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Vendee Globe: Decision Time For Dominique
Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) is currently crossing the Intertropical Convergence Zone, better known to sailors as the Doldrums, a colloquial name for the low-pressure area that encircles the earth near the Equator where the northeast and southeast trade winds meet. The area is several hundred kilometres wide and is characterised by patches of dead calm punctuated by sudden squalls, storms and violent gusts of wind.

"This year, the Doldrums are active," said Dominique. "There are two layers of cloud making the situation quite complex to read. I have been working on how to get through this zone for several days now as my exit strategy will dictate the next stage of the race. I have also been working on the routing for my entry into the Southern Ocean as my decision in the Doldrums will have an impact on the long term as well."

Dominique's current position puts him among friends on the leaderboard. He has known Jean Le Cam and Mike Golding for many years and gets on very well with them both. "Mike's yacht is by the same designer as mine, but one generation younger and Jean is sailing Loick Peyron's old boat which is also an excellent design," he explained.

While in the ranking the trio appears close together, the yachts are out of sight of one another. "We can't actually see each other and we haven't spoken, but I did communicate with Jérémie Beyou to tell him how sorry I was to hear about his keel. What has happened to him brought back some very bad memories I must admit," said Dominique. "Thankfully I can report that all is well on board Mirabaud. All my sails are in good condition and I haven't broken anything major."

* Sam Davies On The Way Back To France

Saveol and I are back out at sea. This time with a different challenge: to get back to France without our mast.

Thanks to lots of new friends in Madera, plus Erwan, Romain and Julien's hard work, we turned Saveol round in two days, and even found a broken mast that we now have up as a jury rig.

A big thanks to the Club del Mar at Funchal, especially Hugo who looked after us, and also to Joao who helped with everything!

We picked the mast up in Canical as we left, so yesterday afternoon we worked on it to rig it up and stepped it just before dark. With no wind last night, we motored, and this morning we put our first sails up! We have Saveol's storm jib, plus a Laser sail that we also were given in Madera. Other kind donations mean we do have more old sails, but this will do for now as we are expecting quite a lot of wind today and tomorrow.

Unfortunately tomorrow we have headwinds, so we are not sure whether we will manage to move forward at all.... fingers crossed..... but then after that we should have a smoother ride towards Cascais.

I am totally shattered, so I have also had some great sleeps, and for the first time since before the start of the Vendee I have got out my super OceanSleepwear sleeping bag and pillow and it is SO GREAT to sleep in my bunk out here at sea. Likewise, the hard conditions for the first week of the Vendee weren't very good for eating well, so I have been discovering all the nice food I have packed on board that I just didn't have time to get out before now.

www.vendeeglobe.org

Melges 24 European Sailing Series For 2013
We had a great year of sailing in the Melegs 24 Class in 2012. A record breaking World Championship with 126 teams from four continents and 23 nations was, obviously, the pinnacle event of the year, but for me the most important signal has been that we had many events with more than 30 boats taking place across Europe and North America.

I believe that to build a consistent fleet in a specific district or region it is helpful to have one "big" event in that area every year. It is my experience that to have one big event every 3/4 years does not create the continuity that is needed to satisfy the sailors. When you know that every year there will be a big international event in your local area it is a given that all the local sailors will try to improve and to race much more activity to be well prepared for this "local big event".

It is with this idea in mind that we, the IMCA Executive Committee, have decided to create the Melges 24 European Sailing Series, for which the dates and the trophy are shown below. We will publish the Notice of Race and more details soon but in the meantime please book these date into your sailing programme. -- Riccardo Simoneschi, International Melges 24 Class Association Chairman

April 26-28 - Lake Balaton Melges 24 Regatta, Hungary
June 22-26 - Kiel Week, Germany
July 18-21 - Torbole Melges 24 Regatta, Lake Garda, Italy
August 16-24 - Melges 24 European Championship, Medemblik, Holland
September 6-8 - Melges 24 Norwegian Open Championship

www.melges24.com

Key West Countdown
The countdown to Key West is on!  In just 2 months racing commences in Key West (January 21), and in just 1 month, the first entry deadline is here (December 21). The entry list keeps growing – Among the classes the IRC 52s, Melges 32s, and Melges 24s show a strong international presence. IRC, High Performance, PHRF, and other one-design classes are filling out the scratch sheet.  Don't procrastinate; enter now so you don't miss out! Quantum Key West is sure to be a great week both on and off the water. 

Entries and details: www.premiere-racing.com

Red Bull Youth America's Cup
A feature of the next year's America's Cup calendar is the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, scheduled Sept. 1-4, 2013. The Red Bull Youth America's Cup has been created to give youth sailors, aged 19-24, an opportunity to compete in America's Cup-style racing and to identify the next stars of the sport.

This week competition started for a coveted spot in next September's races as ORACLE TEAM USA is hosting six teams over three two-day sessions to select the crews that will represent the U.S. and San Francisco in next year's competition. A selection series for international teams is planned for February 2013.

The six U.S. teams feature sailors from 10 states, all with varied resumes in dinghy and keelboat racing. Each crew is comprised of six sailors, one more than Cup teams because the sailors are 40-50 pounds lighter than a Cup sailor.

The final pair of U.S. hopefuls will be with the team November 19-20.

www.ORACLETEAMUSA.com

Victorian Yachts For Launceston To Hobart Race
Audi Penfold Sports at the start of last year's L2H. Photo by Peter Campbell. Click on image to enlarge.

Four Victorian yachts are expected to enter The Good Guys Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race this year, including the champion yacht Audi Penfold Sports from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Ron Bugg announced the interstate interest in this 285 nautical mile race around the north and east coastline of Tasmania at today's launch of the sixth annual L2H.

Commodore Bugg predicted a fleet of forty boats for this year's L2H, which starts from Beauty Point on the Tamar River at 11am on December 27, also welcoming aboard as new naming rights sponsor, electric retailers The Good Guys.

Melbourne-based yachtsman and Port Phillip ship's pilot Captain David Ellis, who flew over especially for the launch, announced he planned to again enter his yacht, Audi Penfold Sports.

The Archambault 31, the first Victorian entrant in the L2H, sailed a most competitive race last year, placing third in the IRC handicap category.

Ellis has since scored impressive wins at the Sydney Harbour Regatta and Hamilton Island Race Week, and loaned the boat to a Tasmanian crew which went on to win the Australian women's keelboat championship on Melbourne's Port Phillip.

In addition, the DSS has received expressions of interest from three other Victorian yachts: Bernard Allard's Elan 410, Saltaire, Rick Pacey's Beneteau 36.7 and Kathy McFarlane's Elliott 10.5, Running Bare, also from the RYCV.

Heading a strong local fleet will be Gary Smith's Bakewell-White 45, The Fork in the Road, which last weekend won the premier AMS handicap category of the 190 nautical mile Maria Island Race around Tasmania's rugged south-east coast. -- Peter Campbell

Williams Crowned RYA National Match Racing Champion
Photo by Paul Wyeth, www.pwpictures.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Ian Williams has this weekend (16-18 November) confirmed his calibre as the best of British as the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion sealed the RYA National Match Racing Championship title at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

The three-time World Champion wrapped up the RYA National Match Racing crown for a fourth time, matching that of last year's winner Nick Cherry and fellow match racer Mark Campbell-James, in an event which was overshadowed by frustrating sailing conditions only allowing for ten flights of round robin races and one flight of the quarter finals to take place.

The regatta got off to a slow start on the opening day (Friday 16 November) with fog and very little wind allowing for only three flights to take place. Saturday (17 November) was slightly more promising with 10 knots of breeze allowing for seven flights and the first bout of the quarter finals to take place. Bright sunshine but no wind whatsoever on the Sunday (18 November) meant racing was canned with Williams being awarded the prestigious title on winning his group and one vital race in the quarter finals.

In additions to Williams collecting the RYA National Match Racing crown, John Burgoine was awarded the Paul Banner Trophy, awarded for an individual's outstanding contribution to UK match racing. Burgoine retired as the RYA Match Racing Chair this year and has continued to support UK match racing as a race officer at many events as well as at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

2012 RYA National Match Racing Championship Overall Results:

Skipper - Crew

1. Ian Williams - Gerry Mitchell, Richard Sydenham, Mark Williams
2. Mark Campbell-James - David Mason, Andy Clark, Luke Cross
3. Ali Hall - Simon Skinner, Tudur Owen, Gareth Owen.
4. Sam Pearson - Thomas Dawson, Tristan Jacques, Aaron Cooper
5. Mark Lees - Toby Yeabsley, Tom Forrester-Coles, Kelvin Matthews
6. Nick Cherry - Mark Bulkley, Connor Myant, Jeremy Fowke
7. James Goss - Richard Mason, Nick Blevins, Olly Sloper
8. Dan Wray - Piers Strong, Jack Kilburn, Katherine Colvin & Matthew Haslam
9. Nicole McPherson - Mark Greenhalgh, David Fradipe, Craig MacDonald
10. Nick Wilkinson - Bleddyn Mon, Romain Szyjan, Toby Mumford
11. Charlotte Lawrence - Lauren Martell, Annabel Vose, Lavinnia Patenoster, Lizzie Shawcroft
12. Philip Bendon - Bruno Van Dyke, Wesley Scott, Alex Church

www.rya.org.uk/racing

Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography
Eileen Ramsay was at the centre of a unique period in yachting history, and this wonderful book, featuring her classic photography, celebrates an extraordinary woman and her extraordinary subjects. Eileen's heyday was between 1950 and 1970 - a time when eccentrics ruled, records were there for the setting, and women weren't often to be found behind the lens.

But Eileen established herself as one of the greatest yachting photographers of her time, taking famous portraits of sailing icons like Francis Chichester and Eric Tabarly, Olympians, including Rodney Pattisson and Keith Musto, and historic pictures from the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic (OSTAR) Races.

Her unique archive records the explosive growth in dinghy and offshore sailing during post-war years, and includes pictures of the first Enterprises, Mirrors, Ospreys, Optimists and the first America's Cup 12 metres Sceptre and Evaine.

Eileen, now into her 90s can remember just about every photograph she has taken and relate an anecdote or story about each one. Many of these memories are also recorded in the book.

Eileen Ramsay - the Queen of Yachting Photography, is a spectacular celebration of a pioneering photographer and a fascinating time in yachting history.

160 pages, 123 classic pictures. £25 + postage & packing

southatlanticpublishing.com/er_intro.htm

Breakfast In Muscat
Eric Laing’s crew on Beneteau 75,Yours Truly, enjoying a hearty breakfast at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha. Photo by Louay Habib. Click on image to enlarge.

At noon local time on Monday 20th November, the Rally Class in the 21st Dubai to Muscat Race was all moored up in the safety of Bandar Al Rowdha Marina, except for Gordon Joyce's Talitha and the smallest entry in the race; Sarah Baerschmidt's Beneteau 30, Omnia. Talitha was just 25 miles from Muscat, whilst Omnia is expected to finish the 360-mile voyage later today or early tomorrow morning. The Rally Class had a feisty finish to the race, experiencing gusty squalls in excess of 30 knots during the last night.

The first Rally Class yacht to finish was Ric Schotte's First 36.7, Southern Cross crewed by a mixture of Australians, South African and British Sailors, the team enjoyed a fantastic three days at sea.

Whilst Southern Cross was the first yacht to finish in the Rally Class, the winner is far from decided until Omnia finish the race. Eric Laing's Beneteau 75,Yours Truly was the first yacht to complete the Dubai to Muscat Race under sail alone in the Rally Class.

The IRC Class left Dubai on Sunday and is now through The Straits of Hormuz and into the Gulf of Oman. Last night there was solid pressure of over 20 knots with thunderstorms and squalls charging up the night sky. Doug Hassell's First 44.7, Diablo has led the class from the start but sail damage has halted their progress.

Team Diablo may well be out of the running for a win in the IRC Class, however Doug Worrall's First 36.7, Sharazad and Calum McKie's Grand Soleil 37, Boracic are very much in the running. The two yachts are having an epic battle in the Indian Ocean with 130 miles to go.

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. Two days of inshore racing are scheduled involving well over 100 dinghies and keelboats. Followed by the grand finale where 15 yachts are expected to take part in the Bank of Beirut Chairman's Cup with a $50,000 cash prize fund.

Live Tracking: www.xtra-track.com/regatta

Dubarry Of Ireland Helping To Give Breast Cancer The Boot
2012 marks Dubarry of Ireland's 75th anniversary, and when the world-famous boot company started to think of ways to celebrate the occasion it knew it wanted to do something special and decided to raise €75,000 for a very worthy cause - breast cancer research.

As part of the effort reach its target, Dubarry has created a limited edition of its renowned Ultima all-leather sailing boot featuring the famous Pink Ribbon, the universally recognised symbol of International Breast Cancer Research.

Ultima, loved, used and cherished by sailors across the globe, is a classic waterproof and breathable sailing boot, lined with GORE-TEX® for comfort and protection. Built to last, it features Dubarry's award-winning non-slip sole. The limited edition Pink Ribbon version is available in super smart black leathers from UK Size 3-13 including 1/2 sizes. 

For a donation of €300, a pair of these brilliant boots can be yours, with every single cent going to charity.

You can make your contribution by visiting dubarry.com or by emailing Dubarry at 

18ft Skiffs: Collision Avoided
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

When A young lady decided to go for a paddle in her kayak on Sydney Harbour last Sunday afternoon she got a little more excitement than she could have expected.

Her quiet little world got a rude shock when she found herself directly in the path of two 18ft Skiffs racing each other under spinnaker to the finish line off Double Bay.

Marcus Ashley-Jones (Asko Appliances) was in the windward position and able to quickly avoid the young lady, but The Kitchen Maker was under a lot more pressure to avoid a nasty collision.

Fortunately for the startled kayaker, The Kitchen Maker was in the very experienced hands of Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page and his crew of Cameron McDonald and Darren McKavanagh.

Despite Cameron being forced up into the spinnaker of Asko Appliances in a sudden manouvre, The Kitchen Maker crew managed to avoid the collision leaving the young lady with a tale to tell her friends later.

The Australian 18 Footers League has a spectator ferry following each race and it may be a safer and much more pleasant way for her to watch future races. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au

Lanson Champagne Strengthen Their Partnership with Hydroptere
As a partner of Alain Thebault since 2008, the Champagne house LANSON has decided to strengthen its partnership with the Hydroptere project by becoming "official partner of Hydroptere."

The United States represent a new challenge for LANSON and they wished to increase their support to the project in order to accompany the team in their Pacific record attempt next summer, departing from Los Angeles. This announcement was warmly greeted by the entire crew.

"We are entering a period of transition. With the strengthened support of LANSON, a new chapter begins. This will help maintain an operational team in San Francisco in the short term, which is very important. I thank LANSON for their faithfulness and confidence. The French luxury joins the adventure with style," said Alain Thebault, designer and skipper of Hydroptere. Founded in 1760, Lanson is one of the few Champagne houses to preserve the original style of the champagne as they do not use malolactic fermentation.

"We have been supporting the adventure of Hydroptere for five years. We have been studying for a few weeks increasing our partnership with Hydroptere to accompany our return to the United States," said Philippe Baijot, president of Champagne LANSON.

Hydroptere is currently docked in San Francisco, looking for a new major partner to finance its 2013 program. Next spring, Alain Thebault, Jean Le Cam, Jacques Vincent and Yves Parlier will try to break the ocean sailing record for a hydrofoiler on the Transpacific route between Los Angeles and Honolulu.

hydroptere.com/en/the-news/last-news/

Featured Brokerage
2010 Beneteau First 27.7 S. EUR 64,900. Located In Yachtzentrum Bernau, Germany.

Brokerage through Suedost Yachting GmbH: www.yachtworld.com/suedostyachting/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today. -- John F. Kennedy

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