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No Race Before Midday Wednesday
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup On the strength of the weather forecasts for overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday the decision has been taken that there will be no warning signal for Race 1 prior to 1154hrs on Wednesday. This applies only to Wednesday.

Harold Bennett (NZL) Principal Race Officer explained:

"We have issued an amendment that there will be no signal before midday tomorrow (Wednesday)."

"We will make a further assessment at 0830hrs in the morning. So we will have a look at what it is like early in the morning. We will take a check then."

" There are a lot of strong winds forecast overnight and offshore and that is going to throw up a swell. So it is more the sea-state that is going to be of concern. Until we see what the sea state is we are not going to guess."

" I don't want to put the boats out there if they are not going to sail. I do not want to put them all the way out there and bring them back without a race.

Talking with the weather guys from both teams they agree that this is what we are going to get, so it is a fairly easy decision to make."

* Team rosters will be announced in the morning. Here's what they looked like for Monday's cancelled race:

Pierre-Yves Jorand, SUI, Traveller
Ernesto Bertarelli, SUI, Helmsman
Juan Vila, ESP, Navigator
Simon Daubney, NZL, Trimmer Upwind
Warwick Fleury, NZL, Mainsail Trimmer
Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen, NED, Bowman
Curtis Blewett, CAN, Midbow
Rodney Ardern, NZL, Pitman

BMW / Oracle:
Brad Webb, NZL, Bowman
Simone de Mari, ITA, Pitman
Ross Halcrow, NZL, Jib Trimmer
Dirk de Ridder, NED, Wing Sail Trimmer
Joey Newton, AUS, Wing Sail Caddy
John Kostecki, USA, Tactician
James Spithill, AUS, Skipper/Helmsman
Matteo Plazzi, ITA, Navigator
Thierry Fouchier, FRA, Aft Pit
Matthew Mason, NZL, Mast

* On the eve of the 1st race of the 33rd America's Cup, BMW Oracle held a conference at their base where skipper James Spithill, tactician John Kostecki and navigator Matteo Plazzi talked to the press.

Like most of the press conferences so far in this edition of the world's oldest sports event, we didn't learn anything we didn't knew except for the interesting fact by Plazzi that USA can sail at VMG equal to twice the windspeed. BMW Oracle had scheduled to carry out a final training session today but given the strong breeze (25 to 30 knots) and the rough seas (waves reaching 2 meters), they decided to call off dockout. Alinghi 5 has also remained docked in fornt of the base throughout the day. -- Pierre Orphanidis, Valencia Sailing

Pierre has posted videos of the conference:

* The latest MeteoSim wind forecasts (made on Tuesday, 10pm) for Wednesday 10am and 2pm are not encouraging at all. If they turn out to be correct, we will either have too much wind or too little, all around the place. It will probably be another difficult day for the race committee and spectators. -- Valencia Sailing, citing Meteo Sim:

OK World Championships Day 3
Photo of Karl Purdie by Will Calver, Click on image to enlarge.

OK Dinghy The start of Day 3's racing emulated the America's Cup - with flat water and sailors just hanging around. Unlike Valencia, the wind came in and Race 5 of the 2010 OK Dinghy World Championships was able to get away.

Following his disqualification from Race 4, Karl Purdie (NZL731) was ready and loaded for Race 5. All guns blazing, Purdie came out on top - first round every mark and first over the finish line. Michael Williams (AUS730) chased Purdie from mark 2 and finished second, with junior Matt Steven (NZL519) in third.

This left Purdie in a great position - with 6 races nearly in the bag he would be able to drop his worst result to date, being the disqualification from Race 4. Unfortunately, Purdie misfired at the start of Race 6 and was OCS (On Course Side). Now, with two 'dud' races in his lap Purdie was faced with a possibly insurmountable challenge.

However, a dark cloud developed over the course, sucking away the wind. Race Officer, John Parrish, had no option but to abandon Race 6. A reprieve for Purdie.

When the flukey wind finally settled down the Race Committee was able to lay a new course and, at 1700hrs, get Race 6 underway for the second time.

Purdie's gun was out of bullets this time, finishing in 18th*. However, he was not alone in being down the fleet ... local adversary and current leader Paul Rhodes (NZL517) was 29th, current World Champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE100) 20th and Nick Craig (GBR2134) 16th. -- Mandy Burt

1. Paul Rhodes, NZL, 19 points
2. Michael Williams, AUS, 20
3. Matt Steven, NZL, 23
4. Russell Page-Wood, NZL, 27
5. Steve Mcdowell, NZL, 29
6. Karl Purdie, NZL, 30
7. Ben Morrison, NZL, 34
8. Nick Craig, GBR, 37
9. Andre Blasse, AUS, 39
10. Roger Blasse, AUS, 47

Henri Lloyd Blaze Jacket
Henri Lloyd Blaze Jacket If you are looking for a jacket to keep you warm this Spring, then look no further than the Henri Lloyd Blaze Jacket which has been designed to offer superior performance, warmth and comfort even under the most extreme conditions.

The jacket features a 100% waterproof and windproof outer which features an 'Adaptive Performance' temperature regulating fabric, thus allowing the fabric to breathe and adapt to differing temperatures and levels of moisture to maintain the perfect micro-climate environment.

The lining features Primaloft, which is as warm as down and helps the body retain warmth and conserve energy, it is also extremely breathable, lightweight and offers superior water repellency so you remain dry.

Lights, Cameras, Action!
For the first time in singlehanded offshore racing, the Velux 5 Oceans will provide a standardised package of cutting edge onboard cameras and communications management systems for the competing fleet. In partnership with Marine Camera Solutions, the worldwide leader in supplying ocean racing communications services and support, Velux Group as title sponsor and race organisers Clipper Ventures have commissioned the design, production and installation of new onboard cameras and media desks to fit on each racing yacht to record all the action at sea during the nine months of The Ultimate Solo Challenge.

The experienced team at Marine Camera Solutions, lead by Tony Reid and Rob Sleep, will supply a functional and powerful onboard media system for the first twelve entries ready to cross the start line in La Rochelle in October 2010. Capturing the action in high quality 16:9 SD and recording to tape, the core of the system comprises a lightweight membrane control panel, with a video screen, mounted in the navigation station. The system also incorporates a handheld video camera with a waterproof housing and state of the art wireless microphone and earpiece that will ensure the highest quality audio and filming, even in the most demanding environments.

Designed with power efficiency and solo sailors in mind, the system will allow footage to be captured and transmitted (web or broadcast quality) from the yacht but can also deliver a live video feed for broadcast quality video conferencing and web streaming.

Summary of Skipper Support Packages for Skippers (first 12 across start line):

€500,000 Prizefund
€250,000 investment in accommodation (€3,500 per team per stopover)
€300,000 minimum investment in onboard cameras and communications management systems
- 2 x fixed video cameras (recording in 16:9 SD) - onboard positions to be agreed with skippers
- 1 x roaming video Handycam (recording in 16:9 SD)
- Wireless microphone and earpiece headset, plus ambient microphone
- Camera control unit on navigation table
- HDV Recorder unit and media system management processor
- Dedicated media laptop with Livewire M-Link Voyager software
€600,000 Value in Kind through in port services and race partners/suppliers

Shetland Round Britain & Ireland
At right is Beyond, sailed by Stuart McDonald and Angus Lawrence, veterans of two-handed racing. She is a Comfortina 38 and ably represents the majority of the Corinthian Fleet which sit in the 35 to 40 feet size for which this race is best remembered.

Shetland Round Britain & Ireland The entry deadline has now passed for those wishing to compete in the Shetland Round Britain & Ireland 2010. Fifty skippers have signed up for what has become known as one of the toughest maritime races - the largest fleet for many years.

The most senior competitor is Nico Budel, of the Netherlands. Nico is sailing a brand new forty footer named sec.HAYAI, the very latest in Class 40 technology.

At the other end of the scale, 17 year old Ned Mumford is the youngest competitor to take part. His extensive sailing background has allowed him special entry into the race. Ned is racing with his father, William, who has taken part in the race several times before.

The race has the support of many sailing greats including: Sir Robin Knox-Johnston; Steve Fosset and Pete Goss MBE. It is a truly global event with competitors taking part this year from Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Norway and Belgium.

Race regulars, Jerry Freeman and Mary Falk will be joining forces to sail together in Mary's sloop Q11 in a bid to raise money for the Institute of Cancer Research. Both Jerry and Mary are no strangers to the Round Britain & Ireland Race having taken part an astounding five times before. Mary, a cancer survivor, has raised £85,000 for the Institute of Cancer Research over the last twenty years.

A number of local sailors are taking part including father and son team David and Sebastian Southwood. David was the race director of OSTAR 2009 and is now looking forward to seeing an oceanic race from a more hands-on basis!

Alex Bennett and Malcolm Dickinson, both from Devon will also be taking part in their boat, Fujifilm, a class forty.

This is the second race to be sponsored by Shetland Islands Council, an ideal sponsor due to its maritime links and history, as well as its 35 marinas. As one of the four compulsory stops, Lerwick will also be providing the sailors with a warm Shetland welcome.

The race will depart from Plymouth on 6th June 2010 and see the competitors sail 2000 nautical miles around the UK coastline. The race has been hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club every four years since 1966.

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Miami Grand Prix
Miami Beach, Florida, USA: There will be no shortage of top-tier competition at the 2010 Miami Grand Prix. Racing sailors from across the country and around the world are setting their sights on Premiere Racing's second South Florida event. Melges 32, Farr 40 and IRC boats will race in the ocean waters off South Beach March 4-7.

The Miami Grand Prix provides another opportunity for Farr 40 programs to fine tune crew work and boat speed in preparation for their April World Championship in the Dominican Republic's Casa de Campo. Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (Newport, RI) and Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone (Punta Ala, IT) will look to improve on their 2nd and 3rd place finishes at Key West Race Week.

The Melges 32 southern winter circuit concludes with the Miami Grand Prix. Points earned at the December Gold Cup in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and the class Mid Winter Championships in Key West will count with Miami results for the coveted combined trophy. By the first entry deadline, 22 of these high performance sport boats hailing from Italy, Japan and the UK and nine different states had entered. With the top performers from Key West on hand it will be asking a lot for John Kilroy and his superb Samba Pa Ti crew to repeat their dominant performance that resulted in Key West Boat of the Week honors.

Current entries, past results, planning details and online entry:

RC 44 Championship Tour
Photo by Raffaelo Bastiani / RC44 Class Association. Click on image to enlarge.

RC 44 Class The RC 44 Class Association has announced its 2010 tour, as well as updated rules for the fourth edition of its Championship Tour.

The season will start in two weeks in Dubai with the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy (February 22 - 27). The fleet will then be transported to central Europe for the Austria Cup (29 April - 4 May), the Copenhagen Cup (8 - 3 June) and a fourth venue to be confirmed soon. The Championship Tour will then move back to the Atlantic Ocean for the RC 44 Puerto Calero Islas Canarias Cup, which will also be the RC 44 World Championship (11 - 16 October), before the season showdown (7 - 12 December).

The teams involved in the Championship Tour 2010 include Team No Way Back (Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies), Artemis (Torbjorn Tornqvist / Terry Hutchinson), CEEREF (Igor Lah / Rod Davis), BMW ORACLE Racing (Larry Ellison / Russell Coutts), Team Aqua (Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton), Organika (Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski), Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (Jose Juan and Daniel Calero / Jose Maria Ponce), Katusha (Paul Cayard), Team Sea Dubai (Raimondo Tonelli / Markus Wieser), Team Austria (Rene Mangold / Christian Binder) and Team Jelik (Frank Pong). The RC 44 Championship Tour is one of the world's top sailing events, and other teams are expected to join the Class throughout the season.

Several rules have been updated in order to increase the appeal of the Class. For example, the events will now begin with the match race event on day 1 & 2. The third day will be a fleet race practice day as well as a spare day to conclude the match race if necessary. The fleet regatta will take place on day 4, 5 and 6. The long distance regatta is maintained; however it will only take place if an interesting race course is available. As for the points, they will not count double as was the case in the previous years. An official RC 44 World Championship will also take place for the first time in Lanzarote; it will break the possible ties in the annual rankings.

Unable to attend the event due to the America's Cup, Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts will be replaced by Mike Perris (fleet race helmsman) and Adam Minoprio (match race helmsman). Needless to say that Ceeref, the winner of the SLAM Cup 2009 - the match race season title - will have an interesting challenge against the winner of last year's World Match Race Tour Adam Minoprio and that the comparison will be interesting. -- Bernard Schopfer

Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong
Hong Kong Harbour with its unique skyline and 'always busy' waterways is one of the most iconic maritime settings in the world. The 14-day long Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta, scheduled for 9th to 23rd January 2011, will take place on this perfect natural arena.

Organised in conjunction with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), a sailing and rowing club with over 160 years of history and one of the world's most active sailing institutions today, the Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong regatta will mark the culmination of a huge amount of work done by the club's members and staff. The best sailing teams in the world representing 8 to 10 nations will be competing in this event. This sailing activity will see 7 days of pre-regatta training and 14 days of competition before the winner is known.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy race course will be set on the stretch of water just to the South of the now disused legendary Kai Tak Airport and the Race Village, itself a major attraction, is planned for Pier 10 alongside the terminal of the iconic Star Ferry.

The prevailing winds in Victoria Harbour are from the East at between 12 to 15 knots in January and given the geography of the harbour it will be possible for sailing fans and curious passers by to witness the spectacle from numerous vantage points along the harbour, as the yachts approach both shores on their way around the course, without needing to get afloat.

For those unable to be on the Hong Kong waterfront in person the Louis Vuitton Trophy hybrid TV and Virtual video feed will allow race fans around the world to witness the sporting action in this amazing natural amphitheatre.

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 Daniel Charles: With the cancellation of the first regatta in the 33rd America's Cup, sailing proved once again its inability to be a modern, television friendly sport.

I understand that there was some 10 kts of wind at time, and still the race was cancelled; since the (now abandoned) racing limit wanted by the Swiss was a maximum wind of 15 kts, it would mean that between them and the race officers they considered the useful wind bracket for racing these boats to be FIVE knots. The word "ludicrous" comes to mind...

With a 4-knot faint whisper these boats reach 12, 12.5 knots. This is actually faster than the 12m IR (who raced the cup for 29 years) in a strong breeze!

The race officers, in cancelling yesterday's race, have applied rules justified (although...) in much smaller olympic classes -but the contestants in Valencia have masts reaching 8 times higher than most Olympic classes and therefore can get wind unabated by friction upon water. It seems inconsequent to allow, on one hand an absolute technological freedom -water ballasts, engine powered winches, ejection of viscosity-alterring products, laser wind analysers...- and on the other hand no to go because of the uncertainties of the light weather.

One can deplore the legal shenanigans which have framed this Cup edition, but it must be recognized that at the end we've in Valencia the most spectacular sporting machines of all times and all sports. To deem these high tech marvels unfit for racing in very light air is just unsporting.

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The Last Word
You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing. -- Rene Descartes

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