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Three Favourites?
It is a very special formula which delivers outright victory in the Vendee Globe, the solo non stop around the world race which starts this Saturday 10th November at 1302hrs local time from Les Sables d'Olonne in France's Vendee region on the Atlantic coast.

The seventh edition of the race is perhaps one of the most open yet. Given the range of variables which come into play over the 24048 miles course predicting a possible winner is never easy, not least considering that over past six editions 49% of the starters have been forced to retire.

The economic climate which has prevailed since the 2008-9 edition has perhaps reduced the possible fleet size but in many respects it has also polarised the overall calibre and professionalism of the entries. Even so there are still a number of skippers for whom simply finishing back into Les Sables d'Olonne in Feburary next year will represent success in itself.

On paper if half of the skippers who are entered are equipped with the skills, experience and boats capable of winning this Vendee Globe there are probably three soloists who stand out as favourites. Armel Le Cleac'h sailed a smart, well modulated race to finish second in the last edition with a boat which was not the quickest in the fleet. He returns with a new generation design Banque Populaire. Vincent Riou (PRB) is the only skipper to have won the race before, triumphing in the 2004-5 race.

Both are equally open in their ambition to win, whilst Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), twice winner of the two-handed Barcelona World Race, is slightly more discrete in revealing his ambition, to make the transition to solo success.

All three sailors have well funded, long term programmes with well optimised latest design generation boats and all have accumulated the racing and training miles which should ensure a measure of reliability.

Then there are those who are focused more on finishing, letting the result arrive for itself. Kito de Pavant on Groupe Bel has said his primary goal is to get back to finish in Les Sables d'Olonne after having to retire within the first 48 hours of the last race and retiring from the last Barcelona World Race at Cape Horn with keel damage. Briton Sam Davies finished fourth in the last edition and became a global sailing star. She has an older 2004 design.

Spain's Javier 'Bubi' Sanso returns to the Vendee Globe after a 10 years absence but with the newest design, Acciona 100% Eco Powered. This edition also sees the return of Bertrand de Broc (Your Name Around the World EDM Projects). And Switzerland's Dominque Wavre (Mirabaud) completes the list of contenders at 57 years old with seven round the world races to his credit.

Global Ocean Race Announces a Rescheduled Start and Major Expansion
The Global Ocean Race (GOR), one of sailing's greatest challenges, is to receive a major boost for its third round-the-world event for Class40 yachts, now scheduled to start in September 2014.

Organisers of the Class40 Association-endorsed race announced today that in order to raise its profile and bring it the attention the event deserves, they have taken three important steps:

- Brought in a team of experts in media, ocean racing promotion and marketing
- Expanded the number of classes in the race, so that entries can now be single-handed, two-handed or fully-crewed
- Delayed the start by one year to take full advantage of the new arrangements

Meanwhile, they have agreed a number of sponsorship deals for the event and can already confirm a strong entry interest from at least eight solid Class40 projects.

"We have successfully completed two Class40 round-the-world races," said Josh Hall, the GOR Race Director and CEO, "but we believe it is time for the race to fully evolve. To that end, we have created a new management structure bringing in some of the most experienced people in media, sponsorship and the marketing of a truly global yacht racing event. To permit our new team the appropriate timeframe to realise the planned levels of media and funding, we have decided to delay the race until 2014."

Central to the new organisation will be a Steering Board, created to boost the organisation that supports the event. Members include a top TV producer who has overseen Olympic coverage for the BBC among others; a former CEO of three major broadcasting organisations; a leading public relations professional; a specialist in sponsorship fund raising and management and a commercial director with extensive international experience. Four of the five have already been contracted and each has considerable experience in ocean racing promotion, marketing and media coverage. The names of the Board and full details of the changes will be released in the New Year.

Southern Spars at METS
Southern Spars at METS It is our pleasure to invite you to visit our stand 01.108 at METS and its incorporated SuperYacht Pavilion 2012. METS is the world's largest exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international marine leisure industry. This year the show celebrates its 25th anniversary!

METS/SYP 2012 will be held on 13-14-15 November in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre in the Netherlands.

Why should you visit METS/SYP?

The Southern Spars team is set to bring our passion, design, technology and performance to METS 2012. Our sales and marketing team will be on-hand for any inquiries you have about Southern Spars products and services; from the new and now proven-in-competition TPT technology to our EC6 composite rigging.

If you would like to reserve some of our time, please email our sales team at or our marketing team at

David Gilmour Earns Asian Match Racing Entry at Monsoon Cup
Photo by Gareth Cooke / Subzero Images. Click on image to enlarge.

David Gilmour Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: T-Best Events Sdn Bhd, the organising authority of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour's (AWMRT) season ending Monsoon Cup have today announced that the top placed Australian from the 2012 Warren Jones International Regatta will be invited as the Asian Match Racing entry to the upcoming Monsoon Cup.

No stranger to match racing events, David was the runner up at the 2011 and 2012 Warren Jones Regatta. He is also the son of four time World Match Racing Tour Champion and two time Monsoon Cup winner, Dato' Peter Gilmour.

Skip Lissiman, the Regatta Chairman of the Warren Jones International Youth regatta added "the Warren Jones International Regatta has been a spawning ground for the new 'young guns' of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour for a number of years now with past Warren Jones Regatta winners & finalists - Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Phil Robertson (NZL), Will Tiller (NZL), Keith Swinton (AUS) and Laurie Jury (NZL) now allmaking their mark on the Tour.

The 2012 Warren Jones International Regatta was sailed from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in early February in the Foundation 36 yachts, the same class of yacht used at the Monsoon Cup. The competition is an invitation only event to skippers and crews under the age of 25 years. Over the past 10 years the winners of the event have all come from either Australia or New Zealand.

The Monsoon Cup takes place on 3-8 December at the Ri-Yaz Heritage Marina Resort & Spa, Pulau Duyong, Kuala Terengganu.

Miami Named as American Venue for ISAF Sailing World Cup
Miami, USA has been named as the fifth venue of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

Set to be held at US Sailing Center Miami from 26 January to 2 February 2013, the regatta will form part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup until 2016 and will be the second stop in the 2012-2013 series following on from Melbourne, Australia and preceding Palma, Spain and Hyeres, France.

Following a bid process, an ISAF appointed evaluation panel advised the Executive Committee on the bids received on factors including sailing conditions, venue infrastructure and facilities, organisation and financial resources.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup was launched in December 2008 and brings together the world's leading Olympic and Paralympic sailors. Today's news marks another step in the ISAF Sailing World Cup's development on its way to becoming a world circuit of events.

The fifth season of the ISAF Sailing World Cup will launch in Melbourne, Australia from 2-8 December 2012. The series will head to America in January and then Europe in the Spring for regattas in Palma, Spain and Hyeres, France. Qingdao, China will join the circuit for the 2013-2014 series.

The event's Notice of Race will be posted soon to

Sailrocket Waiting On The Wind
The Walvis Bay wind machine remains on safari... although we might get a chance to get out over the next couple of days. It has now been 16 days since we last had enough wind to get going. It's going from 'unusual' to ridiculous. The walls of the container begin to close in on us.

The WSSRC are now on-site so any runs we do from here will be officially ratified ones. Our record attempt period has started. The big TRIMBLE 5700 GPS is mounted on the boat. The gig is on!

The standby time has allowed us to think long and hard about our current performance predicament. We had our design meeting where Chris, Malcolm and myself had a long Skype discussion about likely scenarios. Basically we tried to reverse engineer the problem and our train of thought was as follows...

- The most likely candidate that would be giving us a sudden, large loss of performance regardless of power input is cavitation.

- The rudder is not loaded highly enough nor does it have the base area to give us such a sudden drop in performance... although we will continue to put sensors on it to make sure it isn't contributing.

- So... the most likely candidate for caviataion is the suction surface of the main-foil.

- The main foil shouldn't begin to cavitate around 52 knots unless it is 40% overloaded.


39270 - The Official Pictorial Record of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 12
Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 12 The 11th edition of this legendary round the world race was arguably the most visually dazzling yacht race ever. Seldom has photography documented the quest to master the oceans or the ingredients of world-class sporting endeavour better or more vividly than in this Volvo Ocean Race.

From intense racing to the high emotion of life onboard and the festive atmosphere of the race villages, this magnificent fleet captured the imagination of millions through the media.

39270 provides the ultimate hard-copy keepsake of this global spectacle. Published for an international audience with text translations in English, Spanish, French and Chinese, this book documents one of the all-time great adventures by compiling the very best photography from all angles of this global event, to tell a visual story more vividly than every before.

39270 - the official pictorial record of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 12
192 pages
280 x 220mm Hardcover with dust jacket
Text: English/Spanish/ French/Chinese
250 emotive pictures
Official Race Statistics + full crew lists
Price: £30 + postage and packing

Available from

Atlantic Rally For Cruisers Sets Sail This Month
Over 230 boats and 1300 people, including 40 children aged under 16, will take part in the 27th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which sets sail on November 25 from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, heading 2700NM across the Atlantic to Saint Lucia.

Boats are sailing under the flags of 25 nations, and ARC crew aged from four months to over 80 years come from 32 different countries.

The 'average' ARC 2012 boat was built in 2001 (11 years old) is 15.12m long (49'7"), and is sailing with five crew. 85 different boat brands/builders are represented in the fleet this year, making it one of the most diverse ARC fleets for some time.

The smallest boats are Oliver Kinchin's Rival 32 Troskala (GBR) at 9.70m, Marius Larsen's Hanse 325 Quickie (NOR) at 9.75m and Victor Anishchenko's Delphia 33 Julia from Russia.

The largest ARC 2012 boat is the 28m, 91'10" Bristolian (GBR) ex-Mari Cha II, designed by Frers and built by CNB. Swan 80 Berenice (ITA) is slightly longer than the three Oyster 82s Sundowner of Tortola (USA), Rivendell (USA) and Raven (GBR) all at 25m.

The oldest boats, Peregrine (GBR) and Peter von Seestermuhe (GER), were both launched in 1936, making them 76 years old.

Around 30 boats sail in the RORC Racing Division under IRC handicap. Some of these crews will be aiming to beat the ARC crossing record, set in 2006 at just over 11 days. Fast boats to watch include Andreas Hanakamp's Vaquita (AUT), Swan 80 Berenice (ITA), JP52 The Kid (FRA) and Pogo 50 Surfing Petrel (FRA).

Full ARC entry list at

Panerai Transat Classique: White Dolphin Wins Leg 2
Click on image to enlarge.

White Dolphin White Dolphin and her crew, led by owner Pascal Stefani and skipper Yann Delplace, were the first to cross the line off Sotogrande yesterday afternoon. But the Panerai Transat Classique 2012 is a handicap race so the organizers had to wait until Corto crossed line before announcing the winner of the second leg in corrected time.

Despite some inspired navigating by her skipper and the enthusiasm of her crew, who counted among their number Maxime and Malik Abbar (son and brother of the owner respectively), Carter design Corto was unable to close the gap. So victory in leg two, a leg disrupted by tricky weather and heavy seas, goes to White Dolphin, the big white ketch built in the Beltrami and Sangermani shipyards in 1967.

Her performance was especially remarkable considering she left Barcelona five hours later than her competitors, delayed as she was by the fitting of a new propeller.

The yachts are now motoring up to Cascais, the legendary Portuguese marina town at the mouth of the river Tagus, where they will receive a welcome worthy of their respective performances and, of course, moor alongside the rest of the fleet which sailed in from France's Atlantic seaboard earlier in the summer.

In less than one month's time the committee boat's gun will signal the start of the main event of the Panerai Transat Classique 2012: the race from Cascais to the Caribbean island of Barbados.

White Dolphin:

Cougar II Outsails Fleet in Audi Showdown
Photo by DLSPORTFOTOS. Click on image to enlarge.

Audi Showdown Cougar II, Tony Lyall's powerful TP52 today not only proved she is Tasmania's fastest ocean racing yacht, but also a strong contender for corrected time honours in this season's major long races.

Cougar II made a powerful comeback from leading most of the fleet around the wrong course in Saturday's long race to dominate today's two medium distance races.

Lyall steered the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race entrant to line honours in every official regatta race, and today added a first and a third under both PHS and a first and a second in IRC scoring, which is the official overall handicap system for the Sydney Hobart.

This gave Cougar II the winning PHS trophy for Group 1 from Ian Stewart's Mumm 36 TasPaints and Wild West (Michael Denney) and the IRC trophy by just one point from Don Calvert's Castro 40 Intrigue and Colin Denny's Beneteau First 40 The Protagonist. Cougar II and Intrigue each had a first and a second today on IRC corrected time.

Intrigue, the 28-year-old former Admiral's Cup team yacht, won the AMS handicap series with three straight wins, with TasPaints second and Michael Denney's Wild West, third.

Helming Intrigue for part of today's second race was Gina Gourlay, who sailed aboard the winning yacht, Gold Coast, in several legs of the Clipper Round the World Race earlier this year. Her skipper, Richard Hewson, raced in the Showdown aboard the winning Farr 40, Stephen Boyes' Wired.

With Saturday's race two of the regatta for Division 1 abandoned following the protest over course signals, the Division 1 fleet was allocated two short to medium distance races today to complete the planned regatta. -- Peter Campbell

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.

Britannia being launched from Marvin's yard at East Cowes on her final voyage. Photos courtesy Rodney J. C. Barton. All rights reserved. Click on image for photo gallery.

Britannia * From Rodney J. C. Barton: In your recent article about the J Class Britannia it gives the impression that it is the old yacht being refurbished which is definitely not the case.

To put the record straight it should noted this project is to create a 'replica' of the original yacht that was owned by King Edward VII and sunk off the Isle of Wight when King George V died in 1935.

King George V's dying wish was for his beloved yacht to follow him to the grave. On 10 July 1936, after the Britannia had been stripped of her spars and fittings, her hull was towed out to St Catherines Deep off the Isle of Wight where she was scuttled by the Royal Navy.

In 1994 a replica of Britannia was commissioned for Mr Sigurd Coates and built in Russia. In 2009 the hull was shipped to Norway but the project came to a standstill until 2011 when the the yacht was acquired by a British Charitable Trust. The hull was towed to Cowes, Isle of Wight during February 2012 and is now undergoing construction to the same specification as she was in 1931.

The photographs here have never been published before as there was a press blackout at the time but my late Father who was Harbour Master took them as he escorted the Britannia clear of Cowes harbour.


Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 IMOCA Open 60. 800,000 GBP. Located in Gosport, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

Skippered by Dee Caffari , 'AVIVA' is one of the most reliable IMOCA 60 campaigned over the last 3 years, finishing every race and delivery successfully, in total 100,000 miles.

Built by Hakes Marine in NZ, 'AVIVA' is the sister ship to 'Ecover' which has proven the speed of the design leading the 2008 Vendee Globe in the south and finishing 3rdin the 2009 TJV.

Prior to the 2010 BWR the yacht received a comprehensive refit including conversion to tiller steering, more protective coach roof and a lighter more efficient cockpit layout.

AVIVA is now for sale and the owners are very keen to hear offers. Full specifications and inventories are available from Whitecap.

Brokerage through Whitecap:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
2007 IMOCA Open 60. 800,000 GBP. Located in Gosport, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

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