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ISAF Sailing World Championships
Photo by Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR. Click on image to enlarge.

Ben Ainslie Perth, Australia: The first day of fleet racing in Perth was held in light, fluctuating breezes as four classes took to the water on Day three of the ISAF Sailing World Championships. With only the lightest of sea breezes reaching just over ten knots, the temperature in Perth soared to 34 degrees.

Finns
Five-time Finn world champion Ben Ainslie took an early lead on the first day of his event at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, winning both his races with ease in the Yellow Fleet.

Ainslie won from the front in the first race but had to come from fifth place to take another win over compatriot and current world champion Ed Wright to put himself firmly at the top of the fleet.

Women's Match Racing
Silke Hahlbrock (GER) put an end to Anna Tunnicliffe's undefeated run in the final flight of Women's Match Racing on Monday, with the German managing to come from behind to get over the line in front as the World No. 1 lagged with sea weed caught on her keel.

At the conclusion of day three, Finland remained the only undefeated team with USA-1, AUS-1, GER, and NZL also finishing strongly.

Men's 470
Finnish brothers Joonas and Niklas Lindgren were successful on the Success course, with a win and a second in the Yellow Fleet races on the opening day of the Men's 470 competition on Monday.

Phil Sparks and David Kohler (GBR) took an early lead in race two for the Yellow Fleet but the race was won by Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page with the Lindgren brothers settling for second.

In the Blue Fleet, New Zealand sailors Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders maintained a strong lead throughout race one, with the real competition occurring for the minor places.

The last race of the day for Men's 470 Blue Fleet was won by Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR).

Women's RS:X
Despite light winds delaying the start of the Women's RS:X competition, the breeze blew in unexpected results for the yellow fleet with World No. 1 Blanca Manchon (ESP) finishing 46th overall with lower than expected finishes in both her races.

Manchon's compatriot Marina Alabau (ESP) fared better, with a third and an 11th place finish putting her in sixth place for the day.

The Chinese Women's RS:X team thrived in the afternoon's light winds, with all four of the country's athletes placing in the top 10 in the Yellow Fleet.

In the Blue Fleet, wins for Lee Korzits (ISR) and Laura Linares (ITA), and solid results in their other race, had the two sailors high in the progressive results.

But Bryony Shaw (GBR) recorded a second and a third to share the overall lead with Korzits.

Laser Radial
Belgium's Evi van Acker dominated racing in the Yellow Laser Radial Fleet, with the world number two winning both her races.

In the Blue Fleet, Veronika Fenclova (CZE) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) were the stand out performers.

Fenclova, the world number three, finished first and third while current World No. 1 Marit Bouwmeester was consistent with a second and a third.

perth2011.com

In Search of Downwind Conditions and a Vendee Globe Entry
The start of the solo Transat B to B took place at 1000 hours local time (1400 UTC)today - Monday 5 December in Saint Barts in the Caribbean, brushed by around ten knots of NE'ly wind, rays of sunshine piercing the sky, with about 30 spectator boats out to wish them well.

All 8 Imoca 60 monohulls took the start of this Vendee Globe qualifier race. Heading straight to the start line from repairs in Saint Maarten, Francois Gabart on Macif rolled over the most of fleet, but it was British skipper Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss that was first across.

The fleet's game plan will be to head northwards, steering either to the West or the East of a zone of high pressure around 8th December, before hooking onto the depressions rolling across the Atlantic from West to East - the leaders set to bend their courses inwards level with Bermuda.

In their eagerness to close the gap, Safran, PRB and Virbac-Paprec 3 suffered minor impact damage as they jockeyed for position in Hugo Boss' wake. The skipper of the Safran won his protest and Vincent Riou and Jean-Pierre Dick each had to perform two penalty turns

Having left the only Caribbean course mark to starboard, the fleet will initially be focusing on gaining ground to the North before opting to round to the East or the West of a zone of high pressure in a couple of days' time. Once around that particular obstacle the winter lows will scoop up the fleet. It's still too early to have an exact idea of the chronology at this stage but 30 knot winds, gusting to over 40 knots, are expected with the passage of the first front over the 9th or 10th. As such it could be a very quick race for the leaders with a race time of under-2 weeks still on the cards right now.

It goes without saying that the two British skippers of this eight-strong fleet will be giving their all in the Transat B to B. Mike Golding on his seriously revamped Gamesa (coachroof, rig...) will be eager for revenge and a chance to show what he and his steed are really made of after his poor weather choices in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Meantime, Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss will be keen to show that he can sail just as clean a course in single-handed configuration as he does double-handed, after taking a brilliant second place in the classic West-East Atlantic race. -- Christian Dumard

www.TransatBtoB.com

World Class Competition at Quantum Key West 2012
Click on image to enlarge.

Key West Race Week International and intense: that's the way the IRC classes are looking for Quantum Key West 2012. In the IRC 52 Class, 2011 Audi Med Cup and World Champion, Quantum Racing with Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, will face seven other top programs. Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling XII (Monaco) and Austin and Gwen Fragomen's Interlodge (USA) are two brand new designs making their racing debuts. Brad Read will be calling tactics on Interlodge. Great Britain's Team Origin, chartered by Hap Fauth, joins Peter Cunningham's PowerPlay (CAY), Ashley Wolfe's Mayhem (CAN), Jim Swartz's Vesper (USA) and Ennio Staffini's Anema & Core (USA).

And there will be plenty more to watch in the Mini-Maxi and third IRC classes. Melges 32s, 24s, Farr 40s and 30s are all showing their typical strong mix of top international and US competitors. With the J/classes, High Performance, PHRF and more in the mix, great racing is in store.

The entry deadline of December 20th is quickly approaching. With Quantum Key West 2012 only a month and a half away, it's almost time to put the sailing gloves on. Register for Key West and make the competition even more exciting. January 15-20, 2012.

Preliminary Scratch Sheet and Entry Details: www.Premiere-Racing.com

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Niklas Zennstrom (SWE)
'Owner-driver of the year' - Rob Weiland (can't really argue with that - ed); 'When Niklas does something he tends to do it rather well!' - Pelle Petersen; 'And he supports up and coming young sailors through the British Keelboat Academy' - Luke McCarthy; 'Niklas and Catherine are both terrific people to sail with... and I've sailed with a few!' - Lou Varney; 'Grattis Niklas' - Magnus von Friedrichs; 'Inspiring... and not just in the sailing' - Aaron Cooper.

This month's nominees:

Grant 'Louie' Loretz (NZL)
In 2011 Louie won his third MedCup in a row, two with ETNZ and the latest with Quantum. Of course, as one of the world's most talented and sought-after sail trimmers Louie has also won quite a few other prizes... The America's Cup for 'one', plus most of the great inshore and offshore regattas of the world - including the last 'proper' Admiral's Cup back in 1999 when he was a shipmate of our sainted editor

Yann Guichard (FRA)
The Extreme Sailing Series has proved a devastatingly effective feeder for the new America's Cup with Guichard one of many sailors to make the successful switch from Mark Turner's series to the new AC45s and no doubt onward to the AC72s. Guichard stepped off the Alinghi Extreme 40 (and D35) and on to the French Energy Team AC45, which in San Diego promptly lit up to finish solidly up among the big boys...

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2012
Each year, Cowes Week Limited (CWL) conducts a detailed evaluation of the feedback received from competitors and visitors to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. This is a critical process in the development of the event, enabling the world's best-known regatta to identify and prioritise enhancements to its extensive infrastructure.

This year, CWL gathered a considerable amount of data through its work with online research specialists and event partner, eDigitalResearch, including:

- Daily SMS course surveys conducted throughout the event with competitors;
- A post-event online questionnaire for competitors and visitors, used to evaluate both on-water and onshore activity;
- A net chat for competitors with regatta CEO, Stuart Quarrie, a great opportunity to consider feedback and suggestions in a live environment; and
- A wash-up meeting between CWL and the Class Associations.

A summary of the common themes identified by these surveys together with CWL's action plan for the 2012 event is now available at www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

Commenting on the importance of feedback to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, Michelle Warner, Sales and Marketing Director for CWL said: "Feedback from competitors and visitors is vital in determining the ways in which we shape the regatta. The evaluations we conduct are a key component of the strategy planning for the event each year, and we are delighted to be working with eDigitalResearch, as market leaders in this field, who are able to provide us with outstanding support".

Dates for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2012 are: 11 - 18 August.

German Frers - A Passion For Design
German Frers This coffee table biography provides an insight into the lives, designs and passions of one of the most prolific design families - all named German Frers. It is a book to delight all owners of Frers designed yachts, those that have crewed on them, and all students of yacht design.

It charts a family design heritage spanning 3 generations that has been responsible for the launching of more than 10,000 boats from dinghies to day keelboats, distinctive cruisers to successful racers, powerboats and superyachts.

Early chapters chart six generations of family history: How one ship owned by a Frers ancestor, was escorting a pirated Portuguese frigate back across the Atlantic in 1820, took formal possession of what are now known as the Falklands, an act that remains is central to Argentine claims over the Malvinas Islands today; the influence that revolutionary Che Guevara, a first cousin, had on the current generation, and German Frers apprenticeship with the best designers - his Father, and the New York masters Olin and Rod Stephens.

During the 50's and 60's when the design skills of German Frers Snr. were at their zenith, good yacht design was very much down to intuition and experience. This book shows how those traditional skills continue to hold true, but are now mixed with the very precise demands of structural analysis, aerodynamics, computer wizardry and hi-tech engineering.

'A Passion for Design' also highlights the rise of Frers Snr.' first son German in the world of IOR and Maxi yacht racing during the 70's and '80's, his involvement in three America's Cup campaigns and his pioneering work in developing performance oriented cruisers and superyachts. Now, German (Mani) Frers Jnr. the third generation, is adding to this reputation, having worked with his Father on some of the most prestigious projects from Dr Jim Clark's 155ft Hyperion and Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli's 105ft Ulisse, to a variety of successful Open class racers and on his own account, Sweden's Victory America's Cup challenger.

"Flipping Book" excerpt:
issuu.com/pplmedia/

Written by Barry Pickthall
Format: 302 x 234mm. 207 pages
Illustrations: 194 colour pictures + 83 Drawings
Price: £35.00 Sterling + P&P ISBN: 09531044 0 0

Order from: South Atlantic Publishing. www.southatlanticpublishing.com

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Photo by Paul Wyeth / pwpictures.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series Winter finally came to the Garmin Hamble Winter Series in time for the final race, to show crews just how lucky they've been throughout the unseasonably warm event.

A brisk, cold westerly wind that fluctuated between 10 and 25 knots gave the assembled sailors a challenge when it came to choosing a sailplan, not to mention working out how to make their boat go quickly upwind in a nasty chop. The regular finishing positions in many classes were turned on their head as boats came from behind after a windy series' practice to beat the top-placed boats.

In many classes, the overall series winner has been obvious for some weeks now - and in these classes the real battles were for the remaining podium places, especially in the Sigma 38 class, where Persephone of London and Pavlova III were tied neck-and-neck for second place, and in IRC 4, where Peter Slimming's Anne Louise and Allan Fraser's Sigma 33 Prospero of Hamble have been fighting tooth and nail for third place overall. Pavlova III pulled out all the stops and won their race to take second overall, behind Chris and Vanessa Choules' With Alacrity. Anne Louise beat Prospero of Hamble in IRC 4 to take third overall, behind Impala 28's Polly and Trudi.

In IRC 0, Andrew Howard's Belladonna carried on her run of firsts to take the top spot, but having only sailed three races this series, this could only take her up to 6th overall - leaving Paul and Julia Aisher's ultra-consistent Tangent Minus One to win overall. Similarly, in IRC1, Jim MacGregor's Premier Flair crossed the line first, but it was the consistent Visit Malta Puma that takes the overall prize.

Despite electrical and engine problems on the way to the startline, Mike Bridges' Elan 37 Elaine won IRC2. That puts them equal on points with overall winner Steady Barker, who retired from the race after a navigational error but wins overall on countback.

In the J/109 class, David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish won, with overall winner, Richard and Valerie Griffith's OutraJeous finishing sixth. In IRC3, ImaDjinn beat J/97 Jika-Jika, but this wasn't enough to stop Jika-Jika taking the overall prize. And, as ever it was a match between J/80 Jester and Hunter 707 Turbulence in the Mixed Sportsboat class, with Jester taking the day's race, but Turbulence taking the overall class prize.

www.garminhamblewinterseries.co.uk

Buy 2012 London Boat Show Tickets and Help Cancer Charity
TeamB4Ego has partnered up with Marine A-Glaze to offer 2012 Excel Boat show tickets at £12.00 each. All monies raised will be donated to charity Sail4Cancer. The London Boat show is from 6 to 15th Janary 2012 at the ExCeL centre.

To buy tickets while helping charity go to: www.tb4e.com/store. There is also a prize draw and money off voucher.

Newport Bermuda Race Posts Notice of Race
The Notice of Race for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race has been posted on www.bermudarace.com . Among the changes are new requirements for crew training, satellite telephones, and life jackets and safety harnesses. The 48th Newport Bermuda Race will start on June 15, 2012 off Castle Hill, Newport, RI and finish 635 miles and several days later off St. David's Head, Bermuda.

The online entry process opens on January 16 and ends on May 15. The Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar on March 17-18, at the Newport Hyatt Regency Hotel, will offer classroom, in-water, first aid, and CPR training, as well as a special track for people who have attended two safety seminars in the last ten years. Bermuda Race Ambassadors are available to assist first-time sailors in preparing themselves and their boats for the race.

Known affectionately by sailors as "The Thrash to the Onion Patch," the race had 183 entries in 2010, the third largest fleet in the race's 104-year history. The chief trophy, for the winner of the St. David's Lighthouse Division (one of the race's five divisions), went to Rives Potts' 48-foot sloop Carina (Westbrook, CT). Carina will race again in 2012 after completing a circumnavigation under sail that includes the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race in England and the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in Australia.

The Newport Bermuda Race is the longest leg of the Onion Patch Series for teams and individual boats that begins in Newport at the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta on the weekend before the Bermuda Race start, and ends with races on Bermuda's Great Sound in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta on June 22.

The Newport Bermuda Race is organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The race chairman is John Osmond (Osterville, MA). The race's Newport headquarters is the Robert G. Stone, Jr., Sailing Center at the New York Yacht Club. -- John Rousmaniere

www.bermudarace.com

Industry News
Marine equipment manufacturer Lewmar today announced that the euro crisis has forced the company to reduce headcount at its UK head office in Havant by 30, affecting around 15 per cent of its total workforce.

The move is in response to key customers predicting a decrease in business of up to 20 per cent in 2012, says Lewmar. The lay-offs will take effect by year-end.

"The redundancies will affect the volume-related workforce which flexes up and down depending on the order book, and are directly related to a decrease in volume of business anticipated in trade during 2012," reads a Lewmar statement.

Lewmar has designed and manufactured marine equipment from its Hampshire base for over 60 years. Its products include anchors, winches, windlasses, hatches, hardware, rigging, steering and thrusters.

plus.ibinews.com

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A report released by the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA) on Friday expects boat ownership to grow from its current number of 1,500 to more than 100,000 in the next decade. The boating market will also be worth between 50 billion yuan (US$7.8bn) and 100 billion yuan by 2021.

International yacht brands have seen the strongest growth in the last three years. "Our business has improved since 2008 and we are registering a double-digit rise annually," Li Xinli, general manager of Hainan Oler Yacht Sales Co Ltd, told China Daily.

Zheng Weihang said although the Chinese market has huge potential, it is still small compared to the global market. Statistics from the CCYIA report said that the total number of yachts globally was 22,900,560 in 2008, with 15,699,100 in the United States.

Zheng said that his organization expects middle- and low-end boats priced at about 20,000 yuan, purchased by middle-income buyers, to be the driver of growth for the industry over the next five years. But the industry is being hampered because there are no public marinas. "More efforts need to be paid to the planning of public yacht marinas at local government level," he said.

Coastal cities in China, including Qingdao, Haikou, Xiamen and Fuzhou, have already proposed plans for public marinas. The government in Haikou is planning to construct 1,000 berths in the next five years and 30 per cent of them will be allocated for public service, Deng Xiaogang, the deputy mayor of Haikou, told the conference.

plus.ibinews.com

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The International Sailing Federation is pleased to announce that Schenker Limited has become an Official Supplier to ISAF. It is a partnership that will see Schenker supporting ISAF, and its major events, with logistics and shipping services over the next three years.

Schenker Limited recently helped ISAF with logistics services for the 2011 ISAF Annual Conference in Puerto Rico. They are also the supporting sponsors to the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships which sees over 1,100 sailors from 79 nations fight for World Championship glory and Olympic Qualification spots.

Along with supporting key ISAF events such as the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, which heads to Dublin, Ireland next year, and the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, Schenker Limited will be on hand to provide expert advice on all aspects of shipping and logistics.

Schenker Limited is part of the global DB Schenker network. With 18 locations and over 850 employees, the company provides the complete range of land operations, international air and ocean freight forwarding and all related integrated logistics services and global supply chain management.

www.dbschenker.co.uk
www.sailing.org

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There seems to be no end to the problems facing Norway's boatbuilders. Following yesterday's news that Djupevag Batbyggeri AS has filed for bankruptcy, today it was revealed that Skilso Baatbyggeri, one of Norway's oldest boatbuilders with a 92-year history, has contacted a local court to file for bankruptcy as well, writes Batmagasinet.no -- Lars-Ake Redeen

plus.ibinews.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Elan 37. EUR 152,500. Located in Malta.

With a beautiful Grey hull, this Elan 37 Performance has been spared no expense by present owner to bring her up to present condition with all the 'go faster' kit, upgraded pulleys and a superb sail wardrobe for the owners cruising pleasure. Lightweight bulkheads, and an unending list of modifications complements this superbly equipped fast cruiser.

With beautiful teak wood furnishings, complemented with blue upholstery, this Elan 37 is truly a must see boat. Opening Lewmar side windows give a light and airy feel to the saloon and with large bathroom with pressurised hot and cold water and shower.

Also included on this Elan 37 are Electric bilge pump; teak gratings; Wet weather gear storage; Folding racing propeller; 3 batteries with split isolaters and charging 220v circuit; shore power and battery charger; Electric anchor winch 700 watt lofrans.

Brokerage through Think Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/thinkyachts/

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

The Last Word
A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." -- Douglas Adams

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