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Farr 40 Worlds Underway
First race day today, and at press time the fleet is waiting for the wind to fill in.

Track the race at

Editor's note: Virtual Eye player did not work on my Mac with Firefox but worked fine with Chrome and Safari. On my PC with Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8 required an additional software download. No download needed with Chrome or Safari on the PC, and FF on the PC works fine as well.

The defending champion, Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone (ITA) is on song having won the Rolex Trophy in December and the Australian Championship over the past weekend. Three-time Rolex Farr 40 Worlds winner Jim Richardson and Barking Mad (USA) came second at the Australians with new tactician Hamish Pepper bedding in well; the 2010/2011 Australian Circuit winner Lisa and Martin Hill's Estate Master (AUS) with its triumvirate of world champions, and, Olympic medallists and hopefuls (Tom Slingsby, Malcolm Page and Nathan Outteridge) was third. Today, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and Transfusion (AUS), second at last year's worlds and with John Kostecki in the tactician's role this year, were runaway winners of an exhibition race around Sydney Harbour.

The helmsman of Nerone, Antonio Sodo Migliori, considers Sydney a fantastic place to race, even though it has its share of quirks, "it's a fantastic place, a little bit tricky sometimes, but beautiful. In certain conditions it's difficult, especially when the wind drops down. There is a lot of current outside the harbour, so you have to be very careful in light air." Sodo Migliori will read little into Nerone's string of stellar results leading into the championship, "we are confident about our boat speed. The boat is fast, we have a good set of sails and a good crew. But every race is different."

Thrills And Spills - Day 2
"Phaedo" a Gunboat 66. Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Carib 600 By mid-morning on day two, the RORC Caribbean 600 was very much living up to its billing as a high-speed thrilling race around the stunning Caribbean. The majority of the fleet is now heading for the top part of the course and should be around St. Maarten during the day. It has been an action-packed start to the race.

George David's Maxi, Rambler 100 is setting an amazing pace and is only two hours from reaching the bottom west corner of Guadeloupe, 270 miles from the finish. The canting keel speed machine is expected to cross the finish line before daylight tomorrow and is well on course to beat the monohull course record of 44hr 5m 14sec, set by Mike Slade's Maxi, ICAP Leopard in 2009.

ICAP Leopard is 42 miles behind Rambler 100, screeching along at over 20 knots on the long sleigh ride to the bottom of the course. Rambler 100 is the hot favourite to take line honours and is currently winning the race on corrected time but the outcome is by no means a forgone conclusion.

IRC Zero Richard Oland's Southern Cross 52, Vela Veloce, is the class leader, with 385 miles to go they are at the very top of the course and rounding St.Maarten. Peter Harrison's Farr 115 Sojana is having a great race, showing the magnificent yachts pedigree in big breeze on this stunning race course. Brian Benjamin's Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir is having a fine debut race at the RORC Caribbean 600:

Two yachts have retired from the RORC Caribbean 600. Gonzalo Botin's Class 40, Tales has an injured crew member (badly swollen ankle). They are returning to Jolly Harbour, Antigua to seek medical attention. Bernie Evan-Wong's Mumm 36, High Tension was dismasted just after dawn NW of Saba. No one was hurt in the incident and Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue coordinated with the Martinique Co-ordination centre to offer assistance. However none was required, the rig was recovered and Bernie and his team are motoring back to Antigua.

YellowBrick Tracking:

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Artemis Racing Excel in the Stadium Racing
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Extreme Muscat The first public day of 'stadium' racing saw the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet racing bang up to the shore in front of the spectators and VIPs on day 3 of Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat. Terry Hutchinson and his crew on Artemis Racing had an exceptional day elevating them from fifth overall at the end of yesterday to second place overall today - they are now just three points adrift of the leaders Groupe Edmond de Rothschild

Pierre Pennec and his all-French crew, after yesterday's storming performance, had an average day but they have clung on to the top of the leaderboard after 17 races.

Whilst the racing played out within meters of the shore, the public Race Village came to life with the Beach Football League and the Red Bull Freestyle shows. And if the public couldn't get to The Wave, Muscat to see the live action, then they could watch it on national TV as Oman TV broadcast live throughout the afternoon.

Today's conditions were less challenging than on the previous two days with 7-9 knots of NNE breeze, but the 44 sailors had to contend with racing on shorter and tighter race courses within the confines of the 'stadium'. Five fleet races were staged today, ending with a round of one-on-one match races, and today's performance has seen a number of place changes on the overall rankings. The home team of The Wave, Muscat retain their 3rd place but took a while to find their form today, as did the Alinghi team - two 4th places being their best result today - dropping them two places 4th overall. Oman Air went into today's racing in 6th place and Sidney Gavignet's team will be disappointed to now be in 8th place. But they are only 1 point behind Dean Barker's Team New Zealand, who in turn are only 1 point behind Luna Rossa who climbed 2 places on the leaderboard today after storming out of the starting blocks of the first race to secure their first race win.

Day 3 Results after 17 races:
1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, 133 points
2. Artemis Racing, 130
3. The Wave, Muscat, 124
4. Alinghi, 121
5. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 120
6. Luna Rossa, 103
7. Team New Zealand, 102
8. Oman Air, 101
9. Team Extreme, 59
10. Niceforyou, 37
11. Team GAC Pindar, 29

Controversial Merlin Retirement Hands Winter Championship to Peake
Musto Skiff sailor Andy Peake has found himself as the new, unexpected and somewhat reluctant champion of the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2011. Almost a fortnight since the final event of the UK dinghy winter travellers' series concluded at a windy John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water, controversial debate about the legality of their experimental sails has forced the winners, Merlin Rocket sailors Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis, to relinquish the title.

Biggs explained his reasons for retiring in a message to readers of, where the debate has been running hot over the rights and wrongs of using experimental sails in the SailJuice series. "After much heartache, and the reading of the comments placed on this website and the Merlin Rocket forums, myself and Ben have decided to duly retire from the event," wrote Biggs. "It was never our intention to gain any illegal advantage, we were just testing the longevity of the newly designed sails not the performance."

Series organiser, editor Andy Rice commented: "I feel terribly sorry for Matt and Ben about what's happened. I'm not sufficiently familiar with the minutiae of the Merlin Rocket class rules to understand their error, and maybe they broke the letter of the law, but they certainly didn't break the spirit. I respect their decision, but it wasn't necessary in my view. This doesn't mean I condone willful rule breaking, but what happened here was not a case of that. I set this series up as a bit of fun, and to get people out racing and meeting up with old mates from other classes. Hopefully that's what most people have got out of it this year, and I'm looking forward to sailors enjoying more of the same next winter."

The prizegiving is set to take place at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace at 1245pm on Saturday, 5 March 2011.

For updated results:

Dubarry Storm - Sailing Style In On The Street
Dubarry Storm There's something cool about sailing, taking on the elements from the Solent to St Tropez, but how do you carry that cool onto the streets? Try wearing offshore oilies to your favourite restaurant and you're likely to end up hungry and sectioned. Dubarry Storm gives you all the cache of the crew in a way that doesn't mark you out as a madman. With polarfleece for warmth, a durable waterproof shell, inner storm flap and chin guard, Storm keeps you warm and dry in six snazzy colourways.

Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

Don't Blame The "Rest Day" On The Athletes
We did a survey before publishing the 2011 RS:X standard sailing instructions and race management policy asking what the athletes who took part in the 2011 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships thought about a whole range of questions. One was about the rest day. 60.8% were in favor of keeping it.

And yet the Olympic Sailing Regatta in Quingdao, China had no less than 3 rest days. Whilst one understands that the conditions there may have been a bit 'special' I understand that Rio 2016 may just be more of the same... light wind, that is.

Dragging such an important event out over such a long period does nothing to promote the sport. The media get bored waiting around. The spectators never know whether it'll be 'on or off' when they get there. The wider audience dipping in through the web just forget to keep reminding themselves to take a look and see if there is any sailing going on.

So don't blame the number of rest days on the athletes. For them, extending a regatta in such a way just makes the whole thing a marathon to be endured. Remaining in the 'zone' for extended periods is tough. It's easy to get distracted.

The answer is to cut out the rest days - Or at least just retain the bare minimum - Then reduce the number of competition days too.

We know that the IOC don't count the number of countries taking part in the Olympic Sailing Regatta itself. They look at the Q events. For them, these are just as much a part of the Games. That means Rio 2016 will be the finals.

Our format should reflect this. It should have a beginning, a middle and end. Three days. Quarter final, semi-final and final. Double elimination knock out. No discards. No protests ashore. Race in a stable 4 knots. Target time 10 minutes.

Short Tacks
The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 13 was called off on Monday due to unrest in the country, but organizers hope the race can be re-scheduled later in the year.

The final pre-season test scheduled for March 3 at the Sakhir circuit south of Manama was also canceled and the 12 teams instead opted to remain at the Barcelona circuit in Spain.

The decision to give up on the race, announced in a statement but already considered a foregone conclusion in F1 circles, means the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 27 will now be the first event on what was planned to be a record 20-round calendar. -- Reuters


Against the Tide, the six-part international documentary series about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - the only global ocean race to be contested by people from all walks of life - is to be launched in the UK next week.

Six hour-long episodes capture every emotional twist and turn, high and low of the 35,000-mile race, following the participants in the ten-month-long challenge of a lifetime.

The international TV series, created by an award winning UK production team, is being snapped up by broadcasters around the world, including the Discovery Channel. The programmes will premiere on Discovery's UK free-to-air channel QUEST in a peak mid-week slot from next Wednesday, 2 March at 9pm.

Watch Against the Tide on QUEST (Freeview channel 38, Sky channel 154, BT Vision channel 38, Virgin Media channel 179) from Wednesday 2 March at 2100 GMT.


After Jean-Pierre Dick, Vincent Riou has become the second competitor officially registered for the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe. Naturally, the winner of the 2004-2005 race is in it to win it for the second time.

Now he is officially registered, Vincent Riou will once again be flying the colours of the most emblematic sponsor in the Vendee Globe: PRB. The firm based in La Mothe-Achard near Les Sables d'Olonne has already achieved two wins in the Everest of the Seas with Michel Desjoyeaux in 2001, and then the 2005 race with Vincent. It has never been done before, but the Vendee-based firm will certainly be aiming to make it three for PRB.


A "freak'' gust of wind has been blamed for the mishap involving the America's Cup multihull prototype on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

The revolutionary yacht sustained severe damage to its right wing and possible further structural damage after capsizing near Rangitoto Island on this afternoon.

The boat was being crewed by members of Swedish challengers, Artemis Racing, when the mishap occurred.

While Tindall and Artemis Racing helmsman Santi Lange said the damage to the yacht, especially its right wing, looked significant, they were hopeful the boat would be back in the water later this week.

* Our team capsized in the AC 45. It wasn't even a spectacular wipeout at 30 knots. Rather they were sitting head to wind, taking a break after the three hour training session and repairing something on the roller furler. The boat got hit with a gust from about 10 degrees off to one side and the boat slowly rolled over. No one was hurt and the boat was back at the dock within two hours.

There is very little structural damage to the wing but a lot of the "skin" of the wing came off. Our team will help ACRM get the wing repaired and back out onto the water asap. A cyclone is approaching Auckland and is due to hit later Wednesday so it will probably be after that when Artemis can get back to sailing the Prototype.

The team are going to make a "playbook" on the capsize. Yes, even in a unfortunate situation, there is a lot to learn. Hopefully if this happens again, we will be able to right the boat without losing the skin. One thing for sure, it was good it was a 72 footer capsizing today. -- Paul Cayard,


Two handed IRC racing makes its debut in July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have confirmed this week. Up to six boats have expressed interest in the new intiative and the organisers say the class will race over a mix of coastal and windward leeward courses. It's an exciting development for the regatta that is already receiving a flow of entries 11 weeks ahead of the entry deadline.

Double handed Class captain Olivier Prouveur of the National YC says boats that have expressed an interest so far are the regular ISORA participant Mojito from the UK, Team Windmill (J109), JBellino (J-122), Dinah (Barry Hurley's modified JOD 35 with which he won his class in the OSTAR 2009) and Oystercatcher (second in the two-handed class in the Round Ireland race).

Other boats are also likely now that the regatta has confirmed the class start, according to Prouveur. The hope of course is others, such as round Ireland winners Psipina Paddy Cronin and John Loden or Alchemiste Michael Murphy and Alex Voye might also be interested.

Afloat magazine:


The deadline for youth sailors to submit their applications to the ISAF Athlete Participation Programme for the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship has been extended to 1 March 2011.

The ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP) was created in 2002 and assists athletes with attending the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship by offereing coaching support and financial subsidies towards the entry fee and travel costs. The World Youth Sailing Trust provides a Championship coach. The APP is targeted at sailors from nations in Subscription Catetgories 1, 2 and 3.

Thanks to APP funding a total of ten nations - including the Cook Islands, Cuba, El Salvador, Serbia, Botswana and Paraguay - have been able to compete at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship.

All ISAF Member National Authorities have been sent the ISAF APP Application Form. The form must be returned to the ISAF Secretariat by 17:00 UTC on 1 March 2011.

ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship Website -

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 Iain McAllister, Peggy Bawn Press: Martin Black's forthcoming biography of G.L Watson will reveal that actually a further six boats like Red, White and Blue (presently being recreated by Hubert Stagnol - Scuttlebutt Europe #2287) were originally built on the Clyde, bringing the fleet strength of the world's first one design class to nine by 1891 when the West of Scotland YC commissioned three boats to add to the three launched for the Royal Clyde YC in 1887. Presumably the very cute looking new boat will sport the sail number 10.

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Donated to the United States Navy, she was renamed POLARIS and also did very well on the East coast of the United States.

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
Saif! Get the steamer trunks and the cash! We're going to Venezuela! -- Muammar al-Qaddafi

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