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Team Finland Takes Line Honours
Photo by Clipper Ventures PLC. Click on image for photo gallery.

Clipper Finish Western Australia Geraldton, Western Australia: Team Finland has secured their third victory of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race, crossing the finish line in Geraldton, Western Australia, at 1210 local time (0410 GMT). In what has been the closest race to date, Team Finland finished just 33 minutes ahead of Spirit of Australia, denying the Australian team the home port victory that they were so desperate to achieve. Third place went to Jamaica Lightning Bolt, with the Caribbean team beating Cape Breton Island across the line and claiming their second podium finish of Clipper 09-10.

Commenting on his third victory in four races, winning skipper, Eero Lehtinen, said, "It's really nice to have finished first in this race since this is the last one for me as skipper of Team Finland. There was some very close racing with Spirit of Australia at the end and we knew they were pushing hard in order to win into their home port, which made us even more determined to take it away from them. Our victory has also been a bit of revenge as they beat us to the scoring gate."

Crowds of supporters, friends and family lined the breakwater to see the finish and a strong wind, gusting 30 knots, kept the boats fully powered up right to the line.

The Southern Ocean leg, which started on 22 November from Cape Town, South Africa, has been a testing one for the novice crews, the 68-foot yachts surfing at speeds in excess of 20 knots down some serious ocean swell. The weather conditions have also been unpredictable, often catching the teams off guard as wind strengths suddenly increased to gale force without warning.

Cape Breton Island finished in fourth place, followed by Qingdao, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and, Uniquely Singapore. California was the final boat to cross the line today in eighth place. Cork, Ireland and Hull & Humber are still making good progress to Western Australia following their collision on the start line in Cape Town.

The crews will have time off to enjoy Christmas and New Year in Australia. The race will restart on Sunday 3 January when the boats will race up the Western Australian coast to Singapore and then on to Qingdao in China. -- Zoe Williamson

Roy Disney
Photo of Roy Disney sailing Pyewacket on San Francisco Bay by Erik Simonson, Click on image for photo gallery.

Roy Disney Roy E. Disney, who died Wednesday at 79, was an avid ocean sailor who won the California-to-Hawaii Transpacific Yacht Race in record time a decade ago and backed programs to bring youth to the sport.

"He was very competitive, but we always had a lot of fun on the boat," said Gregg Hedrick, who managed Disney's boats and sailed 100,000 miles with him over 24 years. "We always had the best sailors on the boat and that was what made it fun 'cause he was such a good sailor and he could hold his own with any of them."

The nephew of Walt Disney competed 15 times in the Transpac, a 2,225-mile race that begins off Los Angeles and ends off Oahu's Diamond Head.

Hedrick said Disney was a sportsman "but you knew when it was a competitive moment on the boat ... and we all worked really hard, you'd all work a lot harder for Roy because you wanted to see him win."

In 1999, his 74-foot Pyewacket III was first to finish, completing the voyage in seven days, 11 hours, 41 minutes and 27 seconds. That broke the record of 7:15:24:40 set in 1997 by his son, Roy Pat Disney, who took over the job of skippering Pyewacket II after his father broke a leg and was unable to sail.

Disney last sailed in the biennial Transpac in 2005. He planned to sail in 2007 but changed his mind just before the race began and turned his boat over to his son.

Transpac spokesman Rich Roberts said the surprise decision involved a project that Disney and wife Leslie DeMeuse-Disney were working on to train a team of young sailors to compete on their own in that Transpac.

The project drew more than 500 applicants in their late teens and early 20s. After a long period of training, 11 were selected to crew a boat named Morning Light. -- John Antczak, Associated Press, in the Contra Costa Times,

Dubarry Fastnet

Dubarry for Xmas: Jingle Smells
If there’s more water in your boots than under the boat, get Santa on the case. If ‘Can you get me some Dubarrys for Christmas?’ is too easy, drop hints. Come back from sailing wearing hobbit feet. Wrap tinsel round your old boots, stuff a mouldy tangerine in each and nail them to the mantelpiece. Wander round the house murmuring ‘Jingle bells, these boots smell, time to throw away, if I don’t get some Shamrocks (pictured at right), I’ll ruin Christmas day.’ With Gore-Tex lining, patented non-slip and soft, quick-drying leather, you won’t unwrap anything more stylish or longer-lasting this Christmas.


Class40 in 2010
The 2009 season has just concluded with the final event of the year, the innovative Solidaire du Chocolat, and so the Class40 committee has turned its attention to 2010. The aim is to have the right mix of offshore races and coastal races, and to include new events in the Mediterranean, the North Sea and the Channel. And of course there is the highlight of the 2010 season, the Route du Rhum-la Banque Postale.

The Route du Rhum-la Banque Postale is the key event in the 2010 Class40 calendar. For skippers and their sponsors alike, this famous solo transatlantic race held every 4 years is the one not-to-be-missed sporting and media event. At least 35 solo sailors are expected on the start line in St Malo on the 31st October.

Prior to that, there are some new events for Class40 sailors to discover, as well as tried and tested events such as the Grand Prix de Douarnenez which will be the opening event of the 2010 season in the spring...

There will be eight new races in the 2010 Class40 calendar:
- four events in the Mediterranean: SNIM, Roma per due, Giraglia and Tour du Corse,
- two Round Britain & Ireland races,
- an offshore race in Germany,
- a Channel-based event, exclusively for Class40s
- the Class40 World Championship in Gijon, Spain
- a timed event around the ile de Groix

Following the cancellation of the "1000 milles Brittany Ferries" for economic reasons, two interesting, new events were proposed to the Classs40 Association: the Grand Prix de l'Ecole Navale, and a 1000 mile race in the Channel. The 2010 calendar needed a replacement offshore race, rather than a grand prix event, "but we are staying in touch with the Ecole Navale and the town of Brest" says Jacques Fournier, president of Class40.

The 2010 calendar will be presented in detail at the Class40 Annual General Meeting on the 9th of January 2010, in Marseille. The North American race calendar (on the East and West coasts of the United States) will also be presented at the AGM.

The Future of the America's Cup
Following over two years of legal disputes regarding the format of the next America's Cup in the New York Supreme Court, Russell Coutts (CEO, BMW ORACLE Racing) and Brad Butterworth (President, Alinghi), spoke together publically for the first time during last week's World Yacht Racing Forum in Monaco.

Both Coutts and Butterworth gave individual presentations on their respective Challenge and Defence before joining several potential challengers to discuss the future, shape and options for the 34th America's Cup.

Presenting first, Coutts told the audience that if the U.S. were to win the Cup, it would propose establishing professional and neutral management for future AC events. "The first step to a healthier future has to be truly independent management of the sporting issues. I believe this as does Larry Ellison, who has made a public pledge to have professional and independent management if BMW ORACLE is successful. The next America's Cup must be guided by the principles of neutrality, fairness and mutual consent between the Defender and challengers", he said.

Butterworth followed and repeated his organizations claim that the rules and venue for the Cup matches must be set by the defending yacht club when there is no mutual consent, with the challenger setting the date and the boat.

Butterworth concluded his presentation with a wish: "I would hope that whoever loses is magnanimous and stands aside to allow the new defender and the challengers to move forward unfettered by lawsuits."

Talking about the extraordinary performances of the multihulls built for this special edition of the Cup, the Alinghi President outlined his team's vision of the future saying that he would love to have a multi-national, multi-challenge 34th America's Cup. "If we are fortunate enough to win the 33rd match we would like to discuss the type of boat with the challengers." Butterworth added he did favour multihulls over monohulls, which later triggered an interesting debate between potential challengers.

Both Coutts and Butterworth described their enthusiasm for the giant multi-hulls they are testing, Coutts calling his boat "a triumph of imagination, design and engineering." He also paid tribute to Alinghi's catamaran. "I think in another 100 years, people might look back and see the BOR 90 and Alinghi 5 in the same way we now look at Reliance and Shamrock - as two of the most extreme Cup yachts of all time and landmarks in the Cup's rich history," he said.

Full interview and video clips at

Seahorse January 2009
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

A beautiful fit... how did Argentina’s Matador sailing team celebrate their victory at the 2009 TP52 World Championship in Spain... by promptly launching a brand new and screaming-looking IRC52 special from innovative designer Javier Soto Acebal. We have long admired Acebal’s aesthetic judgement and once again he has lived up to his star billing...

Roll and wild... it had to happen. Now we actually - finally - have a canting keel design in build in which the fully-canted foil is intended to fly clear of the water. 2009 Centomiglia winner Jo Richards and his design partner Guy Whitehouse take us through the development of their bold and foxy new 42-foot Italian-owned lake racer.

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...

Hanuman and Ranger Join the Line-Up
The latest additions to the entry list for The Superyacht Cup Antigua are the two spectacular J Class yachts, Hanuman and Ranger. Hanuman, a replica of the yacht Endeavour II, was originally built to challenge for the America's Cup against the defender, Ranger, in 1937. Hanuman was designed by Dykstra and Partners and launched in March 2009 from Royal Huisman shipyard in the Netherlands.

The new generation Ranger, launched by Danish Yachts in late 2003, was designed by Olin Stephens. Ranger has been campaigned over the past few years with a very experienced professional race crew and has clocked up an impressive list of trophies. These two famous yachts sailed against each other for the first time at the Newport Bucket in July this year.

Returning for their second year as sponsor of The Superyacht Cup Antigua are Atollvic Shipyard. Atollvic are based in the estuary of Vigo in northwest Spain. They are a full-service shipyard dedicated to building, refit and repair of luxury yachts up to 55m.

A new sponsor, Newport Shipyard has also confirmed their support for SYC Antigua. The oldest working yacht repair and refit facility in the region, located downtown in Newport Harbor, the facility is dedicated to exceptional support, refitting and servicing of superyachts up to 300+ feet. The company's commitment to quality and crew facilities has made Newport a popular superyacht destination for crew and owners alike.

The Superyacht Cup Antigua is now in its 4th year, it will be held at Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour from January 27th - 30th. The event is open to yachts of 24m and above and places are limited.

New Supplements to Match Racing and Team Racing Call Books
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published the 2010 supplements to the current editions of The Call Book for Match Racing and The Call Book for Team Racing.

Following on from the ISAF Annual Conference in November, there have been a number of new Calls added to both Match Racing and Team Racing Call Books, whilst several calls have been revised.

Marianne Middelthon (NOR), chairman of the ISAF Match and Team Racing Rules Working Party, said for 2010 there are a number of important changes in the Call Books: "The situation is quite special this year, as we have an exceptional number of new calls, all coming from Rapid Response Calls, in both call books, as a direct result of the changes to the rules about marks and obstructions. More new calls are expected during 2010 as well, but then hopefully the new rules will have been explored to the point where the general rules understanding and the then existing calls will be enough to achieve a consistent approach to the games of team and match racing."

These new Calls and Revisions have been published as Supplements to the current editions of the Call Books. The full text of both Call Books has also been updated. The Supplements and full texts are all available to download from the ISAF website at

Safran: An Extraordinary Year
As the Paris Boat Show closes its doors, an extraordinary year is coming to an end for Marc Guillemot and Safran. The year began with a third place in the Vendee Globe, and finished with a great victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre, and the crowning glory of the title of IMOCA world champion.

Guillemot, skipper of the IMOCA 60 Safran was was presented with the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite (the National Order of Merit) at the Paris Show.

He has just been through an extraordinary year on board the Safran monohull: third in the Vendee Globe, winner of the SNSM Trophy, winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre... and IMOCA world champion.

Marc Guillemot added a revealing statistic: "Since 2007, among all the new IMOCA monohulls, Safran is the only boat not to have retired from a single race... and that is of course very pleasing."

What now? "After a few races to get going again in the spring, the Route du Rhum will be the climax, the main goal for the year 2010," confirmed both men. An exciting new challenge, this time a single-handed race, which means the boat is going to have to be worked on to enable her to progress still further. Work will continue in particular on the autopilots, "where there was a lot of progress between the start of the Vendee and the Jacques Vabre," noted Marc Guillemot. Other innovations are being studied, in particular a fuel cell and hydro-generators. "In 2010 we shall also be working on a lot of other improvements, which will be applied to the boat in 2011, so they can be checked through as we move towards the 2012 Vendee Globe."

Meanwhile, Safran should be returned to its home harbour on Saturday. The team of Marc Guillemot (Loic Lingois, Erwan Conan, Alex Marmorat), supplemented by Yannick Bestaven, is currently delivering the boat to La Trinite-sur-Mer.

Whatever Happened To Tracy Edwards?
The inspirational round the world sailor and feisty creator of the all-girl Maiden Whitbread crew went to ground when her attempt to move into sailing event management unravelled spectacularly in 2005.

Now she's reinventing herself in a completely different field with the aim of making her mark working with children.

Edwards exited sailing ignominously when she was declared bankrupt. She had borrowed over 8 million to fund the Oryx Quest round the world race for maxi multihulls on the promise of a massive 38 million rolling sponsorship deal from Qatar.

The race was run with four boats but she says that when it was completed none of the promised money was paid. The venture went under amid acrimonious claims, counter-claims and threats of legal action, and Tracy Edwards disappeared completely from the sailing scene.

Since 2005 Edwards has been working for the NSPCC and the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre. She has been encouraged to go back to studying and is working for a degree in psychology and criminology so that she can progress further in the field of child protection.

She told her story earlier this week to BBC Wales. The programme is still available to listen to online ( ) and I thoroughly recommend it. -- Elaine Bunting in her blog, see

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 Tyler Carder: While I wish our kiteboarding brethren all the luck in the world in their quest to introduce the sport to the world at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, one might first hope that the ISAF/IOC wake up from their slumbers and get at least one multihull class back in the 2016 Olympics first.... hey! even better, TWO multihull classes: Singlehanded: A-Cat Class; Doublehanded: Tornado or F-18...

* From Mark Chisnell: Something for Ginny Jones, and anyone else weary of the America's Cup - a tale of proper, old-fashioned seamanship:

Along with a rather more contemporary one:

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 Sinergia 40, EUR 98,000. Located in the Netherlands.

This vessel is one of the most competitive racers under IMS, IRC, ORC International and ORC Club. This splendid example of a cruiser/racer from the renowned Sinergia shipyard in Spain is for sale and is located in The Netherlands. Asking price is 98.000,- with all the bits and pieces. This is a give away price for such a great boat with many years of competitive sailing left in her. She comes very complete including a new set of 3DL North Sails.

Brokerage through Vinces Oy:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Like its politicians and its war, society has the teenagers it deserves. -- Joseph Priestley quote

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