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Fast And Furious For Frontrunners
The battle at the head of the fleet continues as Ken Read and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG have managed to keep CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) and Team Telefonica (Iker Martínez/ESP) at bay throughout today.

But it is tight at the top and at 1900 GMT tonight, only 1.4 nautical miles lay between PUMA and CAMPER as the crews enjoy some of the best sailing so far in the Volvo Ocean Race. However, the perfect conditions are only likely to last for another two days and once the fleet reaches Barbuda, off the Caribbean island of Antigua light airs are forecast, which will provide a chance for Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) to re-enter the game.

While the top three continue to push in a situation where each position report is classified as good or bad by gaining or losing a single mile, instead of winning or losing 20 miles as is more normal for this race, eight hours behind, Groupama and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are neck and neck. Both teams have now left the Doldrums and are trade wind sailing, although in different conditions and over 100 nm behind.

Speeds are averaging 22.3 nm for the past three hours with PUMA and CAMPER perfectly matched. Telefonica is slightly slower at 21.9. In the second wave, Groupama leads Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing by 12 miles, but are 118 nm adrift of PUMA, having slipped back seven miles in the past three hours. Both Groupama and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are averaging nearly 20 knots.

volvooceanrace.com

AC72 Regatta Offered to New Zealand for Summer of 2013
America's Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray, told Sail-World.com this morning that his organisation had offered to stage an informal series between the three America's Cup teams that would be sailing AC72's in New Zealand, next summer.

'We have offered to go to New Zealand and provide a three day series', he told an international media conference this morning.

'It would be a test session for us and we would use the full electronic controls, which means that race boundaries would be used and we would interface with the full electronics package.'

The latter comment means that the full AC LiveLine racing package would be used which involves the gathering of very precise boat positioning data to assist with umpiring and television coverage of the racing.

The regatta would provide all involved parties with a vital insight into the match racing capability of the AC72, for both teams and officials. Between them the three teams will have five of the new AC72 catamarans sailing in New Zealand in the three months between February and April 2013.

Murray said that there had been no formal response to the offer. The event would be sailed without the requirement for Event Fees for an America's Cup World Series regatta which are said to be in the vicinity of $5million.

The running of an informal regatta would probably be similar to the testing conducted last year in Auckland for the AC45's where America's Cup Regatta Management and their TV teams ran a series of races to test umpiring and television systems.

Staging of a similar regatta in New Zealand would allow the America's Cup organisers to test their systems on the new AC72 class, well ahead of the arrival of the teams in San Francisco in May-June 2013.

For the teams and sailing fans it would be the first chance to see the AC72's in a racing situation. -- Richard Gladwell

Full article in Sail-World:
www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96558

The Hong Kong Sailing Federation (Hksf) Is Looking To Fill The Following Position
Coaching Director. The position of Coaching Director is a new appointment in the national authority's organisation. The successful candidate will be required to assume total responsibility for reviewing, modifying and updating, where proved appropriate, the Federation's current policies and procedures in respect of programmes for Dinghy Instructor training, Elite Athlete and Racing Coach training, Youth Squads and Safety at Sea Survival certification courses. Knowledge of and the ability to teach the HK PVOL course are also preferable.

The Coaching Director will thereafter assume responsibility for organising and overseeing the aforesaid programmes, including conducting inspections of Recognized Teaching Centres in Hong Kong.

Applicants for this post are expected to be well experienced sailors and holders of valid and suitable qualifications (equivalent to RYA qualifications) to function effectively in the following aspects:

(1) as a qualified Coach in varies disciplines which shall include, but is not limited to,
Dinghy, Keelboat, Multihull, Power Boat etc;
(2) as a qualified Personal Watercraft Trainer;
(3) as a qualified Teaching Centre Inspector;
(4) as a qualified Sea Survival Instructor;
(5) as a qualified First Aid Instructor;

and must have extensive experience in dinghy instructor training, elite athlete training and development of youth squads in varies dinghy classes.

Interested applicants shall send their application with full CV details and expected salary to for consideration on or before 11 May 2012.

Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview. If you receive no reply by 8 June 2012, you may consider your application unsuccessful.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones (AUS)
Too many keelboat titles to list... ‘A combination of mad scientist, speed freak, film maker, tireless prankster and one hell of a sailor’ - Deneen Demourkas; ‘As if you wouldn’t choose way-cool Darren’ - Brodey Bakes; ‘A pro sailor with genuine enthusiasm!!!’ - Kim Woodhouse; ‘Surely he must hold more titles than any skipper or owner?’ - Carole Abbott; ‘Great pro and a great bloke’ - Guy Stening; ‘A wealth of experience, all deliver nicely!’ - Dan Mullervy.

This month's nominees:


Bruce Kirby (CAN)
Who else could we put up against today's man of influence but the great Canadian designer and sailor who gave the world the Laser - and so changed the face of international one design competition. Kirby also recently scored another major result for the design community, when he wrestled back the rights to his little singlehander setting an important copyright precedent that will benefit yacht designers for years to come.


Juan Kouyoumdjian (ARG)
Three Volvo races have used the VO70 and all three have been dominated by designs from Juan K. This free-thinking yet mentally disciplined Argentinean was initially best known for his relentless out the box approach... before the relatively free VO70 class finally gave him with the arena to demonstrate his intuitive grasp of 'real life’' low drag solutions... that also worked well for their crews.


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at
sailor.seahorsemagazine.com

* Seahorse has a special subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Fight Lou Gehrig's Disease for John Thomson
As you may or may not know, John Thomson is having a rough go of it with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). John is well known for his long support, participation and success in racing sailboats and was one of the original Farr 40 owners (# 4 Solution and # 135 Infinity), winning the first two North American Championships in 1998 and 1999. We plan to honor John's contributions to the sport and the Farr 40 Class by making him honorary Chairman of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship and have him present the trophies.

On behalf of the Farr 40 Class Association we have formed a Virtual Team, F 40 Class Team, for the walk this coming weekend and donated $500 to kick off a fundraising drive with a goal of $5,000. Many of you know John's wonderful personality and what a sportsmanlike competitor he is, and we know how much he will appreciate any donations that come in to help the search for a cure. Donations may be made at F 40 Class Team and we look forward to seeing the thermometer gauge rise as funds accumulate.

The following is from his daughter Victoria:

Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do for him as at this point there is no cure. So my brothers & I have put together a team to do "The Walk to Cure ALS" in his honor in New York this coming weekend. We have been recruiting family & friends to help in this endeavour & while I wouldn't have taken it upon myself to contact the Farr 40 Association to get the word out, he asked me this weekend if I would go ahead & get in touch with you.

It's kind of funny, he's such a private person and really tends not to tell anyone what has been going on with him, so we weren't sure how he would feel about us doing this. So we put the team together & quietly got to work on it. When we took the opportunity to mention it to him, he was so touched it brought him to tears.

Read the full article at farr40.org

Go to webgny.alsa.org/site/TR/Walks/GreaterNewYork

ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 2 May 2012 have been released.

Leaders:

Men's One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) - Finn
Ed Wright (GBR)

Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Evi Van Acker (BEL)

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Tom Slingsby (AUS)

Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS)

Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JPN)

Men's Skiff - 49er
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS)

Men's Keelboat - Star
Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR)

Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Piotr Myszka (POL)

Women's Windsurfer - RS:X
Zofia Klepacka (POL)

Events Included see www.sailing.org (PDF)

The full ISAF World Sailing Ranking lists, results from all ISAF Graded events, lists of Graded events throughout the year, Ranking release dates and the method of calculation for the Rankings can be found on the ISAF website at www.sailing.org/rankings

The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be on 30 May 2012.

Mike Greville, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club
"My primary aim during my tenure as Commodore is to ensure that the Club is left in at least as strong a position as it is today - in terms of its standing in the yacht racing world, its attractiveness to members and its financial stability. Those strengths should be sustainable for the future with the next succession of leadership and management in place.

"I don't think that there is much wrong with the Club as it is today and indeed the outlook for its core activities is good; the membership is stable, its racing programme is popular, the Clubhouse is active and its other activities, such as the Rating Office are successful. The Club's finances are in good shape and we have just completed a major investment in the fabric of the Clubhouse. This is not to say that we can be complacent, or that maintaining this situation is not without its challenges, or indeed that there are not opportunities for development which should be considered. However, I do firmly believe in the principle that if it isn't broken, don't try to fix it."

Read Louay Habib's full interview with Mike Greville:
www.rorc.org/2012-club-news

Audi Laser World Championship
A total of 180 sailors have registered for participation in the Standard Men's event from May 4 to 10, 2012. The Radial Women's regatta with 135 participants will follow from May 14th to 20th, 2012.

Two days before the official start of the Standard Men's regatta series the Race Village has already filled up with participants from all over the world. Registration at the race office is in full swing and the measurement team is working to capacity. Sailors from 61 nations are taking part. For 27 of them this World Championship is the last chance to secure a ticket to the Olympic Games in Weymouth. Keerati Bualong from Thailand for example is hoping to qualify his country as well as himself for the Games. Other countries like Poland and Sweden have already secured the Olympic ticket but have not yet decided which sailor will compete in London, so they will be fighting it out on the water for the last points in their national qualification. At the Radial Women's event 9 sailors from 23 countries still have the chance to qualify for a national ticket to the 2012 Olympics.

Some stars of the Laser scene are already on site like Paul Goodison, Gold medalist of the 2008 Olympics, current World Champion Tom Slingsby and other well-known sailors. Weather conditions for the event are looking good with steady winds from the North East, sunshine and moderate temperatures. A first practice race will be sailed on Thursday, May 3rd, followed by the regular Men's races from May 4th to the 10th, 2012.

www.laserworldchampionship.com

Industry News
New Sales & Marketing Structure for the SB20 (formerly known as the Laser SB3)

Southampton, UK - Tony Castro today announces that the global sales and marketing of the hugely successful sportsboat is to be carried out by a new organisation Sportsboat World. The boat which will now be known as the SB20 has over 650 boats sailing in 20 countries worldwide, and it achieved ISAFrecognition in 2007.

Sportsboat World is founded by SB20 designer Tony Castro.

In partnership with Jerry Hill, Alan Hillman and Mark Richards, Sportsboat World will promote the design and manufacture of sportsboats. Jerry is a former UK Class Chairman and 2010 SB3 world champion, whilst Alan and Mark are the partners of the SB3 specialists firm Rigging Gurus.

Tony Castro has appointed White Formula in the UK, who built the first 50 boats in 2002, as the licensed SB20 builder. New boats have been ordered and are due for delivery from 1st August 2012.

Glenn Bourke current Australian National Champion and 2012 Worlds host, is in full support of the new structure. "I am delighted to hear that the SB20 class is in the hands of people who have been racing in it since it's inception. Like everyone who loves this class, I look forward a seamless transition to the production of new high quality boats. We're ramping up for the Worlds in Hamilton Island in December and 2012 is shaping up to be yet another great year for the SB20!"

www.sportsboatworld.com
www.sb20class.com

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Insurers in the Lloyds of London market said they have seen a spike in fraudulent claims for yachts worth about €2m. Most of the claims originate from the Mediterranean, according to a story in The Telegraph.

Taxes on yachts can reach €256,000 a year, Smith said. Owners who fail to pay the taxes are liable to penalties up to 300 per cent. Greece charges yacht owners arbitrary fees if tax authorities believe the owner's declared income does not match the value of their yachts.

"It has been a problem in Italy for several years but I expect the situation in Greece to escalate before long--and in any other country that faces a sudden burst of austerity," Smith told the paper. "It's not that superyacht owners are any more dishonest than the rest of us, but they are human, and many of them are not nearly as rich as they thought they were."

An Italian police raid in one port recently found about a third of the yacht owners declared zero or very little income. The paper also named Piraeus in Greece as another fraud "hotspot."

https://plus.ibinews.com

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

In only the third running of The Asian Marine & Boating Awards, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has for the second time won the "Yacht Club of the Year" award.

Judges' Coordinator Alistair Skinner said "With a membership amongst the largest in the world, three custom-built bases and an activities calendar second to none, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is a class apart. A worthy repeat winner at the Asian Marine & Boating Awards, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is not just inward-looking as the Club, and its members, actively assist in developing sailing events here on the mainland also. It is the Club that every serious club in Asia should aspire to become."

The awards pride themselves in the fact that the panel of judges come primarily from the boating media with some from independent professionals in the industry - none of whom have a financial interest in any of the votes they cast. "With this philosophy in mind, the recipient of an Asian Marine & Boating Award can be sure that they haven't just been given a gift, they have indeed won an award." said Mr. Skinner.

rhkyc.org.hk

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Due to the unprecedented success of last year's cruise to Cherbourg in France; Ancasta, The Beneteau Owners Club and Universal Sailing are teaming up to do the same again. Departing on the weekend of the 15th - 17th June 2012, the cruise will leave from Port Hamble , although, other starting points may be added across the south coast if required.

Intended for family groups and friends, the aim of the cruise is to encompass all Beneteau Yacht owning enthusiasts, from those starting out, to owners who have notched up many nautical miles and valued experience. Any age, size or model of boat will be accepted and the 'buddy system' set up by the partners, Beneteau, Ancasta and Universal Yachting will ensure camaraderie and more importantly, safety. The partners will collectively be facilitating a fully chaperoned cruise across the channel, including a FREE workshop prior to the weekend of the cruise.

This cruise was hugely popular last year and places are limited. Any Beneteau Owner may register for this event or join the Beneteau Owners Club by contacting Richard Allen T: +44(0)2380 450 000 or email

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

One month after M5's (ex Mirabella V) arrival in Falmouth, the yacht has been de-stepped in advance of her docking down in Pendennis Shipyard for her substantial 13-month refit.

Located at A & P Falmouth's Queen's Wharf, the 40-man mast lifting team was on-site in the early hours of the morning, and had completely detached the impressive 89m 9291ft) mast by mid afternoon.

The 45t mast required a total of four cranes to coordinate the lift, including use of one of the UK's tallest cranes. It took 16 lorries to deliver these massive pieces of equipment to Falmouth.

The largest crane, with a boom length of 104m (341ft) (that's twice the length of Nelson's column) lifted the mast itself, with two further cranes supporting the forestays with an additional crane required for the tail of the mast.

Local company Macsalvors provided two of these and further coordinated the hire of two specialist cranes from Ainscough.

www.ibinews.com

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Tom Quinn: Why does ISAF refuse to say whether 2012 Olympic Judges have ever taken an ISAF racing rules test? Do they have something to hide? Why would a sailing federation invest millions of Euros, and competitors years of their lives, when the Olympic results are in the hands of judges who have never raced dinghies or demonstrated a basic understanding of the rules?

Fifteen of the twenty-four named to the Olympic jury were appointed International Judges before 2002 when the criteria was their participation in only six principal events. Since then the rules have changed every four years. In 1997 adopted the "new" racing rules and deleted "mast abeam". In spite of these constant changes, these fifteen have been reappointed every four years without demonstrating they understand the fleet racing rules by taking a test. Furthermore, four judges have two years or less experience as International Judges and no experience sailing dinghies. Is ISAF really putting judges on the water who have never been tested on rule 42?

The question asking for the qualifications of the Olympic jury was raised after the 2008 Olympics and not answered. It was again raised before the list was announced last November and again ignored. Today starts the last ISAF meeting before the Olympics. Will someone on the ISAF Council ask the Executive why they think the jury is competent? Olympic sailors deserve more then a "trust me" from President Petersson and his Vice Presidents.

2012 Olympic Jury: (First appointed: 1987) John Doerr GBR, (1988) Takao Otani JPN, (1989) Kamen Fillyov BUL, (1990) Bernard Bonneau FRA, Nelson Ilha BRA, David Tillett AUS-Chr, (1992) Josje Hofland NED, Oleg Ilyin RUS, Marianne Middelthon NOR, Ana Sanchez ESP, (1995) Neven Baran, (1996) Lynne Beal CAN, (1998) Jim Capron USA, Rut Subniran THA, (2000) David De Vries AHO, (2003) Francisco Jauregui MEX, (2005) Luca Babini ITA, Helmut Czasny AUT, (2006) Andrus Poksi EST, (2008) Christine Voelklein GER, (2010) Lance Burger RSA, Gonzalo Heredia ARG, (2011) Qu Chun CHN, Russell Green NZL

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1980 Oyster 41. GBP 45,000. Located in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Oyster 41 built in 1980. Fantastic yacht designed by Stephen Jones and very suitable for racing as well as safe and comfortable cruising. Sleeps seven in three cabins, with cabin heating. A great opportunity to join the hallowed halls of Oyster ownership for very sensible money!

Brokerage through Why Boats: www.yachtworld.com/whyboats/

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

The Last Word
I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine. -- Lou Reed

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