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Transat Jacques Vabre Will Start Wednesday
After detailed weather analysys and consultation Jean Maurel, the race director, has announced that the start of the tenth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be Wednesday, November 2 at 1500hrs CET/Local Le Havre.

On Wednesday, the worst of the violent low pressure which forced the organization of the Transat Jacques Vabre to postpone the start of the double handed race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica will be spent. Even so the first hours of the race, from Le Havre out of the Channel will still be quite tough with the wind south-southwest 15-20 knots strengthening with gusts in big squalls and a heavy swell after the front. After the frontal passage associated with depression, the wind will switch to the northwest.The boats will then be able to reach faster, driven by a wind from the west-northwest. The early stages of the race are likely to be fast.

Time-line Wednesday (all CET/Local)

1130hrs: Weather Briefing for skippers
1300hrs : boats dock out from the Paul Vatine Basin
1500hrs: start of the 10th Transat Jacques Vabre

After they cross the start line, the 35 competitors will turn at the General Metzinger buoy, 4 miles north-west of the line, leaving it to port. Then head for Costa Rica.

The course

For monohulls (IMOCA and Class 40): 4730 miles
leaving Dominican Republic to starboard and arrived in Puerto Limon

For Multi50: 5323 miles
Saint Barts to port and Barbados to starboard finish in Puerto Limon

Volvo Ocean Race to Start in Alicante Again in 2014
The 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will take place in 2014-15, starting once again in Alicante, after Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Group reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the world's premier offshore sailing event.

Stefan Jacoby, CEO and President of Volvo Car Corporation, Olof Persson, CEO and President of Volvo Group and Knut Frostad, CEOof the Volvo Ocean Race. PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

"At a time when many sports events are struggling to survive in one of the toughest economic climates in living memory, the future of the Volvo Ocean Race is looking very healthy." - Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced the broad timetable just as the fleet prepared for the start of the 2011-12 edition in the Spanish port.

Flanked by Volvo Car Corporation CEO Stefan Jacoby and Volvo Group CEO Olof Persson, Frostad said the next race would begin in the autumn of 2014 in Alicante, where the race has been based since 2010.

Frostad's announcement came after the Volvo Ocean Race revealed that a record 66 broadcasters around the world have so far signed up to follow the 11th edition, reaching 550 million households.

"Right now, I'm concentrating on 2011-12 which I believe will be the most thrilling we've ever had," Frostad said. "I'm just excited that this race just keeps getting better and better in every aspect.

"We intend to bring the drama of a race which stretches its competitors to breaking point day in day out to a far bigger audience than ever before. We believe we will win new converts to this great sport of ours with our coverage."

Volvo Safety Comes First With Ocean Safety
Photo by Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

Ocean Safety With the start of the Volvo Ocean Race only days away crews are busy with their final preparations, and safety is a big priority.

So it was no surprise when Puma skipper Ken Read picked out Ocean Safety's Kru Sports Pro model as their lifejacket of choice with the comment "Safety is our number one priority and these are simply the best life jackets you can buy."

He adds: "This will be our second lap around the planet with Kru Sport Pro Lifejackets. For me the clincher comes from the fact that they are comfortable and easy to wear which means you are much more likely to put them on. The fact remains that a lifejacket doesn't do you much good if it is sitting below on a hook!"

The Kru has even more preservation power, because it is fitted with an innovative little gadget, the Kannad R10 Survivor Recovery System (SRS). The R10 alerts AIS receivers on vessels within a four mile radius with precision position information, so if a crew member falls overboard, the alert will transmit both onboard the yacht, and also on other vessels in the area. Kru + R10 equals winning combination!

China Cup International Regatta 2011 Final Day
At last the wind gods showed up to the party and for the final day's racing we had up to 18 kts of breeze bringing, in many classes a different set of boats to the front of their respective fleets. For almost the first time the black flag stayed in its pocket, in fact very few boats were over the line at all. After a first race set as a windward leeward the race team sent the fleet out to sea. The slower boats off to the south of the island in the middle of the bay and the IRC and Beneteau 40.7 were sent off on a grand tour of the bay with windward work, fetches requiring choice of course and sail and a grand blast of a broad reach to the finish producing a huge cheer from virtually every boat as they crossed the finish line.

There is absolutely no doubt that the success of this regatta on the water has been the skill in race management and wind seeking of the team from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

The stronger wind suited Jelik 2 and the Swan 82, Plus One with these two heading off into the distance from the rest of the IRC fleet and they both looked awesome power reaching across in front of the island.

In the Beneteau 40.7 the usual suspects were at the head of the fleet with those in overall contention primarily in contention at the head of the fleet with local boat Seawolf once again showing well. It is very easy to forget that these guys have really only been sailing for 4 or 5 years and they really looked like they were heading for the highest ever finish by a genuine Chinese boat in the history of the event. As far as the smaller boats were concerned, as they closed the finish line it looked like they had been enjoying equally close racing but it is hard to say as we were following the bigger from a RIB and enjoying it almost as much as the racers. So after 3 days of a frustrating lack of wind which, when it did blow, flicked about and had holes in it the final day served up champagne sailing with sparkling seas flecked with white and approaching 20 knots of breeze at times giving the sailors a fitting finale to a regatta that finally seems to be coming of age.

The focus does appear to be more about what happens on the water and the evening events more about prizegiving and less about mutual back slapping. The Royal Hong Yacht Club race management team and results service provided a quality service to the competitors, searching out wind when none seemed available anywhere, providing start lines which, for the most part, had just the right amount of bias to challenge competitors decision making process and providing results to competitors remarkably quickly - they would be a hard act to follow.

Overall the Beneteau 40.7 class was won overall by Beijing Sailing Centre after strengthening their position with two firsts on the final day , IRC B by Outrageous, Shan Tou Shuang Jun held onto first in HKPN and in the J-80s Hainan Freedom Community remained on top. In the FE26 it was Constant Wind who took the honours with the big boat class being won by one of the biggest of all, Jelik 2

For me, the star of the show was the crew of Seawolf sailing their own privately owned beneteau 40.7. Local sailors from Shenzhen who have been sailing for only a few years without the large numbers of experienced keelboat sailors around them to help and guide them like those foreign teams. They practice hard, put in time and effort, the owner invests in making his boat prepared and today their performance secured them the highest ever position of a genuine Chinese entry in the Beneteau Class. All the crew were locals and not a foreign expert to be seen. Surely their performance gives greater hope for the future of Chinese big boat sailing than any number of foreign entries at the event. (Although are most welcome) Well done Wang Shao Jun and team. -- Alistair Skinner

And Now For Hobart
All but one of the eight yachts that contested this week's Hempel 38th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race have been nominated for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, including the line honours winner The Stick and handicap division winners Wild Rose (IRC) and Quetzalcoatl (PHS).

The 414 nautical mile race across the northern Tasman Sea is the only annual category 1 ocean race in Australia other than the Sydney Hobart and is also a qualifier for the race to Tasmania.

Race director Bob Swan from Gosford Sailing Club is expected to confirm results later today with all eight starters now anchored in the pristine coral lagoon at Lord Howe Island.

Victory in the IRC division has gone to Roger Hickman's Wild Rose and in the PHS division to Antony Sweetapple's Quetzalcoatl, with The Stick taking line honours.

Although last to finish, at 04:19 hours this morning, Polaris of Belmont, a Cole 43 built at Gosford 40 years ago, placed second on corrected time in the PHS division, which she won twice between 1997 and 2010.

Now owned by Chris Dawe, Polaris of Belmont, competed in the inaugural Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race in 1974 and has contested many races to the island since then, although there are no records to show exactly how many. She has, however, been raced to Hobart 26 times with Dawe lodging an application to enter once more on the eve of the start of the race to Lord Howe Island.

The other yachts nominated for the Rolex Sydney Hobart are line honours winner The Stick, IRC handicap winner Wild Rose, PHS winner Quetzalcoatl, Copernicus, Icefire and Midnight Rambler, the Hick 34 which won the 1998 Sydney Hobart on corrected time.

The 66-footer The Stick, skippered by Richard Christian, also from the CYCA, led the fleet across the finish line at 08:19:35 yesterday with Icefire finishing mid afternoon, at 15:05:25.

CYCA boats continued their success in the PHS division, with Antony Sweetapple's Don Jones-designed 40-footer Quetzalcoatl, provisionally taking top honours from Polaris of Belmont, third place going to The Stick. -- Peter Campbell

Sailing Legends - The Story Of The World's Greatest Ocean Race
Sailing Legends - The Story Of The World's Greatest Ocean Race By Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall - Endeavour Books - £40 + p&p

A special numbered limited edition signed by the authors to make the perfect Christmas gift The Whitbread Round the World Race - now the Volvo Ocean Race - spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.

Millions have been spent, legends created and six men have died. No one takes the race lightly and no one tells the story better than journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall who have been there for every race from the first in 1973. They mark the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing's greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners. They also detail the awesome advances in design and construction that make today's yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.

176 pages. 128 colour pictures and illustrations.

To order, go to

To view a "flipping book" format of Sailing Legends see

Second Place for De Lage Landen
Photo by Karl Monaghan / onEdition. Click on image to enlarge.

Clipper De Lage Landen have scored their best result of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race so far, finishing the Race 4 from Cape Town to Geraldton in second place.

The team crossed the finish line at 1405 local time (0605 UTC) racing in under an easterly breeze towards the Geraldton shoreline at more than eleven knots.

As soon as the crew had completed the customs and immigration formalities they were treated to cold beers and a good Aussie barbecue, laid on by the members of Geraldton Yacht Club.

The entire community has come together to make the stopover possible and Councillor Bob Hall from the City of Greater Geraldton commented, "It puts us on the world map for a place of sailing and waterborne activities as well as opening up the world's eyes to what a beautiful place we've got here. We're very privileged to get our boat in this race and to show our hallmark right across the world.

"It also gives businesses here some new markets and some new dollars into the community, so it's a big boost on our economy. As to measuring the tangible dollars and cents, I don't think you can do that; I think it's the human capital, the well-being, the messages that leave here with the people who crew the boats – that's what sells the place abroad and makes people want to come here and see it."

Five more of the teams, including the home yacht, Geraldton Western Australia, are anticipated on Tuesday and the final three on Wednesday morning.

Race 5 from Geraldton to Tauranga, New Zealand, will begin on Sunday 6 November.

Kovalenko Says Key to Olympic Success is the Big C
'I am not a medal maker, the sailors are the medal-makers' says Australian sailing super coach Victor Kovalenko who has coached thirteen 470 World Championship titles winners and eight 470 Olympic-medal winning crews.

Following his Atlanta success with the Ukrainian team, Kovalenko accepted an offer from Yachting Australia and moved to Australia in October 1997 with his wife, Tatiana, and son.

In January 2003, Kovalenko, became an Australian citizen. He said at the time 'I love Australia. I love the people and the gold and green hills - Australia is my love affair.'

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kovalenko celebrated another double victory with Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page and Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson winning gold.

Kovalenko was named the 2008 Australian Institute of Sport Coach of the Year.

Kovalenko is called 'the medal maker' but he disagrees. 'No, I am just helping my sailors win medals - I help them find the key to unlock their potential - they are the medal makers... (does that make Victor, the locksmith?)

He explains 'Now all teams are so good, extremely good, and the difference between the winner and the loser is just very tiny.

'All people have become much more professional, and at the very top the skill level is so close and the tactics are quite standard. The winners now use the same tactics as the winners back in years gone by.

The difference now is Character. (the Big C)

'It's very, very difficult with your opponents but much more difficult with yourself because you can make excuses to yourself. Then all of this happens in the head. Most of all it is a mental battle and I have to help each athlete unlock their potential.'

For the 2012 Olympics, Qingdao 470 gold medalist Malcolm Page is teamed with his former rival skipper Mathew Belcher. They are ranked number one in the world and are the current world champions.

But Kovalenko says 'Right now the French Men's 470 team - Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos - are winning the mental battle, at this stage. They have an edge in the last two regattas that counted.

'They have been training much more than us. Mathew and Malcolm have spent quite a bit of time sailing other classes, not full time with us and, the French, they love training in the sea and that difference has given them the edge at the moment.

'This is a psychology button and they have the edge. -- Rob Kothe & the Sail-World team

Full article at:

Michel Desjoyeaux Looks at the New Boats
Michel Desjoyeaux: There are two boats I know particularly well, of course. My old Foncia 2, now in the hands of Armel Le Cleac'h under the name of Banque Populaire and Francois Gabart's new boat (Macif). For me, they're more or less the same, with just a few minor differences. Personally I believe they are the boats that have made the most of the constraints imposed when the class rules were last modified, in particular concerning the maximum righting moment. Because we stuck with Farr rudders, they are very light at the helm. That means you don't have to give the autopilots too much work and you consume less energy."

What about the new Virbac-Paprec 3?
MD: "Jean-Pierre Dick's boat is part of the same family. We're talking about the same generation of boat, with a hull design which is similar to what you find with Macif and the old Foncia. We're looking at more or less the same type of appendage design. I think the performance of these three boats will be very close. After that, fortunately a lot of what happens in terms of performance is down to the sailor and the way he sails his boat."

What about the brand new Kouyoumdjian designed Cheminees Poujoulat?
MD: "I can't really say much about her, as I haven't seen her sailing that much, but I'm not convinced by the idea of moving back the position of the cockpit in light conditions. She's certainly going to be very demanding for her skipper (Bernard Stamm) and not that comfortable, as the big bow section does not cut through the water that easily."

What are the differences between the new PRB and Safran?
MD: "If we're talking about Vincent Riou's new PRB, it's a bit different, as she is basically the 2009 IMOCA Class rules version of Marc Guillemot's Safran, but with a 70 cm shorter mast and with outriggers, which means a difference in performance: in theory, PRB is likely to be less at ease in light conditions than Safran, but the advantage will be the other way around in stronger winds, as in these conditions, the new PRB will not have that extra bit of mast, which serves no purpose."

An example of the changes that have occurred with the most recent boats?
MD: "The angle that has been given to the axis of rotation for the keel. The front part is higher up, which means that the keel is angled and can be seen as a foil, which helps lift the boat up. On the Farr designed boats this angle was 2 degrees, but 5 on Safran and now we're up to 7.5."

So in conclusion?
MD: "If we had to place the boats in order the newer projects would come out on top, but the sailors are good enough to cope with the difference between their boats. During the training sessions, those with good boats were able to do well and sail well all the time. Banque Populaire is very much at ease with Armel Le Cleac'h for example. Francois Gabart and Macif still have a bit of a way to go, but that's only normal."

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The Last Word
The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks. -- Christopher Hitchens

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