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Virbac Paprec 3 Due Early Friday
For Jean Pierre Dick and Jeremie Beyou the final miles in to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica may still be stressful, but with a margin over second placed Hugo Boss which this afternoon was equivalent to half of the distance they still had to sail, it would take a major upset to rob the Virbac-Paprec 3 pair of a well deserved Transat Jacques Vabre victory.

They are expected to finish during the night of Thursday into Friday, probably in the early hours of Friday with a fair chance of setting a new record for the Le Havre to Costa Rica course which was only raced for the first time on the 2009 edition.

For his part Hugo Boss' Alex Thomson sounded drained today and admitted that he and his Spanish co-skipper Guillermo Altadill were just keen to be finished, that they want the race over.

" It is very hot on board and to be honest we are just looking forwards to finishing. We would be happier with first of course, but I think it is too little, too late now. We are both pretty tired now, we have really not been getting much sleep on board and really lack of sleep takes its toll. Now we are looking to get finished and get some rest. The European model shows the winds crapping out to virtually nothing, and it taking us two more days to finish, or the GFS model says a day, so hopefully the GFS is right."

Dominique Wavre, skipper of Mirabaud recounted another encounter with a coastguard. On the Barcelona World Race Mirabaud was boarded by officials off the coast of Morocco and had their food bags opened. This time, off the coast of the Dominican Republic they were quizzed but left on their way after an hour.

" We get the impression we are cursed by all the coastguards in the world. Yesterday we were sailing 30 miles off the coast of the Dominican Republic and we saw a coastguard boat get closer, then making signs to us to stop. They spoke to us by VHF and interrogated us. We told them that to try and come alongside with our carbon fibre hull could end up very badly. We called to the race director Jean Maurel, and to the MRCC. By the time it was all sorted more than an hour had passed, and they told us we were good go."

Standings at 1700hrs CET on Wednesday, November 17th, 2011

1. Virbac-Paprec 3 (Jean-Pierre Dick - Jeremie Beyou) : 135 miles to finish
2. Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson - Guillermo Altadill) : 128 miles to leader
3. Banque Populaire (Armel Le Cleac'h - Christopher Pratt): 219.5 miles to leader

1. Actual (Yves Le Blevec - Samuel Manuard) : 646 miles to finish
2. Maitre Jacques (Loic Fequet - Loic Escoffier) : 361.3 miles to leader

1. (Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet) : 1631.3 miles to finish
2. ERDF Des Pieds et des Mains (Damien Seguin - Yoann Richomme) : 143.1 miles to leader
3. 40 Degrees (Hannah Jenner - Jesse Naiwark) : 251.6 miles to leader

Full results:

PUMA First Round Leg 1 Waypoint
King Neptune arrives on PUMA's Mar Mostro to grant passage across the Equator to first-timers Rome Kirby and Amory Ross. Photo by Tom Addis/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image to enlarge.

Neptune PUMA Ocean Racing led the Volvo Ocean Race fleet round the only waypoint in the first leg and had extended their lead this morning to 14 nautical miles. The crew, led by skipper Ken Read, rounded the small archipelago of islands off the coast of Brazil at 0400 UTC around an hour ahead of their closest rivals Team Telefónica.

Read and his team were also the first of the four crews racing in the 39,000 nautical mile ocean race to pass into the Southern Hemisphere, crossing the Equator at 1055 UTC on Wednesday.

After 12 days and almost 4,000 nautical miles of close-quarters racing, PUMA and Telefónica were separated by just 14 nautical miles at 1000 UTC today as they dived into the South Atlantic.

Third placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand trailed the frontrunners by 147 nm at the latest position update, paying the price for a moment of indecision early on in the 6,500 nautical mile leg. They crossed the Equator at 2255 UTC on Wednesday.

French team Groupama slipped to 434 nm behind the leaders after they were snared by the Doldrums, an area of weather north of the Equator characterised by fickle winds and unpredictable storms.

The Right Decision
With Azzam safely loaded on a ship in Lisbon and bound for Cape Town, I can reflect on a brutal two weeks for the team and me personally in this year's Volvo Ocean Race.

Only two and a half weeks ago Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing comfortably won the first in-port race to top the Volvo Ocean Race leaderboard. Nobody was getting carried away. We all accept that this race will be won and lost overall on the open ocean and not during the short in-port races worth 20% of the points.

Nevertheless the first win felt good. Nobody could have predicted that only a week later we would break Azzam's mast in strong winds only six hours into leg one.

We had not even exited the Mediterranean. Fortunately the team had built a spare mast and we were not too far out to sea when the breakage occurred so we were able to get back to Alicante, step the new mast and be ready to go again within five days.

The dilemma we faced was that to set off out to sea with a brand new unturned mast with fears that the cause of the breakage had not been addressed, could have been foolhardy.

In short, the heart said to push on to Cape Town and accept whatever consequences came our way – including the real possibility of further damage or being too late into Cape Town to effect repairs, but the head dictated that stopping and buying time by shipping to Cape Town was smarter.

Since the decision I have become more convinced that it was the right call but I will admit to feeling very strange sat at home and not crossing off the miles to Cape Town. -- Ian Walker in the Telegraph:

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

Artemis Racing Shuts the Door on Aleph's Fairytale
San Diego, California, USA: Artemis Racing has advanced into the Semi Final of the AC World Series Match Racing Championship in San Diego, beating a red-hot Aleph team to join the final four. The last match of the day was a cat and mouse affair, the result in doubt until the very end, but finally, Artemis Racing prevailed.

The day dawned with a thick fog enveloping San Diego Bay but it had burned off by mid-morning, allowing a light 7-10 knot sea breeze to build. By early afternoon however, the fog settled in again, dropping the temperature and keeping the wind light and shifty in the bay.

Aleph skipper Pierre Pennec led his crew into battle five times on Thursday (although only four counted), bullying his way through the fleet from the lowest seeded pair. After dispatching China Team, Team Korea and ORACLE Racing Coutts, Aleph ran out of magic in the match against Terry Hutchinson and Artemis.

The final result was heartbreaking for Aleph, who saw the first attempt at the match against Artemis Racing abandoned just as Pennec and crew had overcome an early penalty to take the lead. An external technical issue had caused the race course boundaries to disappear, affecting the race on the water and giving the Race Committee no choice but to abandon the contest.

By losing the opening match to Aleph, China Team finishes in ninth place. The other teams to fall today, Green Comm Racing, Team Korea, ORACLE Racing Coutts and Aleph will race again on Saturday for places eight through five. On Friday, the four Semi Finalists will race in 'best of three' matches.

Artemis Racing qualifies for the Semi Finals joining Energy Team, Emirates Team New Zealand, and ORACLE Racing Spithill each of whom previously qualified via the seeding races on Wednesday.

Friday's Semi Final Matches (first to two)
SF1. Emirates Team New Zealand vs. ORACLE Racing Spithill
SF2. Energy Team vs. Artemis Racing

RC44 World Championships
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Puerto Calero in Lanzarote produced some unexpected results on the first day of the RC44 World Championships. The challenging, shifty conditions saw a shake up on the leader board for the fourteen competing teams.

An unfamiliar face emerged at the top of the leader board, John Bassadone (GBR) and the team from Gibraltar have recruited Italy's Vasco Vascotto as their pro skipper for the last event of the season. The new team dynamic seem to be paying dividends, as they proved to be the comeback kids of the day. In the days opener they were last around the first windward mark, slowly gaining places on each leg, to finish second, a pattern they repeated in each race.

Torbjorn Tornqvist's (SWE) aim for the week, with Morgan Larson (USA) at his side, is to ensure Artemis Racing is on the podium in Lanzarote this week. Team Aqua may have already won the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour with an event to spare, but second place is undecided. A 4, 5, 1 score-line means the Swedish team are well positioned for both.

The RC44 World Championships in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote also doubles as the final event of the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour. There are still two places on the podium to be won in the Tour and today Artemis put themselves firmly in pole position, while the other main contender Team CEEREF have some catching up to do.

The RC44 World Championships continues until Sunday 20th November. Follow the racing via the live interactive blog at

2011 RC44 World Championship Ranking (after three races)

1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, 8 points
2. Artemis Racing, 10
3. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 11
4. No Way Back, 16
5. Ironbound, 17
6. AEZ Sailing Team, 21
7. Katusha, 21
8. RC44 Team CEEREF, 24
9. Team Aqua, 25
10. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 27
11. Team Nika, 29
12. Aleph Sailing Team, 30
13. RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by, 37
14. MAG Racing, 40


The All New Anakena Sailing Shorts
These shorts are made of lightweight, multi-ply fabric that is comfortable and dries quickly. They are reinforced with an abrasion resistant seat. The shorts feature two side cargo pockets with a Velcro® closure flap, as well as two deep inside pockets.  The waist is adjustable with Velcro® adjustment straps.

The Anakena shorts are handcrafted in San Diego, California to help reduce our carbon footprint. Buy some today!

John Ivimey, Founder of Boat Books
John Ivimey, the founder of Boat Books Australia, the Crows Nest-based specialist nautical bookshop and Admiralty chart suppliers, has died after an extended illness at Tamworth, to where he retired some years ago.

John, who was aged 79, ran Boat Books for more than 30 years, extending it to Boat Books in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, later opening the popular Cookery Book bookshop above his store in Crows Nest, the northern Sydney suburb.

During this time at Boat Books, John expanded it to become Australia's largest specialist marine bookshop and chart agency, supplying both the professional and recreational sides of boating with topics ranging from boat building to yacht racing, navigation and world wide cruising.

He also encouraged Australian authors such as Alan Lucas and promoted the publication of their books, as well as actively supporting adventurers such as Ian Johnson and Cathy Hawkins in their round-the-world voyage in their little trimaran Twiggy.

At Tamworth, John lived an active life, contributing to the community through radio operations at the rural bushfire brigade, often working an eight hour shift at fire control and rising to the rank of Senior Deputy Captain before retiring. He also lectured on cryptic crosswords at the local U3A, "a mind-stetching exercise that still gives me a thrill when I get all of a cryptic out and can mentally say I've beaten the computer," John wrote recently.

John is survived by his wife Susan and daughters Beth, Jennie and Linde. -- Peter Campbell

Dekker Arrives Safely in South Africa
Early last month we reported on Laura Dekker's departure from Australia on a secret route for the next leg of her record attempt as youngest person to solo-circumnavigate the world. Well, on Monday, Dekker reappeared safe and sound in Durban, South Africa. Here are some excerpts from her blog about her arrival:

After 47 days sailing across the Indian Ocean Guppy and I are in Durban, South-Africa. On my last night at sea I met with intensifying ship traffic and came to feel the strong northern Agulhas Current with its higher and steeper waves coupled with a southerly wind blowing at 25 knots that fortunately slowly faded away. It was the middle of the night when I could hear for the first time an African radio broadcast station and also caught a glimpse of some small lights in the distance before we suddenly were swallowed by fog, a very thick fog. Then came the squalls, one after another carrying plenty of drizzle while my radar system kept reporting on the ships around me, ships that I couldn't see at all. Ten nautical miles from Durban I couldn't see anything… Five nautical miles and I still couldn't see…Three nautical miles and… Yes, I can see it! I sighted softly…I was too sea weary to laugh or do a merry dance. Normally I would bounce of joy coming in harbor and this happiness would stay with me for a couple of days. Oh yes, sure I was happy, but I also had mixed feelings knowing that my peaceful time aboard Guppy and harmony with nature were soon to be disrupted.

I Cleared Customs without problems, but the Customs' official almost fainted when I told him that I had sailed non-stop and single-handed from Darwin. He would not believe me so I show him my website, after which muttering to himself he rubber stamped my boat's papers."

From Blue Water Sailing:

Blueprint for a New Royal Yacht?
Click on image to enlarge.

Daily Mail Royal Yacht Contest Two weeks ago the Mail launched a campaign for a new Royal Yacht. The design is as bold as it is breathtaking. From a distance, this ship might resemble the spectacular square-rigged star of a saltwater period drama like Hornblower or The Onedin Line.

But the closer you look, the more you realise that this is quite unlike anything else that has ever graced the high seas before.

After all, how many square-riggers are designed to accommodate a mini-submarine, a helicopter, two buses, 100 bicycles, an underwater laboratory - and a sovereign?

Two weeks ago, the Daily Mail announced a new campaign to build a 21st-century successor to Britannia - not only in recognition of our magnificent monarch and her Diamond Jubilee, but also in keeping with Britain's historic role as a great maritime nation.

This would need to be more than just an ocean-going embassy and royal residence. It would have a thriving commercial, educational and scientific role - and pay its way. And it is an idea which is already gathering plenty of momentum.

The Mail is the first to admit that the idea of a new Britannia is a shamelessly romantic idea - especially in such a dire economic climate. Yet, it is one based on common sense and hard financial reality.

Codenamed FSP21 (Future Ship Project 21st Century), this great vessel would be built in the UK. But its £80 million construction cost would not be financed by the British taxpayer. -- Robert Hardman, the full story in the Daily Mail:

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 Euan Ross: In response to Jim and Ian: Jim's experience is much like mine and yes, bullet-proof definitions remain elusive. Ian, firstly, as I reluctantly close in on my 60th birthday with my racing days behind me, I am not missing any 'free coaching', though I could be accused of seeking to deny our kids that mixed blessing. Secondly, I am not in awe of professional sailors; some are regular blokes with a life outside of yachting and I enjoy their company, but I am certainly not a 'fan'. I am, on the other hand, deeply interested in the health of the sport of amateur yachting. My initial intent in writing to Scuttlebutt this week was to: stimulate the letters section which had seemed to be fading away (thankfully not), and; to direct readers to this month's Seahorse which contains thoughtful contributions by Andrew Hurst, Bernie Case, Ross Field and Ian Percy which should give us cause to pause and review questionable trends driven by, or in support of, the professional minority. Finally, Ian, as to your conclusion that yacht racing their 'livelihood' and who are we to interfere; well, frankly, that makes my case more eloquently that I could.

* From Dawn Riley: On the thread of professionals. Jim Champ is completely incorrect in his statement regarding the days when no professional sailors were allowed on boats. This is ISAF classification of a 'pro' is a relatively recent phenomena which was started as a marketing tool to sell more boats. The owners were sold the story: it will be 'cheaper' because we you'll get away from you having to pay those 'evil pros'. The money instead went to the boats (sometimes 2), the sails, the travel, full time boat captains who were no longer able to sail onboard the boat, etc.

I agree totally with both Ians - it is a crying shame that so many individuals with some talent but not their own trust fund are stymied from reaching their potential as a sailor and even worse are often restricted from going for a fun race around the buoys and forming a team of people who want to improve. In the US where this 'pro system' was developed and adapted earlier than the rest of the world, the net result is a distinct lack of passionate, hungry talented sailors as they have had to give up sailing because no matter how hard they worked at it they were stopped in their path to become better.

Personally I know that I would never have been able to progress through sailing if I hadn't first been able to sail with and against the 'cool good guys' and then clean bottoms and make sandwiches and work in sail lofts and drive trucks and fix engines and plan programs and work my butt off just to be able to sail and improve my skills along the way. That path isn't available at the moment so at Oakcliff we have created a program to try to teach all of those skills on shore and on the water. We are a non-profit foundation and when one of our graduates identifies him or herself as professional it is done with head held high. They have earned the title and it has nothing to do with some random rule dictated by how they may or may not earn a living.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 Nautor Swan 45. EUR 380,000. Located in France.

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Brokerage through Nautor Swan France & Switzerland:

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The Last Word
The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. -- Oscar Wilde

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