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23 Oct 2013

Middle Sea, Cup and Mini Transat—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (SLO) approaching Stromboli at sunset - Rolex Middle Sea Race  © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo
Big-boat sailing headlines are being driven by the Rolex Middle Sea Race, an event that is widely reported to take place on one of the world's most spectacular racecourses. According to reports, Michele Galli's 'B2', a modified TP52, currently holds the fastest corrected-time performance, completing the course in just over three days. While there are plenty of boats that are still competing, 'B2' could be looking strong on corrected time if the breeze remains soft.

Yet despite their great performance, the sailing was anything but all smooth for the 'B2' team. 'On the second night we had a major problem,' reported the team's navigator, Nacho Postigo. 'All of our electronic instruments shut down completely. So we have been sailing with a smartphone for a compass, we have raced 'B2' like a dinghy and Francesco [de Angelis] has had to call the strategy almost completely blind, I don't think he has had more than two hours sleep, he must be exhausted.'

E1, AUT - Rolex Middle Sea Race  © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo


Get the full story on the Rolex Middle Sea Race, inside this issue.

Meanwhile, in Cup circles, the hiring game has already begun for the 35th America's Cup. Not surprisingly, given the Australian-flagged Challenger of Record (CoR), Aussie sailors are in high demand, especially Jimmy Spithill and Tom Slingsby, who served (respectively) as skipper and strategist on Oracle Team USA.

Oracle Team USA v Emirates Team New Zealand. America's Cup Day 3, San Francisco. Oracle Team USA's Tom Slingsby at the Media Conference after Race 5  Richard Gladwell ©


'They have to act really fast,' said Slingsby, referring to the CoR. 'After the Cup, there's a sort of transfer window. Less than a week after the Cup I had a few teams approach me and I have been in talks with a lot of them.'

While Slingsby fully aims to eventually sail for Australia in the Cup, he's realistic about the foreseeable future, as well as his still-active contract with Oracle. 'I want to be part of a team that can win the Cup,' said Slingsby. 'It's great that Australia's back in the race and full credit to [the CoR] for making that happen. I expect to be part of an Australian team in the America's Cup, but whether it is this one or 10 years down the track, I don't know yet.'

Emirates Team NZ sailing crew - 34th America's Cup  Chris Cameron/ETNZ©


Also in Cup news, word recently hit the streets that the New Zealand government has given Emirates Team New Zealand a five-million dollar cash infusion to keep the team rolling towards AC35. 'The extent of the enthusiastic reception when we arrived back in New Zealand was both unexpected and encouraging and an incentive to challenge again,' said Grant Dalton, ETNZ's Managing Director.

'We have been talking informally to existing and potential sponsors,' said Dalton. 'Decisions by Oracle on venue, dates and class of yacht are fundamental to the way ahead.'

2013 Mini Transat  © Jacques Vapillon / Mini Transat


And in France, the skippers who have assembled for the start of the Mini Transat are still getting vexed by a weather system that simply isn't giving the RC a good (read: safe) window to start the sprint from Douarnenez, France to Puerto Celero in the Canary Islands. Because of this, the sailors are resorting to a variety of activities and strategies to stay sharp and fit, prior to the eventual start.

'We enjoy the small activities offered by [the event organizers], and we like to go walking,' said David Genest. 'In any case, one is better off here than if we were at sea and a fortnight stopover in Douarnenez is really not so bad, there is so much to discover in the area. In the evenings we put the world to rights, it was even suggested that one day the Mini will start from the Mediterranean!' More, inside.

Luderitz Speed Challenge  Eric Bellande


Also inside, get the full report from the Luderitz Speed Challenge, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the Hobie 16 and Hobie 18 North Americans.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Coastal Classic: Dean Barker back sailing an Australian multihull
Richard Gladwell,
In his first race since the 2013 America's Cup, Emirates Team NZ skipper raced aboard the ORMA60, Team Australia, skippered by Sean Langman. Team Australia was sailing in an ORMA60 exhibition race around the Waitemata harbour against the New Zealand ORMA60, TeamVodafoneSailing.... [more]
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JP Aloha Classic - Robby Naish to challenge for the title
Sam Bittner,
The stage is now set for what promises to be one of the biggest clashes of windsurfing talent in living memory. Robby Naish, probably the biggest name in the history of windsurfing, has confirmed his participation in the upcoming JP Aloha Classic that begins on Thursday 24th October, at Ho'okipa Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii.... [more]
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Hobie 16 and Hobie 18 North American championships
Rich McVeigh,
Breezy conditions on day two of Hobie 16 and Hobie 18 North American championships. Five races were completed in winds of 15-24 knots from the north with moderate waves. Conditions proved to be too challenging for some but most stayed out and enjoyed the sporty conditions and numerous capsizes took place.... [more]
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Race to Rio National Team Tour debuts this November
Dana Paxton,
The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider's Race to Rio National Team Tour debuts November 7th and brings the excitement of high-performance sailing and first-hand stories of Olympic and Paralympic campaigning to passionate sailors, young and old. The speaking series will visit yacht clubs around the country over the next three years in the lead up to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.... [more]
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Rolex Middle Sea Race - B2 crosses the line
Louay Habib,
In the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Michele Galli's modified TP52, B2 crossed the finish line early this afternoon completing the race in just over three days. For the moment, the Italian yacht has the fastest corrected time of all the yachts that have finished the race. However, with the bulk of the fleet still racing, an overall win for B2 is far from certain.... [more]
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Fall boating safety tips from BoatUS Foundation
D. Scott Croft,
All around the country, fall is in full swing and recreational boaters and anglers are trying to squeeze in their last good day on the water. But when they do, boaters need to follow a safety playbook appropriate for this time of year. That's because boaters often let their guard down when safety becomes an even greater challenge.... [more]
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RS:X Youth World Championships - Action aplenty on day 1 + Video
RS:X Class,
After the first day of races at the RS:X Youth World Championships, the Italian sailor Manolo Ponchiero is at the top of the official rankings, preceding Bautista Saubidet Birkener (Argentina) and Mattia Camboni (Italy). Among the women, first place for the Israeli athlete Hadar Heller, followed by Marta Maggetti (Italy) and Bérénice Mege (France).... [more]
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Hobie 16 and Hobie 18 North Americans underway
Rich McVeigh,
Hobie 16 and Hobie 18 North Americans commenced on Monday in Galveston, TX. After a long weather delay on Monday one race was completed in very light winds with large waves. Keeping the boat moving through the waves was the challenge of the day. 43 Hobie 16s and 12 Hobie 18s are competing.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - As courses converge
Clipper Ventures PLC,
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet is in the middle of the Ocean Sprint section of the course, with the fleet coming closer together as their courses converge on the race into Cape Town. Invest Africa is currently in Stealth Mode heading north-easterly from its more southerly position.... [more]
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America's Cup: Pressure goes on Aussies to sail for home team
The Australian,
Slingsby: 'I want to be part of a team that can win the Cup. It's great that Australia is back in the race and full credit to the Oatleys for making that happen. I expect to be part of an Australian team in the America's Cup, but whether it is this one or 10 years down the track, I don't know yet.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - The fascinating finale + Video
ISAF,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao offered a captivating finale as the inaugural event in China and the first World Cup regatta of the 2013-14 series concluded.... [more]
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ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 21 October 2013
ISAF,
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 21 October 2013 have been released. Following a Laser Radial invasion in China with two 200-point regattas, the rankings have seen shifts throughout. Moving to world number one for the first time is France's Mathilde de Kerangat.... [more]
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18ft Skiffs: 3 Buoy Challenge race 2 - Aron Everett wins + video
Bob Killick,
18ft Skiffs, Heat 2 of the 3 Buoy Challenge saw the Jono Whitty helmed LUMIX with James Hozack and Aron Everett win comfortably. Lumix led the fleet on the first beat, and by virtue of their handicap buoy being the Red, and shortest distance to sail to windward, skipped away from the fleet for an all the way victory.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to take part
Clipper Ventures,
This December the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will commence and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will be taking part on one of his Clipper 68 yachts. The race starts on 26 December 2013 from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.... [more]
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Mini Transat - Still no weather window opening
Solene Rennuit,
On Monday morning in the Mini Transat, a number of the competitors have returned to the village to watch over their boats and learn about the general mood of the race ... A small minority chose to remain on site over the weekend, dividing their time between tourist visits around the area and physical activity to maintain their fitness.... [more]
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Pro Men's WWA Wake Park World Series Rankings - Aussie on top
Rob Corum,
The WWA Wake Park World rankings, historically dominated by Tom Fooshee (USA), Dominic Gurhs (GER), and Daniel Grant (THI), now has a brand new leader. For the first time ever, 2013 Pro Men's World Champion – Matty Hasler (AUS) is in the number one spot atop the super-competitive Pro Men's rankings. A familiar face, Daniel Grant tops the Pro Men's Features ranking, a rail and kicker only ranking.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Everything left to race for
Marina Thomas,
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, very different tactics have been playing out in Race 3, Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, with gaps between the yachts closing up again and everything left to play for with 1250 miles still to go. Today, the yachts will start the 300-mile Ocean Sprint section of the course in the hope of being the fastest through it and winning three extra points.... [more]
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Clipper Yacht Race day 9 - Another shake up for the leaderboard
Clipper Ventures,
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the leaderboard has had another shake up, with Great Britain now leading the fleet from third position yesterday, and Invest Africa now in second position from fourth yesterday.... [more]
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Laser Masters North American Championships - Marc Jacobi wins 3 races
New York Yacht Club,
Marc Jacobi was one of the last people to officially enter the 137-boat 2013 Laser Masters North American Championships, registering for the regatta just hours before the first race. Once the racing started, however, he quickly jumped to the head of the class, winning three of the first six races.... [more]
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Argo Group Gold Cup - Teams come head to head on the final day
Vicky Pounds,
Two past titans of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour came head to head on Bermuda's Hamilton Harbour in today's final of the 2013 Argo Group Gold Cup.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ comments on funds injection
Emirates Team NZ Media,
Emirates Team New Zealand today welcomed an interim Government investment of $5 million towards the team's challenge for the 35th America's Cup. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the bridging funding would enable the team to retain designers, sailors, support crew and administration for the next challenge.... [more]
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America's Cup: NZ Govt backs Team NZ with limited funding
Richard Gladwell,
The NZ Government has announced that it will provide Team New Zealand with $5million of interim funding to allow the team to retain key members ahead of the 35th America's Cup. The funding comes before the team has made a decision whether or not to Challenge for the trophy it failed to win by an 8-9 margin last month in San Francisco.... [more]
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One-Design Challenge - Blecher drives Cal Yacht Club to victory
Rick Roberts,
Allie Blecher and her Cal Yacht Club team won the 22nd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women's One-Design Challenge Sunday in the regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women's Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.... [more]
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Youth World Championships - Opens with 17 participating countries.
RSX,
2013 Enel RS:X Youth Worlds opened today with the parade of the 17 participating countries and the practice race. This event is hosted by the Lega Navale of Civitavecchia and will go on until October 26th. Tomorrow races will start.... [more]
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