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Mini Transat Start Confirmed For Tuesday 29 October
It's on ... The weather will finally allow the fleet of 84 Minis to leave the shores of Brittany. Although the crossing of the Bay of Biscay should be completed safely, the passage around Cape Finisterre could be tricky for the final competitors. However, it by far the best conditions for the past two weeks.

The main obstacle on the way to Lanzarote, is in the vicinity of Cape Finisterre, as their arrival there may coincide with a strengthening in the wind of up to 30 knots. Conditions that will be far from comfortable, but that should not be an insurmountable obstacle for the fleet of Minis.

However, Denis Hughes, the Race Director, reminded everyone during the weather briefing on Monday night, that each competitor has the right to stop for 48 hours in a port of his choice, as stated in the sailing instructions.

To cross the Bay of Biscay, the fleet is expected to start in a regime of northwesterly which will quickly die down before moving into a westerly dominant sector. Friday night to Saturday should be more difficult to negotiate for the Ministes who are still in the vicinity of Cape Finisterre in a regime of strong southwesterlies. But the winds will turn quickly to the north-west and then should gradually ease off on the run into the Canaries. More difficult to handle is news that came in today, namely the loss of 15 "boxes" from a container ship between Cape Finisterre and Ushant. The Race Director is in contact with the the Maritime Authorities in order to clarify the positition of the containers and communicate this to the competitors.

Timing of Departure:
- 6:30 start check in and deposit of cell phones
- 7:00 to 8:00 depart from the pontoons in Treboul
- 9:00 Warning signal for the Douarnenez to Lanzarote leg.
- The starting line will be set before l'île Tristan and will be visible from the pier Treboul .

Vanke Longcheer Survives Controversy To Win China Cup
Photo by Studio Borlenghi / Stefano Gattini. Click on image for photo gallery.

China Cup Shenzhen, China: Vanke Longcheer dominated the final day's competition with a 2,1 score to win the 35-boat Beneteau 40.7 fleet at the China Cup International Regatta in Shenzhen. The level of Zeng Haitao's dominance in the fleet led to questions about whether their sails were permissible for an event where the majority of teams use charter boats with equipment as supplied. Lying in 3rd place at the end of racing, Tobias O'Connell's team on Yo! launched a protest at the two boats ahead in the overall standings, Vanke Longcheer and Vatti Sailing.

After long deliberations, the International Jury let the provisional results stand. The provisional winner was crowned the definitive winner.

Jamie Wilmot, sailing with his Olympic Champion son Nathan aboard Tobias O'Connell's Yo!, explained the rationale behind their final-day protest against the top two boats ahead of them. "This regatta is a great template for others to follow," he said. "It's the absolute future of racing - but let's do it properly. If you have a fleet of charter boats, they should all have the same sails. To get away from this situation, in future we should have teams swap boats after the end of every day."

Jono Rankine won last year and came back with a crew that on paper was the strongest of the regatta, with talent that included 470 Olympic Champion Jo Aleh and 49er World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Pete Burling. Rankine said there was nothing wrong with his team, but using charter-supplied sails they lacked the raw pace to take the fight to Vanke Longcheer. "We've been racing a boat that's almost in another division in terms of their relative speed to us."

In IRC A, Jelik just missed out on a podium finish, with the smaller boats getting the better of Frank Pong on this occasion.

In IRC B, Tonny Chun's Talkinghead went into the day sitting a point in front of Whiskey Jack skippered by Nick Southward. Talkinghead was in the lead early on during the round-the-island race, but Whiskey Jack had learned their lessons from four previous China Cup campaigns and took the win.

Complete results for all divisions:

Marinepool Introduces Fortuna, The Interactively Designed Sailing Suit
Marinepool Which is the best all round cruising sailing suit? What features would you like to see in your ideal suit? These are the sort of questions the readers of German sailing magazine "segeln" were asked. And they were keen to give their input into the development of this sailing suit. Loads of great ideas were put forward and found their way into Fortuna. 

Readers were called to send in their suggestions and remarks to the magazine's editorial office. Then, the proposals were collected and forwarded to the design department of Marinepool, which started the practical implementation of the interactive idea generation.  

A highly resistant, breathable and waterproof fabric as well as wearing comfort through pre-shaped sleeves and knees and highly visible colors and reflectors for safety precaution were considered the highest priority by the readers. According to the participants, cuffs on sleeves and trousers should be also carefully considered to prevent slipping up while moving and to retain protection against wind and weather. Suggested solutions included for instance inner cuffs with latex or PU seals, Velcro closures or elastic loops at the end of inner legs.

Furthermore, the readers perceived abrasion protection as well as well-shaped and well-positioned pockets for tools and items such as compass or flashlights as crucial. As a result, the Fortuna set offers reinforcements at collar, sleeves, back, knees and seating area as well as welded, transparent leg pockets. Special features are the loops with non corrosive eyelets to attach snap hooks outside as well as inside of the pockets. Other ideas were focused on improving the utilization or comfort of the sailing gear. Examples for this are  sewn in elastics at the back of jacket and trousers to improve adjustability, or hanging loops outside for easy drying.

Finally, Marinepool proudly presents Fortuna Offshore custom made foul weather gear and gives many thanks for the numerous readers who have sent in their ideas. Fortuna will be available through "segeln" magazine and the Marinepool retail network from 2/2014. |

Staffan Lindberg Wins The Grade 2 Teamwork Geneva Match Race
Photo by Nicolas Jutzi, Click on image to enlarge.

Teamwork Match Race Geneva, Switzerland: The Finnish sailor Staffan Lindberg, 15th ISAF Open, and his team Alandia Sailing Team Powered by GP, won the TeamWork Geneva Match Race (Societe Nautique de Genève, Switzerland, October 24 - 27). Lindberg and his team of Robert Skarp, Benny Ulveaus and Carl-Johan Uckelstam, beat some of the worlds' best Match Race sailors, including Nicolai Sehested (DAN), 8th, and Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), 11th, ISAF Open. After a very tight finish, Lindberg won the 11th edition of the competition with a 2-1 score against title holder Eric Monnin

Supported by the Geneva-based computer-services company TeamWork, and organised by the Cercle de la Voile de la Societe Nautique de Genève, TeamWork Geneva Match Race has become a Grade 2 event this year.

Final ranking :
1. Alandia Sailing Team powered by GP, Staffan Lindberg (FIN)
2. Okalys Corum, Eric Monnin (SUI)
3. Vannes Agglo Sailing, Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
4. Westcoast Sailing Team, Antti Luhta (FIN)
5. Realteam, Jerôme Clerc (SUI)
6. Trefor Match Racing, Nicolai Sehested (DAN)
7. Nantes-Saint Nazaire Sailing Team, Christian Ponthieu (FRA)
8. Team Echo, Mark Lees (GBR)

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

John Maccausland And Phil Trinter (USA)
'Jonny Mac, the 30-year overnight success!' - Ray Wulff; 'A class act for years' - Mark Penny; 'I've known and been beaten by JC for about 40 years...' - Bruce Nicholson; 'Two great guys and exemplary representatives of the Star class... well done' - Christian Finnsgard; 'Just reward for a lifelong effort' - Doug Smith; 'They are the Star world champions, enough said' - John Lombard; 'I am voting for you, but you have no chance against the cute and talented Irish champion' - Rodrigo Meireles calls it wrong....

This month's nominees:

Francesco Bruni (ITA)
Rarely one to hog the limelight, one of the quiet forces behind the Luna Rossa America's Cup programme stepped up to the plate in grand style two weeks after the conclusion of AC34 when he travelled to the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda where his all -Italian team battled through to face event favourites Sir Ben Ainslie and Team Bart in the best of five final... which they went on to win by 3-2.

Franck Cammas (FRA)
Cammas is currently lending a whole new meaning to the phrase 'on a roll'. Having polished off the last Volvo Ocean Race Cammas has been doing the same in any number of other competitive arenas. He simply destroyed even his best-prepared rivals at this year's Little America's Cup in Falmouth and then immediately travelled to La Rochelle where he handily won the Nacra 17 Class at La Rochelle Olympic Week..

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

London 2K: An Italian British Duel
Italy’s Cristiana Monino celebrates with skipper Valerio Galati. Click on image to enlarge.

2K With the full eight teams the London 2K , hosted in great style by the Royal Thames Yacht Club looked set to be a clash of titans. New boys Spinnaker Auspicious having just won the past 2 events looked the team to beat.

Spinnaker skippers Sam Littlejohn and Tom Hebbert come to the game as the current UK dinghy team racing champions and Hebbert sports an ISAF Silver medal.

No less formidable competition came from the Italian team representing Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with seasoned team race helm Antonio Sodo Migliori and new from the Italian Match Race circuit Valerio Galati.

The full house of teams included the first ever entry from Ireland, Royal Cork led by Fred Cudmore and Robert O'Leary.

In just 5 days the tour moves to Hamburg...where the Titans will meet again and Costa Smeralda now 2nd in the international rankings will hope to move to first.

Final Results

1 Spinnaker Auspicious, GBR
2 Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, ITA
3 Serpentine Racing Team, GBR
4 Oxford and Cambridge, GBR
5 Royal Cork, IRL
6 Royal Thames Yacht Club, GBR
7 Bayerischer Yacht Club, GER
8 Monaco Yacht Club, MON

North Sails Golf Day for the John Merricks Sailing Trust
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

North Sails Golf Day 76 golfers turned out for the 17th North Sails Golf Day on Friday 25th October at Cams Hall in Fareham. John 'Jonny' Merricks worked at North Sails and the first Golf Day, organised as it is today with the help of the Seahorse Golf Society, was set up to raise money for a Trust to be started in John's name. Since its inception 16 years ago the Golf Day has raised over £163,000 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST).

The rain held off and the sun made an occasional appearance as former colleagues and friends of John's including, Sir Ben Ainslie, Chris Draper, Ian Williams, Eddie Warden Owen, Iain MacDonald-Smith, Ossie Stewart, Matt Cornwell, Simon Fry, Phil Harmer, James Stagg and Stephen Park, turned out to play a round of golf whilst also remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.

Mark Lee from Craftinsure won the event with a score of 43, earning him the famous Bandit trophy as well! Nick Baggot achieved the 1st Hole in One in the history of the Golf Day winning him the Grapefruit Graphics Nearest the Pin Challenge.

JMST Patron, 4 x Olympic gold medallist and recent Americas Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, proposed a heartfelt toast to absent friends at the prize giving.

Legendary racing coach and JMST Trustee, Jim Saltonstall, read a letter from Dennis Merricks (John's father) and thanked everyone for their continued support of this Golf Day now in its 17th year. He also highlighted the recent success of some the sailors that received funding from the JMST many years ago, including: Dylan Fletcher - JMST award in 2005 - is currently 1st in the 49er fleet in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings; Sophie Weguelin - JMST award in 2004 - is currently 3rd in the 470 (Women) fleet in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings; Izzy Hamilton - JMST award in 2009 - is currently 7th in the RS:X (Women) fleet in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.

RYA British Sailing Team Manager, Stephen Park, made a presentation about the JMST's new charity partnership with the RYA OnBoard scheme. The JMST will donate 50 single-handed junior pathway boats and boards (Topper, Optimist, Laser 4.7, Bic Techno 293OD) to promising OnBoard sailors over the next five years, providing them with the opportunity to progress their skills and continue to participate in the sport.

Andy Green, performed a fantastic job as auctioneer, coaxing a grand total of over £1,850 from bidders in the auction, for high value items from Musto; Guy Salmon 1Range Rover; The Wheel Specialist, Fareham and Trudy Cook at Ocean Art as well as Olympic memorabilia.

Ben Duncan Crowned ISA All Ireland Sailing Champion
Photo by Aidan Tarbett. Click on image to enlarge.

ISA Sailing Champion Ben Duncan has been crowned the 66th ISA All Ireland Sailing Champion after an exciting seven race regatta in changeable conditions at Howth Yacht Club. The invitational event is Ireland's most prestigious annual national sailing regatta and up for grabs was the coveted ISA Helmsman's Trophy.

The day began with the 16 class representatives and their crew being split in to two eight boat fleets. Due to the forecast weather conditions for Sunday, the decision was made to sail two races in each fleet in the morning with the top four teams from each progressing to the Final Series which would take place in the afternoon.

All sailors returned to the shore after the fleet racing had finished as the wind had picked up to almost 30 knots. After a two hour break and the boat draw racing resumed at 3.55pm. Three final races were successfully completed in 8 knots but after the second race Ben Duncan had the championship in the bag. He went on to win two of the three races and placed second in the other winning the event on a total of 5 points with a four point lead. -- Rachel Solon

Final Results

1. Ben Duncan, SB20, 5 points
2. Seafra Guilfoyle, Winner Junior, 9
3. Ian Matthews, Flying Fifteen, 12
4. Noel Butler, Fireball, 13
5. Colin Byrne, ICRA '1', 14
6. Trevor Kirkpatrick, Ruffian, 14
7. Cillian Dickson, J24, 16
8. John McGuinness, GP14, 16

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
The storm that has caused travel chaos on roads and railways also kept competitors ashore in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series and Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships at the weekend.

Saturday saw a steady 25 knots with gusts into the mid-thirties, which forced the race committee to hoist N over A on the club flagstaff and abandon racing for the day.

Despite the best of intentions, Sunday's forecast looked ominous - and the race officer made the call to cancel racing at 2000 on Saturday evening. This was a popular decision with competitors, many of whom travel a long way to take part in the racing. Start time on Sunday saw a base wind of 35 knots with gusts of 42, and very few boats were to be seen on the Hamble - with the exception of a large orange inflatable buoy, which freed itself overnight and was recovered from a Warsash garden on Monday morning.

Next weekend sees a mid-series break. Racing resumes, with one race a day, on 10 November.

'Sighty' Hammond
Sighty Hammond Richard 'Sighty' Hammond, who died last week in Sydney, was 'one of the great navigators and seamen in the ocean racing world,' according to former Yachting Australia president, former International Sailing Federation vice-president and past Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore David Kellett AM.

Kellett's tribute was one of many that have been flowing in from 'Sighty's' many friends and former sailing mates since his death was announced. He and Hammond sailed together on the maxi yachts Sovereign, Vengeance and Condor, with Sovereign achieving line and handicap honours in the 1987 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

In an ocean racing career spanning more than 46 years, Hammond competed in 40 Sydney Hobart Races, navigating two overall winners, Koomooloo and Sovereign, and two line honours winners, one being Sovereign in her double victory, the other aboard the British yacht Crusade.

He also sailed at the Admiral's Cup in England many times, his organisational and navigation skills playing a key role in the success of the Australian teams, including the brilliant team victory in 1967 when he navigated Mercedes III.

'It needs to be recorded that Sighty was a great mentor and teacher of Australian navigators, due to the research and diligence he applied to understanding the tides of the Solent and Channel and generously passing that knowledge on to Admiral's Cup navigators,' came as a tribute to another leading navigator,' Lindsay May.

Richard 'Sighty' Hammond was a member of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

A memorial service will be held at St Mathews Church, 1 Darley Road,Manly, NSW on Thursday 31st October at 10.00am. -- Peter Campbell

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2008 Beneteau First 40.7 Distinction. 85,000 GBP. Located in Hamble, United Kingdom.

This Beneteau First 40.7 Distinction has been lightly used and is in excellent condition. She has been privately owned and professionally maintained since new. She is currently category 2 coded for charter and has an inventory for both racing and cruising. Full sail wardrobe, full naviagtion equipment including a B&G Hercules system

Brokerage through Why Boats:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
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