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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
470 Women - Sailed: 8
470 Men - Sailed: 8
Finn - Sailed: 8
Laser - Sailed: 8
Laser Radial - Sailed: 8
Star - Sailed: 8
SKUD 18 - Sailed: 6
Sonar - Sailed: 8
2.4 - Sailed: 7
RS:X Men - Sailed: 8
RS:X Women - Sailed: 8
Match Racing: Gold Group Round Robin
Gold Group Round Robin
Williams Knocks Gilmour Off His Stride
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:
18 Foot Skiff Mark Foy Trophy
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
AZAB: A Day Of Two Halves
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)
100 Boats, 100 Years
"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.
Race Tracking for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
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.
The Desire For Lightweight, Breathable Clothing Continues To Grow
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Record Breaking Entry For 2011 Finn World Masters
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.
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
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.
* 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'.
No corners have been cut in assembling this one of a kind rocket. The best materials and equipment have been used to optimize speed and boathandling. Ocelot was built to compete Offshore. It is capable of setting records in downwind races. The top speed of this boat has not yet been seen. It has reached 29 knots so far.
Brokerage through Nelson Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/nelsonyachts/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
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