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470 World Championships
Barcelona, Spain: Every race counts, but with three races today it was particularly crucial for teams to pump in some good scores and position themselves as solidly as possible before Tuesday's final two races of the qualification series at the 2012 470 World Championships.

Perfect sailing conditions ensured Barcelona lived up to its reputation as a spectacular sailing venue. Racing got underway in 12 knots building to around 15-17 knots as the fleets completed race 4, with fairly wavy conditions.

It doesn't get better than three wins from three races, which is exactly what Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) delivered in the 470 Women blue fleet, matched by Mat Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) racing in the 470 Men yellow fleet.

Top ten, women, after 4 races

1. Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout, NED, 9 points
2. Gil Cohen/Vered Bouskila, ISR, 11
3. Ai Kondo/Wakako Tabata, JPN, 12
4. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie, NZL, 12
5. Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux, FRA, 15
6. Camile Lecointre/Matilde Geron, FRA, 17
7. Kathrin Kadelbach/Friederike Burnet, GER, 19
8. Giulia Conti/Giovana Micol, ITA, 24
9. Sophie Weguelin/Sophie Ainsworth, GBR, 26
10. Fernanda Sesto/Consuelo Monsegur, ARG, 28

Top ten, men, after 4 races

1. Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page, AUS, 4 points
2. Alvaro Marinho/Miguel Nunes, POR, 10
3. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic, CRO, 11
4. Joonas Lindgren/Niklas Lindgren, FIN, 11
5. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 14
6. Pierre Leboucher/Vicent Garos, FRA, 16
7. Onan Barreiros/Aaron Sarmiento, ESP, 18
8. Sam Kivell/Will Ryan, AUS, 20
9. Ryunosuke Harada/Yugo Yoshida, JPN, 21
10. Panagiotis Kampouridis/Esfstathios Papadopoulos, GRE, 23

All fleets have been re-seeded, so tomorrow the 149 teams competing at the 2012 470 World Championships will be up against a different set of opponents. Just two more races tomorrow to complete the qualification series and determine the split for the Gold and Silver fleets in the 470 Women and Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets in the 470 Men. The race throw out will come into play after five races, so expect some leaderboard shuffling.

Tuesday will prove to be a crucial day and will determine some of the next nations qualifying to the 2012 Olympic Games

A Shadow over the Opening Ceremony
At the opening ceremony for the Women's Radial part of the Audi Laser World Championship 2012 in Boltenhagen, Germany, the mood was subdued. Timo Jacobs, a starboat sailor and member of the hosting sailing club's NRV Olympic Team had unexpectedly passed away at the age of 29 the night before.

Principal Race Officer Klaus Lahme, friend and club member of Timo Jacobs, gave a speech in his honour. "Timo was a role model athlete. With two metres in height and 100 kilos body weight he was a pure example of power and health. It is very hard to accept that Timo is no longer with us" he said visibly moved.

After the Men's Standard event where Australian Tom Slingsby won his fifth World Championship it is now time for the 135 registered women from 55 countries to take to the water in Boltenhagen, Germany. The sailors will compete in twelve races to decide who takes home the title of World Champion. The prize giving will take place on Sunday, May 20, at the Weibe Wiek.

During the day over 20 sailors took part in the practice race and in a surprising turn of events all of the participants crossed the finishing line. In a light breeze the race lasted half an hour. The forecast for tomorrow looks good for the morning with sunny spells, but the overcast sky might bring some rain in the afternoon. The wind is predicted to be a southeasterly breeze between ten and thirteen knots with maximum temperatures around 13 degrees Celcius.

* Doctors attribute the cause of death to heart inflammation caused by a virus.

Audi Laser World Championship site:

Artemis Finish Transat AG2R La Mondiale in 12th
Artemis Offshore Academy sailors Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry finish in 12th place in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale at 04:59:26 (CET). The only British entry and the youngest team in the fleet Goodchild and Cherry sailed an average speed of 7.15knots over the 3890nm course during their 22 days 15 hours 59 minutes and 26 seconds at sea.

Leaving Concarneau, France on the 21st April, the 16 strong Figaro fleet passed the Canary Islands waypoint on the 28th April, before Cercle Vert skippered by Gildas Morvan and Charlie Dalin, won the race, crossing the finish line in Gustavia finishing at 21:55:45 (CET) (13th May 2012), 22 days, 8 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds.

The one-design Figaro class never fails to deliver nail-biting action and this race was no exception with the 16-boat fleet of Figaros crossing the finishing line, in some cases, just minutes apart.

The youngest duo who took the most southerly route after the Canary Islands also took another breakaway decision yesterday to head East of Barbuda.

For Goodchild one of the highlights of the race was also tied into the most challenging, the last 36 hours: "The last few days of the race, which coincided with the worst bit of the race as we had to spend loads of time fixing our spinnakers, but the times in between when we were not fixing them were the best bits of the race. Really good sailing in the trade winds with 25knots of wind in shorts and a t-shirt under a full moon and loving life!"

Conditions throughout the race have been variable, with the fleet leaving France in winds of 15knots and sunshine, the fleet then rounding Cape Finistere in 45kts. After rounding the invisible mark just off the Canary Islands, the wind continued to drop while the temperatures kept soaring as the tactical decisions between south and west were made, and the race became a downwind drag race to the finish in St Barts.

2012 Transat AG2R La Mondiale results

1. Cercle Vert / Gildas Morvan - Charlie Dalin
2. Nacarat / Erwan Tabarly - Eric Peron
3. Banque Populaire / Jeanne Gregoire- Gerald Veniard
4. Skipper Macif / Paul Meilhat- Fabien Delahaye
5. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance / Anthony Marchand - Romain Attanasio
6. Gedimat / Thierry Chabagny - Christopher Pratt
7. Sepalumic / Frederic Duthil - Francois Lebourdais
8. EDM Pays Basque Entreprises / Amaiur Alfaro
9. Les Recycleurs Bretons / Michel Bothuon - Simon Troel
10. Cornouaille Port de Peche / Jean-Charles Monnet - Alexandre Toulorge
11. GAES / Anna Corbella - Gerard Marin
12. Artemis / Sam Goodchild - Nick Cherry
13. La Solidarite Mutualiste / Damien Guillou - Ronan Treussart
14. Not yet finished
15. Not yet finished
16. Not yet finished

Event site:

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the award of Performance Certificate No 40:

40. Around the World with stops. Singlehanded.
Tomasz Cichocki. POL
"Polska Miedz" 39ft Monohull
1st July 2011 to the 7th May 2012.
311 days 7 hours and 27 minutes

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Third Time Lucky For Hong Kong?
Peninsula Signal 8. Photo by Guy Nowell, Click on image to enlarge.

Commodores Cup Having finished fifth on their first attempt in 2008 and second to the run-away Irish two years ago, the Hong Kong team is set to be one of the strongest entries in this year's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, to be held on the Solent over 22-28th July.

Competing in an event like this when you are based on the opposite side of the world has its logistical challenges so for this year's event the Hong Kong team has chartered two well known British boats for their three boat line-up.

Erivale, the familiar Ker 39 of the RORC's Commodore Mike Greville, has been chartered to Nick Burns, who campaigned his own Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake in 2010. Former RORC Commodore Peter Rutter has chartered his 2011 IRC Nationals-winning Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8, to leading Hong Kong-based Etchells sailor Ante Razmilovic, who will be both skipper and helmsman for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

"We managed to get two good boats, so we feel pretty comfortable," says Team Co-ordinator Laurence Mead, who will be helming Erivale in what will be his fifth Commodores' Cup. "The Hong Kong guys really love the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. It is good fun, it is easy to do, it is not that time consuming and the balance between the Corinthian element and the competiveness is just right. It's a very competitive event which is both hard to win and well worth it!"

With two chartered boats the Hong Kong team is also shipping one from their home base, the hot new Ker 40 Peninsula Signal 8, acquired last year by a syndicate of five owners. Among them are Jamie McWilliam, of the Irish sail making dynasty, who sailed on board Blondie IV two years ago and is Peninsula Signal 8's skipper. Another co-owner is Australian Keith Jacobs, who is familiar with the Solent having campaigned Bimblegumbie in numerous Admiral's Cups for both Australia and Hong Kong over the 1980s and 90s. A third is former pro-sailor and sailmaker Patrick Pender, who will be Signal 8's helmsman for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

The two pros on board are Hamble-based McWilliam brother, Tom, and Sam Haines from the UK Halsey loft in Melbourne, while Chris Frost returns as navigator having competed on Blondie two years ago.

Signal 8 could be one of four Ker 40s competing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup if Magnum III and Keronimo are selected for the British team with a fourth believed to be part of the Dutch team.

As to the competition Laurence Mead reckons the English teams will be the hardest to beat, benefitting from local knowledge of the Solent's complex geography, its tides and winds. "The level will be at least as good as it was last time and last time around it was a very competitive regatta. I think it will be a difficult event to win."

Frank Bethwaite
Frank conducting his last rig experiments in the carpark at Woollahra Sailing Club in March this year. Photo courtesy Nicky Bethwaite. Click on image to enlarge.

Frank Bethwaite Frank Bethwaite passed away peacefully after a short illness on Saturday 12 May 2012, surrounded by his family. A pioneer in small boat design and research, Frank was the author of "High Performance Sailing" (1992) and "Higher Performance Sailing" (2002) and had just completed his third book on apparent wind sailing to be published later this year by Adlard Coles.

Born in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1920, Frank learned to sail on the Wanganui River, building his own boats, experimenting with rigs and hull designs. He joined the Royal NZ Air Force during World War II and flew bombing raids in the Pacific for which he was awarded the DFC. Frank met and married Adelaide (Nel) Mills, a cipher officer in the air force, in 1945.

By 1968 Frank had established a small manufacturing company called Starboard Products inside an old dance hall at Naremburn. While producing wooden masts and other parts for boats, he also conducted experiments on wind flowing over sails inside a small wind tunnel that he created on the premises. Using smoke piped through straws, he was able to photograph the disturbed air, which lead to further experiments shaping masts to promote more power.

Frank designed a new boat in 1975 called the Tasar, with a minimum weight limit to encourage adults (men and women) to sail and race competitively. This was picked up by the international boat building and marketing company Performance Sailcraft, owner of the highly successful Laser racing dinghy. Tasar manufacturers were established in Canada, the UK, Japan and Australia and numbers have reached 3000 Worldwide.

The 1980s and 1990s saw Frank involved with Sydney's famous 18ft skiffs, assisting Dave Porter on the "KB" to a world championship. At the same time, he was also consulted for the Little America's Cup, collaborating with his innovative way of thinking and research that lead to several victories.

Frank's younger son, Julian, was now part of the design business at Starboard Products and the two of them formed a formidable team, bouncing ideas off each other and working together to produce the most incredible skiffs that Sydney Harbour has ever seen.

By 1995 Julian had come up with the 49er concept and with Frank's very practical assistance the boat was developed into the Olympic skiff that was selected for the 2000 Sydney Games.

In 2000 Frank Bethwaite was awarded an OAM for Services to Sport.

Frank Bethwaite is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nel, his four children Christine, Mark, Nicky and Julian, and his five grandchildren Campbell, Luci, Harry, Angus and Alex.

The Record Fades Away
"We didn't make it; the barometer has started to rise." With these words Giovanni Soldini, on board Maserati, said that the New York-Lizard Point record attempt has definitely faded away. After blasting through the first 1,500 miles of the course, at speeds which averaged more than 20 knots and placed Maserati ahead of the existing world record, the weather models changed and destroyed their charge to the finish line.

The team ended up in a dead calm zone caused by the high pressure that suddenly placed itself in the boat's route. The weather forecasts originally predicted just after Newfoundland, a north- westerly wind of 20-25 knots would push Maserati toward the finishing line. However, the weather models changed, and Maserati was a mere 30 miles away from the north-westerly wind that would have let them escape the high pressure.

There was nothing left to do for Giovanni Soldini and his team. Once they entered the weak winds after rushing through Newfoundland's icebergs and fog, the "virtual" advantage of 200 miles on Mari Cha IV (a 140 foot maxi yacht which set the North Atlantic speed record in 2003 in 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds) got thinner and thinner.

Giovanni explains: "It's a pity. I am really upset about it. A great opportunity missed in an instant, but as usual we were in the sea's hands and we couldn't command it. I hope to have the opportunity to try again. The North Atlantic record attempt falls through and we have to wait for the southerly wind. We showed that Maserati can break Mari Cha IV's record, we only need a better weather situation, more settled and steady than the one we faced."

Many boats have tried to break the challenging North Atlantic record. In 1999 Giovanni Agnelli's Stealth had to abandon due to technical problems. Virgin Money, a 90 foot monohull helmed by Richard Branson, abandoned in 2008 due to a huge storm with waves 40 feet tall that damaged the boat and hurt the crew. In 2010 ICAP Leopard 3 (skipper Chris Sherlock, owner Mike Slade) ended up in a dead calm zone caused by high pressure just 350 miles before the arrival at Lizard Point.

On board Maserati is an international crew of skilled sailors: Giovanni Soldini (skipper), American Brad Van Liew (navigator and watch leader), Spaniard Javier de la Plaza (helm, pit), Frenchmen Sebastien Audigane (helm, trimmer) and Ronan Le Goff (helm, bowman), Italians Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (bowman), and Brit Tom Gall (second bowman).

Let's Get Fund Raising!
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust launches its 'Buy A Mile' campaign & you can boost your own donation by entering the 'Charity Challenge'!

For the second year running, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is pleased to have the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as its Official Race Charity.

The Trust has entered four boats, providing 25 young people in recovery from cancer the opportunity to compete in the Race. They will be joined for the Race by Trust Patron, Ellen MacArthur along with Race first-timer, DJ Rob da Bank. Ellen MacArthur will be racing with seven of the Trust's young people on the elegant 90ft sloop Dark Star, generously lent to the Trust for the Race by owner Ed Stacey.

Competitors thinking of fundraising for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust can do so in a number of ways this year.

- Enter your boat in the 'Charity Challenge'. The ISCRS and IRC rated entries that are fastest on corrected time and raise a minimum of £250 will receive an additional £1,000 donation, courtesy of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, for their chosen charity.

- You can buy a virtual mile of the Race through the 'Buy a Mile'. Choose which of the incredible young people racing you would like to support, otherwise you can buy Ellen MacArthur or D.J. Rob da Bank's virtual miles from as little as £10.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust takes young people aged 8 – 24, who are recovering from cancer and other serious illness on sailing trips throughout the summer. These trips can rebuild the confidence often lost through long periods in hospital, giving the young people a chance to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

The easiest way to add to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust's fundraising total is through 'Text to Donate', just text EMCT00 £5 to 70070. Every penny goes straight to the Trust.

Entries currently stand at 1,044.
Standard Entry closes at midnight on 2nd June.

You can keep up to date with all the Race information and news via:

Caribbean Sailing Regattas Adjust 2013 Dates
Several of the premiere Caribbean regattas have agreed to adjust their dates in 2013 to improve crowding the racing calendar. The race directors will meet again in October 2012 to discuss this new schedule and work on a permanent solution that will run from 2014 onward.

The big boat racing circuit in the region has grown over the years, with new regattas being added and smaller events developing to an international level. This resulted in a crowded race calendar with some conflicting dates.

Peter Holmberg of the Caribbean Sailing Association spearheaded this effort in an attempt to help both the visiting sailors and the events. "The regatta directors were asked to consider the overall benefits, and not just the success of their individual event. The spirit of cooperation from everyone was greatly appreciated. With these adjustments, the entire Caribbean gains- the individual regattas and sponsors gain, the island economies gain, and the sport of sailing gains."

The new regatta dates and links to their websites can be found at the CSA website:

Four More Nations for London 2012 after 49er, Laser and Star Worlds
Bermuda, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia have become the latest nations to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition after the 49er, Laser and Star Worlds.

With four qualification regattas remaining, 54 countries have now guaranteed their spot in the boat park at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain from 29 July to 12 August.

Five spots were up for grabs at the 49er World Championships in Zadar, Croatia and all were taken when the fleet split into Gold, Silver and Bronze with Bermuda, Canada, Greece, Italy and Japan making the cut.

Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, Thailand, Tunisia and Ukraine were the first to guarantee a spot at London 2012 when the fleet was split.

But Colombia, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico and Venezuela had to do it the hard way to secure qualification. Mexico's Ricardo Montemayor took the final spot after he finished two points clear of El Salvador's Enrique Arathoon who could not quite take advantage of the Mexicans final race disqualification.

Trinidad and Tobago's Andrew Lewis will put his country on the sailing map at London 2012 after he put his heartache from missing Beijing 2008 qualification behind him.

At the Star Worlds in Hyeres, France just four Olympic tickets were up for grabs. Denmark's Michael Hestbaek and Claus Olesen made sure of their spot after they finished third. Croatia, Greece and New Zealand also guaranteed their spots for London 2012 and for the Kiwis their qualification ensures they will have sailors in each event.

Nations Qualified

Sailors Qualified

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2005 X-Yachts X-50. EUR 485,000. Located In Greece.

The boat is in a very good condition. Very little used, and only from the owner. The Racing North 3DL Sails are almost new, costing about 160.000 Euro

Brokerage through Atalanta Marine:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I think people have a very narrow conception of what is possible with reality, that we're surrounded by the howling abyss of the unknowable and nobody knows what's out there. -- Terence McKenna

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