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Largely smooth sailing for San Juan ferry reservations

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Washington State Ferries recently began a reservation system to manage congestion on vessels between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands – a popular tourist destination.

While there have been some complaints, the Skagit Valley Herald reports ( http://bit.ly/1as8udh ) local residents say the three-tier reservation system that was implemented Dec. 2 is better than waiting for hours to get on a boat.

Under the three-tier system, 30 percent of the spots open to reservations are available two months before the scheduled sailing, another 30 percent are released two weeks in advance and 30 percent are available two days in advance. The last 10 percent are available for standby.

Jim Corenman helped develop the new system over a two-year period as the chair for the ferry advisory committee and as a member of the reservation partnership group.

He said he’s heard a variety of opinions from the islanders, ranging from those who are concerned about booking a ferry during the summer when tourism peaks to those who are happy with the system.

The committee looked at issues that could arise with a reservation system and wanted to make sure boats didn’t book up completely months in advance. That is how it came up with the three tiers.

“This isn’t something that we’re doing to torture the islanders,” he said. “It’s something we really want to work.”

Susan Harris, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said before the reservation system went into effect she heard stories of people waiting all day to get on a ferry.

“I worked last July in Anacortes and met a gentlemen in Lopez, who arrived about 10:30 a.m., and he had his grandchildren with him,” she said. “They were still there, bored to tears, at 5:30 in the afternoon.”

Corenman said if Washington State Ferries gets a lot of complaints, there is room to alter the plan.


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Sailing-Briton nearer childhood ambition with Ocean Race leg win

ITAJAI, Brazil, April 5 (Reuters) – Briton Ian Walker took a big step towards a lifetime ambition to claim offshore sailing’s most prestigious prize, the Volvo Ocean Race, when his Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew claimed the fifth leg on Sunday.

There are still four legs left, including a trans-Atlantic crossing from Newport, Rhode Island, to Lisbon, but the 6,776-nautical mile (nm) stage win from Auckland to Itajai, Brazil, leaves Walker’s men strong favourites for the overall prize.

They now stand seven points clear of their nearest rivals after Dongfeng Race Team (China) failed to complete the leg with a broken mast.

An elated but exhausted Walker was not taking anything for granted after sailing into a packed Itajaí harbour after the 19-day crossing through the South Pacific, Southern Ocean and South Atlantic.

Instead he simply savoured a hard-earned win with only 32 minutes to spare from the chasing pack.

“Awesome. It’s been such a monster of a leg, we are so, so stoked,” said the 45-year-old. “We have sailed very, very well, but it was a very tight finish.”

The leg was incredibly closely contested with MAPFRE (Spain), Team Alvimedica (Turkey/U.S.) and Team Brunel (Netherlands), contesting the lead with Abu Dhabi all along the Brazilian coast and eventually finishing in that order.

Walker, a twice Olympic silver medallist in the 1996 and 2000 Games, is competing in the race for the third time and has stated that victory in the 41-year-old event would fulfil a childhood dream.

The fifth leg is generally regarded as the toughest of the nine-month race. Three boats — Dongfeng, MAPFRE and the all-women’s crew of Team SCA (Sweden) — all crashed on their sides in so-called ‘Chinese gybes’ before righting.

Several of the boats also suffered damage to their sails along the way and on Monday Dongfeng’s hopes were scuppered when the top of their mast fractured leading to their withdrawal.

The boats will set off for the next stage to Newport on April 19.

In all, the fleet will cover 38,739nm before the culmination of the nine-month race in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 27. (Editing by Ken Ferris)

Double Gold for NZL Sailing Team 2015 Princess Sofia Regatta

Double Gold for the NZL Sailing Team 2015 Princess
Sofia Regatta

The NZL Sailing Team has
secured two gold medals at 2015 Princess Sofia Regatta with
victory, and successful title defences, for Jo Aleh and
Polly Powrie in the Women’s 470, and in the 49er for Peter
Burling and Blair Tuke.

Aleh and Powrie will also
be awarded the regatta’s top Trophy by Her Majesty Queen
Sofia for the best team during the week.

The 2012
Olympic gold medalists went into today’s medal race with a
seven point lead over the French in 2nd with the British
close behind, just two further adrift. But this order
remained unchanged after today’s race.

Jo Aleh explains
that it wasn’t an easy win today; “It was a race of many
parts, it all looked a little bad a few times, but we kept
at it, after rounding the first mark in 7th with the French
in 2nd, we had a bit of work to do.”

Photo credit: Yachting New
Zealand

“We got back into the race on the
first downwind and rounded the last top mark in 4th, with
the overall title still just safe. Then the downwind went a
little crazy and it was boats coming out of everywhere! We
just held our nerve and just snuck in front of the pack to
cross the finish line in 3rd after a few good gybes to take
out the regatta by three points. Tight!”

She continues,
“Happy with our week here, nice to get back into racing,
it’s been great hanging out with the rest of the NZL Sailing
Team, and looking forward to the rest of this trip!”

In
the 49er skiff Peter Burling and Blair Tuke’s win was
characteristically dominant finishing 18 points clear of the
fleet. With this Princess Sofia Regatta gold in the bag the
pair have further extended their winning streak to 17 major
wins in a row.

In today’s race there was an outside
chance that German crew of Erik Heil and Thomas Plossell
could claim the top spot and as a result the kiwis went into
today’s medal race with the focus of ensuring that
didn’t happen.

“Fun little match race today to finish
off the week,” says Burling, “stoked to take the win in
Palma.”

The second kiwi crew in the 49er medal race –
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski – crossed the line in 2nd
place to conclude the regatta in 5th overall.

In the Finn
medal race Josh Junior also finished in 2nd place which
edged him into 7th overall as his final result from the week
in Palma de Mallorca.

Meanwhile Alexandra Maloney and
Molly Meech placed 5th in the 49erFX medal race and finish
the regatta in 9th.

Next on the Olympic sailing circuit is
ISAF
Sailing World Cup Hyeres
and the majority of the NZL
Sailing Team crews in Palma will travel on to France to
prepare for the regatta which kicks off on 22
April.

2015 Princess Sofia Regatta
New
Zealand’s Final Results

1st Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – Women’s 470
1st
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – 49er
5th Josh Porebski and Marcus Hansen – 49er
7thJosh Junior – Finn
9th Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech – 49erFX
12thGemma Jones and Jason Saunders – Nacra 17
14th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox – Men’s 470
12thMichael Bullot – Laser
18th Thomas Saunders – Laser
25thSara Winther – Laser Radial
43rd
Susannah Pyatt – Laser Radial
55th Andrew McKenzie (Aon
Fast Track) – Laser
58th Antonio Cozzolino – Men’s
RS:X

For more information
contact…

Jodie Bakewell-White
Tel. 021 709
065
Email. jodie@yachtingnz.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media


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Double gold for NZL Sailing Team at Princess Sofia Regatta

The NZL Sailing Team has secured two gold medals at 2015 Princess Sofia Regatta with victory, and successful title defences, for Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in the Women’s 470, and in the 49er for Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

Aleh and Powrie will also be awarded the regatta’s top Trophy by Her Majesty Queen Sofia for the best team during the week.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallists went into today’s medal race with a seven point lead over the French in 2nd with the British close behind, just two further adrift. But this order remained unchanged after today’s race.

Jo Aleh explains that it wasn’t an easy win today; “It was a race of many parts, it all looked a little bad a few times, but we kept at it, after rounding the first mark in 7th with the French in 2nd, we had a bit of work to do.”

“We got back into the race on the first downwind and rounded the last top mark in 4th, with the overall title still just safe. Then the downwind went a little crazy and it was boats coming out of everywhere! We just held our nerve and just snuck in front of the pack to cross the finish line in 3rd after a few good gybes to take out the regatta by three points. Tight!”

She continues, “Happy with our week here, nice to get back into racing, it’s been great hanging out with the rest of the NZL Sailing Team, and looking forward to the rest of this trip!”

In the 49er skiff Peter Burling and Blair Tuke’s win was characteristically dominant finishing 18 points clear of the fleet. With this Princess Sofia Regatta gold in the bag the pair have further extended their winning streak to 17 major wins in a row.

In today’s race there was an outside chance that German crew of Erik Heil and Thomas Plossell could claim the top spot and as a result the kiwis went into today’s medal race with the focus of ensuring that didn’t happen.

“Fun little match race today to finish off the week,” says Burling, “stoked to take the win in Palma.”

The second kiwi crew in the 49er medal race – Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski – crossed the line in 2nd place to conclude the regatta in 5th overall.

In the Finn medal race Josh Junior also finished in 2nd place which edged him into 7th overall as his final result from the week in Palma de Mallorca.

Meanwhile Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech placed 5th in the 49erFX medal race and finish the regatta in 9th.

Next on the Olympic sailing circuit is ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and the majority of the NZL Sailing Team crews in Palma will travel on to France to prepare for the regatta which kicks off on 22 April.

2015 Princess Sofia Regatta

New Zealand’s Final Results

1st Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – Women’s 470

1st Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – 49er

5th Josh Porebski and Marcus Hansen – 49er

7thJosh Junior – Finn

9th Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech – 49erFX

12thGemma Jones and Jason Saunders – Nacra 17

14th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox – Men’s 470

12thMichael Bullot – Laser

18th Thomas Saunders – Laser

25thSara Winther – Laser Radial

43rd Susannah Pyatt – Laser Radial

55th Andrew McKenzie (Aon Fast Track) – Laser

58th Antonio Cozzolino – Men’s RS:X


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Encourage the young to take up sailing: Jainab

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KOTA KINABALU: Sailing not only can be a leisure activity but also can provide job opportunities for the young.

Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said more youths should therefore be encouraged to take up sailing as a leisure activity or hobby.

“Lately, we often hear of complaints about a lack of job offers especially among youths and I think it is a good idea that we encourage our children to indulge in this (sailing) activity,” she said.

“Sailing may not be as popular as bowling or futsal. However, we can instil interest in the activity among our children if they are exposed to it at an early age.

“Therefore, I hope the Sailing Association and Royal Malaysian Navy will collaborate to encourage the community, especially children, to get involved in the sport (sailing),” she said during the flag-off of the 5th Navy Day Open Regatta 2015 Championship at the Naval Base, here, Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sabah Sailing Association President Christopher SY Chin said sailing is a good activity for the young as it contributes to their character development.

“They are the captain of their own boat and they have to make their own decision in terms of direction. This will help them in their character development as well as promote respect towards the environment.

“When they sail, they will come across plastic bags littered in the sea getting stuck to their boats, making them realise that rubbish is bad. Sometimes, they would even come across sea turtles suffocating to death with plastic bags in their mouth, making them realise the importance of taking good care of our environment,” he explained.

Chin said Sabah has been doing quite well in sailing with several young sailors having won gold medals in the Asean Games as well as Sea Games.

“We have Rufina Tan who win a gold medal in the Asean Games, two sisters from Inanam who won gold in the Sea Games and two months from now, one of our sailors has been appointed to represent Malaysia in the Sea games in Singapore,” he said.

“Overall, it is a very good sport and the State Government is very supportive. Currently, we have about 50 members and our main problem is that we have no training centre. We had applied to the State Government and City Hall for a suitable place to store our equipment and they are still looking for a suitable location,” he said.

“Our training ground now is the sea and all we need is a place to store our equipment for the young who come to train, as all the equipment are financed by the State Government.

“Therefore, I hope the State Government will help us find a suitable place for the benefit of all young Sabahan sailors,” he said.

The event, which was attended by about 2,000 people, also saw other activities such as children colouring competition, karaoke competition, fishing competition and dragon boat competition.

Sixty individuals are participating in the two-day event and the winners are expected to receive medals as well as certificates.


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Plain sailing for disabled, thanks to run cash

WHEELS on water is the name of the game for Sailability and, thanks to funds raised by the Nail Can Hill Run, the sailing club for people with a disability hopes to get more people on the water.

WHEELS on water is the name of the game for Sailability and, thanks to funds raised by the Nail Can Hill Run, the sailing club for people with a disability hopes to get more people on the water.

Money raised from the run will be used to build ramps to provide wheelchair access to sail boats and the yacht club.

Albury-Wodonga Ya-cht Club commodore Stuart Richardson said he appreciated the community support.

“We’re a fairly unique organisation, so being able to upgrade facilities we have for the disabled as a part of the long-term plan to upgrade the club is very important to us,” he said.

“Rotary has been very supportive of what we’re doing out, so to have the community come out and support us by entering the run is really encouraging.”

The Rotary-organised event will also help buy musical instruments and place them in the playground at the Wewak Street School, a cycling network to be constructed by Parklands Albury-Wodonga, and life-saving equipment for the new Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.

The 11.3-km race, on May 3, starts on Centaur Road, Lavington and finishes in West Albury’s Bonnie Doon Park.


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Sailing

“Following a careful evaluation of the serious implications of this unprecedented intiative, Team Luna Rossa confirms that it will withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup,” the team said in a statement.

Luna Rossa, backed by Italian luxury goods group Prada, were one of four European teams hoping to take the cup from holders Oracle Team USA in Bermuda.

Team New Zealand, led by Grant Dalton, and Luna Rossa had protested the decision to reduce the size of the boats without unanimous agreement, with the Italian challenger warning it would have to withdraw if the change was made.

The change was then passed by a majority vote of the six teams currently entered.

The Italian syndicate said it considered the procedure adopted to be “illegitimate…and founded on an evident abuse of process.”

“This is an attempt to introduce boats that are substantially monotypes and in total contrast with the ultra-centennial tradition of the America’s Cup,” it added.

It said the change, from 62 foot to 48 foot boats, was a “waste of important resources already invested based on the rules that were sanctioned last June”.

The 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013 saw 72-foot boats competing.

Organisers said the new catamarans would be more manoeuvrable than before while cost savings could also be made.

“The claim to reduce costs reveals itself as a pure pretext aimed to annihilate research and development achievements of some teams and to favour instead preconceived technical and sporting positions,” said Luna Rossa.

Team principal Patrizio Bertelli said painful decisions sometimes had to be made.

“In sports, as in life, one cannot always go for compromise after compromise after compromise,” he added.

Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie supported the move to smaller boats even though his BAR team were already working on their AC62 design.

“Despite this investment of money and resource, we voted in favor of the change because we believe it is in the best interests of the America’s Cup and the sport of sailing,” the team said in a statement.

Former America’s Cup challengers Alinghi described Luna Rossa’s withdrawal as a “sad day for the America’s Cup.”

“Luna Rossa are a team of passion, skill and determination — all the qualities needed in this great competition. They inspired us to compete in 2000, and to win. The Cup is diminished without you, our friends,” a statement said.

Sailing

Defending champion Scott tops the Finn leaderboard after day four of the regatta, but it has been far from plain sailing.

It’s not unusual for the in-form Scott to claim regatta wins with a day to spare – including his most recent gold at January’s Sailing World Cup Miami.

But the 27-year-old has not had an easy time of things in Palma, suffering serious boat damage following a collision on Tuesday’s second day of racing.

The World and European champion was awarded redress points for the incident, but was left having to use a boat borrowed from teammate Pete McCoy in order to continue in the event, with McCoy having withdrawn from the regatta through injury.

However, with a win and a fourth from Wednesday’s two races, Scott has a narrow 1.2 point lead over New Zealander Josh Junior – and for the Brit that is all that matters.

“It’s been a difficult week – early on the conditions were particularly difficult and I think the scoreboard shows that with a lot of people being very up and down with the results,” Scott said.

“A lot of guys have had a bit of bad luck and I suppose I’m included in that. I managed to damage my boat quite badly, which now needs to go back to Poland.

“The boats are all the same to the rule, but there are a lot of differences between them.

“The easiest way of comparing it is to a car – cars all do the same thing, but they feel different, and that’s what it’s like stepping into a different boat. It’s not quite the same. It’s taken a little bit of getting used to, but I’m almost there with it and it’s going reasonably well.

“I’ve managed to cling on to Josh somehow over the last few days, which is pretty good, and finishing today off well is quite nice because my average points [redress] ended today so I now know exactly what I’m going into tomorrow with.

“I’ll get out tomorrow, try to race well and see what Saturday brings. It’s quite nice to still be in contention of the lead and I’ll just go out tomorrow and try and attack it.”

The British 470 pairing of Luke Patience and Elliot Willis and laser radial sailor Alison Young also top their respective leaderboards.

Wednesday also saw two race wins for Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre in the 470 women’s event, with the pair moving up to second overall as a result.

“It was a really good day on the water. Eilidh and I were pretty quick today, and that made our racing quite a lot easier,” Weguelin explained. “It was fun conditions out there with some nice waves and a good breeze.

“It’s a great event here. We’ve been here training through February. It’s the perfect venue for it, and then to race here is great. We missed the event last year, so it’s nice to be back racing on the Bay.

“We’re mostly checking in with the fleet. We’ve worked on some specific stuff through February in terms of our technique and how we’re sailing the boat together, and today proved that it’s paying off, so we’re quite happy going forwards.”

Elsewhere across the fleets, new Nacra 17 pairing John Gimson and Hannah Diamond, competing in just their second major competition together, are honing in on a qualification spot for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, and are placed second overall.

Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth are poised in fourth in the 49erFX event, with Dave Evans and Ed Powys the top British boat in the 49er, currently in fifth.

Izzy Hamilton and Tom Squires are eighth and ninth in their respective RS:X Women’s and Men’s windsurfing fleets, while Podium Potential sailor Alex Mills Barton is 18th overall in the Laser event.

© Sportsbeat 2015

Wind in their sails

ST. PETERSBURG — The Warrior Sailing Basic Training Camp, based at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center, brought in 25 wounded and active veterans this week.

Most of the participants in the three-day camp have never sailed before. The veterans come from all branches of the military and have a variety of injuries, which include limb loss, blindness, and traumatic brain injuries.

The participants learn to race in Sonar sailboats, which are Olympic-class boats. There are typically three people per boat. Adaptive equipment is added to the boats for the physically disabled.

The Warrior Sailing Program works to develop a competitive sailing team and offers follow-up training for participants who want to compete.


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