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Monsoon Cup - Day 1: Preview
Good morning from rainy Kuala Terengganu, home of the Monsoon Cup, closing event of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour. This is set to be the most exciting and thrilling edition of the Malaysian event with 5 sailors aiming the world match racing champion title. Any of Mathieu Richard, Adam Minoprio, Ben Ainslie, Torvar Mirsky and Iain Williams can be the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing champion next Sunday.

Racing starts 12pm local time (5am CET) with two extremely important match at the very beginning. In match 1 Mirsky will face Minoprio and in match 2 the two Brits, Williams and Ainslie will race against each other. After the first two flights are completed the grandiose opening ceremony will officially kick off the event and at 4pm local time (9am CET) racing will resume. Race officials hope to gave another 4 flights, weather allowing.

Racing is streamed LIVE online every day, right here on Valencia Sailing* . In an another innovation aimed at trying to make the sport of sailing more attractive to the general media, some of the skippers will be wearing biometric belts that will be sending the signal back to the TV production room. For the first time we'll be able to have the world's top match racers under "observation" in real-time, having their heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature on our screens. They are the same biometric belts the Chilean miners were wearing during their rescue, after they were trapped in their mine.

Mathieu Richard is probably the one feeling the most pressure. He's so close to achieving what he has been fighting for during the last few years, to be crowned world champion, but it will be nothing but straightforward for the French. His results in the last two match racing events he took part in were far from stellar. He failed to make it through the qualifying series in Bermuda in October, latest WMRT event, while last week we was beaten in the quarterfinals by Phil Robertson in the Australia Cup, a grade 2 qualifying event for the Monsoon Cup. In yesterday's press conference Richard dispelled the worries, stating he felt confident and that the Australia Cup was a very useful training regatta for his crew. In order to have his world title guaranteed, Richard has to finish in the top two positions. If he doesn't make it to the finals then the world title could go to any of the remaining top 4 skippers, depending on their respective results.

His most immediate opponent, Adam Minoprio, seemed quite more relaxed. He is the reigning world champion, a title he conquered again right here in the Monsoon Cup a year ago at the age of 24. His future as well is clearer than most of his competitors. Whatever the result might be in Malaysia, starting next week Minoprio will be working full time on the Camper / Team New Zealand team in the current Volvo Ocean Race. In fact, the Spanish-Kiwi entry in the round-the-world race will announce its full crew on December 15th. -- Pierre Orphanidis at Valencia Sailing:

*Editor: The streaming video feed and Mark Chisnell's live blog at

Outteridge and Jensen Win Zhik Australian 49er Championship
The Australian Sailing Team's 49er crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen has continued with their winning ways, picking up their second Australian 49er Championship on Wednesday on Lake Macquarie.

Outteridge and Jensen's win continues their extraordinary run, now sitting at 10 wins from 11 regattas since teaming up together in early 2009.

Hosted by Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club, competitors in the 2010 Australian 49er Championship faced a mixture of conditions across the four days with close racing throughout the 16 boat fleet.

Outteridge and Jensen were in a close battle across all four days with New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke with the two crews neck and neck for most of the regatta until the Australian's pulled ahead on the last day with three wins from four races.

The Australian Sailing Development Squad's Steve Thomas and crew Nick Brownie were also at the pointy end of the fleet finishing in third place, just two points behind Burling and Tuke.

The 49ers now head south to Sydney with racing at the second round of the 2010 Sail Down Under Series, Sail Sydney, beginning at Woollahra Sailing Club on Monday. -- Craig Heydon in,

Event site:

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Adrian Stead (GBR)
‘Nice guy, annoying to race against!’ - Luke Molloy; ‘One of the coolest guys in sailing’ - Phil Harmer; ‘Good job!’ - Ed Reynolds; ‘Years of getting beat by Ado so it seemed smarter to get him on our boat’ - Terry Hutchinson; ‘A solid player and for a long time’ - Kyle Weaver; ‘What happened to the modelling?’ - Mariana Asprey; ‘A great sailor, and an accountant!’ - Rob Pezman; ‘This man gave up selling cheese to go sailing... the cheese world’s loss’ - Matt Cornwell. Seahorse Sailor of the Month comes to you with Musto, Harken McLube and Dubarry. G’is a ring for your prizes, Ado

This month's nominees:

Gus Miller (USA)
‘For a couple of decades I have been telling my body, just get me through this [regatta] and I’ll quit... I came in from today’s practice race (at the windy 2010 Gold Cup in San Francisco) and my body told me I’d lied.’ At 75 years of age the legend of US Finn sailor Gus Miller just continues to grow. Always quotable and as passionate about ‘his’ class as he was back in the 60s, we don’t expect to be talking retirement any time soon.

Andrew Mcirvine (GBR)
Yes we may have to find room for a ‘reader rant’ page next issue, but first reflect on this: whether through timing or skill, the current RORC Commodore was the man in the chair when the RORC and ORC finally found joint-basis to work together on a rating structure such that one day soon the great bulk of the world offshore fleet could share a single system with all the obvious benefits that will bring... Hurrah

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Imperia Winter Regatta
Imperia, Italy: The 21st edition of Imperia Winter Regatta, the event organized by Yacht Club Imperia will start on 4th December 2010.

At least 350 crews will be at sea: the racing classes will be 420 (open and ladies) that is the largest fleet with (for now) more the 120 entries, Olympic classes 470 (man and women) and Laser /Standard (man), Radial woman and Radial boys.

Twentyfour countries will be represented in the fleet with teams coming from Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerlan, Turkey, UK, Ukraine.

As usual the headquarter will be based in Oneglia Harbour while the races will be sailed on 2 different sail areas in front of Imperia Harbour and races will be managed by an international jury: ten races are scheduled for 470 and Laser classes, nine for 420 and L'Equipe classes.

The first race for all classes is scheduled at 10.00am on 5th December 2010.

As usual L'Equipe teams will race in Imperia taking part in the International Meeting. -- Laura Jelmini,

Geoff Holt Nominated for Top Saling Award
Disabled sailor Geoff Holt is in the running for one of his sport's top accolades. Mr Holt, from Shedfield, near Fareham, is one of three sailors shortlisted for the 2010 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award.

With voting decided by members of the Yachting Journalists Association, the winner will be announced on January 11.

Previous winners have included Sir Robin Knox Johnston and Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Mr Holt, 44, who was made an MBE earlier this month, said: 'I can not begin to explain what this means to me.

"Given the choice between an MBE and Yachtsman of the Year, I think I would choose YOTY award every time.

"Tens of thousands of people receive MBEs but more people have walked on the moon than received the YOTY Award - it is the ultimate accolade in our sport because it is voted for by the people who matter most, the yachting journalists themselves, all of them experienced yachtsman. It's more like a 'knighthood of sailing' than an award."

Sail Faster And Smarter!
Speed and Smarts Speed & Smarts is a bi-monthly newsletter packed with tips to improve your racing performance. It's written by winning AC tactician David Dellenbaugh, and each issue has 16 pages full of instructional advice on tactics, strategy, speed, boathandling and rules (plus there's no advertising!).

Whether you race a one-design or big boat, at the top or bottom of your fleet, you'll find lots of valuable ideas in Speed & Smarts. In fact, when you consider the cost of other go-fast items you can buy, this newsletter gives you extremely good "bang for your buck."

View a sample issue at

Subscribe at

Jessica's Sydney Hobart Clarification
There has been much debate this week regarding whether or not Jessica Watson should be permitted to sail in this year's prestigious Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. Jessica would just like to clarify the situation.

The annual competition starts in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day. Under-age sailors have been exempt from the race since strict safety rules were enforced after the deaths of six crew during devastating storms in 1998.

Jessica must be 18 before she can compete in it. She has no issues with the rule, set down by the race organisers, the Cruising Yacht Club (CYC) of Australia.

"I have never made an application to enter this year's race. I am aware of the rules and had always planned to spend Christmas with my family this year anyway," said Jessica.

CYC's Commodore Garry Linacre said he would love to see Jessica take part in the race next year.

"I would very much like to see Jessica participate in the race and we will do everything at the club to help her qualify and participate but it will need to be 2011, after she's turned 18," said Mr Linacre.

When asked if she was intending to participate in 2011, Jessica did not give too much way, but intimated there could be something exciting in store.

The Name Behind The Brand: Fountaine Pajot
Jean Francois Fountaine is the Fountaine in Fountaine Pajot - the world's largest cruising catamaran builder and responsible for setting industry standards for technological and design excellence since its establishment in France in 1976.

Founded by Jean-Francois Fountaine and Yves Pajot, Fountaine Pajot has 27 models to its name and more than 2200 sail and power catamarans built since 1983 - an achievement unequalled by any other multihull shipyard anywhere in the world.

President of the French Nautical Industries Federation (FIN) and a sailor himself, Jean Francois Fountaine has a prodigious pedigree in sailing, racing in the Montreal Olympics in 1976, the TransAtlantic Race in the 1980s, taking 23 days for the event and being among the first to achieve over 20 knots, as well as close to 40 years experience sailing around the world. He and his wife, Claire sailed very successfully together as a mixed crew in the days when 470 sailing was almost exclusively a male domain. Claire was manager of the French Olympic team for the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Fountaine is an advocate of creating global safety and manufacturing standards. 'They need to be the same around the world for exporting and importing, for the safety of the consumer. Europe, Australia and the US need to come together on this for customers, manufacturers and authorities. Certification needs to be the same, which will reduce the costs and the paperwork as well as clearing up any confusion with consumers.'

Adding his comments to the world's media and marine proponents, Fountaine believes the fervour with which young people have embraced 'world record attempts' could well be directed to other more suitable ventures. 'It is risky for anybody, not just the young. I am not sure it's a good thing. It does bring publicity to sailing, but perhaps turns people away from ordinary sailing for leisure.'

Full interview in :

Virbac-Paprec 3 And Foncia Launched in Barcelona
Barcelona Race Barcelona, Spain: At a little after 1000hrs (CET) on an uncharacteristically damp and cold Barcelona morning the cargo ship Olivia offloaded her precious cargo, the duo of IMOCA Open 60's Foncia and Virbac Paprec 3, on schedule without a hitch.

This morning's arrival of Jean-Pierre Dick's Virbac-Paprec 3 and Michel Desjoyeaux's Foncia directly from Martinique by ship brings the complement of IMOCA Open 60's in Barcelona to seven.

That means almost half of the 15 boat fleet, which will take to the start line on 31st December for the Barcelona World Race, are making final preparations in the start city, and despite the chill, damp weather the atmosphere is definitely building.

Virbac-Paprec 3 and Foncia's 10 day transatlantic delivery directly from the recent Route du Rhum solo transatlantic race saw them transferred immediately to the FNOB's offshore sailing base where they will undergo various levels of work against a tight deadline to be ready for the two pairs of co-skippers, Dick and Loïck Peyron and Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabbart to be sailing as soon as possible.

Foncia's objective is to be ready for the co-skippers to be sailing by 10th December

What A Fabulous Gift Idea... Not...
The telltale whiff of a fart (sorry, mum, I had to be direct about it) is now a thing of the past, thanks to a unique Australian innovation that has hit the shelves in time for Christmas.

The designer of 4SKINS, Gilbert Huynh, says although odour-neutralising fabric has been used in sportswear for years, his range of men's undies is the first time the material has been used in intimate apparel.

'Everyone has experienced those awkward situations and I thought that it would be great if you could let one off and no one could smell it,' Huynh says.

After extensive trials - with friends and family - Huynh launched 4SKINS this month and says interest in the innovation has been beyond expectation.

'I'm amazed at the number of women who are buying them for their boyfriends, sons or husbands,' he says. 'We have actually had more women buyers than men.'

No, it's not April Fool's Day and yes, the product is real.

If this doesn't prove that women are in the driver's seat when it comes to discretional spending, nothing will. -- Jeni Bone in

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1997 Volvo 60. EUR 198,000. Located in Croatia.

This VO60 (ex Assa Abloy, ex Chessie Racing) is the first cruising boat in the VolvoOcean 60 class in Croatia and one of the fastest regatta boats in the Mediterranean. She is very well maintained and is in very good condition.

Brokerage through Bach Yachting International:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I slip from workaholic to bum real easy. -- Matthew Broderick

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