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ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards: Nominees Announced
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) received nominations for the 2011 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. In deciding the nominees, the achievements of sailors made during the qualifying period of 1 September 2010 and 31 August 2011 are taken into consideration. There can be only one winner in each of the two categories, male and female, and the names of those sailors now vying for the coveted and prestigious 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award are announced today.

The 2011 nominees are:
Dee Caffari (GBR) - Record Breaking Round The World Yachtswoman
Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU) - Double Professional Windsurfing Association World Champion
Alexandra Rickham (GBR) - ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion and IFDS World Champion
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) - ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion

Ben Ainslie (GBR) - Match Racing World Champion & ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion
Lorenzo Bressani (ITA) - Melges 24 and 32 World Champion
Rob Douglas (USA) - Outright World Speed Record Holder
Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez (ESP) - IMOCA60 and 49er Success Nathan Outteridge (AUS) - International Moth World Champion and 49er Champion

The winners will be selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who are now invited to vote for the one male and one female nominee who they believe most deserves the Award.

The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, which will take place on Tuesday 8 November 2011. The venue for the event is the Barrio Ballaja in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Classics On Stage In Saint-Tropez
There could not be a more impressive fleet of classic boats then the more than 100 racing this week at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. It's an armada that showcases designers from the golden ages of yachting history: among them, Herreshoff, Fife, Sparkman & Stephens, Rhodes, Mylne, and Alden. The summer-like conditions that prevailed on the Golfe of St Tropez outside of the old port featured plenty of blue sky, an unseasonably hot sun, and light breeze.

Racing was schedule for 12noon, and after an hour's postponement, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez race committee managed to find enough wind in the starting area to send the fleet on a short nine-nautical mile coastal race, once the easterly breeze filled in to about five knots. It was enough to get nine classes off the line in five starts - first the smaller gaff-rigged and Marconi classes and through to the "grand epoque" big boats with stunners such as the 167-foot (51m) overall Herreshoff schooner Elena, the 19-metre class (110 feet overall) Mariquita, the Fife-designed gaff cutter 115-footer Moonbeam IV, and the 23-metre class, Cambria.

Even given the nearly half mile starting line for the twelve big boats, Mariquita, Tuiga, and Moonbeam were in a group that proved intent on the favoured committee boat end. Alone towards the pin end was Cambria, which found more pressure on the northern side of the gulf. Elena was safely just behind the first starters, but her towering sail plan made the most of the challenging conditions and allowed her to quickly gain on the others.

Most boats, having left the gulf and cleared the Porte Seiche mark, found the breeze clocking towards the south which allowed a mix of running sails to be set: spinnakers, fishermen, topsails. Further along the coast, the wind went painfully light, and the fleet compressed around the leeward mark off the town of Issambres. From there it was a beat upwind until they could lay the mark of Porte Seiche and then ease sheets for a reach towards the finish in a slighter fresher breeze. They were the lucky ones - for several of the bigger boat classes, the course was shortened and a finish line set off Porte Seiche.

Racing continues tomorrow for both Traditional and Modern classes. First warning signal is 1100 for the Moderns, 1200 for Traditional.

Audi TP52 World Championship
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Sardinia: Racing starts for the 2011 Audi TP52 World Championships from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Tuesday October 4th and finishes on Saturday 8th October. A full diet of windward-leeward races is planned with the coastal race scheduled on Thursday October 6th.

Quantum Racing make one significant crew change losing navigator Kevin Hall to previously scheduled (USA) personal commitments. In his place will be young Italian navigator Francesco Mongelli who served for three years as navigator on Synergy.

Among Quantum Racing's toughest rivals will be the home team on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), Alberto Roemmers' crew which flies the burgee of the event hosts, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

Ironically Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, which is skippered by Guillermo Parada (ARG) is one of the two teams that will race on these Sardinian waters which has not won an Audi MedCup Circuit regatta this season. But as Matador, the core crew won the 2009 world title in Palma, Mallorca and finished close runners up in 2010.

The team's line up is adjusted slightly from that which finished third overall on the Audi MedCup Circuit. Due to a match race commitment in Bermuda, Francesco Bruni will not sail on Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. Instead Vasco Vascotto (ITA) flies 'solo' as tactician.

Britain's Gladiator, owned and steered by Tony Langley (GBR) return to challenge for the world title again having added a number of sails to their inventory and expect to race with American Chris Larson as tactician. Larson will be bidding for a second world title in three weeks after recently winning the Melges 32 Worlds in Palma Mallorca.

Spain will be represented by ESP 7552 which will be skippered and steered by Gonzalo Araujo and project managed by Ignacio Triay (ESP) sailing under the colours of a sponsorship which will be unveiled at the start of the championship. -- Andi Robertson

Dubarry Lahinch - Hanging Ten In Style
Dubarry Lahinch Misguided though their choice of watersport may be, you'd have to admit that surfers know a thing or two about keeping control on a wet, rolling surface - and looking good while they're doing it. Dubarry's new Lahinch, inspired by Ireland's world famous surf destination, features a durable, lightweight upper that's quick draining and drying, and a two-part sole that uses Formula 1 technology to create a cushioned cocoon for the foot. The moulded sole acts like a shock absorber, the heel protects and supports the ankle and the toe protects, well, your toes.

Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.

An Open Letter to ISAF Secretary General Jerome Pels
I tried to talk to you several years ago about an important protest in France where a sailor took legal action through the French Courts, after being disqualified by an ISAF International Jury. You refused to even acknowledge my mail. Clearly I was unimpressed with your organisation and your lines of communication on important technical matters then.

I, and many in the world of yachting read today about the ISAF outright bar of the Tornado Class for mixed sailing. The article by Roland Gaebler in Scuttlebutt Europe 26 September has very valid points as anyone in international racing and logistics is fully aware. The Tornado has a great record of achievement in performance sailing and the boats already exist across many continents. The skills and thrills are all present to form competitive, spectacular Olympic sailing so why bar the class from your Trials?

ISAF has been spectacularly disastrous in their choice of Olympic boats in the past, for whilst one Committee selects the 'next Olympic Class' another committee conspires against it. Years ago, they held trials for a new single handed class and after exhaustive trials they chose the Contender. This is now proven to be a successful Class, but when it came to Olympic selection it was dumped in favour of the continuance of the very old design Finn. Later, when it was reviewed again, a much more "commercial" class called the Laser was adopted. Similarly,ISAF selected the Tempest after trials, a great high performance keelboat, but again committee conspiracy had it thrown out after two Olympic events. Meanwhile the ancient and never 'selected' classes like the Finn and Star have been 'Olympic'  selections for decades.

I am more justified than most to raise this issue with you as I have sailed Tornado with my wife for many years and with reasonable success. I, and many others leading yachtsmen around the world watch these antics from a distance and can only conclude that ISAF have some sort of issue with the Tornado Class and  that there are deeper politics at play. The Tornado class should at least be allowed to attend trials. -- David Pitman

Oysters In Palma
Oysters at the Real Club Nautico, Palma de Mallorca. Click on image to enlarge.

Oysters in Palma A record fleet of 30 Oyster Yachts, flying the flags of Brazil, Germany, Holland, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have gathered on the idyllic Mediterranean island of Mallorca for Oyster's Palma regatta, the 27th event in the Oyster Regatta series.

The event showcases 13 different examples of the distinctive Oyster range, from the Oyster 46 to the Oyster 82.

Richard Smith sailing Oyster 655, Sotto Vento is a veteran of twelve previous Oyster Regattas: "This will be my fourth regatta in Palma but I also love the variety of locations, Sardinia, the British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Antigua, they are all spectacular venues that I have fond memories of."

In sharp contrast, Michael Jones will be sailing at his first Oyster Regatta on board his new Oyster 655, Blue Horizon of London. Michael and his crew sailed the boat to Palma from the Oyster yard in Ipswich this August, it was Michael's first experience of offshore sailing.

The Oyster Regatta Palma programme includes five races in the Bay of Palma and further afield to the ancient town of Andraitx on the southwest tip of Mallorca.

The dockside at the Real Club Nautico in Palma is a hive of activity as crews meticulously prepare their boats for the Concours d'Elegance, with racing in the Bay scheduled to start tomorrow. -- Louay Habib

Jury Assesses Six Figure Damages in Final Plymouth Race
The International Jury has held a Hearing into a collision between Green Comm Racing and two other competitors before the start of the final race of the America's Cup World Series sailed in Plymouth, England.

The Jury Decision is not posted on the website where Decisions are supposed to be posted. It can only be presumed that the Decision, which has appeared on two US sailing websites, has been leaked by one of the teams, who usually receive a preliminary copy.

The four person Jury chaired by Bryan Willis, held the Hearing soon after the race, and issued a decision five days later.

The Jury has assessed damages at a total of E150,000 covering damage to Green Comm Racing, Aleph and Artemis Racing. Artemis suffered the worst damage in the Jury's Decision - their repair costs being assessed at E100,000.

Within one minute of the start of the final race, as the yachts were lining up up on starboard tack, Green Comm racing tried to cross on port and then tacked ahead of the advancing group of starters.

Unfortunately Green Comm Racing fluffed their tack, the wingsail stalled and the boat lost steerage and started sailing backwards.

Aleph and Artemis tried to avoid, but could not. As Green Comm Racing was held to be a tacking boat (and had not made her new closehauled course), she was held to be at fault and therefore liable for the cost of damages.

The other two boats were able to convince the Jury, that despite having an obligation to take all reasonable steps to avoid a collision when it is apparent that the give way yacht is not going to keep clear, that they had acted properly and the collision was unavoidable. their actions reduced the amount of damage. -- Richard Gladwell in

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

World news
And how that big nose is starting pay off... plus the Venezia Challenge legacy. Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Vincent Gillioz, Giuliano Luzzatto, Archie Wrigglesworth, Dobbs Davis

Olympic and small boat news - Grabbing the chance
49er wizz Chris Draper has made the slickest of transitions to the new world of the America’s Cup. Andy Rice

Design - Middle ground
Multihull guru Nigel Irens has recently been turning his attention to improving the often tardy lot of the long distance cruising yachtsman...

Seahorse build table - Something in between sir?
And a cool new cat from Alex Simonis

Rod Davis
And let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture...

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...

Spinnaker Tales
An ankle injury proved to be a serious setback for the talented Noosa Yacht and Rowing club Laser dinghy sailor Klade Hauschildt as he focuses his career on being fully fit to contest the Australian championship on Brisbane's Waterloo Bay.

Racing the single handed Laser at the required boat speed to be competitive encompasses a combination of finely tuned human element skills and while Klade has proved with his career results to be on the pace tactically the injury meant he was far from being on the pace physically.

Naturally this set back with the Brisbane nationals just three months away and being forced to leave his Laser in the cradle was not what Klade Hauschildt planed but rather than miss sailing altogether he focused his attention towards helping the new generation Laser sailors perfect their individual skills.

He was a popular guest coach at the recent Yachting Queensland Youth Development camp at Yeppoon where he provided an informative set of guide lines on preparing both mind and body to spend the important time of hiking hard and sailing fast in the competitive discipline of Laser dinghy racing.

Just a few years ago Klade Hauschildt like his training mate Ryan Palk was in the same position as the present day Youth development squad looking for the refined skills that would lift their career from being a clever club sailor to becoming respected in State, National and International regattas.

As Klade explained racing in a strict one-design class like the Olympic Laser dinghy is purely determined by the human element related skills of thinking smart being boat fit and applying a faultless tactical strategy.

Each category is never perfected without doing the 'Hard Yards' on the water.

"You must make a commitment to a tough grind of practice, practice and more practice". He said.

Thankfully his recent injury while placing his National Title prospects on hold has failed to dampen his enthusiasm.

Last weekend he was back in the hiking straps of his Laser testing his boat speed on the Noosa River.

As expected he was too involved to notice who was watching and while he trained alone there were all the signs that he was on the pace.

His tacking against the light breeze and current was slick while the body movement showed he was close to having the required speed to protect his National ranking.

There was no sign of personal discomfort from the ankle injury after completing his first of many training sessions on the Noosa River to be race ready for the International Sail Brisbane regatta followed by the more important Laser Nationals from December 29 to January 4. -- Ian Grant

Blog From The Seas
Photo by Puma Ocean Racing. Click on image to enlarge.

Puma VOR From: Ken Read, Skipper PUMA's Mar Mostro
Date: September 27, 2011: Heading to Alicante

After a pretty successful Transatlantic Race, we took a right turn and sailed downwind in the trades all the way to the Puerto Calero Marina. It's a fairly secluded marine facility on one of the windiest islands I have ever been to. Every day you get up to what sounds like the roof of your apartment being blown off. "Here we go again," I would say to myself day after day - now I know what all the boys felt like that did the America's Cup in Fremantle in 1987. The wind every day just wears you out, but it was exactly what we needed.

So, now we are paying for that fantastic downwind sail all the way to the Canaries. It is upwind for about 800 miles, against the trades and into the Mediterranean to Alicante, Spain, for the lead up and the start of the Volvo Ocean Race.

By rule we have to be there I believe by the third of October, one month before the start. If everything goes according to plan, we should be there a couple days before. We may actually take our time as well and do some more testing. You never know out here, and having a plan that can change literally with the wind is important.  

The thing is, once you get to Alicante the testing is over. It is on to the measurement, all the pre race seminars we have to attend, the press, the public, simply all the distractions - and essentially anything but testing. There may be a couple more quick tweaks to the boat, but surely the pre race prep phase is for the most part over.

The most commonly asked question?  

"Are you guys ready?"

The truth is nobody is ever really "ready." We are what we are. We are as prepared as we can be, and now its time to see whose plan had the most merit leading up to race time. All of the competition went about their pre race planning a bit different. We have been pretty quiet this time and just went about our business. Day after day, trying to tick off boxes that we felt were important in the grand scheme of things.  I like where we are at, but at the same time it would be great to have about another year to prepare. You are never perfect, but "we are what we are" and it does feel like we are paying for that sleigh ride south in July. Just another brutal reminder of how glamorous offshore sailing can be!

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2005 X-Yachts X-50. EUR 485,000. Located In Greece.

The boat is in a very good condition. Very little used, and only from the owner. The Racing North 3DL Sails are almost new, costing about 160.000 Euro

Brokerage through Atalanta Marine:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I advise everybody not to save: spend your money. Most people save all their lives and leave it to somebody else. Money is to be enjoyed. -- Hedy Lamarr

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