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48 Days 07 Hours 44 Minutes 52 Seconds!
Photo by Thierry Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Groupama Jules Verne Record The Jules Verne Trophy now belongs to ten men who have sailed around the globe at an average of 18.76 knots along the optimum course, beating the reference time set by Orange 2 in 2005 by 2 days 08 hours 35 minutes. Franck Cammas and his men crossed the finish line off the Creac'h lighthouse at Ushant (Finistere) at 21h40'45" UTC Saturday 20th March. They are due to make the Port du Château in Brest at around 0900 UTC tomorrow.

The skipper Franck Cammas, navigator Stan Honey, watch leaders Fred Le Peutrec and Steve Ravussin, helmsmen/trimmers Loic Le Mignon, Thomas Coville and Lionel Lemonchois, and the three bowmen Bruno Jeanjean, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraes, supported on shore by router Sylvain Mondon, have pulled it off: they have beaten the round the world record under sail via the three capes!

In 48 days 07 hours 44 minutes, Groupama 3 has certainly had her highs and lows, as she hasn't always been ahead of the reference time set by Bruno Peyron and his crew in 2005. The giant trimaran had a deficit of just over 500 miles in relation to Orange 2 and was only able to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record thanks to a dazzling final sprint from the equator. At that stage they had a deficit of one day and two hours, but by devouring the North Atlantic in 6 days 10 h 35', Groupama 3 quite simply pulverised the reference time over this section of the course.

A number of France's top sailors, including Bruno Peyron, previous Jules Verne Trophy holder since 2005, have made the trip to Brest to welcome in the victorious crew. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Arrival of Groupama 3
Saturday 20th March 2010 at 21 hours 40 minutes 45 seconds UTC
In 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Improvement in relation to the previous record*
2 days 8 hours 35 minutes 12 seconds

*Subject to approval by the WSSRC
(Orange II - Bruno Peyron - in 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes and 4 seconds in 2005

Emirates Team New Zealand Wins Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland Racing under the colours of the host Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Emirates Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland regatta Sunday.

The Kiwi boat extended on every leg of the deciding five-mile race off Auckland's East Coast Bays against the Mascalzone Latino Audi team representing Club Nautico di Roma, which is the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup.

Emirates won the first race yesterday, and with their second victory today they went 2-0 in the Finals, which race officials shortened to a best-of-three contest due to light and uncertain winds. Right after the finish, the normally controlled and contained Emirates skipper Dean Barker had a broad smile on his face as he soaked his veteran team with champagne from a jeroboam of Moët et Chandon, not even sparing an event photographer who had climbed aboard for the occasion.

On their way to the finals, Emirates survived by one second a heart-stopping last-minute penalty turn in their match against Azzurra, the other Italian team. Today they left no doubts with a composed and clinical performance that only saw them threatened once.

Ashore after racing it was a flashback to the glory days of the America's Cups of 2000 and 2003, as crowds thronged the quayside in the Viaduct Basin and spectators crowded every vantage point on the moored boats and surrounding balconies.

Horns, sirens, cheers and applause greeted the Mascalzone Latino Audi boat as it docked at Market Square, its crew brandishing a giant banner that read "Thank you New Zealand." The Emirates boat arrived to more applause, flying a gigantic New Zealand blue ensign plus smaller national flags of all the competing countries.

The overall results are:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand, New Zealand
2. Mascalzone Latino Audi, Italy
3. Azzurra, Italy
4. Artemis, Sweden
5. All4One, Germany/France
6. TEAMORIGIN, Great Britain
7. ALEPH Sailing Team, France
8. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, Russia

* It was a long day of waiting for us today and finally we raced Azzurra for 3rd/4th place. The race was over just as it started. The jury decided we fouled Azzurra on the entry and penalized us. From there we hung close waiting for an opportunity to pass, which we almost did on the final run. It would have been a lot to ask to pass them and get a penalty on them but stranger things have happened. Unfortunately, in the only minor scrap we got into with them, the jury awarded us another penalty.

That was it for us. Hats off to Azzurra. They sailed well.

Still the big picture for Artemis is that it has been a fantastic two weeks of sailing, we beat some very good teams here. The competition is getting very tight and that means all the teams are catching up to Emirates Team New Zealand.

For WSTA and the Louis Vuitton Trophy, it has been a very successful two weeks as well. The sailing, much of it on the edge of too much wind, has produced some incredibly spectacular races. Most of the event was held in the shifty Southwesterly breeze which has allowed for lots of lead changes and the short course has meant high impact sailing.

The future is bright and now that America's Cup 33 is behind us, we can move forward in a collaborative way with the new Defender and Challenger of Record to shape the future. -- Paul Cayard

Iceland - In The Wake Of Viking
Click on image to enlarge.

Iceland Midnight Sun Race Are you looking for a new and fun place to visit this summer? If so, then Iceland is the answer. And it's closer than you might think: the distance from Scotland is just 440 km.Viewed from offshore, the snow-white glaciers sparkle alongside landscapes of ruggedly awesome beauty. The sea surrounding Iceland is home to various species of whale.

Iceland Midnight Sun Race 10th of July 2010
The Iceland Midnight Sun Race is a unique yacht race - the only one of its kind in the North Atlantic and is when the sun stays aloft around the clock! Travel arrangements for race teams and guests by or by phone +44 020 7717 1670

The 75-nautical-mile race starts in the town of Siglufjorour in North Iceland, and winds around Grimsey Island, which is traversed by the Arctic Circle.

Further information

Clipper 09-10 - Race 7: Qingdao To San Francisco
The Pacific Ocean is providing proof, if proof were needed, that you disrespect Mother Nature at your peril. The forecast deep low pressure system has reached the fleet and winds of more than 50 knots are producing some very challenging conditions for the teams, most of whom are sailing under bare poles - that is, with no sails - and are still making fast progress towards San Francisco.

All of the yachts have changed their heading slightly to try to avoid the worst of the storm. California's skipper, Pete Rollason, says, "We are sailing along with just the storm jib up and making good speed roughly on our desired course so all is not too bad. The deck is frequently awash with waves, one or two knocking the helmsman clean off their feet. The wind chill is bitter and the boat is like a cork bobbing around so speed is not easy. It is forecast to start easing down in 24 hours so we will continue to ride it out, while preserving crew and equipment so that we are all set for a hard push for home when this system has cleared."

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, well past the half way mark in their journey now, will have to postpone the celebrations having heard the news of the Scotland rugby team's victory in the Six Nations competition yesterday until the weather allows

Team Finland is approaching Yokahama in Japan where they will put in briefly to top up their fuel and fresh water tanks and take on extra containers of fresh water for the Pacific crossing. The crew has been working with the Clipper maintenance team and the manufacturer to diagnose a problem that has developed with their new water maker which was fitted and tested in Qingdao. The precautionary pit stop is a very minor diversion from their route and will not unduly delay the team's arrival in San Francisco where they will once again join the rest of the fleet.

The first yachts are due to arrive in San Francisco Marina between 1 and 4 April.

Positions At 1200 Utc, Sunday 21 March 2010

1. Cape Breton Island, 1994 nm to finsh
2. California, 203 nm to leader
3. Uniquely Singapore, 204
4. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 248
5. Qingdao, 383
6. Spirit of Australia, 410
7. Hull & Humber, 412
8. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 551
9. Team Finland, 2638
10. Cork, Did not start

Another Competitor For Jessica Watson
While Sunshine Coast teenager Jessica Watson is half way across the Indian Ocean and on the home run, and Californian Abby Sunderland is in the 'roaring' 40's in the Pacific Ocean and heading for Cape Horn, another still younger teenager is preparing for her own circumnavigation.

14-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker, forbidden by a children's court from sailing until 1st July, has purchased a new boat for her own proposed circumnavigation which she has confirmed she plans to commence in July or August. Laura has purchased a Jeanneau Gin Fizz, an older style and fairly inexpensive but highly regarded ketch which she is preparing for her journey. Laura has called the yacht Guppy, like her earlier yacht, and is planning a two-year cruising voyage around the world.

While the Gin Fizz is now out of production, the French-built yacht has a fine reputation as a solid and reliable cruising yacht. Laura's new boat is 37-foot aft-cockpit fibreglass ketch designed by Philippe Harlé. It was produced from 1974 to 1980.

Both Jessica Watson and Abby Sunderland are trying to become the youngest person to solo circumnavigate non-stop. Abby, five months younger, is not quite two months into her trip. So Jessica could set a record only to have it broken by Abby a few months later, and Abby could then lose it to Laura, who, even after a 'relaxed' two year odyssey, could still arrive home younger than both. -- Nancy Knudsen in

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18ft Skiffs Queen Of The Harbour
Sydney Harbour: Elizabeth Walsh became the 18 Footers Queen of the Harbour when she teamed with Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton to win the annual event with Gotta Love It 7 on Sydney Harbour today.

The race was sailed over a 3-buoys course in a 8-14 knot North East breeze and Gotta Love It 7 took the honours by 36s from Panasonic, skippered by Jonathan Whitty.

Third place went to, skippered by Euan Mc Nicol, which finished a further 32s behind Panasonic.

The Queen of the Harbour race has been sailed on Sydney Harbour since the 1930s with each boat having a female crew member on board for the day.

Each team had the option of sailing with a total crew of three or a crew of four.

Next Sunday is the final race of the 2009-2010 Season. It is the last race of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship.

Larry Ellison: Make America's Cup About Sailing, Not Money
There are many sides to Larry Ellison.

There is the taunting Larry, for instance, who delights in provoking whichever adversary crosses his sights. Then there's Larry the aesthete, a collector of Japanese art and patron to the artisans who crafted his Zenful California home. Less remarked upon is the shrewd Larry, builder of the strategically astute business juggernaut known as Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500).

It is only a bit surprising, then, to see yet another facet of the software mogul on a Saturday morning in late February at San Francisco's City Hall. Behold Larry Ellison, statesman, whose dream is to transform the world's most prestigious sailing race, the America's Cup, into a competition for mere millionaires, rather than billionaires like himself.

Ellison basks in their glory, and only later unveils his radical plan. "We'd like this to not be a matter of who invests the most money in designing their boat but who sails the best," Ellison tells Fortune after the TV crews and dignitaries are gone. Smarts, technology, marketing, planning, and design all should be a part of the mix, he says. "But in the end it's got to come down to: How good is your sailing team? How well do you call the wind? How good are your tactics? How well do you trim?"

Ellison seems to mean it. One of his favorite competitions besides the America's Cup is an international circuit in which all entrants sail identical boats, called RC 44s. He wouldn't suggest such a drastic break with tradition for the America's Cup, but he does want to alter the competition's design rules -- a prerogative of the winner -- so that it would take as little as $3 million to mount a campaign. That way national teams that have abandoned America's Cup racing, like Sweden and South Africa, would probably return. -- Adam Lashinsky, senior editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine

Full article at

Zwitserleven Sailing Week Continues High Performance Formula
Nacra Int. Championships 2010 and Grand Prix Slalom Windsurfing come to Texel

Texel/Netherlands: In 2010, the Zwitserleven Sailing Week continues last year's high performance formula. This means that the island of Texel is the centre of exhilarating water sports from Monday 14 to Saturday 19 June. Both catamaran sailors and windsurfers will jump into action. But demonstration sports with skiffs and kite surfers are also part of the programme. As always, the climax is the massive and, by now, legendary Zwitserleven Round Texel on Saturday 19 June. Then hundreds of multihulls participate in the world's biggest cat race. "The new approach made the Zwitersleven Sailing Week even more attractive to the public. According to the police, about 25.000 people visited the island on the day of the 'Round'. That's about 10.000 more than in previous years", says the spokesperson of the Zwitserleven Sailing Week.

On Monday 14 June the Zwitserleven Sailing Week starts with the Nacra International Championships and the Grand Prix Slalom for windsurfers (sanctioned by the International Funboard Class Association). The international contest among the Nacra sailors for the world's title lasts until Wednesday morning. The boards will compete for the last time during the finals on Saturday 19 June. That happens right after the gigantic catamaran fleet departs for its race around the Island of Texel.

On Saturday morning 19 June the flood line at Paal 17 (numbered post at the beach that indicates the location) changes into an impressive parade of brightly coloured catamarans. Once they have managed to break through the surf, they start to line up for the kilometre long starting line. At around 13:00, racing officer Jaap Tirion signals the start from a helicopter with a smoke signal. About 500 to 600 boats are expected to compete, including international top teams. Overall Zwitserleven Sailing Week winners and F18 World Champions of 2009 Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser will compete against multiple national F18 champions Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij. Heemskerk won the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race twice before. Strong foreign competition is also expected.

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 Rodney Challinor: The Louis Vuitton has been a great object lesson and blueprint on how to run a future America's Cup. The racing is amazing - tight and exciting. The on-the-water judging coupled with the on-board observers create a spactator experience - whether from 100 metres or half a world away - second to none. But above all, the LV website, even if understandably overloaded at times, is brilliant. Live coverage, visual, radio, running text and spoken commentary, are all there, with interesting interviews and discussions, all pitched at a level good for novices and experienced racing yachtsmen alike. And, if the NZ time difference is too much for you, the whole regatta is available to watch, as highlights and full replays, together with a host of news articles. Well done all!

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The Last Word
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -- Thomas Paine

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