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Anniversary Occasion, International Fleet
Starting Thursday 21 March, and running to Sunday 24 March, the International Rolex Regatta celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. An impressive fleet of seventy boats will contest three days of racing as part of an event that has graced the international yachting calendar since the 1970s.

Participants include an array of overseas yachts, with crews from Germany, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in addition to the usual large contingent from the United States and the Caribbean.

Perennial competitor Donnybrook, owned by American Jim Muldoon, is the event's largest entrant at 23.84 metres/80-feet. Lupa of London from the United Kingdom and owned by Jeremy Pilkington is second largest at 23.77-metres. Pilkington is switching focus from the rigors of offshore racing following recent appearances at the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. A historical note is provided by Ceramco NZ from the US, a one time Sir Peter Blake-skippered Whitbread Around The World yacht.

American entries Island Water World, Naia'a and White Rhino in addition to the British crew on Northern Child - four of the Swan yachts that competed in last week's Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean - are making the short trip from Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands to continue an active racing season.

Hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club, the competition, which dates back to 1974, is the oldest regatta in Rolex's portfolio of international sailing events.

Racing is scheduled to start on Friday 22 March at 11:00 AST. Classes include IRC, CSA as well as one-design competition in Melges 32, IC 24 and Beach Cat.

www.rolexcupregatta.com

Onboard Reporter Campaign - Over 1,500 Applications
The Volvo Ocean Race search for Onboard Reporters for the next edition in 2014-15 has been given a resounding response, with over 1,500 applications received by organisers in less than 10 weeks.

The Volvo Ocean Race launched the search for the third generation of multimedia reporters to sail onboard the boats back on January 11. The video advertisement called for experienced multimedia storytellers with steady enough hands and nerves to supply video, audio, text and pictures from the oceans during the nine-month race around the world.

Applications have come from around the world, with the Race's home country of Spain topping the list in terms of numbers of people writing in with resumes since the launch on January 11.

Further interest has come from other countries already confirmed on the route for 2014-15, including the United States, Sweden, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, New Zealand and China, as well as other nations closely connected with the Volvo Ocean Race such as the Netherlands, Italy, France and the United Kingdom and others that have had less direct direct connection with the event up to now, including Greece, Venezuela, Turkey, Poland and Czech Republic. 

In terms of professional experience, applicants include those with backgrounds as camera operators, directors, reporters, sports and news journalists.

There is no official deadline for the process, meaning applications are still being accepted

Candidates should send a cover letter and resumr to  

volvooceanrace.com

A New Championship for a Growing Discipline Within European Sailing
From 21st to 23rd June this year, the Match and Team Sailing Centre in Lelystad, Holland, is organising the EUROSAF 2K Club Championship of Europe. This is a brand new sailing event, bringing together some of the top sailing clubs and sailors in Europe, for three days of two keelboat (2K) team racing. The championship is being held at the Batavia Sailing Centre, as part of the Batavia Regatta, an annual international keelboat event, sailed from Batavia Harbour at Lelystad.

2K team racing is a very competitive discipline within sailing, with short, sharp and close racing. Teams are made up of six sailors, a maximum four from any gender, so it is usual to see men and women racing together, on an equal basis, which is a positive aspect of the sport. There is on-water umpiring, resulting in instant decisions concerning any infringement of the rules. The opportunity for spectators to get close to the racing in Lelystad is excellent, because it will be possible to watch all the racing from the shore, and even for non-sailors, it is easy to follow the progress of the racing.

Entry is by invitation. Details of how to apply for an invitation are included in the Notice of Race.

The Notice of Race is now published and available online from bataviasailingcenter.nl

www.eurosaf.org

St. Francis Yacht Club To Adopt Universal Measurement Form
San Francisco, California, USA: Maintaining its leadership position in yacht racing, the St. Francis Yacht Club, host of the annual Rolex Big Boat Series regatta, announced today that it will employ the emerging Universal Measurement Form (UMF) for all handicap classes racing in the 2013 Rolex Big Boat Series taking place September 26-29, 2013.

"While world rating authorities continue on the development of a cohesive and inclusive overall rating system, St. Francis Yacht Club will be using an element of that overall project - the Universal Measurement Form, which incorporates data elements from IMS and other rating rules, including IRC, ORR, ORC and HPR," said Rolex Big Boat Series Co-Chair Norman Davant. "An integrated UMF will allow a single measurement to provide boat certification across multiple handicap rating rules so that a boat can be rated under any participating rule. Now with UMF, we can offer our competitors an easy solution to obtaining a rating based on certificate information they already have, eliminating the need for re-measurement." 

According to Stan Honey, Director of Technology, America's Cup Event Authority and Vice Chairman of the ISAF Oceanic and Offshore Committee, "US Sailing has been working with ORC and RORC for several years and all agreed to jointly develop a Universal Measurement System (UMS) based on the data collected on a standard form. The UMS will allow boat owners to measure their boat once and race that boat under any handicap system, in any region of the world, without re-measurement. Many big boat owners view the worldwide adoption of the UMS as the most significant breakthrough in the administration of handicap racing over the last decade." Additional information can be found at US Sailing's Offshore Office at http://offshore.ussailing.org/Offshore_Home.htm

Current ORR or ORC certificate holders have virtually all the measurements needed to get a rating under any measurement rule. IRC certificate holders may require additional hull, rig and stability measurements in order to rate under additional systems. All boats entering the Rolex Big Boat Series will have their data recorded on the UMF. US Sailing maintains a large database of standard hulls and previous certificates, and is ready to offer a head start on getting boats measured using UMS. The Rolex Big Boat Series has, and will continue to feature handicapped racing under IRC, eliminating the need for current IRC certificate holders racing under IRC to obtain additional measurement data.

www.rolexbigboatseries.com

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

Seahorse Magazine

Update
Terry Hutchinson’s diary is filling up rewardingly fast, Wouter Verbraak explains how Gabart got the jump, Don Street sticks up for ‘amateur’ crew, Josh Hall’s all new Global Ocean Race and Rob Cook has words of caution for rail-hangers

World news
That Francois Gabart back-story in full, Bernard Stamm’s self-inflicted injury, our man gets onboard the ETNZ, Oatley’s tenacity and the bureaucrats’ convergence. Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Ivor Wilkins

IRC
And a handful of very key words. James Dadd

Editorial
Andrew Hurst

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Postcard From Creation
After safely passing through the Panama Canal, the yachts taking part in the first ever Oyster World Rally have now sailed over 3000 miles and are currently 900 miles into the Pacific Ocean. The Oyster fleet has regrouped in the Galapagos Islands. Situated in the Pacific Ocean 500 nautical miles from the South American continent, the archipelago of 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve is a showcase of evolution.

At night many of the Oyster yachts put on their underwater lights and there are sharks, sea lions and all sorts of marine animals playing about right under the boats.

The Oyster fleet are expected to leave The Galapagos Islands over the next few days and head for the next port of call. The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world, lying about 850 miles northeast of Tahiti and 3000 miles away from the West coast of Mexico, the nearest continental land mass.

Visit the Oyster World Rally website www.oysteryachts.com/worldrally/

Follow the fleet via the Yellowbrick tracker: www.oysteryachts.com/worldrally/tracker.aspx

Salperton and Parsifal III Victorious On Race Day One
Parsifal III, Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2013. Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islanda: The first day of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous, held in the pristine waters of the British Virgin Islands, went with a bang as perfect conditions greeted both the fleet of 20 sailing superyachts and the gaggle of seven motor yachts taking part. The 2013 event is organised by Boat International Media and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

A few high clouds that drifted overhead earlier in the morning soon gave way to blue skies and sun, with a southeasterly breeze that held fairly consistently around 14 knots.

With the yachts, which range from the 23.5m Wild Horses to the mighty 62m schooner Athos, powering across the start line in a staggered start of two minute intervals, it was the 54m Perini Navi Parsifal III that led the fleet up the first beat to a laid mark one mile to windward of the start line.

After the windward mark, the course took the fleet on a fetch inside the Dog Islands and down to Ginger Island. The Division B boats then headed inside Ginger Island, past Round Rock, for the long leg along the south side of Virgin Gorda, before turning downwind at the northeast corner and heading for the finish just past Necker Island.

As the yachts approached Round Rock, Athos had caught up with Parsifal III and snuck past on the inside, with the Oyster 100 Sarafin also taking a tight line up the inside. At the turning point just three minutes separated the first five yachts, with 32m Carl Linne and 23.5m Wild Horses in of pursuit of the leading pack. 

For Friday the initial forecasts suggested slightly lighter winds for the racing

Full results: www.loropianasuperyachtregattaandrendezvous.com

The Crew Of Edmond De Rothschild Ready For Action
The winter break is well and truly over and the pontoons of the Keroman submarine base, home to Gitana Team, are a hive of activity. A week on from the launch of the 70' trimaran Edmond de Rothschild, Sebastien Josse and his crew were able to make the most of the perfect conditions to go for their first sea trials of the year: a few tacks offshore of Lorient to fire up the machine before the long weeks of training that lie ahead.

Despite being on the cusp of spring, it was a chilly atmosphere aboard Edmond de Rothschild yesterday for the first sea trials of the year: "Since the launch, the shore crew, joined by a group of sailors, has been finalising preparation of the boat on the dock. On the boat's exit from the yard, there were still a few elements to be adjusted before heading out to sea. These operations can't be done in the shed, as they require the trimaran to have her mast stepped.

On Tuesday, everything was in place to enable us to cast off for a few hours. It was a bit chilly for our first sea trial but the wind conditions were really perfect in terms of wind, with 15-20 knots of breeze set to ease. We got the chance to see the boat's entire range and we'll be able to step things up a gear from the end of next week. We crossed tacks with Oman Sail offshore of Groix, whilst Virbac Paprec, which has joined the fleet this season, is now tied up just a few metres away from us," said a delighted Sebastien Josseun.

Sebastien Josse and Gitana Team will be dividing their time between the stable's two craft. On the one hand is the 70' one-design Edmond de Rothschild, alias Gitana XV, and on the other Gitana 11, the 77' prototype maxi-trimaran.

For the offshore element, Breton Charles Caudrelier will be making his entrance. This sailor who, like Sebastien Josse, has honed his talent within the rigorous Figaro Beneteau Class, is one of today's references in French offshore racing: winner of the prestigious Solitaire du Figaro, the Transat Jacques Vabre in a monohull with Marc Guillemot and, more recently, the Volvo Ocean Race alongside Franck Cammas. In terms of multihull experience, Charles was Michel Desjoyeaux' navigator last year during his victory in the European Tour of the MOD 70 circuit. His fine analysis and his offshore experience will very quickly make him one of the cornerstones of Sebastien Josse's crew. It is only fitting then that Charles Caudrelier is one of the sailors who has been sounded out about becoming his co-skipper in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which sets off from Le Havre on 3 November 2013.

Two other sailors, whose names will be announced in the near future, will complete what is already a very talented group and take part in the six weeks of training that lie ahead. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

www.gitana-team.com/en/

Farr 40 Class Honors Bob Fisher
Jim Richardson Presents the Rolex to Fisher. Click on image to enlarge.

Bob Fisher Miami Beach, Florida, USA: The Farr 40 Class Association honored legendary British yachtsman and yachting journalist Bob Fisher for his many important contributions to the sport. The man affectionately known as "Fish" was presented a specially engraved (with the F40 logo) Rolex Submariner watch by the Class for his lifelong support and promotion of sailing around the world.

Fisher grew up in the coastal town of Brightlingsea and won his first sailboat race at the tender age of two years and four months, when taken out on the Colne River by his father in a BS One-Design. He would later race a Truant 12-6, a Fireball and a Solent One-Design. To this day, Fisher remains proud of building himself a Hornet, a 16-foot hard chine one-design dinghy.

Fisher has also owned many larger racing boats such as a Mumm 36 and once captured the Little America's Cup in a C-Class catamaran. While Fisher is an accomplished sailor, he is best known as a sailing writer who has covered just about every major event in the sport's history.

Fisher is considered the world's leading authority on the America's Cup, having covered the last 15 editions of the event. He was headed to San Francisco to interview Oracle Racing owner Larry Ellison after the visit to Miami.

Now 77 years old, Fisher is still going strong and was his usual enthusiastic and entertaining self while spending three days in South Beach to observe the Farr 40 class Miami Beach Invitational Regatta. Fisher has enjoyed a longtime friendship with Farr 40 class manager Geoff Stagg, whom he met while covering the 1980-81 Whitbread Round The World Race. Stagg was a watch captain aboard Ceramco New Zealand, which was skippered by the late Sir Peter Blake.

"In my mind, the Farr 40 is one of the best offshore one-design classes the world has ever seen. The racing is incredibly close and that is exactly what the owners want. It is a boat ahead of its time," Fisher said.

farr40.org

New Yacht-Building Starts In Cowes
Shipwrights in Cowes, Isle of Wight have started building the first, of what they hope will be many, new 35ft steel yachts. Voyaging Yachts are building a demonstrator Wylo 35.5 for their first customer.

It is the first time Nick Skeates' iconic Wylo 11 design has been brought to the market as a production yacht.

Steve Sleight, managing director, said: 'We feel jubilant that, in the face of a really tough recession, we have created interest among both investors and customers and have moved into the production phase.'

Alas it's not all good news for the British economy as the steel for the build was imported from Holland, profile-cut.

The Wylo 35.5 design is ideal for custom-built interiors, giving the buyer who wants to have a hand in the construction of their boat a choice for layout.

You can follow the build of the company's demonstrator at www.voyagingyachts.com

From Yachting Monthly: www.yachtingmonthly.com

Mini Boats, Maxi Race
For the first time in the USA, a group of singlehanded sailors from all over the country are going to race from California to Hawaii onboard Mini Transat 6.50s - 21-foot ocean capable sailboats that are barely larger than the average suburban vehicle. The The 2013 Mini 650 Pacific Challenge is being organized by the North American Mini 6.50 Class Association and the start is scheduled for July 6th.

The race currently has 10 entries, including Jerome Sammarcelli, who was the first person to race a Mini Transat 6.50 single handed across the Pacific in last years Single Handed Transpac from San Francisco. This time he will be racing with at least 9 other competitive sailors, all sailing on nearly identical boats, all trying to cross 2,300 nautical miles of Pacific Ocean to reach the finish line first.

For most of these racers the The 2013 Mini 650 Pacific Challenge will be their first singlehanded voyage of this magnitude. Beyond the crossing itself, just getting to the start-line will be no small order. All boats have to meet safety requirements and sailors must prove that they can indeed spend 15-20 days alone at sea by completing a 500nm qualifier.

The actual race will feature LIVE tracking so you can keep tabs on your favorite sailors, as well as LIVE coverage from the sailors themselves as they experience everything the Pacific Ocean can offer.

www.mini650pacificchallenge.com

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record.
Record: Singlehanded Cadiz to San Salvador
Yacht: "IDEC" 98ft Trimaran
Name:  Francis Joyon. FRA
Dates:. 6th to the 15th February 2013
Start time: 12;50;25 UTC on 06/02/13
Finish time: 04;57;30 UTC on 15/02/13
Elapsed time: 8days 16 hours 7 minutes and 5 seconds
Distance: 3884M
Average speed: 18.66 kts

Comments:  Previous Record: "IDEC". Francis Joyon FRA. Nov 04. 11d 3h 17m 20s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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 Adrian Dwyer: For anyone disappointed at the cancellation of the Dorset Boat Jumble, there is a boat jumble on the 31st March just a few miles away from the Canford site. This one is in aid of Christchurch Harbour Watch and the Marine Volunteer Service, not-for-profit organisations.

Its being organised by PC Dave Williams

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1999 Open 40. EUR 99,000. Located In Netherlands.

Designed by 'van der Stadt Design'.
Built 1999/2000 by Rhebergen Composites, Amsterdam (deck and hull) and Vels Jachtbouw, Medemblik (fitting-out etc.).
Re-fitted 2009, including complete new rigging, sails, deck hardware and paint job.

Brokerage through Bach Yachting International: www.yachtworld.com/bachyachting/

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

The Last Word
The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant. -- Maximilien Robespierre

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