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Seeking the Trade Winds
Photo by Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image to enlarge.

Tonight at 2200 GMT, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is heading west, wriggling down the coast of Africa seeking the much-desired, but as yet non-existent trade winds. Although the light airs are only topping out at around 10 knots, the teams are still able to benefit as they observe closely the performance of their immediate opposition.

For much of today, the fleet has been on opposite tacks, although heading in the same general direction. Telefónica with Spanish skipper Iker Martinez and PUMA's Mar Mostro with Ken Read/USA in charge have opted for a more offshore track, anticipating the wind filling in from the north, while new leader tonight, Franck Cammas/FRA (Groupama 4) and Chris Nicholson/AUS (CAMPER) have chosen to keep closer to the African coast.

Progress is painfully slow, although in the last three hours Groupama 4 has averaged the best speed of 6.7 knots; while the rest of the fleet has only managed three and a half to four knots.

Changes to the leader board this evening have seen Groupama 4 take the lead for the first time with Telefónica moving into second position. But the fleet remains tight and is only split by a fraction over nine nautical miles from first place to fourth and each team is waiting anxiously to see what the weather Gods will dish out in the next 12 hours.

* Team Sanya, the Volvo Ocean Race's first-ever Chinese entry, have announced their official retirement from Leg 1, after sustaining serious damage to the bow of their boat, soon after leaving Alicante, Spain for Cape Town, South Africa.

Mike Sanderson, CEO and skipper of Team Sanya, today elaborated on the events at sea on Sunday November 6 and reiterated the team's intention to get back in the race as quickly as possible.

"We were very happy with our progress, managing the big breeze and waves very nicely. We were not pushing 100 per cent and had decided to throttle back a knot or so given the conditions; we felt we were in a comfortable zone.

"We suddenly felt a very odd lurch, like dragging the keel through soft mud. We could hear the noise of water coming into the bow. The watertight doors were already shut thankfully.

"We got everyone up and into lifejackets. For sure if the watertight doors had not been shut, we would have been sunk. We got the pumps going but they were not really making much difference. After a time, our situation stabilized and we suspended racing and headed to the nearest port."

Sanderson says Team Sanya now face a major logistical challenge to get their boat to Cape Town and effect repairs before the in-port racing and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi.

"We need to take the time to do some serious thinking and planning, assessing the logistical options and making the right choices that get us back in the race as soon as possible. We need to repair the hull perfectly; a rush job is not an option.

"The repair is no small task. We have to chop out a large section of the boat and replace it - normally a two to three week job, we will have to shoehorn it into seven days. But this is the Volvo Ocean Race and we will do what we have to do to make it happen."

"Our worst-case scenario is that we ship to Cape Town but are not able to fix it in time, meaning we are late starting from Cape Town and consequently miss the ship from our stop point during the second leg."

Cheminees Poujoulat Duo Lifted To Safety... PRB Diverts To Horta
After setting off their distress beacon mid-morning today Bernard Stamm and Jean Francois Cuzon are recovering on the Azores island of Terceira following an evacuation operation from their damaged new IMOCA Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat which was racing north of the Azores in the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Costa Rica. Also damaged in the stormy seas was 2004 Vendee Globe winner Vincent Riou's PRB which has diverted towards the island of Horta. Riou reported that a forward bulkhead had cracked and would require a proper repair in dock which could take three days.

After a tense morning following the news that Stamm and Cuzon had activated their distress beacon because their Cheminees Poujoulat had been taking on water since it was realised at 2300hrs the previous evening, the helicopter evacuation was completed at 1254hrs CET (1154hrs UTC/GMT). An attempt to recover Cheminees Poujoulat is being launched from the island of Horta. When the evacuation was activated the yacht was reported to be some 230 miles the north of Punta Delgada on the Azores island of San Miguel.

Cuzon was also rescued during the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre when the IMOCA Open 60 he was racing with Sebastien Josse suffered damage to their coachroof when they were 210 miles north of the Azores.

"It happened early in the night." Stamm reported on land, " In the depression we had expected a lot of wind and were going at about 15kts on a reach. We preparing to take in the second reef and change to the ORC. I went into the boat to get something and that is when I realised that it was full of water... We tried to see if it was possible to get help without triggering the distress beacon, but it didn't work out, as the seas were too nasty for anyone to have got close to us. We even tried to continue to sail, but we quickly abandoned that idea, as the boat started filling again very quickly. After that, given the weather and he circumstances it was not prudent to stay on board. So we set off the beacon."

In Class 40 the young Britons on Concise 2, Ned Collier-Wakefield and Sam Goodchild are sailing with a maturity which may belie their years but with an average age of 22 they have already tucked away a considerable amount of ocean racing experience. They remain within 6 miles of the race leaders, Yannick Bestaven and Eric Drouglazet on

For the IMOCA fleet there is still another period of stormy winds ahead but the hardest should be behind them. Lead by Virbac-Paprec 3, with Jean-Pierre Dick and Jeremie Beyou, some 13 miles up on Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill on Hugo Boss - who had a couple of hours of minor, small repairs to make good early this morning, there is still just 21 miles between first and third.

Their big question will be how to negotiate a ridge of high pressure which will extend SE from the south of Newfoundland before hoping to get to oxygen of the long awaited trade winds. The fleet is  aligned on a north-west to south-east axis with the lead stacked from from north to south, Virbac-Paprec 3, Banque Populaire and MACIF.

Top three at 1700hrs CET on Monday, November 7th, 2011.

1. Virbac Paprec 3 (Dick - Beyou) : 3217.8 miles to finish
2. Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson - Guillermo Altadill) : 17 miles to leader
3. Banque Populaire (Le Cleach - Pratt) : 18 miles to leader

1. Actual ( Yves Le Blevec - Samuel Manuard) : 3865.2 miles to finish
2. Maitre Jacques (Loic Fequet - Loic Escoffier) : 13.1 miles to leader

1. (Yannick Bestaven-Eric Drouglazet) : 3599.9 miles to finish
2. Concise2 (Ned Collier-Sam Goodchild) : 3.3 miles to leader
3. ERDF Des Pieds et des Mains (Seguin - Richomme) : 79.7 miles to leader

Temperatures Falling - Entry List Rising: Quantum Key West 2012
Last year the RC44's made a spectacular Key West debut. Photo by Ken Stanek. Click on image to enlarge.

Winter weather is approaching and racing sailors are hastening their plans to escape to Key West in January.  Warm breezes, clear blue water and competitive racing are a great way to start your New Year. The scratch sheet grows daily with exciting grand prix and one design boats. The IRC line up is looking mighty strong with Mini Maxis, custom racers, and IRC modified TP52s. Farr 30s and 40s will be well represented and the Farr 400s are making their Key West debut. The new J/Boat classes, perennial headliners Melges 24 and 32 classes and more will be there.

Key West is celebrating its 25th anniversary in January. Don't miss the Quantum Key West 2012 excitement! Join racers from across the country and around the world January 15-20, 2012.


Sea San Diego's John Laun
In a few short days, the America's Cup returns to San Diego, the Auld Mug's home from 1987 to 1995, when Team New Zealand and Black Magic snatched it away in a dominating performance. But this time around the action won't happen out at sea, out of mind of all but the most hardcore sailing fans. "Stadium sailing" is coming to San Diego, promising enough thrills, chills, and spills to entice a whole new generation of fans.

John Laun, lifelong sailboat racer and owner of the San Diego Yacht Club-based J/120 Caper, watched the America's Cup making its "victory tour" around San Diego in 2010 and knew the city still had the interest and the ability to run a Cup regatta. He and Chuck Nichols, former SDYC commodore and 1995 AC President, formed Sailing Events Association (SEA) San Diego to make that goal a reality. On the eve of the America's Cup World Series in San Diego, Laun talked to CupInfo about the steps they took to secure the regatta, lessons learned, and what it will take for the event to be a success in his view:

"We formed the Sailing Events Association San Diego to pursue America's Cup regattas," explained Laun. "It was clear early on that if we could demonstrate our capabilities and showcase San Diego -- our team, our environment, our stadium sailing concept -- that it would promote ourselves as a viable venue."

Cup Info's full interview at:

Berserk Tragedy Ends in Fine for Skipper
Jarle Andhoy, expedition leader and skipper on the Berserk, has been fined $ 4.500 after the Berserk tragedy in February where three people died. He has accepted the fine "solely for the sake of the relatives".

The Berserk sailed in to the Ross Sea and landed near the Scott base in February. Andhoy and a fellow expedition member drove towards the South Pole on ATVs, while the three remaining crew waited in the area for their return. Andhoy were going to do a TV film about the ATV expedition.

A violent hurricane in the ice-infested waters ended the expedition, and the Berserk was reported missing. A big search and rescue operation only found the empty life raft after the Berserk. Norwegians Robert Skaane and Tom Gisle Bellika, and South African Leonard J. Banks are presumed dead.

The Ross Sea is a very exposed stretch of water where storms and hurricanes are common, and it is very seldom that sailing yachts sails in to the area. The Berserk was in the area very late in the season.

Friday Troms police fined Andhoy NOK 25 000 for not reporting to the Norwegian Polar Institute before the expedition, because he failed to prepare a preliminary environmental impact assessment, and for not having provided adequate insurance for search and rescue. -- Jon Amtrup

WMRT Unveils ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy
Peter Gilmour President WMRT, Patrick Lim Executive Chairman WMRT and Eric Deardorff Garrard CEO. Photo by Chris Davies. Click on image to enlarge.

London, UK: The World Match Racing Tour unveiled its partnership with Garrard this evening by presenting the new, highly coveted ISAF Match Racing World Championship trophy at Garrard's flagship store in Mayfair, London. The partnership between the world's oldest jewellers and the world's leading professional sailing series marks the next major chapter for the two brands as they continue their expansion globally.

Joined by a host of special guests, Eric Deardorff - CEO of Garrard, Patrick Lim - Executive Chairman of the World Match Racing Tour and Peter Gilmour - President of the World Match Racing Tour unveiled the unique silver, nautical inspired trophy which was both designed and created by Garrard. Guests included Olympians Colin Jackson CBE and Mark Foster, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, British designer Ozwald Boateng OBE, and Strictly Come Dancing stars Brendan Cole and Darren Gough.

The collaboration continues the jeweller's rich sporting heritage where its famous hallmark can be found on renowned trophies including the America's Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the FA Premier League trophy. The new trophy will be awarded at the season finale, the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia in November, to the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion, a title currently held by Britain's triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie who won the 2010 World Match Racing Tour.

Chief Sailing Officer Royal Thames Yacht Club
With the imminent retirement of the present incumbent, the Royal Thames Yacht Club is now actively recruiting a successor as Chief Sailing Officer who will have operational responsibility for delivering  the Club's yachting events, including procedures for races and regattas, for the operation & maintenance of the Club's boats and their moorings and liaison with harbour authorities & sponsors.

The job is located at the Central London Clubhouse in Knightsbridge, with frequent requirements to travel in support of Club events.

Further information about TheRoyal Thames Yacht Club and this role can be obtained via the website:

Closing date for applications is Friday 16th December.

To apply for this vacancy forward your CV to the Club's Recruitment Adviser: Jeff Adcock (020 8505 0544) e-mail:

Budel and Van Rijsewijk Take Sixth Place in GOR Leg 1
Following a fast Sunday night with under 80 miles to the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race (GOR) Leg 1 finish line off the main harbour breakwater in Cape Town, the Dutch duo of Nico Budel and Ruud van Rijsewijk on Sec. Hayai ran into zero breeze shortly before dawn. As the sun rose at 06:00 local time, Budel and Van Rijsewijk were ten miles off Cape Town in flat calm, drifting on the northerly current with Table Mountain and Robben Island visible through the low-level fog. With a long following swell, the mainsail slatted constantly and brief cells of breeze filled the Class40's A6 spinnaker sporadically.

Further inshore, below Signal Hill, some light breeze was eventually found, the A6 was dropped, the Solent unfurled and with an orange smoke flare burning at the bow, Budel and Van Rijsewijk crossed the finish line at 10:38:30 GMT after 42 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes and 30 seconds, taking sixth place in the first stage of the nine-month, 33,000-mile circumnavigation.

Sec. Hayai completed the 7,900-mile course just under 21 hours behind the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire in fifth with Phesheya-Racing.

Budel and Van Rijsewijk and the five other GOR Class40 teams now have 20 days to prepare for Leg 2 from Cape Town to Wellington, New Zealand,starting off Cape Town on Sunday 27 November.

Global Ocean Race 2011-12 Leg 1 (Palma - Cape Town) results:
1. BSL: Ross and Campbell Field (NZL). Tyker 40 Class40. Launched 2008. 32d 17h 13m 25s. Finish: 05:13:25 GMT 28/10/11. Distance: 7,300 miles.
Average speed 9.3kts
2. Campagne de France: Halvard Mabire/Miranda Merron (FRA/GBR). Pogo 40S² Class40. Launched 2011. 33d 07h 43m 40s (BSL + 14h 30m 15s). Finish 19:43:40 GMT 28/10/11. Distance: 7,159 miles.
Average speed 8.96kts
3. Financial Crisis: Marco Nannini/Paul Peggs (ITA/GBR). First Generation Akilaria Class40. Launched 2008. 40d 20h 37m 20s (BSL + 8d 03h 23m 55s). Finish 08:37:20 GMT 05/11/2011. Distance: 7,876 miles.
Average speed 8.03 kts
4. Cessna Citation: Conrad Colman and Hugo Ramon (NZL/SPA). Akilaria RC2 Class40. Launched 2011. 40d 23h 26m 15s (BSL + 8d 06h 12m 50s). Finish 11:26:15 GMT 05/11/2011. Distance 8,191 miles.
Average speed 8.33 kts 5. Phesheya-Racing: Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire (RSA/RSA). First generation Akilaria Class40. Launched 2007. 42d 0h 45m 10s (BSL + 9d 08h 31m 45s). Finish 13:45:10 GMT 06/11/2011. Distance 8,120 miles.
Average speed 8.04kts
6. Sec. Hayai: Nico Budel/Ruud van Rijsewijk (NDL/NDL). First generation Akilaria Class40. Launched 2008. 42d 22h 38m 30s (BSL + 10d 5h 25m 05s). Finish 10:38:30 GMT 07/11/2011. Distance 7,962 miles.
Average speed 7.73kts

18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 4
Click on image for photo gallery.

Sydney Harbour: became the fourth winner from as many races in the Beko 3-Buoys Challenge series when she recorded a massive 3m41s win on Sydney Harbour today.

The Appliancesonline team of Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson were brilliant in very difficult conditions and virtually had the race won with one lap of the course still to be sailed.

Second over the line today was last week's winner Rag & Famish Hotel with Jack Macartney back on board as skipper and his team of Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy, while Mojo Wine (Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Mike McKensey) finished a further 1m10s back in third place.

The series pointscore was turned upside down when the two leaders going into today's race both recorded maximum points.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) had to retire before the start with gear failure, while Fisher & Paykel was forced out with gear failure after being in second place at the first set of windward marks.

Going into next week's last race of the series, Rag & Famish Hotel leads with a total of 19 points (and collects $500), ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 22 points, TBA (sponsor to be announced soon) Brett Van Munster on 25, Mojo Wine on 26, Yandoo (John Winning) 28 and on 29.

The last race of the Beko Challenge series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday when the top four finishers in the series will split another $3,000. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Public Invited to Vote for Yacht Racing Image of the Year 2011
Sailing enthusiasts are invited to vote for their favourite image from a shortlist of photographs selected for the 'Yacht Racing Image of the Year 2011' presented by Mirabaud & Cie Private Bankers. The winning image will be announced during the 4th World Yacht Racing Forum from 13-14 December in Estoril, Portugal.

The shortlist was chosen from over forty images submitted by professional yacht racing photographers from around the world. Viewers are invited to vote for their favourite image either on Facebook or online via the World Yacht Racing Forum website.

Please view the images and place your vote via:
Facebook -
Online at

The images will be also be printed and displayed at the World Yacht Racing Forum from 13-14 December in Estoril, Portugal. Delegates to the Forum will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite image and the winning image will be announced on the second day of the Forum, 14 December.

Featured Brokerage
1978 Hydro 28 Special. 15,000 GBP. Located in Strangford Lough, United Kingdom.

An excellent cruiser/ racer with a great sail-wardrobe and a competitive IRC rating of 0.900. Substantial improvements were carried out in 2006/ 2007 and she is currently looking particularly smart. A recent survey is available to view on request.

Brokerage through Blue Flag Boats:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
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