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Transat 6.50 Start
Good start at 05:17 p.m offshore the Maison de la Charente-Maritime in La Rochelle this Sunday, September 25. They are gone!

The 79 skippers have crossed the start line 1 minute after the liberating gun shot, to pay tribute to Jean-Marc Allaire that should have been on the starting line with them today.

The start was given in a wind of 6 knots from the west and the firsts to the mark buoy were for prototypes: Sebastien ROGUES on 716 - Eole Generation GDF SUEZ, Sebastien Picault on Kickers number 198 and Antoine Rioux on Festival des Pains number 800. Followed by Aymeric Chappellier on La tortue de l'Aquarium - La Rochelle, Thomas Normand on Financiee de l'echiquier ans Etienne David on Teamwork. The first three series boats were Renaud Chavarria on Beziers Mediterrannee, Giacomo Sabbatini on Scusami la Spalle and Gwenole Gahinet on Asso Watever - gwenalogahinet.com.

They now sail toward the buoy called Fort Boyard leaving the Pertuis of Antioch, towards Cape Finisterre (north-west Spain). A cape that the fleet is not expected to reach before Wednesday considering the difficult weather conditions expected on the Bay of Biscay.

First official results at 08:00 p.m on the website of the race.

Rankings will be given then every day at 08:00 a.m, noon and 06:00 p.m. -- Veronique Largeau

www.charentemaritime-bahia.transat650.net/en

The Adventure Begins
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Global Ocean Race At 14:00 local time Sunday, the six double-handed Class40's in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) fleet crossed the start line in Palma, Mallorca, with Leg 1 and 7,000 miles to Cape Town ahead of them.

Following overnight rain, the sky cleared at dawn on Sunday and a very light breeze trickled through the Marina de Mallorca and the GOR Race Village as the teams, their shore crews, friends and families arrived at the dock to prepare for the start.

At 10:30, Father Miralles from the San Sebastian Church blessed the GOR fleet before the six boats headed out into Palma Bay at 11:00 led by Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs on Financial Crisis with the dock lines for the entire fleet let go by GOR Race Ambassador and round-the-world yachtswoman, Dee Caffari, assisted by fellow IMOCA Open 60 sailor, Alex Thomson.

As the six Class40's milled in the competitor-only exclusion zone just south-east of the Camino de la Escollera, the team from the Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP) laid the start line close inshore. While the course was laid, the spectator fleet of around 100 vessels ranging from a 95ft classic ketch to a fleet of Lasers, including a party from the GOR's host yacht club in Uruguay, the Yacht Club Punta del Este and the club's Commodore, Horacio Garcia Pastori, fell into a holding pattern further offshore, south of the RCNP's committee boat.

In the final 30 minutes before the start, the GOR's Co-Race Director, Sylvie Viant, boarded each competing Class40 to ensure that the engine seals were in place and a team of support RIBs plucked shore teams from each yacht. With the afternoon sea breeze failing to arrive and a southerly breeze of around seven knots, the joint RCNP – GOR committee opted to shorten the inshore course from a nine-mile triangle to a single starboard rounding just under two miles from the start, allowing the fleet to clear the bay swiftly.

The GOR fleet has around 450 miles of sailing through the Mediterranean before reaching the Straits of Gibraltar and the busy Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) between Gibraltar and Morocco. Weather models predict an easterly airstream in the middle of the Mediterranean and the teams will head south to grab a good ride to Gibraltar. Having left the Med, the next turning mark is the Fastnet Marine Insurance Scoring Gate at the Brazilian Island of Fernando de Noronha, 2,800 miles to the south-west of Gibraltar.

The GOR website will be updated twice each day throughout Leg 1 with reports from the boats while offshore racing enthusiasts can race Class40's along the same route as the real fleet via the GOR's Virtual Game.

globaloceanrace.com

ISAF Mixed Multihull Evaluation Rules Are Out
The original Tornado with Mixed Teams at the top is not allowed to sail the ISAF evaluation trials.

We are shocked. We cannot believe it. The ISAF presented the rules for the Mixed-Multihull evaluation trails the way, the Tornado Class cannot compete.

The Tornado class is the forerunner in Mixed Multihull Sailing and has a great Olympic History. But ISAF technical committees not respect this.  The Tornado like it is has no chance to reach the starting line of the evaluation event in spring 2012?

Check out the Rules for the evaluation at www.sailing.org/36988.php

We criticize the following points:

20-Foot Container

They restricted the length of the new multihull to be maximum  5,898m (the inner length of an 20 Foot container). But no one will travel in sailing with a 20 Foot container. It's too small and not eco-friendly and sometimes more expensive than a 40 Foot Container.  If you want travel eco-friendly with multihulls (10 Tornados in one Container) and ribs (coachboats) the sailing world is using 40 Foot containers since decades. So why restriction to the length of 20-Foot containers?

2-piece mast

Such a mast is heavier. It's more complicated to make it watertight. After a while the joint/conjunction gets loose and the mast chance bending characteristics. This has nothing to do with strict one design. You can change mast bending a lot by playing with the conjunctions. Also there is a risk for break and leaking in a simple capsize.

120-140kg crew weights

Another class aside 470, Surfers and 49er for light weight teams. An average man with 80kgs or more has no chance any more. The Finn Class is the clear winner of all. Every person above 80kgs must sail Finn. Star is out. Matchrace women too. Women and Man with average or higher weight have no chance to sail mixed multihull. Many mixed multihull teams weight above 140kgs. And the new average weight of a mixed team should be 130kgs? This actual disqualifies 50% of all mixed sailing teams.

What weight statistics ISAF used? If you watch real Olympic Athletes and normal average weight statistics, we end up above 140kgs. www.mixedsailing.org/perfect-weight-range/

The 120-140kg team weights with an average of 130kg forces bulimia for Olympic Athletes. Check this www.casapalmera.com

National Sailing Federations - MNAs

They lost the Starboat. They lost the Elliots. Now they lose the Tornados which are ready to sail on all continents. Let's ask the MNAs what they think about this. Every 4 years the MNAs have to buy new Olympic sailing equipment? Who should finance this?

From Roland Gaebler, www.mixedsailing.org

Countdown to Quantum Key West 2012
Key West 2012 Don't miss the special 25th edition of winter's perfect getaway. Key West Race Week offers the best in competition, dependable breeze, warm topical waters, and professional race management. Start your new year with five fabulous race days in January. Early entries are coming in and more boats are making their intentions known. Headliner classes include IRC Modified TP52s, Farr 40s and Farr 30s, J/80s and J/105s, Melges 24s and 32s. A new high performance PHRF option and special J/Boat classes join IRC mini-maxis and more!  Find news on marinas, lodging, logistics, and entries on the event web site.

YachtScoring makes registering easier than ever: www.Premiere-Racing.com

Quantum Key West 2012: January 15–20, 2012

Melges 32 World Championship
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 32 World Championship Palma de Mallorca.- The last day of the Melges 32 World Championship promised to be very exciting due to the one point difference existing from the leader Goombay Smash of William Douglass from Samba Pa Ti of John Kilroy and Fantastica of Lanfranco Cirillo. But the unfortunate wind and weather conditions that crossed Mallorca, did not allow a race to take place and therefore Goombay Smash became the Melges 32 world championship.

Goombay Smash and its tactitian Chris Larson ended up as the winner after 5 days of competition held in the bay of Palma de Mallorca. The American representative led after the fourth race and as the wind did not appear on the last day of the championship it automatically gave him the title.

The Douglas team became leader of this World championship after beating another world champion, Samba Pa Ti of Vasco Vascotto, who lost their chance at the championship on the penultimate day, finishing in a second place overall with a tie, 42 points with the Italian, Fantastica of Michele Paloetti, who ended third, but Samba Pa Ti having two first places, ended up in second place of the Worlds.

The day rose with a covered sky, rain and very shifty wind that complicated sailing. The Race Committee went out to the water followed by Samba Pa Ti, whilst the fleet remained moored as the postponement flag had been hoisted on land.

One attempt to send the fleet out was dashed as the stable wind immediately disappeared after a heavy shower that forced the race committee to hoist the postponement once more. Around two o'clock the race Committee sent the fleet out to the water and tried to initiate a start, but the wind dropped and shifted making it impossible for a good and fair race. Once the time limit to initiate a start was over, the Race Committee only could give an end to the Worlds.

Final top ten

Place - Yacht - Owner - Tactician - Nation - Points
1. Goombay Smash, William Douglass / Chris Larson, USA, 41
2. Samba Pa Ti , John Kilroy / Vasco Vascotto, USA, 42
3. Fantastica, Lanfranco Cirillo / Michele Paoletti, ITA, 42
4. Yasha Samurai, Yukihiro Ishida / Hamish Pepper, JPN, 52
5. Torpyone, Edoardo Lupi / Branko Brcin, ITA, 56
6. Mascalzone Latino, Vincenzo Onorato / Francesco Bruni, ITA, 59
7. Argo, Jason Carroll / Cameron Appleton, USA, 62
8. Red, Joe Woods / Paul Goodison, GBR, 69
9. Brontolo Hh, Filippo Pacinotti / Daniele Cassinari, ITA, 71
10. Full Throttle, John Porter / Jonathan Mckee, USA, 71

www.cyberaltura.com/melges32/home/home_uk.php

Laser Class Contracts Signed and Kirby is Back
Bruce Kirby has now taken back the Laser Design rights. The ink is drying on the contract returning the Laser design rights to the 82 year old Laser designer.

He has just advised 'I signed the contract this morning. The design rights have reverted to me. I am hoping now that the ILCA will drop the whole idea of a rule change, and I will be taking steps immediately to get the confusion over builders and builders' plaques straightened away. I have confidence that I will have class and ISAF support with this.

'It's been a long drawn out hassle, but the door is now wide open for the class and builders to come together for the benefit of all concerned, and especially Laser sailors worldwide.'

"Two and a half years ago, I sold my rights to the New Zealanders, the Spencer families' Global Sailing. I am 82 as you know, and this move was what you would call estate planning.

"The Spencers have been building Lasers through Performance Sailcraft Australasia for umpteen years. I simply figured the Spencers had the good of the class in mind - far more so than anyone else that was on the horizon - and that they would do the best job in looking after the class and promoting it and enhancing it.

"Now it would appear that Laser Performance Europe doesn't want to recognize the fact that this transfer has taken place. It is really weird because they paid the royalties to Global Sailing for two years as they were supposed to do, and then all of a sudden they stopped doing that.

What was his response to the ILCA statement "Lawyers also informed us that the Kirby design patent has in fact expired.'

Kirby responded. "That's total bull s--t! There never were any patents. You can't patent a sail boat design. These were contracts, legitimate contracts drawn up by lawyers and there is no suggestion that I had a patent on the boat. These were long term contracts that were renewable every so many years. No-one's ever questioned them so I don't know what lawyer they found that suggested this course of action. It's crazy!'

The full story (and history) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World.com

www.sail-world.com

Trilogy Too Classy
Keith Glover and his Trilogy crew set a new standard in Australian Multihull championship racing when they claimed the 2011 Corsair Marine/Seawind series trophy with six wins from six races.

They had claimed the championship after scoring a comfortable win in race 5 on Thursday however both Keith Glover and his principal crew mate Ben Kelly believed they had a point to prove.

Sure skipper Keith Glover, Ben Kelly, Brendon Mann and Harry Bethwaite enjoyed a small crew celebration after race 5 however the "crew vote' was unanimous on chasing a possible six from six.

Trilogy the unchallenged form boat of the series was again cleverly sailed in the bay passage race outpacing her .939 handicap correction factor to eventually claim a comfortable 4minute 40 second win over the South Australian trimaran Wilparina 11 (Rob Remilton) with the Julian Griffiths steered Sunshine Coast catamaran Hot Vindaloo into third another 1 minute 55 seconds off the pace.

"I guess the result has justified taking on the new learning curve associated with the canting mast, however Trilogy now races with a smaller sail area and is certainly faster". Keith Glover said.

APC Mad Max again dominated the line honours but skipper George Owen who had seemed certain to wrap up the Silver Medal comfortably had his back to the wall to ward off a late charge from Hot Vindaloo.

The APC Mad Max crew who finished the fastest with an elapsed time of 2 hours 25 minutes 32 seconds understood that their handicap calculated time of 2-45-37 was under a serious threat from their lower handicapped rivals.

Thankfully Wilparina 11 which managed to win her match race against Hot Vindaloo by 2 minutes 37 seconds ultimately allowed APC Mad Max which finished sixth fastest on corrected time to win the Silver Medal on count back over Hot Vindaloo.

Veteran multihull sailor Tony Goshnick produced a form reversal when he steered Outrage to a runaway 32 minute 31 second win over the Division 2 champion the Linda Renouf skippered Dash.

However Outrage which previously recorded a 5-8-8-8 only managed 7th place overall while Dash which finished all six races in the top 3 won the Division 2 championship by six points from Frassid (Shaun Fishley) with another two points to Iain MacDougall in Goldfinger. -- Ian Grant

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

Powerboats find their form
After a nervous start in the 2012 Audi MedCup, designer Rolf Vrolijk’s more powerful designs are coming to the fore. MARCUS HUTCHINSON

Severe test
IVOR WILKINS talks with BRUNO TROUBLE and GRANT DALTON following the first public ‘audience’ for the America’s Cup World Series 

(Not such) new kids
PIERINO PERSICO and his family are far from new to the game of grand prix yacht construction as LOUAY HABIB recently discovered

ORC column
Time for analysis! ALESSANDRO NAZARETH

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...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

Governor Brown Signs Legislation in Support of AC34
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 664 (Ammiano) to finance improvements the Port of San Francisco needs to host the 2013 America's Cup yacht race, considered along with the Olympics and the World Cup to be one of the world's top sporting events. Brown said the race, which is projected to bring 450,000 visitors, more than 8,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in economic activity, will put "wind in the sails" of the port's revitalization.

"This bill gives San Francisco the flexibility it needs to finance important waterfront improvements," said Governor Brown. "The Port of San Francisco is a beautiful urban coastline, but its infrastructure needs a lot of work. By helping the city build capacity to play host to the world's premier maritime event, this law is going to put wind in the sails of waterfront revitalization and bring tourism and jobs to San Francisco."

In addition to providing financing for the America's Cup "village" and spectator seating, plans for the new infrastructure financing district include construction of a cruise ship terminal at Pier 27. The terminal will host cruise ships that will supply additional lodging for attendees, and thereafter provide continuing infrastructural benefits to the Bay Area's tourism industry.

"The signing of this significant piece of legislation reaffirms California's commitment to America's Cup and provides an opportunity to maximize the potential $1.2 billion economic boost to the region," said Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. "Not only do we celebrate the economic benefits it will bring to the Bay Area and the State of California, but also the thousands of jobs it will create for Californians ready to work."

The process of forming an infrastructure financing district is lengthy and cumbersome, requiring an extended bureaucratic review process and three separate votes of the people. Without AB 664, authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), which streamlines this process by establishing the America's Cup District through legislative action, the city would not be able to fund the needed improvements in time for the race.

www.americascup.com

D-35 Antibbes
Photo by Chris Schmid / eyemage.ch. Click on image for photo gallery.

D-35 Antibbes The D35 season came to a close today here in Antibes. The wind gods were a lot more pleasant to the fleet today providing 6-11 knots of wind which allowed for four races. Artemis Racing had some up and down scores and finished 5th in the event. This was two positions better than Velti Group (7th) who we were trying to pass for the a third for the season. In the end we came up one point short for the season and finished 4th overall. Still not a bad result for our first season.

The top of the class was Foncia once again who won the event here, as well as the season championship. Hats off to Michele Desjoyaux and the Foncia team! Alinghi finished 4th here in Antibes and second for the season.

The boats will go back to Geneva now for the winter. The 2012 season will start there in May. I am off to Valencia tonight for a day in the office tomorrow before heading to Croatia tomorrow night for the RC44 event there next week. -- Paul Cayard

For complete results go to www.vulcaintrophy.com

2011-2012 Sydney 18ft Skiff Season
Photo by Ali Chapman. Click on image for photo gallery.

18 foot skiffs With the start of the Sydney 18ft Skiff Season only two weeks away, it might be a good time to take a quick look back at some of the racing we saw on Sydney Harbour last season.

A few of Ali Chapman's images remind us of the action from 2010-2011 and what we may also expect again in the 2011-2012 Season.

Ali is the sister of 18ft Skiff skipper Andrew Chapman (Fisher & Paykel) and is regularly on the Australian 18 Footer League's weekly spectator ferry following Andrew and the racing with her camera, but she is also a very accomplished sailor and coach.

Ali won the Flying 11 nationals with Andrew and is the present Australian Cherub champion.

Currently sailing a 29er and occasionally steering on one of the demanding 12ft Skiffs certainly keeps Ali busy, but she has still managed to coach Sabots, Manly Juniors, Flying 11s, Cherubs and 29ers at some point or another over the past few years.

Who knows, in the near future we may yet see the multi-talented Ali skippering an 18ft Skiff with the Australian 18 Footer League.

First race of the 2011-2012 Australian 18 Footers League Season is the R. Watt Memorial Trophy (a 3-buoys race) on Sunday 9 October.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League

Emotional Farewell as Groupama Head South
Photo by Yvan Zedda. Click on image to enlarge.

Groupama VOR The pontoons in Lorient were crammed with spectators as Groupama sailing team waved goodbye to their French home for the last time for nine months.

More than a hundred fans, VIP guests and shore crew packed the dock as Groupama 4's lines were cast off and she set sail for Alicante, start port of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Skipper Franck Cammas said the team's departure stirred up a mix of emotions.

"This delivery trip is a transition," he said. "It's sad because we're leaving our base, our friends and our families. It's a drastic change of life which is going to last 10 months. However, it's also very exciting as we're going to have an exciting adventure around the world."

The next time Groupama sailing team will see their home shores will be at the Lorient stopover in June 2012 after sailing almost 39,000 nautical miles around the world.

Groupama trimmer Phil Harmer added: "When I see everyone who's come here to bid us farewell, I'm keen to return to Lorient to see the welcome they'll have in store for us then!"

Groupama 4 is expected to reach Alicante on September 27 ahead of the race start on October 29.

www.volvooceanrace.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1999 Tencara Virtuelle. EUR 1,700,000. Located In Northern Tyrrenian, Italy.

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Complete listing details and seller contact information at
uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
If you stop eating donuts you will live 3 years longer. It's just 3 more years that you want a donut. -- Lewis Black

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