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Williams Within One Win Of Brady
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)
2013 ORCi World Championship to be Held in Ancona, Italy
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.
Temporary Weather Window Opens for Leading Pair
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.
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Compact Racing for the RC44 Fleet
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)
2012 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series NOR Now Available
Download A 2012 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series Notice of Race (NOR)
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.
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
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."
Gladstone Race Crews On Weather Watch
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
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.
JOG Launch Bny Mellon Challenge
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.
The Future Of Yacht Racing...
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.
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The Last Word
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