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Rolex Miami OCR Day Four
Brazilian Star sailors Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Miami OCR Day Four Miami, Florida, USA: A final showdown awaits three Paralympic classes tomorrow and ten Olympic classes on Saturday at US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR, which has, thus far, gifted sailors with four days of sublime sunshine and satisfying winds. The event is the only one of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events to grace a shore on this continent and has attracted 529 sailors from 41 countries from as close as Canada and as far away as New Zealand and China.

"It's looking pretty exciting," said Brazil's Star sailor Robert Scheidt, who with crew Bruno Prada has perhaps one of the most impressive sailing records here. (Together, they are two-time Olympic medalists and just off their second straight title win at the Star World Championships). "Some of the guys who have already got a spot in the Olympics are here and they are really sailing well."

No one has been proving that theory better than Sweden's Fredrik Loof/Max Salminen who yesterday trailed Scheidt/Prada by two points and today tied on points with the Brazilians after finishing 6-2 to their 3-7. With both teams posting 26 points, Norway's Eivind Melleby/ Petter Moerland Pedersen are nipping at their heels with only 29 points.

As will happen at the Olympics, only the top-ten boats after tomorrow's racing will be allowed to progress to Saturday's single medal race, which will determine gold, silver and bronze medals.

For the Paralympic sailors here, tomorrow will be the final day of racing (two races each scheduled for Skud-18, Sonar and 2.4mR classes) and determine who takes home medals. (This is the same format that will be followed at their Games.)

Top three podium positions:

Sonar, 10 boats, - 8 races
1. Jourden Bruno / Vimont Vicary Nicolas / Flageul Eric, FRA, 19 points
2. Udo Hessels / Marcel van de Veen / Mischa Rossen, NED, 20
2. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, GBR, 22

Star, 29 boats, - 8 races
1. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA, 26
2. Fredrik Loof / Max Salminen, SWE, 26
3. Eivind Melleby / Petter Moerland Pedersen, NOR, 29

49er, 23 boats, - 12 races
1. Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 29
2. Erik Storck / Trevor Moore, USA, 33
3. Allan Norregaard / Peter Lang, DEN, 61

Skud-18, 6 boats, - 8 races
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 13
2. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 13
3. Jennifer French / Jean-Paul Creignou, USA, 20

2.4mR, 25 boats, - 8 races
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 13
2. Paul Tingley, CAN, 33
3. Megan Pascoe, GBR, 39

Laser Radial, 60 boats, - 8 races
1. Lijia Xu, CHN, 19
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 25
3. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 38

470 Men, 22 boats, - 8 races
1. Mathew Belcher / Malcolm Page, AUS, 20
2. Sven Coster / Kalle Coster, NED, 24
3. Lucas Calabrese / Juan Maria de la Fuente, ARG, 32

470 Women, 15 boats, - 8 races
1. Lisa Westerhof / Lobke Berkhout, NED, 22
2. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 23
3. Maria Fernanda Sesto / Consuelo Monsegur, ARG, 31

Laser, Gold,, 37 boats,- 8 races
1. Paul Goodison, GBR, 15
2. David Wright, CAN, 17
3. Bruno Fontes, BRA, 18

Laser, Silver,, 37 boats,- 8 races
1. Marcin Rudawski, POL, 100
2. Ricardo Montemayor, MEX, 103
3. Matthew Ryder, CAN, 114

Finn, 25 boats, - 8 races
1. Zach Railey, USA, 9
2. Jonas Hogh Christensen, DEN, 19
3. Brendan Casey, AUS, 25

RS: X Men, 14 boats, - 8 races
1. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 7
2. Elliot Carney, GBR, 19
3. Mariano Reutemann, ARG, 20

RS: X Women, 12 boats, - 6 races
1. Demita Vega De Lille, MEX, 10
2. Carolina Mendelblatt, POR, 21
3. Farrah Hall, Annapolis, Md., USA, 22

Women's Match Racing
TOP FOUR ADVANCING TO SEMIFINALS
Sally Barkow / Alana O'Reilly / Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham, USA, 3 wins- 0 losses
Silja Lehtinen / Silja Kanerva / Mikaela Wulff, FIN, 3 wins- 0 losses
Olivia Price / Nina Curtis / Lucinda Whitty, AUS, 3 wins- 0 losses
Lucy Macgregor / Annie Lush / Kate Macgregor, GBR, 3 wins- 2 losses

rmocr.ussailing.org

Telefonica Preys On Camper in Race to Malacca Strait
In contrast to the port tack beat for the first four days of this leg, the last 24 hours have been nothing short of dramatic. This afternoon at 1600 UTC, Team Telefonica with Iker Martínez was screaming through the fleet, sailing up to two knots faster than the rest and picking off places without remorse. Her final victim was Chris Nicholson's CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand who, tonight at 1900, also fell prey to Telefonica who are now back at the top of the leg leaderboard as well as leading the race overall.

Nicholson, who took the lead from PUMA's Mar Mostro earlier today after last night's tacking frenzy, dared not look over his shoulder this afternoon as Team Telefonica gobbled up his hard-earned lead.

"What we are trying to do is get over to the Indonesian shore as fast as possible and take a right hand shift. Telefonica's leverage will be hard for them to use if we can manage that," said Nicholson earlier today. But it was in vain, and Telefonica is now half a mile in front of the red boat and sailing quicker.

Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) too was swiftly relegated to third place at 1600 UTC, only to lose out as well at 1900 UTC tonight to Mar Mostro, who earlier collided with some ocean debris costing the team precious miles as well as causing minor damage to their leeward daggerboard.

Meanwhile Ian Walker and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are struggling to keep up the pace. Walker is expecting thunderstorms and lots of cloud activity again tonight, which could again affect the leg leaderboard again.

Bringing up the rear is Team Sanya who continue to seek out any opportunities they can to climb up the order and claim some much-needed points. "We have done all we can, despite some frustrating losses to the new boats, and yet we still remain in pouncing distance," said MCM Andres Soriano today.

By noon tomorrow, the fleet will have arrived at the entrance to the Malacca Strait and the order could be shaken up again during this 500 nm trip through some of the most congested and hazardous waters in the world.

www.volvooceanrace.com

Cadiz To San Salvador Record Attempt
The first ambitious challenge at a speed record in the North Atlantic by Giovanni Soldini and Maserati was announced today in Milan. As from early February a crew of eight led by Soldini will be engaged in seeking to become the new record holder between Cadiz (Spain) and San Salvador (Bahamas) on board Maserati, which has been completely overhauled. Maserati is a 70-foot racing yacht optimized for extreme speed. (Editor's note: Maserati is the ex-Ericsson 3 from the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race).

In addition to skipper Soldini, Maserati will be crewed by 7 capable yachtsmen with a past track record in open ocean-going regattas and in competitions such as the America's Cup. German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad Van Liew (watch leader) and Spaniard David Vera (watch leader) will make up a team completed by four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Gerardo Siciliano (second bowman), and Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman).

The record for Cadiz-San Salvador run, 3884 miles long, is monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body that gives official status to the fastest sailing times along the historical routes once plied by clippers. In the past the record was set only by maxi trimarans. Maserati will attempt to be the first to establish the record for the monohull category. Two additional North Atlantic records that Soldini and crew will attempt to break in 2012 aboard Maserati include Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK).

American Brad Van Liew and Soldini have a notable history together, having both competed in the Around Alone race of 1998-99, when extreme weather in the Southern Ocean forced Soldini to the rescue of a capsized fellow competitor (Isabelle Autissier) and Van Liew to a dismasting.

Those keen to have live coverage of the yachting ventures of Maserati should go to the new website www.maserati.soldini.it which will be on line starting today. In addition to news, video footage, and photos directly from the boat, browsers can be sure to find reports on the meteorological conditions and to keep tabs on the position and the speed of Maserati.

News will be provided on the three record attempts, as well as on movements between regatta locations and the onshore preparatory work. There will also be constant updates using prominent social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, shown on the home page.

Backing for this challenge is provided by Maserati, the main partner in the endeavour, which gives its name to the boat. It is flanked by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group), and by Generali, which are co-sponsors.

18ft Skiffs: Australan Championship, Race 3
Click on image for photo gallery.

18ft Skiffs: Australan Championship, Race 3 Sydney Harbour: The Smeg 18ft Skiff team of Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings held on in a gripping finish to defeat defending champion and series leader Thurlow Fisher Lawyers in Race 2 of the Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Smeg defeated Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) by just 4s after four laps of the windward-return course in a fluky, shifting light breeze.

Lumix (Graeme Ferguson, replacing Jonathan Whitty, Greg Dixon and James Hozack) was a further 1m7s behind Thurlow Fisher, followed by Mojo Wine (Archie Massey), Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout).

Smeg's win puts the team on six points for the event, just two points (one with discard) behind Thurlow Fisher on four points.

Gotta Love It 7 is next on 15 points, followed by Lumix on 18, Mojo Wine on 19 and appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane) on 21 points.

This season has been plagued by poor wind conditions and today was another testing one for all crews as they struggled to pick the best course.

The race began in a 5-knot breeze and the work to the windward mark was slow.

Thurlow Fisher's crew challenged the Smeg team hard down the final spinnaker run to the finish but the Smeg crew, led by Interdominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press, covered every move the Coxon-led team made.

Race 4 of the championship will be sailed next Sunday, 29 January and the last race of the championship on Sunday 5 February.

The JJ Giltinan Championship, the world's premier 18ft Skiff regatta, will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from 17-26 February. Approximately 30 teams from USA, New Zealand and UK as well as Australian teams representing NSW, Queensland and Western Australia will contest the 63rd JJ. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

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

Retiring the RNLI Winch at Kirkcudbright
On Sunday 22 January, using, for the last time on exercise, what is thought to be one of the oldest winches in the RNLI, Mr Tommy Thomson, a retired lifeboat crew member, launched the Kirkcudbright Inshore Lifeboat the Sheila Stenhouse.

Tommy whose long service stretched over 49 years remembers the Clark Chapman winch being brought in by sea to the lifeboat station in 1962 where it was fitted by local engineer Andy Fairweather.

Over 50 years it has proved to be totally reliable launching the last four lifeboats stationed in Kirkcudbright - the all weather lifeboats, J.B. Couper and Mary Pullman and the inshore lifeboats Peter and Grace Ewing and the current Sheila Stenhouse.

Sadly due to new technology it has to be replaced by an electric winch powered by its own generator. The first winchman was Jimmy Smith, a local taxi driver who also drove the crews to the callouts before the RNLI supplied a landrover.

It is hoped that the engine can be sold to raise money in this the 150th anniversary year of Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station.

It is a Clark Chapman winch driven by 2 cylinder lister diesel engine. The winch drum is fitted with 59m of 22mm dia.steel wire rope. Drive is through a single speed mechanical gearbox. The winch only pulls in one direction, it is gravity/mechanically pulled out. The engine is electric start, but can be hand cranked if power is unavailable.

Further details can be obtained from John Collins Lifeboat Operations Manager Tel: 01557331475 or e-mail

Porsche Partners with Match Race Germany
Fresh winds and a lot of power for Germany's leading match race: Porsche has chosen the 15th anniversary to come on board as a new main partner. The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer has decided to enter into the duel and spectator sport under sail and selected Match Race Germany Langenargen on Lake Constance as their stage, which heralds this year's World Match Racing Tour opener from May 23 to 28 over Germany's long Pentecost weekend.

Porsche will mainly use the commitment for internal purposes, especially to encounter customers and prospective customers in an exciting environment with the Porsche models displayed on shore.

The new partner now being part of the family of main partners of Match Race Germany, including STIHL, MHP, Ultramarin, Rolf Benz and Bavaria is very welcome.

30,000 and more visitors were regularly on site to watch and enjoy the atmosphere at Germany's number 1 in match racing and the only German stop of the World Match Racing Tour in recent years regularly. "It will be the same in 2012 again," says Thierer, "the Pentecostal appointment was and is great for our fans." The high level of TV transmission technology used by Match Race Germany and and Red Handed TV is offering live reports on the Internet and is constantly developed in cooperation with an international team of experts.

The same applies to the sporty fleet of 7 yachts type Bavaria 40S Match Race Edition, which last year celebrated its successful premiere and international launch at Match Race Germany. "The Yachts have passed their baptism of fire in excellent style. They are the largest on the World Match Racing Tour and in perfect race shape after 1 year of use and optimisation, "says sports director Eberhard Magg,"for us this investment in the future has been a great decision and are very happy to have such a strong partner like Bavaria both in Match Race Germany as well as in Match Center Germany." The organisers and their new partner Porsche to be guests at the Bavaria booth during boot Dusseldorf.

www.matchrace.de

Audi ORCi World Championship
With over six months to go before the start of racing, organizers from the Merenkävijät Sailing Club and the Finnish Offshore Sailors Association have already attracted 42 entries from six countries to the Audi ORCi World Championship, held over 4-11 August 2012. Based on the historic fortress island of Särkkä in Helsinki harbor, this 14th annual ISAF-sanctioned event is expected to attract an additional 30-40 teams from another four countries in boats ranging from 33 to 60 feet in length, and when racing is finished will crown two new offshore World Champions.

The Audi ORCi World Championship will top a long list of over 125 national and international ORC events held in 40 countries for 2012, with most now listed at www.orc.org/calendar. Among these are two major continental events, the ORCi European Championship at YC Punta Ala in Italy, held over 23-30 June, and the ORCi Mediterranean Championship, held over 10-16 June in Cres, Croatia, site of the 2011 World Championship event that drew 119 entries from 16 countries.

ORC National Championships will also be held this year in 14 countries on 3 continents, including Germany, Latvia, Peru, Holland, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Norway, Cyprus and Austria. Other ORC national and regional championship events are also being planned but are not yet finalized, including an ORC Iberian Championship for Portugal and Spain, an ORC National Championship for Portugal, and an ORC Brazilian Championship.

Among the entries committed to race in Helsinki are some past World Champions keen on winning World titles once again. These include Christian Plump from Germany, who won the 2010 ORCi World Championship in Class A in Flensburg, Germany on his Rodman 42 Beluga Sailing Team but this year will be campaigning his new J/V 42 Elena Nova. Jurgen Klinghardt, who won the Class B World title in Flensburg, will also be in Helsinki with his German team on his X-332 Sport patent 3. Even current World Champions Alberto Rossi with his Farr 40 Enfant Terrible and Giuseppe Giuffre with his M-37 Low Noise have hinted that they may come from Italy to defend their respective Class A and Class B titles earned last year in Cres.

For more information and a schedule of events for the 2012 Audi ORCi World Championship, contact event manager Pekka Lopmeri on +358 40 5130 888, at , or visit the event website at www.orciworlds2012.com

For more information on ORC, ORC events and past ORCi/IMS World Championships, visit www.orc.org

Snellgrove Secures the Marlow Ropes Award
Rising Laser Radial sailor Hannah Snellgrove has received an additional boost to her thriving campaign after she was awarded the coveted Marlow Ropes Award at the 2012 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show.

The Marlow Ropes Award was introduced in 2002 with the aim of rewarding Britain's most promising young sailors for their determination, focus and talent.

Snellgrove is a current member of Skandia Team GBR Transitional Squad giving her access to an array of world class training resources used by Britain's Olympic gold medal winning sailors - a real stepping stone to succeeding at the highest level.

The 21-year-old from Lymington, Southampton has been in fine form in recent regattas, with her career highlight coming at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, last month, where she finished 14th.

The Marlow award entitles Snellgrove to free Marlow rope for a year; a financial boost previous winners, double World 470 champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis and 2008 Olympic Yngling gold medallist Pippa Wilson, have also benefitted from.

www.skandiateamgbr.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 Stall: I just don't understand the paranoia over pirates in Asia that Europeans in the Clipper Race hold. Having cruised extensively in my own cruising yacht, raced in all the regional regattas, crewed on seismic and supply boats for the last 40 years, never once have I had a problem. If anything, local fishing boats are all too friendly and will change course to have a look at you and then offer some of their catch. So too the big Makassar prahu's in the Java sea will alter course for a look and a wave.

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The Last Word
I like maxims that don't encourage behavior modification. -- Calvin & Hobbes

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