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Bekking And Brunel Are Back
Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking will skipper a new campaign launched by Brunel on Tuesday in Amsterdam. This will be his seventh participation and the sponsor's third involvement in the race - both Bekking and Brunel are back to win the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
For both sailor and sponsor, it is a case of "unfinished business". Bekking, 50, has competed in the event twice as skipper without winning and Team Brunel will be having their third crack at the race on the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65.
Team Brunel is the fourth campaign to announce its participation in the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team joins all-female campaign Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and the Chinese challenge Team Dongfeng in the 2014-15 line-up announced so far.
For Bekking, this latest challenge from one of the world's leading nautical nations is a chance to put the record straight having twice finished runner-up in an event that is part of Dutch sailing heritage having had three winners over the event's 40 years.
He will match the achievement of Swede Roger Nilson as the only man to have competed seven times in the race, nearly 30 years after his first attempt in 1985-86.
The Dutch have a glorious heritage in the race, starting when it was known as the Whitbread Round the World Race in the 1977-78 edition which was won by the legendary skipper Conny van Rietschoten on board Flyer. He triumphed again in 1981-82 and remains the only skipper to have won the Volvo Ocean Race twice.
Brunel made its debut in the 1997-98 race as BrunelSunergy and the company returned in 2005-06 in a race that was won by rival Dutch challenger, ABN AMRO ONE.
The campaign's secondary sponsors will be Moduleo, a division of the IVC Group which is one of the world's leading manufacturers of vinyl floor coverings.
ARC Arrivals In Saint Lucia
On 20 November, 43 rally yachts sailed away from Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands bound for Rodney Bay on the beautiful Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. 7 ARC+ boats are now safely tied up inside Rodney Bay Marina having enjoyed an easy sail across the Atlantic. The rest of the ARC+ boats are due to arrive over the next week, as the established trade winds continue to speed them towards the Caribbean.
First across the finish line on Saturday 30 November at 1044 local time, was Outremer 64' Catamaran Malisi (AUT) who sailed the 2100NM passage in just under 10 days.
36 hours after Malisi's arrival came the second ARC+ arrival; X-Yachts' X-482 LUV (GER) owned by Heiko Tornow. Crews were delighted to arrive as they leapt into the sea once across the finish line to cool off after 11 days crossing an ocean.
Two other X-Yachts have joined LUV in the top 5 first arrivals, the X-482 AronnaX (BEL) and the slightly smaller X-442 Mathilde (DEN). All crews have reported some great sailing, and even too comfortable at times, "Having never sailed a passage of this length and scale, it was actually lot easier than I had expected" said Daniela De Luca D'Elia from AronnaX.
The majority of the ARC fleet that departed Las Palmas on 24th November are still some way off Saint Lucia after ten days at sea. Several of the cruising fleet have called in to Marina Mindelo themselves to refuel after a period of light winds in the first week out of Las Palmas, whilst others have experienced the effects of an intense low pressure system that formed along the rhumb line causing 24 hours of head winds and rain squalls. The unusual weather pattern has divided the fleet into three distinct groups; the larger boats of the racing fleet tracked far North of the rhumb line hoping to catch strong winds behind the low as they headed South, a strategy that is paying off so far for Knierim 65 Caro who could be on course to break the ARC course record if conditions hold.
The Whitbread Round the World Race - now the Volvo Ocean Race - spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.
Millions have been spent, legends created and six men have died. No one takes the race lightly and no one tells the story better than journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall who have been there for every race from the first in 1973. They mark the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing's greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners. They also detail the awesome advances in design and construction that make today's yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.
176 pages. 128 colour pictures and illustrations.
By Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall - Endeavour Books
£40 + postage and packing
Order online: www.southatlanticpublishing.com/sl_intro.htm
Next Stop Sydney
The 270 amateur crew on the current leg of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have started the 2150 mile fifth stage to Sydney from Albany, Western Australia. Race 5 is the fleet's second dip into the Southern Ocean which will provide a final shakedown for the amateur crews before the 12-strong fleet debuts in the classic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Race 6 of the series.
Following a Parade of Sail in King George Sound, GREAT Britain was first over the start line, followed by Derry-Londonderry-Doire and Qingdao in third position.
However, following the start, a racing incident was reported between PSP Logistics and GREAT Britain. Both yachts have returned to port for full damage assessment. There were no injuries on either yacht.
It is hoped GREAT Britain will be able to restart Race 5 tomorrow (Wednesday) morning local time, and PSP Logistics tomorrow evening, depending on how quickly spare parts arrive.
An independent jury will assess the incident in Sydney and will award redress on the basis of skipper statements and video evidence.
Garmin Hamble Winter Series
A cold, crisp day ushered in the final race of the 2013 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. Ashore, leaves and flags hung motionless, but out at the race course competitors were greeted by a good 10 knots of breeze from the NW - perfect conditions for a winter's sail to round off a successful series, which, in contrast with many events saw an increase in entries this year - no mean feat in a challenging economy.
On the water, while first place was secured in some classes there was endless scope for changing positions in the rest of the fleet, with some single-point differences ahead of this race, guaranteeing some close racing.
Localletterbox Zero II had sewn up the series in IRC 0 and won the class by 10 points overall - but they didn't have it all their own way as Ed Broadway's Hooligan VII won the final race by two minutes.
In IRC 1, the day's racing reflected the overall results, with Allie Smith's Puma Logic finishing 1st, ahead of Paul Jones' Passion and Philip Farrands' Old Mother Gun in second and third respectively on the water and overall.
Huw Philips' Malice turned things on their head in IRC 2, topping the class ahead of overall winner, Mike Bridges' Elaine, Robbie and Lis Robinson's third-placed overall Hot Rats and Paul Heys on Jungle Drum, who finished fourth on the water but took second overall by two points.
In IRC 3, Nick Munday's IndulJence won the final race to take the series by 7 points. David Greenhalgh's J'Ronimo took second on the water and overall, ahead of Chudziak, Horner and Malas on Wee Bear, whose fourth place on Sunday was enough to hand them third overall by one point.
Next year the series runs from 5th October to 30 November.
Full results of all classes: www.hamblewinterseries.com
St. Francis Yacht Club Seeks Race Manager
For more information please visit www.stfyc.com or email resume to
Eighth Extreme Sailing Series World Tour To Kick Off In Singapore, February 2014
Following the successful conclusion of the 2013 Series in Brazil less than two weeks ago, Extreme Sailing Series organisers OC Sport can confirm that Singapore has been chosen to kick off the eighth season of the elite level Stadium Racing series. The annual world tour of the Extreme Sailing Series will return to the heart of Singapore's financial hub from the 20-23 February 2014 with racing at the Promontory@Marina Bay, one of the most iconic and internationally recognised stadium racecourses of the 2013 Series.
Global asset management company Aberdeen Asset Management will continue to support the Host Venue of Singapore as the local Event Main Partner and have also today announced their continued support of the local team, Team Aberdeen Singapore.
Local sailors Scott Glen Sydney, one of Singapore's top Laser sailors, and Asian Games keelboat match racing gold medalist, Justin Wong return to the Series hoping to impress the home crowd following a successful first outing this year, joining forces with record breaking Australian sailor Nick Moloney, an offshore sailing legend as well as a veteran of the Series.
Moloney also recently skippered the Team Aberdeen Extreme 40 catamaran in the Tommy Bahama Around the Island Race, winning the event with a time of 2 hours 13 minutes and breaking the race record. Team Aberdeen Singapore will announce the names of the remaining crew in the new year.
Glenn Ashby Staying With Team Nz
Team New Zealand have been boosted in their bid to mount another America's Cup challenge, with Glenn Ashby announcing his intention to stay with the syndicate.
Speaking at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne, Ashby revealed he had been approached by Iain Murray's Team Australia but only after he had already re-committed with Team New Zealand.
The Australian was one of the key members of Team New Zealand's campaign in San Francisco this year.
Ashby was initially a member of Oracle's successful crew in 2010, coaching Jimmy Spithill in multihull sailing after US team built a giant 90-ft trimaran for the Deed of Gift challenge against Swiss team Alinghi. But with Team New Zealand able to guarantee Ashby a role on the boat, the 14-time world multihull champion made the move to Team New Zealand for the 34th edition of the Cup.
'Independent Group' Of Sailors To Form Future Irish Sailing Association Plan
The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is set for a shake-up following a year of controversy over its policies. Last night it was revealed an 'independent group' - that includes some of the association's critics - has been appointed to form a new plan for the governing body.
In framing the terms of reference for the 'Strategic Review Group' (SRG), ISA President Niamh McCutcheon conceded 'events have overtaken it and the ISA needs a new plan'.
A team of six leading sailors will 'establish the policies to be pursued and the actions required to deliver them successfully', according to SRG chairman Brian Craig, a former flag officer of the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.
Some long standing grievances aired last winter led to revolt when sailors Norman Lee and Bryan Armstrong criticised its dinghy and small boat training at the ISA agm. The points raised received widespread support that manifested itself months later in a vocal 'dinghy conference' for Ireland's 20 small boat classes at the National Yacht Club, resulting in over 300 suggestions for change.
Afloat magazine: afloat.ie/sail
Fleet Street Legend Dies In Spain
A former Fleet Street editor and yachtsman has been killed, along with his wife, in a road accident in Spain. Brian Hitchen, CBE, and his wife Nelli were crossing the road near their holiday villa at a town on the Costa Blanca when they were hit by a car. Nelli was killed instantly, her husband aged 77, died later in hospital.
Brian, formerly editor of the Sunday Express and before that the Daily Star, started sailing while working as a newspaperman in America. He transitted the Florida Intra-coastal Waterway in his first escapade aboard a 26ft sloop. He found using the foghorn to get bridges to open so effective for getting attention he later used it in Fleet Street to announce the morning conference.
Later, and back in the UK he bought Outcast, a wooden Hillyard sloop once owned by Sir John Junor, a previous editor of the Sunday Express. His last boat was Scoop, a Westerly Centaur, in which he cruised the South Coast, and raced across to Fecamp, Normandy in the Royal Escape Race, organised by his club the Shoreham-on-Sea-based Sussex Yacht Club. -- Dick Durham
Sailcare.Co.Uk Fundraiser For The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation
A dark and chilly Monday evening saw Gerry Faram from Sailcare.co.uk and his team of sailmakers, Robbie Southwell and Billy White undergo a full transformation in the hair department, all in aid of raising money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
The event was organised by Gabby Southwell and hosted kindly by Sue at the world famous Pier View, Cowes. Many local businesses had donated raffle prizes with top choices being a Go Pro camera, £150 to spend at the Henri Lloyd shop, a meal for 4 at the Pier View... and a late donation of a signed Australian Olympic sailing kit from Andrew 'Dog' Palfrey.
Cowes' close knit sailing community were shocked by the tragic news of Andrew's death back in May, with some in the town having sailed with him and many others finding inspiration from his incredible achievements and personable approach.
The event which included donations, a raffle and head shaving raised a total of £1287.50. Well done Gerry, Robbie and Billy, you may want to add a wig to your Christmas list now! -- Will Overton
Set up for blue water cruising with generator, holding tank (with macerator) and water maker. A good example, ample storage and accommodation for all the family.
Brokerage through S.D.Marine Ltd.: www.sdmarine.co.uk
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
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