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Fracassoli Crowned Melges 24 European Champion
Photo by Pierrick Contin, Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 24 European Champion Aarhus, Denmark: Day 5 of the 2011 Boklunder Melges 24 European Championship saw the regatta series come to a close with the final two races completed in breezes ranging from 6 - 10 knots. Overnight leader Carlo Fracassoli on ITA 803 Gullisara, who went into the day with a 22 point advantage, finished the regatta in style with a hard fought win in the first race of the day.

Fracassoli's race win initially appeared far from assured however. Rounding the first windward mark in sixth place he clawed his way up to third by the leeward gate before playing the shifty second beat to perfection to take the lead at the second windward mark. Once in front he was totally in control and on the final run to the finish he cruised home to take his third race win of the championship. This result sealed Fracassoli's championship victory with a race to spare and unsurprisingly he and his Italian crew immediately headed for the harbour to begin their victory celebrations.

International Melges 24 Class Chairman Riccardo Simoneschi, who finished the regatta in seventh place aboard ITA 819 Audi, had this to say about the success of this year's European Championship. "With 80 boats from 16 nations competing this week, the size and the quality of fleet here in Aarhus is a real testimony to the strength of the Melges 24 Class. It is also encouraging to see so many Corinthians and young teams racing here this week. For sure the standard of racing was fantastic."

The 2012 Melges 24 World Championship will take place in Italy and the 2012 North American Championship will take place in San Francisco, CA.

Final Results after 10 Races

1. Carlo Fracassoli ITA, 34 points
2. Flavio Favini SUI, 52
3. Alberto Bolzan ITA, 56
4. Petr Fiala CZE, 66
5. Andrea Racchelli ITA, 91

Corinthian Division:
1. Tonu Toniste EST, 29 points
2. Oyvind Peder Jahre NOR, 33
3. Tiit Vihul EST, 48

Racing in the 2011 Boklunder Melges 24 European Championship series began on Sunday 24th July and the ten race series ran through until Thursday 28 July.

The Biscay Race - Part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series
The Royal Yacht Squadron. Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image to enlarge.

AORS The Royal Yacht Squadron has announced the inaugural Biscay Race that forms part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS) in which competitors are required to take part in three races, including the Transatlantic Race (TR 2011), to qualify for a series victory. The Biscay Race is also open to any yacht only wishing to compete in this historic race.

Organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, England, with the assistance of Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo in Northern Spain, the Biscay Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) line at midday on Sunday 11th September and finish off the yacht club in Sanxenxo. The Notice of Race and Entry Form are now available online at

RYS Commodore Yachting, David Aisher explains the RYS' foray into offshore racing: "When the New York Yacht Club first announced that they wished to join with RYS, RORC and the Storm Trysail Club to form the AORS, the Royal Yacht Squadron was the only club that did not have a race that was a part of this new circuit. On the East side of the Atlantic, the RORC was the Organising Authority for the Rolex Fastnet and was also a part of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Between the two races was a large gap in the sailing calendar that we felt was an ideal opportunity for the RYS to run its first offshore race. The RYS has for many years been organising some of the best inshore regattas in the UK and for us, to be a true part of this new AORS event, we needed to show that we could also run a first rate offshore event as well. This is not an attempt to compete with the RORC or any other of the excellent offshore clubs, but is our contribution to this exciting racing series."

Interest has already been received from two yachts who recently competed in the Transatlantic Race 2011, the fourth race in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series: George David's Rambler 100 (USA) who set the benchmark for the new transatlantic route from Newport, Rhode Island (USA) to The Lizard (UK) and British Soldier, the Army Sailing Association's A40. Both are going on to compete in the classic offshore race, the Rolex Fastnet Race. Interest has also been received from Alex Thomson's IMOCA 60, Hugo Boss (GBR), whose sights are set on the Transat Jacques Vabre later this year. A number of the other TR2011 boats are also expected to take part.

Racing for the Biscay Armada Dish, The Biscay Race may also act as a feeder race for competitors in the Rolex Middle Sea Race (22nd October); those wishing to sail to the Mediterranean and could also attract yachts taking part in World Cruising Clubs' Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) which sets off from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for St Lucia on 20th November.

As an added incentive, The Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo is offering free berthing for a week to competitors on completion of the race and a prize giving dinner will be held by the kind invitation of club on Friday 16th September for all crews.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form can be downloaded on the website at:

Sailing Ghost Of Times Past
Photo from the Cambria Trust,

Cambria She came sailing back into my life like a ghost from the past...but this is a haunting I welcome with open arms: Cambria, last vessel under the red ensign to carry cargo under sail alone.

Her 92ft of oak and pine with a bowsprit protruding like a 35ft spear, and a top hamper towering 80ft above the deck, she tacked back and forth in the Lower Hope, reminding me of the winter of 1969 when I cut the frozen gaskets from her topsail in this very reach and they hit the deck like bars of iron.

Below stood the stocky figure of skipper Bob Roberts, then 63, scowling up at his new 18-year-old mate. I sailed with Bob for 14 months, loading freight from ships in the London Docks and delivering it to ports between Ipswich and Dover.

Thanks to the hard work of the Cambria Trust, the backing of the Port of London Authority and the Medway Port Authority, among others, this unique craft is sailing again and will doubtless grace the Estuary waters for many decades to come.

It is difficult to know what Bob would have made of his old ship re-born. But his widow, Sheila, was very excited when I told her the news that a lottery donation could well secure the barge's future re-build.

Sadly Sheila did not live to see the recreation, but as she guarded Bob's reputation with much loyalty and as she enthusiastically approved of Cambria coming alive again, I think we can take it that the old man is not spinning in his grave in Ryde Churchyard on the Isle of Wight. -- Dick Durham in Yachting Monthly


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Graham Vials and Chris Turner are Flying 15 World Champions
Photo by Gerald New, Click on image to enlarge.

Flying 15 World Champions After finishing fifth in the penultimate race Graham Vials and Chris Turner were able to head back to HISC for an early shower after winning the 2011 Flying 15 World Championships at Hayling Island SC.

Mike Hart and Richard Rigg won the first race of the final day, second Greg Wells and Mark Darling and in third Arnaud Biet and Fabien Constant of France. Vials and Turner finished fifth to take the title with a race to spare. In the final race the 2010 champions, Grant Alderson and Dean NcAullay from Australia took the final gun. Second were Russell Peters and Tim Hall with Hart and Rigg in third.

The Classic and Silver fleets also completed their series. Bobby Salmond and Robert Till GBR627, from Holy Loch SC are the 2011 Classic Flying 15 Champions and Malcolm and Alex Hall from Burton SC took the Silver event title. -- Gerald New

Flying 15 - Final Leaders 2011 World Championship at HISC

1. Graham Vials / Chris Turner, GBR, 21 points
2. Mike Mcintyre / Gemma Mcintyre, GBR, 41
3. Andy Mckee / Richard Jones, GBR, 44
4. Greg Wells / Mark Darling, GBR, 46
5. Russell Peters / Tim Hall, GBR, 48
6. Jeremy Davy / Simon Childs, GBR, 52
7. Mike Hart / Richard Rigg, GBR, 57
8. Grant Alderson / Dean Mcaullay, AUS, 66
9. Alan Bax / Bill Masterman, GBR, 74
10. Charles Apthorp / Gavin Tappenden, GBR, 75

IRC Solent Series
What a difference a day makes. After the strong winds of previous weekends, Saturday dawned to a light and fickle breeze, with not much more forecast to come. The fleet gathered off Ryde Pier, and as the wind flicked through 90 degrees the AP was hoisted and the fleet waited. But gradually the wind settled and the PRO made a wise decision to set a short windward-leeward course out of the tide with lots of shortening options.

Initially it seemed that De Facto had mis-read the sailing instructions and was set to start on the 5 minute signal, but a quick glance back, a hasty turnaround, and he made the perfect pin-end start. Even though it was neaps, the way to go was inshore to avoid the tide, as the early leaders at the first mark discovered. The wind gradually moved left during the race, turning the run into a reach which helped the asymmetric boats, but even so it was a Corby with a symmetric kite which won the day.

The smaller boats had a slightly shorter course, and though a foul-tide beat normally favours the bigger boats, the small boats did well in the light winds with Hobby Horse winning on handicap.

For the second race the wind had increased to 10 knots, so the race officer lengthened and swung the course. Again it was close racing with classes 1 and 4 seeing different winners. Eskymo were looking good for a while, but a poor spinnaker drop meant that the experience of Hobby Horse shone through and they took the overall prize.

Class winners were:
Class 1 - Banshee - Lance Adams
Class 2 - High Tension - Andrew Given
Class 3 - Bojangles - Richard Sainsbury
Class 4 - Hobby Horse - Mike Fawcett

Full results on the Portsmouth Sailing Club,

The next event in the IRC Solent Series is on Saturday 20th August organised by Royal Solent Yacht Club. Details can be found on our web site

RORC Channel Race
Sunburn rather than windburn could well be a factor for this weekend's RORC Channel Race, Ninety eight yachts are entered and no doubt valuable experience will be on offer prior to the biggest race of the RORC Season.

This Saturday morning sees the start of the last RORC offshore race prior to the Rolex Fastnet Race in August. It is the last RORC race for competitors to tune themselves, their equipment and their yachts prior to this year's big event. However, this is more than just a dress rehearsal. The Channel Challenge Cup is the overall prize as are vital points scored for the RORC Season's Points Championship. Even at this late stage in the series, many classes still hang very much in the balance. It could be a tricky weekend with light airs racing a very high probability.

In IRC Zero, Derek Saunders' CM 60, Venomous, was the class winner for the Channel Race last year and a good result this weekend should see the team move to first in class for this season.

IRC One has fourteen yachts entered, including the current top four yachts in this class for the championship. The predicted light weather may not suit the three Farr 65s entered by Ondeck but it is a welcome sight to have the yachts returning to RORC Racing after competing in this year's RORC Caribbean 600.

In IRC Two RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Reponse is the current class leader and also won last year's Channel Race Overall.

Two yachts vying for the IRC Two title may well be looking forward to a light airs race. Niall Dowling's J/111, Arabella, competes for the eighth time this season and currently lies second in class for the championship. Neil Kipling's J/122, Joopster, is fourth but should move up to third with a decent result this weekend. Both of these designs are light displacement with a sail configuration that may well enjoy the predicted weather.

Twenty two yachts are entered for IRC Three including current class leader Nick Martin's J/105, Diablo - J.

The largest class racing this weekend is IRC Four with 28 yachts set to race. The class leader for the season is Matthias Kracht's JPK 9.60, Ultreia!, which also leads the Two-handed Class.

In sharp contrast to a season of high wind speed and adrenalin pumping sailing this weekend's RORC Channel Race could be a very different affair. However for many crews, light air spinnakers and headsails may not have seen too much UV light this season. The Channel Race is a golden opportunity for teams to excel at a different point in the yacht racing spectrum. -- Louay Habib

The Start of the 4.7 Laser Worlds at the St. Francis Yacht Club
The first day of the 4.7 Worlds comes to a close here at the St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay with much anticipation for tomorrow's races. In contrast to the 25-knot winds of yesterday's practice day, the first race of the day started for the girls in mild, overcast 10-12 knot conditions. After an all clear start in Race One, the girls battled upwind toward the Golden Gate Bridge against a lightly flooding current and taking advantage of the few extra knots of speed the current gave them downwind. Race One winner, Kim Pletikos of Slovenia, was especially happy about this was when she rounded the leeward gate in first and a few boat lengths ahead of any of her competitors.

In the girls' second race the wind picked up, and the starts got hairy. After the Race Committee posted a black flag start, 18 boats were called OCS,

The boys, who finished racing just after 4pm, found again that the current, this time ebbing, had a huge effect on their game by giving them a boost to the windward mark. Francisco Gonzales, who won the first race, rounded 25th in the second race and clawed his way back to 13th, (protests pending) after realizing the folks in the middle had current "pushing here" he said as he patted the stern of his Laser.

Results will be posted at once the protests are sorted and the scores are finalized

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.

Volvo Cup D-One: The Gold Cup in Riva Starts with a Bang
Photo of Nick Thompson by Francois Richard. Click on image to enlarge.

Volvo Cup D-One Riva del Garda, July 28th: It was a pure show of technical and sports prowess, watching the world's best Laser sailors, Australian Tom Slingsby (current world champion) and Great Britain's Nick Thompson (currently ranked 3rd), race on the D-Ones during the opening day of the Gold Cup, fourth stage of the 2011 Volvo Cup. The Laser duo was incredibly fast upwind, dynamic downwind, athletic and fit, perfectly at ease on this yacht designed by Luca Devoti.

A total of 36 skippers from 10 countries were on the starting line at Fraglia Vela Riva. Among them were Great Britain's Giles Scott, current European Finn champion, and Italian Andrea Casale, former Italian Laser and world J24 champion that chose to make his comeback "for sheer pleasure" but already feeling comfortable with an excellent 4-3 score in today's two races.

Racing took place with the "Ora", the typical afternoon southerly of the Garda lake, blowing 16 knots in the first race and then dropping to 12 in the second one. Nick Thompson took the first race, followed by Giles Scott and Tom Slingsby that capsized in the second run. Andrea Casale was fourth, Riccardo Pontremoli eighth and Fabio Toccoli tenth.

The second race of the day went to Tom Slingsby who finished ahead of Nick Thompson and Andrea Casale after a thrilling tacking duel in the second beat.

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).

ISAF Team Racing World Championships
The Organising Committee of the World Team Racing Championships to be held in Schull, West Cork, Ireland from August 28th to September 4th have confirmed tremendous interest in the event.

To date, teams have entered from Japan, Australia, Thailand, United States, Italy, Great Britain, Spain and Ireland, 22 teams in all, to compete in Open and Junior categories during the week of sailing. Six team members comprise each team and racing will take place close to the shore of Schull Harbour where it will be hosted by the Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Education Centre.

A unique element of teamracing is the requirement of the organisers to provide 25 identical sailing dinghies for the competitors and this has proved to be one of the big challenges for the organisers. Centre Manager, David Harte has been delighted with the response of companies and individuals who have generously sponsored the manufacture of boats or part thereof.

From the competitive aspect of Championships, the reigning champions, USA, will start favourites with the GBR team next in the pecking order while the Australian and Irish teams may have other ideas and a real threat may come from the local youth teams in that category.

A full programme of entertainment will run throughout the week culminating in a closing function prior to the final races on Sunday, 4th to decide World Champions.

For further information see

From the Irish Sailing Association:

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The Last Word
Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless. -- Calvin & Hobbes

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