News Briefs for August 7, 2006

The latest racing and industry news.

Racing NewsMendelblatt Jumps to Early Lead in Star European ChampionshipU.S. Olympic Laser sailor turned Star helmsman Mark Mendelblatt with crew Mark Strube gained an early advantage by winning the first race of the Star European Championship in Neustadt, Germany. 80 teams are competing in the event, which is part of Rolex Baltic Week.For the latest from the Star European Championship, click here .British Pair Win 505 World ChampionshipLast week, Mark Upton-Brown and Ian Mitchell won the 505 World Championship for the second time, securing a narrow two-point series victory over their American challengers, Howarde Hamlin and Jeff Nelson. The regatta took place in England at the Hayling Island Sailing Club, in light, shifty conditions described by race reporter Chris Thorne as, "behaving like a drunkard, zagging from lamppost to lamppost."The championship was decided in the final race, in which the British team held on to its lead by ceding only one point to the Americans.For more about the 505 World Championship, click here . Storm Trysail 65 Gets "Transpac" MakeoverIn the quest to develop its Storm Trysail 65 for the best possible performance and fleet participation, the Storm Trysail Club, based in Larchmont, N.Y., has partnered with the Transpacific YC to adapt its own "box" rule.The Transpacific YC, based in Los Angeles, developed the successful Transpac 52 rule in response to a donation of a trophy for the first 50-footer to finish the Transpac Race, and has been working with the Storm Trysail Technical Committee and Board, prospective owners, and designers to further shape the Storm Trysail 65 rule, which was originally introduced last summer and - as modified - has become the Storm Trysail Transpac 65 (STP65) rule. "The obvious benefit of a 'box' design rule - one that limits factors such as length, minimum displacement, draft, sail area etc. - is that it maximizes performance," said Storm Trysail Club Commodore Rich du Moulin. "Perhaps more important, however, is that it promotes very similar yachts which makes for fantastic racing."For more about the new STP65 rule, click here . Laser Radial Youth Worlds Underway in Santa MonicaOn Monday, 181 competitors ages 15-18 began the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Santa Monica, Calif. With U.S. sailors comprising half of the fleet, the chances of a first-ever U.S. champion in the event have never been better. Last week, the United States' Anna Tunnicliffe finished fourth in the Women's Laser Radial Worlds, won by China's Lijia Xu. Fabio Pillar (Brazil) won the Men's division.For the latest from the Laser Radial Youth Worlds, click here . Largest-Ever Fleet Expected for Maxi Yacht Rolex CupThe 2006 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, taking place September 3-9 in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, is poised to set a new record for the most Maxi yachts entered in a regatta. The 49 boats entered in the event will break the previous record of 37, set in 2005 at the same regatta.This year's event will feature Maxis such as Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI (Australia), Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo (New Zealand), Harry Macklowe's 34-meter Unfurled (United States) and Vittorio Moretti's 36-meter Viriella. For more about the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, click here . U.S. Junior Championships Begin in AugustIn August, after months of training and competing in regional qualifyiers, the best youth sailors in the country will race in U.S. Sailing's Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, comprised of singlehanded, doublehanded, and triplehanded regattas.The U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup takes place at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Mich. August 5-9. Meanwhile, the U.S. Junior Singlehanded and Doublehanded Championships for, respectively, the Bemis and Smythe Trophies will occur at Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah, Texas August 8-13. For more about the U.S. Junior Championships, click here . World Match Racing Tour Adopts ChangesThe eighth season of the World Match Racing Tour, which began last week with the Portugal Match Cup, has been extended to include 14 events. Furthermore, this year's World Match Racing Champion will be the winner of the tour. ISAF executive committee member Nucci Novi Ceppellini sees the changes as a means to increase the competitiveness of the tour. "The decision was taken unanimously that the world championship should be a tour championship," said Ceppellini. "A Tour can define a champion better than a single event."According to the new rules, skippers will be allowed to count a maximum of eight finishes, regardless of the number of stages they've raced. The final stage, Monsoon Cup, will award double points to the top eight and it is a non-discard event. Chris Dickson of BMW ORACLE Racing won the season-opening Portugal Match Cup. He beat Magnus Holmberg of Victory Challenge by less than 20 feet in the fifth and deciding race of the final. For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, visit .Entry Form Available for the Vineyard RaceThe online entry form for the Vineyard Race, taking place September 1-4 in Stamford, Conn., is now available at .Updates to the 72nd running of the race include position transponders for every boat, a classic yacht division, and a shortened Cornfield Point course. View Photos from 2006 I-LYA Put-in-Bay Race WeekPhotographer John Rees has generously posted more than 300 photos from 2006 I-LYA Put-in-Bay Race Week, which took place in late July the Lake Erie Islands. To view Rees' gallery, click here .NYYC Race Week Wraps Up in NewportThe nine-day, 168-boat New York Yacht Club Race Week concluded in July. Five of the regatta's champions won Rolex Steel Submariner timepieces, Andrew Fisher (IRC), Tom Rich (PHRF), Takashi Okura (Farr 40), Tom D'Albora (Beneteau 36.7), and Jon Halbert (J/109). The regatta also hosted the inaugural Melges 32 National Championship, won by Jeff Ecklun. For more information about New York Yacht Club Race Week, click here . Industry NewsTest Drive an America's Cup Yacht in Sag Harbor Charity Cup At the Sag Harbor Charity Cup Challenge, taking place September 8-10 in Sag Harbor, New York, donors will have the chance to race one of six America's Cup boats while supporting local charities.The $1,000 per individual entrance fee includes a day of racing, a ticket to the Saturday night gala beach party and auction at Havens Beach, and an official America's Cup polo shirt. Donors need not be experienced sailors, since each boat comes with a professional captain and a two-person crew.Interested? Contact Jeff Sander at 631-725-4535. For further information, visit . Nautor's Swan Celebrates 40th Anniversary Seventy-seven boat owners and more than 700 crew members gathered at the Yacht Club of Turku in Turku, Finland to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Nautor's Swan in late July.Attendees spent three days racing and socializing in the breathtaking archipelago on Finland's southwestern coast. Germany's Bernhard Michler, who sailed onboard Swan 44 Mk II Moriju was victorious in Racing Class A, while Finland's Leif Ramm-Schmidt sailed the Swan 37 Tarantella II to victory in Racing Class B. Also in attendance were Finnish Olympic sailors Jyrki Jarvi and Peter Tallberg.For more information about the 40th anniversary celebration for Nautor's Swan, click here . Hoyas Seek Assistant Sailing CoachGeorgetown University in Washington, DC recently announced an opening for the position of Assistant Varsity Sailing Coach. This position entails recruiting student athletes, participating in practices and competitions, advising student-athletes, scouting opposing teams, and overseeing weight training and fitness programs, among other duties. Applicants should have a background in college sailing with prior coaching experience at the youth, high school or college level.Resumes and requests for information should be emailed to head coach Mike Callahan .Safety-At-Sea Goes WestFueled by the success of its programs in Newport, R.I., Marblehead, Mass., and Larchmont, N.Y., the Storm Trysail Club's (STC) Junior Safety-At-Sea seminars have begun a westward expansion. The first-ever West Coast seminar will take place in Newport Beach, Calif. on August 24.The mission of the one-day programs is to arm juniors with the skills and confidence needed for an on-the-water emergency and instill in them the importance of safety on the water. "We want to introduce junior sailors to the lifetime enjoyment of big-boat racing, and learning seamanship and safety is essential to that process," said STC Commodore Rich du Moulin. "The seminars are uniquely resourceful and extremely educational, not to mention a big hit with the kids!" For more information about the Safety-At-Sea seminars, click here .