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Williams Draws Level With Canfield
Photo by onEdition/AWMRT. Click on image for photo gallery.

Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu: Ian Williams moved level with Taylor Canfield at the top of the leaderboard after making sense of a brain-frying day 2 of Qualifying at the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia.

Through wildly unpredictable and fickle conditions, the reigning World Champion from Great Britain steered the GAC Pindar team to a scoreline of 5-1 in the Qualifying phase of the concluding event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. This puts Williams neck and neck with the defending Monsoon Cup champion from the US Virgin Islands.

The tricky conditions were some of the most confusing the 12 professional teams had ever encountered. Ian Williams commented: "It's amazing, I think we've been here eight times now, and we've never had the same conditions. It's really exciting racing, no lead was ever safe today. We had so many lead changes, and I think in only two of our six matches the lead stayed the same throughout the race."

Asked the secret to such consistent success in such wildly inconsistent conditions, Williams said: "Having Bill Hardesty calling tactics! We managed to stay fast today, and then you just hope that you're going fast up the right side of the course."

So far 9 of 17 flights of Qualifying have been completed. Tomorrow the aim is to conclude Qualifying, after which the top eight teams will move forward to the Quarter-Finals. The wind is expected to be more reliable than we saw today.

Qualifying Results after 9 flights

Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone - 5-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar - 5-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa - 4-2
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team - 4-2
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team - 4-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing - 3-3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team - 3-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team - 2-4
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX - 2-4
David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour - 2-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing - 2-4
Jeremy Koo (MAS) Team KFC - MYA/KRT - 0-6

wmrt.com

Mini Transat - The Elastic Is Broken
The situation is terrible. Whereas frontrunners Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) and Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) are making speeds greater than 10 knots, the further towards the middle of the fleet we go, the more speed drops. Some are completely becalmed. At this rate, the ranking can still be affected by major changes.

The men (and woman) at the front are gaining a big advantage over the rest of the fleet. Prototypes Giancarlo Pedote and Marie Benoît are neck and neck. Behind them, Remi Fermin (Boreal) is only making 6 knots while his closest competitors, Bruno Garcia (Sampaquita) and Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork), are approaching 9 knots and have less than twenty miles to gain to climb on to the podium. In the series boats, Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) has consolidated her position behind Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde Chante contre le Cancer). And while Jean- Baptiste Lemaire (Loeuvre du Marin Breton) is a little less than a hundred miles ahead of Tanguy Le Turquais ( Terreal Dream Childhood ), he lacks speed at about 4 knots. As long as the imbalance between north and south continues, it can take less than twenty-four hours to fill such a gap.

Top five Yslab Ranking (series boats) at 16.00 (GMT +1)

1. Aymeric Belloir (810 - Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) with 1119.7 nm to finish
2. Justine Mettraux (824 - TeamWork) + 108.1 nm
3. Simon Koster (819 - Go 4 it) + 174.8 nm
4. Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 -Oeuvre du Marin Breton) + 259.1 nm
5. Tanguy Le Turquais (599 - Terreal Reve d'enfance) + 345.7 nm

Top five Cegelec / Eurovia Ranking (prototypes) at 16.00 (GMT +1)

1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 - Prysmian) with 970.3 nm to finish
2. Benoit Marie (667 - benoitmarie.com) + 14.8 nm
3. Remi Fermin (741 - Boreal) + 97.1 nm
4. Bruno Garcia (240 - Sampaquita) + 112.8 nm
5. Bertrand Delesne (754 - TeamWork Proto) + 1296 nm

www.minitransat.fr

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

Revised limited edition signed by the author. Now down to the last 75 copies... for the sailor on your gift list who seemingly has everything... a very unique gift.

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 Troublé - Louis Vuitton

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

Purchase online at southatlanticpublishing.com

Sydney To Hobart: Wild Oats XI Skipper Confident Of Record-Equalling Win
Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards said two major modifications have made last year's line and handicap honours champion and race record holder even quicker heading into the 69th edition of the race on Boxing Day.

And even though one of those changes - a new mast - suffered a ''catastrophic failure'' on its first outing, Richards is backing super-maxi Wild Oats XI to claim a record-equalling seventh win.

''We're not going to die wondering, that's for sure,'' Richards said.

''We've thrown everything that we can at this boat - it's coming into its ninth year.

''When we we get back into the water at the end of next week, we're very confident she'll be in the fastest form she's ever been before. It's exciting.''

But Wild Oats XI faces one of its toughest challenges yet.

Previous line honours winners Ragamuffin 100 and Wild Thing are returning, while the newly-rebuilt Perpetual Loyal looms as a huge threat in its first crack at the race.

Perpetual Loyal was widely considered the fastest racing super maxi in the world until it capsized in the 2011 Fastnet Race after its keel snapped off.

www.theage.com.au

Irish Sailing 2014 - A Good Year Coming Up? Why Not?
Blasts from the past are a feature of many of 2014's planned championships, causing us to reflect on why classes and events wax and wane over the years. A GP 14 Worlds coming up on 10th-15th August on Strangford Lough? Time was when we won such things. The 40th Anniversary Scottish Series at Tarbert on the achingly beautiful waters of Loch Fyne? In recent years, there has been a disturbing decline in numbers taking part in this unique event, including those from Ireland. Yet during a certain glorious period of massive turnouts, top Irish boats of international renown provided a string of overall champions.

As for the continuation of the revival of ISORA Racing in the Irish Sea, with interesting new additions to the programme? Well, it's definitely happening, but we've still a long way to go to revive the heady days of the 1970s, when ISORA was the new kid on the block and thriving mightily, with the best year seeing 107 boats competing in a championship which was spread over seven weekends throughout the season, each weekend featuring a very well-supported offshore event, usually complete with an overnight element in the racing, involving logistics which might see some crew members away from home for four days - and all that just for one offshore race.

And as for multihulls being high on the global sailing interest stakes after the advent of the MOD 70s and the new-look America's Cup, the Formula 18 Worlds 2014 at Ballyholme in July (5th-11th) will be bringing one of the world's best-established catamaran classes to frontline prominence in Ireland. -- WM Nixon in Afloat magazine

A master of long form journalism and one of our favourites:

afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/

Shaw Picks Up Sailor Of The Year Prize
Olympic windsurfing star Bryony Shaw has capped off her impressive 2013 season by claiming the British Sailing Team's Athlete of the Year prize.

The 30-year-old was handed the BOA Athlete of the Year trophy for Sailing at a team presentation at Hayling Island Sailing Club on Friday (22 November), having claimed an impressive seven podium finishes from the nine events she's contested this year, including her first ever RS:X World Championship medal - a silver - from the event at Buzios, Brazil, in March.

After a tough 2012 season, with illness having hampered her Olympic hopes, Shaw was overjoyed with her consistency and success in 2013, and on receiving her award from RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park, she paid tribute to the team around her who have helped her get back on track this season.

Shaw's coach Dom Tidey also picked up the British Sailing Team's 'Golden Funnel' award for coaching excellence, while Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell were handed the RYA Paralympic Classes Athlete of the Year trophy for the second consecutive year for their podium-topping performances at the SKUD World and European Championships.

Two of the British Sailing Team's rising stars - Finn sailor Peter McCoy and Laser sailor Alex Mills Barton - were voted by their peers as the joint winners of the Podium Potential Sailor of the Year Award.

www.britishsailingteam.com

Text Book Sailing From Schooling At The Dash
Datchet Water's Ben Schooling raced his Musto Skiff to victory in the 2013 Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, the first event of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series.

After a slow start in the first race, Schooling hit form - counting a third and two firsts from Saturday's round of four trapezoid course handicap races. A third in the pursuit race was enough to seal the victory.

Sailed in a light northerly breeze all weekend, 96 boats competed, with classes ranging from a Topper to the RS800s.

With a few people late to the start in the first race, the fast and medium fleets got away cleanly. The slow fleet were over-keen and a general recall followed. With the wind dying off during the first lap, two Solos snuck through for a second lap and as the breeze returned they capitalised to take first and second.

The second race was won by the RS400 of Robert Gullan and Jack Holder of the Royal Southern Yacht club.

Sunday dawned marginally warmer with a slight increase in breeze for the 120 minute pursuit race. Tom Smith in a Topper led the entire first lap but was eventually caught by the Miracles of Sam Mettam/Harry Jones and Jeremy Davy/Ethan Plank. Positions were tight right through the fleet and the race was eventually won by the Scorpion of Peter Gray and Rachael Rhodes from Staunton Harold Sailing Club. With just minutes to go, the yellow spinnaker of Ben Schooling appeared behind the leading bunch although the leading Scorpion and Solo who were having their own downwind tussle just managed to hold on to finish in front. -- Chris Gandy

Top Six overall at Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash

1. Ben Schooling (Musto Skiff 487) Datchet Water Sailing Club
2. Michael Sims (Solo 5302) Carsington
3. Tom Gillard (Solo 5469) Sheffield Viking/Northampton
4. Peter Gray/Rachael Rhodes (Scorpion 2022) Staunton Harold
5. Alan Johnson/Paula Fisher (Enterprise 19876) SCYC & SSC
6. Craig Williamson (Laser 200906) Staunton Harold

For full results: events.sailracer.org and to enter other events in the Series: www.SailJuiceSeries.com

Tactical Decisions For The ARC Racing Fleet
Click on image to enlarge.

ARC The largest ever ARC Racing fleet departed Las Palmas on Sunday, with semi-professional racers and club-level amateur adventurers now negotiating the best tactics to see them swiftly to Saint Lucia. With a developing low mid-north Atlantic, tacticians were playing with numbers pre-start, deciding whether to try to sail the longer, northern route in the hope of better winds, or to head South in hope of picking up elusive trade winds on the rhumb line course.

The 35 strong fleet, ranging from Pogo 8.50 Pollux to 78ft Idea of London, has split and time will tell who has made the best call - Ross Appleby, of Oyster Lightwave 48, Scarlet Oyster was hedging his bets, comparing the tactical calls to a game of snakes and ladders, as the leader board positions continued to change.

Racing across the Atlantic with the ARC has always been popular way of getting to the Caribbean for regatta season. The camaraderie, preparations programme and safety requirements encourage racers and cruisers alike to come together for the annual migration, a trend that looks set to continue for 2014. The 29th ARC will depart Las Palmas on the 23rd November 2014, and with over a 100 boats registered, including 10 in IRC Racing so far, the ARC continues to be the world's most popular transocean sailing event.

More information: www.worldcruising.com/arc

Oracle's Foiling Secrets Revealed
Some people have questioned whether Oracle Team USA had a secret (and illegal) foil control system in their AC72 that helped them defend the America's Cup.

OTUSA has released drawings and photos of their system, which used a simple "mechanical feedback" loop to allow precise control of the daggerboard rake. Helmsman Jimmy Spithill had buttons on the wheel to rake the daggerboard fore and aft in precise increments of 0.5° giving him better control over lift for hydrofoiling.

OTUSA wanted to make sure their system complied with the AC72 Class Rule. They filed a "Public Inquiry" to the Measurement Committee and got approval on 8 August 2013 - only a month before the America's Cup Match was to begin. Team New Zealand then tried to have OTUSA's system ruled illegal but the Measurement Committee stood by their initial decision and the International Jury ruled that New Zealand's protest was made too late, but would not have succeeded even if it had been filed on time.

Full article on CupExperience.com: www.cupexperience.com

Simeon Tienpont Selected Dutch Sailor Of The Year
Simeon Tienpont, who was an integral member of the ORACLE TEAM USA sailing team, has won the Conny van Rietschoten award as the Dutch Sailor of the Year.

"I feel honoured to be chosen as Dutch sailor of the year," he tweeted from the ceremony. "Thank you all."

Tienpont joined the team ahead of its 2010 America's Cup win, where he was the only 'first-timer' on the team. He now has the rare distinction of winning the America's Cup in two consecutive matches.

The 31 year old has also competed in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race and has studied yacht design and construction at university.

www.americascup.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 David Evans: In respect of your news item concerning Andrew Harris, former head of a UK fractional yacht ownership firm, and fellow director David Evans, of Shakespeare Classic Line , who have both been sentenced for fraud, I would like you to note to your readers that this David Evans is a different person to myself.

I am David Evans (sometimes known as REG) the fairly well known East and occasionally South Coast (UK) yachtsman, owner of various Hullabaloos, Half Tonners and formerly a well known dinghy racer and I have no connection with Shakespeare Classic Line, lest there be any misunderstanding I am content for you to publish my contact details as below.

David Evans Tel 07905717176 & 01255674898 35 Hadleigh Road Frinton-on-Sea CO13 9HQ

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1997 Jim Betts built 77 footer. US$ 495,000. Located in California, USA.

AKELA, formally SCOUT SPIRIT, BRIGHTSTAR and ZEPHERUS is seriously for sale. Designed by the renown firm of R/P, AKELA has been setting records and winning races for years.

A total refit in 2008 brought her up to speed for world wide racing under any rule that is currently in use. New structure, new mast, new fin, new bulb, new sails and new electronics make her a new boat with an older hull date. She was the first of the breed of super sleds and she will bring a new owner many more years of fun sailing.

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

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

The Last Word
You know, fightin' in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you're fightin' in a basement! -- Lt. Aldo Raine

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