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Virbac-Paprec and Hugo Boss Racing Neck and Neck
After more than two thousand miles of racing successive vicious storms, Virbac-Paprec 3 of twice Transat Jacques Vabre class winner Jean Pierre Dick and Hugo Boss of Alex Thomson were this afternoon separated by less than three miles, or just over 15 minutes as they sought to extend their advantage over the best of the pack, some 350 miles to their south east, Banque Populaire. The current contrast with the stormy conditions which have prevailed virtually since leaving the start at 1302hrs last Wednesday could not be more stark, for the five "southerners" as they try to escape the southern edge of the high pressure zone.

The slight saving grace of the light winds has been a chance to re-group, repair and recuperate. Although they are in the north of this pack by some 150 miles Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois had also slowed today and took advantage of the light airs to climb the mast of Gamesa twice to replace the vanes which transmit their wind data.

Whether Virbac-Paprec 3 and Hugo Boss will hold on to their lead seems a wide open question. Those in the south were all unclear today as to when they could or would escape into the E'ly trade winds to their south. Virbac-Paprec 3 had 18.8 miles on the British-Spanish duo of Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, who in turn had a cushion of 165 miles or so on Banque Populaire. Gamesa is up to fourth place today and was still making small miles on Armel Le Cleac'h and Christopher Pratt this afternoon.

In Class 40 Aquarelle.com hold a steady 94 miles ahead of second placed ERDF des pieds et des mains while the main body of the fleet still had one final cold front to pass.

Top positions at 1700hrs CET on Wednesday, november 9th, 2011.

IMOCA
1. Virbac Paprec 3 (Jean-Pierre Dick - Jeremie Beyou) : 2744,0 miles to finish
2. Hugo Boss (Thomson - Altadill) : 18.8 miles to leader
3. Banque Populaire (Armel Le CLeac'h - Christopher Pratt) : 177.4 miles to leader

Multi50
1. Actual (Yves Le Blevec - Samuel Manuard) : 3230.8 miles to finish
2. Maitre Jacques (Loïc Fequet - Loïc Escoffier) : 309.3 miles to leader

Class40
1. Aquarelle.com (Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet): 3298.3 miles to finish
2. ERDF Des Pieds et des Mains (Damien Seguin - Yoann Richomme) : 94.1 miles to leader
3. Groupe Picoty (Jacques Fournier - Jean Christophe Caso): 141.8 miles

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com

* Exactly a week into the 4730 miles 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Costa Rica, Briton Mike Golding and co-skipper Bruno Dubois on Gamesa have clawed back three places in the latest rankings (released at 1300 GMT) thanks to their strategy to stay to the north of a large zone of light winds and currently lie in fourth place. Of the 13 which started in the IMOCA 60 fleet in Le Havre last week, nine remain on the course.

While the boat speeds have been painfully slow for Golding and Dubois this morning the light airs have given Golding the opportunity to safely climb the mast, twice, to inspect the rigging and replace the wind vane that was ripped off in the storm that battered the fleet on Sunday night. Of all the challenges of short handed ocean racing, climbing the mast is one of Golding's least favourite, but without an accurate wind data feed from the masthead, the essential autopilot function is lost and it is much harder to efficiently trim the sails.

Gamesa is positioned nearer the northern flank of the high pressure ridge which they hope will start to dissipate within the next 18-24 hours and give Golding and Dubois the 10-15 knots northerly breeze they hope will drive them on. But the question is whether the French posse to the south will escape first into downwind, easterly conditions.

"We will see whether if we can keep hold of the gains, it will depend on when the other guys can break through to the south," commented Golding this morning.

www.mikegolding.com

D-Day For Abu Dhabi As They Prepare To Sail
The next few hours will be make or break for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing as they race against time to get back into the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, with the fleet now well ahead of them but several days away from high-speed sailing in the Atlantic.

Abu Dhabi, led by British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, installed the replacement mast this morning and were on the verge of being ready to re-join the fleet, four days after their mast snapped in violent Mediterranean seas.

While the Mediterranean is calmer at the moment, the conditions once they are through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic could be all too familiar.

"It could give us the confidence we need to carry on the journey but it will be nerve-wracking too," Walker said. "We're not fighting for every inch like we would with other boats around so we might throttle back but on the other hand if we can go full steam and get through that's exactly the kind of confidence boost we need." way."

Team Sanya, led by 2005-06 race winner Mike Sanderson, were this afternoon finalising plans to ship their damaged boat to Cape Town where they will carry out repairs in time for the second leg of the race to Abu Dhabi.

* Out in the west it has been straight line sailing for new leader Telefonica (Iker Martinez/ESP, PUMA's Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA) in second and fourth-placed CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) who all continue to slog upwind, often without tacking for hours on end.

However, a change in direction will come when this westerly group nears the island of Madeira, some 92 nautical miles ahead. A frontal system is approaching which will bring about a wind shift, so all gear is ready for the tack and the crews are waiting for the signs. Once through this system this group will begin their turn south and enjoy some beam reaching towards the Doldrums, but this, the best type of sailing is still a tantalising 36 hours away at least.

Although the westerly choice still seems favourable, the rock-hopping along the coast had pushed Groupama 4 and Franck Cammas' team into the lead earlier this morning, but at 1000 UTC today they had slipped back to third place losing 17 nm, largely through having to sail dead downwind in light airs.

volvooceanrace.com

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 www.southatlanticpublishing.com

To view a "flipping book" format of Sailing Legends see issuu.com/pplmedia

Clipper Race 5: Western Australia tp Tauranga, New Zealand
"With less than three hundred miles to run to the Scoring Gate and a consistent beam breeze this really is match racing at its best," reports Olly Osborne, skipper of Visit Finland, this morning.

Visit Finland is engaged in a close duel with Derry-Londonderry for second place with just one mile separating the two teams as they continue the charge to the Scoring Gate in Race 5.

Both teams logged the same 12-hour run of 126 miles in consistent winds en route to Tauranga in New Zealand. The first, second and third boats to cross the line between 40 degrees south 127 east and 43 degrees south 127 east will be awarded three, two and one points respectively.

Further down the fleet, Qingdao and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital are also battling in close quarters for seventh place with just a mile between the two teams.

On Qingdao the team has now settled into life at sea and a welcome break in the weather has seen the team increasing sail.

The Gold Coast Australia team has seen some spectacular electrical storm activity over the last few days prompting them to unplug and turn-off all computers and communications equipment onboard until the storms pass.

Positions at 0900 UTC, Wednesday 9 November

1. Gold Coast Australia, 2966nm to finish
2. Visit Finland, 2989nm (+24nm to leader)
3. Derry-Londonderry, 2991nm (+25nm)
4. New York, 3004nm (+39nm)
5. De Lage Landen, 3014nm (+49nm)
6. Welcome to Yorkshire, 3015nm (+49nm)
7. Qingdao, 3035nm (+69nm)
8. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 3036nm (+70nm)
9. Singapore, 3037nm 3037nm (+71nm)
10. Geraldton Western Australia, 3062nm (+97nm)

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Perth 2011 - Can They Knock Off Big Ben?
Photo by onEdition. Click on image to enlarge.

Ben Ainslie British sailor Ben Ainslie, the only sailor ever to be crowned ISAF World Sailor of the Year three times (1998, 2002 & 2008), will be 35 years old by the 2012 London Olympics.

Ths week Ainslie said 'Having my selection for London 2012 confirmed was a big relief. Since the Weymouth Test Event, I've been working in the gym to keep my muscle weight on. I head out to Perth in the next few days and will have some hard weeks of training ahead.

'The team are really looking forward to ISAF Worlds. Perth is an iconic venue for sailing, and we expect some fantastic sailing breeze at that time of year. It will be a real challenge for all of the sailors and in the strong winds fitness will be critical!'

He is not alone in that belief. Zach Railey, the 6-foot-4 27-year-old Finn sailor from Clearwater, (FLA USA) , who placed second behind Ainslie in Qingdao, believes the Finn world is changing fast and that has increased the challenges.

'Ben is an incredibly talented sailor, and in Perth 2011 in the medal race, I expect to see the British Finn Team leaders Ainslie, (Giles) Scott and (Ed) Wright, but the Finn fleet is getting deeper and deeper and such a very talented fleet for sure and there are big challenges ahead.

'There was a big decision with the Finn class that we made last year to switch the free pumping rule from 12 knots to 10 knots and one of the things that all the Finn sailors have found since we had done that is that it has made the boat so much more physical. Now not only is your strength really tested, but your cardiovascular fitness is just absolutely put to the max.

'I think the new technique, with the sailors standing pumping for much of the down-wind legs,  the physicality of the boat has changed, and I think you see guys that are not only strong but are also really fit and tall (for leverage) now with an advantage and this will be even more obvious in stronger conditions.

Kiwi Dan Slater -'None of us are getting any younger. I am 35, Rafa is 35 as well. Ben is 34. We are probably the three older guys in the Finn Fleet so those really fresh windy regattas are pretty gruelling on the body.

'All in all there is a high risk management part factor in going to Perth and there are probably 30 guys who could make the medal race.

'It's going to be a very interesting 2011 Finn Gold Cup - World Championship at a very interesting venue.'

Would you bet against Ben Ainslie to win his sixth Finn World title and a fourth Gold Medal in 2012? -- Rob Kothe in Sail-World.com

www.sail-world.com

Live Skipper

* Win your way to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships by sailing from Weymouth to Perth in a LiveSkipper Virtual Yacht Race.

Using real-time weather conditions from around the world, the LiveSkipper Perth 2011 Virtual Yacht race, by BeTomorrow, allows skippers world-wide to control a virtual maxi-trimaran, navigating their way from the home of the 2012 Olympic Games sailing competition, to the home of the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Players will voyage from England to Australia, following a 21,000 kilometre course which will lead them via the Cape of Good Hope on a foiler capable of making more than 40 knots of boat speed. Select your boat, trim her sails and set your course for Perth 2011!

The Perth 2011 LiveSkipper race is free to take part in and commences at 14:00 GMT on Thursday 10 November 2011. Prove to your friends that you are the best skipper of all by being the first to Perth.

There are some great prizes on offer including a return flight from anywhere in the world to Perth, Western Australia to enjoy the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Conditions apply. Please go to www.liveskipper.com/perth2011/ to sign up and for more information, or follow the link in "Get Involved" via perth2011.com

Sail Management On The Go!
Click for larger application images.

North Sails App Managing your sail inventory can be a hassle. Taking and organizing photos, comparing shape, trim and weather, tracking usage and then sharing the data.

With North Sails Sail Scan app you get a 'lite' version of Sailscan, which is the powerful program North uses internally. The app, available for both iPhone and iPad, makes it easy to take photos of your sails during racing or training, for later analysis. You can quickly compare different trim, and also see how the shape changes over time. And it's easy to email all the data to the crew or your contact at North Sails who can compare it to the original design.

"The app helps our customers to be more scientific about their sails", says Lars Ive at North Sails. "It's fast, easy and fun to collect data and it makes it much easier for us to engage in discussions about sail shapes."

"I love when I get these kind of tools from my sailmaker", says Peter Gustafsson, racing J/109 Blur. "It makes my life so much easier by keeping it all in one place. I even shot my sail measurements to keep them in the app. I wonder what's next? Real time trim advice over video?"

In the app it's easy to manage both different boats and sail inventories. All scans are attached to the correct sail.

On each photo you trace the trim bands and get draft, camber and twist. Then make quick note about the weather, rigtune and anything else you want to remember. And then, by just pushing a button, everything gets emailed to your contact at North.

The North Sails Scan App is available in your local iTunes App Store or at North Sails Scan.

itunes.apple.com/de/app/north-sails-scan/

Optimist Bermuda Open and National Championships
The wet and windy forecast is doing little to dampen the spirits of the Sandys Boat Club (SBC) as they get ready to host the 2011 Bermuda Open and National Championships this weekend along with the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association (BODA).

78 young sailors will be based at the west end club for three days starting this Friday. Regatta Chairman Martin Siese is excited to showcase the hospitality and beauty surrounding the Mangrove Bay club along with the race management expertise of their home grown race chairs, SBC members Peter Bromby and Lisa Siese. "We expect to have some challenges with the weather on Friday but overall the weekend should provide us with great sailing conditions" said Siese.

"The effects of Tropical Storm Sean could see us experiencing southerly winds in excess of 30 knots which if correct, may force us to postpone Friday morning's racing until calmer conditions prevail," Siese added.

The SBC regatta committee has already changed the location of the Novice Green Fleet course to Hamilton Harbour to allow for a more protected setting. The Championship fleet is scheduled to race in the Great Sound.

The Sandy's Boat Club is hosting their first truly international event in their club's seventy-four year history.

38 visiting sailors from the USA, Canada, Dominican Republic and Europe will be joining the local sailors creating a record fleet of 78 competitors. Included in the entry list is the US Team Trial Champion along with the National Champions from Finland and the Dominican Republic. 2010 Bermuda National Champion Sam Stan will not be defending his title this year, opening the door for the likes of local sailing aces Antonio Bailey, Rory Caslin, Chase Cooper, Makai Joell or Ceci Wollmann to lift the trophy. -- Somers Cooper

Follow the results and news at www.sandysboatclub.com or the event blog at 2011bermudaopen.blogspot.com

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 Will Be In San Diego As Observer
Milan, Italy: Members of the team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013, challenger to the 34th America's Cup, will follow the third round of the America's Cup World Series, which will be sailed in San Diego (USA) from the 12th to the 20th of November on AC 45 catamarans.

Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 and of the Extreme 40' catamaran Luna Rossa - currently leading the Extreme Sailing Series - will lead this group which includes a selection of team members from each relevant team's department, as follows:

Sailing Team:
Paul Campbell James
David Carr
Ben Durham
Steve Erickson
Nick Hutton
Manuel Modena
Matteo Plazzi
Alister Richardson

Design Team:
Roberto Biscontini
Thomas Gavieraux
Giorgio Provinciali

Operations:
Antonio Marrai

The team members competing in the Extreme Sailing Series will then proceed to Singapore for the last round of the championship.

lunarossachallenge.com

New Sailcloth Barrel Bags from Bainbridge International
Click on image to enlarge.

Bainbridge Bag At this year's METS exhibition, we'll be featuring some of our Bainbridge Marine products, including our new barrel bags manufactured from award winning Bainbridge sailcloth and featuring original polyester insignia sail numbers.

Bainbridge barrel bags are available in a variety of sizes, from the 24 litre small bag, to the 43 litre medium bag and the 75 litre large bag. Each bag features a reinforced grab handle and durable zip, with a random sail number in blue, red or black sewn onto the side - making each bag stylish and unique.

We'll also be featuring our new range of Low Aspect Ocean Premium Plus woven sailcloth. Designed to complement the existing High Aspect range, it features high tenacity polyester in the warp and fill and is available in 5oz to 10oz weights to suit a variety of applications.

Ocean Premium Plus High Aspect and Low Aspect sailcloth is designed to sailmaker and end user alike the very best in performance and shape holding power which, in turn, delivers outstanding longevity. Ocean Premium Plus also incorporates a unique 'ripstop' that sets it apart from standard products.

See us at METS, stand 11.117.

For more information email: or log on to www.bainbridgemarine.co.uk

Future ISAF Sailing World Cup Venues Announced
The International Sailing Federation has announced the first two of the six venues that will host ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas from 2013 onward starting with the European events:

Hyeres, France (2013-2014)
Palma, Mallorca, Spain (2013-2014)

Following a bid process, an ISAF appointed evaluation panel advised the Executive Committee on the bids received on factors including sailing conditions, venue infrastructure and facilities, organisation and financial resources.

Goran Petersson, ISAF President, said, "Taking all the factors into consideration we have selected two strong events in this initial stage to take the ISAF Sailing World Cup forward.

"We received strong bids from all the existing European events who have helped us grow the ISAF Sailing World Cup to what it is today. I am confident that both Hyeres and Palma will continue to develop, playing a key role in the future Cup circuit."

Events in Asia, Africa/Middle East, the Americas and Oceania will go on to make the full compliment of the six-regatta circuit and further announcements on these events will be made in due time.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Microsite: www.sailing.org/worldcup/home.php

New Tour Invite Policy For 2012 WMRT Season
London, United Kingdom: The World Match Racing Tour has today announced a new Tour Invite Policy for the 2012 season which is designed to ensure the world's leading professional sailing series continues to attract the best sailors and teams to its World Championship events.

The terms of the new Tour Invite Policy are geared to deliver reciprocal value to both the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) and its pool of nine Tour Card Holders. Successful applicants will be guaranteed invites to five individual stages prior to the final event of the season and also have the option to secure a Card for up to three years. These changes, coupled with the decision to replace the previous blind bid system with a flat fee, are designed to give teams more certainty when planning their annual racing calendars and also added appeal to current and prospective commercial partners.

To help Card Holders demonstrate the level of return on investment each season to their sponsors, each Card Holder is also presented with their own team valuation report created by the Tour's independent valuation agency. Based on the level of exposure that teams receive across the Tour's multimedia platform, the individual reports provide not only a team valuation figure but also a valuation breakdown for each of their sponsors. In 2010, the average team value for the Tour's nine Tour Card Holders across the season was over US$770,000.

The Tour is currently building towards the final event, the Monsoon Cup, where the 2011 ISAF Match Racing World Champion will be crowned. Next season, all teams competing on the Tour will have an added incentive to reach the season finale where the US$500,000 bonus prize pool will be awarded across a more even spread from first to ninth place, with the ISAF Match Racing World Champion pocketing US$75,000.

A key part of the Tour's blueprint is for the series to provide its event promoters with access to a consistent pool of the world's top match racers to ensure high quality racing at their events. The new Tour Invite Policy will therefore adopt a selection model that reflects a combination of performance and marketability. For 2012, the nine Tour Cards will be allocated on three key selection criteria: performance in previous year; rankings; and, an analysis of the team's ability to add value and consistency to the Tour as a Championship, sports property, media vehicle and as a business.

The Tour requires all applications and confirmation of preferred event options to be submitted by 31 December 2011. Tour Cards for the 2012 season will be allocated on 13 January 2012.

www.wmrt.com

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Andy Dare: "Arc Royal Scuttled...in about 40 metres of water, and a system of buoys and sonar would be deployed to warn off deep-draught ships."

Deep draft indeed! Has anyone in the world ever made anything that deep... ever? Just a thought.

* From Anthony Shanks: Tom raises a very important question, judges self regulate and are so far removed from competitive sailing themselves that they have little or no real knowledge of how the boats respond. Few of them like criticism and many do not really accept that they make mistakes.

International judging is a junket of the highest order, having been involved in the organisation of international events I have seen first hand how expensive the juries are and how little they really do except obfuscate and hinder the smooth running of events.

ISAF's requirements for international juries are wasteful and burdensome on already tight budgets and the allocation of judges for events is a true old boys/girls network which does little to endear them to organisers or sailors. For a competitor to speak out about the incompetence of IJ's is potentially professional suicide. Judges therefore live in a guilded environment where the consequences of their errors is that competitors get screwed but the judge still stays on the gravy train.

Judges are there to serve the competitors and as such should be interested in raising the quality of their performance, that is after all what the sailors are doing.

Minimum standards are just that... 'a race to the bottom'.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 JPS Production Open 7.50. EUR 33,000. Located In Carnac, France.

Fun and fast, this Sportboat is Ideal for match racing.

Brokerage through XBOAT: www.yachtworld.com/xboat/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
It's only work if somebody makes you do it. -- Calvin & Hobbes

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