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RORC Caribbean 600 Starts in Antigua
Photo by Tim Wright/ Caribbean 600 Start As if by magic, the tradewinds blew into the starting area off English Harbour, Antigua after several days of light winds. With 22 knots or more in the gusts. The strong winds launched the RORC Caribbean 600 fleet into action.

First off were the smaller boats, but powerful yachts by any normal standard. Piet Vroon’s electric blue Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, seared through the line on port like a guided missile. The Army Association’s A 40, British Soldier sprang into action, stealing a march on the competition in IRC Two. Whilst, Tony Lawson’s Class 40, Concise nailed the middle of the line to lead their class.

Ten minutes later, the line off Fort Charlotte was festooned with canvas. The 155ft Schooner Windrose of Amsterdam, chartered by Andrew McIrvine, came in on port at the pin end with amazing power; Peter Harrison’s Farr 114, Sojana opted for a middle of the line start and engaged Brian Benjamin’s Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir, who were right in under the Pillars of Hercules. Sojana then tacked into Windrose’s path, but thankfully there was no issue.

Whilst a battle royal was going on, Simonas Steponavicius’ Volvo 60, Ambersail stole the line, taking a flyer on port. The Lithuanian team with veteran Swede Magnus Olsson on board, got away in clear air to lead their class at the start. No doubt, the amateur crew would have been welling up with pride and adrenalin, having pulled off the best start of the race.

Next up was the big showdown between the canting keelboats and there was drama even before the start. Inside the 10 minute gun, Hugo Stenbeck's Dubois 90 Genuine Risk, heard a sickening crack as the vang pulled clean out of its deck mounting: the team had no choice but to return to the dock.

Meanwhile, Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard and George David’s Rambler 100 were getting on with big business. This is the first ever show down between two of the fastest boats in the world. ICAP Leopard came smoking in on port from course side, Rambler chose starboard under the cliffs. ICAP Leopard may have thought they were too early and tacked onto port, just before the line, whilst Rambler 100 wound up the canting keel flyer under the cliffs off Fort Charlotte. But it was Adrian Lee’s Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners that judged the line to perfection. However, they were very quickly rolled by Rambler 100, who rounded Green Island in no time at all.


America's Cup World Series Dates Released
With final venue bids under review, the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) released the inaugural America's Cup World Series (AC World Series) dates. The first half of the AC World Series will consist of five nine-day regattas in 2011, finishing up with three more regattas by mid-2012. The winning host cities for the 2011-2012 AC World Series will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The AC World Series venue assessment process has focused on the ability of prospective host sites to provide the infrastructure and support needed to stage a superior event on and off the water. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to watch in person at each venue.

The 2011-2012 AC World Series will be sailed in the AC45, the forerunner to the next generation of America's Cup boats.

The 2012-2013 season will be sailed in the larger and faster America's Cup boats, the AC72, and its champion will be crowned just prior to the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup (America's Cup Challenger Series) in July 2013. This AC World Series will also enable all teams seeking to compete in the America's Cup Finals in September 2013 to be race-ready for the AC72.

2011-2012 America's Cup World Series Schedule*

Event One: 16 - 24 July
Event Two: 13 - 21 August
Event Three: 17 - 25 September
Event Four: 15 - 23 October
Event Five: 10 - 18 December
Event Six: 17 - 25 February, 2012
Event Seven: 14 - 22 April, 2012
Event Eight: 19 - 27 May, 2012

*Dates are subject to change

Only 2 Weeks Left To Register For Dyneema&Reg; Competition, Free Rigging And Sailing Master Class Up For Grabs

Dyneema Experience Team Win a Complete Re-Rig For Your Boat and Sailing Masterclass

DSM Dyneema, producer of Dyneema®, the world's strongest fiber™, and its partners are recruiting the globe for 40 'skippers' to test running-rigging made with Dyneema® fiber and share their experiences through social media.

If you are selected as part of the 2011 Dyneema® Experience Team, we will re-rig your boat completely free of charge with ropes made with Dyneema®. All we ask of you is that you test and experience rigging with Dyneema® and share this with us, your friends, family and other sailors worldwide, through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

The most active social media 'skipper' of the 2011 'Dyneema® Experience Team' will also enjoy a masterclass with a friend on one of the Volvo Ocean Race Yachts in Alicante.

Dyneema® has proven to be highly versatile for a wide range of products in the yachting industry. The combination of high performance and durability makes it the ideal material, for running rigging for performance cruisers and professional sailors.

The closing date for applications is March 4, 2011. The 2011 Dyneema® Experience Team ends on September 23rd 2011.

Register now at

Join the team

Extreme Sailing Muscat Day 1
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Extreme Sailing Muscat The all-French crew onboard Groupe Edmond de Rothschild skippered by Pierre Pennec were on fire today hardly putting a foot wrong with three wins out of five races on day 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series at The Wave, Muscat.

The Swiss team of Alinghi led by Tanguy Cariou and helmed by Yann Guichard, ably supported by the crew of Nils Frei and Yves Detrey, won the first race and were in the top three in the first three races which secured them second place overall. Home team, The Wave, Muscat struggled to begin with then posted a 2nd, 1st and a 2nd to grab third place by the end of the day, nine points ahead of Roman Hagara's Red Bull Extreme Sailing who were really consistent in their performance today.

Terry Hutchinson's team on Artemis Racing didn't quite have the day they hoped for, after ended up in a four-way tie at the top at the end of play yesterday. They have now dropped to fifth overall, just 2 points ahead of Sidney Gavignet's Oman Air team.

Some of the teams new to the circuit are finding the going a little tougher with little training time, they are at the beginning of the Extreme 40 learning curve.

The 11-boat fleet have enjoyed some fantastic sailing conditions here in Oman over the past two days on the open-water courses, but from tomorrow Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat will be open to the public and, as such, the racing will be staged close to shore in front of the spectators within the confines of a 'stadium' race course

Racing starts at 1400 local time (1000GMT) tomorrow with the Race Village opening to the public between 1100-1800 local time.

Day 2 Results after 11 races:*
1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, 101 points
2. Alinghi, 91
3. The Wave, Muscat, 89
4. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 80
5. Artemis Racing, 76
6. Oman Air, 74
7. Team New Zealand, 64
8. Luna Rossa, 62
9. Team Extreme, 36
10. Niceforyou, 32
11. Team GAC Pindar, 21

• Provisional: Luna Rossa has requested redress after port/starboard incident with Niceforyou.

Brad Van Liew Due To Round Cape Horn Today
The leading yacht in the third sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans is expected to round Cape Horn today. American ocean racer Brad Van Liew was just 130 nautical miles from the famous landmark at 1200 UTC.

It will be the third time Brad, 43, has raced round Cape Horn solo, one of only a handful of sailors and the first American ever to achieve the feat.

Numerous solo ocean racers have had their races ended trying to pass through this section of the Southern Ocean. Some lost their lives. In the 1990/1 edition of the VELUX 5 OCEANS South African John Martin hit a submerged iceberg on his approach to Cape Horn and was rescued by fellow countryman Bertie Reed. During the 1994/5 event, 70-year-old Briton Harry Mitchell was lost at sea trying to fulfil his dream of rounding Cape Horn. Four years later, French yachtswoman Isabelle Autissier was rescued by fellow competitor Giovanni Soldini just west of Cape Horn after her yacht was capsized.

In 1998 Brad himself was smashed by hurricane-force winds and seas over 20 metres high as he approached Cape Horn. Current VELUX 5 OCEANS competitor Derek Hatfield survived a dramatic capsize near Cape Horn in the 2002/3 edition of the race. Most recently in the 2007/8 Vendee Globe, Frenchman Jean Le Cam was rescued after his yacht lost its keel and turned upside down near Cape Horn.

"Nothing's easy round here," Brad said this morning. "This low pressure area that I'm dealing with as I'm gearing up for Cape Horn was supposed to be pretty mellow but instead of 30 knots of breeze I just had 50. It's forecast to build to 34 or 40 knots, so I don't know what I might get, maybe 60 knots, which I'm not entirely comfortable with. It's just the way Cape Horn is, you have to take everything with a pinch of salt. I've got the handbrake on now, trying to be really safe. I've got three reefs and the storm jib up. I'm trying to tread lightly and ask permission to round Cape Horn."

Once round Cape Horn, Brad will have around 1,300 miles to sail to reach the ocean sprint three finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Ocean sprint three positions at 12h00 UTC:

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 1430.6/ 0/ 315.8/ 13.2
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 1827 /396.3 / 235.6 /9.8
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 1935.5 /504.9 / 260.7 /10.9
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 2095.4 / 664.8 / 349.3 /14.6

Sailing Stars Share Their Top Tips at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show
RYA Volvo Dinghy Show If you're looking to hone your dinghy sailing skills then get along to the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show where some of dinghy sailing's leading sailors and coaches will be sharing their top tips and giving advice.

On the Volvo Main Stage hear from former national dinghy sailing champion and Extreme 40 ishares Cup and World Championship race director Alan Hillman, who will take you through the fundamentals of foiling, revealing the secrets of Moth flight hardware and sailing techniques.

RYA rule and race management guru Chris Watts will take you through the key rules for race starts and some of the tactics; good or bad that can make or break your chances of gaining that bullet!

Double gold Olympic medallist Sarah Gosling, nee Webb (Saturday only) and 2009 World Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist Nick Dempsey (Sunday only) will be giving us an update on campaign preparations for the 2012 Olympics and their Olympic experiences.

Over in the coaching area where things are more hands on Chips Howarth, who has 25 World, European and National championship titles to his name shares his top trapezing tips; teaching you how to be steady on the side of the boat and effect smooth transitions to retain optimum performance through the corners. You'll also learn how to use your downwind sail to its full potential at the Setting the Spinnaker coaching session.

The RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki, takes place at Alexandra Palace, London over the weekend of 5-6 March.

For full details and to book your tickets visit or call the ticket hotline on 0844 811 0409.

Compression Continues
Eight days ago they were fifth a distant 844 miles from third place in the Barcelona World Race fleet, but this afternoon Pachi Rivero and Tono Piris passed by Wellington, New Zealand and elevated themselves to a podium place as they accelerated towards the Pacific to pursue leaders Virbac-Paprec 3 and MAPFRE.

While Estrella Damm and Groupe Bel are sidelined in the New Zealand capital working on their respective repairs and counting down through their mandatory 48 hours which they are required to be tied to the dock, the Spanish duo Rivero and Piris passed the longitude of Wellington at a little after midday UTC, ready to take the full benefit of the very favourable northerly winds which are likely to be with the Renault Z.E Sailing Team for at least 48 hours, and perhaps longer.

Partly due to the technical stopover of the two boats which held third and fourth, but also the effects of the high pressure zone which has effectively barred the entrance to the Cook Strait over recent days, the main body of the Barcelona World Race fleet is now much more compressed. A week ago between third and ninth there was 1523 miles separating third from ninth in the fleet, now today that is less than 700 miles.

For Rivero and Piris there is every chance of making their third place a solid one as the northerly airstream will decay behind them, presenting them with a welcome resurrection, leaving New Zealand with around 736 miles of deficit to the leader, when on the eighth February they were more than 1100 miles behind the leaders.

Rankings at 1400hrs Sunday 20th February

1. Virbac-Paprec, 10763 nm to finish
2. Mapfre, 98 nm to leader
3. Renault Z.E, 736
4. Groupe Bel, 768
5. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 768
6. Neutrogena, 824
7. Mirabaud, 884
8. Hugo Boss, 1211
9. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 1410
10. Forum Maritim Catala, 2941
11. Central Lechera Asturiana, 3285
12. We Are Water, 3701

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

Man of the moment
Peter Heppel took time out from engineering big sails and bigger buildings to visit neighbour Guillaume Verdier and learn more about one of the fastest career rises in yacht design...

Talk’s easy - Part II
Red Bull Racing head of composite engineering Andrew Macfarlan describes some of the manufacturing processes and procedures employed by the 2010 F1 world champion team

Trick boards - Part I
Gybing boards are back in fashion in several dinghy classes and trim-tabs are back in vogue on the big multihulls...But why exactly, asks David Hollom?

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...

Santander to Host 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships
ISAF are pleased to announce Santander, Spain, as the host venue for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships.The ISAF Sailing World Championships combines the World Championships of all the events included in the Olympic Sailing Competition and the 2014 edition is provisionally scheduled for September 2014.

Santander is a modern, well structured city, which has sailing as part of his heritage and culture. The 2014 Worlds will see competitors racing in the natural setting of the Bay of Santander. One race course will be within the Bay, two opposite El Sardinero's beaches and one opposite El Puntal beach allowing spectators the opportunity to follow the regatta and athletes.

Excellent facilities for sailors, closeness to the city and excellent public access mean that the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships will be a great event for competitors and spectators. Santander has experience of hosting major national and international sailing events. In the last ten years the city has hosted the 29er World Championship, Yngling World Championship and J80 World Championship.

In January an Evaluation Commission appointed by ISAF received presentations by the following cities in their bid to host the event:
Kingston, Canada
Qingdao, China
Aarhus, Denmark
Busan, Korea
The Hague, The Netherlands
Gdynia, Poland
Santander, Spain

The Commission made their recommendations to the ISAF Executive Committee who made the final decision.

USA 17 Through The Canal
Click on image to enlarge.

USA 17 Through The Canal While ORACLE Racing Team yesterday celebrated the one year anniversary of winning the 33rd America's Cup, the yacht responsible for that win was transiting the Panama Canal. The 90-foot LWL trimaran USA 17 aboard the freighter M.V. Star Isfjord entered the Panama Canal yesterday morning and promptly made for the Mira Flores Locks, the first set of locks westbound on the canal. Videographer John von Seeburg of Oracle Corp. reports on an eventful day.

"The Star Isfjord entered the Panama Canal at 7:40 a.m., transiting east to west," says von Seeburg. "I was perched on a hill 1,000 feet above the Pedro Miguel locks (the second set of locks). The police had unlocked the gate to let us drive to the top of the hill, promising to check that we'd left prior to locking the gate again. At 2:25 p.m. the Star Isfjord came into view, I got my shots, jumped into the car and we're off to meet the ship at the Mira Flores locks down the hill and about a mile away. Except the police had locked us in. I made a few nervous phone calls and very quickly we were let out. Then it began to rain. We hustled over to the Mira Flores Visitors Center and finished the day. Except by the time the ship departed, the visitors center was closed, everyone had left, including the person I was to interview."

Not to worry, however, a video is in the works.

Tacticians' Tussle at Rolex Farr 40 Worlds 2011
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby, tactician on Estate Master. Photo by Daniel Forster. Click on image to enlarge.

Tom Slingsby This week's Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will pit the world's best sailing strategists against each other with a standout talent line-up among the owners, many of them former world champions, and their tacticians.

James Spithill, John Kostecki, Tom Slingsby, Adrian Stead, Grant Simmer, Hamish Pepper and Tom King are among the headline acts as tacticians for the four-day championship hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli from February 23-26.

Twenty teams representing five countries will vie for the title, including defending champions, Italian Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone.

Spithill will join William Douglass' Goombay Smash (USA) while his ORACLE Racing compatriot John Kostecki, who has twice been on winning Farr 40 World's teams, will add significant tactical credence to Transfusion's Australian challenge headed up by Sydney businessman Guido Belgiorno-Nettis who finished the second best placed Aussie in the class' national title which wrapped up yesterday.

The current ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Australian Tom Slingsby, admits it will be a great honour to sail against the cream of the crop. He'll be part of the brain trust aboard Martin and Lisa Hill's Estate Master (AUS), and will be watching the world-renowned tacticians talent show and trying to figure out their thinking, while all the time putting Estate Master in a commanding position.

On the final outcome, Slingsby believes the Italians will be hard to beat, particularly given their supremacy in the Farr 40 Australian Championship with yesterday's win to the green white and red flag. On Estate Master's chances, "A top three for us would be excellent," he added. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2008 McConaghy Volvo 70. EUR 2,500,000. Located in Hamble, Southampton, UK.

"Green Dragon" was built to a very high standard by McConaghy Yachts at their Zuhai plant in China. The build was project managed by Tom Braidwood and under the watchful eye of Mark Evans of McConaghy yachts. The attention to detail for the best quality, lightweight, racing craft is very evident throughout the yacht.

Brokerage through Boat Sales International Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment. -- Freeman Dyson

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