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Rambler Slashes Bermuda Race Record
George David's 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney's Pyewacket. The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification) - an average speed of 16knots.

A delighted George David said. "These were perfect conditions. The most exciting moment was when we hit 26 knots. I'm so pleased with our performance. We have reduced the record by 25% - Not bad for a boat that is now 10 years old. This Rambler is the best boat I have ever owned!"

Rambler not only slashed the race record, her crew also spanked their rivals, with Hap Fauth's Bella Mente crossing the lighthouse line 1 hour 43 minutes behind, followed 3 minutes later by Shockwave skippered by George Sakellaris.

On corrected time however, Shockwave beat Rambler by 33 minutes, followed by Belle Mente in 3rd and Team Tiburon 4th. Two yachts in class 10 are still racing.

* As of 1800 Sunday, six boats have finished the race, each of them breaking an elapsed time course record. In finishing order, they are Rambler (Class 10), Bella Mente (Class 10), Shockwave (Class 10), Team Tiburon (Class 10), Med Spirit (Class 16), and Kodiak (Class 8). Shockwave and Kodiak are the current corrected time leaders in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division and St. David's Lighthouse Division, respectively. Med Spirit is the current corrected time leader in the Open Division. -- Talbot Wilson

Complete results:

Heroic Homecoming For Groupama
Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image for photo gallery.

Volvo Ocean Race Groupama completed a heroic comeback victory on Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Friday, strengthening their grip on the overall standings and realising a dream homecoming to Lorient - while Telefonica suffered a cruel twist of fate that allowed PUMA to move into second overall. Just two days ago Groupama were back in fourth struggling to catch up after spending more than two hours trying to free their jammed mainsail, with bowman Brad Marsh having to climb the 31-metre mast three times in storm conditions.

But once again Franck Cammas' crew showed off their blistering pace, hauling back their rivals to climb up to second going into the final 24 hours -- and when Telefonica saw their hopes dashed by a second broken rudder 12 hours from the finish they were left unchallenged in terms of pace.

The win sees them take a maximum 30 points to move on to a total of 219, bolstering their position at the top of the overall leaderboard with just one leg and two in-port races left.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand took a strong second in the leg while PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG came home in third to take over as Groupama's main challengers, 23 points behind them.

CAMPER are five points further back on 191 points. Telefonica will join them on 191 if they go on to finish ahead of Team Sanya in fifth.

An army of French fans turned out to give Groupama an ecstatic welcome back to their home port and celebrate their second leg victory of the race.

PUMA skipper Ken Read said he was happy to see his team notch up their 10th successive podium finish of the race, including in-port races, but that he was conscious of Groupama extending their overall lead further.

"It's bittersweet," he said. "We didn't sail our best leg to be honest -- we made some mistakes. Slipping up on CAMPER at the end was disappointing, but I give them credit for taking advantage of the one little slip up we made.

"I hope I'm wrong but I have a feeling we've seen the opportunity to win this race slipping away. That's a big 10 points that they just amassed over us."

Meanwhile, the reality of seeing his Leg 8 dreams dashed was sinking in for Telefonica skipper Iker Martínez.

"The mood on board is as good as it can be in circumstances like these, as we have just seen any chance of us winning this round the world regatta slip away," he said. "It's like two years work just disappearing into thin air in a matter of minutes - what a mess."

Aquila Seals The Deal
Photo by Icarus Sailing Media. Click on image for photo gallery.

ORC Med Championship With a final bullet scored in the ninth and final race, Felix Riedl Consulting's TP52 Aquila, led by skipper Christian Bayer, has won Class A of the ORC Mediterranean Championship. The team from Austria traded wins all week with the other podium finishers, Peter Mosny's Slovakian team on the J/V 42 Quebramar in second, and Jani Lehti's Finnish team on their Grand Soleil 42R Audi in third. And in today's perfect 8-10 knots Aquila won by the highest margin of the week: over 4 minutes in corrected time.

And Jiri Liska's Czech team on the M37 Escandalo had enough points to stay home and not do the final race, yet they still went out to score yet another win to smash the competition in Class B. Their win today was by an astonishing margin of nearly two minutes, a feat the Escandalo team had been achieving nearly all week. Runner-up in the class was Robert Manzoni's Italian team on Dieci x Dieci, and in third was Richard Shultz's Slovak team on his First 40.7 Sixtynine.

Cres has once again proven to be a great place to race: in five days of competition, all nine races planned were run, beginning with a strong wind, then fading into medium and light air conditions, providing a wide variety suitable for a championship event.

The race committee also got high marks from the sailors and the jury - only one protest hearing was needed - and the event this year provided live tracking from the race course and daily video shows, including some aerial coverage. The sailor's satisfaction on leaving Cres is the greatest reward for the organizers, who have already started preparations for the 15th anniversary Cres Sailing Week, a prelude to the 2013 ORCi World Championship to be held in Ancona over 21-29 June 2013. -- Zoran Grubisa

Bol d'Or
Over 300 boats were on the starting line off the Societe Nautique de Geneve at 1000 yesterday for the 74th edition of the Bol d'Or. It was a sunny day with Mont Blanc clearly visible, but there was little wind for the start. Artemis Racing was participating again this year with Torbjorn Tornqvist at the helm.

We were literally drifting at the start, but fortunately the fleet was divided over three starting lines.

The breeze was light all the way up to the East end of the lake making the 42 nautical mile journey take over seven hours for the fastest boats...the D35s and the M2s catamarans. The stops and starts are too numerous to recall. The lead changed countless times as boats 100 meters apart often had wind from the opposite direction.

Our route East took us past Versoix, Rolle, Nyon, Lausanne, Evian and Montreux to La Bouveret. The green hills rolling down to the lake with snow capped mountains in the background provide a dramatic setting for sure. But it was slow going, at times we were just drifting wondering which mountain the next breath of air would descend from.

Artemis rounded the half way point at 1745, last of the D35s. Immediately after turning the "barge" at Le Bouveret, we made a B-line for the Northern shore along with Alinghi and Lady Cat. We managed to pass two boats with that move although it seemed like we might have gotten more out of it initially as the fleet in the middle of the lake was parked as we reached along at 15 knots.

As we headed west toward the finish in Geneva, we met the Southwesterly breeze which had been in place all day in the "Petit Lac". That is the Western third of the lake. So, as things settled down with the wind, the fleet made good progress and not much changed in the positions.

At the finish, the kids on Realstone edged out a well sailed Julius Bar by just seven minutes, for the win. Zen completed the podium. Artemis Racing finished at 22:05 in 7th place, bettering last years position by three places. It was a long day! As Torbjorn said at the finish, we found a few more of the bad spots on the track. It seems that winning a Bol d'Or might be a project that takes time as experience on the many twists and turns of the lake counts! -- Paul Cayard

The Westward Cup 2012 Reaches An Early Conclusion
Photo of Eleanora by Chris Boynton. Click on image to enlarge.

Westward Cup Eleonora, Mariette and Mariquita, the three Big Class yachts taking part in the 2nd running of the Westward Cup in Cowes this week, have faced four days of the best and worst that the British weather could throw at them. The owners and their guests have been enjoying this prestigious and unique invitational yachting event run by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club and the Yacht Club de Monaco since Monday.

A number of difficult weather-related decisions have had to be taken by the PRO, David Aisher, who stressed that all decisions relating to course-setting have been taken in close collaboration with the owners and their captains on a daily or twice daily basis. "This has been an inclusive event," commented Mr Aisher, 'with the owners enjoying a wonderful week of good racing and great social events. Everyone has been supportive of the race management this week, despite the difficulties we have been facing with the weather."

The opening day of racing on Tuesday was challenging enough, with wind speeds ranging from 15-18 knots lowering to 5 knots along parts of the course by the afternoon. That distinct lack of wind at the beginning of the week ended up forcing a decision to cancel racing altogether on Wednesday. Thursday morning's racing was superb for all three yachts but by the afternoon the winds had increased from the south-east, strengthening to 20-25 knots and Mariquita's Captain, Jim Thom, took the decision not to race in the afternoon. The remaining competitors raced in the Eastern Solent achieving some excellent speeds but the sea state was very lumpy by the time they had completed Race Three in the overall series.

Friday morning the forecast was looking to wreak havoc with the Royal Yacht Squadron's Race Officers' course plans, as 40+ knots were being reported in Hurst Narrows! Two yachts managed to get in a short race this morning with Eleonora taking line honours ahead of Mariette. Mariquita's team took the decision early on not to go racing in potentially damaging winds.

With the Solent forecast showing predicted gale force winds gusting to 50 knots, it was agreed to abandon all further racing in the Westward Cup 2012 so there was no racing on the final day, Saturday 16 June. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

Overall Results after Four Races

1. Mariette = 5 points
2. Eleonora = 9 points
3. Mariquita = 12 points

RORC IRC National Championship
Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

RORC IRC National Championship Glorious sunshine and a moderate south-westerly breeze was a welcome change after two days of kite shredding conditions at the RORC IRC National Championship. The RORC Race Committee snapped off three tight windward leeward races in the eastern and central Solent, stress levels were high with several general recalls adding to the drama. The closely bunched fleet caused a heavy traffic zone, where small errors meant leaking precious points towards the championship.

In IRC Three with a perfect seven wins, David Franks' JPK 1010, Strait Dealer, won class and was declared the overall champion for the RORC IRC National Championship.

There was heartache for some in IRC One with a massive swing on the leaderboard. The overnight leader, Tonnerre de Breskens, had a torrid time, scoring a 9th and a 13th in the first two races. Tonnerre came back to win the last race of the day but the damage was done and the Dutch yacht dropped from 1st to 5th in Class. Francois Goubau's First 47.7, Moana, came right into the running with a win in the first race of the day but the Belgian team was early at the pin end of the last race and failed to return, scoring an OCS when class victory was in sight. Anthony O'Leary's Irish Ker 39, Antix, has sailed consistently well all weekend and were desperately close to winning the big boat class, but for the second year running Antix was runner up. The IRC One title went to Andrew Pearce's Ker 40, Magnum III, beating Antix by a single point in the seven race series.

In IRC Two Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair, scored two seconds and a third today to wrap off the division title. Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Réponse, is in the same team as Premier Flair for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and had a very good day on the water with three podium places, including a win in Race 6 to take second in Class. Sailing Logic's Reflex 38, Visit Malta Puma skippered by Tim Thubron, were pushing hard today, but had to settle for third in a very competitive class.

In IRC Four Grant Gordon's J/97, Fever, scored three bullets today to stamp their authority on the class to win overall by a significant margin from Mike and Jamie Holmes' J/97, Jika Jika. Michael Kershaw's Chimp defeated Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XV in all three races today to win the battle of the Half Tonners.

RORC IRC National Championship Winner (Jackdaw Trophy)
Strait Dealer, JPK 1010, David Franks (+ Winner of IRC Three)

1. Magnum III, Ker 40, Andrew Pearce (GBR)
2. Antix, Ker 39, Anthony O'Leary (IRL)
3. Moana, First 47.7, Francois Goubau (BEL)

1. Premier Flair, Elan 410, Jim Macgregor (GBR)
2. La Réponse , First 40, Andrew McIrvine (GBR)
3. Visit Malta Puma, Reflex 38, Sailing Logic, Tim Thubron (GBR)

IRC Three
1. Strait Dealer, JPK 1010, David Franks (GBR)
2. Elaine, Elan 37, Mike Bridges (GBR)
3. Salvo, Corby 33, Peter Morton (GBR)

IRC Four
1. Fever, J/97, Grant Gordon (GBR)
2. Jika Jika, J/97, Mike and Jamie Holmes (GBR)
3. Chimp, Half Tonner, Michael Kershaw (GBR)

USA Wins Audi Sardinia Cup
Photo by Alessandro Spiga. Click on image to enlarge.

Audi Sardinia Cup Porto Cervo, Italy: Team USA, composed of the TP52 Quantum Racing skippered by Ed Baird and the Soto 40 Iberdrola with Jose Maria Torcida Seghers at the helm, has claimed victory in the Audi Sardinia Cup 2012. Both boats claimed their fourth bullet of the series in today's seventh and final race of the event organized biennially by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda since 1978, to leave them 11 points clear of first runner up Team Italy. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team (TP52) and the Soto 40 Alegre took a fourth and a second place respectively today to retain the second place overall that they have held since the second day of racing. British boats Gladiator (TP52), owned by Tony Langley and with Chris Larson on tactics, and Tony Buckingham's Ngoni (Soto 40) took third place.

Quantum, owned by Doug DeVos, and Iberdrola also took the top prizes in the individual classifications for their respective classes, valid as part of the 52 Super Series for the competing TP52 and IRC52 boats and as a leg of the European Championship for the Soto 40s.

The light air that has characterized the week's racing in Porto Cervo prevailed once again today and only one windward-leeward race was held for each fleet in approximately 6-7 knots of breeze from 060°. Quantum sailed to a clear victory after passing Hugues Destremau's Paprec on the first downwind leg with the French boat crossing the finish line second and Gladiator third. Quantum's closest rival, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team which is owned by Alberto Roemmers and flies the YCCS burgee, was unable to recover after a poor start and finished fourth, putting paid to tactician Francesco Bruni and strategist Vasco Vascotto's hopes of winning the individual TP52 classification. Trailing Iberdrola in the Soto 40 fleet were Andres Soriano's Alegre and Ngoni. Second place in today's race was enough to ensure second place in the class overall for Alegre ahead of Pedro Mendonca's Bigamist.

Audi Sardinia Cup - Team Results
1. USA: Soto 40 Iberdrola Team / TP52 Quantum Racing, 29 points
2. Italy: Soto 40 Alegre / TP52 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, 40
3. Great Britain: Soto 40 Ngoni / TP52 Gladiator, 44
4. Sweden: Soto 40 Black Pearl / TP52 Ran, 55.5
5. Cayman Islands: Soto 40 Bigamist / TP52 Powerplay, 56.5

Soto 40 Results
1. Iberdrola, 14.5
2. Alegre, 22.5
3. Bigamist, 23.5
4. Ngoni, 25
5. Black Pearl, 27

TP52 Results
1. Quantum Racing, 15.5
2. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, 18.5
3. Gladiator, 20
4. Ran, 30.5
5. Paprec Recyclage, 36.5
6. Powerplay, 38

Loick Peyron Back to Sail Summer Sailstice
Loick Peyron has signed up to participate in Summer Sailstice for the second year in a row. Loick is currently en route to Newport, Rhode Island to practice for the final event of the America's Cup World Series '11-'12.

The charismatic frenchman has kept busy skippering the catamaran for the French America's Cup Challenger- Energy Team, but took time off in November of 2011 to blast around the planet on maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V for the Trophee Jules Verne record, which he achieved in an amazing record breaking time of 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds at an average speed of 26.51 knots, covering a total distance of 29 002 miles. Returning in early January Loick jumped right back into America's Cup sailing.

Why would a sailor with so many miles, records, trophies, accolades and accomplishments want to connect with a global sailing celebration? Our best sense of the sailor is a true love for what sailing has brought to him and brings to the world. Loick is always keen to share his experiences and his love for the sport which makes him one of the most popular sailors around.

Loick Peyron will be sailing on the Summer Sailstice weekend of June 23rd, in Newport, Rhode Island as he arrives as a favored competitor with Energy Team after clinching the top podium spot for the ACWS Venice. By signing up and sailing your boat, wherever you are in the world, you'll be sharing a sail with Loick. Bon Vent!

Running The Rhumblines
Long term fast lane sailing mates Peter Millar and David Chittleborough have sailed numerous exciting miles on the spray drenched trampoline of the catamaran Cynaphobe.

Generally their tactical plan revolves around the spectacular feat of flying the windward hull on the fine line between distinction and disaster for as long as they can.

The reduced wetted surface when Cynophobe lifts the hull free from the sea surface has become the sole target for co-skippers Peter Millar, David Chittleborough and their crew of Whitsunday Sailing Club mates.

Cynophobe created from the drawing board well known Australian multihull designer Tony Grainger and built by David Chittleborough competes with the sole crew purpose of having fun while racing in the fast lane.

This was again evident when perfect trade winds provided the fleet with another exciting test of fast multihull racing for honours in the 23rd race of the annual Sprint championship on Pioneer Bay last week.

Predictably Cynophobe which has been nominated to contest the 2012 Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week against a high class fleet later this year again expressed her exciting all angle sailing speed to leave her rivals struggling to record the required performance to protect their handicap rating.

At the half way point Cynophobe had left the Keith Roberts skippered Wild Thing and Derek Holroyd's Doctors Orders to play catch up as the hull flying catamaran continued at a fast pace to beat her .904 handicap penalty.

Cynophobe completed the 4 lap sprint race course with the exciting time of 48 minutes 42 seconds and while the crew were again happy to have enjoyed another fast ride they were unsure of their chances of adding the handicap to the impressive line honours win.

The final result came down to one of the closest recorded in recent seasons when Whitsunday Sailing Club officials declared Cynophobe had won the line honours and handicap double with a corrected time of 44 minutes 2 seconds beating Wild Thing (.795) by 2 seconds with another 3 seconds to the lower .760 rated Doctors Orders.

This important win has also allowed the talented Cynophobe crew who recorded their last 'double' in race 10 to maintain the series lead with 91 points five clear of Wild Thing while the 2011 Airlie Beach Race Week Multihull class champion J'Ouvert (Peter Berry) holds third overall on 101 points. -- Ian Grant

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The Last Word
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. -- Eartha Kitt

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