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First Record For Groupama 3 During The Jules Verne Trophy
Taking just 8 days 17 hours and 39 minutes to traverse the Indian Ocean, the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 skippered by Franck Cammas has snatched the record held by Orange 2 since 2005.

At 2322 UTC on Tuesday 23rd February Groupama 3 crossed the longitude of Tasmania, to the South of Australia, which marks the exit from the Indian Ocean and the entry to the Pacific Ocean.

Having rounded Cape Agulhas off South Africa 8 days and 17 hours beforehand, Franck Cammas and his nine crew participating in the Jules Verne Trophy have taken 17 hours and 25 minutes less than the crew of Bruno Peyron some five years ago.

With the Indian Ocean behind them, Groupama 3 is now attacking the largest ocean in the world, the Pacific; the exit from which is marked by the much renowned Cape Horn.

Departure from Ushant: on 31st January at 1355 UTC
Passage around the Agulhas Cape: on 15th February at 0543 UTC
Passage of Tasmania: on 23rd February at 2322 UTC

Race time from the start to Tasmania: 23 days 9 hours and 27 minutes

Indian Ocean crossing time: 8 days 17 hours and 39 minutes, that is 17 hours and 25 minutes faster than Orange.

This new record for the passage across the Indian Ocean is awaiting approval by the WSSRC, the international body responsible for sailing records.

* With the NW'ly breeze accompanying them for the past five days, the sea state remains sufficiently well organised to enable the crew of Groupama 3 to make good speed effortlessly and free from stress. The situation is set to change a little after Tasmania once the breeze backs round to the W or WSW on Wednesday. The giant trimaran will then have to gybe to avoid New Zealand. However, as far as the average speed is concerned, there shouldn't be any signs of a drop in pace yet.

"With the final known zone of icebergs having been left a few tens of miles to starboard, Groupama 3 has been able to bear away a little this Tuesday and make full benefit of the fairly strong NW'ly wind to put a little big of southing into her course. Indeed, with the latitude at which Franck Cammas and his crew have been sailing, Groupama 3 was still relatively close to Australia: this trajectory has been guided by both the wind from the previous days and by the presence of a large quantity of icebergs to the South of 47 degrees. This southward shift is necessary since you have to follow a course of at least 47 30 S to avoid New Zealand! Therefore we can expect to see Groupama 3 making a very high VMG (velocity made good) bordering on 28/30 knots and with that their lead should continue to increase between Tuesday and Wednesday" explains Sylvain Mondon from Meteo France. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Glimcher Catapults To The Front
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

RORC Caribbeana 600 Marc Glimcher's J 122, Catapult and his crew are all from East Coast of the United States and compete in many regattas; often in a fleet of J 122s. Marc and his crew are having a great race and currently lead the RORC Caribbean 600 overall on handicap. At 1300 local time they were rounding St.Maarten to head south on the long beat to Guadeloupe.

The majority of the fleet are entering another stage in this tactical race. At the moment light headwinds are forecast for the boats on the leg to Guadeloupe. After spending a long period with little rest, the sailors will begin to feel the effects. It is often easier to concentrate when the boat is flying along. In light airs, tiredness can become a big problem.

There is a great tussle in IRC SZCK developing between Lee Overlay Partners, the current holder of the RORC Caribbean 600 trophy, and Privateer. At 1500 today local time Privateer was nearly 8 miles ahead of Lee Overlay Partners. However, Privateer has a different keel and rig configuration therefore on handicap, the two boats are virtually neck and neck.

IRC Super Zero has a new leader, Vela Veloce are now ahead of Beau Geste on handicap with DSK Pioneer Investments in third.

Noonmark VI has led IRC Zero on handicap from the start and continue to do so, but Spirit of Minerva and Spirit of Isis are ahead on the water by just a few miles.

ORMA 60 Region Guadeloupe have made a bold move and are now 30 miles to the west of Montserrat, the move seems to be paying off. The rest of the fleet are experiencing falling breeze whilst the multihull is achieving 17 knots of boat speed.

You can track the yachts and read the messages that are coming in by accessing the Tracker Page or the Boat Blogs page on the official RORC Caribbean 600 web site.

Seahorse March 2009
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Paul Cayard looks ahead... and is this the moment to take a little time?

Mark Mills and Robert Ranzenbach have a new kid in town... it's a big step up (and also hopefully a major step forwards)

Seahorse build table – Hawaii on a budget: Jim Antrim did not quite get his all-singing all-dancing carbon baby, but a good-looking and innovative new canting keel 49-footer has emerged from the California stable nonetheless

RORC news from Eddie Warden Owen

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

3 Months To Lose Weight
Click on image to enlarge.

Safran Safran's winter refit has been underway now for a month. The overall objective is to save some weight and gain in efficiency, before the boat is relaunched in April. Thierry Brault, the manager of the Sailing Team explains.

The Transat Jacques Vabre, which was won by Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier Benac in some truly horrendous conditions at times, proved that a light weight approach is indeed compatible with reliability. Already the featherweight of the IMOCA circuit - and recognised as the fastest boat in the fleet - Safran is going through a slimming programme during this winter refit. From the team's base in the harbour entrance in La Trinite-sur-Mer, Thierry Brault explains: "The boat was completely stripped and everything removed. We have completed the repairs that were required following the Transat Jacques Vabre: we did some work on the hull, on a bulkhead in the ballast tank, which had come unstuck and a few other little odd jobs… Now we're moving on to some more important modifications, which are aimed at saving weight and making efficiency gains."

At the moment, the technicians in the Safran Sailing Team are tackling some major work: they are cutting through and dismantling three vital elements and replacing them with lighter versions: the coach roof (the roof of the cockpit), the channels through which the lines, halyards and sheets pass and the central y-shaped console located between the companionway and the winch pedestal, where all the lines are centralised. "The coach roof will be lighter and offer more protection with extended side panels," explained Thierry Brault, "The new central unit will be half the weight of the previous one thanks to a change in the material used. It will be fitted in the next few days as will the channel through which the lines are fed."

Another element that is going through this slimming programme is the mast rigging. "In this area, we are looking for improvements to performance from the hangers (the bottle screws which are used to tighten or ease the rigging), but that is not all," added Thierry Brault. The hydraulic parts have been sent off to Italy to be tested. The keel will be overhauled in March, which will enable us to check on the boat's centre of gravity. The electronics have been dismantled and the cables refitted, the antifouling will be redone and Safran will be painted yet again.

Halsey's High Hopes
The president of the America's Cup Hall of Fame said Monday he remains "guardedly optimistic" about Newport's chances to host the America's Cup sailing competition following a meeting with the billionaire software mogul who captured the trophy and gets to select the next venue.

Halsey Herreshoff on Saturday delivered a letter pleading Rhode Island's case to Larry Ellison.

The letter from Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri urges Ellison to consider returning the event to Newport, which hosted it from 1930 to 1983, and contends that the City by the Sea is the sailing capital of the United States.

"We understand that you are looking for the best venue possible, and we look forward to making the case that there is no better place than Rhode Island," the governor wrote in the letter, which Herreshoff handed to Ellison in San Francisco during a victory tour of the oldest trophy in international sports.

Other cities in the running include San Francisco and San Diego, which has hosted three America's Cup Regattas.

The competition for the cup looks formidable, at least judging by Ellison's public comments over the weekend; he called San Francisco his first choice for the venue during a celebration in that city, and later described San Diego as a "fantastic alternative."

But Herreshoff said he remains Advertisement convinced that Rhode Island, with open access to Narragansett Bay and an extensive marine trade industry along the coast, remains the best sailing environment in the country. -- Eric Tucker in the San Jose Mercury News,

Clubswan Caribbean Rendezvous
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Clubswan Caribbean Rendezvous The annual ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous is set to take place at the Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC), British Virgin Islands, 15 - 20 March 2010.

The Bitter End Yacht Club will host the opening of the ClubSwan Rendezvous, where guests will enjoy an opening cocktail reception and seafood dinner. The Rendezvous fleet will sail around the spectacular British Virgin Islands taking in the outstanding scenery and natural ambience the area is famous for. During the event participants will be able to enjoy cruising around Jost Van Dyke, Peter Island and Copper Island before heading back to the BEYC. On the final day's sailing sailors can compete in a hotly contested race around Virgin Gorda Island, before the final prize giving.

Entries this year are anticipated to include over twenty international yachts, ranging in size from Swan 82RS, Capo Giro, owned by Dick Weismann to Swan 44 MKII, Laughing Lady, owned by Andrew Lippman. Joe Huber, onboard Swan 78 Valkyrie, will be back to defend his winning title for the Round Virgin Gorda race. The Swan Owners' Association of America will once again be presenting an award for the Best Maintained Swan of the event.

It is highly recommended that interested parties register as soon as possible. Please email the Nautor's Swan Racing Office at or phone +44 (0)207 593 5244

Industry News
Get Well Soon Andrew Bray * Yachting World's long-serving Editor, Andrew Bray recently announced that he will be retiring in June of this year and as many of his friends in the industry will know Andrew was then unfortunately taken ill at January's London Boat Show with bleeding in the brain that was further complicated by pneumionia. He is now recovering in hospital and has been heartened by messages of support and goodwill from his many contacts.

Should anyone wish to send Andrew a message, this can be done through his daughter Catherine (Bray) at

* The Sailing Company presented its annual "State of the Sailing Industry Report" during the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail and it was peppered with phrases such a "survival mode," "Darwinian gale," and "indulgence is no longer affordable."

Rick Walter, of MarketResearch Associates, delivered a sober assessment of the sailing industry, but one that promised "brighter skies" in 2010.

The estimated overall value of North American sailboats was down 58 percent to $258 million. A 12 percent increase is forecast for 2010.

Exports among all "developing nations" were down 46 percent, to 1,154 units while imports were down 33 percent - or 118 units - to 240 units. A 16 percent drop was forecast. -- Rich Armstrong,

*, a division of Dominion Enterprises, today announced that it was going LIVE at the Birmingham Boat and Caravan Show.

Strategically positioned in the centre of Hall 1, stand 1094, LIVE will cover 110 square metres /1184 square feet and will display over 500 boats for sale on high-quality, professional display boards from the following boat brokers and dealers:

Boat Showrooms, CJ Broom, Deacons Yacht Sales, Dickies Boat Sales, HM Yachts, Imperial Motor Yachts, Key Yachting, Le Boat, MGM Boat Sales, MI Cats, Madog Boat Sales, Maiden Marine, Marco Marine, Multihull World, Newark Marine, Nord West, Premier Yacht Sales, Shepherds Windermere, Stirlings Marine, Virginia Currer Marine, Walton Marine and York Marine.

The Birmingham Boat and Caravan Show takes place February 23 - 28, 2010 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom. LIVE will also be a feature at the British Leisure Show to be held at Windsor Race Course, March 19 - 21, 2010. --

* Following the outstanding response to the LaserPerformance Pico Mainsail Design Competition for RYA OnBoard Clubs and Centres we have decided to extend the closing date of the competition until Friday 12th March. There will be a "Design Corner" on the LaserPerformance stand at the RYA Dinghy HShow so anybody between 7 and 16 years old can come along and either submit their entry or design their Pico Mainsail. There are two entry categories for the competition, 7 - 11 year olds and 12 - 16 year olds and both have the opportunity to win 6 Pico Mainsails for their OnBoard Club or Centre, a Pico Mainsail for themselves AND a 2 day sailing course at SailLaser. Get OnBoard and get designing!

LaserPerformance have joined the Boating on a Budget team, to help restore a Laser to it's former glory. The finished article will be displayed in the Panorama Hall where you'll be able to see just what we did and how much it cost! The renovated boat will be raffled off during the show, tickets to win the boat cost just £2 and all proceeds will go to RYA Sailability. The lucky winner will be announced on Sunday 7th March at 2pm, he or she will get to keep the renovated boat, along with some other goodies.

* National Boat Shows (NBS), organiser of the London International Boat Show, is looking forward to growth as venue ExCeL expands its facilities with the marine event in mind.

A £165m development will see 40 per cent more space added to the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands, including a 4,500m2 dropped floor area designed for ease of access for boats. The new facilities will be opened in spring 2010.

NBS expects LIBS to be able to fill 90,000m2 of space at ExCeL by 2014. "In 2007, at the peak of the market, demand outstripped space by 40 per cent," says Andrew Williams, managing director of NBS. "A return to this level will fill 90,000m2."

The organiser is also considering moving LIBS from its traditional January slot. An announcement will be made in March to confirm the details of the 2011 show. -- IBI,

* SP-High Modulus, the marine business of Gurit, has announced that its New Zealand-based technical services laboratory has secured International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) status. It is now the first and only laboratory of its kind in New Zealand to be accredited for mechanical testing of composite materials, says the company.

The laboratory was assessed to the ISO standard 17025:2005, and was found to be competent in the field of mechanical testing for applications including strength and stiffness testing of hull sandwich laminates, ultimate bearing strength for wind blades and sailing yacht masts, and stiffness of filament wound industrial pipes.

In December 2009, Swiss-headquartered Gurit acquired composite engineering and materials competitor High Modulus of New Zealand and formed the SP-High Modulus brand. The company manufactures and supplies composite materials to the global superyacht market, high-performance custom, production and workboat sectors. --

* The UK's Pendennis Shipyard has acquired Plymouth-based superyacht builder Devonport Yachts Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Devonport will now serve as a partner company to Pendennis, with its head office in Falmouth on Britain's southwest coast.

The news comes as Ernesto Bertarelli, owner of the superyacht Vava and the America's Cup Team Alinghi, was made a minority shareholder in Pendennis.

The move could prove a boost to the local economy in Cornwall, and may enable the order book at Pendennis to be supplemented with the building and refitting of superyachts in 60m-plus sector. Devonport Yachts Ltd will continue as a separate subsidiary business with Stephen Hills maintaining his role as managing director.

Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL) originally established the Devonport brand name as the trading name of its yacht division shortly after the dockyard was privatised in 1987.

Since that time it has been associated with the refits of Talitha G, followed by Leander and the rebuilding of Salem converting her from a weather ship into a yacht. As builders they completed the 77m diesel electric yacht Samar in 2006 and the 82m yacht Sarafsa in 2008.

Still to be completed by them is the 90m Redman Whiteley Dixon designed replacement for Ernesto Bertarelli's Vava and the high-speed gas turbine powered 50m Alamshar said to be for the Aga Khan. -- IBI,

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The Last Word
It is dangerous for a national candidate to say things that people might remember. -- Eugene McCarthy

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