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The Stuff Of Dreams
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, http://www.sail-world.com
The Line Honours betting this afternoon was
Wild Oats XI 1.80
Event site: rolexsydneyhobart.com
Shopping For Spares
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, news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-sport/
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Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
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
There will be both a racing class and a cruising division based on the overall fleet.
Medallists Decided at Sail Melbourne
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:
Full results of all classes www.sailmelbourne.com.au
ISAF Sailing World Cup: www.sailing.org/worldcup
Dubarry for Xmas: Jingle Smells
Dutch Teen Sailor Found in Caribbean
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
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: www.worldcruising.com/arc/results.aspx .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.
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Ben Ainslie's Back In The Finn
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
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
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.: www.yachtworld.com/leemarine/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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