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Runaway Leaders In The Windsurfers But A Mixed Bag In The Dinghies
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics Guanabara Bay delivered some great sailing conditions to launch the Olympic Sailing Competition today, but it was still very, very tricky out there. The sunny skies and 10 to 14 knot winds from the south-east were just what competitors wanted to begin their Olympic campaigns, and some of the favourites romped away to a dominant start while others faltered badly. Some clear leaders have already emerged in the two Windsurfer events, but the results have been shared much more equally around the Men's and Women's Singlehander fleets.

Men's Windsurfer - RS:X

Nick Dempsey (GBR) could scarcely believe the fairy tale start to his fifth Olympic Regatta. Just days away from his 36th birthday, the British veteran managed to pick up scores of 1,1,2. The defending Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe couldn't quite match that level of excellence, but his freshly shaved head wasn't hurting the Dutchman too much either as he finished the day with ever-improving scores of 5,3,1. Asked why he had shaved his head as he had done four years earlier at London 2012, he said, "The Olympics are a good excuse to shave my head. Otherwise my wife wouldn't let me do it."

Women's Windsurfer - RS:X

Charline Picon (FRA) had a stunning start to her regatta, scoring 1,2,1 from the opening three races. Next best was Stefania Elfutina (RUS) who lies in seconnd place ahead of Flavia Tartaglini (ITA). The defending Olympic Champion Marina Alabau (ESP) had a solid day to lie in fifth overall but one of the other pre-event favourites, Bryony Shaw (GBR) struggled and sits in 10th at the moment.

Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial

The gold and silver medallists from London 2012 lie in first and second overall respectively after two races in the Laser Radial. Lijia Xu (CHN) could have been even further ahead in the rankings if she had held on to her lead in the second race, but even with scores of 3,4 the defending Olympic Champion holds a four-point lead over her arch rival, Marit Bouwmeester (NED). However, Paige Railey (USA) has a protest in against the Chinese sailor for an incident between the two, so we'll have to wait and see if Xu can retain her lead after tonight's hearing.

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) won the first race in the Men's Singlehander fleet and with a fifth in the second race, the Croatian lies in first overall. Sitting on equal points but in second place is Julio Alsogaray (ARG) with scores of 4,2. "There were plenty of places to fall down the rankings today," said Stipanovic, "so I am very happy with the day I've just had. Speed was good and conditions were difficult but what we expected for Rio."

Racing resumes on 9 August 2016 in the four fleets and the Men's Heavyweight Dinghy (Finn) opens up with races one and two. -- Andy Rice, World Sailing

Scuttlebutt's Craig Leweck will be following the racing LIVE on World Sailing's Olympic Blog throughout Rio 2016. Follow LIVE here

World Sailing Olympic Website
Competition Schedule

To Those Who Are Almost As Old As I Am
I do not know whether you have noticed that things like the RIO2016 ramp collapsed but even more relevant is that the World Sailing Mark-by-Mark Roundings are not working for 3 of the 4 events racing today at RIO2016.

It reminds of the last imminent disaster facing ISAF in 1994 when Ding, Ser Miang, and Paully the Plumber took over.

The new Executive vote was in the mid-term then between Olympics so we inherited the Atlanta they did not like Savannah and Savannah sure did not like the Yankees from Atlanta and Sailing was caught between.

I never like to go to a meeting by myself as I need someone to listen and also protect me from myself. The first meeting was with Billy Payne the Atlanta President and I took Fernando Bolin with me and we were appalled. I mentioned our concern to Ding and he said I better get a hold of Tom Webster who knew Savannah and was Ted Turners's crew. Webster took over as he was our eyes and ears in Savannah and without Tom Savannah would never have come off. Webster's suggested that ISAF needed a full time employee in Savannah who was day to day so we hired Phil Jones to ride herd. Phil lived in Savannah for 18 months and was invaluable. The next meeting we had in Atlanta was on the engineering issues so I took Kostanecki and Mike Jackson, Andy had the Day Marina idea and along with Jackson made it work.

We then found out that Atlanta was not going to provide mark-by-mark roundings or on-line race results. As happens with me luck steps in and an Aussie, Paul Pascoe, working with IBM London, a super Geek, came to meet me at Heathrow to pitch why the Hobie 16 should be in the Olympics. As usual I was more interested in his IT skills and told him the problem we had. He always called me "Boss!!"

It was March of 1996 with only months to Savannah. He said he could solve the problem if I sent him to Atlanta he could work it out as he could write a program which would use the ISAF website which David McCreary had developed.

I had lots of Air Miles so sent Pascoe to Atlanta. He phoned me and said his program worked but projected that the $100 million IBM total Olympic result program would crash. It did and for the first few days the only results that were on-line in 1996 were Sailing's.

A side bar on this was that there were no results in the Media tent and did "The Fish" plus his British colleagues ever ream me.

Fortunately Pascoe said he could solve it but it would cost $600 for two modems and he solved the issue after the Practice Race.

Maybe in the future World sailing needs to engage the latest Phil Jones, and Paul Pascoe.

Too late for RIO2016.

Paul Henderson

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

Seahorse Magazine

The Vendee Globe was a liberation
Not long to go to the 2016 edition... Jocelyn Bleriot sits down with the winner of the very first Vendee Globe, Titouan Lamazou

Bruised pride vs worldwide benefit
A unified offshore rule is now well within reach if the egos can only be set aside - Rob Weiland

The one great yachting improvement - Part 1
A truce between Cup contenders? John Rousmaniere on the birth of the Marconi rig

Seahorse build table - Lock up your daughters
Foiling cruiser-racers just got bigger (and faster)

Burning bright
One Ton Cup

Laser Youth Worlds

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Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cowes Week The Solent delivered a north-westerly breeze that varied from eight knot lulls to 25 knot gusts, giving varied conditions to challenge the 8,000 sailors at this year's Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

The Black Group yachts starting on the Bramble line first headed to the east on a tight spinnaker reach. With the tide carrying competitors over the line there was much excitement at many of the starts, including a collision near the committee boat in the J/109 fleet.

In IRC 3, last year's class winner - and the overall winner of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week - Adam Gosling had an uncharacteristically slow start in his new JPK10.80 Yes! but moved up to fourth place on the water at the first mark. At the end of a long beat on the third leg they popped out ahead of the fleet and then retained the lead to the finish. Gosling saved his time to take a third consecutive win on corrected time, ahead of Paul McNamara and Tony Lowe's First 40.7 Incognito, and Peter Morton's JND35 Salvo.

This year IRC Class 4 has again proved hugely competitive, with six different boats now holding at least one podium position. Notable entries include a pair of JPK10.10s - David Franks' Strait Dealer and Louis-Marie Dussere's Raging Bee - that between them have won an impressive haul of silverware at the highest levels of both inshore and offshore competition.

Today was also UKSA Charity Day, with the activities of the regatta's official charity, and associated fundraising drive, in the spotlight. The Cowes based organisation is seeking £80,000 to enable more young people to change their lives through its ground-breaking youth development programmes for disadvantaged and disaffected young people and young offenders.

Throughout Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week a silent auction is running for a selection of 21 fantastic lots, varying from dinner cooked by celebrity chefs to luxury holidays and a day's sailing for six people on the giant MOD70 trimaran Concise 10. Find out more here -- Rupert Holmes

FAST40+ - Race Three AAM Cowes Week
Eastern Promise for Girls On Film

The FAST40+ class had a change of scenery for the third day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and a change of leader. A 25-mile course in the Eastern Solent, as far out as the Nab Tower, proved a tactical test for the fleet. Lighter conditions prevailed with a northwesterly gradient breeze, but the calmer weather did nothing to satisfy the voracious appetite in the grand prix class. An adrenalin pumping start, with the battles all over the course continued for well over three hours. Bill Coates Texan Ker 43 Otra Vez powered into an early lead. However, Girls on Film overhauled the leader and extended for most of the course. Girls on Film experienced the foul tide first, which compressed the fleet, but the lead they had built up was enough to secure their second bullet of the regatta.

Girls on Film completed the course in under three and a half hours to regain the overall lead for AAM Cowes Week. Invictus was second in the race and drops to second overall and Otra Vez move up to fourth just ahead of Tokoloshe on countback.

Crowning Glories At The Copa Del Rey MAPFRE
While Copa del Rey titles went down to the wire in the Montblanc Maxi 72 and MRW Swan 45 one design classes there was no such drama in BMW ORC 2 where the 'king of the Copa del Rey' Pedro Campos extended his extraordinary record of class victories to nine. Campos and his "Movistar" crew, including Spain's Olympic and Round the World race star Iker Martinez won the last race of their series on the modified Rodman 42, triumphing by nine clear points.

Campos added the 2016 title to wins in 1993 in a one tonner, 1995, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015. "Movistar" is the yacht of the regatta for the Handicap classes.

The duel for the Montblanc Maxi 72 crown was finally won by Hap Fauth's "Bella Mente" crew but their closest rivals "Proteus" - George Sakellaris' team which had won the Copa del Rey twice before - had the title in their grasp during the final race of the six day regatta. But Terry Hutchinson and Adrian Stead, the "Bella Mente" afterguard read a new change in the breeze earlier and better and were able to squeeze through to win the last race, and the regatta for their first time.

The battle for supremacy in BMW ORC 1 saw "Maserati" triumph in the biggest class at the regatta, 38 boats strong. Alvaro Irala's DK46 which has Olympic gold medallist Fernando Leon on board with round the world racer Guillermo Altadill, finished with a 2,3 today to and wins by 6.5 points overall.

In the Air Europa X-35 Class Javier Sanz won conclusively on "Red Electrica de Espana" and in the Herbalife J80s "Team Marbella" won comfortably also.

Full results of all classes:

Take A Tour Of Land Rover Bar's Team Base
BT Sport filmed an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Land Rover BAR. Step on in and have a look around with Sailor David Freddie Carr

Historic Cup Awarded At Cowes
One of the most significant trophies in sailing, Royal Southampton Yacht Club's Queen's Cup was awarded to veteran Dutch sailor Piet Vroon and his sailing Team Tonnere on the opening day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

The historic cup was first presented to the Club by Queen Victoria in 1897 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee with the express wish that it would be raced for at opening day the of the world famous Cowes Regatta.

Since then it has been traditionally competed for on the first Saturday of the Cowes Week Regatta and this year was presented to Piet Vroon and Team Tonnerre at a special ceremony at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes by Royal Southampton Commodore, Brian Hinde.

Tonnerre 4 emerged as the winner of Class Zero for the big yachts in the day's racing. But it is the first time in many years that this magnificent gold cup was awarded to the winner at Cowes Week rather than at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club annual prizegiving later in the year.

Team Tonnerre is led by the veteran skipper and owner and his sailing squad is made up from around 35 international sailors who race on board Tonnerre.

Comanche Inspires New Surfboard Design
Hobart surfboard designer Nick Stranger has made a lot of boards in his 44 years in the industry.

But none has been quite like the creation he has crafted for a Queensland architect and master stonemason who wants to glide over the water like a cruising yacht rather than carve up the waves.

His customer will pick up the fibreglass board in September and Mr Stranger said he could not wait to see it in action.

"It was the customer's idea and is a cross between an old plywood panel board, an old-school longboard and reminiscent of the yacht Comanche on which one of his friends has sailed," Mr Stranger said from his Rokeby headquarters.

"The fins were designed in the US by someone who has designed America's Cup yachts. It really is an international creation.

"It is certainly one of the most unusual boards I have made.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: Singlehanded 24 Hour Record
Yacht: "Masif" 30 metre Trimaran
Name: Francois Gabart. FRA
Dates:. 2nd to the 3rd July 2016.
Start time: 19.20.002 on 02/07/16
Start position: 37.83587; -64.52387
Finish time: 19.20.002 on 03/07/16
Finish position: 35.16417; -48.59083
Elapsed time: 24 hours.
Distance: 784 NM
Average speed: 32.67 kts

Comments: Previous record: Sodebo4. Thomas Coville FRA. 718 NM. 29.93 kts

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Derek Hatfield
Famed Canadian sailor Derek Hatfield has died in Halifax, Nova Scotia after a brief illness.

Derek competed in three races around the world. The first was the Around Alone, where he finished first in his fleet and became the 126th person to ever race around the world alone. This earned him Canada's Rolex Sailor of the Year Award.

In 2008 Derek became the first competitor to ever fly the Canadian flag in the Vendee Globe and in 2010 Derek once again took the podium in the VELUX 5 Oceans single-handed race around the world; a task he relished as it demanded skill, perseverance, survival skills and intense attention to details.

He often faced adversity, such as being pitch-poled in hurricane force winds near Cape Horn, equipment failures, and the mental and physical trials of sailing alone for months on end. Derek often noted that his sailing accomplishments would never have been possible without the love, support and partnership offered by his wife Patianne and the "shore crew" which often included close friends and family.

Memorial services will be held on August 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Mactaquac United Baptist Church in Mactaquac, New Brunswick with visitation immediately following the service. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the month in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. For details please email .

Memorial donations may be made to the Derek Hatfield Children's Fund at any branch of Scotiabank (Account # 71613 0424080) or Etransfer to . These funds will be used for immediate funeral and medical expenses, children's education and other expenses the family deems appropriate during this difficult time. A donation link will also be available on the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges website ( ).

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