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Welcome To The South
This afternoon and evening it is the turn of those towards the back of the Vendee Globe fleet which are feeling the brunt of the stronger winds and big seas.

The five leaders carry on with moderately high speeds this evening on the cavalcade towards the Crozet gate, Le Cleac'h, Gabart, Dick, Stamm and Thomson.

But Arnaud Boissieres - on his second Vendee Globe, Bertrand de Broc and Tanguy de Lamotte are all enduring their first real strong winds as they approach the real south, with between 35 and 40kts forecast for tonight.

Bertrand de Broc, speaking to Pierre Louis Castelli on the Vendee Globe Hebdo show this evening, reported that the bow of his IMOCA Open 60 planted itself very heavily into the back of a wave and he smashed his head into the nav station detaching the nav table from its mountings. Welcome to the south.

* A problem for Tanguy

The technical team of Initiatives Coeur received a call from Tanguy de Lamotte this afternoon at 1518hrs UTC . A problem with one of the pilot rams caused the boat to be knocked flat. Tanguy reports:

"At around 1405 this afternoon the boat surged into a wave. I was inside having a cup of tea when suddenly I found myself on my side with everything around me. I got my stuff on centred the axis of the keel, saw that the indicator said 'no rudder angle' but I put it back and went outside to furl the reacher, but that did nor go as I wanted. I eased the vang gradually and cleared the backstay and the boat came up. I rolled the reacher more, not perfectly but OK, and then got back on the helm. I tried to reset the pilot but the same message came back. I switched to the back up pilot which worked a bit.

I opened the back hatch and could see that the pilot ram was no longer attached. The pin had dropped out. That seemed to be the problem. I have to gybe back again and have set the reacher again. We are into a big wave and the pilot struggles.

We are now back on port tack. I've put the reacher back in the sail locker for the moment and am sticking with this configuration for the moment, tidying up as best I can. I can see that four of the batten cars on the mast are broken. I need to find a solution but I have to stick with this for the moment."

A more complete diagnosis is under way with the technical team.

Top Ten Rankings as of Wednesday 05 December 2012, 20h00 (FR)

1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h
2. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 13.3 nm to leader
3. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 42.7 nm
4. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm, 44.3 nm
5. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 161.1 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 637.2 nm
7. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 719.4 nm
8. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 724.6 nm
9. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sansó, 1344.7 nm
10. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 1649.0 nm

Gilly Retires
It was a momentous day for the YANMAR Racing team - skipper, Peter Gilmour chose the press conference at the end of the second qualifying session to announce his retirement from the sport. It's been a spectacular career, spanning 32 years and four world championship titles, but Gilmour has decided to call it a day - once he's contested this Monsoon Cup, the final event on the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Peter Gilmour told a packed press conference, 'I'd like to thank each and every person that's sailed with me over the years, it's been fabulous racing with all of them. I'd like to pick out for a mention the current team of Thierry (Douillard, FRA), Fred (Guilmin, FRA), Martin (Berntsson, SWE) and of course Yaji (Yasuhiro Yaji, JPN) and Fuku (Kazuhiko Sofuku, JPN), those last two have been with me across 18 years and I think four America's Cup campaigns. It's been a great journey.'

Another sad part of the announcement came with the news that YANMAR's three-year sponsorship deal with Manchester United means that they will no longer be supporting the YANMAR Racing sailing team. It was this that had partly spurred Gilmour onto his decision - but the timing also seemed right.

'I think it's a good moment,' said Gilmour afterwards, 'with my son David here at his first event. So making it my last event, after we've raced each other on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour for the first time, that has a good feel to it. It's also great to see my other son Sam making a big step this year as well, winning the 2012 World University Match Racing Championships. They can take over where I'm leaving off.'

Gilmour's announcement also came after a good day on the water. After losing the first race to Adam Minoprio (NZL), the YANMAR Racing team scored three successive wins in succession, beating Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), Phil Robertson (NZL) and then his Kiwi compatriot, Laurie Jury.

Monsoon Cup Qualifying Round - After Eight Flights

Ian Williams 5 - 0
Keith Swinton 4 - 1
Taylor Canfield 4 - 1
Peter Gilmour 4 - 2
Adam Minoprio 3 - 2
Pierre-Antoine Morvan 3 - 3
Bjorn Hansen 3 - 3
Phil Robertson 2 - 3
Johnie Berntsson 2 - 4
Laurie Jury 1 - 4
David Gilmour 1 - 4
Jeremy Koo 0 - 5

Eight New Marlow Products for 2013
Marlow Ropes METS saw the introduction of 8 new products to the Marlow Ropes 2013 'Rope Catalogue'.

1. Doublebraid Marble Colours - Marlow has introduced 4 new colours into the Doublebraid range.

2. Excel Elite 90 - Excel Elite 90 utilises the super high strength Dyneema SK90 yarn, which is 15% stronger than the SK78 equivalent. The cover features a highly durable blend of Technora and polyester which improves abrasion resistance 300% compared to a full polyester cover.

3. Excel Racing GP 78 - The cover features a highly durable blend of Technora and polyester which improves abrasion resistance 300% compared to a full polyester cover of Excel Racing.

4. Marina Grande Dockline - The optitwist polyester cover is optimised for High Elongation and Durablity. Polyester will maintain its strength when wet and will not harden over time when exposed to the elements.

5. Formula-X - Marlow have redesigned the existing world class Formuline to add a textured finish that will grip in the ratchet systems.

6. Kiteline Race -The thinner diameter reduces wind resistance and ensures the line remains responsive even in the lightest winds while maintaining the cruicial 300kg break load.

7. Kiteline Freestyle - Adds extra strength and durability with a slightly larger diameter will add confidence for the rider when performing the highest power moves.

8. ProDrive - ProDrive is a torsional furling cable designed for top down furlers.

Disgusting Food, Lack Of Sleep and Bad Smells
During his entertaining lecture at the Museo Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante last Saturday, Diego Fructuoso described the extreme conditions he encountered as Team Telefonica's MCM in the last edition - only to finally admit he would love to do it again.

"I've sailed since I was a kid and it's my dream, even though you're having a tough time out there" - Diego Fructuoso

"The disgusting food, the lack of sleep and the bad smells only added to the exhaustion and hunger," explained Fructuoso. Last Saturday, the Media Crew Member spoke in front of a crowd of a hundred people, who came the race museum to listen to his presentation.

"Yet, I want to do the Volvo Ocean Race again," he said with a smile. "I wouldn't do it as a media crew member but as a member of the crew. When we were sailing, I told myself I wouldn't do it again...

"But at the end of the day this is the sea. I've sailed since I was a kid and it's my dream, even though you're having a tough time out there."

Onboard Telefonica in the last edition of the race, he got the chance to live his dream yet he told of some terrible physical and psychological conditions.

"It was impossible to sleep because it was either stifling hot or very cold and because you had to move for each manoeuvre, you couldn't rest properly.

"We lost a lot of weight too - around seven or eight kilos per leg. Most of our meals were freeze-dried but we had a couple of treats like cheese, chocolate and ham. It was our team's winning secret," said Fructuoso, who prepared some freeze-dried food for the audience to try.

Ran-Leopard Storms To Victory
At the start of the 2012 Round the Island race. Photo by onEdition. Click on image to enlarge.

Ran-Leopard Mike Slade's 30-metre canting keel maxi ICAP Leopard, chartered to Niklas Zennstrom's Team Ran has smashed the course record for the 2,800 nautical mile IMA Transatlantic Race, beating the record set in 2011 by the 66-metre superyacht, Hetairos by over 25 hours.

Hooking into a low pressure system mid Atlantic, Ran-Leopard maintained an average boat speed of 19 knots to power into Virgin Gorda, BVI with the nearest competitor over 500 miles behind. Niklas and Catherine Zennstrom have longed to race across the Atlantic and the experience was everything they wished for as Niklas Zennstrom explained, shortly after finishing the race.

"The conditions were pretty unusual, we didn't expect so much wind for the entire race and that is how we could maintain such a good average speed. We had some amazing top speeds especially surfing big Atlantic rollers, at times exceeding 30 knots, it was incredibly exciting. On deck, it was extremely wet all the time, we didn't have much sunshine but it was really fantastic sailing, the race exceeded all our expectations.

We did contemplate making the crossing in our 72' Mini Maxi Ran 2, but a trip like this would have taken longer with a lot of discomfort. However with Leopard, we have chartered a superb offshore boat, which is very comfortable. We have enjoyed hot showers and cooked meals with homemade bread, which would not have been possible in our own boat.

Leopard's owner Mike Slade was unable to join the race due to work commitments but one of the sport's biggest characters was beaming from ear to ear when he got the news about the record run.

'Isn't it fantastic! Leopard hasn't lost any of her pace, even though we have added a couple of tons with a full interior, in fact the extra weight of five cabins forward may well have improved her in certain conditions. She looks magnificent and is far more comfortable. Sadly I couldn't take time away from the office, I found it quite ironic putting in the hours whilst the crew were having such a great time! -- Louay Habib

ISAF Match Race Rankings
For the 11th ISAF Match Race Rankings Release in a row, Ian Williams (GBR) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) hold top spot in the Open and Women's Rankings.

Open Rankings

Whilst Great Britain's Ian Williams retains the World #1 spot once again there were no threats to his spot as a number of ISAF Grade 3 regattas were sailed in November. This has seen some movement throughout the rankings with some slight shuffling in the top ten.

Will Tiller's winning performance at the New Zealand Match Racing Championships in Auckland moves him up to World #5. The 23-year-old has rapidly worked his way up the rankings and overtakes compatriot Laurie Jury to become the highest ranked Kiwi match racer in the rankings.

Top Ten Open Rankings
1. Ian Williams, GBR
2. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
3. Pierre-antoine Morvan, FRA
4. Keith Swinton, AUS
5. William Tiller, NZL
6. Laurie Jury, NZL
7. Johnie Berntsson, SWE
8. Philip Robertson, NZL
9. Taylor Canfield, ISV
10. Peter Gilmour, AUS

Women's Rankings

There were no graded women's match racing regatta in this month however there are some small changes as skippers can only count regattas over a 24-month period.

Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) moves up from World #7 to World #5 as Sally Barkow (USA) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) slip to World #6 and #7 respectively.

1. Anna Tunnicliffe, USA
2. Claire Leroy, FRA
3. Lucy Macgregor, GBR
4. Olivia Price, AUS
5. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS
6. Sally Barkow, USA
7. Silja Lehtinen, FIN
8. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP
9. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN
10. Silvia Roca Mata, ESP

World Yacht Racing Forum
World Yacht Racing Forum Running alongside the World Yacht Racing Forum is the 4th edition of the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium. This event brings together leading designers, engineers, builders and technology suppliers to hear presentations and take part in discussion on the latest developments on the technical side of yacht racing.

This year's programme includes a session on the new Volvo One Design with speakers from a number of the companies involved in the project including Marcel Muller - Green Marine, Pat Shaughnessy - Farr Design and Yann Perfornis - Multiplast. Other sessions include an update on CFD developments; a look at how high performance super yachts can balance performance, speed, safety and comfort; a discussion on the ideal project plan process for high performance race boats; Race boat reliability vs risk management and also a discussion on some of the design features on the AV72's.

Be part of the discussions and enjoy the opportunity to network with leading figures from both the technical and commercial worlds of yacht racing by confirming your delegate place today.

View Website

Download Conference Flyer

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

Panerai Transat Classique
Lows may well be swirling their way across the North Atlantic, further south a big anticyclone is threatening to trap the fleet of the Panerai Transat Classique 2012 in a windless bubble.

Most of the boats have chosen to make easting to avoid this zone of calm, and Jacques Caraës on Red Hackle explains why: "The option we've taken takes us towards Morocco until we gybe. I hope we'll find a bit more pressure to help us reach our waypoint off the Savage Islands. The issue is how are we going to deal with this windless zone which is gently advancing towards us? We'll find out in about thirty hours... perhaps more."

On Persephone, the Tina owned by Yves Lambert, the crew are also intently focused: "For the last 48 hours we've had the wind right behind us, surfing along. We haven't had a break: little wind and the remnants of a disorganized swell means the helmsman has been keeping his eyes trained on the masthead tell-tale, especially at night... It's high precision work, worthy of Panerai's master watchmakers, to whom we owe this wonderful race." For the moment the "east" group, which continues to be led by The Blue Peter and White Dolphin, is making good progress; while the "westerners", including Valteam and Gweneven, will probably lose speed in the coming hours.

A Message for EUROSAF Members
Several countries have been asking about the venue and dates for the Ordinary General Assembly in 2013, so, in advance of the formal notice, due to be issued in January, I am pleased to provide you with some basic information concerning the meeting.

The 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the European Sailing Federation will take place on Saturday 13th April, 2013, in Bucharest, Romania. As is normal with the annual meeting, the OGA will be combined with other events and activities, so the meeting will commence on the morning of 13th and conclude at lunchtime on 14th.

The formal notice, including more details of the venue, will be published, as required by the Constitution, not less than 90 days prior to the meeting.

This is the first occasion EUROSAF have been invited to Romania, so we hope all the members will give their full support to our hosts, the Romanian Sailing Federation, and to EUROSAF itself, by being present.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bucharest.

John Friend
Secretary General
European Sailing Federation

ORROA Announces 2012 U.S. East Coast Championship Series Winners
The Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association (ORROA) today announced the winners of the 2012 ORROA East Coast Championship Series. Lawrence Dickie of Greenwich, CT, and his yacht Ptarmigan, a Ker 43 took first place, and George David and his yacht Rambler, a Custom Maxi, placed second. Taking third place was Stephen Kylander with Dreamcatcher, an S&S-designed Swan 48. Winners of this inaugural season receive engraved silver award plates and custom applique brag flags.

This racing series was open to yachts holding a valid 2012 ORR certificate that entered in a minimum of 2 of the following races: Block Island Race, NYYC Annual Regatta, Newport Bermuda Race, RBYC Anniversary Regatta and Stamford Vineyard Race. In addition, each yacht must have competed in at least one distance race (Block Island, Newport Bermuda Race or Stamford Vineyard Race) in order to qualify.

"Our Ker 43 Ptarmigan was not designed to ORR, but the fact that it was also very competitive under ORR demonstrates the range of boats that the Rule can rate fairly," stated winning skipper Larry Dickie.

The Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association (ORROA) was created to promote and encourage offshore racing under the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) by providing a more scientific, research-based handicapping system. By providing a fair and accurate handicapping system, the organization encourages participation from a broad group of boat owners, inviting them to become active participants in this new association and championship racing series.

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.

* From Brendan Foley, in response to Don Wood's observation:

"Read some "protest" stuff re AC which seemed to hinge on when a vessel is "navigating" and if not so when stopped.

International Collision regs , under section 19 d iii state - "...or if necessary stop, and navigate with extreme caution until there is no risk of collision".

They state "stop and navigate" not stop then navigate" - so by definition within the regs a vessel is still being navigated when stopped !! - simple."

Ah Don, what have you done!

Dont you know when you are 'cutting someone else's lunch'?

What are all those poor lawyers going to eat this Christmas now that you've saved Luna Rossa thousands of dollars!!! ;-)

* From Kirt Simmons re: Don Wood:

The commentator reports it is "simple" however he neglected to note the ",", which breaks the statement before and word "stop" from the following "and navigate", which likely refers to the fact the prior portion of the sentence had to do with "navigating". I am sure many high-priced legal types will figure this out and ensure it is not "simple"...

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1989 Open 60 IMOCA. EUR 220,000. Located In Monaco.

Designed by Philippe BRIAND and built in 1989 by Jeanneau Techniques Avancees in carbon and kevlar, this 60' open IMOCA is a true legend!

She participated to the five first Vendee Globe Challenges (under the names Fleury Michon X, Votre nom autour du Monde, Aquarelle, and Roxy), successively handled by Philippe POUPON (1989,1993), Bertrand de BROC (1997), Simonet BIANCHETTI (2001) and Anne LIARDET (2005).

After having received a thorough refit in 1998 (at yard MAG under management by yacht designer Marc LOMBARD), and received a sloop rig (she was orginally a ketch) and equipped with a canting keel and two asymetric daggerboards, she established a east-to-west circumnavigation with French skipper Philippe MONNET (under the name Uunet)!

Legendary canadian skipper Mike BIRCH also took her in the 2002 Route du Rhum and the 2003 Transat Jacques Vabre.

Brokerage through AYC International Yachtbrokers:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan

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