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Finn Europeans Ends With A Blast In La Rochelle
Giles Scott (GBR) wrapped up the 2014 Finn Europeans in La Rochelle in the perfect way with a win in the medal race to take the championship by an impressive 50 point margin. The defending champion Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) took the silver, after a very close medal race, by just one point from Ed Wright (GBR).

Strong winds, big waves and lots of rain featured on the final day in La Rochelle. The medal race was held in the harbour with a short, steep chop and winds around 20 knots making for some very testing and very close racing.

As the Europeans in La Rochelle draws to a close, many sailors will be taking a short break before beginning their training programmes for Santander and the all important Olympic qualification. Others will be heading to one of the EUROSAF events coming up, of which the first is the Delta Lloyd Regatta starting in just over a week.

As with the Finn Masters in La Rochelle in 2013, the event this week was hampered to a certain degree by unseasonal bad weather, but what was not in doubt was the quality of the racing and the great sailing conditions out on the sea off La Rochelle. Giles Scott has now won every event since returning to the class last year and seems to be improving event by event.

Results after 10 races
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 26 points
2. Vasilij Zbogar, SLO, 76
3. Edward Wright, GBR, 77
4. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 91
5. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 95
6. Andrew Mills, GBR, 105
7. Thomas Le Breton, FRA, 114
8. Pieter-Jan Postma, NED, 116
9. Zsombor Berecz, HUN, 127
10. Andrew Murdoch, NZL, 135

Full results:

'Blu Moon' Retains Melges 24 European Title
Balatonfured, Hungary: The MKB Bank Melges 24 European Championship title was decided in the tenth and final race of the week-long series on Hungary's Lake Balaton today when Franco Rossini's Swiss entry 'Blu Moon'- the reigning World and European Champions - match-raced their closest rival Matteo Balestrero from Italy on 'Giogi' to the back of the fleet to claim the title for the second consecutive year.

Despite Balestrero's best efforts to extract 'Giogi'from the vice-like cover inflicted by Matteo Ivaldi at the helm of 'Blu Moon'throughout the race, after three legs of sailing around at the back of the fleet, the Italian skipper finally accepted defeat and both boats retired from the five-leg race.

Soon after, the elated 'Blu Moon'crew held up the hand written message "Forza Flavio" on the back of their hatch cover - a tribute to regular 'Blu Moon' helmsman, double Melges 24 World and European champion Flavio Favini, who had to miss this championship due to injury.

Final top ten:
1. Blu Moon, Matteo Ivaldi, SUI, 47 points
2. Giogi, Matteo Balestrero, ITA, 59
3. Strange Brew, Ian Ainslie, HUN, 85
4. AUDI, Riccardo Simoneschi, ITA, 94
5. Gill Race Team, Geoff Carveth, GBR, 101
6. Altea, Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 107
7. ICZ - Margarita, Martin Trcka, CZE, 107
8. Lenny, Tonu Toniste, EST, 113 (first in Corinthian)
9. Maidollis, Fracassoli Carlo, ITA, 122
10. Storm Capital Sai, R Oyvind Jahre, NOR, 128

Atlantic Cup
It was a clean start yesterday in Charleston in the 4th Annual Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing. The four Atlantic Cup teams raced across the start line in a 20-25 knot breeze with double-reefed mainsails. #54-Dragon cross the line first, however, launched to the front of the fleet and led the first and only mark rounding. After the mark rounding the course became a reach to Fort Sumter and a fetch out of the jetties, which saw multiple lead changes. #106 Gryphon Solo 2 was the first team to hoist their spinnaker and enter the ocean.

Throughout the evening, the teams were within sight of each other and are still extremely close.

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Grand Prix Guyader: Groupama Wins M34 Class
After competing in seven races over four days in Douarnenez, Brittany, in what proved to be some lively weather conditions, Franck Cammas and his Groupama crew secured victory in the second event of the M34 season, ahead of Courrier Dunkerque and Bretagne Credit Mutuel. It's an important win in the run-up to Normandy Sailing Week in June, which will be final dress rehearsal before the legendary Tour de France à la Voile.

Second in the Spi Ouest France behind Courrier Dunkerque, Groupama 34 has made the most of the fine race zone in Douarnenez to gain the upper hand in relation to Daniel Souben's crew, which are Groupama sailing team's sparring partner and also their main rival: "On reading the ranking, you might think that we took an easy win. That wasn't the case at all though" explains Devan Le Bihan, trimmer aboard Groupama 34. "The races were hard-fought and, with the exception of the offshore race that we led from beginning to end, we often had to really battle to secure a win. The uniformity of the fleet bodes well for a great Tour de France later this year" Devan adds.

Dominating the whole of the last season, the crew of Groupama 34 is preparing for a more hotly contested race season in 2014. Some of the class measurement rules have changed. Furthermore, the sails that we'll have during Normandy Sailing Week and onwards will be strictly one-design. The upshot of this is that the speed differences between the boats will be limited. As such we'll have to be very precise with our manoeuvring and tactically shrewd to take the win" concludes the crewman aboard Groupama 34.

Overall ranking for the Grand Prix Guyader :

1. Groupama 34, 12 points
2. Courrier Dunkerque, 18
3. Omansail, 30
4. Bretagne Credit Mutuel, 30
5. Toulon Provence Mediterranee, 48
6. Nantes St Nazaire, 57

The crew of Groupama 34 :

1. Franck Cammas, skipper and helmsman
2. Fabien Henry, Project manager and tactics
3. Devan Le Bihan, headsail trimmer
4. Matthieu di Russo, headsail trimmer
5. Christophe Andre, bowman
6. Tugdual Becquemie, helmsman
7. Julien Villion, navigator
8. Arnaud Jarlegan, headsail trimmer
9. Malo Bessec, bowman
10. Maxime Paul, mainsail trimmer

Flying Phantom Breaks Eurocat Long Distance Race Record
The Eurocat in Carnac is one of the most important sport catamaran events in France. With more than 150 boats registered, the four days of regattas and long distance race "Voiles et Voiliers" organized by the Carnac's Yacht Club were a success.

The long distance race took place on Saturday May the 3rd. For the Flying Phantom and the Phantom Sailing Team, with Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot, it was a unique opportunity to confront a fleet of 169 boats against some of the top French and European sailors around the Island of Houat.

At 12:05 pm the competitors lined up on the starting line in front of the Carnac's Yacht Club and started the race at the send off of the race committee. The first leg was upwind of the offset mark. When most of the fleet took to the left of the route, along Carnac's beach, Gurvan and Benjamin kept to the right and reached the top mark at the same time as Iker Martinez and Fernandino Van West who were sailing on a F18.

The wind dropped down from 10 kts to 5 kts while sailing through Quiberon's North gate, the last stretch was consequently slower but nevertheless Gurvan and Benjamin flew across the line in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 20 seconds.

The Phantom Sailing Team exploded the last Eurocat's long distance race record by 24 minutes and 54 seconds, which was previously held by a Nacra F20 in 2010 crewed by Peter Vink and Sven de Laaf.

The second boat, an F18 helmed by Morgan Lagravière and crewed by Arnaud Jarlegan, arrived 20 minutes after the Flying Phantom, finishing the race with a time of 2 hours 26 minutes and 7 seconds, 49 seconds, ahead of Iker Martinez and Fernandino Van West.

Monster Project Signs Up For Round Ireland
With just 50 days to go to the start of the Round Ireland in Wicklow, Wicklow Sailing Club member David Ryan has chartered the Monster Project Volvo 70 for the race.

Amongst his crew will be the three lucky winners from the national crew competition he organised with the Irish Cruiser Racing Association. Last Saturday at the ICRA Come Sailing Day in Howth, the finalists were chosen. His crew will also feature local Wicklow Sailing Club members and the club itself is delighted to support his venture as the official club entry in the race. David and his crew will set off from Wicklow Sailing Club on June 28th with the goal of winning line honours in the Round Ireland Yacht Race. With the right weather, this team could even challenge the race record.

The Round Ireland Yacht Race promises some of the most challenging conditions that offshore racing has to offer, from the tidal Irish Sea to the open Atlantic ocean. Designed and built for these challenges in 2007, Monster Project is well-suited to the kind of conditions that competitors in the Round Ireland Race 2014 are likely to encounter. Having spent the last few months in the Caribbean, Monster Project will compete in the Round the Island race before heading off to challenge in the Round Ireland a few days later.

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Is Looking For A Marine Services Manager
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is looking for a high caliber individual to fill the post of Marine Services Manager.

This is a senior management position reporting directly to the General Manager.

The successful candidate will have overall responsibility for delivery of marine services to support all the Club's marine based activities:

- Sailing, local and International events, sailing development and sail training, race management and race support
- Rowing and paddle sports, local and International events, rowing development and training
- Maintenance and operation of a sizeable fleet of Club owned boats
- 46 berth marina and 310 moorings
- Pontoons and slipways at 3 clubhouses
- Hardstanding / haul out & boat handling facilities for around 250 boats at 3 clubhouses
- Yacht repair facility with 50T travel hoist
- Yacht chandlery

We are looking for someone with:

- A proven record of achievement in the marine (recreational) Industry.
- Strong leadership and management skills.
- Extensive knowledge of marine related operations, the associated standards, best practice, legislation and compliance requirements.
- Relevant professional qualifications.
- A positive approach to team building, promoting effective communication and be capable of instilling a strong work ethic amongst all staff.
- Ability to plan and implement improved workplace practices and procedures.
- Past experience working in a Club environment with a proven ability to develop new products and services to meet member expectations.
- Strong communication skills including a good command of written and spoken English.
- Ability to effectively represent the Club's requirements in dealing with related government departments.
- Proficiency in Microsoft office software.

We offer attractive remuneration and excellent fringe benefits to the right candidate.

Interested parties should submit a comprehensive CV together with a recent photograph to the Human Resources Manager, RHKYC, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or email

Tour De Belle-Ile : Alain Gautier Wins A Breezy, Shortened, Race
There was a record entry of 517 boats for this sixth edition of the Tour de Belle-Ile. Unfortunately the weather conditions meant that not all classes participated in the race, giving only 435 boats on the starting line. The race was also shortened such that the boats went just to Belle-Ile and not around it; a course of 39 nautical miles in place of the full 42 nautical miles.

By contrast with the previous year, the wind blew strongly on this occasion. The start was delayed to allow the passage of a front, and associated clouds. There were sustained breezes of 25 knots from the west-southwest.

Alain Gautier's Sensation Ocean ORMA set off from a start by the committee boat on starboard, with a reef in the main, hotly pursued by Yves Le Blevec's Multi50, Actual. Meanwhile, the monohulls started a long board out to the island on port tack.

Sensation Ocean reached along the length of Belle-Ile at speeds of 30-35 knots, but had their most interesting part of the race when they were faced with returning, doing 25-30 knots, into a fleet of monohulls coming towards them at speeds of about 8 knots.

Finally, at 13h27'09'', after about 2h09'09'' of racing, Sensation Ocean crossed the finishing line of this seventh edition of the race, having completed it at an average speed of 18.14 knots with an advance of 9 minutes and 15 seconds over Actual.

With the monohulls, Imagine, the 60 foot IMOCA of Armel Tripon, obtained line honours in 3h53'18'', in front of the Mach 45 Alternative Sailing (Nicolas Groleau) and GDF Suez, skippered by Sebastien Rogues, who was also first of the Class 40s. -- Anne Hinton in

Dogzilla Relocated
Photo by Erik Simonson, Click on image for photo gallery.

2010 America's Cup winner, USA-17, has moved from a San Francsco wharf to permanent display at Oracle Corporation, in San Francisco.

An Erickson Skycrane lifted her out of the water and over the Oracle Buildings and placed her in the Pond.

USA -17 (nick named Dogzilla) was the wingsailed trimaran, that contested the 33rd America's Cup sailed in Valencia, Spain under the Deed of Gift provisions of the document which governs the conduct of the oldest international sporting trophy. USA-17 won the best of three series 2-0 against the former holder Alinghi. Both teams sailed 120ft multihulls. Since that regatta USA-17 has been housed at the Oracle Team USA base in San Francisco. --

Ainslie Prepares To Unveil America's Cup Team
While potential America's Cup challengers wait for details of the 35th America's Cup to be announced, Sir Ben Ainslie has secured the private seed funding for a British campaign, to be unveiled next month.

It will be difficult for him to go ahead with the next phase of the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) campaign - raising the £100m commercial sponsorship - until he has seen the protocol governing the Cup, which is currently being agreed by Cup holders Oracle Team USA and official challengers Team Australia.

Details of the date of the next Cup and where it will take place will not be revealed until later in the year, which is frustrating the teams since boat design is driven inevitably by the wind and sea conditions in the racing venue.

Likely dates point to 2017, with preliminary rounds in AC45s starting next year but the venue possibilities are boundless. -- Kate Laven in The Guardian

South East Zone Crowned RYA Eric Twiname Champions
Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

It was the RYA South East Zone who reigned triumphant at Rutland Water this weekend as they were crowned 2014 RYA Eric Twiname Champions as the regatta came to an exhilarating finish on the final day of racing (Sunday 11 May).

Having endured testing conditions with strong squalls yesterday (Saturday 10 May), the concluding day of the Championships bought with it similar conditions for the 241 competitors at the event, with spells of sunshine, short showers but more manageable gusts of 20-25 knots.

As a result the three dinghy classes completed three races while the four windsurfing classes managed two allowing the young sailors to get some scores on the board after a lack of racing on day one.

In addition to the 2014 RYA Eric Twiname title, the RYS South East Zone also won the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy, awarded to Zone with top overall dinghy, while the RYA South Zone got their hands on the Eric Twiname Windsurfer Trophy, awarded to the Zone with top overall windsurfing score.

For the full list of results:

Eric Twiname Trust:

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 Bob Fisher: Euan Ross (Readers letters) reminds us: "And now we have two generations of difficult to r-cycle carbon fibre scrap, with the AC33 90s and now the AC34 72s beyond the pale," but it was all said by Charles Burgess ( the designer of the aluminium mast for Ranger, the brother of Starling Burgess) so eloquently in 1935: "The modern America's Cup racer bear not the slightest resemblance to any useful craft in the world, and she does not even contribute to the development of yachting as a true sport apart from the satisfaction of an illogical national vanity. But having damned them, I must confess to an absorbing interest in the problems set by those extraordinary craft They have the fascination of sin." In those three sentences, he said it all and provided me with a title for my own work on the Cup and possibly a second!

Editor: Bob's two volume history of the America's Cup is available from South Atlantic Publishing:

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