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Coutts Weighs In
Valencia is the best option to get the America's Cup back on track as soon as possible. This is what sailing fans from around the world are waiting for.

Both BMW ORACLE Racing and Alinghi still have bases in the Port America's Cup. The infrastructure created to the specification of the Swiss defender is in place, available and ready to recreate the atmosphere of the previous America's Cup in 2007.

Last week Cristobal Grau, Director of Sport for Valencia City, said it would only take a few weeks to have Valencia back in action. Today the Mayor of Valencia, Rita Barbera, said her city would welcome the Cup back with open arms. In her ruling at the New York Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Shirley Kornreich confirmed the primacy of the governing Deed of Gift document for the America's Cup. This means that Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) must choose a Deed-compliant location. Although Valencia is in the Northern Hemisphere, it is possible to hold the 33rd Match there in February because both SNG and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) had agreed to it by mutual consent. Were SNG to propose a location in the Southern Hemisphere instead of Valencia, we ask the defender to name it as soon as possible so that we have the maximum opportunity to make an informed assessment. We say this noting that nearly three months of the court-ordered six month minimum notice period for the venue has gone already.

We again confirm our willingness to sit down immediately with SNG/Alinghi for talks to resolve the outstanding issues surrounding the 33rd America's Cup. There is no reason why SNG should not ask the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to appoint an independent, neutral jury with the usual duties and powers of an international sailing jury, and to do this immediately. In that way any future disputes involving sailing rules and related issues could be referred to the jury instead of needing to go back before the court.

GGYC and BMW ORACLE Racing are eager to race in the Match, starting on 8 February 2010. Our BOR 90 is back in the water in San Diego, more refined than ever and there are further technical developments in the pipeline that we are very excited about. -- Russell Coutts

Larson Makes Sense Of Drifting Conditions
Photo by Pierrick Contin, Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 24 Worlds Annapolis, Maryland, USA: When the fleet left for the racecourse on day four of the Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship, collective hopes of any racing were pretty low. The promising early morning breeze out on the Chesapeake frustratingly evaporated almost immediately the fleet reached the race area. Consequentially a long wait ensued while the Race Committee tried to track down some more. The delay lasted until just before midday, when Principal Race Officer Jeff Borland decided to try to get the fleet racing around a four-leg racetrack, in breezes which averaged no more than five knots.

The lack of breeze at the start resulted in a somewhat chaotic scene as the barely moving boats struggled to build enough speed to get away from the line, as well as almost twenty boats being called over at the gun.

As the race progressed, the breeze if anything got a touch lighter. Bressani turned his lead at the front of the fleet into a virtual horizon job, while Filter made the most of his local experience to make his second place secure at the finish. Field also refused to relinquish his third place and ghosted home ahead of Tony Beale on 'Scotch Bonnet' in fourth and Nico Celon on 'Fantastica' in fifth.

Friday's forecast is rumoured to call for similar weather to today, however there is some hope on the horizon for the racers, in the form of a local prediction of big breeze on Saturday's final day of racing.

Provisional Overall Top Ten After Six Races

1. Chris Larson - West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes - 22 points
2. Eivind Melleby - Full Medal Jacket - 28
3. Gabrio Zandona - Joe Fly - 32
4. Lorenzo Bressani - Uka Uka Racing - 44
5. Nicola Celon - Fantastica - 49
6. Terry Hutchinson - Quantum Racing/Gill Race Team - 50
7. Carlo Fracassoli - Gullisara - 55
8. Brian Porter - Full Throttle - 56
9. Alan Field - WTF - 57
10. Bill Hardesty - Events Clothing/Atlantis - 60

Wehrheim Takes J/22 North American Title with Ullman Sails
Ullman Sails J/22 skipper Flip Wehrheim and crew of Max Skelley and Greg Koski claimed the J/22 North American Championships earlier this month in a 37-boat fleet at Rush Creek YC in Texas. Fully powered by Ullman Sails, the team paired excellent boat speed with smart tactical decisions and coordinated teamwork to win 4 of the 7 races. This is another win for Ullman customers after the recently crowned J/22 World champions Gaston Loos and his crew competed with 100% Ullman inventory to win the Worlds event in Italy.

Ullman Sails - Committed to your performance sails for over 40 years.

RYA and UKSA Form New 'british Keelboat Academy'
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has joined forces with leading maritime training provider, UKSA to create the British Keelboat Academy. Developed for young people aged 18-24, the programme has been designed to prepare sailors for keelboat racing at the highest level, training up and coming sailors to compete in events including the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.

The new programme combines the former RYA Keelboat programme and UKSA's GBR Yacht Racing Academy giving those involved access to the expertise and facilities of both organisations. Run to RYA standards and delivered by UKSA's head coach, Luke McCarthy, the British Keelboat Academy will offer 50 individuals a one to two-year mixed programme covering all aspects of training, racing, boat work and electronics.

Applications to the British Keelboat Academy National Squad are now being invited - interested parties should apply for consideration via the website by 20th November at

As part of the British Keelboat Academy programme, the RYA and UKSA will continue to run the TP52 John Merricks II, provided by the John Merricks Sailing Trust for selected campaigns in 2010, and its Crewsearch scheme which matches sailors with skippers and boat owners looking for young talent for their keelboat campaigns.

Ten Days To Go To The Start Of The Transat Jacques Vabre
One transatlantic race 'done and dusted' for the Artemis Ocean Racing team as Ollie Bond completes the solo Mini Transat onboard his tiny 21-foot Artemis Mini. Meanwhile, Sam Davies and Sidney Gavignet, co-skippers on board Artemis Ocean Racing's 60-foot IMOCA monohull arrived in Le Havre (France) last night with ten days to go until the start of their 4,720-mile transatlantic race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon in Costa Rica.

The duo of top British IMOCA 60 sailor Samantha Davies, who has been nominated for the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award, and French skipper Sidney Gavignet, will be racing against the very best in the IMOCA 60 class in the pinnacle event of the year that starts on Sunday, 8th November. They left Port La Foret on Tuesday after weeks of meticulous preparation.

This weekend Sam and Sidney will compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre prologue in Le Havre for the 'Trophee Ville du Havre Paul Vatine' - the TJV skippers competing in the prologue will race on board Beneteau 7.5 boats. Then the Artemis Ocean Racing skippers will have a couple of days off before they are back in 'pre-race' mode, studying the weather, going over their final preparations and dealing with many media requests as they countdown to start day. -- Tim Kelly, Artemis Ocean Racing,

* Arrived on Tuesday evening in Le Havre, Kito de Pavant and his co-skipper Fran├žois Gabart are ready for the high day. On November 8th, they will depart for the Transat Jacques Vabre onboard Groupe Bel. After a Mediterranean single-handed record, stopovers in Tunisia, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Spain, the red monohull addresses the last major piece of the 2009 season: this transatlantic duo which for the first time in history, is heading to Costa Rica.

Welcomed at the marina last night, Groupe Bel and Akena Verandas joined the basin Paul Vatine at dawn on Wednesday and are the first two competitors on site. "I usually like to arrive early on race starts," confirms Kito. " We can enjoy the city, with no stress in the boat's preparation and attack the last week as relaxed as possible."

" After three weeks of yard work in Caen where everything has been disassembled and checked, it was important for Fran├žois and myself to get our bearings, so the two of us spent 36 hours at sea and everything runs smooth" said the skipper who has already crossed the Atlantic 36 times and ran four "Jacques Vabre" including aboard Groupe Bel, two years ago. " We also tried our new sails and Groupe Bel is at her best."

For this 9th edition, the Transat Jacques Vabre changes destination. Competitors rally for the first time Puerto Limon, located on the east coast of Costa Rica, bordering the Caribbean Sea. It is over for Brazil, the run down to Ecuador and the crossing of the Doldrums, sailors will now head for a theoretically more northern route and a multitude of possible trajectories. " The central issue is the position of the Azores' anticyclone in the middle of the Atlantic that will determine the overall strategy of the crossing," says Kito. "A choice we will have to make quite early, probably at the tip of Brittany, knowing we must first leave the Channel where we could already meet complicated weather conditions."

Newport By Dubarry: As U2 Say "Get On Your Boots"!
If you're out day racing, you'll want to keep your feet dry and planted on deck but, unless the navigator gets it spectacularly wrong, you'll not be going round Cape Horn, so you don't need a full offshore boot. The Newport, new from Dubarry, has all the grip, comfort and durability you'd expect from the people behind the legendary Shamrock & Ultima boots, but it's lighter and more flexible, making those glamorous rockstar dashes to the foredeck quicker and slicker.


Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Bora Gulari (USA)
'All hail Borat! Now take a shower' - Joe Gibson; 'Here comes the Robbie Nash of sailing' - Chris Williams; 'Bora's da man!' - Geoff Ewenson; 'This man invented sailing, water, beer' - Duncan Owlsey; 'A great effort by a determined dude' - Trevor Baylis; 'We are enjoying watching you from Istanbul' - Sacit Ertug; 'Because... he's a good guy, he just broke 30kt, America needs some good news, did I mention he's a good guy!' - Cam McTavish.

This month's nominees:

Andrew Mcdougall (AUS)
It is hard to think of any one person who has contributed more than McDougall to the phenomenon which the foiler International Moth has now become and the subsequent and increasingly broad impact that it is exerting on sailing. McDougall's most important contribution is in bringing the foiler discipline to the wider marketplace with his carefully developed yet fully competitive off-the-shelf designs.

Francisco Lobato (POR)
His grandfather rescued the Jolie Brise from rotting into the mud and from day one Francisco has been deeply immersed in a lifelong relationship with the sea. This talented and hungry young Portuguese sailor already has several top Mini 6.50 results under his belt but the way he is harrying the more exotic prototype fleet in the current Mini Transat race on his standard production Pogo 2 is remarkable...

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto.

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!

Short Tacks
* Felixstowe Regatta 2010 will be held over 2 Days - Saturday 3rd July & Sunday 4th July Race Programme/Format and other details to be announced by the end of November 2009 Upgraded/Updated Website will be on line by the end of November 2009

* There is a video of Weta capsize recovery in shallow water on YouTube at

More info at

* Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Oliver and Major Tony Lancashire of the British Royal Marines sailed, rowed and when necessary dragged their NorseBoat 17.5 across the ice in a historic 1400 mile voyage through the Arctic's Northwest Passage. For centuries the Northwest Passage has been a lure to adventurers and explorers seeking a northern link between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. The expedition was conceived to support the UK based charity Toe in the Water, which uses adventure sailing to rehabilitate men and women injured serving their country. Through the expedition the marines were able to raise awareness and significant funding for the charity.

"Every one of the 42 days has offered a unique experience, from the Arctic landscape and wildlife to the incredibly hospitable people that we have met in the northern communities." - Tony Lancashire. MORE: . For more details of the Arctic Mariner Expedition or to make donations to Toe In The Water charity visit

* US-IRC Launches New Tools for Owners and Organizing Authorities

For Owners:
Ever wonder how you are doing against your competition while on the course during the race? With Time-on-Distance it was easy to figure out. Time-on-Time takes a bit more work! We have just launched a new spreadsheet tool to help you easily calculate and answer the usual "How are we doing?" question at any time on the course! Download the IRC Real Time Calculator: and simply enter your class with respective ratings, the race starting date and time and the spreadsheet will do the rest for you. Simple instructions are available in the file. Any suggestions and feedback can be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it <!-- document.write( '</' ); document.write( 'span>' ); //--> . Let us know how you use it and how it works for you!

For Organizing Authorities:
Want to make some races more interesting? Ever thought about a Pursuit Race under IRC? Yes, it can be done! We have developed a spreadsheet to help you organize the starting times for different boats under IRC and provided some instructions on how/where to set the finish line.
Download the spreadsheet and give it a try! See

Letters To The Editor - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it <!-- document.write( '</' ); document.write( 'span>' ); //-->
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 Ivan Coryn: With annual ISAF meetings coming up, I would like to bring up the subject of professionalism in the sport, and the possibly unacceptable behavior of some.

I have spent some 30 years working in the Marine Industry largely as a Sailmaker,and have built a number of racing keelboats. During this period I have often owned outright the boats I have raced like any other owner, and have found the label attached to me of being a professional somewhat tiresome, particularly due to the fact that work to keep my boats competitive has often been carried in my spare time due to my love of the sport, like many other owners.

This Summer I became involved in upgrading a 70's boat to make her competitive under IRC, a rule which seems to stifle development in its search to get the maximum number of certificates paid for, supposedly to keep costs down for owners. However I have been surprised at the number of paid per race crew around, many of whom seem to be a somewhat mercenary bunch. In particular this Autumn I have come across a crew member who is a registered ISAF professional, jumping ship and immediately protesting a sail they had hitherto been playing a large part in developing. I find behaviour such as this somewhat lacking in the spirit of our sport. These people seem to abound in IRC racing upping costs, and damaging both the sport and industry thereby, despite the RORC office's efforts to limit costs.

I would like to ask that further action be taken to control the activities of sailors who do not physically work in the main part of the industry. In particular they should have to wear a licence on their oilskins when racing to show they are paid professionals and further all events should have a limit on the numbers allowed on any given boat.

I would like to say that I have always enjoyed racing against top boat builders sail makers Olympians and such like. However this breed of glorified paid hands I find another matter all together and believe they should be readily identifiable and there should be set of standards as to their behavior.

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The Last Word
People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid. -- Soren Kierkegaard

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