From the Editor Andrew Bray on how in these days of sophisticated weather forecasting, we must keep an eye on the sky

On The Wind Dramatic photographs of the capsize of Alain Gautier’s trimaran Broceliande at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Paul Vatine, skipper of Groupe Andre lost overboard Firefly: Yachting World editor Andrew Bray’s new boat is launched Yachting World to sponsor Sailboat of the Year award Mini Transat – James Boyd reports from Lanzarote on the dramatic events of the first leg Plus: Stardust in receivership, London Eye pods designed by naval architect; Crewsaver lifejackets recalled

Letters to the Editor Why no ‘Poms’ in the America’s Cup?; Montserrat safe for sailors; unfair charging for sponsored boats

Dogwatch Taming the beast – the hardest part about flying a big spinnaker is packing it again afterwards

Wild Wild Weather – 17 page Special on Extreme Weather Through the annals of seafaring history there have been reports of freak weather plaguing sailors. In this 17-page special we cover: – Chasing a hurricane Matthew Sheahan flies through the eye with the US Air Force – Freak waves. Steve Dashew on the theory of dynamic fetch and why giant waves appear in mid-ocean – Downbursts. Winds that strike from above – Waterspouts. Geoffrey Nockolds has a bizarre and frightening experience in Abaco – Katabatic winds . The Mistral, the Bora and other strong winds in the Med

Cruising Log Swan goes missing in Atlantic; coastguard warn of 999 call chaos at New Year; report on salvage laws and is it still safe to cruise through Indonesia? Detlef Jens on the north east coast of Spain

Letter from the Pacific Brian Savage and Colleen Ryan cruise the Pacific islands and discuss fuel, the San Blas Islands and Cartegena.

Fashionable classics Italian fashion house Pradahas put up US$1.5m to sponsor a series of Mediterranean classic regattas reports David Glenn. But not all classics owners are happy . . . Spectacular photos from classic yacht events in Monaco and Porto Cervo

Who really won the Admiral’s Cup In an extract from his new book, Ian Dear reveals for the first time a rule infringement that might have altered the result of the first Admiral’s Cup series

Fishtales Why did the Varvassi pile up on the rocks below the Needles on a clear day in 1947? asks Guardian and Observer yachting correspondent Bob Fisher.

School for skippers Managing a boat full of paying crew is not just about sailing skills. Elaine Thompson joins prospective skippers for a BT Challenge training course and exclusively announces the 12 skippers who finally made it through.

America’s Cup 2000 The first few matches prove that big funding and a long lead-in time pay dividends. Comment by Andrew Preece, Peter Montgomery and behind with scenes with AmericaOne‘s Josh Belsky Vital statistics of an IACC racer Which of the latest design trends will prove the most successful on the water? Alona Racing‘s Andy Dovell marks features out of 10 for performance-enhancing potential such as mast sections, beam, sheerline and bows.

Sail of the Century Stephen and Claire Davies feast with the King of Tonga and prepare for their crossing to Auckland

Racing Round-up Andrew Preece on design differences in the Open 60 class; runaway victory for Chieffi in the Rolex IMS Offshore Worlds; Magnen wins leg 1 of Mini Transat; Brits show promise in Pre-Olympics; profile: Mark Covell and Ian Walker; Collins wins Mumm 30 Worlds

Xtreme Sailing James Boyd introduced the brand new fleet of Open 60s in the pipeline for next year’s Vend?e Globe Challenge

Leading Edge How will global warming affect world tourism? asks Matthew Sheahan

What’s New Compact wind-up radio; new Gerber Multi-tool; mini Honda generator, a batch of 2000 calendars; Douglas Gill X-Treme smock; Henri-Lloyd