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Spectacular Start In Porto Cervo
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Porto Cervo, Italy: The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, started today in the beautiful waters of the Costa Smeralda.

The start was delayed as a strong westerly wind, gusting over 30 knots ripped through in the morning but by the afternoon this was replaced by a north westerly wind of about 17 knots. The significant sea state remained, as racing got underway at shortly after 1300 ECT. A coastal course through the beautiful waters of the La Maddalena archipelago was set for all classes.

The first start was for the eagerly anticipated Mini Maxi Racing Class, the strongest fleet in the five year history of the class. After a race lasting three and a half hours, less than four minutes separated first from last after time correction.

Andres Soriano, racing Mills 72, Alegre won the first encounter by just one minute and 46 seconds on corrected time from Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente. Niklas Zennstrom's JV72, Ran 5 was just 11 seconds behind Bella Mente in third.

The Wally Class is the largest class racing at the 2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, with nine magnificent Wallys taking part. Today's first race was won by Jean Charles Decaux's J One, the reigning Wally champion.

* After three and a half hours and more than 36 miles of close, coastal racing only five seconds separated the first and second J Class yachts at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup off Sardinia but both the victors Ranger and the first J to break the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda finish line today, Rainbow, had good reason to be delighted with their best race successes this season.

Ranger went from fourth to lead, only narrowly losing out to Rainbow when they went head to head around the top of the Barrettinelli islands. Rainbow eked out a small lead on the final long reach to the finish line, but Ranger - the older, heavier boat - corrected out as winner by just five seconds.

The first race of the series took the fleet clockwise around the islands of La Maddalena and Caprera.

RORC and RCYC To Merge
Members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Cowes (RCYC) have confirmed that the two clubs will merge to form one club. At Extraordinary General Meetings of RCYC (held on 24 August) and RORC (held on 28 August) an overwhelming majority of members voted in favour of the merger, in the case of RORC 93% and in the case of RCYC (Cowes) 87% of members that voted.

Established in 1925, the RORC celebrates its 90th year in 2015 and this is seen as an important milestone in the history of the club which has created a worldwide reputation through the management of world class events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race and more recently the RORC Caribbean 600, in addition to an extensive programme of other races, including the inaugural 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race.

The RCYC Clubhouse, situated off the Parade, Cowes, Isle of Wight and popularly known as Castle Rock, has stunning views over the Solent. Built in the 18th century as a beerhouse for fishermen, the Cowes outpost of the RCYC was founded in 1948

The combined Club will operate under the name of RORC although the Royal Corinthian name will be preserved for use in connection with the Cowes clubhouse and Solent based inshore racing. The headquarters of the Club will remain at the London clubhouse in St James's.

The effective date of the merger is to expected to be 10 November 2014.

Marinepool - Clothing Partner of the Extreme Sailing Series™
Marinepool is widely regarded as one of the leading sailing clothing and maritime lifestyle brands and is the "Official Clothing Partner" of the Extreme Sailing Series™.

We have built a reputation for outstanding quality, excellent service and quick and reliable deliveries. These are only a few of the reasons why no less than 4 of this year´s teams in the Extreme Sailing Series™, among them 2012 and 2013 Champions The Wave, Muscat, are racing in Marinepool kit.

Using only the best materials and state of the art production technologies, no detail is omitted to ensure every product is optimized before it reaches the market. More than 23 years of experience and design excellence, plus the invaluable input of the world class athletes proudly wearing Marinepool garments, guarantee the products are at the cutting edge of technology.

Uncompromising, highly functional and extremely light weight; Tested and approved by many of the world's finest sailors.

As a group of companies with German roots and head quarters, operating in 43 countries, with product lines ranging from performance sailing clothing and a test winning life jacket range to maritime fashion, Marinepool is uniquely qualified and the perfect match for the clothing requirements of YOUR sailing team or company.

Purchase the Extreme Sailing Series™ Collection by Marinepool directly from the official online store: or contact us for your customized team wear on

Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.

New Boat For Alex Thomson
Alex Thomson Racing has announced the build of the new HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60 to be launched in summer 2015, with the aim of winning the 2016 Vendee Globe.

The plans the Alex Thomson Racing Team are making in this period will have a significant effect on the competitiveness of the skipper and the boat years in advance of races such as the Vendee Globe. The Team aims to put Alex Thomson on the start line of the Vendee Globe with a boat that is good enough to win.

The Alex Thomson Racing Team have been sponsored by HUGO BOSS since 2003 and have secured continued sponsorship until 2018.

The Team have chosen Guillaume Verdier and the VPLP Team to design the new HUGO BOSS. The Team are currently in negotiations with Hythe based Green Marine to complete the build. The boat will be launched in summer 2015, withthe objective to be race ready to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre in late October 2015.

The hull shapes of the 2016 Vendee Globe IMOCA 60s are likely to be an evolution of the current boats, but one area that has seen significant R&D is the new types of appendages. The IMOCA class has always led in the development of new concepts in offshore racing and will again push the boundaries during the 2016 cycle.

In the meantime, Alex Thomson is preparing to take on the Barcelona World Race, the double handed, non-stop, round the world race, on December 31st 2014 together with co-skipper Pepe Ribes.

50 Entries and Counting for Rolex Sydney Hobart
It's all about the numbers for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with entries in the 70th edition of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's blue water classic swelling to 50, including classic yachts such as Love & War and the high-tech flying machines like Ichi Ban.

Noel Sneddon's Vickers 41 C.Q.R IT Inca (pronounced secure it) was the 50th entrant to be received by the CYCA. The sturdy workhorse from the ACT also serves as Sneddon's home and spends most of her time in Airlie Beach.

C.Q.R. IT Inca last competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2012, and was the second last boat to cross the finish line, arriving just a few minutes before the 9.30pm New Year's Eve fireworks.

Yachting Australia President and Past CYCA Commodore Matt Allen worked with the Carkeek team to ensure his latest 60 foot Ichi Ban, was at the cutting edge of yacht racing design when he launched the boat just 10 months ago. Since then, Ichi Ban was declared overall winner and claimed line honours in the CYCA's Sydney Newcastle Race and finished second at Airlie Beach Race Week.

Allen will be competing in his 25th Sydney Hobart, joining 116 yachties who have achieved this milestone, including 12 who have completed 40 plus Hobarts.

Other notable entries include Tony Kirby's year-old Patrice, which made a big impression winning the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship, then reeled of second places at the Festival of Sails, Sail Port Stephens and the Audi IRC Australian Championship. In August, the Ker 46 won six from six races at Airlie Beach Race Week.

Entries in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 close on Friday 31 October 2014 at 1700hrs AEDT. -- Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media

Kru Sport and R10: The Ultimate Combination at Southampton Boat Show
Ocean Safety have integrated a couple of vital safety products which when combined increases the chances of survival at sea for a person overboard. The combo will be displayed on their stand G125.

They are the Kru Sport Pro lifejacket which is the choice of many of the crews of the imminent Volvo Ocean Race and the Kannad R10 AIS Survivor Recovery System (SRS), which, when fitted to the Sport Pro provides a crew member in the water with the best chance of being located.

The Sport Pro's waistcoat design makes it very comfortable and barely noticeable to wear and that's why it's more likely to be worn for longer periods by sailors at sea on tough ocean races or long distance cruises.

To win a Kru Sport Pro lifejacket, head to the Ocean Safety stand G125 at Southampton Boat Show 2014 and enter their competition for your chance to win.

Team NZ Sailors Sign with Danish Team
Team New Zealand veterans Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse have signed on with Denmark's late entry in the round the world yacht race.

With Chris Nicholson, the Australian who skippered Team New Zealand's Camper in the last Volvo Ocean Race, confirmed as captain of the Danish entry, a Kiwi presence on the boat was always likely.

Team New Zealand's absence from the next race that starts from Spain in October, always left their sidelined sailors vulnerable to other competing teams and they have been regularly picked off over the last few months.

Rae and Salthouse are impressive signings for the Danes who have lined up an international crew of two New Zealanders, two Australians, two locals and one sailor each from Ireland, Holland and Argentina.

The 48-year-old Salthouse was Nicholson's right-hand man on the last race where Camper finished second. -- Duncan Johnstone in the

Barge History Reveals 80-Foot Theatre Vessel Has Colourful Past
It is to take up a new berth in Lough Derg next week, but the history of a barge docked at Customs House Quay as a performance theatre is every bit as colourful and exciting as the play it's hosted over the past three weeks writes Andrew Carey.

The 80-foot barge "Spera in Deo" (Trust in God) or "T82" was built in Holland in 1895 and although used as a cargo vessel, the records show she was originally a sailing ship.

Converted to a mussel dredger in 1924 by the Blommaert family in Zierikzee, the boat remained in Holland until 1983 when it was brought to Kerry where it operated for a number of years. It left the southern shores for Greencastle in Donegal where it became one of the first dredgers to fish mussels on the River Foyle.

Vose Wraps Up RYA Youth Match Racing Crown
The 2014 RYA Youth National Match Racing Championship title was decided this weekend (30-31 August) as Annabel Vose and her crew of Tim Gratton and Matt Wallis came out on top at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Competing in the RYA's fleet of former Olympic class Elliot 6m boats, the eight teams enjoyed perfect conditions across the two days of racing in which the full schedule of the round robin, semi-finals and final was completed.

20-year-old Vose, who was crowned FISU (International University Sports Federation) Women's Match Racing World champion in July, continued her impressive display of match racing skills to seal event honours with a 3-1 victory over Connor Miller in Sunday's final.

Vose, a second year student at Southampton University, is now looking forward to competing at the RYA National Match Racing Series Grand Final at Queen Mary Sailing Club (14-16 November). -- Matt Carter

2014 RYA Youth National Match Racing Championship results:

1. Annabel Vose, Tim Gratton, Matt Wallis
2. Connor Miller, Mike Matthews, Jay Stacey
3. Tom Harrison, Emily Nagel. Sophie Heritage
4. Robert Bunce, Tom Hemmingway, Emily Kinver
5. Sam Maycock, Alex Truman, Tom Callan
6. Arthur Bruce, Hannah Brant, Harry Bruce, Giles Oldershaw
7. Michael Dennis, Keir Williams, Jude McFarlane-Bond
8. Sammy Isaacs-Johnson, Zac Saunders, Matt Hill

Lorient Horta Solo: Gwenole Gahinet In The Starting Blocks
On Saturday, September 6, the skipper of the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten will start the final race of the season, the Lorient Horta Solo. This race is a round trip (2,260 miles in total) between Lorient and the island of Faial in the Azores. It is a straightforward route, but a strategic race, for which Gahinet has prepared keenly.

There will be 20 competitors at the start of this new biannual race on the Figaro class calendar. This year, the Lorient Horta Solo will close the Championnat de France Elite de Course au Large en Solitaire (France's elite offshore solo sailing championship), so the sailors will be giving everything on this long race where sleep management and weather analysis will be crucial. "You have to get into a good rhythm and analyse the weather properly," Gahinet says. "I love it, I'm more comfortable on longer routes than on round the cans races. Also, it will be the first time I have sailed to Azores in the race."

In his first season in Figaro, Gahinet has already had some very impressive results. He won the Transat AG2R LA MONDIALE with Paul Meilhat, he was the leading rookie and 13th overall in La Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire.

On Sunday, August 31, the prologue for Lorient Horta Solo will begin in the famous harbour of Lorient. Then, on Saturday, September 6, the fleet of 20 Figaro will depart from Lorient BSM (the submarine base) to the Azores. After a five-day stopover in Horta, the sailors will resume the race, with arrivals expected in Lorient from September 26 to 28.

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Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

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