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The Clock Is Ticking
Simonas Steponavicius' Volvo 60, Ambersail was 151 miles from the finish, heading inshore presumably to take advantage of the tidal race at Portland Bill. The Lithuanian boat was achieving over eight knots but need to average over 14 knots to take the overall prize. John Merricks II was around Land's End with 195 miles to go; they need to average nearly 17 knots to beat the corrected time of the current leader.
Artemis Ocean Racing is in 'the clubhouse' and look to be in a very strong position to win the overall handicap prize for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Their biggest threat for the moment is Piet Vroon's Ker 46 Tonnerre de Breskens. Piet Vroon has completed 25 Fastnets as skipper and he knows this part of the racecourse better than just about anyone. Today at 1500 BST Tonnerre de Breskens was 236 miles from the finish and approaching the Isles of Scilly. They were in light headwinds and only achieving just over five knots of boat speed. However they only need to average 6.75 knots to overhaul Artemis Ocean Racing and reach the finish line by 01:54:35 on Wednesday morning.
The signs are that the wind may well be on its way, by morning a fresher easterly breeze is predicted along the English Channel. This may give a ray of hope to the yachts further back on the racecourse. However tonight will be difficult one on board. Trying to keep in the breeze and avoiding windless traps is far more difficult at night. Realistically, it looks like Tonnerre de Breskens is the only yacht capable of beating Artemis Ocean Racing's corrected time, but do not be surprised if this fascinating race does not have a few more twists before it is over.
* Artemis Ocean Racing II has broken the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race IMOCA 60' record
Having crossed the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race finish line Monday at 00h32' 27'' after 6 days 10 hours 32 minutes and 27 seconds at sea, Artemis Ocean Racing II managed to break the IMOCA 60' course record at the end of an "epic day of full-on sailing", as Jonny Malbon said upon setting foot ashore.
The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is special for Artemis Ocean Racing, as its 2006 edition was the first event the team's first IMOCA 60' (ex-Hexagon, later known as Artemis I) took part in - and incidentally won, with Jonny Malbon at the helm. And despite the "domestic" feel evoked by its course and appellation, it's a gruelling competition with 1802 nautical miles to cover - that's more than half of a transatlantic crossing - on a course that takes the sailors to the loneliness, the cold and the desolation of the Northern Hemisphere's high latitudes.
Last night, Jonny Malbon and his crew came back home to find the Solent as windy and choppy as they left it last Monday under reefed mainsail and Genoa jib, yet an awful lot has happened during this (mainly) fast and furious week, which saw five competitors, including the Super Maxi 100' ICAP Leopard, retire from the race after having suffered gear failure. For the first 3 days of the race, the breeze only dropped below 20 knots for a total combined time of a couple of hours, which means that the crew have had a very bumpy, wet and uncomfortable ride for starters.
The IRC overall results won't be known until the "chasing pack" comes in, but at the moment it's looking very good for Artemis Ocean Racing who had a fabulous final day - so maybe one more victory to celebrate for the crew!
Hobie 16 World Championships
With a total number of six races sailed in the Semi-Finals & Finals, the new Hobie 16 World Champions are the team of Jerome Le Gal and Enrick Obert, representing France and hailing from New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Le Gal and Obert, the reigning Hobie 16 European Champions, were clearly the team to beat from the outset with a speed advantage over the rest of the fleet and consistency in finishing places, unmatched at the event .
Le Gal has gradually improved his positions in the overall fleet at World Championships since the 2002 Worlds were held in his home waters of New Caledonia. At the 2002 event, Le Gal finished 4th in the Youths, and a very commendable 10th in the Opens, showing that he had the skill and composure to match the top sailors. At the more recent Hobie 16 Worlds in Fiji, Le Gal improved to an impressive 6th place in a exceptionally strong fleet but inconsistency kept him from the podium.
Open Finals - Overall Results
Coxon Wins 18ft Skiff International Regatta
San Francisco, California, USA: The Australian arrived a stranger in town but made himself right at home with the familiarly frisky winds and tides and fog and even an unfamiliar mid-regatta heat wave to win the ninth annual 18ft Skiff International Regatta, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club Thursday.
On his first visit to San Francisco, Michael Coxon, overcame a stumbling entrance with five wins in the last eight races to hold off by one point another young Aussie, Herman Winning, who won three.
Howard Hamlin, an original organizer and two-time winner of the event, won the other race in a mid-regatta move before falling victim to the nature of the class that lives on the edge of catastrophe--- in this case three crashes including one instigated by Winning and, indirectly, Coxon.
Under a blanket of fog exclusive to the bay, Coxon was again unbeatable. A two-time winner of the JJ Giltinan International Trophy, the 18s' world championship, he sailed the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers-sponsored skiff with a confident crew of Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas, who have won three and five Giltinans as crew, respectively.
Final standings (14 boats; 9 races; 2 discards)
1. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Michael Coxon/Aaron Links/Trent Barnabas, AUS, 10 points
* Check out the expert video action by Simon Brown and commentary by Bob Killick of the 18ft Skiff International Regatta at San Francisco now posted at www.18footerstv.com
Day 1: Kiwi Bullot's Statement of Intent
For those sailors who had spent the preceding days, or - for some - weeks, learning venue's nuances idiosyncrasies it was intelligence gained about the tidal current which was of immediate value.
Racing Day 1 broke the pattern of blustery winds and intermittent rain which have prevailed through pre-championships training phase, replaced absolutely on cue by bluebird skies, summer sunshine and light to moderate mainly northerly breezes.
New Zealand's Michael Bullot, runner up at last year's World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia made the strongest start across the two testing opening races by posting a second and a first in the first of four days of scheduled Qualifying heats.
His early statement of intent saw the Aucklander ashore this afternoon with a lead of one point over Skandia Team GBR's Paul Goodison, the Olympic and defending World Champion, who opened his regatta with third place and then won his second heat by a comfortable distance.
The shifting directions of the wind, oscillating through as much as 30 degrees at times in the Standard fleet's first race set the early test, but a big 50 degrees swing early in of the second contest, kept the racers and the race team on their toes; the second and third starts were delayed until the breeze settled.
In the Junior World Championships Italy's Francesco Marrai leads the 118 boat fleet after posting a second and third.
Top five after two races:
Junior World Championships
Top five after two races:
Daily video summary is on www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/Pages/video.aspx
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Champagne Conditions at the RS:X Worlds in Kerteminde
Unable to compete yesterday due to the light winds, the Women's class got two races in to start with in 18 knot northeasterly winds, gusting to over 20 knots. After two races, Chinese sailors held three places in the top five, with Sasa Sun tied in first place with Ukraine's Olga Maslivets, both on three points.
With eight sailors in the Women's class alone, China is fielding the biggest team at the World Championships.
Two races were then held for the men, with the wind by this stage up to 23 knots. The Netherland's Dorian van Rijsselberge, posted 2-1 although this otherwise fine scoreline has the blemish from a black flag disqualification in yesterday's first race.
Overnight tonight the wind is forecast to back into the northwest and will drop to around 10 knots for tomorrow's racing. With the final qualifications scheduled, Tuesday will start with two races for the men, followed by two or possibly three for the women.
Eaton and Clarke Defend International C-Class Catamaran Trophy
Canadian C Class Catamaran Team of Eaton, Clarke, Steve Killing, Rob Paterson and Rossi Milev have been along for the entire ride, one way or another. Clarke, Paterson and Milev took six months off from their C-Class program to manage wing protection for the largest wingmast ever built for a race-boat: BMW Oracle's 223 foot (68 meter) tall wing. Reunited in March, their team brought four wings to the International C Class Catamaran Championship on Narragansett Bay this past week.
"Upwind the camber is moderate, but downwind with the flap set at 40 degrees, the wing will produce almost double the force of an equal area soft sail," explains Killing.
Eaton and Clarke raced Killing's latest design, Canaan, to a thrilling victory today in the final day of match racing.
Thrilling for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that they sparred with two of sailing's most accomplished sailors and proven match-race experts, James Spithill, helmsman on BMW Oracle, and Glenn Ashby, an Olympic Silver Medalist in the Tornado Class in 2008.
Eaton's interest in developing his fleet of cats was in large part inspired by American Steve Clark's 11-year hold of the class trophy in Cogito. Eaton arranged with a French team to race his Patient Lady VI, the Australians Ashby and Spithill to race his 2007 C Class trophy winner Alpha and a second Canadian entry of Rob Paterson and Dan Cunningham to race his Orion.
Over the years England's Team Invictus has been percolating a program with the help of Airbus engineers and the UK's finest multihull sailors. The UK sailing team of Paul Larsen and Gordon Kaiser made it round the buoys this week, which Clark unfortunately did not - both of Steve Clark's boats and new wings were damaged either right before the event commenced or only minutes after the first start.
At the start of racing, the older Alpha appeared better equipped to handle the heavier air and the Ashby/Spithill team took the lead. The newer Canaan was in her element in the lighter conditions at the end of the week.
The next C Class Championship is slated to be raced in Weymouth, England, date to be determined.
Phil Robertson Wins the 2010 Knickerbocker Cup
Taylor Canfield, Team ISV, with crew members Matt Clark, Tod Reynolds and Dave Shriner won the first ever East Coast Trifecta, a series of three Grade 2 back-to-back match racing events at the CMRC Chicago Cup, the Toyota International Match Race for the Detroit Cup and the Knickerbocker Cup.
As predicted, the wind conditions on Sunday on Manhasset Bay were dismal. One match early morning between Robertson and Tiller was pivotal for Robertson. He had lost his match against countryman William Tiller, Full Metal Jacket Racing,, NZL) on Saturday and needed the wind to fill in enough to complete at least one more match. It did, Robertson won the match, and ultimately the Cup as the wind never filled in and all racing was abandoned at 3:30 pm.
The Colgate 26 is the official boat of the 2010 Knickerbocker Cup.
Knickerbocker Cup Final Results:
East Coast Trifecta Final Results:
Development Leads The Way At Southern Spars
Add the launching and commissioning of Zefira, Imagine II, Eclipse, Marie and Twizzle, all featuring the latest in mast design and rigging technology; coupled with a string of grand prix launches and race results including the highly anticipated M34 and famous Open 60, Virbac-Paprec 3; it is evident that one company continues to take giant leaps into the future.
To find out more about these advancements visit: www.southernspars.com
Battle in the Sky
The Swiss resort is a stunning sailing venue, despite being almost 2km above sea level, thanks to the legendary Maloja wind. This thermal breeze, created by rapid heating of the steep mountains above the resort, funnels through the valley to give reliable winds of 10-25 knots from mid-morning until sunset.
Teams will have only a short practice race to get to grips with the Blu26, the lightest and most manoeuvrable design used in the ISAF World Match Racing Tour Championship. They are optimised for racing on Alpine lakes and designed specifically for the one-on-one dogfights of match racing.
The boats' awesome power to weight ratio and lightning-quick acceleration make for a furious pace in the all-important pre-start manoeuvres.
Mathieu Richard is at the top of the overall rankings going into the event, but will be looking to improve on their performance in Sweden, where Ainslie knocked them out in the quarter finals with a 2-1 scoreline.
A preview to the St Moritz Match Race can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCqmo-2i3gs
2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
1. Mathieu Richard, FRA, French Match Racing Team, 77 points
Sunny & Windy Irish Laser Championships
The fleets raced just off the town of Bangor and the northerly winds created some great sailing with decent waves. Eight of the 11 scheduled races were held with winds reaching up to 30 knots and dropping no less than 5 knots; with the wind generally from the north, there were some great waves to be caught. The race winners in all three fleets were varied with not too much dominance appearing too early. The trick of these Championships was to put in a steady set of results and try to avoid black and/or yellow flags.
Racing on Sunday was canned due to almost 40 knots piling into Belfast Lough - great for the windsurfers, but not for the Lasers.
In the 40 boat 4.7 fleet, John Flynn from Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club was a clear winner - winning three of the eight races and having a clear four point lead on second placed Colm O'Regan from Kinsale Yacht Club. Third was Stephen Duke from Courtown Sailing Club.
The Radials were the largest fleet with 43 boats, and it was National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy's impressive results on day three that clinched the title for her. With winds blowing in excess of 30 knots, she had three bullets - in two of the races, she took the finish gun leading by a leg from the second boat. She also managed to sail through the lee of the top full rig sailors and lee bow them! Second was Philip Doran from Courtown Sailing Club, with Tiffany Brien from host club Ballyholme in third overall. First Master was Ken Bibby, BYC.
The full rigs were predominantly Masters from BYC but it was Ronan Wallace from Waterford Harbour who took the title from Robert Espey of Ballyholme. Robert won all three races in the wind on Saturday, but a black flag in the final race ensured Ronan got the title. Robert was second with Stephen McLernon, also from Ballyhome in third place. First Master was Dave Fletcher and first Youth was Conor Simms, both from BYC. --- Elaine Taylor
America's Cup 12 Metre Era Reunion Registration Deadline September 3
The Reunion will take place Sept. 16-19 at Harbour Court. The biggest event is the America's Cup 12 Metre Era Reunion Dinner and the 17th America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by Rolex Watch USA on Saturday night. Awardees include Mike Drummond, BMW Oracle Racing's Design Director; Halsey Herreshoff, the most active America's Cup sailor during the 12 Metre Era; and four other outstanding Kiwi sailors: Simon Daubnery, Warwick Fleury, Murray Jones and Dean Phipps. The other events include a Saturday Reunion Sail, a 12 Metre Reunion Brunch and Legends Panel on Sunday, a BBQ dinner and a clambake with Gary Jobson's premier of the "12 Metre Era Retrospective".
Don't miss this Reunion opportunity. To learn more about the Reunion and to view the list of registered attendees, visit the Reunion home page at www.nyyc.org/AC12reunions
TP52 - Winner of RORC seasons points class super zero 2009 - 11th overall Fastnet 2009 (2nd out of five 52 foot race boats competing) - Deck respray Jan 2010 - Full structural and ultrasound survey October 2009 - Fully kitted out for offshore sailing including 8 bunks, nav station, storage
Brokerage through Boat Sales International Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/bsi/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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