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50th Anniversary of Rio's 1st Star Worlds
In 1960, the same year that Torben Grael was born, Rio de Janeiro played host to a 46-boat Star fleet. While the fleet was slightly more than half the size of this year's fleet, it was top-heavy with talent. Defending Star World Champion, Lowell North teamed up with one of Southern California's legendary crews, Tom Skahill, to win North's third Star World Championship title in four years. North won his record fourth Star World Championship title in 1973 with Tom Barrett on San Diego Bay.
The second time the Star World Championship was held in Rio was in 1980. Tom Blackaller and David Shaw, representing West San Francisco Bay, won on count back to Albino Fravezzi and Oscar Dalvit from South Garda. Rumor has it that Fravezzi and Dalvit still sail together on Lake Garda after all these years.
In 1996, the last time that the Star Worlds was held in Rio, Enrico Chieffi and Roberto Sinibaldi edged out defending World Champions Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel from San Diego Bay and Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira from Guanabara Bay.
Just as in 1996, the defending World Champion is from San Diego Bay and Grael and Ferreira are but one of the strong local teams with a shot at the World Championship title. -- Lynn Fitzpatrick
Clipper Race 5: Geraldton, Western Australia to Singapore
Having hit a submerged reef during the hours of darkness, Cork was stuck fast and unable to move. As a precautionary measure, the crew were evacuated using life rafts to get ashore. They then used the rafts to head towards the two Clipper yachts lying off shore and all on board are accounted for and safe.
California is now making her way on towards Singapore with eight of the Cork team on board. The remaining eight crew members, including skipper Richie Fearon, are on Team Finland which continues to monitor the situation.
Qingdao has now joined Team Finland and when the wind dropped earlier today, skipper Chris Stanmore-Major and team member Chris Connell (who is an active crew member with the RNLI) went ashore on Gosong Mampango in order to conduct a further assessment of the damage to Cork. This included taking digital photographs and video footage which can be sent back from the boats communication system, so that experts from around the world can better assess the situation and formulate a plan of action.
Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is also now abeam of the island. Colin Campbell, one of the team members on board, is a naval architect and he will provide further expert advise on the situation and the best options for recovery.
In the event that Cork is unable to start Races 6 and 7, crew places will be available across the nine other yachts for the leg to Qingdao in late February and on to San Francisco in early April. Long before then, a clear understanding of the longer term implications will have become apparent and Clipper will keep all interested parties fully updated.
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Back and Forth
David Tillett, chairman of the international jury for the 33rd edition of the race, says the event is not "a dead duck" and he expects the teams to work out their differences in time for the best-of-three series, which starts on Feb. 8.
Tillett told The Associated Press the negotiations went smoothly until the "11th hour," when one team balked at signing the agreement over the race rules.
BMW Oracle says that Alinghi rejected an agreement at the last minute, while Alinghi claims the Americans broke off the talks. -- Associated Press, hosted.ap.org
* Brad Butterworth on America's Cup negotiations in Singapore
On his return to Valencia, Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper and representative at the recent Singapore meetings with BMW Oracle, comments on what happened:
'We had a meeting with BMW Oracle representatives from 09:00 SGT on Tuesday 12 January until 20:00 that night and agreed to reconvene the next morning to continue as there were a lot of issues that we had agreed on but a few that were holding us apart. We agreed before the ISAF representative, David Kellett, and the ISAF AC Jury chairman, David Tillett, to have a media blackout and to do nothing that would jeopardise the discussions until we had had sufficient time the following day to talk these remaining issues through. As it happened, we all ended up having dinner together and continued the discussions, which concluded that night with a gentleman's agreement.
'When we reconvened at 09:30 the next morning (Wednesday 13) and the meeting was brought to order by Tillett, Tom Ehman- on behalf of BMW Oracle- instructed us that court proceedings had been filed in New York overnight and that they were sending a media release. At this stage the relationship between the two teams soured dramatically, but despite this surprising development, the ISAF representatives encouraged us to take the agreement back to the team principals which I agreed to do.
'The meeting ended and the ISAF guys left for the airport. During the course of the afternoon, I was initially instructed that BMW Oracle were keen to sign the deal, but by the time I got hold of the guys in Valencia to discuss it, Oracle had withdrawn from the agreement." -- Sail-World.com, www.sail-world.com/USA/Brad-Butterworth
Jewel Of Muscat
The 18-metre long Jewel of Muscat, a reconstructed ninth century sewn-plank ship, has started sailing in the Sea of Oman on the first sea trial ahead of its formal voyage to Singapore towards the end of February.
The vessel is scheduled to start its journey across the Indian Ocean with transit stops along the western coast of India and other south Asian countries. It will keep to ancient trade routes and stop in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia before arriving in Singapore five months later, where it will be given as a gift from Oman to the people of Singapore.
"Singapore is one of Oman's oldest trading partners. Jewel of Muscat will be displayed in Singapore to highlight the awareness of the old trade routes between the two countries," Badr bin Hamoud Al Busaeedi, Director-General of the Omani Foreign Ministry, said at a launch ceremony this week.
He said Jewel of Muscat was modelled on the wreckage of the ninth-century Tang Treasure ship that was carrying more than 60,000 pieces of Chinese ceramics, silver and gold artefacts, spices and other commodities. "The idea of this was inspired from the Tang Treasure that was discovered in 1998 in Indonesian waters… it took us about 12 months to construct this vessel, which represents an important Omani cultural and heritage initiative," he said. To reconstruct the vessel, a 1,200-year-old method of sewing the hull planks together with handmade coconut-fibre rope was used to make the vessel extremely resilient. No nail or screw was used during the process of shaping the first plank for hoisting the palm-leaf sails that were woven in Qantab.
According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), the Tang Treasure shipwreck which was discovered in 1998 contained rare and well-preserved pieces of stoneware, and centuries-old gold and silver pieces including the largest Tang dynasty gold cup and an exquisitely decorated silver flask.
Later uncovered by professional salvage divers, the 22-metre long traditional vessel provides strong evidence to suggest that the early Chinese seafarers were trading in items that suited the global market more than 1,000 years ago. -- Nadim Kawach in Emirates Business, www.business24-7.ae
There is a National Geographic program on the Tang Treasure, see www.ngcasia.com/programmes/secrets-of-the-tang-treasure-ship
Yachting World February Issue Out Now
We also look at all the new gear being launched for 2010, preview the upcoming America's Cup in Valencia (fingers crossed) and go chartering in the British Virgin Islands and northern Croatia.
Plus a report from the ARC, a test on the interesting new Elan 310 and report from the World Yacht Racing Forum in Monaco. -- Andrew Bray, Editor
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British Keelboat Academy Announces Inaugural Squad
Comprised of two levels, National and Development, the 40-strong BKA squad boasts some of the most promising new keelboat talent in the country, with sailors making the grade after a gruelling selection weekend in December.
With sailors split between the two tiers, the National squad will focus on bigger boat racing making use of John Merricks II, kindly loaned by the John Merricks Sailing Trust. The Development Squad will place their efforts on smaller boat racing, using UKSA's fleet of J80s.
The first event for the newly-formed squad will be the RORC Easter Challenge in April, with both the Development and National squads competing in their respective boats.
Following the Easter regatta, the Development Squad will be taking the J80s to compete in local regattas, followed by the Nationals and, funding permitting, the Europeans in Garda in June. Meanwhile, the National squad have their sights set on the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race (23-30 August).
Near Record Fleet for Audi Victoria Week
Entries for Australia's largest and most established sailing regatta, Audi Victoria Week, closed late last night and today host club, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club is thrilled to announce a huge fleet of 440 yachts.
Amongst the Classics contesting is Granuaile, an Irish 18m James Edward Doyle design that was built in the early 1900s as a transatlantic racer. More recently she has worked as a charter boat on the Franklin River in Tasmania.
While the classics are about history and grandeur, the International Moths and the Formula 18s are about the latest in design and construction, and will be the fastest of the classes as they skim across Corio Bay starting Saturday week.
Ten Sydney 38s will race in their one design format with the first over the finish line taking the win, making for spectacularly tight racing amongst a very competitive fleet. The mostly Victorian entries will be looking for the home advantage over the Andrew Corletto's South Australian Shining Sea and Ray Sweeney's Queensland entry Mondo.
The Sports Boats division is the biggest on record, 23, and boasts a super strong Melges contingent of seven as well as seven Thompson designs for what should be a tight National Championship series.
The absence of the 60 footers such as Loki and Limit has paved the way for the 50 footers to add their touch of grand prix glamour to the line up, Audi Victoria Week sailing administrator, Rob Hampshire describing the fleet as "about as red hot as you can get anywhere in the country".
Dan Dytch Embarks On Self-Funded Mini Transat Campaign
The 27-year-old is hoping the race, from France to Brazil, will allow him to follow in the footsteps of Hampshire ocean racing icons like Mike Golding, Sam Davies and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
Dan, who started sailing aged six, saved up enough money to buy himself a Mini 6.50 yacht called Night Fever- and now has his sights set on glory.
Following a winter refit of Night Fever, Dan's schedule for this year includes a 2,500-mile race to the Azores and back from Les Sables d'Olonne in France in preparation for the Mini Transat in 2011.
Dan is now on the hunt for sponsors to back his campaign.
"I can offer sponsors a opportunity to be involved in an English campaign in a predominantly French and European market as well as the chance to be involved in a hard work campaign that I have started from scratch and plan to work as hard for a long time," he added.
If you are interested in sponsoring Dan's campaign contact him on or visit his website nightfeverminitransat.blogspot.com
The Daily Echo, www.dailyecho.co.uk
This Weekend at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show
* The K1 is a new 4.5m (15ft) high performance keelboat for single-handed sailing and racing designed by Paul Handley and marketed by Vandercraft.
The first production K1 single-handed performance keelboat will be on display on the Hyde Sails stand NO14J at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show at ExCeL London, 8th - 17th January.
The prototype of this innovative single-handed keelboat was shown at the Southampton Boat Show in September and since then the K1 Sailing team have been working on finalising the design and the manufacture of mould tooling for production. The rig has been developed with the help of Hyde Sails and Selden and the production rig will have a lightweight Seldon S2 section carbon mast and carbon boom with Hyde Mylar sails.
The hull mouldings are being made by Synthesize Yachts using the latest resin infusion techniques with vinylester resin to ensure light and strong construction.
Sailing demos will start shortly after the end of the London Boat Show and the first boats will be delivered in early spring - so far eleven K1s are on order.
* On Friday: 15:30 at the Show Stage, "Boating Heroes with Hilary Lister". At 17:00, same stage, an Anti-piracy talk.
* On Saturday: 12:30 At the Adlard Coles booth N041C, Celebrating the launch of the Mike Peyton biography and his 89th birthday.
* On Sunday: 15:30 at the Show Stage, "Boating Heroes with Mike Perham"
Before you all start writing in, yes, we know! Our story yesterday on sail limitations for the upcoming Volvo was linked to an old draft. The correct one can be found here:
* From Bjorn Westergaard: Please stop printing announcements regarding Americas Cup. For all normal sailors AC has turned into a complete joke. Latest is BMWOR that are so concerned about deed of gift and sail issues. Interestingly they dont seem to have the same considerations when it comes the place they race and the time of year they race.
BMWOR had all chances to win the event on equal terms in Valencia in 2007 and fluked. Alinghi created a brilliant setup in Valencia, won and then decided to try and walk on water.
If you stop covering the nonevent nobody will care about AC - and those of us involved in sailing don't have to answer questions (with no logical answers) from sailors and non sailores about what exactly is going on.
* From David Mackintosh: OH MY Ernesto Bertarelli throws the toys out of the pram again - amused/bemused I am - surprised NOT!!!
Why is it that these people with money think they can have anything they want without repercussions?
Tiger Woods present situation springs to mind.
Sadly yachting at the highest levels has become detached from 'sport' tis just like F1 Gand Prix simply a business now with a lot of unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Even sadder this is filtering downwards. Oh well...
Tis time that the America's Cup was recovered and screwed back down in the NY YC
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