Third time lucky, Transats, Records, Shows and much more...

Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan sail training.
Bronwen Ince/SYC
The ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards was held on Tuesday 12th November. Having being nominated twice before in 2010 and 2012, it proved to be third time lucky for Mathew Belcher, the Australian Olympic and World champion in the 470 dinghy class, whose current winning streak stretches to an amazing 17 consecutive regattas.

'It's a complete honour,' said Belcher during the awards ceremony held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. 'It's great recognition for this year and the efforts we've put in and the results we've achieved. I am very fortunate to have great support, from my coach Victor Kovalenko, crew and support staff.'

470 sailors were also rewarded in the female category of the Awards. The New Zealand pairing of Jo Aleh and Olivia 'Polly' Powrie are the current women's Olympic and World champions in the Class.

GDF SUEZ - 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre

The double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre Race kicked off on Thursday 8th November at 1300 hours, local time, off of Le Havre, France and will take racers some 4,335 miles to Itajai, Brazil. Further damage has affected the fleet with four boats having recently signalled that they intend to make technical stops. There are three Class 40s, GDF SUEZ, Tales Santander 2014 and 11TH Hour Racing and the Multi 50 Actual.

ARC+ 2013 Starts from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The first ARC+ set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, bound for Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands, on Sunday 10 November. A brisk north Easterly wind provided great sailing conditions for a downwind start and a swift departure for the first part of their Atlantic crossing. 43 yachts carrying 183 crew members crossed the start line at 1300 and headed south, providing a stunning sight from ashore. 2013 is the first edition of ARC+ and after a 3-5 day stopover in Mindelo, the yachts will re-group and head off across the Atlantic on 20 November bound for Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia.


On November 11th, Alexandre Caizergues shattered the World Sailing Speed Kitesurfing Record over 500 metres with a blinding average of 56.62 knots in the 'Salt and Speed' Volkswagen Transporter Arena located in Salin-de-Giraud, France. In so doing, he has improved on the previous record set by American Rob Douglas by 0.97 knots. The Provençal rider once again makes history in his sport and in the domain of sailing speed records.

Spindrift 2 has set a new record for the Discovery Route, across the Atlantic
Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing

The big news in offshore sailing circles is that co-skippers Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, along with 12 other crewmembers, were successful in their bid to establish a new passage record for the so-called 'Discovery Route', which runs from Cadiz, Spain to San Salvador in the Bahamas. This new record shaves more than 20 hours off of the existing record, which was set by Franck Cammas in 2007 aboard the maxi trimaran, 'Groupama 3', and represents an average pace of 28.41 knots.

Diane, Katrina, Pip & Richard decide the conditions have improved and it's time to get on the Road to Sada - 2013 Mini Transat

In the Mini Transat, on November 13, the start for the race from Sada to Pointe a Pitre for what will be the longest leg ever sailed in the history of the Mini Transat, will take place. Finally! This time, surely, there can be nothing left to keep the Minis on the dock. After over a month of waiting, it's time for the race to resume its rightful place. And the menu looks enticing, although it attention will have to be paid to some extremes. A powerful north to northeast system awaits the fleet in the early hours of the race. The Portuguese trade winds should be present up to the Canaries and maybe beyond. Read more inside…

METS Tradeshow 2011
David Schmidt

The world's largest and most significant trade show, METS Amsterdam is on soon, from 19th to 21st November. We will be walking the halls, taking in the sights as well as the innovations, including the winners of this year's DAME Awards, so stay tuned for all the details in the coming week.