Newsbytes: Tuesday 27th January 2015

Vulcan XH558 - The Spirit of Great Britain
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limited edition corgi models gift
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limited edition corgi models gift
Bright early morning sun shines across the upper wings of XH558 on Sunday – picture courtesy of Luke Verona
Over 50 cars and 120 people from the hugely popular online forum PistonHeads arrived at the hangar on Sunday morning to enjoy the first organised meet-up of their 2015 season. This is a popular way that motoring enthusiasts from all over the country can meet, often giving their classic and well cherished cars their first major spin of the year up a motorway to dust off the winter blues. These meetings enable like-minded people to hear their own stories of restoration and engineering prowess and are certainly ones who can fully appreciate the work and commitment that it took to not only restore XH558, but what it takes to keep her in pristine condition. You can see a report and a selection of more photographs on their own website and forum. Do you have a love for cars as well as aircraft? Why not join them?
Do you belong to another interest group, Club or Society that would like to hold a dedicated event based on a visit to see XH558 in Doncaster? Contact our hangar team on 0845 124 7285 to discuss what we can organise for you! Or email: veadmin@vulcantothesky.org
first prize exclusive canada trip
With the winter service in full-swing, we are finding huge demand from supporters for available dates over the coming weeks.
Here are a few tours that have availability in the next 14 days.
Coffee Club meetings - 11am – 4pm Friday 30th January and Friday 6th February Public tours at 1pm on Wednesday 4th February and Saturday 7th February Various Public tours on Monday 9th February Meet Barry Masefield presentation/tour and VIP tours on Tuesday 10th February Public tour at 1pm on Wednesday 11th February
Call our booking office during the week to enquire about the tour and time that best suits you. Call: 0845 124 7285 (it’s a local rate call) Or browse through the online booking calendar to book your tour right now:
latest pledge funds
Our deadline for payments towards the winter service and their respective rewards closes on Saturday, but now we enter the last few days in which you can make a contribution to the reading that will be published in Friday’s newsletter. At present we are just over 93%, so it will be fantastic if we can just push on that little bit more to see in 95% of the pledges being honoured.
If you still have to make your payment and wish to do so online – please complete now. We sent an email earlier in January, with the subject line 'Your pledge for XH558: request for payment’ and you can pay online from that for convenience. If you have a Direct Debit form to return to us – please post off now. If you are unsure of what to pay – then call our PLEDGE TEAM tomorrow on 0845 5046 558 (It’s a local rate call).
Here is how we stand today:
Thank you for all you can do.
autumn bulletin
Shop with all the major online retailers - still save and make a contribution to help XH558 too!
Since we combined with Give as You Live your online shopping has helped raise over £1,300 just by using them as your shopping comparison website and in ordering through their portal. Save on just about any item, be it clothing, electrical items, home furnishings, or the very latest in computers and home entertainment. The higher the ticket price, the greater the savings you can make and the greater share of the supplier’s commission that comes directly to us.
upcoming hangar dates
Design your own label or personalise a message directly onto a variety of items.
With a really easy to use online system, now you can design and send a personalised bottle of wine, selected spirits or Cava and a whole host of other selected gift items to your relatives and friends. We have teamed up with GiftsOnline4u to offer customisation and a direct delivery service in quality packaging to give that person a gift that is something very special. Their unique range of Vulcan to the Sky Gifts include personalised wine, champagne, spirits and personalised mugs, as well as engraved alcohol gifts, such as engraved wine, engraved champagne, engraved vodka and whisky bottles with an outline of the Vulcan, as well as your own custom message engraved onto the front of your chosen bottle. 20% of net proceeds from your purchase, less postage and packaging will support Vulcan XH558.
two special xh558 milestones
  • Update from the hangar, with the very latest news on the winter service.
  • Another fascinating story in our Cold War series of recollections.
  • The latest news on any more confirmed displays for 2015.
Vulcan Merchandise
new year sale
We continue to discount over 200 lines in our web store as we clear the shelves ready for the exciting new lines we will introduce this summer. Bag yourself a bargain now or treat that special relative or friend to something they will appreciate.
LAST FEW EVER OF THESE TIME SENSITIVE ITEMS TO CLEAR
Cold War Season 2014 Mousemat
Best of British Aircraft (4 DVD) Collection
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Special Edition 'Cold War Season Tour' Mug
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Photographic A5 Desk Diary
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2015 Desk Diary
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KEEP WARM & COSY WITH XH558 THIS WINTER
Camo profile & Vulcan XH558 - (Navy) Baseball Cap
Best of British Aircraft (4 DVD) Collection
WAS £10.00 NOW £8.00
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Camo profile & Vulcan XH558 - (Black) Baseball Cap
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'Spirit of Great Britain' Fleece
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Soft Shell Jacket - 'Spirit of Great Britain'
restoration dvd collection
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SPEND A NIGHT IN WITH THESE GREAT TITLES
The Avro Vulcan
Best of British Aircraft (4 DVD) Collection
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Vulcan Uncut DVD
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Vulcan - Cockpit DVD
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The Vulcan Effect
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Jan AYGP News – Half way mark in the 2014-15 AYGP Season

January 2015 - AsianYachting Grand Prix NewsGoto 2014-15 AYGP Microsite 2014/2015 AYGP Skipper & Yacht of the Year

Half way mark in the 2014-15 AYGP Season... By AY MultiMedia Goto 2014-15 AYGP microaite January 28th: The completion of the Royal Langkawi Int Regatta (Goto Photo Gallery) brings us to the half way point of the 2014-15 AYGP Season and although many skippers have already laid down their marker, there is still a long way to go. Paul Winkelmann's HH42 Island Fling, has competed on all six events this season and leads the race for the 2014-15 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards. Defending champion, Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 is rapidly closing in on them and after the RLIR is within 10 points of the leader. Having only contested four events, Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 has room for improvement, while under the "Best 6 Results to Count" system, Island Fling can only increase by increments that are better than the present regatta results on the AYGP Pointscore.

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Goto AYGP Skipper RankingsNick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Sydney GTS43 EFG Bank Mandrake hold onto 4th place and an improved performance by the Tilden/Sorensen/Ketelbey/Brown Beneteau 44.7 Fujin climbs up into 6th place. Scoring the perfect 10 out of 10 race wins, the Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey's TP52 Oi! rapidly advance up into 7th in the rankings. Alan Carwardine is 5th in the Skippers ranking and his Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane holds onto 3rd place in the Yacht Ranking but they will have to compete in more events if they want to be the first multihull to win the AYGP title.

Goto AYGP Yacht  RankingsBy winning the Cruising Class at both the Raja Muda and Royal Langkawi Regatta's, Phil Auger's Davidson 35 Sophia takes over 8th place and after competing on only two events is the highest ranked cruising yacht this season.

The action continues with the Neptune Regatta (February 15th - 21st) to wrap up proceedings on the Western Circuit. Then its over to the Philippines for the Subic Boracay Race & Boracay Cup (Feb 27th - March 6th), San Fernando Race (Starts April 1st) and the Commodore's Cup (April 7th - 11th) to complete the Eastern Circuit.

Goto RLIR Photo GalleryLeading into the Gulf of Thailand for the Top of the Gulf Regatta (April 30th - May 4th) and the season ending Samui Regatta (May 23 - 30th) for the gala presentation ceremony at the Centara Grand Beach Resort.

For charter boats, crewing positions, accommodation, Notice of Race and more information, better get clicking if your intending to participate on any of these five star events

Check out the Royal Langkawi Int Regatta Photo Gallery King's Cup Photo Gallery 25th Raja Muda Selangor Int. Regatta Photo Gallery For other regattas going back to 2004, goto the AY Photo Library

Goto RLIR Photo GalleryThe complete 2014-15 AYGP Rankings, can be viewed by Skipper - Yacht - Regatta - Race Dates and Scoring System. Also on the top/right corner, you can scroll back the past seasons results during the all inclusive scoring era.

Goto past 2014-15 AYGP News - Click on July - October - End of October - November - December

Also the AYGP Sponsorship Entitlements and Rights are on offer Here...

All the 2014-15 AY News, Views and Race Reports can be accessed Here...

 

Irving gets AOPS build contract; Schettino: I won’t run away

IrvinAOP

Irving gets AOPS build contract, is surface combatant prime
January 27, 2015—As expected, Diane Finley, Canada's Minister of Public Works and Government Services, along with Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, visited Halifax Shipyards to officially announce the awarding of the build contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. for the construction of six Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). This contract, valued at $2.3 billion, marks the start of the construction phase under the NSPS.

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Industry News
Bollinger Shipyards announces key promotion
Bollinger Shipyards has promoted Chris Remont to Vice President and General Manager of its Lockport New Construction division (BLN).

Schettino: I won't run away
In closing arguments yesterday, prosecutor Stefano Pizza said Schettino combines two definitions found in legal doctrine: that of an "able idiot" or someone who "thinks he's capable but provokes a dangerous situation and causes damage" and an "incautious optimist" — someone who "optimistically overestimates his abilities."

Cruise giant Carnival in MOU with China Merchants
CMG and Carnival Corporation are collaborating as strategic partners to develop the infrastructure required to help accelerate growth in the cruise industry, which is one of the key emerging industries that could help fuel China's overall maritime economy.
Italian operator orders Damen ASD 2810 for Ancona
CORIMA, the Ancona unit of Italy's Gesmar Group, has ordered a 60 ton bollard pull ASD 2810 tug from Damen Shipyards Group.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella – Day 2 Highlights

worldsailing

28 January 2015
Issued on behalf of ISAF Sailing World Cup
If the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella.

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The second day offered a steady diet of breeze in the teens, the allure of a sun-drenched Biscayne Bay, and the kinetic beauty of boats in ten Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes being put to their best and highest purpose.

We're still early in a regatta scheduled for six days of racing, including a Medal Race on Saturday for top-ten qualifiers. At stake are qualifying points and slots for the finale of the six-event international series that has become the proving ground of the would-be Olympic sailor.

The finale will take place in Abu Dhabi U.A.E. late in 2015, and after that – After that, an athlete is either ready for Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games, or not.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 2 Highlights Part 1
Focus on the Men's RS:X and Nacra 17 at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella.
URL - http://youtu.be/XcSGiBHr8MY
Embed - <iframe width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XcSGiBHr8MY"></iframe><br />

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 2 Highlights Part 2
Focus on the Women's 470 and Laser at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella.
URL - http://youtu.be/2qr8r2a9uh8
Embed - <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2qr8r2a9uh8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

ISOC raises awareness of Digital Footprint

cyberwarfare

Technical Outreach for Identity and Privacy

Every January 28th for close to a decade, 27 countries in Europe and the U.S. and Canada have recognized Data Protection Day and Data Privacy Day, respectively, to raise awareness about the importance of protecting personal information online. And while the issue has recently become more heated—prompting U.S. President Obama’s call for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights—a new global study shows that most Internet users “still don’t feel they are completely aware of the information that’s being collected about them.”

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The results of the study, conducted by Microsoft through more than 12,000 online interviews across 12 countries, are shocking given it’s been almost 10 years since the first Data Privacy Day. Then again, different kinds of personal data are collected in different ways across different websites, applications and devices, making it extremely difficult for consumers to understand what data is collected, where, and by whom. Did you know, for instance, that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ track your visits to any website with a ‘Like’, ‘Tweet’ or ‘+1’ button whether or not you click that button? Further complicating things: how this data is used is just as varied, and every day businesses are finding new ways to use it. Find out more about data collection.

 

We thought it would be useful to mark Data Privacy Day 2015 by reviewing some basic facts about where and how data is collected, what data is collected, how it is being used today, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Basic Fact #1: Data is collected about you every time you visit a website, shop online, engage in social sharing, enable location services and send digital messages and email.

Basic Fact #2: The information collected on you can be broken up into two categories: 1) data you provide by consenting when you register with a website; and 2) data that is taken without your explicit knowledge or consent from your computer and browsing history. The former can include name, address, email, phone number, and more. If you’re on Facebook, for instance, you may have registered marital and employment status (and even the name of your employer). The latter can include anything from your IP address and general geography to insights into your age, gender, income, hobbies, health status and financial situation, by way of your browsing and purchase history.

Basic Fact #3: Websites that collect information about you need some way to tell if you’re the same person visiting multiple times. To link the information you leave on each successive visit, the website might set a ‘cookie’—a small text file in your browser. A ‘cookie’ is a kind of memo to itself that the website can retrieve and read when you visit again. Cookies are also created by other websites running ads, widgets and other features on a page, which means that visiting one website can result in cookies being set by companies you weren’t even aware you were ‘visiting.’

Basic Fact #4: Cookies are good and bad. Because they ‘remember’ you, they can customize a site to your information and preferences, helping you navigate it more quickly, easily and safely. They are the reason a website can recall your user name and password, and save shopping cart items even if you’re not logged in. They also make it possible for you to shop securely online by authenticating your identity throughout the purchase process. But because they can also track your online movements, and the information you input into online forms, they can link information about you without your awareness or consent.

Basic Fact #5: The information being taken from you may not seem like much, but companies are increasingly stringing these seemingly disparate pieces of data together to get a bigger, more complete picture of you, and using it to make inferences about your behavior, including your habits, preferences, values, aspirations and intentions. What’s more, while we may believe this data doesn’t personally identify us, research from as far back as 2008 shows that supposedly anonymous data isn’t necessarily hard to re-identify.

Basic Fact #6: Inferences about you based on your personal data can have significant implications that you may have never considered. While these can vary, for average consumers the threat of financial implications is particularly high. According to one study, you may pay more than others when shopping online based on your web browsing history or the kind of smartphone you own. Some consumers have seen their credit limits reduced by their credit card companies because they shopped at stores frequented by cardholders who don’t have good repayment histories. From there, it’s not inconceivable to think insurance companies might eventually string your data together to determine if you’re insurable (and what kind of premium you should be charged based on your perceived risk) and credit card companies could use it to determine your creditworthiness (and charge you higher interest).

So, if you’re starting to feel alarmed, what can you do to control too much of your data falling into the wrong hands? Again, the basics:

? ‘Fracture’ your digital identity. Strategically use different email addresses, browsers, credit cards, and maybe even devices, for different web activities (like personal, work and online shopping) to make it more difficult to collect one cohesive data set about you.

? Proactively check privacy settings. Browsers, devices and apps are often set to share your personal data out of the box. Find and review default settings and see if you’re comfortable with them. A quick search for “default settings” and a specific type of browser or device will yield information about that system’s settings and how to find and change them.

? Regularly and actively review your browser’s cookies. You may be shocked by how many cookies have been set on your browser by sites you weren’t aware of visiting. See if your browser lets you block third-party cookies. If not, there are plug-ins you can use. Visit whatismybrowser.org to find out what browser you’re using, and to see if cookies are enabled and your ‘Do Not Track’ capability is on. This site tells youhow to find cookies for four browsers. If yours isn’t on this list, after you find out what browser you’re using, do an online search for that browser and “how to find cookies.” Then, you can opt for browser privacy settings such as ‘Do Not Track’ and ‘Private’ browsing to protect against default cookies.

? Read the fine print. Know the privacy policies of the devices, websites, social sharing services and applications you use. Find out what permissions apply to the content you upload and how it can be used.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-click answer to controlling your personal data. It requires persistent education, consistent engagement and ongoing management. But there are many online privacy tools that can help make it easier, and allow you to keep track of the information you’re sharing as you surf. Plug-ins like SSL Everywhere encrypt your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure, whileGhostery blocks tracking software.

 

The key thing is, regardless of what tools you use, be willing to adjust your online habits. Sure, it's a little inconvenient having to lock your house or car every time you leave it, but it's better than being robbed. Your personal data is valuable: it's worth giving up a little convenience to protect it.

One of our lifeboats comes back to its Crew

Atlantic in front of temporary station

Atlantic in front of marine lake

The Volunteer lifeboat crew at Weston-super-Mare have been limited in the use of their larger lifeboat, the Atlantic 75, for over a year.

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Until November 2013 the RNLI crew at Weston-super-Mare operated off Birnbeck island with two lifeboats and were the busiest lifeboat station on the English side of the Bristol Channel. The shallow waters, the extensive mud and the vicious tides of the Bristol Channel ensured that the type of lifeboats in use were Inshore Lifeboats.

One was the D Class boat, the Anna Stock. A small rubber boat which does not give the impression of great power but is in fact the workhorse of the RNLI. Over 60% of all the rescues and 6o% of the lives saved are by the RNLI crews using the D Class. It is a state of the art, extremely robust, rescue craft. However it does have some limitations. It cannot do major towing, it is not suitable for very heavy weather and it only carries a relatively small crew.

The other lifeboat on Birnbeck Island was an Atlantic 75, the Coventry and Warwickshire. These Atlantic 75s and their 85 cousins are the fastest off shore lifeboats in the RNLI fleet. Able to travel at over 32 knots, to tow heavy loads and to cope with all but the most extreme weather these boats also act to support the smaller D Class, an essential requirement in the unpredictable waters around Weston.

In November 2013 the Pier by which the Weston RNLI volunteers accessed Birnbeck Island became so dangerous than it was no longer possible operate normally from the boathouse there. In a short period of time a temporary station was built on the land by the harbour at Knightstone. This had to be small as it was on the main promenade of this tourist town. Thus it could only house the smaller D Class lifeboat. For some time the crew could go back on the Island to launch the Atlantic if necessary. However the Pier deteriorated more and the buildings on the Island were also crumbling. Soon it was very difficult to get to the Atlantic and its use for training and operations almost ceased.

Not only did this mean Weston station could not do as many emergency calls as it was used to but the crew could no longer train Such training is vital for them to maintain the extensive skills they have developed to save lives at sea. It also meant that the morale of the crew, who as volunteers give up their time to do what they do to help people and make a difference, suffered as they only had the one lifeboat to use.

Birnbeck Island has now been sold and the RNLI does not see any further involvement with it. Recently they have begun to clear all the RNLI equipment from the Island. This has included bringing the Atlantic over to the mainland and, thanks to the support of the local Council, she is now housed next to the temporary station on Knightstone. She will be used for training and when appropriate for operations. The morale of the crew has shot up and Weston-super-Mare RNL lifeboat station is now back to full complement.

CHARLIE CONROY 4

Charlotte Conroy, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Weston-super-Mare RNLI station says; It is great that we now have both our lifeboats back with us. The morale of the crew has gone up significantly. Having our largest lifeboat on the Island, with all the difficulties accessing it has been depressing. Now we can get on with our training on both lifeboats in all weathers and continuing to provide a round the clock life saving service.’

RNLI rescue figures reveal a busy 2014 for Hampshire and Isle of Wight volunteer lifeboat crew

RNLI Portsmouth Stock Photo

Lifeboat crews along the coast of Hampshire and around the Isle of Wight were kept busy in 2014, according to figures released by the RNLI charity today (28 January).

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Collectively, crew from the seven lifeboat stations* in the area launched on 388 rescue missions last year, to attend a wide range of incidents including commercial vessels in trouble, distressed fishermen, swimmers, and leisure marine users.

Overall the crews rescued 580 people. Of these, they gave first aid to a total of 33 people, and 18 of those rescued were classed as “lives saved” – a specific RNLI criteria where a person would have most likely died if not for the RNLI rescuing them.

The busiest lifeboat station in the county was Portsmouth, its crew launching 90 times and rescuing 80 people.

The figures also show that more than a third (133) of the lifeboat launches were after nightfall – when many people are safely at home, in the pub or driving their cars, our volunteer crews launch into the unknown to assist those in distress.

Richard Weeks, Divisional Operations Manager for the RNLI, said: ‘Yet again our volunteers have had a very busy 12 months. 2014 was the warmest year on record for the UK, but conversely the winter storms of January and February brought damaging winds and inland and coastal flooding. The former may well have enticed more people on to our beaches and into the water, while the latter no doubt made conditions worse for anyone on or near the sea.’

Richard praised the hundreds of people who carry their pager, downing tools and dropping everything to respond to the call for help day or night, come rain or shine: ‘Our volunteer crews are the lifeblood of the RNLI, given the commitment they make. Our message is that we will always launch to assist people in distress, but we are also increasingly encouraging people to be mindful of the potential dangers associated with the sea.’

2014 saw the RNLI run its national Respect the Water campaign, which aims to reduce the number of coastal drownings. In addition, the year saw the charity’s Coastal Incident Reduction teams grow in size and scope, which seeks to educate and inform members of the public, and prevent them getting into difficulty in the first place.

The lifeboat launch statistics show once again how vital the RNLI is, highlighting the need for donations and contributions from the public.

Among the notable rescues and RNLI news around the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were:

Cowes RNLI was among several rescue services that went to assist a man who had been injured onboard a yacht in near-gale force winds in the Solent. Sadly the man was fatally injured. Read the full story here

The crews of Bembridge and Yarmouth battled high winds and large seas in complete darkness in October to help search for a lone sailor stranded in the Solent. Read the full story here

Lymington RNLI lifeboat assisted a man who was marooned after his yacht’s engine failed. He attempted to get to shore in a small oar-powered tender but was in difficulty after both oars snapped. Read the full story here

Calshot RNLI had a challenging rescue when they were called out after a man was seen in the Itchen River – the man was recovered but sadly he later died in hospital. Read the full story here

Portsmouth lifeboat crew launched to the crew of a yacht that made a Pan Pan emergency call after the mainstay snapped, leaving them in a precarious position. Read the full story here

Hayling Island volunteers launched after two men in a wooden dinghy capsized and radioed a Mayday call. Read the full story here


Richard Weeks continued: ‘With our lifeboats, lifeguards and safety messaging, the RNLI provides a ring of safety from the beach right out to the open seas. However, the training and equipment needed to do this costs money, so we are hugely grateful to everyone who supports in whatever way they can.’

Shifts, Pressure And Finding Rhythm

worldsailing

28 January 2015
Issued on behalf of ISAF Sailing World Cup

If the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella.

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The second day offered a steady diet of breeze in the teens, the allure of a sun-drenched Biscayne Bay, and the kinetic beauty of boats in ten Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes being put to their best and highest purpose.

We're still early in a regatta scheduled for six days of racing, including a Medal Race on Saturday for top-ten qualifiers. At stake are qualifying points and slots for the finale of the six-event international series that has become the proving ground of the would-be Olympic sailor.

The finale will take place in Abu Dhabi U.A.E. late in 2015, and after that – After that, an athlete is either ready for Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games, or not.

Nacra 17

In their first trip to Miami, Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) have brought their game faces.

The masters of control in the opening day’s big breeze backed up their bright start with a 1-2-7 to solidify their position at the top of the fleet.

Their secret in Monday’s madness, “Our advantage was to have a much taller and bigger crew on the wire as it was single trapezing,” explained Jones. “That was our advantage downwind but we sailed well upwind as well.”

With Jones at the helm and the 6’1” Saunders in front of her, it proved to be a winning formula as she continued, “Yesterday we had pretty good speed, we didn’t have good starts but we took some pretty huge shifts upwind and that put us in a pretty good position round the top mark and then chipped away for the rest of the racing.”

The Kiwis have always been in the top group at Nacra 17 competitions but are yet to back it up with a podium finish. Whilst that may be in the back of their mind, with nine fleet races remaining ahead of Saturday’s Medal Race the Kiwis will be sticking to their usual pre-sail routine for Wednesday’s trio of races, “We’ll just start again, get a nice sleep in, cruise on down, check the boat is good and then launch an hour before racing. It’s a really high level fleet and the racing is really good.”

The day’s other race wins went the way of Renee Groeneveld and Steven Krol (NED) who are 11th overall and Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) who are seven points off the Kiwi leaders.

Laser Radial

With first starts in the afternoon, in decreasing winds, the two divisions of women sailing Laser Radials "hoped to get in three races," said Ireland's Annalise Murphy, "but we just ran out of time."

Long shadows were spreading over the boat park at the Olympic Training Site as Murphy de-rigged. She described the day's competition as, "Pretty difficult. Winds 5 to 15 and really shifty. We saw some 60-degree shifts, and that is rather stressful racing. If you're leading, you can easily drop a lot of the fleet. If you're behind, the lottery just might go your way."

Murphy at 2-2-(5)-3 is presently second in the standings to Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom, 3-(5)-1-1. Belgium's Evi Van Acker is third with scores of (7)-3-3-5. There are 79 Laser Radials, broken into two divisions.

"On a tricky day," Murphy said, it feels good to get consistent, high finishes. A sixth and a fourth today qualify, and the fact is, the breeze is tricky but slightly predictable. If it goes hard left, it's most likely to go back hard right. The question, is how long do you wait? "The thing is to go up the middle and don't get locked out on either side."

Laser

Brazil's five-time Olympic medalist, Robert Scheidt, owned the course today along with Aussie Matthew Wearn. Sailing in separate divisions of the 107-boat fleet, each won a race.
After five races, Scheidt leads the standings with scores of 2-(4)-2-3-1. Wearn looks good to go the distance at (7)-7-1-1-2 and, being a Western Australian in his twenties, he naturally has a nickname. Try Wearn Dog.

Nick Thompson of Great Britain likewise looks good at 6-4-2-(10)-1, and behind Thompson comes Jean Baptiste-Bernaz, who has burned his throw-out with 37 points in race five.

49erFX

New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech were left somewhat disappointed as they returned ashore after four 49erFX races with a handy advantage at the top of the leader board.

For many a 2-2-5-9 scoreline would be a day of work well done. But for the Maloney, the ninth, which they discard, left her visibly frustrated, “We had a good downwind, gybing in pressure,” explained Maloney, “but I probably took it a little bit too far and gybed a bit too many times near the finish and we lost a few boats.

“It was a tricky out there, a head out of the boat type of day. We’ll learn from the mistakes we made today. Hopefully we’ll improve on that but all in all it was a pretty consistent day.”

The day prior the Kiwis were one of eight boats to complete the single 49erFX race in the big Miami breeze. With their nearest rivals counting hefty scores, the Kiwis are the only team with single digit scores and subsequently lead Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) by 17 points.

That in mind, they’re still striving for me, “Tomorrow we are going to improve our starts by getting a good lane. If we do that, our results will improve,” concluded Maloney.

The day’s victories were spread four ways. Third placed Leonie Meyer and Elena Christine Stoffers (GER) claimed the opening win with Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR), Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) and Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) all claiming bullets.

49er

Consistency is king in sailing and after two days of racing, Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) are a fine example of that statement.

From six races they hold a trio of race wins, a pair of twos and a discarded eighth. Their score of seven points leaves them 14 clear of David Gilmour and Rhys Mara (AUS).

With six races down, 49er qualification is done and dusted. The top 29 teams now advance to gold fleet racing where the competition and fight for points will heat up.

Botin and Lopez’s advantage is a healthy one but as shown at the 2014 editions of World Cup Mallorca and Hyères, Botin struggles when it comes down to gold fleet racing. Only time will tell.

At the cut of mark Julien d’Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA), Yago Lange and Nicolas Aragones (ARG) and Canada’s Michael Brodeur and Daniel Inkpen all sneaked in to the gold fleet by a narrow two points.

Men’s RS:X

After the conclusion of the six race qualification series, there is very little separating the top Men’s RS:X sailors.

France’s Louis Giard holds on to his overnight lead but with three days of gold fleet racing ahead of him, he will be under no false pretences that the work is done. Eleven points split places first to eighth with Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED), defending Miami Champion Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) and Nick Dempsey (GBR) breathing down Giard’s neck.

One of the biggest smiles of the day on the race course came from youngster Mattia Camboni (ITA). The 2013 RS:X Youth World Champion put in a hard fought performance in the fifth race of the yellow fleet. Working his sail hard on the run to the finish the Italian stormed to the race victory ahead of Ricardo Santos (BRA) and Nimrod Mashich (GBR).

Women’s RS:X

Defending Miami Champion Bryony Shaw (GBR) showcased her skillset once again in the Miami sun, advancing to top spot following three top results. A fourth, a bullet and a fifth give her a one point advantage over Russia’s Olga Maslivets and a two point advantage over Lilian de Geus (NED).

The leading trio shared the race wins between them but it’s Shaw’s consistency that ultimately sees her top the billing.

Finn

Giles Scott stumbled all the way to fifth in race four, but that did not alter the Finn class story line. Britain's gold medal hope, who has not lost a regatta in eighteen months, now has scores of 1-1-1-(5) and a lead of three points over Australian Jake Lilley—and Lilley has already used his throw-out.

Having come in as the obvious favourite, Scott is inevitably in the spotlight. But he's a realist. "People ask me about my form," he says. "It was great to go last year unbeaten, but, ultimately is kind of means nothing."

Not when, really, it's all about Rio, 2016.

The World Junior Champion is also faring well in his first year in senior competition. Anders Pedersen of Norway is fourth overall after a 4-9 day. He said, “Today’s racing was tough. It was very shifty and up and down in pressure. The first race for me was good. I had a good start and got the flow. The second was difficult. I lost the wind half way up the first beat, and got knocked out of rhythm. The rest of the race was a struggle to hang onto the fleet.”

As for the shift from Junior to a Senior, “The perspective hasn’t changed that much, really. My goal is to do well in the Olympics. It’s good to feel that I am fighting with ‘the big guys.’ ”

At 2-3-(26)-1, Lilley is, yes, three points out of first, but those are a big three points, and another bad race would really hurt. Great Britain's Ed Wright has been consistent at 3-(7)-6-6, but this is a unique fleet where, for the last 18 months, consistent high place finishes have not been enough.

Forty boats. It's lonely at the top.

Women's 470

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie came to Miami as favorites, and so far, they're living the role. You have to love a pair who meld into Team Jolly. 420 class world champions and gold medalists for New Zealand in the 470 at the London Games in 2012, they are "on track for Rio" as either of them will tell you.

After two days in a fleet of 29, Team Jolly is sitting on scores of 2-2-1-(7) and a three-point lead over Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntire, also GBR, are another seven points back in a tight grouping with boats from Russia, Japan and Slovenia.

Mills and Clark are a case in point of what it takes to compete at this level, beyond the relentless physical training and hours and days and weeks in the boat. Mills has it that, "I would guess almost a fourth of our time is spent making up ropes, preparing and polishing the boat before any big regatta. And it's not just our boat that needs the love. We make sure we have a spares bag made up with almost anything we can think of that we would be able to change or fix on the water, just in case. If we didn't have spares on the water in the coach boat, we would have to go ashore to sort out problems. And miss races."

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, that wouldn't do.

Men's 470

Panagiotis Mantis and crew Pavlos Kaglias of Greece lead the Men's 470 standings, but the banana peel under their heel takes the form of a throw-out used in the opening race. They look good on scores of (25)-4-1-1 but cannot afford another bad result.

Two hungry teams are only one and two points back, respectively, and they could better afford a bad race in the coming days. Britain's Luke Patience and Elliot Willis wrapped Tuesday with scores of 1-2-(5)-4 followed by Australian's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan at 5-1-2-(12). Behind them, it's an eight-point jump to fourth.

And why don't they ever get the crew's perspective?

They do. Roger Hudson would probably rather have had his talking moment on Monday, when he and his skipper, Jim "Squirrel" Asenathi, placed 4th and 6th – and it was Asenathi's birthday. Two 13ths on Tuesday pulled the South African sailors down to 10th overall, but the experience jelled in Hudson's analysis of the racecourse.

"The defining thing," he said, "is that even though it's breezy, it's really on and off, with a lot of pressure differences. It's quite light in patches, and the wind comes through in big blocks. There are huge gains to be made, and lots of position shifting. It's like sailing in Greece, with the wind coming off the land, broken up by land features, and that's maybe why the Greek guy won two races today."

Racing is scheduled to commence at 10:00 local time on Wednesday 28 January as the regatta nears the midway point.

Sounding Rockets Launch Into an Aurora

larsoncollinscomposite jla 2

The interaction of solar winds and Earth’s atmosphere produces northern lights, or auroras, that dance across the night sky and mesmerize the casual observer. However, to scientists this interaction is more than a light display. It produces many questions about the role it plays in Earth’s meteorological processes and the impact on the planet’s atmosphere.

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To help answer some of these questions, NASA suborbital sounding rockets carrying university-developed experiments -- the Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere Turbulence Experiment (M-TeX) and Mesospheric Inversion-layer Stratified Turbulence (MIST) -- were launched into auroras from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska. The experiments explore the Earth’s atmosphere’s response to auroral, radiation belt and solar energetic particles and associated effects on nitric oxide and ozone.

This composite shot of all four sounding rockets for the M-TeX and MIST experiments is made up of 30 second exposures. The rocket salvo began at 4:13 a.m. EST, Jan. 26, 2015. A fifth rocket carrying the Auroral Spatial Structures Probe remains ready on the launch pad. The launch window for this experiment runs through Jan. 27.

Image Credit: NASA/Jamie Adkins

IXV into position

IXV installed on its payload adapter fullwidth

ESA’s unmanned spaceplane, IXV, was lifted onto the payload adapter on 26 January 2015 at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The adapter will be used to fix IXV to the Vega rocket.

The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle will be launched into a suborbital trajectory and return to Earth as though from a low-orbit mission. For the first time, it will test and qualify European critical reentry technologies in hypersonic flight, descend by parachute and land in the Pacific Ocean to await recovery and analysis.

For more about IXV visit: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/IXV

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