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Audi Medcup Circuit Champions in Command in Cascais
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Audi Medcup Circuit The current Audi MedCup champions proved they have lost nothing from their competitive edge as they both opened their respective 2010 season with resounding wins in the Portugal Trophy, Cascais.

After another day of muscular breezes which produced fantastic racing conditions off Sintra, just to the west of Cascais, Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) and Puerto Calero (ESP) had both set up unassailable regatta leads, clinching their respective trophies with a race to spare.

Through the five events of the 2010 Audi MedCup season, regatta trophies are a bonus, and this is Emirates Team New Zealand's fifth successive regatta title in a row, but the dominant Kiwi crew will be even more content to leave Portugal with a comprehensive lead of 20 points over Franco-German Circuit newcomers AudiA1 powered by All4ONE.

AudiA1 powered by All4ONE may have finished with a sixth in the final race of the regatta, but the team which is headed by four times Olympic Jochen Schuemann (GER), finished consistently in the top half of the fleet through the second half of the regatta to prove they have the talent and the tools to be podium contenders. It is Schuemann's best podium finish on the Circuit, bettering his third in Puerto Portals in 2008 with Platoon Powered by Team Germany.

The tough conditions produced a typically bruising final day which placed big demands on crew work and equipment.

Showing yet another display of near-flawless sailing in stronger breezes, Puerto Calero (ESP) scored a first and second on the final day to win this first battle in the five regattas long war that is the 2010 GP42 Series.

Their consistency, speed and error-free sailing in the challenging 20-25 knot conditions seem suited to this Canarias-based team.

Puerto Calero's wide-body 2009 Botin & Carkeek-designed hull design was perfectly suited to the fresh breeze.

Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) won the last race today and finished this regatta as runner-up.

The GP42 fleet was cut down by one in today's racing by the unfortunate damage sustained by Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) when their masthead crane snapped within an hour prior to the start of the first race.

The next regatta on the Audi MedCup Circuit is the Marseille Trophy from June 15th to 20th.

TP52 Series
1. Emirates Team New Zealand, NZL, 31,5 points
2. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE, FRA/GER, 51.5
3. Artemis, SWE, 58
4. Quantum Racing, USA, 59.5
5. TeamOrigin, GBR, 59.5
6. Matador, ARG, 60
7. Synergy, RUS, 64
8. Cristabella, GBR, 65
9. Luna Rossa, ITA, 77.5
10. Bribón, ESP, 77.5
11. Bigamist 7, POR, 85

GP42 Series
1. Puerto Calero, ESP, 14 points
2. Madrid-Caser Seguros, ESP, 20
3. Iberdrola, ESP, 26
5. Peninsula Petroleum, GBR, 40

Kljakovic Gaspic Successfully Defends Finn European Title
Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image for photo gallery.

Finn European Not many sailors get the chance to sail a major championship in their home town and even fewer get a chance to win one. But Sunday, for Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) that dream came true as he successfully defended his Finn European Championship title in the medal race of the 2010 Finn Open Senior and Junior European Championships in Split, Croatia. The Junior title went to Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), also defending the title he won in 2009.

After a shifty and gusty medal race, Kljakovic Gaspic placed second to retain his title, saying "This has been one of the toughest regattas of my life." Third place for Ed Wright (GBR) secured him the silver medal while fifth for Daniel Birgmark (SWE) left him with the bronze.

For the first time in the whole regatta, racing started on time, first time. It was all about the shifts and they came through at frequent intervals with large gusts mixed in. It was a fantastic test of sailing skill.

Just after the medal race the final race for the rest was completed with the race win going to Florian Raudaschl (AUT) from Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) and Michael Maier (CZE). This left Dan Slater (NZL) in 11th overall, having missed he medal race by just one point.

In the Junior European Championship, Ioannis Mitakis had already retained the title he won in 2009 with a race spare, and with a second place in the final race he ended up an impressive 12th overall. The two Americans, Luke Lawrence (USA) and Caleb Paine (USA) went into the final race in silver and bronze positions. A 16th for Lawrence and a 54th for Paine left them in 30th and 40th overall and well clear of fourth paced Josip Olujic (CRO) from the host club.

Final top 10 after medal race
(medal race position in brackets)

1. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 35 points (2)
2. Edward Wright, GBR, 35 (3)
3. Daniel Birgmark, SWE 41 (5)
4. Rafael Trujillo, ESP, 41 (7)
5. Marin Misura, CRO, 49 (4)
6. Mate Arapov, CRO, 52 (1)
7. Giles Scott, GBR, 54 (6)
8. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 54 (RTD)
9. Peer Moberg, NOR, 57 (8)
10. Thomas Le Breton, FRA, 59 (DNC)

Event website:
Class site:

Tonnerre and Xcentric Ripper Overall Winners R.O.R.C. North Sea Race
Scheveningen/Netherlands: The Tonnerre de Breskens 3 of skipper Piet Vroon (NED) and the Xcentric Ripper of John van der Starre (NED) are the overall winners of the R.O.R.C. North Sea Race 2010, respectively in the IRC and ORC fleet. On Friday May 14, a total of 64 yachts started in Harwich and 62 of them crossed the finish in Scheveningen this weekend. The former holder of the North Sea Record, the VO60 Pleomax of Harm Prins (NED), took the line honours on Saturday morning at 10:20:36 AM Dutch Summer Time. Today, the 30-foot long Four Seasons of Krupinski (POL) came in as last finisher at 10:26 AM.

The North Sea Race, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and part of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, turned out to be much quicker than expected. Various light air scenarios forecasted a long trip to the Netherlands, but the participants enjoyed an average of 9 knots in the sails. Due to the weather forecasts prior to the start, the race committee decided to let the ORC 3 class race the shorter course (about 135 nautical miles), like the ORC 4 and 5. . Other classes faced about 180 NM.

On the finish line, the gap between the 60-foot long Pleomax (former Whitbread racer) and the new KER 46 Tonnerre only twelfe minutes. That wasn't enough, concluded Prins. 'It went excellent", was Vroon's answer. His 46-foot racing machine was the fastest to complete the course along the English coast and first to round the Smith's Knoll Buoy, with Pleomax in her wake. Prins: 'We were leading, but we decided to stay deep and Tonnerre went more offshore. They were 50 till 100 meters earlier at the mark."

In the ORC it was the Xcentric Ripper J-109 of John van der Starre that showed the best performance overall. She also won the ORC 2 class.

After having finished top three more often, the Que Guapa X-332 of Suzanne van Meerten and Kees Groenenboom took two wins in a row this week. This fanatic Dutch couple won the ORC 3 class in both, the Vuurschepenrace and the R.O.R.C. North Sea Race.

On Friday May 21, the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta continues with her inshore sailing program. About thirty classes will compete and Scheveningen will be the Dutch centre of the coastal sailings sports for four days.

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

Seahorse letters
Marvellous development... but not for everyone

Barcelona World race - And then there were 10
Jocelyn Bleriot points out that as the girls sign up it's actually 20...

Olympic and small boat news - Evolution (not revolution)
Skiff champion Rob Brown catches up with sailmaker Michael Coxon and this year's JJ Giltinan Trophy frontrunners

Design - Into the fray
About time... Britt Ward describes Farr Yacht Design's first move into the Class 40

Seahorse build table - Little stormer
Nicolas Goldenberg can get you on that Mini Transat start line for less than you may think

Sailor of the Month
A month for perseverance... and perspiration

Normandy Channel Race
The first running of the Normandy Channel Race set sail Sunday at 1400 hours offshore of Hermanville-sur-Mer in France's Calvados region. 10 Class 40s, helmed by 20 sailors, have over 1,000 miles ahead of them now, taking them through some legendary navigation zones including the islands of Saint-Marcouf, Barfleur, the Solent, the South coast of England, the Celtic Sea, the Irish Sea, the famous Fastnet Rock and the Raz Blanchard. Competitors are expected to return to Caen next Friday or Saturday.

Early this afternoon, the sailors participating in the Normandy Channel Race crossed the start line in calm seas and a 10 knot WSW'ly breeze. Bound for Saint-Marcouf, the first passage mark, the first 37 miles spent tacking offshore or along the landing beaches, it's proving to be a adrenalin-packed introduction to the race.

For the double-handed crews it's all about getting into the rhythm of the competition and begin to negotiate the potential wind shifts and, above all, the current, which is likely to have considerable influence as the fleet passes Barfleur early this evening. This initial tricky passage may well have an impact on the provisional general ranking. However, once this section is behind them, the skippers will then focus on crossing the English Channel, setting a course towards the Solent and the Isle of Wight, which will have to be left to port, with a significant drop in wind forecast as it switches round to the NW. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

* Peter Harding and Halvard Mabire won the Normandy Channel Race prologue aboard "40 Degrees".

20 racers, accompanied by their guests for the day, got off to a great start, which reflected their keenness to be at sea following several days' preparation along the pontoons of the Bassin Saint-Pierre in Caen. The British skipper Peter Harding and local French skipper Halvard Mabire, quickly got away from the chasing pack on their new Owen Clarke design. Used to sailing together, with a trans-channel race, numerous RORC races and the Grand Prix de Douarnenez to their credit, they were first to round the windward mark and then managed to hold off some stiff competition. "Spliff", sailed by British sailors Andrew Dawson and Stephen Card went on to take second, while Tanguy De Lamotte and Jean Galfione trailed in third. "Peter Harding, the owner of the boat, is happy" enthused Halvard as they went through the lock at Ouistreham, "so I am too! We worked well together. The boat goes great in the light conditions so we quickly got ahead of the others. You always have more clear air up front".

Yesterday's prologue ranking:

1. 40 Degrees Peter Harding and Halvard Mabire
2. Spliff Andrew Dawson and Stephen Card
3. Novedia - Initiatives Tanguy de Lamotte and Jean Galfione
4. Phesheya - Racing Nick Leggatt and Philippa Hutton - Squire

Joe Woods Crowned Melges 32 European Champion
Photo by Guido Trombetta/Bplan. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 32 European Champion Cagliari, Italy; Joe Woods on Red, with Paul Goodison on tactics wins the 2010 Audi Melges 32 European Championship.

On the final day, in mistral conditions that had no boundaries, Woods hit the fleet hard resisting fierce attacks from those, who at the end of the Championship accompanied him on the podium, Lanfranco Cirillo and tactician Michele Paoletti on Fantastica and Luca Lalli on with Lorenzo Bressani on tactics.

The sixth race, presented by Yacht Club Cagliari, proved useful to those looking to close gaps in the standings. Woods landed fifth and with this result, he collected the title. Congratulations are in full order for Woods and his successful crew with much merit to Goodison, the weapon aboard by which Red found its strength. Cirillo also had one of his best regattas yet, three second place finishes a fourth and a sixth. Lalli finished three points out in third. Peter Rogers on Highlife, who up until this morning dreamed of success, slipped from second overall to fifth. Passed by Kilroy in fourth.

Final overall standings Audi Melges 32 European Championship after 6 races with one discard:

Full Entry List (After 5 races)
1. Joe Woods/Paul Goodison, Red, 14
2. Lanfranco Cirillo/Michele Paoletti, Fantastica, 16
3. Luca Lalli/Lorenzo Bressani,, 17
4. John Kilroy/Stu Bannatyne, Samba Pa Ti, 19
5. Peter Rogers/Ruaridh Scott, Highlife, 21
6. Jean-Francois Cruette/Christian Ponthieu, Teasing Machine, 39
7. Mauro Mocchegiani/Matteo Ivaldi, Rush Diletta, 42
8. Filippo Pacinotti/Freddy Loof, Brontolo, 45
9. Carlo Alberini/Gabriele Benussi, Calvi Network, 46
10. Ferdinando Battistella/Sandro Montefusco, Cuervo Y Sobrinos, 46

Public Relations Proves Its Value When Budgets Are Tight
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Based at the heart of the UK's yachting industry ClearLine has extensive experience in the leisure marine sector with a broad range of international clients both large and small. One-off projects or ongoing campaigns; UK, Europe or worldwide; we are ready to provide you with the cost-effective, efficient service that you need.

To find out more about us, visit our website or call Matt or Marina on +44 (0)1962 820358, or email

Fifty Windsurfers In Fifty Knots
DefiWind Out of 1000, there were nearly 600 riders still ready to fight one last time on the water when the race director decided to cancel the sixth leg because of a north wind blowing at more than 50 knots. The danger was real given the problems already encountered before the expected start. "It is more reasonable," said one amateur. "Not everybody has the level required to sail over 50 knots and we already have nearly 200 km on board." Back to the beach for everyone. But the "defieurs" did not say their final word. The race committee decided to postpone the start but this time, only the top 50 of the provisional ranking was invited to this final race. "The conditions were really too extreme" explained Philippe Bru, the organizer of this wonderful event. "We still wanted to provide the public with an amazing show so we opted for a tiny run."

This VIP race has pleased all the spectators gathered along the beach with top speeds over 60km/hour. Pascal Toselli repeats his feat in winning this race crossing the finish line more than a minute ahead of the Slovakian Tine Slab. "I had a good equipment and good set-up on this leg. I'm really happy to win and to achieve the second place overall" explained Pascal.

Pierre Mortefon, on his side, has demonstrated a surprising regularity: winning two races, finishing second on another one and third today, "it's great to win at home. I still do not realize that I have managed to beat Anders (Bringdal).

Fanny Aubet, 2009 funboard French champion and slalom world champion of 'less than 20 years' category, explains her disappointment of not having participated in today's race:" That's too bad, I would have liked to see my performance in these conditions. But I understand the decision of the race officer to limit the start to the top 50 riders as the Tramontane is really strong today.

General ranking :
1. Pierre Mortefon
2. Pascal Toselli
3. Bieuzy Mauffret
4. Julien Quentel
5. Anders Bringdal
6. Antoine Queste

Women ranking:
1. Valerie Ghibaudo
2. Lise Vidal
3. Olivia Piana

Groupe Bel Completes The Fleet In Saint Barths
Kito de Pavant and Sebastien Audigane crossed the finish line of this year's Transat AG2R-La Mondiale yesterday at 1457 (French time). At dawn on their 26th day at sea, the Groupe Bel Figaro closed the race, where four years earlier they had been the winners*. A collision with a whale, the loss of the use of a rudder, a pitstop in the Canaries, restarting the race, and a gamble on a northerly route which ultimately led them to be totally becalmed for five days in the middle of the Atlantic... It was certainly a tough race for this pair, who were race favourites at the start in Concarneau. In an act of pure sportsmanship, Richard Ledee and Christophe Lebas, having reached St Barts a few hours earlier than Groupe Bel, had waited for their fellow competitors in order to cross the finish line together.

Obviously this is not the result the team was aiming for. Kito and Seb have numerous transatlantic races to their names, and had prepared thoroughly for this race. They clearly demonstrated their talent during the first week of the race. However, as the skipper wrote in his last message from the boat: "There are highs and lows in the life of a sailor, and in life in general, I might add. And one thing that should always be remembered in sport and especially in offshore racing is a good dose of modesty."

Tomorrow, Kito will be off running again, this time to catch a plane for Paris and then Lisbon, to be reunited with his Open 60 Groupe Bel and his shore team, in order to spend some time with the Portuguese subsidiary of his sponsor.

As of next week, this sailor will be once again at sea. With the aim of participating in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale in the autumn, Kito will sail solo in the direction of the Azores.

*Kito de Pavant and Pietro D'Ali (ITA) won the 2006 edition of the TransatAG2R on Groupe Bel.

Final ranking of the Transat AG2R-La Mondiale 2010 :
1 - Brit Air - Le Cleac'h/Delahaye
2 - Banque Populaire - Gregoire/Veniard
3 - Cercle Vert - Morvan/De Broc
4 - Saveol - Attanasio/Davies
5 - Credit Mutuel de Bretagne - Troussel/Rouxel
6 - Generali - Lunven/Le Cam
7 - Skipper Macif - Peron/Riou
8 - Luisina - Drouglazet/Pellecuer
9 - Lufthansa - Treussart/Le Clech
10 - Cheminee Poujoulat - Stamm/Mahe
24 - Groupe Bel - De Pavant/Audigane

Complete results:

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 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: This young lady may not have broken a recognised record, but she has indisputably circumnavigated the world south of the three great Capes. So no record maybe, but certainly a solo circumnavigation, and the 174th person to have achieved this.

* From Brent Isaacson: Further to Bob Fisher's article on the PR spin in Jessica Watson voyage, have you noticed the strange detour she has taken on the last few days of her voyage? The prevailing winds are ideal for a direct course to Sydney but she has detoured out to sea which must be delaying her arrival by at least a day. With forecast winds of 20-30 knots offshore today I am sure she would want to get into Sydney as soon as possible. At least four days before her arrival her spinmeisters were able to predict that she would arrive at the Opera House steps at 11:30 am on a Saturday and give a public address with the Prime Minister an hour later. This is a curiously accurate prediction of her arrival. Does it have anything to do with her detour over the last few days? If we could harness this PR spin as a motive force we could get around the world without needing any wind.

* From Dee Smith: This is something very new to me, Fund Raising for the R.I Leukemia Cup. I have an opportunity to give back from my own experience with cancer so this is very dear to me. This is the first time I have the keys to a very nice boat in the RC 44 and have entered in this year's LC sailed on June 5th.

3 years ago, I had a little pain in my back that grew pretty fast. Living in Spain at the time, it took a little while to figure out what it was. Long story short, it turned out to be stage 4 lung cancer, and I never smoked, go figure. I was lucky enough to have friends in our industry that provided an incredible amount of help both in Europe and back here in the states. It really touched me deep down.

I have crewing with me on this race Gary Jobson, who is also a cancer survivor. He has been working with these regattas around the States for quite a while. Scotty Murray will also join us. He has been working on this race for some 15 years.

With your help we hope to bring in as much as possible for this great cause in the name of survivors everywhere. Please donate anything you can. Please make checks out to LLS of RI to my attention at the address below. Write Team RC 44 on the lower left corner of the check. All donations are tax deductable

Send to:
Dee Smith Yacht Racing
3545 Rockway Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403

* From Damien Kin: re donations to the family of Spike Doriean:

On behalf of Nicki, Jemima & Fox (& Billy the dog) I'm writing to express our sincere thanks for your support.

The generosity of family, friends and the greater yachting community has been astonishing. In the absence of any life insurance, this continues to be a financially challenging exercise.

At this stage we expect to be able to raise approximately half of the required funds to cover the existing financial commitments.

Moving forward we are now focused on providing a stable financial plan to provide for the future and your contribution has provided a very important platform for this.

Mr Phillip Coombs has also generously instigated a trust to assist for Jemima & Fox's education, which a fantastic initiative.

If you haven't already, click on the links below... and if you can, please make a donation:

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
Myths which are believed in tend to become true. -- George Orwell

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