Gabart around Cape Horn, Ainslie knighted, Sydney-Hobart over but still some shouting, more...

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 02 Jan 2013

All the Rolex Sydney-Hobart fleet have finished, the silverware has been dished out and no doubt plenty of boats are making their way back north. But there are still echoes rumbling around concerning Grant Wharington's pre-start DSQ, and even questions about the protest-happy nature of the Race Committee. 2012 is the third year in a row when a non-sailing controversy has grabbed the headlines. In 2010 it was Wild Oats' declaration (or lack of) at Green Cape that put her result in doubt. A year later a protest from the Committee against Loyal was thrown out by the IJs. This year (2012) it was all about certificates and declarations and whether Wild Thing was fit to race - on paper. (Unfortunately, Australia is all about being PC these days, and the age of the Larrikin is long gone. Each of these three incidents were about what is usually described as 'arse-covering'. Please excuse foreign language - Delay No More!)

The first two Vendee Globe boats are round Cape Horn, with first-timer Francois Gabart (Gigant) setting a new record from Sables d'Olonne of 52d 6h 18m. Just 25nm behind was Armel Le Cleác'h (Banque Populaire), who also broke the previous record, but there's no prize for second, is there? Gabart and Le Cleác'h have been practically joined at the hip since passing through the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

No doubt all right-thinking Englishmen are delighted with the news that Ben Ainslie received a well-deserved Knighthood in the Queen's New Year Honours list. Congratulations to one of Great Britain's greatest Olympians. Now please repeat the performance in an America's Cup, Sir Ben!

Guy Nowell, Editor

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap
John Curnow,
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things from records and personal achievements, to tribulations and unfortunately, disasters too. 2012 will be no different in that department. However, rising out of the turmoil with a plan and path forward is the Supermaxi, Wild Thing and her enigmatic Skipper, Grant Wharington.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Some kind of deliverance for the skippers + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Cape Horn, and the left turn up the Atlantic has always represented some kind of deliverance for the skippers. Thus far, the Pacific winds and seas may have been relatively gentle on the majority of the fleet, but it also is the relief from the mind and body numbing chill that the Atlantic finally brings which is universally welcomed.... [more]
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Two new windsurfing World Records established in Namibia + Video
John Reed, WSSR Council,
The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSR) Council has announced the establishment of two new World Records in the Windsurfer Division by Zara Davis of the UK and Antoine Albeau of France.... [more]
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Is Sponsorship Killing Sailing?
The Volvo Ocean Race recently released a 133 page report into the previous edition. Much of that report was dedicated to the return on investment received by sponsors of the race. One of the findings of the report was that sponsors of sailing can get better returns than other sports because the brand-name is mentioned more than the names of the athletes.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Record setting rookie first to hit Cape Horn
Vendee Globe,
Taking part in his first ever Vendée Globe Francois Gabart, the youngest skipper in the solo nonstop around the world race, passed the longitude of Cape Horn this evening at 1820hrs UTC (1920hrs French time) setting a new record for the passage from the start line in Les Sables d'Olonne of 52 days, six hours and 18 minutes.... [more]
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Put us on your iPhone and iPad!
Anna Parker,,
On the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad you can put bookmarks for any site, creating one-tap shortcuts to your favourite websites. Sail-World, Marine Business World, Powerboat World, and Fishing Boating World now have custom icons for you to save for quick, easy access!... [more]
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Looking Back: Sail-World's Ten Top Products for 2012
Nancy Knudsen,
They were either new, innovative or very practical for the cruising sailor. Some were eminently affordable, others were expensive and may have to stay on the 'dream' list for a while. Sail-World Cruising looks back on 2012 to find the Ten Top Products of the year:... [more]
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Italian sailor to challenge New York to SFO record
Sail-World Cruising,
Famed Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini best known world-wide for his courageous rescue of French sailor Isabelle Autissier in a remote part of the South Pacific during the 'Around Alone' circumnavigation race, begins a new adventure today from New York. With a crew he will attempt to break the New York to San Francisco Speed Sailing Record via Cape Horn.... [more]
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Free Internet radio station plays only sailing and tropical music
Sail-World Cruising,
There are few songs that avid sailors like better than the cliched 'Sailing' by Rod Stewart. Now there's a radio station which plays nothing but sailing and tropical music, and it's free Internet radio, program directed by Steve Hall, who lives aboard his boat Endless Summer, an Allied Mistress 39.... [more]
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Ainslie knighted in New Year Honours, five others recognised
Lindsay Bell,
British sailor and four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has capped a triumphant year of sailing with a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list. British Sailing has more cause for celebration, with honours also going to Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas, and to Ainslie's coach David Howlett, who were both named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).... [more]
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Offshore Racing Congress announces 2013 event calendar
Offshore Racing Congress (ORC),
In the past few weeks of 2012, rating offices and event organizers around the world have been sending in their dates so that the 2013 ORC Calendar of Events is now available at To date, there are 121 national and international regattas listed in sixteen countries, with more expected in the coming weeks as organizers and sailors do their planning for the 2013 season.... [more]
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