Small stuff

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US Sailing has a new leader

Charles Leighton of Middletown, R.I., is the new executive director of US Sailing. He has extensive experience in both sailing and corporate management.

Leighton, who races his Hinckley 42 Competition named Whitecap, has competed in several national championships, the U.S. Olympic team trials as well as the U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship. His offshore competition includes the Marblehead to Halifax race.

Leighton was chairman and CEO of the CML Group, a company that specialized in retail and direct marketing. He is also a director of MetLife and a trustee of the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an honorary law degree from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a member of the faculty and later president of the alumni council.

Leighton succeeds Nick Craw who left after three years at the helm of US Sailing to take over the presidency of the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States.

New Transpac design from Farr Yacht

Farr Yacht Design has developed two new third-generation Transpac 52 designs to compete in both the European and U.S. competitions, starting with the 2005 summer season.

With commissions from a number of clients, Farr says it was able to significantly expand its research work, based on work originally conducted for the Farr-designed yachts Beau Geste, Esmeralda, Bright Star and Sjambok.

According to Farr, “Bow entry shapes were developed recognizing the need for upwind performance in sometimes bumpy conditions while at the same time using the full length available in the ‘box.’ ” The new designs are intended to perform in the wide range of conditions prevalent in the Mediterranean, including a moderate beam for light winds.

Former Around Alone to start in Spain

The Spanish City of Bilbao will host the start and finish of the 5-Oceans Race 2006-’07 singlehanded, two-stop round-the-world race. The race (formerly called Around Alone) will start from the Puerto Deportivo el Abra Getxo, at the mouth of Bilbao’s river, Nov. 5, 2006, and finish there the following spring.

The 5-Oceans Race has already announced a significant investment of $500,000 from the Government of Western Australia for Fremantle to host the event’s first stopover. The agreements with Bilbao and Fremantle will include building race villages for competitors and spectators, race management and marina facilities, free accommodation for each skipper and up to four shore crew, and of course, the customary local hospitality for competitors, race partners, the media and sponsors.

A host port on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States will be announced. The event will be raced in the Grand Prix IMOCA Open 60 Open 50. www.5-oceans.com

Get ‘cruise-ready’ with the Colgates

Sailing school gurus Steve and Doris Colgate have penned a new book to help novice sailors become “cruise-ready” in a week.

The paperback book, “Fast Track to Cruising” (International Marine, 2004, $22.95), compiles key points covered in the Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School’s Learn to Sail and Live Aboard Cruising courses.

Steve Colgate, who has participated in two America’s Cup trials, 17 Newport to Bermuda races, seven Fastnet races and the Olympics, founded Offshore Sailing School in 1964. Doris Colgate is the president and CEO of Offshore, and is founder of the National Women’s Sailing Association.