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America's Cup In Valencia... It's On!
A New York Appellate Division court today ruled unanimously against an appeal from Societe Nautique de Geneve to reinstate Ras Al Kahimah as the venue for the upcoming America's Cup races, and again unanimously against SNG's position on BMW Oracle's rudders with regards to measurement.

The full text (only one page) of the decision is at here:

The money quote re: RAK:

"By virtue of the April 7, 2009 order, and notwithstanding the Deed's requirement that a February race be conducted in the Southern Hemisphere, the races had to be conducted in Valencia, Spain, which is in the Northern Hemisphere, in February 2010, absent agreement otherwise between the parties or SNG's selection of an alternative Deed-compliant location by August 8, 2009. The motion court correctly rejected SNG's selection of RAK. The April 7, 2009 order of the Court of Appeals does not explicitly state that it intended to remove entirely the Deed's hemisphere requirements, or otherwise indicate, as SNG argues, that it was a compromise between GGYC's claimed right to have the race conducted as soon as 10 months after issuance of the order and SNG's claimed right to select a Northern Hemisphere venue. Accordingly, the order should be read as carving out an exception to the Deed's hemisphere requirements in the case of Valencia, and the phrase "or any other location selected by SNG" should be read as "or any other Deed-compliant location selected by SNG." RAK, which is in the Northern Hemisphere, is not a Deed-compliant location for a February race.

* From the Golden Gate Yacht Club:
The focus for the 33rd America's Cup is now squarely on Valencia, Spain. Today, the Appellate Division rejected the defender's second attempt to have Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, host the February match.

"This is a big stride forward," commented Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club spokesperson. "In place of doubt and delay, the sailing world wants certainty. It wants to see this contest to go-ahead soon and be contested under fair rules."

The New York Supreme Court ruled on October 30th that Ras al Khaimah did not comply with the Deed of Gift, a decision upheld by the Appellate Division in a unanimous verdict.

The Court also turned down SNG's second attempt to have rudders included in the crucial Load Water-Line measurement calculation. This has never occurred in the 32 previous America's Cup matches and won't happen in the 33rd.

"With the International Sailing Federation re-drafting the previously unbalanced and unfair agreement it struck with Societe Nautique de Geneve, and discussions continuing to normalize the Notice of Race, the common-sense approach to the remaining issues in this America's Cup is prevailing," added Ehman.

* From SNG:
The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court today upheld Justice Kornreich's decision of 30 October 2009 that disqualified the America's Cup Defender Societe Nautique de Geneve's choice of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as venue for the 33rd America's Cup. The four-judge panel also upheld Kornreich's decision to exclude rudders from the measurement of the load waterline length of the race yacht.

"Once again BMW Oracle's strategy to try to win the America's Cup in court instead of on the water has been successful. For the first time in the history of the America's Cup the Defender has been stripped of its fundamental right to select the venue. Societe Nautique de Geneve accepts this decision and Alinghi is looking forward to racing for the America's Cup on the water in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010," said Fred Meyer, SNG vice-commodore.

* The BMW ORACLE Racing team has departed San Diego for Valencia in preparation for February's 33rd America's Cup Match. Click on image to enlarge.


BMW Oracle's Cat gets loaded up

The cargo ship Oceanlady left the Port of San Diego early Tuesday afternoon and turned south. It will pass through the Panama Canal before heading across the tlantic Ocean and into the Mediterranean Sea. The trip to Valencia will take approximately three weeks, depending on weather. The cargo on board is unique, with the ship is carrying approximately 200 tonnes of material, including: the BOR 90 trimaran, the main element of the wing sail, four ustom made boxes containing the wing flaps, two spare masts, 19 shipping containers, and 10 other boats (RIBs etc.).

Weather proved to be an additional challenge, with wind hampering the first attempt at moving the wing. But overnight Monday night, the wing was transported across in calm conditions and loaded safely onto the Ocean Lady.

With the San Diego base now closed down and packed up, the team will re‐ssemble in Valencia following a short Christmas break and immediately resume preparations for the Match

Alfa Romeo Puts The Brakes on Wild Oats' Winning Streak in SOLAS Big Boat Challenge
Photo by Daniel Forster, Click on image for photo gallery.

Solas big boat challenge Neville Crichton's 100 foot Alfa Romeo has sounded the warning bell for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, capitalising on a costly mistake aboard Wild Oats XI to take a resounding victory in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.

"The difference was Ricko getting a twisted sail. Today's race was a bit of fun, but it's more fun to win," said Crichton.

Crichton's prediction for the upcoming blue water classic is the crew who makes the least mistakes will win.

If today's 14 nautical mile sprint around the southern end of iconic Sydney Harbour is anything to go by, Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI crew have been given a rude reminder that they'll only beat Crichton by sailing a perfect race. The Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats XI was leading Alfa Romeo around the track until the final downwind run when a nasty wrap in their spinnaker cost them the silverware.

The biggest spectator fleet in the event's 16 year history wasn't disappointed as the 19 starters set off up the harbour under grey skies in a nor'easterly breeze that fluctuated between 12 and 16 knots during the afternoon.

Wild Oats XI and Alfa Romeo, both Reichel Pughs, shot out of the starting gate off Steele Point, the two boat-for-boat up the first beat in an America's Cup style match race.

Crichton was aggressive on the helm, calling starboard on Wild Oats XI's skipper on the first windward beat and forcing him to tack off, the two boats so close the crews could have shaken hands.

Wild Oats XI led Alfa Romeo around the course, rarely more than two boat lengths apart as the skippers sailed their own races, only meeting to cross tacks and at rounding marks. Then, when it looked like Richards had the supposedly "fun race" sewn up, a spinnaker malfunction allowed Crichton to pounce.

Third over the line was Bob Oatley's Wild Oats X, skippered by Iain Murray, and fourth was Sean Langman's 100 foot Investec LOYAL with its A-list sporting line up including Grant Hackett, Phil Waugh and Phil Kearns.

Last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner, Bob Steel's TP52 Quest, skippered by Mike Green, was named today's overall winner from Geoff Ross' RP55 Yendys and Stephen Ainsworth's RP63 Loki.

The next event on the Rolex Sydney Hobart lead up calendar is the Rolex Trophy Rating Series which starts Thursday 17 December and runs through to Sunday 20 December before the climax, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starts at 1pm on 26 December. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Full results

Spanish Castle To White Night
Green Dragon's watch captain Neal McDonald had done five of these races, and reckoned days two and three of any leg were always the worst. It was the transition between shore and sea life that was hardest.

On the first day the adrenaline was pumping and no one slept much anyway, and by day three the crew was getting into the new rhythm. It was the bit in between that was tough, and on this leg it was not being made any easier by the conditions.

Rick Deppe wrote from PUMA ... "My own theory is that people are still recovering from the physical and mental toll taken on them by Leg 5, there's been no real downtime for months now, so being out here and going between zero and three knots is understandably frustrating."

Ericsson 4's Kiwi watch captain Stu Bannatyne wrote of his own concerns: "In Rio, there was barely enough time to regain weight, let alone any conditioning or strength lost on the previous leg.

"This means that most of the sailors on Leg 6 will still be at sub-optimum physically. Add to this the travelling for the guys that flew home from Rio and it makes for a tough turn around.

Extract taken from the Official Volvo Ocean Race Book - packaged together with the official DVD and available for order now at:

Oman Sail Masirah Win Round 2 in Singapore
Photo by Thierry Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Sail Masirah Win Round 2 in Singapore It was all clear at the top of the leaderboard at the end of five days of racing in Singapore under a kaleidoscope of weather as Oman Sail's Masirah took their second consecutive win at the Extreme Sailing Series Asia. But the battle for second raged on through the afternoon with Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team finally taking second place with The Wave, Muscat in third.

The final day of racing in Singapore started with a light two knot wind and the six teams tactically fighting their way around the racecourse, searching for the best possible winds. The skippers and crews were tested by the Race Committee as they began two races with the more challenging downwind starts as the wind picked up to a more consistent 10 knots. But just before the start of the fifth and final race of the day, there was plenty of drama as a thunderstorm struck the reservoir soaking the sailors and the VIP guests onboard to the skin.

The heavy downpour was relentless, forcing the Race Committee to abandon the race and the day's sailing for safety reasons as lightening powered down over Marina Reservoir. With the abandonment called, the calculators were out as the valuable last race double points were added to the previous race, but Masirah remained firm at the top of the leaderboard, continuing their domination of the Extreme 40 fleet. This win capitalises on their European crown in November and their win two weeks ago in the first leg of this Asian circuit in Hong Kong at the end of November.

The Extreme Sailing Series Asia now moves on to Muscat, Oman, for the third and final leg from 1st-5th February 2010.

Final Leaderboard for Round 2 at Singapore:
1. Oman Sail's Masirah 121 points
2. Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team 111
3. The Wave, Muscat 100
4. China Team 92
5. BT 87
6. Rumbo Almeira 77

Overall Leaderboard after Round 1 & 2:
1. Oman Sail's Masirah 12 points
2. BT 7
2. China Team 7
4. The Wave, Muscat 6
4. Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team 6
6. Rumbo Almeira 4

HVS Sets A New Focus
Photo by Henning Rocholl. Click on image for photo gallery.

HVS Sets A New Focus On December 22nd 2009 the Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt e.V. (HVS) will take over their new flagship and sets again a new focus in offshore sailing and youth promotion for the city of Hamburg.

The association has built in New Zealand (in just 7 months) their new flagship, a 52.3 foot (15.95 metre) long offshore sailing yacht. The boat, the 14th 'Hamburg' in the 107 years history of the HVS, is a consistent follow up of the general purpose of the association to give the youth the opportunity to learn and exercise offshore sailing. To achieve this aim HVS is supported since 2001 by the Hamburger Sparkasse (Haspa). The very positive relation of these two "Hamburgensien" (old and traditional Hamburg institutions or personality) was corroborated again early 2009 by prolongating the Haspa engagement up to 2015. Consistently the new yacht will be christening again by the name "Haspa Hamburg".

With this milestone the HVS sets again after it's 100years jubilee in 2003 - at that time the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge (DCNAC) - a new focus, this time with a new build for the youth education on offshore yachts and now with an absolute latest-state-of-the-art-design by the renowned yacht designer Judel/Vrolijk.

The new "Haspa Hamburg" got a carbon mast from Hall Spars and Sails from Doyle Sails. Down in the "cellar", directly underneath the cockpit, all data comes together by which the navigator has to find out the optimal course. "Some are talking about a 'torture chamber', others get glossy eyes when they see the modern navigation" smirks Christian Heermann, one of the active sailors of HVS and work-related an enthusiastic electronican.

"The building yard 'Hakes Marine' in Wellington did a super job", ascertained Henning Rocholl, Vice President of HVS, who conducts the acceptance of the yacht during the next few days in Wellington.

The transport of the yacht from Auckland to Hamburg will start on February 5th 2009 donated by the Hamburg based shipping company 'Hamburg Süd' from Auckland to Hamburg.

LOA (incl. bow sprit) - 17.20 m (56.45')
Length waterline - 15.00 m (49.20')
Beam - 4.80 m (15.75')
Draft - 3.50 m (11.48')
Displacement - 12.8 t (28,220 lb)
Ballast weight - 5.4 t (11,905 lb)

Mast above water 25.23 m (82.78')
I - 22.00 m (72.18')
P - 21.50 m (70.54')
E - 7.29 m (23.92')
J - 6.35 m (20.83')

Maximum sail areas
Main - 97 m2 (318.2 sq ft)
Jib (100%) - 70 m2 (229..7 sq ft)
Gennaker - 250 m2 (820.2 sqft)

More about the sailing yacht "Haspa Hamburg" at

Northern Temperatures Falling - Key West Heating Up
Serious racing sailors from across the U.S. and around the world are heading to the southernmost island in the United States - beautiful, tropical Key West.

Key West 2010, presented by Nautica will be the 23rd edition of this prestigious international regatta.

The first entry deadline is not until December 18 and over 130 IRC, One Design and PHRF boats from more than 20 US states and 12 different countries are currently represented. While the global recession continues to impact the overall fleet numbers for this and other travel regattas, the quality of the competition and the enthusiasm of the Key West participants is as strong as ever.

With Farr 40s from Italy, Monaco, Germany, Denmark, Canada, California, the U.S. East Coast and Great Lakes, this Grand Prix class boasts more entries this year than last.

J/105s and J/80s are also seeing an increase in their numbers. Defending J/105 Key West Champion Brian Keane's Savasana (Marion, Mass) will face Key West regulars and new comers alike. The J/80 Mid-Winters at Key West are the beginning of their East Coast tour, which will culminate in their worlds in October.

Other strong classes are the always highly competitive Melges 24 and 32 classes. The Melges 32s just completed their Gold Cup and with at least 15 of those boats joining others in Key West, there will be plenty of opportunities for southernmost rematches and changes in podium positions.

A new multihull handicap class with feature the Key West debut of the Corsair Sprint 750, the 2007 Sailing World Sportboat of the year. The Corsair 28Rs, which first participated in Key West in 2002 as a one design class, will be represented as well.

IRC 1 racing will prove interesting again this year. Sir Irvine Laidlaw's new Wally 82 Highland Fling XI (Monaco) and Hap Fauth's well travelled Reichel Pugh 69 Bella Mente (Newport, RI) are the big boats in class along with four highly competitive TP52s.

The new Mark Mill's designed Summit 35 is making its Key West debut. Charlie Milligan and Bill Titus' Act One (Newport, RI) is a Sailing World Boat of the Year nominee in the performance-oriented models category.

Current Entry List:

Kiteboarding Olympic Bid
With the successful bid of Rio de Janeiro and the Olympic Sailing Regatta 2016 held on the beaches of the Copacabana, Kiteboarding would perfectly suit into this scenery and add a true highlight to the Olympic Games.

"Kiteboarding is the purest form of sailing and would be an awesome addition to the Olympic Family within the framework of the 2016 Olympic Sailing Event. Kiteracing is not weight sensitive and all of your equipment can fit in the back of a regular car. Its colorful, dynamic, inexpensive and super easy to learn... and can be done in water as shallow as 2 inches deep, opening up many places where no other craft can navigate.

As a five-time Olympic Athlete within the sport of Windsurfing and now a professional kiteboarder, I feel Kiteboarding would marry well within ISAF's umbrella of international and Olympic Sailing events. Why not introduce the sport to the world for the 2016 Olympics. It is the most modern and efficient form of wind powered sailing on the planet.", says two-time olympic medalist Michael Gebhardt (USA), member of the IKAs Olympic Commission.

The 2009 brochure "Kiteboarding and the Olympics" can be downloaded here

800 Nautical Miles Solo On Minis 6.50
In May 2010, they will be 60 sailors to sail off for a qualifying race - the Mini Pavois - for the 2011 Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50. Great established 800 nautical miles solo race with a stopover. This sixth edition of the Mini Pavois takes, for the fourth time, the fleet south to Gijon (Asturias, Spain).

The fleet will leave the shores of the Charente-Maritime prior to heading to Gijon (Asturias-Spain). There is about 300 miles of sailing to the Spanish port via the Bay of Biscay.

The approach of Gijon is not so simple with the effects of wind along the Cantabrian hills. Once in Gijon, the fleet will stop for a few days off and sail off again on Sunday the 9th of May 2010 for 500 miles via a turning mark buoy yet undetermined before going back to the Charente-Maritime and La Rochelle. That means new weather controls but also body and spirit control. They will have then to be careful of shipping and fishing fleets, to manage the current overturns and coasts effects between the islands. 2009 Mini Pavois podium:

1. Thomas Ruyant (Faber France)
2. Bertrand Delesne (Raging Bull and Entreprendre Durablement)
3. Remi Auburn (AT Children's Project)

1. Davy Beaudart (Port a sec Guy Beaudart)
2. Fabien Sellier (Surfrider Foundation)
3. Pierre-Yves Lautrou (Altaïde Moovement)

2010 Mini Pavois:
Race: La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime) / Gijon (Asturias) / La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime).
Start: Tuesday the 4th of May 2010
Nautical miles: 800 nm - two legs (300 + 500 miles) or 1,481 km.
Boats: 60 boats, two categories: series and prototypes.
Two rankings Series and prototypes.
Organization: GPO - Grand Pavois Organisation

Best Sailors' Bar In The World
Voting continues to knock the list down to the Top Ten, starting Friday we'll then vote for the Best Sailors' Bar...

As of this evening, with nearly 2000 total votes cast, the top ten are:

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club - Hong Kong, 287 votes
Maddie's Sail Loft - Marblehead, MA USA, 205
IYAC - Newport RI, USA, 196
Bitter End Yacht Club - British Virgin Islands, 172
Foxy's Tamarind Bar and Grill - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands, 101
Le Select - St. Barts, 93
The Candy Store - Newport, RI, USA, 81
Willy T - Norman Island, British Virgin Islands, 77
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Hamilton Bermuda, 75
Cafe Sport - Horta, Azores, 52

Voting for the top ten continues until Friday, go to

Starting on Friday, it's a vote for the Best One!

The contest is brought to you by the makers of Wight Vodka:

We suggest you try one (or more) of these whilst deciding on your favourite bars, a lovely little Holiday drink:

Best Sailor's Bar in the World

The Wight Snowfall

1/2 Shot Chilled Wight Vodka
2 Shots Chilled Cranberry/Pomegranate Juice
Splash of Chambord
Top up with your favourite Champagne

Mix Wight Vodka, Cranberry, Pomegranate and Chambord in a shaker with ice. Shake like crazy to deep chill it.

Pour into a champagne flute and top up with your favourite chilled champagne.
Enjoy in the company of friends, fellow yachtsmen and any potential lover(s). --

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 Ginny Jones: Shackleton's Last Voyage, and the books about Endurance are some of the most amazing true stories that you will ever read. Think about the journey that they all made to get away from Endurance, then the open sea journey in an open boat that he and a few crew made in the James Caird and then the trip up over the mountains of South Georgia in the snow and ice, and finally the journey to rescue his crew. Absolutely bloody amazing! All without any modern safety equipment, clothing, or anything except skill, grit and determination.

By the way, Tim and Pauline Carr, whose boat is now in the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, England lived on South Georgia after sailing all over the world in their engineless Falmouth cutter (Curlew). Their's is also an absolutely bloody amazing story. And they wrote a book which has the most beautiful photographs.

Makes the turmoil of the America's Cup look not only silly but pathetic when you think about real seamen like them. In fact there are some really amazing seamen such as the Carrs, and the Barrots (Noel and Litara) now in Whangerei, NZ are the folks that we should be writing and reading about rather than the tossers who are involved in the AC (and yes, I know the word tosser is pejorative).

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1990 75' Vaton Sloop 'Javelin', EUR 800,000. Located in Marmaris, Turkey.

Javelin is a typical example of the Javelin series. 3 of them were built in 1990. Javelin was extensively refitted in 2006 and 2007.

She is now in superb condition.

This design was orentated towards performance with narrow waterline beam, low freeboards and coachroof and large open cockpit.

Javelin is now MCA coded and professionnally maitained by a permanent skipper.

Brokerage through Castlemain Sarl.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world. -- Thomas Jefferson

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