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Tropical Storm Lottery for the GOR Fleet
With conflicting weather data and the likelihood of Tropical Storm Alberto sweeping across the fleet, the Global Ocean Race (GOR) Class40s are relying on experience, instinct, skill and an element of luck as they head north-east away from Cape Hatteras and the coast of the USA.

Weather files indicate a windless corridor 140 miles wide along the coast and the four boats have been clipping the offshore edge of this zone with the 34-mile lead held by Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo decreasing rapidly as the Italian-Slovak duo split from the fleet heading east with Financial Crisis while Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough in second place with Cessna Citation maintained a more northerly course, polling the highest speeds in the fleet, trailing Financial Crisis by 13 miles at 15:00 GMT on Tuesday, but separated by over 100 miles on the water as they scatter into the North Atlantic.

With the National Hurricane Centre predicting that Tropical Storm Alberto may catch the fleet late on Tuesday and into Wednesday, the offshore route taken by Financial Crisis may pay for Nannini and Frattaruolo if they dig into the southerly winds early, but any analysis is becoming a lottery and the unpredictable track of the anti-clockwise winds around the tropical depression could equally deliver headwinds for the fleet.

GOR leaderboard at 15:00 GMT 22/05/12:

1. Financial Crisis, 3128 nm to finish, 9.1kts
2. Cessna Citation, 13.8 nm to leader, 9.7kts
3. Phesheya-Racing, 61, 6.4kts
4. Sec. Hayai, 69, 7.5kts

globaloceanrace.com

Volcanic Voyage
Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo. Click on image for photo gallery.

Volcano Race Capri's Marina Piccola was the setting for the start of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race's final act which commenced today at 18:00 CEST as the event's 15-strong Maxi fleet departed for a 300-nautical mile roundtrip through the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Conditions were uncharacteristic for the region at this time of year with heavy rain prevalent for much of the afternoon before a blue sky and a stunning rainbow ushered in the start of Leg Two of the offshore race.

Following Saturday's inshore race in Gaeta, southern Italy, and Leg One of the offshore race which concluded yesterday following a 100-nautical mile voyage from Gaeta to Capri, Leg Two pits the fleet on another challenging course. They must head south to negotiate the islands of Salina, Vulcano and Stromboli before returning to Capri.

At 19:30 CEST, the leading yachts were travelling at approximately 10 knots with Sir Peter Ogden's 60-ft Mini Maxi Jethou (GBR) marginally ahead of Y3K (GER) and Nilaya, and some 105-nautical miles from Salina.

As the fleet head into the night, current predictions are that the first yachts will be back in Capri sometime tomorrow evening, Wednesday 23 May. The overall winner of Leg Two will be awarded the coveted Rolex Trophy and timepiece during the traditional Rolex party at the iconic La Canzone del Mare, held on Friday 25 May.

The Rolex Volcano Race is organised by the International Maxi Association (IMA) and is open to Maxi yachts (measuring over 18.29 metres/60-ft in length).

Further information on the Rolex Volcano Race, including race tracking, may be found at www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

PRB Lead From The Strait
Aboard Groupe Bel. Click on image to enlarge.

Europa Warm Up The reputation of the Strait of Gibraltar is built on extremes: lots of wind or very little wind and lots of current.

Many of the skippers and crews on the Europa Warm'Up race for the IMOCA Open 60's will have seen both faces of the narrow gateway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, but it is powerful combination of light winds and strong tides which have shaken up the order at the front of the fleet as 2004-5 Vendee Globe winner Vincent Riou stole a march on Virbac-Paprec 3 by staying to the north, escaping on the Spanish coast to lead off on the leg up the Portuguese coast to Cascais, Lisbon.

North or south was the simple, binary choice. There are rarely half measures and commitment to one or the other usually needs to be complete. Virbac-Paprec were on a making tack towards the Moroccan coast as the winds progressively died early this morning. Riou and his crew seized their opportunity to break from the leaders, Virbac-Paprec 3 perhaps also choosing to mark second placed MACIF. As they went south the two leaders struggled more and more with the current and in the end were forced to break back to the north again. Virbac-Paprec avoided the worst of the current and made a smart exit in early 2011 as they set sail on the Barcelona World Race while some of their nearest rivals were subject to the ignominy of going backwards with the current, this time they completed a full circle close to the Moroccan coast before they could make good back towards PRB's track.

Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel)
"We're focused, we know that under these conditions, we just have to stay vigilant, especially as the conditions should be better now for those in front. We would not like getting caught by the Strait of Gibraltar so we try to go our best. With no wind, it is obvious that it's more comfortable: the boat is flat, it is dry. We sleep better, for sure, but we sleep a lot less time, because you need to constantly adjust, monitor changes in the wind and make maneuvers. "

1. PRB, Vincent Riou
2. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 02 nm to leader
3. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 2.5
4. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h, 35.1
5. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm, 125
6. Groupe Bel, Kito de Pavant, 125.2
7. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, 130.7

www.europa-warmup.com

Finish - Leg 2 - 2012 Atlantic Cup
It was a thrilling finish to leg 2 of the Atlantic Cup. As we rounded the turning mark off the New Jersey shore we were fairly deep in the pack and not looking forward to a 200 mile dead beat to windward. We headed offshore in a building 15 to 20 knot Northeasterly and it looked to be a long night of pounding. Daybreak found us moved up a few spots in the 14 boat fleet, and we were slightly optimistic that we could pull off another comeback like leg 1.

However, attacking from behind while going upwind is tough without taking complete flyers, so we just tried to keep boatspeed up and grind away to Montauk. As we approached Montauk we spied Partouche, Dragon, Initiatives, Bureau Veritas, GDF Suez, and Toothface and knew it would get close. We chose to go on the east side of Block Island and the incoming tide swept us in. We hammered straight into Pt Judith and then tacked around the point and headed for Castle Hill light off Newport.

As often happens, the wind faded and finally died as we approached and everyone parked up and drifted in a few 360's before picking up a zephyr and inching towards the finish at Fort Adams. We took the gun at 3:00 am and Toothface was only 40 seconds behind us and GDF only 20 seconds behind them. Talk about a photo finish! Very stressful! But a ton of fun. We ended up in 7th place out of 14 boats, which leaves us in striking distance for a podium spot after 2 days of inshore racing this weekend. So, we are psyched and anxious to get our inshore team together for a bit of practice. -- Joe Harris aboard GryphonSolo2

atlanticcup.org

The Fulcrum Files by Mark Chisnell -- Now Available In Paperback
Fulcrum Files The young Ben Clayton was one of Britain's brightest boxing prospects, until the day he slammed a left hook into a fragile chin. Sickened by the consequences he turned away from the ring, found solace in the arms of the beautiful Lucy Kirk and looked to a new challenge - winning the America's Cup in the great J Class Yachts.

On the 7th March 1936, after almost two decades of peace in Europe, Hitler ordered the German Army back into the Rhineland. It was a direct challenge to Britain and France. Still unnerved by the toll of the Great War, the politicians dithered and history teetered on a knife edge. But the spymasters were busy - just one man could make the difference between war and peace, victory or defeat. And that man was Ben Clayton.

Mark Chisnell's brand new spy thriller returns to an epic period of history, and an epic period of sailing.

A #1 US and UK Amazon Thriller.

'This has the potential to be a real classic...' Gael Pawson, Yachts and Yachting.

www.amazon.co.uk/The-Fulcrum-Files

How Your Harness Could Kill You
Your lifejacket and harness could kill you. That's the shocking fact. Using a long lifeline that allowed him to go overboard was one factor behind the death last year of experienced racer Christopher Reddish.

He fell overboard doing a night-time sail change on the foredeck while taking part in the RORC's Morgan Cup Race.

Another factor was the fact that no-one knew for sure which part of his lifejacket was the lifting loop, leading to difficulties recovering him, and that the inflated bladder rode up over his face. By the time Reddish was retrieved - and remember he was close at hand, still atttached to the jackstay - he had drowned.

The incident led to a full scale Marine Accident Investigation Report, recently published here: http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications , and some important recommendations. But when we examined the issues we also felt that manufacturers of lifejacket/harnesses aren't doing enough to standardise vital features and that there are pressing issues of user familiarisation. -- Elaine Bunting in her blog

Full post at www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/elaine-bunting/

Spinnaker Tales
There will be little rest during the colder winter months for Sunshine Coast sailors Rod Jones, Greg MacAllansmith and Phil Gray as they prepare separate challenges to contest the 2012 World SB3 championships at Hamilton Island in December.

Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith have teamed up with the exceptionally talented former Olympian and multiple World champion Glenn Bourke to become the class pacesetter with Club Marine Blue while Australian championship Silver Medallist Phil Gray and his Dulon racing team remain determined to keep their rivals on the pace.

The polished sailing style of the Club Marine Blue crew set the foundation to win all the major Australian regattas including the 2012 National championship hosted by the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Club on the tricky River Derwent.

Based on these impressive results the Club Marine Blue crew remain as the team to beat when the battle lines are drawn to decide the 2012 champion over the Hamilton Island Yacht Club warm Whitsunday Island courses from December 13-20.

All fourprevious World championships held in the Northern Hemisphere have been dominated by English crews headed by the defending champion Geoff Carveth.

However Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith showed they could master the disadvantage of racing on the unfamiliar English courses when they finished fourth overall. Since then the Club Marine Blue crew have successfully shown their boat speed and tactical strategy to record a runaway win in the 2011 Queensland championship on the windy Dent Passage course off Hamilton Island.

During that series the Dulon crew who showed they had comparable boat speed to temporarily engage the Club Marine Blue crew in a boat on boat match race before Phil Gray paid the penalty for misjudging the space to cross in a tacking duel?

Club Marine Blue held the more important right of way when both boats collided resulting in the dismasting of Dulon.

"As you can see I cut the corner a bit too fine". Dulon skipper Phil Gray said.

That was a disappointing incident however the Club Marine Blue crew still managed to show their superior one-design fleet racing skill to win the championship leaving Phil Gray with the unwanted task to fill out an insurance claim.

"It was my mistake thinking that it would be close but unfortunately it was too close when the bow of Club Marine Blue snapped the backstay leaving us to recover the mangled rig". Phil Gray added.

This strict clone class is noted for testing all of the important human related skills which forced the Dulon crew to pay the penalty.

However Phil Gray remained determined to prove his Dulon racing team could sail on equal terms with Club Marine Blue when both crews staged an intense tactical match race for the Australian championship Gold Medal on the River Derwent.

Dulon after breaking a boom in race five held a 1 point lead into the final but they lost their grip when Glenn Bourke steered Club Marine Blue into third place while Phil Gray finished fifth which allowed Club Marine Blue to win the championship by a narrow one point. -- Ian Grant

Philip Scully
The Owner of Starry Night, the well travelled Oyster 82, is sad to advise of the sudden death on board of her long term captain and Cork character Philip Scully.

The yacht was on its way to the UK from Antigua when Philip started feeling unwell. He and the crew had full time support from Dr Spike Briggs of MSOS and advanced medical supplies and equipment on board. Despite this and great efforts from the crew he died in the early hours of 22nd May.

The rest of the crew are well and the weather conditions are good. Starry Night is now on its way to Bermuda and the relevant authorities have been informed. -- Gemma Glanville

Industry News
The fate of what is believed to be Europe's largest marine equipment distributor and manufacturer, the Navimo Group, appears to be hanging in the balance following reports in the French press that the group's CEO Albert Journo would be submitting an application to the Commercial Court of Lorient, for parts of the business to be placed into receivership.

A statement released by Journo to IBI, reads: "There is a first hearing of the Lorient Court of Commerce which will take place on May 22, 2012 for an insolvency procedure of certain French companies in the Navimo Group. We are waiting for the Court decision.

A spokesperson for the French Group was able to confirm to IBI that for now Navimo Group (which includes the Plastimo, Goiot and Nuova Rade brands), was still trading and "carrying on with business," and stressed that the action involved only "some" of its French-based companies, and that several of its French businesses and US operations were not affected by the procedure.

IBI News, plus.ibinews.com

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Hanse Group is bundling its yacht and speedboat production at its German parent plant in Greifswald on the Baltic Sea.

In August, Hanse Group, which includes the brands Hanse, Moody, Dehler and Fjord, will move the production of Dehler yachts and small parts for Hanse yachts from a facility east of Cologne to the Baltic Sea facility.

Once the move has been completed, Hanse, Dehler and Moody sailing yachts and Fjord speedboats will be produced in Greifswald.

www.tradeonlytoday.com

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Matthew Hyde, most recently executive vice president at REI, will join West Marine as president and chief executive officer on June 19.

The company's board last week named Hyde, 49, to succeed Geoff Eisenberg, 59, who earlier this year disclosed his intention to step down when a successor was appointed.

At REI, a [US] national retailer of outdoor gear and clothing and the nation's largest consumer cooperative, Hyde oversaw more than $1.8 billion in annual sales and 10,000 employees. He was responsible for the company's stores, direct-to-customer/e-commerce, marketing and real estate. He earlier led the teams that repositioned and successfully grew REI's private label brand.

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The Helly Hansen Odin Fastpack Jacket has been awarded The Award for Design Excellence by The Norwegian Design Council.

Outdoor clothing brand Helly Hansen's jacket Odin Fastpack is a waterproof, lightweight jacket designed for fast and easy on/off for trips with rapidly changing weather conditions.

Helly Hansen is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and has grown over the past years into a global outdoor brand with a distribution network of more than 40 countries, including USA, Canada, Japan and China.

* Helly Hansen says its record Q1 in 2012 is setting the company up for its third year of record results, with Q1 revenues up by nearly 15% and EBITDA increasing over 300%.

Helly Hansen says 2012 continues to look strong with a record result in Q1 and an anticipated 16% increase in revenues for spring 2012, a growth driven primarily by Asia, North America and the Nordics.

www.boatingbusiness.com

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YachtWorld.com, a Dominion Marine Media (DMM) business with the Internet's largest worldwide database of brokerage boats, has again demonstrated its continuing commitment to the broker community as the 2012 CPYB Keel Sponsor.

The Certified Professional Yacht Broker (CPYB) is a program of the Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA). The annual CPYB Keel Sponsorship provides major financial support to the CPYB certification program and its commitment to maintaining industry standards, professional development and industry recognition of qualified yacht sales professionals. 2012 will be the third year thatYachtWorld.com has supported this initiative.

The Certified Professional Yacht Broker (CPYB) designation is awarded to qualified and experienced brokers upon successful completion of a rigorous written exam. Since 2002, the CPYB exam has provided a new benchmark for the professional performance of yacht brokers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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Marinepool, a German brand specializing in sailing clothing and maritime fashion, today has been announced "Official Clothing Supplier of the Tour de France à la Voile".

This famous yacht race along the French coast is now run by Amaury Sport Organisation, a leading expert in sport events and also responsible for the Tour de France (cycling) and the Rally Dakar among other events. Marinepool will integrate into this dynamic network with a strong determination to become a long term and active partner.

Sailing in M34 one design yachts, more than fifteen sailing teams will set off from Dunkerque on June 29th to race The Tour along the Channel and the Atlantic coast, heading to la Seyne-sur-Mer in the Mediterranean, the final destination after one month of racing and eight stopovers.

While Marinepool is a new partner to the Tour de France a la Voile, the brand has a strong foot hold in the M34 class already with several high profile partnerships and a great Tour de France a la Voile track record as a supplier of teams.

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The British Marine Federation (BMF) has appointed Howard Pridding as chief executive officer, replacing Rob Stevens from 1 October 2012.

Appointed following a rigorous externally run recruitment process, Mr Pridding is the current executive director of the BMF and recognised throughout the industry as a wise and astute campaigner on marine matters, with an extensive knowledge of the industry.

At the same time as making this appointment, the BMF's management board has taken this opportunity to look at the senior structure of the organisation and has decided to consolidate the existing positions of executive director and chief executive.

This structural change complements last year's restructuring, thus reducing costs further and giving the BMF the focused leadership it needs for future success.

Boating Business: www.boatingbusiness.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1987 Beneteau First Class 12. US$ 57,900. Located In Sarasota, Florida, USA.

Beneteau's First Class 12 Series are FAST sailing yachts. Blistering speed, great sails, diesel power, tiller steering and some cruising amenities make for great performance whether racing the local round the buoys circuit or long distance racing. This shoal draft version with bulb keel draws only 5 1/2 feet. This boat has been modified for short handed sailing and can be easily run but two. Cruise fast with this unique and spacious Beneteau 40.

A proven race winner on the Florida circuit, she is in good condition and will continue to reward her owners with racing trophies and the pride of ownership with one of the fastest 39 foot monohulls on Florida's west coast.

Brokerage through Grand Slam Yacht Sales: www.yachtworld.com/grandslamyacht/

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

The Last Word
To ask me to verify my life by giving you my statistics is like using science to validate sorcery. It robs the world of its magic and makes milestones out of us all. -- Carlos Castaneda

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