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Send Off From Qingdao
Photo by Clipper Ventures. Click on image to enlarge.

Send Off From Qingdao Qingdao, China: Following their hero's welcome and an unforgettable stopover in the Shandong provincial city of Qingdao, China, the teams competing in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race were treated to a spectacular send off for Race 7 of the 35,000-mile global challenge to San Francisco. Thousands lined the breakwater of the Olympic Sailing Centre to send them on their way. A 15-knot breeze from the north gave a gentle introduction to the 5,680-mile race to California, USA, the longest leg in the history of the Clipper Race.

Having taken line honours on the race into Qingdao, Spirit of Australia immediately showed they were a force to be reckoned with as they crossed the start line in first place. Hot on their hees were the two North American entries, Cape Breton Island and California with Uniquely Singapore, Hull & Humber, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Qingdao and Jamaica Lightning Bolt completing the order across the line.

Ahead lies thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean and, speaking before the race start, Clipper Chairman and legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said, "The next race will be a fascinating one. It is the longest and to complete the Pacific in one long, five-week bite is a major challenge. When the crews arrive in San Francisco they will have sailed for a longer distance than 99.9 percent of all boat owners and it's a magnificent ocean for the amateur crews to have in their log books."

As the teams head out to sea, one Clipper yacht remained in the marina. Team Finland is delayed leaving Qingdao as the boat awaits her replacement mast. Having lost her rig during the race from Singapore, plans are well underway although shipping a 90-foot spar and associated rigging is a complicated logistical process. The mast is being taken by truck from the UK to Luxemburg where an Air China Boeing 747 with the all important opening front nose is set to depart on Friday. The cargo will land in Beijing and the mast will then transported by truck to Qingdao. Following some final assembly, stepping, tuning, testing and adjusting it is expected that Team Finland will depart for San Francisco some time between 11 and 14 March. Standings after Race 6

1. Spirit of Australia, 60 points
2. Team Finland, 50
3. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 48
4. Cape Breton Island, 40
5. Hull & Humber, 37
6. Uniquely Singapore, 32
7. Cork, 28
8. Qingdao, 23
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 19
10. California, 18

Holmberg Wins Budget Marine Match Race
Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten: Peter Holmberg, Ben Beer and Maurice Kurg won the Budget Marine Match Racing Regatta for the second year in a row. Holmberg's team sailed the Jeanneau Sun Fast 20's better than the rest of the international field with helmsmen such as Gavin Brady, Peter Isler, Chris Nesbit, Colin Rathbun, Marc Fitzgerald, Jakub Pawluk and Eugeny Nikiforov. Holmberg's experienced team from St. Thomas, USVI won $5,000 for their first place effort.

The racing took place near the mouth of Simpson Bay while the docks and piers along its edges filled with racing yachts, charter boats and mega yachts preparing for the 30th Annual Heineken Regatta, the largest regatta in the Caribbean.

As for Gavin Brady, who heads to the Louis Vuitton series in Auckland as the helmsman for Malcazone Latino, "In one day I sailed nine races and raced against an America's Cup skipper, Peter Isler, top locals and really good up and coming guys. You're never going to do more match racing than that anywhere in the world and I'm in Sint Maarten where we're guaranteed wind and shifty, tricky conditions."

The petit final and final was sailed after a three-way tie for third was broken. Peter Isler, Artie Means and CT Orlander beat Chris Nesbit, Brian Janney and Isao Toyama to claim $1,000 and third place.

Peter Holmberg's team defeated Gavin Brady, Marc Plaxton and Tucker Thompson in the final.

Everyone goes into full swing to prepare for the Commodores Cup and the Heineken Regatta later this week. Some of the crews from this match racing regatta will be filling key positions on Sojana, Teton, Highland Fling, a Melges 32 and a multihull.

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

Grant Simmer puts the finishing touches to his most extraordinary Cup campaign yet

It really is all change for the Spanish Barcelona Race entries as Jocelyn Bleriot finds out

How did it all look ten years ago and what can that tell us about where we are now headed... Andrew Hurst fires up the crystal ball

All to play for (probably)... Russell Coutts thinks so, certainly... but he's not entirely convinced we're going sailing yet

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...

Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta
Ten top international match racing skippers are here for the Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta.

Today's Results Round Robin One

Flight 5 Ainslie beat Mirsky by 47s
Holmberg beat Dickson by 5s
Jablonski beat Bruni by 7s
Barker beat Col by 1s
Pace beat Minoprio by 34s

Flight 6
Holmberg beat Jablonski by 24s
Barker beat Bruni DNF
Pace beat Col by 24s
Ainslie beat Minoprio by 30s
Mirsky beat Dickson by 18s

Flight 7
Minoprio beat Col by 48s
Jablonski beat Mirsky by 27s
Dickson beat Barker by 11s
Pace beat Holmberg by 16s
Ainslie beat Bruni by 4s

200 Entries For ARC
Interest in the 25th edition of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has been 'astonishing' say the event organisers, Cowes based World Cruising Club. The popular transatlantic cruising rally achieved its 200th entry today, almost three months ahead of previous years.

Due to space restrictions in Las Palmas marina at the start of the rally, ARC 2010 currently has an upper limit of 215 yachts, which is likely to be reached shortly.

To mark 25 years since the first ARC in 1986, World Cruising Club are planning an enhanced programme of events in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, the start and finish ports of the rally. "We want to make it a very special occasion" says Andrew Bishop, "and will be publishing further details of the programme closer to the start date in November."

World Cruising Club is also looking forward to welcoming some of the veterans - both sailors and yachts - of the first ARC. To date, three ARC'86 skippers are confirmed as participants in ARC 2010: long time ARC supporters Manfred Kerstan of Albatros (Swan 62RS) who sailed his previous yacht, also called Albatros in the first rally, and Christoph von Reibnitz, who sailed Rote Baron in '86 and now has the classic Henry Gruber yawl Peter von Seestermuhe; plus Norwegian yachtsman Stale Larsen who sailed a Sweden 340 Viking Crusader in '86 and is back with his new Sweden 40 also called Viking Crusader. Moonshadow, a Deerfoot 62, one of the original ARC 1986 yachts will sail again in 2010, though with a different owner, American sailor George Backhus.

Turner Wins Series From Both Ends Of His Merlin
Olly Turner has won the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, the four-event winter travellers' series which concluded at the weekend with the Hoo Freezer. Turner's victory is particularly special because he sailed as crew in three events and as helm in the other, proving himself a versatile sailor at both ends of the Merlin Rocket that he competed in.

Turner, crewing for Richard Whitworth at the Hoo Freezer in Kent this past weekend, finished 9th in Saturday's practice race, which was won by the International Canoe sailed by Simon Allen. At the time Turner can't have realised the significance of completing the practice race, but with winds gusting up to Force 7 across the Medway estuary on Sunday morning, Saturday's warm-up took on a new level of importance.

With organisers at Hoo Ness Yacht Club strongly advised by the Coast Guard not to hold the race on Sunday, the race was cancelled and the event Notice of Race determined that the results of the practice race would now stand as the overall result for the 39th edition of the Hoo Freezer.

And so Simon Allen won the Hoo Freezer, an event he first competed in back in 1973, while Turner/Whitworth's 9th moved them to the top of the rankings for the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2010. Pete Barton had led the Series going into the final event, and he was there on Sunday at Hoo Ness Yacht Club with crew Dave Ellis ready to race his Cherub to overall victory. However, not having competed in the previous day's practice race allowed Turner, the reigning Merlin National Champion, to slip in ahead and win the Series ahead of Barton. If there was a silver lining for Barton, it was that he managed to sell his National Championship winning Cherub at Hoo and free up some cash to purchase his new boat for the coming season, an International Moth.

Olly Turner and the other prize winners will receive their prizes this Saturday at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show at London's Alexandra Palace. The prizegiving will take place at 1pm on the Volvo Main Stage. Details of next year's Series will also be announced.

The four events of the 2010 Series were:

Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
9th January 2010

Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
30th January 2010

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
6th/7th February 2010

Hoo Freezer, Hoo Ness Yacht Club
28th February 2010

For a race report and results from last weekend's Hoo Freezer, go to:
For full overall results of the Series:


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Oystercatcher XXVI and Lutine Coming To Cork Week
Click on image to enlarge.

Oystercatcher XSVI and Lutine Coming To Cork Week Cork Week is not just a sailing regatta, it is a celebration of sailing in one of the most fantastic venues anywhere in the world. Apart from the superb and varied sailing conditions, there is the traditional welcome that Cork Week is famous for. Veterans of Cork Week or people visiting for the first time are welcomed with open arms by Crosshaven and The Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Lloyds Yacht Club will be bringing the elegant Swan 53, Lutine to Cork Week. The club has over 700 members and Cork Week is a great opportunity to get many of the members involved in sailing.

Richard Matthews has been coming to Cork Week for years and will be back again this year to defend the Class Zero title, emphatically won in 2008.

Richard commented; "We have taken part in every Cork Week for 15 years or more in 12m "Crusader", 42 Corby "Barlo Plastics", Corby 50 "Flirt", Rob Humphreys 72ft "Oystercatcher XXV" and last time , when we topped all the IRC classes in my Tom Humphreys designed "Oystercatcher XXVI" in which we will return this year.

For me, the best thing about Cork Week is that it's a biannual event. I don't think we could stand the pace doing this every year!

We have made some great friends in Cork including Donal McClement, Harold Cudmore and Eddie English who sails with us every time. For me, while the racing is first class, the social scene is equally important - FUN is the name of the game. We love the RCYC (I'm now a member) the local pubs and as a golfer (in company with several of my crew) the Old Head of Kinsale course just freaks me out.

For more information visit

The Longtze Student Cup
Students from Lyon universities have set up a new regatta circuit dedicated to students : the " Longtze Student Cup". Thirteen universities have already signed up, others are about to join. Meet on the 13th and 14th of March in Marseilles for the kick-off of this very first "Longtze Student Cup ".

An affordable investment (12 to 15,000 euros per season), a circuit open not only to the student events but also to the world of professional regattas, a sportboat that is easily transported and can adapt to all waters, media support...these are the keys to the immediate success of the longtze Student Cup. " There was real demand from the universities and the students " , confirms Simon Chartier, a student from EMLyon, who is also a founder of the project.

The Longtze Student Cup will roll out over 4 events :

L'Hydro's Cup : 13 and 14 March, Marseilles
La Course Croisiere Edhec : 17 to 24 April, Brest (where sportboats will be welcomed for the first time)
Le Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale : 16 to 20 May, Lanveoc (an event which also makes up part of the Longtze European Tour 2010)
La Longtze Student Final : 9 to the 13 June, La Grande Motte

These four big events will be complimented by training camps at La Rochelle and La Grande Motte. The first training outing took place last weekend in partnership with the SRRochelaises.

In 2010, Lufthansa continues its involvement in sailing in becoming notably a partner of the "Longtze Student Cup"

First NZ Marine Cup Set To Sail
Click on image to enlarge.

NZ Marine Cup With scenic Kawau Island as their destination, a small fleet of superyachts will set sail from Auckland Harbour late in the morning on Thursday 4 March for the first NZ Marine Cup.

Hosted by the New Zealand Marine Export Group (NZ Marine), the one-off race sees the beautifully-crafted superyachts SY Drumbeat, SY Shenandoah and SY Celandine as the official entries for the Kiwi Kawau Challenge.

NZ Marine chairman Mark Wightman says other superyachts presently in Auckland may sail alongside the official competitors as they head for Kawau.

"The course sees the yachts start one by one off Princes Wharf in downtown Auckland from 11:30am, then they head around North Head and north up the channel between Rangitoto Island and the North Shore," says Wightman who will be hosting sponsors and media onboard a support craft travelling alongside the yachts.

"The yachts then veer to the northeast to go between the eastern end of Rangitoto and Rakino Island, before turning northwest to the channel between the end of Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Then they're to the west of Motuora Island before reaching the finish line at the southern-most point of Martello Rock, a little before Kawau Island's Bon Accord Harbour."

The NZ Marine Cup is sailed under IRC racing rules with each yacht allocated its own start time by race director Hal Wagstaff of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Alistair Skinner: In Reply to Owen Sharpe; Sorry Owen, excited as I was (as a sailing ethusiast) to see the Tri and the cat scorching across the water, by the time BMWO was half way down the first reach in race 2 I was wishing they could shorten the course. tacks that take 30-40 seconds, one cross in the whole event - it's hardly rivetting match racing which is what the event is supposed to be all about. My two favourite AC's are 1983 in a class where development had made the boats pretty similar and 2003 where strangely, development had made the boats pretty similar. In both cases resulting in the sailing equivalent of toe to toe fighting. Rivetted? You bet I was - in 1983 crouched over a radio and 2003 glued to the internet. 2010? Sure I watched it wasn't good match racing. 2007 and AC32 was spot on - everyone loved it - the sponsors, the teams, the media, the fans. Louis Vuitton loved it so much that when it wasn't going to continue they went off and did their own thing, AC in all but name. In terms of sailing spectacle - sure have another event but if big multi sailing was such a draw for the public,sponsors etc etc there would still be an ORMA circuit....but there isn't.

Logic is required, remove the novelty factor and you have straight line speed machines that take an age to tack - not good television (I'm talking general consumption here), therefore not good for sponsors, therefore not good for teams and not good for the sport.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2004 JBoats J133, 179,000 GBP. Located in Algarve, Portugal.

The J 133 is a modern designed racer/cruiser and winner of the Sailing World Magazine overall Boat of the year. This is a yacht with the stability for short-handed cruising, racing to win under IRC, durability for rough offshore passages, sailing over 10 knots with the Asymmetrical gennaker fitted to the retractable carbon bowsprit.

The well balanced sail set in combination with the Hall-spars carbon rig with rod rigging makes this boat to a true fast thing. Recently substantially lowered and open to reasonable offers.

Brokerage through Bluewater Algarve:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own. -- Chuck Yeager

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