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"We'll Have To Face Scary Things"
Poland's Zbigniew "Gutek" Gutkowski is the twentieth and last skipper to have joined the fleet of the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe. As the start of the race is coming closer, he shares his views on offshore racing and gives more details about his project, the ENERGA Sailing team, his preparation and his state of mind.

When did you decide to compete in this Vendee Globe?

There were two different moments, really. First, I decided I WANTED to do the Vendee Globe, and that was right after the Velux 5 Oceans Race. Of course I had to think about a lot of different things and plan for the future of the project. And then the ACTUAL decision came last summer because we tried to find the right persons to talk to, the ones with the right connections to the big companies. And we also wanted to find a good boat, a fast one. It was difficult, it took time.

Why the Vendee Globe, what do you like about this race?

I like competition, and this was the next possible one for me when looking at the schedule. After the Velux, I could have tried the Volvo, but it would have been a completely different project, and I decided I'd rather come here. And I'm so glad I made it, especially since the way to come was so difficult. Being here feels so great because the hardest part of the job - finding money, finding a boat - is over, so now I can enjoy the pleasant part.

With less than two weeks to go before the start, how are you feeling?

Now that I am here in les Sables d'Olonne, everything is fine. I have a nice boat, there are many people on the pontoons coming to see us, it feels great. But I also know that only a few hours after the start, we'll have to face scary things. So right after the start signal, I'll switch to a different mode because my life is at stake.

Are there specific geographical areas in the race that make you feel apprehensive?

You know, the ocean is a dangerous place, wherever you are. You have to play by the rules of the ocean, you have no choice, there's no way to avoid that. This is a long race, with very difficult conditions at times, we all know that. I've sailed around the world before so I know what the tricky places can be, I know what to do. But what makes me feel more nervous is the possibility of something breaking, something I couldn't fix.

Are you a superstitious sailor?

I don't need to be, the black cat is already there (he laughs as he points his finger at Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm's yacht, with her big cat).

* Meteo France weather forecasts predict that gale force winds are expected to reach up to 90km/ph, therefore, from Wednesday, October 31st at 8 PM and Thursday, November 1st the Vendee Globe Village and the pontoons in Les Sables d'Olonne will be closed.

Youth Pathway to America's Cup
Despite the fact that there are more young sailors in the 34th America's Cup than ever before, the organisers are insisting that the pathway to competing in the sport's most recognisable event is difficult and hard to navigate.

The communications department hammer the message over and over again with statements like:

For the first time in the history of the America's Cup, young, talented sailors have a clear pathway towards competing for one of the most prestigious trophies in sport.

But the mechanism that has been developed to try and solve the alleged problem with finding young, talented sailors - the Red Bull Youth America's Cup is a long way from being a 'clear pathway'. With less than a year until the event is scheduled to take place, details are still being released about how it will all work.

On the eve of the 'late entry' deadline, officials released some information about the event that will act as a side-show for the real-deal in September 2013.

According to Iain Murray, there are over 20 teams from 17 nations who have applied and are eligible for the Selection Series for teams who don't have or don't want to buy an AC45. That's too many - so Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher from the Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team have been enlisted to whittle down the number that will be invited to San Francisco in February for further trials.

The clear pathway for talented young sailors who want to compete in the America's Cup from here on in goes like this:

October 31, 2012 - Close of late entries (Original date was September 20)

Early November 2012 - Confirmation of entry list for Red Bull Youth America's Cup teams associated with AC World Series teams

Early December 2012 - Confirmation of youth teams invited to Red Bull Youth America's Cup Selection Series

February 9-24, 2013 - Red Bull Youth America's Cup Selection Series in San Francisco

September 1-4, 2013 - Red Bull Youth America's Cup in San Francisco

David Fuller in

* Erik Simsonson weighs in on the previously mystery event:

Britain Fails to Raise Team for Youth America's Cup
Britain has failed to raise a team for the Youth America's Cup. As the deadline for entries closed on 31 October, all three attempts, one of which planned to race under the Ben Ainslie Racing banner.

The new event will be staged for the first time in San Francisco between the end of next summer's Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination series and the America's Cup defence against the winner by the holder, Team Oracle USA.

There are claimed to be 17 countries and 20 potential challenges but they will be scrutinised by management group headed by Austrian Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara. Further selection trials are planned in San Francisco in February, and a final four will go through to the September event.

Britain had been very hopeful of competing but two of the three possible teams fell by the wayside early. The Ben Ainslie Racing group itself, with the help of the Royal Yachting Association, then set about the task of recruiting the crew and raising the finance. The entry fee is $35,000 and it would take about $150,000 to race the boat, an AC45 wing-powered catamaran, and support the crew.

In the end the main problem was with the crew, mainly Olympic hopefuls, who could not make their diaries fit both events. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent,

Marlow Ropes at METS
Marlow Ropes will once again be exhibiting at METS in Amsterdam this year, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Marlow are very proud to be one of only 35 companies that have attended all 25 exhibitions and to celebrate we have a new stand position and a new stand design for the show.

New products will once again feature high on Marlow's agenda at METS. The latest edition of our Rope Catalogue will be available and features eight new lines and there are many more upgrades and developments within the Grand Prix, Superyacht and Classic Series'.

Visit Marlow Ropes on Stand Number 03.301 in the British Pavilion at METS this year to find out more about our extensive and innovative product range, our global Distribution and Grand Prix Rigging Networks and how we can work in partnership with you.

Why Was Bounty At Sea?
The captain of the Picton Castle says he can't understand why the Bounty was at sea Monday when a massive hurricane was forecast to hit.

Indeed, Dan Moreland postponed leaving Lunenburg more than a week ago precisely because of hurricane Sandy.

"It was an easy decision to make," he said. "It's black and white, there are no nuances with this. It's a huge system and that made the decision very simple."

Moreland said he has known Robin Walbridge, the longtime captain of the Bounty, for years and he is an experienced seaman, but Moreland said he was shocked that Walbridge decided to sail, given the forecast.

"Yes, I have to say yes, I can't say anything else. When I first heard the Bounty was out there, I thought, 'You've got to be kidding.' "

Moreland said there was very good information on the storm well in advance.

"I don't understand this one at all," he said. "This is a huge system, there is no way of avoiding this, there's no dodging and weaving around it."

Moreland expects the Bounty's sinking to come under intense scrutiny.

Full article by Beverly Ware in Canada's Chronicle Herald:

Vestas Sailrocket: Bouncing Off The Ceiling
The Walvis Bay wind machine seems to have broken down. The powers that be that make this one of the best and most consistent speed sailing venues in the world have taken a break and left no message as to when they are coming back. It has been 11 days since we have had enough wind just to get started in and the forecast doesn't indicate anything strong enough on the horizon.

W have had to commit to booking a WSSRC ratified world record attempt without even knowing if we have the performance to achieve our goals. VSR2 is still very much being dialled in. We have only done 5 runs since we arrived, 2 of which we didn't even get going over 10 knots. The last run was pretty good in 'boat' terms... but pretty average in 'Outright' record terms.

As a team, both here and in the UK, we are all scratching our heads as to why we are hitting this 'glass ceiling' at around 52 knots. Consider the simple facts we have seen to date...

- 2 different boats with 7 wildly different foils have all hit this speed

- The boats have been sailed in winds from 22-34 knots and only twice just exceeded this speed. Remember that in theory a 30 knot wind has nearly 50% more power than a 25 knot wind.

- Both boats accelerate very hard up to this speed and then flat line.

- VSR2 is designed to sail at over 60 knots and is sheeted accordingly. If anything she is a little oversheeted at 50 knots. The tell tales are all flying and she accelerates from 40 knots up to 50 with the same sheeting angle. We have eased the wing out a few degrees to allow for the fact that we aren't achieving the polars.

- The foils are specifically designed not to cavitate until at least over 60 knots. They are base ventilated wedges and we have gone to greast lengths to prove that the base is ventilated well down to tolerable/expected pressures throughout the run.

Paul Larsen's blog post(s) in full:

Join The Crew As We Launch The New Adidas Sailing Range
adidas sailing is launching a new range of sailing apparel, footwear and accessories. The brand new collection, which will be in stores in Spring 2013, was designed with the needs of athletes and the specific requirements of the sport in mind.

We have taken a no-compromise approach, bringing the very best that 21st century technology can offer to high-performance sailing apparel and footwear whilst introducing innovative shaping that enables total freedom of movement.

We are now looking for partners worldwide. Do you want to be part of our distribution network? Share our commitment and be part of our success. Contact Stefan Sasse -

For a sneak preview of the first adidas sailing range, come and see us at METS 2012, Stand 05.419

Tommy Bahama Around The Island Race
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club today announced that Tommy Bahama, the popular United States lifestyle brand, will be the Title Sponsor of the 2012 Around The Island Race.

This annual event starts in front of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Kellett Island in the heart of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, and sends the most wide-ranging fleet of boats, from 70 foot yachts to one-person dinghies, together with outrigger canoes and ocean rowing boats from the Club's Middle Island base, starboard, on a 26nm circumnavigation.

The Tommy Bahama Around The Island Race 2012 will take place on 11 November. This year, around 1,400 sailors in over 240 sailing boats are expected to compete in 21 Classes and Divisions.

Tommy Bahama is launching an extensive expansion into Asia-Pacific this year, opening flagship stores on Johnston Road in Hong Kong, at the Venetian in Macau, and in Singapore and Japan.

Click on images to enlarge.

W-Class Yacht Company is expanding its family of yachts to include 100', 123' and 135' models. The first of the new designs, the W.123, was developed by Bruce Johnson (formerly of Sparkman & Stephens) in collaboration with Rockport Marine Yacht Design. The new racer/cruiser yachts will retain the 'Spirit of Tradition' and performance attributes of the existing W-Class Yacht Company's W.37', W.46' and W.76' models. The W-Class yachts will be built at Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, Maine, with support from the shipwrights at Rockport Marine of Rockport, Maine, and Brooklin Boat Yard of Brooklin, Maine.

The first designs for the W.123 version will debut at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in Front Street Shipyard's booth, 1319, in the Superyacht Annex. The initial profile drawings reveal a sleek, cold-molded hull with elegant overhangs and a low deckhouse. The W.123 and her sister ships are all based on the late Joel White's W.76 design, which was inspired by the NYYC-50 (a N. Herreshoff-designed, gaff-rigged sloop that's 50' on the water and 75' long). All three new W-Class yachts will be imbued with classic styling, minimal interiors and contemporary performance enhancements.


Lunar Mist arrived at Solent Refit following structural work carried out in Palma that had caused serious problems and almost resulted in the owner, Martyn Meade of investment company Hadleigh Partners, writing her off. Solent Refit's project manager, Phil Millard, worked closely with the owner to resolve the structural issues and develop a programme for a major refit to bring the yacht back to A1 condition.

Designed by Bill Tripp and built by Windship Trident in the United States, Lunar Mist has been at Solent Refit for 12 months, completing a comprehensive engineering and internal refit, rig overhaul and a high-quality hull respray. She is now ready to be moved on the transverse rail system to the horizontal slipway, where she will be slipped and the mast will be re-stepped.

After a series of sail trials in the Solent, the project will be signed off and the yacht will start her new world cruising programme.


A collaboration between H2 Yacht Design and Laurent Giles Superyacht Architects sees the development of Project Atlas, a modern motor Superyacht that utilises the efficiencies of sail power. Atlas has been designed to be used with a combination of motor and / or sails, exploiting the obvious fuel saving benefits.

The contemporary 110 metre 5 deck super yacht form is complimented by the sail arrangement, demonstrating the potential in merging Superyacht volume with the graceful elegance of a sailing yacht.

When using both motor and sails the vessel can cruise easily at 14 knots with a possible fuel saving of between 40% and 60%, coupled with an equivalent increase in range.

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
Well, I shuffled through the city on the 4th of July
I had a firecracker waiting to blow
Breakin' like a rocket who makin' its way
To the cities of Mexico
Lived in an apartment out on Avenue A
I had a tar-hut on the corner of 10th
Had myself a lover who was finer than gold
But I've broken up and busted up since

And love don't play any games with me
Anymore like she did before
The world won't wait, so I better shake
That thing right out there through the door
Hell, I still love you, New York -- Ryan Adams, "New York, New York"

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