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Overnight Marathon
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

The longest leg of EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour sets sail this afternoon for the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The second of the seven stage event that takes the nine teams clockwise around the Gulf Co-operation Council states (GCC), starts from the Qatari capital of Doha to Abu Dhabi - the first of three stops in the UAE.

At 159 miles long and with the possibility of light winds, the organisers prudently catered for this leg taking as much as two days, but the forecast is now indicating a much breezier ride east-southeast towards the UAE's Capital. The result is that the crews are now expecting to only spend one night at sea, but the ride will be a shorter and very much more intense one.

Earlier in the week, the forecast showed that the boats might experience as much as 30 knots but the forecast has thankfully moderated since then. "I am not so sure the wind will be so strong. The last forecast we got was showing a maximum of 17 knots, although it is stronger to the east," said Bertrand Pace, who is hoping he can follow up on yesterday's success when his Team AISM won all three in-port races, elevating them to third place overall behind Cedric Pouligny's Team BAE Systems and the Sidney Gavignet-skippered EFG Bank (Monaco).

Looking forward to this leg the most is certainly the crew of Team Abu Dhabi, led by Adil Khaled, the first Emirati sailor to compete in the Asian Games, but best known for sailing around the world as part of Ian Walker's crew aboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the last Volvo Ocean Race.

While Khaled is the UAE's most travelled sailor, Bin Lahej, knows the waters off the UAE the best among the crew having competed in the first running of EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour and also as a delivery skipper in the region: "It is always interesting sailing through there. There are a lot of oil fields and big transport dhows along with a lot of tankers and dredgers - there is a huge amount. But it is what it is - go to the English Channel and there are loads of boats around there too. It is part of the game."

The Rob Moore Memorial Regatta Auction Is Now Open!
You all know I have tried my best to support cancer research over the last few years. Mostly from working with the Leukemia Society, we have been able to raise some really good money.

This year I would like to put my efforts, though a bit late into the disease that I came down with, Lung Cancer.

Some of you might know that Lung Cancer is the biggest killer but because most people think it is a self inflicting it does not get much funding as other forms of cancer.

Some of you know my late friend Rob Moore. He, like myself was a non smoker and he lost his battle over a year ago after a very well fought 2 year battle. We have a chance to support Lung Cancer in Rob's name

Make Your Bid to Support Lung Cancer Research and Awareness!

Rob died just over one year ago from lung cancer -- an otherwise very healthy 58 year-old guy who never smoked.

Help us raise money for the #1 cancer killer -- lung cancer by bidding on some amazing items donate by Rob's friends and associates. This online auction is part of the fundraising efforts of the 1st Rob Moore Memorial Regatta, being held on February 16, 2013 in conjunction with the CYC Midwinter Regatta. Jointly organized by the Corinthian Yacht Club and the Bay Area Racing Federation, all proceeds from this auction will go directly to the National Lung Cancer Partnership to support lung cancer research and awareness.

The NLCP's mission is to decrease deaths due to lung cancer and to help patients live longer and better through research, awareness and advocacy. They are a 501 (c) (3) organization with a four-star Charity Navigator rating.

Web sites to check out:

Live Event
Sat Feb 16, 2013
Corinthian Yacht Club of San Francisco:

Please feel free to look over the sites and give if you can. There is a big regatta at Corinthian YC this weekend in San Francisco in Rob's name. They have around 140 boats and there will be big parties going on. I just wish I could be there. -- Dee Smith

Shipyard: Rotted Frame In Sunken Ship Not Fixed
A replica 18th-century sailing ship that sank off North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy had a decaying frame with an undetermined amount of rot in it before leaving port, a Maine shipyard worker told federal officials Wednesday.

One member of the HMS Bounty's 16-person-crew died, and the captain was never found after the ship sank 90 miles off Cape Hatteras during the October storm. The three-mast sailing ship was built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando, and was featured in several other films over the years, including one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

Todd Kosakowski told the panel that he showed Capt. Robin Walbridge the rot he found in the ship when his workers were replacing several planks at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard several weeks before the storm.

"I told him that I was more than worried about what we found," Kosakowski said.

Rather than replacing the rotted wood - as Kosakowski said was the only way to fix it - the ship's crew painted it over, he said.

Walbridge was 'terrified' at what he saw, but he decided against removing additional planks to see how extensive the damage was and going ahead and replacing it, he said.

"It was very quickly shot down by the captain," Kosakowski said. "That would have required a significant amount of time and money."

Kosakowski said he was concerned about the ship's condition when it left the shipyard and that he had advised Walbridge to avoid 'heavy weather.' The ship would later head directly for the path of the hurricane before taking on water, losing power and rolling over as it tossed the crew into the Atlantic Ocean. -- Brock Vergakis, Associated Press

Full story:

Seahorse March 2012
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

In search of the ultimate
Jason Ker’s design team have been going flat out to make that quantum leap… The first results are in no way dull!

It starts with the systems
Stephane Leveel of Tripp Design, Vitters’ MD Louis Hamming and North’s Bill Pearson look at what goes into making a very light, very large and very fast modern sailboat

QED - Part 1
Well, that worked pretty well! As Paul Larsen explains it to fellow Aussie Blue Robinson

Eastern adventure
Dobbs Davis warms us up nicely for the 12th edition of the American Express Bosphorus Cup

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2012 Blue Water Medal Awarded to David S. Cowper
David S. Cowper. Photo by Paddy Killer

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has selected David S. Cowper (Newcastle, England) to receive its Blue Water Medal for his completion of six solo circumnavigations of the world and five solo transits of the Northwest Passage. The Blue Water Medal was first awarded in 1923 and is given "for a most meritorious example of seamanship, the recipient to be selected from among the amateurs of all nations." The award will be presented by Commodore Daniel P. Dyer, III at the annual Awards Dinner on March 1, 2013 at New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

Born in war-torn Britain in 1942, Cowper is an Englishman who was educated at Stowe School in Buckingham and is a member of the Royal Cruising Club. Sailing has been a passion of his since an early age, and his profession as a Chartered Surveyor and a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has allowed him to take time off to sail alone around the World.

In 1980, Cowper completed the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe by way of Cape Horn (Chile), Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), and Cape Leeuwin (Australia) in his Sparkman & Stephens 41-foot sloop Ocean Bound in 225 days, beating the record holder at the time, Sir Francis Chichester, by one day. Two years later, he repeated the feat, sailing against the prevailing westerly winds and rounding all five capes in 237 days, beating record holder Chay Blyth's time by 71 days and becoming the first person to ever circumnavigate the world in both directions.

In 1984, Cowper moved from sailboats to motorboats and converted the 42-foot ex-Royal National Lifeboat, Mabel E. Holland, into his new vessel, and took it westward around the globe, becoming the first person to circumnavigate solo on a motor vessel.

In August 2009, Cowper began his sixth circumnavigation, which included an east-to-west transit of the Northwest Passage and a voyage that would take him down the west coast of South America and to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, then on to South America, South Australia, Hawaii and Alaska before going west-to-east through the Northwest Passage. Cowper completed the voyage, arriving back to England on October 5, 2011.

In July 2012, Cowper took Polar Bound through the McClure Strait in Canada at the western end of the Northwest Passage. This fifth transit was another first for Cowper, as he did his first solo passage through the notorious ice-bound route.

Currently, Polar Bound is wintering in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Cowper will return to his boat in the Spring to resume his seventh solo circumnavigation.

New Competitions Manager Joins ISAF Secretariat
Southampton, Great Britain: Jon Napier has joined the Secretariat of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) in the role of Competitions Manager.

Jon is particularly responsible for ISAF Race Officials, ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, ISAF World Match Racing Tour, ISAF Nations Cup, ISAF Team Racing Championship and supports the busy Competitions department.

Jon started sailing from an early age and grew up involved in yacht racing on the River Clyde in Scotland, and then latterly on the South Coast in England. In 2006 he started judging dinghy racing in the UK and in 2007 became involved in umpiring both match and team racing events. He is a national umpiring assessor and instructor for team racing in Great Britain and is heavily involved in the running of the Great Britain university team racing circuit.

He qualified as an ISAF International Judge in 2007 and as an ISAF International Umpire in 2008. Since then he has been officiating regularly in the Olympic Classes (including the Sailing World Cup, the Finn Gold Cup and the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth last year) and he was the Jury Secretary at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth.

Last Demanding 500 Miles
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati are 550 miles away from San Francisco but the weather conditions are still very demanding. At present Maserati is sailing in unstable winds that keep changing direction and fluctuate between 9 to 15 knots. The team is forced to tack continuously to gain miles.

"We are close to the finish line but these last 500 miles will be very hard", says Giovanni Soldini. "We are starting to feel tired and we have finished all our comfort food. Unluckily the weather forecast predicts very light winds in the last 100 miles. Let's hope it's wrong."

Maserati is expected to arrive in San Francisco on February 16... which will be a total of 47 days, nearly ten off the existing record.

The challenge to the New York-San Francisco record started December 31 for the nine sailors. They must break the record of 57 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes set in 1998 by Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations.

Jeanne Socrates' Solo Circumnavigation On "Nereida"
On Monday, 11th February, just before midday, 70-year-old Londoner Jeanne Socrates passed the Cape of Good Hope.....

Sailing east in the Southern Ocean, some 600 miles off to the south of Afrca.....and she then headed on towards the Indian Ocean after a successful 35-day crossing of the South Atlantic from Cape Horn, as part of her 3rd attempt at a nonstop, unassisted, solo circumnavigation.

This is her third crossing of the Southern Ocean towards Australia and New Zealand.

Having rounded Cape Horn early in February, the next Great Cape on the list after Good Hope will be Cape Leeuwin , south of Perth in W. Australia, which she will also pass well south at the start of her crossing of the Great Australian Bight towards Tasmania. But today (at 1050 GMT, Tuesday 12th Feb), she also passed Cape Agulhas (the southernmost point in S.Africa) and so passed from the Atlantic into the Indian Ocean section of the Southern Ocean....

While underway, the birds of the Southern Ocean have given delight and interest with their constant company. Not unusually, at dawn this morning, along with several different petrels and a pair of Great shearwaters, a Great albatross passed close by - they're magnificent creatures and an awesome sight! She's sending a note of birds seen in different places for adding to our knowledge of, and statistical information on, the seabirds of the deep oceans, in an effort to play a small part in their conservation - so many are still at risk from poor fishing methods used unnecessarily by certain fishing vessels.

She's looking forward to completing her circumnavigation in early June.

Daily news reports (with occasional photos) and positions while on passage are being posted to

Please show your support for Jeanne's sailing in aid of her chosen charity by clicking on the daffodil on her website's Home page (or visit ) to make a secure donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care in aid of their free home-nursing help for the terminally ill.

Industry News
The J/80 UK Class Association is proud to announce that it has secured the services of world-renowned photographer Rick Tomlinson for the 2013 UK National Championships hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in June.

Based in Cowes, the host town for the event, Rick Tomlinson holds an impressive portfolio which includes footage from the Whitbread Round the World Race and the America's Cup. He has twice been appointed official photographer for the Volvo Ocean race.

Photo by Rick Tomlinson,


Security giant G4S, which failed to supply the staff it promised for last year's Olympics and Paralympics is to lose £70 million ($110 million/€82 million) after reaching an agreement with London 2012, it was announced today.

The world's biggest security firm revealed just weeks before the Games began that it could not provide 10,400 guards, forcing the Government to call on military and police personnel to cover the shortfall.

The firm had originally estimated the loss on the contract, worth around £240 million ($376 million/€279 million), to be around £50 million ($78 million/€58 million).

But it has incurred penalties, waived a large chunk of its management fee and paid for the 4,700 emergency staff that were drafted in to cover the shortfall, it was revealed today.


Finnish marine companies have reported net sales of €477.6m in 2012 - a 14.9 per cent drop compared to the previous year.

According to figures released by Finnish marine industry association Finnboat, domestic boat sales fell by 20.7 per cent to €104.1m, with wholesale deliveries of small craft and motorboats from 6m-8m down by 15 per cent to 568 units.

Wholesale deliveries of boats under 6m climbed by nine per cent to 8,289 units, boats from 8m-10m fell by 36 per cent to 54 units and boats over 10m grew by 33 per cent to 28 units.

As for exports, the invoicing value of Finnboat members in 2012 fell by 2.9 per cent to €178.7m. The share of exports from Finland's total output in 2012 grew slightly to 71.3 per cent. Of the 2012 export billing, the sailboat share was 35.7 per cent.

The value of imports for the period in question was €32m, a drop of 15.8 per cent. Boats valued at less than €840 each were excluded from these statistics.

Nevertheless, some 52 per cent of Finnboat member companies are expecting an increase in turnover in 2013, and 20 per cent anticipate expanding their workforce.

IBI News:


Members of the Boating Leadership Council will discuss key drivers for growth at BWI's annual meeting in Miami

Boating Writers International (BWI) said it plans to host an informational session about the US industry's three "growth summits" over the past year. The session, open to the public, will be held during the association's annual meeting at the Miami International Boat Show.

The annual BWI meeting will begin with NMEA Executive Director Bruce Angus giving an outlook for the 2013 electronics market as well as presentation of awards for the BWI Annual Writing Contest. It will be held on Friday, February 15 from 8 to 10 am in room B 118-119 of the Miami Beach convention center.

IBI News:


The Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) has today unveiled a partnership with leading Swedish clothing brand Pelle P as part of its continued drive to introduce more commercial partners to the world's leading professional match racing series.

The deal was announced at the headquarters of Pelle P in Sweden close to Gothenburg. The 4 year partnership will see Pelle P supply AWMRT with a range of technical and casual gear, with plans to develop an official line of AWMRT merchandise. Pelle P will be seen at the opening stage of the forthcoming AWMRT season in Langernagen, Germany, commencing 15th May.

The company has its origin from the sailing legend Pelle Petterson who also has a unique skill as a successful yacht designer.

Pelle P are also official clothing partner to the America's Cup team, Artemis, as well as the Stena Match Cup Sweden and the RC44 series.

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Back On Monday
Your humble narrator will be unavailable for the usual Thursday evening editing duties, as he will be wining and dining two of the three women who rule his life (wife and daughter... Mother is, regrettably, many miles away). May you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day evening, and remember... love IS all you need.

The Last Word
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. -- Roald Dahl

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