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The Boats Arrive
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, www.martin-raget.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

BMW Oracle Racing' In the early hours of Monday, [BMW Oracle Racing's] race boat arrived in Spain as the team completes its move from San Diego back to Valencia for the 33rd America's Cup next month.

The "Oceanlady" cargo ship arrived in the commercial port of Valencia after 20 days at sea, carrying the BOR 90, the trimaran the team has built to challenge for the Cup.

The "Oceanlady" transported approximately 200 tonnes of equipment from the team's training and development base in San Diego, including the BOR 90 trimaran, the main element of the wing sail, four custom made boxes containing the wing flaps, spare masts, 19 shipping containers, and 10 other boats (RIBs etc.).

The ship was unloaded over the course of the day. With the BOR 90 trimaran, the wing sail and the other cargo now safe on shore, the trimaran and all of its components will undergo a thorough work-up by the shore team to ensure the boat is match fit before the Valencia training session begins.

In the meantime, the sailing team has scheduled several days of multihull match-racing practice in the Extreme 40 catamarans beginning on Thursday. -- www.bmworacleracing.com

* The 33rd America's Cup defending team, Alinghi, arrived in Valencia, Spain today and will transfer to its existing base in the Darsena (the inner harbour of Valencia) over the next couple of days to begin its final preparations towards the Deed of Gift Match that starts on 8 February. The team's catamaran Alinghi 5, the masts and 20 support containers reached their final destination aboard the Cassandra B container ship on Monday afternoon after a 14 day voyage from the team's previous base in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.

"We hope that the people of Valencia will be excited to witness the arrival and preparation of our catamaran. We understand the American challenger has also arrived to Valencia and hopefully both boats will be moored in the Darsena and will provide a great spectacle. Since these new yachts are so fast and the racing will take place a long way offshore viewing the yachts from the water will be difficult for the fans, the sponsors and the media; that is why we think the Darsena will form an important arena for this event,"said Grant Simmer, Alinghi design team coordinator.

The team completed a very successful two month training period on 16 December 2009 in the Arabian Gulf and cast off, bound for Europe, on the 21 December. The Cassandra B travelled 4,500 nm out of the Arabian Gulf, into the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal and across the Mediterranean to return the Defender to the Alinghi base in Valencia, which was home to the highly successful 32nd America's Cup.

Alinghi plans to start sailing in Valencia mid-month and will focus on training for the 36 days that remain until the 33rd America's Cup Match. -- www.alinghi.com

And Why The Frequent Mentions Of Darsena???
Just this friendly exchange of letters:

This gem from a letter from GGYC's Commodore Marcus Young to SNG's Vice Commodore Fred Meyer:

"I am also re replying to your letter of December 27,2009 insisting that BMW Oracle Racing's yacht be moored in Valencia's Darsena. We view the safety of our crew, our yacht and other users of the Darsena as priority number one, and will will not be pressured into jeopardizing them. "

That was prompted by two letter sent by SNG, one to Jorge Gilbert of "Consorcio Valencia 2007" which says in part:

"As you express in the introduction of your letter, you wish to organize a "compact event" in the Darsena and we - at SNG - believe that the presence of both teams in the Darsena is compulsory for the success of the event.

Unfortunately, the presence of the teams in the Darsena is not yet confirmed. While SNG team - Alinghi - has prepared to operate exclusively from its base in the Darsena, Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) and BMW Oracle Racing (BOR) have declared at a meeting held on December 17, 2009 in Valencia in your presence that BOR was building facilities in the commercial harbour of Valencia to host the challenging vessel USA from its arrival on January 5, 2010 until the end of the America's Cup.

As you may know, under the NOR, the competitor's boats must be kept in their assigned places in the Darsena or in the outer harbour of Valencia Darsena. Any mooring of GGYC boat in the commercial harbour would violate the NOR, negatively impact the 33rd America's Cup, and significantly damage SNG and Alinghi. SNG will use its best endeavours to enforce the NOR.

We ask you and the Spanish Authorities to clarify with GGYC and BOR if and - to which extent - they intend to comply with the NOR and operate exclusively from the Darsena."

Another one from SNG to GGYC also insists on Darsena as required by the NOR.

All three letters are posted in full on the ScuttlebuttEurope.com site:

scuttlebutteurope.com/pdf/GGYC-SNG.pdf
scuttlebutteurope.com/pdf/SNG-Consorcio.pdf
scuttlebutteurope.com/pdf/SNG-GGYC.pdf

Morris Yachts M52

Morris Yachts' M52 Wins Bristol Award!
Click on image to enlarge.

Cuyler Morris accepted yet another Boat of the Year Award. The M52 won Cruising World Magazine's Boat of the Year Bristol Award, an award rarely given out and only when a boat cannot be categorized but exceeds expectations and demands to be recognized. Past award winners include the Morris M42 - Best Special Purpose Cruise; Morris 42 - Domestic Boat of the Year; Morris 34 - Overall Winner and Best Mid-Size Cruiser; Morris 40 - Overall Winner and Full-Size (over 40) Winner and the Morris 44 - Bristol Award Winner

www.morrisyachts.com/The-Morris-M52

Austin and Massey Running Hot in Qualifying
Photo by Christophe Favreau, www.christophefavreau.book.fr. Click on image for photo gallery.

Int 14 Worlds Day two of the CST Composites International 14 World Championship was held in light to moderate east nor'east conditions and ... thankfully ... increasing sunshine.

The two fleets of the Qualifying Series raced one heat each and it was the boats that showed form in the Teams Racing that continued to impress and dominate.

Sydney sailor Ben Austin took first place in race one after hot British sailor Rob Greenhalgh suffered a small setback in a gybe. Greenhalgh had shown excellent tactics and speed to lead the first race but a near capsize in a gybe set at the final top mark gave Austin just enough room and time to grab the lead.

Archie Massey of Great Britain won Race Two with a good margin from Australians Mark Krstic in second and Dave Hayter third.

For Massey and Wilsdon the day was a good one all round after their request for redress on the black flag they got yesterday was granted which will now allow them to take an average result over the Qualifying Race series for that race.

The regatta continues tomorrow with more Qualifying Races for the divided 108 boat fleet.

1. Gill Carbon Express, Archie Massey / Dan Wilsdon, AUS, 3 points
2. Too Late to Stop Now, Mark Krstic / Andrew Wilson, AUS, 5
3. Seldon, Roger Gilbert / Ben McGrane, 7
4. WSI - Internet, Andy Partington / Tom Partington, GBR, 9
5. Dimension Polyant, Benjamin Austin / Peter Nicholson, AUS, 11

www.i14worlds.com

Grant Simmer
There is calmness about Grant Simmer. The design coordinator of Alinghi had just wandered back from a surf at the tip of Sydney's northern beaches and his board was still wet on the lawn when I walked through the gate; so that could explain why Simmer appears so laid-back - but I don't think so.

This was my second interview with Grant in as many months for Seahorse magazine, and was an opportunity to chat about Alinghi's final preparations to defend the world's oldest sporting trophy - a prize Grant won twenty seven years ago as navigator on Australia II, when he was twenty seven years old. So I asked fewer questions this time, but listened harder - and one thing you don't get playing back the recording of the interview later on, is the underlying intensity of the guy. When you ask him a question, there is no fudging, no wavering, no formulating the best response to pitch back at me. No. What you get is a clear, precise, insightful and illuminating answer - whether it be on the crew dynamics within Alinghi, the physical challenges faced by the bow team on Alinghi 5, or the loads imposed on the tennis-ball sized metal socket that the mast rotates, rakes and cants on.

Simmer has pretty much seen and heard everything in nearly three decades of involvement in the America's cup, and knows a lot, about a lot. As lean and fit as a drover's dog, the smile is never far away, and as you listen to him describe the development of Alinghi 5, you realize this casual laconic Australian has explored some very, very interesting design avenues with his team - and applied some serious intellectual energy before committing to Alinghi 5.

Ernesto Bertarelli made a really smart decision when he recruited Grant ten years ago - but when you scroll through the design, sailing and shore team list on Alinghi's website, you realize what an extraordinary team they have - possibly the best in cup history - who, importantly have all been there before, and are used to the smoke, mirrors and hyper-hyperbole from the blast-furnace of ego's, emotion and expectation that is the America's Cup.

One last question to Grant on performance improvements the recent modifications on Alinghi 5 have made - one direct answer, and, as we walk to my car I ask what he has on the agenda for the rest of the day?

"Oh, probably another surf...' -- Blue Robinson in Sydney

Never Give Up
Click on image to enlarge.

Bouwe Bekking Book "This race is about avoiding problems and dealing with them when you can't. We had a lot to overcome. It felt at times like someone had a voodoo doll and kept sticking pins in it."

Bouwe Bekking has raced around the world six-times and has seen the Volvo Ocean Race grow in stature from a battle amongst privateer maxis to today's clash between corporate-sponsored, pro-crewed racing machines. As a skipper and project-manager for the two-boat Telefonica team, he has a unique insight into the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race and what it takes to complete such a demanding course, finishing on the podium in the process. More than this, Bekking has long held a deep-seated respect for the oceans and the need for their protection, a theme that runs through his account of this world-girdling adventure. Just as his heroes inspired him, Bekking hopes to help inspire others to look after one of the world's greatest natural resources - water.

Co-written with Riath Al-Samarrai, a member of the VOR media team, Never Give Up is an account of Telefonica Blue's circumnavigation from the perspective of one of the most experienced sailors in the race."

Buy now online Bouwe Bekking's book on www.bouwebekking.com

Contender Worlds - Queensland's Mulder Throws Down The Gauntlet
Matt Mulder at the first Contender Worlds, circa 1974. Click on image for event gallery.

Matt Mulder Today was the first day of the 2010 Contender Pre-worlds, the 2010 Contender Australian Championship, and the event organiser Matt Mulder who is a former Australian and current Queensland Contender champion, was in his element.

Pre-event it had been calculated that 70% of the time there are north easterly sea breezes on the Contender race course in January.

But today was straight out of the fine print; heavy overcast, humid, a southerly averaging 18 knots, topping out at 26 knots.

In the race one of the Pre-Worlds first across the line was Matt Mulder, just five boat lengths ahead of the Italian master and seven times world champion Andrea Bonezzi. Third was the Australia pre-event favourite Jono Neate, a surprising two minutes back. Then there was another long gap to the Brit most likely to succeed, Simon Mussel. The German top gun Christop Homeier was next, with Australian Class President Chris Sutherland following.

Behind them straggled the fleet, in various stages of disrepair. Race officials decided 'enough was enough' and canned the second race. The rescue boats towed in three boats with damaged rudders and masts; there were in fact 17 boats that failed to finish the course, 12 of them capsizing and were unable to right their boats without assistance.

There was a number of 'chock tops'. The water depth across much of the dinghy course is not much over two metres and the Morton Bay mud is dark brown, if you add 1-1.5 metres of sharp little seas and a capsize ... behold a 'choc-top' as the boats are righted, that is Morton Bay mud on the mast tip. -- Rob Kothe

www.contenderworlds2010.com

Brisk Breeze
Three races were sailed on Day One of the Splash World Sailing Championship held off Takapuna Beach in Auckland, New Zealand, in a brisk 18-22 knots of breeze.

The gusty South-Wester and outgoing tide created a short, steep chop that was challenging for all, but benefited those that really have the ability to work a heavier breeze.

At this early stage, the points spread is close: in provisional results, 2008 World Champion Ben Lutze (NZL) holds a two point lead over Ben Sluijter (NED), after winning two races. Reigning Declan Burn (NZL) is in third position, with George Lane (NZL) in fourth and Jock Coppejans (BEL) fifth.

With the largest team and the benefit of local knowledge, New Zealand has claimed five of the top ten positions, Holland four and Belgium one.

Only ten points separate the top five, and 17 points separate the top ten, which means competition will be very tight between the top ten contenders

A high approaching the country is expected to see today's South Westerlies ease somewhat before racing starts tomorrow.

Racing today was held in two flights. Scores are combined and after three days racing the fleet is divided into gold and silver fleets for the final two days.

The Splash Dinghy is a fast, modern single handed dinghy designed for sailors under the age of 19. Favoured for its ability to build confidence in mostly teenage sailors, the boat is a step up from the Optimist, and a precursor and training vessel for the Laser class raced by both men and women at the Olympic Games.

The line up at the 2010 Splash World Sailing Championships includes 73 youth sailors from 12 countries. New Zealanders have been world champions in the class in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009, and in 2009 New Zealand also won the Nations Cup at the Splash World Champs held in Europe.

www.takapunaboating.org.nz

Sailing In Paradise
Photo by Fried Eliott, www.friedbits.com. Click on image to enlarge.

9er Worlds The key word for the 2010 Seiko 29er and 49er Worlds beginning Monday, January 4, 2010 in Freeport, Grand Bahama is quality. With 62 49er skiffs on the line, the list of sailors include Olympic medalists, World and European champions as well as the current ISAF ranking leaders, the Sibello brothers of Italy. The backdrop of the Bahamian wind, water, sand and palm trees in January while most of the northern hemisphere is sitting in colder weather will provide ideal sailing conditions

The 29er, smaller brother or maybe sister, of the 49er, include youth and adult sailors with a mix of female and male teams. Charlie McKee, 2001 49er World Champion will be found on the wire this week for Kirsten Lane of the US, giving Charlie a different viewpoint.

All told, between the two classes the World Championships have over 95 boats competing, representing 28 nations.

Racing for both fleets begins with the qualifying round that will run through Wednesday with the final held Thursday through Saturday.

To follow coverage, go to www.29erworlds.org and www.49erworlds.org as well as the Facebook: 49er World Championship page and Twitter. Int49er.

Channel 49er, the latest video link for the 49er Class has video and interviews.

Seiko is the official sponsor of the 49er Class and title sponsor of the 2010 World Championships.

And Another Paradise...
Catamarans from all around the Virgins and crews from around the globe converged in Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke the end of October to slug it out over who would be crowned the "Baddest Cat" in the islands this season. Foxy's annual Catfight sponsored by the West End Yacht Club of Tortola is the only race in the Virgin Islands that is exclusively a multihull shootout.

"I knew early on that these boats were going to become more and more popular," said Foxy, "So I said: let's get a race together, and see what they can do." It was then decided that it would be the first race on the season's calendar, coinciding with the seasonal re-opening of Foxy's Tamarind Bar, and its Halloween Masquerade Ball.

This year's turnout of fifteen boats was the best in the race's history. Charter Cats from The Moorings, TMM, Barecat Charters and Pro Valor Charters all made the showing along with day sail boats, private crewed charter yachts and privately owned vessels.

Wind was fair, blowing 12-15 knots at the start of the race.

After a heated debate amongst Commodore Martin van Houten the other WEYC committee members, Pro Valor Charters' Wildcat II now holds the title "Baddest Cat of 2009," a title they are now obliged to defend in 2010.-- Paul Mason

www.allatsea.net/article/January_2010/

John Derbyshire, OBE
John Derbyshire, OBE RYA Performance Director and Racing Manager John Derbyshire has had his outstanding services to sport recognised in the 2010 New Year Honours list.

The 54-year-old from Emsworth began working with the RYA as a coach in 1984, attending the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games as coach to the single-handed classes.

Derbyshire was the Olympic Manager for Sailing from 1996 to 2000 and managed the British sailing team at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, which brought home three gold and two silver medals making sailing Great Britain's most successful sport. From 1994 to 2000, he was Ben Ainslie's personal coach, with Ainslie going on to win gold in the Laser class at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Following the Sydney Games, Derbyshire was appointed as the RYA's Performance Director/Racing Manager, where he oversees the running of the Junior, Youth and Olympic Classes Programmes that are the envy of the world.

More recently in 2004 and 2008, John was elected as Chair of the Performance Directors' Forum where he now plays a pivotal role in the development of world class sport across the UK, not just that of sailing.

RYA CEO Rod Carr said: "John is one of the unsung heroes of British sailing and thoroughly deserves this public accolade.

"His steady hand has guided the World Class Programme since 2000 and has made sure that our sailors don't rest on their laurels but push for even more success."

www.rya.org.uk

Featured Brokerage
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Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com/core/listing/

The Last Word
You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart. -- Fred Allen

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