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Testing Light Winds On Day One

Racing began in China's Olympic sailing city today at the Land Rover, Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 Qingdao, for the 'Double Star Mingren' Cup, where five different race winners emerged from the eight races sailed, in a day that saw the fleet struggle for consistency and the leaderboard reshuffle after every race.

On the open water racecourse, the Swiss team Alinghi dominated in testing light winds and strong tide, to edge ahead on the leaderboard at the end of day. But it was the local boat, Team Extreme Qingdao, who will be grabbing the headlines tonight after an outstanding debut performance sees the team in third place at the end of day one - the best ever performance by a home nation invitational team.

Unfortunately for Oman Air, their day was over before it had a chance to begin, after a collision with GAC Pindar in the start line tussle of the first race left the team with severe damage to their port hull, forcing them back to the pit lane. Rob Greenhalgh, skipper of Oman Air - who has welcomed the talents of America's Cup winner Kyle Langford to the team this week - explained what happened: "Just after the start of the first race, GAC Pindar tacked onto port and misjudged the dip on us and T-boned us pretty hard - we have a pretty big hole in the side of the boat. These things happen unfortunately. The shore guys will work hard tonight and get the boat ready for racing tomorrow. We will lick our wounds and be back. It's a disappointment - we were pumped to race." The team will be given a redress and will likely be awarded average points from their races over the next two days by the international jury.

Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 Qingdao, for the 'Double Star Mingren' Cup standings after Day 1, 8 races (01.05.14)

Position / Team / Points

1. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 64 points

2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 50

3. Team Extreme Qingdao (CHN) Mitch Booth, Zhang Yiran, Liu Xue, Nick Moloney, Freddie White, 47

4. Realteam (SUI) Jerôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Denis Girardet, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, 47

5. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 45

6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson, 40

7. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 39

8. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 37

9. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested, 33

10. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell, 29

11. GAC Pindar (AUS) David Gilmour, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South, 17

12. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 0


"Magic Carpet Cubed" and "Ran V" First Leaders In Gaastra Palmavela

Gaastra PalmaVela kicked-off today. The prestigious Mediterranean regatta, organized by the Real Club Nautico de Palma, had two impressive fleets out on the stage of the Bay of Palma: Wally and Mini Maxi. After sailing two races "Magic Carpet Cubed" and "Magic Blue" are tied on points in their fight for gold while Niklas Zennstrom's "Ran V" is leading the Mini Maxi fleet.

Today the wind made the fleet wait on the Bay of Palma. The Race Committee had scheduled for the first start of 2014 Gaastra PalmaVela at 12h00, but finally the Wally classed kicked off an hour later. Then it was the turn for the Mini Maxi class. From then on, all the races programmed for the day were completed with a wind of around eight knots: two races in each class.

The first overall results of 2014 Gaastra Palmavela in the Wally class have two boats tied on points for the first position. "Magic Carpet Cubed" is the provisional leader, and "Magic Blue", second overall. The third place goes to Edoardo Nardelli, who is looking forward to keep climbing positions.

There was a lot of expectation to see what would happen today in the Mini Maxi class, with the world debut of Swede Niklas Zennstrom's "Ran V". He is indeed the first leader of the class, although it wasn't easy.

Tomorrow Friday the one designed boats -Soto 40, J80, Flying Fifteen and Dragon-, ORC, IRC and Classic Boats and Vintage will join Gaastra PalmaVela, along with the Wally and Mini Maxi classes. There will be three different race courses.

All the classes will sail windward-leeward races, except for the Classic and Vintage, which will sail a coastal race.


Calling All Clubs & Class Associations!

In advance of the arrival of its 2014 products, Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear has limited availability of the much-admired 2013 HW1 'oilies' made with 3-layer OceanVent fabric. Clubs and Classes can now offer these to members at 25% off via the Hudson Wight Affiliate Scheme, making a full set only £300 while stocks last.

Affiliates will still receive their normal commission of 15% on every order placed by members and friends using their unique Hudson Wight Affiliate code via the website

Hudson Wight's prices are already far lower than other brands because they only sell direct via this innovative Affiliate Scheme. It's therefore a great deal for members and friends as well as a valuable new source of revenue for Clubs and Classes. Existing Affiliates are already enjoying the benefits of the Hudson Wight Affiliate Scheme but the scheme is open to ALL Clubs and Classes.

If you're not already an Affiliate you are almost certainly missing out so please drop Hudson Wight an email to discuss joining the Affiliate Scheme at: affiliates@hudsonwight.com and they will contact you immediately.

Get on board right here, right now!

The "Little Cup" Comes To Switzerland In 2015

Located at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Team HYDROS will take part at the International Class C Championships (ICCC) in Falmouth (UK) in September 2013 with two ultra-modern catamaran sailboats. HYDROS developed sailboats have achieved several world firsts, including, among others, the use of TPT technology ("Thin Ply Technology"). Consequently, the Swiss team is one of the teams favoured to win.

HYDROS has already been awarded the decision to organize the next instalment of the prestigious ICCC, the so-called "Little Cup."

Vincent Hagin, President of Swiss Sailing, the Swiss Sailing Federation, had this to say: "This is excellent news for Swiss sailing, for the Societe Nautique de Genève and Team HYDROS. This event will demonstrate the dynamism of the Swiss sailing, both at the individual and club level, but also for the companies involved. From this amazing platform we will be able to show the best of what the sport of sailing has to offer."

Founded in 1961, the so-called "Little Cup" is a symbol of basic research and technological development in the sport of sailing. The boats, which are controlled by two sailors, are allowed a maximum size of 7.62 x 4.2 meters and the sail area must not exceed an area of 27.8 m2.

This simple rule is also the strength of these championships in Class C. For teams and planners, there are no restrictions on the use of the latest technological developments. In fact, Class C catamarans have been using foils and wing masts for more than 30 years. For this reason. there is little doubt that they have also inspired the famous America's Cup.


Peter Burling Co-Skippers With Dean Barker

Five months after being signed by the America's Cup syndicate in the wake of the heartbreaking campaign in San Francisco, Burling takes the helm of the Team New Zealand boat for the third leg of the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao.

Barker and Burling are sharing the skipper's duties over the eight-regatta series.

Team New Zealand are currently third on the points table after Barker took them to fourth at the season-opener in Singapore and on the podium in Oman.

Burling is seen as the future of New Zealand yachting, though he is very much at the helm of the "now generation".

If Barker is to be challenged for the skipper's role at the next America's Cup, the enormously talented 23-year-old Burling is clearly the alternative.

He will be joined in China by his long-term sailing partner Blair Tuke, who he teamed with to win silver in the 49er class at the 2012 Olympics and backed that up by claiming the world championships last year.


Peter Holmberg's Team CSA Win Nonsuch Bay Rs Elite Challenge

With no racing on Lay Day, the vast majority of sailors at Antigua Sailing Week enjoyed a lie-in before gathering at Pigeon Beach for Lay Day activities and to watch the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge.

Short, sharp, on-the-water action was provided by eight teams made up of an all-star cast in the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge, a popular Lay Day addition. Racing was played out in full view of spectators on the beach, with commentary provided by Jaime Torres from Puerto Rico who is racing on Balearia/Team Varg, and Louay Habib, Race Reporter. A large crowd gathered on the beach and enjoyed the top-drawer racing unfold in this invitational event that included the following sailors/teams: Peter Holmberg (Team CSA), brother John Holmberg (Team High Tension), Nic Bol (Team Sailing Experiences), Rob Date (Team Scarlet Runner), Philip Barnard (Team Sail Caribbean), Patmore Watson (Team Patrick), Al Ashford (Team Horizon Yacht Charters) and the Team formerly known as John Burnie (Bristolian).

Team CSA prevailed to win the three-race final and a weeks' stay for two at the Nonsuch Bay Resort, Antigua. The team included America's Cup winner and World Match Racing Champion, Peter Holmberg from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Racing at Antigua Sailing Week continued on Thursday, May 1st and glorious racing conditions are expected to prevail for the last two days of the regatta.


Ocean Safety Equips Ground-Breaking Maxi-Catamaran

Ocean Safety has supplied a full range of lifesaving equipment to yet another ground-breaking sailing yacht, this time a 78ft (24m) catamaran which is set to bridge the gap between stripped-out racing boats and sedate, heavyweight cruisers.

The 78ft performance catamaran, named Allegra will be fitted out with Ocean Safety's Ultralite liferafts, Jonbuoy man overboard recovery system, and Kru Sport Pro lifejackets which will be fitted with Kannad SRS (Survival Recover System) AIS beacons.

Allegra, designed by multihull guru Nigel Irens, is being built in the UK by Green Marine and is due to launch in May.

Supplying safety equipment to a yacht which is seeking weight minimisation through every aspect is a challenge that Ocean Safety is used to. The Ultralite liferaft, for instance, is designed specifically for grand prix racing yachts using carbon composite technology to achieve an amazing 30% weight reduction compared to standard ISO liferafts. Similarly, the new 2014 Kru Sport Pro lifejacket is designed to be streamlined so that wearing it is hardly noticeable, as well as being incredibly comfortable. The Kru Sport Pro is the lifejacket being supplied to the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race.


Hellenic Match Racing Tour 2014

Leading personalities in the Greek sailing world are embarking on a fierce duel against each other as they pitch their skills in the Hellenic Match Racing Tour, a series of match racing events in Greece

Eight teams will race against each other in a series of match races to determine the best crew.

Racing will take place against the backdrop of the islands of Paros and Andros, before the 2014 series concludes in Piraeus, right in the heart of Athens. The "Hellenic Match Racing Tour" is a new sailing league organized by "Icarus Sailing Media" under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and supported by the Greek National Tourist Organization. The series of events will promote the sport of sailing in Greece and provide an increased media profile for leading Greek sailors.

Olympic medallists, world champions and up-and-coming sailing talents are on the entries list: Sofia Bekatorou, Alexandros Tagaropoulos, Theodoros Tsoulfas, Panagiotis Mantis, Stratis Andreadis, Iasonas Spanomanolis, Maria Christina Kontogiannopoulou and Jurek Strzemiecki are the skippers participating in the event. The teams will participate in a series of Match Races sailing the Platu 25.



ICRA Nationals at Royal Irish Yacht Club

Arrangements are being finalised to provide top class racing on the water to decide National Champions in all divisions at this year's ICRA Nationals that take place at a prime time in the season from 13th to 15th June in the Royal Irish Yacht Club. This, say organisers, will be the major cruiser racing event on the east coast for 2014 and already there is a push on to break the record of 125 entries for the championships.

There is currently a fine high calibre fleet of 42 boats already entered from all around the country and across the Irish Sea.

Racing will be under Endorsed IRC and Progressive ECHO. There will be a Club Team trophy and new trophy for boat with best aggregate score in Irish IRC's and Welsh IRC's.

For Non Spinnaker Boats,The Corinthian Cup provides trophies and prizes in both IRC and ECHO and should see a good fleet taking part.


Dimbleby To Start RTIR

BBC TV commentator David Dimbleby will start the Round the Island Race this year. He will fire the 0630 first start gun from the Royal Yacht Squadron on Saturday 21st June.

Mr Dimbleby has previously taken part in the Round the Island Race in the 1960s, on a Scod, but spent the first half of the race in the cabin with mall de mer as they went through what the Times later referred to as 'Atlantic seas off Hurst'! These days he does most of his sailing in the summer in the South West on 'Rocket', his Heard 28ft gaffer built for him in 1980.

His RTI Race experience on June 21st should be far less gruelling as he is being joined by his son, 16 year-old Fred, on board a Farr 65. The pair will be racing with Team Volvo sailors Luke Patience (a 2012 Silver Medallist) and Elliot Willis (2 x World Champion) who are campaigning for Gold in Rio 2016 in the Men's 470 class.


Swinoujscie, Poland Named As 2015 Isaf Youth Match Racing Worlds Venue

Swinoujscie, Poland has been named as the venue for the 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship.

Located in West Pomerania in the North West of Poland, Swinoujscie is one of the most attractive destinations for sailors and tourists in Poland.

Following a bid process, an ISAF Match Racing Committee appointed working party made a recommendation to the Committee who voted in favour of Swinoujscie.

ISAF Competitions Manager Jon Napier said, "Swinoujscie has an excellent record of hosting ISAF Graded match racing regattas in recent times.

"With a superb fleet of TOM28 boats the race action on the Baltic Sea will be of exceptional quality with the world's best young match racers going head to head.

"With good wind conditions and excellent experience of hosting top international events the second edition of the ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds will be a memorable experience for competitors and officials."

The inaugural ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship is set to be held in 2014 in Helsinki, Finland from 23-27 July.


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