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So... Which Multihull For 2016?
With the selection of events to be decided in the next few days in St Petersburg, the multihullers look set to get back in for 2016, with every submission put forward having either one or two multihulls on the slate. Given that the most likely outcome is a mixed multihull, the main topic of discussion in St Petersburg is what to do between now and November 2012 when the decision on the boat to be sailed and which class should be chosen for 2016. Given that there is only one multihull, it is extremely difficult to cover the whole spectrum of multihull sailing, so ISAF needs to decide if they want a simple "Laser equivalent" boat, or a high tech "49er equivalent". Going the simple route would guarantee a large number of new nations would have a shot at Olympic selection, while the high tech route could catapault sailing into the 21st century.
After each Olympics, the IOC presents their Gold Rings Award to the sport that provided the best TV coverage of the Games, and in 2008, in a huge surprise to everyone, this went to sailing. Given all the negative comments about suitability of sailing for TV, this was a great achievement and a huge coup for ISAF. The way the award is decided is that the IOC Broadcast division put together a highlights package for each sport and these are then judged by an independant panel. The highlights package for sailing was put together exclusively on the Tornado medal race, with a mix of onboard, helicopter, boat level and tracking graphics. So the class that provided ISAF with it's greatest media coup was immediately dumped from the event lineup. However this then provides the opportunity to upgrade the boat, much the same as the Flying Dutchman being dropped for 1996, and replaced by the much more modern 49er in 2000.
As for classes, the following are the likely candidates and a few fors and againsts for each one. With the multihull likely to be a mixed disciplines, one of the key aspects of choosing the boat will be whether the design dictates that the skipper could be either the male or the female member of the crew.
Everyone in the multihull fraternity agrees the Olympic Mulithull should be a twin trapeze boat, true one design (so no development costs) with spinnaker. The only real discussions have been about whether it should be a 16, 18 or 20 foot boat, with most likely boats being an F16 such as the Viper, an F18 one design such as the Hobie Tiger, or the 20 foot Tornado or Nacra. However, a very recent addition into the mix is a proposal from the design team behind the America's Cup multihulls to design an AC18 with either a soft sail, or preferably a wing mast. So as of today, the most likely candidates for selection in November 2012 are:
* An F16 design - such as the Viper. Most inexpensive, loads would allow a female to be either skipper or crew. Other manufacturers such as Nacra likely to have an F16 soon.
There will no doubt be more information about the AC18 in the forthcoming months, but this look a very exciting project - on that will provide a very clear career path for sailors from the Olympic Games to America's Cup and bring the sports two premier events closer together. What does remain to be seen is how many countries are prepared to take the step on campaigning such a high-tech boat.
Retain The Women's Keelboat in 2016 Olympics
In November 2008 when ISAF Executive Council selected the Elliott 6m as the supplied keelboat for the Women's keelboat match racing event at the 2012 Olympic Games they catapulted women's sailing into the 21st century. The Elliott 6m is modern, faster than any previous women's Olympic keel yacht and exciting to sail with at the 204 kg crew weight. The new boat has been welcomed by women sailors throughout the world. Coming from a variety of different sailing disciplines the athletes learned quickly that they needed to embrace the Olympic philosophy of human performance to sail Faster, Higher and Stronger in the event. And they have.
The Elliott 6m has been used as supplied equipment for the ISAF Sailing World Cup since 2009. Competition quickly became intense as teams developed their skill and athleticism. Every leg of the Sailing World Cup events was won by a different team with Lucy MacGregor (GBR) eventually being crowned the winner. The event has flourished inside the Olympic programme and provides an effective platform for elite sailors and promotion of the sport between Olympics. It has provided a further pathway to retain champions and previous medal winners in an Olympic sailing event keeping these inspirational athletes in the sport. Sailors fight hard to win a place in the Gold Fleet at every SWC event. Teams from emerging sailing nations, such as China & Slovenia have entered the SWC rankings near the bottom and in 2011 are making it into the Silver fleet at these events. In keeping with the Olympic philosophy the competitors must be athletes at the peak of their fitness. The Elliott 6m is demanding and exciting to sail and can be sailed by sailors of all heights, sizes, physiques and ages with a diverse range of sailing skills.
Since January 2009, 98 boats have been delivered to 22 nations. With recent orders of additional boats to the Royal Yachting Association and the Russian Yachting Federation. The second shipment to South America has recently been delivered to Peru. The supplied Olympic fleet is due to be shipped to Weymouth later this month, for the Olympic Test event in August and then on to the Perth Qualifying Event before being shipped back to Weymouth for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The new women's keelboat has delivered a dynamic, new event to the Olympic Sailing Programme and showcases in the Games, an exciting format that is used in the modern day and in the ISAF SWC between Olympics. The event is easy to deliver to a worldwide audience as they are familiar with the one on one "knockout" concept. The event has proved to be easy to exploit for mass media appeal. The women's keelboat event has the most spectator interest and attraction for electronic and print media than any other sailing discipline.
In selecting the Elliott 6m, ISAF has delivered a new boat that will, without a doubt, strengthen the position of Sailing in the Olympics. In keeping with Regulation 3.27 the Elliott 6m should be retained for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
OnDeck & Antigua Sailing Week 2011
The 44th Antigua sailing week saw thrills and spills in the sunshine for global yacht charter, training and events company Ondeck. With 12 boats under their wing for the event, this year was BIG in many ways. Big numbers, big winds, big waves and big fun for all!
The week did not go without the odd breakage with over 30 knots of breeze, but the Ondeck shore support team were on hand to work through the night when necessary to ensure it was business as usual by the time their clients were ready to head out the next day.
Chivas Regal, the Diamond sponsor of the regatta enjoyed racing aboard one of Ondeck's Farr 65s as well as relaxing on two luxury Catamarans. Individuals joined Ondeck also racing on two Farr 65s with whole boat teams from all over the world on a selection of other exciting yachts from 40-65 feet.
World renown marine photographer Paul Wyeth www.pwpictures.com joined Ondeck for the week and captured images from most of the 'Division A' boats throughout the week and also snapped the big parties and local scenery. Visit Paul's site to view and purchase the absolute finest in marine photography.
For information on the 2012 regatta season for all the major Caribbean regattas contact Simon Hedley or visit ondecksailing.com
2011 pricing held until 1st June 2011.
Key West Race Week - 25 Years and Counting!
Key West, Florida, USA: North America's premiere annual big-boat regatta, Key West Race Week, has much to celebrate. A new Title Sponsor, early one design class and sponsor commitments, and exciting grand prix news are just some of the reasons that the 25th anniversary will be a memorable gathering.
Key West Race Week welcomes Quantum Sail Design Group as the Title Sponsor for 2012. Its support will enable Premiere Racing to produce another quality event in January, while working toward the goal of long-term viability for this renowned, international regatta.
Race dates for the week-long sailing event are January 16 - 20, 2012.
Another key component to the long-term viability of the event is the continued commitment from other established sponsors such as Lewmar/Navtec, Mount Gay Rum® and B&G. These are some of the companies that have played a significant role in enabling Key West to establish itself over the years.
The attributes of Key West racing remain unchanged: quality competition, top-tier race management, reliable breeze and warm January temperatures. It is the sole, annual national and international big boat event in the U.S., and with no other comparable regattas that time of year globally.
"As we've reached out to boat owners, one design classes, sailors and the sailing industry, it's been rewarding to hear the positive feedback and the impact this regatta has and has had on sailing here in the U.S.", said Craig. "Our goal is to work with those classes and groups that can attain critical mass to provide great competitive racing, and have a desire to work with us to produce a quality event."
Classes committed include the Melges 32 and 24, Farr 40 and 30. As always, J/Boats will be well represented with their J/105 and J/80s. Other one design classes are in discussion with Premiere Racing.
A 2012 innovation will be J/Boats specific handicap classes. IRC Racing will be presented in the form of a TP52 (modified) class and a group of smaller boats in the 36'-43' range.
Design debuts are a Key West hallmark. 2012 will undoubtedly feature more eye openers - big and small. Irvine Laidlaw has his new R/P 52 building at McConaghy in Zhuhai, China. First stop for Highland Fling XII will be Key West, Florida. "What better place to debut than Key West?" remarked Laidlaw a long time Key West competitor. "There is a resurgence of activity with both new construction and converted TP52s in the U.S. and there are likely to be 8-10 on the starting line next January."
The Land Of Dragons
The Guyader Grand Prix, exceeds in prestige and number of the participants the 2011 Dragon World Championship which was held in Melbourne in January. Whereas in Douarnenez they are 77 entered boats and 15 different nations, they were 70 from 10 nations represented with Melbourne.
The Dragons left the pontoons of Treboul at the end of the morning to join the start zone of the first race of the Guyader Grand Prix. The wind went to the east about midday and became established with 8 knots at the time of the first gun. After a general recall, the fleet got underway at 1pm, offering, against a gray cloud backdrop, a bright spectacle. Dragonistas like the elegance of their boat, this famous classic design carried out in 1929, which always turns heads. But, once the race is started their concetration is on the competition and all eyes are on sharp lookout to scan the racecourse.
The challenge of the fleet is a large one and even the most highly skilled champions taking part in the series will acknowledge that to finish in the top ten of the Grand Prix a battle hard won.
The Ukrainian Bunker Team had already dominated the results of the preceeding Coupe Credit Mutuel de Bretegane and confirmed its supremacy in these the first two races as Markus Wieser (UKR 7), Lars Hendriksen (UKR 8) and Evgeniy Braslavets (UKR 9) led the play. The first race was won by Bunker Queen (UKR 7) followed Bunker Prince (UKR 9) and the second and last race of the day by Bunker Boys (UKR 8). Overall, after two races, it is UKR 7 of Markus Wieser which is the winner of the day. The Russian Anatoly Loginov on RUS 27 and Lawrie Smith on GBR 751 supplement the podium positions for the day.
Results on www.grandprixguyader.com
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.
Remembering Loved Ones While Helping Build a School Ship
Newport Rhode Island, USA: Winthrop Williams Aldrich's spirit will be forever present aboard Rhode Island's Education at Sea tall ship, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, through his daughter Lucy Aldrich Burr's (Mystic, Conn.) generous donation of $15,000 to the non-profit Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island's (OHPRI) mission to bring experiential learning to students of all ages. "Lucy Burr's donation has come at a critical time in the construction phase," said Bart Dunbar, chairman of OHPRI. "We have just completed the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) inspections and certification as built to date, and now we're ready to begin cutting steel to finish the hull and move her back to Newport for rigging and final fitting out," said Dunbar. "We are very grateful for Lucy Burr's donation and every donation that we receive, and we welcome the community to get involved in the building of this ship."
According to Dunbar, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry's binnacle (which houses the compass on the ship) will be named in Winthrop Williams Aldrich's honor. A renaissance man, Aldrich enjoyed painting and music, finding much inspiration in the seascapes that surrounded him during summers spent on the water in Rhode Island. In 1930, Aldrich sailed as navigator aboard Enterprise, defender in the 14th America's Cup, and in 1931 he served as commodore of the New York Yacht Club.
The hull of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is currently at Promet Marine Services in Providence, and with the help of donors such as Lucy Burr, OHPRI can complete construction. Once the deck, masts, rigging, sails and electronics have been added, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will sail as a 230' (sparred length), three-masted, square rigger: the largest privately owned tall ship in America.
For more information or to contribute to the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry project, visit www.OHPRI.org
Changes In Latitudes
While it may be too early to place odds on which outstanding male and female sailor will ultimately be recognized as US SAILING's 2011 Rolex Yachtsman or Yachtswoman of the Year, it has been announced that 32nd presentation of the awards will take place at St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, Calif.) in February, 2012.
The move to the west coast will start a new tradition of alternating the award's ceremonies between St. Francis and New York Yacht Club's iconic Manhattan clubhouse where the awards have been held since Rolex began sponsoring them in 1980. Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club was built on a site rich in local lore; its yacht harbor having gotten it's start as part of the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 to mark the opening of the Panama Canal. Over the years the club has been host to many prestigious national and international sailing championships, and is home to the West Coast's premiere regatta, the Rolex Big Boat Series.
"St. Francis Yacht Club will be a spectacular west coast venue for US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards," said Gary Jobson, President of US SAILING. "For the first time in the award's 50-year history the presentation will be held outside of New York City allowing more sailors to participate in recognizing the outstanding achievers in our sport."
For information on the Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards: about.ussailing.org/Awards/Rolex.htm
Sigma 38 OOD UK National Championships
The trademark winds of Weymouth and Portland performed for the 2011 Sigma 38 OOD National Championships over the past 'Royal Wedding' weekend. The 150 plus yacht racers on site at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy delighted in a 4 race series during big Bay conditions. After fantastically close racing right across the fleet with race positions changing regularly upwind and downwind, the team of Sigma 38, Festina Lente, won by the closest of margins over rival entry, Mefisto.
Overall results were dictated by Saturday's concentrated race series, due to a boisterous breeze of 30 knots curbing the full race itinerary. The easterly 9 – 17 knots was perfect for the 17 fleet racers during the first day of racing. With hazy sunshine ideal for spectator photography opportunities, tight windward / leeward style courses ensured plenty of boat handling activity for the crews.
Sunday saw a classic endurance passage race along Dorset's Jurassic coast with gusts over 30 knots creating challenging but exhilarating conditions for the sturdy Sigmas. Unfortunately, discrepancies in the sailing instructions lead to that race being declared RDG and with racing on Monday abandoned in even higher winds, the results from Saturday's four races decided the championships.
Nigel Goodhew, Sigma 38 Class Chairman, confirmed a successful National Championships this year and the exemplar yacht racing event facilities provided at the 2012 sailing venue.
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