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Santa Maria Cup
Photo by Walter Cooper, Click on image to enlarge.

Santa Maria Cup Annapolis, Maryland: The second day of racing in the Santa Maria Cup women's match racing championship was a great success. The second round robin was completed as was the first flight of the Quarter Finals.

With light and shifty winds, in the early races downwind legs were a challenge, but the breeze began to build, clocking in at 11 knots by 1130. With the steady breeze, the matches stayed close. There were a few breakdowns during the day, including a torn kite, and the women had the added obstacle of dodging debris in the water, still ample from the heavy rains of the past few weeks.

Standings at the end of the round robin racing, heading into the Quarter Finals were:
Julie Bossard (FRA)
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
Becca Dellenbaugh (USA)
Silja Lehtinen (FIN)
Sharon Ferris-Choat (CAN)
Elizabeth Baylis (USA)
Martina Silva (ARG)
Maegan Ruhlman (USA).

The Quarter finals began with freshening breeze from a new direction, once the pins were reset there was a delay due to a repair on the one of the first boats scheduled for the QF. PRO Mark Murphy, moved the first race of the QF to the fourth. Dellenbaugh, Tunnicliffe, Bossard and Ferris-Choat were winners in the first flight.

Quarter Final racing will continue tomorrow at 0900.

Rushing West
"5 to 6 knots wind from south / southwest. Moderate sea with swell. Blue sky."(Luciole). "No wind. Calm sea."(Il ou Elle). "4 knots southwest wind. Deep swell from the west. North-west cross-swell."(Edulis). "Deep swell from the west. 5 knots wind." (Pen Ar Clos). "Sun, no wind, strong waves from the west" (Zidibule).

Whether they are at tail of the fleet, near the coast, in the middle of the pack or with the leading group, the indications of the escort boats of the Charente-Maritime/BahiaTransat 6.50 are similar and are not surprising. The conditions were forecasted to be "quiet or very calm". They are indeed.

The 78 remaining contestants are seeking for a little breeze. The pressure will be for later; today's objective is not to be caught in calm zones and to hope for hours to feel a gust. So everyone has more or less indicated a right turn.

They were four that, as one, at dawn have chose the option west / northwest: Bertrand Delesne (754 - Zone Large), Nicolas Boidevezi (719 - Defi GDE), David Raison (747 - Teamwork Evolution) briefly, (the leader the day before) and Aymeric Chappellier (788 - La Tortue de l'Aquarium - La Rochelle).

These four are chasing the leading duo Jorg Riechers (753 - and Sebastien Rogues (716 - Eole Generation - GDF Suez) in proto, which during the night had move 23 miles away. Those four have almost turned their back to the direct route for several hours, before shifting on the "most logical" southwest option. They, of course, lost some more miles, but in the early afternoon, they seemed to have regained some wind by being more west than the leaders.

Thus, today's sprinter is Chinese. The first ever Chinese to take part to this race, Chan Guo (487 - Vasa) has, since the start gunshot, chosen the North option. He has been really out of the game but he did not change one iota. He just made an incredible come back. 12th at dawn, he was 7th at noon. When the other boats was racing at 4,5 knots, he was sailing at 6 knots speed. Guo, should been very lonely over there in the North but now Pierre Cizeau (746 - Masqhotel), Fabrice Sorin (781 - Cartoffset) and Benoit Mariette (599 - Odalys Vacances) seem to have made the same choice and going to meet the same route as Guo.

Prototypes rankings on 29/09/2011 at noon (French time) - 33 boats
1. Jorg Riechers (753 - - 917 miles from finish
2. Sebastien Rogues (719 - Eole Genaration - GDF Suez) - 923.95 miles from finish
3. Bertrand Delesne (754 - Zone Large) - 754,14 miles from finish

Series rankings on 29/09/2011 at noon (French time) - 46 boats
1. Eric Llull (566 - Noble Cocoa) - 773,82 miles from finish
2. Davy Beaudart (674 - Innovea Environnement) - 779.46 miles from finish
3. Jean-Claude Guillonneau (473 - Zerline) -780.38 miles from finish

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Cameron Appleton (NZL)
'Nine regattas in a row... And thanks!' - Deneen Demourkas; 'and from me' - Donna Cadia; 'like a fine wine, he gets better with age' - Ben Graham; 'no brainer, he's on fire' - Tom Burnham; 'he's one badass' - Matt Austin; 'goin' up... buy, buy, buy' - Juggy Clougher; 'good work mate' - Jim Turner; 'he should be very proud' - Chris Bake; 'this guy is solid' - Jim Bonnizle; 'tough call as I'm French, but it's Cam' - Hervé Cunningham; 'awesome sailor' - Phil Harmer.

This month's nominees:

Jose Cusi (ESP)
It's been quite a ride, as Spain's most famous sailing team secures the dock lines for the final time. The Bribón programme has been a tale of constant renewal, with countless different new designs launched to keep on top of the latest competitive demands. Very significantly, it was Cusí and Bribón's decision to curtail IMS campaigning in favour of the 'new-fangled' TP52 that ensured that class's subsequent MedCup success

Chris Draper (GBR/KOR)
Team Korea's young British-born skipper got off to a lumpy start in Plymouth at Round 2 of the AC World Series with a capsize and a couple of unforced errors. He had soon settled his team down however and put on perhaps the most impressive performance of the week to finish as runner-up in the match racing round to Dean Barker's strong kiwis. And the America's Cup is, ultimately, a match racing event...

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

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!

Marlow Ropes Release Free iPhone App.
Marlow Ropes iPhone App Marlow Ropes are proud to announce the release of the first version of their new iPhone App. The Marlow Ropes iPhone App is free and available for everyone to download from the iTunes App Store.

The Marlow Ropes App is the first comprehensive rope information app to be released for the iPhone. It's free and easy to use, wherever you may be.

Overview The Marlow Ropes App consists of five tabs:
1. Products. Full product listings, including:
- The Grand Prix series
- Racing & Cruising
- Dinghy & Windsurf
- Mooring
- Superyachts

2. Technical. Understand your ropes with
- Splicing techniques.
- Rope care advice.
- Material Properties - + more.

3. Catalogues. The latest Marlow Catalogues in PDF format
4. Marlow TV. Sailing and rope related videos from around the world.
5. Interactive barcode reader.

- Use the inbuilt interactive barcode reader to scan the QR barcodes found on Marlow's new point of sale chandlery racking to discover further information

Login to the iTunes store and search Marlow Ropes to download your free copy of the App and start discovering everything it has to offer.

Download the Marlow App here:

A Great Day on the Water in Palma
Click on image to enlarge.

Oyster Palma The Bay of Palma provided spectacular sailing conditions for the first day of racing at Oyster's Palma Regatta.

The impressive fleet contains eleven Oyster owners that have never competed before, including Dario Galvao onboard his beautifully engineered Oyster 655, Solway Mist II, which is the first Brazilian yacht to compete at an Oyster regatta.

Racing started on schedule with a nine-mile windward leeward course, sponsored by Oyster Regatta partner, Raymarine. It proved to be a highly tactical race for the 30 strong Oyster fleet. Starts are always important but with a fleet this size, getting away well and into clear air was very rewarding.

A brief respite followed before a course was set for the second race of the day, sponsored by Dolphin Sails. After a somewhat conservative start to the first race, the second race provided some tight action with yachts in close quarters during both class starts.

In Class 2, Gerd and Annemarie Köhlmoos' Hamburg based Oyster 54 Sarabande, finished the day well, taking second place in the last race and Wolfram Birkel's Oyster 56, Cat B was very much in contention to take third in Race 2. South African Oyster 54, Legend, skippered by Alan Du Toit and his South African crew had an encouraging start to the regatta, taking a third in Race 1. However, two British yachts will be very satisfied with today's results. John Marshall's Oyster 56, Rock Oyster and Alan Parker's Oyster 54, Oyster Reach shared the spoils with a win each today. Oyster Reach leads Class 2, after a very consistent day on the water.

Racing at Oyster's Palma Regatta continues Thursday, 29th September with a coastal race of approximately 20 miles to the ancient town of Andraitx, on the southwest tip of Mallorca.

Ross and Campbell Field on Board BSL in the Global Ocean Race
BSL in Palma. Photo by the Global Ocean Race. Click on image to enlarge.

BSL in the Global Ocean Race All is well on board BSL, we are having a great time and enjoying being settled into an onboard routine. We are hand steering almost 100% of the time, although the pilots are very good and have been very well set up, after reviewing data they are a few % slower than driving so for the most part one of us is driving, the other sleeping or making coffee...

We had a pretty uneventful trip out of Palma, and enjoyed getting a bit of a break on the fleet. We made a couple of tactical mistakes which cost us some miles and at one stage the lead, but we were very happy to lead the fleet out of the med. The med is an interesting place of contrasts, stunning sunsets, teeming with dolphins, but at the same time littered with monstrous feats of engineering freighting our daily essentials all over the world. They initially can be admired for their sheer size, then sit back and observe the mountains and mountains of unnecessary items that are moved from one place to the other. Easy to say I guess, from our little 12m space where we can't just whip up the road and buy a steak from Argentina or cheese from Italy or a car from Korea, we have to just make do with what is around us. Not only littered with ships, but with masses of plastic, diving into the marina in Palma to check the bottom a few times I managed to pull out numerous discarded plastic items. A shame for such a pristine city. The rest of the med is much the same, and we see bottles floating about out here daily.

Exiting the med was pretty straight forward, threaded the needle through a few ships, and had a nice blast through to Tarifa where we had a good shunt of 40 knots - we carried on out to be able to gybe and lay the western TSS limits, threw in a quick gybe and then took off south broad reaching through the night.

A few interesting encounters off the Moroccan coast as well...a lone fisherman in his 30 odd foot traditional wooden fishing boat, 30nm from the coast...maybe just trying to feed his family? Then a much larger and ominous looking fishing boat that could have just been curious and wanted a closer look but did give us a couple of anxious moments as he seemed to be determined to get close to us. Then late yesterday, amidst speculating where Halvard and Miranda were (they dropped out of sight ahead of us) there seened to be a large sail which we thought was great, as we were hauling them in really quickly. It was actually Mar Mostro, the VOR entry making their way up to Alicante for the start of their trip around the world. Had a quick chat on the radio as they passed 50m to leeward of us then disappeared over the horizon doing 12 knots upwind.

Generally all is very well on board. No breakages or injuries (except my feet trying to get used to a new pair of shoes which I have given up on), we are eating like kings and generally having a great time. I did however shock myself by realising today that I have not brushed my teeth since last Sunday. I promise to get onto this in the next few days. Once I find my toothbrush...

Pressure Builds at Act 7, Nice
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Extreme Sailing Series Nice Austrian skipper, Roman Hagara, managed to fight off the challenges of his competitors to keep Red Bull Extreme Sailing at the top of the leaderboard on the second day of Act 7, Nice – but only by 1.5 points! Tomorrow Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series opens to the public of Nice, the racing moves closer to shore in 'stadium' mode and the WEBcam feed goes live online.

Today's action began in the morning with the 11 Extreme 40 teams sent out to race early to take advantage of the north-westerly gradient breeze from the land. Britain's three-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie, scored his first race win in Nice, and Paul Campbell-James at the helm of the Italian team Luna Rossa claimed the other race before the breeze disappeared.

The final race of the day decided the overall standings ahead of the 'stadium' racing. Terry Hutchinson's Artemis Racing team nailed the start, judged the lay lines bang on, pulling out a good lead on the Swiss team of Alinghi, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild were in third and Red Bull Extreme Sailing fourth on the final downwind leg with Luna Rossa chasing in fifth. The positions remained unchanged at the finish which allowed Hagara's to retain the overall lead.

Tomorrow, Act 7 will open to the public of Nice. The racing will be brought closer to shore so the spectators can see the fleet in action up close, with live commentary in French and English and a live WEBcam feed for online fans around the world [just click on the WEBcam banner on the home page of the website to open the viewing window].

Extreme Sailing Series Act 7, Nice, France standings after 12 races (29.9.11)
Position / Team / Points
1. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 90.5 points
2. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Herve Cunningham 89 points
3. Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 88 points
4. Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 85.5 points
5. Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant, 84 points
6. Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemrskerk / Andrew Walsh / Brian MacInnes 73 points
7. Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 60 points
8. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 59 points
9. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / Jeremy Lomas / Chris McAsey 56 points
10. Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele De Luca / Simone de Mari 54 points
11. Team Extreme Nice Cote d'Azur (FRA), Jean-Pierre Dick / Jeremie Beyou / Billy Besson / Arnaud Jarlegant 52 points

Dubarry Storm - Designed To Perform
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Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Click on image to enlarge.

Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtwoman of the Year Awards Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA: With the sailing season winding down in northern latitudes comes the opportunity to recognize those U.S. sailors who have collected impressive regatta results at home and abroad in 2011. Starting Friday, September 30, 2011, US SAILING will accept nominations for its 2011 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards, widely acknowledged as the foremost individual sailing honors in the nation. Through November 30, 2011, every member of US SAILING may nominate the one male and one female sailor they think has turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performance during the 2011 calendar year.

Nominations can be made online through US SAILING's website at

At the conclusion of the nomination period (September 30-November 30, 2011), a shortlist of nominees will be presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each and vote by secret ballot to determine the individual award winners. The winners will be honored on February 23, 2012, during a luncheon at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.

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 Theo Rye: I think your correspondent reporting from this year's Voiles de St Tropez regatta (Scuttlebutt 2440, 29th September) may be the victim of an unfortunate slip in translation. It is true that William Fife (junior) designed three 20-rater yachts called "Dragon" for a Mr F C Hill in 1889, 1891 and 1893, and that these were in part responsible for bolstering his reputation as a designer; but these are entirely unrelated to the (International) Dragon Class which was designed in 1929 by Johan Anker.

Incidentally, the "trademark" carving of a dragon on the bow of many Fife built yachts is usually said to have originated with the first of his "Dragons", whose success perhaps prompted other owners to request a similar carving for luck. The form of the dragons varies considerably over time, presumably reflecting different craftsmen at work, but many Fifes of impeccable pedigree never had one; Solway Maid and Mariquita being better known examples. It is also not unique to Fifes; Dickies of Tarbert also made similar carvings, as the owners of the 1932 (Mylne designed & Dickie's built) "Skerryvore" discovered recently. It is a private speculation, but it is chronologically just about possible that Archibald Dickie carved the first dragon working at Fife's yard, and then left to set up on his own in 1888. Certainly the families remained on good terms and Dickie's son Peter subsequently went to serve his apprenticeship at Fife's yard; perhaps this goodwill extended to mutual use of this charming feature?

* From Eero Lehtinen, Editor - Pro Sail Magazine, Finland:

RE: David Pitman's letter to Jerome Pels / ISAF

Thank you David for taking this up. I think a lot of questions remain open on the recent (at least) decisions on Olympic classes. It is impossible to please all classes and everyone, for sure. But still some of the decisions lately and before, as you have pointed out, make us wonder whether the reasons behind have anything to do with sailing's sportive, practical and logical sides. It seems to be pure politics in most of the cases.

The fact that ISAF itself can suggest something just to shoot it down in the next room is a scary feature. The only conclusion that can be made of it, is that a great number of people spend their time and efforts for nothing. Why do we have all these committees if their input and opinion is not valued?

On the more recent record of ISAF's decisions on Olympic classes, I can hardly believe that women's match racing was thrown out with the Star Class. "No keelboats for men, then no keelboats for women either...". Well, that is about the only thing that these two classes share - they are keelboats, right. Elliot 6 Class was modified to fit into this role and demand only a few years ago. Star is a hundred years old class with no spinnaker. Elliot 6 used in match racing format, sailed in the harbour or close to the shore, will most definitely be drawing most of the media interest in the women's sailing in Weymouth!

Why not have a decision that a new class must stay for at least 2 Games before its position can be reviewed and discussed again? We don't know how well the media, public, TV viewers etc react to the new Olympic concept of match racing. But we already have decided to kick it out! All the investments in new equipment, match race centers and knowhow in various countries prove now to be a painful and costly side jump, as skiff sailing has taken the Olympic status from the match racers. Skiff sailing in itself is not a bad decision, but I think it should have happened differently. Isn't the 470 a pretty aged concept by now? Do we really need 470 and ladies skiff when numbers of sailors are too thin for even one two-person dinghy class in many countries?

* From Daniel Charles: Regarding ISAF and multihulls, J. Harwood-Bees wrote: "It would be a great shame if it was ever discovered that our representative body was as rotten to the core as those of the Olympics and World football." I don't know if the Olympics or the Football organization have ever made a blatantly false testimony to a court of justice in exchange of money, but the ISAF did, to the NY Supreme Court, in support of Alinghi and its money. So ISAF's rottenness has already been discovered, and what do we do about it? As far as I'm concerned, ISAF must be towed to high seas and sunk.

This being said, I do believe that the position of the Tornado lobby is indefensible. The Tornado was designed in 1966, for whoever's sake! Can one imagine racing the OSTAR or the Rum race today with an Iroquois, a cat contemporary to the Tornado? Of course not! No domain of sailing has changed more than multihulls in the last 55 years. The Tornado was a visionary design more than half a century ago, and remains a very important historical benchmark. But if one aims at making Olympic sailing competitive with other spectacular sailing events (like AC 45), we need the most cutting-edge boats.

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The Last Word
If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out. -- Timothy Leary

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