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Financial Crisis Second Into Uruguay
The 33-year-old, Italian-Slovak skipper, Marco Nannini, and his 26-year-old Spanish co-skipper, Hugo Ramon, have taken second place in GOR Leg 3 with Class40 Financial Crisis, crossing the finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay at 08:54:20 local (10:54:20 GMT) on Sunday, completing the 6,300-mile leg through the Pacific and South Atlantic in 35 days 08 hours 54 minutes and 20 seconds.

Passing the island of Isla de Lobos three miles off the Uruguayan coast at sunrise, Financial Crisis beat into the channel between the Puerto de Punta del Este and Isla Gorriti, crossing the finish line as the city began to wake-up to a flawless, cloudless Sunday. Escorted into the marina by two RIBs from the Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE), Nannini and Ramon were welcomed by a crowd of well-wishers including the YCPE's Secretary, Pablo Elola.

With their second visit to the GOR podium following third place in Leg 1, Financial Crisis is up to second place overall on points following Leg 3.

To the south of Punta del Este by 500 miles, the final Class40 still racing in GOR Leg 3, Phesheya-Racing of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire, was 200 miles off Patagonia's Valdes Peninsular on Sunaday afternoon with the possibility of the continuous headwinds finally ceasing on Monday.

Meanwhile, Dutch skipper, Nico Budel, is approaching from the north as he solo-sails Sec. Hayai through the South Atlantic to re-join the GOR fleet for Leg 4 and Leg 5 following his dismasting on Sec. Hayai with his son Frans on the first night at sea in Leg 2 from Cape Town. Nico Budel and Sec. Hayai left South Africa on the 15 February and the Dutch Class40 is currently 1,750 miles north-east of Punta del Este, sailing downwind 1,000 miles off the coast of Brazil. When Sec. Hayai reaches Uruguay, Budel will be met by his family and his co-skipper for Leg 4 to Charleston, USA, Erik van Vuuren.

GOR leaderboard at 14:00 GMT 04/03/12:
1. Cessna Citation Finished 20:37:30 GMT 29/2/12
2. Financial Crisis Finished 10:54:20 GMT 04/03/12
3. Phesheya-Racing DTF 503 7.2kts

* We made it! We are in Punta del Este Uruguay, 35 days at sea! We have sailed through gale force winds, we reached across the depths of the Southern Ocean with albatrosses to guard our progress, we clenched our teeth through the icebergs, we fought with the icy winds from Anctartica, we rounded the most dreaded cape in the world, we sailed through the snow capped cliffs of la Tierra del Fuego, we caught kelp in our rudders and watched spectacular sunsets and sunrises, we smelt land by the shores of Argentina and crossed the muddy waters of the Plata river, but most of all we kept our dream alive, one step closer to home, one step closer to racing around the world. And what a result, we are second in Punta and climbed to second place in the overall leaderboard!!!

We've just arrived and all i want to do now is celebrate, eat, drink, laugh, cheer, jump around...

Thank you all for the encouragement and support, we wouldnt have made it so far without your help and constant trickle of donations received through -- Marco Nannini

Groupama Extend
Aboard Telefonica. Photo by Diego Fructuoso / Team Telefonica. Click on image for photo gallery.

Telefonica A speedy passage through the Doldrums into south easterly trade winds by race leaders Groupama saw the French crew extend their advantage at the front of the fleet to almost 90 nautical miles (nm) over second placed PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG.

However, with over 1,500 nm of racing and an increasingly complex weather scenario ahead of them Franck Cammas' crew are still very much feeling the heat from the chasing pack.

Groupama helmsman Damian Foxall said their Doldrums crossing had been brief but eventful as they picked their way carefully through, successfully dodging the wind holes which had scuppered them on the first and third legs.

"We had lots of squalls and clouds but no areas with no wind at all," he said. "We avoided the lulls and made the most out of the gusts."

Despite having stretched their lead Foxall said there was still nervousness on board, particularly about race leaders Team Telefónica who re-emerged as a potential threat after a fast run through the middle of the Solomon Islands.

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante says the fleet should enjoy consistent east-southeast trades of 10 to 15 knots in the Coral Sea before the winds freshen and turn southeast favouring Groupama and PUMA in the east.

The fleet should reach the island of New Caledonia by Monday afternoon, with latest predictions taking the fleet to the west of the 300 nm land mass.

From there the teams will have to sail against the wind to the finish in Auckland with the leaders expected to arrive on or around March 10.

Qingdao Departure
Photo by onEdition. Click on image to enlarge.

Clipper Race The Clipper 11-12 Race fleet has departed Qingdao today. The spectacular welcome ceremonies the individual teams received upon their arrival at the Olympic Sailing Centre was exceeded by an even more lavish departure ceremony shown live on Chinese television.

The Clipper 11-12 Race fleet then left the marina to the sound of drums and thousands of cheering locals, as well as the sights of dragon dancers and fireworks. However, an icy blast brought snow showers sweeping across the Olympic Sailing Centre just before the boats slipped their lines and headed out for the start line in reducing visibility.

The ten Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race entries are now making their way to a waypoint approximately 25nm offshore. When conditions allow, the nominated lead skipper Ben Bowley from Singapore will line the yachts up and start Race 9. This is now expected to be Monday morning (local time).

The fleet is expected to arrive in Oakland, California between 1-7 April and will be hosted by the 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show in Jack London Square. The winning team of Race 9 will be presented with the "Strictly Sail Pacific Clipper Cup" on the opening day of the show, 12 April.   Standings after Race 8

1. Gold Coast Australia, 83 points
2. Visit Finland, 59
3. De Lage Landen, 57
4. Singapore, 46
5. New York, 44
6. Geraldton Western Australia, 43
7. Derry-Londonderry, 40
8. Welcome to Yorkshire, 39
9. Qingdao, 35
10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 17

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

The best of all worlds?
CBTF twin foil technology co-creator Bill Burns and America’s Cup veteran Chris Todter are among those behind an innovative and affordable new design testing methodology

Seahorse build table - Sizing things up
Matt Wood and Torbjorn Linderson take a new approach for the Gunboat 55 sailplan

Rod Davis - Clear the bench
Because now we’re going to design ourselves an AC72 catamaran...

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...

Hog's Gone Wild In Miami
Miami, Florida, USA: Congratulations to Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog as he and his team of tactician Richard Clarke, crew members Max Skelley, Mike Wolfs, Eric Dorman, Charlie Pucciariello, Sarah Callahan and Alan 'Budda' Nakanishi are 2012 Miami Champions. In second overall is Full Throttle's John Porter with tactician Jonathan McKee alongside his 'boys' - Vincent, Corbett and Clifford Porter as well as Kelly McKenna assisted by Andy Burdick, and Fritz Lanzinger. Keisuke Suzuki aboard Swing rounded out the top three.

It was decided early on Sunday morning to call off all racing as a fast approaching cold front surged ever closer, ushering in the potential for severe weather and high winds, some above and beyond class rule limitations.

Top Ten Results (After six races, one discard, FINAL )

1. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, Hedgehog, BER, 17 points
2. John Porter/Jonathan McKee, Full Throttle, USA, 18
3. Keisuke Suzuki/Jesper Radich, Swing, JPN, 24
4. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo, USA, 25
5. Alex Jackson/Charlie McKee, Leenabarca, USA, 26
6. John Kilroy/Lorenzo Bressani, Samba Pa Ti, USA, 33
7. Mark Plaxton/Anthony Kotoun, INTAC, IVB, 37
8. Vincenzo Onorato/Adrian Stead, Mascalzone Latino, ITA, 42
9. Joel Ronning/Bill Hardesty, Catapult, USA, 42
10. Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe, USA, 53

Full Results:

18ft Skiffs: Ferry Patrons Trophy
Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Skiff Sydney Harbour, Australia: The 18ft Skiff team of Michal Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson gave a marvelous exhibition to tame the 20+ knot north east wind on Sydney Harbour today.

In a race which took a heavy toll on the fleet, completed the course without incident to defeat Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) by 39s and take out the Ferry Patrons Trophy.

Yandoo, with John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck on board, also managed to complete the course without a capsize to finish third, a further 1m38s behind Smeg.

At least nine of the fourteen starters capsized at some stage of the race.

The spinnaker run down the centre of the course provided plenty of thrills and spills.

Lumix lost sheet hand Greg Dixon overboard, which required the spectator ferry to come to his assistance before transporting him back to the boat which had gone 100 metres further down the course.

Two other casualties were Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and De'Longhi-Rabbitohs, which both capsized near the bottom mark.

Appliancesonline's crew took no chances across Double Bay as they lowered their 'pirate' spinnaker to cross the line under main and jib for a great win. -- Frank Quealey

Video coverage of the race can also be seen on

Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Click on image to enlarge.

Bacardi Week Miami, Florida, USA: The red carpet will again be rolled out for the annual BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank when it returns to Coconut Grove in Miami, Fla., from March 4-10, 2012. BMSW's hospitality is the foundation on which this event is built, and when combined with great race management and an unbeatable winter sailing location draws the world's best one-design sailors to South Florida for competition in five classes.

The third annual running of BACARDI Miami Sailing Week will mark several milestones starting with the 150th anniversary of the BACARDI Company, as well as the 50th year that the BACARDI Cup is being held in Miami for the storied Star class which just celebrated its own 100th anniversary. Also being celebrated during the week will be Jose E. "Tito" Argamasilla Bacardi, who lost his battle with cancer late in 2011. During his 40 year career with the company he not only hosted the BACARDI Cup for several decades but also founded the BACARDI museum in Miami.

The BACARDI Cup headlines the week-long regatta in Miami with 65 Star teams registered to date. Among the notable sailors vying for the 85th BACARDI Cup title are 2007 winner Hamish Pepper with crew Jim Turner (New Zealand) and 2008 Olympian Peter O'Leary and David Burrows (Ireland). Three of the top-seven finishers at the 2011 Star World Championship in Australia will also compete, including 2008 world champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (Poland) who finished fourth in Perth, as well as Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (Norway) and Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (France) who were sixth and seventh respectively. Leading the American contenders are 2009 Star World Champion George Szabo (San Diego) who will sail the BACARDI Cup with Miami's Magnus Liljedahl, who was both world champion and winner of Olympic Gold in 2000.

Racing for the Stars gets underway on Monday, March 5. Starting on Thursday, March 8, the Stars will be joined on Biscayne Bay by sailors in the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, and Melges 24 classes, along with the J/80 class which makes its event debut following their successful participation in the 2011 BACARDI Newport Sailing Week. Racing, for all classes, will conclude on Saturday, March 10.

Tall Ship "Eye Of The Wind"
Click on image to enlarge.

Tallship Only a good week after the sail training vessel "EENDRACHT" from Holland and a few weeks earlier another Dutch vessel, the "Tres Hombres", left St.Maarten-St.Martin, the brigantine "Eye of the Wind", owned by the German company FORUM train & sail GmbH, visited Marigot on the French side of the Island over the week-end.

She came in from St.Barth's and sailed around Sint Maarten surrounded by approximately 200 participants of the Heineken Regatta on her way to Fort Louis Marina.

The over 100 years old vessel was on a short stop over before sailing to Bermuda and crossing the Atlantic to the Azores and further on to Europe.

Her imposing figure has attracted the attention of the film industry in previous years, so she crossed several times the waters on film sets of major Hollywood productions.

The ship was featured in several films such as the adventure film "Blue Lagoon" (1980), the pirate movie "Savage Island" (1983), "Tai-Pan" (1986) and "White Squall" (1996). Well-known Hollywood stars such as Brooke Shields and two Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones and Jeff Bridges took the helm of the ship in their hands.

In the epic "Tai-Pan," based on the novel by James Clavell, she was cast in a double role - that of the vessel "Morning Cloud" with white sails and that of "White Witch'" with brown sails which the Eye of the Wind still uses to this day.

Running The Rhumblines
Friendly Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Craig Piccinelli has offered no real reason behind choosing the rather unflattering name of Wobbly Boot for his Jim Young designed sloop.

Many of his sailing mates are quick to assume the Wobbly Boot title came from the skipper's party habits but that has never been confirmed by her proud owner who has always reflected a sense of personal pride when accepting trophies on behalf of his talented Wobbly Boot racing team.

Sure they have enjoyed a 'quite little drink' to celebrate the occasion while skipper Craig Piccinelli has remained happy about the performance of his investment with his personal racing record showcasing a number of important victories including The Boss Hog trophy as the star performer in the annual Airlie Beach Race Week.

Every race irrespective of the result is a reward for her skipper who laid his cash on the line to buy the small yacht ending a dispute between the builder and the original client.

The little yacht with the unusual name has justified her purchase price by providing endless hours of racing enjoyment for her happy crew who are determined to add further dollars to her resale value when the battle lines are drawn for class honours in the 2012 Airlie Beach Race Week later this year.

Meanwhile they are continuing to enjoy testing their handicap rated boat speed in the club point score races around the buoys and in the more demanding passage races around the Whitsunday Islands.

As expected the competition is heating up however this has not changed the friendly racing attitude of the Wobbly Boot crew.

Enjoyment is the first priority when they step on board; with the respected honour of racing in a Wobbly Boot crew shirt focused on a high degree of the fun factor.

However while they collectively maintain a sun tanned smile when hiking on the weather rail the Wobbly Boot crew have been known to aggressively protect their sailing space which has paved the way to record a share of the major results.

While the Wobbly Boot crew have been known to express their knowledge of the racing rules friendly skipper Craig Piccinelli has adopted the policy of what happens of the water stays on the water.

"After all sailing is all about having fun". He said. -- Ian Grant

Italian Government Amends Berthing Tax
Italian marine industry association UCINA today confirmed that the Italian government has exempted foreign owners of boats and pleasure ships from paying the country's new berthing tax when passing through or mooring in Italian waters.

The tax will only apply to Italian owners of boats and pleasure ships, including those sailing under a foreign flag. Also exempted from payment of the tax are craft belonging to hire or lease companies, says UCINA.

"We are pleased that foreign pleasure boaters can now organise their holidays in our seas without having to pay any additional charges," says UCINA president Anton Francesco Albertoni.

UCINA worked hard to convince the government to make amendments to the new berthing tax, which was passed by Italian parliament in December last year. The new tax on ownership is due to take effect on May 1, 2012.

Remembering George
I am sorry to say that George Moffett passed away this past weekend following a long battle with cancer. For those of us fortunate to have worked with him over the years, George was a friend,  mentor, and colleague. To say that he was accomplished at all that he set his hand or mind to is an understatement. George's management of Brilliant, her programs, her maintenance, and fundraising for her was remarkable; and the boat, her programs, the Museum, and all of us are better for having been around him.

George remained connected to Brilliant after he left the Museum, as he raised money for the Brilliant Equipment fund, was involved with training her relief captain this fall, had ordered several new sails for her this fall, and most recently was involved with many of us by passing on his incredible knowledge of her. Even after 5 years absence his memory of her systems, rigging, and needs was of great value as we prepare to welcome her new skipper. 

An obituary appeared in The New London Day Wednesday, February 29.   What is included there cannot be said better. -- Ginny Jones

A touching column about George also appeared in The Day:

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 George Morris: Re the Sailjuice Winter Warm-up Series. I wonder what people think about the Fireball sailing the Phantom out of contention at Draycote? Sailing someone out of a series is a feature of our sport, albeit IMHO a rather unattractive one, and is legal; but there is surely a difference between doing it in a one design fleet and doing it to a slower boat in a handicap fleet.

I congratulate Andrew Wilde for withdrawing from the series when he realised what was going on. A change to the rules is probably a bit over the top but if the opinion-formers in our sport could spread it around that there is more to sportsmanship than a strict and legalistic interpretation of the rules, the world would probably be a better place. Some things are just 'not on', and this, it seems to me, was one of them.

Featured Brokerage
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Iconic IACC yacht. One of the most revolutionary yachts designed. Bruce Farr creation with tandem keel and rudder joined to bulb keel, designed for San Diego series in 1990's. Had potential to win the Cup but stumbled in the semi-finals. She has been impeccably maintained by current owner who sails her when in NZ. She has raced in the Millenium Cup and is a regular sight on the Harbour when the Louis Vuitton Cup is on in NZ. Currently on the hard stand in Auckland NZ.

Brokerage through All Boat Brokerage Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
All of us have a place in history. mine is clouds. -- Richard Brautigan

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