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Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta
With a confirmed entry of 1050 sailors, in 740 boats, from 62 nations, competition within every class will be extremely fierce, with many of the sailors bidding to show their Olympic selectors why they should be in contention to represent their country at next year's Games. No fewer than 11 reigning Olympic and Paralympic champions, and a whole host of Beijing 2008 and World medallists, will do battle across a total of 13 classes when 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold takes place between 6 - 11 June.
Skandia Sail for Gold is the penultimate event of the seven-round ISAF Sailing World Cup, with the latest event taking place just one week ago at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik. Many of the early ISAF World Cup Series leaders chose not to compete at Delta Lloyd, resulting in a shake up in the overall leaderboard. Paul Goodison (GBR), Beijing 2008 Olympic champion in the Laser, was one of those who chose not to compete at Delta Lloyd, opting to spend the time training on waters of Weymouth and Portland. Goodison explains: "It's been quite a busy year so far with lots of foreign trips, so it's really nice to be back home in Weymouth. I didn't attend the Delta Lloyd Regatta last month as the two big events that are really going to matter to me are the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta and the pre-Olympic test event. With the games just over 12 months away it's about trying to perform on Olympic waters".
Among those Beijing gold medallists looking to throw down the gauntlet to their challengers at Skandia Sail for Gold are Kiwi RS:X master Tom Ashley, who will face a stiff challenge from a competitive fleet, including Dutchman Dorian Van Rijsselberge, Skandia Team GBR's Nick Dempsey, the 2009 World champion, and Poland's Piotr Myszka, the 2010 World Champion, if he is to claim his first ever Skandia Sail for Gold title. In the ladies' event reigning World champion Blanca Manchon heads the fleet with 2010 Worlds silver and bronze medallists Alessandra Sensini (ITA) and Charline Picon (FRA) hot on her heels. Britain's Beijing bronze medallist Bryony Shaw will also want to make a big impact on her home waters.
Strong international competition is guaranteed in the Finn class, from the likes of Beijing silver medallist Zach Railey (USA), Rafa Trujillo (SPA), Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) and Dan Slater (NZL) desperate to prove home advantage counts for nothing. The competition amongst the British Finn contenders is likely to be just as fierce, with three times Olympic Finn champion Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott and 2010 World champion Ed Wright, who respectively make up the top three in the ISAF World Cup standings going into Skandia Sail for Gold.
Testing Rather Than Racing
Skipper Chris Nicholson decided today to withdraw from the Auckland-Musket Cove race which starts at Auckland tomorrow in favour of a voyage to Lyttelton and back.
Nicholson said the sailing team needed several days of down-wind and reaching conditions to test sails. "We had expected to get that on the way to and from Fiji and we would be able to combine racing and testing. Our weather team says there will be head winds for most of the trip to Fiji and a big chance of head winds on the way back to Auckland.
"We did plenty of up-wind work on the tour of New Zealand in early May and we were on the wind from Lyttelton to Three Kings Islands north of North Cape when we did the 2000 nautical mile qualifier.
"We collected an enormous amount of data over the three weeks and we don't need to repeat it. We lack data on downwind and reaching so in view of the forecast we are heading south."
CAMPER will start with the Fiji fleet at noon on Saturday and will peel off towards the Bay of Plenty. The yacht expects to make Lyttelton on Monday where a decision on the direction of the remainder of the voyage will be made in light of an updated weather forecast
Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton, a veteran of seven round-the-world races, was going to race to Fiji on the VO70.
"We wanted to support the Fiji race and advance CAMPER's preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race at the same time," he said. "We won't get the race experience but we will get a lot of testing done."
Photo by Chris Cameron, www.chriscameron.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.
* New livery for Emirates Team New Zealand's AC45 catamaran went on display for the first time today when the yacht was re-launched at Auckland. With a bright red wing sail and the traditional black hull, the yacht has the New Zealand flag on each of the bows.
The AC45 will be used in America's Cup World Series events - three regattas are scheduled for this year, and seven in 2012.
The race format and scoring for the 2011 AC World Series have been announced. The format will include a combination of fleet and match racing. Winners for fleet and match racing as well as an overall winner will be determined on the final day of each regatta. The AC World Series starts August 6, 2011 in Cassias, Portugal.
Teams are now working on design for the AC 72, the catamarans that will be raced in the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup regattas at San Francisco. Each team can build two AC 72s, the first due to be launched next year.
North Sails UK Are Recruiting
North are looking for two highly motivated professional sailmakers to help with their Grand prix orders including Volvo work. The positions will be located in Gosport, the UK's head office.
North Sails offer excellent remuneration and benefit packages.
All communication with North Sails will be in the strictest confidence.
UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix
This is the second UK Grand Prix event win for Pica who remain top of the leader board. However it's still all to play for and the next event at Poole could change team fortunes.
Exmouth results summary:
1. Pica, Jamie Mears, 8.0 points
Overall Grand Prix points totals after two rounds:
1. Pica, Jamie Mears, 2 points
Mark Foy: The Man Behind The Name On The Trophy
Mark Foy's deeds are at the heart of 18ft Skiff Racing and his philosophy is still as valid today as it was in Australia 120 years ago.
Foy, regarded as "the father of 18 Footer racing", was born in Victoria (Australia) in February 1865 and moved to Sydney in 1884 where he began business under the name 'Mark Foy' (which became one of the largest department stores in Sydney for 100 years).
His hobby was sailing but he soon became disappointed that, despite the beauty and location of Sydney Harbour, there was practically no public interest in sailing.
He came to the conclusion it was because yachtsmen did not cater for the public.
The courses meant that the fleet was out of sight for more than an hour and there was no attempt to entertain spectators while the competitors were out of view. Adding to this was a complicated handicap system which caused further delay while the winner was being determined.
He catered for the enthusiast who liked to follow the racing by introducing coloured emblems on the mainsails, and a triangular course of about three miles which was in full view of the public for the entire race.
He chartered every available ferry to carry spectators to Clarke Island on Sydney Harbour, which was a natural grandstand to view the course. He hired bands to entertain the crowds and whipped up enthusiasm with high-pressure publicity.
On the Australia Day Regatta day in 1892, Clarke Island was packed to capacity, moored ferries were crowded as was every major vantage point along the harbor foreshore.
The crowd was unprecedented in Australian yacht racing yet most of the spectators knew little about the sport. The vast majority of the crowd was there to thrill to the excitement that Foy had promised, but by evening they were the forefathers of the 18 Footer enthusiasts, competitors and spectators of today.
Foy had demonstrated that 18 Footer racing was the most exciting competitor and spectator sport ever seen on Sydney Harbour - a status it still holds on the harbor to the present day. -- Frank Quealey
Sixty Six Nations Begin Their Olympic Pursuit
Sixty six MNAs have submitted entries for the regatta which takes place from 29 July to 11 August with Australia, Spain, France, Great Britain, New Zealand and USA sending sailors in all ten of the Olympic Sailing Events.
MNAs, who have been restricted to one entry per event depending on the quota, do not have to confirm the names of the sailors they will be sending to the Olympic Test Event until Thursday 23 June.
The Laser has received the most entries with 57 nations confirming places. Among some of the bigger nations entries have also been received from the Cook Islands, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Panama, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.
With a quota of 42 in the Men's RS:X, 35 entries have been received. A second entry for MNAs may be granted by ISAF based on the order of each MNAs second highest appearance on the ISAF World Rankings as of 30 June 2011. Meanwhile in the Women's RS:X 33 nations will be represented with only one entry per MNA allowed.
There have been 18 entries into the Women's Match Racing competition. This will be cut down to 12 after Kieler-Woche, the final ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta, with the highest ranked competitors from each nation granted a spot.
In the 470 class the Men's fleet has 35 entries whilst the Women have 26. The Finn received 27 entries, the 49er has 25 and the Star class has 25.
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.
Yacht-Naming Contest For Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
"We are looking for a name which reflects our Volvo Ocean Race campaign."
The winner will be in one of the New Year's hottest spots as Abu Dhabi welcomes the Volvo Ocean Race fleet at the end of the second leg.
The competition is now running on the team's newly-launched website www.abudhabivolvooceanrace.ae
The prize includes two business class (Pearl) return tickets on Etihad Airways, seven nights at the soon-to-open, ultra-luxurious The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and tickets to a New Year's Eve headline concert.
"We are looking for a name which reflects our Volvo Ocean Race campaign, which has taken Abu Dhabi into international yachting history books while leveraging our rich maritime history in a thoroughly modern context," said HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General of ADTA and team principal of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
Checkmate Strikes Twice at Vuurschepenrace 2011
The Checkmate Swan 45, skippered by the Dutch De Ridder family, took line honours of the Vuurschepenrace 2011 after 18 hours, 9 minutes and 25 seconds on Wednesday afternoon. On corrected time, the team also won the IRC 1 class. The crossing was long, due to the predominantly upwind courses. A total of 57 out of 64 participating yachts crossed the finish line of the opening race of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta 2011. Meanwhile the sailors are preparing for the traditional lunch at Pin Mill.
'We actually kept wind all the time, about 12-13 knots,' says Peter de Ridder from the English dock. 'In the morning we had just 5-6 knots. We had big shifts of 30-40 degrees throughout the race. You needed a bit of luck to tack at the right time. If you waited until the shift came in, you overstood the buoy. So it was gambling to pick the right timing and we have obviously done well." Shortly after the start, the Checkmate had difficulties to shake the new Dehler 41 Miles 4 Justice of Geert-Jan Knoops off. De Ridder: 'We suddenly lost them, but the Baraka GP remained in sight the whole time." Baraka GP Swan 42 of skipper De Graaf (NED) finished second, which was also the final ranking in the IRC 1, followed by the Belgian Allard of Tom Wyffels.
The overall victory in the ORC 1 with eight participants went to Visione, the Austrian Nikolaus Knoflacher. On corrected time, they beat their opponent IJsvogel of Marcel Schuttelaar (NED) by more than a minute. The Solid Sue, skippered by Auke van der Zee (NED), finished third.
ORC 2 was the largest fleet with 17 yachts. The X-Stream of Bart Houben played the English coast battle really well.
ORC 3-5 included ten teams, of which eight made it the finish. The Gouden Ruiter of skipper Willem N.R. Kats (NED) closed the line after one day, 22 hours and 18 minutes, but he won on handicap. The Lucifer of Ilya van Marle (NED) takes second, followed by escXape of Jan de Bruin (NED).
Tomorrow at 10:30 AM local time, the 180-miles North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, commences. The teams are expected to finish on Saturday.
An Interview with Glenn Ashby & James Dagg of ETNZ
Glenn Ashby: Making quick decisions and learning how the multis accelerate more than monohulls and looking further to the edges of the playing field as well as pushing the boats to the edge.
AH: You started with Dean in A cats. Was that a deliberate choice as the best way to learn multihull sailing? Why A cats?
GA: Yes as they are light and give you a good appreciation of when you are right and wrong in both steering and trim which gives a good guide to the feelings you have on a bigger boat with more crew.
AH: How has the team's preparation (gym/other off-boat training) changed from monohull sailing to multis?
GA: I think more endurance and all round fitness will be needed for sailing the bigger multis. The grinders for example will need to be light on their feet and agile. Crew members will need to be able to multi task.
AH: How has your on-shore training changed (different exercises in the gym, etc) to accommodate multihull sailing, please? (You clearly have to run around a trampoline on the cats, so has the training included short sprints on bouncy surfaces?!)
James Dagg: Yes there is a lot more strength/ cardio training now than I have done before. The AC45s are very physical boats to sail for sure.
Anne Hinton's full interview on SailRaceWin.com: sailracewin.blogspot.com
From The Not Sailing But Cool Files... Eight Bells For Spirit
Spirit has been incommunicado for more than a year despite daily calls by NASA. The cause of Spirit's silence may never be known, but it's likely the bitter Martian winter damaged its electronics, preventing the six-wheel rover from waking up.
Spirit survived three Martian winters, but the hardy rover was no match for the latest cold.
The troubles began in April 2009 when Spirit broke through crusty ground while driving backward and became bogged in a sand pit. During attempts to get it unstuck, one of the back wheels stopped working - essentially turning Spirit into a four-wheel drive.
Unable to provide roadside assistance, NASA declared an end to Spirit's mobile career in January 2010 - six years after landing - and it became a stationary spacecraft.
The woes continued when engineers failed in efforts to tilt Spirit's solar panels in a favorable position toward the low winter sun. With no way to power its heaters to stay warm, Spirit went into hibernation, its internal temperature plunging to minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit - the coldest it has experienced on the red planet.
NASA had hoped to hear from Spirit when the seasons changed. Orbiting spacecraft passing overhead took turns every day hailing Spirit while deep space antennas in California, Spain and Australia listened for any peep.
Mission managers had been weighing whether to scale back the listening campaign to once a week. On Monday, Callas of JPL notified the rover team that he decided against that plan, saying that any continued effort will cut into other missions.
A formal farewell is planned at NASA headquarters after the Memorial Day holiday and will be televised on NASA TV.
MAT 12 design represents an extension of the successful Mills Design IRC Cruiser/Racer theme, blending the performance characteristics of a racing design with the comfort and accommodation of a performance cruiser, resulting in a true dual-purpose yacht.
The hull is designed around a narrow waterline beam for reduced drag, with the loss of stability being compensated for with a larger bulb on a fin. This combination offers good all-around speed in a range of conditions, while the weight of the bulb is acceptable under IRC and is made possible by quality cored vinylester/glass boatbuilding by MAT.
Brokerage through Authentic Yacht Brokerage, Inc.:
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
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