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One Last Atlantic Gale Before Gibraltar
Sounding slightly anxious this morning Jean-Pierre Dick admitted that he and Loick Peyron have one last blast of strong winds and agitated seas to pass through before the challenges of Gibraltar, where the 2007-8 Barcelona World Race winning skipper confirms that he expects to pass during the night of Thursday 31st March to Friday 1st April. He is leaving nothing to chance, and will be remaining extra vigilant through the spell of strong winds which are set to top 40 knots, Virbac-Paprec 3 closing directly towards Essaouira on the Moroccan coast.

Today Dick and Peyron passed under the 1000 miles to the finish mark, but with the boat slamming in the short seas, and the winds set to build, the French duo were in conservation mode, perhaps paying little heed to the fact that their lead to MAPFRE increased to over 310 miles this afternoon while the Spanish duo Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez were slowed as they approached the Canary Islands, setting up to pass to the south of La Palma, but losing speed in the shifty, more unsettled breezes. MAPFRE average this afternoon had dropped to 5.4 knots compared with Virbac-Paprec 3 just under 10 knots.

The decision on where to tackle the Canary Islands remains wide open for Iker and Xabi, but will be tied up over the coming hours

Iker and Xabi are already at the height of the Canary Islands. The pair tacked East again this morning and are now following a 113 degree course with Northeasterly breeze.

In their current position, the decision for "MAPFRE" on how to tackle the Canaries is not yet fully clear. Will Iker & Xabi tack North again to pass the islands on the West, like they did on their descent of the North Atlantic? Or will they continue on their current course and pass through the islands, and if so, which?

Everything is pointing towards the pair heading through El Hierro and La Palma, if they do decide on that option.

Jaume Mumbru and Cali Sanmarti were very close to Ushuaia on We Are Water, preparing for their technical stop to repair their boom which they broke on March 25th

Standings of Tuesday 29th March at 1400hrs
1. Virbac-Paprec 3 986 nm to finish
2. Mapfre + 313 nm to leader
3. Renault Z.E, 1115
4. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 1275
5. Neutrogena, 1309
6. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 1867
7. Hugo Boss, 3302
8. Forum Maritim Catala, 3925
9. We Are Water, 5865
10. Central Lechera Asturiana, 10564

RTD Foncia
RTD President
RTD Groupe Bel
RTD Mirabaud

Champagne Sailing for Velux 5 Oceans Fleet
Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Velux 5 Oceans After two days at sea in ocean sprint four, the VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet have been relishing champagne sailing conditions - a stark contrast to the grey, cold and wet Southern Ocean environment of the previous two sprints. Since leaving the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este on Sunday the fleet have made good progress, blessed with bright sunshine, calm seas and a steady breeze.

At the 1200 UTC position report just 40 miles separate the four skippers as they made their way north close to the coast of Brazil, bound for Charleston in South Carolina. American ocean racer and overall race leader Brad Van Liew was today out in front in Le Pingouin, with Canada's Derek Hatfield chasing hard just ten miles behind. Operon Racing's Polish skipper Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski, first over the start line, was today 40 miles behind Brad.

Having led the fleet for several hours following the start, British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major has dropped back to fourth place today 42 miles behind Brad after choosing a slightly more westerly course closer to land. However, in the 60 minutes prior to the last position report CSM's Spartan was the quickest boat in the fleet, averaging 13.6 knots.

The 5,700 nautical mile sprint to Charleston will see tactics become more important than ever as the skippers battle their way north through the St Helena High before facing the Doldrums for the second time since the race started in La Rochelle back in October. Once across the Equator the fleet will then pick up the north easterly tradewinds allowing the skippers to take a relatively direct course towards Charleston.

Positions At 1200 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: 5053.2/ 0/ 301.8 / 12.6
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 5063.5 / 10.3 / 300.1 / 12.5
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 5093.7 / 40.5 / 291.3 / 12.1
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 5095.5 / 42.3 / 272.9 / 11.4

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

You'd have thought that 80-years young, things might have started to calm down in terms of International 14 development. Not so, explain designer/sailor/builders George Nurton and Tom Partington

Time and place
In 2005/6 VO70 rig world was all about PBO cables then 3 years later it was carbon bundles. Now the standing rigging market has opened up even further as Phil Anniss explains...

Terry Hutchinson earns his Extreme 40 stripes, Giuliano Luzzatto talks to Maxi class godfather Gianfranco Alberini, Paul Bieker brings lessons of nature to his foil designs and Stan Honey... le navigateur

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...

No Play Again at SAP 505 Worlds
Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image for photo gallery.

TEXT The weather gods are not playing ball with the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship at Hamilton Island this week; for the third day running, Race Officer Kevin Wilson has had to announce that gusty winds and big seas have dictated no racing.

Wilson and his crew made a number of trips to the course area, but came back with the same answer each time, "It's just not safe."

Mike Martin (USA) the 2009 505 world champion, and his crew Geoff Ewenson, decided to test the waters for themselves, so took their boat for a sail. While the heavy weather specialists were able to keep the boat afloat, it became blatantly obvious that it was not a day for the fleet to race.

Everyone else watched from the safety and warmth of shore as the Americans mastered the waves and big gusts, which reached 40 knots at times.

* Sailing is one of those sports where even at the elite level, age can a benefit rather than a barrier, and that is the case with 67 year-old Brisbane skipper Earle Alexander, who is competing at the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship at Hamilton Island this week.

Alexander, who will turn 68 in June, and is a survivor of prostate cancer, reckons big boat yacht racing "is for old blokes - and I'm not old enough." That line has insulted some big name yacht racers, but Alexander doesn't care. He wants to keep sailing the highly technical and fast 505 double-handed trapeze dinghy.

Not only is the dinghy a hard one to sail, Alexander has pitted himself against some of the world's finest sailors, including Olympic medallists, Volvo Ocean Race crews, America's Cup sailors and quite a few world champions from various classes, including the 505. He is currently 37th in the 85-boat fleet.

Alexander moved to Brisbane and in 1985, purchased his first 505 as a member of the Humpybong Yacht Club. Dave Porter and Dean Blatchford were just two of the famous names who came to help set the class up.

He and crew and friend of 25 years, Australian 505 president Ian Gregg, have sailed together for six years now. "I was very ordinary for a long time. I didn't really get it (how to sail the boat) until Ian came along," Alexander says.

Now sailing at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Alexander admits: "We took a quantum leap from there, because we started calibrating the rig and settings. We got a lot of help from people like Howie Hamlin (USA), Ian Pinnell (GBR) and Holger Jess (the German 505 builder and competitor).

"Those guys are the best and they're happy to share their knowledge. Why reinvent the wheel when you can get what you need from these guys," he asks.

Laser Class Rules Controversy
From the "did April Fools Day arrive early?" files...

Rob Kothe from writes:
Yesterday, some 16,000 registered Laser sailors around the world received an email from the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) asking them to immediately vote on what is probably the largest change ever in the history of the class.

A rule change which, if successful, would remove the influence of the Laser designer Kirby and the company he founded Kirby Inc and its current owners from the Class Rules....

The whole subject rapidly turned serious when one of the ILCA Advisory Council Members, Australian Chris Caldecoat, who is also the General Manager of the Asia Pacific Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australasia wrote'

'I have been asked by my sailing colleagues why, as an Advisory Council member, I would support this puzzling resolution.

'I want to make it clear I DID NOT SUPPORT this proposed rule change and VOTED AGAINST it.

'Let me share with you the facts.

'I voted against this rule change as I believe this is not in the best interest of the Class or the International Sailing fraternity.

'From my knowledge of the events, Heini Wellman and Jeff Martin's communication with members is definitely wanting in content and could be construed as misleading.

'Laser sailors deserve the respect of a detailed and complete explanation. -- read Rob's latest at (and bookmark it, as he promised much more, soon...)

* Here is an excerpt of the letter posted on the ILCA site:

ILCA Class Rules ... requires that a builder of class-legal boats must (among other things) (i) manufacture the hull, equipment, fittings, spars, sails and battens in strict adherence to the Construction Manual and (ii) have the Laser trademark rights.

In addition, a builder also needs a building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. This provision is mostly historical. The rule was instituted at a time when Bruce Kirby held certain design rights. The ILCA is not a party to any of these "Kirby" agreements.

Unfortunately, a dispute has arisen between parties who claim to be representing Kirby's interests: a New Zealand company called Global Sailing; and Laser Performance Europe (LPE), one of the manufacturers, which holds the Laser trademark rights for Europe, South America, Africa and Asia (excluding trademark rights owned by Performance Sailcraft Japan for Japan and South Korea). The dispute centers on whether a valid "design rights holder" agreement exists with LPE. Under the current ILCA Class Rules, if there is not a valid building agreement, then a manufacturer, even a trademark owner, would not meet the requirements to be an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and International Laser Class Association (ILCA) approved builder.

Each of the parties to the conflict has threatened ILCA in various ways - Global Sailing has said it may form a new class association for a "Kirby Sailboat". LPE informed the ILCA that it intends to form its own "Laser" class. We may therefore end up with three different classes and may lose the Olympic status. The "one design / out of the box principle" would also be threatened...

...class officers made numerous attempts to get the two conflicting parties to end their dispute: meetings were held in different parts of the world and written compromise proposals were made, unfortunately with no success. While discussions between the two parties continue we are unsure of the outcome and running out of time.

We also took legal advice. The above rule changes were deemed the only possible solution in order to promote the uninterrupted supply of class legal Laser boats and to maintain ILCA in its current set-up. The lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patents had in fact expired.

Therefore, we are proposing to change the rule to eliminate the "building agreement from Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc" requirement. Manufacturers who have trademark rights and who build in strict adherence to the ILCA Rules and to the Construction Manual, which is controlled by ILCA, will continue to have the right to build Class legal boats. We believe that this change will eliminate uncertainty over ISAF and ILCA approval, give manufacturers continued reasons to support the class and satisfy the demands of current and future class members.

Read in full at

Dubarry Storm - Designed To Perform
Dubarry Storm The great thing about the best technical clothing is that it's fit for purpose. There's no frilly bits, no cherries on top, and it won't fall to pieces when the going gets tough. It's a focused, durable, effective masterpiece - just like you. With its waterproof outer and a storm flap inside the zip, it's going to keep you dry. And its snug chin guard and polarfleece inner will keep you warm. It's warm, dry, confident styling in six colourways, and it does exactly what you want a jacket to do.

Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE
Over 600 teams from 53 nations have already registered for the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, first European event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup for Olympic and Paralympic events to be held in Palma de Majorca from 2nd to 9th April.

Twelve classes* will participate in the 42 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE. The RS:X men and women are back to Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, which will also be the venue for the Laser Standard and Laser Radial. Club Nautic S'Arenal will be the venue of the Finn, 49er and 470 M & W, while the Star and Elliott 6 - women's match racing- will be based at Real Club Náutico. The Paralympic events, 2.4mR and Skud 18, will be based at Escuela Nacional de Vela Calanova.

* Editor: In accordance with point 3.9 of the Notice of Race, the Organising Committee announces the cancellation of the Paralympic two-person keelboat (Skud 18) and the Paralympic three-person keelboat (Sonar) as well as invited class Dragon in the 42 Trofeo SAR Princesa

The next event after Palma is Semaine Olympique Française (Hyeres, France, at the end of April), Delta Lloyd Regatta (Medemblik, The Netherlands, in May), Skandia Sail for Gold (Weymouth, Great Britain in June) and Kieler Woche (Kiel, Germany in June).

The Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE is sponsored by MAPFRE for sixth consecutive year and is organized by Club Nautic S'Arenal, Real Club Náutico de Palma, Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, Escuela de Vela Calanova and the Balearic and Spanish sailing federations. The institutional sponsors are the Govern de les Illes Balears, Palma City Council and the collaborators are Consejo Superior de Deportes, the Spanish Sports Federation for people with Physical disabilities, Ports de les Illes Balears, the Ministry of Environment, Baleares Ports Authority and Acciona.

Traditional Craftsmen are Becoming Increasingly Scarce
Click on image to enlarge.

Cornwall Artisans The Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) has teamed up with EU counterparts to record the skills unique to wooden boatbuilding that are in danger of disappearing due to an aging workforce.

The transnational project will see skills recorded in boatyards across Cornwall, Belgium and the Netherlands over the next 12 months. This material will then be collated in an online training facility for future generations.

The training package will be promoted across Europe to encourage people, businesses and organisations to engage in and with the traditional boatbuilding sector and to encourage people to pursue a career in boatbuilding.

'The Traditional Maritime Skills project will produce a range of quality educational resources that will support the teaching of traditional boatbuilding to current and future generations,' said CMN's Tim Bowerbank. 'The project's website will include a Virtual Learning Environment with movie clips, interviews, photography, CAD drawings and a course-framework.'

The programme, called '2 Seas', is funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

Workers skilled in carpentry, woodworking and rigging are becoming increasingly scarce. The Traditional Maritime Skills programme is therefore working to address this problem by promoting training and apprenticeships that will create a steady workforce of multi-skilled boatbuilders. And the project will benefit both historic and modern boatbuilding since many of the skills in short supply today are closely related to the traditional boatbuilding skills.

Cornish boatbuilders supporting the project include Marcus Lewis in Fowey, Chris Rees in Millbrook and Jon Albrecht in Gweek.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the ratification of a new World Record

Record: 60 ft Monohull 24 Hour Distance Record
Yacht: Virbac-Paprec
Name: Jean Pierre Dick FRA / Loick Peyron FRA.
Dates: 21st January to the 22nd January 2011. At 1100 hrs on both days.
Start position: 36 43.51'S; 28 29.83'W
Finish position: 39 15.79'S; 18 16.63'W
Distance: 506.333 NM
Average speed: 21.1 kts

Comments: This record was established during the Barcelona double handed Race.
Previous record: 2007 "Hugo Boss" Alex Thompson/Andrew Cape, GBR, 501.3nm, 20.9kts

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Spring Starts at the Royal Lymington
Photo by Ann Brunskill. Click on image to enlarge.

Spring Starts at the Royal Lymington This year's Spring Series for Keelboats started on the day the clocks went forward but there were no reports of anyone oversleeping such was the enthusiasm to get out on the water after the winter. The weather rewarded everyone with an almost perfect spring morning in the Solent.

A north easterly breeze, occasionally getting up to 17 kts, and an ebbing tide for the first race gave Race Officer Roger Wilson the opportunity to set a couple of laps 'round the cans' with a moveable mark to windward and down to 'Royal Lymington' via 'Berthon' for the big boats, with shorter but similar courses for the Elites, Folkboats and Lymington Handicap fleets. There was some close racing as the fleets beat up against the tide along the mainland shore and enough wind for a tactical gybing run back down.

This year the innovation of a separate finish boat produced a quick turn round between races and although the tide had changed and the wind dropped during the second race everyone managed to complete their two windward leeward laps and get back to the Club in time for lunch.

Class 1 IRC saw Zarafa and No Chance battling it out with one win each on handicap. William Newton's Jelly Baby took line honours in race 2 but was just beaten by Zarafa on handicap. There's all to play for in Class 2 IRC as the first three boats as the lighter airs in race 2 favoured Boomerang. Showing their enthusiasm for racing, 6 of the ten RS Elites in the local fleet were out, with showing the way in both races. There were some closely contested starts in the Nordic Folkboats and Aurora showed sparkling form in the, coming second in race 1 but Tak had another excellent day with two firsts.

Results after 2 races:

Class 1 IRC
1. Zarafa, Peter Scholfield
2. No Chance, Chris/Hannah Neve
3. Jibe, RobinTaunt

Class 2 IRC
1. Jacobite, Stephen James
2. Boomerang, Ray Crouch
3. Hephzibah, David Lees

Lymington Handicap
1. Stren, Roddy Steel
2. Jungle, Geoff Stock
3. Red Kite, Roger Harford

Nordic Folkboat
1. Tak, Jeremy Austin
2. Crackerjack, Stuart Watson
3. Aurora, Claude Hamilton

RS Elite
1., Martin Wadhams
2. Pipefish, Peter Lister
3. Easy Does It, Willem Vinke

Full results at

Sam Pearson Lifts the 2011 Royal Southern Academy Match Cup
Royal Southern Academy Match Cup Veteran match-racer Sam Pearson from Poole, Dorset, who was lying in fourth place after the Round Robin, came from behind to win the inaugural Royal Southern Academy Match Cup, racing in SB3s in challenging conditions on the Solent on 26/27 March.

Sam's battle for victory, pitched against Andy Shaw, the current World Student Match Race Champion, went to the final race with every one different and challenging.

Presenting the Bill Foulkes Aladdin's Cave Trophy to Sam, Sandy Foulkes said of the late Bill Foulkes, founder of the Aladdin's Cave chandleries: "Bill was a great supporter of young people. In his younger days, he was a winner of the One Ton Cup. He would have been pleased to see you showing your skills match racing today."

The Match Cup Final marks the first Anniversary of the Royal Southern Academy and the conclusion of the current Match Race Series. More match races are planned for later in the year and will be announced on the Academy pages

Final results:
1. Sam Pearson
2. Andy Shaw
3. Ali Hall
4. Rob Gullan
5. Ben Duncan (IRL)
6. David Tabb
7. Lars Huckstadt (GER)

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2005 Cookson 50. Located in Sydney, Australia. A$ 895,000.

This Cookson 50 has had no expense spared since new, including a thorough preparation for the 2010 Sydney to Hobart resulting in a 4th overall in IRC open and 2nd in ORCi open.

Build 2004 in New Zealand by Cookson, she won the NZ Coastal Classic, around North Island Race, Auckland Race Week and Bay of Islands Race Week, before arriving in Sydney.

Complete with an extensive cruising inventory for fast comfortable passages, she is a great compromise. Alternativly, in race mode she is capable of being at the sharp end of any fleet.

Brokerage through Yoti:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven't done much today. -- Mikhail Gorbachev

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