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Puma's Mar Mostro Dismasted
Click on image to enlarge.

Puma's Mar Mostro Dismasted PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG reported that they had suffered a broken mast on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, which began 17 days ago from Alicante, Spain. The crew are unhurt.

The rig onboard PUMA's Mar Mostro failed at around 1500 UTC in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa.

Skipper Ken read reported: "We were sailing on a port tack, beam reaching in 22-23 knots of breeze, heading east northeast with eight to 10 foot waves when the mast failed. There were no warning signs.

"There was no panic onboard, and all crew are safe and well."

"Thanks to amazing seamanship, the three pieces of the mast and all of the sails were recovered. We haven't suspended racing at this point and are weighing are options. "At this point we are not using our engine, but are taking some time to clear our heads and evaluate next steps. Our plans may include heading to the island of Tristan da Cunha – about 700 nautical miles from us, nearly on the way to Cape Town.

"This is the saddest and most disappointed 11 people on earth. We were in a comfortable second position, traveling south to get into the final front and head across the southern Atlantic towards Cape Town.

"We were planning to be there in five days. At this stage, my goal is to make sure we get this crew back safely and we will look at options as to how to get back in this race."

The Brazilian search and rescue organisation have been informed and are on standby to assist if necessary.

Volvo Ocean Race control is in constant contact with the team to establish the full extent of the damage and ensure the crew are given full support to enable them to deal with the situation. The causes of the dismasting are not known at this stage. However, the rig is of a different origin and manufacture to that of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam which suffered a failure earlier during Leg 1.

PUMA Ocean Racing's shore team are working on a recovery plan to ensure the yacht can rejoin the race as soon as practically possible and will work closely with Volvo Ocean Race to determine the cause of the dismasting.

* PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG have officially retired from Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 after suffering a broken mast.

"We've just withdrawn from the leg," said skipper Ken Read. "We have [the mast] jury rigged. We have about 15 feet of mast left. We have our trysail and storm jib awkwardly set. We're supplementing that with really low revs of the engine just to make forward progress.

"As you can imagine, there aren't a lot of smiles right now, but one way to make it even worse would be to proclaim that there wasn't a chance to make the next leg.

"This is about earning points in this race. We think by sacrificing points on this first leg, it gives us a chance to actually earn points for the second leg and the In-Port Race. So, that's our goal.

"We have all of our fantastic PUMA shore team, the BERG team and of course Volvo all trying to sort it out right now, giving us the help that we need to get to Cape Town in order to make repairs and be ready for the next leg."

PUMA's mast broke when she was in second position trailing race leader Team Telefónica by just 31nm in the Leg 1 race from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town. The cause of the dismasting is not known at this stage.

PUMA Ocean Racing's shore team is working on a recovery plan to ensure the yacht can rejoin the race as soon as practically possible and will work closely with Volvo Ocean Race to determine the cause of the dismasting.

Volvo Ocean Race control is in constant contact with the team to establish the full extent of the damage and ensure the crew are given full support to enable them to deal with the situation.

www.volvooceanrace.com

Second Saint Barth Cata Cup Win for Mischa Heemskerk
The fourth edition of the Saint Barth Cata Cup once again lived up to its excellent reputation.

This year, for the first three days the winds were between 10 and 15 knots, with six offshore races for the Formula 18 including a great around-the-island event. From the very first races, Dutchman Mischa Heemskerk "Emeraude Plage" had command of the regatta.

With his teammate Eduard Zanen, they reigned supreme, winning four of the six races. "This year we were certainly competitive, with a boat that was perfectly tuned," explains Heemskerk.

Only the American team of John Casey and Dalton Tebo "Intendant Village Service" were able to maintain the rhythm imposed by the Dutchmen. Sailing in their wake, and normally at ease for a long-distance challenge, the Americans were not able to show their stuff on the around-the-island race. On the morning of the race, anxious to get onto the "battlefield," they were obliged to quit the race following a pre-race collision. Yet they were able to maintain their second place in the final rankings. "I am truly sorry about this collision, for which I take full responsibility," says Casey. "I'd like to give my trophy to Berangère Kieffer and Patrick Lasserre, the team I penalized, and hope they will forgive me."

Frenchman Gurvan Bontemps, in his first St Barth Cata Cup, took third place. Accustomed to tropical sailing, Bontemps quickly felt at home in Saint Barth, stayed close to the front of the pack, putting in a constant performance.

The surprising Saint Barth sailor Yan Van den Haute, teammate of Puerto Rican champion Enrique Figueroa on "St Barth Sailor," was thrilled to take fourth place overall, thanks to a superb victory in the around-the-island race. Bretons Anne and Fred Boc-Ho "St Barth Sailing " were in eighth place and the top mixed team this year.

At the awards ceremony for this fourth edition of the Saint Barth Cata Cup, many of the participants were anxious to know how soon they can sign up for the 2012 regatta. And if 2012 is anything like 2011, the list will be "sold-out" within 24 hours.

www.stbarthcatacup.com

Sailing Yachts and Yarns by Tom Cunliffe

Trials and Tribulations...
'Closer inspection of the helmsman revealed him to be wrapped around a blonde in a sailor suit and the project was attracting more of his attention than I was. He hit me between my best jeans and my backstay. The mast went over the side in fine style...'

Read Tom Cunliffe's full sorry story at www.wileynautical.com

Sailing Yachts and Yarns by Tom Cunliffe is published by Wiley Nautical



Reigning Champion Defends RYA National Match Racing Crown
Nick Cherry defended his RYA National Match Racing title this weekend as the Southampton based skipper claimed the coveted trophy for the fourth time at Queen Mary Sailing Club (18-20 November).

The event was overshadowed by frustrating sailing conditions across the course of the three day regatta only allowing for a number of round robin races to take place. With an array of match racing talent in attendance at Queen Mary Sailing Club (Staines), the first day of the grand final welcomed a promising 10-12 knots allowing for nine flights to take place before poor light meant racing was abandoned mid-afternoon.

Day two of the Championships was another slow start for the 11 teams who had qualified for the event over the course of the year. With light, intermittent winds flicking left to right, the race committee managed to make it through to flight 15 by the close of play on day two (Saturday 19th November).

With no racing on the Sunday due to heavy fog, Nick Cherry was awarded the prestigious title on his percentage of wins in the round robin stages. Across the two days of racing, Cherry and his crew won six out of the seven races while Mark Campbell-James won seven but lost two therefore finishing in second place with a lower percentage of wins to that of Cherry. Skandia Team GBR's Lucy Macgregor finished the weekend in third after winning three out of her four races.

For further information on the RYA National Match Racing please visit www.rya.org.uk/racing and follow the links to 'Keelboat Match Racing'. The 2012 programme will be announced in December.

2011 RYA National Match Racing Championship Overall Results:

1. Nick Cherry - Matty Adams, Connor Myant, Sam Richmond.
2. Mark Campbell James - Dave Mason, Andy Clarke, Luke Cross.
3. Lucy Macgregor - Annie Lush, Kate Macgregor, Vicky Lenz, Maurice Paardenkooper.
4. Robbie Allam - Niall Myant, Ben Bainbridge, Jerry Fowke
5. Mark Lees - Toby Yeabsley, Mark Yeabsley, Toby Mumford
6. Sam Pearson - Dan Gohl, Tristan Jaques, Tom Dawson
7. Rob Gullan - Anthony Gullan, Theo Moussion, Lucas Brun
8. Tom Phipps - Chris Dorey, Kelvin Matthews, Tom Forrester-Coles
9. Charlotte Lawernce - Anna MacKenzie, Pippa Horne, Hannah Diamond, Andrew Walsh
10. Griogair Whyte - Will Norman, Daka Fadipe, Alisa Weatherall
11. James French - Robbie Southwell, Bradley McLaughlin, Andrew Sinclair, Andrew Wishart

Take the 50th Anniversary Onion Patch Challenge
When you plan your 2012 racing schedule, be sure to include all three events in the triathlon of sailboat racing, the 2012 Onion Patch Series. This is a tough series sailed over a scant three consecutive weeks in June. Offered every other year, it is a challenge to yacht, skipper and crew to prevail in these three spectacular events and venues.

This unique five-race triathlon begins with windward-leeward racing in the Rhode Island Sound's often brisk winds and tricky currents, it is centered by the daunting challenge of the classic 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race with its exciting Gulf Stream crossing in the Thrash to the Onion Patch and concludes with a windward-leeward race and a scenic flexi-course in flat water with shifty breezes on Bermuda's Great Sound, Granaway Deep and Hamilton Harbour.

Entry for the series and the other two events may be made on the New York Yacht Club website: www.nyyc.org/158th-annual-reggatta-jun8-10/. The Onion Patch Series results, photos, news, Notice of Series and much more will be posted at www.onionpatchseries.com

The series originally began in New England and concluded with the ocean race, but since 1994 it includes the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta on June 9-10, the Cruising Club of America/Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Newport Bermuda Race starting on June 15, and finishes with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta on June 22.

This is the 50th anniversary of the Onion Patch Series.

In 2010, the hot British entry Ran, a JV 72, took first, the mini-maxi Bella Mente was second and Sforzando, a Kerr 55, was third. In 2008, the winner was Cabady, a Taylor 42, with Flying Jenny VI, a J122, second and Chrisma, a classic S&S 57, was third. The Swan 44 MkII Cresendo was first in 2006, followed by the Grand Soleil 37 Kalevala II in second and the Navy 44 Swift in third.

The top team in 2010 was composed of Sforsando, Rambler 90, and Bella Mente representing the New York Yacht Club. Second place went to the US Naval Academy with its NA44s Flirt, Swift and Invictus. In 2008, the US Sailing Team comprised of Rambler 90, Flying Jenny VI and Bella Mente took first place and Indian Harbor YC with the Swan 441 Cygnette, Christopher Dragon, a J122, and Crescendo was second.

To compete in the Series, yachts must qualify for and race in the Newport Bermuda Race in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division or the St. David's Lighthouse Division. Safety-at-Sea courses and other safety requirements must be met and crew qualification requirements also apply in the Newport Bermuda Race in the St. David's Lighthouse Division which is for predominately amateur sailors.

Yachts must apply for an invitation to enter the Newport Bermuda Race at www.bermudarace.com

The Perfect Nautical Gift For All Seasons by Latitude Kinsale
Pictured: Malta & Gozo in 3D with our unique surround lighting. Click on image for photo gallery.

Latitude Kinsale Looking for that special gift that is nautical and unique? The 3D chart is the perfect Christmas gift that is appreciated for a lifetime! It ticks all of the boxes: it's personal, bespoke, it's art with a difference and it's relevant.

As a shared gift amongst a group/crew or simply a treat for yourself!

3D chart tables & Storyboards. Any chart any where in the world !

Check out the website today and talk to Bobby Nash about your commission.

www.latitudekinsale.com

Hydro Foil Catamaran Sea Trials at Weymouth
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) was the chosen venue for an intensive two week sea trials for the innovative new hydro-foil sailing catamaran, known as C-FLY. This is a 26ft catamaran created out of fifteen years of development by a team of aerospace engineers.

Chris Edwards, one of the C-FLY design team and who is leading the way in a new dimension of high speed sailing, explained his reasoning for selecting the venue which is hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

'C-FLY can reach up to 40 knots in the right conditions and therefore we require a very large expanse of water to conduct our trials. We recognised the WPNSA as having one of the most extensive and sheltered harbours in the UK that is available for sailing. This gave us confidence that we could complete the trials in a controlled environment.'

'Launching from the Academy gave our team direct access to the test area using the extensive slip ways. We could also head out on the water at any time of day due to the slipways being accessible at all states of tide and wind, which ultimately gave us excellent flexibility for our testing.'

After crossing Portland Harbour at speeds above 25 to 30 knots, the trials were continued outside the harbour in Weymouth Bay. This provided conditions for open sea trials in the English Channel, a real test for any craft. Encountering waves of 1.5 metres, C-FLY demonstrated her exceptional sea-keeping and ability to continue hydro-foiling safely at speed, a clear aim of this project that seeks to solve the difficulties of sailing at very high speeds both safely and in comfort.

For your chance to view the sea trials of the C-FLY in Portland Harbour see: youtu.be/MHhWQ64Uqt8

Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta & Maxi Yacht Cup
Tenerife, Spain: The eight maxi and super yachts participating in the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta - Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cupcrossed the starting line off Santa Cruz de Tenerife at 1 p.m. (GMT) today. The fourth edition of the event, this year organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association, will see the fleet of sailing giants navigating approximately 2700 miles to reach the finish line in Virgin Gorda where the YCCS is putting the finishing touches to its new Clubhouse, set to complement the Club's existing superyacht marina on the island. Depending on weather conditions during the Atlantic crossing, the yachts may be expected to complete the course in approximately 8 to 10 days.

Racing got underway today in 10 to 12 knots of north north-easterly breeze and only the Wally 107 Kenora chose to head south of the Island of Tenerife while the remainder of the fleet left the island to port. The race start, set against the backdrop of the Santiago de Calatrava Auditorium and the island's volcanic peak Pico de La Teide, was a sight to behold thanks to the dimensions of some of the competing yachts such as the 66 metre Hetairos and the 50 metre Zefira, both recently launched. The remainder of the fleet is composed of two Wally yachts (Indio and Kenora ), two Swans (the Swan 80 Emma and the Swan 82 Grey Goose of Rorc); the Farr Sojana and the X-Yachts Karuba 5 .

Live tracking on the websites www.yccs.it and www.internationalmaxiassociation.com will show each yacht's progress in real time.

Summer Comes to the Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Photo by Paul Wyeth, www.pwpictures.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series The recent stunning weather lasted long enough to bathe Sunday's Garmin Hamble Winter Series racing in a beautiful sunshine and light breeze. All classes enjoyed some close racing and many remarked on the champagne sailing conditions that felt more like a summer's day than the distant end of November.

After an hour's postponement to allow a thick pea-souper to clear enough for the race committee to see their own startline, racing got underway in 9 to 12 knots of breeze, which oscillated from 090 to 110 degrees.

Some over-enthusiastic jockeying by the combined IRC 0 and IRC 1 starters saw a General Recall and the use of a Z flag on the restart. Belladonna, Andrew Howard's Grand Soleil 46, won IRC 0 with almost a 10 minute lead. Things were much closer in the IRC 1 class, topped this week by Jim MacGregor's Premier Flair – only 10 seconds ahead of second-placed Visit Malta Puma.

Things were closer still in the Sigma 38 fleet, where the lead was held by no less than 3 boats during the race, and at the finish, the difference between the first placed boat and the 9th placed boat was less than 4 minutes. The J/109s followed suit, with Jumping Jellyfish beating series leaders OutraJeous by 40 seconds.

IRC 3 was dominated by the up-and-coming J/97 class, with Jika-Jika beating Jeopardy 2 to take first place. In IRC 4, Impala 28 Polly crossed the line first, with positions further back changing frequently. Laser SB3 Chaotic won the Mixed Sportsboat class, with Hunter 707 Turbulence second.

Back in a packed clubhouse, Race Day Sponsor Elvstrom Sails' Jeremy White presented prizes for the podium positions. Next Sunday sees a full programme of racing, with the first start at 1000 and the day sponsors are our Media Partners Y&Y. Let's hope that the balmy weather holds for the rest of November!

Full Results: www.garminhamblewinterseries.co.uk

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 Bill Reilly: It's a shame to hear about Puma's dismasting during the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, and I feel sorry for them (and the other 2 boats that have had to retire), but it's the fault of the VOR organisers. Ever since they switched over to the points system there has been a high rate of breakages because the crews know that they don't have to finish every leg. That in itself is just asking for trouble. Back in the old days of the Whitbread/Volvo, when they raced under elapsed time, the rule was very clear: If you don't finish a leg you can't win the race - period. It made the teams really look at their gear a bit more seriously and try to make the boats as bullet-proof as they could without sacrificing too much performance.

Now they build the boats and the gear too close to the bleeding edge, and common sense and seamanship are getting tossed aside to save a few kilos. With 50% of the fleet now out of the first leg it's turning into a big joke, and the joke is on the VOR organisers. Knut Frostad has done this race enough times to know exactly what I'm talking about, and I'm sure he's starting to feel a bit stupid at this stage for letting it happen.

If they change the race back to an elapsed-time race then I'm sure you'll see boats and teams that are better prepared to handle the conditions, which makes for better competition and better return for the sponsors. The VOR is going the same way as the America's Cup, who sold out to the sponsors and the quest for more viewers and higher TV ratings at the expense of the sailing. And guess what, it isn't working.

Featured Brokerage
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She is extremely strong and light. Her construction includes a combination of GRP, Kevlar and carbon stiffners. All hatches are watertight. She is in good condition overall and is ready to go racing with a new owner!

Brokerage through Crosshaven Boatyard: www.yachtworld.com/crosshavenboatyard/

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

The Last Word
Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town. -- George Carlin

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