News Briefs for July 6, 2006

The latest racing and industry news.

Racing News Briefs Houston Will Host 2007 Women's Keelboat Champs US Sailing recently announced that Houston Yacht Club in La Porte, Texas will host the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship November 12-17, 2007. Held biennially as part of US Sailing's adult championship schedule, the regatta ranks among the pinnacle events for women sailors around the world. Organizers choose a new location for every event, but the competition always takes place between four-person teams aboard J/22s. For more information about the 2007 Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship, go to www.ussailing.org/riwkc. Orange II Shatters 24-hour Distance Record, Limps Towards Transatlantic Record Having set out on Sunday, July 2 from New York to attempt to steal the transatlantic record from Steve Fossett (4 days, 17 hours 28 minutes and 6 seconds), Bruno Peyron's crew aboard Orange II has already achieved something on this voyage. The team broke its own 24-hour sailing record by covering 752 miles in one day at an average speed of 31.3 knots. With less than 750 miles to go, the catamaran is on pace to set the transatlantic record, despite speed restrictions imposed as a result of a newly damaged rudder. For the latest updates on Orange II's record attempt, click here , France Bleu Wins Commodore's Cup Against all odds, Gery Trentesaux's France Bleu came from behind to win the Rolex Commodores' Cup 2006, beating twelve other nation teams in the process, including three powerful ones from Ireland. Ireland Green had been on top since the beginning of the week but was pipped at the post for the second consecutive time. France Bleu had been out of the running for the Rolex Commodores' Cup after Wednesday's coastal race when all three of their boats were disqualified for sailing the wrong course. With the offshore race counting for double points, between them the three boats in France Bleu had to finish a total of nine places ahead of Ireland Green if they were to win-which they did. At the final points tally, France Bleu finished the Rolex Commodores' Cup with 76 points, defeating Ireland Green (98.5 points). For more information about the Rolex Commodore's Cup, click here . New York Yacht Club Hosting Race Week at Newport With some high-profile races now in its hip pocket, Newport, R.I. still has some spectacular sailing to display this month at the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. The one-of-a-kind biennial event, with racing scheduled for July 15-23, splits its racing format, giving the first half of the week over to handicap racing under IRC, PHRF and the NYYC Cruising Rule. The second half is devoted to one-design racing, where four classes--Beneteau First 36.7, J/109, Farr 395 and Farr 40--will vie for their North American Championships, and another--Melges 32--will crown a national champion. An Around-the-Island Race (July 19) splits the two sessions and is scored separately. For more information about the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport, go to www.nyyc.org . Industry News Briefs Estoril, Portugal Wins Bid for ISAF Centenary Celabration On June 29, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and city of Estoril, Portugal signed the agreement for the ISAF Centenary Celebrations to be held September 1-2, 2007. Formed in 1907, ISAF, the world governing body for sailing, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary under the theme 'Sail the World' throughout 2007. Estoril bid to host the celebration against 35 global cities, securing the exclusive rights to host the 'Sail the World Festival' and 'Sailor of the Century Awards'. Estoril is hosting the ISAF festival as the climax of a ten-week summer celebration within the region which involves sailing, other sports events, and cultural festivities. The celebration begins with the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships on June 28, 2007. For more information about ISAF's Centenary Celebration, click here . Safety-at-Sea Seminar Series Kicks Off in Newport Twenty-five junior sailors completed the Storm Trysail Club's Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar in Newport, R.I. on June 28. The one-day program's mission was 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. Guest speakers included Volvo Ocean Race sailors Ken Read of Ericsson Racing Team and Jerry Kirby of Pirates of the Caribbean, who together shared their first-hand stories of offshore racing and safety preparation. For more information about the seminar series, click here .