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Cape2Rio: The Race For Second Place
After the seriously well sailed Maserati has crossed the finish line in 10days 11hrs and 29min, Scarlet Runner will be the next boat expected to cross the line. She has another 680NM to go. Given the fact that they do have light breeze out there, it could take up to 3 days for her to finish. I am pretty sure that Masearti will also be the first boat on handicap. The big tussle is now on for second place.

In my opinion there are only 3 boats seriously in the running for the second place handicap positions at the moment.

- Scarlet Runner: The Aussies did sail a solid race so far but will be doomed in the forecasted light breeze during the next 48hrs. So far they are still on 2nd place but the weather could really hurt their efforts to reach Rio fast enough.

- Iskareen: The only German entry moved constantly up the leader board during the last 5 days. The light displacement with a generous downwind sail plan is a winning combination in anything above 15kn of breeze. I can't fault their efforts to keep the boat moving and it will come at no surprise to me if they will gain more time on the other boats.

- Privateer: The proudly South African entry of the Kuttel brothers has done nothing wrong in the route planning so far. They decided to go the longer but faster northerly route to Rio. This way they stayed out of trouble and in the breeze, bravo. We should not forget that they are only two up, racing against fully crewed boats. -- Harry Brehm

Note from Trevor Wilkins on location
The excitement reached a high as we watched the fickle wind trying to make up its mind.........many is the time when a yacht has been becalmed off the entrance to the the Bay.........We went out to meet Maserati off the coast and experienced their sheer frustration as they played with the switching patterns of the very light breeze.  About 8 sail changes later they drifted over the line in the magnificent Bay, the Sugar Loaf and in the background the Corcovardo bathed in the light of the full moon.  A case or two of ice cold beers and Bubbly followed by a good meal welcomed the crew to the shores of Rio de Janerio.

The Best In Both Worlds
Sam Newton, who is one of Australia's most talented sailors, was part of the 2013 winning US Team Oracle in The America's Cup and is also a four-times JJ Giltinan (world) champion on Gotta Love It 7 in the 18ft Skiffs.

Now back in Australia on Gotta Love It 7 in search of a fifth Giltinan title, Sam took time out to discuss what he sees as the differences in 18ft Skiffs and America's Cup yachts:

"The 18's and Cats have many obvious differences but a lot of similarities as well".

"I had the pleasure of doing a lot of sailing and racing on the AC45's and AC72's over the past 2 years and between them I also experienced a lot of similarities to the 18ft Skiff".

"When Oracle set the Protocol for the 34th Cup, their concept had a lot of similarities to what the 18ft skiffs have been doing for decades".

"It was all about creating a spectacle for sponsors and fans, something the skiffs have done well for a long time. The racing is short and intense and the venue is close to vantage points to ensure it encourages a big following".

"On board the boats, the main difference between the Skiff and the cat is obvious.  Two hulls and a wing sail compared to the single hull and a conventional mainsail.  Another is the much larger team of eleven sailors on the AC72, which brings in a whole new dynamic".

"One thing still remains; the 18ft skiff is by far the hardest to bear away at the top mark in 20+ knots.  The 45's give good action to the sailors and spectators at the top mark as we saw through the AC World Series, and the 72ft Cats are a lot easier by using the foils to create lift in the bow which we don't have the option of in the skiff". -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

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:

The Knives Come Out
Chris Rattue in the New Zealand Herald:

Rugby is the only sport in this country that holds mass attention under any circumstances, although it still gets a summer publicity holiday. The America's Cup is a corporate plaything that means little to the masses most of the time.

I've also long had the feeling that those in control of TNZ like to have everyone in their pocket. As with the New Zealand Rugby Union, creating home rule is relatively easy in such a small country.

This confirmed landlubber is still unsure whether poor little TNZ were beaten solely by big bad Yankee money - as was alleged by the TNZ apologists - or at least partly by sailing and strategic skill in San Francisco. Whichever way, here's the big worry about D. Barker. He's got the mark of an America's Cup loser on him.

This is not said lightly because from this distant shore he appears a terrific bloke, easy to cheer for and is without question a fine sailor. But the America's Cup is a different league to other sailing where personality type ranks alongside sailing ability.

This is not a nice thought - maybe Barker is too nice. One thing is sure - the record isn't good.

20th Singapore Straits Regatta
The 20th edition of the Singapore Straits Regatta is the third part of the Asia Sailing Circuit for the Perpetual Cup series, which includes the Raja Muda and Phuket's King's Cup. Sailors from Singapore and abroad will compete in 9 races over 4 days across two spectacular destinations - Singapore and Batam island in Indonesia.

In Singapore the fleet was based at One degree 15 marina, a modern, fully equipped marina on Sentosa island where preparations began for the 16 nautical mile passage to Batam island in Indonesia. Nongsa Point Marina is hosting the IRC B and IRC C classes plus the one-design J24s over the next 3 days. The weather was tough with strong winds, choppy waves and strong current which all helped the boats reach their destination faster.

Today was the first day of racing with ideal conditions forecast. The fleet was ready on the Nongsa Point marina for 3 windward/leeward races, and anticipation was intense amongst the crews looking forward to some great sailing ahead.

With races schedule to start at 11am sharp, the crews checked over their sails and equipment for the strong weather conditions.

The boats spread evenly across the first startline, and David Dimmock's Blue Note quick off the line. Two windward marks were set, a short course for the IRC C and one-design classes, and one further out for the IRC B class.

Royal Southern David Thomas Regatta
Hamble, Hampshire, UK: In 2014, the yacht designer and sailing legend David Thomas is celebrating 25 years as a member of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and, in recognition, the Royal Southern is inviting owners of David Thomas-designed yachts to celebrate this landmark anniversary between 9th and 11th May.

Owners will have the opportunity to get together, partake in some light-hearted class and handicap racing, socialise and enjoy a celebratory dinner.  Above all, this is an opportunity to celebrate in the company of this great man, his wife Trudi and his family.

Thousands of David Thomas-designed boats continue to give their owners fun afloat, whether cruising or racing and so the Royal Southern invites you to join them in honouring the man and his work.

The Entry form and full details of berthing (from Friday 9th May) plus an itinerary of the events afloat and ashore will be available shortly from:

Meanwhile, expressions of interest should be emailed direct to: 
Natalie Gray, Sailing Secretary:

"En Solitaire? An Unforgettable Experience!"
Alex Pella, a 42-year old Catalan sailor, has participated in two Imoca seasons (2009-2011), notably taking the start of the last Barcelona World Race. He was also enlisted for the role of consultant in the filming of the box office hit, En Solitaire, which made the big screen this winter. On his return from the last Transat Jacques Vabre aboard a Class40, we asked him about what he refers to as an unforgettable experience.

What was the toughest thing about your role as consultant for François Cluzet?

AP: "It was a 6-month mission including the preparation of the boat, the gear and the team, and above all the filming. Clearly the toughest thing was going out on the water everyday for 2 months, 9 hours a day! There were 18 of us aboard an IMOCA60 that was intended to be sailed shorthanded, only 3 of whom were sailors: Yann Riou, who helped me with the sailing and electronics and Olivier Cusin, who was the boat captain. The tricky element was ensuring safety in the tough conditions. I set a limit of a 3-metre swell and 30 knots of breeze.

It was very complicated to satisfy the needs of the scenario, namely giving the impression of being offshore, whilst we were close to the coast (Groix or the Canaries), finding the right angles for the shoots and taking the sun, waves and wind into account so that everything tied together! Added to that, the filming doesn't correspond with the chronological order of the film…

- Where are you at with your own plans? Is a return to IMOCA possible?

AP: "Yes, I dream of returning to IMOCA for the Barcelona World Race and then the Vendée Globe. In the meantime, I'm trying to get in as much sailing as I can and I had a good Transat Jacques Vabre in the Class 40. Right now, it's complicated in the current economic context. 2014 boasts a fantastic schedule with the novel New York-Barcelona race, the Rhum and then the Barcelona World Race. Coming from Barcelona, it's really a major objective for me, but I know it'll be tough!"

From the IMOCA site:

Movie info:

A critical review of the film:

RORC Entries Open
The RORC is pleased to announce that REMUS (RORC's Entry Management and Update System) will be open for entries for the 2014 season from midday Monday 13th January 2014.

2014 is set to be a very busy year's racing with the RORC. The calendar contains a full roster of domestic races alongside our inshore events, the RORC Easter Challenge and IRC National Championship. For the intrepid sailor there will be two 1800nm+ offshore races, including the test of endurance that is the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race.

You can view the full RORC schedule here.


Fitzroy Yachts To Lay Off Staff
New Zealand-based Fitzroy Yachts this morning released the following press statement. The yard has building yachts since 1997 and with seveal award-winning yachts on the water has forged a name itself as one of the world's leading sailing yacht builders. Recent launches include 50m Ohana, 50m Zefira and and 47m Salperton IV and work is currently underway on 37.5m FY17 which is due to launch this month and deliver in March. With no further orders signed, the yard has been forced to make the difficult decision to consolidate operations. This morning's news is all the demonstration that is needed that superyacht orders represent significant jobs, and that in signing orders owners inject huge levels of investment into local economies.

Statement from Fitzroy Yachts

"Fitzroy Yachts has a long history as one of the world's leading sailing yacht builders, and has been the recipient of several significant awards. The yard is extremely proud of our fleet of superyachts, and above all of the talented staff who bring these beautiful projects to reality.

Like a large number of our fellow yacht builders, we have felt the effects of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and its impact on the new build order book. Following the imminent completion of our current build, the 37.5m Dubois performance sloop FY17, a substantial reduction of employees, albeit extremely regrettable, will not be avoidable.

The management is currently negotiating with the owner of FY17 a goodwill contribution to support the employees in the form of an incentive linked to a successful and timely completion of his yacht.

Completing the build of FY17 to Fitzroy's high standards is our priority, as is working with other local employers to try and find jobs for as many of the staff as we can. We are optimistic that with the labour market in New Plymouth, and the strong sense of community within the New Plymouth business community, that many of our staff will be able to gain new employment. As their work attests, they are all highly skilled employees."

Yacht Race Organisers Urged To Repay Grant
Organisers of a new Auckland to Bluff yacht race are being urged to pay back $100,000 in taxpayer money after the event was cancelled.

Next month's inaugural race was set to get $440,000 from the Government, with a quarter already paid before the race was called off due to a lack of entries.

Taxpayers' Union spokesman Jordan Williams says it is an appalling waste of public money.

"If you give a grant for a boat race, it should be conditioned on the boat race happening. "The race organisers are obliged to do the right thing, and refund the money."

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1991 Hoek Design Classic Ketch. EUR 980,000. Located in Edam, Netherlands.

Built by the top Dutch yard Engelaer in 1991, Kim was one of the first of many epic retro classics from the boards of Hoek Design. With her low profile, long overhangs and beautiful sheer line, this 70 ft ketch is an excitingly pretty yacht. Moreover, her classic appearance is combined with an ultra-modern underwater body with wing keel and elliptic spade rudder. She has travelled the world in classic style.

In 2006, Kim was completely refitted by another leading yard, Holland Jachtbouw. The expert craftsmen modified the interior and she is now perfect for chartering, sleeping up to six guests in four separate cabins. An entirely new saloon and comprehensive equipment upgrade ensures that your on board life will be very pleasant indeed.

Brokerage through Hoek Brokerage BV:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Calvin: I'm a genius, but I'm a misunderstood genius.
Hobbes: What's misunderstood about you?
Calvin: Nobody thinks I'm a genius.

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