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Restarts, Blackflags And Fast Boats
Sydney Harbour, Australia: Defending World Champion Archie Massey blitzed the fleet in his first qualifying race and was then black flagged in the second to finish 53rd overall after day one of the CST Composites International 14 World Championship sailed on Sydney Harbour. Massey was disappointed with the black flag ruling that also caught several top-flight British sailors including Robert Greenhalgh and Katie Nurton after a series of general recalls. Massey was waiting on the results of a post race hearing to determine the ruling.
He did however say he was satisfied with his boatspeed but that he needed to work on having a "clean" regatta.
Day one of the regatta certainly proved eventful with the 108 boat fleet split into two in order to physically fit the fleet into the confines of Sydney Harbour.
Racing was held in a gusty sou' easterly breeze ranging from 8-15 knots and generally flat water, although a nasty chop developed in the shadows of North Head.
While it was only day one of the regatta, a number of the boats showed good early speed. The Victorian boat Too Late to Stop Now sailed by Mark Krstic and Andrew Wilson showed excellent speed and tactics to finish with a 1-2 as did the British boat WSI - Internet sailed by Andy and Tom Partington.
To reinforce the strength of the British team the third place in the provisional results went to Seldon sailed by Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane who finished with a 3rd and a first. The top 10 provision places were dominated by Australians, Britains and a lone American. -- Neil Patchett
1. Too Late to Stop Now, Mark Krstic / Andrew Wilson, AUS, 3.0 points
An Atlantic First
Geoff broke his neck diving into a beach at age 18. Now 25 years later he is returning to the same beach in the Virgin Islands, on his own terms.
"This isn't about closure," says Geoff from Southampton, UK. "Since my accident I met my wife Elaine, and we have a gorgeous son Tim, both waiting for me in Cane Garden Bay. This is me reconfirming my love of the sea and my passion for sailing."
Geoff is sailing a 60ft carbon catamaran called "Impossible Dream" which has been modified with hydraulic winches, wheelchair access around the deck, and push button navigation from Raymarine.
He has a carer onboard, Susana Scott from New Zealand, to help him get in and out of his motorized wheelchair, and to help with his medical needs.
"Lifting Geoff in rocky seas has been the hardest part," says Susana. "It's so tricky to find my balance. But I've coped when I've had to."
Susana, 29, never sailed before this voyage and has suffered badly from sea sickness. She grits her teeth and grins when saying: "Everyone told me it would go away after a few days. They all lied! I've tried everything. Bring me land!"
Also on board is cameraman Digby Fox, Live Producer of the last America's Cup, who is filming for the BBC. "What Geoff and Susana are doing is extraordinary," he says. "It's extremely tough for both of them, but there's something phenomenal about the human spirit going on here, and it's making superb TV."
Digby is broadcasting live pictures and interviews back to BBC News and BBC Worldwide. A three minute feature he's edited sums up the voyage perfectly:
The boat's eta is Thurs 8th Jan, wind depending. You can find out more about the voyage, the specially modified 60ft catamaran, track their position, watch the video blogs etc here:
Seahorse January 2009
Roll and wild... it had to happen. Now we actually - finally - have a canting keel design in build in which the fully-canted foil is intended to fly clear of the water. 2009 Centomiglia winner Jo Richards and his design partner Guy Whitehouse take us through the development of their bold and foxy new 42-foot Italian-owned lake racer.
If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...
Race 5 To Singapore
Spirit of Australia was followed across the line by California and their closest rivals, Team Finland, with only three points separating the Finns and the Aussies on the overall leader board. Chasing the front three and in order across the line were Cape Breton Island, Uniquely Singapore, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Jamaica Lightning Bolt, Cork, Ireland, Hull & Humber and Qingdao.
Race 5 is one of the most interesting and varied races of Clipper 09-10. The initial part will deliver some very high average speeds as the teams head north across the Indian Ocean. Approaching Christmas Island the conditions will then change quite dramatically as they sail across the Monsoon Trough, an area similar to the Doldrums where the winds will drop and temperatures will soar.
The fleet is now racing towards the first of many gates on the course and this one is particularly poignant as it marks the site of HMAS Sydney, the Leander Class light cruiser which went down with all hands in February 1941. Following a fierce engagement with the Komoran, a German raider, both ships sank and while many from the German vessel managed to launch their life boats, HMAS Sydney went down so quickly that no one survived. 645 officers and men perished, making it the biggest single loss of life for the Australian Navy.
Each yacht has picked a representative to lay tributes in the form of a wreath of flowers as their boat passes over the war grave.
After crossing the first gate, the course routes the teams through the Java Sea via the Sunda Straits where there will be consistent headwinds for the last stage to Singapore.
The fleet will arrive at Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore, on the morning of Saturday 23 January. During the stopover in Singapore the ten yachts will be berthed at the multi-million dollar facility, the centre-piece of Keppel Bay's premier waterfront precinct - the only residential development in Singapore to have its own world-class marina on its own private five-hectare island. It is owned by Keppel Corporation, Team Sponsor of Uniquely Singapore.
Dragon Australasian Championship: Prince Philip Cup
Perfect conditions greeted the Dragon fleet for the first heat of the Australasian Championship conducted by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. After a short delay to allow the "Fremantle Doctor" (Perth's sea breeze) to fill in, the fleet got away nicely at the first attempt in about 10 knots of breeze from 250 degrees.
Many made the unfortunate choice to favour the right hand side of the course, and paid heavily for the privilege as all those who chose the left were helped along by a steady shift of the breeze to the left.
Sailing to the top mark for the third time, Puff worked the shifts and sailed on the left of the course without ever going out too wide. The tactic paid handsomely as Puff took a comfortable lead which she extended on the final lap to take the gun. Indulgence took a hard earned second, ahead of Murka 11 (Olga White, Russia) and Snapdragon. -- Bernie Kaaks
Top five after heat 1:
1. Puff, Richard Lynn, AUS
Swiss Propose Meetings To Resolve Bertarelli Feud
No date or time has been set, though it is expected to start in the next 10 days, no agenda has been announced, no binding arrangement is included, and no joint approval was in place before the announcement was made.
The invitation from the defending Alinghi team to the BMW Oracle team was to meet with the Australian David Tillett, named by the International Sailing Federation as the chairman of the dispute-resolving international jury.It was delivered three hours before midnight on New Year's Eve.
The other four members of the jury were informed at the last minute, but not consulted, and any such meeting could not pre-empt any decisions by that jury, which includes two top British rules experts, John Doerr and Bryan Willis.
The jury has yet to be formally empanelled, but Oracle, whatever the outcome of any talks which may or not take place, is expected to ask for official resolution of its rule complaints before the start of racing. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent, www.independent.co.uk/sport/
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Pittwater to Coffs Race Day
On missing the record Richards wasn't too concerned , "that's yacht racing and your always up against the weather Gods, so it's not a concern. We hold the record anyway so its not too bad. It just wasn't our year."
Grant Wharrington's 'Etihad Stadium Wild Thing' crossed the line in 2nd position some two hours and twenty minutes after 'Wild Oats XI'. Skipper Grant Wharrington opted to use his right to use the alternate finishing line offshore due to his 7m draft, the first time in the race's history, at approximately 12:21pm on an outgoing tide, with the umpires adding one minute to their time to give them an official time of 12:22:45pm.
After depowering her offshore, Wharrington managed to steer her into the outer harbour and offload the crew, leaving just the delivery crew on board. She waiting in the outer Harbour for an hour or so while they re-stocked before sailing south again.
Black Jack finished in 3rd place at 2:02pm after sailing a great race to finish where they did.
The rest of the fleet are filing into the Harbour with 'Future Shock', 'Spirit of the Maid', 'Perpetual Mocean', 'Ocean Affinity', 'Santana 3' and 'Pretty Woman' all having completed their journey's late today. The majority of the fleet are expected in before midnight and all starters by the early hours of Monday.
The only retirement during the race was 'Ticket of Leave' having retired earlier today pulling into Port Stephens after experiencing a steering failure - everyone OK.
The attention now turns for the race for handicap with defending IRC race and series winner, Julian Farren-Price's Cookson 12 'About Time', Bill Ebsary's Beneteau 44.7 'Le BIllet', Bruce Staples Murray 37 custom 'Dark & Stormey Witch', Robert Cox's Northshore 369 'Nine Dragons' and John Bacon's Sydney 39 'Hussy' all in contention at this stage. -- Damian Devine
49er Crews Ready For World Title Fight
With a British team on the podium at the every 49er Worlds since 2002, and with a strong seven boat Skandia Team GBR squad at the Caribbean venue for the 2010 edition, hopes will be high for some silverware to start the new year with.
The battle to emerge Britain's best will be almost as tough as the world title hunt itself - John Pink and Rick Peacock will be looking to follow up their 2009 Worlds silver with another podium spot, while Athens bronze medallist Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh, who came out on top at the pre-Worlds training regatta last month, will be looking to cement partnership with a top three finish in the Bahamas.
The 2007 World Champions Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes finished just outside of the medals in fourth at the 2009 Worlds, so will be looking for a return visit to the podium, while Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith, competing in just their third event back since reforming their partnership will hope to add to the silver they won at the European Championships in September.
Racing at the Seiko 49er World Championship gets underway on Monday 4 January, with the medal race scheduled for Saturday 9 January.
Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta
Miami, Florida, USA: After four days of 722 sailors racing on 610 boats with 12 races per course. The dolphins came back to the finish line for the last day of the regatta on the 420 course. Finishing in first place in the Club 420s were Virginia's Graham Landy and New York's Colin Murphy.
The Laser class had 192 competitors. In Laser 4.7s, Just Van Aanholt from Curacao was the winner with Germany's Maximillian Stein in 2nd and Juanky Perdome from Puerto Rico in 3rd. The Laser Radial Class was won by St. Petersburg's Mateo Vargas with a 5 point lead over Stefano Mazzaferro from Brasil and Michigan's Mitchell Kiss in 3rd. The top girls in Laser Radial's were Lauderdale Yacht Club's Erika Reineke, Arielle deLisser from CRYC and Marissa Lihan of Lauderdale Yacht Club. John Wallace from St. Petersburg Yacht Club won the Laser Full-Rig Class with Lauderdale's Andrew Fox in 2nd and Canada's Ricardo Montemajor representing the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in 3rd.
The competition in the Optimist class was huge in their 223 boat fleet. The overall winner with a four point lead was Christopher Williford from Lauderdale Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In 2nd was Javier Arribas from Lima, Peru representing Yacht Club Peruano. The 3rd place winner was Ft. Lauderdale's Duncan Williford sailing for Lauderdale Yacht Club.
The Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award reviewed 60 nominations which had been submitted after the final day of racing. This year the award went to Opti Green Fleeter Carolina Mantilla from Miami, Florida. She was nominated 8 times for consistently finishing every race even though in last place most of the time. Magnus says, "It is totally an act of sportsmanship. Never quit a race because it is not fair to your competitors and it is not fair to yourself".
Complete results are found at www.coralreefyachtclub.org
2010 RORC Lecture Programme
British Olympic silver medallist and America's Cup sailor, Mark Covell was the on board media crew during the last Volvo Ocean Race with team Russia. His lecture will tell the story of life onboard a V70 from drifting doldrums to a Chinese gybe 2500 miles into the southern ocean.
Monday 18th January 2010 at 1900
Please book in advance, tickets are priced at £25 for members and £30 for non-members. Supper following the lecture is also available at £10 per person.
IOR Record Oldest boat to finish 1975 Fastnet Race - took the "Jolaire Block". Oldest boat to finish 1979 Fastnet Race - 13th overall in class II. Winner of the restricted division - took the Phillip Whitehead Cup and the "Jolaire Block". Won ISORA feeder race Holyhead - Cork 1976 Won Falmouth to Cork feeder race 1978 Raced in Classic regattasduring the nineties - 2004 Owned by present owner since June 1969 and is a reluctant sale due to ill health.
Brokerage through Dickies International: www.yachtworld.com/dickies/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
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