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Sailing Into A Media Storm
An Australian teenager attempting to become the youngest person to sail non-stop and solo around the world has been told she has not travelled far enough. Jessica Watson, 16, is due to end her voyage in Sydney later this month after sailing some 26,000 nautical miles.

But the influential Sail-World website said she had not gone far enough north of the equator to claim the record. Jessica's team, however, said there was no official body to record feats by under 18s, therefore no rules to break.

They said she would have "every right to celebrate" when she sailed into Sydney harbour on 15 or 16 May, just before her 17th birthday.

By that point, Jessica will have sailed her bright pink 33ft (10m) yacht unaided and non-stop for more than 200 days, covering some 23,000 miles (38,000km).

Sail-World said there was no doubt that Jessica had sailed around the world, but that her voyage did not count as a "true circumnavigation", according to the rules laid down by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC).

The website said the whole sailing world would celebrate when Jessica finished her journey, but that she would be 2,000 nautical miles short of the accepted distance. But Jessica's management team said she had complied with the key requirements of a circumnavigation.

Her manager, Andrew Fraser, said the WSSRC did not recognise sailing achievements by under-18s so Jessica could never have claimed the record anyway. "If people want to get caught up with the technical component of a body that doesn't recognise the record, that's fine. We can accept that," he told ABC News. Her team said Jessica would have "every right to enjoy the impending accolades and celebrate being the youngest person to sail solo around the world, non-stop and unassisted, when she sails back into Sydney Harbour on the weekend of 15-16 May".

* Nancy Knudsen in Sail-World Crusing:

When Jessica Watson sails into Sydney Harbour next weekend, she will have survived a bruising voyage with bravery and skill, and be on her way to fame and fortune, but she will not have taken Jesse Martin's non-stop unassisted round-world record from him.

Jessica, with all of her braving of the Southern Ocean, will have completed a circumnavigation but not to the satisfaction of the WSSRC for Round the World record purposes. According to the WSSRC rules she has simply not gone far enough north of the equator. Look at her track and that of Jessie Martin and you can easily see where his extra thousands of miles were sailed.

We have been advised that prior to her departure Jessica's course router was well aware that her course would fall short of the WSSRC's RTW minimum distance.

Here is the full WSSCR Rule extract

As happens in every sailing passage Jessica has not sailed a straight line, she has tacked and gybed and will have no doubt travelled around 23,000 miles according to her log. However according to the great circle calculations carried out by one of Australian leading offshore navigators and crossed checked by a number of others, she has travelled 18,265 nm orthodromic distance (or 19,631 rhumb line distance), which adds up to 2,335 nm LESS than the official round the world distance, and 3,495 nm less than Jesse Martin's official Performance Certificate distance.

Nancy's full article complete with graphs and charts is at

* Editor: This is a purely academic discussion... wisely, in this sailor's opinion, the WSSRC has chosen not to create official record categories for anyone under the age of 18. So there are no "rules" for a non-WSSRC circumnavigation. And speaking just for myself, as the father of three, ages 23, 19 and 14, I believe that letting a sub-18 year old do a solo circumnavigation is lunacy., regardless of that child's experience. The operative word here is CHILD.

Good Start... But Returns To Port And Withdrawals
Davis Raison's MAGNUM. Photo by Thierry Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Mini Pavois Start The delayed Mini Pavois start on Wednesday morning saw a North/Northeast stream blowing at 20 knots with 25/27 knots gusts. One or two reefs in the mainsail and a reef in the solent, that 's what most of the Minis did this morning.

German Jorg Riechers (753 - tacked in the lead for prototypes, followed a few minutes later by Sebastien Rogues (716 - Eole Generation - GDF Suez) and Nicolas Boidevezi (Defi G.D.E).

On the side of Series boats, Jean-Marc Allaire (464 - Baker Tilly - AG2R La Mondiale) is calling the tune followed by Xavier Macaire (472 - Starter). Impossible not to think about the "demonstration" made by Xavier in the first leg of the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 2009 when he took the lead with Francisco Lobato, ahead of the prototypes in the downwind breeze. Xavier likes these conditions; we can guess it at first sight. Some starts were quite something to see along the axis of the bridge of Re Island, where the sea became rougher and there was heavy air.

This departure has had its share of technical misfortunes. The most painful are definitely for Aurelien Ducroz (417 - Nissan), which dismasted before having reached the mark. The freeride World champion is logically very disappointed to see this adventure end so quickly.

Hard blow for the Spanish Jorge Maden Ruiz as well (636 - Casio G-Shock), who has dismasted on his way to La Rochelle to solve a technical problem. David Raison is also disappointed to have to throw the towel with his Magnum. This boat has undoubtedly shattered the conventional wisdom... A broken chock of a rudder and he was forced to return to port. On the way back, he damaged his hull and has withdrawn. Return to the port also for Milan Kolacek. In the leading group, Milan has had a snorkel problem (a system that allows one to fill water ballast) and the water has completely filled the cockpit. With all its electronics flooded, Milan must withdraw from the race too. Also note: Pascal Chombard de Lauwe (721 - Xanlite) which had an autopilot problem forcing him to return to the port will leave soon again, Fabienne Robin (708 - Plume d'Ange) who also returned to port for pilot damages has left La Rochelle already. Ryann Finn (252 - Myrna Minkoff) is on his way back to the port to repair his pilot, main sail batten and running backstay.

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XII International Women's Match Race Criterium
It was a long chilly day in Calpe, Spain at the XII International Women's Match Race Criterium. We started the day a bit slow, but rallied back, to finish the day 3-3.

We won all of our pre-starts today, but one silly mistake per race cost us a lot. The disappointing part of the day was that they were big mistakes, but we learned from them, and hopefully will take the lessons learned forward. We had good races though, and we are learning the boats. There is quite a bit of difference between the Elliots we usually race and these boats, which made us a bit nervous in the beginning. But, now we are quite comfortable in controlling them and can focus our attention on the tactics of sailing. The team did a great job, and by the end of sailing today, had figured out the communication, the boat handling and the speed of the boat.

Tomorrow will be a big day for results to see who will advance to the quarter finals and who will not. You can check the results here on the regatta website: (The results are up now. Click on the regatta link, then click on Temporary Results ..., and open the pdf file.)

The forecast for tomorrow is for slightly less breeze than today's 8-11kts, but the sun is expected to be out which will make for warmer conditions hopefully. -- Anna Tunnicliffe,

Event site:

Still Truckin' West But Getting Slower
In diminishing breeze, the leading boats at the Transat AG2R continue to march toward the Caribbean in a tight group. New old leader is 'Saveol' with Samantha Davies GBR/Romain Attanasio FRA. Far to the south and far behind (160 miles) are Bernard Stamm SUI/Gildas Mahe FRA, but right now they have the best breeze and a two-knot speed-advantage over the others in the fleet. -- from

Top ten at 1900 May 5:
1. Brit Air, Armel Le Cleac'h / Fabien Delahaye, 1092.9 Nm To Finish
2. Cercle Vert, Bertrand De Broc / Gildas Morvan, 2.7 Nm To Leader
3. Banque Populaire, Jeanne Gregoire / Gerald Veniard, 4.3
4. Saveol, Romain Attanasio / Samantha Davies, 8.0
5. Agir Recouvrement, Adrien Hardy / Stanislas Maslard, 34.5
6. Save The Rich, Christophe Bouvet / Yannick Bestaven, 47.4
7. Credit Mutuel De Bretagne, Nicolas Troussel / Thomas Rouxel, 59.7
8. Gaspe 7, Joseph Brault / Antoine Koch, 70.1
9. Generali, Nicolas Lunven / Jean Le Cam, 72.9
10. Luisina, Eric Drouglazet / Laurent Pellecuer, 79.4
11. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm / Gildas Mahe, 88.1

Camet Introduces "Nantucket" - Their Newest Sailing Shorts
Camet Nantucket Shorts These are the best looking, top quality shorts with a New England style. Made of lightweight nylon fabric for fast drying and comfort. They are reinforced with and abrasion resistant seat pocket. Optional foam pad insert. The shorts feature two-side cargo pockets with a Velcro® closure flap, as well as two deep inside pockets.

The Nantucket Sailing Shorts are made in America. Enjoy these lightweight, quick drying and comfortable shorts this week!

Talisker Bounty Boat Survives First Knockdown
The crew of the Talisker Bounty Boat have survived their first knock down in gale force conditions at approximately 12.00pm AEST . The crew are in the midst of conducting the first ever accurate re-creation of William Bligh's Mutiny on the Bounty voyage from Tonga to Timor, and are currently sailing through Fiji, and an area known as 'Bligh water'.

With winds of thirty-five knots from the southeast and 5 - 6 metre waves regularly crashing over the side of the 25-foot long, 7-foot wide open boat, conditions are testing the skill and endurance of Don McIntyre and his crew.

The Talisker Bounty Boat was filled with water after suffering the knock down, and all hands were on deck to bail out as quickly as possible. Expedition leader, Don McIntyre, even dislocated his little toe during the commotion. As the waves continue to break into the cockpit, the crew have the relentless but vital task of bailing out water every 5 to 10 minutes.

The adventurers endured rough conditions last night also. With no modern navigational equipment onboard, they are relying on the light of the moon, but have been hampered by total cloud cover the past few days. Consequently the boat has sailed perilously close to submerged reefs, with the only warnings being the sound of breaking surf close-by. Last night there were two close calls, but the Talisker Bounty Boat managed to surf at 15 - 20 knots between the reefs of the Fijian islands.

It has been seven days since the launch of the Talisker Bounty Boat, which began with a short stop on the volcanic island of Tofua where Bligh first made land-fall 221 years ago. The crew descended a sheer cliff to make a daring visit to 'Bligh's Cave' where Bligh originally sheltered to gather supplies with 18 of his crew.

Don McIntyre and the crew are attempting to raise money for the Sheffield Institute Foundation. For the location of the Talisker Bounty Boat and to follow the crew's blog visit

To find out more about the Sheffield Institute Foundation, see

Malaysia Announces Dynamic Elite Sailing Programme
Putrajaya, Malaysia: Malaysia will soon be introducing a development plan to help develop the nation's sailing fraternity and raise its international potential on the professional yacht racing circuit. This dynamic new initiative, spearheaded by Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Dato' Ahmad Shabery Cheek, is aimed at accelerating the progress of local athletes in the sailing arena and propelling them towards international sailing events. These prestigious global yacht racing events include the ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), the Volvo Ocean Race and the America's Cup as "Special Events" in the sport as sanctioned by ISAF (International Sailing Federation).

This new professional sailing programme for Malaysia is of particular importance for talented sailors looking to move into more professional and challenging yacht racing disciplines. Currently, the country supports a healthy following of sailors in the Optimist, Laser and 470 dinghy classes. Dinghy sailors are regular competitors with support of the Malaysian Yachting Association in the SEA Games, Asian Games and the Olympic Games.

However, there is a big void of talent when it comes to the next level - racing in keel boats and on the professional world circuits - when the sailors reach their mid 20's and exit the dinghy class programmes. Dato' Shabery identified that this situation is due to the lack of a planned development route that sailors could follow and move up to the professional global circuit.

Cat Racing up the U.S. East Coast
Photo by Tybee Island Sailing Association. Click on image to enlarge.

Tybee 500 The Tybee 500 is an extreme sailing endurance race from Islamorada in the Florida Keys to Tybee Island, GA. The annual race begins May 10th at the Islander Resort in the Florida Keys and continues up the coast for six days, arriving on Tybee Island May 15th.

Each day there is a spectacular beach launch through the Atlantic surf that is very exciting for race fans on the scene. After the teams leave the beach the race is covered live on the Tybee 500 website at Each catamaran will carry the Spot satellite tracking beacon enabling a real-time view of the race on the website while the teams are offshore.

This will be the 8th annual race, beginning in 2003 where two man teams battle the open ocean, equipment breakdowns, and fatigue to be the first on the beach at Tybee Island.- Sailors appear as alien figures wearing their protective gear. Each sailor carries enough food and drink to compete for up to 20 hours, in case light winds keep them offshore longer than expected.

Each team must depend on their own abilities and equipment while they are offshore up to 4 miles and out of site of land or other competitors. Sailors from as far away as The Netherlands will compete in this year's race.

Nacra 20 and Formula 18 beach Catamarans carrying an abundance of sail are the tools of the trade.- These are not the beach resort catamarans of history...

* June 5, 2010 the 21st running of the Worrell 1000 will take place after a break of eight years. With a rich, innovative history dating back to 1976, the race was cancelled in early 2003 when a major investor/sponsor got into financial difficulty. Today, with a Hollywood producer, new corporate structure, unique business model and conservative business plan that limits dependence on any one sponsor or investor, the event is ready for "Primetime."

Hollywood storyteller and Emmy Award winning producer Brady Connell and his partner Jim Jusko will package the event for television. Connell's credits include the CBS series: Survivor and The Amazing Race; USA Network's Eco-Challenge; the ABC series: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and many more action/adventure shows.

Key Changes for 2010
While the race format and Rules and Conditions of Entry remain basically the same, there are a few exciting changes for the 2010 event.

Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
Eligible Boats: F18 and N20.
Scoring: Elapsed time for each Class and Overall First to Finish.

Sailing With The Stars (First Leg): For the first leg, South Beach to Fort Lauderdale (22mi) one of the two sailors may be replaced by a member of the media, a celebrity, a sponsor, etc. This leg will be scored 20% of the actual elapsed time.

Designated Sailor (Five Legs): Any qualified sailor may replace a regular crewmember for any two legs of the race from Fort Lauderdale to Isle of Palms (halfway), and any three legs from Isle of Palms to the finish in Virginia Beach.

Dragon Grand Prix Germany
Click on image to enlarge.

Dragon Grand Prix Germany The 5th Dragon Grand Prix Germany switches to the new location Boltenhagen/Baltic Sea at the holiday resort "Weiße Wiek" from 10 July 10 to 14 July 2010. Top class dragon sailors, such as Anatoly Loginov (RUS 27 - World Ranking # 1 in 2009) and Thomas Mülller (GER 996 - World Ranking # 1 in 2008) have already registered. The current European Champion, Markus Wieser (UKR 7) and Winner of the Goldcup, Ms. Ruslana Taran (UKR 9), both members of the sailing team of the main sponsor "TRANSBUNKER", will also compete.

The Dragon Grand Prix Germany is the only Grade 1 Event reserved exclusively for the dragon class without other classes competing at the same time.

Moreover, the Dragon Grand Prix Germany will be the precursor for the 2011 European Championship also scheduled to be held at Boltenhagen/Baltic Sea.

The Dragon Grand Prix Germany will start on Saturday, 10 July with a charity event, the CHILDHOOD Race, for the benefit of the World CHLDHOOD Foundation, founded by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden. Many sailors have supported the World CHILDHOOD Foundation and, to date, have raised € 946,000 for abused children in the world. The dragon class, as charity partner of the World CHILDHOOD Foundation, expects to exceed the one million Euro mark in Boltenhagen. -- Manuela Libor

World Champions Meet In Chicago
Starting today through May 9th, two former ISAF World Champions will be at the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) to trian up themselves and a select group of CMRC members in the techniques and tactics of match race sailing. The 2007-2008 Match Race World Champion Ian Williams, from great Britain, will be on hand to spar both with and against reigning US Match Race Champion Bill Hardesty, who was Williams' teammate in their 2007 World Championship victory and went on to win his own title in 2008 in the Etchells class.

Williams is training himself towards the next event on the World Match Racing Tour being held next week at Match Race Germany in Langenargen, where Hardesty will re-join him as a teammate. This will be Williams' first Tour event of the season since last December's Monsoon Cup in Malaysia.

Besides sparring against Hardesty, who has been more active recently having competed in the Grade 1 Congressional Cup in March, Williams's agenda will also include re-learning to sail with Hardesty in sparring sessions against CMRC members, such as Bacardi Cup winner and CMRC founder Don Wilson.

CMRC members will have a special opportunity to have an informal World Champion Q&A session with Williams after the Center's normal evening training on Friday, May 7th at 7:30 PM. Williams will be available to answer questions about his experience, tips on match race sailing, his World Tour title(s), and more.

For more information about the World Champion Q&A Session, contact Beth Paul of the CMRC at 312-542-1505 or visit

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1980 33' Aphrodite 101, 15,000 GBP. Located in Burnham on Crouch, United Kingdom.

Fast cruiser/racer well suited to short handed sailing and competitive club racing. This example has had new standing rigging in 2008 and has a large sail wardrobe ready to compete.

Brokerage through Clarke & Carter Interyacht Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning. -- P. D. Ouspensky

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