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Rolex Middle Sea Race Class Winners Confirmed
If the early miles of the Rolex Middle Sea Race were a test of patience, the latter miles were a true test of endurance. A strong mistral of up to 40+ knots helped push the fleet homeward to the finish in Malta. The last two yachts, Zizanie and Amethyst Abroad, were around the island of Lampedusa and racing towards the finish line off the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The two boats showed heaps of perseverance for hanging in, even if the northwesterly breeze had subsided to a 'mere' 25+ knots.

Meanwhile the bulk of the fleet were safely secured in either Marsamxett Harbour or around the corner in Grand Harbour Marina, and the overall class standings were sorted as the last boats trickled in.

IRC Overall - Lucky (USA)
IRC 1 - Esimit Europa 2 (SLO)
IRC 2 - Lucky (USA)
IRC 3 - Jaru (MLT)
IRC 4 - Artie (MLT)

ORC Overall - Jaru (MLT)
ORC 1 - E1 (RUS)
ORC 2 - Varuna (GER)
ORC 3 - Jaru (MLT)
ORC 4 - Three Sisters (CZK)
Double Handed - BOV Plain Sailing (MLT)

At the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Double Handed Class is somewhat under the radar with only three entrants, but this year's competitors were a diverse and experienced group.

Taking line honours in the Double Handed Class was White Star, a custom 54-footer, which finished yesterday afternoon with an elapsed time of 4 days, 6 hours, 44 minutes, and 18 seconds. But the Italian boat would have to wait until today when BOV Plain Sailing finished, to see who would win on corrected time.

White Star's crew were experienced double handed sailors Diego Tisci and Daniele Chiamenti; Tisci is a veteran of eight Rolex Middle Sea Races, Chiamenti several as well, but this is the first double handed Middle Sea for either of them.

Only the x40 Pita Maha (ITA), retired today, bringing the total number of retired boats to 15, with 58 boats finished, and two still racing.

The race fleet can be tracked online at www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/#tracker

Robertson Books His Ticket to the Monsoon Cup
Terengganu, Malaysia: Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing put in a sublime performance against the emerging talent of David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour to win the Asian Match Racing Championship (AMRC) and book his place in next month's World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) finale event, the Monsoon Cup.

Gilmour, son of four-time Match Racing World Champion Peter Gilmour, had the upper hand on Robertson earlier in the week at the five-star Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa in Pulau Duyong having triumphed over him in both qualifying matches. It was however the defending Champion Robertson who defeated his nearest rival 2-0 in the final.

Robertson will now join Jeremy Koo (MAS) Koo Racing Team-Evernew - winner of the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC), the top eight skippers in the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) standings, the winner of the upcoming Sunseeker Australia Cup and one wildcard entry for the Monsoon Cup which takes place from 30th November to 5th December at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa.

With the Match Racing World Champion crown and a large slice of the USD475,000 prize money on the table at the Monsoon Cup on the table, the thoughts of the top 5 teams in the WMRT standings will be very much focused on Malaysia. Only 17 points separate the top three teams of Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing and Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN. With the Monsoon Cup offering 1.5 times more points than a standard WMRT race, that 17 point gap is easily closed with the winner set to scoop 38 points and the remaining places the following: 30 (2nd), 22 (3rd), 18 (4th), 15 (5th), 12 (6th), 9 (7th), 6 (8th).

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar are fourth and fifth in the series and still in with a mathematical chance of winning but will need results of their opponents at the Monsoon Cup to go their way.

Asian Match Racing Championship - Final Standings
1. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
2. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour
3. Wataru Sakamoto (JPN) Team Siesta
4. Reuben Corbett (NZL) MAF1/Black Sheep Racing
5. Peter Nicholas (AUS) Freshie Racing Team
6. Graeme Sutherland (HKG) Team Hermes
7. Mark Lees (GBR) Team ECHO
8. Tan Wearn Haw (SIN) SINYIDAI
9. Neil Semple (THA) Capital TV

www.wmrt.com

Preparations Nearly Complete for Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai
The final Louis Vuitton Trophy event is scheduled to start in Dubai on November 12th, featuring six of the top international sailing teams in the world.

With the regatta just over two weeks away, staff from the World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA), a co-organiser of the event along with Louis Vuitton and the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), are on the ground and hard at work building the Race Village and preparing the race boats.

Racing will take place in four equalised ACC yachts, the type of boat used in the America's Cup from 1992 to 2007. Nearly 50 shore-crew are already on site to get the yachts unloaded and upacked, rigged, tested and ready to race.

The match racing regatta will consist of a double round robin, followed by semi final elimination rounds, before a new champion is crowned in the final, a 'best-of-five' clash between the two top teams, scheduled for the 26-27 November.

This is the last of four Louis Vuitton Trophy events before many of the teams shift their focus to multihull racing ahead of the next America's Cup.

"We're really looking forward to bringing top level sailing to Dubai and enjoying the great racing conditions on offer there at this time of year," said Paul Cayard, the Chairman of the WSTA, co-organiser of the event, as well as the skipper of the Swedish Artemis team.

The five other competitors include BMW ORACLE Racing, which won the America's Cup earlier this year, as well as Mascalzone Latino, the current challenger of record.

The Russian Synergy team, a finalist in the previous event in La Maddalena, Italy will be hoping to improve on that result while the French-German team, All4One, will look to continue its steady improvement over the course of the four regattas.

Meanwhile, Emirates Team New Zealand, the most consistent performer in the three Louis Vuitton Trophy events to date will be looking to add to its previous wins in the Auckland and La Maddalena races.

Racing is scheduled to start on Sunday, November 14th.

www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Clitheroe Hoists 102nd Gascoigne Cup
Ullman Sails Paul Clitheroe and his long-standing amateur crew on Beneteau 45 "Balance" earned themselves the prestigious Gascoigne Cup last Saturday in Sydney, Australia. The team hoisted the trophy after a highly competitive windward/leeward ocean race that hosted 33 boats. Powered by Ullman Sails, "Balance" took first place on corrected time under PHS Handicap. The team now stands among some of the great Australian yachts who have won the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's historic Gascoigne Cup since its inaugural race in 1886.

No matter what sailing you love - inshore, offshore, racing, cruising - invest in your performance.

www.ullmansails.com

Tony Bullimore's 33m Catamaran Capsized Off Cape Finisterre
Seven British based sailors were successfully airlifted off the 33m racing catamaran 'Spirit of Antigua' late on Wednesday night after capsizing in the Bay of Biscay, 135 miles south west of Brest.

The famous catamaran, which set a round the world record back in 1994 when named 'ENZA New Zealand' is owned by Tony Bullimore, who himself was rescued back in 1996 after surviving for 5 days in his upturned yacht in the Southern Ocean.

Bullimore was not onboard this time. The crew, skippered by Ben Jones from Bristol, were delivering the multihull from Lisbon to Bristol, via La Corunna, northern Spain.

An automated distress signal was first picked up by Falmouth Coastguard at 7.30pm who alerted the French rescue authorities. The destroyer HMS Ocean, on manoeuvres in the area, was also called to investigate.

A French Air Sea rescue helicopter reached the scene at midnight and successfully winched all 7 crewmembers to safety from the upturned hull. They were then flown to the Naval Air Station at Lanveoc near Brest. The crew are expected to return to the UK overnight on the Roscoff/Plymouth ferry.

Tony Bullimore (71) had been planning to race the catamaran one more time in an attempt to break the Round Antarctica sailboat record, and was having the boat returned to his home port of Bristol to prepare her for the challenge.

Conditions at the time were reported to be slight slight seas, good visibility, and winds 11knots/h. In an interview with the French press today, skipper Ben Jones said that they were hit by a sudden gust of wind. "The catamaran accelerated from 15 to 30knots and we were not able to slow her down."

A French Coastguard plane was sent out today to plot the position of the £500,000 catamaran and assess whether it was a danger to shipping or could be salvaged. -- Barry Pickthall

Ed Baird Joins Quantum Racing
America's Cup winner and world champion helmsman Ed Baird has joined the Quantum Racing team as helmsman for the 2011 season. Baird assumes the position following the decision by Terry Hutchinson, helmsman since 2008, to compete in the 34th America's Cup.

Baird has racing experience in nearly every type of boat including TP52s when they were a new class. Baird was the winning helmsman of America's Cup 32 aboard Alinghi, the 2007 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, and was part of the 1995 America's Cup winning team, Team New Zealand. Baird has raced in the Whitbread Round-the-World Race, is a three-time Match Racing World Champion and the only American ever to reach #1 on the ISAF World Match Racing rankings.

Baird also has extensive Grand Prix and Olympic racing experience and numerous World, International and North American one-design championships to his credit.

In the coming months, Baird will be involved in the process to put a new boat on the water for the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit.

Velux 5 Oceans Fleet Line Up For First Timed Run Of The Race
The Velux 5 Oceans fleet continues to spread out as the five ocean racers head towards the Equator and their first timed run of the race. At the front of the fleet Brad Van Liew and Zbigniew Gutkowski have been reaping the rewards for taking a more westerly route out into the Atlantic, increasing the gap between them and Derek Hatfield in third to some 300 nautical miles.

The leading pair have both been pushing their Eco 60 yachts equally hard as they approach the Doldrums. Brad suffered yet another knockdown yesterday brought about by a high-speed crash gybe, his third in seven days. After slicing open his forehead on the wind generator blade on Operon Racing two days ago, Gutek has been concentrating on reducing Brad's lead, and at the last position report he was trailing by just 78 nautical miles.

Another hoping to pick up points through the speed gates is Chris Stanmore-Major, the British solo sailor who earlier this week had a run of problems with his spinnaker which cost him miles on his opposition. CSM is hoping he can get through the gates quickly on Spartan to pick up bonus points and jump up the leaderboard.

It's been yet another frustratingly slow day for Belgian ocean racer Christophe Bullens who has been dogged by light winds off the coast of Portugal for several days. Christophe now trails Brad by nearly 2,000 nautical miles and is around 1,600 nautical miles behind fourth placed CSM.

Statistics from 12pm UTC position report:

Skipper; distance to finish (nm); distance to leader (nm); distance covered in last 24 hours (nm); average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew: 3,909.7; 0; 248.3; 10.3
Gutek: 3,987.9; 78.2; 256.1; 10.7
Derek Hatfield: 4,233.1; 323.4; 239.1; 10
Chris Stanmore-Major: 4,572.6; 662.8; 164.2; 6.8
Christophe Bullens: 5,901.5; 1991.8; 125.3; 5.2

www.velux5oceans.com

The Defector by Mark Chisnell
The Defector by Mark Chisnel ‘This is a remarkable thriller - chillingly violent, full of tension and with a very original ending.’ Publishing News.

Self-interest or selflessness? This is the dilemma at the heart of The Defector - can Martin Cormac turn his back on his ruthless past as a currency trader, a player, and do the right thing? Not when he's looking for answers in a succession of sleazy bars, or running for cover on an old Whitbread Maxi...

Now available in all major e-book formats as a free download:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/4566

Speed Sailors Welcomed Home
Thomas Jundt sailing Mirabaud. Photo by Dave White. Click on image to enlarge.

Speed Sailing Last week saw an interesting array of sailors from the globe over, including 73 year old Fred Ball, competing in the Dakine Weymouth Speed Week at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA). The event started in 1973 and is the oldest running speed event in the World, making Weymouth the original home of speed sailing in its pure form. The official British Championships ensured that all possible was done to allow Harbour records to be broken, by kitesurfers, windsurfers and sailors. The event is centred on an accurately measured 500 metre course located in Portland Harbour. This provides the challenge for the speed sailor to pit his wits against the elements.

The lack of rules provides the ideal opportunity for both experts and dreamers to build the type of boats which, but for Dakine Weymouth Speed Week, would never see the light of day; competitors can be referred to as drivers, sailors or pilots. Mirabaud LX, competing in their first ever Dakine Weymouth Speed Week, was designed to fly on its hydrofoils. 2010 once again saw many returning racers set to take on the course with their new craft, undeterred by their failures and delighted when their good ideas worked.

Despite being held in autumn every year to tie in with the Winter Equinox in the pursuit of high winds, there were no new harbour records for 2010 and the record still stands with Anders Bringdal, who achieved a speed of 38.2 knots in 2008. The week, however, did see some exciting racing with trials taking part every day of the event and 33 knots being the highest speed recorded. The final standings were 1st place kite boarder, James Longmuir at 33.419 knots; 2nd place Sailboat, Kevin Greenslade at 32.753 and; 3rd place kite boarder David Williams at 32.075 knots.

www.wpnsa.org.uk

Felix Joins The British National Team
Click on image to enlarge.

Felix the Falcon Skandia Team GBR today announced the appointment of Felix, the Peregrine Falcon, as an honorary member of the British sailing team. Felix joins the team alongside triple Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie and double Olympic Gold medallist Iain Percy.

A bird of prey was first employed by Skandia Team GBR at a recent Olympic Classes regatta to scare away seagulls that were becoming a nuisance around the team accommodation block based next to the Weymouth and Portland sailing venue for the 2012 Olympic Games. The early morning squawking from the gulls was disturbing the sleep of many of the team, and their fouling was beginning to damage buildings and boats.

With the 2012 Olympics less than two years away, Skandia Team GBR's sailors will be spending more and more time training and competing in Weymouth in their quest for selection to the Games. With this in mind, Felix will now be brought in for two weeks before all major competitions at the venue, to patrol the sky and keep the seagulls at bay.

Felix joins the 35 strong support team at Skandia Team GBR - which includes specialist coaches, a meteorologist, a psychologist, physiologists and physiotherapists, a nutritionist and even a chef - who all work to help the sailors plan for the best in their quest to win medals for Britain.

However, just like the sailors, Felix will have to earn selection to make it to the Olympics. Team manager Stephen Park says, "Felix will have to deliver a consistent performance to guarantee his place in Weymouth in 2012. Seagulls are a natural part of the seaside environment but the sheer quantity of them around our accommodation block is a problem for us. Felix will have his work cut out to ensure the sailors' sleep isn't disturbed. If he does his job well, his place on the team is assured."

Peregrine Falcons are the fastest animal on the planet with a self propelled speed of up to 250mph during dives.

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 Peter Marsh: Yes, it's self-evident that the Velux Race is going to need a makeover. While the experts debate what the future course should be, I'd like to offer a few observations on the present race that might encourage armchair sailors to pay it a little more attention.

14th Time Lucky...
This event is the 14th solo round-the-world race (excluding the Golden Globe, which was a series of record attempts). In 1982, in the first BOC race there were seven English speakers in the big boat class and one Frenchman. Nonetheless, Philippe Jeantot won, beginning an unbroken run of 13 victories in 13 races by French speakers. The closest English speaker was Ellen MacArthur, just over 24 hours behind in the 2001 Vendee Globe. Since the five sailors in the Velux are from the UK, USA, Canada, Poland and Belgium—we Anglophones have an excellent chance of finally securing first place!

Eco 60 or Open 60?
As for the French turning up their noses at used 60s -- how quickly they forget the debacle of the last Vendee Globe, when 20 hot new boats fell apart in quick succession--thus allowing English heroine Sam Davies to achieve fourth place on Roxy, a well-tested Open 60 launched in 2000, which also qualifies as an "Eco 60!" Still not convinced? Then try this: in what other high-speed offshore class could a sailor lose his rig and hole the hull three weeks before the start, then be back in the race with a substitute boat two weeks later--without breaking the bank?

(If he had been reading this page, he would have found an ad for another Eco 60, designed by Owen Clarke and built by Kiwi race boat builders Southern Ocean Marine in 2002.)

1960-2010: a curious coincidence
The modern short-handed racing movement began in 1960 with the first singlehanded trans-Atlantic race. The fleet consisted of five amateur sailors. Four made the official start, the fifth was late arriving. In 2010, fifty years later, we again had four sailors crossing the line for the Velux 5 Oceans, and the fifth man starting late. Let's hope that this year's version of the original solo round-the-world race will continue on in the spirit of Chichester, Hasler and Lewis.

* From Markus Schwendtner, IKA Executive Secretary:
The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA), an ISAF international class, is currently seeking proposals from interested parties to promote and organize one-off championships for the upcoming years under an agreement relating to the Championship Title Rights.

Please follow this link for available championship events:
www.internationalkiteboarding.org

Any response to this invitation to tender should at least cover the following:

- Dates and timetable of the event, including disciplines (if more than one)
- Venue of the event
- Cooperating national kiteboarding association or sailing federations
- How the event will be promoted
- Price money offered
- Social programme and benefits for competitors
- Organizers profile including previous experience in high class water sport events

A more detailed questionaire will be submitted to interested bidders after initial contact.

The IKA has no obligation to accept any tender proposal nor to enter into any agreement with anyone that submits a tender proposal. Further, the tender process is subject to a written agreement being entered into with the successful tenderer.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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The Last Word
It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. -- David Hume

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