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Early Start For Third Day
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

SOF Hyeres The third day of the Semaine Olympique Francaise started early. With a pessimistic weather forecast predicting strong winds, the race committee had decided to start the day as early as possible to make the most of the sailable conditions.

At 8am, all the sailors were ready to hit the water for their races scheduled at 9am. With the end of the qualification ending tonight, priority was given to the classes sailing in groups. Stars, Sonars and 49ers sailed only one race, while Finns, 2.4mR and Skud stayed ashore. All other classes were able to complete their two scheduled races.

With similar conditions as the first two days the results didn't change much.

At the end of the day, all classes sailing in groups were able to complete their qualification stages. Tomorrow will be the first day of finals. The Women Match racing will conclude their round robins.

Sailing will start at 8.30 am for the Women Match racing and 11am for the other classes.

Top three by class:

RS:X Men after 6 races, 1 discard
1. Piotr Myszka, POL, 7 points
2. Julien Bontemps, FRA, 8
3. Toni Wilhelm, GER, 10

RS:X Women after 6 races, 1 discard
1. Maja Dziarnowska, POL, 12
2. Olga Maslivets, UKR, 20
3. Charline Picon, FRA, 21

Laser after 6 races, 1 discard
1. Philipp Buhl, GER, 7
2. Andrew Murcdoch, NZL, 8
3. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 8

Laser Radial after 6 races, 1 discard
1. Alison Young, GBR, 6
2. Krystal Weir, AUS, 7
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 12

Finn after 4 races, no discard
1. Deniss Karpak, EST, 5
2. Rafael Trujillo, ESP, 14
3. Dan Slater, NZL, 18

49er after 5 races, 1 discard
1. Steve Morrison / Ben Rhodes, GBR, 9
2. Manu Dyen / Stephane Christidis, FRA, 10
3. Julien D'Ortoli / Noe Delpech, FRA, 11

470 Men after 6 races, 1 discard
1. Mathew Belcher / Malcolm Page, AUS, 9
2. Fantela Sime / Marenic Igor, CRO, 13
3. Sven Coster / Kalle Coster, NED, 16

470 Women after 6 races, 1 discard
1. Lisa Westerhof / Lobke Berkhout, NED, 7
2. Ai Kondo / Wakako Tabata, JPN, 14
3. Amanda Clark / Lihan Sarah, USA, 16

Star after 4 races, no discard
1. Richard Clarke / Tyler Bjorn, CAN, 8
2. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson, GBR, 12
3. Xavier Rohart / Pierre Alexis Ponsot, FRA, 19

Women's Match Racing: See
Top two with 8 wins each, Anna Tunnicliffe, Sally Barkow (both USA) Third with 7 wins is Ekaterina Skudina, RUS

2.4 Metre after 4 races, no discard
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 10
2. Erikstad Bjornar, NOR, 16
3. Helena Lucas, GBR, 17

Sonar after 4 races, no discard
1. Bruno Jourdren / Nicolas Vimont Vicary / Eric Flageul, FRA, 12
2. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR, 15
3. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, GBR, 17

Skud after 4 races, no discard
1. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 6
2. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 6
3. Jennifer French / Jean-Paul Creignou, USA< 19

A Light-Wind Barrier
The chasing trio of Class40s in the Global Ocean Race (GOR) continue to close down on the lead boat with two distinct weather systems controlling the leaderboard as the fleet races east of the Caribbean's Windward and Leeward Islands. For the southern group, the NE Trade Winds held firm until late on Tuesday, delivering solid ten to 11 knot speed averages, while at the head of the fleet, Cessna Citation has spent 48 hours in light easterlies and is continuing to head WNW watching their formidable distance deficit tumble.

In the past 24 hours, Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough on Cessna Citation have kept heading west as the pursuing pack thunder north making a more direct course to the Leg 4 finish in Charleston, South Carolina. Since Monday afternoon, Colman and Cavanough have advanced 172 miles towards the finish line, while in second place, 266 miles south-east of Cessna Citation at 15:00 GMT on Tuesday, Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis have covered 226 miles towards Charleston.

On Tuesday afternoon, Financial Crisis was averaging 9.6 knots knots and the Italian-Slovak duo are edging into the same weather pattern as Colman and Cavanough, but until late on Monday night, Nannini and Frattaruolo were making some of the best speeds in the fleet.

Tactics are becoming more complicated for the final miles of Leg 4 as areas of light wind evolve ahead of the fleet. Scott Cavanough provides a brief synopsis: "The last 1,000 miles will be interesting as we have a couple of high pressure systems to cross and a very tactical final few days," he predicts. "So, should be fun!"

GOR leaderboard 15:00 GMT 24/4/12:

1. Cessna Citation DTF
2. Financial Crisis DTL
3. Phesheya-Racing DTL
4. Sec. Hayai DTL

Clipper Race 10: Oakland To Panama
The gap that separates the ten internationally sponsored yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race is slowly expanding as the fleet against the rising temperature and light and fluky airs.

With the current weather conditions dictating the fleet's course, it will be interesting to see if it will be the yachts that have taken the in-shore course or the off-shore course, that will benefit for a better position on the leader board overall.

The Race Viewer on the Clipper Race website shows the teams are rapidly approaching the start gate for the Ocean Sprint. The tight racing shows how closely matched these teams are after eight months of their 40,000-mile circumnavigation and it will make this Ocean Sprint an interesting one.

All of the teams have the chance to pick up a bonus point for the shortest elapsed time between the latitude 17.5 degrees north and 16 degrees north  - approximately 90 miles.

With less than 20 miles to enter the Ocean Sprint and keen to maintain its current position, Gold Coast Australia has had a busy 24 hours of wildlife spotting in the placid surrounding ocean.

Skipper Richard Hewson, explains, "An amazing day in and around Gold Coast Australia today with more wildlife than Australia Zoo. Whilst for the majority of the day we sat becalmed in the Pacific Ocean off the Mexican coast, in between puffs of wind we were entertained by Mother Nature who put on a spectacular show.

"Three turtle species were identified today, including one rare leather back turtle and another turtle with a brown boobie hitching on its shell.

"The most spectacular of all shows was put on by two different pods of what we believe to be Pygmy Killer Whales. The first pod swam to the boat and surrounded us, jumping, breaching and playing. They were quite inquisitive of Gold Coast Australia and swam with us for over an hour. As we cheered for an encore, another pod approached that was even bigger than the first and really put on a show for us. I got some fantastic footage of these beautiful creatures and felt honoured to have witnessed such a performance.

The first teams are expected to reach Panama between 9 and 10 May.

Positions at 0900 UTC, Tuesday 24 April 2012

1. Gold Coast Australia, 1571nm to leg finsh
2. De Lage Landen, 6nm to leader
3. Welcome to Yorkshire, 7
4. Visit Finland, 8
5. Geraldton Western Australia, 41
6. Derry-Londonderry, 59
7. Qingdao, 61
8. New York, 66
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 79
10. Singapore, 108, Stealth Mode: position at 1200 UTC 23 April 2012

Support and Locate a Man Overboard
Ocean Safety The weather is extreme and there's no visibility. You've got a man overboard incident. Using Ocean Safety's Mk V Jonbuoy, a high visibility and high stability inflatable support ring, can make recovery simple if they are in your sight. But if not, the Jonbuoy can be located with backup in the form of an AIS Survivor Recovery System. That's why Ocean Safety, after fitting the Kannad Safelink R10 AIS SRS to the Jonbuoy, believes it has come up with the best and most effective MOB identity and tracking recovery system available.

Combining the two innovative products is a massive step towards improving survival prospects. The Jonbuoy does its job by supporting the MOB in a cradle like position in its inflatable support structure, while the R10, the first personal AIS transmitter of its kind, provides high precision GPS information, bearing and range, relayed to the vessel's AIS system updated every 60 seconds.

The R10 SRS is professionally fitted to the Jonbuoy so that when the Jonbuoy is deployed from its container - an easy operation since it inflates automatically - the system is ready for use and the R10 automatically starts transmitting. The Ocean Safety Mk V Jonbouy R10 system really does give the best chance of recovery in a man overboard situation.

First Showing For Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Triallists
Although not an official trial for those wishing to compete for places in the teams to represent England in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup this summer, Warsash Sailing Club created a class in their Spring Championship weekend series especially for the England team triallists. And what perfect training conditions the competitors enjoyed.

Three races on Saturday in 10-18 knots of wind and two races on Sunday starting in 12 knots and increasing to 22 were sailed on perfect windward-leeward courses. The Commodores' Cup fleet were split into two classes, but started together to replicate what they would experience in this years Brewin Dolphin Commodore's Cup with all boats on one start line, whereas in previous years the classes have been split into three with separate starts.

Winner of the CC2 fleet and the most consistent of all the triallists was Jim Macgregor in his Elan 410, Premier Flair. "It was a great weekend's practice and a good opportunity to test our speed against our opposition in the upcoming Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup trials," said Jim who is father to Lucy and Kate Macgregor, part of Team GBR's Women's Match Racing team going to the London Olympics. "Congratulations must go to Warsash Sailing Club for this initiative. We had great competition from Mike West in Eaujet and Nicholas Gaumont-Prat in Philosophie IV and it was good to start with the big Ker 40s, Keronimo and Magnum".

The two Ker 40s came out on top in CC1 with Jonathan Goring in Keronimo first ahead of Andrew Pearce's Magnum III. It was windy enough for the Ker 40 to get up and plane downwind and these two speed machines had a great match race all weekend.

On Saturday, the CC1 and CC2 classes were started together and raced the same course and also scored together to give the teams an indication of the overall result. Mike West's Eaujet was the best with a 1, 2, 6 just 1½ points ahead of Neil Kipling's J/122 Joopster with a 2.5, 5, 3 and Keronimo third with an 8, 3, 2.

The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup trials officially start with the RORC's Morgan Cup offshore race on the 5th May followed by the Vice Admiral's Cup on the 18th to 20th May.

Baltic Sprint Cup Cancelled
Sailors will appreciate that a basic principle of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, the organising body, is that all events have to balance financially since they cannot be a burden on the membership of the club. It is essential for an event like the Baltic Sprint Cup to secure sufficient income from a combination of entry fees and sponsorship to cover all its costs.

Unfortunately this has not happened in the case of the 2012 event.

Therefore the Baltic Sprint Cup 2012 will not take place. The NRV however remains committed to the promotion of world-class international events for offshore boats both in and outside the Baltic and has begun to plan a new Baltic Sprint Cup in 2014. It is likely that this will have fewer but longer legs than those in the programme for 2012. Our long-term plan includes the celebration of the NRV's 150th anniversary in 2018 with a Trans Atlantic race for which we shall shortly be inviting entries especially from the Baltic rim.

We look forward to publishing more information soon.

Alexander Prinz zu Schleswig-Holstein
NRV Board Member - Offshore

Henning Rocholl
Event Director Baltic Sprint Cup

Spinnaker Tales
Queensland Academy of Sport sailors Ryan Palk, Klade Hauschildt, Mitchell and Madison Kennedy have continued to value the opportunity of learning to sail on the sheltered Maroochy and Noosa Rivers.

All four talented sailors 'learnt the ropes' sailing their snub-nose Sabot dinghies against wind and current to be now presently regarded among the best young one-design sailors in the tactically demanding Olympic Laser class.

Ryan Palk who races under the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club burgee is a valued member of the Australian Sailing Squad while his good mate and training partner Klade Hauschildt and the teenage Mitchell and Madison Kennedy have all represented Australia in major International regattas.

When time permits Ryan Palk revels in the opportunity to further refine his boat handling skills with extensive training sessions on the Noosa River with boat on boat match racing against Klade Hauschildt.

They have both proved to be evenly matched with the honours decided by which skipper is the first select the advantage line from the prevailing wind.

These mate against mate tactical jousting sessions have provided both Palk and Hauschildt with the skill and confidence to concentrate on producing their best individual speed and tactical strategy in fleet racing.

Both skippers have the personal ambition set on being selected to represent Australia at a future Olympic regatta in a class which is presently dominated by New South Wales helmsman and multiple World championship Gold Medallist Tom Slingsby.

As expected Tom Slingsby became a unanimous choice to compete at the London Olympics while his New South Wales training partners Tom Burton and Ashley Brunning and the Queensland duo of Ryan Palk and Klade Hauschildt continue with the personal physical grind to keep their Olympic selection prospects open for 2016.

Mitchell and Madison Kennedy who were in their fathers cheer squad when he won the Laser Radial Masters World championship bronze medal behind New Zealand's Mark Orams and Queensland team mate Greg Adams in March have focused their career training to be race ready for competition in the World Radial Youth and open championships on Brisbane's Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron courses in July.

Madison who already has the career distinction of representing Australia at the Youth Olympic regatta in Singapore has continued to mature into one of Australia's most promising female Laser dinghy skippers.

She remains on track to realise her career ambition to wear the prestigious Green and Gold sailing suit at a future Olympics in the Women's Laser Radial class.

Older brother Mitchell winner of the 2011 Australian U19 Radial Laser championship has gained important sailing knowledge from the meal table discussions with father Mark to become a strong prospect when the sails are tensioned for the 2012 World championship medals on his favoured Waterloo Bay (Brisbane ) 'torture track'.

Meanwhile both he and Madison will continue with their training and racing on the World title venue to again prove that sailors who gained their 'grass roots' on the Sunshine Coast estuaries can compete on the World stage. -- Ian Grant

Slam Uk Announces Official Clothing Partnership for Cork Week 2012
SLAM SLAM UK are pleased to announce their appointment as the official clothing partner for Cork Week 2012. Cork Week is hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, and after a successful and enjoyable event in 2010, SLAM UK are pleased to return as a key sponsor.

SLAM UK will be attending Cork Week with a fully stocked store, offering the OFFICIAL Cork Week 2012 Merchandise, and the latest season of SLAM technical and fashion clothing.

The first glimpses of the Cork Week 2012 Official Merchandise range can be viewed on the SLAM UK Facebook page or visit SLAM UK website.

We look forward to welcoming you to the SLAM store during Cork Week 2012, it's going to be good craic!

Ben Takes Up Big Class Yachting
Photo by Franco Pace. Click on image to enlarge.

Ainslie It has been confirmed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, title sponsor of the Round the Island Race and title sponsor of triple Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie CBE, that Ben's final public racing appearance prior to his bid for a fourth Gold medal in his Finn, will be on board the Big Class yacht Eleonora, a schooner with some impressive vital statistics which has entered this year's Round the Island Race on Saturday 30th June.

The Big Class yacht Eleonora is an exact replica of the schooner Westward which was launched on March 31, 1910 as hull number 692 at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. She was arguably one of the most famous and best known racing schooners in the world.

Eleonora was built at the Van der Graaf shipyard in Holland and was launched in March 2000. Since then, she has successfully participated in a number of classic sailing regattas and hosted on board a number of high profile guests during her charter activities. She was last seen in the Solent in July 2010 when she competed in the inaugural Westward Cup and she will be returning to compete in the 2012 Event just prior to the Round the Island Race.

During the Round the Island Race, Ben will co-helm with Eleonora's owner, with the assistance of Eleonora's captain Mike McMillan. Sharing the 25- strong crew duties will be a number of J.P. Morgan Asset Management guests alongside guests of the owner.

London Rowers in BBC Documentary 'Rowing The Arctic'
The story of three London-based rowers and their 3colleague's astonishing voyage rowing to the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole is to be screened on BBC One TV on April 25th at 10:45pm. The 60 minute documentary ROWING THE ARCTIC is the first time the whole story has been told since they arrived back from the daunting challenge.

Billy Gammon and Mark Delstanche, from Battersea joined veteran adventurer and explorer Jock Wishart from Kingston upon Thames on his Old Pulteney Row To The Pole expedition last summer.

The whole endeavour was filmed for the BBC by crewman Mark Beaumont - and the result is a gripping documentary with extraordinary video filmed from the crew's perspective on the boat.

The footage used in the documentary includes dramatic moments when the crew have a very close encounter with a hungry polar bear, get trapped in powerful, fast-moving ice and finally, have to resort to hauling their boat over sea ice for the last two miles of the expedition to reach the Pole.

The expedition was the first, and may well prove to be the last human-powered boat to venture to the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole.

Talking about the expedition Billy Gammon said: "Most experts had warned Jock that this voyage could not be done. That he was mad to attempt it. But with astonishing skill, some luck and a lot of hard work, we made it."

Jock Wishart said: "I hope this documentary and the book, Furthest North, really helps people to understand what a seriously risky and tough challenge it was, but also what it tells us about the major changes that are occurring in the Arctic because of our changing climate. Simply, we should not have been able to row there, but we did!"

To mark the broadcast and the publication of the story as a book titled FURTHEST NORTH, a series of short video clips have been produced of Billy Gammon and skipper Jock Wishart. They are available on , at and on YouTube.

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
I owe it all to little chocolate donuts. -- John Belushi

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