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2650 Miles... No Keel..
Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image for photo gallery.

Jean-Pierre Dick French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick crossed the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne this afternoon at 16hrs 05 mins and 40 seconds UTC/GMT to finish fourth in the Vendee Globe, the famous solo non stop around the world race. His third participation has yielded his best ever result, despite having to race the final 2650 miles without a keel on his IMOCA Open 60 Virbac-Paprec 3. Dick's elapsed time for course is 86 days, 3 hours, 3 minutes and 40 seconds. He finishes 8 days and 47 minutes behind race winner Francois Gabart (MACIF).

His average speed for the theoretical course of 24,393 miles is calculated to be 11.8 knots. In reality he sailed 27,734 miles on the water at an actual average speed of 13.4 knots.

Double winner of the two handed Barcelona World Race and three times winner of the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre Dick was one of the possible favourites to win the Vendee Globe but in the end had to give up his third place position he was holding when his keel snapped off on 21st January. He fought on to the finish after making a 48 hours stop in the north of Spain to let a strong low pressure system pass to receive a warm welcome today back in Les Sables d'Olonne.

Javier Sanso rescued:

"It all happened so quickly. Suddenly, when on deck and about to let out a reef, there was a sudden bang that made the boat the boat shake and the boat heeled over suddenly, which threw me in the water before I could react. From the water I saw how the boat continued to heel over fast and then roll. I was able to swim up to the transon and activate the life raft, which I got into. I remained in the raft all afternoon and well into the evening. I made the most of the daylight hours to try and dry out my clothes a bit. But due to the strong swell, was unable to tie on to the boat so quickly started to drift away from her.

At 1800 I spotted the Maritime Rescue aircraft that I did signal with a flare. The sighting of the aircraft greatly reassured me and gave me the confidence to know that everything was working and who was managing the emergency properly.

About 2355 I heard again the sound of engines and watched a helicopter maneuvering near the boat, away from my position about two miles. The night was dark and for a moment I doubted that they had sighted me. After lighting my last flare the helicopter headed toward me, a rescue swimmer jumped into the water and I put in a harness for hoisting. In the helicopter a doctor examined me and found that I was in good physical condition.

Now I am at the Lajes Air Base in Terceira, who I have to thank for their hospitality. I really wish to emphasize the heartfelt thanks for the care and hospitality of the Portuguese rescue teams and the treatment I am receiving here at the base. From now on, and after a needed break, it will be a matter of preparing the boat recovery operation with my team to then be able to assess with accuracy what happened."

Rankings as of Monday 04 February 2013, 20:00 (FR)

1. MACIF, Francois Gabart, Arrival : Sunday 27 January 2013, 14:18:40 TU
2. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h Arrival : Sunday 27 January 2013, 17:35:52 TU
3. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson Arrival : Wednesday 30 January 2013, 07:25:43 TU
4. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, Arrival : Monday 04 February 2013, 15:05:40 TU
5. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 613.9 nm to finish
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 620.2 nm
7. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 903.1 nm
8. AKENA Verandas, Arnaud Boissieres, 997.1 nm
9. Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets, Bertrand de Broc, 1681.3 nm
10. Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy De Lamotte, 2584.2 nm
11. Team Plastique, Alessandro Di Benedetto, 3108.1 nm

Gothenburg To Stage Volvo Ocean Race Finale In 2015
Pirates of the Caribbean won just before ABN AMRO TWO in the last leg of Volvo Ocean Race from Rotterdam to Goteburg, Sweden. Photo by Oskar Kihlborg / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image to enlarge.

Volvo Ocean Race The Swedish city of Gothenburg will be the final stop on the route for the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15 and will also feature in the 13th edition under a two-race deal presented on Friday.

Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city, Scandinavia's largest port and has a well earned reputation for hosting major sporting events. 2014-15 will be the third time Gothenburg has hosted the Volvo Ocean Race and the second time it has staged the finale, following the success of 2005-06, when ABN AMRO ONE sailed into the port as overall race winners.

Gothenburg, the headquarters of event owners Volvo, hosted the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001-02 and again in 2005-06 and has also staged the World and European Athletics Championships (1995 and 2006, respectively), as well as the World Figure Skating Championships (2008) and the final of the European Soccer Championship in 1992 among major events. The European Indoor Athletics Championships take place in the city in March 2013.

"The stopovers we've had in Gothenburg have always been amazing," said Knut Frostad, who announced the two-race agreement alongside the Mayor of Gothenburg, Anneli Hulthen and the CEO of Gothenburg & Co, Camilla Nyman at the Gothenburg Boat Show on Friday. "I particularly remember 2002 when there were so many people out there you could walk on the water from boat to boat."

The city of Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden is the fifth Host Port on the 2014-15 route to be revealed so far. The 12th edition of an event that began life in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race will start from Alicante in Spain and call first at Recife in north east Brazil. Later in the race, the teams will visit Auckland in New Zealand before rounding Cape Horn for a second Brazilian stop in Itajaí.

The rest of the route will be revealed over the coming weeks.

The Irish Presence In Antigua
The 78ft Reichel Pugh-designed Whisper, course record holder for the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, is leading the charge for Ireland under the command of Mark Dicker in the RORC Caribbean 600 in a fortnight's time. In all, there's direct Irish input into four of the fifty entries. And as the inaugural staging of this annual "instant classic" back in 2008 saw the overall win going to Adrian Lee's Cookson 50 Lee Overlay Partners, Ireland has an almost proprietorial interest in racing out of Antigua on Monday February 18th around various choice Caribbean islands, and back to Antigua again in the midst of its warm blue sea.

Or more accurately, it's Dublin Bay which seems to be claiming ownership. Michael Boyd of Dun Laoghaire, who was overall winner of the Round Ireland in 1996 with the J/35 Big Ears when there was a record fleet of 55 boats, has teamed up with clubmate Niall Dowling and American-based John Cunningham to charter the First 40 Lancelot II in Antigua. Although the First 40s may have not yet acquired the legendary status of their predecessors, the First 40.7, their debut in 2010 was quite something - they took first and second in the Sydney-Hobart Race that year, and there's half a dozen of them cutting the mustard in RORC races in Europe.

As for Whisper, she's supposedly a cruiser-racer. But she's a wolf in sheep's clothing - her fifth overall in the 2009 Fastnet Race was a matter for very favourable comment from the pundits, and her speedy scamper to Dingle that same year came within an ace of sailing the 260-mile course within 24 hours. She did the Caribbean 600 last year and notched a respectable 6th in Class and 12th overall, but at one stage was much better placed.

Another cruiser-racer with winning potential is Alan McGettigan's recently-acquired Swan 48 Wolfhound, which will eventually call Dun Laoghaire home. But at the moment she's trying to make the best of winter weather windows to make her way from east coast USA to Bermuda, thence to Tortola, and on to Antigua for the start in the nick of time. -- WM Nixon in Afloat magazine:

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:

Zen And The Art Of Flying
Top-level yacht racing appears to be literally lifting away from the element to which it was until recently firmly stuck. As more hull volume rises above the water so boats go faster and faster. This evolution takes the fish directly from the water to the sky, without wasting any time on land - other than for construction and storage.

I believe Grant Dalton when he says that it was by accident that Emirates Team New Zealand stumbled on the ability to foil. Not all accident of course, the potential to foil was never far away and for sure they knew what to look for; but to foil with such ease and balance at the first attempt required a combination of intuition and creativity beyond what is rational.

Dalton is definitely no romantic, banking upon the irrational as a good source for boat design. From what looks to be mostly chaos, the upcoming America's Cup has produced a craft that catches the imagination. And other teams with more resources still seem far from getting it right. Cynics might say it is logical the Kiwis are a step ahead… to them the flightless bird is familiar territory.

Kiteboarding is another attempt to fly that has a mystery quality - and therefore the potential to appeal to every living soul. This potential has been recognised by many including ISAF, albeit initially in a rather clumsy manner.

Rob Weiland's full article online at Seahorse magazine:

German Newcomers Capture the 5.5m World Champion Title
GER 79 - the new 5.5m World Champion 2013. Photo by Jarrik Bijsterbosch. Click on image to enlarge.

5.5 Metre Curacao: Bavarian helmsman and newcomer in the 5.5m Class Markus Wieser has captured the 2013 World Champion Title in Curacao last week with his crew composed of German Star sailors Frithjof Kleen and Thomas Auracher.

Twenty two boats representing seven nations got together in the Caribbean island of Curacao for a fierce battle on deep blue seas with easterly winds between 18 and 22 knots.

Five bullets for Wieser and his men on-board "Mission Impossible" (GER 79) assured him the first place of the championship with a net total of 13 points. Second and winning three of the eight races, Norwegian Kristian Neergard with 16 points and third, from Norway as well, Peter Fjeld finishing with 22 points.

"I bought a contemporary (Modern) design boat, and we were competitive from the start. Wind velocity was no issue for us but the fleet was very competitive and we had to fight a lot." said Wieser.

"The 5s are very like of a small version of America Cup's boats. A super nice three-man keelboat, which brings a lot of fun to sail." he added.

The boats are now being loaded in containers to be shipped back to Europe for the rest of the season. Next major events: the Australian Championship in March in Sydney, the Alpen Cup in Torbole and later in September the Classic and Evolution Cups and the European Championship in Benodet, France.

Serious Lineup for the First Mauritius Regatta
Mauritius, the jewel in the Indian Ocean, will unveil its charms to the best offshore skippers during a week of regattas on the West coast of the island. Widely known for its kite-surfing and golf courses, Mauritius will host its first premier sailing event. The MTPA (Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority) will make the event its flagship for the first Carnival of the Sea organised in August 2013.

The 1st edition of the Mauritius Regatta will start at the end of May in the heart of the Riviere-Noire region and its spectacular landscapes. Riviere-Noire is the place chosen by our partner La Balise Marina, first and only residential marina of the island, to establish its quarters. The facilities currently under construction form part of the marina property programmes opened to foreign investors. Air Mauritius and the MTPA have also joined us as race partners. The Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes, the 20° Sud Hotel, the Suffren Hotel and Yacht Management have also jumped onboard for the adventure.

This sporting event will attract an exceptional line-up including the only double-winner of the Vendee Globe Michel Desjoyeaux, Route du Rhum double-winner Roland Jourdain, Round Britain and Ireland speed record holder Samantha Davies and renowned Figarist Romain Attanasio.

The Mauritius waters will also bear witness to the reunion of the only two skippers to have completed a solo round the world race onboard a monohull in less than 80 days. Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac'h, respectively 1st and 2nd of the Vendee Globe 2012-2013, have been the stars of an incredible round the world regatta in a close fought battle. So close in fact, that the gap between the two skippers was only 3 hours and 17 minutes after 78 days at sea!

This exciting battle will be played out again amongst the crews entered in the Mauritius Regatta as the race course leads the fleet around the most exclusive parts of this beautiful island.

Australian TP52 Events Launched
The TP52 has shown to be a popular and resilient class over the last few years. Able to be raced inshore and offshore, the TP52 has attracted some of the world's best sailors and most savvy owners and continues to deliver great racing around the world.

While the America's Cup sorted itself out, the Med Cup provided top teams the opportunity to keep some of the top monohull grand-prix sailors on contract - a situation that saw TeamOrigin and Emirates Team NZ compete in the Med-Cup.

This weekend Australian TP52 teams will compete in the first event of the Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup.

Eight TP52 owners have entered boats in the first round hailing from home ports from Tasmania to Hong Kong.

Sandringham Yacht Club will host eight races over three days.

The Australian series will feature sailors like Billy Merrington and New Zealand "whizzes" Stu Bannatyne and Gavin Brady. Among the owners will be Hong Kong based Karl Kwok, chairman of Wing On International Limited, Blackmores chairman Marcus Blackmore and Van Der Slot, a Melbourne property developer.

List of entries:

Frantic - Michael Martin LMYC / NCYC
Calm 2 - Jason Van Der Slot SYC
Team Beau Geste - Karl Kwok RHKYC
Scarlet Runner - Rob Date SYC
Shogun V - Rob Hanna RGYV / RYCV
Calm - John Williams SYC
Hooligan - Marcus Blackmore RPAYC
Cougar II - Anthony Lyall RYCT

New South Wales and Queensland will host the remaining two regattas of the TP52 Southern Cross Cup. -- David Fuller in

Says You...
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton isn't biting on suggestions by his rival Sir Russell Coutts that the Kiwis won't make the America's Cup final.

TNZ launched their second catamaran in Auckland yesterday with the new generation AC72 carrying the hopes of the nation as they try to wrestle back sport's oldest trophy from Coutts' Oracle outfit.

But first TNZ must get past Italy's Luna Rossa and Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing to win the Louis Vuitton Cup, starting in July, and earn the right to challenge for the America's Cup in September.

Coutts clearly can't see that happening, saying he doesn't expect to be confronting the Kiwis for yachting's biggest piece of silverware.

"We haven't yet seen the second boat of Artemis and I wouldn't write Artemis off right now. It looks to me they will come out strong with the changes they recently made in their organisation. I, certainly, am not thinking we will be facing Team New Zealand," Coutts told a Spanish sailing website.

That was water off the bow to Dalton who suggested there were so many uncertainties over the radical new catamarans that it remained wide open.

He likes where his team is sitting, saying they had made "subtle but dramatic" changes to their new design off the original AC72.

"But we remain incredibly nervous ... no one knows," Dalton said, saying so much would come down to a battle of the designers.

"It's a matter of whose back room guys have understood it and mastered the numbers best." -- Duncan Johnstone in

Christmas Caribbean Rally
Jolly Harbour, Antigua, the destination for the Christmas Caribbean Rally. Click on image to enlarge.

Jolly Harbour Over the past 3 months, Sailing Rallies' flagship event, The Christmas Caribbean Rally, has received wide acclaim from the international press and over 2500 unique visitors from 110 different countries have visited the company's web site. Seeventeen yachts have now registered with Sailing Rallies for the Christmas Caribbean Rally and many more are expected before the early entrants' deadline at the end of February.

Sailing Rallies are offering a 10% early booking discount to all participants that sign up before the end of February. The package includes a myriad of discounts ranging from berthing fees to stocking up for provisions. Included in the price is a preparation weekend in either April and May.

"The preparation weekends are open for the owners and all of their crew at no additional cost to the entry fee." Commented Sailing Rallies' Events Manager, Mikaela Meik. "We want to give our participants expert advice and personal introductions that will really make a difference, not just financially but also to establish bonds with the right people."

The first weekend will take place in London 6-7th April and sailors will be able to get expert advice from a variety of specialists including Jane Russell, circumnavigator and author of The Atlantic Crossing Guide."

The Christmas Caribbean Sailing Rally will start from Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote on 16th December 2013 bound for Jolly Harbour Antigua. --Louay Habib

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. -- Abbie Hoffman

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