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Mini Transat - A Fleet Caught Off Guard
They say that the "Portuguese trade winds" rarely herald a walk in the park, and the passage round Cape Finisterre and the descent along the coast of Galicia have done nothing to disprove this rule. Instead of the expected winds of 25 knots, the fleet has been confronted by a gale. With varying degrees of success ...

The accompanying support boat La Pampero, reported that their boat speed we peaking at in excess of 15 knots and they were being overtaken by some competitors. In these conditions its difficult to avoid broaching, sometimes with disasterous consequences.

Technical stops and retirements
Yannick Le Clech (692 Diaoulic) dismasted. A support boat is 12 nm away and heading to him. Under jury rig, he is en route to Cascais at a speed of 2.2 knots.

François Lamy (566 Guadeloupe Espace Ocean) is heading to Cascais with a damaged rudder to try to fix it.

Carlos Lizancos (431 Reyno de Navarra) is heading for Cascais with a technical problem.

Maxime Salle (348 Bongo) has restarted from Baiona after solving his steering problem. Pilar Pasanau (519 Peter Punk) and Richard Hewson (816 are also due to leave the Spanish port following technical stops.

Yann Le Pautremat (483 Prep Nautic Sea Echo 1% for the Planet) and Sebastien Picault (198 Kickers) have confirmed their retirement.

Top Five Rankings on 14 novembre at 16.00 (TU+1)

1. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) 3364.2 miles to finish
2. Benoit Marie ( + 18 milles from leader
3. Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork Proto) +24.3 miles
4. Gwenole Gahinet (Watever - Logways) +31.9 miles
5. Remi Fermin (Boreal) +33.3 miles

Series Boats
1. Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde Chante Contre le Cancer) 3401.5 miles to finish
2. Simon Koster (Go 4 it) +5,1 miles from leader
3. Justine Mettraux (Teamwork) +10 miles
4. Robert Rosen Jacobson (Postillion Hotels) +15 miles
5. Renaud Mary ( +20.7 miles

Extreme Sailing Series Florianopolis
The opening day of Act 8 Florianopolis presented by Land Rover delivered the "best racing of the year" according to Alinghi helmsman Morgan Larson & SAP Extreme Sailing Team skipper Jes Gram-Hansen. The final showdown of the 2013 Series welcomed the eight elite level Extreme 40 teams with champagne sailing conditions - 14 knots of wind that steadily built to 20 and a brilliant Brazilian sunshine.

Eight short, sharp, fast paced races were sailed, with four different race winners and Oman's The Wave, Muscat blasted round the tight courses, reaching speeds of 24 knots and relishing the conditions that put Leigh McMillan's men at the top of the rankings at the end of day one.

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Brazil when the event officially opens to the public; the breeze is forecast to build to 30 knots overnight

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 8, Florianopolis presented by Land Rover standings after Day 1, 8 races (14.11.13)

Position / Team / Points
1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi, 69 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 64
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler, 56
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested, 56
5. ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Brad Hooker, Louis Viat, Nick Catley, 54
6. Realteam (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Nils Palmieri, Cedric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem, 49
7. GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Stewart Dodson, Tom Bentham, Shaun Mason, 37
8. Team Brazil Mapfre (BRA) Clínio de Freitas, André Mirsky, Daniel Santiago, André Chang, Bruno di Bernardi, 28

Royal St. George 175th Birthday
The notion of the 175th Anniversary of the Champions of the George originally came from Johnny Ross Murphy, and when he got friends and fellow members like the master-delegator Brian Craig, plus Derek Jago and Paul Maguire on side, the thing just grew and grew until with a group chaired by Craig, with the efficient Ciara Dowling making sure the nuts and bolts were in place, they worked at a list of who was eligible to be there.

Bob Fisher, leading sailing writer and the supreme authority on the America's Cup, brought an inspiring vision of the highest peaks of the sport to the Royal St George YC's 175th Anniversary Champions Celebration last weekend.

Sharing the round table at the inter-speeches supper with The Fish, we found topics covered were wide ranging and not necessarily entirely about boats and sailing. But nevertheless it is Bob's boat-owning history, and his uses of his boats, with which the ordinary sailing Joe can most readily identify.

The word is that just about all the Fisher myths are gloriously true. He did indeed absolutely have to sell his own-built championship-winning Fireball at a major event in Switzerland in the 1960s immediately after winning and before departing the hotel, as he and his crew had neither the money to pay the hotel bill (which was enormous, this was Switzerland after all), nor the funds to get themselves home.

He did indeed win his first race at his birthplace of Brightlingsea in Essex at the ripe old age of two years and three months (he was skipper, working mid-cockpit, while his father was detailed off to be the helmsman). And currently at his adopted home port of Lymington on the western Solent, he does indeed co-own with Barry Dunning the 1895-built 40ft Solent One Design Rosenn, the sole survivor of what was probably the world's first one design keelboat class.

Winkie Nixon's full article at

An Absorbing Interest. The America's Cup - A History
The America's Cup - A History By Bob Fisher (£250 + p&p)
Revised edition back in print. 150 copies left.

This 2-volume limited edition proved to be the publishing success of 2007. The coveted slip-case edition has become a collector's item as important to the history of the Cup, as Lawson's original 'History of the America's Cup' published in1901. All copies of 'An Absorbing interest' were quickly snapped up and now, due to constant demand, the decision has been taken to reprint a further 500 copies.

'An Absorbing Interest' charts the history of sailing's most enigmatic and greatest prize. In two volumes it covers the drama, boat design, personalities and sheer fascination of the  America's Cup, from 1851 in Cowes to 2003 in Auckland. It is illustrated with photographs, cartoons, paintings and figures and can rightly claim to be the definitive history.

This beautifully designed book charts the history of sailing's most enigmatic and greatest prize. In two volumes it covers the drama, boat design, personalities and sheer fascination of the America's Cup, from 1851 in Cowes to 2003 in Auckland. It is illustrated with photographs, cartoons, paintings and figures and can rightly claim to be the definitive history.

The beautiful illustrations for this book are drawn from a wide variety of sources. There will be charts of the courses for the early races, re-drawn from a variety of sources, line drawings, cartoons and caricatures, etchings, lithographs, paintings and a considerable number of photographs, both monochrome and coloured; all chosen to complement the text.

"This is the Bible of the America's Cup." Bruno Troublé - Louis Vuitton

View sample pages:

Purchase online at

Sail Art Competition Launched In Memory Of Bart Simpson
A Sail Art competition for school children has been launched in memory of double Olympic medallist Andrew Simpson.

The Fine Art Sails and the National Schools 'Sail Art' competition aims to keep his memory alive by giving every child in the 28,000 UK schools the chance to create artwork for the Star keelboat sails.

Simpson sailed with skipper and best friend Iain Percy in the two-man Star class, winning gold for Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Games.

The Sherborne-based Olympian also took part in the inaugural Fine Art Sails UK Championship Regatta, held in January 2013 during the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show - the first-ever pairing of world class sailors and internationally renowned artists.

The Sail Art competition invites students aged seven to 17 to design a 10-metre main sail to be raced by Ainslie, Percy and other Olympians during the London Boat Show on 4-5 January, 2014.

The competition for the best artwork is in three categories - 7-10 years; 11-14 years; 15-17 years.


GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series: Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash
Photo by Malcolm Lewin / Click on image to enlarge.

Draycote Dash The GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series gets under way on the weekend of 23rd and 24th November at the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, the first of eight major winter handicap events in this tough Series.

Last year at Draycote, Pete Nelson's RS600 prevailed over the Merlin Rocket sailed by Dave Hayes and Jonny Ratcliffe, with Andy Couch's Phantom singlehander in 3rd overall. Who will win this time? With the Great Lakes group of handicapping experts having further refined the handicap numbers used since last year, we're seeing an ever wider range of different boat classes finishing in the top 10.

Chris Gandy is the organiser of the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash. "On Saturday we plan to run at least four average-lap handicap races, with first race not before 11am," says Chris, "and then on Sunday it's a 120-minute pursuit race."

Two brand new events - the Datchet Flyer and the Oxford Blue - feature in this year's line-up, along with the six that made up last year's Series. This season you must count your best four results from these eight events. Competing at more events will give you more shots at getting a set of four good scores to put on the board.

The following regattas constitute the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2013/2014:

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
Saturday 23th & Sunday 24th November 2013

Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th December 2013

Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
Friday 27th December 2013

Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
Sunday 29th December 2013

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
Saturday 4th January 2014

Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
  Saturday 11th January 2014

Steve Nicholson Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
Saturday 25th January 2014

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd February 2014

Enter, check results at

ARC 2013 : Club Racing Across The Atlantic
Vaquita, Akilaria 40 (Austria) taking Line Honours in ARC 2012. Photo by Tim Wright, Click on image to enlarge.

ARC The ARC has always been about the challenge of an Atlantic crossing, whether for first timers in a family cruising boat, or experienced sailors pushing for a personal best crossing time on a racing yacht.

Within a few years of the first ARC in 1986, created originally solely as a fun rally for cruising boats, many crews wanted to compete rather than cruise across the ocean. A racing division was introduced in 1989 and since then racers have made up around 15% of the fleet, competing using the IRC rating system.

Holding true to the spirit of the ARC, the racing division offers club level racing on a transatlantic course and as such attracts a broad range of boats and crews. Crews of charter guests on a "bucket list" race experience, get the chance to sail against professional crews, including veterans of the Volvo Ocean Race, and Olympic sailors, on this downwind ocean course.

Around 35 boats are expected to start in the racing division on 24 November for the 2,670nm course to Saint Lucia. With a 24 year pedigree, the ARC racer's are very much a part of the ARC and registration is already open for the 2014 event.

New Foils: GC32s To Start Flying In 2014
Click on image to enlarge.

GC32 Foils After a successful first season competing at regattas across Europe, The Great Cup's GC32 catamarans are to receive a foil upgrade this winter, a change set to transform the twin-hulled speedsters into full foilers in above 8 knots of wind. The new L-foils will enable the one design GC32s to race elevated from the water, in a similar gravity-defying fashion to the AC72 catamarans that caused such a phenomenon at the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco this summer.

"Our focus has always been to deliver a sustainable product for our owners," explains Laurent Lenne, founder of The Great Cup and skipper of the SPAX Solutions GC32. "When we started the project, the AC boys were only talking about foiling. Now their boats are flying, it is our duty to close this gap by changing our boats so that they can fly too."

This year Martin Fischer, designer of the GC32, has been working as part of Franck Cammas' design team that transformed one of Fischer's own Phantom F18 catamaran design into a full foiler. This project was a test bed for Groupama C, the foiling 25ft long C-Class catamaran aboard which Cammas decisively won the International C-Class Catamaran Championship in Falmouth, England in September.

Compared to the AC72 set-up, controls for the GC32 boards will be simplified. The boards will go up and down and their rake (fore and aft inclination) can be adjusted. Fortunately the GC32's original 'double S' daggerboards are already set up with a rake control. Similarly while the change of foils maybe significant, the cases into which they fit will require just a change of roller to accept the new boards.

9th Xiamen China Club Challenge Match
Photo by Alistair Skinner. Click on image for photo gallery.

China Club 4 Days, 4 umpires, 17 teams, 64 Races, 2 Black Flags, more 'Y' Flags, green, blue and yellows than you could count and in the semi final up one 800m windward leg 27 tacks apiece.

The Club Cup as it is often known in China is the oldest keelboat regatta in China and is one of the 'must do' events for Chinese sailors.

The Club Cup has rightly gained a reputation for fairness from the equalizing of the boats by the President of J-Boats Asia - the event is sailed in J-80's - through the boat draw, the swapping of boats between races and the toughness, yet even handedness of the umpire team.

Year by year this event has matured in terms of race management and the skill levels of the competitors with obvious evidence of lots of coaching and practice in the weeks running up to the event.

In the past run the Club Cup has been held over the so called Golden Week of the Chinese national Day holiday but this year the event had to be split into a preliminary fleet racing regatta where the 30 entries were reduced to 16 who returned to Xiamen this past weekend for 4 days of knockout match racing.

The 16 teams were whittled down to the finalists Xiamen Blue Sea YC and Yomowo Sailing Club from Hainan. Each race within this match was won by seconds and not minutes with the Xiamen winning the right to challenge the defenders.

Their job was somewhat easier in the ultimate match winning 4-1 not that defenders, Liuzhou Sailing Club were embarrassed as each race was certainly far closer than the scoreline suggests.

The way this event is progressing year on year, the organizers may have as big a challenge fitting all the races into the time available as the competitors will have to get through to lifting the trophy. -- Alistair Skinner

Saildrone Completes Pacific Crossing
Click on image to enlarge.

Saildrone On November 4th, 2013, Saildrone 1 arrived in Kaneohe, Hawaii, 34 days after leaving San Francisco. This amazing accomplishment sets a new world record for a autonomous sailboats as well as being the first unmanned and autonomous vessel to cross an ocean using wind power

After a quick inspection to make sure everything was in good order, they re-deployed SD1, heading for the south pacific and more extended duration trials. The vehicle was in perfect condition, with no signs of growth on the hull, or any wear to the mechanical or electrical systems.

We desperately need to know more about relationship between the oceans and climate change. Ocean acidification is one of the most serious threats to our planet and we have not begun to properly understand its causes or effects.

Traditionally, large ships have been used to take measurements, however, these ships are very expensive and burn huge amounts of polluting diesel fuel during their operations.

From BW Sailing:

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 Rob Martin: Great donation from Sir Robin. NSRI guys are on standby 24/7 ... 365 days a year and every single person is a volunteer even the admin staff, they in my opinion better than our paid services, a few weeks back they rescued someone who decided to drive his car off a mountainside into the sea near Cape Town... a task one would think the Fire Dep't would attend to. Sea Rescue were called in.

* From Dave Hollom: Regarding boat names, the French Twelve Metre in the 86/87 America's Cup was called "French Kiss," the tender was called "Kiss me Tender" and the chase boat "Kiss me Quick". I will leave the name of the helicopter to your imagination but a clue is in another name for a helicopter. Then there was the boat called "Passing Wind".

* From John Simpson: I can remember at Leigh-on-sea where I raced dinghies, as a boy. A member of the Leigh Sailing Club had a Swift or Shearwater catamaran called 'Something Stupid' but in smaller letters close to that were written 'Don't laugh madam your daughter maybe on it'!!

* From John Corbett: Surely the best boat name... There was a Sonata called "Frank"

* From Ron Norman: Many years ago the two daughters of Francis Prout sailed a Shearwater Catamaran named "Two Abreast"

* From Terence Brownrigg: Before the editor draws a close to the amusing names subject, I should like to suggest FRED for the self designed and self built boat which turned out to be a Ridiculous Economic Disaster and the tender to a minister's yacht which was called Choirboy - the name of the larger yacht being Vicar's Folly

Finally... if I ever get back into the ff class I fancy Coffin Dodger

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The Last Word
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