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Wild Oats Gets The Triple... Again
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image to enlarge.

Wild Oats XI At 12.00pm Saturday, Wild Oats XI was officially confirmed the overall winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

The win cements Wild Oats XI, owner Bob Oatley and skipper Mark Richards' place in history as the first to claim the treble; line honours, first overall and the race record - twice.

Richards steered the yacht to the treble in 2005, but it came in easier style than this time around, when the record was on, then off and on again in the closing stages. He said today that laying his hands on the Tattersall's Cup (awarded to the overall winning yacht) was the ultimate achievement.

"There's only a couple of boats competing for line honours, but the Tattersall's Cup - it's nearly the whole fleet - it's a big deal," he said.

The yacht shaved 16 minutes and 58 seconds off her 2005 record when she crossed the finish line on Friday 28 December at 07.23.12 AEDT.

Only one other yacht has ever won the trifecta; Captain John Illingworth's Rani in the inaugural race in 1945.

This is Wild Oats' sixth line honours victory. Only one other yacht Morna, later re-named Kurrewa IV, has done better. She won line honours seven times, but never won the race outright.

Richards is now setting his sights on equaling the record seven wins.

"You get close to something like that and it becomes a real goal for us," he said. "I'm sure there'll be bigger and better boats out next year, so we'll just see what happens." -- Danielle McKay

A Question Of Timing
Current routings have the two Vendee Globe leaders reaching Cape Horn at around 1800-1930hrs roughly on the night of Tuesday January 1st. To the advantage of Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) and Francois Gabart (MACIF) is that the nights at these latitudes are short and so they should have a maximum amount of daylight on their approach and winds are not expected to be too fierce, so their ice watch should be helped.

Presently Jean-Pierre Dick is probably going to be around 18-20 hours behind, maybe slightly more but that will be quite encouraging for the Virbac-Paprec skipper.

By the same routings Alex Thomson is reckoned to be on a schedule which would have him three days behind and Jean Le Cam about 5 days behind the leader. These are of course theoretical routings based on weather files which are current but will change over coming days.

Four years ago Michel Desjoyeaux passed with Roland Jourdain eight hours and 50 minutes behind. About two days behind them were Le Cleac'h and Vincent Riou who dismasted just after Cape Horn. Marc Guillemot, rounding fifth, was about seven days behind Desjoyeaux. At Cape Horn Brian Thompson was sixth and about 10 days behind. Rich Wilson was 21 days and 10 hours behind at Cape Horn and Austrian Norbert Sedlacek rounding eight days or so after the American Wilson.

At present the leaders Banque Populaire and Macif are round about three days ahead of the record held by Michel Desjoyeaux. And so it is still looking like the winner might have a chance of breaking 80 days.

Top Ten Rankings as of Sunday 30 December 2012, 20h00 (FR)

1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h, 7844.8 nm to finish
2. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 2.9 nm to leader
3. Virbac Paprec 3, 327.5 nm
4. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 892.0 nm
5. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 1967.5 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 2366.5 nm
7. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 2407.0 nm
8. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sanso, 2527.2 nm
9. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 2768.9 nm
10. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm , 2816.9 nm

Sint Maarten Yacht Club Wins Wight Vodka's Favourite Yachting Bar Contest
Wight Vodka London, England: The crew at Wight Vodka are proud to announce that the Sint Maarten Yacht Club has been voted the world's favourite yachting bar! Together with Scuttlebutt Europe, and now in its fourth year, Wight Vodka again ran one of the most important contests the world over, again asking our yachting fraternity to vote for their favourite bar over the last month. And this year, the sheer volume of online voting far exceeded last year's competition, demonstrating the passion we all have for a great watering hole.

This year's contest was again extremely tight between the winning bar and the runners up, including the Navi Bar in Glucksburg, Germany, The King & Queen in Hamble, GB, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI, the Pierview in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the Candy Store in Newport, Rhode Island, Gladstone's in Long Beach, California, and the Sailor's Inn in Gocek, Turkey.

Ritu Manocha, owner of 50° North, the company behind Wight Vodka, said "This contest is just too much fun to run. Though we've never been to the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, it's definitely on our list of bars to visit. The team at Sint Maarten will receive a trophy and bottle of Wight to celebrate their win, as well as a few Wight Vodka regatta caps for their win. Many congratulations and let the party begin!"

Ritu continued "We again asked participants to comment about their favourite bar. We received thousands of fantastic submissions, and our favourite entries this year include:

- I was stung by a school of jellyfish and the bar tender brought me the best Pain Killer ever!
- The Dark and Stormies are the perfect sailor's libation, because you can drink more of them than those Wight Martinis!
- The club is across the road from the village pump!
- If you are a sailor and fed up with having to dress up to go to a yacht club and then being dragged into club politics, this bar is for you!
- It has the best brick oven pizza south of Chicago
- Great staff, amazing rum punch, wonderful company, superb sailing and beautiful women. It feels like the waiting room of Paradise!
- It's the place to watch as £$£$£$£ worth of mega yachts squeeze through the Bridge opening as the sun goes down.
- I can count on John to tell me great stories and ply me with drinks.
- The Tarte Flambee is awesome!
- An eclectic mix of clientele, from the young guns of yachting to those whose glory days may be receding rapidly into the past.
- And has the best bar bell challenge, which often leads to the compass room stairs bobsleigh run.
- Everyone who visits knows that when the club is in party mood, it is a very dangerous animal indeed.
- It's just perfect, because sometimes they cancel the "last order" and simply leave the bar open.
- Ice cold beers, hard core sailors from all over the world and the most beautiful Brazilian girls dancing from dusk till dawn.
- I found my ex boyfriend there...

About The Sint Maarten Yacht Club
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club started life as a modest clubhouse in 1999, and has since evolved into one of the Caribbean's favourite yachting destinations. The SMYC's open air clubhouse is located on the waterfront of Simpson Bay Lagoon, right next to the bridge. The St. Maarten Yacht Club is also the home of the St. Maarten Regatta, known throughout the Caribbean and indeed the world, as a wonderful week of world class racing, after race parties and "serious fun." For more information on the SMYC please visit

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.

'Sir Ben' Heads Sailing Names Recognised In New Year Honours
Ben Ainslie and his coach David Howlett. Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images. Click on image to enlarge.

Ben Ainslie Ben Ainslie has capped off his record-breaking 2012 with a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

'Sir Ben' claimed his fourth straight Olympic gold - and fifth Olympic medal in total - on the waters of Weymouth and Portland this summer, with this most prestigious honour now coming as fitting curtain call to his lucrative Olympic sailing career, which he called time on last month in order to focus on his America's Cup ambitions.

British Sailing has more cause for celebration, with honours also going to Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas, and to Ainslie's coach David Howlett, who were both named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Lucas, 37, in September became the first Paralympic gold medallist for sailing since it became a full Paralympic programme sport in 2000, and notably did so as the only female among an otherwise all-male fleet in the 2.4mR class.

David 'Sid' Howlett, 61, coached Ben Ainslie to his record-breaking fourth Olympic gold and sixth Finn World Championship title this summer, while his knowledge and experience has also contributed to a clutch of British Olympic sailing medals since 1988.

Outside of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, there was also recognition for Malcolm Torry, who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to sailing and to people with disabilities for his work through Carsington Sailability in Derbyshire.

Soldini Begins New York to San Francisco Record Attempt Monday
Click on image to enlarge.

Giovanni Soldini While most New Yorkers prepare for New Year's, the great Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini will cast off from dock tomorrow morning to challenge the New York to San Francisco Sailing Record.

Giovanni and his international crew will race their extreme 70-foot boat named "Maserati." She has been docked at Dennis Conner's North Cove in Battery Park City for over a month. Now, weather patterns have lined up and Giovanni has been given the green light to set sail on the record attempt.

If all goes according to plan, Maserati will cast off from dock at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, December 31, 2012. She will raise her sails in the Hudson River, do a few maneuvers and cross the starting line around 10 a.m. The start of the record attempt will be clearly visible from the esplanade near North Cove in Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan.

Giovanni will be joined by an international crew of 8 adventurers. They are: Ryan Breymeier from the US, Jianghe "Tiger" Teng from China, Sebastien Audigane from France, Boris Herrmann from Germany, Carlos Hernandez from Spain and Guido Broggi, Corrado Rossignoli & Michele Sighel from Italy.

New York to San Francisco is the greatest sailing record in our country and arguably one of the best in the world. It is steeped in history. When gold was discovered in California in 1848, it set off a rush of people and goods trying to get to San Francisco as quickly as possible. This led to the development of a uniquely American vessel known as the "extreme clipper." She was primarily built for speed at the expense of cargo carrying capacity.

Extreme clippers competed for money, fame and glory. Clippers which logged faster times were able to command higher prices for cargo. The most famous of all clippers was "Flying Cloud." The Captain was Josiah Perkins Creesy and his wife Eleanor served as the navigator. In 1854, Flying Cloud set the New York to San Francisco record at 89 days and 8 hours. This record stood untouched for over 130 years.

The current record is held by Yves Parlier on "Aquitaine Innovations". He improved the mark to 57 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes. -- Michael Fortenbaugh, Manhattan Yacht Club

Ocean Safety's Doors Open For Winter Servicing
Ocean Safety Don't get caught out in the spring when the first sunny day beckons you to go sailing and you realise as you step aboard that your safety equipment is out of date. Its winter now and the best time to get your liferafts, lifejackets and Jonbuoy equipment serviced.

"We advise customers to get their equipment in to us as soon as they have laid up their boat for the season," comments Ocean Safety's Charlie Mill. "It's important to check that liferafts, lifejackets, fire fighting and man overboard equipment is all in date and in working order ready for the following season."

Equipment can be delivered back to one of the three Ocean Safety approved service stations at our branches in Southampton Glasgow and Plymouth, or to any of our network of service agents across the UK. See website for location details. The company also offers free winter storage for safety equipment. During the liferaft service Ocean Safety also encourages people where possible to come in and familiarise themselves with their liferaft, however an appointment will be required. All of the branches also offer servicing for Survival Suits, EPIRBs, SARTs, Fire Safety Equipment and Man Overboard Systems.

Ukrainian Sailors Set The Pace In Cadet Worlds
Click on image to enlarge.

Cadet Worlds Ukrainian crews set the pace today as the International Cadet Dinghy world sailing championships got under way on Hobart's River Derwent, placing first and second in the opening race and continuing to figure among the top results in the subsequent races.

However, Australian crews from Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the host club, Sandy Bay Sailing Club, also sailed impressively in the three races sailed today.

Near perfect weather, in contrast to Sunday's galeforce winds, enabled principal race officer Nick Hutton to complete three races, with the late afternoon north-westerly breeze freshening to 18 knots.

After three races in the Cadet Worlds, the two Ukrainian crews head the leaderboard with Izarov and Kalinchuck on 6 points, comfortably clear of Martynov and Merezhko on 13 points.

Third in overall standings is the Geelong crew, Liam Robinson and Nathan Field, on 24 points followed by the first of the strong British team, Nicholas Sutton and Scarlett Anderson on 30 points.

Two more Australian crews follow, Alice Endersbee and Eliza Davis on 33 points and Sam Abel and William Cooper on 36 points. -- Peter Campbell

Running The Rhumblines
This Friday will mark an important turning point in the careers of teenage Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Klaus Lorenz and crew mate James Scott.

The pair of talented young International 420 dinghy sailors racing under their proud WSC Burgee will be a long way from home as they make their bid for a top five finish in the Musto Australian championship hosted by the Derwent Sailing Squadron when the final is decided over the Sandy Bay course on Friday.

Coping with the intense tactical fleet racing has not been a problem for the Lorenz and Scott who have sailed alone in the warm tropical environment on Pioneer Bay over recent months to be prepared to match the best crews in Australia for the honour of winning the 2012-2013 Musto Australian championship.

It has been a challenging initiation however they have shown the determination and skill to crew their dinghy Rockstar to earn the respect from their rivals after recording an improving 11-7-3 for fifth place overall after the opening energy absorbing day 1 of the regatta.

They are certainly well in the mix while Derwent River sailors Alec Bailey and Douglas Shephard has expressed the important advantage of local knowledge to become the nominated favourites after their convincing win in race three.

However while the Alec Bailey helmed VMG has shown the potential to set the pace he remains under threat from a capable group of challengers including West Australian Lachlan Gilmour (Novo Rapid), New South Wales skipper Xavier Winston-Smith (Selden for Sailing) and the improving Whitsunday Sailing Club of Klaus Lorenz and James Scott in Rockstar.

While they are targeting a top five place in this evenly contested Musto Australian championship regatta as the present priority Klaus Lorenz and James Scott have also focused their attention on gaining a major result in the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championships to be raced later in January over the Royal Tasmania Yacht Squadron courses.

Klaus will then remain in Hobart as the coach of the Whitsunday Optimist team when they line up for their five day Australian championship regatta from January 8 to 15.

The former Optimist Australian championship Bronze Medallist who has coached the young team including his younger sister Eva and age champion Hamish Swain to achieve outstanding results at the state level believes they have the potential to retain their respected reputations when the sails are tensioned for the 2012-2013 Australian championship on Hobart's picturesque Sandy Bay. -- Ian Grant

Gusts From Hell Fail To Deter 145 Boats at Grafham Grand Prix
Photo by Grafham Water Sailing Club. Click on image for photo gallery.

Grafham Grand Prix With a high-wind forecast, no one could have expected all 170 entries to follow through with the trip to today's Grafham Grand Prix, but the 145 that got out of bed early to brave the conditions would be rewarded with a spectacular day's handicap racing.

The average wind strength might have been in the late teens to early 20s, but it was the severity of the gusts - up to 35 knots - that provided the real test. There were capsizes aplenty although, amazingly, no broken masts.

The Grafham Grand Prix is the third of six events in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, and three days earlier at the Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, Tom Gillard and Simon Potts had already demonstrated their mastery of 'strong and gusty' in their Fireball, winning both races that day. The Sheffield Vikings followed up with two more bullets at Grafham today, with the Fireball teams dominating the Medium Handicap Fleet. Runners-up were Dave Hall and Paul Constable who have been sailing together for more than 25 years, and in third were Richard Cornes/ James Goodfellow. Peter Nelson was best of the rest in his RS600, followed by a 505 and a gaggle of Merlin Rockets.

For full results from the Grafham Grand Prix, go here:

The next event in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series takes place on Saturday, 12 January 2013, with the pursuit race classic near Heathrow Airport, the Bloody Mary.

Goss Gets Under Way
Click on image to enlarge.

Pete Goss It has been a bumpy start for Pete Goss and Andy Warrender as they set off to complete their circumnavigation of Tasmania by sea kayak.

Strong headwinds, heavy kayaks and a broken rudder combined with jet lag to make especially tough paddling for the pair as they made their way along the coast from their starting point at Devonport, Tasmania.

Day one involved a delayed start as Pete's kayak came out of the shipping container with a broken rudder. But after a repair and a quick kip they set off for the first time, with a short 20 kilometre hop along the coast battling 30kph headwinds.

With a second day's distance now under their belt, they are settling into a routine and have now completed about 55 kilometres. So far, the coastline is pretty civilised and overnight stops have involved a real bed and solid roof, but as the terrain gets more remote it will be nights under canvas for the team. Carrying all their camping kit and food has made the kayaks heavier to paddle than expected, although Pete says that they handle perfectly despite the extra load.

So far the weather has been reasonably kind, but there is a long way to go before the intrepid duo complete the 1500 kilometre voyage.

Follow the progress on the website, where there is a live tracker, pictures, video posts and blog updates.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2010 Beneteau Oceanis 34. 84,995 GBP. Located In Conwy Marina, Conwy, United Kingdom.

Shoal draft version of this popular cruiser from the Beneteau stable. 3 double cabin version with white hull, solid wood cockpit floor and cabin heating to extend your sailing season and increase comfort aboard. Shaft drive Yanmar 3YM30 diesel engine,electronic navigation aids including autopilot and electric windlass.Commissioned in the Spring of 2010 she spent two seasons on Lake Windermere before departing to Conwy Marina in North Wales.

Brokerage through Maiden Marine:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness. -- William Shakespeare

Back For The Wednesday Issue
Happy New Year!

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