Artemis Racing

Debut of full scale AC72 wing. The culmination of more than 35,000 man hours and a tremendous amount of hard work on the part of the entire team came to fruition today when Artemis Racing sailed with the team's first AC72 wing.


While the Defender and other Challengers for the 34th America's Cup have chosen to train and test elements for the AC72 catamarans using smaller boats, specifically AC45 and SL33 catamarans, Artemis Racing opted to build a full size wing from the outset.

"We chose the full scale strategy. Our decision was more time consuming, but it allows us to learn how to handle this powerful wing. Before performance, there is the safety of our team. San Francisco Bay in July and August is an unforgiving place" said CEO Paul Cayard.

Towering more than 13 stories high, the AC72 wing is a pure work of art. The 40 metre high structure, predominantly built of carbon fibre, measures 260 square meters yet weighs just over one tonne.

"It was a team effort. It was amazing to see the wing out on the water. It looks great, but at the same time threatening. We will be going through a series of structural tests in the next few days," said Principal Designer Juan Kouyoumdjian.

This is Artemis Racing's first entry to the America's Cup.



Volvo Ocean Race

On a day which is synonymous with the autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere, the wind is beginning to be somewhat lacking, though the fleet has already reached the Roaring Forties! And these light airs could well last a while as the ice gates have been shifted North following iceberg sightings at some of the lower latitudes. Groupama 4 is in a solid position as she approaches the zone of high pressure...

"The boat's been going well since we managed to effect repairs last night. We're now going to be able to use all the sails. Conditions have been harsh with headwinds and very messy seas. It's very difficult to live aboard with the boat moving every which way and some very impressive wave slamming. We ended up breaking a piece attached to the storm jib and it was at the worst possible moment, since we had over 35 knots of breeze! We lost some ground and the whole crew had to come up on deck to lend a hand. We came away from that a bit exhausted: it was the hardest night since we set out from Alicante. And when you're tired, everything is done at a slower pace, the manoeuvres are longer and at the helm, the reflex actions are dulled. However, we know that with every leg, even though we're more at ease on the boat, everything becomes harder", indicated Franck Cammas during the videoconference this Tuesday lunchtime.

Rough weather behind

In fact the first 36 hours have been especially violent. Beyond the technical issues, the men have also suffered, or even been injured, like Xabi Fernandez (Telefonica) who fell out of his bunk, Thomas Johanson struck by a wave which dislocated his shoulder and Casey Smith with a painful back on Puma. Franck Cammas and his men have come off quite lightly then after a day spent sailing upwind in over 35 knots of breeze and heavy seas, which have gradually become smoother as they approach the Roaring Forties.

"The whole fleet is grouped together for now and the separation is ridiculously small in relation to the distance to Cape Horn, which is still 4,500 miles in front of us. The wind is in the process of easing and it'll continue to drop away. We'll have to traverse a zone of calms before we hook onto the downwind conditions. The virtual waypoints (to protect us from the ice) will call for us to adopt a course which isn't very fast this week. There's going to be stuff happening over the coming hours, but I think that the options will be limited until we're clear of the ice gates. We're going to have to bide our time for a few days for the pace to really pick up. In the meantime, it will be more a case of the fleet concertinaing in and out of contention at the mercy of the wind variations..."

Light airs ahead

The main hurdle will involve traversing a zone of high pressure which is sprawled out from the South of New Zealand as far as the middle of the South Pacific. As such, light airs will reign over the coming hours, since it's impossible to get around this huge bean-shaped zone, which is pushing the austral depressions South of 50°S. The next 250 miles won't enable any significant options then, but the crews will have to be very careful, their eyes glued to the barometer, so as to avoid falling into a windless zone. It's only on Thursday that the first five VO-70s will finally hit the still moderate westerly breezes up to 45°S, at which point it's the cold which will colour life aboard Groupama 4...

"The temperature has really dropped since we're already 42° South. Fortunately, there isn't too much wind, but we're covering ourselves up with several fleeces and you have to wear gloves at the helm. Since the start of the race in Alicante, we've been suffering more from the heat than the cold! If we have southerly wind, it's going to be freezing... Over the coming days though, we're actually expecting westerly winds instead."

Standing for the 5th leg from Auckland - Itajai 20 March 2012, 1300 UTC

1. Telefonica 6,076.6 miles from the finish
2. Groupama 4.4 miles astern of the leader
3. Puma 7.7 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper 15.3 miles astern of the leader
5. Sanya 39.6 miles astern of the leader
6. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 418.7 miles astern of the leader

Photo Credit : Yann Riou

The Europa Race

Under threat for a while, in the face of the Franco-Turk diplomatic controversy, the race is finally going ahead thanks to the combined willingness of the organiser, Olay Nautic, and IMOCA who have made sure that everything is in place so that this essential meeting is honoured in the event schedule. The Europa Race will indeed set sail from Istanbul on 5 May 2012.

On 16 February 2012, Cumali Varer (Olay Nautic) confirmed that he was having difficulty guaranteeing the organisation of the Europa Race, following the Franco-Turk controversy relating to the matter in Armenia. With the Constitutional Council declaring the bill inadmissible, Cumali Varer got back in touch with the IMOCA class at the end of February, stating that he was once more in a position to organise this tour of Europe.
In the meantime, the IMOCA class didn't stand idle. Indeed, convinced of the need to maintain this event, the class' committee got in touch with all the different teams so as to offer them an alternative scheme. Sticking with the race was an obvious step forward on a sporting level, added to which it was important to respect the commitments made with the racers' partners. The aim of providing a solution which was as close as possible to the initial dates is what drove the thinking within the IMOCA class.
A Europa Race with two formats

In the end there will be three legs on the programme for the Europa Race. The first, from Istanbul to Barcelona, will see the crews adapting to what are always changeable conditions in the Mediterranean. After that, the fleet will pass through the Strait of Gibraltar bound for Portugal. At that stage there will be a switch in format for the final leg, which will be run in solo configuration as far as La Rochelle, a course spanning some 2,500 miles or so. This objective fulfils all the criteria for both the class and the organiser: enabling the sailors to get the measure of each other in race mode and single-handed configuration, prior to the start of the next Vendée Globe.
An international vocation

The Europa Race is a fantastic opportunity to confirm the IMOCA class' willingness for internationalisation. Setting out from Istanbul, which sits astride Europe and Asia, the race will stop off in Barcelona, which is the major pole of development for offshore racing in Spain. The start and finish venue for the Barcelona World Race, the Catalan capital has been on a real drive for several years to encourage a sizeable contingent of Iberian sailors to take up single-handed racing. Meantime Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, is steeped in the history of the discovery of unknown lands, whilst La Rochelle remains one of the major hubs for offshore racing in France.

Seven crews have confirmed their desire to be at the start in Istanbul: Acciona, Banque Populaire, Cheminées Poujoulat, Groupe Bel, MACIF, Safran and Virbac-Paprec 3. Two other teams could join them. After a few jolts, the Europa Race will demonstrate the true extent of its appeal in a few weeks' time.

Job Vacancies - Yachting

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Golf Tour Operator Alexandria Head Office or Cairo Branch Office

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Rolex China Sea Race

Fifty years have passed since the inaugural Rolex China Sea Race - Asia's principal blue-water classic. This anniversary merits celebration and with the 2012 edition now only one month away, event organisers the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), in cooperation with the Manila Yacht Club and the Subic Bay Yacht Club, are anticipating a memorable chapter in the history of this biennial meet.

Ahead of the golden anniversary of one of the RHKYC's best loved events, RHKYC Commodore Ambrose Lo remarked: "Fifty years is a significant milestone for any sailing event, and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is proud that, in that time, the 565-nautical mile course from Hong Kong to the Philippines has become Asia's premier offshore race. Incidentally, this year is also the Year of the Water Dragon, which symbolises strength and success, so I look forward to making this a brilliant year for everyone involved with the Rolex China Sea Race."

The 2012 Rolex China Sea Race begins on Wednesday 4 April, commencing in Hong Kong Harbour (warning signal 12:10 local time), and finishes in Subic Bay, the Philippines. Open to monohull and multihull yachts over ten metres in length, the competition is renowned for its unique and eye-catching start. Modern skyscrapers provide a domineering backdrop as the competing yachts negotiate their way out of the colourful harbour, bustling with traditional sampans and larger, modern commercial boats. Around thirty yachts are already on the entry list for the 26th edition of the race, with as many as forty expected to take part, including an array of overseas crews.

Neil Pryde's Welbourne 52 Hi-Fi (HKG) claimed both line honours and overall victory ahead of a 30-strong fleet last time the Rolex China Sea Race took place in April 2010. It was the eighth time a crew has sealed the prestigious double. Edition twenty-five was also marked by the presence of legendary British yachtsman and 1994 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who skippered Ffreefire (HKG).

Weather-wise the race is frequently divided into two distinct sections. Conditions are often most uncomfortable the first day and night of the race, with lumpy seas and forceful headwinds typical. As the fleet approaches the Philippine coastline, the elements often become extremely fickle and the search for breeze is notoriously arduous for tacticians and navigators.

The inaugural race in 1962 saw the fleet head towards Corregidor Island, some 50km south of the current finish line in Subic Bay. Chris von Sydow's Reverie was first to finish in a time of 107 hours, 29 minutes and 57 seconds. The five-strong fleet comprised three local crews, one from Manila and another from Japan. The current race record has stood for over a decade, set by local yachtsman Karl Kwok's Open 60 Beau Geste in a time of 47 hours, 43 minutes and seven seconds. Beau Geste (1996, 2000) is one of three yachts to have won the event twice, sharing the honour with West Wind II (1964, 1966) and more recently, Subic Centennial (1998, 2008)

Throughout its proud history, the event has drawn the yachting fraternity to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Whilst sailing is a developing sport in the Far East, both a maritime influence and nautical pursuits have long infiltrated life in Hong Kong and the RHKYC has presided over local racing since the mid-19th century.

Organisation & Prizegiving

The RCSR is organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, in cooperation with the Manila Yacht Club and the Subic Bay Yacht Club, and, run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Rolex has sponsored the event since 2008.

The finish location prizegiving will take place at the Subic Bay Yacht Club on Sunday, 8 April 2012. The overall Rolex China Sea Race prizegiving will be held at the RHKYC, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, on Wednesday, 18 April 2012.

The current 2012 Rolex China Sea Race Entry List may be viewed at http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/rcsr12entry.aspx

How To Follow Event

Further information, including the current 2012 Rolex China Sea Race entry list, may be found at http://www.rhkyc.org.hk/rolexchinasearace.aspx

Thousand Islands Race

A new Adriatic offshore contest: the Thousand Islands Race
Organizers from the Sailing Club of Rijeka (SCOR) and the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club are pleased to announce a new race for offshore sailors interested in sailing along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world: the Thousand Islands Race, to be held over 20-30 September 2012.

This new race will be held in two parts: starting on Sunday, 23 September from the historic port city of Rijeka, Croatia, the fleet will leave the islands of Unije, Susak, Premuda, Dugi Otok, Kornat, Vis, Lastovo and Mljet to starboardand finish at the new harbor of Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro. Over this distance of about 300 miles, the fleet will face the technical challenge of navigating among the many islands and channels of the Croatian coast and fascinating Boka Kotorska bay of Montenegro, but will be rewarded with the stunning beauty of this region, known around the world for its character.
After a prize giving in Porto Montenegro on Wednesday, 26 Sept, the fleet will then race back to Rijeka on the same course, starting on Thursday, 27 September, with a prize giving scheduled for Sunday, 30 September in Rijeka.

"We see this race as attracting a broad spectrum of entries," said Zoran Grubisa of SCOR. "Cruiser/racers may want an opportunity to sail this incredible coast in the company of others, and racers who may want to have a challenge two weeks prior to the Barcolana race in Trieste, or those who may want an offshore race tune-up three weeks prior to the Rolex Middle Sea Race."

Entries need only be over 9.0 m in length, have an ORC Club or ORC International certificate, and a Stability index greater than 110.

"Even in the short time we've been organizing this, we already have had interest from teams from throughout the region," says Grubisa, "including Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia."

A fun tune-up race will also be held on Saturday, 22 September to promote the race and give local media some exposure to the event.


Miami Sailing Week

Conditions were near perfect as 51 teams of Star sailors headed out on Biscayne Bay for the first day of racing in the 85th BACARDI Cup.

Headlining BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank, the Stars will race alone through Thursday, March 8, after which they will be joined by the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 classes. Racing will conclude for all classes on Saturday, March 10.

The Star class has only one race scheduled each day and today's series opener took place under cloudy skies with a northerly breeze in the mid teens. The Austrian team of five-time Olympian Hans Spitzauer, sailing with Gerd Habermueller, who had raced in Miami during the Rolex Miami OCR in late January, determined that they wanted to be on the right side of the course today. As the scoreboard attests, it proved to be a good move right from the start.

"Excellent day of sailing due to the winds, just perfect for the first day of this Bacardi Cup anniversary event!," said a very happy Spitzauer after racing today. "We made a really good choice, and extended to take the lead. Today was a really good race for us, we had a great lead, we were pushed by others but today was our day."

Finishing second were 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.), who finished 14th at the Star World Championship in Australia this past December. Third across the line was the Ukranian team of Arthur Anosov and Vitali Kushnir, followed by 2006 Etchells World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.) who is racing with Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.). Fatih, a member of the 2012 USSTAG, will represent the U.S.A. at the 2012 Olympic Regatta in England as crew for Mark Mendelblatt.

During the event sailors can enjoy the hospitality lounge, BACARDI Rum tastings, as well as the daily prize giving for the top-three finishers, plus the final awards dinner. The work of Rhode Island-based award-winning nautical photographer Onne van der Wal will be on exhibit in the North Hall of the Coconut Grove Convention Center, along with "150 Years of BACARDI," a collection of information, photos and artifacts from the BACARDI museum. The exhibits will be open to the public from noon to 7:00PM daily and are free of charge. The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club is coordinating on-water activities in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Coconut Grove Sailing Club. The U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami are also supporting the event. Racing will be held on three separate courses approximately two miles out on Biscayne Bay.

Full results, photos and additional information on the 85th BACARDI Cup and BACARDI Miami Sailing Week is available at www.MiamiSailingWeek.com and www.BacardiCup.com.


54th Genoa Boat Show

The fourth day of the Show has been livened up by the presence of the...