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Sir Robin Knox-Johnston Wins Boats.Com Yja Yachtsman Of The Year Award
Seventy-five-year-old Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is today named British yachtsman of the year by the Yachting Journalists' Association at a prestigious awards ceremony sponsored for the first time by, the global online resource for boating enthusiasts to explore, discover and research.

The awards were presented by Ian Atkins, president of and Bob Fisher, Chairman of the YJA, at a gala ceremony at Trinity House in London.

Sir Robin's outstanding sailing exploits impressed the Country's foremost sailing journalists, as members of the YJA voted him the eventual winner from a closely contested shortlist that included ISAF sailing world champion Giles Scott from Weymouth and Hamble based solo transatlantic sailor Miranda Merron.

At the age of 75, Sir Robin's achievements last year culminated in an astonishing third in class finish in the renowned Route du Rhum solo transatlantic race. Today marks the fourth time the Portsmouth based sailor has been crowned Yachtsman of the Year - the first dates back to 1969, when he famously became the first person to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation.

Windsurfer Emma Wilson from Christchurch in Dorset, the current Youth World champion, was named the YJA Young Sailor of the Year at the same awards ceremony. She topped a strong shortlist that included under-16 Topper Sailing World Champion Calum Rosie from Helensburgh, Scotland and national Honda RYA Youth RIB Champion Kamila Czartolomna from Wolverhampton.

The Yachtsman of the Year Award was established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chairman of Express Newspapers, and a leading yachtsman in both sail and power. Previous winners of the award include Dame Ellen MacArthur and four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie.

300 Entries In 24 Minutes
RORC Racing Manager Nick Elliott predicted 'a scramble for places' last October when it was announced that priority would be given to RORC members wishing to secure a place in the historic race celebrating its 90th year. He wasn't wrong. Just 24 minutes after the online entry system opened at midday on 12th January, over 300 boats had registered for the Rolex Fastnet Race. The frenetic trend continued and by the end of the afternoon, 375 boats had signed up for the biennial 608-nautical miler, which has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925.

"Within 24 hours of online entries opening in the race two years ago it was oversubscribed, and with a waiting list. We thought that was remarkable, but yesterday we reached the same number in 24 minutes! The Rolex Fastnet Race has great reverence with sailors worldwide wishing to compete in this iconic race and add it to their bucket list," says Elliott.

All is not lost for those who still wish to enter. Following the popularity of the 2013 race, when the entry limit was increased to 340 boats, the RORC Committee decided that RORC members would get priority for the first week of registration. Boats have to meet the strict entry qualification and training criteria of the race and after Sunday 18th January, all registered boats will be sorted and places offered on a first come, first served basis, with RORC members receiving priority over non-members. Boats registering after this date will be allocated places in the order in which they apply, regardless of membership.

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Catch Us If You Can
Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) continued to hold the edge in Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Tuesday with the rest of the fleet bunched up behind and waiting for the opportunity to pounce.

For Caudrelier and his crew, the stage could not be more important: victory in Sanya would be the first time a Chinese boat has triumphed in a Volvo Ocean Race leg and the win would also take the team top of the overall standings.

At 0940 UTC on Tuesday, Dongfeng Race Team led by 29.4 nautical miles (nm) from Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) hot on their heels 3.5nm further adrift.

The trio started Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi locked together on four points, but the 4,670nm stage to the southernmost point of China is still anyone's to win with around 2,500nm left for the fleet to sail.

MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez/ESP) and Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) are both very much in touch five nautical miles behind with Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) still in the hunt, a further 25nm adrift.

The six-strong fleet - depleted of Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) - is expected to reach its destination around January 25-26 depending on weather conditions but first has to navigate through the Malacca Strait.

Lay Day Becomes Repair Day Ahead Of 6
After a gear and crew damaging Race 5 yesterday, today's lay day is a welcome reprieve for the sailors competing in the 2015 International 14 World Championships in Geelong.

It is also opportune as the Strong Wind Warning threatens a 25-plus south-wester to come in from late morning.

The British team of Ben McGrane and James Hughes, who are still in second place overall after a DNF yesterday, are carrying out a major repair job. They originally planned to start it last night, but as McGrane admitted, the beer and rum was a far more attractive option after a hard day at the office. They are now spending today replacing their broken mast with their spare. "We will be ready to race tomorrow," a confident Hughes announced.

Last night's protest hearing over a top mark collision between Devine and the British team of Richard Bone and Chris Rodway briefly threatened to unseat Devine and Furlong from their third place. "Knowing that we were in the right and then have someone come in and protest you for whatever reason, was disappointing given they never finished the race. The incident was null and void as far we were concerned," Devine said. The Jury decision went against the British team which were disqualified from Race 5 leaving the British in seventh place overall.

The top 10 places overall are

1. Glen Truswell and Sam Pascoe (GBR) 4 points
2. Ben McGrane and James Hughes (GBR) 9
3. Brad Devine and Ian Furlong (AUS) 16
4. Andy and Tom Partington (GBR) 16
5. Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary (GBR) 16
6. Lindsay Irwin and Andrew Perry (AUS) 19
7. Richard Bone and Chris Rodway (GBR) 34
8. Mark Krstic and Cameron McDonald (AUS) 35
9. David Hayter and Trent Neighbour (AUS) 37
10. Stuart Sloss and Ben Lawrie (AUS) 39

Tomorrow's forecast is for a south-wester easing back into the 15 to 20 knot range for Race 6 of the regatta which is scheduled to start at 2pm. -- Tracey Johnstone

Industry News
At the CWM FX London Boat Show on Wednesday:

HRH Princess Anne will be at the show to explore the wonders of the marine industry. As the special guest of the RYA she will be unveiling the winner of the Yachtmaster of the Year Award, as well as visiting other exhibitors.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the world renowned English sailor, will be speaking on the Datatag Lab as chairman and founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, joined by Sir Ben Ainslie, will be celebrating last year's Bart's Bash, a global sailing race and fundraising event as well as revealing plans for the next 'Bash'.


John McCabe is joining Lewmar USA sales team as East Coast Sales Manager.

John's responsibilities includes managing and growing the existing customer territory on the east coast of America, whilst also focusing to develop custom sales opportunities in the larger Super Yacht market sector in both new build and refit for the Americas.

John brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the boating industry having worked at Hall Spares for the past 14 years as aftermarket sales manager and more recently project manager. He previously captained a sailboat out of Newport and the Caribbean for 8 years and remains an active race crew on numerous sailboats.


Henri Lloyd to sponsor the J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race until 2016

Technical Marine Clothing brand Henri Lloyd is delighted to confirm that we have committed to sponsor this iconic 50 nautical mile race for the next two editions of the race.

Henri Lloyd has been an official race partner and the official clothing sponsor to the race since 2011 and will be once again launching a commemorative collection of official race merchandise.

Henri Lloyd shall also be awarding the Henri Lloyd Challenge Trophy to the line honours boat within the ISCRS Class.


Hudson Wight's HW1 foul weather gear has been announced as the 'well-deserved runner-up' in the Yachts & Yachting Magazine Awards 'Kit Innovation' category announced in their February 2015 issue and at the CWM FX London Boat Show. The Award went to Henri Lloyd's Elite offshore kit range.

Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear has grabbed a firm foothold within the retail clothing sector in the space of a year and launching a 'capsule' range of technical sailing clothing using its own three and two-layer fabric, OceanVent, and accessories sold direct and online through its website.

Hudson Wight is looking forward to developing the brand further in 2015 with new partnership announcements and its continued support for Lizzy Foreman as Title Sponsor of her British Mini Transat solo campaign starting in September 2015.


Sunsail will once again be one of the important sponsors of the 35th annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The yacht charter company will be partnering with the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Regatta Foundation again to support the yearly event which brings many visitors to the island on a yearly basis.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, Sunsail will make three catamarans available during the upcoming regatta to be used as committee boats, making the starts and finishes possible.

Sunsail charters over 80 boats to individuals participating in the Regatta. The fleet consists out of Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44i's, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409's and Jeanneau 53's, a good variety between racing and cruising boats providing the opportunity for fanatic sailors and the less experienced sailors to have a good time out on the water.


Northrop & Johnson is delighted to announce the arrival of David Seal as a yacht broker in the Northrop & Johnson Antibes office.

David comes to Northrop & Johnson after a lengthy career in the yachting industry with companies such as Ferretti Group, where his role was sales manager of the CRN Shipyard, and Camper & Nicholsons, where - as a sales broker - he developed unique marketing techniques resulting in the sales of numerous yachts ranging from 85 to 150 feet.


The Edinburgh Marina development will deliver new homes for over 4,000 residents as well as local employment opportunities for up to 700 people

A masterplan for Edinburgh Marina - a 400-berth marina, residential, retail and spa hotel development for Granton Harbour - has been submitted.

The Edinburgh Marina development will deliver new homes for over 4,000 residents as well as local employment opportunities for up to 700 people.

There will also be a larger community boatyard and improved facilities for local yacht clubs.

The revised scheme also makes provision for the extension of the tram service and a potential fast link ferry service to and from Kirkcaldy, as well as facilities to accommodate cruise ship tenders.


Six new job opportunities have been advertised by the America's Cup Event Authority in the build-up to the 2017 sporting spectacle.

The positions, which include graphic designer, event manager, community outreach manager, receptionist, client services manager and video editor, appeared on the ACEA's site yesterday.

The ACEA's website states that it will be hiring a "wide variety of positions" in the run up to the biggest event in the sailing calender that will take place in the Great Sound in 2017,

Yesterday, Jamahl Simmons, acting Shadow Tourism Minister, said the One Bermuda Alliance had missed a "golden opportunity" to ensure Bermudians had an opportunity to compete for the first wave of jobs relating to the America's Cup.

The Progressive Labour Party Member of Parliament said: "Unfortunately, these jobs were hidden away on the America's Cup website and not yet advertised in Bermuda.

"This begs the question, if the job adverts were not placed in the local media and were not even placed on the Government's free Bermuda Jobs Board, who was supposed to see that these jobs were available?


Troubles in the eurozone have hit British boat exports but domestic demand helped the marine industry eke out sales growth over the last year, new figures show on Monday.

Growth at smaller firms made up for a difficult year at the more export-focused big manufacturers, helping overall sales grow for the third year running, albeit by just 1%, according to a report from the British Marine Federation released at the London Boat Show. Total revenue in the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry rose to £2.93bn in the year to April 2014 from £2.91bn a year earlier.

The domestic market became more important, rising to 68% of total revenues from 63% a year earlier. That helped offset a 8.7% drop in exports but runs counter to a government push to rebalance the UK economy towards more manufacturing and exports with less reliance on domestic demand.

The British Marine Federation criticises the government's withdrawal of previously promised enhanced funding to the trade body, which it says was used to help marine businesses take their first steps towards exporting and to help existing exporters expand into new markets.

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The Last Word
I warn you not to be ordinary, I warn you not to be young, I warn you not to fall ill, and I warn you not to grow old. -- Neil Kinnock

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