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Sailing - Mid-Atlantic

New Web site for 470 class

The 470 Class, the Olympic equipment of choice for the men's and women's two person dinghy events, launched a new Web site.

With a focus on presenting the 470 sailors, the new version of is the first stage of implementation of the new Web site.

External media, such as video, social networks and photos are integrated into the site to give a cohesive experience for the user and avoid jumping between different Web platforms.

Isler surges to Heineken Regatta victory

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta attracted some of the world's most talented sailors including the likes of America's Cup legends Peter Isler, Peter Holmberg, Gavin Brady, around-the-world sailors Kenny Read, Wouter Verbraak, Olympic/America's Cup skipper Andy Beadsworth, and Dutch Olympic silver medalist Margriet Matthijsse.

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta attracts some of the world's most talented sailors.

In the three-horse battle between Titan, Highland Fling and Rambler, it was Titan that benefited from a strange twist of misfortune when she blew out her A5 spinnaker. With no option other than to hoist a slightly flatter A3, it proved to be the perfect choice of sail when the wind shifted round to a tighter angle. Reveling in the 20-knot squalls and sailing right on the edge, Peter Isler tactfully gave Titan the opportunity to really show her true colors and, in a fine demonstration of downwind sailing, stormed past Highland Fling and Rambler at blistering speed, not only taking line honors, but also an impressive first overall in class. For information, visit

Victories at the 2010 Miami Grand Prix

The 2010 Miami Grand Prix will always remain memorable for the owners and crewmembers of Teasing Machine and Flash Gordon. That's because both boats registered signature victories at the annual four-day regatta, organized by Premiere Racing.

Skipper Jean-Francois Cruette and his crew on Teasing Machine displayed tremendous consistency to capture the Melges 32 championship. It was the French team's first regatta title since joining the popular sportboat class a year ago.

Owner Helmut Jahn and the boys on Flash Gordon also made a bit of a breakthrough by capturing the Farr 40 class by a mere point over the Italian entry Nerone. It marked the first victory in an international regatta for the Chicago-based syndicate, which previously won the Farr 40 North American championship that had no foreign entries.

"This is by far the biggest win we've had in this class," Jahn says. "It is a very important step in the right direction for our program."

Several members of the Flash Gordon team, notably jib-spinnaker trimmer Dave Gerber and coach Ed Adams, have been with Jahn for nearly two decades. San Diego-based professional Bill Hardesty came aboard as tactician two years ago and has helped elevate the crew performance, evidenced by the fact Flash's only two Farr 40 victories have come in the last six months.

A familiar name but a class newcomer was runner-up in the Melges 32 fleet. John Porter, who has crewed for his brother Brian on the family's Melges 24, steered Full Throttle to a pair of bullets and five other Top 5 finishes in totaling 50 points - four more than Teasing Machine.

Seattle-based professional Jonathan McKee called tactics for Porter, who took delivery of his brand new boat a few weeks ago. Two other renowned pros - Federico Michetti of Melges Boatworks Europe and Andy Burdick - served as jib trimmer and strategist.

Star, skippered by Jeff Ecklund with pros Jeff Madrigali and Harry Melges in the afterguard, also scored 50 points, but lost the tiebreaker to Full Throttle. Ecklund, a resident of Fort Lauderdale, says the 2010 Miami Grand Prix may have set a new standard for competition in the Melges 32.

Crew vies for Jules Verne Trophy

As of press time, Franck Cammas and his crew of nine aboard the Groupama 3 were heading toward Cape Horn in their quest for the Jules Verne Trophy. The goal is a March 23 finish off Ushant for the trimaran attempting to break the 2005 around-the-world record set by Bruno Peyron and his crew.

This is Cammas' third attempt at the prize - and this year with less favorable conditions. Since 1993 when Peyron won the first Jules Verne Trophy, 20 attempts have been made to beat the record and only six have been successful. Peyron's current record time is 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds. The race begins between two lighthouses on the island of Ushant. The race leaves the major capes of the world - Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn - to port with a return to the starting line by crossing it in the opposite direction.

Groupama 3 has covered 750 miles in 24 hours and is hoping to catch the best of the weather to bring them home in their record attempt.

Team Banque Populaire, which also planned to try for the record, was unable to find the proper conditions and has decided to reschedule its crewed handed around-the-world attempt to next fall.

This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters Section of the May 2010 issue.