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Derek Hatfield Claims Second in Velux 5 Oceans Sprint Four
Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez / w-w-i.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Velux 5 Oceans The stage is set for the finale to the Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race after Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield claimed second place in the penultimate sprint today.

The result, Derek's first second-place finish of the event, means he will start the fifth and final leg of the epic 30,000-mile race tied on points with his race rival Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski, giving him a shot at second place overall. Breakages onboard Gutek's yacht Operon Racing forced him to pull into the Brazilian port of Fortaleza to make repairs, all but cementing fourth position for the Pole.

"After the disaster of ocean sprint three when I expected to finish second and ended up fourth I am so pleased to have got this result," an exhausted but jubilant Derek said as he stepped off Active House for the first time in more than three weeks.

Derek steered his 60ft yacht Active House into Charleston, USA, and across the finish line at 0736 EST (1136 UTC) just over 15 hours behind ocean sprint four winner and Charleston resident Brad Van Liew, who sailed into his home port yesterday evening. Throughout the sprint the 58-year-old veteran solo sailor piled the pressure on Brad and in the final few days of the sprint less than 100 miles separated the pair.

Third-placed British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major was just 233 miles from the finish line at the 1200 UTC position report and is expected in Charleston in less than 24 hours. Gutek is also expected to restart ocean sprint four tomorrow leaving Fortaleza bound for Charleston.

Positions at 1200 UTC

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to next boat (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: Finished 19.04.11 in 23 days 4 hours and 58 minutes
Derek Hatfield, Active House: Finished 20.04.11 in 23 days 19 hours and 36 minutes
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 233.2 / 0 / 141.8 / 5.9
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 3205 / 2971.8 / 0 / 0

velux5oceans.com

Palmavela
Irish Maxi Whisper. Photo by Nico Martinez. Click on image to enlarge.

PalmaVela Palma de Mallorca, Spain: More than a hundred boats among which some of the most magnificent vessels of the world will compete from tomorrow Thursday the 20th until Sunday the 24th in the Mapfre PalmaVela regatta. Twelve classes will join competition gradually during the four following racing days. The Maxis are expected to run six races whereas the TP52's schedule foresees eight of them. A total of 120 boats, 1000 sailors, 15 divisions and 15 countries will compete distributed in four racing areas.

The fleet's largest vessels, the spectacular Maxis and the TP52's, will be the first to go on stage tomorrow Thursday in Palma. More than fifteen boats distributed in the Maxi Wally, Mini Maxi, Maxi Regatta and Maxi Swan make up the Maxi class. Italian Esense is one of the most spectacular Maxi Wallies thanks to its 143 feet length which makes her one of the favorites in real time, whereas British Magic Carpet will be the defending champion in compensated time. Magnificent 107 footer KenoRoad Harbour and 100 footer KNRC are also among the largest vessels of the fleet. 2010 Mini Maxi champion Alegre and Maxi Swan champion @robas will race in the same division.

Some of the strongest TP52 campaigns have also chosen the Mapfre PalmaVela regatta as their seasonal debut, before going on with the Audi MedCup Circuit, the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre and the World Championships in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The class will feature several new builds as YCCS flagged Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, American Quantum Racing and Swedish RÀN. Spanish Bribon and British Gladiator will also start their season in Palma.

On Friday the ORC, IRC, RI, One Design and Vintage and Classic will join competition. Aifos of the Spanish Army and Fernando Leon and Kiko Sanchez Luna's CAM stand out as clear favorites in IRC, together with USA flagged TP52 Pace. The ORC class counts with a numerous fleet of 31 boats among which Palma flagged Vell Marí also considered one of the favorites to step onto the first place of the podium.

With 22 registered boats and the presence of two olympic medalists and a world champion, the One design class J80 proofs its high competitive level. Barcelona 92 gold medallist Catalonian Jose María Van der Ploeg jumps in as helmsman onboard Great Sailing, whereas Atlanta 96 bronze winner Portuguese Hugo Rocha will do so onboard Turismo do Algarve. J80 world champion Ignacio Camino will be another of the toughest contenders for the title onboard Nextel Engineering

www.palmavela.com

X-Yachts New Xp 44 Launched
Click on image to enlarge.

Xp 44 X-Yachts new Xp 44 was launched yesterday at X-Yachts in Haderslev, Denmark.

"You should have seen our new baby from the support RIB", said Niels Jeppesen, Design Principal, X-Yachts "She looks absolutely right, and she's fast too."

The Xp 44 represents the fourth generation of Performance Cruisers from X-Yachts. The Xp 44 retains much of the DNA of her forebears but she has evolved into a fast and progressive cruiser-racer that has as much to offer the modern, comfort demanding family as it does a race crew.

Within its refined and powerful hull lines there is a comprehensive accommodation. The Xp 44 debuts X-Yachts' convertible navigators station. The navigator's station provides a forward facing chart table for navigation at sea, and an extra long sofa and side table when in port.

Weight has been saved from the composite structure of the yacht and in return placed into the deep lead-bulb of the T-Keel. This weight saving is generated through modern production techniques, using a vacuum infusion epoxy foam hull laminate. The advanced keel structure is reinforced with carbon fibre instead of traditional steel.

The Xp 44 will be arriving in the UK before the end of the month ready for her debut opening weekend on the 1-3 May at Hamble Point Marina. If you would like to visit the Xp 44 during this open weekend then please contact X-Yachts GB at or 02380453377.

www.x-yachtsgb.com

For Further photos of the Xp 44 please visit our Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/XYachtsGBIreland

San Fernando Race 2011 Gets Underway
Photo by Koko Mueller. Click on image for photo gallery.

San Fernando Race Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and run under the auspices of RORC, the 480nm Category 1 San Fernando Race started in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour today.

RHKYC was delighted to welcome Hong Kong Director of Marine, Roger Tupper, on board the committee boat to fire the 1220hrs start gun in front of RHKYC's Kellett Island Clubhouse, sending the fleet on their way to San Fernando in the Philippines.

EFG Mandrake was quick off the line, making the most of her on-board Harbour knowledge, however by Lei Yue Mun gap, the Mills 40 had been overhauled by TP52's FreeFire and Strewth from the IRC racing division, and Moonblue 2 and Xena from IRC Premier Cruising.

The 10 to 12 knot due easterly that had been recorded earlier in the day by Race Officer Jimmy Farquhar, quickly built into a 20 knot breeze, and an hour after the start, the fleet had cleared Lei Yue Mun Gap, and was heading out into open water.

As of 1800hrs this evening, FreeFire was holding a narrow lead over Strewth, with 60nm already covered. 30nm back Trilogy HK was keeping guard at the back of the fleet. A rough first night beckons, with a forecast of force 5 to 6, but with visibility at 8km, it should be a spectacular night's sailing.

All the competitors are fitted with a Yellowbrick tracking device, and race fans can watch the action unfold online at live.adventuretracking.com/hksf2011

Two New Arrivals for the RC44 Class
With just three weeks to go until round two of the RC44 Championship Tour gets underway on Lake Traunsee, Austria, the class are welcoming a new team and a new boat to The Tour.

Russia's Team Nika  will join the class in time for the RC44 Austria Cup from 11-15 May. New owner and technology entrepreneur, Vladimir Prosikhin first got a taste for RC44 racing, as a guest onboard the RC44 Beecom in Portoroz, Slovenia in 2009.

After an enjoyable 2010 season competing on his Shipman 72 in the Rolex Mediterranean Circuit and chartering the Volvo 70, Ericsson 1, for last year's Middle Sea Race, Vladimir decided that his future was in one-design racing.  

Having purchased the former K-Challenge and recruited many of the former Slovenian RC44 EKIPA 44 team, Vladimir's new crew also includes naval architect and co-designer of the RC44 class Andrej Justin, alongside double Olympians Mitja Margon, Tomaz Copi and Tomislav Basic. Vladimir is planning to build a strong competitive team that can challenge for the Championship title in future seasons.

Chris Bake's Team Aqua is not new, but a leading force on the RC44 circuit since its launch in 2007. They too have plenty to celebrate in Austria as they take delivery and compete for the first time in their brand new boat GBR 2041.  

The original Aqua, the oldest boat in the fleet, enjoyed a fantastic swansong in San Diego as the team clinched third place, but now Aqua decided that to maintain the momentum behind their championship challenge, a new boat would be invested in for the 2011 season. The team is set to arrive in Austria to commence testing at the start of May to put the new boat through her paces ahead of racing.

To read more about the build of the new Team Aqua and view pictures of the build process see
www.rc44.com

UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix
Photo by Eddie Aldridge / Stone Sailing Club. Click on image for photo gallery.

UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix Pica takes the first UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix event at Stone Sailing Club on the Blackwater with a convincing performance in their new 18ft skiff. The strong 7 boat turnout including some new faces in the class was a very positive start to the season.

Saturday evening was a social night at Stone Sailing Club which hosted a beer and curry evening for the competitors. Stone has more skiff heritage than might first have been thought with the emergence of UK Skiff racing during the 70's at the Club. This is where Peter Legroves' OTIS, the first UK 18ft Skiff, was based. Old photos can be found under the "UK in the 70s" tab on photo time line at http://www.uk18footer.org/THEBOAT/HISTORY.aspx

Despite a very still Sunday morning the breeze started to fill from the forecast direction and by midday had developed into a sea breeze.

By the 3rd race the breeze built enough for crews to three string.

With all competitors opting for a 4th Race and all boats on the line at the gun, it was a close start. Pica controlled the right hand side and led at first mark closely followed by Investec. Mark Watts and his Cardiff based team on board their B18 "Aftica"  continued pilling pressure on HPF ensuring a well earned 4th place and justifiably awarded best newcomer of the event. Pica held first place to secure an overall win for the first UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix of 2011.

Video footage can be found or embedded from www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C8jFWs8EVE

Overall Results:

1. Pica, GBR92, Jamie Mears, 3 points
2. Investec, GBR30, Mason Woodworth, 5
3. Hyde Sails, GBR53, Jack Grogan, 9
4. HPF, GBR43, Steve McLean, 13
5. Aftica, GBR16, Mark Watts, 14
6. Rutland Skiff, X, Tom Hill, 18

www.uk18footer.org

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Seeks Boatyard Manager
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is seeking a high calibre individual to fill the position of Boatyard Manager.

The successful candidate will be an experienced shipwright with a strong background in the repair and maintenance of modern cruising yachts as well as relevant boatyard management experience. The ability to communicate well with both members and staff alike will be a major requirement together with both written and spoken English.

Applicants should be capable of supervising and developing a small workforce of skilled tradesmen and possess a commitment to customer satisfaction as well as experience in costing, quality control, health and safety and environmental aspects.

We offer a challenging and stimulating environment as well as a very competitive package.

Applicants should forward their C.V. and expected remuneration in confidence to the Human Resources Manager, RHKYC, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or email

Gladstone Race Fleet Remain on Weather Watch
QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race skippers enter the critical 24 hour countdown to the 12 noon start time tomorrow with a decision on which spinnakers to stow in the sail locker. Generally the 308 n/ml coastal blue water classic is contested in moderate to fresh spinnaker sailing trade winds.

But all the wind indictors are suggesting that the stronger range of breeze which has been blowing most above gale velocity all year will moderate to offer the 44 yacht fleet soft winds for the initial 42 n.mls to exit Moreton Bay via the Caloundra Fairway buoy.

However the waiting period for a new weather system to blow over the southern horizon is expected to freshen on Friday night.

Unfortunately this will be too late to allow the super fast line honours contenders Black Jack (Mark Bradford), Lahana (Peter Millard), Brindabella (Jim Cooney) and the Bruce Absolon helmed Spirit of The Maid with a chance to generate the required 15.1 knot race average speed to run down the 2004 race record of 20hours 24 minutes 50 seconds set by the Grant Wharington helmed Victorian maxi Skandia Wild Thing.

The promise to race several hours in soft winds has set the stage for an interesting tactical dog fight for line honours while the variable conditions will certainly play a major decision in deciding the outright race winner on corrected handicap.

Marcus Blackmore and his talented crew of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club sailors on Hooligan presently stand as the yacht to beat while the smaller Rod Jones skippered Audi Sunshine Coast Alegria IV and the match racing Tasman Seabird class sloops Pagan (Peter Kerr) and Cherana (Euan Macdonald) have the potential to outpace their handicap ratings. -- Ian Grant

www.brisbanetogladstone.com.au

London 2012 Ticket Application Deadline One Week Away
London 2012 The application deadline for those wanting to attend the Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth at the London 2012 Olympic Games is 26 April 2011.

The Olympic Sailing Competition will be ticketed for the first time with the crowds given a unique opportunity to watch the action close up.

Sailing starts 29 July at Weymouth and Portland, Dorset and will run until 11 August.

Residents of designated European countries

If you are a resident of one of the countries below, you are eligible to apply for tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games here: www.tickets.london2012.com/howtoapply.html

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Alternatively, you can apply for tickets via your local National Olympic Committee (NOC), National Paralympic Committee (NPC) or appointed Authorised Ticket Reseller. A full list of contact details for all NOCs and Authorised Ticket Resellers can be found here: www.tickets.london2012.com/eligibility_p2.html

Residents outside the UK or designated European countries

If you are not a resident of the UK or a designated European country, regardless of citizenship, you will need to apply for tickets via your NOC or NPC. Some NOCs or NPCs may appoint an Authorised Ticket Reseller in order to help the general public obtain tickets and services relating to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

All Authorised Ticket Resellers will identify themselves through the use of the official London 2012 Authorised Ticket Reseller logo.

Ticket prices start at just £20 with special prices available for young people and seniors. Apply for tickets at www.tickets.london2012.com before 23.59 GMT on 26 April 2011 so you don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Short Tacks
Tired of watching tiny white boats wiggling around the race course on 4 knots boat speeds in just under 2 hours ? Don't you think that spectators and media would expect a bit more action to stay on the shore or in front of the TV ? Then we might have something for you...

High speeds, adrenaline, athletism, spectacular crashes, and the first one over the line in the final heat of the Olympic Sailing Regatta guaranteed wins gold... Sounds too good to be true ? Then have a look at our Kite Cross demonstration video

vimeo.com/22644014

Footage provided by epicsessions and shot at "Lord of the Wind" competition.

-----------------------------------------

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion is pleased to announce the appointment of Arden Oksanen to the Media Crew Member (MCM) role aboard PUMA's Mar Mostro for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.

Oksanen, age 36 from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, is the final member of PUMA's 11-strong sailing team and completes the line-up for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 that starts in Alicante, Spain in November.

Oksanen hails from the worlds of extreme skiing and kayaking with 14 years experience in producing, directing, shooting and editing action sports programming. New to sailing but no stranger to the world of adventure sports, he will put his sea legs to the test using his expertise as an adventure storyteller to produce video, image and audio content of the PUMA Ocean Racing team. -- www.puma.com/sailing

-----------------------------------------

E-Line Orthodontics Ltd has signed up as sponsor of British yachtsman Nigel King for a Solitaire du Figaro campaign.

The London-based business specialising in highly developed, invisible, adult, orthodontic treatment will become a principal sponsor in King's Solitaire du Figaro campaign with a view to helping him secure future sponsorship as he works towards his ultimate goal of competing in a future Vendee Globe event.

This will be King's third attempt at La Solitaire du Figaro, but it will be the first time he has had a substantial sponsor. This, combined with support he gains through being a member of the Artemis Offshore Academy Development Squad, will give him the opportunity to build on his previous performance where he finished sixth in the 52-strong fleet on the last leg of 2009 La Solitaire du Figaro, and 23rd overall. -- www.nigelkingyachting.com

-----------------------------------------

This Friday 22nd April  at Royal London Yacht Club COWES, Jamie Clark (International Judge) is leading a Rules Seminar starting at 1000 for 3 hours. Pay £5 at the door………..Great value for money !!

Ideally they would like potential attendees to register first, book via the Secretary's office on 01983 299 727 or email

-----------------------------------------

Over the weekend, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) skippers, Lionel Regnier and Pierre-Yves Cavan, successfully completed the GOR's mandatory 180˚ inversion test on board their new Class40 Akilaria RC2 at the MC-TEC facility in Tunisia. Regnier and Cavan are the third GOR team to undertake the vital safety procedure following inversion tests undertaken last year by GOR entries Jacques Fournier and Jean-Edouard Criquioche on their new Pogo 40S2 Groupe Picoty and the Auckland inversion test by Francesco Piva's Farr Design Kiwi 40FC, Peraspera.

From complete inversion, Regnier and Cavan took just 18 minutes to self-right the mast-less Class40 in the harbour at El Haouaria near Cape Bon in the north-east of Tunisia -- globaloceanrace.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 Maxi Dolphin 33 Day Racer US$199,500 Located in Rhode Island, USA

Fantastic hull #7 lightly sailed demo boat still wrapped up for the winter but raring to go for her first owner. The most elegant daysailing or racing imaginable. Titling trailer transport system means she can be rolling into your port sometime soon.

Brokerage through Sarasota Yacht & Ship Services, Inc.: www.sarasotayacht.com

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
www.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. -- Adam Smith

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