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Transat Jacques Vabre - Line Honours to Escoffier and Le Roux
Photo by L. Critot. Click on image to enlarge.

Transat Jacques Vabre A huge, noisy Costa Rican welcome greeted Franck Yves Escoffier (FRA) and Erwan Le Roux (FRA), co skippers of the Crepes Whaou when they emerged out of the Caribbean darkness, comprehensively winning the Multi 50 class and taking line honours for this ninth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre race which started from Le Havre on Sunday 8th November.

Emerging out of the darkness to break the finish line off the historic port town of Peurto Limon at 2231hrs local time Monday 23rd (0431hrs UTC/GMT Tuesday) the French duo with their new build Crepes Whaou! 3, only launched in August, maintained Escoffier's unbeaten record in this biannual classic, also scooping the IMOCA Open 60's to take line honours for the third consecutive time.

Escoffier and Le Roux took 15 days, 15 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds to complete the course which took the Multi 50 fleet south of Barbados on a course which for the winning pair was 5805 miles, which they completed at an average speed of 13.41 knots.

The new destination for the coffee route race, finishing in Costa Rica, served up a carnival greeting for the winners, Escoffier remarking immediately that without doubt the high point of their race was the warmth of finish. Sailing with Le Roux, a successful former Mini 650 Class 40 and multihull sailor who has completed two previous Transat Jacques Vabre races, the pair chose a prudent southerly routing to avoid the very worst of a very active depression before then building a big lead over their Multi50 Class rivals.

* Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier-Benac on Safran have won the IMOCA class honours.

Although the duo had battled through an horrendous Atlantic storm, during which they took the lead of the 14 boat IMOCA Open 60 class back on Thursday 12th November, the hard bitten skippers from La Trinite confirmed on the dockside that the worst part of their race was the final 24 hours.

Because both they and their nearest rivals Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart), who were just 90 miles behind, had chosen to go in 'stealth' mode, he spent the final miles fighting through unpredictable light winds, squalls and shifting breezes as they closed to the Costa Rica coast through the night, being eaten up by worry that De Pavant and Gabart might still catch them with their 'Laughing Cow' logo'd, an identical design from VPLP/Verdier partnership.

Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart on Groupe Bel crossed the finish line off Puerto Limon, Costa Rica in brisk winds and afternoon sunshine to secure second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre two handed transatlantic race. The duo's constant high speeds, always pressurising the eventual winners of this IMOCA Open 60 Class, Safran, were not quite enough in the end, and they finished 8 hours 40 minutes and 20 seconds behind Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier-Benac's Safran

A potent combination of 50 year old Guillemot's 30 years of experience multihull and monohull ocean racing, and the youthful intensity and stamina of Caudrelier's grounding in the Figaro class - in which he won the Solitaire in 2004 - the duo's win today overwrites the memory of finishing in a frustrating second place in 2007 into Salvador de Bahia, watching from astern as Michel Desjoyeaux and Manu Leborgne won.

Behind Safran when they finished into Puerto Limon are double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux, who was lying fourth before he and co-skipper Jeremie Beyou went into stealth mode, and 2004-5 Vendee winner Vincent Riou who lies ninth of the 14 boats which started in Le Havre on Sunday November 8th.

www.jacques-vabre.com

Masirah Takes Hong Kong Win
Click on image to enlarge.

Extreme Sailing Series Oman Sail's Masirah continued their winning form by taking a comfortable overall victory in the first leg of the inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia in Hong Kong this afternoon.

The champions of this year's European Series, skippered by Pete Cumming of Great Britain, consolidated their overnight lead by winning the first three races today to set them on the way to victory over the 20 races held in Hong Kong's spectacular Victoria Harbour during the last five days.

BT took second place, followed by the China Team and Shirley Robertson's Rumbo Almeira. The Wave, Muscat and Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team rounded out the six-boat field.

Masirah is backed by the Sultanate of Oman as part of a programme to reignite the country's maritime heritage and inspire Omani youth. As such, Omani squad member Khamis Al Anbouri was on the bow this week and thoroughly enjoyed the result.

The Extreme 40s were here in Hong Kong to demonstrate the potential of bringing a full scale public event to the region in 2010/2011 - a chance to showcase the specatacle of Extreme 40 racing to the national and international media and VIP guests.

Nola Ni from Nautica, one of China's leading boating publications, raced in the fifth man position onboard BT. "For me, this was an extremely exciting opportunity. It is very different to what I have experienced before, because the racing happens right in the middle of the city.

"The contrast of the sport and real life going on in the harbour at the same time is great and so close to the shore. I like the way that the harbour is not closed to traffic, so you have working boats and the racing boats on the water at the same time.

The Extreme Sailing Series Asia now moves on to Singapore for the second leg (December 11-15) before the inaugural series concludes in Muscat, Oman, from February 1-5.

Final Standings:
1. Oman Sail's Masirah, 104 points
2. BT, 93
3. China Team, 71
4. Rumbo Almeira, 62
5. The Wave, Muscat, 57
6. Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team, 54

extremesailingseriesasia.com

Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show: It's Your Show
London Boat Show Providing one of the most important starts to the boating season, the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show returns to ExCeL from 8th - 17th January 2010. With exclusive product launches and unique products, all under one roof, it is sure to bring more than a splash of water to the Capital.

Come along and enjoy the thrill of being on board one of the hundreds of fascinating boats on display; from historic replica vessels to the latest in marine technology. With over 500 exhibitors* showcasing power and sail boats, dinghies, deck equipment, charter holidays and sailing courses the Show promises to offer something for enthusiasts and first time visitors alike.

Don't forget 'Kids Go Free' aged 15 and under provided they are with a paying adult.

For the more discerning visitor looking for that little bit of luxury; the new, exclusive Platinum Ticket.

Numbers are limited so make sure you secure your place!

For more information visit www.londonboatshow.com

*taken from 2009 London International Boat Show

Team Aqua, Team Austria and BMW Oracle Racing on Great Form
Photo by Raffaello Bastiani / RC44 Class Association. Click on image to enlarge.

RC44 Championship The RC 44 Championship Tour final event started today with the practice race. The conditions were absolutely perfect, with 15 knots of breeze and a big swell.

Starting perfectly at the Committee boat end of the line and tacking immediately to the right of the course, Team Austria - helmed by Rene Mangold - dominated most of the race, giving the victory away to Team Aqua and BMW ORACLE Racing in the last gibe. The Team from the UAE chose not to cross the line, letting the Americans win the regatta. Unfortunately, the forecast for the coming days isn't as good and the usual sea breeze should be back.

Ten RC 44 one-designs representing nine nations are competing this week for the Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup and the season's overall trophies. Organised by Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), the event starts tomorrow and Thursday with a full match race round robin and carries on until Sunday with the fleet regatta. The points will count for double.

Skipper of the local entry Team Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser explained that his team had been training hard over the past few days and that he expects a good results, at least in the top five.

The teams involved:

(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Rod Davis
Team Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Neville Crichton / Morgan Larson
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero / Jose Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, Rene Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Paul Cayard / Bob Little

rc44.com

Rudder Loss on ARC Racing Yacht
Crew safely evacuated - yacht abandoned pending salvage

The ARC yacht Auliana II has been abandoned and the crew evacuated following the loss of the yacht's rudder in the early hours of Monday morning.

Skipper Christian Potthoff-Sewing, from Bielefeld in Germany and his seven crew members were safely ashore in Arguineguin, Gran Canaria, late yesterday evening (23/11/2009) some 36 hours after taking the start of ARC 2009 in the IRC Racing Division.

At around 04:00 on Monday 23/11/2009 the yacht lost its rudder some 70 nautical miles southwest of Gran Canaria. The exact cause of the breakage is unknown, though the on-watch crew doesn't think that the yacht struck any debris in the water.

Unable to make steerage back toward Gran Canaria, the skipper contacted MRCC Las Palmas at 0600 on Monday, requesting assistance with a tow. At around noon, a lifeboat from the Spanish Maritime Rescue Service (Salvamento Maritima) was on station and the tow was soon underway. However, owing to the increasing wind strength (between 20 and 28 knots) and direction of the swell, the towing line repeatedly pulled deck cleats off the lightweight racing yacht - Auliana II is a one-off JV53.

With the daylight fading, the entire crew was evacuated from the yacht as a safety measure, though attempts to tow the yacht continued. The salvage crew was unable to secure a line to the deck-stepped mast, and after several more frustrating attempts, the decision was made to abandon the yacht and return the crew ashore.

The yacht is fitted with a Yellowbrick Iridium satellite tracker and its position is being monitored by MRCC Tenerife, as attempts continue to salvage the yacht. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

www.worldcruising.com

Baltic IRC
A new circuit based on the collective international scoring of established classical offshore races (10 races in 5 countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany) will provide a common basis for evaluation for the Hanseboot Baltic IRC Prize.

The race series is based on the initiative of Kerteminde Sejlklub and German offshore Owners Association in cooperation with the support of numerous other clubs.

For participation, registration for at least 2 races is required. Only the two best results will be assessed for each yacht. Extra points will be awarded for crews who participate in races of different countries. All races here on http://www.baltic-irc.org/the-circuit

The Notice of Race well be published on the website www.baltic-irc.org forthcoming.

A non-mandatory registration for the races is already online at www.baltic-irc.org/race-registration

Yachts which sign up till 30th November 2009 will participate at no charge.
Starting from December, the lump-sum costs will be about 50 Euros.

Dubarry Fastnet

Dubarry For Xmas: Are You Worth It?
At right: the Dubarry Newport

Christmas can be dangerously aspirational. The truth is, a pair of string-back gloves won’t turn you into Michael Schumacher. Slipping on some Giorgio Armani pants doesn’t mean you’re David Beckham. A splash of Brut won’t give you Henry Cooper’s right hand. Unwrap a pair of Dubarrys though, and you’ve made the same choice as dozens of professional sailors. True, it doesn’t mean you’re ready for the Volvo Ocean Race, but it does mean you’ve got a pair of durable, comfortable, high performance boots that will give you the best possible chance to shine. Dubarry. Of course you’re worth it!

LiveLoveGoSailing http://www.dubarry.com/marine.cfm


Carlos Aguilar Match Race
"We enjoy racing in St. Thomas. The conditions are great," said Genny Tulloch, after her team's recent victory at US Sailing's 2009 Women's Match Racing Championship, hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club. Tulloch is becoming one of USVI's biggest cheerleaders. The Californian has won two major match racing championships this year in St. Thomas. She will return to the spectator-friendly waterfront of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI to defend her title in the Second Annual Carlos Aguliar Match Race, December 2-6, 2009.

Tulloch will face stiff completion from Claire Leroy (FRA) and her 2007 and 2008 Women's World Match Racing Champion team. Women's International Matching Racing Association President, Liz Bayliss (USA) and her team are among the top ranked WIMRA teams returning to the warm Caribbean waters for one of the few ISAF Grade I Women's Match Racing events in North America. Marie Rameris (POR) and Renata Decnop (BRA), Katy Pilley-Lovell (USA), Julie Brossard (FRA) and Kelly O'Brien-Uszenski (ISV) and her all Virgin Island crew will round out the international fleet.

In the open event, Virgin Island sailing and match racing legend, Peter Holmberg has an all Virgin Islands team. Holmberg's trusted tactician, trimmer and bowman for many years, Maurice Kurg, Morgan Avery and Ben Beer, bring more local knowledge and seasoned IC 24 boat-handling skills to the team.

Holmberg won the USVI's first and only Olympic medal and continues to inspire Caribbean sailors. His proteges love trying to take races and matches off of the America's Cup skipper and former #1 match racer in the world. Taylor Canfield (USVI), winner of the 2008 Carlos Aguliar Regatta, will field a strong team to defend his title. Team COORS-LIGHT, with Frits Bus at the helm, Andrew Rapley as tactician, Chuck Pessler as trimmer and Tommy Koyskin as bowman have won many Caribbean regattas on their Melges 24 are up for the challenge as are; Juan Carlos Escobar (ELS), Collin Rathbon (IVB), Fraito Lugo (PUR), Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) and Dave Perry (USA). -- Lynn Fitzpatrick, www.worldregattas.com

www.carlosmatchrace.com

Setting The Harbour Alight
The start of this year's 65th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will take centre stage in late December when the anticipated fleet of 112, led by the most exciting line up of maxis ever seen in Australia, promises to set Sydney Harbour alight on Boxing Day.

Currently 112 yachts are expected on the two start lines on 26 December 2009 for the annual summer blue water classic, a substantial increase on last year's 100 starters and just four shy of the 60th anniversary fleet when entries spiked considerably.

The spotlight is well and truly on the impending line honours tussle as Bob Oatley's Reichel Pugh 100, Wild Oats XI, is prepped for an unprecedented five in a row, the mighty Sydney maxi edging closer to Morna/Kurrewa's all-time record of seven non-consecutive titles.

Four other 100 footers and two 98 footers have their sights set on ending Wild Oats XI's four year dominance of the ocean classic and the dockside talk amongst those who will be driving the challengers south is that of those six, at least four have a realistic shot at beating the fleet to Hobart.

Of those vying for line honours, Neville Crichton's RP 100, Alfa Romeo from New Zealand, is causing the most unease. With 143 line honours wins over four years, Crichton's return from the Mediterranean and Europe, where he has been campaigning the boat since the 2005 Rolex Sydney Hobart, comes with a strong word of warning.

When questioned about Wild Oats XI modifications, Richards revealed "Wild Oats has undergone a lot of modifications. In lengthening to 100 feet, we now have a greater sail area and have installed a new bulb on the keel - plus we're going with a crew of 18, not the usual 24, so we're carrying less weight in people and the associated equipment, in our aim to go faster than we ever have before."

In a decent blow, British yachtsman Mike Slade's heavier built Farr 100 ICAP Leopard, the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race line honours winner, or Sean Langman's newly revamped Elliott 100ft LOYAL could out-last both the Reichel Pughs heading south, while Grant Wharington's newly modified Wild Thing (the 2003 line honours victor from Victoria) is also expected to be faster than ever with its new radical seven metre keel.

International entries are again strong with 11 yachts sailing for Spain, the UK, Netherlands, USA, New Caledonia, and New Zealand. Every Australian state and the ACT are represented too, with the majority of boats once again hailing from NSW yacht clubs and ports.

New Zealand has a strong showing with Alfa Romeo and Lion New Zealand flying the flag.

rolexsydneyhobart.com

IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery At Sea
A 2009 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was yesterday presented to two US amateur sailors Maurice and Sohie Conti who in their Catana 471 cruising catamaran Ocealys rescued three people from the sunken yacht Timella in very heavy weather off a remote South Pacific coral reef.

Late in the night of 12th October Maurice and Sophie Conti were anchored in a lagoon within a coral reef in the South Pacific with their young family when they picked up a Mayday on VHF 16 from the 33-ft Seadog class ketch Timella with a crew of three which had struck an isolated reef two and a half hours sailing time away. The Contis made contact with authorities in New Zealand and Fiji but, in the absence of marine or aviation rescue assets being immediately available, they planned and executed themselves the rescue of the Timella crew members, exposing themselves to considerable risk. They kept contact with Wellington MRCC and Attache Mike Randall at the New Zealand High Commission in Suva, Fiji. Ocealys had to extricate herself from her anchorage by back-tracking in the dark amongst the coral heads following the GPS track by which they had gone in. There was no buoyed or lighted channel. By the time of their arrival at dawn at the Takau Lakaleka reef Timella in 5m swells had broken up and sunk. The survivors were hanging on to the remains of their inflatable dinghy but lacerated by the sharp coral of the reef and hypothermic. Maurice Conti, also a trained rescue diver, successfully took his Zodiac inflatable onto the shallow waters of the reef, collected the survivors with the greeting "Hi, my name is Maurice and I'll be your rescuer today!" and took them back to Ocealys waiting off the reef under the control of Sophie Conti. The final transfer was made with only minor scrapes despite the big sea running.

The Award was presented to the winners by IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, at a special ceremony at IMO Headquarters on 23 November 2009, during the 26th session of the Organization's Assembly attended by ambassadors and other representatives from over 160 member states of the IMO and also many organizations in consultative status including the delegation of ISAF. A number of awards and certificates were presented - details at www.imo.org

The Contis, United States citizens, were nominated for the Award by the Government of New Zealand.

For The Record
The World Sailing Speed Record Council announces the ratification of a new World Record

Record: World Record; Nautical mile
Yacht: l'Hydroptere
Name: Alain Thebault FRA and a crew of 10
Dates: 8th November 2009
Start time: 09:59:27,3
Finish time: 10:00:39,1
Elapsed time: 71.8 seconds
Distance: 1853.81 meters
Current variation: .02 knots
Wind speed/direction: 30 - 35 kts - 280 degrees
Average speed: 50.17 knots

Previous record: 48.74 knots by Hydroptere 04/09/09
John Reed, Secretary to the WSSRC

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1997 Farr CM 60, US$590,000. Located in San Diego, California, USA.

Stars & Stripes, a Farr CM 60 custom built by Carroll Marine of Bristol, RI, is an exciting and easily handled yacht. Stars & Stripes owner, Dennis Conner, is a world renowned yachtsman who has ensured that no detail has been left undone on this very competitive and immaculate racer that is newly on the market. Stars & Stripes is well equipped, has excellent handling ability, an emphasis on light-air performance and substantial downwind sail area. Carbon fiber composite construction, with enormous interior space and a large workable cockpit, Stars & Stripes is sturdy and perfect for offshore distance racing or racing around the buoys

Brokerage through JK3 Nautical Enterprises, Inc.: www.yachtworld.com/jk3yachts/

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

The Last Word
It is human nature to think wisely and to act in an absurd fashion. -- Anatole France

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