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Off and Running
Photo by Benoit Stichelbaut www.stichelbaut.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Transat Jacques Vabre Le Havre, France: After days of rain, wind and even hail storms, the waters off Le Havre offered the 20 crews setting off on the ninth edition of the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre relatively benign conditions as they headed down the Channel, making west and south from the autumnal chills of Northern Europe for the sunshine of Costa Rica.

And for all that the six Multi 50's have a theoretical 5050 NM's to complete, leaving Barbados to starboard, and the 14 IMOCA Open 60's have 4730 miles to Costa Rica, leaving the Dominican Republic to starboard, no one was shy about pushing it on the start lines.

Appropriately, as leading lights in the class, in the multihulls Franck Yves Escoffier and Erwan Leroux were the first break the start line of this edition, easing away under gennaker in the 7-9 knots of breeze, picking up pace to forge through the sloppy, leftover sea and the spectator boat wakes.

The IMOCA Open 60's pushed harder to their start gun. Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart on Groupe Bel were the first to unroll their gennaker, early for the line. Forced to scrub off speed to make the leeward end of the start line, they broke to the left early. Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson proved they are out to give this course their all, and made a nicely timed start at the windward end of the line, with Seb Josse and Jean Francois Cuzon on BT in the middle of the lineup with Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier urging Safran across, all virtually at the same time.

A complex weather scenario awaits. Fast reaching conditions in a NW'ly breeze were due to give way to variable, light wind conditions of a high pressure ridge for the first full day at sea. Strategically there still seemed to be the option of staying north and fighting winds of perhaps over 40 knots on the front of the first of a series of depressions which will track across the North Atlantic, or prudently to head south early and try and breach the lighter breezes of the first part of the Azores high pressure system first.

The first Position report at 1600hrs (GMT) showed Crepes Whaou to be eading the Multi 50's from Actual and Guyader.

In the IMOCA Open 60's it was BT leading from Groupe Bel and Mike Golding Yacht Racing.

www.transatjacquesvabre.com

* Actual, the new trimaran of Yves le Blevec and co-skipper Jean Le Cam is reported to have capsized in a position approximately 22 miles north of Cherbourg around 1645hrs GMT. Reported to have been making around 20 knots of boat speed in approximately 23 knots of wind, the boat is reported to have pitch-poled. The two co-skippers are reported to be safe, are inside the boat OK and have requested help but did not issue a Mayday. The pair are awaiting assistance from the lifeboat.

Three Teams Undefeated at Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice
Photo by Chris Cameron/ETNZ, www.chriscameron.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice By virtue of its second win in as many races Emirates Team New Zealand today grabbed the early lead at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Cote d'Azur.

Team New Zealand leads overall with 2 points. Sweden's Artemis and Great Britain's TeamOrigin each have 1 point on 1-0 records.

Led by skipper Dean Barker, the venerable Team New Zealand defeated ALL4ONE in today's first match. The combined French/German team, led by skipper and strategist Jochen Schumann of Germany, was forced to withdraw at the beginning of the second upwind leg when the webbing holding the mainsail aloft failed. Team New Zealand finished the race uncontested to score the point.

The day's second match, between Sweden's Artemis and TFS - Pages Jaunes was similarly one-sided.

TFS - Pages Jaunes skipper Bertrand Pace gifted an early lead to Artemis, led by Americans Paul Cayard (strategist) and Terry Hutchinson (helmsman), when he had to restart after being on the course side at the start gun.

TFS - Pages Jaunes then sailed into a windless hole on the left side of the first leg. The crew's boatspeed dropped to 6 knots while Artemis sailed away at 9 knots. Artemis led by 75 seconds at the first mark and was never threatened over the next three legs. The nascent team won by 2 minutes, 17 seconds.

Aside from the three leaders, none of the other five teams has scored a point at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Cote d'Azur. Two teams, Azzurra and BMW ORACLE Racing, haven't completed a match yet while the three others, ALL4ONE (0-1), Synergy (0-1) and TFS - Pages Jaunes (0-2), are winless.

Event organisers hope to get back on schedule Monday with eight matches planned. The effort will be aided by the return of ITA-90 and ITA-99, the yachts on loan from Mascalzone Latino. ITA-99 was damaged in a practise accident last Friday, which put the pair out of commission for the weekend. But ITA-99 is now repaired, so tomorrow's racing will have four boats on the water.

www.louisvuittontrophy.com

Bainbridge International Sailcloth - A History Of Innovation
Bainbridge International Sailcloth - A History Of Innovation With a full range of sailcloth, sailmakers' hardware and a global sales and support network, Bainbridge International is uniquely qualified and committed to supplying the world with the finest quality materials. Founded in 1917, Bainbridge is one of the longest established sailcloth manufacturers in the world, with almost a century's experience in developing and supplying the highest quality, highest performance materials to the sailing industry.

Bainbridge has always been at the forefront of technical developments within the world of sailcloth. Through the skills of our technical team and with the support of our international network of Bainbridge offices and European distributors, we have developed a number of class leading products, including our award winning AIRX Spinnaker Fabrics, DIAX laminated sailcloth, Ocean and Ocean Premium Plus woven fabrics and our Sailman Full Battten Systems. These have been used by many high profile campaigns over the years including, America's Cup, Vendee Globe, Volvo 60, BT Challenge and more recently, the Ellen MacArthur Trust.

At METS this year we will be launching some exciting new products so why not come along to our new look stand located at 11.117.

For more information and to request samples of our products, please email

www.bainbridgeint.com

Hull & Humber in Dramatic Rescue of Man Overboard
Hull & Humber has been involved in a dramatic rescue of one of their crew members following a man overboard incident in the South Atlantic, 1,400 miles from the team's destination of Cape Town, South Africa in leg three of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race.

Arthur Bowers, 51, was climbing towards the main companionway at the end of his watch when the boat was hit by a big wave, knocking him sideways, down the deck and through the guard wires into the water. He was wearing his lifejacket which automatically inflated when he entered the water and had just unclipped his safety line to allow him to descend the steps into the saloon.

The crew, who carry out endless man overboard drills during their pre-race Clipper Training, immediately put theory into practice and, in an excellent display of seamanship, recovered Arthur and had him safely back on board within 17 minutes.

Hull & Humber was in second place in Race 3 of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Cape Town, South Africa, when the incident happened. They returned to the position at which they started their engine and have now resumed racing - and Arthur can't wait to get back up on deck and take the helm. The team has dropped down to third place, 17 miles behind the leaders, Cork, Ireland.

The first boats are expected at Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town on approximately 14 November.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Tracing a Gull-Shaped Wake
In a N-NE'ly breeze of around twenty knots, Groupama 3 is able to hurtle along with all her sail aloft at an average speed of nearly thirty knots. With the wind set to continue to shift round this Saturday evening, Franck Cammas and his nine crew will gybe onto a tack taking them due South towards the equator.

A good night for rest and a fine day for this start to the weekend: Groupama 3 is maintaining average speeds of around 28 knots and at noon this Saturday she was sailing about a hundred miles to the NW of Madeira. Since Friday evening, the deficit in relation to 2005's reference time has stabilised at about thirty miles or so. However, as Franck Cammas and his crew have curved a course out to the West with the NE'ly wind rotation, they're set to lose a little more ground until the point where they gybe.

Unfortunately, though the sailing conditions have become almost perfect, the skipper reported that navigator Stan Honey has been suffering from a persistent headache since the start. "The only problem is with Stan, our navigator, who has had a headache since we left... I hope it will pass: we've given him aspirin. He's managing to do his job at the chart table, but he's suffering a bit. It may be the engine fumes: we've checked there aren't any leaks... Fred and Thomas are taking care of him as they're in charge of medical matters onboard.

In view of Bruno Peyron's trajectories in 2005 and that of Groupama 3's at the moment, there is a big discrepancy due to the different weather conditions. Orange 2 opted for a route taking them closer to the direct course through the Canaries, while Franck Cammas and his men are slipping along to the West to get free of the effects of the volcanic land masses.

"The planned time slot for crossing the equator is around six days: it's a good average, as it was two year ago (6d 6h 24', best passage time). However, it will all depend on how long it takes to traverse the Doldrums, which don't appear to be nasty at the moment. If everything goes to plan we should be faster after our first gybe than we were during our first attempt." -- Translated by Kate Jennings

www.cammas-groupama.com

Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show: It's Your Show
London Boat Show Providing one of the most important starts to the boating season, the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show returns to ExCeL from 8th - 17th January 2010. With exclusive product launches and unique products, all under one roof, it is sure to bring more than a splash of water to the Capital.

Come along and enjoy the thrill of being on board one of the hundreds of fascinating boats on display; from historic replica vessels to the latest in marine technology. With over 500 exhibitors* showcasing power and sail boats, dinghies, deck equipment, charter holidays and sailing courses the Show promises to offer something for enthusiasts and first time visitors alike.

Don't forget 'Kids Go Free' aged 15 and under provided they are with a paying adult.

For the more discerning visitor looking for that little bit of luxury; the new, exclusive Platinum Ticket.

Numbers are limited so make sure you secure your place!

For more information visit www.londonboatshow.com

*taken from 2009 London International Boat Show

Kevin Burnham Joins 470 Management Committee
In action at the 2004 Olympics. Photo by Getty Images. Click on image to enlarge.

Kevin Burnham Kevin Burnham (USA), renowed 470 sailor and Olympic Gold Medallist in 2004 and Silver Medallist in 1992, has been co-opted to the 470 Management Committee.

The vacancy on the Management Committee was created with the recent retirement of Marta Weores (HUN) after ten years as a volunteer for the International 470 Class, a member of the 470 Management Committee and past First Vice-President. Marta and her partner Iain Ainslie (RSA) are expecting their first child in January 2010.

Kevin's primary remit on the Management Committee is to build the relationship with the 470 coaches - and work with the class to develop the coaching clinics.

With no more personal Olympic campaigns in the pipeline, Kevin has turned his focus to coaching and mentoring the next generation of 470 sailors to Olympic success.

Kevin still has time for personal sailing, although nowadays mainly in keelboats, from Melges 24's to Swan 45's to J-Class racing. Kevin has also logged thousands of offshore racing miles, competing in premier offshore sailing events as the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race, Newport to Bermuda Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race.

At the 2004 Olympics, Burnham with helm Paul Foerster were the old timers of the men's two person dinghy fleet in Athens, with a combined age of 87 years. They clinched the gold medal after a nerve racking final race - the ultimate prize for the pair who had two silver medals and many years of campaigning between them. -- Luissa Smith

www.470.org/Kevin-Burnham
www.kevinburnham.com

Figaro Beneteau II Class
From Belle-Ile-en-Mer to Marie Galante, the coasts of Brittany and Normandy and Spain, the Vendee and Ireland, the Figaro Beneteau Class racers performed brilliantly once again in 2009, delivering spectacular racing on equal terms that kept everyone in suspense from the beginning of the season to the end.

After three single-handed events generally held to be the most demanding - the Transat BPE, Quiberon Solo and Solitaire du Figaro, Gildas Morvan emerged as the French Single-Handed Offshore Racing Champion.

He will receive the award officially at 6 p.m. on Saturday 5 December on the Beneteau Sail stand at Nautic in Paris.

The French Single-Handed Offshore Racing Championship 2009 was decided on the basis of 3 races: the Transat BPE, the Quiberon Solo and the Solitaire du Figaro - Suzuki.

Scores are attributed to the general classification of each competition. Each leg of the Solitaire du Figaro - Suzuki also attracts a score.

The top three from each event
Transat BPE
1. Gildas Morvan - Cercle Vert
2. Erwan Tabarly - Athema
3. Francois Gabart - Espoir Region Bretagne

Quiberon Solo
1. Erwan Tabarly - Athema
2. Nicolas Berenger - Kone Elevators
3. Nicolas Lunven - CGPI

Solitaire du Figaro - Suzuki
1. Nicolas Lunven - CGPI
2. Yann Eliès - Generali
3. Frederic Duthil - Bbox Bouygues Telecom

The Top 10 for the French Single-Handed Offshore Racing Championship 2009
1. Gildas Morvan - Cercle Vert
2. Erwan Tabarly - Athema
3. Francois Gabart - Espoir Region Bretagne
4. Thierry Chabagny - Suzuki Automobiles
5. Gerald Veniard - Skipper Macif
6. Nicolas Troussel - Financo - Credit Mutuel de Bretagne
7. Armel Tripon - Gedimat
8. Franck Le Gal - Lenze
9. Adrien Hardy - Agir Recouvrement
10. Eric Drouglazet - Luisina

The top newcomer was Fabien Delahaye on Port de Caen Ouistreham who finished the championship in 18th place.

Seahorse December 2009
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

As promised.... this issue sees the first of a new series of articles that will delve into the science that underpins the most important areas of current development in our sport. Where better to begin, therefore, than with the area of lifting foils, which have already made such a massive impact on small boat sailing and which are likely to come under increasing scrutiny at larger scale as the brakes come off historic constraints on offshore multihull development... fuelled in part of course by the new breed of inshore ‘America’s Cupper’

Rolling ballast... we have long considered it paradoxical to support a ballast bulb just beneath the surface of the water... all of the drag for most of the time. Now 2009 Centomiglia winner Jo Richards agrees with us, and together with his design partner, Guy Whitehouse, they are the second in a queue of two (Rob Humphreys was the first) to take a comprehensive look at taking the next step, in their case with a bold and foxy new 42-foot lake racer which they are shortly to begin building

PLUS: Terry Hutchinson diary, Mini Maxi analysis, GP42 and TP52 world championships, Southern Spars profile, Volvo Ocean Race communications, Bermuda Gold Cup and Voiles de St Tropez reports, interviews... and imagery!

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...

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

Short Tacks
* Following Friday's hearing at the New York Supreme Court, representatives of the America's Cup Challenger of Record and the Defender met over the weekend.

The talks were cordial but inconclusive; negotiations are ongoing. On Monday November 9, both sides will, however, report to Justice Kornreich on the venue and timing questions addressed in Court on Friday. Separate from these talks, both sides presented evidence to the three former America's Cup jurors on Saturday on the five specific sailing and measurement questions referred to them by Justice Kornreich. The report and recommendations of Graham McKenzie (NZL), David Tillett (AUS) and Bryan Willis (GBR) will be received by the Court on Monday.

* The Race Organisation of the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 can now confirm that the French language side of the event's website is fully operational. Over the next few weeks, important announcements regarding the Global Ocean Race will be uploaded to the site in English and French. -- portimaorace.com

* One of Spithead's historic sea forts has been sold just 24 hours before it was due to go to auction. Spitbank Fort is reported to have been snapped up by an unknown buyer for a price in excess of 1 million GBP.

The fort, which took 17 years to build, was completed in 1878 as part of Portsmouth's defences against the French. It was later used as a gun platform during both world wars but has been in private hands since being sold by the Ministry of Defence in 1962.

In recent years it has been operated as a museum and a meeting and function venue with its own dance hall and restaurant, while permissions have been granted to include a nightclub and casino, recording studio and microbrewery. -- Motor Boats Monthly, www.motorboatsmonthly.co.uk

* New videos about disabled sailing:

Land Yachting.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FHGowFDn-w
Sailing A Standard Weta... www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9sz277VrWg

All videos now indexed at www.disabledsailing.org

* There are more reasons now for Malaysians to come to Terengganu to watch the Malaysian Match Racing Championship (MMRC) 2009 as this year 12 Malaysian teams will be participating in the event - the highest number of entries to-date.

MMRC will be held in Kuala Terengganu from 23-26 November to select a winner to represent Malaysia in the 5th edition of the Monsoon Cup 2009 which will be held from 1-6 December 2009. The winning team will compete against world-class sailors in the final leg of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) to be held from 1-6 December, 2009.

* Deadline extended for Portsmouth Yardstick returns

The RYA has extended its deadline to all clubs for annual return of race results by 4 weeks in one final push to ensure good quality inter class racing next season.

The new deadline of 30 November allows clubs extra time to collate end of season data and get their returns in to the RYAs' Technical Department.

The quality and volume of race results returned by clubs is a key factor in ensuring the accuracy of the popular handicapping system

In recent years the number of returns has generally been down, and this has had a knock- on effect on the quality of handicapping. Every return submitted adds to improved accuracy and every club is part of this jigsaw.

To counter this, the RYA has also taken several steps to ensure that the quality of the returns, even if less in number, remains the same or better. Part of this is through the introduction of the RYA's PYS website which collates race returns throughout the year and also analyses race results as they are uploaded. To submit your returns, or find out more about how to, you can contact Bas Edmonds on 02380 604 202 or alternatively e mail

* Next year's RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts and Yachting and Suzuki, will run over the weekend of 6 -7 March

Some of the great new features and talks already confirmed for the 2010 show include: towing and City Safety demos from Volvo, perfecting high speed sailing and mark rounding talks on the main stage, as well as coaching sessions on taking fantastic action photos and how to make the most of communication on board your boat.

Tickets for the 2010 show will go on sale at the end of November 2009.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1909 Fiff International 12m Class, EUR 1,500,000. Located in Liguria, Italy.

In 1990 Cintra was transferred to the La Bussola Shipyard in Fiumicino, Italy where the restoration began; the hull was in poor conditions and she underwent a lot of work in order to bring the yacht back to her original conditions. The restoration was done using a limited number of classic pictures and a few drawings and a sketch of the first mast made by William Fife himself. Most of the original planking in mahogany (Honduras) was not too damaged but the frame floors and the galvanised steel frames were in poor condition. Luckily, according to the typical structure of the moment, these were alternated by well kept steel frames.

Brokerage through Ocean Independence: www.yachtworld.com/oceanindependence/

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

The Last Word
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object. -- Douglas Adams

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