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World Yacht Racing Forum
Russell Coutts, CEO and Skipper, BMW Oracle Racing shaking hands with Brad Butterworth, Skipper and vice president, Team Alinghi after the American`s cup debate. Photo by onEdition. Click on image to enlarge.

World Yacht Racing Forum The second edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum closed its doors tonight following eight debates and several presentations held over two days at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum. The highlights of the day were the America's Cup session - with the exceptional presence of both Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth - as well as the contributions by double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux and Brown GP F1 team CEO Nick Fry.

Today's keynote speaker Michel Desjoyeaux, double winner of the Vendee Globe, reminded the audience that the sport of sailing looks clean from outside but needs to better its carbon footprint. "We have a responsibility", he commented; a wise reminder following the Copenhagen climate conference. Desjoyeaux went on to say that the sport of sailing is a great platform of integration for the younger generation, and especially for the ones who encounter problems in suburban areas. "It is wrong to consider our sport as an activity for the rich people. The access to our sport is easy and cheap. We have several projects that demonstrate this clearly in France." Desjoyeaux concluded by talking about the business model of our sport and the direction it should take. "We don't need to reduce our costs; what we need to do is increase the return we provide to our partners."

A message that provided a perfect introduction to the next session, entitled "Cutting racing costs - how can we meet the challenges of today's economy?" Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, made it clear from the onset that reducing costs was a matter of survival. "Our sport is small and we need to work collectively at growing it. We can achieve this by reducing costs in several areas, and particularly in the technical side of the sport: there is money wasted in this area. I am also in favour of salary caps", he said. "On the other hand, I am not in favour of subsidising teams like some events do. It is the wrong approach."

Also involved in this panel of experts, Dominique Wavre, President of the IMOCA, explained that the Open 60 Class was facing - and trying to address - fundamental issues of reliability, safety and budget control. "We had 30 boats at the start of the last Vendee Globe but only 11 made it to the arrival. We want to have 30 boats again in the next edition and we will achieve this if we manage to develop boats that are more reliable whilst protecting the existing platforms."

Other speakers such as Josh Hall - President of the Portimao Global Race - presented a cheaper alternative whilst the Audi MedCup Director Ignacio Triay confessed that it was difficult to trim down the costs "because we risk to reduce as a consequence the level of services provided to the teams and the partners."

Full reports on

Banque Populaire V On Stand-By
It has been a bit more than a year since the Maxi Banque Populaire V has been launched and this incredible multihull is now ready to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy. After having triumphed over the Atlantic and on the 24 hour distance, Pascal Bidegorry and his crew are now prepared to set off and steal Bruno Peyron's record established in 2005 aboard the maxi catamaran Orange 2. From now on, the skipper of Maxi Banque Populaire V and his Team scrutinize any weather opportunity to undertake this circumnavigation around the globe in less than 50 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes.

According to Pascal, in order to determine the best weather window, it is paramount to reach the roaring forties as quickly as possible, which means exit the Bay of Biscay quickly, then cross the Doldrums and go through the St Helen highs without having to divert. "We are trying to get a long term overview of the conditions to get into the south. Being ahead of Orange 2 is what really matters to us, and not only at the Doldrums. Nonetheless, weather forecasts in the southern hemisphere are actually very complex." After Groupama 3's departure last week on it attempt to break the record, Pascal and his team had a closer look at the expected conditions. "The window they have selected was not inspiring us that much" clarified Pascal. "We did not see any hurry in leaving that quickly especially as weather systems in the South do not seem to be fairly settled. I really have no regrets in not departing together but we are indeed following Groupama 3 with great interest and analyzing the weather sequences heading south."

Maxi Banque Populaire V's crew list:

Skipper: Pascal Bidegorry
Bowman: Ronan Lucas / Technical Director
Bowman: Ewen Le Clech / Boat Captain of the Maxi Banque Populaire V
Helmsman / Trimmer: Kevin Escoffier / In charge of the Maxi Banque Populaire V's design team
Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer: Yann Elies
Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer: Yvan Ravussin
Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer: Emmanuel Le Borgne
Helmsman / Trimmer: Erwan Tabarly
Bowman: Pierre Yves Moreau
Bowman: Florent Chastel
Helmsman / Trimmer: Xavier Revil
Helmsman / Trimmer: Thierry Chabagny
Weather Router, Navigator: Marcel Van Triest

Time to beat :
50 days 16 hours 20 minutes at an average of 17.89 knots, held by Bruno Peyron aboard Orange 2 since 2005.

Ullman Sails

"Balance" Adds Another Win To Their Scorecard
Click on image to enlarge.

As the Australian sailing season gets into full swing, Ullman Sails customer Paul Clitheroe and crew on Beneteau 45 "Balance" have quickly proven their speed and smarts on the racecourse. The "Balance" team recently captured both the IRC and PHS overall win at Middle Harbour Yacht Club's 2009 Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship. Fully powered by Ullman Sails, Clitheroe's win in Sydney follows their recent victory at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August where they claimed first overall in IRC Passage 1 division.

Ullman Sails - Dedicated to your performance for over 40 years. Going strong. Going faster.

Valencia, Alinghi and BMW Oracle Have An Agreement
... If of course, the Appellate Division upholds Justice Kornreich's ruling on Ras al-Khaimah not being a legitimate venue for a match in February.

Alinghi, BMW Oracle and representatives from the local, regional and central government of Spain met today at the headquarters of the Valencia 2007 organization in order to start working on the organizational details of the event.

According to Rita Barberá, Valencia mayor, the first major agreement reached by all parties is that both teams will use their current bases inside the Port America's Cup as their main operation bases. Both multihulls will be docked in front of the bases, just like they did in the 32nd America's Cup. Given their extraordinary size, the two teams will have to use the adjacent bases (+39 Challenge in Alinghi's case and Shosholoza in BMW Oracle's case) or any other space necessary. In fact, the port's maintenance crews have already taken apart the fences that separated the bases.

Still, the Valencia Port Authority will provide additional space, inside the commercial port, in case the two yachts need it under adverse weather conditions. Both yachts might encounter problems entering the canal under high waves since it hasn't been designed for such wide boats and as a result they might need to seek refuge somewhere else.

First of all, the two organizational aspects of the event will be separated. On one hand the purely sporting issues will be handled by Alinghi while Valencia will organize the rest of the event.

For that reason, four working parties have already been constituted and they will start working from Monday morning on a continuous basis. Time is very short and with less than two months until the first starting gun is fired there is no time to waste. -- Pierre Orphanidis, delighted to be reporting on Valencia again, in his Valencia Sailing blog:

Kiteboard AGM
This years International Kiteboat Association AGM held in Paris has seen great reception by the nearly 40 delegates from national class associations, industry, tour operators and other parties interested in the development of international kiteboarding.

The general assembly elected a new chairman of the class. Richard Gowers from Great Britain will stand on top for the next four years and lead the class together with Executive Secretary Markus Schwendtner. Also new members of the executive committee are Alberto Anido from Argentina and Bruno de Wannemaker from Belgium.

The reports from the various working parties about the development of unified judging guidelines and rules for course racing received broad support from the floor, as well as the development and simplification of the ranking systems.

Special interest was drawn to the upcoming olympic campaign of the kiteboarding class, although it is a long way until Rio de Janeiro 2016, excitement was great about the possibilities that kiteboarding has to offer to the Olympic family.

Full details of the meeting including minutes will be published on the class website during the next days.

Extreme Sailing Series Asia Gets "In Gear" In Singapore
Marina Reservoir will play host to the second round of the inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia starting this Friday 11th December. Six state of the art 40-foot catamarans, each crewed by a team of four top professional sailors, and racing at up to 40 miles per hour, will be battling it out for supremacy on the tight races courses just metres off the shoreline by the Singapore Flyer. Twenty-four sailors from 8 nations and between them, three double Olympic Gold medallists, 24 World Championship titles, nine America's Cup events, 8 Round the World navigations and 114 National Championship titles!

Mark Turner, CEO of OC Group, the parent company to organisers OC Events, commented, "In the first event in Hong Kong of this 'demo' series, we really met our objectives and took over 60 potential sponsors, key opinion formers and the media out on the water to watch the sailing and race onboard in the fifth man spots. There aren't many other sports where corporate guests can actually take part in the scoring action - it's a unique experience.

"We are keen to return in 2010/2011 with a full scale series with public entertainment package, similar to Europe with shoreside activities, entertainment, concerts and a bespoke VIP set-up, and will be looking to come with the support of, and to work closely with, the host venues."

Local Singaporean sailor Tan Wearn Haw, helming CHINA TEAM is hoping his knowledge of the sometimes fickle Singapore winds will put the team to good stead. CHINA TEAM finished third in the first round of the Asian series in Hong Kong, surprising both themselves and their competitors. Helmsman Tan Wearn Haw, who challenged for the last America's Cup for China started his sailing career in Singapore.

Six to eight races are planned from Friday 11-Tuesday 15 December. Although this year it is not planned as a public event, for Extreme sailing fans, the best place to watch will be from the F1 Pit Lane at the foot of the Singapore Flyer.

Dubarry Fastnet

Dubarry For Xmas: Are You Worth It?
At right: the Dubarry Newport

Christmas can be dangerously aspirational. The truth is, a pair of string-back gloves won’t turn you into Michael Schumacher. Slipping on some Giorgio Armani pants doesn’t mean you’re David Beckham. A splash of Brut won’t give you Henry Cooper’s right hand. Unwrap a pair of Dubarrys though, and you’ve made the same choice as dozens of professional sailors. True, it doesn’t mean you’re ready for the Volvo Ocean Race, but it does mean you’ve got a pair of durable, comfortable, high performance boots that will give you the best possible chance to shine. Dubarry. Of course you’re worth it!


Wow's Cheerful Bermuda Race
The WoW Factor CrewThe diary of the British 45-footer Whimsical of Wight (her crew calls her WoW) in the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race proves that the Gulf Stream experience can be extremely enjoyable without winning silverware. Here's the diary exactly as Tony Riley e-mailed it to friends and family during the race.

Co-owned by Tony Riley and Robert S. Childs (a member of the Royal Bermuda YC), Whimsical of Wight is a Malo 45 based in Lymington, England. She was sailed across the Atlantic for the race and returned home afterwards. Her crew (all British except as noted): Tony Riley (admiral/editor-in-chief), Rob Childs (skipper), James Riley, Nick Pascall, Ricky Hornet, Jamie Billings (Bermudian), and Tim Corfield. Whimsical of Wight finished 14th in Class 6 in the St. David's Lighthouse Division.

To download Tony Riley's journal (PDF) see:

One short amusing snippet:

Josh now owes the boat a cup holder for the binnacle, which he broke today and as interest, a bottle of whiskey. Nick lost his brain completely and left supper de-thawing on a shelf and of course it ended up on the floor. He, quite naturally blamed the watch keepers for not being on the ball and in turn we all blamed each other. I should say that there is an absolute blame culture on the boat as we do like to attribute blame so we fully understand who made the mistake. No uncertainties here. I admit one of my slight errors, which others were much harsher about suggesting that the race may have been lost as a result of my actions. (Bollocks) My very slight bit of forgetfulness was to send some emails on the HF radio when the auto helm was on, literarily sending the boat into a spin. Now, uncertain of your memory capability, I will admit that I have caused the boat to spin twice and due to a lack of time have been unable to report the huge list of errors and cock ups made by the rest of the crew. -- A tip of the hat to John Rousmaniere for sharing this with us...

NZ Marine Hosts Kiwi Kawau Challenge For Superyachts
The New Zealand Marine Export Group Inc. (NZ Marine) is inviting superyachts - both sail and motor - to participate in a one-off race and social event as part of the build-up to the Louis Vuitton World Series in Auckland in March 2010.

"At this stage, the Louis Vuitton Trophy crews are expected to commence their practice days on Saturday 6 March, so we have Thursday 4 March scheduled for a new NZ Marine event, the NZ Marine Cup 'Kiwi Kawau Challenge'," says NZ Marine chairman Mark Wightman.

Numerous superyachts are expected to visit Auckland while the highly competitive Louis Vuitton match racing takes place.

"The essence of our Kiwi Kawau Challenge is for superyacht participants to enjoy a day's racing from downtown Auckland to beautiful Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf. On-shore beside historic Mansion House, NZ Marine will host the superyacht guests to a uniquely Kiwi-style evening's food and entertainment."

The decision has been made that the NZ Marine Millennium Cup is contested only during specific superyacht regattas comprising more than one race. Therefore this year's NZ Marine Cup for superyachts is the one-off Kiwi Kawau Challenge.

A registration and welcome function is expected to take place on Wednesday 3 March, where participants will be provided with a full briefing regarding the following day's racing and activities.

ISAF Launches Olympic Solidarity Scholarship Sailing Course
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has launched the Sport Specific Training in Sailing Course to develop qualified training programme managers around the world.

This Sport Specific Training in Sailing Course will be funded by the IOC Olympic Solidarity Coaches Programme. The eight-week Scholarship will train and develop potential National Sail Training Programme Managers as part of the ongoing ISAF initiatives continues to develop youth sailing and participation in grass roots training worldwide.

The course will be run at the Sport Specific Training Centre, Rockley International in Great Britain. Any ISAF Member National Authority (MNA) who has identified a suitable candidate should first contact ISAF Training and Development Manager Dan Jaspers, who will be able to give the specific guidance required to move onto the next step. Contact Dan at

Each National Olympic Committee can apply for one of these Scholarship Courses per year across all sports. This means there is much competition from other International Sport Federations that run similar programmes.

ISAF Training site -

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 Adriaan Brink: In response to From Michael Brown: Can someone please explain to me what is the "World Yacht Racing Forum"

I am not involved in nor do I advocate for or against the World Yacht Racing Forum or any of these other breakaway organisations/races such as the Louis Vuitton series. What is clear, however, is that there is an underlying frustration at the sport's incumbent "government" - ISAF. How can an organisation that is so blind to its members as to cancel the only multihull class in the Olympics, in an environment where everywhere else (Americas Cup, Speed Records, Extreme Series) sailing is becoming increasingly multihull focussed, purport to represent it's members? I say go for it! In true multihull - balls to the wall go as fast as you can - style, if the ISAF can't keep up with the rest of us it deserves to be left behind!

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1992 Beneteau First 53/f5, US$350,000. Located in Langkawi, Malaysia.

On deck you can see that she has been set up to race but she is very easily sailed by a small crew when not on the race course. A very well laid out cockpit and excellent transom access makes her a pleasure to sail. Down below she has three large double cabins all with new mattresses and an enormous saloon which is ideal for entertaining. The quality of fit out on these earlier Beneteau s is legendary and this yacht will be looking good for many years to come.

Brokerage through Lee Marine Co.,Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake. -- W. C. Fields

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