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Volvo Ocean Race
Dongfeng Race Team is preparing for the first round of the Chinese applicants selection trials.

"The first phase of the Chinese recruitment process is predominantly focused on the sailing team. In other words, finding Chinese athletes who want to take on this extraordinary challenge," explains Dubois. "We have a team who manage the selection trials process for the UK-based Artemis Offshore Academy flying to China. They will put in place a series of tests over a period of 36 hours to test the candidates physical and mental capabilities - the nature of these tests are kept confidential so the sailors do not know what to expect and cannot prepare in anyway. What we know for sure is that they will get very little sleep! We will measure how they react, how they feel, how they adapt themselves to different and stressful situations because that's exactly how it will be out there on the Volvo Ocean Race."

The first round of the selection trials will last approximately two days from 8:00am Monday 16th December to the evening of Tuesday 17th December. The candidates will have little sleep during this time and will be expected to participate in team building tests, physical strength activities and mental challenges. The response to the recruitment process has exceeded expectations and 20 Chinese athletes have been selected to be trialled in what will be the first of several trials.

The final crew line-up that will include up to three or four Chinese sailors will be announced next June.

* Adil Khalid, the first Emirati sailor to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race, will return to the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team for the 2014/15 edition of the gruelling competition in a "senior role", according to Ian Walker, the boat's captain.

"Adil has got to step it up in this race," Walker said. "The last time round he was very much a junior member of the team. He was one of 10 on-board whereas he is now one of eight.

"There was a huge transition in our boat during the last race and I think at the start we maybe didn't trust him to do things that he didn't do before and we were concerned he had not been in the situations that he himself said he didn't know what to expect.

"It is not about just sailing; I am talking about just being on the boat for 20 days. A lot of questions were on Adil. Like, 'how do you look after yourself? How do you manage your sleep?' And so on.

"But as the race went on Adil got to grips with all of that. And towards the end of the race he didn't have to think twice on what he had to do.

"We didn't have to worry about him."

Walker and his team have to wait until February before their boat arrives in Abu Dhabi, allowing them to begin preparing it with trial runs, ahead of the race start.

www.thenational.ae/sport/volvo-ocean-race/

* Tom Bushell, an experienced multi-media reporter based in Dubai, has been appointed the first onboard reporter for the 2014-15 edition. The Brit says he can't wait to start what has been described as "the best - and worst - media job in the world" with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

"This is one of the very few, if not the only media job in the sports world, where you are in the thick of it" - Tom Bushell. "When I covered the end of the last race in Galway, we did a special on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing for my TV show. I spent some time with Ian Walker and the guys and was immersed in the whole event and the boat's surroundings.

"From that moment, I've been very keen on being more involved," said Bushell.

He is quitting his role as Head of Sport of the Arabian Radio Network to take up his new post from February 2014. The 31-year-old Brit has impressive credentials in the media world and is a sports anchor for the City 7 TV station in the region.

www.volvooceanrace.com

Diaz Takes Commodore's Cup Victory
Photo by Meredith Block. Click on image for photo gallery.

Star Winter Coconut Grove, Florida, USA: Augie Diaz has won races in nearly every type of boat he's ever sailed. Flying Dutchman, 5O5, Snipe, Star, and countless others -- the Miami-based racer and overall Champion of last year's inaugural Star Winter Series Presented By EFG has done it all, and done it fast.

In today's unusual Southwesterly breeze, Diaz wasn't the fastest on Biscayne Bay -- the best result he could manage in the final two races of the Star Commodore's Cup was a second place - but he showed that smarts are often good enough to take the prize. Along with talented crew Arnis Baltins, Diaz's 3,2 scoreline allowed him to cement a victory over Arthur Anosov, sailing with Olympic veteran Bryan Fatih by just two points.

For this event, Star Fleet newcomer John Hokanson grabbed Schoonmaker Cup standout skipper Philip "The Kid" Carlson as his crew. Looking at his top ten result in only his second-ever Star regatta, the 70-year old newbie 'Starboater' was all grins after racing concluded. "This is just some of the most fun you can have on the water," said Hokanson, who plans on doing at least two more events this season in Miami. "Hopefully I have great crew for those, too, because there is so much to learn!".

Overall Results, Commodore's Cup/Star Winter Series Presented By EFG Event No. 2

1. 8465, Augie Diaz / Arnis Baltins, USA, 9 points
2. Star, Arthur Anosov / Brian Fatih, USA, 11
3. 8440, Jim Buckingham / Austin Sperry, USA, 13
4. Pied Piper/National Marine, Jack Jennings / Brian Sharp, USA, 18
5. Remarc, Brian Cramer / Matt Johnston, CAN, 25
6. Care Bear, Kevin McNeil / Shane Zwingelberg, USA, 35
7. Tesser, Mike Phinney / Rick Burgess, USA, 39
8. 8466, Stuart Hebb/Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 45
9. 7315, John Hokanson / Philip Carlson, CAN, 48
10. Grinch, Bert Collins / Jake Doyle, USA, 49
11. Tambu, Antonio Tamburini / Renzo Ricci, ITA, 52
12. CAN 8389, Jerry Wendt / Isao Toyama, CAN, 53
13. 7964, Charles F. Kohlermann IV / Robert Marley, USA, 62
14. High Octane, Lothar Geilen / Carlos Miquel, USA, 69

starwinter.com

Seahorse January 2014
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
(Many) bad hair days in the Bay of Biscay, Australia again in the Coastal Classic, government support for Dalts and Barker, it's almost certainly cats again for Oracle's Manolo Ruiz De Elvira, and some simplified offshore regs from the USA. Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Carlos Pich, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier

IRC column
James Dadd pulls no punches when it comes to 'gently' overlooking the rules

Seahorse Sailor of the month
Two great names in the sport

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Kiteracing Oceanic Championship
Current Course Racing World Champion, German Florian Gruber, has been crowned the inaugural Kiteracing Oceanic Championship winner.

The laid-back 19-year-old won convincingly, taking out all but three races in the five-day competition at Leighton Beach, Fremantle.

Hot on his heels all week, 16-year-old current European Champion, Olly Bridge from Devon in the UK, claimed second place, while Italy's Riccardo Leccese claimed third, despite Poland's Blazej Ozog making a last minute run for the position.

Two Australians finished in the top 10 - WA's Torvar Mirsky and Ric Black from NSW. Black also took out the Masters award.

Since the start of competition, there has been fierce competition between Poland's Aga Grzymska and France's Ariane Imbert but Grzymska proved too strong, winning all three of today's Women's races and 11 of 17 overall, relishing the lighter winds. Spain's Nuria Goma placed third and top Australian female kiter was Lisa Hickman from Queensland placing fourth.

The Kiteracing Oceanic Championships will return to Fremantle in early December 2014 and is officially sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

Top 3 Men overall:
1. Florian Gruber, GER, 16 points
2. Olly Bridge, GBR, 33
3. Riccardo Leccese, ITA, 54

Top 3 Women overall:
1. Aga Grzymska, POL, 24
2. Ariane Imbert, FRA, 36
3. Nuria Goma, ESP, 70

kiteoceanics.com

The Shipping Forecast: From Britain's Seas Into Its Soul
Children throw stones into the sea at Hastings in 1931. Click on image to enlarge.

Shipping Forecast It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware - vaguely - that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

Your mind begins to swoop across the landscape, sleepily checking the shorelines, from the gray waters of the English Channel to the steely turbulence of the Atlantic.

Somewhere, deep in your memory, stir echoes of British history - of invasions from across the sea by Vikings, Romans and Normans; of battles with Napoleon's galleons and Hitler's U-boats.

Finally, as the bulletin draws to a close, you nod off, complacent in the knowledge that whatever storms are blasting away on the oceans out there, you're in your pajamas, sensibly tucked up at home.

The BBC's beloved Shipping Forecast bulletin covers 31 sea areas, the names of which have inspired poets, artists and singers, and become embedded into the national psyche.

Full story and some great historical photos at www.npr.org

Super Sevens Champ Swaps Rugby For Super Maxi
English former IRB Sevens Player of the Year, Ollie Philips, has swapped his rugby jumper for sailing gear and is racing in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart aboard the 70 foot Great Britain, which arrived in Sydney on Sunday.

As the yacht made its way up the Harbour towards the CYCA, the gregarious Phillips spotted a couple of the super maxis and expressed a desire to "have a go." Wild Thing owner Grant Wharington obliged and Phillips found himself aboard the 100 footer which is aiming for line honours in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Phillips is not the lone rugby player in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. He is joined by Australian Phil Waugh on Perpetual LOYAL, Mike Martin at the helm of his TP52 Frantic. The three are joined by a host of celebrities and media sailing amidst some of the most respected and decorated sailors in the world when the CYCA's 628 nautical mile race gets underway on Boxing Day at 1.00pm AEDT. -- Di Pearson

rolexsydneyhobart.com

G.L. Watson - The Art And Science Of Yacht Design
G.L. Watson The genius of yacht designer G.L. Watson shines through Martin Black's profusely illustrated biography. Watson was born in 1851, the year the schooner America led the cream of British racing yachts round the Isle of Wight. By age 22, he opened the world's first yacht design office in Glasgow.

Designing four challengers to bring the America's Cup home might be a lifetime's work for mere mortals, but during the Golden Age of yachting G.L. Watson became widely recognised as the greatest all-round designer.

From racing cutters and schooners heavy with clouds of canvas, via pro-bono pioneering work on lifeboats, to sumptuous steam yachts - the super yachts of their day - and America's Cup challengers, Watson's adage: straight is the line of duty, curved is the line of beauty... was consistently evident.

Perhaps uniquely, the book also describes the emergence of the modern independent designer, of any discipline. Watson's career spanned a seminal period of transition from instinctive and evolutionary craft work to the application of disciplined technological innovation, using new materials and tank testing.

It's a passionate combination of knowledgeable sleuthing, high production values, sheer good looks and a rattling good yarn.

496 pages, over 300 images, €89 including worldwide shipping.

Delux Nappa leather-bound limited edition, €300 including worldwide shipping.

www.peggybawnpress.com

Passion, Madness, Hope... And A Look Ahead
The 34th America's Cup had all the drama once week two of the racing got going. The comeback was something marketeers could only dream of. Cause for suspense and speculation, brought to us in such a compelling way that the racing attracted attention well beyond the sailing world. At those moments when it was close between the boats the high-speed combat was great to watch, and you could sense the risks. The course layout helped to keep it close, as did the fact that the main speed difference was upwind. The boats look aggressive, as we expect nowadays, but quite static in the sense that the wing and the jib for most viewers are solid and not really moving. No sail changes, no hoists, no drops... The only obvious crew activity is the endless grinding for hydraulic power and the bouncy run from side to side after a tack or gybe. The foiling was the other marketeer's dream. Easy to spot, easy to hype, easy to sell, great stuff.

Measured by a wider goal than retaining the America's Cup the exercise was of course a commercial flop; and worse, barring the final few days, it was not all that great from a sporting point of view. Ask the Louis Vuitton Cup about that.

The dispute of 'top or flop' will rage on for a bit, with fierce positions on both sides. The same for the narrower debate, multihull versus monohull. Which in my modest opinion has little to do with whether we can or cannot enjoy or market yacht racing. A unique vision was going to bring us the future of yacht racing. Was it? Did it? At the end of the day the technical part of the vision was saved by something that the vision explicitly tried to block: foiling.

Full article by Rob Weiland in Seahorse: seahorsemagazine.com

Palamos GAES Christmas Race
The 38th edition of the traditional Olympic Classes regatta Palamos GAES Christmas Race was presented on 11 December at the Espai del Peix de Palamos (Girona).

The 38 GAES Christmas Race, to be held from 17 to 22 December, has seen a considerable increase in the number of entries with around 300 teams and 500 sailors representing 25 nations from 3 continents: Europe, Africa and Asia. Furthermore, Palamos has become the winter training venue for the Polish team. The GAES Christmas Race is one of the trial events for the selection of the 2014 Spanish pre-Olympic team.

Among the participants entered in this edition, there are five Olympic medallists, four Gold medallists with Anton Paz in 49er, Tamara Echegoyen in FX, Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega in 470 women and Slovenian Finn sailor Vasilij Zbogar with an Olympic silver and bronze medal.

www.christmasrace.org/en/default/races/race

Entries Now Open For 2014 RYA Team Racing Events
Online entries are now open for the 2014 RYA and BUSA Ladies Team Racing Championships and the 2014 RYA Team Racing National Championships.

The 2014 RYA and BUSA Ladies Team Racing Championship will be heading to West Kirby Sailing Club on the 22-23 February while Spinnaker Club, near Ringwood, will welcome teams competing for the Prince Phillip Trophy in the RYA Team Racing National Championships on the 22-23 March 2014.

Racing across two days of competition, the RYA Ladies Team Racing Finals will see some of the UK's best female sailors competing for the overall championship title, as well as for the BUSA (British Universities Sailing Association) Women's Trophy. Teams are being welcomed from clubs, class associations, alumni societies and schools, in addition to universities. Each team requires six women, with sailing taking place in Fireflies provided by the event organisers.

The RYA Team Racing National Championships will welcome teams competing in Fireflies, again each team with six sailors with a maximum entry number of 24 teams. The event will be fully umpired and is seen by many as excellent preparation for the BUSA Team Racing finals.

www.rya.org.uk/racing/teamracing

Cowes Week Feedback
Cowes Week Limited (CWL) has spent the last few months collating feedback on the world-famous regatta from its competitors.

Taking information from daily SMS course surveys and the post-event online survey (both courtesy of eDigitalResearch), a debrief meeting with all the one-design classes and other individual review meetings with entrants, CWL has produced an action plan to address the main issues raised and continue to build on the success of the regatta.

A summary of the action plan is available on the official event website at www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

Entries for the 2014 regatta opened back in August, and anyone thinking of taking part is encouraged to enter before midnight on December 31st 2013 to be in with a chance of winning the valuable prizes on offer.

In addition, all those entering Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014 before the end of 2013 and eligible for the prize draw will be invited to attend the announcement of the prize winner at the Gill stand at the London Boat Show on Saturday 11 January.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 Westerly STP 65. US$ 1,200,000. Located in Michigan, USA.

The STP 65 EQUATION is now for sale. After several years her present owners, who have had the time of their lives from Tortola to Mackinaw Island, have decided to sell her. In imaculate condition, many new sails from 2011 and 2012, new mast in 2011, lifting keel, formally known as the world famous ROSEBUD, she will continue to give a new owner many more years of wonderful racing. As the Summer of 2013 is winding down, we just wanted to update how successful it has been for the boat. Third overall in the Chicago race, and 1st overall in the Port Huron race, it is safe to assume that this was a very successful period for the EQUATION team. Recent price reduction shows that her owners now want a serious offer. Call us to get all her latest details.

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

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

The Last Word
The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. -- Mark Russell

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