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An Eventful 24 Hours For The Clipper Fleet
Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Uniquely Singapore have broken away from the fleet, Qingdao, Team Finland and California have all had spinnaker issues, a Cape Breton Island snap shackle snapped sending their kite flying, Cork moved from ninth place to first in the space of 18 hours, at the 1800 position report last night no less than four teams were neck and neck at the front of the fleet, all ten crews have the scoring gate firmly in their sights and, keeping the heat on all of them, temperatures are beginning to soar as they approach the Equator.

As the southerly airflow begins to become a little unstable Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Uniquely Singapore have made a move to the east of the pack in a bid to gain some advantage in the race for the scoring gate and the valuable points to be picked up there.

Qingdao's crew is already being sorely tested after a larger than normal wave knocked the helm off course and gybed the boat, resulting in a spinnaker wrap in the middle of the night.

California's crew have been working their spinnakers hard to keep up with the wind changes. Skipper Pete Rollason says, "What a fantastic race to be a part of. We spent all last night with seven other boats in view and some very close racing and passes. The crew are totally fired up and are working really hard to push the boat as fast as possible. We had four spinnaker drops and hoists over recent hours following an ease in the wind strength and a tear to the medium weight."

The sail repairs were completed within an hour, rehoisted, and California is flying along again.

Fortunately those playing the Clipper Virtual Race online at have no need to worry about sunscreen, seasickness or spinnaker wraps as sail changes are made at the click of a mouse! Almost 75,000 people worldwide are playing the game - and it's not too late to sign up and pit your virtual sailing skills against those taking part in the real thing.

Positions At 1200 Utc, Tuesday 5 January

1 Cape Breton Island, DTF 1646
2 Spirit of Australia, 3 nm to leader
3 Cork, 5
4 California, 8
5 Hull & Humber, 15
6 Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 17
7 Team Finland, 18
8 Qingdao, 21
9 Uniquely Singapore, 29
10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 46

Alinghi 5 Reaches Final Destination in Valencia's Port America's Cup
Click on image for Alinghi's gallery.

Alinghi 5 in Valencia While Valencia celebrated the last of the seasonal festivities, beginning their Three Kings procession in the Darsena, Alinghi's giant catamaran was transferred to the team base in the inner harbour of Port America's Cup where it will be based during preparations for the 33rd America's Cup due to start on 8 February.

The team has spent the last 12 hours unloading and transporting the containers, masts and support vessels from the Cassandra B (the ship that transported the Alinghi cargo from Ras Al Khaimah to Valencia) in the commercial port to the base. The arrival of Alinghi 5 completes the process.

Preparations at the team base will continue throughout the week and Alinghi 5 will be made ready for the final training session due to begin mid-month. Spectators will be able to see the boat coming and going from the Alinghi base in the Darsena.

Dragon Prince Philip Cup
Photo by Bernie Kaaks. Click on image for photo gallery.

Dragon Prince Philip Cup Richard Lynn on 'Puff' made it two in row today with an all the way win in Race 2 of the Prince Philip Cup held at the RFBYC in Perth, Western Australia. Reading the shifts well on a course which favoured the south side all day, he found upwind speed that gave him control of the race and consolidated on downwind legs of the four lap event. The breeze started at about 10 knots from the south west and increased through the afternoon to 15 to 18 knots at the end perfect conditions for the Dragon fleet.

Second today was Tony Lynn sailing 'Red Baron' and third was Russia's Mikhail Muratov who worked hard to overcome an average start. Andrew Foulkes had 'Snapdragon' in second place early but was over run in the second half of the race to finish fourth. Windward mark roundings were interesting early, with a number of near misses and at least one solid collision but the leaders were always clear of trouble.

Top five after five races:

1. Puff, Richard Lynn, AUS, 24 points
2. Murka 11, Olga White, RUS, 35.4
3. Murka 12, Mikhail Muratov, RUS, 42.1
4. Whim, Gordon Ingate, AUS, 48
5. Red Baron, Tony Lynn, AUS, 61.4

Performance Is What Counts!
Photo credit: Volvo Ocean Race and Puma Ocean Racing. Click on image to enlarge.

Ocean Safety Celebrating the launch of the latest addition to the range, the OCEAN UltraLite liferaft, Ocean Safety has produced a new catalogue, highlighting performance products for the racing or cruising yachtsman.

Also in the range, with the emphasis on comfort, is the Kru Sport Pro lifejacket. All products in the catalogue have been selected for weight or space saving, or to fit with current ISAF Offshore Special Regulations.

Knowing what to do in an emergency is paramount and Ocean Safety is again running their Training Courses in 2010, which can be tailored towards an individual race crew, using their own safety equipment.

Visit: Ocean Safety stand NO15D, North Hall at London Boat Show, ExCel.

Sydney Hobart - Could ORCi Replace Irc For This Ocean Classic?
Once there was IOR, then IMS, then IRC, originally called Channel handicap. Could ORCi, a simplified version of IMS, be the next big thing in offshore race handicapping?

33 boats raced south in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart sailing under both IRC and ORCi. The overall IRC handicap winner Andrew Sailes, Beneteau First 40 Two True, also won the ORCi division.

Offshore sailing icon, the 82 year old skipper Syd Fischer who sailed south with his TP52 Ragamuffin this year, is strongly behind the move towards ORCi.

Certainly a legend in ocean racing history, he is contesting his 46th offshore season. Fischer won the Sydney Hobart overall in 1992 and took line honours twice with his German Frers-designed maxi Ragamuffin, in 1988 and 1990 and has completed 40 Hobarts. Fischer was the CYCA's Blue Water Champion in 2007-2008, the ninth time he has held this coveted title.

Syd was both surprised and gratified that 33 boats in the 100-boat fleet raced under ORCi as well as IRC. 'I think it will be a great rule because it's fully measured, transparent and we don't have anyone's input into it other than the measurements,' he said.

'It's fair. I can't stand anything that isn't fair because people spend a lot of money on these boats. If you look around the world there's billions of dollars spent on them and they've come into what's a club rule.'

Yachting Australia says its being even handed providing support for a number of rating systems.

'ORCi is IMS rebadged, but the Velocity Prediction Program (VPP), which is the heart of the system, has been updated. The complex scoring methods are still in place if an event wishes to use them, but the ORC have also added single figure ratings for inshore and offshore racing. ORCi calculates ratings based on scientific calculations contained in the VPP.

'IRC has different strengths. It treats club boats well, it is very simple to measure for, it is the most widely used rule in Australia, and is accepted internationally. Whilst it protects club and production fleets, and we do see a great many different types of winners, it does not provide the transparency that some appear to seek.' -- from

Speed Dreams
In 2008 world-renowned adventurer Richard Branson tried to break the current transatlantic monohull sailing record of 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds on his 100' Super-Maxi yacht Virgin Money, but had to abandon his attempt when the boat started to break apart in the middle of the ocean.

So, is it possible to beat what Branson calls 'one of the greatest records of all'? Can a sailboat reach speeds in excess of 50 knots in stormy open-ocean conditions? Is it possible to cover 1,000 miles in a single day under wind power alone? Can the performance gap between offshore monohulls and multihulls be bridged?

Radical boat designer Vlad Murnikov believes the answer to all of these questions is yes and is assembling a new international team of designers, engineers, adventurers, and sponsors to prove it. 'The SpeedDream Team,' says Murnikov, 'will comprise specialists with diverse expertise in offshore racing yachts like Volvo 70 and Open 60, multihull and powerboat design, hydrodynamics, structural engineering, and advanced composites.'

The team's two-year quest is to build the fastest monohull sailboat on the planet. 'Not simply to beat the existing transatlantic record,' Murnikov says, 'but to shatter it by more than a day! And then we'll go on to challenge other world records like the transpacific and nonstop circumnavigation records.'

Technical Data
Overall length -100ft.
Waterline length -100ft.
Maximum beam -20ft.
Waterline beam -10ft.
Displacement 18 ton
Ballast 9 ton
Sail Area (main + genoa) - 480 sq.m
Sail Area downwind - 1100 sq.m

Technical Aspects
The performance potential of the SpeedDream boat could be best demonstrated by comparison to the Volvo 70 - today's fastest monohull. A typical Volvo70 has Displacement/Length ratio D/L=40 and Length/Beam ratio L/B=6. In relative terms SpeedDream is much lighter and longer with an amazing D/L=17 (!) and L/B=10.

This means that her resistance at high speeds will be significantly lower, yet she will be twice as stable as the Volvo 70, enabling her to carry a much more powerful rig. Unlike the Volvo70 that has to perform well in a wide variety of conditions - light and heavy winds, upwind and downwind sailing - the SpeedDream performance optimization will be focused on the narrow band of wind speed (moderate to heavy) and apparent wind (close reach, beam reach and occasionally, broad reach).

Boat will always sail with a constant heel angle (around 15-20 degrees) and her hull, appendages and sails will be designed accordingly.

Preliminary estimates show SpeedDream capable of reaching top speed in excess of 55 knots and maintaining 40-45 knots for extended periods of time.

New Year - New Edition of the Dark Blue Book
Dark Blue Book Welcome to 2010. In 2009, we published the first ever Who's Who of the Yacht Racing world. The DARK BLUE BOOK is now well on the way to becoming the definitive directory for the industry. For the first time, we have released an online sample of the 2009 directory.

Thanks to feedback from consumers and partners, the 2010 edition will be more useful with over 300% more entries.

Now is the time to update your entry in the DARK BLUE BOOK for 2010. Listing is a must if you are in the business of yacht racing, whether you are an event organiser, competitor, journalist or photographer, press officer or supplier.

Listing in the DARK BLUE BOOK helps position you to thousands of potential business partners, sponsors, owners, crew and the media.

There are only 54 days until we close the book for entries, so make sure you and your company are included.

Isabelle Autissier Using Safran's Anti-UFO System
The anti-UFO system (aimed at spotting unidentified floating objects) developed by Safran is entering an important phase: it has been installed for a few days now aboard ADA 2, Isabelle Autissier's boat for her expedition to Antarctica. The system will be coming across all sizes of iceberg and Isabelle Autissier will bring back some vital pictures to enable further progress to be made with this innovative technology, which is aimed at protecting sailors from the risks of colliding with growlers.

Isabelle Autissier set off from Ushuaia on 3rd January on her fourth expedition. "During this expedition, if possible, we shall be sailing down to 69 degrees south and approaching Peter I Island. In this region of the Antarctic Peninsula, the charts are not very accurate. It means watching where we're going, while sailing almost all of the time in amongst the icebergs." This is the "No Man's Land Project," an adventure and expedition to the ends of the earth, for which Isabelle Autissier is accompanied by a crew of sailors and mountaineers: the sailors, Tristan Guyon Le Bouffy and Jacques Marty, the glaciologist-climber Patrick Wagnon and Lionel Daudet, the professional mountaineer famous for climbing some out of the ordinary peaks and Mathieu Cortial, trainee guide and member of a mountain rescue team. The crew is to sail along the west of the Antarctic Peninsula and the boat will be used as a base camp for climbing unconquered peaks until they reach Peter I Island, where the mountaineers hope to climb Lars Christensen Peak. So we are looking at a maritime and mountaineering expedition, involving more than ten weeks of sailing through ice.

ADA 2 will be fitted with a simplified version of the anti-UFO system developed by Safran and used by Marc Guillemot during the 2008 Vendee Globe. To be precise, this infra-red camera at the mast head is connected to a screen with alarms enabling small objects (2x2m) to be spotted, when their temperature is different from the water. ADA 2 will frequently be in contact with icebergs and growlers.

For Safran, the goal is for the prototype to be perfected in order to be ready for the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe. Then afterwards, "Once work on this innovative safety device is complete and it can be mass produced, we shall certainly be willing to sell it to other competitors. We shan't be reserving for ourselves a system that is capable of enhancing safety."

Other applications are planned away from the world of ocean racing, such as search and rescue operations, the detection of floating objects (other than ice), etc. "We've already been contacted by teams attempting records, but also by the French lifeboat service, the SNSM," added Jean-Marie de la Porte as examples.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the ratification of a new World Record:

Record: World Kite-board Record
Board: Fone Prototype 2009. Fone Bandit 3, 8q m kite.
Name: Alexandre Caizergues. FRA
Dates: 14th November 2009.
Start time: 16:12:24.10
Finish time: 16:12:43.13
Elapsed time: 19.03 seconds
Distance: 501m
Current: 0.2kts
Wind: SW. 35/40 kts gusts
Average speed: 50.98 kts
Venue: Luderitz, Namibia

Robert Lee Garland
Sparkman & Stephens reported the passing of Robert Lee Garland, who died Dec. 22 at the age of 101.

Garland joined Olin, Rod and Drake in 1930 and served in the brokerage department, and as a board member and president until his retirement in 1994. His 64-year service at Sparkman & Stephens Inc. was only interrupted by his service to his country, Scuttlebutt reports.

During World War II, Garland was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, where he was involved with development and construction of fast motor torpedo boats.

Bob sailed on all of the famous S&S boats out of Oyster Bay including Baruna, Windigo, Gesture, Northern Light, Argyll and Tempest. He was a member of the New York Yacht Club, Cruising Club of America, and Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.

Short Tacks
* The Notice of Race for the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race, which starts on June 18, has been posted at alongside a report of a recent survey of race veterans revealing high satisfaction with the historic "thrash to the Onion Patch."

The entry period runs from January 18 to March 30. Electronic submission is the much preferred method. As in recent years there will be five divisions: St. David's Lighthouse (amateur), Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (professional), Cruiser, Double-Handed, and Open (cant keel).

One of few international ocean races, this will be the Bermuda Race's 47th running since it was founded in 1906. The last race in 2008 had 198 entries. -- John Rousmaniere

* Both the RORC and UNCL 2010 IRC Yearbooks are available online - links are via the cover images on the homepage of -- Jenny Howells

* A piece of the boat French sailor Jean Le Cam abandoned in the Vendee Globe last January after its keel fell off has washed up 1,600 miles away in the South Sandwich Islands.

Le Cam swam out of the upturned hull of the boat on 6 January last year, to be rescued by fellow solo sailor Vincent Riou approximately 200 miles west of Cape Horn. It was not possible to salvage the boat afterwards and the boat was written off.

Nothing has been seen of the boat until earlier this month, when a piece of carbon bearing the name VM Materiaux was discovered in the sub-Antarctic islands near South Georgia by famous polar explorer Jerome Poncet (he of the yachts Damien and Golden Fleece). -- Elaine Bunting

* Cruising World magazine has announced the winners of its 17th annual Boat of the Year awards. Topping this year's list of winners for the most anticipated awards in the sailboat industry were the J/95 and the Leopard 38. The J/95 won the Domestic Boat of the Year award, and the Leopard was named Import Boat of the Year.

Four other boats also won awards from an independent panel of experts who inspected and tested 18 nominated boats following the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. Decisions were based on extensive dockside inspections and sea trials of the boats. All of the winners, along with the rest of the 2010 BOTY nominees and several other boats reviewed by the magazine's editors, will be featured in the January issue of Cruising World. --

* Alinghi, Defender of the 33rd America's Cup, is to participate in an exhibition entitled 'Le Leman a la conquete de la 33e America's Cup' at the Musee du Leman in Nyon from 5 January 2010.

Alinghi Museum

Visitors will discover the depth of Lake Geneva's involvement in the construction of Alinghi 5, the Defender's giant catamaran, as explained by Alinghi sailing team member, Pierre-Yves Jorand, who attended the official opening of the exhibition

This exhibition includes an Alinghi 5 model boat, a full scale S-foil, a photo exhibition, a film of the key moments in the history of the Defender's catamaran, plus explanations of the innovations and the Swiss involvement in the boat's construction.

Children visiting the museum have a dedicated corner where they colour their own Alinghi 5 and take away Alinghi stickers. --

* A ward -of-court teenager, held by civic authorities to prevent her sailing off round the world, may be allowed to hoist anchor after all.

The 14-year-old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker, who hopes to sail solo around the world, has been allowed by a Dutch court to stay in her father's care and has laid out conditions to allow the teenage sailor to begin her trip, possibly within three months.

Welfare authorities had previously forced Dekker to postpone her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Dekker was discovered on the island of St Martin in the Dutch Antilles, where she was trying to buy a boat.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2009 Grand Soleil 54, EUR 725,000. Located in Mallorca, Spain.

Grand Soleil 54, designed by Luca Brenta, delivered July 2009, fully equipped "super yacht" style performance cruiser. This particular Grand Soleil 54 benefits from numerous improvements and has the latest "T" shaped keel.

This is a great opportunity to purchase an "as new" Grand Soleil 54 with a huge specification at considerably below the new price.

Brokerage through Richard Baldwin International Yacht Brokerage:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. -- Sir Arthur Eddington

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