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Williams Crowned Four-Time World Champion
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia: Ian Williams won a record-equalling fourth ISAF Match Racing World Championship today after beating his arch rival Bjorn Hansen in the Quarter- Final of the Monsoon Cup, the finale of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Williams has equalled the record of Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, who had earlier this week announced his intention to retire after this event.
William's opponent, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, came through the Qualifying stage in second and chose to face his fierce rival instead of several other, lower ranked options. Hansen held a superior head-to-head record against his British challenger in the knockout stages of the previous seven Tour events in 2012 but may not have accounted for the strength of Williams at the biggest event of the year.
The World Championship defining match started well for the Swede as he recovered from an unforced error in the prestart by making the most of a big left shift in the first upwind. Having cleared his penalty on the second leg, Hansen maintained a six boat length lead to win the first match.
The errors continued for Hansen in the second match as he failed to enter the prestart area correctly resulting in a penalty. That was compounded by a second infringement, when he touched the top mark which forced him to take an immediate penalty turn. Unable to recover in that match, and losing out in the third, left him 2-1 down, with Williams on World Championship point, and seemingly not feeling the pressure of the occasion.
Williams led throughout the fourth and final match, although numerous spirited challenges by Hansen kept things close all the way to the finish line.
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Final Leaderboard:
Wildcard Canfield Wins Monsoon Cup
Ian Williams, who claimed his record-equalling fourth ISAF Match Racing World Championship in the Quarter Final, had to settle for third place after defeating Peter Gilmour in the Petit Final.
Canfield - skipper of USone, who also won the penultimate Tour event, the Argo Group Gold Cup, said: "This win is the best we have achieved in our careers so far and the guys I'm sailing with, Hayden Goodrick, Mike Rehe, Dan Morris and Rob Dawson did a fantastic job here today. We're the second US Virgin Islanders to win this after Peter Holmberg in 2006.
The Petit Final was, perhaps fittingly, contested by joint ISAF Match Racing World Championship record holders Ian Williams and Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing. Williams has been in fine form all season, finishing in the top three in six of the seven Tour events that his GAC Pindar team has competed in. He continued that form against Gilmour, completing a 2-0 victory to secure third place in the Monsoon Cup.
Rewatch the action at new.livestream.com/WorldMRT/mc-pf-f
Highlight shows from the season's seven previous events are available to watch at www.youtube.com/worldmrt
Monsoon Cup - Final Result:
Monsoon Cup - Petit Final Result:
Monsoon Cup - Final Standings:
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Leigh Mcmillan Does The Double
The most closely contested finish ever in the six-year history of the Extreme Sailing Series, today saw The Wave, Muscat clinch the final Act victory in Rio de Janeiro by the smallest of margins - just 0.2 points ahead of the French Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Coming into the Act, Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Hannah Mills, Peter Greenhalgh and Hashim Al Rashidi were the hot favourites to win the Series - with three Act wins already under their belts they just had to play it safe and finish sixth or above which they did in emphatic style.
In his first year on the Series, Morgan Larson and his Oman Air team have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with, with Act wins in Muscat, Oman and Cardiff UK. A fifth place in the final race today was enough for the Omani team to finish third in Rio and second place on the overall leaderboard - making it an Omani double for 2012.
The sixth year of the Extreme Sailing Series closes after 209 races staged across 7 venues and 11 months of global touring this year. The 2013 Series begins in Muscat, Oman on the 5th March with 8 teams (6 returning and 2 new) set to fight for ultimate victory. After 4 years in the Extreme Sailing Series the French 'boys in blue' on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild are one team who will not be on the start line in 2013, choosing to focus their efforts on their offshore programme.
The 2013 venues and dates will be announced before the end of the year, with eight venues, across three continents
Act 8, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil standings after Day 4, 30 races
1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hannah Mills, Hashim Al Rashdi, 192.2 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Overall Series Results
1. The Wave, Muscat, 76.5 points
Groupama out of 20-14-2014 Volvo Ocean Race
A change in priorities for the French insurance company, announced on Friday in Paris, means it will be focusing on other opportunities after Franck Cammas guided the team to a debut win in 2011-12.
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, said: "Groupama have kept us in touch with the situation and naturally we are sorry that they will not be returning to defend their title in 2014-15. However, we are seeing really encouraging interest in the Race from other potential teams around the world, including France, and are very confident that the fleet for the next edition will be stronger than ever before."
France was one of the biggest successes of the 2011-12 Race in terms of media figures with only China providing more viewers on television.
Top publications Le Figaro and Ouest France featured the Race, on average, at least once a day throughout the near nine-month duration of the event and French websites provided more coverage than in any other market.
Transat Jacques Vabre 2013
Says Jacques Rosio president of the Transat Jacques Vabre association: "Cartagena (Colombia), Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Itajaí (Brazil), for 20 years the Transat Jacques Vabre has been bringing the competitors on discovery routes to South American ports.
"The 2013 edition is dynamic and innovative. Itajaí, in Brazil, shows just how open we have been over the course of these 20 years."
Situated in the state of Santa Catalina in the south of Brazil, Itajaí is a major fishing harbour and Brazil's second in terms of exports. In September each year, the town hosts one of the main Brazilian popular music festivals.
For 20 years, Le Havre has hosted the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, "The Transat Jacques Vabre is a major event for our city. For centuries we can rightfully claim to be a maritime city. The people from Le Havre especially hold this race close to their hearts and there is more and more support for the event from the public. In 2011, we welcomed 300,000 visitors to the village and in 2013, we will make every effort to ensure that the 20th anniversary of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be unforgettable for everyone,", said Philippe Edouard, Mayor of Le Havre and deputy for Seine-Maritime.
Three classes will be on the start line: IMOCA 60, Class40, Class Multi 50
The Notice of Race is available at: www.transat-jacques-vabre.com
Design - Stiffer, faster, but every bit as glorious
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Running The Rhumblines
It's a long journey just to get to Sydney and her crew are aware that they face an even more demanding test of character when the former Volvo Globe race sloop Merit sets sail in what is already regarded as the toughest 628 n/ml race on the international ocean racing calendar. Merit which was unanimously awarded first place in Performance Handicap in 2008 when her crew exercised outstanding seamanship to save the crew off the sinking yacht Georgia would welcome a moderate to fresh spinnaker sailing or two sail reaching wind forecast to blow in on Boxing Day morning.
Her crew suffered some personal torment from the weather forecast last year finishing 11th in line honours and 13th overall in the Performance Handicap class.
Naturally her joint owners Leo Rodriguez and Ian Bishop would appreciate the chance for Merit to show her class with the sails particularly her spinnaker emblazoned with -I would rather to sailing in the Whitsundays- being stretched at the seams with a brute speed sailing breeze. Unfortunately they apart from some speculation have no idea what the weather conditions will be when they tension the sails and head south on another challenge against the wind tormented Tasman Sea.
They will also face a formidable challenge to be the first Volvo 60 to fasten their mooring lines to Hobart's historical Constitution Dock.
Merit is one of three former Around the World race yachts entered for the Rolex Sydney Hobart along with the Simonas Steponavicius skippered Lithuanian sloop Ambersail and the Andrew Wenham helmed New South Wales Volvo 60 Southern Excellence.
All three have the potential to stage their own private match race while the Bob Oatley owned and Mark Richards helmed Wild Oats X1, the Syd Fischer skippered Ragamuffin Loyal, the recently modified Grant Wharington helmed Wild Thing, Peter Millard's aging maxi Lahana, Matt Allen's Ichi Ban and Peter Harburg's super fast maxi chaser Black Jack skippered by Mark Bradford remain favoured to do battle for the line honours trophy. -- Ian Grant
ARC 2012 - 40 Foot Boat Is First Arrival After 12 Day Crossing
Once across the line and sails down, the entire crew dived into the warm Caribbean water to celebrate their success, to the delight of those cheering from the spectator boats alongside.
Skippered by Christof Petter, Vaquita, had a crew of leading Austrian sailors aboard, including Andreas Hanakamp, former Team Russia Volvo Ocean Race skipper and two time Olympic star. The yacht sailed an extreme northerly route from Gran Canaria, clocking speeds of up to 25 knots during the crossing. This is the team's third consecutive year racing in the ARC, each time favouring the northerly passage, and each time paying off.
Vaquita has not only crossed the finish line first, but has done so in style, with the next arrival, Swan 80' Berenice approximately 20 hours behind. This does not mean that Vaquita is guaranteed to win overall on corrected time, as she holds the highest handicap in the RORC IRC Racing Division.
Meanwhile., the cruisers, which make up the majority of the ARC fleet are getting some very mixed weather on the rhumb line route where the wind has be rather contrary ... too much at the beginning and now not enough! Logs in week one were full of tales of watches spent wearing foul-weather jackets, cold nights and rain; lots of rain.
Kiwi Gold Medallists To Campaign Again
Gold medallists in the Women's 470, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie declared their intention to get back in the boat and do it all again at a sponsor function hosted by Apollo Projects in Christchurch last Thursday.
With a flurry of engagements, public appearances, club visits and Awards ceremonies since standing on the podium in Weymouth, Aleh and Powrie have taken their time to consider what comes next.
Getting in behind Team Jolly's next campaign, Apollo Projects Group CEO Paul Lloyd has this to say, "Becoming part of the Team Jolly crew has been a real thrill for our company and all our team."
"Apollo has also introduced and secured four other financial sponsors, a vehicle sponsor and a boat sponsor for Team Jolly. The new level of support now obtained will ensure all decisions can be made based on what is needed to stay at the top and not what they can afford." -- Jodie Bakewell-White
Yachting New Zealand: www.yachtingnz.org.nz
* From Alistair Skinner: I have to smile at all the explanations of what is or isn't navigating. It is quite clear that the AC protocol put the exclusion zone in for obvious reasons and if an AC boat approaches then the 'spy-boat' should shift out of the way as just sitting there is definitely not in the 'spirit' of the rules.
If Oracle get away with this then it wold just prove that the waters of San Francisco Bay is not the only home advantage Oracle enjoy.
I agree completely with Dave Arnold in that once you have untied from the dock or weighed anchor at "Point A" then until you tie up or drop anchor at "Point B" you are in fact en-route from one to the other and "navigating" even if your speed may occasionally be zero.
But then again, as they have proved in the past larry and the boys have some pretty shrewd lawyers on the team.
* From John Crebbin: I would agree with David Arnold, unless they were what is known in this part of the world (Dublin) as "cute hoors" and declared themselves, with appropriate shapes, to be "not under command". Dubious and unlikely!
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The Last Word
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