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It's Gilmour's Choice
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Warren Jones International Youth Regatta Perth, Western Australia: David Gilmour, and his crew from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, went undefeated through the third day of the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta, to win the round robin stage of the event.

Gilmour finished with a 16 win, 2 loss score line, which gives him the privilege of choosing his opponent for the quarter finals, and he had no hesitation in selecting eighth placed Jay Griffin from Sydney's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Racing on the third day was delayed for several hours as a glassy calm pervaded the Swan River, with the north westerly breezes spinning off cyclone Iggy being blocked by the south easterlies produced by a high in the Bight.

Eventually it was the south easterly that won, and produced robust conditions, with gusts of up to 25 knots putting the crews through their paces.

While Gilmour has dominated the event since the second day, the rising star of the regatta has been Josh Junior from Wellington's Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, who has climbed from seventh place at the end of the first day to fourth.

The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta is managed by Swan River Sailing, and hosted this year by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, the final will be sailed on Friday 3rd February. -- John Roberson

1. David Gilmour, AUS, 16 - 2
2. Jordan Reece, AUS, 13 - 5
3. Peter Nicholas, AUS, 12 - 6
4. Josh Junior, NZL, 12 - 6
5. David Chapman, AUS, 10 - 8
6. Tristan Brown, AUS , 9 - 9
7. Sam Gilmour, AUS, 7 - 11
8. Jay Griffin, AUS, 6 - 12
9. Tim Coltman, NZL, 5 - 13
10. Naoki Ichino, JPN, 0 - 18

Puma Back In Touch as Telefonica Pulls Ahead
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA) has re-joined the fleet after a brief sojourn to the east, while leaders of the pack, Team Telefonica, have again extended their lead over second-placed Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas/FRA). At 2200 UTC tonight, Telefonica led Groupama 4 by 19.4 nautical miles (nm).

At 1640 UTC today, the crew of PUMA's Mar Mostro had reached the Vietnamese coast, crossing astern of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam (Ian Walker/GBR). During the next three hours, they exchanged tacks with Azzam and, averaging 12 knots and sailing faster than anyone else, the crew of PUMA's Mar Mostro managed to nip across their bows and found themselves four and a half miles ahead of Walker and his team. They were back in touch and the leaders were just 27 nm ahead.

At 2200 UTC tonight, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand's third place was under threat from Read and his men as their comeback gained momentum with just over 400 nm left to run until the finish in Sanya on Saturday. CAMPER led Mar Mostro by just over four and a half miles, while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were less than four miles astern.

Meanwhile, Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson/NZL) in sixth place, was still 76 nm south of the coast of Vietnam, and 187 nm adrift from Telefonica.

The fleet has now peeled away from the southeast coast of Vietnam and is heading out to sea before tacking and pointing towards Sanya. "It will be a bit like rounding a Cape," said CAMPER'S Chris Nicholson earlier. "There's going to be a fair bit going on. It will be windy and a potential for confused seas. We will have our wits about us for that bit".

A Day In Paradise, a Day In Hell
Marco Nannini in the Global Ocean Race

The first few days of the race, once out of Cook Strait, have been relatively easy sailing, reaching then downwind in moderate seas clocking good mileage every poll, we were happy with our choice of heading further south at the beginning which paid very well as now we have a lead of over 70 miles over Phesheya, our direct peer with an identical boat (although I undertand they had an issue with a spinnaker). The leaderboard keeps getting now reshuffled, each with their own idea of how to best deal with what looks like up to a week of head winds.

When the front came through yesterday the wind went from north westerly (good) to south easterly (bad) and kept increasing, today we had anything from 30 to 45 knots of wind in a deteriorating sea state, the port pilot started to struggle until it would just steer an erratic course with several involutary tacks which allowed for some rather loud swearing from my part, from a distance you may well have thought we are sponsored by French Connection UK, or close anagram thereof.

We now switched to the starboard pilot, reset the all settings and we seem to be doing a little better although knowing we have endless miles ahead of this bashing is not exactly making us sing songs of joy, there will be no real respite for at least 48 hours when at least the wind is due to calm down a bit.

There's not much we can do and everyone has the same to deal with, so let's just grin and bear till things will hopefullly improve, all we wish for at the moment is to keep going and suffer no damage.

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

Andy Rice looks at the Olympic state of play, Iain Murray updates us on the good and the bad in Cup World and at Key West Terry Hutchinson is awarded some time out for good behaviour onboard a good ’ol one-huller

Paul Cayard - The game starts here
Why 2012 is going to be the make-or -break year for America’s Cup teams

IRC - Weighty matters
Why did we ever think that theory would ever beat a set of ‘weighing scales’? James Dadd

Sailor of the Month
And a rather magnificent contest... (we think)

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...

14 Teams Confirmed for 2012 RC44 Championship Tour
New faces and one new team are confirmed in the line-up for the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour, which kicks off in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote next week (8 February 2012).

Each of the 14 competing teams will be hoping to emulate the success Chris Bake's Team Aqua (GBR) saw in 2011. Bake will be back with the same team, including longstanding tactician Cameron Appleton (NZL), and fighting to lift the trophy for the second year in a row, despite some heavy-hitters joining the Tour in 2012.

The new all-Italian team joins the fleet for the 2012 season. AFX Capital Racing Team is owned by Massimo Barranco, founder and General Manager of Eurograni SpA Company, the largest wheat and cereal trader in Italy. The team will debut at the first event in Puerto Calero.

New professionals such as multiple America's Cup winner Brad Butterworth (NZL), fellow Cup winner Ed Baird (USA) and Olympic medallist Ross Macdonald (CAN) are listed on the crew lists for first event of the season in Lanzarote.

Adding another experienced match sailor to their crew, Team AEZ (AUT) will this season welcome Germany's Markus Wieser.

Absent from the 2012 season is ORACLE Racing, whose crew will be fully concentrating their efforts on the defence of their title at the 34th America's Cup.

The 14 competing teams will again be challenged by a mixture of lake, ocean and harbour racing in 2012 with new host port, Cascais in Portugal, welcoming the fleet for the second round of the Tour.

Teams competing in the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour:

AEZ Sailing Team (AUT44)
Rene Mangold (AUT) / Markus Wiser (GER)

AFX Capital Racing (ITA7)
Massimo Barranco (ITA) / Gabriele Bruni (ITA)

Aleph Sailing Team (FRA17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA)

Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Morgan Larson (USA)

Ironbound (USA 1)
David Murphy (USA) / Andy Horton (USA)

Katusha (RUS 007)
Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) / Brad Butterworth (NZL)

No Way Back (NED 18)
Pieter Heerema (NED) / Ross MacDonald (CAN)

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1)
John Bassadone (GBR) / Vasco Vascotto (ITA)

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP 1)
Daniel Calero (ESP) / Jose Maria Ponce (ESP)

Igor Lah (SLO) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA)

RUS-7 Sail Racing Team powered by (RUS7)
Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Sergui Chevtsov (RUS)

Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13)
Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS) / Ed Baird (USA)

Team Aqua (GBR 2041)
Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appleton (NZL)

Team Nika (RUS 10)
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tomislav Basic (CRO)

Who Will Grab The Tiger By The Tail?
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SailJuice With the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy just completed, the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2012 has passed the half-way stage, with a Fireball still sitting in pole position. It was a light wind regatta at Northampton last Saturday, which was booked to maximum capacity of 150 entries. A good opportunity for some of the hiking classes like the Merlin Rocket and RS400 to come to the fore after the windier outings at the Grafham Grand Prix and Bloody Mary earlier in January.

Dave Winder and Pippa Tayler held together a consistent day to win the doublehanded division, but Sam Mettam and Richard Anderton hung in with a 6th place in their Fireball to maintain the lead in the SailJuice series. Meanwhile Peter Gray and Alex in their Scorpion scored 3rd in the division and also sit in 3rd overall in the Series. 

In the singlehanders, while two Phantoms led home the division on the day, Ian Morgan's 7th place in the Laser gives him 2nd overall in the SailJuice Series as the focus now turns to this weekend's John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water.

Last year Andy Smith and Tim Needham dominated a windy Tiger Trophy, winning all three races on the Saturday and becoming the first team ever to win the £1000 prize that has been on offer for many years to any boat that could win every race at the Tiger. This weekend the forecast is unpredictable, with the prognosis changing by the day. It could be a drifter, it could blow a gale, but past competitors will know that it has to be extreme before the Tiger Trophy is cancelled.

Three races will be sailed back to back on Saturday with the fleet divided into fast and slow handicap but all sailing the same course. This enables average lap times to be established over the whole fleet and an overall winner decided. The annual Tiger Trophy Pursuit race on Sunday is non-discardable and has for many years been the downfall of some exceptional sailors.

Already more than 100 boats have entered in advance. To join them, click here:

To see Overall Standings in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2012:

With the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds a little under seven months away, Zhik has announced an innovative competition to run in conjunction with the championship to be held at Campione del Garda, Italy in August.

Mothapalooza is a competition which will award 5,000 Euro cash to the competitor who designs the Moth with the most creativity, personality and style.

"There were quite a few boats with unique identity at the last Worlds", said Bart Milczarczyk, Design Manager at Zhik, "and we wanted to inspire that further, bring in some attitude, and make it fantastic to watch for spectators both in Italy and on-line".

Three independent judges will score each competitor's Mothapalooza hull, rig, and clothing and award a series of prizes.

Zhik is announcing this competition today to allow all competitors enough time to create their design master pieces.

Prizes will be as follows:
1st Prize - €5,000 Euro cash
2nd Prize - Complete Zhik Kit, worth over €1,200 Euro
3rd Prize - Complete Zhik Kit, worth over €1,200 Euro
Peoples Choice - Complete Zhik Kit, worth over €1,200 Euro
Peoples Prize - €1,000 Euro of Zhik gear chosen from

While the main Mothapalooza prize will be judged purely in the boat park and on Lake Garda, the "People's Choice" prize has an interesting twist to it. In the People's Choice competition, the general public can vote on-line at where competitors will be able to submit, videos, text, music or whatever medium they choose to highlight their designs.

The "People's Prize" will be won by one lucky viewer who successfully selects the winning Mothapalooza. To be in the running, you must vote for your favourite design at

Cold Shoulder for Hot Liquid
After three serious safety related incidents, the RYA has removed its recognition of Hot Liquid Southampton as a provider of RYA training courses, leaving the company unable to offer or run RYA courses.

The RYA decision was made following three serious safety related incidents involving Hot Liquid Southampton between January 2011 and January 2012.

"The removal of RYA recognition from a training centre is never a decision that is taken lightly," said RYA training manager and chief examiner Richard Falk. "However, it is essential that customers are confident appropriate safety management routines are in place at any centre displaying the RYA Recognised Training Centre logo."

The RYA advises that any customers booked on an RYA course at Hot Liquid Southampton should contact the school directly to discuss their situation. If a customer has a further query they can contact the RYA at 02380 604100.

Hot Liquid Gibraltar, which has operational safety management routines controlled separately to those of the Southampton site, will retain RYA recognition for all disciplines currently on offer.

Maserati Sets Sail
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Maserati Today saw the start of Maserati's first record attempt. Giovanni Soldini and his crew of seven experienced yachtsmen set sail this morning at 11:50:08 hrs GMT from the port of Cadiz (Spain), heading to San Salvador (Bahamas). The crew's ambitious objective is to set a new record over the Cadiz-San Salvador distance, a journey of 3884 miles across the Atlantic that has never been attempted by a monohull yacht before now.

Skipper Soldini is accompanied by German yachtsman Boris Herrmann (navigator), American yachtsman Brad Van Liew and Spaniard David Vera (both watch leaders) as well as four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman) and Marco Spertini (second bowman).

"We have decided to set off from Cadiz immediately because of favourable weather", explains Giovanni Soldini. "The high pressure area over the Azores has moved to a position from which it should grant us a good wind during the first half of the crossing. We can't really tell what will happen in the second half, around 40-50 W, because the long term forecasts are simply not reliable enough. We shouldn't find any surprises, though. We are all ready for the challenge and really looking forward to getting under way."

The Cadiz-San Salvador record is being monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. It is a particularly tough challenge due to the length of the crossing and its difficulty. The main problem during the first part of the trip will be a high pressure area over the Azores and blocking the way. During the second half, the principal risk will come from a series of fronts and depressions that could slow the boat down if the pressure is too low. In the past, only large trimarans have made attempts on this record. Maserati is trying to set the first reference time for monohull boats.

The record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati's new website

Sailing Passion
Veteran Gold Coast sailor Colin Metcher (74) will again test his personal endurance at the tiller of his sports skiff Cool Change when the exciting fleet of mixed class dinghies and catamarans contest The Great Race on Saturday February 25.

This unique and exciting sailing challenge ranked among Australia's most demanding small boat races again promises to sort the best from the rest over the 37.8 nautical mile (70 km) course from the The Southport Yacht Club Hollywell to finish off The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron on Brisbane's Waterloo Bay.

Colin Metcher who won his first major trophy The South of Perth Yacht Club championship 58 years ago has an impressive list of International and National awards showcased in his personal trophy cabinet.

In fact he has sailed that many miles his race rivals believe he has salt water in his blood stream and turtle-neck barnacles growing on his skin.

His personal career resume includes winning the World Hydra catamaran championship plus a class win in the prestigious Hoek van Holland marathon in Europe.

To say he has a personal passion for the sport of sailing is an understatement as he has focused his career on planning and competing in major marathon events in West Australia before settling on Queensland's Gold Coast where he as a principal organizer with Southport Yacht Club mate David Jorganson set the safety procedures in place for the inaugural Great Race seven years ago.

"Sure sailing is my passion and I'm proud of it" He said when pondering over the thought of subjecting his 74 year old muscles to another test of physical torture.

He has a good idea on what to expect, being the only skipper to have the distinction of completing all seven marathons since the first of these classic marathon races in 2005.

Further information is available from Colin Metcher on 0459 122 090. -- Ian Grant

Irish Sailing Association 6th Annual National Conference
The ISA 6th Annual National Conference is returning to Dun Laoghaire on the 3rd of March 2012 to launch what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting years for watersports in Ireland.

The conference will include many seminars and workshops across a range of interesting and exciting topics delivered by fascinating guest speakers.

Find out all about the ISAF Youth Worlds, Cork Week, Round Ireland and the Volvo Ocean Race at '2012 Events' or learn about our 2012 Olympic Squad at 'Olympic Update & Junior Pathway'. Are you hosting an event in your club this year? Then we have the perfect seminars for you; 'Raising Money & Running Successful Events' and 'Media Management'. There will also be an 'Open Forum' with all ISA Managers and ISA President Niamh McCutcheon hosted by MC, renowned writer and broadcaster, Fergal Keane. It's FREE for ISA members!

More information:

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 Chris Brown: Re: the current Volvo Round The World Race...

I couldn't agree more with Euan Ross' comments today regarding the recent batch of commentaries. Has J K Rowling been dialled into the media training for Volvo competitors? What with the mentions of the mystery Voldemort race stop, it makes me wonder. Hogwarts waypoint next anyone?  

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1987 Beneteau First Class 12. US$ 57,900. Located In Sarasota, Florida, USA.

Beneteau's First Class 12 Series are FAST sailing yachts. Blistering speed, great sails, diesel power, tiller steering and some cruising amenities make for great performance whether racing the local round the buoys circuit or long distance racing. This shoal draft version with bulb keel draws only 5 1/2 feet. This boat has been modified for short handed sailing and can be easily run but two. Cruise fast with this unique and spacious Beneteau 40.

A proven race winner on the Florida circuit, she is in good condition and will continue to reward her owners with racing trophies and the pride of ownership with one of the fastest 39 foot monohulls on Florida's west coast.

Brokerage through Grand Slam Yacht Sales:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
A real friendship ought to introduce each person to unexpected weirdness in the other. -- Jaron Lanier

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