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Wild Oats Xi.... Three Changes for Sydney Hobart
Bob Oatley's Rolex Sydney Hobart race record holder - and five time line honours winner - Wild Oats XI, today unveiled three significant additions to her armoury for this year's race, which starts on Boxing Day.

All three changes have been designed to improve Wild Oats XI's speed in light winds, and to provide an even better opportunity for her to break her race record time of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 mins, 10 seconds, which the 30-metre long supermaxi set in 2005.

The improvements have come as a consequence of the big boat missing line honours in last year's 628 nautical mile Hobart race by a mere three minutes after sailing for two days, 6 hours and 17 minutes.

Two of the changes have been made to the underwater configuration, and the third to Wild Oats XI's sail inventory.

Keel Winglets: The most interesting change underwater is to the keel where winglets have been added to the aft end of the yacht's 12-tonne lead ballast bulb.

Retractable Bow Centreboard: After watching his yacht miss line honours in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart race, octogenarian Bob Oatley was convinced that one of the primary reasons for the yacht lacking speed in light winds was the drag caused by the two daggerboards which were fitted just prior to that race - and he was right.

After extensive testing back in Sydney, and three months of hull surgery, Wild Oats XI was relaunched carrying the same daggerboards, but with another retractable centreboard fitted on the centreline three metres aft of the bow.

Code Zero Headsail: If there was one thing missing in Wild Oats XI's sail arsenal last year it was the very latest and largest possible Code Zero light-weather headsail - but that will not be the case this year. Bob Oatley has had made especially for this year's race a headsail of gargantuan proportions - 535 square metres

Full article by Rob Mundle at

C-Class Cats
With all the recent buzz surrounding the C-Class catamaran, including news that both Franck Cammas and Michel Desjoyeaux have entered the class, there is some confusion in the sailing world regarding exactly which team is which and what team is building what. ClarkSail provides a brief summary of all the existing C-Class teams and what their plans are going forward.

The United States - "The Cogito Project" The standard bearer of American C-Class sailing since 1996 Steve Clark's team has USA 105 "Aethon" fully functional while USA 104 "Cogito" is moving toward the water.

Canada - "Team Canada" Fred Eaton's squad, having sold CAN 4 "Alpha" to France still has the defending champion CAN 6 "Canaan" fully functional and prepared for Falmouth.

Switzerland - "Hydros" The swiss team is currently in the midst of two builds, one of which will be a foiler built using L'Hydroptere technology.

Italy - "Challenge Italia" Roberto Grippi's group based in Palermo, Sicily intend to build four platforms with the first hitting the water in January and the second in March. At least two of the Italian boats will be sailed in Falmouth, one by Luna Rossa's Francesca Bruni, with a third possibly sailed by another Italian group that are high on enthusiasm but currently low on funding.

Roberto Grippi's group based in Palermo, Sicily intend to build four platforms with the first hitting the water in January and the second in March. At least two of the Italian boats will be sailed in Falmouth, one by Luna Rossa's Francesca Bruni, with a third possibly sailed by another Italian group that are high on enthusiasm but currently low on funding.

France - "Challenge France" - Sponsored by ABM Manutention Benjamin Muyl's program Challenge France has been sailing "Patient Lady VI" for the past two summers and are pursuing sponsorship for their next generation C-Class build.

France - "Franck Cammas Racing" - Frank Cammas Racing has acquired CAN 6 "Alpha" from the Canadians and plans to race in both Quiberon and Falmouth

France - "Mer Agitee" - Michel Desjoyeaux's squad has also announced it's entry into the class.

England - "Team Invictus" - The longest standing C-Class team outside of the United States, the British are currently having their new wing constructed at a Portuguese shop in Cascais in exchange for their wing design.

More at

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

Broken Booms
Broken booms are a annual part of the gear casualty list of the transatlantic ARC rally. When you consider the strain, continual motion and loads exerted on them during two weeks or more of robust downwind sailing, it's not surprising.

More often than not, however, boom breakages are the result of an accidental gybe or of a badly led preventer, one taken, say, from mid-boom or to midships. Even when the boom is correctly prevented by a line from the boom end to the bow and back to the cockpit (ideally using a braid on braid line so there's a bit of give in it and led to a winch so it can be released quickly if the boom end dips in the water), the strain of a boom slamming or of battens gybing violently can cause damage.

But not all boom breakages are as a result of a gybe... the boom of Ian and Annie Darby's X-55 Jus' Do It V cracked with a bang while Annie was on watch on night and sailing along in 22 knots of wind, nothing untoward happening.

Another boom breakage that seemed to have no single cause was on Triumph, Swedish sailor Börje Toresson's Baltic 64. Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race skipper Magnus Olsson was sailing on board and reported that the boom had given way for no particular reason. Maybe fatigue? The yacht is 17 years old.

More from Elaine Bunting's blog:

No More Testing
Emirates Team New Zealand has completed the permitted 30 days of testing and training in its first AC72 catamaran.

Rules for the 34th America's Cup allow on 30 sailing days for the first boat between July 2012 and the end of January 2013.

The shore crew has started to decommission the yacht while the team concentrates on finishing Boat 2.

Winch drums and some hardware will be removed from the yacht and fitted to Boat 2.

Boat 1 will be refitted in the near future and held in reserve, to be commissioned quickly in the event it's needed.

Components for the new boat are being built at Auckland companies Cookson Boats and Southern Spars. The second wing is being assembled now at the team's Viaduct Harbour base. Hulls, beams and other parts of the platform will be delivered to the base early in January for a launch in early February.

Managing director Grant Dalton said the team was fortunate to be able to complete the sailing programme in good time, giving plenty of time to commission Boat 2.

"We never considered sailing both boats together because of the logistics and cost involved."

He said the team would gain many of the benefits by race training with another boat through the arrangement with Luna Rossa. -- Warren Douglas

RNLI Awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012. Today's announcement from the Cabinet Office has given the charity the opportunity to thank all its volunteers for all their hard work and dedication to help save lives at sea.

The charity, which relies on volunteers to carry out its lifesaving work and who form 95% of its workforce, is one of just 60 organisations to receive this one-off award. The category was added to the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in order to mark the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year.

In a nomination submitted by long-term RNLI supporters, actor Timothy Spall and his wife Shane, the charity's volunteers were described as 'what is 'Great' about Britain.' The Spalls went on to say: 'They are an inspiration, and have our eternal gratitude and respect.'

The RNLI is a charity funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions, of which is invested in training, equipment and lifeboat station running costs. Among the hundreds of people and organisations that help raise money for the RNLI, the Lifeboat Fund - a Civil Service charity - is the largest single contributor to the RNLI and has been generously supporting the Institution's lifesaving work since 1866.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the RNLI can find out more at

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

Seahorse Magazine

Old school
A change of pace for round-the-world racer Wouter Verbraak as he gets to grips with the demands of racing a modern J Class monster

Understanding the task
Epsilon Optics founder Rob Knapp explains the advantages and practicalities of making wider use of real-time load monitoring in structures

World news
Michel Desjoyeaux shares his Vendee Globe tips, a happy time in La Corse, Patrizio Bertelli gets a Cup voice, Aussie Olympic reflections and peace breaks out offshore… Dobbs Davis, Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier

Seahorse build table - Cutting edge
The best you can get in Imoca 60 steering… with Denis Juhel and Michel Desjoyeaux

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.
Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

Claim your saving here:

Industry News
The final consultation on English Marine Conservation Zones runs until 31 March, writes Stuart Fisher. And there may be trouble ahead...

Despite an extra six months to improve the data there are still many places where the reports say "it is not known" when referring to biological or human activity, data on which the restrictions are based. Widespread stakeholder concerns are acknowledged.

Part of Canvey will see a ban on powered craft. Banning of mooring is widespread and racing marks will be banned in some areas. A mooring ban at Bembridge is to be offset by the placing of 10 Studland Bay-type ecomoorings, needing to raise £271,000 per year profit from users for maintenance costs.

The QHM across at Portsmouth has been able to resist the call for the Royal Navy's anchorage to be moved.

Where use is assumed to be light, it is considered that few people will be disadvantaged by a ban rather than the damage is negligible. No account is taken of reducing the "pressures caused by human activities" in one place increasing them elsewhere or of environmental implications of extra travel involved.

Full report in Boating Business:


Cruising World magazine in the US has announced the Oyster 625 as the winner of the 2013 Boat of The Year Award for Best Bluewater Cruiser.

The announcement was made on Friday 7 December 2012 at the 20th Annual Boat of the Year awards. An independent panel of experts, who inspected and tested 24 nominated boats following the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis earlier this year, made their decisions based on extensive dockside inspections and sea trials of the all the yachts in contention. The stunning Oyster 625 certainly turned the heads of the judges who unanimously voted to honour the 625 with the special award of Best Bluewater Cruiser.

The Oyster 625 is on show at the London and Dusseldorf Boat Shows.


Franck Cammas was voted Sailor of the Year 2012 at the Paris Boat Show and the beautiful region of Brittany, are unquestionably the two great stars of the day.

"This title comes as recognition so it's a real pleasure to receive it, particularly given how very difficult it is to judge sailors who have invested so much in so many different areas of the sport, whether it be the Olympic Games or ocean racing, in crewed or singlehanded configuration.

To participate in the crewed round the world with stopovers was a bit of a childhood dream. I was delighted to secure this victory after nine months of extraordinary human adventure and the success enjoyed by the Volvo Ocean Race. It was a daring gamble by Groupama to enable us to bring all the ingredients together to achieve this, both sporting and technological, in an event which still isn't widely followed in France.

Right now, we're heading for fresh horizons, the Tour de France à la Voile, the Little America's Cup and the new mixed Olympic multihull, and I also intend to participate in the 35th America's Cup. It's the right moment to go for it… All of that is very exciting and I have the same thirst for discovery that I had when I got involved in the Volvo Ocean Race."


Diesel engine manufacturer Yanmar has chosen Peter Aarsen as VP of Yanmar Europe BV. Effective January 1, 2013, Aarsen will share all management responsibilities with Yanmar president Geert Jan Mantel.

With an engineering background and experience in the automotive industry, Aarsen joined the Yanmar engineering department in 2007 and held several jobs until he became president of Yanmar Marine International.

In addition to his new role, Aarsen will also retain his position as president of Yanmar Marine International.

Headquartered in Japan, Yanmar has a global workforce of over 15,000 and a sales network operating in more than 130 countries. In Europe, the firm employs around 600 people and generates annual sales of around €800m.

IBI News:


Garmin's board of directors has appointed Clifton Pemble to the position of president and CEO. He succeeds Garmin's co-founder, Dr. Min Kao, who will become executive chairman.

Pemble, who joined Garmin in 1989 as one of its first engineers, has been the company's president and chief operating office since October 2007. He has sat on the board of directors since August 2004.

Kao will serve as chairman of the board of directors, while providing ongoing support for the company's strategic planning and business development processes. Kao and Gary Burrell founded Garmin in 1989. The company has since delivered more than 100m navigation products.


The Icom family, through its distributor Icom France, is Official Technical Partner to the Vendee Globe. Icom France was chosen to be the events Official Radio Communication technical partner in 2008 by the Vendée Globe organisation. Icom radio equipment provides the communication required to ensure a smooth start and finish as well as information for sailors.

Among the equipment supplied to the event include the IC-M71 VHF Marine Transceiver, IC-M91D Buoyant VHF/DSC Handheld with GPS , IC-M423 Fixed Mount VHF/DSC Transceiver and MA-500TR Class B AIS Transponder.


America's Cup has announced that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment San Francisco will be the official radio partner for the 2013 America's Cup.

Clear Channel San Francisco AM News/Talk radio stations, KKSF and KNEW, will become the flagship stations for America's Cup coverage with information and updates throughout the year.  In addition, Clear Channel San Francisco's five FM stations will promote the many lifestyle events that are part of the America's Cup experience.

The exclusive sponsorship allows America's Cup to capitalize on Clear Channel's on-air and digital platforms including iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's industry leading digital radio service, to promote and educate consumers about the 2013 America's Cup.

Locally, more than half of San Francisco Bay area residents listen to at least one Clear Channel San Francisco radio station every week and nearly 10 percent of residents listen via iHeartRadio or station websites.


New Zealand-based Southern Spars will supply the complete rig package - mast, boom and rigging - for the One Design Volvo Ocean 65 that will contest the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.

For the 2014-15 and 2017-18 races, Southern Spars will supply a high modulus mast, high modulus racing box boom and a full EC6 bundled carbon fibre rod rigging package with deflected backstays for the new 65-foot One Design boats.

Southern Spars signed the cooperation contract with the UK-based Green Marine, who are leading the consortium of four boatyards building the new high-performance racing yacht, designed by Far Yacht Design in the United States. Work has already begun and the company will ship the first two masts to England in April 2013 - around 18 months before the start of the 2014-15 race.


The MTA Dinner and awards in association with Boating Business takes place on Tuesday 15 January 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel close to the West Entrance of ExCeL during the London Boat Show.

Tickets are available to all BMF members and show exhibitors at £45pp, which includes a welcome drink, a delicious three course meal, wine and entertainment.

The evening commences between 19:30-20:00, with the Marine Industry Awards being presented during the dinner.

Please submit your votes for the winners of the Marine Retailer of the Year Award and the Marine Trades Personality of the Year Award to the MTA secretary, providing the name and your reason for the nomination.

And submit any late nominations for the BB Awards: Young Businessperson of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Website of the Year, the BB Environment Award and the BB Lifetime Achievement Award, to Peter Nash at

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 Dawn Riley: I am sorry but I do take great offense at the name calling and the content of the two letters published in this morning's Scuttlebutt Europe. At Oakcliff Sailing we train people to be professionals in the marine industry. We train them to be good citizens and to respect their fellow sailors both the ones who need to work to be able to sail and the ones who have enough funding to be able to fund the programs. BECAUSE they will be professionals they should be the first one to the boat and the last one to leave. We teach that it is a privilege to be able to go sailing as much as we do. Where did we get this underlying message for our training center?  From myself and my fellow professional sailors who always try to perform and behave at the next level and to be able share our passion.

PS: To be clear and as I said on stage at the WYRF my definition of being professional from a financial stand point is that you are able to sail and still make enough to eat.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Melges 32. EUR 74,000. Located In Lake Constance, Switzerland.

This fine Melges 32 is in as new condition without any faults or defects and has only been sailed by the owner for private use - without any racing - on the Lake Constance - never seen salt water! This boat is ready to go round the cans or class racing / IRC-ORC/handicap. Always stored in a heated hall during winter time.

Brokerage through Kirchner & Mares International Yacht Brokerage:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' -- Douglas Adams

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