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Hansen On Top After Battling Monsoon Conditions in Malaysia
Bjorn Hansen and Jesper Radich battle the conditions at the Monsoon Cup. Photo Gareth Cooke - SubZero Images. Click on image to enlarge.

Monsoon Cup Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia: Bjorn Hansen finished the opening Qualifying Session of the 2011 Monsoon Cup at the top of the standings on a day in which the event dramatically lived up to its name after 40 knots of wind and torrential rain swept across Kuala Terengganu.

If the opening Qualifying Session is about gaining early confidence and momentum then Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team did just that, posting an overnight 3-0 scoreline. After wins against Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners, current Tour leader Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, Will Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing, he said: "It's a good start for us - having 3 points is always good and great for confidence. We've seen everything except the sun today and needed a bit of luck to pull through against Jesper [Radich] where he made a mistake but we'll happily take it!"

Hansen sits 31 points behind Williams in the overall World Match Racing Tour standings, a gap which is mathematically possible to close and not too different from last year when eventual World Champion Ben Ainslie trailed Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team by 29 points going into the Monsoon Cup. Hansen will have noticed Williams got off to a poor start today too, the Brit losing both his matches.

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team was the only other skipper to post an undefeated score with two wins from two matches. Fortunately for him, the howling wind and rain had subsided by the time he took to the water.

One man who relishes such conditions is Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing. He was one of four teams to get a match under their belts in the morning's treacherous conditions, defeating Williams in what could be a pivotal match in the Championship race

The second Qualifying Session will begin with the World Match Racing Tour Morning Show followed by racing from 10:00 (GMT+8) on Thursday 24 November 2011. Live coverage continues from 15:00 to 17:00 (GMT +8) on

Results after Qualifying Session One:

Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 3-0
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 2-0
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 2-1
Will Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing 2-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 1-0
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 1-0
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 1-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) Team China powered by WAKA Racing 1-2
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 0-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 0-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 0-2
Jeremy Koo (MAS) Abdullah Chan/KRT 0-3

Fuel Transfer Complete For Puma
While Telefonica (Iker Martínez/ESP) leads the dash to Cape Town, PUMA's Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA) made a successful rendezvous with a cargo ship and transferred enough fuel to allow the crew to motor towards the remote island of Tristan da Cunha.

As the ship approached, Ken Read said, "This is our new best friend. This is life as we know it". The green jerry cans of fuel were transferred using ropes as the crew of Mar Mostro held the boat steady about two boat lengths from the towering side of the ship.

The sea state was calm and the operation was completed in daylight without a hitch, although Read said it was the most nerve-wracking thing he had ever done. The crew sent a package of t-shirts to the cargo ship by way of thanks, then re-hoisted their jury rig and set off in the direction of the island.

Telefonica has 1,614 nautical miles (nm) to run to the finish and computers are predicting her arrival in Cape Town on November 27. Yesterday, as the team neared the centre of the Saint Helena High, the day was quiet and cold and began with a beautiful sunrise.

CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) lies 107 nm astern. Crewman Tony Rae, who earlier in the week performed surgery on bowman Mike Pammenter's face when he collided with the shrouds in heavy weather, confirms that his patient is making good progress.

A further 317 nm back is Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA). The team is not so optimistic on reaching the cold front in time to sweep them quickly towards the finish. "Even the optimistic ones [forecasts] are not so optimistic anymore," MCM Yann Riou reports. The team continues on port tack as temperatures fall, pushing the boat as hard as they dare.

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

Bainbridge International Bainbridge International has recently introduced an exciting new range of durable barrel bags, manufactured from award-winning Bainbridge sailcloth and featuring original polyester insignia numbers.

The 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. There is also a bucket bag made from genuine Bainbridge sailcloth, with a 17 litre capacity.

Each barrel 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.

The bags and bucket fold flat for easy stowage into a locker when not in use.

Prices for the new sailcloth barrel bags start from just £14.99 RRP inc VAT.

For more information email: or log on to

ISAF Match Race Rankings
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) has moved to the World #1 spot in the Open Match Race Rankings whilst ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) keeps holds her position at the top of the Women's Match Race Rankings for the third rankings release running.

Mirsky has timed his run in for the World Match Racing Tour title perfectly and with the Monsoon Cup to go the Australian is just six points behind Tour leader Ian Williams (GBR) and Francesco Bruni (ITA). All three occupy the top spots in the Open Match Race Rankings with Williams moving from #3 to #2 and Bruni dropping from World #1 to #3.

With the Monsoon Cup on at the moment and so few points separating the three on the Tour and in the Rankings the next release may also see a change at the top.

Berlin Match Race winner Keith Swinton (AUS) continues to climb up the rankings and after his victory in Germany the Australian has broken into the top ten. By winning the ISAF Grade 1 event he moves up to a rankings best of #9. Alvaro Marinho (POR) was edged out narrowly by Swinton 3-2 in Berlin but nonetheless his impressive performance sees him climb up five places to #12.

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) continues to hold a grip on the World #1 spot after another great month for the American. Before she flew out to Puerto Rico, where she received the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award, she won the US SAILING Team Alphagraphics October Qualifier to take her team to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

But with Perth around the corner Tunnicliffe's position is under threat as Claire Leroy (FRA) heads into the regatta on form following her victory at the Grade 3 Championnat de France de Voile Match Racing and second place at the Grade 1 St Quay Women Match Racing at Portrieux, France.

Lucy Macgregor (GBR) overcame Leroy at Portrieux and the result subsequently pushed Macgregor up into #3 and within touching distance of the World #1 and #2.

The next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings will be 11 January 2012.

Top ten match racing - Open - Wednesday 23 November 2011

1. Torvar Mirsky, AUS, 11580 points
2. Ian Williams, GBR, 11551
3. Francesco Bruni, ITA, 11337
4. Pierre-Antoine Morvan, FRA, 10976
5. Bjorn Hansen, SWE, 10600
6. Jesper Radich, DEN, 10297
7. Mathieu Richard, FRA, 9888
8. Philip Robertson, NZL, 9880
9. Keith Swinton, AUS, 9341
10. Laurie Jury, NZL, 9308

Top ten match racing - Women - Wednesday 23 November 2011

1. Anna Tunnicliffe, USA, 11362
2. Claire Leroy, FRA, 11144
3. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 10833
4. Sally Barkow, USA, 10594
5. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS, 10194
6. Renee Groeneveld, NED, 10043
7. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP, 9729
8. Nicky Souter, AUS, 9524
9. Silja Lehtinen, FIN, 9257
10. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 9227

Rolex Sydney Hobart Proves Major Drawcard
The 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has once again proven itself a major drawcard among the worldwide sailing fraternity with a fleet of 96 boats anticipated on the Sydney Harbour start line on Boxing Day, 26 December.

At today's official race launch to announce the fleet and meet a panel of select skippers and crew, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) Commodore Garry Linacre said, "Once again there is extraordinary diversity among the fleet, which is what makes this event so unique.

He also highlighted at today's launch, held at the host yacht club, a noticeable trend - young sailors taking up the helm and making key decisions as skipper.

Among the fleet, three offspring will be in charge of the family boat and solo yachtswoman, Jessica Watson, will lead her young crew, with an average age of just 19, across 628 nautical miles of open ocean following the 1pm start on Sydney Harbour.

At 84, Syd Fischer is the Rolex Sydney Hobart race elder as skipper of his lightning quick TP52 Ragamuffin, a moniker synonymous with the event. This year marks Fischer's 43rd race south and he will once again stand should to shoulder with crewman Tony Ellis for the pair's 39th blue water classic together.

Ellis was due to equal the record for most Rolex Sydney Hobarts for an individual - 45 -however the record holder, Tony Cable, is making his return this year aboard Damien Parkes' JV52 Duende. All going to plan, Cable will set a new record of 46 and stay a race out of Ellis' reach.

Sean Langman's 1932-built gaff rigged 9.01m yacht Maluka of Kermandie is at almost 80; the most senior as well as the smallest yacht in the fleet.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the two 30.48m super maxis being groomed for what promises to be another thrilling line honours duel.

Both Bob Oatley's 100 foot Wild Oats XI and Anthony Bell's same sized Investec Loyal have been under the surgeon's knife this year, undergoing age defying modifications that have made Wild Oats XI more slippery than ever warns skipper and launch panellist Mark Richards.

Wild Oats XI is aiming for its sixth line honours win from seven starts and is still the current course record holder with a time of 1 day 18 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds, set in 2005.

Bell's Investec Loyal finished only nine minutes adrift of Wild Oats XI in this year's 384 nautical mile Sydney Gold Coast race, demonstrating the Elliott 100 can stay in touch with the champion Reichel Pugh design.

Investec Loyal will once again carry a crew made up of some of the world's best sailors and sports celebrities, including the likes of rugby greats and repeat performers, Phil Waugh and Phil Kearns, who have developed a real taste for the sport. Others will be announced throughout the coming month. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Spinnaker Tales
Casey Smith has been forced to experience a longer than usual time studying the cold and inhospitable nature of The South Atlantic Ocean after the dismasting of the Volvo race sloop Puma on Monday.

Naturally the dramatic incident was not the result the experienced professional Sunshine Coast Ocean racing sailor was expecting.

However a report from skipper Ken Read has confirmed all the crew are safe but extremely disappointed.

At the time Puma was handling the 23knot breeze and moderate 2.5m seas comfortably when the carbon-fibre mast failed snapping in three places as the rig fell into the sea.

Puma was in the middle of nowhere, 2100 nautical miles from the first leg finish line in Cape Town when the crew were forced to recover the 31m broken spar and sails from the sea and prepare a jury rig.

They were reported to be making slow progress at a peak speed of 5.9 knots for the closest land the remote South Atlantic island group of Tristan da Cuhuna where they will dock alongside and receive 500 litres of diesel fuel from a visiting cargo ship.

As expected in spite of their predicament a report from Puma confirms the spirit among the crew remains high as they have moved from experiencing a challenging race to a far more challenging adventure to reach Cape Town in time to re-rig for the second leg of the race to Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile Team Telifonica racing under skipper Iker Martinez continues to maintain a stranglehold on being the first yacht to sail into Cape Town.

However following the dismasting of Puma her skipper and crew have accepted that no victory is certain until they receive the official signal.

In a report shortly after hearing of the dismasting Iker Martinez said "This is a disappointment for the Puma crew".

At the time of the dramatic and expensive incident Puma was presenting a real challenge to be the first yacht into Cape Town but that challenge unfortunately ended when the call of rig down alerted the off watch members who were enjoying a meal below deck.

They have been trained for the best and worst experiences of a Volvo Race including the adrenalin rush of recording their career best sailing speed surfing the 'growlers' in the screeching sixties to being becalmed in the equatorial doldrums however the unfortunate dismasting has bonded Team Puma to meet the challenge of sailing a slow course for Cape Town.

For the award winning Volvo Globe Race sailor Casey Smith being temporarily stranded a long way from the far friendlier climate of the Sunshine Coast in summer only remains as a distant memory as he deals with his day to day job as a professional deep sea sailor and living the dream of adding another Volvo Race finish to his impressive log book. -- Ian Grant

Chief Sailing Officer Royal Thames Yacht Club
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:

Update From Grey Goose
Click on image to enlarge.

Grey Goose I thought you might appreciate a quick update from the crew of Grey Goose (Swan 82), taking part in the Maxi Transatlantic Race.

We are now on day three and have been pushing the boat hard and are very happy with our position to the north of our competitors. After the start, we had a short ten mile beat around the northern side of Tenerife and ten escaped the Canaries to the north - which is a pretty unusual strategy for this time of year and we have largely been racing in downwind conditions for the last 600 miles.

We have had some fantastic 'champagne trade wind sailing' - spinnakers, sunshine and shorts...just not the bubbly stuff.

It hasn't all been a doddle though. We have long nights here and have had to deal with winds to force 7 and some lumpy seas that have seen us surfing to speeds over 20 knots at times, though mostly we have been averaging about 13 knots. That may not sound fast, but on a 44 ton yacht, it is. The loads are on the rigging and spinnaker sheets are huge and we have seen our fair share of breakages. Fortunately we have been able to keep the boat going over ten knots at all times, though it has taken some resourceful crew work to keep the show on the road and keep the 'pedal to the metal'.

Our biggest problem so far was the heavy duty A7 spinnaker ripping in half. That is a job for tomorrow and could take 7-8 hours. Our specialist sail trimmer, Ed Hill (also a sail maker) did a great job today repairing our new A4. The attachment point for the halyard was virtually worn through and luckily we noticed it in the middle of mini drama when one of the control lines broke.

Our friends and close rival, 'Emma' has sadly had to retire, we understand they had an almighty 'broach' in the windy conditions and were laid flat for a while, damaging and losing some equipment and the owner Johann getting injured, tearing some ligaments. We are sorry to lose them from the race and we are ever mindful in keeping safe. It won't be any easy return for Emma beating back into the north east winds.

As I type we now have 2057 miles to go. Hopefully after the rain associated with the cold front tomorrow that we will encounter tomorrow, we will soon be clear and we will be back to some more 'champagne sailing' by Friday morning? -- Mike Broughton, Navigator

Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award
One of the joint Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award winners, Michael Hook. Photo by Patrick Eden. Click on image to enlarge.

Michael Hook This year's 80th Anniversary J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, hosted and run by the Island Sailing Club (ISC) in Cowes, Isle of Wight, was the largest ever to be staged with 1,908 yachts entered. It was also conducted in very challenging weather conditions that lead to an unusually high number of incidents on the water and the highest level of nominations ever for the Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award, now in its 4th year.

The Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award recognises acts of good seamanship on Race day and is open to all those involved, whether competitors, spectators, members of the emergency services or race officers.

Among the many worthy nominations following the June 25th Race, were two extraordinarily strong nominations for skippers coming to the rescue of two separate 'Man Overboard' (MOB) incidents, both in big seas.

The joint winners of the Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award for 2011 and each also receiving a handsome Nautica watch, are Michael Hook, skipper on the Britannia Events chartered Flying Fish, GBR 9043T, for rescuing a man overboard from a Laser SB3, and Paul Harris, owner and skipper of Tan-It, a Sydney 36, for rescuing a man overboard from Jings!, a J133.

The Award's judging panel comprising Gavin Crilly-McKean (Nautica Watches), Dave Atkinson (ISC Race Management) and Simon Boulding (Britannia Corporate Events) stated that the winners were selected because, "successful MOB recoveries in such unforgiving circumstances have to be exercised with a great deal of skill and without a moment's hesitation or regard for the rescuer's race results."

The 2012 Race is open for business from Jan 20th

Movember Update from the Team GBR Finn Sailing Squad
L-R Andrew Mills, Alex Hopson (Physio), Ben Ainslie, Matt Howard (Finn Coach), Mark Andrews & Giles Scott. Photo by David Howlett. Click on image to enlarge.

Movember Mark Andrews updates us on the Team GB Finn Squads Movember efforts:

We have been training hard out in Perth ahead of our Worlds and our Mo's have definitely got people talking, well giving us strange looks anyway!

Here's the Mo update:

Ben: He has got a good slug handle bar look going. He thinks his Mo makes him is look like an American wrestler!

Giles: As you can see Giles is still trying hard but little growth has appeared yet and we're sure he actually started growing last November.

Mill's (Andrew Mills): He has got really into the Mo, he's even bought a trucker hat and was last seen driving a land train across Australia

Hopo (Physio Alex Hopson): For some reason Hopo thinks he looks like a cowboy and is going to try bull riding

Mine is very much Ginger this comes from my Scottish rootes and drinking too much Ironbrew There are only 7 days left and we're doing Movember for a great cause so please make it all worth it by donating on the link

All the funds raised got to The Prostate Cancer Charity. They provide vital support for anyone affected by prostate cancer: concerned and diagnosed men, their partners, friends and families. They also help fund a robust research programme working towards a world where lives are no longer limited by prostate cancer.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 King Marine J/V. EUR 500,000. Located In Valencia, Spain.

Here is another fine example of what the world renown King marine can build and what the designers at the J/V office can produce. She started her racing life as MATADOR and was built out of the same mold and is a direct sistership to BRIBON ( Which this office has just recently sold) WEAPON OF CHOICE as she is now known has had all the modifications done to her for 2010 Med Cup racing in the class or better yet for IRC racing.

In excellent condition and with a motivated seller, there is no reason why one should not consider this boat if one is looking for a fast, competitive and fun racing sailboat to compete with anywhere in the world.

Brokerage through Thoroughbred Yacht Sales:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it. -- Abraham Lincoln

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