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Line Honours for Morning Glory
Morning Glory (GER) has claimed line honours in the 2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Crossing the finish line in Marsamxett Harbour, Malta at 04:02.19 CEST on Tuesday morning, the 86-ft Maxi skippered by Kristina Plattner, completed the 606-nm course in 2 days, 16 hours, 12 minutes and 9 seconds. Full report tomorrow.

Report from earlier today:

At 1400 local time on Day Three of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Kristina Plattner's Z-86, Morning Glory was approaching Lampedusa, 115 miles from the finish. Unless there is a significant change in the weather, the German canting keel maxi should take line honours in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Andres Soriano's Mills 72, Alegre is 40 miles behind Morning Glory and 7 miles ahead of their close rival, Italian JV72 Robertissima III, skippered by Vasco Vascotto. Unless Morning glory suffers gear failure, the Line Honours win for the Rolex Middle Sea Race awaits. Alegre is still leading IRC Class One. However, there is a new overall leader for the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Michele Galli's B2.

At Favignana for the first time in the race, the IRC modified TP52, B2 was leading the entire fleet under IRC, after time correction. B2 was nine miles ahead of Italian Baltic 65, Nikka Sixty Five at Pantelleria and still is in pole position for the overall win. B2 has the combined talents of Francesco de Angelis calling tactics and Nacho Postigo as navigator. The Italian/Spanish afterguard is proving to be a formidable combination.

At 1400, none of the yachts competing in IRC Three and IRC Four had reached the fresh breeze past the north west tip of Sicily. Any chance of an overall win looks unlikely for these yachts. However, the battle for class honours is very much wide open.

All of the thirteen Maltese entries are in IRC Class 3 & 4 but they are also vying for the honour of being the first local yacht to cross the finish line. Oiltanking Juno currently leads the pack but with fresh winds expected, the order may well change.

Awaiting A Turning Point
On Monday morning, a number of the competitors have returned to the village of the Mini Transat to watch over their boats and learn about the general mood of the race ... A small minority chose to remain on site over the weekend, dividing their time between tourist visits around the area and physical activity to maintain their fitness.

It is now a week since the Mini fleet began to pace the docks of Port Rhu. Overall, the sailors are coping well and are in good heart despite being faced with exceptional weather conditions.

The entire fleet is watching for the winds to switch to the west or northwest. But the center of the low pressure remains positioned to the south and this is generating very strong southwest winds from the tip of Spain to the tip of Galicia.

Yesterday evening, the files suggested a possible way out for next weekend, but the latest forecasts do not encourage optimism. Competitors still in Douarnenez can at least happily rely on the solidarity of the people and the Cornouaillais traders. For example sailors with nowhere to stay were spontaneously offered free homestays with local residents, and those who spend their morning in the race center waiting for news can at least enjoy free croissants kindly provided by a baker in the city. Several companies have also offered tours and tastings of local produce. All everyone can do is wait for the next weather files, knowing that the situation may change rapidly, given the instability of this type of weather phenomena. For now, Code Red still prevails.

World Yacht Racing Forum
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Over 250 people attended the 2012 edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum and Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden. They heard from speakers including Ben Ainslie, Knut Frostad, Guillaume Henry, Mark Turner, Pat Shaughnessy, Juan Kouyoumdjian, Manolo Ruiz de Elvira, Bill Tripp, Ian Walker, Dawn Riley, Dan McLaren, Richard Brisius and many more.

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ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 21 October 2013 have been released.

Laser Radial - Mathilde De Kerangat, FRA
Laser - Tom Burton, AUS
Men's RS:X - Ivan Pastor Lafuente, ESP
Women's RS:X - Bryony Shaw, GBR
Men's 470 - Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
Women's 470 - Lara Vadlau / Anneloes Van Veen and Jolanta Ogar, AUT
Nacra 17 - Moana Laireaux / Manon Audinet, FRA
Finn - Caleb Paine, USA
49er - Dylan Fletcher / Alain Sign, GBR
49erFX - Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL

The full ISAF World Sailing Ranking lists, results from all ISAF Graded events, lists of Graded events throughout the year, Ranking release dates and the method of calculation for the Rankings can be found on the ISAF website at

Third Boat Sought For Ireland To Contest 2014 Commodore's Cup
Ireland is set to contest the 2014 Commodore's Cup with two of three boats required already slated for the biennial event which is being held in Cowes, Isle of Wight between 17-25 July 2014. Sailing officials from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA) remain tight lipped about team composition but it is understood a third boat has been identified and negotations to form the squad are ongoing.

An ICRA press release says the Irish Team have two very competitive boats, one Irish and one from the U.S. Both have top Irish sailors as part of their crew.

In 2010, Ireland won the event but disappointingly in 2012, in the teeth of recession, Ireland did not defend the Commodore's Cup title after weeks of doubt about Ireland's ability to put a competitive three boat team together.

Now it looks like Former Irish Cruiser Racer Commodore Barry Rose will make good on his 2012 promise to 'return with a credible team for the 2014 event'.

Rose reported to a September executive meeting of the sailing body that two 'strong boats' are interested and a third is being sought for an Irish team.

ICRA now say a third slot is still available and is an opportunity for a competitive boat or Irish team.

Finale Played Out at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao offered a fascinating finale as the inaugural event in China and the first World Cup regatta of the 2013-14 series concluded.

A range of conditions were thrown at the sailors across the week and on the final day a south easterly 5-7 knot breeze with gusts up to 10 knots and a maximum current of 2.1 knots made reading the conditions key.

All of the Medal Races were tracked on the closing day of ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and can be viewed again.

FInal top three by class:

470 Men
1. Lucas Calabrese / Juan de la Fuente, ARG
2. Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic, CRO
3. Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox, NZL

470 Women
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL
2. Hui Feng / Lizhu Huang, CHN
3. Qian Fu / Liyun Liu, CHN

1. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO
2. Pavlos Kontides, CYP
3. Kacper Zieminski, POL

Laser Radial
1. Dongshuang Zhang, CHN
2. Tatiana Drozdovskaya, BLR
3. Mathilde de Kerangat, FRA

RS:X Men
1. Shahar Zubari, ISR
2. Ricardo Santos, BRA
3. Cheng Chun Leung Michael, HKG

RS:X Women
1. Peina Chen, CHN
2. Jiahui Wu, CHN
3. Maayan Davidovich, ISR

Full results

Sir Robin Returns To Sydney Hobart
Legendary British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (74), will crew in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Sir Robin will navigate on one of two Clipper 68 yachts competing and will race against his Clipper Race fleet of 12 brand new Clipper 70 yachts and their amateur crews currently circumnavigating the world.

"It was an irresistible challenge to enter for a second time," commented Sir Robin. "I am looking forward to being a navigator on one of our 68s which have completed four global circumnavigations and will form a new training and events base in Sydney to expand our presence in Australia."

On behalf of the RSHYR, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Howard Piggott said: "The Club is also pleased to welcome back Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and a competitor in the 2010 race on board Titania of Cowes. His presence will undoubtedly lead to spirited racing in the now 14 strong Clipper Race fleet and certainly add colour to our race."

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Photo by Ross Elliston. Click on image for photo gallery.

'Windy, wet and lumpy' was how one competitor described Sunday's racing in the third weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. It was a breezy day indeed that saw a base wind of 23 knots and gusts of up to 30 that greeted the fleet as they made their way to the start on Sunday morning. A gusty breeze, combined with a steep Solent chop and intermittent heavy rainsqualls kept competitors on their toes 0 and, occasionally, their boats on their sides in tricky conditions.

Ian Brown from One Sails, the day sponsor, was on hand back in the HRSC clubhouse to present day prizes to the exhausted crews. In many classes the challenging conditions shook up the overall results. Among theose who came out well were James Gair's Localletterbox Zero II and Mark Lloyd's Chaos in IRC0, who won a race apiece, scoring a first and second each. In IRC 1, Philip Farrands' Old Mother Gun and Paul Jones' Passion won a race each ahead of Allie Smith's Puma Logic, which scored two seconds. Mike Bridges' Elaine tops the IRC 2 class after scoring a 1st and a 2nd, ahead of Paul Heys' Jungle Drum and Robbie and Lis Robinson's Hot Rats.

In IRC 3, Chudziak, Horner and Malas in Wee Bear scored a 3rd and a 1st, to close the gap on overall leaders, Nick Munday's IndulJence, who scored a 1st and a 3rd. IRC 4 stalwart Bernard Fyans on Erik the Red put on a fine show, taking two firsts and closing the gap to Toby Gorman's Stan the Boat to 1 point overall. Oliver Love's Impala Two Frank took two thirds.

In the J/109 class, David McGough's Just So took two firsts ahead of Owain Franks' Jynnan Tonnyx. J-Dream won both races in the J/111 class, while Chris and Vanessa Choules on With Alacrity and Nigel Goodhew on Persephone won a race apiece in the Sigma 38 class.

Next weekend hosts the final weekend of the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships, as well as the fourth Garmin Hamble Winter Series race day.

Saturday and Sunday also hosted the second of two MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship weekends. By comparison to Sunday, Saturday was pleasant - but still saw a gusty breeze that challenged the top-class racing yachts in this prestigious event.

Full results at

Interim Funding Approved
Emirates Team New Zealand today welcomed an interim Government investment of $5 million towards the team's challenge for the 35th America's Cup.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the bridging funding would enable the team to retain designers, sailors, support crew and administration for the next challenge.

Managing director Grant Dalton said the team was working on the challenge almost from the last race day in San Francisco. 'The extent of the enthusiastic reception when we arrived back in New Zealand was both unexpected and encouraging and an incentive to challenge again.

'We have been talking informally to existing and potential sponsors. We will begin to develop a business plan and sponsorship proposals so that we can start calling on them from next month.'

He said the team, and sponsors, looked forward to the announcement of the rules for the 35th America's Cup early in the New Year.

'Decisions by Oracle on venue, dates and class of yacht are fundamental to the way ahead.'

National 12 'Witchcraft Bailer' Vintage Series
Photo by Kevan Bloor and John Cheetham. Click on image for photo gallery.

Presented to the Association in 1993 by Robin Stevenson, the Witchcraft Bailer trophy is an original self-bailer from his boat 'Witchcraft', N1153 - the first glued plywood constructed National 12, built in 1953. Suitably mounted on a wooden plinth, it is awarded to the winner of the Vintage Series of Open meetings for those boats qualifying as vintage National Twelves.

In 2013, the series comprised of eleven events spread across the country, the best three results to count. They included Open meetings at Annandale, Burwain, Yorkshire Ouse, Leigh & Lowton, Redesmere, Trent Valley, Ripon and Yeadon Sailing Clubs as well as the main National Championships at Brixham YC, the Vintage Dinghy Regatta at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, Wroxham and, new for this season, the inaugural N12 Inland Vintage Championships hosted by Burton SC.

The winner this year is, once again, Howard Chadwick sailing his newly restored China Doll 'Hoodoo' N2683, and his Starfish 'Triada' N2266.

Second place went to Brian Kitching sailing 'Just Lucky' N1657 - a Chimp design.

Cast Your Vote
Cowes Week Limited (CWL) and Aberdeen Asset Management are working in partnership to appoint an official charity for the world-famous regatta, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

An official charity is appointed in order that fundraising activity during the event can be conducted in a focused way and in July it was announced that a new charity would be sought for the period from 2014 as Toe in the Water reached the final year of their three year tenure in 2013. Charities were invited to register their interest with CWL.

A range of applications were received prior to the deadline of the 4 October and representatives from both CWL and Aberdeen Asset Management have completed a full evaluation of all responses. As a result, a shortlist of three charities has been determined:

- The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation
- RYA Sailability

CWL and Aberdeen Asset Management would now like feedback from the sailing fraternity and the event community on which of these charities they would most like to see supported at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. These responses will then be factored in to the next stage of the decision-making process which will be an interview with each of the three charities, prior to a final decision being reached.

Voting is simple and all you need to do to cast your vote is visit the charity page on the event website:

The deadline for feedback is Friday 8 November.

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The Last Word
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. -- Confucius

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Editorial and letter submissions to

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