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Guessing Games In The Bay Of Biscay
The eighth day of racing in the NY-Vendee brought a destroyed 65th birthday cake and the promise of a fascinating three-way duel to the finish that could down to seconds.

As they enter the Bay of Biscay, the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne must feel like it is extending away like a mirage. At the 15:30 UTC ranking, Jeremie Beyou (Maitre CoQ) led the New York - Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode by 5.7 miles from Sebastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) - but it had been down to half a mile in the morning- and 24.4 miles from Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss). Thomson more than halved Beyou's lead overnight.

The routing predicts the leaders will finish between 10:00 and 15:00 (French time), with the later end of the spectrum more likely. But the wind is so unpredictable at the moment nobody can be certain.

The leading trio were still sailing in a southwesterly breeze just behind a cold front today, which allowed them to average around 12 knots still. But it is going soft in front of them and their apparently unavoidable destiny is to spend tonight in the bubble of high pressure that is forming over the Bay of Biscay.

Update on ETAs

Wednesday 8th June in the morning : Maitre CoQ, Edmond de Rothschild, Hugo Boss
Thursday 9th June in the afternoon : SMA
10th June in the morning : Spirit of Yukoh, Initiatives Coeur, PRB
10th June in the afternoon : Newrest Matmut
11th June : StMichel-Virbac, Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Safran
12th June : 100% Natural Energy, No Way Back

Rankings - 6 June 2016 at 18.00 BST:
1. Jeremie Beyou (Maitre CoQ) : 289.8 nm to the finish
2. Sebastien Josse (Edmond De Rothschild) : +8.7 nm behind leader
3. Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) : +21.6 nm
4. Paul Meilhat (SMA) : +287.1 nm
5. Tanguy De Lamotte (Initiatives Coeur) : +463.6 nm
6. Kojiro Shiraishi (Spirit of Yukoh): +487.3 nm
7. Vincent Riou (PRB): +527 nm
8. Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut) : +638.6 nm
9. Jean-Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac) : +1 330.7 nm
10. Yann Elies (Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir) : +1 344.2 nm
11. Morgan Lagraviere (Safran) : +1 351.3 nm
12. Conrad Colman (100% Natural Energy) : +1 614.7 nm
13. Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) : +1 641.6 nm
Ab Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire VIII)

Track the positions of the boats on :

Tales II Wins Atlantic Cup Leg Two
Tales II, skippered by Gonzalo Botín and Pablo Santurde, wins the 360-nautical mile leg two of the The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing! The win marks back-to-back offshore wins for the team and puts them on top of the leaderboard heading into the third and final leg, a crewed inshore series to be sailed this June 10th and 11th in Casco Bay, Maine.

After 54+ hours of racing the remaining 6 teams finished within minutes of each other. 3rd-5th place was a particularly exciting spectacle as Toothface, Talanta and Oakcliff battled back and forth passing each other over the last few miles only to finish 30 seconds apart!

First Time Racing In Fresh Water
Emirates Team New Zealand are again in race mode, this time at the 6th event on the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Chicago, Illinois.

With the successful regatta win in New York now a distant memory, so are the unique conditions the team had to contend with in the Big Apple.

Chicago on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. Located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan and known in the US as 'The Windy City', this weekends racing will be the first time an America's Cup event has been sailed in fresh water.

"It's an interesting element and a bit of a novelty to be sailing in fresh water." said skipper Glenn Ashby.

"Technically, sailing in fresh water as opposed to salt water won't change the way we sail the boat too much. The bigger consideration with this regatta will again be how shifty and puffy it could be if the wind is blowing through the skyline again like we saw in New York but also just how restricted and tight the race course is in Chicago."

Ashby is referring to the race track, a tight course confined between the famous Navy Pier and the outer harbour breakwater.

"We are literally confined between a rock wall and the city water front", helmsman Peter Burling explained,

Overall Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Standings

1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 244
2. ORACLE Team USA, 236
3. Land Rover BAR, 227
4. SoftBank Team Japan, 203
5. Artemis Racing, 201
6. Groupama Team France, 194

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

Seahorse Magazine

Coming in from the cold...
The growth in fast composite cruising cats has yet to be matched by a growth in opportunities for well organised but 'sensible' racing. Nigel Irens

Hidden world
Until America's Cup 2013 boat aerodynamics were addressed by few designers outside the C-Class. But not any more... explain Pete Melvin, Jb Braun and Bill Pearson

Old dog masters new trick
Andy Rice watches the dominant match-racer of his generation move seamlessly into lightweight cats... (though the subsequent switch back to heavy monohulls did not go quite so smoothly)

Moving fast - staying dry
And things have come a long, long way

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Construction Of America's Cup Yacht Begins In Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden; While Artemis Racing's design and build group continues to operate in Alameda, CA, and the team's sailing operation is fully underway in Bermuda, but the team has also been quietly building its footprint back home in Sweden.

"We've been in Sweden to build the hulls and bows of our America's Cup Class Yacht, because under the America's Cup Protocol, the challenging teams need to build at least the bow portion, approximately 3m long, in their country of origin.The boat is primarily constructed out of 150 gram - 300 gram uni fibres, and the hull is one design, meaning every team will have exactly the same shaped hull. Although there are a couple of areas that you are allowed to play with, to the average spectator, the boats will look exactly the same", commented Artemis Racing's, Brandon Linton.

The build took place at Sune Carlsson Batvarv, next to KSSS in Saltsjobaden, just outside Stockholm.

Artemis Racing has already built two 45ft Turbo development boats, but the final boat being built will be nearly 50ft in length.

Rundum Bodensee: Bol D'Or Warmup
Lindau, Germany: The long distance race, Rundum Bodensee on Lake Constance in Germany, was the opening event of Rodolphe Gautier's Swiss team Safram's summer season. After an excellent start on Friday evening, the Ventilo M1, helmed by Christophe Peclard, dominated the race right up until the closing moments in the early hours of Saturday morning when the German SL33, Orange Utan, slipped past them on the finish line.

The team was delighted with the result, which bodes well for next Saturday's Bol d'Or Mirabaud that starts at 1000 at the Societe Nautique de Genève on Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

The Rundum Bodensee is Lake Constance's biggest regatta with a fleet of 323 boats setting off from Lindau at 1930 last Friday evening. Safram crossed the start line doing 20 knots on a fast reach to take the lead and held their advantage for most of the night in conditions that varied from torrential rain to thunderstorms on a lake that the crew was unfamiliar with. The team averaged 10 knots over course, increasing their speed to 16-17 knots for the last 30 km between the island of Constance in the north and the finish line.

Results Rundum Bodensee 2016:
1. Orange Utan, Ralph Schatz, GER, 06:06:03
2. Safram, Rodolphe Gautier, SUI, 06:08:50
3. Team Sonnenkonig, Stegan Staheli, SUI, 06:29:50
4. Holy Smoke, Albert Schiess, SUI, 06:32:10
5. Immoset, Kai Naf, SUI, 06:41:18
6. Raffica, Kiraly Zsolt, HUN, 07:16:58

Back In The US of A
The 52 SUPER SERIES will return to the USA in 2017 for the third time since 2013. The world's leading grand prix monohull circuit restricted activity to Europe in 2015 and 2016 as the latest generation of new TP52s was launched in the Spring of 2015 and this season is one of consolidation.

The board of the 52 SUPER SERIES finalised plans last week and confirm that the two events, in Key West, January 15th to 21st, and Miami, March 6th to 11th, will be part of the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES overall trophy. The series, for the first time, will comprise six regattas. A major change from 2014, stepping up the importance of the two US events, when there was a split between the US 52 SUPER SERIES with its dedicated overall trophy and the series in the Med deciding the winner of the prestigious 52 SUPER SERIES Trophy.

Already there is strong commitment, enough to guarantee that the fleet for the two events in the US - Quantum Key West Race Week and the Miami Royal Cup - will be the biggest and most competitive ever seen competition for the TP52s in North America. Nine boats are preparing to race at the two regattas, including a new-build American boat (Interlodge), and we hope to see double digits.

The circuit has raced in Key West and Miami twice, in 2013 when Quantum Racing won at both sides of the Atlantic (winning the Atlantic Cup) and Rán Racing won the world championship in Miami. In 2014 Quantum Racing retained the US series title, winning in Key West and Miami.

Maserati Into The Water and Ready To Fly
Maserati Multi70 is back on the water at the team's base at Lorient in Brittany. Looking absolutely pristine, the futuristic trimaran, which stretches 21.2m in length and 16.8m in the beam, is primed for the new ocean challenges Giovanni Soldini has planned for her and his crew.

The main optimisation modifications were to her rudders which now sport T-foils with adjustable flaps, and, particularly, her third generation foils, which were completely redesigned by Verdier and promise huge untapped potential.

"Maserati Multi70 is back in the water at last!" Giovanni Soldini told us from Lorient. "She is a stunning-looking boat after her facelift last month. Before she went into the yard, we managed to do a few day spins on flat water with Team Gitana in April - she felt absolutely fantastic and made supersonic speeds back then. The time has come now to sail her in open sea with ocean waves. It's a very delicate stage that will help us get a handle on the difficulties involved in flying on foils in a moderate sea, which will be a very interesting challenge for us. I can't wait to tackle it!"

Alcatel J/70 Cup
Porto Cervo, Italy: With eight races held over three days, the third leg of the Alcatel J/70 Cup, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, concluded today with the victory of Franco Solerio's L'elagain. The reigning Italian Champion clinched the top spot with just 2 points to spare over Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible in second place. Pensavo Peggio BH, owned by Filippo Pacinotti and Giuseppe Zavanone, made a strong comeback to take third place.

The final race day was characterised by light and shifty Sirocco breezes, however the YCCS Race Committee, led by PRO Peter "Luigi" Reggio, managed to fit in two windward-leewards.

With four teams closely ranked heading into the last day of competition, the battle raged on right down to the final metres of Race Eight where a bullet assured first place overall for Solerio, who also maintains the lead in the overall circuit classification. Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible was forced to settle for second place after three days of heated duels for the title, while a 3-6 scoreline for Pensavo Peggio brought them up to third place today.

The Italian J/70 circuit continues with two legs on Lake Garda: Malcesine (23-24 July), Riva del Garda (9-11 September).

Final top ten:

1. L'Elagain, Franco Solerio Franco Solerio - Yacht Club Sanremo, ITA, 19 points
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi Alberto Rossi - SEF Stamura Ancona, ITA, 21
3. Pensavo Peggio BH, Filippo Pacinotti Giuseppe Zavanone - SEF Stamura Ancona, ITA, 31
4. Petite Terrible, Claudia Rossi Claudia Rossi - Sef Stamura Ancona, ITA, 33
5. Magie Das Sailing Team (Corinthian), Alessandro Zampori Alessandro Zampori/ E. Ramassotto - CNAM Alassio, ITA, 34
6. Calvi Network, Carlo Alberini Carlo Alberini - Comp. della Vela Pesaro, ITA, 38
7. White Hawk Adriaco - (Corinthian), Gianfranco Noe Gianfranco Noe - Yacht Club Adriatico, ITA, 38
8. Junda, Ludovico Fassitelli Ludovido Fassitelli - Yacht Club Monaco, MON, 54
9. Notaro Team, Luca Domenici Luca Domenici - LNI di Anzio, ITA, 61
10. Viva, Alessandro Molla Alessandro Molla - Unione Velica Maccagno, ITA, 63

Packing Smart For The Thrash
Chris Museler shares his secrets for starting the race dry and rested and comfortable, and staying that way all the way to St. David's Head. Good gear helps. So do good habits and concern for your shipmates.

I grabbed several bulky duffels as I hopped from the launch onto the Andrews 68 Simon Says Oakcliff, my ride in the Block Island Race over Memorial day weekend. "Umph!" was the sound my crewmate made as she hefted a bag over the lifelines in preparation for the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race, our only training as a team before the Newport Bermuda Race.

Of the 17 crew for that 24-hour race in and out of Long Island Sound, more than half had bulging bags, nearing 40 pounds with straining zippers. After the first night of windy reaching, a crash jibe in a rainy squall and some beating, several of my shipmates sat in the cool morning air with damp layers and cold, wet feet, all wishing they had a blanket.

Maybe someone actually said that for ocean racing, "If you don't know what to pack, pack a lot." But I have learned that packing smart is a better plan.

Full article at the Newport Bermuda Race:

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The Last Word
A big misconception is that a black hole is made of matter that has just been compacted to a very small size. That's not true. A black hole is made from warped space and time. -- Kip Thorne

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