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Transat Jacques Vabre: Compression and Pressure
Closing fast on the finish in Itajaí Brasil, where the parties commenced Saturday, when the race village opened, a very warm and exhuberant welcome is expected for both MOD70s when they arrive. Expected during Monday afternoon (local time). Edmond de Rothschild still held a small advantage in to the final 500 miles but with a sequence of weather hurdles set in their way, victory in this eleventh edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre is set to be held in the balance until the very final hours.

Compression, as the fleets compact in lighter winds, has been noticeable in the IMOCA Open 60 fleet who are fighting to get from the stifling Doldrums which are active and complex, into the south easterly trade winds, to establish a more decisive margin.

The Multi 50s are hard on the wind in the SE'ly trades with FenetreA-Cardinal back in a more commanding position over second placed Actual.

Class 40 sees the contraction become more noticeable as they run into lighter breezes. Now just four miles separates third from sixth, Campagne de France (Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire) dropping a couple of places over the early afternoon.

Quickest through much of the day has been Mike Gascoyne and Brian Thompson who are driving hard to try and recoup the miles they lost making a big repair to their mainsail. Lying 11th the British duo believe they have a good chance to come back.

Top three, Class 40:
1. GDF Suez, Sebastien Rogues - Fabien Delahaye
2. Mare, Jorg Riechers - Pierre Brasseur
3. SNCF - GEODIS, Fabrice Amedeo - Armel Tripon

Top three, IMOCA 60
1. MACIF Francois Gabart - Michel Desjoyeaux
2. PRB Vincent Riou - Jean Le Cam
3. Maitre CoQ Jeremie Beyou - Christopher Pratt

MOD70
1. Edmond de Rothschild, Sebastien Josse - Charles Caudrelier
2. OMAN AIR - MUSANDAM, Sidney Gavignet - Damian Foxall

Top three, Multi 50
1. FenetreA Cardinal, Erwan Le Roux - Yann Elies
2. Actual,Yves le Blevec - Kito de Pavant
3. RENNES METROPOLE / SAINT-MALO AGGLOMERATION, Gilles Lamire - Andrea Mura

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com

Time To Decide At Puerto Calero
One after the other the competitors in the Mini Transat are approaching Lanzarote and Puerto Calero, the aborted stopover point of this edition. Despite the lack of an official stopover, our Calero family and the staff of the marina remain on standby waiting for any pit stops, the first of which came this morning with Nicolas Boidevezi (Nature Addicts). Accepting the loss of 12 hours in order to be able to gain later is just one of the dilemmas that face the competitors before the big crossing.

While passing through the gate at Puerto Calero represents only a quarter of the total distance of the Mini Transat, it none the less has huge symbolic significance. This is the beginning of the trade winds, and one of the last opportunities to make a pit stop before setting off for nearly two weeks at sea with no escape.

This is also the first time the competitors are faced with a significant choice of route. Is it better to head south and go in search of the more established, stronger trade winds.... or it be more profitable to sail the most direct route.

Nicolas Boidevezi is already in port and others have announced their intention to stop for repairs including David Genest (Bingo), Rafaëla Le Gouvello (respectocean.com), Yoann Tricault (Schlüter Systems), Erwan Pellen (Mordilou) and Julien Pulve (MEXT - ICA). In contrast, others have made the choice not to break their rhythum and to stay with the competition. These include Simon Koster (Go 4 it), who will climb the mast to work on his aerial, and Remi Fermin (Boreal). Clinging on to a great fifth place in the prototypes, Remi is also the architect and builder of his boat and has decided, despite the failure of his fuel cell, to continue on his journey, trusting to his solar panels for power.

Cegelec / Eurovia Ranking (prototypes) at 16.00 (GMT +1)
1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 - Prysmian) with 2673.6 nm to the finish
2. Bertrand Delesne (754 - TeamWork Proto) + 17.9 nm
3. Benoit Marie (667 - benoitmarie.com) + 25.3 nm
4. Nicolas Boidevezi (719 - Nature Addicts) + 65.2 nm
5. Remi Fermin (741 - Boreal) + 71.5 nm

Yslab Ranking (series boats) at 16.00 (GMT +1)
1. Aymeric Belloir (810 - Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) with 2726.2 nm to the finish
2. Simon Koster (819 - Go 4 it) + 7.5 nm
3. Justine Mettraux (824 - TeamWork) + 23.5 nm
4. Renaud Mary (535 - www.runo.fr) + 47.4 nm
5. Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 - Œuvre du Marin Breton) + 61.2 nm

minitransat.fr

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

Revised limited edition signed by the author Now down to the last 120 copies.

This coveted 2-volume 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 in 1901.

These two beautifully designed tomes chart the history of sailing's most enigmatic and greatest prize, covering the dramas, designs, and personalities from the first race around the Isle of Wight in 1851 to 2003 in Auckland where Ernesto Bertarelli and his largely Kiwi renegade team stole the Cup away to Europe. It is this rich history that has led to the sheer fascination of what has become the oldest international sporting event. Heavily illustrated with rare etchings, lithographs, line drawings, paintings and pictures, all chosen to complement the text, this collector's edition charts every Cup match in great detail and can rightly claim to be a definitive history.

The perfect gift for all those fascinated by the Cup

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

View sample pages: www.southatlanticpublishing.com/aai_sample.htm

Purchase online at www.southatlanticpublishing.com

The Wave, Muscat Clinch Extreme Sailing Series Crown In Final Race
Thousands of onlookers were on tender hooks as The Wave, Muscat clinched victory in the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series in Florianopolis presented by Land Rover, in one of the closest ever-final races in the seven-year history of the Series. Under a brilliant Brazilian sunshine with a perfect 10 knots of breeze, Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hashim Al Rashidi and Musab Al Hadi were leading the fleet as they went into the final all important double points race, but out to upset the order were the Swiss America's Cup winners on Alinghi - and they almost managed it!

A second in the final race was enough for Morgan Larson and the team to snatch the Act victory from McMillan's grasp, and the Swiss came tantalizingly close to adding the Series to their winning haul - within four points in fact in the final race - but McMillan's men proved unstoppable.

It is a fitting finish for the long term Series rivals who wrap up an incredible 2013 Series tied on points - the first time in the history of the elite level Stadium Racing series that two teams have been tied at the end of the year - with The Wave, Muscat coming out on top after Act win countback.

The seventh season of the Extreme Sailing Series comes to a close in Brazil after 190 races staged across seven global venues and this game-changing professional Stadium Racing series has attracted 325,000 on site spectators in 2013.

Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of Series organisers OC Sport reflected on a successful 2013 and looked ahead to an even bigger 2014. "For us, 2013 has been a hugely significant year. First with the signing of our Series Main Partner Land Rover and also in terms of the sporting competition which has gone to another level this year as we saw today with the incredible fight for the podium. Next year is going to be one of the most exciting Series to date - we have some venues returning, as well as venturing into new territories that will take us to four continents."

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings

Position / Team / Points

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 74 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) 74
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 61
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 51
5. Realteam (SUI) 49
6. GAC Pindar (NZL) 42
7. Team X Invitational 34
8. Team Korea (KOR) 16

Act 8, Florianopolis

Position / Team / Points
1. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 219 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi, 215
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler, 208
4. ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Brad Hooker, Louis Viat, Nick Catley, 184
5. Realteam (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri, Jerome Clerc, 164
6. GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Stewart Dodson, Tom Bentham, Shaun Mason, 159
7. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested, 122
8. Team Brazil Mapfre (BRA) Clínio de Freitas, Andre Mirsky, Daniel Santiago, Andre Chang, Bruno di Bernardi, 61

extremesailingseries.com

Laser Standard World Championships
British sailor Nick Thompson has never won a major Laser event but today he revelled in the superb breeze at Mussanah, Oman to get his 2013 Laser Standard World Championships off to a promising start after the opening two races.

Thompson, who missed last year's world championships when he fell ill with appendicitis, followed up his second in the first race of the day with victory in the second to head the leaderboard overnight with three points, ahead of Sweden's Jesper Stalhein (5) and Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus (8).

The conditions, comprising brilliant sunshine with winds that topped out at around 16 knots and seas that started flat but grew choppy two hours into racing, were described by officials on the race boat as perfect and ideal for sailing.

This was a description that eight times Laser World Champion Robert Scheidt agreed with after posting a fourth and fifth to sit in seventh place overnight.

The qualifying races continue on Monday with two scheduled for each day until Wednesday. The finals series starts on Thursday with the last two showdowns set for Saturday.

Top ten after two races:

1. Nick Thompson, GBR, 3.0 points
2. Jesper Stalhein, SWE, 5.0
3. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 7.0
4. Tom Burton, AUS, 9.0
5. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 9.0
6. Jean-baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 9.0
7. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 9.0
8. Bruno Fontes, BRA, 11.0
9. Francesco Marrai, ITA, 12.0
10. Andrew Maloney, NZL, 14.0

www.omanlaserworlds2013.com

18ft Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 5
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

18ft Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 5 Sydney Harbour: Michael Coxon, Dave O'Connor and Daniel Nixon brought Thurlow Fisher Lawyers home a35s winner of Race 5 of the 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour today.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson) finished in second place, with series leader Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack and Aron Everett) a further 1m1s back in third place.

The Kitchen Maker (Josh Mc Knight) was next, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

Sydney continued to produce dreadful weather for the event with a heavy rain squall just before the scheduled start, which forced a short postponement.

The southerly wind made it more like a mid winter day and all competitors were glad to get back into the warmth of the clubhouse. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au

Seahorse December 2013
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Design - Intelligent design
Paul Bogataj gives an illustration of the level of development that is taking place among the top end of the most competitive one-design fleets

RORC news
Eddie Warden Owen

Seahorse build table - A (swift) new baby
Peter Johnstone introduces the rapid new Gunboat G4

Sailor of the Month
More prizes than you could shake a stick at

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub for UK residents: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/

1yr Digital Sub for £30: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine

Lennon's Sailing Trip
Six months before he died, John Lennon set sail from Newport, R.I., on an ocean adventure to Bermuda that awakened his desire to make music again and is now being chronicled in an electronic format he could not have conceived of.

A new app, "John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes," is being offered for sale on Apple devices Thursday for $4.99. It's loaded with interactive features, music, photos and interviews that detail a relatively unexamined slice of the former Beatle's life.

More important, it opens the door to a potentially potent new creative outlet for musicians and the struggling industry.

Users of the app can simulate the six-day journey through the recollections of two crew members and Lennon himself, in a Playboy interview conducted shortly after the trip. They can virtually visit the disco where Lennon heard a recording of The B-52s' "Rock Lobster," which reminded him of his wife Yoko Ono's music and coaxed him back to work. They can eavesdrop on the creative process as Lennon's last recordings took shape.

A few days into the trip they ran into a strong storm. Two crew members became violently seasick and the captain, Hank Halsted, succumbed to exhaustion. A rock star and novice sailor was left to keep the "Megan Jaye" afloat despite the wind and waves. The crew members remember Lennon singing sea chanteys as he steered the ship to safety.

The experience gave Lennon some pride at a time in his life when he was having some issues with self-confidence, she said.

All net proceeds benefit WhyHunger's work to realize a world free of hunger and poverty.

From the Pocono Record: www.poconorecord.com

See www.lennonbermudatapes.com

Wind Gusts Exceed 100 Knots In Latest Southern Ocean Storm
Mother Nature invited select Clipper Race teams to a star studded weather show yesterday. Those who were invited had no choice in their attendance, though according to skipper reviews it was a fun night of exciting, incredible, awe inspiring and definitely unforgettable proportion.

Gale to violent storm force winds were the star of the night, building quickly and steadily in pace from 50 to 80 knots, then a dramatic finale roared to a deafening crescendo with multiple skippers reporting gusts with wind speeds of 100 to 130 knots. Thankfully no injuries or damage were reported during the proceedings.

Old Pulteney skipper Patrick van der Zijden said: 'Riders on the Storm' by the Doors is the soundtrack that comes into my head writing this blog. If we could, we would have played it on our outdoor speakers although I doubt we would have heard it. The top of the storm gave us wind force 9 and 10 on the Beaufort scale, with gusts from 70 up to 120 knots plus at times."

With around a week's racing left in Race 4, it is unclear whether this show was a one night only spectacular or an opening night preview but skippers are all well aware now of the potentials that still lie ahead in the remaining miles to Albany.

At 1200 UTC, Qingdao continues its lead, (1774 miles to finish) with Henri Lloyd in second place (1851 miles) and OneDLL (1861.6 miles) currently in third following after another day of position swapping.

https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com

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 Martin Nichol: At the risk of embarrassing one of your very knowledgable contributors Euan Ross I would like to add to the growing list of quirky boat names, because it reflected the time it was named in the late 60's. Euan was a talented Merlin Rocketeer in his youth, at a time when there was a rapid evolution in hull shape and width. Following a lengthy discussion about what to call his lovingly home finished new Kingsize, his younger sister is quoted as saying "I don't know what it is but here it comes again". This name was fashioned in computer script from fablon and applied to the side of the boat, but was disappointingly shortened to 'idkwiibhica' for the national championships by the Merlin Rocket Class. The rest of us called it "Dunnowot", because we constantly stared at the transom as it disappeared into the distance.

* From Daniel Charles: With regards to names, here is an oldie but a goldie. Back in 1820, a young Yankee innovator, having seen Robert Fulton's twin-hulled steam ferries, wondered what such architecture would achieve with a sail and built the first sailing catamaran in the USA. Expecting the worst, he christened his prototype "Double Trouble", a name that the contraption soon deserved. The young innovator's name was John Cox Stevens; he would go on founding the New York Yacht Club in 1844, win the Hundred Guineas Cup around the Isle of Wight in 1851 with the schooner America, and propose to transform the bloated silver ewer into a permanent international trophy, the America's Cup...

* From David Evans: Having been amused with the probably never ending correspondence on boat names - on the East Coast there is an Iroquois Catamaran that is clearly to quote Bob Fisher a "Country Cottage" and has the delightful name of "DUN LEANING" which rather conjours up those later years.

* From John Phillips: The playboy who endeavoured to please all his partners when they enquired what he had called his boat. The name was "After You"

* From Randall A. Richter: A Farr 1020....named Farrtabout

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 McConaghy Turbo TP 52. EUR 525,000. Located in United Kingdom.

PACE ( ex RAN) is seriously for sale. Built for the Med Cup in 2007, PACE was modified in early 2008 with a long prod, extra big kites and a slightly deeper fin and bulb. Hence the world "turbo" applies as she has proven to be very very fast racing against all existing TP 52's modified for IRC, on both sides of the Atlantic in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. This is a turn key sale, with everything needed to step right on and continue winning.

Brokerage through Thoroughbred Yacht Sales: www.yachtworld.com/thoroughbred/

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

The Last Word
It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety. -- Isaac Asimov

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