In This Issue
Stormy final day hands M32 World Championship title to Robertson | Plenty Wins The 20th Rolex Farr 40 World Championship | Monaco shines on solar power with full house! | Merlin Makes Hawaii Homecoming | Giovanni Belgrano's Whooper Wins Panerai British Classic Week | Blair Tuke joins MAPFRE | J/80 World Championship: Triple Crown for Rayco Tabares | Featured Brokerage

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Stormy final day hands M32 World Championship title to Robertson
Phil Robertson and the crew of ChinaOne Ningbo have won the M32 World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden. With rain squalls gusting up to 40 knots, principal race officer Mattias Dahlstrom was unable to hold any racing on the final day, and Robertson's nine-point advantage on the leaderboard meant the New Zealander becomes the winner of the first ever world championship for this lightweight 32-foot catamaran class.

The driving rain of Sunday came in stark contrast to the previous three days of glorious, sunny days in Marstrand.

The battle for second, third and fourth place was very close but it was Jonas Warrer who came out on top of that fight. The 2008 49er Olympic gold medallist enjoyed the frenetic reaching starts in these carbon-fibre speed machines.

New Zealander Chris Steele steered CFA Sport Racing to third overall, just two points ahead of top Corinthian skipper Don Wilson at the helm of Convexity. "It would have been great to make the podium, but we're happy with our performance," said Wilson whose Chicago Match Race Center will host the next M32 World Championships in September 2018.

The owner-driver makes no secret of his desire to beat the professionals on home waters next year, and his performance in Marstrand proves his goal is not just a pipe dream. "We weren't that far off here. With slightly better starts we might have done it. I think our speed and our crew work around the course was good enough to win."

While the M32 class has certainly attracted professional sailors of the highest quality, the ongoing drive is to bring more Corinthian sailors into the fleet. Wilson hopes to see more owner-drivers on the start line in Chicago next year. "The M32s look a lot more scary than they are when you're actually sailing them. The thing about them is you go very fast but you can also stop very quickly. I find the boats are just a ton of fun to sail, a lot more interesting than the traditional boats I've sailed in the past." -- Andy RIce

FInal results:

1. Chinaone Ningbo, NZL, Phil Robertson - 53 points
2. Warrer Racing, DEN, Jonas Warrer - 62
3. Cfa Sport Racing, NZL, Chris Steele - 65
4. Convexity, USA, Don Wilson - 67
5. Ksss, SWE, Rasmus Rosengren - 99
6. Sailing Team Nl, NED, Pieter-Jan Postma - 100
7. Essiq Racing Team, SWE, Nicklas Dackhammar - 100
8. Section 16, SUI, Richard Davies - 104
9. Redline Racing, AUS, Matt Jerwood - 104
10. Grave Digger, USA, James Prendergast - 108
11. Gazprom Team Russia, RUS, Victor Serezhkin - 112
12. Gac Pindar, GBR, Ian Williams - 118
13. Flux Team, SWE, Johnie Berntsson - 132
14. Cape Crow Vikings, SWE, HAkan Svensson - 162
15. Magenta Robline, GBR, Olivia Mackay - 169

Plenty Wins The 20th Rolex Farr 40 World Championship
Porto Cervo, Italy: Plenty, owned by Alex Roepers with tactician Terry Hutchinson, the defending champions at the start of the event, are World Champions for the third time in the Farr 40 One Design Class. Theirs is the top spot on the podium at the 20th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship organised in Porto Cervo by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the support of Title Sponsor Rolex and the Farr 40 Class Association.

Vice-Champion for 2017 is Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible with tactician Vasco Vascotto, whose excellent performance today let her finish the event just three points behind Plenty. Flash Gordon (Jahn/Reeser) was also very close, so it was a fight to the finish for the title. Corinthian World Champion is Bresciani's Pazza Idea with Matteo Ivaldi tactician and Claudia Rossi at the helm. At twenty-four years old, Rossi is the youngest person to win in the Farr 40 Class.

The final day of racing at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds 2017 was unforgettable: excellent weather with north easterly breezes between 16 and 20 knots filling the fleet's white spinnakers against a backdrop of blue skies and the island of Caprera. Excellent conditions and excellent sailing. Top-level competition between the teams: Plenty saw its comfortable lead eroded by Enfant Terrible and Flash Gordon in the day's first three races. It was down to the fourth and last race at this World Championship: would Plenty be able to come back from her middling day's results to beat Enfant Terrible that had placed 1 -2- 1 so far? Plenty's team did what they had to do and defended their title.

Final results after nine races:

1. Plenty, Alex Roepers / Terry Hutchinson, USA, 1-2-1-2-1-7-4-5-1, 24 points
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi / Basco Vascotto, ITAm 2-4-4-6-5-1-2-1-2, 27
3. Flash Gordon, Helmut and Evan Jahn / Morgan Reeser, USA, 4-7-5-1-2-4-1-3-3, 30
4. Pazza Idea (Corinthian), Pierluigi Bresciani / Matteo Ivaldi, ITA, 3-5-7-5-7-2-3-4-6. 42
5. Zen (Corinthian), Gordon Ketelbey / David Chapnan, AUS, 7-1-8-4-6-6-7-2-7, 48
6. Asterisk, Hasip Gencer / Nick Rogers, TUR, 9 (DNF)-3-6-3-4-8-5-6-5, 49
7. Struntje Light, Wolfgang Schaefer / Hamish Pepper, GER, 6-6-2-7-8-5-6-7-4, 51
8. MP 30 + 10 (Corinthian), Luca Pierdomenico / Michele Regolo, ITA, 5-8-3-8-3-3-8-8-8, 54

Monaco shines on solar power with full house!
It was a full house for the 4th Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco in partnership with UIM (International Powerboating Federation). With the four standard contests and a new offshore race between Monaco and Nice completed, the event more than met expectations of the 21 teams from seven nationalities.

The one overriding objective is to use competition to promote eco-responsible propulsion to the largest number of people involved in motor-sport.

Nothing can stop the Dutch: Gerhard van der Schaar's Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team in the Open Class and Johannes van der Steen driving NHL Solarboatteam in Challenge A, each won the fleet endurance race, the speed contest (47.906 km/h over one eighth of a mile (231.5m) by Clafis Victron), slalom contest and one-on-one duels in their respective categories.

The big novelty was launch of the Monaco Offshore Solar & Electric Race from Monaco to Nice and back. Built to YCM Offshore Class specifications, the electric boat Heliodive equipped with 50 solar panels, and able to take three people aboard, completed the 25nm in 3 hours 10 minutes to establish a reference time.

Pupils from Monaco's Lycee Technique et Hotelier were again involved in the Vripack Challenge, with eight building two boats from a Vripack kit, who then competed in the slalom and duels.

Final overall ranking

Challenge A Class:
1st: NHL Solarboatteam - Johannes van der Steen - NED - 959 Pts
2nd: WhisperPower Solar Team - Jeroen Antonisse - NED - 869 Pts
3rd: Antwerp Maritime Academy - Jos Noteboom - BEL - 825 Pts

Open Class:
1st: Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team - Gerhard van der Schaar - NED - 1200 Pts
2nd: Sunderbird - Emden - Matthias Graf - GER - 769 Pts
3rd: Solar Boat Twente - Jasper Admiraal - NED - 694 Pts

Merlin Makes Hawaii Homecoming
Merlin at Diamondhead. Photo by Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing. Click on image to enlarge.

It was 40 years ago Merlin changed the course of Transpac - and ocean racing - forever…now she's back, faster than ever

Honolulu, Hawaii: A Transpac legend crossed the finish line at Diamond Head 40 years after she did it the first time: Bill and Lu Lee's venerable Lee 68 Merlin. Her elapsed time of 8:02:34:09 did not set any records this year, but this was still better than the elapsed time of 8:11:01:45 that she set in her original configuration when Lee and his team raced her in a very windy 1977 Transpac, a testament to the upgrades made to the boat over her long and storied life.

"Lu and I are the eighth owners of this boat for the second time," said Lee, who navigated this race to be second (currently) in corrected time behind another legendary finisher today, Roy Pat Disney's Andrews 68 Pyewacket. Disney's newer boat rates slower than Merlin, so being only 2 hours behind but allowed several more hours gave her the corrected time edge. Nonetheless, Lee said they had a fantastic race on Merlin.

"We had no major failures or breakdowns, and this boat has had 7 keel changes, 4 mast changes, deck layout changes and countless sails through its life. Right now it is set up nicely. She sails better, easier and faster than the original boat, so much so its really a different boat and a pleasure to sail."

It was this boat that in 1977 turned offshore yacht design in an entirely new direction when Lee's design concept was to keep the boat long, narrow, and intentionally light weight to sail efficiently in the offwind races of the US West Coast, yet to also be at the prevailing IOR Rating of 70.0 feet, which was the defined Maxi rating limit of those days.

Other conventional IOR Maxis were often referred to as "lead mines" because of the large keels they needed to keep their stability for their massive sails and 80-foot lengths. The conventional Maxi's of this era were designed to perform well relative to their rating in all conditions, whereas Merlin excelled in one direction alone: downwind.

It was this design feature that then prompted a new generation of ULDB (Ultra Light Displacement Boat) designs to not necessarily rate well and win on corrected time, but to be first to finish. When Merlin set a new race record in 1977, she not only beat it, she smashed it by defeating Windward Passage's record time set in 1971 by over 22 hours. So remarkable was this boat that this record stood for 20 years before beaten by Pyewacket in 1997.

Giovanni Belgrano's Whooper Wins Panerai British Classic Week
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

The yachts enjoyed one final elegant sashay around the Central Solent to complete Panerai British Classic Week. The 6 and 8 Metres started separately, but Classes 1 to 4 came together on the Royal Yacht Squadron line for their final massed start. The course kept the boats close to Cowes, and with plenty of mark roundings and short legs, it was an exciting culmination to a wonderful week. Although many of the individual classes had already been decided, the overall winner of the regatta was still hanging in the balance so there was plenty to race for.

The Cetewayo Cup for the Best Professionally Maintained yacht was won by Michael Briggs' 1904 Fife 30 Linear Rater Mikado for her Edwardian originality and period interior, faithfully kept 113 years later. The Droleen II Trophy for the Best Owner Prepared yacht went to the 1952 William Fife fractional Bermudan sloop Nyachilwa owned by Graham Dallas, a rare family Fife kept in faithful condition by the owners. And the Per Ardua Ad Mare Trophy, for the Overall Winner, was presented to Cuilan, a 1969 George McGruer ketch which has been owned by Brian Smullen for all of her 48 years, and is still as handsome as the day she was launched.

Paul Spooner's lovely little 1934 George Holmes 34' gaff yawl Snippet, won both the Brian Keelan Memorial Trophy for the first gaffer and the Seamanship Award donated by Classic Boat, for sheer determination in taking on the big boys!

Philippe de Saint Lager of Panerai then took to the stage to present the overall prizes. Irvine Laidlaw's Spirit 52 Oui Fling won the Lutine Cup for Class 1. Giovanni Belgrano's 1939 Laurent Giles sloop Whooper won the Corinthian Cup for Class 2. Michael Brigg's 1904 Fife Mikado won the Commodore's Cup for Class 3. Richard Matthews' 1963 Stella Scorpio won the Cereste Trophy for Class 4. Fenton Burgin's 1926 Anker & Jensen Sioma won the Event Trophy for the 6 Metres and Murdoch McKillop's 1931 William Fife III Saskia won the Universal 8 Cup and the International Metre Trophy for the 8 Metres. In addition, each of the class winners was presented with a Panerai Plate.

Finally, the overall trophies were presented. The EFG International Trophy for third overall was presented to Richard Matthews' Scorpio and the Flight Trophy for second overall went to Ivine Laidlaw's Oui Fling. But the loudest cheers of the evening came as Giovanni Belgrano and his crew of Whooper came forward to claim the BCYC Racing Trophy and a Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic Acciaio - 44mm watch.

Blair Tuke joins MAPFRE
The 27-year old sailor from New Zealand will be one of the trimmers/helmsmen in the crew led by Basque skipper Xabi Fernandez. Tuke will join the team in Sanxenxo (Pontevedra) next week.

The name of the second under-30 sailor to join MAPFRE has been confirmed, as the team prepare for their challenge to win the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, the round-the-world race, which leaves from Alicante on 22nd October. New-Zealand sailor Blair Tuke will join the crew, skippered by Xabi Fernandez, next week.

Following his recent victory in the America's Cup in Bermuda, Tuke is due to arrive in Spain next week to join the rest of the Spanish team at their base in Sanxenxo, in the Rías Baixas region of Galicia.

Coincidentally Xabi and Blair share a number of similarities in their sporting careers. Both have victories in Olympic sailing. Xabi's class has always been the 49er, where Tuke also has a gold and silver medal, as well as various world championships to his name.

MAPFRE crew confirmed to date
Xabi Fernandez (ESP), Skipper
Pablo Arrarte (ESP), Watch captain
Rob Greenhalgh (GBR), Watch captain
Ñeti Cuervas-Mons (ESP), Bowman and boat captain
*Willy Altadill (ESP), trimmer/bowman
*Blair Tuke (NZL), trimmer/helmsman
* Under-30 crew member

J/80 World Championship: Triple Crown for Rayco Tabares
Rayco Tabares (ESP) is the 2017 J/80 World Champion, retaining the title for the third consecutive year, Racing Hotel Princesa Yaiza, with a crew of: Alejandro Bethencourt Fuentes, Afredo Gonzalez, Hector Gonzalez, and Laiyin Francisca Ley Torres Jorge.

Rayco Tabares has now won the J/80 World Championship four times.

The Spanish team from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, led the regatta from the first day to the last, but did survive a jitter on the penultimate day. On the last day of racing, the team scored two second place finishes to clinch the world title. A northerly breeze ranging from 10-18 knots, with shifts both to the west and the east, provided yet another testing race course in the Central Solent. All fourteen scheduled races were completed, much to the satisfaction of the competitors, which roundly showed their approval for a World Championship that was extremely well run.

Final top five

1. Hotel Princesa Yaiza, Rayco Tabares, ESP, 43.0
2. Courrier Junior, Brezellec Eric, FRA, 61.0
3. ArMen Habitat, Moriceau Simon, FRA, 74.0
4. VSA Comunicacion, Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg, ESP, 76.0
5. HM Hotels (Corinthian), Javier Chacartegui Cirerol, ESP, 87

Full results on

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