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Prada's Back
Italian Fashion house Prada is poised to re-enter the America's Cup fray after chief executive Patrizio Bertelli announced that he has the backing of his board for a €40m challenge in 2013.

He has switched the base of his challenge from Punta Ala, on Italy's Mediterranean coast, to the Circolo della Vela Siciliana in Palermo. Bertelli challenged in 2000 and 2003, when the cup was held by New Zealand and was the ultimate challenger in 2000 and then the challenger of record in 2003.

After the noisiest, most stylish but ultimately disappointing challenge in Valencia in 2007, Bertelli had originally said he would not contest the 2013 America's Cup, to be staged in San Francisco. Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing first mounted a determined and hugely expensive legal assault on the holder, Switzerland's Ernesto Bertarelli and his Alinghi team, through the New York courts, and then won easily on the water in a giant trimaran in 2010.

The switch to wing-powered 72-foot multihulls has been retained by Ellison and his four-times cup winner and CEO, Russell Coutts. Bertelli was thought originally to be against that move but may have been persuaded by the commercial opportunities associated with cup participation.

His entry is a significant endorsement of the event and may encourage others to join the party. Until now, only Sweden's Artemis, headed by Torbjorn Tornqvist, and Team New Zealand, which is part-government funded, were considered certain challengers.

Prada is listed on the Hong Kong Stock exchange and it was notification of the board decision that led to this week's announcement. The Far East, and particularly Chinese, market is very important to Prada, as it is to the sponsor of the challenger series, Louis Vuitton. There is also a potential challenger from China. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent,

Download the filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange here:

China Team Signs Kiwi Young Guns
China Team, the official Chinese challenger for the 34th America's Cup, is recruiting more international champion sailors to strengthen the team and bring in new skills, just in time for their participation in the upcoming China Cup regatta in Shenzhen (Oct 28-31, 2011).

Phil Robertson, from New Zealand, brings with him a wealth of experience in sailing and specifically match-racing experience through his development in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Youth training Program, to setting up and leading a match racing team called Waka Racing. Waka Racing is now ranked 9th in the world for match racing (within less than 2 years). Under the leadership of Phil, the Waka team won the Australia Cup in 2010.

With Phil, and also part of Waka Racing, Garth Ellingham has also joined the team. Garth also grew up through the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Lion Foundation Youth Training program and joined Waka Racing 3 years ago as Mainsheet and Tactician.

Waka Racing is currently the youngest team on the World Match Racing Tour.

Phil and Garth will join the China Team existing squadron of international sailors, as they train and hone their skills on multihulls while in San Diego, USA, for the next leg of the America's Cup World Series (Nov 12-20, 2011) and support the development of the Chinese sailors as part of a high level training plan to ensure readiness by 2013.

Homemade Boat to Compete in Weymouth Speed Week
An unemployed sailor is aiming to take on the world's best in a homemade boat.

Jonathon Barton is preparing his unusual craft, dubbed SS DSS, to take part in Weymouth Speed Week.

The creation is made out of anything Mr Barton could lay his hands on including metal, fibreglass, plastic and wood.

Hosted by the National Sailing Academy, the event is centred on a measured 500-metre course.

This provides the challenge for the speed sailor to pit their wits against the elements and endeavour to raise the world speed record from the current absolute speed of 55.65 knots set by American kitesurfer Robert Douglas.

The lack of rules provides the opportunity for experts and dreamers to build the type of boats which would otherwise never see the light of day. There are no restrictions as to who may enter.

And that is what prompted Mr Barton, 50, to enter.

He said: "I know the build quality is not perfect, but if I could get some high-tech materials into the construction I am certain this craft can contribute greatly to new ways of sailing control and propulsion.

"I don't have the money, but I do have the time and my brainpower to devote to it.

"I've worked on designs for engines, however my real love is sailing and to get this craft on the water and do some serious testing with it.

He follows many inventors who brought some very strange looking craft to speed week in the past. -- Diarmuid MacDonagh in the Dorset Echo

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.

Young Adventurer Completes Round Britain Solo Challenge
In September 2011, 17-year-old Tom Webb achieved his dream of completing the Round Britain Solo Challenge onboard 'Danera', his beloved 21' Beneteau First 211 sailing yacht.

This drop keel monohull falls within Design Category B, which means it is designed to cope with up to 4 metre waves and up to Beaufort Scale 8 - ideal for the young adventurer.

"She is a light displacement fast boat that has topped at 13 knots so she is good fun to handle as well as a safe place in heavier weather," Tom says.

"The twin rudders mean that whatever heel she's at, she's good for steering. She's always light on the helm and the flat stern allows her to plane easily. She's so light and small, yet feels like a big boat."

Tom's voyage took 8 weeks and 39 stops, raising funds along the way for RYA Sailability and Even Keel, charities supporting sailors with disabilities.

The toughest time for the young sailor? "Manoeuvring in 50mph winds for around 6 hours near Bangor, Northern Ireland, was a bit of a challenge, but the boat handled perfectly."

Most memorable times? "The view of the Scottish mountains and seeing more than 50 dolphins in the Bristol Channel!"

If you want to read more about Tom's journey and would like to donate to his charities go to

Volvo Open 70s Join Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta
Alicante, Spain: Green Dragon and Telefonica Black, two Volvo Open 70s from the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will join the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta fleet from November 1-5, lining up with boats that took part in the first 10 round the world races.

The two state of the art racers will showcase 38 years of development in round the world racing since the first Whitbread in 1973-74, when they take their place next to the Legends fleet which spans 10 races.  

Both boats will compete in the regatta run over two days, creating a challenge for race director Jack Lloyd and his race management team, who will be setting inshore courses that work for maxi ketches such as the race-winning Steinlager 2 and her opponent from 1989-90 Fisher & Paykel, as well as for yachts such as the Italian Tauranga who took part in 1973, and, more recently the Whitbread/Volvo Open 60 Assa Abloy/2001-02.  

"The real challenge for us is to try to make all the yachts competitive with each other," Lloyd explains. "The step-up in design and technology since 1973 has been massive and we would like all the boats to be sailing together.  

"We are looking at a 'pursuit ' style of racing where the boats start the race in a staggered fashion according to their size, which we feel has the best chance of creating a dramatic and competitive finish for the fleet on each of the two days of race," he adds.

Both Green Dragon and Telefonica Black were constructed especially for the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Green Dragon, from the board of Reichel Pugh, finished in fifth position, one place above the Spanish boat, from Farr Yacht Design, which was part of a two-boat campaign for Team Telefonica 2008-09. Sister ship Telefonica Blue, with a new rig, a new paint job and a new name, Sanya, will race in this year's Volvo under the leadership of race-winning skipper Mike Sanderson.  

Telefonica Black's best moment was when she won the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 from Stockholm to St Petersburg. Her navigator, Roger Nilson, was competing in his seventh Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race and will be reunited with the boat during the Legends regatta.

Fleet Lines Up For 125 Year Old Gascoigne Cup
Perseverance Trophy. Click on image to enlarge.

Perseverance Yachts from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this Saturday will race off the coast of Sydney for the Gascoigne Cup, a magnificent perpetual trophy first sailed for 125 years ago and which owes its origins to heroic deeds during an historic military campaign in the Sudan.

The Gascoigne Cup is one of three short ocean races conducted each summer by the 149-year-old Squadron, the others being the Morna Cup sailed in November and the Milson Cup in February. All three perpetual trophies take pride of place in the Squadron's Kirribilli clubhouse.

The Gascoigne Cup is by the oldest and, arguably, the most prestigious short ocean race trophy on the Sydney short ocean racing calendar. Many famous yachts and yachtsmen have won this iconic ocean race since it was first presented to the club and raced for in 1886.

This Saturday's race, over a course of about 25 nautical miles, starting and finishing in Sydney Harbour, will be the 103rd time the Gascoigne Cup has been contested as it was not awarded during the two World Wars.

The trophy was presented to the Squadron in 1885 in honour of Captain Gascoigne, then Aide-de-Camp to Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales to honour the Captain for his heroic service in the Sudan campaign, which included an attempt to rescue the embattled General Gordon during the infamous siege of Khartoum in 1884-1885.

The original Deed of Gift specified an annual ocean race for yachts of over 5 tons measurement, until won three times in succession by the same yacht by the same owner. While a number of Squadron yachts were able to win two consecutive races in the first 45 years and even more in total, none could achieve three in a row. In 1933 the Deed of Gift was amended to make the Gascoigne Cup a perpetual trophy.

Remarkably, it was not until the 1950s that A F Albert's Norn achieved three consecutive wins (1952, 1953, 1954), achieving five wins in total. The most successful yacht, however, has been the famous Admiral's Cup team yacht Caprice of Huon which has won the Cup seven times, but with different skippers.

Last year's Gascoigne Cup winner (decided on PHS handicaps) was Paul Clitheroe's Balance, which went on to win the Morna Cup and the Milson Cup as well as the Gosford to Lord Howe Island long ocean race. However, she is not entered this year.

This season the RSYS has given added interest to its three short ocean races with the introduction of the Perseverance Trophy, for the top-performing Squadron registered yacht in the Gascoigne, Morna and Milson Cup races.

The perpetual trophy is a scale model of the two gun brig Perseverance, beautifully crafted by prominent Squadron member, the late Donald Maclurcan.

The Perseverance was a colonial brig of 138 tons, 80 foot long and launched from Robert Campbell's shipyard in Sydney, Australia's first shipbuilding yards, on 20 January, 1807. She was wrecked on Campbell Island in 1828.

Eligible Squadron inshore division yachts that enter the Perseverance Trophy will be given average points for the inshore race they missed on the days of the Gascoigne, Morna and Milson Cups, which is expected to boost entries.

As a result, 14 Squadron yachts from the inshore division have entered for this Saturday's Gascoigne Cup race, in which they will be joined by up to 26 yachts contesting the CYCA'S Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore spring series. -- Peter Campbell

Melbourne's Loss is Perth's Gain
The ISAF Sailing World Cup kicks off the 2011/2012 edition in Australia at Sail Melbourne on the 6 November. The event was launched over the weekend by the Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Hugh Delahunty MP as the Sailing World Cup Carnival.

Unfortunately it looks as if the number of overseas entries will fall far short of what was anticipated if the published entries are anything to go by. Even with, or perhaps beacause of, the closeness of the ISAF World Championships in Perth only three weeks later, top competitors have decided to concentrate their efforts there.

Only 31 entries from Europe to date, in a total entry of 160. The entries for the Perth Worlds stand at over 800.

Perhaps for overseas competitors the logistics of two stops with 1,700 miles between them just does not make sense given the short time gap between the events.

The lure of a world title and a last chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games is proving too good to risk equipment and any chance of injury. Skandia Team GBR is out in force for Perth but only a few feature on the Sail Melbourne entry. For the Brits there are world titles and also some final Olympic places, in the 49er, Men's 470 and the women's Radial events, to be won. Carnival time is on hold until after the 2012 Games. -- Gerald New in SailWeb:

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

Terry Hutchinson gets waterlogged in Plymouth, a Portugese AC view, the Team Korea back story, Enrico Chieffi calms the ship. Plus there really is nothing new, with Butch Dalrymple-Smith and Rob Mundle

World news
Beyou earns his (Vendee) budget, mighty Minis, Briben sign off, Swiss felines, balance in Auckland and the gladiators of Hamo. Plus 9/11 reflections. Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Rob Mundle, Ivor Wilkins, Brice Lechevalier, Dobbs Davis

IRC column
Are we taking on an apparently wide-ranging problem that doesn't actually exist... asks James Dadd

Commodore's letter
Andrew Mcirvine

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...

Industry News
Permanis Sdn Bhd, one of the largest beverage manufacturers in Malaysia, has returned as the Official Isotonic sponsor of the Monsoon Cup.

Revive Isotonic will be the official isotonic drink for the Monsoon Cup, the final leg of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) circuit, which will be held at the five-star Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa from 22-27 November.

The first isotonic drink to be associated with the Monsoon Cup, Revive has reflected its commitment to the development of the sportingindustry by extending its sponsorship for the third year running.


Dominion Marine Media, the division of Dominion Enterprises that operates, and, today announced that it has appointed Mark Farrow as international OEM sales manager effective immediately.

Prior to joining Dominion Marine Media Farrow spent the past two years as OEM sales director at Navico where he helped grow the business significantly in Europe and Scandinavia.  Previously, Farrow was export sales manager at Oceanair where he worked in a wide range of European territories with established brands such as Bavaria, Hanse, Cranchi, Azimut and Elan.  Earlier roles include sales manager at Opal Marine and sales engineer at Raytheon.


ICS Electronics, a West Sussex marine company with only ten employees, has beaten national competition at this year's prestigious British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA), to scoop both the highly acclaimed Gran  d Prix award, as well as the 2011 Small Business of the Year award.

The BEEA are designed to recognise and promote the quality of engineering design within the UK, enabling smaller companies to compete on an even platform with larger ones. This year's event was held on the 13th October at the London Globe Theatre, and over 50 UK companies were shortlisted to receive an award.

Established in 1982, ICS Electronics has gained itself an enviable reputation as one of the most experienced suppliers of marine communications systems. The company operates within the coast station, commercial and leisure markets to provide turnkey solutions for Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems (GMDSS), Digital Selective Calling (DSC), VHF, MF, HF radio communication and NAVTEX.

ICS Electronics was recognised by the panel of judges for its exceptional business structure within a highly competitive market. With just ten employees, the company has still managed to install more Digital Selective Calling and NAVTEX systems than any other company.


A prestigious appointment to the top of one of the world's biggest sail making firms is a life time reward for a member of a Cork sailing family who built a sail-making business in Ireland.

In a major Irish marine industry announcement, Crosshaven based sail maker Des McWilliam (62) has been appointed President of world sail making Group UK-Halsey.

UK-Halsey is one of the top three sailmakers in the world with 46 lofts worldwide and an annual estimated turnover of €15million.

McWilliam's appointment was made at the group's annual meeting in New York this week following the retirement of American founder Butch Ullmer.

Established in 1946 as Ulmer Sails, UK-Halsey Sailmakers is one of the oldest group of sail lofts in North America and has expanded around the world to become the largest network of owner-run sail lofts.

There are 17 UK-Halsey lofts in North America, 21 in Europe, 3 in Australia, 3 in Asia and two in South America.

Afloat magazine:


The 51st Genoa Boat Show ran from 1 October to close on 9 October after 226,000 people had visited the show - this figure is 13% down on the 2010 show.

The show was officially opened on Saturday 1 October at Fiera di Genova by the Italian Minister for Transport and Infrastructures, Altero Matteoli and started off, said the organisers, in a very uncertain climate, recording a relatively small number of visitors during the first weekend.

But the attendance gradually improved day after day and the event closed with a good turnout of qualified customers.

But with attendance figures for Cannes showing an attendance drop of 16%, with La Rochelle showing a 10% drop and now Genoa reporting 13% down, the PSP Southampton Boat Show - at a mere 9% down - is looking the most successful of the lot.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2005 Cookson 50. Located in Sydney, Australia. A$ 895,000.

This Cookson 50 has had no expense spared since new, including a thorough preparation for the 2010 Sydney to Hobart resulting in a 4th overall in IRC open and 2nd in ORCi open.

Build 2004 in New Zealand by Cookson, she won the NZ Coastal Classic, around North Island Race, Auckland Race Week and Bay of Islands Race Week, before arriving in Sydney.

Complete with an extensive cruising inventory for fast comfortable passages, she is a great compromise. Alternativly, in race mode she is capable of being at the sharp end of any fleet.

Brokerage through Yoti:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower. -- Alan Kay

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