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President Has Lost Its Mast and is Heading to Cape Verde
Jean Le Cam reported to Race Direction of the Barcelona World Race at 1925hrs (UTC) this Monday evening that the IMOCA Open 60 President has lost its mast.

Jean Le Cam (FRA) and Spanish co-skipper Bruno Garcia are on board and both safe and healthy. The incident occurred when the boat was positioned at around 18º 03 ' NR /26 º 14 ' W and was sailing at speeds of between 16 and 20 knots.

The boat is reported to have hit a wave and the mast broke. Michel Olivier, the team's technical manager and Race Direction are in permanent contact with the boat and have confirmed that neither skipper required assistance.

Both are on board and President is currently under engine to cover the 83 miles which separated them from San Antao, the most northerly island of the Cape Verde group. The weather conditions currently are a North Easterly blowing at around 19 knots with a short sea.

www.barcelonaworldrace.org and www.jeanlecam.fr

* The muscular trade winds are still providing constant high speeds for the leaders of the Barcelona World Race fleet with all of duos forced to think about nothing else but speed, spending hours on the helm to maximise gains and minimise losses in the thrilling sleigh ride towards the Doldrums.

Three IMOCA Open 60's stand out with 24 hour runs of more than 400 miles: Virbac-Paprec 3, Mapfre and Neutrogena. The leading duo have extended their margin to 53 miles over Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart, plunging past the Cape Verdes this morning. They left San Vincente more than 50 miles to their west, and the volcanic island of Fogo more than 100 miles to port also.

The two lead boats are expected to hold the breeze well down to the Doldrums with another 36 hours of fast sailing. The ITCZ remains quite narrow, but some compression is possible for those who are chasing.

Olympic medallists Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez have continued with their excellent pace in fifth place, setting their sights on the podium. The Mapfre duo made 13 miles on their Spanish rivals on Estrella Damm over the afternoon, but Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella still have 73 miles of advantage.

The situation is not so good for the lower third of the fleet. The trade winds are expected to degrade and lose some of their consistency. With the Doldrums then extending further north to slow them still further, their options do seem limited.

International Yacht Forum
Sails like genaker or code zero are the trend. More and more gennaker boats are filling the regatta fields. And they are enviably fast as well - most of the time. Thanks to just the sails? Can we fasten every single boat with them? And which is the influence of the altered sails on regatta values? Who is literate with the "black box", the secret calculation formulas behind the IRC measuring value?

These questions are resulting in considerable investments, depending on the answer. And they will seriously influence an entire regatta saison.

The International Yacht Forum is intended to provide clarity. For this reason, international experts from Europe and from overseas will travel to Hamburg. North Sails is seinding the danish chief designer: Graduate engineer Heine Sørensen from North has developed for BMW-Oracle or for Wally Yachts such as the Y2K, and many more. He is one of the founders of North Desing Suite, a software by North which is optimising sails worldwide. Kay-Enno Brinck, internationally experienced measurer and member of the International Technical Committee of the ORC, is approaching the influence on the measurement. And constructors from all over the world will comment on the influence on - not measured - boat velocity. John Corby, for example, is a master of constructing smaller and very successful regatta boats with a size of less than 40 feet.

The panel breaks have been especially planned for forum visitors to question the speakers personally.

Questions concerning the newest technologies may be solved as well in the course of February 12th. While most yacht owners have not yet come to buy PBO shrouds, the newest trend is now carbon rigging. And where do the enormous price differences for carbon masts come from? Why are there keels now which are flapping to the sides and backwards? Does it make sense to upgrade a keel?

We have fixed a tight programme from 9:30 till 19:00 for all interested regatta sailers and boat owners. The results of the discussions, especialy the demands for an optimised measuring formula, will be presented to the associations. Make use of this opportunity - the measurement conference of ORC and the German Sailers Association, subsequent to the forum, will take place the following four days in Kiel.

The International Yacht forum is taking place February 12th at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. -- Hans Genthe

More Information about the measurement conference of ORC and German Sailers Association:
iyfh.org

Not Too Late To Get What You Really Want
Click on image to enlarge.

Morris Yachts Owned by famed recording artist and author Jimmy Buffet, AILERON is a great opportunity to own not only a collector's item, but a beautiful and fast daysailer. Designed by Joubert and Nivelt with a concentration on esthetics and maneuverability, AILERON is boat ownership simplified as she comes with a custom trailer and is easily towed. And for a limited time delivery of the boat anywhere in the continental US is included. She is located in a heated storage building here in Maine and can be seen anytime. $169,000

To view the complete listing go to www.morrisyachts.com or call +1-207-244-5509

Hatfield Turns Up The Heat
Veteran solo sailor Derek Hatfield has vowed to fight tooth and nail to beat rival ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski into Wellington in the second sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans. The pair have been locked in a bitter Southern Ocean duel for more than three weeks, constantly trading second and third positions and at one point were less than five nautical miles apart.

Following the aftermath of the big storm that swept through the fleet last week theskippers have been enjoying more favourable conditions for several days. Their next challenge comes in the form of a high pressure system that is lying in wait for them as they sail south of the Australian island of Tasmania.

Derek added: "It will be interesting to see first of all how everyone handles this high pressure system and then which way they are going to round New Zealand to get into Wellington. Brad will be looking over his shoulder to see which way we are lining up to go and we're looking forward to see which way he's going to go. It can be a real deciding factor."

Ocean sprint two positions at 00h00 UTC:

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 1300.7/ 0 / 223.1 / 9.3
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 1609.8/ 309.1 / 283.5/ 11.8
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 1638.6/ 337.8/ 240.3/ 10
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 2228.4/ 927.6/ 240.5 / 10

www.velux5oceans.com

Zhik Moth World Championship Day 3
Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Moth Worlds Just another day at the office for Nathan Outteridge (AUS) who flawlessly handled the gusty 16-18 knot Easterly on Lake Macquarie at the 2011 Zhik Moth Worlds during the final day of the Qualifying Series. In the last start of the day he blasted off the line at 20 knots, after dipping the line from above the start boat.

Also moving quickly was Kiwi Peter Burling hitting a max of 27.7 knots, but he suffered two stacks in the last race, costing him the chance for another triple bullet day and a minor injury when his foil came down on his back. Joe Turner (AUS) swooped in for the win and enters the finals in 3rd. Scott Babbage was almost too consistent, failing to cover Outteridge in the final downwind of Race 9, and earning straight 2nds for the day, putting him 4th overall.

Is Bora back? "I think he might be", reports the 2009 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (USA), who in the first race of the day wasn't quite on pace, but was able to turn up the heat for a 4th place finish. Closing out the day with two 2nds, he jumps to 11th place. Fellow American Brad Funk (USA), who was off to a rocky start with fleet mix-ups and an OCS, grows more consistent and holds onto his 9th place slot.

Fortunately most the fleet survived the day unscathed, and event sponsors SP-High Modulus, who have offered free carbon for repairs during the event, can hang on to their supply for another day.

The top 55 proceed to Gold Fleet, with 54 sailors making up Silver. Sailors carry over their rank from the Qualifying Series as points into the 3-day Final Series (e.g. Outteridge starts with 1 point, Burling with 2, etc) starting tomorrow. After a lay-day on the 12th, racing will conclude on Friday, 14th of January.

Full results:
www.mothworlds.org/belmont/results/

World Class Talent Heading To Key West
RC44s at their recent World Championship. Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Key West Race Week Key West, Florida, USA: When the 24th edition of Key West 2011, presented by Nautica begins next Monday (January 17th) Olympic medalists, world champions and America's Cup veterans will be on the starting line.

America's Cup legend Russell Coutts will be on hand for the southernmost debut of the RC 44 class, while the "big boat class" will feature four mini maxis including Titan, chartered by former America's Cup skipper Bill Koch.

Willem Wester, owner and skipper of Antilope (Breskens, NED and the UK) and a newcomer to Key West, leads a talent laden crew in the IRC 2 class. He's a two-time winner of The Round the Island Race in Wight and Cowes Week. His helmsman-tactician, Philippe Bergmans, is a three-time Olympian in the Laser class and has a Gold medal for the European Championship.

Fellow countryman, Peter Vroon brings his Tonnerre de Breskens 3. The Kerr 46 has the distinction of being named the 2010 RORC Yacht of the Year. Piet has been racing with the RORC for 50 years and has achieved many notable successes, not the least of which is winning the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The Melges 32 class has become Key West's competitive standard in recent years. The list of tacticians tells that story and includes 2010 Beijing Olympic Gold medalist Paul Goodison. Paul, racing on Joe Wood's Red, is currently the #1 ranked Laser sailor in the world.

The 136 boats will compete in 13 separate classes. One-designs include the high powered Melges 32, a talent-laden international Melges 24 class, a revitalized Farr 30 and J/Boat's always competitive J/105 and J/80 classes. IRC, Multihull and PHRF classes complete the mix.

The event kicks off Sunday afternoon with the annual pre-regatta 'All Star Tune Up' panel discussion just prior to the Skipper's meeting. Ed Baird, Russell Coutts, Cam Lewis and other champions will share their secrets of past Key West successes.

www.premiere-racing.com

Henri Lloyd - Experience The Shockwave
Henri Lloyd Shockwave is the world's only fully integrated and modular system of protective foul weather clothing for Offshore to Round the Cans racing. One system that lets you choose and modify the level of performance you require from the elements and impact protection.

Deck Armour - Putting the Shock Resistance into Shockwave.

The DECK ARMOUR system revolutionises the way sailors protect their bodies from impact and injury - a shock resistant and super lightweight 3D mesh which can be integrated within Shockwave garments at critical areas whilst still guaranteeing freedom of movement for the wearer. The lattice design of the DECK ARMOUR also ensures the breathability of the Shockwave products is not compromised.

Fabric Technology - Minimal Contact, Maximum Airflow. A hydrophilic laminate is applied directly to a microporous coating that further increases breathability and ensures the fast transition of internal moisture to the outside.

Optivision Window Panels - See the Advantage. Following the huge success of our OPTIVISION Hood System that has received critical acclaim from racing teams and media alike, the system has been extended into watch and course map windows being engineered into Shockwave garments - aiding the perfect start and race strategies.

www.henrilloyd.com

Dragon Worlds Day 2 - Australians Get On The Podium
This is an important feature for a country currently licking its cricketing wounds. For those non-cricket playing countries, I'm sorry, but you'll just have to indulge us for this first paragraph or two. The West Australians have salvaged some of the country's pride with a win on the day and also to be leading the running tally.

Getting up for the gun today was Scoundrel, crewed by William Packer, Denis Cullity and Randall Harding. After crossing the line, the crew were standing around the cockpit, somewhat bemused. "We have no idea how that happened. We did not even know we were a light weather crew - haven't sailed a Dragon for 15 years (but at least some of them got a third in the World Championships back then) and we've been in Couta boats since."

Leading the progressive results after the two races conducted thus far, is Richard Lynn and crew of Ian Olsen and Ron Rosenberg aboard, Puff-eu. They are on ten points and four clears of the second placed Ukrainian crew, Markus Wieser, Sergey Pugachev and Matti Paschen on Bunker Queen. Russia's Anatoly Loginov, driving Annapurna, is in third. -- John Curnow

1. Richard Lynn / Ian Olson / Ron Rosenberg , AUS, 10 points
2. Markus Wieser / Sergey Pugachev / Matti Paschen, UKR, 14
3. Anatoly Loginov / Andrey Kirilyuk / Alexander Shalagin, RUS, 21
4. Martin Palsson / Goran Alm / Johan Norem, SWE, 21
5. Lawrie Smith / Timothy Tavinor / Ossie Stewart Alfie, GBR, 22

www.dragonworlds2011.com.au

Optimizing America's Cup Yacht Design
For the 2007 America's Cup, Andrew Mason created a DNA structure for the ACC yacht class, and then used it to race virtual fleets against each other, automated by computer, culling out the top performers and cross-breeding them until the best of the breed was found.

What impact can Genetic Analysis and automated optimization play in designing the new 72-foot catamarans and wingsails for the 2013 America's Cup? Does Oracle Racing now have an insurmountable advantage on wingsails? Is this advanced study within reach of anyone other than the teams with the most money?

Andrew explains his innovative methods in an interview with CupInfo:

How did VESPA affect the design outcome of the 2007 AC?

VESPA always had to compete with the conventional design development work carried out by Rolf Vrolijk, quite a formidable task. But one of the early successes was finding a hull configuration that was superior to SUI-91 across the whole wind range, both upwind and down. What we found was that VESPA consistently favoured boats with a boxier mid section and less beam than Rolf's boats.

VESPA also provided some insights into the effects of different design variables. A good example is the presence of topside flare. It has been said that the problem with sailing conditions in Auckland was that while the average wind strength was 15 knots, it was because 50% of the time it blew 5 knots and 50% of the time it blew 25 knots. This may have been an exaggeration, but Auckland does have a large variance in day-to-day wind strength. By comparison, Valencia has a similar mean wind strength but much lower variance, as it has a reliable sea breeze which can be almost the same for many days in a row.

The full article at www.cupinfo.com/en/americas-cup-automated-yacht-design-optimization.php

Bloody Mary Rockets Biggs' Merlin To The Top
At the halfway stage of the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2011, Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis have sailed their Merlin Rocket to the top of the leaderboard after notching up a useful 9th place from 238 entries in this weekend's Sailboats.co.uk Bloody Mary pursuit race.

Biggs and Hollis had won their handicap division at the previous weekend's Grafham Grand Prix and they have been the most consistent across the two events by some way. Under the series scoring system devised by SailRacer.co.uk, all results are referenced against the largest single fleet of all four events in the SailJuice series. Thus far it is the Bloody Mary fleet which becomes the benchmark score, meaning that those who performed well in the variable conditions at Queen Mary Sailing Club on Saturday have put some useful points in the bank.

Winners of the Bloody Mary were Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane, the national champions who sailed their International 14 into the lead with 20 minutes of the race still to run. It was a dominant performance which puts them in 17th overall after two events, even though they didn't show up at Grafham. With one discard in the Series, there will be a good deal more reshuffling of the pack once the Steve Nicholson Trophy and John Merricks Tiger Trophy have taken place just under a month from now.

Eight different classes feature in the current top 10 standings, with only the Merlin Rocket and Musto Skiff appearing twice. It was notable how mixed the top finishers were at the Bloody Mary, with Queen Mary Sailing Club's careful reappraisal of the standard RYA PY numbers paying dividends. With a Graduate and an International Moth both finishing in the top 10, along with a variety of other hiking and trapeze boats, Queen Mary's analysis of past finish data from previous Bloody Marys appears to be opening up the field to more and more contenders.

Online entry to the Series has been extended up to 28 January, the eve of the third event, the Steve Nicholson Trophy.

Enter the Series here: www.sailracer.org/globalwarmup

Provisional Top 10 Standings after two events
1. Merlin Rocket, Matt Biggs, 16.5 points
2. Musto Skiff, Andrew Peake, 26.72
3. Fireball, Chips Howarth, 39.5
4. Solo, Michael Sims, 74.67
5. Scorpion, Peter Gray, 80.14
6. 29er, Callum Ellis, 81.52
7. Phantom, Andrew Wilde, 83.2
8. RS 200, Steve Restall, 100
9. Merlin Rocket, Paul Hollis, 104
10. Musto Skiff, Ian Martin, 107.45

www.sailracer.org/globalwarmup

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The Last Word
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? -- George Carlin

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