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Thrills, Spills and Close Racing
Photo by LUNA ROSSA/Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup Naples Naples, Italy: “It's cool, the sailing is pretty awesome, you can't complain when you're sailing in conditions like that,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker, who sits at the top of the leaderboard after two fleet races. “But it's very challenging for the boats and very taxing for the crew. The goal was to get back to the dock in one piece, which we did - it’s nice to be back in good shape."

Barker and his team clawed back from deep in the fleet in race one to finish in third place. In the second race, they were able to secure a win, putting them on equal points with ORACLE Racing Spithill who also have a 1-3 on their scorecard. Barker’s team gets the nod on the tiebreak by winning the last race.

Close behind are two teams who put in an outstanding performance on a challenging day. Team Korea, with young skipper Nathan Outteridge sailing his very first AC World Series regatta posted a 4-2 to sit equal on points with Energy Team, who mirrored their score.

Not surprisingly in the difficult conditions, there were teams who finished the day less content. Terry Hutchinson was leading his Artemis Racing team to a solid second place in the first race when both bows buried in impressive fashion as he rounded the top mark. The front of the boat kept going down, the wind pushing the wing over, until they capsized.

"It was a balance between racing the boat hard and not putting ourselves in a position of risk,” Hutchinson explained. “I don't really feel like we put ourselves at risk but still we ended up on our side. It’s just very frustrating… Luckily no one's injured, but the wing is absolutely broken… It's a real bummer, the boat was so well prepared and sorted for the regatta, and we've been going well in training, so all in all a pretty big disappointment."

China Team too suffered minor damage to its wing and didn’t finish the first race, or start the second. ORACLE Racing Bundock suffered some damage to one of its hulls after flying off a wave and landing hard in race one, which ended their day. But skipper Darren Bundock said he was confident his shore team would have them ready to race for Thursday.

The program for Thursday starts with Match Racing, the pairings determined by today’s results, followed by two Fleet Races and the Fleet Racing Championship continues. The first Match Race start is 1330 CEST.

Provisional Standings after Day One:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (Skipper: Dean Barker)
2. ORACLE Racing - Spithill (Skipper: James Spithill)
3. Team Korea (Skipper: Nathan Outteridge)
4. Energy Team (Skipper: Yann Guichard)
5. Luna Rossa - Swordfish (Helmsman: Paul Campbell-James)
6. Luna Rossa - Piranha (Helmsman: Chris Draper)
7. ORACLE Racing - Bundock (Skipper: Darren Bundock)
8. Artemis Racing (Skipper: Terry Hutchinson)
9. China Team (Skipper: Fred Le Peutrec)

America’s Cup Hall Of Fame to Induct Gerard Lambert, Patrizio Bertelli and Jonathan Wright
The Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame today announced the identity of the next three inductees to the America's Cup Hall of Fame.  Coming from three distinct America’s Cup eras two of them are Americans and one is Italian.

Established in 1992 the America’s Cup Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes the achievements of individuals within the sport of sailing and in particular the America’s Cup competition.  On a regular basis several personalities are identified by the Hall of Fame Committee to be inducted.  2012 sees three more individuals chosen to join the ranks of those already inducted.  The first person to be inducted this year, posthumously, is Gerard B. Lambert, Sr. (USA) - who was active in the periods 1930 to 1937, the second, Jonathan Wright (USA) - was active between 1974 and 1987 and the third, Patrizio Bertelli (ITA) - has been active continuously since 1997.

Gerard B. Lambert, Sr (b 1887 – d 1967) had an association with the America’s Cup that spanned the last three Cup cycles before the Second World War.  In 1928 Lambert bought Vanitie, the unsuccessful Defender candidate of 1920, for the express purpose of converting her to the new J Class rule and using her as a trial horse for the four new American J Class yachts being built for the 1930 Defender trials.  He was also a member of the syndicate that campaigned Weetamoe, one of those four new boats.

Patrizio Bertelli (b 1946) has been sailing and racing yachts his whole life.  He has a passion for the America’s Cup and in 1997 he founded the Italian team, now known as the Luna Rossa Challenge.  Not the first Italian challenger Bertelli's team is however the most dedicated.  No other Italian syndicate has ever challenged more than twice.  The Luna Rossa Challenge has endeared itself to the Cup community by being efficient, stylish and always competitive and consequently doing a huge amount to build on the massive Italian popular following of the America’s Cup.

Jonathan Wright (b 1953) is one of the unsung heroes of the12-Metre era in America's Cup history. Having crewed on board no fewer than five Defenders across a period of 13 years Wright is certainly made of the stuff that the Hall of Fame recognises.  Wright’s contemporaries Dennis Conner, Ted Hood, Ted Turner and Tom Whidden have already been inducted for their contributions to America's Cup history during the 12-Metre era, but if it hadn’t been for the skills of Wright and others trimming the sails on Intrepid, Courageous, Freedom, Liberty and Stars & Stripes things might not have worked out the way they did. 

The America’s Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, jointly organized by the Herreshoff Museum and Louis Vuitton, will take place at the Marble House in Newport, RI on the evening of 29th June this year, at the same time as the America’s Cup World Series regatta in Newport (27 June-1 July), the final event in the first annual season of racing the new AC45 catamarans.

Mini 6.50 News
The Mini Golfe

First race of the year, the Mini Golfe offered 100 NM to 11 skippers the time of a week-end in La Grande Motte. Good atmosphere, warm welcome from the Yacht Club, this little warm-up was really successful.

Results are here:

Event site:

The Demi-Cle 6.50, start on Saturday, april 14th

The Demi-Cle 6.50 will be full. The 50 crews who have been accepted will be welcome in the Locmiquelic harbour as soon as next wednesday. Safety checks, finalization of administrative files, reception and crew meal, those three days of preparation will be animated for the hundred expected.

Official website of The Demi-Cle 6.50

Class site:

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

James Dadd looks at popular performance assumptions... with the benefit of recent analysis

A rare glimpse
Mike Birch is one of the sailing greats, though he can be harder to track down away from the water... as Jocelyn Bleriot discovered

Andrew Hurst

A long road travelled
The sails on Banque Populaire V performed faultlessly around the world... but that had very little to do with luck. Jean Baptiste Le Vaillant and Cesar Dohy

Indonesian Sandeqs Setting Sail for France
Photo from Click on image to enlarge.

Sandeqs to Brest As the largest archipelagic country in the world, encompassing some 5.8 million square kilometers of maritime territory, Indonesia is rich in seafaring traditions and time-honored craft developed by a variety of tribes across the centuries.

But modern technology and demands have led to the obsolescence of many of these vessels. Recognizing the unique and precious offerings of Indonesia’s maritime heritage, several foreigners have taken steps to preserve and celebrate iconic Indonesian boats - especially the elegant sandeq.

Between 7 meters and 11 meters long, the sandeq is the traditional fishing vessel of the Mandar people, although variations of the boat’s design can be found in several tribes. The word “sandeq” means pointed, referring to the sharp, sweeping bow of the boat, which enables it to slice through heavy seas and places it among the fastest traditional vessels in the world. The hull, which is typically painted bright white, is roughly a meter wide and is flanked by narrow pontoons, or outriggers, on each side to supports its bulky - and often colorful - triangular sail.

In early 2009, Francois Cuillandre, the mayor of Brest, a city in France’s northwestern region of Brittany, was on an official visit to Indonesia when he first heard about the Mandar tribe in West Sulawesi and its traditional sandeqs.

Cuillandre was eager to have the Mandar share their boats with the rest of the world at the Brest 2012 International Maritime Festival of the Sea in July. At the mayor’s invitation, three sandeq boats and 16 passandeqs - Mandar mariners from Majene and Polewali in West Sulawesi - will participate.

A model Indonesian village will also be built and staffed near Brest’s marina.

Brest 2012 International Maritime Festival of the Sea:

Record Cast In Stone
Back in the early 1960’s Hedley Nicol then known as the guru of Australian Multihull offshore racing confidently predicted that it was possible to sail the 308 nautical miles from Brisbane’s Moreton Bay to Gladstone in under 18 hours.

Most who heard that statement delivered on the dock at Gladstone’s O’Connell wharf after Hedley Nicol steered his self designed and built trimaran Vagabond to her line honours triumph in the very first Multihull race to Gladstone in 1964 thought that he was ‘spiking’ the gathering into a debate.

But that was not the case the trailblazing designer and builder had responsibly made his prediction based on experience and believed his inaugural race time stood to be challenged. Unfortunately the trail blazing multihull racing advocate lost his life in the storm tormented Pacific Ocean in the early stages of a planned voyage to America in August 1966.

Over the past 48 years his prediction progressively became a reality when the Adrian Rodgers skippered catamaran Shockwave became the first to complete the course under the super fast 20 hour mark before Martyn Riley steered the Melbourne catamaran Raw Nerve to her remarkable course time of 18 hours 55 minutes 9 seconds in blustery south east winds in 2004. As expected the record challenge was on the agenda when Sean Langman who has the career distinction of setting two of the three fastest times ever recorded in the mono class Brisbane to Gladstone race entered his speed sailing trimaran Team Australia.

The fast lane sailing Team Australia which had already set a remarkable 27.7 knot average as a career bench mark when she raced under the name of Banque Populaire in Europe had the proven credentials to qualify as the favourite to move Hedley Nicol’s 48 year old prediction into reality.

Thankfully the normal Easter trade wind was in place when Team Australia with her 8 person crew including skipper Sean Langman, his 18 year old son Peter, female International match racing skipper Katie Spithill as tactician and former Volvo Globe sailor Josh Alexander power sailed out of Moreton Bay covering the first 127 nautical miles with a spray drenching Average speed of 18.63 knots.

The thrill a second sail towards a new Gladstone Race record continued as the crew who were answering the demands of sailing their first official coastal passage race on Team Australia left their rivals over 30 miles astern as the continued their fast and thrilling ride.

The average speed had climbed to an even more remarkable 19.28 knots when the Team Australia crew sailed on a super fast course towards Australian blue water racing history while their eight rivals headed by Boss Racing and Mojo understandably slipped further behind. Skipper Sean Langman and his exceptionally talented crew eventually claimed a special milestone in the sport of Australian ocean racing when Team Australia completed the course in 16 hours 28 minutes 21 seconds breaking Raw Nerve’s record by 2 hours 26 minutes 48 seconds with an average speed of 18.70 knots.

This remarkable achievement has finally proved that the statement made by Hedley Nicol 48 years ago and suggested by the disbelievers as impossible is now a reality.

The interesting measure of overall performance when Team Australia outpaced her high 1.500 handicap rating to also win the race outright by 26 minutes 57 seconds from the Peter Wilcox skippered Mojo .914 and the Bill Donnelly/Gary Saxby helmed Boss Racing .988

Final results
Line Honours Team Australia (Sean Langman) 16-28-21 1,
Boss Racing (Bill Donnelly / Gary Saxby ) 26-01-23 2,
Mojo (Peter Wilcox) 27-31-30 3,
Chill Pill (Wayne Bloomer) 29-51-51 4,
Foxy (Shane Russell) 35-56-42 5,
Attitude (Allan Larkin) 39-54-57 6,
Renaissance (Mike Hodges) 41-21-02 7,
Rushour (Drew Carruthers) 42-07-41 8,
No Problem (Ray Hobbs) 42-44-06 9.

Team Australia 24-32-31 1,
Mojo 25-09-28 2,
Boss Racing 25-42-39 3,
Chill Pill 28-07-55 4,
Foxy 31-33-35 5,
Renaissance 32-20-10 6,
Attitude 33-07-24 7,
Rushour 34-07-25 8.

Performance Rating:
Boss Racing 25-14-23 1,
Mojo 26-25-26 2,
Team Australia 28-00-12 3,
Chill Pill 28-40-11 4,
No Problem 31-11-48 5,
Attitude 33-07-24 6,
Foxy 33-35-24 7,
Renaissance 35-33-41 8,
Rushour 36-39-05.

Industry News
Today the number of dealers selling sails for Danish sailmaker Elvstrom Sails A/S has grown.

New dealer is German sailmaker Thomas Becker who previously has sold sails under his own label - b’segeln - and he will continue working from his base in Kappeln, Germany.

The skilled craftsman joins the Danish sailmaker company and becomes the 6th dealer in Germany which also happens to be Elvstrom Sails’ largest market.

Thomas Becker is already established in Kappeln in modern facilities from which he will continue his sail distribution as Elvstrom Sailpoint Kappeln.

Elvstrom Sails A/S is located in Aabenraa, Denmark. The company employs approx. 80 people in the Danish head-quarter. Among those is co-owner Jesper Bank, a three-time Olympic medallist and America’s Cup skipper.


Sri Lanka plans first marina park on the Indian Ocean

Project designed by government-owned company Cey-Nor looks to generate funding from the private sector

Sri Lankan boatbuilder Cey-Nor, a government-owned company, has announced plans to build a marina park in the city of Beruwela on the island’s southwest coast. The project promises to be the first marina facility of its kind on the Indian Ocean.


The 700-berth Porto Cervo Marina on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda looks set to change owners as part of Qatar Holding's takeover of Smeralda Holding.

Porto Cervo Marina can accommodate around 100 superyachts over 25m (80ft).

Qatar Holding is the investment arm of the Qatari Royal family and Smeralda Holding is currently owned by US property magnate Tom Barrack - who purchased its assets through his Colony Capital fund in 2003 for €290m.

Apart from the marina, Smeralda Holding's assets also include four five-star hotels and a world-class golf course.

It is expected that the deal will pay off Smeralda Holding's current €200m debt and provide funds for new infrastructure investment.


Today (11 April), Clyde Cruising Club unveils Bowmore, Islay’s first Single Malt distillery, as the newest sponsor to sign up to support the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series.

The prestigious Single Malt whisky is a welcome addition to the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series and complements the true essence and values of the renowned sailing event.  This year’s Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series promises a real festival of sailing which is due to take place during the Queen’s Jubilee weekend from Friday 1 June to Monday 4 June in Tarbert, Loch Fyne, on Scotland’s stunning West Coast

Competitors and spectators will be able to exclusively sample key bottlings from Bowmore through prize giving and at an exclusive tasting session on Saturday 2 June in the fantastic new marquee complex on the north shore of Tarbert.  The complimentary tasting hosted by Bowmore Brand Ambassador, and keen sailor, Gordon Dundas will transport sailors and visitors to the magical island of Islay while exploring the Bowmore taste.

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 Juan Kouyoumdjian: With our 3 boats safely in Brazil and under the risk of sounding arrogant, I’ll break away from my golden rule of not speaking until the end of the race to put the record straight since I believe we are presented with an intentional manipulation of the truth.

There is a common, spread notion that ALL the participants of this VOR have structural problems, that the situation is unacceptable and that something needs to be done for the future. A fundamental distinction needs to be done between the mast breakages and the rest, and whilst I think it is very important to understand what caused so many mast failures, it is a travesty of the truth to put ALL designs in the same basket when it comes down to the “other” structural issues.

This generalization might suit a specific Team, or person to push any agenda he might have for the future, but out of respect of the hard and serious work done with my Team I need to speak up.

In the first edition of the VO70s, we had 2 triumphs to celebrate that as designers we are very proud of. One is obviously that our design was driven to victory by a very good crew and the other one is that our 2 boats [both ABN AMRO] were the only ones that completed the full circumnavigation without major structural problems. This celebration was faded by the public generalization that because one boat sunk and others had structural failures, then ALL of the boats had problems and the rules had to be changed. Which in fact they did, for the worse! I didn’t say anything publicly then and moved on. However, seeing the same generalization occurring now, I’d like to stick to the facts and so allow for conclusions to be made without generalizations.

- A VO70 cannot be designed not to break. In fact, any boat in a round the world race cannot be designed not to break. So ultimately, breakages are in the hands of the crew.

- Puma won leg 5 without a major structural problem and this due to the excellence and experience of its crew.

- Telefonica finished 2nd in leg 5 with a hull delamination in port mid bow which did not prevent her from racing.

- Telefonica’s pit stop in Cape Horn was not a necessity but rather a very clever strategical decision based on having 3rd place assured and a weather window to exploit.

- Groupama, notwithstanding of an excellent management of the boat during leg 5 to see misfortune hit them with a broken mast, has sailed on her own means to Brazil without structural problems.

So, while we focus in understanding why there have been so many problems with the rigs, I’d beg not to generalize and avoid putting in the same basket the good work and brilliance of some engineers with that of others which are clearly not the same.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 Bavaria 44. 79,500 GBP. Located In Hamble, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

A very spacious cruiser with the four cabin layout with a very high specification of extras. Here on the Hamble in good condition and keenly priced.

Brokerage through Key Yachting Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Be it never forgotten that the cure for evil and disorder is more beer, not sobriety. -- Alexander Berkman

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