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Les Voiles Kicks Off In Style
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez For the first day of racing in this 18th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, the three dedicated race zones, Nioulargue for the Modern yachts, Pampelonne for the Wallys and the bay for the 15 m JIs, served up an orderly swell and glorious sunshine.

With most of the Classic yachts not setting sail until tomorrow, the big players from the Modern and Wally classes were keen to show what they were made off, as demonstrated by a particularly impressive Rambler. Racing in their very own championship, four rather special gaff riggers were invited to race off Portalet once again, their unique silhouettes really standing out against the carbon rigs of the big Maxis, setting the tone for this wonderful blend of styles and genres so exclusive to Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.

The crews on the 15 mJIs have been itching to get underway in Saint Tropez. Les Voiles is the final act in their annual championship and the four Fife designs are keen to compete in as many races as possible this week, hence the unusual step to allow these four Classic yachts, Mariska (1908), Tuiga (1909), The Lady Anne (1912) and Hispania (1909), to get going a day early.

With a 1.2-mile course on offer to them at the far end of the bay, they had to contend with a light easterly breeze and a short chop between Sainte Maxime and Saint Tropez. Two races were duly validated, each of the four protagonists sailing their own races at this early stage. The British on The Lady Anne proved to be very inspired, securing two brilliant bullets. Mariska, the current leader of the annual 15 m JI championship had to battle hard to hold onto its slender lead over main rival, the Yacht Club de Monaco's flagship, Tuiga. Posting two second places, it's mission accomplished tonight for Mariska. However, Christian Niels' men must now keep an eye on Richard Le May's crew on The Lady Anne, who are currently on course for a spectacular comeback.

RC44 Cascais Cup Artemis Racing Claims Victory In Final Metres
With spinnakers blowing up all around them, Torbjorn Tornqvist steered his Artemis Racing through the carnage of the final run of the final race to claim the RC44 Cascais Cup by single point from Igor Lah's Team CEEREF.

Both Chris Bake's Team Aqua, leader going around the final mark, and Team CEEREF in third, suffered kite problems at the final top mark rounding, helping the Swedish team to prevail. But to win by just one point (even the top six were separated by just six points) after 11 races, was particularly impressive turn-around given that Artemis Racing had finished the first day of fleet racing here in the Portuguese sailing mecca in last place.

After two light to moderate days, conditions turned more brutal for the day's final three races. The long Atlantic swell Cascais is famous for wasn't so much in evidence, but a particularly vicious sea state had been kicked up by the northnorthwesterly breeze that built steadily until it was gusting to 25 knots.

In yesterday's three races, Team Aqua claimed the first, while a bullet for Team CEEREF in the second put them into the lead but only with a two point cushion. Sadly their kite ripped perfectly across its breath dropped the Slovenian crew to seventh in that race, and to second overall.

However there is a significant consolation prize for Team CEEREF. Their performance in Cascais has left them two points ahead of Team Aqua at the top of the 2016 RC44 Fleet Racing Championship leaderboard and they take charge of the leader 'golden wheels'. This will lead to a close finale going into the last event of the RC44 season, in Malta over 23-27 November.

Full results:

Malizia And Pierre Casiraghi Continue To Make Strides
Yacht Club Monaco Mission accomplished for Pierre Casiraghi and his team on Malizia who came to the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup (22-25 September) with one goal in mind - to reamin in the top five of the provisional overall ranking for the 2016 season. They emerged 4th out of the 11 teams registered and consolidated their first place in the Owner-Driver category.

For this penultimate stage of the circuit, dominated by Franck Cammas' crew on Norauto, the Yacht Club de Monaco's fulling foiling catamaran came 6th with one race win, a 2nd, 3rd and four 4th places, further proof of the potential of this newcomer to the class, helmed by Pierre Casiraghi sailing with Sebastien Col, Boris Herrmann, Richard Mason and Alister Richardson.

"It's our first season in the GC32 class and we're learning by our mistakes," said Pierre Casiraghi. "I have to continue to improve, particularly for the starts. I'm lucky to be sailing with very experienced sailors and must pay more attention to Seb's advice. With only one point separating us from the Swedes on Gunvor (5th), the French on Team Engie (6th) and the Americans on Argo (7th), the final stage in October will be a fierce contest and decisive. It will be a real challenge for us to hang on to this 4th place, but that's our goal."

Last Act of the GC32 Racing Tour is in Marseille (13-16 October).

Snipe Europeans Won By Spanish Brothers Castillo
Santiago de la Ribera, Murcia, Spain: The 2016 Snipe European Championship broke records on all accounts with 109 entries, making it the largest Snipe Championship to date. The 2016 European Championship, now open to all, attracted sailors from 13 nations including 2 from outside Europe (Argentina & Brazil).

Split into flights for qualifying it was no surprised to see not only the Spanish, but local Spaniards up near the top. The brother/sister duo of Paco and Marina Sanchez Ferrer, clearly comfortable in their home waters, posted 1s, 2s and a 7 for qualifying and decided to sit out the last race qualifying them in 2nd overall, possibly not wanting to have the back luck omen of winning the qualifying. Brothers Gustavo & Rafael Castillo Palop proved the omen wrong by not only winning the qualifying but also winning the overall title. Hailing from the Grand Canary islands, their consistency and ability to handle the varied wind conditions over the 4 days of sailing made them true champions. Perhaps having been European Champions previously in 2008 in their own home waters of Las Palmas, Gustavo knew what it would take to win. Rounding out the podium was Alexandre Tinoco (Snipe World Champion in 2011) with crew Victor Perez Campos of Brazil.

Conditions ranged from 5 knots to 13 knots over flat water on the Mar Menor. Hosted by Real Club de Regatas de Santiago de la Ribera, known for hosting many Snipe events, the host club managed the large fleet with a generous beach launch and social activities for all competitors after racing.

Going into the last race, there were 3 teams that could win the title with the Castillo brothers, Alvaro Martinez/Gabriel Utrera and Tinoco/Campos in the running. After a general recall, Tinoco lead start to finish, but it was not enough to take the title from Castillo who finished 6th in the race with Martinez in 2nd. Just a few points separated the leaders at the end.

The Silver fleet had 54 boats in a highly competitive fleet as well with Juan Deben Tiscar/Gerardo Prego Menor winning Silver.

Spain fielded an unprecedented 56 entries of the overall 109 followed by Italy and Portugal as the larger contingents.

Days prior, the Junior Europeans were held in the same waters with 18 teams representing 4 nations. Enric Noguera & Marc Capo from Spain sailed consistently to win the title with Portuguese sailors Mafalda Pires de Lima and brother Tomas finishing 2nd overall.

Antonio Lopez Montoya and Gregorio Belmonte (ESP) finished in 3rd.

Rescue Effort Wins 2016 Round The Island Race Seamanship Award
Sacrificing his own race to go to the aid of another stricken competitor in the 2016 Round the Island Race has resulted in Jeff Warboys, skipper of a Sigma 33 Workout, being awarded the 2016 Round the Island Race Seamanship Award, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston.

Another competing boat, Alchemist, a Dubois half tonner, hit a submerged wreck off the Needles and was rapidly taking on water in strong winds. After making a distress call, the crew quickly dropped sails and then started bailing using the bilge pump. However, and despite their strenuous efforts, the water level rose very quickly.

On board Workout Jeff spotted the frantic activity and approached Alchemist to offer assistance. Although this was declined, as a distress call had already been made, Workout dropped its sails and continued to stand by throughout the wait for the rescue team from the RNLI. This took longer than anticipated owing to other distress calls in the area.

Those on board Alchemist expressed their sincere thanks to Jeff Warboys and his crew for offering assistance at the expense of losing out in their own race.

Thankfully, all six members of the Alchemist crew were uninjured and rescued by the Mudeford RNLI inshore lifeboat team just moments before she sank.

Given all these circumstances, Jeff and his crew still turned in a remarkable 1st in the Sigma 33 class and 9th in his group, IRC 3!

The 30th Anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week Is Scheduled January 15-20, 2017
Key West Race Week The regatta that started as a mostly fun series among casual racers and grew to the most important international regatta hosted in the U.S. is shaping up to be memorable: A new host venue in Old Town, the Waterfront Brewery, brings the nightly action back to the waterfront, Quantum Sails is back as title sponsor, the Florida Keys return as presenting sponsor and entries are building with the regatta just four months away.

Enter before October 1 to save between $3 and $5 per foot on your entry fee. Starts will be hosted for one-design and rated classes, and for the second year running monohull and multihull cruising classes. Don't have a boat? No problem. Charter opportunities are available through the National One Design Sailing Academy of Canada.

Also, all Quantum Sails customers are eligible for free entry to race week with the purchase of a new suit of racing or performance cruising sails from Quantum before October 31. (Contact your sail consultant for full details.) Visit the regatta web site, Quantum Key West Race Week, for more information

Or to go directly to the online entry application form

The World Sailing Show - Online Now
Programme 9 Features:

- Fast 40+ - The next generation of grand prix racers
- The 'Santi' story - Was this the story of the Games?
- America's Cup - How two teams have achieved the impossible
- Paralympics - How the medals were won in Rio
- America's Cup legend wins the Etchells 22 Worlds
- Maxi Yacht Rolex World Cup, the world's biggest and best
- An amazing act of mid ocean seamanship
- The Extreme Sailing Series heats up in Russia

The World Sailing Show provides a monthly view of the racing world.

From non-stop around the world racers, to Olympic campaigns; from seasoned professionals, to grass roots sailors, the joint initiative between TV producers Sunset+Vine and the sport's governing body World Sailing covers a wide range of racing activity around the world.

The programme is distributed globally to 41 broadcasters in 192 territories.
The series is produced by renowned sailing journalist Matthew Sheahan.

Foiling Week Awards
2016 will see another Foiling Week event: on October 24th, the AcomeA hall of the Franco Parenti theater in Milan, will host the first edition of the Foiling Week Awards that will be nominated and voted by the foiling community to recognize the year best performance in the different categories:

Foiling project: Projects still in design phase but not yet in production
Foiling production boat: For foiling craft already in production and being sailed
Foiling prototype designed by an amateur/non professional: For foiling craft not intended for commercial production
Foiling innovation: For foiling design solutions specifically applied to flight control / design / construction of parts but excluding hull construction
Foiling sailor: For best foiling achievement of the year
Foiling Green Award: For foiling innovations, any ideas or inventions that will have a beneficial impact on environment

To be part of the foiling community and make nominations and voting :

Foiling Week Awards will be presented at the AcomeA SGR event the 24th October in Milan (Italy), if you wish to attend

More info:

Spanish Navy Pay Tribute To Armada Fleet Off Sligo's Streedagh Beach
The Spanish Navy held a ceremony in memory of the Armada fleet that brought the 6th annual Celtic Fringe Festival to a close at Streedagh Beach in Sligo on Sunday afternoon.

Tributes were paid on land and at sea to the memory of the 1,100 souls who perished at Streedagh in 1588 when three Armada ships were wrecked during Winter storms.

And while the weather was more benign this afternoon, when intermittent Autumn showers fell on the crowd who gathered at the Armada monument at Streedagh, further out to sea, the Spanish Navy's OPV Centinela, a fisheries patrol ship, performed a moving tribute to their fallen comrades.

"Today was very special for all of us on board," said the captain of the Centinela, Lieutenant Commander Miguel Romero Contreras after a poignant ceremony in which he, as senior officer on board, and his most junior seaman, Alvaro Couce, laid a floral wreath on the Atlantic ocean, which had claimed the lives of so many of their countrymen over 4 centuries ago.

"The emotion of a day like this is difficult to put into words," added the Lieutenant Commander. "Remembering the passing of so many countrymen many years ago far away from home was a very important event for us, and I would like to thank sincerely the people of Sligo for making us feel so welcome here."

Mayflower 'autonomous Ship' Are Planning A Crowdfunding Launch
Members of the public will be able to see their name etched into history when ambitious plans to build a multi-million pound robot boat to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower out of Plymouth take another step forward next month.

The team behind the Mayflower Autonomous Ship are planning a Crowdfunding launch which will offer, among many other rewards, the chance to put individual names on the side of the ship when it is built.

It will be the 21st Century version of the Mayflower and be able to sail without crew from Plymouth UK to Plymouth, USA in 2020 on the 400th anniversary of the first sailing.

But in order to get the design from blueprint to boatyard, organisers need to raise £300,000 for the crucial next design and development stage which will include robust wave tank scale-model testing.

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will be the first vessel of its kind to sail without captain or crew across the Atlantic and be able to conduct scientific research around the world.

With driverless cars already on the horizon and the air industry using computers to fly planes, MAS could lead the way to changing the way the shipping industry works.

The MAS will be built in Plymouth and the South West. The team behind the project, a collaboration between Plymouth submarine builder MSubs, Plymouth University and charitable marine research foundation Promare, is looking for suitable locations.

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