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Looks Like Ran
At noon on the fourth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, Niklas Zennstrom's JV72, Ran look to have clinched the overall win and will lift the sterling silver RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy at tomorrow night's Prizegiving ceremony. This morning Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, was the only yacht which posed any sort of threat, but realistically the Oyster 48 will not cover the last 70 miles of the course by 17:40 local time today.

All of the yachts racing in IRC Zero are now accounted for. Ran are the class winners with George David's RP90, Rambler,in second place. Swan 80 Selene,skippered by Benjamin Davitt, finished the race this morning to secure third place in class and possibly lay claim to the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy.

By noon, none of the yachts racing in IRC One had finished. Colin Buffin's Swan 62, Uxorious IV is expected to finish the race in a few hours and looks like the strongest contender to win the class after time correction. Amanda Hartley's Swan 56, Clem is currently correcting out as the leader, but the beat back from Redonda to the finish may see them fall behind Uxorious IV. Jaime Torres' First 40, Smile and Wave rounded the North Sails mark at Barbuda shortly after noon today and are currently lying third in class.

Oyster 48, Scarlet Logic, have put in a sensational performance and look almost certain to win their class. The racing school Sailing Logic chartered the yacht from Ross Applebey which is co-skippered by the highly experienced Tim Thubron. It is unlikely they know exactly how close they have come to winning the ultimate prize. However, if Scarlet Logic continue their fine form, the team could well be a contender for the prize of a week of luxurious accommodation, generously donated by race sponsor, The Inn at English Harbour, Antigua. Christian Reynolds' Swan 51 Northern Child sailed by Team Merkle are currently second after time correction with Bernie Evan-Wong's Mumm 36, High Tension in third place.

There is a fantastic battle in the Class40 Division on the water between Christophe Coatnoan's Partouche and Christof Petter's Vaquita. However Vaquita will be receiving a penalty after the finish for not starting the race correctly. B

16 yachts had finished the RORC Caribbean 600 by 1200 on 23rd February 2012.

8 yachts have retired over the last couple of days:

Rayon Vert - steering failure
Blackbird - jib damage
Super Rose - damage to mainsail battens
Hassebas - damaged mainsail
Safara - broken main halyard
40 Degrees - furling gear broken
Lancelot - run out of time
Sleeper VIII - backstay pressure and engine gone

caribbean600.rorc.org

Nannini and Ramon Are Next Up For Cape Horn
Having crossed the Felipe Cubillos Cape Horn Gate at 06:25 GMT on Wednesday at the head of the Global Ocean Race (GOR) fleet, Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel made a steep climb north-east out of the Southern Ocean with Class40 Cessna Citation. Leaving Cape San Juan at the eastern end of Isla de Los Estados to port almost 24 hours after rounding Cape Horn, Colman and Kuttel entered the South Atlantic on Thursday morning chased by the low pressure system they had outpaced at Cape Horn.

On Wednesday morning, Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon, south-west of Cape Horn in second place on Financial Crisis, were underway again while the low pressure system moved ahead of them. As the Italian-Spanish duo pushed east, Marco Nannini was satisfied with the decision to hove-to: "I think we found the right balance," he confirmed late on Wednesday night. "We had sustained winds of 40-45 knots with occasional gusts into the 50-55 range, in line with what we expected," says Nannini. "On two occasions we were hit by hailstone squalls and the only piece of advice I can leave you with is: Don't look at a hailstone storm!" he advises. "The small pellets of ice shot into your eyeballs at nearly 100 kilometres an hour and really hurt!"

The gale peaked at Cape Horn at around 03:00 GMT on Thursday with Financial Crisis keeping up the pace 190 miles to the south-west as Nannini began to plot for another comeback. With the low pressure moving east from the cape and delivering strong WSW winds to Colman and Kuttel in the open water of the South Atlantic, the Italian skipper saw an opportunity. "Interestingly, the strong winds will force them to go east of the Falklands," reasons Nannini as the alternative would mean Cessna Citation beating into 30+ knots. "This adds about 100 miles to their course, leaving us with a chance of cutting to the inside and perhaps closing some of the gap?"

At 12:00 GMT on Thursday, Cessna Citation was 114 miles south of the Falkland Islands holding a lead of 329 miles over Financial Crisis with just 93 miles remaining to the Felipe Cubillos Cape Horn Gate for Nannini and Ramon.

Meanwhile, 640 miles west of Financial Crisis, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire broke out of the light airs on Wednesday afternoon as the high pressure barrier ahead of them tracked to the north-east and Phesheya-Racing continued to drop down into the Southern Ocean reaching 58 degrees 39S at midday on Thursday.

GOR leaderboard at 12:00 GMT 23/2/12:
1. Cessna Citation, 1161nm to leg finish, 9.7kts
2. Financial Crisis, 329nm to leader, 9.9kts
3. Phesheya-Racing, 973nm to leader, 7.8kts

globaloceanrace.com

Sailing Arabia - The Tour Leg Four
Photo by Mark Lloyd, www.lloydimages.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Sailing Arabia - The Tour Leg Four Leg four of Sailing Arabia - the Tour was frustratingly slow for the nine-boat fleet but despite a lack of wind for most of the leg, the battle on the water was no less tense. Arriving in daylight for the first time, the fleet entered Omani waters in the early hours of this morning, and after sailing 278 kilomteres from Ras Al Khaimah to Musandam, many of the teams found themselves match racing to the line.

Daniel Souben and his professional French crew on Courrier Dunkerque claimed their fourth consecutive leg win, and with that are all but untouchable at the top of the Tour leaderboard. But it was the local knowledge of the Omani flagged Team Renaissance and Team Muscat 2012 that was the most impressive in this leg.

The fleet struggled to get racing underway Wednesday morning, with only two knots of wind as they prepared to leave Ras Al Khaimah. After a general recall on their first attempt with too many boats over the line, it was second time lucky for the majority of the nine-boat fleet - only Team Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were penalised a second time with another recall - which ultimately proved costly for British skipper Robin Elsey and his crew.

As the fleet left the shelter of Ras Al Khaimah behind they immediately had to contend with rough seas states, battling into big waves. A tactical decision to head closer to shore provided some respite, and after 35 miles as they traversed the spectacular mountains of the UAE coastline, they were finally greeted with much more welcoming conditions and a steady six knots of breeze.

Once into Omani waters, and 55 miles to the finish, the wind eased off again and the fleet crawled to the only gate of the leg, located on the edge of the shipping channel in the Straight of Hormuz, at around two knots, battling into strong tides.

The fleet has already covered 1,047 kilometres, sailing from Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE over the first four legs, and has a further 362 to go, before they reach their destination at The Wave, Muscat on February 27.

Leg Four Results including finishing time

1. Courrier Dunkerque 09:07:55
2. Team Commercialbank 09:10:45
3. Team Renaissance 09:13:35
4. Team Bahrain 09:14:37
5. Team Muscat 2012 09:18:15
6. Team Al Thuraya BankMuscat 09:18:17
7. Team Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 09:23:15
8. Team BAE Systems 09:23:30
9. Team Ras Al Khaimah 10:12:25

Overall SATT standings after four legs

1. Courrier Dunkerque, 36 points
2. Team Commercialbank, 30
3. Team BAE Systems, 25
4. Team Renaissance, 25
5. Team Al Thuraya BankMuscat, 22
6. Team Bahrain, 16
7. Team Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 13
8. Team Muscat 2012, 12
9. Team Ras Al Khaimah, 9

www.sailingarabiathetour.com

Sailjuice Global Warm-Up 2012
The outcome of the SailJuice Global Warm-up hangs in the balance as competitors head to the final of the five events in the series, this weekend's Draycote Dash at Draycote Water near Coventry.

At first glance, the Series looks set to be a three-way showdown between Sam Mettam and Richard Anderton's Fireball, Ian Morgan's Laser and the Scorpion sailed by Peter Gray and Rachael Rhodes. Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis also have a chance in their Merlin Rocket. They lie in 4th overall, with Tim Andrews' Phantom in 5th, but the joker in the pack is another Phantom currently in 6th place, being campaigned by Andrew Wilde.

Wilde didn't compete at the Bloody Mary in early January, although he has scored very well in the other three events of the Series thus far, at the Grafham Grand Prix, the Steve Nicholson Trophy and John Merricks Tiger Trophy. The Series scoring counts a competitor's best four of five events, and if Wilde sails well at Draycote this weekend, he can discard his Bloody Mary no-show and surf past the other leading contenders for the title.

Consistency and stamina will be the key to success at Draycote, with at least four handicap races on Saturday and another race on Sunday morning followed by a concluding pursuit race.

Of the maximum 120 places available, as of Thursday morning more than 70 boats had already entered in advance. To enter the Draycote Dash, click on the link below:
www.sailracer.org

Overall Standings in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up 2012:
www.sailracer.us/eventsites/

Sailing Through the Apocalypse
Early this winter, fans and owners of ETAP yachts noticed something peculiar on the official ETAP Yachting website. Although new ETAPs haven't been produced or sold commercially in the U.S. since early 2009, when the Belgian yacht company that designed and built the classic ships declared bankruptcy, the site appeared to have been updated recently.

First there was the mood music, The Last Farewell by Roger Whittaker, with lyrics about "death and darkness" and sailing into hell. Even more distressing was an ominous passage on the site's home page under the heading "How to survive 2012?" The text warned of a "tidal wave" that could only be escaped if "present and future owners" of ETAP yachts worked together to save enough people "to start a new civilization." (Last week, it was moved to the website's news section.) On online yachting forums, there was speculation and confusion over what had happened. Some wondered whether the ETAP site had been hacked.

Those who delved deeper into ETAP's revamped site found links to the website of Patrick Geryl, a Belgian author and doomsday proselytizer. By Geryl's estimation, a reversal of the planet's magnetic field should be happening right around the time the Mayan calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012, leading to, in his words, "pure unimaginable horror," which could take the form of nuclear meltdown, volcano eruptions, and—of particular interest to ETAP owners—flooding of biblical proportions.

Full article in Business Week:
www.businessweek.com

The link to how to survive the 2012 Apocalypse in an Etap:
etapyachting.1a-8568.antagusserver.de

18ft Skiffs: Giltinan Championship - Race 5
Click on image for photo gallery.

Giltinan Sydney Harbour: Gotta Love It 7's domination of the Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship continued on Sydney Harbour today when Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage brought the red hulled flyer home an easy winner of Race 5 in the regatta.

The champion team trailed appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montgomery and Tom Anderson) by 5s. at the first windward mark, but a quick gybe soon after spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Shark Island saw Gotta Love It 7 take the lead and from that point were never headed.

7 gave no other team a chance from that moment and finally crossed the finish line 3m16s ahead of appliancesonline.com.au.

New Zealand's C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Nick Catley, Joshua McCormack) was a further 20s back in third place, ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Smeg (Nick Press) and Mojo Wine (Archie Massey).

With each team's worst performance to date discarded, the progress pointscore is Gotta Love It 7 on four points, Appliancesonline.com.au on 13, Mojo Wine 15, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 18, Smeg 18 and Rag & Famish Hotel on 19.

While 7's win is likely, the race for second place should be the real highlight of the final two races on the weekend.

Race 6 of the championship will be sailed on Saturday (25 February). The final race is on Sunday (26 February).

www.18footers.com.au
www.flying18s.com

Video coverage of the race can also be seen on www.18footerstv.com

Love Fest Is Over As America's Cup Deal Gets Down To Details
The levity of last year is over. It's all business now that San Francisco and the America's Cup are finalizing their deal for the 2013 event.

We've come a long way from the America's Cup love fest thrown in San Francisco City Hall on Jan. 5, 2011.

Now that we're into the eleventh hour of contract negotiations between the city and America's Cup, the party atmosphere is gone.

Yesterday's hearing at the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee made that clear.

For several hours the committee dove deep into the nuts and bolts of a complex real estate deal that forms the basis of the agreement between the city and race organizers. The city essentially is offering long term leases and development rights to the America's Cup in exchange for at least $55 million in repairs to the San Francisco waterfront.

The committee ultimately passed the contract to the full Board of Supervisors on a 2-1 vote. But the tone of the discussion showed that both sides are digging in on their positions -- and sounding a big fractious. -- Eric Young in the San Francisco Business Times, his full article at

www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/

Lexus Lincoln Week
Click on image for photo gallery.

Lexus Lincoln Week Darryl Hodgkinsonís Beneteau First 45 Victoire, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney, has won the "grand prix" IRC division of the Lexus Lincoln Week regatta after a great boat-on-boat duel with Alan Woodwardís Beneteau First 45 from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Melbourne.

Theyíve matched race in every race of the six-race series and in the end Victoire won by a single point from Reverie.

Third, after a similar close duel all regatta with a very similar boat, was Geoff Boettcherís Reichel/Pugh 51 Secret Menís Business from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, Adelaide, six points ahead of Rob Dateís R/P 52 from Sandringham YC, Melbourne.

These two biggest yachts in the event again duelled at the head of the fleet in a light 6-8 knot south-easterly breeze, which contained challenging 10-degree wind shifts, on flat water in expansive Boston Bay.

Secret Menís was first to finish in race five, the first race of the day, by 49 seconds while Scarlet Runner prevailed in race six, to take line honours by 34 seconds.

Other divisional winners were:-

Performance handicap: Bullistic, Bull 12 (Paul Martin, CYCSA).
Multihull OMR: Yabb, Corsair Sprint 750 Mark II (David Renouf, Royal Prince Alfred YC).
Cruising: Sextant, X34 (Jonathan Newbury, Port Lincoln YC).
Sydney 38: Shining Sea (Andrew Corletto, CYCSA).

www.lincolnweek.com.au

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 Euan Ross: The publication of the proposed AC34 course area signals the end of the America's Cup as we know it. How much further can we diverge from: "All such races shall be on ocean courses, free from headlands". I watched IOR maxis dwarf that narrow stretch of water, in what looked like a match racing series, back in the mid-1980s. It'll be akin to racing rubber ducks in a bath-time grand-prix.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 King Marine J/V. EUR 500,000. Located In Valencia, Spain.

Here is another fine example of what the world renown King marine can build and what the designers at the J/V office can produce. She started her racing life as MATADOR and was built out of the same mold and is a direct sistership to BRIBON ( Which this office has just recently sold) WEAPON OF CHOICE as she is now known has had all the modifications done to her for 2010 Med Cup racing in the class or better yet for IRC racing.

In excellent condition and with a motivated seller, there is no reason why one should not consider this boat if one is looking for a fast, competitive and fun racing sailboat to compete with anywhere in the world.

Brokerage through Thoroughbred Yacht Sales: www.yachtworld.com/thoroughbred/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
Alas, I am dying beyond my means. -- Oscar Wilde (as he sipped champagne on his deathbed)

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