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Into The Endgame
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.

Skandia Gold A relative calm descended on Weymouth Bay this morning, after the battering from the day before. But there was no less tension or aggression in the racing in Day Four of Skandia Sail for Gold, as the fleets moved into the endgame.

The bigger fleets were split into gold and silver fleets for the penultimate two days of racing, before the decisive medal races on Saturday.

The Women's Match Racing had a lot of catching up to do after the strong wind and waves curtailed yesterday's racing. It meant an early start and a late finish. The Gold Group was completed along with the Repecharge Round Robin, and so we know tomorrow's quarter final pairs. The Gold Group winners, Sally Barkow, Elizabeth Kratizig-Burnham and Alana O'Reilly from the USA will race against Silja Lehtinen, Silja Kanerva and Mikaela Wulff (FIN).

Next up, it will be the second placed team in the Gold Group, Australia's Nicky Souter, Jessica Eastwell and Lucinda Witty to sail against Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou (FRA). Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vendemoer and Debbie Capozzi (USA) were third in the Gold Group and will sail against France's Anne-claire Le Berre, Alice Ponsar and Myrtille Ponge. And that leaves Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor (GBR) against the Netherlands' Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Merel Witteveen.

* The Finn fleet at Skandia Sail for Gold caught up with its programme today with three cracking races in great conditions in Weymouth Bay. After eight races, Ben Ainslie (GBR) has extended his lead to 13 points over Giles Scott (GBR) and 14 over Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO). Race wins today went to Ainslie, Rafa Trujillo (ESP) and Ed Wright (GBR).

Conditions were less extreme today with shifty onshore winds of 12 to 16 knots on the offshore race course on the far side of the bay. The fleet was tracked today with GPS boxes, but ironically the box in the boat that most viewers were watching - Ben Ainslie (GBR) - stopped working before the first race.

Ainslie summed up his day, "It was a mixed day, we had three races in tough conditions out there and to cap it all off you then have a very long sail back to the harbour, so I'm looking forward to getting some rest. I won the first race but I made a few mistakes in the second two races. I didn't pick the right side on the first beat and I had to battle back and fortunately I did a pretty good job of that. It's hard out there. It has been a very difficult course because it's quite tidal. Overall, I had a good day and with regards to the nearest competition I'm reasonably happy. We've got two more races tomorrow and then the medal race so things are certainly starting to get into the money end of the regatta." -- Robert Deaves, Finn Class

Racing continues at Skandia Sail for Gold until Saturday.

Provisional Results Thursday 9th June

49er - Sailed: 10 races
1. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 34
2. John Pink / Richard Peacock, GBR, 44
3. Stephane Christidis / Peter Hansen, 47

470 Women - Sailed: 8
1. Jo Aleh / Olivia Powrie, NZL, 33
2. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clarke, GBR, 43
3. Gill Cohen / Vered Bouskila, ISR, 49

470 Men - Sailed: 8
1. Pierre Leboucher / Vincent Garos, FRA, 18
2. Anton Dahlberg / Sebastian Ostling, SWE, 16
3. Matthew Belcher / Malcolm Page, AUS, 12

Finn - Sailed: 8
1. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 16
2. Giles Scott, GBR, 29
3. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 30

Laser - Sailed: 8
1. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 18
2. Andrew Murdoch, NZL, 24
3. Rutger Van Schaardenburg, NED, 33

Laser Radial - Sailed: 8
1. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 20
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 21
3. Annalise Murphy, IRL, 23

Star - Sailed: 8
1. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA, 21
2. Fredrik Loof / Max Salminen, SWE, 21
3. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, POL, 35

SKUD 18 - Sailed: 6
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 6
2. Alexandra Rickmann / Niki Birrell, GBR, 10
3. Jamie Dunross / Rachael Cox, AUS, 15

Sonar - Sailed: 8
1. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, 15
2. Udo Hessels / Marcel Van Veen / Mischa Rosseb, NED,19
3. Bruno Jourdren / Eric Flageul, FRA, 19

2.4 - Sailed: 7
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 10
2. Thierry Schmitter, NED, 10
3. Paul Tingley, CAN, 19

RS:X Men - Sailed: 8
1. J. P. Tobin, NZL, 17
2. Dorian Vaan Rijsselberge, NED, 20
3. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 20

RS:X Women - Sailed: 8
1. Marina Albau, ESP, 16
2. Lee Korzits, ISR, 20
3. Zofia Klepacka, POL, 29

Match Racing: Gold Group Round Robin

Gold Group Round Robin
USA Barkow / Kratizig-Burnham / O'Reilly 5-0
AUS Souter / Curtis / Price 3-2
USA Tunnicliffe / Vandemoer / Capozzi 3-2
GBR Macgregor / Lush / Macgregor 2-3
NED Mulder / Bes / Witteveen 2-3
FRA Le Berre / Ponsar / Ponge 0-5
Repecharge Round Robin: The following two teams qualified for quarter finals
FRA Leroy / Bertrand / Riou 4-1
FIN Lehtinen / Kanerva / Wulff 4-1

www.skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk

Williams Knocks Gilmour Off His Stride
Gyeonggi Province, Korea: A controversial umpiring decision saw Ian Williams snatch victory from Peter Gilmour in the most exciting duel of Qualifying Session Two at the Korea Match Cup. The victory put Williams safely into third place just one point behind joint leaders Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing.

Four times match racing world champion Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing led off the line, managing to stave off the attacks from Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar as the two went head to head in what turned out to be the race of the day.

Williams picked up a penalty during a luffing match rounding mark two when he didn't keep clear having been given plenty of room but edged past Gilmour, extending his lead to 27 seconds by the penultimate mark. Williams waited until the very last moment to offload his penalty on the finishing line, tangling with Gilmour just metres from the finish line. Williams finished his penalty on starboard, having opted not to take it around the mark itself, but Gilmour was owed room at the finish mark.

Calls that Williams had caused contact flew from Gilmour's camp but their protest was dismissed by the on-the-water umpires and Williams snuck across the line to take the win. The victory put Williams safely into third place just one point behind joint leaders Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team and Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing.

Gilmour slipped from the commanding position he started the day in but has five more matches to sail, with a big match against Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team awaiting him in the first flight tomorrow.

"It was a frustrating call from the umpire, who I don't think was in the right position to see the incident," Gilmour said. "I think if they looked at it again now they might come to a different decision. However it's one of those things and I would choose to have on-the-water umpires every day of the week over any other system of judging."

Standings after the second Qualifying Session:
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-2
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 6-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 5-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 5-3
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 4-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 4-4
Paul Campbell-James (GBR) Dream Team 3-3
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-3
Bjorn Hansen (DEN) Mekonomen Sailing Team 3-3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 1-5
Reuben Corbett (NZL) AON Racing Team 1-7
Sung Wook Kim (KOR) Busan Match Team 1-7

www.wmrt.com

18 Foot Skiff Mark Foy Trophy
A new video is online on our event channel (produced by Stephane Debuire and Christophe Favreau) vimeo.com/channels/markfoytrophy2011

Race report for race 3,4 and 5

On the 3. day of the 18-footer Mark Foy Trophy 2011 in Sonderborg sponsored by Ronstan and Original Chia the wind came in after 2 days without having any races. Westely wind 15-18 knots and sun.

3 races were sailed and the winner of today was Yandoo with 2, 1 and 1 overall no. 1 with 5 points. Pica in the second with a 8, 2 and 5 total 10 points after 1 discard. On the 3. place CT battens from New Zealand with 7,4 and 5 and a total for 15 points.

The 20 boats from Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Germany, Hungary and Denmark are looking forward for some good racing on Friday and Saturday. -- Christophe Favreau

The races are online with TracTrac see www.syckapsejlads.dk/18footer/tractrac

Dubarry Sligo - Dash of a Different Kind
Dubarry Sligo Maturity's a directional thing - not that everything's going south you understand, but with wisdom and experience, you move up the professional ladder and back in the boat. Tearing around the foredeck is great for kids but it takes the brains at the back to make the right calls. Dubarry's new Sligo reflects your style and seniority in five stylish colourways, with its seasoned, quick-drying leather and classy waxed canvas upper, comfortable footbed to calmly absorb any shocks, and award-winning sole to give your decisions a firm footing. Dubarry Sligo - the only deck shoe you'll ever need.

www.dubarry.com

AZAB: A Day Of Two Halves
Click on image for race tracking.

AZAB By supper time on Wednesday the parking lot had extended to 46 north latitude that sent a Quake through the fleet, the calms ensnared Erica, swallowed Tamar, Becca Boo and Tantina too. Quid Non was heading 307 at 6.70 knots and why would'nt you ? The only Concerted Stratagem was to keep way on at all cost and it was a great Relief when Christina finally got a wriggle on.

Tamarind showed his form by moving to the front of class 2 ahead of Growler and Whistledown, Home of Jazz reported main sail damage, racing under three reefs until conditions allowed a repair to the headboard and top two battern cars.

Chris Tibbs in Taika expertly routed through the calms to increase his lead over Roger and Flic in Elixir by an other 6 miles, reinforce his hold on the class 3 IRC and seize back the overall handicap lead. Truant and Comedy the HOD twins continue their battle for third in class 3.

Even our leader had a relatively poor day, logging 162 miles noon to noon after being forced well east and then pulling out the head of his staysail in 30 knots and loosing the halyard up the mast. Jan Kees had 105 miles to go at 1300 and may finish in the early hours of friday Morning as the wind is forecast to drop very light close the to the island for the final excrutiating 25 miles along the south coast.

The Overall IRC handicap result could be very close with Taika having a slight predicted advantage over La Promesse but the wind is likely to drop tonight and then come into the south west on Friday morning.The very high ground at the east end of the island casts a huge wind shadow and shuts off any light breezes.

The committee will be manning the gun late tonight and will bring the news as soon as Jan Kees crosses the finish line.

Estimated IRC ranking and dtg at 1300bst Thursday 9th June, end of day 5.

Class1; Franglais (479) Quaker (544) Stratagem (527) Christina (534)
Class 2; Tamarind (443) Growler (461) Whistledown III (515) Ruffian (467)
Class 3; Taika (276) Elixir (315) Truant (341) Comedy (348)
Class 4; La Promesse (105) Jbellino (245) Jammy Doger (225) Ding Dong (262)

http://www.azab2011.co.uk

100 Boats, 100 Years
Photo by Hamo Thornycroft. Click on image to enlarge.

XOD class The keelboat class that epitomises the bustle and excitement of Cowes Week as this huge fleet musters on the Royal Yacht Squadron start line each August, has just reached 100 entries. The XODs will be out in force again at this year's Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week...and still more entries are expected!

"This is the largest number of entries we have ever had at Cowes," comments Class Captain William Norris. "XOD owners don't want to miss being in the spotlight this year, so they are all keen to join in the celebrations to mark our Centenary; 100 years since the first XOD fleet raced in 1911."

The 3-man wooden keelboat class is already known as the hardest to win at Cowes because of the large numbers that always enter, and the Captain's Cup, the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Class Trophy, is much sought after - and won - by world class sailors and family crews alike.

"100 plus boats on the start line is quite a challenge for any race committee," comments Stuart Quarrie, the CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, "especially having to consider the other 40 classes racing at the same time. However, we have been working closely with the class and such things as using a committee boat for the outer distance mark on the RYS line rather than the normal fixed ODM, together with a host of other initiatives, should ensure that the XODs have the best possible racing for their Centenary."

In addition to its usual daily racing fixture, the XOD class is staging a special Centenary 3-day 'regatta within the regatta' in the middle of the week, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, from Tuesday 9th - Thursday 11th August, to celebrate this landmark anniversary. The class is also hosting a number of parties during the week.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week runs from 6th -13th August 2011.

www.xonedesign.org.uk

Race Tracking for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Race Tracking technology and supported hardware and software enhanced for 2011

Key developments
- New software for Android phones which will allow many more people to take part. The software adds support for 60+ new models of smartphones
- New support for iPhone4 as well as 3G and 3GS.
- New software for Blackberry to support more phones and networks.
- Continuing support for Windows Mobile phones.
- Enhancements mean that over 87% of UK smartphones are now supported.

Also...
- Ability to have more than one phone registered per boat. This will provide more positions for each boat, so more accurate and up-to-date tracking.
- Simplified registration process. One simple tracking ID per boat that can be emailed to all the crew to enter into their phones.
- Improvements to the Race Viewer (improved visualisation of the main fleet, ability to save and recall selected boats and search for boats in a class).
- Addition of Race Management facilities to track support boats and other special craft.
- Re-designed server infrastructure to support expected increase in number of phones/boats being tracked.
- Integration with EventTV so that fleet positions and leading boats can be shown on screen during the day.

The new software is being released to competitors from June 6th allowing them a few weeks to try it out and to encourage everyone to sign up.

Meanwhile, Cowes Yacht Haven is gearing itself up as the key venue for the entertainments and activities during this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race weekend. There's a full schedule of FREE entertainment and activities running from 10am on Friday 24th through to the night of Saturday 25th June.

The Race Village also includes a fully licensed hospitality marquee and a superb live music/broadcast stage, with live entertainment being staged on both the Friday and Saturday.

www.roundtheisland.org.uk

The Desire For Lightweight, Breathable Clothing Continues To Grow
Camet To meet these needs, CAMET International has introduced a new line of sportswear to satisfy it's sports-minded and outdoor enthusiast customers. The collection offers an array of possibilities from highly technical products that scream "performance", to lightweight, wrinkle-free products for on-the-water and off-the-water activities. We look for fabrics that move perspiration away from the body, dry quickly, and are wrinkle-resistant; characteristics sought by adventurers and sailors alike.

The technical products not only serve a purpose, they are also very fashionable. With solid color schemes, Hawaiian prints, and multi-functional designs.

Check them out at www.camet.com

Record Breaking Entry For 2011 Finn World Masters
Click on image for photo gallery.

Finn Masters What happens when you add 300 Finns to a popular Italian beach resort with fantastic sailing conditions and a full social programme, while reuniting sailing friends from across the globe for a week of relaxed and friendly but fiercely competitive sailing?

Next week at the PuntAla Camping Resort on the Tuscan coast in Italy we will find out. The 2011 Finn World Masters has broken all records this year with 306 Finns from 29 countries pre-entered.

The previous record set in 2009 of 264 registered boats looks set to be smashed as the boats starts to gather this week for the first race on Monday 13th June. The Finn World Masters seems to get more popular every year, not least by Finn sailors getting older and reaching the qualifying age.

Unsurprisingly Italy is fielding the largest team with 52 boats, while Germany and The Netherlands are not far behind on 50 and 47 apiece. Great Britain has 26 and Switzerland has 21, and there are entries from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and South Africa.

The defending champion is Michael Maier (CZE), who also won the event in 2006. He is still sailing almost full time on the senior Finn circuit, so he is definitely the one to beat.

Also expected to be at the front will be the three times winner Andre Budzien (GER). Budzien's three wins from 2007 to 2009 followed straight on from four times as runner-up, while last year he was runner up for the fifth time. His remarkable record of eight consecutive top-two placings is a record within the class.

Others to look out for include the 2005 and 2007 bronze medalist Allen Burrell (GBR), who recently won his first British national title; bronze medalist in 2009, Laurent Hay (FRA) who should perform well if the wind is light; silver medalist in 2009 Jurgen Eiermann (GER); and Marco Buglielli (ITA), another good performer in light winds.

Event website: www.finnworldmaster2011.org
PuntAla Camping Resort: www.campingpuntala.it
World Masters: www.finnworldmasters.com
Class website: www.finnclass.org

Dartmouth Dazzles
Having experienced 'on the ragged edge' conditions for the first day of racing at the Tactick J/80 UK National Championship 2011 in Association with Baltic Wharf yesterday, there was a collective and audible sigh of relief on the pontoons at Darthaven Marina this morning as the fleet gathered to go racing today: A more moderate (but oh so shifty) south westerly breeze of 12 to 14 knots greeted the fleet in Start Bay, and three more races were sailed under the very bluest of skies, in bright sunshine and flat water.

Kevin Sproul's J.A.T still tops the leader board after two days racing on 8 points, and Sproul tucked two more race wins under his kilt today. Rob Larke had another strong set of results in J2X and, just as he did yesterday, won the final race of the day. In third place is the consistently fast RAFBF Team Spitfire, sailed by Andy Rodwell, Tony Hanlon and crew.

The PRO Mike Pearson, is another Devon boy and he seems to be having as much fun as the competitors. 'I thoroughly enjoy working with the J/80 Class' he said. 'There is some extremely impressive sailing going on here and everyone, whether they are racing in the Class or working on the Race Management side of things shares the same goal: to be at the top of our game ahead of the 2012 J/80 World Championship which will be held here next June'. The two final races of the Tactick J/80 UK National Championship 2011 in Association with Baltic Wharf are scheduled for Friday morning and so by lunchtime the J/80 Class will have a new UK National Champion. -- Becci Eplett

Lambay Race
The Lambay Race, at 115 years old one of the longest established sailing events in Ireland, takes place on Saturday 11th June, with a fleet of over 160 boats expected to compete in Howth Yacht Club's annual regatta.

According to Regatta Chairman James Markey, the entries are on target for another 160+ boats across the 13 classes participating.

An Offshore Committee Boat will start the races for Classes 1, 2, 3, White Sail Cruisers (A and B fleets) and Shipman.

On the Inshore Course, the one-design classes racing are Etchells, SB3, Puppeteers, Ruffian 23s, E-Boats, Squibs and Howth 17 Footers.

Feeder races have been organised for the Shipman and E-Boat classes from Dun Laoghaire and Clontarf respectively.

The 'Lambay Lady Trophy' will be awarded to the class winner with the largest time differential over the runner-up.

www.hyc.ie

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 John Harwood-Bee: Am I missing something? Alastair Gair reports that it was going to take over a WEEK to obtain authority clearance for his trailer. Seems to me to be either bureaucracy at its most stupid or a cynical attempt to prevent Gair from competing. Surely the trailer could be inspected by an expert and cleared for travel immediately. One wonders what has happened to traditional Australian 'can do'.

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The Last Word
The black holes of nature are the most perfect macroscopic objects there are in the universe: the only elements in their construction are our concepts of space and time. -- Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

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