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Emirates Team New Zealand Claim The Double
Photo by Ian Roman, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cascais, Portugal: Five teams crowded the podium on Sunday at the America's Cup World Series - Cascais as the opening weekend ended with some champagne sailing across the two events. On Sunday, large crowds on the beach and in the spectator fleet enjoyed front row seats with the racing just meters from the shore.

While both Asian teams took podium positions during the AC 500 Speed Trials, Emirates Team New Zealand were double winners on the day, claiming top spot in the AC Cascais Preliminaries after four fleet races and then going on to record the fastest run in the AC 500 Speed Trial.

ORACLE Racing Coutts won today's long fleet race, stealing victory from Emirates Team New Zealand after a member of the crew fell overboard. The Kiwis did their best to hang on, but Coutts managed to grind down the shorthanded New Zealand crew just a few hundred meters from the finish, giving the American team victory in the race and second place overall, with Sweden's Artemis Racing in third spot.

In the AC500 Speed Trial, the top three teams needed their third and final runs to record their fastest speeds. The Kiwis, after a disappointing first two tries, had a perfect set-up for their final attempt, screaming down the track at an average speed of 42.35 kph.

They were followed closely by Team Korea (39.28) and China Team (37.43), two of the newer, less-practiced teams in the AC45 catamaran.

But the headline incident on the day was the man overboard on Emirates Team New Zealand.

Winston Macfarlane, one of the big grinders on board, was washed overboard during a fast maneuver at a turning mark halfway through the race. Macfarlane was grinding a winch when the winch handle snapped, meaning he lost his balance as the boat accelerated out of the turn. While Macfarlane swam to safety and hauled himself on to the nearby mark-boat, Barker's crew was obliged to sail the rest of the course short-handed.

Sailing the second half of the race with just four men meant their crew work was slower and they had less weight on the side of the boat to balance the power of the wing rig. ORACLE Racing Coutts could smell blood and attacked the vulnerable Kiwi crew on the final beat to the finish, finally stealing victory in the final moments of the race.

Places after 4 races:

1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 35 points
2. ORACLE Racing, 31
3. Artemis Racing, 29
4. ORACLE Racing, 28
5. China Team, 22
6. Team Korea, 22
7. Energy Team, 21
8. Aleph, 16
9. Green Comm Racing, 13

AC 500 Speed Trials

Place - Team - (km/h)
1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 42.35
2. Team Korea, 39.28
3. China Team, 37.43
4. ORACLE Racing Spithill, 37.16
5. Artemis Racing, 35.10
6. Aleph, 35.02
7. ORACLE Racing Coutts, 34.05
8. Energy Team, 30.99
9. Green Comm Racing, 24.77

Figaro Leg Two Start
The second leg of La Solitaire du Figaro got off on Sunday 7th of August in the Sein Bay, opposite Ouistreham in Normandy with thousands of people lining the canal and outer harbour wall to wave the solo sailors off. The start of the race was finally given under sunny skies with some 8 knots of southwesterly breeze and on a choppy sea. The course, made up of an initial 10 mile inshore preamble to the Radio France Buoy, is 470 miles from Caen to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, on the North East coast of Ireland, where the fleet is expected from Wednesday 10th of August. Forecasts predict both strong wind and tidal currents for what unanimously agree will be a complex first 24 hours at sea.

Three individual recalls were called for Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert), Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011) and Sam Goodchild (Artemis) who were early over the start line, but managed to quickly repair. Eric Drouglazet (Luisina) and Francisco Lobato (ROFF) enjoyed the best start at the committee boat end of the line. Eric Peron (Macif 2009), Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat), Frederic Duthil (Sepalunic) and Jeremy Beyou (BPI) exchanged lead positions round the 10-mile windward-leeward inshore course to reach the Radio France buoy ahead of the competition. Best performance from the international entries comes from Francisco Lobato (ROFF) who rounded in 9th followed by Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) in 11th place.

The solo sailors will now face "upwind conditions that could last 250 miles" explains Nicolas Berenger, the experienced Figaro sailor converted to trainer, of a number of the 2011 edition competitors. "It's going to be very technical. They must keep up the speed and make sure they reach Barfleur before the tide changes" at 23:00 tonight, continues Berenger. The low pressure system that is due to sweep over the fleet tonight is forecast to bring 25 knots, with gusts of up to 35.

Bribon Wins the 30th Copa Del Rey Audi Mapfre
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Bribon, Earlybird, Factorenergia, Argo, Hotelplan, Rats on Fire and Power Plate are the new Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre winners after the two last races held today for all classes, which completed the racing schedule of the 30th edition of the most important regatta of the Mediterranean.

Jose Cusi's Bribon's farewell to the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre couldn't have been sweeter: with a 4,5 points advantage over second classified Container, the TP52 steered by Galicia born sailor Gonzalo Araujo won the 30th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre eleven years after her last race dated 2000. After composing a nice scoring of three wins and five second places in ten races during the week, Bribon needed only four points to win the regatta. Gonzalo Araujo didn't take any risks and chose to control her main rival Udo Schütz's Container from beginning to end.

The Spanish boat managed to cross the finish line in third position, what gave her the victory in Cusi's 30th and last participation in the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. This was also Gonzalo Araujo's first win in the regatta, an event he had already attended with different IMS 600 projects. Markus Wieser's Container remained second, a result which set the German Dragon ace happy, for their boat " is better with strong winds, whereas these were Bribon's conditions", he said. Container came in the dock with a flag pending from her fore stay which read " Bribon forever", as a homage to what Wieser described as the " most important Spanish sailing boat ever".

The closing day delivered exciting and tight racing in the IRC B fleet, after German flagged Emma challenged first placed Earlybird, which came into the last day just point ahead, throughout the whole track, but Hendrik Brandis managed to finish third whereas Emma finished sixth. The same fight went on in race two, but Earlybird won the game again crossing ahead of Johann Killinger's Swan 60.

With just two races to go, things looked as tight in the J-80 fleet, for the three first boats where just three points apart. Great Sailing Quum of Olympic sailor Jose Maria van der Ploeg, came into the last race with a six point cushion, and didn't take any risks in the second, finishing fourth, thus clinching his second Copa del Rey after his 2007 victory.

In the Melges 32 class, Jason Carroll's Argo's advantage over Kilroy's Samba pa ti went down three points after race one of the closing day, but her win in race two gave her the first American win in the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre ever, whereas Vascotto was second, and Italian Torpyone third.

The last two races of the 30th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre brought no changes to yesterday's X-35 podium, and Andrea Ferrari's Hotelplan hold to the lead, followed by German Ingo Dietrich's X on the Beach. Javier Banderas and Luis Doreste's Iberostar sign the only Spanish podium of the class with a third position.

Rafael Carbonell's Rats on Fire reigned today in RI 1, and took a deserved victory home after her today's two bullets, and nine wins in a total of twelve races.

Full results on

Ramsgate Week Winners Celebrate with Wight Vodka
Ramsgate, England: It was another fabulous week of racing and partying in Ramsgate, with Wight Vodka cocktail receptions being enjoyed by all.

Royal Temple Yacht Club, organiser of this year's Ramsgate Week, enthused "The skippers, crews and friends all love participating in Ramsgate Week. This year, we held three coastal races including the great 'Round the Goodwins' classic race, followed by the IRC East Coast Championship. Everyone loved the Wight Vodka cocktail receptions, and the Wight Vodka regatta caps for the winning crews kept everyone's competitive spirits high. We are glad to have the support of Ritu and the 50° North crew, as Wight Vodka just adds so much to the atmosphere."

This year's regatta saw highly tactical racing throughout the week, with the weather being rather kind to the sailors on most days. In the end, those skippers and crews who won their classes and their trophies will no doubt be back next year to contest their victories.

IRC East Coast Championship Overall - Richard Matthews Humphrey's 54 Oystercatcher
Class 1 IRC - Richard Matthews Humphrey's 54 Oystercatcher
Class 2 IRC - Richard Sparrow's J92 Who's To No
Class 5 Cruiser - Frank Curtis & Carole Pickett's J95 Just Is
Class 6 Cruiser - Mike & Andy Ward's First 31.7 Toucan
Class 7 Cruiser - Martin Moorhead's First 30.5 Scherzo

Ritu Manocha, owner of Wight Vodka, commented:"Working with Paul Woodward and the organizers of Ramsgate Week is a joy. For those who have not been, I also have to say that the Royal Temple Yacht Club is beautiful. Recently refurbished with a great view out over the water, it's the perfect bar to sip Wight Vodka cocktails and talk to friends about the day's racing. We're looking forward to the next Ramsgate Week!"

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Photo by John Greenway, Click on image for photo gallery.

The second day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week was blessed with bright sun and strong winds, giving competitors a fresh set of challenges after the opening day's light airs.

Mean wind speeds had built to more than 20 knots before racing started, while gusts topped 30 knots at 1430, before easing marginally later in the afternoon. It was a fast and furious day of close racing, in which many winners were decided by only a few seconds after hours of racing. Equally, the long lists of retirements included many early leaders who were forced to return to port prematurely.

The Sunbeam class elected not to sail in the boisterous conditions and, sadly racing for the 145-strong XOD fleet had to be called off as there was no viable area with suitable shelter in which racing for such a large number of boats could be held. The remaining White Group dayboat classes started heading east from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. This downwind and downtide start enabled course setters to provide courses in the east Solent, under the shelter of the Island shore.

Full results for all classes at

Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image for photo gallery.

* In the fourth race on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 from Cowes, France's Groupe Edmond de Rothschild ploughed into Sweden's Artemis Racing at the top mark resulting in severe damage to both boats - bad enough to end their racing for the day. A busy night in the pitlanes is expected to get them racing again tomorrow.

The breezy conditions on the second day of Act 5, with 20-25 knots steady breeze with bigger gusts earlier in the day, the 12-boat fleet was split into two groups of 6 and raced with reefed mainsails and no gennakers. The first group raced three races and the action was pretty spectacular as the Extreme 40 crews manhandled their boats around the tight stadium racecourse off Egypt Point, Cowes. It was in the first race for the second group that the collision happened between Artemis Racing and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.

Artemis Racing, helmed by Santiago Lange, tacked in for the top mark on to starboard in front of Groupe Edmond to Rothschild, who were on port. Artemis Racing went through the tack and Pierre Pennec attempted to bear away around her stern, but the boats crashed - two of the French crew were thrown into the water. The impact was heard by thousands of spectators along the shore - a record crowd in the history of the event - who have been experiencing amazing close up Stadium Racing all afternoon. As a matter of course, the jury will hold a hearing in the morning.

Artemis Racing has severe damage to the rear of their port hull and immediately called for a pump as they returned to the dock (later Santi Lange was transferred to shore for stitches). Groupe Edmond de Rothschild has sustained serious damage to their port bow and made their way slowly back under tow to the pitlane.

It is the two British helmsman of Paul Campbell-James (Luna Rossa) and Leigh McMillan (The Wave, Muscat) who are sitting pretty at the top of the overall leaderboard tonight, clearly using their knowledge of 'home' waters to the best of their abilities (check out video below). Despite missing three races this afternoon, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild are still in third place. The Swiss team of Alinghi, Roman Hagara's Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Team GAC Pindar, skippered by Britain's Ian Williams, are all tied on 42 points.

Tomorrow the forecast is still breezy - 17-21 knots, gusts peaking at 27-30 and the Extreme LiveTV continues tomorrow. A full multi-cameraman production and running commentary.

Current overall standings after 9 races, Day 2 (7.8.11)

1. Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena, 60 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri, 51
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Herve Cunningham, 43
4. Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey, 42
5. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Luke Cross, 42
6. Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemskerk / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth, 42
7. Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari, 33
8. Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Andy Fethers / Michele Ivaldi / Phil Jameson, 27
9. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Richard Meacham / Andrew McLean / Chris Ward, 26
10. Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele de Luca / Simone de Mari, 24
11. Aberdeen Asset Management (GBR) John Pink / Rick Peacock, Greg Homann / John Gimson, 23
12. Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Benedikt Wenk / Dan Morris, 12

* A website cameraman captured the moment when a yacht and an oil tanker collided in the Solent during the annual Cowes Week sailing regatta.

Two people were rescued from the sea after the collision. One was taken to hospital and later discharged.

Solent Coastguard was alerted at 15:20 BST on Saturday that the yacht Atlanta of Chester had been involved in the incident.

The collision involved the tanker Hanne Knutsen off Egypt Point, Isle of Wight.

The footage was taken by Tim Addison, who was filming racing for, the website of the Cowes Harbour Commission.


Spanish Castle to White Night - Now an Ebook
Mark Chisnell's account of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race is now available in a text-only, eBook edition of the original, highly-illustrated Spanish Castle to White Night.

Eighty eight men set off from beneath the ramparts of Alicante's Castle of Santa Barbara, but only 36 would journey the full 37,000 miles to finish in the White Nights of St Petersburg. Japan's Black Tide, brutal weather, injuries and even the credit crunch all took their toll.

This is the story of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, ripping and roaring through the seven seas - from Spain, past Africa and on to Asia, round the Americas and back to Europe. It's a story of endurance, deprivation and adventure, a story of winners and losers, those who made it and those who did not.

Available now on the Amazon Kindle:

And for the original, glorious coffee table edition:

Windy Day Favours the Australians
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Blustery winds ranging from 19-24 knots welcomed the sailors on the sixth day of sailing at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the Olympic Test Event.

And it was the Australians that excelled throughout the day as Tom Slingsby took the lead in the Laser, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen went ahead in the 49er and Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page notched up double bullets.

Belcher and Page put their poor start to the regatta behind them as they won both of their races to move up to second overall in the Men's 470. After the first four races of the regatta the Men's 470 ISAF Sailing World Cup title holders had a card of 12-11-10-2 and were down by a considerable margin to leaders Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA). But they found their way on the third day of 470 sailing to stay in contention.

In the Women's 470 Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) continue to lead after a steady day on the water.

Outteridge and Jensen (AUS) swapped places with Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP) in the 49er after the Australians recorded their third bullet of the regatta in Race 6. The Australians came fifth in Race 4 and seventh in Race 5 before winning Race 6 by six seconds ahead of Gianfranco Sibello and Pietro Sibello (ITA).

Outteridge and Jensen lead on 15 points with the Spaniards, who won Race 4, second on 18 points. Race 5 winners Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are third on 21 points after finishing third in the days other two races.

Australia were once again at the top of the podium in the Laser as ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (AUS) put in another strong performance. The World #1 came ahead of Rutger Van Schaardenburg (NED) by six seconds in Race 5 but the Dutchman hit back in Race 6 taking a comfortable 31 second victory. Overnight leader Andrew Murdoch (NZL) went 11-4 to slip to second trailing Slingsby by eight points and Van Schaardenburg's 2-1 moved him from eighth to third overall on 25 points.

World #1 Laser Radial sailor Marit Bouwmeester (NED) continued her fantastic regatta with her third race win and a second. With eight points she leads Annalise Murphy, in second on 26 points, and Krystal Weir (AUS), on 27 points, in third.

Pieter Jan Postma (NED) relished the windy conditions on the Weymouth Bay West course to pick up two convincing race wins in the Finn. The Dutchman won Race 3 by 52 seconds and Race 4 by 16 seconds and is third overall on 17 points. Ben Ainslie (GBR) continues to lead on 14 points despite a 6-5 with Jonathan Lobert (FRA) in second on 14 points. Ainslie maintains his lead after his win in Race 2 but with the discard coming into play tomorrow there may well be changes.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Star title holders Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) once again showed they are the team to beat in the 21-boat Star fleet. The Brazilians went 1-2 to lead on five points. Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) won Race 4 but are seventh overall on 31 points.

The Brazilians nearest rivals are Poland's Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki. The Polish Star sailors are on 19 points and have a long way to go to catch up with the Brazilians. The Laser, Laser Radial and 470 enjoy a reserve day tomorrow but the 49er, Finn, RS:X and Stars continue racing. Places 5-8 in the Women's Match Racing will also be decided tomorrow before Tuesday's Semi Finals.

Racing Starts Monday at ORCi Europeans
Hanko, Norway: Today's blustery breeze and rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the fleet preparing for the 2011 ORCi European Championship here in Hanko, Norway. Several remaining teams in the fleet of 26 boats hailing from three nations completed their final measurements and inspections today, as a low pressure system passing through the area brought unsettled sailing conditions.

Despite the weather, Principal Race Officer Marit Grundseth and her race management team from the Royal Norwegian YC (KNS) managed to set a practice race course in the Oslofjorden as the breeze started to die off in the approaching low. An abrupt left shift at the start allowed Peter Suselbeck's First 40 Westwind guided by Gold Medalist tactician Jesper Bank to take and hold an early lead in the race, but this evaporated with the wind pressure on the next leg, and a further shift allowed the larger Evento 42 Silva Hispaniola helmed by Dennis Gehrlein to vault in front and hold the lead to the shortened finish.

"This low pressure gave us the light air and the big shift to invert the course," said Regatta Chairman Per Bøymo, "but it was still a good practice for our race management team and the sailors to get used to the course area. Tomorrow will bring us clearing skies and fresh new conditions which should hold through at least tomorrow morning for a great start to this event." Inshore racing starts Monday at 1200, with the Middle and Long Offshore races to start on Tuesday at 1100. Inshore racing resumes on Thursday at 1200, and continuing on Friday at 1100 and Saturday at 1200.

Race results, photos and press releases will be posted daily at the event website at

America's Cup Website Dispute Goes To Arbitration
Statement from Emirates Team New Zealand:

Emirates Team New Zealand's dispute with the America's Cup over restrictions on the team's freedom to host its own America's Cup web site goes to arbitration tomorrow.

The protocol for the 34th America's Cup mandates that teams' America's Cup content should be consolidated on the AC web site.

Emirates Team New Zealand's position is that teams should be free to host their own sites, effectively creating a mirrored site with the America's Cup site. Managing director Grant Dalton says this freedom is essential for commercial teams which must fund their campaigns through sponsorship.

"Sponsors are not interested in being on a site which features competitors. We have a prime example of that - our sponsor Camper, a family owned company, competes with the massive multi-national brand Puma which sponsors not only Oracle Racing, but also the event.

"The restriction on independent sites hampers the ability of commercial teams to raise funds. We know how difficult the market is right now. We are relatively well off in comparison to some of the other teams, but we still need to find more funding."

He said he believed the effect of the rule could contribute unintentionally to some teams not making it to San Francisco. At the very least it could mean some teams would have insufficient funding to mount an effective challenge.

"Emirates Team New Zealand is competing in the Volvo Ocean Race and the Extreme Sailing Series as well as the America's Cup. It is ludicrous to expect the team's web site to ignore its involvement in the America's Cup except for a link to the consolidated site."

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