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New Day, New Winners
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: A lack of breeze and fog contributed to a brief postponement ashore this morning to push back the start of the third day of racing at the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. By noon, however, the 22 competing yacht club teams had returned to now-familiar territory north of Newport's Pell Bridge and, with two winners in the two races held today, continued the established pattern that has now seen eight different teams win the eight races sailed thus far in the series.
"Today was a different world for us," said Johannes Polgar, helm for Norddeutscher Regatta Verein from Hamburg, Germany, which won the first race of the day. "We just got everything a lot more in control and we started actually looking out of the boat, watching the shifts, getting hold of the current. It paid off. The boats [Swan 42s] are really even and nice to sail. I think the boat is not the big issue. Certainly for me it's the first time handling a crew of nine guys and that is something different. You've got to get everyone working in the right place and at the right moment. I think we're getting better and better. We are learning a lot and the learning curve is really steep."
Although winning the day's first race moved NRV up five spots in the overall standings, to 13th, a key mover for the day was the Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) team from Newport Beach, California, who moved into third overall with 61 points after finishes of 4-2.
While Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) continues to lead the overall standings for the third consecutive day, their finishes of 8-6 in todays races, for a low score of 29, means their cushion has decreased from 13 to five points . New York Yacht Club also kept their place in the overall standings – second – with finishes of 4-2 for 34 points. Third overall is Newport Harbor with 61 points, followed by Annapolis Yacht Club with 63 and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club with 70. The final race of the day was won by Clube Naval de Cascais, which, when added to their scoreline has them in 16th place overall.
Results after 8 races:
Team - Country - Points
Artemis Racing Dominates in Plymouth
For the second day running, Artemis Racing won two of the three heats at the Plymouth Match Racing Championship. With a second place to add to their two victories today, Terry Hutchinson's team dominated the seeding fleet race phase of the Match Racing Championships.
There was good news too for China Team, who earned a third place finish in the final race of the day; a rewarding result for a hard-working crew.
The breeze was steadier and slightly stronger than the previous day, making it easier for the leaders to stay ahead once they'd were in front. This put a lot of emphasis on the need for a good start, and time after time some crews pushed it too hard, being forced to go back and restart. In the first race ORACLE Racing Coutts was over early, next heat it was Team Korea, and in the final heat Green Comm Racing and ORACLE Racing Spithill.
In addition to Artemis Racing, Energy Team was a consistent performer across the two days of racing, finishing fourth in the seedings, a good boost for Loick Peyron and his French crew.
There were moments of brilliance for other new teams highlighted by China Team's third place finish in the last race of the afternoon.
The Plymouth Match Racing Championship continues on Friday, with match racing quarter and semi finals scheduled. Racing begins at 14:10 local time (GMT+1). As top seed, Artemis Racing has a bye into the semi finals, and will not race on Friday. The other eight teams will fight to advance in head to head match races.
All racing can be seen live on www.youtube.com/americascup. There will also be a post race press conference on Friday, streamed on YouTube at 1800 local time (GMT+1).
Results after Thursday seeding races in Plymouth Match Racing Championship
1. Artemnis Racing, 56 points
An Absorbing Interest. The America's Cup A History: Available Once More
Take a look inside and read two chapters at www.wileynautical.com/americascup
Corsair / Seawind Australian Multihull Championships: Fickle Forecast
As expected the series has attracted the nation's best fast lane racing crews including champion Goolwa (South Australia) skipper Rob Remilton in Wilparina 11 and the talented Port Douglas Yacht Club helmsman Mal Richardson helming the Nacra 36 Malice.
Both skippers respected for their skill to sail fast and smart in strong winds are expected to have their light wind tactics tested when selecting the best options to master the strong flowing current in the important opening race of the series.
They will not be alone with former Brisbane to Gladstone race winner George Owen (Mad Max) and the tenacious Keith Glover (Trilogy) also facing a supreme test to protect their reputations in the tricky weather system.
However the championship irrespective of the prevailing wind promises to produce some exciting tactical 'dog-fights' on the selected courses set on the open waters east of Green and St Helena Islands.
There will be some hidden challenges which promise to favour the crews who have raced on Moreton Bay before while all others could be forced to play catch up.
Because of the forecast controlled by a slow moving high pressure system it's difficult to name an outright championship favourite.
However the recent form shown by the speed sailing Trilogy suggests skipper Keith Glover could produce the required handicap rated boat speed to answer the challenges from the equally competitive Wilparina 11 and the lower handicapped Intrigue (Peter Hackett) and Outrage (Tony Goschnick).
"We are expecting to be in the mix but I'm not prepared to suggest that Trilogy is the favourite". Keith Glover said. -- Ian Grant
Xanthippe and Ille Moro Are Top Guns in the Pantaenius NORC Rankings
The stage is set for a fierce battle for the medals in Tonsberg, on the south coast of Oslofjorden this weekend. It is not only the Norwegian Championship medals the 21 boats will be fighting for. The Pantaenius NORC (Norwegian Offshore Racing Club) ranking series 2011 will also be determined on Sunday.
The results in the Pantaenius ranking series show how well each team has sailed through the whole season, and it gives status to win this series, says Thomas Nilsson, head of NORC.
Ludvig Daae in the Bavaria Match 42, Ille Moro, leads the smallest class in front of Team Xtreme and Felicia. Jan Henrik Bryde in Xanthippe's, IMX 40, are in front of the NORsteam and Destin.
Per Christian Bordal, NORSteam's coach is satisfied that they are second in Pantaenius ranking series. But on board the Norwegian Sailing Federation's young sailors projects team NORSteam, they have swapped all places on board.
"We do not see results as the most important in this project, so in this last regatta serie of the season we have changed all places on board so that everyone will get an idea of a different position on board. Our philosophy is that if you can handle all positions on board, you will become a more complete, and by that ,better sailor, says Bordal, and continues... The level of Norwegian big boat sailing gets better and better every year, and it is tight and exciting fights on the race course every time. Although we have changed the positions on board in the coming championship, we will of course do our best. Results are not completely subordinate."
Program NM ORC 2011
Pantaenius Norcar Ranking Series 2011 includes four regattas in Larvik, ORCi EM in Hanko, Moss Raymarine Race and the Norwegian Championships in Tonsberg. Pantaenius is the main sponsor of the ranking series and they are specialized in yacht insurance.
See www.pantaenius.dk for more information
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New Venues Possible for 2012
AMC - The Audi MedCup so far sticks to its name by running four out of five events in the Mediterranean. Are you thinking about extending the series to other countries and race areas?
NC - "Yes, right now we're looking into a different route for the 2012 circuit. There might be a regatta in Northern Europe next time."
AMC - What are the most important criteria for choosing a venue?
NP - "First of all, a new regatta venue needs to provide good sailing conditions. But any venue should also appeal to the criteria desirable to owners and crews, and it must represent an important market to the title sponsor. And last every event has serious logistical requirements, and it needs to fit into the budget."
AMC - Might we see Audi MedCup regattas contested on the Baltic Sea?
NP - "This may happen, why not? There are a couple of interesting options, for example in Germany and Sweden. We have invited some guests from potential host cities, not only from Kiel and Travemunde, which have indicated a strong interest in hosting an Audi MedCup event, and they have come to have a look at the set-up here in Barcelona".
AMC - So, in essence though new areas will be reached, it will remain the Med Cup?
NP - "The MedCup is a strong brand which has been built from firm roots and popularity in the Mediterranean and we do not want to compromise ourselves there. I see us sticking to at least two events held in the Med. But a season opener is most likely to happen again on the Atlantic coast".
AMC - When do you plan on announcing the venues for 2012?
NP - "We plan to announce the route of the upcoming Audi MedCup Circuit by the end of this year. This will still give us enough time to build up the tension in all countries. I'm a hundred percent sure that we'll have another great season with dramatic racing in 2012". -- Andi Robertson
RS:X European Windsurfing Championships
The sea breeze was bound to be less than co-operative at some point and today was that day. Topping out an unenthusiastic 12 knots, conditions were generally marginal so only 2 races were completed.
42 men have been consigned to the silver fleet who are now last in the starting sequence so it was the RS:X European Championship Women's fleet who were called to the starting line first.
It was Marina Alabau (ESP5) who came out fighting today after missing race day 2 due to illness. She may be out of medal contention but the two bullets she posted today were a clear demonstration of her current dominance in these conditions.
Sofia Klepacka (POL8) had a consistent day to score a 4th in race 7 and a 3rd in race 8 to establish an 18 point lead over second placed Lee Korsitz (ISR111) who hemorrhaged points posting a 13th and a 16th, as did Maja Dziarnowska (POL7) with a 16 and a 23.
It was Laura Linares (ITA11) who benefitted. She put in a 3rd and a 5th to climb to 3rd overall 3 points ahead of Maja and Blanca Manchon (ESP1) who are tied on points for 4th and 5th places.
Over in the RS:X European gold fleet, Piotr Myszka (POL82) has built a commanding lead of 10 points to retain the yellow jersey with Byron Kokkalanis (GRE8) in 2nd and Ivan Pastor (ESP7) 2 points back in third so the fight will probably be for silver and bronze with 5 sailors in contention.
Pierre Le Coq (FRA77) is 2 points back with Shahar Zubari (ISR11) and Andreas Cariolou (CYP1) tied on points for 5th and 6th another 2 points away.
With the forecast for tomorrow predicting the same conditions as today, the light wind specialists will now crowd the front of the fleets leaving the big guys working over time to limit the damage.
Groupama's Band of Brothers
Casanova reckons that creating a bond between the 11 crewmen on board the Volvo Open 70 Groupama 4 is as important as the 10 hours of physical training they undergo every week.
It was this philosophy that inspired Spanish-born Casanova, 28, to rally the team for a gruelling eight-day trek to conquer Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, last year.
At the end of each day spent trekking up the 15,000 feet mountain the team would take refuge in abandoned cabins without electricity, huddling around their cooking burners to defrost themselves as much as to make a feed.
"It was a tough experience, but a beautiful experience because I could see the bond building,'' Casanova said.
"There was honesty and a brotherhood developing because we were all fish out of water and we were really reliant on each other."
The primitive food, basic amenities and reliance on teamwork are not unlike the challenging conditions that await Groupama sailing team in the Volvo Ocean Race.
"It's going to be truly a very intense experience, but what we are doing will ensure that the team are prepared for that.''
From The "Not Sailing But Very Cool" Files...
Most of what we know about the size of stars comes from pairs of stars that are oriented toward Earth in such a way that they are seen to eclipse each other. These star pairs are called eclipsing binaries. In addition, virtually all that we know about the size of planets around other stars comes from their transits across their stars. The Kepler-16 system combines the best of both worlds with planetary transits across an eclipsing binary system. This makes Kepler-16b one of the best-measured planets outside our solar system.
Kepler-16 orbits a slowly rotating K-dwarf that is, nevertheless, very active with numerous star spots. Its other parent star is a small red dwarf.
This discovery confirms that Kepler-16b is an inhospitable, cold world about the size of Saturn and thought to be made up of about half rock and half gas. The parent stars are smaller than our sun. One is 69 percent the mass of the sun and the other only 20 percent. Kepler-16b orbits around both stars every 229 days, similar to Venus' 225-day orbit, but lies outside the system's habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on the surface, because the stars are cooler than our sun.
"Working in film, we often are tasked with creating something never before seen," said visual effects supervisor John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., in San Francisco. "However, more often than not, scientific discoveries prove to be more spectacular than anything we dare imagine. There is no doubt these discoveries influence and inspire storytellers. Their very existence serves as cause to dream bigger and open our minds to new possibilities beyond what we think we 'know.'"
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The Last Word
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