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Reasonable Cause For Optimism
For the first time since the postponement of the start of the Mini Transat was announced, a good weather window seems to be opening for the beginning of next week. For Denis Hughes, Race Director, a solution seems to be finally drawing near. Until now any potential weather windows had closed again just as quickly as they had appeared.

The current scenario indicates that the deep depression that will swep in from the Atlantic during the weekend should quickly clear on Monday evening and behind it a northwesterly flow is expected to open up. The conditions look very promising for starting on Tuesday, October 29, or earlier if the weather system moves through more rapidly.

The official code for now remains red, but the morale among the fleet is once again back to green.

www.minitransat.fr

No Further Action Against Dirk De Ridder
Official sources have now confirmed that the Dutch national sailing authority has decided not to take any further action against Dirk de Ridder (NED) following an adverse report by the International Jury during the 34th America's Cup.

The Appeals body (the Zeilraad) established by the de Ridder's national authority to hear such matters, is reported as stating in its conclusion: 'further considered that being excluded from further participation in any role in the 34 America's Cup for a gross breach of a rule and of good sportsmanship, combined with the world wide publicity on TV/radio, Internet and newspapers, is by itself, a severe penalty.

'Having considered all evidence the Zeilraad finds that it is not appropriate to impose an additional penalty.

'Decision: After this investigation the Zeilraad finds that it is not appropriate to conduct a hearing and decides that no further action will be taken in this matter by the Dutch MNA.'

The Zeilraad stated in its Findings that it only had limited knowledge of all the evidence presented AC Jury. It would appear that the full transcripts of the evidence were not passed across from the International Jury to the Dutch national authority, who were then faced with the option of re-conducting the San Francisco Hearing and gathering their own evidence, or not proceeding through a lack of evidence. They appear to have chosen that latter course of action. -- Richard Gladwell in Sail-World.com

www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=116080

The full report of the Zeilraad (PDF): www.watersportverbond.nl/data/documents/Zeilen/

Race Onboard a Volvo 70
Volvo Ocean Race Exciting opportunity to join Volvo 70 Monster Project (ex Team Russia) for Transatlantic ARC race starting on 24th November from Grand Canaria, finishing in st Lucia. Hoping to beat the record time of 11 days. Be part of the crew and experience extreme ocean racing.

Project Racing are offering places on our Volvo 70 "Monster Project". We are hoping to smash the ARC record if the weather is right. There will be a maximum of 10 guests and 6 crew, Ocean Master skipper Andy Budgen and his 5 qualified crew will be there to make the trip both safe and enjoyable.

Check out www.volvo70charter.co.uk

Yacht Skipper Fined For Crashing Into Tanker
The skipper of a racing yacht has been made to pay over £100,000 in fines and costs after colliding with a 120,000 ton oil tanker in the Solent.

Roland Wilson of Perthshire, Scotland was found guilty on three counts of breaching international maritime law at West Hampshire Magistrates' Court.

On August 6, 2011, the yacht Atalanta of Chester was taking part in the first day of racing at Cowes Week. Heading towards Southampton Docks was the tanker Hanne Knutsen.

Skipper Roland Wilson, who at the time was a Royal Navy Lieutenant, said he spotted the red tanker when it was five miles away. However, the yacht sailed into the moving exclusion zone protecting the Hanne Knutsen. Fearing for his safety, a crew member on board the yacht then jumped overboard moments before they collided with the front of the tanker.

The yacht's rigging then got caught up on the tanker's anchor causing the mast to collapse onto to the head of one of the crew. He later was taken to hospital but wasn't seriously injured.

Roland Wilson was today found guilty of failing to keep a proper lookout, and impeding a vessel using a narrow channel. He was fined £3,000, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15, and made to pay costs of £100,056.68.

www.marinelink.com/news/

* Video on the collision: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tUoUxzt9sI

Great Britain Wins Clipper Race 3 Into Cape Town
Click on image to enlarge.

Clipper Race GREAT Britain won Race 3 of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race into Cape Town, crossing the line at 08:48:58 UTC, ahead of Henri Lloyd in second place which crossed the line at 11:40:56 UTC in front of the spectacular back drop of Table Mountain. Invest Africa crossed the line in third place, at 12:49:00 UTC.

One of the biggest victories of the race belongs to Invest Africa. As the rest of the fleet were tightly packed further south a week into Race 3, Invest Africa's tactical gamble took them further south, taking them from last position into second place, only to be overtaken by Henri Lloyd in the final hours of the race.

Skipper of Henri Lloyd, Eric Holden, added, "It was only in the last six or seven hours that we moved into second place, but we are really happy as a team.

"I think what we will take from this race is never give up as you never know what will happen at the end. We were really lucky to find some wind and overtake Invest Africa. We played it pretty conservatively this race, not heading too far south, and stayed in the middle of the fleet.

For those teams who missed out on a podium position into Cape Town, Race 3 offered the fleet the opportunity to win valuable extra points: Jamaica Get All Right and Qingdao were the only yachts that decided to go for the more northerly Scoring Gate, with Jamaica Get All Right claiming the maximum extra three points on offer, and Qingdao two.

The remainder of the fleet will arrive in Cape Town over the next two days. Race 4, Leg 3 to Albany Western Australia, will start on Monday, 4 November.

https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Discovery Route: Spindrift 2 Set To Start
Photo by Mark Lloyd, www.lloydimages.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Spindrift Spindrift 2, the world's largest racing trimaran, and its 14-strong crew, led by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, can at last foresee a weather window within the next 24 hours which could launch their attempt to beat the record set between Cadiz and San Salvador (Bahamas). Spindrift 2 has been on standby in Portimao, southern Portugal, since 7 October, waiting to attack the record set by the maxi trimaran Groupama in 2007. The large black and white trimaran is hoping to cross the start line in the bay of Cadiz on Tuesday 29 October around 12:00 GMT.

The three weeks enforced "standby" in Portimao was partly because of the significant collapse of the Azores high-pressure system and the continuous chain of active low-pressure systems hitting the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

As always on long course record attempts, there is a certain amount of uncertainty with any forecasts beyond five days and the finish area in San Salvador is currently under the influence of low pressure, sitting between two systems where there is very light wind.

Crew of the maxi Spindrift 2 for The Discovery Route:

Dona Bertarelli
Yann Guichard
Xavier Revil
Jean Baptiste le Vaillant
Antoine Carraz
Thierry Douillard
Christophe Espagnon
Sebastien Marsset
Nicolas Texier
Erwan Tabarly
Francois Morvan
Thomas Rouxel
Simone Gaeta
Erwan Israel

Weather routing : Richard Silvani

Time to beat : 7 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes, 53 seconds
Current record : Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) in 2007
Distance : 3884 milles (WSSRC)

To follow the record attempt:

Map showing Spindrift 2 positions updated every 15 minutes:
spindrift2-decouverte.addviso.org/en

www.spindrift-racing.com/the-discovery-route/

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

Seahorse Magazine

Start your engines...
Bob Fisher tags a ride as Team SCA start sailing in earnest on the first Volvo Ocean 65

Passion, madness and hope...
52 Super Series manager Rob Weiland

One week in September
So how did Oracle turn things around so very dramatically? Key Oracle USA team members including Paul Bieker, Scott Ferguson, Eduardo Carroll, Michel Kermarec and Philippe Presti provide some of the answers

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub for UK residents: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/

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Action Stations
Photo by Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / TJV2013. Click on image to enlarge.

Transat Jacques Vabre At one week before next Sunday's start of the 11th edition of the Transat Jacques, the two-handed Transatlantic Race from Le Havre to Itajai, Brazil, the race already feels like it has real momentum. The wind is in its sails now after The extensive race village, which is centred around Le Havre's Paul Vatine Basin, was officially opened this Saturday morning.

Visitors flocked to the quaysides from early today to see the four fleets lined up, assembled for this eleventh edition of the race, the MOD70 and Multi50 multihulls and the IMOCA Open 60 and Class 40 monohulls. And while the sunny, windy weather was far from unpleasant for the visitors as they walked the docksides, that stiff breeze was definitely welcomed by the race duos as they took on the challenge of the Prologue Virtual Regatta Inshore which was won by Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier (Edmond de Rothschild)

While the four fleets, Class40, Multi50, IMOCA and MOD70 sit tied safely to the dock in the Paul Vatine Basin visitors only had to walk a few metres to see their heroes in action, live on the water. The boats were of course smaller that their race craft, Beneteau First Class 7.50's but the action was intense and exciting in the brisk breezes.

Due to the rough conditions forecast for tomorrow, Sunday, the organizers chose to push the full programme through today. A tight windward-leeward course was set. The winners of each flight went to a semi-final fleet consisting of Edmond de Rothschild, Cheminees Poujoulat, Maitre Coq, Actual, Energa and Macif. And the grand final set duo Bernard Stamm/Philippe Legros (Cheminees Poujoulat) and Sebastien Josse/Charles Caudrelier (Edmond de Rothschild) against each other. In the end it was the Edmond de Rothschild duo which won Prologue Virtual Regatta Inshore.

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en

First Season Points to Tasmanian Farr 40
Lambourdini & Voodoo Chile. Photo by Peta Bowden. Click on image to enlarge.

Farr 40 The farthest travelled surprised even themselves when they claimed top honours at the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Queensland State Title.

Tasmanian owners Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark and crew on Voodoo Chile crossed three state boundaries to take up the reins on a Farr 40 not their own. Given the one design 40-footers are near to identical, the crew of eight Tassie born and two from Sydney quickly made themselves comfortable. Very comfortable.

Voodoo Chile, named after the 1968 Jimmy Hendrix track, dominated the three day series from the outset. On board the Farr 40 chartered from Lang Walker they racked up six wins from 10 races, sometimes only seconds separating them from the highly credentialed Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and Transfusion or Walker's Kokomo.

Final results:

1. Voodoo Chile, Andrew Hunn, 11.0 points
2. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, 16.0
3. Kokomo, Lang Walker, 21.0
4. Lambourdini , David Lambourne, 36.0
5. Bobby's Girl, John Leman, 37.0

farr40.org

Kenny Coombs
Kenny Coombs Over 60 people attended the funeral of Kenny Coombs, Founder of the Antigua Classic Regatta, and Gentleman of the Sea, at Mortlake Crematorium in Richmond on Friday 25th October. Leading the mourners were his wife Jane and brother Jim Coombs – Jim gave a eulogy of Kenny's life followed by a performance of "the Sailors Song" accompanied by Max Pope on his guitar. A team of Superyacht Captains formed an honour guard of coffin bearers.

Of the numerous friends attending many were also passionate lifelong sailors including Sparky Beardall (Rebecca), Jeremy "Bear" Wynn (Scherezade), Steve McClaren (Elena), Alexis Howard (Windrose) Johnson "Woody" Wooderson, Caroline Blatter, Ann Louise Stebbing, John Burnie (also representing the Royal Ocean Racing Club) Keith Outram, plus many other friends family and associates.

Following the service a Celebration of Kenny's life was held, appropriately on the MV VISCOUNT moored at Kew Pier on the Thames. Further celebrations of Kenny's life are planned and in particular at the 2014 edition of the Antigua Classics Regatta. -- John Burnie, Royal Ocean Racing Cub

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 Chris Welsh: Having participated in a flare-initiated rescue of the crew of a sinking boat during the 2008 Sydney-Hobart, I would not support dropping the requirement to carry flares. Our awareness of their plight began with seeing a rocket flare. Persona Epirbs, radios, etc, were available, but the flare started the rescue ball rolling. There is opportunity for more intelligent, cost effective, safety gear reg's, but removing requirements to carry flares is not the way to go.

Where are meaningful savings available? Matching up life raft repacking requirements with USCG standards, i.e. a raft should not have to be repacked for race reg's before the USCG approval expires. In another race, officials required we buy and carry a anchor that was so large there was no way we could have handled it safely. The anchor size was determined by boat length rather than boat weight.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1996 Nautor Swan 48. EUR 450,000. Located In Rungsted, Denmark.

This Swan 48 has only been used lightly for family cruising and is now seriously for sale. Please contact us for a viewing in Copenhagen.

Brokerage through DBC Marine: www.yachtworld.com/dbcmarine/

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

The Last Word
I don't believe in dressing up reality. I don't believe in using makeup to make things look smoother. -- Lou Reed

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