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Battle Continues for Top Three on Doldrums Approach
The top three Volvo Ocean Race teams on Leg 6 from Brazil to the USA are today engaged in a nip and tuck scramble as Ken Read's PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG continue to lead from Chris Nicholson's CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Iker Martínez´s Team Telefonica in third.

With just over 3,000 nautical miles still to go, PUMA managed to pull out a lead of slightly over 13 nm by the 0700 UTC position report this morning, but the margin between second and third remained miniscule, with overall race leaders Telefonica edging past CAMPER to establish an advantage of just one and a half nautical miles.

At 1300 UTC PUMA had a 9.28 nm lead, and CAMPER had returned to second place, half a nautical mile ahead of Telefonica in third.

Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were in fourth, 46 nm off the lead, but still capable of pouncing on any mistakes by the leading trio. Back in fifth, Franck Cammas' Groupama sailing team are struggling to make major inroads into their 116 nm deficit.

This morning the leading three boats made a synchronised move towards Brazil, gybing to the west to pick up an advantageous current and hook into a wind bend around the coast.

PUMA navigator Tom Addis said the top three boats had been sailing in pleasant down wind conditions and concentrating on taking full advantage of wind shifts to achieve optimal angles.

Addis said the PUMA crew had welcomed having CAMPER and Telefonica as stalking horses, but were keen to stretch their lead before crossing the Doldrums and picking up the stronger trade winds.

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante said the presence of two low pressure systems deep in the North Atlantic looked likely to disrupt the normal trade wind system after the equator, making the leg to Miami slower than expected, but giving hope to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Groupama sailing team who are back in fourth and fifth respectively.

"The boats will track close to the Brazilian coast for now which will give them the best window through the Doldrums in the next couple of days," Infante said.

"With the trades likely to be disrupted, the drag race element of this leg might only last for 1,000

Latest predictions suggest the leading boats should arrive in Miami on or around May 9.

Fatalities in the Newport to Ensenada Race
Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) officials learned late Saturday that three sailors in their Newport to Ensenada offshore race had died in an apparent collision with a large vessel several miles off the coast near the border.

Theo Mavromatis is the owner and skipper of the sailboat Aegean, a Hunter 376 representing the Little Ships Fleet club, but it was not known if he was one of the victims. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter led Vessel Assist to two bodies and later retrieved another. None of the bodies had been identified. A crew list was not immediately available, nor was it known how many other crew may have been on the boat, which is usually sailed by five or more persons.

The first indication of the incident was at 1:30 a.m. Saturday when the boat's image vanished from the online race tracking system in place for the race. A Coast Guard search was launched that led to discovery of the boat's wreckage, including the rear transom with the boat's name on it.

An investigation was continuing, but it appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than the 37-foot vessel.

The race started off Newport Beach in mid-day Friday and many boats finished in Ensenada Saturday, with the last ones due in Sunday. Weather conditions were lighter than normal at the time and place of the incident, with boats reporting winds of only 1 or 2 knots.

These would be the first fatalities in the 65-year history of the race, in which as many as 675 boats have competed in 1983 and 213 were entered this year.

Windy Medal Races
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Hyeres The double point medal race brought its fair amount of drama and saw many upset in the overall lead of the event.

Event and class leader Tom Slingsby (AUS) had mastered the gruelling conditions all week, but the 30 minute Medal race was the straw that broke the camel's back. His mast snapped while in the lead, cutting short his medal chance in an event he had been dominating all week. German Philipp Buhl raced one of his best event to date to win the medal race and the Semaine Olympique Francaise on the last day.

In the Radial, Beijing Bronze medallist Lijia Xu (CHN), collected regular top four results during the qualification stage to steadily climb the result ladder. A third place in the Medal race was enough for the Chinese to take the title from Bouwmeester who race to seventh place in the Medal race. She is taking Bronze with Silver for World #1 Evi van Acker (BEL).

Another surprise winner is Brendan Casey in the Finn class, the Australian have steadily climbed up the results ladder to place third yesterday after a victory in the last race. A win in today's medal race and with earlier leader Trujillo (ESP) seventh, Casey (AUS) wins the event by less than half of a point.

After breaking their mast yesterday, the Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) won the medal race and the event. Bacardi Cup winners Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot take second in the Medal race and the second position, consistent with their Palma results. Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) place third. The Stars are staying in Hyères to train ahead of their World Championship next week.

Final top three by class:

RS:X Men after 11 races, 1 discard
1. Julien Bontemps, FRA, 28
2. Przemek Miarczynski, POL, 30
3. Toni Wilhelm, GER, 35

RS:X Women after 11 races, 1 discard
1. Moana Delle, GER, 43
2. Maja Dziarnowska, POL, 51
3. Charline Picon, FRA, 57

Laser after 10 races, 1 discard
1. Philipp Buhl, GER, 18
2. Andy Maloney, NZL, 25
3. Andrew Murdoch, NZL, 30

Laser Radial after 10 races, 1 discard
1. Lijla Xu, CHN, 30
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 33
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 37

Finn after 8 races, 1 discard
1. Brendan Casey, AUS, 28.60
2. Rafael Trujillo, ESP, 29
3. Vasillij Zbogar, SLO, 34

49er after 9 races, 1 discard
1. Manu Dyen / Stephane Christidis, FRA, 27
2. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 28
3. Peter Kruger Andersen / Nicolai Thorsell, DEN, 35

470 Men after 11 races, 1 discard
1. Mathew Belcher / Malcolm Page, AUS, 32
2. Fantela Sime / Marenic Igor, CRO, 46
3. Sven Coster / Kalle Coster, NED, 54

470 Women after 11 races, 1 discard
1. Lisa Westerhof / Lobke Berkhout, NED, 26
2. Amanda Clark / Sarah Lihan, USA, 57
3. Camille Lecointre / Mathilde Geron, FRA, 58

Star after 9 races, 1 discard
1. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson, GBR, 21
2. Xavier Rohart / Pierre Alexis Ponsot, FRA, 35
2. Fredrik Loof / Max Salminen, SWE, 36

Women's Match Racing: See
Anna Tunnicliffe, USA
Sally Barkow, USA
Ekaterina Skudina, RUS
Lucy Macgregor GBR

2.4 Metre after 7 races, 1 discard
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 10
2. Helena Lucas, GBR, 21
3. Thierry Schmitter, NED, 21

Sonar after 8 races, 1 discard
1. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, GBR, 17
2. Bruno Jourdren / Nicolas Vimont Vicary / Eric Flageul, FRA, 20
3. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR, 31

Skud after 4 races, no discard
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 6
2. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 8
3. Jennifer French / Jean-Paul Creignou, USA 16

New World Record For Single Class Regatta
So you think you know about big fleets? Not like these kids do.

The Optimist class has just set a new Guinness world record for the largest sailing regatta of a single class with a staggering 1,055 boats completing at least one race. The total list of entries was 1,073 for the event that was hosted by FragliaVela Riva del Garda earlier this month.

As anyone who's raced on lake Garda will confirm, it is a spectacular venue that boasts pumping thermal breezes during the summer that are so regular you can almost set your watch by them. But those who've been there will also know how crowded it can be.

I've competed there on several occasions in the RS EuroCup where the fleet is limited to around 250 boats. That feels big enough. With a small dinghy park area and just two slipways, simply getting afloat can be a logistical exercise. A thousand boats and the army parents that goes with them beggars belief. -- Matthew Sheahan in Yachting World

USA Set to Host the KRYS Ocean Race
New York will be start city for the new MOD70 class's first ever trans-oceanic race when Race for Water (Steve Ravussin), Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux), Edmond de Rothschild Group (Sebastien Josse), Spindrift Racing (Yann Guichard) and Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) set off on Saturday July 7th to take on the MOD 70 KRYS Ocean Race'S 2950 miles of racing between the evenly matched new one design, high speed 70 foot trimarans. Skippers Ravussin, Desjoyeaux, Josse, Guichard and Gavignet will lead their five strong crews across the North Atlantic to a finish in Brest, France.

Officially launched at the French Consulate in New York, today Thursday 26th April in the presence of the Consul M Philippe Lalliot and renowned American sailor Dawn Riley, the American program which forms the prelude to the MOD 70 KRYS Ocean Race promises a full complement of activities between June 28 and July 7 shared between Newport and New York.

Ahead of this ocean challenge, a short prologue from Newport to New York should prove an exciting initial taster of what is to come, followed in New York by an afternoon of all-out sprints, the Speed Match.

Though the MOD 70 KRYS Ocean Race will start from New York, the fleet will first establish itself in historic Newport, Rhode Island where the MOD70's will be based at the Newport Shipyard marina between June 28th and July 2nd, not far from where the AC World Series finale runs 26th June to July 1st.

The 120 miles prologue races starts on Monday July 2nd from Newport to a finish line off New York's iconic Statue of Liberty where they would be due to finish July 3rd.

From the eve of the USA's Independence Day, through the July 4th festivities, the fleet will have their home at Manhattan's tranquil North Cove Marina.

Then on the afternoon of July 5th the five match up to see who will be New York's sprint kings on the Hudson River, when Race for Water, Foncia, Spindrift Racing, Edmond de Rothschild Group and Oman Sail will take part in a speed match virtually at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

On July 7th at 1100hrs (LOCAL) when the French Consul in New York, Philippe Lalliot will be joined by the Mayor of Brest François Cuillandre to fire the start gun which will set off the KRYS Ocean Race across the Atlantic to Brest.

Estimated arrival at Brest between 13 and 14 July 2012.

Dorade Wins Third Caribbean Regatta
Dorade close by schooner Elena in the 2012 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Photo by Tim Wright / Click on image to enlarge.

Dorade Dorade won its Vintage Class in the 2012 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, following on from overall class wins at the St Maarten Heineken Regatta and Les Voiles de St Barth.

Dorade also won the Concours d'Elegance for Vintage Yacht and Overall.

Matt Brooks, owner of Dorade, says: "Team Dorade was thrilled to win the Vintage Class at Antigua Classics. This was our third victory out of three Caribbean regattas but, for me, Antigua was the sweetest. I feel confident that Dorade is in good shape to take on the elements in the Newport-Bermuda Race starting on 15 June and that the crew is in equally good shape, with good chemistry between us all having bonded in these fun regattas! Winning the Concours d'Elegance overall was the icing on the cake. We hope to win a Panerai watch too one day!"

The 1929-built, Olin Stephens-designed Dorade - recently appointed S&S flagship after an extensive restoration - was a hugely successful racer, winning the 1930 and 1932 Bermuda races, 1931 Transatlantic race - both line honors and overall - and the 1931 and 1933 Fastnet races overall. Dorade is the only yacht to win the triple crown of ocean racing: the Transatlantic Race, Fastnet Race and the TransPac Race, a record that stands unbroken to this day.

Matt Brooks is taking DORADE offshore racing again, starting with the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race - progress may be followed at

Running The Rhumblines
Sun tanned Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Craig Piccinelli will have to apply his house construction tools to build a new trophy cabinet to house the 'tinware' won by Wobbly Boot on the tropical warm and windy waters of Pioneer Bay.

The previously unwanted 8m Jim Young designed Wobbly Boot bought by Craig Piccinelli to settle a dispute between the builder and original client has become the top performer in both the mid-week sprint race series and the more important club championship.

Should the success continue it will present the jovial house builder and talented sailor with a spare time commitment to either build a new 'Trophy Room' on the house or an oversize display cabinet to showcase the spoils which he and his crew of talented sailing mates have won since they launched Wobbly Boot several seasons ago.

However while Wobbly Boot on 70 points leads the Sprint Race series after 17 races from John Galloway skippered Queensland Marine Services 89 points and the Kevin Fogarty helmed Twister 100 points, the contest for the Club championship remains tight after 9 races with Wobbly Boot 19 points leading the Mike Keyte skippered Take Flight on 27 points and the Ross Winterbourn steered Bobby D on 31 points.

Wobbly Boot struggled to finish fifth in last week's sprint race dominated by the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart Performance Handicap champion the Damien Suckling skippered Another Fiasco who revelled in the moderate trade wind to outpace her high .944 correction factor to record a comfortable 3 minute 16 second victory over Treasure Vlll .895 (Harold Menelaus) with the Jeff Brown helmed 007 .891 another 54 seconds off the pace.

Another Fiasco also finished with a commanding 6 minute line honours win over the Terry Archer skippered AC 40 Questionable Logic while Harold Menelaus steered his Reichel /Pugh designed Seaquest 36 Treasure Vlll into third another 36 seconds astern.

Peter Millar's Cynaphobe and the Keith Roberts helmed Wild Thing remain deadlocked on 63 points in the tactical battle to decide the Multihull class sprint race championship.

Rupert King in Overdrive expressed his preference to race with some 'grunt' in the breeze to record a runaway 5 minute 42 second handicap win over Wild Thing while Cynaphobe was another 1 minute 7 seconds away third.

However the Peter Berry skippered Mark Pescott designed Whitehaven 11.7m catamaran J'Ouvert winner of the 2011 Airlie Beach Race Week multihull class title remains as the crew to beat for the Club championship with 6 wins in her nine race score of 8 points. -- Ian Grant

A "Stand Down" For Northern California Offshore Racing
The Coast Guard said that offshore racing in northern California must "stand down" until a report is issued on a race that claimed five lives

The US Coast Guard has suspended all ocean sailboat races in Northern California after an accident earlier this month killed five sailors. According to Reuters, the Coast Guard said that offshore racing must "stand down" after a sailboat lost five of its crew on April 14 near the Farallone Islands.

Laura Munoz, executive director of the Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay, told the news agency that the US Coast Guard stopped issuing permits for ocean races until a report is completed on the Farallone Islands accident. "Everyone wanted to take a pause and make sure everything that can be done has been done," Munoz told Reuters.

US Coast Guard Captain Cindy Stowe of San Francisco made the decision to suspend the permits. "The San Francisco Bay area sailing community is one of the most vibrant, experienced and capable sailing communities in the world," Stowe said in a statement. "This temporary safety stand-down from offshore racing will allow the Coast Guard and the offshore racing community to further our common safety goals."

A series of large waves during the Full Crew Farallones Race swept crew members off the deck of a 38ft racing yacht, and pushed yacht onto a rocky island. One body was recovered, but four others were lost at sea.

The Coast Guard suspended racing until a report from the sailing body US Sailing is issued. "We'll see what U.S. Sailing has to say, and then hopefully we can get back to it," Munoz said. "I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for everybody to take a breath and see what can be done. We want to be sure our races are as safe as possible."

From IBI news:

Fireball Training Weekends Preview
The first of three Fireball training weekends takes place next weekend at Shoreham Sailing Club, with a few spaces still remaining. So don't delay if you want to take part.

What better way to spend your Bank Holiday than enjoying 3 Days of sailing of the Sussex coast. Sheltered launching and a short sail out make this a great venue for practicing on the bumpy stuff! The three day training camp provides lots of time to improve your technique whatever your level, plus an opportunity to meet fellow fireballers.

The weekends are being run by Adam Bowers. Adam, who counts a Fireball World Championship amongst his own sailing successes, is an experienced coach who has run many excellent weekends for us over the years.

Training Weekends 2012

Shoreham Sailing Club 5th/6th/7th May
Draycote Water Sailing Club 9th/10th June
Paignton Sailing Club 14th/15th July

Grand Prix Guyader Douarnenez
Growth and improvement The start of the Grand Prix Guyader today saw competition from the M34s and monotypes (Open 7.40, Longtze and Mach 6.5) as well as a fleet of around fifty Dragons. It was a sweet start to the event ahead of tomorrow's expected arrival of a low pressure system from the Spanish mainland.

The 2012 edition offers a particularly generous line-up and for some additional flavour all eyes will be turned to Port Rhu for the unique four- day festival of authentic sailing tradition.

The festivities of the Grand Prix Guyader kicked off this morning at 11.30am with the Longtze, Open 7.50 and Mach 6.5 followed by the Dragons early afternoon competing for the "Brittany Coupe Crédit Mutuel" and the M34s in the Volvo DRIVe Race.

As well as being a perfect sailing arena for the M34s the Douarnenez Bay provides the same ideal conditions for the Dragons; and it has made the Grand Prix Guyader referential on the world Dragon circuit. Attracting many of the top sailors in the series, the list of medal-holders in the line-up is quite staggering for any large race organizers.

The 52 Dragons on the start line began with a general recall at 14.40h which meant the first chapter of racing starting under the black flag and an entire fleet setting off wisely on a steady race that ended at 16.18h. The heavy weights made their mark early on with victories from the Danish boat African Queen (DEN 406), the Ukrainian Bunker Prince (UKR 9) and the Russian Alisa (RUS 2) to complete the podium.

The eight boats from the Sailing Tour de France in the Grand Prix Guyader are very much the favourites of the great sailing tour (apart from Toulon-Hyères).

"There are going to be some fabulous battles out on the water," added Corentin, "the Russian team are new to the circuit and although they are newcomers they are definitely ones to be watched; they are real contenders."

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2009 LeBreton Yachts SIG45. EUR 825,000. Located In Port Grimaund, France.

Exterior styling and Naval Architecture: Van Peteghem Lauriot Prevost, Vannes/Paris, France Interior Design: Bjorn Johansson, Bembridge, UK

The SIG45 is flat out unique in its layout and deck design. The living arrangement are in the port and starboard hulls with full deck open. This area works great for outside entertaining.

Brokerage through Bruce Tait & Associates:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
He who laughs most, learns best. -- John Cleese

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