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Sailors Get A Workout
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Key West Race Week There were a lot of weary bones, aching muscles and exhausted bodies over at The Galleon Dock and Truman Annex on Tuesday afternoon. The sailors on Division 2 of Quantum Key West 2013 because completed three races on the second day of the 26th annual regatta.

Competitors in the Melges 24, Melges 32 and J/70 classes were all hopeful of having a 12-race series and Division 2 principal race officer Dave Brennan is trying is best to comply. With northerly winds in the 12-16 knot range, Tuesday provided a perfect opportunity to complete an extra race.

Porter and the Full Throttle team are engaged in a good battle with Alec Cutler and his crew on hedgehog at the top of the Melges 24 class, second-largest of the regatta with 23 boats. Porter posted a solid line of 2-3-1 on Tuesday, but has not been able to completely overcome a seventh suffered in Race 1 that resulted from a poor start.

Cutler, a resident of Pembroke, Bermuda, won Tuesday's first race and has also posted three seconds in totaling 10 points - four better than Porter.

J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with a whopping 38 boats and features several top-notch sailmakers such as Kerry Klingler, Tim Healy and Dave Ullman. However, an upstart team of recent college graduates is leading the fleet after two days and five races.

Brothers Cole and James Allsopp grew up sailing together before heading off to College of Charleston and the Naval Academy, respectively. Cole is driving while James is handling the bow aboard Moxie, which closed with a fourth and third on Tuesday to overtake Ullman, the Day 1 leader.

There has been considerable trading of places in Farr 40 class, which has six well-sailed boats. Jim Richardson steered Barking Mad to a second and third on Tuesday to take the lead away from John Demourkas and Groovederci. Skipper Wolfgang Schaefer has Struntje Light in second place, two points behind Barking Mad and just one ahead of Groovederci.

Ran, a Swedish entry skippered by Niklas Zennstrom, made a strong move in IRC 2 (52 Class) by posting a first and a second on Tuesday. British professional Adrian Stead is calling tactics on Ran, which jumped from fourth to first in the overall standings with 10 points. Azzurra, the Argentina entry skippered by Alberto Roemmers, is two points astern in second after winning the fifth race. -- Bill Wagner

Broken Dreams
With a third place finish in the Vendee Globe apparently almost guaranteed, Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) heard his dream break with an abrupt bang before midnight on Monday night as Virbac Paprec 3 lost her keel with just over 2,000 of the 28,000 mile race left.

Dick, still technically in third place on the ranking because he has not retired, is heading for shelter at the Azores, still over 1,000 miles away on Monday morning. He is on a starboard tack in a northeast wind of 20 knots. He cannot take a direct route at the moment and must head north-east for two days, but in 450 miles he should pick up some undisturbed south-west wind and will be able to head directly to the Azores archipelago. He is expected to arrive there in six days, which will be a difficult time because he was expected to have arrived in Les Sables by then.

The skipper from Nice is in third Vendee Globe. He finished sixth in 2004-05 but had to retire from the 2008-09 race with broken rudders after hitting a UFO.

Dick's misfortune is part of the thread that runs through the history of the Vendee Globe. There is no good time to suffer a failure but there is something especially cruel about it happening so close to the finish.

Virbac Paprec 3 was one of the six new boats in this edition and one of the four VPLP-Verdier designed boats. Many, including Alex Thomson, had said they would be too light and fragile to make it around the world. But that has appeared wide of the mark. Vincent Riou (PRB) was forced out in the second week of the race, in the South Atlantic, after unluckily hitting a harbour buoy that drifted and submerged 500 miles off the coast of Brazil. But the VPLP-Verdier boats have continued to form the leading pack from start to finish and either MACIF or Banque Populaire have led for most of the race.

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) who could now achieve both his targets of third place and 80 days around the world. But Dick's sudden failure will have sent a shudder through him and the entire fleet and underlined the old Vendee cliche that 'to finish first (or anywhere) first you have to finish.'

Itajai Confirmed on 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race Route
Itajaí, Brazil: Itajaí will once again be a Host Port for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15 following the huge success of the stopover there in the last edition. Tuesday's announcement means Brazil will have two stops along the route for the 12th edition of sailing's most prestigious round-the-world race after Recife was named as a Host Port last week.

A boat backed by the state of Pernambuco was also confirmed at last week's announcement which will ensure a distinct Brazilian flavour for the Race's 12th edition in 2014-15 at a time when the focus of world sport will be on the country.

"Making two stops in Brazil makes perfect sense at a time when the country will be the beating heart of sport between soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the Rio Olympic Games in 2016," said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

"We are thrilled to be going back to Itajaí which proved to be one of the most successful stopovers of the last edition with a rhythm all of its own.

Once again, Itajaí will provide the long-awaited finish line for the teams following their rounding of the iconic Cape Horn in the Southern Ocean.

Exact dates of the stopover will be announced in February.

The remainder of the route for the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean race will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Charter An Open 70
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We can tailor a package to meet your needs. Bring your friends and spend time with us team building with your colleagues, or take your clients out on an experience of a lifetime in a Volvo Open 70.

We can offer charters from the Solent, Europe or in the winter the Caribbean. We have vast experience of Inshore and Offshore sailing. If you'd like to join us for a particular event, check out our race events for more information.

Our boat charters are individual, and packaged to your specifications. Alternatively, if you are unable to get a full crew together, we can offer some individual crewing opportunities at many of the Race Events on our sailing calendar.

Our Volvo 70 is commercially coded and fully certified for the waters it sails. The Volvo 70 will accommodate up to 12 guests inshore and 8-10 guests offshore.

See our Race Events and more information on our new website:

Leopard's Playground
ICAP Leopard's new livery and superyacht interior, averaged 19 knots in the IMA Transatlantic Race. Photo by Photo by Richard Langdon / Ocean Images, Click on image to enlarge.

ICAP Leopard At the beginning of December, Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard, chartered to Niklas Zennstrom, smashed the course record for the 2,800 nautical mile IMA Transatlantic Race. Since then ICAP Leopard has been based in Antigua and the 30-metre canting keel maxi has hardly been on the dock, entertaining guests in the Caribbean in superyacht luxury, speeding through the Caribbean surf.

ICAP Leopard's next big contest will be the RORC Caribbean 600, which starts from Antigua on the 18th February. In 2009, ICAP Leopard set the record for the 600 in the inaugural race, completing the course in just over 44 hours. However the current course record holder is George David's Rambler 100, at just over 40 hours. For ICAP Leopard to take back the course record, the 100-foot Maxi will need to average 15 knots around the 600-mile course.

ICAP Leopard will have a world-class crew for the RORC Caribbean 600, including Volvo Ocean Race winner and Skiff World Champion, Robert Greenhalgh.

Since her launch ICAP Leopard has held numerous course records and Mike Slade is keen to win back the RORC Caribbean 600 title. "I really can't imagine a better scenario than racing Leopard in the 600, it's the ideal playground and Leopard's natural habitat. For the Caribbean 600, our first aim will be to be the first boat back in Antigua but we will have one eye on the clock, I want to get that record back and if we get the right conditions, who knows, anything is possible and that is why we will be there." -- Louay Habib

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Introduces New Entry Incentive
With just two days left for competitors to register in NZ's premier Olympic and Paralympic class regatta, Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, a major incentive has been added.

"We're pleased to announce that the Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Organizing Committee has two travel vouchers each worth one thousand dollars to award randomly at the close of the regatta" said Regatta Director Simon Manning.

To be eligible, all the sailor must have done is to fully pay their entry fee and participated in a class that will sail four days of the regatta. The two vouchers will be drawn at prize giving on Tuesday February 5th and the winner must be present to collect the prize (or it will be redrawn).

Simon continued: "We acknowledge that many of the competitors travel extensively on their campaigns, and while we would of course like to help everyone, we're pleased that this incentive will assist a couple of crews in their endeavours"

Already, approximately 100 boats have registered and in typical fashion, the entries are flooding in the final days. Last year, the regatta attracted over 230 competitors from 16 countries and many of those attended the event in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

2013 is shaping up to be just as competitive, with the registration list including names like: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in the 470, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er, and Alex Maloney with Molly Meech in the 49erFX.

This regatta is the spark at the beginning of Rio 2016 Olympic campaigns, with some familiar names campaigning in new classes, and some new faces appearing on the high performance scene.

Registrations close at midnight on Friday January 25th.

* New Zealand Olympic sailor Andrew Murdoch is switching to the Finn class and 2013 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, on from 2nd - 5th February, will be his first regatta in the heavyweight single-handed Olympic boat.

It will be an event to watch with Murdoch lining up against the likes of 23 year old Josh Junior and Junior's training partner in Wellington two-time OK Dinghy World Champion Karl Purdie. All are relative newcomers to the Finn class.

Dan Slater, New Zealand's Olympic Finn representative from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, is retiring from campaigning after eight years in the class.

Having represented New Zealand in the Laser class at the last two Olympic Games, (he placed fifth in both Beijing and London) Andrew Murdoch explains his decision to switch classes after 14 years of Laser campaigning; "The boat really interests me and is great to sail," he says. "There are some things similar to a Laser but a lot of new things to learn which excites me."

The change of boat requires Murdoch to increase his body weight, "The Finn is a very physically demanding boat so the weight needs to go on in muscle. The weights room in the gym is now my second home."

Vintage Yachting Games Scheduled
The dates for the 2016 Vintage Yachting Games are set. The 3rd edition will be sailed at Weymouth bay (UK) from 17 - 25 June 2016 and will be organized by the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

The whole story of the Vintage Yachting Games is available on:

The Vintage Yachting Games Organization is a non-commercial joint venture of the following former Olympic Classes (Vintage Yachting Classes): Europe, 12' Dinghy, O-Jolle, Flying Dutchman, Yngling, Tempest, Soling, Dragon and 5.5 Metre. Her supervisory board consists of the Presidents/Chairmen of above classes. -- Rudy den Outer, Chairman

2013 RYA Youth National Championships
Saskia Sills wins the 2012 RS:X windsurfing title at Pwllheli. Photo by Paul Wyeth / RYA. Click on image to enlarge.

RYA Youth Entries have now opened for 2013's premier event on the RYA Youth Racing calendar; the RYA Youth National Championships.

The 2013 Championships are being staged at Largs Sailing Club (Scotland) from Saturday 30 March to Friday 5 April.

In addition to the British sailors at the event, which will include 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds RS:X Gold medallist Saskia Sills, RYA event organisers have once more invited foreign teams to participate and are hopeful that last year's representation from seven nations, including as far afield as New Zealand, can be topped by this year's edition.

Selection for RYA Team GBR - the team which will represent Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Limassol, Cyprus in July 2013 - will also be up for grabs along with the opportunity to stake their claim as Britain's top young sailors and win a host of International travel grants.

Racing will be held for boys in Laser Standards, girls and boys in Laser Radials and Neil Pryde RS:X 8.5 windsurfers, and for all-boy, all-girl or mixed crews in 420s, 29ers and Spitfire catamarans.

The entry deadline for the RYA Youth National Championships 2013 is up until 2359hrs on Sunday 17th March - late entries will not be accepted.

The RYA Youth Racing programme receives generous support from official clothing supplier Henri Lloyd.

For more information on the 2013 RYA Youth National Championships and to enter online:

Spinnaker Tales
Dual Audi Australian Ocean racing champion Rod Jones and his A5 Alegria V crew again showed they can master a long and tedious slog against unfavourable hot headwinds to win line honours in the Surf to City race last weekend.

A5 Alegria V designed by Englishman Hugh Welbourn started the 93.6 n/ml Southport to Sandgate race as the short priced line honours favourite and did not disappoint her supporters in what proved to be a supreme test of head wind sailing into a typical low velocity summer sea breeze.

The highly talented crew racing under the Maroochy Sailing Club burgee again expressed their skill to excel in the 'slug fest' to eventually score an over the horizon line honours victory ahead of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's J133 Patriot (Tony Love ) and the Chris Morgan helmed J130 Ragtime.

While the slog against a variable 12-16 knot sea breeze was hot and slow offering the crew little relief as they tacked along the ocean beaches of Stradbroke and Moreton Islands in temperatures which peaked 27.3 degrees their purpose always remained with sailing on the gaining tack.

Their course involved tacking towards the first line of the surf before heading to the safer and deeper waters offshore however the sail trimmers who lost count of the endless number of times they tacked understood every metre gained meant they were moving closer to the finish.

They had weathered Cape Moreton and cooler post dusk hours provided relief from the heat when they finally entered Moreton Bay to set the spinnaker for the run to the finish.

When A5 Alegria V crossed with a course time of 13 hours 34 minutes 40 seconds her crew then focused on the corrected IRC handicap results.

They had sailed a tactically clever race but the lower handicapped Patriot helmed by Brisbane to Noumea race winner Tony Love managed to protect Patriot's rating to deny the A5 Alegria V crew from making a clean sweep of the IRC class trophies.

Patriot's winning margin of 2 minutes 57 seconds or 1.89 seconds per nautical mile proved the difference between the two experienced crews in what proved to be a close corrected handicap result.

Only 16 minutes 23 seconds separated Patriot, A5 Alegria V, Ragtime and the Mark Bradford helmed Black Jack Too in the race which tested the patience and light wind tactical skill of all crews who are preparing to draw their battle lines on the 308n/ml QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone course over the Easter weekend.

Mooloolaba sailing academy coach Rob Lea and his AUDI sponsored Sunshine Coast young guns crew showed they were well prepared for the marathon test when they recorded a clean sweep in IRC Division 2.

They beat the highly fancied Scott Murphy skippered Sandgate sloop Out of Orbit for the prized line honours to also record the fastest corrected handicap which was a fitting reward for the 'rookie' team of offshore sailors. -- Ian Grant

Saving Your Best Friend's Life With Safety At Sea
Marion, Massachusetts, USA: What you can learn at a Safety at Sea seminar may save your best friend's life. And help you calmly manage a crisis at sea. Safety at Sea seminars are required for 30% of the crew participating in the Marion Bermuda and Marblehead Halifax races and all of the major East coast offshore races. Safety at Sea seminars are also recommended for return delivery crews and other offshore sailors, as well as for skippers and crew of coastal races and those sailors interested in improving safety knowledge for long distance passage-making.

The Blue Water Sailing Club, one of the three hosting clubs of the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race, will be hosting the U.S. Sailing sanctioned Safety at Sea Symposium, on March 23-24, at state-of-the-art University of Massachusetts/Boston campus.

Details and Registration at

On-site registration will begin at 0700, March 23, 2013. The program begins promptly at 0730 and is scheduled to continue until 1600. Sessions on Sunday, March 24 are staggered to allow completion of the full curriculum.

Banque Populaire To Sponsor Sailing Through 2016
As the economic situation in Europe continues to eat into the disposable income and marketing budgets of traditional sailing sponsors, 2012 saw several French institutions who had given huge support to the sport over long periods announced that they would be pulling back.

In some cases, on the water success as well as demonstrable return on investment was not enough to stop brands like Veolia, Groupama and Foncia walking away from campaigns that had become household names around the world.

But one French brand, who enjoyed front page coverage in 2012 for their involvement in setting the fastest round the world record time, have announced that they will continue their sponsorship of sailing through 2016.

Banque Populaire who are currently supporting Armel Le Cléac'h in the Vendee Globe will continue to support the French sailor in the Solitaire du Figaro as well as backing a Route du Rhum campaign with the acquisition of the Groupama 3 trimaran.

Banque Populaire is also a major sponsor of the French Sailing Federation (FFV) with support for 1,076 clubs, including 433 sailing schools and 261 sports schools until 2016.

Meanwhile, Banque Populaire V, the Maxi trimaran that 'smashed' the world record in early 2012 received another acolade last night at the London Boat Show. The crew picked up the 'Performance of the Year' trophy at the Yachts & Yachting Awards. -- David Fuller in

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The Last Word
The Flintstones is not a documentary. -- Lewis Black

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