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Brazilian Boat and Recife Stopover for Volvo Ocean Race
Recife, Brazil: The Brazilian state of Pernambuco will enter a team in the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race and its capital city of Recife will provide the first stopover along the route of the race, which starts in Alicante in the second half of 2014.

The Recife team becomes the second publicly announced team for the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing's greatest offshore challenge, following the SCA all-women's team announced in last year.

Details about the team, including the identity of the skipper, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The decision to make Leg 1 of the route from Alicante to Recife, capital of the Pernambuco state on the north east coast of Brazil, means sailing's great round-the-world challenge will be visiting Brazil in one of the biggest sporting years in the nation's history - just a few months after the country hosts the 2014 soccer World Cup.

Recife is one of the Host Cities for the World Cup, staging five matches. The Volvo Ocean Race will be in Recife in mid to late October, with dates to be confirmed next month.

Recife, a city with more than five million inhabitants, boasts palm trees and year-round sunshine and is famous for the sandy, wide Boa Viagem beach. It was one of over 80 ports to express an interest in hosting the race when the bid process was launched in 2012. The deal announced on Thursday will see Recife host the race for the next two editions.

The last Brazilian team to enter the Volvo Ocean Race was Brasil 1 in 2005-06. Torben Grael was the skipper and Knut Frostad, now the Volvo Ocean Race's CEO, featured as a crew member on some of the legs. The Brazilian campaign proved to be a big success and generated great interest worldwide and in the media. Grael went on to win the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Ericsson 4 in 2008-09.

The Volvo Ocean Race's links with Brazil date back to 1973, when the first edition of what was then known as the Whitbread Round the World Race stopped at Rio de Janeiro.

The Race also visited Rio in the second edition in 1977-78 and again in 2001-02, 2005-06 and 2008-09. In 1997-98 the Race stopped at São Sebastião and in the last edition in 2011-12, Itajaí was a Host Port.

volvooceanrace.com

Thomson Takes The Road Less Travelled
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) remained the fastest man at the front of the fleet, albeit less dramatically than on Thursday morning, as he chips away at the lead of the three in front.

Only Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), getting ready to be the last skipper round Cape Horn on Thursday night, has been quicker since the last ranking four hours ago, averaging 16.1 knots. Otherwise Thomson's 14 knots is the best.

His more westerly passage to the equator and through the doldrums (probably starting on Friday afternoon) still looks favourable on paper and he gave some insight to his strategy for being there and for what he will do in the North Atlantic:

"Even if I do make the miles up and I was to get equal with Jean-Pierre (Dick), if we're sailing in the same breeze and neither of us have any problems, he does have a slightly faster boat," Thomson said to Vendee Globe TV. "So I have to think about that, I can't really be doing the same thing as those guys, if I have a chance to beat them. There's a big gap between me and Jean Le Cam (in fifth) so in terms of routing and navigation, maybe there's a possibility of taking some risks for making some gains and not following people because if I follow I'm not going beat them in a boat speed race."

At the front, after seeing his lead dwindle in the doldrums to 61 miles on Wednesday night, Francois Gabart (MACIF) has edged slightly away from Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) to 92.8 on Thursday afternoon.

With around ten days to the finish line in Les Sables, the last big hurdle for them to negotiate is the Azores high.

Rankings as of Thursday 17 January 2013, 20h00 (FR)

1. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 2690.9 nm to finish
2. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h, 94.5 nm
3. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 378.2 nm
4. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 654.7 nm
5. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 2083.4 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 2138.5 nm
7. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sanso, 2287.6 nm
8. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 2352.0 nm
9. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 2419.0 nm
10. Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets, Bertrand de Broc, 3541.9 nm
11. Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy De Lamotte, 3738.6 nm
12. Team Plastique, Alessandro Di Benedetto, 4312.3 nm

vendeeglobe.org

Marinepool Revolution Nx Racing Top - Introducing A New Generation Of Sailing Clothing
Marine Pool What if there was a sailing top light weight like a shirt, super comfortable, made from highly flexible fabric, waterproof like the best offshore sailing gear and more breathable than anything you have ever seen or worn?

Impossible? Too good to be true? Well, not any longer!

The new Revolution NX top by Marinepool combines all the above mentioned highly regarded qualities in one new revolutionary garment with Dermizax NX technology. This high-tech and high-end racing top is one of the stars in the Marinepool 2013 collection. The Marinepool design team and Toray, the producers of the Dermizax NX fabrics have been working behind the scenes to bring this new product to market, while the world class athletes on the Marinepool Racing Team put the gear through a thorough testing programme.

Their feedback was inspiring the name of this racing top: Revolutionary!

Never before has a racing top ticked off the boxes like Revolution NX with unrivaled comfort, ease of movement and a breathability at 30,000g/m2/24h - 50% higher than any other product in our comprehensive product range. 

Athletes who turn every stone to reduce weight and who always are in pursuit of a competitive advantage will look no further: Revolution NX

Visit us at "boot" Düsseldorf from Jan. 19th to 27th and experience the new 2013 collection. Learn about new innovative products and our 2013 partners and projects, in a Press Conference on Jan. 20, 1pm, Marinepool Stand, Hall 11, H41. Meet leading figures from the world of sailing and business like Mark Turner (OC Sport, Extreme Sailing Series), David Graham (Oman Sail), Oliver Schwall (Sailing Team Germany) and many more.

www.marinepool.com

Marion Bermuda 2013
The Marion Bermuda Race provides an opportunity for cruising style yachts and amateur crews to sail a true ocean race, across the Gulf Stream with the finish line off St. David's Lighthouse on the shore of Bermuda, perhaps the world's greatest yacht racing destination.

The start of the 2013 race, Friday June 14th in Buzzards Bay off Marion MA, is only six months away. That isn't much time for all the preparation a 645-mile ocean race takes. Enter now to get started and look at the important dates and deadlines for skippers, boat and crew. The 2013 Notice of Race is posted at www.Marionbermuda.com/archive/2013/nor2013.pdf and entry instructions are tops on the list under the Racing tab on the web.

Entries are now open and must be made online. Sailing Instructions will be posted on April 1st. On April 15th the entry fee increases by $150 then entries close June 1st. Once your application for entry is approved and your yacht is invited to race, crew qualifications and boat inspections are the next step.

The Marion Bermuda Race remains a Category 1 Race, restricted to invited yachts with fixed keels, fixed ballast, complete permanent galleys, enclosed heads and finished interiors with permanent bunks. It is sailed under the ORR rating rule, full or partial, for the Founders and Big Yacht Divisions and under ASTA handicapping for the Classic Yacht Division.

www.marionbermuda.com

SYRF Hosts Luncheon and Announces Challenge Grant Opportunity
On Saturday, January 12th, the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) hosted an invitation-only luncheon at the Stamford Yacht Club to reveal its mission to support the science of sailing, and announce a new challenge grant opportunity for tax-deductible donations. The event attracted an impressive crowd of 120 sailors, owners, designers, race managers, rule-makers and journalists to hear such prominent sailors as Stan Honey, Steve Benjamin, and Peter Isler speak about the importance of SYRF to their work in Grand Prix-level offshore sailing and even the America's Cup.

Projects funded by SYRF are now being selected under the guidance of the SYRF Advisory Council, composed of the sport's leading international figures in research and design. This group helps ascertain areas of research needed and which projects would make the best contribution to furthering the knowledge base in these areas.

Advisory Council members include Teeters, Andy Claughton (Wolfson Unit, Southampton Univ.), Alessandro Nazareth (ORC ITC), Jason Ker (Ker Design), Phillipe Briand (Briand Design), Karl Kirkman (SAIC), Greg Loe (CSA Rule), Rob Pallard (NRC-CNRC), Rob Ranzenbach (Wind tunnel consulting), Jim Schmicker (Farr Yacht Design), Grant Spanhake (North PRG), James Dadd (RORC Rating Office), Shaun Carkeek (Carkeek Design Partners), Alan Andrews (Alan Andrews Yacht Design), Adolfo Carrau (Botin Partners), Mark Mills (Mills Design), Juan Kouyoumdjian (Juan Yacht Design), and David Lyons (ORC ITC). Honey and Benjamin are the Council's liaisons to the Board of Directors.

At the luncheon an announcement was also made of the status of an ongoing challenge gift, as well as a new challenge gift opportunity: SYRF was only $25,000 short of reaching its $100,000 matching challenge gift from a generous donor. And when this level is met yet another $100,000 will be contributed from yet another donor - a net gain of $300,000 in funding.

SYRF is a 501(c)3 organization, allowing contributions to be tax-deductible. www.sailyachtresearch.org

Farr 400 at Quantum Key West
Farr 400 The Farr 400, racing now at Quantum Key West Race 2013, is the new generation of One Design.

Easily transported, fast, fun and designed for a smooth, enjoyable transition to grand prix racing, the class has enjoyed steady growth. An immaculate, precision build ensures boats are very equal and competitive from the get go.

An active 2013 racing programme is now under way and will include Europe, with the class competing under One Design and Handicap rules.

To date 13 Farr 400's have been built with boats active in the USA, Scandinavia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Premier Composite Technologies, will have demonstration boats available for trials at regattas over the course of 2013 and, for potential owners, may be able to facilitate racing.

www.farr400.com

bluQube Takes Global Ocean Race Leg 1 Sponsorship
GOR 2014-15 Organisers are securing partner and Leg Sponsors for the Class40 round the world race which will start and finish on Britain's South Coast. UK-based accounting software supplier, bluQube, has confirmed their continued support for the Global Ocean Race, taking the role of Leg 1 sponsor for the event.

bluQube has been involved with British ocean racing teams for almost a decade and were sponsors of the GOR 2011-12 also providing invaluable support for the South African duo of Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt with Akilaria Class40 Phesheya-Racing during the last race. The GOR's bluQube Leg 1 starts at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 21 September 2014, finishing approximately 33 days later in Cape Town, South Africa, and is the opening stage of the event's 30,000-mile circumnavigation.

bluQube Leg 1 will take the teams through the Bay of Biscay, south through the North Atlantic, across the Equator and into the South Atlantic and the strong westerlies in the Southern Ocean before reaching Cape Town after approximately 7,000 miles of hard racing.

globaloceanrace.com

13 Teams Confirmed for the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour Opening Event
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.martinezstudio.es. Click on image to enlarge.

RC44 With the 2013 RC44 season about to start at the end of January, thirteen teams have confirmed they will compete in the opening Championship Tour event, the RC44 Oman Cup presented by Oman Shipping Company, hosted by Oman Sail at the Wave Muscat. After dominating the fleet racing leaderboard throughout 2011-2012, Chris Bake's Team Aqua (GBR) will once again start the season as the defending Tour Champions. There's no change to the afterguard on last year's Match Race Champions, Ed Baird will be back supporting Valentin Zavadnikov and his Synergy Russian Sailing Team.

Stepping into their first full RC44 season is Brian Benjamin's Aegir Racing (GBR). The team will be joined for the season's opener by class founder Russell Coutts.

Three new professional sailors will join the Tour; 2008 Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) will join David Murphy's Ironbound, Spanish Olympic sailor Gustavo Martinez Doreste will race with defending World Champion's Peninsula Petroleum for the RC44 Oman Cup and former America's Cup helmsman Flavio Flavini will be calling the shots on the newly named Team Italia.

Russell Coutts will compete in Oman with Brian Benjamin's Aegir Racing.

2013 RC44 Championship Tour Calendar
30th January to 3rd February - RC44 Oman Cup, presented by Oman Shipping Company
1st to 5th May - RC44 Trapani Cup, Sicily
25th to 29th June - RC44 Sweden Cup, Marstrand
2nd to 6th October - RC44 Cascais Cup, Portugal
20th to 24th November - RC44 RC44 World Championship, Lanzarote

www.rc44.com

Bithell and Grube Team Up In Bid For Rio Gold
Stuart Bithell, who claimed Olympic sailing silver in 2012, has revealed he is to team up with fellow ex-470 sailor Chris Grube in his quest for gold at Rio 2016.

Bithell, who partnered Luke Patience to 2012 podium glory and two World Championship silvers in the 470 class, has now made the switch to the high performance 49er skiff in a bid to realise his golden ambitions.

The 26-year-old Rochdale sailor and Patience, 26, from Helensburgh, called time on their 470 partnership at the end of 2012, with their combined body weight in the boat deemed too heavy to be competitive in the light winds expected in Rio.

Bithell will now join forces with a fellow North West talent, 27-year-old Chris Grube from Mickle Trafford, Chester, who has also made the transition from the 470 into the 49er class. The pair revealed their new partnership at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show, ExCel, on Thursday.

Grube sailed with double Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers in a bid for selection for the London 2012 Games, but missed out on the one GBR qualifying spot at the hands of Bithell and Patience.

www.skandiateamgbr.com

Groupama 3 To Banque Populaire
The maxi-trimaran Groupama 3 will join the Banque Populaire team, after six years of good and faithful service at the hands of Franck Cammas and Groupama sailing team, where she will have a new lease of life.

Launched in 2006 and constantly developed by Groupama sailing team's research department, the 31.5-metre trimaran has secured six records in crewed configuration...

- Discovery Route,
- Miami - New York,
- North Atlantic,
- Mediterranean and the
- 24-hour in crewed configuration

... and finally, the famous Jules Verne Trophy, which saw the record slashed to under 50 days for the first time.

After securing victory in the last Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama and Franck Cammas are launching their preparations for the Olympic Games 2016 and, in 2013, will take part in the C-Class World Championships and the Tour de France à la Voile. -- Vincent Borde in Sail-World.com

www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=105663

Jenny Green
Jenny Green Goldhanger, Essex: Well known British Fireball and Dragon sailor Jenny Green (nee Bunting), of Goldhanger, Essex and Magagnosc, France, passed away peacefully on 22nd December following a long battle against Motor Neurone Disease. A familiar face at sailing events across the UK and Europe, Jenny had struggled to resist the crippling disease known as MND/ALS/SLA/Lou Gehrig disease for some three and a half years. A disease that slowly removed the ability for her to do the things she loved; sailing, cycling, playing with her grandchildren and the things we all take for granted, walking, talking and eating. She bore the disease with amazing strength and inner fortitude.

MND currently has no known cure or treatment, but in spite of her own utterly bleak prognosis Jenny was determined to raise funds for MND research to aid future victims of the disease. Over the course of two years and despite becoming increasingly disabled Jenny and her friends and family completed a series of fundraising challenges for MND research.

Those challenges included sailing her Dragon in the 80 strong Regattes Royales event in Cannes despite no longer being able to stand or cross the boat unassisted and riding her mobility scooter all the way from Paris to London, plus numerous fun runs, charity concerts and gala dinners.

To donate to Jenny's fund for Motor Neurone Disease research:
uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/jennygreentributefund3

www.jennygreenchallenge.org

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 Peter Morton: Mr Struth. If you want to race an SB 20 sail it in its OD Class or Sportsboat fleet. If your club does not have a Sportsboat fleet,move clubs. You simply can't rate, in a single number handicapping system a genuine cruiser racer against a planing open Sportsboat.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1909 Gaff-rigged classic yacht. EUR 390,000.

Varuna is one of the very first 12 m yachts built under the international meter rules established in 1906. She was built according to the drawings of A. Richardson in Dartmouth by Philip & Son Shipyard and launched in 1909. Her original name was White Heather. Richardson's design was built upon the need to create a hull which was appropriate to the formula of the 12 meter class, but in doing so he created a design similar to Britannia, King George V's royal yacht

Brokerage through David Jones Yacht Brokerage: www.yachtworld.com/davidjones/

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

The Last Word
Love is being stupid together. -- Paul Valery

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