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Williams Within One Win Of Brady
Long Beach, California, USA: Maybe it was the lucky tiara his team's boat hostess wore or perhaps the pelicans that showed them the way around the course, but Ian Williams raced like the world's No. 1-ranked match racer that he is on Day 3 of the Long Beach Yacht Club's 48th Congressional Cup Thursday.

Soon after the defending champion and his crew from the UK reached the dock after a perfect 4-0 day, Rebekah Bennett arrived bearing a plate of post-race goodies and wearing the glistening silver hairpiece they had asked her to display.

The occasion marked their comeback from a modest 2-3 start in the regatta with an eight-race win streak that has them only one step behind early leader Gavin Brady with four matches remaining in the double round robin.

Brady was only 2-2 on the day, including a close loss to Williams that saw them never more than a boat-length apart over the one-third-mile, two-lap windward leeward course in the Long Beach outer harbor. Brady is assured of reaching Saturday's semifinals, with Williams just a breath away.

Winds were more moderate than a day earlier at 6 knots building to 10, wandering slightly from the southwest.

The total purse is $60,000, with $10,000 to the winner.

Live streaming video of the racing and post-race press conferences may be seen at ustre.am/egtA

Racing starts approximately at noon Pacific Daylight Time each day, conditions permitting.

Standings (after 14 of 18 rounds)
Brady, 11-3
Williams, 10-4
Canfield, 8-6
Tiller, Monnin and Ferrarese, 7-7
Lindberg and Berntsson, 6-8
Jury, 5-9
Durant, 3-11

www.concup.com

2013 ORCi World Championship to be Held in Ancona, Italy
The Marina Dorica Association and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased to announce that the 2013 ORCi World Championship will be held at Marina Dorica in Ancona, Italy over 21-29 June 2013. This annual event is the sole Offshore World Championship sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), and the four organizing clubs - SEF Stamura, Ancona Yacht Club, Lega Navale Italiana di Ancona, and Assonautica Ancona - are affiliates of the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV).

Able to offer over 150 berths for visiting participants and a wide variety of services, the Marina Dorica is the premier tourist harbor of the Italian Adriatic coast. The facility provides 2.5-5 metre depth for around 1500 full-service berths, 1300 parking spaces, Travelift and crane services, a fuel station, refit and repair shipyards, 5 ship chandlers, 2 sailmakers, a bank, and 24-hour security. Apart from these services, the harbor also offers such amenities as numerous retail shops, a travel agency, a brokerage and charter agency, 3 restaurants and 1 pizzeria, a bar, wine bar and discotheque.

Since organizers expect a strong turnout to meet or exceed the 119 entries from 15 countries that raced in the ORCi Worlds last year in Cres, there are plans for an arrangement to help visiting sailors and their families with their housing needs during the event. A 'championship village' is being planned in the adjacent commercial harbor, where a small cruise ship with 600 beds will be available to accommodate participants, and regular shuttle service will be offered between the two locations.

Complementing these onshore facilities, the sailing conditions in Ancona are superb for late June along the beautiful Riviera del Conero. Weather statistics indicate sunny conditions predominate, where calm days are no more than 3 days/month in summer, and daily N-NE seabreezes are typically 10-15 knots, perfect for close, competitive sailing. Sea currents are also negligible in the area, so this should allow race managers the opportunity to complete their intended program. Onshore spectators can even watch the race action from high atop the Passetto viewpoint in Ancona.

www.marinadorica.it
www.orc.org

Temporary Weather Window Opens for Leading Pair
At 1900 UTC tonight as Groupama and PUMA were closing on Cape Horn, conditions had improved temporarily for the series of gybes required to set the leading pair free of the Southern Ocean.

Groupama reported sailing with 25 knots of west north-westerly wind in a much less violent sea.

"We are heading towards the southern tip of South America, but not directly towards Cape Horn, since we will have to gybe several times along the coast," said skipper Franck Cammas.

It will be touch and go as to whether Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG will both escape the punchy weather still due in the region of Cape Horn tomorrow when the leading pair will be in the vicinity.

The teams will not be sorry to leave the Southern Ocean behind. Cammas said that it was only yesterday that the waves dropped below seven metres, and admitted to broaching Groupama twice during the heaviest of conditions. "We haven't been really frightened at any point, but it was stressful for a long time," he said.

Groupama is expected to enter Drake's Passage, the expanse of water that separates Cape Horn from the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, tomorrow.

While Groupama and PUMA keep up their duel, 41 nautical miles (nm) apart, third-placed Telefonica are continuing to sail cautiously with 363 nm between them and first place ahead of a planned repair pit sop in Ushuaia, Argentina after the Horn.

Further back still and also sailing slowly due to possible damage, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were 1,475 nm off the lead.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand were maintaining a steady speed towards Puerto Montt in Chile, where the boat will make a pit stop for damage repairs.

volvooceanrace.com

Henri Lloyd Breaker Softshell Jacket
Henri Lloyd Breaker Soft Shell Collection New for 2012, the Henri Lloyd Breaker Soft Shell Collection consists of a Men's & Women's jacket and unisex vest. The range is constructed using insulated soft shell fabric technology, which is both highly wind and water resistant, extremely breathable and has high stretch properties, whilst the inner brushed fleece aids with insulation and warmth.

Both the jacket and vest also benefit from a quick drying brushed mesh collar and welded side & chest pockets. In edition, the articulated fit and differential hem offers a superior fit.

The men's range comes in Morning Cloud, Navy and Light grey and in sizes S-XXL. Whilst the Women's range comes in a delightful Viola, Black or Light Grey and in sizes XS-XL.

RRP: Jacket - £95 Vest: £80

henri-lloyd.com

Compact Racing for the RC44 Fleet
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Cascais A full on day of racing in every sense saw four different winners from four races and a very compact fleet competing for every inch around the race course at the Cascais RC44 Cup 2012.

The steady easterly breeze averaged 15 knots throughout the day and produced some very close one-design racing. With 15 boats now competing on the RC44 Tour, all with very even boat speed, mark rounding's have become very congested. Picking the port lay-line can be a risky manoeuvre with the prospect of a 180 metre duck if you get it wrong. One who fell foul of this today was Patrick de Barros (POR) and Mathieu Richard (FRA) on Team Cascais. The local team found themselves having to duck the entire fleet at the first windward mark of race three after finding no space to squeeze into.

Igor Lah and the team of CEEREF (SLO) had the most consistent day, their worst result was a sixth, their best a win in the fourth and final race of the day.

Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton had an up and down day by their own high standards. They started with an eighth and bounced straight back to win the next. Despite having their wind instruments ripped off the top of their mast by Team Cascais in race three, they slotted in a third followed by a ninth leaving Team Aqua (GBR) third overall, seven points off the lead.

The wind is due to ease slightly tomorrow for the second day of fleet racing at the Cascais RC44 Cup 2012 racing concludes on 1st April. Racing kicks off at 12.00 noon daily, following the racing on the live blog at http://www.rc44.com

RC44 Cascais Cup Results (After four races)
1. RC44 Team CEEREF, 14 points
2. Katusha, 15
3. Team Aqua, 21
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 23
5. Team Cascais, 24
6. No Way Back, 25
7. Artemis Racing, 31
8. Puerto Calero, 34
9. RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by AnyWayAnyDay.com, 35
10. Ironbound, 38
11. Aegir, 39
12. Team Nika, 41
13. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, 42
14. AEZ Sailing Team, 43
15. AFX Capital Racing Team, 60

www.rc44.com

2012 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series NOR Now Available
The Notice Of Race (NOR) for the 2012 Audi Melges 20 European Sailing Series is now available. Mark your calendars and plan to attend what will be one of the biggest and best racing seasons ever!

Download A 2012 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series Notice of Race (NOR)
melges20.com/pdf/2012-AM20SS-NOR.pdf

View the 2012 Audi Melges 20 Racing Calendar for a complete listing of all dates, locations and details for all Audi Melges 20 European Sailing Series events.
www.melges20.com

The first event of the series will take place in only a few weeks time at Marina di Loano in Liguria, Italy. Event documentation is already available for this regatta as well.

Local Favourite Wins In Nanny Cay
Colin Rathbun and team. Photo by Todd vanSickle. Click on image to enlarge.

Gill BVI Match Racing Championship Today marked the final day of racing in the Gill BVI Match Racing Championship and the overnight leader, local favourite Colin Rathbun (Tortola, British Virgin Islands) had a real fight on his hands, losing the first two races to set up a fascinating finale with Guy Mossman (South Carolina, USA). The breeze blowing down the channel was gusting up to eighteen knots producing foaming and at times confused seas. It was a day where boat handling was key and Rathbun held his nerve to take an unassailable two-race margin in the final to win the Gill BVI Match Racing Championship.

Denise Holmberg provided riveting commentary throughout the regatta: "Today the wind was just as shifty as the first day but with big breeze it was a lot more exciting for the spectators at Nanny Cay." Commented Denise. "It was a long day today and the racing was extremely close, the level of all the teams was pretty even and we didn't know who was going to come in the top five let alone win. I have to say that I have been really impressed with Nikki Barnes (St Thomas, US Virgin Islands) because she came from behind several times to win races and it takes a lot to catch a boat on these tight courses but she had good boat speed and the confidence to do something different to win."

Nikki Barnes placed third but at just eighteen years of age, she is one of the St. Thomas' hottest prospects. "My coach is Peter Holmberg, I love my parents but he is like a second father to me and he is so inspirational. Colin Rathbun is a very skilled match racer and I have never been able to beat him, even though I have managed to beat top rated sailors at least once, Colin seems unbeatable! We don't get to race so much in the Virgin Islands, so for me this is a really special event."

www.bvispringregatta.org

Gladstone Race Crews On Weather Watch
Coastal forecasts remain as the most important factor as the 48 crews representing Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland decide on their sail selection to contest the 308 n/ml QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Race over the Easter weekend.

All skippers including the current race record holder Grant Wharington who power sailed his super maxi Skandia Wild Thing to a remarkable 15.09 knot average in 2004 remain hopeful of a favourable spinnaker sailing forecast.

As the seven day countdown began this morning the wind recorders at the Cape Moreton and Double Island Point lighthouses registered peak gusts between 20-30 knots suggesting there was still some 'grunt' left in the South East trade winds.

Also the weather bureau issued a strong wind warning of a 25-30 South, South East breeze and building 3 metre seas for coastal waters between St Lawrence to Burnett Heads this morning.

But as all Gladstone Race crews understand that a lot can change in the next seven days however they remain hopeful of experiencing a favourable weather pattern when they line up for the start of the 64th blue water classic at 11am on Good Friday April 6th.

The return of race record holder Wild Thing to test her proven boat speed against last year's line honours champion the Peter Millard skippered Sydney super maxi Lahana promises to involve both crews in a tactical match race for the prestigious first to finish trophy.

Naturally they are hopeful of a strong wind forecast and should this be the case the race record of 20 hours 40 minutes and 50 seconds will enter a new time zone.

But first either crew will have to cross the finish line off Gladstone's Auckland Creek before 7-40-50 on Easter Saturday morning to register a new record.

Intense interest also surrounds a classic contest for overall handicap and the associated honour of sipping the traditional seafarers 'Nectar' (Rum and Coke) from the 64 year old Courier-Mail Cup.

Heading this challenge is the impressive Royal Geelong Yacht Club TP 52 Shogun V skippered by Robert Hanna.

Shogun V is a more modern version of last year's champion the Marcus Blackmore helmed Hooligan which after winning Queensland's premier blue water classic went on the win the 2011 Audi Australian Ocean racing championship at Hamilton Island.

As expected Robert Hanna and his high performance crew remain hopeful of repeating that result.

But they will face a supreme test to finish ahead of a number of interesting Queensland challengers including the 8 time Courier Mail Cup winner Saltash ll and the 2012 Sail Paradise champion Jessandra ll owned and raced by Team Vodafone V8 super car principal Roland Dane. -- Ian Grant

Best of British and Young Talent in 2012
Aberdeen 4 racing in the Sunsail F40 class during day two of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on August 07, 2011 in Cowes, England. Photo by Getty Images for Aberdeen Asset Management. Click on image to enlarge.

Cowes Week Entries have opened for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, one of the longest-running events in British sporting history. Highlights for this year's event include a 'Best of British' theme for the regatta and a new initiative rewarding young crews, the Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy. This year's event takes place from the 11th until the 18th August, which is later than normal as a result of the London Olympic Games.

The official event charity, Toe in the Water, will be holding a "Best of British" crew party on Friday 17 August, plus there will be a chance to see some of the Olympic sailing heroes in Cowes towards the end of the week. In this special Olympic year, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is also waiving the entry fee for the first ten entries received from past British sailing Olympians.

Following the announcement that Aberdeen Asset Management is to extend its sponsorship of the event to a five-year partnership through to 2015, the company is introducing a brand new initiative in 2012 to support young crews. The first 10 crews to enter consisting entirely of under 25-year-old sailors will be eligible for assistance from Aberdeen with their entry fee to the regatta. Crews will also receive free crew kit and have the chance to compete for the newly introduced Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy.

Following feedback from many of the smaller IRC and ISCRS boats taking part in the regatta, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has created a new class for these boats. The fleet will race under IRC and comprise boats with a minimum hull length of 6 metres and with an IRC rating of between 0.700 and 0.859. An open sportsboat class is also being introduced with IRC as the rating system. This will be for boats with a maximum hull length of 8.5 metres and with a displacement to length ratio of 160 or less.

A good mix of big boats are expected at this year's regatta, including some participants from the Copa del Rey in Palma who are planning to head to Cowes to enjoy some racing at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. CWL are also in discussion with the TP52 and IRC 52 classes to encourage sufficient entries for them to have their own class at the regatta.

www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

JOG Launch Bny Mellon Challenge
Junior Offshore Group (JOG) announce their longest race yet, the BNY Mellon Challenge to Cascais in Portugal, starting from Cowes on 14 June 2013.

Sponsored by Bank of New York Mellon Asset Management, one of the world's largest financial institutions, and also supported by Clanfield Properties and Cascais Marina, this will be one of the few 1000 mile yacht races to start from UK shores in 2013 and unusually it is formed of two separate races.

The first is a 330 mile Category 3 plus JOG prescriptions leg to La Trinité in Brittany and the second leg, starting from La Trinité on 19 June, will be a 650 mile Cat 2 race across Biscay and around Finisterre to Cascais. Competitors can enter the whole race, or either leg in isolation, depending on the Category of yacht, crew experience, or simply the time available.

Fully crewed or double handed entries will be open to IRC monohulls within the JOG classifications, and for the first time in a JOG race, MOCRA multihulls. Another 'first' is the invitation to University Sailing Clubs to enter as a class, for which BNY Mellon are putting up a special trophy. Other new major awards are the Patrick Ellam Trophies, in honour of one of the founders of JOG, who in 1952 sailed the Atlantic with Colin Mudie in the 20' sloop Sopranino. Two of the trophies are based on the original sextant and chronometer used by Patrick and Colin during that crossing.

www.jog.org.uk

The Future Of Yacht Racing...
With this motto the 3rd International Yacht Forum in Hamburg attracts around 150 enthusiastic race sailors to talk about this topic on Saturday, 24.3.2012, and Sunday 25.3.2012, at the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, although the weather was fantastic.

Presented by the moderator Dobbs Davis, sailing expert and editor of the Seahorse Magazine, 13 international specialists of high standing gave lectures: about advantages of navigation software (Nick White, NZL) and working with Grib files for tactics depending on weather (Meeno Schrader, GER), about yacht design in relation to rating rules (Jason Ker and John Corby, GBR, and Torsten Conradi, GER), current trends for offshore One Design classes, Box Rules and rating rules (Dobbs Davis, USA), the optimisation of sails for rating systems (Greg Marie, USA), risk minimisation of accidents and breakage of yachts (Stefana Beltrando, ITA), hydro and aero flow analysis and speed prognosis (Kai Graf, GER), advantages and possibilities of video production in offshore sailing (Robert Sleep, GBR), software solutions for race management (Stefan Kunstmann, GBR, Volker Andrae, GER, and Dobbs Davis), development of a new rating rule (HPR) for high performance racing yachts (Jason Ker, Dobbs Davis, and James Dadd, GBR).

The extensive overview of the developments in the international offshore scene was made possible by the commitment of the sponsors ALEXSEAL Yacht Coatings, boot Duesseldorf, Doyle Sailmakers, Ernst Kabel Druck, Farmer's Outdoor Fast Natural Food and the German Offshore Owners Association.

The Saturday of the event was organized (and sponsored) by the agency GentCom GmbH with it´s brand stockmaritime, the Sunday by the German Offshore Owners Association.

The complete article for download:
Word Doc
PDF

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1995 Farr 39 ML. US$ 89,900. Located in Lake Texoma, Texas, USA.

Following huge success of the 40 footers MARINARIELLO, HIGH 5 and the conservative 39's RUSH and FLASH GORDON, this innovative design was conceived as a racing yacht, faster for its size and more exciting to sail at a reasonable cost.

The Farr 39 is a dual purpose yacht designed with a moderate displacement making it easy to drive and handles beautifully around the course. A generous sail plan and long sailing length offer exhilarating performance planing and surfing, reaching and running. High sail area relative to displacement and wetted surface area are the key elements for the Farr 39's exceptional downwind and light airs performance.

The deep bulb keel and deep rudder offer exceptional stability with excellent upwind speed in a wide range of conditions.

Brokerage through World Yachts, Inc.: www.yachtworld.com/worldyachtsinc/

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

The Last Word
In London they don't like you if you're still alive. -- Harvey Fierstein

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