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Alex Roepers Wins The 2014 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship
Long Beach, California, USA: Determining the 2014 Rolex North American Champion came down to the 10th and final race of the series that was held over four days (May 14-17) from Long Beach Yacht Club, as conditions rebounded to allow the race committee to run three races on the last day of the regatta.

With an earlier start time, the fleet sailed into the offshore haze which gave way to patches of blue sky as the first race got underway at 1115 in a seven-and-a-half knot southwesterly breeze with puffs registering between 10 and 11 knots.

With the only one point separating Roepers and Jahn, the final race of the series was started with boats jockeying for position in the nine-and-a-half knot breeze. Demourkas and Schaefer, who were third and fourth, respectively, in the overall standings, were both over early putting an end to any hopes they had for a championship title. That left Roepers and Jahn to fight the final battle and when Roepers took his fifth win of the series, he clinched his first major class title. Jahn, finishing second, took second overall just two points back with 35 points.

Final top ten results:

1. Plenty, Alexander Roepers, 33.0 points
2. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, 35.0
3. Groovederci, John Demourkas, 50.0
4. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, 55.0
5. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, 59.0
6. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, 63.0
7. Flojito y Cooperando, Bernardo Minkow / Julian Fernandez, 70.0
8. Dark Star, Jeff Janov, 72.0
9. Blade 2, Michael Shlens, 91.0
10. Temptress, Ray Godwin, 112.0

Full results:

Promising Forecast For Racing In Capri
Everything is set on the Italian island of Capri for the start of the 2014 Rolex Capri Sailing Week (19 - 24 May). The 10th edition of Mediterranean classic gets underway at 10:00 CEST Monday with the Volcano Race, a testing offshore race between Capri and the Aeolian Islands reserved for the 12 Maxi yachts competing this year. The nine TP52s that complete the international fleet make their debut on Tuesday.

Since its first edition, Rolex Capri Sailing Week has always been a meeting point for the top international crews, and the 2014 edition will be no exception. The flags of Austria, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA fly from the competing yachts berthed at Capri's Marina Grande, confirming the global attraction of this event organised by the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Capri.

The 21 yachts from 11 countries will be divided into three different classes: Mini Maxi (18.29m to 24.08m), Maxi (24.09m-30.5m) and TP52 (15.85m).

This morning the Maxi crews busied themselves with final shoreside preparations, before leaving the dock for some practice on the waters surrounding Capri. The real action starts tomorrow. "We have a four day window of moderate East-Southeast winds, which is promising for the Volcano course," explains Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio. "That's around 310 nautical miles of racing." The racecourse takes the fleet south of Capri towards Sicily, and includes famous natural marks such as the active volcano Stromboli, the turning point for another offshore classic, the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

The yachts racing the Volcano Race comprise an interesting mix of sizes from the 18.29 metres of Enrico Gorziglia's Good Job Guys (ITA) to the 30.5 metres of Igor Simcic's Esimit Europa 2 (SLO). In the Mini Maxi fleet, the two 72-foot Judel Vrolijk near sisterships, Robertissima III (ITA) and Jethou (GBR) are expect some close-quarter duelling.

On Thursday, the 12 Maxis and Mini Maxis will revert to inshore mode as they start a series of three coastal or windward leeward races.

While the Maxis take on the Volcano Race, the nine TP52s will undertake a practice race tomorrow before the first in their series of inshore races begins at 12:00 CEST on Tuesday .

Henri Lloyd Claims Line Honours In Clipper Race 12: The Spirit Of Jamaica Chase
Henri Lloyd has retained its overall Clipper Race lead by taking line honours in Race 12: The Spirit of Jamaica Chase after fighting off arch rivals GREAT Britain in a close finale to cross the finish line just 31 seconds in front.

Henri Lloyd crossed the Folly Point Lighthouse finish line in Port Antonio, Jamaica at 20:41:56 UTC with GREAT Britain right behind in second at 20:42:27 UTC. Switzerland took third place, claiming its second podium finish of the Clipper Race so far, finishing at 21:42 UTC.

Still seeking its illusive podium finish, Team Garmin finished fourth for the second consecutive race at 22:46 UTC. Old Pulteney finished fifth at 23:07 UTC and PSP Logistics crossed in sixth place at 00:04 UTC. OneDLL came in seventh at 02:25 UTC, Qingdao finished eighth at 03:39 UT and Derry~Londonderry~Doire finished ninth at 05:31. At the time of reporting, the wind had died off considerably for the remaining three teams, Jamaica Get All Right, Mission Performance and Invest Africa.

The Clipper Race fleet will be berthed at the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio, Jamaica until 24 May when it will depart in Race 13: The Grange Hotels Trophy to New York which completes Leg 7, the penultimate Clipper Race leg.

Henri Lloyd Elite Offshore - Tested By Sailors
We put the garments to the test on real sailors in real conditions. Here is what our testers said about the Elite offshore foul weather garments….

Three words I would use to describe the new Henri-Lloyd Elite product. After wearing it for two weeks in tough conditions and open to the elements I felt the protection it provided. Above all, the connectivity I had with the gear meant I could move more quickly and precisely. This is very good essential equipment and there a lots of reasons why I would pick it over bulky heavy gear"

Charles Matthews
Professional Skipper (Clipper Round the Word Race)

The Lightest, Most Breathable Offshore Gear Ever, Without Compromise: or Elite product pages

Melges 32 Audi-Tron Sailing Series In Porto Ercole
Porto Ercole, Italy - The last day of the second stage of the 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series gave way to an incredible come-from-behind win for winner Richard Goransson aboard Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden, tactician Morgan Larson and crew members Warwick Fleury, Rodney Ardern, Filippo la Mantia, Marco Carpinello, Gosse de Boer and Davide Di Maio. A smashing good day on the race course afforded them two first place finishes, moving them from fourth overnight to the trophy seat on Sunday afternoon.

For Goransson, this was his first European event of 2014 and with its completion, he enjoys his first major win of the season.

Next up for the Melges 32 fleet happens very soon - 31 May thru 1 June in Talamone.

Top Five Results (Final - After Eight Races, 1 Discard)
1. Richard Goransson/Morgan Larson, Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden, 26
2. Valentin Zavadnikov/Michele Ivaldi, Synergy GT, 29
3. Mauro Mocchegiani/Branko Brcin, F. Giacomel Audi e-Tron, 30
4. Filippo Pacinotti/Gabrio Zandona, Brontolo HH, 40
5. Naofumi Kamei/Manuel Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!, 40

Full results:

Glyn Charles Memorial Open Pursuit Race
The 2014 Glyn Charles Memorial Open Pursuit Race (in aid of the John Merricks Sailing Trust) was won by Chris Powles in a Solo. The 88 entries were treated to pleasant day in Chichester Harbour with the light winds favouring the Solo, RS200 and Flying 15 classes. Second place went to James and Will Rusden in an RS200, followed by a fleet of Solo sailors: Rob Hack, Nick Peters and Greg Lamb, before the first Flying 15, that of Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado, took sixth place.

Fifty Years On From Eric Tabarly's Historic 1964 Victory
This past Sunday the Eric Tabarly Museum in Lorient, France hosted a day of celebrations to mark the occasion of Eric Tabarly's participation and historic win in the 1964 solo transatlantic race, then known as the OSTAR. With only two years to go to the next edition of this famous race, now known as The Transat since 2004, it is fitting that Tabarly's victory acts as a reminder of all that is great about this legendary race. The racing boats may have changed beyond all recognition in fifty years, but the essence of solo pioneering spirit, courage and determination remain the same today.

The second OSTAR in 1964 was the launch pad for one of the most influential figures in the history of single-handed sailing, the development of sailing as a sport in France and in offshore race boat design. In 1960 Francis Chichester had managed the North Atlantic crossing in 40 days, then 32 year-old French naval lieutenant Eric Tabarly won the 1964 race taking just 27 days, 3 hours and 56 minutes aboard his 44-ft ketch Pen Duick II. Publicity from the first OSTAR turned the second race, that started on 23rd May 1964, into a media circus with a number of the 15 competitors signed up by national newspapers.

Tabarly, the only Frenchman in the race, was the sailor's favourite for the race with the advantage of sailing the largest boat and the only one purpose built for the event. He had also carried out an in-depth study of the weather and was physically very fit, which was not the case for all the competitors! Arriving at the finish in Newport, Rhode Island, he had no prior knowledge of his win - he had not used his radio during the race - and, almost as a passing comment, let slip that his self-steering system had only worked for the first 8 days out of the 27 days it took him to complete the course.

Tabarly became an overnight hero in France and for his endeavour was presented with his country's highest honour, the Legion d'Honneur by President de Gaulle.

The next edition of The Transat is planned for May 2016

Fuel Cell Power Has All The Answers
What is it?
A fuel cell generates electricity from a chemical reaction in the 'stack' - a series of metal plates, each with an anode, a cathode and a membrane - by combining hydrogen with oxygen to produce water. Hydrogen derives from a variety of sources, including methanol. The oxygen is taken from the atmosphere.

What about noise and emissions?
The only by-products are water and heat, and depending on the fuel used, a little carbon dioxide (typically less than from a child's breath). There's no combustion, so noise levels are very low.

How do they cope with heeling?
A common misconception is that Fuel Cells will not cope with heeling. They can still operate at heel angles of 35° continually, and up to 45° for periods of 10 minutes. There is an auto shut-off if heel exceeds these levels; automatically switching itself on when more stable levels are reached.

Where can it be installed?
Because of the compact size many sailors install them in cockpit lockers without problems. The electronics inside have a protective coating to prevent corrosion. As with any on board electronics, they are best installed in a dry location.

Plans Afoot After Syd Fischer's Line Honours' And Record Victories
Syd Fischer has made some ambitious plans after sailing Ragamuffin 90 to successive line honours victories in the Rolex South China Sea Race in April and the Okinawa Tokai Race in May, in which he also broke the race record.

Apart from campaigning for a third line honours conquest in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Fischer has longer-term goals. In 2015, he proposes to take his 100ft super maxi to some major Rolex events: the Fastnet Race (which he won in 1971); the Maxi Yacht Cup and the Middle Sea Race. He also has other plans in the pipeline which he will divulge at a later date.

"I'm looking forward to taking on some new challenges," Fischer said this morning. It's good to keep setting goals for yourself and the crew - keeps you on your toes," he added.

The years have not slowed the 87 year-old down, in fact just the opposite is true. In the 27th South China Sea race, aboard the same yacht that won him line honours and the race record in the 2013 Rolex Hong Kong Vietnam Race, Fischer defeated a high-calibre international fleet of 33, the highest number of entries since the 20th century.

Despite the 720 nautical mile Okinawa Tokai Race being another light weather and tactically demanding affair, Team Ragamuffin led from start to end and came up with enough to break the record established by Bengal 7, which finished second on line to Ragamuffin 90 this year. Fischer also claimed second overall in IRC after finishing the race in 62 hours 30 minutes. -- Di Pearson

Rolex China Sea Race:
Okinawa Tokai Race:

Williams Reigns Supreme
The final day of the 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Regatta took place in glorious conditions, with 10 to 14kts of swinging south westerly enticing the Race Officer to set her course in Kowloon Bay for the third day in a row.

The final three flights of the round robin were dispatched without delay, resulting in a top ranking for David Gilmour, with Ian Williams second, Will Tiller, on the same points, in third and Jeremy Koo claiming the last spot in the semi finals ahead of Sam Gilmour.

Just as draws and boats were ready to start the final and petit final, a massive wind shift caused the Race Officer to relocate the entire course form Kowloon Bay to Kellett Island in a bid to capture the new Westerly. It took a couple of tries but, after one abandonment, the finals, pared down to best of three, were able to start.

The first flight resulted in a win for Tiller in the petit final and a win for Williams in the final. In the second flight, Williams and Gilmour both made a good entry, only for Williams to take Gilmour well outside the box in the dial up, with the result that Gilmour was still over at the start. From there, it was a straight-forward sail for Williams to wrap up the final and the title of 1O1O 4G Match Racing International Champion.

Final Results
1st - Ian Williams
2nd - David Gilmour
3rd - William Tiller
4th - Jeremy Koo

ICRA Drop Plans For New Cruiser Division
The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) has dropped plans to create a new handicap division at the bottom end of class 1 and the top of class 2 for its IRC national championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) next month, one of the biggest events of the Irish sailing calendar.

The ICRA event, that is aiming for a record entry of over 110 boats, is a handicap based regatta which means any decision affecting rating bands and in what class boats sail can be a contentious issue.

ICRA's handicapping chief Denis Kiely explained yesterday 'there wasn't enough interest/entries and while this is somewhat disappointing we have to work with what we have not what we would like to have'.

The turnaround means the championships will have a more traditional configuration of Divisions 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 in spite of the class band shake-up that was hinted at November's annual conference.

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+44 (0) 1590 679222

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The Last Word
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