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Azzurra Scores 2-0 Shut out of Emirates Team New Zealand
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Even before the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d'Azur began, Azzurra skipper Francesco Bruni spoke of his passion and honour to be leading an iconic sailing brand back into the fray after a long absence. This afternoon he could barely describe his joy.

Bruni and his Azzurra crew, including tactician Tommaso Chieffi, defeated Emirates Team New Zealand 2-0 in the Grand Final to win this match race regatta.

Azzurra, from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, made its international sailing debut at the 1983 Louis Vuitton Cup but has been in hiatus since the 1987 event off Western Australia. The team was re-launched last month and today Azzurra won the first race by 25 seconds and the second by 17 for a well-deserved championship.

"It's an amazing sensation. I can't find the words to describe it," said Bruni, the 40-year-old skipper from Sicily. "We knew we could do a good job. We had very good training before the event. But we never thought about beating New Zealand in the final."

Emirates Team New Zealand entered the final as the favourite. It won the round robin, suffering just one loss in 10 starts, and then defeated the upstart Synergy Russia Sailing Team in a hard-fought semi final match.

Team New Zealand has won many regattas this year, including the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in February and the TP52 World Championship in September. Today, however, the Kiwis lost the first cross in both races and could never find a way around the Italians on the short courses of less than 5 nautical miles.

The northwesterly wind blew between 6 and 10 knots for the two races and was very shifty and patchy.

The winning crew included skipper Bruni and tactician Chieffi, Tom Burnham (strategist), Bruno Zirilli (navigator), Daniele De Luca (mainsail trimmer), Stefano Rizzi (jib trimmer), Pierluigi De Felice (spinnaker trimmer), Gabriele Bruni (trimmer), Piero Romero (runner grinder), Nicola Pilastro (mainsail grinder), Massimo Galli (port grinder), Francesco Scalici (starboard grinder), Cristian Griggio (pitman), Luca Albarelli (mastman), Pietro Mantovani (mid-bow), Matteo Auguadro (bowman) and Michele Cannoni (pit assist).

Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Cote d'Azur Final Standings

Team (Country) Skipper (Nationality) Won-Lost

1. Azzurra (ITA) Francesco Bruni (ITA), 11-5
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker (NZL), 11-4
3. Synergy Russia Sailing Team (RUS) Karol Jablonski (POL), 8-6
4. TeamOrigin (GBR) Ben Ainslie (GBR), 9-6
5. All4One (FRA/GER) Jochen Schumann (GER), 5-8
6. BMW Oracle Racing (USA) Hamish Pepper (NZL), 5-8
7. Artemis (SWE) Paul Cayard (USA), 5-7
8. TFS - PagesJaunes (FRA) Bertrand Pace (FRA), 1-11

Just Hours Left
The last few miles may still hold a sting in the tail for the leading duo as the weather may slow the leading boat, with some nervous hours to the finish. On a race which has a recent history of close, tight finishes, the final miles of the Transat Jacques Vabre can be the most nerve racking.

The finish line is all but in sight, the miles counting down with a pleasing whirr, but for Safran's Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier - who are seeking to convert the lead they have held for nine days - they still have no shortage of pressure, and it is likely to stay heaped upon them until the end.

And with less than 450 miles to go in this ninth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the gap back from Safran to Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart on Groupe Bel is just over 70 miles.

Groupe Bel are an ever present threat, as they have been to Safran since they eased past Mike Golding Yacht Racing a week ago, Saturday night 14th, to install themselves in second place.

A relatively stationary little low pressure trough has installed itself over the Gulf of Panama. That has contributed to some spicy squall activity for the two leaders today but so there is the distinct threat that the final miles in to the finish line off Costa Rica's Puerto Limon will not be easy.

Safran crossed the longitude of Cartagena (Colombia) which was the finish for the Transat Jacques Vabre from 1993 to 1999, with a time of 13 days and 22 hours of sailing.

Underlining the evolution of the class ten years ago, the winner of the IMOCA Open 60 division took 19 days and 17 hours over the same course. By comparison with the course record to Salvador de Bahia, JP Dick and Loick Peyron's 13.51 knots in 2005 compares with the course average so far of Safran at 13.26 knots. Safran had done 375 miles over the 24 hours to 1100hrs today.

While Mike Golding Yacht Racing and Foncia seem assured of third and fourth, the race for sixth to eighth remains the closest group of the IMOCA Open 60. While Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella now hold sixth place on W-Hotels, Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson were breaking away from eighth and the heat of battle to effect a rapid pit stop to collect a replacement generator control panel at a rendezvous off St Lucia. The British duo were just two miles short of Veolia Environnment's seventh when they diverged north.

Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show: It's Your Show
London Boat Show Providing one of the most important starts to the boating season, the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show returns to ExCeL from 8th - 17th January 2010. With exclusive product launches and unique products, all under one roof, it is sure to bring more than a splash of water to the Capital.

Come along and enjoy the thrill of being on board one of the hundreds of fascinating boats on display; from historic replica vessels to the latest in marine technology. With over 500 exhibitors* showcasing power and sail boats, dinghies, deck equipment, charter holidays and sailing courses the Show promises to offer something for enthusiasts and first time visitors alike.

Don't forget 'Kids Go Free' aged 15 and under provided they are with a paying adult.

For the more discerning visitor looking for that little bit of luxury; the new, exclusive Platinum Ticket.

Numbers are limited so make sure you secure your place!

For more information visit

*taken from 2009 London International Boat Show

Collision In Cape Town
A dramatic start to Race 4 of Clipper 09-10 in Cape Town saw eight of the boats cross the start line for the 4,700-mile race to Geraldton, Western Australia, while a collision between Hull & Humber and Cork, Ireland resulted in the two teams returning to harbour. None of the crew were hurt and the Race Director and the shore team are now assessing the damage to Hull & Humber's port aft quarter and Cork's bow.

California had another cracking start in the stiff south easterly breeze in Table Bay and was first across the line to massive cheers from the crew on board.

California was followed by Spirit of Australia, looking for a win on this race to their home port, and Team Finland. The skippers of both California and Team Finland live in Cape Town so may have been able to call on a little local knowledge to press home their advantage as they led the fleet back into the South Atlantic. As they sailed into the lee of Table Mountain, which looked magnificent in the South African sunshine, the winds dropped slightly.

Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, was watching the action on the water and said, "This is a closely contested race and this kind of thing happens in fiercely competitive racing. The race is underway - eight boats are racing off towards Geraldton in Western Australia. For the two damaged boats, repairs will be effected as speedily as possible so they can catch up."

The Clipper maintenance team, headed up by Justin Haller, has already begun assessing the damage and is in contact with local marine surveyors who will be called in to assist. Both yachts have been taken from the V&A Waterfront to Royal Cape Yacht Club for the work to be carried out.

The teams will round the Cape of Good Hope before heading down into the treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean where the first three boats to reach the scoring gate can gain some precious extra points. The fleet is expected to arrive in Geraldton, Western Australia, between 14 and 18 December.

Standings after Race 3

1. Team Finland, 29 points
2. Spirit of Australia, 26
3. Hull & Humber, 21
4. Cork , 20
5. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 20
6. Uniquely Singapore, 17
7. Cape Breton Island, 16
8. Qingdao, 11
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 8
10. California, 4

BT Snatches Line Honours In Around The Island Race
Photo by Jenny Cooper / OC Events. Click on image to enlarge.

Hong Kong Around The Island Race BT snatched victory by just 14 seconds in the annual Around the Island Race in Hong Kong this morning, following a 27 nautical mile marathon. The six Extreme 40s battled their way around the Island with every boat taking the lead at some point during the race. It was an amazing day for not only the sailors, but also the VIP guests onboard, who raced in the coveted 'fifth man' spot, including the Queen's Grandson, Peter Phillips, onboard The Wave, Muscat.

For Khamis Al Busaidi the bowman onboard Oman Sail's Masirah, the Around the Island Race here in Hong Kong had particular resonance as he was onboard Masirah when they won Line Honours in the 'other' Round the Island Race around the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately for Khamis and the crew onboard Masirah, it wasn't to be a double first for them. Despite leading practically the whole way around the Island of Hong Kong, they ground to a halt in the final leg up the Lamma Channel. Skipper Pete Cumming explained, "This race was so similar to the Round the Island Race in Cowes back in June. Plenty of wind at the start, with it dropping right off over the south side of the island. We had such a fantastic start and round the East side of the Island we did a horizon job, hammer down, 26 knots and off we flew. But the tough thing about being the lead boat is that you act as a weather station of the other Extreme 40s in the fleet. At one point we had a lead of over a mile and we thought we were home and dry, but we sailed into a hole and all the other boats saw where we were and kept away."

The six Extreme 40s will be back to their shorter courses tomorrow, Monday 21 November in Victoria Harbour, racing from 2 - 5pm.

Provisional Results in the Around the Island Race 22 November 2009:

Boat, Finish Time
BT, 13:05:12
China Team, 13:05:26
Oman Sail Masirah, 13:06:38
Rumbo Almeria, 13:07:50
Red Bull, 13:13:46
Muscat, The Wave, 13:16:06

Seahorse December 2009
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Looking ahead... his boys just cleaned up in the Audi MedCup and are now preparing for the first round of the new Louis Vuitton Series in Nice. Meanwhile his other boys are busy doing the groundwork for London 2012. Emirates Team New Zealand sailing director Rod Davis should be plenty busy enough... but you know the saying about getting a job done and asking a busy man?

Obvious move... another area where we have been waiting for the world to share our remarkable foresight (who is this person? - ed), is with our idea of taking advantage of the ready supply of relatively-affordable and usually immaculate pre-owned Farr 40s and converting them - properly - for IRC. Well in Australia they have got on with it (as they so often do) and the results are impressive...

PLUS: Terry Hutchinson diary, Mini Maxi analysis, GP42 and TP52 world championships, Southern Spars profile, Volvo Ocean Race communications, Bermuda Gold Cup and Voiles de St Tropez reports, interviews... and imagery!

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...

New Kiteboard Speed Record
Luderitz, Namibia: Frenchman Alex Caizergues has broken the world kiteboarding speed record with an incredible time of 50.98 knots, breaking his previous world record of 50.57.

Rob Douglas also set a new American outright speed sailing record with an equally impressive time of 50.95knots, just three one hundredths of a knot shy of Alex Caizergues.

Many other competitors also recorded noteworthy times including Sebastian Cattelan who completed a run of 49.51before falling foul of equipment problems. Christophe Prin-Guenon got 48.44, Jerome Bila came in with 47.73.

Charlotte Consorti again led the ladies with a speed of 44.27 knots. Fast, but still a full knot short of Sjoukje Bredenkamp's outright record of 45.20 set last year.

The riders are heading again to the strip for another day of racing as the wind here in Lüderitz continues to be favorable. With two weeks still left in the competition, everything is still up for grabs, including the highly sought after world outright speed sailing record of 51.36 knots, set by the French Hydrofoil l'Hydoptere in September of this year.

Solidaire Du Chocolat
The pace at which the boats are finishing stepped up last night in Progreso as as five boats crossed the finishing line of the first edition of the Solidaire du Chocolat in the space of 12 hours. True to form, the Yucatan public turned out in force to welcome the ten sailors ashore as only they know how after 32 days at sea. Celebrations took on a new dimension with the arrival of the highly emblematic French-Mexican crew in the shape of Patrice Carpentier and Victor Maldonado (Credit Maritime). This race has been a true popular success in the land of the Mayas.

The last 5 boats to have arrived (1 remaining)

9th place - Plan, les enfants changeront le monde (Denis Lazat & Frederic Nouel) :
32d 09h 29min 00sec - 5d 16h 54min 00sec behind the winners (6.44 kts average speed)

10th Axa Atout Cœur pour Aides (Erik Nigon & Marc Jouany) :
32d 10h 53min 40sec - 5d 18h 18min 40sec behind the winners (6.43 kts average speed)

11th - Keysource (Mike West & Paul Worswick) :
32d 11h 44min 00s - 5d 19h 09min 00s behind the winners (6.42 kts average speed )

12th - Credit Maritime (Patrice Carpentier & Victor Maldonado) :
32d 18h 54min 00s - 6d 02h 19min 00s behind the winners (6.36 kts average speed)

13th - Adriatech (David Consorte & Arnaud Aubry) :
32d 20h 09min 00s - 6d 03h 34min 00s behind the winners (6.35 kts average speed)

Orbis expected in today
The last crew still racing, Stephen Card & Shaun Murphy, was 50 miles from Progreso yesterday evening and was expected in the wee small hours of Sunday morning (French time, thus in the evening in Progreso). ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital - Saving Sight Worldwide will be the 14th and last boat to complete the 5 000 nautical mile long race of the 1st run of the Solidaire du Chocolat from Saint Nazaire to Progreso.

Dart 18 Worlds & Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta
Photo by Steve Arkley, Click on image for photo gallery.

Dart 18 Worlds Aruba: There was no racing on the first day of this year's Dart 18 Worlds and Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. The strong offshore breeze gusted up to 37 knots, which kept the cat sailors ashore. A total of 37 teams entered the Dart 18 Worlds and another fifteen the annual Aruba Heineken Regatta. Although there was no practice race today, the competitors could warm up in the swim contest with TNG Watches and Zwitserleven jackets as special prizes.

Former winner of the Aruba Regatta, John Moret (NED), and his crew Paul Smissaert (NED) tested the windy conditions. They hoisted the spinnaker after leaving the beach, but it did not take long for them to nosedive their F18. "This had nothing to do with sailing", admitted Moret afterwards. "The wind and angles were bizarre. We also had difficulties to upright the boat."

"I wish I was out there now", said Matthias Huber from Germany, while watching the Dutchmen trying their luck on the Caribbean Sea. The German Dart 18 Champion 2008 and European Champion of 1998 likes the strong breeze: "In these circumstances I would be better than three quarter of the fleet." He finished eleventh at last year's Dart 18 Worlds in the Netherlands, so his goal is to improve that result.

According to the weather forecast for tomorrow, it will be again windy. However, the Portuguese duo Fransisco Merlo and Antonio Jesvino is optimistic: "The wind will get tired of blowing eventually. This is the Caribbean."

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 Euan Ross: It would seem to me that, rather than 'full tanks' measurement trim representing a disadvantage, it's a clear opportunity to drive a coach and horses through the waterline length restriction if the defender has the time to take advantage of it. I may have missed something, but since the tanks don't have to be fully utilized at any stage on the race course, and since they have a crucial fore and aft trim function in any case, it's no big deal to further subdivide the chambers and make them oversize. Then you can lever half the damn boat out of the water should you so wish. But one wouldn't want to overdo this; any helmsman who has been swept off the back of a twin-wire cat by a pendulant crew will know what I mean!

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1985 Open 50 Mike Plant, 45,000 GBP. Located on the South Coast, United Kingdom.

In 2003 the yacht undertook a complete refit and was chartered for the Transat Jacques Vabres. She has not been sailed a great deal recently and so is in need of some attention to her cosmetics and general servicing, but still provides one of the most comfortable hulls and simple set ups ideal for single or short handed sailing.These boat details are subject to contract.Note: Offers on the asking price may be considered.

Brokerage through Boatshed

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -- Nelson Mandela

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