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Gold Fleet Racing At Hyeres
Gold fleet racing got underway at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères with tense competition across ten Olympic and two Paralympic events.

With a full complement of races completed thus far the leader boards are shaping up nicely with fine margins between the world's top sailing talents.

After a short morning postponement the 1,111 sailors were greeted with an increasing 13-17 knot westerly breeze as well as a smooth sea state. Racing kicked off shortly after 12:00 local time.

Racing commences at 11:00 local time on Thursday 24 April as the sailors enter a critical point of the regatta.

Top three by class:

2.4 Metre
1. Heiko Kroger, GER
2. Damien Seguin, FRA
3. Megan Pascoe, GBR

470 Men
1. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
2. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE
3. Sofian Bouvet / Jeremie Mion, FRA

470 Women
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL
2. Sophie Weguelin / Eilidh McIntyre, GBR
3. Anna Haeger / Briana Provancha, USA

1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL
2. Ryan Seaton / Matthew Mcgovern, IRL
3. Dylan Fletcher / Alain Sign, GBR

1. Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA
2. Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth, GBR
3. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL

1. Pieter-Jan Postma, NED
2. Caleb Paine, USA
3. Thomas Le Breton, FRA

1. Tom Burton, AUS
2. Andy Maloney, NZL
3. Rutger van Schaardenburg, NED

Laser Radial
1. Evi Van Acker, BEL
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED
3. Tatiana Drozdovskaya, BLR

1. Darren Bundock / Nina Curtis, AUS
2. Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA
3. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA

RS:X Men
1. Piotr Myszka, POL
2. Pawel Tarnowski, POL
3. Kiran Badloe, NED

RS:X Women
1. Jiahui Wu, CHN
2. Maja Dziarnowska, POL
3. Moana Delle, GER

1. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Stephen Thomas, GBR
2. Bruno Jourdren / Nicolas Vimont Vicary / Eric Flageul, FRA
3. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR

Full results:

Synergy In The Match Racing Driving Seat
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Conditions couldn't have been better for the opening day of the RC44 Cascais Cup. With the sun out, a wind that started light and built to a solid 20 knots, combined with a long rolling swell coming in from the Atlantic, it is no coincidence that Portugal's sailing mecca is renowned internationally.

As usual, the first day of racing was dedicated to the RC44's on-going match racing championship and after seven flights today there has been a change of leader. After the Virgin Gorda Cup, Chris Bake's Team Aqua was ahead, but today there was another star player in Synergy, as three time Match Racing World Champion and 32nd America's Cup winning helmsman Ed Baird led the team to win all six of their matches. 

One of the hardest fought of today's races for Baird was against the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, when he ended up pushing them so they were within a hair's breadth of colliding with the Race Committee boat in the pre-start.

It was an unfortunate day for Team Aqua, despite only having dropped one of their six matches - to Aleph Racing. With owner Chris Bake away today, as usual the helm passed to RC44 veteran Cameron Appleton, who described this race: "On the water they sailed better than us, but in the pre-start we managed to hit them, which is not ideal. We came in and had a nice opportunity to get a hook on them. One boat was going up a wave and the other going down a wave and the next thing was that the boats came together and there was nothing you could do about it - we landed on their back quarter, which is a terrible mistake on my part."

In the collision, Team Aqua's bow hit Aleph at the waterline and tonight Aqua's shore crew will be busy effecting repair work. 

Fleet racing at the RC44 Cascais Cup, kicks off tomorrow at 11.30 local time, and the forecast is for even stronger breeze than today.

Les Voiles De St. Barth 2014: Famine To Feast
Photo by Christophe Jouany. Click on image for photo gallery.

With several classes still up for grabs, crews going into the final day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth were eager to get on the race course and best the score. The conditions remained fresh, with a 22 - 25 knot southeasterly producing an impressive swell on the island's windward side.

Les Voiles de St. Barth Race Committee, led by Race Director Luc Poupon, carefully chose race courses to fit the conditions, sending the Maxi and Spinnaker Zero, 1 and 2 classes on a 22 nautical mile course and Spinnaker 3 and 4, Non-Spinnaker, and Multihull on a 16 nm course. To make up for a missed race yesterday, the six-boat Melges 24 class completed two races, which were run in the more protected waters on the western side of the island. As a further provision, the class mutually agreed not to use spinnakers.

The change in conditions from the lighter wind of the regatta's first two days (Monday and Tuesday) to the 20 plus knots on the latter two days (Friday and Saturday) affected several classes with boats that favored one range or the other.

One of these was the hard-fought Spinnaker 1 class, where Jim Madden's (Newport Beach, Calif.) J/125 Stark Raving Mad IV edged out by one point Sergio Sagramoso's (San Juan, PUR) Melges 32 Lazy Dog (class winner last year).

Winner of the Maxi class was Alex Schaerer (Bern, SUI), owner/skipper of the Mills 68 Caol Ila R. Schaerer and his team enjoyed close racing with Hap Fauth's (Minneapolis, Minn./Newport, R.I.) Bella Mente for the first part of the week, until Bella Mente suffered a dismasting.

Top three by class:

1. Caol Ila R / Alex Schaerer (SUI) / Mills 69
2. Rambler / George David (USA) / R&P 90
3. Aragon / Verder Van Nieuwland (NED) / Marten 72

Spinnaker Zero
1. Near Miss / Frank Noël (SUI) / TP 52
2. Balearia / Bigamist T.G/J.B/P. Mendonca (ESP) BOTIN & CARKEEK
3. Otra Vez / William Coates (USA) KER 43

Spinnaker 1
1. Stark Raving Mad IV / Jim Madden (USA) / J/125
2. Lazy Dog / Sergio Sagramoso (Puerto Rico) / Melges 32
3. Kick 'em Jenny 2 Ian & Hope Ross (USA) Melges 32

Spinnaker 2
1. Affinity / Jack Desmond (USA) / SWAN 48
2. White Rhino / Stephen Cucchiaro (USA) / Swan 56
3. AronnaX / Alain Charlot (SBH) / X-482

Spinnaker 3
1. Ramanessin / Eamonn Rohan (GBR) / Grand Soleil 43
2. J-Boss / Eddy Chalano (FRA) / J/111
3. Salona Racing Team / Alex Sastre (USA) / Salona

Spinnaker 4
1. Pocket Rocket / David Cullen (IRL) / J 109
2. Visiooptic / Claude Roth (FRA) / First 40.7
3 - Maelia / Raphael Magras (SBH) / X-yachts

1. L'Esperance / Sir Bobby Velasquez (SXM) / Beneteau 45
2. Hotel California Too / Stephen Schmidt /Santa Cruz 70
3. Speedy Nemo / Raymond Magras (SBH) / Dufour 34

Racing Multihull
1. Sea Cart 26 / Team All Stars / Carl (Calle) Hennix (SWE) / SeaCart 26
2. Elvis / Scott Bradford (USA) / Gunboat
3. Le CARRE Lounge (CAN) / Toro34

Melges 24
1. LEFORT CLIM / Thierry LeFort (FRA)
2. Budget Marine/Gill / Andrea Scarabelli (AHO)
3. Team Island Water World / Frits Bus (AHO)

Hudson Wight HW1s Are Put Through Their Paces
"In summary, I would now without hesitation consider the Hudson Wight Jacket & Salopettes (HW1s) as my first choice; indeed I feel strongly enough about the significant increase in effectiveness that I find myself regularly evangelising about this new brand and its future in the sailing marketplace." -- Norrie Forster (Delivery Skipper and RYA Yachtmaster Instructor)

Weather range: F1 - F7/Sea states: Slight - Rough/Sailing for over 80% of 850nm passage.

Suit performance: Ease of donning/removal - The suit is remarkably straightforward to fit, even with multiple layers. The finish on the inside enabled it to slip on even over fairly bulky layers with ease.

Waterproof effectiveness: I used the suit in extremes of sailing weather from flat calm to gusts nearing 40knots at one juncture. Having been drenched in 'green water' from waves to an incredibly heavy conventional downpour/thunderstorm on approaches to Falmouth for an hour, I can without any hesitation say the Hudson Wight suit performed faultlessly.

Perspiration retention: Most impressively, I have had no occasion where I have noted ANY dampness on my inner layers or the suit as a result of perspiration. This is significant since I have always noted and come to expect some amounts of perspiration, especially after a passage where there has been a lot of beating to wind or, sail/sheet management throughout rough weather sailing.

Read Norrie's no-holes-barred report here:

For details of products, OceanVent technical fabric and pricing details, visit:

Clipper Race 11: Drag Race On As The Scoring Gate Approaches
Temperatures have continued to build in the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup and as the barometer rises, the race stakes are approaching boiling point. Less than 10 miles now separates the top half of the leaderboard, and with the Scoring Gate now under 300 miles away, a drag race is well and truly on and is too close to call.

The leading teams, positioned to west of the rhumb line, Derry-Londonderry-Doire, Team Garmin, OneDLL, Invest Africa, GREAT Britain, Jamaica Get All Right and Old Pulteney are feeding off the pressure as Team Garmin skipper Jan Ridd, currently in second place, just 0.5 miles behind leaders Derry-Londonderry-Doire explained: "The pressure of racing especially when it as close as it is at the moment means we cannot ease off at all and have to keep pushing, trying to get as much speed out of the boat as possible.

Switzerland's skipper Vicky Ellis reported "a cracking surf and a good breeze that really makes these Clipper 70s shift in a fun way." In contrast however, Mission Performance had a slightly more challenging 24 hours as it struggled to reach over 10 knots at one point yesterday, only for the wind to fill in before they lost it again. Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance has a suspicion behind the variable conditions as his team navigates the East Pacific Ocean towards Panama.

Cheers On The Dock
Racing at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai came to a conclusion Monday with the Windward Course, a reaching start with a tricky reverse triangle and a reach finish. The breeze was still in but had moderated enough to allow shifts to make a big impact on performance. Several classes were decided on the last day of racing.

In Vintage Class A, Carlo Falcone's Alfred Mylne designed Ketch, Mariella won the last race of the regatta to take the class title by just one point from Scott Franz's Herreshoff 72, Ticonderoga. Trygve Bratz's Vinzenzo Baglietto 88, Sincerity suffered a torn mainsail, which put them out of the running for the class but still came third overall.

Gerald Rainer, describes himself as the 'caretaker' of the stunning 65′ Herreschoff Mary Rose, the boat is lovingly maintained and crewed by a happy lot. There was a lot of singing dockside from the crew, as they celebrated winning the last race and Vintage Class B.

In Vintage Class C, Michael Jarrald's British 66′ Cutter, Lily Maid has had an outstanding regatta, winning all four races. Robert Soros' American Nat Benjamin 65, Juno also claimed a perfect set of results, as did Eleda, Ross Gannon's family boat which was co-designed by Antonio Salguero. The duel between Stormvogel and Whitehawk was decided on the last race. Ralph Isham's Bruce King 105′ Ketch, Whitehawk took the gun and the prize in the last race.

Model Boats Back In Belfast Waterworks After Fifty Years
A scene from Belfast's model yachting days in the 1930s. Click on image to enlarge.

Further to the IOM model yacht class development in Northern Ireland thanks to Brian O'Neill who joined the fleet about 3 years ago and who has rallied other people from the North to our activity, a new club has emerged over the winter of 2013 in Belfast Waterworks writes Gilbert Louis.

This location is not new to model boats as the activity started in 1933 and lasted until the mid 1960's when a fire burned down the club house. But now model boats are back sailing on this man made pond. It is entirely purpose build for Belfast County needs in concrete. It is flat bottom and with a depth of around 1.2m it is plenty for our model boats.

You can find all the information about the Belfast waterworks model boat club on their website

For now they are sailing RG65 and in particular Drafon Force 65, IOM and occasionally A class too.

Afloat magazine:

Team Extreme Qingdao Annnounced
In just over one week, China's 2008 'Olympic Sailing City' of Qingdao will welcome the formidable fleet of Extreme 40s to Fushan Bay, with the home nation entry 'Team Extreme Qingdao' bolstering the elite level racing fleet to 12 boats, including two of China's top sailing stars. The teams will race under the shadows of the Olympic rings on the short, sharp racecourse, designed for spectator-friendly Stadium Racing, with thousands of public expected over the Chinese national holiday. The Act, presented by Series Main Partner Land Rover will see teams vying for the 'Double Star Mingren Cup' from 1-4 May.

For the home-grown Chinese sailors, Liu Xue and Zhang Yiran, 2014 will be their second year competing on the circuit, following their Stadium Racing debut with China Team in Qingdao in 2013. Liu Xue raced with China Team at the America's Cup World Series in 2013,

Five-time Olympian and Extreme 40 veteran Mitch Booth will share skippers duties with Zhang Yiran, leading the home team into the stadium in front of the local crowds, alongside Nick Moloney and British multihull dinghy sailor Freddie White.

The full crew lists for Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 Qingdao for the 'Double Star Mingren' Cup will be confirmed on Thursday 24th April.

Seahorse May 2014
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Long overdue
Two whole race cycles after he won the 2006 Route du Rhum, solo skipper Phil Sharp is finally returning to the shorthanded arena...

Win win
As the first TP52 built to the 2015 rule (sic) hits the water Super Series class manager Rob Weiland unravels his boat equalisation programme

IRC column
It's about the boats getting better. James Dadd

Design - Smoothing out the kinks
Francesco Pelizza was entrusted with a comprehensive refit of the mighty Stravaganza

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

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Capri - A Mediterranean Prelude
A captivating island located in the Gulf of Naples, Capri is a strategic balcony over the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean and one of the world's most enchanting locations. Since 2005, this unique venue has hosted Rolex Capri Sailing Week, a yearly rendezvous for first-class yachts and sailors from all over the world. The traditional opener for Rolex's Mediterranean yachting calendar celebrates its 10th edition from 19-24 May with an exceptional programme comprising one week of inshore and coastal sailing off Capri and a testing offshore race.

Competing yachts will be divided into three different classes: Mini Maxi (18.29m to 24.08m), Maxi (24.09m-30.5m) and TP52 (15.85m). For the Maxi fleet, action on the water starts on 19 May at 10:00 CEST with the emblematic 'Volcano Race', a 250 - 300-nautical mile offshore race to the volcanic Aeolian Islands and back. The TP52 fleet will make its debut on 20 May with the first in a series of inshore and coastal races.

21 crews from 11 countries have so far registered to take part including 12 Maxis and nine TP52s. The Maxi fleet will range from the 30.5m/100ft Slovenian entry Esimit Europa 2, campaigned by Igor Simcic, down to the 18.57m Italian entry Good Job Guys. Esimit Europa 2 won monohull line honours at the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race and is the current race record holder at the Giraglia Rolex Cup. The competitive TP52 fleet comprises experienced teams such as Michele Galli's B2, overall winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2013.   The Rolex Capri Sailing Week is organised by the International Maxi Association in collaboration with the Yacht Club Capri.

Featured Brokerage
1995 FARR 39' Mark Lindsey MAURI PRO-SAILING. 89900.00 USD.

Following huge success of the 40 footers MARINARIELLO, HIGH 5 and the conservative 39's RUSH and FLASH GORDON, this innovative design was conceived as a racing yacht, faster for its size and more exciting to sail at a reasonable cost.

The Farr 39 is a dual purpose yacht designed with a moderate displacement making it easy to drive and handles beautifully around the course. A generous sail plan and long sailing length offer exhilarating performance planing and surfing, reaching and running. High sail area relative to displacement and wetted surface area are the key elements for the Farr 39's exceptional downwind and light airs performance.

The deep bulb keel and deep rudder offer exceptional stability with excellent upwind speed in a wide range of conditions.


Contact Ian Gordon,

See the collection at

The Last Word
The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics. -- Bertrand Russell

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