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That Singapore Meeting Didn't Work Out Too Well...
This just in from Golden Gate YC / BMW Oracle Racing:

Valencia, Spain: Can the Swiss defender race with sails made in the USA? This is the question Golden Gate Yacht Club put to the New York Supreme Court today.

GGYC has asked the Court to resolve this following the breakdown of two days of talks in Singapore with the America's Cup defender Societe Nautique de Geneve at which mutual agreement was being finalized when negotiations ended.

The Singapore meeting followed one last week in Valencia where a previous goodfaith effort was also made to settle the matter.

"Naturally we are disappointed to see the chance of agreement taken away," commented Coutts.

Also at the talks were David Kellett, from the International Sailing Federation's Executive Committee, and David Tillett, chairman of the International Jury for 33rd Match.

Constructed-in-country is not a hypothetical question, but a fundamental one. The Deed of Gift is clear. Without mutual consent and in the absence of other rules, Alinghi, cannot construct sails in the USA and claim they are Swiss-made.

The New York Supreme Court has previously ruled on other key issues affecting the yachts of the challenger and defender ahead of the Match; such as whether engines can be used to power the winches and whether rudders are included in the measurement of the yacht's waterline length.

"Once again SNG is showing total disregard for the Deed. First SNG claimed that sails were not part of the yacht. Then it claimed that Alinghi's sails were built in Switzerland, not the USA. Now, SNG is saying that 'constructed-in-country' is not relevant until it announces its yacht for the Match."

GGYC disagrees on all three counts.

"Our aim is to make sure that the Deed of Gift is upheld, and that the result of the Match on the water is beyond question," Coutts said.

* Editor: No release or web posting by SNG/Alinghi at press time.

Sam Davies

Sam Davies Crowned YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year
Photos by Barry Pickthall / PPL, Click on images to enlarge.

Trinity House, London: British solo yachtswoman Sam Davies won the coveted title of YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year for 2009. Portsmouth born Sam, now based in Concarneau, France, was first placed Briton in the French Vendee Globe 2008/09 singlehanded non-stop round the world race in her Open 60 yacht 'Roxy' . The 36 year old was the first woman, finishing third overall. Recently she completed the Transat Jacque Vabre transatlantic race, finishing 10th with team mate Sidney Gavignet. She was also nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award last year.

The other finalists for the YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year award were Paul Goodison, World Laser champion, Olympic Gold medallist and five times European champion, and Ian Williams, the two times World Match Race champion.

The trophy was presented by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, himself a three times winner of the award.

Rod Carr

Rod Carr, the retiring CEO of the Royal Yachting Association was also presented with a YJA Special Award as a mark of gratitude for the many years of dedication and valuable service he has given to British yachting.

Lloyd Hamilton, an Afghan veteran also received a YJA Special Certificate from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston for introducing injured servicemen to sailing and giving back their lives, at the luncheon. -- Barry Pickthall

Contender World Championships - A New Champion
It was 'do or die' for several Contenders with aspirations of winning the 40th Contender World title. Another sunny day as the fleet left the dock at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, with 12-13 knots blowing, and a little cloud to seaward. It was also very humid - a perfect day for seam bowling.

The top Contenders handled their pre-race in very different ways. Christoph Homeier (GER551) appeared a little nervous, Jono Neate (AUS2323) was out early, while Andrea Bonezzi (ITA11) looked relaxed. As he wandered down the ramp it was a frank assessment from the Italian. Looking at the breeze he commented ruefully 'If you want to put money on the 2010 World Championship put it on Jono Neate, these are his conditions not mine.'

The Race Committee reset the line for the final race in the 40th Contender Worlds; heading 055, distance 0.8 nm.

First a general recall, then a clear start.

The Championship leader Jono Neate was fourth up from the pin, with the twin Ronstan logos of 2009 World Champion Andrea Bonezzi next and young Christoph Homeier, one above them.

At the wing mark Simon Mussell (GBR2420) was leading, local sailor Phil Evans (AUS1753) was second with Bonezzi 30 seconds back and Neate back in seventh. Down at the bottom mark, Neate had made up a placing on Bonezzi, the duo were equal with a lap and a half to go.

Up the work however Neate in a softening breeze, outsailed the elder statesman; Neate was sixth while Bonezzi was seventh. Homeier was back mid-fleet, looking like he'd sailed his drop.

At second bottom mark, Mussell had broken well clear but the British sailor had left his challenge a little late. He was well clear of Evans and the big mover was Neate who was now third. Bonezzi was back in sixth.

All Neate needed to do was to keep his mast in the boat for another 0.8 nautical mile work to become the 40th Contender World Champion. And he did. -- Rob Kothe

Final top ten:

1. AUS2323, Jono Neate, AUS, 18 points
2. Ronstan, Andrea Bonezzi, ITA, 21
3. Schroeder, Christoph Homeier, GER, 22
4. Carrie2, Simon Mussell, GBR, 34
5. Bella Anna, Geoff Fisher, AUS, 35
6. AUS2179 Steven Grimes , AUS, 36
7. Chewbacca, Matt Mulder, AUS, 42
8. AUS1753, Stacey Phillip Evans, AUS, 57
9. No Name, Gary Langdon, GBR, 65
10. Erica's Diamond, Chris Peile, AUS, 75

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Kiwis Sweep Splash World Sailing Champs
Chris Steele (NZL) has won the Splash World Sailing Championships raced this week off Takapuna in Auckland, New Zealand. Declan Burn (NZL) takes silver, and Ben Lutze (NZL), bronze - making it the sixth time in ten years that New Zealanders have won the world championship.

The talented 17-year old is a member of Wakatere Boating Club in Auckland's North Shore, and is in his final year of high school. This is his second world championship title in sailing - he also won the Optimist World Championships in 2007.

Beating 73 sailors from twelve countries, including European and Pacific nations, was the result of strategic, consistent sailing: Chris stayed as close as possible to the top sailors on days when the conditions were heavy and didn't suit him, and notched up mostly first and second places on the lighter days when they did suit him.

His rivalry with close friend and second placegetter Declan Burn was a factor in his success. Declan won the Splash World Sailing Championships in 2009 when they were held in Wales, and the pair pushed each other hard on the racecourse this week. "It was a dogfight today between me and him," says Chris.

2008 World Champion Ben Lutze from Taipa took third place and the bronze medal.

18-year old Laura Hemingway, representing Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club, secured the women's title, finishing 20th overall in the fleet, on 144 points. Ina K. Berensten Kullmann (NOR), on an exchange program in Auckland, was second, on 175 points, and reigning champion Nienke Reina Jorna (NED) third on 175 points.

Full results are posted on Takapuna Boating Club's website -

An Evening Talk: Solo Sailing Races In France
Steve White aboard 'Toe in the Water'. Click on image to enlarge.

Solo Sailing Talk Irish Sailor Paul O Riain competed solo onboard his yacht "CityJet" in La Solitaire du Figaro in 2007, a gruelling 1,800 mile 4 stage yacht race between France, Ireland and Spain. Come and hear Paul speak about racing in the world's most competitive solo sailing event. Hear about battling sleep deprivation when skippers cannot sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time during races. Learn how he dealt with mental fatigue & exhaustion, the difficulties, the severe storms that hit the fleet racing in the Atlantic and the mamoth task of taking on this iconic race against the best sailors in the world.

British Sailor Steve White staked all to compete in the 2008-9 Vendee Globe solo round the world race. His story, of how he made it to the start of the biggest, toughest and most dramatic round the world sailing race ever and completed his remarkable circumnavigation to finish an incredible 8th place from 30 starters is both inspiring and compelling. White was a late comer to ocean racing but became hooked by every aspect of solo and short handed racing, refusing to let anything stand in the way of his dream. In the end his project went to the 11th hour but he had all the essential skills to complete the race, including 4 transatlantic races and more besides. Racing alongside many of the top professionals in the sport, White prevailed when many didn't. Ultimately White was one of only 11 to finish and proved to be a talented solo ocean racer plus a colourful and good humoured communicator throughout.

The talk will be in English with questions and answers (in French and English)
Including photographs & video footage and a wine reception afterwards.

Date: Thursday 4 February
Location: Alliance Francaise, 1 Kildare Street, Dublin, Ireland

Admission is free. RSVP:

EUROSAF Match Racing 2010
The Open and Women's EUROSAF Match Racing, European Championship, takes place from 11th to 15th May at the Yacht Club Hard on Lake Constance (Bodensee) in Austria. Those wishing to apply for entry should go to to obtain a copy of the Notice of Race. Entries close on 1st April 2010, but early application is advised.

The Open event compete for the Piratene Trophy and the Women's event for the Wossala Trophy. In both cases the winning teams will be the Match Racing Champions of Europe. Medals will be awarded to the first three teams. The organisers have applied for ISAF Grade 2 status.

Sailing Clubs, in association with their National Authorities, who are interested in hosting the combined EUROSAF Open and Women's European Match Racing Championships in 2012, or 2013, should apply to EUROSAF. The deadline for applications for 2012 is 30th January 2010. Those interested in hosting this event should click on the link for an application form. -- John Friend, Secretary General EUROSAF

Seahorse February 2010
Subscribe to Seahorse Magazine What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Terry Hutchinson lines up a busy 2010, Giuliano Luzzato enjoys the return of the Azzurra, as does Mauro Pelaschier, Adam Minoprio takes the match race crown and time to check some of our sport's 'progress'?

Tanguy De Lamotte and Bernard Stamm both have a 'very good' Chocolat, Jean-Pierre Dick is making the most of his time in New Zealand, America's Cup activity blossoms in Oz. Plus Dobbs Davis catches up on the back-story of BMW Oracle's mighty wing with Ben Hall. Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Rob Mundle, Carlos Pich

Andy Rice talks to New Zealand skiff sailor Paul Roe about the now-foiling R-Class two-handers.

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...

Marlow Ropes Award Boost For Hamilton
Rising windsurfing star Izzy Hamilton received an additional boost to her RS:X campaign after being awarded the coveted Marlow Ropes Award last weekend (Saturday, 9 January) at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show.

Having recently been signed up to the Skandia Team GBR Development Squad in October, following an exceptional year in the RYA Volvo Youth National Squad, the Marlow Award kick-starts an exciting new year for Hamilton who will be stepping her Olympic Classes campaign up a gear adding senior events to her calendar.

As well as training with the Development Squad, Hamilton will also continue training with the youth team this year and hopes to qualify for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships again and go one further than the impressive silver medal she picked up in 2009. Hamilton was also crowned Britain's first ever windsurfing Youth World Champion when she collected gold at the 2009 RS:X class Youth Worlds in Turkey.

The Marlow award entitles the 17-year-old to free Marlow rope for a year; a financial boost previous winners, double World 470 champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis and 2008 Olympic Yngling gold medallist Pippa Wilson, have also benefitted from.

As well as supporting up-and-coming sailors, Marlow Ropes are also the official supplier and exclusive team ropes partner to Skandia Team GBR

IODA Oceania Championship
Click on image to enlarge.

IODA Oceania Championship The Adelaide Sailing Club, Holdfast Bay, in the Gulf of St Vincent South Australia, played host to the IODA Oceania Championship and the AIODA Australian Nationals from 5th-10th January. This event attracted 94 sailors from 11 countries and 4 continents and was the largest Oceania Championship ever held and the first one in Australia.

Participating sailors from Oceania were: Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, while the open event welcomed sailors from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Germany, Denmark and the UAE.

This championship was particularly marked by the success of the girls. They rose to the challenge presented by the conditions and they dominated the championship with 6 placed in the top 8 overall. Nia Jerwood, 11 years old from Western Australia became Oceania Champion and was 6th overall, closely followed by Eliza Wilkinson, from Auckland, New Zealand, second Oceania sailor and 8th overall.

The Open Championship was won by Samantha Neubronner, Singapore, six points ahead of her two nearest rivals - both girls. -- Sally Burnett

Oceania Championship
1. Nia Jerwood AUS
2. Eliza Wilkinson NZL
3. Lachlan Gilmour AUS

Oceania Open Championship
1. Samantha Neubronner SIN
2. Jia Min Audrey Lim SIN
3. Jillian Lee SIN

Strongest IRC Fleet Ever to Tackle Audi Victoria Week
The strongest IRC grand prix fleet seen anywhere in world since for some time will venture into Victorian waters to take part in the annual Audi Victoria Week, to be held from January 21 and finishing on Australia Day, January 26.

These top grand prix yachts will race in Division 1 of the six-race Audi Series, all taking their chances at winning the first round of the Audi IRC Australian Championship and in the long term, the Championship itself.

The Series starts on January 23, with the 34.3 nautical mile Passage Race from Melbourne to Geelong, where racing, hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, continues on Corio over the next three days on windward/leeward courses.

Coming fresh off the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, some of the competition Dare and Boettcher refer to are the TP 52 contenders, Bob Steel's Quest (NSW) and Victorians; Rob Hanna's Shogun (winner of the First Yacht Under 15 18.5m across the Sydney Hobart finish line), Calm (Jason VanderSlot/John Williams/Graeme Ainley) and Alan Whiteley's Cougar. Scarlet Runner, Rob Date's new Reichel/Pugh 52 which broke the Cock of the Bay record in December, rounds of a strong Victorian challenge.

The biggest threat to all of them is Michael Hiatt's Farr 55, Living Doll, also from Melbourne.

The Audi IRC Series is just one of 19 classes and divisions racing at Audi Victoria Week in 2010, which includes two Australian Championship events. -- Di Pearson

Barton Beek 1924-2010
Star Class Life Member Barton Beek passed away January 2, 2010 in a hospital in Houston. He is survived by his wife Linda, sons Star Class Life member Charles "Chuck" Beek, Barton Beek, Jr., Joe Beek, and daughters Carroll Beek McCallum and Barbara Lyon.

He was a long-time Star sailor from Newport Beach, CA and supporter of junior sailing through CISA and other organizations. Tough as nails, he once rowed a dory from Newport to Avalon on his 70th birthday, but also was an exceedingly caring and kind individual.

-- Post additional information here:

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 Roland Whitehead: To illustrate the validity of BMW Oracle's claims about the dangers involved with their wing sail, with the single element wing on the British C Class K-37 we found that when it was head to wind with the sail weather-cocked, the "micro fluctuations" always present in any breeze enabled the wing to produce enough forward force that in just 8 knots of breeze that it took all of two people's effort to simply hold it still when launching and recovering. That was with just 12m of span. Now scale that up just a bit...

* From Richard Allen: Once again it defies belief that yet again the Americas cup is subject of another legal battle. I read with disbelief in today's Scuttlebutt Europe that BMW Oracle have "grave concerns" over the legalities of Alinghis sails. Only to read a couple of paragraphs later that BMW Oracle say they are unlikely to enter the basin in Valencia due to the extreme danger of a crash posed by their own wing sail.

It does beg the question over who's sails we should be concerned.

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The Last Word
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