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ISAF Annual Conference
The 2014 ISAF Annual Conference will take place in Palma de Mallorca, Spain from 1-8 November 2014.

ISAF Committee, Sub-committee and Commission members will head to Palma where they will be joined by ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), Class Associations, sailors, event organisers, boat manufacturers and many more.

More than 500 delegates will be in attendance to share ideas, stories and to discuss the future of sailing.

Over 200 submissions have been submitted by Committees, MNAs and Class Associations proposing changes to existing policies, regulations or rules as well as looking to introduce new ones. All submissions and topics will be discussed at Committee, Sub-committee and Commission meetings commencing on 1 November. From the Coaches Commission to Oceanic and Offshore Committee, all will consider submissions and other areas relevant to them.

On Tuesday 4 November Palma will play host to the 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. A diverse collection of male and female sailors make up the 2014 nominees and they will be celebrated throughout the evening.

The male nominees feature Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS), Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), Bill Hardesty (USA), Giles Scott (GBR) and James Spithill (AUS). The female nominees are Steph Bridge (GBR), Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) and Charline Picon (FRA).

All will be vying for the coveted title of ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

Conference blog:

2014 Annual Conference Microsite

Skippers From Eight Nations Take On La Route Du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe
Route du Rhum. Photo by Christophe Launay. Click on image to enlarge.

Rhum As might be expected for a country for which solo ocean racing is a national passion - witness the huge crowds on the Saint Malo docksides today enjoying warm Indian summer sunshine - the vast majority of the entries for the La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe are from France. But the record 91 strong field is peppered with solo skippers from eight other nations, nine men and two women hailing from Italy, Great Britain, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium and Finland.

Italian Alessandro di Benedetto - 11th in the last Vendee Globe and ninth in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre - is the only non French skipper in the IMOCA Open 60 Class and his racing challenge improves with every big race even if he considers his older boat is 30 per cent less powerful than the most recent generation of boats racing.

It is in Class 40 and the Rhum Class that most of the international skippers are entered. In Class 40 Conrad Humphreys (GBR) - 7th in the Vendee Globe 2004-5 - returns to the race with Cat Phones Built for it, the Akilaria RC3 which was previously Caterham. Miranda Merron (GBR) races the well travelled, well proven Pogo S2 Campagne de France. Both will be looking to match the record of Phil Sharp who still ranks as the only British skipper to win Class 40 in the Route du Rhum, triumphing in 2006 when compatriot Ian Munslow was third.

Philippa Hutton-Squire is Anglo-South African and takes on La Route du Rhum for the first time, racing a Rogers Class 40. From Belgium Michel Kleinjans will take the start of his second La Route du Rhum - he won the Rhum class with a 45 foot mono in the 2006 edition. This time he sails one of the Farr designed Kiwi 40 FCs.

And Italy's Andrea Mura (ITA) is back to defend the Rhum class title he won in 2010 on the 50 footer Vento di Sardegna. He is looking to step up to the IMOCA Open 60 Class in the next Vendee Globe.

Paul Goodison Joins Artemis Racing
Artemis Racing is pleased to announce its 7th Olympic gold medalist with 2008 Laser Olympic Champion Paul Goodison joining the sailing team.

Paul brings a wealth of Olympic experience to Artemis Racing, having competed at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. He is also a former Laser World Champion claiming the 2009 title in Halifax, Canada.

Since the London Olympics, Paul has won the Melges 32 World Championships in 2012 and the Melges 20 World Championships in 2014, while also sailing in the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series with BAR. More recently, Paul has been developing his foiling skill set, training and competing in the Moth, claiming a respectable 12th rank in his first ever Moth Worlds earlier this year.

Paul joins the team primarily as a Helmsman but will also work in a number of other roles depending on the sailing and testing program.

Marinepool Ocean Racing Clothing For The 40Knots+ Category
Marine Pool When Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe will start on November 2nd two exceptional yachts - Spindrift2 and Oman Sail Musandam - will be at the starting line in the super fast Ultime class. Both capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and among the hottest contenders for line honours.

Marinepool is the official clothing supplier to Spindrift Racing and to Oman Sail and skippers Yann Guichard and Sidney Gavignet, respectively, will sail the single handed race in the very latest Marinepool Ocean Racing suits.

Made from revolutionary Dermizax NX fabrics by Toray of Japan the Ocean Racing suit offers ultimate protection from the elements. A smart non porous membrane provides exceptionally high waterproofness, moisture permeability and low condensation. The smooth texture of the fabric, its light weight configuration and high elasticity make the garments comfortable. The 3-layer stretch fabric is highly breathable and abrasion resistant, features include waterproof zippers and 3M™ reflex patches for increased visibility at night. Latex dry suit seals reliably keep the enormous spray at these speeds outside. The top is available with a high offshore collar with signal colour hood or without a hood for conditions when only a full face helmet is the answer.

Designed and developed with the skippers of the ultimate speed machines.

Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.

International Masters Regatta
San Diego, California, USA: Out of twelve legendary sailors, one has sailed away with the title of International Masters Regatta Champion. On the final day of racing it was Augie Diaz who finished in first place for the three day regatta, continuing his streak of impressive finishes. Diaz also took gold for the 2013 Star Western Hemisphere Championship and 2013 Star Winter Series Championship.

The final day of the regatta would bring back the shifting winds, but the race committee worked hard to spot out the steadiest locations, moving the course and weather marks accordingly. The founder of the regatta Don Trask and Jonathan Wright both excelled in Sunday's conditions, taking them from their previous positions in the middle of the scoreboard to second and third place overall. Unable to manage the shifty winds, day two's leader Bob Fisher fell to sixth place.

Final places:

1. Augie Diaz, Coral Reef YC, 48 points
2. Don Trask, St. Francis YC, 56
3. Jonathan Wright, Cruising Club of America, 58
4. Gary Jobson, Annapolis YC, 58
5. Chuck Nichols, San Diego YC , 60
6. Bob Fisher, Royal Lymington YC, 64
7. Donny Martin, Royal Vancouver YC, 66
8. Dennis Durgan, Newport Harbor YC, 68
9. Bruce Munro, St. Francis YC, 75
10. Jon Andron, St. Francis YC, 87
11. Dick Enersen, Golden Gate YC , 109
12. Tom Ehman, Golden Gate YC, 110

12ft Skiff Interdominion Back On Sydney Harbour In January
Kiwis on C-Tech. Photo by Rolf Lunsman. Click on image to enlarge.

12 Foot Skiff For the first time in 10 years, the action-packed12 foot skiffs will return to Sydney Harbour proper when the acclaimed Australian versus New Zealand 12ft skiff Interdominion Championship, conducted by the 12ft Skiff Association and hosted by the Australian18 Footers League at Double Bay, is held from 3-10 January, 2015.

The highly coveted Australia versus New Zealand event the Interdominion is hosted by each country in turn. It boasts some big names who found their roots in the class; Aussies Dave Porter, John Winning, Iain Murray, Michael Coxon and Bruce Hewish and Kiwis John Chapple (three times), Bruce Farr, Russell Bowler, Don Lidgard.

Most notable is Kiwi Championship record holder, Tim Bartlett, whose six wins spanned an incredible 18 years, his last in 2001-2002. But as the old saying goes, you can't keep a good man down, and Bartlett, who will turn 63 on January 18, continues to impress on the race course and is without doubt the veteran to beat with his Frankenskiff.

The Kiwis proved too strong on home turf in 2014, winning overall and carting off the Teams trophy as well.

An Invitation race is scheduled for 2 January 2015, with the first race to be sailed on Saturday 3 January. From there, a race per day is scheduled, with lay days set down for Monday 5 and Thursday 8 January. Entries close on 15 December 2014.

The 12 foot skiffs began racing in Australia around 1914 at Cremorne Club, before moving to Lane Cove Club in 1916. The Silasec Trophy, presented to the scratch winner each year, was donated by Keith Golding of Sealwall Trading Company. -- Di Pearson

For Entry Form, NoR and further information:

Farr280 News
Farr 280 We took AYBE (the UK based Farr280 demo boat) out for another sail over the weekend with a number of prospective clients. Here is a video clip of the boat downwind in about 20 knots of true wind and a typical Solent chop:

The boat is stable but rapid and most importantly great fun.

We had another cracking weekend sailing the boat and are thrilled with the positive responses and progress we are making with developing the Class. So far we have sailed the boat with Swiss, German and numerous UK customers, to great effect and we will be making exciting announcements in the near future.

The boat is also winning the PR battle, too, from the positive comments posted online. Indeed, it is apparent that the Farr280 is the opinion formers preferred newbie, not only because of its dramatic design, but also its performance, technical advantages, One Design Rule and the stringent build processes employed by Premier Composite Technologies. So far the boats are coming out within 5Kgs of each other.

With plans for a Class start at KWRW and to form strong fleets in the UK and throughout Europe, now is the perfect opportunity to test sail the boat here in Cowes. There are still four weeks of test sailing ahead of us, this year and we want as many people as possible to come and sail AYBE. Are You Brave Enough?!

To make a booking, please contact: Joe Hall
Telephone: +44 7774 138777

Wilson Crowned RS:X Youth World Champion
The British Youth Sailing Team's Emma Wilson clinched an emphatic World title at the 2014 RS:X Youth World Championships in Clearwater, Florida, on Saturday (25 October).

The 15-year-old from Christchurch, Dorset, sailed a solid series from the offset and entered Saturday's medal race showdown with a narrow two point cushion at the top of the leaderboard.

With a solid 14 knots of breeze and glorious sunshine, Wilson showed poise beyond her years to win the medal race in extraordinary fashion to claim both the Under 19 and Under 17 World title. Imogen Sills finished the medal race in second, sixth overall, making it a an impressive one-two for the British team on the final day of racing.

Top five, women:
1. Emma Wilson, GBR, 38 points
2. Berenice Mege, FRA, 50
3. Marta Maggetti, ITA, 54
4. Ma Kwan Ching, HKG, 58
5. Zuzanna Czurylo, POL, 76

Top five, men:
1. Radoslaw Furmanski, POL, 27
2. Mattia Camboni, ITA, 28
3. Toni Bonet Macias, ESP, 66
4. Oel Pouliquen, FRA, 77
5. Michele Cittadini, ITA, 108


Making Ends Meet: Bill Erkelens Interview
Many know Bill Erkelens as a former rigger, team manager for the Maxi Sayonara and subsequently Campaign manager for Oracle Racing during the IACC efforts and a really good sailor with a solid Rolodex of connections in the yacht racing world. When the opportunity to manage a Volvo team, Bill did not hesitate, and in late 2013, the Bay Area Native accepted the roles as the COO for Team Alvimedica.

It's been a whirlwind dozen or so months for Bill and we caught up with him during a short respite from the chores involved with running the program, after finishing up the 6 week Alicante start operations and rushing to South Africa to set up and meet the crew in Cape Town.

PD: How do you compare running an AC team vs a Volvo Team?

BE: Very similar, but with the America's Cup you have 3 years of meetings and a few weeks of sailing!

PD: Tell us about Alicante and the prep.

BE: It was 6 weeks full on. All the team members, including sailing, shore and management teams putting in long days. We had one 1/2 day off in that period. We would arrive at 6:30 in the morning and get home at 10:00 PM. We have the 2nd smallest shore crew with 5, some of the better funded teams had excess crew, so obviously they didn't have such long days. There was an unexpected issue with bottom paint on the boats and all the teams needed to deal with stripping, re-priming and repainting. You play the hand you are dealt and everyone rolled up their sleeves and got dirty. That's all behind us now and things should be much smoother.

Full interview in Pressure Drop:

Artemis Offshore Academy's Apprentice Preparateur Programme
Trials for the Artemis Offshore Academy Preparateur Training Programme will take place on the 20th-21st November 2014 at the Academy's base in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Following the success of its first Preparateur apprenticeship, the Academy are once again looking to recruit a British trainee preparateur for the 2015 Class Figaro season. An invaluable opportunity for the right applicant, the programme combines tuition from industry professionals and hands-on experience with the Artemis squad to put talented individuals on the pathway to becoming a skilled and professional preparateur

The trials, running between 20th and 21st November, will give invited applicants a chance to show their ability to work as a team, their technical skills, their planning, preparation and individual skills, and most importantly their ability to learn.

As the number of British sailors competing on the French Class Figaro continues to grow, the Academy looks to further develop its structured British shore team already working alongside the squad. Whether you excel on the water or with Sikaflex on the pontoon, the Artemis Offshore Academy are dedicated to providing British talent with a leg up into the world of professional offshore racing.

The relationship between sailor and preparateur is key to the success of the sailor's season © Artemis Offshore Academy

To apply

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 Mike O'Dwyer: No one , as far as I am aware , has mentioned one of the more interesting moments from this year's race.

Namely that the Italian coast guard, repeatedly, asked all competitors to take immediate shelter on Wednesday afternoon.

The forecast was grim and conditions were expected to worsen overnight (they did).

We, having heard that message , felt that we couldn't carry on racing and luckily for us, being so far off the pace, shelter was easy to get to.

So far all good and the coast guard are to be commended for taking such a proactive stance. What it meant in practice however was that it was extremely difficult to finish the race within the time limit so we were forced to retire.

I am sure I am not alone in asking the RMYC to look at getting rid of the time limit and fitting in with all the other major RORC races where no limit is imposed.

* From Fritz Mueller: I love following Optimist Worlds coverage on Scuttllebutt!.....I went twice to WC as an alternate, having finished 5th in trials those years, '69 and '70....Brother Mark was full on those days, a champion....such a huge event, even then. By age 14 I was messing about in OK Dinghies, and sailing "the Box".

The best thing, in retrospect, is what the Optimist Class (and I sailed Clearwater Prams too, even younger) imparted to us was a sense of confidence and self reliance on the water, as for many kids. In those days you learned seamanship first, racing skills second. There were no wind limits, little chance for immediate rescue. No coaches, just hands on and concerned parents.

Spinning a yarn around what it was like back then at MYC , CGSC, and CRYC would be easy....there are a bunch of World and great Champions who got their start there...

Only to be in that small dinghy and facing all and anything / everything  that could be thrown upon you.....enough said. We all walked away from that experience, ultimately, with a great life lesson. Optimist sailing has to be the best option you can provide for your kids......

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The Last Word
Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the truth. -- August Kekule

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