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Hi Fidelity Storms To Victory
South African entry Hi Fidelity has been confirmed as overall winner of the 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Arriving at 04:18.15 CEST this morning, Eddie De Villiers' Welbourne 46, established a corrected time benchmark that has proved impossible for the remainder of the fleet to beat. Hi Fidelity arrived in Marsamxett Harbour in dramatic style under a punishing thunderstorm, strong gusts and torrential rain, conditions atypical of those witnessed earlier during the 606-nm race.

South Africa becomes the ninth different country to provide a winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy joining yachts from Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Success is just reward for the crew of Hi Fidelity following their consistent performance throughout a race largely characterized by light winds and during which they benefited from the leadership of co-skippers and noted professional sailors Michael Joubert and Mark Sadle.

Staying in touch with boats rated faster and well ahead of those rated slower coupled with the fresh breeze Hi Fidelity hit while attacking the western stretch of the racecourse proved critical.

By mid-afternoon on Day 6 of the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race, 16 yachts had completed the race, 11 have retired and 56 boats are still sailing.

Third and Final Leg of the Nord Stream Race Underway
Photo by onEdition. Click on image for photo gallery.

Nord Stream Race The five Swan 60s taking part in the 2012 Nord Stream Race left Gotland for Karlskrona Thursday morning to complete the third and final leg of the inaugural race through the Baltic Sea organised by the Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg.

The Gazprom Swan 60 Class had a deserved rest day yesterday on the scenic island off Sweden before setting off on their new route to mainland Sweden as severe winds are forecast for later tonight and all day Friday.

Fifteen points are available to the team who wins today's leg with Team Europe, Russia and Holland all able to secure the first prize of 100,000 Euros.

At the start Team Russia and Team Germany chose to stay on course side using their position until the gun, enabling them to sail on starboard, close hauled to the line and secure an optimum position just 45 seconds before the start.

Team Europe, closest to the committee boat, were on for a prime starting position but were forced to turn away by Russia's manoeuvring until they were clear ahead, when they were both able to turn back to the line and start.

At press time Team Russia were just ahead of Team Germany with Team Holland in third. Leg Three of the Nord Stream Race marks approximately 150 nautical miles of racing south in the Baltic Sea crossing waters from Visby to Karlskrona

Current Overall Standings after Legs One and Two
1. Team Holland, 15.5 points
2. Team Europe, 14
3. Team Russia, 12.5
4. Team Germany, 7
5. Team France, 4.5

Nord Stream Race tracking is available via:

Farr 40 Queensland Championships
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page will join the already elite crew of Lang Walker's Kokomo for this weekend's inaugural Queensland Farr 40 class championship.

Page will be tactician to experienced international owner/skipper Lang Walker as he helms Kokomo in the two-day, six-race series on Brisbane's Moreton Bay.

"We have a solid crew for Kokomo, and Malcolm will not only add his skills as an Olympic gold medal winning sailor, but will bring to the boat his very positive attitude to the sport, which will reflect on the entire crew," senior crew member Richard Allinson said today.

Kokomo is one of three Sydney-based Farr 40s contesting the championship, the others being Martin Hill's Estate Master and the 2011 world champion boat Transfusion, skippered by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis.

Malcolm Page's gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, sailing with Matthew Belcher in the 470 class, has made him the first Australian to win two Olympic sailing gold medals, having also won gold at the Beijing 2008 Games, sailing with Nathan Wilmot.

In addition, Malcolm has won seven world championships and most other major regattas in the 470s, making him the most successful 470 sailor in the 49 year history of the class.

The Queensland regatta will be followed by the inaugural Tasmanian championship on Hobart's Derwent River in early January and in late February the New South Wales championship and the Australian championship for the John Calvert-Jones Trophy will be sailed in Sydney. -- Peter Campbell

The Fabulous 40s'
Click on image for gallery of book spreads.

Fabulous 40s A collector's book covering the first 15 years of the Farr 40 International One-Design Class compiled by Bob Fisher

The Farr 40 One-design Class is unique within the world of offshore yacht racing, having been a pathfinder during a period of great change within the sport. While major events around the world like the Admiral's Cup in the UK and Kenwood Cup in Hawaii were in terminal decline, this 40ft Bruce Farr® designed yacht has shone like a beacon on a distant shore.

The lavish, limited edition The Fabulous 40s book produced with the support of long-time Farr 40 Class sponsor Rolex, tells the story behind this remarkable Class.

152 of these boats are now spread across 19 countries, making it the most successful internationally recognized offshore racing class in the world. Key to this success lies only partially with the enduring beauty and sleek lines of its design. What really made this Class so successful is the fact that the yachts are owner-driven, quite literally. It was the idea, unique at the time, that owners - all amateur helmsmen - should be alone in having their hands on the helm during Class racing. Previously, owners had, by and large, become hostage to their crews, forced to hire the best 'guns' in the sport to gain any success, while they rode the stern as passengers, their only active role, to write the cheques.

Lavishly illustrated with more than 350 pictures, many of them double page spreads taken by some of the best photographers in the world, including Carlo Borlenghi, Daniel Forster and Kurt Arrigo, this 240 page book captures the close racing and comradeship between crews competing in many of the best locations in the world. This is a book for all yacht race enthusiasts and lists the results of all the Rolex world champioships from 1998-2011 as well as owners and their yachts.

'The Fabulous 40s' RRP - £60 + P&P (approx €70, $100US)
Our Price £50.00 Sterling + P&P

To preview the book and place an order, visit

The Monetization of the America's Cup Viewing Opportunities
It's no big secret that the monies originally envisioned in hosting the 34th Americas Cup on San Francisco Bay have not materialized in the amounts the Cup Organizers had originally hoped for, and the real estate deals mostly vaporized in 11th hour negotiations.

In an effort to recoup some of the massive outlay, and there has been plenty spent, the ACEA is currently establishing a "Pay to Play" program with high dollar private yachts and commercial endeavours such as charters to allow an inner circle experience. For a price.

The bottom line is that for set % commision of your estimate gross, you will be allowed access to the inner circle of the race course edge. You need to reserve in advance, and if the event doesn't go forward, for instance a clean sweep in any event, the party would only be returned 15% of monies paid. It's a sliding scale which will climb to 50% of the said charter's for the AC Finals, Yes there are numerous perks included in the program, including marketing benefits via the official America's Cup Official sites and promotional materials, but is it worth it for the charters and what about the public?

We have spoken to a few charter outfits and they appear to be less than enthusiastic about the program, for several reasons, money being a great concern. Its a big chunk of their revenue for one and some of them spent countless hours during the City of SF BOS meetings testifying and lobbying to get the Cup to be hosted in SF in the early beginnings of the process. There is also a question of fairness to the general public, and will these boats be villainized for blocking the views general public, eager to obtain a glimpse of the races? -- Erik Simonson

Ronstan A-Class Catamaran Worlds
Mischa Heemskerk of the Netherlands has been declared the 2012 A-Class Catamaran World Champion after winning two races on day 3 in Florida. With five races completed and Hurricane Sandy on the way the next two days racing has been officially abandoned for the remainder of the event. In second place is Australian Andrew Landenberger, with third another Aussie, the current world champion Steve Brewin. Rob Greenhalgh is best placed Brit in 29th after Chris Field added a second DNC to drop out of contention.

Regatta organizers were skeptical that they could get the five races required for a World Championship in after day two was abandoned and with Hurricane Sandy parked off of Cuba, so on Wednesday PRO Billy Richnow moved the first warning signal up to 9 a.m. in an effort to squeeze two races in before the breeze fully turned on.

Racing was officially abandoned for the rest of the week after the five mandatory races had been completed due to the rapid approach of Hurricane Sandy and 30-40 knot winds expected in the next two days. -- Gerald New in Sailweb

Final top ten after 5 races (117 entries)

1. Mischa Heemskerk, NED, 9 points
2. Andrew Landenberger, AUS, 24
3. Steven Brewin, AUS, 26
4. Bradley Collett, AUS, 28
5. Murray Philpot, NZL, 39
6. Mike Drummond, NZL, 58
7. Jack Benson, AUS, 73
8. Allan Coutts, NZL, 80
9. Graeme Parker, AUS, 83
10. Brad Funk, USA, 90
United States A-Class Catamaran Association:

Kitesurfing's Place at Rio Defended By Coach
Yachting New Zealand boardsailing coach Dave Robertson has declared kitesurfing ready for Rio, insisting criticisms of the fledgling Olympic class are ignorant talk.

Robertson has returned after New Zealand's first official dabble into the new Olympic sport, at the kiteracing world championships in Italy.

He was one of five Kiwis competing, finishing ninth in the 135-strong men's fleet in what was a highly useful reconnaissance mission. Justina Sellers was 10th in the women's fleet.

Kitesurfing replaced the RS:X windsurfer as an Olympic class in a 19-17 vote by the international sailing federation (Isaf) earlier this year, amid a cacophony of criticism, particularly in New Zealand.

Seven of New Zealand's 18 Olympic sailing medals have been won on a windsurfer, the most recent being Tom Ashley's gold at Beijing in 2008.

Another vote will be held next month at Isaf's annual meeting. It would take a two-thirds majority to overturn the decision and history suggests that is unlikely to happen, though Robertson describes it as a 50-50 call.

He clearly expressed his desire for a move to kitesurfing, however, despite all its criticism.

"That was a whole lot of ignorant talk by ignorant people, and it was disappointing," he said.

"When the decision was made, suddenly there were a whole lot of kitesurfing experts even though they had never witnessed it or tried it themselves. It was absurd.

"All that talk that was going around in the beginning has been proved wrong, this is a sport that does work and it works really well. It proved itself at the world championships."

Two of the main concerns when kitesurfing was initially included was that fleet racing would be too dangerous, and they would be hopeless in light winds.

Robertson said both of those proved to be totally unfounded in Italy.

Fred Woodcock's full article in

Sharing The Expertise
Volvo Ocean Race director Jack Lloyd will lend his vast international experience and expertise to the Vendee Globe when the single-handed offshore challenge starts next month, with the New Zealander making time in his schedule to take a place on the international jury.

Lloyd has been Race director for the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, has worked on four America's Cups and was New Zealand's rules advisor during the 2012 Olympics.

He met with the 20 skippers that will start the Vendee Globe last weekend in Les Sables d'Olonne and went through the sailing instructions with the four other jury members.

"It's very interesting!" says Lloyd. "Many things are the same between both races. The difference is that you have to think about one person doing something and not 10 people.

"For our last three events, the Volvo Ocean Race owned the class rules while the Vendee Globe is using the IMOCA class, which adds a level of complexity.

"We also went on board Mike Golding's boat to have a look. There are a lot of similarities with what we are trying to introduce in a small way with our new one-design boat - making the boats a bit safer, offering more protection."

"We do things differently at Volvo Ocean Race for lots of different reasons. But we share areas where we've had problems and found solutions.

"We've got no reason to compete with other long distance ocean races. We need to learn together."

The Rebuild of the Britannia Launched on Kickstarter
Photo by Michael Knowles. Click on image to enlarge.

Britannia One of the first projects off of the starting blocks on Kickstarter, when it goes live in the UK on October 31st 2012, will be the design and engineering of Britannia, the famous yacht originally owned by King George V, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Britannia was the most famous racing yacht in the world at the turn of the last century and now K1 Britannia are re-building this prestigious J Class yacht at her former home in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Over the course of the next 40 days, through the Kickstarter funding site, sailing enthusiasts, those with a passion for heritage, and philanthropic individuals and organisations who are keen to be involved with this unique project will have a short window of opportunity to make history.

Rewards range from original sketches and blueprints to rigging blocks, crew clothing, beautiful landing mats and oil paintings by world renowned marine artists; everything is custom made, and there is something for everyone. The limited edition rewards at the higher end include experiences aboard the finished Britannia on sailing days during her first regattas in Monaco, Cannes, the UK and Caribbean, where she will race for charity, and the opportunity to dine aboard Britannia with her Captain and Officers.

Britannia is now being stripped and prepared for her refit at Venture Quays in East Cowes. Upon completion in 15 months' time she will be launched with an overall length of 52m and a staggeringly tall 55m mast; the tallest wooden mast in the world!

"All of us at K1 Britannia cannot wait to see her sail go up, and to witness the beginning of her new life at sea," said Scott Ward of K1 Britannia. "We need your help to finish this incredible project. Make a pledge today, and take home a reward and part of the spirit of the Britannia project."

China Cup
The China Cup International Regatta 2012 takes place on 26th to 29th October 2012 in the waters of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Some of the world's most famous and celebrated sailors are gathering at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in preparation for the start. With 91 boats representing 18 different nations, entered across five divisions, the 30-strong Beneteau 40.7 fleet looks set to be very competitive.

Michel Desjoyeaux, best known for his singlehanded exploits in winning two around-the-world Vendée Globes, is this week taking the helm of Team Beneteau China. For all his vast racing experience, this will be Desjoyeaux's first time at the helm of a Beneteau 40.7, and first time sailing in China.

Among his toughest competition will be fellow Frenchman Gery Trenteseaux, who skippers the very successful Courrier Team, returning to the China Cup for the third time. Winners of many international regattas since Courrier's formation in 1999, for this regatta Trenteseaux has the ocean racing experience of Lionel Lemonchois, winner of the legendary Route du Rhum transatlantic race.

Then again, there's nothing like local knowledge and Rick Pointon's Beijing Sailing Center has plenty of that, being defending champions of the China Cup and champions at a number of top Asian regattas including Langkawi, Phuket and Hainan.

Other racing divisions competing this week are the FarEast 26, the SOTO 27, the HKPN Class and the IRC Division. The scratch boat in IRC is the Reichel-Pugh 75, Jelik III, skippered by local sailor Frank Pong. Jelik will be expected to reach Shenzhen before the rest of the fleet tomorrow on the opening Simpson Passage Race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, where the regatta will be based for the rest of the four day regatta.

The China Cup International Regatta 2012 takes place on 26th to 29th October 2012 in the waters of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Its consist of four days of racing organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), Shenzhen Marine Sports Base and Shenzhen Vanke Longcheer Yacht Club (LYC). There are 91 entries representing 18 nations: Colombia, Australia, China, Hong Kong, China, Germany, France, Israel, Turkey, Singapore, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Mauritius, Argentina, Uruguay, Philippines, USA and the Netherlands. -- Andy Rice

IJCA Elects Executive Committee at World Council Meeting
Cleveland, Ohio, USA: The International J/24 Class Association held its annual World Council Meeting in Howth, Ireland and elected the following members to the Executive Committee:

IJCA Chairman - Robin Eagleson (Ireland)
IJCA Vice Chairman - Jorge Castillo (Mexico)
IJCA Council Members - Marianne Schoke (Sweden), Paul Scalisi (United States), Mark Penfold (United Kingdom)
IJCA Technical Committee Chair - Tim Winger (United States)
The Class extends it appreciation to Past Chairman Jim Farmer (United States) for his dedicated service.

The IJCA also affirmed its Executive Director - Christopher Howell (United States).

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Vision Yachts Ker 37. EUR 150,000. Located in Crosshaven, Ireland.

Extremely competitive IRC yacht that offers the short-cut route into top level competition.

Brokerage through Berthon International:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out. -- Bill Hicks

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