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Melges 32 Fleet: A Great Third Day
Key West, Florida, USA: Three additional races were held on day three at 2014 Quantum Key West Race Week (KWRW) for a total of six complete. Still leading overall is Alec Cutler on hedgehog, now three points ahead of Dalton DeVos on Delta. Richard Goransson's Inga From Sweden advanced to third overall, now one point ahead of Deneen Demourkas' Groovederci in fourth. Dieter Shoen on Momo from Germany rounds out the top five.

The racing conditions were a vast improvement over Tuesday's gloomy and rainy weather, not to mention Monday's light and difficult breeze. Instead, teams arrived to a beautiful 13-15 knots, relatively calm seas and plentiful sunshine.

Thursday's forecast is calling for winds to be around 10 knots and a little bit warmer than today. Friday, the final day of racing in Key West is calling for a little more or both.

Results after six races:

1. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, hedgehog, 11 points
2. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta, 14
3. Richard Goransson/Morgan Larson, Helly Hanson Inga From Sweden, 22
4. Deneen Demourkas/Cameron Appleton, Groovederci, 23
5. Dieter Schoen/Markus Wiesser, Momo, 27
6. Eduardo Souza-Ramos/Andrea Fonseca, Phoenix, 29
7. Chris Wientjes/Benz Faget, Stormvogel, 43

J/70 "Boats.Com" Humpday Report
The J/70 team is halfway through Key West Race Week and already has recorded some highs, and some lows.

With 5 races complete and another 5 scheduled, Key West Race Week 2014 is half over. As a new team competing in our first regatta we've already experienced some highs and lows. First, the highs:

The way the new team is starting to be a team instead of 4 individuals.

The way we recovered to 11th from a premature start in race 1 (improving from last t0 11th place in a very competitive 63 boat fleet)

The Key West location and race organization.

Sailing in January!

Today's results, which we believed were 5,3,8, would've given us a half time score of 2nd overall, which would have made us very Happy Brits. Which leads me to the low points:

On returning to shore we discovered we had been scored OCS (over the line at the start) for today's first race, which has dropped us to 17th overall. We queried the decision as we had not been called back by the race committee, but met with little sympathy.

Oh and by the way it rained - hard - all day yesterday, which was definitely not in the brochure!

Looking ahead to the last two days, the weather prediction is fair for the rest of the week with extra big breeze forecast for the last day on Friday. After one more race each boat will discard its worse score and we hope to bounce back into the top ten tomorrow, assuming no more start line accidents...

We're achieving our main goal of sailing as a team in preparation for the World Championships later this year, and keep telling ourselves to keep our hopes realistic! Fat chance. -- Ian Atkins

Top ten in the J70 Class:

1. Helly Hansen, Tim Healy, USA, 29 points
2. Catapult, Joel Ronning, USA, 41
3. Savasana, Brian Keane, USA, 54
4. US 32, David Ullman, USA, 63
5. Black River Racing, Douglas Strebel, USA, 65
6. Hot Mess, Rob Britts, USA, 67
7. Smokin' J , Steve Shaw, USA, 70
8. Menace, Kerry Klingler, USA, 72
9. Stampede, Bruno Pasquinelli, USA, 73
10. Heartbreaker, Robert Hughes, USA, 73

Ran Racing's Consistency
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

TP52 A long, three race day on the water for the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet at Quantum Key West, sees a new regatta leader in Niklas Zennstrom's Ran Racing. The world champions sailed a consistent day, improving on a fourth in the first race to post a first and a second, earning themselves a slender lead of a single point overall ahead of Azzurra which also composed a seven points aggregate today in the excellent 12-16kts NNW'ly breezes. 

In the fabulous conditions, around relatively short, sharp courses the intensity was always high. Lobster pots proved an issue again today as Quantum Racing, Azzurra and Hooligan in particular all suffered frustrating encounters which cost them places.

Niklas Zennstrom's team have retained a certain consistency so far. Tactician Adrian Stead points to the work with strategist Nic Asher, coach Thierry Peponnet's drive to improve their strategy, execution and communication as contributing factors.

Standings after six races:

1. Ran Racing (SWE), Niklas Zennstrom (SWE), 14 points
2. Azzurra (ITA), Guillermo Parada (ARG), 15
3. Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA), 16
4. Interlodge (USA), Austin Fragomen (USA), 21
5. Sled (USA), Takashi Okura (USA), 30
6. Hooligan (USA), Gunther Buerman (USA), 30

Marinepool Iso Automatic Life Jackets - Test Winners Around The Globe
MarinePool Safety is the last area where compromise is an option. 

Marinepool utilizes only the best materials, state of the art release mechanisms and all life jackets are produced in ISO certified production facilities. More than 20 years of experience and design excellence and a proven track record have made the German brand the largest producer of life jackets for the leisure market and its products the benchmark in the market.

Marinepool life jackets have come out on top of product tests by magazines around the globe again and again. Proof that our no-compromise designs and no-nonsense attitude result in the best product for your safety. Marinepool is striving after setting the bar ever higher to satisfy the demands of top athletes and the general watersport enthusiast alike.  

For both highest functionality and uncompromising quality go hand in hand and add to their success on the race courses or their pleasure when out at sea.

Turning the wearer quickly into the correct position, with face and airways clear of the water, while putting them in a secure and comfortable floating position regardless of weight and size is crucial.

At the same time, the life jackets must offer a simple and hassle free adjustment system for harness and crotch strap. Marinepool life jackets excel in both areas and are made to the new ISO 12402 standards - already compulsory in Italy and Spain for life jackets sold in these countries - which are much more stringent than previous CE standards.

Marinepool offers a comprehensive range of 150N, 180N and 300N automatic and manual life jackets as well as 50N and 100N foam filled life jackets for cruising and performance sail racing. In addition, the range includes horse shoes, sling rescue systems and ISO certified life lines with two or three hooks.

Comfort and ease to wear make it more likely that life jackets are put on and it remains fact that only a life jacket that is worn can do much good.

Visit us at boot Dusseldorf January 18th - 26th, Hall 11, Stand H41.

The ISO life jacket range by Marinepool. Design. Technology. Passion.

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race: VO70 Monster Project Sets Record
Click on image to enlarge.

Monster Project Bridgetown, Barbados: The Mount Gay team aboard the British VO70 Monster Project set a new absolute record in yesterday's Mount Gay Barbados Race with a time of 4 hours 42 minutes 28 seconds, knocking 21 minutes off the previous record established in 2012 by Idea - Reichel Pugh 78 (John Wilson, UK). Idea, however, broke the CSA record for corrected time.

Monster Project, with Loic Blanken on the helm, and Fabrice Cornic on tactics, sailed a smart, mistake-free race and, in ideal conditions the team was able to enjoy a spectacular sail round Barbados. Formerly Kosatka the Russian entry for 2009 Volvo Ocean Race, Monster Project is Mount Gay's charter boat for this event, and it is hoped she'll be back to defend her title next year.

As Monster Project sailed into port, Andy Budgen, owner and crew boss said he was absolutely delighted with the team's performance and says one of the best things about their achievement is the prize. "We are very pleased and to be honest it is a bit of a surprise. We are particularly happy to be winning the skipper's weight in rum - all 120gs of it.

With winds reaching 25kts on some parts of the course, and big rolling seas, the 36 entries ranging from a local windsurfer, to a Dutch brigantine - Tres Hombres -  the conditions for this 60-mile clockwise sprint around the island couldn't have been better.

The big attraction for the big racing yachts was naturally the potential of breaking the outright record based on elapsed time. Realistically, there were two, possibly three yachts in with a chance of taking the record, including Idea - Reichel Pugh 78 (John Wilson, UK) defending the 5 hours, 3 minutes, 34 seconds record she set in 2012, Mount Gay Monster Project - VO70 -  and possibly Caro - Knierim 65 (Max Klink), the boat that recently won the ARC. -- Sue Pelling

Monster Project:

Aussie Mark Bulka Making It Look Easy At Contender Worlds
Four races completed at the Contender World Championships and Australian Mark Bulka is making is making it all look very easy, as he takes a 21 point lead. In second is Christoph Homeier of Germany with Antonio Lambertini of Italy in third. Best GBR competitor is Tommy Hooton in eighth with Simon Mussell in 12th.

Race winners so far have been: Tommy Hooton in race 1, Mark Bulka taking races 2 and 4 and Andrea Bonezzi of Italy race 3

The event is taking place at the Belmont 16 foot Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie, NSW Australia and so far the event website has only managed to post the results - no reports or images and even the Facebook page has lost interest. -- Gerald New in Sailweb

Contender - World Championship (67 entries)

1. Mark Bulka Open, AUS, 11 points
2. Christoph Homeier, Open, GER, 32
3. Antonio Lambertini, Open, ITA, 35
4. Matthew Mulder, Open, AUS, 42
5. Joachim Harpprecht, Masters, GER, 45
6. Andrea Bonezzi, Open, ITA, 49
7. Winfred Westerman, Open, NED, 49
8. Tommy Hooton, Open, GBR, 51
9. Phillip Evans, Masters, AUS, 51
10. Paul Verhallen, Open, NED, 55

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan will look to extend their unbeaten streak in the Men's 470 when racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami commences on 27 January 2014.

Running through to 1 February over 550 sailors from 50 nations will race at the third of five 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas in Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, USA.

Belcher, the 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, made it 18 consecutive wins in a row when he took gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and it was his tenth in a row with Ryan.

Belcher's run stems from November 2011 and as the victories have continued to flow the Australian has coped well with the weight of expectation, "The pressure has been difficult at times with it accumulating over the years," said Belcher. "But we are in the business of sport.  Our job is to perform under pressure. It is something you just have to manage."

The pressure will be back on Belcher and Ryan in Miami with a highly competitive and experienced 31-boat fleet.

Joining the Australians in the fleet is 2013 470 world championship silver and bronze medallists Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre (FRA) and Greece's Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis. World #3 pair Sime Fantela and Ignor Marenic (CRO) pushed the Australians at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and Britons Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield will also prove a stern test.

Racing commences across ten Olympic and three Paralympic Classes on Monday 27 January. Medal Races on Saturday 1 February bring the regatta to a close.

Superyacht Challenge Antigua
The Superyacht Challenge Antigua is now in its fourth year and has established itself as a unique superyacht event.

The challenge is held each year at the end of January, hosted by the Admiral's Inn in Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua. There are three days of spectacular racing with ratings and start times being determined by the International Superyacht Rule. Starting just outside English Harbour, the magnificent superyachts take part in daily pursuit races along the stunning south coast of Antigua.

For the fourth year in succession, an impressive line up of some of the world's finest sailing yachts will be racing. This year, eight superyachts yachts, with a combined length of over 1000ft, will be taking part. Half of the fleet are returning from last year and three superyachts are new to the event.

Last year's overall winner, Adela is back to defend the challenge. The 182ft Dykstra designed schooner is the largest yacht competing, whilst the smallest is the 90ft Maxi Swan, Freya, which will be making its debut. The 102ft ketch Maramar was second last year and will be hoping to go one better. 113ft Germán Frers sloop, Unfurled was third in last year's event and returns to the challenge and the magnificent 147ft Dubois ketch, Timoneer is also back. Hoek-designed ketch, Marie returns to the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, the 180ft ketch competed in 2011 and 2012. Whilst the 110ft Vitters Maxi, Inoui and the 126ft Schooner, Gloria will be making their first appearance. -- Louay Habib

RYA Alerts Boaters To 'Critical' Safety Issues
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has launched a new safety initiative for the leisure boating industry to notify boaters of current, critical safety issues.

As well as issuing an annual Safety Advisory Notice, the RYA's initiative includes the promotions of four key safety messages: look after yourself, have a plan, keep in touch and know your limits.

"Safety is a state of mind, an attitude, an ethos of self-reliance and responsibility," said Sarah Treseder, chief executive, RYA. "It's about what we do to prepare and safeguard ourselves. This new safety initiative consolidates the RYA's advice and information for leisure boaters in what we hope will be a thought provoking way."

The four key safety messages will feature on an updated safety page on the RYA's website and will form part of an ongoing safety education campaign to its 100,000 plus members and the wider boating community.

An RYA Safety Advisory Group will look at safety concerns and incidents throughout the year, consolidate lessons learnt and issue further advice. The Notice will be reviewed annually but where safety concerns are more immediate, the RYA says it will issue periodic safety update alerts.

Letters To The Editor -
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* From Sean Langman, Team Australia: Regarding the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's decision to exclude his ORMA 60 trimaran Team Australia from competing in the Australia Day Regatta offshore race:

The story is pretty simple. Sydney Harbour was the arrival point for the first fleet settlers on January 26th 1788 and the harbour is a focal point each year for celebrations.

The Australia Day regatta is Australia's longest running yachting event held under the auspicious of the Australia Day Council. The regatta is spread about the harbour and offshore and the offshore race is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutters Bay.

Team Australia, an ORMA 60, wished to enter the offshore event as the Notice of Race invited all yachts to compete. Thus Team Australia entered and invited other compliant multihull yachts to do so.

Our entries were accepted with feedback from the CYCA that the multihull yachts had to form their own division. We had the numbers to form our own division so, all looked good until Monday 20th January when a letter was received by email to each multihull entrant advising them that the CYCA would not start the division sighting that the boats are not monohulls and self-righting.

Team Australia intends to sail the offshore race course as a statement of freedom and equality.

I don't see this as social injustice but if sailors cannot unite with a common goal of enjoyment under blue sky and perfect sea breeze then what hope do we have as a country to achieve national unity under one flag.

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The Last Word
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