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Audi Medcup Region of Sardinia Trophy
Photo by Studio Borlenghi / S.Gattini-G.Trombetta. Click on image for photo gallery.

Finishing second at two Trophy Regattas last year, in Cascais and on these same waters off the Sardinian capital, Jochen Schuemann and Sebastien Col and the international crew of Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE won their first ever Audi MedCup Circuit regatta today Sunday with a comfortable nine points margin over the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team who also completed their best overall finish of this 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit season so far.

If Red and Blue were the dominant primary colours in the 52 Series, there was simply no stopping the green Iberdrola Sailing Team in the 40 Series.

Jose Maria Torcida (ESP) and his Spanish crew reigned supreme with five race wins from seven starts at the Soto 40's first regatta in Italy. In truth Iberdrola Sailing Team were ahead at the finish more times than not, but they were made to fight by all three other teams at different times. Iberdrola Sailing Team win their third successive regatta title.

The Franco-German alliance win the 52 Series' Region of Sardinia Trophy and put behind them a catalogue of weak early season finishes by composing a scoreline which included a telling victory in Saturday's high points value 25 miles coastal race and two race wins from this maximum nine race complement which was sailed on the Gulf of Cagliari.

Just as they got the best yet from their very powerful Vrolijk design which the crew have struggled to find the best gears for across the wind ranges, so also did Vasco Vascotto (ITA), Francesco Bruni (ITA) and the team which sail for Sardinia's Yacht Club Costa Smerelda.

The Audi backed 1-2 here, by the twins which were built on different sides of the world, Audi ALL4ONE in Australia and Audi Azzura in Valencia, highlighted not just a turnround of fortunes for the two teams which have struggled for consistency, but how open the Audi MedCup Circuit is this season.

Three different crews have now won successive 52 Series Trophy Regattas but Cascais Trophy winners Quantum Racing (USA) finished fifth overall here, one place behind the Marseille Trophy winners Container (GER), while Jose Cusí's Bribon (ESP) team secured their first podium finish of the season by taking third.

Region of Sardinia Trophy 52 Series
Final results after nine races:
1. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One, GER/FR, 26.5 points
2. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, ITA, 35.5
3. Bribon, ESP, 37
4. Container, GER, 38
5. Quantum Racing, USA, 42
6. RAN, SWE, 43.5
7. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, RUS, 44.5
8. Gladiator, GBR, 85.5

40 Series Final results after 7 races:
1. Iberdrola Team, ESP, 9 points
2. Noticia IV, ESP, 15
3. Ngoni, GBR, 22
4. XXII Sardegna, IT, 24
5. Patagonia, ARG, 42

2011 Audi MedCup Circuit 52 Series Standings after 3 events
1. Quantum Racing, USA, 91
2. Container, GER, 31.5, 98
3. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, ITA, 105
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, RUS, 121
5. Bribon, ESP, 122.5
5. Ran, SWE, 125.5
7. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One, GER/FR,128
8. Gladiator, GBR, 218
Owner Driver Trophy
Niklas Zenstrom, SWE, RAN, SWE

40 Series Classification after 3 events
1. Iberdrola Team, ESP, 36 points
2. Noticia IV, ESP, 62
3. XXII, ESP, 73
4. Ngoni, GBR, 81
5. Patagonia by Negra, ARG, 87

Venezia Challenge No Longer a Valid America's Cup Competitor
San Francisco, California, USA: Venezia Challenge has defaulted on the requirements to be a competitor in both the America's Cup World Series and the 34th America's Cup.

Iain Murray, the America's Cup Regatta Director and Chief Executive of America's Cup Management Limited advised, "Following discussions and attempts to resolve in a timely way, there was an agreement to meet certain obligations by this weekend and the deadline passed."

The Italian challenger has advised that it was unable to meet required commitments within an agreed deadline.

Accordingly, the Golden Gate Yacht Club has notified Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria, which is represented by Venezia Challenge, that the Italian Challenger has been excused from further participation.

"Venezia Challenge failed to fulfil its commitments to remain eligible to continue in the 34th America's Cup," said Tom Ehman, Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship
Click on image to enlarge.

Colette Blair on Matilda beat 14 other teams to win the Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship 2011 title. Second place went to Solo Ocean Racer Pippa Hare on Elaine (Elan 37) and third place was Jody Sanders on the J/80

Over one hundred women from all over the UK took part in the event, which was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble and supported by Title Sponsor Dubarry. Dubarry have been a supporting the event as race sponsor since the start in 2008 but this is their first year as title sponsor.

Six races over two days were spilt into two classes - IRC and J80. Racing in the Solent was challenging with light winds on Saturday. Principal Race Officer Peter Bateson made the most of the Solent seeking out the best spots and a series of courses were set accommodating the range of boats participating, creating some exciting mark rounding's as the fleet mixed with the Farr 45 Class, who were also racing with the RSrnYC. Sunday saw similar conditions until the wind filled in during the second race providing gusts of up to 20 knots, testing conditions for even the experienced racers.

The IRC Class consisted of 9 entrants ranging from a Hunter 707 to a Mat 1010. Results were as follows: first Colette Blair on Matilda, second Pippa Hare on Elaine and third Louise Makin on Journeymaker 5.

The J/80 Class with a fleet of 6 had a number of close and competitive races with first in fleet going to Jody Sanders on closely followed by Kirsty Skinner on J2X Gul in second and Sarah Allan on Juicy in third.

All proceeds raised over the weekend will be passed on to the event charity Breast Cancer Care.

Strawberry Marketing Releases Essential Solent And Iow Hazard Avoidance Aid, Free To View Online
Click on image to enlarge.

Strawberry Marketing has launched Solent Shallows, an innovative new tool that offers yachtsmen detailed photographs of the hazards around The Solent and The Isle of Wight. This large collection of aerial shots, taken at spring low tide and labelled to show precise locations, provides the knowledge required to avoid rocks and other underwater dangers. Solent Shallows offers a great visual reference to existing charts and a better understanding of the hazards themselves. Regularly updated to keep abreast of sandbank development, this free website is essential for anybody competing in Cowes Week or Solent events.

A CD of high-resolution images is also available online at a cost of just £7.50 including VAT and UK postage

For more information and pictures please visit

Team Telefonica Announced Completed Crew
Lanzarote, Spain: Team Telefonica has officially unveiled her completed crew today with the announcement of two Under-30 crew members. They are Spaniard Antonio Cuervas-Mons and Australian Zane Gills and they will be the Telefonica bowmen.

Antonio Cuervas-Mons (Santander, 12/22/1981) is making a return to the Spanish team in what will be his second round the world regatta following their 2008-2009 debut.

As he did in the previous edition, the Spaniard will be carrying out the role of bowman, a role "Neti" knows very well indeed, which requires incredible physical strength and agility.

Originally from the Australian island of Tasmania, this will be Zane Gills' (3/3/1983) first Volvo Ocean Race. It's a challenge he is taking on "with a lot of enthusiasm and focus, and a bit of excitement, but I am basically trying to focus a lot on just doing the best that we can and hopefully winning the race."

At 28 years old, his experience on big boats spans across regattas such as the Sydney-Hobart, which he has raced four times, the Middle Sea Race and the Fastnet Race, which he competed in on three occasions, breaking the regatta's monohull record onboard the Maxi "ICAP Leopard" in 2007.

"Telefonica" continues the second phase of training at the Canary island of Lanzarote, where the team arrived on May 20th and will remain until approximately the beginning of August.

Crew on "Telefonica":
Iker Martínez (ESP), skipper.
Andrew Cape (AUS), navigator.
Neal McDonald (GBR), watch captain.
Joao Signorini "Joca" (BRA), watch captain.
Jordi Calafat (ESP), helmsman & sail coordinator.
Xabi Fernandez (ESP), trimmer.
Pepe Ribes (ESP), boat captain.
Pablo Arrarte (ESP), helmsman.
Antonio Cuervas-Mons "Neti" (ESP), bowman.
Zane Gills (AUS), bowman.
Diego Fructuoso (ESP), media crew member.

Running the Rhumblines
Damien Suckling steered the Scott Jutson designed Another Fiasco to a 27 second corrected handicap win to keep his prospects of winning the Whitsunday Sailing Club Doyle Sails Trophy alive on Pioneer Bay last week.

The Another Fiasco crew better known for their Performance handicap win in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart race are generally more suited to racing on the longer offshore courses. However they combined cleverly to become the star performer in the variable 9-12 easterly breeze to press their major rival the Charles Wallis helmed Reignition into a matched race to decide the line honours.

Both crews were so evenly matched that the first to finish award hung in the balance before the hard pressed Reignition combination claimed a narrow 5 second win.

This minor 5 second margin proved to be the difference which prevented the Another Fiasco crew from winning a rare line and handicap double as they enter into the final weeks of club point score racing before lining up for the opening race 2011 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week on August 12.

Based on this result where the Another Fiasco crew answered the challenge to outpace the lower handicapped Treasure V111 (Harold Menelaus) and Bobby D (Ross Winterbourne) confirmed that skipper Damien Suckling has hit form at the right time.

The result from their nip-n-tuck style match race against the Reignition crew was full of merit in a breeze which was soft and spiced with tricky changes in velocity and direction.

It also provided a boost in confidence to both skipper and crew who have high hope of securing a major place when the battle line is drawn to decide the Pacific Pontoon and Pier title series over the more open Whitsunday Passage waters next month.

But meanwhile the Another Fiasco crew while maintaining a healthy respect for the tactical skills and boat speed of their rival crews on Reignition and the Terry Archer skippered AC40 Questionable Logic have not placed their Bundy Rum bets on the Race Week results.

Sure they were happy with the result but will need to repeat similar consistent sailing against a very competitive fleet to feature in what promises to be an exciting test of their tactical character when the sails are tensioned for the prestigious prize of winning the 2011 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week Performance Handicap trophy. -- Ian Grant

Swedes Prevail in 470 Tug Of War
It was a tense morning waiting to see if there would be any racing for day three of the Delta Lloyd Junior 470 World Championships in Medemblik, Holland. The 92 teams from 26 nations had already been through two hard days of qualifying and today was meant to mark the end of the qualification phase, but after waiting until 1400 hours the Race Committee decided to cancel all races for the day.

With the wind up and the visibility down, the sailors were relieved not to have to race. Defending girls world champion, Josephine Bach from Germany, said, "We are happy that we don't have to sail today as we expect the wind to drop during the next days and we are faster in light winds."

For some it was an opportunity to catch up on boat work and repairs, with a number of crews having suffered from broken masts and torn sails over the previous two windy days of competition.

With the lack of racing, other sailors vented their competitive spirit on an international game of 'Tug of War', with four-person teams from Hungary, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and two from the host nation, the Netherlands.

After the knock-out phase, Poland took bronze, Hungary silver and Sweden gold, the team made up of Per Frykholm, Tom Diedrichs, Wilhelm Johannisson and Nicklas Dackhammar. Dackhammar is also lying in second overall in the Championship behind Britain's Phil Sparks and David Kohler.

Local Dutch girls Nina Keijzer and Anneloes van Veen hold the lead in the Women's division. Tomorrow the strong wind and the driving rain are set to disappear, and instead the fleet is looking forward to clearer skies and moderate westerly winds. The race committee plans to extend the qualification phase of the regatta, with a schedule of two races for the Men's/Mixed division and three races for the Women.

Racing continues until 28 July 2011.

Dubarry Storm - Style Over Fashion
Fashion's a funny thing. Everyone likes to make a statement but what does a jacket with spandex epaulettes, chainmail pockets and a dog motif say about you that you wouldn't mind being repeated? What if there was a jacket that did the basics well, a jacket that looks good and keeps you warm in the cold and dry in the rain? Meet the Dubarry Storm, featuring a waterproof shell and an inner storm flap to keep the weather out, and a polarfleece lining and a chin guard to keep you warm. Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

Americans Win 29er Europeans
Left Andrew Cates, right Zack Downing. Photo by Robert Hajduk. Click on image for photo gallery.

Locarno, Switzerland: The wind cooperated today on Lake Maggiore with two races sailed to determine the European Champions for 2011. The conditions ranged from very light to bigger breezes at the end of the day hitting 25 knots at times. As a true test of a champion, the best sailors became the winners.

Americans Zack Downing and Andrew Cates continued to sail consistently and secured the championship despite being non-Europeans. Downing and Cates were also the top youth team of the 155 competitors. The top female team was Lin Ea Cenholt Christiansen and Stine Quorning (DEN) with the top European team ISAF Youth World gold medallists Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel (ESP). Australians James Sly and Tom Dwyer finished in second place.

Max Deckers and Annette Duetz (NED) won the silver fleet with Moritz von Werdt and Martin Hofmann of Switzerland atop the bronze. Emerald fleet winners were Sophie and Joris Waller (NED).

For full results:

OK Dinghy Worlds
Photo by Neil Goodhead. Click on image for photo gallery.

Sixty-six sailors from three continents have converged on Largs Sailing Club on the west coast of Scotland to participate in the 49th 'Scotty Brand' World Championship.

The practice race was scheduled to commence at 1400, but a flat sea and limp flags was the view from the balcony of Largs Sailing Club at 1300. However the wind was filling in at the race area north of Cumbrae Island and fifty-five competitors launched in anticipation of some good racing in the building breeze and glorious sunshine. A general recall was the outcome of the first start, but in minutes the race was restarted with all away and favouring the port side of the course.

First to the windward mark was Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) took the bullet, Wilcox was a clear 2nd as this time the port side of the course paid and Von Zimmerman was 3rd. Gaj had a good last beat to finish 4th and Craig 5th.

Hansson-Mild also won the Sven Lehn Memorial Saver for the practice race last year in the Wellington, New Zealand World Championships, sharing none of the superstitions that some sailors hold for winning the practice race. -- Mary Reddyhoff

* In the final OK Dinghy World Rankings release before next week's World Championship in Largs, Scotland, current world champion Karl Purdie (NZL) retains the number one spot from former world champion Greg Wilcox (NZL).

Terry Curtis (GBR) moves up one place to third while some recent good results have boosted another former world champion Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) to fourth. Triple world champion Nick Craig (GBR) drops to fifth.

This release includes the Medemblik Spring Cup, which was won by Wilcox with Craig in second, the German Nationals, won by Finn star Andre Budzien (GER) with Wilcox in second, the Nordic Championship, won by Stefan Myrälf (DEN) with Wilcox in second, Kiel Week, which was won by Wilcox with Craig again in second, and Warnemünde Week won by Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) with Wilcox in second.

Only 11 out of the top 20 in the rankings will be sailing in next week's World Championship in Largs, so there are sure to be plenty of changes for the next release later this year. This is also the last release that Karl Purdie will occupy the number one spot, after skipping the defence of his title this year. -- Robert Deaves

Top 10
1. Karl Purdie, NZL
2. Greg Wilcox, NZL
3. Terry Curtis, GBR
4. Thomas Hansson-Mild, SWE
5. Nick Crai,g GBR
6. Paul Rhodes, NZL
7. Ben Morrison, NZL
8. Andre Blasse, AUS
9. Brad Douglas, NZL
10. Luke O'Connell, NZL

Laser Standard Rig Junior World Championship
La Rochelle, France: Australian James Burman has finished second overall in the Laser Radial senior world championship while Ki-Raphael Sulkowski has placed fourth and Luke Elliott sixth in the Laser Standard Rig world junior championship, both events sailed off La Rochelle, France.

The two championships ended overnight after 130 competitors contested the Laser Radials and 147 the Laser Standard Rig junior worlds.

The Laser junior title saw an outstanding achievement by New Zealander Sam Meech, who won eight heats and finished second in three heats, his two drop races being a 2nd and a 5th in the final heat for the Gold fleet. Two British sailors took second and third.

West Australian Sulkowski missed out on third place overall by just two points, with a 2nd and 5th on the final day. Fellow WA sailor Elliott finished the regatta with a 30th and a 4th place to move up to sixth overall in the final standings.

Australia finished with three sailors in the top 11 of the Laser Radial senior world championship. In addition to Burman finishing runner-up to the Polish champion Marcini Rudawski, Michael Kennedy finished seventh overall and Jeremy O'Connell 11th overall in the Gold fleet. -- Peter Campbell

Final top five results for the Radial Men World and European Championships:
1. Rudawski Marcin, POL; World and European Champion
2. Burman James, AUS
3. Hummel Yuri, NED
4. Brown Tristan, AUS
5. Permodo Juan Carlos, PUR

Final top five results for the Standard Youth World and European Championships:
1. Meech Sam, NZL; World Champion
2. Mills-Barton Alex, GBR; European Champion
3. Evans Martin, GBR
4. Sulkowski Ki-Raphael, AUS
5. Marrai Francesco, ITA
6. Elliott Luke, AUS
7. Sailer Matthias, AUT
8. Pellejero Tomas, ARG
9. Girod Guillaume, SUI
10. Wetherell Jack, GBR

Event site:

Mike Birch Is Back
There are lots of witty old saws along the lines of 'old golfers never die they just lose their drive', or 'old engineers never die, they just lose their bearings', I've ever read a good one about sailors.

So I'll make my own. I'll say: old sailors never die, they just make a faster wake.

Someone of whom this is certainly true is Mike Birch, the Canadian sailor who was one of the great early pioneers of the ocean racing multihull. He is back and on course to do the two-handed TWOstar race next June with Franco-American sailor Etienne Giroire.

The pair are to race Francis Joyon's old 60ft trimaran Eure-et-Loir. The return to three very high-tech hulls and super-fast sailing is remarkable given that Birch is 81 years old.

In fact they will almost certainly be the oldest in the transatlantic race, with a combined age of 138 years.

Mike Birch is a great hero of mine, as much for his modest style as his firestarter career. After working as a deliver skipper in Dartmouth in the Seventies he entered the 1976 OSTAR in the 32ft tri Third Turtle and finished 2nd, not far behind Eric Tabarly's 73ft Pen Duick VI.

Two years later, he won the first Route du Rhum in the 30ft tri Olympus Photo.

He was well ahead of his time and has never really retired from ocean racing. -- Elaine Bunting, her full blog post at

Featured Brokerage
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:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted. -- George Best

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