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Light Air Day In Clearwater
49er Worlds
Day three of the 2016 World Championships in Clearwater, FL kicked off with a sunny, 4-8 knot variance giving everyone a sigh of relief and readiness. A beautifully clear Floridian day means: the Worlds has really begun!

The fleet rigged up and got after it early launching to make a 10am start. The breeze dropped quite a bit, but after one general recall, the fleets were able to begin their day. One race was sailed in a slowly dying 5-7 knots, but unfortunately a third of the fleets were DNF due to the almost non-existent pressure. Almost two hours later and the 49er gods finally answered the RC's prayers. A building sea breeze allowed the boys to sail three more races getting a total of four in before the ladies were sent out to reap the same wind benefits.

49erFX Worlds
Fx sailors had a postponement on shore until mid-afternoon, allowing the guys a bit of extra time to get some more racing in before the old switch-a-roo. The ladies were sent out at about 2pm for a 3pm start. The women were able to tune up and get their sea legs back after a wet and wild day. Wild this day was not, as the women had feel good FX conditions, flatter water and manageable breeze. Yay! The ladies were all smiles, and slightly less frozen than the previous day due to quick, efficient racing.

German sailors Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz are taking their FX fleet by the reigns and completely taking control. The pair didn't falter even as the breeze did vary several knots from the time the FX sailors got out to the courses to until the wee hours of daylight they had left to sail in. Two bullets to start the day, and then a 2nd and 5th to round out their epic start to this World Championship.

Nacra 17 Worlds
Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin made the best of a light airs day three at the Nacra 17 Worlds to move to 3rd overall after the young Australians scored 5,4,1. It was a long day on the water, almost six hours, so maintaining concentration was difficult, but absolutely key.

The Italian crew of Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri also did well, moving up to 2nd overall with 3,10,2.

Normally the Australian and Italian performances would be enough to close the gap on the leaders, but the leaders are the three-time World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou who appear unstoppable in the Nacra 17 right now. Scores of 4,1,3 have helped to build a lead of 25 points over the second-placed Italians, so it seems likely the French will go to the Olympics as winners of all four World Championships in the young life of the Nacra 17 class. -- Andy Rice

Top three

Nacra 17 after 8 races, one throwout
1. Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA, 16 points
2. VIttorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA, 41
3. Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin, AUS, 55

49er after 5 races, one throwout
1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL, 4
2. Jonas Warrer / Anders Thomsen, DEN, 10
3. John Pink / Stuart Bithell, GBR, 15

49er FX after 5 races, one throwout
1. Victoria Jurczok / Anika Lorenz, GER, 9
2. Maiken Foght Schutt / Anne-Julie Schutt, DEN, 11
3. Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth, GBR, 12

Hardy Cup Victory to RPAYC Team
Will Dargaville and his crew from the RPAYC lead Will Boulden from the RFBYC in the final of the Hardy Cup. Photo by Raol de Ferranti. Click on image to enlarge.

Hardy Cup A team from Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has won the prestigious Hardy Cup Under 25 Grade 3 International Match Racing Regatta for the first time since the inception of the event in 2001.

Will Dargaville and his crew of Liam Bennett, Evelyn Foster, Ruby Sholten and James Farquharson won a hard-fought final against Will Boulden from Perth's Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

Since eminent Australian yachtsman Sir James Hardy presented the Hardy Cup to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to promote match racing among young sailors teams, the host club, RSYS, has won the Cup four times, as has the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Sailors from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have won the Hardy Cup three times while the other two winners have been Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and the Royal Yachting Association in Britain.

Once again the Hardy Cup 2016 attracted an international fleet and on the last day of competition saw teams from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia fight out the finals.

In the petit final, George Anyon defeated Cyril Fortin 2-0. The New Caledonian crew sailed an impressive series in their first Hardy Cup regatta and should be encouraged to contest further international events. -- Peter Campbell

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Heads To Oman
The opening races of the 2016 season are on the horizon. Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling tops the leaderboard as six teams will line up for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman from February 27-28, marking the first time a country in the Middle East will host America's Cup racing.

Dubarry Ultima - Classic Craftsmanship
Dubarry Ultima It's been said of Ireland that it's a lovely country, just needs a roof. True, we get more than our fair share of rain from the storms that barrel in from the North Atlantic, but it's not so bad - it's not for nothing that we're known as the Emerald Isle.

In this part of the world we're also well used to making our living on the sea, in the sturdy Galway Hookers built by hand with traditional tools by local boatbuilders. These bluff-bowed gaff cutters have plied their treacherous trade on the often vengeful waters of the Bay for over 200 years. If ever there was a place where folk would appreciate a quality traditional sea boot - and had the craftsmanship to make one - it's here.

So it's here, in the town of Ballinasloe, a stone's throw from the Shannon and just inland of Galway Bay, that Dubarry started making boots in 1937. We've honed our traditional boot-making virtuosity, found sources of the finest quick-drying, long-lasting leathers, and perfected the technology behind a warm, waterproof classic boot with award-winning grip. What else could we call the world's best traditional sea boot, other than Ultima?

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Farr 40 Sydney Open: Tricky Day One
The Farr 40 Sydney Open regatta, a warm-up for the world championship next week, opened in a light and shifty breeze on Sydney Harbour today with different winners in three short-course races and boats at the front of the 12-boat fleet taking their turn at the back.

Leading the nine-race, three races a day series conducted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, is Plenty (Alex Roepers, USA), with 2-3-3 placings for 8 points followed by another steady performer Flash Gordon 6 (Helmut Jahn, USA), 4-5-4, 13.

Although the south-easterly breeze remained light and shifty, around 10 knots and under, for the first two races and freshened to 12 for the third, the racing was always close. "That's Farr 40 racing these days," commented International Farr 40 international class manager Geoff Stagg, "The boats are extremely evenly matched."

Plenty's owner/driver Alex Roepers arrived in Sydney only yesterday morning and shook off the jet lag for the series-leading performance.

Top five after five races:
1. Plenty, Alex Roepers, USA, 11 points
2. Struntje Light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 23
3. Estate Master, Martin Hill, AUS, 24
4. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut and Evan Jahn, USA, 24
5. Kindergarten, Rodney Jones, AUS, 28

Full Results

Farr 40 Class Association:

The First Kiwi Rocket Ship?
'Jessie Logan Reels 'em In' Oil on canvas. 29 1/2" X 351/2" (75cm X 90cm) Jim Bolland 2016. Click on image to enlarge.

Jim Bolland The name Logan is deeply entrenched in New Zealand sailing history. Robert Logan Snr, a Scot who learnt the boat building trade on the Clyde, emigrated with his family, to New Zealand 1874. In 1878 he started his own boat building business and began designing and building yachts, many of which have become sailing folk-lore in New Zealand and in countries beyond.

In the late 1870's and into the 1880's, competitive sailing in New Zealand was in it's growth stages but interest in the sport spread quickly throughout the major towns, especially in the more northern town of Auckland, where the success of Logan's yachts was quickly apparent. But there was one Logandesigned and built yacht stood out above the others, creating an aura of invincibility that has lasted to this day. The yacht was Jessie Logan, named after Robert Logan's daughter.

Jessie Logan, a 28 foot 6 inch (8.68m) centreboard cutter with a very large sail plan, was the undisputed champion of Auckland's Class Two fleet for sveral seasons until her sale, by auction, saw her dish out the same treatment to the Wellington Class Two fleet. She ended her racing days in Nelson, at the top of New Zealand's South Island.

From Jim Bolland's A Brush with Sail blog:

Facundo Olezza Overcomes Injury To Secure Dream Place At Rio Olympics
Facundo Olezza. Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image to enlarge.

Facundo Olezza Facundo Olezza from Argentina is celebrating today after getting the call-up from his sailing federation to go to the Rio Olympic Games in the Finn following his outstanding result at the Sailing World Cup in Miami just over a week ago.

He is the second sailor in the Finn class development programme, FIDeS, to win selection to Rio. Both Olezza and Alejandro Foglia of Uruguay are also members of the FINNTEAM training group.

Behind the young Argentinean's elation and excitement is a story about perseverance against the odds and overcoming an injury that nearly stopped him realising his Olympic dream. Not only did the Olezza produce a career best tenth place, out of 46 boats in Miami, he did so with a broken wrist and a mast that had recently been repaired after breaking in two.

He spoke of the injury that nearly put an end to his dreams. "In December I fell off a horse and broke the scaphoid bone in my wrist. I had surgery on December 7 and the doctors told me that I had to be in plaster for at least two months, but I took the risk and only two weeks after the surgery I came to Valencia and started sailing again. It has been really painful and challenging as this bone takes from three to six months to fix. Now it's still broken but I manage to sail with a wrist protector and also I changed a few things in free pumping and tacking techniques in order to sail well."

His coach, Luca Devoti said, "I am very proud of what he has accomplished so far. He managed to recover from a really nasty injury in record time and is just going to get better and better. He is a hard worker and a pleasure to work with." -- Robert Deaves

To support the FINNTEAM, go here:

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
This month's nominees:

Randy Draftz (USA)
One of the unsung heroes of the US scene... As many other big regattas struggle, both in the US and elsewhere, Draftz has worked away tackling the issue from the ground up, rather than the other way around. All of this effort has been focussed on developing Sperry Charleston Race Week, which has very quietly now grown into perhaps the biggest and most successful event of its kind


Shane Kearns (AUS)
Kearns's S&S 34 Azzurro had already been sailed around the world when he bought her as a rotting wreck for AUS$23,000 (on a credit card) a few years back. Now fully restored, for several hours Azzurro looked the likely overall winner of the 2015 Sydney Hobart before parking up a few miles from the finish. Still, Kearns did win ORCi overall as well as the Corinthian Division. Plus of course 3rd overall under IRC... so not too bad

Last month's winner:


Brian Thompson (GBR)
'For the Olympics give me Ainslie, for the Vendée, Desjoyeaux; but heading offshore in a big tri, get on the phone and beg for Brian,' - Matt Cowpe; 'Total star'- Sam Goodchild; 'A kind, gentle legend,' - Clemency Ives; 'A superlative sailor,' - Owen McKenzie; 'Unassuming modesty allied with epic achievement, that great British understatement!' - Andrew McIrvine; 'most unassuming and fastest pro sailor ever,' - Polly Dawson; 'Legend' - Robo; 'And he has done so much for injured serviceman charities,' - Ian Finlay


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Interview With Simon McKeon
Simon McKeon is an Australian businessman, philanthropist and record-breaking yachtsman. He is the former chairman of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and independent chairman of financial services company AMP. In 1993, he set a world speed sailing record, which he held for nearly two decades. He took up the role of chancellor at Monash University last month.

"I was enormously fortunate to be the skipper/helmsman of an Australian syndicate that held the Little America's Cup from 1985 through to 1996 and which, for most of the past 20 years, also held the outright world sailing speed record. Indeed, my [crewmate] Tim Daddo and I were the first to take a sailing vessel through the mythical 50-knot barrier several years ago. Frankly, as we set the record that day, my thinking was dominated by the notion that so many people over thousands of years have traversed the oceans by sail – from the Vikings through to the Polynesians who navigated the Pacific. And for a moment in time, Tim and I had gone faster than any of them. That was a moment to be appreciated."

Interview by John Elmes

J/125 Double Trouble Conch Republic Winner
For the first "official" Conch Republic Race dash from Key West, Florida to Havana, Cuba, the fastest boat in the fleet was Peter Krueger's J/125 silver bullet called DOUBLE TROUBLE; she covered the course in just about 10 hours, or an average of 9.0 kts. First-to-finish honors were not in the calling cards when Krueger's team registered for the race. However, with extremely favorable sailing conditions, the famous J/125 from San Francisco simply lit-up the track and took home overall elapsed honors.

For the rest of their J sailing colleagues in PHRF B Racing class, it was a battle for the top five class handicap awards. In the end, J's took five of top seven boats in class. Sailing the 90nm course about two hours behind the mighty DT was David Malkin's J/88 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 from Annapolis, MD, taking 3rd in class. Finishing just one hour behind DT and taking 4th place in class was Bennet Greenwald's J/111 PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA.

Twenty minutes elapsed behind them was Marcus Cholerton-Brown's J/120 SUNSET CHILD in 5th place. Just 40 minutes off handicap corrected winning time was Krueger's DOUBLE TROUBLE, taking 6th on corrected. Bill Smith's J/111 WOOTON rounded out the top 7, finishing just 10 minutes behind PERSEVERANCE on elapsed time (e.g. within eye-sight of each other), but not enough to crack the top five, that's how closed the handicap times worked out for the fleet.

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FarEast 28R. 38,000 USD.

No surprise that at an ex-works price of US$38,000 these fast and good-looking little speedsters have been flying out of the factory. A direct follow-on from the same company's very successful 18, 26 and 31ft models


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See the collection at

The Last Word
Europeans are much more serious than we are in America because they think that a good place to discuss intellectual matters is a beer party. -- Richard P. Feynman

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