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Toughest Challenge For The Final Day
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

A breeze in excess of 20 knots came through in the morning with many wondering if there would even be any racing at all. Thunder, lightning, torrential rain and huge winds ensured the Olympic sailors were pushed to their limits.

As the day advanced, the weather completely turned on its head and midway through the Laser Medal Race, the wind cut out entirely. A wait for breeze ensued and as the rain returned so did a fickle 3-9 knots. Nine fleets completed their Medal Race with only the Men's RS:X missing out.

The road to Rio is a hard one and if the racing in Hyères is anything to go by, expect fireworks at the Olympic Games.

Final podium positions:

Top three by class:

2.4 m
1. Matthew Bugg, AUS, 17
2. Bjornar Erikstad, NOR, 25
3. Damien Seguin, NOR, 31

470 Men
1. Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic, CRO, 29
2. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS, 44
3. Lucas Calabrese / Juan de la Fuente, ARG, 54

470 Women
1. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 41
2. Fernanda Oliveira / Ana Luiza Barbachan, BRA, 42
3. Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA, 42

1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL, 52
2. Jonas Warrer / Christian Peter Lubeck, DEN, 98
3. William Phillips / Sam Phillips, AUS, 102

49erFX Women
1. Lisa Ericson / Hanna Klinga, SWE, 72
2. Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 74
3. Jena Mal Hansen / Katja Salskov-Iversen, DEN, 75

1. Jake Lilley, AUS, 42
2. Oliver Tweddell, AUS, 45
3. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 52

1. Phlipp Buhl, GER, 53
2. Sam Meech, NZL, 56
3. Tom Burton, AUS, 58

Laser Radial Women
1. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 42
2. Josefin Olsson, SWE, 42
3. Alison Young, GBR, 53

Nacra 17
1. Fernando Echavarri / Tara Pacheco van Rijnsoever, ESP, 77
2. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA, 77
3. Mandy Mulder / Coenn de Koning, NED, 87

RS:X Men
1. Piotr Myszka, POL, 52
2. Pawel Tarnowski, POL, 55
3. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 61

RS:X Women
1. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 39
2. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 47
3. Charline Picon, FRA, 60

1. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Marie Solberg / Per Eugen Kristiansen, NOR, 18
2. Hannah Stodel / John Robertson / Steve Thomas, GBR, 27
3. Alphonsus Doerr / Bradley Kendell / Hugh Freund, USA, 28

Full results:

Laser Radial Masters Worlds
The 2016 Laser Radial Masters World Championship has concluded, with winners from New Zealand, Brazil, Australia, and the United States of America claiming top spots in the five age-grouped divisions. Masters sailors are all at least 35 years old, and are grouped by decades - Apprentice (35-44), Masters (45-54), Grand Masters (55-64), Great Grand Masters (65-75), and Legends (75+).

Scott Leith (NZL) decisively closed out the Apprentice division, winning both races today. His two discards for the event were both seconds.

In the Masters division, Carlos Edwardo Weberley (BRA) solidified his lead over Richard Blakey (NZL) by winning the final race.

In the Grand Master division, Vanessa Dudley (AUS) held onto her lead from yesterday, winning by two points.

Robert Lowdnes (AUS) clinched the Great Grand Masters division with a second, despite having to discard a 12th in the second race, holding off William Symes (USA) and Michael Kinnear (GBR).

The 75+ division had some close racing, with Peter Seidenberg (USA) taking the win from Kerry Waraker (AUS). Seidenberg claimed a pair of bullets, with Waraker finishing second in both races, for a two point lead. David Hartman (USA) finished third in today's race, and overall.

Eight Years On
The Oman Sail project is doing such a good job of promoting its young sailors that Russell Coutts dropped by recently to add his support.

In 2008 Sultan Qaboos bin Said gave the green light to set up a groundbreaking initiative to reinvigorate Oman's maritime heritage and introduce sailing to a new generation of youngsters. Eight years on, things couldn't be going better for Oman Sail.

From its humble beginnings Oman Sail has grown into one of the Sultanate's - and the sailing world's - great success stories, helping more than 20,000 Omani men, women and children to discover the sport. The programme's goal? To develop homegrown talent good enough to compete at the top of sailing, be that an Olympic Games, an America's Cup or in a Volvo Ocean Race. It's a mission well on the way to fulfilment, with its sailors regularly representing Oman in international regattas and top campaigns.

But Oman Sail's beating heart is its flagship Youth Programme, getting youngsters out on the water for the first time and nurturing talented junior sailors. Four sailing schools (with three more to come) dotted round the country are abuzz with children taking their first steps in the sport or developing their racing skills.

Balestrero Wins Porto Ercole
Porto Ercole, Italy: After a hard fought and intense battle on the final day of racing in Porto Ercole, the second act of the Sailing Series Melges 32, Matteo Balestrero at the helm of Giogi is the event Champion! Sailing with Balestrero is the phenomenal Daniele Cassinari as tactician and crew members Andrea Casale, Francesco Di Caprio, Davide Di Maio, Cristiano Giannetti, Leone Taddei and Elio Borio.

Although Balestrero's daily results were clearly not his best of the weekend, he and his team managed to maintain their overnight lead for the overall win. This is his first regatta win in the Melges 32 fleet.

The next event happens on June 3-5 in Talamone for the third act of the Sailing Series®.

Top five final results:
1. Matteo Balestrero, Giogi, ITA, 24
2. Vincenzo Onorato, Mascalzone Latino, ITA, 28
3. Lasse Pettersen, Pippa, NOR, 29
4. Richard Goransson, Inga From Sweden, SWE, 29
5. Andrea LaCorte, Vitamina, ITA, 34

Full Results

Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao
Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series is gearing up for a thrilling showdown with just 12 points separating the top three teams heading into the last day.

Swiss crew Alinghi put on another display of consistency in Qingdao's light winds today to go into the finale in front following three days of intense competition in Fushan Bay.

But in the fickle conditions Qingdao has been throwing at the eight-strong fleet, victory is far from guaranteed for helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis and his teammates.

Day 3 also saw Chinese crew One bounce back from a string of disappointing results to win the last race of the day, much to the delight of the huge crowds that turned out to support their home team.

"One is a new team to Extreme Sailing Series and we are getting better day by day," said One's Liu Xue, best known as Black. "We were lucky today because in the last race we got ahead and managed to hold onto the lead right until the end."

The final day of Act 2 begins tomorrow at 1400 local time (0600 GMT). Follow the action live at from 1515 local time (0715 GMT).

Standings after Day 3, 12 races

1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 119 points
2. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 115
3. Sail Portugal (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Bernardo Freitas, Javier de la Plaza, Luís Brito, João Matos Rosa, 107
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand, 99
5. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Bleddyn Mon, Leigh McMillan, Michael Barnes, Adam Kay, Neil Hunter, 99
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde, 99
7. One (CHN) Taylor Canfield, Chris Steele, Shane Diviney, Hayden Goodrick, Luke Payne, Liu Xue, 90
8. Team Turx (TUR) Stevie Morrison, Tom Dawson, Tom Buggy, Martin Evans, Brad Funk, 88

Melbourne To Host Sailing World Cup Final
Australia's sporting capital, Melbourne, is to host the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final from 4-11 December out of the St Kilda Sailing Precinct.

The Sailing World Cup Final will bring together the world's best sailors in the aftermath of the Rio 2016 Sailing Competitions as they seek to end the year on a high heading into the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial.

With a grandstand for sailing like no other, the Sailing World Cup Final in St Kilda Sailing Precinct, made out of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS), St Kilda Baths, St Kilda Beach and Catani Gardens, will put the sport front and centre of the public.

The 2016 Sailing World Cup Final will be the climax of a yearlong series. The first event took place in Melbourne before a stop in Miami, USA at the end of January. Two stops in Europe in Hyères, France and Weymouth & Portland, Great Britain lead into Sailing World Cup Qingdao in September before December's showcase.

The St Kilda Sailing Precinct and the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron have welcomed Olympic sailors before, playing host to the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Kialoa III at Antigua Sailing Week
Kialoa III, the 78ft beauty has returned to reclaim her glory at Antigua Sailing Week having last won in 1979. We race on board this historical yacht during Peter & May Race Day 4.

The legendary yacht is the S&S 78 Kialoa III, which was one of the most well-known of Jim Kilroy's Maxis and best remembered for her line honours victory in the 1975 Sydney Hobart when she broke the race record that stood for 21 years! She was unbeatable in the Maxi circuit in the 70s but now she has sailed over 8,000 miles to Antigua to try to emulate her win back in 1979.

Downwind Aero Study Phase 1 Completed
Total pressure Isosurface flowing off sails and hull with Velocity streamlines over geometry colored by pressure. Click on image to enlarge.

The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation is pleased to announce the completion and availability of Phase 1 of the Downwind Aero Moments and Forces project conducted by JB Braun of North Design Services. The complete report and results from this study are posted and available on the SYRF website at

The purpose of this study was to help improve the accuracy of modern handicapping rules in understanding downwind aerodynamic performance. North Design's approach was to use their Fluid-Structure-Interaction (FSI) modeling software to produce a set of results comprised of all aerodynamic moments and forces for a range of downwind sails, angles, and wind speeds utilizing a Reynolds Average Navier Stokes (RANS) code coupled with finite element analysis (FEA) results.

In this study, downwind sails for three distinct offshore boat types were chosen: a modern TP 52, typical of a high-performance design; a Club Swan 42, a fast cruiser/racer; and a McCurdy & Rhodes 48, representing an older cruising design. For each simulations were run at a range of wind angles and wind speeds for two asymmetric spinnaker designs and (for the M&R 48) a symmetric spinnaker design.

Results were generated in spreadsheets that include lift and drag coefficients for the total sailplan, as well as for the gennaker and mainsail separately. Additionally, individual forces, moments, and center of effort locations are also listed for combined and individual components. These results are available to help managers of handicap rule systems to calibrate their current Velocity Prediction Programs (VPP's) that generate similar data on downwind performance.

Jim Teeters, developer of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) VPP system, has said "SYRF's Aero Moments and Forces project is of very significant value to the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR). As a rule that is based upon a proprietary VPP that relies heavily upon scientific research, this study provides an alternative look at the sail forces that drive sailboats. The current sail aerodynamic model in use is based on extensive wind tunnel testing compared against full-scale yachts, whereas this study utilizes North's advanced computational methods of a (RANS) code."

SYRF is considering a Phase 2 of this project to couple the aero study with the hull performance. Noted designer Jason Ker of the International Technical Committee (ITC) of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and a member of the SYRF Advisory Board said "Validation of the results is important, and I think the follow up to this piece of work is to put a good RANS hull matrix for each boat in their VPP and see if the combined result gives believable target VMG and true wind angles."

"We are very pleased to complete and publish the Downwind Aero Forces and Moments Project and continue the support for rating systems to improve their tools," said Steve Benjamin, Chairman of SYRF. "Better predictions can produce better ratings, which in turn can produce fairer results among the world's offshore racers. We're proud at SYRF to help support this effort."

For more information on the Downwind Aero Moments and Forces project and all SYRF-supported projects, visit

Hands For Hire
Picture this: you're 30 years old, almost 31. You've just completed your first ever Volvo Ocean Race - and you scooped the 'best rookie' award in the process. You're at your physical peak - fit, hungry and raring to go. Oh, and you're female.

Meet Sophie Ciszek, one of the stars of the SCA campaign - the first all-female team to enter the Volvo Ocean Race since 2001-02.

She's six foot tall. She can run faster, longer and harder than you. She can almost certainly lift more weight than you. So why is this young athlete, at the peak of physical fitness and full of motivation, on the verge of quitting the sport altogether?

You'd think that with her award-winning pedigree, Sophie would have the offers piling up - but that's not the case.

"It's super frustrating. I went home to Australia after the race and it took me over a month just to find someone willing to put me on board in the Sydney-Hobart Race.

"It's not easy. I've had a lot of ups and downs since the end of the Volvo Ocean Race," she reflects.

"To be honest, I just don't think that female acceptance in the rest of the sailing world is there yet."

A Win For Max Trippolt In Gmunden
The fourth Gmunden Grand Prix - the opening event of the Austrian Match Racing Tour and Traunsee week - was a demonstration of power Vorarlbergers. Seven wins in seven races earned him a commanding overall victory with the Berlin Jens Hartwig in second place and the Salzburg Stefan Scharnagl in third place.

Glorious weather at the start of Austria's Match Racing Tour with bright sunshine and the typical low wind were the basis for a successful start of the Traunsee week on the Upper Austrian Traunsee. 32 races were completed against the backdrop of Schloss Orth, the Esplanade and the snowy Alps.

Max Trippolt, the three-time Tour champion, hadn't yet had a at Gmunden Grand Prix.

Final results of this Grade 3 match racing event:

1. Max Trippolt (Vorarlberg)
2. Jens Hartwig (Deutschland)
3. Stefan Scharnagl (Salzburg)
4. Martin Diettrich (Karnten)
5. Max Stelzl (Oberosterreich)
6. Simon Meister (Tirol)

Nationality And The America's Cup - Always Good For A Debate
The debate about nationality rules always stirs passions. Having a strict nationality requirement for the crew would probably boost audience interest, like for the Olympics and the football (soccer) World Cup. But it would also reduce participation and make it hard or impossible for new countries to compete.

What few people realize is that crew nationality rules were introduced only in 1980 and were dropped 10 years ago. In 1895 and 1899 when American fisherman from Deer Isle, Maine were the crews on "Defender" and "Columbia," they made news, since crews on US defenders before and after were often Scandinavians.

Charlie Barr, skipper of "Columbia" and later of "Reliance," was Scottish born. Even "America" had a British pilot on board to navigate around the Isle of Wight in 1851. Barr was a pure professional. He didn't hesitate to go back to Scandinavian crews for the 1901 and 1903 defenses. Barr would certainly agree with the current philosophy of hiring the best sailors, regardless of nationality.

For the 2017 America's Cup we have three mostly national teams - Land Rover BAR, Groupama Team France and Emirates Team New Zealand - and three mostly international teams - Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing and SoftBank Team Japan. -- Jack Griffin in

Jack's asking for comments:

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The Last Word
In the newspapers, there's a picture of me and my kids right there. How many men have won the Nobel [Prize] in the last few years, and they have kids the same age as mine, and their kids aren't in the picture? That's a big difference, right? And that makes a statement. -- Carol W. Greider, 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

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