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Pace Defends Tour Voile Title
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image for photo gallery.

Tour Voile After the best part of a month racing clockwise around the coast of France, so today Bertrand Pace's Sud de France/Languedoc-Roussillon has won the Tour de France a la Voile at the race's finish in La Seyne sur Mer, opposite Toulon. This came after the final two windward-leeward races had to be cancelled due to Mistral conditions bringing with it 30+ knot winds.

Pace's crew that included the late recruit of Volvo Ocean Race winner and multiple Olympic medallist Torben Grael, beat Daniel Souben's crew aboard Courrier Dunkerque by just seven points, while Safran-Multiplast skippered by Julien Villion won the amateur division.

This was Pace's second consecutive victory in the Tour Voile after he won last year aboard Nouvelle-Caledonie and, impressively, Pace eighth win in the race. But this year Pace's campaign was very different, taking delivery late of their M34 (the new yacht being used for the Tour Voile) and then having to learn the boat. Pace's progress gained steadily throughout the race and its unique mix of inshore and offshore racing, assisted by several stars from Sebastien Col, Laurent Pages and ultimately Torben Grael.

While Daniel Souben and his crew had to settle for second, just a few points away from victory, so double Solitaire du Figaro winner Nicolas Troussel and his Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite crew, who finished third. "Our goal was to be on the podium," said Troussel. "So we succeeded!" This is Troussel's first particiption in the Tour Voile and unaccustomed to sailing with a crew Troussel has greater ambitions for 2012. - James Boyd in The Daily Sail

Overall results

1. Sud de France / Languedoc, Bertrand Pace, 119 points
2. Courrier Dunkerque, Daniel Souben, 126
3. Bretagne-Credit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Trousse,l 160
4. Toulon Provence Mediterranee, Fabien Henry, 175
5. BAE Systems, Cedric Pouligny, 181
6. Nantes Saint Nazaire E. Leclerc, Corentin Douguet, 248
7. Safran - Multiplast, Julien Villion, 264
8. BRED - La Normandie, Benoit Charon, 278
9. Ile de France, Jimmy Pahun, 286
10. Cotes d'Armor Bretagne, Stephane Letertre, 293
11. Batistyl Ville de Pornic, Cyrille Le Gloahec, 331
12. Ile de La Reunion - Ville du Port Gabriel Jean-Albert, 408
13. Iskareen Soenke Bruhns, 455
14. Region de Bruxelles-Capitale - Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Courbiere / Casaux / Ammeux / Michel, 455
15. Martinique-Centrale Paris-HEC Mathieu Moures, 467

Event site:

Nine Entries for Volvo Legends Race
Alicante, Spain: Two-time Whitbread yacht Adventure, the British Royal Navy entrant in 1973 and 1977, will be represented at the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta by her sister ship Dasher, raced by original members of Adventure's crew and joined by some of the crew from British Satquote Defender, the British Joint Services maxi boat entry in 1989-90.

This latest addition brings the Legends fleet to nine, and with several more boats likely to confirm their participation a fleet of around 15 is now looking possible for the race in Alicante in November.

Adventure, a production Nicholson 55 sloop, competed in the first two Whitbreads, finishing second in 1973-74 and seventh in 1977-78. She was later given to the Russian Navy and is now lying in St Petersburg. During her second race around the world, she was skippered in part by the late Ian Bailey-Willmot, former Race Director of the Whitbread Round the World Race and later Chairman of the Race Committee.

Adventure was one a number of boats were ordered as training yachts by the British Ministry of Defence. Designed by Raymond Wall, Adventure was immediately commissioned as the Royal Navy entrant, after the Whitbread Brewery announced in 1972 they would sponsor the first fully crewed race around the world.

Adventure had four crews, one for each leg of the race, so as many people as possible could be trained and gain experience in what was destined to become the world's premier ocean race. The crew was chosen from hundreds of volunteers who had sailed Adventure during 1972.

Adventure won the 8,370-nautical mile leg to Rio de Janeiro, but as she crossed the line at midnight, there was not a soul to be seen. "No one was there to welcome us after 42 days at sea, and we came first," says Colin Watkins. Apparently, the Race Committee had decided that Adventure could not possibly finish that night and had retired bed.

Entries in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion
1. Copernicus 1973-74 (45': the smallest boat ever to race)
2. Great Britain II/Whitbread Heritage (Maxi - took part in the first five races
3. Rothmans 1989-90 (Maxi)
4. Berge Viking 1981-82 (Swan 57)
5. Charles Jourdan 1989-90 (Maxi)
6. Steinlager 2 1989-90 (Maxi Ketch)
7. Gauloises III 1981-82 (62' Sloop) sailed by the French crew of Grand Louis/Japy-Hermes and Kriter IX
8. Traite de Rome 1977-78 and 1981-82 (51' aluminium sloop)
9. Adventure/Dasher

Technology Never Stops
Southern Spars Southern Spars' new TPT (Thin Ply Technology) plotting facility in Auckland and the AC72 wing development have pushed technology to new heights. The TPT plotter has revolutionised the world of composites by providing a more efficient and precise manufacturing process with no limitation to angle, area and thickness. Southern Spars aim is to plot in TPT for all carbon products in the future. The AC wing development is currently well advanced and engineers at Southern Spars are close to completing the sophisticated design for the 39m wing, with EC6 composite rigging. It will be an evolution of the AC45.

To find out more about what goes into designing and creating world class rigs visit:

Telefonica Sets Off on the 2,000 Mile Qualifier
The Spanish boat set off this morning from her base at Marina Rubicon, in Lanzarote. The Spanish boat "Telefonica" iset to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 has set off today on the 2,000 mile (3,704 km) qualifier course which the team has chosen to sail in the Atlantic.

The race rules stipulate that each entry taking part in the round the world regatta, setting off from Alicante, Spain for the second consecutive year, must complete a 2,000 mile, non-stop qualifying course, with the entire crew due to take part in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean race 2011-12 set to finish in Cape Town, South Africa.

It is forecast that "Telefonica" will be sailing conditions with 15 to 20 knots. This is time that will allow the team to carry out some important sailing tests, to try out sails and it will be a real chance to get to grips with this third generation of Volvo Open 70s.

The Crew on "Telefonica" for the 2,000 mile qualifier:
Iker Martinez
Andrew Cape
Jordi Calafat
Neal McDonald
Xabi Fernandez
Joao Signorini "Joca"
Pepe Ribes
Pablo Arrarte
Antonio "Ñeti" Cuervas-Mons
Zane Gills
Diego Fructuoso

XOD Centenary Race for the Hythe Trophy
Photo by Eddie Mays, Click on image for photo gallery.

XOD Centenary Race for the Hythe Trophy The XOD Centenary race for the Hythe Trophy was organised by the Royal Southampton Y.C. as part of their XOD Solent Championship weekend. This standalone race attracted entries from the Hamble, Itchenor, Lymington & Yarmouth divisions and was sponsored by Harken.

From a start line off Netley in Southampton Water C.R.O. Mike Garvey set a course that took the fleet zig-zagging across between the Hythe & Netley shores. With less than two minutes to the start the wind shifted significantly to the Northwest leaving the race team with no alternative to signal 'AP' and decide on a new course. When the wind had steadied it was ideal for a windward / leeward course up to the No. 5 buoy off Hythe, returning to After Barn near the start line with a final beat back to Hythe. As near as possible the same course as that which would have been set 100 years ago.

This delay was very fortuitous for Ken Williamson (La Mouette), who had been late getting to the start area for the original start time.

Once safely round the mark Williamson sailed a conservative final beat and, although there were plenty of wind shifts and movement within the rest of the fleet, he held on to take the trophy from James Markby (Xpeditious) with Baines recovering to finish 3rd ahead of Lisa & Stuart Childerley (Palassie)

The full results can be found on the Royal Southampton website at

German 18ft Skiff Grand Prix
Strong winds forced the race committee to cancel racing on Days One and Two of the mSE German 18ft Skiff Grand Prix at Travemunde.

With three British, one Danish and seven German teams set to contest the regatta, Day One presented the fleet with 18-knot winds, which gusted to 35-knots, making conditions impossible for the skiffs.

Only one German team, Kaltenberger Ritter, skippered by Prinz Heinrich, attempted to sail. After some problems with their gennaker drop they fought their way back to the beach to join the other competitors.

Day Two presented rain showers and again winds gusting up to 34-knots so the cancellation decision was generally accepted.

More moderate winds are expected for Day Three's racing over the regular regatta courses, followed by three special format races right in front of a huge spectator crowd on river Trave. Each of these races will take only 10-15 minutes to sail and will be a great innovation to increase more spectator support in the future. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Volvo Cup D-One Gold Cup In Riva
At right: Giorgio Poggi. Click on image to enlarge.

Volvo Cup D-One Gold Cup In Riva Riva del Garda, Italy: The D-Ones will undoubtedly put on a spectacular show from the 28th to the 31st of July in Lago di Garda in this second edition of the Gold Cup, the highest-level regatta of the innovative and high-performance single-handed dinghy with mainsail and gennaker, designed by Lucca Devoti. The event, fourth one of the Volvo Cup and counting towards the overall score table, has summoned more than 40 skippers from various nations at the Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda.

The D-One fleet has an interesting blend of Olympic class champions, top-level professional sailors (a number of them taking part in the 34th America's Cup onboard Green Comm Racing), well-trained amateurs, girls racing with the smaller 9.5m rig and many passionate sailors.

Reigning champion, Argentina's Agustín Zabalua, winner of the first ever Gold Cup held last October at the Real Club Nautico de Valencia, will definitely not have an easy ride on the windy waters of the Alto Benaco. Among his competitors are the current world Laser champion, Australian Tom Slingsby, European Finn champions Finn Giles Scott and Ivan Gaspic, Czech Republic's Michael Maier, Nick Thompson, another world-class Laser sailor, and Belgium's Philippe Rogge.

The Volvo D-One Gold Cup will start on Thursday, July 28th with the first two races. Two more races are scheduled on Friday and another two on Saturday. After the first six races, skippers will have the right to discard their worst result. The event's seventh race, scheduled on Sunday, will carry double points and cannot be discarded.

The Volvo Cup D-One, after the events in Alassio, Bracciano, Cattolica and Riva del Garda, will proceed to Marina di Scarlino in conjunction with the National Championship (16-18 September) and the Barcolina of Trieste (1-2 October). -- Pierre Orphanidis

Lysekil Women's Match
Lysekil, Sweden: With women's match racing as a new discipline at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the regattas in Lysekil, Sweden are hotter than ever. The first week of August, nine of the world's elite women match racers will battle for 33 000 Euro prize money at the sixth edition of the Grade 1 competition Lysekil Women's Match.

Reigning world number two, Australian Nicky Souter, is one of the nine strong field of female skippers to compete at Lysekil Women's Match 2011. Furthermore on the start list there are teams from Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy and USA. In 2009 this Grade 1 competition held the ISAF women's match racing World Championships and Souter took gold.

Two Swedish teams are defending the local flag. Linda Rahm and her team have a long experience in match racing, and has earlier been ranked world number two. With two previous victories in Lysekil she knows the local waters well and is a contender to watch out for. Caroline Sylvan is a young and motivated newcomer on the Swedish match racing scene and is expected to surprise the established elite.

Nine skippers to Lysekil Women's Match 2011:
Nicole Souter AUS
Camilla Ulrikkeholm DEN
Trine Julie Abrahamsen DEN
Silvia Roca Mata ESP
Anne-Claire Le Berre FRA
Cristiana Monina ITA
Linda Rahm SWE
Caroline Sylvan SWE
Stephanie Roble USA

Marlow Ropes Release Free iPhone App.
Marlow Ropes iPhone App Marlow Ropes are proud to announce the release of the first version of their new iPhone App. The Marlow Ropes iPhone App is free and available for everyone to download from the iTunes App Store.

The Marlow Ropes App is the first comprehensive rope information app to be released for the iPhone. It's free and easy to use, wherever you may be.

Overview The Marlow Ropes App consists of five tabs:
1. Products. Full product listings, including:
- The Grand Prix series
- Racing & Cruising
- Dinghy & Windsurf
- Mooring
- Superyachts

2. Technical. Understand your ropes with
- Splicing techniques.
- Rope care advice.
- Material Properties - + more.

3. Catalogues. The latest Marlow Catalogues in PDF format
4. Marlow TV. Sailing and rope related videos from around the world.
5. Interactive barcode reader.

- Use the inbuilt interactive barcode reader to scan the QR barcodes found on Marlow's new point of sale chandlery racking to discover further information

Login to the iTunes store and search Marlow Ropes to download your free copy of the App and start discovering everything it has to offer.

Download the Marlow App here:

Royal Navy Lends Support to Start of Clipper 11-12 Round The World Yacht Race
With one week to go until the cannon fires to signal the start of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, the first global event to set off from the Solent since 2004, organisers are thrilled to welcome the Royal Navy's helicopter carrier, HMS Illustrious, which will attend the weekend's festivities in Southampton, culminating in the race start on Sunday 31 July.

Commanding Officer of HMS Illustrious, Captain Jerry Kydd, said, "HMS Illustrious is delighted to be in Southampton to support the start of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The Clipper Race stands for much of what the Royal Navy and Royal Marines hold dear: personal determination and fortitude, in dangerous and demanding conditions, where teamwork, resilience and a winning spirit overcome any challenge the crews may face on their adventure. On behalf of the officers and crew of HMS Illustrious, I wish all yachts and their crews the very best of luck for a safe and fast circumnavigation and a cracking race!"

Many boat owners and sailing enthusiasts will be joining the flotilla of spectator boats to watch the parade of sail in Southampton Water from 2.30pm - where the ten ocean racing yachts will sail in formation ahead of HMS Illustrious - before the race begins at 4.30pm from the historic Royal Yacht Squadron line.

HMS Illustrious will arrive in Southampton on Saturday 30 July and will be berthed at the QE2 Terminal. A raft of free, family friendly entertainment is taking place over the weekend in Ocean Village where the ten 68-foot yachts contesting Clipper 11-12 will be based. Live music will include sets by Southampton groups, Delays and Parade, as well as Toploader, who will headline on Friday night. As well as the live music on stage other entertainment in the Race Village will feature African dancers, acrobats, drummers and fire eaters plus a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night.

Board Meeting...
Photo by Blue Robinson. Click on image to enlarge.

Wild Oats Saturday was an interesting day. Here in Sydney we had a cold 25-27 knots south-westerly, with five metres of swell and rain. Perfect winter conditions for a boat test...

Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI has been in the shed for modifications and now it is test time. The bow rudder is gone, replaced with twin daggerboards to give the crew choices for appendages configuration up-wind and off-wind. Certainly this is not revolutionary stuff - but any surgery in the hull of a 30 metre Supermaxi that will be leaping off waves in Bass Strait in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart is not to be taken lightly.

In charge of modifications was the always-smiling JH from Darkhorse yachting, a long term crew member of the Wild Oats team with the highly experienced Volvo sailor Nick Bice assisting. By using designer Paul Bieker and builder Core Builders Composites in New Zealand, the Wild Oats team have benefitted from the R&D in foils and construction recently seen in the America's Cup. With everything fitted and checked - it was time to get wet.

For the sea trial it was all about looking and listening, then gradually increasing the loads. By lunchtime all the checks were done, all the boxes were ticked and it was time to go fast; so for the rest of the day the crew tested sail options and skipper Mark Richards flicked the boat through the gybes spinning down the harbour at 20+ knots. Wild Oats XI has been a highly successful yacht and when I asked Ricko what are the key points behind that, he said two things. 'The crew have always been great - just a bunch of mates really, who are pretty quiet and get the job done - but none of this happens without the owner Bob Oatley and his passion for the boat - none of it, and I really can't stress how proud the guys in the crew are to be on this boat.'

Back at the dock the debrief on the fairly significant structural changes took less than two minutes. Testament to JH, Bicey and the Wild Oats team. Now the season begins. -- Blue Robinson

Well... There Goes My Weekend at the Library of Alexandria
Hong Kong physicists say they have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, demonstrating that outside science fiction, time travel is impossible.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology research team led by Du Shengwang said they had proved that a single photon, or unit of light, "obeys the traffic law of the universe".

"Einstein claimed that the speed of light was the traffic law of the universe or in simple language, nothing can travel faster than light," the university said on its website.

"Professor Du's study demonstrates that a single photon, the fundamental quanta of light, also obeys the traffic law of the universe just like classical EM (electromagnetic) waves."

The possibility of time travel was raised 10 years ago when scientists discovered superluminal - or faster-than-light - propagation of optical pulses in some specific medium, the team said.

It was later found to be a visual effect, but researchers thought it might still be possible for a single photon to exceed light speed.

From Australia's Herald Sun:


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The Last Word
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