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Trucks and Ferraris - Clarity and Co-Operation: Part Ii of the RORC Rating Office Article
So, IRC is for all. But how then can the quality of racing be improved? Achieving this is not just about the rating rule: Clubs and events and their race management are also key.

In an ideal world, clubs and regattas would split their entries into 'truck classes' and 'Ferrari classes', but few fleets are large enough to do that, so inevitably it rarely happens. However, race committees can help by, for example, adopting dual scoring and by varying the style of races - all windward/leewards will result in a truck benefit day, all reaches, a Ferrari day.

So why not ring the changes with courses, and just because it is blowing 20 knots don't automatically call it off. Why not let the adrenaline seekers have their day and let the sporty types stretch their legs and show what they can do?

Mike Urwin, Technical Director, RORC Rating Office, has long admired the 'Irish solution' of dual scoring everything under IRC and ECHO, their national performance handicap system and says:

"We are now actively and vigorously promoting dual scoring as a means of encouraging the less committed to try racing. We are working with the RYA on re-vamped performance handicap systems to help with this. In addition in the UK this year we are offering 'Limited Validity IRC TCCs' at a reduced cost to those who want to try out IRC or just wish to compete in a single IRC race or regatta each year."

There's more on the Limited Validity (LV) TCC for occasional racers here

The Rating Office is making conscious efforts to de-mystify the sport by introducing small but important initiatives such as the simplified measurement guides and 'jargon buster' on the IRC website. There are a number of seminars taking place around the UK aimed at all cruiser/racer sailors - not just those already using IRC - and at helping the clubs to put on the best racing possible for their members. More about these here:

Should there be a separate rating rule for the grand prix and sports boats? Past experience tells us that owners will gravitate to the major trophies, the Gold Roman Bowl for the JPMAM Round the Island Race for example, inhibiting the growth of such rules as IRM. In the USA, there is the recently developed HPR - High Performance Rule. As yet, the RORC Rating Office has not been directly involved with this, but retains a watching brief and is in close contact with the rule developers. In other parts of the world, grand prix boats are enjoying competitive racing in IRC.

However, in being open minded and in trying to move IRC and the sport forward, the grassroots and the bedrock of the sport must not be forgotten. The privately owned, amateur sailed, on a budget, production cruiser/racers are fundamental to the cause. This committed group, and the clubs to which they belong, must remain the focus and continue to receive a high proportion of the time and resources of those formulating future IRC policy. -- RORC Rating Office / Peta Stuart-Hunt

Information on the IRC rating system can be found at

Thomson Vendee
Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image for photo gallery.

Alex Thomson crossed the Vendee Globe finish line at 07 hours 25 minutes 43 seconds (GMT) after 80 days 19 hours 23 minutes 43 seconds at sea. He finishes 2 days 18 hours and 7 minutes behind François Gabart.

His final race time is 80 days 19 hours 25 minutes 43 seconds. His average speed around the course was 12.6 knots and he actually covered 28, 022 miles at the average speed of 14.4 knots. Note: the race's theoretical distance was 24,393.41 miles.

After Ellen MacArthur's second place in 2000 and Mike Golding's third in 2005, Alex Thomson becomes the third British skipper ever to finish on the podium of the Vendee Globe. But his time surpasses that of the Golding's previous British solo race record from 2005 by 7 days 19 hours 52 minutes. After winner Francois Gabart and second placed Armel Le Cleac'h, Thomson has also smashed the previous race record of 84 days 03 hours 09 minutes set by Michel Desjoyeaux in 2009.

* Jean-Pierre Dick is determined not to give up his Vendee Globe dream. He has decided to make a temporary stop on the north Spanish coast to give himself the best possible chance of finishing.

Racing without a keel for a week now, at 2100hrs French time (2000hrs UTC) this Wednesday evening Dick made the decision to seek shelter and anchor in the bay at San Ciprián, and so avoid the strong gale force winds which are about to sweep the Bay of Biscay especially between Thursday and Friday. The skipper of Virbac-Paprec 3 hopes to return to the race course late Saturday or early Sunday, seeking to make the final 290 miles across the Bay of Biscay to the Vendee Globe finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne

"I want to finish this race and have had the adventure, I wanted to wear the yellow jersey but I got the polka dot jersey as the best climber. I wanted the fun of surfing and have had this stressful high wire act. To finish the Vendee Globe is the aim but what a joy it will be to cross the line!"

Rankings as of Wednesday 30 January 2013, 20:00 (FR)

1. MACIF, François Gabart, Arrival : Sunday 27 January 2013, 14:18:40 TU
2. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h Arrival : Sunday 27 January 2013, 17:35:52 TU
3. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson Arrival : Wednesday 30 January 2013, 07:25:43 TU
4. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 351.0 nm
5. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 1713.0 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 1766.6 nm
7. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 2182.8 nm
8. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 2318.4 nm
9. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sanso, 2462.8 nm
10. Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets, Bertrand de Broc, 2744.6 nm
11. Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy De Lamotte, 3263.3 nm
12. Team Plastique, Alessandro Di Benedetto, 4308.5 nm

Marinepool Revolution NX Racing Top - Introducing a New Generation of Sailing Clothing
What if there was a sailing top light weight like a shirt, super comfortable, made from highly flexible fabric, waterproof like the best offshore sailing gear and more breathable than anything you have ever seen or worn?

Impossible? Too good to be true? Well, not any longer!

The new Revolution NX top by Marinepool combines all the above mentioned highly regarded qualities in one new revolutionary garment with Dermizax NX technology. This high-tech and high-end racing top is one of the stars in the Marinepool 2013 collection. The Marinepool design team and Toray, the producers of the Dermizax NX fabrics have been working behind the scenes to bring this new product to market, while the world class athletes on the Marinepool Racing Team put the gear through a thorough testing programme.

Their feedback was inspiring the name of this racing top: Revolutionary!

Never before has a racing top ticked off the boxes like Revolution NX with unrivaled comfort, ease of movement and a breathability at 30,000g/m2/24h - 50% higher than any other product in our comprehensive product range.

Athletes who turn every stone to reduce weight and who always are in pursuit of a competitive advantage will look no further: Revolution NX

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Miami Florida, USA: The stage is set for mixed multihull racing at Rio 2016. As one of two new Olympic events, the Nacra 17 is making its first appearance in the ISAF Sailing World Cup series this week in Miami.

These doublehanded teams are sorting out new strategies and techniques as they become more comfortable with this fast, light catamaran and its featured curved dagger boards. Many of the sailors competing in the Nacra 17 are making the adjustment from another boat or class. In some cases, sailors are getting acquainted with new teammates as well.

Perhaps no team has made a smoother transition than Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA). The duo has been dominant through three days of racing on Biscayne Bay. They have won five of the six races, including the last five. Sarah Streater and Matthew Whitehead (USA) have four second-place finishes and trail by four points.

Newberry and Casey have their sights set on the 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship this July in The Netherlands, which will serve as the selection event for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.

Once again, Biscayne Bay was graced with strong winds that reached 20 knots by the afternoon and significant chop. The weather included mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s.

Class leaders:

49er: Frederick Strammer/Zach Brown (USA), 17 points
470 Men: Stuart McNay/David Hughes (USA), 10
470 Women: Fernanda Oliveira/Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA), 22
Laser: Jesper Stalheim (SWE), 5
Nacra17: Sarah Newberry/John Casey (USA), 5
RS:X Men: Dorian van Rijssbelberghe (NED), 6
RS:X Women: Demita Vega (MEX), 12
Sonar: Aleksander Wang-Hansen/Marie Solberg/Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR), 8
2.4mR: Bruce Millar (CAN), 8
Finn: Caleb Paine (USA), 9
49erFX: Martine Soffiatti/Kahena Kunze (BRA), 15
Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy (IRL), 10

RC44 Season Gets Underway In Oman
Andy Horton at the helm of Katusha. Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Muscat, Oman: After a breezy practice race that had blown away the cobwebs after a three month break, conditions were more gentle for the start of the RC44 Oman Cup presented Oman Shipping Company.

With the race course just outside of The Wave Muscat's marina complex, it was Katusha who relished the conditions at the events only day of match racing, finishing the day unbeaten. New tactician Andy Horton took the helm and held off some tough competition including 2012 RC44 Match Race Champions, Synergy Russian Sailing team

Synergy also finished the day with a 4-2 scoreline, losing two matches to Aegir and Katusha. Out of the 13 boats, half the owners took the helm today. Another top performer was Igor Lah at the helm of Team CEEREF with Michele Ivaldi calling the shots. The Slovenian team won three

The RC44's crash bows, designed to take an impact and not damage the hull, also came into good effect in Team Aqua's race against Ironbound. Chris Bake had successfully shut David Murphy's Ironbound out at the committee boat in the pre-start, Murphy dipped to try and release himself from the situation, but just caught Team Aqua's stern. Ironbound were deducted two points for the damage, Team Nika were also penalised and deducted 3 points in another incident.

Thursday sees the start of four days of fleet racing for the RC44 Oman Cup presented by Oman Shipping

Match Race Results
RC44 Oman Cup 2013 presented by Oman Shipping Company

1. Katusha (RUS 007) - Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) / Andy Horton (USA), 6
2. Aegir Racing (GBR22) - Brian Benjamin (GBR) / Russell Coutts (NZL), 4
3. Lunajets Aleph Racing Team (FRA17) - Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA), 4
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) - Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS) / Ed Baird (USA), 4
5. Team Aqua (GBR 2041) - Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appleton (NZL), 3
6. Artemis Racing (SWE44) - Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Morgan Larson (USA), 3
7. CEEREF RC44 SAILING TEAM (SLO 11) - Igor Lah (SLO) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA), 3
8. MAG Racing (POL44) - Krzysztof Krempec (POL) / Piotr Przybylski (POL), 2
9. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) - John Bassadone (GBR) / Gustavo Martinez Doreste (ESP), 2
10. RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by (RUS7) - Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Serguei Chevtsov (RUS), 1
11. Team Italia (ITA7) - Massimo Barranco (ITA) / Flavio Flavini (ITA), 1
12. Team Nika (RUS 10) - Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tomislav Basic (CRO), 1
13. Ironbound (USA 1) - David Murphy (USA) / Paul Goodison (GBR), 1

Ocean Safety Open Weekend
When: 16th - 17th February 2013
Where: Ocean Safety, Saxon Wharf, Lower York Street, Southampton. SO14 5QR

As a full season of offshore races, including the Rolex Fastnet Race, are looming on the horizon, now is the time to check your safety equipment is in proper working order.

Ocean Safety, in association with Yachting Monthly, is holding a liferaft servicing open weekend where their trained service engineers will be able to examine your liferafts and lifejackets. There will be experts on hand from Jonbuoy, ICOM, Seafire, Kannad, Para anchor & Kru to discuss and advise on all types of safety equipment including liferafts, lifejackets, EPIRBs, MOB aids, parachute anchors and flares. There will also be a live flare and R10 AIS PLB demonstration.

To book your liferaft service slot please ring +44 (0)23 80 720 800 or email :

Round The World Sailor Donates &Pound;5000 To Sailing Charity
The official charity of the 2013/ 2014 Clipper Race, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, was presented with a cheque for £5,000 from Peter Smith, 60 from Solihull, one of six members of crew on board De Lage Landen who completed the full circumnavigation of the Round the World yacht race last year.

£5,000 will allow the Trust to take 10 more young people, aged 8-24, on a life changing, four day sailing trip around the Isle of Wight.

After signing up to the event, Peter set up a fundraising page online, which he used as a blog throughout his training and circumnavigation to update family and friends as well as reminding people he was raising money for the Trust. After each leg he used social media to encourage people to read his blog and donate, money saved from providing their own food at training days pre-race, raffling his own wine collection and sending e-cards at Christmas also contributed to the fantastic total of £5,000.

For his on-going support, Peter was recently invited to be an Ambassador for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust,

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a nationwide organisation that supports young people aged 8-24 on their way to recovery from cancer. Launched in 2003 by Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Trust helps young people rebuild their confidence and independence, taking back what is often lost through cancer treatment.

To follow the latest on the Trust's involvement with the Clipper Race and find out how you can support them, please visit

Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series
The Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series gets underway from 17th March 2013. Competitors can benefit from reduced early entry fees for those received by 22nd February 2013. The full Notice of Race and entry details are published on

The six-Sunday Spring Series is now in its 30th year and continues to attract boats in four IRC divisions as well as five one design classes and mixed sportsboats. The addition of the Spring Championship, taking place on the final two weekends of 20th/21st and 27th/28th April, brings the event to an exciting finale with multiple races, every one of which counts.

This year Warsash Sailing Club has extended the Spring Championship to all IRC classes as well as one designs, quarter tonners and 45-footers.

New for 2013 is the J/70 class, recently voted European Yacht of the Year. The first J/70 to enter, in both the Spring Series and Spring Championship, was Solent sailor Simon Cavey's Pheebs and with 22 J/70s sold in the UK so far, this class should see some thrilling action.

The SB20 Class Association has included the final weekend as one of their five events to count towards the Solent Series. For SB20s and other slipway-launchable keelboats, Warsash Sailing Club is making some dry berthing space available at Shore House on a first come, first served basis.

Enquiries regarding the event can be made to

Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy
Building on the success of the first Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy in 2012, Aberdeen is delighted to announce the extension of the opportunity to more young teams at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week in 2013.

Having funded the participation of 10 crews in the regatta in 2012, Aberdeen's support of the youth sailing initiative is being increased to 15 crews in 2013. The first 15 crews to enter the event and confirm their entire team of under 25 year olds will have their entry fees covered by Aberdeen, as well as receiving team sailing kit and having the chance to compete for the stunning Under 25 Trophy.

Sailors William Goldsmith (19), Ben Arnold (20), Mark Wild (22) and Julian Wild (22) from Essex, racing in the J/80, Exess, became the first crew to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy at last year's event.

Exess had a fantastic week of sailing at Cowes, collecting 2nd place in the J/80 class behind RAFBF Spitfire.

Gretel II Wins 177th Australia Day Regatta
Photo by Howard Wright / IMAGE Professional Photography, Click on image for photo gallery.

More than 43 years after her historic challenge for the America's Cup at Newport, Rhode Island in the USA, the International 12-metre class yacht Gretel II today showed her class with a fine win in the 177th Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour.

Gretel II, the last 12-metre class yacht to be built of wood, challenged for the America's Cup in 1970, losing 4-1 against the US defender Intrepid in a controversial series.

Today there was no challenge to her supremacy on Sydney Harbour as the beautifully restored Gretel II, skippered by Michael Maxwell, outsailed the Classic 1 Division fleet, getting the gun and also winning on corrected time from two other 'metre' style yachts, Antara (Ian Kortlang) and Defiance (Nicole Shrimpton and Gordon Hinds).

The 177th Australia Day Regatta was sailed in a freshening 15-20 knot nor'easter, gusting to 25 knots, providing ideal sailing conditions for the 90 starters in the traditional Harbour Regatta.

A further 21 ocean racing yachts raced for the City of Sydney Cup in the short ocean race from the Harbour to Botany Bay and return, with victory going to Balance, skippered by Paul Clitheroe.

Balance won on corrected time from Laurence Freedman's Expresso Forte and Richard Cawse's Vanguard, which beat Bob Steel's Quest for line honours by just seven seconds.

The Classic 2 Division saw another outright win, with the wishbone ketch Sana (David Mathlin) outpacing the 16 boat fleet to also take handicap honours from John Diacopoulos' 'couta boat, Yeromais V, and Tia Hia, helmed by James Bevis.

Australia Day Regatta president Charles Curran watched from aboard the flagship, HMAS Sydney, as his 60-footer Sydney took line and corrected time honours in Division 1, winning from Akela (Alan Mather) and Scarlett O'Hara (Robert Skol).

Division 2 went to Jedi (Sandra Entwistle) from Silky (Tony Hirst) and Ambitious (David Matthews) with the Folkboat, Dreamtime (Lyndsay Brown and Jim Littlefield) revelling in the fresh breeze to win Division 3 from Witchway II (Jeff Finnegan) and Vitamin Sea (David Coleman).

Only 16 seconds on corrected times separated Division 1 non-spinnaker fleet winner As You Do (Ross Littlewood) and Molly (Frank Hetherton) with line honours winner Margaret Rintoul V (Graeme Wilson) a close third on handicap.

John Conroy sailed his Adams 10, Star Ferry, to an outright win in the Division 2 non-spinnaker fleet, second place going to Flying Circus, third to Waimota (Peter Hamilton).

In the CYCA Ocean Pointscore results for the Botany Bay race, the IRC category went to AFR Midnight Rambler, skippered by Ed Psaltis, from About Time (Julian Farren-Price) and Imagination (Robin Hawthorn).

Under ORCi scoring, AFR Midnight Rambler also won, second place going to Balance, third to About Time. Balance won the Ocean Pointscore PHS category from Vanguard and Imagination. -- Peter Campbell

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The Last Word
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