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New Designs and Familiar Names
Many of the world's top sailors will duke it out in the 52 class with Key West serving as opening stop on an ambitious 2013 series. Organizers of the recently introduced High Performance Rule are eager to showcase Version 4 of the rating system at the renowned winter regatta held off the southernmost tip of Florida. The J/70 class will make its Key West debut in dramatic fashion as it is the regatta's largest with an impressive 39 boats.
A strong fleet of six boats - three from Europe, three from the U.S. - will do battle as the curtain rises on the new 2013 "52 Super Series." Defending series champion Azzurra (Italy) and past MedCup champion Quantum Racing (USA) headline the fleet of exciting speed machines.
While the 52-footers are crewed entirely by professionals, an owner-driver rule is in place for Quantum Key West 2013. Michigan owner Doug DeVos will try to repeat as regatta champ after dominating the competition with six bullets in 10 races a year ago.
Veteran North Sails professional Steve Benjamin has been the driving force behind the HPR class, which was created to better suit the new wave of high-performance designs. Benjamin and fellow pro Dobbs Davis introduced the HPR at last year's Key West and the rule authority has spent the past year developing and further refining the formula.
HPR racing made its debut at the Storm Trysail Club IRC East Coast Championship and One-Design Regatta this past October with a diverse fleet of eight boats. Benjamin said getting its own start at Key West marks a major milestone for the rule.
Benjamin believes so strongly in HPR that he commissioned a new boat designed to fit the formula. Spookie, an HPR Carkeek 40, made its debut at the Storm Trysail Club regatta and placed third. Now Benjamin is eager to gauge Spookie's performance against Decision (Stephen Murray, New Orleans), a sister ship that was launched later.
The Melges 24 and 32 classes have their customary competitive, international showing. The Melges 32 class has seven foreign entries and the Melges 24s have rebounded with 23 strong programs.
There's more grand prix excitement on tap with the Farr 40s, Swan 42s and Mini-Maxis. PHRF racing, a long time mainstay at race week, will continue to have a presence with two classes racing on Division 3. -- Bill Wagner
Racing is from January 20-25.
Le Cam Missing A Sail?
"It makes me wonder what problems he's got to be honest, he may be missing a sail, I did consider that as Jean is not a slow sailor, and I'm sure he isn't giving up the miles just to have the company," Golding said. "It did make me wonder whether Jean is not down a sail, or has a halyard problem, I don't know, it could be a lot of things, but anyway the difficulty we are having at the moment is the weather we are experiencing is not matching with the files, the various models, so, as a consequence it is a little bit of a Russian roulette."
Le Cam, normally the joker in the fleet questioning whether Golding has broken something, saw it like this: "The anticyclone has split in two so when you're right in the middle, it can be complicated," he wrote. "Last night, I had no wind and I was sailing against the current, so I was definitely not progressing fast."
Le Cam was back up to 12.1 knots on Monday afternoon, compared to Golding's 11.3, but Golding was still heading more directly to the finish and thus making a better VMG as they cross the latitude of Buenos Aires, over 1900 miles behind the leader. Six days ago Golding was 247 miles behind Le Cam.
Rankings as of Tuesday 15 January 2013, 05h00 (FR)
1. MACIF, Francois Gabarr, 3307.5 nm to finish
Charter An Open 70
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Heineken And French Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman Of The Year
2012 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year: Johnny Heineken (Larkspur, Calif.), age 24, has been named the 2012 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his dominating performances in competitive kiteboarding, including the Kiteboarding Course Racing World Championship in Cagliari, Italy, where he topped 148 competitors to claim the world title for a second consecutive year.
Heineken also proved his racing prowess by besting 45 competitors in the Kiteboarding North American Course Racing Championship in San Francisco and 34 competitors at the Pacific Pilsner Canadian Kiteboard Course Racing Nationals in Squamish, Canada. He set a new course record (14 minutes, 4 seconds) in the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race in San Francisco among 58 entrants
The 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. Jennifer French (St. Petersburg, Fla.), age 41, has been named the 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year for her silver-medal performance at the Paralympic Games in Weymouth and Portland, England. Sailing in the SKUD-18 (two-person keelboat) class, with crew JP Creignou, French secured her team's second-place finish in a fleet of 11 international teams. In the lead up to the Games, she and Creignou, both members of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, also sailed the SKUD-18 to a second in the IFDS World Championship in Florida; a third at both the French Olympic Sailing Week (Hyeres) and US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR in Florida; and a fourth at Skandia Sail for Gold in England.
Global Ocean Race Announcements
It is planned that the GOR sailors will also complete their circumnavigation in the Solent and finishing the race in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, in June 2015 is under consideration.
Josh Hall, confirmed that the 31,000-mile race will again follow the classic Southern Ocean route around the world in what many now consider to be one of the toughest races on the calendar.
The third edition of the GOR will make its first stop in Cape Town, with its base at the V&A Waterfront Marina. From there it will head down to New Zealand and/or Australia, with stops in South America and Charleston, USA, before finishing back in The Solent. The Australasian and South American stopovers are currently in negotiation.
Confirmed today are the names of a new Steering Board for the race. Chairman of the Steering Board is Julian Mounter, a former CEO of three major broadcasting organisations; a former Times journalist and the driving force that pieced together the financing of Team New Zealand, winners of the America's Cup under Sir Peter Blake's leadership, and, earlier, was instrumental in the funding of the successful Whitbread campaign of Grant Dalton in New Zealand. Julian was also Senior Media Consultant for the first two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Harold Anderson will head up GOR Broadcast and Internet production. Harold is a top television producer who was in charge of programming for two of the recent Volvo Ocean Races and has also overseen coverage of several Olympic Games for, among others, the BBC.
Mark Howell will head up GOR Media and Public Relations. Mark was charged with maximising coverage for London throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games and was Press Officer for the RYA during the 1996 Olympics and from 1997 to 2001 and PR Director for the British Olympic Association at The Olympic Games in both Japan and Sydney. Mark was also Head of Media for the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02 and 2005-06.
Acquiring strong sponsors is an essential part of sport events and Chris Witty joins the GOR team bringing extensive experience from the world of sports sponsorship. Chris has been involved with sponsorship and team management in Formula 1, World Championship rallying, Le Mans and hybrid racing, working with FI legend Eddie Jordan, and is the youngest ever team owner to win a Grand Prix.
Normandy Channel Race
A number of other skippers are also planning to take part, which is indicative of a further boost in entries, with a goal of twenty or so boats on the start line.
Participation in the event will also serve as a qualifier for the Transat Jacques Vabre later this year, as well as Les Sables - Horta race.
The profile of the entries mirrors the Class 40 itself, with a variety of profiles and experiences, an international element and richness on a human level. These include semi-professional and professional skippers (Halvard Mabire / Miranda Merron / Sebastien Rogues / Nicolas Jossier / Armel Tripon / Bruno Jourdren / Thomas Ruyant / Louis Duc / Stephanie Alran / Jean- Christophe Caso) alongside some amateurs (Olivier Roussey /Catherine Pourre / Patrice Bougard / Damien Rousseau).
Pierre-Yves Lautrou (l'Express magazine) and Fabrice Amadeo (Le Figaro magazine) will be representing the category of journalist sailors, while a new British crew comprising Roderick Knowles and Paul Peggs will be joining the event for the first time.
Half the duos entered have already participated in at least one edition of the event and the presence of Thomas Ruyant, winner of the inaugural edition in 2010, as well as two second placed teams (Halvard Mabire in 2010 and 2012, Bruno Jourdren in 2011), bodes well for a high level of competitiveness on the water.
In terms of architecture and boat building, the current crop of Class 40s will be represented at the event, with entries from Pogo 40S2, JPK, Mach 40, Tyker, Rogers and Akilaria so far. The winning boat from the 2012 edition, the ex TALES, will also be in attendance in the hands of Louis Duc this time around. -- Kate Jennings
Irish Sailor Of The Year 2012
The overall national award will be presented to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to, Irish watersports during 2012.
This year voting will take place through www.afloat.ie from January the 1st.
Bios and voting at:
Caribbean Race Calendar: New Sanctioning Body Formed
With the continued growth of the major international events taking place in the Caribbean, and no central authority helping to coordinate the events, the CSA has agreed to step in and establish policy to reduce crowding and conflicts on the race calendar.
The goal of this new policy is for each major event to 'own' their place on the yearly calendar, thereby eliminating the need to coordinate on an annual basis. New events will be slotted in around the established regattas.
Although some events cater to different types of yachts, the CSA will still endeavor to avoid conflicting dates. Many of the Superyachts depend on the same sailors that are racing on the grand prix boats, so a conflicting date can prevent an owner or yacht from attending. -- Alison Sly-Adams in Sail-World.com
The J/70 Wins Yachts and Yachting Magazine Award
The Yachts and Yachting Awards celebrate the very best in what was a fabulous year for sport and for sailing. Readers of the Yachts and Yachting Magazine and web users were asked to vote for their preferred 'winner' in each of ten categories and then these 'reader' votes were added to the votes of the official judging panel.
The award for Best 'Performance Boat Under 30 feet' is sponsored by Garmin. The judges voted the J/70 'a clear winner' and proclaimed her as 'a boat on which the hopes of many sailors are resting'.
The team at Key Yachting would like to thank everyone who voted in the competition; this prestigious award ensures a cracking start to 2013 for the J/70 Class and one more accolade for the boat, which has also been voted Sailing World Magazine's '2013 Boat of the Year'.
Taking A Step Into The 21st Century
"There are a lot of things to be impressed by; the boat itself, the engineering, the crew work, and the methodology," he said after sailing with the team and taking the helm. "San Francisco Bay will be absolutely fantastic as a race course. It's so close to shore and even today there was a lot of people out watching. I can imagine it will be spectacular."
"I think it's really taking a step into the 21st century and bringing something completely new to sailing. For sure it's going to reach out to the non-sailing audience. It's not easy to convince those who don't understand sailing and I think we're going to give them something they've never seen before."
Tornqvist says the team is back on track after suffering a setback early in the summer when its first wing broke during training, holding up the launch of its first AC72.
"I'm happy with the team's progress. Obviously there are setbacks, but it's a matter of how you deal with these. There is a learning curve and this is completely new game with a much higher level of complexity.
Beautiful wooden Hillyard with many classic features. Significant amount of work done over the last 10 years including the addition of a bowthruster, cabin heating and an overhaul of the deck and hull. 'Kira' is a boat not to be missed! Lying close to Brighton
Brokerage through Ancasta International Boat Sales: www.yachtworld.com/ancasta/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
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