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Offshore Challenges In Talks with Bertarelli
Talks are underway between Britain's Mark Turner, boss of the Offshore Challenges company set up originally with Dame Ellen MacArthur, and Switzerland's former holder of the America's Cup, Ernesto Bertarelli, over co-operation between Turner's Extreme Sailing Series and the D35 catamaran series in which Bertarelli competes.

Turner, whose company recently linked up with sports event company ThirdPole, expects some interest in his series for 40-foot catamaran events from America's Cup teams. Dean Barker and Team New Zealand made its debut at the final regatta of 2010 in Almeria, Spain, earlier this month.

Isle of Wight-base Offshore Challenges has been asked to submit proposals for running D35 catamaran regattas outside Switzerland, where, in the main, they are based. These could include running the two classes in parallel.

But no financial link between the two parties has been announced and Turner insists that his events would have no effect on the new circuit of America's Cup World Series regattas being put in place by the America's Cup defender, BMW Oracle, whose ceo Russell Coutts was Bertarelli's former skipper. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent, full article at

Team and Sponsor Announcements from the Barcelona World Race
* Renault Z.E. to sail with Pachi Rivero and Antonio "Tono" Piris

The vehicle brand, one of the main race sponsors, are supporting the environmental sustainability of offshore sailing by naming the Spanish pair's entry after their range of 100% electric and zero emissions vehicles (Z.E.)

Antonio Piris and Pachi Rivero will be flying the Renault colours on their IMOCA Open 60 in the upcoming Barcelona World Race, which start on 31st December. The motor vehicle brand, one of the main sponsors of the race for a second time, has chosen to give its support and its name to the entry skippered by the Spanish duo.

Since Piris and Rivero joined forces both sailors have been working tirelessly following an intensive training and boat preparation schedule, including the New York - Barcelona Record and the Vuelta Espana the Round Spain Race this summer, in which they finished in a worthy fourth place. The huge challenge to compete in the Barcelona World Race, which Pachi will be racing for the second time, now has Renault's backing, with the team set to take the start on December 31st buoyed by high morale and good prospects.

* Jean Le Cam, on the start line with Bruno Garcia

With backing from the President (Lactalis Group) brand, the Breton skipper will compete for his first time in the Barcelona World Race, the round the world race for crews of two, which starts from the Catalan city on 31st December 2010. His co-skipper will be Spain's Bruno Garcia. They'll be aiming for the podium on Mike Golding's Owen Clarke designed IMOCA Open 60 (former Ecover 3).

Following the frightening loss of VM Materiaux off Cape Horn in the last Vendee Globe and his participation as crew on Vincent Riou's PRB in the recent "Vuelta a Espana", the round Spain race, the renowned French skipper will take on his fourth racing circumnavigation of the globe (1).

He may be the less well-known of the pair, but co-skipper Bruno Garcia is an exceptional sailor. He has recently sailed on the IMOCA Open 60 Estrella Damm, but has also raced in the Figaro class, before his successful career as a cardiologist at the Hospital of Barcelona.

Taking part in the Barcelona World Race is an opportunity for President that no one wanted to let slip. The race embodies the fundamental values that President identifies with.

The President brand can be found in over 160 countries, and the brand direction confirms that it was hard to find a better event than a round the world regatta for their brand.

UK-Halsey Rules Quiz
The UK-Halsey Rules Quiz animations have been called the best way to learn the rules, and the videos of the rules being explained make the learning process that much easier. We have already posted seven videos which cover: the importance of the definitions, the definition of when you are racing and when the rules and penalties apply, definition of being on a tack, definition of proper course, the definition of finishing and much more. The videos are only available as part of the Rules Quiz program and we will continue to post videos throughout the year.

The answers to all the quizzes were re-written for the rules changes by Rob Overton, who has been a member of the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee since 1993. Rob was one of five international rule writers who drafted the new Section C rules that took effect on January 1, 2009.

See the Rules Quiz page at

You can buy the Quiz program for $55 or $100 for the program plus two of the best books written on the 2009-2012 Racing Rules - Understanding the Rules by Dave Perry and The Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis. Both are reviewed in our Rules Blog.

Leaders Round Cape Finisterre in Search of Trade Winds
With two full days at sea now under their belts, the skippers racing in the Velux 5 Oceans are finding their rhythm and enjoying the psychological boost of the first major milestone - rounding Cape Finisterre and getting out of the busy shipping lanes.

American, Brad Van Liew, remains in the lead, but Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski is hot on his heals with the first four boats separated by just 40 NM. Chris Stanmore-Major's Spartan, steered a different course to the rest over night, dropping close to the Coruna coastline in search of better wind. The pressure looks set to stay low over the next 48 hours and the skippers will have to take the tactical decision of whether to travel the extra miles out to the Azores in search of better wind or say close to Portugal on a shorter, but potentially windless course.

It is clear that Brad's enjoying the competitive side of the race: "Gutek is obviously pushing pretty hard but we're all getting to know each other and you have to just keep sailing and not think about it too much."

Although he is in the lead, Brad is not having the most easy time of things, he has been unwell since before the start and has managed hardly any sleep since starting on Sunday 17th.

He said: "I have had a couple of 20 minute naps but that's about it. I can race the boat and I can do all the physical stuff but my head still feels pretty stuffed up and my throat is very sore."

Canadian, Derek Hatfield is looking forward to the temperature getting warmer but frustrated with his speed: " I'm a bit disappointed with my position since the start. I can't seem to sleep too much, and the wind is so light that you have to concentrate all the time on the weather and keeping the boat going."

However he recognises that it is still very early on in the sprint to Cape Town: "It's the start, so everybody is pushing hard and we'll all settle down into a routine. It's only day two, which is really hard to believe as it feels like I've been at sea for at least five days!"

Meanwhile Belgian Skipper Christophe Bullens has arrived back in La Rochelle aboard Five Oceans of Smiles Too having completed a 48 hour mini-qualification sail, to test his new boat and satisfy the Race Management of his ability to sail it.

"It's a very good boat. The sails are good and the boat is very fast. I have a few jobs to do and I have to learn her a bit but that will be okay." He said.

Christophe aims to set off on Friday morning and the fleet of five will continue on their 7,500 NM sprint to Cape Town where they are expected to arrive from mid-November.

Monsoon Cup Space Up For Grabs at Malaysian Match Racing Championship
Terengganu, Malaysia: With the promise of a berth at the World Match Racing Tour's (WMRT) Championship finale - The Monsoon Cup - on offer for the winner, The Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) has attracted a stellar field of Malaysia's finest match racers, including two former winners of the MMRC.

The four day event, which starts on Wednesday, 20th October, will feature a mix of former champions, sibling rivalry and future sailing stars, who will all be desperately battling it out to book their spot at the Monsoon Cup.

Tiffany Koo (Koo Racing Team), the 2006 and 2007 MMRC winner, is returning in an attempt for a hat-trick of wins, while defending champion Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (Team Pulse AC Law), boosted by a major sponsorship deal with Pulse Group PLC and AC Law, a leading corporate law firm, will be bidding for a repeat success.

Hazwan's new sponsorship deal will allow him to make the ground-breaking step and become the first all-Malaysian team to participate in a WMRT event outside of Malaysia, when they compete in the Korea Match Cup Qualifiers next year.

In addition to having to face off the challenge of Hazwan, Tiffany Koo will also need to get the better of her brother Jeremy (Koo Racing Team Evernew), who was part of his sister's winning teams in 2006 and 2007. Jeremy showed his skills as skipper when reaching the semi-finals last year and will be looking to add his name alongside his sister's on the coveted winner's trophy.

The fight for the prestigious MMRC title and the one qualifying spot for the Monsoon Cup will take place at the purpose built world-class match racing venue of Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu, the same venue used for the Monsoon Cup which takes place from 30th November to 5th December.

The winners of the MMRC and AMRC will each earn a ticket to the Monsoon Cup, the final race of the WMRT 2010 season. The Monsoon Cup promises to be an exciting climax to the season as five skippers - Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN, Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar all have a chance to be crowned World Champion.

Rolex Middle Sea Race: At The Crossroads
Valletta, Malta: Flying into Malta it's hard not to be struck by the landscape: the buildings all a blinding beige in the hot sun, the landscape fairly arid and dry. It's more reminiscent of the Northern African coast, which is only 155 nautical miles west. The island archipelago is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean situated, as it is, midway between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia. This year's fleet reflects that more than any year past, with numerous entries from throughout Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This 31st edition of the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race begins this Saturday, 23 October from Grand Harbour. Registration closes on Friday, but by press time there were 83 boats entered from 18 countries. Included in this number and back to defend, are 2009 Overall Winner, Andres Soriano on the 21-metre mini-maxi Alegre (GBR), and Line Honours winner, Mike Slade on the 30.5-metre ICAP Leopard (GBR).

Yesterday, a low pressure system that swept through south of Sicily, with winds of 50 knots and 3 to 4 metre seas, which has delayed the arrival of some of the foreign fleet. Though some like Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) and Wild Joe (HUN) were already committed to crossing and so endured the conditions encountered enroute. The 30-metre Esimit had a lightening strike that took out the wind instruments at the top of its 44-metre mast. Meanwhile, Marton Jozsa's Wild Joe, a R/P Custom 60, which set out from Croatia on Friday, and then from Sicily yesterday morning, had a tough crossing, ripping both their mainsail and jib.

Many of the fleet is moored in Camper & Nicholson's Grand Harbour Marina and dockside there today there was a flurry of activity with crews effecting repairs or otherwise prepping for Saturday's offshore race. On Wednesday there will be Coastal Race most likely around neighboring Comino Island. Some boats, though not all, use this race as a tune-up for the offshore.

Along the quay, there were country flags on the back of boats from Spain, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, the UK and United States, as well as a local fleet of competitors from Malta. One would think the Maltese might have an edge - local knowledge of the area, perhaps - and in that group one of the ringers may well be Jaru (MLT), a J/133 co-skippered by John Ripard Jr. and his brother-in-law, Andrew Calascione. The close relations don't stop there, as half the crew are composed of their children, with a few close friends from the UK there to round out the crew.

Thursday is a Crew Party at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, and on Friday there will be Skipper's race and weather briefing. The Rolex Middle Sea Race commences on Saturday, 23 October 2010. The final prize giving is on Saturday, 30 October. George David's Rambler (USA) established the current Course Record of 47 hours, 55 minutes, and 3 seconds in 2007.

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The Ocean Series In Tandem with Antigua Sailing Week
Holder of the Ocean Series Trophy, Adrian Lee's Cookson 50. Photo by Lee Overlay Partners / Click on image to enlarge.

Antigua Sailing Week Antigua's third annual Ocean Series of races will be run in tandem with Antigua Sailing Week 2011. Yachts can enter both the Ocean Series and Antigua Sailing Week, or either one of these events.

The Series consists of three offshore or coastal races ideally suited for ocean-going yachts that revel in Antigua's trade wind conditions. The main objective for the 2011 Ocean Series is to provide fabulous racing on courses of suitable length that give the adrenalin rush of blasting through the Caribbean at high speed.

The Regatta Organising Committee plans to provide courses that are tailored-made for the type of yachts that enter the Series and for the prevailing weather conditions. The Ocean Series is likely to consist of the Yachting World 'Round the Island Race and two offshore/coastal races designed to be completed during daylight hours so that yachts are off the water in time to enjoy the evening entertainment.

The ever-popular Guadeloupe Race will remain as a feeder race to Antigua Sailing Week but it will no longer form part of the Ocean Series.

It is anticipated that there will be considerably more entries than in previous years, in part because there are a large number of cross-Atlantic races taking place in the months preceding Antigua Sailing Week. Early indications are that many of these boats will remain in the Caribbean to participate in other regattas throughout the season. Included in this group are participants of the Route du Rhum such as Class 40s and Open 60s as well as yachts competing in this year's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

The new format for the Ocean Series will provide fast, thrilling ocean racing conditions and Antigua has the resources and experience to meet the demands of the ocean-going yachts that will participate. The results of all three Ocean Series races will be combined to determine the winner of the overall trophy, which will be presented at the official Antigua Sailing Week Prize Giving Ceremony. -- Louay Habib

Wright Scoops Athlete of the Year at Skandia Team GBR Awards
Ed Wright with BOA Sailing Athlete of the year trophy. Team Macgregor pick up the biggest performance bonus cheque of the night. Photo by Paul Wyeth/Skandia Team GBR. Click on image to enlarge.

Skandia Team GBR Awards Dinner Britain's sailors celebrated yet another bumper year in style at the fifth annual Skandia Team GBR Awards Dinner, held at the DeVere Hotel, Wokefield Park, on Friday (15 October), with Finn star Ed Wright collecting the top prize of the evening.

The 32-year-old picked up the British Olympic Association's Athlete of the Year Award for sailing after earning a silver medal at the European Championships in Split in May before his consistent approach saw him add the overall World Cup series title for the second year in a row to his expanding collection. Just three weeks later Wright then clinched his first ever World Championships title at the Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco rounding of an impressive season for the Bournemouth star.

Both sailors and support staff were honoured at the event, celebrating the team's achievements during 2010 which saw a total of 47 medals won at World and European Championships and 32 podium positions at major ISAF Sailing World Cup events.

British Olympic Association Athlete of the Year:
Ed Wright (Finn)

Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year:
Mark Andrews (Finn)

Full list of winners at

New America's Cup: What Consequences on Professional International Yacht Racing and Sponsorship?
The America's Cup new format will have long lasting consequences on the international yacht racing scene and professional yacht racing worldwide. All the Classes and professional Series are directly or indirectly affected: the sailors have to choose their path; the sponsors to decide where to invest.

Is it an opportunity for our sport to grow? The subject will be extensively discussed during the World Yacht Racing Forum in Estoril (December 14-15), with a special America's Cup session and a keynote address by AC 33 winner James Spithill. In the mean time, we ask the CEO's and Class managers of the world's leading professional sailing series what consequences they believe the America's Cup new format will have on their circuit.

WYRF: Will the America's Cup new format have an impact on your Class and, if so, what will it be?

Jim O'Toole, CEO, World Match Racing Tour: "With the exodus of the AC34 event from traditional match racing to high speed catamarans this has created a new and exciting reality in our world. The World Match Racing Tour now sits as a significant international match racing event and has a greater role in guiding the ISAF global match racing structure. This is an opportunity that we intend to grasp wholeheartedly."

Jim O'Toole: "This is an opportunity that we intend to grasp wholeheartedly. "

Bertrand Favre, Class manager, RC 44 Championship Tour: "The Cup's new format will not have a big effect on the RC 44 Championship Tour because it is an owner's Class. The owners are passionate people who have already confirmed their participation in the Tour 2011, which will start in March 2011 in San Diego. The Class keeps growing since it was launched and 13 teams took part in the first world Championship in Lanzarote in October. The circuit is very attractive for owners who don't want to start sailing multihulls with wingsails… It consists of six events per year spread across Europe, the Middle East and the United States. There will also be a good coordination between us and the America's Cup Race Management in order to avoid calendar clashes."

Knut Frostad, CEO, Volvo Ocean Race: "We will certainly watch how AC progresses carefully. Of what I have seen so far I believe the recruitments they have made to the top management is more interesting than the boats themselves. Shorter race courses, onboard camera systems, sound, etc., are elements we are familiar with, but we would like to share and learn with the AC on these issues. The purpose of the Volvo Open 70 is very different to the AC72, so I don't see the class changing much because of this."

Mark Turner: "The credibility of a multihull platform is enhanced by the decision on the format for AC34" The youth AC event is a good idea. The new small boat will be interesting to watch, in particular for us to see whether the wingsail works or not (from an event logistics and communication point of view). We see little if any conflict between what the AC teams will do 2011-2013, and the annual Extreme Sailing Series though. Annual budgets for an Extreme 40 team are less than 1% of a competitive Cup campaign.

Full interviews at

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 David Adams, Race Director, Velux 5 Oceans:

In 1982 after the completion of the first BOC challenge the yachting media called this race the" Ultimate Solo Challenge" and the name has stuck.

This is the eighth edition of race which has a long and proud history. Every challenge that takes as much effort as this race does just to get to the start line, before they take on natures challenges can call themselves the ultimate challenge.

The answer will always be with the individual as to what they see as the Ultimate Challenge. But for us involved with the race we will stick to the title it was given 28 years ago.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2001 Volvo 60. EUR 295,000. Located In Hampshire, United Kingdom.

Volvo 60 (2001) with a Volvo Penta MD22p (55HP) engine. This sailing yacht is highly geared for specialist racing having previously won 14 major races in the Australian racing calendar. She was refitted and repainted in 2007 with all of her equipment being coded to Cat 2 standards as well as being equipped with liferafts. In previous ownership this boat was sponsored by a national television network resulting in much maintenance being put into her welfare.

Brokerage through Salterns Brokerage Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. -- Douglas Adams

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