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The Pace Slows
Since yesterday afternoon there have been just been five finishers: the last two IMOCA 60s completed the course with Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss reaching the line at 22:10:01 BST yesterday, while DCNS 1000 arrived at 00:22:22, skippered by round the world sailor Marc Thiercelin who was racing on board with Luc Alphand, the 1997 World Cup winning skier, who in 2006 also came first in the Paris-Dakar rally.
Between the IMOCA 60s, the Oakcliff All American Offshore Team entry on the STP65 Vanquish crossed the finish line at 00:19:35, while Lloyd Thornburg's orange-hulled Gunboat 66 catamaran Phaedo pulled into Plymouth's Sutton Harbour after arriving at 03:03:24.
Phaedo's captain Paul Hand, from Tasmania, commented: "The most exciting part was the hull flying out off the Needles and the more anxious moments were during the beam reach up to the Rock in 35 knots of breeze, with 20 knots of boat speed and one hull in the air. No one was sleeping that much then..."
Hired guns, navigator Ian Moore and tactician Andy Beadsworth, were crucial in Phaedo reaching Plymouth so quickly, getting the most benefit from the tide and smallest wind shifts. Nonetheless, just short of the finish line their progress was slowed as they had to wait for the tide to turn.
The Phaedo team also played a vital role in the rescue of the Rambler 100 crew, as off southwest Ireland it was their media boat which picked up the five crew, including skipper George David, after they had been in the water for 2.5 hours, having drifted away from their capsized supermaxi.
The only arrival since dawn this morning has been Franck Noel's TP52 Near Miss from Switzerland which crossed the line at 10:46:05 BST. Skipper, French match racer and offshore sailor, Benoit Briand was pleased to have finished. "Last night we were stuck off the Lizard with tide and no wind. We spent four hours in a circle of one mile!"
The next boats due in are the Lithuanian Volvo Ocean 60 Ambersail and Chris Bull's canting keel Cookson 50 Jazz, both of which had just passed the Lizard mid-afternoon today. Meanwhile the remaining slower Class Z boats are still approaching the Lizard with on-the-water leaders in IRC 1, which are currently include the trio of the Ker 40 Keronimo, the Andrews 56 Norddeutsche Vermögen Hamburg and the Swan 62 Uxorious IV, all more or less neck and neck. On the water leaders in IRC 2, Quokka 8 and the French J/122, Nutmeg IV were making slow progress to the south of the Scilly Isles.
As of 1730 BST the Rolex Fastnet Race had 18 boats finished, 266 still racing, and 30 retired.
* After 72 hours of racing, the Class40 fleet face beating to the finish for the final 70 miles following a predominantly offwind leg from Fastnet Rock to the Scilly Isles.
With less than 200 miles of the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Course remaining, the leading Class40 pack in the 17-boat fleet compressed even further with the lead constantly changing as the group lined-up in the Celtic Sea to round the Isles of Scilly, 70 miles to the south-east. At 14:30 on Tuesday, French skipper, Tanguy de Lamotte and Initiatives - Alex Olivier, took poll position from Michel Kleinjans and his Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) crew on Roaring Forty 2, bringing the Belgian-British team's uninterrupted 48-hour spell at the front of the Class40 fleet to an end, until Francesco Piva and the Italian team with Peraspera took the lead, only to be usurped by Ross and Campbell Field's New Zealand GOR entry, BSL at 16:30.
By the late afternoon, only four miles separated the front five boats with Mathias Mueller von Blumencron's Red holding fifth place, six miles ahead of the double-handed Concise 2. The second wave of Class40's also remained tight, led by the Netherlands team on Moonpalace in 7th, trailing the British duo on Concise 2 by 13 miles, with Axel Strauss on the German Class40 Tzu Hang; Andrew Dawson's British entry Spliff; French yachtswoman, Catherine Pourre, with Eärwen; Benoit Daval with the French Class40 Techneau and Julian Metherell's British team on MAXVMG spread over ten miles.
There was an eerie atmosphere in the early morning hours off Les Sables d'Olonne, as a huge thunderstorm hit the area; dark skies, heavy rain, thunder and lightning illuminating the grey sea. But the brightest light of all was that of Jeremie Beyou, crossing the finish line of the third leg of the Solitaire du Figaro first. The Lorient based skipper of BPI won his second consecutive leg, leading for over 400 of the 477 total miles and further consolidating his overall race leader position.
His adversaries, namely Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen-Ouistreham), Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat), Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat), Nicolas Lunven (Generali) and Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls) tried to play catch up by staying close behind, but eventually none ever managed to overtake him, as was lamented by Fabien Delahaye: "We just could not keep his pace, he was simply too fast". The young sailor from Normandy is however the rising star in La Solitaire: he won the first leg in his home waters, was second in Les Sables and is now second overall in the provisional ranking, 34 minutes and 15 seconds behind Beyou.
The leg from Dùn Laoghaire to Les sables d'Olonne consisted of reaching conditions, just a short stretch on an upwind tack and downwind stretch along the Brittany coast, always with light to medium breeze, allowing the boats to keep on the move all times. No extreme conditions then, no big strategical options to take but a series of passages and wind transitions to be handled with great care.
Britain's Phil Sharp on The Spirit of Independence, who upon his arrival to the pontoon seemed more annoyed than disappointed. After being in the leading pack since the second day and having been first among the rookies, he ran out of luck when a big lump of seaweed got stuck round his keel. The Jersey sailor lost many places, finally crossing the line in 20th.
British Sam Goodchild (Artemis), the youngest sailor competing in the Solitaire, finished 27th but confirmed that he's a fast learner. His fellow countrymen Conrad Humpreys (DMS) and Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) crossed in 29th and 39th respectively. A race to forget for Portuguese Francisco Lobato, who after a good start, slipped progressively back in the fleet and finished in 40th with a huge time deficit of over 4 hours.
Halfway Stage of the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour
The first day of the RC44 events is always match racing day, and the only day the pro's are allowed to take the helm. But some of the owners have decided to take on the match racing challenge against the pros themselves.
Igor Lah enjoyed a good day at the helm of his Slovenian Team Ceeref, winning three out of the four matches sailed that included wins against two of the top teams, ORACLE Racing (USA) and Katusha (RUS) with Paul Cayard at the helm. Ceeref's score-line was only blotted by a loss to Russia's Team Nika after being called over the line early. Team Ceeref move up from fifth to third in the overall match race rankings after four events.
Still topping the match racing leader-board is the Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton combo on Team Aqua. With the pair sharing the helm today steering two races a piece, the team ended the day with just one loss to Peninsula Petroleum (GBR). They are now three points clear of second placed Katusha (RUS) who could only manage two wins from four matched sailed today.
Tomorrow see the start of four days of fleet racing and with sixteen boats on the start line it will be easy to rack up some big scores, with no discards allowed in the series.
Racing is due to start at 11.30 (CET) with three races planned. You can follow the racing live via live tracking on both your computer and smartphone http://tractrac.com/ and the live blog www.rc44.com
Design - Goin’ commercial
Seahorse build table - New entrant
Sailor of the Month
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EUROSAF Match Racing Open European Championship
We sailed 13 flights and together 39 matches in a gentle breeze between 3 m/s to 6 m/s and no clods. Great sailing conditions during the whole day.
Comments from the jury:
Results from today;
Bjorn Alm together with Henrik Lundberg (Friday) and Tom Borenius (Saturday) will comment on the matches.
Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust Competition
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the charity lottery, People's Postcode Lottery, are teaming up to give you the chance of winning fantastic sailing prizes. You have the chance to get your hands on a Musto sailing jacket (worth £100), a signed copy of Dame Ellen MacArthur's book "Full Circle", as well a range of other Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust goodies.
If you fancy entering the competition, then head to the People's Postcode Lottery website www.postcodelottery.com/ellen and take a look at the film about the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. Simply answer one question based on the film and be in with a chance of winning fantastic prizes.
This is the second time that the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has teamed up with the People's Postcode Lottery. The Cancer Trust, which helps rebuild the confidence of young people recovering from serious illness, was recently awarded £10,000 from the People's Postcode Trust, a grant-giving body funded entirely by the players of the People's Postcode Lottery. The money was used to purchase a van for the Trust, to allow staff, youngsters and equipment to be safely moved around the site.
Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championships
Wednesday, 17th August again resulted in two completed races. Today's first race, the fifth race in the World Championship, started with a solid 12 knot breeze, and there did not seem to be any significant advantage in any of the sides of the first beat. During the race, the wind dropped to around 6 knots, and after the first cats had crossed the finish line, the wind turned by about 45 degrees and began to pick up again. The fifth race was won by Scott Andersson (AUS), with Manuel Calavia (ESP) as number two and Steve Brewin (AUS) in third place.
After today's races, the competitors can subtract their lowest scores, which have moved around a bit on the list. Scott Anderson (AUS) again shows perfect form in terms of stability, and, with two days still to go, he leads the race overall. In second place is Steve Brewin (AUS), who has moved up, with Andrew Countries Berger (AUS) occupying third place overall.
Tight At The Top
"Our form in the lighter winds has never been that impressive and our results of a 4-6 placed us in damage control". Sorensen said.
But The Philosophers Club crew fought back to control the championship following their win in race five over their Sydney club rival Wailea helmed by Neil Padden and the Lake Macquarie sloop Iota ( John McNamara).
'Naturally The Philosophers Club a 'tweaked' Sydney 36 cruiser racer produces her best results when there is some grunt in the breeze and the conditions were just perfect" a happier Peter Sorensen said.
They were just too smart and fast recording a comfortable 4 minute 24 second corrected handicap win to take control of the progressive championship point score while Nutcracker continued to remain engaged in a spirited tactical 'dog fight' with Wailea for second. However while The Philosophers Club crew head into the final race with a comfortable lead skipper Peter Sorensen was in no hurry to prepare a victory speech.
There is still one race to go and there is a strong possibility that the forecast of a fading trade wind will present The Philosophers Club with a challenge to win the championship.
The Philosophers Club with her relatively consistent 1-1-6-4-1-3 score is still required to apply a tactical cover on Nutcracker in the final race while today's winner Brilliant Pearl skippered by Gary McCarthy from Mooloolaba has entered a tight race to decide the minor places. -- Ian Grant
Results Race 6 Pine Islands 34 n/mls corrected Hcp:
Dubarry Sligo - Dash of a Different Kind
Grand Slam Series Continues At Detroit Cup
Raced in equally-matched Ultimate 20's, the event will feature exciting one-on-one match race sailing on courses set in the Detroit River by Principal Race Officer Marcia Everingham and her team. Keeping the teams within the rules will be Tina Ortendahl and her team of umpires from Sweden, Canada, Great Britain and the US.
The competing teams are as follows, in order of ISAF ranking:
Reuben Corbett, NZL
Racing will be held from 10 AM each day, with a press conference open to the public held 30 minutes after racing on Thursday and Saturday, and a prize giving on Sunday.
The new website is just a beginning and over the coming months there will be more additions and functionality added. The first step was to replace the tried and tested website, which has served EUROSAF well in recent years, but with the upsurge in the use of social media, plus an expectation that everything will be available on-line, a new platform was needed on which to build for the future.
In the course of the coming weeks and months consideration will be given to what new functionality is required and in what priority. EUROSAF will also consider the use of micro sites for major events, such as the High Performance Grand Prix, which takes place in Murcia this coming October. Currently, because of the previous limitations in technology, a separate website was needed for this www.sailingmurcia.org but this will not be necessary in the future. EUROSAF are also considering options for on-line entries for EUROSAF events and bookings for meetings such as their as Annual Conference, which in 2012 takes place on 27th - 29th April in Limassol, Cyprus.
METS organiser Amsterdam RAI is reminding exhibitors that the deadline to enter this year's DAME Award (Design Award METS) is fast approaching. Those wishing to enter their products should complete the online application by September 20, 2011 at www.metstrade.com/nl/en/Pages/dame.aspx
This year the jury will place more emphasis on the 'green' benefits of every product it assesses, where applicable. The recipient of the DAME donation will be the Stichting Sailing Kids Foundation (SK), a Netherlands-based charity that organises sailing holidays for seriously ill children and their families.
Last year's DAME Award winner was Swedish company Selden Mast AB for its Reversible Winch.
METS/SYP 2011 runs from November 15-17 at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre in the Netherlands. All products entered for the DAME Award must be displayed at METS or the SuperYacht Pavilion (SYP) in 2011 and comply with the standard terms and conditions of participation.
Investigations into Italian citizens accused of misusing grants intended to help start up charter businesses are reaching their final stages in Genoa, Italy.
The Italian financial police, the Guardia di Finanza, says that money acquired from government agency Sviluppo Italia, later Invitalia, was used by the accused to fund private yachts or to buy yachts that were then sold for profit months later.
The first four claims for damages against the 'fraudsters' has been issued by Italy's auditor general, the Corte dei Conti, and are understood to amount to around €1m.
The subjects of the Corte dei Conti's attention are also being pursued in the courts by the 'procura della republica', Italy's state prosecutor, on accusations ranging from fraud to perjury.
Investigations into the misuse of the funds began in 2009.
Nautical lifestyle and performance brand, Sperry Top-Sider, has announced the addition of another Olympic-class sailing athlete to Team Sperry. Laser Radial sailor, Evi Van Acker, 25, from Belgium becomes the 31st sponsored member of the team. Along with her Team Sperry colleagues she will wear Sperry Top-Sider footwear on and off the water, and provide important feedback to the Sperry design team on technology and performance elements of her footwear needs.
Evi has many sailing accolades under her belt and was nominated Belgian Sailing Woman of the Year in 2005. In 2007 ISAF nominated her Rolex World Sailor of the Year and on July 8, 2011 she was crowned, for the first time, as Laser Radial European Champion. She recently earned a silver medal at the 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold, a race sailed on the same waters planned for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Follow Team Sperry on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Sperry
Marinas de Colombia SA, a Colombian and Spanish partnership, is investing US$19.7m to build Puerto Velero, a new marine complex in the city of Barranquilla. Once built, Puerto Velero will be Colombia's first major marine facility on its Atlantic coast.
The first stage of construction, an initial 130 moorings, started last Thursday. Split into three stages, the next two stages of construction include the building of a sailing school, heliport and a boutique hotel with 38 rooms, plus 33 on-water cabins and 38 on-land cabins. Leisure facilities such as a spa and a gym are also part of the project.
The construction now underway represents 34 per cent of the total investment. Second and third stages, representing 26 per cent and 40 per cent of the investment respectively, will follow.
Marinas de Colombia has its headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, and has 30 years of experience building marinas worldwide.
Brokerage through Europ' Yachting: www.yachtworld.com/europ-yachting/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
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