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Choices and Challenges
After more than 24 hours at sea in conditions which have progressively eased off for the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale skippers, already many of the class leaders are hooked firmly into their strategic plays which could already dictate the outcome of their race.

The key choice, especially for the Ultime class giants and the IMOCA classes is whether to make south with more favourable breezes while they last, to try and deal with the expanding Azores high pressure system, to mark time on an average course and see how the models change with time, or to stay north closer to the rhumb line course.

The big move has been that of Franck Cammas on the giant Groupama 3, who has chosen to try and break on through the eastern side of the high pressure as it spreads eastwards to the Portuguese coast. The Jules Verne record holding skipper had already dealt with the Bay of Biscay by afternoon today and when he was contacted by the Route du Rhum- La Banque Postale radio vacations he confirmed that he was already close in to Cape Finisterre. By late afternoon Groupama 3, lying in third place, was 33 miles SW of the famous point, having passed only 13 miles off. Making just over 22 knots in 12 knots of NW'ly breeze, Francis Joyon on Idec and Yvann Guichard on the course record holding Gitana XI were lining up for the same strategy, with Idec 65 miles NW of Groupama.

The middle course of Thomas Coville on Sodebo, who has lead consistenly through the first classifications, still keeps him in the lead with a margin of more than 45 miles on Sidney Gavignet on Oman Air Majan. Gavignet is set for the more northerly strategy, tacking back to the NW around midday as the wind headed, diverging sharply with Cammas' who believes he has the speed and power to get south quick enough down the eastern fringe of the course.

The IMOCA Open 60's talented young rookie, 29 year old Christopher Pratt on the Finot Conq designed DCNS 1000 was pleased to be firmly in the mix through these early stages, running third for much of the day and dicing with the on form Armel Le Cléac'H, double winner of the key Figaro races this season, who had moved up to third on BritAir, the very similar Finot-Conq design, though BritAir was first to tack NW this afternoon.

So far the hot Class 40 fleet has gone very much to form with many of the favourites taking a spell at or near the front of a very competitive fleet. Their strategic options are very similar and clearly choices were being assimilated, but Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm on Cheminées Poujoulat has been setting an electric pace on the Rogers design, with a jump of around six miles ahead of double Mini winner Thomas Ruyant on Destination Dunkerque and Nicolas Troussel on Credit Mutuel de Bretagne.

Best of the two British skippers remains Richard Tolkien in 20th on the Humphreys designed ICAP Orca, with Pete Goss on DMS in 29th.

* The drag race becomes a chessboard game

So far so good, i report no damage, good health and good spirits, the first time was tough as i needed to get used to the idea of where is was, then i realised it was monday morning, yes, rather be here. Today has been an easy day sailing wise, but the fleet has started to split, some let their boats run south, others kept higher and will tack towards the low and the front. I am somewhere in between but at the 4pm report i was surprised to see no one had tacked yet only Armel Le Cleach in the 60s anticipated the move in his pack.

All the 7 untouchables i had on my list before the start nicely exchange places in the top 10, it's just great to see them keeping boat speed up at all time, relentlessly, i can't do magic but can do my best and push on, sail with the pack, play the weather.

I slept a bit today, too little really but conditions were variable and that usually means hard work, plus we still had to clear the Ouessant traffic. I am now surrounded by absolutely nothing, I saw a few Class40s today but not sure which ones.

I am not totally sure it has even hit me yet that i'll be on this voyage for the next 3 weeks or so, that i'll be crossing the Atlantic, maybe better this way, i've had few moments were I felt apprehensive and the nights are so incredibly long, this I really dont like.

Thanks all that have written, it's great stuff. It'll get dark soon and I may have to beat into anything up to 30kt of wind, it wont be confortable, we have already started to slam on the waves.

This is the Route du Rhum, day by day. -- Marco Nannini, www.marconannini.com

www.routedurhum-labanquepostale.com

Entry Period Opens For 34th America’s Cup
San Francisco, California, USA: Event organizers today confirmed receipt of the first entries for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.

"We're only a few hours into a five-month entry period, so to already have a total of four entries is a very positive sign,” said Iain Murray (AUS), Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup and CEO of America's Cup Race Management (ACRM).

The 34th edition of the sport's oldest international competition has been renewed and revitalized by a move to spectacular wing-sailed catamarans, as well as a three year program of racing in venues around the world and a new emphasis on innovative television and new media programming.

“The competitors who applied for entry today join the previously declared Italian challenger Mascalzone Latino. BMW ORACLE Racing submitted its defense application today,” Murray said.

“The other two teams will not be named as their applications are being verified. Throughout the five-month entry period, ACRM will announce the time and date when an entry has been accepted. Each team will release details of its entry publicly at their discretion. Additional entries are expected soon,” Murray added.

The entry process and validation procedures are set out in the America’s Cup Rules and can be found at americascup.com

The entry period for the 34th America’s Cup runs from Nov. 1, 2010, to Mar. 31, 2011.

America’s Cup Hopefuls Come Forward
Two new challenges for the next America’s Cup in 2013 have been received on the first day of an entry window which extends until 31 March next year.

The America’s Cup Race Management organisation said it was withholding the names of the two new teams, though one is expected to be Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis group, based in Sweden, managed by the American Paul Cayard and joined by another American, Terry Hutchinson.

ACRM chief executive Iain Murray said that the names of the teams would be released by the teams themselves after verification had been completed. Artemis is expected to hold a press conference in Stockholm on 8 November.

One incentive to enter early is that the order of challenging will also be the order in which deliveries are made of the boat to be used for America’s Cup regattas next year, a 45-foot wing sail catamaran being built north of Auckland, New Zealand. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent

www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/sailing/

Equipment For 2011 Us Sailing Isaf Youth World Qualifier Announced
Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA: US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee announced today the equipment for the 2011 US SAILING International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Qualifier, which will be held January 14-17, 2011 at Houston Yacht Club in La Porte, Texas. All entrants are required to bring their own boat for competition in the following seven events:

- Singlehanded boys: Laser Radial
- Singlehanded girls: Laser Radial
- Doublehanded boys: International 420
- Doublehanded girls: International 420
- Boys boards: RS:X
- Girls boards: RS:X
- Open skiff: 29er

Although there will be a multihull discipline contested at the 2011 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the multihull class will be selected by resume, to be submitted to no later than January 4, 2011. Full details are located in the 2011 ISAF Youth World Qualifier Notice of Race, which is posted on the Houston Yacht Club website at www.houstonyachtclub.com/raceregatta.html , along with pertinent competitor information. The winner of each event will receive an invitation to represent the United States at the 2011 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Zadar, Croatia, July 7-11, 2011.

Under The Radar - The M42STC
Click on image to enlarge.

Morris Yachts This offering from Morris Yachts deserves another look. The Morris M42STC. The STC stands for short truck cabin. Her owner, who owned an M36, wanted the bigger more commodious M42 but did not want to give up the M36’s lines. No problem - MY had S&S re-draw the deck and this beauty was launched in 2009. Why are we talking about this now?

With picture perfect weather this summer, Onne van der Wal put her in his sites and the results can be found at www.morrisyachts.com/The-Morris-M42-0

No one puts this baby in the corner...

www.morrisyachts.com

2010 ISAF Annual Conference
At the end of this week over 500 people from the world of sailing will come together in Athens, Greece, for the 2010 ISAF Annual Conference. ISAF Committee, Sub-committee and Commission members, all of them volunteers, will travel from around the world to Athens. They will be joined by representatives from ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), sailors, event organisers, Class Associations, manufacturers and many more. All will be in Athens to discuss, debate, make recommendations and decisions on the issues and policies that will take the sport forward over the coming year and beyond.

This year the hot topic of debate will be the future direction of sailing in the Olympics and the effects this will have on events like the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Following the Olympic Commission report, much has to be debated and decided on how to make positive progress in this crucial area for the sport.

Ahead of the Conference, submissions are sent to ISAF proposing changes to existing policies or regulations, or to introduce new ones. ISAF Member National Authorities, ISAF recognised Classes, Committee Chairmen, the Executive Committee and the ISAF President can all make Submissions. The Submissions are assigned to one or more Committees for review depending upon their subject matter.

At the end of the Conference, the ISAF Council hold their meeting over three days chaired by President, Göran Petersson. It is at this meeting that Council make the final decisions on all submissions. Along with the President, the Council is made up of seven Vice-Presidents, two Officers of Honour (non-voting), twenty-eight appointed members (representing each of the regional groups of sailing nations), and representatives of the Oceanic and Offshore Committee, ISAF Classes Committee and Women's Forum. This ensures that the views of sailing worldwide are taken in to consideration in the decision making process. After reviewing and taking in to consideration all the Committee recommendations Council will decide whether each Submission is accepted, rejected or deferred for further consideration. It is then the job of the ISAF Executive Committee to put the decisions into practice working with the ISAF Secretariat team.

We will be keeping you up-to-date with all the activity and stories from the conference via the ISAF website news and Conference blog at www.sailing.org and on Twitter @isafupdates.

2010 ISAF Annual Conference microsite
www.sailing.org/meetings/index.php

And the Olympic Class marketing ramps up:

* Making the sport of sailing visually attractive has become one of the primary concerns of both classes and event organisers worldwide. This doesn't just mean publishing great photos and spectacular footage, but also the way in which they are presented. A new video released this week by the International Finn Association hopes to demonstrate what is possible and is offered to showcase how appealing sailing can be, as much as it showcases the Finn.

The video was produced by X-Trame Studio of Budapest in conjunction with the Finn class, principally using footage taken at the 2010 Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco, but also using material from a wide range of other sources.

It will be officially released on DVD during the ISAF Annual Conference in Athens, Greece this week, but in advance of that the class has posted the video to its YouTube site, TheFinnChannel. -- finnclass.org

The direct link is: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGscya_LorE

* When comparing Sailings strength and weaknesses against other (water) sports, then one comes to the conclusion that youth and media appealing boats and TV coverage is not the only problem for sailing in the Olympics. The problem is the low participation in number of countries, and especially from emerging countries where money is an issue. Skiffs, Multihulls and Keelboats all seem to be equally irrelevant to solve that problem.

The only solution to expand sailing activities in emerging nations is to support single handed events solely, maximizing participation in Olympic Qualification as demanded by the IOC and drastically reducing costs.

Firstly, single handed equipment is generally cheaper than all the other events, this applies to classes like the Laser as well as for Kiteboarding and Windsurfing. Logically also the campaign costs are significantly lower ... Taken the example of kiteboarding, a campaign would be as cheap as 22000 Euro for a four-year campaign (4 boards, 3 kites per year, 3 bars with lines per year). Plus, the kite industry is keen to support Olympic campaigns in emerging nations with equipment - something which is only possible with initially low equipment costs.

And the equipment costs are only a part of the total cost for an Olympic Campaign: adding travel costs (yes, equipment may be provided at major events, but to qualify for those events athletes still need to travel with their own equipment) and sail test programmes only multiplies the original costs of the equipment, and in general cheaper the initial costs, the cheaper the whole campaign.

Only Kiteboards, Windsurfer and single handed dinghies can score here, while all other events fail to deliver - apart from the fact that the bigger boats need additional slipways (which are not widely existing in emerging nations) or marinas (which are even harder to find) - infrastructure that adds prohibitive costs for these events. -- www.internationalkiteboarding.org

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

A most important occasion - Part II
Twice a Little America's Cup-winning designer of wing masted C-Class catamarans, no wonder all sorts of people have recently been after extra copies of Steve Killing's Seahorse articles...

Rules of engagement
David Hollom has not been seduced by talk of a 'new fairness' in the America's Cup planning

Quicklier - Part II
If you thought Buddy Melges was remarkable driving a raceboat, you need to see how he is spending his retirement...

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

British-American Cup: Britain Wins For First Time Since 1999
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

British-American Cup Andy Cornah and his fellow skippers Ben Field, Mark Lees and Jon Pinner - all members of the Royal Thames Yacht Club team racing squad - reversed more than a decade of American domination in the British-American Cup today with an emphatic performance on Queen Mary Water, West London to take the oldest prize in keelboat team racing by 7 wins to 2.

The British-American Cup, originally donated by the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in 1922 as an International Challenge match in Six Metres has been held bi-ennially ever since but was last won by the British in 1999. In 2008 yet another American win brought the Fourth Series of the Cup to an end after 16 matches. Rather than see the competition die Royal Thames challenged the USA to a Fifth series and put up a new British-American Cup. Although the guardians of the contest have always been yacht clubs (in the USA Seawanhaka, in Britain a number of Clubs) the competition is by tradition open, with selection trials held in both countries.

This is a competition that has often seen the British start well then fade while the Americans dig deep, find new resolve and shift up a gear to pull the fat from the fire - it happened in 2008 in the USA, in 2007 and in 2003 in UK waters - so no British supporters risked so much as a smile as the boats lined up for the first race of a possible five today. No one smiled when the Brits went round mark one in positions 1-2-3-7 (13 points) with the Americans 4-5-6-8 (23 points - lowest score wins). No one smiled when the Brits held that 1-2-3 while Ben Field, in the 7th-place British boat, ran such effective interference on the American boats that the gap between them and the leaders widened further. No one smiled as the Brits rounded the final mark still 1-2-3 - the order in which. at last, they crossed the finish line. Then everyone smiled. Well, everyone British, that is. -- Malcolm McKeag

24th Annual Bitter End Pro Am Regatta
North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI" It could not have been a better sail! This year’s Scuttlebutt Sailing Club’s Offshore Championship Regatta from Bitter End Yacht Club to The Baths and back was sailed under bright sun with Caribbean trade winds in the high teens. There was a lunch/swim break in the middle, but the race was scored using the combined times of the two legs. Everyone one agreed - there were no losers, but the big prizes went to Stu Bithell (UK, IC 24), Paul Cayard, (Multihulls) and Ken Read (Elapsed Time). The BEYC Pro Am Regatta with the same skippers and crews from the BEYC starts on Tuesday in the IC24s.

Event schedule: www.beyc.com/index.php/week-at-a-glance.html
Event website: www.beyc.com/index.php/proam.html

Ocean Affinity Takes Line Honours In Lord Howe Island Race
Click on image to enlarge.

Lord Howe Island Race The Queensland yacht Ocean Affinity crossed the finish line shortly after sunrise this morning to take line honours for the second year in the 414 nautical mile Hempel Paints 37th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race.

The next objective for Stewart Lewis and his crew of the Marten 49 from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron is to contest the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in late December.

The rugged Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race is a qualifying event for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, taking the fleet across 400 nautical miles of open ocean in the Tasman Sea.

Ocean Affinity finished at 06.36.27 this morning, comfortably clear of the Sydney yacht Balance, Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45, which is not expected to finish until mid-morning. At the 0705 ‘sked’ Balance was just over 13 nautical miles south of Lord Howe but beating slowly into a 20-25 knot northerly headwinds and rough seas.

With another Queensland yacht, Charlie’s Dream (Peter Lewis) retiring from the race overnight, but continuing to Lord Howe Island, the remaining nine boats from the original fleet of 17, with the exception of Copernicis, are well south of the island.

The northerly winds could reach 30 knots as the yachts near Lord Howe Island and it’s unlikely there be any further finishers, other than Balance, before mid to late afternoon. Copernicus, Greg Zyner’s Radford 12, reported her position at 0705 as 58.3 nautical miles from the finish and well to the north of the next boat, Phil Bennett’s 11.5 sloop King Billy, the John King-design, which gave a position 61 nautical miles from the finish.

Balance, reported to be leading fleet and first on IRC handicaps last evening, has slipped back overnight, losing line honours to Ocean Affinity and also top place on progressive IRC results. King Billy is now top of the IRC leaderboard ahead of Balance and Ocean Affinity on corrected times. -- Peter Campbell

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1980 Geraghty Marine NM 39. US$39,500. Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

Stars & Stripes is one of Bruce Nelson's first and most successful racers of the early 80's, she represented the US in the 1983 Admirals Cup. Although in need of a cosmetic redo, she enjoyed a fabulous year for racing in 2010. Seven new North Sails in 2010 Along with new Raymarine sailing instruments, she is ready to continue her winning ways.

Brokerage through World Yachts, Inc.: www.yachtworld.com/worldyachtsinc/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
Calvin : You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
Hobbes : What mood is that?
Calvin : Last-minute panic.

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