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Paradox Shows Record Pace In 5th Rorc Caribbean 600 Race
Breaking news from the RORC Caribbean 600 race course is that the first finishers are expected in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Wednesday 20 Feb), with every possibility that at least one record will be broken and possibly two.

Peter Aschenbrenner's American trimaran, Paradox, has virtually rounded Guadeloupe and is close to laying Les Desirades, the most westerly point of the course. Paradox, with multihull legend Cam Lewis on board, is still on record pace and is expected to arrive back in Antigua in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Paradox need to cross the line before 03:11:05 on Wednesday morning, to beat Region Guadeloupe's 2009 record. Paradox needs to cover 190 miles in 12 hours, which is very achievable.

British Maxi ICAP Leopard's attempt to eclipse George David's Rambler 100 monohull record looks to be slipping away; Leopard needs to finish by 04:10:02 on Wednesday morning and their current ETA is 0500.

In IRC Zero Hap Fauth's JV72, Bellla Mente, has seared downwind from St.Barths and at 1500 local time was beginning their approach to round Guadeloupe leading in IRC Overall. However Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50, Privateer, is just 20 minutes behind Bella Mente on corrected time. Bella Mente has slowed significantly on the north east corner of Guadeloupe and may have fallen into an area of light air. Privateer is very much in the running for the overall prize and look set to catch up their rivals.

Previous Records:
Multihull record holder - Region Guadeloupe in 40 hours 11 mins 5 secs (2009)
Monohull record held by Rambler 100 in 40 hours 20 mins 02 secs (2011)

www.caribbean600.rorc.org

Gaastra 52 World Championships
Eight 52's representing five different countries will challenge for the Gaastra 52 World Championships off Miami's famous South Beach from March 4th to 9th.

The championships, which return to the Miami for the first time since 2006, are being supported by headline sponsors Gaastra who also enter their own Dutch All-Stars team lead by Gaastra's Marc Blees.

Entries are confirmed from the USA, Sweden, Great Britain, Holland and Italy and include two teams which have won the world title in the past. As was required at the 52 World Championships till 2007 all boats are for 2013 owner steered.

Defending world champions are Doug deVos' Quantum Racing, who actually won the title in Porto Cervo, Italy in 2011. The American team have prevailed at three of the last four world championship showdowns, winning in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The only other team which has won the world title in the past which will line up in Miami is Alberto Roemmers' Azzurra, which won as Matador in Palma, Mallorca in 2009. Azzurra hold the initiative this season already after having already won the first 52 SUPER SERIES regatta, Quantum Key West 2013.

Typical wind conditions for March on the Miami coast are anywhere between 10 and 20kts, usually with relatively flat water but peppered with some strong localised currents. The plan is to run racing on at least two days in front of South Beach, in front of the cityscape which should allow some exciting images to be captured. Racing runs from Tuesday 5th March through to Saturday 9th March with windward-leeward racing scheduled each day.

The Gaastra 52 World Championships will be run alongside the HPR Midwinter Championship for HPR 40 footers.

Entries:
Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA)
Ran (SWE), Niklas Zennström (SWE)
Azzurra (ITA), Alberto Roemmers Jr (ARG)
Gladiator (GBR), Tony Langley (GBR)
Gaastra Pro (NED), March Blees (NED)
Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA)
Rio (USA) Manouch Moshayedi (USA)
Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA)

www.52superseries.com

Team Australia Set To Chase Sydney To Hobart Course Record
Click on image to enlarge.

Sean Langman's imposing 60-foot trimaran Team Australia The fastest yacht in the southern hemisphere, Sean Langman's imposing 60-foot trimaran Team Australia and its six adrenaline-fuelled crewmembers are gearing up to try and break the first of a number of South Pacific course and race records.

World-renowned marine forecaster Roger 'Clouds' Badham says conditions this coming Friday, February 22, could create the perfect weather window to break Mari Cha III's 1999 course record from Sydney to Hobart.

Forecast fresh easterlies, little seaway and beating the start of the whale migration north from Antarctica are the necessary ingredients for the attempt. Based on current models all these elements are set to align later this week.

Langman as his crew are planning to leave Sydney Harbour from a set of bearings between North and South Head on Friday morning. They will use the famous Sydney Hobart yacht race finish line off Battery Point in Hobart to mark the end point of their record attempt.

A recording box will be installed tomorrow on Team Australia by World Sailing Speed Record Council representative John Brookes and the information verified at the finish, should the 14 year-old fastest course time be bettered.

Nicknamed 'big bird' after its arched beams and outrigger hulls and the fact it resembles a large bird in full flight when powered-up, Team Australia is back in the water having had work done, and is set to fly.

The current record was set by the 147-foot Great British superyacht, Mari Cha III, in December 1999 in a time of 1 day 18 hours 27 minutes and 10 seconds, a time sanctioned by the WSSRC.

Team Australia need to average more than 14.83 knots over the 630 nautical miles to break the official record.

Their ultimate goal is to sail from Sydney to Hobart in just 24 hours. This means averaging 26.25 knots. With just six on the boat at those perilous speeds, sleep won't be an option.

'Big bird' is ready to fly as soon as Roger Badham gives the nod. -- Lisa Ratcliff

To track Team Australia go to my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

Tornado 5.4m High Performance
Click on image to enlarge.

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For more information please visit: www.tornado-boats.com/en

£5 Gets You A Chair
Charity sailor Alan Rankin is giving a presentation on his solo trip around the UK and Ireland this summer. His talk will be at the RYA Scotland Big Weekend at Largs on 23 - 24 February 2013.

He is to set off from Ullapool in his F27 Trimaran Trade Winds and sail clockwise to the Shetland Isles rounding Muckle Flugga and then south to the busy English Channel. From there Alan will sail past the Scilly Isles and on up the West Coast of Ireland before heading out to St Kilda and returning around the northern tip of the Outer Hebrides to Ullapool on his 2,200 mile challenge.

Alan plans to stop at; Lerwick, Blyth, Lowestoft, Brighton, Poole, Falmouth, Dingle and Broad Haven before returning to Ullapool. At each of the stops Alan will run 10k to help fundraising for his charities; Parkinson's UK, Cancer Research UK, MS Society, British Heart Foundation and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Donations can be made at www.soloroundbritain/charities

www.yachtingmonthly.com

Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, Race 3
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

JJ Giltinan Sydney Harbour: The defending champion Gotta Love It 7 team gave a faultless display in the 10knot North-East wind to take out Race 3 of the Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris crossed the fleet off Bradleys Head shortly after the start and from that point were never headed to record a 1m24s win over Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel.

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel's crew of Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy chased the leader all the way and were within 20s for most of the course but just didn't have the boat speed to close the gap.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson) were back to their best form to finish just 22s further back in third place.

New Zealand's C-Tech (Alex Vallings) was fourth, followed by UK's Pica (James Mears) and the wing-masted Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) in sixth place.

Gotta Love It 7, with 2 wins and a second placing from the three races so far, holds a thiree points lead in the championship.

Race 4 will be sailed tomorrow with further races on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 24 February. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League, www.18footers.com.au

Live Tracking: www.tractrac.com/index.php?page=eventpage&id=274

www.18skiff.com

John Calvert-Jones Trophy To Decide Farr 40 Australian Champion
This weekend's John Calvert-Jones Farr 40 national title on Sydney Harbour is the culmination of three state finals and by Sunday afternoon, the season will be over and the 2012-13 Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Australian Champion declared.

Ten Farr 40s had their warm-up last weekend when the NSW state title went to Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion. With double points for results this weekend's season pinnacle, it's back to square one for the strong fleet representing Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales.

Inshore racing will again be a feature of the four-day event, which will open with a twilight invitational race this Thursday, February 21. Up to four races are scheduled for both Friday and Saturday and three for Sunday's curtain close.

Last weekend was marked by gentle summer breezes, albeit unreliable. This weekend much stronger winds are forecast.

www.farr40.asn.au
https://www.facebook.com/farrforty.australia?fref=ts

Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race
Montego Bay, Jamaica: After a relatively mellow light-air start, George Sakellaris's (Framingham, Mass.) 72' Reichel Pugh Shockwave eventually enjoyed double-digit reaching conditions to become first-to-finish, first in IRC division and first overall at the 31st biennial Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race Presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum. The annual ocean race of 811 nautical miles started on Friday, February 8 at Florida's Port Everglades, sending the "MoBay" fleet of ten boats--sailing in IRC and PHRF divisions--on a challenging all-points-of-sail course to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Shockwave crossed the finish line on Sunday, February 10 with an elapsed time of two days, 11 hours, 23 minutes and two seconds, just short of the current race record that was set in 2005 by Titan 12. Due to the favorable conditions, all of the boats had crossed the finish line by Tuesday evening, February 12, two days earlier than expected.

It was one long match race for IceFire and another TP 52, Bryon Ehrhart's (Chicago, Ill.) Lucky, but IceFire prevailed, beating Lucky by a little over two hours and taking second place on corrected time in IRC Division. (Lucky wound up in fourth place behind Stephen Murray's Carkeek 40 Decision.)

In PHRF division, Glenn Gault's (League City, Texas) J/120 Rebecca won on corrected time. Tom Slade's (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) Santa Cruz 52 Renegade took second, while Michael Hennessy's (New York, N.Y.) Class 40 Dragon finished third.

The Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum is endorsed by the Jamaican Tourist Board and managed by the SORC.

Final results:

IRC (6 Boats)
1. Shockwave, Mini Maxi 72, George Sakellaris, Framingham, MA, USA
2. Icefire, IRC 52 52, Ralf Steitz USMMA, Kings Point, NY, USA
3. Decision, HPR Carkeek 40 40, Stephen Murray, New Orleans, LA, USA
4. Lucky, TP 52 58, Bryon Ehrhart, Chicago, IL, USA
5. Catapult, Ker 40 40, Marc Glimcher, New York, NY, USA
6. Donnybrook, Andrews 80 80, James Muldoon, Washington, DC, USA

PHRF (4 Boats)
1. Rebecca, J 120 40, Glenn Gault, League City, TX, USA
2. Renegade, Santa Cruz 52 52, Tom Slade, Ponte Vedra, FL, USA
3. Dragon, Class 40 40, Michael Hennessy, New York, NY, USA
4. AMHAS, Class 40 40, MacKenzie Davis, Mill Valley, CA, USA

www.montegobayrace.com

Volvo Ocean Race To Pass Through Lisbon
Lisbon will be one of the stopover locations for the 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race, one of the most gruelling offshore circum-navigation regattas in the world.

The Portuguese capital will be the finish of the transatlantic leg of the next race in the summer of 2012, according to Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

The official announcement of Lisbon hosting the event was made during a press conference, held at the 'Padrão dos Descobrimentos' monument, in Lisbon, in the presence of Lisbon Council and businessman João Lagos. It was Mr. Lagos who negotiated for Lisbon to be a stopover location for the world renowned sailing event, winning its bid over 80 cities that were also interested in being the stopover location.

The Lisbon stopover will take place in 2012, with the yachts arriving from their transatlantic trip, either from Brazil or the United States of America, and heading towards France or Ireland. The definitive calendar will be made public by the end of this month.

Being such a high profile event, Lisbon will have to invest a considerable amount as the Volvo Ocean Race attracts thousands of people, the reason for the event taking place in Lisbon and not in Cascais.

With a large amount of space required to harbour these state-of-the-art vessels, Lisbon Council will be restarting the renovation of the Docapesca area, in front of the Pedrouços river, between Lisbon and Alges. It had been planned for a complete facelift in 2004, when the Americas Cup was meant to stopover in Lisbon, but the event was then moved to Valencia and the project was abandoned.

The Portugal News:
theportugalnews.com/news/

He's... Displeased Shall We Say?
A February 2012 report by the city controller's office raised concerns that the America's Cup Organizing Committee wasn't raising funds fast enough to meet funding goals. Last week, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Lee said officials have raised about $14 million of the estimated $31 million to $34 million needed.

District 11 Supervisor John Avalos now says he wants a hearing into how the fundraising deficit has grown this large, according to an SF Weekly report, and says that language indicating that organizers would simply "endeavor" to raise their portion of the funding was largely overlooked by city officials.

"I was f-ing played. All the members of the Board of Supervisors were f-ing played," Avalos said to the Weekly. "There was a full-court press on us from the America's Cup Organizing Committee to play us... I am totally f-ing ashamed."

Avalos said he would explore the possibility of calling off the race, but concedes that the city is committed contractually at this point.

Mark Buell, who is chair of the fundraising committee, previously told the San Francisco Chronicle that hosting the America's Cup will still benefit San Francisco economically even if the city breaks its promise about refraining from using public money to pay for the event.

CBS television, San Francisco
sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

Black Jack Defends The Courier Mail Cup
Popular Brisbane yacht owner Peter Harburg buoyed with an outstanding 2012 season of blue water racing has entered his speed sailing sloop Black jack for the 308 n/ml Qantaslink Brisbane To Gladstone race.

Black Jack skippered by the experienced big boat helmsman Mark Bradfrord is the prerace favourite following their outstanding season of racing in 2012 where the crew combined cleverly to record a runaway Gladstone race win followed by an equally brilliant performance to claim the IRC class trophy in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in late December.

The professional analysis of the yachts North Sails wardrobe backed with a go hard attitude by her crew has been rewarded with Black Jack now ranked as Australia's fastest pocket maxi. Her crew who have spent the past four years on a steep learning curve to master the sloops speed sailing potential including the critical technique of adjusting the canting keel ballast for maximum performance.

They have finally graduated with their outstanding Sydney Hobart Race result which they hope to repeat when they defend their 2012 Courier Mail Cup win over the tactically demanding Brisbane to Gladstone coastal passage race course over the Easter Weekend.

Meanwhile as the countdown to the race start at 11am on Good Friday Black Jack remains as the 2013 Gladstone Race favourite while former race winner's Bill Wild (Wedgetail) Ian Kenny (The Gambler) and Scott Patrick helming the Gladstone sloop Wistari are among the likely challengers. -- Ian Grant

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Mark Jardine: re: Ross Hobson's note about San Salvador:

I do believe that Joyon of course took the correct Columbus Route - as shown by www.joh.cam.ac.uk

* From Jeremy Payne: Working for Mer & Media I'm responsible for the translation of Francis Joyon's press releases. I'm afraid Ross Hobson has got it wrong here.

The Columbus Route is raced between Cadiz in Spain and San Salvador in the Bahamas. This is the route taken by Columbus on his voyage of discovery and the island of San Salvador was the first piece of land spotted on the other side of the Atlantic back in October 1492. There have indeed been races to San Salvador da Bahia in Brazil, including the Transat Jacques Vabre, but this is not the same place. There is of course San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador too, but no one is likely to sail there as it is inland. And fortunately Francis Joyon did navigate to the right place and did quite a remarkable job of it.

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The Last Word
"Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

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