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Well That Wasn't Very Exciting...
Photo by Kaufmann/Forster, go4image.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup Valencia, Spain: Today's scheduled Race 1 of the 33rd America's Cup Match was postponed due to light and unstable winds on the Mediterranean Sea.

Alinghi┬┤s weather team predicted winds around 10 knots today, but showers from a passing cold front disrupted the forecast.

Today would've marked the 13th race in an America's Cup Match for Alinghi dating back to 2003. Instead, it was the eighth postponement experienced by the Defender. -- www.alinghi.com

* Principal Race Officer, Harold Bennett, unfortunately managed to maintain his record of "no sailing" on the first day of each America's Cup which he has officiated.

After racing had been postponed for a couple of hours or so, and in response to questioning from a string of tenders that passed the stern of the Committee Boat, Bennett dodged the question as to whether racing would actually start, by revealing his personal form in the America's Cup.

Not that he was keen to kept his record intact, mind you. Just being honest, and more than slightly embarrassed to realise that history was probably going to repeat.

Some would have it that as this is a Deed of Gift Match, then all the Race Committee should do is work out where windward is, go 20nm in that direction, and leave the competitors to try and get around the track in the prescribed seven hours. So what if the beat is a long and a short tack? So what if the wind isn't consistent?

There is no doubt that both teams have the gear and technical nous to be able to cope. So why not let them put it and their skills and craft to the test? -- Richard Gladwell in Sail-World.com, www.sail-world.com

* BMW OracleTeam weather guru Chris Bedford (USA) briefed the media when he came of the water this afternoon, and explained what happened on the race course.

"We had a southerly breeze well offshore that was occasionally filtering into the start area. But closer to shore we had a westerly breeze for most of the afternoon. At times it was showing up to 14 knots at the top mark.

"So there was pressure (wind) trying to make it onto the course, but because of these two winds converging, we never had enough breeze over a 20-mile leg to get going... I think the Race Committee did a good job today."

Chris - a veteran of eight America's Cups - also gave a rough forecast for Wednesday...

On Wednesday, I'm looking for quite a bit more seaway; we'll probably be getting some kind of a swell down from the Northeast, along the coast," Bedford said. "We'll likely be in a waning Northwesterly that may turn into some kind of a sea breeze in the afternoon, if we're lucky. That's what we're keeping our fingers crossed for." -- bmworacleracing.com

americascup.com

Slow Rotation
The position of the Saint Helena High isn't favouring progress towards the Cape of Good Hope: Groupama 3 has been forced to pick out a course to the SSW before slowly straightening out her trajectory to the South this Monday afternoon... As a result her lead over the reference time is diminishing.

Franck Cammas and his nine crew are still holding back a little in view of the grib files, which aren't making the entry into the Indian Ocean very clear. The high pressure in the Southern Atlantic is forming a barrier off Argentina and forcing the giant trimaran to trace a course way out to the West, along the Brazilian coast. Just 150 miles from shore, Groupama 3 made good headway over the weekend though, before the tradewinds switched round onto a more N'ly track during the course of last night.

It's not yet clear whether they'll be able to hook onto a cold front forming over Porto Alegre as it shifts across towards Africa. However, if they make contact at the right time, the descent towards the Cape of Good Hope will be extremely fast. As a result there is a considerable amount of work in prospect, as much on deck as at the chart table, in order to extract themselves from this tricky section as quickly as possible.

The giant trimaran is really lengthening her stride, but is losing ground on the reference time: by being forced to distance herself from the direct route, the 600 mile average across the water translates into a distance of just 305 miles VMG. -- translated by Kate Jennings

Groupama 3's log (departure on 31st January at 13h 55' 53'' UTC)
(Number of miles covered in relation to the optimum course for the Jules Verne Trophy)
Day 1 (1st February 1400 UTC): 500 miles (deficit = 94 miles)
Day 2 (2nd February 1400 UTC): 560 miles (lead = 3.5 miles)
Day 3 (3rd February 1400 UTC): 535 miles (lead = 170 miles)
Day 4 (4th February 1400 UTC): 565 miles (lead = 245 miles)
Day 5 (5th February 1400 UTC): 656 miles (lead = 562 miles)
Day 6 (6th February 1400 UTC): 456 miles (lead = 620 miles)
Day 7 (7th February 1400 UTC): 430 miles (lead = 539 miles)
Day 8 (8th February 1400 UTC): 305 miles (lead = 456 miles)

Best passage time to the equator from Ushant
Groupama 3: 5d 15h 23' (November 2009)
Jules Verne Trophy reference time to the equator
Orange 2: 7d 02h 56' (January 2005)

www.cammas-groupama.com

St Maarten Heineken Regatta 1st - 7th March 2010
Click on image to enlarge.

St Maarten Heineken Regatta with OnDeck Ondeck are offering individuals and groups a great opportunity to experience the legendary Heineken Regatta in the crystal clear waters of St Maarten on one of their fleet of Farr 65s.

Last few individual berths available with 2 x training days a lay day to enjoy the Island followed by the Commodores Cup and the three official race days. We provide professional crew to ensure you can just 'Rock up and Race' with no hidden extra costs.

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY... sense of adventure ESSENTIAL!

Fly from the UK with our official airline partners at Virgin Atlantic Airways and take advantage of our client deal.

For this and all the Caribbean Regattas for 09, contact Simon Hedley (UK) or Liz Brookes (Antigua) or click www.ondeckoceanracing.com/caribbean/index.htm

Restructuring The Home Side
Things are moving in the Spanish Armada with a comprehensive reshuffle announced by the FNOB Sailing Team, its two Farr Imoca 60s becoming 'trading partners' for strategic and commercial reasons. W Hotels has now become Estrella Damm and vice versa, while the Bubi Sanso/Pachi Rivero pairing is reformed... aboard W Hotels, the former Estrella, previously known as Gitana Eighty...

Having trouble keeping up? Don't panic, we've got the details below. If it's a bit of a sport for hardcore fans to keep track of various crews and their renamed boats, the FNOB, organisers of the second Barcelona World Race, certainly added spice by swapping the complete IDs of the two most promising thoroughbreds in its own stable. And on top of it all, several subtle personnel changes have also been implemented, so maybe the best thing is to try first to paint a clearer picture...

Estrella Damm (2010 iteration) - Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes. Raced as W Hotels in the last Transat Jacques Vabre (finishing fifth), formerly Paprec-Virbac 2, winner of the first Barcelona World Race, designed by Farr and built by Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand (launched February 2007).

W Hotels (2010 iteration) - Javier Bubi Sanso and Pachi Rivero. Raced by Pachi Rivero and Yves Parlier as Estrella Damm in the Jacques Vabre. Formerly Gitana Eighty, designed by Farr and also built by Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand (launched July 2007). Former 2007 Barcelona World Race partners Bubi Sanso and Pachi Rivero are reunited after a period of uncertainty following Guillermo Altadill's departure in October 2009, a hiatus that resulted in the temporary appointment of Parlier as Rivero's co-skipper for the TJV. Sanso and Rivero, the vets: 'We'll have an edge, and no excuses...'

Having made the TJV podium with Mike Golding, Bubi Sanso is clearly among the top Spanish offshore sailors today and is thrilled about being back in the game with Pachi Rivero - as are their many fans, to be honest, given that the pair provided easily the best entertainment with their video conferences during the inaugural Barcelona World Race. As Bubi puts it, 'Now we're both very happy! Sailing-wise, Pachi and I have taken different paths over the past two years; we've learnt a lot and today we're much better sailors than we were last time. We have everything it takes to make a good team.'

Read the entire article from Seahorse magazine at
seahorsemagazine.com/2010-March/barcelona.php

* If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/

Evan Walker's Strong Early Bid For Hardy Cup
Click on image to enlarge.

Hardy Cup Sydney sailor Evan Walker has thrown down an early challenge to the strong New Zealand contingent on the opening day of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Hardy Cup under 25 match-racing regatta on Sydney Harbour.

The 20-year-old from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Youth Sailing Academy came through unbeaten in six flights of the first round-robin, sailed in a light east/nor'easterly breeze and clearing weather.

Walker has taken a short break from skippering an 18-footer in the big league of Sydney Harbour skiff racing to make another bid to win the prestigious Hardy Cup, presented by eminent Australian yachtsman Sir James Hardy.

He won the ISAF Grade 3 Hardy Cup in 2008 and finished third last year to New Zealander Adrian Short, whom he beat in flight 8 of today's first round robin by a comfortable 22 seconds.

However, Walker has yet to meet the successful Kiwi, William Tiller, who last week won the Warren Jones International Regatta in Perth last week, and another New Zealander, Josh Junior. Tiller also had an impressive Hardy Cup debut, scoring five wins and two losses.

"It is taking us some time to get used to the smaller Elliott 6s after sailing the larger yachts in Perth and we had a couple of losses today to the local sailors McKenzie and Reece." Tiller said. -- Peter Campbell

www.rsys.com.au/sailing/hardycuphomepage.php

A Modern Twist on a Classic Look
Camet Duffles These new duffles have a modern twist to the classic look and are constructed of Mylar and Vinyl/ Polyester laminate with Cordura ends and two side pockets. Handles are made of a heavyweight Nylon webbing. These duffles are strong and lightweight.

Outfit your crew today at: www.camet.com


The Return Of The Green Dragon?
Irish Volvo 70 yacht the Green Dragon may sail again following this week's announcement that a west coast bid to secure a return visit of the Volvo Ocean Race has Government backing to the tune of 4 million.

The Government support for the 2011/12 race stopover came on Tuesday but is contingent on Ireland having a race entry.

The funding is half what was secured from Government for the 2009 stop-over and is also subject to the balance being raised from the private sector.

New rules that allow additional keel weight may make the Irish boat more competitive for 2011 but for any weight added to the keel 50 per cent must be added to he hull too, so it is not a complete remedy for the Irish design.

The Minister for Sport, Martin Cullen, gave the Irish bid his backing but it came only after a Cabinet decision on the matter had been deferred for a week.

It is understood that intensive lobbying included support from local Minister Eamon O Cuiv and that swung the deal for Galway.

In welcoming the announcement the Galway consortium, "Let's do it Global", led by John Killeen, acknowledged the funding shortfall but repeated the view that the success of the last stop-over in May 2009 left the Irish port well positioned.

Galway is vying with Lorient, France and Lisbon, Portugal in its bid to become the Atlantic stop-over in two years' time.

The Let's do it Global chairman, Enda O'Coineen, said that without the necessary central Government funding, the bid would collapse.

A decision on the bid is expected to be known next month. -- David O'Brien in The Irish Times, www.irishtimes.com

Biggs & Hollis Take Tiger Victory At Rutland
Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis sailed their Merlin Rocket to victory in the John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Water last weekend. Biggs and Hollis have now scored consecutive wins in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, after winning the Doublehanded division of the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy the previous weekend.

A total of 164 boats contested a light-airs Tiger Trophy, with the Merlins and Phantoms dominating the top 10, much as they had the previous weekend at Northampton. Biggs and Hollis won the pursuit race, and winning one of the two handicap races the following day was sufficient for overall honours ahead of Merlin rivals, Stuart Bithell and Ed Gray in second. First singlehander in third overall was Andrew Wilde's Phantom.

Series leaders in the SailJuice Global Warm-Up, Andy Smith and Tim Needham, could only manage 39th in their 505. They now slip to 2nd overall with Pete Barton's Cherub taking up the lead. Barton, sailing with his third different crew in three events, Bonnie Moody, didn't shine either at Rutland. The light airs made Barton question whether he should have been using his T-foil rudder, which never really came into play in the light, sub-planing conditions. However, 20th was sufficient to move Barton ahead of the 505 in the overall standings, with just the Hoo Freezer remaining to determine the overall outcome.

The four events of the Series are:

Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
9th January 2010

Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
30th January 2010

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
6th/7th February 2010

Hoo Freezer, Hoo Ness Yacht Club
28th February 2010

www.sailjuice.com/categories/global-warm-up-2010

Clipper 09-10 Race 6: Singapore To Qingdao
Another day in the race to Qingdao and the relatively benign conditions persist. It will not be long, however, before the wind ramps up and the teams experience the harsh conditions that this race is renowned for. Spirit of Australia's skipper, Brendan Hall, realises that one advantage of the static conditions is that they allow his crew to rest and prepare themselves for the onslaught which potentially lies ahead.

The steady easterly winds are allowing all the teams to make good progress north towards the Scoring Gate off the southern tip of Taiwan.

Good times are also being had on board Team Finland with the Finnish entry's persistence in their hunting down of the Australian team finally paying off.

"The day is beautiful, the sailing glorious and for the first time Spirit of Australia is behind us," says skipper, Rob McInally. "But that has just put the pressure on us to extend the lead.

Positions at 1200 UTC, Monday 8 February

1. Hull & Humber, 1594nm to finish
2. Cape Breton Island, 6nm to leader
3. Uniquely Singapore, 45nm
4. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 47nm
5. Qingdao, 71nm
6. Team Finland, 92nm
7. Spirit of Australia, 96nm
8. California, 114nm
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 122nm

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Industry News
* The next ABYA Practical Yacht Brokerage course is to be held on 22nd and 23rd February in Hampshire. Details available from or telephone +44 (0)1730 266430. This is an intensive two-day course with industry specialists speaking on their particular subjects, such as IT, Law, VAT, Insurance and Registration.

* The organisers of the New Zealand Marine Cup: Kiwi Kawau Challenge have secured the first entry from SY Drumbeat.

The 174 ft (53 m) Dubois-designed, Alloy Yachts-built ketch is back in New Zealand having scheduled maintenance work done according to Captain Michel Personnic, and will take the time to compete in the NZ Marine Cup one-day race to Kawau Island.

"This is the first time that Drumbeat has raced with its current owner, but she has previously raced quite considerably. The yacht is currently on a world cruise with Auckland as one of the ports of call. After completing the maintenance work at Orams Marine and the NZ Marine Cup, she will cruise around New Zealand before continuing on a world tour," says Personnic.

The NZ Marine Cup: Kiwi Kawau Challenge is a one-day race for both sailing and motor superyacht participants on Thursday 4 March. The race starts in Auckland Harbour and takes the yachts to the finish line off Bon Accord Harbour on Kawau Island.

Full details on the event can be found on www.nzmarineevents.com

Yachtworld Mobile

* YachtWorld.com has announced that it has added 11 international mobile phone friendly Web sites to its portfolio.

Optimized for iPhone/iPodTouch, Blackberry (OS4.6+) and Android devices, YachtWorld.com now has mobile phone friendly Web sites in the following countries: Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States of America. Translated into the appropriate languages, all mobile phone Web sites feature:

- Shortened Contact Seller form
- Greater number of dropdown selection lists on the boat search form
- Image sizes optimized to ensure they load quickly
- Boat images accessible with just one click

uk.yachtworld.com

* The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 has entered into a partnership with OC Technology. OC Technology has developed the highly-successful OC Tracker with the largest fleet of tracking devices in the world used in offshore racing events including the Rolex Fastnet 2009, Volvo Ocean Race, Barcelona World Race and the 2009 OSTAR.

OC Technology has agreed to supply two OC Tracker units for each Class40 entered in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 - up to 11 entries are confirmed so far - and will provide the Race Organisation with back-up units.

The OC Tracker system uses the constellation of 66 Iridium satellites providing total global coverage for the duration of the race with a delay of between 30 seconds to three minutes at a scheduled reporting time for a yacht's position, COG, SOG and DTF to be registered on the system's secure server.

The OC Tracker will be linked with the Global Ocean Race Geovoile Race Viewer providing precise data every six hours on the Global Ocean Race website. -- globaloceanrace.com

Henri Lloyd

* As part of Henri Lloyd's long term strategy to become a more environmentally sustainable company, Henri Lloyd is delighted to announce their new partnership with The Green Blue, the environment initiative of the Royal Yachting Association and the British Marine Federation.

The new partnership will see The Green Blue provide training to Henri Lloyd staff members on sustainable boating and advising Henri Lloyd on the latest energy saving technology and services. The Green Blue staff and volunteers will be wearing Henri Lloyd's technical clothing including the Blue Eco Jacket and Hi-Fit trousers.

Henri Lloyd recently launched the Blue Eco Range at METS, where it won two DAME Awards; the Clothing Category and Most Eco Friendly product. The Blue Eco Range which consists of a jacket and hi-fits trousers, are both recycled and recyclable, and are Henri Lloyd's first ever entirely sustainable sailing wear through its own Blue Eco 'infinite-loop' recycling system. -- www.henri-lloyd.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1988 62' Gloustershire Top Sail Schooner, A$750,000. Located in Australia.

Want a change of lifestyle? Then take a look at this opportunity. Providence V is a 62' gaff rigged schooner from a bygone era and a replica of the Gloucestershire schooner - one of the first vessels to sail in the Americas Cup in the 1870's. She is located in Magnetic Island and is running as a viable charter boat business with "books to show". Providence V will sail at 12 knots, sleeps 15 and has a full galley separate form accommodation. In addition to the schooner and charter business, there is a 20m commercial berth and a fully furnished dual key apartment over looking the berth available.

Brokerage through Ensign Ship Brokers: www.yachtworld.com/ensignbrokers/

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

The Last Word
We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English. -- Winston Churchill

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