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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup / Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Porto Cervo, Italy: Opening salvos were fired today between the 40 boats competing in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in conjunction with the International Maxi Association. The conditions provided an ideal opening for the regatta, held in this paradise sailing venue with a brilliant summer sun and a 6-10 knot wind that slowly veered into the NNE over the course of the afternoon, replacing the weekend's blustery conditions.

While the Maxi 72s and the Wallys sailed two windward-leewards, the remainder sailed a traditional Porto Cervo coastal race of 24 miles with Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's 100ft Comanche plus the three supermaxis, including the giant 66.7m Hetairos, sent on a similar course, but five miles longer.

The most competitive fleet was certainly the six Maxi 72s racing for their World Championship. With Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima III scoring 1-3 and Sir Peter Ogden's all-black Jethou 3-1, the latter technically leads this evening.

One of the largest classes racing at this year's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the Wally with 13 boats. Today was one for the largest and fastest with Thomas Bscher's Open Season, a modified and lengthened WallyCento claiming both races with Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' WallyCento Magic Carpet Cubed scoring a 3-2 and Jean Charles Decaux's Wally 77, J One taking a 2-3.

Elsewhere Massimiliano Florio's Southern Wind 82, Grande Orazio by Pioneer Investments, leads the Maxi Race Cruiser Class, while Dr Benoit de Froidmont's Wallyno ahead in the Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser class and Roberto Lacorte's Vismara-built Mark Mills-designed 62 footer Supernikka leads the Mini Maxi Racing class.

Racing resumes tomorrow with a first warning signal scheduled for 1130. Winds of 12-15 knots are forecast.

Racing runs from Monday 7th September with a first warning signal at 11:30, until Saturday 12th September with a layday on Thursday 10th when the International Maxi Association AGM will take place.

Mini Transat: Preparation Days
Photo by Marc Saubageot. Click on image to enlarge.

Mini Transat From the 9th of September, all the sailors will have arrived in Douarnenez (France), to spend their last ten days on land before crossing the Atlantic. In front of the docks, the 72 skippers will enjoy a perfect display of a well-preserved scene. The village of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe surrounds the Port-Musee docks and the Place de l'Enfer. Port Rhu could even have been built to welcome the Minis,

During the ten days in Douarnenez, the skippers will not have much time to relax. Security controls, important briefings, the prologue "Everything begins in Finistere" and the boat preparation to get things ready for the 16th of September- the skippers programme will be full on. 

The schedule:
- 9th September: 5pm, final time to arrive in Douarnenez (lock closing time)
- From 9th to 14th September: Security Checks. Verification of technical requirements and ensuring that boats meet race regulations.The boats need to be ready from the 16th of September, if the weather alerts are adequate for the race directors to announce the start of the race.
- 10th September: security briefing with the 24F pilots, who are responsible for security in the Gulf of Gascony, amongst other places.
- 13 September: Prologue " Everything begins in Finistere" where each skipper will sail with a young sailor from the region.
- 16 September: Race briefing
- 18 September: Weather briefing
- 19 September: Departure at 3:30pm in front of Rosmeur port pontoon.

The Breton harbour will see the fleet of 74 solo sailors will set off on the 19th of September to Lanzarote, where the Mini 6,50 will stop before the Atlantic stage start on 31st October. The Mini Transat - Iles de Guadeloupe 2015 solo sailors are expected to finish some three weeks later in Pointe-a-Pitre to a warm Caribbean welcome. The 2,700 nautical mile race from France to the Caribbean is the longest solo race for the smallest of boats.

Ocean Safety Brings Evolution To Southampton Boat Show
Ocean Safety Ocean Safety will once again be exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show on Stand G125 in the Ocean Hall with a host of new products developed in the past 12 months.

The specialists in the worldwide supply, distribution, service and hire of marine safety equipment will show the latest Kru Professional lifejackets which are being used by all the crews of the 2015 Clipper Race around the world, whose fleet is now underway. The new Clipper model sports advanced features following a meticulous study of it in the previous Clipper Race.

Also showing will be the Ocean ISO liferaft, which has been supplied to the RNLI, and the new Ocean Standard Liferaft which has benefitted from advanced design, testing and feedback. The Ocean Standard features a high visibility yellow floor for easy identification if inverted, and newly designed rounded corners on buoyancy tubes to improve the ease of being brought alongside a rescue vessel. It's on sale at the Marine Superstore stand No. F006 at the show.

The company's product offer which will also include such best sellers as flares, man overboard recovery systems, lifejackets and EPIRBs will be hosted on their spacious 5m x 13m stand, first used last year to showcase Ocean Safety's ever-expanding product offer.

Don't miss us, from 11-20 September.

Tornado World Championships
Click on image to enlarge.

Tornado Worlds Carnac, France: Sunny and quite warm day 1 of the 2015 Tornado Open World and Global Mixed Championships. Two nice races and a dinner held in the club. The wind's direction was stable more or less but had a lot of increases and decreases in the pressure which varied from 5 to 10 knots many times within a race.

The first race was won by last year's world champions Dany Paschalidis and Kostas Trigonis who were followed by Nikolaos Mavros and Alexandros Tagaropoulos in second and Roland with Nahid Gaebler in the third place. The second race was dominated by the Swiss mixed team of Jean Marc Cuanillon and Gudrun Kolb. Nikolaos and Alexandros were again in the second with Roland and Nahid in the third place.

After today's races:
1. Nikolaos Mavros / Alexandros Tagaropoulos
2. Jean Marc Cuanillon / Gudrun Kolb
3. Dany Paschalidis / Kostas Trigonis

Jean Marc Cuanillon and Gudrun Kolb are first in today's ranking for the mixed crews with Roland and Nahid Gaebler in second and Zdenek Pavlis and Michaela Pavlisova in the third place.

The classic Tornado
After 15 years we are more than happy to have classic Tornados sailing with us. They are starting in the same start but doing one lap less than the new rig boats, as they have one sail less.

After today's races:
1. Zakarian Michel and Ialenti Jeremy
2. Philippe and Pierrick Tollemer
3. Julien Laurent and Patrick Lambert

Two races are scheduled for tomorrow and everyone is hoping for more wind.-- Maria Tsaousidou

Tornado class :

Clipper Race
Having had time to process the absolute tragedy of losing their crew mate Andrew Ashman, the crew of IchorCoal have made the collective, highly inspirational decision to keep racing.

The unanimous choice was made on Sunday during a team meeting with Skipper Darren Ladd, Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and other members of the Clipper Race team supporting the crew.

Skipper Darren Ladd explained the decision: "It's partly out of respect for Andy that we want to carry on, and partly a way that as a team we can deal with what's happened. I think the only way we can all deal with it is to jump back on the boat and get back sailing, and do it with Andy in our hearts and minds at the same time."

Timescale updates on the team's return to racing will be provided as soon as we have them.

A fleet-wide minute's silence was held at 1200 UTC yesterday in memory of Andrew, and many friends and family have been leaving messages of support and condolence for the crew and Andrew's loved ones.

Across the fleet, the yachts have been doing their best to make good speed during frustratingly light winds as they head south towards the Canary Islands. GREAT Britain is top of the leaderboard again with LMAX Exchange now in third place, three nautical miles behind Derry~Londonderry~Doire on Distance to Finish, as of 1000 UTC.

The Battle In Finland Is Over. Team Us One Did It Again.
Photo by Click on image to enlarge.

M32 Three qualifying races and three final races completed Sunday's final of the M32 Battle of Helsinki. The rain clouds stayed away from Hernesaari and the wind kept blowing all the way through. After the three first races the top-4 continued into the final races while Alite Racing, Essiq Racing, Hydra Sailing Team and Team GAC Pindar finished the weekend in ranks 5-8.

The winners on Sunday were Team US One. Skipper Taylor Canfield, Hayden Goodrick , Garth Ellingham and Ricky McGarvie sailed a consistent regatta and made fewer mistakes than the other teams. The victory in Helsinki was the team's fourth in a row in the M32 Scandinavian Series and the team will be sealing its overall win in the final event of the tour in Stockholm next weekend.

Second on Sunday was the Danish team Trifork skippered by Jes Gram-Hansen. They ended up first in the day's opening race followed by a third and seventh plus an impressive 3-2-1 in the final races for double points. This gave the Danes a fourth place overall in Helsinki.

Joining Team US One on the podium for the Battle of Helsinki were two Swedish teams, Rahm Racing and Wallen Racing. After four days the gap between the experienced compatriot skippers, Mattias Rahm and Hans Wallen, was less than two points.

Next stop: Stockholm, Sweden.

North Sails: Powering Some Of The Best Maxis In The World
North Sails Some of the world¹s greatest and most impressive Maxis are doing battle this week off the coast of Sardinia. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015 sees a stellar collection of yachts facing off in the 35th Anniversary of the event. North Sails are proud to be powering a huge number of boats in the various classes, all vying for line honours in this special regatta.

As the boats leave Puerto Cervo behind and head to the race track, it is clear to see why the event is this year attracting its largest fleet since 2011. With former winners returning to the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean and some impressive first timers, it will be a tough battle on the water. But what can possibly beat the famous Sardinia backdrop mixed with a world class line up of sailors and boats? And whilst the boats look spectacular and the crews may seem relaxed, there will be no easy passes this week.

Stay informed and up to date at: / or

New 18ft Skiffs On The Way For 2015-2016 Season
Photos by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

New Skiffs You know the Australian summer sailing season is not far away when the first of the new 18ft Skiff hulls emerges from the Van Munster Boatbuilders factory at Morriset, on the Central Coast north of Sydney.

First of the new skiff hulls for the 2015-2016 Season, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, received her super smooth high gloss paint job this week and the team is now about to prepare her for the first race of the Australian 18 Footer League season on 11 October.

The Van Munster-built hulls have been a very important part of the continual quality and competitiveness of the Australian 18 Footer League's fleet since Brett Van Munster began building 18s for the 2006-2007 Season.

Looking back over the 10 years since Van Munster Boatbuilders have been the 18ft Skiff Class official builders, Brett Van Munster was pleased with how the program has developed:

"We are still using the same carbon fibre-Nomex materials that we used back in 2006, but we have greatly refined the building process. We now use 3.5kg more carbon fibre in each hull, but the finished hull now weighs 2kg less than the originals.

"A new deck mould was incorporated a couple of years ago which has also made the boats stronger. We asked the engineers at Gurit, Steve Quigley in particular and the technical committee to have a look through and change some of the fibre layout and frames.

"The idea was not to make the boats go quicker but to put up with the increased loads of the high modulus rigs and square top mains and to cope with the trend for heavier crews adding additional righting moment".

"The recent developments in High Modulus rigs and square top mainsails have increased the overall global structural loads so we've had to update the structure of the boat to increase longevity".

"We are conscious of trying to keep a stability in our product and everything which comes out of our factory is the same as what Gotta Love It 7 (the current champion) gets.  Every boat has the same fuselage".

"It's a bit like a football salary cap.  We're trying to give everyone the same opportunity from an equal base".

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League,

ISAF Recognition For SSL As Special Event
Star Sailors League (SSL) has announced that the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has recognized the SSL as a Special Event along with the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series.

SSL President, Olympic Bronze medalist and twice Star Class World Champion, Xavier Rohart commented: "ISAF noticed what we are doing and how we are running it. SSL regattas, the Final and all of the Grand Slams that we manage, are good for the sailors and sailing. The elimination format is very exciting and puts a lot of pressure and adrenalin on competitors. It's what we like, it's what we are looking for - to promote the winner in real time! The prize money gives us the chance to sustain our sailing and the fact that the events are on Star boats is fantastic, so that we can go on competing at an high level in our favorite keel boat."

The ISAF recognition of the SSL comes just before the start of the first SSL Lake Grand Slam in Grandson ( ), on Neuchatel lake in Switzerland. A prestigious Opening Ceremony will be held at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne on September 8th.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2014 McConaghy Botin 40. 350,000 GBP.

Marcelino Botin started Botin Partners Naval Architecture as a design and construction project in 1995.

Riding the wave of popularity in the recent development of Fast Forties, Botin Partners and McConaghy have just teamed up to offer the Botin 40, the latest in this 40-foot genre which offers the high performance and high technology of a custom design and build, but at the great value of a production price.

This is a new direction for Botin, who have shown great success in the last few years with their custom projects in the TP 52, Class 40, GP 42 and VO 70 classes, but have not ventured into production race boat projects in several years. Yet according to Botin's Adolfo Carrau, the development of the new Botin 40 has been a great experience that has not compromised the quality of the design.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

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The Last Word
It really is a very odd business that all of us, to varying degrees, have music in our heads. -- Oliver Sacks

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