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Mike Golding Quits Vendee Globe Quest
'Goldfinger' as he's nicknamed in France, is much admired here for his tenacity and toughness. I've followed his career and almost all his races first-hand since the first British Steel Challenge 20 years ago, and see him as the epitome of the dedicated professional in every way - I recall his early Challenge crews having a spreadsheet detailing which colour of sponsored clothing to wear on each day of the week so as to reinforce their united appearance.

In the two last Vendee Globe races, though, I think I've observed the mounting toll this remorseless cycle of solo round the world races has been taking, how much harder it is for him go through it all again. Golding's telling answer to a question about the high points of this race was: "Leaving. And arriving." He meant it.

Since Cape Horn he has said that this is it; his last ever Vendee Globe. He will not be back here as a competitor again in 2016. "I've invested 16 years of my life into trying to win the Vendee Globe and that is enough. I want to enjoy what I'm doing and I think it's time to realign my focus." -- Elaine Bunting's blog

www.yachtingworld.com/blogs/elaine-bunting/

Bernard Stamm on the Vendee Globe...
On whether he deserved to be disqualified:
I can't see how I could have done things differently. If the Russian boat hadn't been around, I wouldn't have moored to it, obviously, but I would have been disqualified anyway because I would have wanted to save my boat anyway. You're in a place you don't know, you are anchored but you feel the boat drifting, you have to do something. I lost a boat in 2008 in similar circumstances. I think I did what I had to do, that's it.

On François Gabart:
I would have loved to see him at the finish, but I know he's busy. I like him a lot, we've worked together throughout our preparations. He invited me on board MACIF, but he didn't let me go inside! His performance is amazing, during the training sessions we could see he was very comfortable with this boat. It's like he was having a nice and quiet drive to the supermarket while we were still trying to figure out how the engine worked. Keeping that intense rhythm throughout the race with Armel chasing him is definitely something, a great performance.

On whether he is feeling proud:
I'm very happy I sailed Cheminees Poujoulat around the world, that's a huge satisfaction. Circumnavigations are long and complicated. It is something great to achieve. You have no idea how long the race can feel. Sailing up the Atlantic takes forever, you feel like you're travelling through several different worlds. So I'm proud I went through that and came back.

On his future projects:
Cheminees Poujoulat and I have a project that runs until the Jacques Vabre Transat, so we don't have to ask ourselves questions or make tough decisions right before or right after the Vendee Globe. It's way too early to say if I will be in the next Vendee Globe. It's such a demanding race project in terms of money and energy. The boat was a teenager when I left, and now she's become an adult, so I don't want to leave her in the hands of someone else now.

vendeeglobe.org

Hardy Cup Victory to David Chapman
David Chapman leading David Gilmour on Sydney Harbour. Photo by Raoul De Ferranti. Click on image for photo gallery.

Hardy Cup Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron member David Chapman today deservedly won the prestigious Under 25 ISAF Grade 3 match racing regatta on Sydney Harbour at his fifth and final attempt.

He will be outside the age limit next year...."what a way to sail your final Hardy Cup," an excited Chapman said after a final day of incredibly close match racing in the Squadron's fleet of Elliott 6 sports boats.

Chapman and his crew sailed 11 flights on the last day, five to complete round-robin 3, two in winning their semi-final and four in the final, in which they won a hard-fought match, 3-1, against West Australia David Gilmour from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

The winning crew comprised three sailors from three different clubs, David Chapman (Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron), Ollie Nicholas (Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania) and Daniel Nixon (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club).

The regatta was the first time they had sailed together, but their collective skills in helming, tactics and sail handling gave them victory on a final day of competition in a fresh to strong Sydney nor'easter that reached 22 knots.

While the 24-year-old Chapman has a long experience in Elliott 6s and Hardy Cup competitions, for Nicholas and Nixon it was their first time crewing in the Elliott 6 sports boats in this elite event. -- Peter Campbell

ISAF Match Racing Rankings
As the ISAF Match Race Rankings roll into 2013, Ian Williams (GBR) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) maintain their status as World #1 match racers in the Open and Women's divisions.

Whilst Ian Williams (GBR) has a stranglehold on the World #1 some of the rising stars of match racing continue to make steady progress up the rankings as they look to be the next

ISAF Nations Cup North America and Caribbean victor Dustin Durant (USA) is a potential name of the future following impressive displays at ISAF Grade 2 and 3 events of the last 24-months. Most recently the American blitzed Peter Wickwire 3-0 in the ISAF Nations Cup final in Bridgetown, Barbados to take full points from the ISAF Grade 2 regatta. Prior to his trip to the sun kissed island of Barbados Durant won the ISAF Grade 3 California Dreaming - San Diego Stop. With two exceptional results added to a list of strong performances over the last 24-months Durant climbs from World #43 to World #31.

Sally Barkow (USA) continues to impress in the Open game and following her regatta win at the Carlos Aguilar Match Race in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands she moves back up to her best ranking spot of World #24. Established match racer Dave Perry (USA) finished second at the Carlos Aguilar Match Race behind Barkow to catapult up to World #36.

Top ten open rankings:

1. Ian Williams, GBR
2. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
3. Pierre-antoine Morvan, FRA
4. Keith Swinton, AUS
5. Philip Robertson, NZL
6. William Tiller, NZL
7. Laurie Jury, NZL
8. Taylor Canfield, ISV
9. Johnie Berntsson, SWE
10. Peter Gilmour, AUS

Top ten women's rankings:

1. Anna Tunnicliffe, USA
2. Claire Leroy, FRA
3. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS
4. Olivia Price, AUS
5. Sally Barkow, USA
6. Lucy Macgregor, GBR
7. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP
8. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN
9. Silvia Roca Mata, ESP
10. Silja Lehtinen, FIN

Full rankings: www.sailing.org/news/rankings.php

Tornado 5.4m High Performance
Click on image to enlarge.

Tornado Boats - The ultimate coach boat!

More stable and with better sea keeping capabilities than any other coach boat.

With its 5.55m length and 2.35m width the Tornado 5.4m has enough space to carry sails and lots of gear - and as with all Tornado's you get to choose between numerous options, down to the exact positioning of the elements.

The Tornado 5.4m has the power to tow boats for miles, and you will always feel confident that your Tornado will bring you and your gear safely home.

Tornado boats are highly appreciated for their maneuverability and seaworthiness by sailors around the world!

Tornado aims for safety and comfort!

- Safety in having predictable handling and exceptional sea keeping capabilities.
- Comfort in the sense that your body is less stressed after having sailed for hours when using a Tornado.

Did you know that Tornado Boats;
- have the highest marked value in the market for second-hand boats?
- customize all models according to our customers' needs?
- produce all hulls from epoxy vinyl-ester using vacuum infusion?
- only use 100% PU as tube material, the strongest ever made?

For more information please visit: www.tornado-boats.com/en

Nelson's Uniform Loaned To Paris
A macabre desire to see the blood-stained uniform of the man who helped defeat their emperor has gripped the French and the National Maritime Museum is to loan the war-torn chemise which Nelson wore at the Battle of Trafalgar to the Musee de l'Armee, Hotel des Invalides, Paris.

The uniform, which Nelson was wearing when he was fatally wounded on the deck of HMS Victory, will be one of the key objects in the forthcoming Napoleon et l'Europe exhibition 27 March - 14 July 2013. This will be the first time the uniform has left Britain since it was brought back from the famous battle along with Nelson's body in 1805.

The uniform will be taken off display in the National Maritime Museum on 14 March 2013, and will return to London for October 2013, where it will take pride of place in the museum's new Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery which looks at how the Royal Navy shaped individual lives and the course of British history over the tumultuous eighteenth century.

www.yachtingmonthly.com

Season Tickets Go On Sale For Summer Of Racing At 2013 America's Cup
Season tickets for the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco go on sale Saturday February 9 at 08:00am (PST), giving race fans the first opportunity to guarantee their place in the best seats on the Bay.

The America's Cup 'Summer of Racing' includes three months of hard-fought competition, culminating with the best two teams in world dueling for the oldest trophy in international sport.

The America's Cup Season Pass includes a ticket to bleacher seating in a prime waterfront location at the America's Cup Village, with an elevated, seated and close-up view of the race start and the top turning marks of the course.

A full list of seating options will be released in early March, including the opportunity to select seating in the America's Cup Village at either Marina Green or on the Peninsula. With tickets to these prime viewing locations selling out in 2012, the America's Cup Season Pass is the best way for fans to guarantee a seat to see all of the on-water action.

www.americascup.com/experience

No Irish Ports Expected To Feature In Volvo Route
With the announcement this week that Newport, Rhode Island, has won the North American stopover of the next Volvo Ocean Race in 2015, the full route will be known within weeks.

Gothenburg in Sweden will host the finale while it is understood that there will be no Irish port in the next edition.

South Africa also appears to have been dropped from the route as Recife in Brazil will mark the end of the foreshortened first leg of the race from Alicante starting in October 2014.

The next port has yet to be confirmed but is widely expected to be Abu Dhabi, though whether the Somalian piracy situation will be an issue cannot be foreseen at this time.

Other Asian ports will be announced before the race returns to Auckland.

Itajai in Brazil is a likely stop-over port before heading to Newport and then a penultimate European port.

Galway has hosted the race twice and though considered successful, an official entry would in the past have helped secure a return visit. Negative publicity following a funding shortfall for last year's finale may also have been a factor against a return visit in 2015 despite the obvious following the race has in Ireland. -- David Branigan in The Irish Times

www.irishtimes.com

J/97 Eurocup Event Confirmed
As a result of demand from the UK fleet, a J/97 Eurocup event has been announced as part of the 2013 J-Cup hosted by the Royal Western Sailing Club, Plymouth from 21st - 24th August.

The fleet will enjoy 8 races over 3 days, both inside and out of the Plymouth breakwater, with most races scheduled to finish within view of the sailing club and spectators on the Hoe and surrounding areas. The overall results will determine both the winner of The Lombard J/97 UK National Championship, and now the European Championship also. Both winners will be awarded some first-rate prizes for their success on the water.

The J/97 is the smallest cruiser-racer of the J Boats range. Measuring at just under 32', it combines 6' of headroom and family cruising accommodation in a high performance, easily driven hull. Launched in 2009, a sizeable fleet of J/97s has developed in the UK, enjoying both one design and IRC racing. The boat has proven its competitive ability under IRC time and again; in 2012 the J/97 was crowned champion at the IRC SW Championships, IRC Nationals, IRC2 Class at Dartmouth Week, Class 5 at Cowes Week, and finally, overall winner of the coveted Scottish Series.

The annual J-Cup regatta is exclusively for racing yachts of the J-Boats brand and all J-Boats models are eligible to compete. A different venue is selected each year, and the event returns to Plymouth for the first time since 2007. The announcement of the J/97 Eurocup is expected to add another degree of excitement to what is always a lively and eagerly anticipated event.

Entries for the J-Cup can be submitted via www.keyyachting.com

Courage and Fortitude In An Emergency
A brave 11-year-old girl single-handedly sailed a 24ft yacht back to shore after her father collapsed and blacked out on board.

Unity Bowns was sailing with father Matthew, 58, when he fell ill with gallstone pancreatitis.

But the quick-thinking girl took control and sailed the boat five miles to meet her mother, Rachel, who was waiting at the pontoon in Emsworth, Hants.

The Royal Yacht Association has rewarded Unity for her 'courage and fortitude in an emergency'.

It was the first time Unity, who has been sailing since she was four, had solo skippered a boat that big.

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk

Sail For Gold Funding Issues
A cash-strapped council has refused to support a prestigious sailing event which will boost the economy.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is the only council out of three in Dorset to turn down a grant even though the high profile competition will be held on its doorstep and benefit the area.

Sailing academy bosses at Portland need help to support this year's Sail for Gold event, the nation's largest international Olympic-class regatta which brings together the world's top sailors.

Last year's event took on even greater significance as sailors battled it out for early supremacy on 2012 Olympic waters.

The academy approached Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council for financial help. Only the borough council refused.

Borough councillors believe the academy should seek sponsorship instead of asking for financial help from the authority, which is having to make drastic spending cuts.

The academy is looking for sponsors in the long term but wants to fund this year's event itself together with its partners at the Royal Yachting Association. -- Martin Lea in the Dorset Echo

www.dorsetecho.co.uk

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1989 Open 60. US$ 99,000. Located In Venezuela.

This Open 60' has an excellent history. She won the Vendee Globe round-the-world single-handed yacht race in '89/'90, '90 Route du Rhum, '03 Newport - Bermuda Race, and took a 3rd in the '97 Vendee Globe.

She has been upgraded with lots of new gear and work, including complete electrical re-wiring, new electronics, new mainsail, and more.

Brokerage through Lager Yacht Brokerage Corporation: www.yachtworld.com/lagerytsny/

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

The Last Word
The surest test of discipline is its absence. -- Clara Barton

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