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Extreme Singapore
Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Extreme Singapore The fleet in Singapore had everything thrown at them today as they contended with an intense 15 minute rainstorm, wind that peaked at 12 knots and then they were left crawling around the racecourse as the wind dropped to just 1.2 knots. But still the boats raced on, battling it out for the top spot.

Consistency paid off today for event leaders Masirah as they extended their lead at the top of the board by 10 points over second place Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team. But hot on their heels is China Team, with local Singaporean sailor Tan Wearn Haw onboard, trailing by just 1 point.

Nick Moloney, Skipper of BT commented, "Crazy conditions today, wind all over the place, big squall through the course half way through the first race, massive shift in wind direction a couple of times, I lost my hat - everything!"

The testing conditions challenged the race committee as the wind swung wildly across the race course, but five races were completed with fifth man VIP guests racing in the heart of the action onboard the 40 foot catamarans.

The penultimate day of racing commences tomorrow, Monday 14 December from 2pm.

Provisional results after 3 days of Racing:

1. Oman Sail Masirah: 70
2. Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team: 60
3. China Team: 59
4. BT: 57
5. The Wave, Muscat: 53
6. Rumbo Almeria: 38

* Olympic 4x100m gold medallist and previous 100m world record holder Asafa Powell was taken to new Extremes when he stepped onboard double-Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson's catamaran racing in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia in Singapore today, Saturday 12 December.

The 27-year-old Jamaican sprinter was a guest on Rumbo Almeria, one of six teams taking part in the second leg of the Series in Marina Reservoir, under the world's largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer.

"When I saw the size of his arms, I knew we had to get him to work!" laughed Robertson.

Singing, "I believe I can fly" by R Kelly, Powell was put to work winching the 60 foot high mainsail on the Extreme 40.

"It was great to have such an athelete onboard - what a runner, awesome to meet him!" said Robertson. "We could see how fit he was from the moment he got onboard so we worked him hard!"

www.extremesailingseriesasia.com

Groupama 3 Heads Back Out To Sea
Saturday morning at 0600 UTC that the trimaran Groupama 3 cast off from the port of Cape Town, South Africa, bound for Brest some 6,000 miles (11,000 kms) away, where she will begin her second period of stand-by for the Jules Verne Trophy.

Skippered by Fred Le Peutrec and sailed by a total crew of 10, Groupama 3 has thus completed her South Africa stopover. In all it has taken no less than three weeks for the maxi trimaran to be operational once again after suffering damage in the Southern Atlantic, at a point where the crew were ahead of the reference time for the Jules Verne Trophy set by Orange in 2005.

Once the float bulkhead was repaired and then reinforced by the Groupama team's shore crew, with the assistance of a handful of South African's from Team Shosholoza, it was the generator which was to give up the ghost. Forced to order a new unit from France and have it transported down to Cape Town by plane, the crew of Groupama 3 had no option but to wait patiently in Cape Town and attend the live draw for the World Cup football.

Of the ten crew who were aboard for the Jules Verne Trophy attempt, three are onboard for this delivery trip with Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraes accompanying Fred: "At the moment Ludovic Aglaor is at the helm with Ronan and Clement Surtel alongside. He's just finding his way around Groupama 3 after a successful Jules Verne back in 2005 on Orange 2. We also have some new faces aboard including Mayeul Rifflet, who is replacing Lionel Lemonchois, as well as Nick Legatt and Thierry Duprey du Vorsent. The others are already familiar with Groupama 3 having been responsible for preparing her: Eric Lamy and Francois Salabert, who is in charge of the navigation" adds Fred.

"We're going to be sailing in fairly strong downwind conditions for 36 hours. After that, the wind should ease to around fifteen knots, enabling us to make the equator in nine days. As such we won't be back in time for the Christmas festivities, but no matter, we're here to get Groupama 3 safely back into port. Today the boat is more solid than ever. We'll just have to watch out for whales. On leaving Cape Town this morning we came across seven or eight, which was fantastic" concludes Fred Le Peutrec. -- translated by Kate Jennings

www.cammas-groupama.com

Endeavour Quay Launches New Website
Endeavour Quay Endeavour Quay is pleased to announce the launch of their new website, offering comprehensive information about on-site facilities, 'Open Yard Policy' and tenants. There is further detail on berthing, storage, boat lifting and mast craneage and a section with the latest news from the yard.

Three Open 60s have recently returned to the yard who, along with a Volvo 60, are now ashore with keels and rudders off, awaiting refit and rebranding.

Whilst the yard is ideal for cruising yachts and commercial workboats, Endeavour Quay is proving to be the perfect base for large yacht race projects.

For further information visit the new website: www.endeavourquay.com

Rolex Sydney Hobart
* Wharington's Supermaxi Dismasted

Grant Wharington's 98 foot supermaxi Etihad Stadium lost its rig 10 miles off Deal Island*

All 20 people on board are accounted for and no-one has been hurt in the incident that has Grant and his crew baffled.

The boat is heading towards Eden to re-fuel and continue on to Sydney.

There's very little rest for half of the Etihad Stadium maxi crew back in Melbourne today as they meet with the engineers from Southern Spars.

Grant Wharington and his Victorian based crew, together with the Southern Spar engineers, will work through a range of options to conclude what might be the easiest and best way to cut a replacement mast in half to make the transport of it from the South of France a more simple exercise.

After dismasting late Friday afternoon 10 miles off Deal Island, the 98 footer motored into Eden late yesterday to re-fuel and has continued on to Sydney.

Whilst the scuttlebutt and whispers are working overtime about how and why the mast failed and who may or may not pay for a replacement, these reports are completely unsubstantiated. Speculation on what has occurred is purely that (speculation) because even the crew who were all on board at the time are at a loss to definitively explain what has caused the mast to fail!

The replacement mast, a spare owned by Alfa Romeo's Neville Crichton, needs to get to Sydney quickly, ideally, by the middle of this week to give the Etihad Stadium maxi the best chance of being on the start line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart on Boxing Day.

"Getting a plane to take 45 metres of carbon fibre mast weighing 900 kilograms is almost impossible, however, two pieces measuring about 22 metres each is definitely more achieveable" said Grant.

rolexsydneyhobart.com/news.asp?key=4534

* The Tasmananian Fleet Sets Off

Todd Leary's Jones 39-design yacht, She's the Culprit, started its delivery trip from Bellerive Yacht Club under leadened skies.

Over the next four days the rest of the Tasmanian contingent will set sail for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, situated on Sydney Harbour.

Tasmania has eight entries, which for the first time includes a supermaxi.

Sydney boatyard owner Sean Langman has entered his chartered ride, Investec Loyal (formerly Maximus), under the burgee of the Huon Yacht Club.

The other Tasmanian entries are Hobart yachts Helsal III (Rob Fisher), Valheru (Tony Lyall), Dekadence (David Creese), Archie (Sally Rattle), and Auch (David Bean), and Launceston yacht Matangi (David Stephenson), a Frers 39 from the Tamar Yacht Club.

It is the biggest Tasmanian contingent in the Sydney-Hobart in more than 10 years. -- James Bresnehan in The Mercury, www.themercury.com.au

No-Go On Loading The Wingmast
Click on image to enlarge.

BMW Oracle Wing Mast With the BOR 90 trimaran platform loaded aboard the Ocean Lady on Friday, the shore team turned their focus to getting the wing on board Saturday.

It was a delicate operation. The wing was to be suspended in the air by a floating crane which would then move through the water from the base to where the ship was berthed - several hundred metres away.

The wing was lifted well by the crane and the transport phase started. But the weather was far from ideal with heavy rain showers and occasional gusts of wind. During one of these gusts, the load on the wing increased and one of the four straps attaching it to the crane failed. Given this, the shore crew elected to abandon the operation and return the wing, still suspended by three straps on the crane, to the base.

"We had a hard time of it today," said Julien Di Biase (SUI), who is overseeing the operation. "The safest thing was to bring the main wing element back to the base and wait for the weather to improve."

The wing is now back inside the big tent at the base in San Diego. Loading will resume on Monday, weather permitting. -- BMW Oracle Racing, bmworacleracingblog.blogspot.com/

Seahorse Magazine

The Last Minute Gift For The Sailor Who Has Almost Everything?
The last word. A subscription to Seahorse.

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/

All the very best for the holidays from the team here at The Horse.

Best Sailors' Bar In The World
Wight Vodka Well... from the number of submissions we've had over the past couple of weeks, we're now quite certain that sailors LOVE bars. Thus saving some government commission somewhere a lot of taxpayers' money researching that.

So many submissions have come on that we're going to break down the voting into two parts. First, we'll vote on all submissions (note that all of the clubs listed had more than one submission!) Choose up to five (and you can only vote once).

Voting on this portion is open until Friday 18 December, then we'll post the top ten and vote on them.

While we recommend that you use personal experience, we understand that by definition the Best Sailors' Bar will probably not leave you with sharp, clear memories. Scurrilous rumours and tall tales of conquests are all welcome factors in your decisions.

Vote at scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html

* A few notes from reader recommendations:

"To a sailor, the "best sailor's bar" is quite obvious - she has no peer in the Atlantic, or, it can be argued, any place else on earth. It has history and tradition, it is not easy to get to, and once within its walls there is a rare camaraderie that permeates this hallowed berth. The memory of a seat is a sirens song to passaging itself imbuing memories impossible to forget. This is Peter *Cafe Sport* - The Sailors' Bar in Horta on the island of Faial, in the Azores Archipelago. Those fortunate enough to have laughed with their mates at Pete's carry with them their own Shangri-La."

"ONE BAR at Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
Dedicated to single handed sailors throughout history this bar and its owner Jose will entertain and feed the most elegant as well as the most rowdy at this cross roads of the Atlantic. Every west bound sailor should experience this late night event."

"Salcombe Yacht Club
It has one of the best views in the world, looking out over the Bar to the English Channel - a better view than even the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
Good selection of real ales and lagers.
Pleasant, cheerful and helpful bar staff.
It's also always full of real sailing folk."

"Royal Thames Yacht Club
It is a piece of Yachting heaven in the middle of London in a building that one would never expect to find such an amazing piece of Maritime History... A Club formed in 1775!!! with some of the original cup and pennents on display... and then there is George.. who must be the BEST barman in any Yacht Club in the world.. and trust me I have been to quite a few..."

" Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
It is on the beautiful Island of Bermuda. You can get to it by boat.
It has great ambiance.
The dress is relax but you need shoes.
It is in close walking distance to Hamilton, if you need shoes.
It has lots of interesting sailors both local and international.
It is a club.
Women are allowed."

Brought to you by Wight Vodka: www.wightvodka.com
Vote at scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html

Short Tacks
Photo by Alastair Walton. Click on image for photo gallery.

Crank! * Have you got a length of rope, two skateboards and a couple of spare self-tailing winches sitting in the garage not doing anything? Well, it's time to put them to good use, as demonstrated by a couple of innovative exhibitors at the Salon Nautique de Paris this week.

The method is simple. Bolt your spare winch on to one end of your skateboard and find a nice long aisle at a boat show. Tie a knot in the middle of your rope and wind each end around your winch in the normal way. Then get on your skateboard, grab a winch handle and at the command "Alez!" start winching like crazy!

Yes, it's true. The first to winch his way to the knot at the middle of the rope, wins! -- Alastair Walton of Yachtworld Europe, reporting from the Paris Boat Show

* Irish Sailing Association Volunteer Of The Year 2009 Award - Deadline Extended To Dec 18th

Perhaps you know someone in your club or class who: Encourages people to get on the water? Helps with events or provides safe activities? Promotes our sport?

Engages with the local community for the good of the sport? Works around the clock on a voluntary basis? ...

www.sailing.ie/clubs/newsDetails.asp?id=3051

* There will be 60 sailors to take off in May 2010 for the Mini Pavois, qualifying race - in the class Mini calendar - for The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 2011. Great-established solo race with a stopover, it covers 800 nautical miles. This sixth edition of the Mini Pavois takes, for the fourth time, the fleet south to Gijon (Asturias, Spain). Two legs with a first leg between La Rochelle and the Spanish city of 300 miles and a second leg between Gijon and the city of Charente-Maritime via a turning mark buoy or 500 miles. One of the first rendezvous of the season for the Minis 6.50, which will enable us to see and assess the future participants of September 2011's great rendezvous.
Dates: from the 4th to the 14th of May 2010.

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 John Harwood-Bee: Ref World Yacht Racing Forum
Following all the discussion on your excellent pages may I, a mere mortal, suggest one two points.

All those that query the validity of the World Yacht Racing Forum should look at the professional way that the symposium was handled.

Without exception the meetings dealt with the highest levels of our sport in a superb way. The echelon of the international sailing fraternity came together to discuss our sport at the highest level. Very few politics, no animosity, and certainly none of the shenanigans associated with ISAF. Over two days, not months, the cream of our sport commented on the way forward.

Compared to the crap metered out by the federation, this was debate at its pinnacle. I for one am delighted to see the serious names in international yachting given an opportunity to voice valid opinion. If Adriaan Brink has missed the seriousness of the meetings I can only surmise that he/she has not followed the disillusionment of those professionals who make our sport so exciting. The behavior of ISAF recently begs the question, are they fit to govern international sailing?. As with Formula 1 motor sport and other so called representative sporting bodies, they seem to have 'lost the plot'. Although too late for the 2012 Olympics and the next AC extravaganza, I sincerely hope that WYRF continues to gain credibility with those of us who love our sport.

Let the professionals like Cam Lewis, Brian Thompson etc have their say and perhaps frighten ISAF into becoming more representative of those who get out there and 'do it' rather than sitting back and making arbitary decisions based on personal preference. Perhaps the third meeting next year will convince the yachting fraternity that ISAF is a 'busted flush' with no credibility and no mandate to govern. I sincerely hope so.

* From Paul Cayard: Monte Carlo - Just leaving Monaco this morning following two days here for the World Yacht Racing Forum.

Now in its second year, the Forum is really growing into quite an event. There were two parts this year: a commercial, sports side and in another hall, running contemporaneously, a technical forum with subects ranging from composite rigging to standards for construction of racing yachts.

It is kind of a collection of who's who in yacht racing from the designers like Juan K and Vincent Prevost to the sailors like Brad Butterworth, Russell Coutts and Michele Desjoyeaux. I participated with Russell and Brad in the forum on the America's Cup. The tone was very friendly and there was a demonstrative expression from both of the teams to get out on the water and have their race ASAP. Each team showed a very high energy video/slideshow of their extremely impressive sailing machines. The fact is that after all the frustration and ugliness of the past two years, the race between the two giant multihulls will be a special moment in our sports history and something to see.

In the midst of the Forum, a light bulb went off in my head; we may have missed a great opportunity in the past two years. Rather than just sitting around and waiting in frustration, we, the Challengers, should have taken the initiative to put forward a Protocol to resolve a lot of the problems plaguing the current match. We have a unique opportunity right now; neither Alinghi and BMW Oracle knows who will be holding the cards for the 34th America's Cup. So this is a time where each may be more willing to agree to a "fair and independant" event managment structure. Either could find themselves on the Challenger side for 34th America's Cup and that party would certainly want a modern and objective event organization.

So after I mentioned this idea, many people came to me and said, "Hey, that's a great idea. Its not too late. Get to work!"

* From Gerald New: Sailing stands in a similar position to that experienced by other international sports in the transition from their amateur roots to a full professional basis.

The origin of major sports within a "gentleman and players" basis which had to adapt to changing circumstances of employment and leisure time is well documented and at some point most sports reach a "break point". This almost always results from the breakaway of a professional based faction from the incumbent amateur biased controlling organisation.

The ISAF has a long and honourable history within sailing (formally yachting) but has grown into a huge self perpetuating organization that finds itself increasingly out of step with the modern versions of the sport. As new events and types of sailing are developed from sources outside its reach, its raison d''etra is increasingly called into question by those who seek to earn their living through sailing as a competitive sport. The most likely result is a separation of the guardian of the rules and a professionally based event/competition organization.

At present the ISAF maintains its power base via control of dinghy sailing in the Olympic Games. It has reacted to increasing criticism with the token inclusion of competitor representatives onto the labyrinth committee structure and the belated formation of a world circuit for the Olympic classes - which links the existing amateur regattas into a "world circuit" without providing any financial basis for competitors, except to provide work for the few state sponsored sailors.

The breakaway to properly organised and structured professional events seen in Golf, Formula 1 and Tennis, with proper media participation, as being driven by the Volvo and the LVT will not be without some "blood on the tracks".

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1989 Bushe and Lipsett Maxi, US$380,000. Located in Barbados.

Built for the 1989-90 Whitbread a round the world race and designed by Ron Holland and competed as N.C.B Ireland. Since then she has been well looked after and has been through four major refits, her last refit being in the winter of 2001and2002.

Her hull has been fully refilled and faired including her decks, top sides, and below the water line and her mast has also been fully serviced and repainted. Everything has been carried out to the highest quality in Awl grip by Greg Peck of Rocket Yachts. The yacht has also been fitted out with a self contained shower and toilet, plus air con for the main saloon, her galley has also been refitted with new freezer and fridge and hot plates that work off the new panda 220 gen set. The electrics have also been fully serviced and up graded with new equipment by Diverse Yachts. Her propulsion system has also been given the same treatment, the gears in the sail drive unit have been replaced with all new bearings and a lower shaft. A new prop has been fitted from Gori; one of the new three bladed feathering units which in turn gives the yacht motoring speed of 8.5 knots. The yacht comes with a complete set of very recent sails from Quantum South Africa, including main, 150% head sail, 105% new asymmetric, plus many more sails.

Brokerage through Berthon International: www.yachtworld.com/berthon/

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

The Last Word
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. -- Bertrand Russell

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