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The Stuff Of Dreams
Photo from this week's Rolex Trophy Series by Daniel Forster, Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Trophy Series For the last 64 years the 628 nautical mile Sydney to Hobart ocean race has tended to find out if a boat and crew are properly prepared.

Boats that come straight from the factory, off the ocean freighter, have not been raced for a long time or have last minute do or die assemblies, tend to be those that have little issues and that sometimes means Sydney, Bateman's Bay or Eden are the first port of call rather than Hobart.

One of the easy guides to a boats preparedness going into the Hobart is Middle Harbours Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), the traditional short and sharp offshore series at the end of November.

Boats that are on site and sorted a month before Boxing Day have to be a better bet than those that are still bolting on chain plates two or three sleeps before the start of this blue water classic.

In the handicap fleet, Stephen Ainsworth's Reichel Pugh 63 Loki, Geoff Ross Reichel Pugh 55 Yendys and Bob Steel's 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner Quest, the top three IRC Racers at the SSORC are well sorted, while for others the tyranny of distance delivers issues.

Major spinnaker issues on the Kiwi built and Sean Langman chartered Investec Loyal and an ordinary start by Ran in Saturday's Rolex Passage Race were not positives this close to the big race. However, at least they were on a start line a week before the main event.

Right now its safe to assume the work to be done' list on Grant Wharington's Etihad Stadium, the former Skandia Wild Thing, is a bit longer than most.

Dismasted off the Victorian coast just nine days ago, most pundits had written the 30 metre (98 foot) supermaxi off for 2009. -- Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team,

The Line Honours betting this afternoon was

Wild Oats XI 1.80
Alfa Romeo 2.25
ICAP Leopard 4.75
Etihad Stadium - formerly Skandia Wild Thing 11.00
Investec Loyal - formerly Maximus 13.00
Lahana 34.00
Rapture 34.00

Event site:

Shopping For Spares
Etihad Stadium skipper Grant Wharington is poised to buy equipment from a second major rival as his maxi races against time to make the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Wharington is awaiting the arrival on Monday afternoon of a replacement mast purchased from Neville Crichton, the skipper and owner of rival maxi Alfa Romeo.

Wharington, a Victorian, was forced to look for a replacement after his boat's original mast was damaged.

On Sunday, Wharington revealed he was looking at buying a mainsail from Wild Oats XI, the Sydney to Hobart line honours winner for each of the last four years.

Wharington said he was paying Crichton $500,000 for his four-year-old mast and he estimated the total bill to get his boat race ready would be over a million dollars.

While the boat remained on course to be ready for sailing on Thursday, Wharington was still reluctant to rate its chances of making the Boxing Day start of the Sydney to Hobart at much more that 50 per cent.

"I think we are going to make it but it's going to be very very tight." -- Adrian Warren, Sydney Morning Herald,

The Perfect Nautical Gift
Chart of the Isle of Wight. Click on image to enlarge.

3D charts are timeless pieces of nautical art, unique, made to commission by hand. More and more people are getting together to share a valued gift, so whether it is a special occasion, wedding or family gift . The 3D chart is a gift for Life, the perfect nautical gift! "Story board" charts are popular for capturing an event and are great mementos of that lifetime cruise or racing campaign... "From all the crew, thank you skipper!!!"

Check out the website today and talk to Latitude Kinsale about your commission.

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
Boat International Media and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are delighted to partner once again to host the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in 2010.

We look forward to welcoming a fleet of modern and classic sailing yachts over 24 metres to Porto Cervo for four days of exhilarating racing and first class hospitality set in the idyllic surroundings of La Costa Smeralda.

A collection of the finest racing superyachts on the water will compete under the IRC rating system for the coveted Silver Trophy. The owners and captains of eighteen of the most prolific yachts on the racing circuit have already registered their interest in participating in next year's third edition of this magnificent regatta.

The full list of yachts who have registered their interest to date is as follows:

Yacht - Builder - Designer - LOA
Farandwide - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m
Farewell - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m
Ganesha - Fitzroy Yachts - Dubois NA - 39.00m
Hamilton II - CNB - Philippe Briand - 35.70m
Highland Fling - Goetz Custom Technologies - Reichel Pugh - 25.00m
I-SEA - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m
Jazz Jr - Proteksan Turquoise Yachts - Hoek Design - 32.89m
Moonbird - Fitzroy Yachts - Dubois NA - 37.08m
Mrs Seven - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m
My Song - Cookson Boats - Reichel Pugh/Nauta Yachts - 25.42m
Open Season - Wally Yachts - German Frers - 28.55m
Rapture - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m
Salperton IV - Fitzroy Yachts - Dubois NA - 45.00m
Scorpione Dei Mare - Jongert - Tony Castro - 29.00m
SW 100 hull no. 8 - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m
Thalima - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 33.60m
Y3K - Wally Yachts - German Frers - 30.50m
Zefiro - Southern Wind Shipyard - Farr Yacht Design/Nauta Design - 30.20m

There will be both a racing class and a cruising division based on the overall fleet.

Medallists Decided at Sail Melbourne
Australia, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand and the Netherlands all won ISAF Sailing World Cup gold as the Medal Races brought Sail Melbourne to a close.

After the unpredictable weather of the last few days Melbourne turned it on for the Medal Races with a south-easterly wind between 12 and 15 knots for the majority of the day, providing the perfect stage for the conclusion of first event in the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup season.

Following on from Melbourne, there's a quick turnaround to the next event of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup, with US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR taking place from 24-30 January.

Olympic classes top three:

1. James Paterson, AUS, 12 points
2. Warwick Hill, AUS, 19
3. Timothy Castles, AUS, 23

470 Men
1. Mathew Belcher / Malcolm Page, AUS, 8
2. Stuart McNay / Graham Biehl, USA, 18
3. Samuel Kivell / William Ryan, AUS, 27

470 Women
1. Jo Aleh / Olivia Powrie, NZL, 9
2. Stacey Omay, AUS, 15
3. Dawn Xiaodan Liu / Siobhan Shiu Wun Tam, SIN, 27

1. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 22
2. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL, 26
3. William Phillips / Samuel Phillips, AUS, 31

1. Michael Leigh, CAN, 47
2. Clayton Johnson, USA, 49
3. Malte Kamrath, GER, 62

Laser Radial
1. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 21
2. Paige Railey, USA, 30
3. Sara Winther, NZL, 33

RS:X Men
1. Nicolas Lozano, COL, 21
2. Tim Gourlay, AUS, 24
3. Leonard Ong, SIN, 30

RS:X Women
1. Jessica Crisp, AUS, 11
2. Jannicke Stalstrom, NOR, 17
3. Angeliki Skarlatou, GRE, 21

Full results of all classes

ISAF Sailing World Cup:

Dubarry for Xmas: Jingle Smells
Dubarry Fastnet 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.


Dutch Teen Sailor Found in Caribbean
The Hague, Netherlands: Police confirmed Sunday they have tracked down 14-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker in the Caribbean territory of St. Maarten, days after she ran away from home leaving her boat behind.

Dekker made headlines around the world earlier this year when she unsuccessfully went to court as a 13-year-old to fight for the right to set off on a single-handed circumnavigation of the world in her boat, Guppy.

St. Maarten police spokesman Ricardo Henson confirmed that Dekker was on the island Sunday evening, and said efforts are under way to get her back to the Netherlands. He declined to provide further details.

The Child Protection Agency in the Netherlands could not immediately be reached for comment late Sunday.

St. Maarten is part of the Netherlands Antilles, a group of self-governing Caribbean islands that are part of the Dutch kingdom.

In October, Utrecht District Court refused to let Dekker embark on her attempt to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world, and placed her under the supervision of child care authorities until next July, meaning she could not leave the country without their permission.

Laura's parents, both veteran sailors, are separated. Laura's father supported the attempt, but her mother said in a newspaper interview in September she thought Laura was too young. -- Mike Corder

ARC Wraps Up in St. Lucia
Over 200 yachts have arrived at Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia over the past two and a half weeks, and the celebration on Saturday 19 December, marked the close of the 2009 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Upwards of 600 participants and their families attended the prizegiving ceremony at the Gaiety Nightclub, just outside the Rodney Bay Marina in Gros Islet, to applaud the winners and mark the achievements of all the crews.

After two weeks of daily activities and nightly entertainment, Saturday evening was the culmination of the rally. The atmosphere at Rodney Bay Marina has been buzzing all week, as the tension mounted before the announcement of the winners. Many of the yacht crew have been anxiously awaiting the evening, pouring over the handicap formulas and calculating who might win the big prizes.

Prizes were awarded in many categories, including 1st through 4th place trophies for each class. The closest competition was among the racing yachts, but, as the ARC was designed over 24 years ago with the cruising sailor in mind, the evening was not all about competing. Other, less traditional categories included 'Best Cruising Log,' 'Best Fishing Story,' 'Oldest / Youngest Skipper,' and more bizarrely, 'Best basil plant to survive a transat.'

Not unsurprisingly there was a standing ovation for the crew of Silver Bear for their shadowing of another yacht, Star Fire, for a distance of some 2,000 nautical miles following the latter's rudder loss. Their selfless assistance, delaying their own arrival by several days, was a fine example of the comradeship of the sea, and earned them the much coveted "Spirit of the ARC" award for 2009.

The full list of ARC 2009 results and prize winners is available via the ARC website at: .The entry list is open for 2010 and already over 70 yachts have registered for what will be a very special year, marking the 25th edition of the ARC.

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

Fit, healthy and on a roll... the Class 40 continues to thrive with its easy fit in the box marked great performance, great competition and reasonable budgets. Leading Class 40 and Imoca 60 designer Merfyn Owen recently launched the first examples of his office’s third generation Class 40 design and is already well into research for generation four. He takes a comprehensive look at how the class is evolving and at what is now required for success...

New strengths... Dyneema in affiliation with Alinghi have taken yet another step forward, this time into a wider use of its powerful physical ‘attractions’ within the world of running rigging. Tightening up... Hall Spars’ refined and elegant carbon and titanium standing rigging system has now had a first chance to be properly tested out on the racecourse. We bring you an early assessment of its performance - and the feedback - to date...

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...

Ben Ainslie's Back In The Finn
It has been a very cold but very refreshing week in more ways than one as I returned to Finn sailing for the first time since Beijing 2008 at a British Finn squad training camp at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

This was the first time I'd even stepped back into a Finn since the Olympics and it has proved to be a really worthwhile week just sailing the boat again and being around the rest of the guys in the squad.

I had two main aims going into the week having been concentrating on big boat sailing for the past 18 months. Firstly I wanted to just reacquaint myself with the Finn and get used to sailing a dinghy again and secondly I wanted to move the technical side forward as well as checking in with where the other guys were at in terms of fitness.

Because I'm lighter than my ideal Finn racing weight I thought I'd be fine in the lighter airs but was worried I'd be left for dead in the breeze but I've actually not been too bad and have been happy with my own pace. I know there is still a lot to improve on but it was reassuring to be sailing at a good level while knowing I can still make some big gains.

It has been really cold, and it has been a long, long time since I've sailed in conditions like this! When it is so cold you can't really spend any more than three-and-a-half hours or so at a time on the water but the work we have been doing has been really focussed and there have been some good races.

Off the water, we've also been able to train in the great new gym the RYA has built as part of its new centre at Portland Marina and I've been working on the logistical and technical aspects of my campaign with my coach David Howlett.

We are testing a new boat, new masts and a fair bit of new equipment, there's been a lot going on. I hope to get some more time in the Finn at the end of January and start of February before I head off to New Zealand with Origin for the next of the Louis Vuitton Trophy events.

I'll be looking to get back into the Finn full-time at the end of 2010 and be racing again in 2011. However although my focus for 2010 is TP52 and match racing, and whatever may happen with the America's Cup. -- Ben Ainslie

CYCA Announces Ocean Racer of the Year Recipients
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has presented the CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year Awards and for only the fifth time in the history of the Awards, a woman has been recognised for her dedication to the sport of sailing.

Amanda Scrivenor was named Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year. The CYCA broke with tradition and awarded the Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year to a crew person rather than a yacht owner.

Scrivenor joins an elite list of women sailors who have been recognised by these Awards that includes Adrienne Cahalan (NSW), Lyn Wallace (VIC), Lori Wilson (NSW) and the late Sally Gordon (NSW).

The young CYCA member is a talented sailor and has shown great enthusiasm in just two years of ocean racing, developing her offshore racing skills under the guidance of Bill Sykes from Wot Yot.

For only the second time in the history of the Awards, the prestigious Ocean Racer of the Year Award has jointly been awarded to Bob Steel and Mike Green. A formidable team, owner Steel together with sailing master Green, claimed the overall win in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race aboard Steel's TP52 Quest.

Glenn Cooper, a longstanding crew member of Mr Beaks Ribs, has been named as the Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year.

Cooper played a major role in helping David Beak and his well campaigned Beneteau 44.7, Mr Beaks Ribs, win the 2008-2009 Blue Water Pointscore, including a rare line and handicap double in the Flinders Islet Race last year.

The CYCA Ocean Racing Veteran of the Year award was not presented this year. -- Jennifer Crooks

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1992 Beneteau First 53/f5, US$350,000. Located in Langkawi, Malaysia.

On deck you can see that she has been set up to race but she is very easily sailed by a small crew when not on the race course. A very well laid out cockpit and excellent transom access makes her a pleasure to sail. Down below she has three large double cabins all with new mattresses and an enormous saloon which is ideal for entertaining. The quality of fit out on these earlier Beneteau s is legendary and this yacht will be looking good for many years to come.

Brokerage through Lee Marine Co.,Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
You know, boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons. -- Homer Simpson

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