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Rolex Middle Sea Race: Hometown Heroes
Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Middle Sea Race Valletta, Malta: After racing over 600 miles, the J/122 Artie crossed the finish line at 15.22 CEST, eight minutes in front of Jaru Team EC, a J/133, and, in doing so, was the first Maltese boat home. That finish also put the local entry, co-skippered by Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard, ahead of Ran (GBR) as overall handicap leader.

However, the crew of Artie will have to cool their heels on the Royal Malta Yacht Club terrace as they wait to see if any boat still racing might be able to beat them on handicap. A formal announcement of the overall winner will be made tomorrow at 1200 CEST at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

Owner Lee Satariano was clearly relieved to beat his local rivals home and said, "It was very achievable because we worked very hard. The crew has been preparing the boat for the past several months, we even have a new sail wardrobe. Being the first Maltese boat gives us a big satisfaction because the local competition is very, very big." As for the possibility of an overall victory, he was more cautious and said, "The competition is growing every year. In the past we've had two second place finishes; we hope this third time is even better."

Chris Opielok's AOC Rockall (GER) was one boat that seemed to have Artie in their sights. The Corby 36 was well sailed all the way around the course, but their chances seemed tenuous when Opielok called in this afternoon, "We're very close to the channel, about a half mile. At the moment we're in a sort of wind hole, and it could be that we're going to miss it. We think we will be beaten by Ran, Artie and Otra Vez (MLT). But we're really enjoying ourselves, it's the first time we've raced this race. It's a huge part of the experience. It was great fun, we're still battling it out, I can tell you, but I think we're battling for second."

Opielok's prediction would bear out as the German entry crossed the finish at 17.59 CEST, missing out on catching Artie by less than half an hour.

There are approximately 30 boats still racing, several just north of Lampedusa and the bulk of the fleet on the leg between Lampedusa and the finish. The breeze on the racecourse is currently variable in speed and direction, indicating another challenging night at sea.

Transat Jacques Vabre Countdown
Photo by Alexis Courcoux. Click on image to enlarge.

Transat Jacques Vabre Four days before the start of the tenth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the biennial Transatlantic race from Le Havre to Costa Rica, the weather picture for the crucial early days of the course is increasingly starting to preoccupy the minds of the 36 duos (13 IMOCA,16 Class 40, 7 Multi 50) which will compete. As is often the case with the North Atlantic in November stormy conditions seem increasingly likely. After a quiet couple of days, some taking time away from Le Havre, though the Autumn sunshine painted a perfect picture over the still waters of the Paul Vatine Basin, the skippers' had to turn their attentions to the issue this afternoon's extensive safety briefing.

Memories of the rescue of Sebastien Josse and Jean-Francois Cuzon off the Azores during the 2009 race are a reminder that such briefings have a vital practical value when required. Some will have sat through a dozen such briefings but accumulating the knowledge to ensure that procedures and processes become second nature is appreciated by even the most experienced skippers. And, building the safety knowledge of the crews significantly increases the safety and security of the professionals who undertake such rescues in very difficult conditions. Such were the messages delivered today from representatives of the CROSS (Centre Regional Operationnel de Surveillance et deSauvetage) Jobourg, crew of 24F (aircraft) and 32F (helicopters) all delivered informativeand practical information covering every aspect of search and rescue, from whatskippers can reasonably expect to detailed accounts of interventions indifferent conditions, films of rescues and practical advice. Race medic DrJean-Yves Chauve also offered key advice of avoiding accidents.

The early days of racing could cast the die for the race. Though the first twenty-four hours seem topromise a peaceful exit from the Channel, the situation will deteriorate rapidly. A deep depression in the Atlantic approaches which will give very strong winds and rough seas. Going straightinto these conditions the duos must quickly must establish a good rhythm or be left behind or even sufferbreakages the material. So where to set the cursor, setting the initial pace is a fundamental skill.

Danish Sailors Tells Their Pirate Story
The seven Danish sailors that where held captive by Somali pirate for 197 days, finally tells their story. They could probably have avoided the whole nightmare by trying to sail away from the pirates.

The father of the three children and skipper aboard ING says that they most likely could have avoided being taken hostage if they had try to sail away from the fishing vessel they spotted on the horizon. For the first time after they where released he gives and exclusive interview with the Danish yacht magazine Bådmagasinet.

- Pirates do not start the hunt before they have a prey in sight - they lie still for weeks to save fuel. Had we sailed away when we saw them, we might have avoided the attack, he says in the interview.

The married couple Jan and Birgit Quist Johansen, their children Hjalte (17), Rune (15) and Naja (13) , and the two crew Viktor Greir and Rane Lund was kidnapped February 24th 210 nautical miles northeast of the Island of Socotra at the Horn of Africa.

The Danish family was fully aware of the risk of pirate attacks during their circumnavigation, and had a plan for how they should handle a potential pirate situation.

Still, February 24th they found them self at gun point of Somali pirates who threatened to open fire with their AK-47 machine guns.

According to Danish media the Somali pirates got 2.15 million Euro for the seven sailors. -- Jon Amtrup

The Fabulous 40s'
Click on image for gallery of book spreads.

Fabulous 40s A collector's book covering the first 15 years of the Farr 40 International One-Design Class compiled by Bob Fisher

The Farr 40 One-design Class is unique within the world of offshore yacht racing, having been a pathfinder during a period of great change within the sport. While major events around the world like the Admiral's Cup in the UK and Kenwood Cup in Hawaii were in terminal decline, this 40ft Bruce Farr® designed yacht has shone like a beacon on a distant shore.

The lavish, limited edition The Fabulous 40s book produced with the support of long-time Farr 40 Class sponsor Rolex, tells the story behind this remarkable Class.

152 of these boats are now spread across 19 countries, making it the most successful internationally recognized offshore racing class in the world. Key to this success lies only partially with the enduring beauty and sleek lines of its design. What really made this Class so successful is the fact that the yachts are owner-driven, quite literally. It was the idea, unique at the time, that owners - all amateur helmsmen - should be alone in having their hands on the helm during Class racing. Previously, owners had, by and large, become hostage to their crews, forced to hire the best 'guns' in the sport to gain any success, while they rode the stern as passengers, their only active role, to write the cheques.

Lavishly illustrated with more than 350 pictures, many of them double page spreads taken by some of the best photographers in the world, including Carlo Borlenghi, Daniel Forster and Kurt Arrigo, this 240 page book captures the close racing and comradeship between crews competing in many of the best locations in the world. This is a book for all yacht race enthusiasts and lists the results of all the Rolex world champioships from 1998-2011 as well as owners and their yachts.

'The Fabulous 40s' RRP - £60 + P&P (approx €70, $100US)
Our Price £50.00 Sterling + P&P

To preview the book and place an order, visit

Fleet Leaders Close In On Cape Town
Global Ocean Race After 31 days at sea in Leg 1, the lead boat in the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race (GOR) is within 390 miles of land. In pole position, Ross and Campbell Field with BSL are currently averaging 11 knots in the 12:00 GMT position poll on Wednesday with Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France 74 miles behind in second place.

North-west of the leaders by 1,500 miles, the main pack of four Class40s are spread over 360 miles with the variety of options taken to avoid the high-pressure system blocking their route to Cape Town coming into play as Conrad Colman and Hugo Ramon in third on Cessna Citation run into headwinds furthest east while Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire with Phesheya-Racing and Financial Crisis of Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs have north-easterly breeze. Furthest north, the Dutch duo of Nico Budel and Ruud van Rijsewijk on Sec. Hayai are closing in, currently making the best speed in the group.

With an ETA at the Cape Town finish line of early on Friday morning, the Fields aren't easing off: "We have changed spinnakers more times in four hours than we have for the whole trip," reports Ross Field having recovered from a slow few hours on Tuesday. "We've examined weather maps, cursed the weather gods, examined the boat to see if we had something around the keel and managed to wipe the boat out with a gust of wind from nowhere." BSL has been averaging 11 knots over the past few days and the pressure will continue until their Verdier-design Class40 is moored at North Wharf in the V&A Waterfront Marina. "Both of us are up all night, sharing the driving - Campbell is doing a great job - talking to each other so we don't go to sleep and constantly trimming sails," explains Ross. "I thought the trip into Cape Town was going to be easy - it's not!"

Smartphone App Connects to Satellite Network
This week we feature a smartphone App that can stop your relatives or friends driving AMSA crazy when you're not where you said you'd be the next time you go sailing, and enable you to sound the alarm when there really is a problem. It's out of this world, literally, because it depends on satellite communication.

The App is aimed at people who like doing adventurous things, like crossing the ocean in a small sailing boat. The App is free, but to use it you need to spend about $300 for a fairly remarkable little black box and about $115 a year to subscribe to the Globalstar satellite network.

The app is SPOT Connect, which allows any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (either wi-fi only or 3G) running iOS 3 or later to send SMS-style text messages or brief emails to anywhere in the world that is not covered by a mobile phone network.

It does this by pairing your iDevice with the SPOT Connect satellite communicator (the aforementioned little black box).

Messages can also be sent via Facebook and Twitter. The app is also available for Android.

Full article:

Challenging Conditions Test INEOS Solent Circuit Competitors
Following the previous week's abandoned races due to lack of wind, the third weekend of the Lymington Town Sailing Club INEOS Solent Circuit saw plenty of wind to keep competitors on their toes. True to the forecast, a steady 18 to 20 knots SSE breeze, with gusts to 28 knots greeted the fleet in the West Solent on Sunday morning. All classes were set courses taking them to the Island shore, where they experienced lulls in the wind and considerable wind shifts, only to sail out of the lee of the Island into some significant gusts. For Class 1 the race committee set a course of 15 nautical miles. 'Flawless J', James Heald's J105, sailed a flawless race, making the most of the reaching legs with her big, black asymmetric spinnaker to take line honours and first place on handicap. Chris & Hannah Neve's Beneteau 35 'No Chance' was second and Robin Taunt's J109 'Jibe third. In Class 2 Sandy Fielding's graceful Spirit 37 'Strega' led the way, but dropped to third on corrected time.

'Esphesian', the Sigma 33 of Stuart Brand and Emma Gage improved on their second in Race 1 to take victory on corrected time, with Jim Gill's 'Crystal' in third. Despite finishing more than thirty minutes adrift of the fleet, Richard Breese's Sonata 'Impro' bagged a well deserved fourth place. In Class 3, there was drama even before the start, when 'Rosenn' and 'Tokelsohe' came together, the latter coming off worse with a broken mast. Both retired back to Lymington. Barry Dutton's classic Shamrock half tonner took line honours, but Nick Morgan and Oli Pettifier's Contessa 26 'Rooie Raker' took first place on handicap. Richard and Robert Truscott's Westerley Konsort 'Unity' took second place. In the Folk Boat fleet, Chris Hill's 'Padfoot' showed the rest a good view of his transom by mastering the conditions and taking the win. 'Good Shepherd' (Keith Whitelaw) was second and 'Second Wind' (Richard Martin) third. With all other classes away across the Solent.

The RS Elites had a short delay, whilst the race committee retrieved the drifting windward mark, but once away they enjoyed some exciting racing. Peter Lister's 'Pipefish' took first in Race 1, followed by Steve Powell's 'E'tu' and John Boddy's 'Matterhorn Jack'. A second race around two laps of a short windward leeward course revealed some confusion over the sailing instructions, with three boats neglecting to pass through the start / finish line at the end of round one, this left 'E'tu' the only finisher. With a steadily building breeze and choppy conditions the fleet headed back to the river and welcome refreshments in LTSC's Solent Room.


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King's Legend Joins Legends Fleet
Kings Legend in 1977. Click on image to enlarge.

VOR Legends Alicante, Spain: King's Legend, the boat that finished second in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1977-78 with Skip Novak as her navigator, has become the latest entry to the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion in Alicante, Spain in November after securing sponsorship from The Jalousie Enclave, an exclusive property development in a UNESCO World Heritage site, Val des Pitons on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

In 1977-78, owned by English gentleman Nick Ratcliff, flying the British ensign and drawing on the talent of a multinational professional crew, King's Legend -- a sloop rigged Swan 65 built by Nautor in Finland -- came second behind Flyer.

"On King's Legend we had a real boat race on our hands as the pre-race favourite, Flyer, had exactly the same handicap rating," Novak, one of the Legends Ambassadors, recalled. "The wealthy Dutchman, Cornelius van Rietschoten beat us into Cape Town by only two hours after a hard-fought upwind battle in the South Atlantic. But the most poignant moment for me was seeing Table Mountain on the horizon from 50 miles out, having navigated there with 'a sextant and a time piece'.

"The next crew drama was when a leak was discovered at the rudderpost, which was opening and closing in the huge waves. We made contact with the crew of Adventure, Great Britain II (both yachts will attend the reunion), and Heath's Condor, all of whom agreed to listen out for King's Legend via the radio every six hours."

After two days of worry, the crew was able to bring the leak under control. However the event was a stark reminder that these are desolate oceans populated only by albatross, whales and ice, with no shipping within thousands of miles.

After a massive broach while stampeding towards Cape Horn, water from the heads found its way into the SSB radio, which immediately ceased to function. "It may seem strange today," says Novak, "but no-one was in the least alarmed that we were completely cut off from the outside world."

By being one degree of latitude too far south, King's Legend lost Flyer on the scorecard forever, and trailed her across the finish line to take second overall.

About King's Legend
Rig: Sloop
Designer: Sparkman & Stephens
LOA 65' (19.8m)
Crew: 11
Finished: 2nd 1977-78
Elapsed time:
Skippers: Nick Ratcliff/Mike Clancy

Industry News
The British Marine Electronics Association (BMEA) Conference 2011 took place on 19th October at the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel. The event had over 75 delegates from all over the marine electronic and electrical sectors of the marine industry.

The winner of the "BMEA Product of the Year", sponsored by Boating Business was B&G's new Zeus multi-function navigation system. Designed specifically for sailing, Zeus provides sailors with easy access to unique features for sailing navigation and allows total control of navigation on-board.

On winning the Product of the Year Award George Pollard - UK Managing Director, B&G said, 'I'm delighted that the Zeus multifunction display from B&G has been voted the top product for 2011. We knew from the reception that the Zeus MFD received when it was launched at the Southampton Boat Show last year that we had a winner on our hands, and the feedback from customers since then has been overwhelmingly positive, but it's the icing on the cake to receive this recognition in a contest open to the general public.'


The British Marine Electronics Association (BMEA) Conference 2011 took place on 19th October at the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel. The event had over 75 delegates from all over the marine electronic and electrical sectors of the marine industry.

The winner of the "BMEA Product of the Year", sponsored by Boating Business was B&G's new Zeus multi-function navigation system.

The winner of the "BMEA Dealer of the Year Award", sponsored by Garmin was Roger Upham Marine Electronics Ltd.

Derek Gilbert of Raymarine presented the "BMEA Newly Certificated Technician of the Year". This award was made to Lee Harris of Darthaven Marina.

Reg Suter was the recipient of the "BMEA Lifetime Achievement Award" for his role as founder and supporter of the BMEA and his contribution to the Marine electronic industry.


Organisers of The Superyacht Cup are pleased to announce the addition of Zorab Insurance Services and Mcmaster Yachts as new Silver Sponsors of the Palma 2012 event. It is the first time both companies have sponsored the regatta.

Dutch apparel brand Gaastra also return as Gold Sponsor of the 2012 Palma Cup, together with other Silver Sponsors including Palma based Rolling Stock Group, Danish sailmaker Elvstrom Sails and Reckmann.

The four-day Superyacht Cup Palma will take place from 20-23 June, 2012. One month later, and in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics, the very first Superyacht Cup Cowes will take place from 22-25 July, 2012 in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron.


The 14th Sao Paulo Boat Show, which ended on October 18 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, generated R$220m (US$122m) in business. "The nautical sector has surprised us," says show president Paciornik Ernani. "Even with the higher value of the dollar and the six per cent increase in import tax over the last year, it bypassed our expectations."


The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion team has appointed Amory Ross as the new Media Crew Member (MCM) onboard PUMA's Mar Mostro for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.

Ross, 27, is based in Newport, Rhode Island, where he specializes in nautical photography, video and multi-media. He has logged offshore racing miles as both a crew member and onboard media specialist. Recently, he sailed on the 65-foot Vanquish as a member of the All-American Offshore Team during the Transatlantic Race 2011 and the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race (third place).

As stipulated by the Volvo Ocean Race regulations, MCMs aboard the Volvo Open 70s are not permitted to assist in sailing. However, in addition to his media responsibilities, Ross will assist in a variety of duties onboard, including food preparation.

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The Last Word
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Carl Sagan

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