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Game On: 0906 GMT
Opening ceremony and Alinghi fashion show. Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup Racing for the 33rd America's Cup is due to start here in Valencia on Monday, two-and-a-half years after it was successfully defended by the Swiss team Alinghi for the Societe Nautique de Geneve. The intervening months have been punctuated by a series of visits to various levels of the New York Courts in order to restore some semblance of order and maintain the intent of the donors of this 159-year-old trophy. It has been a painful process involving many of America's highest paid lawyers, including David Boies, who famously represented the US Government in its anti-trust action against Microsoft.

Bertarelli has been determined that having won the Cup he could do as he pleased. The protocol, containing the rules for the 33rd America's Cup, that he proposed, before being challenged by Ellison, was subsequently described by other teams as the worst document in the event's history, and proved to be the stimulus for the American challenge to the terms of the Deed of Gift. The ink was hardly dry on the protocol before Golden Gate challenged and began the litigious process.

The eventual result of this expensive court battle, whose costs have exceeded €10m (£8.7m), is two gigantic multihulled yachts whose beauty is in the extent of the technology used to create them. Nothing has been spared in the search for raw speed - the design teams of both sides have left no stones unturned and going head to head are two boats that are capable of speeds exceeding 40 knots. The monohulls used in 2007 would have only reach a third of that speed.

There is a divergence of opinion by the design teams - BMW Oracle's USA is a trimaran with three hulls and Alinghi 5 is a twin-hulled catamaran. Both are at the maximum allowed 90-feet on the waterline but overall USA is 113.3 feet to Alinghi 5's 110 feet. The other difference is in the rigs; while Alinghi's can be described as conventional, USA sports a huge wing that is 223 feet tall and is reputed to be super-efficient. -- Bob Fisher, his full article in the Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/feb/06/americas-cup-alinghi-bmw-oracle

Watching The Beasts
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, www.martin-raget.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup Cameras are getting smaller, bandwidth is getting cheaper. Live coverage, that was once only possible with satellite trucks and outside broadcast infrastructure, can now be streamed via a mobile phone. Add to that the absence of 'media rights' for the America's Cup - no stadium, no tickets with Terms and Conditions forbidding photography or video, and literally anyone can create content from this event.

In addition to the offical web-broadcast via americascup.com BMW ORACLE will be providing their own media. The team will produce unprecedented online coverage of its challenge for the 33rd America's Cup, beginning with a team press conference on Friday February 5.

The team's "Race Day" coverage, on www.bmworacleracing.com, will feature hours of live, original programming each race day, including the official live feed of the racing from the Host Broadcaster.

"Race Day" programming kicks off on Monday, February 8, the first scheduled race day of the Match. "Race Day" consists of several blocks of live programming, bringing an unprecedented, live, behind-the-scenes look at the team to sailing fans worldwide including...

The Dock-Out Show - watch the team prepare for battle as they leave for the race course.

The Morning Show - an insider's look at the history of the America's Cup, the 33rd edition of the oldest trophy in sports, and BMW ORACLE Racing, live from the Oracle Cinema at the Team Base. -- www.yachtsponsorship.com

* The official site http://33rd.americascup.com has a high resolution viewer to download at 33rd.americascup.com/en/regate/regarder-la-course/show.php or you can view a lower resolution version without the viewer.

* Boatson.tv has secured the official live pictures from the course in Valencia and other general Americas Cup programme which can be watched live on our special Americas Cup TV video players.

The first race starts at 1006 CET (0906 GMT) Feb 8th and you'll see live pictures from helicopters and fast power boat cameras which will give you a bird's eye, on-board view of these spectacular giant multihull racing boats on a 20 nm course 30 nm off the coast of southern Spain.

See it all live on www.boatson.tv

Vietnam Match Cup
Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam: The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has today awarded Rainbow International Co. Ltd the rights to organise the Vietnam Match Cup.

The Vietnam Match Cup will take place in the picturesque east coast city of Nha Trang, Vietnam this September. The event will be the eighth stage of the Tour this year, and is the first time that Vietnam has featured on the WMRT schedule.

The appointment gives Rainbow International the rights to host and promote the event that will be held at one of the world's most beautiful bays, Nha Trang, Nha Trang City, in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam.

Several thousand people are expected at the event to witness the world-class competition. This will provide Vietnam with the opportunity to reaffirm to the world its great tourism potential as well as boost the country's growing sports and tourism industry. Peter Gilmour, President of the Word Match Racing Tour, said that a being a coastal country, Vietnam features many beautiful beaches, especially in Khanh Hoa Province. Nha Trang Bay is one of the world's most beautiful bays, and thus it is most apt as one of this year's Tour destinations.

The Vietnam Match Cup will feature a 12 team format with a single Round Robin followed by knockout quarter-final, semi-final and final.

2010 Tour Schedule
1. April 6 - 11 Marseille International Match Race Marseille, France
2. May 19 - 24 Match Race Germany Langenargen, Germany
3. June 8 - 13 Korea Match Cup Gyeonggi, Korea
4. June 22 - 27 Portugal Match Cup Troia, Portugal
5. July 5 - 11 Match Cup Sweden Marstrand, Sweden
6. August 31 - September 5 St Moritz Match Race St Moritz, Switzerland
7. September 8 - 12 Danish Open, Bornholm, Denmark
8. October 4 - 10 Argo Group Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda
9. November 30 - December 5 Monsoon Cup K. Terengganu, Malaysia

www.worldmatchracingtour.com

Seatrack Seatrack To Run Live Web Based Tutorials
(Free with purchase of Grand Prix or Racer)

Seatrack is offering an hour's tutorial via a live web based feed FREE with a new purchase of either Grand Prix or Racer. The aim is to make sure new owners are able to fast track the set up and to assist all Seatrack users to get the best out of their tactical and navigational software.

Tutorial cost is 75 GBP (plus vat) an hour; further tutorials can be purchased by new and existing users.

Specific topics could include "Seatrack System Configuration", "Seatrack System Overview and Introduction", "Customising your Seatrack System", "Seatrack Start Lines" or even "Winning with Seatrack in the Solent".

This offer is valid from 1st February 2010
www.seatrack.co.uk

Solo Racing Festival
The 4th annual Solo Racing Festival on Saturday March 6th is a great chance for short handed sailors to meet before the season starts, we have a packed programme of talks from all the solo classes and plenty of opportunities for networking and meeting friends at the new venue in Southampton.

Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson lead the line up of outstanding solo racers who will be speaking at the Solo Racing Festival on Saturday March 6th in Southampton.

Weather guru Mike Broughton of WinningWind.com will kick off with a talk on advanced weather routing at 11.00, to be followed by the top UK skippers in the Mini Transat, Oliver Bond and Keith Willis who both sailed Pogo2 's in this classic race.

The 2009 OSTAR was won by the fastest Open 40 footer on the planet, the Phil Morrison designed all carbon 'La Promesse'. Skipper Jan Kees Lampe will reveal the secrets of how they broke the long standing class record in 17 days 17 hours and wrote the first Dutch name on the honours board.

Class 40 will have at least 25 hot boats lined up for this year's Route du Rhum that starts from St Malo in October and we will hear from the winner of the 2006 edition Phil Sharp who raced his Pogo 40 to a memorable triumph at the front of a strong British entry in this legendary French solo race. Phil will be casting his eye over the front runners for the next edition and revealing his own plans for big boat racing in the future.

OUT THERE is the first Ostar movie for 30 years since Phil Weld's 1980 classic American Challenge and we will see a 30 minute extract in the first public showing of this historic movie that records first hand the thoughts and fears of the young skippers in the 2009 race.

A hot buffet lunch is included in the ticket this time and car parking is free. Coffee and hospitality at registration from10 am.

Full details of venue and tickets are on the solo offshore racing club website at www.offshoresolo.com for tickets on line and a map of the venue.

Seahorse March 2009
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Terry Hutchinson warms up ahead of the Florida Tour, a plethora of twin-wire contests, Monaco reflections and some early lessons from the Flinders Islet tragedy. Andy Rice, Dobbs Davis and Rob Mundle

Banque Pop V prepares to go, as does Cammas and Groupama 3, the Lion roars... into Tasmania (ahem – ed), the mighty Alfa ends bullish talk of Goliath (as David scores), Farr 40 Hobart triumph and Roy Disney remembered.

Plus Oatley's still got Hamo eh! News and notes from Ivor Wilkins, Rob Mundle, Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

18 Footer Legend Returns For Giltinan 2010
Chesty Bond (1987) with the 45ft mast are attached. Click on image to enlarge.

J J Giltinan for 18 Skiffs Five times Giltinan Championship winner Trevor Barnabas will make an unexpected attempt to add to his tally following a last minute call up to skipper Fisher & Paykel in the Giltinan 2010.

When one of his regular crewmen as unable to compete due to business commitments, the boat's regular skipper Andrew Cuddihy arranged for a replacement to sail the regatta.

The chosen replacement then withdrew at the last minute leaving Cuddihy in an impossible position.

Trevor was in the Double Bay park rigging area supporting his son Trent, who sails with Michael Coxon and Aaron Links on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, so Andrew took the unusual step of becoming a crewman himself and getting Barnabas to be the new skipper.

Barnabas first won the Giltinan Championship at Perth (WA) in 1987. During that regatta his winning Chesty Bond skiff carried a mast which stood 45ft above the waterline - believed to be the tallest mast ever carried on an 18 Footer.

He went on to further Giltinan Championship victories in 1988 (with the same Chesty Bond skiff), then after a brief retirement came back to record wins in 1997 (Omega Smeg-2UE) in Australia and again in 1997 (Smeg) in the northern hemisphere regatta. His final victory to date came in 1998 when he won with Omega Smeg-2UE in Sydney.

The Giltinan 2010 gets under way next Friday when competitors have the traditional warm up Invitation Race.

Race 1 of the seven-race regatta will be sailed next Saturday, 13 February.

www.flying18s.com
www.18footers.com.au

Short Tacks
* The tea clipper Cutty Sark will be restored in time for the 2012 Olympics at a cost of £46 million. The Department of Culture Media and Sport has ended fears of a funding shortfall with a grant of £3 million.

Half the cash has already come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the rest from private donors, and local councils.

The clipper was badly damaged by fire three years ago after a dust extractor on board caught fire after being left plugged in overnight

www.yachtingmonthly.com/news/441356/cutty-sark-rigged-out-in-time-for-olympics

* A devastating fire broke out on the 27m (88ft) Wally yacht Tiketitan yesterday afternoon whilst she was on the hard in the commercial docks of Palma de Mallorca. The alarm was raised from the STP repair and maintenance shipyard at around 1500, and Spanish media have reported that seven people were treated for various degrees of burns and smoke inhalation.

As a result it is sadly thought that this iconic boat will be declared a write-off, such has been the damage sustained. Designed by German Frers and built by Green Marine, S/Y Tiketitan was one of the original fast and easily-handled Wally superyachts, and their first with canting keel when she launched over 10 years ago.

Foam was used to try to suffocate the flames and limit the danger of it spreading to other vessels, with the blaze taking over two and a half hours to contain. Amazingly, the rig stayed standing until it was removed this morning. There was obviously significant smoke caused from all the carbon, plastics and paints involved, visible from over five miles away.

Reports over the cause of the fire will obviously remain mixed while it's assessed for insurance, with 'battery explosion', 'flammable brake fluid', 'heat guns and cleaning products' and an 'engine-room' fire all being mooted so far.

www.yachtingworld.com/news/441140/wally-yacht-tiketitan-catches-fire

* In celebration of the 33rd America's Cup, Alinghi is launching its official 'Fine Art Print Collection' in collaboration with Cultwork, a unique worldwide artist's network and leading art-on-demand operator that creates and produces limited or unique edition art in collaboration with iconic brands and sports teams.

The special edition launch collection features two themes: the 33rd and 32nd America's Cup. Each collection is inspired by the yacht - both the America's Cup Class and the Alinghi 5 catamaran - and is freely interpreted through different artistic styles.

Collectors can select the quality of the print - whether on canvas, Fine Art Paper, Cultbond or Cultplex - and the dimensions according to their taste and interior decoration style. Each piece of art purchased is individually crafted in Switzerland and tailored to the individual order. The artwork is available exclusively from the Alinghi art prints web store: http://www.alinghiart.com

* ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is set to depart from Australia this month bound for the northern hemisphere and an attempt to break her own transatlantic record.

Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image to enlarge.

ICAP Leopard

ICAP Leopard's schedule for 2010 will see her travel first to the Caribbean, in order to compete in the inaugural Les Voiles de St. Barths regatta in April, before heading to New York for her record attempt. To break her own record ICAP Leopard will need to average more than 15.5 knots over a period of seven days. However, Slade's crew will also have their eyes set on Mari Cha IV's outright monohull transatlantic record of 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes.

Owner and skipper Mike Slade commented: "After a brilliant 2009 for the boat and crew, ICAP Leopard is moving onwards and upwards. A springtime sprint in the Caribbean will set us up for another assault on the Atlantic. Unfortunately we will have to forgo Antigua sailing week to hit the weather window perfectly for our record attempt, but the transat is an exciting challenge and one we can't wait to get stuck into!"

www.leopard3.com

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 Paul Cayard: With very light winds on the Mediterranean Sea and less than 24 hours to the start of Race 1 of the 33rd Ameirca's cup, both Alinghi V and BMW Oracle were keen to get out on the water and make final preparations.

I was invited to the BMW Oracle base at 0730 to observe the wing raising operation. Operation is the key word here. It took about 2 hours from the time the wing started to move out from its shed until it was vertical on the "platform" (French for the boat). The conditions were good for the "operation"; very light wind and no sea in the harbor. Basically the wing is attached to the platform, while virtually horizontal, with the help of a crane. The wing, still horizontal, is then supported by block and tackle attached to a relatively short pole, vertically mounted on the platform and then the crane is disconnected. Next, the platform with the wing attached, is moved out to a mooring. Once on the mooring the wing is raised by using the onboard motor to drive the winches, while slowly raising the wing.

The sunrise was spectacular this morning with red clouds, providing incredible lighting for the wing operation. The whole scene was surreal for me. The time of day, the lighting, the wing and the fact that in 24 hours time, these two beasts would be facing off against eachother. I had a chance to talk to Skipper James Spithill while the boat was being rigged. James had some very interesting insight to the wing and the foils and how they are used on the boat. It made me think back to 1986 and our radical 12 meter USA and all that we sailors learned from that project. This Cup will no doubt be a huge addition to the technical competence of all involved on both sides. Then Larry Ellison walked into the compound, all suited up with plenty of clothes on as he was heading out for a sail. He was very friendly to me as we spent at least 15 minutes chatting about this Cup, the future of the Cup and the RC 44's which he loves too. I hadn't talked to him for that long since we spent a week racing the Trans-Pac together in 1995. He seemed really excited about the technology of this Cup and their chances of winning. At 1200 as Alinghi V glided out of the America's Cup Harbor under tow, there was a large crowd on hand, possibly 5000 people. Just as in 2007, a large Italian contingency is here. I could not help but wonder, once again, how big the America's Cup would be if it ever held in Italy. The Defender made a few more adjustments to the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions today. There are some great people here on the race committee, jury, umpires and measurement committees. The best in their sector! These people get too little credit for what they do, mostly off camera. My guess is that there will be some post race measurement checks initiated by the measurer and there may event be a measurement protest tomorrow. If there are measurement protests, they will be known before the boats enter the starting box, at the 5 minute gun.

The forecast for tomorrow is very light westerly winds in the morning, shifting to the south and increasing a bit....maybe up to 10 knots. There is a chance the race committee will postpone ashore, waiting for better conditions.

* From Anne Hinton: Further to 'Umpiring the 33rd America's Cup Match' (on SailRaceWin) At any event the sailors are the most important people, but without the organization, of which all race officials are the most significant part, sailboat racing could not take place. These people seldom receive the credit they deserve for a very great deal of hard work put in, often in far from easy circumstances, to do their jobs well.

All the race officials of the 33rd America's Cup Match are amongst the best in the business and I have complete and absolute faith in their ensuring fair racing and umpiring for both competing teams. I have had the privilege of knowing the Race Director and Principal Race Officer, Harold Bennett, since the 1990s, and the Chief Umpire, Bill Edgerton, since the 1980s. I have also had the even greater privilege of umpiring with members of the 33rd America's Cup Match umpire team.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1939 Olin Stephens 12 Metre, EUR 1,400,000. Located in Punta Ala, Italy.

VIM, this famous America's Cup vessel, was commissioned by Harold S. Vanderbilt in 1938 and designed by Olin Stephens.She was built by Henry B Nevins in City Island, NY.

Probably the most innovative 12 meter built prior to WW 11 and the first 12 meter equipped with rod rigging and aluminum spars.

Even though she was built as an all out race horse, VIM provides a light and airy, open interior in light colored wood and white panels.

VIM was to remain the standard by which all other 12 meters would be measured for the next twenty years.

Completely refitted and restored with no budget limits in 2003, she is in immaculate condition and still racing in the classic yacht regattas.

Brokerage through David Jones Yacht Brokerage: www.yachtworld.com/davidjones/

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

The Last Word
The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. -- Thomas Jefferson

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