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Zhik SB3 World Championships 2011 - Day 1
Photo by Cube Images / Brian Carlin. Click on image for photo gallery.

SB3 World Championships The 103 boat fleet of Laser SB3's left Torquay Harbour this morning for the first three races of the 2011 Zhik SB3 World Championships. Split into 2 fleets, Orange and Yellow, the fleet lined up for the first scheduled race at 11.00 am. The Race Committee, on both courses, managed to get both fleets underway exactly to schedule. Impressive.

On the Yellow course, Robert Greenhalgh (GBR) showed his talent early on. Notching up a 1, 2, 1 on day one of a World Championships is a score card anyone would be proud of. Peter Saxton (GBR) won the first race on the Orange course and followed up with a 5, 2 placing him second overall overnight on day 1.

The Orange course suffered 2 general recalls as the Race Committee tried to get the second race of the day away. Not deterred by the delay, Glenn Bourke (AUS) dominated the race, extending his lead on each leg. Chatting to Glenn last night he claimed to be "rusty", but today he posted 5, 1, 11 on the score sheet. "More time in the boat will help us iron out some of our creases, but to take a win on the first day of an event like this always makes you feel good!"

2010 Laser SB3 World Champion Jerry Hill (GBR) had a difficult day to start the event. Sailing on the Orange course the 3 Sad Old Blokes struggled in the first race, finishing in 25th position. After starting deep in the second race, they picked their way back to a respectable 9th and despite damage, finished 6th in the third race of the day. "It was hard today, really hard," explained Hill before disappearing to repair his boat.

www.ZhikSB3Worlds2011.com

Over One Hundred Entries for ORC Worlds
Cres, Croatia: The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and the Sailing Club of Rijeka (SCOR) are pleased to announce that as of this week 117 teams from 15 nations have committed to converge on Cres, Croatia for the 2011 ORC International World Championship, held over 18-26 June 2011. This is the highest and most diverse turnout of any ORC championship regatta in its 40-year history, and is an event sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) as the sole official offshore World Championship.

Entries are still being accepted until 18 May with an entry fee of €600, but after that date they will be accepted only at the discretion of the organizers, and with an entry fee of €1000.

Most entries in the fleet are from a variety of production racer/cruiser designs, but there are also many high performance race boats entered in this year's Worlds. These include two TP52's, Aniene 1a Classe from Italy and Aquila from Austria, Roberto Monti's Felci-designed GP42 Airis, a veteran of the past two seasons in the Audi MedCup from Italy, and the Farr-designed canting-keeled Cookson 50 Calipso IV, also from Italy and owned by Piero Paniccia.

Besides this spectrum of competitive boat designs, the fleet also contains a significant array of sailing talent, including numerous past World, national, and regional champions in ORCi, as well as several past Olympians and America's Cup team members. Examples include Italian AC veterans Tomasso Chieffi and Paolo Cian, who are tacticians on, respectively, the reigning European ORCi Champion Man, a GS42R05 owned by Riccardo Di Bartolomeo, and the NM 38 Scugnizza owned by Enzo del Blasio. Croatian Olympic Finn sailor Karlo Kuret will be the helmsman on the Salona 42 All 4 One, and fellow Croatian Olympic Laser sailor Mate Arapov will be on board the GS56R Marina Kastela.

While most entries are from the Adriatic region, the event has also drawn interest from teams from as far away as the USA. All official activities for the 2011 World Championship will be held at the ACI Marina in Cres, including berthing, the regatta center, and media center.

After measurement and registration on Saturday and Sunday, 18-19 June, inshore racing will start on Monday 20 June on courses set between Cres and the Istrian coastline. On Tuesday 21 June will be the start of the 24-hour offshore race, with finishes expected on Wednesday 22 June. Thursday 23 June inshore racing resumes through Saturday 25 June, the final day of competition.

Nine races are scheduled: seven Windward/Leeward races and an offshore race scored as two races. One discard will be allowed if all nine races will be completed. The championship is valid if at least four windward/leeward races and one offshore race or at least three windward/leeward races and two offshore races are completed.

www.orc.org

Vincenzo Onorato: "We Couldn't Have Won"
Vincenzo Onorato, owner of Mascalzone Latino, sent an open letter on Thursday, announcing that due to impossibility of finding the adequate funding to mount a competitive campaign, his team was withdrawing from the America's Cup. Following his announcement, Onorato spoke to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, answering a number of straightforward questions. Onorato states his team would have been unable to be competitive but at the same he says it wouldn't be "right" to put a spending cap in place.

La Repubblica: Onorato, the comments on the international blogs and specialized media are pretty hard on you.

Vincenzo Onorato: This is also a demonstration of affection. They obviously love us.

La Repubblica: In essence, they say, how is it possible that you made the rules, the format of the competition is yours, the economic parameters are those chosen by you, and you first aren't able to find the money?

Vincenzo Onorato: It's an incorrect statement: we have found the money to do the Cup. Indeed I thank the sponsors that trusted us.

La Repubblica: Then why did you withdraw?

Vincenzo Onorato: Because we did not have enough funds to effectively compete with the big guys. That is, to try to win the Cup. I am a sportsman. A sailor and a sportsman. I really have no interest in participating without competing.

La Repubblica: That's fine, but so - indeed - it seems that those that think the rules you have written are a farce, are right. That is, written in order to let participate many teams and leave to one, the richest, Oracle, the chance to win.

Vincenzo Onorato: Another silly dispute. The America's Cup has never been, in its long tradition, a low-budget event. In fact, it has always been an event with escalating budgets.

Pierre Orphanidis' translation, in full, at Valencia Sailing:
www.vsail.info

Dubarry Lahinch - Hanging Ten In Style
Dubarry Lahinch - Hanging Ten In Style Misguided though their choice of watersport may be, you'd have to admit that surfers know a thing or two about keeping control on a wet, rolling surface - and looking good while they're doing it. Dubarry's new Lahinch, inspired by Ireland's world famous surf destination, features a durable, lightweight upper that's quick draining and drying, and a two-part sole that uses Formula 1 technology to create a cushioned cocoon for the foot. The moulded sole acts like a shock absorber, the heel protects and supports the ankle and the toe protects, well, your toes.

Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.

www.dubarry.com

Groupama 4: A Great Sense Of Pride
Skipper Franck Cammas Groupama Sailing Team puts their new Volvo Open 70, Groupama 4, in the water at their base in Lorient. Click on image to enlarge.

Groupama 4 On Saturday 14 May, Groupama 4, the first Volvo 70 built in France, was launched at 1400 GMT, opposite Groupama Sailing Team's base in Lorient. Groupama's representatives, the sailors, the members of the shore team and an enthusiastic crowd attended this important stage of the project led by skipper Franck Cammas.

Australian Ben Wright, head of the shore team with five Volvo Open 70 build projects already under his belt, seems particularly satisfied with the work achieved by the team. "It's a big day… in a long series of big days! We still have a few miles to cover with Groupama Sailing Team. However, at least now we're done with the sketches: the boat is here in front of us.

Although the phase in the yard is over for the members of the shore crew, sail trials are set to begin on Tuesday 17 May for the sailing crew. The next major stages which will punctuate the life of Groupama Sailing Team between now and the start of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the christening of Groupama 4 on 11 June in Lorient, then the Fastnet Race in the UK on 14 August. In the latter, Franck Cammas and his crew will, for the very first time, be able to see how Groupama 4 fairs in relation to her future rivals. -- translated by Kate Jennings

Technical specifications for Groupama 4:

LOA: 21.50m
Beam: 5.70m
Water draught: 4.50m
Displacement: 14 tonnes
Keel: swing
Material: carbon honeycomb sandwich
Upwind sails: 315m2
Downwind sails: 675m2
Architect: Juan Kouyoumdjian

www.cammas-groupama.com

Norway's Eivind Melleby Wins Melges 24 Pre-Worlds
Photo by Fiona Brown, www.fionabrown.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 24 Pre-Worlds Corpus Christi, TX, USA: The concluding day of the Pre-Worlds Regatta at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas, saw an unexpected return to the breezier conditions with which the venue is more synonymous, with the final two races being completed in 15 - 18 knots. A 6,2 scoreline today for overnight leader Eivind Melleby on NOR 804 Full Medal Jacket, was enough to seal an overall win in the Pre Worlds Regatta. Melleby finished the two day series tied on points with second placed Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, who chalked up a win in the first race today before finishing fourth in the second race. A seventh and a sixth score today saw Nathan Wilmot at the helm of IRL 607 Embarr take the final Pre-Worlds podium position.  The winning Corinthian, all amateur team was USA 15 Abordage owned and helmed by Erwan Le Gall from San Francisco.

With racing in the main World Championship series scheduled to start in the morning, most teams spent the afternoon after racing today on boat preparation, final sail selection and planning for the week of racing ahead.

AUDI helmsman Ricardo Simoneschi (ITA) appeared confident and relaxed on the eve of the main championship. "As a team we are happy with the job we have done up to now. In terms of the venue, I think it is a very interesting place. We were told that the winds were generally very strong and quite steady here, but in the last few days we have already seen a variety of conditions and some quite big windshifts. So I think there will be plenty of tactical options and the racing will actually be quite open." There was also a general anticipation of some spectacular sailing ahead when the inevitable classic big breeze Corpus Christi conditions make an appearance.

Racing in the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship main series runs through until Saturday May 21, with two races per day scheduled.

www.melgesworlds.com

GOR Entry Michel Kleinjans' New Kiwi 40FC Passes the Class40 Test
Just four days after arriving as deck cargo in Zeebrugge, Belgium, the new BT Boats Kiwi 40FC, Roaring Forty 2, of Belgian offshore yachtsman and Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) entry, Michel Kleinjans, successfully completed the Class40 measurement requirements last week, including the 90 degree test, and is now officially registered as Class40 #107.

In early April, Kleinjans' Farr Yacht Design Class40 left the Cookson Boats yard in Auckland as deck cargo bound for Europe with a tight schedule for Class40 Association registration and test sailing prior to Roaring Forty 2 competing in the double-handed Normandy Channel Race starting in Caen, Normandy, next Sunday.

Lapo Ancillotti, Director of BT Boats Ltd - the company that identified the potential of New Zealand-based Class40 production - was in Belgium for the 90 degree test. "We're really happy that the tests were passed and now sail testing and racing is the next step," he commented shortly after Roaring Forty 2 was manoeuvred back to the dock. "The boat looks impressive, very aggressive, and definitely we took the Class40 concept to the next level with a more Open 60-style. However, we need to prove the boat in the water and against the competition first!"

Kleinjans - who raced in the single-handed division of the inaugural GOR in 2008-09 on his Open 40, Roaring Forty, will be double-handing in the Normandy Channel Race with the 42 year-old, Normandy-based yachtsman, Marc Lepesqueux: a highly experienced Mini Transat, Figaro and Class40 sailor who placed 12th out of 44 Class40's in the 2010 Route du Rhum with Marie Toit - Caen La Mer. GOR entry, Kleinjans and co-skipper, Lepesqueux, will be racing against a highly-charged Class40 fleet in the Normandy Channel Race, including four fellow GOR entries: the Anglo-German, all-female GOR team of Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken on the Owen Clarke Design 40 Degrees; Tanguy de Lamotte sailing with Sébastien Audigane on Initiatives Saveurs; the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire with the Akilaria Class40, Phesheya Racing and a second Kiwi 40FC, Peráspera, skippered by Italy's Francesco Piva who is the boat's owner-driver and a director of BT Boats.

globaloceanrace.com

De Guingand Bowl
The De Guingand Bowl race provided another exciting chapter in the 2011 RORC Season's Points Championship. The RORC Race Committee decided to send the fleet on an upwind start, westward out of the Solent, before turning east, down the south side of the Isle of Wight and offshore after St. Catherine's Point, to a top mark mid-Channel: the Greenwich Light Vessel. The fleet then turned for home, a gruelling 50-mile upwind leg to finish back in the Solent. Most of the fleet enjoyed a tactical race with many twists and turns along the way.

The start off the Squadron Line was a gentle one with ten knots from the northwest, however as the fleet entered the Western Solent big gusts and wind shifts had the fleet concentrating on sail trim. The breeze built as the fleet turned east and with an increased sea state, the competitors in the De Guingand Bowl Race enjoyed some fast running conditions before blasting offshore bound for the Greenwich Light Vessel. With blues skies punctuated by scattered clouds, the 71-strong fleet enjoyed a day of fantastic offshore action. Just before sunset, the breeze shifted north and colder air, often in excess 20 knots, gave a chilling night sail. By dawn the breeze had abated somewhat and returned to the northwest and by early afternoon, the majority of the RORC fleet had been accounted for.

Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, made a victorious start to the RORC European circuit with a triumph in IRC One and IRC overall to lift the De Guingand Bowl Trophy.

Gray and Laidlaw's Bob took line honours and second place overall by the narrow margin of just over four minutes on corrected time. Chaz Ivill's Grand Soleil 54, John B, had another excellent race, to place third overall and second in IRC One. John B is currently third overall for the championship.

Quokka 8 corrected out to win IRC Two, this season Peter Rutter's Grand Soleil 43 is crewed by Phillippe Falle and the team from Sailing Logic. RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Réponse, continued their impressive start to the season taking second place in IRC Two, to lead the class for the championship.

IRC Four produced the closest finish in the 71-yacht fleet. Fabrice Tropres' Dufour 34, Major Tom, had a virtual photo-finish with Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome. Major Tom won the class by just 19 seconds. Mathias Kracht's JPK 9.6, Ultreia!, was not far behind in third, racing two-handed.

There were 14 yachts racing in the Two Handed Class. Paddy Cronin's, Psipsina had an intense battle for third place with Matthias Kracht'sUltreia! But Peter Olden's Solan Goose of Hamble, corrected out to win the class and retain the class lead for the season so far, with Jammy Dodger coming in second behind them. -- Louay Habib

www.rorc.org

Video interview with Piet Vroon at youtu.be/QKMiDemJzhA

UK-Halsey Rules Quiz
The UK-Halsey Rules Quiz animations have been called the best way to learn the rules, and the videos of the rules being explained make the learning process that much easier. We have already posted seven videos which cover: the importance of the definitions, the definition of when you are racing and when the rules and penalties apply, definition of being on a tack, definition of proper course, the definition of finishing and much more. The videos are only available as part of the Rules Quiz program and we will continue to post videos throughout the year.

The answers to all the quizzes were re-written for the rules changes by Rob Overton, who has been a member of the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee since 1993. Rob was one of five international rule writers who drafted the new Section C rules that took effect on January 1, 2009.

See the Rules Quiz page at www.ukhalsey.com/RulesQuiz/

You can buy the Quiz program for $55 or $100 for the program plus two of the best books written on the 2009-2012 Racing Rules - Understanding the Rules by Dave Perry and The Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis. Both are reviewed in our Rules Blog.

www.ukhalsey.com/store/

3-Buoys Challenge Series
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image to enlarge.

Skiff Series The Australian 18 Footer League will introduce a new series of races in the coming season, aimed at producing even closer racing while providing winning chances for more boats in the fleet. The series of five races, which will be known as the "3-Buoys Challenge", will be sponsored by Winning Appliances and offers prizemoney of $5,000.

It will commence on October 16, one week after the season opener, and continue each Sunday until November 13.

"3-Buoys" system was introduced by the League four years ago as a unique means of handicapping the fleet to provide more winning opportunities while maintaining a closely bunched fleet throughout each race. Teams are allocated individual handicaps (maximum is 10 minutes), based on previous performances, which is then dissected into a variety of '3-buoys colours' on each of the three roundings.

The entire fleet start at the same time but the first windward mark is always designated as a "3-buoys" mark with white, blue and red marker buoys placed 100 metres apart (white being the furthest and red the nearest).

Skiffs with the 'longest' handicap benefit from the nearest 'red' marker buoy and set their spinnakers for the next leg of the course while the others are still working to the further 'blue' and 'white' markers. It then becomes a race where the backmarker boats have to chase the leaders.  The system is repeated twice more over the course and usually results in a finish where the faster boats are closing on the leaders.

The "3-Buoys Challenge" will have a continuous pointscore applying throughout the series and there will be no discard.

Handicaps of boats finishing first, second and third will be adjusted after each race and the pointscore system will be geared (doubled) to favour the last three races.

The series will give more impact to the start of the Sydney season and will be a great lead in event for the major (NSW, Australian and Giltinan) titles which follow. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au
www.flying18s.com
www.18footerstv.com

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Liz Baylis, WIMRA Executive Director: Dear WIMRA Sailors, Organizers, Umpires, and Fans...As you probably know, the ISAF Council voted last week to remove the women's keelboat event from the Olympic slate for 2016.  Obviously this is a great disappointment to us and perhaps a decision they will regret.  But it is done and we must now look forward and not backwards.

We have seen an incredible growth of women's match racing throughout the world over the last 10 years:

- from 20 events in 2000 to over 80 in 2010;
- from 115 skippers on the ranking list in 2000 to 320 now;
- women's match racing happening in many new countries including RSA, SLO, CRO, PER, ESA, KOR, IND, and more;

Though this has been in part due to the inclusion in the Olympic programme for 2012, it is mainly due to the tremendous effort that all of you have put into growing our sport.  I do not see the recent decision diminishing the fact that women's match racing is a dynamic and exciting discipline and many of our most talented sailors will continue to participate.

As WIMRA Vice President, Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (DEN) said in a recent note to the ISAF Women's Forum:

"I don't think that match racing has ever been adopted by the Sailing World Cups to use its full potential, so not really a surprise that women's keelboat/match racing is out again. I'm sure match racing will be fantastic events at the Pre-Olympics, ISAF Worlds in Perth and at the Olympic Games 2012. And match racing will for sure survive also outside the Olympic programme, no doubt about that."

Where do we go from here?

WIMRA is committed to helping ensure that the events Lotte mentioned are all fantastic events and that the Olympic Women's Match Racing event in 2012 showcases our sport for what it is: exciting, athletic, media friendly, and riveting.  But, we will also be working outside of the Olympic programme to further develop women's match racing in new areas as well as bolster the existing excellent events and help develop new events.

We will continue to need your help, but we are also available to help you.  Let's continue to work together to develop and grow our sport.

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The Last Word
In politics stupidity is not a handicap. -- Napoleon Bonaparte

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