News Briefs for October 2, 2006

The latest racing and industry news

Racing NewsNorway, New Zealand, and United States Win at Blind Championships Thomas Johannesen capped off his gold medal performance at the IFDS Blind Sailing World Championship with a win on Sunday. The Norwegian skipper won five of 14 races in the regatta's B1 (blind) division. New Zealander Paulien Eitjes won the B2 (visually impaired) division and American J.P. Creignou won the B3 (least visually impaired) division. The five-day event took place at the New York YC in Newport, R.I. For complete results click here. Thompson, Cape Join Forces for Barcelona World Race The latest tag-team duo for the doublehanded Barcelona World Race consists of Alex Thomson, an Englishman who holds the current 24-hour solo monohull speed record, and Andrew Cape, an Australian who has sailed three Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races and served as navigator aboard America's Cup champion Alinghi. The Barcelona World Race, which starts in November 2007, is a non-stop circumnavigation sailed in IMOCA Open 60s. It is the second of three round-the-world yacht races that Thomson will take on in the next three years; the first is the VELUX 5 Oceans, a single-handed circumnavigation starting on October 22; the third is the Vendee Globe, a singlehanded, non-stop, circumnavigation starting in November 2008. Thompson also has a new Open 60 currently under construction, due out in April 2007. For more about Thompon's ambitious ocean racing campaign, click here.Industry NewsLarry Leonard Responds to Quantum SplitLast week, the board of directors of the Quantum Sail Design Group asked that company founder Larry Leonard step down from his role as managing partner. As Quantum president Ed Reynolds explained, "Quite simply, wehave been unable to come up with a way to redefine Larry's role within the company that is acceptable to all parties." The news came as a surprise to Leonard, who founded the company in 1996 and saw it grown into the second largest sailmaker in the world, with more than 60 locations in 22 countries. "I received this surprise news via letter and have been given no plausible cause or explanation for it," said Leonard in a personal statement issued last Thursday. "To add insult to injury, Quantum's new management and majority shareholder have refused to meet with me to discuss their action or my continuing role as a member of the company going forward."Leonard expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support shown him by friends and colleagues, and plans to pursue opportunities elsewhere in the sailing community.Railey Nominated for World Sailor of the YearAfter winning the 2005 Laser Radial World Championships and earning top spots in five other ISAF-graded events in the past year, Paige Railey has been named to the shortlist for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award.The 19-year-old Clearwater, Fla. resident is the only U.S. sailor nominated for the award, the winner of which will be announced November 7 in Helsinki Finland.For more about Railey's nomination, click here.