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Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA Leader Macif Dismasted
Whilst leading the IMOCA Open 60 Class of the Transat Jacques Vabre two handed race from Le Harvre to Itajai, Brasil MACIF was dismasted around 0000hrs UTC on Wednesday (into Thursday) night whilst sailing some 140 miles from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. French co-skippers Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux immediately informed Race Direction so they could warn shipping in the area in order that could avoid colliding with MACIF. Both sailors are reported to be safe and sound and have secured the boat by cutting away the rig. They are headiing towards Salvador de Bahia.

Class 40
A notable compression of the fleet is under way in the Transat Jacques Vabre's Class 40 fleet and now nine boats at the top are expected to squeeze up as they get into the Doldrums. Leaders Sebastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye are not expected to have it easy as they get into the difficult, changeable conditions. Mare, sailed by Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseur, are only about three hours behind while the Spanish duo Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde on Tales Santander 2014 are only another 10 hours or so behind them. They have been very quick since the Canary Islands, as have the Austrians Christof Petter and Andreas Hannakamp on Vaquita who are now up in fourth. But largely it should still be a first in-first out situation, emerging into the SE'ly trade winds.

Multi 50
Off the Brazilian coast Actual (Le Blevec and de Pavant) have made a strategic move in second place to try and compensate for lost time with a spinnaker problem, moving towards the shore and presently sailing some five or so miles off the beaches, trying to find a little more wind pressure. For the moment it does not seem to be reaping them much of a dividend, but there has been a gybe by the leaders FenetreA Cardinal (Le Roux - Elies), 50 miles ahead, just to keep a cover on their pursuers. Their winds are more in the NE now and so the leaders have just chosen to keep their only real rivals in check.

Class leaders (both MOD70s have finished)

IMOCA 60
1. MACIF, Francois Gabart - Michel Desjoyeaux, 1138 nm to finish
2. PRB, Vincent Riou - Jean Le Cam, 11 nm to leader
3. Maitre CoQ, Jeremie Beyou - Christopher Pratt, 79
4. Safran, Marc Guillemot - Pascal Bidegorry, 96
5. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm - Philippe Legros, 190

Class 40
1. GDF SUEZ, Sebastien Rogues - Fabien Delahaye, 2307 nm to finish
2. Mare, Jorg Riechers - Pierre Brasseur, 28 nm to leader
3. Tales Santander 2014, Alex Pella - Pablo Santurde, 48
4. Vaquita, Christof Petter - Andreas Hanakamp, 63
5. Watt & Sea, Region Poitou Charentes, Bestaven Yannick - Aurelien Ducroz, 69

Multi 50
1. FenetreA Cardinal, Erwan Le Roux - Yann Elies, 481 nm to finish
2. Actual, Yves le Blevec - Kito de Pavant, 33 nm to leader
3. Rennes Metropole / Saint-Malo Agglomeraation, Gilles Lamire - Andrea Mura, 1054
4. Vers un monde sans SIDA, Erik Nigon - Samy, 1477

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com

Team Aqua Wins The 2013 RC44 Match Racing Championship
Las Palmas, Spain: Returning to Lanzarote for the sixth time since the RC44 class was conceived in 2007, the final leg of the 2013 Championship Tour kicked off with season's match racing finale in Puerto Calero. The competition was tight with just four points separating the top four teams. The race committee managed to squeeze nine flights into a squally 10-20 knots day, that saw some big names tumbled off the podium.

Team Aqua's owner Chris Bake took the helm for the final match race day, Cameron Appleton calling the shots. After a slow start to the season the team had worked their way up the leaderboard, taking a two-point advantage over Katusha going into the final event.

The leaders didn't get off to the best of starts losing their first match of the day to Peninsula Petroleum, overstanding the pin end layline at the start. But the British flagged team pulled straight back, winning their next four races, enough to hand Team Aqua the 2013 RC44 Match Race Championship, a title they last held in 2011.

The Calero Marinas RC44 World Championships now begins. Four days of fleet racing will see the 15 teams compete for the world championship trophy.

Racing continues through to the 24th November in Puerto Calero, follow the action on the live blog at www.rc44.com.

RC44 Championship Tour Overall Match Race Ranking
(After five events)

1. Team Aqua - 23
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team - 22
3. Artemis Racing - 21
4. Katusha - 20
5. Aleph Sailing Team - 17
6. Gazprom Youth Sailing Team - 16
7. Team Nika - 12
8. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team - 11
9. Team Italia - 9
10. Team CEEREF - 8
11. Aegir Racing - 7
12. Ironbound - 4
13. MAG Racing - 3
14. Bronenosec Sailing Team - 3
15. Puerto Calero Residence Club Black - 1

RC44 Championship Tour Overall Fleet Race Ranking
(After four events)

1. Team Aqua - 4
2. Katusha - 7
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team - 8
4. Artemis Racing - 13
5. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team - 15
6. Ironbound - 18
7. Team Nika - 19
8. Aleph Racing - 20
9. Team CEEREF - 20
10. Aegir Racing - 22
11. Team Italia - 24
12. Gazprom 2 - 24
13. Bronenosec Sailing Team - 38
14. MAG Racing - 40

rc44.com

Ramsgate Performance Sailing Suit - The Swiss Army Knife Of Sailing Suits
Marine Pool More than 22 years of experience and expertise are behind every functional garment designed by Marinepool. Cutting edge technology, optimized down to the smallest detail. Developed, tested and chosen by some of the world´s finest sailors and worn on the fastest yachts on the planet like giant trimaran Spindrift2, the MOD70 Oman Air and other leading offshore teams.

Marinepool's new Ramsgate performance sailing suit takes fabric innovations to the next level. Ramsgate is entirely made from Dermizax® NX membrane which is renowned for minimum weight, extreme breathability, highest waterproofness and ultimate elasticity. Indeed, the utilization of this NX membrane in sailing clothing is absolutely unique since the creator of the membranes Toray supplies Marinepool exclusively with fabrics made to the innovative NX formula.

Crucially, important but usually contradicting qualities are incorporated in one product without compromise. Despite ultimate breathability and enormous elasticity of the fabric, Ramsgate is extraordinarily durable and robust and indeed the perfect choice for the demanding conditions of ocean sailing when the going gets tough. 

Ramsgate jacket and trousers are available in two colours: orange and dark grey. Ramsgate convinces with a very dynamic, fashionable and attractive design that simultaneously meets the demands of professional sailing due to intelligent features. These include for instance highly abrasion resistant reinforcement patches on shoulders and sleeves, reflecive patches by 3M, a high offshore collar, an adjustable hood in signal yellow, smart eyelets and loops to fix equipment as well as a separate intelligent YKK zipper system for the integration of an optional fleece into Ramsgate jacket.

The new Ramsgate by Marinepool. Design. Technology. Passion.

www.marinepool.com

Light and Shifty Breeze Poses New Challenges
Oman: The breeze turned light in Oman but it was the shifts that made the fourth day of the 2013 Laser Standard World Championships the most difficult yet for the sailors except for Robert Scheidt who by the end of the qualifying series had stretched his lead to five points.

After three days where the arrival of a sea breeze coincided with the start of racing, the conditions at Mussanah Beach changed and sailors had to wait for some gentle puffs to gather strength before they were let out on the water where they were then forced to make tricky choices on the course as shifts proved tricky to detect.

Pavlos Kontides and Robert Scheidt enjoyed the light airs as much as heavier breeze and recorded race wins in their fleets while Marco Gallo from Italy and Nicholas Heiner from Nederlands notched up wins in the Blue fleet.

Nick Thompson's roller-coaster regatta continued with another day of mixed fortunes. After losing a protest on Tuesday night that saw him pick up a second disqualification for taking mark-room to which the boat was not entitled in Race 5, he posted a 24th followed by a 5th in the final race.

"The shifts were huge and it was very hard to see them coming which was reflected in the results," Thompson said.

"It was a shame about the second DSQ and it has made it very hard for me now. If I nail all the remaining races, I can discard those two qualifying races but it means I cannot afford to make any more mistakes."

On Thursday, the fleet is divided into Gold and Silver fleets with two races scheduled each day in both fleets.

omanlaserworlds2013.com/eng/

Artemis Racing, the RC44's and the America's Cup
Iain Percy is in Puerto Calero, calling tactics for Torbjorn Tornqvist oboard Artemis Racing at the RC44 World Championship. Valencia Sailing caught up with him and talked about his new role as Team Manager and the present and future of the team and the America's Cup

VSail.info: I'd like to step back to the previous America's Cup. Artemis Racing was one of the teams that started very early, as early as the fall of 2010, had ample resources and became the Challenger of Record. However, it suffered from a series of very serious setbacks that culminated with the unfortunate and tragic accident last May. In hindsight, looking back, what were the errors the team committed? What lessons did you draw so that you avoid repeating them in this America's Cup?

Iain Percy: Huge lessons! To be fair, I think that all teams that did this new challenge for the first time learnt a lot and you learn from doing things badly. Like everyone else we learnt through both, through making mistakes. I wasn't very involved until after the 2012 Olympics but I must say that in the final 6-8 months, because of guys like Bart, Nathan or Iain Jensen, the feeling in the camp was absolutely incredible. I have, personally, never worked in such a politics-free team, such a hard-working, driven team. Where we were for most of the time I experienced, there was very little wrong. We are now going to be one team, in one venue, concentrating on winning the America's Cup. This is probably our central message.

VSail.info: In what regards the 34th America's Cup as an event how would you assess it? What do you think were its strong points and where do you think it could be improved? Do you have any criticism regarding the organization, the format or what you personally think should be done?

Iain Percy: One thing I never doubted was that Larry's and Russell's vision, what they truly believed, was going to be the best for our sport and the best for the America's Cup. I always supported that, I never was one of those cynics and, in the end, I think that the final product proved to be a step transformation for our sport. Finally, it was very appealing to the non-sailing public as well as the sailing public. Like we all learnt from our good and bad things, I'm sure the event will too. I think it's clear that both on the safety side and the cost side, it would be good to increase safety and reduce costs, so that we have more teams. -- Pierre Orphandis

Full interview in Valencia Sailing:

www.vsail.info

2014 Figaro Beneteau Circuit
After a busy and intense year 2013, the Figarists already have their eyes set on the program of the Figaro Beneteau 2014 season. The Transat AG2R La Mondiale will fire the first shot in double-handed. It will be followed by the three major events of the French Solo Offshore Sailing Championship including a new final. With six promotional races to complete the calendar, the season looks very promising for one of the most famous solo offshore circuit.

The official races

The official program of the Class Figaro Beneteau includes 4 competitions : The Transat AG2R La Mondiale, that will start on 6th April from Concarneau towards St Bartholomew is expecting no less than 20 duets for its 12th edition. Coming next are the 3 races of the French Elite Championship of Solo Offshore Racing.

In parallel to these 4 main events, the solo sailors will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of preparatory races : The Icom Cup, the Solo Maître Coq, the Solo Concarneau, the Spi Ouest France Intermarche fully crewed, the Transmanche and finally the Solo Basse Normandie.

2014 Agenda

Icom Cup - march 2014
Transat AG2R La Mondiale - departure on April, 6th from Concarneau
Solo Maitre CoQ - from 8 to 12 April 2014
Spi Ouest France Intermarche (crew) - from 18 to 21 April 2014
Solo Concarneau Trophee Guy Cotten - from 28 avril to 4 May 2014
Solo Basse Normandie - from 13 to 17 May 2014
Le Havre Allmer Cup - end of May 2014
Transmanche - from 6 to 8 June 2014
Solitaire du Figaro Eric Bompard - Departure on June, 8th from Deauville
Finale du Championnat - End of August / beginning of September 2014

www.classefigarobeneteau.com

BBC To Assess Future Of Shipping Forecast
The British Broadcasting Corporation are circulating a questionnaire to ascertain whether the public still listens to Radio 4's Shipping Forecast

Members of the public are being asked to complete a questionnaire about the BBC's Shipping Forecast as part of its plans to assess the programme's future.

Experts believe the days of the Shipping Forecast are numbered as weather-seekers download predictions from the internet.

Former Met Office forecaster Frank Singleton, reveals in the January issue of Yachting Monthly: "The Shipping Forecast will, eventually, have to cease. That is an inevitable consequence of digital radio and maintenance costs of ageing equipment. The only uncertainty is when?"

To air your views on the issue, complete the BBC's questionnaire by January 17, 2014.

From Yachting Monthly (where you can complete the questionnaire:
www.yachtingmonthly.com

Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography
Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography Eileen Ramsay was at the centre of a unique period in yachting history, and this wonderful book, featuring her classic photography, celebrates an extraordinary woman and her extraordinary subjects. Eileen's heyday was between 1950 and 1970 - a time when eccentrics ruled, records were there for the setting, and women weren't often to be found behind the lens.

But Eileen established herself as one of the greatest yachting photographers of her time, taking famous portraits of sailing icons like Francis Chichester and Eric Tabarly, Olympians, including Rodney Pattisson and Keith Musto, and historic pictures from the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic (OSTAR) Races.

Her unique archive records the explosive growth in dinghy and offshore sailing during post-war years, and includes pictures of the first Enterprises, Mirrors, Ospreys, Optimists and the first America's Cup 12 metres Sceptre and Evaine.

Eileen, now into her 90s can remember just about every photograph she has taken and relate an anecdote or story about each one. Many of these memories are also recorded in the book.

Eileen Ramsay - the Queen of Yachting Photography, is a spectacular celebration of a pioneering photographer and a fascinating time in yachting history.

160 pages, 123 classic pictures. £25 + postage & packing

southatlanticpublishing.com/er_intro.htm

Swan Transatlantic Challenge
Ten Swans are in the final preparation stages for the ARC, the 2800 nautical mile passage from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia, and will compete for the prestigious Swan Transatlantic Challenge trophy designed by Asprey.

Among the fleet of Swans is newly built Swan 53 Kathea (GER) which has just finished her first sailing season; emerging fresh from the Nautor's Swan yard in Finland earlier this year, before she headed to Cowes, Isle of Wight to the Gazprom Swan European Regatta in July.

The renowned offshore rally is predicted to take between 14 - 21 days. Swan 53 Kathea will be crossing the Atlantic along with other Swans ranging from Swan 46 Milanto to Swan 65 Vahine. These Swans will then remain in the Caribbean for the full season of cruising and racing.

The next event for the Swan Challenge Series will be the RORC Caribbean 600 in February.

www.worldcruising.com/arc/event.aspx

Good News Bad News
The America's Cup Pavilion, the 9,000-seat waterfront amphitheater where the America's Cup Concert Series was staged this summer, has been nominated for an international music industry award for "Best New Major Concert Venue."

The America's Cup and Live Nation partnered to design and build the temporary venue, which was the centerpiece of the America's Cup Park at Pier 27/29 on the Embarcadero on the downtown waterfront. The 19-concert series ran from May through October 2013.

"We are proud to be recognized by the industry with a Pollstar award nomination for the America's Cup Pavilion," said Jodi Goodman, President Live Nation Northern California. "The intersection of music and sports with our America's Cup partnership brought an important cultural addition to the San Francisco waterfront."

Voting for the Pollstar Awards concludes by December 20. The winners will be announced at the 25th Annual Pollstar Awards in February in Nashville.

americascup.com

* PKF Consulting released its "September Trends in the Hotel Industry in Northern California" report - meaning the San Francisco hotel occupancy percentages and average daily rates for the duration of the Cup are now known.

So, in July, August, and September of this year, city hotels were booked at 90.6, 92.8, and 90.4 percent clips. Impressive. But, during the same months last year, those totals were 89.1, 92.5, and 89.9 percent. Glancing back at occupancy rates going back the last five years, they're always within a couple of percentage points of where they are now. Average daily rates are about 8 percent over what they were last year - but "ADRs" have been climbing all year.

Controller Ben Rosenfield conceded that "at first blush," it's safe to say that the Cup was no windfall.

www.sfweekly.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.

* David Lewin: Sitting here at METS in Amsterdam looking at the most sophisticated, expensive and esoteric machinery to stabilize motor boats (including the DAME Award winner) I can't help feeling that the best stabilizer was invented several thousand years ago and is called a 'sail'!

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1988 Tony Castro 3/4 Tonner One Off. EUR 17,950. Located In Fenit, Co. Kerry., Ireland.

"Strictly Business" is a one off Tony Castro 3/4 Ton design. She was built in 1988 and named "Bateleur 88" and was successfully campaigned by her then owner Chris Bonnar.

She is extremely strong and light. Her construction includes a combination of GRP, Kevlar and carbon stiffners. All hatches are watertight. She is in good condition overall and is ready to go racing with a new owner.

Brokerage through Crosshaven Boatyard: www.yachtworld.com/crosshavenboatyard/

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

The Last Word
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. -- Robert F. Kennedy

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Editorial and letter submissions to

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