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Land Rover Bar Defend Portsmouth Title To Lead World Series
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com America's Cup Under glowering skies but in perfect racing conditions, Land Rover BAR defended their Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth title. The victory - in front of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - took the team into a series lead going into the final two events of the season.

The second victory in Portsmouth follows on from the team's success on home waters in 2015, and their second event win in Oman in February. The top two teams at the end of the World Series take a points advantage into the next stage of the competition in Bermuda in May 2017.

The day began with a wire-to-wire win after Ben Ainslie and his team clearly won the start and steadily extended from the current America's Cup holder, Oracle Team USA around the seven leg course. A slower start in the second race meant a chase through the fleet, with Land Rover BAR going from fifth to second place, just a handful of seconds behind Oracle Team USA (OTUSA) at the finish.

The results gave Land Rover BAR a three point lead from the Americans into the finale; both teams with a significant jump over the rest of the fleet. The situation was immediately reflected off the start line of the last race, as Land Rover BAR chased OTUSA around the course. Second place was enough to take both the final race and the series lead by a point.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth Results
1. Land Rover BAR 82
2. ORACLE TEAM USA 81
3. SoftBank Team Japan 69
4. Emirates Team New Zealand 62
5. Groupama Team France 58
6. Artemis Racing 53

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Overall Results
1. Land Rover BAR 367
2. ORACLE TEAM USA 366
3. Emirates Team New Zealand 357
4. SoftBank Team Japan 328
5. Artemis Racing 315
6. Groupama Team France 292

Land Rover BAR Portsmouth line up

Ben Ainslie - Skipper and Team Principal
Paul Campbell-James - Wing Trimmer
David 'Freddie' Carr - Runner
Nick Hutton - Trimmer
Ed Powys - Bow
Matt Cornwell - Runner/ Bow
Jono Macbeth - Sailing Team Manager
Jo Lees - Boat Captain
Ian Pattison - Shore support
James Chapman - Rib driver and Shore support
Ian Boag - Shore support
Ben Williams - Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach / Safety support
Rob Wilson - Coach
Luc du Bois - Performance Analysis

land-rover-bar.americascup.com

France Sets The Pace
Competitors from the south side of the English Channel have the upper hand after the opening day of the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial event for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.

Day one saw Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley lay on two windward-leeward races followed by a 'round the cans' with a reaching start. These were held in the central-eastern Solent with the start set up off Lee-on-the-Solent. The southwesterly breeze was relatively light at the time of the 1030BST start, but by the end of the final race mid-afternoon had picked up to 20+ knots, with some lumpy wind-against-tide conditions.

Stand-out team today was the favourite, France Blue, but second-placed France White is still in contact with their fellow countrymen as are their neighbours in the Flanders North Sea team.

One of the most inspiring sights today, aside from the Henning family's much modified Mumm 36 Alice seeing off 40 footers on race three's first reaching leg, was the event's longest boat, the Beneteau First 47.7 Moana, thundering around the course frequently up among the frontrunners. The Goubau family's yacht, competing in the Flanders North Sea team, enjoyed the conditions, and especially the flat water today.

Racing continues Monday with the 'big one' - the traditional offshore race, due to last a 'minimum of 24 hours' and scoring with a 2.5x co-efficient. -- James Boyd

commodorescup.rorc.org

Find The Good Problems
Seahorse They took the dinghy market by storm and now the Australian clothing specialists are (successfully) moving on to the offshore racing scene

Zhik hasn't been around all that long in the sailing world, yet it quickly became the clothing of choice for many of the world's best sailors. Olympic medallists like Nathan Outteridge and Pete Burling aren't going to compromise performance by wearing inferior kit, at least not by choice.

'We were pushing to be able to wear Zhik a long time before it was finally adopted as the official clothing for the Australian Sailing Team,' says Outteridge, who won 49er gold at the 2012 Olympics and steers the Swedish entry for the America's Cup, Artemis Racing.

Outteridge has been wearing Zhik as his first-choice kit for a decade now, from not long after the Australian company was launched in 2004 following the Athens Olympics. It has made great strides since then due to a never-ending search for the answer to difficult problems, as founder Brian Conolly explains: 'We try to find the problems worth solving in order to differentiate ourselves from the other products out there,' he says.

www.seahorsemagazine.com

Three New ORC World Champions Crowned In Copenhagen
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

ORC Worlds Copenhagen, Denmark: After an initial delay due to no wind that threatened to keep everyone ashore like yesterday, a light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on the concluding day of the 2016 ORC World Championship, hosted by the Royal Danish YC and Egaa Sailing Club. Conditions remained at a light 6-8 knots, but this was enough to determine the new champions and podium finalists in all three classes.

Due to its course location further north away from the southerly, Class A was delayed in leaving the harbor a little longer than Classes B and C, which kept them to only one race for the day - if they were able to get in two, then a discard of an inshore race could have applied to the scores of the 14 boats in this class.

Yet even with a discard it would have been hard to affect the class leader since Vadim Yakimenko's TP 52 Freccia Rossa had a substantial lead in points, so she and her team are crowned the new Class A ORC World Champions.

This is the third ORC World Championship won by this boat, who as Enfant Terrible in 2014 in Kiel and last year in Barcelona the Class A crown was won by previous owner Alberto Rossi.

The situation in Class B was similar to Class A: a leader who could not be caught without a catastrophe, but for the remaining podium positions there would be a hard fight. Claus Landmark and his mostly Norwegian team on his Mills-designed Landmark 43 Santa needed just to have a finish today that was no worse than her worse score to claim victory, and she did that and more with a solid first place today.

The most exciting race of the day was the showdown between Jascha Bach's Italia 9.98 Bachyachting Racing Team and Michael Mollmann's X-37 Hansen in Class C. The two were separated by only 0.5 points in the standings

Final top three:

Class A
1. Yakimenko Vadim, Freccia Rossa, ITA, TP52, 11.0
2. Erik Berth, Tarok VII, DEN, Swan 45 SD, 22.0
3. Fredrik Alexandersson, Stell, SWE, Swan 45, 24.0

Class B
1. Claus Landmark, Santa, NOR, Landmark 43, 10.0
2. Aaro Cantell, Normet, FIN, X-41, 18
3. Peter Beck Mikkelsen, GER, First 40, 31.5

Class C
1. Jascha Bach, Bachyachting Racing Team, NED, Italia 9.98, 15.0
2. Michael Mollmann, Hansen, DEN, X-37, 19.5
3. Patrik Forsgren, Pro4u/Malin, SWE, First 36.7 Mod, 31

www.orcworlds2016.com

Colourful Fleet Shaping Up For 29er Worlds
Medemblik, Netherlands: Eight teams of last year's top 25 will be present, to be recognized by their sail number, that represents their finish position at the 2015 Worlds in Wales. The record number of entries this year is a mix of interesting sailors. Racing started on Sunday July 24 with two scheduled practice races, followed by the opening ceremony at 18 hours.

The fleet includes 64 all female and 182 youth teams. The youngest competitor is Katerina Zivna (CZE) at the age of 11, and the oldest is 36-year old Alejandro Baudoino from Argentina. He and his crew Martin Cubria (24) are the oldest team, whereas Hong Kong delegates the two youngest sets: Taylor Patrick Young (12) with Dylan Lok Kei Richards (13), and Malo Kennish (12) with Anatole Martin (13).

Two top ten teams from the 2015 Worlds are lining up in Medemblik. Gwendal Nael from France finished 8th in Wales and will try to improve that result with his new crew Lilian Mercier. So far, they won the Europa Cup 3 in 2016. The numbers 9 of last year's Worlds, Yann Thierry d'Argenlieu and Nathan Bradley from Hong Kong, are also there.

The 29er Worlds 2016 are organized by the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia in conjunction with the International 29er Class Association and the 9er Events Foundation. The 29er Worlds in this Olympic year will see a record number of participants since the first edition in 2000.

Registration and measurement will take place between July 22-24, followed by the opening ceremony on July 24. The first 3 out of 10 scheduled qualifying races will be sailed on Monday July 25. The final series of 10 scheduled races commences on Thursday July 28 and the new champions will be crowned on Saturday July 30.

www.29erworlds.org
www.29er.org

Russian Balloonist Sets World Record For Circumnavigation
Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has landed safely in a field on a private property in West Australia after setting a world record for circumnavigating the world solo in a hot air balloon.

The 64-year-old Konyukhov emerged from the balloon's gondola after more than 11 days aloft expressing his appreciation for the smell of the earth, and "how wonderful it is", according to millionaire businessman and fellow aviator Dick Smith, who was on hand to assist with the landing.

Konyukhov, who embarked on his epic journey from Northam in Western Australia on July 12, set the record of just over 11 days when he passed above the township 100 km north east of Perth, Australian national broadcaster ABC reported earlier.

The Russian balloonist beat the previous record of 13-1/2 days set in 2002 by the late Steve Fossett.

www.reuters.com

* Eurobutt readers will remember Fedor from his Antarctic circumnavigation in 2008 among many other exploits:

It took him 102 days, 35 minutes and 50 seconds but he's finally done it. Fedor Konyukhov has completed the first Antarctica Cup, sailing solo around the icy continent.

The Antarctica Cup is the brainchild of Albany resident Bob Williams, who wants to turn it into a regular race. The GPS mapped track starts and finishes at Albany, on Western Australia's south coast, and circumnavigates Antarctica between latitudes 45 and 60 degrees south.

So far Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov is the only person to have completed the course. He started his solo mission on Australia Day, and along the way has dodged whales and icebergs as well as battling wild weather, rough seas and intense isolation.

www.abc.net.au

Comanche On Atlantic Record Crossing
Yann Riou gave a bit more detail to the crews first 24 hours:

All good here on Comanche. It is a happy crew who left the dock in NYC yesterday for a North Atlantic crossing record attempt on a pretty good weather window. The kind of weather pattern which happens only a couple of times a year. In front of a low pressure system, moving at the same speed as we do... South Westerly wind, flat sea, all the way through - on the paper, this could not be any better. On the water, it is a bit different, though. After a very good start, we have been caught up.

By yesterday morning we had thunderstorms meaning we had to do a few manoeuvres in light winds, and more importantly made us lose some precious time. Nothing critical yet, but something we can't afford to do too often if we want to keep up in our weather system.

The idea now is to sail as fast as we can towards the North East, and to try to avoid the few obstacles or "land mines" that we have ahead of us, one of them being the Island of Sable.

Ken Read update this morning (Sunday):
All reports to me are that the boat and boys progressing as planned. Probably a bit more Thunderstorm activity than originally anticipated but nonetheless doable. All aboard are well and the boat is solid as a rock and through the whale and sunfish zones. Now on to the ice!

To follow the progress of Comanche
Yellow Brick tracker: yb.tl/comanche
www.facebook.com/yachtcomanche
twitter.com/TeamComanche

Russia's Athletes Escape Blanket Ioc Ban For Rio Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee faces an unprecedented backlash from anti-doping groups and athletes after it decided not to impose a blanket ban on the Russian team competing in next's month's Rio Games. Instead it ruled the 28 individual sports federations which make up the summer Olympics were free to decide the fate of Russians on a case-by-case basis.

Dick Pound, the former World Anti-Doping Agency president who authored a damning report into state-sponsored doping in Russia last November, claimed the IOC's decision had revealed there "was zero tolerance for doping, unless it's Russia".

"The IOC had a huge opportunity to make a statement. It's been squandered," he said.

The 59-member Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations called the news "a sad day for clean sport‚" adding: "The IOC has ignored the calls of clean athletes, a multitude of athlete organisations, and of leading National Anti-Doping Organisations, to do the right thing by excluding Russia."

Under the IOC's ruling each federation will be required to produce a list of Russian athletes they believe are clean - which will be checked by an arbitrator from the IOC and court of arbitration for sport. Any Russian with a doping conviction will be automatically barred.

www.theguardian.com

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The Last Word
The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it. -- Bill Nye

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