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Bumper Boats
Photo by Chris Cameron / ETNZ. Click on image for photo gallery.

Louis Vuitton Trophy A major start line collision knocked two America's Cup Class boats out of action at the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena today and led to a one-race disqualification for the French ALEPH Sailing Team.

ALEPH struck the stern of the Italian entry Azzurra as the boats sped down the start line with 35 seconds remaining to the start gun. No one was injured but the bow of the French boat was knocked almost right off while the aft starboard quarter of the Italian boat was smashed in.

The two boats involved are the BMW Oracle Racing Team Version 5 ACC boats USA98 and USA87 which have been chartered to the regatta organisers for the event. Oracle boatbuilders and technical experts were still assessing the damage tonight.

"While unfortunate, this collision will not threaten the regatta," said Bruno Trouble, spokesman for Louis Vuitton Trophy. "In Nice, one boat was damaged in a collision on the eve of the regatta, while in Auckland we had great racing with only one pair of boats. We will continue racing using the Mascalzone boats, while waiting for our very experienced team of 25 boatbuilders to complete repairs."

Today's conditions were perfect for racing with cloudless skies, bright sun, a westerly 12-14 knot breeze and flat seas, and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio was able to complete five of six scheduled races.

The ALEPH team quickly published a statement apologising for the collision and subsequent damage.

Photo by Stefano Gattini / AZZURRA. Click on image for photo gallery.

LVT Collision

In a day filled with surprises, the fledgling Synergy Russian Sailing Team beat the long-established Luna Rossa, while the undefeated Swedish boat Artemis continued her winning ways with a victory over winless BMW Oracle Racing Team. Emirates Team New Zealand went down to Luna Rossa as American Ed Baird, skipper of the Italian boat and former coach for the Kiwis, dished out another lesson to his old pupil Dean Barker.

Provisional win-loss leaderboard after Flight Twelve, Race One
=1. Artemis, 3-0, 3 points
=2. All4One, 2-1, 2 points
=2. Azzurra, 2-2, 2 points
=2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 2-0, 2 points
=2. TEAMORIGIN, 2-3, 2 points
=6. ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-2, 1 point *
=6. Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-1, 1 point
=6. Luna Rossa, 1-3, 1 point
=6. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 2-1, 1 point *
=10. BMW Oracle Racing Team, 0-3, 0 points

* Penalty deducted by Jury/Umpires

Farewell To Jamaica
Errol Flynn Marina, Port Antonio, Jamaica: Cape Breton Island's eagle soared across the start line ahead of the rest of the Clipper 09-10 fleet at the beginning of Race 10 to New York. In eight to ten knots of breeze from the east and a very calm sea state, Uniquely Singapore was next to cross the start line, followed by Team Finland and Spirit of Australia. Jamaica Lightning Bolt was mid pack, followed by Cork, Ireland and Hull & Humber, with Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, California and Qingdao completing the order.

California had crossed the line ahead of the starting signal, so were forced to go around again to exonerate themselves, while Qingdao misjudged the amount of time they needed to get to the line from their training session and were last to cross, 20 minutes after the signal was sounded at 1410 (1910 GMT).

The 1420-mile race to New York, the latest stage of the 35,000-mile circumnavigation, will take them past the island of Cuba and up the east coast of North America, following the Gulf Stream current.

The fleet is due to arrive in New York between 2 and 3 June.

Overall leader board after Race 9

1. Spirit of Australia, 93 points
2. Team Finland, 74.3
3. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 74
4. Cape Breton Island, 67
5. Hull & Humber, 56
6. Qingdao, 47
7. Uniquely Singapore, 47
8. Cork, 39.8
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 32
10. California, 24

Exciting News and Savings for 2011 Edition of Key West Race Week
TP52s at Key West Race Week. Photo by Sharon Green / Click on image to enlarge.

Key West Race Week January may seem far off, but it's not too early to start your Key West planning. Class promotions and early commitments are already happening. The Farr 30 fleet is on the comeback trail with 7 boats having Key West on their racing calendars at this early date. IRC modified TP52s will have their own start with 5 programs committed and at least 4 others giving serious consideration. And it's only May! Details for those two classes are already posted on the event web site. Additional class pages, including PHRF and IRC are in process and will debut in early June.

Premiere Racing is pleased to present a variety of cost savings and simplified logistics initiatives that will directly impact your budget's bottom line and make your preparations as straightforward as possible. Start plotting and planning! Details on the event web site:

Race Dates: January 17- 21, 2011

The Normandy Channel Race Establishes Itself
The final curtain fell over the very first running of the Normandy Channel Race at around 1830 GMT last night, with the arrival of the 8th and last Class40 on the water, "Groupe Partouche" skippered by Christophe Coatnan and Pierre-Yves Lautrou.

The local authorities and partners supporting the event also much appreciated the very high level of the competition at the event, demonstrated by the original 10 protagonists in the race. There was a massive public following too, with locals and overseas visitors flocking to the pre-start race village in their droves, and drinking in the information distilled by the official race site with assiduity, to the sum of 200,000 pages read during the course of the week.

This double-handed race aboard an upcoming Class of 40 foot monohulls created exactly the right appeal; providing racers with some varied sailing conditions, coloured by a multitude of tricky sections, which fortunately proved both unfavourable and favourable right the way along the course, enabling losses and gains throughout. Other than the two unfortunate retirements due to power problems, the event went very smoothly, giving spectators following the event via the internet and the press. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Performance times:
1. Destination Dunkerque 6d 18h 52m 25s, at a theoretical average speed over 1,000 miles of 5.85 knots, with 1,124.1 actual miles sailed, making an average of 6.9 knots.
2. 40 Degrees 6d 19h 12m 35s (theoretical 5.84) 1067.9m = 6.5 kts actual
3. Appart city 7d 3h 32m 26s (theoretical 5.55) 1116.0m = 6.5 kts actual
4. Moonpalace 7d 4h 4m 37s (theoretical 5.54) 1108.9m = 6.4 kts actual
5. Marie Toit - Caen La mer 7d 11h 57m 53s (theoretical 5.30) 1148.0m = 6.4 kts actual
6. Phesheya-Racing 8d 3h 0m 30s (theoretical 4.89) 1148.9 = 5.9 kts actual
7. Novedia - Initiatives 8d 3h 27m 54s (theoretical 4.88) 1170.7 = 6.0 kts actual
8. Partouche 8d 5h 13m 25s (theoretical 4.83) actual distance covered 1165.1 actual

Record Breakers Line Up for Sevenstar Challenge
RORC Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2006 start, 7/8/06, Cowes UK. The IMOCA 60 Artemis Ocean Racing helmed by Jonny Malbon, leads the fleet eastwards out of the Solent. Photo by Sally Collison / RORC. Click on image to enlarge.

RORC Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 94 days and counting: It's 14 weeks until the start of the fully-crewed non-stop 1760nm Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and 22 yachts have confirmed their participation with a number focused on the opportunity of breaking both the fully-crewed race record set by the IMOCA 60 Artemis Ocean Racing in the 2006 race (7 days 4 hours, 29mins) and the course record set by Dee Caffari and Sam Davies on Aviva in 2009 (6 days 11 hours and 30mins).

Leading the charge is Mike Slade's 100' super maxi ICAP Leopard: "There is no doubt that this race is one of the toughest on our sailing calendar," said Mike Slade as he waited for a weather window to launch an assault on the west to east monohull Transatlantic sailing record. "August can throw up all sorts of weather and if a high pressure system descends upon the UK, all bets are off for a record breaking run, even though the 100' Leopard is potentially much faster than the IMOCA 60 in which Jonny Malbon (Artemis Ocean Racing) and Dee and Sam set their records."

Pushing Leopard hard will be a number of Volvo Open 70's: From Spain, Telefonica Blue, a competitor in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race will be skippered by Olympic Gold and Silver medallist Iker Martinez.

From France the Groupama syndicate, skippered by French multihull sailing legend, Franck Cammas will also race. The French are serious about winning the Volvo Ocean Race and see the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race as a perfect opportunity to get more experience with the boat.

The race has attracted teams from America, Austria, Holland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden; it takes the yachts around some of the busiest and most tactically challenging sailing waters in the world. It attracts a diverse range of yachts and crew most of which are enticed by the challenge it offers as well as the diversity and beauty of the route around Britain and Ireland with spectacular scenery and wildlife.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race has been adopted by the Class 40 Class Association as one of its premier events for the 2010 season. Andreas Hanakamp's Celox 40 and Tom Hayhoe, RORC Vice Commodore skippering Orca are two Class 40s on the entry list so far.

Performance Packs From Tacktick
TackTick Electronics experts Tacktick, have launched a series of Spring offers for racing yacht owners in the form of 'Performance Packs' which specify the ideal wireless electronics package for a range of different boat sizes at very competitive prices

The Performance Packs spec out the ideal electronics set up for racing yachts of 30ft, 40ft and 50ft. The comprehensive information sheets are available online at and include all the key features of the products, the individual units included in the packages as well as a number of free products being given away as part of the offer.

The Performance Pack kits are ideal for either replacing existing electronics or installation on new yachts and offer owners a complete high performance wireless racing system at a great price.

The Performance Packs are available in British £, Euro € and US$ configurations.

Difficult Final Day Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta
The Hague/Netherlands: It was a difficult final day of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta 2010 in The Hague/Netherlands. The light southwest breeze dropped during the fourth day of the inshores along the Scheveningen coast, which made it hard for many classes to beat up the strong current. The ORC and IRC yachts sailed the Fjellsto semi long-distance race, whereby the ORC 2 lined up with the biggest fleet (25). Harry Amsterdam (NED) took that bullet on handicap with his Arcona 340.

IRC - Checkmate warms up for Swan Worlds

By the end of the afternoon, the results of the offshores and inshores were combined in one ranking. The Checkmate Swan 45 of Peter de Ridder (NED) turned out to be the strongest in the fleet of 23 competitors. They beat the Swan 45 World Champion Charisma of Nico Poons (NED) and the Antilope Grand Soleil 43 of Willem Wester (NED) and Olympic medallist Sebbe Godefroid (BEL). De Ridder: 'At the beginning of this season, we optimized our Swan for IRC, with a smaller mainsail and mast top spinnakers. Today, we even beat Charisma without discard. This was a good warming-up for the Swan Worlds in September. We may borrow the Dutch No Limits to participate." The Xcentric Ripper J-109 of John van der Starre (NED) took the victory in the IRC 2-3.

ORC - Champaign bath for Moshulu

The Who's next X-46 of Ploos van Amstel (NED), with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Gerd-Jan Poortman onboard, did not experience much competition in the ORC 2. They scored six bullets and two seconds. Poortman: 'We trained quite a lot at the beginning of this year and we make big steps at the moment. We exceeded the ORC level, so we are thinking about the next choice for this team." The local Moshulu won the ORC 2 and the crew celebrated happily with a Champaign bath. Ilya van Marle helmed his Lucifer to victory in the ORC 3 and Bram van der Hout did the same with his Celestine in the ORC 4-5.

For results of all classes:

Miniature Adventurers
Think the Mini Transat is extreme? The Jester Challenge knocks it into a cocked hat.

I'm trying to get a feel for the Jester Challenge, the solo event (one mustn't say race) across the Atlantic to Newport. This staunchly amateur venture is unique in that it has a size range of 20-30ft, a start date and ports of departure and arrival but not much else.

What it positively does not have is a race organisation, a notice of race or an entry fee. So although there are 89 boats and skippers on the list of entrants, no-one knows until the skippers' briefing on Friday how many will turn up or take part. It could be 40 or 60 or more.

Former Royal Marine and Yachtsman of the Year Ewen Southby-Tailyour founded the Jester Challenge for small boat sailors who had been squeezed out of the big races.

When the OSTAR disallowed boats of under 30ft it effectively disenfranchised the small boats that had begun the event - four of the five boats in 1960 were 26ft or under. Southby-Tailyour's motivation was to "give back a race to boats under 30ft."

So what you have is the diametric opposite of almost every oceanic race anywhere else in the world. Most of the boats are simple and low cost and their skippers disinterested in publicity.

But word has got round, and since the last transatlantic Jester Challenge in 2006, some sailors have actually bought a suitable nutshell in order to take part. "I think," says Southby-Tailyour, "small boats are chosen by people as much because of the concept as the cost, although some people can't afford anything else."

Looking through Yachting World eyes, an event like the Mini Transat seems extreme. Fuggedaboutit. This is properly hardcore.

From Elaine Bunting's blog, her full posting at

Short Tacks
* Major repairs are to be carried out to stabilise the foundations of the Needles lighthouse. The 151-year-old lighthouse off the coast of the Isle of Wight is built on chalk, which has softened and is crumbling. Without stabilisation this could eventually lead to the tower's collapse.

Engineers will begin work on a £450,000 project to reconstruct the base of the lighthouse in June 2010. This will involve digging a trench round the base of the lighthouse, sinking a ring of stabilising posts into the trench, and then infilling with concrete.

Work is expected to take around 12 weeks to complete. The Needles lighthouse is 33.25m high and was automated in 1994. -- Motor Boats Monthly,

* Designer Juan Kouyoumdjian talks about his first TP52, Matt Sheahan considers what's up with Team Origin and Guy talks to Shannon Falcone

The professional sailing season is fully underway in the northern hemisphere and the time for talking is now over, it's results that count. But one team with high expectations is having a rough ride as TeamOrigin parts company with its sailing director Mike Sanderson. Matthew Sheahan considers the reasons for the shock sacking and looks at where the problem may lie with a team that is blessed with top players and Olympic medals.

Just days before, the British Americas Cup team found itself in the spotlight for another reason recently, it's new boat. The only new boat in the Audi Medcup fleet as the class passes through a transitional phase in the rules, there were plenty of eyes on the new Juan Kouyoumdjian designed TP52, not least a controversial keel with wings. The Argentinean designer, renowned for his often radical and free thinking style tells Matt what's behind his thinking for a boat that needs to compete with those of other designers that are now in their third generation.

Shoretalk is produced in association with Gybe Talking, the Volvo sailing podcast. See:

* The Farr 30 North American Championship will be held on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis MD at the 44th Annual Annapolis Race Week Sept 3-6 2010 with 4 days of racing. This is an official Farr30 International One Design sanctioned event and all participants must be current class members. We expect to have the full support from the local Chesapeake Fleet in attendance with 10 boats and 10+ out of town boats bringing the total attendance close to 20 boats.

Event Details can be found at and under Annapolis Race Week.

From the "Not Sailing But Cool" Files...
An Austrian daredevil is planning to become the first person to break the sound barrier in a free fall, without riding in a vehicle.

This summer in New Mexico, Felix Baumgartner hopes to make the highest, longest and fastest fall ever. His attempt will take him to an altitude where the atmosphere ends and space begins -- where blood boils at body temperature, and the air temperature could be as low as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The first step in the attempt will be riding a helium balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet above sea level -- almost 23 miles -- higher than anyone has ascended in a balloon before.

Then, wearing a pressurized suit and oxygen tanks, he plans to jump out of his capsule for a five-minute fall back to Earth. Within the first 30 seconds, he expects to be falling faster than the speed of sound, which at that altitude is around 690 miles per hour. Crossing that barrier would mark a new test of the limits of the human body. -- from

Letters To The Editor -
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* From Peter Cook: Reading the sad news about the death of Frank Dye reminds me of a couple of incidents involving this enterprising sailor.

The first was at the London Boat Show at Earl's Court in the late 1950s. I was working for Small Craft of Southampton, the original builders of the Wayfarer. A visitor approached the stand and asked me if the Wayfarer on display would be suitable for cruising. I affirmed that it would and asked what he had in mind. He replied that the previous year he had tried cruising in the North Sea from The Wash to Scotland - a distance of some 200 nautical miles - in a 16ft Hornet on which, in those days, the crew sat on a sliding seat before the trapeze was adopted by the class. Having capsized twice before breakfast off Scarborough he had decided that a Hornet was not suitable and sought a more capable replacement. I replied that the Wayfarer was certainly much better that the Hornet for the sort of sailing he had in mind but that it was possibly more suited to estuary cruising than the open waters of the North Sea. He ordered W48, Wanderer.

Some years later, probably in the early 1970s, Wanderer was shown as a feature at the London Boat Show. By this time, Frank had sailed her from Scotland to both the North Cape in Norway and to Iceland and I was interested to see what modifications he had made to prepare her for ocean cruising. I expected to see beefed up mast, rigging and rudder fittings - at least a through bolt holding the mast band to the mast to supplement the standard arrangement of eight, one inch, 10 gauge round head brass screws. What I found was the boat exactly as supplied except for a row of poppers either side beneath the gunwale rubber in way of the cockpit to attach a tent cover. However, the mast band had settled down the mast by probably a quarter of an inch and the screw heads were no longer lying flush with the mast band!

Later Frank and his wife Margaret shipped their Wayfarer to different areas of the World to sample the local waters including a cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway in the east of the United States.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1986 43' Ron Holland, US$ 39,000. Located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

This is the most famous of the Ron Holland designs. ALARIFE is the sister ship to the famous IMP that was so instrumental in winning the Congressional Cup. She was commissioned by one of Mexico's top ocean racers after he watched IMP destroy the Congressional Cup fleet. She is a bare bones race boat that has raced here in Bandares Bay and up and down the west coast of the US & MX for many years including a number of International Yacht Races. With a little work she can still be a competitive racer. This boat would be ideal for a performance day charter business or just continue with her racing.

Seller would like to have a quick sale and is motivated.

The boat has a very breif galley, two settees, sea head, one automatic & one manual bilge pump, VHF radio, folding prop, lots of blocks, etc. and many used sails in verious condition.

Brokerage through Vallarta Yachts Sales & Service:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I used to have a sign over my computer that read OLD DOGS CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS, but lately I sometimes ask myself how many more new tricks I want to learn. Wouldn't it be easier just to be outdated? -- Ram Dass

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