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Asian sailing news, photos, results & views

December 2011 - AsianYachting News and Views

Goto 2011-12 AYGP Events

Next up in 2011-12 AYGP

Phuket King's Cup
(Dec 3 -10)
Royal Langkawi Int Regatta
(Jan 9 - 14)
Singapore Straits Regatta
(Jan 26 - 31)

NEWS & VIEWS, RACE REPORTS PHOTO GALLERY S AILING COURSES ADVERTISING BROKERAGE


Bringing North Sails to Southeast AsiaNorth Sails weather forecasts at King's Cup
North Sails is pleased to announce that they will be providing complimentary weather forecasts to participants of the 25th Anniversary King’s Cup Regatta in Phuket, Thailand from December 5-10. These daily forecasts are powered by Commander’s Weather and will include: current weather conditions, a forecast discussion, sea and tidal information. A detailed wind chart will also be provided outlining wind strength and direction throughout the day. For more information and free weather registration, visit the North Sails online weather center at: http://www.na.northsails.com/tabid/7240/Default.aspx
Also visit the North Rep at the North Sails Headquarters located in the Kata Beach Resort to pick up printed copies of the daily weather forecast plus buy North Gear and stock up on sail repair supplies. Check out their website at: http://www.northsails.com/

Distribution: Emailed to over 2800 recipients on all points of the compass and links posted on all major social networks.
AsianYachting.com is a major yachting news player in Asia, as the AY website averages over 2000 page views per day. Thank you for your support.

CONTENTS

Volvo Ocean Race action1. EDITORIAL - Christmas/New Year Image Giveaway
2. AUSTRAL - ASIAN NEWS - Perth 2011 is finally upon us – Anna Tunnicliffe, Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez, awarded 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year - ISAF gives the nod to more events in Asia - Clipper 70s made in China - WMRT- MONSOON CUP 2011 - Williams Wins the Double - Rolex Sydney Hobart is major drawcard - Indonesia's PIB Customs Bond removed - Napier Gears Up for Opti Worlds 2011
Up next in Asia - Phuket King's Cup - Extreme Sailing Series - Asia Superyacht Rendezvous
3. INTERNATIONAL NEWS
-
French Solo Sailor Saved by Mobile Phone - GOR Leg 2 starts with the noon day gun - Abandoned yacht sails to Hawaii -
Luna Rossa back in the AC
Follow the:
Extreme Sailing Series - Volvo Ocean Race - Global Ocean Race - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
4. World Speed records
-
Loick Peyron's crew set new equator record - Update from Paul Larsen on Vestas Sailrocket
5. "Unluckiest sailors of the month"
- Carnage in the Transat Jacques Vabre – VOR fleet decimated down to three

1. EDITORIAL

2011-12 AYGP PointscoreA lot of water has passed under the keel since our November issue. The NE trade wind arrived in time to give the Raja Muda fleet an arousing finish to the regatta and for Ian Williams to be crowned the Monsoon Cup and ISAF Match Racing World Champion for the third time. A record fleet is lining up for the 25th Phuket King's Cup (Dec 3 -10) and the ninth and final Act of the global 2011 Extreme Sailing Series will be contested by 10 top ranked teams at Marina Bay in Singapore between the 7th – 11th December. The gala Asia Superyacht Rendezvous, (Dec 16–18) is on in Phuket and comes at the peak of the season. No let up in January with the Royal Langkawi Int Regatta (Jan 9-14) and Singapore Straits Regatta (Jan 26-31) in quick succession.

Goto AYGP Title & Trophy Sponsor ProposalAfter four 5 star regattas under the newly revamped AYGP pointscore, 100 skippers and yachts have scored valuable points and placed themselves in the running for the 2011-12 Skipper and Yacht of the Year. A unique situation has cropped up after the Raja Muda Regatta, where Neil Pryde heads the Skipper rankings while Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake takes the lead in the Yacht of the Year. The main aim of the expansion plan was to include all classes and get more yachts competing at more events seems to be working out well. A mixture of multihull and IRC boats that have done two or more regattas are close behind the leaders and likely to further shape up as the season progresses. The hunt is also on to secure Title and Trophy Sponsors for the AYGP and company's looking to increase their exposure in Asia are invited to look at the Sponsors entitlements and rights Here.... Search the updated 2011-12 AYGP Pointscore by Overall Skippers - Yachts - Regatta Results

Christmas/New Year Image GiveawayFollowing on from last years success the Christmas/New Year Image Giveaway is on again. The Raja Muda AY Photo Gallery has been posted or check out the extensive AY Photo Library and if you find a photo you like, email info@asianyachting.com the details under the image and which gallery it came from. We will then send you "Absolutely free" the highest quality resolution images that we have on file. It's that easy! So what are you waiting for? Start clicking the mouse we are ready and waiting to send your Christmas presents.

On the International scene huge carnage on the first night of the Volvo Ocean Race as well as the double handed Transat Jacques Vabre left a depleted fleet to carry on to the finish. Gold Coast Australia continues its winning streak on the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race and Leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race. has just restarted in Capetown. The latest news from these organisations and much much more can be found below.
Enjoy!
Capt Marty Rijkuris

2. AUSTRAL - ASIAN NEWS

2.1 Perth 2011 is finally upon us
From Dec 3rd to 18th around 1,200 sailors from 80 nations will compete in 800 plus boats, 10 classes sailing across six courses. This has been a work in progress over the last three years and comes just eight months ahead of the London 2012 Olympic sailing competition. John Longley, the Event Director explains “There are around 388 sailors at the Olympics. Perth 2011 is three times larger, as 75 percent of the Olympic qualifications will occur here. In each of the ten different medal disciplines there are limits on the Member National Authorities (MNA's) that can qualify for the Olympics so there is intense pressure. In the one person boats, like the Laser or the Finn, then its roughly 38 boats in the fleets. In the two person classes it's roughly 17 boats and in Women's Match Racing it is 12, being a three person boat. The way it works is it is the MNA that qualifies not the actual person. For example there might be three Finn sailors here from USA in Perth and the top person who qualifies the country might not necessarily be the person that the country selects to represent them at the Olympics, even though that person qualified the MNA for the Olympics. Over the last two years the Emerging Nations programme has been hugely successful and has been a huge boost for sailing in these emerging countries. ISAF are very keen to expand into Africa and the Asian markets. Most of these countries don't have sailing as a key sport and they can see that this programme does help in that respect. At this event we will have around 80 countries and some of that increase can be attributed to the Emerging Nations programme. Whether it actually gets any athletes to the Olympics ... well let's hope it does. More information at: http://www.perth2011.com will bring you results, tracking, live updates and all the latest news both on and off the water.

Goto ISAF RWSY microsite2.2 Anna Tunnicliffe, Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez, awarded 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
The highly anticipated announcement of the recipients of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards was made Tuesday 8 November, in a ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The winners, selected from an impressive and star-studded gathering of nominees, were Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), who claimed the female award for the second time, and the two-man crew of Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP), awarded the male prize. It marks only the third time an American female has won the Award since its inception in 1994, although each victory has come in the past six years, marking a significant shift following a period of dominance by European athletes. Tunnicliffe claimed the honour for the first time two years ago in Busan, South Korea. It is a case of third time lucky for Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez. The world's greatest sailing duo have twice been nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. In 2002, they missed out to three-time winner Ben Ainslie, before Brazilian Robert Scheidt took the plaudits in 2004. Eleven years on from their first nomination, these sailing legends may now, deservedly, see their name inscribed in the list of the sport's greats. The Spanish duo were unable to attend the Award ceremony as, fittingly, they are currently at sea competing for Team Telefonica in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. Through a video feed recorded on the Team Telefonica boat, the pair confirmed that they will be celebrating this prestigious achievement despite the immediate distractions of an ocean race. Check out the video highlights on the ISAF Channel...

2.3 ISAF gives the nod to more events in Asia
The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships will head to a new territory in 2015 after ISAF Council voted in favor of Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia, subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements. Busan, Korea was also approved to host the 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements. Full details of all the decisions made at the ISAF Annual Conference will be published in the minutes of the meetings for the ISAF Council and all ISAF Committees, are published on the ISAF Meetings microsite at http://www.sailing.org/meetings

Goto.DK Yachts2.4 DK 47 takes the Raja Muda by storm
Finishing in 2nd place at the Raja Muda Regatta, the all new carbon fibre DK 47 has taken the opposition by surprise and got heads turning in the ever increasing 40 to 50 foot range of yachts. So if your serious about forming a racing team and joining the racing class at major regattas in the region, this could be the boat to do it. DK Yachts is one of the most technologically advanced composite manufacturing facility in the SE Asian region. The design office works on high performance IBM CAD/CAM systems which are data supply linked to production and directly command the five-axis milling machine that accurately cuts hull plugs and moulds. Contained within the 110,000 sq ft facility is a multi-cycle computerized temperature oven (25m x 5m x 3.5m), a spray chamber (18m x 6m x 5.5m), an engineering workshop and a dedicated laminating room. In addition, DK also has an in-house 40m long autoclave to cure carbon fibre and kevlar finished products. So what are you waiting for? Serious Yachts for Serious Sailors can be found at http://www.dkyachts.com

2.5 Clipper 70s made in China
Third generation Clipper Race fleet takes shape on schedule as first hull released from its mould in China. The first of a new twelve-strong fleet of Clipper 70s has been released from its mould as the construction of an expanded fleet for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race progresses on schedule ahead of its completion next year. This is the first of an order for twelve identical new Castro-designed yachts, with an option on four more. Clipper Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said, “The new fleet build is progressing on target in Qingdao, China. The new yachts will enter service for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race and continue operating until 2020.”
Meanwhile on the present race and despite a nail-biting and frustrating finish for Gold Coast Australia, the team has secured their fifth consecutive victory into Tauranga and remain unbeaten to date in biennial the 15-race series. Full details and follow the race at: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Goto Monsoon Cup Final rapup2.6 WMRT- MONSOON CUP 2011 - Williams Wins the Double
By Monsoon Cup media
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia – 27 November, 2011: Ian Williams has added the Monsoon Cup to his third ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown after the British sailor defeated Johnie Berntsson 3-1 in the final of the World Match Racing Tour’s finale event in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. The double is a feat Williams first achieved in 2007 and is the second consecutive year a British sailor has won both the Monsoon Cup and the World Championship after Ben Ainslie in 2010. Speaking after his victory, the British skipper of Team GAC Pindar, said: “This really tops off a terrific season! We couldn’t let our emotion run too high yesterday because we were so focused on winning today. We came here to win and to take the World Championship yesterday and then this today, it’s just superb. “The team has done so well, we are a new team who have come together and just got stronger and stronger all year. We won all three regattas on five man boats so I think that just shows the strength of the team.” Full Final rap up Here... Watch the YouTube replay...

2.7 Surprise someone with a Sunsail Christmas Gift
Goto Sunsail AsiaThinking about buying the perfect Christmas gift but don't know what to get? Why not surprise a loved one or a friend with an idyllic Sunsail getaway by getting them a Sunsail Gift Voucher and 20% discount. Learn more about the types of gift vouchers you can get by calling 1800 803 988. Sunsail's South-East Asia bases are easily accessed by direct flights from all major Asian cities. The main base in Phuket is conveniently located at the Ao Po Marina, just a few miles away from Paradise Island and some of the most stunning beaches you can find. With 3 other great destinations including duty-free Langkawi, Koh Chang and Koh Samui, plus all your berthing, insurance and maintenance taken care off, by a team of Sunsail professionals, you can enjoy access to year-round, worry-free cruising.
Check out the huge discounts each month on high-performance cruising yachts built for comfort and designed especially for the great sailing in Asia! Visit Sunsail Asia www.sunsailasia.com and pick up a copy of the
2012 Yacht Charter Brochure and receive regular updates on Sunsail's activities in the Asian region contact Tel: +66 (0)76 239057 Email: sales@sunsailasia.com

2.8 Rolex Sydney Hobart is major drawcard
The 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has once again proven itself a major drawcard among the worldwide sailing fraternity with a fleet of 96 boats anticipated on the Sydney Harbour start line on Boxing Day, 26 December. The majority Australian fleet will join with those heading down under and across the Tasman Sea to form ranks with the locals. At the official race launch to announce the fleet and meet a panel of select skippers and crew, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) Commodore Garry Linacre said, “Once again there is extraordinary diversity among the fleet, which is what makes this event so unique. “Nine metre yachts up against 30 metre super maxis to become only the 67th overall winner from the many thousands who have tried is a significant feature of the race’s appeal. “The lure of the anticipation and ultimate crossing of the notorious eastern Bass Straight and the camaraderie of the Hobart arrival is appealing in itself for most sailors,” added the Commodore. He also highlighted a noticeable trend - young sailors taking up the helm and making key decisions as skipper. Among the fleet, three offspring will be in charge of the family boat and solo yachtswoman, Jessica Watson, will lead her young crew, with an average age of just 19, across 628 nautical miles of open ocean following the 1pm start on Sydney Harbour. Follow the all action on the official race website: http://www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

2.9 Indonesia's PIB Customs Bond removed
In a meeting in Denpasar, Bali on 16 November 2011 Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia was officially given the news that the PIB Customs Bond has been eliminated by the Indonesian Customs Department and replaced with a new and more amicable system. Richard Lofthouse of Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) Indonesia reports, “The PIB Bond was a well-intentioned law that was often misapplied to visiting private yachts and superyachts. Whilst there are no recorded cases of any vessel signing off on the staggering bond - 48% of the value of the boat – it more often than not became the preamble to separate negotiations, none of which were in favour of the visitors.” The new regulations, which come into play from 3 December 2011, mean that PIB still has to be made at first port of call. However, without the bond, a guarantee letter from a legitimate and licensed Indonesian company is now required ahead of the vessel’s arrival at the first port. Once the PIB has been processed, the vessel is cleared to cruise any destinations within Indonesia (as listed on the CAIT) and will be fully covered by this initial paperwork process. The PIB is extendable, along with the CAIT in multiples of 3 months up to a total of 3 years unbroken. This is clearly outstanding news for those who wish to base longer term in Indonesia exploring this diverse archipelago. At the final port of call, the boat must be ‘exported’ (PEB) which has again been simplified into a relatively easy piece of paperwork which can be processed by the ship’s local representative. Contact Richard Loftshouse for questions/further information regarding PIB Customs Bond in Bali Phone: + 62 (0) 811 340 0668 Email: bali@asia-pacific-superyachts.com Website: http://www.asia-pacific-superyachts.com

Goto Quantum Sails2.10 QUANTUM Shift Continues...
Quantum Racing celebrates a double win for the 2011 Season! Congratulations to the Quantum Racing team which added a third TP52 World Championship title to their record, topping an incredible season which also included victory at the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit. The validation testing of Quantum's iQ Technology and Fusion M sails was elevated to a new level this season with on-board, real-time intelligence about sail shapes delivered by VSPARS. The knowledge translated into trimming and rig tuning decisions providing Quantum Racing with a competitive edge to win both the Audi MedCup Circuit and TP52 World Championship. The TP52 verification process offers tangible benefits for the company's mainstream products including improved fiber layouts, precise shapes and exceptional construction details. For proven performance and repeatable shapes, think smart. Think iQ Technology from Quantum. http://www.quantumsails.com

2.11 Napier Gears Up for Opti Worlds 2011
Napier is getting ready for the World Championship Optimist Sailing at the end of this month. Opti Worlds Chairman Pete Dawson is thrilled by the support received from volunteers. "It is a typical Kiwi event where everyone pulls together to create a world class event".
Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott is excited to host the World Championship this year. A regular sailor herself, Ms Arnott says: “Napier is keen to support young talent and we always welcome international visitors in the Art Deco Capital of the World”. “We invite the public to enjoy the Opening Ceremony on New Year’s Eve where all 50 countries will carry their own national flag and will be welcomed in a typical Kiwi way: warm and enthusiastic”. The Napier Sailing Club is getting all geared up for this year’s World Championships. All the technology is tested and adjusted for this event. Jon Bilger from PredictWind, has worked on a special weather buoy for the Opti Worlds. Jon Bilger will also run a seminar for the young sailors on weather predictions in the Pre-Worlds Clinic on 20 December. More at: http://www.optiworldsnz.com

3. INTERNATIONAL NEWS

3.1 French Solo Sailor Saved by Mobile Phone
A French sailor, who fell overboard during a toilet break, has been rescued after clinging onto her mobile phone. Florence Arthaud, 54, told a French TV station that she 'quite simply fell into the water while preparing to take a pee', while sailing alone on her 33ft (10m) yacht, The Argade II, near Corsica. Fortunately she held onto her phone, which she had only bought the previous week and was encased in a waterproof covering. She called her mother in Paris, who raised the alarm, and Ms Arthaud was rescued two hours later, suffering from hypothermia. Ms Arthaud is one of the world's top solo sailors and became the first woman to win a single-handed ocean race overall when she triumphed in the 1990 transatlantic Route du Rhum. -- Andrew Brook in Practical Boat Owner http://www.pbo.co.uk

3.2 GOR Leg 2 starts with the noon day gun
At 12:00 GMT (14:00 local) on Tuesday, the six, double-handed Class40s in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) crossed the start line of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Wellington, New Zealand. Ahead of the fleet are approximately 7,000 miles and around one month of racing through the high latitudes of the Indian Ocean with a finish line ETA shortly after Christmas. With a band of 20 knot breeze in the northern end of Table Bay, the 86ft GOR Committee Boat, Pradera Blue, anchored and the pin end of the line was set for a reaching start. Running the start line on behalf of Royal Cape Yacht Club, Di Hutton-Squire – mother of Phesheya-Racing co-skipper, Phillippa Hutton-Squire – fired the start gun at noon (10:00 GMT) with Conrad Colman and Sam Goodchild on Akilaria RC2 Cessna Citation first across, overtaken quickly by Leg 1 winners, New Zealand father-and-son duo of Ross and Campbell Field crossing the line on port reach close to the bow of the Committee Boat with their Tyker 40, BSL. Follow the fleet at: http://globaloceanrace.com/index.php?lang=en

3.3 Abandoned yacht sails to Hawaii
The 49 foot aluminum sailing yacht Quantum Leap was abandoned 700 nautical miles from Hawaii with the mainsail up. Three weeks later it sailed on to a reef on Baldwin Beach in Maui. The yacht was en route from San Diego to Hawaii on a delivery trip. Phillip Johnson, skippered the boat and soon after departure had problems with the generator, and feared that they would be without electricity if it shut down all together. That would leave them without GPS, sat phone and all other navigational and security gadgets. But the real problem occurred when a freak wave hit the boat when Johnson was below making a cup of tea - I flew across the galley, from the right to left side and hit against the galley stove. It bent me over in pain, and I couldn't even straighten up, Johnson told the Hawaii Herald Tribune later. Help came in the form of the cruise ship The Celebrity Centur. She was bound for Hilo with more than 1,800 passengers and 800 crew aboard when the call came in. Captain Konstantinos Patsoulas turned the 815-foot cruise ship around and headed for the yacht, taking his passengers for an unexpected adventure. The yacht was left to drift on the sea with its mainsail. The sturdy aluminum boat sailed it self to the destination by following the current and prevailing winds. It reached Hawaii in three weeks, and ended up on a reef. But as aluminium can take a great deal of punishment, the hull was intact as the boat managed to get of the reef and then on to a popular family beach. The owner got the boat to her destination, and got the proof that she is a boat that will handle most situations on her own. Full story and video of the rescue: http://thesailblog.com/?p=820

3.4 Luna Rossa back in the AC
The Circolo della Vela Sicilia of Palermo and the team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 announce that their Notice of Challenge for the 34th America’s Cup, which will be held at San Francisco in September 2013, has been accepted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 and Emirates Team New Zealand have signed a cooperation agreement until 31st December 2012 which includes full access to all ETNZ design and performance data for this period. The hulls for the Luna Rossa AC72’ will be built in Italy and all other elements will be built in New Zealand in close cooperation with Emirates Team New Zealand. Luna Rossa’s 2012 programme includes the opening of a base in Auckland (New Zealand) for the joint training, the participation in all events of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) with the AC 45’ wing catamarans and the launch of the AC 72’ wing catamaran for the America’s Cup. From March 2013 the team Luna Rossa will continue its sporting preparation and technical development of the AC 72’ in San Francisco and will participate to all events scheduled for the 34th America’s Cup.

4. WORLD SPEED RECORDS

4.1 Loick Peyron's crew set new equator record
It has barely been a week of racing and already good news for Maxi Banque Populaire V. By crossing the equator at 00 hours 26 minutes and 52 seconds (Paris time) after 5 days 14 hours 55 minutes and 10 seconds at sea, Loick Peyron and his men are now the fastest of all time on this section of the Jules Verne Trophy. A record that is a good omen for what is next, promising to be just as fluid on the approach of St. Helena. Improved by half an hour, the new reference time between Ushant and Equator becomes the property of the Maxi Banque Populaire V. Subject to validation by the WSSRC Check out the website http://www.voile.banquepopulaire.fr or go direct to the tracking Ckick Here...

4.2 Update from Paul Larsen on Vestas Sailrocket
30 Nov 2011: Walvis Bay rose to my challenge today and delivered a near perfect speed sailing day for us. This is why we come here. VESTAS Sailrocket 2 is in the best shape of her life. The whole boat is starting to feel like a finished piece and I am really happy with her. We did 3 runs today. The first one we did with the conventional foil in. We have added two fences to prevent air from getting sucked down from the surface. One fence is just below the bend (transition) and one is right at the top. It felt like I got ventilation on our last outing when VSR2 went into a big bear away so we added these fences to stop this. I still managed a top speed near 51 knots and a 500 meter average around 49.38 knots. This would be a new 'B' class world record for craft with our sail area... but I'm not that interested in that. I went faster with a passenger a month or so ago. We are after bigger game here. Funny thing is that I'm pretty happy with today. Breaking this record is like solving a big puzzle and today we got a whole bunch of clues. We did get some great data. The boat itself really impressed me. She is a real noble beast who now feels like she is trying to help us. The boys have done a great job sorting out the details on these windless days gone and I can really notice it. She's slick. We are very definitely in the lab. We'll get to the bottom of this one. Two weeks to go from tomorrow. Come on Walvis, give us a few more like that. Follow their progress at: http://sailrocket.com/

5. "Unluckiest sailors of the month"

5.1 Carnage in the Transat Jacques Vabre
The first week of racing was certainly testing for the competitors in the double-handed transatlantic race between Le Havre and Puerto Limon (Costa Rica). After three low-pressure areas in a row passed over. The competitors tackled the first low with two goals in mind: avoiding damage on the one hand and trying to get to point where the wind shifted to the north west behind the front as quickly as possible. Strong winds and heavy, cross seas: the conditions were tough on the men and equipment. Arnaud Boissières and Gérald Véniard, forced to retire when their Akena Verandas was dismasted, were the first victims. The successive storms dealt a blow to three crews. Marc Thiercelin and Luc Alphand (DCNS) threw in the towel because of a lack of energy.

Shortly after that, Cheminées Poujoulat suffered from a serious ingress of water. Bernard Stamm and Jean-François Cuzon triggered their beacon and were lifted off by helicopter. As for the duo on PRB, they headed for the Azores after a bulkhead exploded.

4th Nov: In spite of racing in relatively settled weather but still with awkward seas, yesterday evening and night the Multi50 Class in the Transat Jacques Vabre appear to have lost three key teams from the challenge. The last 24 hours have taken a cruel toll on the Multi 50 class. After Montopticien.com was the first retirement with a broken rudder pintle, first came the news at Race HQ yesterday evening that Prince de Bretagne had suffered a broken front cross beam and was heading for Spain, then FenetreA Cardinal reported they had water ingress through crack in the hull below the mast and then from Crepes Whou! came the report that skipper Franck-Yves Escoffier had fallen awkwardly and injured his back.

5.2 VOR fleet decimated down to three
Just six hours into the race Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing mast on Azzam snapped in horrific conditions. Shortly after Team Sanya also pulled out after suffering substantial delamination damage to the boat's hull which forced them to retire from Leg 1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing returned to Alicante and stepped their spar mast and resumed Leg 1 officially at 0216 UTC on Thursday after returning to the point where they were forced to suspend racing. Sailing with a new mast, and with no more replacements in the locker, meant the team took a cautious approach.

Shortly after they also retired from Leg 1 and a spokesperson said: "Despite the heroics performed by the shore crew in getting our yacht Azzam re-masted after it was damaged last week in high seas and strong winds, the team believes that the estimated arrival time in Cape Town would be counter-productive for its preparations for Leg 2, especially given the almost windless prevailing weather conditions in the Mediterranean. "Azzam's mast and rigging system have not been compromised and the decision is purely one of time management." Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sailed to Lisbon, Portugal and was then shipped to Cape Town.

Monday, 21 Nov: The PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team has suffered a broken mast on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, which began 17 days ago from Alicante, Spain. The crew are unhurt. The rig onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro failed at around 15:00 UTC in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa. Skipper Ken read reported: “We were sailing on a port tack, beam reaching in 22-23 knots of breeze, heading east northeast with eight to 10 foot waves when the mast failed. There were no warning signs. “There was no panic onboard, and all crew are safe and well. “Thanks to amazing seamanship, the three pieces of the mast and all of the sails were recovered. “This is the saddest and most disappointed 11 people on earth. We were in a comfortable second position, traveling south to get into the final front and head across the southern Atlantic towards Cape Town. “We were planning to be there in five days. At this stage, my goal is to make sure we get this crew back safely and we will look at options as to how to get back in this race.”

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