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01 Dec 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: December 1, 2013 - It's all on in Melbourne
Our internet woes have continued for the past week, with what should have been a simple upgrade taking over a week. Our final email to our internet provider was headed 'Week 2, Day 1' as the whole saga had begun to sound like a report on a sailing regatta.
Happy to report that the issues were resolved and the upgrade to VDSL (one step from the Ultra Fast Broadband) was completed Friday afternoon, and tested just fine – getting the eigh fold increase in uploading speed we were wanting. Jumped on the plane for Melbourne at 6.30am the following morning.
Arrived yesterday in Melbourne having had 40 minutes sleep in the previous 36 or so hours, and checked out what looks to be a great regatta.
Sail Melbourne 2013 has attracted a fleet of 460 boats, from 24 countries and a total of 581 competitors.
It is the opening event on the ISAF World Sailing Cup circuit of six events.
That tour is in for a big shake-up, if the proposals from the last ISAF Annual Conference go through, and Melbourne will make a substantial claim to be one of the new venues on the revamped six-venue circuit.
New Zealand is one of those not hugely represented at the regatta, competing in only two of the ten Olympic class events.
Australia was one of the top performing countries at the 2012 Olympics, with an excellent development program – and this is the opportunity for the world to learn, rather than trudge the European circuits, complaining about the cost.
Ironically cost is one of the reasons cited by Yachting NZ CEO, David Abercrombie, when we quizzed him before leaving NZ, as to why there was not a larger NZ presence at this event. While New Zealand has done well in the world championship rounds of the Olympic classes that has not yet spun through to the Sport New Zealand funding, and what we have at present is largely based on the 2012 Olympic results – which were also very good.
A second round of meetings with Sport New Zealand will take place in December, and it is hoped that the improved performance from the New Zealand Olympic sailors will take place.
There is a large Chinese contingent at this regatta – interesting from one of the fast developing forces in sailing at Olympic level.
If the ISAF proposals turn into reality World Cup events will not be subject to mass stay-homes by major sailing countries, who seem happy to sail in Europe but boycott events Down Under, particularly. Hopefully their funding will become contingent on their performance in the six circuit event, one of which will be their beloved class world championships.
One of the highlights of the Week will be the ISAF Sailing World Cup dinner on Tuesday evening, which will feature an America's Cup panel comprising Tom Slingsby (Oracle Team USA), Nathan Outteridge (Artemis Racing), and Glenn Ashby (Emirates Team NZ). Suffice to say it is a sell-out. We have the Yachting New Zealand report on the gala night in this edition of Sail-World.com.
In America's Cup news, former Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup, Iain Murray, has been appointed CEO of Team Australia, as the Hamilton Island Yacht Club entry is to be known. The move is of little surprise given Iain Murray's long standing relationship with the team principals, Bob and Sandy Oatley. We have the official report in this edition of Sail-World.com.
In the Monsoon Cup, which has been running all week in Malaysia, USA's – well US Virgin Island's Taylor Cranfield has won the World Match Racing title – the first in 10 years by a US sailor. Again we have daily reports in this edition.
Benoit Marie - 2013 Mini Transat research project
Don't miss the report from University of Auckland's Engineering School's Yacht Research Unit – where on of the second placed prototype boat Mini 6.50's Benoit Marie currently lies in second place in after spending six months in the Yacht Research Unit on a project to optimize the sail plan on his boat, and also develop double surface sails, and testing their ability to perform more efficiently than thin sails.
Pictured above from left: Sir Russell Coutts, Peter Burling, Brendan Drury (House of Travel) and Blair Tuke Yachting NZ
Yachting New Zealand presented the Sailor of the Year Award on Friday night to Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, for their efforts in winning the 49er Worlds, and being the top placed boat in the recent Red Bull Youth America's Cup. They were selected ahead of ISAF World Sailors of the Year Jo Aleh and Pollie Powrie. With a plane to catch early next morning, we missed the event, but have featured Yachting NZ's release and photo.
Chris Steele holds his nerve in the finals - Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship 2013 Andrea Francolini
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Andy takes the helm - Disabled Tall Ship sailing - Lord Nelson - Image: Philippa Williams
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