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The Mini Transat Is Underway
At 9:37 the first signal of the starting procedure for this single leg of the Mini Transat between Sada (Galicia) and Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe) was made. Eight minutes later, the fleet swept across the line, out of the estuary and finally left Sada behind and headed for the open sea. They initially crossed the line in a north westerly of around 9 knots. Off the line it was Ludovic Mechin (5) prototype and Alberto Bona (507) series boat who headed their fleets. Competitors then took a look starboard tack out of the estuary and set sail to round the Sisargas Islands, the first mark of course mark before they head for Cape Finisterre.

Jaanus Tamme (787), the Estonian competitor and Elise Bakhoum (548) have decided not to start.

Nicolas Boidevezi rounded Cape Finisterre at 16.00 with a comfortable lead over his rivals having already gained a buffer of eight miles bonus on a pack led by Benoit Marie (benoitmarie.com) and Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian), the speeds of the leading group regularly hitting 17 to 18 knots. Jonas Gerkens (Netwerk 2) on his Pogo was mising it up with the prototype fleet at an average speed of more than 12 knots. The other leaders, in descending order, obviously opted for caution with Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto) heading Gwenole Gahinet . Finally, at the back of the fleet, several competitors have made it clear they will be taking their own route. For example, Yoann Tricault (Schulter Systems) clearly has no intention of being dictated to by the leaders and had been gradually picking up pace as he finds his feet. The key is to arrive first. Bearing in mind that anyone needing to make a stopover for repairs is required to layover for a minimum of twelve hour stopover its easy to see how quickly places can be gained by those who manage their boats best.

www.minitransat.fr

British Class 40 Concise 8 Abandons Transat Jacques Vabre
British co-skippers Ned Collier Wakefield and Sam Goodchild are safely in Muros, NW Spain with their Class 40, Concise 8 this morning, having confirmed their abandonment from the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre double-handed race from Le Havre to ItajaĆ­, Brazil. Their boat suffered damage to the blade of its port rudder last night and was followed by damage to other essential fittings.

The incident happened yesterday evening at between 2100hrs and 2200hrs UTC while racing in 25-26kts of NE'ly winds and rough seas when they were approximately 45 miles NW of Cape Finisterre.

Solidaires en Peloton the French Class 40 co-skippered by Victorien Erussard and Thibaut Vauchel-Camus will make a technical stop, expected to be in Cascais.

Update on Arkema-Region Aquitaine after capsize Sunday evening:
A tug has left Lisbon last night at 2200hrs UTC and will arrive on zone tomorrow morning.

MOD70s, slowing?

Speeds had also slackened off slightly for the MOD70 match race between leaders Edmond de Rothschild (Josse and Caudrelier) and chasers Oman Air-Musandam (Gavignet and Foxall) who were starting to feel the effects of the Doldrums this afternoon.

The Doldrums or Intercontinental Tropical Convergence Zone remain relatively wide and active in front of the matched one design trimarans. Gavignet and Foxall are 90 miles more to the east and some 70 miles behind.

At their current speeds the two MOD70s will cross the equator in one week which for a 70 feet trimaran with only two on board compares favourably with the reference time set in 2005 by Orange II in 2005, a 36 metre (120 feet) catamaran sailed by 14 men. And the two, Edmond de Rothschild ( Josse- Caudrelier ) and Musandam Oman Air ( Gavignet - Foxall ) have already passed the mid-point (2 700 miles) last night off the Cape Verde islands.

IMOCA Open 60's PRB on the prowl

The lead of the IMOCA Open 60's continues to hang in the balance as they pass the Canary Islands, some 225 miles to their east. Bernard Stamm and Pierre Le Gros have been credited with the lead since last night but Le Gros told Race HQ this morning that such arbitrary calculations mean little to them in real terms, although it does boost morale on board, and for the Cheminees Poujoulat team which tasted disappointment in the last edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2011, and in the Vendee Globe. Cheminees Poujoulat was only just holding off the advances of PRB (Riou-Le Cam) by less than 2 miles this afternoon.

See latest postions for the fleets:
www.transat-jacques-vabre.com/fr/classement

Race Tracker URL: tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/

Key West Race Week

Key West Count Down
The countdown to Quantum Key West is on! In just 2 months racing commences (January 19) and in just 1-month the first entry deadline is here (December 20). The scratch sheet grows daily with over 100 entries already.

The IRC classes will feature competitive racing; there is strong international presence in the TP52, Melges 32 and Melges 24 classes; the J/70 fleet continues to grow; more than a dozen J/80s are making a comeback; HPR, PHRF, and one-design fleets are all rising.

Key West is the place to be in January, enter now so you don't miss out!

Entries and more: premiere-racing.com/QKW2014_event.html

Start And Stop: Coville Solo Circumnavigation Attempt
Never give up. That must be the motto painfully etched in Thomas Coville's mind as he sets off today on his fourth attempt to break the solo round the world record. He left Brest today in his 105ft trimaran Sodeb'O in a bid to better the amazing time set round the world in 2004 by Francis Joyon: a seemingly unrepeatable 57 days 13 hours.

This record is the most punishing and elevated of all, and Coville's attempts at it span a heart-rending nine-year catalogue of disappointments and failure. His three challenges have all ended in failure. The worst part of it is that he twice sailed all the way round the world - two intensely stressful months at sea - only to (just) miss the record time.

In the meantime, he has bolstered himself by joining Franck Cammas' Groupama 3, which went on to win the last Volvo Ocean Race. This has steeled him for another go at this witheringly punitive ambition.

His record should be fascinating to follow. Whereas Joyon tends to communicate very little - the ironman single-hander has a very stiff upper lip and a talent for understatement, so we never heard about any perilously close shaves, if any - Coville is of the Ellen MacArthur mould, letting it all hang out, and then some. Or to put it another way, he tells it like it really is.

Coville's site: www.sodebo.fr/voile

From Elaine Bunting's blog: www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/elaine-bunting/

* Late update: Coville has returned to Brest after breaking a halyard and the small balcony which ensures his safety when moving around the main hull bow. He's expected to arrive in Brest on Friday and could start again next week, as another window of opportunity will arrive early in the week.

Troia Portugal Match Cup
The "Troia Portugal Match Cup" takes place between the 14th and the 17th of November, in the Sado River, at troiaresort. This is one of the major international sailing events taking place in Portuguese waters, welcoming some of the best skippers in the world to troiamarina.

The match races of the "Troia Portugal Match Cup" offer a unique and competitive show at the highest technical level and of extraordinary beauty. Given the proximity of the vessels, viewers can follow the competition from the shore, in one of the terraces at troiamarina. The best skippers in the world will be there at troiamarina for one of the biggest international competition happening in Portuguese waters. Names like James Spithill (America's Cup winner), Ben Ainslie, Dean Barker and Peter Holmberg have been present in this event. Ian Williams, the current champion in title, is one of the confirmed skippers for this edition.

Skippers for 2013:

- Pierre-Antoine Morvan, France
- Paul Cambell-James, England - Luna Rossa Challenge
- Sergey Musikhin, Russia
- Arthur Herreman, France
- Alvaro Marinho, Portugal
- Bernardo Freitas, Portugal - Roff/Cascais Sailing Team
- Afonso Leite, Portugal
- Pedro Rebelo de Andrade, Portugal

Racing begins on Friday.

www.troiaportugalmatchcup.com

Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar
Wight Vodka Nice to be deluged with emails from thirsty sailors / readers... Some of the recent ones touting their favorites:

Favourite Bar: The Boatyard Bar and Grill, Annapolis, MD. (Pictured at right)

Annapolis is a sailor's town and as such the crowd is quite discerning about just the right sailing bar. Dick Franyo, the owner of the Boatyard personally visited every sailing bar in waterfront towns of the US from Maine to Key West, FL to see what the best sailing watering holes offered. He conducted interviews and researched all the attributes that would make the Boatyard the best sailing bar possible such as pint glass drinks with healthy pours, plenty of rums, a Mount Gay hat exchange, weather station, sailing videos playing every day on big screen TVs, the walls and menus are covered with photos of local sailors and boats and are constantly updated, burgees and half-hulls dot the walls and ceiling, it is a block from the water, and it sponsors and supports just about every major sailing event, regatta, and charity in town. The atmosphere is what you'd expect with old salts, and top sailors from all over town within the bar at any given time. If you are a sailor anywhere in the world you already have a home at the Boatyard Bar and Grill!

Favourite Bar: Cafe Brakeboer, Medemblik.

Because they even have rooms for sailors to sleep. Had many regattas there where I went in with my wet gear on, not leaving till going to the boat the next morning. Jack Brakeboer is the friendliest bar owner I've ever met in the world, hosting great parties for any regatta in Medemblik. The distance of 10 meters from the KZ&RV Hollandia helps as well... www.muziekcafebrakeboer.nl

Favourite Bar: The Bitter End Yacht Club, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Bitter End is the Authentic Caribbean watering hole. Soggy sailors comingle with land lubbers to create an unmatched atmosphere of fun . The seastories get more interesting by the glass.

Favourite Bar: Salcombe Yacht Club

One of the most stunning views in the world, overlooking the Salcombe Estuary. Sitting on the terrace with a pint and some great food, watching the dinghy racing below, is hard to beat. Great atmosphere and a wonderful, friendly team of staff.

We're accepting messages and nominations until Monday December 2nd... Then we all vote on the top ten selected bars...

Tell us stories about your favourite:

scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html

Global Yacht Race Crew Thank NSRI Port Elizabeth Rescuers
Click on image to enlarge.

Clipper Rescue Late last week following a ferocious storm, the South African National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) station at Port Elizabeth launched its rescue vessels twice in separate incidents, to provide assistance to injured crew members taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Australian David Griffin was taken off the 70 foot ocean racing yacht Mission Performance with an injured calf after becoming impaled on a cleat during the same violent storm that rolled competing boat Derry-Londonderry-Doire, resulting in British woman Michelle Porter suffering severe bruising and torn upper arm ligaments.

Legendary yachtsman, the Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "As an experienced yachtsman who has completed four circumnavigations and more than five decades of sailing, I am a real advocate of the crucial role that organisations such as the NSRI play in the support and protection of sailors."

"As an expression of our gratitude and a recognition of the excellent service they provided David Griffin and Michelle Porter, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is pleased to be donating 50,000 Rand to the continuation of Port Elizabeth's NSRI service."

* In a mixed day of wind conditions for the fleet, a classic English legend seems to have played out. Consistent front runners Qingdao, Henri Lloyd, OneDLL are getting progressively richer, picking up bonus Scoring Gate points and expanding their lead following speedy surfs in strong winds that gusted between 50 to 60 knots.

OneDLL reported breaking the golden 300 miles in 24 hours milestone, though subsequent Race Office verification proved them to be close but just shy of the mark, with a confirmed 295.8 miles made between 2000 UTC Nov 11 and 2000 UTC Nov 12, 2013.

It wasn't a good day for all leaders however as GREAT Britain skipper Simon Talbot described one of his most frustrating days yet. "We were in great shape to get third place through the Scoring Gate, having worked tirelessly to reel in OneDLL and with about six hours to go, we were just over two miles ahead of them on the straight line to the Scoring Gate when a day I would rather not repeat unfolded.

"We were hit on the beam by an 8 to 10 metre wave that crashed over the boat above boom height, knocking us onto our side to about 60 degrees of heel and throwing the on deck crew across the boat. Thankfully it seemed that apart from being a bit shaken up, battered and bruised, the crew were all ok. Unfortunately by the time we finally got back up to speed, we had lost some 30 miles to our quarry, but we are back on the hunt now and most importantly the crew and yacht are in one piece!"

At 1200 UTC, Qingdao continues its lead of the fleet (2580.5 miles to finish) Henri Lloyd remains in second place (2690) with OneDLL (2712.3) third.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

RORC Seeks Deputy Racing Manager
RORC The Royal Ocean Racing Club based in London is world renowned for the organisation and support of the most prestigious offshore yacht races around the world, including its signature events the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Antigua based RORC Caribbean 600 and the inshore IRC team event the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

The club is inviting applications from suitable candidates for the post of Deputy Racing Manager to support an energetic race management team who are responsible for all RORC races.

Reporting to the RORC Racing Manager the role is to assist with the development, planning and execution of RORC races and events in the UK and abroad.

The successful candidate will have a background in a dinghy or keelboat race management, a proven record in managing people, projects and budgets and good communication and interpersonal skills.

The post will involve some travel primarily between the UK and mainland Europe and on occasions to support RORC events around the world. Time off in lieu will be given for work outside normal hours.

Salary negotiable according to experience.

A more detailed job description is available on request:

Send CV by post to:
Royal Ocean Racing Club
20 St James's Place
London SW1A 1NN

Keeping His Boots Dry
After sailing four straight Volvo Ocean Races, Richard Mason is joining Team SCA as the shore manager of the all-female crew in a role which will finally allow him to stay dry - relatively - over the next two and a half years.

The larger-than-life Kiwi was most recently watch captain and boat captain on Team Sanya in 2011-12 but this is his first shore-based role.

Born in Australia and raised in New Zealand, Mason lives in Sweden with his family and will start working immediately with the team at their base in Lanzarote.

Team SCA recently started sailing their one-design boat and the team, supported by the global leading hygiene and forest products company SCA, are currently trialling four candidates to join the seven already confirmed crewmembers.

"I have always had a huge respect for the shore teams that have supported us and kept us out on the water over the years. Now it is my opportunity to become a part of that team - and stay a bit drier!"

www.volvooceanrace.com

Eighteen In A Row??
Newly crowned male ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Australia's Mathew Belcher will be aiming for a record 18th sailing regatta win in a row at Sandringham Yacht Club this December 1 - 8 as the ISAF Sailing World Cup returns to Melbourne.

Belcher, with former crewmate Malcolm Page had won eight regattas in a row, culminating in their London 2012 Olympic victory.

Page then retired from the class and Belcher launched his new campaign for the 2016 Olympics at last year's World Cup event in Melbourne with new partner Will Ryan and the winning streak continued.

If the duo take gold in this year's Cup it will be the 18th consecutive win for Belcher, including three more World Cups in 2013, then the Open European Championship. Belcher's win, with Ryan at the 470 Worlds in August in La Rochelle, France was his fourth successive World title, the first time the feat had ever been achieved in the class.

Competitors and coaches can enter by completing the online entry form on www.sailingworldcupmelbourne.com and paying the required fees. Entries may be accepted until 26 November 2013 at the discretion of the Organising Authority if submitted with the full entry fee payment.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From From Fiona Hicks owner of RS Elite No Angel (For Sale as it happens): At a J24 Worlds in Annapolis some years ago the Mexican entry was called C O Jones (Spanish dictionary required)

* From John Burnie: Now the dust has settled somewhat on the Americas Cup it should be recalled that the principle of a foiling catamaran is not a completely new idea. Eric Tabarly was experimenting with foilers as far back as 1971. Here is a photo of him testing in 1976 - note the wings on the rudder stock. Eric was keen to develop a ocean going multihull that would foil - but he could not find a design or materials that would handle the loads. (Click on image to enlarge)

Eric Tabarly

PS I gleaned this information in a well know sailors bar in Guadeloupe.

* From Daniel Charles: As a historian, I've no doubt that the performance that will remain in the history books for 2012 is the incredible 15% jump in maximum sailing speed achieved by Paul Larsen. Many people in the past have shown their excellence by winning long streaks of victories; only Larsen has managed to push sailing into another dimension (technically speaking breaking the cavitation barrier is to sailboats what breaking the sound barrier was to airplane).

The fact that such an unheard of quantum leap was passed by the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the year, attributed to sailors of a dinghy which celebrated its half century this year, demonstrates the lack of perspective and the irrelevance of this title. -- Agathe Armand

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2008 Farr 11s Racing Yacht. US$ 165,000. Located In Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

This Farr 11s is fully rigged for top level racing. She needs a paint as the Porsche GT silver colour is showing marks. The boat can be shipped on a 40 foot flat rack, mast separates to fit in the 40 foot footprint. This is a boat with good gear and lots of it.

Brokerage through All Boat Brokerage Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/allboat/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. -- Vladimir Nabokov

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