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Sailing faster than the wind, Ellen MacArthur is only days from triumph or tragedy

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People who have been sailing with Ellen MacArthur say she bounces around the boat like Zebedee, or a sparrow.

She is 5ft 2in, but pure energy, jumping to her tasks like a boxer, insatiably restless, persistently needing to adjust the trim, change the sails, put in another reef, take it out, unfurl the bigger jib, hoist the huge lightweight headsail called the Code Zero, bring it in again, change course and, in any other way she might think of, apply herself to the job in hand, which is, at the moment, sailing around the world on her own, faster than anyone before.

You might think circumnavigating the world in a boat is occasionally frightening, often boring, very lonely, dominated by the sort of metaphysical experiences of isolation which we all imagine we would feel in these circumstances. That may have been the case in the old days. In 1968-69 Robin Knox-Johnston was the first man to sail around the world alone non-stop, taking 313 days at an average speed of 3.39 knots, just about walking pace.   more...

 



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B&Q HOLDING ONTO LEAD AND MATCHING PACE OF IDEC FOR NOW...

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B&Q HOLDING LEAD AND MATCHING PACE OF JOYON FOR NOW as Ellen sails B&Q hard on the wind northwards. Since crossing the Equator on Thursday night, setting a new fastest solo time of 60 days, 13 hours and 25 minutes, Ellen has been heading in a north-westerly direction - 40 degrees away from the most direct route - which has accounted for her losing three hours of her advantage since yesterday morning. B&Q's speeds overnight have averaged between 13-14 knots and increasing this morning to just over 16 knots as the NE-ENE winds pick up speed. Upwind is not nice and not fast - tough on the boat and hard work for Ellen but for now she is matching the pace of Joyon, sailing 258 miles Distance Made Good towards the finish compared to Joyon's 232 miles in the last 24 hours - these are distances sailed towards the finish and not miles through the water, but as they both sail a fairly straight-line course there is little difference right now.   more...

 



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Champions Named in Nine Olympic and Two Paralympic Classes

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Rolex Miami OCR
Miami, FL USA
January 23 - 28, 2005
January 28, 2005

Miami, Fla. (January 28, 2005)˜Champions were crowned today in nine Olympic and two Paralympic classes at US SAILING‚s 16th annual Rolex Miami OCR. The last of five racing days concluded with all but one of yesterday‚s leaders at the top of the scoreboard. Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), one of over 320 sailors from 26 countries competing on Biscayne Bay for the regatta‚s 16th edition, had some business to settle on the water today with Anna Tunnicliffe (Norfolk, Va.), and a good breeze interspersed with squalls helped her do it.

"The storms would leave, and it would get light," said Railey, a 2003 World Youth Champion who is now age 17, "and then you‚d see them come again and you'd have to get over to the wind." By the third of three races, Railey had put four points on Tunnicliffe, who was then tied in points with 2004 Europe dinghy Olympic Medallist Lenka Smidova (CZE). "I just had to play it calm," said Railey. " It was a lot nicer than the last few days when I made too many mistakes."   more...




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Avra wins the J120 fleet handily

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From Key West, Florida....Avra wins the J120 fleet handily. After tying Carinthia on Wednesday she held out to lead the fleet the rest of the regatta. This is Avra’s first appearance at Key West and owner Petrides pulled out all the stops, bringing America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Chris Larson aboard as tactician. “It’s a huge educational benefit to have quality coaching, a great return for the dollars spent,” Petrides said. “My first priority is that every member of the crew learns something and goes away with a higher level of skill.” Petrides already has a strong crew, having been able to hand-pick among acquaintances from the Long Island Sound region after 30 sailors applied for eight spots. “Everyone is good at their respective position and our teamwork has been spectacular,” said Petrides, adding that none of the crew had ever sailed on the same boat together before. Roger Elliot's Crosswave came in a solid second. For photos of this event click here.

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Swedish Match Tour Television

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The most recent Swedish Match Tour television programs are available to view at the Tour's broadband website. The programs feature the 2004 Pizza-La Red Lobster Nippon Cup, won last November by American Ed Baird, and a year-end show featuring highlights from 2004. All of the Tour's TV programs are viewable on demand 24 hours a day.- www.SwedishMatchTour.tv


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IRC ratings

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US Sailing, working in relation to the Royal Ocean Racing Club, is offering IRC Ratings in the U.S. IRC is capable of applying a rating to any mono-hull yacht. In doing so, it respects such features as asymmetric spinnakers, carbon masts, canting keels, and water ballast. For more information and to obtain your IRC rating for the U.S: www.ussailing.org/offshore/irc


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YET ANOTHER RECORD

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Back into the Northern Hemisphere! B&Q crossed the Equator at 2145 GMT Thursday, setting a new solo time of 60 days, 13 hours and 35 mins. This peels 1 day, 10 hours and 50 mins off the previous fastest solo time set by Joyon of 62 days, 0 hours and 25 mins. The 'ahead' calculation is greater because Ellen is effectively closer to the finish than Joyon because she has crossed the Equator a few degrees further east.

Right now, Ellen is weaving in out and off the cloud formations, hunting down the wind, for the moment, keeping boatspeed at between 12 and 15 knots with only 100 miles from the latitude where the forecasts say she'll be clear of the doldrums. But 100 miles if you are swallowed by the windless zone can cost you days. After two days of good sailing conditions, Ellen MacArthur's B&Q holds a 38 hour (420 miles) lead over the solo round the world record pace set by Francis Joyon.   more...

 



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MORE LIGHT AIR

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In the Star class at the Rolex Miami OCR, Andrew Horton (Newport, R.I.) and Brad Nichol (Hanover, N.H.) had a "worst and first" today. They posted an OCS for starting early in the first race and not turning back, then followed it up with victory in the second race. Horton and Nichol still lead the 40-boat fleet but must watch again for those who have stacked up under them, this time on the scoreboard. Olympic Gold Medallist Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and crew Phil Trinter (Port Washington, N.Y.) have risen from sixth yesterday to second overall, nine points behind the leaders. The next three finishers are tied in points, only three points behind Reynolds and Trinter. 

For more information, including the latest results and photos:

www.ussailing.org/Olympics/RolexMiamiOCR



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KEY WEST PODIUM FINISHES FOR OCKAM

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 Another great Key West Race Week for Ockam clients. Congratulations goes out to the crews of Chris and Cara Busch's 1D35 Wild Thing and Andrzej Rojek's Swan 45 Better Than for winning their respective classes. Also to the crews of Craig Speck's Swan 45 Vim and Tom Hill's R/P 75 Titan 12 for their 2nd place finishes, and Michael Brennan's TP52 Sjambok placing 3rd in class. What do these winning yachts have in common? Ockam Instruments' superior Tryad processing and Matryx display technology for that distinct competitive advantage. Ockam. We have solutions for everyone. Contact mailto: lat@ockam.com


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ELLEN WINNING BATTLE OF THE DOLDRUMS - FOR NOW... 28 Jan 2005 - 00:06

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Weaving in out and off the cloud formations, hunting down the wind, for the moment Ellen is winning her own battle of the Doldrums, keeping boatspeed at between 12 and 15 knots, and only 100 miles from the latitude where the forecasts say she'll be clear...but 100 miles if you are swallowed by the windless zone can cost you days...
WHAT DID ELLEN GIVE TO NEPTUNE? 27 Jan 2005 - 22:52
At the Equator Ellen offered up to Neptune the most valuable thing she had on board. Can you guess? Send your answers in, click on Email Ellen on the home page. All will be revealed tomorrow...
ELLEN CROSSES EQUATOR 27 Jan 2005 - 22:17
Back into the Northern Hemisphere! B&Q crossed the Equator at 2145gmt setting a new solo time of 60 days, 13 hours and 35 mins. Taking 1 day, 10 hours and 50 mins off the previous fastest solo time set by Joyon of 62 days, 0 hours and 25 mins. The ahead calculation is greater because Ellen is effectively closer to the finish than Joyon because she has crossed the Equator a few degrees further east.   more...
 


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Dangerous Dinghies

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Current FeatureWe had been anchored at Garden Key in The Dry Tortugas National Park for several days before we realized that the wind just wasn't going to abate. The strong southeasterlies had made snorkeling the favored reefs just beyond the anchorage impossible. Sitting on the boat watching the wind whip the tops off of the whitecaps had become boring.

Checking the chart, we noticed that good snorkeling was indicated along the north and west coasts of Loggerhead Key about a mile downwind from our anchorage. Best of all, the diving spots would all be in the lee of the island. Since it was sunny and sultry, the soaking we would get on the dinghy ride would be an exhilarating prelude to the diving.   more...

 



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Learn More at North U

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Learn More

Get more out of your sailing in 2005. Start your season at a North U Seminar. Nearly 70 Racing, Cruising and Weather Seminars are scheduled throughout North America. At North U Seminars you learn from expert instructors. Not just great sailors, North U seminar leaders combine outstanding sailing skills with years of teaching experience. The focus is on your sailing, not their sea stories.

Bring your questions. Leave with answers. Call 800 347 2457 or Visit www.NorthU.com to Learn More.



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Would You Believe . . . 170 Starts, No General Recalls

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Jan. 26, 2005

Please click here to go to the event pages

KEY WEST, Fla.---Winners of high profile classes at Key West 2005, presented by Nautica, included Pegasus Racing's Melges 24 from Hawaii, with San Diego's Bill Hardesty driving and Olympic gold medalist Kevin Burnham aboard; Hasso Plattner's Farr 40 from Germany, Makoto Uematsu's Transpac 52 from Japan, Tom Coates' J/105 from San Francisco and Andrzej Rojek's Swan 45 from Newport, R.I.

From across the country and across two oceans they came, 295 boats and some 3,000 sailors strong, perhaps the greatest gathering of eagles alongside recreational racers that North America has ever seen. An unofficial count tallied 21 Olympic medalists with 29 medals across the span of two decades and enough America's Cup veterans to reach from Auckland to Valencia, sailing in the 20 various of classes of boats from 24 to 75 feet.    more...

 



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NICK MOLONEY AND SKANDIA ARRIVE SAFELY IN RIO DE JANEIRO

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Just as dark descended on a rainy Rio de Janeiro last night, Nick Moloney brought ‘Skandia’ in to dock at the Marina da Gloria. After casting off the tow lines from the Brazilian Navy vessel that had so professionally assisted Moloney in the final part of the operation, he made his own way under engine in to the marina. On entering the port he was met by a small organised team to assist him with the final operation – which included round the world sailor Guillermo Altadil, Mini-Transat sailor Yves Niort and Brazilian based Kiwi Don ‘Jawsie’ Wright. A welcome to Rio beer and steak brought Moloney’s feet back to earth!

This concluded, albeit prematurely, Moloney's first attempt at the Vendée Globe after 80 days of racing in what is surely the toughest and most unforgiving sailing event.  Moloney never questioned the boat's ability to make it round, he was only concerned that he could not make it round mentally, fighting the demons of isolation, exhaustion and fear.  The keel detached itself from Skandia on Tuesday morning and the shock that Moloney's race was over reverberated through the team, sponsors, family and friends.  But the priority was Moloney's safe return which was accomplished last night.  
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2005 Chicago NOOD

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Hi All,

I am happy to report that with the addition of a fourth circle at the 2005 Chicago NOOD, we would be happy to have both the Etchells class and the Shields class join us. We will have more detailed information for you as the regatta grows closer, but we would like to start spreading the word so that we have a healthy turn-out in both fleets.

Thank you for your interest in joining the racing at the Chicago NOOD, I believe we will have a strong regatta this year. I will be contacting you shortly regarding the Notice of Race. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me. We look forward to a great regatta.

Sincerely, 

 Jennifer Davies
The Sailing Company Event Manager



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