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Big Breeze Final Race Shoot Out In Muscat
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Extreme Muscat It was a sweltering hot day in Muscat, Oman, for the final showdown at the Extreme Sailing Series, where the Arabian peninsula saved the best for last, with winds that blasted across the course at a steady 20 knots, with gusts of 26, before a final race shoot out. Four teams were gunning for the top spot and there was no room for error, with just fourbetween them - and 20on the table for the taking.

The defending champions and home team on The Wave, Muscat made a real statement of intent from the gun, with an aggressive start that saw them lead the fleet of the line, and Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler and Nasser Al Mashari didn't look back, snatching the win from the hands of the Kiwi, Swiss and Danish teams, to claim not only the Act win, but putting them top of the overall Series leaderboard after two Acts.

Today's racing was all about brute power and strength, requiring a huge shift in mindset for the teams, who have raced in light breeze all week.

Muscat has delivered some incredibly hard fought racing over 29 races, and the fleet have just under six weeks to regroup, debrief and prepare themselves for Act 3 of the 2014 global tour in Qingdao, China, presented by Land Rover, one of the most notoriously tricky racecourses on the circuit, 1-4 May.

Final results:

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 188 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 180
3. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 179
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested, 176
5. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 158
6. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri, 153
7. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson, 145
8. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 144
9. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell, 137
10. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 123
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, David Gilmour, 94

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 19 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) 18
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 16
4. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 13
5. Groupama sailing team (FRA) 9
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 9
7. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 9
8. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 8
9. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 6
10. Oman Air (OMA) 3
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) 2

Nilaya, Freya and Moonbird Victorious
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Loro Piana Regatta Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands: After three days of picture perfect sailing Nilaya (Class A), Freya (Class B) and Moonbird (Class C) have been crowned winners in their respective divisions at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014.

Second place in Division A went to the J-Class Rainbow, on equal points with the 50 metre Fitzroy sloop Ohana in third. Division B runner up was the 57.5-metre ketch Twizzle ahead of the 55-metre Vitters ketch Marie. Division C silverware went to the 31-metre Dubois-designed sloop Sarafin, just one point behind the winner Moonbird, while the 27.4 -metre Tempus Fugit, built by Arkin Pruva, took third place. The Boat International Media Trophy for the event went to the 34-metre Nilaya, designed by Reichel-Pugh and built by Baltic Yachts.

The YCCS Race Committee set a custom course for today's third and final race which took the fleet west from the start off Necker island to round the Dog Islands to starboard before heading further westward and rounding back to Necker and the finish.

The 40 metre Rainbow, chartered by Pier Luigi Loro Piana and with Francesco de Angelis and Brad Butterworth on board, took victory in today's race among the division A boats. Nilaya claimed second place leaving her with an impressive 1-1-2 scoreline and overall victory.

The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will take place at the YCCS in Porto Cervo from June 3rd to 7th.

Full results:

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Offer available until Sunday 30th March

18ft Skiffs Queen Of The Harbour
Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Skiffs Sydney Harbour: Annika Rose became the 18ft Skiffs' Queen of the Harbour when she teamed with John Winning Jr., Andrew Hay and Tom Slingsby on Yandoo  to take out the annual race on Sydney Harbour today.

Yandoo led from the first set of 3-buoy windward marks but had to withstand a race long challenge from Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison and Odette Rushton) before taking the victory by just 6s.

Third place went to Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson, Peter Nicholson, Niall Kinch and Sonya Hagarty), which was a further 3m16s back.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Dave O'Connor) was fourth, followed by Smeg (Nick Press) and De'Longhi-Rabbitohs (Jonathan Whitty).

The race was sailed in a light North East breeze which faded during the race.

Next Sunday's Race 11 of the Club Championship is the last race of the 2013-2014 Season.

Video coverage of the race can be seen on -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Mike Ingham Wins J/24 North Americans
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico: Mike Ingham of the USA continued his masterful performance at the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico and secured the title for his Digger team. Sailing with Tim Healy, Enrique Pirez-Cirera, Marianne Schoke and Max Holzer, Ingham totaled just 14 points in nine races. After dropping an eight as his lowest score, Digger was left with near perfect tallies of 1,2,3,1,4,1,1,1. In10-12 knot breeze on Friday, Ingham notched both bullets, leaving him well ahead of the rest of the fleet. The second through fourth positions were separated by only two points: American Tony Parker's Bangor Packet finished second with 31 points, Ian Ilsley's Jobbit of Monaco in third with 32, and Mauricio Santa Cruz's Bruschetta of Brazil in fourth with 33.

Thirty-seven teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States competed. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier.

Team Scotland Confirms Entry For Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Photo by Marc Turner / PFM Pictures, Click on image for photo gallery.

Com Cup One of the first complete Scottish teams has emerged as the first GBR entry for the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores Cup hosted by The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) at Cowes this July.

The Clyde based team consists of a group of committed owners who have been working throughout the winter in creating a team with a broad experience, that includes some of the leading professionals in recent event history.

Eala of Rhu, owned by Jamie McGarry and Colin Moore of the Royal Northern & Clyde have recruited Kevin Sproul, who sailed Keronimo to victory for GBR Red in the 2012 event. He joins Jon Fitzgerald in running the Swan 45 in the international IRC Regatta.

The First 40, Zephyr from Royal Gourock YC has competed successfully over the past couple of seasons with owner Steve Cowie, both in Ireland in 2013 and winning their Class at Cowes in 2012. The choice of pro is natural one as Ian Budgen started sailing at RGYC in Pipers before building a strong reputation in the sailing world from the TP52 circuit, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Americas Cup.

Completing the three-boat team is the Corby 37, fomerly Impetuous, a competitive IRC boat which is new to the Clyde Cruising Club owners Rod Stuart, Bill Ram and Donald MacKenzie.  Rod Stuart who competed with EOS, an Elan 410, has enjoyed some good offshore results including 2nd in class in the 2013 Middle Sea Race. Sailmaker and experienced IRC campaigner John Highcock takes on the professional role onboard.

Samokhin Of Russia Wins Dragon Euros Warm-Up
Dmitry Samokhin of Russia was the winner of the Dragon International Italian Cup at the San Remo YC, Italy. Finishing in second was Lars Hendriksen of Denmark and in third Anatoly Loginov of Russia. After Hendriksen won the opening race, Samokhin won races 2 and 3 to take the title. Guiseppe Duca was the best placed Italian entry in fourth overall.

Best placed British competitor was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in ninth place. Lawrie Smith was DNF for the first race then finished 4 and 15 to be 26 overall.

The event was also the tune-up regatta for the European Championship which start Tuesday 25 March thro to Saturday 29 March, seven races are scheduled. 92 teams from 17 nations are entered for the Dragon European Championship at San Remo, including 12 British competitors. -- Gerald New,

Event site:

Dongfeng Race Team Depart China For New Zealand
Click on image to enlarge.

Dongfeng Charles Caudrelier led his team out of Serenity Marina, Sanya, China today as 'Dongfeng' set sail for Auckland, New Zealand. This journey, officially described as a Training Leg, will allow Charles to analyse and test the six Chinese Race Squad sailors onboard.

Leaving the shores of China today is not only a key milestone for the team who have been training hard at Serenity Marina, the team's Official Training Base in Sanya, for over a month, but also an emotional one as the sailors know they will not return to Chinese shores until January 2015 on the official race stopover.

The team will be sending regular update reports and content from the training leg to Auckland, and you can also track the progress of 'Dongfeng' via the team's official tracker

The remaining five Academy Squad sailors Kong ChenCheng, Xiaoling Li, Zhang Peng, Shen Sheng (Sam) and Zhen Li remained in Sanya to represent Dongfeng Race Team in the annual Round Hainan Regatta from 21st-28th March, as part of the team's continuing plans towards establishing a permanent Ocean Racing Academy in China that will have the potential to provide a major boost to the development of professional sailing in China.

Aloha Cup Round Hainan Regatta: Ubox Take Line Honours At Sanya Coastal Race
Wang Lei helmed the Ubox Swan 82S to line honours at the short coastal race. Malcolm Page made the right tactical call when rounding Dongmaozhou Island, extending Vatti's overall lead in the IRC-B2 division of the Aloha Cup Round Hainan Regatta. The IRC-A and Beneteau Oceanis 40 fleets embarked on 280nm race to Haikou while the Soto 27's and Fareast 26's concluded with three close races

Sanya once again delivered remarkable conditions with a breeze between 15 and 20 knots, short waves and nice sunshine. The 45-strong fleet shared the same starting line but three different races were in store. The IRC-A and Beneteau Oceanis 40 fleets headed west for the first half of their proper offshore race. The IRC-B1 and IRC-B2 divisions completed a short coastal race that saw them round the Dongmaozhou Island while the one designs held their last three races.

John Thorn and Brian Thompson, skippers of Dongfeng 1 and 2 respectively, learned today that when one races against Vatti, a star-studded yacht where two-time Olympic gold medalist Malcom Page is calling tactics, there is no room for error and even the smallest one in a short coastal race will come with a heavy price.

The two Jeanneau 32 boats need approximately a 3-minute margin in one hour in order to win a race in corrected time. Their decision to sail as close as possible to the southern shore of Dongmaozhou Island cost them a minute and a half, according to Brian Thompson. The northeasterly breeze was blocked by the small hill on the island and Vatti got the best of it, sailing a few hundred meters further offshore. Vatti finished 36 seconds ahead of Dongfeng 2 in corrected time and extended its lead by another point.

Line honours at the coastal race went to Ubox, the Swan 82S from Shenzen, skippered by Wang Lei and entirely crewed by Chinese sailors. This is the third time Ubox is taking part in the Aloha Cup Round Hainan Regatta and Wang considers it as a unique opportunity for professional Chinese sailors to gain valuable experience racing against some of the world's top international sailors.

Monday will be a lay day in Sanya while the IRC-A and Beneteau Oceanis 40 will be racing to Haikou where they are expected to arrive late at night. -- Pierre Orphanidis

Royal Cork's Dinghy PY 500 Regatta Success In Cork Harbour
Weather obliged beautifully for PY 500 making a perfect Sunday morning event at Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Claire Bateman. And what a magnificent spectacle the PY500 (Portsmouth Yardstick) race turned out to be. The sun was shining and there was a Westerly breeze of some 15 knots lightening slowly during the race. The course was Windward/Leeward around laid marks and consisting of seven rounds.

The event consisted of a mixed dinghy race for vessels holding a PY Handicap of 700-1320.

Due to the thirty one boats participating and the different speeds involved there were officials in position at each mark to record each competitor rounding for each of the seven rounds. Due to the location of the course up and down the river outside the club magnificent spectator viewing was provided for the large numbers present.

There were many boats from different classes represented and they certainly provided spectacular viewing.

The representatives were from National 18s, 505's, RS 400, RS 200, a lone Finn, Fevas, Fireflies, Lasers of all rig types, a Rankin and the star of the show, a 29er that charged around the course showing such style with a fluorescent orange Gennaker. Spotted sailing his RS 200 with his wife Heather was Sean Craig from the RstGYC. Also sailing from the RCYC's own club boats were 2 Topaz, one Magno and one Omega. -- Claire Bateman in Afloat magazine:

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The Last Word
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