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Transatlantic Race 2011: Final Start
Photo by Dan Nerney, www.dannerneyphoto.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Transatlantic Race Newport, R.I. USA: One of the greatest moments in the history of offshore racing took place Sunday with the final start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 setting six yachts on their course from Newport to The Lizard off the southeast coast of England.

A weather front arrived as if by magic, and with the wind speed at the top of the rigs approaching 15 knots, the six yachts cruised the starting area like reef sharks ready to attack. As the starting gun sounded from Castle Hill Light, the Maxi fleet powered up and the sound of immense loads echoed across the water as sheets were pulled on and rigs raked back to propel the high-performance racing machines out towards the open ocean. The sheer power on display was awe-inspiring, as the fastest yachts in the Transatlantic Race 2011, searing through the water, foam hissing at the rail, started on their one-way ride across the untamed Atlantic Ocean.

Beau Geste, the Farr 80 skippered by Karl Kwok (Hong Kong), got the best start and sped away toward Brenton Point. Puma Mar Mostro, skippered by Ken Read (Newport, R.I.), was next to cross the line followed by Rambler 100 and ICAP Leopard. Vanquish was caught up in the Maxi mêlée and was stalled as the two 100-footers powered up on either side of the 65' yacht crewed by the Oakcliff All American Offshore Team. For the young crew aboard Vanquish, this is a ride of their life, lining up against the best in the world.

Beau Geste and PUMA Mar Mostro continued up the right-hand side of the course, playing touch and go with the rocky shoreline, while Rambler 100 and ICAP Leopard seemed locked in their own private tussle as the fleet headed offshore. The magnificent 115' ketch, Sojana, with a mahogany interior, is far heavier than her sporting rivals and skipper Peter Harrison (Reigate, U.K.) will surely be hoping for more wind.

All of the 24 yachts competing in the Transatlantic Race will be carefully planning their next move as they can never fully work out what lies ahead of them. The yachts that have already settled into the race know one thing for certain, the magnificent yachts in IRC One will be coming on fast and almost certainly Rambler 100 or ICAP Leopard will overtake them before long: just four hours into the race, Rambler 100 was exceeding 18 knots boatspeed.

www.transatlanticrace.com

Team Aqua Rule In Cagliari
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Cagliari Cup The scene was set and the only the final act to play. Team Aqua was the team to beat, and to win the RC44 Cagliari Cup they had to fend off the challenge of the Spanish and the Swedes.

A three point lead when you can't discard a bad race is slim to say the least, that was the margin Team Aqua had over Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, with Artemis Racing just another eight points behind in third.

As the teams were released from the dock the wind was still north-westerly, but due to fade and be replaced by a southerly sea breeze at some point in the day, the problem was no-one knew when.

The first race started in 8 knots, but as the fleet were half way up the first beat the wind started to shift to the right, Team Aqua (GBR) were on the left hand side of the track and rounded the windward mark in 10th place, their main opposition Artemis Racing (SWE) and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) rounding second and fifth respectively.

As the sea breeze kicked in, Cagliari produced some stunning sailing conditions, 12-14 knots and beautiful blue sea and skies. Team Aqua were never worst than second in the penultimate race of the series, passing CEEREF (SLO) on the second beat to take the win. It was then Islas Canarias Puerto Calero's turn to struggle, their 12th place put them down to third overall, one point behind Artemis Racing.

The win in Sardinia moves Team Aqua to the top of the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour leader board. Adding to their win here, they also count a third from San Diego and second on Lake Traunsee, Austria. They sit one point ahead of Team ORACLE who finished second from San Diego and first in Austria but fourth here in Cagliari.

The fourth event of 2011 RC44 Championship Tour will be held in Marstrand, Sweden from 17-21st August where the teams will race for the RC44 Sweden Cup, a venue the class have never visited before. The competition for who will be crowned 2011 RC44 Champions is hotting up.

rc44.com

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Brad Van Liew (USA)
Finn sailing legend Richard Hart made the early running but once Uncle Sam starts rolling... 'Brad was doing a perfect job, until he sailed right into a nice storm this morning' - Walt Lane; 'inspired, communicative and not a bad sailor' - Piers Williams; 'Class act' - Matt Sole; 'One tough dude' - Luiz Kahl; 'Full noise or no noise' - Anne-Marie Hasselbalch; 'We're not great with solo sailors here, so he done good' - David Gruver (USA); 'Blazing!' - Alan Andrews.

This month's nominees:

Phil Sharp (GBR)
The Class 40 winner in the 2006 Route du Rhum (on a rented Pogo 40) is one of the enigmas of solo ocean racing; the winner of several more big events - he recently dominated the 225-mile Solo Basse Normandie - Sharp struggles to achieve the sort of recognition that might deliver a chance to test himself on the great oceanic events. Rated in Europe, little known at home in England... sounds like UK Olympic sailing in the 1970s!

Charlie Buckingham (USA)
The 2009 recipient of US College Sailor of the Year was recently given the honour for a rare second time after winning US national titles in both the Laser and two-handed divisions in recent months. A native of Newport Beach, Buckingham has a strong record in both team and fleet racing... The Georgetown senior has also made All-American no less than four times in his brief career. A name to watch?

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at
sailor.seahorsemagazine.com

* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!

Dubarry Lahinch - Inspired By Design
Dubarry Lahinch If you were designing the perfect bowman, you’d want them to weigh nothing, never slip up, react instantly, give you maximum support and get a round in after the race. When Dubarry was designing its new sprint deckshoe, Lahinch, they used modern materials for featherlight, quick-drying super-strength, giving you the speed and durability. Its D-chassis footbed system, inspired by Formula 1 technology, means it protects and actively supports, and its sole gives you award-winning grip. It won’t get a round in of course, but when did you last see a bowman at the bar?

Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.

www.dubarry.com

Rolex Baltic Week
Flensburg, Germany: Emphatic performances among both the 12-Metre and 8-Metre fleets determined the 2011 world champions on the final day (3 July) of Rolex Baltic Week, which brought the culmination of a tough week of challenging breezes and close racing for the classic yachts on Flensburg Fjord in Northern Germany.

In the Robbe & Berking 12mR World Championships the Danish 1936-built Vanity V, owned and helmed by Patrick Howaldt from Copenhagen, triumphed after scoring another second and first place on the last day of a remarkable regatta which saw them finish no worse than runner-up in any race.

Two bullets on the final day also secured the victory of the Dutch-based modern Eight Hollandia, owned by Ruud van Hilst and steered by Tim van Rootselaar, while Andreas Krause's Sleipnir II from Kiel, Germany won the Robbe & Berking 6mR Sterling Cup. Each of the three winning owners was awarded a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer chronometer by Peter Streit, CEO of Rolex Germany.

Discarding a second place in the 12-Metre results, Patrick Howaldt and his team were clear winners on 10 points after winning four of the eight races – with loud celebrations on board Vanity V as they crossed the final finish line.

Their nearest rival, the German Trivia, went into the final day in a strong second overall, but two fourths put paid to their chances, finishing six points adrift.

Also racing for their Robbe & Berking World Championships, the 8-Metres witnessed an equally superior performance by Hollandia (NED) who, having been pushed hard by Lafayette (GBR) and YQuem II (SUI) all week, secured the title emphatically with two wins in the final day's two races. Able to discard a DSQ for an infringement earlier in the week, Ruud van Hilst and Jos Fruytier's 2005-built 8-Metre won five of the nine races to take first overall.

Final overall rankings, Sunday (3 July)

Robbe & Berking 12-Metre World Championship (after 8 races)
1. Vanity V, Patrick Howaldt (Denmark), 1-1-(2)-2-1-2-2-1, 10
2. Trivia, Wilfried Beeck (Germany), 3-2-1-3-2-1-(4)-4, 16
3. Sphinx, Gorm Gondesen/Jochen Frank (Germany), 2-3-4-1-4-3-1-(5), 18
4. Anitra, Josef Martin (Germany), 4-4-3-(4)-3-4-3-2, 23
5. Evaine, Georg Kierspel (Germany), 5-6-6-(DNF)-5-6-5-3, 36
6. Vema III, Eric Svenkerud (Norway), 6-5-5-(DNF)-6-5-6-6, 39

Robbe & Berking 8-Metre World Championship (after 9 races)
1. Hollandia, Ruud van Hilst/Jos Fruytier (The Netherlands), 1-1-(DSQ)-2-2-1-2-1-1, 11
2. Lafayette, Murdoch McKillop (Great Britain), 2-(4)-1-1-1-3-3-3-2, 16
3. YQuem II, Jean Fabre (Switzerland), 3-2-3-3-3-2-1-2-(DSQ), 19
4. Raven, Richard Self/Mark Decelles (Canada), 5-3-2-4-4-(8)-4-4-4, 30
5. Sira, King Harald V of Norway, 8-(DNF)-4-12-7-5-7-5-3, 51
6. Catina VI, Fred Meyer (Switzerland), 7-7-8-6-10-9-8-7-(12), 62
7. Anne-Sophie, Hanns-Georg Klein (Germany), 6-8-10-(13)-8-12-11-6-5, 66

Robbe & Berking 6mR Sterling Cup (after 5 races)
1. Sleipnir II, Andreas Krause (Germany), 1-2-1-1-(DNS), 5
2. Mena, Thomas Kuhmann (Germany), 3-1-(4)-3-1, 8
3. Aida, Björn Storsberg (Germany), 2-4-2-2-(DNS), 10

www.regattanews.com

Echegoyen Wins European Women's Match Racing
Spaniard Tamara Echegoyen and her team are the new European Champions of Women's Match Racing. Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofia Toro took the gold medal in Sunday's final in Helsinki, ahead of Russia's Ekaterina Skudina and her crew (Elena Oblova, Elena Syuzeva).

The conditions at Hernesaari were challenging due to a fickle wind. Early into the day the wind completely died near the shore, which is why the start of Match Racing had to be pushed back until 12:30 from the original 11 o'clock.

Once the finals eventually got underway, it was Echegoyen who had the better start, winning the first match. Skudina came back in the second race but couldn't keep it up in the next two matches. Thus the Spanish team won best-of-five series 3-1.

Meanwhile, Silvia Roca Mata of Spain and Mandi Mulder of the Netherlands faced each other in the petit final. Mulder's team first took the lead, but Roca Mata and her crew evened the score in the second match. In the third and deciding race Mulder came out on top to grab the bronze.

Over 250 boats in the Laser starts

Laser Standard and Laser Radial also got their sailing underway on Sunday. They are by far the most popular classes at the Open Europeans: in total there are 251 Lasers competing, 140 Standards and 111 Radials.

Austria's Andreas Geritzer is leading the men's competition after two races, whereas Zhang Dong Shuang of China is in charge of the women's event. Hometown's biggest favourite Sari Multala is currently 20th (Radial).

Star class had its second competition day at the Open Europeans. Greece's Emilios Papathanasiou and Alexandros Dragoutsis continue in the lead after three races.

Women's Match Racing Results

For gold medal, best-of-five series
Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) vs. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) 3-1

For bronze medal, best-of-three series
Silvia Roca Mata (ESP) vs. Mandi Mulder (NED) 1-2

1. Echegoyen (ESP)
2. Skudina (RUS)
3. Mulder (NED)
4. Roca Mata (ESP)
5. Le Berre (FRA)
6. Goncalves (POR)
7. Price (AUS)
8. Lehtinen (FIN)
9. Meldgaard (DEN)
10. Ru (CHN)
11. Bekkering (NED)
12. Pomerants (EST)

www.openeuropeans2011.com

Sail Faster And Smarter!
Speed and Smarts Speed & Smarts is a bi-monthly newsletter packed with tips to improve your racing performance. It's written by winning AC tactician David Dellenbaugh, and each issue has 16 pages full of instructional advice on tactics, strategy, speed, boathandling and rules (plus there's no advertising!).

Whether you race a one-design or big boat, at the top or bottom of your fleet, you'll find lots of valuable ideas in Speed & Smarts. In fact, when you consider the cost of other go-fast items you can buy, this newsletter gives you extremely good "bang for your buck."

View a sample issue at www.speedandsmarts.com/BackIssues/SampleIssue

Subscribe at www.speedandsmarts.com

Running The Rhumblines
Whitsunday Sailing Club Flag Officers will be in the final stages of preparation s for the annual Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week when their famed racing pennant is securely tied to the backstay of Merit Stratco Racing in Sydney.

Merit launched in 1997 to contest the Volvo around the World race and now owned and successfully raced by Whitsunday Sailing Club's Leo Rodriguez will contest the 384 n/ml Audi Sydney to Gold Coast race starting on Saturday July 30.

Skipper Leo Rodriguez believes the now 14 year old Volvo race challenger is better suited to the longer coastal passage races and promises to become a distinct challenger for the Performance Handicap class trophy following his success in winning the prestigious trophy in the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

The tropical water racing crew who have proved their combined skill and seamanship over the longer Sydney-Hobart Race are hopeful of racing in a cold blast provided by the mid-winter South Westerlies.

They are aware that Merit Stratco Racing has the proven pedigree to produce her best performance in fresh and frightening spinnaker sailing winds and will need these conditions to outpace her handicap rating against their more modern rivals.

As expected the crew of Whitsunday sailors are hoping for a strong wind forecast and wave surfing conditions to prevail when they set their personal escape from experiencing the Sydney Chill Factor.

However while life on deck will become particularly cold at night the crew will remain focused of logging the fastest passage towards the warmer climate.

They will not be alone in what promises to be the most interesting race since the George Snow skippered Brindabella set the present race record of 27 hours 35 minutes 3 seconds in 1999. If there is any hint of strong southerlies blowing then the Bob Oatley owned and Mark Richards's skippered Sydney Hobart race record holder Wild Oats X1 will be chased by the Peter Millard skippered Brisbane to Gladstone race line honours champion Lahana to seriously challenge Brindabella's 13.92 knot benchmark.

This race presents Wild Oats X1 with the first opportunity to test the recent hull modifications to upgrade her speed potential in preparation for the Sydney Hobart Race starting on Boxing Day. While interest will also focus on the pace setting performance of the Marcus Blackmore skippered TP 52 Hooligan which has dominated the results over short courses to currently lead the Audi Australian championship.

Hooligan the former Team New Zealand Merit Cup champion and overall winner of the Brisbane to Gladstone Race over the Easter weekend has been the star performer winning regattas in Victorian and New South Wales.

However her crew will need to repeat this form to head off the challenge from the 2010 Audi Australian champion Loki and the 2010 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week champion Living Doll to remain as the crew to beat when the finals are decided during the Audi Hamilton Race Week in late August. -- Ian Grant

Unfinished Business
Last year a good friend of mine, Guy Waites,  tried unsuccessfully to complete the Jester Challenge in his Contessa 26 Red Admiral, he suffered quite a severe breakage many days into the challenge but managed to successfully nurse his boat back to the UK. Working on shoestring he repaired the boat and last Thursday quietly slipped his dock lines in Plymouth and set out to complete his Jester challenge.

His blog at worldwidewaites.blogspot.com tells the whole story,  from choosing the right boat, to the refurb and the repairs, there is also a tracking link in the blog share.findmespot.com   

He pings that twice a day so his friends can see he is OK.

He was awarded the Contessa 26 Association seamanship prize last year for his expolits and his story has been covered on the Association site and in its newsletter at www.contessa26.net -- Paul Wells

* Editor: As of July 3 Guy was halfway to the States. One wonders if he'll see any of the Transatlantic Race fleet headed the other way.

Dragon European Championship Has Been Opened
Photo by www.segel-bilder.de. Click on image for photo gallery.

Dragon European Championship Thomas Mueller is the winner of the BMW Champions Race, which was the starting event of the European Championship. The current European Champion Markus Wieser had a tight battle with Anatoly Loginov, ranked No. 1 worldwide from Russia. 15 – 18 Kts. from the northwest which saw shifts up to 30° which is common for an oscillating wind – the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, led by the head of the race committee and sports director Klaus Lahme and his team, could organize an exciting race on the water putting the windward mark close to the shore for the spectators to see. This kept both sailors and the public interested.

Then came the CHILDHOOD Race in which 62 dragons crossed the starting line in similar conditions. The CHILDHOOD Race traditionally marks the start of this sailing event. The World CHILDHOOD Foundation, founded by her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, is charity partner of the dragon class. Dozens of companies, including automobile partner BMW pledged their support for CHILDHOOD on colourful spinnakers.

The winner was RUS 90 – Igor Goihkberg who made the most of the ever shifting conditions and course changes. Igors tactician made some fantastic decisions which resulted in the first place. In second place was RUS 27 – Anatoly Loginov showing once again why he is the number one ranked Dragon sailor in the world. Taking the last podium spot was RUS – 98 Mikhail Muratov who was delighted to finish in third place due to a few OCS boats probably due to the fact this was only a practice race. During the opening ceremony representatives of 15 nations were given models of a dragon depicting their national flags.

The first race for the title of the European Champion will start on Monday, July 4, 12.00 hrs.

www.dragon-grand-prix.de

The 46th on the 4th
At the ready:  A few Transpac racers are playing catchup today at the US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar at Shoreline Yacht Club, while around Rainbow Harbor the other crews of 53 entries in the 46th Transpacific Yacht Race are preparing their boats in various levels of stress.  In a few cases, gear is still being installed; in other cases it's about getting a last load of laundry washed.

The first start goes off tomorrow, ready or not. Eight cruisers in the Aloha Division. Ten racers 32-feet to 43-feet in Division 6. One catamaran, Santiago Becerra's 57-foot Esperitu Santi. The boat looks quick and possibly should be in the July 8 start, but this is what the man wanted, and this is what he gets. "We won't be the first boat to Honolulu," Becerra said. "We'll be dragging four lines, and the marlin will slow us down."

The Skippers' Meeting in the Long Beach Aquarium brought skippers and navigators up to speed on the latest developments, including meteorologist Lee Chesneau's upbeat assessment of a favorable weather pattern developing in the Eastern Pacific. Compared to the outlook a week ago, it was happy news. (Very happy news.)  Chesneau said something about winds to 20 knots out on the ocean, coming down the coast and bending toward the islands.

After Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Bill Lee and PRO Dave Cort dismissed the Skippers' Meeting, all repaired to Gladstone's for what was surely the best Transpac sendoff party in 46 tries. It kicked off with Mayor Bob Foster's Reception in a private room.

Oracle Racing's Tom Ehman (the hardest working man in America's Cup show business) came down from San Francisco to spread a little America's Cup religion in the spot that has the best seabreeze in Southern California. Say, John Sangmeister, AC veteran, do you think Long Beach would make a dandy spot for AC45s on the World Series Tour?  

Just a thought... -- Kimball Livingston

www.transpacrace.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 Elan 37. EUR 152,500. Located in Malta.

With a beautiful Grey hull, this Elan 37 Performance has been spared no expense by present owner to bring her up to present condition with all the 'go faster' kit, upgraded pulleys and a superb sail wardrobe for the owners cruising pleasure. Lightweight bulkheads, and an unending list of modifications complements this superbly equipped fast cruiser.

With beautiful teak wood furnishings, complemented with blue upholstery, this Elan 37 is truly a must see boat. Opening Lewmar side windows give a light and airy feel to the saloon and with large bathroom with pressurised hot and cold water and shower.

Also included on this Elan 37 are Electric bilge pump; teak gratings; Wet weather gear storage; Folding racing propeller; 3 batteries with split isolaters and charging 220v circuit; shore power and battery charger; Electric anchor winch 700 watt lofrans.

Brokerage through Think Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/thinkyachts/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
I have no interest in sailing around the world. Not that there is any lack of requests for me to do so. -- Edward Heath

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