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Repair Man
If Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) ever retires from sailing he might be able to open a mechanic's workshop after unveiling the result of seven hours handiwork with his grinder.

Thomson, who was still in sixth place last night, keeping pace with the lead group and 123 miles from Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) at the front, suffered the scare on Saturday.

"I was low on battery juice so I popped the hydro down and went below to see how many amps were going in. At the time I was averaging about 18 knots and I heard a strange noise so went to the door and I could see the hydro (generator) vibrating very severely and getting worse. I realised it was going to break and rushed to pull it up but before I got there it ripped off the back of the boat and did a cartwheel and smashed the starboard tie bar. I was on port tack so the starboard rudder was not connected to anything and I knew instantly that the boat would wipe out. It did, but I managed to get the boat flat and got downwind to roll up the A3 spinnaker keeping the port rudder in the water doing all the steering."

That's when the real work started. Between 12 and 12.30pm on Saturday, Hugo Boss was almost stationary as Thomson cannibalised his port rudder bar and started sailing again.

"The bar is a very thin carbon tube about 3m long which was broken in two places, and we do not carry a spare unfortunately," Thomson said. "Cliff (Nicholson) our composite engineer is a genius problem solver and he came up with a plan with Ross (Daniel) and (Simon) Clarkey which would splint the breaks using carbon strips. I firstly had to cut the strips with the grinder with a diamond cutting blade I have onboard. I was not looking forward to doing it because literally everything would be covered in carbon dust. I cleared the cockpit and got to work all while averaging 19 knots of boat speed. I managed to do it without cutting a finger off or cutting through the cockpit floor. Once I had finished I was covered in silver paint and back carbon dust and the cockpit looked like Cliff's workshop. The repair sure ain't pretty but it should be functional and was about seven hours work all in plus some tidy up time. I was pretty knackered but pleased. It has been an amazing team effort."

* Jeremie Beyou retires from the race

The Maitre CoQ skipper has reached Cape Verde islands, where he was able to analyse his situation. Along with his shore crew, Jeremie has considered every possible solution allowing him to stay in the race. But none of them guaranteed Jeremie's safety without help from the outside. Because the Vendee Globe rules forbid skippers to receive any assistance, Jeremie was forced to officially announce he was retiring from the race.

This is obviously a tough blow for the French sailor, who had started this Vendee Globe with a craving for adventure and a strong determination to do well. When that incident forced Beyou to divert to Cape Verde, the French skipper was 6th in the race, and first among the 2008-2009 boats.

Top Ten Rankings as of Monday 19 November 2012, 20h00 (FR)

1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Clac'h
2. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 32.0 nm to leader
3. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 32.9 nm
4. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm, 41.0 nm
5. PRB, Vincent Riou, 63.2 nm
6. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 64.1 nm
7. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 228.1 nm
8. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 238.2 nm
9. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 241.1 nm
10. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 407.0 nm

A Perfect Start
Sarah Baerschmidt's Omnia, the smallest yacht in the race. Photo by Louay Habib. Click on image for photo gallery.

The 21st edition of the RORC Dubai to Muscat Race got off to a fantastic start on Saturday 17th November 2012 with the Rally Class first to go and enjoying near perfect sailing conditions with blazing sunshine, good breeze and flat blue water. Competitors relished 12 knots of wind from the northwest providing a fast reaching start along the glittering shoreline of Dubai. The wind held through the night and by dawn on the second day, the leading yachts had safely sailed through the Arabian Gulf and The Straits of Hormuz.

24 hours into the race, the leaders were experiencing the fresher conditions in the Gulf of Oman, enjoying sublime air temperatures and ocean swell. By Sunday 18th November 1100 local time, Ric Schotte's First 36.7, Southern Cross and Eric Laing's Beneteau 57, Yours Truly were leading the fleet, virtually side by side. The two yachts had enjoyed an exciting duel through the first day and night, swapping the lead on several occasions.

The IRC Racing division started on Sunday 18th November. An international fleet of performance cruisers set off from Dubai for the 360 nautical mile race to Muscat. By dawn on Monday 19th November. The IRC Racing Division was approaching one of the trickiest parts of the course; the complex tides of The Straits of Hormuz. Doug Hassell's First 44.7, Diablo was leading the fleet.

The international fleet of sailors from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa are expected to arrive in Muscat over the next two days to participate in the Muscat Regatta. Barrie Harmsworth's Bin Toak has four Emirate crew on board including Adil Khalid, who competed in the last Volvo Ocean Race with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Dubai based communications company, Xtra-Link has equipped the yachts with the latest satellite communications equipment. Including Thuraya XT satellite phones and hi-tech tracking devices. Allowing race fans, all over the world, to watch the race live. -- Louay Habib

Wight Vodka's 2012 Favourite Yachting Bar Competition Is Open For Entry!
London, England: It's time again for Wight Vodka's Favourite Yachting Bar competition to get underway. Now in its fourth year running, we're expecting the competition to be tighter than ever. So far, you have voted the Peter Cafe Sport in the Azores as the World's Favourite in 2009, the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI as the winner in 2010 and IYAC in Newport, Rhode Island as the Favourite in 2011. It's time to spend a little time and enter your submission today, as in addition to being recognized by the world's yachting community, the winning bar receives a trophy and prized bottle of Wight Vodka to celebrate their win.

Ritu Manocha, the entrepreneur behind 50° North and Wight Vodka, said "This contest goes from strength-to-strength. Just as we're pulling our boats for the winter (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) the Favourite Yachting Bar competition gets underway to provide some entertainment. We love judging the submissions; the quality of the written entries helps narrow the field. Our favourite comments over the years include: 'This place is known as the drinking bar with a yachting problem,' to 'You never know if you're going to see someone in a wedding dress or a swim suit,' and 'Oh…it's where I met both my husbands.. 2012's contest is powered-up from today and the rules of engagement are outlined below."

1. The Submissions - As of today, we are accepting your written recommendations for your favourite yachting bar on the Scuttlebutt Europe website at

The deadline for the submissions is Monday the 3rd December. Please include your name, email, your favourite bar, the reasons for your love affair, including commentary on the atmosphere, the people, the food, and of course the drink.

2. The Panel Selection - A panel of judges from Wight Vodka, Seahorse magazine and Scuttlebutt Europe will read each essay and choose the Top Ten Bars to put forward for the vote. Please keep in mind that the Top Ten will be chosen based both on the quality and passion of the submission, as well as the numbers of submissions received for a particular bar.

The emphasis, however, will be on the quality of your submission.

3. The Voting - From Saturday, the 8th December, the Top Ten Bars will be announced and the voting will begin. Voting this year will be accessed through the Scuttlebutt Europe website and will be open until Thursday the 27th December.

4. The Winning Bar - The winner will be announced on 31st December and, similar to years past, the crew from Wight Vodka will be placing calls to the winning bars on New Year's Eve to congratulate them!

About 50° North
50° North are the creators of Wight Vodka. The company's spirit and enthusiasm for the ocean, coupled with the centuries-old regatta traditions of the Isle of Wight (and of course a full appreciation of superior vodka!) culminated in the creation of the world's smoothest, 42% ABV potato-based vodka. One sip of Wight Vodka will make a believer out of the most discerning connoisseur, and the company welcomes your joining a unique and elite class.

Tack & Gybe Responsibly.

Tell us about your favorite bar.

New Angles, Amazing Footage
With the new one-design boat comes the opportunity to improve the media systems. We caught up with Rick Deppe, co-ordinator of the Media Crew Member programme and star of our Building the Boat videos, to talk about the possibilities.

Livewire's Tristan Wood setting up a new microphone and coaming cam on the mock-up at the Green Marine boatyard, UK. Rick Deppe / Volvo Ocean Race The new one-design boat media desk is taking shape at the Green Marine boatyard, UK. Rick Deppe /Volvo Ocean Race

"We should get some amazing footage of the guys working on the bow" - Rick Deppe

A full scale interior mock-up of the new Volvo Ocean 65 at the Green Marine boatyard in the UK is the perfect opportunity for race organisers to assess how different aspects of the design will work in practice.

So what will differ then from the previous boat, the third generation Volvo Open 70, in terms of media?

"We got rid of the previous hatch arrangement and in the new design there will be a coaming cam between the two doorways and under a protective bubble," Deppe explains. "That camera will turn and you will be able to get different angles, with shots of the trimmer or the helmsman.

"We will also have attached cameras around the boat, in the spreaders for example but also at the bow. We should get some amazing footage of the guys working on the bow."

World Yacht Racing Forum
The fifth World Yacht Racing Forum (WYRF) taking place in Gothenburg Sweden on the 11/12th December is truly delighted to announce that four times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie will deliver a keynote speech at this year's forum.

Ainslie will present the keynote speech on the commercialisation of the sport of sailing to kick off day two of the forum with what promises to be a speech not to miss.

View Website

Download Conference Flyer

2012 saw Ainslie win his fourth Olympic gold medal and secure his place in sailing history to become the most successful Olympic sailor of all time.  Straight after the Olympics Ainslie flew to San Francisco to compete in the America's Cup World Series with his own team - J.P.Morgan BAR.

Join Ainslie and other key speakers from the industry at the forum, for what is shaping up to be the best WYRF yet. It is the place where you can meet with your industry colleagues from all corners of the globe without the distraction of the dock.

Register Today for a Conference Delegate Pass at only 250 Euros + VAT

World Yacht Racing Forum (WYRF)

UK Laser Inland Championships
Standard Champion Alex Mills-Barton. Photo by Eddie Mays, Click on image for photo gallery.

For the second year in succession the UK Laser Assn held its end of season Inland Championships at Grafham Water. Last year the event had to be moved from Carsington Lake because of the drought conditions existing throughout the Midlands. No such problem this year with the Grafham reservoir almost full to overflowing. With 115 Radials, as well as 44 Standards and 43 Laser 4.7s, it was good to see the same number of boats as last year, a sign of the popularity of both the event and the venue.

Unsurprisingly at the end of a very long and arduous season neither Olympic sailors Paul Goodison or Ali Young were at the event but the competition was probably all the tighter for that.

The rigs were separated onto two courses. Grafham's Commodore, Peter Saxton, looked after the Standards and Laser 4.7s and, on the other course, the Radials were under the tender loving care of R.O. Simon Dabson. On Saturday the Radials were separated into four groups racing against each group in a 'Round Robin' format before being split overnight into Gold & Silver fleets. With three races scheduled for each day and a shifting wind on both days everyone on the race team was kept busy. Bright sunshine and a reasonable SW'erly breeze that drifted towards the West during the day at least gave the semblance for decent conditions. Overnight though the rains arrived and by Sunday morning the boat & car parks were very soggy, the wind was stronger and out of the NNE and bitterly cold. The temperature must have dropped by at least 10oc.

In the Standard fleet Alex Mills-Barton won three of his races to record a narrow, two point win over Matt Reid with Elliot Hanson a further two points adrift in 3rd.

The Radial Gold fleet was won by Masters' (over 35) sailor Jon Emmett with an impressive 1, 1, 2, 1, 1 scoreline.

Youth sailor Keiran Hill won two races to finish 2nd ahead of the leading lady Hannah Snellgrove. In the Radial Silver fleet consistency paid off as the top three sailors all stayed out of trouble and near the front in all their races. Michael Calvert took the overall title from Hamish Eckstein and Toby Woodings. In the smallest rig, the 4.7, the 43 youth & junior sailors enjoyed very close racing with five winners in six races. -- Eddie May

Full results at

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Helmut Jahn (USA)
They fought the corner for Star boatbuilder Jon VanderMolen but in the end the Farr 40 OD fleet remains a pretty formidable foe... especially when it sets to work on home soil! Many voters paid tribute to the long commitment of this Chicago architect to big boat sailing in general and owner-driver competition in particular, while both current and former crew make clear that he also seems to be an OK sort of a guy to go sailing with... He turns out his long series of yachts - always with the same name - pretty nicely too.

This month's nominees:

Jimmy Spithill (AUS)
In just about every shot taken and every video recorded of Oracle’s pile-up on the bay, there was Jimmy Spithill in the centre of the frame. Whether it was right after the flip, waiting for the headcount to finish, or chasing their horribly broken platform out into the Pacific, or hauling what was left of it out of the dirty water the following morning in Alameda, there he was. Doing what a good skipper does.

Steve Clark (USA)
Like it or loathe it, the 34th America’s Cup is pretty exciting and lots of good things are going to come out of it. But would this Cup be anything like the animal it is today had Steve Clark not thrown his heart into resurrecting the C-Class, giving away all his wing catamaran design information to anybody serious about using it? We doubt it. The crowd of wannabe AC72 designers at the Little America’s Cup in 2010 suggests AC34 owes him a lot.

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new World Record.

Record: World "B" Division Speed Record
Venue: Walvis Bay. Namibia.
Name: Paul Larsen. AUS.
Equipment: Vestas SailRocket 2. Inclined rig Hydrofoil Proa.
Date: 12th November 2012. 18.30 hrs
Course length: 500 metres
Current: Nil
Elapsed time: 17.97 secs
Speed: 54.08 kts

Comments: Current record: Vestas SailRocket 2. Paul Larsen AUS. Walvis Bay NAM. 2011. 49.19 kts

A further claim for a speed in excess of the above is currently being assessed

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Featured Brokerage
1990 French Yacht Design Academy Orion 39. 49,500 GBP. Located In Gibraltar.

ORION is one of a pair of very special yachts, designed by AN Michel who is famous in France and president of the French Yacht Design Academy. As far as can be ascertained, he built two of these yachts: one for himself and another for his son. Launched in 1990, ORION sailed around the world and was then used for sail training and made several transatlantic crossings before being purchased by the present owner.

The engine - a Volvo Penta MD11 has been completely rebuilt and gives excellent and quiet service. At 1300 RPM and doing 5 knots, she uses a meagre 1.1 Litres per hour!

The genoa is new and the fully battened mainsail are in excellent shape. An inner forestay is tucked away but ready for use in cutter rig configuration along with a virtually unused staysail and spinnaker.

Brokerage throug. Interyachting Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring. -- Richard Feynman (his last words)

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