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The Unstoppable Irish
Photo by Kurt Arrigo / Rolex. Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Commodores' Cup A grim overcast start and lumpy wind against tide conditions gave way to brilliant sunshine and a summery finish off the Royal Yacht Squadron for the Rolex Trophy Day inshore race at the 2010 Rolex Commodores' Cup. Thursday's one race was held around multiple marks in the central western Solent starting in 18 knot southwesterlies with a wet beat through short chop before the tide turned and the wind dropped gradually through the race, ending at below 10 knots .

It was another solid day for the Irish team, leaders since the opening day of the regatta last Sunday. Their big boat, Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix and their small boat, Robert Davies' Corby 36 Roxy 6 both won their classes today while David Dwyer's posted a third. No other team was close to being as consistent today.

In the small boat class Roxy 6 came out on top partly thanks to a navigation error on the Hong Kong boat, Christopher Opielok's Corby 36 Rockall III [at the time of going to press this was subject to a protest for redress]. "We were very lucky," said Roxy 6's helmsman Andrew Creighton. "Rockall went to a wrong mark and they were ahead of us. With them making that mistake it obviously pushed us into first, although one of the French guys, Goa, came very close to us, but we had them by about 25 seconds."

Roxy 6 was only launched in April, but has had an intensive season at regattas throughout the UK and her native Ireland. Designed by Cowes resident John Corby, the 36 footer relished today's conditions. "The short Solent slap suits this sort of boat," said Creighton.

Back at Cowes Yacht Haven, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Andrew McIrvine stepped off the boat he co-owns with Peter Morton in buoyant mood. His Beneteau First 40.7 La Reponse won the mid-sized class today by two and a half minutes on corrected time ahead of past RORC Commodore Peter Rutter's Quokka 8.

Conditions for the race around the Isle of Wight look set to be brisk with southwesterly winds gusting up to 25 knots forecast.

Top Five Teams - Provisional Positions after completion of 6 races

Team / Points / Place
Ireland / 47 / 1
Hong Kong* / 87.5 / 2
France Blue / 96 / 3
GBR Red / 103 / 4
France Yellow /110 / 5
*subject to outstanding protest

Latest video from day 5 of the Rolex Commodores' Cup:

'Oman Air' to Attempt Single-Handed RBI Record
Click on image to enlarge course map.

Oman Sail RBI Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the Arabian 100 trimaran Oman Air , crossed the start line off the Lizard Point, Cornwall UK at 17:55:08 GMT Thursday (19/08/10) as he attempts to break the single-handed Round Britain and Ireland record. The record attempt forms part of his training for the single handed transatlantic Route du Rhum race later this year.

The current single-handed record for the 1,785 nautical mile lap of Britain and Ireland stands at 6 days 6 hours 40 minutes and 31 seconds, which was set by fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville onboard his trimaran Sodebo in 2006. In order to beat his record, Sidney needs to maintain an average boat speed of above 11.86 knots.

The record route will see him head anti clockwise around Britain and Ireland finishing once again at Lizard Point. The weather team are currently predicting a slow start to the attempt, with light westerly winds, however the breeze is set to build from the south-west to provide 20 - 25 knot reaching conditions on the first night.

The Round Britain and Ireland record attempt has seen a complete change in the setup onboard Oman Air, skipper Sidney has managed to save almost 500 kg by removing unnecessary items such as computer screens, the generator and the galley. Newly designed 3DL sails have arrived and been fitted, whilst Sidney and the team have been waiting on standby for the record attempt.

Valencia to Host the 2010 TP52 World Championship in October
The 2010 edition of the TP52 World Championship will be held off Valencia from Tuesday October 5 to Saturday October 9. This was confirmed today by World Sailing Management, organizer of the event along with the City of Valencia, Consorcio Valencia 2007 and the Real Club Nutico de Valencia, with the support of the TP52 Class, the Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV) and the Valencian Sailing Federation (FVV).

The base for the 2010 TP52 Worlds will be the Marina Real Juan Carlos I at the heart of the port of Valencia, and the competing TP52 fleet will be docked in front of the iconic Veles e Vents building.

The competition program will consist of a maximum of ten races, including up to nine windward/leewards and one Coastal Race of between 20 and 30 miles scheduled for Thursday, October 7. The Coastal Race will have a coefficient of 1.25.

A maximum of three races are scheduled for each windward-leeward day and the Championship becomes valid after minimum of three races have been sailed. The programme starts on the Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th of October for measurement, inspection and registration.

The 2009 TP52 World Championship was held in Palma de Mallorca in October last year, involving 10 teams from nine countries and the winner was Alberto Roemmers Matador (ARG).

6 Meter "Arunga" Seals 2010 North American Title
Ullman Sails Congratulations to Bob Cadranell and his team on "Arunga" for claiming the 2010 6 Meter North Americans last weekend in Port Townsend, Washington. Powered by Ullman Sails FiberPath designs, Team Arunga took first overall and first in the modern division. The team dominated the regatta winning five of the seven total races including straight bullets on the final day. The Seattle-based team of Bob Cadranell (helm), Chris Winnard of Ullman Sails Seattle (tactics/trim), Lloyd Bauer (trim), Doug Hansen (foredeck) and Bryan Agnetta (main) won the Gooderham North American Championship trophy and the U.S. Nationals Trophy.

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UK City Of Culture 2013 Gets On Board For Clipper
The UK's City of Culture 2013, Derry-Londonderry, has today announced it is to become part of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race with an official city boat in the race. In addition the city will be an official host port, welcoming the ten-strong fleet in July 2012 with a showcase festival at the end of the final transatlantic stage of the 40,000-mile race en route to the race finish.

It will be the first time that Northern Ireland has been represented in the race which attracts a global audience of more than 460 million people.

The potential for the 11-12 entry was developed by Derry City Council with the support of Londonderry Port and Ocean Event Management. It will form an integral part of the campaign to market the city's culture, business and education offerings in a number of the cities on the Clipper 11-12 route. The development of the tourism and international potential for the race and festival has been supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

The yacht will be one of ten identical 68-foot ocean racing yachts, each of which is sponsored by a city, region or country to carry their name around the world.

Berths are available for people from Derry-Londonderry to compete in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race and there will be public presentations in the city on 20 and 21 September at City Hotel, Derry-Londonderry.

How Yachting Sponsorship Works
Last spring, London-based, Italian sailor, Marco Nannini, bought the Akilaria Class40 Mowgli - a yacht that had recently completed the double-handed, round the world Portimão Global Ocean Race. Nannini's ultimate goal was to enter the boat in the second edition of the race - the Global Ocean Race 2011-12. Wasting no time, Nannini swiftly secured title sponsorship from the trading and risk management company, SunGard Front Arena, and entered the Shetland Round Britain & Ireland Race sailing double-handed with British yachtsman Paul Peggs. The event was a major success for the duo with SunGard Front Arena taking line honours on three legs of the race and finishing second place overall, just minutes behind the leading Class40.

Shortly after completing this highly-successful circumnavigation of the British Isles, Nannini announced that he had attracted sponsorship for the single-handed Banque Postale Route du Rhum Race from Saint-Malo, France, to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, starting at the end of October. The source of the sponsorship is the UniCredit Group: a major financial institution with offices in 22 countries. The Italian skipper has worked for UniCredit for five years and although he doubtless has an impeccable track record as an employee, this hardly constitutes a basis for corporate sponsorship in solo offshore racing. So, how did Nannini merit and attract this support?

One compelling factor was clearly his offshore racing CV which includes the 2009 OSTAR transatlantic race during which Nannini sailed the Sigma 36, British Beagle, to an impressive victory in the event's Jester Class. A second element is UniCredit's existing link with sailing: the annual UniCredit Sailing Meeting held each autumn when around 400 of the company's employees from throughout Europe race in friendly, but intense, competition.

With 402 days until the start of the Global Ocean Race in Mallorca on September 25th next year, Marco Nannini's search for title sponsorship for the double-handed circumnavigation continues. However, the model he has adopted is a proven template and while the sponsorship funds he seeks are far less than the multi-million Euro budget required for a high-end IMOCA Open 60 campaign, the approach is very similar: a healthy lead time enabling maximum exposure for the sponsor's brand prior to the racing event; imaginative internal and external hospitality programmes; a visible and recognisable profile within offshore racing and a committed and engaged sponsor with a realistic grasp of the return on their investment. -- Oliver Dewar

Full article at

Downhill Skiff Cross
Click on image to enlarge.

Downhill Skiff Cross The Dutch are bringing plenty of silver and gold to this week's 29erXX Downhill Skiff Cross showcased at the centre of Sail Amsterdam - the world's largest sailing festival. Golden girl Marit Bouwmeester winner of Skandia's Sail for Gold in Laser Radials, and Beijing Silver medallist in the Yngling Merel Witteveen will be sailing with reigning 29er and 29erXX European Champion Annemiek Bekkering to represent Team Netherlands.

Sailors look forward to the "fun" and making a big splash for the expected 2 million tourists. Spectators are excited too, as sailing gains ground as an "extreme sport". Skandia's 49er promo video featuring Team GBR accrued nearly 83,000 views since its release two and half weeks ago.

"It's a new way to make sailing more audience friendly. We would like the 29erXX fleet to grow, so the dinghy will be on the Olympic program in 2016," sum up the Danish challengers, Europe's top women's 29er team of Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen. Olympic sailors from all disciplines are signing up for the 29erXX Downhill Skiff Cross: Bouwmeester steps in with Olympic teammate and 470 sailor Marieke Jongens. Match Racers Suzanne Leiders Mijke Lievens are also looking forward to competing for the first time in the 29erXX, the potential new women's Olympic class in 2016.

The one-design 29erXX has a carbon rig, twin wires and masthead kite to get up and go fly. Square-topped fully-battened mainsail, self-tacking jib and self-launching asymmetric spinnaker for more powerful and elegant manoeuvres. Complete compatibility with the internationally renown 29er hull makes it easier for sailors to step up to the next level.

YouTube Video:

Seahorse September 2010
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Paul Cayard
AC34 - still a lot to decide and it certainly ain't going to be cheap... but definitely so far so good

IRC column
JAMES DADD explains the logic behind the rule...

Olympic and small boat news - New look
The CLARKE and BJORN team are doing a good job of selling the new PStar. Plus LYNN FITZPATRICK catches up with Australia's... VICTOR KOVALENKO

If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...

Aethon Wing Withdrawn From Little America's Cup
Aethon, the new wing for the C Class catamaran was revealed, trialed, and withdrawn this week.

Control system problems caused damage to the wing's airfoil surfaces. These were too extensive to be repaired and tested before the start of the International C Class Catamaran Championship on August 22. The team has therefore decided to scratch the entry of Cogito, and use her wing on Aethon in the Little America's Cup.

Steve Clark, owner of both boats, designed and built Aethon with his nephew Oliver Moore over the last 18 months. He designed and built the new wing hoping to achieve something new. The wing weighs just 140 pounds, about 30 pounds lighter than Cogito's wing and probably about 15 pounds lighter than the Canadian's wingsails. The wing also has solid composite skins, which are better aerodynamically than the typical heat shrink covering, and has a more extensive twist control system that allows Clark and Moore to vary the trim of the wing throughout its entire span.

The withdrawal of the second American entry means that Lars Guck and Andrew Gaynor, initially slated to sail Cogito at the event, will now be moved to first and second alternate. ' I feel very bad about having to scratch and entry to the regatta' continued Clark. 'We thought long and hard about what it would take to repair the wing and get to the starting line, but we concluded that it simply wouldn't be possible. -- Barby McGowan, full article in

Two Revamped Eco 60s Hit Water Ahead of Velux 5 Oceans
They have spent the last few months hidden away in boatsheds undergoing major transformations - but now two Eco 60 yachts have emerged from their makeovers and have been lifted into the water for the Velux 5 Oceans.

Both Brad Van Liew's Eco 60 Le Pingouin and Garry Golding's Oz have made it to the water after months of refitting. Le Pingouin, formerly Pro Form, has been given a stunning golden paint job and proudly sports a penguin logo on its hull. Australian sailor Golding's yacht meanwhile has been transformed from Dee Caffari's yellow and blue Aviva 1 into Oz, with white hull and patriotic gold and green topsides.

Le Pingouin and Oz are the first boats to emerge from the shed as the Velux 5 Oceans racers make their final preparations for the 30,000-mile singlehanded race around the world, which starts in La Rochelle, France, on October 17.

Golding will step the mast on Oz at the end of the week. Both Van Liew and Golding will then make last minute tweaks to their yachts before setting sail on their qualification passages later this month.

Alcatraz Start For Practice Race
Sailing in the world renowned San Francisco Bay became reality for the Junior Finn sailors, competing today in the practice race for the Junior Finn World Championship or Jorg Bruder Silver Cup. Alcatraz provided a dramatic background for the starting line along with the Golden Gate Bridge alined with the top mark.

The small but talented fleet did the usual first beat in a freshening breeze and enjoyed the run before heading back straight to the club. Training in the bay with 15 to 20 knots everyday had already provided for a good fitness test for the juniors.

The competition will start Friday with two races with a total of nine scheduled. With only 15 boats the decision was taken not to have a medal race, however the last race on Tuesday will be non discardable.

The Opening ceremony took place on Wednesday evening at the San Francis Yacht Club, in presence of Commodore David Sneary, Regatta chair and ex- Finn sailor John Callahan, as well as Consuls of some represented countries including Australia and Poland

Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup
Thursday was day one of the Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup, an open Grade 2 event here in Detroit. We had a great day finishing our 5 races with a 5-0 record.

There are 12 teams competing in the regatta. Our team, consisting of me, Debbie Capozzi, Liz Bower, and Amanda Callahan, along with five other teams, sat out the first five flights of the day as six teams headed out to the water to start the regatta at 10am. Our group of six teams got to relax and watch the racing take place just off the waterfront of Bayview YC. With the windward mark just 200m from the wall, we got to see all the action.

The conditions were great, but very puffy at times, which allowed the boat behind to be able to make up distance on the lead boat downwind if they played the breeze well. We were also fighting the current downwind which made for long legs, and so giving the trailing boat an even bigger advantage.

Around 1:30pm, the first six boats finished up their racing, and we headed out to do our five races. We had some great races, our two closest being against Taylor Canfield and Bill Hardesty. In both races, it came down to a close call at the finish line, but my team did a great job and we managed to hold on for the win.

Racing resumes tomorrow morning at 10am. We will be sitting out the first three flights, and then hit the water for 6 races. -- Anna Tunnicliffe,

Event site:

Sailing Television Programmes
The BBC is set to broadcast two documentaries on Olympic Classes sailing, produced by Sunset+Vine|APP in association with BBC Sport.

Part 1 of “Olympic Sailing” will air this Saturday, 21 August at 1300 on BBC 1.

It tells the story of Britain’s medal winners at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta where nearly 1000 sailors from 57 nations competed at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue for the sailing competition for the London 2012 Games.

On Sunday 5 September at 1400 on BBC 2, “OLYMPIC SAILING” (Part 2) will come from Hayling Island on the final day of the Laser World Championships where Beijing gold medallist Paul Goodison is out to defend his title. The programme will also include features on the man to break Ben Ainslie’s six-year winning record in the Olympic Finn class, 23 year-old British sailor Giles Scott, and on perhaps the happiest medal winner of all at the last Games - Britain’s Britain's Bryony Shaw who windsurfed to bronze in China.

Both programmes can be watched on BBC iPLAYER after transmission dates.

* The ISAF World Match Racing Tour, the world championship series of head-to-head racing, continues to grab the media spotlight with action from the fifth and most recent round in Sweden providing the focus for CNN’s flagship sailing programme MainSail.

The programme which aired for the first time today at 12.30 and 16.30 will be repeated on Saturday 21 August at 07.30, 17.30 and 20.00 again on Sunday 22 August at 03.00, 07.30 and 15.00 (all times GMT) features the thrilling action from the Stena Match Cup Sweden which saw Britain’s three time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie crowned the ‘Maestro of Marstrand’.

The programme fronted by Shirley Robertson showcases the unique nature of match racing, the same format of racing used in the America’s Cup. Having established itself as the foremost training ground for America’s Cup skippers The World Match Racing Tour continues to feature the very best sailors in the world as they look to hone their skills.

The programme will be aired across all CNN’s platforms in EMEA, North America, Latin America and South Asia. The feature is yet another boost for the World Match Racing Tour which is gaining an increasing global media profile with highlights of the Tour being shown in over 180 countries on channels such as CNBC, Eurosport, Setanta Africa, Sky Sports, ESPN Star Sports and Fox Sports.

Following a mid-season break The World Match Racing Tour is set to spring back into action with the world’s best sailors locking horns in a double header. The St Moritz Match Race takes place from 31 August to 5 September and will be followed immediately by the Danish Open in Bronholm from 8 to 12 September.

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The Last Word
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. -- Theodor Geisel

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