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Mixed Bag Of Weather For Rolex Sydney Hobart
Photo of ICAP Leopard. Click to enlarge.

ICAP Leopard This morning the Bureau of Meteorology's Rob Webb delivered his Christmas news to those taking part in the 65th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, a mixed bag of weather, which will give every boat in the 100-strong fleet opportunities to make their mark.

The news was so well received that even talk of impending rain for the Boxing Day race start at 1.00pm did not dampen the enthusiasm of those at the weather briefing held at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) this morning.

Competitors can expect a 15-20 southerly for the race start, courtesy of a low pressure system on Friday evening that is set to continue into Saturday in Sydney waters.

This prediction means a collection of spinnakers, a spectator's dream come true, as the fleet leaves Sydney Harbour.

A trough will develop and hang offshore, then follow the fleet south, with a north-easterly sea breeze trying to develop on Sunday morning. This is where the largest of the 100-strong fleet will have the opportunity to do some serious damage, by taking the opportunity to make up some big miles in downwind conditions.

Tacticians and navigators will have to be quick to get into the next system because by Sunday evening the trough is expected to produce south to south-westerly winds of 15-20 knots offshore in the Bass Strait region, while inshore the breeze is expected to be light and fickle.

The low will continue moving south on Sunday and Monday, bringing south-westerly winds, with the possibility of gale-force westerlies (34-47 knots average and greater). -- Di Pearson

* Thirteen days after dismasting in Bass Strait on the delivery sail from Melbourne to Sydney, the Etihad Stadium maxi is now looking like a 98 foot ocean racing machine again.

The 44 metre mast was successfully installed just after 3am this morning with a very large crane and all hands on deck at Sydney City Marine.

Skipper and owner Grant Wharington is pretty pleased with the outcome.

"We've managed to do what many have been saying would be impossible - a big thanks to the boys from Hart Marine and the Southern Spars project team - they've done an absolutely sensational job" he said.

In the midst of the crane delicately lowering the mast into the deck, Grant remembered the special coin that needed to be placed on the bottom of the mast before it was fixed in place.

Salty sea dog superstition and folklore indicates that placing a silver coin on the bottom of the mast before stepping it into the boat brings good luck, with the coin needing to be of sentimental significance.

An Australian ten cent piece, date stamped 2003, was used - the significance being that the boat's sail number is 10 and in 2003 they won line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart when the boat was known as Skandia. -- Jody O'Brien, Etihad Stadium/Wild Thing Yachting

* There are two iconic sporting events, on December 26th, the day after Christmas; there is the Boxing Day Test Cricket in Melbourne and the Start of the Sydney Hobart. The ABC National Radio network broadcasts the cricket ball by ball and for eons that has clashed with the Hobart start.

But someone has blinked; now the cricket starts 30 minutes earlier and at Sydney Hobart start time, the cricketers are at lunch and so for the first time, the ABC will be broadcasting live from Sydney Harbour.

This humble scribe will be calling the start along with the ABC's Peter Newlinds on Grandstand, the ABC's premier sports program.

While the Hobart battle is for The Tattersalls Cup, the handicap trophy, the mainstream audience will be fascinated with the seven big boats as they fight their way out of the harbour, will a couple of 40-50 footers please put their hands up, get a blinder of a start and steal the limelight. -- Rob Kothe in Sail-World.com

rolexsydneyhobart.com

33 ORCi Entries Ready For Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
Organizers at the Cruising YC of Australia (CYCA) have indicated that a total of 33 entries have formed the first-ever ORC International (ORCi) Division in the 65th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This represents one-third of all entries divided among several divisions in the fleet, with most entries eligible to be scored in multiple divisions for the race.

The ORCi entries represent a wide range in age, size and boat type, from Atse Biel's 1972 S&S-designed aluminum-built 41-foot Pinta-M competing to win on handicap, to Ludde Ingvall's 2004 Simonis-Voogd-designed carbon-Nomex 90-foot YuuZoo (ex-Nicorette) contending for first-to-finish honors.

Results for the ORCi Division will be decided by the application of the Time-on-Time Simplified Scoring Option, using the ToT Offshore rating as printed on each boat's ORCi Certificate, as a multiplier of elapsed time. The boat with the lowest corrected time (after application of any scoring penalties) will be the winner.

The range in ratings for the ORCi Division is from Pinta-M's rating of 0.8881to YuuZoo's rating of 1.5973.

"ORCi is really quite compatible with the Sydney Hobart race," says ORC Chief Measurer Nicola Sironi, "because the measurement of stability is compatible with the CYCA's requirements for stability data for each entry in the race. Other international rating rules do not offer this." Sironi had recently helped measurers and administrators from Yachting Australia establish the procedures for measurements and issuance of ORCi certificates in time for the Sydney Hobart fleet.

But another contributing reason for use of ORCi in this race is the growing desire among Australian owners to have access to a published, transparent rating rule. A meeting at CYCA of some 80 owners and sailors identified this as an important criteria for their interest in having an open and predictable outcome in the rating process, as well as a belief in ORCi to not be as favorable towards certain design types as other rating rules.

www.orc.org

Camet Skiff Wetsuit
Camet Skiff Wetsuit Designed to be as flexible as you can be, the new Camet Skiff Suit will change the way you sail. No more limitations...just pure flexibility and speed. Designed with every panel cut to specifically help improve muscle performance. The Camet Skiff suit wraps around your body to help increase performance.

- 85% super stretch material for maximum flexibility
- Glued and blind stitched seams
- Over the shoulder closure eliminates the need for zippers
- Reinforced abrasion resistant nylon material on seat and knee area
- Made in the USA

Camet X-core technology means thinner rubber is warmer rubber. It not only weighs less, it also allows athletes to focus on the right issues (like better sailing), and fuss less over the wrong ones (like being cold, uncomfortable - and performing like a wet noodle).

www.camet.com


About Those Sails...
Statement from Societe Nautique de Geneve:

Societe Nautique de Geneve and Alinghi thank Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW Oracle for their Christmas gift and their wishes for further litigation in the New Year!

"Having disqualified all other Challengers for the 33rd America's Cup through their legal strategy, Larry Ellison's team is now trying to do the same with the Defender and continues to pursue its attempt to win the America's Cup in court rather than on the race course," says Fred Meyer, SNG vice-commodore.

"We fear that this is an attempt by BMW Oracle to avoid racing Alinghi on 8 February," adds Grant Simmer, Alinghi design team coordinator.

BMW Oracle's accusations regarding the defending yacht are simply false: Alinghi 5 complies with the Deed of Gift "constructed in country" requirement, it was built in Switzerland and so are its sails.

From Tom Ehman, Golden Gate YC spokesman:

Obviously, what Alinghi buys from Minden is not some simple, off-the-shelf item widely available around the world, but a custom, highly specialized, technologically sophisticated sail built specifically for Alinghi 5. Whether they add some fittings to it in SUI, or RAK, does not deflect the fact that the sail was constructed in the USA.

www.na.northsails.com

Wight Vodka - Best Sailor's Bar Contest
Wight Vodka In the spirit of Wight Vodka's ethos, we should all 'Celebrate our Wins' as we head into the holidays and New Year. With this as the main theme for the inaugural Best Sailor's Bar contest, we must first start by congratulating all of the establishments that made the Top 10 list of the best of the best - we salute you all - and look forward to visiting you in due course!

We've had a lot of fun with the promotion and we're very pleased to announce that in partnership with Scuttlebutt Europe, Wight Vodka will be making the search for the best sailor's bar an annual event - whilst building an online reference guide to key sailing watering holes around the world that we can plug in as waypoints (if not destinations).

The rampant loyalty and extent of the customer databases and club members is absolutely staggering. Our voting lines ran white hot.

Not only did we see a spectacular amount of social networking activity we were also very impressed by the technical competence of some readers! In common with Santa - we definitely had to check the list twice!

Throughout the race, we spotted heavy duty light-air pumping, OCS and definitely some serious rule 69 infringements - every bit of gamesmanship in the book. We applaud your competitive spirit and are clearly going to have to tighten up the Notice of Race for the next event, as our collective goal is to NOT have to bring the Rules of Deed up to the examining board of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.

So, with that introduction behind us, we're pleased to announce the results for the Best Sailor's Bar competition. So many great places, so little time to experience them all!

1. Peter-Cafe Sport - Horta, Azores
Congratulations to the owner... Jose Henrique Azevedo
2. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club - Hong Kong
3. IYAC - Newport RI, USA
4. Maddie's Sail Loft - Marblehead, MA USA
5. The Candy Store - Newport, RI, USA
6. Le Select - St. Barts
7. Bitter End Yacht Club - British Virgin Islands
8. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Hamilton Bermuda
9. Foxy's Tamarind Bar and Grill - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
10. Willy T - Norman Island, British Virgin Islands

The winning bars will indeed receive a coveted certificate from the team at Wight Vodka that they can proudly display on their wall, authenticating their place in history. Indeed, the winner will receive an elusive bottle of Wight Vodka to celebrate with. We'll also be drawing a few names from those who submitted entries and stories to receive a number of prizes between now and New Year's Eve. Many thanks for taking part and on behalf of the Wight Vodka and Scuttlebutt Europe Team, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tack & Gybe Responsibly

www.wightvodka.com

Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta
Miami, Florida, USA: With the count of sailors up to 731 participants, the Orange Bowl has officially broken its own record as the biggest youth regatta in the USA. There will be 315 Optimists (89 of which are Green Fleet beginners), 192 Lasers (including Laser Full-Rig, Radials and 4.7) and 89 420s. Thanks to Amy Gross-Kehoe, US Sailing's Youth Sailing Council Chair, 23 International 420s will also be participating in the Orange Bowl for their very first time.

Many of the Orange Bowl sailors are arriving with great credentials including current Optimist World Champion Sinclair Jones from Peru and the 2009 US Optimist National's top three: CRYC's Axel Sly (now sailing a 420), Ft. Lauderdale's Christopher Williford and Palm Beach's Wade Waddel. Optimist sailors alone come from 18 nations and 22 states plus Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta is in its 40th year. Racing begins on Sunday, December 27 and runs through the 30th.

The latest Miami weather forecast predicts temperatures in the upper 70s and partly sunny skies.

Sailgroove will be streaming live to their website at www.sailgroove.com covering the races.

www.coralreefyachtclub.org

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

Enjoy... that is exactly what former Star World Champion, Whitbread Round the World Race and Louis Vuitton Cup winner Paul Cayard is aiming to do at this stage of a remarkable racing career. And it seems to be working... in between plotting for something ‘big’ of course!

New kids... the many national sailing teams watching with approval as Messrs Ainslie, Percy and friends inch their way out of the ferocity of youth and into their ‘maturity’, well, we’re afraid that the news is not at all good. Not far behind Team GBR’s current golden crop at least one more pretty complete generation of talent is fast emerging up through the ranks. Andy Rice takes a personal look at what the Olympic sailing future may hold in store post Weymouth 2012...

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...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

RYA Team GBR Sign Up Hart and Simon
RYA Team GBR has signed up Mike Hart and Chris Simon to fill the roles of Head Coach and Rules Advisor for the team who are set to send four British crews, Team GBR Red, Blue, White and Black, to the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup in August.

Bringing a wealth of coaching experience and knowledge to the team accrued in his role as RYA Coaching Development Officer, Hart is an ideal choice for the team offering the skills and know-how to ensure the four crews are working and performing to their absolute optimum.

One of the most experienced International Judges and Umpires in the World, Simon too offers an invaluable source of expert advice. Understanding the intricacies surrounding the rules of competition is paramount to succeeding and with one of the world's best specialist in the field at their finger tips, coupled with Hart's top coaching input Team GBR will be wholly equipped and fully prepared to mount their assault on the 2010 cup and retain their title.

RYA Team GBR will enter four teams in the event named Team GBR Red, Blue, White and Black, with each team comprising one boat in three specified IRC class Rating bands.

Full details of the RYA Team GBR selection criteria are now published on the RYA Website www.rya.org.uk/racing/jm2matchteam/commodores

Short Tacks
* The 11th entry in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 was today confirmed by the team's skipper. This high-profile European entry wishes to remain anonymous, but will be announcing details of their project in early 2010. The campaign already has a boat, team and funding in place and will be mounting a very serious bid to win the Global Ocean Race 2011-12.

"This is a very exciting entry for the event," enthused Race Director Josh Hall. "We have always been sure that the event would attract top sailors from other disciplines within the sport and this entry will, I believe, be the beginning of such a trend. In addition the entry is from a country that has never before been represented by a round the world yacht racing project and this adds an exciting dimension to the race."

Full details of this exciting project will be announced in the coming weeks. -- globaloceanrace.com

* The Mini 6.50 Class 2010 calendar is available at www.classemini.com

* Australia's Celebration of Sail - the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta 2010 is now accepting entries on-line at www.audisydneyharbourregatta.com

This Iconic Sydney Event, is an annual yacht racing championship which attracts the highly competitive, glamorous racing yachts frequently seen gracing the harbour and the most popular international keelboat classes. The "sailing regatta for all sailors" the harbour is also decorated with non-spinnaker racers and the Classic Yachts class. The Celebration of Sail is also the second leg of the prestigious Audi Australian IRC Championship.

Competitors race for the ultimate overall prize - an Audi vehicle.

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 John Harwood-Bee: I never thought I would rise to the defence of Alinghi but re GGYC's request for conformation on compliance: May I refer to a letter of mine on the subject you published last year.

CONSTRUCTION does not necessarily mean MANUFACTURE and therefore may I respectfully suggest that instead of trying to score points, GGYC drop it, just get on with it, get the farce over and done with and hopefully relegate the trophy to the shelves of New York Yacht Club for evermore. Then sailing can get on with a true sporting event; the Louis Vuitton series.

* From Daniel Charles: GGYC complains that Alinghi sails are not Swiss -made (since they are Nevada-made). Very well. But GGYC's sails, also Nevada-made, cannot be completely US-designed, since these sails (as all 3DL sails) use the patent US19900570402 / EP0475083 (A1) (dated 18th of march 1992 for the European patent) of the Swiss national Jean-Pierre Baudet -who invented the 3DL.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1923 84' William Fife & Son, EUR 2,950,000. Located in Scotland.

Brought by barge to Fairlie Restorations in 1993 she was to receive a comprehensive restoration to her original condition and under Lloyd's Register supervision to regain her 100A1 class.

Almost entirely reframed, she had some planking repairs, a newly coppered bottom and a new deck laid alongside her original hatches. With the rig carefully restored to the original gaff cutter, albeit with the modest concession of hydraulic winches, she also had her interior carefully rebuilt.

The guest accomodation,with her panelled mahogany saloon was highly original in layout, whilst the galley and crew areas had to be redesigned for the demands of a modern crew of four.

Relaunched in the summer of 1995, she has been used extensively ever since and has cruised throughout the Mediterranean and also returned to the Clyde in the summer of 1998 for her 75th anniversary.

Brokerage through Nick Stratton Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/nickstrattonyachts/

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

The Last Word
Once again this year, I want to impart a bit of wisdom to fathers of young children (no mother would ever make this mistake...). A few years ago, my youngest child, my dear daughter Darby, now 13, finally figured out that Santa was really her father and mother. Typical of Darby, she figured it out by handwriting analysis, discovering that the "From Santa" looked exactly like the "From Dad" and "From Mom" tags on her presents. As with all children, this is a fairly traumatic realisation. She was snuggled up in bed with her mother crying quietly about her lost dreams on Christmas night when I came in to tuck them in and console her. I did so by this sage advice: "Honey, Santa is in the spirit of Christmas. He's not really real, he's real in your heart and mind. And always will be. Like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy."

At which point Darby shrieked "WHAT!?!? THE EASTER BUNNY AND TOOTH FAIRY AREN'T REAL EITHER!?!?!?!"

My wife silently mouthed "Oh... My... God..." as I quickly fled the room as the sniffs and sobs grew louder.

Perhaps not my best Dad moment. Please avoid doing this unless you believe that dashing all childhood myths in one fell swoop is the best way to go. My daughter has yet to forgive me that (or so she claims, particularly when she wants me to buy her something).

Have a very Merry Christmas and a nice relaxing Boxing Day!

Eurobutt will return this weekend for the start of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

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