The Wingsail Ride continues - sailing news from the U.S. and beyond


19 Feb 2011                             If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                    To reply to this email click here

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The Wingsail Ride Continues - Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

All personal feelings about the plans for the 34th America's Cup aside, even an absolute scrooge would have to admit that the new AC45 class of catamarans are pretty sweet-looking. These hard wingsail-powered boats are being used to contest 2011 America's Cup World Series races (events preceding AC34); as a training platform to get challenging teams up to speed on wingsail-powered multihulls, and as a way to get youth sailors onto a professional-sailing track in order to groom tomorrow's AC legends. It's a heady mission for class of boats only 45-feet LOA, but the reactions from sailors, designers and team leaders have been overwhelmingly positive to date.

Auckland (NZL) - 34th America's Cup - AC45 sea trials - Team Australia first testing  Ivor Wilkins/

Currently, the prototype AC45 is being sailed in New Zealand's Wellington Harbor by teams challenging for the next Cup. Most recently, Team Australia got to lock onto the best ride in the Southern Hemisphere, making them the fourth team to sail the boat. Be sure to check out the images of their sail, as well as the slide shows and videos of these boats in action, in this issue. And while you're at it, be sure to check out Oracle Racing's recently released video of the breakages and near-disasters that almost befell en route to winning the oldest trophy in sport's history.

If you're not a believer in Oracle's vision for AC34, these videos might just help open your mind to the possibilities.

Also in AC news, the America's Cup event organizers have now received an eighth entry. While the team's identity has not yet been disclosed (stay tuned for the team's official announcement), paperwork has changed hands. 'With the AC45 sea trials underway for entered Cup competitors, we're pleased to confirm the addition of an eighth team to the international field of entries to date,' said Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup and CEO of America's Cup Race Management.

Any teams considering their entry should take note that the window of opportunity closes on March 31, 2011.

Much closer to home, US SAILING, the governing body of competitive sailboat racing in the U.S., has officially appointed Jack Gierhart, of Marion, MA, as its eighth Executive Director in the organization's history. While Gierhart has served as acting Executive Director since Charlie Leighton's retirement in October of 2010, the torch has now officially been passed. 'I am very excited about this opportunity to work with the board, our volunteers, and staff,' said Gierhart. 'We have a great team here at US SAILING, and with our current momentum there is a lot of opportunity. We will continue to focus on improving our core programs, but also look forward to new ideas, initiatives and strengthening support of local sailing organizations that are critical to the future of sailing in the United States.'

Meanwhile, in offshore circles, Canadian solo skipper Derek Hatfield, 58, got a rude awakening just recently when he cracked his eyelids to discover his Eco 60 Active House on an uncontrolled sleigh ride deep into the Southern Ocean. Hatfield, it should be noted, is currently engaged in a tussle for second place in the Velux 5 Oceans Race against Zbigniew Gutkowski on Operon Racing. 'I was asleep when a squall came through and I woke to the sound of the keel humming,' reported Hatfield. 'I put some foulies on quickly and went on deck to find Active House doing 21 knots. It was unbelievable; she was totally out of control. When you're asleep and you wake up to that it's a bit of a shock. I had to slow the boat down she was going so's all about getting that balance between speed and safety.' More inside.

Skipper Gutek (Zbigniew Gutkowski) onboard his yacht Operon Racing at the start of Ocean Sprint 3, from Wellington New Zealand to Punta del Este, Uruguay. - Velux 5 Oceans  onEdition ©

Also offshore, the Barcelona World Race fleet is nearing New Zealand, raising the 'Wellington Question', namely, whether to stop and take the enforced 48-hour stopover penalty, or to continue pressing onward. Longtime race leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron have put in to fix some batten-car issues, potentially shaking up the leader board. It will be interesting to see what other boats opt to stop for repairs, and who presses forth. See this issue for details.

And lastly, the Sarasota Yacht Club has canceled their 2011 Sarasota to Havana, Cuba race, despite nearly 200 interested boats. Find out why inside.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

America's Cup: Video's of the Week or so
America's Cup and Oracle Racing Media,
The various media arms associated with the 34th America's Cup have been busy with video production over the past week or so. The opportunities afforded by the recent Sail Auckland Regatta and Harken International have presented a great chance to tempt the Facebook generation sailors with the AC45... [more]
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America's Cup: Team Australia 'graces' the Waitemata
Ivor Wilkins,
Team Australia became the fourth America's Cup team to put the prototype AC45 through her paces on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour. Top sailing journalist and photographer, Ivor Wilkins, was there to capture the action... [more]
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Sarasota Yacht Club cancels Sarasota to Havana Event for 2011
Nancy Knudsen,
February 15 came and went with no positive word from USA authorities, and the Sarasota Yacht Club had established that as the deadline for getting permission for almost 200 sailors who wanted to sail to Havana in Cuba.... [more]
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World Champion enters North American Blokart Sailing Championships
Ross Vickers,
Santi Oliver, Spain's dual world blokart champion has officially entered the 2011 North American Blokart Sailing Championships, lifting the field up a notch and adding a second world champion to the fleet. The event to be held on the dry lake bed from the 25th through to the 30th of March... [more]
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Miami Invitational kicks off 2011 US match racing season
Dobbs Davis,
The Chicago Match Race Center & Sail Sheboygan have teamed up for this weekend's Miami Invitational, the first event of over 60 in the 2011 US match racing season. This will also be the first Open event sailed in the boats used in the 2012 Olympic Games, the Elliott 6M, and as such has attracted a field of nine men's and women's teams to compete on courses set in Miami's Biscayne Bay.... [more]
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Barcelona World Race - The Wellington question
Barcelona World Race,
Barcelona World Race - To stop or not to stop? That is definitely the question for the 20 sailors in the BWR yet to announce whether they will make a pit-stop in Wellington (NZL).... [more]
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Newport to Ensenada 64th International Yacht Race
Rich Roberts,
Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race - Win a GPS or VHS ... and learn how to win the N2E... [more]
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Barcelona World Race - Pole after Wellington stop-over
Barcelona World Race,
Barcelona World Race - After two days on land, making key repairs to the rig and boat, Virbac-Paprec 3 is back on the racecourse and in pole position this afternoon. Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron (FRA) slipped their lines at exactly 1111hrs (CET) today, having completed the mandatory 48-hours on shore for their technical stopover.... [more]
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2011 Extreme Sailing Series - Alinghi season starts in Oman
Alinghi begins an exciting new journey in the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series this weekend with the first event of the championship taking place in Oman. The Swiss team, back on the X40 multihulls after an absence of two years following their victorious 2008 campaign, is embarking on this new adventure with the ambition to consistently compete against eleven other top international teams.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Fleet expected to round Cape Horn within a week
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans – The fleet continues to make quick progress through the Southern Ocean bound for the ultimate landfall for sailors: Cape Horn.... [more]
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North American Windsurfing Championship 2011 - Day one
Patrik Pollak,
North American windsurfing championship - The North American championship in RS:X, Bich Techno 293, Formula windsurfing and Race board is now in Cozumel island Mexico.... [more]
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America's Cup: NZL Sailing Team get to sail the AC45
Hannah Davis,
New Zealand's young Olympic medal hopefuls from the NZL Sailing Team, the Yachting equivalent of the All Blacks, were given a chance to experience the ‘next step' in their sailing careers when they spent the afternoon sailing the AC45. For Jo Aleh, Olivia Powrie, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke it was second-time lucky after sailing was cancelled earlier in the week due to lack of breeze.... [more]
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America's Cup: Who are these visitors from the Western Island?
Richard Gladwell,
In line with the curious practice that seems to have evolved with this America's Cup, we see for the second time, teams who have not announced key crew out sailing on the Waitemata in the AC45. For die-hard Cup fans, there will be another round of peering at photos, trying to identify some of the faces, ahead of the team announcements.... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Catching up with Robbie Ferron
Heather Tackling,
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - There are few people who have experienced and shaped the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta quite like Budget Marine's Robbie Ferron, who was there at the beginning some three decades ago and continues to serve as the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the event to this very day.... [more]
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International Rolex Regatta - Sorting out for some top IRC competition
Barby MacGowan,
International Rolex Regatta - As it has proven for 38 years, the International Rolex Regatta is a racing getaway that is as much about serious competition as it is about the relaxed Caribbean experience that host St. Thomas Yacht Club has created around it.... [more]
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World's Top Sailors Compete for Canada's Cup 2011 in Holland, MI
Andrea Groom,
The Macatawa Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) today announced it will host, for the first time ever, the prestigious Canada's Cup match race September 1 – 4, 2011. The world-class sailing event will draw top sailors from around the globe to West Michigan to compete in the US Defender Trials August 26 – 29 for an opportunity to defend the Cup.... [more]
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America's Cup: Team Australia has their first sail on the AC45
Ivor Wilkins,
On a grey and blustery day, the newly established Australian challenge for the 34th America's Cup put the AC45 catamaran through its paces on Auckland's Waitemata Harbor. Sporting team uniforms with the slogan ‘AUS AC 34', the group of nine sailors rotated in various sessions on board – and their verdict afterwards was universally positive.... [more]
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Sail-World Mailbag: Readers comments from the last week or so
Sail-World Readers,
Sail-World readers comment on America's Cup and other pressing matters... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta - Jourdan ready to race
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta - Refitted and ready to go, the immaculate Charles Jourdan is heading to Alicante this November to race against others in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends, the first official regatta and reunion.... [more]
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New Vestas Sailrocket 2 launch set for March 8
Paul Larsen,
The Sailrocket team launches its second-generation speed sailing boat from the Isle of Wight on 8 March, 2011. During the last 15 months, the Sailrocket team has been focused on building a better, safer and –above all – faster boat in Vestas Technology R&D's facilities on the Isle of Wight. Now Vestas Sailrocket 2 will be launched to the public for the first time.... [more]
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Competitors invited to join BYC Youth Match Racing Clinic and Regatta
Nancy Mellon,
Balboa Yacht Club is proud to announce the second Youth Match Race Clinic and Regatta to be held from 5/13 - 5/15. The winner of this event will get an automatic berth in the 2011 Governor's Cup International Junior Match Race Championship.... [more]
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US Sailing names Jack Gierhart Executive Director
Jake Fish,
US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the sport, has officially appointed Jack Gierhart as its eighth Executive Director in the history of the organization. Gierhart has served as the organization's acting Executive Director since October of 2010 following the retirement of Charlie Leighton. He had served as the Associate Executive Director since November of 2009.... [more]
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Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Sydney waits in baited breath
Regatta News,
In a week's time the 14th Rolex Farr World Championship gets underway in Sydney, Australia. A quick browse through the crew lists suggests this will be one of the most competitive championships in the history of this formidable one-design class. The standard of racing sailors warming up for the 2011 championship is as good as it gets.... [more]
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Rude awakening for Derek Hatfield in Sprint 3
Velux 5 Oceans,
Canadian Velux 5 Oceans solo sailor wakes to find Active House out of control doing 21 knots! When you're alone in the depths of the Southern Ocean, the last thing you want is to lose to control of your boat. But that was the situation facing Canadian Derek Hatfield last night when he awoke to find his Eco 60 Active House screaming along at a dangerously quick 21 knots,... [more]
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America's Cup: Eighth entry received - now seven challengers
America's Cup Media,
America's Cup event organizers have confirmed the receipt of an eighth entry for the 34th America's Cup in 2013. The official announcement by the team is expected soon. The receipt of an eighth entry for the 34th America's Cup in 2013 was confirmed today. This seventh challenger for the America's Cup joins ranks with ...... [more]
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Team Australia to contest America's Cup
Team Australia Media,
The Australian Challenge for the 34th America's Cup was officially accepted by the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club on 11 January 2011. For the first time in over a decade, Australia has a team in the competition for the world's oldest sporting trophy.... [more]
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London 2012 Olympic Games sailing schedule announced
London 2012 Olympic Games - The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today announced the complete sports competition schedule, including ticket prices, for the London 2012 Olympic Games.... [more]
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BoatUS smart phone app will get you home when your boat won't
BoatUS - When your boat breaks down on the water or runs out of gas, calling for an on-the-water tow is simple. The hard part, sometimes, is being able to tell the BoatUS towing fleet precisely where to find you, which can delay a safe tow home.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Brad Van Liew looks ahead to The Horn
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans Sprint three leader Brad Van Liew has revealed he has started to plan his rounding of the infamous Cape Horn, the most southerly tip of South America. Up until now the 43-year-old American has been focused on weather systems approaching from behind as the Velux 5 Oceans fleet fly through the Southern Ocean powered east by prevailing winds.... [more]
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