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Williams Wins Congressional Cup
Long Beach, California, USA: Drama? Suspense? Intensity? The Long Beach Yacht Club's 48th Congressional Cup had it all on the final day when Ian Williams of Great Britain pulled off a memorable win over Gavin Brady of New Zealand in the decisive race as the sun set into a murky cloud bank Saturday.

After Williams, the defending champion, had won the first race of their championship final by 9 seconds and four-time winner Brady claimed the second by 8 seconds, the Brit's Team GAC Pindar led all the way in the third, but he had a problem: a pre-start penalty that he had to erase before the finish.

"We had to do that penalty [turn]," he said---but was he far enough in front to execute a 270-degree semi-circle without Brady taking the lead?

At the dock Williams recalled, with an ironic smile, that "our team was discussing just this morning how we'd never seen anybody win with a penalty. The rule of thumb is when you can do it and come out still ahead. Gavin pressed really hard."

The key moment came about halfway up the second windward leg. Williams, who led Brady by 15 seconds at the leeward mark, was crossing him on port tack when, instead of tacking to starboard, he turned down across his onrushing foe and came up still in front on starboard tack---a 270-degree turn that absolved him of his penalty.

Brady said, "We knew it was coming. It was probably the right place to do it. We were just too far behind to do anything about it."

Final results

Final round-robin standings
Ian Williams, UK, and Gavin Brady, New Zealand-Annapolis, Md., 14-4 ((Williams wins tiebreaker)
Simone Ferrarese, Italy, 11-7
Taylor Canfield, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10-8
Staffan Lindberg, Finland, 9-9
Eric Monnin, Switzerland, 8-10
Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, and William Tiller, New Zealand, 7-11
Dustin Durant, USA, 4-14

Brady d. Ferrarese, no time; Ferrarese d. Brady, 0:03; Brady d. Ferrarese, 0:03.
Brady wins, 2-1.

Williams d. Canfield, 0:34; Williams d. Canfield, 0:58.
Williams wins, 2-0.

Williams d. Brady, 0:09; Brady d. Williams, 0:08; Williams d. Brady, 0:09.
Williams wins, 2-1

Groupama, Puma Duel for First as Telefonica Resume Chase
Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France round Cape Horn. Photo by Yann Riou / Groupama Sailing Team / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image for photo gallery.

Volvo Ocean Race PUMA and Groupama were neck and neck on Sunday, locked in a battle for the top spot in Leg 5 as they raced up through the South Atlantic.

Long-term leg leaders Groupama sailing team were overhauled by Ken Read's PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG at around 0700 UTC - but by 1300 UTC, Franck Cammas' men were back in charge.

It is the first lead change of the leg since Groupama edged out CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and claimed the top spot at 2155 UTC on March 23.

With more than 1,300 nm of racetrack remaining, Groupama helmsman Damian Foxall said his team were focused on staving off PUMA's attack and claiming a maximum 30 points for the leg win.

"We want these points so we can have the chance to dig into Telefonica's overall lead," Foxall said. "The number of legs and the number of points between now and the finish in Galway are reducing so every single position counts from here on in. It's very important for us to beat PUMA."

PUMA's brief ascension to first place was the first time they have topped the Leg 5 leaderboard since March 20.

Telefonica started their comeback at 2133 UTC on Saturday after briefly hitting pause on racing to stop at Cape Horn to repair structural damage.

Skipper Iker Martinez said his team now had full confidence in the boat and were pushing 100 per cent, although the Spanish Olympic gold medallist admitted that securing anything but third place was unlikely.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand remain in fourth place and continue to trek towards Chile, some 600 nm away, for repairs, while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, in fifth, are still assessing their structural damage and considering all options.

Fight for the Podium in Portugal
Photo Studio Borlenghi/Guido Trombetta. Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Cascais The Cascais RC44 Cup 2012 has thrown everything at the fifteen competing RC44 teams in Portugal from boat breaking conditions to light sea-breeze, sun, a storm and even a couple of hours of torrential rain.

Katusha (RUS) went into the final day of racing with a strong 13-point lead. Race one didn't start quite as planned with the Russian flagged team, driven by Steve Howe (USA) this week, being called over the line early along with AFX Capital (ITA), No Way Back (NED) and Team Nika (RUS). The question was, could Team Aqua take advantage of their error and close the gap, to put the leaders under pressure going into the final race.

It wasn't until the final metres into the finish line where Peninsula got themselves trapped between Aegir (GBR) and CEEREF (SLO), that it was all over, they went from twelfth to fifteenth and handed Synergy the final place on the podium.

Synergy's consistent second and third place in the final two races had put Valentin Zavadnikov's team on the fleet race podium for the first time since they joined the circuit in 2010. It was the second RC44 event for the team's new tactician Ed Baird who is excited to see the team's progress up the rankings.

The next stop on the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour is the RC44 Austria Cup on Lake Traunsee from 30th May - 2nd June.

RC44 Cascais Cup 2012 Ranking (After eleven races sailed)

1, Katusha, 42 points
2. Team Aqua, 49
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 72
4. Ironbound, 74
5. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, 75
6. Artemis Racing, 77
7. RC44 Team CEEREF, 78
8. No Way Back, 84
9. AEZ Sailing Team, 90
10. Puerto Calero, 94
11. RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by, 95
12. Team Cascais, 95
13. Aegir, 133
14. Team Nika, 135
15. AFX Capital Racing Team, 145

RC44 Championship Tour Ranking (After two events)
1. Team Aqua - 3
2. Artemis Racing - 9
3. Peninsula Petroleum - 9
4. Katusha - 11
5. RC44 Team CEEREF - 13
6. Aleph Sailing Team - 14
7. AEZ RC44 Team - 14
8. Synergy Russian Sailing Team - 16
9. Ironbound - 16
10. No Way Back - 17
11. Puerto Calero - 18
12. Team Nika - 21
13. RUS7 Sail Racing Team - 25
14. AFX Capital Racing Team - 26
15. Aegir - 29

Pacific Ocean Rescue Operation For Injured Clipper 11-12 Crew
Clipper fleet enters San Francisco Bay. Photo by onEdition. Click on image for photo gallery.

Clipper fleet enters San Francisco Bay Bad weather is hampering the Pacific Ocean rescue operation launched by the US Coast Guard after four crew members taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race were injured. They are racing on board Geraldton Western Australia, one of ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts competing in the event.

A particularly deep and nasty low pressure system passing across their route, approximately 400 miles from the finish line in San Francisco Bay, whipped up the ocean and a huge wave crashed over the back of the boat, wiping out their steering column and injuring four crew members.

The US Coast Guard has dispatched a vessel, USCG Bertholf, which is equipped with a deck helipad to rendezvous with Geraldton Western Australia and are currently 50nm (nautical miles) east of the yacht's position and are expected to reach the vessel at approximately 2330 UTC (0030 BST Monday, 1630 Sunday local time).

The weather conditions have prevented the US Coast Guard launching the helicopter so far and, although the conditions are improving, they are considering a small boat transfer for the worst injured crew member. Earlier a C-130 aircraft dropped additional medical supplies to the yacht, including oxygen for one of the crew.

News from the yacht on the casualties is encouraging. Jane Hitchens, 50, a doctor, has suspected broken ribs and is being treated with oxygen. Although in a great deal of pain, she is in good spirits. As is Nik Brbora, 29, a software engineer who lives in London and has a suspected pelvic strain. Max Wilson, 62, a farmer from Queensland, Australia, who also has suspected broken ribs, has been able to move around again. Mark Burkes, 47, who was on the helm at the time of the incident, sustained a back injury but is not as badly hurt as originally believed and has been taken off the casualty list.

* After a gruelling 6,000 miles at sea crossing the world's largest ocean, victorious Gold Coast Australia was the first yacht in the ten-strong fleet to sail across the finish line under the Golden Gate Bridge and into Jack London Square, Oakland, at the end of the toughest leg yet of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

As they crossed the finish line at 0216 UTC Saturday mrning, the heavy fog lifted and it was an emotional sight for the crew of the Australian entry, securing their seventh win from nine races. Arriving in Jack London Square, Tasmanian skipper, Richard Hewson, said, "What a proud moment. We won the race across the North Pacific Ocean, the roughest sea in the world.

New York and Derry-Londonderry joined Gold Coast Australia and Singapore in Oakland, San Francisco on Sunday after completing Race 9, across the Pacific Ocean from China.

New York grabbed the last podium place finishing at 1425 local time (2125 UTC) just ahead of their Northern Ireland entry.

Aquatic Sleigh Ride
Ocean racing sailors remain confident that the 308 n/ml QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race will turn into another aquatic sleigh ride when the competitive fleet line up for the start on Brisbane's Bramble Bay at 11am on Good Friday.

"As I see it all of the weather indicators suggest this year's race will be contested in moderate to fresh winds". Co skipper of Lambourdini /Envy Scooters David Lambourne said. Their race preparations and tactical strategy will remain focused on facing up to another demanding sail in strong winds and the associated coastal seaway conditions which are known to tax both the concentration and steering skill of the nominated helmsperson.

"Our recent trip to contest the Australian Farr 40 championships in Sydney was a good guide in terms of boat speed proving the crew are better suited for longer coastal passage races ". David Lambourne.

Most of the crew who contested the Gladstone Race last Easter will be onboard including navigator and Melbourne Marine Pilot Barry Cuneo.

As expected the Lambourdini/ Envy Scooters crew are keen to protect the honour of be ranked as Queensland's fastest 12.32m racing yacht.

But they will be placed under a serious challenge from the almost identical Bobby's Girl (John Lehman) and the former Audi Australian ocean racing champion Alegria lll is now raced by Yeppoon skipper Tim McCall under the Acadia 'battle flag'.

However based on the 2011 results the Lambourdini /Envy Scooters crew who will target the slightly larger 13.86 m Stewart Lewis skippered Ocean Affinity as their pacemaker are keen to improve on the 3 minute 9 second margin that favoured Ocean Affinity last year to retain their ranking as Queensland's fastest 12.32 m yacht. -- Ian Grant

GOR LEG 4 Start Delayed For 24 Hours
Due the unavoidable delay in arrival of the Global Ocean Race (GOR) 40ft shipping container carrying spare sails and vital supplies for the double-handed Class40 teams, the Leg 4 start from Punta del Este, Uruguay, to Charleston, USA, has been postponed by one day to Monday 2nd April at 1500hrs.

While the leading GOR Class40, Cessna Citation, took just under 32 days to race the 6,700-mile Leg 3 from Wellington, New Zealand, through the Pacific, around Cape Horn and through the South Atlantic to Uruguay, the event's 40ft shipping container carrying Race Organisation equipment and tools, hardware, spare sails and freeze dried food for the Class40 teams has not made such swift progress.

Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR, explains: "Global shipping has been heavily impacted by the current financial crisis in terms of the number of ships sailing and the routes taken around the planet," says Hall. "Escalating fuel prices for ships and trucks has also contributed to reducing the number of commercial vessels available and the flexibility of the routes between ports," he adds.

The GOR's shipping container left New Zealand shortly after the GOR fleet entered the Pacific Ocean and was bound for Singapore, Cape Town and the Uruguayan port of Montevideo, 50 miles west of Punta del Este. "While this is a setback in terms of the start date, our shipping partner, Peters & May; the Yacht Club Punta del Este and the Uruguayan Ministry of Tourism have been superb in ensuring that customs clearance and transhipment by truck from Montevideo to the waterfront here in Punta is as swift as possible. We particularly would like to thank Steve Franklyn at Peters & May who has worked tirelessly to sort this issue out," comments Hall.

Having consulted with the GOR teams, the GOR Race Organisation found that shifting the Leg 4 start to 15:00 local (19:00 UTC) on Monday was acceptable. The location of the start line will remain the same off the breakwater of Puerto Punta del Este with the committee boat and start line managed by the team from the Yacht Club Punta del Este.

GOR crew list for Leg 4 from Punta del Este to Charleston:

Cessna Citation: Conrad Colman (NZL)/Scott Cavanough (AUS)
Financial Crisis: Marco Nannini (ITA) and Sergio Frattaruolo (ITA)
Phesheya-Racing: Nick Leggatt (RSA) and Phillippa Hutton-Squire (RSA)
Sec. Hayai: Nico Budel (NDL) and Erik van Vuuren (NDL)
Buckley Systems: RTD
Campagne de France: DNS

Warsash Spring Series Week 2
Photo by Eddie Mays, Click on image for photo gallery.

Warsash Spring Series British Summer Time arrived for the second week of the Warsash Spring Series on 25th March 2012 but the early start did not deter the hundreds of sailors ready to compete. The wind played plenty of tricks but the full schedule of races was completed, albeit rather later in the day.

In a light and fickle breeze the Black Group committee boat initially waited at Hill Head buoy for the wind to fill in and steady. IRC4 had a separate start line nearer inshore. They benefited from better conditions and got away with only a slight delay. For the remaining six classes there was a longer postponement. The committee boat moved further north and at 1220 IRC1 and IRC2 were combined for a start near South Coast Sailing using a course of laid and fixed marks finishing at Hill Head. The J/Sprit and J/109 classes were also amalgamated followed by IRC3 and Sigma 38s racing together. Although the breeze stayed at 6 to 9 knots over the racing period, it swung by 40 degrees to turn beats and runs into reaches, with only minimal use of spinnakers.

In IRC4 the lead was constantly changing, especially between the two Impalas, though by the line and after a two hour race it was Warsash veteran Bernard Fyans helming his Mustang 30 Erik the Red who managed to gain enough lead to take both line and class honours.

In IRC 1 and IRC2, a few boats were adjudged OCS. In IRC 1 the Farr 45 RAN (Niklas Zennstrom) led the way but, on the first lap, she was hotly pursued by Kolga (British Sailing Academy) and Andrew Pearce's new Ker 40 Magnum III.

The closest finish, on handicap, was in IRC 3 where La Nef IV (John Noe) and Hot Rats (Robbie & Lis Robinson) were tied for tenth place.

Over on the Sportsboat course racing was finally resumed just before 13:00 and with a decent southeasterly breeze the fleets enjoyed two good races. Honours were shared in the J/80s where Rob Larke (J2x) and Ian Atkins ( won a race apiece but in the SB3s Andrew Oddie found good boat speed in Underground Toys to take both races.

The Warsash Spring Series continues until 29th April. -- Flavia Bateson

Warsash Spring Series – Provisional results Sunday 25th March 2012

IRC1 - RAN - Farr 45 - Niklas Zennstrom
IRC2 - Winston - First 40 - Winston First 40 Charters Llp
IRC3 - Mongoose - First 34.7 - Tom Snowball
IRC4 - Erik the Red - Mustang 30 - Bernard Fyans
J/Sprit - J'Ronimo - J/92 - David Greenhalgh & John Taylor
J/109 - Offbeat - David McLeman
Sigma 38 - Mefisto - Kevin Sussmilch

Mistral - Mark Baskerville
J2X - Rob Larke - Ian Atkins

Laser SB3
3106 - Tom Clay
Underground Toys - David and Andrew Oddie

Crewsaver Youth Series
The 3rd & final leg of the Spring half of the UKLA World & European Qualifier Series, which incorporates the Crewsaver Youth Series, was held at the Olympic Centre at Portland over the weekend of the 24th & 25th March.

Both the 2008 Olympic Champion Paul Goodison and the current ISAF No. 2 sailor Nick Thompson were on the water in the Standard fleet and in very difficult light wind conditions it is a great credit to the leading youth sailor, Jack Wetherell, that he counted all four results in the Top 10.

With over 100 Radial sailors attending Saturday's racing was a Round Robin between four flights of boats. On Sunday the fleet was split into Gold & Silver fleets and after a full complement of five races only five points covered the top five helms. Youth sailors Tobias Hamer & Jack Preece both won two races, as did Olympic hopeful Charlotte Dobson. At the prizegiving on late Sunday afternoon the results for the Youth Series were:

Standard rig: Jack Wetherell, £50 Crewsaver voucher

Radial rig:
1. Tobias Hamer - £50 Crewsaver voucher
2. Jack Preece - £30 Crewsaver voucher
3. Rheanna Pavey - £20 Crewsaver voucher

The series now halts until the Autumn when there are another three rounds, the first of which is at Sunderland in September

RORC Easter Challenge
The RORC Easter Challenge, due to take place on the Solent over the first three days of the Easter Bank Holiday (6th-8th April), will offer crews a unique opportunity to jump start their sailing programs.

As well as being the first fixture in the RORC's UK racing calendar, the RORC Easter Challenge doubles as a start of season training event, with on the water coaches providing immediate advice followed by expert post-race video debriefs in the Events Centre in Cowes Yacht Haven. In fact the coaching element of the regatta is taken so seriously that the Racing Rules of Sailing are modified for the event permitting coaches or sailmakers to climb on board during racing if, for example, a crew requests some expert assistance with their sail trim or rig set-up.

The coaching this year is being spearheaded by Barry Dunning. This year there will be one new feature to the coaching. With the start of racing on the Friday scheduled for 1300, so, from 1100, lines will be set up allowing participants to carry out practice starts.

But it is the on-the-water coaching that is really unique. Not only can coaches climb on board boats, but any crewmembers competing are also allowed to step on to the coach boats to see how their yacht's trim and set-up looks from off their boat and can even do this mid-race if they so desire - a opportunity rarely allowed in other events.

Among the competitors a strong line-up is expected at the RORC Easter Challenge with 10 boats already entered in Class 1, ranging from the largest and fastest, Piet Vroon's 2010 RORC Boat of the Year-winning Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, to Stephen Anderson's perennial Cracklin Rosie, the Corby 40. Also entered in Class 1 to date are three Farr 45s and Andrew Pearce's new Ker 40, Magnum III.

Many teams - including both Magnum III and Cracklin Rosie - are using the RORC Easter Challenge as an opportunity to get up to speed before the trials to earn a place in one of the four British teams for July's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Managed by the RYA these trials start on 5 May with the RORC's Morgan Cup.

In addition to the four IRC classes, the RORC Easter Challenge will also feature a separate class for J/80s. With the J/80 Worlds due to take place in Dartmouth in June, the RORC Easter Challenge is an ideal opportunity for teams to get some free training in as they work towards this all-important event for the class. -- James Boyd

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:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I had an immense advantage over many others dealing with the problem inasmuch as I had no fixed ideas derived from long-established practice to control and bias my mind, and did not suffer from the general belief that whatever is, is right. -- Henry Bessemer

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