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Breeze and Sunshine
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Key West Race Week Key West: Based off early morning forecasts, it appeared a lay day might be in the cards for competitors at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. Some sailors might have already been making plays to play tennis or go fishing during an hour-long dockside delay.

However, organizers with Premiere Racing saw a small pocket of sailable conditions and sent the fleet out to the three race courses. Division 1 completed two races while Divisions 2 and 3 both got in one to keep the regatta moving along.

Some of the best racing of the regatta has come in IRC 2, which includes the five boats competing in the High Performance Rule sub-class. Tonnerre 4, a Ker 51 that owner Peter Vroon is racing for the first time here in Key West, continues to lead IRC 2 after posting a third and a sixth on Wednesday. However, Tonnerre is winning a tiebreaker with the Ker 43 Otra Vez, which also has 19 points.

Skipper William Coates steered Otra Vez to a second and a fourth erase a three-point deficit to Tonnerre 4 and earn Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day honors. True (Kernan 47, Leo van den Thillart) and Spookie (Carkeek 40, Steve Benjamin) have also sailed well and are trail the leaders by just four and six points, respectively.

Jud Smith remained the leader in J/70 class for the second straight day, sailing Africa to sixth on Wednesday and adding two points to his advantage over Bennet Greenwald and Perseverance.

Single digit winds are also not the preference of sailors aboard the GC 32 catamarans, which need a bit more breeze in order to foil upwind. Skipper Jason Carroll and the Argo team have been the most consistent of the four entries, winning three races and placing second in two others.

Regatta dates are January 18 - 23, 2015

Event Blog:
Event Website and full results:

First Arrival In Martinique
Click on image to enlarge.

Altair The big gaff schooner from 1931 has won, in real time, the Panerai Transat Classique 2015. A remarkable performance for Altair and her crew who gave it their all right up to the finishing line. And they had to, because the other contenders are pressing hard to take the top spot in corrected time.

As soon as they reached Diamond Rock off the southern tip of the island, Altair's crew wowed the spectators ashore with some superbly executed manoeuvres, including a series of gybes, setting the topsail and then out with the gollywobbler, before furling the light-air canvas to facilitate tacking up to the line.

After a final change of tack, Altair took first place in real time in the Panerai Transat Classique 2015. She logged a time of 13 days 3 hours 12 minutes and 53 seconds, and an average speed of 8.8 knots.

Nine crews are still at sea and determined to beat real-time winner Altair in corrected times. Amazon should be the next contender to cross the finishing line off Fort-de-France, perhaps as early as tomorrow if the wind holds up.

Final Results For The Governor's Cup Yacht Race To St Helena
Photo by Trevor Wilkins. Click on image to enlarge.

Governor's Cup After an exciting 17 day downwind race from Simon's Town in South Africa to Jamestown, St Helena, the results are in and team Black Cat, a Dudley Dix 38, are the overall winners of the 2014/15 Governor's Cup Yacht Race.

Receiving the Governor's Cup trophy at a special prize-giving ceremony on St Helena, Dave Immelman and his team onboard Black Cat said they were surprised to be announced as overall winners when they crossed the finish line at 09:14:01 on 8th January 2015 after their nearest rival - Avanti - declared they had switched on their engine and moved in to Cruising Class.

Team Banjo, a Farrier F9AX that took line honours in the Governor's Cup 2012/13, took an early lead as the fleet headed towards Cape Point .

As the race progressed team Banjo were the first to cross the halfway mark, 78 nautical miles ahead of team Black Cat and looked set to beat her previous time of just over 10 days if the wind held.

By 2nd January 2015, having enjoyed nearly a week of good, consistent winds, crews in the Governor's Cup fleet began suffering from lack of speed as their yachts wallowed in light airs 400 or so miles off the African Coast, making the second half of the race a game of tactics.

Banjo broke the Governor's Cup Race record and won the multi-hull section, taking line honours with a time of 9 days 13 hours, 53 minutes and 36 seconds - trimming five hours off of the previous speed record set by Frans Loots and his team on Banjo in 2010.

Now all crews are enjoying the welcoming St Helena hospitality and the wonders of this remote and historic island before their next challenge - leaving. The only way off the island is by sea - returning on an upwind sail to South Africa, cruising onwards across the Atlantic or on the last operating Royal Mail Ship, the RMS St Helena. This, however, is set to change with the opening of a new airport on St Helena due in February 2016 and the subsequent decommission of the RMS St Helena, making this the last time the race will place in this format.

Maserati 2015 Race Season Announced
John Elkann Chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Giovanni Soldini, Pierre Casiraghi YCM. Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image to enlarge.

Soldini Maserati The 2015 race season will see Giovanni Soldini and his international crew aboard the VO70 modified Maserati - that just left the yard after a two months for a complete review of all the equipment - engaged in two offshore races among the best known, the Caribbean RORC 600 and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, where other VO70 are expected on the starting line.

The program was presented January 21th at the Yacht Club de Monaco, of which the Maserati is the automotive partner, the presence of the President of FCA Automobiles John Elkann (the grandson of Giovanni Agnelli) and Pierre Casiraghi, eldest son of Princess Caroline and recently winning helmsman at the tiller of the Melges 20 Robertissima. Both are very pasionate sailors, they will be onboard Maserati at the Caribbean 600 and, perhaps, even during the toughest Rolex Sydney Hobart.

After the RORC 600, Maserati will come into the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal to San Francisco and from there set a new reference time on an old Clipper route to Shanghai. Soldini is expected to take about 21 days to sail the 7,000 miles, while the clipper Swordfish set the fastest recorded time in 32 days and 9 hours in 1853.

The purpose of the 2015 Maserati campaign is to touch the US, China, and more generally the Asian markets, where the yacht will be used as a communication platform for the factory of the Trident.

Get Control Of Your Website... And Go Mobile...
Sailing SourceWhat do JBoats, the New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club Rating Office, Finn Class, 29er Class and the Farr 40 Class have in common?

Websites built by Sailing Source.

Founded in 1994, we've been at this for 21 years and have a client list unmatched in the marine world. Events we've covered include the 1996 Olympic sailing events for ISAF (IBM crashed and burned, we delivered), the Bermuda Gold Cup, Onion Patch Series and countless world and national championships.

We build sites that our clients can easily manage themselves with a content management system... and have full mobile capability. The same website and content works on any device: laptop, desktop, tablet or phone. Blogs, photo albums, videos, weather and wind... whatever your company, club, class or event requires.

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Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race
Photo of Elena by Peter Marshall. Click on image to enlarge.

Elena Bridgetown, Barbados: Despite generally light airs with winds reaching no more that 15kts, three teams have won their skipper's weight in rum for breaking records in the 79th Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race.

The Double Handed Monohull record for the 60-nautical mile course went to Dave Staples on Hallucine (Pogo) with a time of 07:29:51.

Conviction the local TP52 sailed by Paul Johnson, Clint Brooks and team representing the Barbados Offshore Sailing Syndicate (BOSS) took the 60ft and Under Monohull record with a time of 06:07:06, while the well-sailed One Design J/24 record went to Jason Tindale and his young local team on College Funds.

Team College Funds skippered by Laser sailor Jason Tindale were noted for their impressive performance. They managed to break through to the lead the fleet at North Point by sailing closer to the shore, and finished third over the line. They also broke the J/24 record with a time of 9hrs, 06mins, 38secs.

Palpatine, the British Stormforce Coaching charter yacht (Stimson 42) skippered by Doug Innes, and team, took line honours completing the 60-nautical mile course in 07hrs, 43mins, 57secs.

Steve McLaren's 55m Elena of London (A Class Racing Schooner), the recently-launched and locally built Ruth (30.5m schooner), and Tres Hombres (33m Brigantine) looked stunning as they headed glided gracefully up the west coast in the light airs. Ruth and Tres Hombres struggled to round North Point however, and retired, while Elena, with her huge sail aloft, blasted all the way down the east coast. Although she was unable to break the record she set in 2011 she did managed to achieve wins in both the Unlimited and Classic divisions.

Andy Budgen and team on the British VO70 Monster Project who set a new outright monohull round Barbados record with a time of 4 hours 42 minutes 28 seconds, were unable to repeat/better their performance this year. They came in just under an hour behind the record but were still able to claim the overall win of the 80ft and Under division.

Full results:

'Weather Window' For Hoegh Osaka Move
Photo by Rick Tomlinson, Click on image to enlarge.

Hoegh Osaka The cargo ship, at Alpha Anchorage between Lee-on-the-Solent and Cowes, had been listing at 52 degrees but is now at 25 degrees.

Salvors need it to be at five degrees before it can be towed back to port.

If the list is not reduced enough, the weather and tide conditions would not be right to start towing until Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference, Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State's representative for maritime salvage and intervention, said all the water from the car decks had now been removed.

"Any further reduction of the list will purely be from the management of the ballast water internally in the ship," he said.

He said once the list was about 15 to 20 degrees, inspectors from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) would be allowed on board to examine the ship as part of their inquiry into the cause of the incident.

Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week
Dr. Robbie Yearwood's J/24 IWW Die Hard at IWW Grenada Sailing Week. Photo by Derek Pickell. Click on image to enlarge.

Grenada Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week is proud to announce a new one design class for this year's regatta. The J/24 class has more than 50,000 people sailing 5,300 boats worldwide in 40 countries with well over 150 active fleets and is still considered the "gold standard" for modern one-design keelboats around the world. It is the world's most popular One-Design keelboat as measured by hulls produced and there are a number of teams racing J/24s in the Caribbean.

So far, yachts from eleven different nations will make up this year's entry for IWW Grenada Sailing Week. Caribbean boats include: Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia and Trinidad and overseas yachts will be competing from Austria, Canada, France, United Kingdom and the USA.

One of the largest and most elegant yachts competing will be Mat Barker's British 1930 cutter rigged sloop, The Blue Peter, which is racing across the Atlantic before the regatta. "We won the Classics Division last year, so we had to come back to defend our title." commented Mat.

One new comer to IWW Grenada Sailing Week is Ossie Stewart, the British Olympic medalist and International Dragon world champion, who sailed his Dufour 45 Island Girl to the Caribbean in this year's ARC.

America's Cup Board Of Directors Unveiled
The make-up of the new body tasked with preparing Bermuda for the 2017 America's Cup has been revealed by Grant Gibbons, the Minister for Economic Development.

Dr Gibbons said that America's Cup Bermuda Ltd (ACBDA) would be funded by an annual government grant and would be responsible for fulfilling Bermuda's commitments to the event.

Yesterday he unveiled Peter Durhager, the former chief administrative officer and executive vice-president of RenaissanceRe, as chairman of the board and Mike Winfield as its chief executive officer. The ACBDA's board of directors will also include John Collis, David Dodwell, Darren Johnston, Warren Jones, Donna Pearman, Denise Riviere, Jasmin Smith and Blythe Walker.

Dr Gibbons told a press conference that ACBDA would represent Bermuda's interests with the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), the teams and other parties, and work with ACEA to help to raise sponsorship to offset the Island's financial guarantee commitments. -- Simon Jones, The Royal Gazette

Spithill and Team Headed to Bermuda
ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill says his team is preparing for its move to Bermuda.

Spithill says the team will have one more training session in San Francisco in February before moving its operations to a new base at Dockyard in Bermuda.

"Our plan at ORACLE TEAM USA is to be sailing out on the Great Sound at the beginning of May. It's important for us to hit that deadline, so we're working to put a plan in place to achieve that," he said.

The new ORACLE TEAM USA base will be set up at Dockyard, which is where all team bases will be located as well as the public village for the America's Cup competition in 2017.

ORACLE TEAM USA will set up the first team base and Spithill says it needs to be operational as soon as possible.

"From a work point of view, the plan that we're going through this week with ACBDA (America's Cup Bermuda), WEDCO (the West End Development Corporation) and BCM McAlpine and others is going to result in a very functional, efficient base so that our designers and engineers have a great spot, our athletes have the working area they need and the on-water operations is all integrated. The thing is that the race track is right here as well, so I think we will be very efficient and very productive when we are here working.

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The Last Word
Nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift. -- Steven Pinker

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