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Les Voiles de St. Tropez Kicks Off
The new 230ft yacht Atlantic owned by Ed and Sophie Kastelein during the Regates Royales in Cannes. Atlantic is at Voiles St. Tropez this week. Photo by Kos/ Click on image for photo gallery.

Les Voiles de St. Tropez Saint-Tropez, France: The grande finale of the yachting season began today. Close to 300 yachts filled the Vieux Port and nearby marinas for the weeklong Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, a 'don't miss' stop on the yachting circuit. Spectacular fall weather conditions, a brisk mistral from the north with clear blue skies, prevailed on the first day to please competitors and photographers alike.

The Tradition class boats, which start racing tomorrow, don't have the stage to themselves however; there is a impressive grand-prix fleet of "moderns" from maxi yachts such as the Judel Vrolik 72-footer Ran, straight from a win at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, the Wally class' towering 44 metre Tripp-designed Esense, to the Tofinu class, most of which at 9.5metres are just below the official minimum length, but this local fleet have been grandfathered in and seemingly up to the challenge of sailing on the same body of water as these comparative behemoths.

But it is the solely the Traditional class and, within this grouping, only boats 16 meters and over, that can compete for the Rolex Trophy - this year there are 50 entries eligible. The winner will be the boat with the overall low point score after the week of racing. The winning boat and skipper will be awarded the Trophy and a Rolex Submariner timepiece.

Racing for the Rolex Trophy is the 25-meter cutter-rigged, Hallowe'en, created by the renowned Scottish yacht designer, William Fife III, from whose drafting table many famous, head-turning, and seakindly lines came, from the turn of the 19th century through the early 1900s.

Hallowe'en was launched in 1926 and was a new type of design for Fife, sort of a cruising version of the successful 15-Metre class, which included Tuiga and Lady Ann. With her original rig, Hallowe'en was - and in fact still is - a powerful boat: shortly after her launch, she won the Fastnet Race and set a course record of 93 hrs, 13 mins (with the start/finish off Cowes).

The boat changed hands and names several times over the years; as the yawl-rigged Cotton Blossom IV she was a force to be reckoned with, winning many races in the 1950s and '60s. She spent a decade in the Caribbean as a charter yacht, and was re-fit in the late 1980s in Newport, RI. Then, sold again and taken to the Med, Hallowe'en was returned to her original name and cutter rig, as per Fife's original design. In a subsequent re-fit her mast was lengthened and boom shortened to allow for a more easier to manage permanent backstay.

Hallowe'en newest owners bought her in 2006. Two of them, Michael Cotter and Dan O'Connor, were racing Dragons in the Med where they were told the 83-foot classic was for sale, and what started as an innocent inquiry ended up as an addition to the fleet.

The Rolex Trophy will be awarded during Sunday's prize giving ceremony at the Citadelle.The very first winner of the Rolex Trophy in 2006 was the 25 metre Marconi-rigged schooner, So Fong. Designed by the renowned naval architecture firm, Sparkman & Stephens, So Fong was built in Hong Kong in 1937.

Events Unveiled for Velux 5 Oceans Race Village
Excitement is starting to mount in the historic French city of La Rochelle as the start of the Velux 5 Oceans approaches. The hub of activity will be the Velux 5 Oceans race village, opening to the public on October 9.

The Velux 5 Oceans race village will form the nerve centre of the event located in the Bassin des Chalutiers, and will be officially opened by the skippers at 10am on October 9. Built around the Velux House, the race village will overlook the pontoons which will host the competing Eco 60s. It will carry the message of TAKING ON THE ELEMENTS, the race's sustainability mission, supported by an exposition from race transport partner Maersk Line and other local eco exhibitors from the La Rochelle region. Throughout the eight days leading to the start day the race village will host a range of activities, including dance and music performances, watersports in the marina, school visits, cooking challenges and a chance for the public to meet the Velux 5 Oceans skippers.

One of the highlights in the lead up to the Velux 5 Oceans start will be the arrival in La Rochelle of one of the most famous classic ships in France, the beautiful three-masted tallship Belem, which will enter the port on the evening of October 13. Each skipper will be introduced to the public in a special ceremony onboard the historic ship at 7.30pm.

The evening of Saturday October 16 will see ocean sailing and rugby join forces in a grand celebration of sport. The Velux 5 Oceans has teamed up with Top 14 rugby team Atlantique Stade Rochelais for their Amlin Challenge Cup second round clash against Agen. Atlantique Stade Rochelais will play in front of a crowd of 11,500 fans at their home ground Stade Marcel-Deflandre in a specially made kit inspired by the Velux 5 Oceans race. In place of their normal yellow and black colours, the team will wear a shirt featuring an Eco 60 yacht surrounded by open sea and the Velux 5 Oceans logo. On Friday October 15, the day before the match, the Velux 5 Oceans skippers will go head to head with the Atlantique Stade Rochelais players in a winch grinding challenge at the VELUX House in the race village.

Take The RKJ Challenge

Knox-Johnston On Sailing: Take The RKJ Challenge
You're sailing through the Southern Ocean on an Open 60 when your keel is snagged by a massive fishing net. Do you: (a) sail backwards (b) tie a knife to a batten (c) go overboard to free it?

To find the answer click here or read Knox-Johnston on Sailing, the brand new hardback by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. It's a collection acute observations and fascinating anecdotes from his writings of the past 18 years. Sir Robin's views are forthright, compelling and based on a breathtaking wealth of experience. 'A compelling anthology' Yachting Monthly.

Cap Istanbul: Second Leg Start
Having left Ragusa, Sicily at noon yesterday, the first night of the second leg of WOW Cap Istanbul was calm and steadily windy. The consistent breeze from the west helped the fleet to cover 120 miles already.

In order to avoid windless holes and make decisions about the course, some of the sailors developed a strategy to climb north of the course. After sunset, everyone had found their course and taken their places in the Sicily-Greece route.

The racers took it easy on the first night, so as to conserve their energy for later. Everyone seemed at peace with their locations. They enjoyed sailing on a calm sea accompanied with a calm wind and even found time to sleep and rest before sunrise.

Francisco Lobato (Roff Tempo Team) keeps his leader status, followed by Francois Gabart (Macif 2010) and Nicolas Lunven (Generali).

An overview of the fleet suggests that the sailors who chose to turn north offshore Sicily gained favourable positions.

Light winds are again predicted for most of the course. It will be another race to test their patience and skills for difficult weather conditions, on their way to the shores of Peloponnes.

On route to Athens, the Figaro fleet will again experience the Mediterranean charm. These conditions will continue until the gate of Anticythere Island. Past the gate, the fleet will turn toward Falkonera Island and the "climb" will begin. This change of course will take the fleet closer to shore so that they will have to take into account the volatile winds in between the islands as well.

Oyster Regatta Closes YCCS 2010 Calendar
Photo by Tim Wright/Oyster. Click on image for photo gallery.

Oyster Regatta Porto Cervo, Italy: On the final day of the Oyster Jubilee Regatta, the international fleet of Oyster Yachts remained dockside at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda as the infamous Mistral wind arrived, gusting up to sixty knots and howling along the rugged coastline. The overall classification after three races therefore becomes final and the winners of this 25th Oyster Regatta are Trevor Silver with his Oyster 655 Roulette in Class One (yachts over 60ft long) and Gerde and Annemarie Kohlmoos with their Oyster 54 Sarabande in Class Two (LOA under 60ft). Prizes were also awarded to winners of each day's race as well during the prize giving ceremony at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Clubhouse.

The 31 Oyster yachts enrolled in the regatta which took place from 21st to 25th September experienced a range of conditions over the course of the event, from light northerly breezes to 20 knots of south-easterly wind and from sunshine and blue skies to squalls and today's gale force gusts.

Gerde and Annemarie Kohlmoos' Oyster 54 Sarabande comes from Hamburg, as do all of the crew and after sailing their new yacht out from the Oyster yard at Ipswich, they have cruised extensively in the Baltic Sea before bring her to the Mediterranean. As with the entire Oyster range, Sarabande has several bespoke features including a taller mast to increase performance. Her clean hull lines, powerful rig and a lower centre of gravity bulb keel have created a fast, stiff, comfortable passage maker.

UK Tornado Nationals
Click on image for photo gallery.

UK Tornado Nationals The third and final day of Reg Fest and the UK Tornado National Championships was another windy one. The sailors woke up to rain and gusts coming through the sailing club.

The race officer was happy with conditions on the race course so the boats headed out for more racing, it had to be the big day for races due to the previous conditions.

Some teams stayed back on shore today and some picked and chose which races they wanted to take part in, the wind was blowing but the forecast ensured us that it would calm down towards the end of the day.

There were 5 boats for race 3 and the conditions were calming down by now with the waves becoming smaller and more manageable upwind. Grant Piggot again took victory followed by Kyle Stoneham and Lewis Crawford.

The last race of the day turned into a match race with only two competitors left out and ready to start, it was Paul Mines and Stewart Smith vs Lee Harrison and Andrew Dowley.

With 5 out of 7 wins Grant Piggot and Robby Jon-Garka took this year's National Championships - Congratulations to them.

Final Results

1. Grant Piggot and Robby Jon-Garka (GBR)
2. Kyle Stoneham and Lewis Crawford (GBR)
3. Ryan Duffield and Thilo Keller (AUS and GER)
4. Paul Mines and Stewart Smith (GBR)
5. Lee Harrison and Andrew Dowley (GBR)
6. John Ready and Simon Koster (GBR and SUI)
7. Barry Arnison and Nicky Davy (GBR)
8. Peter Gibb and Matthew Stone (AUS)
9. David Allan and Dave Wood (GBR)
10. Jim Mundy and Nick Henson (GBR)
11. Richard Thoroughgood and Kevin Lott (GBR)


Etchells UK National Championships
The shifty winds were described by Moonlight's Mark Downer as " Go Left-Go Right-Go Left-Go Right…just like dancing really" and Holly Scott by the end of the third day had danced away with the cup; they dominated with 2-1-1 results over the three races. Not surprisingly owner Eamon O'Nolan permitted his crew to have a long lie-in on Sunday's final day knowing that the trophy was theirs.

Sunday's final race had three boats in contention for second place: Bedrock, Moonlight and Stampede. Dave Bedford on Bedrock decided to cover Moonlight on the very port biased line, but Downer managed to tack away on port at the pin end of the line, take some sterns, and escape. With gusts of 15-20 knots and wind shifts of some 30 degrees, Downer's dancing wasn't as nimble as either Bedrock or Julia Bailey's Stampede who beat him into third place. But Julia's total Regatta points equalled Downer's, and on count-back Julia repeated her Irish National's experience in August where she tied for first place but lost out on the count-back. So the final result for the tight four days' racing among these top boats was Holly Scott first, Bedrock second, Moonlight third, and Stampede fourth.

The UK Nationals highlighted some matters which the fleet has discussed for many years. Are the boats too much for women sailors? On the winning boat Holly Scott is the eponymous 5 foot ½ inch crew member Holly Scott who manages the bow. Julia Bailey, the most successful woman Etchells sailor ever, sails regularly with Gemma Hobbins. They sometimes leave the men on the dock and sail all-women, as did a successful all-female Irish crew in the Etchells Worlds in Chicago in 2008.

Final top five:
1. Holly Scott, John Gimson, 10 points
2. Bedrock, David Bedford, 15
3. Moonlight, Mark Downer, 20
4. Stampede, Julia Bailey, 20
5. Ragtime, Rob Goddard, 33

Seahorse October 2010
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Damn fine effort
It looks increasingly likely that the goal of 20 Class 40s being on the line for the start of the next Global Ocean Race will be met. We talk with the event's co-founder Josh Hall

Behind the veil
Humphrey Carter starts to distinguish the myth from the reality about the uses for nanotechnology in performance yachting circles

Matthew Belcher And Malcolm Page consolidate a fierce Olympic challenge for London 2012, Andy Hemmings thinks it's time for the TP52s to man-up and Terry Hutchinson gets back to work...

Rod Davis
And why is everyone staying so polite about the total lack of public progress for the next Cup?

9er Championships Awarded to Denmark in 2013
Hosting the 2013 49er European Championship has just been awarded to Sailing Aarhus in Denmark, together with the 29er World Championship and 29erXX World Cup.

Olympic Gold Medallist, Jonas Warrer believes in homeground advantage:
"It is really fantastic to see all the great international events that Sailing Aarhus has been able to attract to the Bay of Aarhus", says Jonas Warrer, who is the defending 49er Olympic Gold Medallist and continues: "I look forward to competing on homeground and to enjoy the indisputable advantage it gives me when competing at the Europeans".

The Port of Arhus will be the event venue for the 2013 49er European Championships as well as the 29er World Championships and 29erXX World Cup. Sailing Aarhus, which is a non-profit event organisation formed by 5 sailing clubs in Århus, is supported by the Danish Sailing Association, Sport Event Denmark and the City of Århus. In 2010, Sailing Aarhus hosted the 505 World Championships and the European Dinghy Championships. In 2011 the city is staging the World A-Class Catamaran Championships and the X-35 World Championships. Ultimately, the goal is to bid for and stage the ISAF Worlds 2014.

Fireball Europeans
The 2010 Fireball Europeans are underway at Pavlov on Nove Mlyny. 49 Boats from 9 countries have made it to the south of the Czech Republic for the week long 10 race series. The first race started at 12:00 on Monday as scheduled, in ideal sailing conditions. The second race was abandoned but was restarted at 15:30.

Overall the young GBR team of Tom Gillard and Sam Breary (2007 420 Junior European Champions) are leading in their new boat. 2nd is the Czech boat of Jaroslav Verner and Pavel Winkler, 5th in 2009. Third is last years runner up Martin Kubovy, crewed by Roman Rocek. Kubovy and Rocek claimed the 2007 Pre Worlds title so will be ones to watch on home territory. 2008 winner Tom Jeffcoate is in 5th place sailing with Andy Thompson. Also in the top ten, amongst the other top Czech teams, is the veteran 'two helms' pairing of Tim Rush (winner in 1984) and Martyn Lewis, and the French pairing of Martin Peculier and Jean-Francois Nouel.

Follow the action all week at:

Volvo Ocean Race Game
The wait is finally over for fans of the Volvo Ocean Race game. The extremely popular online game is set to begin all over again in October 2011 right before the start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, so that players can get boat and crew ready for the amazing ride.

After the success of the last online game in 2008-09 with over 222,000 players, Volvo Ocean Race S.L.U and Amsterdam-based UnitedGames have agreed a contract for the creation of the next edition of the game.

The new toy for Volvo Ocean Race fans has been improved with new features introduced to enhance the technical and tactical elements for the players. There will be more functionality for players to steer and manage their virtual Volvo Open 70s and their crew at the same time, and the new In-Port racing feature will be another exciting addition.

The new version will be interactive with today's Web 2.0 technology and accessible from more platforms.

The new version of the game will offer tons of new features including advanced weather options, routing options and integrated social media elements such as Twitter. The game will also be playable on social networks as well as on the leading smartphone platforms making it easier for players to stay on the right course.

Last race the overall winner was Hugo Zwaal from the Netherlands, sailing his entry Powerof7, who picked up the keys to a brand new C30 at the final prize giving in St Petersburg.

You can sign up for newsletters announcing key dates for gamers on the Volvo Ocean Race Game site.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2005 Vismara 34 FC, EUR 120,000. Located in Italy

Sandwich, carbon and epoxy hull.
Paint job hull, replacement of anti-skid on deck on 2009.
Yacht in perfect conditions, like new. Spec and pictures available upon request.

Brokerage through Nissim Yachts:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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