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Close Competition as Delayed Hardy Cup Gets Under Way
Click on image for photo gallery.

Hardy Cup Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron race officers brought the Hardy Cup under 25 match racing regatta back on track today after Monday's abandonment due to strong southerly winds.

Despite a light and flukey morning breeze and a later shift in wind direction on Sydney Harbour, the ISAF Grade 3 event produced intense competition between the young sailors from Australia and New Zealand and saw the completion of 11 flights.

New Zealand Josh Junior, with his Wellington Spirit team from the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, came out at the top of the leader board with nine wins. His only loss was to David Gilmour, from Perth's Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht, after the Kiwis sailed around a wrong mark when in the lead.

Close astern on the leader board, with seven wins each, are Gilmour, Jordan Reece's True Blue Racing team representing the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and Jay Griffin's Match Stick Racing team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

The top four finished the day well in front of the other three teams: Tim Coltman (RPNC Youth Scheme, NZL) who had two wins, David Chapman (RSYS) with one win, and Ashlen Rooklyn (CYCA) who lost every flight.

A moderate east-south-easterly sea breeze is forecast for tomorrow with race officers confident of completing a third round-robin to decide the four finalists for this 10th Hardy Cup conducted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

The Hardy Cup is one of the feature yacht racing events on the calendar of Australia's senior yacht club which this year is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its formation in 1862. -- Peter Campbell

www.rsys.com.au/sailing/hardycuphomepage.php

Rule Britannia - Famous J Class Royal Yacht Back in Cowes
Click on image to enlarge.

Britannia An exact replica of the famous racing J Class Royal Yacht Britannia is back in Cowes . . . the stripped hull arrived on Saturday, 4 February at Southboats Yard in Venture Quays, East Cowes. The original yacht was scuttled following King George V's death in January 1936. He'd left instructions that she was to 'follow him to the grave'. Stripped of all her spars and fittings, her hull was towed out from Cowes and sunk off St Catherine's Deep, somewhere west of Ventnor and south of the Needles, on July 1 1936.

His Majesty's Yacht "Britannia" was a gaff-rigged cutter built in 1893 for Commodore Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. She served him and his son, King George V, with a long yachting and racing career. In 1931, she was converted to the J-Class with a Bermuda rig and her last race was at Cowes in 1935. During her racing career she had won 231 races and took another 129 flags.

In 1994, the only exact replica of the Britannia was commissioned (after due approval by the Queen) and built in Russia, and after many problems and hard negotiations with her Russian shipbuilders, was finally released to her then owner, Mr. Sigurd Coates, who duly shipped her to Norway in 2009. The completion of the project came to a standstill until now.The Britannia and the rebuilding project have been acquired by Minicast Holdings Ltd, Gibraltar, which, upon its completion, will be donating the use of the yacht for a minimum of 10 years, to the Britannia Trust, to be wholly used for charity.

As you might expect, after Artic winters and battered by storms on her way here, the hull looks the worse for wear. The plan: for her completion to commence, and for the Trust that now owns her, to invest in fitting-in new deck ware, restoring her interior, her mast, rigging and sails, back to what they were in the Classic Days of Cowes Yachting.

The goal: for her to become a flagship for charity, reaching out to underprivileged children, war veterans and to be used as a fundraising venue for upcoming charities in the UK and across the globe. Head of the Trust, Scott Ward, says "The hull needs a good brush up and tender care, but we hope to introduce her to you all in a few weeks, once she is out of the water and looking her best".-- Gerald New in SailWeb.co.uk

www.sailweb.co.uk/default.asp#5397

See also britanniatrust.org

Newport Bermuda 2012 Entries on Pace with Past Fleets
Photo by Daniel Forster, www.danielforster.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Newport Bermuda race Three weeks into the entry process for the 48th Newport Bermuda Race, applications for entry for the 2012 race continue to roll in at a rapid rate for the 106-year-old biennial ocean-racing classic, with expectations of another large fleet.

Brin Ford, Database Chairman for the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, commented, "As of February 3rd, the rate of entries was exactly on pace with the 2010 race with 105 boats having submitted Applications for Entry (AFE)." The Newport Bermuda Race is an invitational event, so skippers must submit an application and receive an invitation before completing the registration process. The 2010 race was the third largest ever, with 183 boats. The only bigger fleets were 264 in the 2006 Centennial Race and 198 in 2008.

"Of the 105 AFE's submitted," Ford continued, "77 are now approved for their invitation, 35 need to provide Experience Forms, and the rest are pending. Thirty-three skippers say their boat has not done the race before. We're still missing many of our old friends, but they have time to enter before the April 15th deadline without paying an extra late fee. An additional 17 captains have begun the registration process, but have yet to file an AFE."

Some experienced Bermuda Race skippers are coming back. Among the returning boats is Rives Potts' McCurdy & Rhodes 48 Carina (Westbrook, CT). She was the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy winner in 2010 and also 1970, and is a veteran of 16 Bermuda Races over 40 years.

So far, other returning Lighthouse winners are Sinn Fein, Peter Rebovich's Cal 40 (Metuchen, NJ) winner of the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy in 2006 and 2008 and Llwyd Ecclestone's Frers 68 Kodiak (West Palm Beach, FL).

The classic S&S yawl Dorade, which did her first Bermuda Race under the command of Olin Stephens in 1930, will be sailed by new owner Matt Brooks from San Francisco, CA. Charlie Robertson (Old Saybrook, CT) is returning after a 15-year absence with his Frers Mini-Maxi Cannonball. This is the big yellow boat he sailed back in 1988 to win first place in IMS.

Among stock boat builders, currently J Boats has 21 entries, Swan has 12 and Beneteau has 8. Designer/builders with two or more entries include Peterson, McCurdy & Rhodes, S&S, Santa Cruz, Tartan, Hinckley, C&C, Cal, Baltic, IMX, Ker, Morris, Sabre and Hallberg Rassey. Gold Digger, Jim Bishop's J44 (New York, NY) and Robert Foreman's Hinkley SW 42 Jacqueline IV (Bay Shore, NY) will be back for their twelfth races. Gracie, Steve and Simon Frank's McCurdy & Rhodes 69 (Darien, CT) will make her eleventh race. -- Talbot Wilson

www.BermudaRace.com

Goldings Nautical Auctions Partners with boats.com
Goldings Nautical, in association with Boats.com, has launched the first nationwide auction sale for yachts, cruisers and power boats to facilitate a fast, secure way of buying and selling vessels situated within the UK.

The first auction on May 16, provides boat owners with a definitive sale option instead of waiting for a buyer often over a protracted time frame, while paying continued storage and insurance costs .

Sellers will receive the proceeds from the sale of their vessel within 10 working days of the auction.

Listed vessels will be promoted widely, not only by Boats.com the major boat sales website in the UK, but other boating portals, media coverage, direct mailings to all sailing and boating clubs across the Country, and to thousands of existing boat owners.

The closing date for entries for the May 16 Nautical Auction is Thursday 5th April. Full details and pictures of the vessels, together with their guide price will then be published on www.goldingsnautical.co.uk and a list will be e.mailed to all potential buyers who have pre-registered their interest on the website.

The auction will take place at Goldings Auction Room at The Atrium, Wherstead Park, Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 2BJ, starting at 10:45 am on May 16. It must be stressed that this is not an on-line auction, but a live sale room facility. Buyers unable to attend can submit written bids or bid by telephone by prior arrangement with the auction house.

Further auctions are planned for 25th July, 10th October and 12th December.

www.goldingsnautical.co.uk
uk.boats.com

Sail Auckland 2012 Becalmed on Final Day
The final day of Sail Auckland 2012 was plagued by light winds and extremely shifty conditions.

There were no races completed today in the 470, 420, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn, so final results in those divisions are the ones that remain from yesterday. The RS:X, SKUD 18 and 2.4mR were the lucky three classes to finish both of their races as scheduled, and the 29er and 49er skiffs had just one.

Peter and Blair are two of the twelve NZL Sailing Team sailors that have been selected to represent the country at the London 2012 Olympics. Although they were only racing against one other boat in this regatta, the time back on the water proved valuable.

All of New Zealand's selected Olympic representatives for the London 2012 games finished first in their respective fleets.

Final Standings:

Olympic Classes

Laser top three
1. Andrew Murdoch, NZL, 12 points
2. Jee Min Ha, KOR, 26
3. Rutger Van Schaardenburg, NED, 27

Laser Radial top three
1. Sara Winther, NZL, 17
2. Logan Dunning Beck, NZL, 28
3. Andrew McKenzie, NZL, 32

470 top three
1. Paul Snow, NZL,Hansen & Jason Saunders, NZL, 10
2. Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, NZL, 29
3. Chang Ju Kim & Kim Ji Hoon, KOR, 35

Finn top three
1. Matt Coutts, NZL, 8
2. Karl Purdie, NZL, 19
3. Brad Douglas, NZL, 24

RS:X 9.5 (Men) top three
1. Tae Hoon Lee, KOR, 30
2. Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED, 31
3. Richard Stauffacher, SUI, 39

RS:X 8.5 (Women and youth) top three
1. Jessica Crisp, AUS, 25
2. Steffanie Williams, NZL, 34
3. Jannicke Stalstrom, NOR, 34

49er top two
1. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, NZL, 14
2. Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski, NZL, 21

Paralympic Classes

2.4 metre top three
1. Paul Francis , NZL, 14
2. Brett Willcock, NZL, 18
3. Josh McKenzie Brown, NZL, 26

SKUD18 top two
1. Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel, NZL, 12
2. Russell Phillips and Quentin Smith, NZL, 17

www.sailauckland.org.nz

RKJ Gets Hull Honorary Doctorate
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has been presented with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hull in recognition of his Clipper Race work and the legacy youth programmes established in the 07-08, 09-10 races.

Sir Robin became a Doctor of the University after the graduation ceremony on Thursday 26 January.

"It has been a very great pleasure to return to Hull and to receive this honour from the university," said Sir Robin. "Hull & Humber was a great entrant in two Clipper Races and the legacy of that participation continues in CatZero's pioneering work transforming the lives of young people through programmes rooted in the challenges of seamanship."

Fourteen of the CatZero graduates became crew members on board Hull & Humber in Clipper 09-10, acting as ambassadors for the city during the course of the race.

www.boatingbusiness.com

The Inn at English Harbour Sponsors Prize for RORC Caribbean 600
The RORC Caribbean 600 is a challenging race starting on 20 February in Antigua, but the Inn at English Harbour are offering an even greater incentive for those competing in classes IRC 1, 2 or 3 to sail fast around the 11 Islands and 600nm race course.

The prize of a week's holiday for two at this luxurious resort on the south coast of Antigua is up for grabs for the first IRC 1, 2 or 3 class boat on corrected time. Around half of the 40-strong fleet will be eligible to take part in this fantastic competition offered by the sponsor.

As part of the Caribbean 600 social programme on shore, The Inn at English Harbour will also be holding an Owner's Cocktail Party the night before the race.

For further information, visit the website for The Inn at English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies: www.theinn.ag

The 2012 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, will start on Monday 20th February 2012.

Full details and list of entries can be found at: caribbean600.rorc.org

Heesen Yachts to Sponsor Russian Synergy RC44 Team
As yacht racing events go, the RC 44 Championship is pretty close to sports car racing (except for the one-design bit). So if you are the kind of superyacht company that builds 37 meter yachts with pale blue and orange 'Gulf' livery, then why not sponsor an RC44 Team?

The Synergy RC44 team has announced that Heesen Yachts will become their main sponsor for the championship in 2012.

Synergy were perhaps expected to mount an America's Cup campaign. The Team owned by Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedevhas competed in TP52 and Louis Vuitton Trophy campaigns as well as the RC44. This year, the team will be joined by American sailor Ed Baird.

You might think there would be more overlap between Superyachts and sailing. At the very top end of the sport, many yacht racing team owners have superyachts as well as racing yachts. ORACLE Racing Boss, Larry Ellison is famous for his non-sail powered ships and rival Ernesto Bertarelli also recently launched a new superyacht - Vava II.

Perhaps it is because there is an element of the sailing community that is determined to try and popularise the sport by stripping it of glamour and luxury in the belief that appealing to one of the fastest growing, recession-proof markets is a bad idea because it somehow alienates common folk who might want to try the sport.

Luckily, the America's Cup, which has always been the domain of billionaires, and continues to be positioned at a price-point only viable for the most liquid of backers, is embracing the superyacht industry. The cup has announced a Superyacht program, and recently announced a new partner to look after the types of folk who will move their yachts from sunny climes like the Mediterrainian and the Caribbean to sunny San Francisco in 2013. -- David Fuller in YachtRacing.biz

www.yachtracing.biz

Spinnaker Tales
Vaughan Prentice and Mark Bradford recognised among Australia's smartest Etchells one-design racing skippers have teamed up to contest the 2012 World championship on Sydney Harbour later this month.

The Brisbane North sail-loft business partners and key crewmembers in the Black Jack Ocean racing team finished the 2011 sailing season on a high note playing an important crew role when Investec Loyal scored a surprise line honours win over the Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats Xl in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Skipper Mark Bradford already has the career distinction of winning a World Etchells Silver Medal however he has confidently handed over the tiller for the 2012 World championship challenge to his talented sailing mate Vaughan Prentice.

"I'm going to be the wave-break in the bow with the responsibility of making sure there are no stuff-ups with spinnaker sets, gybes and drops". Bradford said.

While the crew change is interesting it is not expected to remotely affect their boat speed with Vaughan Prentice respected by his rivals as a 'tough nut' and is very difficult to roll even when the contest turns into a tactical dog-fight.

In fact the tougher it gets the harder he sails sustaining the required pressure to control the vital centimetres of sailing space which generally decide the critical difference between fair sailing or being committed to execute a time consuming on course penalty for an infringement of the rules.

Both Vaughan Prentice and Mark Bradford have the collective experience of knowing when to 'crank up' the boat speed however they will be required to base their tactical strategy on thinking ahead of the game to have their skills rewarded when the high standard fleet line up for the important championship racing over the open ocean courses off Sydney's Manly Beach from February 20 to 25.

Meanwhile a top place in the Etchell Worlds remains a priority while Black Jack is being prepared to represent Queensland in the Middle Harbour Yacht Clubs Sydney Harbour regatta on similar courses off Sydney Heads on March 10-11.

Black Jack owned by Brisbane businessman Peter Harburg and crewed by a talented team of Queensland sailors will use the Sydney regatta as an important evaluation trial before lining up for the 2012 Brisbane to Gladstone Race on Good Friday April 6th.

"Sydney racing sets the benchmark for testing the IRC rating and we have nominated Black Jack to see where we are at in terms of being on the pace". Mark Bradford said.

Apart from contesting the Surf to City (Southport to Sandgate) race in January Black Jack has been resting in her cradle for the past 8 months while owner Peter Harburg pursued the passion of car racing in Europe.

Now they are back on the IRC racing circuit and are fully prepared to face a searching test when the sails are tensioned for the Grand Prix class honours next month against a competitive fleet which includes the 2011 Audi Australian Champion Hooligan and the Rolex Sydney Hobart champion Loki. -- Ian Grant

New Zealand's 18ft Skiff Challenge
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New Zealand's 18ft Skiff sailors New Zealand's 18ft Skiff sailors will make their strongest challenge in recent years when they contest the JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour from 17-26 February.

Since the time James J. Giltinan first conceived the idea of holding a world's championship for 18ft Skiffs, New Zealand has not only been a regular and successful competitor in the event, but has also been a leading innovator in the class.

The most famous of these Kiwi innovators is Bruce Farr, whose designs dominated the class during the 1970s, but others to stamp their name on innovations are the Mander brothers (Peter and Graham), Jack Logan and Russell Bowler.

New Zealand were represented from the first regatta on Sydney Harbour in 1938 then held and won the 1939 event (Manu, skippered by Geo. Chamberlain) at Auckland.

Jack Logan was next in the 1950 series in a radically designed snub nosed skiff named Komutu before the Manders (Intrigue) made a sensational breakthrough with the first trapeze men to become the first two-time winners of the championship in the 1952 and 1954 events.

Although they were always competitive the only New Zealand winner between 1954 and the early 1970s was Bern Skinner, who took the 1960 series in Surprise.

The most successful New Zealand 18ft Skiff designer came into the 18s in 1969/1970 when Bruce Farr boats represented USA, UK and Australia as well as New Zealand.

Don Lidgard took the 1972 series for New Zealand with Smirnoff and Terry Mc Dell (Travelodge New Zealand) also won for New Zealand in 1974. Both in Farr designed boats. Bob Holmes (Travelodge in 1973) and Dave Porter (KB in 1975) also won for Australia in Farr designed boats.

Russell Bowler was the next Kiwi to progress the evolution in design with the super lightweight hull construction of Benson & Hedges for the 1977 regatta at Auckland.

Escalating costs over the next two decades has seen the Kiwi challenge suffer in comparison to the earlier years, although the deeds of skippers such as Chris Skinner, Phil Airey and Scott Kennedy can't be underestimated as they have put up some excellent performances against the might of Australian, USA and UK teams.

Hard work and dedication by Graham Catley and Alex Vallings has seen a heartening revival in the class in New Zealand. Only one month ago, Alex Vallings won the 2012 Mark Foy Trophy regatta at Auckland in his brand new C-Tech skiff - one of two hulls built by Van Munster Boatbuilders late in 2011 for both Alex and Graham (Maersk Line).

The New Zealanders have six boats (including the two new skiffs) entered for the 2012 Giltinan: C-Tech (Alex Vallings), Yamaha (David McDiarmid), Maersk Line (Graham Catley), Stunt Academy (Chris Hirst), Cutting Shapes (Ed Ross) and Bridge Marina Travelift (Kez Cameron. The New Zealand resurgence can only be good for the class as it continues its international progression. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2009 Melges 32. EUR 129,500. Located In Helsinki, Finland.

"Manta" benefits from a road trailer specially designed and built for Melges 32, the trailer tilts the boat so the load is 2,55 meters wide. She also has mast which can be taken to two pieces for transports. She has North Sails racing set, most of the sails have been used 5-6 times so all in extremly good condition, everything shows as new with this boat.

She's ready for Melges 32 OD racing or having some fun with mixed fleet.

Brokerage through Vinces Oy: www.yachtworld.com/vinces/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. -- Lawrence M. Krauss

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