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Francois Gabart, Champion of the Vendee Globe with MACIF
MACIF crossed the finishing line in Les Sables d'Olonne at 15:18:40. At the age of 29, Francois Gabart becomes the youngest winner in the history of the Vendee Globe. Alain Gautier, second winner of the Vendee Globe (1992-93) was up until now the youngest, just 30 years old.

Gabart completed his first round-the-world in less than 80 days, and even well under, because he has set a new record for the event with 78 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds of racing. The skipper of MACIF sailed 28 646,55 miles (53,053 km) at an average speed of 15,3 knots (28,33 km) and thus by 6 days and 53 minutes has improved on the previous time of 84 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes and 8 seconds (14,02 knots average on the real route sailed, 28,303 miles) held by Michel Desjoyeaux since 8 February 2009.

Francois remained in the lead of the race for 45 days and 23 hours, which is nearly two thirds of his Vendee Globe and pocketed six records throughout.

Armel Le Cleac'h crossed the Vendee Globe finish line Sunday 27th January 2013 at 17 hour 35 min 52 seconds GMT. He finishes the race in 78 days 5 hours and 33 minutes. His average speed was 14.9 knots and he actually covered 28,056.55 miles.

Le Cleac'h came so close to winning and conquering the Vendee Globe on his second attempt. A slightly higher speed in key moments and a little luck in the South Atlantic could have made a difference. The Saint-Pol de Leon-based skipper probably remembers Jean Le Cam saying "There is no great winner without a great runner-up".

With a gap of only 3h17'14'' between 2012-2013 Vendee Globe winner Francois Gabart (MACIF) and Armel le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire), this is the closest finish in the Vendee Globe history. The previous record was 6h33' between winner Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam in 2005.

After staying close to Jean-Pierre Dick in case something happened to the French skipper, Alex Thomson has eventually gybed and he is now heading north again

" Last night I saw some pretty strong winds, up to 30kts, so I am very glad I came down to stay close to JP. I know I would have been feeling very nervous indeed in these conditions with no keel!

It seems that JP has got the boat into a very stable sailing mode and is very comfortable with how the boat handles in these conditions. The weather will get better today for us both with the winds falling and his forecast for heading to the Portuguese Coast looks good.

Earlier today he called me on the phone to thank me for staying with him overnight and to also say he feels fully confident in his ability to now sail towards Portugal. With the good forecast and improving conditions, I am happy the big danger has passed and I have gybed and am heading back to Les Sables."

Rankings as of Sunday 27 January 2013, 20:00 (FR)

1. MACIF, Francois Gabart, ARRIVED
2. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h, ARRIVED
3. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 946.7 nm to finish
4. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1063.8 nm
5. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 2506.3 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 2581.0 nm
7. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 2886.5 nm
8. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 3041.5 nm
9. ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sanso, 3148.2 nm
10. Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets, Bertrand de Broc, 3471.6 nm
11. Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy De Lamotte, 3996.1 nm
12. Team Plastique, Alessandro Di Benedetto, 4735.5 nm

www.vendeeglobe.org

Epic Week of Racing at Quantum Key West 2013
Celebration and jubilation were the order of the day for those teams that captured championships after a challenging week of intense competition. All agreed that winning Key West this year was a particularly stellar accomplishment since it featured some of the most spectacular conditions in the 26-year history of the annual midwinter regatta.

"This is the best feeling I've ever had after a regatta. We've been coming to Key West since 1998 and winning here has long been on our list of goals," said Stephen Murray, skipper of High Performance Class champion Decision. "To me, this is the premier event in North America. Of all the regattas we've won over the years, this one stands out because of the history and tradition. It means a lot to be able to say you won Key West."

Decision captured the High Performance Class following a tremendous battle with sister ship Spookie. Those two Carkeek 40-footers dominated the nine-boat class from start to finish with Spookie leading after the first two days of racing and Decision leading for the final three.

Decision and Spookie finished with 19 and 20 points, respectively, while the third place boat in High Performance class had 44 points. That was Chessie Racing, skippered by George Collins (Miami Beach), which settled for victory in the Farr 400 One Design class.

Barking Mad took over the lead in Farr 40 class on Tuesday and held it the rest of the way despite stiff competition from Flash Gordon (Helmut Jahn, Chicago) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Lueneburg, Germany). It marked the third Key West victory for Richardson (Newport, RI), who had America's Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson aboard as tactician.

Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI) and his team on Full Throttle duked it out with Alec Cutler (Pembroke, Bermuda) and the hedgehog crew from beginning to end in Melges 24 class, second-largest of the regatta with 23 boats.

Andrea Pozzi took up the sport of sailing a year and a half ago and showed he is a quick study, winning the Melges 32 class in just his fifth regatta. Bombarda finished first or second in six of 12 races and led the 11-boat fleet from start to finish, holding off a late surge by Leenabarca (Alex Jackson, Riverside, CT).

J/70 was the largest class at Quantum Key West 2013 with 39 boats and the brand new design was showcased with some spectacular racing. North Sails pro Tim Healy and his experienced team on Helly Hansen seized the lead on Thursday then held it by winning both races on Friday, which featured 14-16 knot winds. Geoff Becker (tactician), John Mollicone (trimmer) and Dave Reed (foredeck) comprised the crew on Helly Hansen.

Apparition, owned by Ken Colburn of Dover, MA, won the Swan 42 class by the narrowest of margins - nipping Daring (John Hele, Newport, RI) by just one point.

So close was the competition in Swan 42 that six of the seven boats won a race and only three points separated the top four finishers. 

* Given that the final day of Quantum Key West 2103 started with the two top teams Azzurra and Ran Racing tied on points it is appropriate the overall winner emerged after the most dramatic and closest day of racing. Whilst errors and bad luck afflicted several key teams in the brisk breezes delivering a great last day finale, it was the defending 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra who kept it tight on board and sailed smart for the 2012 champions to open their 2013 account with the regatta victory.

Final resuts after 10 races
1. Azzurra, 24 points
2. Interlodge, 29
3. Ran Racing, 31
4. Quantum Racing, 32
5. Gladiator, 42
6. Rio, 52

Complete results for all classes at www.premiere-racing.com

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

Seahorse Magazine

Alpari World Match Race Tour
And there’s a youthful feeding frenzy ahead as candidates fight it out for just eight Tour Cards

Design - Take 3
Guillaume Verdier tells Jocelyn Bleriot why there is more to come with his Class 40s… and the next generation of Imoca 60s

Seahorse build table - Modern, modern, modern
Giovanni Ceccarelli has teamed up with Italian sailmaker Paolo Semeraro to create this rather stylish flyer for both ORC and IRC

Commodore’s letter
Mike Greville

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Dos Amigos - A Unique Piece of Cornish Maritime History
Click on image to enlarge.

Cornish Maritime History A unique piece of Cornish Maritime History has been saved from a watery grave this week.

Dos Amigos, believed to be St Ives sole surviving Carvel Gig, was craned out of Looe Harbour on Monday, and transported to the safe haven of Treeve Boatyard in Hayle.

The 38ft craft is one of renowned St Ives boatbuilder Thomas Paynters' original creations. But after 92 years as first a well-maintained working fishing boat, then a converted gaff-ketch in Looe, she's fallen into 'severe disrepair'.

Dos Amigos' builder Thomas Paynter was the man behind the recently relaunched St Ives Jumbo class.

The historic boat has a colourful history and is thought to be the unique survivor of a class of purpose built St Ives boats known as 'Gigs'.

These were open boats which fished under auxiliary motor and a fore and aft lugsail.

Dos Amigos was built at the Paynter yard in 1920 for a local family and initially named Our Francis.

Boat restoration expert John Lambourn, from Mousehole, who rebuilt and now owns and sails St Ives lugger Ripple, said: 'Gigs were open, day boats which were very versatile in that they could carry large amounts of fishing gear.

'Although mechanised they had not abandoned their masts and sails, which indicates the background and caution of their owners.'

He added: 'The gig fishing boats of St Ives are a special class of boat and well worth preserving and restoring for that reason alone.'

www.pbo.co.uk

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship, Race 4
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: The outcome of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship will come down to next Sunday's final race of the series following an incredible Race 4 on Sydney Harbour today.

After 1 hour 15 minutes and 58 secs. of sailing, Race Officer Garry Linacre shortened the course when the fleet was practically becalmed after only one lap of the three-lap North East course.

Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) crossed the line 24s ahead of Gotta Love It 7, John Stanley (replacing Seve Jarvin), Scott Babbage and Peter Harris.

Team Daly (Nick Daly, John Walton, Peter Nicholson) was a further 1m15s back in third place, ahead of Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon).

Allowing for discards, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers leads the championship with a total of 5 points, followed by Gotta Love It 7 on 6 and Smeg on 7.

To complicate the situation, if teams finish on equal points after next Sunday's race, Thurlow Fisher and Smeg both have two wins so far, while Gotta Love It 7's points have been accumulated with three second places.

After yesterday's strong winds, and predicted 15-25 knots winds again this afternoon, all teams elected to go with their smaller #2 rigs.

The Australian 18 Footers League had changed the previous rule which did not permit the 'shortening of course' in its races, and so today created history as the first 18ft Skiff race where the course was officially shortened.

A video coverage of the race can be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com --- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au
www.flying18s.com

Maserati Is Around Cape Horn
The only words I have to describe the time since passing the horn are: cold, frigid, bone chilling, etc. I think you get the picture.

When you decide to take on the Golden route, it is not all sun and fun. You make the commitment to going upwind in the Southern Ocean in 20 knots of breeze, and reaching in 6 degree water at 20 knots, with plenty on the deck.

This is how we have spent our last 2 days, trying to get up the coast away from the Horn, the Southern Ocean lows, and the cold water. We have done 475 miles as the crow flies since the rounding, and certainly over 500 in reality, as we passed south of Diego Ramierez island.

Thankfully the upwind with storm jib ans 2 reefs is finished, we moved from that to full main j4, and are now onto the FRO Full Main and J4 combination, with the wind aft of the beam, headed Northwest.

We have breeze still for another 18 hours or so, then another day of upwind before we get free of all this and can begin to go downwind again. The trades look fairly light, but it should be warm, and memories of the south will quickly fade.

The outlook long term is good; 15 days from now we should still be within 100 miles of the Gitana 13 record, with 2200 miles to go.

From a cold wet FAST Maserati, hope everyone is tucked in well with a nice cup of tea. -- Ryan breymaier

breymaiersailing.com

Maserati Record New York - San Francisco (Italian and English): maserati.soldini.it

Running The Rhumblines
Australia's top flight sport boat sailing crews will again travel to the popular winter sailing venue of tropical Airlie Beach to contest the Telcoinbox Airlie Beach Race Week later this year.

The popular Championship event hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club with a perfect mix of exciting windward leeward races on pioneer bay and island passage races has already been listed in the racing diaries of the nation's leading fast lane sports boat racing crews.

Making the long highway haul from Victoria each winter seems to be no problem for Royal Geelong Yacht Club skipper Cam Rae and the crew of the exciting Monkey Business and the top New South Wales skipper Bob Cowan's Stealthy who have supported the event over many years are again expected to be on the Pioneer Bay start line in mid August.

The 2012 series was dominated by Mark Buchback's Queensland champion Raptor which opened the regatta with a resounding line and corrected handicap win in the opening race and continued to produce unmatched boat speed to add the telcoinabox Airlie Beach Sports boat series to her Queensland championship win off Mooloolaba earlier in 2012.

During The Australia Day weekend all attention focused on the results from the Festival of Sails regatta on Geelong's Corio Bay.

This regatta again highlighted the importance of consistency with local skipper Cam Rae and his Monkey Business crew expressing the advantage of local knowledge to record a popular win, leaving the Paul Heyes helmed Foam Fast and former Australian JOG champion Noel Leigh Smith in Vivace to settle for the minor places.

Skipper Cam Rae hopes to register a similar convincing performance at the tiller of Monkey Business when the high standard fleet line up to contest the 2013 Australian championships over the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria courses during the Easter Weekend.

While the excellent sailing destination of Airlie Beach remains as the most likely choice of venue to host the 2014 Australian championships during the popular Telcoinabox Race Week regatta.

The set courses on Pioneer Bay offer a supreme test of tactical sailing and would be a popular choice with the crews who are looking for an escape excuse from the colder winter climate South of the Tropic of Capricorn to test their technique and talent in a major National championship regatta on what is regarded among the best winter sailing destinations on Australia's East Coast. -- Ian Grant

Registration for the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta Is Now Open
As of today, registration for the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta has been opened. You can now register for the second leg in the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup. As mentioned before, this brand new series beholds five prestigious regattas which incorporates new innovations in race formats, that will make sailing easier to follow and more attractive for sailors, media and spectators.

This year, the Delta Lloyd Regatta will take place from Tuesday 21st until Saturday the 25th of May at Medemblik, the Netherlands. During this week the best participants from all over the world will compete against each other. It's the 29th anniversary for the Delta Lloyd Regatta.

The following classes are invited for the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta:

Laser
Laser Radial
Finn
470 Men
470 Women
49er
49er FX
RS:X Men
RS:X Women
Nacra 17
2.4mR
SKUD18
Sonar

register.deltalloydregatta.org

Eight Bells
Rather late in the day I have heard that the designer Peter Norlin very recently passed away.

Peter came to prominence as a yacht designer when he designed the Half Tonner "Scampi" which won the Half Ton Cup in 1969. He followed this with "Scampi 2" which won in 1970 and "Scampi 3" which took the 1971 title. Three titles in a row. Not bad. On the competition side Peter also designed a number of very successful Six Metres as well as 2.4 metres, indeed the one design version of the 2.4 metre used, among other events for the Paraplegic games, is one of his designs. Peter also designed a number of production boats and was a member of the Swedish America's Cup Challenge in the early 90's

It was during this Swedish America's Cup Challenge that I first met Peter. I was working as a consultant to the Challenge during the course of which I got to know Peter quite well. I well remember Peter travelling over from Stockholm to Gothenburg to check up on the progress of the boat. I collected him from the airport that evening and the following morning we were due to go to the boatyard to inspect the boat. Trouble was all the cars had been repossessed in the middle of the night so we had no transport. I eventually persuaded one of the receptionists at the hotel which was the Challenge base, to lend us a car. It turned out to be the tiniest Fiat imaginable and in every window there was a fluffy toy on an elastic string. So Peter and I set off through Steningsund to the boat shed where Killian Bush was building the boat, almost sat in each others lap with fluffy toys bobbing around in every window. Eventually Peter was heard to mutter that we really should have bought our sunglasses cos we might be recognised.

On another occasion the hotel was holding a golfing weekend and the reception area was full of buckets of golfballs and clubs. Killian asked whether we could borrow a bucket and have a few practice shots. "Why not" said the receptionist. So off we went down to the dock and knocked golfballs into the fiord until none were left. When we returned the empty bucket and clubs, the receptionist enquired as to where the balls were. We left that for Killian to explain.

Rest in peace Peter you will be missed. -- Dave Hollom

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1949 33m Vintage Classic. EUR 2,300,000. Located in Greece.

She is a historic yacht built in 1949 by Swedish Goverment as meteorogical vessel for the North Sea. At seventies she was purchased by a famous Greek ownership & she was converted to a Sailing Mega Yacht. Her present owners spent several millions to turn her not only into a state-of-art mega yacht but also in a high standard Atlantic Ocean racing yacht that has won many awards.

Brokerage through Ilina Yachting: www.yachtworld.com/ilinayachting/

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

The Last Word
The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion. -- Arnold H. Glasow

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