Archive for » October, 2012 «

China: Patrol in disputed waters normal

BEIJING, Oct. 31 (UPI) — The expulsion of Japanese boats sailing near islands caught in a China-Japan dispute was to show China’s jurisdiction over the islands, China’s government said.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday Chinese marine surveillance vessels conduct “regular patrols and law enforcement” in waters surrounding the islands, claimed by both countries, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

A statement issued by China’s Oceanic Administration indicated four marine surveillance ships intercepted the Japanese vessels Tuesday while on patrol. Besides taking photographs to document their presence, the fleet radioed the Japanese vessels to emphasize China’s sovereignty over the islands and the waters around them.

The number and type of vessels were not reported.

Tensions between Japan and China over competing claims to the islands have worsened since September when the Japanese government announced the nationalization of the islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. There have been violent protests in China against Japan’s claims, and the Chinese navy has been dispatching surveillance ships to the region, drawing strong Japanese protests.


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Threat of Hurricane Sandy has organizers and exhibitors preparing for high … – Sun

“Obviously, we continue to still watch the weather very closely, but we’re not seeing anything that the show can’t handle,” boat show spokesman Daniel Grant said. “The large boats are being reinforced, but the show’s been built to withstand tropical storm-force winds.”

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida owns the boat show, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors and has an economic impact of $500 million. The group, which is monitoring constant weather updates, released a statement Wednesday saying that the event “will be open for business and following all normal operational schedules … although preparations and precautions are being made and will continue to be made as necessary.”

One change because of high winds was to reschedule the aerial flyover and fireworks show, planned for 10 a.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday, respectively. The flyover will now be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday followed by the fireworks at 7. In addition, more pilings were driven into the bottom at some of the marinas so big boats could be battened down.

Some exhibitors were not taking any chances. Bob Crow, a broker with Denison Yacht Sales, said the lines that secure the company’s motoryachts to their docks were upgraded to ones that can better withstand the winds, which could gust to 60 mph, and the waves that result from the storm.

“It pays to be prepared, just in case,” Crow said.

That type of attitude is common, said Grant.

“Most of the exhibitors at the show are such experienced yachtsmen themselves, a little bit of foul weather doesn’t get them down,” he said, adding that “security and safety are priority No. 1.”

Among the precautions taken by Capt. Kelly Esser, the skipper of the 130-foot Mary Alice II, which is listed for $8.95 million and on display at the Las Olas Marina, was to put out the boat’s anchors once the motoryacht was secured to its floating dock, “which we normally would not do.”

The anchors will help keep the boat from moving around too much in the event of strong winds and waves, which reduces the pressure on the pilings to which Mary Alice II is tied.

“Otherwise, there’s not much more we can do,” Esser said. “We’ll make sure the fenders are tied down in case the wind is more than normal and we won’t have our exterior screens and cushions out.”

Other exhibitors, such as Harry Vernon III of Capt. Harry’s Fishing Supply, which has two booths at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, were not concerned about Sandy.

“It’s a hurricane?” said Vernon when told the storm had been upgraded from a tropical storm Wednesday morning. “Everybody here is setting up and it looks like everybody’s having a good time.”


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Threat of Hurricane Sandy has organizers and exhibitors preparing for high … – Sun

“Obviously, we continue to still watch the weather very closely, but we’re not seeing anything that the show can’t handle,” boat show spokesman Daniel Grant said. “The large boats are being reinforced, but the show’s been built to withstand tropical storm-force winds.”

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida owns the boat show, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors and has an economic impact of $500 million. The group, which is monitoring constant weather updates, released a statement Wednesday saying that the event “will be open for business and following all normal operational schedules … although preparations and precautions are being made and will continue to be made as necessary.”

One change because of high winds was to reschedule the aerial flyover and fireworks show, planned for 10 a.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday, respectively. The flyover will now be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday followed by the fireworks at 7. In addition, more pilings were driven into the bottom at some of the marinas so big boats could be battened down.

Some exhibitors were not taking any chances. Bob Crow, a broker with Denison Yacht Sales, said the lines that secure the company’s motoryachts to their docks were upgraded to ones that can better withstand the winds, which could gust to 60 mph, and the waves that result from the storm.

“It pays to be prepared, just in case,” Crow said.

That type of attitude is common, said Grant.

“Most of the exhibitors at the show are such experienced yachtsmen themselves, a little bit of foul weather doesn’t get them down,” he said, adding that “security and safety are priority No. 1.”

Among the precautions taken by Capt. Kelly Esser, the skipper of the 130-foot Mary Alice II, which is listed for $8.95 million and on display at the Las Olas Marina, was to put out the boat’s anchors once the motoryacht was secured to its floating dock, “which we normally would not do.”

The anchors will help keep the boat from moving around too much in the event of strong winds and waves, which reduces the pressure on the pilings to which Mary Alice II is tied.

“Otherwise, there’s not much more we can do,” Esser said. “We’ll make sure the fenders are tied down in case the wind is more than normal and we won’t have our exterior screens and cushions out.”

Other exhibitors, such as Harry Vernon III of Capt. Harry’s Fishing Supply, which has two booths at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, were not concerned about Sandy.

“It’s a hurricane?” said Vernon when told the storm had been upgraded from a tropical storm Wednesday morning. “Everybody here is setting up and it looks like everybody’s having a good time.”


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Anakiwa cutter fleet modernised

A new cutter will help to put Outward Bound students through their sailing paces.

The new 9.75-metre fibreglass boat Endeavour III was transported from Nelson’s Dickson Marine to Anakiwa on Friday.

The cutter, an open sailing boat, will be used for sailing and rowing.

Outward Bound chief executive Trevor Taylor said a decision had been made to build three new boats after an accident in which one of the organisation’s cutters was run over in Queen Charlotte Sound last year.

“It’s repaired now and back on the water sailing, but when we looked at the other cutters and decided if they’d been in a similar accident, we would have had a more serious outcome.

“We took the view that for the safety of our students and courses, we should look at replacing the plank rigger cutters over a three-year period.”

As part of the celebrations and events around Outward Bound’s 50th anniversary this year, it had decided to raise money to build three new cutters, Mr Taylor said.

A total of $600,000 was needed. One boat had been completed, and the second was due to be built soon, also by Dickson Marine.

“[These boats] will last for another 50 years. They will last a lot longer than the other cutters.”

The Endeavour III went for its first sail last week. Mr Taylor said it handled well and was fast.

Dickson Marine sales manager Basil Hart said construction took about three months. The boat was designed by Jim Barnett of Blenheim, and because of increased buoyancy, it did not have to carry a liferaft, freeing up space.

Mr Taylor said the cutters were an integral part of the Outward Bound programme. Fairfax NZ

– The Marlborough Express

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Boat-sales companies merge

Bluewater Yacht Sales and Jarrett Bay Yacht Sales Hilton Head/Savannah office have merged sales operations.

The company will operate under the Bluewater flag that has flown since 1968, according to a news release.

The new company will continue to “only represent the finest brands,” be included in listings “on all major online search platforms” and have “extensive networking with other dealerships,” said Bluewater Yacht Sales broker-in-charge Robert MacMillan.

The new company sells cruising and sportfishing brands Hatteras Yachts, Grand Banks, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Princess Yachts, Regulator, Sabre Yachts and Viking yachts.

Details: macmillan@bluewateryachtsales.com or 843-815-2494


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Inside Business: Boat shows give Bay Yacht owner optimism

Eric Smith enjoyed the sounds of the 2012 United States Boat Shows. Particularly, the sweet melody of pocketbooks opening.


After five years of slumping boat sales, buyers returned to City Dock earlier this month eager to put ink to check. Smith said the 2012 show was his best in the past half decade with a handful of boat orders.

Smith said the number of serious boat shoppers was higher than in previous years, as were the number of people who submitted financing applications. After 40 years running Bay Yacht Agency, Smith said he recognizes shifts in buying patterns. He said it seems buyers are finally returning to the market ready to spend their money.

Smith recently spoke to The Capital about the state of the boating industry.

How did the 2012 show go for Bay Yacht?

“Last year, we were surprised because it wasn’t as good a year as we anticipated. It was the quietest boat show we’ve ever had. This year was slow until late August and September. This year was the best in five years.

“It’s not easy, but there are people that are sick of waiting and opening their pocketbooks and buying boats.”

How has the industry changed in the past 40 years?

“The boats have gotten bigger. The average-sized boats people own now are bigger. It seems like when I was first doing this, the average size was something like 28-29 feet on the Chesapeake Bay.

“Lately, it seems like it is 40 feet. Catamarans are getting more popular. That’s because of the established charter fleets in the Caribbean where people go down and travel on them. I suspect that is wife-driven. It’s more comfortable. It’s flat sailing, you can put your glass of wine on a table, go away and it’s still there when you come back. It’s great for entertaining.”

How did the 2012 Annapolis boat shows compare to your first in 1970?

“It’s bigger. There are more vendors, more boats. People are coming from all over.

“It’s more national and international than it was in the very beginning. About 10 years ago it was even more international. There has been a proliferation of boat shows across the country and that has kind of diluted it.

“The Annapolis show is still a great show; it is the perfect time. We can take orders and have (boats) delivered in time for spring. It’s about the latest you can order and have it for spring. We sell that (aspect) at the boat show.”

What keeps you in the industry?

“I love boats. I still have a passion for them and sailing. I enjoy the challenge of running this business.

“I have some really good support people who have been with me for a long time. They’re fun to work with and they are like family. It’s a pleasure coming into work every day.”

How many boats do you think you’ve sold in the past four decades?

“Thirty is a good year. Now, with bigger boats, we sell less but the dollar value is higher. We’ve probably sold between 1,200 to 1,500 boats (in 40 years).”

How many boats have you owned?

“I don’t know. Probably about 20.”

Where’s your favorite place to sail?

“The Chesapeake Bay and Virgin Islands. We tend to sail with lots of guests and most are not big sailors. We like it to be easy because we can’t count on much help.

“There are lots of restaurants and things to do. We go down to the Virgin Islands about once a year. Up here, we sail as much as we can whenever we can.”


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A love affair with a fishing boat

Dave Adelisi's love affair `dry docked` in his driveway for the season.

by Mark Daul

Outdoors in Niagara

Boats
are money pits. No doubt about that. The bigger the boat, the bigger
the pit to throw money into, but they sure do bring a lot of fun and
pleasure for singles and families. You can fall in love with boats
and boating, quicker than you can say “Happiness.”

Dave
Adelizi of Youngstown has a new love affair with a fishing boat going
on right now. It is a beautiful 191/2-foot Crestliner Sportfish
fishing/pleasure boat, the deluxe model, and looks showroom new. It
is a yacht in his mind. It is powered with a 115 horsepower,
four-stroke Mercury motor, plus a 9.9 horsepower Merc kicker for
trolling, and equipped with all the other “toys” needed for a
good day on the water.

Adelizi
saw the boat he wanted at the Buffalo Boat Show and fell in love with
it. He knew it was kind of out of his price range at the time, but
couldn’t get it out of his mind. Then the memory started to fade
away, until one day he was telling his boat mechanic about it – a
guy named George, at Power Right Marine Sales on Myers Hill Road in
Sanborn; phone 731-1486.

All
of a sudden George’s mind clicked, and he said, “Wait a minute, I
think I know somebody who is selling a used one just like that.”
Adelizi got the info, checked with the owner, and sure enough it was
just like the new one he saw at the boat show. It was a bright,
clean, carpeted, well taken care of, with the same engine power as
the vessel he saw at the show.

Adelizi
fell in love all over again. The deal was sealed after talking with
the owner, who is Town of Wilson Councilman Brad Clark. When Adelizi
was first telling me about his newfound love, he talked as much about
Clark’s enthusiasm about finding a new owner, and the fact that
Clark knew it was going to a good home. There were two winners here.

Adelizi
owned a 24-foot Regal inboard that was a carpeted pleasure boat, but
it was getting to be too big to handle and trailer to his fishing
spots. Besides spending considerable time on the Niagara River, he
likes to travel to Georgian Bay in Ontario, and to Black Lake,
located two hours north of Syracuse. This lake has about 60 miles of
shoreline with numerous bays and islands that hold all kinds of warm
water game and panfish. Adelizi’s son, Ryan, makes several fishing
trips there every year, and is always excited when he prepares for
another weekend trip. He says crappies are abundant along with large
and smallmouth bass, perch, pike and the occasional walleye,
especially in the spring and summer.

There
was some apprehension about whether Adelizi’s wife, Kandy, would be
as enthused as he was about his new boat, but when she went out in it
for the first time she was a happy camper. She fell in love with the
boat too. Grinning from ear to ear, Kandy told me she “likes to be
out on the water relaxing, soaking up the sunshine and reading a
book.” She loves it. That makes for a happy family and a happy
fisherman too, especially when all is ‘quiet.’

Many
moons ago, in 1978, I bought a new boat that I fell in love with too.
It was my second love affair. I was helping Walt Preslovich at the
boat show in the Niagara Falls Convention Center. He owned LaSalle
Marine on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls. At the time, Preslovich
got a new line of boats in called the “Fun Master” that was made
in Bradenton, Fla. He liked the way I helped his customers, and said,
“I see you eyeing that green/white ‘Fun Master’ over there, and
if we don’t sell it at the show, I’ll give you my dealers’
price on it for helping me out.”

Preslovich
started giving me the sales pitch because he knew I was looking for
something bigger and told me, “This is a small offshore boat they
use in Florida and will work perfect for fishing Lake Ontario.” I
agreed. It was a bow rider, and I was in love with the deep V hull,
the split walk through windshield, the openness, the fold down
tonneau cover with side curtains, and even the green matching pile
carpeting made my eyes water. I wanted it so bad.

When
the show was over and all the boats were back in the showroom, a week
or so later, I walked into his marina and he said, “C’mere,
here’s the paperwork on that boat, that’s what I paid for it, and
you can have it for that.”

I
thought, wow! I then told him I didn’t think I could swing it right
now and I would have to check with the other half, who is my money
manager. I went home, told my money manager my dilemma, that I just
love that boat, and that I just have to have it ‘either now or
later.’ I had saved money over the good sales seasons from my
tackle shop (Mark’s Tackle in Niagara Falls), so we could survive
winter when sales were always flat. It was near the spring selling
season again, when business starts picking up.

After
checking with my money manager we figured that the boat could be a
possibility. I already had a 14-foot aluminum car topper and 16-foot
fiberglass Brunswick at the time that my two older boys and I fished
out of. But those boats just weren’t big enough for us to get out
and fish for the new, and growing, salmon fishery in the lake. After
some quick calculations in her head my money manager said, “You
know, spring is arriving and you have some winter survival money left
over, so use it.” Whew! I did, and I found myself speeding down
Hyde Park Boulevard and Buffalo Avenue to get that boat, all in the
same afternoon.

It
wasn’t long after that, it was the prettiest, best-equipped boat on
Lake Ontario; at least I thought so in 1978. I put downriggers, rod
holders, depth sounder, temperature sensors, 81/2-foot rods and new
reels to match, plus a CB radio before summer arrived. Oh, and a box
full of new lures. I was ready, bring on those salmon!

I
fished that boat for a good 20 years and it was a sad day when I
watched it going out of my driveway for the last time, but I was
happy too, because a friend of mine bought it for his son. Then eight
years later I saw it being launched in Lewiston by another new owner.
After a chitchat, even though it was a well-used craft by then – it
was his new love affair now – I could tell it was the beginning of
another new romance. Now I fish out of a 16-foot aluminum Starcraft,
powered by a 25 horsepower Mercury motor that I love, and it loves to
catch fish with me. My trout and salmon days are left behind.

If
you ever think about falling in love again, buy a boat, you’ll
never have to pay it alimony. Ha! Investigate, and think about what
you would want to suit your needs; family boat, fishing boat,
combination family/fishing or just something to cruise around in.
Talk to other boat owners, marina people, fishermen, and look in
newspapers, and Internet boating chat boards or even Craigslist has
some bargains. But be careful, know what you are buying on Craigs.
Boat shows are a great place to look and compare, but unfortunately
they don’t start showing up until late winter and early spring.

Remember:
The fish do not bite in the cemetery, so you better do your fishing
while still able.

Questions,
suggestions, contact me at [email protected]
or the Sentinel at [email protected].
You will find the latest fishing reports at www.OutdoorsNiagara.com
on the Outdoors Forum.

Be
sure to check out the Sentinel’s website atwww.wnypapers.com/sentinel.

 

 


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Dataw Island Cup sailing regatta will be held today

Hurricane Sandy altered plans at the Dataw Island Cup, but the storm isn’t expected to postpone racing past today.

The sailing regatta was moved from Saturday to today, with more than 20 boats expected to race. The 22-mile course begins at the near Green 201 on the Coosaw River, follows course to Green 11 in St. Helena Sound and moves up the Morgan River to finish at Dataw Island Marina.

With low tide just after 2 p.m., race organizers expect a favorable tide throughout the race. Awards will be handed out on the deck in front of Sweetgrass restaurant following racing.

Today’s forecast is for temperatures in the upper 60s and winds at 18 mph.

Racing will be divided into two classes, based on PHRF ratings. The lowest corrected time from both classes will win the Cup, earning a trophy and having their name engraved on the Dataw Island Cup on permanent display in Dataw’s community center.

DATAW ISLAND CUP

What: Sailing regatta open to displacement, mono-hull sailboats currently rated in the US Sailing PHRF manual that are at least 18 feet overall length.

Where: Dataw Island Marina

When: Noon, today

Details: Spinnakers will be allowed. A photography contest is open to everyone. Pictures taken while racing can be entered. Visiting boats can dock at Dataw Island Marina.

Information: Contact race chairman Ray Crocker at lcrocker@islc.net.


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Stan Honey combines work with play for new sailing technology

Stan Honey has spent much of the past two decades living a double life — as a computer graphics innovator who made televised sports more easily watchable for the casual fan and as a master yachtsman who navigated large boats to a long list of nautical accomplishments.

Honey (pronounced HO-nee), who was inducted this month into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, has finally been able to combine his two seemingly unrelated passions — given that one is usually accomplished sitting in an office while the other takes place on the open seas — in what he has called a “perfect job.”

For the past couple of years, Honey has been working with the U.S. organizing committee of the 2013 America’s Cup as its technical director, and has helped develop a tracking system, in much the same way he has done for fans watching football, baseball and hockey.

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After a discussion with professional sailor Larry Ellison, whose yacht America 17 won the last America’s Cup in 2010, Honey left Sportvision, a company he founded in 1998, to develop the LiveLine technology that is being used in the events leading up to next year’s America’s Cup.

“It’s particularly rewarding to do a system like this for sailing,” Honey, who won an Emmy in May for LiveLine, said in a recent interview. “It’s also probably the most difficult because the helicopter has the mounting for a camera and it’s bobbing and weaving and pretty far away [about 1,500 feet above the water].

“The principal thing it communicates to sports fans who are not necessarily sailing fans, it shows who’s who, who’s ahead, how far ahead they are, and it kind of shows the objective of the exercise. With those 100-meter lines, any sport fan would say, ‘I get it, it’s a field of play, it’s a grid,’ and they quickly figure it out.”

That has been at the essence of what Honey has done since 1994, when a discussion with David Hill, then the president of Fox Sports, led to Honey and his technology team at News Corp., Fox’s parent company, developing a graphic device that helped track the hockey puck on the network’s NHL telecasts.

Taking two years and $2 million to develop, it was introduced at the 1996 NHL All-Star Game.

“It was hard to see the puck when the puck was moving pretty quickly,” Honey recalled. “Of course the die-hard fans didn’t need to see the puck, but new fans were frustrated they couldn’t see it. David [Hill] asked me to build a program that would help track the hockey puck. It was a trail behind the puck, and if it ricocheted off someone into the goal, fans would be able to see how it got there. Before, at least on TV, they had no idea how it went in.”

The colorful tracker was used for the remaining three years Fox televised NHL games but was abandoned after ESPN acquired the television rights “because it was branded too much to Fox,” Honey said. But it became the catalyst that prompted Honey and two others at News Corp. to leave Rupert Murdoch’s company to start Sportvision in 1998.

Within months, Sportvision introduced the bright-yellow first-down line for NFL telecasts that Honey had started working on while still at News Corp. In fact, Hill’s name is on the patent. Jeb Drake, the executive producer of ESPN’s NFL games, won an Emmy for first using it.

“There’s been a ton of changes to it,” Honey said. “The one major change is that it now works in HD. It’s much cheaper to operate. When it was first introduced, it took a 50-foot truck, a ton of gear and a five-man crew. Now it’s just a small rack of gear that’s in the truck and one or two folks on the crew. The system has the capability to do far more — the line of scrimmage, what down and distance. It’s far more compelling.”

Then there was the “K-Zone,” which Honey and Sportvision introduced around 2000. With the help of a camera zooming in from somewhere near the center-field fence, pitches were tracked to see if they landed within the confines of home plate — or at least the strike zone being called by the umpire on that particular night.

“The most surprising result is that when we first introduced it, it showed how good a job the umpires were doing,” Honey said. “Before that, the umpires were very negative about it because they thought it was going to show their errors. They came around and realized it was helping them, and we all realized that the umpires do a much better job than everyone thinks.”

While spending countless hours developing these computer graphics, something else was pulling at Honey, who sailed competitively at Yale.

It was his love of sailing, which he began around age 8 while growing up outside Los Angeles. It was also the lure of finally following the career path that some of his former college sailing teammates at Yale pursued after graduation. Though he dabbled in professional sailing for years, Honey decided in 2004 to devote himself to the sport full time.

Hired to navigate Frank Cammas’ Groupama 3, the boat set a record of 48 days, 7hours, 45 minutes for circumnavigating the globe, a distance of more than 22,000 miles. It beat the previous record — which had stood for five years — by more than two days. It also reminded Honey why he wanted to sail competitively again.

Honey then navigated yachts to victories in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2005 and 2006. He was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2006 and 2011.

His development of LiveLine came from a conversation he had with Ellison shortly after returning to competitive racing.

“I mentioned someday that it would be interesting to do what we did for football and baseball for sailing,” said Honey, who developed the ETAK computer system used for navigation nearly 30 years ago after getting his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford.

This technology might hold a more meaningful place with Honey than what he did in other sports, which also include work he did with NASCAR telecasts. But his goal is the same: to develop a televised graphics system that fans can relate to “because it’s very visible and makes a difference. It helps tell the story.”

Asked whether there are any computer graphics or other technology being used to help televise sports that he wishes he invented, Honey points to the above-field cameras that home in on huddles, as well as the “Matrix”-like freeze-frame used during the recent Olympic Games to follow an athlete’s performance in track and gymnastics.

Honey, 56, is curious to see whether those innovations have the longevity as some of his graphics that are still being used in some form or another.

“If something is just cool, it has a wow factor when it is first introduced,” Honey said. “For something to have lasting value, it has to tell a story or has to communicate something that is hard to see. We made that mistake at Sportvision a number of times. The systems that are successful are used as a tool to tell a story.”

don.markus@baltsun.com

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    Sailing: Students hope to finish season of 'almosts' on high

    AN all-Ireland squad made up of sailors drawn from Sligo, Mayo, Belfast, Wicklow, Dublin, Cork and Antrim will compete in the Student Yachting World Championships in La Rochelle this weekend.

    At the end of an international season which has seen some of our best-known sailing stars hit the heights only to miss the podium at the very end, a lot of hope is being invested by the Irish sailing community in the national college team to finish on a high.

    But that’s the way it is at this level of sailing, and in their season-long build up to the big event in the Bay of Biscay, the team of 10 have been getting every sort of encouragement, advice, training and assessment from the best sources available.

    The French started this series back in 1979, and it has been gradually growing in stature ever since. It’s their baby, so it’s their own affair if they persist in calling it a yachting event.

    But everywhere else has long since thought of our sport as sailing, so it’s pure Gallic pig-headedness to persist with the clunky ‘yachting’ tag, particularly for a series which highlights the sailing stars of the future.

    The teams are provided by the winners of each country’s national intercollegiate championship, and way back in 1988 Trinity went on to become the first Irish world champions.

    This year, UCD did the business on the home front back in March by winning the Irish title in Dun Laoghaire, breaking a long stranglehold by CIT.

    The Cork sailors had a great run of it in the Worlds, with second in 2007, first in 2009, when Nicholas ‘Nin’ O’Leary was skipper, fourth in 2009 and a sensational third in 2011 with George Kenefick the skipper.

    That was a remarkable achievement as the draw had given CIT one of three boats that were definitely not up to standard.

    UCD are captained by Cathal Leigh-Doyle from Ballincar in Sligo, while the crew skipper is Aidan McLaverty. Others in the line-up are Barry McCartin (tactician), Ben Fusco, Simon Doran, Theo Murphy, David Fitzgerald, Ellen Cahill, Isabella Morehead and Alyson Rumball.

    In addition to supervised workouts in UCD’s performance gym, they’ve been intensively training afloat under the watchful eye of ‘Nin’ O’Leary, John Downey, Marty O’Leary, Maurice ‘Prof’ O’Connell and Olympic helm Annalise Murphy — who was a contemporary at UCD of many of the crew in first year but took time out for her sailing challenge.

    Racing is from tomorrow through to November 3. It’s a fleet event with 14 national teams including the US, Canada and Australia, with France’s Euromed team the defenders. The programme includes inshore, offshore and coastal races, and early indications are of lightish north to north-east breezes in the racing area.

    But a lot can happen weather-wise in the last week of October, and we can be sure many Irish sailing fans will be closely watching meteorological movements off La Rochelle for the next seven days.

    The annual Rolex Middle Sea Race out of Malta had been a light wind event which came violently to life on Thursday with a massive thunderstorm.

    It swept mid-size boats across the finish line to topple leading placings built up by line honours winner Esimit Euopa, the 100-footer from Slovenia, and Nik Zennstrom’s 72ft Ran, the 2011 Fastnet winner.

    Barry Hurley’s 35ft Dinah has done well for Ireland in the two-handed division. Crewed by Andrew Boyle, he was lying second in class.

    - WM Nixon

    Irish Independent


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