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Mini Transat Douarnenez to Sada Leg is Abandoned
Without doubt the Bay of Biscay wins this year. Although the Mini Transat fleet had eaten up nearly two-thirds of the Bay of Biscay, the grib files are showing a further deterioration in conditions compared to those expected at the time of the start. At 19.00 tonight the Race Director took the decision to cancel the first leg to allow competitors to reach port safely.

Several parameters were involved in the final decision. First was the concern to preserve the security of the slower competitors (who are often also the least experienced), during the course of the morning the Race Director advised those boats who were still a long way from the finish line to proceed south towards the Cantabrian coast and Gijon where conditions should be much more manageable .

In doing so, nearly forty competitors immediately decided to proceed to the Asturian port. Under these conditions the sporting fairness of the leg might be undermined. Moreover, although the leading prototypes were almost assured of reaching Sada before the arrival of bad weather, the situation was much more critical for the group leading the series boats, which were located about 90 miles from the entrance to the Sada estuary at 16.00.

Once all boats are safe in the Cantabrian ports, the organisation will take the most appropriate measures to provide a new start to Lanzarote at the first available opportunity.

Vials and Turner Win Flying 15 Pre-Worlds
Click on image to enlarge.

Graham Vials and Chris Turner won the Flying 15 Hong Kong Nationals Thursday and now start their defence of the World Championship on a winning roll. The British pair finished five points ahead of the Australia's, Nick and Janet Jerwood with another Aussie team, Grant Alderton and Dean McAullay in third.

Fourth overall were Greg Wells and Andrew Jameson who with a second race win are looking like a team to watch in the Worlds. Top local Hong Kong team were Barry Hayes and Sheridan Teasel in 21st.

Following a general recall for the first start the black flag was applied to the restart and another bunch of competitors were over early. Caught in this bunch, and probably missing out on an overall win in the Nationals were Nick and Janet Jerwood, scoring BFD along with seven others including three-time world champion Steve Goacher.

Defending world champions Vials and Turner led the race from start to finish, crossing the line nearly a minute ahead of Alderson and McAullay. The remaining 31 boats followed them in a processional with the last boat nine minutes behind. -- Gerald New

World Championship races start November 2.

Gill Partners with Louis Burton's Bureau Vallee in the Transat Jacques Vabre
Gill is proud to be supporting the Bureau Vallee team as technical clothing sponsor.  The technical brand will supply all the clothing for their Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic race which starts in Le Havre on 3rd November. Bryan Stewart, Sales Director at Gill comments: "We are really pleased to be supporting the team.  Louis is a rising star in the offshore sailing world and we are proud to be supporting him at this stage of his career. He is on a good course for the future"

The course is challenging and the conditions will vary immensely so the right kit is essential.  Louis and his crew, Guillaume Le Brec, will use the leading product in the Gill range: OC Racer designed precisely for this environment - fast, wet ocean racing conditions. The team will also be using the excellent Crosswind mid layer kit offering the highest levels of comfort and warmth in the colder temperatures.  Both ranges are more than capable of dealing with any conditions that the team face.

Commenting on the partnership with Gill, Louis Burton says: "I've been using Gill products for several years because I trust them in terms of the comfort & technology. I'm delighted to be supported by the brand and I hope the partnership will continue as I work towards the Vendee Globe in 2016!"

View the kit

Caterham Challenge: Mike Gascoyne Looks Ahead To The Transat Jacques Vabre Race
Why, if you were the boss of an F1 team, would you swap, on race day, the glitzy Yas marina that is part of Abu Dhabi formula one race track for the Bassin Paul Vatine marina in Le Havre?

That is what Mike Gascoyne, ceo of the group and chief technical officer of Caterham F1, is doing this weekend.

His hope is that he will at least be somewhere close to Sao Paolo in time for the Brazilian grand prix; he could even make it to the circuit with a celebratory caipirinha in hand. But that is not his top priority as he waits to exit Le Havre at about 09.30 on Sunday, line up against 25 other 40-footers, and then race night and day, non-stop for 5,460 miles to Itajai on the coast of Brazil.

"I am expecting to be exhausted after just three or four hours, but you just have to stay there," he says dockside in Le Havre with his co-skipper Brian Thompson. The basin is crowded with the competing boats in the Transat Jacques Vabre, celebrating its 20 anniversary. The first, in 1993, was singlehanded; the rest, every two years, have been doublehanders.

Gascoyne, at five feet three, fits the cramped 40-foot yacht his engineering and F1 testing systems have helped to develop. Thompson is six feet five and vastly experienced. He attracted the nickname of Dangerous when racing with Mike Golding on a 60-footer precisely because he is not.

Gascoyne sees major differences between yachts and cars but says: "I think there is the same intensity and this is pushing yourself to the limit but for a lot longer time. We are much more a crew of two, rather than two singlehanders taking it in turns."

Full article by Stuart Alexander in The Independent:

Paul Larsen In America's Cup Talks
An adventurer who smashed the world speed sailing record could add a vital edge to Australia's bid to win the America's Cup.

Paul Larsen, who clocked an incredible average speed of 65.45 knots (121.2 km/h) over 500 metres off Namibia last year, has held informal talks with the winemaking Oatley family, backers of Australia's fledgling tilt at the 35th America's Cup.

The Victorian, whose record has earned him a nomination for the World Sailor of the Year award, could offer a handy advantage with his knowledge of high-tech, high-speed design as Australia seeks to win sailing's biggest prize for the first time since 1983.

"If I could help the team and help Australia get the Cup back, for me as someone who was hugely inspired by what happened in 1983 ... that's enough for me, it would be amazing," Larsen told AAP.

The Oatley clan's Hamilton Island Yacht Club are Challengers of Record for the next America's Cup, giving them the right to help determine its rules, venue and the boats used.

Sandy Oatley spoke positively of Larsen's possible involvement, saying the 42-year-old could bring a wealth of expert knowledge to an event which will again aim to attract huge crowds and sponsors with super-fast racing.

"Paul could potentially offer some great help and advice, because he's been there and done it," Oatley said. "And he's Australian, so we're very lucky."

Volvo Ocean Race SCA Team Kicks Off Training With Ocean Safety Package
The first Ocean Safety equipped Volvo Ocean 65 has launched. The all-female SCA team put their boat in the water for the first time in Southampton after completion at Green Marine in the UK. Ocean Safety, which will kit out every yacht in the Volvo fleet, has worked closely with the Volvo Ocean Race organisation to specify the best possible and most technologically advanced safety inventory. The radical new VO65 yachts and crew will be equipped according to the exacting Volvo Ocean Race safety regulations, based around the ISAF & RORC Category Zero rules.

The Ocean Safety equipment inventory includes custom equipped Zodiac Commercial liferafts each with a Volvo bespoke safety pack installed. Also included are Jonbuoy man overboard recovery systems, Hansson pyrotechnics, and a personal life saving Kannad R10 AIS recovery system for each crew member. On deck Ocean Safety will be supplying inflatable Jonbuoy horseshoe lifebuoys, Apollo lifebuoy lights and Hansson 15min smoke floats.

Ocean Safety has been providing training and support with the equipment while SCA has been undergoing technical sea trails in the UK.

The yacht has now reached Puerto Calero, Lanzarote where the team has its base, for extensive winter training. Ocean Safety will be installing the safety inventory on each of the yachts as they roll off the production line in the coming months.

Dubai To Muscat Yacht Race Starts Saturday
Adrian Lee's Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners. Photo by Tim Wright, Click on image to enlarge.

The 22nd edition of 360-mile Dubai Muscat Yacht Race, sponsored by Xtra-Link, starts Saturday, 2nd November 2013.

Competitors have been arriving in Dubai from all over the world including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Sailors from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman will also be taking part. Hot favourite for Line Honours is Adrian Lee's Irish Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners, which has been specially shipped from the UK for the race. The Cookson 50 has won the Rolex Fastnet Race and the RORC Caribbean 600 and weather conditions permitting, the Irish yacht could challenge the monohull course record, which has stood since 2000.

The race starts at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club in the tidal shallows of the Arabian Gulf. After approximately 100 miles of tactical racing, the fleet will reach the Strait of Hormuz, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and the gateway to the deep waters of the Indian Ocean. The fleet then turn south through the Gulf of Oman. Racing the last 260 miles in open waters, along the mountainous coast line to the finish at Jebel Sifah near Muscat.

Weather conditions can be variable to say the least, The Shamal (North Wind) can bring sudden and rapid increases in the wind strength, sand and even thunder storms. During the day, the air temperature will be over 30 degrees but will fall rapidly during the night, which may cause land breezes to form.

Race fans, all over the world can follow the race live. Dubai based communications company, Xtra-Link has equipped the yachts with the latest satellite communications equipment. Including Thuraya XT satellite phones and hi-tech tracking devices. -- Louay Habib

To follow the race and visit the Xtra-Link Tracker Player go to:

Red Bull's Adrian Newey Targeted To Design America's Cup Boat For Ben Ainslie And Britain
F1 champions Red Bull could face a fight to keep ace designer Adrian Newey as Sir Ben Ainslie issued a "we want you" call for his British America's Cup bid, writes Byron Young in Abu Dhabi.

The two are expected to meet when yachting legend Ainslie attends Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Newey, who masterminded Sebastian Vettel's fourth successive title victory in Delhi last weekend, has already admitted he is looking for a new challenge and would "nervously" be interested working with Ainslie, who is trying to put together a British bid to bring the event back to British waters for the first time in 160 years.

He said the coming weeks, up to Christmas, will be crucial in shaping the British line-up as they hunt for £80million in backing. -- Byron Young in the Mirror

2K Keelboat Team Racing Heads To Germany
Hamburg is about to witness the final event in the 2013 Tour, with the top 2 ranked clubs Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Serpentine Racing looking to hold their places against recent London winners Spinnaker sailing Club and Bayerischer Yacht Club from Germany.  Holland and the host club Hamburger Segel-Club will move into the fray.

With 50 sailors and a full programme Hamburg should see 2K at its best.

2K now with a full tour calendar of 10 events, has set up its own Association with first President Filippo Molinari of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

The 2014 tour kicks off at the new venue of Las Palmas in the Canaries before moving to Yacht Club de Monaco for the 2K Grand Prix. -- Bruce Hebbert

Spinlock IRC 2014 Double Handed IRC National Championships
At the Royal Southampton Yacht Club's Double Handed Series annual prize giving, honorary member Mike Golding unveiled a major new initiative for short-handed sailing in the UK in 2014.

With the permission of the GBR IRC Owners' Association, the Royal Southampton Yacht Club will host a new Spinlock IRC Double Handed National Championship.

The championship will be held in the Solent over one weekend in June 2014.

On Saturday 28th June:

- A laid marks race of around 60 to 90 minutes will be followed by
- A round the cans race with a passage flavor of around two to three hours
- Supper at RSYC's Ocean Village Clubhouse

On Sunday 29th June:

- A race from the central Solent to the Nab Tower and back

Scoring: 3 Races, equal points, all races count

TCCs: Limited Validity TCCs will be available for the event.

An RSYC Championship for Club rated boats will run alongside the IRC Championship. Mike Golding also announced that these races will be part of the RSYC's annual Main Double Handed Race Series which will expand to include three Sub-Series: The Inshore Series, a NEW Alongshore Series and the Offshore Series.

Entries for the RSYC 2014 Double-Handed Race Series will open in the New Year.

ISA Dinghy & One Design Convention Deferred
The ISA Dinghy & One Design Keelboat Advisory Group are very encouraged by the level of feedback received to date in advance of the forthcoming meeting scheduled for Saturday the 2nd of November. However the meeting will have most value if as many classes as possible can be represented.

Because of the unavoidable absence of some key representatives the Advisory Group has taken a decision to defer the meeting until the 30th of November.

Dinghy & One Design Keelboats Convention
Date: Saturday, 30th of November
Time: 10.15am
Venue: JB Room in the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire
Chair: Margaret O'Donnell

This will allow those extra voices to represent their classes. The Advisory Group hopes this does not cause too much inconvenience for anyone planning to attend on Saturday and would ask that you forward this notice to anyone whom you think was hoping to attend.

If you have any further information you would like to share in advance of the meeting, please send it to me directly at -- Margaret Kneafsey, Chair

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record.
Record : Marseille to Carthage. Singlehanded
Yacht: Banque Populaire 7. 103 ft Trimaran.
Name:  Armel  Le Cleac'h
Dates:.30th September to the 1st October 2013.
Start time: 05;02;57: 30/09/13
Finish time: 00;01;10: 01/10/13
Elapsed time: 18 hours 58 minutes and 13 seconds
Distance: 455NM
Average speed: 23.98 knots
Comments: Previous record: "Sodebo" Thomas Coville FRA, Sep 12, 1d 1h 38m 36s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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 Digby Fox: I'm loving the boat names in this year's Mini Transat, the purest and most noble offshore race in existence.

"Pas de Futur sans Numerique" - I'm intrigued. What does this mean? Why?
"Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer" - aye.
"Nature Addicts" - yup.
"Go4it" - got that.
"Roll my Chicken" - which bar were you in that night?! Next round on me...
"No War" - direct, perfect.
"I Feel Good" - nice.
"The Potting Shed" - one for the English...
"Umpa Lumpa" - ...

... And so on.

The great and sadly late Iain M Banks, Scottish author of far reaching imagination, who came up with ship names like "Of Course I Still Love You", "Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory" and "What Is The Answer and Why", would approve.

Anyway. Good luck mini-ists, smashing your way across dark seas, no one to rely on, except your capable and supremely tested selves, and your opponents. Looks rough out there.

Stay safe. Heroes all.

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The Last Word
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