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Berntsson and Marinho Seize Early Advantage
Marstrand, Sweden: Swedish skipper Johnie Berntsson kicked off scoring at the Stena Match Cup Sweden with two wins on his home turf. Tour Card Holder Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team finished day one of the Stena Match Cup Sweden at the head of the leaderboard alongside Portuguese wildcard Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team after a short first Qualifying Session.

Berntsson shrugged off the poor form he has shown on the opening days of the previous World Match Racing Tour events this season with a win over Danish rival Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) Team Viltoft in the first of two flights raced today on the waters of Marstrand Fjord. In a recreation of his epic win in the Quarter Finals of the Portimao Portugal Match Cup Berntsson dispatched Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat in his second match of the day.

Marinho opened his scorecard with a win over Swedish skipper Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team but it was in his second match where he really excelled, taking down last year's Tour star Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team. Marinho led off the start line and defended the right side of the course, rounding the first mark just ahead of Richard. However the Frenchman wasn't going to let Marinho slip away easily, reducing the gap to a few metres as the pair started the second upwind leg.

As the pair traded blows up the right hand side of the course Richard appeared to get the upper hand forcing Marinho to take left thanks to a great lee bow manoeuvre, but Marinho managed to cling on to his lead to start the final run to the finish line with the slightest of margins. Despite his best efforts Richard couldn't pass the Portuguese skipper, who snuck over the finish line first to take the win.

The second Qualifying Session, kicking off tomorrow at 0900 local time (GMT+2), will see more Tour Card Holders including Tour leader Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing and Portimao Portugal Match Cup winner Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar hit the water for their opening matches. For a preview of tomorrow's action don't miss The Morning Show with Hannah White at http://www.wmrt.com. Live streaming of all the action will take place (weather permitting) between 1400 and 1600 followed by The Today Show at 2030.

Results after the first Qualifying Session:

Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-0
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 2-0
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 1-0
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) Team Viltoft 1-1
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 1-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 1-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing 0-0
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 0-0
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 0-0
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 0-0
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 0-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 0-1
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 0-1
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 0-2

2011 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings (After Stage 4):

1 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing - 81pts
2 Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing - 58pts
3 Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar - 46pts
4 Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 45pts
5 Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat - 45pts
6 Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 43pts
7 Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners - 40pts
8 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team - 35pts
9 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing - 31pts
10 Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team - 30pts

www.wmrt.com

Locked And Loaded
Photo of mar mostro by Billy Black, www.billyblack.com. Click on image for event gallery.

Transatlantic Race Newport, R.I. USA: In the last 24 hours, the arrival of big breeze and sea state for the fleet in the Transatlantic Race 2011 has seen boat speeds whipped into near record-breaking pace.  Rambler 100 has just recorded a 12-hour run of 288.8 nautical miles, and, with the breeze building, a new world record is a definite possibility.  By comparison, the standing 24-hour monohull world record was set by the Volvo 70, Ericsson 4, at 596.6 nautical miles in October of 2008.

"Some awesome sailing out here," said Peter Isler (San Diego, Calif.), navigator for Rambler 100.  "Down below its like riding in a subway car, hurtling along at full speed.  Up on deck it's like being on ... well, one of the world's fastest monohulls in big breeze just sending it.  No more smooth seas, no more cruise-y ride, it's all on now and the boys (and girl) on Rambler 100 are loving it.  It is very wet everywhere... especially on deck where visibility is only a few dozen yards in fog."

The second boat on the water in IRC Class One is PUMA's mar mostro, this is the first time the latest version of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht has raced and the 'sea monster' is an absolute flier, having recorded a boat speed of 28 knots today.

"Right now, we are doing 25 knots," said Ken Read (Newport, R.I.) by satellite phone. "We are really delighted with the boat's performance and a lot of credit should go to the shore crew who has done as good a job as the sailing team.  While we have literally been heading straight for England since we left Nantucket Shoals, there is an area of light winds up ahead.  But right now, we are sailing really fast and enjoying the ride."

In the Open Class, Phaedo, the Gunboat 66, has enjoyed the best of the duel with Maltese Falcon thus far and are still some miles ahead.  However, the rising seas and extra breeze is propelling the 298' Perini Navi at some pace and they are most definitely closing the gap.

In IRC Two, the yachts are also showing some ballistic pace.  Jazz, skippered by Nigel King (Lymington, U.K.), is still the class leader on the water.  However, Varuna, driven by Jens Kellinghusen (Hamburg, Germany), is now only 19 miles astern and probably leading the class after time correction.

To follow the race via tracker and get real insight into life on board via the blogs, visit www.transatlanticrace.com

Team Korea Celebrates Entry to the America's Cup
Seoul, Republic of Korea: The two greatest trophies in sailing were together on an extraordinary day in the history of the America's Cup competition, as Team Korea, known locally as the White Tiger Challenge, celebrated its entry with a press briefing at the Seoul Marina on the Han River in Seoul.

This was the first time that the Americas Cup trophy, the oldest trophy in international sports at 160 years old, had ever touched down on Korean soil, and it was similarly the first time that the magnificent Louis Vuitton Cup, first contested in 1983, had been to the country, presenting a rare and unique photo opportunity with the two together.

Today Team Korea finally revealed their skipper and helmsman, a young man who has been one of the dominant forces in the light and fast 49'er dinghies over the past decade, Britain's Chris Draper.

Having focused mainly on the fast and light 49er 'skiff' type dinghy in his career, the 33 year old, married with a young child is a two time world champion in the class, multiple vice-world champion, two time European champion, and an Olympic bronze medallist. He's sailed many different types of yachts and races in between his Olympic campaigns including time with Britain's America's Cup team, and in 2008 switched to the Extreme Sailing Series where he initially finished fourth, then in 2009 was crowned World Champion with the Oman Sail Team.

Fondly known as the 'White Tiger Challenge', or 'Baek-Ho' in Korean, the team's new livery for the AC45 catamaran, due to be launched in Portugal shortly, was also revealed for the first time. A dramatic tiger stripe design starts on the bows and fades to black where the Korean National flag, the 'Taegukki' is proudly displayed, and the yacht is finished with the round 'Taggu' filling the 'O' of Team Korea on the wing itself. Completing the design, a pair of stunning blue, 'Eyes of the Tiger' will be on the gennaker.

Mr Kim, the team's CE aUS "We know we have a lot to learn about the competition, but we have drawn together a very experienced and successful crew of international sailors, who should quickly be competitive on the race track, though we want to also introduce home grown talent as we progress too. We begin a period of training in Portugal next week, and then we're looking towards that first, historic race on August 6, when Team Korea crosses the start line in an America's Cup World Series event for the very first time.."

www.americascup.com

Seahorse August 2011
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Design - Four out of six
Rolf Vrolijk explains why he decided that the time was right to introduce some more variety into the TP52 design solution for this year's boats

Seahorse build table - So far so (very) good
Michael Appli is delighted with the initial pace of his prototype DSS sportsboat

ORC column
Maurizio Cossutti thinks that fast boats are go - and not just in IRC

Editorial
Andrew Hurst

Sailor of the Month
Time for some international recognition...

www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs

Round Gotland Race Moves To Stockholm and Changes Name to AF Offshore Race
Photo by Oskar Kihlborg, www.kihlborg.se. Click on image for photo gallery.

AF Offshore Round Gotland AF Offshore Race contains three races; the traditional one where most of the participantes starts in Sandhamn, the race for Classic Yachts and the new race, Coastal.

The perpose with the Costal Race is to attract sailors that do not own a big boat or have previous experience with offshore racing. The course is close to shore and the best part is that the participants in the Coastal Race are a part of the festivities in Stockholm!

The start for course Charlie and the Classic Yachts is situated in Stockholm. They will race through the archipelago, make a short stop in Sandhamn and then restart in the evening to race round Gotland. The Notice of Race will tell you which boats will sail course Charlie.

There will be two Race Offices, one in Stockholm and one in Sandhamn. The Race Office in Stockholm will be at Galarvarvet. The boats that starts in Stockholm can also do thier Safety Inspection at Galarvarvet.

For those who want a bigger challenge there's the possibility to race Double Handed in the SRS Class. If you have both ORC and IRC Certificates you can use the opportuinty to race in both classes, using Double Scoring.

* So here we are in Stockholm less than 2 hours before the start of the AF Offshore Race 2011 otherwise known as the Gotland Runt race. This race is around 400 miles. The first leg will be between Stockholm and Sandhamn, one of the furthest island in the Stockholm archipelago. Ran II is moored just by the Wasa museum in the harbour of city, ready to go. We have 18 people on board. We have 2 guests on-board who will join us for the first leg only. This spot was auctioned on Monday night during an evening focused on supporting the work to save the Baltic sea - one of the dying seas in the world. The money of this prize is going directly to the Coalition Clean Baltic (ccb.se) an organisation which aims to promote the protection and the improvement of the Baltic sea environment and natural resources. We welcome our guests on-board! -- from RAN Ocean Racing, blog.ranracing.com/gotland-runt-af-offshore-race-2011

Event site: www.ksss.se/en

Tricky Wind Conditions Continue in Helsinki
Weather continued to cause problems at the Open Europeans on Wednesday. The sailors had to wait for the first start of the day almost an hour in very calm wind conditions.

The gold and silver fleets in the Laser Radials didn't have as much waiting to do as the others. The class is lead by Belgium's Evi Van Acker, although she didn't have her best day. She finished 37th in the first start and 12th in the second.

Second in the Laser Radials is China's Olympic bronze medallist Lijia Xu. Tina Mihelic of Croatia is currently third, with just one day of sailing to go before the medal race.

In Laser Standards it was even more difficult. The sailors started their second race twice, but both of them had to be stopped because the wind died completely. In the end they could only finish the first fleets.

After seven races, Croatia's Tonc Stipanovic is in the lead before Poland's Jonas Stelmaszyk and Austria's Andreas Geritzer.

In Star class the excitement builds up before the final day. Fernando Echavarri and Fernando Rodriguez Rivero of Spain squeezed their way past Emilios Papathanasiou and Alexandros Dragoutsis of Greece. Only one point separates the two.

Japan's Kunio Suzuki and Daichi Wada are third, 11 points behind the Greek team. The medal race will be held on Thursday starting at 12 o'clock.

Tracking and complete results at www.openeuropeans2011.com

Transpac Leaders Can Smell The Breeze
Transpac leaders are beginning to smell the ocean breeze they crave as they clear the inner coastal waters for the open Pacific. The 1D35 owned by Alex Farrell, Alpha Puppy, continues as the handicap leader of Racing Division 6 today, which is always energizing for the crew even though they know very well it is too early in the game for the standings to matter.

The fickle winds of the first night have given way to steadier breezes, especially for the fleet leaders who favored the north side of the track and focused from the get-go on making distance west. Along with Alpha Puppy that would be Harry Zanville's SC37, Celerity, the boat farthest-north, and Charles Browning's J/130, BeBe.

Larry Malmberg's Catalina 38, Hassle, has a grip for the moment on the handicap lead in the Aloha Class. Elsewhere among the eight boats in this race-division-for-cruisers, we get a glimpse of the first-night blues from this follow-up report by Michael Lawler, who used the 2007 race as the first leg of a circumnavigation aboard Traveler, his North Wind 47. Now he's back for another go, at the race, not another circumnavigation. Lawler's report: "At midnight on a moonless night we got stuck in the mother of all kelp paddies. It took an hour to get free, and early the next morning, Ric Sanders had to dive in, with a filet knife in his teeth, to cut kelp from the prop shaft. This was not good, but now we have a half-decent excuse for being in 5th place (out of 8 boats in our class.) Lots of dolphins on our bow, and they swam with us playfully for a half hour or so. For centuries sailors have claimed this as a sign of good luck. We need it."

Today's best reported 24-hour run was the 105 miles made by Crash, Jeff Braugh's Aerodyne 43. That's hardly fast for this race, but the numbers should improve beginning today as the fleet advances into the synoptic breeze blowing from the northwest, down the California coastline. Historically, distance south is desirable in this 2,225-mile classic race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. In 2011, however, the two boats that made an early effort to "take a bite" out of the south side of the track have fared badly. Wind Dancer (some 55 miles south of Celerity) and Second Chance may look good soon, if and only if they also get the new breeze quickly. The daily leaders to the north are going to have to come back south, to the rhumb line, at some stage, and that's why they call this a navigator's race. -- Kimball Livingston

www.transpacrace.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

Fair Winds in the 3rd Day of the Championship
Click on image to enlarge.

IODA European Championship The third day of the IODA European Championship 2011 was marked by 3 defying regattas.

The 225 international sailors were welcomed with fair winds, the day started with SW (225º) with intensity between 10 to 12 knots, increasing over the afternoon to 17 knots, allowing the achievement of the 5th, 6th and 7th regattas.

The male leadership is dominated by the irish boy Peter Mc Cain and in the girls group the highlight goes to the czech Nikol Stankova.

After seven races, in the top ranking are:

Boys Group:
1st Peter Mc Cain- Ireland
2nd Luís Cabrera - Spain
3rd Nikolaos Patelis - Greece

Girls Group:

1st Nikol Stankova - Czech Republic
2nd Francesca Bergamo - Italy
3rd Maria Caba - Spain

Complete results at www.tavirasailing.org

American Glenn Darden Leading J/80 Worlds
Copenhagen, Denmark: Sixty-eight J/80s have descended upon the quaint little seaside village called Dragor, a beautiful town just north of Copenhagen along the seaside of the Baltic Sea. The competition is hot and with multiple World Champions competing, the Royal Danish YC's RC/PRO teams are doing a good job of keeping the competitive fleet in check, having conducted three races on the first day.

Currently, the American team on LE TIGRE, skippered by Glenn Darden from the Fort Worth Boat Club in Ft Worth, Texas is winning by just three points with a 2-5-5, demonstrating that lessons learned from previous Worlds and his successful Key West Race Week wins are currently giving his LE TIGRE team an edge in the light to medium winds on the Baltic.

Showing surprising speeds and cunning tactics is the German team from Kieler YC, Martin Menzner sailed to a 6-1-8 to be in second with 15 pts. Also showing excellent speed were the two French boats, Jean Charles Moriceau in third with a 9-13-1 for 23 pts and Malte Christopherson with a 16-2-7 for 25 pts. Fifth is the first of the formidable Spanish teams, past World Champion Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL ENGINEERING, starting strong in the first two races with a 1-4 but getting a 21st in the third race for a total of 26 pts (Ignacio hopes to score well going forward to toss the 21st!).

Top British sailors are Tom Phipps, the young, fast crew on HAMBLE YACHT SERVICES sailing to a 14-10-24 tally for 48 pts. Past J/24 Italian Champion  Dr Aldo Samele from Milano is sailing a new CANARINO FEROCE and is top Italian boat in 11th with a 7-8-38 record for 53 pts. Top Russian team fresh from having sailed in the Russian Nationals in the Canary Islands last fall is Vitaliy Tarakanov, sailing to a 19-16-29 for 64 pts.

Two teams that qualified the most for the riding the biggest roller-coasters of the day were current French J/80 Champion Eric Brezellec sailing to an OCS-6-3 record for 77 pts and past J/80 World Champion Rayco Tabares from the Canary Islands sailing his famous HOTEL GRAND CANARIAS to a 4-9-51 for 64 pts. Watch out for both these teams as they've demonstrated they can climb the ladder very quickly and given that there are at least 6 to 9 more races to sail, both teams could easily factor into the top five overall.

worlds.kdy.dk/index.php4

Warnemunde: Franziska Goltz Wins Laser Europa Cup
Altogether, 226 Laser athletes from 24 nations gathered together on the Mittelmole and competed with each other in the battle for the Europa Cup in the categories Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7.

The Frenchman Mattis Naud hold his ground after six races and finished as number one in the Laser Standards, followed by Ki-Raphael Sulkowski from Australia and Jack Wetherell from Great Britain on positions two and three. Local heroine Franziska Goltz was able to reinforce her Olympic top form by winning the all-female ranking list of the Olympic Laser Radial class after four races and is eager to prove that in the PRE Olympic Games in Weymouth at the beginning of August. In the overall ranking she only had to admit defeat by one point to Marcin Rudawski from Poland. Due to the calm, there were no races today, so the double victory of the Russians Dmitry Tretyakov and Alexander Shelting on rank one and two in the newcomer class Laser 4.7 was already confirmed yesterday after five races. Jakub Roslon from Poland took the third place on the victory podium during the award ceremony.

The Rund Bornholmer participants suffer from the wind conditions on day one after their start, too: Only 22 hours after the beginning of the long distance regatta, the "T-Systems" with Martin Buck had the buoy Hammerode offshore Bornholm abeam. "After a few hours after the start the field got into an extensive calm offshore Darsser Ort", Uwe Wenzel of the Racing Committee, explains. Four of the 55 crews gave up during the day and had to sail back home. Due to the current wind conditions, the firts yachts are to be expected back on Wednesday.

www.warnemuender-woche.com

Cohen Crew Relishing Hunt for Sonar Glory at IFDS Worlds
Photo by Paul Wyeth/RYA. Click on image to enlarge.

IFDS Worlds Athens 2004 Sonar champion skipper Dror Cohen (ISR) insists he is ready for a fight to the title as he moved within two points of French rival Bruno Jourdren's first-placed crew on day four of the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships (Wednesday 6 July).

Cohen, Benni Vexler and Arnon Efrati revelled in the stronger winds that blasted around Portland Harbour today, picking up a second and third for their two races as Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary scored a fourth and fifth leaving everything to play for with two days and three races to go.

Skandia Team GBR's John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas are still in contention for the top prize, five points in arrears of the Frenchmen, despite a gybing error in race eight leaving them with a ripped mainsail, and finishing that race in ninth.

Breezes over 20 knots provided the 155 sailors competing at the RYA-run event at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this week with a completely different challenge to the first three days of racing.

With the wind now forecast to remain for the rest of the week, Cohen is looking forward to some close to the knuckle racing.

Defending World champion Thierry Schmitter (NED) continued his march to his third consecutive crown with a first and second today, increasing his lead to 17 points over Britain's Helena Lucas. A good day for Schmitter's Dutch teammate Andre Rademaker saw him move into the medal places, as a race eight disqualification for Britain's Megan Pascoe saw her drop to fourth.

Athens 2004 2.4mR champion, and Beijing 2008 silver medallist, Damien Seguin (FRA) also enjoyed his best day of the regatta to threaten the medal spots.

Skandia Team GBR's SKUD duo Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell are also on course to complete a hat-trick of World titles, edging six points ahead of Antipodean rivals Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) courtesy of a 3, 1 today.

www.ifdsworlds2011.com 

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. -- Richard Feynman

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