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Hugo Boss Retires With Damage
Virtually the full range of emotions were starkly evident on the Transat Jacques Vabre race track today as the leading trio fast approach the half way mark for the IMOCA Open 60 fleet on their 4370 miles course from Le Havre to Porto Limon, Costa Rica.

As under-pressure leaders Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier on Safran bent to the task of holding off the rapidly advancing, Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart, their smiling, chilled rivals on identical design sistership, the laughing cow' logo'd Groupe Bel, back on eighth placed Aviva Britain's Dee Caffari declared herself one 'happy bunny' as she and Brian Thompson hit the trade-winds conveyor belt, into the warmth , the sunshine and brisker winds, for some fast, champagne sailing and a chance to unwrap herself from the layers of warm, waterproof clothing she has had on for the best part of week,

But for Alex Thomson, once again it is the unfortunately familiar welling up of bitter disappointment to deal with, as he and co-skipper Ross Daniel are forced to head for the Azores, limping north with Hugo Boss taking on water after they hit something at high speed yesterday afternoon. After a night at slow speed trying to keep the damaged area, an indentation of about 30 cms, Thomson and Daniel's race is over, all too soon.

If the anger and frustration feels like dejà vu after having to pull out of last year's Vendee Globe with structural damage sustained in the first big storm, less than 36 hours into the race, Thomson's shred of consolation this time is that he had done a good job through the worst storm and had earned a strong position with Hugo Boss. But this afternoon that was a bitter pill to swallow. He had certainly achieved the objective of giving former boat captain Ross Daniel a first hand insight into the rigours of ocean racing on the Open 60 with a view to maximising gear reliability for future endeavours.

When Daniel went forwards after striking an object with a thud during yesterday afternoon he found four tonnes of water in the watertight compartment.

" It is impossible to repair it, not because it is very big, but because there is water coming in and we can't stop it from coming in. And so we will retire from the race and head for the Azores." Thomson confirmed this afternoon.

www.jacques-vabre.com

Semi Finalists Set
Photo by Christophe Favreau, www.christophefavreau.book.fr. Click on image for photo gallery.

Louis Vuitton Trophy There's one match outstanding to complete the round robin at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Cote d'Azur, but the four semi finalists are confirmed.

Emirates Team New Zealand will win the round robin and have the opportunity to select its opponent in the semis. Team New Zealand didn't race today and has one match remaining, against upstart Synergy Russian Sailing Team, but the veteran team led by skipper Dean Barker has a 9-1 record and cannot lose the top spot.

The Kiwis will pick their opponent from a group including TeamOrigin (8-3) of the U.K., Azzurra (7-4) of Italy or Synergy. After starting the regatta 0-3, the Russian crew today won its fifth consecutive match and sixth out of seven with a hard-fought victory over Azzurra. Synergy now stands at 6-4.

The second half of the leaderboard has Artemis (5-6) in fifth, BMW Oracle Racing (4-7) in sixth, All4One (3-8) in seventh and TFS - PagesJaunes (1-10) in eighth. These four teams will race a knockout round to determine places 5th though 8th concurrent with the semi finals.

"We're getting stuff done, but it hasn't been easy," said Peter "Luigi" Reggio, principal race officer for the regatta. "The last two days have been very similar to each other, unlike the eight or so before that; every day was different. In the last race we had 13, 14 knots. In the second flight we started to see whitecaps. We haven't seen those since last Tuesday."

www.LouisVuittonTrophy.com

* The Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice is a relatively risky undertaking, even with the backing of the long time America's Cup luxury goods sponsor (sorry - partner) and Bruno Trouble. The event was hastily arranged and the Nice was not the first choice for the November date.

Trouble has spoken about how the new event came to be on the Cote d'Azur and where we might see the Louis Vuitton Trophy next.

"We were supposed to go to Hong Kong in November but because there was only one place to go in Hong Kong, and the pier there was not finished, we had to cancel Hong Kong in June. We were willing to have an event in November, so we managed to convince Nice very very quickly."

"At the end of the season there are not many places in Europe where you can sail: Marseilles, for example, is a great venue, but the wind is blowing 40 knots every day. Nice is also a very dynamic city. The Mayor is also the Minister of Industry, so he has a lot of power and he managed to make a decision in a week, whereas normally with public support like that takes months. So he is so powerful he has no problem to make a decision and then make it happen." -- from Yachtsponsorship.com, www.yachtsponsorship.com

Henri Lloyd To Exhibit Full 2010 Marine Range At METS
Henri Lloyd To Exhibit Full 2010 Marine Range At METS Henri Lloyd will be exhibiting their full 2010 Marine Technical Range at METS from the 17 - 19 November, including the Henri Lloyd Blue Eco Jacket which represents the first wave of environmentally friendly marine apparel.

For 2010, Henri Lloyd has launched a revolutionary innovation aimed at advancing more eco-friendly marine technical apparel, taking the marine industry's first steps to link product development and eco-friendly problem-solving. Henri Lloyd have applied our skills and expertise of innovative design technology to reduce energy consumption and decrease unnecessary waste, by offering the industry's first 'infinite loop' recycling system for marine apparel.

For more information on the Blue Eco Jacket and the other new products for 2010, please visit our stand.

Henri Lloyd stand - 03.137

www.henrilloyd.com

Pure Joy On Crossing The Line
Yucatan, Mexico: Always in the leading pack of the Solidaire du Chocolat, Damien Seguin and Armel Tripon take 4th place. They crossed the finishing line of 16th November early this morning at 3 hours 41 minutes and 50 seconds, French time to be exact), after 28 days, 10 hours, 51 minutes and 55 seconds racing. The Nantes-based crew logs a fine result in what turned out to be an extremely tough race marked by virulent weather. 5th place goes to Brits Tim Wright and Nicko Brennan on Sail4Cancer who put on a fantastic performance. Finishing at 13h47 (Fr time), they are the first amateur boat to finish the 5 000 miles (9 260 km) long race across the Atlantic and the Caribbean.

Enthusiastic and motivated, Damien and Armel never left anything to chance and did everything they possibly could to finish among the top boats. Tried by the passage of six lows over the Atlantic passage, recurring energy problems on board forced the decision to make a pitstop in Saint Barts to repair the alternator belt. After the statutory minimum 3 hours (and 1 minute) stopover in the port of Gustavia, the crew of Cargill-MTTM set sail again having recharged their batteries in every sense of the term, determined to get onto the podium. Nevertheless, conditions that followed were such that little room was left for tactical tricks to juggle the rankings in the Caribbean. At an average speed of 7.33 knots, Damien Seguin and Armel Tripon sailed a fine race indeed over the 5 000 nautical miles ((9 260 km) from France to Mexico.

First 5 boats in the 16h rankings (French time)

1. Initiatives - Novedia, Tanguy De Lamotte / Adrien Hardy
Finished on 14/11/2009 at 08:25:00 in 26d 16h 35min 00s

2. Telecom Italia, Giovanni Soldini / Pietro D'Ali
Finished on 15/11/2009 at 03:25:20 in 27d 11h 35min 20s

3. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bruno Jourdren / Bernard Stamm
Finished on 15/11/2009 at 03:44:04 in 27d 11h 54min 04s

4. Cargill-MTTM, Damien Seguin / Armel Tripon
Finsihed on 16/11/2009 at 02:41:55 in 28d 10h 51min 55s

5. Sail 4 Cancer, Tim Wright / Nicko Brennan
Finished on 16/11/2009 at 12:47:00 in 28d 20h 57min 00s

Full rankings attached and maps on lasolidaireduchocolat.geovoile.com

www.lasolidaireduchocolat.com

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Photo by Paul Wyeth, www.pwpictures.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series After gale force winds on Saturday and rain squalls early on Sunday morning, the weather settled down to a picturesque day of sunshine and cloud for the sixth round of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

Despite the windward going tide that might be expected to benefit the smaller boats, most of the class leaders maintained their form. In IRC Zero Michael Blair's 'Paragon' won again, as did Michael Bridges' 'Elaine' in IRC2, the Sigma 38 'With Alacrity' in IRC3, the Quarter Tonner 'Menace' in IRC4, and 'J-Dream' in the J-109 class. Meanwhile in IRC1 the Elan 410 'Great Scot IV' made her way back to the front beating the Beneteau 40.7 'Encore' by just three seconds on corrected time, and Chris Jones' 'Journeymaker 5' won the J-105 class.

One small boat team that came close to grabbing a win was Robbie and Lis Robinson aboard their Humphreys 30 'Hot Rats'. Sailing hot angles downwind while some chose to sail deep and avoid gybing, they finishing second in IRC2, missing their target by 14 seconds.

The White Group classes were as usual closer to the mainland shore, and sailing in a 250 degree breeze. All three races went off without mishap, but to the frustration of the committee and probably the competitors the wind backed by 10 degrees during the final race start sequence.

In the SBR class the Hunter 707 'Touchdown' won two of the three races, as did 'Oil!' in the J-80's. John Cooper and his crew slipped up with an OCS in race three, with Cressida Robson and Allan Higgs' 'Juicy' winning this one by four seconds from Patrick Liardet's 'Aqua J'. In the Laser SB3 Mark Rushall scored three firsts ahead of 'Rumbleflurg' in the first two, while 'Team Novae' climbed to second place in the third race.

Next Sunday's racing (22nd. Nov) continues with the full Winter Series programme for White and Black Group racing. -- Jonty Sherwill

Full details of the 2009 Garmin Hamble Winter Series, plus Hamble Big Boat Series and Autumn Championships results are available at www.garminhamblewinterseries.co.uk

Garmin Hamble Winter Series - Day 5 Results:

Black Fleet Race Winners:
IRC 0 'Paragon' Michael Blair
IRC 1, 'Great Scot IV' Eurof Phillips and Barbara Mackam
IRC 2, 'Elaine' Mike Bridges
IRC 3, 'With Alacrity' Chris and Vanessa Choules
IRC 4, 'Menace' Derek & James Morland and Tim Rees
J/105, 'Journeymaker 5' Chris Jones
J/109, 'J Dream' David & Kirsty Athorp

White Fleet Race Winners:
Laser SB3
Races 1, 2, & 3 'MarkRushall.net' Mark Rushall

J/80
Race 1 & 2, 'Oil!' John Cooper
Race 3, 'Juicy' Cressida Robson and Allan Higgs

SBR Sportsboats
Race 1 'Finn M'Coul' Tom Clay
Races 2 & 3, 'Touchdown' 'Oliver Hemming, Anthony Vollmer, & Lucien Farrell

World-Leaders in Marine Composites to Showcase Engineering Expertise and Innovative Product Range at METS 2009
SP Systems SP, the marine business of Gurit, will be showcasing a selection of its world-leading marine composite products and engineering solutions at METS, Amsterdam RAI, from Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 November 2009, on stand 01.411.

Several products will be on display at the show including the innovative new marine Corecell™ M-Foam, Spabond 540 adhesives, Ampreg F230 Foaming Epoxy, PRIME™ 20ULV Epoxy Infusion System, T-Paste 70-1 low density Epoxy Tooling Paste and ST70 FR, a Fire Retardant Glass Structural SPRINT®

For more information, please visit: www.gurit.com/marine


Talisker Sponsors 'Mutiny On The Bounty' Recreation Expedition
Photo by Barry Pickthall, PPL, www.pplmedia.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Mutiny On The Bounty Recreation Expedition Isle of Skye, Scotland: Talisker, the famous single malt whisky distilled on the Isle of Skye today announces its sponsorship of an epic sailing adventure which will be the first to recreate the exact journey of Captain William Bligh's epic 4,000-mile open boat 'Mutiny on the Bounty 'voyage. Led by Australian adventurer Don McIntyre and a crew of three, the reenactment will follow the journey across the Pacific from Tonga to Timor and aims to raise vital funds and awareness for the world's first international research centre into Motor Neurone Disease, currently being built by the Sheffield Institute Foundation.

McIntyre returned to his roots and the roots of Talisker on the Isle of Skye to trace his Scottish ancestry, and hold a Clan reunion at the famous Talisker Distillery. His grandparents Thomas and Mary McIntyre emigrated to Australia shortly after their marriage in 1901 and this was Don's first visit to the island and Scotland. The 54 year-old adventurer, who successfully sailed single-handed around the world in 1992 and has led a series of expeditions down to Antarctica, brought with him the 25ft replica of the Bounty Boat to give his fellow McIntyres an insight into the extraordinary fight for survival that Captain Bligh and his crew faced following the infamous mutiny on HMS Bounty led by Fletcher Christian.

McIntyre and his three-man crew will face the same deprivations as the original Bounty Boat crew, with little food, no charts or toilet paper and only the limited navigation implements that were available to Bligh. They will start the adventure on the same day, at the same time and in the same place 221 years after the original mutiny journey.

www.taliskerbountyboat.com

Bacardi Bermuda National Keelboat Championship
Hamilton, Bermuda: 25 keelboats from The J 105, Etchells and International One Design (IOD) classes hit the water Saturday morning with the intent of completing 5 races on the Great Sound to ultimately crown the Bacardi National Keelboat Champions in the three classes. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club race officer Jay Hooper and his team were constantly tested (along with the sailors) with winds shifting as much as 80 degrees between south east and south west throughout the day. Sailors experienced all types of wind conditions ranging from 10 knots to the mid twenties. The highest wind conditions were seen during the 4th race in the middle of a "whiteout" rain squall. A number of boats, slighlty worse for wear, elected to retire before the 5th and final race.

The hottly contested J 105 Class saw 5 boats on the line with Jon Corless and his crew sailing "Mayhem" showing the most consistent form with four first place finishes and a second, posting a total of 6 pts.

The Etchells Class had an impressive turn out with 10 boats competing including overseas teams from the USA, UK and Canada joining the locals in borrowed boats.

Veteran Etchells sailor and former National Champion and current Canadian Champion Tim Patton and his crew were eventually victorious with 14 pts., just a single point ahead of the teenage up-and-comers Lance Fraser and crew.

The IOD's had 10 boats on the course. Former multiple World and National IOD Champion Eugene "Penny" Simmons sailing "Ariel" had 1 fifth place finish and 4 first place finishes to clinch the championship in the final race with 9 pts.

A very wet, cold and tired group of sailors arrived back at the host Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for some well deserved liquid refreshment thanks to Bacardi and a BBQ courtesy of the Bermuda Sailing Association. Winners were presented with product and logo gear from Bacardi and specially engraved clocks to mark the accomplishment. -- Somers Cooper

YouTube video:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_WtKkcjHzs

Full results on the Bermuda Sailing Association: www.bermudasail.bm

'Plug and Go' Seatrack Christmas Offer
Click on image to enlarge.

Seatrack Seatrack is offering a great Christmas present to anyone wishing to buy their Grand Prix, Racer or Cruiser navigational and race tactical software package. A free netbook PC with Seatrack pre-installed for you! If performance details of your yacht are provided, then the package will include an initial set of polars and sail selection chart.

The complete system is 'plug and go' giving anyone receiving this fantastic gift a chance to get up to speed with the system over the Christmas holiday.

Limited offer ready to plug straight into the boat's instruments until middle December 2009.

www.seatrack.co.uk
Contact at METS (mobile): +44 (0) 7798 871 025

+44 (0) 1590 678 043

Groupama Damage, Destination Cape Town
At 1216 UT on Monday 16th November the skipper of Groupama 3, Franck Cammas, called the Jules Verne Trophy team to inform them that an aft beam bulkhead had broken, leading to serious damage to the float. Despite the storm, Groupama 3 is slowly making headway towards Cape Town some 1,700 miles away (3,000 km) and is therefore abandoning this particular Jules Verne Trophy attempt.

At around 1200 UT this Monday, a big cracking sound dashed the hopes of Franck Cammas and his nine crew in their bid to break Orange 2's round the world record from back in 2005 (50 d 16h 20'). A bulkhead attached to the aft beam simply gave up the ghost in the harsh conditions as the giant trimaran was sailing with her sails angled at 90° to the true wind in a powerful NNE'ly air flow and rough seas. The crew knew they had to go fast to stay in the right sector of the warm front, hot on their heels, in order to drop down towards the Cape of Good Hope with the Brazilian low. The resulting weakness then caused the windward float to fissure and, in light of the sizeable damage, the crew immediately stopped the boat and concluded that it would be necessary to abandon this round the world attempt.

Cape Town, around 1,700 miles ahead of the giant trimaran's bows, will be the quickest pitstop to get to and the sea and wind conditions aren't too bad. Nevertheless, it's going to take a week's sailing for Groupama 3 to tie up to the dock and then be repaired prior to heading North again bound for France.

At the point the damage occurred, Groupama 3 still had a 345 mile lead over Orange 2 (that is over half a day) and was making headway at an average speed in excess of 25 knots, on a direct course towards the Kerguelen archipelago. Having hooked onto a Brazilian low on Sunday, after a particularly slow weekend, Franck Cammas and his nine crew were fast approaching the Roaring Forties.

They have since been stopped dead in their tracks but, as Franck highlights, they're more motivated than ever to effect repairs and set off again as soon as possible this winter for another attempt. -- translated by Kate Jennings

www.cammas-groupama.com

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 Richard Hayes: It may be perverse, but the only interest I now have in this America's Cup hooley is reading the brilliant analyses of Cory E Friedman, the latest of which - the 50th! - (See www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/07/cf/#p50 ) has convinced me that we are dealing with madmen.

You can't legislate for a madman.

If there is ever a Day of Judgement, and Judgement is correctly given, these people will say, 'actually, Sir/Madam, I think you are wrong'.

"Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!" - Miguel de Cervantes.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Class 40 Akilaria, 180,000 GBP. Located in Portsmouth, UK.

Its not often you get a good compromise between speed and comfort, normally where the speed is up the comfort goes down and vice versa.Well this is where the Class 40 Akilaria does rather well, with an interior for cruising that can be stripped for racing. A double berth up forward and a generous double aft berth to Prt allows for friends and family to join in the fun without it feeling cramped or squashed in. The kids would certainly love the futuristic space station style Nav area that holds you in there tight, nearly as much as you.She has had a good budget spent on her during her last campaign in the Portimao Global Ocean yacht race, where she finished 3rd, and she would be a great entry for the next Class 40 event especially as she is already CAT 0 rated for offshore events and proved herself with miles under the keel, although you wouldn't know as she has been cleaned up and prepared for sale.P

Brokerage through Boatshed Performance: www.yachtworld.com/boatshedperformance/

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

The Last Word
I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity. -- Simone de Beauvoir

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