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Toughing It Out In The Trenches
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Skandia Gold It’s Day Two of Skandia Sail for Gold and it was a tough day in the trenches for everyone, as race officers took the opportunity to catch up with the schedule. These are the hard yards, long days in tough conditions, and diametrically opposed to the glory moments of the medal race. If yesterday was all about the subtleties of light air racing, today was all about fitness and technique in the building breeze and waves. Weymouth turned it on with sunshine and an afternoon breeze that topped out in excess of 25 knots on the outer courses.

* Day two of Skandia Sail for Gold opened on a much more positive note than day one with winds up to 20 knots and two tough but thrilling races for the Finn fleet. Dan Slater (NZL) won the opening race before Ben Ainslie (GBR) struck back to win the second and take the overnight lead from Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) in second and Slater in third.

The weather had changed overnight bringing cloud, lots of breeze and a chilly start to the day with the sun trying to break through. The start was delayed slightly as the wind shifted about a bit but race two finally got away at 11.30

The race committee was still hoping to catch up the one race lost on Monday, but after rumours that another race might be held, the fleet was sent in for the day with winds gusting 25 knots. Ainslie said, “The first race was a bit strange. On the first beat I thought the right side of the course had the best conditions but I didn’t read it very well and ended up well behind the leaders. I started to catch up from there and finished strong to get seventh place. In the second race the wind came up a bit more which made it difficult to read the best side of the course to take. Luckily I took the best side and at the first mark I was third and I then I slowly pulled through to win the race.”

“Today was hard work physically. The winds were strong, the waves choppy and the races long. You’re out there for six hours and racing for three so it’s all about saving yourself for the right moment and getting the crucial decisions right.”

The Match Racing completed the first group stage, giving us the Gold Group (Quarter Final) qualifiers. From Group A it was the Netherlands’ Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Merel Witteveen topping the group with six points equal to - but winning the tie-break with - second placed Sally Barkow, Elizabeth Kratizig-Burnham and Alana O'Reilly from the USA.

In Group B, Anne-claire Le Berre, Alice Ponsar and Myrtille Ponge (FRA) went through on six points, one win clear of Australia’s Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Witty, qualifying in second. And from Group C it was Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vendemoer and Debbie Capozzi (USA) going through with a clean sheet, and Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor (GBR) joining them with five wins.

Racing continues at Skandia Sail for Gold until Saturday.

Provisional Results Tuesday 7th June

49er - Sailed: 5
1. Sibello / Gianfranco Sibello, ITA, 18 points
2. John Pink / Richard Peacock, GBR, 23
3. Stevie Morrison / Ben Rhodes, GBR, 52

470 Women - Sailed: 4
1. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clarke, GBR, 28
2. Heniette Koch / Lene Sommer, DEN, 35
3. Guilia Conti / Giovanna Micol, ITA, 36

470 Men - Sailed: 4
1. Pierre Leboucher / Vincent Garos, FRA, 17
2. Anton Dahlberg / Sebastian Ostling, SWE, 20
3. Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic, CRO, 21

Finn - Sailed: 3
1. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 10
2. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 10
3. Dan Slater, NZL, 12

Laser - Sailed: 4
1. Andreas Geritzer, AUT, 15
2. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 15
3. Rutger Van Schaardenburg, NED, 15

Laser Radial - Sailed: 4
1. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 12
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 14
3. Sari Multala, FIN, 15

Star - Sailed: 3
1. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA, 5
2. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, POL, 10
3. Fredrik Loof / Max Salminen, SWE, 19

SKUD 18 - Sailed: 3
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 4
2. Alexandra Rickmann / Niki Birrell, GBR, 7
3. Jamie Dunross / Rachael Cox, AUS, 9

Sonar - Sailed: 3
1. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, GBR, 7
2. Udo Hessels / Marcel Van Veen / Mischa Rosseb, NED, 12
3. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR, 12

2.4 - Sailed: 2
1. Thierry Schmitter, NED, 10
2. Damien Seguin, FRA, 10
3. Andre Rademaker, NED, 16

RS:X Men - Sailed: 4
1. J. P. Tobin, NZL, 10
2. Taehoon Lee, KOR, 13
3. Dorian Vaan Rijsselberge, NED, 14

RS:X Women - Sailed: 4
1. Marina Albau, ESP, 8
2. Blanca Manchon, ESP, 13
3. Charline Picon, FRA, 15

Loick Peyron To Helm Banque Populaire V
Today at a press conference in Paris, Olivier Klein, CEO of the Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group, announced the appointment of Loick Peyron as skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V. The native from La Baule, holder of 42 Atlantic crossings and 3 laps around the World, will therefore lead the largest ocean racing trimaran ever built on the next Bank’s attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. Within the Team Banque Populaire, led by Ronan Lucas, Loick Peyron joins Jeanne Gregoire and Armel Le Cleac'h.

Owner of the Maxi Banque Populaire V, a Figaro Beneteau and a 60-foot monohull, Official Partner of the French Sailing Federation, the French Sailing Olympic Team, of Eric Tabarly Association and of the CNOSF, Banque Populaire "is in full sail" and heads for 2012, reaffirming its performance objective. After having designated Armel Le Cleac'h to helm her new monohull for the next Vendee Globe, she has now entrusted Loick Peyron with the helm of her maxi multihull for the next record attempt round the world sailing crew non-stop and unassisted.

Loick Peyron, with impressive credits on all types of boats, is a multihull specialist who has developed numerous boats in this category. His experience with world tours and the G-Class is unquestionable. At the helm of the Maxi multihull Innovation Explorer, he ranked second in "The Race", the first "no limits”

The beginning of the season will be dedicated to training, in the next few days off Lorient, home port of the largest multihull. Then, from June 17 to 21st, the Maxi Banque Populaire V and her team will take part in the Record SNSM and in the historic Fastnet race in August. Then, the time will come to prepare for the Jules Verne Trophy; the standby period is set for early November 2011.

OC Thirdpole Postpone the Transat 2012
The oldest solo ocean race of them all, The Transat, born as the OSTAR in 1960, has been rescheduled away from its habitual 2012 slot. The event has been organised every four years since its inception, and has been the breeding ground for both technology like the multihull itself, and the heroes that have made the sport what it is today, such as French legend Eric Tabarly. Rescued at the last minute for the 2004 edition by OC ThirdPole, in 2008 the event became a monohull only race with a strong commitment made to the 60-foot monohull IMOCA Class, with the exclusion of all multihulls.

Following the postponement of this year’s Istanbul Europa Race scheduled for July, due to insufficient entries, OC ThirdPole, a long time supporter* of the IMOCA circuit, has acted to help solve the difficult position of this IMOCA race. By offering to release to it’s organiser Olay Nautic it’s long established May slot in the pre-Vendee Globe 2012 calendar, it has permitted the rescheduling of the Istanbul Europa Race to 2012 with hopefully a stronger fleet.

OC ThirdPole will now re-evaluate, along with its partners, the future timing and format of The Transat, with potentially a biennial event alternating between the historical solo and duo formats, supporting IMOCA’s key pillars of a round the world race every two years (Vendee Globe, Barcelona World Race).

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Spinnaker Tales
There is a strong indication imbedded in the coastal weather system that the crews competing for 15th Musto Etchells Australasian Winter championship medals will face cold wet and windy conditions off Mooloolaba this weekend.

A high performance fleet of 41 crews representing England, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australian mainland states of West Australia, Victoria, News South Wales and Queensland present an interesting duel for championship honours.

Last year the series was decided in the final 200 metres of the last heat when the New Zealand Champion Alistair Gair came from behind to clinch the series after a tactical arm wrestle with New South Wales helmsman David Clark.

Both crews are again listed among the top chances along with former championship Gold Medallists Michael Coxon (NSW) and Victorians Ian Johnson and Damien King (Vic) plus the strong mix of challengers including Wild Oats XI Rolex Sydney Hobart skipper Mark Richards Queensland’s Vaughan Prentice and Sydney 2000 Olympic 470 Gold Medallist Tom King.

All are worthy to be nominated as the most likely to fight out what promises to become an interesting boat on boat tactical struggle which will definitely be decided on the human element related skills of being consistent out of the starts and then selecting the smartest and fastest options with the wind that blows over the deck.

The strict nature of the One-Design Etchells provides every crew with an even chance of winning with the result always determined by the crew who makes the least errors in technique and tactical strategy between the start and the finish lines.

New Zealand’s champion from 2010 Alistair Gair will no doubt become the target for tactical attention when the sails are tensioned for the opening race of the 2011 championship on the open waters of the Coral Sea off Pt Cartwright on Friday.

However he has proved to be a seasoned tactician and promises to protect his sailing space in a weather system which promise to test the moderate to fresh wind sailing skill of the fleet. Alistair Gair who sailed his best race in last year’s fresh wind final has the potential to become the first skipper to win back to back Musto Australasian championship trophies.

He has proved his class in all wind velocities but this series will prove to be a test of character for the exceptionally talented Kiwi skipper and his Valsheda crew.

The depth of tactical talent which includes Americas Cup champions, Olympic Gold Medallists, Sydney Hobart winners, World and Australian champions suggests that skipper Alistair Gair and the Valsheda crew will need to ‘dig deep into their kit of tactics’ to become the first crew in the 15 year history of this classic fleet racing regatta to win two titles. -- Ian Grant.

Event site:

Victory for Team Gaebler at German Tornado Grand Prix
Click on image to enlarge.

German Tornado Grand Prix In front of the wonderful Island of Lindau at Lake Constance we had excellent weather conditions during the German Tornado Grand Prix. Friday with wind up to 18 knots from east. Saturday and Sunday light winds from the west.

Last year we finished 5th. This year we had a much better run over the 6 races. With the places 1-1-3-1-1-6 we won with 7 points just ahead of Veit Hemmeter/Dominik Halbig (GER, 9 points) who won last year. They both are the locals here and normally unbeatable. But this time we had also a bit luck some wind shifts.

In some parts the races were very tricky and it was not easy to find the right way to all the wind shifts. It was a chess game with the wind and somehow we made the right moves on the water against the best teams from Germany, Austria and Suisse.

The Racecourse of the German Tornado Grand Prix was just in front of the wonderful island of Lindau. The Alps in the background. A perfect scenery for the Tornado Class. On top of this the great hospitality of the Lindau Sailing Club, who tried the best to get the races running.

We had 15 Teams from 3 Nations. 6 were mixed teams. This is 40% of the fleet and shows that mixed sailing has a great standing in the international Tornado Class with the perspective to the Olympic Games 2016.

Next race is the Tornado Speedsailing at Kieler Woche with the new Audi Sailing Arena in the center of Kiel from the 18th to 26th June. -- Roland Gaebler

British Soldier: All About Duty To Country and Sailing
Newport Rhode Island, USA: When it comes to serving one’s country, the crew competing in the Transatlantic Race 2011 aboard British Soldier (U.K.) could not be more dedicated.  While most have returned from active duty only within the last year, all eight members have completed army tours in Afghanistan within the last 24 months, and two will be heading back there after undertaking a 2,975 nautical mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  For British Soldier, the Transatlantic Race 2011, co-organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Storm Trysail Club, starts June 26 from Newport, R.I., and delivers the team back to home soil in the U.K. sometime in mid-August. (Two subsequent “staggered” starts for the race are scheduled for June 29 and July 3 to adjust for the relative speeds of 30 entered boats - ranging in size from 40 to 289 feet - and allow for a tighter finish among them.)

“It’s all about putting a bunch of guys in a demanding situation, out of reach of immediate outside assistance, where they must work as a team in arduous conditions in order to succeed,” said 47-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Bate, who serves as skipper of British Soldier.  “That is the ethos of adventurous training; it also provides some excitement and reward in between other demanding duties.”

“We have a core of gladiators, but otherwise it’s a bit of a mix,” said Bate, explaining that 48 soldiers have raced with him recently, and he had a largely different crew aboard for both the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Annapolis to Newport Race, both distance races that - along with the TR 2011 - are part of the inaugural Atlantic Ocean Racing Series that British Soldier has also entered.

As for Bate, he has raced a wide variety of yachts from his own International Dragons and Cornish Shrimper up to 153’ classic yachts. He started racing on an IOR ¾ tonner in the early 1980s, and after joining the Army in 1987, he competed in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race on British Defender and has also sailed the Rolex Fastnet Race eight times.  This will be his fourth Atlantic crossing.

There are 30 entries total in the TR 2011, with the U.S. fielding 14 teams, Germany six, the U.K. four, and China, Italy, Lithuania, Monaco, Saint Barthélemy and South Africa one each.

Crew Fuel - Energy Before Sailing
Crew Fuel Does this sound familiar? It is 24 hours before your big event and you are busy preparing the boat for racing. The pressure is on, the sun is out and you haven't planned your food or drinks for the day. You spend the whole day and into the evening working hard but totally ignoring your bodies hunger for energy and hydration stores for the racing ahead.

The following morning you manage a quick breakfast before heading on the water and asking your body to perform at maximum intensity levels in 20 knots for the whole day or longer. Your energy levels crash and you are dehydrated leading to declined concentration and poor results.

Don't worry, you are not alone, this is a familiar problem for many sailors, and one we want to help you address.

Crew Fuel Hi Energy Meal helps to build and maintain energy levels with a quick and easy to mix drink with slow release Carbohydrates and key nutrients. Perfect for building your energy levels before racing.

Nutritional planning is vital and Crew Fuel provide energy and hydration solutions on and off the water.

Countdown To First America’s Cup World Series Event
In just two months’ time, the inaugural America’s Cup World Series (AC World Series) will get under way in the port city of Cascais, Portugal, a location world-famous for its spectacular sailing conditions. The event will be held the 6th to the 14th of August and will showcase the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran in the first-ever competition for this exciting new class.

Cascais is the perfect town to host the thousands of AC World Series spectators anticipated to watch the first racing of the America’s Cup World Series. The event will feature both fleet and match racing, with courses designed to test the athletes’ physical and mental prowess.

August 6 - 7, fleet racing
August 10 - 12, both fleet and match racing
August 13, match racing finals
August 14,  fleet racing finals

In addition to the on-the-water action, the AC World Series also brings the America’s Cup experience to fans on land. Events and activities associated with the AC World Series will be announced later this summer.

Richard Worth, Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority said: “The America’s Cup World Series will expose hundreds of thousands of more people to the sport of sailing in its most exciting form - right in front of their eyes. We are excited to begin our global journey in Cascais, where both the racing and the experience will be first-rate.”

North Sea Race 2011 was a Heavy Test
Photo by Diana Bogaards. Click on image to enlarge.

North Sea Race The Hague, Netherlands: The North Sea Race 2011, organized by the R.O.R.C and part of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, was a heavy test for the 85 participating yachts. The strong northeasterly wind made it a long beat from Harwich to Scheveningen. Saturday morning June 4, Oystercatcher XXVIII, a Humphreys 54 skippered by Richard Matthews (GBR), took line honours after 18 hours, 38 minutes and 20 seconds. Tonnerre de Breskens of Piet Vroon (NED) finished third, but won the IRC overall on handicap. The ORC overall victory was for Dutchman Auke van der Zee and his crew onboard of the Grand Soleil 45 Blue Solid.

'It was cold and it was just pounding the waves', was about the most heard comment on the jetty in Scheveningen. Only after rounding the MSP buoy off the Ijmuiden coast, the spinnaker could be hoisted for the last miles to the finish. After the leading group of Tonnerre, Oystercatcher and Pleomax followed a gap of about three hours. The IRC overall podium shows the same order with Tonnerre winning again. In the evening at 23.19 hours Dutch time, the last participant Strata 6 crossed the finish line.

HH Memorial Trophy

It was the first time that the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy was awarded at the prize giving ceremony of the North Sea Race and not during the Whitsun weekend. And it was the first time that Bobby and Kit, the daughters of the ocean sailor Hans Horrevoets who died in 2006, did this alone without grandpa. With the endearing words 'congratulations with the prize of my daddy", skipper Peter de Graaf of Baraka GP received the special award. According to the calculation formula, the HH Memorial Trophy goes to the youngest team with the best average performance in both offshores.

Based on both results, the Redan of Hein van Schaik (NED) appeared to be the best in the ORC fleet. In the IRC classes it is the Checkmate of Peter de Ridder (NED) that leads the overall ranking.

Coming Friday, June 10, the Delta Lloyd Regatta North Sea really kicks off along The Hague coast. During four days, the competitors will battle it out on the North Sea and back onshore they will enjoy the live music. -- Diana Bogaards

Complete results:

Double Victory for Generations Ecole Navale
Photo by Jacques Vapillon, Click on image to enlarge.

Longtze Student Cup Voila a Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale which will go down in the history books... And which will change the reputation of the Breton weather, especially amongst the Mediterranean and Swiss sailors! For four days, a warm summer sun flooded Brest harbour, the racing was very tight with some tough and tactically challenging legs.

The students on "Generations Ecole Navale" knew perfectly well how to exploit their knowledge of the water and their mastery of the Longtze: they hit the double by winning the French Championship 2011 and winning the final of the Longtze Student Cup!

With 7 wins from 11 rounds, the team "Generations Ecole Navale" ultimately left little hope for their pursuers: the Lanveoc-Poulnic students win the French Championship title by a 13 point lead and confirm their leadership of the Longtze Student Cup. A double title that the young people from the Ecole Navale had in their sights all along.

The Longtze European Tour crews will meet again next week at the Normandy Week (from 11 to 13 June), the final events of the Atlantic Trophy.

Other events on the Longtze European Tour will then take place in the Mediterranean and the Alps before the World Cup final this autumn, on the Big Blue...

Ranking of the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale-French Championship Monotype 2011

*1. Generations Ecole Navale Ltze, Nicolars Pauchet, FRA, 16.00 points
2. Tendrisse YCPR, Laurent Abignoli, FRA, 29.00
3. Shensu Ltze, Jarmo Wieland, SUI, 35.00
*4. Essec Beijaflore, Pierre Pennec, FRA, 45.00
5. Carissima Ltze, Markus Ziltener, SUI, 48.00
6. Longtze Team, Laurent Berjon, FRA, 53.00
*7. Csc Hec, Herve Gautier, FRA, 54.00
*8. Brest Grandes Ecoles 2, Arnaud Samzun, FRA, 81.00
9. Voilerie Hsd, Herve Aubry, FRA, 90.00
10. Soj Li, Andres Gasser, SUI, 96.00
11. Mit One One, Pierre Yves Harle-Mechin, FRA, 114.00
*12. Brest Grandes Ecole 1, Yaouen Lecoublet, FRA, 116.00
*13. Safran Ii Centrale-Supelec, Adrien Kohlbecker, FRA, 126.00
*14. Yin-Yang, Gwenaelle Berhault, FRA, 134.00
*15. Safran I Polytechnique-Isae, Yannick Gindroz, FRA, 137.00
*16. Sopra Defi Voile Artem, Romain Hillion, FRA, 139.00
*17. Sopra - Centrale Nantes, Xavier Costargent, FRA, 149.00

* Student teams

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The Last Word
A day without laughter is a day wasted. -- Charlie Chaplin

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