Great American II Seeks Hong Kong-New York Record

53-Foot Trimaran Due in New York in Late May

Grand Prix Sailor is a 13-year-old racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine ( GREAT AMERICAN II LEAVES HONG KONG ON RECORD BID TO NEW YORKGreat American_ II departed Hong Kong Harbor March 16 in a bid to set a new sailing record to New York City. Rich Wilson, 52, of Rockport, Mass., and Rich du Moulin, 56, of Larchmont, NY, are undertaking the non-stop 15,000-mile voyage in an attempt to break a 154-year-old passage record.The 53-foot trimaran, home-ported in Rockport, is chasing the time of 74d:14h, set in 1849 by the clipper Sea Witch. If Great American II can beat the clipper ship's pace, Wilson and du Moulin will finish at the Statue of Liberty sometime during the week of May 26. The voyage of Great American II will be followed online by school children from throughout the United States, and students will be able to see how math, sciences such as meteorology and oceanography, and even the lessons of history apply in real-time adventure. TO HOMEInterested in double-handing some distance races a little closer to home? Thanks to some strong footwork by people like Rich du Moulin and Hood Sail's Joe Cooper, there are a lot of clubs in the New York-Connecticut-Rhode Island area that are offering starts for double-and single-handed classes this summer. If you're interested in entering, or curious about double-handed racing in general, contact Joe Cooper at: Double-Handed-sailing@cox.netMay 10: Annual Distance Race, NYAC May 17: Edlu overnight, Larchmont YC May 17:Corinthians Single-handed Race May 23: Block Island Race, Storm Trysail Club June 22-27: Block Is Race Week, STC. One race a day around govt. marks on Block Is. Sound. July 5: Riverside YC, Annual Stratford Shoal Race July 12: Lloyd Harbor Annual Stratford Shoal Race August 22: Annual overnight race, Stamford YC August 29: The Vineyard Race, SYC October 11: The Gearbuster Indian Harbor YC **SAN DIEGO NOODThe second of nine stops on Sailing World Magazine's National Offshore One Design Regatta (NOOD) tour wrapped up Sunday in San Diego with the crowning of 16 class champions. After three days of racing in a variety of weather conditions off San Diego's Point Loma, and on San Diego Bay, only two of 156 teams went undefeated.For Jed Olenick, on the J/120 Doctor No, from Olivenhain, Calif., his team's sweep was a first in the four years they've raced together. "We sailed extremely well this weekend," said Olenik, who bought the boat in 1998. "As far as I can remember, we had only one major boathandling error the entire weekend, which is unbelievable considering how tough the conditions were." The J/120 racecourse was set several miles offshore, where ocean swells reached 10 feet Sunday.--Dave Reed For the complete story and results, see http://www.sailingworld.comDOUG KESSLER TAKES MELGES 24 2003 U.S. NATIONAL TITLEFor the final day of racing at the US Nationals, winds were 10 to 12 knots from 180 to 190 degrees. Three races were completed to make the regatta total nine races, with one throw out. Doug Kessler and his P&P; Sailing Team sailed the final two races conservatively to ensure their overall victory, scoring a 5 and 6 to win the regatta by 7 points. http://www.melges24.comHOBBLED BY WEATHERThe Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric-sponsored trimaran Geronimo continues its slow progress towards Ushant after failing to finish its round-the-world jaunt in time to break Bruno Peyron's 64d:8h:36m:24s time, set on the catamaran Orange in 2002. At 12:00 GMT Monday, Olivier de Kersauson and his crew were still 443 nautical miles from the finish line. "We're completely taken aback by the extent of this meteorological catastrophe," said de Kersauson. "On any voyage around the world, you can expect to have periods of calm lasting 20 or 24 hours and, of course, it's normal in the Doldrums, but at this point of the course! There's not a breath of air. Our anemometer shows 3 knots, and then only just, and that's only because it's at the mast head and therefore more affected by the swell than it would be anywhere else!"Having set sail with a 60-day store of food, the supplies are beginning to let the crew of Geronimo down. "There's not a great deal to eat, but we still have our survival rations," said de Kersauson. "It's not terrible... it could be worse!" "I share their disappointment, because I know only too well the amount of energy, effort and investment that goes in to a project of this scale," said Peyron. "They really don't deserve it, because they've had a fantastic voyage and one of the best performances ever seen in the Jules Verne Trophy. They've also demonstrated the huge potential of the trimaran." http://www.grandsrecords.comIRC RATING BAND INCREASE FOR SYDNEY HOBARTThe Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has announced a slight increase in the IRC upper limit-from 1.6 to 1.61-and an absolute size limit of 30 meters (98.42 feet) LOA, effective for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.The CYCA decision follows a process of consultation with its owners and a review of the impact on boats in last year's race of changes to the IRC Rule effective from 1 July 2003 in Australia. The decision means that a boat such as Alfa Romeo (Shockwave), which won line honors in 2002, will remain eligible to compete in 2003 despite its rating having increased to 1.607.Announcing the change, CYCA Rear Commodore Roger Hickman said the change not only ensured that boats that were eligible last year remained so in 2003 without having to make modifications, but also accommodated a number of boats currently in design or being built that became ineligible as a result of the changes in the IRC Rule. "The CYCA was initially proposing to retain for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race the 1.6 upper limit that has applied for a number of years," said Hickman."However, over the last month we became aware of the impact of changes to the IRC Rule, and also received a strong message from affected owners that they wished to see an upper limit put in place now for a fixed period so that a number of them could complete build and modification programs without the limit changing. "Against that background, and having reviewed the current timetable for the development of a new rule for Grand Prix yachts, the Board concluded that it was appropriate to lock in an IRC upper limit for all our races up to the end of 2005, and that that limit would be 1.61," Rear Commodore Hickman said."We have made it clear to the owners, and the owners accept, that we will not be re-visiting the IRC upper limit again in 2004 and 2005 merely on the basis that a boat's rating increases above 1.61 from one year to the next. If that occurs, whatever modifications are necessary to bring the affected boat back within the limit will have to be made," added Hickman. INTERNATIONAL MATCH RACE Poland's Jablonski Reinforces World RankingWhen the wind built on the final day of the Marseille International Match Race, the first ISAF Grade One event of 2003, the four teams in the final and petit final eventually took to the water at midday. Organised by the Yacht Club Pointe Rouge in Marseille, 10 of the top ranked match racers in the world from 8 different countries competed in the first running of this event, which was sailed in J/80s.The final was fought between the top-ranked sailor in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings Karol Jablonski (POL), and ISAF Men's Keelboat World champion, and recent addition to the K-Challenge America's Cup syndicate, Francois Brenac (FRA). Brenac took the lead and held on to win the first race of the three-race final, before being overtaken by Jablonski in the second to necessitate a third and final race. Jablonski demonstrated why he is the ISAF World ranked number one by taking the final race and with it the first grade one title of 2003.The petite final was between ISAF World Ranked No. 6 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and Frenchman Phillippe Presti, member of Le Defi Areva in the 2002 Louis Vuitton Cup. It was eventually Presti who took third place in the event.Overall Results1 - Karol Jablonski (POL)2 - François Brenac (FRA)3 - Philippe Presti (FRA)4 - Bjorn Hansen (SWE)5 - Mikael Lindquist (SWE)6 -Andrew Arbuzov (RUS)7 - Jes Gram Hansen (DEN)8 - Luc Pillot (FRA)9 - Lars Nordjberg (DEN) 10 - Mathieu Richard (FRA)Event Website: www.ycpr.comLIGHT WINDS PLAGUING MELBOURNE-OSAKA FLEETThe 20-boat fleet started near Portsea Pier in Port Phillip Bay at 11am this morning, in light 5-8 knot winds. As the fleet slowly picks its way east towards New South Wales, Peter Blake's 49-footer Kontrol is now leading the fleet, and is a mile south of Brian Petersen's Maverick II another 49-foot flyer. Both boats are now some 32 miles east of Cape Schrank, tracking towards Wilson's Promontory. They have averaged a little over 5 knots in the first nine hours of this 5,000-mile race north to Osaka, Japan. Satellite tracking data is coming less frequently than it has over the last few days and it has been suggested that preparations for the coming IRAQ war may be squeezing satellite time.Argos Satellite tracking data is available at