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Maserati Closes In On Rio De Janeiro and Capetown To Rio Record
Maserati is very well within the record time of the maxi Zephyrus IV - she completed the race in just 12 days, 16 hours and 49 minutes in 2000. My bet is Maserati can do it in 11 days if they carry on like this. I can't remember that they ever dropped below 15kn in the last 7 days of racing. I am sure they have a guy employed, staring full time at the boat numbers and weather routing. Professionalism will pay out in the end. They might get lucky to be the only boat in the fleet to reach Rio in proper wind. Then they might even get the handicap win served next to the line honors.

Scarlet Runner- she is my favorite for the handicap win. This boat makes a steady progress towards Rio at very good downwind angles. They have chosen their course very carefully so far and have not taken any extreme lines. The Aussies do have a well prepared and sorted out boat. If I am not mistaken they have optimized the boat especially for IRC. This will help them in the end when the corrected time will be calculated for the overall win.

Mussulo III and Bille - these are the two Angolan entries in the fleet. Mussulo is the sister ship of the dismasted Bille. After the tragic ordeal of Bille, losing their mast and one of their crew members in the early stages of the race, they might have thought to throw the towel as well. They probably want to finish their journey to Rio to honor the death of their friend Antonio. It's hard to forget the tragedy but end of the day it was an accident and it will be unfair to blame anyone. We all do what we love to do and take risks in reaching our goals. As hard as it is, it makes all people involved more aware of the most important things for an ocean race, boat preparation and good seamanship. It is good to see that Mussulo is making good progress towards Rio and are also improving in the overall positions.

For all the other boats in the multihull and cruising division it is not about the fastest time to Rio, it's about the journey and living it up to a lifelong dream. Most of the teams are made up of family members and close friends. Myrtle of Bonnievale, MSV Madhei, Jacarna of Carrick, Alleycat Too, HQ2, Tranquilo, Windgat, Nomad Yacht Charters, Cool Runnings, Vulcan 44, Rio is waiting for you.

For all the unlucky crews who had to retire for whatever reason, there will always be a next time. Most of them will be better prepared and more determent to finish the next race, that's for sure. Some of them will not wait 3 years and will cross the southern Atlantic in their own time to go cruising on the other side. -- Harry Brehm. RCYC Sailing Academy, www.facebook.com/groups/rcycacademy

www.cape2rio2014.com

Clipper Race 8 To Singapore
Race 8 from Brisbane to Singapore for the Old Pulteney Navigator Cup is underway following a Le Mans Start to the 4,500 mile challenging course.

Navigational challenges abound in the narrow confines of the Indonesian Island Chain and, once north of the equator the fleet will leave Papua New Guinea to port and start a light airs battle in high temperatures through the islands of Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. From Singapore the temperatures start to plummet as the fleet beets towards sub zero winter conditions in Chinese waters.

Mission Performance has had to return to Rivergate Marina due to a problem with their 240v electrical system. They will be met there by the fleet engineer who will attend to the problem. All attempts at resolving the issue remotely have failed. Once the problem has been resolved the yacht will return to the start coordinates and begin racing.

The Le Mans Start was used due to local constraints and conditions which meant it was not possible to create a standard start line and this method has been successfully used in previous races. In this instance the northern part of Moreton Bay is strewn with sandbanks which make navigation whilst racing hazardous. So the decision was taken to start the race offshore north of Moreton Bay.

Yellowbrick Tracker: yb.tl/clipper2013-race8

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Cheminees Poujoulat Wreck Recovered
The wreck of Bernard Stamm's IMOCA 60 Cheminees Poujoulat was towed into L'Aber Wrach last night after her submerged hull was spotted 40km north of l'Île Vierge, off the north coast of Brittany by a customs aircraft.

Cheminees Poujoulat broke in half on 23 December during a storm in the Western Approaches, leaving skipper Stamm and crewman Damien Guillou having to fight for their lives. After an aborted attempt to airlift them off to a Royal Navy helicopter in the middle of the night, during which they lost their liferaft, they ultimately were rescued by a Norwegian cargo ship the following morning

"I must admit I am a little surprised," said Stamm before going out to see the boat. "When Damien and I were rescued, there wasn't much of the boat left above the surface. So it is very surprising to see her reappear now. Maybe she lost her keel and suddenly became much lighter ... I do not know."

www.thedailysail.com/offshore/

Race The RORC Caribbean 600 On A Volvo 70!
RORC Caribbean 600 Monster Project Do you dream of sailing a Volvo 70? The keel fully canted. Flying a huge spinnaker with six of your crewmates grinding on the pedestals in tropical sunshine. Feeling the power as the boat accelerates down a wave at 25+ knots in warm Caribbean winds...

This could be you!

Monster Project, Team Russia's boat (Kosatka) in the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race, is the only Volvo Open 70 available for charter - a unique opportunity for amateur sailors to experience these amazing racing machines!

The RORC Caribbean 600 is the headline offshore racing event in the Caribbean. With a 600 mile course around 10 islands, it's an epic race to rival the Fastnet - but much warmer!

Join us on Monster Project for our RORC Caribbean 600 program:

- Tuesday 18 through Saturday 22 February: pre-race training at Falmouth Harbour in beautiful Antigua
- Saturday 22 February: Welcome Party, Antigua Yacht Club
- Sunday 23 February: final boat preparations / rest day
- Monday 24 February: RORC Caribbean 600 starts at 1050h
- Friday 28 February: Prize-giving Ceremony, Antigua Yacht Club

Monster Project's RORC Caribbean 600 package includes:

- Race entry
- Berthing fees
- Pre-race training
- Professional Racing Skipper and Crew
- Food and bottled water during sailing
- Monster Project race clothing
- Safety equipment (loan)
- Wet-weather clothing (loan)

Can't make it to the RORC? Monster Project also operates Caribbean, UK, European and Trans-Atlantic Racing and Adventure Sailing charters for groups, corporates and individuals.

See the Calendar on our website:
www.volvo70charter.co.uk
email:

Stanley Paris Abandons Record Attempt To Circumnavigate World
St. Augustine, Florida native Stanley Paris, 76, abandoned his record world attempt to sail around the world as the oldest man Saturday near Cape Town, South Africa, according to a blog post on Paris' website.

The 76-year-old left out of St. Augustine in December in his 63-foot sailboat on the estimated 130-day voyage.

Those involved with the historic journey are abandoning the try because they have reportedly come to the conclusion that parts of the boat are inadequate for ocean sailing.

Paris wrote in a blog post:
And so I have decided to abandon and head for Cape Town, some 1,700 miles away. To continue in the face of the sage advice above would be foolish in the extreme, and cruel to my wife, family and friends. I must now abandon this dream.

There will be no second attempt. It will be a full year before I could start again and I have asked enough of my wife and family already. The boat will be shipped from Cape Town to Maine, restored with the lessons learned, and be the fast family cruiser for which she was intended.

Paris would have been the oldest man to complete the world journey.

He is expected to arrive in port in Africa sometime next week.

www.actionnewsjax.com

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship, Race 1
Sydney Harbour: The Asko Appliances team of Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison and Ash Rooklyn had to overcome a desperate battle with the Lumix team before taking out Race 1 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

With no more than 15s separating the two teams for more than half the course, the two teams headed for home with only 2s between them.

Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack and Aron Everett) tried desperately to force an error by putting in several tacks, but the Asko crew was up to the challenge and finally crossed the line as a 38s. winner.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, skippered by Hugh Stodart, who replaced an injured Michael Coxon, with Trent Barnabas and Dave O'Connor, finished a further 52s. back in third place.

Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) was fourth, followed by Smeg (Dan Phillips), and the defending champion Seve Jarvin sixth in Gotta Love It 7.

Ironically, it was Jarvin's 2012-2013 Australian champion skiff (now sailing as Asko) which won today's race.

Once again this season, the fleet was faced with less than ideal conditions; light wind which shifted continually throughout the entire course.

While the conditions were less than perfect, the racing was close and the uncertainty of the wind made sure spectator interest was retained right to the end.

The result has also thrown the championship wide open and next week's race will be critical. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au

12' Skiff Interdominions: Five Way Fight For Final Glory
Photo by Studio5, Studio5.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.

12 Foot Skiff New Zealand lead Australia by an unassailable margin heading into the final day of the 12' skiff Interdominions - 322 points to 189. But the individual fight will go down to the last race. Another day of aggressive yachting across four gruelling races means five skippers are overnighting with a realistic shot at the title in the morning. It's on.

Alex Vallings (Auckland) is in pole position going into tomorrow's final two races. It has been a few too many years since his name was etched into the silverware; something he will be very keen to rectify. After 8 races, he is a slender 2 points clear of Glen Armstrong (Wellington) and Russell Davis (Auckland), both tied for second place. Neither of these two sailors has ever won an Interdominions before, and both will be intent on fulfilling long-held dreams on the water tomorrow.

5 points further behind and still in with a good shot at glory are Auckland's Chris Reid and Sydney's Nick Press ... the only Australian in the top 8 at this late stage in the regatta. All four Kiwi sailors will be looking to unseat their Trans-Tasman rival, Press, and halt his march to an unprecedented 5th consecutive individual title in the world's premiere 12' skiff event.

After a number of crew-busting races, plenty will be looking forward to the end of the regatta. Perhaps none more so than Chris Reid's crew, Andrew Clarke, who in addition to his regular duties downwind was spotted doing some work in the upper part of the rig in the middle of a send. Fancy footwork required to stay up there, free a stray trapeze line and carry on racing. Have to say, never seen that before!

The regatta that has had a bit of everything is looking like it is going to see a bit of 'Big Rig' action tomorrow, bringing yet another test to decide who sails the fastest 12 foot skiff in the world.

Full results: www.skiff.org.nz/results.html

First Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation Ambassadors Named
Olympians Paul Goodison, Stevie Morrison and Bryony Shaw have been named as the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation's first official Ambassadors.

The trio competed alongside Andrew, who was nicknamed 'Bart', as members of Team GB at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Ambassadors were announced by Sir Ben Ainslie at the London Boat Show at ExCeL.

The trio will be supporting the work of the foundation by inspiring the next generation. One of the activities they we be involved with will be visiting schools to encourage children to realize what opportunities there are in sport and what benefits there are of getting involved in sporting activities.

The foundation will be announcing other ambassadors and details of its plans over the coming months.

The charity is gearing up to hold Bart's Bash on 21 September 2014, a Guinness World Record attempt to create the largest dinghy and yacht racing event ever.

www.pbo.co.uk/news/

Bloody Mary
Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne from Burghfield SC in a National 12 claim the Bloody Mary Open Pursuit race at Queen Mary SC on Saturday 11 January. This will be their second winning performance. 2nd in the 320 entry were Jon Ibbotson and Charlotte Stewart from Ranelagh SC also in a National 12, 3rd the Icon of Paul and Greg Bartlett from Starcross.

Top ten of 320 entries:
1. National 12, Graham Camm / Zoe Ballantyne Burghfield SC
2. National 12, Jon Ibbotson / Charlotte Stewart Ranelagh SC
3. Icon 18, Paul Bartlett / Greg Bartlett Starcross YC
4. International 14, Ben McGrane / James Hughes Netley SC
5. International 14, Archie Massey / Harvey Hillary Itchenor SC
6. Solo, Thomas Gillard Sheffield Viking SC
7. Laser, Craig Williamson Staunton Harold SC
8. Laser, Rob Cage Thames SC
9. National 12, Nick Copsey Luke Lazell Hunts SC
10. Solo, Michael Sims Carsington SC

Full results: www.queenmary.org.uk

www.thebloodymary.org.uk

Galway To Bid For Third Volvo Ocean Race Visit In 2020
Among the future plans for Galway as part of the masterplan for the city's port submitted last week is the intention to bring back the Volvo Ocean Race for the third time, as the Irish Independent reports.

Galway harbour master Capt Brian Sheridan says 2020 would be the earliest that Galway could bid for a stopover place in the event that it previously hosted in 2009 and 2012, the latter reportedly generating some €60 million for the local economy and attracting a global audience of over 1 billion.

What's more, Galway Harbour Company chief Eamon Bradshaw has intimated that the idea of integrating the harbour with the city, which lies at the heart of the masterplan, only took off with the first visit of the round-the-world yacht race to the City of the Tribes.

Afloat magazine: afloat.ie/sail/

Boats Seized In Mexico For Not Having Import Permits Being Released
Most boats already released in Mexico!

Yesterday all boats from marina Acapulco and Opequimar Vallarya were released. News is next week they will release the rest.

Many boats have not been "importing" their boats into Mexico and paying the $70 fee. So tax agents entered several marinas catering to foreign boats recently and slapped seizure orders on more than 300, The Associated Press reported.

The reason? The boats' owners, mostly American and Canadian retirees who cruise the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, not having a US$70 permit to tie up in Mexico.

All boaters should have what's called a Temporary Import Permit.The document, which can be obtained online, proves the boats are owned by the permit-holder and affirms the owners will not leave or sell them in Mexico.

Officials inspected more than 1,600 boats at eight marinas and issued seizure orders against 338 that supposedly lacked the permit.

Reports from Mexican authorities have contacted us and told us many boats have already been released, and the rest should be released on Monday. -- Bob Bitchin from Cruising Outpost

cruisingoutpost.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Elan 340. 69,500 GBP. Located in the United Kingdom.

The owner has thoroughly enjoyed sailing this Elan 340 and found it very easy to sail, with a spacious cockpit and big wheel, all lines led aft, accommodation for 6-7 people. Sparkling performance, well set up for racing, - a real joy to sail.

Brokerage through S.D.Marine Ltd.: www.sdmarine.co.uk

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

The Last Word
I am going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children. -- Jack Kerouac

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