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Inshore Glory For Near Miss
Three days of dramatic inshore competition concluded today at the 2012 Giraglia Rolex Cup. Another exciting day's racing unfolded with wind speeds reaching 35 knots as the fleet attacked a 26.4-nautical mile course, adjusted slightly for the smaller classes. Sir Peter Ogden's 62-foot Mini Maxi Jethou (GBR) was - once again - the fastest boat on the water.
The inshore class winners for the three days of racing are: Jethou (GBR) in Group 0 IRC, Near Miss (SUI) in Group A IRC, Ondine (ITA) in Group B IRC, Paul & Shark Competition (ITA) in Group A ORC and Symfony (RUS) in Group B ORC.
As winner of the biggest class in the inshore series, Frank Noel's TP52 Near Miss (SUI) was awarded a Rolex timepiece. It is the second time that Noel has tasted success at the Giraglia Rolex Cup after winning the combined inshore and offshore race prize in the 2010.
Today's race winners were: Jethou (GBR) in Group 0 IRC, Near Miss (SUI) in Group A IRC, Ondine (ITA) in Group B IRC, Paul & Shark Competition (ITA) in Group A ORC and Freya (ITA) in Group B ORC.
The near 180 international yachts expected to take part in the 60th edition of the circa 242-nm offshore race from Saint-Tropez to Sanremo now have an evening to study weather patterns and make any final repairs ahead of Wednesday's scheduled midday start. The forecast points towards the fastest race in a number of years - indeed, wind speeds of 24-26 knots are expected on route to the Giraglia. However, as is custom the impact of the wind shift on the last stretch to Sanremo will be crucial in determining the identity of the overall winner.
Follow The Fleet To Bermuda
In the Newport Bermuda Race this year, there will be a time delay in the early stages of the race to prevent competitors from using other yachts' positions for tactical advantage.
Tracking will be delayed by 6 hours for the first 48 hours of the race and then go to near-real-time reports every 30 minutes from each yacht. Expect to see a jump forward after 48 hours to the yacht's actual position. As yachts get within 15 miles of Bermuda the timing of reports will be more frequent.
Take a look early so you will understand the features that are available. Click on the Race Tracker button on the left side of BermudaRace.com. You can also practice on a live race now at yb.tl/twostar2012.
For competitors or spectators using low bandwidth links, the low bandwidth link is yb.tl/links/nb2012
The race can also be viewed using the Yellowbrick iPhone or Android apps at these links:
Newport Bermuda action starts this Friday, June 15th, with the first start scheduled for 1:00PM EST in the east Passage of Narragansett Bay off Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport Rhode Island. This year 167 boats are entered in six divisions. These will be divided in classes of about 10 boats each plus a class for the 'Spirit of Bermuda' starting by herself in the new Spirit of Tradition division.
Twenty-three of the two Newport Bermuda Lighthouse Division entries are also sailing the Onion Patch Series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. These Onion Patch racers just sailed the NYYC 158th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and form the core of the June 22nd RBYC Anniversary Regatta presented by Butterfield Group which now has 30 entries. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta is open to all IRC rated yachts over 25 feet in Bermuda. Entries close at noon on June 20th.Information is online at www.onionpatchseries.com
Sperry Top-Sider's ASV Technology
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Hard Night Ahead as Light Headwinds Slow Progress
The leaders should be free of the high pressure on Wednesday morning, but tonight the wind had eased considerably and speeds had dropped accordingly. Groupama was the northernmost boat in the fleet, making 9.4 knots, with Telefonica on her starboard hip and PUMA just shy of two miles to leeward. The southerly group of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS), who have overtaken Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), and Sanya (Mike Sanderson/NZL) are just as closely bunched and just 12.9 separate Groupama in first place from Sanya in sixth position, with 1232 nm to go to the leg finish in Lorient.
Audi Sardinia Cup
Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy: A fleet of TP52 and Soto 40 racing yachts representing six nations - Cayman Islands, France, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden and the USA - is ready for the start of racing in the Audi Sardinia Cup, scheduled to commence tomorrow in Porto Cervo at 12 midday. The biennial event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) since 1978, this year sees teams composed of a TP52 and a Soto 40 compete for the Sardinia Cup challenge trophy based on the combined points of the two boats.
Racing will take place through Sunday 17th June with windward-leewards scheduled for four days and a coastal race to be held on Friday 15th. In addition to competing for the coveted Sardinia Cup, each fleet will also have their own ranking valid for the European Championship circuit for the Soto 40 Class and as the second leg of the 52 Super Series for the TP52s.
Competing teams are made up of the TP52 Powerplay and the new Soto 40 Bigamist representing the Cayman Islands while Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator and Tony Buckingham's Soto 40 Ngoni represent Great Britain. On home waters, representing Italy and flying the YCCS burgee is the TP52 Azzurra owned by Alberto Roemmers, coupled with the Soto 40 Alegre owned by Andres Soriano. Niklas Zennstrom's TP52 Ran and Stefan Jentzsch's Black Pearl represent Sweden while 2011 TP52 World Champion Quantum Racing, owned by Doug DeVos, flies the USA flag together with the Soto 40 Iberdrola. The TP52 Paprec Recyclage is also competing for the TP52 classification alone.
Although an official practice race was scheduled for today, the Race Committee decided not to sound a warning signal after the fleet assembled in the starting area witnessed the mistral wind rapidly increase from 22 to 25 knots to approximately 30 knots.
The first starting signal is scheduled for Wednesday 13th June at 12 midday. Breezes of approximately 20-22 knots from north-west are forecast.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race
Alongside the terrific news that ICAP Leopard's owner Mike Slade is returning to defend the monohull record set in this stunning Farr 100 sloop at a time of 3 hrs 53 mins 05 secs in 2008, comes the equally exciting confirmation that Francis Joyon is racing his bright red Maxi Multihull IDEC with a determination to beat, and at the very least retain, his multihull record of 3 hrs 08 mins 29 secs set in 2001.
Robert Veale is racing his beautiful 1958 Bermudan sloop Danegeld in the Classic Yacht class. She has an interesting provenance which you can read about here britishclassicyachtclub.org/register/Danegeld.htm
Just to whet the appetite, in 1960, members of the Island Sailing Club each paid £1 to freight Danegeld from the Royal Docks in London to Bermuda aboard the Royal Mail freighter Ebro together with RNSA yacht Belmore to take part in the Bermuda Race. After five days of heavy winds and rough seas Danegeld, the smallest boat in the race, finished as second foreign boat on corrected time. Danegeld then sailed in the Transatlantic race to Marstrand in Sweden with Belmore. Both races were recorded by Belmore's skipper Errol Bruce in his book: "When the Crew Matter Most" while Danegeld crewman Mike Henderson made an 8mm film of the Atlantic crossing which is occasionally aired at the Island Sailing Club.
Mar Mostro Is On The Market...
PUMA's Mar Mostro, the Volvo Open 70 skippered by Ken Read for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, is now on the market. Mar Mostro was designed by Juan K and built at New England Boatworks. For boat specs and details, visit: pumavolvo70forsale.com
"Mar Mostro is an amazing yacht, whether sailing around the world or on an IRC race track. We were very pleasantly surprised when we won the only two IRC events we sailed in! Around the buoys and in the Transatlantic Race, both against very stiff IRC competition, Mar Mostro was fast and reliable in all conditions. This boat can win at any level as well as break records with ease. Whomever buys this boat will share the wild ride PUMA Ocean Racing has been on during our epic and exciting around-the-world race!" -- Mar Mostro Skipper Ken Read
IRC Solent Series
With a spring tide setting strongly to the east there was no risk of OCS but there was confusion about the course as the Committee Boat had had to change channels and not everybody noticed the flag signal noted in the sailing instructions. Confusion was compounded by a J111 (you know who you are) embracing the Committee Boat's anchor chain.. Hugging Ryde Bank seemed to be the best strategy upwind to protect from tide and the first leg largely established the results for the day. The wind stayed reasonably steady but increased progressively through the morning rising to 25 gusting 30; this produced some exciting spinnaker runs and a few spectacular wipe-outs. It seemed a long course to most competitors as they took a scenic tour of both sides of the Solent east of Cowes, although the race officer noted the class 1 and 2 course as only 14.3 miles.
The fleet lives in hope that the weather will be kinder for the July 28 IRC Solent Series Day 3 which is part of the Tattinger Regatta run by the Royal Solent Yacht Club: www.royalsolent.org
Both the calm and protected lower reaches of the Mooloolah River and the tactically testing waters off Mooloolaba Beach have provided the combined facilities for both young and not so young sailors to refine their individual skills.
Mooloolah River with a flow of tricky current and exposure to breeze off the nearby ocean is regarded among Australia's best protected water courses with the role it played in developing the skills of Sabot sailors wh. went on to win Australian and international class championships.
Personal safety was a key factor in establishing the inshore river course as a popular venue for children sail training courses.
The sail training facility which claimed the title as 'The Cradle of sailing' when the Sunshine Coast sisters Fiona and Andrea Charlson won the Australian Junior Sabot championship with Double Trouble in 1986 remains among Australia's best.
Interest in the success of the Sunshine Coast destination being further recognised as a highly competitive dual purpose sailing venue was highlighted when the Mooloolaba fleet hosted another successful ADCO Australasian Championship on the offshore courses last weekend. Former Queensland Sabot team sailor Matthew Chew who has won a World Etchells Gold Medal combined with Ashley Deeks, Brian Donavan and Paul Wyatt in Gen XY to win the ADCO Australasian winter championship while Royal Hong Kong Yacht Clubs Mark Thornburrow (Racer XY) and Victorian Graeme Taylor (Magpie) won the minor medals.
The tactical one-design Etchells championship which attracted entries from Hong Kong, West Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland gained further important awareness for what is strongly regarded among the leading keel yacht racing destinations in Australia. Last week's announcement that prominent Sunshine Coast businessmen Scott Carse Audi Centre Sunshine Coast and the dual Audi Australian ocean racing champion Rod Jones have launched an enterprising sailing skills program has direction further attention on Mooloolaba. The program known as the AUDI centre Sunshine Coast 'Young Guns' aims to provide 15-25 year old sailors to be trained in the skills focused on ocean racing which will be professionally managed by Rob Lea's Academy of Sailing.
Rob Lea brings a professional and accredited sailing mentorship to this one-of a kind sailing skills program.
His personal log book records numerous Australian championships in a wide range of classes and a recent role in the Farr 30 One Design class ensures a high level of skills offered to the Young Guns.
This unique nautical education program is focused on being a Finishing School for students who are already competent sailors but need to further their personal experience to qualify with the demands of ocean racing.
As expected there will be a fee however thanks to the generous sponsorship support from principal partners AUDI Centre Sunshine Coast and Oceanburo, Universal Mini Cranes, Doyle Sails Sunshine Coast, North Coast Signs, Lawries Boat Builders, Ashby Boat builders and Club Marine the cost to participate is planned to suit the sailors budget. -- Ian Grant
Seahorse For Fathers Day
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Tracking the progression of the sport and trying to see to the horizon is at the heart of the challenge of being Seahorse magazine Editor. The Editor, together with our pool of contributors; drawn from the ranks of the finest minds, opinion formers, movers and shakers from around the Globe will keep you informed, entertained and in first position on all you need to know during what has turned into a golden era for sailing.
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76 J/80s Set Sail at Dartmouth
Racing at The MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 World Championship Powered by SLAM commenced in Dartmouth on Tuesday. The World Championship is being co-hosted by the Britannia Yacht Club and the Royal Dart Yacht Club. Principal Race Officer Mike Pearson held the crews of the seventy six competing teams ashore for a postponement of just over two hours in order to wait for the breeze to fill in and settle. Light airs meant that only one race of the three scheduled for today was raced but the fleet returned to the Regatta Centre happy to have completed the first race of the eleven scheduled for the World Championship series.
Out in the race area in Start Bay the breeze eventually filled in to a very tricky four to six knots from 180 to 190 degrees and a windward-leeward course was set. Keen to get going, competitors pushed the line on the first start resulting in a general recall and the PRO immediately deployed the black flag and at the next start all boats got away cleanly. Crews from nine nations are racing in Dartmouth and today it was Frenchman Patrick Bot sailing Ecole Navale CG29 who took the win in Race 1.
All in all it was a good day on the water for British teams with five GBR sail numbers in the top ten at the end of day one. Four races are scheduled for Wednesday 13th June and all the competitors are hoping for a little more breeze to add to the excitement.
The Westward Cup is being run by the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM). These three prestigious clubs have again joined forces to revive Big Class yachting in Cowes and Mr Zbynek Zak, the originator of the event in 2010 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the launch of the racing schooner Westward in 1910, says he is equally proud and delighted to be back in Cowes.
As the boats set off they made a stunning sight powering up under full sail in a northerly breeze of 15-18 knots and heading off into the western Solent with Mariette as the front runner. The course of 29nm saw the fleet experience variable wind speeds with winds decreasing severely as the race progressed and Eleonora fell behind with Mariette and Mariquita enjoying a spot of match racing.
The two 'smaller' yachts were racing with their full race crew complement today plus their guests whilst Eleonora are also hosting a group of young sailors between the ages of 18 to 23 on board this week. They are novices to this type of racing and have been invited by the RYS and NYYC to introduce some new blood into classic yacht racing.
Mariquita took line honours finishing at 14.31.43, closely followed by Mariette 14.35.16 with Eleonora completing her first day's racing in Cowes at 15.20.34.
Celebrating a Circumnavigation in Les Sables D'olonne
This saturday marks the final event, the Prize Giving for the final leg and for the whole of the Global Ocean Race where we'll have a chance to think over what the past 9 months have meant to each of us and raise a glass to the completion of this adventure.
The folliwing day Ella and I will set off to bring the boat back to Gosport, the home port from where this whole circumnavigation started for me, it will really feel like going home. I think I may actually feel more emotional sailing again through the Needles channel than I did over the finish line of Les Sables a few days ago.
There are so many I must thank for the support they have given me, starting from Ventana Group for covering the cost of Ella's flights to each stopover thus making sure we are still an item, Willie's World Class Cacao whose supply of fine chocolate lasted me until the final leg of the race providing me with the extra energy to push through the difficult times, Weetabix, for their supply of Ready Brek which kept me warm in the southern ocean, Slovenka Silver who supplied base layers which i wore throughout the race, Chatham Marine, which supplied the shore clothing I wore at every stopover, SunglassesForSport, who supplied shades for the sunny days, First Class Sailing who helped with the race budget and relayed my blog to their friends during the whole race, RTW Food for their supply of freeze dried food, Endeavour Quay for their help with the pre-race logistics at their yard, Sailmon for supplying one of their fantastic high visibility instrument repeaters that we used to helm in difficult light conditions, Deltawave Communications for all the support in dealing with my satellite communications, Eutourist Serv-System, USZZ (the office for Slovak Nationals living abroad), UniCredit, and the Mustang Club of Italy for backing the project, Di-Tech for designing a fantastic suit of sails which took me all the way around the world, Armare for the ropes that held them up, down, and sideways.
A massive thanks also to the most powerful of motivators, the great public that followed me step by step, through the high and low moments, and that in the darkest of moments came to my rescue with messages of support that were sent during each storm or frustrating equatorial calm to the boat.
There are many more I must still thank, but dont worry, this is not my last blog, not quite yet, so I'll let you know more about them soon. -- Marco Nannini
The Last Word
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