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Medal Races Completed in Laser and Laser Radial
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.
Tom Slingsby (AUS) won Laser gold after controlling his only rival Pavlos Kontides (CYP) in the Medal Race.
Slingsby, the five-time world champion, laid to rest the ghosts of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where he also started as the favourite, but had a disastrous regatta and did not even make the Medal Race, finishing 22nd.
Kontides, meanwhile, became Cyprus's first ever Olympic medallist since they first competed as an NOC in their own right at Moscow 1980.
On his achievement Kontides said, "I guess back home they are waiting for me and when I get back there it will be huge celebrations. I still didn't understand how an huge achievement this is for my country, the first ever Olympic medal but I guess when I have it over my neck and when I am back home with my compatriots then I will really understand what's going on.
Slingsby, 27, won gold by holding onto his lead going into the Medal Race, being 14 points ahead of the Cypriot at the start.
In 16-knot winds on the Nothe course, Slingsby match-raced Kontides from the pre-start, shadowing and blocking his Greek opponent for the first half of the race before sailing ahead to finish ninth, with Kontides ending up last.
In another race-within-a-race, Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) came from behind at the first mark to finish third after starting just one point ahead of Tonci Stipanovic (CRO). Myrgren finished sixth to finish in bronze medal position and Stipanovic trailed in eighth to come fourth overall.
1. Tom Slingsby (AUS) - 43pts
2. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) - 59pts
3. Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) - 72pts
Laser Radial Women
Photo by FIV / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.
China's Lijia Xu sailed her way to the Laser Radial gold medal by taking the bullet in a winner takes all Medal Race.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) took silver and Evi Van Acker (BEL) claimed bronze in winds up to 14 knots on the Nothe course, close to a large crowd which cheered sailors around every mark.
Just one point had separated the top four Laser Radial sailors entering the medal race, with Xu and Bouwmeester level on 33 points each and Annalise Murphy (IRE) and Van Acker tied on 34.
Murphy led around the first mark, but Xu overtook her before being given the penalty turns by on-the-water umpires for illegal propulsion. Remarkably though, the Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Xu then regained the lead before the end of the second leg and was never challenged from then on.
Bouwmeester finished second in the Medal Race to take silver and after dominating the class throughout the last two years she was less than impressed with second place, "The gold is always the main goal," said Bouwmeester. "If you ask me tomorrow I will be fine; today I'm a bit disappointed."
When it looked like bronze would go to Murphy, Van Acker stepped it up to come through in third to her the Irish girls fifth.
For Murphy, finishing in fourth, it was a bitter pill to swallow after she won four races in a row at the start of the competiton. The Irish girl said, "Anything was going to happen, down to the last lap, and it didn't go my way. Looking back, it would have been better if I'd done something simpler in the downwinds." On finishing fourth she added, "It's definitely the hardest position to finish, but I'll have to get over it."
1. Lijia Xu (CHN) - 35pts
2. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) - 37pts
3. Evi Van Acker (BEL) - 40pts
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) have won 49er gold with just the Medal Race to go whilst Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) clinched silver.
The Australians have been dominant all week long winning five of 15 fleet races to go into the Medal Race with an unassailable 29 point lead. Training partners and silver medallists Burling and Tuke also have an unassailable 31 point advantage over Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) who hold third place by a narrow margin.
1. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) - 48pts
2. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) - 76pts
3. Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) - 108pts
Bronze will be decided in the 49er Medal Race on 9 August at 13:00 local time.
Races 7 and 8 sailed on Monday. Tight at the top, with just a single point separating Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page and Great Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell. Patience and Bithell won race 7, the winners of race 8 were Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic of Croatia, with their best finish of the series to date. That finish has moved them into the top ten.
Races 9 and 10 are scheduled for Tuesday, with the Medal Race on Thursday.
1. Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) - 16 pts
2. Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) - 17pts
3. Babrio Zandona and Pietro Zucchetti (ITA) - 46pts
A layday on Monday, races 7 & 8 are on for Tuesday, 9 & 10 for Wednesday with the medal race on Friday.
Women's Match Racing
A single round robin today saw Spain's Tamara Echegoyen and team Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega defeat Denmark's Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen and team Tina Schmidt and Susannne Boldin.
The Quarter Finals get underway Tuesday:
Quarter Final 1 - NED v AUS
Quarter Final 2 - FIN v USA
Quarter Final 3 - FRA v ESP
Quarter Final 4 - GBR v RUS
Get In On The Action and Experience Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2012 with OnDeck
Click on image to enlarge.
This year's Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is shaping up to be one of the best ever with great new attractions both on and off the water for competitors and spectators alike.
Ondeck are once again offering their extremely popular 'Rock up and Race' & high speed RIB experiences for you to get fully immersed in this world class event. A limited amount of individual daily racing places are available on Saturday 11th, Monday 13th and Saturday 18th of August. No experience is necessary as you will be racing with professional crew with expert tuition & all equipment supplied. Also, 1 Farr 65 for up to 18 guests has become available for Friday 17th August (Fireworks day).
The hour long RIB rides throughout the event are also a great way to get right into the heart of the action. Get those photos just not possible from the shore, go in search of friends and family racing or simply soak up the atmosphere and experience Cowes Week on the water.
Bookings can be made by contacting
or by phoning +44 (0)1983 284300. Alternatively, visit their exclusive hospitality area in Cowes Yacht Haven during the event.
Slow Start to Audi ORCi Worlds
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Helsinki, Finland: After a postponement of a little over an hour for light winds, the Audi ORCi World Championship started today with the first offshore race of the program, with 47 boats in Class A and 77 boats in Class B heading off to the southeast on the first leg of a 65-mile course. Winds are forecast to increase from 5 to as much as 14 knots later in the day and evening, but until mid-afternoon local time progress was looking slow.
While Class B1 and Class B2 got off their starting lines with individual recalls, Class A had two postponements before finally getting away. Leading the pack around the first top mark in Class A was Thomas Nilsson's TP52 Wolfpack, rated as the fastest boat in the fleet.
Organizers from the Yacht Club Merenkävijät have placed tracking devices on Class A entries to monitor their positions so that if necessary the course could be shortened if the light winds persist. Otherwise, finishes will be tonight close to the venue at Sarkka Island in Helsinki harbor.
Live tracking can be seen at the event website on TracTrac, with the link found on the event homepage at www.orciworlds2012.com, where there is more information, links, results when available, videos, and photos from Max Ranchi Photography.
After tonight's finish, racing will start again tomorrow with 2-3 inshore races planned in the two course areas for each class, and continue until Friday, when the second offshore race is scheduled. The last day of inshore racing will be on Saturday, 11 August, when at the conclusion of the event new ISAF Offshore World Champions will be crowned in each class.
US Sailing Releases Full Report On Farallones Race Tragedy
A US Sailing independent review panel has released the report on its investigation of the sailing accident that occurred on April 14, 2012 during the Full Crew Farallones Race out of San Francisco, Calif. The accident resulted in the deaths of five sailors from the sailboat, Low Speed Chase.
The crew of eight aboard Low Speed Chase encountered larger than average breaking waves when rounding Maintop Island, the northwest point of Southeast Farallon Island. These waves capsized the vessel, a Sydney 38, and drove it onto the rocky shore. Seven of the eight crew members were thrown from the boat into the water. Only two of those sailors in the water made it to shore and survived.
As a result of the panel's research and analysis, they determined that the primary cause of the capsizing was due to the course sailed by Low Speed Chase, which took them across a shoal area where breaking waves could be expected. During the course of the analysis, multiple track lines from other racers that day were obtained and are provided in the report. It is noted that the Low Speed Chase was not the only vessel which crossed or sailed very near this shoal area.
Although the course sailed was the direct cause of the accident, there were additional safety issues that came to light during the investigation. The panel concluded that improved personal safety gear, including life jackets and harnesses, may have increased the sailors' chances of survival. They also concluded that enhanced communication capabilities between the race committee and race boats, and improved race management protocols could have better assisted the search and rescue efforts. The panel noted that these additional issues did not directly affect the outcome of this incident. However, improvements in these areas may save lives or reduce injuries in future accidents. The essential key to prevention would have been a more conservative course selection to avoid breaking seas in shoal water on a lee shore.
Read the US Sailing Report on the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race at
Mermaids Celebrate 80th Birthday at Skerries 'Mermaid Week'
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The Mermaid National Championships "Mermaid Week" is being hosted by Skerries Sailing Club from August 4th to 10th, 2012. It is a very special class occasion as it coincides with the 80th Anniversary of the boats original design in the 1930s by Mr. John Kearney.
Retaining its classical tradition, Mermaids from all over the country will arrive in Skerries to compete in the annual Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship. The festivities and celebration commence on Saturday 4th August with a "Parade of Sail" from the south beach in Skerries around to the harbour.
Skerries Sailing Club expects over fifty entries, with hundreds of keen Mermaid sailors seeking championship honours as well as fun on the water. Fully rigged, these beautiful classic wooden boats will look spectacular racing each day in Skerries bay during the week.
Mermaid Week traces its origins back 1970 when the first Mermaid Week was held in Skerries. Prior to 1970 the Championship was decided on the basis of Regatta results from 1953 to 1969. Each year 30 to 50 Mermaids race against each other in this seven day championship.
With an active fleet of over 60 boats, it remains one of the largest racing fleets in the country and continues to flourish. The construction of three new boats has been completed this year. Nos. 190, 191 & 192 were launched at Rush on 7th July built locally under the management and experience of Enda Weldon.
Afloat magazine: afloat.ie/sail/
Event site: www.dublinbaymermaid.org
ISAF Statement on RS:X Legal Challenge
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has been notified of a legal challenge by the International RS:X Class Association Ltd to the decision taken at the ISAF Council meeting in May 2012 to select Kiteboarding for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.
ISAF intends to fully defend the decision of the ISAF Council, which was made in accordance with the ISAF Regulations and the defined decision making processes of ISAF.
ISAF expects the normal submission process to be used in order to ask Council to reconsider its decisions and therefore ISAF is extremely disappointed that this course of action has been taken, not least because responding to legal claims will incur substantial and unnecessary legal costs for ISAF and for the Class itself.
Historic 'Asgard' Set To Go On Display
The newly restored Asgard I is going on show to the public at Collins Barracks Dublin. Photo by David O'Brien. Click on image to enlarge.
Five years after the intensive conservation process of Asgard first began, the restored ship will go on public display in Collins Barracks in Dublin next week for the first time.
The yacht, owned by Erskine Childers, the father and namesake of the fourth president of Ireland, played a pivotal role in the 1914 Howth gun-running.
John Kearon, Asgard project manager and lead conservator who is a master shipwright and ship and boat conservator, said the final touches to the yacht, which will contain replica upholstery and mattresses, were ongoing ahead of the opening. Mr Kearon, who has been involved in the restoration process for more than 20 years, said "ground breaking" techniques had been used to save as much of the boat's original material as possible.
"We are now approaching the end of that conservation process and have saved some 70 per cent of the original hull and deck. We have also re-created the missing original accommodation and deckhouses. Asgard now is exactly like when she was first built in 1905."
The opening of the permanent exhibition, Asgard: The 1914 Howth Gun-Running Vessel Conserved, will be launched at The National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, in Dublin next Wednesday at 6pm. -- Pamela Duncan in the Irish Times
Full article: www.irishtimes.com
Pier Renovations in San Francisco Underway
Photo by Erik Simonson, www.pressure-drop.us. Click on image for photo gallery.
The clang-clang-clanging you hear while driving down [San Francisco's] embarcadero is these massive piling being driven in next door, which will become the Brannan Street Wharf, which promises to be a new 57,000 square foot public park over the water and parallel to the Embarcadero Promenade.
Brannan Street Wharf will be a wedge-shaped park, with its narrowest point located south of Pier 30-32, then extending south for 830 feet, widening to about 140-feet at the south end, between Pier 36 and Pier 38. The major project components include a 400-foot length lawn area, a waterside walkway with seating, a shade structure, and a small-craft floating dock for kayaks and recreational water vessels.
The design remembers its San Francisco waterfront history by taking on the shape of Pier 36 in its original location, and through interpretive exhibits. The Wharf is designed mostly flat with the lawn contained in a raised planter of about 18-inches in height and surrounded by a seat wall.
It is with sadness that the sailing community is notified that Bill Cheek, Canada's longest current serving International Judge (1989) and International Race Officer (1991) passed away on Friday 6 July after a living with cancer for a number of years.
Bill was deeply involved with the development of race officials on many levels. As President of the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) during the early eighties, through his support, the formalization of the Judges Program occurred in 1982 and the manual for the Race Management Program was finalized in 1988.
In 1988 Bill became a member of ISAF (then IYRU) Race Management Sub-Committee. Bill taught seven Race Management Seminars during the next few years including the Louis Vuitton group in San Diego and Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes. He was the IYRU Consultant for the Bravo Race Committee at the Korean Olympics in 1988 and participated in the 1996 Savannah Olympics.
Bill was respected on a national and international level and his counsel often sought.
His will be greatly missed by those who knew him; worked with him; and was mentored by him.
Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.
* From Brian Thompson: Over the weekend we witnessed the farcical outcome of running a 10-race series, allowing one race to be discarded, and then to run a double-points deciding race on a lottery of a course.
The reason for the format of the 10-race series is to allow for the variability of the natural environment and to let the elements of chance and skill to even out. To then decide the outcome in an extremely random location makes one wonder. Is the competition for sailors or spectators?
I was on the Nothe last week and yes, it is good to watch, but it is also very obvious from a little height how random the whole place is.
* From David Villiers-Child: Those of us who heard Rod Carr's admission last winter that the regatta was not about the competitors but the media were shocked, and the resultant Medal Race Course stuck in a corner on unpredictable shifting and erratic winds and tidal swirls were not disapointed in our gloomy predictions. (Just look at Google Earth!)
At the press conferences after the races, none of the first three in either the Star or Finn classes said anything but; "that it was no way to run any yacht race let alone the Medal Race of an Olympic Regatta".
Jaques Rogge; who is a yachtsman should be ashamed, so should those who allowed the IOC to bully them.
Having said that just look at the Star. Easily (since the removal of The Dragon after 1972) the most elegant boat in the Olympics with so far the highest standard. Just look at the Gold Stars on the sails of many of the competitors signifying they had won a Star World Championship and the number of Olympic medal holders in the fleet.
No one can say if the results would have been different if the races had been held out at sea where they should have been; but one can say that the results would have had more authority.
Putting the course where it was in no way improved the television coverage; it was not as good as Qingdau, Athens or any regatta back to Barcelona. The BBC's commentary was, frankly, condescending.
Another thing... one nation one boat? It doesn't seem to worry anyone that tonight's 100 metre final on the track was dominated by athletes from a single nation and region, quite the reverse. With ranking in the International Classes it would not be difficult to let the top 40 attend. Most international classes use this for their regional championships.
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The Last Word
Everybody in the morning should be sticking their chests out, saying 'that's my rover on Mars.' Because it belongs to all of us. -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden