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Favourites Lead Ranking In All Classes
Palma de Mallorca: The 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre, ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma regatta, saw the conclusion of the qualification series after three days of fantastic racing in varied conditions in the bay of Palma.

With many new faces on the scene, the class favourites have made sure they show their full potential in the first ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta on the European circuit in front of new rivals.

The Nacra 17 fleet raced in the afternoon with a medium breeze and small waves, it was a perfect day with great conditions and after six races countries with a strong multihull culture such as the Netherlands and France are on top.

For 49erFX sailors Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) and Alexandra Maloney with Molly Meech (NZL) training in New Zealand over the winter proved successful as they lead the fleet. Only a point separates both teams who have shared their progression in the 49erFX and they hold a clear advantage over the fleet with 20 points separating them and the Italians Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich in third place.

The Finn sailors were the first off the water, concluding their qualification series after six races. After fighting for top place with Jonathan Lobert (FRA), Giles Scott (GBR) has shown regularity on all conditions to take the lead in the 72 boat fleet. The 2011 European and World Champion is one point ahead of Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and two points ahead from team mate Andrew Mills (GBR).

Philip Buhl (GER) has kept the lead in the Laser, distancing World #1 Tom Burton (AUS), now placed in fourth. Andy Maloney (NZL) has jump to second overall after taking two bullets in the last qualification races.

The Finals will start tomorrow for all classes with the exception of the 2.4mR who see tonight a new leader with Sailing World Cup Miami winner Megan Pascoe (GBR) who has not finished anywhere worse than second in a fleet of 23 boats.

www.trofeoprincesasofia-mapfre.org

Tickets Go On Sale For 2013 America's Cup In San Francisco
Individual tickets for up to 50 days of action during the Summer of Racing can be purchased starting at just $15.

Individual and group tickets are available in the following seating locations:

- America's Cup Village: The America's Cup Village represents the largest, most centralized land-based viewing experience. Located in the heart of Marina Green, the grandstands offer unobstructed views of the Bay and the starting line for spectators to enjoy the racing. Fans will experience live race commentary and have access to nearby stores and exhibits. Within America's Cup Village, fans can purchase tickets to The Deck, East Grandstands, West Grandstands, and Race Course Bleachers.

- SS Jeremiah O'Brien: Historic WWII Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien offers a "50-yard line" view of the race course. "Liberty Ship Experience" guests will witness the intense AC action up-close from the decks of this National Historic Landmark, while enjoying luxurious appointments, modern amenities and access to the finest food & beverage concessions.

- PIER 39: Complete with open bleacher seats and a lounge area with reception-style furniture, the PIER 39 Rooftop Lounge experience is the premier public spectator event for the 2013 America's Cup. Its elevated nature offers unparalleled views of the entire race course for the America's Cup Finals. Live race footage and commentary will be broadcast throughout the venue. Gourmet catering options, including alcohol, are included with each ticket.

- On-Water: Fans will have the opportunity to purchase individual tickets or charter an Official Stake Boat or Support Boat to view the action at a premium location on the Bay. This program includes a wide variety of vessels to accommodate all price points and capacities.

A full overview of each space, including amenities and pricing, can be found on www.Americascup.com/experience

Hamble Yacht Services
Hamble Yacht Services If you want to enjoy specifically designed dry sailing facilities just minutes from the M27 Motorway and a mile down the Hamble River, then book your boat's place at the UK's leading race boat destination. Every year, Hamble Yacht Services see the return of international and professional yachting crews who not only give testimony to our reputation for excellence, but trust us to ensure that the condition of their hulls are at the absolute optimum needed for a fast, clean, finish.

Offering secure 12 month storage ashore, we never underestimate the importance of dry sailing for both racing and powerboats, and our facilities ensure that salt erosion is greatly reduced, which results in much lower maintenance costs. Obviously, both these factors also considerably improve resale values.

At HYS, we can offer a yard space contract for your yacht or powerboat to have it lifted or launched to suit you and your team's specified requirements.

Come and talk to us. Our prime location boasts a local pool of experts who have fast become an integral part of the international and local racing circuit and our services extend to cater for all your racing and boating needs.

Call us on 02380 454 111 or visit www.hambleyachtservices.co.uk

Normandy Channel Race Act 4
14 April 2013 will see the start of the fourth edition of the Normandy Channel Race. Over 20 duos are expected to step aboard their Class 40s in Caen to complete the 1,000-mile circuit, which will lead them towards the Solent, the southern coast of England, Ireland, the Fastnet and back to Norman shores.

There are currently a record 23 entries for this year's race, including Sebastien Rogues, Thomas Ruyant, Bruno Jourdren, Ned Collier Wakefield, Armel Tripon, Fabrice Amedeo, Halvard Mabire, Jorg Riechers, Pierre Brasseur, Louis Duc, Nicolas Jossier, Boris Herrmann and Stephanie Alran, for whom this will be an opportunity to hone their skills and warm up for November's transatlantic race between Le Havre and Brazil.

The forty or so sailors, who will make up the 2013 vintage of the NCR, certainly won't be disappointed as the course for the Normandy Channel Race contains a number of hidden obstacles created by the current and the wind, making for tough, intense conditions, where the scenario is seemingly rewritten every year.

The race village will be open from 11 to 14 April for the start and, for the first time, it will also reopen for the finish from 19 to 21 April.

www.normandy-race.com

Could You Be A GBR IRC Advocate?
A network of GBR IRC representatives whose role is to help and encourage new and existing IRC owners, and offer advice on the use of IRC within their club and/or region, is being put in place by the RORC Rating Office in Lymington, Hampshire under the direction of Technical Director Mike Urwin.

The Rating Office's intention is that GBR IRC Advocates will become the focal point for IRC questions in their local area, answering queries relating to IRC or directing these to the central advisory team at the Rating Office. Advocates won't have jurisdiction in any dispute or any role in the interpretation of IRC Rules, and they will not necessarily be measurers; however, measurers may be Advocates.

"We are looking for more individuals around the country who are willing and able to help owners, sailors and clubs unfamiliar with IRC to act as Advocates and answer the myriad of IRC-related queries that crop up," says Mike Urwin.

He envisages Advocates providing advice on and answers to:

- IRC rating applications and procedure queries
- Questions relating to IRC Rules and responding to misconceptions
- The trial and amended certificates systems and how these work
- Measurement issues (but not necessarily actual physical measurement)
- Helping Clubs promote and simplify IRC to their members

It is not expected that an Advocate will necessarily be able to offer detailed advice in every case. They are acting as the conduit to appropriate sources of information at or via the Rating Office.

If you think you can help, please look at the further information on the RORC Rating website tinyurl.com/irc-advocates

or contact RORC Rating Office:  Email:  or Tel:+44 (0)1590 677030.

Eight Visiting IRC Zero Entries for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Eight of nine of the IRC zero entries for July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta on Dublin Bay are overseas entries. The exception is the defending IRC champion, the Howth based Mills 36, Crazy Horse skippered by Norbert Reilly.

In IRC one fity percent of entries received are visitors to Dublin Bay and in another boost for bay racing, 25 boats in the overall fleet are overseas entries with a good number still to enter, it is estimated.

29 clubs are currently represented with boats coming from Scotland, Wales, UK, Ireland and the North of Ireland.

The VDLR organisers have extended the early bird discount to the biennial regatta until the 22 April but already 250 entries have been received for an event still three months away.

afloat.ie

Sovereigns Cup - 26th - 29th June 2013- 'Gourmet Racing'!
Sovereigns Cup The Irish medieval historic fishing town of Kinsale, spectacularly nestled under the lee of the stunning Old Head of Kinsale provides the perfect setting for the bi-annual Sovereign's Cup regatta. The Covestone Asset Management Sovereign's Cup, is Ireland's premier regatta on the South coast in 2013. With over 100 entries anticipated, the Sovereign's Cup provides the perfect balance between a fabulous holiday ashore and competitive racing afloat.

Renowned for its warm welcome, Sovereign's Cup provides racing under IRC fleets as well as the Irish Performance handicapping system 'ECHO', on both windward leeward and round the cans courses. Renowned for its competitive yet fun ethos, Sovereign's Cup has seen entries ranging from TP 52'S to GK 24's, all of whom are extended the same hearty welcome.

Entries for this year's event are registering at an unprecedented level which is testament to the value for money and reputation of the event. Notable entries thus far include the Ker 40, 'Keromino', Corby 37, 'Impetuous', the J-109 'Storm', together with a plethora of 1720's and Quarter tonners competing for their European and Irish Championships respectively.

Taking place from 26th - 29th June 2013, The Covestone Asset Management Sovereign's Cup offering competitive IRC racing in the picturesque "Gourmet Capital of Ireland" provides the perfect regatta destination this year.

For more information or to register see www.sovereignscup.com or contact

Primitive Systems?
Electronic navigation systems for marine use are 'primitive' compared with those used on aircraft an electronic engineer has said. Martin Bransby, Research & Radionavigation Manager at the General Lighthouse Authorities, made the claim following a successful trial by Trinity House to combat rogue GPS jammers in the North Sea.

Mr Bransby said: 'The more dependent we become on electronic systems, the more resilient they must be. Otherwise, we face a scenario where technology is actually reducing safety rather than enhancing it. Demands on marine navigation are only getting tighter, yet electronic systems at sea are primitive compared to those used in air travel. This needs to change.'

On several excursions aboard the THV Galatea out of Harwich, UK, ACCSEAS (Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability) has successfully demonstrated a prototype resilient PNT (positioning, navigation and timing) system. The system used an alternative technology to automatically and seamlessly step in to transmit mission-critical data in the event of GPS loss or failure. The trials were successfully completed between 28th February and 1st March.

More in Yachting Monthly: www.yachtingmonthly.com

Optimist European Season Begins
The exceptionally cold Easter weekend in Europe had a severe effect on racing at the three events which traditionally comprise the "Easter migration" of Optimist sailors in Europe.

At the vast Meeting on Lake Garda only six races could be completed. A new record number of participants of 1,127 was recorded, of which all but 12 finished at least one race. The eventual winner of the Under-16 division (852 sailors) was Alexandra Stalder from Bardolino on the southern end of the lake. She is the first Italian and first female winner since Cecilia Zorzi in 2009. Second was Max Clapp (GBR) from the Royal Southern Y.C. and third Aslan Yucehan from Turgulreis in southern Turkey. The Under-12 "Cadetti" was won by Jakub Golebuiweski from the Mos Ilawa Club in Poland.

At Portoroz, some 220km to the east in Slovenia, conditions were even worse and only three races could be completed for the 394 sailors entered. The winner was Tin Gmitrovic of Croatia.

Further north on the Brassemermeer in Holland they even had to break the ice to get afloat at the Magic Marine Easter Regatta. Some potential participants may have read the weather forecast as there were only 209 entrants as against the 270 permitted.

Links to results at optiworld.org

Nab Tower Race
17 of the 20 entrants braved the start gun for the Nab Solo of Gurnard, the SORC season opener, on the JOG line at Cowes on the morning of Saturday 23rd March.

Race officers Kirsteen and David had shortened the course on Friday evening due to the strong winds & freezing conditions forecast for the Nab Tower area and the new course promised a windward leg eastward to No Mans Fort, a reach north west to Browndown on the Stokes Bay shore and a run to finish at Snowden just east of Cowes entrance. The breeze had moderated overnight to 13/18 knots just north of east and the air temperature had dropped to 3 Celsius, so a significant wind chill was to be endured, approximately minus 3 degrees!

The finishing order at Snowdon was Jbellino ahead of Ding Dong by 62 seconds but neither had saved their time on Voador who took the overall win after three hours of close and chilly racing.

Class 1 was won by Jbellino (Rob Craigie) with Ding Dong (Chris Rustom) 2nd and Change of Course (Keith Gibbs) in 3rd.

Class 2 was convincingly won by Voador (Simon Curwen), followed by Fastrak (Nigel Colley) and Comedy of Errors (Tony White). Nigel Colley led the 4 boat Sun Fast 3200 fleet around the course from start to finish.

Class 3 results were 1st Fantasea (Tony Rowe), 2nd Impro (Richard Breese) and 3rd Nereid (john Baily).

The next SORC singlehanded race is the very popular RIOW Solo, 52 miles west about round the Island from Cowes on Saturday 20th April with the pre-race social on Friday evening and post race prizes in Cowes.

www.offshoresolo.com

Henri Lloyd Phoenix - The Ultimate Keelboat Racing Collection
Henri Lloyd Inspired from the pioneering Shadow range which set the standard for one design racing gear, the Henri Lloyd Phoenix Range has been designed with the keelboat racing sailor in mind, where performance and ease of movement through ergonomic design is paramount.

Loaded with only the necessary racing and high quality features as you would expect from Henri Lloyd, the range consists of the Henri Lloyd Phoenix Jacket, Hooded Smock, Smock, Salopettes and Shorts.

The Phoenix Jacket and Hooded Smock feature the highly innovative and proven OPTIVISION Hood System, exclusive to Henri Lloyd, offering excellent peripheral vision in racing situations. Transparent TPU panels have been engineered into each side of the high visibility hood to allow a wider peripheral vision without the loss of protection to the face. The hood is perfect for windward or leeward peripheral vision during pre-start manoeuvring or close quarter action during mark rounding, to give that all important tactical advantage.

The range is produced using one of Henri Lloyd's unique TP fabrics, a tough, durable yet lightweight 100% waterproof and windproof and extremely breathable fabric technology. The face of the fabric has been enhanced with a Durable Water Repellency (DWR) finish which sheds water, whilst reducing salt water abrasion and maintaining the extreme levels of breathability.

The range is available in Carbon and Red and in sizes from S-XXL.

www.henrilloyd.com

Trading The Med For The Atlantic
The Laser Europa Cup traded the Mediterranean for the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend as Le Havre, France hosted over 300 sailors across the Laser 4.7, Radial and Standard rig. A moderate sea breeze prevailed throughout the event and was stable and consistent with sun shining down to accommodate a feast of racing at the 100-point regatta.

Top Three Finishers

Laser 4.7
1. Jonaton Vadnai (HUN) - 6 pointsv 2. Gianmarco Planchestainer (ITA) - 11
3. Nicolo Villa (ITA) - 12

Radial Men
1. Jon Emmet (GBR) - 12 points
2. John Booth (GBR) - 16
3. Jean Baptiste Guillou (FRA) - 19

Radial Women
1. Cecilia Zorzi (ITA) - 85 points
2. Adele L´Hostis (FRA) 89
3. Maud Jayet (SUI) - 105

Standard
1. Jean Baptiste Ducamin (FRA) - 8 points
2. Youssef Akrout (TUN) - 10
3. Dominykas Kneizys (LTU) - 25

Full Results: www.europacuplaser2013.com/#!results/cfxj

A Multi-Sensory Nightmare Awaits
Just how hard is the Onboard Reporter job in the Volvo Ocean Race? For anyone who still thinks they could cut it, read this thrilling tale from Marc Bow - someone with all the qualifications for the job, but now possessing the first-hand experience to know that this is the toughest, as well as the best, gig in journalism.

For most, down below in a Volvo boat is as foreign a place as the inside of a space capsule to a bushman. It's sparse. In fact there is no inside. The galley is a camping stove, the john is open to all and like sitting on a swinging teapot, and the accommodation is gauze netting hung from the ceiling with expensive string. The brig on the Bounty was more luxurious, and probably smelled better as Volvo men don't bathe. Get near one of them when they get in from three weeks at sea and you'll never eat Camembert again...

... Most boats I've sailed on either bob with the water, or at least slow down when they jam into a steep one. But other boats aren't 14-ton juggernauts and the Atlantic was panicking to get out the way. My Volvo Ocean Race foul weather gear was as useful as a pair of speedo as the deck of Sanya was washed with the ocean.

Full article at www.volvooceanrace.com

Industry News
Lewmar has sold Navtec in a private deal with Navtec Rigging Solutions Inc. The sale includes both the US operation and Navtec Sud, a smaller manufacturing and service centre based in France.

Allen Goddu, owner of Navtec Rigging Solutions Inc, is also President of Impact Alloys, who are a long-term supplier of raw materials to Navtec. This deal represents a natural progression for the aim of increasing vertical integration within the business.

Lewmar Ltd. and Lewmar North Europe will remain as Navtec distributors, supplying product and service to their existing customers in the UK and across Europe, as well as handling Superyacht project requirements.

--------------------------------------

Greystones Harbour Marina, Co. Wiclow, Ireland will open on 1st April 2013 with 100 berths available initially. Greystones is just 12 nautical miles south of Dublin Bay (53º 09' 10" N, 006º 03' 85" W ) and has excellent transport links to both Dublin City and Dublin International Airport through rail and bus connections.

There will be 100 berths initially ranging from 6metres to 30metres. Once complete, there will be 230 berths.

--------------------------------------

Beneteau reported consolidated sales of €294.7m for the first half of 2012/13 - a rise of 2% over the same time last year.

Sales in the second quarter grew by 2.4% to €198.5m, driven by export sales across both business lines.

Boat sector sales climbed by 6.9% to €202.9m in the six months ended February 28, 2013. Beneteau says that it is benefiting from the expansion of its product offering (range of motorboats, larger boats) and its international deployment in growing regions.

In this way, business outside of Europe increased by around 30% during the first half of 2012/13.

Boating Business: www.boatingbusiness.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Farr 42 IRC. EUR 164,000. Located In Hamble, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

PRICE REDUCED! This Farr 42 IRC racer was built in Austrailia and designed specifically for the Owners sailing campaign for regular inshore and some offshore series. It proved to be successful. Currently stored ashore in winterised mode this boat is looking for a new owner and is available at a GREAT PRICE.

Brokerage through MGM Boats: www.yachtworld.com/mgmboats/

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

The Last Word
We're all just walking each other home. -- Ram Dass

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