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VOTE for your favourite bar in the Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar competition:
scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html

52 Super Series 2014
In just five weeks the US 52 Super Series' first regatta Quantum Key West (20-24 January) is set to be the early season springboard for what promises to be an exciting 2014 52 Super Series season. Regattas in Key West and Miami are followed by the European events in Capri, for the first time ever, Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Palma Mallorca and Ibiza. 

Building on the success of last year's initiative to take the 52 Super Series to America for the first time, Quantum Key West looks set to attract seven 52's including the 2013 world champions, Niklas Zennstrom's Ran Racing and 2013 Key West winners, Azzurra, from Europe.

Of the five US flagged boats which are expected to compete, three crews will be new to 52 Super Series racing, Anema & Core (ex Platoon 2006), Hooligan (ex 2x Med Cup winning ETNZ) - which has just been bought by US owner Gunther Buerman from a very successful period in Australia and Sled (ex Rio/Synergy), owned by Takashi Okura.

When the US 52 Super Series then moves on to Miami (March 5-9) at least one more American crew will join for the 52 East Coast Championship. Vesper, owned by Jim Swartz, raced there in 2013 with the owner steering and Gavin Brady as tactician. They will be back, reported to be with a new ultra high modulus carbon Hall Spars rig and carbon rigging, so should be quicker than ever. Enquiries from other active owners seeking competitive boats to charter or buy give solid hope that one additional 52 materialises here.

"We are really pleased with the increased interest to own and race 52s in the USA and feel like it will be a solid foundation for the 2014 season to build from. This will be the season in which we start the final transition to 2015 which we already know looks very exciting." Enthuses Rob Weiland, class manager for the TP52.

" The US 52 Super Series really opens the door to 52 Super Series racing for all. It shows a wide variety of TP52 optimizations, now possible under the Wild Card Invitation scheme to encourage older TP52s to "speed up" to the performance level of the most recent boats. In the Med a similar trend is visible with boats like Aquila, B2, Paprec and Provezza getting extra pace from upgrades in draft, composite rigging and sail area variations."

www.52superseries.com

Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar
Wight Vodka One Bar continues to dominate the voting this year, with more votes than the other nine bars combined... but there are ten days left. Voting continues until midnight December 27th...

While you ponder your choice... linger over this festive holiday drink:

- Take your best champagne flute, run it under cold water and place it into a freezer for the moment.
- Place fresh ice into a cocktail shaker.
- Pour one shot of Wight Vodka into the shaker.
- Shake or stir for a minute or two.
- Pull the champagne flute from the freezer.
- Pour the Wight Vodka into the flute.
- Top up with your favourite chilled champagne.
- Add a splash of Blue Curacao.

At press time the top three bars are:

One Bar, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

Cast your vote at www.scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html

Tack & Gybe Responsibly

wightvodka.com

CYCA Trophy Series
All eyes may have been on the Mark Richards' skippered Wild Oats XI and Jim Delegat's Giacomo from New Zealand at the start of the CYCA Trophy Series today, but it was Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas/Michael Bencsik) and Chris Bran's Brannew that came out on top at the end of the first day.

In a downwind start in 18-20 knots on the Harbour, Wild Oats XI and Giacomo, the VOR70, shot out of the Shark Island start gate midline, set spinnakers and were gone from the Harbour in minutes - Giacomo in the lead. However, once the boats got outside and turned right, facing winds that ventured either side of south, Wild Oats XI resumed her usual position at the front of the fleet and stayed there for the remainder of the race.

Meanwhile it was on for the smaller boats in the fleet, as each tried to gain small advantages against each other as the 25 nautical mile race progressed in beautiful sailing winds of 14-20 knots.

In the end, Division 1 went to the Ker 40, Midnight Rambler from Tony Kirby's new Ker 46 Patrice, which has proved itself once again, and Giacomo, whose deck was laden with some of the biggest Kiwi names in sailing, including Chris Dickson, Steve Cotton and Rodney Keenan.

On Midnight Rambler, her owners have been concerned with their recent results, but not today, as co-owner Michael 'Mix' Bencsik explained: "We've seen a big lift in our performance since adding the new sail wardrobe from Quantum. The boat's pointing better and we've got better boat speed. Our new main has proved very good downwind too," he said.

www.cyca.com.au

RSYC 2014 Doyle Sails Frostbite Series
The Royal Southampton Yacht Club has announced that their 2014 Frostbite Race Series will be sponsored by Doyle Sails Europe.

Competitors in the Frostbite Series can obtain their 2014 IRC Certificate at only 40% of the normal cost with a rebate funded jointly by RSYC and RORC.

This 12 race Southampton Water Series starts on Sunday 12th January with 2 races on each alternate Sunday until the final day's racing on Saturday 15 March. The series is open to all comers for both IRC and Club rated boats.

The RSYC Frostbite Series is the only IRC racing Series in the Solent area at the very start of each year. This round the cans, quick action competition is the perfect way to start the year and get boats and crews in shape for the 2014 campaign.

Entry for the RSYC 2014 Doyle Sails Frostbite Series opened on 1st November 2013.

Notice of Race and full details of the certificate rebate and the racing available from www.rsyc.org.uk/racing/frostbite

Dalton To Be Part Of Team NZ's 'positive' Future
Grant Dalton says Emirates Team New Zealand's future is looking positive and, importantly, he will be a part of it.

Dalton has been busy. He's just returned home from Europe where he met with sponsors and launched a recruitment drive.

The Team New Zealand boss says he is reinvigorated.

Two-and-a-half months since the last America's Cup race in San Francisco, Dalton is still hard at work. A big part of that has been re-signing personnel, and despite initially thinking his own time might be up, the positive response from the public and the team has re-lit the fire.

"They've made that commitment to live in New Zealand and be part of this organisation, and that motivates me because I'm responsible for that - to make sure that the kids can go to school and they can buy houses. So yeah, I'll be around," he says.

The biggest factor in the team's future will be what boats they'll sail, and when and where the next regatta will be. Until then Dalton will do his best to form the sponsorship puzzle.

"You've got to put all those pieces together, and if they all come together, then you're away. We think we'll see something in March and then it's flat out getting it done." -- Greg Pearson

www.3news.co.nz

America's Cup Proves To Be Big Lift For Napa Tourism
Napa, California: Lodging and tourism spending in the Napa Valley showed significant gains in 2013, bolstered in part by strong branding and a positive economic impact from the recent America's Cup in San Francisco, tourism officials said.

Visit Napa Valley, the county's official tourism arm, in 2011 nabbed the title as the official wine region of the America's Cup, which became a strong marketing tool to reach high-end consumers and possibly lure them to the Napa Valley. Tourism officials sought to quantify the results of its effort with the sailing race, said Clay Gregory, chief executive officer of Visit Napa Valley.

Between July and September of this year, the lodging industry in Napa Valley benefited with increased revenues of approximately $6 million, Mr. Gregory said. That, in turn, resulted in direct economic benefit to the county of between $25 million and $27 million on consumer spending.

"I think it's pretty robust in how well it benefited the valley," he said of America's Cup. "We got into it because we believed it was a great branding relationship for us. It's a high-end demographic that follows it and it's a perfect pairing for us." -- Dan Verel, North Bay Business Journal Staff Reporter

www.northbaybusinessjournal.com

One Of The Greatest Comebacks In Sports
Oracle Diane Swintal, Steven Tsuchiya, and Robert Kamins, have published a book about the 2013 America's Cup, WINGING IT: ORACLE TEAM USA's INCREDIBLE COMEBACK TO DEFEND THE AMERICA'S CUP. Winging It tells the story of racing for the 2013 America's Cup, including coverage of the epic match between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA which came down to a last winner-take-all race, plus the Louis Vuitton Cup Final between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge, along with an overview of the Semi-Finals with Sweden's Artemis Racing.

In addition to the development of the AC72 yachts, the book also explores the long history of the America's Cup as a crucible for conceiving and developing innovative technology, along with the financial forces and nationality issues which have been shaping the Cup for over 160 years.

Read more at www.wingingitbook.com

Changes To Cowes General Directions
Formal consultation on a revised set of General Directions for Cowes Harbour has now ended, and Cowes Harbour Commission's Advisory Committee and the RYA, both statutory consultees in the process, have confirmed their agreement for the new Directions, following minor amendments. Cowes Harbour Commission then ratified the Directions at their recent December Board meeting. The revised set of General Directions will come into force on 1 January 2014.

A major change is the introduction of General Direction No. 6 relating to the Cowes Chain Ferry (replacing Cowes Harbour Byelaw 34 of 1972). This General Direction governs the navigation of the Chain Ferry and includes giving the Chain Ferry right of way over most vessels, although the Chain Ferry must still take appropriate action to avoid a close quarter situation or collision. In addition, there are new safety control measures built in, including the introduction of a CHC Chain Ferry Operators Certificate.

You can view the PDF of the full set of 2014 General Directions here: www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk

RNLI is Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta Charity
Organisers of the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta have selected the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as the nominated charity for the 2014 event in Falmouth, which takes place from 28 to 31 August.

Trainee crew are now being recruited to participate in the race, which starts on Sunday 31 August, and takes the historic vessels from Falmouth, along the south coast to the finish line off the Isle of Wight. The Tall Ships will then continue to London, sailing up the River Thames to the finish at the port of Royal Greenwich for a further five days of celebrations.

During the Regatta the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew in Falmouth will provide a reassuring presence, while the charity's volunteer lifeboat crews from all 16 stations along the route of the race will, as usual, be on call 24 hours a day to provide assistance if needed.

The charity's station in Falmouth was opened in 1867 and houses an all-weather Severn class lifeboat Richard Cox Scott and an inshore lifeboat, Eve Pank. The RNLI also provide a lifeguard service on over 200 beaches across the UK, including on Falmouth's Gyllyngvase beach. 

In addition to the obvious maritime link, the RNLI have a close connection to the event and Tall Ships. The volunteer lifeboat crews at Falmouth, Sennen and St Mary's spent a combined 67 hours at sea in 2010 escorting the fishing boat Nova Spero in towing the dismasted Polish Tall Ship Fryderyck Chopin into Falmouth in very difficult conditions. The Tall Ship was on route to the Caribbean when the incident happened with 34 trainees on board. The volunteer lifeboat crew received a letter of thanks from the Polish Ambassador for their part in the operation to bring the ship into port safely.

www.falmouthtallships.co.uk
www.rnli.org.uk

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1998 Open 60. EUR 189,000. Located in Belgium.

The Open 60 is currently berthed in Belgium and is seriously for sale and ready for immediate use. Very well maintained! She has always sailed under Imoca specifications, has done 2 Vendee Globes and 1 Velux 5 Oceans, Brunel copes with all Eco 60 and Imoca specifications

This Open 60 with rotating wingmast and swingkeel underwent a total refit in 2006.

Brokerage through Bach Yachting International: www.yachtworld.com/bachyachting/

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

The Last Word
Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe

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