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Victory for Audigane and De Lamotte
Tonight the first seven crews have crossed the finish line in the second edition of the Normandy Channel Race. The two remaining podium places have gone to Fabien Delahaye and Bruno Jourdren aboard Port de Caen - Ouistreham and Damien Seguin and Yoann Richomme aboard Des pieds et des mains.
Their comments just after the finish:
"The mainsail ripped in half just after Raz Blanchard. At that point we still had 70 miles left to go... We must have lost an average of 1 knot in all that but we kept the gennaker aloft in 30 knots so we were flying! We were making between 16 and 20 knots along the ground, flat out! We dumped the gennaker two hours before the finish. We knew we were going slower. Seb was helming and I was keeping an eye on the rankings and the distance between us and our pursuers. It's no secret, we certainly didn't think we'd bagged the win... We feared we'd lose out on the first place all the way to the finish, but we gave our all to sail at our best.
We're happy to win the race. It was a closely fought battle from beginning to end! We haven't changed our clothing since the start. I'm still in the same lycra and the same socks. All I want is to get my boots off. We're done in but we've really enjoyed it. It was fantastic! Intense but fantastic!" -- Translated by Kate Jennings
Rolex Capri Sailing Week / Rolex Volcano Race
Capri, Italy: Andres Soriano's Mills 68, Alegre crossed the finish line of the inaugural Rolex Volcano Race on Thursday 26th May at 10h 18m 40s CEST. The finish had been set off the island of Alicudi, the most westerly of the Aeolian Islands. The course was shortened by the race committee due to a lack of wind in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea.
The afterguard of Alegre includes Francesco de Angelis, who is best known as Skipper of Luna Rossa for the America's Cup. De Angelis was born and raised in Naples and was understandably passionate about winning Line Honours, as he explained by satellite phone, shortly after Alegre crossed the finishing line.
"We understand the reason why the race has been shortened, it would have been too long a race for the other teams. Technically it has been a tricky race with many difficult points and decisions to take but it has been enjoyable. The team has sailed well and everybody on board Alegre is very happy. I had the honour of sailing with Alegre at last year's Rolex Capri Sailing Week and I was very happy to have the opportunity to sail with the team again. It is a great group of sailors that Andres Soriano has put together. We have pushed hard on the boat but also we have enjoyed our time together. Andres Soriano has steered throughout his watch and was helming the boat as we crossed the finish line, as he did at the start."
There is an epic battle for second place between Wild Joe, the Hungarian canting keel 60 footer, skippered by Marton Josza and Danilo Salsi's Swan 90, DSK Pioneer Investments. The two yachts have been having a close duel since they passed Capri. This morning, Wild Joe pulled ahead of DSK Pioneer Investments for the first time in the race. Both yachts are expected to finish the Rolex Volcano Race at around sunset tonight.
Many of the Mini Maxi and Maxi yachts competing in the Rolex Volcano Race are expected to finish during the day.
Racing finally got under way for the inshore regatta, Rolex Capri Sailing Week. Hendrik Brandis' Earlybird won the only race of the day, in the Swan 45 Class, by under two minutes from Andrea Masi's Ulika but it was far from straightforward, as Brandis explained dockside at the Yacht Club Capri.
In the Comet Class, Paolucci Marco's former ORC World Champion, Libertine, won today's race by 45 seconds on corrected time, from Athanor skippered by Conny Vuotto and crewed by the Yacht Club Capri Sailing Team. The ORC class produced an even closer result with Vincenzo De Blasio's Scugnizza winning by four seconds from Luciano Gandini's Twin Soul 5. No doubt the talents of America's Cup and World Match Racing exponent Paolo Cian aided Scugnizza.
Racing continues tomorrow for the inshore regatta at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. Rolex Capri Sailing Week is organised by the Yacht Club Capri in conjunction with the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Gaeta for the Rolex Volcano Race.
Bruni Makes His Charge at Match Race Germany
Teams were left to play a frustrating waiting game for much of the second Qualifying Session as the wind continually failed to gather. However it was Bruni who faired best in the limited racing, making the most of a very light mid-morning wind on a short course to notch up two early scalps and take his tally to five straight wins.
Echoing the comments made yesterday by his pitman that smooth manoeuvres and teamwork were ever more crucial in light conditions, Bruni said: "Maintaining the speed of the boat was the key. It's a team game - you need a lot of concentration from the skipper and the trimmers. We have an all Italian crew on board and when you have the opportunity to speak your own language, everything seems to happen a lot quicker."
Standings After the First Qualifying Session:
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Winds Frustrate Sailors on Third Day of Delta Lloyd Regatta
Medemblik, Netherlands: It was a frustrating third day for the sailors at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. With wind increasing to 30 knots, racing was abandoned and boats sent to shore after just four races were completed.
The Men's RS:X were the only fleet to successfully complete their two scheduled races. The day belonged to Taehoon Lee (KOR) who won Race 5 before finishing second in Race 6 to end the day on 12 points is in third.
The top of the Men's Standings is tight with just three points are separating Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) in first, on nine points, and Lee in third.
Bruno Fontes (BRA) came second today and has ten points, he leapfrogs early Laser leader Milan Vujasinovic (CRO). The Croatian finished the first day with double bullets in the breeze but was unable to find some similar form on an equally breezy third day. His seventh place finish has seen him slip to third overall on 13 points.
Ireland's Annalise Murphy won the only Laser Radial race today. "I like the breeze!" said Annalise Murphy "but I have to admit that the last downwind was scary!"
In The Women's Match Racing, just six races took place in Group B before abandonment. Renee Groeneveld (NED) qualified for the Gold Group after defeating Julia Bossard (FRA). Groeneveld has won seven out of eight races and has one more to go.
With one race apiece remaining, Ekaterina Skudina (RUS), Silja Lehtinen (FIN), Anna Kjelberg (SWE) and Stephanie Hazard (NZL) are in contention for the final two qualification places. With six race wins China's Ru Wang has completed her nine races, if results go her way she will qualify for the Gold Group.
After a long postponement on shore, the race committee announced that further sailing was cancelled for the day. Friday's forecast predicts a more "sailable" weather and racing will start at 9am for the Women Match Racing and from 10am for the other classes. The Laser and 470 Men will race in Gold and Silver fleets.
Keel Problems Return for Gutek in Sprint to Velux 5 Oceans Finish
When the breakage initially happened aboard his Eco 60 yacht the Polish skipper feared the worst: "It was a loud bang and my first thought was that I had lost my mast. The most important thing is that I am still alive. The conditions were really demanding and my keel has not been right since Cape Horn. I was scared, very scared, but I am still in the game. I can't stop because in 12 hours the wind will change completely and it will be harder than it is now," he said.
At the 1200 UTC position report Brad Van Liew has just 400 miles to go and is expected into La Rochelle late tomorrow (Friday) afternoon. Chris 'CSM' Stanmore-Major is currently in second place, around 80 miles behind him. Gutek lies third,113 miles behind race leader Brad Van Liew and has a 77 mile advantage over Derek Hatfield. The race between them remains crucial in deciding who will come second and third on the final podium after nine months and 30,000 miles at sea in The Ultimate Solo Challenge.
In an added twist the results for the last speed gate of this Velux 5 Oceans are in, and Brad Van Liew topped the table, followed by Chris 'CSM' Stanmore-Major. Gutek was third, which means that Derek Hatfield now needs to beat the Polish skipper by at least one place for the pair to tie for second in ocean sprint five.
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 402.1 / 0 / 359.4 / 15
Mike Perham Joins The Tall Ships Youth Trust Crews For The Rolex Fastnet Race
Mike, who is currently planning his next adventure to become the first person to sail and fly solo around the world commented, "When I was given the chance of sailing on a Challenge boat with Tall Ships Youth Trust in the Fastnet, I leapt at the opportunity. This will be a totally different experience to sailing the Open 50 that I sailed around the world. The crew on Challenger 2 are a great bunch and we are all determined to win."
Mike has been a strong supporter of the Tall Ships Youth Trust ever since his solo circumnavigation during which he raised thousands of pounds for the charity, helping to fund bursaries for disadvantaged and disabled young people to go sailing with the Trust and gain life changing skills and experiences.
Towards the Elusive Hat Trick in Strong Winds on Loch Fyne
The north of Britain's most prestigious annual sailing regatta starts Friday morning and the 107 crews look like they are in for more breezy weather on Loch Fyne. Of course over more than 30 years of racing on the loch, strong winds are nothing new.
Four skippers will be looking to match Jonathan Anderson's record of three overall Scottish Series wins. Perhaps the best chance of achieving this hallowed hat-trick rests again with Hamish Mackay who won in consecutive years 2001 and 2002.
Ten years on from that last win Mackay, past Chairman of the Royal Yachting Association will be helping campaign a J97 Jackaroo in IRC Class 4, which recently dominated at the warm-up Savills Regatta on the Clyde winning the overall top trophy.
Clyde sailmaker John Highcock is also bidding for a third win of the overall top award, after helping veteran John Corson to secure the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Trophy last year with his Corby 33 Salamander XX. The same team which won last year remains intact, with the boat unchanged from victory last May.
Chris Bonar, who won in 1985 and 1997, returns with his crew on Bateleur 97, a BH36 which competes in IRC Class 1 up against Anthony O'Leary, from Royal Cork YC, who has also won the top award twice. O'Leary will be bidding to win for a third time 30 years exactly since the Trophy first went to Ireland when it was won by Frank Woods on the Castro designed One Tonner Justine III.
Racing starts Friday for all classes and concludes Monday.
Dubarry Lahinch - Inspired By Design
Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.
A Large Fleet of Minis on the Starting Lines
One week later, 150 to 160 racers will take part in the 26th edition of the prestigious double-handed Mini Fastnet race ( a 700 miles long course ).
Every year and especially every odd-numbered years, the best racers of the mini fleets take part in these two events. This year, new boats and competitors from abroad are to be expected in Douarnenez.
Camille Gontier and Denis Hugues will be both managing the two competitions.
About 70 to 80 racing yachts will be on the starting line of the Mini Fastnet record and 60 on the MAP Trophy.
Winches Club: www.winchesclub.com
The Iwaki Sun Marina is one of many sailing harbours that have been wiped out from the Japan Eastern cost. During the last ISAF Conference, Mr. Kawano, President of the Japan Sailing Federation has addressed the ISAF Council: "East Japan has no more yacht clubs, no more boats, no more equipment. Everything has to be rebuilt, all the boats have to be purchased."
The Japanese sailors have continued attending international events, in Hyeres and now in Medemblik with strong teams. Kaori Takahashi competing in the Delta Lloyd Regatta in the Laser radial comes from Iwakei, a village 20 km from the coast hit by the giant wave.
"The problem now faced by the Japanese sailing community is to rebuild clubs and fleets", explains Aiko Saito, Laser Radial coach, "All the international funds go to other priorities such as the industries, rebuilding houses, schools, roads...we need to urgently raise money to buy equipment and build new infrastructure for sailing." The Japanese Sailing Federation is launching an appeal among the international sailing community to raise funds around the motto: Gambare!
In Medemblik, all the Japanese boats and coach boats are displaying a Blue and red sticker with this message of hope. "Gambare can be translated as "Keep going" or "Don't give up" says Aiko Saito. "The Japanese Federation will sell the stickers in Weymouth and Kiel for 20 euros each."
As a sign of solidarity, the Dutch Sailing Federation has announced today in Medemblik that they will buy the first 25 "Gambare" stickers for all their Delta Lloyd team boats, coach boats and talent squads.
Gambare! -- Corinne McKenzie
Women's European Match Race Championships Qualification
Winds up to 35 knots were experienced on day one, limiting racing to only two flights. The Chinese team helmed by Wang Ru, won both their races, as did Silja Lehtinenfrom Finland. The wind hardly abated for day two and Team China continued their excellent form, winning all their events once more, including a victory against Australian Katie Spithill, ranked 7th in the ISAF Match Race Ranking List.
In the more moderate winds on Day 3, Katie Spithill proved unbeatable and she romped through to win overall and become the first ever non-European to qualify for the Women's European Championship. She will be joined in the final by Wang Ru and Rita Goncaleves from Portugal who finished third on a tie-breaker from Stephanie Hazard from New Zealand.
The final results were:
The countries qualified to compete in the final are:
Russia, Finland, Australia, Portugal, China, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Denmark, German, Spain and Italy. The finals start on 29th June and conclude on 3rd July.
Further information and a short video of the heavy weather racing will be found at www.eurosaf.org/1001
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