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Ranger Wins The Hundred Guinea Trophy
Topaz. Photo by Cory Silken, Click on image to enlarge.

Topaz On a windward-leeward course which proved to be particularly tricky and difficult to read, Erle Williams, Murray Jones and the entire Ranger crew delivered their enthusiastic, passionate Owner the best possible birthday when as they won the J Class' most prestigious annual trophy, the King's Hundred Guinea Trophy on the first day of the Saint Barths Bucket regatta.

America's Cup winning tactician Murray Jones, guiding Ranger's skipper-helm Williams, read the breeze best on the critical first beat, believing there was more wind pressure to the left. From a strong, well executed pin end start Ranger was able to lift away after tacking on to port and earn themselves a sizeable lead over Velsheda and the brand new Topaz which was sailing their first ever race.

Down the first run the Ranger afterguard were reasonably content to spend some of their lead in order to be able to stay in touch with their rivals and from there, in Jones' mind, they were in a position to control their rivals. Across the finish line Ranger lead Velsheda with Topaz in touch and obviously competitive in third.

The learning curve is steep for the Topaz crew which has Andrew Taylor (NZL) as crew boss and double Olympic medallist Ross Macdonald as strategist.

"From our viewpoint there was a certain tension, some pressure on board today for our first race. But really our objective was to get round the course in good shape and come back with all our fingers still attached." smiled helm Jorge Heinritz. "Personally it is such a great experience to steer a J Class race for the first time. Our learning curve is steep but we are quite happy with our day. Upwind the boats are quite easy to steer but downwind in these lighter breezes and swell it is not so easy. We missed the train a bit on the second beat and lost touch slightly."

Oman Air Maintain Their Edge On Home Turf
Under the beaming Arabian sun, things heated up on the Muscat racecourse for the eight hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans competing at the new-look Extreme Sailing Series today, as the local boys on Oman Air extended their lead.

It was a day of two halves, which saw the helmet-clad crews head out to the track in 18-knots of breeze, their GC32s skimming at high speed across the water, before an 180-degree wind shift shut things down.

Three fast-paced races were sailed, and like magnificent men on their flying machine, Morgan Larson and his crew, which includes three former Extreme Sailing Series champions, took victory in two races, giving Oman Air a 14-point lead at the halfway stage of the event.

There were mixed fortunes for Team Turx today, with a broken winch in the third race leaving them out of the running. In contrast CHINA One finished the day on a high, taking third place in the closing race, putting them eight-points ahead of Sail Portugal.

Tomorrow, (Friday 17 March) the action will be available for fans around the world to watch live on the official event website from 1600GMT+4, before Saturday's final races are broadcast internationally with the Series' broadcast partners around the globe.

Standings after Day 2, 9 races

1. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 102 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde, 88
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand, 84
4. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Bleddyn Mon, Leigh McMillan, Ed Powys, Adam Kay, Neil Hunter, 78
5. Alinghi (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 78
6. CHINA One (CHN) Taylor Canfield, Chris Steele, Shane Diviney, Hayden Goodrick, Luke Payne, 62
7. Team Turx (TUR) Edhem Dirvana, Stevie Morrison, Cem Gozen, Alister Richardson, Anıl Berk Baki, 61
8. Sail Portugal (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Bernardo Freitas, Javier de la Plaza, Luis Brito, Winston Macfarlane, 54

Will Harris Makes His Mark On Debut In Figaro Season-Opener
British rookie solo ocean racer Will Harris made a great start to his professional offshore sailing career today, running in fifth place in the early stages of the first race of the 2016 Classe Figaro Beneteau circuit.

Harris, aged 22 and from Surrey, is the most experienced of the three British Artemis Offshore Academy rookies taking part in the 340nm Solo Concarneau Trophee Guy Cotten from the medieval French town of Concarneau.

Conditions for the start were fair, with 10 knots of chilly breeze setting the fleet on a reach along the Brittany coastline towards the infamous Raz du Seine and imposing Ouessant lighthouse.

Harris on board Artemis 77, got off to a great start, taking an early top-five position in the 23-boat solo fleet behind experienced French sailors Nicolas Lunven, Yoanne Richomme, Charlie Dalin and Thierry Chabagny.

In the double-handed fleet, Britain's Andrew Baker has teamed-up with Artemis Offshore Academy coach and Figaro competitor Nicolas Jossier (Artemis 64). Fellow Britons Sam Matson and Robin Elsey (Artemis 21) are also taking part, using the Concarneau race as a warm-up for the two-handed Transat AG2R La Mondiale.

Historically, the Solo Concarneau Trophee Guy Cotten has been a wet and wild race but, with plenty of transitions from sea breeze to land breeze forecast as the March air heats and cools, the 2016 edition looks set to be more of a tactical affair,

After 36 hours of light and tactical conditions, the wind is forecast to pick up to 25 knots on the home stretch to Concarneau, making for a tough last few physical hours for the skippers.

Following a figure of eight from Concarneau to Ouessant, around Belle Ile, Ile d'Yeu and back to Concarneau, the Solo Concarneau Trophee Guy Cotten course is expected to take approximately one day and 20 hours to complete, seeing the fleet finish in Concarneau on Saturday 19th March.


Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous
The 2016 edition of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous concluded on Saturday 12th March with prizes awarded to the top yachts in each of the four competing divisions.

The 21 participating superyachts together with the motor yacht fleet taking part in the Westport Rendezvous enjoyed a packed schedule both on and off the water coordinated by organizers the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International.

Consistent winds of 18-24 knots put owners and crews to the test over the three race days. In Class A the 34-metre Nilaya and the 33-metre Inoui battled for victory from day one with each posting a bullet in the first two races and heading into the final day on equal points. Overall victory went to Belgian boat Nilaya after she clinched the win in the final race,

Nilaya also claimed the Loro Piana Prize: The Boat International Trophy for the top scored superyacht overall.

Class B saw a different winner on each of the race days and just two points separated the top four boats in the final classification. The third and final race saw yet another boat triumph as the 38-metre Perini Navi yacht P2 crossed the line ahead of Unfurled to take the overall win in the class.

It was another Perini, the 59-metre ketch Seahawk, that took the early lead in Class C and consolidated her position with a second bullet in Race 2 ahead of the 50-metre sloop Ohana. A hard-fought battle in the final race saw the Dubois-designed Bella Ragazza nip across the line just 5 seconds ahead of Seahawk, bringing her to second place overall with Seahawk and Ohana in first and third place respectively.

Things were more clear-cut in Class D where Donald MacPherson's Swan 90 Freya dominated from the outset.

Full results:

Seahorse April 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Rating racing boats is very hard; a lack of money will always make it harder. Rob Weiland

Coming for a fleet near you...
French sailmaker Incidence is best known for winning events like the Vendée Globe and the Trophy Jules Verne. That's all about to change

Where to guv'nor?
Why Olympic gold medals no longer automatically translate into a big boat career. Ian Walker

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NOR For Match Race Germany Available
The Notice of Race for Match Race Germany, 11-16 May has been posted.

High Performance 30 Racing Circuit
The programme will start with the Vice Admiral's Cup on the 20th May with a further five events following this to complete the season.

The HP30Class website is now live and we are firming up entry details with the regatta organisers, most of which now have Class details listed. If you plan to enter, please take advantage of any early bird booking opportunities and for Cowes Week, please get in touch as we want to put all the boats together in one marina. With at least five other boats coming from Europe for that event, we should have a fleet of between fifteen and twenty boats.

There has been considerable interest from a number of new boat builders who are showing interest in racing and we expect to see the K8 and X-treme 26 taking part at some of the events, which will be awesome. Two Farr30's have also now confirmed and three Farr280's, so the fleet is beginning to take shape.

15,000 Mile Sail and Cycle Challenge From China to London
A British travel writer is preparing to embark on a 133 day, 15,000 mile sail and cycle challenge from China to London, via the USA, the equivalent of travelling almost half way round the world.

Simon Parker, 28, from Oxford, who first started sailing just six months ago and has never cycled more than 1,000 miles before, will start with a race across the Pacific in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, from Qingdao, China, to Seattle, USA.

Not content with that achievement alone, Simon will then cycle 4,000 miles across the USA as the Clipper Race fleet continues around America to New York. He will be relying on his own self-motivation to complete 80-100 miles a day, solo for six weeks.

Once in NYC, Simon will re-join his Clipper Race team and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland. In his final challenges, he will cycle race the yachts from Northern Ireland to Holland, then sail to London in a 36 hour sprint to the Clipper Race Finish at Tower Bridge on 30 July.

Only 3,300 people have completed the Clipper Race over nine editions since its inception in 1995, and less people have circumnavigated the world than have climbed Mount Everest.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
The 47th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR for Olympic, Paralympic classes and the Dragon class to be held from 25th March to 2nd April in the bay of Palma, registers a record participation in an Olympic year.

Only two weeks to go for the major Mallorca sports event and near the entry deadline, the regatta has received a total of 775 entries, which will mean around one thousand sailors. In the previous Olympic year, in 2012, 580 teams participated in the regatta.

The ten Olympic Classes will participate in the Mallorca regatta, together with Paralympic Class 2.4mr and Dragon as invited classes. The Organisers will set up eight simultaneous racing courses.

One of the consequences of this entry demand has been the increase of the Laser Class quota to 150. In the remaining nine Olympic classes, fleets will register a high participation in general and therefore some fleets will have to be split in groups. The ten Olympic Classes will meet in Mallorca, as well as Paralympic class 2.4mR and the Dragon as invited class.

The Organisation of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR has decided to increase to eight the number of racing areas to be set in waters of Mallorca

The 47 Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR is part of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup, the Olympic Classes European Sailing Circuit.

Classic Motor Yachts Invited To Sailing Regatta
For the first time, classic motor yachts are invited to join the renowned classic sailing regattaFor the first time, classic motor yachts are invited to join the renowned classic sailing regattaIan Badley

The 2016 edition of Panerai British Classic Week, which takes place in Cowes from 16th to 23rd July is all set to welcome not only a fantastic fleet of sixty plus classic sailing yachts, but for the first time in 2016 classic motor yachts are formally invited to join the event and a special programme of activities is being created for them.

Amongst the familiar classic sailing yachts due to compete are David Murrin's 1957 Laurent Giles Bermudan sloop Cetewayo, Sean and Jenny McMillan's Spirit 52 modern classic Flight of Ufford, and Andy and Eri King's International 30 Square Metre Gluckauf, known fondly amongst the fleet as The Flying Toothpick because of her long, narrow design and very low freeboard. As usual there will be a strong turnout of 8 Metre yachts.

Those expected to enter the regatta for the first time include the newly restored 1946 Henry Rasmussen 52' S-Bilge Bermudan Sloop Whisper. Whisper has a fascinating history having been built for just £1 for General George Erroll Prior-Palmer by Abeking and Rasmussen to mark the General's contribution during World War Two.

Another exciting change to this year's programme is the introduction of a Concours d'Elegance parade as the opening event of the regatta on Sunday 17th July prior to the start of the first race at 12pm. Registration will take place on Saturday 16th July and racing will run from Sunday 17th to Friday 22nd July.

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