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AUDI Melges 20 World Championship
Key Largo, Florida, USA: Congratulations to 2013 Audi Melges 20 World Champions John Taylor, owner of Ninkasi, tactician Bill Hardesty and Joey Mello on bow. After ten races, against 52 of the world's greatest Audi Melges 20 teams, Taylor cashed in big at the finish line on Saturday to win the Class' first World title.

Taylor has never won an Audi Melges 20 regatta, nor any other regatta for that fact.

Finishing second overall, 2013 Audi Melges 20 Corinthian World Champion Marcus Eagan on Cajun Underwriting along with his dad Marc and brother Andrew swept the awards. They are the only team to place in the overalls as well as the Corinthian Division.

Falling further from grace, was third place finisher Travis Weisleder on Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team. It was do or die on the final day of racing as he stood only a few points out of first place. A second place finish in Race Nine gave way to a glimmer of hope, but he had an OCS in Race 10.

Top ten final results, 10 races, 1 discard:

1. John Taylor/Bill Hardesty, Ninkasi, 48 points
2. Marcus Eagan/Marc Eagan, Cajun Underwriting, 56
3. Travis Weisleder/Scott Nixon, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team, 68
4. Alessandro Rombelli/Paul Goodison, STIG, 76
5. Jason Michas/Mark Mendelblatt, Midnight Blue, 79
6. Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16, 84
7. Jeff Ecklund/John Kostecki, STAR, 84
8. John Kilroy/Jeremy Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti, 94
9. Jim Richardson/Terry Hutchinson, Barking Mad, 94
10. Michael Kiss/Chris Rast, Bacio, 99

Top Three Corinthian Results (After eight races, one discard)

1. Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting
2. John Brown, Blind Squirrel
3. Paul Currie, Wild Deuces

Dragon Overpowers The Cougar
Photo of Shogun by Peter Andrews, Click on image for photo gallery.

Shogun Karl Kwok's Team Beau Geste completed a series whitewash in the inaugural Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup with a fourth and final outright win in the three-day Pittwater regatta, December 13-15, 2013.

The 52-footer with the insignia of a Chinese dragon on the hull and crew gear delivered the spoils to the modest Hong Kong based businessman, on this occasion overpowering the Tasmanian Cougar.

Kwok was delighted to collect the spoils, paying tribute to his helmsman and friend of close to three decades, Gavin Brady, and consummate international crew.

Kwok and Brady were joined by regulars Rob Salthouse, Jamie Gale and Phil Jameson, among others. Winning round-the-world yachtsman Mike Sanderson and an imposing trio from Team New Zealand America's Cup challenge garlanded the long weekend line-up.

Today's three bullets and a first, second and third on IRC handicap tallied with their five previous results gave Beau Geste a grand total of 15 points for the Premier Composite Technologies TP52 regatta, six points clear of Tony Lyall's Cougar II (TAS) in second. Beau Geste also won the round on PHS. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Final results
1. Team Beau Geste, Karl Kwok, 16 points
2. Quest, Bob Steel, 19
3. Cougar II, Tony Lyall, 22
4. Vamos, Connel McLaren , 29
5. Shogun V, Rob Hanna, 44
6. Frantic, Michael Martin, 44

* In 18 knots of southerly breeze, Rob Hanna's TP52 Shogun V was dismasted off Palm Beach on Sydney's Northern Beaches on day two of the Premier Composite Technologies TP52 Southern Cross Cup Regatta, Saturday 14 December 2014.

The black carbon fibre mast was 26 metres tall at the midday start of race four on the course area called Palm Beach circle, to the east of Barrenjoey Headland. Less than half way to the top mark there was only 6 metres left, the failure happening mid-tack just as the boat levelled out.

In a rolling ocean the predominantly Melbourne based crew worked furiously with hacksaws to free the three-year old rig, with both mainsail and headsail still attached, from the windward side of the boat before it swung in and punctured the hull.

Wild Oats XI Gets A Lift
Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image for photo gallery.

Wild Oats The guys on Wild Oats XI call her the Swiss Army Knife these days - and fair enough - lately she has added so many foils and blades, thrusting out at all angles from her narrow steel-grey hull, she looks like some kid has had a great time pulling all the do-dahs out of a penknife at once.

When she is sitting in the water, Wild Oats XI looks pure greyhound, but suspended under the giant travel lift at her home base in Woolwich, she is almost insect like, skinny legs akimbo.

The retractable bow centreboard is still there from last year, as are the twin daggerboards angling out on either side just ahead of the mast, and the tiny winglets on the giant bulb hanging from her slender canting keel.

But now, just behind the daggerboards is a horizontal foil, which when extended, sticks out about 2 metres from the side just below the waterline.

Like the other small foils, the stabiliser is retractable, sitting in a sheath across the interior of the hull. It is only when Wild Oats XI gets above 20 knots downwind that the stabiliser will be put into play on one side or the other, depending whether she is on port or starboard gybe.

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 60 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:

Purchase online at

NOTE: Last day to order for Christmas delivery is December 16

Midnight Rambler Takes the CYCA Trophy Series
After winning Race 1 of the CYCA Trophy - Passage Series yesterday, Midnight Rambler, the Ker 40 owned by Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik, backed up and won again today to claim Division 1 victory from Tony Kirby's brand new Ker 46, Patrice, which comes from the same design stable as the victor.

Following yesterday's ideal 14-20 knot winds, the fleet was at the mercy of very light and shifty winds, which covered all points of the compass and varied from 3 knots to around 6.5 knots. These conditions forced officials to shorten the original 19 nautical mile course at the top mark, set eight miles off North Head, after the fleet started the race near Shark Island.

Breaking in a new suit of sails with no trouble, Midnight Rambler's crew picked the shifts right every time to overcome Patrice overall by over three minutes, with Sam Haynes' Rogers 46 Celestial a minute adrift of Patrice, enough to claim fourth place overall in the series behind

Division 2 went to Andy Kearnan's L'Altra Donna, which won today's race from the Mitchell Miller skippered Canute, and Larki Missiris' Wild One. Yesterday's winner, Brannew, the Beneteau 40 owned by Chris Bran, did not make the start today.

This division was a lot more closely contested than Division 1, with Kearnan's always well-performed Summit 35 only beating Canute, a King 40, by eight seconds overall. However, Wild One, a Sydney 38, was a further nine minutes behind.

The CYCA Trophy also took in Race 2 and 3 of the four-race Southern Cross Cup. With three races locked away, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will decide the winning team and cannot be used as the drop.

After today's race, the CYCA White team of Wild Rose (Roger Hickman), Victoire (Darryl Hodgkinson) and Patrice leads the CYCA Gold team of Celestial, Midnight Rambler and Balance by two points, with Australia third and CYCA Blue fourth. -- Di Pearson

Patience and Anderton Win Datchet Flyer
Luke Patience and Richard Anderton (Fireball) are winners of the Datchet Flyer Open Weekend. They finished first in Sunday's double-points Pursuit Race to take victory ahead of Nathan Batchelor and Sam Pascoe (Fireball) with Steve Bolland (RS300) taking third place overall. Three races were sailed on Saturday and then the 100 minute Pursuit Race on Sunday.

Over all top ten
Datchet Flyer - Overall Final Leaders - 3 Races + Pursuit Race (100 Entries)
1. Fast Fireball, Luke Patience / Richard Anderton, 6 points
2. Fast Fireball, Nathan Batchelor / Sam Pascoe, 14
3. Slow Rs 300, teve Bolland, 20
4. Fast Cherub, Clive Everest / Alex Everest, 23
5. Fast Contender, Stuart Jones, 23
6. Fast B14, Mark Watts / Chris Bishop, 27
7. Fast Musto Skiff, Ben Schooling, 27
8. Slow Merlin Rocket, Jasper Barnham / Graham Sexton, 31
9. Fast D-One, Nick Craig, 34
10. Slow Merlin Rocket, Olly Turner / Hamish Kilburn, 37


Full results:

Ocean Safety's Doors Open For Winter Servicing
Ocean Safety Don't get caught out in the spring when the first sunny day beckons you to go sailing and you realise as you step aboard that your safety equipment is out of date. It's winter now and the best time to get your liferafts, lifejackets and Jonbuoy equipment serviced.

"We advise customers to get their equipment in to us as soon as they have laid up their boat for the season," comments Ocean Safety's Service Manager Steve Bockett. "It's important to check that liferafts, lifejackets, fire fighting and man overboard equipment is all in date and in working order ready for the forth coming season."

Equipment can be delivered back to one of the four Ocean Safety approved service stations at our branches in Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Plymouth, or to any of our network of service agents across the UK. See website for location details. The company also offers free winter storage for safety equipment. During the liferaft service Ocean Safety also encourages people where possible to come in and familiarise themselves with their liferaft, however an appointment will be required. All of the branches also offer servicing for Survival Suits, EPIRBs, SARTs, Fire Safety Equipment and Man Overboard Systems.

18ft Skiffs NSW Championship, Race 2
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: A decision made by the Gotta Love It 7 team shortly after the start was a critical factor in the skiff's easy victory in Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage sailed brilliantly in very testing conditions to win by 1m43s and establish a clear lead in the championship.

Dave Witt, Tom Clout and Keagan York finished second in Sydney City Marine, with Dan Phillips, Gary Phillips and Dave Ewings third in Smeg, a further 26s behind Sydney City Marine.

Gotta Love It 7 heads the pointscore on 2 points, followed by Sydney City Marine on 6, Smeg 6, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 8, Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson) 11 and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) on 14.

Today's race was sailed in a fluky 7-knot ENE breeze over a four-lap windward-return course.

Racing will resume with Race 1 of the Australian Championship on Sunday 12 January. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

IRC-HPR Hybrid 40 Footer
Since we lasted looked at the handicap 40 footers market (Farr 400, Ker 40 and McConaghy 38), several new offering have come available including the high performance Carkeek 40 built by Premier Composites in Dubai (now in its Mk2 form) and McConaghy-built Botin 40. But the first of this latest generation of boats of this size to arrive in the UK, in the form Richard Matthew's Oystercatcher XXX, is the Judel-Vrolijk designed 42ft built by Hakes Marine, the HH42.

When we last wrote about Hakes in any major way they were based in Wellington, NZ, when they were building TP52s and subsequently Mike Golding and Dee Caffari's IMOCA 60 sisterships. Since then they were forced to shut up shop in New Zealand before re-emerging as part of Hudson Yacht and Marine, a giant conglomerate based in Xiamen, China. Most significant about the new HH42 is that it has no pretentions of being a one design, to the extent that it has been created to be competitive under any of the current trio of rating rules now being sailed under - IRC, obviously, but also the increasingly popular ORCi and HPR.

From James Boyd in

Full article is Premium Content... which is a bargain, and a nice gift (particularly to yourself!):

Not Sailing But Extremely Cool...
Click on image to enlarge.

Moon The first lander on the moon since 1976 set down today. China's Chang'e 3 and its Yutu rover touched down at the northern part of the near side of the moon.

This description of the video:

The mountains on the horizon are the Montes Recti. The lander is decelerating at an angle until about 2:50 when it can be seen to rotate vertical. This was at an altitude of about 2000 meters. It then lowered to an altitude of 100 meters, where it came to a hovering standstill (at about 5:15). It used imaging and laser ranging to determine a safe place for the landing, then continued the descent. At an altitude of about 4 meters, it cut the engines and fell to the surface.

From the Planetary Society, videos and animated GIFs of the landing and rover deployment.

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 Black: Further to Euan Ross's riposte to the suggestion that "Britain never came close to lifting the Cup" it is worth noting that Valkyrie III won her second race by 47 secs (but lost it due to a protest) and in three races, in which the competitors covered some 90 miles, the Watson-designed Shamrock II lost by just a total of 5 mins 36 secs on corrected time. Nat Herreshoff is recorded as saying that the Watson-designed Valkyrie II and Shamrock II were faster boats than the Americans.

So why did we keep loosing? - A lack of professionalism. Too little time given to race preparation in America; a lack of a trial horse to tune up against; poor crew work compared to the Americans and too many individuals in the afterguard. In addition the need to sail across the Atlantic meant that the challenger had to be of a heavier construction than the defender. With the often lengthy defender trial series prior to the Cup Races, the Americans arrived at the start line with a boat and crew that had been thoroughly tested and drilled.

We had the boats, but the British adherence to the Corinthian spirit meant that they could not compete with Americans in their pursuit of excellence and management continuity.

As the Australians showed with Australia II, winning the Cup requires a prolonged campaign with continuity from one challenge to another, so that lessons learnt from one set back can be fully addressed the next time around. That way improvements become incremental and eventually the opposition can be toppled.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2000 90' MAG Maxi Open One Design "ALYE PARUSA". EUR 300,000. Located In Falmouth, United Kingdom.

The perfect boat for single handed or short crew handed record attempt. She is also in very good condition and ready to go.

Brokerage through Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
The wages of pedantry is pain. -- Carroll O'Connor

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