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Best Ever Start for an Extreme 40 Debut Skipper
Photo by Mark Lloyd, www.lloydimages.com Extreme Muscat Losing a crew over the side hardly broke the stride of Oman Air, sharing the top of the leaderboard with French favourites Groupe Edmond de Rothschild ...

American Morgan Larson, new skipper of Oman Air, had an incredible start to his Extreme Sailing Series career on the opening day of Act 1 in Muscat, Oman. The forty-year-old, a passionate surfer, who lives in Oregon, USA, has an outstanding sporting CV including 3 America's Cup campaigns and 6 World Championship titles but few pundits would have predicted the outcome today which resulted in Oman Air sharing the top of the leaderboard after 6 races alongside pre-season favourites Groupe Edmond de Rothschild: "I didn't really know what to expect to be honest. I know there are a lot of talented teams but I think the format of the sailing suits my style." Modest on the day but when pushed there is an underlying confidence: "I believe we can win this, but we need podium positions at every event."

Tomorrow the 8-boat Extreme 40 fleet will race in stadium mode inside the breakwater, surrounded by the outstanding residential development known as The Wave and home to Oman Sail. Watch the racing live online from 1130 GMT for the next 3 days.

It was Leigh McMillan and his crew on The Wave, Muscat who scored first blood in the first race of the day. The conditions may not have been challenging with the breeze ranging from 6-10 knots throughout the afternoon and it wasn't long before Pennec's team took control to win the next 2 races. Race 4 delivered the drama of the day when Oman Air 5th crew member Max Bulger went over the side. "He somehow hung on to the rudder! I have seen a lot of people fall over board but I have never seen anyone hang on the way he hung on, it was quite impressive," said Larson. He was quickly retrieved and Larson's team of Will Howden, Charlie Ogletree and Nasser Al Mashari managed to regain their lead to win the race.

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 1, Muscat, Oman standings after Day 1, 6 races

1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) Pierre Pennec / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Herve Cunningham / Bernard Labro / Adeline Chatenet, 36 points
2. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson / Will Howden / Charlie Ogletree, Nasser Al Mashari, Max Bulger, 36
3. GAC Pindar (GBR) Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mark Bulkeley, Adam Piggot / Andrew Walsh, 34
4. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hashim Al Rashdi, Rachel Williamson, 30
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Graeme Spence, Pierre Le Clainche, 26
6. ZouLou (FRA) Loick Peyron, Philippe Mourniac, Jean-Sebastien Ponce, Bruno Jeanjean, Antoine Joubert, 22
7. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, Tanguy Cariou, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, Pierre-Yves Jorand, 17
8. Team Trifork (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Pete Cumming, Simon Hiscocks, Jonas Hviid, 15

extremesailingseries.com

Entries Near Record Levels for 2012 ORCi Championships
The two largest events on the 2012 ORC calendar are on track to becoming among the most popular ever in the 43-year history of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). To date there are 95 entries from 11 countries in the Audi ORCi World Championship, being held over 4-11 August in Helsinki, Finland, and organizers from the YC Punta Ala in Italy are expecting over 70 entries to their Celadrin ORC European Championship being held over 23-30 June.

Entries received for the Audi ORCi World Championship received before 1 March will be €450, then will go up to €700 until 15 July, and €1000 after 15 July. This event is the sole offshore World Championship sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

Patrick Lindqvist has made the latest entry with his TP52 Blixt Pro Sailing, armed with renowned Swedish skipper Thomas Blixt on the helm and a mixed Swedish and Finnish crew. Lindqvist says "It has been fantastic to see the enormous interest for the Worlds in Helsinki. I am not really surprised, as the location is fantastic on the island with the old fortress, and the Gulf of Finland has its best sailing weather in August."

Blixt Pro Sailing will have some important rivals from the other end of Scandinavia: the TP52 Wolfpack from Norway. "As a team we look forward to racing against our old friend Thomas Nilsson from Oslo! We also hope the other big boats that are planning to show up will do that too. That would make the racing even more challenging and exciting."

Another new entry comes from Italy: the NM38 Scugnizza, skippered by Vincenzo de Blasio from Napoli. With help from renowned Italian match race skipper Paolo Cian, Scugnizza won the ORC division in last year's Rolex Capri Sailing Week, and was 4th in Class B at the 2011 ORCi Worlds in Cres. Designer Maurizio Cossutti was recently in Helsinki to give a presentation of his ideas on how the ORC rating rule influences design.

Meanwhile in warmer climes to the south preparations are underway for the Celadrin ORC European Championship in Punta Ala, a beautiful peninsula jutting out from the Tuscan countryside into the blue Tyrrhenian Sea. YC Punta Ala has had a long history of hosting this event, in fact eight times since its inception in 1997, and has attracted numerous high-level teams to compete in a venue renowned for its perfect weather conditions for inshore and offshore sailing. It's no wonder this has been the traditional base for the Luna Rossa America's Cup team.

Until 9 April, entry fees for the Celadrin ORC European Championship will be €600 for Class A yachts with GPH ratings faster than 600 sec/mi, and €400 for Class B yachts with GPH ratings slower than 600 sec/mi. From 10 April - 31 May these fees will increase to €800 and €600, and after 31 May they will be €1200 and €800.

As an incentive to attract international teams, the first four entries in Class A and Class B from outside Italy will each receive use of a four-bed apartment offered by YC Punta Ala which is very close to the regatta village.

For more information on entries 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 entries and the Notice of Race for the Celadrin ORC European Championship, visit the YC Punta Ala website at www.ycpa.it , or contact Emanuel Sacripanti at 

www.orc.org

Global PR Manager - Oman Sail
Oman Sail Location: Oman
Contract: 2 years
Salary: Competitive salary based on experience plus accommodation, medical insurance and flight allowance

Oman Sail are looking for an experienced sports communicator to join the growing in house Marcomms team, with a minimum of 8 years' experience. The individual could be from an in-house or agency background but should have sports specific experience. Individuals with a background in sailing or journalism with strong communication, written and strategic planning skills would also be highly prized by the organisation. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a creative flair, an eye for opportunity and ability to sell ideas and a team player is imperative.

Manages: Regional PR Manager, PR Manager, PR Co-ordinator, International Agencies
Reports to: Director of Marcomms

Closing date: 9th March 2012
Email: for application form or more information

Youth Olympic Games One Person Dinghy Bids
ISAF has issued an open invitation for manufacturers to put forward bids for the supply of Equipment to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games for the One person Dinghy events.

The 2014 YOG, the second of its kind following the success of Singapore 2010, will be held in Nanjing, China from 16-28 August with a test event anticipated to take place in August 2013. One hundred young sailors, aged 15-16, will compete across four sailing events:

Boy's One Person Dinghy - TBC
Girl's One Person Dinghy - TBC
Boy's Windsurfing - Techno 293
Girl's Windsurfing - Techno 293

ISAF received eight strong bids from a wide range of Classes and manufacturers for the Singapore 2010 YOG. The Nanjing 2014 YOG combined with a series of continental qualification events and world championships will help to develop and promote youth sailing around the world. ISAF is looking forward to receiving bids from Classes and manufacturers who share this vision.

For the purposes of the YOG, ISAF will accept bids from manufacturers of any one person dinghy or multihull.

Fifteen key areas which must be covered in any bid document are:

1. Suitability for Youth Olympic Games
2. Boat Dimensions
3. Measurement
4. Builder / Production Quality Control
5. Manufacturers / Suppliers
6. Sailor Demographics
7. Fleet Locations / Boat Numbers
8. Cost of Equipment
9. Transportation
10. Administrative Strength of Class Association
11. Sailor Appeal
12. Media Appeal
13. Development
14. Design and Graphic Attributes
15. YOG Qualification System

The bid deadline is 1 April 2012 with bids evaluated throughout April. Equipment will be confirmed during May 2012.

Click here to view the Guidelines for Equipment Bids: www.sailing.org

Spinnaker Tales
The impressive Rod Jones owned and skippered Welbourne 50 Audi Centre Sunshine Coast-Alegria V promises to attract a wave of support from members of the Maroochy River Sailing club over the Easter weekend.

Both skipper Rod Jones and his dual Audi Australian championship winning crew have expressed their loyalty to create history for the popular Sunshine Coast dinghy club as their first official entry in the 64th Qantas-Link Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race.

Their previous ocean race results suggest the Alegria V crew are formidable challengers with the recently remodelled former Brisbane to Gladstone line honours winner and Hamilton Island Race Week champion Heaven Can Wait.

But this annual 308 nautical mile blue water classic hosted by the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and starting from Brisbane's Bramble Bay on Good Friday April 6th officially sets the bench-mark for the talented crew of Sunshine Coast sailors who will begin an intense program of ocean racing including flying the prestigious Maroochy Sailing Club burgee in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Meanwhile the crew including skipper Rod Jones, navigator James Walker, Greg McAllansmith. Kia Timm and Noosa River Blazer 23 champion Chris Annear will tackle a challenging learning curve on the deck of Oxygen racing team's flagship Alegria V.

However while they have already proved their talent as the only crew to have won two Audi Australian ocean racing championships in the trophy this new challenge on a tried and tested larger and older ocean racing sloop represents a supreme test of their off shore sailing experience.

Rod Jones has completed the first stage of modifications and is happy with the result from the evaluation trials.

A result which will be put to the test when the new-look Heaven Can Wait tests the power of her new sails to eclipse her 2005 line honours winning time of 39 hours 14 minutes 13 seconds.

As expected skipper Rod Jones and Greg McAllansmith who crewed with World champion Hamilton Island skipper Glenn Bourke to win the SB3 Dart sports boat Australian championship on the River Derwent in late February remain mentally and physically prepared for what promises to become an absorbing match race for the honour of winning the 64 year old The Courier Mail Cup.

But how this result will relate to the required boat speed performance of the Sunshine Coast crew remains to be proven against a high performance fleet over the Easter weekend. Unfortunately Marcus Blackmore and his Hooligan crew winners in 2011 will not be defending their title however the return of 8 times race winner Saltash ll which will be helmed by Sandy Cavill and the entry of Robert Hanna's speed sailing Royal Geelong Yacht Club sloop Shogun V promise to set a high standard of tactical racing over what is regarded among Australia's more demanding coastal passage races.

Shogun V a sister class to the 2011 champion Hooligan has the pedigree and performance to be listed as the pre-race favourite with Audi Centre Sunshine Coast Alegria V and Saltash ll also favoured. -- Ian Grant

Just Three More Sleeps Until the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2012
RYA Dinghy Show There are just three more 'sleeps' until the start of the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, when Alexandra Palace in London becomes the centre of all things dinghy sailing.

The show, in association with Suzuki and Yachts & Yachting, takes place over the weekend of 3-4 March when more than 200 exhibitors, in some 12,000 sq. metres of halls will be showcasing all the very latest boats, books, kit and more.

Being the only show in the world dedicated exclusively to all things dinghy sailing, whether you're young or old, novice or pro, cruiser or racer, it's the perfect way to kick start the 2012 season.

There are some fantastic talks and presentations lined up with expert analysis and insight on the Volvo Main Stage on a whole host of topics, including Olympic classes sailing preview, rules and tactics, professional driving and towing, as well as the finals of the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show SailX Championship. Whilst over in the Coaching areas some of dinghy sailing's leading experts and coaches will be sharing their top tips on a host of topics from rigging and trapezing, to core stability and wetsuit repairs.

The halls will be packed to the rafters with some spectacular boats from the old time classics to the very latest in design, including a fantastic centenary celebration display of Jack Holt designed dinghies in the West Corridor.

There are loads of activities for the kids too including the Holt Blow Boat Challenge, treasure hunt, sailing simulator, good luck card competition, Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship online game, and when that's tired them out they can relax and surf the net in the Volvo Chill-Out Bubble. Here you can also find out more about some of the country's top sailors on the Volvo Sailing App or even hang out with Team Volvo and Skandia Team GBR's 470 pairing Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills.

We'll also be celebrating our nations Olympic and Paralympic sailing heritage with the RYA's 'Our Sporting Life - Sail for Gold' exhibition. On display in Palm Court the exhibition consists of photos and memorabilia through the ages from pre-first world war through to our present day champions. Showcasing items kindly shared with us by past Olympic and Paralympic sailors including legend Rodney Pattisson, Keith Musto, Andy Cassell, Mike McIntyre and Alistair Currey, amongst others.

There are also a whole host of competitions for you to take part in, so if that whets your appetite then book your tickets today.

Tickets brought in advance cost just £ 11.00 for adults (£ 9.00 for RYA members), children 16 or under; accompanied by an adult, just £ 5.00 a ticket and go free on Sunday (maximum two free of charge child tickets per adult). Children who are RYA members go free of charge all weekend.

Tickets can also be purchased on the door for £ 13.00 adult and £ 6.50 child, but if you want to beat the queues and save money then book online now at www.dinghyshow.org.uk or by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 811 0409.

We look forward to seeing you at the show.

America’s Cup Organizers Drop Overhaul of Piers
America’s Cup organizers - facing financial risks and tight construction deadlines - have eliminated the heart of a proposed real estate deal with the city involving prime waterfront property. But both sides vowed Monday that the prestigious regatta will take place as planned in San Francisco.

The America’s Cup Event Authority, the regatta’s sponsoring organization led by billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, whose team won the last America’s Cup, is abandoning plans to overhaul Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge to house the race teams.

The announcement came one day before the Board of Supervisors was expected to vote on the final agreement to host the races and days after a lawsuit was filed challenging the environmental review of the event.

In exchange for spending at least $55 million - and as much as an estimated $111 million - to stabilize Piers 30-32, the Event Authority would have received development rights to the Port of San Francisco property under the proposed agreement. In addition, the race sponsor also would have been be given title to Seawall Lot 330 across the Embarcadero for future development.

In all, the cost to upgrade the piers, dredge the bay there and make other improvements in preparation of the races had an estimated cost of $111 million. Eventually, the Event Authority would be reimbursed for the upgrades by the city through a variety of financing mechanisms.

The proposed agreement drew scrutiny of some members of the Board of Supervisors who questioned giving Ellison’s group prime waterfront property. While approval was probable, the vote was expected to be close.

With Piers 30-32 now out of the equation, a scaled-down agreement will be drawn up that, if all goes according to plan, will be considered by the Board of Supervisors in a few weeks.

The Event Authority is still expected to make $10 million to $15 million in infrastructure improvements along the city’s waterfront, said Jennifer Matz, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, who has helped broker the arrangement.

Rachel Gordon's full article

www.sfgate.com

Knickerbocker Cup Qualifier for the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup
2012 marks the 30th Knickerbocker Cup regatta, and officials of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, the organizing authority for the Knickerbocker Cup, announced today that the Grade 2 Match Race event winner will be invited to the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda. The Argo Group Gold Cup is a World Match Race Tour event and will be held at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Hamilton, Bermuda on October 1 - 7, 2012.

The Knickerbocker Cup will take place on Manhasset Bay August 29 - September 2. The prize purse of up to $19,000 will be won by the top competitors of the Knickerbocker Cup. Ten invitations will be issued to skippers who will compete in Swedish Match 40s loaned by the Oakcliff Sailing Center for the event. Competitors are invited by MBYC and requests for invitations to the match race are now open at regatta.manhassetbayyc.org . The 2012 NOTICE OF RACE has been posted.

The Knickerbocker Cup has one automatic qualifier, the winner of the 2011 US Match Race Championship. Dave Perry, the 2011 USMRC has received an invitation.

Manhasset Bay Yacht Club and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the organizing authority of the Argo Group Gold Cup, have a long history of a close relationship, including years of team racing in Bermuda. RBYC has won the Manhasset Bay Challenge Cup several times.

For more information: www.knickerbockercup.org

Contacts: Sue Miller or John Lobley Email:

Short Tacks
World class sailor and writer, Eurobutt friend and colleague Mark Chisnell's new book "The Fulcrum Files" is available for FREE FOR ONE DAY ON AMAZON on leap-day, 29 February from midnight US Pacific TIme....

A bit about the book:

The young Ben Clayton was one of Britain's brightest boxing prospects, until the day he slammed a left hook into a fragile chin. Sickened by the consequences he turned away from the ring, found solace in the arms of the beautiful Lucy Kirk and looked to a new challenge - winning the America's Cup in the great J Class Yachts.

On the 7th March 1936, after almost two decades of peace in Europe, Hitler ordered the German Army back into the Rhineland. It was a direct challenge to Britain and France. Still unnerved by the toll of the Great War, the politicians dithered and history teetered on a knife edge. But the spymasters were busy - just one man could make the difference between war and peace, victory or defeat. And that man was Ben Clayton.

Mark Chisnell's brand new spy thriller returns to an epic period of history, and an epic period of sailing. Now available at Amazon:

www.amazon.co.uk

-----------------------------------------

Last chance for Early Bird reductions for entry to the Baltic Spring Cup...

There is only one day left to take advantage of the Early Bird Entry Fee. Join the 16 yachts already on the entry list www.balticsprintcup.com/1209.0.html by registering your boat now! Transfer the Entry Fee before Wednesday, February 29, 2012 to be eligible for the 15% reduction. The 2012 event is going to be worth it as the Baltic Sprint Cup Team reports back from their first round trip. Read more about their tour to the 2012 stop-over ports here:

www.balticsprintcup.com

-----------------------------------------

Cancer respite and sailing charity, Sail 4 Cancer, has been selected as Official Charity for the Superyacht Cup regatta at Cowes from 22 to 25 July this year.

Organised in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron, the prestigious Superyacht Cup Cowes, will take place over three days and include sailing in the waters of the Solent and around the Isle of Wight. The Superyacht Cup Palma edition takes place a month before in Palma, Mallorca from 20-23 June.

Sail 4 Cancer sponsors more than 400 people each year to get away from the stress of living with cancer. Nominations for families in need of a respite break can be done by visiting www.sail4cancer.org or calling 0845 408 1849. Opportunities include sailing days and weekends, ocean cruises, riverboat adventures and park breaks.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1998 Custom Newick Traveler Trimaran. US$350,000. Located in Eastern Shore, Maryland, USA.

Alacrity (formally Bird) is a modern high performance racing/cruising trimaran from the board of well-known multihull designer Dick Newick. She was expertly built by Lone Star Multihulls of Brownsville, TX, USA under the close supervision of her original owner, a composite design expert who undertook a conversion from the originally designed WEST System® construction to state of the art composite construction utilizing Core-Cell® foam, carbon fiber, glass, and epoxy resin. Every component was weighed and core/skin laminate samples were tested for strength. Construction was completed at the design weight and the yacht has proven to be extremely fast and rugged. The original owner won several ocean races by large margins.

Brokerage through Multihull World: www.yachtworld.com/multihullworld/

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

The Last Word
As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it. -- Dick Cavett

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