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More AC72 Damage
Photo by Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing, Click on image for photo gallery.

Artemis AC72 In preparation for sailing the Artemis Racing AC72, the team was conducting valuable structural tests afloat earlier today when damage was incurred to the front beam of the catamaran.

The AC72 has been hauled out of the water and the design team, led by Principal Designer Juan Kouyoumidjian, is on site to evaluate the damage. This setback will delay the Swedish team's AC72 sailing program, but the team will be working hard to have the AC72 on the water and sailing as soon as possible.

"As a team, it is our responsibility not to launch these boats until every single box has been ticked in terms of safety and structural integrity. This is a key part of the due dilligence process when entering unknown territory," said Laurent Esquier, COO of Artemis Racing.

"All teams are going to face setbacks, but the determinent factor will be the team that rebounds the best," said team CEO Paul Cayard.

Racing Cancelled Due To 'Extreme' Conditions
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Extreme Sailing Series 'On the edge, then over it' - this was Extreme Sailing Series Race Director Phil Lawrence's description of conditions in Nice today that resulted in the cancellation of the first day's racing at the penultimate Act of the Extreme Sailing Series.

The forecast for today was 14 to 17 knots but the French Riviera over delivered, where the wind was blowing a steady 25 knots, with gusts of 30 knots throughout the day. That combined with a strong tide and rolling waves meant lots of bow down, hull flying action as the 8 Extreme 40s battled the elements to keep their 40ft catamarans upright.

Shortly after the fleet left the dock, Race Director Phil Lawrence made the call to postpone racing by one hour but the strong wind conditions showed no sign of abating, eventually resulting in the cancellation at 1530 local time - only the second time in the six year history of the Extreme Sailing Series that the power of nature has led to a race cancellation, the last being in Cowes, UK in 2011.

Double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara and his men on Red Bull Sailing Team are known for relishing the more extreme conditions but even for him, today was on the edge resulting in a snapped halyard. Local boat Team Extreme Ville de Nice were another who fell victim to the conditions, suffering minor damage

Three more days of racing remain at the Extreme Sailing Series in Nice, and with the conditions expected to subside enough tomorrow to begin racing, the teams are gearing up for plenty of action. The French public will be able to watch every heart-stopping moment as it happens on the Promenade des Anglais, while online fans can follow it all on the official event website with expert commentary bringing the action to you live from 1430 CEST (local time in France).

Hong Kong to Hainan Race
Photo by RHKYC/ Guy Nowell. Click on image for photo gallery.

Hong Kong to Hainan Race After frantic weeks of training, scrutineering and boat prep, the twelve competitors entered in this year's Hong Kong to Hainan Race gathered early in the typhoon shelter at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Kellett Island headquarters for final preparations, radio checks, and to await Race Officer Simon Boyde's decision on whether there was sufficient breeze to start in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour.

Boyde was out on the water from 0930hrs, taking wind readings up the harbour and through the notorious Lei Yue Mun gap, where many Hong Kong races have come to a grinding halt. All was good with 12kts north easterly at Shek O Rock and a reasonably solid 6kts through Lei Yue Mun, with 9kts and building at the start line in front of the Club, so a harbour start was on the cards.

To avoid any confusion with Hong Kong's 'Noonday Gun', the warning signal was sounded at 1210hrs with the start at 1220hrs. In a good spread along the line, Jelik V from the Philippines was first away, followed by Singaporean offshore fan Jonathan Mahony on Zanzibar. Ambush got a good start at the committee boat end, while Freefire was forced outside the committee boat by Wicked.

At the 1800hrs radio sched, based on the last hour's progress, Yellowbrick tracking was showing Freefire leading on the water and on course to finish at around 1400hrs tomorrow. While technically, as this is the first time the Hainan Race has started in the harbour, whoever wins line honours sets a new record, it would surely be sweet for Sam Chan and the boys to break their existing record of 29h 35m 08s, set in 2005.

Nothing is guaranteed of course, and Jelik V, Antipodes and Zanzibar are breathing right up Freefire's transom and could make gains overnight in the force 5 to 6 forecast by the Hong Kong Observatory. Unfortunately, early in the race, Avant Garde was forced to retire with gear problems and is due back in Hong Kong shortly with all on board safe and well.

RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships
Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir will welcome in excess of 280 young sailors this weekend as they commence battle for the coveted RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championship titles.

24 teams consisting of six sailors in the Junior fleet and 23 teams in the Youth fleet will take to the waters of Farmoor Reservoir.

With entries open in the two age groups, under 16 (Junior) and under 19 (Youth), to teams of six sailors, the line-up of young aspiring sailors spans a vast variety of abilities.

In the Youth fleet (under 19) which is raced in Fireflies, West Kirby Sailing Club were crowned champions for an incredible fourth year running at the 2011 Championships and will be ready to defend their title for a consecutive fifth year. 'Bluefin' were crowned 2011 Junior Team Racing champions for a second consecutive year as they competed in Feva's at last year's event. However, with the current champions not entering this time around, the door is now open for a new champion to be crowned in the Under 16 fleet.

For further information regarding the RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships 2012 please visit

Volvo Cup D-One Gold Cup Day 1 in Alassio
Click on image for photo gallery.

D-One Gold Cup Day 1 Alassio, Italy: The third edition of the Volvo D-One Gold Cup kicks off today in Circolo Nautico al Mare e Marina di Alassio. An international fleet of 38 sailors from 9 countries took the water at 1PM to sail two races in a 9-12 knots northerly breeze with confused sea. The young czech helmsman Viktor Teply took an early lead with one third and one second. Second was the other czech Martin Trcka (1-9) and third was argentinian Agustin Zabalua (4-8), the winnd of the first Gold Cup D-One held in Valencia 2010. In fourth was the first italian Andrea Casale (8-5) with his mate Michele Mennuti in fifth (10-5). British Nich Craig (5-10) finished the day in sixth. Happy winner of race 2 was Riccardo Pontremoli (Yacht Club Italiano, Genoa).

The Volvo D-One Gold Cup resumes tomorrow and Saturday with four more races. On sunday will be sailed the double point no dischargable finale race.

Sydney Hobart Entrants in Gascoigne Cup Fleet
Defending champion Quest. Photo by Click on image for photo gallery.

Gascoigne Cup Seven yachts entered for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race are among the fleet of up to 46 boats expected to line up tomorrow for the 104th running of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's prestigious Gascoigne Cup short ocean race.

Heading the Sydney Hobart contenders is Bob Steel's TP52 Quest which won the Gascoigne Cup last year as well as taking line honours and first place under IRC ratings. The Cup itself decided on Performance handicaps.

This will Steel's first Rolex Sydney Hobart with the TP52 Quest although he has twice won the race with his previous boats named Quest.

Others entered for the Cup as part of their preparation for the Hobart race include Ed Psaltis Ker 40 AFR Midnight Rambler, Ron Forster's Beneteau First 40 Ariel, Rob Hanna's JV52 Shogun V, Warwick Sherman's Sydney GTS43 Occasional Coarse Language, Chris Bran's Beneteau First 40 Brannew, and Jonathan Stone's Davidson 34 Illusion, a past Sydney Hobart Race winner.

Psaltis is also a past Sydney Hobart winner with an earlier AFR Midnight Rambler.

The Gascoigne Cup is one of three short ocean races conducted each summer by the 150-year-old Squadron, the others being the Morna Cup sailed in November and the Milson Cup in February. All three perpetual trophies take pride of place in the Squadron's Kirribilli clubhouse.

The Gascoigne Cup is by the oldest and, arguably, the most prestigious short ocean race trophy on the Sydney short ocean racing calendar. Many famous yachts and yachtsmen have won this iconic ocean race since it was first presented to the club and raced for in 1886.

This Saturday's race, over a course of about 25 nautical miles, starting and finishing in Sydney Harbour, will be the 104th time the Gascoigne Cup has been contested as it was not awarded during the two World Wars. -- Peter Campbell

Keeping Up The 'Rabbitohs' Standard
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image to enlarge.

18 Skiffs Australia's most famous Rugby League club, South Sydney is also known as the 'Rabbitohs' and has the highly recognized image of the rabbit as their emblem.

The Rugby League team has just completed a very successful campaign which resulted in the team securing a prestigious 'top four' position in the 16-team competition and finishing just one match short of contesting the Grand Final.

The Rugby League club's sponsors, De'Longhi and Kenwood are also in association with the Rabbitohs as sponsors of two skiffs in the Australian 18 Footers League's 2012-2013 Season fleet on Sydney Harbour.

Determined to maintain the high standard set by the Rugby League team, the skiffies started well when both Kenwood-Rabbitohs and De'Longhi-Rabbitohs finished in the 'top four' last Sunday in Race 1 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge series.

Brett Van Munster, Kieryn Cowan and Joel Castle brought Kenwood-Rabbitohs home in second place, while John Sweeny (standing in for injured Simon Nearn), Keegan York and James Smithers came in fourth in the 19-boat fleet.

Competition in the Australian 18 Footers League fleet is extremely close this season and regularly finishing near the top will not be easy, but the two skiff 'Rabbitohs' teams are determined to keep the 'Rabbitohs logo' flying high. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

Industry News
Ocean Safety, a UK manufacturer of marine safety equipment, has appointed John Nurminen Marine as its new distributor in Finland.

Based in Helsinki, John Nurminen Marine is a well established supplier of equipment including electronics and charts to the leisure marine sector. The company will stock the full range of safety equipment manufactured by Ocean Safety including liferafts, lifejackets and man overboard equipment.

Ocean Safety specialises in the worldwide supply, distribution, service and hire of marine safety equipment. The company boasts a diverse range of customers including ship and superyacht builders, round the world racing, cruising yachts and the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD).


Fiera di Genova and UCINA will rethink next year's edition of the Genoa show after seeing a higher than expected drop in visitors

The 52nd Genoa International Boat Show closed on Sunday with visitor attendance significantly down on last year's event.

Around 176,280 people attended the show (plus 4,000 children up to the age of 10) compared to 226,000 at last year's event. Exhibitor numbers were also down from 1,300 in 2011 to just 900.

Sara Armella, Fiera di Genova's chairperson, says: "We have nothing against the idea of rethinking the show from several standpoints: from its length to the time of the year when it is held, from its layout to the idea of increasing the opportunities to perform sea trials, from the costs involved to the services available for companies.

According to UCINA general manager Marina Stella, the association will develop the best possible format for next year's show in order to further boost business opportunities for its members.

"Last, but not least, we will focus even more on integration with other Made-in-Italy sectors, as successfully accomplished this year with the GenovaInBlu Show Fringe."

Corrado Passera, Minister for Economic Development, Transport and Infrastructures, and Deputy Minister Mario Ciaccia (who attended the show's official opening) have both stated they are willing to take measures targeted at tackling the crisis and supporting this important economic sector. -- IBI News


Beneteau Group elevated Wayne Burdick to president of the holding company for Beneteau's U.S. group entities and tapped Laurent Fabre, formerly director of sales and marketing for Beneteau's North American powerboats division, to replace Burdick as president of Beneteau America.

Beneteau said that under Burdick's direction as president of Beneteau in North America since 1997, the company became the leading brand of high-quality production sailboats in the United States. In his new position Burdick will manage relationships with industry partners on behalf of all Groupe Beneteau marine brands.

Fabre is joined by Maryline O'Shea, also from the Beneteau powerboats division, based in Annapolis, Md., and Beneteau America sales director Denise Hanna, who joined the organization earlier this year.


At the height of the Chinese sailing season Marlow Ropes Sales Director Paul Honess visited the Far East for talks with the prospective new distributor. After learning more about Sunrise Marineware he was keen to get them onboard to grow Marlow distribution in China.

Sunrise Marineware Limited was founded in 2009 by Mr. Alan Lan.

Sunrise Marineware will be distributing the Cruiser/Racer, Excel Dinghy, Classic and MGP Series. Marlow has conducted product sales training within the company and has already started planning marketing strategies with Sunrise Marinware.

Paul Honess finally commented "Marlow is a global brand reaching all four corners of the world. The addition of Sunrise Marineware to Marlow distribution is a major step into to the growing Far Eastern leisure marine market."

Marlow ropes is based in East Sussex, United Kingdom.

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 Mark Chew (Biased owner Philip Rhodes Design 633 "Fair Winds")

Philip Rhodes would have to be the most underappreciated Yacht designer in history. I'm not sure why he slips under the radar so often. Your article on Weatherly mentions builders, skippers, and even the President of the USA, but no mention of the creator!

For a man who designed some of the most beautiful and efficacious boats on the planet he rarely gets a mention.

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The Last Word
True success is figuring out your life and career so you never have to be around jerks. -- John Waters

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