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Tense Fight to the Finish of La Solitaire Du Figaro
Photo by Courouc-Marmara-Le Figaro. Click on image to enlarge.

Figaro The 44 skippers competing in the final leg of the Solitaire du Figaro had a very complicated second night at sea, the finish line in Dieppe is approaching but they still will have to deal with the tricky last part of the course. The winner will be crowned tomorrow, but who will that be? Hard to say 100 miles from the finish.

The winner of the fourth leg of the Solitaire du Figaro Eric Bompard is expected to cross the line in Dieppe on Wednesday at around noon. But, twenty hours from the grand finale, it's nearly impossible to say who will be crowned king of the Solitaire 2011. Everyone's eyes are fixed on the overall ranking, Jeremie Beyou (BPI) is still in a secure position, in 4th, to keep at bay young Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham), but for the lower step of the podium nothing is sure yet, with both Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) and Nicolas Lunven (Generali) still in the game... and for some others a leg win could represent a nice reward.

After a night plagued by continuous wind shifts and light and fickle airs, at the centre of an high pressure ridge, it was only in the early hours of the third day at sea that the breeze materialised again on the race course, giving some respite to the tired sailors. Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) has moved in the lead closely followed by Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011) and Nicolas Jossier (Entreprendre en Pays Granvillais). But overall race leaders Jeremie Beyou (BPI) and Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen-Ouistreham) are just a few hundred metres behind. Adrien Hardy (Agir Recouvrement) and Isabelle Joschke (Galettes Saint-Michel) managed to climb back up to the front, same as first placed rookie Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkerque).

Two skippers hit the news this morning: Michel Bothoun (Les Recycleurs Bretons) and Laurent Gouezigoux (Valorisons), whose risky offshore option proved to be a hat trick. Whilst the leaders were stuck in an area of very light and shifty winds, and speeds decreased dramatically, the pair never lost their momentum. And, deciding to stay west of Guernsey, Bothoun and Gouezigoux didn't feel the leeward island effect and managed to keep their speed up. So much that, according to the latest position report, the first climbed up 32 places in the overall ranking and went from 42nd to 10th and the latter did even better going from 42nd to 6th, that is to say 35 places!

The non-French skippers had a hard time extricating themselves of the currents and the unstable winds, the best position is that of Portugal's Francisco Lobato (Roff) who was reported 18th place, less than 2.5 miles from the top of the fleet and still sailing pretty fast at an average of 7.5 knots. The British troupe is led by experienced Conrad Humphreys (DMS) in 28th, while Jersey's Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) lost ground overnight and fell down to 33rd, young Sam Goodchild (Artemis) lies in 38th and Nigel King (E-Line Orthodontics) in 43rd.

The 44 skippers now face their last night at sea, a bit more than 100 miles to the finish in Dieppe.

Top ten positions, leg 4 at press time:

1. Erwan Tabarly, NACARAT
2. Paul Heilhat, MACIF 2011
3. Nicolas Jossier, Entreprendre En Pays Granvillais
4. Jeremie Beyou, BPI
5. Fabien Delahaye, Port de Caen Ouistreham
6. Laurent Gouezigoux, Valorisons
7. Adrien Hardy, AGIR Recouvrement
8. Eric Peron, MACIF 2009
9. Isabelle Joschke, Galettes Saint Michel
10. Michel Bothuon, Les Recycleurs Bretons

www.lasolitaire.com

Clipper 11-12 Race 2: Madeira to Rio De Janeiro
Looking at the race viewer today there is a classic case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer as the distance between the front runners and those at the back of the fleet gets larger with each 24 hour period at sea. Those reaping the rewards are Gold Coast Australia, Singapore and Welcome to Yorkshire who have stretched out a lead of 200 nautical miles on the rest of the fleet.

At present Gold Coast Australia is clearly enjoying their position at the front of the pack but are taking special care not to end their race early through misfortune as skipper Richard Hewson explains.

"We are now only 60 nautical miles from the Equator and have just passed Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo, a group of rocks off the Brazilian coast that shoot up from the sea floor 3,650m below. The pilot book describes Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo, otherwise known as St Paul's Rocks, as a group of rocks of volcanic origin which belong to Brazil.

Although steep they should be approached with extreme caution as surveys are incomplete. In 1974 MV Anna Christina sank after striking an unknown object, probably a rock, ten nautical miles south west of the group. As we didn't want to suffer the same fate we consequently gave the rocks a very wide berth.

"From here we will resume our rhumb line of 209 to Rio, this will take us 50 nautical miles from the north east tip of Brazil, where we hope to pick up the Brazil current which can run up to 2 knots down the coast at various times of the year."

Just behind Gold Coast Australia there is a close battle going on between Singapore and Welcome to Yorkshire with just four nautical miles separating the two teams in terms of distance to finish.

Positions at 0900 UTC, Tuesday 23 August
Boat - Distance to FInish*- Distance to Leader

1. Gold Coast Australia, 1657nm
2. Singapore, 1688nm, +31nm
3. Welcome to Yorkshire, 1699nm, +43nm
4. Qingdao, 1896nm, +240nm
5. Derry-Londonderry, 1932nm, +275nm
6. New York, 1934nm, +277nm
7. De Lage Landen, 1961nm, +304nm
8. Visit Finland, 1997nm, +340nm
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 2070nm, +413nm
10. Geraldton Western Australia, 2111nm, +454nm

Full positions are updated every three hours:
www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Classic Yacht Regatta Sponsored by Panerai
The 32nd Annual Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai and hosted by the Museum of Yachting, will take place in Newport over the Labor Day weekend, September 2-4. This event includes two days of racing and will draw a fleet that stands as a time capsule of classic design - from small traditional one-designs to large, majestic yachts built over a century ago.

Among the notable classics expected on the starting line are: the R-Class sloop Ruweida V, relaunched in June 2011 after being restored by IYRS students; NY 30 Amorita; NY 50 Spartan, restored by McClave, Philbrick & Giblin; and Sparkman & Stephens designs Black Watch and Bolero.

The weekend's schedule includes a welcoming reception on Friday evening, September 2; racing on Saturday and Sunday, followed each night by social festivities; and the event's traditional Classic Yacht Parade that takes place Sunday, beginning at 10:30 am.

Final awards will be presented on Sunday evening, and Sail Newport serves at the Organizing Authority of the event. Event sponsors that have joined title sponsor Officine Parerai include Boothbay Harbor Shipyard and The Hilton Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

The event is the third and final event in the North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. Online race registration, a Notice of Race, a schedule of events, and other materials can be found at the Museum of Yachting website www.moy.org

For more information about the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge:
www.paneraiclassicyachtschallenge.com

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:
1. Products. Full product listings, including:
- The Grand Prix series
- Racing & Cruising
- Dinghy & Windsurf
- Mooring
- Superyachts

2. Technical. Understand your ropes with
- 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:
itunes.apple.com/us/app/marlow-ropes

marlowropes.com

Celebrating the America's Cup
It was 160 years ago, on August 22nd, 1851, when the yacht America triumphed over the pride of the British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight, off England's south coast, winning the trophy that came to bear the yacht's name.

At 160 years old, the America's Cup is often called the oldest trophy in international sport. To give some context, consider that when the first Games of the modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in 1896, the first chapter in the America's Cup story had been written a full 45 years earlier.

It began in the early summer of 1851, America sailed across the Atlantic from the east coast of the United States for a season of racing against the best that Britain could offer.

But her owners had tipped their hand. On arriving in British waters, America had left its welcoming committee in its wake, making races (and the profitable wagers that accompanied them) difficult to find.

Eventually, America was able to enter the Royal Yacht Squadron's £100 Cup (also referred to as the 100 Guinea Cup); a race around the Isle of Wight against a fleet of British boats, with the winner on the water taking the trophy - no time allowances would be made.

The boats started, arranged under anchor, in two rows off Cowes. As the start gun fired at 10:00am, the yachts slipped anchor in the light breeze and made their way to the East.

America actually started poorly, and was in fifth place when the yachts passed No Mans Buoy.

But after slipping inside the Nab Lightship, she passed Culver Cliff in a dominant position and would never be overtaken.

America finished the race at 8:37 pm, 12 minutes clear of Aurora. The last boat to finish, Brilliant, cleared the line at 1:30 am the next day.

The owners of America briefly considered melting down the trophy they had just won to create medals. Fortunately, they had a change of heart and donated it to the New York Yacht Club under a Deed of Gift that still governs the America's Cup competition to this day.

That day in August was notable too for giving us perhaps the most famous quote to be associated with the America's Cup - 'There is no second'.

This is how it came about.

Of that first race in 1851, The Times newspaper reported: "Off Cowes...was heard the hail, Is the America first? The answer, yes. What is second? The reply - nothing."

In his history of the America's Cup, An Absorbing Interest, Bob Fisher recounts this and continues: "This almost certainly gave credence to the apocryphal story that the Queen (Victoria) had asked a signalman, on being told that the America was first, 'Who is second?' And the signalman was said to have replied, 'Ma'am, there is no second'."

To this day, 160 years later, it still represents a fine description of the sporting contest of the America's Cup.

americascup.com

New Mod 70 for Desjoyeaux and Foncia
When the MOD70 was announced, we were slightly sceptical about plans for yet another class of offshore yacht - no matter how many hulls. The world of professional sailing already has calendar clashes and multiple promoters competing for the attention of a relatively small audience. TheMOD70 though, has slowly but surely been sticking to its plan and some of the world's best offshore sailors and teams are signed up to take part.

One of the biggest advantages that the MOD70 has is in the name - it is a one design. One design racing provides lots of reasons for teams, sailors, fans (and sponsors) to be more interested in the event including:

- Cost control
- Closer racing
- Less focus on the platform and more focus on the sailors

Last week, Oman Sail announced that they would add an MOD70 campaign to their program, killing off the more ambitious Arabian 100 trimaran class and touted series.

Perhaps the only thing stopping the MOD70 from consuming the IMOCA 60 class is the Vendee Globe. As well as political instability, the IMOCA 60 is not a one-design which means that costs are rising and the gap between the front and back of the fleet is stretching. Now the winner of the last Vendee Globe, Michel Desjoyeaux, has taken delivery of his MOD70, the new multihull offshore event series is looking more and more interesting.

The rules of the MOD70 limit the number of competitors from any one country to 4. Unsurprisingly, France already has 3 teams flying the flag. Despite the large number of British sailors who competed in the last Vendee Globe, there are no UK teams announced yet for the MOD70 series. -- David Fuller in YachtSponsorship.com.

Full article: www.yachtsponsorship.com

Dubarry Crosshaven

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born In The South
If you want to design the world's best offshore sailing boot, you don't fanny around in a lab. You go to the Southern Ocean. So Dubarry did, onboard Green Dragon. They learned plenty, then they made the new Dubarry Crosshaven boot. It's got a hard-wearing waterproof built-in gaiter with top draw-cord, which keeps water out of the GORE-TEX® Duratherm waterproof thermal insulation inside. The toe and heel are as tough as the sole and they're part of Dubarry's unique D-chassis system, developed using Formula 1 technology to deliver maximum support.

Dubarry Crosshaven - boots born in the Southern Ocean.

www.dubarry.com

Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta
Photo by Jake Sugden, jakesugden.photoshelter.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta The Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta 2011 was held in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, between Friday 19th - Sunday 21th August. With a record number of boats racing this year, the event is now established as the Western Solent's premier regatta including IRC, sport boat and classic yacht and gaffer classes competing in 11 divisions totalling 163 entries in a highly diverse fleet.

On Saturday, light airs proved frustrating for many classes, with the Classic Cruiser Class forced to kedge in the flood tide on the Island shore. For Simon Hand and his team on the Black Group Committee Boat, setting courses on the Mainland shore east of Lymington was a struggle. "It was deeply frustrating with a total lack of breeze and incredibly varied wind direction," confirmed Hand on Saturday night. However, the Race Committee held their nerve and the majority of classes completed two races with the six boats in J105 fleet completing three races in the J105 National Championships. "Finally the sun came out, the wind picked-up and the 'champagne sailing' began," added Hand.

Meanwhile, on the Island shore in Bouldnor Bay, east of Yarmouth, the regatta's White Group of International 6 Metres; International Dragons, Folkboats; XOD's and YOD's had intense racing in the light conditions. White Group Race Officer, Mark Hall, recalls the scene: "Watching the 6 Metres tacking tightly inshore along Yarmouth Common to cheat the tide was a very memorable sight," says Hall. "While the XOD's displayed the close racing for which the class is famous, the competition within the 26 Folkboats was just as hot," he adds.

The second day of racing on Sunday proved equally demanding with overcast conditions and a low cloud ceiling snuffing out the breeze, but the regatta Race Committee held firm and all classes completed a third race with the J105's squeezing in two races.

The 2012 Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta will be held between Friday 27th July and Sunday 29th July; The Champagne Taittinger Reception will be on Friday night; The Towers Party on Saturday night and racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Complete results: www.royalsolent.org/racing_results.php

Title Defence In Tatters
Sydney ocean racing skipper Stephen Ainsworth had his hopes of successfully defending the Audi Hamilton Island IRC championship reduced to tatters on Dent Passage today.

His high performance racing crew onboard Loki looked aloft seconds after their $80,000 dollar mainsail was torn shortly after the gybed during a strong 35 knot gust.

Unfortunately the superbly prepared 19.4 m blue water ocean racer was left motionless in the water while her crew lowered the sail and retired from the 63n/ml Double Cone Island race. Prior to the unfortunate incident Loki which won the 2010 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week series with a race to spare was locked in a boat on boat match race with the smaller TP52 Hooligan skippered by Marcus Blackmore.

When skipper Stephen Ainsworth stepped ashore he was disappointed but simply said 'That's yacht racing".

As expected the brute breeze which turned the Whitsunday Passage into a 'torture track' when the boisterous breeze peaked 35 knots propelling the race leader Wild Oats X1 an exciting pace as she left a white water wake for her rivals to follow.

Mark Richards eventually steered the super maxi Wild Oats X1 to another runaway win over Investic Loyal (Peter Merrington) and Lahana (Peter Millard)

Naturally the brute breeze forced a long list of retirements with blown spinnakers, bent spars and mainsails reduced to tatters among the expensive damage inflicted on the fleet during another day of spectacular heavy wind racing in the windy Whitsunday Islands.

Hooligan the Marcus Blackmore helmed TP52 expressed the skill of her high standard crew to take a commanding lead in the championship when they record a 9 minute 2 second win over the Victorian Farr 55 Living Doll (Michael Hiatt while Robert Hanna steered the Victorian TP52 into third another 3 minutes 7 seconds off the pace. -- Ian Grant at Hamilton Island

Event site: www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

Swiss Teams Promising Upset on Home Waters
London, UK: Two Swiss teams will be looking to shake things up on the World Match Racing Tour as they join the world's top match racers at St. Moritz Match Race.

Event veteran Eric Monnin and rising Swiss star Jerome Clerc will take on eight Tour Card Holders plus several wildcard entries on home waters next week at St. Moritz Match Race, the sixth stage of the world's premier match racing series.

Monnin has targeted reaching the final of the event - and plans to take down some big names on the way.

Jerome Clerc's Societe Nautique de Geneve team won their place at St. Moritz Match Race after being crowned Swiss national match racing champions at the Volvo Match Race Cup. Clerc has never won a race against any of the top ten teams - but plans to rectify that this year.

For several key players such as Mathieu Richard's and Damien Iehl's (FRA) French Match Racing Teams, currently seventh and eighth on the scoreboard, as well as Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, lying in tenth place overall on his debut season as a Tour Card Holder, a good result at St. Moritz Match Race is vital to their progression up the World Match Racing Tour standings.

At the head of the rankings is Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing, but snapping at his heels is Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar who heads to St. Moritz Match Race on a winning streak with two consecutive wins at the last two stages of the Tour. Second-placed Peter Gilmour misses St. Moritz Match Race, opening the door for the chasing pack to occupy the number two spot.

Live online coverage of the St. Moritz Match Race from 1300 local time (GMT +1) each day on www.wmrt.com

St. Moritz Match Race runs from August 30 to September 4.

Entry list for St. Moritz Match Race 2011
Francesco Bruni (ITA), Pierluigi de Felice, Tom Burmhan, Matteo Auguadro
Ian Williams (GBR), Bill Hardesty, Gerry Mitchell, Matt Cassidy
Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Kyle Langford, Graeme Spence, Kinley Fowler
Jepser Radich (DEN), Rasmus Kostner, David Swete, Nick Black
Damien Iehl (FRA), Fred Guilmin, Devan Le Bihan,Francois Verdier
Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Andres Jönssen, Philip Kai Guhle, Mathias Bredin
Mathieu Richard (FRA), Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, TBA
Phil Robertson (NZL), Garth Ellingham, Sam Bell, TBA
Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Johan Berne, Oscar Angervall, Anders Dahlsjo
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA), Cedric Chateau, Mathieu Renault, Steven Liorzou
Eric Monnin (SUI), Marc Monnin, Jean-Claude Monnin, Julien Falxa
Jerome Clerc (SUI), Denis Girardet, Elodie Mettraux, Bryan Mettraux

2011 ISAF World Match Race Tour - ranking after five stages
1. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing - 81pts
2. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing - 74pts
3. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar - 71pts
4. Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners - 59pts
5. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat - 59pts
6. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team - 57pts
7. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 57pts
8. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team - 53pts
9. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing - 39pts
10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team - 34pts

www.wmrt.com

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1997 Dazcat 10 Racing Trimaran. GBP 180,000. Located in Cornwall, United Kingdom.

Two-time winner of the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race - 2006 and 2010 - and winner of many other races, this is an extraordinary 10m trimaran for offshore racing, with amazing all round performance.

Brokerage through Multimarine Composites Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/multimarineuk/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
So I'm at the wailing wall, standing there like a moron, with my harpoon. -- Emo Phillips

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