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Jeremie Beyou Winner and Overall Figaro Leader in Dun Laoghaire
The pewter grey skies cleared briefly to let some bright sun through to spotlight the first Figaro on the horizon and reveal the breakaway leader of the 46 solo sailors competing on the second of four legs that make up La Solitaire du Figaro race. The second leg, 440 miles from Caen to Dun Laoghaire, set off last Sunday and took just over 65 hours for the winner to complete. Jeremie Beyou (BPI), blew his spinnaker in the shifty breeze just a couple of miles from the finish, but had been surfing downwind at a blistering average of 14 knots, whilst keeping a close eye on his pursuers as he helmed his boat to victory at 10:15 in the morning. The successful and experienced French solo sailor, averaged 6.7 knots over the 65 hours and 25 minutes and 16 seconds. He was both jubilant and exhausted upon arrival.
Nicolas Lunven sailing on Generali from France was just under 20 minutes later in second place with Adrien Hardy on Agir Recouvrement finishing third a further 18 minutes astern.
All 46 competitors remain in Dun Laoghaire Harbour until the start of leg three on Sunday 14th of August: 475 miles from Dublin to Les Sables d'Olonne in France.
Kiwis Continue to Roll Over the Competition in Cascais
The Emirates team picked up where they left off yesterday, winning two of the three fleet races to qualify at the top of the pile for the match racing final. Then, they beat the Artemis Racing crew handily, when the Swedish team accumulated a series of penalties around the race course.
The battle for third and fourth on the day was between ORACLE Racing stable mates Russell Coutts and James Spithill. But the highly anticipated match was nearly over before it began, as Coutts was forced to restart after he jumped the line ahead of the starting gun, handing an insurmountable lead to Spithill.
There were also flashes of brilliance from many of the teams further down the table, as Team Korea, Energy Team and China Team all performed well at various times during the day. The Koreans beat Energy Team for fifth place, while China Team led for much of the third fleet race before it all unraveled during the second lap of the course.
Among the guest racers on Thursday was America's Cup legend John Bertrand, the skipper of Australia II, the first challenger to win the Cup in 1983.
"This was my first race on an AC45," he said. "The boats are extremely physical and the racing puts the crews under tremendous pressure to make the right decision at the right time. There is no margin for error... We haven't seen anything yet!"
The daily seeding points from yesterday and today's races will be added to points earned on Friday to determine Saturday's finalists for the AC Match Race Championship. Only the top six teams will advance to race on Saturday.
The event concludes on Sunday with the AC World Series - Cascais Championship, a winner takes all fleet race that will determine the winner of the first stage on this new global professional circuit. The AC World Series continues with events in Plymouth, England in September and San Diego, California in November.
Cascais AC Match Race Championship – Seeding points after Thursday's races
Place - Team - 10 Aug Points - 11 Aug Points - Total
Seahorse September 2011
Keeping (very) busy
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Van Rijsselberge, Klepacka and Lehtinen Take Gold
Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED), Zofia Klepacka (POL) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) picked up the first gold medals of the Weymouth and Portland International after a gripping day of sailing on the Nothe in winds in between 15-20 knots.
Van Rijsselberge had been tussling with Great Britain's Nick Dempsey throughout the week in the Men's RS:X with the pair locked on equal points after eight races. But the deadlock was broken ahead of the Medal Race after Van Rijsselberge had a better fifth day of sailing than Dempsey to enter the Medal Race with a seven point lead.
And the Dutchman, who holds the ISAF Sailing World Cup RS:X Men's title, made hard work of it during the Medal Race after he rounded the first mark in tenth and 51 seconds off the leaders. But van Rijsselberge fought his way up the fleet to finish in fifth position.
Jon-Paul Tobin (NZL) won the Medal Race but the bronze medal went to Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) whose fourth place in the Medal Race moved him from fifth to third.
Klepacka claimed the Women's RS:X gold medal in wonderful fashion after winning the Medal Race by over a minute. The Polish sailor has strung together a fantastic race card throughout the week finishing out of the top three just once in 11 races.
Marina Alabau (ESP) boasts five race wins but she did not show the level of consistency that Klepacka showed. But she walks away with the silver medal and bronze went to Great Britain's Bryony Shaw.
It went down to the wire in the Women's Match Racing final between Silja Lehtinen, Silja Kanerva, and Lucinda Whitty (FIN) and Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Siuzeva and Elena Oblova (RUS).
In the deciding race the lead changed hands throughout with neither side taking the bull by the horns and seizing the initiative. The Finnish girls ran into problems after a poor gybe as Lehtinen, at the helm, almost fell into the water but was saved. And at the finish a Russian penalty enabled Lehtinen to cross the finish line first to take the gold medal.
Only two races were possible in the 49er and after 13 races Iker Martinez and Xabier Hernandez (ESP) lead Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen by a single point. In Race 12 the Australians finished a second ahead of the Spaniards to take the bullet but both teams finished out of the top three in Race 13 as Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) took the bullet and sit in third place on 48 points trailing the Spaniards by six.
After the 49ers the Stars, who were abandoned on Wednesday, continued with Race 7 and 8. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) continue to lead on 12 points. The day's race wins went to Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in Race 7 and Flavio Marazzi and Enrico de Maria in Race 8.
No racing was possible in the Finn class and they will race tomorrow as will the 49er and Star fleets
The Laser, Laser Radial and Men's and Women's 470 will take place tomorrow with the first race scheduled to start at 12:00 local time.
The Artemis Challenge started in a moderate southerly breeze at 1000 BST as PRB stayed close to the island shore out of the foul tide and gained an advantage that the French team managed to hold right through to the finish. By the time the four-boat IMOCA 60 fleet of PRB, Cheminees Poujoulat, Artemis Ocean Racing and Hugo Boss rounded Bembridge Ledge at the eastern end of the island and headed upwind round the back of the island, the wind was increasing in strength reaching up to 25 knots, with stronger gusts, which provided spectacular downwind 'surfing' conditions on the home run from The Needles to the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line off Cowes. Bernard Stamm's team on Cheminees Poujoulat challenged PRB throughout whilst Artemis Ocean Racing and Hugo Boss engaged in a great battle for third place.
PRB's nominated charity is Foundation Movement for Children's Village Foundation (MVE) and will receive a cheque for £10,000.
Results of the Artemis Challenge 2011:
Winning charity: Foundation MVE
The Foundation Movement for Children's Village Foundation (MVE) is a major player in child protection in France. It protects children at risk by hosting in his Children's Villages and Households, children and adolescents entrusted by the courts. Foundation Movement for Children's Villages was founded in 1958 by Suzanne Masson. It was state-approved in 2006.
Dubarry Lahinch - Hanging Ten In Style
Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.
Mike Golding Picks Bruno Dubois for the Transat Jacques Vabre
This will be Golding's seventh consecutive participation in the double-handed Jacques Vabre Race due to be raced between Le Havre and Puerto Limon au Costa Rica. This will not be the duo's first attempt as they already raced together in 2007. Mike Golding: " Bruno and I have known each other for many years and I trust him completely as co-skipper on this my first race for Gamesa. Bruno and his team at North Sails France provide the sails for the boat. He has a totally unique perspective and knowledge, which I value greatly. As our unofficial 'sail coordinator' his knowledge of the boat and my style of sailing will have a direct impact on our potential in the Vendee Globe. Clearly we are competing against some new boats this year plus we have been away from the IMOCA circuit for the past two years – however I remain confident that with our newly optimised boat and our combined experience onboard we will be a serious contender for a win in 2011."
Gamesa has been in the Green Marine yard for several months and will be relaunched in August at the Green Marine yard in Hythe. She will be renamed by Princess Anne at the Southampton Boat Show on 20th September. In September there will be training sessions and the duo will carry out their qualifier for the double-handed transatlantic race, which is due to start in Le Havre on 30th October.
SEB Six Metre World Cup
The classics could make their start in increasing wind up to 7-8 m/s. The first boat to round the windward mark was Lucie US 55 tightly followed by Nada K 12, Jolanda FIN 39 and Sara af Hango. Next time the boats rounded windward mark Llanoria US 83 came first then Lucie US 55, Nada K 12, Great Dane DEN 65 and Sara af Hango FIN 49. First boat to cross the finishing line was Llanoria US 83 then Lucie US 55, Great Dane DEN 65 ,Nada K 12 and Sara af Hango. Standings in the total results after this race was that Sara af Hango FIN 49 was leading with two points before Llanoria US 83 and Gallant KC 10 was one point after Llanoria. The final start was on their way 16.15. Great Dane DEN 65 turned first to downwind leg in superior lead. Lucie US 55was second and third was Sara af Hango FIN 49. Llanoria came as ninth and Gallant close after. The rest of the race was sailed by the Finnish boat by the book and they finished as fourth and could seal their World Cup victory.
The Regatta was successfully fulfilled inspite of all troubles with unstable wind, rain, AP up, AP down restart after restart etc.
Seven starts out of six were sailed in acceptable conditions, the sailors and organizers can be satisfied
Fleet Waiting For Trade Wind
Temperatures of a muggy warm 28 degrees four above the August average were controlled by a relatively unseasonal North West wind system.
Most of the sailors who had arrived from starting their day in the chilly climate of Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and ports south of the tropic of Capricorn welcomed the chance to soak up the warm sun.
Several made comments of reading reports that a moderate trade wind was already ruffling the waters of the Whitsunday Sailing Club courses.
But they were forced to complete their pre regatta trials in a warmer than normal breeze from a different direction.
However the experienced regatta officials remained confident that the warm North West breeze will be replaced by a building trade wind when the fleet representing New Zealand, Japanese and Australian clubs compete for class honours over the Whitsunday Sailing Clubs testing the 31 n/ml Double Cone-Armit Island course.
As expected the unusual wind conditions failed to dampen the enthusiasm as several crews including former French Kiss Americas Cup skipper Pierre Gal tested their boat speed while others were happy to spend some time out of the sun in the hospitality tent.
The post regatta party will take on a far more serious note off Airlie Beach at 11 am tomorrow when Race Director Denis Thompson and PRO Tony Denham set the course in what promises to be a challenging wind system. -- Ian Grant
XOD Special Centenary Race Day at Cowes
Andrew Shaw achieved a second successive bullet and third of the week in X23 Phoenix propelling him further into the overall lead after five races in the X One Designs, the biggest class competing at Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) Cowes Week.
Today's special race marked the final day of a three day 'regatta within the regatta', the AAM XOD Class Centenary Regatta. The much anticipated highlight of the week was the attendance of HRH The Princess Royal when she visited the Royal Yacht Squadron platform to fire the gun to start the XOD race at 10am.
The easterly downwind start, from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, watched by huge crowds of spectators, saw the fleet favouring the northern end, as they disappeared into a rather gloomy damp morning towards the windward mark.
Much of the rest of the fleet sailed conservatively but the race was not without its casualties which included 18 retirements. There were two reported dismastings, one of which was that of X131 Flying Fox, crewed by a young team in their early 20s including helmsman Oren Richards. The damage brought their AAM Cowes Week to an early end.
The course was shortened early to avoid clashes, since the sheer size and course direction of the XOD fleet had the potential to cause upset between them and the many other AAM Cowes Week classes. "It was the right course and the right decision," said Chris Torrens, sailing one of the original 100-year-old XODS, X5 Madcap, echoing the comments of other competitors in praising the Race Committee.
Phoenix's victory meant that they carried off not just the George Oliver Challenge Cup, the winner's trophy of the day, but also a special Centenary Trophy, the Royal Motor Yacht Club Trophy.
Silva Hispaniola Extends the Lead
With two bullets and a third added to an already impressive scorecard, Peter Schmidt's Evento 42 Silva Hispaniola from Germany have extended their lead to being almost out of reach from their Division 1 rivals. However, their current lead of over 12 points over two IMX 40's lying in second and third place - Peter Ortendahl's IMX 40 Gertrud and Jan Henrik Bryde's Xanthippea - is in jeopardy of being eroded once the discards are put in play on Saturday's final day of inshore racing, as both boats have 12 and 11 points, respectively, to drop from their totals.
On the strength of three 2nd place scores earned today, the new Division 2 leader has vaulted from 5th place to first in the standings from yesterday. Martin Nilsson's Salona 37 Feelgood has an 8-point lead over Jarle Kristiansen's GS37 Xtreme, who in turn is less than one point ahead of Patrik Forsgren's modified Beneteau First 36.7 Team SWE 88. Its notable to mention that the long offshore race runner-up, Kai Haupthoff's X-332 Sport Varuna Express, had two firsts in the first two races, followed by a disastrous 10th place in Race 3.
Just as in Division 1, however, this may all change once the discards are applied: 2nd through 5th place are separated by less than five points, and would compress even more. But before any discards are applied, the fleet has one more offshore race, the middle-distance coastal race, scheduled for tomorrow. This will have a point weighting of 1.25, and will be approximately 50 miles in length. -- Dobbs Davis
Current top-five standings after 7 races:
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