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Yacht racing

Yacht racing is a form of sport involving sailing yachts and larger sailboats, as distinguished from dinghy racing. It is composed of multiple yachts, in direct competition, racing around a course marked by buoys or other fixed navigational devices or racing longer distances across open water from point-to-point, it can involve a series of races when buoy multiple legs when point-to-point racing. Yachting, that is, recreational boating, is old, as exemplified in the ancient poem Catullus 4: "Yacht" is referred to as deriving from either Norwegian, Middle Low German or from the Dutch word jacht, which means "a swift light vessel of war, commerce or pleasure; the sporting element in the word lies in the derivation of jaght from the root jaghen, which means to hunt, chase or pursue…."The formal racing of boats is believed to have started with sailboats in the Netherlands some time in the 17th century. Soon, in England, custom-built racing "yachts" began to emerge and the Royal Yacht Squadron was established in 1815.

In 1661 John Evelyn recorded a competition between Katherine and Anne, two large royal sailing vessels both of English design, "…the wager 100-1. One of the vessels was owned, sometimes steered, by Charles II, the King of England; the king lost. In 1782 the Cumberland Fleet, a class of sailing vessel known for its ability to sail close to the wind, were painted racing up the Thames River with spectators viewing from a bridge. Much like today, this obsession with sailing close to the wind with speed and efficiency fueled the racing community. In the nineteenth century most yacht races were started by allotting starting positions to the competitors. Buoys were laid in a straight line, to which the competitors attached their yachts by means of spring ropes; the yachts were required to keep all the sails forward of the main mast on deck until the starting signal was given. The Yacht Racing Association was founded in 1875 by Prince Batthyany-Strattman, Captain J. W. Hughes, Mr. Dixon Kemp; the Y. R. A. wrote standardised yacht racing rules.

Bringing yacht racing to the forefront of public life, the America's Cup was first raced in 1851 between the New York Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron. Not ruled or regulated by measurement criteria as today, it is the second-place finisher was Aurora, "and but for the fact that time allowance had been waived for the race she would have been the winner by a handsome margin." Subsequently, the Cup races were conducted every 3–4 years, based on a challenge issued by one club to the current Cup holder, which till 1983 was the NYYC. As at 2017, the La Ciotat Based Yacht Partridge 1885 is documented as being the world's oldest, still operational classic racing yacht; as yacht racing became more prevalent, yacht design more diverse, it was necessary to establish systems of measurements and time allowances due to the differences in boat design. Longer yachts are inherently faster than shorter ones. Larger yachts were handicapped; as a result, both ratings and “one-design” competition were developed.

Ratings systems rely upon some formulaic analysis of very specific yacht-design parameters such as length, sail area and hull shape. During the 1920s and through the 1970s the Cruising Club of America established a formula by which most racing/cruising boats were designed during that period. After its descendant, the mathematically complex International Offshore Rule of the 1970s, contributed to much decreased seaworthiness, the simpler Performance Handicap Racing Fleet system was adopted; the PHRF uses only proven performance characteristics theoretical sailing speed, as a means to allow dissimilar yachts—typically crewed by friends and families at clubs rather than by professional crews—to race together. Most popular family-oriented cruising sailboats will have a rating filed with a local chapter of the PHRF; the most prevalent handicap rating systems today are the ORC, ORR, IRC, the PHRF. Many countries organise their own handicap systems which do not take into account the size, weight, or sail area of the yacht, but performance is measured on the basis of previous race results.

The Irish E. C. H. O. System is such a handicap system. One-design racing was invented by Thomas Middleton in 1886 in Killiney Bay close to Dublin City, Republic of Ireland. Middleton was concerned that winning a yacht race was more reliant on having an expensive new yacht, than it was on the skill of the yachtsman. One design yacht racing is conducted with classes of similar boats, all built—often via mass-production—to the same design, with the same sail area and rig, the same number of crew, so that crew ability and tactical expertise are more to decide a race than boat type, or age, or weather. Popular racing boats such as The Water Wag, the J/22 and J/24, the Etchells, the Star and New York 30 of Nathanael Herreshoff are examples of one-design boats. In general, modern yacht-racing contests are conducted according to the Racing Rules of Sailing, first established in 1928. Though complex, the RRS are intended simply ensure fairness and safety; the Rules are updated every four years by the body now known as World Sailing.

The major races of today can be classified as offshore, around the world, inshore racing all adhering to one set of rule, but

Italian submarine Onice

Onice was a Perla-class submarine built for the Regia Marina during the 1930s. She played a minor role in the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 supporting the Spanish Nationalists; the Perla-class submarines were repeats of the preceding Sirena class. The modifications that were made compared to the boats of the previous series were of upgrade nature. Among them were enlargement of the false tower at the top, more modern engines, installation of a radiogoniometer that could be controlled from inside the ship. Improvements and the installation of new air conditioning equipment meant a slight increase in displacement, increase in the fuel stowage increased the autonomy of these boats compared to the previous series, their designed full load displacement was 695 metric tons surfaced and 855 metric tons submerged, but varied somewhat depending on the boat and the builder. The submarines were 197 feet 6 inches long, had a beam of 21 feet and a draft of 15 feet to 15 feet 5 inches, they had an operational diving depth of 70–80 meters.

Their crew enlisted men. For surface running, the boats were powered by two diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft with overall power of 675–750 hp; when submerged each propeller was driven by a 400-horsepower electric motor. They could reach 14 knots on 7.5 knots underwater. On the surface, the Perla class had a range of 5,200 nautical miles at 8 knots, they had a range of 74 nmi at 4 knots; the boats were armed with six internal 53.3-centimeter torpedo tubes, four in the bow and two in the stern. One reload torpedo was carried for a total of twelve, they were armed with one 100-millimeter deck gun for combat on the surface. The light anti-aircraft armament consisted of two pairs of 13.2-millimeter machine guns. Onice was built by OTO at their shipyard in Muggiano, laid on 27 August 1935, launched on 15 June 1936 and completed on 1 September 1936. After delivery, Onice was assigned to the 34th Squadron based at Messina. After a brief training, in 1937 she carried out a long endurance cruise in the Dodecanese, Tyrrhenian Sea and Ionian Sea.

On August 12, 1937, she sailed from Naples under command of captain Mario Ricci to carry out a secret mission outside of Tarragona during the Spanish Civil War. The submarine missed. On August 27, 1937 she returned to Naples. In September 1937 the Nyon Conference was called by France and Great Britain to address the "underwater piracy" conducted against merchant traffic in the Mediterranean. On September 14, an agreement was signed establishing British and French patrol zones around Spain to counteract aggressive behavior by submarines. Italy was not directly accused, but had to comply with the agreement and suspend the underwater operations. Under pressure from Franco's regime, Italy decided to transfer 4 more submarines to the Spanish Legion. Onice was one of the four boats chosen for the transfer. On September 17, 1937 Onice left La Maddalena and headed to Soller on Mallorca, arrived there on September 23, 1937, she was placed under the direct command of Spanish admiral Francisco Moreno, was renamed Aguilar Tablada and assigned pennant number L4.

However, Onice retained her commander, senior officers and Italian crew, but they had to wear Spanish uniforms and insignia. The other three Italian submarines transferred to Tercio were Iride, Galileo Galilei and Galileo Ferraris. All four were based at Soller. Onice became the first to start operations, serving in "Tercio" for four months, conducting 3 missions. During October 8 through 18, 1937 Onice carried out her first mission under the Nationalist flag starting between Benidorm and Alicante and off Cartagena. There were several occasions to attack, but they all were wasted for various reasons, along with wasted torpedoes which resulted in heavy criticism of Captain Ricci and his apparent lack of expertise. During November 2 through 11, 1937 Onice carried out her second mission patrolling off Tarragona under a new commander, captain Alfredo Criscuolo, she attacked one steamer, but a failure of the echo sounder and the hydrophones forced Onice to return to Cagliari for repairs. During January 31 through February 4, 1938 she carried out her third and last mission, under command of captain Manlio Petroni, off Tarragona but without any results.

On February 5, 1938, she left Soller and returned to Italy and assumed her old name of Onice ending her "legionary" career. In 1939 she was based at La Spezia, at the Red Sea base of Massawa in Eritrea together with Iride and Berillo, she was based at Messina. At the time of Italy's entrance into World War II Onice was assigned to the 13th Squadron based at La Spezia together with Gemma and Berillo. Captain Gustavo Lovatelli was her commander and would remain in charge until October 1942. In the early stages of the war, Onice conducted some missions in the Strait of Sicily but she never sighted an enemy ship. On September 28, 1940, while maneuvering in the port of Messina Onice collided with Diana and sustained some damage requiring repairs. Once the repairs were finished, she was deployed to Leros. In November 1940 she pat

AnaCap Financial Partners

AnaCap Financial Partners is a private equity firm advising funds that invest in the European financial services sector. AnaCap Financial Partners was founded in 2005; the firm launched its debut fund in 2006, when it raised €300 million and now advises more than €3.5 billion across private equity and credit opportunity strategies including coinvest. AnaCap’s funds have attracted a global investor base including institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Allianz; the firm’s strategy is to invest in European financial services businesses with management teams providing the necessary support to generate exceptional returns. They provide operational support to portfolio companies throughout the life of the investment in order to achieve the targeted objectives; the general business of AnaCap is to source investment opportunities and work with management teams of businesses with growth potential. The methodology that AnaCap follows involves using proprietary data analysis techniques in countries throughout Europe to find opportunities in different markets.

AnaCap’s strategy encompasses European credit opportunities, which the firm has been doing since 2010. Categories that AnaCap focuses on include consumer and small and mid-sized enterprise debt including performing, semi-performing and non-performing assets consisting of loans, securities and commercial mortgages, unsecured consumer loans, other receivables; the strategies that AnaCap uses when investing in credit opportunities involve using their proprietary analysis methods, as well as the in-house Minerva platform. The Minerva platform is unique to AnaCap, provides reporting services to the debt servicers for the credit opportunities assets. AnaCap is led by former heads of the UK financing arm of General Motors, co-managing partners Joe Giannamore and Peter Cartwright, has several other key individuals in leadership positions, including Justin Sulger, Head of Credit, Chris Patrick, who serves as Head of Risk and Liability Management, Amber Hilkene, Head of Investor Relations and Communications, Mike Edwards, Chief Operating Partner.

AnaCap was involved with the purchase and sale of Cabot Credit Management. This entity was formed through merging companies Apex Credit Management and Cabot Financial, with CCM being sold to the firm J. C. Flowers & Co. in 2013. Taking place in August 2013 was the management buyout of Simply Business, an online broker which AnaCap was responsible for backing. AnaCap agreed to purchase Brightside Group PLC in May 2014, a British insurance broker for which the firm will pay £127 million. AnaCap has created a company called Belvedere Bidco Ltd. in order to facilitate the purchase