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Team Luna Rossa Challenge Announces Its Withdrawal From The 35th America's Cup
The result of the vote proposed by the Event Authority with the agreement of the Defender of the 35th America's Cup has overturned, with a majority vote, the America's Cup Class Rule for the boat with which this edition will be held; this happened notwithstanding the fact that such rule had been previously adopted unanimously by the teams and was in force since June 2014.

Following a careful evaluation of the serious implications of this unprecedented initiative, Team Luna Rossa confirms that it will withdraw from the 35th America's Cup.

Team New Zealand Is Not Pleased...
Emirates Team New Zealand are deeply saddened by the news of the withdrawal from the America's Cup of Luna Rossa, one of the most established, respected and admired brands in the history of the event.

Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are close allies and share common values of fair play and integrity.

Team CEO Grant Dalton today said, "We are quite frankly in disbelief that the continued actions of the America's Cup Event Authority have lead to the withdrawal of our great friends Luna Rossa. It sends a clear and unmistakable message that the self-serving manoeuvring of rules within sports oldest trophy has consequences for not only the America's Cup but also all of sailing. "

Emirates Team New Zealand have filed its case on the illegal withdrawal of Auckland as the qualifier regatta venue with the America's Cup Arbitration Panel and will be making no further comment at this time.

'Lengthy Timeline' For Team NZ America's Cup Legal Battle
With Bermuda's hosting of the America's Cup bringing no direct value to New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key doesn't believe public funding for Team NZ can be justified.

Team New Zealand's legal challenge to losing the America's Cup challenger series could throw the troubled regatta into disarray with a lengthy timeline likely.

The Kiwis are disputing the America's Cup Event Authority's right to shift the January 2017 regatta in Auckland to Bermuda where the tiny island is now set to host the entire event.

Team New Zealand are adamant they have paperwork guaranteeing them the lucrative event which is central to the crucial government funding.

But Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton says Team New Zealand will survive regardless and this is a matter of principle.

"We are fighting to keep Auckland as a qualifier. This isn't about government funding, this is not the end of Emirates Team New Zealand, it's about enforcing a contract and bringing America's Cup racing to New Zealand as agreed by ACEA." Dalton said, adamant it's "a fight worth fighting".

It's another messy legal minefield in a sport noted for court battles.There are suggestions this legal challenge could take as long as six weeks - time that Cup bosses can't afford to lose. -- Duncan Johnstone

From The Commish...
I know all are disappointed with this decision taken by Luna Rossa, especially based upon their significant history in the America's Cup," said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller.

"Since we started the Competitor Forum, I've worked closely with skipper Max Sirena on many issues facing the America's Cup and our teams. We offered a range of solutions for reducing costs by introducing a new America's Cup Class. Unfortunately Luna Rossa wasn't prepared to accept the majority decision, as written in accordance with the rules of the event.

"It's difficult to understand this withdrawal when our shared purpose has been to control expenses, encourage additional entries and build a better future for the Cup. It's even more puzzling as it was Luna Rossa who insisted on the switch to majority rule on these issues.

"But looking at the bigger picture, the America's Cup is now more accessible for new teams and with a new generation of people like Ben Ainslie, Nathan Outteridge, Jimmy Spithill, Franck Cammas and Pete Burling we have a strong foundation for a very competitive event."

Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
Dubarry Ultima It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor marine diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX®. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.

Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX® liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Two Bullets Secure 505 World Title For Holt & Smit
Mike Holt and Carl Smit have won the SAP 505 World Championships with a day to spare, after another dominant day on Algoa Bay in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The breeze built throughout the day and gave the fleet some spectacular sailing in winds of predominantly 12-18 knots. The first race didn't start well for Holt, who was focused on covering his main rival, the Anglo-German team of Ian Pinnell and Johannes Tellen. But somehow the Californian crew picked their way up a difficult windward leg to round the first mark just in the lead.

Pinnell would need to win the remaining two races in the series if he was to stand any chance of toppling the 2014 World Champion. The second race saw the first restart of the championships due to a collision with the pathfinder and South Africans Grant Ballantyne and Evert Groenewald breaking their mast on the start line and having to retire. Not a good day at the office for the 77 year old skipper, who is entering his 50th year as a 505 sailor.

Once the second race got underway, it didn't take long for a similar pattern to establish itself, with the two leading Californian crews taking up their positions at the front of the fleet. Pinnell was back in 7th, and managed to climb to 5th by the finish, but Conrads/ Haines were again 2nd, with the untouchable Holt/Smit high-fiving their way across the finish line in 1st place.

Holt had secured his second world title, with his long-term crew Smit claiming his first 505 world crown.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=yKQfj8sQ_0U, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Competition Intensifies For The Second Day Of Finals In The Trofeo Sofia Iberostar
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Trofeo Sofia Iberostar The leaders are being pushed to their limits and some see their safety points margin reducing like snow under the Mallorca sun!

Breeze lovers made the most of the conditions with perfect scores today and are closing the gap on regatta leaders.

Friday will see the last day of finals and the last opportunities to break into the top ten for Saturday medal races.

Class leaders going into Friday's racing:

470 Men: Luke Patience / Elliot Willis, GBR
470 Women: Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL
49er: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL
49er FX: Maiken Foght Schutt / Anne-Julie Foght Schutt, DEN
Finn: Giles Scott, GBR
Laser: Philipp Buhl, GER
Laser Radial: Alison Young, GBR
NACRA 17: Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA
RS:X Men: Julien Bontemps, FRA
RS: X Women: Charline Picon, FRA
2.4 Metre: Megan Pascoe, GBR
Dragon: Patrick Monteiro De Barros / Pedro Manuel, POR

Class winners:
Kiteboard Men: Florian Trittel, ESP
Kiteboard Women: Elena Kalinina, RUS

The kites made their first appearance in Palma this year for the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR. Ten challenging races were sailed by mixed teams of male and female riders coming from all over the world to mark history with the debut of kite racing alongside the usual ten Olympic classes and the 2.4 paralympic event.

Elena Kalinina from Russia won all the races in the women division. Florian Trittel took nine races out of ten. "I am very proud to win this event in Palma. I hope we will return next year with more riders. This is a good step towards the inclusion of kite in the Olympic Games!" -- Icarus Sailing Media

ISAF Sailing World Cup
Seahorse The first edition of a new column penned by ISAF President Carlo Croce in Seahorse:

When the current ISAF executive committee re-evaluated the ISAF Sailing World Cup we established clear goals. We would create an annual series of events around the globe to promote the sport and elite sailors in between the Olympic Games; through links with other local events in the build-up, this would encourage greater participation.

We would provide these elite sailors with an Olympic-lookalike competition - while also providing ISAF and sailors with an event that we can employ to promote the sport to the International Olympic Committee, also making it more attractive to sponsors, a worldwide television audience and local spectators. The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series is the first that features these clear goals implemented through five rounds for all 10 Olympic events and including, in some venues, Formula Kite and Paralympic Class racing. Events in Australia, USA, France, Great Britain and China ensure that this is a truly global regatta programme, before the climax of the series at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:

Mange Remembered
Team SCA at Cape Horn. Click on image to enlarge.

Team SCA Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) were savouring a rare, poignant moment on Thursday after they had rounded Cape Horn in the brutal Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race to make a special tribute to their beloved coach, Magnus Olsson.

The Swede was one of most popular - and skilful - sailors ever to compete in the 41-year race and it was no surprise when SCA recruited him to train the first all-women's crew in 12 years to contest offshore sailing's toughest challenge.

Tragically, however, Olsson, 64, did not live to see his team set off for their nine-month adventure in Alicante on October 11. 'Mange', as he was universally known, who competed in six Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races, died in April 2013 after suffering a stroke.

The life and sporting lessons he passed on to Team SCA, however, have not been forgotten and on Wednesday, the crew found the perfect spot at Cape Horn to say 'thanks'.

Finally reaching the fabled point between the Southern Ocean and south Atlantic after battling through potentially boat-breaking conditions, a special ceremony was observed.

Team SCA's Onboard Reporter, Anna-Lena Elled, recalled on Thursday: "It was a beautiful sight, the pretty wild sea and the South American cliffs shooting up from the water.

"We also had our very special moment dropping a wreath for Mange Olsson in the water. It was powerful."

The women were carrying a eucalyptus wreath that was made in Auckland, the previous race stopover. The wreath had the 200+ messages that were left by family and friends at Olsson's memorial service in July 2013 attached.

An Update From Ushuaia, A Beautiful Place
Photo by Yann Riou / Dongfeng Race Team. Click on image for photo gallery.

Dongfeng "It might not be the adventure I was expecting but it's an adventure nonetheless." -- Charles Caudrelier

The Dongfeng Race Team shore crew have successfully arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina. The boat will be motor sailed up to Itajai and the expected time of departure is this evening, although this may change.

Carrying 1500 litres of fuel onboard it will take between 10-12 days for the passage up the coast. The shore team of Graham Tourell, Guillaume Le Taud and Henry Woodhouse joined probably by Black and Wolf (due to immigration issues for the Chinese) and possibly one other shore crew will form the delivery crew.

There are many variables ahead for the team, every hour really counts. They will exit the Beagle Channel at the eastern end (opposite to where the boat came in) and head round the south east corner of Argentina, then head north for Itajai, a distance of approximately 2000 miles.

It is now a race against time to be on the start line in Itajai.

Which replacement mast will be available has still yet to be fully confirmed, and the team are looking at the options for air cargo to get it to Itajai in sufficient time. All the decisions have to be made also in conjunction with Insurers to ensure that the cover in place is respected.

The Dongfeng Race Team has been ably, and kindly, supported by Ben Wright (from Team Mapfre's shore team), local coastguard and officials. Not to mention the friendly locals...

Radical Harbour Redesign To Solve Cruise Liner Conflict
Dun Laoghaire harbour could be divided into three under proposals to accommodate the new Cruise Liner Berth. Fears that large visitors such as Royal Caribbean's 168,000ton Quantum Class vessels will pose a danger to sailors underpin plans to build two new inner breakwaters, with both leisure boat areas getting their own entrance to Dublin Bay.

A spokesperson for Save Dun Laoghaire Sailing, the group backing the redesign, said: "Good fences make good neighbours".

From Afloat magazine:

No Decision Yet On Haulbowline Yacht Racing Hub In Cork Harbour
Marine minister Simon Coveney says there has been no final decision taken on an 'Ocean Yacht Racing Hub' within the Naval Service base at Haulbowline island in Cork Harbour.

In this morning's Irish Times newspaper, marine correspondent Lorna Siggins writes that a British yacht racing consultancy has met Government agencies as part of a 'grand plan' for haulbowline island, site of a former steelworks site. The plan for the yacht base was first mooted by British solo racer Alex Thomson when he called into to Cork Harbour for repairs last April before heading across the Atlantic Ocean.

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 David Brunskill: A small correction to's press release.

The "Barcolana" held in the Bay of Trieste in October every year has more entries than the Round the Island Race.

In 2014 there were 1877 entries. There have been more but I'm not sure that they have cracked the magic 2000 yet.

All yachts start at the same time, from one extremely long start line after a spectacular, week long, Italian end of season sailing celebration.

Featured Brokerage
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"Hooligan VII" was built for a very experienced owner by McConaghy Boats and launched in February 2012. Light displacement, high performance, the Ker 40 is for top level racing in local and international regattas. She is a wonderful, fast and competitive boat and is built to the highest standards using the latest techniques. 1st in class/1st overall Myth of Malham 2013. Fantastic sail wardrobe including delivery, training and race sails. Tiller steering. Full B&G instrument and computer system.



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The Last Word
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. -- Anatole France

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