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Rambler 100 Sets The Pace
Rambler 100 has been averaging close to 20 knots and with just under 2000 miles to go is predicted to finish on the 10th of June. The Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed 100' canting keel maxi is on course to set an exceptional benchmark for a transatlantic.
"Great sailing, so far, aboard Rambler 100," said navigator Peter Isler (San Diego, Calif.), confirming by satellite link that Rambler 100 is fully in the groove. "By our calculations we did a 464-mile 24-hour run from the start. That's a 19.3 knot average! Great sailing for sure. We've had basically the same sail combination up since turning the corner at Nantucket Shoals."
On the water Rambler 100's nearest competitor is PUMA's mar mostro, skippered by Ken Read (Newport, R.I.). PUMA has taken up a slightly more northerly position and is in good breeze, however, the Point Alpha ice gate is looming and the Volvo 70 may need to alter course towards the east to leave the mark of the course to port. Nearly one hundred miles behind Rambler 100, ICAP Leopard, skippered by Clarke Murphy (New York, N.Y.), is south of the rhumb line and enjoying better breeze than the two rivals in front. Even at this early stage in the race, it looks as though Rambler 100 will take the spoils -- as long as they do not suffer any major gear failure.
n IRC Class Two, front-runner Jazz, skippered by Nigel King (Lymington, U.K.), is trying to hit a moving target. The Cookson 50 has altered course north, aiming for a low-pressure system, and, if Jazz can connect with it, this will result in high wind speeds from a very favorable direction.
In IRC Class Three, Zaraffa, skippered by Huntington Sheldon (Shelburne, Vt.) is still the class leader. Ambersail's move south saw the Lithuanian crew make up good ground, however, the advance was short lived. Ahead of Ambersail lies an area of little wind and they should make the move north, effectively sideways, to get into pressure.
In IRC Class Four, Carina, skippered by Rives Potts, Jr. (Essex, Conn.), has been the star of the show. In the last 24 hours, however, their competition has most definitely caught up some miles. Carina chose a southerly route, while the Army Sailing Association's British Soldier, among others, stayed to the north. British Soldier has advanced 30 miles on Carina, but the American team is still over 170 miles ahead.
Ned Collier-Wakefield's (Oxford, U.K.) Concise 2 is currently 60 miles ahead of Dragon, skippered by Mike Hennessy (Mystic, Conn.). The two Class 40s have been enjoying some fast-reaching conditions and are now fully offshore many miles from land.
Ruf, who unlike much of the fleet didn't compete at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at the same WPNSA venue last month, made light work of fickle winds and torrential rain in Portland Harbour today (Tuesday 4 July) to score two seconds and move into second spot overall, three points behind reigning World champion Schmitter.
Schmitter, who enjoyed two perfect race wins yesterday, was grateful of the discard coming into force after race five as he picked up his worst score of the regatta so far – a 16th – in the opening race of the day, before hitting back with victory in race six of the overall series. But it was the American who left the RYA-run event drenched but happiest as he continued his steady march up the leaderboard.
Skandia Team GBR's Helena Lucas sits in third overall, courtesy of a 6, 7 today with her national teammate, and rival for the sole British London 2012 2.4mR berth, two points behind in fourth at the midway point in the regatta.
There was a change at the top of the Sonar fleet as the British team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas, whose two provisional results today would have seen them consolidate their place in pole position, were disqualified from race five for being found to have sailed above their proper course when restricted (Part 2 rule infringement). The decision meant the French Beijing 2008 silver medallists Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary have now claimed the top spot with five races to go, four points clear of the Brits, who themselves are now just a point ahead of Rick Doerr, Brad Kendall and Hugh Freund (USA) in third.
The race for the SKUD title is gearing up to be a two-horse race between Skandia Team GBR's defending champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell and the Australian pairing of Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch. Both teams picked up a race win apiece today with the Brits finishing fourth in their other race and the Aussies seventh. Rickham and Birrell have a five-point cushion over Fitzgibbon and Tesch, with the USA's Jennifer French and Jean-Paul Creignou a further six points behind.
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ADTA'S Volvo Ocean Race 70 Unveiled
Portofino, Italy. 5 July 2011: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) today unveiled its Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team's state-of-the-art Volvo Open 70 racing yacht in Portofino, Northern Italy, as it charts a historic course to contest for top honours in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12.
The yacht - which was developed by the USA's Farr Yacht Design and built by Italy's Persico S.p.A, in Bergamo - is one of the most sophisticated ever constructed. Conceived in March 2010, it is the combination of more than 7,000 design and 49,000 build hours.
Emblazoned with a striking falcon, the national emblem of the United Arab Emirates of which Abu Dhabi city is the capital, soaring across its bow and main sails, the brilliant black yacht is tasked with carrying the 11-strong Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing through the nine-month, 39,000 nautical mile 'Everest of Sailing', which begins in Alicante, Spain this October.
The yacht's international debut, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Italian Riviera, was attended by VIPs from Volvo Ocean Race, the Mayor of Portofino and Official Team Partner, the luxury Swiss brand IWC Schaffhausen.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which boasts one of the most international crews ever assembled since the Volvo Ocean Race began in 1973, will now undergo final training in Europe, having spent the winter in the UAE capital.
The team - which is skippered by double-Olympic medallist, Ian Walker of Great Britain - has set its sight on a rigorous Atlantic Ocean sailing programme, before heading to the race start in Spain this October.
The emirate is well progressed with plans for a specially-designed 55,000m² 'Destination Village' being built on Abu Dhabi's picturesque Corniche breakwater. The 'Destination Village' - which will be around the size of eight football pitches - will open free-of-charge to the public daily from December 30 this year to January 14, next year. ADTA anticipates welcoming more than 100,000 visitors through the gates.
The class now recognised as the fastest growing One-design keel boat in the World with the Australian fleet managed in Queensland by the Rod Jones Sunshine Coast based OceanBuro Performance Sailing Company has attracted interest from the Nation's best sailors including multiple World title Gold Medallists Glenn Bourke and Nathan Outtreridge.
Initial acceptance like all new classes took some time to develop but Rod Jones backed by his personal career experience involving competing in World championships in the Olympic Tornado catamaran and Etchells classes combined with winning two Audi Australian IRC ocean racing championships has continued to build a strong fleet.
Later this month Oceanburo and the progressive Maroochy Sailing Club will co host the Wintersun fleet racing championship off Mooloolaba.
This regatta at the excellent yacht racing destination off the Coral Sea landmark of Pt Cartwright will play a major role in the futher development as the exciting Tony Castro designed Dart SB3 one-design sports boat class heads on a gaining tack towards hosting the World Championship at Hamilton Island in December 2012.
Meanwhile the Wintersun series which has attracted a strong fleet including the Rod Jones helmed Club Marine and the former Australian 505 champion Phil Gray in Dulon Polish. Both skippers who have an intensely competitive attitude share the pre-event favouritism however they stand to be challenged by the talented Queensland Academy of Sport Olympic Laser sailor Klade Hauschildt and Sydney Olympian Ian Brown.
Klade Hauschildt has teamed up with Maroochy River sailing mates Toby and John Pearce in what represents a bold challenge for the inaugural Wintersun series.
They will face a steep learning curve however Klade Hauschildt has the proven tactical skills accrued from match racing in the Laser class to attract the respect from rival skippers Rod Jones, Phil Gray and Ian Brown.
Naturally the prevailing wind and sea conditions will play a part in separating the best from the rest with Rod Jones and his burley crew mate Greg MacAllansmith banking their challenge on the experience gained from finishing fourth in Zhik World championship in England in late May.
For Rod Jones the challenge of returning to the helm of Club Marine as the deputy for Glenn Bourke should not be a problem however he will need to protect his sailing space or become faced with playing catch up for the important Wintersun trophy before the SB3 fleet head to the warmer waters of the Whitsunday Island for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in late August. -- Ian Grant
Mike Golding Announces New Sponsorship For Owen Clarke Open 60 Campaign
Billed as 'the Everest of yacht racing', this will be the fourth start for the Hampshire, UK, based skipper; something he himself describes as 'unfinished business'.
Mike Golding is one of the world's most accomplished solo ocean sailors. With over 250,000 racing miles and some 25 equator crossings, he has competed in three previous Vendee Globes, held three world championship titles and created a reputation for being "King of the South", setting the fastest speed record in the Southern Ocean.
Golding commented, "This is obviously fantastic for us to be able to formally announce our partnership with Gamesa. With Gamesa's support and our existing infrastructure we are now certain to be able to mount a very competitive campaign for the 2012 Vendee Globe – which is simply wonderful news. Having enjoyed enormous success in the sport of sailing, the Vendee Globe remains 'the event' I would most love to win."
Mike Golding's Owen Clarke/Clay Oliver - designed Open 60 is currently undergoing some major optimisation work including new mast, sailplan, coachroof and cockpit arrangement. the target is to be on the water again later this summer. The first major event for the team will be the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre from France to Costa Rica in October 2011.
During May 2012 the Gamesa IMOCA 60 will race fully crewed in the Europa Race (a tour of Europe) before the team makes final preparations for the non-stop solo around the world race, the Vendee Globe.
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Patriot Games Wins Wight Vodka's 2011 Impala National Championships
Ben Meakins, who helped organize the National Championships, and himself an Impala owner, was pleased with the turnout and the tight racing conditions. "Sunday was a great day of competitive racing. The atmosphere both on the water and at the Royal Southern Yacht Club afterwards was fantastic. It was great to have the support of Wight Vodka for the Championships, and the first place winners will enjoy the bottle of WV for certain!"
The tight racing conditions saw a light wind race on Saturday, won by Celerity, with Patriot Games second and Zulu third, before the wind died completely and further races were abandoned. On Sunday, Patriot Games won the first race, with Celerity second, Polly third, Happy just a split second behind and Zulu not far behind her. The second race saw Patriot Games, Happy, Zulu and Polly switching positions throughout the race and finishing within seconds of each other, with Celerity, Uproar and Vlad not far behind. At the end of the day, Patriot Games took the overall prize, with Celerity second and Polly third overall.
Congratulations go to Paul Blowers and his crew onboard Patriot Games!
"The initial design for the Impala evolved as a direct result of the formation of the Offshore One Design Council in 1977, which was set up by a group of leading yachtsmen to encourage One Design racing. There were thirty designs submitted, of which three were given the support of the council, with the Impala being a favourite. The first National Championship was held in Cowes in 1979 and was won by David Thomas, the designer." Ben explains. "The event has been held every year since and it's great to have the enthusiasm for the class continuing to grow."
Ritu Manocha, owner of Wight Vodka, said "It's great to work with such a passionate group of owners and racers. The Hunter Impala has a solid history of competitive IRC racing, and with their determination, the class will continue to succeed and grow."
For The Record
Comments: Previous record: "Aviva" Dee Caffari, GBR, Jun 09, 6d 11h 30m 53s
Auction of XOD Painting to Benefit Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Charities
The sight of the record-breaking number of yachts in the XOD class on the Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) Cowes Week start line this August is set to be immortalised in a watercolour painting by renowned Cowes artist Rowena Wright. The proceeds of the painting's auction are to be split between two charities, one of which is the official AAM Cowes Week charity Toe in the Water, and Sailability.
The painting of the XODs, whose class is celebrating 100 years as a racing class this year, will visualise the fleet looking from the pin end of the start line towards the Royal Yacht Squadron. The original will be 1m x 0.7m in size and there will also be a very limited edition run of prints, valued at £100 each.
The auction will be held at the XOD Class Dinner on Thursday 11th August during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The two charities will then be invited to receive the donations at the Class AGM in November.
Toe in the Water is a tri-service initiative which aims to inspire service men and women who have sustained often traumatic injuries, including the loss of limbs, to move beyond their disability and to become re-inspired by life through competitive sailing. Sailability, which is the charity arm of the Royal Yachting Association, encourages and supports people with disabilities to take up the sport and facilitates sites to develop sailing opportunities.
The XOD class has broken all the records for Cowes Weeks past and the organisers of this year's Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week have already received 140 entries, making it the biggest class ever - and a one-design class - to cross the Royal Yacht Squadron start line at the event.
Rowena Wright is a fine artist living in Cowes and is a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. She specialises in painting the best and most beautiful classic yachts and boats that visit the Solent. -- Peta Stuart Hunt
Domenici's Notaro Team Wins Malcesine, Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series
Federico Strocchi's Cheyenne with Gabrio Zandona on tactics won the first race on the last day of the two-day affair, followed by Francesco Farnetti on Reggini Sailing Team and Claudio Recchi's Let's Roll, second and third respectively. Domenici won the second race.
The conclusion of the Malcesine event brought radical changes to the event leader board. Renato Vallivero's Turnover Audi Melges 20 slipped from second overall, overnight to round out the event in fourth. Lauro Bonora on Camay fell from third to sixth.
Farnetti aggressively jumped from ninth to second overall. American Michael Kiss on Bacio progressed from fifth to finish third. "We are very happy to have won the sixth race, and to be first in the overall Audi Sailing Series Circuit," says Domenici. "The team gets better every day, the boat is very fast, and specifically at this event, we had six wonderful races with sun and wind. We have been following a hard training routine, and in the end, I can say that it is well worth the effort. I'd like to thank my crew Andrea Fornaro and Lorenzo Del Rio, my father and my girlfriend that had always trusted in me. After a lot of second and third positions, today we're at the top."
Top ten final results after 6 races:
1. Luca Domenici, Notaro Sailing Team, 24 points
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