Skiff Class Association and will lead the Australian team to contest the Mark Foy Trophy.
Maersk Shipping Lines have recently shipped boats from USA, UK and New Zealand as well as Australia on behalf of the Australian 18 Footers League to contest the Denmark and San Francisco regattas -- Frank Quealey
Last Night in the Atlantic, Last Weekend at Sea
This last night will be one which could be long and drawn out as they have a transition zone to negotiate, which will see the wind clock round to the east, rather than the useful SW and SE'lies which have continued to let Hugo Boss make speeds between 11 and 12 knots through Sunday.
Mid-afternoon Sunday they had around 188 miles to Tarifa, and for sure will also be seeing the end of their final weekend at sea. Present indications have Andy and Wouter arriving Barcelona on Thursday evening, possibly into Friday depending on their Med weather.
Predictions have them in the Straits of Gibraltar late tomorrow afternoon in a brisk Levant. On the other hand, Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor on Fòrum Marítim Català to the west of the Canary Islands have been making 12-13kts in 20 to 25 knots SW'lies. The predictions suggest they can hold the more direct course to Gibraltar, passing with a deficit of around one day behind Hugo Boss.
In the South Atlantic, the We Are Water have good easterly tradewinds near the Brazilian coast. Jaume Mumbrú and Cali Sanmartí have a good rhythm going, making 10 knots of average speed towards the Equator which was 720 miles ahead this morning. Their passage of the Doldrums will start tomorrow evening and threatens to be quite complicated with a fair amount of stormy cloud activity.
Ending A Seventeen Year Absence
New Zealand hasn't had an entry since Dalton skippered Endeavour to victory in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World Race.
Now known as the Volvo Ocean Race, Dalton is masterminding Team New Zealand's tilt at the 2011-12 event, which will set sail from Spain in early November.
Dalton, 53, has raced around the world seven times but the old sea dog isn't listed on the 11-strong crew of the 70-foot Camper, which will be skippered by Australian Chris Nicholson.
"It's not right for the team because I've got quite a bit on, hopefully the America's Cup in 2013 and this, and you can't sail on the boat and do both," Dalton said. "I'll leap at it if someone gets an injury, I can guarantee that."
Camper - named after the boat's Spanish footwear company sponsor - is about to embark on a five-stop tour of New Zealand that includes a visit to Wellington on May 2, where the public will be able to hop on board and have a look.
"Lie on the bunks, look at the food, this is absolutely state of the art this boat," Dalton said. "I remember Ceramco, in 1981, that whole campaign, boat and everything, was NZ$750,000. You wouldn't go very far with that amount now."
New Zealand's involvement in elite ocean racing ended in the 1990s as Dalton moved overseas and Peter Blake concentrated on winning the America's Cup.
"So it just faded away," Dalton said. "But overseas it just grew so hopefully we can re-invent the glory days of the round-the-world race coming back to New Zealand."
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64th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race
"I am wondering how many times a boat was first to finish, first in class and first overall," Conner mused. "I have been first to finish three times but never won overall at the same time."
The only boat that finished ahead of Stars & Stripes early Saturday morning was Bill Gibbs's multihull Afterburner, truly a different breed of cat that finished 79 1/2 minutes ahead on real time but nearly two hours behind on handicap time in one of the slower Ensenada races.
It wasn't at all like 2009, when Doug Baker's Magnitude 80 set the monohull record of 10 hours 37 minutes 50 seconds and all the other boats finished by 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon. This time a bunch hadn't finished by the 11 a.m. cutoff time Sunday.
All told, 175 boats entered, 167 started and 112 finished. The last was John Granahan's Cal 39-2, Knot A Clew, from Oceanside Yacht Club, competing in PHRF E class.
There were a handful of bigger monohulls with faster ratings than Stars & Stripes, which rated minus-63 seconds per mile.
Conner, sailing in his 32nd N2E, said, "S&S is not quite as fast in the prevailing conditions as the bigger boats. After the start the boats sorted out as you might expect based on the ratings. [Lorenzo Berho's Kernan 70] Peligroso and [Bob Lane's Andrews 63] Medicine Man were about six miles ahead at the Coronado Islands.
"S&S was the first boat to jibe to port and got a nice header going to the LNG Plant at the entrance to [Todos Santos] bay. This enabled her to catch up with the boats ahead. At this point there was 18 miles to go. It took 10 hours to finish, so you can see it was stop and go. The guys on S&S did a great job beating the faster boats to the finish and were very excited about being first to finish, first to finish, first in class and first overall." -- Rich Roberts
First 10 finishers
1. Afterburner (Tennant Bladerunner 52), Bill Gibbs, Pierpont Bay Yacht Club, elapsed time 17 hours 8 minutes 53 seconds, corrected time 22:33:05.
HMB Endeavour Australia Circumnavigation
The magnificent replica of Captain James Cook's ship, HMB Endeavour, was fare welled in Sydney today at the start of a circumnavigation of Australia that sees the ship return to the port city of Fremantle and a starring role at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December.
Fremantle will be one of eighteen ports Endeavour will visit as part of a first ever circumnavigation of Australia, heading north from Sydney. Other ports of call in Western Australia include Broome, Exmouth, Geraldton, Bunbury and Albany.
During the Fremantle visit, Perth 2011 is organising day sails, corporate dinners and cocktail parties which will give guests the chance to learn about day-to-day life on an 18th century vessel.
Having overseen the building of Endeavour and her first circumnavigation of the globe, John Longley, Event Director for Perth 2011, is delighted that the people of Western Australia will have an opportunity to once again connect with Endeavour.
"It's over ten years since the ship was last seen in the waters off Fremantle, so this visit will be the first time that many people see this magnificent sailing ship," John Longley said. "Guests to the ship during the Sailing World Championships will feel they are in a 'virtual museum', as the ship is built to the exact specifications of Captain James Cook's original, which sailed on Australian waters 230 years ago."
Working with the Australian National Maritime Museum, Perth 2011 is a significant event partner in the circumnavigation voyage. As part of the arrangement with the Australian National Maritime Museum, Perth 2011 agreed to charter Endeavour for the three week period of the ISAF Sailing World Championships this December.
HK$500,000 for the San Fernando Race Foundation
"Through the generosity of those involved in the race, the home is able to look after the living and education needs of 32 youngsters to give them a step up the ladder where they would otherwise have been on the street, in what is a very poor part of the Philippines" said Colin Dawson, a Director of the foundation.
Following the dinner and auction Mike Legge and his big band Stray Katz generously entertained the guests until late into the night.
The race from Hong Kong to San Fernando in the Philippines is a 480 mile Category One offshore classic in its 34th year. This year it has attracted 20 yachts with a variety of crew including stars from the Volvo Ocean Race. The increasing number of yachts joining the race shows that, despite increasing regulation, there are more yachties looking to enter what has become a legendary yacht race in the region. The race starts / started (for those press not releasing before Wednesday) on 20th April from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in the heart of Hong Kong's harbour.
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