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Nord Stream Race Concludes In Greifswald
Team Russia took the inaugural Nord Stream Race title and the €100,000 prize money in Karlskrona in Southern Sweden on Thursday evening. The detour on the final leg was carefully considered due to high winds forecast and the safety of the fleet taking priority. Today, the 750 nautical mile challenge concluded finally in Greifswald, Germany as the teams arrived by motor in convoy this morning.

Champagne celebrations for all the teams were in order as the boats docked in finishing order, followed by a welcome brunch for the sailors at Hotel Utkiek situated right at the river entrance. Warmth and a chance to re-charge provided a time to reflect for the teams.

Tommaso Chieffi, 17 times world champion and America's Cup sailor, coached Team Russia to victory and was extremely proud of the team;

"We have been training hard as a team over the summer and have had some good results. The team have been great, we have certainly developed as a team. The beginning was tough but we got into our roles for the long distance legs with ease. The future of Team Russia definitely looks bright, with plans to sail in Northern Europe and England next season finishing again with the Nord Stream Race."

The race has certainly been a challenge for the teams involved due to the low temperatures they endured on most of the overnight passages. Vladimir Ikonnikov, also a Trimmer on Team Russia commented;

"It was definitely one of the coldest races I have done, but it was such an enjoyable race. We will have the winter off, and training will start again in May for our programme next year."

FInal overall standings:
Team Russia, 27.5 points
Team EU, 23
Team Holland, 21.5
Team Germany, 19
Team France, 7.5

China Cup
Click on image for photo gallery.

China Cup Shenzhen, China: The China Cup International Regatta 2012 concluded today with some dominant victories in some divisions and some close battles in others. Sea Wolf has devoured the IRC 3 division all regatta, and today's two race wins completed a perfect scoreline for Yan Yuye's Archambault 40.

In the most hard-fought fleet, the 30-strong Beneteau 40.7 division, the 15-point margin of Vatti Sailing's victory certainly looks impressive but doesn't tell the whole story. With an OCS disqualification hanging over Jono Rankine's crew since Race 2, their nearest rival's best chance of stealing victory was to take Vatti into a match race. So that's what Beijing Sailing Center did off the start line, according to Beijing's tactician Steve McConaghy. "Vatti and ourselves were pretty much both last off the line which was fine. That's where we wanted them. We both tacked on to port for some clear air, but they did a good job of getting free while we got a bit buried in the pack." Vatti, who had already come second in the first heat, battled through to first by the finish, an impressive comeback - something that Rankine's crew have been able to do all regatta.

Beijing Sailing Center failed to defend their title from last year but Rick Pointon's crew took second place ahead of Robin Hawthorn's Vicsail crew from Australia. After a high-speed grounding yesterday, Gery Trentesaux's Team Courrier bounced back with a race win in the morning and finished 4th overall, a point ahead of fellow Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux, who was sailing in China for the first time.

The ocean racing legend has enjoyed a different kind of challenge in Shenzhen this week. "Before arriving here that I knew nothing about this race," said Desjoyeaux, "except to be racing in a fleet of 30 boats. I had never been to China, Asia even. After four days of racing I can tell you the China Cup is a very nice place to race with beautiful islands, and sail with many different nations from all around the world. It's nice sailing in just shorts and t-shirt, 24 degrees water temperature, good for racing." As for returning to the China Cup? "Perhaps next year, but if not then maybe the year after, and I look forward to seeing even more boats in future. This year almost 100, but in a few years' time, maybe 300 or 400?"

The China Cup International Regatta 2012 took place from 26th to 29th October 2012 in the waters of Shenzhen and Hong Kong. It consisted 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 were 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.

Ocean Safety Congratulates All The Mod Teams
Ocean Safety When the Multi One Championship 2012 came to a close on 2nd October, Ocean Safety could be proud of the event's success. The UK's leading supplier of marine safety equipment had its lifesaving kit on every one of the five mighty MOD 70 multihulls which blasted their way from New York to Brest and then around Europe in a combined test of offshore and inshore racing from Germany to Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.

Ocean Safety supplied a special Jonbuoy MOB recovery module fitted with the new Kannad R10 AIS locator beacon and sea marker dye to every boat. It also supplied iCOM radios, SART, EPIRB, emergency rations and other safety equipment to the winning yacht Spindrift.

"The event was a great success," comments Ocean Safety's Area Sales Manager Roger Baker. "The MOD70s have powered across some huge distances, and Ocean Safety has been underpinning their onboard safety standards."

Yann Guichard and his crew on Spindrift completed the first New York to Brest leg at an average speed of 25 knots. With the reputation for the boats as fast, efficient and stable, the future of the event is assured, with a new MOD 70 tour in the spring and an increased fleet size.

Transfusion Victorious with a Race to Spare
Photo by Ian Grant. Click on image to enlarge.

Farr 40 Guido Bongiorno-Nettis and his champion international Farr 40 sailing team piloted Transfusion to an impressive win in the Aberdeen Asset Management Queensland Championship on a windy Moreton Bay today.

They were clearly the star performers in the two day six race series having the important hand crafted trophy all wrapped up despite suffering a narrow one second loss to the Lang Walker skippered Kokomo in race 5.

The racing between the almost identical one design racing yachts was action packed from race one where Lang Walker's Kokomo crew were disqualified following a match racing 'dog-fight' with the Martin and Lisa Hill owned Estate Master.

From the evidence handed to the regatta jury Estate Master which was locked in tactical combat with Kokomo was denied fair sailing sea room when both yachts completed the final gybe 50 metres from the finish.

As a result Estate Master was 'smacked' with a gust at the wrong time forcing her spinnaker to become tangled in the deck fittings of the committee vessel ultimately terminating both spinnaker and mainsail to the rag-bag.

However while Kokomo and Estate Master sailed impressively for the strong New South Wales team to dominate the series the Transfusion combination was clearly superior.

Apart from experiencing a wild Chinese gybe during a 30 knot gust when leading race two the skipper and crew showed their quality in the fresh winds and white crested seas powering through the rugged upwind beats and wave riding sprints downwind to compile their title winning score of 1-2-1-1-2 with a race to spare.

Kokomo with the disqualification from race 1 and forced to carry 9 points in the no drop series showed at times they had the boat speed to sail on equal terms with the 2012 World championship Bronze Medallists manning the deck of Transfusion to win race 5 by a split 1 second margin filling second overall while Estate Master filled third to complete a New South Wales team clean sweep of open Queensland championship series. -- Ian Grant

A 'Mental Mistake'
Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson said the team made a 'mental mistake' last week that led to the postponement of the planned christening of its new AC72.

Artemis Racing was towing its red-hulled platform under the Bay Bridge in calm conditions when team members heard popping noises. Concerned by the noises, the team concluded the towing exercise and returned the platform to the team's base in Alameda.

Hutchinson said today that the platform was unintentionally put in a position of risk because of the way it was being towed, with the foils down and without the wingsail.

'It's no more complicated than we shouldn't have been doing what we were doing,' said Hutchinson. 'We had the boards down and at certain angles. At certain speeds the boat's going to do things that need the opposing forces in place. We didn't have one opposing force, primarily the wing, in place.'

Hutchinson said that the boat was being towed at 15 knots boatspeed. He wouldn't elaborate on the extent of the damage, but likened the occurrence to a bad call on the water.

"It was a mental mistake on our part, like trying to cross a starboard-tacker at the top mark and knowing you can't make it," said Hutchinson. "The worst part is that we set ourselves back yet again. But this is unfamiliar territory and only highlights the importance of being meticulous."

Hutchinson said that the team hopes to step the wing on the platform for its first sail sometime next week before adding, "As we're learning with these boats, one little hiccup is weeks of carbon work."

HMS Bounty Sunk By Hurricane Sandy - Captain Missing
A Canadian-built replica 18th-century sailing vessel got caught in Hurricane Sandy's wrath and began taking on water Monday, forcing the crew into lifeboats in rough seas off the North Carolina coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 people by helicopter and spent much of the day searching for two missing crew members.

One of them, 42-year-old Claudene Christian, was found unresponsive in the water on Monday evening. She was taken to hospital while rescuers continued to search for the missing captain of the HMS Bounty, 63-year-old Robin Walbridge.

Both Christian and Wallbridge were wearing survival suits designed to help keep them afloat and protected from cold waters for up to 15 hours.

The HMS Bounty - which was built at Smith and Ruhland Shipyard in Lunenburg, N.S. for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" - had left Connecticut last week en route to Florida.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Operational Commander for the Atlantic Area, told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the ship had taken on about three metres of water when the crew abandoned it.

Amid high winds and 5.5-metre seas, two helicopters flew in for the rescue around dawn Monday, plucking crew members from the lifeboats.

Sailing Legends - The Story of the World's Greatest Ocean Race
Sailing Legends - The Story of the World's Greatest Ocean Race A special numbered limited edition signed by the authors to make the perfect Christmas gift

The Whitbread Round the World Race - now the Volvo Ocean Race - spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.

Millions have been spent, legends created and six men have died. No one takes the race lightly and no one tells the story better than journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall who have been there for every race from the first in 1973. They mark the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing's greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners. They also detail the awesome advances in design and construction that make today's yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.

176 pages. 128 colour pictures and illustrations.

By Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall - Endeavour Books
£40 + postage and packing

Order online:

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new World Record.
Record: Marseille to Carthage. Singlehanded.
Yacht: Sodebo II 102 ft Trimaran.
Name: Thomas Coville FRA
Dates: 12th to 13th September 2012.
Start time: 12; 46; 36 UTC on 12/09/12
Finish time: 14; 25; 12 UTC on 13/09/12
Elapsed time: 25hours 38minutes 36seconds
Distance: 455NM
Average speed: 17.77 kts

Comments: Previous record: "Group Bel", Kito de Pavant, FRA, Jun 09, 1d 21h 20m 29s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Sixteenth North Sails Golf Day for the John Merricks Sailing Trust
Click on image for photo gallery.

John Merricks Sailing Trust A rather damp and misty October morning greeted the 86 golfers who turned out for the sixteenth North Sails Golf Day on Friday 26th October at Cams Hall in Fareham. John 'Jonny' Merricks worked at North Sails and the first Golf Day, organised as it is today with the help of the Seahorse Golf Society, was set up to raise money for a Trust to be started in John's name. Since its inception 15 years ago the Golf Day has raised over £158,000.

Key figures in the marine industry enjoyed a round of golf with world-renowned sailors including: Ian Walker, Matt Cornwall, Guy Salter, Jonathan Taylor, Luke Molloy, Phil Harmer, Stephen Park, Rob Andrews, Richard Matthews, Eddie Warden Owen, Ossie Stewart and Iain MacDonald Smith. This fantastic event always draws the support of former colleagues and friends of John's, Olympic medallists, Americas Cup sailors, yacht designers and keen amateur sailors who turn out to play whilst also remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.

Ian Walker, JMST trustee, double Olympic silver medallist and Volvo Ocean Race skipper, gave a speech outlining the achievements of the Trust over the past year and thanking everyone for their continued support of the JMST. Ian was particularly delighted to highlight Stuart Bithell's recent Olympic silver medal win in the 470 class with Luke Patience, becoming the 1st sailor to have been awarded a grant from the JMST to win an Olympic medal. Stuart was awarded a grant 10 years ago, in 2002, to help purchase a new 420, in which he won a bonze medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2004 with Jonathan McGovern.

Ian announced, "15 years ago the John Merricks Sailing Trust was started by those closest to John with the simple idea that it would be great to help someone who might one day go on to emulate John and win an Olympic medal. The fact Luke and Stu won the same Silver medal as John (470 Silver) seems almost pre-ordained."

Matt Cornwall presented a cheque of £5,000 to the Trust on behalf of Ben Ainslie, which he had requested to be made to the Trust, after it was given as a fee for a promotional photograph.

Full results of North Sails Golf Day at

Saint Bart Cata Cup
For the fifth edition of the Saint Barth Cata Cup, it was necessary to "push back the walls." The number of boats had been limited to 50, but due to the growing reputation of the most "fun" regatta on the Formula 18 circuit, the organizers accepted seven more. The tropical setting, the crystal clear water, the ambiance, and the racing conditions attract participants from all over the world.

Among the most well-know of these racers, the roster once again includes Dutchman Mischa Heemskerk, fourth in the last F18 world championships and World Champion of Class A, as well as Carolijn Brouwer, Mixed Team World Champion 2012 and also from The Netherlands, American John Casey, Enrique Figueroa from Puerto Rico, and Greek world champion in the Tornado class, Iordanis Paschalidis.

There will also be an armada of French champions ranging from Yvan Bourgnon, Kinou Mourniac, and Manu Boulogne to Fred Moreau and Gurvan Bontemps.The St Barth Cata Cup would not be such a big success without the participation of these internationally acclaimed racers, who come to Saint Barth from at least a dozen different countries to compete.

As for the regatta itself, the competition will be stiff, with racers who were stars at the most recent F18 world championships, with four of the teams participating in Saint Barth placing in the top 15 in the general standings.

The race runs from 12 to 20 November

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 John Kalish: Jim Bolland pretty well captures my sentiments regarding today's version of the America's Cup ("The End of the Auld Mug"). The AC has now been restructured as an entertainment brand with the objective of monetizing this brand and creating a large cash-generating business around it - a la football or tennis. The sailing itself - despite all the hype -- is a facilitator to brand building and marketing.

I was invited in June 2011 to the first AC World Series in Cascais, Portugal. I watched the races for three days from a friend's boat close to the race course. Yes, the boats were faster than the old AC class monohulls, but for all the hype about speed and comparison to Formula 1 racing, they were no faster than a cyclist in the Tour de France, if that. The media blitz accompanying the event was impressive, from wall-to-wall signs and banners to non-stop local TV coverage, but despite this there seemed to be little interest beyond the fairly small sailing community in attendance. Certainly the numbers and enthusiasm broadcast by the AC media team bore no resemblance to reality. When I subsequently read the reports of crowds and attendance at the AC World Series events in the UK and USA, I naturally wondered how close to reality they were as well.

For me the most telling statistic was one learned almost by accident in Cascais: when the AC organizers shipped their boats and media equipment to Portugal, the declared customs value of the media equipment was apparently around eight times the value of all the boats.

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The Last Word
Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list. -- Denis Leary

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