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Transat Quebec Saint-Malo : Taking The Slow Road Into Saint Pierre
Photo by Spi Medias. Click on image to enlarge.

Transat Quebec Saint-Malo After rounding the mark at Perce - the final buoy of the St. Lawrence River leg of the route - the leading Multi500 boats in the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Levis have now turned their backs on the first 371 nautical miles of this intense and deliciously gruelling race of many contrasts.

With six of the key players on the Class40 fleet snapping at their keels not far behind, the multihulls turned the page overnight to a more ocean-like chapter of the race as they embarked on their crossing of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, making their way toward the Saint Pierre and Miquelon archipelago.

Three Multi50s and six Class40 boats are now essentially battling it out side by side within each other's sights as they make their way toward Saint Pierre, the group of French islands they're expected to reach by Thursday night. Racers in both classes are constantly playing musical chairs when it cmes to their positions, as the two great Ultimate Class yachts - Musandam Oman Sail and Spindrift 2 - prepared to cross the starting line and tear their way down the St. Lawrence at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Once they pass Saint Pierre, it will be time to deploy the race strategy onboard navigators have been poring over for hours. With barely six miles separating the six leading boats after more than 400 nautical miles of racing, this Transat Quebec Saint-Malo is keeping its promises for an up-close and personal race.

transatquebecstmalo.com

Brononosec Wins The Day But Nika Takes The Lead
The eastern Solent threw up a magnificent opening day of competition for the RC44 Portsmouth Cup with the wind mostly blowing at 10 knots before building to 20+ ahead of a squall. Once this kicked in it provided the high speed thrills and spills for which the nimble one design RC44 keelboat, that this year is celebrating its 10th anniversery, is famous in these conditions.

The stand-out performance of the day was from Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec which was unbeaten across the five races she sailed today. Igor Lah's Team CEEREF, the present RC44 fleet racing championship leader, had one of the best match racing days of her long career in the RC44 class, winning five of the seven races she sailed.

The RC44's match racing competition takes the form of a rolling championship from event to event and after today's racing this now has a new leader in Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika, after posting a four wins and one loss score-line today.

Tomorrow racing continues with the first of four days of fleet racing.

rc44.com

Pensacola A La Habana Race
Come to Cuba with us, starting April 30, 2017. Now's the time to get your crew and boat ready and plan to enter the 2017 Pensacola a la Habana Race. This second biennial race from Pensacola Bay to the Marina Hemingway Sea Buoy near Havana Cuba is a 511 nautical mile ocean race that is a challenge to all - cruisers, racer/cruisers and all-out race boats. Entry will be open to multi-hulls and mono-hulls, amateurs and professionals and everything in between.

Cruiser boats should expect to cover the course in about four days, racers less. Giving ample time for recovery and rehydration, the Castillo del Morro Race, a race including additional boats flagged in or visiting Cuba, is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2017 followed by trophy presentations.

In 2015, 24 boats were entered in the first Pensacola a la Habana Race. Because of pre-race damage to one yacht and change of plans for two others, only 21 started. PYC organizers had originally hoped to double the fleet from 2015 to 2017, but expectations are higher now that hull insurance will be available for sailing in Cuban waters.

The race will be sailed in Multihull and Monohull fleets. There will be a PHRF Division sailed under Gulf Yachting Association [GYA] PHRF ratings with regular credits or penalties and a Cruiser's Race Division racing under GYA PHRF Modified handicap ratings that will offer additional amenity based cruiser credits and motoring allowances and a Multihull Division sailing under GYA PHRF ratings. -- Talbot Wilson

The 2017 Notice of Race and entry forms will be posted at
www.pensacolahavanarace.com

World Cup Final Places Available By Request
The first offer to be part of the Sailing World Cup Final, Melbourne in December made to the top 20 ranked in each Olympic class by the world sailing body has reaped high calibre entries from multiple countries including Spain, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Croatia, Great Britain and Denmark.

World Sailing and Sailing World Cup Melbourne event organisers now invites all Olympic and 2.4 Norlin OD sailors keen to head to Port Phillip in December and vie for a slice of the $200,000 AUD to request an invitation to fill the remaining places in the fleets.

All requests will be collected and reviewed by 14 July and email invitations will be sent at 11:00 UTC on 15 July. Fleets are limited to just 20 boats per class and the only way competitors can secure their place is by paying the entry fee.

Should there be more requests than places available, invitations will be offered in order of World Ranking to reward and recognise sailors who have worked their way up. If places are offered through the rankings, sailors will have 48 hours to pay the entry fee before the invitation will be offered to the next skipper.

For the chance to race in Melbourne, please submit your request for entry here

All documentation, including the Notice of Race, can be found at www.sailing.org/worldcup

Prix D'Elegance
John and Kim Clinton’s Beneteau 50, Holy Cow. Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Holy Cow With the second largest fleet on record now registered for next month's Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, many competitors are already planning to win a special trophy that will be decided on the water, but won't involve racing.

Instead, it's a highly popular and keenly contested part of Race Week where ingenuity and creative genius come to the fore and set the participants on a course towards collecting impressive trophies at the big presentation party on the regatta's final night.

The competition is the Prix d'Elegance, and the trophies are awarded to the winners in two categories:

BEST-PRESENTED YACHT: The yacht perfectly presented, and the crew in matching uniforms lining the deck etc.

BEST-THEMED YACHT: There's been political satire, tropical island settings, bubble baths, and even Michael Jackson, as themes for this section.

This year the Prix d'Elegance has been moved forward one day on the regatta schedule. It will be staged on Thursday, August 25 between 9am and 10am on the waters of Dent Passage, immediately adjacent to Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

With the number of entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 increasing at an unprecedented rate, regatta organisers are speculating on whether or not this year's fleet will top the record of 227 which coincided with Race Week's 25th anniversary in 2008. Currently there are 209 yachts nominated for this year's series which will be staged August 20 to 27. This figure is 35 per cent up on the same time last year. -- Rob Mundle

www.audihamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

Prototype Aims To Take On The Garbage Patch
Ocean Cleanup has launched a 100m prototype of an artificial coastline that it hopes will erase the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Whilst no one is clear as to whether it is 100, 000 tonnes or 100 million tonnes of waste plastic that is out there, one thing is certain, and that is that this will be 'the largest clean-up in history'.

Every bit of plastic that ever was is still with us today and much has now become the dreaded micro-plastics. Not doing anything about this issue could see the micro-plastic problem increase by as much as 50 fold. The prototype in the North Sea is undergoing sea trials as it were, with the anticipated launch of the real deal in 2020. The Dutch foundation, the crowd sourcing and government are to be complimented on their efforts.

Developed by the Dutch foundation, the 100-metre-long barrier prototype - known as the Ocean Cleanup system - is powered by the ocean's currents and acts as an artificial coastline that can catch and concentrate debris in water.

The team behind Ocean Cleanup aims to achieve 'the largest clean-up in history' when the nearly 100-kilometre full system is deployed in the Pacific in 2020.

But compared to previous efforts and technologies aimed at cleaning up the Pacific patch, Ocean Cleanup founder Boyan Slat said the new system differed in that it allowed 'the natural ocean currents to do the hard work'.

'Instead of going after the plastic, we propose to deploy a very long array of long floating barriers, which are attached to the sea bed, and will allow the natural ocean currents to do the hard work for us,' Mr Slat told the ABC's Pacific Beat program.

The Ocean Cleanup system collects plastic by allowing the ocean's currents to move through it, rather than deploying vessels to scour the oceans.

Radio Australia's original story

www.sail-worldcruising.com

I Always Wear The Same Socks
Click on image to enlarge.

Lucky Socks Sportsmen and women have their superstitions. From the absolute pinnacle of each sporting discipline to the weekend warriors, everyone has their own rituals which they believe directly influences their performance.

Rituals and superstitions are there as comfort blankets, a sense of familiarity in what can otherwise be a hotbed of stress and anguish in hostile sporting environments where the result is always unknown.

Sailors, for example:
- Won't win the practice race;
- Won't have a haircut midway through a regatta;
- Will place their left leg into a wet suit first;
- Won't eat bananas on a boat;
- Won't allow the colour green on their boat;
- And Brazil's Bruno Prada never used to shave until after a regatta.

Belgian Olympic bronze medallist Evi Van Acker is no different and has her own sporting superstition... She will always wear the same King Duck socks!

"I always wear the same socks when I'm racing," explained Van Acker. "They are really cool. You know, once you wear these socks and you have good results then you need to keep wearing these socks."

Van Acker has certainly enjoyed great success in 2016 wearing her lucky socks with wins at Sailing World Cup Miami and Hyeres but she's not got carried away, milking their luck, "When I go to the gym after sailing, I put on different socks limiting the hours of the socks at the sailing venue."

The Belgian racer has been at the forefront of Laser Radial sailing in recent years and she will head into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a firm favourite, with or without the King Duck socks.

Pilotage Fees Force Sailing Training Ship To Leave Tall Ships Challenge
The Norwegian Viking Ship, Draken Harald Harfagre, is most probably forced to leave the Great Lakes and the Tall Ships Challenge 2016 due to the cost for pilotage.

The world's largest Viking ship, the sail training vessel Draken Harald Harfagre, has sailed from Norway to Shetland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland to Newfoundland and into the St Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. The ship was invited to participate in the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016 and entered the waters of St Lawrence and the Great Lakes with information from the Great Lakes Pilotage Authorities that a ship of the size and variety of Draken Harald Harfagre would be excepted the requirement of pilotage. "...Foreign ships of less than 35 meters in overall length are not subject to compulsory pilotage in the Great Lakes Region"

The expedition relied on the information from the Pilotage Authorities and the possibility not to be a subject to compulsory pilotage. Unfortunately the project learned, when entering the St Lawrence Seaway, that the ship is required a pilot at all times while at sea with no possibility of reduction in cost. The cost for the pilotage, if the ship were to participate in the schedule for Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, is well over 400,000 USD.

"The fees are not within reason for a non profit sail training vessel, it blocks the opportunity for any foreign tall ship to enter the Great Lakes and visit the ports. We are a non profit project with the intention to spread knowledge about the Vikings seafaring and to inspire people to pursue dreams and look beyond the horizon, as modern Vikings" says Sigurd Aase, owner and curator of the project

The plan for the next weeks, if no changes in funding appear in the next couple of days, is to leave the Great Lakes as soon as possible. Further information about Draken Harald Harfagre will follow as soon as possible.

We want to point out that our project does not blame the pilots, we are aware of the need for pilots in the Great Lakes, it is the cost of the pilotage we can not bear.

www.drakenexpeditionamerica.com

Not Sailing But Very Cool...
Click on image for photo gallery.

Bailey Australian National Maritime Museum introduces Bailey Haggarty - Assistant Director, Seagulls

I've been at the museum for four weeks now, so it's about time I introduced myself. I'm new here in many ways - as well as being a recent employee, I'm the first one who's a dog.

I'm here because of seagulls. When they are not stealing tourists' chips, they spend much of their time making a mess of our wharves and vessels. Seagull poo, I've learnt, is bad news for boats. It stains their paintwork and varnish, plus it's a health hazard and unpleasant for our visitors.

Our staff spend many tedious hours constantly cleaning this muck away. They've tried various methods to scare off the gulls - ultrasonics, statues of birds of prey, humming line, sprinklers activated by motion sensors, or just hosing them. No luck. But then they discovered that other places had had success with dogs. A cunning plan was born, and I was adopted from a working dog rescue centre.

I've learnt that if you chase birds off the edge of the wharf, you get wet ... and that it's important to wear the correct PPE (personal protective equipment) at all times when performing hazardous work!

It's not all work, though. My human colleagues have been very welcoming, and give me plenty of walks, playtime and affection. I have a cosy bed in the control room plus a kennel on a terrace above it, and I've got round-the-clock company from our security staff. I get some pampering, too - I'm brushed regularly and professionally groomed once a fortnight at the local vet.

So next time you come to the museum, you might see me around. If I'm wearing my yellow vest and my ID tag, that means I'm working, and would prefer not to be distracted. But if I'm out of uniform, come over for a pat and a chat. I'd love to meet you!

www.anmm.gov.au

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Engine is the original Tohatsu 9.9. Has received constant servicing throughout its life, still running fine but needs to be regularly serviced.

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This boat is one of the best maintained Mumm 30s in Turkey.

The deck had a complete refit in 2014

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Yard: Composite Marine
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The Last Word
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us. -- Voltaire

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Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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