News Briefs for September 18, 2006

The latest racing and industry news.

Racing NewsBig Boat Sailors Win Big Boy WatchesThe Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by the St. Francis YC in San Francisco, Calif., concluded on Sunday with the Bay Tour, a 15-mile distance race. Later in the day, winning skippers in the regatta's six racing classes received perpetual trophies and Rolex Steel Submariner watches. Jim Gregory's Morpheus edged Robert Youngjohns' Zephyra to win the IRC A class. "This is the first first in the boat's history," said Gregory of his 2001-built Schumacher 50. "We were second last time around and we really thought that Zephyra could not be beaten. I'm going to be celebrating."For complete regatta results, click here.Blind Sailors Convene in Newport The 2006 IFDS Blind Sailing World Championship starts Wednesday in Newport, R.I. In conjunction with Sail Newport, New York YC will host competitors from eight nations sailing in three divisions, B1 (blind), B2 (visually impaired), and B3 (least visually impaired). Regatta rules mandate that only a blind sailor can steer, while the other blind crew trims the sails. Verbal information provided by two sighted guides allows the blind skipper and crew to tactically position the boat as it navigates the race course. This will be the sixth world championship for blind sailors since the 1992 inaugural event in Auckland, New Zealand. To follow the event, click here.A Windy Wrap-Up to I-14 Worlds Having secured victory in the International 14 Worlds after Friday's racing, Howard Hamlin sat out the last day of the regatta while other sailors in the 71-boat fleet spent the day zipping across California's Alamitos Bay in an 18-knot breeze. Refusing to throttle back while others were playing it conservative, 17-year-old Samuel "Shark" Kahn won Saturday's race and finished third in the regatta. Tina Baylis, sailing with her husband, Trevor, as crew, finished second in the race and the regatta. For complete results, click here. Industry NewsAlinghi Winters on Persian GulfAlinghi, defender of the 32nd America's Cup, recently announced plans to move its training program to Dubai for the winter months. According to the syndicate's weather team, meteorological conditions in Dubai most resemble Valencia's summer conditions, making it an ideal location to maintain testing momentum. Skipper/tactician Brad Butterworth explained, "We chose Dubai as, from a sporting perspective, we wanted a place which has sailing conditions comparable to those in Valencia in June. That was our primary criteria. The fact that we couldn't train efficiently in Spain last winter was a weakness…We've taken this decision to help us win the America's Cup again in 2007." Aside from its steady, 8 to 14-knot wintertime breezes, Dubai offers excellent facilities, including the Dubai International Marine Club.For the latest Alinghi news, click here.