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Slow Going In Bermuda
Photo by Charles Anderson / RBYC. Click on image to enlarge.

Gold Cup Royal Bermuda Yacht Club: First up on the course in Hamilton Harbour this morning in the 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup was Group 1 Flight 1 and the first match featured Bermuda's top match racer Blythe Walker (BER) Team RenRe against Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners. They were both over the line at the start so they both had to turn back to clear and re-start. Radich made a clean dip and Walker thought he had also. He headed to weather, but was recalled again when PRO David Campbell-James ruled he had not cleared the line.

That mistake, and Walker trying to split downwind on a long-shot flyer that didn't pay, handed the match to Radich. Jesper won the Gold Cup in 2002 and was runner up for 2010 in his reuturn year to the match racing circuit.

Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing got an early penalty in Match 2 against Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team. He tried to wipe it off near the committee boat, tried to get a penalty on Lindberg, but was unable to make it work. Lindberg went on to win the match in the only race of the day with any drama.

In the other two matches in Flight 1, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team handily defeated young Jordon Reece who came to Bermuda through the Detroit Cup qualfier event. Franchesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing defeated Jakob Pawluk (POL) Henri Lloyd Racing, another young match racer earning his stripes in Bermuda's 24-team format.

Racing was initially delayed beyond the 9:00am scheduled starting time on Tuesday as a frontal zone brought a downpour and strong shifting winds to the harbour. Two cargo ships then passed through and the Race committee waited for a cruise ship that apparently was coming in as well. The cruise ship decided to anchor and wait for better visability. So that is how Flight 1 fitted in. After Flight 1, the wind died and didn't come back as hoped.

Racing resumes at 9 AM on Wednesday. -- Talbot Wilson

Champions Meet Champions in Jr Gold Cup
Photo by Talbot Wilson. Click on image to enlarge.

Junior Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda: Today the world's best young Opti sailors, ages 11 to 15, set out in Bermuda's Hamilton harbor for a first practice race before the start of the RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup on Thursday. Meeting each other on the water and on the docks for the first time today, these youngsters come from all corners of the world - from the arid climate of Mexico to the sheep farms of New Zealand to the hills of Wales and are true ambassadors of their sport.

Eleven of the seventeen sailors are national champions. Fourteen will represent their country in the 2011-12 Opti Worlds in New Zealand. Bermuda will be represented as well.

Because the sailors range in age from 11 to 15, their height and weight do make a big difference in the outcome of the race. As the younger, smaller sailors are hoping for light air, the taller, older sailors favor heavy breeze. Coming from such varied places, both boys and girls sailing here today have experienced all kinds of conditions.

For Bermuda sailors, youth sailing is growing and the potential for a break out performance is there. Five of the Bermuda sailors out of the nearly 40 competing will also qualify to attend the Opti world championships to take place in New Zealand later this year.

Sebastien Rogues Wins the Transat 6.50 First Stage
He covered 1148 miles at the average speed of 5.40 knots in 8 days 20 hours 46 minutes and 43 seconds.

Sebastien Rogues (716 - Eole Generation-GDF SUEZ): "It is my greatest victory. Because it's the hardest race I've ever done. The more you suffer; the more it's valuable to win. Especially because I believe I raced brilliantly. I have always been at the forefront of the fleet. But suddenly, off Portugal, when there were ​​40 knots of wind I wondered what I was doing there. What was going to break first, the mast? The hull? And at that moment the race is not your priority, you think about yourself first. We had a very combative but quite friendly race with David and Jorg. This morning, I wondered where David had gone. I did not dare to ask by the VHF and he is the one that told me "Is that you ahead of me?" What a great moment! The boat is fine. I can leave right now; I just have a few ropes to change."

28 minutes and 25 seconds after Sebastien Rogues, David Raison on TeamWork Evolution finished this stage between La Rochelle and Funchal in 8 days 21 hours 55 minutes and 08 seconds at the average speed of 5,38 knots.

Jorg Riechers on finished third in 8 days 22 hours 19 minutes and 07 seconds. He covered the 1148 miles at an average speed of 5.36 knots.

Gladiator Leads Audi TP52 World Championship
Tony Langley and his core crew of Gladiator, complemented this week by American tactician Chris Larson and Spanish navigator Nacho Postigo, bolted together two excellent races in very light, streaky winds to lead the Audi TP52 World Championship off Porto Cervo's Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Sardinia on countback after the first day of racing.

Against the crop of 2011 launches, Gladiator, the 2009 build Vrolik designed former Artemis, lacked nothing for light airs speed in spite of their compact sail programme winning the second race by nearly three minutes.

Added to their third in the first race of this World Championship, Gladiator's win leaves them only just ahead of Quantum Racing.

Ed Baird's American team won the first race convincingly but had the Spanish crew of Paramount Park Murcia (ESP), skippered by Gonzalo Araújo (ESP) with Ross MacDonald (CAN) calling tactics, slip away from them right on the finish line. The resulting third place relegated Quantum Racing to second overall.

Second place in the second race leaves Paramount Park Murcia, the team led by Araújo, MacDonald and Ignacio Triay, lying third overall, two points off the best aggregate of Gladiator and Quantum Racing. -- Andi Robertson

Bruno Peyron talks about the business of the America's Cup
Yacht Racing Business sat down with Bruno Peyron - then man behind the business of Energy team.

YRB: Was the America's Cup ever on your wishlist?

BP: No. Never. And I have never been interested in the America's Cup apart from a little bit of curiosity and a fan of the talents. This is for two reasons.

The first is that I have been sailing on Multihulls for more than 30 years - that was my favourite game. The second was that from the point of view of partnering and sponsorship it as impossible to sell. And even if you sell it, I mean you were just in the position that your return on investment was not positive.

For more than one and a half centuries, this has been a game more for private rich people, rather than a commercial product, which is going to change now.

YRB: So what makes this America's Cup different from a sponsorship point of view?

BP: A few different things. The first is the nature of the product. The future is multi-hull. It's faster. More dramatic and more spectacular. It's going to change the audience - it will be younger and wider in terms of marketing. This is the first major reason.

The second reason is the cost of the campaign. It's still a lot of money, but for the first time I think it is reachable and can be balanced. There will be a positive ROI.

In France we are used to putting together campaigns and I think that the level of budget required is not so far away from the level of the two biggest teams in France today plus a few secondary partners. So it's reachable - if you compare it to the benchmark - if we imagine what the numbers will be, I think that it will be very interesting for partners.

We are in a very good position now, because we are lucky enough to be the only new team to have the backing of a good, big brand like Corum and a couple of others which allows us to guarantee the two seasons in AC45 - so we are the only one along with Team New Zealand of course - but they have been around for years now. Fuil interview at:

Waterways Ireland ISA Sailing Championship
Ireland's most prestigious annual national sailing event, the Waterways Ireland ISA Sailing Championship, will take place on the 7th and 8th of October in Lough Derg Yacht Club in the ISA (Irish Sailing Association) SailFleet J80's. The invitational championship will see 16 of Ireland's top sailors compete over the two days for the title of 2011 Champion and the ISA Helmsman's Trophy.  

In 2010 Nicholas O'Leary of Royal Cork Yacht Club became the only sailor in the history of the event to win three consecutive championship titles. However this year Nicholas is unavailable to attend the championship and defend his title leaving the competition wide open. 

Finishing in second place for the past three years and eager to claim the title for himself this year will be Nicholas' father, Anthony O'Leary who lost out by only one point in last year's final.  Anthony, who captained the Irish team to victory in the 2010 Rolex Commodores Cup, will face some stiff opposition. Among the other competitors all vying for the title will be four time Olympic sailor Mark Mansfield, 2012 Olympic campaigner Ryan Seaton, Ireland based New Zealander Ben Duncan, winner of the 2009 Dun Laoghaire Regatta Flor O'Driscoll and fellow Royal Cork Yacht Club member George Kenefick who will be representing Cork Institute of Technology at the Student Yachting World Cup later in the month in La Trinite Sur mer, France.

Each competitor will sail with two crew members of their choosing in one of the eight ISA SailFleet J80's. On Saturday the 16 teams will be separated into two flights (groups) and will sail three races each. The top four teams in each flight will then go through to the final on Sunday which will consist of five races after which the 2011 Champion will be declared.

The Desire For Lightweight, Breathable Clothing Continues To Grow
Camet To meet these needs, CAMET International has introduced a new line of sportswear to satisfy it's sports-minded and outdoor enthusiast customers. The collection offers an array of possibilities from highly technical products that scream "performance", to lightweight, wrinkle-free products for on-the-water and off-the-water activities. We look for fabrics that move perspiration away from the body, dry quickly, and are wrinkle-resistant; characteristics sought by adventurers and sailors alike.

The technical products not only serve a purpose, they are also very fashionable. With solid color schemes, Hawaiian prints, and multi-functional designs.

Check them out at .

Voiles De Saint-Tropez
Another sultry day on the French Riviera as racing concluded for the week at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. For the 300+ boats at this year's edition, no amount of wind dances or prayers could conjure up enough breeze for a final day of racing. While both Tradition and Modern boats managed to get a race started, in the end, only the smaller modern boat classes were able to finish. For the Tradition fleet, with a bit of déjà vu for the week, after a few hours of the fleet struggling to get upwind, the decision was made to abandon racing for the day. All standings as of Friday would remain intact.

For the Rolex Trophy group, three races would be counted for the week. With a scoreline of 1-1-1, the 75-foot gaff cutter Avel, won their class (Epoque Aurique), as well as the Rolex Trophy, which will be awarded - with a Rolex timepiece - at tomorrow's prizegiving at La Citadelle.

The Rolex Trophy is awarded to the low point winner from the Tradition division boats that are more than 16 metres (length on deck). There were 51 boats eligible in this division, spread over eight classes in the fleet.

Second to Avel for the Rolex Trophy was Mariska, which won her class (15 Metre) with a score of 2-1-1. Built in 1908 and owned by Christian Niels, it is one of three 15 Metre class yachts racing at Les Voiles. Mariska underwent a full restoration, was relaunched in 2009 and has been having a successful run ever since.

Third placed was Rowdy, co-owned by Graham Walker and Neil Barham. The New York 40 class sloop won the Rolex Trophy in 2008 & 2009.

The Australian 18 Footer League's New Hull Initiative
Photo by Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League. Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Foot Skiff For many years the Australian 18 Footers League has been conscious of the need to keep the cost of racing to a realistic level or risk the future of their fleet and the emerging fleets in the U.S. and throughout Europe.

During the 1990s the League introduced a single hull design and appointed a specialist builder to construct each hull.  This allowed the club to control all aspects of the process and become owner of every boat in their fleet.

The move has had two positive effects on the sport.  Firstly, the cost of each new boat was reduced and the stability of design has also allowed for more equal competition of racing in all major international 18ft Skiff championships.

Since then the USA and UK have each won Giltinan (world) Championships for the first time and the level of international competition generally has also improved.

A true vindication for the rule change and initiatives.

Class boat builder Van Munster Boats built a new deck mould last year and is presently giving the League's existing boats an upgrade 'treatment' to bring them up to the current 2011 specs.

First boat to receive the upgrade 'treatment' to the 'new' specification was GOTTA LOVE IT 7 in December 2010.  Success of the project was immediate as the three years old GOTTA LOVE IT 7 hull won the Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour in March 2011.

Another five of the Australian 18 Footer League's boats are presently undergoing the same upgrade given to GOTTA LOVE IT 7 with similar numbers again likely next year as the club continues to improve the quality of its entire fleet.

"We can upgrade 3-4 boats each year for the same cost as building one new boat.  The economics are there for all to see", said club President John Winning.

Supporting the move in a recent interview, two-time Giltinan champion Howie Hamlin, of the United States, told Pressure Drop ( ):  "The boats are extremely light and highly loaded, so the class has found it is best to have one builder who can really specialize in building perfect boats.  Van Munster Boats is the current builder".

Pressure Drop suggested the competitive longevity of the boats in Australia is approximately 4-5 years), so asked Howie how long he thought they would last on San Francisco Bay.

Howie said:  "They built a new mould last year that solved some structural issues, so I think new boats will last 10 years - even on San Francisco Bay".

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League

Dubarry Lahinch - Hanging Ten In Style
Dubarry Lahinch Misguided though their choice of watersport may be, you'd have to admit that surfers know a thing or two about keeping control on a wet, rolling surface - and looking good while they're doing it. Dubarry's new Lahinch, inspired by Ireland's world famous surf destination, features a durable, lightweight upper that's quick draining and drying, and a two-part sole that uses Formula 1 technology to create a cushioned cocoon for the foot. The moulded sole acts like a shock absorber, the heel protects and supports the ankle and the toe protects, well, your toes.

Dubarry Lahinch - performance perfected.

Heat Is On In Istanbul for the Uno Farr 40 European Championship
The past week's stormy, wet weather has given way to sunshine and blue skies as eight participating teams prepare for two decisive Farr 40 regattas in Istanbul, Turkey. The UNO Farr 40 European Circuit - Event 3 (9th -11th October) and the UNO Farr 40 European Championship 2011 (12th - 16th October) are organized by the Farr 40 Class Association in collaboration with Marmara Sailing Club.

Racing will take place from 9th to 11th October in the 3rd Circuit Event and from 13th to 16th October in the European Championship, which is also valid as the fourth and final European Circuit event for this year. During the final prize giving ceremony awards will go to the overall winner of the Farr 40 European Circuit and the Farr 40 European Champion 2011.

The events present an interesting mix of experienced campaigners such as current Farr 40 World Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis with his Transfusion (AUS) and three-time World Champion Jim Richardson ('98, '04, '09) with his Barking Mad (USA), alongside promising newcomers such as Turkey's Provezza 8 which placed fourth in the second leg of the circuit in Porto Cervo in July.

With a fleet representing six nations, the Farr 40 European Championship has attracted the usual line-up of top international yachtsmen. Lorenzo Bressani, tactician aboard Alessandro Barnaba's Fiamma (ITA), has nine World and seven European titles under his belt and his just been nominated for the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards 2011. The kiwi contingent, meanwhile, will be well-represented with America's Cup veteran Cameron Appleton calling tactics on Struntje Light (GER), Olympic medallist John Cutler on Charisma (MON) - owned by Nico Poons - and Hamish Pepper on Barking Mad, amongst others.

Miani Wins 2011 Audi Melges 20 European Championship
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Audi Melges 20 European Championship Venice, Italy: Despite an early 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning start, only one race was possible on the final day of the inaugural 2011 Audi Melges 20 European Championship. With the overall victory in the balance, and tight grouping among numerous boats further down the standings, the 2011 Audi Melges 20 European Championship was an exciting one.

After 4 days of racing on the picturesque bay of Venice, Guido Miani's Audi Fratelli Giacomel is the winner of the Audi Melges 20 European Championship. On the last day, Miani, along with tactician Gabriele Benussi and crew member Nevio Sabadin confirmed the victory with a ten-point advantage over Luca Domenici's Notaro Team who consoles himself by being crowned 2011 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series Champion.

Domenici takes a well-deserved win dominating the circuit from Malcesine onwards. Miani was second, Dario Levi's with tactician Andrea Casale was third, Farnetti was fourth, Federico Strocchi's Cheyenne with tactician Gabrio Zandonà rounded out the top five. Venice was the final event of the Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series (27 races and 4 discharges).

Top Ten Results (After 10 Races)
1. Guido Miani, Audi Fratelli Giacomel, 31
2. Luca Domenici, Notaro Team, 58
3. Giancarlo Capolino, Legionaro, 59
4. Michael Kiss, Bacio, 65
5. Luca Lalli, B-Lin Sailing, 68
6. Fausto Rubbini, Thule, 73
7. Francesco Farnetti, Reggini Sailing Team, 77
8. Marco Franchini, Mezza Luna, 80
9. Dario Levi, Fremito d'Arja, 87
10. Federico Albano, 3Menda, 93

Full results:

2011 Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series Results (After 5 Events)
1. Luca Domenici, Notaro Team; 113 points
2. Guido Miani, Audi Fratelli Giacomel; 132
3. Dario Levi, Fremito d'Arja; 183
4. Francesco Farnetti, Reggini Sailing Team; 189
5. Federico Strocchi, Cheyenne; 212

Full series results:

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 27' Goetz 1/3 Scale IACC Yachts (2). US$ 60,000. Located In Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

When preparing for the 2000 America's cup in New Zealand, the BMW/Oracle syndicate was having trouble getting enough time in the wind tunnel to test sail shapes and the costs were escalating. They hit upon the idea of designing a building to 1/3 scale models for on the water testing. Set up to be sailed by two people, they have all the sophisticated sail and mast controls of the full size boats and the mast placement in the boat can be varied for and aft.

Carbon fiber laminated hull and deck. Lead keel bulb with steel shank. Carbon fiber rudder and tiller. Exterior of hull and keel painted black.

Brokerage through Sparkman & Stephens, Inc.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

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