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Fickle Winds Force Cancellation Of Races At Quantum Key West 2012
Key West, Fla - Light, fickle winds promoted organizers with Premiere Racing to cancel competition on Wednesday with hope that better breezes would allow for three starts on Thursday when winds are forecast to be 7 to 12 knots.

Event director Peter Craig, after consulting with the principal race officers from all three courses, called for a postponement and held the 112-boat fleet at the dock in the morning. Craig postponed again at noon for an hour before deciding to call off racing entirely.

"While forecasts would suggest an early abandonment was the right move, there was a chance the northerly would develop in time to get in a fair race around mid to late afternoon," Craig said. "However, it became apparent from looking at updated weather models and actual wind observation out on the water that the best course of action was to not go out today and try our best to get in three races on Thursday."

In 19 years of directing the annual race week off Key West, Craig said this marked only the fourth lost day of competition - a truly remarkable record for a five-day regatta. "No racing is certainly a real rarity for this event," he said.

Race dates are January 16 - 20, 2012

J/70 Chosen for 2012 NYYC Invitational Cup US Qualifying Series
Click on image to enlarge.

J70 Newport, Rhode Island, USA: The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) announced today that the new J/70 will be featured at the 2012 NYYC Invitational Cup U.S. Qualifying Series (USQS). The J/70 will join the NYYC's fleet of Sonars when 24 of the nation's most competitive yacht clubs compete in the NYYC Invitational Cup USQS off Newport, RI from September 4 to 8, 2012. The top three finishers will earn the right to compete in the 2013 NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

The USQS will continue the successful format from 2010 in which teams compete in two fleets of one-design keelboats. By utilizing the J/70, a modern high-performance planing keelboat 22.7' in length with an asymmetrical spinnaker - along with the 23' Sonar with its symmetrical spinnaker -- the NYYC is raising the bar for competitors by testing their versatility across different boat designs as well as allowing the final decision to be made in a boat closer in philosophy to the NYYC Swan 42 -- the yacht used in the international event.

The J/70 is J Boats' ramp launch-able keelboat, making its world debut this spring in Newport, RI. Notable features include a high-aspect carbon rig, vertical-lifting keel, manageable three-sail inventory (fat-head main, roller-furling jib and masthead-asymmetric spinnaker) and large cockpit to accommodate a racing crew of three or four. The J/70 is being built in the USA, by CCF Composites of Bristol, RI, builder of the J/95 and J/111.

Both the Invitational Cup and the USQS are for Corinthian (amateur) sailors who represent their yacht clubs.

In the inaugural NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex in 2009, 19 yacht club teams from 14 countries, from four continents competed. The winner was the team from the host NYYC. In the 2010 USQS, 24 yacht club teams from the U.S. competed. Eastern Yacht Club won the USQS followed by Annapolis Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Calif.). The second biennial Invitational Cup presented by Rolex in 2011 saw 22 yacht club teams from 16 nations from six continents compete. The winner was the team from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Boat Builders Wanted
Persico Marine Persico Marine is looking to recruit highly qualified boatbuilders for its growing activities.

Boatbuilders should:

- Have a minimum of 5 years experience in prepreg, infusion techniques
- Be punctual and focused
- Be able to contribute to a highly skilled building team
- Pay great attention to details
- Have the ability to read construction drawings
- Preferably have EU working permits.

Work to be carried out in Bergamo, Northern Italy.

Remuneration package depending upon experience.

Candidates should forward their Curriculum Vitae to

High Performance Sailing Panel Discussion at Quantum Key West
Please join us for the Seahorse High Performance Sailing Panel Discussion at the Regatta Main Stage at Quantum Key West from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursday 19-Jan-12.

High performance sailing is at a crossroads: Some of the most popular one-designs raced in the last decade are getting a little long in the tooth and have a chance for being upstaged by some exciting new designs just entering the scene. These range from MC38's, to Farr 400's, to GP42's and up to TP52's, all of which are racing here in Key West this week. Yet this small but dedicated market for new designs does not yet have the critical mass needed for widespread one-design or box rule competition, and may not for some time given current economic realities. Existing handicap systems can't easily handle the high-performance boats, so could a new system like HPR be the answer, or is one-design racing the only way forward? Join our panelists to explore this topic and the future of high-performance sailing.

The panelists include: Steve Benjamin / North Sails, Marty Kullman / Quantum Sails, Dee Smith / Farr 400 Class, Wolfgang Schaefer / Farr 40 Class, and Rob Weiland / TP52 Class with Dobbs Davis / Seahorse Magazine moderating.

All participants will receive a complimentary copy of the latest issue of Seahorse Magazine.

In case you are not in Key West and would like to watch the discussion live please tune into:

Clipper 11-12 Race 7: Gold Coast to Singapore
The ten strong fleet of ocean racing yachts participating in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race continue to 'cruise' along the Celebes Sea in Stealth Mode between the first and second phase of Race 7 to Singapore.

After a decision made by the Race Committee yesterday to extend this phase of the race to allow for refuelling, the first convoy of boats has reached the refuelling destination in Malaysia and is making progress towards the restart gate to resume racing tomorrow.

On board the Australian boat skipper Richard Hewson reports that the lack of wind has made conditions on board "extremely hot" and the team is grateful for its water maker as the crew consume large volumes to maintain hydration.

Richard continues, "The distinct lack of wind emphasises the good decision made by the Race Committee to postpone racing until the fleet has replenished its diesel supplies and there is adequate wind to make the race competitive, fair and safe. These waters contain many hazards such as reefs, fishing vessels, pirates, large merchant ships, oil rigs, flotsam and jetsam. Trying to sail in these waters without wind could prove not only frustrating but very hazardous."

The first teams are due to arrive at Nongsa Point Marina in Batam early next week and will muster there ahead of a spectacular, colourful welcome ceremony at Marina at Keppel Bay in Singapore on Saturday 28 January.

Doyle Sails Frostbite Series Races 1 & 2
The first racing in the Solent of 2012 started early this year but with the warm dry weather continuing it felt more like a spring day . The wind was a gentle 5knots from the west which caused consternation for the race management team just before the start by dying away to a little over 3 knots .

There were 30 boats on the water out of an entry of 33 which was an excellent start to the series and perhaps an indication of how good the weather was. The class 1 IRC were 1st away and as always the start was competitive and there was an OCS who quickly restarted before the beat from Hover 1 across to the Hythe ship buoys, the course then running back to Hover 1 before a return to Hythe and then a short reach to the finish at Bird Pile. Class 2 IRC were up next and had a clean start before their beat to the same mark although the run was shorter to a laid mark to the west of Hover 1. Class 3 RSYC club class which is a very eclectic mix of yachts from a 21' Sonata to a Salona 44 had a clean start too. Finally the J class for J92's and J80 were away but they too were over enthusiastic and there was an OCS.

NJOS the Octon's Corby won Class 1 with J Dream David & Kirsty Apthorp's new J111 just 27 sec behind. Blazer Colin Woodruffs Laser 28 won Class 2. In Class 3 it was the Sonata owned by Oliver Love which won and finally in Class 4 J'ai Deux Amours ,Stuart Hawthorns J80 which won by 9 sec over Jammin John Cooper and Ian Townsend's J92. So it is close racing indeed.

With the wind slowly building to the low teens but steady in the West race 2 was quickly under way on the same course . This time they were all well behaved and clean starts were had by all. This time it was J Dream who won Class 1 however in Class 2 & 3 Blazer and Frank again took the chocolates. Class 4 was won by Bojangles Richard Sainsbury's J92s.

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RYA Tribunal to Examine Incident in Perth
Gus Lewis RYA Head of Legal and Government Affairs has advised that: "The RYA has received and considered the report regarding the incident which took place at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships involving British sailor Ben Ainslie from the International Jury at the event.

On the face of it, the report identified a case to answer that might warrant further action. The RYA has therefore referred the matter to the RYA Tribunal in accordance with its established procedures for further consideration. A hearing is likely to take place in the next two months".

In accordance with established procedures the RYA can make no further comment on this matter until the RYA Tribunal has reached its conclusions.

Loop Head Lighthouse to Reopen in 2012
County Clare, Ireland: Loop Head Lighthouse will reopen to the public later this year following a successful trial scheme that resulted in an estimated 17,000 people visiting the historic west Clare landmark during an 11-week period in 2011.

The announcement was made this week by Clare County Council which, along with Shannon Development, Loop Head Tourism and the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), also is seeking suitable consultants to research, design and implement an exhibition and interpretation plan to further expand the tourism offering at the 19th century lighthouse.

Loop Head Lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary, is steeped in history and rich in maritime heritage with its origins dating back to the 1670s. The existing tower style lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and was operated and maintained by a keeper who lived within the lighthouse compound. In January 1991, the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation, and today is in the care of an attendant and is also monitored by the CIL.

In July 2011, Clare County Council, with the support and cooperation of CIL, Shannon Development and Loop Head Tourism, opened the Lighthouse as a visitor attraction on a trial basis. The trial was a tremendous success with the Lighthouse attracting 16,775 visitors during the 11-week opening period.

Visit or for more information on Loop Head Lighthouse and the Loop Head Peninsula.

Chris Nicholson: More Work Needed and Leg 3 is the Chance
Part A of Leg 3 is now a few days behind us and CAMPER is currently in transit on a ship bound for a secret safehaven in the Indian Ocean where the race to Sanya will resume. The sailing team are in Dubai and we'll spend the next few days going through a pretty intensive series of briefings on the weather and navigational challenges we can expect to face in the 4000 odd mile slog up to China.

It's fair to say that our performance in the first part of the leg was not good enough and not what any of us were looking for. It hurt and we know we're capable of much better. We were left wanting for speed while reaching and the other guys were simply quicker than us in those conditions. End of story. We had made some changes to the boat and by our numbers we were actually going better than what we were on the race into Abu Dhabi from Sharjah but clearly still not enough to hang onto the others.

We now need to go back to the drawing board and see what else we can do to improve our reaching speed. We're also working with the Emirates Team New Zealand coaches on improving crew techniques and eliminating some of the little mistakes that have been costing us.

It's important to keep things in context though. The two sprints up and down the UAE coast have been dominated by reaching conditions and the courses meant that we were limited to essentially the one heading that several of the other guys are strong on. The next stage of the leg should present plenty more opportunities for us. Firstly, there should be a lot more windward work which we believe CAMPER is a lot stronger in, and secondly it won't be a pure boat speed race but rather a leg which will be won by being smart and keeping the boat in one piece and going the right way.

London Boat Show Numbers Down, But Some Success
Most boat shows have very little to do with yacht racing - however, as a barometer of the wider marine industry, they can be useful to help gain insight into consumer confidence.

The Tullet Prebon London Boat Show has reported that visitor numbers were down 6% on last year, despite multiple shows being combined together and London's relatively milder weather. On the day we visited, hundreds of school children were being chaperoned around the show in the morning, but in the evening, the 'Black & White' bar was very busy.

It's a shame that events like Brian Thompson talking about his experience as part of the record breaking round the world voyage on Banque Populaire were only watched by a handful of people.

A total of 134,753 visited ExCeL London across the 10 days, with 102,841 of those attending the Boat Show. In a bit of PR juggling, the show is happy to report that numbers are up on 2010 (102,655 Visitors - the lowest attendence since 2002).

Visitor numbers in the years preceding the Global Financial Crisis were between 130-150,000 people.

But visitor numbers isn't the only measure of a successful show and exhibitors seemed pleased with trade over the 10 days. Sales made at the show are vital for exhibitors' business plans for the year and the sector has shown resilience in the face of continuing economic turmoil. -- David Fuller,

Weymouth and Portland Travel Plans Announced
Transport plans for visitors to the Olympic sailing events in Dorset have been announced.

Designated pedestrian routes, park and ride and cycle parking are planned for the estimated 30,000 extra visitors to Weymouth and Portland each day.

Matthew Piles, 2012 roads and traffic manager, said the measures would ensure "safe, secure and efficient travel".

Designated "Games Lanes" which will be used in London to move athletes and officials are not planned for Dorset.

Plans for the county include five park and ride sites with dedicated walking routes from the railway station and bus drop off points.

As a designated Olympic Route Network the A354 in Weymouth will become a clearway during the Games.

Security considerations will include check point areas, the closure on the Esplanade, Westham Road and part of King Street in Weymouth between 10:00 and 22:00 BST, as well as restricted access to the harbour area.

Featured Brokerage
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To achieve this result, the correct vision and approach have been crucial from the outset with Farr Yacht Design fully involved in every element since we launched the design brief. Farr Yacht Design have enthusiastically provided the appropriate design solutions.

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The Last Word
I sometimes think that rich men belong to another nationality entirely, no matter what their actual nationality happens to be. -- William Saroyan

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