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Umpiring The 33rd America's Cup Match
An excerpt from Anne Hinton's article on

The 33rd America's Cup umpire team is taken from amongst the world's most experienced international umpires. Bill Edgerton (GBR), Chief Umpire, Gerard Bosse (FRA), John Standley (AUS) and Roger Wood (NZL) have plans as to how to tackle umpiring this event, which are essentially the same as conventional umpiring: "We have fast boats and revised seating to cope; 4 umpires: 2 umpiring in a lead boat, going with the left-hand boat and sticking close, the other 2 going with the right-hand boat. In case of a problem with the lead umpire boat the other will take over, and we have a spare boat on the course as well. Communications will be in accordance with Appendix C (flags) [to communicate 'penalty' (yellow/blue flag) or 'no incident' (green flag)] and radio communications are mandatory," said Edgerton.

The first task of the umpires will be to keep up with the competitors - quite probably at speeds in excess of 30 knots; for comparison, a monohull ver. 5 ACC boat would generally travel at around 10 knots. An Alinghi chase boat has been seen with twin 225HP outboards, although it is not yet certain what size engines the umpires' boats will have. The size of the Deed of Gift course, as well as the speed the boats will be travelling at, is likely to raise fuel consumption issues for the umpire boats too, and generate the need for considerable reserve fuel supplies on board. Whilst it may also sound from this as though the 33rd America's Cup Match may not be the greenest, this is only one event with a maximum of three races.

The main challenge for the umpires may well be in judging opposite tack convergence situations (RRS 16), as mentioned above. The sheer size of the 90 foot multihulls (fore/aft, as well as beam) and their manoeuvrability, means that the space need to manoeuvre with safety will be huge and, given their speeds (over 30 knots), avoiding action will have to start being taken when they are at considerable distances from each other if there is any chance of close proximity in passing. Edgerton has acknowledged the issue for the 33rd America's Cup match: "obviously RRS 16 has a lot more relevance with these boats," he said. Clearly, from an umpire boat following in behind (and already probably at least 130 feet from the bow of each of these boats), the distances needed in the prevailing conditions will not be easy to judge. On top of this, the fact that the two boats have never lined up against each other before means that neither the teams nor the umpires have had practice in this situation with these boats.

With RRS 16, the safe distance apart needed for commencement of avoiding action in opposite tack convergence varies according to both the conditions (e.g. wind speed, currents) and the boats being used. On the World Match Racing Tour, light wind conditions with the long-keeled IODs (similar to Dragons) used in Bermuda are probably the most difficult for both competitors and umpires to judge in regard to RRS 16, as these boats are considerably less responsive under such conditions than most conventional monohulls. In the 33rd America's Cup Match, the speed/ manoeuvrability of the boats and the considerable distances are likely to present the biggest judgement issues, for both the teams and the umpires. Asked whether the novel situation may produce new Calls (examples of situations to guide umpires through the rules to the correct penalty/no incident judgement in a given on-the-water incident), Chief Umpire Bill Edgerton replied: "No, there are unlikely to be any event Calls on this; we are not planning any at this stage." -- Anne Hinton

The full article at

About That Remaining Legal Issue...
Statement by Tom Ehman, GGYC spokesperson:

The New York Supreme Court has now set a date of February 25 to hear the "constructed in country" case over the Americanmade sails to be used by Alinghi 5.

Team Alinghi is the Societe Nautique de Geneve's defender for the 33rd America's Cup against GGYC's team BMW ORACLE Racing for the Match starting in Valencia on Monday.

"We would have preferred that the question mark over Alinghi's sails had not become a question mark hanging over the result of the 33rd Match," commented GGYC spokesman Tom Ehman.

The Deed of Gift, the ruling document of the America's Cup, requires the competing yachts to be powered by sails and constructed in the country they represent.

"Since we have been unable to get them to sign the agreement negotiated in Singapore, the best way to resolve this issue is for our yacht USA to beat Alinghi 5 on the water," added Ehman.

"Race 1 is imminent. With normal sailing breezes, we like our chances in the coming Match."

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Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race
On Saturday, 6th February, Oman Sail's new A100 'Majan' alongside their 75-ft multihull 'Musandam' will depart Muscat [Oman] to begin a new chapter in ocean racing as they embark on tracing out the route of the future Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race.

With a total distance of 16,300 nautical miles (30,200km) this new course will take the new 105-foot multihull via the Indian Ocean's five great Capes.

The purpose of tracing out this new course is aimed at raising the profile of the event ahead of the first official edition planned for Spring 2012 with key stakeholder activity planned in the stopover ports of the Maldives, Cape Town, Fremantle and Singapore. 'Majan' with a crew of five, will depart Muscat on Saturday [6.2.10] sailing through the tropical waters of Oman past Ras al Hadd (literally 'Cape' in Arabic) with their bows pointing towards the Equator. After a stop in the Maldives 'Majan' will then head down to the tip of South Africa, crossing Cape Agulhas, and Cape Town. Racing across the frozen and treacherous Southern Ocean will be one of the most exhilarating legs of the course, before reaching the warmth of Cape Leeuwin and Australia's west coast. From here the boats sail north to Cape Piai in the Malacca Straits close to Singapore and up to Cape Comorin at the southern tip of India before returning the welcoming shores of Oman and the starting point of the journey in Muscat.

'Majan' skippered by renowned sailor Paul Standbridge, and including Mohsin Al Busiadi who became the first Arab to sail round the world non-stop on board Oman Sail's 'Musandam' last year, will face many different challenges en route.

'Majan', the ancient name of the Sultanate of Oman, is Oman Sail's new flagship and the first of the new Nigel Irens designed Arabian 100 [A100] one design class

OK World Championships
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OK World Championships Yesterday, by winning the final race of the regatta Karl Purdie cemented his lead and became the NZ OK Dinghy National champion for 2010. Karl sailed a strong regatta and was seldom far from the front of the fleet. Purdie certainly looks to be in good form going into the world championships which start this weekend.

Fellow Kiwi Paul Rhodes finished in second place on line in Race 8 which was enough to put him into second place overall. Nick Craig from Great Britain rounded out the podium.

Fifty four entrants started Day 3 of racing, with champagne sailing conditions - 15knts from the south with good chop. By Race 8 (the third of the day and last of the regatta) this had almost reached the upper limits of sailing, gusting 25 knots, and nearly half the fleet were back on the beach.

New Zealand took out the Interdominion championship this year with placings of 1st, 2nd, 4th, fifth, sixth and seventh giving them a total of 281 points.

The sailors had a day off today,Thursday 4th Feb, - measuring for the Worlds, time out for last night's party revellers (some of whom saw it through to breakfast this morning before retiring to bed) taking the 'Interdom' challenge very seriously.

Racing for the OK World Champs starts with the Invitation Race at 1400hrs tomorrow at the Evans Bay course, followed by the Opening Ceremony Powhiri at Te Papa National Museum. -- Mandy Burt

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William Tiller Claims Warren Jones International Regatta
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Warren Jones International Regatta Perth, Western Australia: In a series that kept everyone guessing, sailors and spectators alike, William Tiller from Auckland's Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, won the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta from club and former crew mate Phil Robertson.

The final, sailed on the Swan River's Freshwater Bay went to the full five races, with a protest holding up the result even when both boats had crossed the finishing line.

William Tiller was part of Robertson's crew when he won last year, so although it is his second win, it is the first time his name will go on the trophy.

All five heats of the final were hard fought, with the two boats sailing around the course as if attached by elastic. Robertson opened the scoring with a tight 12 second win, but then Tiller came back with two quick victories, the first by just 9 seconds.

Then it was Robertson who pulled off a 39 second victory to level the score, and it was down to a do-or-die fifth and final heat.

Perth's legendary seabreeze kicked in for the final, blowing at a steady 15 knots, and producing some sparkling sailing.

As well as collecting the prestigious trophy that was won by the crew of Australia II at the America's Cup Jubilee in 2001, the winner gets invitations to three major senior events, the Danish Open, the Spanish Open and the Australia Cup. -- John Roberson

Final results:

1. William Tiller, NZL (RNZYS)
2. Phil Robertson, NZL (RNZYS)
3. David Gilmour, AUS (RFBYC)
4. Peter Nicholas, AUS (RFBYC)
5. Tristan Brown, AUS (RFBYC)
6. Robert Gibbs, AUS (RPYC)
7. Kyle Langford, AUS (CYCA)
8. Rueben Corbett, NZL (RNZYS)
9. David Chapman, AUS (RSYS)
10. Jordan Reece, AUS (RSYS)
11. Martin Boidin, DEN (RDYC)

Down The Western Side of the Cape Verde Archipelago
The sailing conditions were ideal this Thursday afternoon as Groupama 3 began to drop down the western side of the Cape Verde archipelago. With a 250 mile lead over the reference time, Franck Cammas and his men are now casting their minds to the best strategy to adopt once they cross the equator, which should take place on Saturday after six days at sea.

It will be another good day and a half before they reach the Southern hemisphere, at which point they will be able to put in a long tack along the Brazilian coast, still on port tack, until they hang a left and set a course for the Cape of Good Hope. There will be at least five days on the same tack in prospect then.

However, the weather situation isn't yet very clear off Brazil... "The Southern hemisphere isn't looking very rosy for the time being! It has been worse though, so there's still a chance we can get through it... The weather window is pretty tricky, but we no longer have a lot of options. For the moment, things are going rather well: we should even cross the equator earlier than we'd hoped on setting out, after six days at sea. Following on from that it's more complicated in terms of strategy, but it's also very nice to have to puzzle over the best way of getting out of these successive ridges of high pressure, the next of which is located off Bahia..." explained Franck Cammas during the noon radio link-up with Groupama's Race HQ in Paris.

At noon this Thursday, conditions were very pleasant for the crew and easy for the giant trimaran, with still slightly shifting tradewinds, varying between 15 and 17 knots, but regular in terms of direction. Lionel Lemonchois, who celebrated his fiftieth birthday on Tuesday, was relishing being at the helm: "The boat is flying along just as she should, making between 28 and 31 knots... It's so pleasant that an hour on the helm just flies by! She's slipping along all on her own."

Groupama 3's log (departure on 31st January at 13h 55' 53'' UTC)
Day 1 (1st February 1400 UTC): 500 miles (deficit = 94 miles)
Day 2 (2nd February 1400 UTC): 560 miles (lead = 3.5 miles)
Day 3 (3rd February 1400 UTC): 535 miles (lead = 170 miles)
Day 4 (4th February 1400 UTC): 565 miles (lead = 245 miles)

Best passage time to the equator from Ushant
Groupama 3: 5d 15h 23' (November 2009)
Jules Verne Trophy reference time to the equator
Orange 2: 7d 02h 56' (January 2005)

Mascalzone Latino Audi Team
Two of the best known names in the yachting world have chosen to join forces, creating the Mascalzone Latino Audi Team.

"I am very proud of the fact that Audi, a prestigious car company with such great tradition in sponsoring the sailing world, has chosen to link its name to Mascalzone Latino", commented Vincenzo Onorato. "I would like to thank the President of the Volkswagen Group, Dr. Tartaglione, the Director of Audi Italy, Dr. Frisch and the Director of Audi Marketing, Dr Migliorini for the trust they have put in us. We share the values of excellence and of fair competition as an incentive to constant improvement, as individuals, as a team and from a technology development point of view."

Vincenzo Onorato's team will be racing in several classes and on different race courses, focusing mainly on the Louis Vuitton Trophy, on the one-design Farr 40 and on the Melges 32 class.

The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and Louis Vuitton have announced the next venues of the Louis Vuitton Trophy for 2010 and early 2011. The Louis Vuitton Pacific Series took place in Auckland in February of last year and the Louis Vuitton Trophy was held in Nice in November 2009. The format calls for two weeks of match racing (one on one duel) with America's Cup Class yachts provided by the organization.

Participating teams, top professionals in the sailing world who for the most part have matured experience in previous America's Cup campaigns, rotate on board during individual "flights". A "flight" is jargon for a single race, in which teams display their seamanship skills and tactical intelligence. Emirates Team New Zealand will host the next leg of the Trophy, taking place from the 9th to the 21st of March in Auckland.

Italy will host the European leg of the Louis Vuitton Trophy at La Maddalena in Sardinia. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team will be doing the honors from the 22nd of May to the 6th of June. Third on the calendar, the Middle Eastern stop-over in Dubai from the 13th to the 28th of November followed by China in 2011. Racing will take place in Hong Kong from the 9th to the 24th of January.

"La Maddalena will be at the center of media interest right at the beginning of the summer season and attention will be directed to the new infrastructure created for the G8 summit, later transferred to L'Aquila for the well-known reasons", underlined Vincenzo Onorato. He then continued: "This success was possible thanks to the decisions taken by the Government and by Dr Guido Bertolaso, who has asked me to coordinate the event. As the "hosting team", Audi Mascalzone Latino Team wants to offer all competitors the best hospitality. My heart full thanks also goes to those who welcomed us, the Region of Sardinia, that is sponsoring our team in all stages of the Louis Vuitton Trophy, and that here is represented at the highest institutional level by the President of the Region Ugo Cappellacci. Sardinia is a region with an enormous untapped potential, both in terms of nautical tourism and of all it offers as a whole. The interior landscape is extraordinary, but still unknown to most. The Louis Vuitton Trophy is a global event and Sardinia will have the opportunity of being added by travelers to their "Italian Grand Tour".

Letters To The Editor -
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* From Paul Cayard: I have just arrived in Valencia where I will be part of the television coverage team from EuroSport for the upcoming America's Cup.

It seems that the 33rd America's Cup is actually going to take place. After years of legal wrangling, the two giant multihulls are scheduled to face off at 10:00 Monday morning on the waters to the east of Valencia. As the course for race one is a 20 nautical mile beat to windward and return, a westerly breeze will put the starting line some 20+ miles offshore. May be close to come from Ibiza to watch.

Strong westerly winds are not uncommon in Valencia in the winter. The Sailing instructions state that a maximum wind speed of 15 knots measured at 60 meters shall not be exceeded at start time. Not sure who is measuring at 60 meters other than the two competitors. Could it be that this is the one issue they will collaborate on? Surely not.

I am here a few days early to try to get a better technical understanding of this match up so I can report to you and on EuroSport from a more educated position. I have been rereading all the legal haggling from the last two years on the airplane. It is amazing what these two teams have been through. The biggest cloud hanging over the race with be the contention by BMW Oracle that Alinghi's sails are not built in Switzerland and therefore don't comply with the "constructed in county" clause of the Deed of Gift. The sails are North 3 DL and they are laminated in Minden Nevada. Some amount of work is done on them in Switzerland after the lamination process. The court has now set a hearing date for this case of February 25, 2010. Only a USA victory on the racecourse would eliminate that issue.

Some sites to visit:

Also check out the YouTube videos of the BMW Oracle Triamaran sailing on January 28, 2010. I am sure there are some Alinghi videos as well. Pretty impressive!

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The Last Word
Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction. -- Will Rogers

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