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RORC Easter Challenge Attracts Top Teams
With many of the UK's top IRC boats signed up to compete over three days at the popular RORC Easter Challenge, the regatta is turning into a practice session for the highly competitive IRC Nationals taking place later this summer.

In a unique initiative and as the first Solent-based event in the Club's racing calendar, RORC relax the rules on outside assistance and invite coaching guru, Jim Saltonstall and a team of expert coaches - including past Olympian Barry Dunning - to actively participate and provide helpful tips to improve sail trim and boat handling whilst the boats are racing. The coaching team has also been boosted this year by the addition of sailmakers who will provide sail trim and rig set up tips.

"It's the only event of its kind in the UK and I've not seen it done anywhere else in the world," comments RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen who is also one of Saltonstall's coaching team.

"Even the top teams with pro sailors on board are keen to get the view we have from the outside. It can be extremely effective, especially for the less experienced crew who often see an immediate improvement during the race," continues Warden Owen.

After racing, Saltonstall de-briefs crews using video evidence to back up his thoughts. These sessions held after racing in the Event Centre at Cowes Yacht Haven are always packed out.

But for the top boats, its also a serious event and with the likes of RORC Vice Commodore, Anthony O'Leary bringing his Antix team from Cork and Niklas Zennström taking a break from the TP52 Super Series to race Rán, his Farr 45, the racing is all about winning:

Last year the RORC introduced a second race course for the smaller boats and One Design classes such as J80's and RORC have the intention to do the same if there is sufficient demand.

Racing for all classes starts on Good Friday 29th March and runs through to Sunday 31st March.

Entries close for the RORC Easter Challenge on 14th March; interested owners can find the details and enter online at

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean Kicks Off In Style
Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image to enlarge.

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean With warm Caribbean breezes, turquoise waters and brilliant sunshine, the stage was set for the first day of racing at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda. In Class A it was Swan 80 Selene who dominated, while Swan 53 Music was first in Class B.

The Race Committee, under the direction of PRO Peter Craig, took advantage of the conditions with a gently building breeze from the East to set the racing divisions off around Virgin Gorda. Starting off the entrance to North Sound, the 25nm course was straight forward - Necker Island to starboard, Round Rock on the Southern tip of Virgin Gorda to port before turning North, back up Drakes Passage to leave the Dog Islands to port, finishing in front of the entrance to North Sound.

The Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad placed second overall at the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo last September and had a second place finish today in the Maxi Class.

Swan 53 Music of South Africa enjoyed a dominant win of five minutes on corrected time over second placed Swan 56 White Rhino in Class B IRC.

The cruising division enjoyed a shorter course of 14nm from the start off North Sound, round the Dog Islands to starboard and back to the finish off North Sound to bring them back to the dock ahead of the racing divisions.

Racing continues for all three divisions on Wednesday, with the first start scheduled for 1100.

A Promising Start To The 2013 Figaro Season For The Artemis Offshore Academy
Artemis Offshore Academy skippers Jack Bouttell, Ed Hill and graduate sailor Henry Bomby finished the three-stage ICOM Cup Mediterranee regatta, after sailing 365nm over six days of racing. For 'rookies' Ed and Jack it was their first solo yacht race, whilst for Henry it was his first race of the 2013 season and they were all embracing the challenge. "The race was an opportunity for the skippers to measure themselves against experienced Solitaire du Figaro competitors and at various points during the event, Henry, Ed and Jack have all been up there in contention with two of the best Figaro sailors in the class," reported Performance Director John Thorn.

The regatta was the first official competition of the 2013 Figaro season after an intensive three-month winter training period - a steep learning curve for the sailors. The first 24 hour long stage of the event was a wet and windy 160 nautical mile race from La Grande Motte to Marseille.

The second stage of the race was a much shorter inshore 10 nautical mile race.

The final 195nm leg back to La Grande Motte took around 48 hours to complete and was a real chance for the sailors to put their solo offshore ability to the test with two nights at sea. Henry was on a mission to prove himself going into the third race: "My aim for the final leg was to race front runners Xavier Macaire, Jean-Pierre Nicol and Pietro D'Ali to the finish and get a result I could be happy with. After a bad start for me in 11th, I spent the first half of the race pushing my way through the fleet into 4th. Although I didn't race the leading pack across the finish line, I did win the race that raged between Jack, Matthieu Girolet, David Keneflick and myself - so I'm happy with that."

As one race finishes, another begins with Academy Mini skipper, Nikki Curwen, set to embark on her first solo Class Mini race, the 190nm Solo Roma-Solo Race, kicking off on Friday at 11:00 GMT.

Overall ICOM Cup Mediterranee results:
Position/Skipper/Figaro no./Nationality/Time

1. Xavier Macaire/8/FRA/2d, 16h, 26' 10"
2. Jean Pierre Nicol/68/FRA/2d, 18h, 30' 49"
3. Matthieu Girolet/86/FRA/2d, 22h, 27' 13"
4. Pietro d'Ali/42/ITA/2d, 22h, 52' 30"
5. Jack Bouttell/77/GBR/2d, 23h, 01' 05"
6. Gwenael Gbick/29/FRA/3d, 00h, 15' 49"
7. Ed Hill/37/GBR/3d, 00h, 33', 00"
8. Yves Ravot/31/FRA/3d, 00h, 35' 05"
9. Alexia Barrier/49/FRA/3d, 02h, 11' 55"
10.Henry Bomby/23/GBR/4d, 2h, 29' 23"
11.David Kenefick/45/IRL/4d, 02h, 38' 01"
12.Jean Paul Mouren/13/FRA/5d, 06h, 20' 40"

Marinepool - Clothing Partner Of The Extreme Sailing Series™
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Using only the best materials and state of the art production technologies, no detail is omitted to ensure every product is optimized before it reaches the market. More than 20 years of experience and design excellence, plus the invaluable input of the world class athletes proudly wearing Marinepool garments, guarantee the products are at the cutting edge of technology.

Uncompromising, highly functional and extremely light weight; Tested and approved by many of the world's finest sailors.

As a group of companies with German roots and head quarters, operating in 43 countries, with product lines ranging from performance sailing clothing and a test winning life jacket range to maritime fashion, Marinepool is uniquely qualified and the perfect match for the clothing requirements of YOUR sailing team or company. Check out our 2013 Collection here or visit our website for more information.

Light Air On Day One Of Mussanah Race Week
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Mussanah Race Week Mussanah Race Week kicked off with a light wind start, making it particularly challenging for the competitors, with 6-8kts of breeze and small chop, their focus and concentration was continually being tested, leaving them with no room for error.

After a tricky first two races Oman Sail's very own F18 sailors Musab Al Hadi and Ahmed Al Balushi put together a winning plan and secured firsts in both the third and fourth races, but still couldn't snatch the overall lead by French pair Gurven Bontemp and Benjamin Amiot who won the first two races of the day.

For the F18 class, the conditions were perfect, with them occasionally able to fly one hull, some of the French competitors were particularly relieved to be sailing in the warm waters of Oman, as back home in Europe there is snow on the ground.

There was close racing at the front of the Laser Standard fleet, with ex Oman Air (Extreme 40) sailor Andy Maloney dominating the first two races, and Tom Burton, currently ranked number one in the world in the Laser Standard, winning races three and four.

In the Radial class, we saw the Singapore team dominating the first two races, whilst Volvo Ocean sailor Adel Khalid of Abu Dhabi, sat in 4th place for the first lap of the third race, he made an impressive come back on the final downwind leg to claim first position.

On the RSX Windsurf course the competitors were forced to work extra hard, with light winds, they must rely on strength and fitness to get them round the course.

On Thursday and Friday, we will see the number of competitors grow, as the Optimist and Q'ba fleet take to the water. -- Daphne Morgan Barnicoat

Noble Marine Uk Laser Association World & European Qualifier 1
Photo by Eddie Mays, Click on image to enlarge.

Uk Laser Association World & European Qualifier Stokes Bay, UK: 170 Laser sailors arrived at Stokes Bay for the first of the Spring Qualifiers to be greeted with the first day of Spring, warm sunshine but no wind. A slight SE'erly breeze developed during the afternoon but the building ebb tide made it impossible to set a fair course.

The culture shock happened on Sunday morning when the competitors were faced with a 10oC drop in temperature and a bitterly cold shifty ENE 12 knot breeze that slowly increased during the day. With a late morning high tide current flow was not a major tactical factor during the races, which is a change from the usual at Stokes Bay. Staying in the right wind shift pattern was much more important. With a total of nine races to complete, the 128 Radials being split into two starts, the Race Officer kept things simple by setting a triangle / sausage course and using the Black Flag.

42 boats sailed in the Standard fleet.

The Radial fleet had an international feel to it with entries from Ireland, France and Serbia as well as from all the home countries, including a good contingent from the Isle of Wight.

The Crewsaver Youth Series prizes were awarded to Welsh helm Michael Beckett in the Standard Fleet, Irish sailor Ryan Glynn (1st), Edward Jones (2nd) & Thomas Scott (3rd) in the Radial fleet. -- Eddie Mays

Overall Results

1. Alex Mills-Barton
2. Matt Reid
3. Martin Evans
4. Lorenzo Chiavarini
5. Jack Wetherell

1. Ali Young
2. Hannah Snellgrove
3. Hannah Tilley
4. Jon Emmett
5. John Booth

Seahorse April 2013
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Terry Hutchinson returns to Key West, Ivor Wilkins watches as Dalton’s new baby goes afloat, Peter Holmberg explains the changes (for the better) on the Caribbean circuit, a satisfactory HPR debut, plus Patrice Carpentier has been tracking some significant changes in the ranks of the G-Class multihulls

Under the covers
Robert Hopkins makes a strong case for improving the onboard measurement of leeway

This dog is going to hunt - Part 2
Paul Larsen tells Blue Robinson why he is keen to see his speed record come under threat

Rod Davis
And a fly-on-the-wall America’s Cup insight

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2K Team Racing
Monaco: In the second weekend on March, seven teams gathered from across Europe in Sunny Monaco for a three-day keelboat team racing event organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco. Despite some light winds plaguing the event and some difficult rolling seas, it proved to be a fantastic occasion with some close racing across the board - a three way tie at the end of day two proof of the equality between many teams but the Italians from Yacht Club Costa Smeralda were clearly the team to beat having decisively won all of their races.

The fleet of J24s provided by the club were more than capable of the task - demanding and rewarding hard work from every competitor.

A repercharge on day three to settle fourth place in the semi-finals had to be curtailed due to light winds, but by noon the breeze filled in beautifully and the sun arrived for a superb afternoon's racing.

Race three was to decide the event - and it was anyone's game to win. Again, Smeralda took a 1,2 off the line, but nothing is ever safe in 2K events - by the first run, Thames overhaul and take 2,3 round the leeward mark. Up the final beat, Smeralda tack to lock out Thames, but they over-tack and lose out to let Thames take 1,2. Scenting victory, The English hold it all the way back down to the finish to take the event. -- Felix Danczak

Chance Of A Lifetime For Seafaring Youth
Young people aged sixteen and over will have a unique opportunity to undertake their first offshore race experience aboard one of ocean racing's most stalwart veterans, Lion New Zealand, in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's Ocean Race to Musket Cove, Fiji, in June. A voyage on the boat has already kick started the offshore sailing career of Cory McLennan.

Lion is an 80 foot maxi yacht that was Sir Peter Blake's entry in the 1985-86 Whitbread Around the World race, and which now, under the New Zealand Sailing Trust, serves the purpose of providing experiences and opportunities for young New Zealanders, to ensure the future of New Zealand's maritime industry, and preserving Sir Peter Blake's legacy.

"We are looking for 15 young people and this will be the trip of a lifetime," says NZ Sailing Trust General Manager, Erin McKenna,

Erin and the NZ Sailing Trust hope that yacht clubs will support their youth sailors in fundraising, to pay the $3,500 contribution towards the cost of hiring experienced crew, insurance and boat requirements, and for the return airfare. The trip will take about seven days all up.

"There is also the delivery back for which we will be seeking crew," she says. "For both trips, participants will take part in all aspects of sailing, including night shifts, cooking and cleaning."

The Auckland-Fiji race, which commences for the Racing Division on 1 June 2013, will start off Westhaven Marina in Auckland, New Zealand, and includes a cruising rally that will start from Auckland and Opua. The 1,150 mile race will finish in the resort of Musket Cove.

A Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, and Expression of Interest form is available on the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron website,, or by calling Melanie Benton on 09 360 6809. The race is supported by Manson Anchors,, Events Clothing, and TNL GAC Pindar.

Enquiries about sailing on Lion should be directed to Erin McKenna, tel. 09 215 0762 or 021 333 816.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record.

Record: Sydney to Hobart
Yacht: "Team Australia" ORMA 60
Name: Sean Langman AUS and 2 crew.
Dates:. 21st to the 23rd February 2013.
Start time: 23;58;57 UTC on 21/02/13
Finish time: 05;51;20 UTC on 23/02/13
Elapsed time: 1 day 5 hours 52 minutes and 23 seconds
Distance: 630NM
Average speed: 22kts

Comments: Previous record: "MariCha III" Robert Miller GBR, Dec 99. 1d 18h 27m 10s. ("Wild Oats XI" Robert Oatley AUS recorded 1d 18h 23m 12s in 2012 under rule 21c)

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Susan Deacon
Laughing and happy, Sue Deacon in yellow: "This photograph shows Sue Deacon as she was," says Peter Weir, owner of Oban Marina. "Mixing with visitors to ensure they enjoyed their stay." Click on image to enlarge.

Susan Deacon The owners of Oban Marina announce with much sadness, the loss of Susan Deacon, Operations Director, who passed away last week after a short illness.

43-year old Sue was much loved by all: berthholders; colleagues; regular visitors and her many friends and business contacts in and around Oban. She will be remembered for her ever-present enthusiasm and wit, as well as her tireless energy, big welcoming smile and non-stop hard work to make sure she looked after all aspects of running the popular marina on the Isle of Kerrera, West Coast of Scotland.

Having taken on the role of Marina Manager five years previously, the marina went into receivership and the new owners made Sue the Director of Operations last February. She was responsible for the day-today running of the marina and boatyard under Oban Marina & Yacht Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of The North Ledaig Co. Ltd. She worked hard with the new owners to ensure its continued success and development, always striving to offer the best customer service and to welcome sailors from all over the world, as well as those closer to home.

Owner, Peter Weir, wife Katy and son Tim all express their sorrow and gratitude to Sue for all her hard work and selfless commitment to Oban Marina:

"We have known Sue and her former husband Neil Price for many years as they worked for us at the caravan park before we bought Oban Marina. Both continued to work at the marina and Sue had the full responsibility for running it on a daily basis when we took over. She ensured the continued popularity and success of the business with her enthusiasm and sheer physical hard work. She was a fun, hard working and vivacious; a wonderful lady who set a real example for us all," says Peter Weir. -- Trish Jenkins

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Bernard Schopfer: Re: Jean-Pierre Dick's 2600nm without a keel, referenced in the Seahorse Sailor of the Month:

Please note regarding the information below (and without taking anything away from the great JPD) that Dominique Wavre completed 2800 nm without a keel four years ago in the southern oceans, between the Kerguelen islands and Freemantle. I'm not sure if it is appropriate to call this a record; however certainly worth knowing.

To be precise, Dominique hadn't lost his keel: it was a "free Willy" situation, which he described as even more dangerous because a big heeling could damage the structure and sink the boat in an instant...

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The Last Word
If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal. -- Emma Goldman

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