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A Tough Day In Paradise
Peter Aschenbrenner's American 63ft trimaran, Paradox. Photo by Ocean Images / Richard Langdon. Click on image to enlarge.

Paradox Just before dawn, Peter Aschenbrenner's American 63ft Trimaran, Paradox powered through the finish line to complete the 600-mile course in less than two days. Conditions have been fresh to frightening right from the start and there has been no let up for over 500 sailors battling through exciting yet tough conditions. Next to finish will be Mike Slade's British maxi, ICAP Leopard to claim Monohull Line Honours, however ICAP Leopard experienced a slow passage to the south of Guadeloupe, preventing the team from getting near the course record.

Any notion that the RORC Caribbean 600 is a jolly around the Caribbean has been totally dispelled. Warm conditions and spectacular surroundings apart, racing 600 miles in big conditions is taking its toll. Eight yachts have now retired from the race leaving 44 yachts still racing. The majority will not finish for at least another 24 hours if not more.

* Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50, Privateer, finished at 19:34:34 this evening to take the class win in IRC Canting Keel and the lead in IRC Overall in the RORC Caribbean 600. The crew on board Privateer will be watching the results closely to see if they can hang on to the lead and beat their best reuslt of 3rd overall in 2010.

There are now 34 boats left to finish in the race.

Tracking: caribbean600.rorc.org/2013-fleet-tracking.html  

www.caribbean600.rorc.org

Winning Group 2013 Jj Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, Race 4
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

18ft Skiff Championship Sydney Harbour: A three-way battle to win the Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship hotted up even further today on Sydney Harbour when Thurlow Fisher Lawyers scored and all the way win in Race 4.

Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas and Dave O'Connor bounced back after a horror day in Race 3 yesterday, when they were forced to retire with a broken bobstay.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers grabbed the lead on the long beat into Rose Bay before racing away to score a commanding1m36s victory over New Zealanders Alex Vallings, Josh McCormack and Peter Burling in C-Tech.

The race for third placing produced an amazing finish with three skiffs crossing the finish line only 2s apart.

Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) got the verdict, 1s ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), which was a further 1s ahead of Pure Blonde (Tom Clout).

After each skiff discards her worst performance to date, Gotta Love It 7 holds the lead on 4 points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 6, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 7 and C-Tech on 11.

Thursday's race will start at 2pm to avoid large harbour traffic scheduled for later in the afternoon.

Race 6 on Saturday starts at 4pm and Race 7 on Sunday at 3pm. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League, www.18footers.com.au

For all official race results, race reports and photographs: www.18footers.com.au

Coverage is also available at www.18skiff.com

Sydney To Hobart Passage Record Challenge Gets The Green Light
A trough line moving down the NSW coast from Queensland looks set to bring conditions at the "upper end of ideal" says Sean Langman, skipper of the 60-foot trimaran Team Australia. Team Australia is making an attempt on the superyacht Mari Cha III's 1999 World Speed Sailing Record Council sanctioned time for the distance of 630 nautical miles between Sydney and Hobart, Tasmania.

Langman will head up a crew of seven including a late addition, his 19 year-old son Peter Langman who has already completed two Rolex Sydney Hobarts and four Bass Strait Crossings.

Team Australia need to average more than 14.83 knots to break the existing course record. They are hoping to complete the passage in just outside 24 hours - potentially slicing half a day or more off the official fastest time. The multihull is capable of a top speed of 42 knots (77.7kph).

Forecaster Roger Badham is predicting maximum breeze at the start, ESE winds at 23-27 knots and off the far south coast of NSW, E-ENE at 18-23 knots. For the run across the Strait ENE winds 24-28 knots (maybe 25-30) are expected and NE 22-27 knots off the Tassie coast tending NNE-N/22-28 on the lower east coast. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Tracking: my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

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.

www.marinepool.com

Oman Sail's Hussain Al Jabri To Race Sail The Gulf 2013
Hussain Al Jabr After just a year with Oman Sail, 24-year-old Hussain Al Jabri is showing promise. In 2012 he won Gold at the Singapore Laser Trophy and has been training hard ahead of the 2013 dinghy season, which kicks off with Qatar's Sail The Gulf regatta at the Doha Sailing Club during 20-23 Feb.

The young sailor is using this event to develop his ability against an international fleet and as training for upcoming national dinghy regatta Mussanah Race Week, which starts on 10 March. Mussanah is in turn being used by a large international fleet as a warm up on Omani waters ahead of the Laser World Championship that starts in November of this year.

Al Jabri will line up against a fleet of 14 sailors from Bahrain, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, the Netherlands and Russia during the five day event. The Laser class is one of nine and Al Jabri is one of 220 sailors from 21 countries competing in the regatta.

Sail The Gulf is hosted by the Doha Sailing Club in Qatar from 19-23 February. The 2013 fleet includes 220 sailors from 21 Countries including: Algeria, Bahrain, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, United Arabs Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Classes and number of participants: Optimist (50); Laser 4.7 (22); Laser Radial (23); Laser Standard (15); Hobie 16 (4); 420 (5); 470 (10); 29er (10)  

www.mussanahraceweek.com/en/

www.omansail.com 

Gazprom Swan 60 Class Receives Isaf Class Status
The Gazprom Swan 60 Class has been officially recognised as a one design class by the world governing body for the sport of sailing, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This follows a successful inaugural year during 2012 that saw the fleet compete at the Rolex Swan Cup and then at the first edition of the Nord Stream Race.

The Swan 60 was designed by German Frers and the first boat was launched in 2008; eight Swan 60s are now racing from five countries across two continents including Russia, USA, Denmark, Italy and Germany. To date, the Swan 60s have raced under IRC in events such as the Copa del Rey, Palma Vela, Rolex Volcano Race, Rolex Giraglia Race and the Rolex Swan Cup.

The Gazprom Swan 60 Class has been developed in conjunction with the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg.  The Class is set to grow and with its newly recognised ISAF status will hold a World Championships in Cowes during the Gazprom Swan European Regatta this summer.

As part of the Gazprom Swan 60 Class Executive Committee, Mike Urwin, Technical Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Rating Office has been appointed the Class Technical Manager.

The 2013 Gazprom Swan 60 Class circuit will kick start the summer with the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta held in Scheveningen, Netherlands on 17 - 21 May.

From 13 - 19 July, the fleet will head to the shores of Cowes, Isle of Wight for close racing in the Solent during the Gazprom Swan European Regatta.

Staying in UK waters and enjoying the challenges that the Solent has to offer, the Gazprom Swan 60 Class will then take part in Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week from 3-10 August.  

Concluding the Gazprom Swan 60 Class Circuit is the Nord Stream Race in September 2013 where the Swan 60s will follow the route of the Nord Stream pipeline. The race will begin in Germany and finish in Saint Petersburg.

www.gazpromswan60class.com

Spinnaker Tales
Sunshine Coast's Audi A5 Alegria V skippered by dual Australian IRC champion Rod Jones will face a searching challenge when they contest the 416 nautical mile Hempel Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race next month.

This classic blue water event set to race across the storm tormented Tasman Sea to Lord Howe Island is recognised as a qualifying event for the more demanding 628 n/ ml Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Both skipper Rod Jones and his experienced crew have already listed the Rolex Sydney Hobart race as a priority in the racing calendar for 2013 with the race to Lord Howe becoming the most serious and longest ocean race to be recorded in their personal log books. The race previously scheduled in October has been bought forward to coincide with The Discovery Day celebrations.

Interestingly yacht racing on the Tasman Sea always presents a test of endurance and tactical strategy with the crews generally challenged with an unstable weather system.

However the A5 Alegria V crew who have the valued experience of successfully racing in the shorter distance costal passage races off the Australian coat including the Audi Sydney to Gold Coast and the Qantas Brisbane to Gladstone blue water classics have the collective results and experience to achieve a major result.

Their tactical strategy will involve some intense forward planning in regard to the sailing conditions on the open ocean where the wind direction and velocity can become unstable and unpredictable particularly if the tropical monsoon continues to remain active during March.

No doubt there will be some hidden and unexpected challenges however they have the collective experience to make the required changes to A5 Alegria V racing on a fast track towards the finish line set off Lord Howe Island Lagoon.

Meanwhile the delivery crew remain on weather watch to select a favourable coastal system to complete the voyage from Mooloolaba to Terrigal to allow sufficient time to prepare for what represents an important Rolex Sydney Hobart race trial.

The nasty low depression system which dumped torrential rain and spun the wind recorders located at Double Island Point and Cape Moreton to a peak of 51 knots became a dramatic reminder to all crews who are planning a coastal voyage at this time of the year.

That boisterous system has headed south leaving a rough sea state in its path hopefully there will not be a repeat strong wind and rough sea waring when the crew of Sunshine Coast sailors set their course for Lord Howe Island next month.

They have collectively contributed to an impressive ocean racing record including two Audi Australian IRC championships but success in this race over 416 nautical miles over an unfamiliar course represents a marathon challenge. -- Ian Grant

Industry News
After a well-attended fundraising luncheon held at the Stamford YC on January 12th, 2013 the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) is pleased to announce that it has reached a major milestone in its efforts to solicit funds for its mission to support the science of sailing. Several generous donations received since that lunch have put SYRF past the remaining $25,000 funding goal needed to meet a $100,000 matching challenge grant.

Moreover, meeting this funding target has triggered receipt of yet another $100,000 in a similar challenge grant. Both grants were established through the generosity of a SYRF donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Founded in 2006, SYRF has supported a variety of projects related to performance sailing, including a wind tunnel study of upwind aerodynamics done by SYRF President Jim Teeters, the formulation of the HPR rating system for high-performance boats, and a new study on the hydrodynamics of wide light boats, headed by Andy Claughton of the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University.

For more information on SYRF, and information on how to make a tax-deductible donation, visit the website at www.sailyachtresearch.org

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The entry of Puma into the sailing clothing market helped the sport immensely. However a 70 percent drop in profits and a reorganisation of the management team will see the brand pull out of sailing.

It was already widely known the Puma would not embark on another Volvo Ocean Race campaign. Puma used the offshore race to launch its foray into technical marine clothing with some great sports marketing and activation - the likes of which the sport had not previously seen.

But the investment in sailing, which includes sponsorship of the America's Cup at a series level and sponsorship of the Defender, Oracle Team USA will end as the the sportswear company concentrates on the mass market appeal of running and football. The company will also stop sponsorship of Rugby Union...

... Puma's short time in sailing has had a massive impact on the sport. The sports marketing smarts that the company developed in football and athletics were applied to sailing and other sponsors realised that they had to up their game. Puma helped to build a new audience for sailing by cross-pollinating their relationships with fashion bloggers and influencers and also used their relationships with sponsored athletes in other sports to turn people's heads in the direction of sailing. -- David Fuller in YachtRacing.biz

www.yachtracing.biz

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Thomas Coville has chosen Multiplast for his new challenge.
Target: Route du Rhum 2014

The Sodebo skipper has just confirmed his choice of boat-yard Multiplast to undertake the transformation necessary to get maxi-trimaran 'Geronimo' ready to compete in a range of races, the first objective being the 2014 Route du Rhum.

2013 has started well for the Vannes based yard ; a few weeks away from the delivery of the 1st  one-design deck for the Volvo Ocean Race, this new order will represent a build worth several months of work for the teams at Multiplast.

With the 31.5m trimaran helmed by Armel le Cléach (ex-Groupama 3) and Prince de Bretagne skippered by Lionel Lemonchois, Sodebo will be the 3rd maxi multihull actually built at Multiplast to line up at the start of the next Route du Rhum in November 2014. This next race offers a magnificent opportunity to revitalise these giant multihulls.

www.sodebo.fr/voile/

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The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) has announced it has a new website design at its same address: www.orc.org

This new site has several new features to interest sailors, race managers, event organizers, and all others interested in ORC rules, rating systems, and the latest news from ORC events and activities worldwide.

Sailor Services is ORC's exclusive online access to its database of 61,000 measurement records, free copies of certificates, and the ability to run test certificates using ORC's recently-released 2013 VPP.

The ORC columns published bi-monthly in Seahorse Magazine are also now available for viewing and download, in addition to free access for ORC certificate holders to each online issue going back to April 2009.

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Porto di Pisa is a new marina facility to open in Italy's Tuscany region. The project is a private investment comprising 354 freehold berths for yachts ranging from 8m-50m (26ft-164ft).

The new facility is located 15km from Pisa's international airport and is part of a large real estate development that includes private housing, shops and other leisure amenities. The entire project is to be built on a property comprising over 210,000sq m and it's expected to be completed by 2015.

Porti di Pisa is scheduled to enter operation by the end of May this year.

plus.ibinews.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2004 36' Bodrum. EUR 40,000. Located In Turkey.

Very well maintained and award winning sailing yacht.

Brokerage through Aegean Yacht Services: www.yachtworld.com/aegeanyacht/

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

The Last Word
I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it. -- Groucho Marx

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