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Transat Les Sables Les Acores Les Sables
33 solo sailors set sail from Les Sables d'Olonne Sunday, bound for Horta in the Azores archipelago. Attracting the top names from the Mini 6.50 class, the race boasts two candidates for the next Vendee Globe among its line-up. Both are performing well as the race gets underway.

The forecast was almost perfect for those firs few hours of navigation : 8-10 knots West to North West wind, slightly increasing during the night and veering aft. Everything would have been perfect if not for the rain that showed up about two hours before the start of the race.

Top five, protos:
1. Giancarlo Pedote, Prysmian
2. Davy Beaudart, Cultisol
3. Michele Zambelli, Fontanot
4. Ludivic Mechin, Microvitae
5. Nicolas Boldevezi, Senor Blue

Top five series
1. Tangy le Turquais, Terreal-Reve d'enfannt
2. Damien Cloarec,
3. Jonas Kerkens, Netwerk
4. Damien Audrain, EPC-reves De Clown
5. Jean-Marie Oger, Acebi

Commodores' Cup: Ireland Still Lead
Stronger winds and reaching conditions resulted in a shorter than anticipated offshore race that allowed crews to sleep in their own beds rather than spending a night at sea in the highest scoring race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

The course took the boats west out of the Solent, southeast down to a virtual gate 26 miles northeast of the Cherbourg peninsula, returning north to the New Grounds Buoy off the Nab Tower, then west to Bembridge Ledge buoy before a final beat to the finish line, just south of Gosport's Gilkicker Point.

The wind being further west and stronger than forecast resulted in a fast reach down to the virtual gate and it was the powerful reaching machines such as the Ker 40s and the brand new French Archambault A 13, Teasing Machine, that relished the conditions. "We had 20 knots - a good five knots more than forecast," recounted Nick Cherry, one of the two 'pros' on Robert Lutener's Ker 40, Cutting Edge, sailing in GBR Red. "We even had a mini broach out on the changeovers between helms. We were on the hottest angle we could hold the A2."

As forecast, the wind did drop and veer into the north as the boats sailed back towards the Nab Tower, but it never disappeared altogether and pre-race fears of a midnight park-up off Bembridge proved unfounded.

Among the Ker 40s, the first boat home was the `turbo-ed' Catapult of the Irish team, finishing at 22:26:32 BST

While the three Ker 40s claimed most of the top spots, the outright winner of the offshore race was Eric de Turkheim's mini VO70-like Teasing Machine, which finished 2 minutes 6 seconds ahead of Cutting Edge on corrected time.

Talk Farr 280 One Design : Talk Bang For Your Buck
Farr 280 One Design To find out more about this exciting race boat, book your place at the Farr 280 Presentation meeting to be held during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week*.

The Farr 280 One Design is a new production racing sailboat by Farr Yacht Design that delivers exciting grand prix racing in a boat that is under 30' long. As a modern one design, the Farr 280 delivers dynamic grand prix features and style in an affordable, smaller boat package. The boat displays ultra high performance on all points of sail, with a focus on inshore racing for moderate crew sizes of between five and six people.

With substantial UK and European interest in this high performance class, the time has come for potential owners to meet the designers and builders, to discuss the boat, race circuit and the future. If you want to sail fast, in large one design fleets and participate in events throughout the UK and Europe, then the Farr 280 is for you.

To book your space email

*date to be advised

2015 Class Schedule:

January 18-23 - Key West Race Week
February/March - Miami
April 16-19 - Charleston Race Week

UK Circuit:
May 22-24 - Farr 280 Open Regatta
June 25-27 - Farr 280 Regatta and J.P. Morgan Round the Island Race
July 25-27 - Farr 280 Class Regatta, Cowes
August 8-15 - Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
September 4-6 - UK Open Championship

ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship
Helsinki, Finland: Two practice days are behind the competitors and racing at the 2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship is set to commence on Wednesday 23 July.

Both Monday and Tuesday have been quite ideal conditions, having had nice moderate wind and sun. Only on Tuesday afternoon the wind got lighter. The teams have trained pre-starts, manoeuvres and done some practice races with the J80 boats. Tight races have shown the high level of the teams and promises good action for the rest of the week.

NJK is the oldest sailing club in Finland and has seen several Olympic medallists within its membership from 1910-2012, including Team Silja Lehtinen, London 2012 bronze medallists in Women's Match Racing.

Racing is scheduled to commence at 09:30 local time on 23 July and concludes on 27 July.

2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship Competitors:
Vladislav Abramov (RUS)
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)
Philip Bendon (IRL)
Valerio Galati (ITA)
Sam Gilmour (AUS)
Florian Haufe (GER)
Jakob Klitte (SWE)
Mark Lees (GBR)
Nelson Mettraux (SUI)
Pierre Quiroga (FRA)
Slawomir Plichta (POL)
Tyler Rice (ISV)
Markus Ronnberg (FIN)
Nevin Snow (USA)
Chris Steele (NZL)

Three Wins For Groupama 34 In Hyeres In Tour Voile
Franck Cammas and his crew haven't said their last word yet. With three wins today, they have closed the gap with Daniel Souben's Courrier Dunkerque 3, which is now just 13 points ahead of Groupama 34. But the team in the hot seat tonight is Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite. Nicolas Troussel is still third overall but only one point ahead of Team Oman Sail. If they can't make better starts, they will quickly fall off the podium, in the benefit of the Omani team who performed well today on the race course, finishing 3rd, 3rd and 5th.

The competition is also getting tighter amongst the Corinthian teams. Before they left the pontoon today, local team Toulon Provence Mediterranee - COYCH was only one point behind the leader Normandy Acerel. But Florian Simmonot and his team had a very bad day and lost 14 points on the leaderboard.

The unexperienced Belgian-Swiss team of Be. Brussel - Bienne Voile had their best result so far in the event with a 6th place in the third race.

On Wednesday the teams will have another big day in ligh winds, with two inshore races in the morning (first start at 10am) and an coastal race in the afternoon (start at 2.30pm) in the beautiful bay of Hyeres.

Overall ranking :
1. Courrier Dunkerque 3, Daniel Souben, 808 points
2. Groupama 34, Franck Cammas, 795
3. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Elite, skipper Nicolas Troussel, 757
4. Team OmanSail, skipper, Sidney Gavignet, 756
5. Ville de Geneve - Carrefour Addictions, Nicolas Groux, 701
6. Normandy - Acerel, Baptiste Choquenet, 686
7. Toulon Provence Mediterranee, Florian Simonnot, 672
8. Nantes Saint-Nazaire, Jean-Baptiste Gellee, 653
9. Be Brussels Bienne Voile, Delphine Wolters et Olivier Besire, 595

Amateur ranking :
1. Normandy - Acerel, Baptiste Choquenet, 686
2. Toulon Provence Mediterranee, Florian Simonnot, 672
3. Nantes Saint-Nazaire, Jean-Baptiste Gellee, 653
4. Be Brussels Bienne Voile, Delphine Wolters et Olivier Besire, 595

Andre Budzien Leads OK Dinghy Europeans
Andre Budzien (GER), the 2012 World Champion leads Greg Wilcox (NZL) the 2002 World Champion and Bo Petersen (DEN) the defending European champion after the first two races at the 2014 OK Dinghy European Championship in Steinhude, Germany.

It was a very hot and tricky day with the highly changeable winds producing a very mixed bag of results for most of the competitors as the hot German wind laid on challenging conditions for the competitors. But in contrast to recent days there was wind and the fleet set out on time.

However, just as the warning signal was about to to be made, the wind switched off and the fleets were made to wait in swelteringly hot conditions for just over an hour. Then, the wind made a welcome return from the same direction and stabilised at 8-10 knots... enough pressure to run two pretty good races.

Racing continues Wednesday from 12.00, with a forecast of slightly less wind than today.

Ten races are scheduled for the European Championship from Tuesday 22 July to Saturday 26 July. On the first day, the fleets will be split into two starts based on the latest OK Dinghy World Ranking list, and adjusted each day thereafter based on the overall positions at the end of each day. On the fourth and fifth days, the fleet will be split into gold and silver fleets. The warning signal for racing is scheduled for 12.00 each day. -- Robert Deaves

Top five after 2 races:
1. Andre Budzien, GER, 5 points
2. Greg Wilcox, NZL, 6
3. Bo Petersen, DEN, 6
4. Alex Scoles, GBR, 9
5. Andreas Pich, GER, 10

Centenary Of First Shot At Sea In The First World War
One hundred years after the first shot at sea was fired by the Royal Navy a day after the First World War in Britain was declared, the National Museum of the Royal Navy will mark the centenary by inviting a sail past by RN patrol vessel HMS Mersey off the Royal Yacht Squadron during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

It was on August 5th 1914 that the first shot at sea was fired from the gun of HMS Lance in the North Sea. The gun is now a permanent exhibit in the HMS - Hear My Story gallery at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

On Tuesday August 5th, 2014, a single cannon will be fired from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 1000hrs and spectators and competitors will join together for a one minute silence in memory of all those who have served in defence of the nation. A further cannon will signify the end of the silence. In addition, this year's race for The Britannia Cup, run by the Royal Yacht Squadron, will be held in commemoration of the centenary of the Great War at Sea.

The Royal Yacht Squadron played an important supporting role during the First World War. Members who owned large steam yachts were quick to offer their vessels to the Admiralty when war was declared and 38 were requisitioned.

Of the 38 yachts, four were sunk by mines, one was lost in a collision, one was wrecked while chasing a submarine in heavy weather and all the others survived the war. Four other yachts served as Hospital Ships and the club's headquarters (the Castle at Cowes) was opened up to convalescent naval officers.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy said: "It is commonly believed that the First World War was fought entirely in the trenches, however our naval forces were engaged in battle across the world. Some 43,244 naval personnel lost their lives during the war. That single shot from HMS Lance signified the start of a campaign at sea that came at considerable human cost."

Dutch Team Draws First Blood In Volvo Ocean Race Tune-Up
Three Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 crews - Team SCA, Team Brunel and Team Campos - went head to head in their first competitive clash of the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65s in the Round Canary Islands Race. The 670-nautical mile race around the seven Canary Islands began July 19, with the Dutch team led by skipper Bouwe Bekking getting the gun.

After the start on Saturday, the Spanish Team Campos of skipper Iker Martinez took the lead but by Sunday morning, Team Brunel took charge, leading the threesome on Monday (July 21) across the finish line off Marina Rubicon. It was a tight last 24 hour battle to the finish between Team Campos and Team SCA, with the Spanish team getting the edge by less than 9 minutes.

Of the three teams, Team SCA is the only one currently entered for the Round Britain and Ireland Race on August 10, where they compete against three of the other teams in the Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, and Dongfeng Race Team. -- Craig Leweck in Scuttlebutt

Belfast Secures Support For Tall Ships Return Next Summer
It's confirmed: Belfast will host the start of 2015's international Tall Ships Races.

According to BBC News, the tall ships will return to Belfast Lough for the first time since 2009 to coincide with next July's Titanic Maritime Festival.

The news follows more than two-and-a-half years from the original announcement by Belfast City Council, which has since secured sponsorship for its hosting of the event from German supermarket chain Lidl.

The tall-masted fleet's return to Irish shores will come three years after Dublin hosted the Tall Ships Races Festival.

Afloat magazine:

BBC Article:

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston To Present 2014 Haven Academy Award
Sail 4 Cancer, a charity set up by a group of keen sailors who had all lost a close friend or relative to cancer, is the winner of the 2014 Haven Academy Award having scooped 85% of the public vote.

The award will be presented by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of the Haven Academy, at a champagne reception at Port Hamble Marina, Southampton, on Thursday 24th July.

The Haven Academy will award Sail 4 Cancer a value of £5,000 in their valuable work enabling youngsters to experience sailing adventures where they can rebuild their confidence and create positive memories after months of treatment.

The Haven Academy is funded by boat insurance specialists Haven Knox-Johnston and provides awards of up to £5,000 to worthy projects who actively reach out to non-sailors, youngsters and the underprivileged by giving them the opportunity to experience sailing and boating which would otherwise not be available to them.

Details about the Haven Academy can be found at

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Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug. -- John Lithgow

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