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Route Du Rhum: Attacking The Ocean
Leading the fleet of 84 competitors still racing, Franck Cammas is continuing to extend his lead aboard Groupama 3. Never dipping below an average of 20 knots, the maxi-trimaran is now positioning her bows westward in a NE'ly breeze of around twenty knots.

Franck Cammas likes challenges. Not only has he set off on this ninth edition of the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale aboard the largest and most powerful trimaran ever to be raced single-handed, but he has also opted for a S'ly option which a fair number of his rivals didn't believe would pay off.

By making headway along a tiny vein of air along the Spanish coast in the same way as he did during his third and victorious attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy back in the winter, the skipper of Groupama 3 forced the pace so as to make it through before the gateway to the favourable winds closed behind him.

Suffering from strong chest pains, nausea and extreme fatigue, Bernard Quentin (Cote d'Or II) was evacuated from his trimaran this morning by the Spanish navy who transferred him to the charge of the medical team at Burela.

Jean Maurel, Race Director:

"After consultation with Dr Jean-Yves Chauve, the race doctor, we made the decision to ask the skipper Bernard Quentin to activate his distress beacon."

"I contacted the MRCC Griz Nez, the authority to coordinate all rescues in this race, to inform them of the problem on board Cote d'Or II and of the activation of the distress beacon." "At the same time Dr. Chauve, contacted the CCMM (Marine Medical Consultation Centre) at Toulouse, the specialist medical centre for ships at sea, sending the medical file of Bernard Quentin to have a second diagnosis." "The CCMM having confirmed Dr Chauve's diagnosis, I then asked MRCC Madrid, to the start the evacuation of the skipper as soon as possible."

"At 1020hrs the helicopter took off to go to the latest known position. Arriving on zone, because of the bad conditions along with Rene Boulaire we refined the position of Cote d'Or II, and requested Bernard Quentin to transmit on Channel 16 to facilitate the location of the trimaran." "Bernard was lifted off by helicopter at 1140hrs (CET/France). He is currently in hospital in Burela, Spain and we await further updates."

Proving the IMOCA Open 60 is as competitive as ever, Armel Le Cleac'h remains the fourth leader in the fleet of nine boats to have taken the lead on this race. After being first to tack up to the north at around midnight last night. While the majority of the leading group are between 150 and 210 miles north west of Cape Finisterre, Michel Desjoyeaux and Arnaud Boissières continue to make favorable progress just 60 miles off the Portuguese coast, on the more south easterly routing. But it will be some days before it is possible to say which option will pay the best dividend.

Armel Le Cleac'h and Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) were the first to work to the north west, towards the rhumb line route to Guadeloupe and have benefited, while Christopher Pratt (DCNS 1000) shows an attack which belies his lack of solo racing experience on an IMOCA Open 60. The 29 year old Open 60 rookie still holds third just 11 miles behind Le Cleac'h, runner up in the 2008-9 Vendee Globe and double winner of the Figaro Solitaire.

The duel continues in Class 40 where Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkerque) leads Bernard Stamm (Cheminees Poujoulat) by a small margin now, while Nicolas Troussel (CMB) lies third but has made the almost singular choice to go for the southerly routing.

After two days of racing the top ten comprises a mix of the pre-race favourites and the unexpected, but they are within 26 miles of each other in terms of distance to the finish, nothing at all on a course of 3550 miles to Guadeloupe.

Samuel Manuard (Vector Plus), Eric Defert (Drekan Terralia Energy-Group), the German Jorg Riechers (, Damien Grimont (Monbana), Yvan Noblet (Appart City), Jean-Edouard Criquioche (Picoty Group) all hustle but they still have work to do to catch Ruyant and Stamm, who already has two round the world race wins on his extensive CV.

Kiwi Conrad Colman on the Owen-Clarke designed 40 Degrees is making solid progress in 22nd place, whilst Britons Richard Tolkien (ICAP Orca) and Pete Goss (DMS) are in 26th and 29th respectively.

Position report at 1500 GMT on Tuesday 2nd November
1. Groupama 3 some 2,731 miles from the finish
2. Sodebo 65 miles behind the leader
3. Oman Air Majan 106 miles astern
4. Idec 160 miles astern
5. Gitana 11 208 miles astern

Brad Van Liew Has Eyes On Cape Town
Velux 5 Oceans race leader Brad Van Liew is waiting for a "window of opportunity" to start the final sprint to Cape Town. The 42-year-old American solo sailor has led the fleet for the majority of the last 16 days since leaving La Rochelle in France on ocean sprint one to Cape Town.

Since crossing the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere on Saturday, Brad and his Eco 60 yacht Le Pingouin have been blasting down the east coast of Brazil in steady winds, a refreshing contrast to the frustrating conditions of the Doldrums. Brad has a lead over second placed Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski of more than 150 nautical miles - but with around 3,000 nautical miles still to go before Cape Town, the race is far from over.

The race leaders must next tackle the St Helena High, a huge area of high pressure sitting in the South Atlantic between them and their destination. A quick passage through the South Atlantic will rely on finding a corridor through using the west-moving low pressure systems that form off the coast of Brazil.

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: 3,004.3; 0; 142.7; 5.9
Gutek: 3,165.1; 160.8; 132.8; 5.5
Derek Hatfield: 3,590; 585.7; 108.1; 4.5
Chris Stanmore-Major: 3,759.2; 754.9; 131.3; 5.5
Christophe Bullens: 5,200.1; 2,195.7; 7.6; 0.3

Stand-By for the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire
Moored at the Port du Chateau in Brest since October 20, the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire is ready for his big rendezvous: the Jules Verne Trophy. As of the 1st November, Pascal Bidegorry and his Team have officially entered the stand-by period, during which weather data will be scrutinized very closely to undertake and beat the referenced time of this circumnavigation around the globe.

Pascal Bidegorry, the fourteen men on board and the onshore router, Marcel van Triest, peacefully deal with the beginning of the stand-by period : "We are fully prepared since the Maxi Banque Populaire is moored in Brest. We have now been focusing on the weather and stand ready to seize the slightest opportunity. Marcel van Triest and Juan Villa, our embarked navigator, work together regularly as new weather data fall every six hours. For my part, I make two daily meetings with them in order to get a more accurate visibility. To preserve myself, I however try to be more detached from the presence requirement involved by the stand-by period. Jeremie Beyou is thus in charge of taking over the crew. We adapt the organization based on lessons learned from our previous records. "

Systems and their evolutions will be thoroughly analyzed to give Pascal and his men the opportunity to depart and beat the referenced time established last winter by Franck Cammas and his crew in 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds.

Joint 420 and 470 Clinic In South America
The 420 and 470 Classes collaborated to run an international coaching clinic in Buenos Aires, 26-28 October 2010. Organised by Fernanda Sesto, 470 helm at three Olympic Games, four experienced coaches delivered a very full 3-day training programme for over 60 sailors, together with six coaches from South American and Caribbean countries.

The primary purpose was to facilitate the development of 420 and 470 sailing across South America. In the event, there were participants from seven different nations, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Italy and Spain. The event was led by Juan de la Fuente (Olympic Bronze Medallist in Sydney 2000), with Lucas Calabrese (Juan's current helm), and Argentinean national coaches Agustin Zucati and Fernando Gwozdz.

The event was planned to take place between the two weekends of competition at the prestigious Semana de Buenos Aires at the Yacht Club Argentino. A handful of sailors with world class experience, were sailing at the Semana in preparation for the 420 World Championships to be held in Buenos Aires at the end of December, which gave added benefits for all.

A significant motivation for the participating teams was preparation for the 2011 420 Open World Championships being hosted by the Yacht Club Argentino at the end of the year. The involvement of the more experienced 420 teams was helpful to those newer to international competition, including those from countries with relatively new 420 fleets, and it provided great experience of a larger, competitive start line. The competitors from outside Argentina were also keen to learn about managing the specific local sailing conditions.

* The International 420 Class Association are seeking to employ a part-time Class Administrator.

The candidates interested in the position can send their CVs to the Executive Committee at the following email address:

The deadline for sending the CV is 1st December 2010. The EC will then shortlist the candidates who will be notified of their inclusion in such shortlist. The final decision will be taken (approximately) by the end of December 2010.

The chosen candidate will start working for the Class from 1st February 2011.

The successful applicant will be diplomatic, highly organised, with excellent IT skills, and good written and verbal communication skills in English. They will need to demonstrate the ability to work on their own initiative, prioritise their workload and maintain accuracy under pressure.

Knowledge of sailboat racing and an enthusiasm for the development of young people through sport are essential.

It is necessary that the successful candidate be based in Europe, and be prepared to travel. The ability to communicate in other languages would be an advantage.

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

Not so mad
A quiet and thoughtful man, but a tough, ingenious and determined competitor, Jocelyn and Lenaic Bleriot pay tribute to Royale II skipper Loic Caradec (right)

The biggest show in town
Patrice Carpentier picks out some of the highlights among the 87 boats and their solo skippers who are racing the 9th Route du Rhum

After a long period of doubt TP52 class manager Rob Weiland has something to celebrate, as does Terry Hutchinson. Jogging the memory bank with Bruce Kirby and Dennis Conner, plus Frithjof Kleen discusses 'nation-hunting' with Lynn Fitzpatrick

Sail Sydney Early Entries Close in 10 Days
Sail Sydney will be held from Woollahra Sailing Club on Sydney Harbour from Monday 6th – Thursday 9th December 2010.

Sail Sydney encourages all competitors to get their entry in early and avoid the late payment fee as early entry closes in 10 days on Friday 12th December 2010 at 1700hrs

To view current list of entries go to:

Competitors can enter online at or fill out the entry form located in the Notice of Race.

Classified by ISAF as a Grade 1 event, Sail Sydney is one event on the sailing calendar not to be missed. Enter now!

If you have any questions about the regatta please contact Daniel Williams at

British Boats Clean Sweep At Etchells Italian Nationals
Just as the Rolex Middle Sea Race guns sounded in Malta on Saturday October 23rd 2010 for the biggest annual offshore race in the Med , further north off the beautiful Italian Tuscan coast at Rosignano Solvay the postponement flag was unfurled at the Etchells Italian Nationals . The sunshine and the cool blue colour of the Med made up for the light winds, and eventually the AP came down and the Championship started under the experienced eye of Marco Cimarosti.

Clean sweep for the Cowes fleet : 1st Holly Scott (Eamonn O'Nolan), 2nd Hex (James Howells), 3rd Johnny Bravo (Tom Alexander). Indigo came 1st in the Italian fleet, an impressive improvement on last year's result.

Special thanks to Marco and Otto Cimarosti who helped organise the fleet, and they brought 4 boats over from Genoa which helped make the fleet up to a healthy 10 boats. The hospitality shown by them, the yacht club and Slam was second to none and the GBR boats are all looking forward to the European Championships this weekend where they will also be joined by Bedrock.

North Sails Golf Day
Photo by Ian Finlay. Click on image for photo gallery.

North Sails Golf Day A cool cloudy morning greeted the 90 golfers who turned out for the fourteenth North Sails Golf Day on Friday 29th October at Cams Hall in Fareham. John 'Jonny' Merricks worked at North Sails and the first Golf Day, organised as it is today with the help of the Seahorse Golf Society, was set up to raise money for a Trust to be started in John's name. Since its inception 14 years ago the Golf Day has raised over £137,000.

Olympic Gold Medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson enjoyed some well-deserved downtime during a round of golf with fellow international sailors including Guy Salter, Chris Mason, Matt Cornwell, Jonathan Taylor, James Stagg, Eddie Warden Owen and Ossie Stewart.

This fantastic event always draws the support of former colleagues and friends of John's, Olympic medallists, Americas Cup sailors, yacht designers and keen amateur sailors who turn out to play a good game of golf whilst remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.

Winner of the day Will Donaldson scored 41 Stableford points and was presented with the North Sails Trophy. In second place was David Young, whilst third place went to Ian Clarke.

Meanwhile Alison Essex took the ladies trophy and Andrew McCall's team walked away with the Team Trophy of four Golf Day branded sport bags donated by Craftinsure.

Ian Clarke won this year's Bandit Trophy - an annual trophy originally presented by Mark Tomson, the first Bandit winner. Dick Owens won the Musto Nearest the Pin prize and the Musto sponsored Longest Drive was achieved by Ben Nicholls.

Olympic Gold Medallists and Star World Champions, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, performed a highly entertaining double act as auctioneers, coaxing a grand total of £1,475 for an array of diverse prizes, from bidders in the auction.

Results Men's Winner - Will Donaldson - North Sails Trophy - £150 pro shop vouches
2nd - David Young - £100 pro shop vouchers
3rd - Ian Clarke - £50 pro shop vouchers
Ladies Winner - Alison Essex - Crystal Putter and £50 pro shop vouchers
Bandit Trophy - Ian Clarke

Photographs were taken by Ian Finlay and Jake Sugden and a selection are displayed on this site. High resolution images can be ordered directly from the JMST for a minimum donation of £10.

Huge thanks go to North Sails for managing the event, Peter Nash of the Seahorse Golf Society and every company and individual who donated prizes and the individual Hole Sponsors:

Dimension Polyants; Osmotech; RF Composites; TT Rigging; Toolkit Websites; Soluxion IT; Grapefruit Graphics; Craftinsure.

Yachtworld Magazine
YachtWorld Magazine YachtWorld Magazine has changed its format, and with its new look will be available from the YachtWorld Brokers Villages, exhibiting at Boat Shows around the world. Resized, and refreshed cover, you will still find hundreds of boats for sale from key boating areas in the UK, Mediterranean and further afield. In addition we have some great new editorial features to support the shows, with buying and selling advice and up to date profiles on our participating brokers.

The next available magazine, in both print and digital format, will be in December focussing on the Brokers Village at the 50th Salon Nautique de Paris, followed by issues at both London and Dusseldorf Shows.

Volvo Ocean Race: One Year To Go
With one year remaining until the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race begins with the In-Port race in Alicante, much is in place and a lot is still to be done. CEO Knut Frostad discusses preparations for the grand departure and explains why he feels this will be one of the closest races ever.

What's the state of play regarding entries and the hunt for sponsorship?

We currently have six boats that are funded and ready for the next event, which is pretty much where we were at this time before the last race. It's no secret that my ambition was to have more, but the economic downturn has hurt the international sponsor market. In that respect, I'm really pleased because we as an organiser, combined with the teams, have raised more than 210 million euros in commercial sponsorship and rights fees. Compared to any other sporting event in the last 18 months it is substantial.

Are there other teams waiting in the wings?

There are four other teams that are very serious about taking part and then there is another group of five that are also working on it. We are focused on bringing more boats to the start line. If we achieve the same number as the last race (eight) then, it would be very, very good. My ambitions are higher than that but we have to be realistic. The market is incredibly tough, whereas for the last race it was possibly the best it had been.

How much interest has there been in boats from the last race?

A lot. We are hoping for a minimum of three from the last race. One of the six we know of has a second-hand boat. Of the four that are seriously working on it, three are second-hand boat projects.

How are the ports shaping up?

The bidding process for the stopover ports has been a great success and has been completed far sooner than in previous races. As such, there has been less organisational stress and most likely a better product. It's great to have France back involved - it is a market we really wanted - and likewise for Abu Dhabi. Not only that, I think the sailing challenge is going to be fantastic.

The leg to Abu Dhabi will be an extension of the leg last race to Cochin in India and can only give the sailors more challenges, which is a good thing. And by breaking up the route to Brazil with Auckland will make a big difference. Now there is a full-on Southern Ocean leg. They will enter the Southern Ocean as a pack and it should make for close racing. That's what we all want and I'm certain with a year to go that it's what we're going to get.

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The Last Word
I call him free who is led solely by reason. -- Baruch Spinoza

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