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Round Ireland Yacht Race Start
Photo by David Branigan, Click on image for photo gallery.

Round Ireland 14:00 hrs yesterday saw the start off Wicklow of the 18th Round Ireland Yacht Race as 36 boats of varying classes headed south in good easterly winds and blue skies. The ebb tide and reasonable winds gave them a good run down the Irish Sea, but slack winds further down the south coast are holding them up now.

Unfortunately, Cosmic Dancer III - Baltic 37, Russell Walker, Haven Ports Yacht Club - took a dive into a big swell near the Tuskar Rock, blowing a spinnaker and breaking their pole along with some other damage, forcing them to call it a day. All is well with them and they are now in Dun Laoghaire awaiting repairs before heading home to the east coast of England.

With the fleet down to 35, the race trackers are showing that Monster Project, V 70 and home club entry (Wicklow SC) and Teng Tools Kilcullen - Open 60, Alan Crosbie & Enda O'Coineen, Royal Irish and National YCs - are continuing their duel and are within a mile of each other as they approach the Skelligs at 23:00 hrs BST. News Talk for Adrenalin - Farr 60, Joe McDonald, National YC - and Libertalia - Ocean 60, Team Jolokia, Lorient are about 10 miles behind the two front runners.

Back in the fleet, the boats have to seek out the wind in very light airs, with not much in the way of an improvement forecast for a while yet. Most of them are now around the Fastnet and trying to head NW up the beautiful West Cork and Kerry coast. Two times winner, Cavatina - Granada 38, Ian Hickey Royal Cork YC - looks good on corrected time so far and knows these waters very well.

Race Tracker

Mini Fastnet
They led the Mini Fastnet almost from start to finish. At 5:06 Friday morning, Damien Audrain and Pierre Brasseur (EPC - Dreams Clown) emerged in prototypes after an almost flawless race. In their wake, Luke Berry and Pierre Denjean (Wild Side) with which they fought almost from the start. Jean-Baptiste Daramy and Pierre-Francois Dargnies (Chocolate Paries - Sygespro) completed the podium.

In the Production series, a eventful race was played on this trip of 600 miles between Douarnenez and the Irish rock. Damien Cloarec Yannick Le Clech ( have won indisputably at 8:56 this morning. In their wake, two teams of rookies: the / Italian Fornaro Fredella (Sidereal) and the explosive duo Machado / Pahun.

Top Ten Finish time for the Production Boats

1. Damien Cloarec / Yannick Le Clech (
2. Andrea Fornaro / Raffaele Fredella (Sideral)
3. Arnaud Machado / Jimmy Pahun (Velasco II Du Leman a l'
4. Paul Claorec / Pierre Chedeville (Seaowl - Studio Andre)
5. Antonio Fontes / Mariana Lobato (Leonor)

Full production results

Top Five Finish time for Protos

1. Epc-Reves De Clown, Damien Audrain & Piere Brasseur
2. Wild Side, Luke Berry & Pierre Denjean
3. Chocolats Paries Sygespro, Jean-Baptiste Daramy & Pierre-Francois Dargnies
4. Lenger.Fr, Nicolas D'estais & Clement Bouyssou
5. Microvitae, Ludovic Mechin & Alan Roura

Full Protos results

Titans Gather
Marstrand, Sweden: Stena Match Cup Sweden, Stage 2 of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, celebrates its 20th birthday this week at the idyllic island of Marstrand on the West coast of Sweden. Joining the Alpari Tour Card Holders in this anniversary regatta will be two titans of the match racing community: Sweden's Magnus Holmberg and American Ed Baird.

The full line up this year counts 14 teams in total with racing taking place from 30 June through to 5 July. A full Qualifying round is scheduled followed by Quarter Finals on Friday morning, Semi Finals on Friday afternoon and continuing on Saturday morning and then the Finals on Saturday afternoon starting at 1300. The event will be streamed live on the Internet all week from Monday 30 June via and

Stage 2 Stena Match Cup Sweden, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar GBR
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour
Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork
Viktor Ogeman (SWE) Team Accure
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team
Magnus Hoimberg (SWE) Team Magnus Holmberg
Ed Baird (USA) Quantum Racing

Bullit and Illes Pitiuses Victorious at Coutts Quarter Ton Cup
Epic is without doubt the best way to describe the concluding day of the tenth anniversary Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. In the opening race places eight to twenty three were separated by less than a minute on corrected time. In the final race showdown second to sixth place were separated by only six seconds. Warm sunshine and a southwesterly breeze that built from just below ten knots to over fifteen, ensured perfect conditions and Race Officer Rob Lamb took full advantage to get the final three races of the series completed in rapid order.

The podium positions all went down to the final race and on the line is was so close that it wasn't until the teams were back ashore and the results had been formally calculated that the top three could be confirmed. Ultimately Peter Morton's Bullit (1979 Jacques Fauroux), crewed by Kelvin Rawlings, Jules Salter, Anthony Haines and Jason Carrington, claimed victory by 6.5 points from Rickard Melander's Alice II (1990 Phil Morrison), crewed by Fredrik Brotell, James Hynes, David Lenz and Tom Wilson, with Willie McNeil's Illegal Immigrant (1991 Ceccarelli), crewed by Willie McNeil, Nigel Young, Toby Mumford, Duncan and Mark Yeabsley, third.

In the Corinthian Division overall victory went by five points to Jason and Dominic Losty's Illes Pitiuses (1983 Fauroux), crewed by Mark Mansfield, Jack Trigger and Adam Mundy, who also finished in fifth place overall.

Overall Top Five
1. FRA7891 Bullit - Peter Morton, 15 points
2. SWE744 Alice II - Rickard Melander, 21.5
3. GBR501 Illegal Immigrant - William McNeil, 34
4. GBR8414R Aquila - Sam Laidlaw, 38.5
5. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason & Dominic Losty, 41

Corinthian Top Three
1. IRL1392 Illes Pitiuses - Jason and Dominic Losty, 9
2. FRA12130 Pinguin Playboy - Pierre Paris, 14
3. GBR7070 Purple Haze - Phil Cook, 33

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

Seahorse Magazine

Ever shrinking
Dobbs Davis looks at some of the rigging innovations on Niklas Zennstrom’s latest mini maxi

Dave Hollom took some time out from designing foils to have a crack at a new International 14... and things have worked out rather well

Off the shelf
Magnus Clarke and his skipper Fred Eaton are taking a break from C-Class racing but not before putting in place a brilliant new initiative to encourage wider growth in the fleet

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Last Chance
The fourth and final leg of the 2014 miles La Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire started spectacularly on Sunday off Les Sables d'Olonne in a brisk 20-22kts NW'ly breeze and choppy seas. Ahead is a complex 490 miles finale which will require four key transition zones to be mastered between the start in bright Atlantic coast sunshine at 1700hrs local time this afternoon and the finish in Cherbourg-Octeville where the leaders are forecast to arrive anytime between late Wednesday and the Thursday afternoon.

For the English and Irish contingent the eyes are on the Beneteau Bizuth or Rookies prize where two of the young Artemis Offshore Academy skippers Sam Matson and Rich Mason hold second and third on the Rookies' Podium. Matson is top placed British skipper in a very creditable 14th overall on his debut and is 32 minutes behind the leading rookie, Gwenolet Gahinet on Safran-Guy Cotton.

The course takes the fleet outside the Chaussee de Sein and Ushant and then draws them back in to the very NW corner of Brittany, across the Channel to the Manacles at Falmouth, upwind the Needles at the west of the Isle of Wight before crossing back to the finish off Cherbourg.

Top Five Standings Overall Going into Leg 4

1. Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) 10 days 18hours 32secs
2. Corentin Horeau (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance) + 15m 13s
3. Charlie Dalin (Normandy Elite Sailing Team) +18m 57s
4 Gildas Mahe (Interface Concept) +24m 02s
5 Alexis Loisin (Groupe Fiva) +51m 30s

Hardesty Claims Third Etchells Worlds Title With Race To Spare
AUS 1383 is John Bertrand returning to Newport after 31 years. Photo by Daniel Forster, Click on image for photo gallery.

Etchells Worlds Newport, Rhode Island, USA: Consistency is king and Bill Hardesty and crew of Stephanie Roble, Taylor Canfield and Marcus Eagan have earned the 2014 Etchells World Championship by sticking to a steady plan for success.

The plan was formulated 6 months ago, when Hardesty put together his young team consisting of Match Race World Champion Taylor Canfield and top women's match racer Stephanie Roble - 25-year-olds eager to dedicate themselves to a worthy goal. Add in top trimmer Marcus Eagan and the team was complete.

Winning the last race was Peter Duncan, who had local ties. "We didn't sail a particularly great series," said Duncan. "Our expectations were certainly higher, so this was great to end on a high note, which is better than the alternative." Duncan's crew included former world champion Jud Smith and Thomas Blackwell.

Competitors will look forward to the 2015 Etchells Worlds which will be held in Hong Kong, hosted by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, November 1 to 7, 2015.

Final Top-10 Results

1. Line Honors, Bill Hardesty, USA, 62.0 points
2. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic, HKG, 97.0
3. The Martian, Marvin Beckmann, USA, 100.0
4. KGB, Senet Bischoff & Ben Kinney, USA, 113.0
5. Aretas, Skip Dieball, Beaver Dam, USA, 122.0
6. Hank Lammens, CAN, 134.0
7. Triad, John Bertrand, AUS, 142.0
8. Arethusa, Phil Lotz, USA, 151.0
9. La Tormenta, Shannon Bush, USA, 159.0
10. Lifted, Jim Cunningham, USA, 160.0

Complete results

Stark Raving Mad and Simpatico Win Onion Patch Divisions
The Onion Patch series had two winners in 2014, Jim Madden's Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad VII won the traditional IRC series and the Henry B. DuPont Memorial Trophy. William Riley in his Pearson 39 Simpatico won the new ORR scored Navigator's Race Series and the new Richard Kempe Memorial Trophy. Mrs. Neil Kempe presented the new trophy in her husband's memory. Dick Kempe, a past commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, was instrumental in introducing the Cruiser Division into the Newport Bermuda Race in 1990.

Organizers had added a new, more relaxed Navigators Race Series format for the 25th running of the traditional series. The NYYC and RBYC each added a round the cans flexi-course for each day of racing. The new series for cruiser oriented race programs was scored under ORR ratings.

Three teams competed for the Onion Patch Trophy. The Storn Trysail Team - Andrew & Linda Weis' Christopher Dragon, Leonard Sitar's Vamp and James D. Bishop's Gold Digger topped the field team nipped the field with 72 points. The USNA team was just 1.75 points behind. Constellation, and two Navy 44's Swift and Defiance represented the Naval Academy. The NYYC Blue team - Carina, Entropy and Temptation - was third with 98.25 points. -- Talbot Wilson

Five-Team Final Race Shoot-Out
After four days and 22 races, Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Saint Petersburg presented by Land Rover came down to an edge-of-the-seat final race shoot out, with five teams gunning for the podium and no room for error. The game of Russian roulette between The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi continued until the final double pointer, but the Omani team needed seven boats between them to overhaul the Swiss - which proved too tall an order for Leigh McMillan, and Alinghi comfortably took their third Act win of the season.

Emirates Team New Zealand welcomed world-class tactician Ray Davies to the team in Saint Petersburg, and the pairing of Davies with skipper Peter Burling at the back of the boat, quickly gelled. The Kiwi crew finished the day in style, winning the last race, consolidating their position both in Saint Petersburg and on the overall Series leaderboard, where the team are currently third.

Six short, sharp races were sailed on the final day.

Final standings:

Position / Team / Points
1. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 160 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 148
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Ray Davies, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 146
4. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Phil Sparks, Matt Cornwell, 120
5. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Denis Girardet, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, 117
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested, 113
7. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 97
8. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 96
9. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson, 95
10. GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski, 88
11. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 88
12. RussianFirst (RUS) Georgy Shayduko, Sergey Dzhienbaev, Pavel Kalinchev, Leonid Kazinets, Pavel Karachov, 40

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 Keith Barker: It really scares me that they are seriously considering to develop unmanned ships to traverse the seas. There are many serious accidents now with loss of life when ships log in waypoints for the autopilot and rely on radar and AIS to warn the crew of possible collisions. There are many tales of yachts and fishing boats being almost run down by ships that appear to have no lookouts or anybody on the bridge. Look at the congestion at the entrance to our busy harbours, especially where ferries are involved, think of the carnage of one of these unmanned vessels ploughing on through, to dock at its prearranged wharf. Hopefully the powers that be will look to safety first and not the pound in the pocket of the ship owners.

* From George Morris: In a country where there is seldom much sailing on the telly, the online offerings of the World Match Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series are my lifeline to the world of competitive sailing. The production is not as good as the America's Cup but it seems to be affordable and thus we get to watch competitive sailing. I have a few 'inputs' though. Why is the Extreme Sailing website so awful?. This afternoon none of the links to videos or the SAP computer tracking worked and there was no indication when the replay would be available or where. A blind dive into YouTube, however, produced a recording of today's racing, such as it was. But why do they call it 'Extreme'? Though the coverage is liberally laced with repeats of three-year-old crash footage, it is rare for these events to be conducted in anything stronger that drifting conditions.

The same is true of the WMRT. Racing in light winds is fascinating and makes for a much more interesting competition that racing in steady winds, but 'extreme' it is not. And then there is the commentary. The commentators are undoubtedly knowledgable but why do they adopt largely fake playground cockney accents with no consonants and excessive glottal stops - 'talking rough' as my mother used to call it? As with all sailing commentaries they seem unsure who their audience is - mostly they don't fall into the trap of explaining why boats have to tack upwind but several times it was explained that the spinnaker was the big white sail at the front.

Among the 98 viewers that had watched the video before my arrival, there can't have been many who don't know what a spinnaker is; (as an aside, next time there is a gap in the action, I challenge the commentators to explain why a boat has to tack downwind. Really explain, like where does the extra energy come from?!). One piece of schadenfreude I got from yesterday's footage was the discovery that I am not the worst multihull starter in the world - that title is held by Ben Ainslie!

* From Benjamin Heslop, re: unmanned ships: I take it this isn't left over from April 1st? I find it hard to believe that the DFT and MCA can allow such a thing while telling those training and qualifying with them that they can't rely on electronic data broadcast from another vessel's AIS - the concept is identical.

Furthermore the MCA have introduced re qualification in respect of celestial navigation this year for professional yachtsmen as they believe there is too much reliance on electronic navigation. So when the GPS goes down who on the robot ship will pull out the sextant and do the calculations?

I find it impossible to believe that these vessels can reasonably conform to IRPCS rules 5 and 6. I know military hardware exists to make remote vision and sound exceptionally accurate, but it still doesn't beat sticking your head out of the window on the bridge wing.

They will still need the qualified merchant officers to run the vessel remotely - I have seen enough electronic NARAS training suite accidents to be concerned that even those qualified for the role do a far better job on the water in full view of all elements.

I hope this is a gimmick which won't come to pass.

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