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Anna Tunnicliffe, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez Named 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year
The renowned two-man crew of Iker Martínez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP) were unable to attend the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fittingly, they are currently at sea competing for Team Telefonica in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. The Spanish duo have won the Award eleven years after the first of their three nominations. Through a video feed recorded on the Team Telefonica boat, the pair confirmed that they will be celebrating this prestigious achievement despite the immediate distractions of an ocean race.
United States athlete Anna Tunnicliffe was one of five nominees present at the ceremony, held in the impressive Cuartel de Ballaja. It is the second time that the ISAF Sailing World Cup champion in Women's Match Racing has been awarded the honour, having previously achieved the recognition in 2009. An emotional Tunnicliffe was presented with the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Trophy and Rolex timepiece and commented: "Thank you very much for this award, it is a true honour. Congratulations to all of the other nominees, you guys are fantastic and amazing sailors. I really have to thank everyone that's been part of the reason I won this award, especially my team. This is truly a team effort. I couldn't have done it without them. I would also like to thank my family and my husband for being very supportive and my sponsors. It is truly amazing. Thank you."
A more detailed release will be issued tomorrow, Wednesday 9 November 2011.
Teams Go 'Wings Up' on San Diego Bay
Among the five boats training today was the French Energy Team, with Yann Guichard taking over the skipper and helming duties for the racing in San Diego. The training sessions this week are critical for him and his crew to gel as a team.
"I'm feeling more and more comfortable. After all, it's still a boat, it's a multihull and I know multihulls quite well. It's more impressive with the wing, but we have a few days of training here so that's good," said Guichard. "It's a small race area, quite narrow and with nine boats competing, it's going to be challenging. For the first weekend, there is a low pressure weather system coming so there could be strong winds. We'll be training a lot to be ready for that."
Racing in San Diego begins with the Port Cities Challenge on Saturday and Sunday (November 12-13). Representatives from the member cities will be aboard the race boats on Sunday. The event culminates with a public prize-giving ceremony at the AC Village following racing.
The championship portion of the America's Cup World Series - San Diego runs from Wednesday November 16 through Sunday November 20, and includes fleet and match racing, as well as AC500 Speed Trial drag races. The teams earn points from their final ranking in both the fleet and match racing events towards the 2011-2012 America's Cup World Series.
Live, streaming video coverage of the racing runs from November 16-20 on the America's Cup YouTube channel. And for the first time, there will also be live streaming to mobile devices through the America's Cup YouTube channel.
Racing at the America's Cup World Series - San Diego is scheduled to start with a warning signal at 1:05 pm each race day.
Transat Jacques Vabre: Race Leaders Concise 2 Head to Azores with Hull Damage
At 0900hrs (CET/0800hrs UTC/GMT) this morning Britons Sam Goodchild and Ned Collier-Wakefield on the British Class 40 Concise 2 reported to race direction of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Paris that they had suffered a hull delamination problem and are heading for the Azores.
The duo, 21 and 23 years old respectively, had just taken the overall lead in their class in the biennial race from Le Havre in France to Costa Rica having been in second place since the race started last Wednesday.
Just when they were emerging into more favourable weather after seemingly having dealt with the worst of the race's three consecutive low pressure systems, their only course of action was to turn from their profitable northern track -and head south for the Azores some 120 miles to the south, carefully preserving their boat sailing only under staysail.
Concise 2's official retirement is the fifth from the 16 which started in Class 40, the 13th of the 35 duos which took the start line. Late news was that sixth placed Avis Immobilier was headed to the Azores also having broken part of the top their forestay at the mast.
Vincent Riou's PRB, which suffered bad cracking to an internal forward bulkhead, was confirmed today as the fourth retirement from the 13 boat IMOCA Open 60 fleet, while efforts were reported to be still under way to find a tow for Bernard Stamm's Cheminees Poujoulat which was abandoned yesterday by Stamm and co-skipper Jean Francois Cuzon when they were evacuated by helicopter to the Azores.
In contrast spirits aboard the bigger monohulls, the nine remaining IMOCA Open 60 and the multihulls, the Multi 50's, were on the up yesterday with the universal belief that the worst of the Atlantic's weather should be behind them and in most cases courses are southwards or westwards towards the sun.
In the IMOCA Open 60 Class, now with under 3000 miles to go of a course distance of 4730 miles, twice winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Jean Pierre Dick was back on top of the class this afternoon, leading with co-skipper Jeremie Beyou, by some 12 miles, ahead of Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill on Hugo Boss, who are sharing the same thinking, routing north and west skirting more north around the top of the a high pressure system.
Their rivals - at the latitude of Madeira - were seeking to get to the more consistent NE'ly winds in front of them which would give them some faster downwind sailing but they would theoretically be sailing more miles on a less direct course.
There is nearly 300 miles of NW-SE separation between Virbac-Paprec 3 and the closely packed southerly trio of Macif in fourth, Safran in fifth and Groupe Bel in sixth.
And You Think You've Had A Hard Crossing?
Just one of the Amazing Sailing Stories in Dick Durham's new book.
Read the full story at www.wileynautical.com/amazingsailingstories
Volvo Ocean Race: Going It Alone
As soon as they were through the Strait of Gibraltar, Groupama 4 slipped along to the south-west in a bid to hug the Moroccan coast. There were two reasons for this. The first was to make the most of the thermal breeze often created by the presence of the Sahara desert. The second was due to the tradewinds which, though weak, are positioning themselves off shore of Essaouira. This is around 120 miles ahead of Groupama 4's current position and hence well in front of the first islands that make up the Canaries archipelago.
"We know that the start of an option is always difficult. Afterwards, it's an additional pressure because we don't have any other boat alongside us, which is one less speed reference... It's a bit like being in 'record' mode, but Groupama's used to that! It's a little surprising to find ourselves out on a limb, far from the rest of the fleet. As for the crew, they're happier when there's a bit of wind and not so contented when there's none, as is the case right now..." explained Franck Cammas at the 1200 noon (GMT) radio session.
Even though the four boats haven't followed the same trajectory the whole time in order to extract themselves from the Mediterranean, the opening tacks since Saturday's 1400 hour departure from Alicante, have enabled the French crew to gauge the potential of the other three prototypes.
The tough conditions endured in the Mediterranean also enabled the architectural and construction choices to be validated on Groupama 4. "We haven't suffered any damage aboard. We just have a few odd jobs to do, nothing serious. It's an encouraging sign for the next stage because there were very tough, boat-breaking conditions in the Alboran Sea! It was a sound structural test", concluded Franck Cammas at noon.
Unfortunately the same wasn't true for Abu Dhabi, which is set to head back into the race on Wednesday or Thursday equipped with a new mast, nor for Sanya, which will have to make Cape Town aboard a cargo ship if she is to be in a position to contest the In-Port race in South Africa. -- Translated by Kate Jennings
* Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is ahead of schedule in a race against time to replace its broken mast and start a major mission to catch up to the four yachts still racing Leg 1 of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.
Ian Walker said his team expected two custom made parts to arrive from Valencia today that would complete the assembly of the new mast and ensure Azzam was racing-fit.
"This is our last mast so the last thing we want to do is anything unseaman-like, go out to sea and then find we have the same problem again or another problem that would put us out of the race. The stakes are high."
Close Racing Throughout the Fleets on Day One of Sail Melbourne
In the 49er class each of the leading three crews had a poor start in one of the three races. At the end of the day Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand hold a one point lead over two Australian crews, Sam and Will Phillips and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.
In the 470 class world champions Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page sit in third position after a sixth in the first race and a win in the second. "We got caught up at the start in the first race and there was no way back, " said Mat Belcher. "In the second race we got a nice start and then sailed a bit conservative."
Americans Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl lead the regatta with a first and second place. Australians Sam Kivell and Will Ryan are in second place on five points.
In the 470 women's Elise Rechichi and Belinda Stowell are currently first overall after two race wins.
The Laser fleet has been into two groups, with Tom Slingsby leading the yellow fleet, and overall, after a first and second placing.
In the women's Laser Radial, Lijia Xu of China finished with a win and a second placing, to lead Tuula Tenkanen of Finland by two points.
In the men's RS:X Dutchman Dorien van Rijsselberg is tied with Kiwi JP Tobin on four points, with Zach Plavsic of Canada a point further back. Tobin scored two second placings, while van Rijsselberg and Plavsic won one race each.
In the women's event, Flavia Tartaglini of Italy won the first race but she was OCS in the second, handing the overall lead to Jessica Crisp of Australia, who leads by four points from Bryony Shaw of Great Britain and Justina Sellers of New Zealand.
In the Finn fleet Oleksiy Borysov of Ukraine leads on three points. Australians Oliver Tweddle (4) and Rob McMillan (5) are second and third.
Today's winds (10 to 12 knots) were more than five knots stronger than forecast, and it is to be hoped that the same prevails tomorrow, when another light day is currently predicted.
Full results are available at sailmelbourne.com.au/website/results.html
Take The Start Of The Virtual Yacht Race from Weymouth To Perth With The Liveskipper Game November 10th
Set sail from Weymouth, the Olympic site for the London Games 2012, on November 10th at 14h00 GMT and make it for Perth prior to 3rd December.
Be the best and win a trip to Australia to attend the final phases of the world championship.
LiveSkipper is synonymous with:
Now Geoff Carveth who steered Race Team Gill to a commanding victory has to set his sights on defending the Gold Medal on unfamiliar waters off the Queensland tourist resort of Hamilton Island from December 12-20 2012.
He has time on his side to gather all the important tactical data but not unlike all tacticians the English champion can expect to have his personal skills tested in the warm tropical sailing environment.
Based on wind speed recordings for the December 12-20 period in 2010 all of the high standard SB3 Dart racing teams can expect to prepare for a mixed bag of heavy wind racing.
As an example skippers and crews will need to bring the fresh wind sailing skills to Hamilton Island where the wind speeds recorded ranged between a 17 knot East North East sea breeze to a howling 43 knot West North Wester.
Naturally there is no guarantee that there will be a similar weather pattern prevailing in the Whitsunday Islands in 13 months time.
But the strong British sailing team who have dominated the World championship since the class was accepted on the international sailing circuit will face a supreme test when the wind blows against the fast flowing current to form a corrugated sea surface.
Meanwhile the fast growing Australian SB3 fleet headed by the Glenn Bourke skippered Club Marine Blue crew including the dual Audi Australian ocean racing champions Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith will be race ready to repel the British when the battle lines are drawn to decide the 2012 World champion.
Both Sunshine Coast sailors Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith and the multiple World Laser class gold medallist Glenn Bourke who finished a creditable 4th in the 2011 World title in England will contest the important Australian title in Hobart next January then line up for the series of four pre-world regattas at Hamilton Island.
After scoring a runaway win in the Queensland championship at Hamilton Island last August the Club Marine Blue crew firmed as a front line challenger for the 2012 World crown. At the time Glenn Bourke said "This regatta was a good result for us but there is always room for improvement".
Hopefully his meticulous vision to make the smallest gain in boat speed will be refined when he and his Sunshine Coast crew mates put there proven one-design sports boat sailing skill to the test on the 2012 Australia regatta circuit and then take on the best in the World when the battle lines are drawn on the tactically demanding Whitsunday Island waters in late December 2012. -- Ian Grant
Will Ark Royal Become Artificial Reef?
The 20,000-tonne aircraft carrier would be scuttled five or six miles offshore in about 40 metres of water, and a system of buoys and sonar would be deployed to warn off deep-draught ships.
A bid of around 3.5 million for Ark Royal by a group called Wreck the World is one of a number of offers for the ship being considered by the Ministry of Defence. A decision is expected soon but, even if Wreck the World's bid is successful, it will be several years before the vessel makes her final voyage.
If the project goes ahead, Ark Royal will become the second largest artificial reef in the world, only beaten by the former US aircraft carrier Oriskany, which was scuttled off the coast of Florida in 2006.
Yachting Australia to Host ORCi Seminars
Zoran Grubisa and Dobbs Davis, representatives of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), will be visiting Australia in November to conduct a series of seminars.
To be held on 21 November in Sydney, 22 November in Melbourne and 23 November in Perth, the seminars are aimed at boat owners interested in being scored under ORCi, and those people involved in running racing at yacht clubs.
The Boat Owner Seminars will be run in the evenings, will be open for anyone wishing to attend, and are a great opportunity for boat owners and their key crew members to hear about how the ORCi rating rule works and the benefits of racing under it. The seminar will also look at measurement, getting a certificate and what it all means.
The Club Seminars will be run in the afternoons, and are an essential event for any Race Officials, Sailing Committee members or Sailing Managers from clubs that run big boat racing. The ORC rules, scoring options and software packages will be discussed in detail, and it's an excellent opportunity to hear how it works, and what your club needs to do.
The ORCi rating rule is an international handicap rule based on the highest standards of measurement, objectivity and scientific assessment of a boat's performance potential, and offers a variety of flexible scoring options. -- Craig Heydon, Yachting Australia
Information about the seminars in these cities can be found at www.yachting.org.au/orc
* From Tom Quinn - North Sussex Sailing Club: After the 2008 Olympics a Scuttlebutt Europe reader asked how many members of the ISAF appointed Olympic Jury had never passed an ISAF racing rules test. ISAF never responded. Near the end of this week's ISAF Annual Conference, the Olympic judges and umpires for 2012 will be announced - and nothing has changed.
Since the inception of the International Judges program in 1981, the initial 4-year appointments and re-appointments of International Judges have been determined by resume, not a test. Although the procedure was adjusted in 2002 to require passing a test for the initial appointment, re-appointments are still based upon attending a minimum of six events every four years. (The appointment rules for International Umpires do require a test of the match racing rules and procedures every four years.) It is almost certain that anyone selected for the 2012 Olympic Jury who became an International Judge 2002 has never taken an ISAF test of the Racing Rules of Sailing. Anyone whose first appointment was before 1997 has never been asked to demonstrate they understand "mast abeam" is no longer used.
Why would a sailor investment the time, effort and resources in an Olympic campaign if those responsible to ensure the competition is fair and equitable have never demonstrated any level of competence? Why would a national sailing federation fund the estimated 250,000€ per crew per year needed for a podium performance if ISAF is not willing to make a minimal effort to insure quality officiating?
I was told once that if a minimum standard is not good enough, you would not have a minimum. In ISAF's case, there is no standard for ISAF's most important regatta. One answer might be that those making the decision while also campaigning for ISAF president and vice president next November and have other goals on their mind.
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