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Four Medal Races
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics After a shaky weather forecast and a fear of lack of wind, the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course delivered some excellent conditions for four nail-biting Medal Races.

The oldest man in the competition, recently recovered from cancer, won a gold medal. Croatia won its first ever Olympic medal in sailing.

Mixed Multihull - Nacra 17

Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) have won gold after a heart-stopping Medal Race in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull. Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) took silver and bronze goes to Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT).

The Argentineans made hard work of the Medal Race, picking up a penalty early on to round the first mark at the back. But, they fought back to third by the top of the final lap, only to incur another penalty for sailing too close to the Austrians. After dropping the gennaker and taking their 360 penalty turn, Lange and Saroli rallied to cross the finish in sixth place, just seven seconds ahead of the Italian team.

It has been an extraordinary Games for Lange, at 54 the oldest competitor in the sailing competition at Rio 2016. He has had the pleasure of watching his sons, Yago and Klaus, represent the nation in the 49er skiff, and he has survived cancer in the past year.

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser

Tom Burton (AUS) has won Olympic gold in the Men's One Person Dinghy after a tense pre-start battle with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO). Even if Stipanovic let gold slip from his grasp, he has still won Croatia's first ever medal in Olympic sailing. Sam Meech (NZL) took bronze.

Robert Scheidt (BRA) may not have succeeded in his quest for a record sixth Olympic sailing medal in front his adoring home crowd, but the 43-year-old still gave the spectators on Flamengo Beach something to cheer about as the Brazilian legend sailed across the finish in first place. He had finished fourth overall, four points off a medal.

Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has won the Laser Radial gold medal that eluded her four years ago. Silver went to Annalise Murphy (IRL), a sweet reward after finishing an agonising fourth place at London 2012. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) took bronze.

It was a tense Medal Race in light and fluky airs on the Pao de Acucar course in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain. Bouwmeester looked to be in a good position during the early stages, but a big split developed in the fleet after the top of the final lap, and the Dutch and Danish contenders were dropped to the back. They could only watch as Murphy and the other front runners sailed away and across the finish line more than a hundred metres ahead.

It was so close between the front five boats on the final run, there was a chance the Irish sailor could steal gold from the Netherlands. But Murphy crossed the line in fifth, yielding the Olympic title to Bouwmeester. With Rindom back in eighth, Murphy had done enough to take silver. All three sailors celebrated and every one of them looked delighted to have emerged with a medal from perhaps the toughest sailing venue ever seen at an Olympic Games.

Heavyweight Men's One Person Dinghy - Finn

Giles Scott (GBR) had already wrapped up the Finn gold medal before contesting the Medal Race today, but Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) secured silver, the third Olympic medal of his career, while Caleb Paine (USA) sailed a great race to clinch bronze on the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) course.

After USA left London 2012 with no medals, Paine has brought an end to the medal drought for this great sailing nation. "It's pretty awesome, it's been a pretty tough regatta and to be able to come away with a medal at the end is a great feeling. It was a tough push and a hard Medal Race but fortunately enough it makes it easier when you hit the right shifts off the bat and I just had to make sure I didn't mess it up. I was fortunate to establish a lead right ahead of time and let everyone else make mistakes and I sailed the best race I could."

* The backstory, of course, is that it was the Croatian who protested Caleb in Race 6 for a port-starboard incident after the start. The jury's original decision was to DSQ Caleb. But video of the incident became available the next day, and USA's rules advisor David Dellenbaugh got the jury to re-open the hearing and reconsider their decision. The video appeared to show that Caleb had crossed clear ahead of CRO, and with room to spare, contrary to the Croatian's testimony in the original hearing. The jury reversed their original decision, and reinstated Caleb in the race, in which he had finished 2nd. As Dick Enersen just commented, "There's some yachting justice for you!" -- Tom Ehman in Facebook

Racing On Wednesday
Medal races for the Men's and Women's 470.

Medal Race for the 49er Men and 49er FX Women on Thursday August 18.

Current podium positions:

470 Men
1. Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic, CRO, 27
2. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 38
3. Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan, AUS, 40
Full results

470 Women
1. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 28
2. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL, 48
3. Annie Haeger / Biana Provancha, USA, 49
Full results

49er Men
1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL, 33
2. Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel, GER, 67
3. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 70
Full results

49er FX Women
1. Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez / Berta Betanzos Moro, ESP, 46
2. Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 46
3. Jena Hansen / Katja Steen Salskov-Iversen, DEN, 46
Full results

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 - www.sailing.org/olympics/

Family Ties
When people talk about the Olympic family they are not usually being literal. However in the Olympic Regatta in Rio there are some interesting, it not immediately obvious real family rivalries going on.

Mr & Mrs Scheidt are competing in the Lasers.

Obviously different classes but Robert Scheidt (BRA) met his Lithuanian wife, Gintare,(LTU) at, I understand, the Qingdao Olympics Test Event. Unlikely either will win a medal so with Mrs Scheidt in 6th and Mr Scheidt in 5th I suppose it is all about bragging rights round the breakfast table.

Over in the 49erFX Martine Grael (BRA) who, along with her crew Kahina Kunze, has a real chance of emulating her father Torben's silver medal which he won in a Soling back in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games.

And spare a thought for brothers Yago & Klaus Lange (ARG) who are lying in 9th place in the 49er.

Not a bad position for the young men you might think until you realise dear old dad, Santiago, who at 55 is the oldest sailor in the regatta by a long way (not 57 as reported on some sites) goes into the Nacra 17 Medal Race defending the Gold Medal position.

A definite case of when father says 'You think you know better?' it might be best not to argue. There might be other family links to previous Olympians but these three leapt out at me.

Olympic families indeed. -- Alistair Skinner

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Coastal Race At Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup
Falmouth, UK: Day two of the Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup, sponsored by day sponsor Mylor Yacht Harbour, saw the fleet taking part in a 40 mile Coastal Race, which carried a points weighting of 1.5. For the second day running the wind was from the east creating big swells and some exciting seat of the pants sailing.

Greg Peck's Swuzzlebubble loves nothing better than a good windy beat and the race committee gave them just that with a 10 mile head banger first leg that tested everyone's metal.

The final leg in through the heads was a close reach in an awkward swell and as Swuzzlebubble crossed the finish just off Falmouth all heads turned to see how Miss Whiplash was doing. The stopwatches were out and as Whiplash crossed the line it was confirmed that, after more than five hours racing, she had won by a mere six seconds. Third place went to Jonny Swan's Harmony with Philippe Pilate's General Tapioca fourth.

In the overall standings Miss Whiplash has pulled into a narrow 1.5 point lead over Swuzzlebubble while Harmony moves up into third, leapfrogging over General Tapioca with a half point advantage.

Tomorrow the fleet will return to inshore racing with races four and five of the series planned. The forecast is for the wind to remain easterly and in the mid to high teens so there's every expectation of starting on time at 10.30 for another great day's sailing. The regatta continues until Friday 19 August. -- Fiona Brown

www.halftonclass.co.uk

Laser Youth World Championships
The Laser Youth World Championships (U-21) in Kiel ended with a day of calm air in the Laser Standard (men) as well as the Laser Radial (women). There was not enough wind on the Kiel fjord to be able to sail more races that would be suitable for a world championship. So the results remained the same after ten sailed races in both groups: New World Champion (U-21) in the Laser Radial is Monika Mikkola from Finland (Helsinki, 20 years), in the Laser Standard it is Jonatan Vadnai from Hungary (Balatonfuered, 18). 201 participants (144 men and 57 women) from 39 nations and all continents were guests at the Kiel Yacht Club.

"We had a great variety of conditions", summed up Randolph Bertin, General Manager of the International Class Association ILCA. "It was a challenge for the sailors. So we have true champions." Bence Borocz, Head of the International Jury, was also satisfied with the event: "We had only a few protests. That is a good sign. The sailors know the rules", stated Borocz.

U-21 World Championship in the Laser Standard (men)

Final top five after 10 races (2 discards)
1. Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary), 16 points
2. Joel Rodriguez (Spain), 19
3. Nik Aaron Willim (NRV, Germany), 44
4. Santiago Sampaio (Portugal), 52
5. Nicolo' Villa (Italy), 53

U-21 World Championship in the Laser Radial (women)

Final top five after 10 races (2 discards)
1. Monika Mikkola (Finland), 16
2. Vasileia Karachaliou (Greece), 32
3. Maite Carlier (Belgium), 42
4. Valentina Balbi (Italy), 43
5. Maud Jayet (Switzerland), 43

www.laserworldskiel2016.com

Pioneering British Steamship, The Thames, Discovered In Russia
Click on image to enlarge.

Thames Steamship The Thames steamship sank in the Russian Arctic in 1878. Now researchers have found the pioneering vessel in the bed of the Yenisei river.

The Thames was a 120-tonne steamship, and was one of the first vessels to navigate the North East Passage shipping route.

It was captained by Norwich-born explorer Joseph Wiggins, who was determined to open a sea route between the UK and Siberia.

He was keen to show the practicality of establishing the route, which many claimed was impossible.

Beginning his voyages in 1874, he successfully navigated the Ob river in western Siberia.

He then proceeded to sail the Thames up the Yenisei river in 1876, the largest river flowing into the Arctic.

According to the Russian Geographical Society website, the Thames ran aground in 1877, forcing Wiggins to return to England by land.

The ship froze to the bottom of the river before sinking during the spring thaw in 1878.

Members of the Russian Geographical Society began their 30-day expedition to find the Thames on 5 July.

They discovered the wreck in shallow water near to the town of Turukhansk.

www.ybw.com

J/80 UK Nationals
There are only 10 days to go until the J/80 Nationals at Royal Lymington YC which start on Saturday 27th August. With 23 boats entered so far and more expected this is looking like it will be a spectacular event. Entries will be accepted until 9am on Saturday 27th August.

Amis Production drones are revving their blades, Seahorse Magazines are fattening the pig for the Hog Roast, Skyscanner are sound checking the Sunday night band, North Sails are trimming last minute sails, Berthon are sweeping the docks, Nick Cox are sizing up the gear from Helly Hansen and LYC are readying the Ribs. The extensive number of sponsors and the great sailing waters of Christchurch Bay mean that this event will be a classic of the J80 calendar; if you haven't entered already, then don't miss out!

A full shore-based programme has been arranged for the Championships and subsidised tickets can now be purchased for the two main social events by visiting J/80 Nationals Social Events

rlymyc.org

IRC Double Handed National Championships
A big entry is expected for the 2016 IRC Double Handed National Championships to be held in the Solent on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September.

With just four weeks until the third edition of this event, 74 boats have registered interest to compete. 2015 IRC Double Handed Overall champions, Neil Martin and Philip Barnes will be there to defend their title on Hot Cookie, a Sunfast 3600. They have already seen success in 2016 winning the Nab Tower Race in April and finishing second in the Yarmouth to Cowes Race in May, both JOG races.

Those boats without a full IRC certificate will be able to take advantage of the IRC single event rating.

The Notice of Race and the entry details can be found on the event website for the IRC Double Handed National Championships at www.DHNationals.co.uk

Vineyard Haven 1933
Some of the earliest color movies shot on Martha's Vineyard, filmed in Vineyard Haven in 1933.

The square rigger has been identified as SEVEN SEAS and that was one of the names of the JOSEPH CONRAD. There is also a short sequence at the end which shows a Vineyard 15 under sail out in the moorings. There are still a few Vineyard 15's around. -- GInny Jones

Preserving our maritime history is a very important task.

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The Last Word
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