Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is a centre for the sport of sailing on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, on the south coast of England. The academy building is located in Osprey Quay on the northern tip of the island, the waters of Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay, adjacent to the site, are the main areas used for sailing. Local and international sailing events have been held at the site since it was opened in 2000, in 2005 WPNSA was selected to host the sailing events at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; the academy was formed as a not-for-profit company in 1999 and opened on 1 April 2000. It occupied converted naval premises until a clubhouse was built, opened in June 2005 by the Princess Royal. £7.85 million of funding for the project was donated by charities and local councils. The academy's aims are to promote the sport of sailing at all levels of competence and ability, through courses and events, to contribute to the economic regeneration of the area. Since opening it has created a demand in marine industries worth around £ 10 million.

WPNSA continues to promote sailing to local schools, offering benefits such as free boat hoist and storage. Use of the facilities and access to training is open to anyone in return for an annual membership fee. On 6 July 2005, London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the WPNSA was chosen to host the sailing events. Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay are the main areas used for sailing; the harbour covers an area of 8.6 square kilometres, is ideal for sailing as it is exposed to reliable winds from most directions, but is sheltered from large waves and currents by Chesil Beach and the breakwaters. The clubhouse houses facilities on two floors, including a gymnasium, seven lecture and meeting rooms for 260 people, an event hall with kitchens and a bar, VIP meeting rooms and offices, a lounge bar and cafeteria seating 350 people, two balconies; the outside of the academy complex has a 40-metre slipway and two deep water slipways, 30 pontoons with disabled access and boat hoists, boat storage and parking areas.

WPNSA operates Boscawen House an admiral's residence, which offers accommodation for a maximum of 47 people. The clubhouse generates 15–20% of its electricity from solar cells, rainwater is collected from the roof to wash boats. In November 2007, the South West Regional Development Agency signed a deal with Sutton Harbour Group to construct a 3-hectare year-round tourist and leisure complex in Osprey Quay, between Portland Castle and the academy; the £30 million scheme, called Castle Court, includes a hotel, public areas, a restaurant and other employment space, is expected to create 300 jobs. A permanent base for the Royal Yachting Association's senior, youth and paralympic national sailing squads is to be provided. Since opening the academy has hosted national and international sailing events, including the J/24 World Championships in 2005, staging trials for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the ISAF World Championship 2006, the BUCS Fleet Racing Championships, the RYA Youth National Championships.

Local events are held at the academy. The British Olympic Sailing Team train at WPNSA. In 2005, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was chosen as the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. WPNSA was chosen to host these events due to its existing World class facilities; the Olympic Delivery Authority has built upon these facilities providing a new 220m slipway accessible at all states of tide and wind, an additional 70 marina berths and an extended dinghy park with capacity for 600 boats. In addition, the Academy provides direct access to Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay which have been credited as some of the best sailing waters in the World. Olympic sailing events took place between 28 July and 11 August 2012, Paralympic events between 31 August and 5 September. One course was in four in Weymouth Bay. Sailors from all over the world competed for 30 medals in the Olympic Games and 18 medals in the Paralympic Games. A cruise liner berthed at Portland Port was used as accommodation.

The academy is around 190 kilometres from the Olympic Zone in central London. There was concern about the logistics of transporting athletes from London to the academy, as there is no motorway in Dorset, transport links are often congested in summer. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council lobbied the Department for Transport to reinstate double track between Moreton and Dorchester South on the South Western Main Line and increase services from Weymouth railway station to London Waterloo and Bristol, to introduce new direct services to Exeter. Services to London Waterloo began running every 30 minutes from December 2007, but services through Bristol to Cardiff were stopped. On 5 April 2007, Dorset County Council granted planning permission for a relief road scheme to alleviate congestion between Weymouth and Dorchester, which includes a single carriageway running 7 kilometres north of Weymouth, a 1000-space park-and-ride scheme, costing £84.5 million. Work on the road commenced in 2008, as anticipated it was completed in three years, in time for the 2012 Olympic sailing events.

The academy hosted the Moth World Championships in 2008. The Vintage Yachting Games are the International Post-Olympic Yachting/Sailing event for former Olympic classes; the Vintage is held every four y

Marcus Levine

Marcus Levine is a British nail artist and sculptor. He was born in Yorkshire and studied at the Leeds College of Art, his work has featured in The Telegraph, Hello magazine and ArtDaily, along with regional television appearances on BBC Look North and ITV Calendar. He has carried out radio interviews, with W-Radio in Colombia and Pete Price City Radio, he is known as a specialist artist in physical pointillism and creator of the figurative nail sculpture art-form. His works of art can contain depending on their size and complexity. Levine's work is known for its abstract approaches, with influences from Michelangelo and Auguste Rodin. Levine was born in England, he attended the Leeds College of Art in Leeds, Yorkshire where he first became interested in abstract art. It was stated in The Yorkshire Post. Levine began his career as an artist working with abstract works, but became interested in sculptures after he noticed "the interplay between the rigid, angular nails and the soft curves of the human torso".

Levine became a nail sculptor in 2004, after spending much of his early career working with different art forms. His first major position in art was at Harlech Television in Bristol, England as a Quantel Paintbox designer in the late 1980s. In 1989, he moved to work for a family printing supplies business. While working at the business, he focused his artist practice on Photography, Landscape watercolours and acrylic portraiture. Levine created his first figurative nail sculpture in 2004 and is believed to be the first person to use nails to describe figurative studies in this way. Levine stated that he was unhappy with his first attempt, discarded, his Hungarian wife Krisztina acted as his muse for much of his early work 2004–2007. After revisiting his strategy, he created a second piece, purchased by a business friend, his first solo exhibition came soon after and was so successful it allowed Levine to quit his job and become a full-time sculptor and nail artist. Within three years, Levine was given the opportunity to exhibit at Gallery 27 in Cork Street, London.

It was during this first London exhibition that a photographer from Hello magazine, came to photograph work at Gallery 27. According to Levine, this caused a snowball effect in interest with his work globally, he sold a nude study to an art collector in Beirut, a Greek shipping magnate along with several domestic sales in the UK; the exhibition generated great interest from outside the UK. Levine split his time between the UK and Budapest, where he worked on sculptures for a couple of months at a time. Throughout his career as a nail sculptor, Levine has used a number of different techniques and nails, his non-representational pieces allow him to use larger clout nails, which add depth to his sculptures. On other pieces, Levine has been known to use 20mm cabinet nails, he has worked in a number of exhibitions, including Air Gallery in London. And Rarity Gallery in Greece 2014/2015. Levine held an exhibition at the Finite Gallery near Leeds Bradford Airport in 2010. Prior to the exhibition, he appeared on BBC Look North, to explain his technique and the typical works he produced.

In 2011, Levine unveiled a sculpture outside Cartwright Hall in Yorkshire. In March 2013, he exhibited at the JA Festival in Leeds and featured on ITV Calendar; the technique of many nail sculptors varies. Levine stated in an interview with Global News that it can take anywhere between two days to two months to create the various sculptures; the 3D art can contain anything from 15,000 to 200,000 nails. His work has sometimes been referred to as physical pointillism; the larger pieces of work that are created by Levine contain three different type and sizes of nails. While some artists may sketch the work out beforehand, Levine made it clear that all the sculptures are created by freehand. Levine has stated that light plays an integral part in the creation of his projects, due to the 3D aspects of his work, its quite common for the completed pieces of art to appear differently at different times of the day, depending on the light conditions and combination of artificial and natural light. He said in an interview, "the shadows across the sculptures change and affect the contrast, by altering artificial lighting, the sculptures can appear as light as a pencil sketch or as dark as a charcoal drawing."Levine stated in an interview that many of his works are influenced by Michelangelo and Auguste Rodin.

"A lot of my sculptures are classical nudes in the vein of Rodin. They're in a historical style but with an industrial twist." Levine created a piece of art made from 28,000 nails at Cartwright Hall in Bradford, Yorkshire in 2011. The art work was called Hung Out to Dry and is displayed outside Bradford's Cartwright Hall; the work was commissioned by Bradford Council, with the sculpture standing at 5 metres high and features a stainless steel panel hung between two giant steel nails. Hung Out to Dry is displayed in Bradford. During the same year, he was commissioned by Cartwright Hall to create a sculpture for Bradford's civic art gallery. In 2012, Levine was commissioned by the British Science Association to create a sensory Oak nail sculpture, hand carved out of 4m of green Oak tree trunk, displayed at the Bradford Science Festival. Afterwards it was moved to the University of Bradford and is displayed outside the University's main entrance. From 2013, Levine began to work on a number of private commissions.

The first, was for a nail homage to the most expensive handbag in the world, which at the time cost $1.9 million. This was with full approval and consent for Gi

Duchy of Courland and Semigallia

The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia was a duchy in the Baltic region that existed from 1561 to 1569 as a vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569 to 1726 of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Sejm in 1726. On 28 March 1795, it was annexed by the Russian Empire in the Third Partition of Poland. There was a short-lived wartime state existing from 8 March to 22 September 1918 with the same name. Plans for it to become part of the United Baltic Duchy, subject to the German Empire, were thwarted by Germany's surrender of the Baltic region at the end of the First World War; the area became a part of Latvia at the end of World War I. In 1561, during the Livonian Wars, the Livonian Confederation was dismantled and the Livonian Order, an order of German knights, was disbanded. On the basis of the Treaty of Vilnius, the southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Ducatus Ultradunensis.

The part of Latvia between the west bank of the Daugava River and the Baltic Sea became the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, nominally a vassal state of the King of Poland. It was ruled by the Dukes from the House of Kettler with the exception of Ernst Johann Biron and his son Peter von Biron Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of the Livonian Order, became the first duke of Courland. Other members of the Order became the Couronian nobility, with the fiefdoms they had hitherto held becoming their estates. In all, Kettler received nearly one-third of the land in the new duchy. Mitau was designated as the new capital and a Diet was to meet there twice a year. Several parts of the Courish area did not belong to the Duchy; the Order of Livonia had loaned the Grobiņa district to the Duke of Prussia. Another district, the Bishopric of Piltene called the "Bishopric of Courland", belonged to Magnus, son of the king of Denmark, he promised to transfer it to the Duchy of Courland after his death, but this plan failed and only did Wilhelm Kettler regain this district.

Like the other members of the Order, Kettler was German and set about establishing the Duchy along the lines of similar German states. In 1570, he issued the Privilegium Gotthardinum, which allowed the landholders to enserf the native peasantry on their lands; when Gotthard Kettler died in 1587, his sons and Wilhelm, became the dukes of Courland. They divided the Duchy into two parts in 1596. Friedrich controlled the eastern part, with his residence in Mitau. Wilhelm owned the western part, with his residence in Goldingen. Wilhelm regained the Grobiņa district, he paid out and regained control over the Piltene district, but it fell to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Here he developed metalworking and shipyards, the new ships delivered the goods of Courland to other countries. However, relations between the duke and the landowners were quite hostile. In addition, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the overlord of the Duchy of Courland, supported the landowners. Wilhelm expressed his disappointment with the landowners, but this ended with his removal from the duke's seat in 1616.

Wilhelm left Courland and spent the rest of his life abroad. Thus, Friedrich became the only duke of Courland after 1616. From 1600 to 1629, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden conducted a war with its main battlefields around Riga; as the result, Sweden gained control of northern Latvia, which became Swedish Livonia. The Commonwealth retained the eastern part of the Duchy of Livonia, thereafter called Inflanty Voivodeship in Polish. Courland was involved in this war, but did not suffer severe damage. Under the next duke, Jacob Kettler, the Duchy reached the peak of its prosperity. During his travels in Western Europe, Jacob became the eager proponent of mercantilist ideas. Metalworking and ship building became much more developed, powder mills began producing gunpowder. Trading relations developed not only with nearby countries, but with Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal. Jacob established the merchant fleet of the Duchy of Courland, with its main harbours in Ventspils and Libau. In 1651 the Duchy established its first colony in Africa, St. Andrews Island at the Gambia River and founded Jacob Fort there.

The main export goods included ivory, gold and spices. Soon afterwards, in 1652, Courlanders established another colony, in Tobago in the West Indies. There the main export goods included sugar, tobacco and spices. However, during this time, the Duchy of Courland remained an object of interest for both Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1655 the Swedish army entered the territory of the Duchy; the Swedish army captured Duke Jacob. During this period, the Dutch took over both of Courland's colonies that lacked supplies and manpower, the merchant fleet and factories suffered destruction; this war ended with the peace Treaty of Oliwa. Courland regained Tobago on the basis of the treaty and held it until 1689. Duke Jacob set about restoring the fleet and factories, but the Duchy of Courland never again reached its pre-war level of prosperity; when Jacob died in 1682, his son, Friedrich Casimir, became the next duke. During his reign production continued to decrease; the duke himself was more interested in glamorous celebrations, spent more money t