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ORCi Worlds
Photo courtesy of FSC/Ute Wiethaup. Click on image for photo gallery.

ORCi Worlds Flensburg, Germany: Yesterday's strong easterly breeze built up to be even stronger today in the 44-mile middle- distance offshore race of the ORCi World Championship, hosted by the Flensburger Segler Club (FSC), as the fleet withstood winds of 25-30 knots, gusting to near 40 knots. Race managers kept the 55-boat fleet away from even stronger wind out in the Baltic by choosing a course that included a lap within the inner Flensburger Forde for shoreside observers to see firsthand the spectacle of high-speed sailing as boat speeds reached and even exceeded 20 knots.

Benefiting from the high percentage of jib reaches and runs in this course, Dr. Friedrich Hausmann's lightweight Danish-built Rainbow 42 Uijuijui 4 (GER) won the 21-boat Alpha division by 14 seconds in corrected time over the series leader, Bohemia Express (CZE). UijUijui team members reported their highest boats speed at 20.5 knots

At the last downwind turning mark near the town of Flensburg, UijUijui even caught and briefly passed the all-girls team who held the lead on the largest boat in the fleet, the DK46 Tutima (GER), but got passed again on the final 3-mile beat to the finish off the shoreline at FSC. This race was weighted by 1.25 points in the series results.

A team who did outstandingly well for their size was the Ker 11.3 Daikin Airco (NED), who yesterday suffered a halyard lock failure in Race 1 but came back today to finish second in elapsed time and third in corrected time. The team reported downwind speeds in excess of 18 knots, with good rig set-up and sail trim credited for helping them keep fast and breakage-free in the fresh conditions.

In Beta division, Heiko Pasler's X-362 Sport Static Electric (GER) was fourth to finish but corrected to first place by the comparatively huge margin of 3:15 over Erik van Vuuren's Salona 37 Salona (NED) (who finished under storm trysail!), while Jurgen Klinghardt's X-332 Sport patent 3 (GER) in third was good enough to keep them in the lead in the series standings by 3.50 points.

Few boats escaped untouched by some level of damage today, ranging from two broken sails on Aasmund Drolsum's King 40 Magic (NOR) to a broken boom on Christian Plump's Rodman 42 Beluga Sailing Team (GER).

For tomorrow the forecast calls for another brisk but diminishing easterly breeze, when the fleet races the longer of the two middle-distance races starting at 0900 local time.

Unstoppable Maxis
Porto Cervo: Day 3 of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup got off to a difficult start as a violent storm approached Porto Cervo from the north bringing thunder, pounding rain and winds of up to 40 knots during the starting sequence. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Race Committee was forced to send the entire fleet back to the docks but the weather front quickly passed and as the ensuing calm began to give way to a building westerly breeze the Maxis were back out on the water sailing a 25 mile course around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago. Division leaders with two more race days to go are Esimit Europa 2 (Racing & Racing/Cruising), Y3K (Wally), Ranger (J Boats) and Visione (Super Maxi). Alegre continues to lead in the Mini Maxi fleet competing for the Rolex World Championship.

For the Mini Maxi class, consisting of 24 boats ranging from approximately18 to 24 metres, today was their first coastal race after completing 5 windward-leeward races on the first two days. Conditions were close to ideal with approximately 20 knots of westerly wind and Hap Fauth's Bellamente (USA) took her first bullet of the week in real and corrected time. Second place in corrected time went to Niklas Zennstrom's Ran (GBR) and Neville Crichton's Shockwave (NZL) came in third. Bill Koch's Titan 15 (USA), which had a hard-fought battle with Ran for much of the race and crossed the finish line fourth, slipped back to sixth on corrected time. The overall classification after six races - and with a maximum of three more scheduled - sees Alegre lead Ran by just one point while Shockwave sits a further six points back.

Hasso Plattner's 44-metre Visione took line honours and corrected time victory in the Super Maxi division. Hetairos took second place and Peter Harrison's Sojana came in third. The overall classification for the division now has Visione in first place ahead of Hetairos and Hamilton II but with only 2 points separating these top three boats, the field is still wide open. Gibian (GBR) claimed her first victory of the series in the Wally division ahead of Peter Offen's Y3K (GER) and Magic Carpet2(GBR). Offen's scoreline of 2,2,2 leaves him in first place overall ahead of Magic Carpet and Indio (ITA).

Tomorrow will be a lay day for the competing owners and crews and racing is scheduled to recommence on Friday 10th September at 11.30 a.m.

Mini Maxi - Summary Results - as of 08-09-10 at 18:30 (with discard)

1. Alegre, Andy Soriano, GBR, 8.00 points
2. Ran, Niklas Zennstrom, GBR, 9.00
3. Shockwave, Neville Crichton, NZL, 15.00
4. Bellamente, Hap Fauth, USA, 18.00
5. Container, Udo Schutz, GER, 19.00
6. Titan 15, William I Koch, USA, 30.00
7. Jethou, Peter Ogden, GBR, 39.00
8. Aegir, Brian Benjamin, GBR, 46.00
9. Grande Orazio, Massimiliano Florio, ITA, 51.00
10. Stig, Alessandro Rombelli, ITA, 53.00

Velux 5 Oceans Brings In Medical Experts For 2010/11 Race
The past 28 years of the VELUX 5 OCEANS are littered with examples of sailors who have had to deal with all manner of medical problems. During the 1998/9 race, Russian sailor Viktor Yazikov developed an excruciating infection in his elbow after injuring it on the first ocean sprint. In an amazing display of skill and composure, Yazikov performed open surgery on the infected wound, stopping the infection and ultimately saving his arm. He carried on racing and even beat some of the fellow competitors into port. Even before reaching the Bilbao startline in the last edition of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, New Zealand yachtsman Graham Dalton developed septicaemia during his qualification passage.

Back in the early days of solo ocean racing, sailors had no medical support whatsoever, save from their copy of the Ships Captain's Medical Guide. In 1969, no-one was on the end of a phone to help British sailing legend Sir Robin Knox Johnston when he got battery acid in his left eye, or excruciating stomach pains that later turned out to be appendicitis. Even in the original VELUX 5 OCEANS race, held in 1982, medical support was limited. In the 1986 edition of the race French yachtsman Jean Luc Van Den Heede sailed to the aid of Finnish competitor Pentti Salmi, giving him antibiotics after Salmi got blood poisoning from diesel fuel getting into a cut. In the Vendée Globe in 1992, Bertrand de Broc was left with no option but to take needle and thread to his own tongue following an accident.

Fortunately, although the VELUX 5 OCEANS skippers may be alone in body, they are far from on their own should disaster strike. Thanks to modern communication technology a team of dedicated medical experts are on hand around the clock to make sure the skippers are given the best advice should something happen. For the 2010/11 edition of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, this responsibility falls to Medical Support Offshore (MSOS), a team of incredibly experienced doctors trained in dealing with emergencies at sea. The team, comprising of founder Dr Spike Briggs, Dr Tommo Thomson and Dr Campbell Mackenzie, have worked on some of the toughest races in the world including the Volvo Ocean Race, the Artemis Transat and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. They have also provided support to the biggest names in offshore racing including Dee Caffari, Brian Thompson, Sam Davies and Pete Goss.

00 Skipper's Tips by Tom Cunliffe

Are You The Sort Of Sailor Who Has All The Answers?
What household item can help prolong the life of your lifejacket?
Which meteorological phenomenon almost always guarantees bad weather?
Where should you hide your handheld VHF or GPS when lightning threatens?
What's the best way to berth in an offshore gale?

Find out if you're correct at or buy 200 Skipper's Tips by Tom Cunliffe

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Mark Turner & Tim Smyth (NZL)
'Two bald losers should be able to experience a small level of success!' - David Smyth; 'A technical masterpiece that went way over the heads of most lay people... simply brilliant' - Graeme Crosby; 'It'd be good to see the backroom boys get some credit' - Mark Chisnell; 'They never stopped, they pushed themselves and everybody else to the absolute limit' - Thomas Hahn; 'Without these two there would have been no 33rd Cup' - Dean Wise [hmm, ed].

This month's nominees:

Alessandro Di Benedetto (ITA)
Eat your hearts out, teeny-weenies. Alone on a Mini 6.50 for 268 days... that is how long it took this crazy Italian - please take that as a compliment - to sail around the globe, arriving back in Les Sables d'Olonnes (where else) in late July. Di Benedetto was dismasted before reaching Cape Horn, but after debate with his 'shore team' decided a jury rig would get him around the Horn (sic) and then the rest of the way home...

Giles Scott (GBR)
We remain the biggest possible Ben Ainslie fans but a couple of things here... firstly someone had to do it and who better than a fellow Pom. Second, 2010 Skandia Sail for Gold only produced one gold medal for Team GBR, so who better to take it than the man who not only had to beat Johnny Foreigner but also the home side's w√ľnderkind. Third, we suspect a wounded Ainslie will be a dangerous beast. OK, three things...

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

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

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Rick Deppe Joins Volvo Ocean Race HQ
Rick Deppe will have a hand in production and will work with the onboard media crew both before and throughout the 9-month odyssey, helping the new MCMs do the best job possible in the tough conditions for which the Volvo Ocean Race is renowned.

Rick's inspiring career as both professional sailor and filmmaker will stand him in good stead for his new role, and the lessons he learned as media crew for Puma on the last race will be particularly useful.

Rick knows just how hard it is being on these powerful boats and how hard it is to work on them as a cameraman. "It's a very difficult environment to be a cameraman, when you're being tipped over, bouncing, trying to film with the wind noise and water flying everywhere," he recalled. "The rules to being a cameraman normally are 'always get a steady shot', 'always keep your lenses clean', 'get great audio', and all the other basic rules. But they all have to go out the window, when you get on a Volvo Open 70."

Before getting onboard with Puma as their MCM in 2008-09, Deppe had worked on several filming projects for Discovery Channel like "Deadliest Catch" and "Morning Light", and he already had years of experience as an offshore sailor including several round-the-world races, sailing as a bowman on Fortuna in the 1993-94 Whitbread and on Chessie Racing in the 1997-98 race.

At the end of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, Deppe was awarded the Inmarsat Media Prize for his excellent filmwork on ill mostro.

Rick's experience will be perfect to train the MCM's before the race and to help them understand they obstacles the will encounter during their journey.

Henri Lloyd Presence At The Southampton Boat Show
Henri Lloyd Henri Lloyd will be exhibiting their 2010 Technical Marine range at the Southampton Boat Show this year, via their Marine Retailers, where Henri Lloyd technical sales staff will be on hand to offer advice.

Andark Diving & Watersports - A009
P&B - A012, A041, j004
Marine Super Store - G077
Marine Store Maldon - D042
Mailspeed Marine - A007

Sunseeker Australia Cup, A Worlds Qualifier
Perth, Western Australia: The Sunseeker Australia Cup, to be sailed on the Swan River in November, has been confirmed as the final qualifying event for the World Match Racing Championships, to be held in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.

This will give Australia's premier international match racing regatta a significant boost to its standing on the world scene, making it a "must attend" event for any ambitious skipper who has

The event is also a perfect warm-up opportunity for the World Championships, being held the week before the Malaysian regatta, and using identical boats, so the organisers are expecting a rush of interest from the world's best skippers in the coming weeks.

Already committed to defending the trophy he won last year, is local skipper Torvar Mirsky, who not only joins an illustrious list of previous winners, but is also the latest in an impressive line of Western Australian skippers who have performed at world class level.

The Australia Cup was introduced in 1982 to hone the match racing skills of John Bertrand before what was to be the historic Australia II campaign for the America's Cup in 1983. It obviously worked, and the America's Cup became Australia's America's Cup for the first time.

Since then the list of winners, whose names are engraved on the trophy, includes many others who have made their name through the America's Cup, as well as Olympic medallists and world champions. -- John Roberson

Merfyn Owen Would Like To Design The Winner of the 2012 Vendee Globe
Merfyn Owen, from the Owen Clarke design team is the man behind some of the fastest 60-foot Open boats (Ecover, Aviva,..) and has spent fourteen years of his life designing boats for the Vendee Globe. He agreed to meet up with us and tell us about his projects, as well as giving us his opinion about the recent changes to IMOCA class rules, which apply to the 60-foot monohulls. Rules that in his opinion are likely to create a division between the boats launched before 2010 and the new boats.

In what way do the changes to IMOCA rules affect the work of the designer?

Merfyn Owen : "It is a completely different kettle of fish now. The result is that, because of the new rule, the areas from which we have been able to improve the boats' performances in leaps and bounds over the years are now closed to us. So now it has two effects. The boats are more expensive to build. The other one is that there is now an ever greater demand to make the masts and the boats themselves lighter. And by driving the weight question as a fundamental, as well as being more expensive it has got the potential to push the designs and structures in areas where we haven't had problems before. The trend up until 2010 has been to keep the coach roofs big to try and make the boats more comfortable, to protect the sailors. But you can see with the launch of the new Verdier boats that actually the drive to save weight is actually imperative in order to get the performance of a new boat to be faster than an 'old' boat."

What lessons were learnt from the last Vendee Globe?

Merfyn Owen : "There was a comprehensive de-brief with all the sailors. I have had a few sails on Ecover since, and we have had de-briefs with the sailmaker since, and spar makers. The first person we always get talking to about a new boat is always the spar maker.

I have spent two days already with SP structural engineering on where we are going from there. And just gathering statistical data. I know that we lost 19 rigs in 24 months from IMOCA Open 60s. We concluded that the highest attrition rate was in deck spreader rigs by a margin of more than 2:1, and with any rig with rotating spreaders and that the most reliable is a fixed, classic spreader."

What about the keels?

Merfyn Owen : "They have gone some way with the keels, there is now a keel structure criteria. Unfortunately though, it is not actually policed apart from the details going into an envelope, and if there is a problem then they pull out the envelope. To me that is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted."

Full interview on the Vendee Globe site:

44th Antigua Sailing Week
Photo by Tim Wright, Click on image to enlarge.

Antigua Sailing Week The 44th Antigua Sailing Week promises some major changes. The newly formed Regatta Organising Committee (ROC) is responsible solely for racing and race organisation. After studying the formats used at different regattas around the world and seeking the advice of experts, a new racing programme is currently being finalised.

Antigua Sailing Week will offer a combination of windward-leeward and coastal courses in keeping with successful modern practices. Also in the plans are courses of varying lengths to suit the large variety of yachts that enter the Regatta each year.

The Ocean Series will also have some changes on offer for 2011. The Guadeloupe Race will remain as a feeder race to Antigua Sailing Week but will not be part of the Ocean Series. The Redonda Race will not be returning but the Series will see the addition of courses suitable for the ocean going and high performance yachts that are expected to participate in the event.

The main focus for 2011 is on providing a variety of race courses suitable for all competitors whilst maintaining a high standard of race management. New in the 2011 Notice of Race is provision for entry using CSA and/or IRC rating systems.

Efforts are also being concentrated on ensuring that there is a good fleet of cruising and charter boats and, subject to demand, Antigua Sailing Week may lay on courses and events for the IMOCA 60s and Class 40s that will be in the Caribbean following the finish of the Route de Rhum earlier in the season in neighbouring Guadeloupe. -- Louay Habib

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Michael Greville: Scuttlebutt readers may be interested in the petition "Enough is Enough" calling on Governments to act to end piracy which is to be presented to the IMO Secretary General in London on World Maritime Day, 23 September 2010

* From George Morris: Re: your piece on the rescue of a Viking replica craft off Anstruther: a longboat is a rowing boat carried on the deck of a man of war of the 18th century, a longship is a Viking warship/troop transport of about the 9th century. They are not the same thing!

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The Last Word
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. -- Richard P. Feynman

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