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New Reference Time Around Belle-Ile For Gitana 11
Photo by Christophe Launay, Click on image for photo gallery.

Belle Ile The maxi-trimaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild took part in the fourth edition of the Tour de Belle-Ile this Saturday 7 May. Setting off in the bay of Quiberon and circumnavigating Belle-Ile to port, this annual race gathered together small and large craft on the same course and thus enabled professionals and amateurs alike to share the same race start. Gitana 11, with her 77 feet was the largest boat to set off this morning among the 485 competitors in the running this year, which is the biggest line-up so far. Sebastien Josse and his five crew were the first to cross the finish line just a stone's throw from Teignouse, with a new reference time for the event into the bargain. The men of Gitana Team completed the 41 nautical mile course in 2 hours 42 minutes, thus improving on the time of the previous record holder by thirty minutes.

The bay of Quiberon served up rather windy conditions for the 2011 edition of the Tour de Belle-Ile. It was in a SE'ly wind kicking out 25 knots of breeze and heavy seas that the race committee set the 485 racers going shortly after 1030 GMT this Saturday. There were also a number of stormy squalls rolling through to further spice up proceedings. The resulting spectacle was stunning but it was important for the crews to focus on being vigilant: "Nearly 500 boats on the same start line makes things pretty busy! It was full-on, especially with the wind and sea conditions. We were particularly attentive during the start phase as Gitana 11 was a lot faster than the majority of the fleet."

For his first race as skipper of Gitana, Sebastien Josse opted to sail with Sebastien Thetiot, David Boileau, Florent Chastel, Antoine Koch and Jean-Baptiste Epron.

The VOR 70 Groupama was the fastest monohull with a finish time of 3 hours and 23 minutes.

First ten finishes:

1. Gitana 11, Sebastien Josse), finished at 14h12'00" aftger 2h42'
2. Prince de Bretagne, Lionel Lemonchois, 14h14'38"
3. Crepes Whaou !, Franck-Yves Escoffier, 14h15'19"
4. Sensations, Alain Gautier, 14h18'06"
5. Actual, Yves Le Blevec, 14h19'59"
6. MaItre Jacques, Loic Fequet, 14h23'13"
7. Region Aquitaine-Port-Medoc, Lalou Roucayrol, 14h38'01"
8. Groupama 70, Franck Cammas, 14h53'14"
9. PRB, Vincent Riou, 15h09'19"
10. Akena Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 15h28'42"

JM Finn, Finn UK Nationals
Photo by Claire ADB and BFA. Click on image for photo gallery.

Finn UK Nationals The JM Finn, Finn UK National Championships at Christchurch Sailing Club ended in fine style with two fantastic races in near perfect conditions in Christchurch Bay. Rob McMillan (AUS) won both races to take the open title from Laurent Hay (FRA) by just one point, while two top six finishes for Allen Burrell was enough for him to take the National title for the first time, after many years of trying.

For the final two races the wind had strengthened and shifted to a more southerly direction, making it more stable over the course area. With 14-16 knots most of the day, and brilliant sunshine, it was a fantastic way to end a great championships. After tricky winds so far the sailors enjoyed stretching out and enjoying the great conditions.

Race six was led from start to finish by Rob McMillan (AUS), with Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA) and Allen Burrell close behind. A third for Burrell was enough to take the overall lead, if ever so briefly. The wind died slightly for the start of the deciding race seven and there was a tricky decision to stay inshore or go offshore. Burrell opted inshore while McMillan went offshore, but it was Neil Robinson who rounded first with McMillan in hot pursuit. Burrell rounded about 10th and the chase was on. While McMillan moved into first, Burrell could only climb to sixth, just two points from taking the open title as well. Robinson finished second while Allain des Beauvais crossed third.

A fifth for early regatta leader Laurent Hay was enough to tie for first overall with McMillan but lose out on count back tie break, as McMillan had won more races.

The championships as well as the qualifier series for next year's world championship have been generously sponsored by JM Finn & Co, one of the UK's leading privately owned investment managers.

Final top ten results after 7 races (one drop)

1. Rob McMillan, AUS, 18 points
2. Hay Laurent, FRA, 18
3. Allen Burrell, GBR, 19
4. Marc Allain des Beauvais, FRA, 35
5. David Potter, GBR, 41
6. Neil Robinson, GBR, 43
7. Simon Percival, GBR, 52
8. Martin Hughes, GBR, 55
9. George Cooper, GBR, 56
10. Richard Hart, GBR, 66

ARC Europe
Photo by Andy Schell. Click on image to enlarge.

ARC Europe A multinational fleet has sailed from the Caribbean and USA to Bermuda, ready to sail across the Atlantic west to east with ARC Europe. 77 sailors on 19 yachts flying the flags of 12 countries will be sailing to Bermuda, then cruising the Azores archipelago before heading for Lagos in Portugal.

The main fleet started from Nanny Cay on Tortola, British Virgin Islands on 05 May. The second fleet started from Hampton, Virginia on 06 May. The two fleets will rendezvous in St. George's Bermuda for some social time and preparations for the 1800nm mile Atlantic passage to Horta on Faial in the Azores.

On 05 May the main ARC Europe fleet of 16 boats departed Tortola in fine style in very light easterly winds. First across the line was Bavaria 38 Ocean Diatonic (GBR), flying a cruising chute, and passing so close to the start boat that they were able to ask for their trophy already! Resolution 3 (FRA) celebrated their start of their Atlantic journey by popping open a bottle of champagne as they crossed the start line. Lady Lisa (SUI), Ariane (SUI), Surya (BEL) and Diatonic (GBR) currently head the fleet, but there's a long way to go yet.

Over in Hampton Virginia, the four yachts on the US-Bermuda leg started on a reach in a brisk southerwesterly breeze. South African yacht Mojito really got the rally bug and were first across the line with the crew perched racer-style on the windward rail. The other yachts went for a more cruising approach, and with a good forecast, they should all be in Bermuda in a few days.

The average size of boats in the fleet is 14.5m, with the smallest being Moody 38 Elsocare (GBR) and Bavaria 38 Ocean Diatonic (GBR), and the largest are Discovery 55 Kalandia and Beneteau 57 Fred.

Skippers and crew range in ages from their late teens to the over 70s, with the average age being 54 years.

Morris Yachts Celebrates the Launch of Hull 1 of the Leadership 44
Click on image to enlarge.

Morris Yachts It has been almost two years in the making and next week Shearwater will leave Morris Yachts for her career as a training vessel for the US Coast Guard Academy. To celebrate, on Wednesday, May 18th as part of the annual Service Open House, Morris Yachts invites the public to come view the boat and be a part of a send off celebration at 11am at the Morris Service yard in Bass Harbor.

Designer David Pedrick and Alan Sprague of the Coast Guard Academy will be on hand for the Morris celebration.

For more information go to:

West Zone Named 25th RYA Eric Twiname Champions
Photo by Paul Wyeth / RYA. Click on image for photo gallery.

Eric Twiname Champions It was the RYA West Zone who reigned triumphant at Rutland Water this weekend as they were crowned 2011 RYA Eric Twiname Champions as the Regatta came to a thrilling finish on the final day of the Championships (Sunday 8 May).

With light breezes greeting the opening day of the Championships on Saturday, stronger winds ranging from 20-25 knots and spells of sunshine throughout the day (Sunday 8 May) enabled the 327 sailors to compete in exhilarating conditions allowing for the 2011 Eric Twiname Champions to be crowned.

In clinching their prestigious victory the West Zone also won the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy, awarded to the zone performing best from the top 2 dinghy classes out of the 5, while the North for the second year running retained the Eric Twiname Windsurfing Trophy, awarded to the Zone scoring best from two of the four windsurfing classes.

Thanks to the long-standing and on-going support of the Eric Twiname Memorial Trust, the event is free to enter with all costs associated with the running of the regatta met by the RYA and the Trust.

2011 RYA Eric Twiname Championships Results:

Overall winners of the Eric Twiname Shield:
1) West
2) South
3) North

For full results, photos and further event information on the 2011 RYA Eric Twiname Championships please visit the RYA Racing Events website

Old Gaffers, New Blood
Photo of Aeolus courtesy British Classic Yacht Club

Old Gaffers All you need is love, plus plenty of motivation, dedication, time & some spare cash!
Peta Stuart-Hunt shares a moment with some Old Gaffers and some new racing blood

It is really inspiring to read about those dedicated people who pledge the resources - commitment to the cause, knowledge and time being the most valuable assets - required to restore an old boat to its former glory. I've taken a closer look at a couple of examples in this selection of some more recent entries to this year's 80th Anniversary J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race taking place on 25th June.

Anthony Wheaton from London has entered his 1903 built Gaff Cutter called AEOLUS. Yachtmaster Anthony has been building and sailing boats since he was a teenager. This is his second time racing in the Round the Island Race and in his first year, in 2010, they came 9th in the Traditional Gaffers class.

The boat's vital statistics are as follows: AEOLUS is a 41ft extreme plank on edge gaff topsail cutter - thin, deep with slack bilges, long keel, internal lead ballast only of 6 tons and an excessive sail plan. She's 42ft on deck, 38ft LWL, 60ft overall with spars with a 9ft beam, 8ft draft and 15 tons. Her working sails measure 1,000 sq ft plus she has topsails of 450 sq ft.

AEOLUS was originally built in California, designer unknown but using C.P. Kunhardt to develop a G.L. Watson-inspired rig. She was owned and raced locally and successfully and was later used for chartering. In 2003, she was imported to the UK but not sailed until her current owner purchased her in late 2008, did some experimental sailing, took the lines of the hull and commissioned Ed Burnett to produce a balanced sail plan. The new sails commissioned in late 2009 from SKB Sails, in Penryn near Falmouth, have been cut very flat; the mainsail has a much shorter foot and bigger headsails have achieved balance and beauty. She remains traditional with block, tackle and belaying pins as the sole method of securing ropes.

AEOLUS was rebuilt in 1982/3 as an exact replica with the keelson as the only original timber. She's double planked in cedar to the waterline with light timber frames of ironwood, fir planks for the topsides, triple layered decking finished in Port Orford cedar and low bulwarks. Ironwood has been used for beams and structural timbers.

The spars and sail plan where replicated which, in the prevailing style at the turn of the last century, was over canvassed with a boom 10ft beyond the transom and light spars. This may have been suitable for inshore racing but produced excessive weatherhelm and an unseaworthy boat. This has been cured by the new cream working sails and tan topsails with a large symbol A on the sails representing the wind god Aeolus escaping from a jar, where he had been imprisoned by Zeus, and so blowing Odysseus back away from the underworld. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

Spray Stop From PSP Tapes
Click on image to enlarge.

PSP Tapes New from PSP Marine Tapes is Spray Stop, designed to prevent spray of fuel, hot water or steam from burst pipes, pipe joints, flanges, boilers, exhaust manifolds, silencers and engine installations. Spray Stop tape is now a requirement under SOLAS Regulation 11-2/15.2.11.

Spray Stop is an essential, low cost requirement for every marine engine room! It is a multi-layer aluminium and glass cloth, coated with a high performance, heat resistant silicon adhesive. Available in two widths of 25mm or 50mm, each pack is measured into one-metre lengths for the retail market and can be ordered in various widths by 10m rolls for the commercial market. The tape is easy to apply and quickly able to prevent leakage and splashing from hot, dangerous flammable liquids or steam.

Available via retailrers and commercial distributors worldwide.
Or contact PSP direct.

Conrad Humphreys Completes La Solo Concarneau, Qualifies For Figaro
Conrad Humphreys onboard DMS finished La Solo Concarneau at 22.10 hours (local time) last night. Crossing the finish line in 17th place out of 26 starters means that Conrad has now qualified for La Solitaire du Figaro, which starts at the end of July.

Speaking from Concarneau, a tired but happy Conrad said: "I am pleased to have finished and qualified. This was a toughy! Early on, I ripped my mainsail, which cost me a little time whilst I repaired it. The fleet were very bunched off Belle Isle, so I decided to head offshore to find better breeze. The weather grib indicated a right shift, but it never came, instead the wind lifted so I found myself too far right with a left shift...merde! My port primary winch failed which didn't help, but I managed to take out the broken pawl and get the winch to work with just the one pawl. I rounded Sud mark somewhere near the back of the fleet and never really recovered".

The weather conditions were very challenging during the course of the race and Conrad said that on occasions, the wind increased from 15 knots to 35 knots with thunderstorms and torrential rain accompanied by squally conditions and a difficult sea state. This proved to be too much for a number of the boats and there was a high attrition rate with 8 boats retiring throughout the duration of the 330 mile race.

La Solo Basse de Normandie is the next event in the Figaro calendar and starts in two weeks' time.

Top ten finishes, La Solo Concarneau

1. Adrien Hardy
2. Frederic Duthil
3. Xavier Macaire
4. Paul Meilhat
5. Yoann Richomme
6. David Sineau
7. Morgan Lagraviere
8. Isabelle Joschke
9. Alexis Loison
10. Nicolas Jossier

Full results at

Velux 5 Oceans Stars In Charleston Harbor Fest
The Velux 5 Oceans is set to be the centrepiece of Charleston Harbor Fest, a four-day celebration of all things nautical. Visitors will be able to see first-hand the four Eco 60 yachts as their skippers prepare for ocean sprint five, the final leg of the 30,000-mile solo round the world yacht race.

Tickets are available online for a special Bon Voyage reception with the Velux 5 Oceans skippers from 5pm to 8pm on Friday, May 13. Saturday will feature a dockside send-off ceremony and Parade of Sail accompanying the racers as they head out to the start line for the final charge back to La Rochelle, France, starting at 1500.

During the festival the four ocean-going Eco 60s will line up alongside four impressive tallships including Spirit of South Carolina, a 140ft double-masted schooner operated by Harbor Fest organisers the South Carolina Maritime Foundation.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the awarding of Performance Certificate No 38:
Route sailed: Around the World nonstop singlehanded.
Yacht: "Sodeb'O" 105 ft Trimaran.
Name: Thomas Coville FRA.
Dates: 29th January to the 31st March 2011.
Elapsed time: 61 days 5 minutes and 5 seconds.
Average speed: 14.75 knots

Thomas Coville finished at Ushant in fog and it was not possible to time him visually over the finish line. Data downloaded from the WSSR Black Box has confirmed the above elapsed time for Thomas Coville.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Gipsy Moth Iv - Sailing Into 2011 Events
2011 sees historic yacht Gipsy Moth IV back on the water and embarking in an exciting calendar of events. Bought by new owners Rob Thompson and Eileen Skinner in October 2010, Gipsy Moth IV will be managed by youth maritime charity UKSA who will use the boat in their work of giving disadvantaged and disabled young people the opportunity to change their lives through on-the-water activities.

This year Gipsy Moth IV will attend events including Suffolk Yacht Harbour Classic Regatta, J.P Morgan Asset Management Round Island Race, Panerai British Classic Week and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

At each event there will be opportunities for schools, youth groups and members of the public to view Gipsy Moth, including getting onboard and below decks.

In order to contribute to the running costs of the boat, there will also be opportunities for businesses, groups and individuals to charter Gipsy Moth during the events as well as throughout the year.

In preparation for its event attendance, Gipsy Moth IV had a refit over the winter. This work was carried out by a team that included several UKSA Apprentices. Before coming to UKSA these young people had been unemployed for six month and longer. They have retrained in a number of vocational skills to help them and are now heading back into employment both in the UK and overseas.

If you are interested in chartering Gipsy Moth IV or would like your school or youth group to spend time aboard or sailing the boat, please visit or email

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1995 55' Oyster Custom Deckhouse Salon. US $575,000. Located in New England, RI.

BOUNDLESS is the most custom 55 Oyster ever built. It is the only pilothouse salon. It features a custom raised salon designed with exterior viewing while seated in mind. The dinette sole was raised 4", the pedestal chairs are adjustable and the windows are increased in height 6". The extra size on the windows allows for excellent visibility while sitting or standing. It is a Holman & Pye center cockpit design with all the classic elements of her sisterships.

Brokerage through Rice International:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake. -- W. C. Fields

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