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British Team Closing In On Star Worlds Victory
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: Competition leaders, British sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, won the Gol Airlines Regatta this Tuesday and got another step closer to the title of the Star World Championship. The fifth and second final race will take place this Wednesday in a course outside of Guanabara bay. The reigning Olympic champions have only 16 lost points and dominated the entire race (10.5 nautical miles/approx.19.4km).

The winds increased significantly during the race, starting out at 6 knots and reaching gusts of 12 knots in an easterly and northeasterly direction by the end of the race, benefitting the Brazilian sailors who performed much better than in the two previous races.

All athletes seem to agree that Percy and Simpson have pretty much locked in the World Championship title, although the discard of the worst race results doesn't begin until the fifth regatta. The biggest threats to the British team are Swiss sailors Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria, currently in 4th place overall with 41 lost points, but discarding their worst race so far (30th place) could make a huge difference.

Tuesday was a very hot and sunny day in Rio de Janeiro, with temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius. The race course was set up again between Pai e Mae Island, near Niteroi and Leme Point, in Rio de Janeiro. In today's race the fleet only needed one start, unlike the previous three races. Wednesday's forecast calls for more hot weather and stronger winds. -- Joao Pedro Nunes

Results - after four races
1. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson (GBR) - 16 (2+11+2+1)
2. Alan Adler / Guilherme de Almeida (BRA) - 35 (6+5+11+13)
3. Eivind Melleby / Petter Pedersen (NOR) - 39 (9+10+4+16)
4. Flavio Marazzi / Enrico De Maria (SWI) - 41 (30+1+6+4)
5. Diego Negri / Fernando Colaninno (ITA) - 52 (23+18+5+6)
6. Ross MacDonald (EUA) / Andre Lekszycki (BRA) - 52 (10+13+14+15)
7. Fredrik Loof / John Tillander (SWE) - 54 (8+9+18+19)
8. Johannes Babendererde /Timo Jacobs (GER) - 56 (1+8+39+8)
9. Torben Grael / Marcelo Ferreira (BRA) - 58 (5+25+21+7)
10. Andre Mirsky / Marcelo Jordao (BRA) - 64 (33+6+22+3)

www.starworlds2010.com

Lead Changes and Challenges On Day Two at Key West
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.

Key West Race Week Another day of good wind brought two more races and a shakeup in some of the standings in many of the 11 classes at Key West 2010, presented by Nautica.

A northeast wind that started off at seven knots and built to 13 allowed organizers with Premiere Racing to remain on schedule for a 10-race regatta. Some of the professionally-crewed grand prix classes saw the overall lead change hands while other classes saw the opening day pace-setters strengthen their grip on first place.

Joe Fly, an Italian entry skippered by Giovanni Maspero posted a pair of fourths on Tuesday to take over the lead in Farr 40 class. Francesco Bruni is calling tactics on Joe Fly, which began the day in third and now leads fellow Italian boat Nerone by one point.

Nerone, skippered by Massimo Mezzaroma of Punta Ala, had a terrific Tuesday with a first and a third to jump from sixth to second in the overall standings. Vasco Vascotto is tactician on Nerone, which was named Sperry Top-Sider Boat of the Day.

In the Melges 32 class, John Kilroy and his team aboard Samba Pa Ti had a superb day on the water and vaulted from third to first in the 22 boat class. Stu Bannatyne is calling tactics while fellow pro Morgan Reeser is trimming the main for Kilroy, who won Race 4 and placed fourth in Race 3 to move ahead of Monday leader Ramrod (Rod Jabin, Annapolis, Md.) by a point.

There is a new leader in the 21-boat Melges 24 class as well with Alan Field and his USA 587 team moving into a tie with UKA UKA Racing. Former College of Charleston All-American Steve Hunt is calling tactics for Field, a California resident who won Race 3 on Tuesday then tacked on a fourth in Race 4.

UKA UKA Racing, the Italian entry owned by Lorenzo Santini and helmed by Lorenzo Bressani, now has an impressive series line of 2-1-2-5.

Bella Mente and Pugwash extended their leads in IRC 1 and 2, respectively, with a second straight strong day of racing. Bella Mente, a Reichel-Pugh 69-footer owned by Hap Fauth of Newport, R.I., has sailed very impressively in winning all four races.

North professional Will Welles holds the lead in J/80 class for the second straight day despite an eighth in Race 4. Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats steered Little Feat to a pair of bullets on Tuesday to close within one point of Welles and the Rascal team.

Full results on www.premiere-racing.com

UK-Halsey Rules Quiz
The UK-Halsey Rules Quiz animations have been called the best way to learn the rules, and the videos of the rules being explained make the learning process that much easier. We have already posted seven videos which cover: the importance of the definitions, the definition of when you are racing and when the rules and penalties apply, definition of being on a tack, definition of proper course, the definition of finishing and much more. The videos are only available as part of the Rules Quiz program and we will continue to post videos throughout the year.

The answers to all the quizzes were re-written for the rules changes by Rob Overton, who has been a member of the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee since 1993. Rob was one of five international rule writers who drafted the new Section C rules that took effect on January 1, 2009.

See the Rules Quiz page at www.ukhalsey.com/RulesQuiz/quiz_list.asp

You can buy the Quiz program for $55 or $100 for the program plus two of the best books written on the 2009-2012 Racing Rules - Understanding the Rules by Dave Perry and The Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis. Both are reviewed in our Rules Blog.

www.ukhalsey.com/store/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=4

Blue Water Medal To Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Photo by Clipper Ventures. Click on image to enlarge.

Blue Water Medal To Sir Robin Knox-Johnston The Cruising Club of America has selected Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to receive its prestigious Blue Water Medal, without date, for a lifetime devoted to the advancement of sailing, sail training and youth development and on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his singlehanded, non-stop circumnavigation of the world. In the 85-year history of the CCA's Blue Water Medal only seven Medals have been awarded without date. The medal will be presented to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on March 5, 2010 by CCA Commodore Sheila McCurdy (Middletown, R.I.) during the club's annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club, in New York.

Born March 17, 1939 in Putney, London, Knox-Johnston went to school at Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire. He served as an officer cadet in the British Merchant Navy in 1957 and later gained his Masters Certificate in 1965. Between sea voyages in Bombay he built Suhaili, a 32-foot 5-inch LOA (length overall) India teak ketch of the Colin Archer type and sailed her to England.

With Suhaili he entered the 1968 race for the Sunday Times Golden Globe Trophy for the first person to circumnavigate the world nonstop and singlehanded. Suhaili was the only boat to finish the race, completing the 30,123 mile course in 312 days. Robin Knox-Johnston donated his 5,000 prize to the widow of his competitor Donald Crowhurst, who was lost at sea during the race.

Since winning the Golden Globe Trophy in 1969 Robin Knox-Johnston has participated in seven quadrennial double-handed Round Britain races. He skippered Condor to line honors in two legs of the 1977/08 Whitbread Race, co-skippered Enza New Zealand with the late Sir Peter Blake in 1994 to take the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation of the world, and completed the Velux5Oceans solo around the world race in 4th position in 2006/07 at the age of 68.

The prestigious Blue Water Medal was inaugurated by the Cruising Club of America in 1923 to reward meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by amateur sailors of all nationalities that might otherwise go unrecognized.

Blue Water Medalists have included such luminaries of the sailing world as Rod Stephens, Eric and Susan Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Eric Tabarly, Pete Goss, Rich Wilson, Minoru Saito and Bernard Moitessier. In 1940 it was awarded to the British Yachtsmen at Dunkerque who helped in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force in June 1940.

The Medal itself was designed by Arthur Sturgis Hildebrand, a member of the Cruising Club of America, who was one of the crew of the yacht Leiv Eiriksson, lost in the Arctic with all hands in September of 1924.

www.cruisingclub.org

A Nice First Sail In Valencia
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE. Click on image for photo gallery.

BMW Oracle First Sail in Valencia Valencia, Spain: BMW ORACLE Racing made its debut on Spanish waters Tuesday afternoon. It's the first time the American team has sailed its America's Cup boat at the venue of the 33rd Match.

When the boat took to the waters off the Port of Valencia, it was sporting USA emblazoned on its stern, the name designated for the boat by the Golden Gate Yacht Club when it challenged for the 33rd America's Cup.

Previously, the trimaran had been called the BOR 90. But now, in Spanish waters, this is the name the boat will carry into battle for the America's Cup next month.

Conditions were ideal for a first test sail with four to eight knots of wind and just a small chop on the otherwise flat water.

Following Tuesday's initial test sail, the sailing crew will step up its testing programme this week as the team prepares for the 33rd America's Cup Match, scheduled to begin on February 8.

... And Another Day Of Letters
Societe Nautique de Geneve has issued the Sailing Instructions and the amended 33rd America's Cup Notice of Race.

With them came this terse note from SNG:

We thank you for your suggestions made at the Singapore meeting on the Notice of Race and draft Sailing Instructions. We have taken up many of your proposals and we are now pleased to enclose the Notice of Race incorporating Amendment Nr. 1 and the Sailing Instructions for the 33rd America's Cup Match.

And from Tom Ehman, GGYC:
The America's Cup defender, Societe Nautique de Geneve, issued today a revised Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for the 33rd America's Cup Match set to begin on February 8th in the waters off Valencia, Spain.

Both documents are riddled with errors, and continue SNG's practice of interpreting rules - or creating new ones - solely to favor Alinghi and harm the chances of the Challenger.

The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are heavily biased in favor of the Defender and its yacht despite input from GGYC and ISAF, the sport's world governing body, during last week's meeting in Singapore and a meeting in late December in Sydney.

Therefore, today GGYC has made an application for redress to the International Jury, asking that the Jury be convened as soon as possible to negate or revise the biased provisions before the Match.

Specifically, SNG has:

- Effectively re-inserted Racing Rule 53 ("Skin Friction") after obtaining a New York Supreme Court ruling to delete it.

- Set the starting time for the races despite the Deed of Gift's requirement that this be agreed by mutual consent.

- Set wind and wave limits to favor its own yacht.

- Changed the latest draft of the Notice of Race to ban certain wind detection equipment now being used by BOR that, previously, was permitted under all earlier drafts of the NOR.

- Re-arranged the hierarchy of the applicable rules so that SNG's Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions would, in the case of conflict, overrule the Racing Rules; this is highly irregular and contrary to normal practice in yacht racing. -- www.ggyc.com

The new SI and NOR at:
www.alinghi.com

Practical Boatowner February Issue
Practical Boatowner February Issue There's hours of great reading in the new issue of Practical Boatowner, on sale now. Find out which boats we consider to be the best-ever 32-footers, which budget-price chart-plotter to buy, how to tackle one of Britain's trickiest berths, and whether you can really plan a passage and navigate successfully with a mobile phone!

If your thoughts are turning to jobs on the boat just as soon as the weather improves, you'll find lots of ideas and helpful hints in the12-page Practical Section. Also this month we pick the brains of boat owners who crossed the Atlantic on the recent ARC rally for their boat-prep tips, and share a rig expert's Three-minute Rig Check.

Subscribe to Practical Boat Owner and save up to a whopping 40%! Take advantage of this great offer and get your favourite boating magazine conveniently delivered direct to your door every month.

Visit www.pbo.co.uk/ipbeh

Groupama 3 On Standby for the Jules Verne Trophy
After three weeks sailing off Lorient designed to validate the completion of work carried out since her South African stopover in December, the maxi trimaran Groupama 3, skippered by Franck Cammas, is today beginning a stand-by period for a fresh attempt at conquering the Jules Verne Trophy.

Ready to get down to work since 29th December, the date of her return from South Africa, the technical crew from Team Groupama, assisted by employees from the Multiplast and Gepeto yard, have now completed the reinforcement work, most of which has been performed on the aft sections of the floats.

As regards the crew, although navigator Stan Honey is at home in San Francisco and Ronan Le Goff is in Brazil, the eight remaining sailors are present on site at varying degrees. Franck Cammas, Fred Le Peutrec and Loic Le Mignon are there on a daily basis, Lionel Lemonchois, Thomas Coville, Jacques Caraƫs and Steve Ravussin are available for the sailing, whilst Bruno Jeanjean is monitoring the preparation of Port de Palavs Les Flots, of which he is the captain.

What remains now is to find out if a favourable weather window will enable Groupama 3 to set off on her third attempt to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy: "We're giving ourselves until 5th February to set off. Beyond that date, we'll have to give up our stand-by for two reasons: the first is that it will become very risky to sail in the Southern Ocean, because the summer in the Southern hemisphere will be over, resulting in violent winds, longer nights and numerous icebergs. The second reason is related to the fact that we have to kit Groupama 3 out for 'Solo' mode with a view to competing in the Route du Rhum. She will have to be ready from the month of June in order for me to train under good conditions" continues Franck Cammas.

As was the case during the last attempt, it's Sylvain Mondon from Meteo France who's in charge of carefully studying how the weather evolves. The big question now is how good a weather window is required for us to set off: "Obviously we're more demanding at the start of stand-by than at the end, given that it's difficult to predict the evolution in the weather for more than seven days. However, we're also aware that, in order to stand a chance of beating Bruno Peyron's record (50 days), we mustn't set out at any cost".. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

www.cammas-groupama.com

Brit Duo Lia Ditton & Phil Sharp In Barcelona In 2010
Lia Ditton has announced her intention to enter the Barcelona World Race 2010. This will be the first round-the-world race for Lia, who has completed eleven ocean crossings, 3 racing solo plus deliveries spanning some 75,000 nautical miles.

Since achieving second place in the 2006 Route du Rhum and becoming the youngest competitor and the only woman to finish the single-handed 2005 Faraday Mill OSTAR, Lia has moved away from solo events. With sights firmly set on the Barcelona World Race 2010 she has been dedicating her time to larger crews and sailing IMOCA Open 60s in order to prepare for what she describes as "the toughest race open to professional sailors today."

With hot competition from Alex Thomson and Jean-Pierre Dick, who ranked first and second in the Barcelona World Race 2007, Lia will need all the training she can get in order to be in with a chance of the top 3 placing she hopes for. To this end she has taken her training to extremes by competing in the pairs class of the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race 2009 which began on the 4th of January.

Once she completes the Atlantic Rowing Race Lia will spend time racing in the Caribbean with fellow British sailing talent Phil Sharp to test out their compatibility as a crew for Barcelona, a crew that Phil would skipper. Phil, who plans to use the race as a platform for his Vendee Globe 2012 entry, has proven he has everything it takes to win such a tough race and would make an ideal partner for deeply competitive Lia. But having only briefly met during the 2006 Route du Rhum the pair feel that the most pragmatic thing to do is to spend time getting to know each properly other before cementing the deal. -- Margaret Bowling

www.seasailsurf.com/seasailsurf/actu/spip.php?article5690

Short Tacks
* Alinghi sponsor and prestigious Swiss watch maker, Hublot, launched the King Power Alinghi last night at a celebration on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. This exclusive and limited edition watch commemorates and carries the colours of the Swiss Defender of the 33rd America's Cup.

Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president, broke away from the race training in Valencia ahead of the 33rd America's Cup Match, to celebrate the launch with Hublot CEO, Jean-Claude Biver and Hublot guests.

* On-line registration for the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race is now open at www.BermudaRace.com . Everyone who is contemplating entering the race to begin the process now. History has proved that the earlier you get registered and begin boat and crew preparation, the more successful you will be in the race.

* US-IRC Foundation working closely with Sailing World magazine is pleased to announce the release of the 2010 US-IRC Handbook. For your convenience, this edition of the Handbook is available in electronic form and can be viewed in two digital versions:

1. Live on Zmags at: viewer.zmags.com
2. In Adobe PDF format: www.sailingworld.com/webfiles/

Both versions of the Handbook will be available online throughout the year for your reading at anytime.

* The annual PASAB (Penzance Around Scilly And Back) yacht race has been run for over twenty years and this year will be run between 23 and 26 July 2010 over three legs:

- Leg 1: Penzance to St Mary's, Isle of Scilly - 23 July
- Leg 2: Around the Islands - 25 July
- Leg 2: St Mary's, Isle of Scilly to Penzance - 26 July

There are classes and prizes under PY, IRC and MOCRA as well as the 'Petit Bateau' trophy for the first double handed competitor. Both Monohulls and Multihulls welcome.

Further details, Notice of Race and entry forms are available from www.pzsc.org.uk/pasab or by email

* Mini 6.50 2010 calendar - registration for races

Schedule of registration for 2010 races :

For the race Les Sables - Les Acores - Les Sables :
- Registrations are open january, 6th. Each registration received before this date will be recorded at this date. The Notice of race and the registration form are available online. - First entries list available online january, 12 th 2010.

For races level B and C :
- registrations are open. The reference date of registration is january, 25th. Each registration received before this date will be recorded at this date.
- dead line to send preference form, january 25th 2010.

Mind ! Skippers have to be registered in the races they choose on the preference form. If the registration is not confirmed by the organizer, the choice on the preference form will not count.

www.classemini.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2001 Volvo 60, EUR 295,000. Located in Southampton, UK

Designed by Laurie Davidson and built by Cookson's in 2001, this sailing yacht is highly geared for specialist racing. In previous ownership the boat was sponsored by a national television network. This has therefore had more than half a million dollars put into maintenance. The boat has won 14 major races in the Australian racing calendar including the Vo60 Cup Sydney to Hobart December 2004 and the Vo60 Cup Sydney to Hobart December 2005 beating Hugo Boss across the line. Since then she has been repainted in 2007 and refitted in current ownership.

Currently used for corporate and race charter. All equipment is also coded to Cat 2 standard and is equipped with liferafts. Priced competitively for a quick sale and viewings highly recommended. Please about this rare opportunity for a truly prestigious vessel.

Brokerage through Moore International Brokerage: www.yachtworld.com/mooreinternationalbrokerage/

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

The Last Word
Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers. -- Anonymous pilot

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