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ISAF World Championships
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.

Perth Perth, Western Australia: Strong south easterly winds of up to 22 knots, heavy showers, thunder and lightning shaped Day 10 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships as the 49er, Women's 470, Men's RS:X and Laser classes started their title campaigns in the second week of competition.

49er

Denmark's Jonas Warrer and Soeren Hansen (DEN) and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are the joint overall leaders after the opening day of 49er racing on Monday.

Warrer and Hansen comfortably finished first in race one on Monday for the Yellow fleet by 85 seconds from Denmark's Peter Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell, who placed second.

Women's 470

Japan's Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata finished the day in first place overall followed closely by Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) with Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes (GBR) rounding out the top three.

The Japanese sailors were the big movers, giving stellar performances in both races.

Men's RS:X

Israel's Nimrod Mashich and Piotr Myszka of Poland share top spot on the leader board after the opening day of racing in the men's RS:X.

Both men are on three points with a win and a second after two races with Dorian Rijsselberghe (NED) and Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) behind them on overall points.

Laser

The three-time Laser champion and 2010 ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year, Tom Slingsby (AUS), swamped the field in the opening race of the day but made an uncharacteristic error in the second to finish sixth with the mistake costing him top spot on the leaderboard.

Slingsby has seven points after the first day of Laser racing, one behind Blue fleet's Jesper Stalheim (SWE).

Star

Another outstanding performance from the British Olympic Champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson consolidated their first place position in the overall standings after race four in the Star fleet.

Percy and Simpson have a total of 16 points while Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) are on 28 points, with Germany's Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen just behind them on 30.

With six more races until the medal race the British are aware of the obstacles to come.

Women's Match Racing

Racing remained close between teams competing in the stage two Round Robin with the competitors aiming to increase their standings before the end of the repechage round on Tuesday.

At the end of Monday's racing, the top teams in stage two were Macgregor (GBR) on 9 wins and 2 losses, with the two Australian teams close behind, both on 8 wins and 3 losses.

France's Claire Leroy will go into quarterfinals in top spot after winning her two matches against USA-1 in the seeding matches held earlier in the day. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA-1) will be second in the Gold Group, followed by Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) in third and Mandy Mulder (NED-1) in fourth position.

Stage two Round Robin repechage continues on Tuesday with the remaining flights scheduled from 1200 local.

www.perth2011.com

More Trouble for Ben?
Ainslie having a bit of a chat with the media RIB. Photo by Robert Deaves, International Finn Association.

Ben Ainslie On the scale provided in Appendix B of the [ISAF] guidelines Ainslie's actions fit into a category 3-5 offence on a five point scale. From the penalty imposed it seems as though the Int Jury saw the incident as attracting a rating of three.

It is unusual when a case is upheld against a competitor for an additional penalty not be imposed, the usual minimum is about 12 months, with two years being the top end. That would clearly take Ainslie out of contentions for the 2012 Olympics, for which he has already been selected by the Royal Yachting Association.

The ISAF will be in some degree of anguish as to whether to further penalise the Golden Boy of British yachting and deprive him of the opportunity to win a fourth Gold Medal, and probably a further UK order of chivalry, against the signal sent to the rest of the sport over competitors being physically aggressive towards other competitors, media and officials.

One source who did not want to be named yesterday suggested a penalty of three months banning from competition could be imposed which could send a signal to sailors but not impinge on Ainslie's Olympic campaign. -- Rob Kothe and the Sail World team:

www.sail-world.com

* This nugget from an official onsite (hat tip to the editor of the original Scuttlebutt):

"RRS 62 does allow redress for such actions. However at this event, as well as at most high level events like the Sailing World Cup, that rule is changed. In this case, SI 15.1 defines official boats, including 'TV' boats and 'Media / press' boats. SI 15.2 states: 'Actions by official boats or helicopters shall not be grounds for requesting redress by a boat. This changes RRS 62.' "

Download the Sailing Instructions here:

cdn.perth2011.thecut.net.au

Assuming that Ben knew this, that he had NO chance for redress, that would explain in part his frustration. That said, his temper and disdain for media boats is fairly common knowledge, particularly amongst RIB drivers in Weymouth.

But consider the full implications of this rule change. NO redress if a helicopter flies too low and it's wind knocks you down... or gives a competitor a huge favorable lift. None whatsoever if a RIB actually collides with your boat.

* RYA Statement In Relation to Ben Ainslie Rule 69 Incident
The RYA is awaiting the report from the International Jury, of the Perth 2011 Worlds, in order to consider what further action, if any, to take. The RYA will follow its established procedures for responding to Rule 69 reports.

The process involves the report being considered by the Chairman of the RYA, the Chairman of the RYA Racing Committee and the Chairman of the RYA Tribunal, who will decide whether the matter should be referred to the RYA Tribunal for further action.

If the matter is referred to the RYA Tribunal, then it is likely that a hearing will take place as soon as is reasonably possible, following which the RYA Tribunal has the authority to take such disciplinary action within its jurisdiction as it considers appropriate.

Another Year of IRC Support from Ocean Safety
Ocean Safety The UK's largest independent supplier of marine safety equipment Ocean Safety is a natural choice to be the official sponsor of the UK IRC rating rule. Ocean Safety works closely with all international safety regulators, both commercial and those governing yacht racing to keep safety rules up to date, and advise on regulations and equipment for offshore and ocean races.

For 2012 Ocean Safety will once again be the UK IRC's official sponsor. The IRC rule handicaps different designs of keelboats so they can race together. Each boat's TCC rating is calculated using measurements including length, weight, draft and sail area. After a race, her elapsed time is multiplied by TCC to calculate corrected time. The boat with the shortest corrected time wins.

"Choosing to support the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC is an obvious step for us," states Ocean Safety's Charlie Mill. "We work very closely with the world's most successful racing boats and fleets at all levels, to advise on safety and provide training."

Currently nearly 7500 boats in more than 30 countries hold IRC certificates. IRC permits features like asymmetric spinnakers, bowsprits, water ballast, canting keels and code zero headsails, dealing with them as equitably as possible alongside more conventional boats. It's therefore used for club races, grand prix regattas and long ocean races alike.

www.oceansafety.com

Transat B to B
As we enter the second week of racing in the Transat B to B from Saint Barts in the Caribbean to Lorient in Brittany, the bulk of the Imoca 60 fleet are continuing to make progress towards the finish with between 13 and 19 knots of boat speed. Today the tone has changed somewhat and Race Management has deemed it necessary to set up an obligatory safety gate around 900- 1,000 miles to the East of the fleet, so that it shouldn't really penalise any of the fleet hugely. After murmurings last night, the news was confirmed this Monday. Due to very bad weather conditions forecast on the race area for the next few days (wind from 60 to 80 knots) the race management has decided to change the course of this eastbound transatlantic race.

As of now, the skippers will have to pass through the weather security gate from South to North, between 42°00N/020°00W - 42°00N/016°00W. It was a decision backed up by the whole fleet as being intended for their safety and that of their boats.

Someone with rather greater concerns right now is Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) who was focused on making headway to the South-East and slightly milder conditions, where he hoped to scale the mast and repair his gennaker hook. Indeed for now he cannot furl in his gennaker fully and will be forced to scale the mast as soon as conditions allow, in order to release the hook and hence free the halyard. Given the reticence that Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) demonstrated a couple of days ago about climbing his own mast to sort out halyard issues, this certainly isn't a challenge for the faint-hearted. Not surprisingly Jean-Pierre has tumbled down the standing to 7th place tonight as a result, over 275 miles astern of the leader.

Back on the racetrack Francois Gabart (Macif) has stretched out his lead to nearly 70 miles now and has been racking up over 2 knots more boat speed than the rest of the fleet between the past 2 rankings. Already the fleet are falling into line in his wake now, following today's course modification. Armel Le Cleac'h's Banque Populaire and Vincent Riou's PRB are flanking the leader, PRB making slightly more speed further North in the bigger conditions. In fourth and fifth respectively, Hugo Boss and Gamesa, skippered by Britons Alex Thomson and Mike Golding are absolutely neck and neck making 14.3 knots of boat speed each at the 1530 UTC position report.

www.transatbtob-imoca.org

World Yacht Racing Forum and Design & Technology Symposium Start Tomorrow
December 12, 2011 - The key actors of the international yacht racing scene are heading to Estoril, Portugal, for the fourth edition of the annual World Yacht Racing Forum, co-located with the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium.

With more than 40 speakers from all over the world, 200 delegates, and over twenty registered media, the Forum and the Symposium confirm themselves as a major platform for the business of yacht racing.

The event will start tomorrow, Tuesday 13th December, with presentations and sessions focusing on yacht racing sponsorship, digital technologies and new media. Running parallel to the Forum, Day 1 of the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium will focus on the future of yacht design with a keynote presentation by Pat Shaughnessy of Farr Yacht Design, followed by presentations and panel discussions on non-destructive testing, thin ply technology, and developments within the America's Cup class.

Wednesday's Forum sessions will focus on the role of yacht clubs within the sport of sailing, a look at plans for the 2012 Olympics, the place of women in the sport, and the planning for the 2013 America's Cup. Day 2 of the Design & Technology Symposium will discuss composite technologies, and advances in sailmaking and offshore multihull racing.

The two-day conference has once again attracted leading figures, experts and personalities from the international yacht racing industry; it will - as has become a tradition - conclude the yacht racing season in style.

The 2011 Yacht Racing Image of the Year, presented by financial group Mirabaud, will also be selected by the delegates of the Forum during the event and the winner will be announced during the conference. Mirabaud is a Gold Sponsor of the event together with Multi One Design. Associate Sponsors include North Sails and Gaastra and lunch sponsor for the conference is Peters & May. Estoril Tourism and the Hotel Palacio will also kindly sponsor the cocktail reception on Tuesday 13th December with the Hotel Palacio, one of Estoril's most luxurious hotels.

Full details of the Forum and Symposium conference programmes and speakers are available on the event websites:
www.worldyachtracingforum.com and www.yrdts.com

Vintage Yachting Games 2012
The entry for the Vintage Yachting Games 2012 is opened. This event, apart from the ambition of being the replacement of the Olympic event for the former Olympic Classes, is also a showcase for the participating classes.

The entry has two phases. First the National secretaries have to pre-enter (claim) their expected number of delegates on our website. They can do this as soon as possible on our Italian website: www.infowave.it/vintage2012/Entry_Form.html . Then in the second phase (10-JAN-2012 - 31-MAY-2012) the teams can be entered by name and sail number. This gives the opportunity to finish the selection procedures early next year.

From our website you can also download a nice printable calendar for 2012. It comes in three sizes: Small (letter), Medium (A4) and Large (A3). Please feel free to distribute the Vintage Yachting Games calendar 2012 to the sailing community or to other interested parties. Just download from, or give a pointer to: vintageyachtinggames.org.

One more thing about the prizes of the event. Besides the event prizes, daily prizes, VIP trophy and country trophy there are perpetual trophies for each class. These trophies has the names of the Olympic victors engraved on the back, symbolizing the Olympic past. On the foot the names of the Vintage Yachting Games winners will be engraved, symbolizing the continuation of the class. In that respect the winners of the Vintage Yachting Games will be expanding the direct line from the Olympic victors.

The Vintage Yachting Games Organization is a non-commercial joint venture of the following former Olympic Classes (Vintage Yachting Classes): Europe, 12' Dinghy, O-Jolle, Flying Dutchman, Yngling, Tempest, Soling, Dragon and 5.5 Metre. Her supervisory board consists of the Presidents/Chairmen of above classes. -- Rudy den Outer

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Click on image to enlarge.

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Plummeting Temperatures and Strong Breeze
As the double-handed Class40s in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) entered the most remote sector of the Indian Ocean and crossed the Leg 2 Celox Sailing Scoring Gate north of Kerguelen Island, a cold front swept through the fleet bringing the long period of reaching on port tack to an abrupt end.

North-west of the leading trio of Class40s, Financial Crisis and Phesheya-Racing were first to feel the front on Saturday with the wind switching round to an icy, southerly blast as the system rolled east through the Roaring Forties. By late Sunday, the extraordinary, sustained speeds of the leading trio hurtling east ahead of the front began to moderate as the breeze went aft and settled in the south-west.

Fleet leaders, Conrad Colman and Sam Goodchild on Cessna Citation, were averaging 15 knots as the front approached, throttling back to 11 knots on Monday morning, but pushed the pedal down, dropped south and built speeds up to over 13 knots

On BSL, Ross and Campbell Field dealt with a very upset albatross in the Class40's cockpit and sail damage as the front passed through. Campbell Field reports from 47 degrees South: "It was a pretty benign front in terms of the ones we had on Leg 1 with classic pre-frontal dips in the barometer then a hard squall with the shift," he says. "This one just came as a bit of rain and an instant shift without much increase in pressure, however we had a shocker," he admits. "Our fractional spinnaker is now out of action for a while sustaining some damage due to the instant shift and confused seas."

GOR cumulative Leg 1 and Leg 2 points following the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate:

1. BSL: 39 (4 points at the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate)
2. Campagne de France: 36 points (5 points at the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate)
3. Financial Crisis: 27 (3 points at the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate)
4. Cessna Citation: 24 (6 points at the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate)
5. Phesheya-Racing: 12 (west of the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate)
6. Sec. Hayai: 6 (RTD from Leg 2)

GOR Leg 2 leaderboard at 15:00 GMT 12/12/2011:

1. Cessna Citation: DTF 3,891 13.2kts
2. BSL: DTL 41 12.4kts
3. Campagne de France: DTL 80 11.2kts
4. Financial Crisis: DTL 635 8kts
5. Phesheya-Racing: DTL 668 7.7kts

globaloceanrace.com

18ft Skiffs: N.S.W. Championship - Race 4
Photo by Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League. Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: Unbelievably bad wind conditions for the early part of the Australian summer season continued today on Sydney Harbour when Race 4 of the NSW Championship had to be abandoned when no boat could complete the course within the three hours sailing time allowed under the regatta rules.

For the first time in memory, this was the second race of the championship (Race 1 was also abandoned) which had to be abandoned and now the series will become a three-race event.

Today, the morning started with a good north-east breeze and sunshine but the forecasted southerly arrived on time and the race start was delayed for some 45 minutes.

The race finally got away in a light NNE breeze which allowed the fleet to sail basically straight up the harbor towards the first windward mark at the Beashel Buoy.

Yandoo, skippered by John Winning Jr. in replacement for his injured father John Winning, held a 15s lead over Mojo Wine (Matt Searle) at the mark, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) a further 15s back in third place, ahead of The Kitchen Maker (Cameron McDonald), Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), which had made a great recovery after being recalled at the start.

As the fleet approached the mouth of Rose Bay under spinnaker the wind dropped and most of the fleet became becalmed.

It took another hour before Lumix was first to round the Beashel Buoy on the second lap and despite a brief period of light wind, the race was simply becomming a test of the crews' endurance.

With no change to the series point score, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers retains the lead on 3 points, followed by Lumix on 4 points, Smeg and Mojo Wine on 10 and Gotta Love It 7 on 13.

The last race of the championship will be sailed next Sunday.

www.18footers.com.au
www.flying18s.com

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From John Slight: "Skippers assess strategy after course changes", reads the headline on the VOR page.

How amusing, reading about the "last min changes" & all the secret stuff, on the VOR website. Its been public knowledge since August that the yachts wont even get to sail round the world under their own keels.

Maybe thats the reason they changed the name from the (Whitbread) Round the World Race, to just (Volvo) Ocean Race, because they are not actually going to sail round the whole world any more. So where does it stop...... why not just ship the boats to each in-port race only - that will be much safer, as No Piracy, no boat breaking nasty winds of 30 knots, and all the boats will actually get there too, maximising the moneymaking branding & TV opportunities.

But seriously, The problem seems to be the design of the route chasing the big money middle-east countries and planning a route that passes up & down through the tropics & not across the Southern Ocean, where the real action & great test of seamanship has always been.

Even the Clipper Race spends more time in the Southern Ocean these days.

The VOR has definitely lost its way.

* From Adrian Morgan: TV boats, camera boats, spectator boats, coach boats should be seen but not felt; for a TV boat to be anywhere near a competitor, least of all one going for a seventh World Cup, is inexcusable. For the sailor to see red is understandable; as for swimming over to have words, Ainslie should be given a medal by default, for all the other sailors who have been swamped, blanketed and generally annoyed by press intrusion over the years. Ainslie's ban was outrageous. Does the TV crew face a similar ban, or has the ISAF sold itself so completely to the media they have lost the whole point of their existence: to protect sailors and sailing.

* From Frank Pong: Perhaps we should equate a camera running alongside a footballer ; next to a Golf Tee Off, or on an NBA Court. It is one thing trying to bring live action shots of sailing to Internet and TV Viewers , but that ought to be weighed against intrusions onto the Course. In the AC, Volvo, Extreme, and many other Events, non-competing boats would be required to stay outside the Race Area by Marshall Boats.

Ben Ainslie did not harm any persons on the camera boat.

He did not, in my view, bring disrepute to the Sport.

* From Ted Jones: Ben Ainslie should not have lost his cool, but the larger issue concerns outside interference which has led to an unfair contest. After penalizing Ainslie for his impulsive behavior, the jury should then have thrown out the race where the incident occurred and then sent the offending media boat and all those aboard ashore for good. Fair is fair, and the media boat should have shown more respect for the competitors.

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The Last Word
Riches do not delight us so much with their possession, as torment us with their loss. -- Dick Gregory

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