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Black Flag Thriller On Day 4 Of The J/24 World Championships
Photo by Pepe Hartmann / J/24 Worlds. Click on image for photo gallery.

J/24 World Championships Boltenhagen, Germany: Ian Southworth, Mike Ingham, and Ian Southworth again: After a Black Flag disqualification in the second race, Ian Southworth kept his cool and sailed on to stabilize his lead. With just one day to go, it is getting harder for the other crews to push the Englishman off the top spot.

On the fourth day of the J/24 World Championship, the weather gods played wicked games with the nerves of the competitors. In conditions ranging from 6 to 10 knots of wind, 20 to 30 degree wind shifts demanded quick and often audacious tactical decisions.

Tomorrow there will be two more races on the final day of the championship. Competition for the top ten positions stays tight. And like today, just one Black Flag disqualification may decide whose name is engraved on the prestigious J/24 World Championship trophy, and whose isn't.

Race Tracking to follow the races live

Top ten
1. Ian Southworth, GBR, 23 points
2. Mike Ingham, USA, 32
3. Travis Odenbach, USA, 53
4. Till Pomarius, GER, 83
5. Tokuma Takesue, JPN, 85
6. Rodrigo Benedetto, ARG, 102
7. Iasonas Spanomanolis, GRE, 104
8. Peer Kock, GER, 107
9. Frank Schonfeldt , GER, 109
10. Stefan Karsunke, GER, 109

Alite Racing On Top Of The Game In Helsinki
The opening day of the M32 Series in Helsinki was two-folded. The racing on the water was smooth for the sailors and organizers, but the weather gods did not favour the event's first day in the Finnish capital. The rain was pouring down.

The positions were changing continuously in the extremely close six races. It is a characteristic of the M32 racing that even the top boats have to accept some rather high points in some of the races. The margins are minimal and any of the eight professional teams can on a good day squeeze onto the podium.

The winner of the day was Alite Racing of Sweden, skippered by Martin Strandberg. Having scored 16 points in the six races, Strandberg's crew was the most consistent with two wins and two second places. Mattias Rahm (SWE) and his Rahm Racing Team finished only one point behind the winners of the day. The 1-2-3 day for Swedish teams was completed by Hans Wallen and Wallen Racing in third with 22 points.

Finland's Olympic gold medallist from Sydney 2000, Thomas Johanson, finished the day in 7th place on board Hydra Sailing Team. Johanson, also an experienced VOR helmsman, acted as tactician for his former 49er rival, Michael Hestbaek of Denmark.

The five-time World Champion in Match Racing Ian Williams (GBR) and Team GAC Pindar finished in eighth place with a fourth as the best score of the day.

The Battle of Helsinki will continue tomorrow. Follow the live action from 1.45 pm local time on

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=QCk5ZqWzymc, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Dubarry Crosshaven - 'Race Face' Protection
Dubarry Crosshaven It's pitch-black. We're on the wind halfway across the Irish Sea, heading for 'The Rock' in a Force 6 - and it's building. On the rail we might look like a troop of Japanese snow monkeys on valium but we've huddled into something like comfort when skip calls the headsail change we've been dreading for the last five minutes. Three minutes later I'm clipped on with my feet on the leeward toerail with an armful of changed foresail when a wave engulfs the foredeck. The water clears and I'm still onboard thanks to the combined efforts of my tether and the stanchion lodged in my crotch. Lucky me.

Sail change over I'm back on the rail but my feet are cold and wet and my enthusiasm for this caper ebbs quickly away, unlike the sea water - the boots were still wet a week after the finish in Plymouth. It's 1989 and, though the stylishly weathered Shamrock boot is much in evidence, the Crosshaven is but a dream. Had I been wearing Crosshavens, the gaiter and drawstring would have kept my feet dry and my race face on. Funny how something so simple can be so incredibly effective.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

RORC Cherbourg Race
After a record breaking Rolex Fastnet Race, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2015 RORC Season's Point Championship continues this weekend with the ever popular Cherbourg Race.

60 yachts have entered, and for nearly all of them, this will be the last race of the championship. Although the Rolex Middle Sea Race is actually the final race, the overall and class winners of the 2015 RORC Season's Point Championship are likely to be decided this weekend.

Weather forecasts are predicting a light to medium northerly gradient wind, which should prove ideal conditions for Mikey Ferguson's IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing to take Line Honours, however, Piet Vroon's Ker 51, Tonnerre de Breskens could also be the first yacht to reach Cherbourg.

Following their magnificent victory in the Rolex Fastnet Race, Gery Trentesaux's JPK 10.80 Courrier Du Leon, is the overall leader for the RORC Season's Point Championship but victory for the season is still not decided. Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 10.10, Raging Bee, which is being campaigned Two Handed, is less than 33 points behind Courrier Du Leon, and capable of winning the overall prize.

For the RORC Season's Points Championship, class results are decided by the yachts top five races for the season. The Cherbourg Race represents the last chance for many to improve their points total to claim the podium positions for the class; two classes winners are very much in the balance. -- Louay Habib

Rambler To Sail In 2016 Round Ireland
George David, recently returned to the US from the 2015 Fastnet Race, has confirmed his interest in entering his new yacht Rambler 88 in the 2016 Round Ireland Yacht Race. George has stated that the Round Ireland has been a priority race for his yacht and crew since 2011.

It was his experience in the 2011 Fastnet, when Rambler 100 capsized close to the Fastnet Rock after its keel snapped off, that has prompted George David to announce his wish to enter the premier biennial race of the Irish offshore racing calendar. The efforts of the Irish rescue services in locating and bringing to safety George and several of his crew after three hours in the water, is a matter which raised his interest in finding a suitable offshore event for a return to the country for which he has enormous regard and appreciation.

In a written comment to the organising committee of the Round Ireland George has stated that his yacht will be in Europe next year and the present schedule of events in the Rambler programme includes competing in the RIYR.

Rambler 88 would be a strong contender to break the Round Ireland Race record of 2 days 17 hours 48 minutes 47 seconds which is held by Mike Slade in ICAP Leopard 3 achieved in 2008.

In 2014, the overall winner was Tanit (Richard Harris and team from Glasgow), while line honours went to Monster Project (Andy Budgen and local WSC sailor David Ryan).

The race officially opens for entries in January 2016 but expressions of interest are welcome at the email address below.

Seahorse October 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
The mighty Courrier, a successful Tour switch to Diam 24s, ASHBY takes charge as Dalts consolidates, Italy's latest Vendee Globe challenger, Chink Longley on 1980 bendy rigs... plus Transpac with a twist. Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Giuliano Luzzatto and Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis
Hauling yourself back up off the canvas

ISAF column
A return to Sanya... and with plenty to discuss

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The IMOCAs Continue Their Season In Port-La-Foret
Just a fortnight or so after the conclusion of the Rolex Fastnet Race, seven boats are beginning a 4-day training session at the Finistere Ocean Racing Training Centre in Port-la-Foret today (Tuesday 1st September). Three new 60-foot boats (Safran, Banque Populaire and Edmond de Rothschild) will be able to find out how they measure up against some of the leading boats from the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe generation (SMA, PRB, Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir and Maître Coq). It should tell us a lot about what is likely to happen in the Transat Jacques Vabre, which starts on 25th October, but also the performance we can expect to see in the 2016-2017 Vendee Globe.

Five of the seven taking part this week raced in the Rolex Fastnet Race, which finished in Plymouth a fortnight ago with victory going to Vincent Riou/Sebastien Col on PRB, while Yann Elies/Charlie Dalin came in second on Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir ahead of Morgan Lagraviere/Nicolas Lunven (3rd on Safran), Armel La Cleac'h/Erwan Tabarly (6th on Banque Populaire) and finally Paul Meilhat/Michel Desjoyeaux (retired on SMA). Absent from this year's Fastnet Race, Jeremie Beyou also had a busy summer as he competed in the Solitaire du Figaro and the Tour de France Sailing Race. Aboard Maître Coq, he will have Philippe Legros alongside him for this course in Port-La Foret. As for Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier, they will be able to test their new Edmond de Rothschild, which was launched on 7th August.

Childhood Charity Race
The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club are inviting VIPs and celebrities to take part in the Childhood Charity Race on Saturday, 19.09.2015.

On board 20 metre Swan 60 yachts, owned by the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, the participants will sail a charity race in favour of the World Childhood Foundation. The race will take place on Saturday as part of the Flensburger Fordewoche.

The organisers have proclaimed a certain amount of prize money, which the winning crews will donate to the World Childhood Foundation.

After a great day on the water on board of the offshore yachts guests and professional sailors will gather at the Marina Sonwik for a casual Aftersail Event with drinks & snacks.

In the evening the grand hall of Glucksburg Castle will open for the festive Nord Stream Race Owners Dinner. Yachts owners, VIPs and further guests are invited.

On Sunday at noon the five Swan 60 yachts and five additional yachts of different types will start off Glucksburg to this's years Nord Stream Race - 800 nautical miles to Saint Petersburg non-stop across the whole of the Baltic Sea.

Industry News
Beneteau is giving away a new First 22 during the Oct. 8-12 United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis to celebrate 30 years of boatbuilding in America.

Show visitors who purchase their tickets online and are eligible to win will be automatically entered.

On-site participation will be open during show hours.

At the closing, a random drawing will determine the winner of the grand prize: a Beneteau First 22 with a retail value of $29,900. The grand prize will be displayed on land during the sailboat show.


Luxury boat builder Palmer Johnson Yachts of Sturgeon Bay is closing, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs.

In a plant closing notice filed Wednesday with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the company said sales had fallen and offshore competition had escalated.

The shutdown will take place in phases starting about Oct. 31.

Palmer Johnson said it will cooperate with the Department of Workforce Development to help employees find other jobs.

"We also ensure that all terminated employees will be paid all earned wages and agreed-upon fringe benefits upon termination," the company said.

Yacht building is an important niche industry in northeast Wisconsin, where the brands include Palmer Johnson, Carver, Marquis, Burger, Cruisers and Rampage. The industry also supports dozens of suppliers, including companies in the Milwaukee area.

Before the recession, the industry was booming, said Kenny Wooten, editor-in-chief of Yachts International magazine.

Then, starting in early 2008, the money dried up in the global recession.

Yacht builders like Palmer Johnson that employed hundreds of people all but shut down.


The International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) Head of Sailing World Cup, John Craig, has moved on from sailing's governing body to pursue other challenges within sailing.

Craig oversaw the development of the ISAF Sailing World Cup series and played a pivotal role in the formation of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. The inaugural event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates took place in November 2014. Through the 2015 World Cup series that touched down in Australia, USA, France, Great Britain and China in a matter of days, sailors are now preparing for the next edition of the World Cup final, one of the showpiece events in Olympic sailing, at the end of October.

A world renowned International Race Official, Craig was the Principal Race Officer for the 34th America's Cup that took place in San Francisco, USA.

Craig will be continuing his work with the new Red Bull Foiling Generation series, an innovative series of events that sees promising sailors showcase their talent on the worldwide stage in Flying Phantoms.


Nautor's Swan has announced the appointment of Robert Holm as Customer Care Director. Robert joined Nautor's Swan just over one year ago as a Project Manager for the Finnish yacht brand.

A native of Finland, Robert has been working in the marine business for over a decade and has a sound understanding of the dynamics within Nautor's Swan, having had close working relationships with the company in his previous career appointments, including as Managing Director for a carbon mast builder.

Letters To The Editor -
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* From Clifford Webb: I am sure you have had many tributes to Alistair Black. It's perhaps not surprising how far and wide his influence was given his pioneering spirit. Scottish indeed though, my first encounter was at the Windsurfer World Championships in the Bahamas, must have been about 1981. I still had a full time job but was there during my vacation time, and this was my first overseas event ever as a fledgling photographer with an eye on bigger opportunities. The great Robby Naish was 16 I think, and I was a couple of years older, and the event was dominated by the USA's Ken Winner.

Alastair asked me as a young rookie what I was doing on the press boat the first time I met him (!) and was quite dismissive. I was in awe and terrified when I learnt who he was, but gradually he started giving me some tips and advice when he saw my mistakes, and by the end of the event had even lent me a lens to get a particular shot. That week effectively changed my life as I left my job a few months later with inspired confidence and went freelance. Never forgotten that and we shared boats many a time over the years, until he retired. A lovely man (beneath the sometimes Scottish brusqueness) and I will always hold those memories dear.

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