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A Fistful Of Wins. Azzurra Lead In Cascais
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image to enlarge.

TP52 Cascais, Portugal: Quantum Racing may be inching their way inexorably towards the 2016 52 Super Series title, making steady progress towards their end game today with a fourth and a second today, but the 2015 champions Azzurra are in no way giving up without a fight.

Their "gaucho spirit" is alive and kicking as the Roemmers' family team made the best possible start to the season's finale - the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup - winning both opening races. They led at each and every mark in the gentle Southerly breezes today to build a four point lead over second-placed Quantum Racing who has Doug DeVos steering.

After a modest start to the season when Quantum Racing came out of the blocks fast, Azzurra's hard work in late July and August now seems to be rewarded. Their two bullets today mean they have won five of the last six races sailed on the 52 Super Series, now visibly having the speed and height to capitalise on Vasco Vascotto's astute tactics. This contrasts sharply with the early regattas when, as skipper Guilermo Parada admitted today, they were being forced into taking big risks to try and win races or hold on to Quantum Racing.

Standings after Day 1, two races.
1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) 2 points
2. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) 6
3. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) 7
4. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) 8
5. Ran Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennstrom SWE) 10
6. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) 11
7. Platoon, GER (Harm Muller-Spreer GER) 12
8. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) 16
9. Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) 18
10. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) 20

Moving To Fukuoka
The final stop for the AC World Series is Fukuoka, Japan. Fifty containers are on their way from Toulon.

Racing is scheduled for 19-20 November. Land Rover BAR's 14 point lead will make them hard to catch. Winning the AC World Series would give them two bonus points in next year's round robin America's Cup Qualifiers. Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand will be fighting for the bonus point that goes to the runner up.

Oracle has yet to win a World Series regatta; this is their last chance. SoftBank Team Japan and Artemis Racing will be battling for fourth place. Since the AC World Series results will be used to break ties in the Qualifiers, every place counts, and these teams will be fighting hard. Groupama Team France looks unlikely to escape the cellar - they will have to count on a good performance in the Qualifiers to avoid elimination.

If the ACWS ended right now, Land Rover BAR would start the round robin America's Cup Qualifiers with two bonus points and Oracle Team USA would hav eone.

At the end of the round robin, ties wil be broken by the ACWS final standings. That means the ACWS could determine which challenger is eliminated and which team starts the America's Cup Match with a one point lead.

1. Land Rover BAR, 437 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand, 420
4. SoftBank Team Japan, 399
5. Artemis Racing, 391
6. Groupama Team France, 360

From Jack Griffin's Cup Experience:

50 Years and Celebrating Caribbean Style
Antigua Sailing Week The 50th Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) will take place from April 29 to May 5, 2017 with an incredible celebration of 50 years of yacht racing in Antigua. New for the 50th will be a 'fun class' for less serious racers who still want to participate and have some fun, as well as new race marks and course options. A Lord Nelson's Trophy Winners' Ball is being planned to add spice to an already a fantastic week.

ASW consists of five days of challenging racing (plus two optional races) on the best race track in the world. The deep blue Caribbean Sea and beautiful trade winds off Antigua's south coast provide one of the best racing areas anywhere. Post-ASW shipping to the UK, Europe, Bermuda and the US east coast US will get you to your next event on time, or stay around and participate in the new Antigua to Bermuda Race starting on May 12, 2017.

Daily post-race prize-giving's, cold beers and English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum provide the perfect wind down before Caribbean hospitality takes on its own life when islanders, visitors and sailors mix together each evening in an incredible atmosphere. Lay Day is an idyllic Caribbean beach day with laid back reggae, cold beers, hot sun and hotter girls (and guys of course), making for a perfect day. The now legendary Final Awards Party takes place in historic Nelson's Dockyard with the best awards presentation in the Caribbean bringing the week to a crescendo.

To enter and for more information visit

VOR Rule Change To Allow Live Social Media Updates
Volvo Ocean Race sailors will be able to send social media updates direct from the oceans for the first time in 2017-18, following a rule change and technical development that opens up a race that has always prevented onboard internet access.

It might seem a very normal thing to do today - but historically, the Volvo Ocean Race has strictly prohibited onboard internet access in order to ensure sporting equality and rule out any potential outside assistance from shore.

But, using a new bespoke platform currently being developed in-house, the Race will provide sailors with a 'crew communicator' that will allow them to transmit one-way updates on either their own, or their team's, social channels.

Race CEO, Mark Turner: "The rules around accessing the internet onboard are there in order to ensure that there's no way for a crew to receive outside assistance - and whilst it has raised the bar in terms of sporting credibility, the down side is that, in the past it has blocked some sailors from sharing their story."

"We have to develop both the devices and implement some gateways to enable our sailors to circumvent the existing firewalls onboard, but only for this one purpose, in order to share directly from a handheld device," explained Turner.

Where Champions Are Made
Kieler Yacht Club Kieler Yacht Club took (yet) another big week in its stride when 681 Laser sailors descended on the former Olympic sailing venue for the 2016 junior world championships...

So often we've seen the battle for Olympic titles come down to a two-horse race, a match race for gold and silver. This summer's Laser 4.7 World Championships and Laser U21 Youth World Championships in Kiel, Germany, brought one of the most dramatic showdowns between two world-class talents, two names to watch out for on the Olympic circuit.

In the boys' division of the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds, Guido Gallinaro won the penultimate race of the competition with ease, and looked set to defend the world title he'd won in 2015. His closest competitor, Dimitrios Papadimitriou, had only managed 11th. It would take a minor miracle for the Greek to overturn the Italian's advantage.

'My coach told me I can win it, and I said OK, I will go out and win the race and do my best,' said Papadimitriou. He went out and executed the plan perfectly, winning the final race by 1 minute 48 seconds, a country mile in Laser terms. Now he would have to wait to see how Gallinaro fared.

Papadimitriou could scarcely believe his eyes as the Italian struggled across the line in an uncharacteristic 40th place, never having managed to find a way back to the front after a poor start. Papadimitriou had won his first world championship by a single point.

Full story in the November issue of Seahorse:

End Of An Era: British Kiel Yacht Club Boats Are Transferred
After 71 years, the British Kiel Yacht Club in Germany is being wound up.

It comes following the closure of the Ministry of Defence's Kiel Training Centre in the Baltic Sea as a result of the retrenchment of British troops back to the UK.

The British Kiel Yacht Club began in northern Germany following the Second World War. All the yachts used by the Kiel Training Centre were provided by the club.

The ten Hallberg Rassy 342s and one Comfortina 42 left Kiel on 22 September, 2016 and took 10 days to sail back to the UK via the Frisian Islands.

They were then officially transferred to the JSASTC on 5 October, 2016.

The Commandant of the Kiel Training Centre and Flag Officer for the British Kiel Yacht Club, Major Adrian Pery said it was an emotional time.

"I am deeply saddened to see the end of an era," said Pery. "The Kiel Training Centre and the British Kiel Yacht Club provided fantastic sail training for so many, in a fantastic place to sail - the South Baltic."

* On 11 June 1945, the British Kiel Yacht Club was born and held its first Kiel Week regatta later that summer, just three months since the German surrender. Britain returned the venue to Germany in 1951, the club moving to its present home just two miles away.

As well as running the hugely popular annual Kiel Week regatta ever since, the club has been instrumental in training British forces in sailing (on the Baltic, with a fleet of ten Halberg Rassy 342s and a Comfortina 42), diving and powerboat driving. Flamingo, the last of its famous, classic Windfall yachts, was recently sold, but the modern boats will return to Gosport under sail when the yacht club is handed back to the German government at the end of this year. At Gosport, they will continue to be used for sail-training at the Joint Service Adventure Sail Training Centre.

Regattaclub Bodensee Swiss Sailing League Champion
Zurich, Switzerland: The 2016 Swiss J/70 National Sailing League Champion was won by the Regattaclub Bodensee, from St Gallen, after a hotly contested season. The St. Gallen crew from RCB included Massimo Soriano, Lea Ruegg, Stephan Zurfluh and Jonathan Rutishauser. Taking second was the Societe Nautique de Genève. With a fantastic second half of the season, Societe Nautoise Rolloise secured third place on the podium.

Over five regattas, the twelve best Swiss sailing clubs fought to be on the podium all season long. The first round in April in Locarno (Act 1) went to the Regattaclub Bodensee (RCB) from Lake Constance, which laid the foundation for their championship title. In May in Neuchâtel (Act 2), the Geneva team won and opened the head-to-head race between Lake Constance and Lake Geneva. In Act 3 at the Societe Nautique de Genève, the Regattaclub Bodensee once again defeated their rival from Lake Geneva. In Act 5, RCB continued to expand their lead with a 1st place, with the Genevan's taking fourth place. In the finale, Geneva had to win with RCB more than four places behind them, an unlikely outcome given the performance of RCB over the course of the season. In short, that is what happened, but with RCB clinching the Swiss J/70 Sailing League Championship by taking 4th while their colleagues from Geneva placed 6th.

Swiss J/70 Sailing League

Extreme Sailing Series Heads To The Americas
The Extreme Sailing Series will return to the Americas for the first time in six years in 2017 in what promises to be another action-packed season.

After a transition to foiling catamarans in 2016 - with the introduction of the GC32s - the Extreme Sailing Series is now adding two new venues to its roster for its 11th season.

Alongside existing host venues of Muscat, Qingdao, Madeira, Hamburg and Cardiff, the Series is now set to visit San Diego in California and Los Cabos in Mexico.

Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series, confirmed the new venues at a press conference hosted by the Pestana Hotel Group in Lisbon today.

In San Diego the Race Village and all the other elements of the Extreme Sailing Series set-up - including the VIP area and the pontoons - will be based at Harbor Island, and the racing action will take place just five metres from the shore.

For the first time ever the Series will head to Mexico and Los Cabos for the grand finale of the 2017 season. Located at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, the venue is known as 'Land's End'.

The addition of new venues comes as the Extreme Sailing Series continues to evolve its racing format with increasing emphasis in 2017 on both the proven Stadium Racing concept combined with larger racecourses that show off the power and speed of the GC32s to best effect.

2017 Extreme Sailing Series calendar

08 - 11 March: Muscat, Oman
28 April - 1 May: Qingdao, China
29 June - 2 July: Madeira Islands, Portugal
20 - 23 July: Europe
10 - 13 August: Hamburg, Germany
25 - 28 August: Cardiff, UK
19 - 22 October: San Diego, USA
30 Nov- 3 Dec: Los Cabos, Mexico

New Chairman For AC On-Water Operations
Experienced sailor Tom Miller, a former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore, has been appointed the new On-Water Operations Committee chairman for America's Cup Bermuda (ACBDA).

He comes into the post to replace Ralph Richardson, also a former RBYC Commodore, who has held role from the inception of the committee last year up until September this year.

Mr Richardson has resigned due to professional commitments.

Mr Miller has also represented Bermuda in the ball hockey world championships and recently retired as a partner of PWC.

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