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Paul Elvstrom 1928 - 2016
Paul Elvstrom The "Great Dane" has left us who knew and admired him with so many fond memories to remember him by. The final meeting of my tenure as President of ISAF was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2004. Instead of going to dinner with the new Executive Board after retiring, Ralph Roberts NZ and our wives, Penny and Mary, went to Hellerup and had a wonderful evening with Anna and Paul Elvstrom.

When Paul Elvstrom was one of the first recipients of the Beppe Croce Award he gave a wonderful fun filled speech and made his usual accurate observations of Sailing which should be acknowledged by all today: "It is much harder to build a strong and vibrant International Class Association than design a new boat."

We were sailing the Finn in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I was on the shore rigging my Finn when we noticed this Finn come in to the beach and the skipper jumped out of the boat, a wave picked it up and smashed Paul Elvstrom's leg. We picked him out of the surf loaded him onto an ambulance and then went sailing. About 4PM I decided to got to the hospital to see how Paul was doing. As I walked into the hospital room I noticed two wives of USA Finn sailors had compassionately been there all day with him. Paul got the wonderful toothy smile and said: "This morning my mast was too limber and tonight my leg is too stiff." With that the two women said: "Mr. Elvstrom, You speak English?" Paul replied: "Yes I speak English but sometimes I do not listen."

We were sailing in the pre-Olympics in Acapulco in 1967 and Elvstrom who had retired from Finn sailing was ask to compete. In the first race with 40 entries I decided to start to leeward of Elvstrom to test my speed. The problem was the wind was slowly clocking and we got to the weather mark 2nd last and DFL. The leaders had never been in that position before and sailed off to the wrong mark. As we went down the reach, which we sailed in those days, Elvstrom yelled at me: "Canuck do you want to finish second then jibe when I jibe." He jibed and headed for the right mark as the others sailed over the horizon. When he finished having won the race Paul waited for all others to finish and lined them up and to race on the 7 km (5 miles) wave planing reach back to the Yacht Club de Acapulco. He disappeared leaving all the new sailors in his wake.

A wonderful day was when Paul Elvstrom was asked by Jacques Rogge to present his Gold Medal Finn to the IOC Museum in Lausanne Suisse. When all of us think of Paul Elvstrom "The Great Dane" it will always be with a reverent smile as we were all better, as was our sport of Sailing, for having known him and the legacies he endowed us with.

Rest in Peace Old friend as you are now planing down wind.

Paul Henderson
A Sailor.

The Pacific And Half Way For The Leaders
Armel Le Cleac'h and Alex Thomson today passed the magical mid-way point of the Vendee Globe solo round the world race when, in theory, their distance to the finish line back in Les Sables d'Olonne is less than the distance they have already sailed. That psychological point where every mile feels like it is taking you closer to the finish line rather than away from the start line has been reached.

Armel Le Cleac'h led across the midpoint of the course around 1000hrs UTC this morning, passing from the Indian Ocean into the Pacific, at the longitude 146 deg 55' E as specified by the International Hydrographic Office, at 1245hrs UTC. Thomson breached the midpoint at 1500hrs UTC.

The Banque Populaire skipper's time to the gateway to the Pacific is still more than five and a half days faster than in 2012 when he crossed 6.3 miles behind François Gabart.

But the half way mark, and the Pacific, is bringing the leading duo their most brutal period of the race so far. A very slow moving deep low is effectively barring their route across the first miles of the Pacific, which is not living up to its name, nor its reputation.

When they spoke in turn today to Vendee LIVE hosted at Race HQ in Paris both Thomson and Le Cleac'h said the next 36 hours are about boat and skipper preservation.

Top ten
1. Armel Le Cleac'h / Banque Populaire VIII, 12036 nm to finish
2. Alex Thomson / Hugo Boss, 135 nm to leader
3. Paul Meilhat / SMA, 1267
4. Jeremie Beyou / Maître CoQ, 1409
5. Yann Elies / Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, 1732
6. Jean-Pierre Dick / StMichel - Virbac, 1921
7. Jean Le Cam / Finistere Mer Vent, 2367
8. Thomas Ruyant / Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine, 2766
9. Louis Burton / Bureau Vallee, 3938
10. Stephane Le Diraison / Compagnie du Lit - Boulogne Billancourt, 4226

Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West Race Week As entries keep coming in for Quantum Key West Race Week, organizers at the Storm Trysail Club welcome Red Stripe Beer as a first-time sponsor and the return of Foiling RIBs for the 30th anniversary regatta, scheduled Jan. 15-20, 2017.

Founded in 1928 in Jamaica, Red Stripe is a full-bodied amber lager that embodies the spirit and rhythm of Jamaica and its people. In 2003 Red Stripe won the Gold Medal in the Monde Selection awards in the Beers, Waters and Soft Drinks category, and Red Stripe Light won the Silver Medal. Monde Selection is an independent taste test evaluation that guarantees a brand's quality for consumers.

Red Stripe joins as a Gold-level sponsor as does Foiling RIBs, a boat sales and charter company that markets a line of hydrofoiling RIBs (rigid inflatable boat) and center console sport fishers. Hysucat is an acronym for hydrofoil supported catamaran, which the company says are more efficient, require smaller engines, have more deck space and ride better in seas. Hysucat RIBs were the support boat of choice for numerous events including the America's Cup World Series events in New York and Chicago, Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover, the Newport-Bermuda Race, and Block Island Race Week, among others. This is Foiling RIBs' third consecutive year as a sponsor at Quantum Key West Race Week.

The entrant list is nearly 100 for the 30th anniversary regatta and includes some prominent U.S. sailors. Past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year winners such as Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.), Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and John Kostecki (Reno, Nev.) will be racing. Also, past Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Hannah Swett (New York. N.Y.) is entered as skipper of the J/70 Sparkle.

Past Cape Horn
Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 2:20 (French time), Thomas Coville, skipper of the trimaran Sodebo Ultim 'crossed Cape Horn ... 59 minutes four days ahead of the time of Francis Joyon, record holder around the world solo since 2007.

This is the first time a solitary sailor has crossed the Pacific Ocean so quickly. Thomas Coville signed today a new speed record, that of the Pacific solo crossing in 8d 18h ​​28m 30s (subject to approval and ratification by the WSSRC - World Sailing Speed Record Council).

At an average of 25.8 knots, he traveled the 5429 miles - or 10 064 km of the ocean.

To go from the southern tip of Tasmania to Cape Horn, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim 'will put 10 minutes more than Orange II catamaran of Bruno Peyron, who in 2005 had set eight days and 18 hours with 14 men on board. And 39 minutes less than Groupama 3 in 2010 with 10 people on board including Thomas Coville.

With an average speed of 25.33 knots the water, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim 'sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn. He traveled 19,142 miles since leaving - or 35 450 km. In a straight line he still has 7000 miles to Ouessant. To beat the record of Francis Joyon, it must be back in Brest before January 3, 2017 to 4h 23 min 57 seconds (French time).

Classic Sydney Harbour Weather Sees Double Capsize
Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series finale today that saw two teams capsize. Clear blue skies were met with a blustery north-easterly breeze of around 22 knots as the eight international crews hit the iconic waters of Australia's largest city, for the eighth and final Act of this season.

Buoyed by a runners-up spot in the second race of the day, the young guns of Land Rover BAR Academy were pushing hard in race three when both bows of their boat dug in at the windward mark. As the boat powered up it performed a slow-motion cartwheel before ending up completely inverted. Minutes later Visit Madeira suffered a similar fate in an almost identical position as their boat became overpowered attempting to turn downwind and tipped over to one side.

In both instances the Extreme Sailing Series' on-the-water safety team was instantly on hand to provide assistance, alongside the crews' support boats. Due to the conditions the sailors were wearing helmets and buoyancy aids, and none were injured in the capsizes. There were no guest sailors onboard.

Racing was suspended while both boats were quickly righted without sustaining any major damage. It is the first time any team has capsized since the Extreme Sailing Series moved from Extreme 40 catamarans to foiling GC32s at the beginning of 2016. With the wind continuing to build and gusting up to 29 knots, Race Director Phil Lawrence took the decision to abandon racing for the day.

Racing resumes tomorrow at 13:45 local time (GMT+11).

Standings after Day 1, 3 races

1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 34 points
2. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 31
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand, 29
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde, 23
5. RNZYS Lautrec Racing (NZL) Chris Steele, Graeme Sutherland, Shane Diviney, Luca Hyatt Brown, Harry Hull, 21
6. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Chris Taylor, Will Alloway, Sam Batten, Rob Bunce, 20
7. Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Frederico Mello, Gilberto Conde, Luís Brito, Tom Buggy, 18
8. Team Australia (AUS) Sean Langman, Seve Jarvin, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Gerard Smith, Rhys Mara, 17

IRC Notice 2016-01 Spinnaker Luff
It has recently come to the attention of the IRC Technical Committee that several sailmakers have developed spinnakers which may be flown with the luff as presented for measurement being there solely for measurement purposes, and when the sail is set with the luff folded back presenting a section of the body of the sail as the leading edge when set. 

IRC Notice 2016-01 addresses this, click here to download the Notice in PDF format (English & French)

Please address enquiries about this Notice to the IRC Rating Authority:  RORC Rating Office or UNCL

Issued by the IRC Technical Committee
8 December 2016

Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
For the first time in the Principality, four classes will be sharing the race area for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series this weekend, 9-11 December. For three days, regulars of these meetings, Melges 20s and J/70s, will be racing alongside the new generation foiling GC32 catamarans and the spectacular one-design M32 catamarans. With some 300 sailors from 12 nationalities expected, these regattas organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with clothing supplier SLAM and first instigated by Valentin Zavadnikov, have become major events on the winter calendar. Dedicated to one-designs they are open to new classes.

Catamarans are latest attraction
The M32 cats heading for the Principality include the YCM's own Guido Miani on his boat Neverland in what is the first Act of the season, sharing the race area with the GC32s. Malizia helmed by Pierre Casiraghi, Sébastien Rogues' Team Engie and Realteam skippered by Jérôme Clerc will be competing in fleet and match races that put tactics to the test. The three have set up their winter base in the Principality to train for the 2017 season.

Top level racing for Melges 20 and J/70
For their third meeting of the season, the Melges 20 fleet comprises 19 boats in a class currently dominated by a Russian trio with Alexandr Ezhkov (Pirogovo Sailing) topping the provisional ranking, followed by Alexander Novoselov (Victor) and Valentin Zavadnikov (Synergy).‎

Alongside them is a 27-strong international fleet of J/70s from 11 nationalities. Winner at November's meeting, YCM member Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda) has his sights set on repeating his performance to consolidate his position at the top of the championship.

Meeting with naval architect Martin Fisher
To complete this full-on sailing weekend, fluid and appendages specialist, Martin Fisher, the man behind the GC32 and head of the design team for the French America's Cup challenger, will be unveiling the latest advances in foil development at a maritime conference on Saturday 10th December at 6.30pm in the YCM Meeting Room (Quay level – free entry on registration at: ).

European Match Race Tour 2017
A new format for exciting sailing events will start in February 2017 and will crown a Tour champion during the Grand Final in September.

The European Match Race Tour is a new match race series formed by event organisers across the continent to promote sailing in general and match racing in particular. The tour will feature stops in 7 countries before heading to the Grand Final at the beginning of September in Italy's Ravenna. Only the top 8 in the general rankings will be invited to the Grand Final.

The tour will start in the beautiful town of Sibenik in Croatia in February before moving to Portomontenegro marina in Tivat for its second stop. While the tour will be heading to Austria's capital Vienna, there will be another stops in spring in Sicily and at the Yacht Club de Monaco. After having visited Denmark's capital Copenhagen in June, Germany's Ploen will join the tour as the last event to qualify for the Grand Final which will be hosted by the Circolo Vela Ravennate in September.

Invitation will be sent to the team finishing first or second at their national championships last year and to the best ranked nationals. Depending on availability, other match racers are welcome to join the first edition of the European Match Race Tour.

"This is a fantastic initiative which will give match racing an additional stage! We look very much forward to it!"said Thomas Czajka, recently winner of the Christmas Match Race in Triest with OneSails CEO Christian Binder at the helm.

The provisional dates are:

Tour Stop 1 - 10-12 February - Sibenik, CRO
Tour Stop 2 - 17-19 March - Tivat, MNE
Tour Stop 3 - 31 March - 2 April - Vienna, AUT
Tour Stop 4 - 7-9 April - Monaco, MON (under negotiations)
Tour Stop 5 - 5-7 May - Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, ITA
Tour Stop 6 - June - Copenhagen, DEN (under negotiations)
Tour Stop 7 - 25 - 27 August - Ploen, GER
Grand Final 2017 - 8 - 10 September - Ravenna, ITA

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Raceboats Only 2010 Corby Dale Nelson 36 - 2010. Located in Wales, UK.

From the drawing board of John Corby, the technology of a cedar strip/carbon fibre composite hull.

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Sam Pearson
Ancasta Port Hamble

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