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Rolex Miami OCR: Heavy Lifting in Light Air
Miami, Florida, USA: It started out a perfect day on Biscayne Bay, with sunshine and 12 knots of breeze, but those conditions gave way to struggling light winds by late afternoon, when several of the ten Olympic and three Paralympic classes at the Rolex Miami OCR regatta were trying to finish opening day races. The six-day event is the second of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas and the only one of those to be sailed in North America. In its 23rd edition, it is hosting 529 sailors from 41 countries sailing on 354 boats.

Canada's David Wright took two first-place finishes in the Laser Blue Fleet, putting him in second place overall and three points ahead of his prime competitor Chris Dold. Dold, in third place overall (behind GBR's Paul Goodison) with a 2-3 today in the Yellow fleet, is duking it out with Wright for Canada's berth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.  

One team who doesn't have to worry about snagging an Olympic berth is Miami's own Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih, who finished a solid 3-4 today in the Star class to take second overall on tied points with Sweden's leader Fredrik Loof/Max Salminen.

In Sonars, the USA's Paul Callahan (Newport, R.I.)/Tom Brown (Castine, Maine)/Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) finished 1-3 to finish second overall behind Norway's Aleksander Wang-Hansen/Marie Solbert/Per Eugen Kristiansen and better their chances of being awarded a Paralympic berth at the conclusion of this regatta.

In the 470 Women's class, with 16 boats, Great Britain's Olympic-bound Hannah Mills and crew Saskia Clark battled the light wind and came out on top, taking first in the only race of the day.

Top three after the first day of racing:

Sonar (11 boats) - 2 races
1. Paul Callahan / Tom Brown / Bradley Johnson, USA, 4 points
2. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, GBR, 6
3. Rick Doerr / Brad Kendell / Hugh Freund, USA, 7

Star, 30 boats - 2 races
1. Fredrik Loof/Max Salminen, SWE, 7
2. Mark Mendelblatt / Brian Fatih, USA, 7
3. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA 1, 8, 9

49er, 23 boats - 3 races
1. Erik Storck / Trevor Moore, USA, 9
2. Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 14
3. Jon Ladha / Daniel Inkpen, CAN, 19

Skud-18, 6 boats - 2 races
1. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 3
2. Jennifer French / Jean-Paul Creignou, USA, 5
3. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 6

2.4mR, 29 boats - 2 races
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 3
2. Helena Luca, GBR, 11
3. Megan Pascoe, GBR, 11

Laser Radial, 60 boats - 2 races
1. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 3
2. Danielle Dube, CAN, 7
3. Charlotte Dobson, GBR, 11

470 Men, 23 boats - 1 race
1. Sven Coster / Kalle Coster, NED, 1
2. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 2
3. Mathew Belcher / Malcolm Page, AUS, 3

470 Women, 16 boats - 1 race
1. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 1
2. Lisa Westerhof / Lobke Berkhout, NED, 2
3. Maria Fernanda Sesto / Consuelo Monsegur, ARG, 3

Laser, 78 boats - 2 races
1. David Wright, CAN, 2
2. Paul Goodison, GBR, 4
3. Chris Dold, CAN, 5

Finn, 27 boats - 1 race
1. Zach Railey, USA, 1
2. Caleb Paine, USA, 2
3. Jonas Hogh Christensen, DEN, 3

RS: X Men, 14 boats - 2 races
1. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 2
2. Elliot Carney, GBR, 5
3. Sebastian Wang- Hanse, NOR, 7

RS: X Women, 12 boats - 2 races
1. Farrah Hall, USA, 3
2. Demita Vega De Lille, MEX, 3
3. Carolina Mendelblatt, POR, 6

Women's Match Racing
Group A, Only A sailed

Silja Lehtinen / Silja Kanerva / Mikaela WUlff, FIN, 8-1
Sally Barkow / Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham / Alana O'Reilly, USA, 6-0
Anna Tunnicliffe / Molly O'Bryan / Debbie Capozzi, USA, 6-1
Ekaterina Skudina / Elena Siuzeva / Irina Lotsmanova, RUS, 5-2
Juliana Senfft / Fernanda Decnop / Luciana Kopschitz, BRA, 4-3
Renata Decnop / Gabriela Nicolino / Larissa Juk, BRA, 3-3
Silke Hahlbrock / Maren Hahlbrock / Anlee Lukosch,, GER, 3-4
Nicky Souter / Jessica Eastwell / Katie Spithill, AUS, 3-4
Ru Wang / Pan Ting Ting / Li Xiaoni, CHN, 3-5
Vesna Dekleva Paoli / Katarina Kersevan / Lena Koter, SLO, 2-7
Rita Goncalves / Mariana Lobato / Diana Neves, POR, 1- 6
Jinnie Gordon / Laurel Gordon-Taylor / Catherine Belange, CAN, 0-8

Sanderson Makes Northerly Move In Port Tack Drag Race
For the next 1,000 nautical miles, the Volvo Open 70 fleet will be on port tack in a drag race that is taking the fleet across the southern tip of Sri Lanka and into the Bay of Bengal towards the waypoint at Pulau We and the entrance of the Malacca Strait, nine miles off the northernmost tip of Sumatra.

The landmass of Sri Lanka is continuing to produce a wind shadow, which has slowed the fleet, but once clear of the island and out across the Bay of Bengal, about 125 miles to east of the fleet, the breeze will pick up and the charge towards the barn door will begin in earnest.

There is little in the way of tactics that can be deployed at this stage of the game to gain an edge and the racing continues to be largely a drag race where boat handling and sail choice are the deciding components. However, late this afternoon at 1525 UTC, Mike Sanderson (NZL) made a tactical decision to ditch the south, take a hitch to the north, and get back in the mix.

CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) remains the most northerly of the fleet in a lateral split of some 12 nautical miles (nm), eight miles to weather of third-placed Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA).

Meanwhile, leg leader Read and his men had a lucky escape with PUMA's Mar Mostro after a brief encounter with a boat fishing with a long net earlier today, fortunately during daylight hours.

Three miles behind, the largely French crew of third-placed Groupama 4 are feeling rather smug. "Nice fight," said Cammas. "Rather satisfying in terms of speed," he added, both pleased and relieved that his boat is shaping up well against strong opposition.

Conversely fifth-placed Ian Walker (GBR) and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam is struggling to compete, or even to find the elusive 'fifth gear'. According to Walker, the team has tried every possible sail configuration to try to match the performance of those around them, but is just not quite achieving it. It is frustrating for the British skipper although the team is enjoying sparring with overall leader Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) who at 1900 UTC this evening had just rolled over the black boat to take up fourth place.

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

The MOD70 Takes On Europe
On Monday 23 January, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, the much anticipated 2012 MOD70 European Tour was unveiled. Starting on 29 August, five weeks of intensive racing will see the six competing MOD70s race nearly 5,000 miles in a mix of offshore competition, and races in the heart of five cities in five countries : Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.

The six MOD70s are helmed by skippers with some of the biggest hauls of oceanic medals – Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet, Roland Jourdain, Steve Ravussin and Yann Guichard. The teams will be setting off from Kiel in Germany, on the Baltic Sea, towards the east coast of Ireland, after a rather unfamiliar passage via the North coast of the Shetland Islands which will see the teams reach 60° North – as far north as Cape Horn is south.

After stopping off in the Emerald Isle, the teams will tackle the descent of the North Atlantic, heading for Cascais in Portugal, for an eight-day stopover before heading east.

Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the MOD70s will cross the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea to tie up at the feet of the Bonne Mère in Marseille (France), while the final leg of the European Tour 2012 will take the MOD70s on a big looped circuit around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, prior to climbing up to an Italian port looking out onto the Ligurian Sea...

At the end of this tour of Europe, the fleet will have covered 5,000 miles and crossed seven seas and one ocean.

Start : Kiel, Germany,  2 September :
Steeped in maritime tradition, Kiel is the city which played host to the Course de l'Europe during the first edition back in 1985, and again in 1997, for the 4th leg. For this 2012 edition of the MOD70 European Tour, the local authorities were the first to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project. Alongside KIEL.SAILING CITY, the online gambling company, Betfair, will be present at both the legendary Kiel Week, to be held in June 2012, and the German stopover for the MOD70 European Tour 2012.

The MOD70 European Tour 2012 in brief :
- First edition of the European Tour in MOD70s.
- 6 competing sailing teams (6 crew members per MOD70)
- 5,000 miles
- 5 countries visited: Germany (Kiel), Ireland, Portugal (Cascaïs), France (Marseille), Italy.
- 5 offshore races and 5 inshore events (city race and speed match)

Stopover schedule :
Kiel (Germany) from 29 August to 2 September
Ireland from 5 to 9 September
Cascaïs (Portugal) from 12 to 20 September
Marseille (France) from 23 to 30 September
Italy from 3 to 7 October

GOR Leg 3 BluQube Southern Ocean Scoring Gate Confirmed
At 02:00 GMT (15:00 local) on Sunday 29 January, the five double-handed, Global Ocean Race (GOR) Class40s will cross the Leg 3 start line in Lambton Harbour off the city of Wellington, New Zealand, for the 6,200-mile course through the Pacific Ocean, around Cape Horn and through the South Atlantic to the finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Leg 3 will take the GOR Class40s through the Pacific's high-latitudes on the classic round-the-world race route and in addition to intense low pressure systems spinning off Antarctica and sweeping east across the fleet, there is the increasing frequency of icebergs drifting north from Antarctica's ice shelves. Consequently, over the past few months, the GOR Race Committee has been monitoring the presence of ice in the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to the non-scoring, Felipe Cubillos Cape Horn Gate stretching north-south through Drake Passage between Horn Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, the bluQube Scoring Gate running north-south and located at 127.30W with a southern limit at 47S will double as a safety limit, bringing the fleet north from the threat of known and extensive ice fields.

The most recent single-handed Vendee Globe shifted their eastern Pacific safety gate as the IMOCA fleet spilled into the Pacific Ocean, leaving a fairly narrow and very steep, 1,400-mile descent to Cape Horn. Just over a year ago, the Velux 5 Oceans installed a safety limit in the Pacific and, most recently, in mid-December last year during their Jules Verne record attempt, Loïck Peyron and his crew on Banque Populaire V were routed through an ice field by Marcel van Triest using satellite imagery and nerves of steel, bringing the 40 metre maxi trimaran north from 56S to 50S.

bluQube's involvement with the GOR includes the company's own virtual race around the planet.

Rolex China Sea Race
2012 marks 50 years since five boats set off from Hong Kong, intent on racing to Manila in the Philippines. Amongst them, the five pioneering boats possessed one VHF radio, no trackers, no computer aided navigation and no weather routing subscriptions - the intervening years have seen many changes.

The competitors were escorted to the limit of Hong Kong waters by the Hong Kong Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, then continued unaccompanied until reaching Corrigedor, where in 1962 the finish line was manned by the Philippine Navy. Chris von Sydow's Reverie took line honours in a time of 107h 29m 57s, completely ignorant of the progress of the rest of the fleet.

Fast forward to 2012, and the Rolex China Sea Race is a fully fledged Category 1 offshore race, which since 1996 has finished in Subic Bay, some 50km north of Corrigedor. The fleet of around 40 boats will be fully equipped with the latest safety equipment and all will carry a Yellowbrick tracker unit which will update race management and ocean racing fans with the fleet's positions every 30 minutes.

The race record of 47h 43m 07s, set in 2000 by Karl Kwok on the Open 60 Beau Geste, still stands but with a strong IRC racing division which is likely to include defending Line Honours holder, Neil Pryde on his modified Welbourn 52, Hi Fi, together with Maxi Genuine Risk and TP52, FreeFire, Kwok's 10 year old record could well fall in this golden year.

Seahorse February 2012
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Cherry picking
While Dan Primrose looks further afield to see if useful lessons can be taken from elsewhere 

Rodney Pattisson has words on the way that Olympic sailing is going, as does Blue Robinson - putting on his Finnster hat. Where now for Ian Williams and for goodness sake, 'start smiling' says Terry Hutchinson

World news
Flying on the Big Blue with Loick Peyron and Brian Thompson, Sam's fresh start, Chuny Bermudez and Bubi Sanso stay focussed, the heritage movement gathers momentum in Auckland and it's kick-ass for Quantum Key West 2012. Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis - Legitimate disagreement
It's so great listening to Rod when he's trying oh-so-hard to stay diplomatic...

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the ratification of a new World Record.
Record: Outright  Around the World.
Yacht: Banque Populaire 5
Name:  Loick Peyron. FRA and a crew of 13
Dates:  22nd November 2011 to the 6th January 2012
Start time: 08; 31; 42 UTC on the 22nd November 2011
Finish time: 22; 14; 35 UTC on the 6th January 2012
Elapsed time: 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes and 53 seconds
Distance: 21600 NM
Average speed: 19.75 kts
Comments: Current record: "Groupama 3" Franck Cammas, FRA. Mar 10.  48d 7h 44m 52s

Note: the RTW distance is calculated based on a "perfect sphere" as per WSSR rule 26.1a and consequently the average speed is for the great circle distance around the world.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Entries Have Opened for the 2012 Race
Cowes, Isle of Wight: The Island Sailing Club (ISC) is delighted to confirm that the first entry registered by the Race Entries team at 12.04am for this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is Inseyandra, a Bavaria 46, owned and skippered by Martin Thomas from Kings Langley in Hertfordshire.  Martin is a Yachtmaster Instructor and Principal of Solent Sail Ltd, an RYA sailing school, and he will be racing on 30th June with an amateur crew of ten on board.

In what has become an annual tradition at the ISC, Lea Bennett, Club Secretary, telephoned Martin Thomas this morning to congratulate him on being the first entry and also revealed to him that he had in fact just pipped the triple Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie CBE to the post with his Race entry which was filed just two minutes later.

As it commences an eighth year as Race Title Sponsor, J.P. Morgan Asset Management confirms that Ben, whom the company also Title sponsors, has indeed entered this year's Race and, furthermore, it's the only time when he will be competing outside of the Finn class before the Olympics. In this most historic of sporting years for Great Britain and one in which Ben, GB's most successful Olympic sailor ever, is hoping to make history, he will skipper J.P. Morgan Asset Management Winston (GBR 2806L), a very competitive Beneteau First 40.

Visitors to the Race website will appreciate the new-look, user-friendly and feature-packed site launched today to coincide with this year's entries opening this morning.

Early bird entries close at midnight on February 25th.

Doyle Sails Frostbite Series Races 3 & 4
Southampton, UK: It was a bright morning with a steady 11 knot of breeze from 260' when the committee boat set up adjacent to Hover 2 and set a course cascading down Southampton water for race 3 of the frostbite series. As yet no sign of frost with another mild day in store and gentle wind, we thought.

With the minimal tide all classes had good starts even though the wind had started to freshen a little after the warning signal and one or two were shortening sail. By the end of the starting sequence the wind gradient was up to 22 knots a good force 6 with some stronger gust which made it lively for the class 1 boats running back to Hover 2 from the windward mark off Solent Refit at Hythe . The wind started to back and increased further as the race progressed resulting in some spectacular broaches and as the committee boat positioned herself for the second race we were reaching a near gale with a gradient of 30 knots and the gust ....... The decision not to continue racing was never in doubt with such conditions especially as the highest reported wind speed was in excess of 40 knots.

Needless to say the ensuing damage by the end of the race was considerable with at least 5 shredded spinnakers , a boat on the beach and the J92 Jammin with a broken mast . Enough for any mornings racing.

Class 1 was won by Kirsty and David Apthorp's new J111 J Dream which hit 19 knots on return to the Hamble. Class 2 winner was Erik the Red Bernard Fyan's Mustang 30. It was a day for the big boats in class 3 with Faze 3 Andrew Campbell's Bavaria 44 winning, and in J Class it was the J 80 J'ai Deux Amours owned by Stewart Hawthorn who took the bullet.

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 Katrina Johnson: re: London Boat Show.

As usual we only hear one view. To many who live North of London the journey to Excel is a delight compared to the old slog across London to a jaded, tired and rip off venue which thought that recordings a seagulls might make people fell better! Please do not tell me it takes to long to get to Excel as friends managed to get from Bursledon in 1 hr 40 min.

Excel is clean, feels airy and a pleasant display space to appreciate the boats and other stands and the food is a major improvement of the fare offered in the "good old days". I don't need to see the top of a mast because I know what one looks like and they do all look much the same. If you don't want to look at power boats then don't but don't tar everyone with the same brush.

Why some seem to think they can insult people from other areas of the country is beyond me. Oh yes, I forgot, If you come from north of the M27 you do not know anything about boats and are second rate citizens of the sailing world. You may have an opinion but there are other views, please respect them!

* From Sir Richard Branson: I blogged recently on sport, and my obsession with kitesurfing, thanks for all your feedback. My nephew Ludo Brockway shot this footage of me kitesurfing off Necker over Xmas. Since I'm pretty proud of it I thought I'd share it with you!

But I also wanted to use it as an excuse to speak again about kitesurfing. To me it's the best sport in the world. You can start at eight and keep at it until 80. It's not as expensive as you might think. You find friends to teach you and it doesn't take more than four hours to be up and away. You can share you kites with friends too.

So you just need to be able to get to a good lake or beach with good winds and you can embark on one of the most addictive, clean and enjoyable pastimes of your life.


Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1994 Macgregor Challenge 24. EUR 375,000. Located in France.

This remarkable ketch has been successfully racing and cruising, accommodating a small crew and guests in luxury. Equipped with a extensive set of sails and deck equipment she is a lightning fast vessel, also in light winds due to her displacement of only 13.500kg. She is equipped with a wing keel designed by Ben Lexcen, famous for the America Cup winner Australia II. The large saloon is air conditioned and offers plenty of room for guest and crew. Navigation is done with a perfect view from the deckhouse.

In 2006 and 2007 she underwent a complete refit, including replacement of her engine. The electrical system has been replaced in 2009. Now seriously for sale is a sail-away state.

Brokerage through Tulip Yachts:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Men who do things without being told draw the most wages. -- Rodney Dangerfield

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