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Match Race France: World Match Racing Tour Opener
Photo Gilles Martin-Raget / Match Race France. Click on image for photo gallery.

Match Race France Marseille, France: The long awaited start to the 2011 World Match Racing Tour is nearly over as the twelve teams competing in Match Race France took to the water at Yacht Club Pointe Rouge in Marseille on Practice Day where conditions look favourable for a week of enthralling match racing.

Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar comes into the regatta in imperious form and confidence having won both the Congressional Cup in March followed by the VIII Open de Espana last week. However the Englishman believes 'form counts for nothing in match racing' and that the difference between winning and losing here in Marseille will come down to the pre-start.

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team discovered just how tricky the conditions can be here when his early practice session yesterday was cut short after being dis-masted in nearly 30 knots of wind: "We had a disaster with the mast coming down but the guys here did a really good job. J80s are quite small boats but really challenging. We're expecting heavy winds at the end of the week but I think that suits the J80 really well."

2011 Match Race France Teams
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Alexis Littoz-Baritel (FRA) Team Savoie Mont Blanc
Alvaro Marinho (PGL) Seth Sailing Team
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners Racing Team
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar

www.wmrt.com

Two New Teams and a New Boat Join the RC44 Tour In Austria
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Austria At the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour opener in San Diego in March, the Paul Cayard, Bob Little combination onboard Katusha (RUS) claimed a convincing first round victory in the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour, now with two new teams bolstering the entries to 13, the Tour moves to Austria.

This is the fourth successive year the RC44 Tour has visited Gmunden on Lake Traunsee, with last year's RC44 Austria Cup attracting over 20,000 spectators. This year will also see live tracking and onboard streaming from three cameras on the race course and one onboard AEZ RC44 Sailing Team from 11th - 15th May.

The home team in Austria comes courtesy of the Rene Mangold-owned AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team. Although made up largely of amateur sailors, AEZ tactician is former Soling European champion Christian Binder, who represented Austria in the 470 class at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Portugal's Nuno Barreto, a veteran of three Olympics, a 1996 470 Games bronze medalist and a member of the Desafío Español 2007 America's Cup crew, joins the AEZ team for the 2011 season. They will be looking to improve on their ninth place in San Diego.

Another team looking to move up the overall standings is David Murphy's Ironbound (USA). In San Diego the team appeared consistently inconsistent, three race wins should have seen them in the top half of the leader-board, but instead they finished seventh. The team has made some changes ahead of Austria that will see Brad Butterworth coaching, Simon Daubney trimming and Peter Evans taking the tacticians role.

Reigning Laser World Champion, Tom Slingsby (AUS) steps onboard the Dutch entry No Way Back as their tactician and match racing helm. Two new teams make their debut, Vladimir Prosikhin's Russian Team Nika and from France Mr Hugues Lepic's Aleph Sailing Team. Chris Bake launched and christened his new Team Aqua on Lake Traunsee last week and is looking forward to swapping the oldest boat in the fleet for the newest.

Racing proper starts on 11th May with a day of match racing followed by four days of fleet racing. Watch the action live each day from 11.30 CET on www.rc44.com/tracking

www.rc44.com

Southern Stars at the 2011 World Superyacht Awards...
Southern Spars Congrats to all involved with the design and build of superyachts Zefira, Imagine, Kokomo, Twizzle, and Lady B. All 5 superyachts rigged by Southern Spars picked up accolades at this year's World Superyacht Awards held in London. Special mention goes to Zefira, voted 'Sailing Yacht of the Year' and 'Best Sailing Yacht in 45m+ range', as well as Imagine which won 'Best Sailing Yacht 30-45m'.

Both yachts feature the latest in rig technology utilising Southern's innovative Gen 2 Furling Booms and EC6 Carbon rigging.

www.southernspars.com

Spinnaker Tales
Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith have sailed a lot of intensely competitive nautical miles but none will be as important in comparison with their bid to win the 2011 Zhik World Laser SB3 championship in England.

The specialist one-design Sunshine Coast sailors who have the distinction of winning two Audi Australian IRC championships have teamed up with Glenn Bourke from Hamilton Island in what represents a strong challenge to win the series against the tactically strong English crews who have won the past three World championships.

Four Australian crews have entered the tactical arm wrestle with Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith listed as a major contender along with the master dinghy sailing helmsman and Australian Olympian Nathan Outteridge and his crew of World Olympic Laser champion Tom Slingsby and 1976 Olympic Bronze Medallist Ian Brown.

Nathan Outteridge who has made a miraculous recovery after suffering a broken back in vehicle accident in 2004 has personally demonstrated the fighting spirit to be now recognised among the World's best in the Olympic 49er class.

His exceptional talent has allowed him to win World championships including the 2011 Moth title on his favoured Lake Macquarie course.

He alone presents an enormous tactical challenge for the Club Marine crew of Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith to overcome but the Queenslanders remained confident as they began their campaign with pre-title training on the Royal Torbay Yacht Club course earlier this week.

"We are in the process of making sure our boat will be up to speed for the pre-world regatta finals and the 14 race World championship on May 16-20".

"Of course the dream team of Nathan Outteridge, Tom Slingsby and Ian Brown headline the Australian challenge but our crew backed by the proven World championship winning helming skills of Glenn Bourke is expected to be strong front line contenders" Rod Jones said.

How the warm water Australian crews will fare in the colder northern hemisphere climate will remain unanswered until the sails are tensioned for the first race of the World title on Monday May 16.

Sure the battle for the major places in the pre-worlds will be important but all of the 119 crews representing 14 nations will place their tactical one-design racing skill on the line to be crowned as the 2011 Zhik World Laser SB3 World champions after the final race on May 20.

Both Nathan Outteridge who races under the Wangi Amateurs Sailing Club burgee and Glenn Bourke jointly representing the Hamilton Island Yacht Club and the Maroochy Sailing Club have the proven skills to be listed among the championship favourites.

However while the career results of Nathan Outteridge and Glenn Bourke are respected that respect will be left onshore when the battle-lines are drawn to sort the best from the rest with the 2011 Zhik World champions invited to defend the championship at Hamilton Island in December 2012. -- Ian Grant

lasersb3.com

New Women's Skiff Contenders On Show at HISC Olympic Weekend
The Rebel Skiff. Click on image to enlarge.

Rebel Skiff The vote by the ISAF this past weekend has re-opened the evaluation programme for the women's high performance skiff, that was mothballed following the about-face of the ISAF in 2007. At the first set of trials in Hyeres, there was a six-boat line up: the 29er, 29erXX, RS800, Cherub Daemon, Carbonology GT60 and International 14.

Of these, the 29erXX is campaigning flat-out to be chosen and RS are now working on a new concept, the RS900, while Hartley Boats have put into production their new Rebel design from Phil Morrision, as a possible contender.

The RYA has invited women who would like to trial a high performance skiff to two "Girls for Gold" weekends. The first at Hayling Island SC this weekend, 14/15 May, during the Olympic Classes open meeting, and the second at Weymouth 18-19 June.

Run by an all-female coaching and support team, the training weekends will offer sailors top tips on RS800 rig-tuning and the chance to sail in some of the women's skiff classes hoping to gain selection for the 2016 Olympic Games (Rebel, 29erXX and RS900), as well as providing insights into life on the Olympic campaign trail.

The fundamental criteria set out by ISAF for the previous event included:

- The boat must be a monohull
- The dinghy must be able to sail faster off the wind than the wind
- The dinghy is for a crew of two women (average combined weight 120-140 kgs)
- Targeting a price of £12,700 ready to sail.

The 29erXX is an established class (just), based on the existing youth skiff 29er hull with an enlarged rig and double trapeze. The RS900 is a new concept from RS which they are releasing details of this week and information will be available at the HISC weekend.

The Hartley Boats Rebel is a sailing prototype and is available from June. See www.rebelskiff.com

Report by Geraldn New on Sailweb.co.uk: www.sailweb.co.uk/default.asp#4144

The 29erxx. Photo by Fried Ellliott, www.friedbits.com. Click on image to enlarge.
Rebel Skiff

* Now ISAF's Equipment Committee will organise an evaluation trials to select the equipment for the Women's Skiff event. The evaluation trials are likely to be held sometime in early 2012.

Earlier at the meeting the 29erXX Class Association was granted Recognized Class status by ISAF. With this recognition the Class is now finalizing its Class Rules and Constitution. The 29erXX Class looks forward to working with ISAF in participating in the evaluation trials.

The first Executive of the 29erXX Class is as follows:

President - Jen Morgan-Glass, USA
Vice President Europe - Hanna Dahlborg, SWE
Vice President South America - Sofi Tedin, ARG
Vice President North America - Kristen Lane, USA
Vice President Australasia - TBD
Honorary President - Gerardo Seeliger, ESP
Media Officer - Lizzi Roundtree, USA
Class Jury Chair - Sofia Truchanowicz, POL

The 29erXX events in 2011 are as follows:

Kiel Week, Germany, June
European Championship (Travemeunde Week), Germany, July
North American Championship (CORK), Canada, August
EUROSAF High Performance Regatta, Spain, October
Sydney International Regatta Sydney, Australia, December

The first proposed SEIKO 29erXX World Championship is scheduled to take place with the 49ers in Riva Del Garda, Italy in September 2012.

www.29erxx.com

Tshirts from Scuttlebutt

Just Say Yes To Sailing
The North American edition of Scuttlebutt has launched a new T-Shirt for the sailing lover that likes to say "Yes to Sailing". Included on the shirt is the famous pink ribbon that's the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. All proceeds go to breast cancer research. To support your sport and this worthy cause...shirts can be purchased at the Scuttlebutt Store: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/store

De Guingand Bowl Race
Piet Vroon's Tonneree de Breskens. Photo by Paul Wyeth / RORC De Guingand Bowl Race The Royal Ocean Racing Club season continues to be extremely popular with another bumper entry for the De Guingand Bowl Race. Over 75 yachts are expected on the Squadron Line this Saturday morning, ranging from cutting edge custom yachts to traditional cruising yachts. The third race in the RORC Season's Points Championship starts and finishes in the Solent and exemplifies the variety of courses in this year's RORC Seasons Points Championship.

Piet Vroon's custom Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, returns to RORC racing after winning her class at this year's RORC Caribbean 600. The sky blue flyer, which was RORC Yacht of the Year for 2010, has undergone some rig and sail modifications in Breskens before arriving in Hamble this week to continue their racing programme, leading up to the Rolex Fastnet Race this August.

Chaz Ivill's Grand Soleil 54, John B, won IRC One in last month's Cervantes Trophy Race. "John B will be competing in six RORC races this year, including the Rolex Fastnet Race," explained Chaz Ivill. "Competing in the De Guingand Bowl is just part of this year's offshore program. The core crew has been very successful and has been together for five years, this will be our third Fastnet campaign on the trot."

RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Reponse, won class in the Cervantes Trophy Race. McIrvine's crew are all friends with no professionals on board.

IRC Two also contains several First 40.7s, including Trevor Drew's Blue Juice, representing the Civil Service Offshore Racing Club.

Two-handed racing is becoming an extremely popular discipline within the RORC Season's Points Championship and fourteen yachts will be competing this weekend.

Frederic Waniart and crew are the two-handed team in form, having won the Cervantes Trophy Race last time out. Vim is one of the oldest boats competing but has been meticulously prepared by the French team. The legendary Paul Elvström designed the Aphrodite 101 in 1977.

www.rorc.org

Where Is The Ghost In The America's Cup Machine?
It's difficult to put into words the conflict that is presented to an editor upon receipt of press releases from the America's Cup.

On the one hand, great technological leaps forward are good for the sport and yacht racing should be recognised for innovating how outdoor sports are televised.

On the other hand, the America's Cup should be more than the broadcasting infrastructure. There should be more incentive for fans to be engaged with the sporting competition than 'augmented reality' (otherwise known as lines and arrows superimposed over the action).

The America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) have issued a release that reiterates public statements of intent by the Cup's televisual-technology wizard, Stan Honey, about how concepts used for NFL football and NASCAR will be applied to give meaning and insight to fans watching the event in San Francisco and the lead up America's Cup World Series regattas.

The ACEA seems to have changed its sporting comparisons for this release. No metion of F1, instead the new audience for the geeky technolust output will be lovers of extreme sports.

Using the definition of an extreme sport as one that can kill you - rather than the collective noun for sports that are enjoyed by an energy drink consuming, bike riding, board riding sub-culture - the next America's Cup will indeed be extreme. Tuning in to see a sailor fall 2 stories seems a bit macabre, and it's not the kind of thing you'd think a sponsor would want to be associated with, but perhaps sports fans aren't interested in the sporting challenge. Perhaps all they want to see is the big wreck.

It seems a strange juxtaposition for Louis Vuitton to be the title sponsor of an 'extreme sport' - though their website description for SEO purposes is 'Always leading the avant-garde of fashion..' Perhaps the extreme America's Cup can do for luxury fashion and luggage what Rap did for cognac...

... We're still waiting for the 'ghost in the machine' - somewhere amongst all this world beating, innovative technology there has to be a soul. -- David Fuller, his full editorial at yachtsponsorship.com

Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs Par Le Beau-Rivage Palace
Photo by Gilles Morelle, www.gillesmorelle.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Vulcain Trophy Lake Geneva, Switzerland: Paul Cayard reports...

Light air today on Lake Geneva and only one race was held on Sunday [in the D35 class].
Onboard Artemis Racing we had our worst race finishing 6th. Alinghi was 5th and C.E.R. was 4th. Velti Group won the race in the 7 knots of wind which dropped to 3 knots by the finish.

Not bad for our first event. We are happy with that and look forward to a fun season.

We were not fast upwind in the conditions today but we observed some things the others were doing so we look forward to trying them in two weeks at the Grand Prix de Crans.

Final results:

1. CER Carrefour Prevention, 11 points
2. Alinghi, 11
3. Artemis Racing, 14
4. Veltigroup, 15
5. de Rham Sotheby's, 23
6. Okalys-Corum, 28
7. Zen Too, 28
8. Foncia, 37
9. Ladycat, 39
10. Nickel, 40

www.vulcaintrophy.ch

Majid Bin Mohammed Watersports Championships
Photo courtesy Dubai International Marine Club. Click on image for photo gallery.

Dhow Racing Dalma Marine, skippered by Mohammed Rashid Bin Shaheen and owned by Khalifa Rashid Bin Shaheen powered through the top corner of the finish line to win in the Dubai Traditional 60ft Sailing Dhow Race on Saturday. Al Wasl with Khalaf Buti Musabeh Ghashish came second and Ghazi skippered by Ahmed Saeed S. Al Rumaithi was third in the field of seventy-four competitors.

The organizers from Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) watched as the 60ft wooden dhows formed a straight line between the start marks set one-kilometer apart. Once the organizers were satisfied with the line the green start flag was raised and with a burst of activity the dhows started the twenty-four kilometer race towards the Burj Al Arab.

'This is a sight I can never tire of,' said Saeed Hareb, CEO of DIMC who has been involved in organizing the dhow races for over thirty years. 'These boats are unique in the modern world and represent so much of what is important in our culture. The crews are all families racing together and sharing experiences. Winning is important but it is so much more than that as well.'

Next Friday 13th May is the final event in the Majid Bin Mohammed Watersports Championships, a 22ft dhow race. The final event of the DIMC season is the 60ft dhow race called Al Gaffal, which means 'the return' commemorating the pearl divers route home to Dubai. The race will be held on May 28th.

www.dimc.ae

From The Not Sailing But Very Cool Files
The United States Library of Congress is one of the most splendid resources in the country-which is terrific, if you're in Washington DC. For those who aren't (and even who are!), the Library's putting a massive audio archive online, for free.

The "National Jukebox," available on a streaming-only basis, unfortunately, is a massive trove of audio recordings. Music, speeches, humor readings-spanning decades of American history. The original words of Teddy Roosevelt. "Rhapsody in Blue" with George Gershwin on piano. Serious national gems. And, due to some cuddling with Sony, the label's entire pre-1925 catalog will be accessible, encompassing a significant (and widely forgotten) musical past.

Accompanying the huge sonic repository is a ton of album and label artwork, as well as biographical information on artists (which you'll probably need for artists so dead that Sony gave them away for free). -- Gizmodo.com, gizmodo.com

* Editor's note: Lest anything think that the Jukebox is filled mostly with tame, sanitised recordings, the following disclaimer sits right at the top of the Library of Congress page:

WARNING: Historical recordings may contain offensive language.

www.loc.gov/jukebox/

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1990 Pearson 36 Tri-Cabin Wing Keel. US$72,000. Located in Mattapoisett, MA, USA.

Beautifully cared for New England vessel, light use, well equipped with excellent care. All surfaces in above average condition, ship system's operational and well maintained. Many recent upgrades including but not limitted to electronics, cushions, entertainment center and more.

Wing keel version allowing for a draft of 4'8". The finest example of a Pearson 36.

Brokerage through Rice International: www.yachtworld.com/riceinternational/

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

The Last Word
Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within. -- Miguel de Cervantes

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