Monday, 18 May 2015

ArMen Race : Good racing for all

by Anne Hinton

The 2015 ArMen Race from La Trinite sur Mer started a day late this year due to a storm in Brittany on Thursday 14th May for which a Figaro sailor Yoann Richomme who went training from Port La Foret reported a steady 31 knots with gusts up to 47 knots

Racing finally got underway at 8AM on 15th May with three different courses for competitors depending on size/speed of boat: the MOD70 Oman Sail skippered by Roland Jourdain together with the IMOCAs and Multi50s had the longest course but nonetheless the Omani crew once again achieved the line honours victory as with the previous year

The Omanis found the ArMen Race this year to be a walk in the park after achieving boatspeeds over 30 knots at the Grand Prix Guyader earlier this month and experiencing winds of up to 38 knots on their subsequent Round Ireland Record and described the ArMen Race as just like a training session

The two IMOCAs had a good battle with Paul Meilhat racing SMA (the former MACIF of Francois Gabart) with Michel Desjoyeaux on board finally getting the better of Tanguy de Lamotte in Initiatives Coeur despite tricky current and wave conditions

In the Multi50s the close contest between FenetreA Prysmian with Giancarlo Pedote joining Erwan Le Roux and crew in practice for the Transat Jacques Vabre later this year and Arkema of Lalou Roucayrol was decided in favour of the former and much discussion of tactics still ongoing between the two teams after the prizegiving

In the Mini class Arkema was victorious with Quentin Vlamnyck while Solidaires en Peloton took the Class 40s with her skipper commenting that there had been slightly less competition in that class than with the eight boats at Grand Prix Guyader earlier in the month

Amidst the other classes a much appreciated competitor was one of the Eric Tabarly boats Pen Duick III

Race officer Yves Le Blevec (who is one of those with funding for a future large multi for  planetary
records) is to be congratulated on combining with his team to provide excellent racing for all in this fifth edition of the race at the end of a hectic session for him as he was also race officer for the Mini en Mai the previous week which racing also had to be modified due to storms in the Bay of Biscay

The Unseen Hand – Oman Sail’s Boatbuilders

Article compiled from interviews with Phil Rivett and Mohammed Al Shikely in Lorient in 2013, together with other material supplied by Oman Sail and their website

Phil Rivett, Oman Sail's Head Boatbuilder. Image copyright Xaume Olleros for Red Bull Content Pool/Extreme Sailing Series

by Anne Hinton

The unseen workers at any sailing event are often those who do the hardest and most crucial work: the boatbuilders. Oman Sail’s training programme includes this aspect of the sport of sailing, as well as the on-the-water, sailing.

Head Boatbuilder with Oman Sail is Phil Rivett, 33, who hails from Australia. Phil is very friendly and approachable, and extremely good at explaining how to do things and then leaving people to try the task for themselves and learn from any mistakes they make, and then patiently going over any issues, all of which provides the best possible learning environment. One example that I saw was Phil explaining about when stitching is and isn’t needed when splicing ropes and then leaving the Omani trainee boatbuilders to go ahead and do it alone and join the ropes.

Phil Rivett’s immense experience with boatbuilding includes the around-the-world campaigns of Ellen MacArthur and Emma Richards, plus the Volvo Ocean Race ABN Amro and Ericsson yachts, the Swedish America’s Cup Victory challenger and Al Busaidi’s circumnavigation; the first recorded by an Omani sailor.

Phil Rivett. Image copyright Lloyd Images/Oman Sail

Between supporting the Extreme 40 programme, Phil then moved to looking after the A100 Oman Air Majan, then the MOD70, Musandam, for the 2012 and 2013 racing around Europe and then the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre to Brazil last November, as well as carrying out some work on the M34 for the Tour de France à la Voile campaign. There being two Oman Sail-run Extreme 40s on the Extreme Sailing Series again this year, with The Wave Muscat and Oman Air, Phil has moved into supporting this circuit once more. Phil isn’t bothered about going sailing himself; he justs loves working on boats and ensuring that they are in excellent condition for the sailors to race to victory. “We are a team,” points out Loik, “and each and every one of us has a key role to play.”

In 2013 the Oman Sail boatbuilding team in Lorient, the European HQ of Oman Sail, consisted of:
  • Phil Rivett, Head Boatbuilder, who has extensive experience from large solo around-the-world campaigns and as boatbuilder for winning Volvo Ocean Race teams
  • French multihull sailor Loik Gallon (boat captain of Musandam, the MOD70) who was with international campaigns including Ellen MacArthur’s and has both great technical skills and an in-depth knowledge of measurement and the racing rules,
  • some temporary local hired help, including a boat builder from the 2012 Tour de France à la Voile-winning TPM Coych, and
  • two Oman Sail trainee boatbuilders, Mohammed Al Shikely (affectionatly known as TechMo within the team) and Sulaiman Al Manji, with occasional visits from other Omani trainees.
In addition, specialists were brought in for specific tasks, such as ultrasounding the MOD70, or for changing the sponsorship signage. Some of this work is also done by the boatbuilding team. Although it may sound easy, putting on sponsorship stickers, with the need to line everything up, ensure that there are no air bubbles, and that there is solid adherence, is actually a very tricky task.

Mohammed Al Shikely. Image copyright Lloyd Images/Oman Sail

In 2013, Mohammed was in his fifth year with Oman Sail. “I first worked on the large trimaran [A100] Musandam – the first one – and now I am working on another Musandam, the MOD70. I worked on the first Musandam for sixth months and after that on Majan for six months. After Majan, I did the Extreme 40s for three years. In this, my fifth year, I am working on Musandam [the MOD70].”

Prior to coming to Oman Sail, Mohammed studied in college for a year and learnt English. He was doing a technology course. When the chance to work with Oman Sail came up, he left college immediately! Asked what he would have done if the chance to work with Oman Sail had not come along, Mohammed replied “Business – working for the economy”; very different – working with figures and talking to people, whereas the boat work is technology-based and practical.
Mohammed’s favourite boat is the Extreme 40, because of the intense action in the racing in this class. “It is exciting! You know why? Because you do a small race in the Extreme 40 and maybe crash the boat, or anything, so that’s exciting for me. I like it.” Crashing the boat makes for more glassfibre work for the boatbuilders!

Sulaiman Al Manji returns ashore from scrubbing the bottom of the MOD70 Musandam. Image copyright Lloyd Images/Oman Sail

In 2013 there were three Omani trainee boatbuilders who travelled and another three or four based in Oman. “I went back to Oman [in 2013] for an Extreme 40 refit,” said Phil. “We had to make moulds, so it was interesting to show the trainees a different side to boatbuilding, and not just do things over night as we fix the boats in the fleet racing [for the Extreme Sailing Series]. Also, the boys are learning painting skills, so just developing all sides. We will send the boys to technical college shortly to start learning the theory and that helps them as well.

There has been a lot of on the job training. We have some pretty amazing boats. We’ve got a couple of Extreme 40s, and the MOD which is the flagship of the fleet. They are all different boats, so a lot of the skill set is around the boats. There are a lot of different things to do on an MOD70,” says Phil.

There are cleans and check-ups with the Extreme 40s too [cleaning the boat thoroughly is used as a means to check for items that need to be repaired], so there are so many different things, the winch system on the boat, the hydraulic system, ropes, glassfibre work, and the structure, so it’s a bit of everything on a bigger vessel. Just making sure they do the things once, not twice.” At present the Omani trainee boatbuilders are doing things on a boat on an as-needed basis. The emphasis is very much on only doing things once, and doing them well, rather than having to repeat the work.

Loik Gallon, Boat Captain with Oman Sail. Image copyright Lloyd Images/Oman Sail

While Oman Sail will always need boatbuilders, the idea is to train up the Omanis so that they can work in boatbuilding teams all over the world. “One of our boys back in Oman got requested for one of the teams [Artemis] on the RC44 circuit. That is a great achievement, for him and myself. Hilal al Zadjali had been with the company for three years. He started working on the structure and then we moved him to the technical side of things. He showed initiative and we wanted to give him a bigger skill set and help him, so it progressed from there.

Eventually the guys will be able to go to other teams. There are three guys who could potentially go to the Volvo already. They would be very green, but in terms of the things they need to know, they are already halfway there.”

The Omani boatbuilders have a variety of different backgrounds. “Mohammed was 22 when he joined us,” said Phil. “He was in his local village looking after his family and the great thing about the Omani culture is that they do miss their family. Hilal is very practical. He was very young. He came straight out of school.”

Prior to coming to Oman Sail, Mohammed studied in college for a year and learnt English. He was doing a technology course. When the chance to work with Oman Sail came up, he left college immediately! Asked what he would have done if the chance to work with Oman Sail had not come along, Mohammed replied “Business – working for the economy”; very different – working with figures and talking to people, whereas the boat work is technology-based and practical.

The Omanis are clearly greatly enjoying their work learning boatbuilding, and the exemplary Oman Sail training programme is developing skills in Omanis throughout the spectrum of the sailing world, which will enable the industry to build up in Oman; a firm base for the international development of Oman and Omanis through the sport of sailing, while broadening involvement in sailing throughout the country and the Arabian peninsular.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard 49erFX Olympic Class : Awesome Images from SeaLaunay

Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard on their International 49erFX. Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

by Christophe Launay

Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard campaigning to represent France in the 49er FX class, the new Olympic Women's double-handed skiff class.

This is a modified version of the male high performance skiff that has been sailed in the olympics since the Sydney games in 2000.

This type of boat really encompasses the spirit of the Olympics with athleticism, balance, skill and daring!

Support them and join their journey to bring home an Olympic Medal from Rio in 2016.

"It is as hard to describe the fascination of the sea as to explain the beauty of a woman.
For, to each man, either it is self-evident, or no argument can help him see it."

Claud Worth, 1926
Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/ @SeaLaunay


Delta Lloyd Regatta : Three Bronze Medals for the Australian Sailing Team

Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis finished with the Bronze medal at Delta Lloyd Regatta 2014. Image copyright Sander van der Borch

by Cora Zillich

The 2014 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands concluded on Saturday 24, May with three bronze medals for Australian Sailing Crews in the Olympic Nacra 17 and Finn classes as well as in the Paralympic Sonar class.

The regatta is an annual event on the European sailing calendar attracting some of the world’s best Olympic and Paralympic campaigners. The Australian Sailing Team (AST) was represented with two crews in the Paralympic classes (2.4mR, Sonar) and three crews in the Olympic Classes (Nacra 17 and Laser). In addition, four crews from the Australian Sailing Squad (ASS) competed at Medemblik in the Finn, Laser Radial and Nacra 17.

In the Nacra 17, it was really a three boat race for the medals between the Hyères World Cup silver medallists Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) and Australia’s Darren Bundock (NSW) and Nina Curtis (NSW). Just 10 points separated them before the final race day, while there was a 15-point gap to fourth.

Finishing sixth in the medal race Bundock and Nina Curtis won the bronze medal to make it three third places at their last three regattas, including the two World Cups at Palma, Spain and Hyères, France.

All part of the plan as Bundock explains with a smile: “Simple plan. 2014 we finish third in all regattas, 2015 second, 2016 first. Simple.”

Jason Waterhouse (NSW) and Lisa Darmanin (NSW) finished overall 6th, while AST crew Euan McNicol and Lucinda Whitty did not race at Medemblik. ASS Victorian crew Pip Pietromonaco and James Wierzbowski finished 22nd.

With four AST/ASS crews on the racing circuit it is a competitive yet supportive environment as Lisa Darmanin explains.

“We’re very competitive against our Australian squad, but we’re also working in unison because we all know how much we need to learn to be able to keep up with all the other guys.”

And about their performance in Medemblik she added: “We had a pretty good regatta and we finished off with a good medal race. The result wasn’t that good, but the race was good. We’re racing a lot better and our teamwork is improving all the time so we are happy.”

In the Finn class Australian Sailing Squad’s Jake Lilley has plenty to be happy with after adding a bronze in Holland to his successful Europe stint winning the European Junior Championships a couple weeks ago and a solid French World Cup in Hyères at the end of April.

The 20-year old Queenslander continues to grow and learn and has his eyes firmly set on more:

“I am happy to finish third, but not satisfied. Next year we will be back and trying to secure the gold. The week was super tricky with some challenging conditions thrown at us. I reveled in the medium winds and was able to improve my weaknesses in lighter conditions, which has been a real positive.”

“To fight out this week with PJ Postma from NED, who came 4th at the 2012 Olympics, and to train and gain experience racing against him was invaluable and will hold us in good stead for our next event in Kiel and then finally the ISAF worlds.”

About his goals ahead he added: “Over the next few months we will ramp up our preparation for the ISAF World in Kiel as well as training for Santander. We already have a whole new list of things to improve and to work on so we can aim for the top ten come the World Championships. For now, it's time to go home, get some rest and refine more points that we are working on.”

In other Olympic fleet results AST’s Matt Wearn (WA) finished 7th in the Laser while Australian Sailing Squad’s Laser radial sailors Krystal Weir (VIC) and Ashley Stoddart (QLD) finished 12th and 19th respectively. The European Laser and Laser Radial Championships in Croatia (9-14 June 2014) will be the next stop for them.

Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris won Bronze in the Sonar. Image copyright Sander van der Borch

In the Paralympic fleets, Australia’s Paralympians Colin Harrison (WA), Russell Boaden (WA) and Jonathan Harris (NSW) finished Medemblik with another podium finish in the Sonar after their third place at the World Cup in Hyères.

The crew will now head back to Australia to train before heading to the IFDS World Championship in Halifax, NS, Canada in August (16-24 August 2014).

Tasmanian and London Paralympian Matt Bugg had an unlucky regatta with a DNF earlier in the event due to a water pump failure and an OCS on the last day, which resulted in a drop from 2nd to 6th in the final race.

Bugg will race the EUROSAF event Sail for Gold in Weymouth (7-12 June) as well as the 2.4mR European Championship in the Netherlands at the end of June (30 June – 4 July).

Video wrap-up of Australian participation at Medemblik 2014:

For all results see here:

Australian Sailing is the performance arm of Yachting Australia in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and with support from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC). The Australian Sailing Team is the national representative team for Olympic and Paralympic class sailing.

The Australian Sailing Squad is the development program of the Australian Sailing Team and provides the pathway from elite youth to Olympic level competition.

For more information, updates and pictures, follow the Australian Sailing Team on Facebook and on Twitter @AusSailingTeam #AusSailing.

About the Delta Lloyd Regatta

The 30th Delta Lloyd Regatta was held from 20-24 May 2014 in Medemblik, The Netherlands, with racing being held for nine Olympic classes, three Paralympic classes and two exhibition events. In 2014 it brings together 351 entries from 51 nations.

The 30th Delta Lloyd Regatta was the second event in the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup 2014. The other events are the Garda Trentino Olympic Week, which was held in early May, Sail for Gold in the UK in early June and Kieler Woche in Germany at the end of June.

Normandy Channel Race : L'Express Trepia, Race Leader Update from Pierre-Yves Lautrou and Christophe Breschi

L'Express Trepia. Image copyright Christophe Breschi

par Christophe Breschi

Pierre-Yves Lautrou et Thomas Ruyant à bord du nouveau Pogo S3 sont en tête de la Normandie Channel Race, mais tout reste très serré.

Sunset from L'Express Trepia on 26th May 2014. Image copyright Pierre-Yves Lautrou/L'Express Trepia

Maître pétole et les depressions orageuses, n'ont pas dit leur dernier mots!!!!!

Christophe Breschi
Pierre-Yves Lautrou
Normandy Channel Race

Le Havre Allmer Cup : Images from the first Three Days of Racing by Alexis Courcoux

Day One

Image copyright Alexis Courcoux

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Day Two

Image copyright Alexis Courcoux

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The spinnaker takedown is the hardest job on the boat. To paraphrase the Soling Manual, in an article reproduced from elsewhere... "On a big boat, you know, SORC or Admiral's Cup, behind the wheel, left of the LORAN-C, there lies a button labelled "spinnaker takedown"...

Image copyright Alexis Courcoux

Image copyright Alexis Courcoux

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Day Three

Image copyright Alexis Courcoux

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Le Havre Allmer Cup

Grand Prix Bodensee Match Race : Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Gewinnt

Monnin (SUI) left vs. Sehested (DEN) on the right in the final of the Grand Prix Bodensee Match Race 2014. Supplied image

von Felix Somm

Segelsport auf höchstem Weltniveau zeigten die Spitzenteams im Finale des Grand Prix Bodensee am Sonntag in der Konstanzer Bucht. Beeindruckend und faszinierend für die Zuschauer war speziell der “Tanz der Boote” im Vorstart um die beste Startposition. Mit einem Matchverlust und zwei darauffolgenden Siegen bezwang das dänische Team TREFOR Match Racing mit Skipper Nicolai Sehested das Swiss Match Race Team mit Skipper Eric Monnin im Finale und wurde Sieger des Grand Prix.

Finale Grand Prix Bodensee - Sehested vor Monnin

Zum ersten Mal wurde während der Internationalen Bodenseewoche auch das “Grand Prix Bodensee – Internationale Bodenseewoche Match Race” durchgeführt.

Elf hochmotivierte Top Match Race Teams aus neun Nationen – alle in den Top 80 der Weltrangliste vertreten – trafen sich am Wochenende 23.-25. Mai zu einem hochkarätigen Grade 2 Match Race am Schweizer Seeufer zwischen Konstanz und Kreuzlingen.

Als Favoriten für die vordersten Ränge waren die Teams von Nicolai Sehested aus Dänemark (Weltrangliste 6), Eric Monnin aus der Schweiz (WR 9) und Pierre-Antoine Morvan aus Frankreich (WR 10) gesetzt.

Match Race wird im Cupsystem ausgetragen. Jeweils 2 Teams segeln auf identischen Booten gegeneinander. Der Gewinner kommt eine Runde weiter und so wird über Viertelfinale, Halbfinale und Finale der Sieger ermittelt. An diesem Wochenende segelten die elf Teams jeweils zu viert auf sechs blu26 Booten (bluboats), die vom Jugend Regatta Förderverein, dem Veranstalter des Grand Prix Bodensee, zur Verfügung gestellt wurden.

Bereits am Freitag konnten bei leichtem aber konstanten Wind die ersten 12 Flights der Round Robin mit 36 Matches gesegelt werden. Nach zehn Stunden auf dem Wasser waren die Segler und auch die vielen ehrenamtlichen Helfer schon ganz schön müde und waren froh, dass sie es zur Pastaparty in der Sealounge nicht mehr so weit hatten.

Am Samstagvormittag wurden die restlichen Matches der Round Robin zu Ende gesegelt. Nach der Round Robin führte das Swiss Match Race Team mit Eric Monnin vor TREFOR Match Racing mit Nicolai Sehested und Vannes Agglo Sailing Team mit Pierre-Antoine Morvan. Das junge Innotio Match RaceTeam vom Schülersegelclub Konstanz mit Skipper Adrian Maier Ring überraschte mit sechs Siegen und dem hervorragenden 4. Rang.

Achtelfinale Lipavski (RUS) gegen Bodensee Jugendteam Maier-Ring (GER,SSCK)

Achtelfinale: Lipavski (RU) gegen Bodensee Jugendteam Maier-Ring (GER, SSCK). Supplied image

Gegen Mittag startete die Wettfahrtleitung unter der Leitung von Ivo Gonzenbach das Viertelfinale mit den acht besten Teams der Vorrunde:
Eric Monnin (SUI) gegen Florian Haufe (GER),
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) gegen Victor Ogeman (SWE),
Patryk Zbroja (POL) gegen Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA),
Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS) gegen Adrian Maier-Ring (GER)

Die “jungen Wilden” vom Innotio Match Race Team vom Bodensee (Schüler Segelclub Konstanz) schieden im Viertelfinale gegen das erfahrene russische Team mit 2-1 aus. Bis dahin hatten sie an ihrem ersten internationalen Grade 2 Anlass aber eine hervorragende Leistung gezeigt und unerschrocken gegen die Weltelite gekämpft. Mit einem hervorragenden fünften Platz zeigten sie, dass sie auf dem Weg zur Weltspitze sind.

Da am Sonntagmorgen der Wind ausblieb, mussten die Halbfinale auf ein Match reduziert werden. Aus den beiden Halbfinalbegegnungen gingen Nicolai Sehested (DEN) und Eric Monnin (SUI) als Sieger und damit als Finalteilnehmer hervor.

Die im Halbfinale unterlegenen Teams von Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS) und Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) segelten im kleinen Finale um Platz 3.

Am Sonntagnachmittag entwickelte sich dann nochmals ein herrlicher Ostwind mit 2-3 Bf – also perfekte Finalbedingungen. Die beiden Finalteilnehmer zeigten Segelsport auf allerhöchstem Weltniveau und begeisterten die Zuschauer auf dem Wasser und an Land mit perfekten Manövern, taktischen Glanzleistungen und schnellen Spinackerfahrten.

Spannende Zweikämpfe beim Finale zwischen Sehested und Monnin

Spannende zwei Kämpfe beim Finale zwischen Sehested (DEN) und Monnin (SUI). Supplied image

Nachdem Eric Monnin im ersten Match einen Sieg vorlegte, waren die Dänen unter Druck und mussten das zweite Match gewinnen. Nicolai Sehested schaffte den Ausgleich und so ging es in den allesentscheidenden dritten Finalmatch. Nachdem Monnin den Start für sich entscheiden konnte, griff Sehested auf dem ersten Kreuzkurs mit allen Registern an und konnte sich an der ersten Wendemarke die Führung erobern. Das Duell setzte sich unter Spi fort, aber Sehested konnte einen minimalen Vorsprung auf den zweiten Kreuzkurs gegen den Wind retten. Auf diesem Kurs konnten die Dänen ihre Führung dann durch optimales Ausnutzen der Winddreher ausbauen und unter Spinacker ins Ziel bringen und so den GrandPrix Bodensee mit 2:1 gewonnenen Finalmatches für sich entscheiden.

Mit Unterstützung des Wellnesshotel Golfpanorama, Lipperswil und der Bodenseearena, Kreuzlingen konnte dem internationalen Schiedsrichterteam und den Seglern optimale Unterkunftsbedingungen und eine perfekte Sportinfrastruktur zur Verfügung gestellt werden.

Der Jugend Regatta Förderverein bedankt sich herzlich bei all seinen Sponsoren und Unterstützer, insbesondere bei, Wellnesshotel GolfPanorama, Giachen Racing St. Moritz, Promot, dem Yachtclub Kreuzlingen, der Stadt Kreuzlingen, dem Sportamt Thurgau, den befreundeten Clubs, die Motorboote und Helfer zur Verfügung gestellt haben – immerhin täglich 25 ehrenamtliche Helfer, die die Durchführung dieses wichtigen Grade 2 Match Race möglich gemacht haben.

Grand Prix vor Konstanz

Der Grand Prix Bodensee war ein gelungener Event und die Teilnehmer waren von den Segelbedingungen auf dem Bodensee beeindruckt und begeistert.


1. Nicolai Sehested (DEN)
2. Eric Monnin (SUI)
3. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
4. Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS)
5. Adrian Maier-Ring, GER (SSCK)
6. Patrick Zbroja, POL
7. Victor Ogeman, SWE
8. Florian Haufe, GER
9. Christian Binder, AUT
10. Max Trippolt; AUT
11. Philip Bendon, IRL

Grand Prix Bodensee Match Race