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King Of The Motorway
In the clash of the giants that is the Ultime class of the 2010 Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, Franck Cammas is looking increasingly likely to be crowned king, as Groupama 3 profits from another day of unchecked high speed miles down the trade winds motorway towards Guadeloupe

The big green tri devoured nearly 490 miles of Atlantic in the 24 hours to 1500hrs (CET) today. Groupama 3's lead is now up to the best part of 350 miles with just over 1770 miles to go, well ahead of a worthy three cornered fight as support billing, Sodebo, Gitana XI and Idec all within 30 miles variation of each other powering towards the finish at very similar speeds.

Groupama 3's 24 hour averages continue to be in excess of 20 knots, leaving Yann Guichard, solo skipper of the route record holding Gitana XI, in third to admit today that he is resigned to the battle for the remaining podium places.

Meantime after his rescue from his badly damaged Air Oman Majan yesterday evening, Sidney Gavignet is now on board the Turkish bulk tanker Kavo Alexander heading for either Gibraltar or Malta. He is expected to disembark either in Gibraltar, Saturday or Malta. Tuesday, depending on the ship's refuelling itinerary. Oman Air Majan's shore team are heading for the Azores to evaluate a salvage mission.

In the IMOCA Open 60 class it is a buoyant Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement), the Farr designed former BT and Armel Le Cleac'h on Brit Air, a Finot Conq design, both of three years vintage which currently top a fleet which contains no fewer than three new designs launched already this year.

Bernard Stamm (Cheminees Poujoulat), double round the world race winner and one of the favourites to win, suffered another ocean racing disappointment today when he confirmed that he expects to have to make a repair pitstop in the Azores, just under 500 miles to the SW, after a failure in his steering system. He can only sail relatively slowly downwind with the helm jammed and sails balanced. The popular Swiss skipper is trying to make a temporary fix.

Inspired perhaps by the massive send off last Sunday and the engaging action which has prevailed, nearly 200,00 players are now engaged in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale virtual game. And since the race was launched more than 237,000 unique visitors have logged on to the official race website, and more than 50,000 users have downloaded the official iPhone application.

Ranking for the Ultimate Category on 4th November at 1500 GMT
1, Groupama 3 some 1,771.9 miles from the finish
2. Sodebo 346.4 miles astern
3. Gitana 11 some 356.6 miles astern
4. Idec 372.3 miles behind the leader
5. La Boite a Pizza 684.9 miles astern
6. Defi Cancale 953.4 miles astern
7. Saint-Malo 2015 some 995.1 miles astern
Retirement - Cote d'Or II
Retirement Oman Air Majan

* Marc Guillemot managed to solve his solent headsail hook problem (the sail locking mechanism) yesterday afternoon and is now able to get the full potential out of Safran.

After more than three days of sailing, the situation out in the North Atlantic is becoming clearer for the nine IMOCA monohulls: on a southerly route, Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and Arnaud Boissieres (Akena Verandas) are sailing in light north-easterly trade winds, while the seven other solo sailors are on tracing a straight line across the ocean and are due to pass to the north of the Azores this evening, thanks to a south-south-westerly wind blowing at around fifteen knots. Speeds are similar throughout the fleet, but the northern option seems to be paying off, as it implies sailing closer to the direct route.

* Excellent spirits but sea state deteriorating fast for UniCredit

This beat is like those sports massages, you know it'll feel good tomorrow but you just wish it was over sooner. The wind has backed a little which is good for the route but this means we are going almost perpendicularly into the old waves, i just lept off the top of a massive stray wave and i felt my heart in my throat as we were airborne, my mind thought that's it, we landed into an absolutely deafening crash, i instinctively looked at the mast, still standing... not sure how to improve the situation, if i bear off we'll go even faster, if i slow down we wont power through and slam at every wave, the jib does all the job in keeping the bow down. We have until tomorrow of this, which is becoming quite disturbing, the last thing i need is some damage.

I know it could all be short lived as the gaps between the boats are very small, as i can gain a few i can lose a few but very chuffed to see UniCredit up in 16th from 26th yesterday, i dont read much into it, i can easily wake up tomorrow and dropped al the way back. Apparently i did the 9th best 24 hours run in the fleet with 170 miles to windward, unsurprisingly Thomas Ruyant clocked 188, but was pretty much as fast as Groupe Picoty. -- Marco Nannini

Derek Hatfield Shaves Off Iconic Moustache to Mark Equator Crossing
Derek Hatfield Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield made a special offering to Neptune as he passed the Equator yesterday - by shaving off his iconic moustache. The 57-year-old has crossed the Equator many times and has always honoured the tradition among sailors of performing a ritual to appease King Neptune, ancient god of the seas.

But as he entered the Southern Hemisphere halfway through the first sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS from La Rochelle to Cape Town, Derek decided to go one step further than the usual offerings of alcohol and food. As he passed the Equator, Derek put razor to his face and shaved off his bushy 38-year-old moustache, partly as his offering, and partly to raise awareness of the dangers of prostate cancer.

Despite being miles out to sea alone in the Atlantic, devoid of energy and totally sleep-deprived, Derek decided to take part in the worldwide charity movement Movember, whereby men all round the world grow their moustaches for the month of November to raise awareness and funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity. Derek has had a moustache since he was a rookie in the Canadian mounties when he 20, so he decided to do the complete opposite and shave his moustache off. It is thought that Derek is the first person ever in the event's eight-year-history to take part from the middle of an ocean.

"Sailors do funny things when they cross the equator, to attain for all their past sailing digressions, they must ask Neptune for a pass," Derek explained. "This is not my first time across so I thought I would do something a bit different. November is now Movember and all men are asked to grow a moustache to bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer.

"But you might say, but you already have a moustache. Yes, I started growing this moustache as a young policeman at age twenty. So, when I crossed the equator I shaved off my moustache that I have had for 38 years and have started a new one. My 38-year-old moustache took only seconds to disappear. It has left my upper lip a little exposed to the sun but it definitely is cooler!"

3 New Products From Sea Sure For Mets - 2 Nominated For Dame Awards - One Standard, The Best!
Sea Sure Sea Sure is launching three new products at METS, of which the Radial Rudder Stock and the Slick Release Tiller Extension have been nominated for the coveted DAME awards. Slick Release is a 'no snag' design when locked and operates a positive 'click and closed' system.

The Rudder Stock is much lighter weight in construction and for the first time allows precision of easy adjustment, when in shallow water or launching.

In addition, Sea Sure are introducing their new range of keelboat transom fittings, which are larger versions of the popular and widely used dinghy transom fittings.

For more information contact Sea Sure +44 (0) 1489 885401 or visit the stand at METS number 01.461

Wet Feet Overall Winner of Longtze European Tour 2010
The breeze was acting up on Lake Constance this weekend for the final of the Longtze European Tour: no wind on Friday, a little on Saturday, but a good medium breeze to finish.

In total, seven legs were raced, seven courses dominated by the German team " Wet Feet" who took out the event with a lead of 6 points over Jarmo Wieland's "Shensu" and 13 over the Naval Academy crew led by Stephane Christidis. The Longtze "Voiles et Voiliers" finished fourth.

The battle was tight throughout the season in the wake of the blue Longtze, evident in the fact that there is a very small margin in the overall ranking of the top 5, only two points separating the second.

Throughout the season, new owners, attracted by the Longtze, entered the race with the firm intention of participating in as many competitions as possible. 2010 was also the year the first Swiss national association was created. The Student circuit has transformed its 'debut' into a success. Serious contacts have been made in other countries to further develop Longtze Premier events.

Rendezvous in early December at the Salon Nautique de Paris for the official awards ceremony of Longtze European Tour 2010 and the announcement of the 2011 race schedule: changes and new things to come ...

Ranking of the Bodensee Cup, final of the Longtze European Tour
1. Eckhard Kaller (Germany) - Wet Feet, 5 points
2. Jarmo Wieland (Switzerland) - Shensu, 11
3. Stephane Christidis (France) - Ecole Navale - Hec Sailing Team, 18
4. Laurent Berjon (France) - Voiles & Voiliers, 19
5. Markus Ziltener (Switzerland) - Carissima, 23
6.. Matthieu Girolet / Georges Asperti (France) - Ovik, 31
7. Michael Berenbach (Allemagne) - Maycor, 32
8. Markus Graf (Switzerland), 34
9. Walter Schneider (Suisse) - Outsider, 36
10. Beat Frank (Switzerland) - Qi, 37
11. Orhan Gorbon (Turc), 39
12.. Michael Begher (Germany) - Corvus, 39
13. Beatrice Maupas Sauvage (France), 63

Longtze European Tour 2010
General ranking (Top 5)
1. Eckhard Kaller (Germany) - Wet Feet, 47 points
2. Jarmo Wieland (Switzerland) - Shensu, 35
3. Laurent Berjon (France) - Voiles & Voiliers, 34
4. Matthieu Girolet / Georges Asperti (France) - Ovik, 33
5. Markus Ziltener (Switzerland) - Carissima, 29

Balance, Polaris Handicap Winners in Lord Howe Island Race
Balance. Click on image to enlarge.

Lord Howe Race Paul Clitheroe's Balance has been confirmed as the provisional winner of the IRC handicap division of the Hempel Paints 37th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race, with Chris Dawe's Polaris of Belmont provisional winner of the PHS division.

This is the first Lord Howe Island Race win for Balance, a Beneteau 45 from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, but the third PHS win for Polaris of Belmont, a Cole 43 that contested the first race to the island in 1974. She was also the IMS division winner as well as taking out PHS first place in 1997.

Polaris of Belmont was the only boat on the register of the Gosford Sailing Club to contest this year's race.

A late bid by Phil Bennett's King Billy failed when did not cross the line off Lord Howe Island's coral lagoon until just before midnight last night, with Amante (Dennis Cooper) and King Billy finishing less than two minutes apart.

Balance, a Beneteau 45 from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, finished second across the line to the Marten 49 Ocean Affinity mid-morning yesterday and has comfortably won the IRC division on corrected time from Ocean Affinity and Greg Zyner's Radford 12 Copernicus from Manly Yacht Club.

Polaris of Belmont finished the tough 414 nautical mile race at 08:51:18 this morning to clinch the PHS division from Antony Sweetapple's Jones 40 Quetzalcoatl.

Polaris of Belmont will be heading south for her 26th Sydney Hobart, the record for any individual yacht in the 628 nautical mile classic and owner Chris Dawe must be delighted with her determined effort in yet another Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race.

The last yacht in the fleet still racing, the 'missing' boat Frantic, skippered by Michael Martin from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, has still not made contact with race officials by radio, but she is the smallest boat in the fleet and would be trailing the other boats. On Sunday night, in response to a radio call to the fleet, a yacht, presumably Frantic, fired a white flare which was sighted by Polaris of Belmont.

No further contact has been made with the 11.9m yacht but late this morning Gosford Sailing Club officials were confident they had located a satellite tracker sending a signal that they believe is coming from Frantic. The tracker shows a boat well south-west of Lord Howe Island, but heading west back towards the Australian coast, but at least a day's sail from a port. -- Peter Campbell

Tisdale Wins 2010 Beneteau 36.7 North Americans
Ullman Sails After a strong racing season, Gary Tisdale and team on "First Today" hit their stride in Annapolis to claim the 2010 Beneteau 36.7 North American Championship, October 21-24. Fully powered by Ullman Sails, the team secured their title by nine points! Tisdale compliments his tactician Adam Burns and crew for outstanding work as they won four races and placed outside of the top four only once in 11 total races.

The team competed with a new genoa, which Tisdale said was "the best I've seen. It provided the speed and point we needed to get to the shifts first."

Sylie Viant Joins Global Ocean Race Team
The highly experienced offshore racing expert, Sylvie Viant, has joined the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) as a vital member of the Race Organisation team. Viant will be supporting the GOR Race Director, Josh Hall, with special responsibility for scrutineering the double-handed Class40 fleet throughout the circumnavigation and ensuring the safety of the teams offshore.

Viant brings valuable firsthand, offshore experience and an exceptional depth of knowledge to the GOR team: in 1973-74, she crewed in the Whitbread Round the World Race on board Grand Louis - skippered by her father - and later completed two legs in the 1981 edition of the event. While she has competed in numerous transatlantic, fully-crewed, monohull races, Viant is best known onshore for her tenure as Technical Manager of the French offshore racing authority UNCL (Union Nationale pour la Course au Large) during which she became an integral part of the race management team behind her country's premier offshore events including the Route du Rhum; the Tour de France a la Voile; the Vendee Globe and the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Her reputation and skill has crossed the English Channel where Viant was Race Director for the British-run 2004 Transat and the 2008 Artemis Transat and she has also worked in Spain for the 2007-08 Barcelona World Race. Currently, Viant is part of the 12-strong FFVoile team on the Race Committee of the single-handed Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale

24th Annual Bitter End Pro Am Regatta
North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI : Big wind visited the BVI for the final day of fleet racing in the BEYC's Pro Am Regatta, and the finals of the Harken Scuttlebutt Sailing Club's Championship.

Complete story:

Camper Prepares for the Volvo Ocean Race
With a year to go and counting until the Volvo Ocean Race start gun in Alicante, CAMPER is in good shape.

The on-water side of the project, run by Emirates Team New Zealand, has nearly completed the design phase and is well into the build of their new Volvo Open 70. The hull and packages are due for completion by mid-November and the team at Cookson Boats in Auckland will start putting the structure inside the boat in the next week or so.

"We are more or less on schedule, which is almost unheard of, so we are a little wary," was Nicholson's guarded comment. "We are just about to complete our fourth wind tunnel testing session and at the end of that, we will start to choose the initial sail designs for when the boat hits the water in mid April".

The final sailing crew will be announced in mid-December, and in the interim most have been continuing to participate in regattas and getting as much sailing in as possible before officially starting on the CAMPER project in March next year.

"The team is coming together well, and they have done quite a bit of sailing, which is good - I'm getting a bit rusty as I have been a bit desk-bound over the past few months!" he continued.

While Nicholson, the boat builders and the design team have been developing and refining the boat, the shore-side of Emirates Team New Zealand have been developing and working on the team's shore base set-up.

While Camper has a relationship with sailing, the Volvo Ocean Race is its first leap into this mammoth adventure of premium global sports sponsorship. Camper, a leading Spanish brand from Mallorca is often referred to as a 'great little Company' and looks for international recognition as the 'great little Spanish shoe Company'. The family-owned Mallorcan company has a market presence in 42 countries and sells an average of 4 million shoes a year.

Having identified the stopovers that are key countries to the Camper brand, the company is currently developing specific projects for each of these markets as well as looking how to maximise the opportunities through its 320 shops and shop in shops worldwide and in 2800 independent retailers around the world.

Russian Sailing Team Synergy Will Build New TP52 For 2011
Russia's Synergy Sailing Team are the latest to announce that they will build a new TP52 for the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit. The campaign is part of a project to improve the top level of Russian grand prix sailing and introduce more young Russian talent to the upper levels of professional sailing.

The new build TP52 will be built from the same mould as the new Botin Carkeek designed Quantum Racing (USA). The boat will be backed by the same group of five enthusiastic owners and co-sponsors with the team also looking for new co-sponsors to come on board.

Decisions as to the exact composition of the crew for next season have not been taken. This season their boat was steered by Karol Jablonski (POL) with Rod Dawson (NZL) on tactics, Chris Main (NZL) trimming mainsheet and Francesco Mongelli (ITA) navigating.

Synergy Sailing Team's project manager Maxim Logutenko says:

"The helmsman for sure will be Russian. We are very excited about the project. It is a good opportunity to bring Russian sailing to the world sailing community. We have five co-owners and some co-sponsors and we are looking for more sponsorship for next year. It is the same group which is pushing, pushing all the time."


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The Last Word
Comedy is acting out optimism. -- Robin Williams

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