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EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour
Team AISM skippered by Bertrand Pace during todays In-Port race in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Sailing Arabia - The Tour Nine world-class crews competing in the EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour were back on the water today off the coast of Qatar for the first of three in-port races to take place during the 15 day race between Bahrain and Muscat.

In contrast to the calm of the opening days, Day 3 of the third edition of the region's only long distance sailing race was fast and fanatic as fiercely competitive in-port races saw Dubai-based Team AISM, steal the honours winning all three races in front of a large crowd enjoying Qatar's National Sport Day.

After a windless opening day to EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour, sailing conditions today were a perfect at the Doha's magnificent development, The Pearl. 10-15 knots with flat water for the three double lap windward-leeward courses, held against the Qatari skyscraper-lined backdrop.

Bertrand Pace and his Dubai-based Team AISM dominated the first day of in-port racing. Pace is returning to compete in the Gulf's longest sailboat race for a third time, hoping to repeat his first place success of 2011.

After today's short course sailing series, the nine crews will be setting their sights on the longest leg of the 15 day tour, covering 160 nautical miles between Doha and Abu Dhabi, the first stopover in the UAE.

Sailing through the night on a typically a 36 hour race, based on an average speed of 5 knots, the race is expected to be reduced to 20 hours. Strong wind speeds are forecasted, lifting speeds to between 15-20 knots. As the longest leg is also predicted to be one of the quickest, the decision has been made to delay the start until 1200 local time.

7's Race for the Giltinan Has Already Begun
Click on image to enlarge.

Giltinan The defending champion Gotta Love It 7 team's race for the J. J. Giltinan Championship has already begun, following a spectacular capsize in strong wind conditions last Sunday.

Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris can do nothing now except wait to see if the team's damaged hull can be repaired in time for Saturday's Race 1 of the regatta on Sydney Harbour.

Fortunately for the team, class boat builder Brett Van Munster, who is also a skipper in the 18s fleet, was immediately on hand to survey the damage with Seve Jarvin.

"The amount of damage was amazing.  In those situations sometimes the skiffs can come out with little or no damage, unfortunately this time it's not the case.  It's pretty major; the list is long and complex". The skiff was transported immediately to Van Munster Boatbuilders on the NSW central coast where the Van Munster team began working around-the-clock .

"It could have been worse; it could have been next week".

The Van Munster Boats team led by Dan Grilk, with assist by Dylan Neilson, are pushing hard to try and get the job done and have the boat back in the water for the invitation race on Friday.

At the same time, Brett has to find some time to prepare his own 'Rabbitohs-Kenwood'  skiff for the championship. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Over La Manche
Click on image to enlarge.

Endeavour Quay In Seahorse magazine, Jules Verne record holder onboard Banque Populaire V and Vendee Globe veteran Brian Thompson looks at the UK's own rapidly developing rival to the traditional shorthanded racing centres of Brittany:

Like many other Seahorse readers I have been following the current Vendee Globe with an almost obsessive level of interest. As a competitor in the 2008/09 edition, I know that only the fastest sailors with the highest degree of seamanship skills can win. It's also still evident that even though the winning boat will have been designed and engineered with painstaking care, and built with incredible expertise and dedication, it can never be anywhere near ready for an event as gruelling as the Vendee Globe, 'straight out of the box'.

From initial launching each boat will have been in a perpetual cycle of testing, development and refinement, both in terms of performance and reliability. So clearly the quality and dedication of the technical shore team are critical in this preparatory phase, as is the choice of technical base and boatyard for the project. There is a multiplicity of factors to be accounted for in deciding on that base.

In France the benchmark locations, where most of the top Vendee entries have traditionally been prepared, are Lorient, Port La Foret and La Trinite. In the UK, perhaps surprisingly to some, the epicentre for Imoca 60 teams has been Gosport, at the western entrance of Portsmouth Harbour. Endeavour Quay in Gosport has been the boatyard of choice for many teams including Alex Thomson Racing, Dee Caffari Racing and my own 08/09 Vendee Pindar campaign.

Endeavour Quay is now the principal facility in Gosport and no fewer than nine Imoca teams have used the yard for recent refits. Four Volvo Ocean Race teams have also operated short-term bases there, as have high-profile private visitors including Ran, Rambler, Alegre, Beau Geste and of course the classic J Class.

Full article at

Endeavour Quay:

Inflatable Yacht Fenders
DEFENDA DEFENDA inflatable fenders provide the ultimate protection for your yacht and are easily stored when deflated. Available in ten standard sizes from 75cm to 4m long, they are highly resistant to abrasion, chemical attack and UV degradation, thanks to the latest Polyester and Hypalon fabrics.

Swiftly inflated and deflated by manual or electric pump, the DEFENDA range is available with snug fitting covers in a wide variety of colours to ensure an ultra-soft interface between fender and hull. Fendacentre also offer a range of accessories to complement their fenders, including pumps, cordage and fender hooks.

Suitable for yachts of all sizes; even if you don't fully equip your yacht with inflatable fenders, it is advisable to have a least a couple onboard for those difficult mooring situations where larger fenders can save the hull from damage.

Dublin Bay 21s - A Sad Scene
Celebrating several sailing centenaries have been joyful occasions on Dublin bay recently, seen as opportunities to reflect on the capital's rich sailing tradition.

But the misfortune of the Dublin Bay 21 foot class represents a far bigger problem for Bay sailing than just the loss of this historic boat because it highlights bad news for the future of Ireland's yachting heritage.

For all the talk of the port's rich sailing history, when it comes to getting behind a project to save its own unique Dublin Bay 21 class there is only lip service.

In spite of ninety years hard sailing, an Irish hurricane and an increasing financial burden, the dream of restoring the vintage class to original condition has been kept alive by a group of owners who have struggled to get a restoration project underway.

As far back as 1993 - in a Christmas sailing column - The Irish Times published details of plans to create a working museum of these antique yachts.

In the absence of a commercial sponsor to commit £150,000, the class pressed ahead with a group scheme. It was a notion to provide the nation with a working sailing exhibit estimated at the time to cost £20,000 per boat before the class centenary in 2003. Sadly, it never happened.

If Ireland is to enhance its reputation as one of the founders of yacht racing it must at least be able to preserve its roots.

A change of attitude is all that is needed to put these boats back on the bay again. It's a lovely idea - much more lovely than rotting hulks in a Wicklow farmyard. -- Afloat magazine

Sailing Is In For 2020
Lausanne, Switzerland: The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today agreed on the 25 sports it will propose to the 125th IOC Session for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

The 25 sports are: athletics, rowing, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, swimming, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.

The EB recommended that wrestling, governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), not be included on the list of core sports. Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports - baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu - vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport.

The eight sports are scheduled to make presentations to the Executive Board at its meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, in May. The EB will select which of the eight sports to recommend to the 125th IOC Session for inclusion as an additional sport on the 2020 programme.

The 125th IOC Session will take place from 7 to 10 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Mandurah Ocean - The New Ocean Sailing Suit By Marinepool
Marinepool Hardly any activity or sport is putting higher stress on clothing and is more demanding than sailing. Marinepool has been producing performance sailing clothing for more than 20 years and our offshore suits are the choice of world renown teams and sailors like Oman Sail MOD70 "Musandam" or offshore sailing veteran Kito de Pavant, among others.

Mandurah is the new highlight of the Marinepool Ocean Line. Made entirely from 3-layer stretch fabric it has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a suit designed for the rough conditions of ocean sailing. The jacket features a tuck away hood in the collar with 3 point adjustment, reflective bands from 3M Scotchlite™ on shoulders, chest and hood for better visibility, waterproof zippers on all pockets, double cuffs, an adjustable hem as well as reinforced elbows and pockets with drainage. The ocean height collar is lined with warm fleece and the articulated sleeve construction guarantees ease of movement.

With a waterproofness of 20.000mm water column and a breathability of 20.000 g/m²/24hrs the high cut trousers feature the same technical specifications like the jacket. Hard wearing reinforcements on knees and seat guarantee longevity of the garment. The articulated leg and seat construction results in an excellent fit, ease of movement and high comfort.

Marinepool's XPU membrane offers perfect protection from wind, water and cold. It regulates the body climate and keeps your body warm and dry while letting dampness escape. The membrane was specially designed for use in salt water and its innovative structure prevents clogging with salt crystals.

Both trousers and jacket are available in yellow and anthracite.

2012 Rod Stephens Trophy For Outstanding Seamanship
The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has selected Captain Thomas B. Crawford (Lopez Island, Wash.) to receive its 2012 Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship for the rescue of Derk Wolmuth and his 31-foot Vindo sailboat, Bela Bartok, during the 2012 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race. The trophy is given "for an act of seamanship which significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht or one or more individuals at sea." The trophy will be awarded by Commodore Daniel P. Dyer, III at the Annual Awards Dinner on March 1, 2013 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

In the early hours of July 15, 2012, Crawford was aboard his ship, Matson Navigation's 860-foot RoCon MV Mokihana, en route to Oakland, Calif. He received a call from the Coast Guard asking for help in the rescue of Derk Wolmuth, who was two weeks into the 18th biennial Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race from San Francisco, Calif. to Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii. Wolmuth was fighting an infection onboard, but with no antibiotics he was close to death.  An avid sailor himself, Crawford connected with Wolmuth over the radio. His primary goal was to save Wolmuth, but he hoped to save the boat as well, since it served as Wolmuth's only home.

Prior to bringing the sick sailor aboard, Crawford instructed Wolmuth to adjust Bela Bartok's Monitor wind vane and trim the jib. After Wolmuth was aboard Mokihana and on his way to the ship's infirmary, Crawford maneuvered his large ship - using gantline hauling, engine commands and the helm and bow thruster - to get Bela Bartok on course to Hawaii, which was 450 miles away.

On July 19th Bela Bartok was rescued 15 miles north of Maui by Wolmuth's fellow race competitors, who had been monitoring the boat's progress with the Yellow Brick Tracker that was aboard.

According to Crawford both of his goals were accomplished. "Derk is alive and mending, and his home (Bela Bartok) is safe in Oahu. Many people working together made for an amazing outcome…not exactly a Mars landing, but it wasn't that far removed for a bunch of people unknown to each other and with no planning or rehearsal."

Team Tilt - Target San Francisco
Photo by Loris von Siebenthal - myimage, Click on image to enlarge.

Team Tilt The members of Team Tilt will fly to San Francisco on February 14, 2013 in order to dispute the final selection series for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, which will be held on September 1 - 4, 2013 on Wingsail Catamarans' AC 45.

After having been accepted based on their file, the young sailors of Team Tilt had to show all their skills on the water in December 2012 to a selection committee, composed of Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Peter Steinacher; they also brilliantly met the requirements of this second phase.

The last phase of the Selection Series will be held in San Francisco from February 18 to 24 2013, in the context of a regatta on board of the wingsail catamarans of the Youth America's Cup. While 12 teams out of thirty have been selected for this final phase, only five of these teams will be present in San Francisco in September 2013. Five teams will on the other hand be directly selected for the finals as they are supported by one of the teams of the America's Cup.

This selection will be based on two criteria: The physical condition as well as the technical aspects of the sailing. After three days of physical tests, the judges will go on board with each team on AC45 catamarans in order to assess their competences. The result of the regatta will of course also be a key factor. The training program of each team will also be taken into consideration - a positive point for the Swiss team which will moreover participate to the Vulcain Trophy on board of a Decision 35 boat.

Spinnaker Tales
Sixty Five years ago Brisbane Businessman George Pickers set a trailblazing course into Australian ocean racing history when he steered his former Sydney Harbour racing yacht Hoana to win line honours in the inaugural Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race.

Hoana completed the course in 47 hours 8 minutes 25 seconds winning the prestigious first to finish trophy by the comfortable margin of 2 hours 39 minutes 35 seconds over the Stan Spencer helmed Yawl Mahra while Brisbane Grocery chain owner Joe Manahan filled third place with Sarie Marais 1.

The year was 1949 when a small fleet of seven yachts set sail from the Humpybong Jetty before weaving a slow course to depart Moreton Bay via the Caloundra Fairway buoy. Conditions on board were primitive with the crews forced to share their below deck accommodation with a crate of noisy homing pigeons which were released to carry position reports back to the race control centre.

Some pigeons made the flight home while others were reported to have met their demise in the cooking pot when the supplies in the larder locker dwindled.

Shortly before Hoana entered her third day at sea her crew triumphantly sailed into Gladstone Harbour on Easter Sunday and were greeted with a tumultuous welcome.

Remarkably Hoana's average speed of a little over 6.5 knots remained unchallenged until the Alf Huybers owned and Norman Wright junior skippered Flying Saucer powered with amuch stronger spinnaker sailing trade wind busted the record by almost six hours when she completed the course with an average speed of 7.46 knots in 1955.

The present record of 20 hours 24 minutes and 50 seconds (15.09 knots) set by the Grant Wharington skippered Skandia Wild Thing in 2004 stands to be challenged.

The recently modified Wild Thing featured in a war of words when her entry was rejected for the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on Boxing Day.

However skipper Grant Wharington has entered this year's blue water classic with the purpose of defending her narrow line honours win last year over the Peter Harburg owned and Mark Bradford skippered pocket Maxi Black Jack.

Black Jack which set unmatched boat speed on a thrilling ride along the ocean shoreline of Fraser Island on Good Friday night continued to drench her crew in spray when she power sailed away from the fleet to become the 64th overall winner of the Prestigious sterling silver Courier Mail Cup.

Black Jack capped a brilliant year of racing in 2012 with her IRC Class win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race has been entered to defend her 2012 Qantaslink Brisbane Gladstone victory. Her expected line honours duel with Grant Wharington's super maxi Wild Thing will be among the highlights of this year's QantasLink blue water classic when another interesting fleet including the possible record challengers Wild Thing and Black Jack set the tactical strategy in place to complete the course off Auckland Creek before the record time expires at 7-35-10 on Easter Saturday morning. -- Ian Grant

CNN Mainsail In February
Prior to the start of the most recent edition of the Vendee Globe non-stop solo round the world race the winners of the race have shared a very similar profile. All French, all fathers, all in their thirties or older and all having competed in the French solo racing circuit prior to the solo round the planet victory..

Last November CNN MAINSAIL presenter, double Olympic Gold medallist Shirley Robertson selected four skippers that did not exactly fit that profile but had the potential to win the race. Could the seventh edition of the race break the mould?

This month on MAINSAIL we follow the extraordinary contest for the lead, from the painful and emotional departure in France to the dramatic fight to the finish where a new race record was set, in what was the closest ever edition of the Vendee Globe. 

We witness heartbreak as skippers dreams are broken, extraordinary seamanship , and a race so close that the two skippers fighting for the lead were sight of each other after 15000 miles at sea.

Thurs 14th - 1030 GMT
Thurs 14th - 1730 GMT
Sat 16th -  830 GMT
Sat 16th - 2200 GMT
Sun 17th - 1730 GMT

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1991 Nautor SWAN 53. US$ 395,000. Located In San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The "MEZZA LUNA" is a nicely-maintained SWAN 53 that has been used and lightly chartered by her current and previous Owners in New England, Mid-Atlantic and Caribbean waters. Built by NAUTOR of Finland, she was the 40th example of the very successful SWAN 53 design by German Frers. The "MEZZA LUNA" has the standard SWAN 53 layout to include the Owner's Cabin aft with a centerline queen berth, two Guests Cabins, port and starboard forward with uppper/lower berths, and the Foc's'le area for crew's quarters and for storage.

Brokerage through Berthon USA:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
It's a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation. -- Roberto Benigni

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