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Iker and Xabi Take Second
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Barcelona World Race When Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernadez crossed the finish line of the Barcelona World Race at 0917hrs (UTC) today the Spanish Olympic champions of 2004 took second place, having completed the 25,200 miles course in an elapsed time of 94 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds.

Their average pace on MAPFRE was 11.07 knots for the theoretical course distance, and over the 28,759 miles they actually covered they made an average of 12.63 knots. They finished 22 hours, 56 minutes and 59 seconds behind winners Virbac-Paprec 3 to a tremendous reception in a sun-drenched Barcelona.

"This is an ideal situation for us. Until 14 months ago we had never sailed an IMOCA 60 and so we could not aspire to very much. But the race was very good, much better than we expected. We've made a huge step. Tomorrow the project is finished but if in the future we want to do it again we can hope to aspire to anything.

Both were total IMOCA Open 60 novices when they set foot on one for the first time in late February last year. "We wanted to know if it was something we could do together, and now we have our answer," said Xabi Fernandez, a few days ago on live Visio-Conference.

Q. What's next, another Volvo or Olympics.....or nothing?!
Iker Martinez: "If we had to make the decision today we would stop sailing, so better wait until after we've eaten a great steak! We have always postponed making these important decisions, because we need time and we have to think about it. We are trying to understand what is the best for us in our next position. So we're going to take some time, and we'll make it public as soon as we decide. We'll talk about it in a few days time."

Q. When you were within 8 miles of Virbac-Paprec 3, did you think you could win the race?
Iker Martinez:"That was the closest we were to there, out of New Zealand we had very favourable conditions and a bit more wind than them and got very close to them. But we also realized that we could struggle to get to first position, but of course having seen that they had to stop twice maybe our boat was more reliable. The whole of the Pacific was very tough because we went at top speed and our only chance was that they would break something, because in the Atlantic it was favourable for them.

On Michel Desjoyeaux:
Iker Martinez:"Talking of Michel, he is a great guy - charming, he has helped us a great deal. The collaboration for us has been extremely rewarding and we want to thank him and all of his people for all their support. They're great professionals, and we've made new friends there. It's incredible."

First America's Cup World Series Event To Be Held In Cascais
At a press conference at Casa de Santa Marta on Monday, Cascais, Portugal was confirmed as the first venue for the inaugural America's Cup World Series (AC World Series). The event will be held from the 6th to the 14th of August, and will feature both fleet and match racing.

This fashionable seaside resort is known for its beautiful conditions on and off the water, featuring a mild climate with sandy beaches, a rich architectural heritage and a number of elegant shops and restaurants,excellent accommodation and premier golf courses.

Cascais also hosts annually several international premium events Including numerous World and European yachting championships over the years, such as the ISAF worlds in 2007 which gathered all the Olympic classes, proving once again their outstanding organization ability.

Cascais is the perfect town to host the thousands of AC World Series spectators anticipated to watch the first race of the America's Cup World Series competitors onboard their AC45s.

The AC World Series will start later than previously announced to enable the number of new challengers who were just being accepted at the close of entries on March 31 to receive and sail their AC45 prior to the first AC World Series event.

Ross Field & Son Return to Offshore Racing in the GOR
The yacht was prepared for transport by Campbell Field and Jose Muñoz in the resort town of Algarrobo. Photo by Campbell Field. Click on image to enlarge.

Global Ocean Race Following almost a year of intense planning and secrecy, the New Zealand duo of Ross Field and his son, Campbell, have officially entered the double-handed, round the world, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR). The duo represents a combined offshore racing background unrivalled in the GOR fleet and has successfully purchased the Guillaume Verdier Design Class40, Desafio Cabo de Hornos: the yacht sailed to second place in the double-handed class of the inaugural 2008-09 GOR by the Chilean duo of Felipe Cubillos and Jose Muñoz.

Towards the end of March, the yacht was prepared for transport by Campbell Field and Jose Muñoz in the resort town of Algarrobo on Chile's west coast before a 20-mile journey by truck south along the coast to the port of San Antonio. The boat is currently on board a commercial ship sailing from San Antonio to Rotterdam and will be trucked onwards to the Berthon Boatyard in Lymington, Hampshire, on the UK's South Coast, for refitting before the Fields begin their GOR training and qualifying programme.

The offshore racing experience held by the New Zealand team is formidable. Ross Field has logged five circumnavigation races with three consecutive Whitbread Round the World Race entries: first on NZL Enterprise in the 1985-86 edition, then racing with the late Sir Peter Blake on the Division A winner Steinlager 2 in 1989-90 and skippering the Whitbread 60 Yamaha to victory in 1993-94 against the combined skills of Dennis Connor and Brad Butterworth on Winston and Chris Dickson and his crew on Tokio. In 1997 Ross put together Americas Challenge but was forced to withdraw in Cape Town. In the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race, Ross was the syndicate head and co-skipper of News Corporation. When not engaged in racing around the world, Ross has raced and skippered in nearly all major international offshore events including Round Europe Races, Sydney-Hobart Races, Melbourne-Osaka Races, Bermuda Races, Fastnet Races - holding the Fastnet record for nine years - and numerous other events. He is still racing his own canting keel 52-footer in New Zealand.

From 1994 to 2000, Campbell managed racing yachts and competed in all the major events across the Caribbean, USA, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. In 1997 he was selected for the Chessie Racing team in the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race, eventually completing Leg 1 on Americas Challenge. In 2000 he moved to the UK, settling in Lymington and taking the post of Product Manager at B&G, the high-end marine electronics company. After a period of running his own navigation system business and dividing his time as a navigator for inshore and offshore races, Campbell returned to round the world racing. He took a last minute post as relief navigator on board Brunel Synergy for Leg 1 of the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race, before switching to join the Movistar team where he took the role of Technical Manager. During the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race he was Shore Manager for the Telefonica team; an enormously complex and responsible position that included overseeing the build of the campaign's two Volvo Ocean 70 race yachts. -- Oliver Dewar

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.

Tricky Conditions Make For High Scores In Palma
Photo of Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki by Jesus Renedo. Click on image to enlarge.

Palma The second day of racing in Palma offered the 1000 sailors racing in the 10 Olympic classes and the 2.4 paralympic event, tricky conditions with moderate and shifty winds. Today's races were sailed in opposite wind directions, with the remaining North-Easterly opening the day but replaced in the afternoon by the expected sea breeze. The committee was able to complete a race for all classes in both winds in moderate conditions averaging 10 knots.

The British team capitalised on yesterday's results to take top placing in three classes. Olympic Gold medallist and Sailing World Cup leader, Ben Ainslie (GBR) claimed today's races and the lead in the Finn class in front of team mate and earlier leader Giles Scott (GBR), and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). In the other group the races went to Australian Brendan Casey coached by Finn medallist, John Bertrand (USA) and by junior sailor Jorge Zarif (BRA) coached by Robert Scheidt brother and ex-coach Thomas Scheidt.

Bronze medallists in the 2011 Rolex Miami regatta, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell add two more victories to their score in the 470 men fleet and climb from 6th to 1st overall. Nick Rogers and Chris Grube (GBR) remain in second overall, three points ahead of Australians Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page.

Despite winning a race yet, consistent racing brought Nick Dempsey (GBR) in top place in the RS:X fleet.

With a total of five races sailed in the event and tricky conditions close to the shore in Palma, the 49ers fleet has collected high scores. The Sibello (ITA) brothers are back on the international circuit after the Sail for Gold regatta. The 2009 European champions are in good form winning two out of three races. They claim the top place four points from early leaders Dylan Fletcher and Alan Sign (GBR).

A complete weather change in Palma on day two of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia brought an early postponement and some tricky races as some new faces came to the front. A double win from Ben Ainslie (GBR) takes him to the top of the Finn Class followed by Giles Scott (GBR) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Other heat wins today went to Brendan Casey (AUS) and Jorge Zarif (BRA).

After a long day on the water Stage One was completed for the Women's Match Racing at the 42nd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Advancing to the Gold Group are the three undefeated teams (Silja Lehtinen-FIN, Sally Barkow-USA and Anna Tunnicliffe-USA) and the three 2nd place teams in each group (Claire Leroy-FRA, Silke Hahlbrock-GER, and Lucy Macgregor-GBR). They will sail a round robin to determine the seeding of the Quarter-Final Knock-out series.

Fighting for a chance to join the Gold Group in the Quarter-Finals are: Ekaterina Skudina-RUS, Silvia Roca-ESP, Renee Groeneveld-NED, Nicky Souter-AUS, Anne-Claire Le Berre-FRA, and Stephanie Hazard-NZL. They will sail a round robin with the top two advancing.

The remaining 12 teams will continue racing in the Silver and Bronze groups to determine places 13 through 24 in the event.

Group A: 1. Lehtinen-FIN 7-0, 2. Leroy-FRA 6-1, 3. Skudina-RUS 5-2, 4. Roca-ESP 4-3, 5. Goncalves-POR 3-4, 6. Spithill-AUS 2-5, 7. Bekkering-NED 1-6, 8. Kutovaya-RUS 0-7.

Group B: 1. Barkow-USA 7-0, 2. Hahlbrock-GER 6-1, 3. Groeneveld-NED 5-2, 4. Souter-AUS 4-3, 5. Monina-ITA 3-4, 6. Abrahamsen-DEN 2-5, 7. Echegoyen-ESP 1-6, 8. Wang-CHN 0-7.

Group C: 1. Tunnicliffe-USA 7-0, 2. Macgregor-GBR 5-2, 3. Le Berre-FRA 5-2, 4. Hazard-NZL 4-3, 5. Meldgaard-DEN 3-4, 6. Kjellberg-SWE 3-4, 7. Abbott-CAN 1-6, 8. Zimmermann-PER 0-7.

Les Voiles De St. Barth 2011: Build and They Will Come
The Carl Gustaf Hotel, high on the hill overlooking the main port of Gustavia, provided a great vantage point to watch the Les Voiles de St. Barth fleet slowly filling up the anchorage and quays in the main harbor of this idyllic French island. Boats continued to arrive throughout the day, while others took advantage of the day's fresh easterly breeze to go through some crew maneuvers and test sails.

While the Caribbean has seen a resurgence of new yachting events, Les Voiles de St. Barth seems to have struck a chord among sailors - the regatta has seen entries rise from 23 boats last year, to 53 for 2011. The island turns on its charm easily, what with Jimmy Buffet as the event's Godfather, and festive dockside entertainment each day for the 500 or so sailors on hand.

As for the racing, tomorrow's forecast calls for easterly trade winds of 22 knots, providing a great start to the week. The island and surrounding archipelago offer a variety of courses from 14 - 37 nautical miles, something for all classes.

Racing begins tomorrow and continues through Saturday, with a lay day on Thursday. The international fleet includes over 50 boats - from 17 countries - entered in five classes: Maxi, Racing, Racing/Cruising, Classic, Multihull.

In the Maxi class, Peter Harrison's (UK) 115-foot Farr designed ketch, Sojana - a frequent competitor on the Caribbean circuit - will have a solid afterguard on board with Peter Holmberg at the helm, and French sailing legend Lionel Pean on tactics and navigation. Pean, who made his name in more solitary pursuits of singlehanded and around the world racing, has traded up to the comfort and camaraderie of a fully-fitted out boat such as Sojana.

The Maxi Class also includes Rambler 100 (US), chartered by George David, with Ken Read as skipper; the Swan 112 Highland Breeze (NED) which has Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking on board; the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's Dubois 97'; Genuine Risk which has a mix of US and Swedish crew headed by Hugo Stenbeck; and the 86-foot CNB sloop, Spiip.

The Racing class also includes Jim Swartz' (Park City, Utah) Vesper, returning for the 2nd edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth. The class also includes Peter Cunningham's Farr 60 Venomous (USA), with Tony Rey calling tactics, and Wilem Wester's Grand Soleil 43 Antilope (NED) and James Dobbs' J/122 Lost Horizon (ANT), both fresh from class wins in St. Thomas.

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are Irish Sailors of the Month
The sailing season is starting and selecting the Independent "Sailors of the Month" for March has been a swift business, with the remarkable performance by Peter O'Leary of Cork and David Burrows of Malahide in the Olympic Star Class's legendary annual Bacardi Cup series in Miami emerging as the clear winner.

Admittedly the Irish duo only managed the runner-up slot in Florida. But in a fleet of 93 boats rampaging around in wildly varying conditions, it was an achievement to be at the top of the frame at all. And they were beaten by only one point, even if it was lost in the final race, which they'd started leading overall by a point.

Because the Stars are under a death sentence in the Olympic scene, with next year's Olympiad their final appearance in the five ring circus, the class has acquired an extra slightly morbid interest.

And all this for one of the oddest looking and most demanding boats on the planet. The Olympic glow does that to people. This time round, we happily glow ourselves, as the O'Leary-Burrows team (each has figured as Sailor of the Month before, but this is their first time together) and the combinations shows every promise of having what it takes.

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

Achieving the impossible
As soon as we started digging deeper into claims of 'faster than the wind', we knew there was only one person to call... Bob 'Iron Duck' Dill

In demand
After AC33 life will never be quite the same again for (former) architect and industrial designer Magnus Clarke... as Andy Rice finds out

Making amazing things happen
Perhaps an apparently new face in the world of grand prix raceboat - and spar - building is not so new after all. Jason Carrington & Associates

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...

Heading to China for Act 2 of the Global Series
There is now just one week to go until Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series gets underway in Qingdao, China - a new venue on the 2011 nine-stop global circuit. The 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet was placed on board a ship after Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat, Oman bound for China and the Extreme 40s are on course to be delivered to their new host venue in Fushan Bay, home of the 2008 Olympic Village, tomorrow.

The 11 Extreme 40 teams will by vying to win Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series for the Double Star Cup organised in association with the Qingdao Yachting Association.

Qingdao is China's fourth largest manufacturing port in the country and known as the 'City of Sailing' since staging the sailing programme of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as well as being selected as a stopover port for both the Volvo Ocean Race and the Clipper Race.  Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series will see two days of 'open water' racing (13-14 April), allowing the race management to set 'true' upwind and downwind courses without the confines of the 'stadium' sailing format which commences on the 15th April for three days, with the 11-boat fleet racing right in front of the spectators.

Following on from their Act 1 victory, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will be looking to secure another win under their belt, but it will be no easy task. The result in Muscat went to the wire with victory only secured in the final double-points race by Pennec's crew who were pushed hard by Artemis Racing (2nd) and Red Bull Extreme Sailing (3rd) - Hagara's team scoring their first podium result since joining the circuit, and will benefit from the experience of Will Howden who competed on the waters of Qingdao in the 2008 Olympics.

For Act 2, Santiago Lange from Argentina will be taking the helm on Artemis Racing from regular skipper Terry Hutchinson and Rodney Adern will replace Sean Clarkson for this regatta. Britain's Mark Bulkeley, part of the 2009 Oman Sail Masirah winning crew, will be joining the Italian's on Team NiceForYou replacing Alberto Sonino.

Extreme Sailing Series Overall Standings after Act 1:

1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, FRA, Pierre Pennec, 11 points
2. Artemis Racing, SWE, Terry Hutchinson, 10
3. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, AUT, Roman Hagara, 9
4. Emirates Team New Zealand, NZL, Dean Barker, 8
5. Luna Rossa, ITA, Max Sirena, 7
6. Alinghi, SUI, Tanguy Cariou, 6
7. The Wave, Muscat, OMA, Torvar Mirsky, 5
8. Oman Air, OMA, Sidney Gavignet, 4
9. Team Extreme, EUR, Roland Gaebler, 3
10. Niceforyou, ITA, Alberto Barovier, 2
11. Team GAC Pindar, GBR, Ian Williams, 1

Volvo Supports Swiss Match Racing
Glattbrugg, Switzerland: Volvo Cars Switzerland confirms its commitment to match racing in Switzerland and becomes one of the main partners of St. Moritz Match Race, the country's  leading professional sailing competition. Volvo has also committed to title sponsorship of the Volvo Match Race Cup, a national circuit that includes a qualifying Stage in Kreuzlingen and a national championship that will allow a Swiss team to qualify directly for St. Moritz Match Race.

The next edition of St. Moritz Match Race, scheduled from 30 August until 4 September, will be the seventh event of the nine-stage World Match Racing Tour. The WMRT is the official professional match racing series sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and it awards the official match racing world championship title annually.  

Volvo Cars Switzerland has been involved in match racing in Switzerland through St. Moritz Match Race for two years - becoming the event's main partner and associating with the Volvo Match Race Cup now emphasises this commitment.

Eight teams will race for the Volvo Match Race Cup in Kreuzlingen from 29 April until 1 May. The top two teams will gain entry to the Swiss Match Racing Championship in Zug from 2 until 5 June where they will race the top Swiss ISAF ranked teams, among them, Eric Monnin, Jerome Clerc, Marcel Walser and Roger Stocker.

The Swiss champion will be invited to St. Moritz Match Race to compete against the world's greatest match racers.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1998 Nautor Swan 60. EUR 1,300,000. Located In Liguria, Italy.

Ulysse is a high performance Swan 60 that has been optimized for racing while still carrying all the amenities that one would expect aboard a yacht of this calibre. Regatta hull laminate is 5,000Kg lighter that standard hull. Deep keel gives better upwind performance, carbon fibre mast and boom from Hall Spars are just a few of her many features.

Brokerage through Nautor's Swan Italy & Monaco:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Great is the man who has not lost his childlike heart. -- Mencius

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