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Jury Disqualifies Bernard Stamm From Vendee Globe
The International Jury, which is independent from the Vendee Globe Race Directors, the Race Committee and the organizers of the Vendee Globe, have taken the decision to disqualify Bernard Stamm (SUI, Cheminees Poujoulat) for an infringement of article 3.2 of the Notice of Race. Following the skipper's pit stop on 23rd December south of Enderby Island (Auckland Islands, NZ) to repair his hydrogenerators, the Race Committee lodged a protest against Cheminees Poujoulat for receiving assistance. -- Vendee Globe site

* The veteran Swiss skipper, making his fourth attempt on the Vendee Globe title, was forced to make a pitstop in Auckland Islands south of New Zealand when both his hydrogenerators, which produce power for satellite communications, heating and radar, failed.

He anchored in the bay then realised he was drifting towards a boat moored nearby, a Russian scientific ship Professeur Khoromov. Since it was an emergency situation, Stamm decided to moor to his IMOCA Open 60 to the boat thinking he would be exempt from any penalties.

A member of the Russian crew then boarded the boat to help him recover the anchor and Stamm did not to ask him to leave until the mooring manoeuvre had been made safe.

He continued racing and in accordance with race rules, reported the facts to Race HQ. But soon after, he was informed he had been protested by the Race Committee for breaching Vendee Globe rules that forbid outside assistance and 'material contact' with another boat, both of which are regarded as the fundamental to the ethos of the race. His case was heard by on Wednesday by the International Jury who disqualified him.

He now has until Thursday to appeal the decision but must state his reasons with new information, which might be difficult to come up with while fending off ice bergs deep in the South Pacific some 2,000 miles from Cape Horn.-- Kate Laven in The Telegraph

www.telegraph.co.uk

The Sailors' reactions are not with the jury...

Dominique Wavre:
I sent an email to Bernard to express my solidarity and my friendship. It really is a great misfortune that falls on him. Well of course I know Bernard, he is a good friend and we've lived very intense moments together. I do not doubt for a second that he acted as a sailor, and did what he needed to secure his boat. I do not want to make another comment, judge the jury or anything else. I just want to say that I am with Bernard.

Alex Thomson
Finally, I wanted to mention what a shame it was to hear of Bernard's disqualification this morning. While I understand the reasons taken into account by the jury I do feel it was quit harsh Given the huge amount of work he had done to get the Hydro working so he could continue in the race, and taking into account what happened to him in 2008 where he lost his boat it sounds as though he did what was necessary for the safety of himself and his boat. I really feel for the guy."

Mike Golding
I think I can see the thinking behind the decision. The rules are the rules and all that. But I think when you know all the story about Bernard and you know the situation he is in now, facing a good chunk of South Pacific to sail across and then icebergs at Cape Horn and the problems he still has, I think it just doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel like the right thing. But as I say, the rules are clear and unfortunately, based on the information I've got, it sounds like the rules were inadvertently, and I think I make that point, inadvertently breached. I am not sure about it at all, it doesn't feel right to me and I really …… I am very, very sad for Bernard and I hope he can get an appeal together and stay in the race.

Jean-Pierre Dick
I just woke up and I heard about Bernard Stamm's disqualification. I find it outrageous; I am shocked by this announcement. The jury's decision seems totally disproportionate to me.

Bernard Stamm has committed an infraction of the rules. I can understand he can be penalized for it, but not like that. Disqualification is really strong. It's unbelievable! It was case of force majeure, Bernard acted as a good sailor to secure his boat.

Our projects require significant involvement, hard work from the sailor, the teams and the sponsors. Bernard is fighting every day against the elements. I think it will be fairer if he remains in the race with a penalty. I want the jury to reconsider its decision.

Jean Le Cam:
I'm wound up like a clock. For me, Bernard acted as a good sailor, he did everything to save his boat and he is penalizes!

It is as if a man finds himself at the edge of the cliff, he may fall, there is someone who extends his hand and he should answer him: "Well, no, because it's the rules, so please don't help me" and he falls off the cliff!

I'm desperate. If what happened to Bernard is not a case of force majeure so I do not know what it is. I sent an email to the jury this morning because we cannot make such a decisions.

It is important to realize that in the future we can no longer provide assistance in cases of immediate danger, fearing the disqualification. Should we let our boat be wrecked?

ISAF Racing and Equipment Rules of Sailing
The ISAF Racing and Equipment Rules of Sailing are now available as iOS applications in the Apple App Store.

The apps allow the user to quickly find information about all aspects of the rules that govern the sport on the water and equipment.

Both applications are available to buy now for £0.69 on the iTunes App Store.

RRS app

ERS app

International Jury Dismisses Protest Against AC Event
The International Jury has dismissed a protest by Luna Rossa against the America's Cup Event Authority, the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) and the Regatta Director, "for the cancellation of the AC World Series Venice regatta in 2013 and the inclusion of two events in the USA at the end of May 2013…"

One part of the protest by Luna Rossa concerned the addition to the 2012-13 America's Cup World Series schedule of two regattas in the USA at the end of May. The International Jury found this part of the protest was not filed in time:

The second part of the Luna Rossa application to the International Jury "requested that the Jury determine that the Venice regatta 'has not been properly cancelled.'"

In its decision, the International Jury found, "The (Event Authority) is the body appointed under Protocol Article 4.2 with the power to select regatta Venues and deal with all the related contractual rights and obligations. The Jury will not interfere with whatever the contractual arrangements may be or have been for Venice at the request of a Competitor who is not a party to those arrangements and who has no knowledge of them other than that a regatta on certain dates was proposed to be held in Venice. The part of the Application that relates to the Venice regatta is accordingly dismissed."

www.americascup.com

...But Finds Oracle Guilty of Spying
At last, we get some good old fashioned intrigue as we get geared up for the America's Cup this year.

The International Jury for the 34th America's Cup said it found Oracle Team USA, the team owned by Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, guilty of spying on a rival team.

The Italian team, Luna Rossa, accused Oracle's team of being within 200 meters of the Italian boat during a training session last November.

The jury said that as punishment Oracle's team returned 10 photos of the Italian boat, fined the team $15,200 and cut five days off the period in which it is allowed to train with its 72-foot catamaran. -- Eric Young, San Francisco Business Times

www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/

Overseas Sailors Move Into Lead In Cadet Worlds
Photo by Pete Harmsen, www.peteharmsen.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Cadet Worlds Overseas crews hold six of the top ten positions overall midway through the International Cadet World championship being sailed on Hobart's River Derwent, with the two Ukrainian crews first and second.

The 49 teenage crews left the beach early with PRO Nick Hutton planning three races this morning before the iconic King of the Derwent keelboat race starts at 2pm.

The Cadets did not race on New Year's Day, but on Monday the Derwent again posed difficult decisions for the young sailors with many major wind shifts that proved costly for some competitors. However, the experienced sailors from the Ukraine, Great Britain and Argentina picked the shifts well.

Australia's two top placed crews, Liam Robinson and Nathan Field from Royal Geelong Yacht Club in Victoria, and Charles Connor and Ethan Gailbraith from the Sandy Bay Sailing Club, are placed sixth and seventh overall.

Ukrainians Danyil Martynov and Pavio Merezhko scored a fifth and first to give them a net 12 points after discarding their worst race to date.

Their compatriots, Oleksandr Isarov and Andriy Kalinchuk, maintained their consistency with a second and a fourth to be on 15 points.

Third overall are the British crew of Alex Corby and Robert Keen on 26 points after a fourth and a seventh yesterday -- Peter Campbell

www.cadet2012.yachting.org.au

International 14 Australian Championship
Photo by Andrew Gough, www.andrewgoughphotography.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

International 14 Australian Championship A light to moderate Sea breeze greeted the 26 strong International 14 fleet on day two of racing here in Queensland. A near perfect day of sailing on Moreton Bay saw a tight battle for most of race three.

Mark Kristic and Andrew Wilson lead the fleet till the third windward leg in a shifty 12 - 15knot Northerly that tested defending champs Brad Devine and Ian Furlong.

"The boats going ok, we struggled at the start, there was a big shift up the first work and we weren't where we needed to be" said Devine after the race, allowing Kristic and Wilson a handy lead. Devine, still working out a new stiffer rig piled on the pressure until Kristic finally cracked losing precious boat lengths in a slow tack, giving Devine the lead.

Top Five results race three:
1. Del Boca Vista, Brad Devine and Ian Furlong, AUS
2. To Late to Stop Now , Mark Kristic and Andrew Wilson, AUS
3. El Diablo, David Hayter and Trent Neighbour, AUS
4. CST Composites, Stuart Sloss and Ben Lawrie, AUS
5. Flaunt it, Ron Scherwinski and James Lanati, AUS

Overall results here:
results.rqys.com.au/1213nat-14/SGrp1.htm

Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs
Photo by Howard Wright, IMAGE Professional Photography, www.imagephoto.com.au. Click on image for photo gallery.

Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs It was a bumpy exit from Broken Bay for this afternoon's start of the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs yacht race as 34 ocean going boats ranging in size from 55 to 34 feet charged off the line under Barrenjoey Headland, Ragamuffin and Wedgetail leading the pursuing pack.

A cool 15 knot sou'east breeze and the scraps of swell from the nor'easters over the last couple of days combined to create confused seas, enough for many crews to be wearing wet weather gear and PFDs while crouched on the rail.

It was a clean start for all but David Cutcliffe's Cruz Control, which was called over at the start and had to return for another go.

The reach to Box Head on the Central Coast was a quick one, Paul O'Connell's Cole 35 Katinka from the CYCA bringing up the rear.

With a downwind armchair ride predicted, the lightweight sleds have the advantage. As the afternoon wears on those crews will be gearing up for tonight's physical and mental battle for line and potentially handicap honours.

At 1530 hours this afternoon Yacht Tracking had the frontrunners, Bill Wild's Wedgetail and Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin side by side and trading blows for first.  Both were on record pace. Wedgetail's waterline length is holding the Queensland 55 footer in good stead for her first race back after the owner's self-imposed time out from blue water campaigning. -- Lisa Ratcliff

www.pitttwatertocoffs.com.au

Governor's Cup: Banjo Takes Line Honours
Banjo - Kevin Webb's Farrier F9AX trimaran, co-skippered by Sarel van der Merwe, crossed the finish line of the 1,750-mile Governor's Cup Race from South Africxa at 17:35:24 on Tuesday 1 January.

Webb and van der Merwe arrived in Jamestown, St Helena to a hero's welcome after a 10-day downwind blast from the South African port of Simon's Town. The team aboard this superfast trimaran sailed a good, tactical race and were unstoppable.

Eyes are now focussed on the second boat to arrive in St Helena. As the situations currently stands, Sandpiper 2 - Abri Erasmus/Paul Tanner's Simonis Voogd 42ft catamaran ­- is due to cross the finish line sometime today. However, at 0800 (UTC) she had just less than 90 miles to go and with lighter winds expected, it could be a late evening finish.

In the Rally Monohull fleet Ivan Flodgren and the Swedish team aboard their Hallberg Rassey Rasmus 35 - Kuheli - have maintained the overnight lead ahead of JML Rotary Scout, a Tosca 39. The Swedes took the initial fleet lead in the early part of the race but JML Rotary Scout, co-skippered by Peter Bosch and Stephen Jennings and crewed by a group of Scouts from Cape Town and St Helena aged between 16-18 years old, took a turn at the front of the fleet two days ago, and are keen to repeat this performance in the next 24-hours.

The Governor's Cup Race is a downwind 1,700 nautical mile ocean yacht race organised by False Bay Yacht Club, www.fbyc.co.za, and is now claimed to be an entry on many sailor's 'bucket list'. First held in 1996, the Governor's Cup Race is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon's Town, South Africa finishing in Jamestown, St Helena.

www.governorscup.co.za

New Kiteboard Course Racing Equipment Eligibility
After the deadline for registration of new equipment, the IKA executive is pleased to announce to be satisfied that the following equipment meets all registration requirements:

Kites

Airush VXR V2: 8-10-13-16-17-18
ASV XR: 17.5-14-11-9
Cabrinha Velocity: 9-11-13-14-16-18
Gaastra Jet: 7-10-13-17
North Dyno: 17-15-13-11-9-7
Ozone Edge: 19-10
RRD Addiction MKIV: 7-9-11-13-16-18 

Boards

Aguera 69S
Airush Monaro V5
ASV XR70
Cabrinha VMG
F2 Lightning
Gaastra Jet
Incognito RK V1
MKD MK IV
N+1 Foka 13
North Race LTD
Sailfish Racing SR 70
Temavento RC70LG

NOT completed and therefore rejected are the following equipment registrations:

Kites

Crazyfly Sculp
Nobile T5

Boards

Airush Sector One Design V2
KDOC Race

We congratulate all builders that have made a tremendous effort to meet all requirements and we are very pleased that the new registration scheme has led to a situation where equipment is actually already available and used on the beaches around the world. The deadline for and eligibility date for the next registration cycle will be discussed at the upcoming IKA Annual General Meeting.

The full list of eligible equipment can be found here: internationalkiteboarding.org

Captain Tork Buckley
Tork Buckley It was with great sadness that I learned the news that Captain Tork Buckley had lost his battle with his illness and passed away on 29 December at 0610 Thailand time.

Tork and I had been colleagues when I was working at The Superyacht Group (then known as The Yacht Report Group) from 2007 to 2010. He acted as a mentor to the younger journalists and was always on hand to impart technical insight and valuable advice. Tork also offered me support and encouragement when I was appointed as editor of Superyacht Business.

When I first got to know him, Tork lived in Antibes and was a well known local character, popular among locals and the yachting industry. In 2009, whilst still working as a part time journalist, Tork founded Big Blue Consulting Ltd, which offered consulting to yards and clients on new construction build and refit specifications. It was at this time that Tork left his apartment in Antibes and moved to Thailand in order to cover South East Asia for The Superyacht Report.

But beyond Tork's significant journalistic and professional achievements, he will be most remembered for his vibrant personality and unique take on life. Tork was something of a maverick who was not afraid to take risks.

Tork will be missed by many all over the world. We have lost this inimitable and spirited character far too soon.

Farewell old friend. -- Juliet Benning

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 Steve Pyatt: With reference to Malcolm McKeag's comment in Scuttlebutt Europe #2748 - 2 January's item on 'Sid' Howlett, I don't know how many medals he coached but Grant Beck must be right up there with numerous medals of all colours from 1984 to his last gold in 2008 (seven Olympic medals - three gold, still there in 2012 but slipping to 7th), all in windsurfing.

* From Richard Hughes: So agree with Malcolm McKeag... Sid is a gentleman, great friend and best sailing coach in the World full stop.

* From Bruce Scott: re: Bernard Stamm's disqualification:

Both Mike Golding and Alex Thomson have expressed their feelings on the matter. 

I left the following comment on the VG website:

"The VG rules are correct and the jury's decision is correct; it does not leave room for a time penalty. A tough decision, a tough race. As rules are made for a fair race between skippers perhaps the only possibility of reinstating Bernard would be to poll (privately) the other skippers who are racing over the decision.  If unanimously they agree to his reinstatement then so it should be."

As Mike Golding said: "it doesn't feel right ......".

Bernard Stamm has 24 hours  to request the jury re-examine his case, as laid down in race rule 66, and will have to state his reasons with new information.

However, I shouldn't think he has any new information to present which could change the decision

The Race Committee also has the same possibility to reopen the case.

The other competitors in the race also have the right to ask for redress within 6 hours of being informed of the decision, if they consider they are affected by the jury's decision.

Perhaps if all the skippers still racing could voice their feelings to Race Committee? Do they have to be 'materially' affected? Could they not claim to be affected psychologically by the decision?

Fair winds and a fast passage to all the VG skippers

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 85' Judel / Vrolijk Maxi Racer. EUR 595,000.

The yacht was built for the Daimler Chrysler Atlantic Challenge 2003 and was fastest yacht. For the season 2005 the yacht was comlpetely refitted. She is very well maintained and in a ready to race condition. Also convertible for cruising.

Brokerage through Michael Schmidt & Partner GmbH.: www.yachtworld.com/msp-yacht/

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

The Last Word
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities. -- Dr. Seuss

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