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Damien Iehl Takes Victory at Match Race France
Marseille, France: Damien Iehl and his French Match Racing Team made the perfect start to their World Match Racing Tour season after defeating Bertrand Pace's Aleph Sailing Team in an all French Final at Match Race France in Marseille.
This was Iehl's second ever victory on the World Match Racing Tour following his win at Match Race Germany in 2008 and his early justification for being awarded a Tour Card for the 2011 season. The victory caps a week in which the Frenchman has been in majestic form, firstly by Qualifying in second position, then defeating the 2003 Tour Champion Jesper Radich (DEN) 3-1 in the Semi-Finals and finally Pace in the first all French Final on the Tour since 2007.
Final Damien Iehl (FRA) v Bertrand Pace (FRA) 2-0
Petit-Final Torvar Mirsky (AUS) v Jesper Radich (DEN) 2-1
2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings (after Stage 1)
Artemis Racing Expected to Become New Challenger of Record
The duties of the Challenger of Record at this stage of the 34th Defense are limited. Major rules changes would involve amending the Protocol, which requires approval by a majority of the competitors, not simply the agreement of the Defender and COR. Replacing Jury members, too, requires majority consent. The COR also appoints one member to the five-member board of the Race Management organization. But most of the COR's work is already done, having agreed to the terms of the Match with the Defender and drafted the initial Protocol.
In addition to negotiation of Match terms, in the early days of multiple challenges which began only in 1970, the COR's role also included the responsibility for organizing and conducting the challenger selection regatta. The 1974 COR, Royal Thames YC, withdrew from competition before they ever raced, but still conducted the regatta for the remaining challengers from France and Australia. In the 1990's the COR's race duties were fulfilled by a Challenger of Record Committee, with the nominal COR elected by the challengers. America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) will run the regattas for 2013, acting as a neutral body, though the challengers as a group will decide on their selection format.
2011 Audi Medcup Season Launches
A glittering start to the season is assured when two of the newest TP52's are formally launched on Monday at midday.
Italy's Audi Azzura Sailing Team will have Princess Zahra Aga Khan as godmother, while model Eva Padberg and actor Jean Reno will share duties naming the Franco-German TP52 Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE
Princess Zahra Aga Khan is President of the Board of Directors of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda which the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team represent and will be present to act as godmother.
Eva Padberg was voted sexiest woman in the world in 2005 by readers of FHM and featured on the cover of GQ in 2006, while actor Jean Reno - Hollywood star of Mission Impossible, The Da Vinci Code, Léon, - is no stranger to the Audi MedCup Circuit after sailing as a guest in Cagliari, Sardinia last year.
Both Vrolijk designed Audi supported boats will fly distinctive spinnakers carrying the message 'Audi Ultra-Lightweight Technology.'
After sailing on Monday, leading TP52 designer Rolf Vrolijk (NED) and a prominent designer from Audi will give an informal seminar on design trends, similarities and comparisons between the different marine and car technologies.
The Audi MedCup Open Village opens Monday morning adjacent to the regatta site, by the Club Navale Cascais.
The official practice race for the TP52's is on Tuesday with racing for that fleet starting Wednesday and the Soto 40's start racing Thursday. -- Sabina Mollart-Rogerson
Dubarry Storm - Style Over Fashion
Final Sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans Begins
The four Velux 5 Oceans solo skippers today showed just how fired up they are for the climax of the round the world race, all crossing the ocean sprint five start line within seconds of each other. It was more like a scene from a dinghy regatta as the four 60ft Eco 60s jostled for position in the starting area, set around two miles past the entrance to Charleston Harbor.
Conditions were perfect for the fifth and final start of the 30,000-mile race with a 12 to 15 knot breeze building to around 20 knots as the big moment approached. With just minutes until the start Brad Van Liew, Derek Hatfield, Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski and Chris Stanmore-Major turned their bows towards the line, powered up their boats and began the first charge of the 3,600-mile sprint across the Atlantic to La Rochelle in France where they started the race more than eight months ago.
At 1500 local time (1900 UTC) the gun fired and the boats powered over the line, Canadian Derek Hatfield claiming line honours onboard Active House for the first time in the race. Metres apart and just seconds behind were Gutek's Operon Racing, Brad on Le Pingouin and CSM on Spartan.
But it was all change by the time the boats reached the first mark, around a mile from the starting line. CSM put on a display of Spartan's capabilities, finding extra speed and flying past his race rivals to reach the turning mark in first place. From that moment on it was out into open sea for skippers, next stop France.
Oracle Racing Victorious at the RC44 Austria Cup
Their score line said it all, three firsts, three seconds out of the nine races sailed, and only one race outside of the top five.
Team Aqua (GBR) took second place, one place better than in San Diego two months ago in their old boat, Chris Bake was the first owner to come onto RC44 circuit in 2007 and was pleased with their weeks work in Austria.
From last place in San Diego, to a podium place in Austria, the Dutch team, No Way Back, finished the only race of the day in fourth place with their main competition, CEEREF (SLO), four places behind to hand them third place. Guest tactician for the event was 27-year-old Tom Slingsby (AUS).
The Tour now heads to Cagliari in Sardinia (29 June - 3 July).
Results - RC44 Austria Cup - Fleet Race
1. ORACLE Racing (USA) Steve Howe / Russell Coutts, 26 points
UK Mini Fastnet
The Classe Mini yachts will race in two classes, Series and Proto. The Series yachts are production models, whereas the Protos are one off designs.
The class rules limit the communication equipment that can be carried by each yacht, but Yellowbrick have supplied the trackers that will enable an hour by hour update on the progress of these intrepid sailors.
RS900 - Women's Olympic Skiff Contender
Following ISAF's final choice of sailing events for the 2016 Olympics, including a women's skiff, RS Sailing has announced that they plan to develop the RS900 to compete for this role - subject to confirmation from the appointed Evaluation Team of their specific criteria for selection of this boat.
The RS900 will be an all-new boat incorporating developments from the highly respected RS800 hull, a new deck, new wings and a new rig. The RS900 will only go into full production if it is selected for the Olympics.
Early testing of a prototype RS900 has shown the performance can be close to a 49er - with optimised handling targeted to suit ISAF's specified weight range for female teams.
"This is a serious project for us" says Martin Wadhams, managing director of RS Sailing. "It will take a great boat to do justice to the Olympic role and a new generation of female sailing athletes. It will also take a significant commitment to work with ISAF on the strategy to launch the new class quickly and effectively if it wins selection. We're up for that."
More technical details will be released as development progresses and all elements are finalised.
Cheminees Poujoulat in the Water
Bernard Stamm's brand new 60-foot boat was lowered into the water on Thursday in La Ciotat in Southern France. On Friday morning, the monohull successfully passed the 180 degree test, before her mast was stepped. The Swiss skipper will now be able to begin his busy schedule leading up to the 2012 Vendee Globe, which remains his main goal.
As laid down in IMOCA rules, each new boat has to undergo a 180 degree righting test. This is always a spectacular event, which involves turning the hull upside down, with her keel in the air, with the help of a crane, as if the boat had completely capsized and was dismasted, with the skipper inside trying to right her without any outside help, by moving the canting keel. This test was successfully passed on Friday. Bernard Stamm: "This is a very stressful moment. Inside the boat, you can't see what is going on. It's dark and you can hear some dull thumps. This test really makes the skipper aware of what may happen if his boat capsizes. I'm pleased it went smoothly. It was also an opportunity to check that the deck was watertight. We found some very small leaks and now we know exactly where they are."
"Next up: getting the sails in place, carrying out checks, tests and then we'll be out there sailing," explained the Swiss skipper, who was both pleased and in a hurry to discover his new boat. In order to be in the best of shape for the start of the Vendee Globe on 10th November 2012, Bernard and his sponsor have a busy schedule ahead of them as the new Cheminees Poujoulat will be taking part in the Europa Race in July, the Fastnet Race in August and the Transat Jacques Vabre in October.
Seahorse June 2011
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SB3 Champ Sets The Pace
Carveth the 2008 World champion expressed his skill to finish with a consistent 2-1-3-(5)-3 to head the talented Russian Rodion Luka 4-(20)-4-1-1 while Australian 49er class Olympian Nathan Outteridge 1-5-(13)-2-8 won the bronze on count back over fellow Australian and former Olympian Glenn Bourke 5-6-(9)-3-2.
The top four were in a class of their own sailing the tricky wind system with the required skill to protect their point scores.
However Geoff Carveth and his Race Team Gill crew needed to fill a top three place in the final race when Rodion Luka (Team Russia) scored his second race win in the final.
They remained in the box seat as the provisional winner with their impressive best four to count score of 4-4-1-1 but Geoff Carveth sailed with a safe strategy to claim the series with a 2-1-3-3 score.
As expected there was little separation between the top Australians Nathan Outteridge (One Design Sailing) and Glenn Bourke (Club Marine) who resolved the Bronze medal result on count back.
Nathan Outteridge who discarded a 13th compared with Glenn Bourke's 9th was officially placed third with his win in the opening heat being the deciding factor however the Club Marine crew expressed the tactical helming skills of Glenn Bourke to finish all five races in the top nine. -- Ian Grant
Event site: www.zhiksb3worlds2011.com
Re-Creating Wine History
The wine carried during the voyage will be taken to Laithwaites' flagship London store the Arch at Vinopolis, where there will be a private fine wine auction held in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Irene was built in 1907 by F J Carver and Son in Bridgwater. She's the last of the West Country trading ketches still under sail, and spent 50 years as part of the fleet of British Merchant vessels spanning two World Wars and a Great Recession.
In 1965 Dr Leslie Morrish spotted her, derelict in the Hamble River, and bought her for £2,500. Dr Morrish began a restoration job that lasted almost 20 years.
Then, in 2003, a fire started and raged for eight hours, consuming the whole vessel. Irene returned to Cornwall where she underwent her second lengthy restoration.
This trip from Bordeaux to London will be her first real voyage since this most recent renovation. It will be marked by waterside celebrations at the Laithwaites' Bordeaux Winery, Le Chai au Quai, where the special Claret was made for the occasion.
When Irene reaches London, she'll pass under Tower Bridge and moor at her ultimate destination of Butler's Wharf.
* From Daniel Charles: Behind the recent ISAF vote looms the question « how democratic are the sailing authorities?" The most optimistic answer is "not much".
No other sport has such variety of tools - from the tray-size of a kite-surf to the 900m2 ground imprint of the giant trimaran Banque Populaire. No other sport knows such extreme dissimilarity in event duration - the difference between the shortest and longest sailing events is ten times bigger than between a running 100m and a marathon.
Clearly ISAF has given up on representing such variegated practices. It has decided to focus on one single practice, what the French call "yachting leger" - dinghy and boards. This "yachting Lite" regrouped most sailors in the 1960s, but does not anymore in terms of global practice of the sport. The focusing on a diminishing discipline was clearly not the choice of the sailors outside this discipline. It was the result of three influences. 1) The small or poor countries where Yachting Lite is still the only practice; these countries are the majority in the world (incl. ISAF) but the absolute minority is terms of practising sailors. 2) All the sailing federations rely on their Sport Ministry grants, which are generally proportional to Olympic results or expectations, and since the Olympics only have Yachting Lite the Federations are induced to mostly invest in it (a wonderfully circular causality); therefore they send mostly Yachting Lite representatives to the ISAF. 3) The pressure of the CIO to include as many countries as possible, and therefore to give to small countries a weight that their number of sailors wouldn't deserve (Namibia, to my knowledge, has only one yacht club but is considered as a country at ISAF).
These influences tend to keep most sailors out of the decision loop.
The fact that there doesn't seem to be any in-depth reflexion within ISAF on that democracy question is one more proof of the deeply clannish spirit of this institution.
Let's make a dream. If sailing were to be expelled from the Olympics, the administration of the sport would suddenly free itself of these outside or marginal influences, and become more representative. Sailing would lose very little prestige - the America's Cup is probably more prestigious than the Olympics already-, but it would have the democratic structure it needs to expand again - instead of the continuous contraction it goes through since twenty years under ISAF's stewardship.
Indeed, if democracy appears to be a condition for expansion in countries, why would it be different in sports?
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The Last Word
* Not intended to be a factual statement.
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