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Figaro Fourth Leg To Start Monday
The fourth and decisive leg of 2010 La Solitaire du Figaro will start from Kinsale tomorrow at 14.00. The 44 skippers will have to deal with the last 435 miles to Cherbourg and weather conditions are expected to be fairly tough, for a fast passage to the finish. Armel Le Cleac'h is still solidly in the lead but his competitors will surely play their cards right to be on the highest step of the podium. Rule one: good manoeuvres and no breakages.

To leave Ireland, the competitors will once more have to sail along the Irish cost to reach the famous Fastnet lighthouse 45 miles away, leaving it to port side. As opposed to the third leg, the 250-mile leap across the Celtic Sea will see the fleet leave the Scilly isles and the imposing lighthouse of Bishop Rock to port side. The skippers will have to negotiate the cross currents common to the English Channel for more than 100 miles, their waypoint set precisely on the cardinal buoy West Lizen Ven north of the île Vierge. After this mark, to be left on port side, the fleet will set off for 140 miles towards the Channel Islands. But this time, only the île d'Aurigny will be left offshore. Like it happened for their way up to Kinsale, overtaking the islands of Guernsey, Herm and Jersey will require all the skipper's fine strategy. Later on, there could be some good options or tactical chances nearer to the Cotentin coastline. The Raz Blanchard could open up the game over the last miles to the finish in Cherbourg-Octeville, will host the grand finale of La Solitaire du Figaro.

According to the weather forecast by Meteo France's expert Sylvain Mondon, after having rounded the Fastnet on their way to Lizen Ven, the fleet may encounter, and have to tackle with accordingly, two different meteorological outlooks: one with lighter northwesterly winds blowing at around 15/20 knots and one with stiffer breezes topping 25 with gusts over 30 knots.

The leaders could well reach Cherbourg, where the Solitaire comes back for the seventh time in its history, Wednesday around midday or Thursday at the latest should the wind be lighter. The approach to Cherbourg will be nonetheless a tricky one because of the strong tidal flows and currents that could be as strong as 3.5 to 4.5 knots.

Top ten after three legs:

1. Armel Le Cleac'h, Brit Air
2. Francois Gabart, Skipper MACIF 2010, + 01h17'52"
3. Thomas Rouxel, Credit Mutuel de Bretagne, + 01h36'58"
4. Jeremie Beyou, BPI, + 01h48'11"
5. Jeanne Gregoire, Banque Populaire, + 01h54'39"
6. Gildas Morvan, Cercle Vert, + 01h57'32"
7. Erwan Tabarly, Nacarat, + 01h57'48"
8. Fabien Delahaye, Port De Caen Ouistreham, + 02h07'59"
9. Kito De Pavant, Groupe Bel, + 02h16'23"
10. Anthony Marchand, Espoir Region Bretagne, + 02h16'26"

Gold Medals Decided at Skandia Sail for Gold
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Skandia Australia went home laden with gold after an astonishing week of racing in Weymouth Bay - the 2010 Olympic venue. The Aussies picked up gold in four classes; Nicky Souter, Nina Curtis and Olivia Price in the Women's Match Racing, the Skud-18 was won by Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox on Friday, Tom Slingsby took gold in the Laser Men, and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen made up the top quartet with a win in the 49er class.

The French team pushed Australia all the way, with three gold medals - Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos won the 470 Men, Charline Picon took gold home in the RS:X Women, and in the 2.4mR, it was Damien Seguin who did the business for France. The Dutch team then edged the home nation out of the gold medal table with wins in two classes, Marit Bouwmeester in the Laser Radial and Udo Hessels, Marcel van de Veen and Mischa Rossen in the Sonar. While Team Skandia GBR were left with a single gold, which was Giles Scott in the Finn. The consolation for the most successful Olympic sailing nation of the last three Olympiads was a hatful of silver and bronze - two silver and four bronze.

The venue, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is the 2012 Olympic venue and it threw everything at the competitors this week - saving the best for last, with a medal race day that was the best of the British summer; wind, rain, calms and even a little sunshine right at the end. The huge entry of 975 sailors from 57 nations spread across 712 boats in 13 classes will go home having learned to expect the unexpected in August 2012.

470 Men
Gold - Leboucher and Garos, FRA, 31 points
Silver Belcher and Page, AUS, 35
Bronze Patience and Bithell, GBR, 58

470 Women
Gold - Kondo and Tabata, JPN, 74
Silver Pacheco and Betanzos, ESP, 91
Bronze Maxwell and Kinsolving, USA, 91

Gold - Outteridge and Jensen, AUS, 65
Silver - Kruger Andersen and Thorsell, DEN, 82
Bronze Morrison and Rhodes, GBR, 84

Gold - Scott, GBR, 60
Silver - Lobert, FRA, 63
Bronze - Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 66

Gold - Slingsby, AUS, 62
Silver - Goodison, GBR, 74
Bronze - Leigh, CAN, 93

Laser Radial
Gold - Bouwmeester, NED, 40
Silver - Multala, FIN, 43
Bronze - Winther, NZL, 46

RS:X Men's
Gold - Rodrigues, POR, 38
Silver - Van Rijsselberge, NED, 42
Bronze - Dempsey, GBR, 43

RS:X Women
Gold - Picon, FRA, 44
Silver - Manchon, ESP, 50
Bronze - Shaw, GBR, 63

Gold - O'Leary and Kleen, IRE, 52
Silver - Loof and Tillander, SWE, 61
Bronze - Kusznierewicz and Zycki, POL, 65

Women's Match Racing
Gold - - Souter, Curtis and Price, AUS
Silver - - Leroy, Bertrand and Riou, FRA
Bronze - - Tunicliffe, Vandemer and Capozzi, USA

Gold - Seguin, FRA, 12
Silver - Schmitter, NED, 13
Bronze - Kol, NED, 27

Gold - Fitzgibbon and Cox, AUS, 11
Silver - Rickham and Birrell, GBR, 14.7
Bronze - McRoberts and Hopkin, CAN, 26

Gold - Hessels, Rossen and Van de Veen, NED, 21
Silver - Robertson, Stodel and Thomas, GBR, 26
Bronze - Cohen, Vexler and Efrati, ISR, 27

Applications for the Artemis Offshore Academy Close 20th August
rtemis Offshore Academy The Artemis Offshore Academy has attracted a surge of interest from budding offshore short-handed sailors with over 350 online views of the application form, the closing date for applications is midnight on 20th August. The Academy will provide a training programme of excellence for British short-handed sailors, putting in place a structure to bring talented sailors up through the ranks. The Academy is designed to help them win major offshore solo and short-handed races with the ultimate goal of putting a British sailor in a strong position to win the Vendee Globe in 2016 or 2020.

The first step for future solo sailing stars is to complete the online application form. If chosen, they will participate in the Selection Trials to be held between 13th-26th September at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing. A Development Squad of 8-12 members will be chosen at the end of the Selection Trials.

Irish Set Formidable Pace
Photo by Kurt Arrigo / Rolex. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Commodores' Cup Ireland grabbed the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup by the throat on the opening day. With two windward-leeward races held in the eastern and central Solent, the three Irish boats won in each of their classes in the first race. In the second race, the team's otherwise perfect scoreline was only tarnished by their mid-sized boat, David Dwyer's Mills 39, posting a second. With six days of competition left, the Irish, on 7 points, already hold a huge lead over the defending champions, GBR Red and Hong Kong, tied on 23. Previous experience will not allow the Irish to get carried away just yet.

The Solent started out grey and miserable today but the sun broke through mid-morning with a 10 knot northwesterly and a strong eastbound tide. For race two the Race Committee moved the race area to just east of the Brambles Bank to minimise the tide and for this the wind had veered into the northeast and built, at times gusting up to 20 knots.

In this opening day of competition for mainly Corinthian crews, with only one or two professionals allowed on each boat, some cobwebs were being blown out with a number of sail handling errors evident and even a collision during a port-starboard incident in race two between two mid-sized boats - Francois Lognone's Nutmeg IV in France White and Paul Turner's Grand Soleil 43 Artemis in GBR Black. The French subsequently admitted their mistake - explaining that they lacked steerage to avoid the incident. While they came out unscathed, unfortunately Artemis was holed and is having to be repaired overnight. Both yachts retired from race two.

Followers of this event will know that Ireland leading after day one is a regular feature of recent Rolex Commodores' Cups. The Irish have been favourites going into the last three events, but they have never before made such a strong impression on the event so soon.

For the mid-sized Class 2 boat it ended up being a long day following three general recalls before race two got away successfully on the fourth attempt under the Z-flag. France Yellow holds fourth place, largely due to the efforts of their big boat, Bernard Gouy's Ker 39 Inis Mor which posted a 2-2 today. Their mid-boat is Pen Azen, from Saint-Quay-Portrieux in northern Brittany, and for owner Philippe Delaporte this is his third Rolex Commodores' Cup, but the first aboard his J/122, that was RORC Yacht of the Year in 2008. Delaporte bemoaned their tactics today. "We had a 5 and 7 - we were not lucky in our choices of side. We have good speed, so the problem is us."This was not an issue of tides - they have big tides in Brittany - but the unstable wind direction. "We didn't manage that very correctly."

The Rolex Commodores' Cup continues tomorrow with a further two inshore races.

Marinepool Melges 24 World Championship
Tallinn, Estonia: Despite the willingness of both the competitors and the Race Committee to do everything possible to complete the final two races of the 2010 Marinepool Melges 24 World Championship in Tallin, Estonia, the wind refused to make an appearance on the final day. After a patient wait of several hours, the one painfully light airs race which did get under way had to be abandoned part way down the first downwind leg. The lack of any racing today, meant that the placings from the previous day remained unaffected, with Italian helm Lorenzo Bressani on Uka Uka Racing confirmed as the 2010 Melges 24 World Champion. Norway's Kristian Nergaard on Baghdad took second place overall, ahead of Italy's Alberto Bolzan on Hurricane Murphy & Nye in third. In the closely fought Corinthian Division, Norway's Oyvind Peder Jahre on Storm Capital Sail Racing Team were crowned 2010 Melges 24 Corinthian World Champions, ahead of Estonian Tonu Toniste on Lenny in second and Italian Marco Schirato on La Besa in third.

Realistically the eventual abandonment of racing on the final day had little impact on the already foregone conclusion that Italy's Lorenzo Bressani on the helm of Uka Uka Racing would be crowned champion. Bressani had turned in a stellar performance in the Championship series, winning three of the ten races sailed and never placing outside of the top ten all regatta, meaning that he had established a virtually unassailable thirty-two-point lead going into the final day. -- Fiona Brown

Provisional Overall Top Ten After Five Races

1. UKA UKA RAcing - Lorenzo Bressani, ITA, 30 points
2. Baghdad - Kristian Nergaard, NOR, 62
3. Hurricane - Murphy & Nye - Alberto Bolzan, ITA, 67
4. Blu Moon - Flavio Favini, SUI, 81
5. Audi - Riccardo Simoneschi, ITA, 94
6. Gullisara - Carlo Fracassoli, ITA, 97
7. Saetta - Niccolo Bianchi, ITA, 102
8. Altea - Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 132
9. Storm Capital Sail Racing Team, NOR, 136
10. Poizon Rouge - Jean-Marc Monnard, FRA, 144

Provisional Corinthian Top Five After Two Races

1. Storm Capital Sail Racing Team, NOR, 42
2. Lenny - Tonu Toniste, EST, 47
3. La Besa - Marco Schirato, ITA, 70
4. Number of the Beast - Jonas Berntsson, SWE, 83
5. Midnight Sun Sailing One - Sami Ekblad, FIN, 85

Musto Northwest Passage Expedition HPX Jackets

Win One of Bear Grylls's Musto Northwest Passage Expedition HPX Jackets!
Musto is supply the clothing for his next epic adventure across the North West Passage in an open-topped RIB.

Grylls' team will be wearing Musto HPX to keep them warm, dry and comfortable while they attempt this dangerous challenge to raise awareness of climate change.

Win one of the team HPX Jackets (worth £560) by ENTERING THE COMPETITION HERE. Closes 31 August 2010. Good luck.

Staffan Lindberg Wins AtSea Baltic Match Race
Staffan Lindberg, FIN, won AtSea Baltic Match Race on Sunday. On second place came Peter Wibroe from Denmark. Both skippers met each other in the final last year and this year Lindberg won over Wibroe. Baltic Match Tour continues with more races in Tallinn 16-18/8 and Helsinki 19-21/8

- We are really pleased with our win today comments Staffan Lindberg. Especially since we lost in the finals last year against Wibroe.

On third place came the world match racing tour sailor Bjorn Hansen, also one of the initiators to the Baltic Match Tour.

- We are of course not pleased with not winning today but I am very pleased that the teams are having a good time and like the new match racing concept comments Bjorn Hansen. For next year we are hoping for stronger winds and we are looking forward going racing tomorrow in Tallinn. -- Henrik Grape

Results AtSea Baltic Match Race, Stockholm

1. Staffan Lindberg, FIN
2. Peter Wibroe, DEN
3. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
4. Michele Perris, MON
5. Phil Robertson, NZL
6. Evgeny Neugodnikov, RUS
7. Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi, FIN
8. Keith Swinton, AUS
9. Simone Ferrarese, ITA
10. Mati Sepp, EST
11. Mikael Lindqvist, SWE

Baltic Match Tour Race Schedule:
- Stockholm 13-15/8. Organizer: Stockholm Match Race Center and Gamla Stans Yacht Sallskap. Venue: AtSea Lidingo, Stockholm
- Tallinn 16-18/8. Organizer: Estonian Match Racing Union. Venue: Pirita.
- Helsinki 19-21/8. Organizer: Nylandska Jaktklubben. Venue: Havshamnen.

International Europe Class Youth Europeans
The last race day offered us sunshine, wind and two great races so the planned ten races for the championship was reached. Principal race officer Andreas Kuchler was very satisfied with the regatta and the performance of his crew on the course and the sailors, but with more than 80 boats on the starting line in each start, he could also look back at 5 racing days with eager and agressive sailing.

In the girls fleet DEN 50 Anne-Line Lyngso Thomsen, Egaa Sejlklub, is the overall Europe Youth European Champion and goldmedalist. Since Anne-Line is born in 1993, she is on the same time the Europe Youth under 17 years European Champion and goldmedalist. During the worlds in Akero in Sweden she was also honored and received a medal for "rookie of the year"

Silvermedallist DEN 40 Anne Julie Foght Schytt, Horsens Sejlklub was only two points down and the third place and bronze medal was won by SWE 24 Julia Gross fra Kungeliga Svenska Segel Selskabet.

The Europe Youth under 17 years European Champion 2010 for the girls was as mentioned won by overall-winner DEN 50 Anne-Line Lyngso Thomsen, Egaa Sejlklub. The silver medal and second place went to ESP 537 Mercedes Fernandez, R.C.N. Torrevieja, while the third place and bronze medal went to BEL 947 Emma Plasschaert, VVW Inside Outside.

In the boys fleet the spanish team took their part - ESP 650 Albert Codinachs, C.V. Blanes is the overall Europe Youth European Champion and goldmedalist, while ESP 10 Juan Calvo, R.C.N. Denia was second and Silver medalist. The third place and bronze medal was won by SWE 3632 Hampus Appelgren, Kungeliga Svenska Segel Selskabet.

The Europe Youth under 17 years European Champion 2010 in the boys fleet was won by SWE 3625 Emil Bengtson, Kullaviks Kanot och Kappseglings Klub, followed by DEN 9 Thobias Hemdorff, Kalovig Badelaug as Silver medalist and SWE 8 Marcus Hoeglander, Varmdo Jolleseglare as Bronze medalist.

Full results at

Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup
Detroit, Michigan, USA: The list of competitors for the 2010 Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup has been announced with 12 teams from five countries and one U.S. territory confirmed. Kevin Schrage, chairman of the 2010 Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup, made the announcement at Bayview Yacht Club this morning.

The field of competitors represents The United States, the US Virgin Islands, Denmark, Russia, Brazil and New Zealand. The competitors and their global rankings are:

Taylor Canfield, USVI - ISAF Ranking 46
Kent Colpaert, USA - ISAF Ranking 131
Reuben Corbett, NZL - ISAF Ranking 18
Henrique Haddad, BRA - ISAF Ranking 59
Bill Hardesty, USA - ISAF Ranking 82
Laurie Jury, NZL - ISAF Ranking 61
Sergey Musikhin, RUS - ISAF Ranking 35
Dave Perry, USA - ISAF Ranking 43
Nicolai Sehested, DEN - ISAF Ranking 52
William Tiller, NZL - ISAF Ranking 42
Anna Tunnicliffe, USA - ISAF Ranking 120
Chris VanTol, USA - ISAF Ranking 38

The 2010 Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup will begin Wednesday, August 18, with the final match on Sunday, August 22. The regatta is open to the public.

Hawaiian Boat Is First Out The Gate
It is not at a moment too soon to start thinking about 2011, tradewind sailing, and the final rush to Diamond Head in the 46th Transpacific Yacht Race. Worldwide, only a handful of truly great distance races make the must-do list.

Anyone who has ever raced the Transpac will find all the good parts still in place. Gathering the fleet at Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach, ahead of the race is a great addition to the second century of Transpac, and the state of Hawaii has made tremendous improvements to our end point, Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu. A tradition that began in 1906 just keeps getting better.

First gun is only 11 months away-July 4, 2011-and once again there will be trophies for doublehanded entries as well as the fully crewed divisions that attract grand prix boats, cruiser-racers, and families that sail together.

Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Bill Lee said, "I am proud to announce that Gib Black, representing the State of Hawaii, is our first entry. We are looking forward to a great Los Angeles to Honolulu race in 2011 and encourage everyone to join us as a participant, a volunteer, or a spectator."

Online entry is available at

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Ginny Jones: Tom Benson, who with John Mecray and others founded the Museum of Yachting in Newport would be so excited about the recreation of ATLANTIC. He participated in the last rites for the original ATLANTIC and salvaged a few bits and pieces for the Museum as the remains of ATLANTIC were bulldozed into some landfill or where ever she ended up.

There is a photo of Tom standing in the rain watching the sad end. Sadly Tom died much too young in the late 80's but his spirit lingers on and hopefully at least a few parts of ATLANTIC came from the old schooner.

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The Last Word
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Sir Winston Churchill

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