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Gaps Close After Discards Apply
Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Discards were applied today in the 30th Copa del Rey after eight races were accomplished, which brought significant changes in the classifications which see gaps close with just four races to go. All sailors were been able to discard their worst result with the exception of the Melges 32 fleet which runs two races behind and will do it tomorrow. The venue of Palma delivered again perfect sailing conditions, and a sea breeze - known as Embat in the local argot - from 10 to 12 knots established short after noon and reached 10 to 12 knots.

Bribon sees her advantage upon Container go down from eleven to six points after the discard was applied. The TP52 steered by Galicia born sailor and round the world skipper Gonzalo Araujo signed two second places, whereas Udo Schutz's Container was third and first, thus pulling up to second in the overall classification after eight races and one discard.

In IRC B British Speedy struggles and cuts down distances with Earlybird, which stays at the top, but just six points ahead.

In Melges 32 John Kilroy's Samba pa ti with Italian ace Vasco Vascotto aboard ruled today with two bullets in as many races thus moving up to third; besides, the American boat could get rid of a poor 13th position in the first race of the competition tomorrow. Jason Carroll's Argo with Cameron Appleton calling tactics remains on top of the board after a second and a third places which leave them with a 12 points cushion over second placed The Melges 32 world champion steered by Luca Lalli with America's Cup skipper Lorenzo Bressani calling the shots was third and sixth today, still lacking some consistency.

Within the J-80 fleet Jose María van der Ploeg's Factorenergia - Great Sailing Quum pulls up to first after finishing second in both races. The Olympic Spanish sailor is accompanied by his eleven year old son Jose María Van der Ploeg junior aboard, the youngest sailor of the 30th edition of the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. World champion Nextel Engineering could only manage a third and a fifth.

Full results of all classes at

RS:X Racing Gets Underway at Weymouth
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympic test event The third day of the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta saw the start of the Men's and Women's RS:X and Nick Dempsey (GBR) and Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) are locked on three points apiece after they both recorded a bullet and second place finish.

Van Rijsselberge, who won the ISAF Sailing World Cup Men's RS:X title after regatta victories at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR and Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE, dominated the first race to finish ahead of Dempsey by seven seconds.

But in the second race of the day Dempsey blew the rest of the fleet away to round every mark in first place on his way to sealing a comprehensive 53 second race win. Dempsey said, "It was a long way downwind today but it was good racing. We always think that the harbour is shifty and the bay is calm but today it was very much tactical racing. It was technical, but the conditions were nice."

Throughout the day the wind was blowing in between 12-15 knots.

Brazil's Ricardo Santos finished the day in third place after recording an opening day card of 3-7.

In the Women's RS:X Spain's Marina Alabau notched up double bullets to take an early initiative in the 34-strong fleet. The Spaniard recorded regatta victories at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE and Skandia Sail for Gold. And she once again showed that she is the one to beat one year ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Lee-El Korzits (ISR) finished 42 seconds behind Alabau in Race 1 to take second place closely followed by Zofia Klepacka (POL). In Race 2 Klepacka was closer to the Spaniard coming 13 seconds behind and the Polish RS:X sailor ends the opening day in second place overall on five points.

In the Women's Match Racing Great Britain's Lucy Macgregor and the Netherlands Mandy Mulder both enjoyed great days on the water at the Weymouth and Portland International regatta after they won all of their races to advance to the Quarter Finals with an 8-3 record. Russia's Ekaterina Skudina was finally beaten today by Sally Barkow (USA) and Claire Leroy (FRA). Nonetheless Skudina advances to the Quarter Finals as the number one seed after her impressive results on the opening day. Meanwhile Skudina's conquerors, Barkow and Leroy, both advance to the Quarter Finals with seven race wins. On her days racing Barkow said, "We were two and two today. We had solid starts and against the Brits it was close and it went right down to the wire.

Sweden's Anna Kjellberg and Australia's Olivia Price also move to the Quarter Final phase which takes place on 6 August. In the Quarter Finals Skudina will face Price, Lehtinen meets Kjellberg, Mulder will battle Barkow and Macgregor goes against Leroy.

Racing continues for the RS:X sailors tomorrow and the Laser, Laser Radial and Men's and Women's 470 begin their the first of their races.

Olympic Test Event Microsite

Peter Shope Crowned Laser Slalom 2011 Champion
San Francisco, California, USA: With 25 knots registering on the committee boat the Laser Slalom 2011 fleet hit the water for the wildest ride on the Bay, the St Francis Yacht Club's Heavy Weather Slalom event, presented by Laser Performance and Maclaren. Racing began about 1pm in a flood tide and white caps. Not quite perfect but good enough, noted Don Trask, event founder.

Of the final four, Peter Shope and Ben Richardson (both USA) went head to head, with Shope prevailing and taking the overall first place trophy after four exhausting races.

Scott Ferguson (USA) took third prevailing against Mike Matan (GBR).

This regatta is all about the spills and Ferguson took first prize for a phenomenal crash in his last race that catapulted him some two boat lengths off his stern.

The talent-stacked fleet included international competitors from 18 years to 70-something, with anything from 40 years Laser sailing experience to six years. An elimination ladder saw yesterday's winners advance and for those who lost two races, it was game over. With no room for error, spectacular - and frequent - crashes throughout the fleet made for tense moments on and off the course.

LaserPerformance Ambassador and Team Maclaren skipper Anna Tunnicliffe made it through to the final six. She said she was a little nervous going into the event as it's been a while since she's sailed a Laser (she's been busy campaigning the Elliot 6m for the 2012 Olympics). "The upwinds were hard because I'm a good 30 pounds lighter than the others racing but I liked the downwind."

Dubarry Storm - Designed To Perform
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Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

Nine America's Cup Crews at the Ready in Cascais
Cascais, Portugal: Nine of the best sailing teams in the world are making their final preparations in Cascais, Portugal ahead of the opening weekend of the 34th America's Cup.

The Cascais AC World Series Preliminaries consist of two events over the course of this weekend - the Cascais AC Open and the AC 500 Speed Trial. Saturday will see the first three fleet races of the AC Open as well as the exciting speed test - a timed, sprint over a 500-meter course. On Sunday is the fourth fleet race of the AC Open.

All racing will be streamed live on, beginning at 1400 local time (GMT+1) on Saturday afternoon. In addition, the races will be live-tweeted at @34thAC.

The forecast for Saturday is for northwesterly winds building to 15 knots, with a possibility of stronger winds late in the afternoon. Over the next two days, the teams and race committee will continue their training ahead of Saturday's opening races.

Watch Live Act 5 Extreme Sailing Series 6-12 August
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Aberdeen Extreme 40 Complementing its global TV 6-part series and programming platform, and the live TV coverage at each of the four previous worldwide Acts, the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 from Cowes will also be broadcast live. Three days of enhanced 'LiveTV' coverage (7-9 August), will be complemented by four further days of a more basic 'WEBcam' product, allowing all seven days of racing to be watched from around the world. With strong winds forecast in this notoriously challenging venue, some of the best sailors in the world from 15 different nations will battle it out for Act 5 honours in front of a worldwide audience.

The production team from the Extreme Sailing Series Host Broadcaster, Sunset&Vine|APP will be based in a 'working studio' in the VIP marquee at Egypt Point. An opportunity for the guests to see 'behind the scenes' of a live TV production. The commentary team of Seb Destremeau, Andy Green and Hannah White will keep the viewers engaged with the action from on-shore and on-board the Extreme 40s.

In Cowes, from Sunday - Tuesday (7, 8 & 9 August), a multi-camera LiveTV production will be in place, with this coverage streaming live on the official website and other web portals and made available to TV broadcasters. In co-operation with Sail TV, the live output will also broadcast on their website and 140 sailing websites that carry the Sail TV player.

In addition via the Sail TV set top box the coverage can be seen on TV screens in many establishments throughout Cowes as well as bars and yacht clubs throughout the world. The Extreme WEBcam will run on the Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (6, 10, 11, 12 August) with live pictures and an audio feed taken directly from the race village commentary.

Live Online Schedule:
LiveTV : Sunday to Tuesday (7, 8, 9 August)
Programme starts at 1415 British Summer Time (BST, 1 hour ahead of GMT) with 49er and windsurfing action ahead of the Extreme 40 racing starting at 1500 BST
WEBcam : Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (6, 10, 11 & 12 August)
WEBcam starts at 1415 BST on Saturday with Extreme 40 racing from 1500.

WEBcam starts from 1500 BST, with Extreme 40 racing coming back in to the 'Stadium' once Cowes Week racing has cleared the area, and not before 1500 BST at the earliest.

Check website for updated times of output

* In the lead up to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week which starts on Saturday, Aberdeen's Extreme 40 catamaran has taken to the Solent to practise ahead of the racing. Skippering an Extreme 40 for the first time, British Olympic 49er class contender John Pink and his crew are putting the catamaran through its paces before they compete in Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series 2011 which starts Saturday 6 August.

The Aberdeen Asset Management Extreme 40 brings action and spectacle to Aberdeen's growing sailing sponsorship portfolio and will line up for its first race at 3pm on Saturday 6 August.

Pink's crew includes fellow 49er crewmate Rick Peacock, Star sailor John Gimson, and experienced Extreme sailor Greg Homann. The crew will be wearing kit provided by Gill, Official Technical Clothing Sponsor to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

The Fastnet Throwing Some Light on the Vendee State of Play
In August every other year in odd years the Fastnet Race takes place. Once every two years the emblematic lighthouse in the Celtic Sea marks the important turning point in the race of the same name with its 608 mile course between Cowes and Plymouth. Six boats registered for the next Vendee Globe are due to line up at the start on Sunday 14th August for the 44th edition of this British classic, which is one of the most popular ways for skippers to see how they are doing in what are very unpredictable waters. A good opportunity for Bernard Stamm to enter his first race aboard his brand new Cheminees Poujoulat, and for Armel Le Cleac'h to make his return to the circuit at the helm of Banque Populaire (ex-Foncia).

With a crew or double-handed, anything goes in the Fastnet Race, which is breaking records this year with more than 350 boats expected to take part. In the IMOCA division, of course they are tending to go for double-handed sailing: firstly because the Transat Jacques Vabre is coming up and also because double-handed sailing is closer to solo sailing. For the event, Marc Guillemot (Safran), Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) and Bernard Stamm (Cheminees Poujoulat) will be present with their crew mate for this autumn's transatlantic race to sail their ocean racer from the Solent to the Scillies and up to the famous Rock. As for Vincent Riou, he will be aided and abetted by a very talented sailor on PRB, none other than Jean Le Cam. As for Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), whose future co-skipper Jeremie Beyou is currently racing in the Solitaire du Figaro, he will be joining up with a young talent: Guillaume Le Brec. Finally, among the future competitors of the non-stop solo round the world race, there is just one British representative, Alex Thomson. Aboard Hugo Boss, he will be racing with a determined competitor, who is used to offshore racing: the Catalonian sailor Guillermo Altadill.

IMOCAs taking part in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race
- Banque Populaire (Armel Le Cleac'h / Christopher Pratt)
- Cheminees Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm / Jean-Francois Cuzon)
- Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson / Guillermo Altadill)
- PRB (Vincent Riou / Jean Le Cam)
- Safran (Marc Guillemot / Yann Elies)
- Virbac-Paprec 3 (Jean-Pierre Dick / Guillaume Le Brec)
- DCNS 1000 (Marc Thiercelin / Luc Alphand)


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ISAF Match Race Rankings
Ian Williams (GBR) and Claire Leroy (FRA) have jumped to the top of the Open and Women's ISAF Match Race Rankings.

The Brit has knocked Ben Ainslie (GBR) off the top of the Open Rankings for the first time since December 2010 after stringing together some impressive results throughout the World Match Racing Tour. Williams previously held the World #1 spot in June 2008 and has slowly worked his way up to the top spot in 2011. Ainslie, who claimed the 2010 World Match Race Tour title, slips to #3.

Williams won the fifth World Match Race Tour event, Stena Match Cup Sweden, by defeating Bjorn Hansen 3-2 in the final. Hansen's second place finish meant that the Swede moves from #6 to equal his best of fourth in the world.

Like Williams, Italy's Francesco Bruni has also put in some strong performances on the World Match Race Tour but stays at #2.

In the Women's Match Race Rankings Claire Leroy (FRA) has taken the top spot in the rankings after her victory at the Stena Match Cup Sweden Women's Trophy. The French match racer moved from #6 to #1 after she won the Grade 1 regatta in Marstrand, Sweden. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) came behind Leroy in Sweden and moves to a high of #2. Lucy Macgregor (GBR) slips from #1 to #3. And Sally Barkow (USA) climbs to #4 with Renee Groeneveld slipping to #5.

The next ranking release is on 7 September 2011.

Match racing - Open - Thursday 4 August 2011
1. Ian Williams, GBR
2. Francesco Bruni, ITA
3. Ben Ainslie, GBR
4. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
5. Mathieu Richard, FRA
6. Torvar Mirsky, AUS
7. Philip Robertson, NZL
8. Jesper Radich, DEN
9. Peter Gilmour, AUS
10. Pierre-Antoine Morvan, FRA

Match racing - Women - Thursday 4 August 2011
1. Claire Leroy, FRA
2. Anna Tunnicliffe, USA
3. Lucy Macgregor, GBR
4. Sally Barkow, USA
5. Renee Groeneveld, NED
6. Nicky Souter, AUS
7. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS
8. Silja Lehtinen, FIN
9. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP
10. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA

And Only 173,000 A Week
The largest luxury sailing catamaran in the world is due to leave Falmouth after 18 months' work tonight amid a celebratory firework display.

Hemisphere is the latest prestige project from the Pendennis Shipyard, where about 160 people have been involved in her creation.

The 44.2m (146ft) shell arrived in Falmouth in October 2009 and since then employees across all trades, including apprentices, have played their part in creating what is arguably one of the planet's most opulent vessels, for an undisclosed owner and at a price which remains secret.

The yacht has accommodation for 12 guests in five en suite cabins and will operate with a professional crew of eight. She has a 58m (191ft) mast, displaces 500 tons and can reach 13 knots under engine power.

She will be available to hire in the Caribbean this winter - starting at 196,000 Euros (£172,900) a week. First though, her owners will be discovering all she has to offer in the Mediterranean before showing her off at the Monaco Boat Show next month.

Hemisphere has been out on sea trials over the past two weeks and when she leaves Falmouth tonight the shipyard is hosting a firework display off Gyllyngvase Beach, due to start at 10pm.

World Match Racing Tour Brings Fans Closer to Action with iTunes
London, UK: Fans of the World Match Racing Tour, the world's premier sailing series, can now download all the latest top-quality multimedia content from the Tour from iTunes. Whether it's onboard footage from the thick of the racing, a venue profile, in-depth interviews with the sailors or the Tour's flagship magazine shows The Morning Show and The Today Show, you can now download the content for free onto any mobile device through the Tour's iTunes vodcast site.

It is the latest stage in the World Match Racing Tour's commitment to bring its global fanbase closer than ever before to all the action from its eight stages. This season has already seen the Tour launch Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) featuring two hours of live streaming of racing daily from events. The live sessions are then made available as on-demand video.

The Tour has also seen success with its daily magazine programmes The Morning Show and The Today Show. The Morning Show provides all the news from dockside prior to each day's racing, while The Today Show wraps up the day's action with chat from the key racers plus the best comment and analysis.

Sign up to receive free automatic updates by searching 'World Match Racing Tour' on iTunes. Content will be available to download from Stena Match Cup Sweden as well as from the remaining three stages of the Tour.

The sixth stage of the World Match Racing Tour will see 12 international teams - including eight Tour Card Holders - battle it out in the Swiss resort of St Moritz for the title of King of the Mountains. The St Moritz Match Race runs from August 30 to September 4.

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1987 Beneteau First Class 12. US$ 57,900. Located In Sarasota, Florida, USA.

Beneteau's First Class 12 Series are FAST sailing yachts. Blistering speed, great sails, diesel power, tiller steering and some cruising amenities make for great performance whether racing the local round the buoys circuit or long distance racing. This shoal draft version with bulb keel draws only 5 1/2 feet. This boat has been modified for short handed sailing and can be easily run but two. Cruise fast with this unique and spacious Beneteau 40.

A proven race winner on the Florida circuit, she is in good condition and will continue to reward her owners with racing trophies and the pride of ownership with one of the fastest 39 foot monohulls on Florida's west coast.

Brokerage through Grand Slam Yacht Sales:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
At home I am a nice guy: but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far. -- Muhammad Ali

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