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ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Miami, Florida USA: The RC 44 class made its debut in American waters today in conditions that make Miami a renowned racing venue: a northwesterly breeze gusting over 20 knots and the boats planing around the racecourse north of Government Cut at speeds of 17 to 20 knots.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami commenced today with the 14-boat fleet split into two groups of seven for preliminary match racing. If time permits by mid-Thursday, semifinals and a final will be held for the top two from each group.

The passing of a cold front helped stir up the strong northwesterlies, and the fleet completed eight flights of five matches for 40 races in total.

In Group Alpha, Cameron Appleton has Chris Bake's Team Aqua tops in the group with a 5-1 record, followed by Harm Muller-Spreer and Markus Wieser in Team Sea Dubai. Sea Dubai actually posted a 6-0 record, but had penalty points applied by the umpires.

In Group Bravo, Terry Hutchinson guided Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis to the top of the group with a 5-1 record. Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino enjoyed its best day since returning to the class and is second at 4-1 with one flight to complete the round. BMW ORACLE Racing, with Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, is third at 4-2.

The conditions taxed many of the crews, who were sore from being thrown about the light-displacement yachts, but none other than Daniel Calero's crew aboard Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The Spanish crew from the Canary Islands was forced out of action with a broken mast before morning had turned to afternoon.

Islas Canarias had just completed a jibe in its Flight 1 race when the mast broke about five feet above the gooseneck and the spar went over the port side.

"We had just completed our jibe when we heard a big crunch," said Calero. "There wasn't much we could do to save the mast."

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero returned to shore where the crew began stepping a spare mast that the RC 44 Class Association has available at each regatta for just such an incident.

Provisional Results (Through 8 flights)
Group Alpha
1. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton - 5-1, 5 points
2. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Muller-Spreer/Markus Wieser - 6-0, 4 points*
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov - 2-3, 2 points
3. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies - 4-2, 2 points*
3. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard - 2-4, 2 points
6. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner - 1-4, 1 point
7. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce - 0-6, 0 points
(* penalty points applied)

Group Bravo
1. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson - 5-1
2. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni - 4-1
3. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts - 4-2
4. 17 (USA) William Douglass/Jimmy Spithill - 4-2
5. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis - 2-4
6. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams - 1-4
7. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder - 0-6

Contest In The Caribbean
The RORC Caribbean 600 (start date 21 February) is set to provide one of the biggest showdowns for years, as Mike Slade's Farr 100, ICAP Leopard, takes on George David's Juan-K designed, Rambler 100 (formerly Speedboat). This will be the first time these two heavyweights of the sailing world will have raced each other.

The winner of this gunfight in Antigua will certainly have bragging rights and points on the board for the inaugural Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. Mike Slade, owner of ICAP Leopard, sees the RORC Caribbean 600, as the start of a very exciting campaign: "Competition will be fierce," predicted Mike Slade. "It is highly likely that different boats will have the rub of the conditions throughout. Rambler 100 is a very quick boat but like ICAP Leopard, she has a lot of beam, so may be sticky in the light and possibly a bit more fragile than us in heavier air. To win any yacht race you have to complete the course and I have no doubt that the RORC Caribbean 600 will provide a fantastic curtain raiser for the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series."

The RORC Caribbean 600 and the Pineapple Cup (Miami to Montego Bay) are the first events in the 2011 Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS). This series is in its inaugural year and includes seven of the great blue water races in the world. After these two races in the Caribbean, the series moves up the U.S. East Coast with the Annapolis to Newport Race.

Right after comes the Transatlantic Race 2011 from Newport, Rhode Island to the Lizard, just west of Plymouth, England. The European races then kick in with the hugely popular Rolex Fastnet Race, a new Biscay Race organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron from Cowes to Sanxenxo on the northwest corner of Spain and on to Malta for the Rolex Middle Sea Race organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Participation in three races, one of which must be the Transatlantic race, are required to qualify for the AORS and IRC rating will be used throughout.

The RORC Caribbean 600 course record for mono-hulls is 44 hours 5 minutes 14 seconds, set by ICAP Leopard in 2009.

Enquiries are open for the race via the Royal Ocean Racing Club:

Full detail of the race and latest news on the race website:

Experience The Shockwave
Henri Lloyd Shockwave is the world's only fully integrated and modular system of protective foul weather clothing for Offshore to Round the Cans racing. One system that lets you choose and modify the level of performance you require from the elements and impact protection.

Deck Armour - Putting the Shock Resistance into Shockwave.

The DECK ARMOUR system revolutionises the way sailors protect their bodies from impact and injury - a shock resistant and super lightweight 3D mesh which can be integrated within Shockwave garments at critical areas whilst still guaranteeing freedom of movement for the wearer. The lattice design of the DECK ARMOUR also ensures the breathability of the Shockwave products is not compromised.

Fabric Technology - Minimal Contact, Maximum Airflow. A hydrophilic laminate is applied directly to a microporous coating that further increases breathability and ensures the fast transition of internal moisture to the outside.

Optivision Window Panels - See the Advantage. Following the huge success of our OPTIVISION Hood System that has received critical acclaim from racing teams and media alike, the system has been extended into watch and course map windows being engineered into Shockwave garments - aiding the perfect start and race strategies.

Doing It Tough At Sail Sydney
Photo by Jeff Crow. Click on image to enlarge.

Sail Sydney The Sail Down Under series is an open event, meaning that everyone from youth sailors to masters' competitors can take on world champions and after the second day of competition, it is obvious that not all of the young guns are in awe of their more accomplished heroes.

In 2010, Tom Slingsby has won two world championships and has confirmed his status as a favourite for the Laser gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. But after four races, he finds himself 15 points behind Australian Development Squad member, Tom Burton and with other ADS members also snapping at his heels.

Burton has put together an almost flawless regatta in the light, oscillating north-easterly winds, finishing 4th, 1st, 1st and 2nd in the four races sailed. By contrast, Slingsby has had a very ordinary start, with 7th, 10th, 5th and 1st against his name.

It is a similar story in the 49er, where former world champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen also find themselves in 2nd place. In their case it is a couple of Kiwis, with whom they have locked horns all year, who are giving them grief. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have put together a score sheet that reads 2, 5, 1, 4, 1, 1 to lead the Australians by six points.

Outteridge and Jensen have been uncharacteristically poor at the start, finding themselves recalled on two occasions.

In other classes, favoured sailors and crews have been more dominant. Three-time Olympian Anthony "Nocka" Nossiter is comfortably leading the Finn class after three "bullets" from four races. Scott Babbage and Robert Gough have shared the Moth spoils, taking the first two placings in every race. Babbage has won four while Gough took the other two.

Among the younger sailors, Byron White and Ashlen Rooklyn are leading the 29er with two wins and two 2nds, Alex and Sam Moloney have three wins and two 2nds in the 29erXX, Queenslanders Angus Galloway and Alexander Gough are holding off James Brewer and Dylan Passmore in the 420, and after dropping his first race, when he finished 8th, Eamon Robertshaw has nudged ahead of Sam Treharne in the Bic Techno sailboards.

An International leads in the men's RS:X, where Italian Marco Baglione has won four of the six races contested to hold a five point lead over Queenslander Luke Baillie. In the women's Australia's triple Olympian Jessica Crisp is tied with Jannicke Stalstrom from Norway and Flavia Tartaglini of Italy, all on nine points. However, had Crisp not been DSQ'd for going too close to a Manly ferry in the first race today, she would be leading by a single point.

World number one Marit Bouwmeester reinforced her dominance of the Laser Radial today, winning all three races.

The forecast for the remaining two days of the regatta is for strengthening winds. -- Di Pearson

Winter Series Fleet Battles Through Fog
Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

Garmin Winter Series While some dry-sailed boats were trapped ashore after last week's snow and ice, those crews that ventured out for the final day of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series had not only to deal with fog, but also a gradually dying northerly breeze. Even the steadily falling temperature failed to dampen the enthusiasm of both Black and White fleet competitors, intent on securing a good result in the overall standings.

Poor visibility meant that Race Director Jamie Wilkinson and his team aboard Tony Lovell's 'Bonney' were unable to see the outer distance mark so a RIB was despatched to the midpoint to create a split start line for the Black Fleet. Meanwhile Philip Gage aboard 'Knight's Challenge' at the pin end had switched on his radar to detect OCS boats.

Thankfully these were few in number and all seven classes got away first time, with the Fastnet Insurance and East Bramble buoys as windward marks, before returning downwind through the fierce ebb tide to leeward marks on the Ryde Middle. Despite the tidal offset in the course some boats lost out by not making enough easting early in the run, and this was made worse by the light breeze that was sometimes down to 2 knots.

Responding to the slow pace of the racing, all classes had their courses shortened, and once more the technology aboard Knight's Challenge was being put to use. By then the fog had cleared but some boats were being identified using AIS as they approached the finish line and before their sail numbers became visible.

Although the overall winners of most classes had been settled the previous week, as expected the front-runners for the Garmin Yacht of the Year Award were out again to consolidate their results, including the leading Sigma 38 'Festina Lente'. This time it was daughter Bryony Meakins at the helm and notching up her first win, with dad Philip sent forward to the mast.

Of the other contenders David and Kirsty Apthorp's 'J-Dream' slipped to second place behind Richard and Valerie Griffith's 'OutraJeous' in the J/109 class, while Mike and Jamie Holmes 'Jika-Jika' in IRC3 took a 20% penalty dropping her to fifth, and providing Kevin Sproul and his crew in the Beneteau First 30 with their first win of the series, albeit with a two-point score. -- Jonty Sherwill

2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Overall Results:

Black Fleet:

1st 'Jua Kali ' Mervyn Hughes, 17 points
2nd 'Biela' Richard Barnes, 20
3rd 'Paragon' Michael Blair, 24

1st 'Vortex' Tim Harrington, 11 points
2nd 'Visit Malta Puma' Phillipe Falle, Sailing Logic Ltd., 14
3rd 'Interceptor' Stuart and James Wilkie, 33

1st 'Steady Barker' Michael Brough, 15 points
2nd 'Elaine' Mike Bridges, 20
3rd 'Starspray' Bateson Family, 31

1st 'Jika-Jika' Mike and Jamie Holmes, 11 points
2nd 'Scarlet Jester' Jamie Muir, 26
3d 'Beneteau First 30' Kevin Sproul, 48

1st 'Patriot Games' Paul Blowers and Nick Daniels, 11 points
2nd 'Polly' Ben Meakins and Adrian Cudmore, 15
3rd 'Crakajax' Ursula Bagnall & Richard Hollis, 33

Sigma 38
1st 'Festina Lente' Meakins Family, 11 points
2nd 'With Alacrity' Chris and Vanessa Choules, 18
3rd 'Rapscallion' Peter Diamond, 22

1st 'J-Dream' David & Kirsty Apthorp, 11 points
2nd 'Offbeat' David McLeman, 25
3rd 'Outrajeous' Richard & Valerie Griffith, 27

White Fleet:

Laser SB3
1st GBR3082 J. Llewellyn, N. Wakefield and J. Vigus, 26 points
2nd 'Rumbleflurg' David Cummins, 32
3rd 'PB11' Mark Gillett and James Ross, 63

1st 'Oil!' John Cooper, 21 points
2nd 'Aqua-J' Mark Liardet, 32
3rd 'Swallow' Gordon Craigen, 41

SBR Sportsboats
1st 'Big Grin' Gary Shaffer, 5 points
2nd 'X-Tatic' Ian Wilson, 9
3rd 'Lutine Belle' Lloyd's Yacht Club, 20

Morris Yachts

Morris Yachts Receives Contract for Hull 6 of Leadership 44
Bob Hallock of the United States Coast Guard Academy came to visit Morris Yachts to see the infusion of the centerline of hull 1 of the Leadership 44. He also brought with him the contract for hull 6 and the news that the final two contracts should be signed by the end of the year. All funds for the project are being raised privately. They believe firmly that putting midshipmen under sail is the best way to teach future maritime officers the ways of the sea.

To see the infusion and hear from Bob Hallock go to:

Barcelona Race Skippers at Salon Nautique
From an entry of the 15 duos for the upcoming Barcelona World Race there were six native French speaking skippers who met the media and received a rapturous public welcome at the Salon Nautic, either live in person or by audio conference from their boat.

Illustrating the very high level of the entry for this second edition of the Barcelona World Race among those who informed and entertained the media and public were double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) with co-skipper Francois Gabart - winner of the Figaro Solitare, Jean-Pierre Dick, winner of the first edition of the Barcelona World Race who renews his TJV winning partnership with French ocean racing legend Loick Peyron on board Virbac-Paprec 3.

Kito de Pavant revealed the race to have Groupe Bel ready to leave Port Camargue this weekend after sustaining keel ram damage in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale.

Speaking from their delivery passages, Jean Le Cam confirmed that he and Barcelona heart surgeon Bruno Garcia are nearing Barcelona and have been getting to know the idiosyncrasies of President, the former Ecover 3 which is chartered to them for the race.

And Dominique Wavre, who finished third in the first edition of the Barcelona World Race and heads for a remarkable seventh round the world passage, confirmed that he and partner Michele Paret (FRA) were off Lisbon on Mirabaud on a so-far unpleasant passage to Barcelona from La Rochelle.

There was also a reminder of what life is like on board as the media had the chance to listen to the President's vastly experienced co-skipper Le Cam (FRA) on delivery from Port-la-Foret, as well as Wavre (SUI) and on board Mirabaud.

As of December 17th, when the Barcelona World Race expo village will be inaugurated, the entire fleet will be mustered.

Between the 29th and 30th December, immediately prior to the start, Barcelona also hosts the first International Congress of Ocean Sailing and Environment - Barcelona World Race. Key discussion topics will centre around the three pillars of ocean sailing: the skipper, the boat, how better to protect the seas we sail on.

CEO of Lloyd's Register to Present at RNLI Annual Lecture
Richard Sadler, Lloyd's Register Chief Executive Officer, will be guest speaker at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Annual Lecture, which is taking place at the University of Southampton on Wednesday 8 December 2010.

The lecture, '250 years of improving marine safety through engineering and regulation', reviews the history of Lloyd's Register, which has seen remarkable technological developments, including the advent of steam propulsion, computers, and nuclear power. It will include lessons learnt from influential disasters, from the Titanic in 1912 to the Torrey Canyon in 1967.

Richard will also talk about the future, concluding with a message about striking a balance between regulation and freedom, and performance improvement against safety, to help develop and achieve levels of safety and environmental protection that are acceptable to society.

The RNLI Annual Lecture celebrates the lifesaving charity's Advanced Technology Partnership with the University of Southampton. Set up in 2001, the partnership aims to develop research and education in subjects of common interest to the two institutions, and to raise the profile of engineering sciences as an essential function in the design, build and operation of high-performance marine craft.

The partnership involves research into lifeboat design, construction and operation. The knowledge and good practice developed through the partnership is shared with audiences both inside and outside the RNLI and the University.

For more information please contact Julia Sylvester, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663184 or at

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the awarding of Performance Certificate No 34. Performance: Bermuda to Newport. Benchmark time.

Yacht: "il mostro" 70 ft Monohull.
Name: Brad Jackson. NZL, and 7 crew.
Dates: 23rd/24th June 2010.
Start time: 03;28;43 UTC
Finish time: 21;32;12. UTC
Elapsed time: 42 hours 3 minutes and 29 seconds
Distance: 635 M
Average speed: 15.1 Kts

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Leonard Pinth-Garnell's "Bad Boats"
Click on image to enlarge.

A really bad idea An artist has designed a fully functioning boat that bears a remarkable likeness to a sinking yacht.

Artist and designer Julian Berthier has created a boat that is sure to make coastguards and boaters take a second look wherever it goes.

Described by some as an "accident that has already happened," the boat has been formed from the aft section of a small yacht, tilted at an angle of 45 degrees, and sealed with a new fibreglass bulkhead. It has also been fitted with a propeller and fin keel.

Love-love is powered by two electric motors and is helmed from an angled seat fitted into what was once the yacht's sliding coachroof hatch. Berthier says Love-love is "the permanent and mobile image of a wrecked ship that has become a functional and safe leisure object."

He said, "I wanted to freeze the moment just a few seconds before the boat disappears, creating an endless vision of the dramatic moment.

"It's completely functional and perfectly safe."

From Motorboats Monthly:

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 Daniel Charles: Peter Gilmour is quoted as saying about the new America's Cup format: "To effectively wipe out 160 years of match racing and go into catamaran sailing..." This is ludicrous. Until the early sixties, the races for the Cup ended with sometimes as much as 30 minutes differences, and it was not often under ten minutes. Match racing as we know it is, regarding the length of the history of yachting, a recently acquired taste: it started in the late sixties - some 20 years before the misnamed "mismatch" of 1988 (which was 22 years ago).

The racers are absolutely right to defend match racing: it is a unique piece of maritime heritage, the only occurrence in all sports where -at least in the Cup and its elimination trials- 90% of races are won before the start. Certainly, such unique characteristic deserves saving, even if the sport's (rare) spectators have to switch channels.

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
Think slow, act fast. -- Buster Keaton

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