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Wild Oats Breaks Her 2005 Record
Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Bob Oatley's five-time Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours winner, Wild Oats XI,beat her 2005 record time this morning, in a gentle glide to the finish that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. She finished in one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, taking 16 minutes and 58 seconds off her old record.

The time difference was a long one in terms of how the crew would have been feeling in those last 16 minutes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 628 nautical mile race.

At 5 am today,Wild Oats XI's 2005 record of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds seemed out of reach, but at about 7 am, her dashed hopes were revived, and as the minutes ticked by, her chances improved.

Initially, skipper Mark Richards and his crew were a tantalisingly 40 minutes outside the record time and were expected to finish at about 8.30 am. However, as the clock ticked, the super maxi picked up speed to around 15 knots and her finish time was upgraded to 8.00 am, then 7.50 am, 7.36 am, 7.23am and 7.13 am with five nautical miles to go.

The breeze eased. Richards ordered a bigger headsail to keep it moving, which ended with their record victory. It remains to be seen whetherWild Oats XIcan go all the way and take the treble (victory on corrected time as well as line honours and the race record).

Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin-Loyal that was about 45 miles behind the line honours winner.

"We'll be back next year," Richards said.

Of navigator Adrienne Cahalan (who was aboard for the 2005 record) and co-navigator Tom Addis, Richards said: "They did a great job. It's a difficult job with meteorology to look at, all the updates and critical decisions to make."

Richards also praised tactician Iain Murray, who has taken time out of his role as Regatta Director and CEO of the America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) organisation to return to sail the yacht again. -- Di Pearson

* As dawn rises over the 68th edition on Thursday, odds are that the emotion of its owner and skipper, Grant Wharington, will still be high after the committee's decision on Wednesday - three hours before the start of the race - to disallow a start for super maxi Wild Thing, which was fancied to battle for line and handicap honours.

Wharington is unlikely to quickly brush aside his bitterness in light of his accusation that there was an agenda behind the decision of race director Tim Cox and the committee to exclude his yacht. The reason given was for non-compliance with race rules that relate to the required paperwork for modifications undertaken, which include the boat being lengthened by two feet to 100 feet, and its stern widened.

Wharington also branded the committee's invitation to sail in the fleet as a non-entry an ''insult'' and questioned the integrity of Cox, citing his role in the Wild Thing case and in past protests made by the committee against the then named Investec-Loyal after it won line honours last year and Wild Oats XI when it took first place for the fifth time in 2010.

''I don't know if there is any kind of conspiracy going on, but unfortunately this particular race director seems to be a serial offender of trying to get big boats out of the race,'' Wharington said, before he and his despondent crew returned Wild Thing to its mooring at Birkenhead Point, near Drummoyne.

''The documentation was supposed to be in on November 1. We keep getting reminded of that, but [on] November 1 the boat was still in the shed,'' he said. ''There [are] a lot of boats that don't hand their documentation in until the end.''

Can Two Become Three?
Armel Le Cleac'h and his long time running partner Francois Gabart may have had it all their own way, making the pace at the front of the Vendee Globe fleet since well before they passed side-by-side into the Pacific Ocean nine days ago. But - as was widely predicted - the twosome have finally been slowed through today. It has been the two skippers which are chasing hard behind, Jean-Pierre Dick and Alex Thomson, who have finally been granted the chance to shine.

Dick and Thomson are riding up on a fast moving low pressure system which will ultimately reach and rescue the two leaders from their light winds low pressure trough. Dick has had Virbac-Paprec 3 at 18 to 19 knots for much of Thursday whilst speedster Thomson has been quickest in the fleet averaging over 18 knots over the previous 24 hours. Both have recovered more than 100 miles on the leaders today so far, and their gains are expected to accumulate progressively over the next 24 hours.

Whilst the two leaders are scarcely voicing concerns, the threat from both chasing skippers may not be immediate, but it certainly gives hope to Frenchman Dick and the Briton who, like Gabart ahead, has yet to round Cape Horn solo.

The top two are still expected at the Cape on January 1st.

* Bernard Stamm's team say the skipper of Cheminees Poujoulat is nearly ready to leave Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island and make his return to the Vendee Globe race course.

Stamm anchored at two different locations off Dunedin, moving last night due to a change in wind, but also allowing him to try one of the repaired hydrogenerators. And since yesterday he has been fixing the second unit.

"He's been trying be protected from wind and waves to work in the best possible conditions, even if everything is relative. In between times, waiting for resins to set he has been taking care of the smaller problems. He should go after daybreak local time, tonight is for us in Europe. " concludes Gautier Levisse.

Bernard's team paid a warm tribute to Sophie Luther who lives locally who has helped with sending images and with local media contacts

Seahorse February 2013
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Terry Hutchinson on 12 months of experience and surprise, Wouter Verbraak studies the Vendée Globe leaders, Peter Gilmour hangs up his boots, Paul Cayard reckons the 2013 Cup has barely begun and Brian Hancock asks Vlad Murnikov to put his case for stepped hull shapes...

World news
Vincent Riou’s sorry tale, Mike Golding’s card gets marked, Francois Gabart nicks J-P’s thunder, David Le Pelley’s school for talent, the Oats gets a nose-job and HPR hits Key West. Dobbs Davis, Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier

Seahorse build table - Maximum value
Jason Ker is bringing a stonkingly priced new 37-footer to the market which will also help test current theories of IRC-ORCi compatibility

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The Fork In The Road And Advantedge In Duel For Line Honours
Photo by Peter Campbell. Click on image for photo gallery.

Launceston to Hobart The race for line honours in the Good Guys Launceston to Hobart Yacht Race is still a duel between northern and southern Tasmanian yachts, AdvantEDGE and The Fork in the Road.

All 35 yachts in the fleet have sailed through the notorious Banks Strait overnight and are now heading down the Tasmanian East Coast, but light winds have slowed them down this morning.

At 6am today Gary Smith's The Fork in the Road, from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Hobart, was 11 nautical miles north-east of Bicheno, with 147 nautical miles to sail, but making only 4 knots boatspeed.

Less than a mile astern came Andrew Jones' AdvantEDGE, representing the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point. She is making about the same speed.

A surprise front runner is Royce Salter's Ramrod, a smaller boat from the Bellerive Yacht Club, which at this stage was only two miles astern of AdvantEDGE.

In fact, the fleet is remarkably close together after 18 hours at sea following the start at Beauty Point in the Tamar River early yesterday afternoon. The bulk of the yachts are close inshore between Bicheno and St Marys. The last boat, Take 5, is abeam of Eddystone Point.

Ahead of the fleet later today is the challenge of sailing through the Mercury Passage between elongated Maria Island and the Tasmanian mainland near Orford.

Well placed in the fleet are last year's overall winner, Masquerade, along with Ciao Baby, The Protagonist, Pisces and the Victorian yacht Penfold Audi Sport, which yesterday figured in a last-minute bid to make the start after being damaged while on a slipway on the eve of the race.

The forecast for the east coast today is for 10-15 knot south to south-westerly winds, tending south-easterly this afternoon before easing overnight. As the L2H fleet nears Hobart tomorrow they will be facing fresher winds, with 15-25 knot westerlies in the morning. -- Peter Campbell

Setley Cup and Seahorse Trophy
Click on image to enlarge.

Setley Pond Setley Pond, Lymington: In the narrowest of weather windows on an otherwise dreadful day, the 2012 Setley Cup was contested on a much larger than normal Setley Pond near Lymington. After weeks of heavy rain, the car park was well underwater and the banks were unusually steep and slippery. The conditions clearly didn't put off the competitors with a huge turnout of nearly 50 boats together with a large crowd of spectators.

The Setley Cup is a New Forest area Boxing Day tradition that has been going many decades. The rules are simple; any model boat less than 66cm in length, up to 0.5 metres squared of sail and no stored power, radio control or moveable ballast. The boats are launched by children under 16. Two fleets race; the monohulls for the Setley Cup and multihulls for the Seahorse Trophy. Five races with one discard would decide the winners.

Designs ranged from semi-professional carbon fibre hulls and rigs, to Christmas Day specials including turkey foil & wrapping paper sails, plastic bottle hulls and everything in-between.

Twenty-three monohulls contested the Setley Cup, with 10 boats finishing 3 or more races - an excellent performance in the gusty conditions. Annabelle Hutchinson's 'Skittle Boat' dominated, notching up 3 wins to take the trophy by a comfortable margin from Sean Jardine's 'Planet' which was tied on points with George Dunsdon's 'Robber'.

24 multihulls entered, racing for the Seahorse Trophy, although conditions quickly decimated the fleet with a number turn-turtled and some crossing the flooded car-park, bewildering the New Forest ponies. Emma Bennett's 'Wild Cat' flew on starboard tack to take the trophy with 2 firsts and a 2nd. -- Mark Jardine

Top Three Overall Results:

1. Annabelle Hutchinson, Skittle Boat, 5 points
2. Sean Jardine, Planet, 16
3. George Dunsdon, Robber, 16

1. Emma Bennett , Wild Cat, 9
2. Daisy Baker , Tri Tube, 10
3. Sam Jardine, Tri Ketch, 13

From Yachts & Yachting:

New York to San Francisco The Hard Way
Click on image to enlarge.

Solidini Maserati As Giovanni Soldini revs his engines aboard the modified Volvo 70' Maserati in New York Harbor, another chapter in the history books begins to unfold. The original record set in 1854 by the clipper ship "Flying Cloud" of 89 days, 8 hours stood for 135 years. The 235' "Extreme Clipper" as they were referred to in the day, was built for speed, not excessive cargo. In the era, a 200 day trip from NY to SF (16,000nm) was considered the norm, and finishing the trip was a bonus...

...In the fuzzy math which is the record from NY to SF, Maserati's attempt which is currently on standby for the right weather window, she will soon depart on the 13,219 nm voyage when the forecast is right. The record for which they will be attempting is the WSSC's monohull record, set by Yves Parlier, not Gitana's overall/ multihull record.

Soldini, who's resume includes 2 solo around the world voyages, (one of which included the rescue of Isabelle from her capsized boat in the Southern Ocean,) and 30 trans oceanic races, will be joined by an international all star crew including: Boris Herrmann, Ryan Breymaier, Sebastien Audigane, Carlos Hernadez, Jianghe Teng, Guido Broggi, Michele Sighel and Carlos Rossignoli

We look forward to following this attempt and wish the team a safe and speedy trip! We'll be there to greet them, even if the mainstream media again fails to notice! -- Eric Simonson, a lot of history (and historical photos) in the full article, a must read:

Follow Soldini and Maserati's attempt:

Great Ball Of Fire at the Brass Monkey
With the 2012 Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales SC being part of the GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series, a bumper entry was expected, and sure enough entries had to be closed as capacity was reached weeks before the event date.

The 121 pre-entries to the event had been watching the forecast over the Christmas period with interest and trepidation as it fluctuated from a Force 6 - 8 early in the week to a gentle Force 2 on the eve of the event. With over 15 current or ex-National / International Champions in the fleet it was going to be a tough one to win - no matter what the conditions.

Early arrivals were indeed welcomed by a gentle Force 2 as well as the aroma of bacon butties! At this stage it was looking like a light wind event, but there was a sting to come. The wind built minute by minute and was measured at a good F4.

Overall, several boats had only completed one race but the worthy winner with two bullets was the Fireball of Tom Gillard and Simon Potts (Sheffield Viking). Second (for the second year running) was Tim Holden from Halifax in his Contender. In 3rd on the same points was Jack Wetherell (BeaverSC), and 4th were Martin Cooper / Nick Hunt in their RS400 from Scaling Dam making it a Yorkshire 1 - 2 - 3.

Just a point back in 5th was Jonny McGovern / Sarah Williams in the first of the RS200s from port Dinorwic. They were followed by the Lasers of Henry Wetherell (Beaver) and the first of the Yorkshire Dales sailors, Hector Simpson. 8th were the 29er team of Curtis Mearns / Jamie Catchpole (LLSC) and 9th were Chris / Laura Pickles from Yorkshire Dales. Andy Tunnicliffe / Chris Robinson in a Merlin from RWYC rounded out the top ten. -- Keith Escritt, YDSC

See overall results from the Brass Monkey here:

The third event of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series is just a couple of days away, the Grafham Grand Prix taking place on 30 December. With a forecast of a strong south-westerly, it looks set to be another challenging day on the water.

Watch a video of the Brass Monkey here

Peter Klock
Peter Klock Peter Klock has left us. He suffered from a brain tumor and passed away this past week surrounded by family and friends. The day before he passed he had a good day, had the opportunity to speak with all and take a dignified farewell. Peter was a great family man and a big part of the GKSS Yacht Club. -- Lennart Svantesson

We of the Match Racing Association would like to pass on our deepest regrets and sympathy to Peter Klock's family and friends. Such an untimely passing.

I first met Peter in Bermuda in 1991 when he came to look at the Gold Cup with the view of having GKSS host a similar event in Marstrand and of course the rest is history with the Swedish Match Race Cup going from strength to strength under Peter's guidance and is one of the top Match Racing events in the world.

His continuing support of Match Racing and the Match Racing Association was unwavering. He was a great friend and just a wonderful person. We traveled the globe together supporting and promoting match race sailing and it was always a pleasure to be with him. Whether it was in meetings under sometime stressful discussions or out on the water or shore having fun, his smile and engaging personality was always there.

Peter was to have joined us for the MRA's AGM at the Knickerboker Cup in September of this year but health issues prevented him from doing that and we were saddened to not have him with us.

We will miss him greatly. -- Brian Billings

Henry Strzelecki MBE
Henry Strzelecki Henry Strzelecki, who died on Boxing Day aged 87, was known universally as "Mr. Henri". He devoted much of his life to the benefit of others. Born in Poland, he became as English as the next man in his adopted city of Manchester.

Entering a partnership with Angus Lloyd in 1963 to form Henri-Lloyd Limited, he devoted the rest of his working life for the benefit of others. Those who wear his clothing today will respect the innovations he inspired from the hand-taping of the seams to prevent leakage to the development of non-corrosive nylon zips with the Swiss firm of Riri; and for personal safety, the inclusion of integrated harnesses that have saved many lives.

It was in 1993 that the Henri-Lloyd business took a step to restore its founder's heritage when it established a factory in "Mr. Henri's" hometown of Brodnica. That gave him considerable satisfaction - gone were the overtones of communism in the restructuring Poland and he wanted to be part of it.

In 1985, Henry Strzelecki was awarded the MBE for services to the clothing industry, and in both 1986 and 1987 Henri-Lloyd Limited received the Queen's Award for Export Achievement. Also in 1987, he was made Marine Personality of the Year by the Marine Trades Association. The Gold Cross of Merit was awarded to Henri by the President of Poland in 1990. The following year he received the Personality of the Year from the Sartorial Society for services to the British clothing industry, and the same year he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Marine Industries Association and the Royal Yachting Association.

Recognition awards continued after his official retirement from Henri-Lloyd in 1996. That year he was awarded an honorary MA from the University of Salford and in 2009 the Joseph Conrad Award for Innovation and a Lifetime Award from Boating Business and the Marine Trade Association. Last year Henri received an honorary doctorate of technology from Manchester Metropolitan University for his outstanding contribution in the fields of clothing technology. He was due to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Yachting Journalists' Association in January; it will be presented posthumously.

Henry Strzelecki, born 4th October 1925, died 26th December 2012 pre-deceased by his wife Sheila (d 1999), is survived by two sons, Paul and Martin, (the joint chief executives of Henri-Lloyd Limited) and a daughter, Diane, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1903 Fairlie, 98' Scotland Gaff Cutter. EUR 2,500,000. Located In France.

The story of the Moonbeams began in 1858 with Moonbeam I &II. In 1902 Charles Plumtree Johnson, an eminent London lawyer, decided to go back to William Fife for the creation of his 3rd yacht taking into account his navigation projects as he wanted to race under the new RORC tonnage which included sailing ships with fitted-out interiors. Moonbeam III was launched in 1903, hull #491 to leave the Fife yard.

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The Last Word
Fundamentalism breeds inability to grasp irony. -- Bill Hicks

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