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Wild Oats XI Favoured By Forecast
Six-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI appears to be favoured by the latest weather forecast for this year's Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

The bigger boats will take the most joy from the forecast issued on Friday by the NSW Bureau of Meteorology's Andrew Treloar.

He said the race could start under 10 to 15 knot nor-easters on Boxing Day, with the winds freshening as the fleet makes it way down the NSW south coast.

He expected the north to north easterly winds winds to get up to around 25 to 30 knots on Friday, before the first significant change later that night, with the wind expected to move around to the west early on December 28.

It looks like the course right now may suit Wild Oats a little bit better than it does us," said Perpetual LOYAL navigator Stan Honey.

'We're looking for conditions that are more demanding of stability which is what we have lots of."

www.theage.com.au

* Veteran forecaster Roger Badham said Friday the outlook was for a fast downwind race, with strong northeasterly winds for the first 24 hours of the 628-nautical mile (723-mile, 1,163-kilometer) down the New South Wales south coast and across Bass Strait to the island state of Tasmania.

Wild Oats XI holds the record of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes, 12 seconds set last year when the super maxi also won line and handicap honors.

Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards says "the signs are that it could be an exciting downwind race for the big boats."

There are 94 yachts entered in this year's race.

www.nzherald.co.nz

GAES Christmas Race: Rain and Unstable Winds
Day two awoke in Palamos with a strong SW wind expected to blow until midday and then begin to lose strength. The Race Committees were at the racing areas ready to give starts at the scheduled times but drizzles brought big changes with the wind shifting and dropping and therefore providing tricky conditions for sailing. So it was a wet, cold day and sailors sailed in unstable SW wind conditions and battling constantly to keep race positions.

Three bullets in today's races gives a comfortable advantage to Spanish sailor Jesus Rogel in the Laser standard followed in second place by British sailor Lorenzo Brando at 13 points. Third place is for another British sailor, Martin Evans.

The Finn class sees a new leader with Slovenian Vasilij Zbogar (Esimit Europa) taking the top place of the standings with two second places and fourth in today's races.

The Danish teams dominate the FX fleet on the top three places after today's races.

It was the debut of the 29er class today and Spain takes the lead after three races with Nil Mas and Jordi Llena followed by British sailors Mimi El-Khazindar and Ben Batten (Mer Union) and Dutch team Cas Van Dongen and Daniel R. Bramervaer, second and third respectively.

French team Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre (Battous) keeps the lead in the 470 men fleet.

Firm leadership in 49er with Finnish team at the top of the leader board.

Tatiana Drozdovskaya continues at the top of the Laser Radial women standings although the sailor of the day was Spanish Irene Mira, who with three bullets climbs to second overall at only two points from the leader.

British lead in the 420 with team Max Clapp and Joseph Burns (Izzy) in first place.

Strong Northerly winds are forecasted to start blowing tonight and throughout tomorrow so teams will probably have to face extreme conditions

www.christmasrace.org

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

Seahorse Magazine

Sold to the man at the front
Bob Fisher talks to Dutch skipper Bouwe Bekking about his latest Volvo Ocean Race entry - backed by Dutch conglomerate Brunel

Driven by technology
Marcello Persico describes the fascinating range of projects his team currently has underway

Getting over it - Part 2
Magnus Clarke looks at the construction foibles of the Little America’s Cup fleet while Roland Whitehead gives the historical context to the C-Class’s biggest ever gathering

24-hour solution
The remarkable resource that is Mauri Pro Sailing

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub for UK residents: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/

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Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine

SYRF Fundraiser In February To Match New Challenge
SYRF The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) announced today that it will host an invitation-only fundraising dinner on the evening of February 8th, 2014 to solicit donations to match its second $100,000 challenge grant to support research in the science of performance sailing. The event will be held in at a venue to be determined soon in San Diego, California, and will feature short presentations made by prominent yacht designers, technologists and sailors involved directly and indirectly in SYRF-funded research.

These include the 34th America's Cup Director of Technology Stan Honey, offshore and America's Cup multihull designer Gino Morelli, HPR founder and sailor Steve Benjamin, world-class navigator and strategist Peter Isler, offshore sailing educator Rich Wilson, and others.

Already $35,000 has been raised towards this next challenge grant offered by a generous anonymous donor, which follows on a successful match made earlier this year at SYRF's fundraising event at Stamford Yacht Club in January. Funds from this and other donations have helped support SYRF programs, such as the Wide Light Boats research program, an educational program designed to nurture future talent in yacht design, the development of the High Performance Rule (HPR), and the establishment of a Research Library for test tank, aero and CFD-generated data to be made available for future research and design.

For more information on SYRF - its mission, projects and options for donation - visit www.sailyachtresearch.org

Three World Titles In Kiel Are Secure
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) held its annual conference in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman and so did the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), who helps organize ISAF's official offshore World Championship, the annual ORC Worlds. "The ORC committee decided to organize the World Championship in Kiel (Germany), establishing three classes which need to be defined. So we will have three World Champions," said Dr. Wolfgang Schafer, ORC-Vice-President and representative of the German Sailing Association (DSV).

Schafer has been a strong advocate of this three-class solution due to the over 100 entries found in the last three editions of the ORC Worlds, which until now had been sailed only in two classes.

With three classes, the range of boat sizes in each class will be much more manageable and lead to more competitive racing, a major benefit for the sailors.

Having three classes also gives the race organizers more flexibility to define where to make the appropriate splits to optimize the size and competiveness of each class. And three classes also means there will be three World Champions.

www.orcworlds2014.de

Leeuwin II Captain Internationally Recognised For Sail Training
STS Leeuwin II Captain Sarah Robinson has been internationally recognised with the prestigious Sail Trainer of the year award for her role in the Leeuwin's sail training program for young Western Australians.

Captain Robinson was announced as the winner during the International Sail Training Conference for 2013 held in Denmark recently; making her the only Australian to have won the prestigious award, to date.

The award is the highest accolade that can be achieved by a professional in the Sail Training industry, recognising a high performing individual over 25 that successfully delivers sail training programs.

Sarah Robinson developed a passion for tall ship sailing at the early age of 14, where like many of the young trainees she now helps train on Leeuwin voyages in the position of Captain; she sailed herself as a trainee on British Square Rigger T.S Royalist.

In 2010 the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation was internationally recognised as the leading Sail Training organisation of the year, demonstrating excellence in 'innovation' and 'best practice' in sail training for young people.

Captain Sarah is no stranger to recognition, having also been awarded the Pride of Australia Medal for the Fair Go category for Western Australia this year.

www.sailtraininginternational.org

Driven By Technology
Bergamo and Persico Marine are currently building the seventh VO65 hull for the 2014- 15 Volvo Ocean Race.

The male plug for the VO65 hulls was created using Persico Marine's 25m CNC milling machine and from that the female mould was produced employing infused carbon. Across the first six completed hulls, which each weigh approximately 1,500kg, there has been a variation of less than 2kg. Meanwhile, every panel of each hull is coded; and behind the code is detailed information from manufacture, including the non-destructive testing (NDT) data produced by QI Composites. All of this information is held in a database where it can offer great value for future and existing projects.

Even though boat no7 is in production Marcello Persico himself is quick to remind us that the task is far from complete. 'Yes, it is true that we are in the process of completing VO65 hull no7 and that the intention was to produce eight,' he says. 'But we are also under contract to produce hulls for the next race. And for this race we still have to produce many spare parts and other components such as the daggerboards and bowsprits.

'This is a full project by itself, for example the complexity of the VO65 daggerboard is incredible. From the outside it looks like a flat board, but inside the ribs, the laminate and the form that optimise the structure and weight are extremely complex.'

www.seahorsemagazine.com

One Ton Cup Revisited
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has started formalised planning for a One Ton Cup Revisited regatta in Auckland, in February/March 2015.

Its decision to proceed with the event is based on a strong international expression of interest in competing. That response includes 16 would-be entries and 4 would-be charterers, from NZ (9), Australia (4), Sweden (2), UK (2), Canada (2) and the USA (1).

An interesting element of the response so far has been has been the goodwill factor from owners, designers and crew alike who are keen to see a revival of what used to be the Formula 1 class of offshore racing, much like that being experienced by the Half and Quarter Ton fleets in England and Europe.

The immediate next steps for the Squadron will be to identify the most appropriate February/March 2015 window for the regatta. It will be a busy season for Auckland, on and off the water, including the arrival and departure of the 2014-15 Volvo Round the World race fleet and the 2015 World Cup of Cricket.

Once that window is clear, the Squadron will then produce and disseminate a Notice of Race for the One Ton Revisited. The target timing for that is early March 2014 - a year out from the proposed regatta.

The Squadron reconfirmed today that the event would be open to the full range of "modern" One Tonners (1965 to 1994* inclusive).

The event will use the IRC Rating Rule with the eventual fleet racing as one, but also in three divisions - possibly "Division One" (boats built post 1983), "Division Two" (boats built 1973 to 1983 inclusive) and the "Classic Division" (boats built 1965 to 1972 inclusive).

For further information or to lodge expressions of interest, please contact: Alan Sefton at

Foiling Phantom Goes Into Production
Part of the preparation and design effort that went into Franck Cammas' Little America's Cup winner involved trying out a variety of L-foils daggerboard and T-foil rudder configurations on a Phantom F18 catamaran to establish which worked best to get a small catamaran airborne with some degree of stability.

The Phantom F18 is marketed by Alex Udin's company Sail Innovation in France, the design of the boat by New Caledonia-based cat guru Martin Fischer, who has penned many of the most successful F18 catamarans and for a long time has been part of the Groupama design team, dating back to his work on Cammas' maxi-trimaran Groupama 3 and the foils for the Groupama Volvo Ocean Race winner. A low-rider Phantom won the 2012 F18 Worlds and was runner up this year.

Following the Groupama team's development work, Sail Innovation is now going into production with the Flying Phantom One Design, which Udin hopes will bring foiling catamaran sailing to the masses in the same way as the Moth has done on one hull. -- James Boyd, TheDailySail

www.thedailysail.com

Rio Here We Come!
British Sailing Team Manager Stephen Park shares his thoughts on a successful 2013, and looks ahead to 2014 when the race for Rio starts in earnest...

As 2013 draws to a close, it is traditionally the time to reflect on the past year's achievements, and celebrate successes.

While there were plenty of positives in 2013 to reflect upon, with the British Sailing Team having collected 70 medals at major regattas, achieving International podium finishes in every one of our 13 classes on at least one occasion, and with Great Britain heading the ISAF world ranking list, my mind is drawn more towards looking to the future, towards Rio de Janeiro.

The year ahead is going to see the journey to the Rio 2016 Games really kick into action, with the first nations qualifying for the Olympics at the Santander 2014 Worlds in September, straight after the first official 2016 Test Event in Rio, where sailors from around the world will do battle for the first time in official competition on the Olympic waters.

From a British Sailing Team perspective the 2014 Worlds will, I suspect, see some of our teams start to set out their case to be top dog in their classes, while the Rio Test Event in August will be a great learning opportunity for those expecting to be returning in 2015 and 2016.

Hopefully we may even see the first test event for Paralympic sailors, to parallel the journey taken by their Olympic colleagues. It is far from confirmed, but it would be a great step forward in my opinion as ISAF and IFDS attempt to bring the Olympic and Paralympic aspects of our sport closer together following their merger, confirmed at the ISAF Annual Conference in Oman last month.

Stephen Park's blog at www.rya.org.uk

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 McConaghy Turbo TP 52. EUR 525,000. Located in United Kingdom.

PACE ( ex RAN) is seriously for sale. Built for the Med Cup in 2007, PACE was modified in early 2008 with a long prod, extra big kites and a slightly deeper fin and bulb. Hence the world "turbo" applies as she has proven to be very very fast racing against all existing TP 52's modified for IRC, on both sides of the Atlantic in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. This is a turn key sale, with everything needed to step right on and continue winning.

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

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

The Last Word
Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. -- Dr. Seuss

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