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Rolex Sydney Hobart: Sixty Entries
The fleet for the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December reached 50 with the entry of Bob 'Robbo' Robertson's Queensland yacht, Lunchtime Legend; and just hours later, entries had already reached 60.

Robertson is coming off a win in the Magnetic Island Race Week series and second in both the Hamilton Island regatta and Airlie Beach Race Week.

The veteran yachtsman built and launched his Beneteau 40 in time for the 2011 Hobart, and scoring a highly creditable third in IRC Division 4 in the company of pacesetters of the calibre of Roger Hickman's Wild Rose, David Rees' Whistler and Andrew Saies' 2009 victor, Two True.

In this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, Lunchtime Legend will be leaner and meaner with a younger crew, who are fired up, Robertson says, with the Australian successes at the London Olympics.

This year there are entries from Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the first from Lithuania, Ambersail, a Volvo 60 skippered by Simonas Steponavieius, with major regattas under her belt, including the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland, RORC Caribbean 600, Transatlantic, Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Middle Sea Races.

Bengal7, a Humphreys 54 launched in 2010, will be the first Japanese entry in the race since 1997 and will be skippered by Yoichi Ito.

Geoff Hill' Dubois 90, Genuine Risk, which won line honours in the 2012 Rolex China Sea Race, will represent Hong Kong.

The New Zealand entry is Rikki, a Reichel Pugh 42 owned by Ray Haslar.

Other notable entries so far are last year's overall winner Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) and a sentimental favourite, the three-time winner Love and War, made famous by the late Peter Kurts and now sailed by his son, Simon.

As usual, the boat to beat for line honours this year will be Bob Oatley's super maxi Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards. It was beaten into second place last year by Anthony Bell's Investec Loyal, which won by a margin of only three minutes and eight seconds, the fourth closest finish in the history of the race.

Applications for Entry in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 close on Thursday 1 November 2012 at 1700hrs AEDT. -- Bruce Montgomery

Passage Record Trieste to Valletta
After winning the 44th edition of the Barcolana regatta with a tactically perfect race, the Esimit Sailing Team left Trieste at 10:00 PM CEST on the same day, heading for Valletta. The European crew is aiming to establish the benchmark time for the approximately 700 nautical mile passage record Trieste to Valletta, recognized by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

After leaving the Gulf of Trieste, the crew is heading south-east in the Adriatic. Once they are south of Italy, they will turn south-west towards Malta. The straight line course goes fairly close to Calabria and southern Sicily, therefore the decision whether to stick to the straight line course or go further offshore will be made based on the weather conditions.

For monohulls breaking the established passage record from Trieste to Valletta, a very special trophy has been created. The Medot Sailing Trophy, which has been presented on Saturday night (13th October) at the Esimit Europa Gala in Trieste. But not all challengers are going to be presented with this unique award. The world sailing record has to be broken by monohulls in the time frame between the Barcolana and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Defenda Inflatable Yacht Fenders
Defenda Fenders DEFENDA™ inflatable fenders provide the ultimate protection for your yacht and are easily stored when deflated. Available in ten standard sizes from 75cm to 4m long, we can make any other size or shape to order.

Manufactured from the latest 1100 Dtex Polyester fabric or Orca Hypalon, they are highly resistant to abrasion, chemical attack and UV degradation. Equipped with stainless steel attachment rings and a low profile inflation valve, all fenders are covered by our manufacturer's warranty for up to five years.

Swiftly inflated and deflated by manual or electric pump, the DEFENDA™ range is available with snug fitting covers in several standard colours, although almost any colour can be manufactured to match hull paintwork if desired. A range of accessories are also available, including pumps, cordage and custom made fender hooks.

NSHOF Inducts Nine Of Sailing's Significant Contributors
Photo of Stan Honey by NSHOF / George Long. Click on image to enlarge.

Stan Honey New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: There was an abundance of Southern hospitality and tradition in evidence today as the National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame (NSHOF) inducted nine of the sport's significant contributors into the National Sailing Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the second-oldest yacht club in the U.S.A, Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans. From the opening notes played by the US Marine Corps band to the closing gun fired by master of ceremonies and 2011 inductee Gary Jobson, the four living and five posthumously inducted sailors - including a Medal of Freedom recipient, the father of the yellow first-down line for televised football, and several Olympians - were celebrated for having persevered to succeed in the sport.

The thread of overcoming adversity made the setting at Southern Yacht Club even more apropos: after fire ravaged the club in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, SYC was seriously impacted when Hurricane Isaac struck this past August - seven years to the day after Katrina had led to SYC being rebuilt. In the midst of cleaning up from this latest challenge, SYC missed not a step in planning and executing the second-ever NSHOF induction.

2012 National Sailing Hall of Fame Inductees (alphabetical):

Peter Barrett (Madison, Wis.)
Bob Bavier (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Gregg Bemis (Boston, Mass.)
Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Bruce Kirby (Rowayton, Conn.)
John Kostecki (San Anselmo, Calif.)
Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.)
Rod Stephens (New York, N.Y.)
John Cox Stevens (New York, N.Y.)

Complete story with biographies of the inductees at

Weymouth Speed Week
Weymouth Speed Week has finished, the largely unfavourable wind conditions did not stop sailors from enjoying a great week's sailing. Leaderborard final standings and full Friday results have been published at

From Elaine Bunting's blog:

To give you a bit of the background of what has historically been a decidedly amateur affair (amateur in much same way as Mensa), the first ever John Player/RYA Speed Week was run 40 years ago this month.

Since the first of the speed festivals in 1972 there have always been a fascinating collection of inventions, ranging from serious, well-funded ones such as Timothy Colman's Crossbow, to the weird and whacky. It was fundamentally an anoraky event, and all the better for that.

Crossbow was one of the most famous craft to come out of the early Speed Weeks. It was essentially a very large canoe, 60ft overall, with an all-up weight of 680kg and a sail area of a shade under 100m2. The crew of four kept it upright by hanging off the end of a 25ft outrigger.

Being a one-way proa severely limited the number of runs it could make and the rig was never very satisfactory. In spite of this it was always the fastest boat at Portland and raised the best speed from an initial 26.3 knots in 1972 to 31.2 knots. To put that in context, that was back 1975.

King of the eccentrics was Didier Costes, who spent 30 years developing his idea of a balanced offset rig that developed no heeling force, needed no sheeting force and whose side force was countered by a windward-pulling 'hapa'.

One of the more famous inventions was Jacob's Ladder. Ian Day modified a Tornado to pull it along by a stack of kites. During Speed Week in 1982, spectators were said to have looked on open-mouthed as boat and stack took off completely and flew through the air, dropping crew off astern on its flight path.

Elaine's full article celebrating the eccentric and the briliant at:

Groupe Bel at the Start...
Photo by Julien / Windreport. Click on image to enlarge.

Groupe Bel The Groupe Bel monohull arrived in Les Sables d'Olonne Saturday afternoon after a delivery from the Mediterranean. Kito de Pavant and his crew sailed the 1,700 miles from Port Camargue in very mild weather conditions. First of the boats from other ports to reach the start port for the Vendee Globe, Groupe Bel has joined AKENA Verandas, sailed by Arnaud Boissieres, and Team Plastique, sailed by Alessandro Di Benedetto on the Port Olona marina pontoon. 27 days from the start, Groupe Bel's skipper inevitably felt a pang of regret as he sailed up the well-known channel of Les Sables d'Olonne, where the public had turned out to see him last time.

Kito de Pavant: "When we think of the Vendee Globe from our home port of Port Camargue, the start always seems quite far away. You say to yourself you still have time, but on arriving in Les Sables d'Olonne, everything gathered pace. The people of Les Sables d'Olonne met us in the channels and the Vendee Globe feeling is already palpable on the pontoon...

As far as we're concerned, it started by a round-Spain, with this delivery. We are the only ones to carry out this exercise, since Groupe Bel is the only contender to come from such a distance. We sailed in light air in the Mediterranean and then at Gibraltar, as we did along Portugal, before ending with a pleasant tack in a south-westerly at 25 knots in the Bay of Biscay.

There's some stress during such a journey, since setting out to sea always represents a risk, but it is also an opportunity for us, since it enables us to test the equipment over a long period of sailing."

Gwen Gbick, Brice de Crisenoy and Eric Lefevre accompanied Kito on this delivery. Every day, the crew sent us messages and beautiful photos. These can be seen here:

Australian Skiff Season
The Australian 18 Footers League's 2012-2013 Season fleet promises some great racing on Sydney Harbour when the 19 teams begin their campaign in the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge on Sunday.

Several previous Giltinan and Australian Championship winners are aiming to add to their records, but they will be under pressure from a number of young teams looking to take the honours away from their more experienced rivals.

Twice Australian 16 Footer champion James Dorron (Mojo Wine) and three-times Inter-dominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press (Smeg) are two skippers with serious chances to add the Giltinan Championship to their already impressive records.

There will also be great interest centred on two new teams.

Malcolm Page, the Gold Medal winning 470 champion at Beijing and London Olympics, will skipper The Kitchen Maker skiff team and Alexandra South heads the rookie all-girl 'Skiff Chicks' team. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

The 2012-2013 Season Fleet is:

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers: Michael Coxon, Dave O'Connor, tba
Yandoo: John Winning, Andrew Hay, Jim Beck
Asko Appliances: Marcus Ashley-Jones, Ash Rooklyn, Geronimo Harrison
De'Longhi-Rabbitohs: Simon Nearn, Keegan York, James Smithers Micah Lane, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson
Rag & Famish Hotel: Jack Macartney, David Witt, Harry Bethwaite
Gotta Love It 7: Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage, Peter Harris
Smeg: Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings
Pure Blonde: Tom Clout, Matthew Wark, Rob Bell
Fisher & Paykel: Andrew Chapman, Tim Baraclough, Ewan Duckworth
Mojo Wine: James Dorron, Ricky Bridges, Mike McKensey
Lumix: Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack, tba
Kenwood-Rabbitohs: Brett Van Munster, Kieryn Cowan, Joel Castle
The Kitchen Maker: Malcolm Page, Darren McKavanagh, Cameron McDonald
tba: Nick Daly, Daniel Nixon, John Walton
Southern Engineering Services: Adam Barnes, Ian Henderson, tba
Haier Appliances: Pedro Vozone, Sam Ellis, James Slee
Lomax Financial Group: Alexandra South, Frances Dargaville, Saskia Tidey
Team Southern Cross: Oliver Hartas, Daniel Watson, Rob Polec

Millionaire Yachtswoman's Boat Found Wrecked
Rescue crews searching for a yacht and her skipper have found the wreckage of a vessel.

Devon and Cornwall Police were this afternoon with members of Ona Unwin's family after air and sea search teams made the discovery, believed to be her 31ft yacht Seagair, near Sennen Cove in Cornwall. A force spokesman said there was no evidence of a body onboard the stricken vessel.

Ms Unwin, also known by her middle name of Mary, was the sole person onboard when she left Mousehole in Cornwall on Saturday evening. She had been due to arrive at Bideford in Devon last night, having circumnavigated the bottom of the Cornish coastline before heading north, but relatives became anxious when she failed to show up.

A Falmouth Coastguard spokesman said: "At around 12.30pm today, rescue crews discovered the wreckage of a vessel around Sennen Cove.

"It will be brought ashore later to see whether it can be identified."

A police spokesman said: "The wreckage of a vessel has been found, and it is believed to be the Seagair. However, investigations are ongoing."

The 65-year-old was said to have dismissed safety warnings about the forthcoming weather. -- Ryan Hooper in The Independent

Minister Dashes Hopes Of Paying Off Volvo Ocean Race Debts
Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has ruled out any Government bailout to cover the €400,000 in debts owed by organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway, as the Galway City Tribune reports.

Some 60 suppliers have not yet been paid by organisers Let's Do It Global, who are set to meet with stakeholders this coming Monday to discuss the situation.

The race organisers are themselves owed in the region of €170,000 from their own debtors, but even if collected this would cover less than half the value of their own debt.

Hopes that Minister Varadkar might step in to make up the shortfall were dashed on Wednesday when, speaking to Galway Bay FM, he confirmed that the event already received State funds through its sponsorship by Failte Ireland, and that as his own department was operating at a deficit no other funding was available.

A spokesperson for his department added that the Failte Ireland sponsorship "was the biggest allocation to any tourism event in 2012".

The news all but rules out the potential third bid to host the event, at least for the foreseeable future. -- Afloat magazine

Britton Chance, Jr.
Britton Chance Jr., lead designer for the successful 1987 and 1988 Stars & Stripes America's Cup campaigns, died Friday at the age of 72.

He trained in the sciences at the University of Rochester, worked at the towing tank at Stevens Institute, studied mathematics at Columbia University, worked for Ray Hunt and Ted Hood and went on his own with Chance & Co. in 1962.

Chance has a diverse design portfolio that includes racing shells, dinghies and multihulls, plus fast cruisers, offshore racers and powerboats, including the high-tech Flarecraft, as well as Meter and America's Cup boats.

Chance's Shark Series racing shells have won Olympic and World Championship medals and numerous other awards.

His sailboat designs have also won numerous awards, including the America's Cup three times, Olympic gold and silver medals, the One Ton Cup, the Gold Cup, 5.5 Meter Worlds and the Astor Trophy.

An active rower and sailor, with extensive dinghy, IOR, IMS and 5.5 and 12 Meter experience, Chance was alternate helmsman in the Olympics for the 5.5 Meter and Dragon classes. He has crewed or skippered in major events that include the America's Cup trials, One Ton Cup, Admiral's Cup, 5.5 Meter Worlds and offshore in the Bermuda, Fastnet, Middle Sea and SORC races. -- Trade Only Today, citing our sister publication Scuttlebutt

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1907 Johan Anker 46 ft Gaff rigged 9 Metre. EUR 208,000. Located in Norway.

PANDORA is the only gaff-rigged 9mR now in existence. Designed by Johan Anker and built by the famous Anker Jensen yard, she remains impressively original. Of all the famous designers of his era Anker was probably the best helmsman. It would seem his understanding of what was needed to make a boat go fast and his preoccupation with the subtle beauty of lines revealed a purity - rather understated, which nevertheless can take your breath away

With short Nordic 5 months seasons and wintering in tented storage she has been very well looked after and as important, is a most beautiful classic yacht to the eye of any beholder - and a dream to sail.

Her current owner - for five seasons - has carried out extensive works; all major repairs having been done by a professional boatyard. She has moreover been maintained to a high standard, especially the hull, bright work and woodwork.

Brokerage through Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Just remember: bullies are a lot more afraid of you than you are of them ... wait, no, that's snakes. -- Samantha Bee

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