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Laser Radial Women's Worlds
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico: Sunday was the fourth and final day of Qualifying Races, in which the two fleets (Yellow and Blue) are balanced with a mix of competitors of all score totals. The competitors will now be split into Gold and Silver fleets for the remaining three days of competition.

The starting sequence for the first race (R7 for Yellow) began at 1400h, but a shift to the right led to a postponement. After settling in at about 10 knots from WSW, this fleet started cleanly, but a general recall for the Blue Fleet gave time for the wind to shift back to the left. Race committee adjusted the course and the Blue Fleet started under a black flag restriction in 12-14 knots of building breeze and clearing skies.

The scores in all races still count to a sailor's final score, but now the Gold Fleet will contain the top sailors, based on the Qualifying races. These sailors will be competing for the Championship. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Paige Railey (USA) still hold the top two places. Alison Young (GBR) has moved into third place, followed by Erika Reinecke (USA), and Gintare Scheidt (LTU).

Racing continues through Wednesday April 20th.

* Two races were sailed on Monday for Gold Fleet:

Top ten places:
1. Alison Young, GBR, 27 points
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 28
3. Paige Railey, USA, 33
4. Gintare Volungeviciute Scheidt, LTU, 34
5. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 37
6. Brenda Bowskill, CAN, 54
7. Manami Doi, JPN, 58
8. Lijia Xu , CHN, 63
9. Erika Reineke, USA, 66
10. Sara Winther, NZL, 66

Full results

Transat AG2R La Mondiale
Tonight under a beautiful moon, the head of fleet of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale had good boatspeed: 9 knots in 18 knots of wind. Leaders (Cercle Vert, Agir Recouvrement, Gedimat, Bretagne-CMB Performance and Generali) do not let go, while at the rear, on Monday, April 18, Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde will see two crews calling: Free Dom Lorientreprendre and Home Services.

"We are down to just five to six days of food. We must stop to refuel" said Yannig Livery on Lorientreprendre. The 13th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale was suppose to be short. It proves devilishly long. The gap has continued to widen throughout last week. Free Dom Home Services (Stephanie JADAUD and Tolga Pamir) is 865 miles from the race leader!

The uncertain weather forecast remains a big problem for the 5 leading boats. The ideal routes change every day! "Routings yesterday predicted a finish on 26 but it changes every day. The end position is uncertain depending on the wind on approach to St. Barts "added Alexis Loison this morning aboard Cercle Vert. The five leaders are held in 20000 and on the final straight, the tension is at its height. Do not let go, stay alert, spending time at the chart table, Victory or the podium of the 13th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale is played each minute.

Top ten 19/04/2016 at 05:00

1. Agir Recouvrement, Adrien Hardy / Vincent Biarnes, 1202.7 nm to finish
2. Cercle Vert, Gildas Morvan / Alexis Loison, 2.93 nm to leader
3. Generali, Nicolas Lunven / Gildas Mahe, 4.03
4. Bretagne - CMB Performance, Sebastien Simon / Xavier Macaire, 11.91
5. Gedimat, Thierry Chabagny / Erwan Tabarly, 34.26
6. Fulgur - Evapco, Milan Kolacek / Pierre Brasseur, 41.18
7. Artemis, Sam Matson / Robin Elsey, 50.85
8. Bellocq Paysages - Saveurs De Cornouaille, Martin Le Pape / Eric Peron, 88.21
9. Les Saintes, Arthur Prat / Nicolas Thomas, 172.21
10. Marie Galante, Keni Piperol / Benjamin Augereau, 360.38

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Hugh Welbourn (GBR)
'A National 12 champion in short trousers, two-handed round the world and foiling for the masses in his old age!' - Peter Morton; 'DSS is the best thing in years' - Paul Murphy; 'We need original thinkers' - Jim Dominy; 'The Quant 23 is awesome, I want one' - Norm Casler; 'Who says monohulls can't reach?' - Tim Banks; 'A free thinker in an industry locked into incremental development' - Pete Elkington; 'Finally... I got into Hugh's DSS adventure early, but it still takes time to change the world!' - Michael Aeppli.

This month's nominees:

Augie Diaz (USA)
OK, here's the thing. As this issue goes to press with three races still to go... Florida's most famous sailor, Cuban-born Augie Diaz, sailing with his Italian crew Bruno Prada, had not actually won the 2016 Star Worlds but they had led from day 1. Whether or not Diaz closes the deal in a super-hot fleet does not affect our view that a man who has won so much and done so much for sailing deserves to be nominated either way

Andrej Justin (SLO)
An under-rated talent. Justin first came to prominence in the racing world when he teamed up with qualified engineer (and not a bad sailor) Russell Coutts to create the RC44 - as good an example of 'boat fits purpose' as you will come across. But Justin's latest design, the L-30 (pg46) really is something else. Commissioned for Rodion Luka's Ukraine initiative, the L-30 will find a far wider market as soon as word is out

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Sportsboat Cup Invitation Issued By Howth Yacht Club
There are just six weeks to go until the second Howth Yacht Club Sportsboat Cup. Seven fleets are signed up to race over three days at the end of May on two race courses. Richard Kissane and his teams are planning nine windward-leward races for Ireland's premier Sportsboat Regatta.

In breaking from the mold, the quarter and half tonners are invited to race under IRC. A throwback to when they were the cutting edge racing classes, with spartan on-board facilities, they are now also included in the race schedule. The 'Tonners' are the only fleet not racing as one-design and they will be sharing the race track with the 1720s, SB20s, J80s, Sailfleet J80s, RS Elites and J24s. Notable entries already in are previous Sailor of the Year Anthony O'Leary who will be racing in the 1720 class, while Howth's Laser Radial supremo Ewan McMahon (recently fifth at the Euros!) who has chartered a Sailfleet J80 and top performer of the Irish Fleet at last year's SB20 Worlds - HYC's Shane Murphy.

All eight of the ISA Sailfleet J80s will be racing and they are available to public charter, with HYC members getting a special discount. At the recent Student Yachting Nationals there was considerable interest from the competing colleges in availing of this.

T3: Booted Up And Ready To Fly
In a scene more reminiscent of The Matrix than Master and Commander, Land Rover BAR have launched the third in their series of testing boats.

The rules only allow the team to build one full-size 50 foot America's Cup Class (ACC) boat. However, the team can build shorter (45 foot) versions as test boats - T3 is one of these, and while it looks very like the final race boat, it's a few feet shorter. The rules also define much of the hull shape and structure, making wing and hydrofoil control systems one of the key technology battlegrounds.

Almost all of the team's innovation and new technology is hidden deep inside this third boat on the long development path to the final race design for the 35th America's Cup.

Ben Ainslie; Team Principal and Skipper, four times Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup winner: "T3 is another fantastic piece of technology from our designers, engineers, shore team and key suppliers. It's terrific to see the step changes we have made each time we launch a new boat. This is a new team, but it's growing up fast. Really fast."

Dubarry Crosshaven - Preferred By Professionals
Dubarry Crosshaven If you had to invent the most punishing ordeal for offshore sailing footwear - an extreme boot camp perhaps? - then it would be a professional, fully-crewed round the world race: thousands of ocean-bashing, boat-trashing miles around the planet. If there's even the slightest imperfection in boat, man or gear, this race will find it, break it, then tell everyone about it.

For most of us, it's the ultimate contest of man and machine against nature. For Dubarry, it's R&D. After supplying its ever-green Shamrock boot to the professional crew of Ireland's Green Dragon entry in a 2008-09 round the world race, Dubarry's most fanatical designers listened, developed, tested, listened some more, tweaked, analysed and tested again. The result was the Crosshaven boot.

When Green Dragon arrived in Galway at the end of leg 7 for the best party the race has ever seen, elbowing their way through the "craic addicts" was Dubarry's research team, wanting yet more feedback. Their finishing touches sealed the Crosshaven's reputation as the offshore professional's boot of choice. Where's the proof of that? Professional teams chose Crosshaven in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 round the world races.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

Gold Medal Rower Joseph Sullivan On Board For The America's Cup Grind
Olympic rowing champion Joseph Sullivan has completed a fairytale sporting resurgence with Team New Zealand's America's Cup squad.

Sullivan was a darling of his country when he roared to the most memorable of New Zealand's gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London, combining with Nathan Cohen for a thrilling, late-surging victory in the double sculls.

It was such an exhilarating performance, the duo motoring home from deep in the field with 500m remaining, it was later voted the country's favourite sporting moment at the Halberg Awards.

On top of gold medals won by single sculler Mahe Drysdale and pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, and the bronzes by women's pair Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown and lightweight scullers Storm Uru and Peter Taylor, it represented the most successful Games ever by a Kiwi rowing squad.

After taking a break post-London, he was told he had to prove himself all over again to return to the favoured boats in the national sculling programme.

Eventually, after much angst and soul-searching, he decided to retire from the sport and take on a career as a fire-fighter.

Sullivan has just been named, following an extensive tryout and trial period, as one of five grinders in Team NZ's expanded squad lineup.

He's not the first rower to step into the furnace of America's Cup grinding, with Olympic gold medal-winning single sculler Rob Waddell having also made the successful transition from row boat to sailing one.

Sullivan joins Kiwis Sam Bell and Guy Endean, Dutchman Carlo Huisman and Italian Gilberto Nobili, who was part of the winning Oracle team in 2010 and '13, as the grinders who will work towards the 2017 America's Cup challenge.

Artemis Racing Announces Partnership With Argo Group
Artemis Racing has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Argo Group, an international underwriter of specialty insurance products in the property and casualty market. The agreement welcomes Argo Group as an Official Partner of the team, with its logo to adorn Artemis Racing America's Cup boats and team clothing at events from the New York Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series onwards (May 7-8, 2016).

Under the agreement, Argo Group is also the Official Insurance Partner of Artemis Racing.

2016 will see Artemis Racing compete in Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series events in New York, Chicago, Portsmouth and Toulon, as well as continue its important development work being undertaken behind closed doors at the team's bases in Bermuda and California.

Sperry Charleston Race Week - A Perfect Finale
Certain boats seem to thrive in Charleston's breezy, tide-wrought conditions, and Sperry Charleston Race Week 2016 provided the perfect weather for them. Perennial favorites and past champions battled adversity to rise to the top once again, while new faces joined the podium in several classes.

For the third straight day, the wind provided plenty of power for the nearly 250 boats racing out of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, and in the biggest and most competitive class - the 67-boat J/70 fleet - 13-year-old Gannon Troutman was poised to wrap up an amazing victory after leading this tough fleet all week.

From Mexico City, helmsman Julian Fernandez Neckelmann - the reigning J/70 World Champion - had other ideas. In the final race, he edged out Troutman by a single point, tying the duo at 21 points after nine races By virtue of Fernandez's number of first-place finishes, the youngster from Fishing Bay Yacht Club lost the tiebreaker.

It's a testament to the level of competition in the fleets that tiebreakers would decide two other titles as well, with the Melges 20 National Championship going to New Jersey's Russ Lucas' Shimmer team. They came from behind to catch Daniel Thielman's California-based Kuai on points with a solid final race. And, the J/24 fleet was just as close as local Charleston skipper Scott McCormick (Giggity) held off a late charge for the second straight year from Aidan Glacken's NY-based Mental Floss to take the back-to-back class win on equal scores.

A back-to-back Sperry Charleston Race Week winner in the Melges 24 Class, Monsoon skipper Bruce Ayres' had a tough battle with another past champ - Travis Weisleder. This contest also came down to the final race.

Class / race winners:
J/80 (One Design - 10 Boats) Courageous, USA1313, Gary Panariello
J/24 (One Design - 17 Boats) Giggity, USA5237, Scott McCormick
J/22 (One Design - 4 Boats) CYC, USA1203, John Mossman
VX One (One Design - 9 Boats) GiddyUp, USA213, Kevin Gillman
GP 26 (ORC - 5 Boats) Rattle 'n' Rum, USA2604, Serhad Ciftci
J/70 (One Design - 67 Boats) Flojito Y Cooperando, MEX384, Julian Fernandez Neckelmann
Melges 24 (One Design - 29 Boats) Monsoon, USA851, Brucey Ayres
Melges 20 (One Design - 12 Boats) Shimmer, USA8, Russ Lucas
Viper 640 (One Design - 12 Boats) Ghost Panda, USA222, Peter Beardsley
J/111 (One Design - 6 Boats) Skeleton Key, USA115, Peter Wagner
J/88 (One Design - 6 Boats) Deviation, USA24, Iris Vogel
PHRF A (PHRF - 7 Boats) Teamwork, USA52939, Robin Team
PHRF B (PHRF - 10 Boats) Tangent, USA53228, Gerry Taylor
PHRF C - Sport (PHRF - 6 Boats) Next , USA36, Ryan Walsh
PHRF D (PHRF - 5 Boats) Mighty Puffin, USA269, Steve Thurston
Pursuit Race - Spinnaker 1 (One Design - 5 Boats) Triple Lindy, USA93310, Joseph Mele
Pursuit Race - Spinnaker 2 (One Design - 8 Boats) Indigo, USA184, Elliott Dodds
Pursuit Race - Non-Spinnaker (One Design - 18 Boats) Peregrine, USA60451, Timothy Vienneau

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