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Breezy First Day In Marstrand
The World Championship Finals of the World Match Racing Tour opened in the best possible way today, with Marstrand delivering strong breeze and sunny skies for the 20 international teams competing in Sweden.

The very last race of the day saw Guichard comfortably out in front towards the top of the last upwind leg when even the usually impeccable Frenchman fluffed his final tack towards the top gate mark. Sweden's Johnie Berntsson pounced on the French error and surged into the lead on the final high-speed run towards the finish line. But Guichard was closing fast and Berntsson made a desperate bid to shut his rival out of the finish, forcing Guichard into the boundary ropes and just metres from Marstrand's rocky shore. Berntsson looked set to take the win but the umpires decided otherwise, forcing Flux Team to take a penalty which relegated the Swedes from first to last. Ouch! Berntsson would have been sitting in 2nd overall in his Group, but now sits in 2nd last ahead of Keith Swinton, but behind Matt Jerwood and Phil Robertson in 2nd and 3rd.

Tuesday's forecast looks very similar to today's, and no one will be complaining about that. Marstrand delivered great racing for the sailors and great spectating for the crowds, who across the week are expected to be well in excess of 100,000.

Live coverage will be shown at from 1400 local Swedish time.

Marstrand Results Day 1 - Qualifying

Group 1
1. Taylor Canfield (ISV), US One - 9 pts
2. Hans Wallen (SWE), Wallen Racing - 11 pts
2. Steven Thomas (AUS), RPM Racing - 11 pts
4. Mattias Rahm (SWE), Rahm Racing - 14 pts
5. Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Nautiska Racing - 19 pts

Group 2
1. Ian Williams (GBR), GAC Pindar - 8 pts
2. Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing - 11 pts
3. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing - 12 pts
4. Evan Walker (AUS), KA Match / CYCA - 15 pts
5. Eric Monnin (SUI), Albert Riele Swiss Match Race Team - 16 pts

Group 3
1. Nicolai Sehested (DEN), TREFOR Matchracing - 8 pts
1. Iker Martinez (ESP), Team Espana - 8 pts
3. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Essiq Racing - 13 pts
4. Murray Jones (AUS), Full Bants Racing - 16 pts
5. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32 - 18 pts

Group 4
1. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing - 5 pts
2. Matt Jerwood (AUS), Redline Racing - 12 pts
3. Phil Robertson (NZL), Phill Robertsson Racing - 13 pts
4. Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Flux Team - 15 pts
5. Keith Swinton (AUS), Team Accure - 18 pts

Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Secret Eighth Team Revealed
With the deadline for entries into the 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup now passed, eight three boat teams are set to contest the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for Corinthian crews, taking place out of Cowes over 23-30th July. Teams for the 13th Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, comprise three from Team France, two from Team GBR and others from Flanders North Sea and, for the first time, Israel.

The last to raise its head above the parapet is the Celtic Team, comprising two boats from Scotland and one from France.

The Celtic Team has been masterminded by Scottish adventurer, Jock Wishart, who is campaigning Jean-Eudes Renier's JPK 10.80, Shaitan. Shaitan is joined by the Corby 37, Aurora, which co-owners Roderick Stuart and Bill Ram's raced in the Scottish team in 2014 and originally, when new was Eamonn Rohan's Blondie III and competed for Ireland in 2006. The Celtic team's small boat is a new JPK 10.10, Space Oddity, campaigned by St Malo-based sailmaker, Marc Noel.

Once upon a time a grinder on Lionheart in the America's Cup, Wishart is best known for his epic expeditions. Way too numerous to list in full, these have included rowing across the Atlantic, the fastest circumnavigation of the globe in a powered vessel (Cable & Wireless Adventurer), rowing to the geomagnetic North Pole, various other expeditions to the North Pole, including, last year, the Arctic Rugby Challenge, a trek there to play the 'most northerly rugby match in history'.

Eddie Warden Owen, CEO of the RORC welcomed the eighth team: "As a Welshman I am delighted to see a Celtic team, which is the initiative of my good friend Jock Wishart. There is a good mix of teams this year; the standard is high and there's no stand-out team, so predicting a winner is impossible which is very good for the teams and the event. For sure I'll be rooting for the Celts."

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Mark Turner (GBR)
'A driven visionary, just keep him off the subject of where elite sailing should be going' - Andrew Palfrey; 'I remember us beating into 80kt to Kerguelen to fix our broken Maxi... the boy's done well' - Garfield Smith; 'Mark Turner and traditionalist on the same page, come on!' - Charles Darbyshire; 'Mark's done so much for sailing, creating the Extreme 40 as a spectator series has clearly steered the AC' - Richard Butcher. '"Well if that's what you all think then we might as well all go home now"... Miss ya!!!' - Emily Caroe.

This month's nominees:


Gordon Ingate (AUS))
Seventy five years after he started racing Gordon Ingate last month won two of three races at the Sydney Gold Cup series in Dragons, only losing the third race by 5 seconds. Over the course of his long sailing life Ingate has represented Australia in the Olympics, the Admiral's Cup and the America's Cup as the helmsman of the magnificent Alan Payne designed 12 Metre Gretel II when she took part in her third Cup campaign in 1977.


Phil Sharp (GBR))
Good to have you back, buddy. Phil Sharp relaunched himself on the singlehanded ocean racing scene in May when he dragged his ailing Class40 across the finish line in 3rd place in the Transat - having led most of the way. Ten years after dominating the Class40 in the 2006 Route du Rhum Sharp is now getting ready to begin a 2020 Vendee Globe campaign, having at long last secured the backing he needs to demonstrate some prodigious talent


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

Lawrie Smith Claims Dragon Northern Championship 2016
Abersoch, Wales, UK: Thirty-two teams from across the UK and Ireland enjoyed two days of hard fought racing from the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club in Abersoch to decide the winner of the 2016 Dragon UK Northern Area Championship on 3 and 4 July.

Despite a slight delay to allow the wind to settle on day one, the race committee was able to complete all six of the scheduled windward leeward races and the fleet enjoyed a true mix of conditions with day one offering champagne sailing conditions in warm sunshine and an 8-10 knot southerly, while day two brought leaden skies, plenty of rain and winds gusting up towards 25 knots.

With the event also acting as a warm up for the Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Gwynedd Council through the '2016 Wales Year of Adventure - Snowdonia Mountain & Coast' (for the Dragon British Open Championship), which runs from 5 to 8 June, the quality of the fleet was exceptionally high and ultimately racing was so close that the championship could only be decided on count-back.

Going into the final race Grant Gordon, sailing GBR780 Louise with Kasper Harsberg and Ruairidh Scott, held a two-point lead over Lawrie Smith in GBR801 Alfie with Joost Houweling and Adam Bowers. Although Smith led the race from the first mark, Gordon was right on his tail all the way round the course. On the line it was Smith first home but behind him Gordon came to the line neck and neck with Simon Barter, sailing GBR763 Bertie with James Barter and Donald Wilkes. In the closing moments Barter just managed to get his nose in front of Gordon's forcing him down into third place and giving Smith overall victory.

Wings And Costs
One of the odd aspects of seeing the AC50's under construction is that they don't look like a 50ft boat.

There is still 10ft of the hull to be added to bring what we see up to full the full 50ft. (An AC50 is actually 15metres long which converts to 49ft 2.55 inches for the technical pedants.)

Under the Protocol governing the conduct of the 35th America's Cup, the Constructed in Country requirement has been modified so that only a 10ft section of the bow is required to be built in the country of the Challenging or Defending Club.

'We built the tools and sent them to USA and Japan for laminating,' Core Builders Composites' principal Tim Smyth told

'They only need one or two guys to build them and will be coming back here for fitting, or maybe they may even go straight to Bermuda. They are bolt-ons after all so they can be readily replaced in the event of a collision.'

Wingsail both Open and One Design
The hulls, crossbeams and pods are assembled to form what is known in multihull parlance as 'The Platform.' Those basic platform elements are all one-design.

The 23metre high wingsail is part one design in its profile, but open design in other key areas.

'The wingsail consists of a common geometry main element and common structural design along with overall area limits,' Smyth explains.

' Team designers are allowed to develop their own three-flap element twist control system and the structural solutions to build those components.'

Full article by Richard Gladwell in

Part One of Richard's article here

Gabart Abandons Record Attempt
French sailor Francois Gabart has decided not to continue his attempt to beat the North Atlantic crossing record between New York and Lizard Point.

Unfavourable weather conditions have forced French skipper, Francois Gabart to abandon his North Atlantic crossing record attempt after just two days at sea.

The winner of this year's Transat bakerly was trying to beat the record set three years ago by Francis Joyon, who sailed from New York to Lizard Point in 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds.

Storms on 2 July had also caused some electronic problems aboard the 100-foot trimaran, MACIF, including issues with the autopilot.

However, it was not all disappointment for the 33-year-old skipper.

On 3 July, Gabart set a new 24 hour solo speed record on board the 100 foot MACIF.

Subject to official ratification from the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the new 24-hour solo speed record is now 785 nautical miles.

Gabart won the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe on board IMOCA Macif, setting a new record in 78 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds.

Farr 40 European Championship
Alberto Rossi has been a loyal and stalwart member of the Farr 40 Class Association for many years. The 2013 Rolex Farr 40 world champion is well respected by fellow competitors because he always displays the characteristics that make the class so great, particularly sportsmanship and camaderie.

Now Rossi is welcoming the Farr 40 class to his home port for a major event that will no doubt be a highlight of the 2016 International Circuit.

Rossi is a lifelong resident of Ancona, which will host the Farr 40 European Championship Wednesday through Saturday. It marks the first time the class has come to this Italian seaport located on the Adriatic Sea.

A fleet of 11 boats has turned out to contest the first European Championship the class has held since 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Rossi and his top-notch team on Enfant Terrible are among the favorites after winning the D-Marin Sibenik Regatta, held across the Adriatic off Croatia in May.

Enfant Terrible will be without two membesr of its regular crew, including tactician Vasco Vascotto, who will be replaced for this regatta by Gabriele Benussi.

Boats will be berthed at La Marina Dorica, a five-star facility that serves as the heart of this port.

Ancona is located at the midway point of the Adriatic Sea and sailing conditions are normally quite reliable. Rossi expects calm seas and winds in the 10-15 knot range for most of the four-day regatta, which is being manged on the water by La Marina Dorica and the Ancona Yacht Club.

Sotogrande Confirmed as 2016 GC32 Racing Tour's Fourth Venue
Sotogrande has been confirmed as the fourth stopover on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, bringing the number of events on this year's European circuit for the high speed one design foiling catamarans up to five. A 10+ strong fleet is expected to compete over four days of racing on 22-25th September.

The GC32 Sotogrande Cup will follow this week's GC32 Malcesine Cup on Lake Garda, Italy and the 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma de Mallorca, Spain over 3rd-6th August, before the season concludes at Marseille One Design over 13th-16th October.

Located 25km east of Gibraltar on Spain's Andalucian coast, Sotogrande is increasingly attracting high profile sailing events. This year it has already hosted the World Championship for the RC44 keelboat class in May while Saturday saw the conclusion of the World Championship for a 48-boat fleet of J/80 sportsboats.

With the Rock of Gibraltar as a dramatic backdrop, the race area off Sotogrande typically enjoys prevailing winds from the east (the Levant), or the stronger westerly Poniente from the Atlantic. Winds in September 2015 were force four (11-16 knots) for 14 days and force three (7-10 knots) for 11 days - more than adequate to enable the nimble GC32 catamarans get up on their foils and locked in high octane competition. The average temperature in September is 25°C.

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C40-HPR 12.2m - NEW BOAT

Another one for the nascent Fast 40s. Particular attention has been paid to developing a hull form that planes downwind easily but that also delivers a competitive performance in light air.

The latest boat will shortly head to the UK for Peter Morton


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2009 JUMPA LAGI. 195,000 EUR. Located in North West France.

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The Last Word
Geez, all that money we waste on space exploration; just think how many bombs that would buy! -- Craig Bruce

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