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Victory For Team Alvimedica, Glory For Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Team Alvimedica's skipper Charlie Enright won the final offshore battle of the Volvo Ocean Race here today, but the overall trophy belonged firmly with his rival from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker.

The Turkish/American boat led the tightly packed fleet home to crowded docks in the final stopover in Gothenburg, Sweden, to bring to a close 38,739 nautical miles (nm) and nine months of some of the closest racing ever witnessed in the 41-year-old offshore marathon.

The Team Alvimedica victory underlined, once more, the incredibly close nature of competition in the first event raced with strictly one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats.

Only one team, Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS), have failed to win a leg - and they missed five because of a boat rebuild.

Behind Enright, in fifth, Walker's boat, Azzam, slipped almost quietly into port, but the mile-wide smiles on all the crews' faces told their own story: We are the Champions!

It seals one of the greatest global sporting triumphs for the Gulf region and makes Walker the first British skipper to win the overall trophy.

The Chinese boat Dongfeng was forced to relinquish their hoped-for second place in the leg to Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), whose finish secured the runners-up spot in the overall standings.

Despite not being able to hold off Spanish challengers, MAPFRE (Iker Martinez/ESP), for third position, Charles Caudrelier's crew still took the final place on the podium in third place overall - an incredible result with four Chinese rookie sailors in their ranks.

Leg 9 Finish positions:
1. Team Alvimedica, FINISHED - 04d 09h 00m 53s
2. Team Brunel, FINISHED - 04d 09h 24m 18s
3. MAPFRE, FINISHED - 04d 09h 29m 07s
4. Dongfeng Race Team, FINISHED - 04d 09h 31m 56s
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, FINISHED - 04d 10h 17m 41s
6. Team Vestas Wind, FINISHED - 04d 11h 30m 21s
7. Team SCA, FINISHED - 04d 11h 39m 05s

Final Overall Volvo Ocean Race Standings:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 24 points
2. Team Brunel (Netherlands) 29
3. Dongfeng Race Team (China) 33
4= Team Alvimedica (Turkey/USA) 34
4= MAPFRE (Spain) 34
6. Team SCA (Sweden) 51
7. Team Vestas Wind (Denmark) 60

Marion Bermuda Race
As of 1300hrs EDT on Monday June 22 'Mischievous', the scratch (fastest) boat in the fleet was still leading the fleet. As she rockets down the rhumb line to Bermuda at 10-11kts she keeps clicking minutes off of her ETA in Bermuda. Her estimated arrival time is just after 1900 ADT in Bermuda.

The sleek white sloop is skippered by Charles Cahill is the 'big boat' in the Mass Maritime Academy stable. She is being sailed by a youthful crew of cadets. Much of the race she was also the leader of Class A on corrected time, but now is 4th. Chip Johns' Baltic 58 'Margalo' now stands first in Class A on Corrected time according to Yellow Brick data. 'Defiance' the Swan 56 is second and the J46 'Ariel' has moved into 3rd.

Two boats from Class A have retired. 'Kiva' an Aerodyne 47 ripped her mainsail and 'Free Range Chicken' had a rigging failure.

The lowest, slowest handicapped boat in Class C, 'Silhouette', a Cherubini 44 skippered by David Caso, is also the corrected time leader. Standing 2nd is 'Black Mallard' a Cardinal 46 skippered by Tracy Day McRoberts, the top female skipper in the race. 'Attitude'. A Beneteau 423 skippered by Shawn Dahlen is 3rd.

The smallest boats, those in Class D, are led by 'TI' an Alden Mistral 36 sailed by Gregg Marston. Following in 2nd is 'Trust Me' the Moody 47 skippered by Jeff Dowling. In 3rd is the  'Free Spirit' sailed by Thomas Stokes. Is Fearr Cara has retired.

* With great regret, the trustees of the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association are sad to announce that one of the sailors on the 2015 race now in progress has died of natural causes. 

On Saturday night the crew of 'Legacy V' were enjoying a great sail with laughter and jokes all around when crewman Bill Fasnacht of Mystic CT fell over unconscious. The crew tried CPR for an hour, used the onboard defibrillator and all other methods at hand but without success. The boat is returning home to the US.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Win The Volvo Ocean Race With Help From Exposure's X2
Exposure X2 Justin Slattery, trimmer on board Azzam says, "The Exposure X2 is a brilliant search light and its red beam spotlight options means the ADOR team can keep trimming all night as if it was still daylight, with no concerns about damaging our night vision."

The unique versatility of the X2 is highlighted by Matt Knighton, on board reporter on Abu Dhabi's Ocean Racing. Matt caught the X2 in action whilst Azzam hit a wooden crate in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (see video). A swimmer is required to dive under the yacht to free the debris at night.

The Exposure X2 has three red modes - the high beam will easily spot the tell-tales at the top of a Volvo 65 mainsail, medium for all round work and low beam for close up work on deck. Plus, it has three white beam modes, with the high setting creating a 573 lumens searchlight with a 162m beam distance. IPX8 rated to three metres depth, the X2 also features a Strobe and SOS function too should you need it in an emergency.

Contact Ocean Safety for more information.

The Wave, Muscat Are Crowned Cardiff Champions Once Again
Leigh McMillan, with double Olympic gold medallist tactician Sarah Ayton and the team on The Wave, Muscat, stormed to an impressive win, putting the Omani team back in the lead at the half way stage of the eight-Act Extreme Sailing 2015 Series.

Topping the leaderboard after 32 gruelling races The Wave, Muscat, took control in the wild conditions, posting five podium finishes on the final day and more podiums over the event than any other team.

At the halfway mark of the Series just three points separate the top three boats, with The Wave, Muscat now leading the charge one point ahead of second place SAP Extreme Sailing Team with Red Bull Sailing Team in third.

Position / Team / Points
1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 268 points
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Jeremy Bachelin, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 250
3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand, 245
4. GAC Pindar (GBR) Chris Draper, Seve Jarvin, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski, Kazuhiko Sofuku, 232
5. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov, 213
6. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi, 193
7. Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) Mitch Booth, Can Bayulken, Selim Kakış, Diogo Cayolla, Pedro Andrade, 173
8. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Andrea Tesei, Tom Buggy, Stefano Ciampalini, 144

Kieler Woche
After three days of racing, the race directors of the Olympic classes can relax a little at the Kieler Woche. Although the weather forecast in the past days was not very promising, almost all races were sailed. On Monday they organisers were forced ta make quick decisions, since local weather systems affected the wind on the race courses in the afternoon. But since then, the major part of the program had already been sailed.

Class leaders

2.4mR (open): Bjornar Erikstad, NOR, 14 points
49er: Justus Schmidt / Max Boehme, GER, 19.5
49er FX: Annemieke Bekkering / Daniel Bramervaer, NED, 11
Nacra 17: Paul Kohlhoff / Carolina Werner, GER, 9
Finn: Deniss Karpak, EST, 6
470 M: Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic, CRO, 8
470 W: Lara Vadlau / Jolanta Ogar, AUT, 5
Laser Standard: Tobias Schadewaldt, GER, 6
Laser Radial: Tina Mihelic, CRO, 7
Farr 30: Dr. Harald Bruning, GER, 4
Melges 24: Kim Christensen / Peter Jakobsen, Jamie Lea, Henriette Frislev, Celine Carlsen, DEN, 6
J/70: (6) 1. Hugo Rocha / Alexey Semenov, Fran Palacios, Ruben Castells. ESP, 14
J/80: Martin Menzner / Frank Lichte, Mika Rolfs, Carsten Hopp, GER, 8
Albin Express: Arne K Larssen / Nils Albrecht, Steffen Mühlenkamp, Merle Risy, Sebastian Hantke, SWE, 8 12mR: Josef Martin, GER, 11

Class Divisions Determined For 2015 Transpac Starts
The measurement data is in and ratings calculated for most entries in the 48th biennial Transpac, and so Division splits have been made and the start dates determined for the 61 boats in this 2015 fleet. All starts will be held about one mile south of Point Fermin in Los Angeles, and are in reverse order of predicted speed on the 2225-mile course to the finish line off Diamond Head in Honolulu.

On Monday, July 13th will be the most populated start of the race, with the ten boats in Division 7 and twelve boats in Division 8 starting their race to paradise. Of the entries in Division 8, all but two meet the criteria for Aloha Division scoring of boats that are heavy, traditional, cruising-type yachts.

In the 2013 race, the overall corrected time winner came from this class.

Next in the starting blocks will be the six entries of Division 4, the nine Fabulous Fifties in Division 5, and the four entries in Division 6 lining up together on Thursday, July 16th. 

And on Saturday, July 18th will be the fastest boats in the fleet: four multihulls in Division 0, the three 100-foot monohulls in Division 1, seven fast monohulls of mixed sizes in Division 2, and six ex-ULDB Sled Class designs from the 1980's and '90's in Division 3.

If conditions are right, it is among this group of starters that new records may emerge in this year's race.

A scratch sheet of rating and time allowance information will be available soon, pending some final measurements being made in the coming week among a few entries and the final deadline for sail data on June 26th. These time allowances are determined for each entry using the ORR rating system which uses the measurement data to predict the performance potential of the boats on the Transpac course.

For the first time, Transpac ratings will be expressed in the Time-on-Time rather than the Time-on-Distance format. This change should produce closer, more realistic results for the race.

North Sails At The Heart Of The Racing Action At ORC Worlds
North Sails Barcelona is gearing itself up to host over 100 teams in three classes as offshore racers from more than 23 countries descend on the beautiful Spanish city to compete in the ORC Worlds from June 27th to July 4th. And North Sails will once again be at the heart of the action offering competitors round the clock world class North Sails Sail Care from their onsite mobile workshop, complete with sewing-machine, tool kit, spare parts and sheets of cloth in tow.

As the world leader in sailmaking, North Sails are on hand with fast and unrivalled repairs and services to ensure everyone's sails are racing at maximum performance and that the yachts can line up on the start line in the best position to claim the World Championship in offshore racing. With the leading experts in sail technology, development and maintenance, the competitors at the ORC Worlds will receive the best sail first aid available.

For more information, visit:

Marie Is Overall Winner Of The Superyacht Cup
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Superyacht Cup In Class A it was the beautiful, black ketch Marie who went into the final race day with a lead of two bullets, sitting a comfortable 3 points above regatta veteran P2.  In Class B things were extra exciting with both team Odin and the dazzling, carbon flyer Inouï sharing four points, just one point ahead of yesterday's winner Kiboko Dos. And in Class C it was the new Oyster Maegan who went into today's last St. Regis Race with 2 points over Clan VIII and Blue Too.

Today's clear skies and the prediction of Palma's trustworthy SW sea breeze peaking mid -afternoon meant the 21-strong fleet were in for a real treat going into the deciding race. To keep the competitors on their toes the race committee opted for a 27.5nm course which started the fleet off on a downwind leg.

A big 'hurrah' goes to the mighty Marie who, with a clean sweep of no less than 3 firsts, is the overall winner of the Superyacht Cup 2015!

Portsmouth Decide On Blue For Emirates Spinnaker Tower
Portsmouth City Council have unveiled new designs for the Emirates Spinnaker Tower that will see the iconic landmark painted blue, white and gold, which the local authority say will reflect the city's rich maritime heritage.

Emirates was announced as the sponsor of the tower earlier this month, becoming the first ever of the landmark building, as part of an exclusive five-year partnership worth $5.5 million (£3.5m).

When the initial designs were unveiled, however, they featured the tower painted in Emirates' red branding, which drew a fierce public backlash because it was the same colour as the city's arch football rivals Southampton FC.

Nearly 10,000 people signed a petition against the rebranding, and following a period of public consultation, the council officials decided to paint the bottom 50 metres of the tower blue, the colour of Portsmouth FC.

Aussie Ironman Ky Hurst Makes A Switch To America's Cup Sailing
The dual Olympic long-distance swimmer and one of the most successful ironmen in surf lifesaving history has dropped a bombshell by retiring from the sport to take up a prized contract with Amercia's Cup champions, Oracle Team USA.

Hurst, who was taught to sail as a toddler by his grandfather, will move to Bermuda - the training base of Oracle Team USA - in September to commence his preparation for the 2017 America's Cup, ending all plans to compete in this year's Nutri Grain Ironman series.

Hurst, regarded as the best surf swimmer in history, will take up the position on Oracle Team USA as a grinder - the most physically demanding job of all.

A series of top secret testings over the past 12-months has proven the catalyst for the 34-year-old to achieve one of the most remarkable career changes in Australian sport.

The trigger was a conversation with world class sailors Iain Murray, Carter Jackson and Glenn Bourke in March last year.

Tonnerre Win In The Twilight
108 yachts crossed the start line for the 2015 Morgan Cup Race, the seventh race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's season points championship. Although the race started at 7pm on Friday evening, due to the Summer Solstice, the fleet barely sailed more than a few hours in darkness.

The gentle northerly wind, which eventually backed to the west, gave a spinnaker run for most of the 125 mile course. The majority of the fleet finished the race on Saturday afternoon, perfect timing to enjoy the hospitality of the Guernsey Yacht Club. Tide always plays a part in races to the Channel Islands and this year's Morgan Cup Race was no exception.

Piet Vroon's Dutch Ker 51, Tonnerre 4, sailed by Frank Gerber, was the overall winner after IRC time correction, with British IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by Mikey Ferguson, taking Line Honours and second overall under IRC. Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret's French JPK 10.80, Dream Pearls was third overall.

Racing for the RORC Season's Points Championship continues with the 100 mile Lyver Trophy Race, from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire across the Irish Sea.

Full results for the Morgan Cup Race are available on the RORC web site:

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new benchmark time.
Course: San Francisco to Shanghai
Yacht: "Maserati" 70 ft Monohull
Name: Giovanni Soldini. ITA and 8 crew.
Dates: 10th to the 31st May 2015.
Start time: 01;52;50 UTC 10/05/15.
Finish time: 21;24;05 UTC. 31/05/15
Elapsed time: 21 days 19 hours 31 minutes and 15 seconds.
Distance: 5495 NM
Average speed: 10.49 kts

Comment: This establishes a "benchmark" time for the traditional Tea Clipper route from San Francisco to Shanghai. In 1853, well prior to WSSRC ratification, Capt Charles Collins in the clipper "Swordfish" established the fastest voyage at that  time of 32 days and 9 hours.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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The Last Word
I was sitting in my office listening to the endless staccato of raindrops on my desk, reading my name backwards in the glass "Regnad Kcin" when she walked into the room. -- Phil Austin, aka Nick Danger, 1941 - 2015

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