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Small Stuff - Florida and the South - Soundings Online

Small Stuff - Florida and the South

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Milestone hull to be launched

The Colgate 26 is about to reach its next milestone as hull number 300 is expected to come off the line before summer.

Steve Colgate, as founder of the 43-year-old OffshoreSailingSchool, has tested many sailboats in the 20- to 26-foot range.

“I could not find any production boat that met my requirements for safety, stability, high-performance and maximum comfort when we decided to produce our own training boat in 1997,” Colgate explains.

The Colgate 26 soon became the training boat of choice for the U.S. Naval Academy, which bought 10 in its first year of production and now has a fleet of 30. The CoastGuardAcademy and MaineMaritimeAcademy followed suit, as did several other service institutions.

The Knickerbocker Yacht Club in Port Washington, N.Y., chose the Colgate 26 in 2006 for its annual Knickerbocker Cup, where international teams vie for International Sailing Federation rankings in this sanctioned event. Colgate 26s will be used for the 2007 event to be held Aug. 23 to 26.

Tim Leach, waterfront director of the MaineMaritimeAcademy, has just announced the purchase of more Colgate 26 sailboats to add to their existing fleet of seven.

The Colgate 26 is built by Precision Boat Works in Bradenton, Fla., and sold exclusively by Colgate Management, a partner of OffshoreSailingSchool.

Research, design begins for next Volvo race

Farr Yacht Design has been commissioned to research, design and support two Volvo Open 70s for a Spanish entry in the 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean Race.

The Volvo Ocean Race starts in Alicante, Spain, October 2008, and involves nine months of racing on 11 legs that will take competitors to stopovers in South Africa, Dubai, India, China, Brazil, the United States, Ireland and Europe. This is the first time Farr has elected to work for a single program for the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Spanish entry has acquired an existing Volvo Open 70 and FYD has designed modifications to the boat that will be built and tested over the next few months. Sails, appendages, hull shapes and canting systems are all part of the full-scale testing program. FYD staff members have been sailing on the boat and will be aboard for testing of the modifications to obtain first-hand knowledge to use in their research and design work. www.volvooceanrace.org

Rolex Regatta to offer IRC Division

For the 35th annual running of the International Rolex Regatta in March 2008, St. Thomas Yacht Club will welcome yachts sailing under the IRC rating rule as well as those sailing under the Caribbean Sailing Association rating rule.

The move — a first for the regatta and likely to set the trend for other Caribbean regattas — is intended to make it hassle-free for racing sailboats from the United States and Europe to compete, according to organizers. IRC is the only rule endorsed by the International Sailing Federation as an international rating rule and accepted throughout the world.

The three-day International Rolex Regatta, scheduled for March 28 through 30, is an annual favorite on the Caribbean racing calendar, catering not only to handicap yachts but also to one-design sailboats of at least 24 feet and beach cats.

For information on the regatta, contact Bill Canfield at styc@vipowernet.net or (340) 775-6320. www.rolexcupregatta.com