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Transat AG2R
Photo by Benoit Stichelbaut, www.stichelbaut.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Transat AG2R At 2 PM local time, the 25 pairs of Figaro Beneteau sailors in the Transatlantic AG2R race started from Concarneau France on their 3890 nm voyage to Saint-Barth. The course takes the fleet across the Bay of Biscay to the Canary Islands, and then acros the Atlantic to Saint Barth. Depending on the average wind strength across the course, ETA varies from May 8 to May 13.

Winds will be very light overnight in the Bay of Biscay, ranging from calm to 5 knots from the North, filling in from the north. it is expected that most of the sailors will head farther west from the direct course in anticipation of picking up some wind.

First around the turning mark were Henri-Paul Schipman and Pierre Canevat, they have since slipped to 11th place, but less than a mile separates the top 18 teams.

Top ten at 1900 GMT:

1. Generali - Europ Assistance, Yann Elies / Jeremie Beyou
2. Lufthansa, Ronan Treussart / Yannick Le Clech
3. Luisina, Eric Drouglazet / Laurent Pellecuer
4. Banque Populaire, Jeanne Gregoire / Gerald Veniard
5. Concarneau - Saint Barthelemy, Miguel Danet / Damien Cloarec
6. Memoirestbarth.Com, Richard Ledee / Christophe Lebas
7. Saveol, Romain Attanasio / Samantha Davies
8. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant / Sebastien Audigane
9. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm / Gildas Mahe
10. Groupe Snef, Jean Paul Mouren / Paul Meilhat

transat.ag2rlamondiale.fr

Hublot Palmavela
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Hublot Palmavela Palma De Mallorca, Spain: In a nice breeze of the 215 which went up to 12 knots, and an airplane free sky, the Hublot PalmaVela regatta held the last races of its 7th edition. All the fleets were on the water today, with Maxis and TP 52's running their coastal races in the charlie area. In the TP52 class Artemis was the predictable winner, but Cristabella managed second, whereas Magic Carpet 2 won the also magic Wally class. The Mini Maxi class didn't provide any surprises either, and was won by Container. In the J-80, Platú 25, RI1, and RI 2 classes, Peraleja Golf, Iberdrola, Cuadernos Rubio and Ciudad de Ceuta were the winners.

In the TP52 class the victory was for Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis, thanks to her consistent performance during the two first days, where she managed to open a gap that has allowed her to remain in the first position till the end, in spite of winning no races during the last two days. The surprise of the day was provided by John Cook's Cristabella, which won the two contests, kicking Matador out of the second place in the final classification.

Maxi Wallys and Mini Maxis have completed a 15,77 miles coastal race in the bay of Palma, with marks rounding in Sech and Illetas. Things went as predicted for the Mini Maxis, with a second place for Udo Schutz's Container at the end of the race, and a win for sir Peter Ogden's Jethou, which allowed him entering the podium in the third position. Second in the final classification was Andres Soriano's Alegre, whereas Neville Crichton's Shockwave gave up her place in the podium, going down to the fourth place in the last moment.

The ORC class, Russian X-35 won the final victory after also winning today's both races, ahead of "Bruix IV" of Miguel Mercada and "Omi II" of Francisco Llompart.

Classification

Maxi Wally
1. Magic Carpet 2 (Gallichan), 8
2. J One (Richardson), 10
3. Indio (Massa), 12.5

Mini Maxi
1. Container (Schutz), 8
2. Alegre (Soriano), 11
3. Jethou (Ogden), 14

TP 52
1. Artemis (Tornqvist), 11
2. Cristabella (Cook), 13
3. Matador (Roemmers), 15

J-80
1. Peraleja Golf (Martínez), 12
2. Nextel (Camino), 31
3. ECC Viviendas, (Torcida), 35

Platú 25
1. Iberdrola (Weiller), 15
2. Inmobiliaria Nova (Forteza), 17
3. Ziving Badia (Momparler), 20

RI 1
1. Cuadernos Rubio (Maldonado), 11
2. Minnic (Bock), 18
3. Aifos (Rodríguez Toubes), 20

RI 2
1. Ciudad de Ceuta (Llorca), 9
2. Vell Marí (Cabrer), 10
3. Modark (García Barroso), 16

ORC
1. Symfony (Viacheslav), 6
2. Bruix IV (Mercadal),15
3. Omi II (Llompart), 19

www.palmavela.com

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

New York - Barcelona
After a fast crossing of the Atlantic, comparing very favourably to the existing 60 foot monohull record of Bernard Stamm set in 2001 on the traditional route from Ambrose Light to the Lizard, the prospects of a slow sting in the tail for the two New York to Barcelona sailing record IMOCA Open 60's Estrella Damm and W Hotels seem possible, maybe even probable.

Estrella Damm's passage time for an equivalent 2925 miles across the Atlantic, albeit on this more southerly routing, is unofficially timed at around 7 days 23 hours. Stamm's crossing in 2001 was 8 days 20 hours 55 minutes and 25 seconds. By comparison that sets an average speed of around 15.31 knots, compared with Stamm's 13.79 knots.

Update Sunday: Virtually stuck in a wind hole, a handful of miles off Almeria, making just around four knots of boat speed in three or four knots of wind, the New York Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record leaders Estrella Damm were doing all they could to avoid falling prey to the consistent advances of W Hotels.

Estrella Damm's rivals were further offshore Sunday afternoon, more than twice as quick, and the co-skippers considering their strategic choice: whether to step further out in search of the corridor of better breeze they felt they had identified, or to stick with profiting from the light headwinds which were still serving well the W Hotels trio Pachi Rivero, Toño Piris, and Peter Becker.

April in the Mediterranean can be complex and frustrating. No one is predicting if the final 380 miles to the two IMOCA Open 60's home port of Barcelona and the finish line, will take 48 hours......or until Friday. It is that hard to compute...or guess. And in these conditions strategy is something of a high wire act, with no safety net. Close to the coast there is theoretically more chance of some thermally generated sea breeze, but so too there can be conflicting breezes which simply cancel out the sea breeze, and the result is hours sitting at crawling speeds waiting for the breeze to improve.

www.ny-bcn.org

Greek Challenge Will Call Kalamata Home and Tempt LVT to the City
There's been a lot of bad financial news out of Greece in recent months. Investment has been stifled and many projects have been put on hold. It's a shame because the country has great sailing venues and a long, long maritime and sailing history. Sotiris Buseas, is passionate about Greece being a place where sailing can thrive. His long term dream is to see the America's Cup held in a spectacular venue like Santorini and to promote other forms of the sport throughout the country.

The vehicle for this ambitious plan is Greek Challenge, which surprised many in the first Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in 2009. Since then, Greek Challenge has been fairly quiet. Unlike other America's Cup super-teams like TEAMORIGIN and Emirates Team NZ, Greek Challenge has not been competing in the World Match Racing Tour or the Audi Med Cup. Instead, Buseas has been qorking away at building a base for the team and generating support in Greece for entry into the Louis Vuitton Series.

To that end,Greek Challenge has announced that the team will be based in the greek city of Kalamata.

Greek Challenge has applied to the port authorities to provide an area of 1700 square meters of warehouse space and 5200 square meters of docks to develop its base and looking forward to the finalization of the process by the end of April in order to start developing its base.

YachtSponsorship.com: www.yachtsponsorship.com

Spring Starts At The Royal Lymington
The Spring Series lived up to its name this year as one of the race team was woken up at dawn on Sunday 11th April by the sound of the first cuckoo of the year. Bright sunshine and a brisk, if chilly, wind from the east, put everyone in the mood for an excellent day's racing. Chief Race Officer Tony Blachford managed to give the fleet two good races, in spite of the easterly wind being counteracted by the sea breeze during the second race. This also gave the crews some early sail change practice as they changed sails to make the best of the conditions.

The start of IRC Class 1 was a close call between Peter Scholfield's Zarafa and Chris and Hannah Neve's new boat No Chance, Zarafa just getting the advantage but No Chance, on her first race at the Club, crossed the finish first. They returned the compliment by crossing the start first on the second start and then carried on to take that race too. Weather conditions suited Ray Crouch's Boomerang in IRC Class 2 and she won both races in spite of some spirited challenges from David Lees' Hephzibah and Stephen James's Jacobite. Roger Harford in Red Kite found the conditions much to his liking in the Lymington Handicap class. The Folkboat fleet enjoyed some very competitive racing with Svenja taking the lead by being the most consistent.

Sean Muskett, on only his second sail in the Club's RS Elite, Freebie, had a good day, with some intensive tuning of the boat during the races resulting in third place behind seasoned campaigners Activ 3g, Paul Jenkins and RSsailing.com, Martin Wadhams. Racing continues next Sunday, 18th April.

Results after 2 races:
Class 1 IRC 1st No Chance, Chris/Hannah Neve; 2nd Zarafa, Peter Scholfield; 3rd, Jibe, RobinTaunt: Class 2 IRC 1st Boomerang, Ray Crouch; 2nd Hephzibah, David Lees, 3rd Jacobite, Stephen James: Lymington Handicap Ist Red Kite, Roger Harford; 2nd Roller Coaster, Denis Bates; 3rd Team Sailtime, Richard Pierpoint: Nordic Folkboat 1st Svenja, Michael Stoner; 2nd Yukon, Rick Otten; 3rd Crackerjack, Matthew Jones/ Stuart Watson; RS Elite; 1st Activ 3g ,Paul Jenkins; 2nd RSsailing.com, Martin Wadhams; 3rd Freebie, Sean Muskett.

KGB (The Etchells Sailboat!) Wins Coral Reef Cup
Miami, Florida, USA: The Coral Reef Cup was a breezy Miami Etchells regatta which fulfilled its promise of being fun and low key with intense racing on the water and camaraderie on land. Rain showers (called liquid sunshine in Florida) on the 3rd day of competition lasted through race 7 with winds of 15 to 20 knots from an Easterly wave, but then then a shifting dying breeze arrived during the 8th and last race of the day and the course was shortened to three legs.

The winning team sails KGB, owned by Ben Kinney, Colin Gordon and Senet Bischoff. (That is where the KGB comes from.) They sail for New York Yacht Club. When Ben cancelled out to stay in CT with wife Megan,to await the birth of their first baby, Jud Smith stepped onboard to crew. Bischoff and Gordon traded places as skipper. Their total point score for the 8 races including one drop was 18 points.

In 2nd place overall was Peter Hall's Cruel Jane with Dirk Kneelman and Philip Kerrigan as crew with 24 points. Peter hails from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. They came in 1st in both races today (7 and 8). Chicago's John Podmajersky took 3rd with the assistance of Scott Kelp and Max Skelley with a total of 27 points.

Much applause came from the CRYC spectator fleet when 2010-2011 Race Committee Chair Sharon Bourke, sailing on the John Deere with Tim Banks and Stuart deLisser finished 3rd in Race 8.

Coral Reef Yacht Club hosted the regatta. Trophies were presented by Etchells Regatta Co-Chairmen P.J. Keenan and Henry Chau. Bill Smoak was the Principal Race Officer. Jere Woltz was Chief Judge. There were no protests, OCSs or Black Flags.

For complete results, check out www.coralreefyachtclub.org

Seahorse May 2010
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Whitewash
Dave Hollom first fancied Alinghi but as Oracle refined their boat he had the courage to change tack... going on to predict the balance in remarkable detail. Now it's time for reflection

Out of control
Former Seahorse editor and another designer of courage and inventiveness, Julian Everitt says that what the Cup now needs is to continue to deliver more of the almost-unmanageable...

Scholar and gentleman
Two-time Olympic medallist Lars Grael talks to Lynn Fitzpatrick in Rio

Confidence
How do McConaghy build the world's most extreme boats while acquiring a reputation for reliability? Blue Robinson and Dobbs Davis talk to Jono Morris and Harry Dunning and learn about the company's next party trick

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

Magrathea and Twice Eleven Take Overall Honours
Photo by Tim Wright, www.photoaction.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Oyster BVI The Oyster BVI Caribbean regatta ended on a high note back at Nanny Cay with today's Class winners in the Pantaenius Cup race also securing the overall honours. Chris and Susan Shea sailed a masterful race on their Oyster 72 'Magrathea' to save their time over class 1 rivals, Mariusz Koper's Oyster 72 'Katharsis II' and Stuart Smith and Barry Cooper's Oyster 82 'Oceana' , while David and Tamsin Kidwell's Oyster 435 'Twice Eleven' repeated Friday's victory in class 2.

Today's race from St Peter Island Resort, took the fleet on a stiff beat up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to round Ginger Island before running down behind Cooper and Salt Islands and reach between Dead Chest and Peter Island to finish off Nanny Cay. The sparkling 20knot conditions provided a fitting end not just to the regatta, but Alan Brook's jovial eight year tenure as race officer to the Oyster fleet.

Magrathea' was first to reach the Ginger Island turning point, just ahead of Robin and Carla Stoop's Oyster 82 Rivendell, leaving the 'Oceana' crew pinching dangerously high in their dirty air to just squeeze round the steep cliff face. 'Katharsis was 4th round but first to get their spinnaker drawing and managed to cut inside Oceana. Magrathea' chose to pole out their headsail instead, and taking a more direct downwind route down to Peter Island, kept their lead until Katharsis' and 'Oceana' could start to make their chutes pay on the tighter reach to the finish.

The Class II fleet had an equally exciting race with Mark Howard and his crew on the Oyster 56 ' Amanzi' 7 seconds ahead of Vincent Bloem's 'Windflower'. But neither could save their time against the Kidwell's evergreen Twice Eleven', the oldest and smallest yacht in the fleet. -- Barry Pickthall

Yachting NSW IRC Championship Wins for Shogun and Rumbo
Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Yachting NSW IRC Championship It was a happy ending for Rob Hanna's Victorian TP52 Shogun with a narrow countback win in division one of the Yachting NSW IRC Championship just reward for their herculean effort getting to the start line.

Shogun finished on equal points with Matt Allen and Warwick Rooklyn's Farr 40 Bandit but took the Championship victory from the Sydney boat thanks to their five wins on corrected time from six races, with no drops.

Shogun will return to Sydney for the next event on the blue water calendar, the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in July, followed by Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August then back to Melbourne for the Range Series and finally, a crack at the big one, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December.

It's no coincidence the Farr 40s finished second, third and fourth on the division one scoresheet. Conditions were tailor made for the class - 6-8 knots and flat seas - which meant the crew of the bigger TP couldn't afford a single error.

In division two the local favourite, Guy and Clark Holbert's Farr 30 Rumbo from Port Stephens Yacht Club cleaned up the IRC Championship with a five point clearance back to John Streeter's Bull 9000 Raging Bull. Tony Kirby's X-41 Patrice Six from Sydney's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, placed third.

Rumbo, which has contested every Sail Port Stephens since its inception, successfully overcame a rig issue and a resulting mid-fleet finish at the class's recent national titles to score top points today against a hot Newcastle and Sydney fleet looking to snaffle some trophies as souvenirs.

Full results for the Yachting NSW IRC Championship can be viewed at www.topyachtsoftware.com/results/

www.sailportstephens.com.au

Marco Nannini Completes His Class40 Maiden Voyage
Italian skipper and Global Ocean Race 2011-12 entry Marco Nannini and his British yacht racing partner, Paul Peggs, have completed their 300 mile qualifier for the Round Britain and Ireland Race (RBAI) - an event organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club and starting from Plymouth on June 6th this year. The duo will take part in the race onboard the Akilaria Class40 owned by Nannini, renamed SunGard Front Arena for the RBAI following sponsorship for the race by the trading risk management company. The boat was last raced in the 2008-09 Portimao Global Ocean Race as Mowgli co-skippered by the British duo of Jeremy Salvesen and David Thomson.

Nannini and Peggs completed the qualifying passage over the Easter weekend just two days after launching the boat following a winter refit. The duo sailed south from Portsmouth, across the English Channel to the Baie de Seine east of Cherbourg, then headed back across the Channel to the Bembridge Ledge cardinal just east of the Isle of Wight, followed by a third Channel crossing to a point just north of Fecamp and a return crossing back to Portsmouth.

Marco Nannini won his Class in the 2009 OSTAR single-handed transatlantic and Paul Peggs has already competed twice in the RBAI and can boast a very strong offshore racing CV including a Mini Transat.

www.globaloceanrace.com

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 Dee Smith: I just want to let you know that the RC 44 European Fleet is coming to the States:

It is now confirmed that after the RC44 Puerto Calero World Championship in Lanzarote, the fleet will move to Miami for the first US event. The regatta will take place in Miami Beach Marina from December 7 to 14. We are working on the different aspects of the event, like transportation, customs and general organization. We will give you more details during the Austria Cup.

This means we will have a fleet here to help Jump Start the US Fleet. There is also talk that the Euros will stay for a second regatta, but this has not been decided yet. The first US buyers will get their boats early enough to compete with the Euro Fleet if they want.

Also, check out this YouTube flick that shows the boats trucking and unloading in Austria: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D128rHOA7j8

#22 has left the shop in Hungary, next stop Newport, RI, mid May.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2004 Reichel-Pugh McConaghy Canting Keel Supermaxi, EUR 1,500,000. Located in La Ciotat, France.

Morning Glory, the Record Breaking Canting Keel Super Maxi, built by McConaghy Boats, has had a strong presence in the Mediterranean Maxi racing scene since it was launched in 2004. The yacht has an enviable trophy list that amongst many wins and first to finish placings includes:

Winner of the 2007 Maxi Worlds, Racing Division
Winner of the 2006 Middle Sea Race
1st to Finish and New Course Record in the 2005 Transpac Race
1st to Finish and New Course Record in the 2004 Newport to Bermuda Race

Morning Glory is a high performance racing yacht that has been professionally maintained and has a proven offshore and inshore track record. This Record Breaking Super Maxi is a turn key solution that will allow her new owner to compete at the highest level in any of the major regattas around the world.

Brokerage through Reichel/Pugh Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/reichelpugh/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
It is maybe not the best choice to have a favorite anything. -- Tenzin Gyatso

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