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RTW rival Geronimo announces return to Brest after second genneker fails

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13 February 2004 - 1710 GMT - 500 miles SW of Dakar, Senegal: Having covered 467 nm (avg speed 19.45 kts) over the previous 24 hours, Steve Fossett and crew aboard the 125' catamaran Cheyenne passed just west of the the Cape Verde Islands this morning and were continuing to march S/SE towards the equator throughout the day Friday - assuming they were being chased by great rival Olivier de Kersauson in the 110' trimaran Geronimo, based on latest received (12 Feb pm) position reports from the French tri.

Until this afternoon that is, when Geronimo announced on their website they had blown out a second genneker and were returning to Brest for sail repairs and a restart.

Cheyenne's crew are also keeping an eye on their progress vs the fast-starting 2002 record track of Orange. Having fallen over 600 miles behind this track after the first 5 days, Steve Fossett and crew had gained back over 90 nm by 0510 this morning, leaving them a 523 nm deficit. Still more work to do here obviously, but progress is being made.   more...

 



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CODE ORANGE FOR ORANGE II !

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 Bruno Peyron, after having consulted his router, Australian meteorologist Roger Badham, just turned the "orange" light on. Which means that a weather window is slightly open, and that Orange II's departure might be possible if the conditions hold up during the coming 24 hours. Bruno Peyron : "We've been observing, since yesterday, the development of a weather system which, despite the magnificent high pressure cell over our heads, might open a window for a departure on Monday.
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So what's in a record?

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In order to challenge for the Trophy you have first to join the Association 'Tour du monde en 80 jours'. This means paying a joining fee of 30,000 Euros and after that an annual subscription of 11,000 Euros. Steve Fossett refused saying while he was prepared to pay the same as the others challenging, the 30,000 was too much and so his record attempt is under the aegis of the World Speed Sailing Record Council instead, the international authority that ratifies sailing records. So you have the strange situation where Cheyenne might break the record but not win the Jules Verne and Geronimo (and later Orange II) might win the Jules Verne Trophy but not be the official holder of the record.   more...

 



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Three French in the Oracle BMW Racing

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The newsletter Course Au Large reports designers Juan Kouyoumdjian and Michel Kermarec (Prada '03, LeDefi '00) have signed with OracleBMW, along with former LeDefi trimmer/designer Dimitri Despierre.

It's a bad signal from the French K-challenge which has announced in June the signing of Juan Kouyoumdjian as co-designer with Phil Kaiko.



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AC AMANGEMENT APPOINTS A DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS FOR SPAIN

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Geneva - 12th February 2004 – AC Management, the event organiser of the 32nd America’s Cup, today appointed David Gallego as the Director of Institutional Relations for AC Management in Spain.

"By bringing the America’s Cup to Europe for the first time and in particular by nominating Valencia as the Host City we have created an exciting set of opportunities all around us. We are delighted to have appointed David Gallego to help us manage the relationships associated with developing the project that we have before us," said Michel Bonnefous, CEO AC Management.

 Having worked in sports marketing and management for the past 10 years Spanish- born David Gallego brings with him a wealth of specific talents and experiences (UEFA Champions’ League, Olympic Games). As Managing Director David Gallego comes most recently from the young sport of Beach Soccer which has, in less than five years, consolidated to having its own European League.

"I am extremely excited about my new position. Being responsible for the Host City relationship for an event as prestigious and important as the America’s Cup is a major task but something for which I am particularly motivated. This is the first time the America’s Cup event organiser has had to work in a ‘foreign’ country and it is my role to coordinate and run this challenging situation," said David Gallego.

Based in Valencia, the Host City for the 32nd America’s Cup, Europe’s first, Gallego will be responsible for the relationships with local institutions, company establishment in Valencia and implementation of the communications strategy.



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US SAILING Olympic Trials

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Paul CAYARD (USA><br>Hoping To Win Trials The crucial US SAILING Olympic Trials starts today in Florida, USA. For this event, history and your current world form have no influence, what counts is consistency and who wins come the final day of racing scheduled for 22 February.

Whilst at the time of writing the final list of competitors was not available, there is no shortage of hopefuls in the five events to be contested on the waters of Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Miami Yacht Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club.

Registration and measurement will take place today and Friday, with racing underway from Saturday 14 through until 22 February. Sixteen races are scheduled for each class except the 49ers for which 24 races are scheduled. Five races constitute a series, and no more than three races will be held on any day for any class except for the 49er fleet where four races may be held. This is an intense race schedule and one which is sure to see some upsets.  more...

 



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Fossett's rig doesn't fall down

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A potential major breakage was averted this morning when, during the rig check at first light, Guillermo Altadill discovered that the pin connecting the cap shroud had worked half way out. Watch captain David Scully files this report on the incident - and on a few other timely topics:

"The sun rose on the sparkling sea this morning, to reveal that our rig was about to fall down. Guillermo Altadill, walking forward after his trick on the helm, happened to look up, and noticed that the large pin securing a link plate in the shrouds, had wandered part of the way out of it's mounting. Pausing briefly for a few Hail Mary's, we jibed, took a hammer to it, and restored our rigging to it's normal integrity. At some time, probably during our fifty knot upwind slog to the start, the split pin securing the big rigging pin in place had sheared, and the big pin had been slowly leaving the boat ever since. Had we jibed and unloaded the pin, our return jibe might have been made memorable by the graceful descent of the rig and sailplan. Thanks to the sharp eyed Catalan, we are not, at this writing, paddling to the Canaries.   more...



 



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Bruce Schwab, has been working 80 hour weeks

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Bruce Schwab, has been working 80 hour weeks preparing for his role as the only American entering the grueling Vendee Globe, a punishing non-stop, around the world race that starts in France, on November 7, 2004. Schwab, who finished fifth in his class in the last Around Alone, has been holed up in Maine, working every day, in space donated by Phineas Sprague, owner of Portland Yacht Services. Schwab, finished the race on a financial shoestring, but has a large and loyal following of supporters who have been dropping in from all over the country, for days or weeks at a time, to help work on the program to lighten Ocean Planet by 500 pounds, one of many projects undertaken in the effort to get all systems ready for the start of the Vendee Globe.

Among the volunteers who have pitched in to keep the projects moving along are a schoolteacher, computer programmer, a carpenter, and a nurse practitioner. The tasks are many and varied. Bruce views the Around Alone in some ways as an around the world shakedown cruise, and came away with a list of improvements he wants to make in virtually every system onboard.   more...



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Geronimo and Cheyenne still on track for a record

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Both Cheyenne and Geronimo reported in this morning, but again with different stories. Whilst the French trimaran clocked up another solid 393 mile 24 hour run, an average of 16.4 knots, the big American cat is still looking for solid wind and is now a full day behind Orange's virtual position on the same day. Geronimo too has slipped behind the record holder, only underlying just what a blistering pace Peyron set in 2002. With Cheyenne giving their position as 246 miles west of Lanzarote at 0510 GMT this morning, they did record a good mileage yesterday and are still hopeful of making the Equator in 8 days and so still on track for a potential record. However, Geronimo has closed the gap between them by 198 miles.   more...



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When It's Time to Turn Around

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We’d just motored past the end of the breakwaters when visibility plummeted and a impenetrable shroud of fog swept in to stay. The fog that had looked like it was breaking up from our vantage point in the slip a mere 10 minutes ago, was starting to look like it had other plans in store. I was on the bow watching as a few crab boats returned in through the breakwaters while Laurie took her spot on the helm. The cat seemed to have lost its sea legs and was cowering under the cockpit cushions.
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Inviting First Timers

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We all have our regular crew: friends we can count on for a companionable sail, or perhaps experienced sailors that can make a difference on the racecourse. But if you need to make a deposit in your karma bank, a good way to do it is to turn on a newbie. Inviting someone out for their first sail can be rewarding on several levels. Introducing someone to sailing can be more like introducing them to their future spouse than taking them to a movie.Watching someone take the helm for the first time and realize that they are actually sailing the boat can be a very cool thing.   more...

 



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BaySail

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BaySail supports its Environmental Education and Youth Development programs through public sails, private charters and group tours around Lake Huron.

Baysail's Mission: To foster environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay Watershed and the Great Lakes ecosystem and to provide personal development opportunities for learners of all ages through ship board and land based educational experiences.  more...

 

 



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TROPHEE JULES VERNE

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The first target for the two giant multihulls trying to break the Jules Verne record for the fastest circumnavigation is the dash to the equator. American Steve Fossett admitted that his 125ft catamaran, Cheyenne, did not have the optimum 'sling-shot' conditions when it left the start-line in Ushant, France, on Saturday morning.

After dawn yesterday, Fossett's crew were steaming along at an average of 17 knots, which helped pull Cheyenne's average speed up to 13 knots for its first 2.5 days at sea. That put the boat some 200 miles west of Cape St Vincent in Portugal yesterday evening.

Oliver de Kersauson's 112ft trimaran, Geronimo, did not start until Sunday evening in its pursuit of the same 64-day eight-hour record set by Bruno Peyron's Orange a year ago. Picking the optimum weather window is a key to a successful start to a circumnavigation. "This is not a huge, wide-open door," noted De Kersauson of the condition he chose to set off in.   more...

 



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Saving Everest Horizontal

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Part II: On a real-life Mission Impossible, even the best-laid plans can go awry
By Tim Kent  

Editor's Note: In Part I last month, Tim Kent's Open 50, Everest Horizontal, which Kent skippered to second place in Class II of the 2002-2003 Around Alone, had inexplicably shed her keel bulb and capsized while Tim and friend Rick McKenna were competing in the Bermuda One/Two. In a dramatic night rescue, the cruise ship Nordic Empress pulled the pair from Everest, which was overturned but still afloat. The story continues:

Everest Horizontal was out there, some 110 miles north of Bermuda, crippled, perhaps dying, and I couldn't let that happen. She'd carried me around the world in the Around Alone race, pounded through storms in the Atlantic, surfed at 28 knots through the Southern Ocean, beaten her way upwind along the coast of South America, helped me survive catastrophes that would've killed another boat. So the day after I set foot on shore again, the rescue effort was under way.   more...

to read Part 1...

 



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The IMX-45, A Refined Racer

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"I wouldn't buy a boat that I didn't think we could win with," says Richie Shulman, who bought a new IMX-45 last year, won his class at Block Island Race Week, and was the overall winner of the Marblehead Halifax Ocean Race. "I looked at everything before I decided on the IMX-45," he says. Shulman is picky because he's used to winning, and he's used to cruising in comfort, having campaigned and cruised a Swan 44 and 51. Want a stamp of approval for a racer/cruiser? Shulman's buying decision, backed up by two impressive wins, should do.
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