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Transat 6.50 Second Leg Start
77 boats took off at 1:30 p.m and sailed to a windward mark buoy in front of the Club naval de Funchal before heading to the next compulsory passage mark located between the islands of Santo Antao and Maio in the Cape Verde archipelago. The wind in the area is 6 knots south/southwest.

They were, therefore, 76 sailors to sail to South America and Salvador de Bahia. The Polish, Radoslaw Kowalczyk (790 - Calbud) that has arrived last night at around 9:00 p.m - after a short night, a medical and technical check - chose to be at the start with his friends. Only the Italian Sergio Frattaruollo (769 Bologna in oceano) remained in the port. He discovered this morning that he had a problem with his fuel cell and wanted to solve it. Now all is fine, and he left Funchal's marina in the middle of the afternoon to join the rest of the fleet.

After a short "sprint" of two miles that the skippers have covered in less than 40 minutes. Etienne David - the Swiss - was the first to wind the first mark buoy, followed closely by four other competitors, Thomas Normand (787 - Financiere de l'Echiquier) - and the first series - the Italian, Giacomo Sabbatini (554 - Scusami La Spalle). Andrea Caracci (756 - Speedy Maltese) and Bertrand Delesne (754 - Zone Large) were in his wake. The rest of the fleet joined them very quickly and in a very tight pack.

The Atlantic is now wide open ahead of them... Downwind navigation is announced by all the weather forecasts until Canaries Islands, with a gradual strengthening.

Second Day Reshuffle
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image for photo gallery.

Extreme Sailing Series The second day of Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 in Almeria, Spain, was a mixed affair of four open water races staged outside the port of Almeria and a stadium race inside the harbour which led to some dream starts and some nightmare endings. The wind gods were initially kind bringing 6 knots of sea breeze, although this died away to 4 knots, and as the 11 boat Extreme 40 fleet started the final stadium race it blew its last breath as the sailors did their best to complete the short course.  The good news is that more breeze is on its way for tomorrow and Saturday which will bring alive the stadium action for the Spanish public.

For the Swiss team Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou, the start of the second day went like a dream winning three races in a row that temporarily elevated them to fourth in the rankings, from 9th yesterday.

Ben Ainslie's team on Oman Air keep hold of the top spot after the five races today which is pretty impressive considering this is all pretty new for the three-time Olympic gold medalist

With three days remaining at Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Almeria and more breeze forecast, there is plenty of action to come.

The fourth programme of the 6-part Extreme Sailing Series TV series has been released and will first air on CNBC across Europe and Asia at 17h30 CET on Saturday, 15th October. Up to 20 broadcasters around the world are broadcasting the TV series this year including Eurosport, Channel 4 (UK), Sport+ (France), Bloomberg and TRT (Turkey).  Transmissions dates for programme 4 are also available for Band Sports (Brazil), TVNZ (New Zealand) Canal+ (France), Nelonen (Finalnd) and TV2 (Denmark), visit the TV schedule page on the website for more details. Some broadcasters, like Channel 4 in the UK, are opting to show the 6-part programmes back to back and will broadcast the whole series towards the end of the year.

Standings after 9 races (13.10.11)

1. Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari, 72 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Ray Davies / Jeremy Lomas / Derek Seward, 69
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Herve Cunningham, 64
4. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri, 60
5. Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemrskerk / Andrew Walsh / Brad Webb, 57
6. Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena, 54
7. Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey, 52
8. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matt Adams / Craig Monk, 48
9. Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele De Luca / Simone de Mari, 41
10. Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Anton Paz / Tom Buggy, 40
11. Team TILT (SUI), Alex Schneiter / Boet Brinkgreve / Charles Favre / Nicolas Heintz, 32

Charisma Wins UNO Farr 40 European Circuit 3rd Leg
Istanbul, Turkey: The third and penultimate leg of the  Farr 40 European Circuit concluded with the welcome arrival of more stable conditions and saw three close-fought windward-leeward races held on the Sea of Marmara off Istanbul's Ataköy Marina. Following several days in which variable meteorological conditions and shifty winds made life difficult for both organizers and participants, a hard-earned victory went to Charisma (MON), owned by Nico Poons, just one point ahead of Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible (ITA). Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (USA), took third.  

Heading into Race Four it was all to play for as just two points separated Charisma at the top of the classification from Enfant Terrible. Meanwhile another heated battle was brewing for third place between Transfusion (AUS) and Struntje Light who found themselves on equal points with the Australians ahead on countback thanks to their win in Race One. Both were ousted however by a resounding win from Barking Mad which allowed the Americans to claim the final place on this evening's podium.

Enfant Terrible and Transfusion Neck and Neck on Day One
Photo by Osman Ugur. Click on image to enlarge.

Farr 40 European Champioinship Istanbul, Turkey: Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible (ITA) leads the overall classification after three races held on Day One of the Uno Farr 40 European Championship 2011. Current Farr 40 World Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, owner of Transfusion (AUS), sits in second place on equal points, with only Rossi's victory in the final race of the day breaking the tie on countback. For Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (USA), three was clearly a magic number today as the three-time Class World Champion took third place in each of today's three races to take third place overall.

For Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, owner of Transfusion, the forecast for 15 to 20 knot winds over the weekend is a welcome one: "I always think that we do better in strong winds but then we get light days and we do ok then too. I personally like the challenge of stronger conditions and my crew love really like to 'send it' when it gets above 22 knots and off we go. Hopefully we might see some conditions like that just for the fun of it but whatever is served up here we are going to enjoy it because we are in Istanbul which is a wonderful part of the world."

Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 14th October, at 12 midday and will conclude on Sunday 16th. Tomorrow's forecast predicts 12 to 14 knots of north-easterly breeze.

Dubarry Storm - Sailing Style In On The Street
Dubarry Storm There's something cool about sailing, taking on the elements from the Solent to St Tropez, but how do you carry that cool onto the streets? Try wearing offshore oilies to your favourite restaurant and you're likely to end up hungry and sectioned. Dubarry Storm gives you all the cache of the crew in a way that doesn't mark you out as a madman. With polarfleece for warmth, a durable waterproof shell, inner storm flap and chin guard, Storm keeps you warm and dry in six snazzy colourways.

Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

Loick Peyron Reveals the Crew for the Jules Verne Trophy
A few months ago, Banque Populaire trusted the helm of his giant trimaran to Loick Peyron and entrusted him with the mission of conducting a new record campaign with all the help and expertise of a strong and united Team.

The team is ready to tackle an attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy in the coming weeks, a first for the skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V which has never had the opportunity to challenge this famous around the world record. With a reference time of 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds to beat, the theoretical objective is fixed.

Loick Peyron, skipper
Juan Vila, navigator, in charge of electronic / IT

Watch 1
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, watch leader, in charge of sails 
Kevin Escoffier, helmsman/trimmer, in charge of video and structure
Xavier Revil, helmsman/trimmer, in charge of food and life on board 
Florent Chastel, bowman, in charge of safety and deck hardware

Watch 2
Frederic Le Peutrec, watch leader
Emmanuel Le Borgne, helmsman/trimmer, medical officer and in charge of composites
Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman/trimmer, in charge of mechanics and energy
Ronan Lucas, bowman, in charge of safety

Watch 3
Yvan Ravussin, watch leader, in charge of composites
Brian Thompson, helmsman/trimmer
Pierre-Yves Moreau, trimmer, in charge of mechanics and hydraulics
Thierry Chabagny, bowman, helmsman/trimmer, in charge of riggings and sails

Marcel van Triest, ashore navigator

ISAF Match Race Rankings
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) retained her place as World #1 in the Women's Match Race Rankings whilst Francesco Bruni (ITA) moves to the top of the Open Match Race Rankings for the first time.

Bruni held second place for the last three rankings releases but after his third place finish at the Argo Gold Cup, the seventh stage of the World Match Racing Tour, he leapfrogs Ian Williams (GBR).

Meanwhile Tunnicliffe, who is an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award nominee, established herself at the top of the rankings following her victory at the Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis, USA.

The next ranking release is 23 November 2011.

Top Ten Open - Wednesday 12 October 2011

1. Francesco Bruni, ITA
2. Torvar Mirsky, AUS
3. Ian Williams, GBR
4. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
5. Pierre-Antoine Morvan, FRA
6. Jesper Radich, DEN
7. Mathieu Richard, FRA
8. Philip Robertson, NZL
9. Mads Ebler, DEN
10. Johnie Berntsson, SWE

Top Ten Women - Wednesday 12 October 2011

1. Anna Tunnicliffe, USA
2. Claire Leroy, FRA
3. Sally Barkow, USA
4. Lucy Macgregor, GBR
5. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS
6. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP
7. Nicky Souter, AUS
8. Silja Lehtinen, FIN
9. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA
10. Renee Groeneveld, NED

2011 RORC Season's Points Championship Winners
When the 300 places for the Rolex Fastnet Race were filled within 10 days of the entries opening, it became obvious that 2011 would be a notable year for offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). With 300 miles of offshore racing required from each boat before the start of the Fastnet, the early season races were well subscribed with entries and over 100 boats entered three of the qualifying races. Hopes of an easy qualification for the main race of the season (Rolex Fastnet) were dashed by the weather early on. Strong winds and lumpy seas characterised the races and tested the crews and their yachts thoroughly.

Yacht of the Year - Somerset Memorial Trophy:
  Rán, JV 72 - Niklas Zennström (GBR)     

Best Performance of a British Yacht Overseas - Dennis P Miller Trophy:
British Soldier, A 40 - Army Sailing Association (GBR)  

In the IRC Classes the best five offshore races are counted towards the RORC Season's Points Championship. These were heavily contested and in some of the classes, the results were undecided until after the Cherbourg Race, the last race of the season.

IRC Overall - Jazz Trophy: Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Ker 46 - Piet Vroon (NED)

Alan Paul Trophy - Consistent High Performance in IRC Overall:
Arabella, J/111 - Niall Dowling (GBR)

Europeans Trophy - IRC Zero: Venomous, CM 60 - Derek Saunders (GBR)     

Trenchemer Cup - IRC One: Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Ker 46 - Piet Vroon (NED)

Emily Verger Plate - IRC Two: Joopster, J/122 - Neil Kipling (GBR)   

Grenade Goblet - IRC Three: Foggy Dew, JPK 10.10 - Noel Racine (FRA)

Cowland Trophy - IRC Four: Jean Yves Chateau's Nicholson 33, Iromiguy (FRA)

Psispina Trophy - Two Handed Winners: Ultreia!, JPK 9.60 - Matthias Kracht (FRA)

The Assuage Trophy: La Reponse, First 40 - Andrew McIrvine (GBR)

A full list of the annual trophies and awards can be found at

These will be presented at the RORC Annual Dinner held at the Banqueting House in Whitehall on Saturday 19th November.

The 2012 Programme of RORC Races is now available on the website:

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

Audi MedCup - Down to the wire
Quantum brings it (back) home in Barcelona as Bribon heads away in (considerable) style

RORC news
Eddie Warden Owen

Design - Deceptively simply
Sailmaker Sandy Macmillan on designing for the latest schooner - and una - rig layouts...

Seahorse build table - Strength to strength
Why Javier Soto Acebal's sleek 40-foot one design is one of the era's great success stories

Sailor of the Month
Commitment is writ large in this month's contest

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...

Running The Rhumblines
Bragging rights as the best short course racing crew at the Whitsunday Sailing Club remains close and evenly contested with the first of the true northerlies expected to test their brute breeze sailing skills as the tropical wet season approaches.

The normal placid sailing courses on Pioneer Bay are famed for becoming a torture track when the summer winds blow and are known to play a major role in sorting the best from the rest as the crews face the test of riding on a spray drenched rail.

Naturally the heavy wind specialists will greet the opportunity to race in a stronger wind system as they repair some damage to their tactical reputations following a run of mixed results since competing in the Airlie Beach Race Week series in mid-August.

There is no clear picture on which crew will produce the consistent results required to win the Twilight Sprint Race title for 2011 however Damien Suckling (Another Fiasco), John Galloway (Queensland Marine Services), Jeff Brown (007) and Craig Piccinelli (Wobbly Boot) remain as the likely pace setters.

All four skippers who race radically different designed yachts are noted as fresh wind specialists however they will need the support from a mistake free crew technique to remain in contention for the title.

Damien Suckling who has the career distinction of steering the Scott Jutson designed 42 Another Fiasco to a deserved Performance Handicap class win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race expects to face a determined challenge from his major rivals as the competition heats up. He will remain tactically focused on reproducing the handicap rated boat speed required for Another Fiasco to outpace her .970 time correction factor.

However the Another Fiasco crew who are regarded as the Sprint Race title pacesetters will need to become tactically aware of the expected challenge from John Galloway's crew on Queensland Marine Services.

During recent summers the wily veteran John Galloway has acquired the title as the master of Pioneer Bay and is not about to relinquish that honour without the chance of engaging the younger Damien Suckling in a tactical 'arm wrestle'.

They are poised to continue with their match race while skippers Jeff Brown (007) and Craig Piccinelli (Wobbly Boot) continue to protect their reputations from the improving Colin Pruden's Sandpiper and Terry Archer helmed Questionable Logic in what promises to become a close and interesting battle to win the 2011 Whitsunday Sailing Club sprint race championship. -- Ian Grant

Ticking Off The Miles
Alicante, Spain: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have agreed to sail a further 111 miles to complete their qualification for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 following their retirement from a test race over the weekend.

During the 360-mile qualifying race from Alicante to Palma, Mallorca and back, the six boats were required to carry out several safety drills. Having completed all of the required procedures, Abu Dhabi opted to motor rather than sail during a windless section of the course.

After consultation with the race committee, the Abu Dhabi crew will ensure they are in compliance with section 4.2 of the Notice of Race by completing the 111-mile sail.

The passage must be completed by the original qualification race crew before October 21. The course requires them to round Isla de Benidorm and Isla de Tabarca and must be made without using the yacht's engine.

Skipper Ian Walker commented: "We had strong reasons for our decision to motor part of the remaining 110 miles of the qualification course and immediately notified the committee of our intentions.

"Sailing these extra miles will give the team a chance to refine some of our data for Mediterranean conditions and look at our new sails away from the prying eyes in Alicante. This will also give another opportunity to refine the offshore communication systems with the race committee. We plan to complete the trip next week."

Berlin Match Race
Jochen Schumann, Markus Wieser, and Bjorn Hansen - the match race world elite guests competing in Wannsee

World class sailors will participate in this 20th edition of the Berlin Match Race, that was initiated by prominent members of both organizing clubs, Achim Kadelbach (VSaW) and Peter Barnikow (BYC):

Markus Wieser, multiple World, and European Champion is looking forward to challenging his adversary of last year in the finals, Björn Hansen from Sweden, who won the 19th Berlin Match Race and currently is 4th in the world ranking list. Mads Ebler, the Danish European match race champion in 2010, will also be fighting for every inch of the race. Undoubtedly the helmsmen William Tiller (New Zealand) and Keith Swinton (Australia) and their crews have had the longest journey to Berlin. Having travelled all the way around the world, returning empty handed is not an option for them. In the fight for the title Markus Wieser will be challenged by the top german sailor Jochen Schumann, twice winner of the America´s Cup and Olympic Games, who would also like to reclaim the victory and prize money (totalling about 20.000 Euro).

The race will be sailed on J 80 class boats from 2nd to 6th November.

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The Last Word
Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. - Erwin Rommel

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