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Sydney Hobart: Two True's Win Hangs In The Balance
Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Sydney Hobart As the remainder of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet trickles across the finish line, Andrew Saies' Beneteau First 40 Two True has moved into contention for the overall win. But first they have to survive this morning's 10am protest.

It's been a long wait for South Australian yachtsman Saies who waited for the overnight finish of the smallest in the original 100 strong fleet, Zephyr Hamilton Elevators, which was leading the IRC scoresheet. With the Nymph 33 now out of the picture in seventh, Saies' victory hangs in the balance due to a protest lodged by She's the Culprit following a start line collision that forced Tasmanian boat She's the Culprit out of the race.

Should the protest be upheld, the coveted Tattersall's Cup win for the 2009 race will go to a sistership Beneteau called Wicked, owned and skippered by Victorian Mike Welsh.

There are 10 boats still to finish the 628 nautical mile ocean classic, nine of them due before lunchtime and one of them Kioni, a witness to the She's the Culprit collision. Chris Dawe's Polaris of Belmont will close the book on this year's race, due later this afternoon - in time for Hobart's New Year's Eve celebrations - after spending six days at sea.

For what has been a pretty slow march to Hobart, amazingly there are still only five retirements.

The last time the corrected time win was affected by a protest was in 1985 when Garry Applebey's Sagacious protested Peter Kurts' Drakes Prayer following a start line incident. Sagacious won the protest and Drakes Prayer was penalised, costing Kurts victory. A winner for that race was never announced.

It was because of this incident that the organising club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, moved to a two start line format for larger fleets.

Peter Rogers' She is due in shortly. The crew has requested assistance at the dock for a crewman with a head injury and a cut over the eye.

In the early hours of this morning, Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban, was dismasted during the delivery back to Sydney when the D2 shroud broke approximately 170 nautical miles south of Eden. Everyone on board is okay and the boat is currently motoring to Eden.

The dockside announcement of the overall winner was due to take place on the Hobart waterfront at 11am this morning but will have to be rescheduled pending the outcome of this morning's protest, which could take quite some time. -- Lisa Ratcliff, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team

To The Winners Go The Spoils!
Jose Henrique Azevedo “Peter”, owner of the Best Sailors' Bar in the World. Click on image for photo gallery.

Peter Cafe Sport Last week we were pleased to announce the World's Greatest Sailing Bar in 2009 to be the Peter Cafe Sport located at 38 35N 28 42W on the mythical 'Blue Island' of Faial in the Azores. The Peter won due to the faithful voting of the thousands of yachtsmen and women who have experienced the warm hospitality, great food and excellent cocktails there. And now, we're ready to announce the individuals who were chosen at random by the team at Wight Vodka to receive some great prizes as a result of participating in this inaugural (and very important) survey.

Many congratulations go to the following winners!

Bill Stone wins the coveted bottle of Wight Vodka. Here is an excerpt of his rather passionate description of the Peter Cafe Sport: "To a sailor, the 'best sailor's bar' is quite obvious - she has no peer in the Atlantic, or, it can be argued, any place else on earth. It has history and tradition, it is not easy to get to, and once within its walls there is a rare camaraderie that permeates this hallowed berth. The memory of a seat is a sirens song to passaging itself imbuing memories impossible to forget. This is Peter *Cafe Sport* - The Sailors' Bar in Horta on the island of Faial, in the Azores Archipelago. Those fortunate enough to have laughed with their mates at Pete's carry with them their own Shangri-La."

David Lamb wins a subscription to Seahorse magazine. His favourite bar is the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for these obvious reasons: "Atmosphere, views and the tradition of climbing over the bell without clanging it (which means you buy a round for everyone in the bar)!"

Bill Fleming wins Roger Marshall's Rough Weather Seamanship for his vote for the King & Queen in Hamble: "Besides stocking the largest range of Rum's and Vodka's in our locale, Janet the proprietor has done her best to ensure that all customers whether local or out of towners are at all times well attended to. The pub has a genuine yachty charm to it and whether summer or winter there is always something happening.

Wight Vodka

Andy Dare wins a copy of Beyond Endurance for his personal favourite being the Micalvi in Puerto Williams in deepest southern Chile: "It's the Southernmost Bar in the world (excluding the Antarctic) & the closest to Cape Horn. It's full of character, being built in the bridge of an old ship that actually sits on the bottom, so the whole place really does have a list to Port, even when you enter. The fireplace is made from an old Funnel & they serve the best Pisco Sours ever...... and ....for as long as you can manage to mumble the words for 'more!' It's like a mini museum, as the walls & ceiling are covered in Great Cape Horn-ers stories & Antarctica Memorabilia. We added our signed Antarctica Battle flag to the rapidly dwindling space & joined the club.

Fay Mark wins a copy of Rough Weather Seamanship for voting on 'The Sailor's Bar' Las Palmas and for penning the below shanty...

From far away a place to behold
Its libations served either warm or cold
To welcome those who endure nature's wrath
Who may not present well for lack of a bath
But heed ye ear for stories to be told
Not for the weak, only the bold
And fair maiden take watch for slip of the hand
As manners are long forgotten with departure of land
And as the night grows long and winds stand still
Be aware of your dinghy when you have had your fill
For should you awake on another ones boat
Could be a voyage where you had not a vote

With the above winners now gloating in glory, we move to our top ten list of favourite (though kept anonymous) comments by the voting fraternity:

10. As you say, for the "ambiance." You drink and feel well when you go there at nights during the regattas.
9. The first gin and tonic is courtesy of the house for every sailor arriving from an Atlantic crossing.
8. No jetty. Just beach your RIB or swim in only. Great Bloody Marys, Flying Fish sandwiches to die for, and the great Soggy Dollar Bar Ring game....all served with white sand and turquoise seas...aaaah.
7. Champion sailor or rookie, you're made equally welcome.
6. In the "old days" you could run into Ted Turner, DC or Bruno.
5. Good cheap drinks, often fish barbies on the beach, sometimes local talent performing, "flexible" closing times and have even been carried home once when I was "tired!"
4. I was weaned on Mount Gay.
3. Like King Lear coming in from the heath, one feels safe from a storm here (whether of your own doing or not), and upon entering, prefers staying until it blows over.
2. It usually takes only 4 or 5 hours to have all the problems of the world sorted out.
1. Its gehaktballen are the best you can get!

Many thanks for your time in making this contest something special. And as always, please remember (and actively demonstrate) our collective tagline to Tack & Gybe Responsibly! The Crew at Wight Vodka.

More Than 40 Years Of Quality Sails & Service
Ullman Sails The Ullman Sails group is proudly unique, bringing together individual sail lofts from all over the world that specialize in serving their local markets. With a rich combination of skilled designers and master sailmakers, we work together to ensure every Ullman Sails customer benefits from our international collaboration. We're ready to answer your questions and customize a plan to fit your budget. So whether you're contemplating an addition to your racing wardrobe or the best furling mainsail for your cruising boat, make an investment in your performance.

Contact a local Ullman Sails loft and visit us at

Rex Sellers Named Member of New Zealand Order of Merit
Double Olympic medallist Rex Samuel Sellers has been recognised in the New Years Honours List for his services to New Zealand Yachting.

Sellers was today named one of New Zealand's greatest contributors and highest achievers, when he was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Born in Nelson in 1950, Sellers is one of the country's most successful yachtsmen, and his contribution to the sport of sailing and to New Zealand's sporting success on the world stage is of the highest level.

In 1984 he won an Olympic Gold Medal, and in 1988 he won a Silver Medal, sailing with Chris Timms in the Tornado Class. He finished fourth in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, and he was third (with Mark Rayner) at the 1982 World Championships in Canada.

His sailing career began in 1961 sailing in the Scootum class, before progressing through P Class, Cherubs and 470s into the Flying Dutchman and then, in 1977, Tornados.

He and Gerald Sly were chosen to represent New Zealand at the Tornado class at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but never competed because of the American-led boycott. They and the Brazilians were then pre-Olympic gold medal favourites.

Sellers, along with Timms and Russell Coutts, was named New Zealand Yachtsman of the Year in 1984. Three of Sellers' sons, Ross, Marc and Brett, have risen to national prominence in sailing and daughter Justina is a top board sailor. In the 2002-2003 America's Cup, Sellers was employed by the American team, Oracle.

Sellers served as President of sailing's national body, Yachting New Zealand, from 2005 to 2007. He also served on Yachting New Zealand's Olympic Committee during the Beijing Olympic cycle. He has been involved in coaching - primarily as a volunteer - across numerous classes over the past 15 years.

Sellers was nominated for the Honour by Yachting New Zealand. The New Zealand Order or Merit is awarded to those who have rendered 'meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits'. He was one of ten individuals recognised for their services to sport. -- Zoe Hawkins, Yachting New Zealand,

2010 ORC Rules And Regulations Now Available
ORC International and ORC Club rating rules, IMS measurement rules, GP Class rules, and ORC Championship Rules now available, VPP documentation available soon

The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is pleased to announce the 2010 ORC Rules and Regulations are now available for download from the ORC website. These include the ORC International and ORC Club Rating Rules, the International Measurement System (IMS) Rules, the GP26, GP33, and GP42 Class Rules, and the ORC Championship Rules (the "Green Book"). Changes from the 2009 rules are noted in each document in pdf form by either sidebars or colored text, and all are posted at on the Rules and Regulations page.

The 2010 Velocity Performance Prediction (VPP) documentation is still being edited pending feedback from designers and rating officers on the Beta version of the VPP which has recently been made available to ORC subscribers. Once any changes have been made, the documentation will also be available for download.

Also available on the Rules and Regulations page are a link to the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations for 2010/11, and explanatory texts to the ORC Speed Guide and the ORC Stability and Hydrostatic Datasheet. The Speed Guide and Datasheet in customized form are available for any boat with an ORC certificate.

For more information on ORC news, events, rating systems and rules , visit the ORC website at

Australia Wins International 14 Teams Racing In World Warm Up
Photo by Neil Patchett. Click on image for photo gallery.

International 14 Teams Racing Australia today won the International 14 class Teams Racing event at Manly on Sydney Harbour.

The Australian No.1 team won the two-day event from runners up Great Britain.

The Teams Racing was held in near perfect conditions ranging from 8 to 18 knots of sou'east and flat water in the protected waters of North Harbour.

The teams consisted of five boats with four racing at any given time and one in reserve. The format involved back-to-back short windward leeward races.

Team AUS 1 was Del Boca Vista (Devine/Jones), George 1st (Massey/Wilsdon), Too Late too Stop Now (Krstic/Wilson), Ronstan Irwin Sails (Irwin/Perry), Ray and the Crazy 88s (Anderson/Coutts).

The GBR team consisted Greenheart (Pattison/Tait), GBR 1484 (Heywood/Clay), GBR 1520 Roborowski (Nurton/Ash).

Current Australian Champion Brad Devine showed plenty of poise in the first final to clear out of the pack and win in his new boat which is beginning to show a good turn of speed.

In the end it was a combination of Massey's speed and team tactics that laid a solid foundation for the Australian victory in what is the traditional curtain raiser for the World Championship which begins with the Invitation Race on 2 January.

Third place in Teams Racing went to Germany whose team included Just in Time (Borkenstein/Dietric), Killn'floor (Roocks/Holscher), ERT (Schultze/Ladwig), Goldfinger (Reinsch/Weidling), Unbekannter No.2 (Schuerch/Thiessen).

Teams Racing Results for 30 December 2009 were as follows:
Semi 1: GBR d AUS 2, 2 races to nil; Semi 2: Aus 1 d GER 2-nil; Final: AUS 1 d GBR 2-nil.

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

Advance notice... in the second part of our detailed look at the science of foiling Dave Hollom addresses the very different challenges facing designers trying to bring the benefits of airborne sailing to multihull craft

Closing the circle... composites’ engineer Dan Primrose is finally re-entering the marine industry after a lengthy sojourn working with several of the world’s best racecar teams as well as undertaking composite structural engineering for other advanced automotive vehicles. A fascinating journey and one that has barely begun...

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...

470 Times Online
The latest 470 Times - December 2009 has today been published online at:

A packed 20 pages, brings you a range of news and features from 2009, a catch up with our 2008 Olympic heroes as they move on through their sailing careers and a look at the 2010 Calendar and more .......

- Renowned Olympian, sailor and coach Kevin Burnham (USA) has joined the 470 Management Committee, whilst Malcolm Page (AUS) has been elected as Vice-Chairman to the ISAF Athlete's Commission - read what they have to say on their new roles. Olympic campaigners Wakako Tabata (JPN) and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) faced the questions in our athlete interview.

- The 470 Development Programmes have been in full swing this year, with training clinics held in Greece and Serbia, and our range of support programmes have provided funding and equipment to over 30 sailors.

- As always, we are grateful to the many volunteers who are involved in running our sport - particularly the officials at events. We caught up with Eddie Ramsden (GBR) who was chair of the International Jury at the 2009 470 World Championships in Denmark to get his perspective.

- In September a new and innovative event, the "470 Legends' Trophy", was held in France, bringing together world champions and Olympians from years past - some of whom hadn't sailed a 470 for a few seasons. -- Luissa Smith

A Meeting with the Designer Guillaume Verdier
Photo by Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendee Globe. Click on image to enlarge.

Guillaume Verdier Safran and Groupe Bel, both designed by Guillaume Verdier/VPLP, finished first and second in the highly competitive field of IMOCA Open 60's in the recent Transat Jacques Vabre Both were lighter, narrower, easier-driven boats departing from the normal pattern of designs in the last Vendee Globe. Both Jean-Pierre Dick and Vincent Riou both have new IMOCA Open 60's from the VPLP/Verdier team. JP Dick's new Paprec-Virbac is well advanced at Cookson's in New Zealand, while Riou's new PRB is being completed at CDK in Port La Foret. Jean Le Cam is reported to have said he would like a new IMOCA Open 60 from the partnership and Michel Desjoyeaux is believed to be in regular discussion with them. It seemed like the ideal moment to talk to Guillaume Verdier about these developments.

Guillaume, you appear to be on the crest of a wave at the moment?

"When Safran was second in the 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre, I thought this would never happen again for me in my career and now it happens again, almost better with Safran and Groupe Bel. So of course it is a great turn for me. But you know I see my job as like the sea with waves, and so it has to go down from here! I am a bit scared that I have a few Open 60's to design.

What did you learn most of all at Groupe Finot where most of the winning Open 60's were coming from?

" It was a very small company when I was there. We had to do everything and so I learned there that a boat has to be redundant in the structure. Really they taught me everything about my job at Finot. I had the tools when I arrived, but they taught me the job. They left me the opportunity to develop my own tools, and I have gone on doing that whether that is in hydrodynamics, in structures."

Why did you team up with VPLP?

" I had a quite a bit of experience with Open 60's and Vincent (Lauriot Prevost) had no experience in monohulls. He did not know the IMOCA rule, the rule system, the hull shape behaviour. He did not have the culture. But he had everything else. He had the organisation, the culture of very light boats and the culture of very organised systems to design boats. And we were great friends. Once we said 'why not design an Open 60 together?' For me I could never have touched a sponsor with the size of my company. I was not known enough. Vincent needed the knowledge of monohulls. For both of us it was an opportunity situation. I was presented to Safran together with VPLP and Marc Guillemot. It made best use of our respective strength to be presented as a unit. It was a nice story. But we are still competitors as well on other projects. On the trimaran side I did Actual, which was not so lucky, and Vincent will do a Class 40."

How are the developments and trends for the next generation, the newer boats?

" We try to make a boat which is polyvalent. We try to make boats which are fast without having too much water inside, which are really capable of sailing with the nose trimmed up, out of the water. I try to find some hull shapes which are better in that way. It is a combination overall of hull shape design, ballast, ballast design, keel design and position of daggerboards. On the rig side we have kept on developing step by step with a sailmaker. They are all small evolutions, it is always small steps. The change of the rule matches really well to Safran. We are lucky in a way. It makes it more complicated now to have a rule which is tighter."

And how many boats do you expect, or would you like to have in the next Vendee Globe?

" At least four: Safran, Groupe Bel, PRB and Paprec Virbac and then perhaps if we are lucky we have another one or two...but I don't know. You see for us that a boat is not finished when it races. It is always very, very stressful. I keep my phone in my pocket and every time the phone rings, I have to check who it is. I have many phone calls in the night. I ask the sailors to call me very often so that they don't call me only when it breaks."

Full interview on the Vendee Globe site:

Dragon Australasian Championship: 2010 Prince Philip Cup
Perth, Australia: Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (RFBYC) will be hosting 2010's Australasian Championship for the 8.9 metre, long keel Dragon yachts.

Twenty-nine boats will be competing on the Swan River between 2nd and 7th January 2010.

It should be an exciting series competing for this prestigious trophy, the Prince Philip Cup (PPC). Many competitors are coming from overseas including Scott Palmer from NZ, Robert Campbell from the UK, and Mikal Muratov and his wife, Olga White, from Russia who often compete against each other. Husband and wife are expected to compete in their relatively new Dragons which are both in 'British Racing Green'. They respectively came 3rd and 5th in the 2009 PPC.

There will be a touch of nostalgia for the likes of former 12 metre sailors involved in the event including John Longley (crewed Australia II in the America's Cup), Gordon Lucas and Ron Packer.

Western Australia will be well represented by former National Dragon Champions Richard Lynn, Tony Lynn, Peter Bowman and Sandy Anderson.

Some other well known sailors are listed below who will be trailing the boats to Perth:

- Gordon Ingate (NSW) - Admiral Cup winner in "Caprice of Huon", former owner and skipper of 12 meter "Gretel 11", and former winner of PPC at the impressive age of 82
- Carl Ryves (NSW) - former Olympic representative in the Flying Dutchman class and involved in 1987 defence of the America Cup
- Andrew Yorke (NSW) - former Laser National Champ and America Cup tactician in 1987 defence of America Cup
- Andrew Crisp (TAS) - former World 14ft dinghy champion

Bob Shiels
The WSSR Council announces with sadness the death of Council Member Bob Shiels, USA.

Bob joined in 1978 as the first overseas member when it was still an RYA Committee and was a founder member of the Council when the IYRU, now ISAF, granted the WSSR Council recognition as the sole International body to ratify sailing speed records. Bob served the sport with diligence and commitment, being one of the members who drafted the original offshore record rules and was latterly closely involved in the development for the adoption of the GPS measurement system for speed recording. His accuracy and technical expertise will be much missed.

He is survived by his wife Helen, a Brother and four Grandchildren.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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 Adriaan Brink: Given that the piece of that wonderful Alinghi machine that is in dispute (with regard to the in-country argument) is the sails - wouldn't it be a nice treat to see a wing mast emerge from that boatshed in Switzerland and begin the long helicopter ride down south to Valencia? Now THAT would make this an interesting boat race!

* From Gavin Spier: I read with interest the letter from William F. Cook. It is true that "designed" and "constructed" have different meanings. It is also true that "constructed" and "manufactured" have different meanings as BMW Oracle know so well. They "constructed" their yacht in the USA out of many components, including winches "manufactured" in the UK by Lewmar. The US Federal Trade Commission definition of "Made in the USA" requires that it be "all or virtually all" made in the US. "All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no - or negligible - foreign content. Does BMW Oracle also suffer from Constructed In Country problems?

Featured Brokerage
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Ready to compete in the 2010 Farr 40 World Championship in April; at $375,000, this Farr 40 is better then buying new, it's a great value and your investment is protected by a strong ISAF One Design Class, which ensures healthy resale values.

Brokerage through Farr Yacht Sales,

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. -- G. K. Chesterton

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