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San Francisco Wins Right To Host 2013 America's Cup
San Francisco has been selected as the host venue for the 34th America's Cup. An official celebration event will be hosted in San Francisco on January 5th, event location details to be announced.

The world-famous San Francisco Bay will be home to the 2013 America's Cup Finals and the Challenger Selection Series for the Louis Vuitton Cup, as well as an America's Cup World Series event in 2012. This will be the first time the America's Cup has been hosted in the United States since 1995.

Independent studies show that the America's Cup delivers the third largest economic impact in sport to host countries, behind the Olympic Games and soccer's World Cup. The 34th America's Cup is projected to pump an estimated $1.4 billion dollars into the San Francisco region.

Racing will be held on the iconic San Francisco Cityfront and be visible from world-renown tourist destinations such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, Crissy Field, the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf. An influx of millions of tourists is expected for the Challenger Series for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup Finals in late 2013.

The Race Village will be constructed on Piers 19 and 29, with the team bases at and around Pier 30/32. As part of the plan, the America's Cup Event Authority will redevelop these piers as well as the surrounding infrastructure to support the racing, while rehabilitating the piers for the enjoyment of generations of San Franciscans to come.

With a goal of creating the most dynamic America's Cup in history for fans and participants, changes have been introduced to the 34th edition. Enhancements include the introduction of groundbreaking new 72' wing-sailed catamarans capable of speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour, new race formats and rules, and a transformed media and online broadcasting approach to enable an interactive viewer experience.

In the summer of 2011, America's Cup teams will commence racing in the new America's Cup World Series in the new wing-sailed AC45 catamaran. The America's Cup World Series calendar of events will be published in early 2011.

* Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said the team was pleased to finally know where the 34th America's Cup will be held.

'We have always said we favoured San Francisco in 2013 and that's what we've got.

'Now all the pieces of the America's Cup puzzle are in place - protocol, venue, year, yacht and design rule. Prospective challengers can start working on funding their campaigns.'

Dalton said Emirates Team New Zealand had spent months examining the design, build and crewing demands of a multi-hull campaign and had found nothing that would deter the team from challenging given a sufficient level of funding.

'We have consulted some of the top international multi-hull designers and engineers and sailors. We have a way forward.

'Now I must start a round of meetings with current and potential sponsors to secure the funding a credible challenge will require.' -- Warren Douglas in,

Last Boats Home For Year's End
Chris Bull receives the Charleston Trophy for ORCi overall from the Governor of Tasmania, the Honorable Peter Underwood AC. Photo courtesy Peter Campbell. Click on image to enlarge.

Chris Bull As the decade winds to a close and this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart is nearly over, it's easy to remember the big, sleek high tech race boats with professional sailors that seemingly flew down the coast to Hobart in record times.

However, the real -- and perhaps more important story -- is about the smaller, majority of boats with crews consisting of good friends, and even family members. Their boats may be small, not so high-tech, but their sense of adventure is big and their courage is huge. To take on the 628-nautical mile course, including 50-knot winds, monstrous seas and the Bass Strait would make most "normal" sailors reef in the mainsail and turn their boats around.

The challenge these smaller boats undertook is no less important and no less dramatic than the high end, 30-meter carbon fiber boats that came in first.

Roger Hickman, 34-time veteran of the race sailed this year with a mixed Russian and Australian crew onboard the Corby 49, Vamp. The former CYCA Rear Commodore pointed out, "This race isn't about just winning. It's more about just getting to Hobart." Asked what makes him keep participating in the race year after year, Hickman said, "I think it's the camaraderie. Once you've gone through a race together, you're friends for life. It's almost like being war buddies who went to battle together. You form life-long relationships because of this race."

Also sailing in this year's race was legendary yachtsman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, onboard the British entry, Titania of Cowes. Midway through the race, the Swan 68 was forced back to Eden to drop off crew because of a mishap with one of their life rafts. Knox-Johnston explained, "That was unfortunate. We lost a life raft. They won't let you cross the Bass Strait unless you've got the proper safety equipment, which we didn't; it got washed off the ship. We called the race organisers and asked 'what's the deal?' They told us we couldn't go on. They told us to find another life raft, but it was getting late. So, the only way we could carry on was drop five people off, which left 14 people on board and met the required safety regulations."

This was the 71-year old Knox-Johnston's first Rolex Sydney Hobart. Reflecting on the race dockside in Hobart he said, "Well, I think it ran the whole gamut of experience didn't it? We had a reasonable start, then it blew up - it was up to at least force eight. Then we had to go into Eden and drop five crew off and came right back out. Crossing the Bass Strait really wasn't that difficult and then it went light, which doesn't suit us, and it blew up lightly as we came in last night. So, I think we had the whole spread of weather conditions."

Line Honours
Wild Oats XI, Robert Oatley (NSW/AUS), Reichel/Pugh 100

IRC Overall
Secret Mens Business 3.5, Geoff Boettcher (SA/AUS), Reichel/Pugh 51

Division Leaders
IRC Div 0: Jazz, Chris Bull, (VIC/AUS), Cookson 50
IRC Div 1: Secret Mens Business 3.5, Geoff Boettcher
IRC Div 2: Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson (NSW/AUS), Beneteau First 45
IRC Div 3: Paca, Philippe Mengual (NSW/AUS), Beneteau First 40
IRC Div 4: Ray White Spirit of Koomooloo, Mike Freebairn (QLD/AUS), S&S 48
PHS Div 1: NSC Mahligai, Murray Owens & Jenny Kings (NSW/AUS), Sydney 46
PHS Div 2: Flying Fish Arctos, Martin Silk (NSW/AUS), McIntyre 55
Sydney 38: Eleni, Tony Levett (NSW/AUS), Sydney 38
ORCi 1: Jazz, Chris Bull
ORCi 2: Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson
ORCi 3: Copernicus, Greg Zyner, (NSW/AUS), Radford 12
Cruising: Scarlet Ribbon, Richard Buxton (AUS), Buizen 48

* While Chris Bull was still in Hobart today, Jazz is already on its way to Melbourne from where it will be shipped to USA and the start of a major program of racing in the Northern Hemisphere this coming summer.

"We are off to contest the RORC's new race, the Caribbean 600, followed by a race up the US East Coast to Newport, Rhode Island where we will contest the TransAtlantic Race, followed by the 2011 Fastnet Race," Bull said.

"Then there's a race from the UK to Spain, the Biscay Race. These races, seven in all, between late February and September, are part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series organised by three clubs, RORC, the New York Yacht Club and the Storm Trisail Club."

Bull said he would make a choice on contesting the Middle Sea Race, which was also part of the series, or bring Jazz back to Australia for the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. -- Peter Campbell

Seahorse February 2011
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Talk's easy - Part I
Given the frequent parallels with motor sport favoured by advocates of sailing's 'unlimited' media potential we thought it time to look a little deeper at how Grand Prix racing operates. In the first part of our new series Red Bull composite design head Andrew Macfarlan starts to put the F1 vehicles themselves into perspective...

First light
An obvious key to sailing's future media success is the 34th America's Cup. BMW Oracle design co-ordinator Ian 'Fresh' Burns takes a look at the development of the AC45 preview class...

Technical Soapbox
- the human element

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...

An Alboran Obstacle
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, Click on image for photo gallery.

Barcelona World Race Several of the Barcelona World Race skippers reported today that what they have been seeing for weather has been a little different to what they had set their strategy to, but for sure they are all united in their shared opinion that that another big slow down stands between them and escape into the Atlantic.

After passing offshore of Cabo de Gata, this afternoon the leaders were taking a more southerly slant as they cross the east of the Alboran Sea, heading down towards the African coast where the breezes are expected to be light SE'lies.

Lead by Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) and Loick Peyron (FRA) on Virbac-Paprec 3, less than a mile ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart on Foncia, the lead group are trying to pick their way around a problematic transition zone of very light, shifty and locally even calm winds which is effectively barring their departure from the Med.

But as this area of very light winds expands it is threatening to close the door on those who are further back in the fleet, requiring them to find a way along the Spanish coast, possibly costing them more miles against the leaders.

Virbac-Paprec 3 this afternoon became the fourth leader of this Barcelona World Race but after those skippers who were called today reflected on the pleasures of double figures boat speeds, warm temperatures and some sunshine, but by afternoon they had already slowed back again to 5-6 knots and were expecting to go considerably slower.

Overall the average VMG speeds for the previous 24 hours have been as low was a positively pedestrian 6.5 knots.

Positions at 1400hrs GMT
1. Jean Pierre Dick - Loick Peyron, Virbac-Paprec 3
2. Michel Desjoyeaux - Francois Gabart, Foncia, 0.8 nm to leader
3. Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane, Groupe Bel, 1.1
4. Iker Martinez - Xabi Fernandez, MAPFRE, 2.3
5. Jean le Cam - Bruno Garcia, President, 2.8
6. Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes, Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 4
7. Dominique Wavre - Michele Paret, Mirabaud, 7.6
8. Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier, Neutrogena Formula Noruega, 14.2
9. Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella, Gaes Centros Auditivos, 23.4
10. Jaume Mumbru - Cali Sanmarti, We Are Water, 33.7
11. Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris, Renault Z.E, 70.5
12. Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio, Central Lechera Asturiana, 102.3
13. Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn, Hugo Boss, 104.9
14. Gerard Marin - Ludovic Aglaor, Forum Maritim Catala, 105.3

* Jean-Pierre Dick sent the following mail to lodge a protest, specifying Groupe Bel, Foncia and Hugo Boss as boats he believes to have missed the November, which was a mark off the entrance to Barcelona Harbour specified in a rider to Article 10.8 of the Sailing Instructions.

" This email is to protest against Groupe Bel, Foncia and Hugo Boss that have not passed November Mark to starboard as stated in the Rider 1 of the sailing instruction." " At least 1 other boat has not respected the mark but we have not been able to recognise it." Jean Pierre Dick, skipper of Paprec Virbac 3

"We have informed the commitee trough channel 72 and P 1 as soon as we have seen this situation"

Opti Worlds
The first day of Optimist racing in 2011 saw near perfect conditions of 14-16 kts of breeze under sunny skies for the 231 sailors competing in the World Championships in Malaysia. While supporters in Europe and North America where busy ringing in the New Year, sailors in Langkawi were launching for a three race day that would bring the critical first drop into play.

With 15 knots of breeze coming down the course from the north, the RC had set a start line with ample room and little bias to start the day. The I flag was being flown again and now seems to be a standard feature on the RC boat. The fleet split working up the first beat, with a number of the leaders opting to play the right hand side which has been paying dividends for much of the series to date. The second and third sets of starts of the day played out much the same although the wind did lighten up slightly, and always seemed to be softer at the top of the course.

As the racing concluded for the day, Thailand had continued their dominance of the event, but lost a little ground on the day, now holding positions 1,2,10 and 12.

Bart Lambriex was the days winner posting scores of 1,4,3 to move to 7th place overall, and has now had 4 top 5 finishes in a row.

Top five after 8 races, 1 discard (251 competitors!):

1. Noppakao Poonpat, THA, 36 points
2. Jirawat Jadklay, THA, 37
3. Odile Van Aahholt, AHO, 40
4. Marvin Frisch, GER, 49
5. Ahmad Syukri Bin Abdul Aziz, MAS, 52

Latest J Class Calendar Now Available
JClass Calendar 2011 J Class Desk Calendar captures all of the the J Class magic and elegance with twelve new images, one for each month. All current projects are featured - the three original yachts, Shamrock V, Velsheda and Endeavour, along with the replica new builds currently on the water, Ranger, Hanuman and Lionheart. There are also photographs and information on Rainbow and Yankee.

Cost: Calendars: £15 inc UK/Europe postage, £17 Rest of the World
Calendars for Members of the Supporters' Club: £12 inc UK/Europe postage, £13.50 Rest of the World

Discounts are available for quantity orders and for members of the J Class Supporters' Club.

For more information see:

Sailjuice Global Warm-Up 2011
There were 136 competitors at the Grafham Grand Prix this Sunday, the first event in the SailJuice Global Warm-up 2011 series. Last year's winner of the series, Olly Turner, is competing again in his Merlin Rocket, up against other hot competitors including reigning Fireball World Champion Chips Howarth.

After weeks of snowy weather which led to large areas of the reservoir near Huntingdon to freeze over, the thaw has arrived just in time for the Grafham Grand Prix to go ahead.

Competitors raced in four different divisions - Fast Asymmetrics / Fast Cats, Medium Handicap / Slow Cats, Slow Handicap and Singlehanders - with two back-to-back races, the first starting at 11 AM on Sunday morning.

The Grafham Grand Prix is the first of four events in this year's SailJuice Global Warm-up, with competitors counting their best three results from the following events:

Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
Sunday 2nd January 2011

Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
Saturday 8th January 2011

Steve Nicholson Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
Saturday 29 January 2011

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th February 2011

Top ten after the Grafham Grand Prix:

1. Phantom, Nick Craig, Frencham Pond, 1 point
2. Flying Fifteen, Dave Lucas / Mark Longstaff, Grafham Water Sailing Club, 1.31
3. Musto Skiff, Andrew Peake, Whitstable, 1.59
4. Merlin Rocket, Matt Biggs / Ben Hollis, Blithfield, 1.77
5. Phantom Simon Childs, Hayling Island Sailing Club, 2
6. Scorpion, Peter Gray / Richard Pepperdine, Staunton Harold, 2.63
7. Phantom, Harry Briddon, Ogston Sailing Club, 3
8. Musto Skiff, Ian Martin, Datchet Water Sailing Club, 3.17
9. 505 Tim Bird / Richard Nurse, Burton Sailing Club, 3.54
10. RS 200, James Stewart / Eluned Stewart, Weston Sailing Club, 3.94

Pittwater To Coffs Yacht Race
The 66 foot "Wild Oats X", skippered by Mark Richards has made radio contact a short while ago and reported its ETA with Marine Rescue Coffs Harbour as per the Sailing Instructions, with an ETA of 1205hrs and is now 18 nautical miles from the finish. They are currently traveling at 15 knots in 10-15 knots of SSE breeze. Hot on their heels, as he has been for the entire race is Bob Steel's TP52 'Quest', only 3 miles behind setting up an interesting finish as they enter the final leg of the race. Their reported ETA is 1249hrs.

There is a trophy awarded to the Navigator who gets the closest finish time to their final reported ETA with Marine Recue Coffs Harbour. It is held with high regard by the Navigators' of the fleet.

There will be a welcoming party of Coffs media, locals and tourists waiting for both yachts as they cross the finish line and make their way into the inner harbour. The yacht Club, volunteers and finish line are preparing themselves for the finish.

As reported earlier, the Cavalier 35 Colin Watson's 'Infinity' has retired into Forster Tuncurry. The crewman reported to have bumped his head when they ran into some difficulty at around 3am this morning is RPAYC member Bob Mander, who will spend the night in Manning Base Hospital under observation with a gash in his eye that required stitches. He is reported to be OK and all other crew are safe and well.

Richard Hudson, skipper of the Farr 45 'Pretty Woman' reported a short while ago that they were sailing in 20 knots of breeze just south of South West Rocks doing 11 knots. He told us they were "all a bit weary, after an interesting night where the wind at times peaked at 30 knots. We blew a spinnaker when we hit the back of a wave which kept us on our toes. It's been a great race so far and I'm looking forward to getting into Coffs Harbour for a cool mineral water. We'll see you in a few hours." 'Pretty Woman' should be some time after 1400hrs. -- Damian Devine

Featured Brokerage
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She is now for sale by her present owner and is open to offers. Plenty of spare gear, carbon fiber mast, and in very good condition, EXPERIENCE is a fun fast racing boat that will do very well for years to come.

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The Last Word
In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. -- Calvin & Hobbes

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