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French Favourites On Target For Act 1 Victory
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild lead going into the final day of Act 1 but Oman Air are just one point off first place. Tomorrow the finale with at least five teams in contention for the podium… The penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1 in Muscat, Oman saw the wind speed ratchet up a few knots, as did the competition.
The intense head to head between Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and the impressive new team on Oman Air continued unabated and, once again, only 1 point separates these two teams going into the final day of Act 1, in favour of the French favourites. "Radical!" said Morgan Larson back on the dockside. "It was an entertaining day definitely. We knew we might struggle a bit when the breeze came up… Today has tightened the field up a lot with Red Bull, GAC Pindar and The Wave right on our heels…" There could not be two more contrasting skippers in the laid-back, stocky, surf-loving Californian and the intense, focused, slightly built Pierre Pennec. It's going to make for an outstanding final day tomorrow with three other teams in the hunt for the podium snapping at their heels. All the action will be streamed live online, starting earlier than usual at 1030GMT.
Racing will start an hour earlier than scheduled tomorrow at 0900 GMT (1300 local time) to take advantage of the good winds forecast and the live streaming will start at 1030 GMT so you can follow the action all the way to the end.
Standings after Day 3, 22 races
1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) Pierre Pennec / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Hervé Cunningham / Bernard Labro / Adeline Chatenet, 121 points
Looking For Luck In Doldrums
With 2,532 nautical miles (nm) to run to the finish, the teams are now setting up for their entry to the Doldrums, where luck will play a big part.
Although not well defined, the Doldrums belt lies near to the string of Solomon Islands, and it is possible for the fleet to pick their way through the islands although Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's skipper Ian Walker thinks it is unlikely, at least for his team positioned as they are, to the east. He believes the fleet will leave them to starboard, but the question is, by how much? "Right on the button maybe, if you're Telefonica, 50 - 100 nm if you're PUMA or Groupama 4," he says.
Once in the Doldrums, it only takes one squall to see a promising lead evaporate. "There is no recipe, you need some luck," says Groupama's French navigator Jean Luc Nelias.
"We are still wary of it," says Ian Walker, skipper of fourth placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. "It's relatively narrow, but it is still the Doldrums and one cloud can cost you 30 or 40 nm. A lot of it is about timing," he adds. According to Walker, most of the cloud activity is in the early morning or later in the evening and he is hoping that his team will escape the worst by crossing in the middle of the day or at two in the morning.
At 1900 UTC tonight, the two front runners, Groupama 4 and PUMA's Mar Mostro have continued at high speed, averaging 18.5 - 19.2 knots, while the remaining four teams have seen speeds drop to as low as 15.1 knots for third-placed Telefonica (Iker Martínez/ESP), who is suffering through having to sail a tighter angle.
IMOCA Monotype One Design?
The primary goals include of course producing a yacht with similar performance characteristics to the latest generation 60's in the existing fleet. A difficult task, since the reducing costs requirement implies that we should also be looking to remove titanium rams, Kevlar honeycomb core and similar elements that are standard on OCD designs. OCD also looked at ways of simplifying the measurement procedure which is currently inaccurate and complicated. Finally a major goal was to improving the reliability of any monotype because that in itself potentially has considerable potential to reduce costs.
Clearly there are other positives and negatives to be considered in the argument of whether to go to a mono-type design other than the overall budget build costs.
In boat cost terms alone (ignoring political and commercial considerations which are the domain of IMOCA/sponsors) there seems little incentive from a technical or commercial cost to revert to monotype.
The alternative should also be considered, ie: to tighten up the existing rules by the introduction of some or all of the following:
- One design fin and bulb and/or mandatory forged steel fin with fairings.
This is not an exhaustive list of course, but may go a long way to at least restrict the rate of escalating costs. They would also potentially improve a great deal the projects costs from loss/damage, as well as the safety of the fleet.
Full article (long, but a must-read) at
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RS:X Europeans Ends In A Whimper Not A Bang
Izzy Hamilton [GBR] takes the U21 title from Hanna Zembrzuska [POL] with Maria Aadland Mollestad [NOR] third. These talented racers bode well for the future of RS:X Women's racing in the future. Izzy finsished 6th overall. She will be under no illusions. Knowing that some top stars chose not to take part but sixth place is sixth place and is her best finish in the senior fleet.
The French have a powerful development squad in the men's fleet. Thomas Goyard took the U21 title from Louis Giard with Pawel Tarnowski [POL] in third. He had promised much n the early stages of the championships but a BFD - disqualification for being over the start line early under a black flag - in race 9 blew his chances of securing the top spot.
RS:X European Windsurfing Championships Microsite:
RS:X European Results
Mccurdy and Selkie Make 10th Try For Bermuda Lighthouse
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: Every offshore sailor worth his or her salt dreams of doing the Newport Bermuda Race. Sheila McCurdy has sailed 15 of them and will do number 16 in 2012. McCurdy, from Middletown, RI, is the immediate past Commodore of the Cruising Club of America (CCA), co-organizer of the race with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). She has sailed nine of her Bermuda Races on Selkie.
Her first three Newport Bermuda Races - 1986, 1988 and 1990 - were as navigator for her dad, James A. (Jim) McCurdy, chief designer at McCurdy & Rhodes, Naval Architects. In 1985 he designed the 38'6" Selkie for his family. Sheila has sailed six other Newport Bermuda Races as Selkie's skipper and navigator, as well as four races in other boats including a stint as advisor aboard a US Naval Academy entry.
The only recent races McCurdy missed were in 2004, when she sailed trans-Atlantic with a crew of Navy midshipmen, and in 2010, when as Commodore of the CCA, she and RBYC Commodore Peter Shrubb had to stay ashore, prepared to address emergencies. Unable to stay away from Bermuda, she sailed Selkie to Bermuda in 2011 for the CCA cruise in the waters of the archipelago.
Her best Bermuda Races were in 1994 and 2008. In both races Selkie finished 2nd in Class and 2nd in the St. David's Lighthouse (amateur) Division. In 1994, CCA Commodore Kaighn Smith's Swan 38 Gaylark snatched the Lighthouse Trophy out of her grasp, winning by a mere 15-minute margin after 635 rhumb line miles of hard ocean racing.
After 15 races, with two as bridesmaids, Sheila has high hopes for 2012 and her 10th race on Selkie - "I keep doing the Newport Bermuda Race because I love the rhythm of sailing at sea for days." Sheila said in a recent interview. "I love the fun of being with friends and family, pushing hard to get top performance from the boat."
The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race starts Friday afternoon June 15th just off of Castle Hill in Newport RI. Applications for Entry into this invitational adventure are being taken under Entry Process on the race website at www.bermudarace.com
Seahorse April 2012
Seahorse build table - Sizing things up
Rod Davis - Clear the bench
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Scorpion Wins Series After Tense Showdown At Draycote
"It has been a great series," said Gray, who raced with three different crews over the five events. He raced three events with his girlfriend Rachael, the Bloody Mary with his regular Scorpion crew Richard Pepperdine, and the Steve Nicholson Trophy with last-minute stand-in, Alex Hayman. "Alex did a fantastic job," said Gray. "We were third at Northampton. The Bloody Mary for us was a bit of a disaster when I sailed low on one reach and got rolled by about 40 boats. In fact my girlfriend Rachael beat me in another Scorpion at Queen Mary, so she probably has a better Series score than me!"
Going into the final weekend, the Scorpion was one of four boats with a serious chance of taking the overall title. Probably best placed was the Phantom, with Andrew Wilde looking to discard his no-show at the Bloody Mary and get a good replacement result at Draycote in the one-discard series.
This fact was not lost on the Fireball which led the SailJuice Series going into Draycote. Sam Mettam and Richard Anderton decided that with a light-wind forecast, their best form of defence would be to go on the offence. Having started in the Fast Handicap start, they then waited three minutes for the Medium Handicap start and proceeded to match race Wilde off to one side of the race course.
Having been prevented from getting a good result in race one, Wilde was upset to put it mildly, and withdrew from further racing at Draycote. "I found match racing a faster boat was impossible as every time I got away he just used speed to catch up," said Wilde. "When I realised this was his plan for the weekend I went home as I didn't want to spend the weekend not racing."
This was the third year the SailJuice Global Warm-Up has run. Compared with last year, like for like entries were up 18% to 620 boats from 92 classes. For winning the 2012 Series, Gray and Rhodes win £200 of Rooster Sailing gear and a £100 voucher from Holt, which they will receive this weekend at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace in London.
You can see a full list of prizes and prizewinners here: www.sailracer.us/eventsites And if you want to find out more about the Series, Simon Lovesey of SailRacer will be making a presentation at the Dinghy Show this Sunday, at 1330 hours on the Main Stage.
Final Top 10 Results after five events
To see a full list of Overall Results in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2012:
Colour & Glamour Hits The Solent
There was an influx of Early Bird entries for this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and the tally currently stands at 655 with hundreds more to come. Standard Entry closes at midnight on 2nd June.
J Class replica 'Savannah' will compete
First time round
Windhover, an Arcona 430, is a brand new fast performance cruiser, launched in January 2012. The crew is made up of sailing friends from England, Ireland, Canada and the Netherlands.
Also racing for the first time is Lulubelle, a 1973 Macwester, still in refit at present. Owner Steve Harvey, from Leatherhead in Surrey, says he is "feeling very apprehensive, but excited at the same time!"
You can keep up to date with all the Race information and news via:
The J Class Arrives on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube
and @OfficialJClass Twitter account have both been established to relay news and images to supporters around the world in real time.
These J Class Social Media accounts give supporters an opportunity to interact with the class and each other, sharing their own J Class images and stories.
These sites are regularly updated with regatta information, images, and class news, but fans will really start to benefit once the Js arrive in the UK, when they will have access to racing images and videos, interviews, and more.
The brand new J Class YouTube Channel is collecting J Class videos in one place for easy access, this is already offering wonderful footage of the yachts racing and the channel is set to grow very rapidly. The J Class YouTube channel is the best place to get all the racing footage from this summer's regattas.
Sign up now to keep up with the Js!
Topper Winter Regatta at the WPNSA
A fleet of 181 toppers descended on the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy over the weekend for the Topper Winter Regatta. The sun shone, the sea sparkled and it certainly did not seem like the end of February. Sadly, the wind was not so obliging, averaging just 5 knots for much of the time, and two of the planned six races were lost when the wind faded away.
The first two races were won by Crispin Beaumont from Bartley Sailing Club near Birmingham and Thomas Wallwork from Redesmere near Macclesfield; both inland locations and both sailors from Adam Cockerill's National Intermediate Junior Squad. Amongst the females, Emma Phillips from Starcross, Katie Barraclough from Burghfield, Ellie King from Emsworth Slipper and Rhiannon Flack from Spinnaker were all towards the front of the fleet.
The second race, and the last on Saturday, saw Edward Higson from Frampton on Severn and Dan Venables from Sutton Sailing Club lead the pack; two more inland locations.
The Sunday morning was given over to sunbathing and socialising until the wind started to build around lunchtime and two races followed. In the first Dan Venables emerged once again as winner, but so did a new name, Arran Holman from Holowell. Laurence Logan and Crispin Beaumont were second and two other new faces, Christopher Cowan from Portchester and Aled Goddard from Clwyb Hwylio Bala emerged in third place.
In the final races Dan Venables and Crispin Beaumont emerged as the winners of the last two flights.
So overall the first four were Dan Venables, Crispin Beaumont, Laurence Logan, Arran Holman and Thomas Wallwork. Emma Phillips from Starcross was 7th and led the females, with Katie Barrowclough from Burghfield 11th and second female and Rhiannon Flack from Spinnaker 19th and third female.
* From Jonathan Crinion: Re: Red Diesel
Perhaps the issue about Red Diesel is a good wake up call. Rather than hanging on to the past and fighting it, maybe finding ecological alternatives such as electric drives or simply mooring a yacht as it used to be done using the wind, are better alternatives - and I am sure there are many more. By all accounts we passed peak oil a few years ago now and it is time to rethink how we might protect this planet for future generations. As for commercial users I would argue that the ones that find alternative means to practice their vocation now, will benefit in the future. The old adage 'adapt or die' comes to mind.
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The Last Word
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