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Rolex Middle Sea Race: The Princess Of Stromboli
Kristina Plattner's Z-86 Morning Glory was beset by light winds late this morning. However, at 1300 local time, the German canting keel Maxi was powering along the north coast of Sicily having completed 266 miles of the course in 25 hours. To beat the course record, Morning Glory will need to average 15 knots for the remainder of the race, which is achievable but unlikely. However, Morning Glory is now out of sight of any other yacht in the fleet. Andres Soriano's Alegre and Luca Simone's Robertissima II are the closest rivals, over 25 miles astern of the leader.
All of the competing yachts have now passed through the Strait of Messina, including Beppe Bisotto's Atame whose tracker is not responding. By tonight, the fleet should all have passed the active volcano Stromboli and will be heading west across the top of Sicily. So far the larger yachts have enjoyed more suitable weather conditions.
Overall IRC at Messina: Infanta - Freddie Hall (GBR)
IRC One at Stromboli: Alegre - Andres Soriano (GBR)
IRC Two at Messina: B2 - Michele Galli (ITA)
IRC Three at Messina: Clem-Amanda Hartley (ESP)
IRC Four at Messina: Infanta-Freddie Hall (GBR)
IRC Double Handed at Messina: TWT Ucomm - Marco Rodolfi (ITA)
Fleet tracking and reports: www.rolexmiddlesearace.com
Gulari Crowned 2013 Moth World Champion
Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image to enlarge.
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii: An early squall drenched the 80 competitors for the 2013 McDougall + McConaghy International Moth World Championship this morning as they prepared their flying carbon-fiber craft for the final day of racing. The rain and clouds brought with them an unfortunate side effect, cooling down Oahu's Koʻolau Mountains and shutting down the building thermal breeze that might have allowed a final day of racing for the Moth World title.
After a tense 3-hour wait in the Kaneohe Yacht Club boat park, Race Officer Tom Pochereva reached for the treble horn that indicates the end to the regatta; within seconds, a dozen American racers lifted Michigan's Bora Gulari in the air and tossed him in the club pool for the 2013 World Champion's ceremonial dunking.
Gulari becomes the first American two-time Moth World Champion since 1959; he won the 2009 World Championship in Cascade Locks, Oregon.
Gulari attributes his success to his Mach 2 Moth, which he says "is a perfect platform for this kind of sailing," combined with the cumulative effect of dozens of small changes to the boat. "We've been working for a solid year in Detroit, refining and changing things bit by bit until they're perfect," said Gulari. He also gave credit to his sail package, adding "North Sails and specifically sailmaker Chris Williams came up with an extremely powerful sail design for this Worlds; I've never sailed with a faster sail since I bought my first Moth."
1. Bora Gulari, USA, 21 points
2. Nathan Outteridge, AUS, 29
3. Scott Babbage, AUS, 44
4. Ben Paton, GBR, 45
5. Robert Greenhalgh, GBR, 46
6. Rob Gough, AUS, 50
7. Chris Rashley, GBR, 50
8. Julian Salter, AUS, 55
9. Brad Funk, USA, 71
10. Peter Burling, NZL, 77
Making it pay
Extracting maximum value from that Volvo Ocean Race campaign. Richard Brisius, Sam Dulka And Kevin Fylan
Fast and fun... the 52 way
With a new TP52 rule in the offing for 2015 Rob Weiland celebrates having as many as five brand new builds in the pipeline
Building (two) better Mini Maxis
Those raceboat builds are getting rolling once again. Marcello Persico
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Race Record and Line Honours Victory for Syd Fischer
Eighty six year-old Syd Fischer and his Team Ragamuffin broke the Audi Hong Kong to Vietnam race record this morning, beating Skandia's (Grant Wharington, AUS) 2004 time of 42h 45m 41s by just over 4 minutes, arriving at the Nha Trang finish line at 08:1120 this morning local time (11:11:20 Sydney time).
Revelling in the ideal downwind conditions, the Sydney yachtsman skippered his 90 foot Dubois Ragamuffin 90 to line honours and a new record for the 656 nautical mile race.
Although the wind piped in for the entire, race, averaging between 15-22 knots, it was touch and go in the last 75 miles, as the breeze oscillated from 13-18 knots and the minutes ticked away. In the end, it came down to the final couple of miles and keeping the boat speed up.
This is the first time Fischer has contested the race, which started at 13:30 hours on Thursday Hong Kong time. He led from the start and was never overtaken. At 6.00am local time (9.00am Sydney) there was a 92nm gap to Team Ragamuffin's nearest rival.
Fischer used the race for crew training and selection for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart. Among the experienced big boat crew were sailing master, Dave Witt, British Olympic double silver medallist and Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Ian Walker; Matt Humphries, a veteran of five Whitbread/VOR's, Geoff Hill, sailmaker Mark Fullerton and Campbell Knox.
While he was pushing the yacht hard at sea last night, the Mosman yachtsman was honoured at the Australian Yachting Awards with a Lifetime Achievement award. It was accepted by his grandson Brenton Fischer. -- Di Pearson
Ragamuffin's record breaking run can be seen on the Vietnam Hong Kong Race tracker at: www.rhkyc.org.hk/race-tracking.aspx
Ragamuffin Yachting has a Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/RagamuffinYachting
Big Bird's Record Flight to Auckland
Photo by Georgia Scholten, Subzero Images. Click on image for photo gallery.
When they passed between Auckland's North Head and the leading lights at Rangitoto Channel at 9:12:43NZT this morning, the six-man crew on the giant multihull from Sydney nicknamed 'Big Bird' set a new world speed passage record from Sydney to Auckland.
Once verified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, it will be Team Australia's second speed record in eight months having slayed the previous fastest time for the passage from Sydney to Hobart back in February.
Skipper Sean Langman predicts their elapsed time of 2 days 19 hours 2 minutes 45 seconds and 18.8 knot average speed for the Trans-Tasman ocean crossing will stand for decades.
"We had perfect conditions, essentially we beam reached on port to the tip of NZ, gybed, parked for a couple of hours then beam reached on starboard to the finish, a scenario that is basically unheard of.
"I reckon this record could stand for many years," said the delighted skipper just before the champagne corks started popping.
The Orma 60 was carrying some damage from the first afternoon out of Sydney. Langman reckoned they hit a shark which crushed the starboard foil chocks, causing the boat to nosedive at high speed. He said repairs will be made, with the boat still in the water, in time for next Friday's PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic.
A much-awaited retrial between Team Australia and Simon Hull's near identical Team Vodafone is shaping up to be one of the Coastal Classic highlights.
Langman is upping the ante for this race starting next Friday, taking on some new crew: round-the-world sailing power duo Mike and Emma Sanderson and revered Australian navigator Adrienne Cahalan, plus a brand new suite of Doyle Sails NZ sails.
Team Australia's racing team has other South Pacific records in their sights and will join most of the best-known Australian East Coast regattas and races over the summer.
GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series 2013/14
Click on image for photo gallery.
The GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series kicks off with the Draycote Dash on the weekend of 23/24 November 2013.
Participation in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series has grown massively year by year. Last season we saw a 20% increase in entries, with 783 boats representing 91 different racing classes.
Two brand new events - the Datchet Flyer and the Oxford Blue - feature in this year's line-up, along with the six that made up last year's Series. This season you must count your best four results from these eight events. Of course, you're welcome to enter and compete in as many events as you like - all eight if you're mad and bad enough to take on the challenge! This will give you more shots at getting a set of four good scores to put on the board.
Great Lakes Handicapping
Historically, handicap racing has had its 'bandit classes' which run away with the prizes more often than perhaps they should. Part of the aim of this Series is to iron out the imbalances and create fairer competition, rewarding the best sailors regardless of which class they are racing.
It's an imperfect science, but our Great Lakes group of handicapping experts have spent the past four years analysing historic race data. There are a few changes to handicap numbers, but nothing like as big as we were seeing a couple of years ago. Why? Because the Great Lakes analysis is year by year homing in on the most accurate and fairest numbers for the many different classes that race in the UK. The proof? We're seeing a far wider spread of classes taking individual race wins and overall regatta victories.
- The following regattas constitute the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2013/2014:
- Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
- Saturday 23th & Sunday 24th November 2013
- Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
- Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December 2013
- Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
- Friday 27th December 2013
- Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
- Sunday 29th December 2013
- Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
- Saturday 4th January 2014
- Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
- Saturday 11th January 2014
- Steve Nicholson Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
- Saturday 25th January 2014
- John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
- Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd February 2014
France Wins 2013 Student Yachting World Cup
This morning, we could see tired faces among every crew. Today was the last day of the 33rd edition of the Student Yachting World Cup. France was already known, yesterday, as the new champion. Switzerland, second, was 6 points ahead Team USA. The EPFL team must secure their place.
Today, because of the tide, only one race could happen. The committee chose a windward leeward race. This race runs for the "Pornic Trophy".
The wind was very low, with only 7 knots coming from South East. All the teams did a fair start. This race was without spinnakers. France finished this race sixth, enough to secure overall victory.
Back to the harbor, France from Kedge Business School celebrated their victory on the pontoon after 18 outstanding races on the water. The AGPM trophy for the general winner of the coastal races also belongs to France. The trophy of the city of Pornic belongs to Switzerland, winner of the race of the day and also second at the general ranking. The USA finished third and complete the podium. -- Michalis Pateniotis, www.icarussailingmedia.com
Video hightlights for the last day of racing at youtu.be/P9KKu7C-gn0
18ft Skiffs: 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 2
Click on image for photo gallery.
Sydney Harbour, Australia: After last Sunday's strong winds which lashed Sydney Harbour on the opening day of the Australian 18 Footers League's 2013-2014 Season, today's Race 2 of the 18ft Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge was sailed in near perfect conditions.
The 3-lap windward-return course gave patrons a great view of the entire course from the spectator ferry and the 16-boat fleet produced some great racing in the 15-17-knot north-east wind.
Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack and Aron Everett certainly reveled in the conditions as they took line by 56s in their Panasonic-sponsored Lumix skiff.
John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck finished second in Yandoo, with Euan McNicol, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge third in Mojo Wine, a further 1m14s behind Yandoo.
While Lumix and Yandoo were untroubled to hold their placings over the latter half of the course, the battle behind them held spectator interest until the end as the handicap system came into play. Asko recovered from the mid race capsize to grab fourth place, ahead of De'Longhi Rabbitohs and The Kitchen Maker (Malcolm Page). -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
Australian Yachting Awards
Ian "Stripey" Grant
Another outstanding year for Australian Olympic and Paralympic sailing team members was celebrated at the 2013 Australian Yachting awards at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on Friday night. The Australian Sailing Team, including members of the up and coming Australian Sailing Squad, took home the Male, Female, Disabled and Youth Sailor of the Year Awards.
A year after the London 2012 Olympic Games the future of the Australian Sailing Team looks bright with the 2013 Youth World Champions Carrie Smith (WA) and Ella Clark (WA), newcomers to the Australian Sailing Squad, rewarded with both the Female and Youth Sailor of the Year awards. The young duo displayed maturity beyond their years in winning gold in the 420 girls class at the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Cyprus in July.
The Male Sailor of the Year category was awarded to the 2013 World Champions in the 470 Class, Mathew Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD).
CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Jason Hellwig presented the Sailor of the Year with a Disability Award to Collin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden. This was in recognition of their bronze medal at the 2013 IFDS World Championships in Kinsale, Ireland in August.
Yachting Australia President David Gotze presented the President's Award to David Kellet, recognising him for his continued contribution to the sport nationally and internationally.
Sydney Fischer and the late Ian Grant were recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their involvement and contributions to the sport of sailing. Syd Fischer was acknowledged as one of Australia's greatest ever yachtsman, his sailing career spanning a record 44 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races.
Renowned sailing journalist Ian Grant's work in championing the sport included time with several Queensland news outlets, amongst others the Brisbane Courier Mail and several sailing publications and online news channels. Grant, who passed away earlier this year, was also passionately involved in radio reporting of sailing events such as the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, Airlie Beach Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week.
More at www.yachting.org.au/awards
Decision On America's Cup Funding
Cabinet is set to discuss whether or not to fund another America's Cup campaign today.
Prime Minister John Key told TV ONE's Breakfast that the issue is on today's agenda.
"If we make a decision to say yes it wouldn't be a decision to say look here's all of the money but it may be that they need a small amount of money to tide them over so that's what we are looking at today," he said.
Earlier this month Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker gave the Government a two-week deadline for a decision on funding.
Barker said it was essential to have reassurance of funding to be able to offer contracts to Kiwi sailors who would otherwise be poached by foreign syndicates.
The Government invested $36 million in the last America's Cup campaign.
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Very clean, professionally maintained and a must see if considering an offshore racing program.
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