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Rain Can't Stop The Racing
Rain squalls and wind shifts couldn't put a damper on the competition during Day 2 at Quantum Key West 2014. Multiple storm bands that were quite severe at times challenged the race committees and forced delays. Ultimately, perseverance and patience paid off as Division 1 completed a race while Divisions 2 and 3 got in two each.

"We were seeing massive wind shifts - pre-squall and post-squall. The breeze went in a circle for a while," said Ken Legler, veteran principal race officer on Division 1. "We had to move the signal boat a couple times and once we got a race going we had to move the weather mark a couple times."

After postponing twice, Legler got a start away at 2:25 in the afternoon and it was a wild ride for the five classes competing on Division 1.

Decision maintained the lead in High Performance Class for a second straight day after placing second in the day's lone race behind fellow Carkeek 40 Spookie. It's a tight class with only three points separating the first and fourth place entries.

Vitesse, a Swan 42 skippered by Jon Halbert of Dallas, Texas, has displayed superb consistency in placing second in all three races against a tough fleet in IRC 3. Catapult, a Ker 40 owned by Marc Glimcher of New York, has sandwiched a pair of bullets around a seventh and stands second overall with nine points.

Catapult's victory in IRC 3 earned the Lewmar/Navtec Boat of the Day award. Veteran professional Geoff Ewenson is calling tactics for Glimcher, who captured an IRC Sub-Class at Quantum Key West 2013.

Quantum Racing Make It Three From Three
From a race sailed in unusually wet and squally conditions, somewhat atypical of the annual regatta's reputation for regular breezes and sunshine, the Quantum Racing team managed to keep their unbeaten record intact to increase their overall lead at the top of the US 52 Super Series at Quantum Key West. 

The five leg windward-leeward contest was peppered with big shifts in the wind direction which skewed the course at times to render it more of a drag race. But while it may in the end have required little in the way of tactical thinking, success came for those who kept their heads, made fewest mistakes - or at lease dealt with them best - during a dramatic and exciting sprint.

Quantum Racing extended their lead overall regatta lead ahead of Rán Racing which finished third in this one and only race of the day, whilst the 2013 regatta winners Azzurra had a much better race, finishing second.

Standings after three races:
1. Quantum Racing, USA, Doug DeVos, USA, 3 points
2. Ran Racing, SWE, Niklas Zennstrom, SWE, 7
3. Azzurra, ITA, Guillermo Parada, ARG, 8
4. Sled, USA, Takashi Okura, USA, 14
5. Interlodge, USA, Austin Fragomen, USA, 15
6. Hooligan, USA, Gunther Buerman, USA, 16

Cutler Hangs On And Maintains The Lead In Melges 32 Class
Photo by Joy Dunigan / International Melges 32 Class Association. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 32 After two days and three races in Key West, Fla. at the 2014 Quantum Key West Race Week (KWRW) regatta, Alec Cutler from Bermuda sailing hedgehog remains in the overall Melges 32 Class lead, ahead by two slim points. Deneen Demourkas on Groovederci traded places with Dalton DeVos on Delta to take second, after a somewhat wet and wild day.

The fleet left the docks this morning in high anticipation that racing would commence on-time. Once out on the course, it was obvious that the oscillating wind was not about to make things easy for the Race Committee. Teams spent the next three-and-a-half hours floating around waiting for the breeze to stablize.

After a few substantial wind shifts and several rain squalls later, the breeze filled in and allowed for the start of Race Three in the KWRW Series.

The current Wednesday forecast is calling for windy conditions ranging 20-30 mph. Two races are scheduled.

Results after three races:

1. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, hedgehog, 6 points
2. Deneen Demourkas/Cameron Appleton, Groovederci, 8
3. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta, 10
4. Richard Goransson/Morgan Larson, Helly Hanson Inga From Sweden, 11
5. Eduardo Souza-Ramos/Andrea Fonseca, Phoenix, 13
6. Dieter Schoen/Markus Wiesser, Momo, 15
7. Chris Wientjes/Benz Faget, Stormvogel, 22

1,000nm In First Three Days Of Solo Circumnavigation
Two and a half days after leaving Brest, France, the maxi-trimaran Sodebo, already reached the latitude of Gibraltar and expected to be at Madeira 12 hours later.

Skipper Thomas Coville has got away to the required fast start for a successful single handed circumnavigation. This morning (January 19) he reported passing the 1,000nm mark.

The previous night he had been hit with winds gusting to 40kts, now the winds have eased to 25kts. Colville expects to be in the trade winds zone inside 24 hours.

After six days of sailing Thomas Colville, and his weather routers, expect to have cleared the Cape Verde Islands.

From's translation:

Coville / Sodebo site:

Irish President For The Old Gaffers Association
Sean Walsh's Heard 28 Tir na nOg. Click on image to enlarge.

Old Gaffers Association For the first time in its 50 years, the Old Gaffers Association has an Irish President. W M Nixon profiles Sean Walsh as he begins a three year term heading up this increasingly international organisation, which raised its profile with 2013's Golden Jubilee celebrations including major events for classic and traditional craft in Dublin, Belfast, and Peel in the Isle of Man.

If you were putting together the dream profile of an ideal person to become the first Irish President of the Old Gaffers Association as that somewhat quirky organisation quietly flexes its muscles on completion of the successful celebration of its Golden Jubilee in 2013, then you'd come up with somebody very like Sean Walsh.

For sure, there have been, and still are, Irish sailing administrators in major international organisations which are central to mainstream sailing. As a nation, we have punched way above our weight in top roles in the global organisation now known as the International Sailing Federation. And Dun Laoghaire's John Bourke gave unstinting service both as Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club from 1994-1996, and as Chairman of the Offshore Racing Council, while the RORC has also seen major input from Cork with the late Denis Doyle as a Flag Officer, a role recently filled by Anthony O'Leary while Dun Laoghaire is currently rising in the officer ranks again with Michael Boyd (RIYC) now serving as RORC Vice Commodore.

But the Old Gaffers Association is different. In fact, being different is what it's all about. In some ways, you could say it's the sailing organisation which provides a home for boat enthusiasts who don't feel comfortable anywhere else. Thus it is very accommodating about including people whose boats might happen to be Bermudan rig, provided they're the right sort of people with the right sort of boats, and a sound attitude to gaff-rigged folk.

WM Nixon in Afloat magazine:

Clipper Brisbane To Singapore: Wind Holes Test The Fleet's Patience
It's been a challenging 24 hours as the fleet approach the Vitiaz Strait , leaving behind the Solomon Sea as it embarks on the Bismarck Sea. The trademark light fickle winds that have punctuated the race so far continue to slow the progress of the fleet, as the threat of OneDLL has seen the team overhaul Old Pulteney as just one mile separates the front runners.

While the juggling act at the top of the leaderboard continues, GREAT Britain and Derry-Londonderry-Doire is neck and neck, reluctantly sharing third place.

 Meanwhile, Henri Lloyd and PSP Logistics enjoyed favourable winds overnight which has seen both teams make steady progress in the last 24 hours. PSP Logistics, which is currently just over 20 miles away from OneDLL in fifth place, knows the right tactical ploy at this stage could impact the teams position amongst the rest of the fleet.

Fleet tracker:

Emirates Team New Zealand Go Extreme
Emirates Team New Zealand have today been confirmed as the tenth team on the Extreme Sailing Series™ starting blocks for 2014, with legendary America's Cup skipper Dean Barker. With a further Series team announcement in the coming weeks, a full grid of 11 teams will embark on the eight stop global tour, which starts in Singapore in just over four weeks, with the first starting gun on the 20th February.

London 2012 silver medal winning 49er duo Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who last week were announced as part of the Kiwi development squad for the 35th America's Cup, will join Barker. While the pair are currently campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympics, Barker and Burling will share skipper duties.

Barker will be at the helm at the first two Acts, to be staged in Singapore and Muscat, Oman, in March. Burling will then take over for the following two in Qingdao, China in May and a brand new stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia in June. The remaining Acts will be confirmed throughout the year.

Emirates Team New Zealand last competed in the Series in 2011, and after an unforgiving introduction to the world of elite level multihull racing, the team soon got to grips with the high-performance catamaran.

Burling and Tuke sailed in three Extreme 40 regattas last year with Team Korea, quickly getting to grips with the Stadium Racing formats before going on to win the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in September. The final crew members are still to be confirmed.

A-Class Catamaran World Championship
With just over two weeks to go, the countdown is on to the upcoming 2014 A-Class Catamaran World Championships. Some of the biggest names on the global sailing scene have joined the line up.

Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) team-mates Ray Davies and Glenn Ashby have both confirmed their participation in the event.

The A Class Catamaran is the largest single handed catamaran class in the world and more than 80 competitors, from more than 10 nations, are set to line up to vie for the 2014 world championship title.

The event will be held at the Takapuna Boating Club right on the foreshore of Takapuna Beach on Aucklandʼs North Shore from the 5th to the 16th February.

More than 65 entries are already confirmed for the February event. Ten nationalities including Australia, Britain, USA, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Germany, SUI.

Viper 640 at Australian Sportsboat Championships
Photo by Tom Gruitt. Click on image to enlarge.

Australian Sportsboat Championships Freemantle, Australia: Vipers were 1 and 4 at Australian Sportsboat Nationals held last week in Freemantle. There were 5 Vipers in the top 10 and they won 6 out of 10 races. 21 boat diverse fleet including VX Ones, SB3, Melges 24 and lots of Shaw and Thompson custom boats.

Vipers will be in force at the Baccardi Cup, Miami (March) with overseas yachtsmen participating. 

The Viper will be at the Dinghy Show, London, 1st 2nd March .

Phoenicia Team: Royal Geographical Society Lecture
Click on image to enlarge.

Phoenicia Three years after building a replica Phoenician ship and circumnavigating Africa former Royal Navy officer Philip Beale and his crew are planning another expedition, sailing the Phoenicia from the Mediterranean to the Americas to illustrate that the Phoenicians had the capabilities and skills to cross the Atlantic two thousand years before Columbus. Crossing the Atlantic is an ambitious challenge as the Atlantic winds and storms are powerful and unforgiving to any sailor. However, it is a quest that is crying out to be attempted and which promises to shed new light on one of history's greatest mysteries.

The first event of the year at the Royal Geographical Society will support the Phoenicians Before Columbus Expedition.

The Livingstone Lecture is at the Royal Geographical Society on Tuesday 11th February. It is just over 200 years since the death of David Livingstone - Africa's Greatest Explorer and the lecture will be presented by Colonel Paul Bayly FRGS and will cover his life: the man, the missionary and the myth.

As well as launching his new book on Livingstone, Paul is generously donating the proceeds of the evening to the Phoenicians Before Columbus  Expedition:

Information on booking tickets (PDF) or email for further details.

Lake District Lyons Roar At The Brass Monkey
Matty and James Lyons made the most of a moderate breeze to win the Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey in their 49er skiff. The brothers from Ullswater beat the 103-entry fleet on Grimwith Reservoir, the picturesque venue for the most northerly event in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series.

Although big breeze looked to be on the cards for an event that already had to be postponed from a stormy Christmas date, it turned out to be a very sailable Force 2-4. Once the morning fog cleared, it was a good day's racing. The Lyons 49er finished in 2nd place in the morning race, behind another family team in a GP14, Mark and Sam Platt from Bolton Sailing Club. Third in that race were Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman sailing their RS400 and representing Delph.

After a great lunch and a warm-up in the clubhouse, the fleet went back out for the second and concluding race. The Ullswater 49er duo won this one, followed by Leigh & Lowton's Oliver Blackburn racing a Topper and Staunton Harold's hot Scorpion duo, Peter Gray and Rachael Rhodes.

Following the previous weekend's 320-boat Bloody Mary, Michael Sims was leading the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series in his Solo. But after finishing 13th in Yorkshire the Carsington competitor is nudged off the top by Gray and Rhodes's Scorpion, winners of the Series in 2012.

With six of the eight events now complete, the Series standings are very tight at the top.

Entries were getting very close to full for this weekend's Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy at Northampton, while the final event of the Series is the John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water on 1 & 2 February.

Crewsaver Abersoch Dinghy Week
For those of you who are keen to plan your sailing calendar for the 2014 season you can now enter the Crewsaver Abersoch Dinghy Week 2014 online at

Abersoch Dinghy Week runs from the 20th - 25th July, registration opens in the clubhouse from 10.00 to 12.00 and 14.00 to 18.00 hrs on Saturday 19th and 08.00 to 10.00 hrs on Sunday 20th. Briefing will be in the Clubhouse on Sunday 10.00 hrs for morning classes and 12.00 hrs for afternoon classes.

The start of the first race will be on Sunday 20th July at 11.00hrs. All other race days start at 10.00 hrs. Afternoon races start 14.00 hrs on all race days.

South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club has also teamed up with the International Optimist Class Association to provide racing each afternoon along with two mornings of Optimist Training with a racing coach. For more information on this please contact Justine Wolgram on 07899 847915 or by email

For those of you who have never experienced Dinghy Week it is one of the 'must do' events of the year. Last year attracted over 200 entries which makes this one of the largest dinghy sailing events in the UK.

Wintertraining Lake Garda April 4th To 6th
For the fifth time Bluboats will be organizing a blu26 regatta clinic on Lake Garda, in cooperation with the sailingcenter Tegernsee. During four days we will be practicing and learning on the water and in the classroom, under the directions of professional sailor Christian Scherrer and Stephan Eder. Besides the on the water training with video analysis and the theoretical part, the social and culinary aspects will also be taken care of.

There is also a possibility to rent a boat on site for the training .

For further information contact us at . The tender in german is available here (PDF)

Featured Brokerage
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Brokerage through Sailing Academy Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
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