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Back In Business
Photo by Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile. Click on image for photo gallery.

Hyeres The opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères marked the return to action for familiar faces on the World Cup series as Robert Scheidt (BRA) stepped back into the Laser and Lijia Xu (CHN) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) made a Radial return.

Xu and Bouwmeester last competed at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition where the Chinese sailor sealed gold in the Medal Race by taking the race win ahead of Bouwmeester who settled for silver. Following an extended break the pair are back in action in Hyères and from the off proved they still know their way around a Radial.

As racing got underway early in the afternoon following a morning delay due to light winds the conditions across the six race courses were tricky for the 800 sailors competing.

In the Laser, Robert Scheidt (BRA) joined the fleet for his first 200-point regatta following a victory at the Laser Europa Cup on Lake Garda, Italy in March. The Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Laser medallist started positively and ended the day tied in second overall.

With Scheidt proving he still has what it takes to mix things up he will have his work cut out to catch light wind specialist Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) who took two race wins and the opening day Laser lead.

The Croatian has a perfect scoreline having discarded his eighth in the opening race whilst Bruno Fontes (BRA), Giovanni Coccoluto (ITA), James Espey (IRL) and Scheidt all follow on six points tied for second.

Racing resumes on Tuesday 23 March at 11:00 as the Qualification Series comes to a close ahead of the Final Series on 24 April.

Top three after the first day of racing (Scores reflect a 0 score for first place and a throwout)

RS:X Men
1. Julien Bontemps, FRA, 2 points
2. Piotr Myszka, POL, 17
3. Ivan Pastor, ESP, 17

RS:X Women
1. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 0
2. Eugenie Richard, FRA, 2
3. Charline Picon, FRA, 3

Laser
1. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 0
2. Bruno Fontes, BRA, 6
3. Giovanni Coccoluto, ITA, 6

Laser Radial
1. Marie Bolou, FRA, 0
2. Tina Mihelic, CRO, 0
3. Caren Miezen, 2

49er FX
1. Jurczok Victoria / Anika Lorenz, GER, 2
2. Charlotte Dobson / Mary Rook, GBR, 5
3. Frances Peters / Nicola Groves, GBR, 7

49er
1. Dylan Fletcher / Alain Sing, 0
2. David Evans / Edward Powys, GBR, 2
3. Alonso Federico / Alonso Arturo, 2

470 Men
1. Paul Snow-Hansen, NZL, 0
2. Sofian Bouvet / Jeremie Mion, 4
3. Tetsuya Matsunaga / Yuugo Yoshida, JPN, 4

470 Women
1. Fernanda Oliveira / Ana Barbachan, BRA, 0
2. Lara Vadlau / Jolanta Ogar, AUT, 2
3. Anne Haeger / Brianan Provancha, USA, 6

NACRA 17
1. Renee Groeneveld / Karel Begemann, NED, 0
2. Maxim Semenov / Alena Pankratova, RUS, 0
3. Thomas Zajac / Tanja Chiara Frank, AUT, 2

Finn
1. Edward Wright, GBR, 0
2. Oliver Twedeell, 0
3. Giorgio Poggi, 2

2.4m
1. Megan Pascoe, GBR, 0
2. Lasse Kloetzing, GER, 0
3. Kol Barend, NED, 2

Sonar
1. Udo Hessels / Mischa Rossen / Marcel Van De Veen, NED, 0
2. Jens Kroker / Robert Prem / Siegmunnd Mainka, GER, 0
3. Bruno Jourdren / Eric Flageul / Nicolas Vimont-Vicary, FRA, 2

swc.ffvoile.com

Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series In Gaeta
Photo by Studio Borlenghi / Stefano Gattini / BPSE. Click on image for photo gallery.

Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series Gaeta, Italy: The second day of racing at the 2013 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series in Gaeta was nothing short of spectacular. Thanks to 13-15 knots of breeze, two more races were completed on Sunday with the Audi Melges 20 serving as a beautiful centerpiece in the city of Gaeta.

With a first and a fifth for Alessio Marinelli at the helm of Guido Miani's Out of Reach, he triumphed over second place finisher Achille Onorato's Mascalzone Latino, Jr. Francesco Farneti's ITA-157 rounded out the top three.

It was a challenging yet semi-successful event for fourth overall Federico Albano aboard 3Menda. Giancarlo Capolino on Legionario finished fifth. Marco Francini aboard Mezza Luna won out over Mirko de Falco on Peccere finishing respectively sixth and seventh.

With Gaeta now complete, the Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series will concentrate on Porto Ercole, taking place on 18-19 May.

Top Ten Results (After Six Races, One Discard)

1. Guido Miani / Gabriele Benussi, Out of Reach, 14 points
2. Achille Onorato / Lorenzo Bressani, Mascalzone Latino, Jr., 17
3. Francesco Farneti / Alberto Bolzan, ITA-157, 24
4. Federico Albano / Guilio Desiderato, 3Menda, 27
5. Giancarlo Capolino / Francesco Ivaldi, Legionario, 31
6. Marco Francini / Sandro Montefusco, Mezza Luna, 32
7. Mirko de Falco / Gugleilmo Giordano, Peccere, 33
8. Alessandro Rombelli / Paul Goodison, STIG, 37
9. Dario Levi / Andrea Casale, Fremito d'Arja, 37
10. Lauro Bonora / Carlo Fracassoli, Camay, 42

Full Results melges20.com/pdf/2013-AM20SS-Gaeta-Results.pdf

Buying A Blue Water Cruiser?
Sailing Rallies Ever wanted good unbiased, impartial advice about buying a blue water cruiser? At the Transatlantic Forum weekend hosted by Sailing Rallies in London 11th /12th May, you will get just that - and much more besides!

We have all been bamboozled by the vast array of blue water yachts on the market, and have lacked an opportunity to discuss the boat of our dreams or how good it will be for its intended use. At the Transatlantic Forum there will not only be opportunity to hear about what makes a good blue water cruiser, but also discuss the boats with seasoned long distance sailors and other boat owners, as well as yacht brokers.

The Transatlantic Forum weekend, being held at the Cruising Association, Limehouse Basin, London, which will cover lots more than just buying a blue water cruiser, will be an informative and enjoyable weekend covering preparation, planning and what you are likely to experience during an Atlantic crossing. Whether you are planning to buy your boat and sail the Atlantic this year, next year or if you have only just started dreaming about it - the Transatlantic Forum will provide expert advice and plenty of hints and tips to make your trip a success.

The all-inclusive price of £75 (discounted to £50 for most sailing clubs and organisations) includes a full programme of speakers coving all aspects of transatlantic and long distance sailing.

Anyone interested in ocean sailing is welcome to attend. Places are limited! Contact Mikaela on 0845 257 5004 or or visit www.sailingrallies.com

Former RYA CEO Rod Carr Announced as New UK Sport Chair
The RYA today (22 April) sends its warmest congratulations to former CEO Rod Carr on the news of his appointment as the Chairman of UK Sport.

Carr, who led the RYA from December 2000 until his retirement in February 2010, takes over the post from outgoing UK Sport Chair Baroness Sue Campbell, and will now lead the UK's high-performance sports agency as it looks to build on the success of London 2012, where Britain's athletes finished an unprecedented third in the Olympic medals table.

Having previously been the RYA's Racing Manager and Performance Director, the Sailing Team Manager for the Atlanta Olympic Games and Team Coach in Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona, Carr was also the British Olympic Association's Deputy Chef de Mission for the whole of Team GB at the Sydney Olympics.

He was the architect of the RYA's World Class Performance Programme, which has seen unrivalled medal success for sailing on the world stage, boosted by the introduction of National Lottery funding for elite sport in 1997.

Carr was awarded a CBE for services to sailing in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List, and has remained a board member of UK Sport since 2005. -- Lindsey Bell

www.rya.org.uk

Extra Class Added to 2013 Musto Vice Admiral's Cup
Cowes, UK: By popular demand an additional class has been added to the 2013 Musto Vice Admiral's Cup, which will be hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes, from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May. Entries are now invited from series production boats with a length of between 39 and 43 feet overall with an IRC handicap between 1.110 and 1.200.

This new class, Class 6, will race under IRC and is expected to include many of the boats that took part in the 2012 Commodore's Cup Trials, which were hosted in association with last year's Vice Admiral's Cup. These triallists enjoyed themselves so much last year that they contacted the organisers to ask if they could enter again this year and the club has been delighted to accommodate them. Amongst the boats expected to enter in this division are the First 40s and Kerr 40s.

Already familiar names such as Tony Langley's Weapon of Choice (TP52), Jeff Blue's Espresso Martini (Farr 45), Tony Mack's McFly (J/111), Steven Tapper's Stalker (J/109), Rickard Melander's Alice II (Quarter Tonner) and the Llewelly/Vigus/Wakefield owned Henri Lloyd/Forelle Estates (SB20) have confirmed their entries in the other classes and entries remain open.

The deadline for standard rate entries is this Friday 26April and late entries, subject to a £50 entry fee surcharge, will be accepted until 16 May. Special rate block berthing has been arranged with Cowes Yacht Haven and entrant's wishing to take advantage of this offer and reserve a berth should indicate their requirements on the entry form.

Further information, the Notice of Race and Entry Form are available from www.rcyc.co.uk

IMOCA Chooses The Boat For The Future
The Skippers and Members of IMOCA met in Paris on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 April 2013 at the IMOCA Annual General Meeting to decide the future direction of their class, and in particular to discuss two major subjects: the design of the future boat and the programme for the years to come.

The technical committee of the class has been working for two years reviewing the different possible architectural designs of the new boat, to comply with several constraints: to reduce the costs, to increase reliability and to allow the boats to stay competitive. The majority decision reached was an integrated solution, with a one-design mast and keel. The other elements of the boat must conform to the rules of stability, speed, length and construction materials. The boats will remain at 60 feet in length, with a bowsprit of 1.8 metres and the one-design keel must meet the specifications that were previously agreed, with particular note to the rule applying to a single piece of forged steel (Inox) for the keel blade

This new rule comes into immediate effect for all new boats while the current boats can continue to sail under the 2012 rules, or can decide to comply to the new regulations.

International ProgrammeThe team at OSM (Open Sports Management), responsible for the development and commercialisation of the international class, presented the Race Programme for 2013/2014 announcing plans to take the boats to the United States and Asia. To this end, the IMOCA World Championship will change its format, organised around two Series. One Series will be solo, the culmination of which will be the Vendée Globe and another will be two-handed, finishing with the Barcelona World Race.

2013 Programme
August: Fastnet Race
November: Transat Jacques Vabre, from Le Havre (France) to Itajai (Brazil)

2014 Race Programme
Spring: Double-handed Transat
Summer: a 1,000 miles long race
November: Route du Rhum
31 December: Barcelona World Race

www.imoca.org

* Bruno Retailleau, President of the Vendee Globe, said he was satisfied with the new gauge prototype adopted on Friday by the IMOCA class.

"It is a good decision, which goes in the direction desired by the Board of Directors of the Vendee Globe."

"According to Bruno Retailleau, this new rule is open enough to keep the Vendee Globe spirit and its technological adventure. But at the same time, it sets limits to the use of new materials, which will reduce the boats costs and imposes strict rules on the most sensitive elements, such as keels and mats, to ensure more reliable boats."

"This is a decision that preserves both the identity of the Vendee Globe and its ability to evolve."

Mariella Wins In Antigua
The first name to be engraved on the fine Italian silver Inn Challenge Trophy is Carlo Falcone's Mariella. The legendary 79ft ketch successfully defended the Mariella Challenge in the match race with Robert Fabre's 42ft Ketch, Vagabundo II. At nearly twice the length of Vagabundo II, Mariella was given a handicap of over 10 minutes an hour to her smaller rival.

The final race of The Mariella Challenge for The Inn Challenge Trophy started in Rendezvous Bay with 15 knots of easterly breeze on Thursday 18th April. Vagabundo II judged the start to perfection and headed inshore to seek an advantage, but was soon overhauled by Mariella. The first beat up to English Harbour went well for Vagabundo II, but the smaller ketch could not keep up with Mariella and at English Harbour mark, Vagabundo II was eight minutes behind Mariella.

However, Vagabundo II, looking splendid after her refit at Antigua Slipway, managed to hoist a spinnaker for the first reaching leg and also the second to keep the team in with a chance of beating Mariella on corrected time

As the match race was coming to a conclusion, a squall darkened the horizon, just as Mariella was approaching the finish, the blustery shower caused Mariella to double tack, adding precious minutes to their finish time. Vagabundo II had benefited from using a squall in the Challenger Race, the previous day, but as Vagabundo II came onto the wind for the last leg, the squall had passed and behind it there was little wind.

Mariella made her time and won by just a few minutes after time correction.

Racing continues in Antigua with the 26th edition of Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. -- Louay Habib

www.theinn.ag

Hong Kong To Vietnam Race
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club are delighted to announce that the Notice of Race and Entry Form are now available for the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race 2013, a 656 mile biennial "downhill" fast passage to Nha Trang, on the south east coast of Vietnam.

Now in its sixth edition, this is Asia's longest Category One offshore race. The current race record of 42h 45m 41s is held by Grant Wharington's Skandia Wild Thing, reflecting an approximate average speed of 15.45 knots.

The finish location of Nha Trang is family friendly, and a popular tourist destination in its own right. It also offers a great revictualling point for boats intending to continue on to other seasonal sailing events in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.

Notice of Race and Entry Form may be downloaded from the event website at www.rhkyc.org.hk/hkvietnamrace.aspx

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 John Horn: Does anyone else think that the american commentators on the AC should hand over to Greeny and that Kiwi guy, who did the last cup.

These guys seem to speak another language, they sound like they are doing a baseball match, I usually want to be Ill by the end of a race. Is it just me?

[Editor: the Kiwi guy is the incomparable Peter Montgomery]

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Pronavia 38. GBP 79,950. Located In Gibraltar (UK).

This Pronavia 38 has a well-documented speed and stability characteristics. The interior of this IRC competitive boat has undergone a complete redesign by superyacht stylist Roel de Groot. The stark race boat interior has been replaced by a fully fitted interior, built to the highest Swedish standards by skilled craftsmen, she is equally at ease increasing your hoard of silverware as she is taking the family on a cruise. She has two complete sets of sails. One for delivery passages and the Kevlar reinforced set for winning races. This yacht is MCA Cat 2 coded so there are opportunities to lease the boat to sail trading outfits to generate income.

Brokerage through Volante Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/volanteyachts/

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

The Last Word
It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life. -- Captain Picard

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