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Bluewater cruising groups join forces

The Cruising Rally Association, organizers of the annual Caribbean 1500 Rally, and the World Cruising Club, organizers of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, are joining forces to become the largest global organization dedicated to the sport of passage-making.

Steve Black has merged his Caribbean 1500 Rally with the World Cruising Club.

The CRA's signature rally sails from Hampton, Va., to the British Virgin Islands and the WCC sails from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia.

The venture brings together the North American sailing events into the European reach.

"Our combined events will provide more opportunities for cruising sailors wishing to sail offshore in company, while strengthening safety standards and procedures and facilitating the sharing of knowledge and experience among cruisers," says WCC managing director Andrew Bishop. CRA president Steve Black said the joint venture would help ensure the long-term continuation and success of his organization's events.

Junior women duel on Hingham Bay

Shifty winds posed challenges for the 40 teams competing at the U.S. Junior women's double-handed championship during the late June event's final day of racing. It was a gorgeous day on Hingham (Mass.) Bay as the girls battled for the rights to claim the Ida Lewis Trophy.

At the end of the late-June regatta, the Mission Bay Yacht Club team of Kate Rackelly of Carlsbad, Calif. and Colleen Hackett of El Cajon, Calif., prevailed with another impressive showing. The California duo stayed on pace and held their lead by posting a bullet in Race 8. They secured the win by finishing third in Race 9, the final race of the championship. Rackelly and Hackett won by a seven-point margin and tallied 22 points through nine races. During the final seven races of the event, they never finished a race lower than third.

"We really did our homework," says Rakelly. "Before the races, we looked at wind and current to create a plan."

Runners-up, Erin Mullins of East Greenwich, R.I., and Erica Lush of Jamestown, R.I., put up a serious fight over the final two days of the championship. They won Race 9 and finished third in Race 8. The Rhode Islanders didn't finish below third over the final four races of the event. Finishing third was the hard-charging team of Holly Tullo of Staten Island, N.Y., and Haley Fox of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who posted a pair of fourth place finishes on the final day.

LaserPerformance World Open results

Sail Newport brought together 95 competitors for the inaugural LaserPerformance World Open in Newport, R.I., in late June. Another 132 boats took part in a European portion of the regatta at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy in England. The essence of the event was to combine a competitive regatta with fun sailing competition within a family-style atmosphere on a global spectrum.

The event got off to a great start with a steady 8- to 10-knot breeze with five fleets of boats launching. As the sea breeze kicked in, the puffs cranked up to about 14 knots.

The Laser/Sunfish fleets competed on a windward/leeward course and completed seven races. The Bugs competed in a "Fun Race" where their focus was not only to get around the course, but also to accumulate "style points" for such things as doing 360s on a leg of the course, singing and dancing (singing on key did not get you extra points), sailing backwards for 30 seconds and epic capsizes. There was also one sailor who received points for waiving around a fake sword and doing his best Jack Sparrow imitation.

A key part of the LaserPerformance World Open is the fact that there was an identical event taking place in the U.K., hosted by LaserPerformance Europe. At the conclusion of racing in both countries, class winners' results were entered into a scoring matrix, the same one used at Cowes Week, to determine an overall world open winner.

U.S. Laser Radial winner Eliza Richartz came away with the third-place prize, second place went to Ross McFarlane of the U.K. Laser 4.7 class, and the 2010 LaserPerformance world open winner was Nick Valente, winner of the U.S. Sunfish Class.

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue.