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Copa Del Rey Audi Mapfre
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Copa Del Rey Palma de Mallorca, Spain: The 30th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre opened today with two windward-leeward races which started at 13:00 hours as scheduled, thanks to a reliable sea breeze which picked up to 15 knots in the early afternoon. Container, Earlybird, Nextel Engineering and Rats on Fire become early leaders after signing two bullets in IRC A, IRC B, J-80 and RI 1 respectively, whereas competition was tighter in X-35 and RI 2.

Markus Wieser's Container two back to back wins in the two opening races place her first in the IRC A group after times were compensated, though first to cross the finish line in the first and second race were English flagged Stuart Branson's Jethou and George Sakellaris Shockwave. Wieser's TP was able to lead from the first beat and extend on Jose Cusí's Bribon, which was second and third, what leaves them set in second overall after day 1, followed by HRH Felipe de Borbon helmed Hispano, which was fourth and second. Ex-Alinghi Brad Butterworth is fourth at the helm of Jethou.

Good results for Germany in the IRC B division which sees three German flagged boats in the three top positions after day one: Hendrik Brandis Swan 45 Earlybird, Bernard Xiberras Speedy and Emma of Johann Killinger.

J-80 world champion Ignacio Camino performed as dominantly in the one design class division, and is first after today's two bullets. Two times Star world champion Tono Gorostegui is second, after a sixth and a second place, whereas Olympic Finn gold medalist Jose María Van der Ploeg's Factorenergia - Great Sailing Quum is third.

Racing was much more tight in the X-35 class, where just four boats stand within three points. Who's next finished the day with a first and a fourth to lead the overall standings ahead of Red Electrica de Espana of Javier Sanz, and Ingo Dietrich's X on the beach is third tied in points with the local Spanish boat.

Defending champion Rafael Carbonell's Rats on Fire prevailed again in the RI 1 division, with two bullets in the Bravo race area, opposite to the port of Palma, where the largest fleet of the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre delivered the tightest racing of the day: Cuadernos Rubio, Luso Roux and Mapfre were second, third and fourth, same result as in the second race, and all of them finished within one minute distance after times were compensated.

The Melges 32 fleet will make its much expected debut tomorrow in the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre after today's practice race held in the Charly area, the same one in which the IRC fleet was racing. -- Eva Dallo

Inching Forward Against The Tide
Photo by Alexis Courcoux - Jean-Christophe Marmara / Le Figaro. Click on image to enlarge.

Figaro Thirty hours into racing on the first leg of La Solitaire du Figaro, 320-miles from Perros-Guirec in Northern Brittany to Caen, lower Normandy, and the leaders are positioned just 5 miles from Fairways, off the Needles, on the western tip of the Isle of Wight fighting against the tidal current. Thomas Rouxel (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance), moves into the lead ahead of his two closest rivals, Nicolas Lunven (Generali) and Jeremy Beyou (BPI), in what has been a cat and mouse game for the pole position since yesterday's start.

What remains to be seen is if the light easterly thermal breeze will hold up for the sailors as they battle against the strong tidal current to get round the Fairways mark for the Southerly course back across the Channel to Caen.

The light conditions for Sunday morning's start gave way to moderate southerly breeze to allow the 47 competitors a Channel crossing towards Plymouth and the Hands Deep course mark under spinnaker in relatively good 7 to 8 knots pace. The fleet then made the most of the favourable tide on the run along the South coast of England, where the sailors each chose how best to negotiate rounding the various headlands and associated current on course for the Fairways. The wind gradually died out this afternoon just off Anvil point ,12 miles from the turning point, leaving the skippers the choice of either attempting to fight their way against the 3 knots of tidal current and dying breeze or dropping anchor to sit it out until the tide turns.

A small course change has been made to the first leg to account for the light weather conditions racing from Perros-Guirec across the English Channel to Eddystone Lighthouse before racing to the Needles Fairway off the western point of the Isle of Wight.

Weather conditions have been better than anticipated since Sunday's start in Perros Guirec, allowing for the solo sailors to keep up a pace that could see them arriving into Caen from Tuesday afternoon.

* Brits Fighting Hard on Leg 1 of the Solitaire du Figaro

The four British sailors had a good start to Leg 1 in the 42nd edition of La Solitaire du Figaro yesterday (Sunday, 31 July). Twenty-one-year old Sam Goodchild on Artemis, the youngest competitor in the race, did particularly well despite the light westerly wind in Perros-Guirec to pass the first Radio France race mark in 7th.

After being ranked as the leading 'Rookie' round the first race mark, a third of the way into the leg after rounding the Eddystone lighthouse race mark Goodchild then suffered damage to his largest spinnaker. The damage saw him drop back to 41st position, 9.40nm behind the leader. Before the start of the race Sam commented: "It's quite exciting, it's the biggest event I've done but it's just sailing, it's what I enjoy doing, it's what I've grown up doing. If I can look at it like that I should be fine." The fleet has passed the Needles mark and is now heading south to Caen.

Phil Sharp was 5th position on day 2 of the 1st Leg of the Solitaire du Figaro.

A lack of wind and sleep could make this first leg a long and tiring one for all 47 competitors. The Solitaire du Figaro is based on cumulative time of all four legs and none of the Brits will want to start the next leg with a huge time deficit.

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:
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- Racing & Cruising
- Dinghy & Windsurf
- Mooring
- Superyachts

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- 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:

Laser 4.7 Worlds
Photo by Chuck Lantz, Click on image for photo gallery.

Laser 4.7 Worlds San Francisco, California, USA: "Some of these kids here just have speed," said coach and Olympic medalist Jim Barton on Sunday morning as he reviewed the low scoring leaders for both the boys and girls racing in the Laser 4.7 Worlds. They find their groove and just go.

Some, it seems, may be a bit too determined. Barton said he is a convert to umpired races for juniors as some kids will not protest their friends, or will just keep going after an infraction. Now, while they are still in their teens, he thinks, is the time for the umpires to blow the whistles on it and bring them into the fold, as it were, of proper and sportsmanlike racing. Composed of national and international jurors, the jury motors out in pairs with yellow flag and whistle at the ready to call rule violations on the water and demand turns in order to remedy the infractions. Jury Chair Doug Elder said a lot of times positioning the Jury Boats in places where rule violations occur, for example, in the competitors' sight lines at mark roundings, is enough to deter them from breaking the rules.

Out on the water on Sunday, the two fleets of boys started in light air on a very foggy, gray day at 1200. In both races competitors clustered at the boat end of the starting line, and so many were over early, the fleets were recalled and re-started under black flag. In race seven, Brazilian Andre Serveas led the fleet for the entire race and got the gun. Second place went to Spanish sailor Carlos Rosello and third to another Brazilian, Martin Lowey. Race eight, again under black flag, saw eight boats called OCS (On Course Side). Juan Kevin Cabrera Gonzalez won the race. At today's close, Carlos Rosello, of Spain has taken the lead in the Laser 4.7 Worlds with 15 points, Francisco Gonzalez is close behind with 17 points and Keiju Okada, JPN is in third with 33 points.

The girls fleet started at 1500 in slightly more wind, approximately 13-15 knots, and the beginning of an ebb tide, making the starting line a bit more challenging. GRE sailor Athanasia Fakidi started at the pin end of the line and managed a spectacular port tack start across the fleet.

It seems there is just no getting past Cecilia Zorzi ITA, who with another bullet in her pocket after race seven, is now 31 points ahead of her closest competitor, Line Hoest, NOR. Italian Camilla Modena finished in second and Milly Bennet AUS got third. Greek sailor Fakidi finished in 7th and is holding third place overall with 39 points. Cumulative scores, including the girls race eight, which at press time is pending protests, are posted at

Seve Jarvin - Four Times Giltinan Champion
Click on image for photo gallery.

Seve Jarvin Seeing Seve Jarvin in the rigging area on race day, you would never know the likeable, quietly-spoken 18ft Skiff skipper is a 4-times Giltinan champion as well as the present NSW champion and 3-times Australian champion.

Seve goes about his business with a minimum of fuss as he and his team prepares and rigs their 'Gotta Love It 7' skiff for the day's racing. He seems more intent on shunning attention rather than seeking it, but once he gets onto the water he is as ruthless (and fair) as the other top competitors in the highly competitive world of 18ft Skiff Racing.

The 23-year-old has amassed a wonderful record since he first began sailing as a four-year-old, then racing at age five. His first victory coming as an 8-year-old when he won the Australian Sabot Championship in 1994.

His 18ft Skiff career began as a 17-years-old. He teamed (as sheet hand) with skipper Euan McNicol and Tim Austin (in the bow) on Club Marine to take out the 2005 Giltinan Championship. He again teamed with McNicol the following year (finishing third in the Giltinan) before being chosen by the great 18ft Skiff champion Iain Murray to skipper 'Gotta Love It 7' for the Seven TV Network in 2006-2007 Season.

The team, Jarvin, Sam Newton and Robert Bell, assembled by Murray was described as "The New Generation" in Club Marine's Newsletter. "They are Australia's youth match racing sensations. The trio recently delivered the CYCA its first major international trophy at the Governor's Cup in California, then the Australian Youth Match Racing Championships".

In their first attempt at the Giltinan (2007) the trio finished second to Michael Coxon, but the following year they reversed this result when they defeated Coxon's Fiat.

While Robert Bell left the Gotta Love It 7 team at the end of the 2007-2008 Season, Seve and Sam Newton continued their long time association and friendship.

Seve, the son of Olympic, America's Cup and Etchells World champion Steve Jarvin, moved up from the Sabots to Flying 11s, 29ers and then into the CYCA's Youth Sailing Academy program where he excelled at match racing.

If the Gotta Love It 7 team win the 2012 Giltinan, it will give their sponsor, TV's Seven Network, the remarkable record of ten Giltinan Championship victories since Iain Murray (Color 7) first won the championship in 1977.

Murray won six consecutive Giltinan Championships from 1977-1982, inclusive, while Seve has added three more in the 'Team 7' colours. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

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Women's Match Racers To Kick Things off at Weymouth
The Women's Match Racing competition will be the first Olympic Sailing Event to set sail at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta when the Round Robin stage commences on Tuesday 2 August.

Twelve teams from Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and USA will all sail against each other in the Round Robin. The top eight move to the Quarter Finals and their results will determine seeding. For the remaining teams their result in the Round Robin determines their place from 9-12 overall.

The winner of the Quarter Finals advance to the Semi Finals and the losers move to a sail off to determine fifth to eighth place. The winners of the semi-finals then advance to the Final on 11 August after the Petit Final on 9 August.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Women's Match Racing title winner Anna Tunnicliffe misses out on the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta after Sally Barkow was selected ahead of her. Barkow was impressive throughout the ISAF Sailing World Cup and recorded four podium finishes including a gold medal at Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE.

The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta will also feature US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR gold medallist Claire Leroy (FRA), Semaine Olympique Française victor Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Kieler-Woche winner Ekaterina Skudina (RUS).

In the 49er Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen will be the pair to beat following their regatta wins at the Open Europeans and at Skandia Sail for Gold. The duo won gold at the 49er World Championship in 2009 before finishing behind Spain's Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez in 2010.

The Spaniards, who won 49er gold at Athens 2004 and silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will also fancy their chances at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta one year ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

World #1 49er pair Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) will sail at the Weymouth and Portland Regatta. The Austrians won the ISAF Sailing World Cup 49er title by six points over Denmark's Peter Kruger-Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell. En-route to the title the Austrians won gold at Sail Melbourne and finished third on the podium at Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE and Kieler-Woche and head into Weymouth full of confidence.

Kruger-Andersen and Thorsell were not selected for the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta. Denmark's representatives will be in the form of Jonas Warrer and Soeren Hansen. Warrer won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with crew Martin Kirketerp Ibsen.

The 49ers begin sailing on 6 August with the Medal Race on 13 August.

Final Preps for ACWS - Cascais
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, America's Cup. Click on image to enlarge.

ACWS - Cascais ORACLE Racing's two AC45 catamarans arrived in Cascais, Portugal, signaling the team's final round of preparations for the inaugural America's Cup World Series, scheduled Aug. 6-14. The regatta pits the U.S. champion team against all of the challengers for the 34th America's Cup for the first time.

ORACLE Racing will field two crews in the event, headed by America's Cup stars James Spithill and Russell Coutts, respectively the youngest skipper and the most successful skipper in the 160-year history of the event.

"The America's Cup World Series will showcase all of the teams racing right in front of the spectators," said Coutts, the ORACLE Racing CEO who has won the Cup a record four times. "So I expect fans to see hard, fast and dramatic racing taking place right in front of them."

Spithill, who was 30 years old when he won the 33rd America's Cup in February 2010, expects a fierce challenge, not just from the competitors but also the conditions. Cascais is renowned as a windy venue, and it's lived up to that reputation the past few weeks.

"We've been looking forward to Cascais for a long time now," said Spithill of Australia. "We're very anxious. Obviously, there are some nerves. We want to get out there and have a good result. You have to be consistent and have good team work. These boats reward good team work."

Kito Goes On The Attack
Photo by Guilain Grenier, Click on image for photo gallery.

Kito de Pavant Relaunched a few weeks ago after her new keel was fitted, Kito de Pavant's monohull Groupe Bel has been back out to sea for a series of training sessions to allow the skipper to prepare for the double handed transatlantic race this autumn. He was able to regain his confidence in the red and white monohull aboard which he will take part in the next Vendee Globe.

Having clocked up no fewer than twenty days of training since the start of July, Kito de Pavant now feels much more assured about his ability to sail his boat. "We had a lot of work to do," he explained at the end of this month of training alongside Yann Regniau, his fellow crewman for the Transat. There were some lively sailing sessions, which the skipper deservedly enjoyed and he is now ready to tackle the 2011 race programme, with in particular the double-handed sprint to Costa Rica coming up in November. Kito de Pavant: "We went out practically every day, in a wide range of weather conditions, which turned quite rough towards the end. In particular, we did a trip from Port Camargue to Minorca and back with DCNS 1000, the monohull sailed by Marc Thiercelin and Luc Alphand. Then, last week after a photo session in some rough weather, (see photo) down off the island of Porquerolles, we sailed right down to Sardinia."

At the top of the job list for the summer, Groupe Bel's new keel needed to be checked out. "We didn't dare put too much pressure on it on the first few days, but gradually our confidence in this brand new keel was restored, especially when Groupe Bel headed back up from the Balearics sailing upwind in 40-knots of wind and in some violent thunderstorms."

F16 Championships In France
Click on image for photo gallery.

F16 Championships Darren Bundock and Celine Van Dooren have struck a major blow for mixed sailing with the new sailing combination claiming the world Formula 16 crown in their first ever regatta together on a Viper catamaran.

Dutchwoman Van Dooren and Australian Bundock, sailing for The Netherlands, were the stand-out team in the regatta raced on Lac de Carcans in Maubuisson, France, and in which Vipers filled the top eight places.

It was the first time Van Dooren has raced off with a world crown with she and Bundock only teaming up for the event in France at the last minute.

Van Dooren and Bundock, an old hand at winning world titles, won seven of their 13 races in the regatta to beat the young Australian all-male pairing of Jason Waterhouse and Brett Goodall. Third was the youth American Team of Taylor Reiss and Mathew Whitehead narrowly ahead of another mixed crew - Carolijn Brouwer and Klaas Victor - finishing fourth.

So convincing were the victors they had the regatta won prior to the final day of racing.

Bundock, who has now won 14 world titles in a range of different catamarans, and Van Dooren never finished outside the top two in the regatta.

Mixed sailing will make its debut at the Rio Olympics in 2016 with the highly-successful Viper pushing to gain selection as the high-performance craft to be sailed by male and female teams in Brazil.

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The Last Word
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. -- George Carlin

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