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Vestas Sailrocket 2 Sets Records
Click on image to enlarge.

Sailrocket On the 16/11/12 VESTAS Sailrocket 2 set out on it's 13th run for this session Walvis Bay Namibia. In moderate conditions with around 25 knots of wind average... VSR2 smashed the previous Outright world record by the biggest margin in the records history*. Paul larsen averaged 59.23 knots over the record 500 meter course and peaked at over 63 knots. The waters of Walvis Bay became speed sailing holy turf and the home of the Outright record for the first time. This represents the culmination of 10 years hard work. The team promise it still represents the beginning of this boats potential. Africa turned on a spectacular setting and the flamingoes are just the icing. You couldn't make that stuff up. Happy days.

* From Paul Larsen Sun, 18 Nov 12 20:28:

Just in after the most incredible run. A whole nautical mile dipping well into the 60's on each gust. We peaked near or over 64 knots and beat our previous 500 meter average. I don't think we cracked 60 knots as a 500 meter average though. But anyway... we smashed the nautical mile record. The TRIMBLE file is big but on the small GT31 we averaged over 55.5 knots

(Hang on STOP PRESS: Trimble data in now... 55.32 knots for the mile subject to WSSRC ratification. That's it).

63.98 knots 1 second peak... so definitely over 64 for a spike in there.

... and just marginally quicker than our previous best 500 meters at 59.38 knots... subject to WSSRC stuff!

* From Paul on Friday, having set the record (again, subject to WSSRC), for outright sailing record speed average over 500m course. Previous record was set by Rob Douglas, 55.65 kts on a kiteboard.

Super Sonice... Smashed It!

The title says it all. It's just soaking in now... with the Champagne.

Calling friends, team members... all are family tonight.

I'm sitting here with great French champagne all around and smiling people. VESTAS Sailrocket 2 sits outside on the lawn shivering lightly in the decreasing breeze. She has the noble composure of a race winning horse that struts around wondering what all the fuss is about.

We are downloading the TRIMBLE data now. The great thing is that the GPS we use out there is set for a 18 second average... but at 59 knots we might not need that long. It said we did a 59.01 knot average... The TRIMBLE should be higher. I will let you know here when I know.

I think I'll drink some more Pol Roger... and wait.

I'm buzzing and I know it is just going to get better. I will have this for life now.

There it is 59.23 knot average fresh off the TRIMBLE. 62.53 peak.

Records subject to WSSRC ratification.

The record run on video:

See also

Vendee Demolition Derby
Jeremie Beyou has been forced to divert to Cape Verde to seek shelter and try to find a solution to this major technical issue.

Everything was going perfectly last night on Maitre CoQ, as the monohull was effortlessly sailing downwind at a speed of 21 knots. Beyou was resting in the cockpit when he heard a huge muffled noise. The boat then luffed up and the keel lurched to 10 degrees.

The Maitre CoQ skipper soon realised the head of his keel hydraulic jack had broken. Beyou managed to secure it with ropes but the repairing will not resist the thousands and thousands of miles still ahead in this round-the-world race. Today, with a 25-knot wind and a rough sea, Beyou has already had to restrain his Maitre CoQ in order to preserve his repairing.

Luckily enough, the Cape Verde islands are relatively close and provide a welcome shelter while thinking hard to find a possible solution to this tricky technical problem.

"A part like this never breaks. It's unbelievable, it should not have happened. The experts who spent the night studying the head of that keel hydraulic jack all agree on one thing: It just was not supposed to break. It is made of titanium and designed to bear loads up to 120 tons while, on Maitre CoQ, the heaviest load is 40 tons. Also, the hydraulic jack had been inspected last winter, just before Beyou took charge of the monohull.

* Today Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski spoke on Vendee Globe radio about his ongoing troubles during the race. After the autopilot failure his gennaker wrapped around forestay.

"It's a consequence of the autopilot malfunction. Yesterday afternoon I hoisted a bigger sail, because there was a light winds zone approaching and I wanted to avoid it. So I took the risk to not lose more miles to the boys at the front of the fleet. Unfortunately the autopilot couldn't manage steering with the big sail up, so I was steering by hand. After quite a long time, at around 0200hrs I decided to put the sail down and switched the autopilot on for a moment to prepare everything. But unfortunately after couple of seconds the boat made a Chinese gybe."

Gutek confirmed he has a plan how to proceed and all his further decisions depend on how and when he will be able to fix the problem.

* A slew of penalty flags is waving around the Vendee Globe fleet of singlehanders racing non-stop round the world.

Eight of the 20 starters are being accused by the race committee of breaking rules covering a ban on straying into traffic separation lanes at sea, which they are required to observe. They are Mike Golding, Kito de Pavant, Javier Sanso, Dominique Wavre, Jean le Cam, Zbigniew Gutkowski, Tanguy de Lamotte, and Jeremie Bayou.

Curiously, the same list, with one change, features in a parallel protest from Britain's Alex Thomson , who drops Golding from his complaints but adds Jean-Pierre Dick. Which protest was first lodged could be significant - did Thomson embarrass the committee into action? -- Stuart Alexander, The Independent

* Explaining why the IMOCA 60-foot boats used in the race are so much more prone to keel and keel hydraulics problems than the Volvo Open 70s, British designer Merfyn Owen explained that the Open 60 keels were all designed individually for each boat whereas there has been a much tougher design rule for the Volvo boats - and next time round starting 2014 they will all be exactly the same. "The Volvo boats have much more of a belt and braces approach," he said.

Less easy to understand is the amount of time being taken by the jury which deliberates on any rule infringements in the VG. Monday sees seven days since two protests against a total of nine boats for infringing traffic separation lanes around Cape Finisterre, including one against Britain's Mike Golding.

Nor has there been any clear explanation about the reason for such a lengthy delay either from the jury, headed by France's Bernard Bonneau, or the race committee, headed by Denis Horeau and which itself submitted a protest against eight competitors. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent

Top ten as of Sunday 18 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)

1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h
2. MACIF, François Gabart , 62.0 nm to leader
3. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 69.9 nm
4. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm, 78.2 nm
5. PRB, Vincent Riou, 102.5 nm
6. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 119.0 nm
7. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 341.6 nm
8. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 342.3 nm
9. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 349.9 nm
10. Maître CoQ, Jeremie Beyou, 420.8 nm

An Absorbing Interest. The America's Cup - A History
The America's Cup - A History By Bob Fisher (£250 + p&p)
Revised edition

This beautifully designed book charts the history of sailing's most enigmatic and greatest prize. In two volumes it covers the drama, boat design, personalities and sheer fascination of the America's Cup, from 1851 in Cowes to 2003 in Auckland. It is illustrated with photographs, cartoons, paintings and figures and can rightly claim to be the definitive history.

The work contains full records of all races and is made up of 32 Chapters - one for each of the 31 challenges and one for the race around the Isle of Wight in 1851 for the One Hundred Pound Cup, presented by the Royal Yacht Squadron as a prize for the regatta.

"This is the Bible of the America's Cup." Bruno Troublé - Louis Vuitton

View sample pages:

Purchase online at

And the Winner of the DAME Award 2012 is...
The DAME Award Winner and Category Winners for 2012 were announced at the Breakfast Briefing before the opening of the METS exhibition, including the SuperYacht Pavilion, on Tuesday November 13th. In determining the winners in seven categories, as well as the Overall Winner, the Jury took into account a number of factors, including design, styling, quality of construction, overall impact on the marine industry, suitability for its intended purpose, level of innovation, cost effectiveness, and favourable environmental impact. Those products that made it to the final round and came close to winning have received a Special Mention in their categories.

The Overall Winner of the DAME Award 2012 is Torqeedo GmbH for the DEEP BLUE electric outboard. The Jury believes that the new DEEP BLUE large electric outboard from Torqeedo GmbH is an exceptional example of groundbreaking research and development - one which will bring great benefits to both the users and builders of marine craft.

Jury Report DAME 2012

List of nominees

Cougar II Breaks 18 Year Old Maria Island Race Record
Photo by Peter Campbell. Click on image to enlarge.

Cougar Ii Breaks 18 Year Old Maria Island Race Record Tony Lyall's ocean racing yacht Cougar II will be a force to be reckoned with in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, judging by her record-breaking line honours win today the 65th Maria Island Race.

The powerful TP52 cut 22 minutes and 20 seconds from the record of 19 hours 50 minutes set 18 years ago by the maxi ketch Tasmania, which then went on to take line honours in the 50th Sydney Hobart Race the same year, 1994.

Owner/skipper Lyall, a GP at Beaconsfield in northern Tasmania, doesn't have a Sydney Hobart record in his sights, but rather the coveted Illingworth Trophy for the first boat on IRC corrected time.

"These TP52s have the ability to win the Sydney Hobart overall, that's why a bought Cougar II," an elated Lyall said after crossing the finish line with an elapsed time of 19 hours 27 minutes and 41 seconds for the challenging 180 nautical mile race from Hobart to the island off the rugged south-east coast of Tasmania and return.

Cougar II led the Tasports Maria Island fleet from start to finish, hitting high speeds on Friday night as she ran under spinnaker across Storm Bay before south-westerly winds reaching 30 knots.

While a line honours victory was never in doubt for Lyall, breaking the record was a close tactical sail in fading winds in Storm Bay and a strong ebbing tide in the Derwent this morning.

* Maria Island Race line honours winner Cougar II has added first place on IRC corrected time to her record-breaking race time, with IRC handicap results and provisional AMS handicap results announced this morning by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

Only two yachts had yet to finish the 180 nautical mile ocean race around the rugged south-east of Tasmania at 7am today, but both Footloose and Kaiulani are in the River Derwent on the final leg to the finish off Castray Esplanade at Battery Point. -- Peter Campbell

Luna Rossa Crewman Injured
Friday, November 16th at 11.15 AM New Zealand time, while assembling the wingsail (which is 40 metres high), in about 15 knots of SW wind, as the wingsail was almost vertical and ready for fitting on the platform of the AC72 Luna Rossa catamaran, the wind suddenly shifted by about 60 degrees; this caused the wingsail to "fly: and rear up towards the crane.

As this happened, Fred Gastinel, a member of the shore team, was hit by one of the mobile trolleys that hold the wing and he suffered a fracture of the shinbone.

Fred was immediately helped to the hospital, where he underwent surgery and his leg was put in a cast. No further complications occurred and his condition is satisfactory. He is in high spirits and, half an hour after surgery, he was already joking with the team members who went to see him.

Seahorse December 2012
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Two of two
To mark the start of the 2012 Vendee Globe, race veteran PATRICE CARPENTIER talks to Imoca 60 designer du jour, GUILLAUME VERDIER about this year's line-up...

Case study
... While one of the designers trying to knock VERDIER off his perch, MERFYN OWEN, looks in detail at the background to his new Acciona

Can you afford not to... - Part 2
MIKE GASCOYNE expands on his rationale for toughening up offshore reliability, plus contextual framing from TIM SPRINGETT of McLaren F1

A subscription to Seahorse makes a great gift and it's easy to give. You get a huge discount off of the regular subscription price for delivery anywhere in the world and we provide you with a gift card.

Seahorse Discount Voucher
Code EUROB122609

Saving £16 / €25 / 24USD on the regular subscription price of Seahorse magazine.
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RNLI Volunteers Mark 50th Anniversary of Seaham Lifeboat Disaster
Volunteers based at Sunderland, Tynemouth, and Hartlepool Royal National Lifeboat Institution [RNLI] stations will join together to take part in a memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Seaham Lifeboat Disaster, in which five lifeboatmen tragically died.

Shortly before half past five on the evening of 17th November 1962 all five crewmembers (John Miller - Coxswain, Frederick Gippert - Second Coxswain , Arthur L. Brown - Mechanic, James Farrington - Bowman, Arthur Brown - Crew) onboard the Seaham Lifeboat lost their lives when the lifeboat George Elmy was capsized by two huge waves. At the time she was just 30 yards from Seaham Harbour's South Pier after rescuing four crewmembers and a nine-year-old boy who were on board the fishing boat 'Economy' which had foundered in stormy seas off Dawdon Colliery.

The five lifeboat crewmembers are amongst the 806 people who feature on the RNLI Memorial which was formally unveiled in September 2009 and is located outside the RNLI College on the charity's HQ site in Poole. It is a poignant reminder of the extraordinary self-sacrifice of people who have lost their lives at sea while rescuing others. Alongside the names of RNLI crew members are volunteers from lifeboats pre-dating the creation of the charity in 1824. The RNLI Memorial also features the names of people from other organisations involved with the charity, who have lost their lives at sea while saving others.

Running The Rhumblines
Perseverance played a major role when Craig Piccinelli and his Wobbly Boot crew recorded another important win in the Edges Boat Yard sprint race series over the Whitsunday Sailing Club course on Pioneer Bay.

They were held to a slow time when the breeze started to fade late in the day however Wobbly Boot the smallest in the fleet still managed with the skill of her crew to record an important 2 minute corrected handicap win .

While their arch rivals the John Galloway skippered Queensland Marine Services and the Charles Wallis skippered Reignition became tactically involved in a close duel for the minor places.

As he revealed Craig Piccinelli was on the top of the tactical game to show that Wobbly Boot can produce the required all angle boat speed to protect her .907 time correction factor when confronted with softer wind velocities.

They won their battle by making sure there were no time consuming foul ups in their sail handling and tactical strategy to leave Queensland Marine Services (.929) Reignition (1.061) and the line honours winner Tulip (1.148) to become involved in their own private race for the minor places before Queensland Marine Services finally filled second 42 second ahead of Reignition with Tulip another 8 seconds astern.

This was an important victory for the progressive championship leader Wobbly Boot as they settle into the final month of racing to decide the short course racing crew for 2012.

They have recorded a string of minor results since returning to club racing after recording a disappointing result in the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week in late August.

However following her important win Wobbly Boot is now well back on track to wrap up the 2012 Edges Boat Yard trophy series when the final race is decided next month.

Meanwhile Dan White managed to protect his sailing space in the slower sailing conditions which prevailed for the Division 3 class to steer Riff Raff to a 46 second line honours win over the Alan Sneddon helmed Pacific Phoenix while Brian Fleming steered Concubine into third another 20 seconds astern.

Unfortunately Roger Boast and his Serendipity crew who finished almost five minutes behind Riff Raff had sailed fast enough to protect her low rating to deny the Riff Raff crew the chance of securing the line honours and handicap double when Serendipity officially claimed her 43 second victory over Riff Raff who just managed to beat Concubine by 4 seconds. -- Ian Grant

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Sunbeam 44.1. EUR 275,000. Located In Mattsee, Austria.

In near new condition this Sunbeam 44 has been very lightly used as a demonstrator yacht and has very low engine hours.

Brokerage through Malo Yachts UK / Sunbeam Yachts UK:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Driving a Porsche in London is like bringing a Ming vase to a football game. -- Douglas Adams

And A Request...
Your humble narrator's 16 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). This is a tough one to cure. It's not life threatening except for what she can hit with her head when she blacks out (syncope is the medical term).

If there are any cardiologists in our readership with specific, extensive experience in dealing with pediatric POTS and syncope I'd be very grateful if you could contact me at

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