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Rolex Middle Sea Race: Otra Vez Finds A Way
The sound of clinking of glasses and rousing voices filled the air today at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Hundreds of competitors enjoyed the full hospitality of the club, sharing their stories with fellow competitors over a glass or two. After days and nights at sea, isolated from the outside world, the cosmopolitan crowd also enjoyed good food and excellent company.

IRC Four was the largest class taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. 46 yachts from 10 different countries including Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Malta, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Edward & Aaron Gatt Floridia's J/122, Otra Vez completed the 606-mile race at dusk on Day Five, after racing with a highly competitive fleet. Otra Vez has been announced as the winner of IRC Four. Rod Stuart's Scottish Elan 410, Eos was less than 2 minutes behind on corrected time and Renzo Grottesi's Italian X40, Pita Maha was just nine minutes behind Otra Vez.

The remaining yachts taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are expected to arrive at the Royal Malta tomorrow. At 1500 on Day Six of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 12 yachts are still racing. -- Louay Habib

To track the fleet and follow blogs from the boats, including photos and reports, go to

The Mini Transat Returns To Code Red
The scenario proposed yesterday by the Race Director, to start the 84 strong Mini Tansat fleet on Friday with a stopover in Gijon, has ultimately has not been chosen. The option of a start early next week seems to be confirmed.

The window of opportunity to start the fleet tomorrow, Friday, is closed. The Race Director and meteorologists have identified that the weather window is too short and does not allow the entire fleet to reach the Spanish coast before the arrival of very strong winds coupled with a large swell (35 knots, 6m swell).

However, scenario number 2 - a start early next week - is it still viewed with optimism. The weather window seems to be confirmed, suggesting an opportunity to send the fleet on the direct route to Lanzarote on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

The Mini Transat therefore returns to Code Red - no planned departure within 36 hours.

The New Glacier Bay Parka - Reengineered In Every Detail 10 years ago, the Glacier Bay Parka debuted in the historic Sail Antarctica Expedition led by skipper Skip Novak. On board a vessel with the crew of 11 experienced sailors including Magnus "Mange" Olsson, Hasse Bauer and Richard Brisius, the Glacier Bay Parka's design was exposed to a battle for survival.

For weeks, averagedaily temperatures hovered down near -40°C. The ship and crew of the Antarctica Expedition team were constantly buffeted by stiff headwinds as they sought to reach a pinpoint on the map that's aptly named Snow Hill.

Needless to say, the design and construction of the parka didn't happen overnight. On the contrary, it was the product of months of daily wear and testing in the Antarctica, one of the coldest and most desolate locations on earth.

Today, after a decade of service, the Glacier Bay Parka has incorporated the lessons of time and newly acquired knowledge of technological developments in fabric and insulation to offer you updated protection from severely cold conditions.

The Glacier Bay Parka is made in GORE-TEX® 2-Layer stretch fabric that provides increased flexibility and comfort, while at the same time, ensuring its windproof and waterproof properties. Insulated with Thermolite®, the parka maintains an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio even in the face of a howling blizzard on land or snow squall at sea.

Watch the video at

The new Glacier Bay Parka is available in authorized retailers and at

For more info:, , +46-706-956008

Battle For Leading America's Cup Stars Underway
As Team New Zealand get time to hold off the vultures, Oracle's winning America's Cup personnel are also feeling the heat of rival syndicates interested in challenging for sport's oldest trophy.

Details of the next regatta are expected to be revealed early next year once Oracle and Hamilton Island yacht Club, Australia's official Challenger of record, agree on a new protocol.

Australia's America's Cup revival is putting heat on the market - and that includes Oracle when Larry Ellison may need to dip further into his deep pockets to retain his champion set-up.

Oracle's syndicate was an international affair, including Kiwis and Australians.

They look certain to lose classy navigator Sir Ben Ainslie to a British challenge and strategist Tom Slingsby from Australia, revealed he has been receiving offers "from a number of teams".

New Zealand's Economic Development Minister Steve Joyce today reiterated the government's reasoning for the [interim] funding, saying key people needed to be retained while Team New Zealand's future was determined.

He admitted it was a gamble but one the government believed was worthwhile given the profile the recent America's Cup final between Oracle and the Kiwis enjoyed.

"The key thing is it became a much bigger event in profile for New Zealand than anyone expected," Mr Joyce told TV3.

He said that ironically Oracle's remarkable comeback victory had increased the profile in the United States and that was a key market for New Zealand. Another regatta in America where San Francisco appears favoured to again host the event would add to the appeal of Team New Zealand involvement. -- Duncan Johnstone

Frontrunners Reach Halfway Mark In Coastal Yacht Race
Dean Barker onboard TA. Photo by Richard Gladwell / Click on image to enlarge.

Coastal Race Auckland, New Zealand: More than 160 yachts of all shapes and sizes departed Auckland today, bound for Russell in the Bay of Islands.

They were competing in the famous PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell Yacht Race - nicknamed 'the Coastal' - and the official icebreaker for hundreds of sailors each year.

The weather was fine and sunny, with a good stiff North-Wester to drive them off the startline and to the first corner at North Head, where they trimmed on sails and began the 119 nautical mile upwind beat to Russell in seriousness.

The big multihulls TeamVodafone and Team Australia took an early position at the front of the fleet and at 1.30pm - just 3.5 hours out from the start, they had passed Sail Rock, with the New Zealand based TeamVodafone an estimated six minutes ahead of the Australian entry that arrived in the country six days ago after claiming a new Trans Tasman speed record.

The Volvo 70 Giacomo, in its first major race in New Zealand, was in third position, and the extreme catamaran Taeping, in fourth.

The front runners are expected in Russell at about 5pm tonight, and a new record time is unlikely. -- Zoe Hawkins

19th Flying Fifteen World Championships
RHKYC's Official Logistics and Shipping Partner, GAC Pindar, this week delivered eleven 40' containers to Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Middle Island sailing centre, bearing the 33 overseas entries in the 19th International Flying Fifteen World Championship that will take place from 25 October to 8 November and which includes the Hong Kong Nationals.

Designed by Uffa Fox in 1947, the Flying Fifteen is a two-person keelboat which is officially classed as a dinghy and as the containers were being offloaded at Middle Island, overseas sailors began arriving in Hong Kong to reassemble hulls, keels and masts before official measurement starts today.

50 boats will participate in the Nationals, and 53 in the Worlds, with defending champion Graham Vials from Great Britain shipping his two month old boat Foof in for the event. Also competing will be three-time champion Steve Goacher (1995, 1997, 1999), also in a new boat - as yet unnamed.

The oldest boat on the water will be Bobby Salmond's Vamoose which he first sailed with his father at the age of 13. The youngest competitor will be French Fries crew Wataru Takada, at 17 and the youngest helm Cosmas Grelon at 18 years of age.

Racing gets underway on Monday 28 October with a practice race before six races over three days of racing in the Hong Kong Nationals. There follows a lay day on 1 November, then the 19th International Flying Fifteen World Championship is contested over seven races from 2 to 7 November, with a re-sail day scheduled for 8 November.

Keel Laid In Sausalito For First Tall Ship Built Here In A Century
There hadn't been a birth like the one that occurred Saturday on the Sausalito waterfront for more than 100 years. A tall ship named the Matthew Turner officially came into being at a traditional keel-laying ceremony in a huge white tent filled by a crowd of sailing enthusiasts who will, in all likelihood, never see anything like it again in their lifetimes.

The keel beam, a slab of raw Douglas fir some 87 feet long, lay in the center of the tent, decorated with fresh flowers for a blessing by Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Daly, a Tibetan lama and an Aloni Indian.

"When a keel is put down like this, it's the beginning of a ship," explained Alan Olson of Mill Valley, 72-year-old director of the Sausalito-based nonprofit Educational Tall Ship. "This is sort of its birth. It's becoming a real entity. It's no longer just pieces of wood. It's an important moment in a boat's life."

When the 130-foot long square rigger is finished two years from now, it will give 10,000 young people a year a chance to experience sailing in the bay and beyond firsthand.

"Kids will stay on board overnight and become part of a crew of professional educators and mariners," Olson, a lifelong sailor and boat builder, said. "It's an intense program."

Since 2005, some 30,000 youngsters have already been sailing on another Olson vessel berthed in Sausalito, the 82-foot-long schooner Seaward operated by his nonprofit Call of the Sea. -- Paul Liberatore in the Marin Independent Journal

Tropic 4 Cancer Atlantic Crossing
Richard Mayon White's diminutive 6.5m Mini Transat yacht Haskapa is now at Marina Bay in Gibraltar, from where she will depart Saturday on her trans-atlantic solo challenge, following the Tropic of Cancer, and making landfall in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. As long as the weather conditions are right Richard, from Longparish in Hampshire, plans to leave on Saturday (26 October). His research shows that the forecast is expected to be light, but with favourable winds, which should allow for a break out from the Straits of Gibraltar and to begin the journey south to the Tropic of Cancer.

With the boat re-rigged and launched following her road trip from the UK, Richard is making the last few preparations getting all the survival essentials onboard for the crossing which will take upwards of 28 days, depending on the weather.

Richard is aiming to raise £40,000 to be split equally between two great causes, the Sobell House Hospice in Oxford and the national charity Sail 4 Cancer, which gives respite to cancer sufferers and their families through days out on the water and sailing holidays.

Richard is an experienced ocean sailor, and has already rowed across the Atlantic and cycled many thousands of miles for charity. However this will be the first time he has undertaken a trans-ocean solo voyage.

The route follows the Tropic of Cancer, the circle of latitude running around the Earth at approximately 23 degrees north, and which marks the most northerly position at which the sun may appear directly overhead.


Have Flares Had Their Day?
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) thinks so and is trying to persuade UK authorities to drop the requirements for yachts over 13.7m to carry them on board.

"In today's modern age there is no compelling case to support the mandatory requirement of flares," says Stuart Carruthers, cruising manager of the (RYA).

"If the question is how to initiate a response, our position is this: flares are only required to burn for 40 seconds and you are expecting someone to see it, to recognise it and to take action. These days we have EPIRBs, personal locator beacons, and VHF DSC that will do the job automatically. That should negate the need for flares."

The push to get the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to review their requirements is being made at a time when they are overhauling their Marine Guidance Notes for recreational craft over 13.7m, which makes carriage of four parachute flares and four hand-held flares compulsory.

But when I ask if the MCA is receptive to the suggestion of this change, Carruthers admits: "I'm not entirely convinced they are, but what we want to do is create conditions for these alternatives to be recognised." -- Elaine Bunting in her Yachting World blog

Industry News
From 115 products entered in this year's DAME Design Award competition, 52 were nominated to go forward for final judging by the DAME jury.

DAME 2013 received entries from around the world. The successful nominations came from 12 nations.

Winners will be announced at 8 a.m. Nov. 19 at a breakfast briefing prior to the start of the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

DAME Awards Jury chairman Bill Dixon said in a statement that the jury was pleased with the quality of many of the entries and the effort companies made to present their products in a clear and concise way.

"The number of nominations this year is the highest for some time," Dixon said. "This reflects the overall quality of the entry, which is undoubtedly improved on previous years. There were some standout categories with evidence of innovation. For example, in marine electronics we saw some notable moves forward, while the deck equipment, sails and rigging category generated a third of all nominations and brought a lot of very different products from several manufacturers to our attention. In fact, we've had significant entries to consider in each category, so the final decisions will be very hard."


Suzuki is extending its relationship with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) by becoming title sponsor of the RYA Dinghy Show for the next four years.

The show, which has been running for over 50 years, will now be known as The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts and Yachting.

The 2014 show will take place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 March at Alexandra Palace, London. Further details on ticket availability and 'what's on' will be announced in the coming weeks.


The [USA's] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the end of traditional paper nautical charts, but NOAA-certified print-on-demand partners will continue to sell up-to-date paper charts.

NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation's suite of more than 1,000 nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts.

Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print-on-demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.

"Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years," Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, said in a statement. "We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we're still going to provide other forms of our official charts."

Since 1862, lithographic nautical charts - available in marine shops and other stores - have been printed by the U.S. government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors, including a declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts and federal budget realities.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1988 Tony Castro 3/4 Tonner One Off. Located In Fenit, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

"Strictly Business" is a one off Tony Castro 3/4 Ton design.

She was built in 1988 and named "Bateleur 88" and was successfully campaigned by her then owner Chris Bonnar.

She is extremely strong and light. Her construction includes a combination of GRP, Kevlar and carbon stiffners. All hatches are watertight. She is in good condition overall and is ready to go racing with a new owner.

Brokerage through Crosshaven Boatyard:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. -- Frank Zappa

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Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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