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In the Driving Seat at Match Race Germany
Langenargen, Germany: Damien Iehl has continued his imperious form at Match Race Germany where he is joined by Francesco Bruni and Phil Robertson at the top of the standings after each team posted unbeaten records in the first Qualifying Session on Lake Constance.

After a deserved victory at Match Race France where he only lost 5 from 21 races, it looked like business as usual in Langenargen for Damien Iehl (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team. The Frenchman didn't have it all his own way though having to come from behind in his opening match against Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing. He then benefited from a mistake by Eugeny Neugodnikov (RUS) Team Synergy to claim his next scalp.

Against the Russian, Iehl was losing on the beat to M2 which had been changed due to a wind shift. Neugodnikov and Iehl rounded different windward marks - Neugodnikov the original red mark and Iehl the white alternative mark.

Thinking Iehl was at fault, Neugodnikov displayed his red flag to protest but it was clear the confusion lay with the Russian who finished second and had no joy with his protest. A 2-0 scoreline and Iehl was now firmly in his stride, next defeating William Tiller (NZL) Full Metal Jacket Racing and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Saling Team in quick succession. A comfortable win against Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners in Flight 8 wrapped up a perfect day for Iehl - it's a performance that mirrors his opening day in France and will send yet another warning shot to his opponents.

Standings After the First Qualifying Session:
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-0
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino 3-0
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 3-0
Eugeney Neugodnikov (RUS) - Team Synergy 3-2
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 3-2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) - French Match Racing Team 2-1
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 2-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 2-3
Eric Monnin (SUI) - Team Ocalys Corum 1-2
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) - Berntsson Sailing Team 0-4
Stefan Meister (GER) 0-4
William Tiller (NZL) - Full Metal Jacket Racing 0-5

www.wmrt.com

A Straight Downhill Run to the Finish
24 hours before the arrival of the first Class40s, the battle is continuing to rage. It is impossible today to announce the name of the winner, given that the distances between the 3 leaders are so slim. Port de Caen Ouistreham and Initiatives Saveurs have been neck and neck for over a day. At 1000 GMT, Fabien Delahaye and Bruno Jourdren had a lead of just 0.1 miles over Tanguy de Lamotte and Sebastien Audigane. At 1400 GMT, the two crews were completely tied in terms of theoretical distance to the finish. At the last radio session, Initiatives Saveurs had passed back into the lead off Land's End, just 200 metres ahead of Port de Caen - Ouistreham.

Clearly the change of course has done nothing to upset the furious pace of the race. The 12 competitors are maintaining some fairly high speeds. In a few hours' time, they'll pass Land's End to begin a long run down towards Guernsey. After that there will be two Norman headlands to round, before they cross the finish line later afternoon tomorrow, Thursday.

Current ETAs suggest that the first Class40s are likely to cross the finish line off Hermanville late Thursday afternoon. The distance of the theoretical course for the Normandy Channel Race 2011 was originally around 1,000 miles. Following the change of course, the competitors didn't round Fastnet Rock, instead setting a course straight towards Guernsey after Tuskar Rock, which equates to a course spanning nearly 200 fewer miles. Until today, the average race speed across the water was around 8.4 knots. Clearly this average speed is set to increase dramatically over the coming hours, since the current Southerly wind is set to clock round to the West, remaining fairly strong to carry the Class40s downwind to Caen. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Ranking for Wednesday 25 May at 1400 hours GMT:

1. Port De Caen Ouistreham, Fabien Delahaye/Bruno Jourdren, Dist To Finish 250.1 nm
2. Initiatives Saveurs, Tanguy De Lamotte/Sebastien Audigane, 0.0 nm to leader
3. Mare.De2, Jorg Riechers/Etienne David, 3.7
4. Talanta, Jean Galfione/Eric Peron, 5.0
5. L'express - Sapmer, Pierre-Yves Lautrou/Dominic Vittet, 9.1
6. Des Pieds Et Des Mains, Damien Seguin/Yohann Richomme, 10.7
7. Defi Gde - Tzu Hang, Axel Strauss/Nicolas Boidevezi, 35.8
8. Red, Matthias Blumencron/Boris Hermann, 45.7
9. Phesheya Racing, Philippa Hutton/Nick Leggatt, 49.5
10. 40 Degrees, Hannah Jenner/Anna-Maria Renken, 90.1
11. Gryphon Solo 2, Joe Harris/Josh Hall, 90.8
12. Ocean Eleven, Stephanie Alran/Caroline Vieille, 164.3
Abd. Livewire, Stuart Dodd/Steve Kennington
Abd. Spliff, Andrew Dawson/Rune Aasberg
Abd. Marie Toît - Caen La Mer, Marc Lepesqueux/Michel Kleinjans
Abd. Partouche, Christophe Coatnoan/Sebastien Figue

www.normandy-race.com

Seatrack Navigation Success
Click on image to enlarge.

Seatrack The latest Seatrack navigation software has achieved a number of successes in recent events including The RORC Caribbean 600, Rolex Regatta IRC Class2, St Thomas, and, in the UK, Warsash Spring Series.

Congratulations go to the winners; "British Soldier", an A40 Army Association skippered by Nick Bate, "Antelope", a Grand Soleil 43 owned and skippered by Willem Wester, and "Stilletto", a Class IRC 3.

The performance race system is available in two versions: RACER and GRAND PRIX RACER combines all navigational features of Seatrack Cruiser with performance data acquisition and manipulation features.

GRAND PRIX is the ultimate tool for the racing tactician and features dynamic instrument calibration, handicaps, start line, and trend plotting.

www.seatrack.co.uk
All enquiries to
+44 (0)1590 678043

Multiple Race Winners On Opening Day Of Act 3, Istanbul
Photo by Mark Lloyd, www.lloydimages.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Extreme Sailing Series The first day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 in Istanbul, Turkey saw an action packed seven races for the 11 international teams, with Artemis Racing taking the top spot with 52 points, only a single point ahead of Act 2 winners Luna Rossa and Alinghi on 47. The racing conditions tested the teams today as the 44 sailors manhandled their Extreme 40 racing machines around short, sharp courses. There were plenty of gusts to potentially trip the up boats, shifts in wind direction and the race legs were so short it was a full-on physical work. "It's beautiful to sail here, the conditions are good with a tricky wind which is good for us," said Maxi Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa.

For six out of seven races today a different team crossed the finish line first, only Luna Rossa scored two bullets. Alinghi, Emirates Team New Zealand, The Wave Muscat, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Team GAC Pindar all secured a win apiece which kept everyone guessing right up to the last race as to which team would finish the day on top.

The race management maximized the length of the upwind/downwind leg using the widest part of the Halic estuary but the downwind leg was still short - with the Extreme 40s covering the 400m stretch in 90 seconds. Two laps round and each race was over in just 10-12 minutes.

With only 11 points separating the top eight teams there will be some tough competition tomorrow as the front runners try to establish a firm lead, and the race course will become narrower as it moves in front of the VIP set-up for the media day ahead of the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village opening to the public on Friday, 28th.

Current overall standings after Day 1
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1. Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant, 52 points
2. Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena, 51
3. Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey, 47
4. Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari, 46
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas, 45
6. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri, 44
7. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Herve Cunningham, 44
8. Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Nicholas Heintz, 41
9. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk, 34
10. Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mischa Heemskerk / Jono Macbeth, 29
11. Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari, 29

www.extremesailingseries.com

Farr 40s Race for North American Title
Click on image to enlarge.

Farr 40 North Americans Long Beach, California: Farr 40s need no introduction to Long Beach, but their racing here over Memorial Day weekend will be more serious than ever. The 2011 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship Saturday through Monday will be the first on the West Coast since the series was launched in 1998, a year after the boat was introduced to the world.

Bringing the only Rolex-sponsored event to Southern California in many years is a significant statement about the strength and competitiveness of the West Coast Farr 40 fleet.

The class has global popularity with 152 boats in 17 countries and, locally, "the fastest growing Farr 40 fleet in the world," said David Voss, president of the West Coast flotilla. "Rolex stands for excellence and the select events they sponsor annually all over the world represent the pinnacle of sailboat racing."

A maximum of eight races will be run, starting at 1 p.m. each day. The forecast for Saturday is a sunny 72 F., with a classic 12 knots of offshore breeze from west-southwest down the San Pedro Channel funnel between Santa Catalina Island and the mainland.

farr40.org/2011-north-americans.html

Camper With Emirates Team New Zealand Set To Take On Fiji Race
For skipper Chris Nicholson the Fiji race will be an acid test of more than a year's work by designers, boat builders, shore crew and the yachtsmen themselves. The route will see the crew sail a 1141-nautical mile dash from Auckland to MusketCove, Fiji. The yacht will be in full race mode, the crew will number 13 rather than the 11 permitted for the Volvo Ocean Race, but in all respects it will be a full-on few days.

The yacht has been in the shed at the Emirates Team New Zealand base for a minor refit following sea-trials and completing a 2000-nautical mile voyage to qualify for entry to the Volvo Ocean Race. It will be re-launched today, the mast will be stepped, and CAMPER will be sailing again on Friday.

"We are satisfied with the boat's reliability with the hammering we got in the weeks after the launch. Now we are into tweaking systems and improving crew work so that when we get to the start line in Alicante in November we are ready to go.The Fiji race is an early opportunity to bed in the watch system and work together as a crew. If there are any shortcomings we'll find them and have time to correct them, " commented Nicholson.

For CAMPER ideal weather for the race is a start from Auckland in a moderate south-westerly and hook into the south-easterly trades as they get closer to Fiji. They will be looking for a following wind on the return voyage to Auckland. "We have some down-wind sails that we want to test and a good, long run would be welcome change to the upwind sailing we experienced during the qualifying sail."

A fleet of 19 will line up for the 2011 edition of the race, with a mix of yachts ranging from the historic Maxi Whitbread Lion New Zealand, to Team Vodafone Sailing competing on their 60ft trimaran.

The race starts at midday on Saturday, June 4 follow live tracking of the fleet here: www.rnzys.org.nz

RHKYC Taiwan Strait Race
'Ambush', the Mills 41 owned by Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor, today claimed line honours in the Inaugural Taiwan Strait Race after 48h 34m 09s of racing from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung in Taiwan, setting the monohull benchmark for this 350nm Category 1 offshore race.

After paying tribute to the quality of his wife's catering, Taylor gave his verdict on the race; "a beautiful code zero reach pretty much all the way. We did have one moment where the boat was caught with a little too much sail up as 40 knots came out of the darkness ... we were on our side for a while, and the code zero and staysail will need to go to the sailmakers."

Co-owner and RHKYC Vice Commodore Isler summed up the experience in two words, namely "cracking sail!"

It appears that the "boys on the 'Bush" have a great opportunity to claim the double for this race. Nick Southward's J109, 'Whiskey Jack', is set to come second on the water, but has been set a very ambitious finish time of 18:45hrs tonight to take IRC Overall. Tipsy Frenz has retired, in order to get people back to the office on Tuesday and Polar Star III and Groovy are still over 100nm from the finish.

The progress of the remaining boats can be watched via Yellowbrick tracking at live.adventuretracking.com/hkt2011

St Brendan Voyagers Refused Access to Skellig
The crew of sailors, artists, musicians and historians on board Ar Seachran - who are retracing the famous voyage of St Brendan - were refused permission to land on Skellig Michael, it has emerged.

The Kerryman reports that though some visitors are understood to have landed on the island in recent weeks, the OPW refused the Brendan's Voyage crew on health and safety grounds.

A spokesperson for the OPW said it requires at least 10 days notice to make preparations for any visitors and repair damage to pathways and buildings occurring over the winter months. Dr Breandan O Ciobhan of the voyage party described the news as "very disappointing".

Ar Seachran, a 45ft yacht owned by Paddy Barry - himself a veteran of unique ocean voyages - will continue on its journey up the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, by the Orkneys, Shetlands and Faroe Islands to Iceland.

www.afloat.ie

Dubarry Storm

Dubarry Storm - Designed To Perform
The great thing about the best technical clothing is that it's fit for purpose. There's no frilly bits, no cherries on top, and it won't fall to pieces when the going gets tough. It's a focused, durable, effective masterpiece - just like you. With its waterproof outer and a storm flap inside the zip, it's going to keep you dry. And its snug chin guard and polarfleece inner will keep you warm. It's warm, dry, confident styling in six colourways, and it does exactly what you want a jacket to do.

Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

www.dubarry.com

Elegance On Parade at the 2011 12 Metres Worlds
If it is great, let us do it again. That explains why there will be a repeat of the Robbe & Berking 12 Metre World Championship in Flensburg, Germany on the Baltic Sea. As in 2008, the Robbe & Berking 12 Metre World Championship will be held on the Flensburg fjord from June 28 to July 3 under direction of the Flensburger Segel - Club ( www.fsc.de ). Unlike 2008, in 2011 Rolex will be an important member of the team, because the Robbe & Berking 12 Metre World Championship will be held as part of the Rolex Baltic Week 2011 www.rolex-baltic-week.com/en/home.html

While in 2008 the event was limited to traditional, i.e.12 Metre yachts built before the World War II, in 2011 the entire class meets at this high profile event, which has already created quite a stir not only on the Flensburg fjord. With 12 Metres entered including Anitra, Evaine, Sphinx, Thea, Trivia, Vanity V, Vema III, Heti, and Madga VIII, the parade of racing yachts will be more glamorous than any beauty pageant. To see photos and history of these incredible vessels, visit:

cloud.snappages.com

There will also be a Robbe & Berking 8 Metre World Championship" with a spectacular fleet of up to twenty-four 8s.

The details of the Robbe & Berking 12 Metre and 8 Metre Worlds are as follows:

- Measurement June 27-28

- Racing 29 June - 3 July 2011: Up to 3 races each day in accordance with the championship rules of each class. The Robbe & Berking 12 Metre World Championships consists of a maximum number of nine races.

- Courses will be sailed on the Inner Flensburg Fjord. The Race Committee has got the option to sail some of the races at Flensburg Outer Fjord if wind and weather conditions require this change of racing area.

- Please find the racing area and results online on www.rolex-baltic-week.com

For more information, contact or the 12 Metre site for the event, www.12metreworlds.com

ECO 60 Class to Host Discussion Forum
The Eco 60 is an exciting new concept for a singlehanded sailing class which was successfully premiered in the Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11, ultimately witnessing some incredibly tight racing between the five competing skippers from five different nations. Despite a small field of entries, the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11 has proven that the Eco 60 Class can produce exciting and fast top-level racing, as well as a sustainable and attractive race completion rate.

The Eco 60 Class, for Open 60s built before 2003, was devised as an affordable, more sustainable alternative to the high-end campaigns of late which have seen solo ocean racing become accessible only to those with multi-million pound budgets. The four finishing skippers of the latest edition of the solo round the world race were so convinced of the boat's potential they have since formed the Eco 60 Class Association and elected American ocean racer Brad Van Liew as Interim President of the Class.

Following the completion of the Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11, the Class is hosting an inaugural discussion forum on Friday June 3rd in La Rochelle (France) ahead of the prize giving celebrations. The Class has invited interested parties and stakeholders to attend from all over the world, including skippers, boat owners, event organisers, sponsors and designers. The objective of the forum is to formalise an independent Class and define the future development of the Eco 60 racing circuit.

British ocean racer and secretary of communications for the Eco 60 Class, Chris Stanmore- Major added, "As the final leg of the Velux 5 Oceans comes to an end, the development of the Eco 60 Class into a separate standalone entity becomes the focus of those who have successfully proven that age does not dull the capability of these incredible boats to provide close, competitive racing with the added certainty of proven, robust design.

"The Velux 5 Oceans race has lost only one competitor in 30,000 miles crossing the wildest stretch of water on the planet the notorious Southern Ocean. This represents only a 20 percent dropout rate. For those lucky enough to compete in this inaugural Eco 60 event, one of the most important aspects of their campaigns was the affordability of boats, creating a stepping stone into serious ocean racing that has never existed before.

To attend the Forum, please contact; To learn more about the Eco 60 Class, please visit www.eco60.org

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 Daniel Charles: How fitting that a boat yard is restoring the Fly Eye Dome! Buckminster Fuller was an avid sailor (I seem to remember that his last boat was named Intuition). Bucky designed the elaborate forestay chainplate cum fairleads for the famed "super-J" Ranger -he was a good friend of Ranger co-designer and chief engineer Starling Burgess (who'd been chief engineer of Bucky's Dymaxion Car),. Bucky was also a friend of 1980 OSTAR winner Phil Weld. For Bucky, the sailing boat was an illustration (and maybe an inspiration) of his Tensegrity structure thinking.

He was the most fascinating sailor I was ever privileged to meet.

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The Last Word
One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. -- Paul Valery

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