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Heading South
Photo by Amory Ross / Transatlantic Race 2011. Click on image for event gallery.

. Transatlantic Race 2011 Newport, R.I. USA: Twenty-four hours after the first start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 and all six yachts are now into the open ocean and sailing off the breeze. The first night at sea was a calm affair, a gentle introduction to the North Atlantic where there was only a slight sea state as the breeze has continued to be light but from the north. With conditions fresher to the south, all six yachts are now below the rhumb line.

One hundred miles into the Atlantic, William N. Hubbard, owner of Dawn Star, sent an update from the racecourse by satellite link.

"To start our voyage off, a short ceremony was held in the cockpit and a tot of rum was poured over the side to toast Old Man Neptune, who we hope will speed us to the finish ahead of our competition. Weeks of preparation are now behind us and the only task at hand is to sail the boat as hard and as best as we can for the next few weeks."

The 86' classic Nordwind, owned by Hans Albrecht, made an early move south and is now 50 miles south of the rest of the pack and is cracking along on a beam reach using every inch of its waterline. Sailing a beautiful wooden boat in glorious sunshine, heading out to sea must be an exhilarating feeling. Tactically, Nordwind looks to be taking advantage of the Gulf Stream, the northern branch of which usually extends to 40º North, and Nordwind seems to have altered course to the east at that juncture. With peak velocities near six feet per second, the Gulf Stream is the fastest ocean current in the world. Multiply that by Nordwind's waterline and the additional miles travelled to get there pale into insignificance.

Further north, Nick Bates's British Soldier and Rives Potts's Carina are already locked in a close duel. At around midday Eastern Daylight Time, Carina gybed north to take up a position to weather of British Soldier. It has been an excellent 24-hour run for the seven crew on Robert Foreman's Jacqueline IV as well. For yesterday's start, Foreman's daughter, Kara, had the helm of the Hinckley 42. Built in 1996, Jacqueline IV is a proven ocean going competitor, completing the Newport Bermuda Race no less than 11 times.

Meanwhile, back on dry land, the Newport Shipyard has another magnificent resident. Peter Harrison's 115' Farr designed ketch, Sojana, arrived last night from Antigua. "It took us seven days and it was one of the easiest deliveries we have had," said Sojana's Captain Marc Fitzgerald. "No bad weather save a spectacular lightning storm on one night."

* Long after Britannia ruled the waves, a crew of British soldiers is hoping to at least master the 2,975 nautical miles of ocean between Newport, R.I., and southwestern England.

British Soldier, a 40-foot sailboat crewed by - no surprise here - British soldiers, set out Sunday in the Trans-Atlantic Race 2011. Skippered by Lt. Col. Nick Bate, the nine-man crew is on break between tours of duty or training commitments. Most have served in Afghanistan or Iraq; some have served in both.

They have the smallest boat in the fleet of 30 that will leave in staggered starts for Lizard Point in South Cornwall.

"People say, 'Why is the army sailing?' I think it's what the army should be doing," said Bate, 48, who is trained as a tank commander and has completed tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo.

"It's about putting a team together. You take a bunch of guys, form them together as a team and they have to work together in a potentially arduous, demanding circumstances," Bates said. "That's how they work on operations, whether it's on a tank crew or armored personnel carrier. The crew has to work together. It's along the same ethos, really."

The soldiers have varying degrees of sailing experience. All have enough that Bate is confident they'll get through one of sailing's classic races in good shape.

Full article at:

Giraglia Rolex Cup
Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

Giraglia Rolex Cup St.Tropez, France / Genoa, Italy: The surprise overall winner of the 59th Giraglia Rolex Cup is the 37ft-Foxy Lady (FRA), co-skippered by brothers Dominique and Michel Heyraud. Foxy Lady finished the race in a time of 48 hours and four minutes, at 12:08 CEST today, and went on to win on corrected time by 11 minutes, 30 seconds ahead of a fellow 37-footer Jeminy (FRA) with Calima (ESP), overall winners in 2009, finishing in third place.

As winner of the Rolex Challenge Trophy, Foxy Lady collected her Rolex Submariner Rolesor as IRC Overall Winner on corrected time during a ceremony this evening at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa.

Other awards were presented to Pietro Supparo's Gianin 6 (ITA), the self-proclaimed 'slowest yacht of the fleet', as winners of Class ORC on corrected time. Canard 41 Aurora (ITA) picked up the Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy based on a combined score across all of the races that took place during the week.

Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) were always the strong favourite for the line honours title and whilst the metrological conditions thwarted the crew's ambition of breaking the course record of 18 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, the 28-man crew were delighted with their performance at the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

Alegre (GBR) were the second boat to finish, capping an impressive Giraglia Rolex Cup after they won their class in the inshore races. "We stuck to our plan and went round the rock probably with the most breeze of the whole race," explains owner/skipper Andres Soriano, "and indeed in the three times I have done the race. We had a good run into the Genoa harbour, which is usually the slowest part of the race."

2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Winners

Class IRC: Foxy Lady (FRA), Dominique Heyraud
Class ORC: Gianin 6 (ITA), Pietro Supparo
Line Honours: Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic
Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy: Aurora (ITA), Paolo Bonomo/Roberto Bruno

Crew Fuel - Making Nutrition A Priority For Sailors
Crew Fuel Nutrition is a key component to success in sailing- think about how you plan for your race events, where does nutrition come on your list of priorities? Whether it is what you have for breakfast, the drinks and snacks you take on the water or what you drink and eat after sailing. If you don't have enough energy and keep hydrated throughout the day then your performance will suffer. Think before, during and after sailing of what you eat and drink. You need to build up energy supplies in days and hours prior to events, get the right energy and hydration during the racing, then replace energy, nutrients and fix muscle tissue after racing.

Crew Fuel products have been designed for sailors to solve energy and hydration needs with easy to mix, nutritional and great tasting products. Whether you are dinghy racing for a day or heading offshore for days or weeks, Crew Fuel has the right energy solution for you. Make nutrition a priority.

Record Fleets
Organisers of the world-famous sailing regatta now known as Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week closed the early bird discounted entry fee period at 17:00 on Monday 13th June, and this year is already proving to be a record breaker.

Entries are up by 40 boats at the same key milestone last year, but what's truly remarkable is the number of XODs that will be in Cowes celebrating the Class' Centenary during the event. So far 139 X-boats have signed-up, meaning the Class has broken the record of the largest number of entries by any one class at the regatta (previously held by the Laser SB3 Class) by over 45%!

There is a building sense of excitement throughout the fleet and a number of sailors from outside the XOD Class are chartering boats in celebration of this very special Centenary year. Last year's XOD Class winners at Cowes Week (as well as winners of White Group overall and the coveted XOD championship title, the Captain's Cup) were Steve and Peter Lawrence.

Other classes showing a strong fleet, already up on last year's final entry numbers, include the Squibs and the Redwings. As the youngest skipper at the regatta last year, the youngest ever to win the Young Skipper Trophy as well as the winner overall in the Squib Class, Fred Warren-Smith will be back at the helm with his crew-mate dad, Steve, to defend their title. The Squibs also have 3 other boats racing at the event helmed by under 21s and the Class welcomes its first Irish competitor too, Jill Fleming racing Perfection.

In addition, regatta organisers have recently received an entry from Niklas Zennstrom's Ran for the Big Boat Series (Tuesday 9 until Thursday 11 August). The Swiss Swan 100 Alalunga has also confirmed her entry to the class, and a number of other big boats will shortly be announced.

Tassie Team's Tilt at UK Three Peaks Race
Click on image to enlarge.

Uk Three Peaks Race Tasmania's Team Whistler tonight (Australian time) will begin their second consecutive bid to win the UK Three Peaks Yacht Race, one of the greatest adventure challenges in British sport.

Team Whistler, comprising sailors David Rees (skipper), Tim Jones and Jory Linscott and runners Jacqui Guy and Michael McIntyre, from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, finished third overall last year following their victory in the Tasmanian Three Peaks Race, which is modelled on the British event.

The UK Three Peaks Yacht Race will take a record fleet of 32 yachts from Barmouth on the Welsh coast to Fort William on a Scottish loch, via the ports of Caemarfon and Whitehaven, running to the summits of Snowdon (3560 feet), Scafell Pike (3208 feet) and Ben Nevis (4408 feet) on the way.

The race, now its 34th year, covers 389 nautical miles of difficult coastal sailing, 18 miles of cycling and 72 miles of mountain running, with a total ascent of 14,000 feet to the highest points in Wales, England and Scotland.

The Australian team has chartered the same yacht which they sailed so well last year, the 38-footer Lightning Reflex which David Rees this week sailed from Cowes to Barmouth.

Most of the teams are from UK clubs, but also include British army teams and most of the crew that won last year, sailing as Peaks Addix. The first sailing leg from Barmouth to Caenarfon and the Snowdon run on Sunday morning should set the pattern for the fastest yachts and runners in the record fleet.

Most of the yachts are cruiser/racers but a potentially fast boat is the Ker 35 from Ireland, Danu Technologies, but the team has had no experience of the unique Three Peaks conditions and challenges of ripping tides, hidden rocks and boat-stopping sandbars, not to mention the challenge of the three peaks.

All yachts in this year's UK Three Peaks are fitted with trackers, enabling the race to be followed on

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RNLI responds to more than 20 incidents during Round the Island Race
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews around the Solent had a phenomenally busy Saturday assisting scores of people in distress during the annual Round the Island Race.

Lifeboat crews from all three Isle of Wight lifeboat stations - Bembridge, Yarmouth and Cowes - as well mainland counterparts at Calshot and Lymington RNLI, were out on the water, collectively assisting in a total of 23 incidents in Force 6-7 winds and swells up to three metres.

The JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race attracted a record number of entries as a total of 1,908 vessels officially registered to take part. This, coupled with challenging weather conditions, made for an extremely busy day for the charity's volunteer lifeboat crews, who worked alongside the Coastguard and other independent rescue services to ensure the race ran smoothly.

Of the more serious incidents, Yarmouth RNLI responded to a Mayday call at 9.24am, after one member of a ten-strong yacht crew was injured after being hit on the head by a spinnaker pole. Two volunteer lifeboat crew members went aboard to tend to the man, who was then airlifted by Coastguard helicopter and taken to hospital.

The busy day of activity was a stark reminder for the crew and fundraisers of the importance of a £1M public appeal to establish a new lifeboat station in Cowes to give faster access to the Solent.

Mark Southwell, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Cowes RNLI lifeboat station said: 'It was little surprise that lifeboat crews from so many of our stations were involved. Indeed, years of experience means our volunteers allocate the day in their diary for lifeboat crewing - we forego the usual practice of being elsewhere but ready to respond to the pager because we know without a doubt we will be needed, and it is better to be out on the water and ready to assist rather than back on dry land.

'It appears that RNLI lifeboat crews assisted in a total of 23 separate incidents, but from the feedback we get, race participants in general find it hugely comforting to see our lifeboats out on the water, as they know if they get into difficulty or distress we will be there to help them. 'Cowes RNLI lifeboat is currently in midst of a public appeal to raise £1M towards a new lifeboat station, providing improved facilities and enabling faster access to the Solent on rescues. The Round the Island Race provided an ideal opportunity to reach the sailing community, the target audience for this appeal.'

To find out more about the Cowes Lifeboat Station Appeal, visit

Christian Soyka Won His 5th Gold Cup in the X99 Class
The conditions for the last day of Kieler Woche were so light and sunny that the Musto Skiff Class refused to sail the last races. Especially on their course area the winds were fickle. Class president Iver Ahlmann celebrated the overall win on their first class showing at Kieler Woche.

But there was fierce competition on the other areas. Especially the 505 win for Wolfgang Hunger and Julien Kleiner was hard fought. Schomäker/Jess were on same points after winning the penultimate race. But in the final race Hunger startet to match his female opponent. After several circles around each other Hunger managed to block her. Schomäker/Jess were not able to approach the pathfinder start properly. They had to tack and pass many transoms. The third place finish was enough to give Hunger his sensational 19th Kieler Woche win in the 47 boat fleet. 505 celebrity Hasso Plattner delivered a strong 20th place.

Christian Soyka won his 5th Gold Cup in the X99 Class which is no World title anymore after losing ISAF status. But this did not make the racing less nerve wrecking. Soyka started the day four points behind Martin Christiansen and already congratulated his opponent for winning the title. But afterwards he said that this was just a mind game. Soyka won the last race and Christiansen scored eight points which was not enough to endanger the winner. Soyka will now concentrate on his Melges 32 project he started a couple of month ago.

The Contender class got 53 boats at the startline and was one of the strongest fleets in the Kieler Woche. Christoph Homeier who finished third in the last worlds showed a strong performance in the stronger breeze and won convincingly although sailing his discard in the last race. A couple of weeks before the World Championship he now got the favorite status. In the Formula 18 catamaran class Helge and Christian Sach sailed convincingly with a 20 point lead to their fifth Kieler Woche win in front of Andreas John and Sven Lindstädt who saved a one point lead from Jorg Gosche and Hannes Pegel.

The Kieler Woche organizers celebrated a fantastic number 129 race week with great wind conditions most of the week. Kieler Woche TV powered by Audi delivered the best media coverage ever. "We are very happy with our regatta this year", said chief race officer Jobst Richter. "But it is a pity that the final of the Sailing World Cup in the Olympic classes was not very well attended by the top sailors."

EUR 1 Traite de Rome Flies E.U. Flag at Legends Regatta
Alicante, Spain: Two-time Whitbread yacht, Traite de Rome, will be on the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion this November. Originally built in 1975 as an Admiral's Cup yacht for German industrialist Willie Illbruck, whose son Michael won the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001-02 with American skipper John Kostecki, the 51' Traite de Rome is one of the smaller yachts taking part in the Legends event.

Traite de Rome, originally named Pinta III after one of three boats Christopher Columbus took from Spain to the West Indies, was designed by Sparkman and Stephens and built under the watchful eye of Olin Stephens who made several trips from New York to oversee her construction at the Royal Huisman Shipyard in Vollenhove, Holland in 1975.

She was renamed Traite de Rome in celebration of the 20thanniversary of the founding document for the European Union in 1957 and was lent to the Sail for Europe Association to participate in the second Whitbread Round the World Race in 1977-78.

In 1977-78 Traite de Rome was registered with the special sail number of EUR 1, and flew the European flag with nine gold stars, one for each country, and was skippered by Belgian-born Philippe Hanin who led the first ever European sports team in history to a highly commendable third place overall.

Once back in Europe, Traite de Rome embarked on a two-year tour of major European harbours including London, Dublin, Copenhagen, The Hague and finally to Athens to celebrate the conclusion of negotiations for Greece to join the E.U. She raced again in 1981-82, this time was skippered by Italian Antonio Chioatto finishing 14th.

Nowadays, Traite de Rome, still sailed by the volunteers of the non profit association Sail for Europe, follows a programme of events organised around the rotating Presidencies of the European Union. Once again skippered by Philippe Hanin, she will be proudly flying the European flag at the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion in November this year.

Drumfire Wins Overall at the Superyacht Cup in Palma
Consistent sailing by the smallest yacht in the fleet, the 24m Andre Hoek designed Drumfire, gave her two firsts and a second to take the overall prize at the Superyacht Cup in Palma.

A good sea breeze of 12 to 14 knots ensured that the final pursuit race started on time with the 26.5m Anny (Baltic Yachts/Judel Vrolijk) first away at 13.00. Anny is a veteran of the Palma event having raced in all 16 series. Once again it was the spectacle of the largest yacht in the 21 boat fleet, the 62m two-masted schooner Athos (Holland Jachtbouw/Hoek) that thrilled the spectators. As the fleet beat to windward out of the Bay of Palma there was a dramatic encounter of the schooners, with the 55m Adela (Pendennis Shipyard/Dijkstra et al) slipping past Athos as she tacked closer inshore.

Throughout the fleet the quality of the crewing, considering the massive offwind sails and the loads on the sheets, is quite outstanding. On Athos the racing crew numbered up to 30 with a total of around 50 onboard.

Drumfire managed to once again hold all the fleet at bay for the whole race, only to see the two-masted schooner This Is Us (Holland Jachtbouw/Hoek) slip through in the final gybe to the finish by just 52 seconds. Fittingly it was Patrick Whetter, the original founder of the Superyacht Cup on the helm of This Is Us, showing a bit of local knowledge in the tense duel. -- Jason Holtom

Complete results at

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The Last Word
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