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Mirsky Beats Ainslie in Sunseeker Australia Cup
Click on image to enlarge.

Sunseeker Australia Cup On the Swan River in Perth West Australia this afternoon 23 year old Perth sailor Torvar Mirsky and his MRT team outsailed triple Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie, double Gold medallist Ian Percy and the Team Origin crew in the final of the 2009 Sunseeker Australia Cup. The scoreline was 2-0.

Another great win for Perth in the sudden death Petiti Final, as another Perth sailor Keith Swinton defeated World Match Racing Tour leader, New Zealand's Adam Minoprio and his Emirates Team New Zealand BlackMatch Team.

The final was the best of three races with Mirsky powering past the British America's Cup crew.

Mirsky was on fire in the first match and sailed away from the ISAF sailor of the year keeping control on the right and sailing to a clean win.

The final race was nearly over for Ainslie and his Team Origin before it began.

As the two Bakewell-White 36's spun around the Media-Broadcast boat at anchor, abeam of the start boat, Ainslie came too close to the bow, hooked on the chain and spun the big powerboat; as the angle widened the chain slid free of the keel and they were free. A rare grin from the focused British skipper.

Mirsky lead across the start line but Ainslie was on the right and controlled the beat, but Mirsky was bow to stern at the top mark.

Then the race cracked open as Ainslie was penalised for failing to keep clear. -- Al Constable & Rob Kothe

Team No Way Back Is Crowned RC 44 Champion 2009
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

RC 44 Champion 2009 Pieter Heerema and his team No Way Back have conquered the Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup. Winners of the fleet regatta and the DHL Trophy, they also grab the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 ahead of Artemis, who retains the overall fleet race title.

The scenario couldn't have been better ahead of the last racing day of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009, with four boats in a position to win the overall title. Following the match race event earlier in the week, Pieter Heerema's No Way Back was leading the provisional ranking with 15 points ahead of Artemis (17), Team Aqua (18) and Ceeref (19). Needless to say that there was a huge pressure on the teams.

One week ago, ahead of the Gold Cup, No Way Back was third overall and fourth in the fleet race ranking. The double points system - heavily discussed this week - turned out massively in their favour. The Dutch team conquers the fleet race ranking and the overall Gold Cup. Last but not least, Heerema and Ray Davies win the Championship Tour 2009. During the price giving, Heerema received a superb sculpture created by the Swiss artist Fred Fischer and called Fluid.

Thanks to their second place, Artemis remains the fleet race champion 2009; the team will start the next season with brand new gold wheels! Finally, Ceeref conquered earlier in the week the prestigious SLAM Cup; a trophy awarded to the best match racer of the season.

Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup - Fleet race, final results after ten races:

1. No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 28 points
2. Artemis, Tim Snedden, 43
3. Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 52
4. Ceeref, Igor Lah, 56
5. BMW ORACLE Racing, Neville Crichton, 58
6. Team Katusha, Bob Little, 63
7. Team Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, 64
8. Team Austria, Christian Binder, 71
9. Organika, Maciej Nawrocki, 79
10. Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 89

RC 44 Championship Tour 2009, overall result:

1. No Way Back, 15 points
2. Artemis, 17
3. Ceeref, 19
4. BMW ORACLE Racing, 20
5. Team Aqua, 22
6. Organika, 33
7. Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, 42
8. Team Katusha, 44
9. Team Sea Dubai, 47
10. Team Austria, 56
11. Jelik, 66

A Modern Twist on a Classic Look
Camet Duffles These new duffles have a modern twist to the classic look and are constructed of Mylar and Vinyl/ Polyester laminate with Cordura ends and two side pockets. Handles are made of a heavyweight Nylon webbing. These duffles are strong and lightweight.

Outfit your crew today at:

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Francisco Lobato (POR)
With sincere thanks to Frederico de Melo, who told us all along... Long tipped as a future star, Lobato's stunning result in the Mini Transat earned him a new record number of votes - nearly 2,000 - this month. 'Keep a close eye, he will be the best offshore sailor ever' - Filipe Neto; 'Francisco really is the special one' - Ana Lima; 'Please remember he is taking his degree at the same time as he was sailing his Pogo faster than most of the protos' - Miguel Allen.

This month's nominees:

Andy Soriano (USA)
There is a push to formalise the Mini Maxis in favour of owner-drivers; look at some of the results this year and you could be forgiven for wondering why any ruling is necessary. Andy Soriano and his largely Corinthian crew put down yet another marker when they capped a good season with victory in the Rolex Middle Sea Race on their Mills 66 Alegre, ahead of numerous higher-profile professional teams

Curtis Florence (USA)
While brand skippers like Terry Hutchinson, Chris Larson, and others regularly get their names up in lights for their victories, there's rarely enough mention of the teams who help them into the winner's circle. In having won world titles in the Farr 30, Farr 40, and now Melges 24 classes, it is easy to see why this Canadian emigré is today one of the most sought-after Group 1 sailors in North America... and beyond

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto.

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Cork Resumes Race from Cape Town
The Irish entry in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race has set sail from Cape Town following the start day crash that forced her to return to port for repairs. Cork, Ireland has been back in port since Sunday afternoon and a team of boat builders has been working around the clock to get her ready to resume the race to Geraldton, Western Australia.

This lunchtime the marine surveyor pronounced her fit to leave and the crew, who had gathered at the yacht club this morning made their final preparations for the 4,700-mile race that will take them into the Southern Ocean along the Great Circle route to Geraldton, Western Australia.

Cork's delayed departure follows a collision on the start line on Sunday afternoon when she slammed into Hull & Humber's port side, causing both teams to return to harbour for repairs. Teams of boat builders from Action Yachting at Royal Cape Yacht Club have been working on the bow of the boat which was damaged in the crash. At 1834 local time (1634 GMT) the yacht slipped her lines, the repairs complete a day earlier than predicted.

Hull & Humber's repairs will take a little longer and the English boat is forecast to leave Royal Cape Yacht Club next Tuesday.

* Clipper has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Eero Lehtinen, skipper of Team Finland in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. The Finnish skipper will depart the boat in Western Australia at the end of Leg 3 and will be replaced by Southampton based skipper Rob McInally.

In an e-mail to Clipper Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Eero made it clear that a series of personal family issues have made it impossible for him to continue as Team Finland's skipper. The talented Finn made his decision known in a timely fashion to ensure that a reserve skipper will be in Australia to take over the helm ahead of the race restart on 3 January 2010.

Upon arrival Eero will hand over the reins to 37-year-old British skipper, Rob McInally. Rob is no stranger to Clipper or the Ed Dubois designed Clipper 68, having completed a circumnavigation as skipper of Nova Scotia in the Clipper 07-08 Race. Prior to that he worked for both the Challenge Business and the Volvo 60, Pindar.

* If you take a look at the race viewer on you will see the yachts lined up like sprinters in the starting blocks, poised to fly down the track. The distance to finish figures belie how close the eight ocean racing boats are to the scoring gate at 55 degrees east and the curvature of the earth is not apparent on the map. With approximately 500 nm to the gate, the next two days will make for thrilling racing and the points to be won could go to any of the eight leading teams.

Positions at 0900 UTC, Sunday 29 November

1. Spirit of Australia, DTF 3529
2. Cape Breton Island, DTL +15
3. Uniquely Singapore, DTL +24
4. Team Finland, DTL +33
5. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, DTL +49
6. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, DTL +64
7. California, DTL +108
8. Qingdao, DTL +116
9. Cork, DTL +950
10. Hull & Humber, DTL +1243

Dubarry For Xmas: Are You Worth It?
At right: the Dubarry Ultima

Dubarry Fastnet Christmas can be dangerously aspirational. The truth is, a pair of string-back gloves won’t turn you into Michael Schumacher. Slipping on some Giorgio Armani pants doesn’t mean you’re David Beckham. A splash of Brut won’t give you Henry Cooper’s right hand. Unwrap a pair of Dubarrys though, and you’ve made the same choice as dozens of professional sailors. True, it doesn’t mean you’re ready for the Volvo Ocean Race, but it does mean you’ve got a pair of durable, comfortable, high performance boots that will give you the best possible chance to shine. Dubarry. Of course you’re worth it!


Dode / Moreau Win 2009 Dart 18 World Title With One Race To Spare
Photo by Steve Arkley, Click on image for photo gallery.

2009 Dart 18 World Title Aruba: On Thursday November 26, Emmanuel Dode and Fred Moreau from France won the 2009 Dart 18 World Title with one race to spare. They are the true champions with seven bullets and two seconds. A crack in the back beam almost put an end to their attempt to prolong their title. However, the strong French team spirit brought them quickly back to the Caribbean Sea to finish the job. The British duo David Lloyd and Joanna Jones-Pierce will bring a silver medal home, but the battle for bronze is still on. The Pols brothers won the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta 2009.

"We are not happy with silver", is Lloyd's clear answer to the question about their result. "We have had a fabulous season so far. We won the Dutch, Belgian and UK Inland Nationals with one race to spare and now we are second. It is my fifth podium finish in a row, but I still miss a first position. Joanna also took two silver medals before, so I really wanted to win here." According to Lloyd, the incredible upwind speed of the French winners made the biggest difference: "Even if they went the wrong way, we struggled to hold them." However, the breakage of the French beam could have been an interesting turning-point. Jones-Pierce: "I thought, we will find out what kind of sailor Emmanuel is. Whether he would give in to the pressure or not, but he still won the race. His head is there, he is a true champion."

The top two spots are taken, but the third podium position is still available for four teams. The second worst result may be discarded after ten races. Ambtman and Maarten Kroon dropped to the third place.

Dart 18 Worlds 2009 - Top five after 9 races and one discard:

1. Emmanuel Dode & Fred Moreau, FRA, 9 points
2. David Lloyd & Joanna Jones-Pierce, GBR, 20
3. Matthias Huber & Dominik Volke, GER, 30
4. Ruud Goudriaan & Bart Damen, NED, 37
5. Nicolette van Gorp & Ruud van Gisbergen, NED, 45

Top three Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta after nine races and one discard:

1. F18 - Xander & Mark Pols, NED, 7
2. John Moret & Paul Smissaert, NED, 18
3. Tornado - Leo Ambtman & Maarten Kroon, NED, 23.5

Unique Book Celebrates 60 Years of Finn Sailing
Click on image to enlarge.

Unique Book Celebrates 60 Years of Finn Sailing Marking the end of the Finn's 60th anniversary celebrations, the International Finn Association is delighted to announce the publication of 'Photo FINNish - 60 years of Finn Sailing', an extensive and highly illustrated volume compiled and edited by Robert Deaves, but largely written by some of the biggest names in sailing.

This book primarily contains a photographic record of 60 years of Finn sailing from its beginnings in Uppsala, Sweden in 1949 right up to the 60th anniversary regatta back in Uppsala in August 2009. There are more than 1,000 colour and black and white photos covering six decades of Finn sailing by some of the world's greatest yachting photographers.

In addition, more than 60 sailors have put pen to paper to describe their unique and personal stories in the class. The vast majority of the written accounts were specially commissioned for this book, and the sailors talk candidly and personally about their time in the class, and what it meant to them. Some are inspirational, some humorous, some emotional, and some even death defying.

The book brings together more Olympics medalists and former world champions than ever before. In all there are contributions from 22 Olympics medalists (9 of them gold) and 23 world and European champions.

Find out what happened to Jochen Schumann's gold medal winning mast of 1976, how Cam Lewis won his two Finn Gold Cups, how Stig Westergaard funded his campaign selling strong Danish lager, how Ralph Roberts met Paul Elvstrøm, how Peter Holmberg won a silver medal with a broken mast, how Oleg Khoperski defied death while training in Cuba, how Hubert Raudaschl started in the sail making business, how Estonian Finn sailors were the first free Estonians to compete in an international sports event, and Gus Miller's part in that, how John Bertrand became involved in the Finn class while at college, how Ian Ainslie went training with sharks and about what went wrong when Ben Ainslie first stepped into a Finn.

Copies of this book are available through various National Finn Association or direct through the Finn class website at A full list of those national associations holding stock is available on the website.

Order online now at:
Sample pages at:

Class website:

Liz Wardley Heads For Wellington... Solo... And Back...
Click on image to enlarge.

Liz Wardley Heads For Wellington At 01.00pm sharp (1200UT), by force 7 wind, Liz Wardley crossed the start line off Caen - Ouistreham (France) of the Around-the-world Reference Tour of the SolOceans - OceanoScientific Campaign 2009-2010. She rounded Cabourg / Dives-sur-mer (Normandy - France) buoy before heading towards Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand.

The young sailor left in the exact conditions of the SolOceans - the start of the first edition is scheduled on 23 October 2011 - i.e. solo onboard a SolOceans One-design, a 16-Meter (52.5-foot) all-carbon high-tech sailing yacht Made In Normandy. This one-design is at the same time a real scientific vessel and a bold oceanic racing vessel with performances worthy of an 18-metre prototype. The SolOceans One-design proudly sails the colours of the Lower Norman Region (France), Wellington, Caen la mer urban area (France) and Cherbourg (France) - who have supported the creation and development of the SolOceans and the OceanoScientific Campaign since its creation.

The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research is a patron of this campaign. It will give new scientific data to researchers in order for them to better understand the climate of our planet and precisely determine the causes and consequences of Global warming.

Liz Wardley plans to be back in Lower Normandy in mid-March, at the end of the second leg between Wellington and Cherbourg i.e. two 50 to 55-day single-handed navigations raced against the clock.

Closing Shop In San Diego
BMW ORACLE Racing has finished its final testing phase in San Diego as the team prepares for the 33rd America's Cup in February.

This final session of sea trials on the BOR 90, with its new, revolutionary wing sail, was very successful. The wing is now scheduled to come out of the boat on Saturday morning, before the BOR 90 will be lifted from the water and prepared for shipping to the venue for the Match.

"We're in the home stretch now," said helmsman James Spithill (AUS). "With the Match scheduled to begin in just over two months time, every hour we've spent sailing in this last session has been of incredible value to us. The wing sail has been a powerful addition to the boat and we've used this time on the water to learn about what it can do."

The team is scheduled to pack up its San Diego base and return to Valencia, Spain, where it was based for the 32nd America's Cup.

BMW ORACLE Racing is preparing to meet Alinghi in the 33rd America's Cup Match beginning on February 8, 2010.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a "benchmark time" for a new route:

Performance Certificate
Route: Port Louis (Lorient-France) to Port Louis (Mauritius)
Yacht: "Idec" 98ft Trimaran
Name: Francis Joyon FRA
Dates: 17th October to the 12th November 2009
Start time: 10;50;16. 17/10/09
Finish time: 15;03;45. 12/11/09
Elapsed time: 26 days 4 hours 13 minutes 29 seconds
Distance: 8000 NM
Average speed: 12.7 kts

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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 Adrian Nicolle: re Peter Cooke's letter on the abandoned ARC boat...

I jumped to the same initial conclusion as you, in that "the only place to secure a tow is round the mast", however on re reading the original article I realised that the boat had a deck stepped mast. I have always carried a towing bridle on every boat I have owned, designed to spread the load over as much of the boat as possible. I wonder if this useful and inexpensive piece of safety gear should be added to the standard requirements?

In saying this, hindsight is a wonderful thing and I am sure the conditions at the time were something that I certainly never wish to experience and everyone involved in the rescue of this crew should be congratulated, after all unlike some mariners we only do this for fun....

* From Jonny Tilney: Did you see the irony in [Peter Cook's] letter? The rescued didn't know to use the mast for the towpoint, and I agree, naughty.

And although it may be fine to level that criticism, what then do you say about the knowledge, or lack thereof, of the rescuers?

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2000 Beneteau First 40.7, 69,000 GBP. Located in Gosport Marina, United Kingdom.

Category 2 coded ex charter vessel used for corporate charter, sail training and racing, as such fully maintained with full service records. Very spacious and popular cruiser/racer. 10 Berths in 3 cabins, VHF, GPS,Chartplotter and much more.

Brokerage through Premier Yacht Sales Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has. -- Rene Descartes

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