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RORC Caribbean 600
Photo by Tim Wright, www.photoaction.com. Click on image to enlarge.

RORC Caribbean 600 The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There isn't a single hotel room left near Antigua Yacht Club, as competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world - Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.

Niklas Zennstrom's JV72, Ran and George David's RP90 Rambler are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Ran were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.

For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Ernesto Cortina's Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.

Class Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David's Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David's all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.

There are some truly amazing yachts in Class Zero. The 214' ketch, Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124' Pernini Navi, P2 owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.

The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63' Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to 'beat the current record'. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America's Cup and Mini Transat.

Anders Nordquist's Swan 90, Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt's Swan 80, Selene and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.

There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Frank Eberhart from Maine USA. The 60' classic will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.

Ondeck's 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.

Full details and list of entries can be found at: caribbean600.rorc.org

Brutal Weather in Store as Teams Prepare To Resume Racing
Fierce conditions and the potential for more breakages will be on the minds of all six teams as they gear up for a return to competitive action with the Sanya Haitang Bay In-Port Race on February 18 and the start of Leg 4 to Auckland, New Zealand the next day.

Saturday's in-port starts at 1400 local time (0600 UTC) with near perfect winds and flat seas forecast for the 60 minute inshore course.

The predicted conditions for Sunday's Leg 4 start are in stark contrast with fierce monsoon winds kicking up a punishing sea state likely to give the fleet its toughest test to date as they funnel their way between Taiwan and the Philippine island of Luzon on the way to New Zealand.

Race leaders Team Telefonica opted to miss today's practice race to swap out their rigging after a routine check revealed a problem.

The Spanish team's decision ultimately cost them little in lost training time when light winds forced the abandonment of the practice race.

Telefonica skipper Iker Martínez said the team were being cautious because of the forecast of strong winds and the fact that two boats lost their masts during Leg 1.

"We want to be super safe," he said. "We found something that we didn't like much so we've decided to replace the rigging for the next leg, and we have a spare rig here that we've used already and we're very confident with."

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante is forecasting a monsoon to develop to the north of Taiwan resulting in north easterly winds of between 35 and 40 knots across the South China Sea over the weekend.

Infante says Sanya Bay's protection from the north east monsoon by mountains should mean conditions for the in-port race will be perfect with moderate winds and flat seas. Offshore it will be a very different story when the fleet sets off for Auckland the following day, potentially requiring the teams to resort to survival techniques to protect their boats from the huge waves.

www.volvooceanrace.com

Visual Confirmation of Icebergs at 56s for the GOR Leaders
Late on Wednesday night GMT, as Phesheya-Racing crossed the bluQube Scoring Gate in the mid-Pacific, down in the ocean's south-eastern section at 56S and 1,300 miles due west of Cape Horn, the first visual confirmation of icebergs was logged by Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel on the leading Global Ocean Race (GOR) Class40, Cessna Citation.

While Cessna Citation continued close combat with Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon on Financial Crisis, a brief email from Conrad Colman sent to the GOR Race Organisation and the Kiwi-South African team's two adversaries still racing in Leg 3 warned of 'two largish icebergs' at 55.47S/106.12W just before nightfall in the Southern Ocean. The visual confirmation of ice is a stark reminder to remain vigilant as the fleet pass beyond a known area of ice identified by the GOR Race Committee before the start of Leg 3 in Wellington 18 days ago and indicates the continued eastwards drift of the Southern Ocean bergs below the Leg 3 scoring gate.

Meanwhile, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire were fully-focussed in crossing the bluQube Scoring Gate in violent rain squalls, gusts of over 46 knots and seas in excess of five metres; conditions that prevented the duo flying their bright red, bluQube branded A6 spinnaker to celebrate the moment.

Throughout Wednesday and into Thursday, Cessna Citation and Financial Crisis kept close with the distance deficit between the two Class40s rarely moving into double figures as both boats continued to beat east with Nannini and Ramon furthest south, 50 miles below Cessna Citation. By 15:00 GMT position poll on Wednesday, Colman and Kuttel had pulled out a 15-mile lead over Nannini and Ramon on Financial Crisis with the prospect of 24 hours of headwinds as the two boats push further into the 5,000-metre deep Mornington Abyssal Plain at the bottom of the planet.

GOR leaderboard 15:00 GMT 16/2/12:

1. Cessna Citation: DTF 2529 7.5kts
2. Financial Crisis: DTL 15 6.1kts
3. Phesheya-Racing: DTL 838 8.8kts
Buckley systems RTD Leg 3
Campagne de France RTD Leg 3

globaloceanrace.com

Sales Professional - Luxury Sailing Yachts
Oyster Award winning, UK yacht builder, Oyster Marine, has an exciting opportunity for an experienced sales professional to join our international sales team.

The successful candidate will have to demonstrate an ability to earn the respect and confidence of Oyster's discerning customers, with a proven track record of building strong customer relationships and selling a premium product. Whilst marine industry knowledge would be useful, e.g brokerage sales, the successful candidate must be an experienced yachtsman. Fluency in at least one other European language, in addition to English, would be an advantage but is not essential.

Full training will be given whilst initially based at our UK head office. By mutual agreement the applicant could be located at our head office in Ipswich or at our new office in Palma, Mallorca.

Applications will be treated in the strictest confidence and should be sent for the attention of Murray Aitken to

No agencies thank you.

www.oystermarine.com

2011 Yachtworld Heroes and 2012 Beneficiary
Seattle, Washington, USA: The YachtWorld Foundation, whose mission is to further the knowledge and protection of the world's oceans, today announced the 2011 YachtWorld Heroes and its 2012 organizational beneficiary. YachtWorld Foundation beneficiaries are non-profit organizations that promote awareness and protection of the world's oceans.

The 2012 beneficiary is the International SeaKeepers Society, chaired by Michael Moore. Their mission is to gather and distribute the most useful oceanographic and atmospheric data concerning the health of the world's oceans and climate.

The 2011 YachtWorld Heroes are:

- Mark Schrader of Around the Americas ( www.aroundtheamericas.org ). who completed a 25,000 mile sailing circumnavigation of the American continents to inspire, educate and engage citizens of the Americas to protect the fragile oceans and collect scientific data for scientific organizations.

- Alex Braden of ENCOMPASS, The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust ( www.encompasstrust.org ). This organization brings together young people from different cultures and backgrounds, supporting their understanding and tolerance of each other, while giving them the skills and confidence to promote intercultural understanding in their communities.

- The U.S Coast Guard ( www.uscg.mil ), one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization with the Department of Homeland Security, whose mission is to protect the maritime economy and environment, defend maritime borders, and save those in peril. Nominated by Vincent Petrella, CPYB, executive director, on behalf of The Yacht Brokers Association of America.

- Debra Frenkel & John Weller of Freedom Waters Foundation ( www.fredomwaters.org ) whose vision is to be the national leader in therapeutic boating and marine related activities for people with disabilities or life threatening illnesses, youth at risk, and others with special needs. Nominated by Andrew Cilla, Luke Brown Yachts.

Nominations are now being accepted for 2012 YachtWorld Heroes. Visit www.YachtWorldFoundation.org to nominate a Hero.

Competitive TWOSTAR Ahead
With the initial deadline for entries past, the Two Handed Transatlantic Race (TWOSTAR) has an experienced range of competitors in a wide selection of different yachts of which any may take the line honours prize and the overall handicap prize.

Re-launched for this year by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England (RWYC), the TWOSTAR follows the original shorthanded and probably the toughest course across the Atlantic from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island, against the prevailing winds and currents. The first edition of this race was in 1981 and ran until 1994 and has been won by some well-known yachtsmen including Chay Blyth, Rob James, Laurent Bourgnon and Cam Lewis.

Anne Caseneuve in her Multi 50, on paper is currently the fastest boat and Anne knows what to expect as she has entered the Original Single Handed Transatlantic Race twice. However it is a long time since a multihull successfully completed the course under race conditions. Andrea Mura in his Open 50, Vento de Sardegna having had a class win in the Route de Rhum is probably the fastest monhull. The Open 40 (Roaring Again) of Hans Plas who has teamed up with Thibault Reinhart. In the 2010 Round Britain and Ireland Race (RB&I), Hans Plas having overtaken all the Multihulls was in the leading pack of five boats that were in sight of each other as they completed the last two miles to the finish after 2000 miles of hard racing.

Thibault Reinhart is no stranger to Plymouth, having in recent years dominated the UK Fastnet 650 for Classe Mini yachts. The latest entry is Roaring Forty II (Class 40), skipper by Michel Kleinjans (Belgium) and Mick Liddy (Ireland). This pair teamed up for the 2006 RB&I and Michel has already completed the course three times in the Original Single Handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR).

The overall handicap prize in the last OSTAR was won by nearly the smallest boat in the fleet so and there are some strong contenders in the TWOSTAR. Pete McIntyre and Emma Nutt in their Sigma 36 Ruffian have demonstrated in the RB&I 2010 that they are a force to be reckoned with. Swan yachts are represented by Nigel Philpott and Desmond Crampton in Quid Non (Swan 40), and David Perkins in Suomi Kudu (Swan 38). In Jangada Too (J105) will be Richard Palmer and Trevor Drew. -- James Bremridge

www.rwyc.org

2012 Lexus Lincoln Week
Geoff Boettcher's 2010 Rolex Sydney-Hobart race-winning team returns to serious offshore racing with Secret Menís Business 3.5 in the Lexus Adelaide-Lincoln race, which starts off Port Adelaide on Friday afternoon.

Boettcher, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, refreshed after a lay-off through the summer season, is back in ìbusinessî with an ambitious program that will include the Hobart race and far beyond, to Britainís classic, the Rolex Fastnet race.

For the Adelaide-Lincoln and the Lexus Lincoln Week regatta, which follows, Boettcher has added some new lightweight sails from Doyle to SMB 3.5's inventory. His crew will include most of his Adelaide regulars.

The Reichel/Pugh 51 faces some tough competition in the fleet of 60 entered for the Adelaide-Lincoln race.

Back for more is Rob Dateís Riechel/Pugh 52 Scarlet Runner from Sandringham YC, first to finish last yearís Lexus Adelaide-Lincoln for the second year in a row. Her elapsed time of 12 hours three minutes broke the record held by SMB 3.5 for the 150n mile course by two hours and 20 minutes.

The forecast for Gulf of St Vincent waters is for 10-15 knot SSE breeze increasing to 15-20 during the afternoon; SE 15-20 in Investigator Strait between Kangaroo Island and the Yorke Peninsula, easing to 5-10 during the evening. -- Bob Ross for the Port Lincoln Yacht Club

www.lincolnweek.com.au

Seahorse March 2012
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Update
Andy Rice looks at the Olympic state of play, Iain Murray updates us on the good and the bad in Cup World and at Key West Terry Hutchinson is awarded some time out for good behaviour onboard a good ’ol one-huller

Paul Cayard - The game starts here
Why 2012 is going to be the make-or -break year for America’s Cup teams

IRC - Weighty matters
Why did we ever think that theory would ever beat a set of ‘weighing scales’? James Dadd

Sailor of the Month
And a rather magnificent contest... (we think)

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

Short Tacks
Photo by Erik Simonson, www.h2oshots.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Oracle Racing in San Francisco Bay With gloriously clear skies and unlimited visibility, Oracle Racing took to the Bay once again to enjoy some light wind work outs. Staying on the South Bay just outside the Pier 80 compound and flanked by their support boats the crews work on starts, roundings and a couple sausage leg in wins which began 8-10 out of north, drop the shifted west north west and then climbed to the mid teens, During the course of the event, President Obama arrive via Air Force 1 and land just south of the practice area, you could then determine the location of the Presidental Motorcade as it traveled north up into the city proper. The president musta been hungry as they stopped the motorcade en route for some take out in China Town! 

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

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It's official - Armel Le Cleac'h will join the start line at Sables d'Olonne on 10th November. The skipper from Finistère's pre-registration has just been confirmed by the Race Management. Second in the last edition of the Vendee Globe, the skipper will be helming the 60 foot Banque Populaire; launched in 2010 it will be one of the newest boats on the start line.

In the run-up to the start the sailor nicknamed "le chacal" (lit. the 'jackal') for his great tenacity has a particularly full training programme that includes the Europa Race in the spring. A mixture of single-handed and team racing legs, the race around Europe is an ideal format to prepare both man and boat ahead of the legendary race.

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The ISA Dubarry 6th Annual National Conference is returning to Dun Laoghaire for 2012 to launch what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting years for watersports in Ireland.

The conference will include many seminars and workshops across a range of interesting and exciting topics delivered by fascinating guest speakers. Find out all about the ISAF Youth Worlds, Cork Week, Round Ireland and the Volvo Ocean Race at '2012 Events' or learn about our 2012 Olympic Squad at 'Olympic Update & Junior Pathway'. Are you hosting an event in your club this year? Then we have the perfect seminars for you; 'Raising Money & Running Successful Events' and 'Media Management'. Don't worry, we also have plenty of other workshops from lobbying to racing to training so book your place now. It's FREE for ISA members!

Date: 3rd of March 2012
Time: Registration 8.30 am
Venue: Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

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The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the University of Auckland will host the 4th High Performance Yacht Design Conference from 12 - 14 March 2012 at the Maritime Museum, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland. The conference with coincide with the Volvo Ocean race - Auckland stopover.

A highlight of the conference will be a public panel discussion hosted by yachting commentator Peter Montgomery on Monday 12 March 7-9pm, Viaduct Events Centre, Latitude lounge Level 3.

Panel members include:
- Chris Nicholson (skipper, Camper / ETNZ)
- Tony Mutter (Watch captain, PUMA)
- Mike Sanderson (skipper, Team Sanya)
- Simon Fisher (helmsman, ADOR)
- Giovanni Belgrano (Designer, Camper/ETNZ)
- Ian Campbell (design consultant, Wolfson Unit)
- Burns Fallow (sail designer, Camper/ETNZ)

www.hpyd.org.nz

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2005 X-Yachts X-50. EUR 485,000. Located In Greece.

The boat is in a very good condition. Very little used, and only from the owner. The Racing North 3DL Sails are almost new, costing about 160.000 Euro

Brokerage through Atalanta Marine: www.yachtworld.com/atalanta-group/

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

The Last Word
It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them. -- P. G. Wodehouse

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