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Jeremie Beyou Wins In Dieppe
Photo by Courouc-Marmara-Le Figaro. Click on image to enlarge.

Figaro On Wednesday at 12:49:01 Jeremie Beyou crossed the line first to win the fourth and final leg from Les Sables d'Olonne to Dieppe. By finishing in Dieppe ahead of the rest of the fleet, and scoring his third consecutive victory, BPI's skipper Jeremie Beyou was crowned overall winner of the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro, an edition he dominated from the outset. This win means he joins the exclusive club of double winners of the event.

The BPI skipper covered the 437 miles in 72 hours, 37 minutes and 1 second. It was one of the closest finishes ever for the race, with four boats flying past the line in a little more than 30 seconds. Second place went to Paul Meilhat (Macif 2011) just 12 seconds later, third to Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham) 28 seconds after the winner and fourth to Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) at within 35 seconds.

At 35 and on his 12th participation in La Solitaire du Figaro, Jeremie Beyou secures his second victory following that obtained in 2005. He joins the very exclusive club of winners to have won the event twice; Armel Le Cleac'h (2003-2010), Nicolas Troussel (2006-2008), Jean-Marie Vidal (1972-1987), Gilles Gahinet (1977-1980), Guy Cornou (1975-1976) and Gilles le Baud (1973-1978). Only Philippe Poupon (1982-1985-1995), Jean Le Cam (1994-1996-1999) and Michel Desjoyeaux (1992-1998-2007) managed to do better with three wins each.

By finishing in third on the final leg and second overall, Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen-Ouistreham) becomes the rising star and future talent to watch out for in the Beneteau Figaro class. The young sailor from Caen, who won the first leg on home waters, showed an impressive consistency finishing seventh, second and third in the following legs and only 35 minutes separates him in the overall ranking from the winner.

Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat), who finished 4th in Dieppe, had to wait until his closest rivals in the overall time accumulated rankings finished, to find out that he had the third place this season. Both Nicolas Lunven (Generali) and Thomas Rouxel (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance) finished their Solitaire du Figaro 2011 participation with average performance, 24th and 22nd respectively to relinquish the third spot to a deserving Tabarly. Erwan Tabarly concludes with a mere 5 minutes lead on Lunven and Rouxel.

This 42nd edition of la Solitaire du Figaro was also marked by the presence in the top part of the scoreboard of a number of newcomers to the race: rookies such as Xavier Macarie (Starter Active Bridge) finished 4th in Caen, Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee) 12th in Dun Laoghaire, 9th in Les Sables d'Olonne, 7th in Dieppe. An impressive performance that rewarded the 24-years-old skipper from the Vendee region, not only with the overall victory in the rookie class, but also with a remarkable 8th place in the general ranking. Second place goes to Xavier Macaire (Sterter Active Bridge), 8 minutes and 33 seconds behind while Jersey based Phil Sharp (The Spirit of Independence) managed to finish in third overall by only four seconds after more than 260 hours at sea.

Top ten final places
1. Jeremie Beyou, BPI
2. Fabrian delahaye, Port De Caen Quisstreham, + 34' 43" overall cumulative time
3. Erwan Tabarly, Nacarat, +01h 07' 59"
4. Nicolas Lunven, Generali, + 01h 11' 21"
5. Thomas Rouxel, Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance, + 01h 22' 06"
6. Paul Meilhat, MACIF 2011, +01h 35' 47"
7. Thierry Cchabagny, Gedimat, + 01h 46' 49"
8. Morgan Labraviere, Vendee, + 01h 48' 39"
9. Laurent Pellecuer, Atelier D'Architecture Jean Pierre Monier, +01h 48' 56"
10. Anthony Marchand, Bretagne Credit Mutuel Espoir, +01h 56' 13"

IDEC Capsizes
Francis Joyon aboard his 100ft maxi trimaran IDEC capsized this morning around 05:00 GMT off New York, having just started his attempt on the singlehanded west to east transatlantic record.

Joyon had passed the start line off the Ambrose Light at 00:08:10 GMT this morning and at the time of capsize IDEC had been sailing in 25 knots form the south when allegedly she was hit by a violent squall.

Joyon was not injured in the incident and has been in contact with his router Jean-Yves Bernot. He is likely to remain on board until a tug arrives capable of towing IDEC back to safety.

This afternoon from IDEC's upturned hull Joyon, quiet calm as usual, explained what had occurred.

"I went through some very intense squalls, marked by violent gusts, but it was when I thought I was leaving this area that I received a massive gust that catapulted the boat on its side.

At the time I was sailing under triple reefed mainsail and with the small ORC [storm jib]. The violence of the squall was such that the sensor, and the anti-capsize alarm did not have time to go off. The wind continued to build very violently and I felt the boat literally catapulted into the air. Within seconds, I was 'on the roof'. I found myself under water, beneeath the nets. I tried to guide myself back to open air. It was night and chaos. Eventually, I made it to one of the floats. I'm not sure how I reached the forward beam but I was able to climb up onto the platform. I then got inside the boat through the escape hatch.

I am in contact hourly with Christophe Houdet on land. I know that many people are mobilising to find a tug. I know I am only 50 miles from Newport, Rhode Island. The boat seems intact and I know the rig does seem to be bumping against the platform. The sea state is relatively calm and the air temperature quite bearable. I have something to eat. Once a towing vessel arrives, I will be able to dump the rig, and perhaps consider a righting operation to facilitate towing." -- James Boyd in

Synergy Strong Starters in Cartagena, Australians Win Soto 40 Practice Race
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Medcup In very light and fickle breezes, under the stark, rugged cliffs off Cartagena, tactician Rod Dawson (NZL), helm Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) and navigator Francesco Mongelli (ITA) conspired to make the most of a strong start, proving they have the speed in the very gentle airs to hold off the very competitive fleet.

Synergy lead from the first windward mark, ahead of Jose Cusi's Copa del Rey winning Spanish boat Bribon. Both extended noticeably on the second beat when they gained from a right windshift and were comfortably clear of third placed Quantum Racing (USA) by the finish line.

For the Russian flagged team, who have made two crew changes for this regatta, one forced through injury to their bowman and one new trimmer as they sought better downwind speed, this was their third race win of the season, a victory which ensures they have never finished Race 1 of any regatta this season any worse than third place.

It was after 1615hrs when racing finally got under way, after a long delay ashore. And in the end there was only just enough breeze, 5-7kts, to complete only the one contest.

In stark contrast to the majority of the racing over what has been a breezy season so far, it proved a difficult test for the afterguards especially attempting to read and react to the subtle changes on the water.

Markus Wieser (GER) and the crew of Container (GER), second placed for the season standings, found themselves on the wrong side of that pernicious wind shift and could only cross the finish line in seventh place.

The young Australian crew on Patagonia by the Australian Soto 40 Team, average age just 24, sailed an inspired Soto 40 practice race.

Light winds are expected to prevail at least for the next couple of days.

Region of Murcia Trophy - Cartagena
52 Series

Results after one race:

1. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), 1 point
2. Bribon (ESP), 2 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 3 points
4. Audi Sailing Team Powered by All4One (GER/FR), 4 points
5. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (ITA), 5 points
6. RAN (SWE), 6 points
7. Container (GER), 7 points

Bainbridge International Introduces Membrane Sails
Bainbridge Membrane Sails As part of Bainbridge International's continuous development program, we are excited to introduce our first Membrane sail construction. We are now able to offer the sailmaker a bespoke load path membrane system.

Diax2 Membrane is designed to give the sailmaker a stronger, lighter, high performance membrane made to their exact specifications. DIAX2M utilises advanced fibre stringing techniques and is available in a variety of styles and fibre types, with the race version featuring clear films and the cruise version with double taffetas. Single and internal taffetas are also available.

Playing a vital part in the launch our new membrane sail construction is the creation of - an interactive trade website which allows the sailmaker easy access to accurate membrane quotes.

For more information on new DIAX2M or to request samples of any of our products, please contact your local sailmaker or email us at

Chimp Consolidates Lead On Day Three
Photo by Fiona Brown, Click on image for photo gallery.

Halfton Cup Three more races were completed at the Half Ton Classic Cup supported by South Boats, two windward/leewards followed by a round the cans course, bringing the total number of races sailed to seven. The wind ranged from 7-8 knots in the morning up towards twenty during the afternoon and the sun shone all day, more than making up for yesterday's wet and misty conditions.

It was a day that required patience and steady nerves with the wind often coming down in streaks. Boats only a matter of yards apart could be sailing in winds of significantly different strength and direction - described ruefully by Chimp's tactician Roger Merino as "the splatter effect".

There were multiple cases of boats finishing within seconds of each other. Every mark rounding brought close quarters action and this evening the protest committee were in business again adjudicating on a leeward mark incident during race six, the second race of the day, involving David Evan's Hullabaloo XV, Christopher Haworth's Beat & Run and Robbie Tregear's Per Elise. Hullabaloo XV was found to be in the wrong and was disqualified - a great disappointment as they had finished the race in eighth place.

For overnight leader Chimp, it was a day of consolidation and pleasant surprises. As they came ashore they knew they had finished fourth in race five but races six and seven were too close to call and they feared they were fifth or worse so were delighted to come ashore and find they had in fact come second in both races. As a result they extend their overall lead of the championship to nine points. Moving back up into second place is General Tapioca with 29 points, 11 adrift of Chimp. Insatiable added eight, ten and six to her score card and holds onto third place, ten points behind General Tapioca. Chani had a mixed day and really struggled in the round the cans race, finishing 24th, so drops down from second to fourth.

In the Production Boat Series Chani is leading the fleet with Fredric Denis' Fletcher Lynd second and Mcihael Langhans' Strolch third.

Tomorrow three further races are planned. Racing continues until Friday 26th August with up to 12 races scheduled. Once eight races have been sailed a second discard will come into play. The forecast for tomorrow is for overcast and possibly rainy conditions with around 15 knots in the morning, dropping to perhaps 7 knots during the afternoon as the skies clear. -- Fiona Brown

Tracy Edwards MBE is Legends Ambassador
Alicante, Spain: Tracy Edwards, the first woman to lead an all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-90, has been named an Ambassador for the Volvo Ocean Race Legends, the first official reunion for veterans of the world's premier ocean race.

Edwards and her crew of Maiden won two of the six legs in their class including the spectacular route through the notorious Southern Ocean from Punta del Este to Fremantle, a leg which cost the life of Tony Philips from Creighton's Naturally.

The team attracted attention far in excess of their rivals, both before and after the race. Edwards herself overcame incredible odds to bring the Maiden project together. Although Clare Francis had been the first female skipper with ADC Accutrac in 1977-78, and many other women had taken part in the event, the crews had always been mixed and there was a widely expressed view that women did not have the sheer physical strength necessary to compete.

There was much scepticism before the race started and no early major sponsorship was offered. Determined to compete, Edwards sold her house to buy the run-down 58' (17.7m) Disque d'Or III, Pierre Fehlmann's entry in the 1981-82 race and refit her to take part in 1989-90.

Sponsorship from Royal Jordanian Airlines came at the last minute, and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson became 'godmother' to the boat and christened her 'Maiden' at a ceremony on the banks of the River Hamble on the south coast of England. When Maiden won arguably the toughest leg of the course on both corrected and elapsed time, the sceptics were silenced,

Maiden went on to win her class in leg three, finishing second overall in her division. This was the best result for a British boat since 1977 and Edwards became the first woman to win the Yachtsman of the Year Award in its 36-year history. In 1990 Edwards was named Sportswoman of the Year and presented with an MBE.

Edwards will be joining other Legend Ambassadors: Lady Pippa Blake, Magnus Olsson, Sir Chay Blyth CBE, BEM, and Skip Novak.

The official Notice of Race and entry form is available for download together with full information on how to take part and a preliminary schedule of events from:

Sail Faster And Smarter!
Speed and Smarts Speed & Smarts is a bi-monthly newsletter packed with tips to improve your racing performance. It's written by winning AC tactician David Dellenbaugh, and each issue has 16 pages full of instructional advice on tactics, strategy, speed, boathandling and rules (plus there's no advertising!).

Whether you race a one-design or big boat, at the top or bottom of your fleet, you'll find lots of valuable ideas in Speed & Smarts. In fact, when you consider the cost of other go-fast items you can buy, this newsletter gives you extremely good "bang for your buck."

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25th Anniversary Edition Newport Bucket Regatta
The Bucket Regatta Silver Anniversary Festivities will begin on Thursday 25 August, with the Fleet gathering at anchor off of Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA.

Friday's Newport Bucket "Feeder Race" will start at the west end of the Vineyard Sound, with the fleet racing under the successful Bucket Rule pursuit racing handicap system. Friday's racing fleet will include the 37M DuBois design, MOONBIRD, the elegant Fontaine 29.5M Spirit of Tradition Ketch, WINDCREST, the S & S 29M Sloop, ALTAIR and two elegant sistership W-Class 23M Classic Sloops; WILD HORSES and WHITE WINGS, that will be match racing for the new "Demi-Class" honors along with the Feeder Race Awards.

Racing for Bucket honors will begin at noon on Saturday and Sunday, 27-28 August. As usual, courses will be set off Newport in Rhode Island Sound with the start and finishes off Castle Hill. Ratings will be by the Bucket pursuit racing rule, which adjusts start times such that the finishing order will determine each yacht's position in the fleet without subsequent rating adjustments.

Trophies will be awarded for four classes; the Bucket Traditional Grandes Dames des Mers, Les Gazelles des Mers, the new Elegantes des Mers (Spirit of Tradition) and for the 25th Anniversary edition, the Demi-Class. Overall trophies which recognize the top finishers in each class, along with the Bucket Overall Trophies, Feeder Race, combined Feeder and Overall trophy, as well as the traditional Bucket Awards the Wolter Huisman Spirit of the Bucket award, the Vitters Seamanship/Sportsmanship award, the coveted "Skullduggery Cravat" for the yacht that best promulgates non-adult behavior, and The Newport Bomb, which has become yet another iconic Bucket trophy that celebrates the yacht that simply, has the most fun.

18ft Skiff International Regatta
Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Skiff International Regatta San Francisco, California, USA: Compared to the America's Cup pros who will hit San Francisco Bay in 2013 or even the leaders in the current 10th annual 18ft Skiff International Regatta hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, those from the local Sailing Foundation are at the other end of the scale of fame, as they are in the standings at the bottom of this report.

But it would be hard to find more dedicated sailors anywhere than the dozen or so competitors racing on their home waters this week.

On an off day for the regatta, three members are the only ones in the staging area, working on their outdated boats. All 18 skiff sailors concentrate on remaining upright; these worry about just keeping their high-tech flyers afloat, day to day.

Following a day off Wednesday, four of 10 races remain, starting with one at 4 p.m. on the usual windward-leeward course from inside the Golden Gate to just past Alcatraz. That will be followed at about 5:30 or later by the Bridge to Bridge run---a madcap 7 1/2-mile romp when the 18s will be joined by the best of the local windsurfers and kite boarders. They'll start all at once from under the Golden Gate and race to the Oakland span around the corner of San Francisco's city front.

The question for Thursday is whether Michael Coxon's neck will be well enough that he can return to skipper Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, currently in third place with the veteran Trevor Barnabas. Coxon won the regatta and the Bridge to Bridge race last year. TF has a 7-1-6-1-(16/OCS)-2 log with Barnabas.

Standings (after 6 of 10 races, including one discard; skippers listed first)

1. Yandoo, Australia, John Winning/David Gibson/Andrew Hay, 11 points
2. CST Composites, USA, Howie Hamlin/ Matt Noble/Paul Allen, 12
3. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Australia, Trevor Barnabas/Aaron Links/Trent Barnabas, 17
4. SLAM/Mounts Bay WA, Australia, Grant Rollerson/Justin Healey/Marco Schuermann, 18
5. CT Sailbattens, New Zealand, Alex Vallings/Chris Hiller/Josh McCormack, 19
6. SMEG, Australia, Nick Press/Daniel Phillips/Brant Demis, 23
7. Maersk Line, Australia, Graham Catley/Nick Catley/Riley Dean, 32
8. Harken, Australia, Glenn Raphael/Ben Lawrie/Matt McKinlay, 37
9. Yamaha, New Zealand, Dave McDiarmid/Andrew Archibald/Chris Burgess, 42
10. White Lightning, USA, Patrick Whitmarsh/Mark Breen/Charlie Smythe, 46
11. Panasonic Lumix, Australia, Jonathan Whitty/James Hozack/Phillip Beuner, 47
12. O'Canada, USA, John Ladha/Daniel Inkpen/Trevor Bozina, 59
13. USA Black, USA, Skip McCormack/Jody McCormack/Polish Mike, 62
14. Death Dealer, USA, Brian Malouf/John Gilmour/TBA, 13-11-14-12-13-(16/DNF), 63
15. Love Machine, USA, Chad Freitas/Katie Love/Daniel Roberts, 74

J/109 Euro Championship
Photo by Tim Wright, Click on image to enlarge.

J/109 Euro Championship With nearly 100,000 people visiting Dartmouth during the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta period it makes Dartmouth Regatta one of the largest public events in the South West, and the second largest Regatta after Cowes Week.

With racing scheduled to take place from the 24-28 August over a mixture of windward/leeward, round the cans and a passage race to test both the boat handling skills and endurance of the crews. Dartmouth is ideally placed to attract J/109s from around the UK and Ireland in addition to the Channel Islands and France. The J/109 is the largest one-design yacht racing fleet in the UK and Ireland with 30-40 boats regularly racing at Cowes Week, the J/109 UK National Championships and the Irish National Championships in addition to strong international one-design fleets. Coupled with the active social programme, this is the ideal venue for the J/109 Euro Championship.

On Friday all eyes will be on the J/109 chartered by JP Morgan as they will have Ben Ainslie CBE onboard. Ben Ainslie is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor; in total he has won three gold medals and one silver. Ben's sailing achievements are unprecedented not only is he a triple Olympic gold medallist, he is also a nine times World champion, eight times European Champion and three times ISAF world sailor of the year.

Vernon Stratton
Along with many, many other sailors of all ages, I was so sad to find out this week about the premature passing of Finn Gold Cup winner Vernon Stratton at the young age of 83. I anticipate widespread comment will follow from his beloved Finn - and more recently Illusion - fleets, but it is essential to also set down on paper just how much of Great Britain's current success in Olympic sailing is a direct consequence of seeds sown by Vernon's strong leadership back in the 1960s, 70s and early 80s.

Vernon Stratton was in charge of British Olympic sailing for the successful 1968 and 1972 Olympic Regattas and was on course to do a similarly good job as team manager in 1980 - before UK authorities bowed to peer-pressure and withdrew a strong British Olympic Sailing Team from the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, along with our Equestrian, Rowing and Shooting teams.

A fine sailor himself, and married to another fine sailor - Pepe Stratton was a rather magnificent Firefly and Finn sailor in the days when such things were not usual - Vernon knew only one approach to managing sportsmen: pick only winners and then back them as hard as you can.

Vernon Stratton was not a man for management by committee; when Great Britain's 'on-paper' extremely strong 1976 Olympic sailing team raced in Montreal, it would not be presumptious to suggest that they missed Vernon's strong hand and failed to deliver all of the medals of which they were beyond doubt capable.

Fast forward to 2011, and it was the success delivered by Vernon's sometimes-maverick Olympic stars, of which Rodney Pattisson was of course the most dazzling example, along with the magnificent and much-missed Reg White and a few others, that then inspired so many younger, talented British sailors to also 'reach for the stars'; whether in the Olympics, in offshore racing or even, dare I say in later life in the industry itself.

The success of Vernon's tight Olympic sailing family inspired, and subsequently the management skill of former RYA CEO, Rod Carr, a squad sailor under Vernon, later brilliantly melded that inspiration to deliver the funding and organisational structure that is today's remarkable British Olympic sailing legacy.

Along with countless sailors and friends of Vernon around the world, I miss my friend and sometime-mentor already, and would like to use this humble note to express my sincerest sympathies to Pepe, Richard and the rest of his close family, as well as to the many fellow photographers and advertising industry colleagues that Vernon was close to in his other, more artistic but equally successful endeavours.

Andrew Hurst
Editor, Seahorse International Sailing

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The Last Word
The crowd makes the ballgame. -- Ty Cobb

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