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B2 Count The Minutes
Michele Galli's modified TP52, B2 crossed the finish line of the Rolex Middle Sea Race early this afternoon completing the race in just over three days. For the moment, the Italian yacht has the fastest corrected time of all the yachts that have finished the race. However, with the bulk of the fleet still racing, an overall win for B2 is far from certain. Although the conditions were light, it was a tough race for B2, as Spanish navigator, Nacho Postigo explained. "There were several key moments in the race that we managed well and that is why our overall performance has been good. However on the second night we had a major problem. All of our electronic instruments shut down completely. So we have been sailing with a smart phone for a compass, we have raced B2 like a dinghy and Francesco (de Angelis) has had to call the strategy almost completely blind, I don't think he has had more than two hours sleep, he must be exhausted."

B2 will have to wait until several yachts finish the race to see if they can remain in pole position for the overall win.

In IRC One, Andres Soriano's Mills 72, Alegre leads the class, however Maltese J/122, Otra Vez´, skippered by Edward & Aaron Gatt Floridia can still take both class title and the overall win for the race. Otra Vez must finish by 0900 tomorrow morning, which is unlikely but still possible.

Although most of the yachts in IRC Two are still racing, none of them will be able to better B2's corrected time. Luca Simone's Baltic Mini Maxi, Nikka Sixty Five, has finished the race and is currently second in class. Johann Killinger's German Swan 60 Emma, Germana Tognella's Italian Cookson 50, Cantankerous and Hans Riegel's German Marten 49, Speedy are just a few miles from the finish.

David Anastasi's Maltese J/133, Oiltanking Juno was leading IRC Three at 1500. -- Louay Habib

www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/index.cfm

An Historic 20th Anniversary Edition
Le Havre's famous Basin Paul Vatine will come alive to the pre-start buzz when 45 teams muster for the historic 20th anniversary edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the two handed race across the Atlantic from the French port to Itajaí, Brazil. The event is always a defining highlight for the city of Le Havre and for the Mondelēz International Group which join together as hosts over the period 25th October to 3rd November when the four classes gather, the MOD70 and Multi50 multihulls and IMOCA and Class 40 monohulls, making ready for the 5400 miles course which takes the fleet for the first time to the new destination city of Itajaí in southern Brazil.

The race has attracted 45 teams of two co-skippers who between them represent 12 different nations across the four different classes.

The race starts on Sunday November 3rd under Le Havre's famous cliffs of Saint Adresse when all the classes race a coastal course to Etretat. From there the course which is set takes them direct non stop to Brazil. The Monohulls, that is 26 Class 40's and 10 IMOCA's, programme in their course direct for the finish line, whilst the six Multi50's and three MOD70's return temporarily to the Basin Paul Vatine to await their starts on November 5th and 8th respectively for the same 5,400 miles course.

The course offers a range of challenges right from the very opening miles, including the notorious escape from the Channel, there is then the passage across Biscay which is never usually easy in November, then it is down to the Canaries, on to the vagaries of the ICTZ or Doldrums as they are most usually known, then dealing with the St Helena high pressure area and the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, finally into waters which for most will be new as the final miles into Itajaí can be tricky too.

Class40 is the biggest and most international, with top French names like Halvard Mabire, Bruno Jourdren, Damien Seguin , Yannick Bestaven , Jean -Christophe Caso , Sébastien Rogues racing with or against sailors from Spain (Alex Pella), Germany (Jörg Riechers , Peter Christoff ), Great Britain (Brian Thompson , Sam Goodchild , Rob Windsor , Miranda Merron ... ), Italy and Belgium.

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com

"If There Was Ever A Time To Do It, It's Now"
Ben Ainslie, the British Olympic hero who came on board ORACLE TEAM USA as tactician and helped guide the American defender to victory in the America's Cup last month is on the stump trying to raise money for a British challenge.

He told the BBC's Radio 5 that the ORACLE TEAM USA comeback story had generated massive interest in the Cup both in Britain and around the world. Since stepping off the boat, victorious, on September 25, he has been working to convert that interest into money for a British challenge.

"There's a lot of support for sailing in this country. The excitement from this last event, the people who would be interested in backing a team like this, if there was ever a time to do it, it's now," he said. "There's been a huge response and I've been really excited by non-sailors in the UK who have really taken to the sport.

"In terms of raising the funds for a team, that's a big ask," he acknowledged.

"I've been working very hard on raising money. There's a commercial side to it, but you can't build that up right away. That will take more time, and knowledge on where the next event will be and when.

"So in the meantime, we need some private investors to come in and underwrite the campaign so that we know we can get to the end and we can sign the designers and sailors. If we can't do that, we won't do it (launch the challenge). There's no point going into an event like this without the talent because your chances of winning are then very slim."

www.americascup.com

New - D12 99 and D12 Max 99
Photo by Pedro Martinez, www.martinezstudio.es. Click on image for photo gallery.

Marlow Ropes Throughout our history Marlow have always embraced innovation, technology and advancement in materials and that philosophy continues at METS 2013 where we will be showcasing our all new D12 99 and D12 Max 99 products.

Manufactured using new Dyneema SK99, these new products join our Grand Prix Series as the highest strength for weight products on the market. 20% stronger than SK78 and 7% stronger than SK90, SK99 is the strongest fibre ever made by DSM.

Our Grand Prix Series customers rely on us to manufacture performance running rigging that can make the difference between winning and losing - whether it needs to be lighter, thinner, stiffer, softer. Winning margins are miniscule, but our partnership with DSM Dyneema means one thing that can be relied upon is the performance of the rope to get the most out of the crew and the boat.

Our network of Grand Prix Riggers demand the best for their customers and we deliver.

Visit our stand 03.031 in the British Pavilion at METS to find out more about D12 99 and D12 Max 99.

www.marlowropes.com


Ocean Race Around Australia
Click on image to enlarge.

Around Australia There are just 38 weeks until the start of the longest and the toughest coastal yacht race on the planet - the inaugural 'Ocean Race Around Australia - 2014.

There are four ports from which boats, monohull and multihulls, can start and finish the event; Fremantle, Port Lincoln, Melbourne and Sydney. International entrants can choose either Fremantle or Sydney as their 'home port' in the race.

Other race stopover ports are Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, Darwin in the Northern Territory, Dampier in the Pilbara of Western Australia and Esperance in the Goldfields of WA.

The race is for monohull and multihull boats, Category 1, with a minimum length overall of 10 metres. There is no upper limit. There is also division for double-handed monohull entries.

Prizes will be awarded for every Leg of the race (there are eight legs in all) for both monohull and multihull divisions.

Legs of the race vary from 1,500 nautical miles (Airlie Beach to Darwin via the Torres Strait) down to 575nm (Fremantle to Esperance rounding Cape Leeuwin). The leg across the Great Australia Bight, from Esperance to Port Lincoln, is 745nm.

The race will resurrect the 'Melbourne to Sydney Race' that ran for 25 years and was won by some of the most famous of Australia's offshore sailors. The recently restored original race trophy will be the perpetual trophy for this leg.

Already an Asian syndicate is working on campaigning a big multihull and enquiries are coming in from double-handed monohull owners.

A major national company is considering taking up title sponsorship of the 'Ocean Race Around Australia' and we hope to conclude negotiations before the end of this year. -- ORAA media

For all information, please contact Bob Williams +61 (0) 413 057 559, Event web site www.ayc.net.au

New Morrison National 18ft Prototype
Photo by Robert Bateman. Click on image to enlarge.

National 18ft The National 18ft class is experiencing a revival of interest with publication of a new book about the class - The History of the National 18' Dinghy written by Brian Wolfe - and a new Phil Morrison design recently launched at the Royal Cork Autumn racing.

Built by Ian Teasdale in Devon the new hull has been described as a cross between an RS400 and a Mark 8 International 14. Along with other recent innovations, such as carbon rigs, the the prototype is to be trialed and a decision taken at the next AGM on her future.

The National 18' began in 1938 following a design competition organised by the then YRA (now RYA) and Yachting World magazine. The well-known designer Uffa Fox won the competition (over the Laurent Giles submitted version) with his 'Ace' design for a clinker-built wooden boat.

Although most boats were built to the 'Ace' design, the class had always been 'restricted' rather than 'one-design' and boats with a reduced number of wider planks were built when glued plywood construction was adopted and even one moulded carvel boat was built.

The new Morrison design, if accepted, will be another step in the continues update of one of the very few three-person racing centre-boarders still available. -- Gerald New in Sailweb

www.sailweb.co.uk

Auckland To Russell Race
An uphill slog is on the cards for the 170 entrants in the PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic this Labour Weekend, but no dramas are expected on the high seas.

The fleet, which starts the race off Devonport Wharf in Auckland, and finishes off Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands, is expected to encounter North-West winds of 17-21 knots at the start. A weak front may pass over the race course on Friday evening, after which the breeze will lighten off and move West and then South-West on Friday night.

That means almost no chance of a record, but it does give the boats that excel at upwind sailing the first opportunity in five years to show their stuff.

According to PredictWind.com, the extreme trimarans TeamVodafone and Team Australia are expected to finish in between 7.5 and 8.5 hours. TeamVodafone has finished in less than six hours for the last two years, and holds the race record of five hours and 41 minutes. 

The big trimarans, nicknamed 'Big Red' and 'Big Bird' respectively, should maintain speeds of 17 or 18 knots for most of the course, and will reach peak performance on the final leg to Russell when the wind angle frees up lets them take off. The sea state is likely to be good, and all going according to plan, the boats will arrive in Russell in the early evening. 

The smaller multihulls will look for every opportunity to get a better wind direction and more of it, taking about ten hours to finish.

For Jim Delegat's Volvo 70, Giacomo, a new import to the country, and gearing up for the famous Rolex Sydney to Hobart in December, the race will take between 11 and 12 hours, and the boat will maintain consistent averages of 10-15 knots to achieve this. -- Zoe Hawkins

Boat tracking, commentary, sked times, photos and video will be available from race start on www.coastalclassic.co.nz

Farr 40 Season Launches In Queensland
Click on image to enlarge.

Farr 40 Australia The Australian Farr 40 class' five-part 2013/14 series launches this weekend with the Aberdeen Asset Management Queensland State Title, 24th-27th October.

Thursday's twilight race precedes three days of stiff class rivalry on Moreton Bay off the host club, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, between six entries representing three states.

Howard and David Lambourne's Farr 40 Lambourdini, Russell McCart's Night Nurse and John Leman's Bobby's Girl make up a strong Queensland contingent looking to play the local edge.

Seasoned competitors and usually first or second on the points table is defending Australian champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion and Lang Walker's Kokomo. Transfusion sailed north from Sydney while Walker chose the highway, trucking his two Farr 40s called Kokomo to Queensland for the opening round.

Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clarke's Tasmanian entry Voodoo Chile is in fact Walker's spare Kokomo chartered, saving the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania crew a logistical challenge transporting their 40-footer across four state borders.

The long range forecast shows the most breeze on Friday with decreasing SE winds from overnight gusts of 30 knots.

Entries for the Aberdeen Asset Management QLD State Title;

1. Bobby's Girl - John Leman (RQYS)
2. Kokomo - Lang Walker (CYCA)
3. Lambourdini - David & Howard Lambourne (RQYS)
4. Night Nurse - Russell McCart (RQYS)
5. Transfusion - Guido Belgiorno-Nettis (MHYC)
6. Voodoo Chile - Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark (chartering a Kokomo boat) (RYCT)

The 2013/14 Aberdeen Asset Management Australian Farr 40 Series comprises five events;

- QLD State Title: 24th - 27th October 2013, RQYS
- Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 One Design Trophy: November 30th & December 1st 2013, MHYC
- NSW State Title: 9th - 12th January 2014, RSYS
- Tasmanian State Title: 15th - 17th February 2014, RYCT
- John Calvert-Jones Trophy Nationals: 19th - 22nd February 2014, RYCT

www.farr40.asn.au

The Colourful Kiwi 70's
Click on image to enlarge.

Brush with Sail The painting 'Run to Hope Shoal Light' was painted by commission and is a vivid memory of my client, mine and many other sailors, from the heady sailing days of the early 1970's. The scene is Port Nicholson, the beautiful harbour of New Zealand's capital city, Wellington and a typical fifteen to twenty knots of northerly wind is kicking this small fleet along.

The two yachts leading the charge to Hope Shoal light are Geoff Stagg's 'Whispers II' on the left and the late Brian Coleman's 'Aztec'. There was always fierce competition between these two John Spencer designed yachts, but 'Whispers II', at 45 feet, had at least a three foot waterline advantage and usually lead her gold near-sister ship, over the finish line.

Multi-coloured spinnakers and the then fashionable 'shooters' made for an impressive cloud of nylon down-wind. But the effectiveness of the 'shooter' was always open for much debate. They needed skilled trimming seemed to be most efficient when a yacht was running by the lee? No amateurs on the helm please!

Tucked in behind and partially hidden by the spinnaker of 'Whispers II' and flying a yellow spinnaker, is the Doug Peterson designed 'Thundercloud.' This yacht was a sister to Chris Bouzaid's Auckland based 'Streaker', but whereas the Bouzaid yacht was a stripped-out racer, 'Thundercloud' had extra creature comforts that did nothing for it's performance. However, no criticism can be made of the enthusiasm with which the 'Thundercloud' crew raced their boat.

But downhill, in big breezes, they were constantly attempting to foot it with the long narrow Spencer boats and their pinched-end, IOR type of hull constantly rebelled. They did a lot of broaching and the yellow spinnaker grew smaller over time as they consistently blew it out of the tapes! -- Jim Bolland in his marine art and history blog "A Brush with Sail"

abrushwithsail.blogspot.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2007 IMOCA Open 60. EUR 500,000. Located in Gosport, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

Skippered by Dee Caffari , 'AVIVA' is one of the most reliable IMOCA 60 campaigned over the last 3 years, finishing every race and delivery successfully, in total 100,000 miles.

Built by Hakes Marine in NZ, 'AVIVA' is the sister ship to 'Ecover' which has proven the speed of the design leading the 2008 Vendee Globe in the south and finishing 3rdin the 2009 TJV.

Prior to the 2010 BWR the yacht received a comprehensive refit including conversion to tiller steering, more protective coach roof and a lighter more efficient cockpit layout.

AVIVA is now for sale and the owners are very keen to hear offers. Full specifications and inventories are available from Whitecap.

Brokerage through WhiteCap Associates Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/whitecapltd/

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

The Last Word
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