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The annual Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship hosted by West Kirby Sailing Club is a remarkable event on many levels. Beyond the mere facts that the event, now in its sixty-first year, is still consistently attracting the cream of the international team racing community, the sheer logistical challenges of staging this event set it apart from any other.
The 2010 edition of the Wilson Trophy which ran from the 7th - 9th May was no exception and attracted team entries from the UK, Ireland and the USA. The West Kirby Hawks fielded the same illustrious helm lineup of Ben Field, Dom Johnson and Andy Cornah, which had prevailed over the American Larchmont team in a thrilling 2009 Grand Final. Whilst the Hawks certainly looked likely to be strong contenders to make it into the final rounds come Sunday, another local team, West Kirby Sailing Club, also boasted an impressive list of experienced team racing helmsmen, in the form of Leo Dixon, Paul Kameen and Owen Modral and would be equally likely to progress to the later stages of the competition. Four potent USA teams had made the trip to this year's Wilson Trophy, including two New York Yacht Club entries, as well as Team Extreme led by Olympic 470 campaigner Stuart McNay. This year also saw the welcome return of the enigmatically named Woonsocket Rockets who made a huge impact at the 2009 edition. Ireland was represented by two strong Dun Laoghaire teams, the Royal St George Yacht Club and the George Knights.
The best of five Grand Final was decided in three straight races, with USA's Team Extreme simply demonstrating more composure and better discipline than their British challengers. A series of uncharacteristic unforced errors by the West Kirby Hawks, including several OCS starts and a clutch of umpire penalties, effectively handed control to team Extreme in all three races and enabled them to inflict a clinical three to zero Grand Final whitewash defeat on the 2009 Wilson Trophy winners. Having so dominated the qualification rounds and maintained their composure through the elimination rounds nobody could argue that Team Extreme - Zach Brown & Emmet Smith, Adam & Melanie Roberts and Stuart McNay & Abby Coplin - were well deserved winners of the 2010 Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship.
Spirit Of Australia Wins Clipper Race 8
Photo by Heather Ewing/Clipper Ventures PLC. Click on image for photo gallery.
The ecstatic crew of Spirit of Australia have arrived in Panama following their victory in Race 8 of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. The team led for much of the way but were pushed every inch of the 3,300-mile course by fellow competitors, Team Finland, Qingdao and Jamaica Lightning Bolt, who did not make it easy for them.
In addition to the ten points for winning the race from San Francisco, Spirit of Australia also picked up three points as the first team to cross the Scoring Gate. Despite two previous podium-topping finishes it is the first time they have netted the maximum haul of 13 points.
Skipper Brendan said, "We saw that it could be done - Cape Breton Island did it coming across the Pacific - so we made that our goal, we aimed very high and we pushed hard and got it in the end. We're delighted."
The result puts them 15 points clear of closest rivals, Jamaica Lightning Bolt, at the top of the overall leader board. There are six more individual races remaining in the Clipper 09-10 campaign
After completing immigration formalities Brendan and his team must now wait for the go-ahead to pass under the imposing Bridge of the Americas and begin their transit of the Panama Canal, one of the great engineering achievements of the modern world. Forty-eight miles long, the canal rises to 28 metres above sea level through a series of huge locks. As the 68-foot long ocean racing yachts pass through they are likely to be dwarfed by a tanker, cargo ship or cruise liner in the neighbouring set of locks.
At the Caribbean end of the Canal Spirit of Australia will join Cork in Shelter Bay Marina as she undergoes final preparations to rejoin Clipper 09-10. The crews will wait for the other teams before setting off for the Race 9 start line and the 591-mile sprint upwind to Port Antonio on the on the north coast of Jamaica.
Be Safe At Sea With A Holmatro Emergency Rigging Cutter
Click on image to enlarge.
Nobody is eager to cut their boats rigging and let go of the mast, but in case the mast becomes a threat to your own yacht, you simply have no other choice. You don't want to risk the chance of losing your yacht. Rod rigging is difficult to cut with the standard equipment onboard and you don't want to try in the middle of a dangerous situation. So be prepared and make sure you go offshore with the proper equipment.
Holmatro has developed a highly reliable, high-quality emergency rigging cutter to quickly and safely cut free your rig. The cutters are available as manual- and remote-operated version and can be used to cut wire, dyform and rod rigging.
For more product information, check www.holmatro.com
Mini Pavois - Good Start At 11:20
The fleet has set sails at 11:20 this morning and headed towards La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime), a distance of 465 nm. The wind was 5 / 6 knots from the east. A windward mark was moored 1.3 miles off Cabo de San Lorenzo in front the Island of Tortuga and Nicolas Boidevezi (719 - Defi G.D.E) took the lead for protos ahead of Paul Marette (265 - Region Nord Pas de Calais) and Milan Kolacek (759 - Follow me). Among series boats, it's Amaury Francois (697 - www.amauryfrancois.com ) that was first to head North for his second crossing of the Bay of Biscay ahead Jean-Marc Allaire (464 - Baker Tilly - AG2R La Mondiale) and Pierre Cizeau (746 - Colibri).
The leaders are expected Thursday in the late afternoon in the Port Minimes.
34 sailors at the start: Vincent Pilato does not go...
They will be 34 minis 6.50 to set sails for the second leg to La Rochelle. Vincent Pilato (481 - Mcom), for personal reasons, will not be at the start. So there will be 21 series boats and 13 prototypes.
Meteo Consult weather forecast:
Tuesday the 11th of May
West wind force 3 to 4. 1 to 1.50 meters northwest swell. Predominant bright intervals. Good visibility. There be should a clear improvement of the forecast.
Wednesday the 12th of May
NNE wind force 4, force 5 gusts. Slight to moderate sea. Predominant bright intervals. Good visibility.
Moderate north streams.
First leg's (La Rochelle / Gijon) podiums:
1. Jorg Riechers (753 - Mare.de)
2. Nicolas Boidevezi (719 - Defi G.D.E)
3. Thomas Normand (787 - Financiere de l'Echiquier)
1. Xavier Macaire (472 - Starter)
2. Amaury Francois (697 - www.amauryfrancois.com)
3. Jonas Gerckens (473 - PragmaWork)
Legality Of Team Origin Yacht Questioned
The wings of a new €2m campaign involving Britain's top yachtsmen are threatened with being clipped just as it prepares to fly. Team Origin, set up to challenge for the America's Cup, has had the legality of its new 52-foot racing yacht called into question by an Audi MedCup official and has been certified legal to race only until 1 June.
The launch ceremony for the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed yacht was also disrupted as team owner Sir Keith Mills flew out of Lisbon fearing, rightly, that the volcanic ash cloud could close the airport on Monday and, as deputy chairman of LOCOG, the Olympic organisation, he had to host a major dinner on Monday night.
The launch was put back to Tuesday and team members Leslie Greenhalgh and Charlotte Harmer stood in for Lady Maureen Mills.
At the centre of the row are some wings on the boat's keel which the class manager Rob Weiland says are outside the rules.
Juan K, as he is known, added the wings to improve performance of the yacht upwind, knowing that the price was likely to be a slight decrease in speed downwind. He has been in conflict with Weiland in the past, when his 50-foot Coyote was banned from the Admiral's Cup in 1999 for reinforcing with Kevlar the unstayed mast of the French yacht Coyote.
He says that he knew only a week ago of Weiland's objection and said: "There is nothing in the rule that remotely forbids (wings) or suggests anything like it. TP52s have had wings in the past, for instance on Karl Kwok's Beau Gests. I don't think it's fair. Interpretations [by the class manager] are not the way to change the rule." -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent, www.independent.co.uk/sport/
EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship
All is ready for the start of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship in Hard, Austria next Tuesday. Organized by Yacht Club Hard and sanctioned by the EUROSAF, the regatta will run from Tuesday until Saturday and will see some of Europe's best match racers vying for the title of European Champion.
In the Women's division the skippers to watch will be Germany's Silke Halhbrock, the reigning European champion, and Lucy Macgregor, the up-and-coming British sailor currently leading the world match racing rankings.
In the Open division, top-ranked Pierre Antoine-Morvan from France, Mads Ebler from Denmark and Alvaro Marinho from Portugal will be vying for the European title. For Marinho and Ebler the waters of Lake Constance off Hard will be familiar, having raced in last year's Match Race Cup. Marinho faced Ebler in the semi-finals and after one victory the absence of wind forced again the organizers to can all racing. Marinho went on to clinch the title on the round robin count-back. The EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship starts on Tuesday, May 11th with the practice races, followed by a double round robin, quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals, from Wednesday until Saturday.
Men crews will be racing on the Blu26 yachts, also used in World Match Racing event in Saint Moritz. These 26-foot yachts are raced with a crew of 4 men and their sail plan is adapted to the European Lakes. Women crews will be racing on the Schultz22 yachts. These 22-foot yachts will be raced with a crew of 3 women, similar to the Elliot 6m, the new Olympic women match racing yacht.
Racing will take place on two separate race courses, with separate race committees and officials. The first race course will be inside the Binnenbecken pond, giving spectators the unique opportunity to have a 360-degree access to the races. The second course will be on Lake Constance itself, again as close to the shore as possible.
Skipper Line-Up - Women
Name - Nationality - Ranking
Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 1
Silke Hahlbrock, GER, 5
Juile Bossard, FRA, 8
Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 11
Renee Groeneveld, NED, 14
Cristiana Monina, ITA, 20
Rita Goncalves, POR, 27
Ekaterina Skudina, RUS, 33
Petra Kliba, CRO, 39
Margarita Cameselle, ESP, 40
Sofia Bekatorou, GRE, 51
Vesna Dekleva Paoli, SLO, 54
Skipper Line-Up - Open
Name - Nationality - Ranking
Pierre-Antoine Morvan, FRA, 14
Mads Ebler, DEN, 16
Alvaro Marinho, POR, 19
Andrew Arbuzov, RUS, 20
Staffan Lindberg, FIN, 22
Jacopo Pasini, ITA, 28
Eric Monnin, SUI, 29
Marek Stanczyk, POL, 32
Stefan Meister, GER, 54
Nick Cherry, GBR, 56
Jeroen den Boer, NED, 91
Hans Spitzauer, AUT, 144
Pierre Orphanidis is doing the event PR, so Valencia Sailing will be the place to go for results: valenciasailing.blogspot.com
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San Francisco Angles for Vuitton Sailing Series
San Francisco could host the Louis Vuitton Trophy series in September 2011 - a $5 million event that could bring between 300,000 and 500,000 people to The City, according to Marcus Young, commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club and chairman of the Louis Vuitton Trophy San Francisco 2011 Committee.
The two-week Louis Vuitton sailing races occur four times a year in different parts of the globe. They involve 10 racing teams who race each other using the same four boats.
The last time San Francisco hosted something similar was in 2003, when the Moet Cup was raced in the Bay for a week, attracting more than 100,000 people to The City's waterfront.
San Francisco is in the running for the race against San Diego and other cities, Young said.
The committee consists of representatives from both Golden Gate and St. Francis yacht clubs, as well as the Port of San Francisco, The City and BMW Oracle Racing, which won the America's Cup on Golden Gate's behalf in February.
The City is hoping to host the next America's Cup, but that decision won't come down until the end of the year. The decision for the Louis Vuitton series will most likely come by August.
San Francisco has proposed to host the 2011 event between Sept. 17 and Oct. 1. -- Katie Worth
From the San Francisco Examiner:
Largest Ever Finn Europeans Declared Open
Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image for photo gallery.
The largest ever Finn Europeans was officially opened Monday evening at the YC Labud in Split, Croatia on the shores of the Adriatic. The opening ceremony was held on Monday evening in front of the club.
Earlier in the afternoon a practice race was started, though many boats did their own thing. The conditions were just perfect with 12-15 knots and blue skies and nice waves, though everyone headed in after one lap.
The high entry is evidence of the growing numbers worldwide. Each nation has set quota for places based on its membership levels, so the high entry is the result of growing membership in many of the member nations.
Flight cancellations across Europe on Saturday delayed the arrival of several of the Jury members officiating here. Chairman of the Jury Ralph Roberts and his wife were were stuck in Vienna for 12 hours before being diverted to Zagreb where they had to catch the bus to Split, arriving at 3.00 am. Marianne Middelthon from Norway had a similar delayed journey, taking 30 hours to finally arrive in Split on Monday afternoon. But everyone has now arrived and the racing can start.
Racing starts Tuesday at 12.00 with two races scheduled for each of the next five days before the medal race for the top 10 and the final fleet race for the rest.
Event website: jklabud.hr/finn-europeans-2010
Class site: finnclass.org
Grand Prix De L'ecole Navale : Stage 2 Of The Longtze European Tour
Never before have so many Longtze Premiers lined up on a start line : no less than 17 crews are expected at the Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale from the 13th to the 16th May at Lanveoc. Students, professional and switched on amateurs will meet for the very first time at this competition which was also the first in Europe to open its start lines to the Longtze. And this year, this event is also the French Monohull Championship.
For the first time, the student circuit (the Longtze Student Cup) joins the Longtze European Tour. Eight crews representing 15 schools will be in the ranks.
The Naval Academy is heavily involved in the Longtze Student Cup. Two teams are registered on the circuit : one in partnership with HEC and the other, recently put together, "Generations Ecole Navale ", is sponsored entirely by the Naval Academy's past students association.
In total, 68 sailors, the young and the not so young, but each one armed with their personal motivations will battle it out on board the Longtze Premier. Four whole four days of fun and festivities for the Monohulls.
Entry list for the Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale in Longtze
Sailnumber - Nationality - Boat Name - Skipper
804 FRA Defi Voile ARTEM - Hughes-Marie Aulanier
806 FRA Mines PARISTECH - Samuel Bordenave
808 NED Ancre de Chine - Koos van den Heuvel
816 SUI CARISSIMA - Markus Ziltener
818 FRA Tchouk Tchouk - Hughes Moulin
819 FRA Yin Yang - Simon Chartier
820 FRA Region Ile de France - Jimmy Pahun - Nicolas Berenger
821 FRA Centrale Lyon - GFC Construction - Baudouin Vuillermet
823 FRA CSC HEC Ecole Navale - Herve Gautier
824 GER Wet Feet - Eckard Kaller
830 FRA Ovik G. Asperti
833 FRA Generations Ecole Navale - Billy Besson
834 FRA Safran Polytechnique - ISAE - Antoine Lizee
835 FRA Safran Centrale Paris -SUPELEC - Fabio Borghi
836 FRA Voiles & Voiliers - Laurent Berjon
827 FRA Beatrice Sauvage
837 FRA Dominic Bourgeois
Stena Match Cup Sweden Takes On Olympic Matchracing
World Match Racing Tour event, Stena Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand, has appointed the new Elliott 6 as the boat for the women's class.
The entry of the Elliott class for the women in Stena Match Cup Sweden will even further strengthen the premiere sailing event in Sweden, which already is a Word Championship event for male match racing skippers and teams, part of the World Match Racing Tour. Ten female teams will race the Elliott 6 at Marstrand this year, two Swedish teams, two Danish teams and six other international crews from altogether six nations. The teams have a crew of three; all of them are top stars in their countries in female match racing.
The two Swedish teams will be lead by the two star skippers Anna Kjellberg, the new born star who became runner up at Stena Match Cup Sweden the last two years, and Linda Rahm, previously ranked second in the world.
Stena Match Cup Sweden became one of the earliest events to establish a women's class in 1999. As a result Sweden has grown to a strong nation within women's match racing.
For The Record
Click on image to enlarge.
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a "Benchmark Time for a new route:
Route: New York to Barcelona.
Yacht: "Estrella Damm" 60 ft Monohull
Names: Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer.
Dates: 8th to the 21st April 2010.
Start time: 18:33:18 UTC
Finish time: 00:37:06. UTC
Elapsed time: 12 days 6 hours 3 minutes and 48 seconds
Distance: 3678 NM
Average speed: 12.51 kts
For interest, an image of this route, taken from the WSSR Black Box is attached.
Secretary to the WSSR Council
1984 Nautor Swan 65, EUR 550,000. Located in Montenegro.
RANI is an absolute beauty to look at and to sail. A rare combination between a family cruiser and a fun racing yacht. She successfully combines true pedigree performance with easy to handle cruising ability. RANI may be raced with a full crew - but she can also been sailed alone or with just one other person.
RANI has spent the winter 2009-10 in Montenegro where she can be visited. The Port of Montenegro is just 5 kilometers from the airport of Kutor.
Brokerage through Nautor's Swan Spain & Portugal: www.yachtworld.com/swan-spain/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
The Air Force is to be applauded for investigating technologies that may have value for national security. But wormholes, negative energies, warped space-time, etc., require futuristic technologies centuries to millions of years ahead of ours. The only thing going down the wormhole is taxpayers' money. -- Michio Kaku