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Copa Del Rey Mapfre
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Copa Del Rey As the bay welcomed 116 boats racing in seven different classes today, the race courses offered plenty of variety and opportunity for the afterguards to really apply their brainpower to.

The offshore gradient breeze took some time to be replaced by the usual sea breeze. When it did come in there the initial geographic left side advantages were often replaced by the trending right shift and additional stronger wind pressure. Conditions were much trickier and harder to read than the usual Palma one way, one sided race track but with 12-15kts of wind blowing through the afternoon, the action was sparkling in all of the race divisions.

Hap Fauth's Bella Mente leads the very even, very competitive Montblanc Maxi72 class which is fully primed for their Maxi World Championships next month in Sardinia. All four boats are pretty much configured as they will race at the worlds and, as well as the prestige of winning the 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, this week is seen as great preparation.

Azzurra, winners of the Copa del Rey MAPFRE in 2009 as Matador, hold the early lead overall in the Singular Kitchen IRC 1 class. The Roemmers' family TP52 won the first race and took second after a close race with Alegre, Andy Soriano's TP52. Soriano's crew had a poor opening race and lie fourth overall.

Racing on the Bravo race course, the furthest to the west, the breeze was more unsettled for the MRW Swan 45 and BMW ORC 1 fleet. The wind was particularly hard to read.

BMW ORC 2 finds the Rodman 42 Fyord-Maverta steered by Jose Ballester leading the class. Pedro Campos, the regatta's most regular winner, lies third.

Racing continues Tuesday for all seven classes with the first start planned for 1300hrs.

Jim Hunt Seals Second OK Dinghy World Title
Jim Hunt (GBR) sealed his second OK Dinghy World Championship title in Quiberon, France, after a very difficult final day for both organisers and competitors. He made sure of the win with a nervous 12th in the first race of the day, before ending the series in style by winning the final race. Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) had to settle for silver, while Charlie Cumbley (GBR) took the bronze.

A look at the results for the day tells its own story with lots of casualties of the big shifts and patchy winds. After several attempts to start on the pin end biased line, the wind did the race officer's job and shifted to the right to give a squarer line, but not before 14 boats were pulled out under the black flag.

The wind had been shifty all week but the final day took the medal for the shiftiest day of the week.

In winning the world title Hunt also wins a free flight and hotel for next year's World Championship in Barbados.

"I have a new boat on order, and I have to go to Barbados."

Final top ten
1. Jim Hunt, GBR, 22 points
2. Jorgen Svendsen, DEN, 41
3. Charlie Cumbley, GBR, 49
4. Mats Caap, SWE, 67
5. Greg Wilcox, NZL, 72
6. Bo Petersen, DEN, 75
7. Stefan Myralf, DEN, 100
8. Thomas Hansson-Mild, SWE, 110
9. Pawel Pawlaczyk, POL, 116
10. Martin V Zimmermann, GER, 136

Never Average
Seahorse Why Kiel Week always delivers...

This year's 134th edition of the largest regatta in the world delivered enough excellence on every front to be regarded as the best regatta in the world as well: competitive spirit, spectator interest, cultural activities, outstanding race management and a diversity of weather conditions, plus benefits such as an on-water repair service (from HSH Nordbank) and a daily weather briefing (courtesy of Boot Dusseldorf).

More than just a regatta, Kiel Week is the world's festival of sail, with 4,000 participants from 50 countries and tens of thousands of spectators daily either performing themselves or enjoying the action via Kieler-Woche TV, from Audi, SAP reporting and tracking software, with commentary provided to the thousands of spectators wandering the shoreline. In all, Kiel Week attracted some three million visitors this year.

And while the hardware put on a great show, ranging from the latest carbon raceboats in the offshore classes, to the established but still nimbly fast Olympic and international dinghy classes, to the traditional sail training and classic classes traversing the Kiel Bucht, the real attraction was the talented software that came to Kiel to compete.

Full article in Seahorse:

Falmouth Prepares For Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup
Falmouth, UK: With the start of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup 2016 fast approaching on Monday 15 August the Half Ton Classics and the town of Falmouth are in the final stages of preparation for what promises to be a bumper edition of this delightful annual event. With at least 30 teams expected to travel to Falmouth from across the UK, Ireland and Europe, competition will be fierce as these historic little ships do battle against the spectacular backdrop of the Cornish coastline.

Among those already entered is Ireland's David Cullen, who won the 2015 Half Ton Classics Cup and will be back to defend his title in his 1985 Humphreys MG HS30 Checkmate XV.  Originally named Blue Chip, the boat was purchased by Nigel Biggs in 2012 who put the boat through a major refit with Corby Yachts.

Also making the trip from Ireland for the event are Jonny Swan with Harmony, which was built by Priors of Burnham in 1980 to a Rob Humphreys' design for Mike Holmes and Tony Allen (of Holt-Allen fame) and is widely regarded as one of the most successful Half Tonners ever built. Kelly Boardman from Howth is racing King 1, which was previously owned by David Cullen's, and Michael and Richard Evans will be competing in their Humphreys MG30 Big Picture.

Belgium will be putting forward several strong teams led by Philippe Pilate's 1978 Berret designed General Tapioca which won the 2009 Half Ton Classics Cup in Nieuwpoort, but broke their mast during the 2015 event so will be hoping for better luck this year.  Also coming from Belgium are Ian Van Burm's 1983 Humphreys one off Fantasy and Thibaut Martin's MG HS30 Spip.

Heading up the British contingent will be 2014 Half Ton Classics Cup winner Peter Morton's 1977 Bruce Farr designed Swuzzlebubble which will be helmed by Greg Peck.  Peter Rutter has entered his recently purchased 1985 Andrieu designed Insatiable, which has been renamed Quokka 9. From the East Coast come Anthony Meehan and Jane Mardell's Lynx and David Evan's Hullabaloo XV.

Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award
Click on image to enlarge.

Clipper Race As the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race teams returned to the UK capital at the weekend one of the twelve teams was presented with a very special award.

Following its 40,000 nautical mile, eleven month long challenge of a lifetime, the Mission Performance team was announced as the winners of the Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award.

Mission Performance crew member Gavin Reid and his team were presented with the honour by Henri Lloyd joint CEO Paul Strzelecki. The award was voted for by the public after the team went to the assistance of a yacht in distress during Race 6: The Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race. 

The team discovered the M3 yacht (a non Clipper Race vessel) with a wrapped propeller, a damaged mainsail and a sailor stuck at the top of the mast, and the team suspended racing to go to its assistance. 

Crew member Gavin Reid, a 28 year-old Supply Chain Coordinator living in Devon had no previous sailing experience before signing up for the race. Born deaf, Gavin never let his impairment hold him back – growing up in Scotland he played several international matches for Scotland's deaf Rugby Union team. During the rescue, he climbed the vessel's mast and took two hours to free the yacht's crewman, who had been trapped for nine hours. During the time on task the boat was buffeted by a heavy sea state making the ordeal hazardous, exhausting and mentally challenging. Mission Performance additionally made its on board medic available to the M3 crew.

SAP 505 World Championship At The WPNSA
At just over the half way mark in the series the fleet and army of volunteers helping run the event have a well earned rest day tomorrow, before the contest resumes on Wednesday. In the meantime, class newcomers, Nathan Batchelor and Sam Pascoe are pinching themselves at the heady position in which they find themselves. Batchelor said that coming into the event they had targeted a top twenty finish for their first Worlds in the class and were ecstatic to get three top ten results in the first three races, as this would almost guarantee they would meet this goal. To follow up with a 1st and 2nd today means they opened up an eight point lead over compatriots Pinnell and Davies after discarding a relatively lofty 9th place. This gives them a greater margin for error in the remaining races than their rivals, so surely it is now time for them to recalibrate their sights.

In the classic fleet line honours again went to Michael Wilson and Phil Hardisty, but under the handicapping system used for these older boats, the leaders of this competition at the half way stage are the South African pairing of Grant and Courtney Ballantyne sailing 4437, having recorded three first places on adjusted time.

* Editor: Long time 505 sailor Ali Meller alerts us to the seriously great website that SAP has put together for the worlds:

The race has live video and a 3d race tracker that superimposes the wind, which boats are further to windward, etc. There is even a chat function where you can chat with someone who may pass the messages on to the live commentators so they can discuss it.

The SAP coverage is amazing, and makes it possible for someone who knows sailboat racing, to follow a race and understand what is going on, rather better than most of the competitors actually racing in the race.

Top ten:
1. Batchelor/Pascoe, GBR, 13
2. Pinnell/Davies, GBR, 21
3. Moore/Buttner, USA, 32
4. Bojsen-Moller/Bojsen-Moller, DEN, 34
5. Martin/Lowry, USA, 36
6. Hamlin/Zinn, USA, 37
7. Holt/Smit, USA, 38
8. Hunger/Kleiner, GER, 38
9. Findel/Tellen, GER, 44
10. Saugmann/Karbo, DEN, 51

J/111 Garmin World Championship
Cowes, IOW: Seven nations have entered the J/111 Garmin World Championship for close one design racing and the first day did not disappoint, with three different winners, with all races decided by less than 30 seconds.

The J/111 Garmin World Championship started with three windward leeward races in the Eastern Solent. The weather was more like the 1st of April than the 1st August, with a cold front arriving in the afternoon, bringing persistent rain and squally conditions. For the first two races, 8-10 knots of wind with a easterly going tide gave a smooth sea state but the breeze was tending to shift south in the gusts, favouring the left hand side of the track.

However by the third race the tide had turned and the right hand side came into play and a short Solent chop changed the mix. Principle Race Officer, Bob Milner elected to alter the course and his team did an excellent job of squaring the course after the shift.

Martin Dent's British team racing Jelvis finished the day with a 1-2-2 to lead the J/111 Garmin World Championship, two points clear of Peter Wagner's American team racing Skeleton Key. Tony Mack's McFly won the last race race of the day to finish in third. -- Louay Habib

Classic Yacht Altricia Will Sail Again After Arson Attack
Altricia undergoing sea trials in Carrick Roads. Photo by Hugh Hastings. Click on image to enlarge.

Altricia Altricia was the centrepiece of this year's London Boat Show following a three year restoration. Now the yacht is back at Mylor Yacht Harbour after an arson attack.

The McGruer 8 metre Cruiser-Racer was in storage when it suffered serious heat damage and blistering to its starboard side.

It was being stored adjacent to a hay-barn in Gloucester which was set alight deliberately.

Police are now investigating the arson.

Altricia drew in thousands of visitors from across the world during the ten-day London Boat Show in January.

Many fell in love with the 50-year-old yacht's classic lines, gleaming mahogany finish, shining stainless steel and state-of-the-art equipment.

Methven said he was confident the yacht can be fully restored for a second time.

"Altricia has been fully surveyed since the fire – and the main thing now is that the experts at Mylor Yacht Harbour know her so well and they know exactly what needs to be done to bring her back to the perfect state she was in for the boat show," he said.

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