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Groupama Wins Oeiras In-Port Race In Lisbon
Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image for photo gallery.

Groupama sailing team extended their Volvo Ocean Race overall lead to eight points with a crucial victory in the Oeiras In-Port Race on Saturday, a result that gives the French team a huge boost as they prepare for the Leg 8 race to their home port of Lorient starting Sunday.

With four teams still vying for victory in what is the closest contest in the 39-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama remained cool under pressure to secure the maximum six points and take their overall tally to 189.

With closest challengers Team Telefonica enduring another in-port race day to forget -- they were forced to do a penalty turn, saw a sail dumped in the water and finished last -- Groupama's lead jumped from three points to eight.

It was a fourth successive bottom-placed finish in an in-port race for Telefonica, who paid a hefty price for an aggressive rule infringement just after the start of the 11.6 nautical mile course.

PUMA finished second, taking their overall score to 176 points and breaking the three-way tie at the top of the in-port race series standings.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand were third across the line, scoring four points, followed by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, with three points, Team Sanya with two and Telefonica in last, claiming just one point.

Oeiras In-Port Race results:

1. Groupama sailing team
2. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG
3. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
5. Team Sanya
6. Team Telefonica

Telefonica Put Heat On Puma At Start Of Sprint To France
Photo by Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image for photo gallery.

At noon GMT Sunday Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Lisbon in Portugal to Lorient in France got underway with PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA) first out of the blocks and comfortably leading the fleet away from the coast of Portugal. Tonight at 1900 GMT, PUMA still had the lead, but were being pressed hard by Telefonica (Iker Martínez/ESP) who were just 0.4 nautical miles behind.

Now seven hours into this 1,940-nm leg, the crews are settling into their watch systems and preparing for their first night at sea as they race 101 nautical miles north west of Cabo de Sao Vicente on the Portuguese coast. With a north-south lateral separation of eight miles, the fleet is jib-top reaching towards the Azores Island of Sao Miguel, 700 nm or so ahead, in 13-14 knots of north-northwesterly breeze, at boat speeds of around 17 knots.

Just 4.2 nm split the fleet at 1900 from PUMA in the lead to Sanya (Mike Sanderson/NZL) in sixth place. The fleet is expected to compress in the approach to Sao Miguel, however once round the island, they will feel the effect of a low pressure system which, as it moves east, could throw up westerly breeze of up to 40 knots and a huge sea state. The finish could be as early as late on Friday night.

Medals Decided at Skandia Sail For Gold
Photo of Giles Scott by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

One storm had passed, but another was brewing - it was Saturday and it was medal race day at Skandia Sail for Gold and the drama was just beginning. There were ten classes and thirty medals to decide, and not one of them was a certainty.

After a week of tumultuous weather, the sun finally came out and the wind moderated to a perfect 15 knots for the opening races, building to a fresh 20-22 knots for the final medals. The action took place on two courses, one inside the harbour and the other under the Olympic spectator site on the Nothe.

Next year's Sail for Gold Regatta is scheduled for the 10th to the 14th June 2013, forming part of the newly formed European Sailing Cup.

1. John Robertson, Hannah Stodel, Steve Thomas, GBR, 14
2. Udo Hessels, Mischa Rossen, Marcel Van De Veen, NED, 16
3. Bruce Miller, Logan Campbell, Scott Lutes, CAN, 23

1. Alexandra Rickham, Niki Birrell, GBR, 5
2. John McRoberts, Stacie Louttit, CAN, 10
3. Daniel Fitzgibbon, Liesl Tesch, GBR, 13

1. Thierry Schmitter, NED, 15
2. Helena Lucas, GBR, 15
3. Damien Seguin, FRA, 19

Womens Match Racing
1. Olivia Price, Nina Curtis, Lucinda Whittly, AUS, 2-1
2. Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand, Marie Riou, FRA, 1-2
3. Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, Debbie Capozzi, USA, 1-0

Laser Class
1. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 26
2. Tom Burton, AUS, 43
3. Philipp Buhl, GER, 43

470 Men
1. Mathew Belcher, Malcolm Page, AUS, 14
2. Luke Patience, Stuart Bithell, GBR, 19
3. Paul Snow-Hansen, Jason Saunders, NZL, 28

Laser Radial
1. Alison Young, GBR, 26
2. Sari Multala, FIN, 28
3. Annalise Murphy, IRL, 36

470 Women
1. Jo Aleh, Olivia Polly Powrie, NZL, 32
2. Amanda Clark, Sarah Lihan, USA, 52
3. Hannah Mills, Saskia Clark, GBR, 53

1. Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen, GBR, 31
2. Emmanuel Dyen, Stephane Christidis, FRA, 33
3. Dylan Fletcher, Alain Sign, GBR, 52

RS:X Women
1. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 10
2. Marina Alabau, ESP, 37
3. Lee Korzits, ISR, 40

RS:X Men
1. Dorian Van Rijsselberge, NED, 31
2. Julien Bontemps, FRA, 31
3. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 43

1. Giles Scott, GBR, 9
2. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 39
3. Pieter Jan Postma, NED, 40.3

1. Peter O'leary, David Burrows, IRL, 23
2. Robert Scheidt, Bruno Prada, BRA, 23
3. Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson, GBR, 30

Kayospruce Launches Sail Batten Range
Click on image to enlarge.

Kayospruce are pleased to offer a new range of sail battens, with sizes to suit the smallest dinghy up to the largest yacht.

This new batten design benefits from the latest production techniques, using high strength "vinylester" resin and compressed glass strands for ultimate stiffness and longitudinal strength. On test, they are up to 35% stiffer than comparable battens. They also feature a 'shrink-wrapped" plastic coating to make handling in the sail pocket easier and protect from glass splinters. Plastic protective batten ends are also supplied. Battens are available with bend characteristics to suit the leech or tapered for full length top battens.

These new production techniques enable Kayospruce to offer this range at very competitive prices, in some cases with more than 50% savings over alternatives, allowing you to significantly minimise your production costs.

Download full batten brochure here (please link "here" to ), contact Kayospruce at , or on +44 (0)1489 581696 for more information and trade prices.

Sample keyrings and pushers are available on request.

Portimao Portugal Match Cup 2012 Cancelled
London, UK: The Alpari World Match Racing Tour and Sun Sailing Team, the organisers of the Portimao Portugal Match Cup, have today announced that the regatta has been removed from the 2012 Tour calendar.

The decision to cancel the 2012 Portimao Portugal Match Cup follows lengthy discussions between the Tour and Sun Sailing Team where both parties sought a solution to retain the event.

Unfortunately, the funding for the event has been severely impacted by the current economic situation in Portugal and some of the key funding partners are unable to commit their support to the regatta this year.

The Tour looks forward to hopefully welcoming the Portimao Portugal Match Cup back into the series in 2013.

All nine Tour Card Holders competing on the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour are allocated five events. The Tour Card Holders allocated to Portugal this year will now receive average points for the event based on their performances in their other allocated events on the 2012 Tour.

2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour Calendar:
Stage 1: May 23 - 28 - Match Race Germany, Langenargen, Germany
Stage 2: May 29 - June 3 - Korea Match Cup, Gyeonggi, South Korea
Stage 3: July 2 - 7 - Stena Match Cup Sweden, Marstrand, Sweden
Stage 4: July 10 - 15 - Chicago Match Cup, Chicago, USA
Stage 5: Aug 28 - Sep 2 - St. Moritz Match Race, St. Moritz, Switzerland
Stage 6: Sep 24 - 29 - Match Race France, Marseille, France
Stage 7: Oct 1 - 7 - Argo Group Gold Cup, Hamilton, Bermuda
Stage 8: Dec 4 - 9 - Monsoon Cup, K.Terengganu, Malaysia

Etchells Class Master
Matthew Chew proved his ability to be recognised as a talented skipper when he piloted Gen XY to a two point Gold Medal victory in the final of the ADCO Australasian Etch ells championship off Mooloolaba Beach today.

The master one-design sailor who teamed with fellow Queensland sailing mates Jason Muir(skipper), Paul Wyatt, and Bucky Smith to win the 2009 World championship over the Royal Brighton Yacht Club courses on Victoria's Port Phillip Bay was naturally delighted to win his first major title as a helmsman.

However while he cleverly mastered his role at the tiller the performance was very much a team effort.

Skipper Matthew Chew totally focused his role on steering Gen XY to her maximum speed while the clever combined skills of Ashley Deeks, Brian Donavan and Paul Wyatt attended to maintaining the boat speed with their attention to sail trim both up and down wind.

Gen XY showed she was a major medal contender to lead the series on count back with a 4-1 over Victorian Mark Bulka's Perfect Balance 2-3 at the end of day one then sailed another two conservatively clever races to finish day two with the series leading score 4-1-4-2 when they sailed onto the course for the final today.

As to be expected the Gen XY crew where under some tactical pressure to stall a late challenge from the capable fresh wind skipper Mark Thornburrow in Racer XY when squally clouds on the southern horizon indicated that boisterous weather was on the way.

West Australian Dirk Van Der Struyf who struggled to record a 25-14-21-15 in the previous four races steered Animal House to an impressive win over the Mark Johnson helmed Roulette while veteran Tasmanian skipper Roger Hickman steered Sun Tzu into third place while Gen XY finished 16th and Racer XY 9th.

In view of a threatening weather system with a peak 37 knot gust recorded at Double Island Point lighthouse race officials wisely called a halt to series at race 5. -- Ian Grant.

Final results. (Top 10).
1. Gen XY (Matthew Chew, Qld) 11 points
2. Racer XY (Mark Thornburrow, Hong Kong), 13
3. Magpie (Graeme Taylor, Vic), 17
4. Perfect Balance (Mark Bulka, Vic), 18
5. Iron Lotus (Tom King, NSW), 21
6. Roulette (Mark Johnson, NSW), 22
7. Iris lll (Peter McNeill, NSW), 23
8. North Star (Colin Beashel, NSW), 26
9. Tango 1990 (Christopher Hampton, Vic), 26
10. Yandoo XX (Jeanne-Claude Strong, NSW), 32

Leigh Mcmillan Wins Closest Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul
Photo by Vincent Curutchet / Dark Frame. Click on image for photo gallery.

In the closest finish we have seen so far this year, British Olympian Leigh McMillan and his crew onboard The Wave, Muscat won Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Istanbul, after four days and 29 races which has seen them in a game of cat and mouse with Roman Hagara and his Austrian Red Bull Sailing Team since the word 'go'. After day one Hagara was on top - day two and it was McMillan. Day three and Hagara was back in pole position and the question everyone was asking this morning was whether Hagara and his men could defend their position at the top of the leaderboard, and win their first ever Extreme Sailing Series Act. But no one was discounting Pierre Pennec and his all-French team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, and a win for the French in the final double-points race was enough for Pennec to leapfrog Hagara to claim second place.

Six races were sailed in the final day with the forecasters predicating big breeze this morning with gusts of up to 17 knots - and the weather didn't disappoint. In the strongest breeze the fleet have sailed in all week, it was hull flying, water spraying action as the Extreme 40s charged around the race course in 15 knots of wind, completing each race in less then 14 minutes.

Istanbul has delivered the eight Extreme 40s with the best conditions they have sailed in all year - blue skies, warm weather and most importantly - great breeze. From racing on the stunning waters of the Bosphorus to the stadium racing against the backdrop of Istanbul's old town and the famous Blue Mosque, Istanbul is an Act the fleet and the public of Istanbul will not forget in a hurry. Next stop is Porto, as we move into the second third of the 2012 Series, Act 4 5th-8th July.

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 3, Istanbul, Turkey standings after Day 4, 29 races (10.6.12)

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan / Ed Smyth / Pete Greenhalgh / Hashim Al Rashdi / Rachel Williamson, 174 points
2. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Herve Cunningham / Bernard Labro / Romain Petit, 169
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matthew Adams / Graeme Spence, Pierre Le Clainche, 159
4. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson / Will Howden / Charlie Ogletree / Nasser Al Mashari / Max Bulger, 146
5. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram‐Hansen / Rasmus Kostner / Pete Cumming / Mikkel Rossberg / Jonas Hviid, 131
6. GAC Pindar (GBR) Ian Williams / Nick Rogers/ Mark Bulkeley / Adam Piggot / Andrew Walsh, 113
7. Alinghi (SUI), Alain Gautier / Jean-­‐Christophe Mourniac / Christophe Lassegue / Morgane Gautie / François Verdier, 99
8. ZouLou (FRA) Erik Maris / Philippe Mourniac / Jean-Sebastien Ponce / Bruno Jeanjean / Patrick Aucour, 86

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Overall Series Results after Act 3, Istanbul

1. The Wave, Muscat, 29 points
2. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, 25
3. Red Bull Sailing Team, 24
4. Oman Air, 23
5. GAC Pindar, 18
6. ZouLou, 13
7. SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 13
8. Alinghi, 11

Ganesha & Highland Fling Victorious
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy: The final day of the 2012 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and organised by Boat International Media, had all the makings of being a classic. The top seven yachts in the Cruising division were separated by just four points, while a battle royale between Aegir and My Song in the Performance division looked inevitable on Fitzroy Race Day.

Stronger than forecast winds in the morning led to the race committee postponing from the original plan of getting racing underway at 1100, but as the afternoon began the call was made - the fleet of some of the finest sailing superyachts in the world would get to compete one last time. The committee selected an 18-mile course that would take the yachts south to Mortoriotto, round Soffi Island, and back up to the finish of Porto Cervo. Conditions remained changeable all around the course, with 50-degree wind shifts and wind speeds ranging from mid-teens round the back of Soffi Island to gusts of over 30 knots on the beat home.

For the Performance division, also competing for special prizes in Racer and Cruiser/Racer categories, the Swan Alpina chose not to start in the gusty conditions, but for the remaining yachts a classic start saw them abreast along the line. Highland Fling quickly stepped on the gas, opening out a four-minute delta at Mortoriotto, but for Aegir and My Song, it was a tooth-and-nail fight all the way round the course.

It was classic match racing, as the two yachts traded tack for tack in the tricky conditions. It was My Song, however, that managed to hold the advantage, just 16 seconds separating the two team

For Ganesha, conditions today were perfect for the yacht although nothing, of course, is a given in racing. 'We sailed the boat pretty well today, and the owner drove the boat very nicely,' beamed her tactician, Jens Christensen. 'The wind was up and down and very shifty - we saw it swing between 257 degrees and 305 degrees! The owner did a very nice job, and it's a good crew - they all know the boat. I must also say that Peter Craig (Principle Race Officer) and the race officers were stubborn today to stay out there, and they did a really good job.'

Complete results at

A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity!
Joel Perodo, Internationally known as a sailing history archivist and for his production of beautiful books on the history of our sport, is closing the activities of his business Yachting Heritage.

Joel has a very special offer especially addressed to sailing enthusiasts interested in the history of sailing. Limited to 50 copies only, are J Class and Mariquita books, Monaco, Clyde and J Class Collections going at €350 instead of €1200. The offer can be found on his, website under 'New Product'.

Also available is Joel's personal library, which contains around 1000 books on the history of sailing, the result of 20 years of quest for the origin and the evolution of the sport. Most of the books cover the years from 1880 up 1960, 80% of it in English while the remaining are in French, German or Italian.

There are some rare photo albums of racing gaff rig cutters, as well as architectural studies of Fife, Mylne, Watson, Nicholson, Herreshoff, Kemp, Stephens, Oertz and Eastlander yachts, plus a large choice of historical books on the America's Cup, as well as some original drawings of Fife, Mylne and Watson craft.

Books on cruising and racing complete this unique collection that is fit for an aficionado of sailing. The library can be viewed at Joel's residence in Bordeaux.

He is also also disposing of his collection of models, all at 1/30 scale and especially commissioned and created by a master model maker, on linear and metric rules. They include Vagrant (Fife 1888), Dublin Bay 19 (Fife 1898), Dublin Bay 21 (Mylne19O4), 15M (Fife 1909), 12M (Mylne 1909), 8M (Mylne 1909)and 6M (Mylne 1909).

Needless to say, Joel would like to find the right home for this wonderful collection. It is undoubtedly, a once in a lifetime opportunity! -- Jim Bolland writing in his "A Brush with Sail" blog,


Sun, Sailing, Saint-Tropez
The 2012 Giraglia Rolex Cup is underway. Today, under alluring blue skies in Saint-Tropez, the first of three days of inshore racing took place with the event's international fleet, in excess of a hundred yachts, divided into two groups. The larger boats, including the Maxi yachts (measuring over 60-feet), attacked a 31.9-nautical mile course, whilst the smaller classes were confronted with a 26.4-nm challenge.

Conditions were testing: 15-18 knots of breeze were present for the 11:20 CEST start, reaching 30 knots during parts of the race. Impressing on the water were today's winners: Jethou (GBR) in Group 0 IRC, Near Miss (SUI) in Group A IRC, Swift (FRA) in Group B IRC, Mandolino (ITA) in Group A ORC and Baciottinho (ITA) in Group B ORC. The inshore racing followed Friday's prologue race, which ran from Sanremo to Saint-Tropez. Sixty-two boats participated with the 52-foot Maltese yacht Dralion prevailing on handicap.

Meanwhile, thoughts are firmly focused on the week's main event - the circa 242-nm race from Saint Tropez to Sanremo via the Giraglia rock, located off the northern tip of Corsica, which commences on Wednesday 13 June. Yachts representing almost twenty countries are expected to participate in this historic 60th edition of the race.

Carlo Croce, President of event organizers Yacht Club Italiano, is looking forward to the contest ahead: "Almost two hundred boats should be participating, demonstrating that the Giraglia Rolex Cup has a place in everyone's heart. Many nations, from almost everywhere, are represented and above all lots of larger boats which hasn't always been the case. A very high level of competition is in prospect."

Croce, whose father Beppe was one of the race's co-founders, is delighted that the ethos and traditions of the event have been maintained despite the enormous changes that have taken place during sixty years of competition. "The spirit of the Giraglia comes from having a mixed fleet: from small, family-run boats to professional crews who have taken part in events like the America's Cup. This is the essence of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and it is important that it has not been lost." Fittingly, this year's race finishes in Sanremo - just like the inaugural event in 1953 (when the start was from Cannes) and the subsequent editions from 1954-1958 which departed from Saint-Tropez.

Full results from the inshore race

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The Last Word
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