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Swedish Challenger Becomes Challenger of Record
San Francisco, California, USA: The Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet, KSSS), represented by Artemis Racing, has become the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup.  "We welcome KSSS and their team Artemis Racing into this role," AC34 Regatta Director Iain Murray said.

America's Cup Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club, informed Murray of the withdrawal by the Italian yacht club Club Nautico di Roma (CNR) earlier today.

"We also thank CNR and their team Mascalzone Latino for their efforts in the important start-up phase of the 34th America's Cup. While we are disappointed to lose a great Italian contender in Mascalzone Latino and CNR, we are confident in the leadership we anticipate from the KSSS and Artemis Racing."

CNR filed the first challenge for the 34th America's Cup and thereby became the "Challenger of Record." KSSS was the second challenger to enter, and under America's Cup rules, automatically succeeds as Challenger of Record.

Additional America's Cup updates will be provided in early June at a media conference in San Francisco. A save-the-date and details will be issued next week.

http://americascup.com

Spinnaker Tales -- Zhik SB3 Worlds
Photo by Cube Images / Brian Carlin. Click on image for photo gallery.

Zhik SB3 Worlds Queensland Laser SB3 crew of Hamilton Island skipper Glenn Bourke and his Sunshine Coast sail handlers Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith have qualified for the Zhik World championship Gold Medal sail off.

Their pre-title ambition to finish the important qualifying races in the top 20 was achieved in tricky wind conditions on the Royal Torbay Yacht Club courses when the Queensland crew piloted Club Marine into 10th place on 27 points.

As expected the racing in this strict one design class where the decisions and technique of the crew is paramount has been tactically intense.

However Team Britannia continued to rule the waves with the English sailors who have won the past three World championships dominating the major places in the championship which has attracted 103 crews representing 14 nations.

Peter Saxton and his Rola-Trac crew have shown their advantage of racing on home waters to head the progressive championship score card with 12 points followed by John Pollard Xcellent on 14 points while 2008 World champion Geoff Carveth in Race Team Gill remains in contact in third place.

Olympian Nathan Outteridge and his talented crew including fellow Laser Olympic representative Tom Slingsby and Olympic Bronze medal winning 470 sailor Ian Browne have sailed consistently in the testing winds to head the Australian challenge in seventh place on 21 points just three places and six points clear of Club Marine.

Naturally the Queensland crew are happy with their progressive result but skipper Glenn Bourke and Rod Jones who helped to establish the class in Australia with his Sunshine Coast based OceanBuro Performance Sailing team remain focused on winning the tactical 'arm wrestle' against the British crews.

Big fleet racing experience certainly favours the British crews but both of the Australian combinations have the talent and tactical skill to feature in what promises to be a -them versus us - dog fight for the honour of defending the Waterford Crystal World title trophy at Hamilton Island in December 2012.

Both the Nathan Outteridge helmed Performance Sailing crew racing under the Lake Macquarie Wangi Sailing Club burgee and the Glenn Bourke skippered Club Marine jointly representing the Maroochy Sailing Club and the Hamilton Island Yacht Club proved they are on the pace winning a qualifying race but they will need to protect their sailing space to keep their title winning prospects alive.

Glenn Bourke as expected showed little emotion except to say he was happy with winning a qualifying race.

But the pressure to remain in the top ten will heat up when the British sailors who qualified with seven crews in the top ten defend their unbeaten record in World championship Laser SB3 racing when the battle-lines are drawn to decide the 2011 series on the tactically demanding English Channel waters on Friday (London Time). -- Ian Grant

www.zhiksb3worlds2011.com

Day 2 Highlights Video

Also enjoy the Insights Video with Nathan Outteridge, Tom Slingsby and Ian Brown:

Melges 24 Worlds
Photo by Rick Tomlinson, www.rick-tomlinson.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 24 Worlds Day two of the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds in Corpus Christi, Texas delivered two spectacular races sailed in near perfect conditions, under crystal clear skies and in a solid breeze which built from 15 up to around 19 knots throughout the day. Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, and Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle, traded blows at the front of the fleet in both races, with Bressani winning ahead of Porter in Race 3 and then Porter holding off Bressani to take the win in Race 4. Bressani's near perfect performance today means that he tops the leaderboard tonight with an 11 point lead over Kristen Lane on USA 812 Brick House 812, whose 10, 3, scoreline sees her in second overall, tied on points with Flavio Favini on SUI 596 Blu Moon in third, and Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 Altea. Yesterday's overnight leader Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr could only manage a fifth and an eleventh today, dropping him down to fifth overall.

In the all amateur Corinthian Division, Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 continued to dominate with another pair of bullets to give him an 11 point overall lead over August Hernandez on USA 533 High Voltage in second and Christof Wieland on GER 635 Unsponsored in third.

With the normal weather system in Corpus Christi now appearing to have re-established itself, local opinion suggests that tomorrow may bring windier conditions still. Racing on Day 3 is scheduled to start at 11 AM local time with two more races scheduled.

Racing at the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship in Corpus Christi Texas continues through Saturday 21 May.

1. UkaUka Racing, Lorenzo Bressani, ITS, 11 points
2. Brick House 812, Kristen Lane, USA, 22
3. Blue Moon, Flavio Favini, SUI, 22
4. ALTEA, Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 22
5. Embarr, Conor Clarke, IRL, 23
6. Hedgehog, Alec Cutler, BER, 27
7. Full Thottle, Brian Porter, USA, 28
8. WTF, Alan Field, USA, 31
9. Audi, Riccardo Simoneschi, ITA, 32
10. Esprit, Eiichiro Hamazaki, JPN, 39

Full results at
www.regattanetwork.com

Event site: www.melgesworlds.com

Dubarry Crosshaven

Dubarry Crosshaven
You make mistakes onboard and you learn. That's experience, and it makes you better. Imagine how much experience you'd get spending weeks in the Southern Ocean. Dubarry used all Green Dragon's experience in the roaring forties to develop the Crosshaven boot. It had to be dry, so they covered the classic Cordura and leather with a self-draining waterproof draw-cord gaiter. It had to be warm, so they lined it with GORE-TEX® Duratherm waterproof insulation. It had to grip, so they gave it their award-winning sole and a super-supportive, hi-tech footbed.

Dubarry Crosshaven - boots born in the Southern Ocean.

www.dubarry.com

Bribon Wins the Practice Race but Audi Azzurra Show Their Form
Photo by Guido Trombetta, Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup. Click on image to enlarge.

Audi Medcup Cascais has proven in the past that it is a sailor's venue, one which favours the simple principles of reading windshifts and wind pressure changes rather than necessarily respecting any inherent order of advanced design or technology.

So it proved again for today's TP52 official practice race, the warm-up prelude to Wednesday's first races of the Cascais Trophy will raise the curtain on the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit.

It may have been the highly polished, well prepared Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which peeled away, bowing to superstitions and choosing not to take the winning gun, but it was the Russian Synergy Sailing Team which have the latest boat launched of the six new builds, who lead off the start line, read the first beat best and who would have finished second had they not followed the same precedent and missed out on finishing.

And in the end it was the only TP52 of the fleet which was not built this last winter, Jose Cusí's 2009 build Bríbon (ESP) which took first place in the practice race.

Bribon , with Ross McDonald (CAN) calling tactics and several new crew members this season, were third around the course and able to accept the winning gun just ahead of Nikklas Zennstrom who is steering the new Ran.

In contrast Markus Wieser and the team on Container (GER) were scarcely able to recover from their first start and first big mistake on the Audi MedCup Circuit, finishing sixth of seven.

But it may be a foretaste of the season to come. Small mistakes are likely to be just as costly in the tightly matched fleet with no hiding places.

Cascais Trophy
TP52 Practice Race Results

1. Bribon (ESP)
2. Ran (SWE)
3. Quantum Racing (USA)
4. Container (GER)
5. Audi Sailing Team Powered by ALL4ONE
DNF Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA)
DNF Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS)

www.medcup.org

Challenging Times for Gutek at the Back of the Fleet
At around 130 miles behind race leader Brad Van Liew already, Zbigniew Gutkowski has had a difficult start to ocean sprint 5 of the VELUX 5 OCEANS which left Charleston SC for La Rochelle, France on Saturday. His latest interview reveals that he has been struggling with a number of issues, some of which still need to be resolved before he can get back on the pace.

On Saturday night Gutek's position meant he hit some bad weather that the rest of the fleet avoided. "The thunderstorm made me slower; the worst thing was that the wind was constantly changing its direction so the sea was very confused. Anyway - I am through it now. The other guys went closer to the shore and that turned out to be better decision" he said.

Another of Guteks's problems was his boat speed, Operon Racing was moving far slower than he would have expected, and the reason turned out to be some old fishing nets.  "I caught fishing nets on my keel - there was no vibration, nothing; I just noticed that the boat is slower with no particular reason. So I took my Go Pro camera (the small waterproof one that all the skippers have) and put it through the emergency hatch down below - and then saw on my computer that I have a huge fishing net around my keel. I'm not sure how long I was going like that - probably all night and half a day, what made me some 50% slower. It was an old net, submerged, but not sinking because of the last flotation device it had" he said.

Unfortunately his plan to free the net was thwarted by a couple of large visitors...Gutek explained: "I was considering diving but saw two killer whales playing around, so gave up this idea. Finally I was sailing backwards so long that I got rid of this stuff."

As if this wasn't enough, Gutek also has some problems with his mainsail and needs to climb the mast. "Now I am sailing with one reef on my main but the conditions allow me to go faster. One of the cars on my mainsail track is blocked, so I can't put up more sail nor reduce it further. Now I have a big swell, so can't risk climbing up the mast. I did it once in similar conditions but I don't want to repeat this experience. Hopefully a high pressure system is coming with sort of calm, so I will go up as soon as possible"

With Derek Hatfield and Gutek currently tied on points, and less than 3000 miles of the race left, Gutek will need to remedy his difficulties as soon as possible if he is to get back in the fight for 2nd place on the podium.

Positions at 1200 UTC

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

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 2729.4 / 0 / 307.7 / 12.8
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 2753.8 / 24.4 / 306.2 / 12.8
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 2809.3 / 79.8 / 308.2 / 12.8
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 2862.3 / 132.9 / 275.2 / 11.5

www.velux5oceans.com

Groupe Bel Back in her Home Port
Click on image to enlarge.

Groupe Bel After colliding with a sea mammal on 7th March during the Barcelona World Race, Kito de Pavant's monohull Groupe Bel was forced to retire from the event. A race against the clock then began to bring the boat back to her home port in Camargue in order to get her ready for the Europa Race.

On 9th April, one month after Groupe Bel was forced to retire from the round the world race, a Dutch cargo vessel set off from the port of Ushuaia to make her way to Sete, via Brazil. The monohull was unloaded from the cargo ship last week in Sete and then her team took her around under motor to her shore base in Port Camargue. A refit set to last several weeks is now underway to ensure that Groupe Bel can be relaunched in mid-June.

Gwen Gbick, the sports director for the Groupe Bel team: "The keel that was damaged when it hit a sea mammal off Cape Horn, has been dispatched to Milan to be examined and we will then do whatever is necessary. Meanwhile, we have two goals. We have to repair the damage to the daggerboard housing and give Groupe Bel a thorough clean up: A careening to ensure her bottom is smooth to allow her to glide through the water and of course a general check up of everything on the boat, as she has sailed two-thirds of the round the world voyage and spent a month on a cargo ship." In just under a month, it will be time to set off from Port-Camargue to head for Istanbul, in order to line up for the start of the Europa Race.

www.vendeeglobe.org

Risk to Gain EBook

Risk To Gain - The Ebook
Mark Chisnell's classic account of Paul Cayard and Team EF's 1997-98 Whitbread Race victory is now available for the first time as a text-only, eBook edition. It's a unique insight into Team EF's two boats during their extraordinary journey around the world. Stomach-churning storms, frustrating calms, broken gear and a remarkable level of detail of life onboard.

'It's the best book yet on this race. Great writing...'
Yachts and Yachting

www.amazon.com/Risk-to-Gain-ebook/

Annapolis To Newport Race
Newport, RI, Annapolis, MD, USA: The Annapolis to Newport Race, first run 64 years ago, is one of the most historic and well-known of the U.S. East Coast blue-water races. In 2007, the Annapolis to Newport Race became the first of the east coast offshore races to provide the capability to follow the race via an internet race viewer. The organizers are pleased to announce another enhancement in 2011. The use of the Yellowbrick tracking system will provide some important benefits.

Each boat will carry a Yellowbrick GPS transponder that transmits boat speed and position information every 30 minutes via the Iridium-satellite system, sending a position report from each boat automatically and simultaneously.

The race course runs south on the Chesapeake Bay for 120 miles to the Bay Bridge Tunnel, then 20 miles out into the Atlantic to the Chesapeake Light Tower and finally up the coast to Newport for a total of 473 miles. The update frequency will be increased at the bridge tunnel, at the light tower and again at Block Island.

Race organizers are pleased to announce that Thomson Reuters will be the primary sponsor of the 2011 Annapolis to Newport Race. One of the benefits of their sponsorship is the ability to enhance the quality of the shore-side activities while holding down costs for competitors. The entry fee for the 2011 race is the same as it was for the 2007 and 2009 races.

Adding excitement and an international element to this year's race are the entries of boats competing in the Transatlantic Race 2011 and the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. Ten of the yachts sailing the Transatlantic have already entered. This includes boats hailing from the UK, Germany, Australia, Antigua and the British Virgin Islands. Rambler 100, sailed by George David, and ICAP Leopard , chartered by Clarke Murphy, have entered. Both are 100 footers that can be expected to challenge the race record of 42 hours, 58 minutes, 12 seconds set by Joseph Dockery's Farr 60 Carrera in 2001.

The 2011 race will start on Friday 3 June.

v009u07qap.maximumasp.com

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston Gives RS Games Thumbs Up
Entries have been received from around the world for the RS Games as sailors take up the opportunity to sail at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue, exactly one year ahead of the Olympic Games. And now, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to ever sail single handed and non-stop around the world, has given the event the thumbs up.

Following a recent interview with the event organisers on his BBC Radio Solent H20 Show, Sir Robin said; "This will be a huge gathering of RS fleets from around the world. It's a wonderful opportunity for our sailors to challenge some of the best from other countries in our new Olympic sailing centre."

Already, some 200 entries have been registered, with around 10% of those coming from overseas, from as far away as Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and South Africa. There are now just 90 days to go until the 12-day National Championship extravaganza begins and competitor entries are expected to number 800 by the time the first race takes place on 15th August.

The double-handed RS200 is expected to draw the highest overall entries, including competitors from across Europe. The RS200 has been one of the UK's most popular classes for many years since its launch in 1994. In recent years its popularity has spread internationally, and a number of European competitors are expected to swell numbers in this class this year.

The highest numbers of overseas competitors are expected in the RS 500 and RS700 classes, which are hosting their class World and European Championships respectively.

rs-association.com

Yachtsman Navigates Around the World with an Atlas
A Cornish sailor has returned to the UK after a 17-month circumnavigation in which he used only an atlas for navigation.

Paddy Macklin, 52, arrived back in Falmouth after a 'traditional' circumnavigation via the three capes on his 27ft wooden Buchanan sloop with no EPIRB or proper charts.

He was feared lost in the Bay of Biscay just weeks into his voyage, when his family could not contact him via his satellite phone in poor weather.

But Mr Macklin had wrapped the phone up to protect it and only became aware of the major search operation that had been launched when he heard his name on the radio.

Then the former painter and decorator was forced to stop in Timaru, New Zealand when a knockdown damaged his boat off the Tasmanian coast and contaminated his food supplies.

The unscheduled stop scuppered his hopes of beating Sir Robin Knox Johnston's around-the-world time of 312 days. Mr Macklin now plans to sail the North West Passage.

www.yachtingmonthly.com

Sailing On Titan
Photo by NASA. Click on image to enlarge.

Nasa Titan Explorer A robotic boat is to be sent to Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons, where it will float on an ocean of liquid methane and ethane in surface temperatures of around minus 180 degrees Centigrade.

The Titan Mare Explorer, nicknamed TiME, is the proposed spacecraft lander that if selected by NASA will be parachuted on to Titan's chemical sea for a 96-day mission sometime between 2016 and 2018. Sensors will identify Titan's complex chemistry and cameras will record the ocean's surface, as well as clouds, storms, rain, and the moon's orange skies.

TiME is one of three mission proposals selected by NASA for further study before NASA makes a final decision on whether or not it will proceed with it next year.

www.motorboatsmonthly.co.uk

* The glint off a mirror-like surface is known as a specular reflection. This kind of glint was detected by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) on NASA's Cassini spacecraft on July 8, 2009. It confirmed the presence of liquid in the moon's northern hemisphere, where lakes are more numerous and larger than those in the southern hemisphere. Scientists using VIMS had confirmed the presence of liquid in Ontario Lacus, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere, in 2008.

By comparing the new image to radar and near-infrared light images acquired from 2006 to 2008, Cassini scientists were able to correlate the reflection to the southern shoreline of a Titan lake called Kraken Mare. The sprawling Kraken Mare covers about 400,000 square kilometers (150,000 square miles).

It was taken on Cassini's 59th flyby of Titan on July 8, 2009, at a distance of about 200,000 kilometers (120,000 miles). The image resolution was about 100 kilometers (60 miles) per pixel. Image processing was done at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin and the University of Arizona in Tucson.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm

www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 Elan 40. 89,995 GBP. Located In Rhu Marina, United Kingdom.

A perfect balance between performance and comfort. This is an ideal boat for family cruising or cruiser racing. She is well set up with all lines lead aft to the cockpit for easy control. The deep fin keel makes the boat stiff and gives good windward performance and she is a full category A offshore boat, well balanced and seakindly.

These boats were sold with either the tall performance rig or a standard mast and this boat has the standard mast with the deep keel. This makes her easy to use for cruising as well as racing.

Brokerage through Nick Stratton Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/nickstrattonyachts/

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

The Last Word
To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true. -- Bertrand Russell

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