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Champions Crowned In Ten Olympic Classes
Elliot Carney, GBR. Photo by Richard Langdon / Skandia Team GBR. Click on image for photo gallery.

Miami OCR In the lightest breezes yet over six days of sailing on Biscayne Bay, ten Olympic classes racing in US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR still managed to put on quite a show as they competed in their final medal races to determine gold, silver and bronze winners. Following the same format as the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, the event also hosted three Paralympic classes (which determined medal winners yesterday) and a total of 529 sailors from 41 countries.

US Sailing's Golden Torch Trophy, awarded to the U.S. sailor with the best overall performance at US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR, this year went to Finn Gold Medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). The torch, from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was presented by the Russian Olympic Committee to Andrew Kostanecki - United States Olympic Sailing Committee from 1985 to 1988. Mr. Kostanecki gave the torch to US Sailing as an award for aspiring Olympians and Paralympians. This is the first time that Railey has received this award.

A complete roster of competitors can be viewed at the event website, where video highlights produced by and presented by Rolex are available on-demand and full regatta results, photos and news updates are posted. Fans also followed the event on Facebook/RMOCR and Twitter/RMOCR.

Sonar, 10 boats - 10 races
Gold: Udo Hessels/ Marcel van de Veen/ Mischa Rossen, NED, 23
Silver: John Robertson/ Hannah Stodel/ Steve Thomas, GBR, 28
Bronze: Aleksander Wang-Hansen/ Marie Solberg/Per Eugen Kristiansen, NOR, 31

Skud-18, 6 boats - 10 races
Gold: Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 18
Silver: Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 19
Bronze: Jennifer French / Jean-Paul Creignou, USA, 23

2.4mR, 25 boats - 10 races
Gold: Damien Seguin, FRA, 17
Silver: Paul Tingley, CAN, 42
Bronze: Barend Kol, NED, 48

49er, 23 boats - 15 races + Medal Race
Gold: Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 42
Silver: Erik Storck / Trevor Moore, USA, 59
Bronze: Lauri Lehtinen / Kalle Bask, FIN, 79

Star, 29 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Robert Scheidt/ Bruno Prada, BRA, 37
Silver: Xavier Rohart/Pierre Alexis Ponsot, FRA, 48
Bronze: Eivind Melleby/ Petter Moerland Pedersen, NOR, 50

Laser Radial, 60 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Lijia Xu, CHN, 42
Silver: Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 50
Bronze: Evi Van Acker, BEL, 53

470 Men, 22 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page, AUS, 42
Silver: Sven Coster/Kalle Coster, NED, 48
Bronze: Panagoitis Kampouridis/Efstathios, GRE, 51

470 Women, 15 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold:Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout, NED, 30
Silver:Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark, GBR, 44
Bronze:Sophie Weguelin/Sophie Ainsworth, GBR, 53

Laser, Gold, 37 boats-10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Paul Goodison, GBR, 24
Silver: Bruno Fontes, BRA, 30
Bronze: David Wright, CAN, 48

Finn, 25 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Zach Railey, Clearwater, Fla., USA, 15
Silver: Jonas Hogh Christensen, DEN, 33
Bronze: Greg Douglas, CAN, 45

RS: X Men, 14 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Nick Dempsey, GBR, 11
Silver: Elliot Carney, GBR, 31
Bronze: Sebastian Wang-Hansen, NOR, 38

RS: X Women, 12 boats - 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Demita Vega De Lille, MEX, 16
Silver: Farrah Hall, USA, 37
Bronze: Dominique Vallee, CAN, 40

Women's Match Racing
Gold: Lucy Macgregor / Annie Lush / Kate Macgregor, GBR
Silver: Olivia Price / Nina Curtis / Lucinda Whitty, AUS
Bronze: Sally Barkow / Alana O'Reilly / Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham, USA

The GOR Class40s are off into the Southern Ocean Again
Photo by Oliver Dewar. Click on image to enlarge.

Global Ocean Race At 15:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Sunday, the double-handed Global Ocean Race (GOR) fleet started Leg 3 from Wellington, New Zealand, to Punta del Este, Uruguay, with a 6,200-mile course through the Pacific Ocean, around Cape Horn and through the South Atlantic ahead of the five Class40s.

Cessna Citation led the fleet out into Cook Strait with Ross and Campbell Field on Buckley Systems in hot pursuit and as the Class40s dropped south into the Pacific, the wind built quickly to 20 knots with a long rolling swell for the first night at sea, forcing the teams to reef as the sun began to dip. In the 06:00 GMT position poll, the Fields on Buckley Systems were furthest east in the fleet, closest to the Great Circle route and led the fleet with Cessna Citation furthest west dropping back to fourth and Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron moving up to second on Campagne de France. The South Africans on Phesheya-Racing held third place with Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon in fifth with Financial Crisis with just five miles separating the Class40s.

The GOR's Race Ambassador, Dee Caffari, explains what is ahead for the teams over the next month: "This is the big one, but it is also rewarded with the infamous landmark of Cape Horn," she explains. "The main difference with this ocean leg is that there are very few options along the way," Caffari continues. "The previous leg had the teams cross the Indian Ocean which is littered with islands along the way which can give options. Now, they will have none," she adds. "Once they leave the relative safety of the Cook Strait, they enter the Pacific with nothing between them and Cape Horn."

GOR Leg 3 positions at 06:00 GMT 29/01/12
1. Buckley Systems, DTF, 6,040nm, 7.4kts
2. Campagne de France, DTL, 2.6nm, 8.1kts
3. Phesheya-Racing, DTL, 3.2nm, 8kts
4. Cessna Citation, DTL, 4nm, 8.6kts
5. Financial Crisis, DTL, 5.2nm, 7.4kts

GOR points table and crew list for Leg 3:
1. Buckley Systems: 64 points. Ross and Campbell Field (NZL/NZL)
2. Campagne de France: 56 points. Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron (FRA/GBR)
3. Cessna Citation: 54 points. Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel (NZL/RSA)
4. Financial Crisis: 42 points. Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon (ITA/ESP)
5. Phesheya-Racing: 24 points. Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire (RSA/RSA)
6. Sec. Hayai: 6 points. Nico Budel and Frans Budel (NDL/NDL) RTD Leg 2, DNS Leg 3. Will re-join GOR for Legs 4 and 5

Marco Nannini Wins Italian Sailor of the Year Award
Marco Nannini, currently racing the double handed Global Ocean Race (GOR) 2011/2012, has been crowned Italian Sailor of the year by "Il Giornale della Vela", the most established italian sailing magazine. The prestigious award was first established in 1991 and has recognised talent over the years including sailors such as Alessandra Sensini, Giovanni Soldini and Francesco Deangelis. Marco Nannini, now aged 33, had not competed in an offshore race until 2006 but has since quickly built a strong offshore sailing curriculum with a class victory in the 2009 OSTAR, a second overall in the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland race in 2010 with co-skipper Paul Peggs and a participation in the single-handed Route du Rhum 2010 followed by his entry in the Global Ocean Race.

Marco shares his passion for offshore sailing through his unconventional and often humorous blog that has attracted a following of sailors and non-sailors alike who have given him strong support during his round the world yacht race campaign renamed "Financial Crisis" after failing to find a title sponsor for the race in the current tough economic climate.

"It is a great honour to win this award, I have faced many challenges to be on the start line of this race and I am not sure I would have carried on without the tremendous support I received from my family, my girlfriend Ella, my friends and the public so I wish to thank everyone who has been behind me so far" commented Marco Nannini.
How to help:

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Matt Cassidy (USA)
‘To win the MedCup, RC44s, Cong Cup, TP52 worlds and match race worlds in one year... It’s about time Matt!’ - Ian Williams; ‘Talented and driven since he was a little boy...’ - Abbie Plunkett; ‘When the chips are down, call for Matt!’ - Ray Wulf; ‘An all round class act’ - Duthie Lidgard; ‘No one compares to this boy’ - Sarah Callahan; ‘The ultimate unsung hero and the best can-do attitude out there’ - Dobbs Davis (sic); ‘Yeeeehah Matty!’ - Bobby Richards.

This month's nominees:

Conrad Colman (NZL)
Get voting Sam... The winners of Leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race sailed into Wellington with a secret. Only once close family had been informed was it confirmed that Sam Goodchild had fallen overboard from the pair’s Class 40 approaching New Zealand in very rough conditions and had only been saved after a lengthy demonstration of quite exemplary seamanship on the part of his calm Kiwi co-skipper

Adil Khalid (UAE)
The Volvo Ocean Race story of Abu Dhabi took a dramatic turn for the better when, after a poor result on the way into their home waters the local favourites stormed their In Port race... and then also stormed the first stage of Leg 3. We are very happy to give much of the credit for the turnaround to local crewman Khalid, the 23 year old being a former Olympic Laser sailor as well as now a key member of a top international ocean racing crew

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

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

Strait Surge Gives Trio Big Advantage
The leading pack made a break from the Volvo Ocean Race fleet with just four nautical miles separating the top three boats in the sprint through the Malacca Strait on Sunday - the day a bat took up residence with one of the teams.

At one stage Team Telefonica, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and Groupama sailing team were just 300 metres apart as they duelled for the lead on day eight of the second stage of Leg 3 from the Maldives to Sanya in China.

At 1310 UTC, Telefonica were clinging to the narrowest of leads, one nm ahead of Groupama, match racing their rivals in a fickle breeze of around seven knots.

Meanwhile CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were locked in their own fight close to the coast of Malaysia, a tactic which saw them lose ground on the leaders overnight as their deficit slipped to more than 50 miles. However as the sun started to set on the fleet the two chasers were mounting a comeback, taking full advantage of a fresh sea breeze to whittle down the lead to around 20 nm.

Team Sanya are struggling more than 110 miles behind the leaders.

Mike Sanderson's team will receive full Leg 3 points when they finish at their homeport, as they were unable to take part in Stage 1 because of a rigging problem, while the other five teams will receive 80 per cent of the points for Leg 3.

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship - Race 4
Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Skiffs Sydney Harbour: The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team of Michael coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas retained their Australian 18ft Skiff Championship title after another great win in Race 4 of the 2012 event on Sydney Harbour today.

Despite a determined challenge from the Rag & Famish Hotel team of Jack Macartney, Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers scored their third victory from the four races sailed so far and have an unbeatable lead going into next Sunday's last race of the championship.

Thurlow Fisher's winning margin today was 1m10s over 'The Rag', with Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Troy Tindall) another 11s back in third place.

With each team allowed to discard their worst performance, the net points scored so far are Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 3 points, Smeg (Nick Press) 6 points, Gotta Love It 7 10 points, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) 14, Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) 15, Rag & Famish Hotel 17 and Yandoo (John Winning) 18 points.

Following a long run of poor racing conditions this season, the fleet were sent away in a brilliant #2 sail North-East wind.

The Rag & Famish team never gave up and kept the pressure on Thurlow Fisher but Thurlow's superior upwind speed was too much to overcome.

Race 5, the last race of the championship, will be sailed next Sunday 5 February. The club's usual spectator ferry will follow this race leaving Double Bay Wharf, alongside the clubhouse and rigging area, at 2.15pm.

The JJ Giltinan Championship, the world's premier 18ft Skiff regatta, will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from 17-26 February. Approximately 30 teams from USA, New Zealand and UK as well as Australian teams representing NSW, Queensland and Western Australia will contest the 63rd JJ. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Running The Rhumblines
Whitsunday Sailing Club despite being geographically disadvantaged from the main stream of Queensland sailing has maintained a strong investment in attracting the local youth sailors to compete in class racing on Pioneer Bay.

Club Flag Officers have always encouraged the new generation members to enjoy their dinghy sailing irrespective of the results.

Their well managed try sailing days combined with the encouragement and advice provided by senior club members has provided a strong bond with the Optimist dinghy sailing team who recently contested the 2012 Australian Championship at Brisbane's Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

Several of the young Whitsunday Sailing Club Optimist racing team including 10 year old Hamish Swain racing for the first time at the national level experienced some serious challenges to maintain clear sailing space in the big fleet.

However they all were vastly improved individual sailors at the end of the regatta with Hamish Swain being rewarded as the best National sailor in his age group while the talented Eva Lorenz again expressed who skill to be selected in the Australian team to contest the 2012 New Zealand championships.

These results remain as a deserved reward for the team and the sailing training under present coach and former Australian Optimist championship Bronze Medallist Klaus Lorenz.

Klaus Lorenz basically self taught has a personal understanding of the challenges which the young tropical water sailors face but he represents an example that if you commit the time to endless hours on the 'training track' the results will dramatically improve.

Naturally he has spent a lot of time with his younger sister Eva making sure her career remains on track but he is similarly interested in being sure all the team of happy Optimist sailors continue to benefit building their skill and confidence.

Both Eva Lorenz and Hamish Swain have now returned to their respective class rooms to enjoy the admiration from their school mates.

However shortly after the school bag is packed at the end of the day they will enter the nautical class room at the Whitsunday Sailing Club to continue with their important training sessions. -- Ian Grant

An Illustrious History In Just Ten Years
Perth, Western Australia: The tenth annual Warren Jones International Youth Regatta starts on Tuesday 31st January, but in those few years it has built an illustrious history and an enviable reputation.

Generally regarded as one of the most prestigious youth match racing events in the world, it stands out from most of the others because of the size of boats sailed, Bakewell-White designed Foundation 36s, more akin the size of boat used on the senior circuit, and therefore an ideal step up the ladder for aspiring young sailors.

It is not just by chance that three of the seven past winning skippers have made it into the top ten on the world rankings, with two going on to be no. 1 in the world.

The plinth of this coveted trophy, which was presented to the crew of Australia II at the America's Cup Jubilee in 2001, bears the names of skippers who are now amongst the elite in a variety of areas of the sport.

Home grown West Australian skipper Morvar Mirsky, who won in '07 and '08, is still a regular on the World Match Racing Tour, and last year also flirted with the now "in vogue" multi-hull scene, trying out both the Extreme 40 circuit and the America's Cup 45s.

New Zealander Adam Minoprio, winning skipper in '06, also includes the Match Racing World Championship on his CV, and is currently competing in the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World.

There is certain to be a new name on the trophy come the end of the week, because none of the past winners are back.

The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta is managed by Swan River Sailing, and hosted this year by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, racing starts Tuesday 31st January, with the final on Friday 3rd February. -- John Roberson

Skippers, 2012 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.

Jordan Reece, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, AUS, ISAF Ranking: 32
David Chapman, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, AUS, 40
David Gilmour, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, AUS, 60
Jay Griffin, Cruising Yacht Club, AUS, 62
Tim Coltman, Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, NZL, 80
Josh Junior, Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, NZL, 161
Tristan Brown, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, AUS, 197
Sam Gilmour, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, AUS, 1341
Noaki Ichino , Japan Yacht Match-Racing Assoc, JPN, N/A

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 Jonathan Bailey, Clipper Race Director: I refer to the recent letter that you published from Mr John Stall regarding the alleged paranoia displayed by the Clipper Race organisers in relation to pirates in Asia. The Clipper Race has safely transited the South East Asia area without any incident of piracy many times over the last 15 years. The Clipper Race has achieved this by undertaking detailed advanced planning, by taking sensible precautions to lower the risk of an attack and by liaising with the local authorities in the area including Piracy Reporting Centre Kuala Lumpur. Sensible prior preparation and planning should not be confused with paranoia. You only have to refer to the recent incident reported in the Washington Post in which 15 fishermen were gunned down and murdered to see 'how friendly' Mr Stall's local fishermen can be in that area of the world!

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The Last Word
Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited. -- John Cleese

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