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J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race
Photo by OnEdition. Click on image for photo gallery.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race Experience counts in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race as Gold and Silver Roman Bowl winners are confirmed for 2012

The overall winners of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race have been confirmed, with the 81st edition of the event bringing triumph for boats both large and small.

The winner of the prestigious Gold Roman Bowl for first boat overall on IRC handicap is Tony Langley's TP52 Manroland Sheetfed. Competing in IRC 0, Manroland Sheetfed (aka Weapon of Choice) was the second monohull to complete the course, finishing in 4hrs, 42mins and 12secs to win on corrected time by just 3 minutes.

Tony Langley's crew held off a strong challenge by last year's Gold Roman Bowl winner Sundowner. Jo Hutchinson's Contessa 26 won IRC Division 3D by completing the course in 8hrs, 31mins and 17secs giving them a corrected time of just 3 minutes and 4 seconds slower than the TP52 and awarding them the Silver Roman Bowl for second overall in IRC.

Sundowner also faced a fierce challenge from another previous winner of the race, Ed Donald's Madelaine, a Nordic Folkboat that won the Gold Roman Bowl in 2007. Racing in the same class, Madelaine finished just two and a half minutes behind Sundowner on the water, to take third overall on corrected time.

Line honours went to the Multi 50 trimaran Actual, which crossed the finish line at 10.19.57 this morning, finishing in a time of 3hrs, 09mins and 57secs to just miss out on the outright record set by Francis Joyon in 2001 by just 1min, 28secs.

They were followed home by last year's line honours winner Prince de Bretagne, while first monohull home was the current course record holder ICAP Leopard, who rounded the Island in 03hrs, 59mins and 04secs. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

Groupama Close In On Overall Victory with Bretagne In-Port Success
Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image for photo gallery.

Volvo Ocean Race Hometown heroes Groupama completed a last-gasp win in the Bretagne In-Port Race in Lorient on Saturday to take a big step towards overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.

Franck Cammas' crew had spent much of the 9.2 nautical mile race fighting with PUMA for second place but all changed on the penultimate leg when they usurped long-term leaders CAMPER from the top spot and held on to take the win by just 13 seconds, picking up a maximum six points in the process.

The win puts them 25 points clear at the top of the overall leaderboard with just one offshore leg and one in-port race to go.

Five points for CAMPER's second-place finish puts them top of the inshore series, level on 39 points with PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG after they claimed four points for third, their 11th podium finish in a row.

Telefonica took fourth, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing finishing fifth and Sanya taking sixth.

* Telefonica (Iker Martínez/ESP) held a 0.1 nautical mile lead in the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 at 2100 GMT tonight, as they enjoyed a terrific scrap with CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) starting right from the off.

"No guts, no glory. This is it," said Ken Read, skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, previewing the end of the 11th edition of the race. There is a lot at stake and the next 36 hours could decide the winner of the Volvo Ocean Race after nearly 39,270 nm of racing around the world.

Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) began Leg 9 with a commanding lead, but so close are the scores that should PUMA finish this leg in first place, and Groupama finish in sixth, their scores would be equal leaving just the Galway in-port race to decide the final outcome. It is the closest racing ever in the 39-year history of the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race.

Tonight as the fleet made its way up the Brittany coast, 13 nm south west of Ushant, an island at the south western end of the English Channel, marking the north westernmost point of France, the crews were reaching at a steady 19-20 knots, preparing for the wind to pipe up as they leave the coast of France.

At 1930 GMT, in a live report, Tony Rae, helmsman/trimmer on board CAMPER reported that the team were reaching with Telefonica just up to weather and Groupama just behind. PUMA were a little further behind and to weather.

ORACLE Team USA Clinches First ACWS Season Championship
Photo by Daniel Forster / Artemis Racing. Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup Newport, Rhode Island, USA: ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill and crew today clinched the inaugural America's Cup World Series Season Championship.

Racing at the sixth and concluding event of the 2011-12 season, ACWS - Newport, Spithill, John Kostecki, Dirk de Ridder, Joe Newton and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen won the championship with the high score of 102 points.

Spithill and crew placed second in the ACWS - Newport match racing and fleet racing championships, and won the speed trials.

The team's second entry, led by four-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts, won the ACWS - Newport Match Racing Championship and finished second in today's fleet race finale.

The series began last August in Portugal and has included stops in the U.K., Italy and the U.S., thrilling more than 1 million spectators with competitive racing. A total of 130 races were run with only one day lost due a heavy seaway.

2011-12 America's Cup World Series Provisional Overall Standings

Team (Country) Match - Fleet - Total
1. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (USA) 47 - 55 - 102 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 41 - 52 - 93
3. Artemis Racing (SWE) 50 - 32 - 82
4. Energy Team (FRA) 38 - 36 - 74
5. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (USA) 39 - 29 - 68
6. Team Korea (KOR) 33 - 33 - 66
7. Luna Rossa Piranha 26 - 26 - 52
8. Luna Rossa Swordfish 15 - 16 - 31
(After six of six scheduled events)

ACWS - Newport Fleet Racing Championship
Team (Country) R1-R2-R3-R4-R5 - Total Points
1. Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA) 3 (8) - 8 (3) - 5 (6) - 5 (6) - 1 (30) - 53
2. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (USA) 1 (10) - 1 (10) - 1 (10) - 3 (8) - 5 (10) - 48
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 6 (5) - 2 (9) - 3 (8) - 1 (10) - 6 (8) - 40
4. Team Korea (KOR) 8 (3) - 6 (5) - 2 (9) - 4 (7) - 4 (12) - 36
5. Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA) 7 (4) - 5 (6) - 6 (5) - 6 (5) - 3 (15) - 35
6. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (USA) 2 (9) - 7 (4) - DNF (0) - DNF (0) - 2 (20) - 33
7. Artemis Racing (SWE) 4 (7) - 3 (8) - 4 (7) - 7 (4) - 7 (6) - 32
8. Energy Team (FRA) 5 (6) - 4 (7) - 7 (4) - 2 (9) - 8 (4) - 30

ACWS - Newport Match Racing Championship
3. Luna Rossa Piranha
4. Artemis Racing
5. Energy Team
6. Emirates Team New Zealand
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. Team Korea

Falmouth J Class Regatta
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Falmouth J Class Regatta The last race of the Falmouth J Class Regatta took place in perfect sailing conditions; approximately 22 knots of wind and sunshine.

The required results needed for each boat promised an exciting race as the regatta was Velsheda's with any result except a Ranger win. Yesterday's cancellation meant that each boat's best three results were required from the fleet's four races. Velsheda was on 2 wins and 1 second, Ranger on 1 win and 2 seconds. A win for Ranger would see her on equal points with Velsheda and the result of the final race would be the decider.

At the first leeward mark, Lionheart rounded first, Velsheda second, and Ranger third. Rainbow was some distance behind but narrowing the gap.

After a long beat in a strong breeze, Lionheart arrived at the windward mark with a good lead over second-placed Ranger. Velsheda rounded the top mark in third with Rainbow close on her transom. Unfortunately, Rainbow's spinnaker slipped into the water off the leeward side and filled with water, forcing her to round up into the large spectator fleet.

Following a long battle to recover the spinnaker, Rainbow retired from the race. If Falmouth is anything to go by, Rainbow will be a real contender in the Solent; she's a very quick boat and the newly assembled crew will have learned a lot from her first four races.

The other three raced on, making great time on the downwind leg. Lionheart led, with Ranger close behind, and Velsheda in third. The boats kept these positions for four more marks, right to the finish line.

Lionheart did extremely well to take line-honours against the highly experienced Ranger and Velsheda. However, the final result was Ranger in first and Lionheart in second after Ranger's corrected time put her just 35 seconds ahead, leaving Ranger as the overall winner of the J Class Falmouth Regatta. Velsheda wins the Corinthian Cup for best amateur helmsman.

The Js will now prepare to move down to the Solent for the J Class Solent Regatta, starting on 18th July.

Race Five results
1. Ranger
2. Lionheart
3. Velsheda
Rainbow (DNF)

Falmouth Regatta final results
1. Ranger
2. Velsheda
3. Lionheart
4. Rainbow

The Race To Hoist
The second stage of La Solitaire de Figaro - Eric Bompard Cachemire started Sunday at 12.30 on a 440-mile race across the Bay of Biscay. The 36 Figaros set off from the Spanish coast in around 12 knots of breeze with waves of about 2 metres, first on a coastal race around inshore markers, before stretching north towards Raz de Sein.

Rounding the buoys, it was Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) who made the best start, leading around the Radio France Buoy after an hour of racing. He was closely followed by Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) and the 'Bizuth' or rookie Figarist Julien Villion (Seixo Promotion). All 36 solo sailors rounded the buoy in less than three minutes.

Despite over 440 miles to sail, four earned individual recalls for being early over the start line: Jean-Pierre Nicol (Bernard Controls), Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee), Sam Goodchild (Artemis 23) and Nicolas Jossier (In Extenso Experts Comptables).

The fleet is now streaming north in light westerly breezes. The key challenge for all will be negotiating a ridge of high pressure and a shift better breeze arriving this evening first from the south-south-west, then settling on a more south-westerly heading. The boats which are able to first hoist a spinnaker and begin the long reach towards the Pointe de Raz off the Brittany coast are likely to gain the advantage on this first section of the course, which will be a test of boatspeed.

Top ten, leg two, 01 jui 2012 20:00:00 CEST

1. Cercle Vert, Gildas Morvan, 405.1 nm to leg finish
2. Generali, Nicolas Lunven, 0.4 nm to leader
3. Bernard Controls, Jean-Pierre Nicol, 0.7
4. Nacarat, Erwan Tabarly, 0.7
5. Prati'buches, Vincent Biarnes, 0.9
6. Keopsys, Charlie Dalin, 0.9
7. Gedimat, Thierry Chabagny, 1.1
8. La Solidarite Mutualiste, Damien Guillou, 1.3
9. Banque Populaire, Jeanne Gregoire, 1.4
10. Groupe Fiva, Alexis Loison, 1.4t

Jean Queveau Rules 2012 J/22 World Championship In France
With a dominating nine first-place tallies in 11 races, Jean Queveau of France won the 2012 J/22 World Championship at Crouesty Arzon Yacht Club in Brittany, France. Held from June 26-29, team Julie discarded a 14 and kept a sixth for a total of just 15 overall points. Racing with Queveau were Pierre Laouenan, Damien Iehl and Pierre Le Clainche. Two Netherlands teams followed in second and third - Wouter Kollmann with 33 points and Ivo Kok with 35.

Teams from France, The Netherlands, Germany and the Cayman Islands participated in the championship, which featured 24 boats. Next year, the J/22 will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a World Championship in the birthplace of the boat, Newport, Rhode Island, from October 1-5, 2013.

The top five:
1. Jean Queveau (France) - 15 points
2. Wouter Kollmann (Netherlands) - 33
3. Ivo Kok (Netherlands) - 35
4. Mike Farrington (Cayman Islands) - 50
5. Serge Raphalen (France) - 80

ORC European Championships
Punta Ala, Italy - The final race on the final day at the ORCi European Championship Prysmian Celadrin Trophy was held in the same light-to-moderate, flat-water conditions that characterized the entire week here in Punta Ala. This set the stage for an intense fight for the remaining podium positions in Class A and Class B since the winners were already determined yesterday: Aniene in Class A and Low Noise in Class B.

Sure enough, the push for the line at the start of Class A yielded individual recalls, and except for Guido Paolo Gamucci's Cookson 50 Cippa Lippa 8 and Armin Schmid's new Farr 400 Sonnenkonig who got away clean and fast, the fight started early in the pack for clear lanes.

Caught up in that fight was Battista Valerio's GS 42RM Cronos 2, helmed by Enrico Zennaro, who in fact had enough points to be assured of the silver medal overall barring a complete disaster, and still managed to climb out of that pack to a safe 5th place today. And having one of their best races of the week allowed Giovanni Sylos Labini's Grand Soleil 46B Exprivia Luduan Reloaded to capture the bronze medal by only 1.75 points, just edging out today's race winner Cippa Lippa. Labini also won the Owner-Driver Award for Class A, and the Corinthian Trophy for the top all-amateur team in Class A went to the 7th-placed Greek team on Nikolaos Sinouris's GS42R Booker.

The same fight for the podium has been on with even more intensity in Class B, where there were more boats of similar speed sailing only a two-lap rather than three-lap course, keeping the action tight at all times. Even with Giuseppe Giuffre's M37 Low Noise out of the way today given their assured victory on points, this fight was still intense, with Marco Emili's Grand Soleil 37BC ZigoZago winning his first race of the week by only 25 seconds over the Class B Corinthian Trophy winner, Francesco Sodini's M37 Coconut.

The Owner-Driver Award in Class B went to Vincenzo de Blasio, whose next big ORC event will be the Audi ORCi Offshore World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, and the Corinthian Award went to Coconut.

Except for the fastest two boats in Class A, the corrected time results in the event were mostly very close, with results determined by mere seconds rather than minutes in corrected time. Nonetheless, ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi stated at the prize giving the ORC is still looking for ways to improve the rating system, and the International Technical Committee chairman Alessandro Nazareth was on hand yesterday to review results for later analysis to improve the ORC VPP.

Onorato's 'Mascalzone Latino' Takes Melges 32 European Title
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 32 European Porto Cervo, Italy: Fourth place in a nail biting final race which saw at least four boats in with a chance of winning the European title was enough for Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino, with Australia's Nathan Wilmot calling tactics, to clench victory. A further two Italian boats, Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica with Michele Paoletti on tactics and Torpyone helmed by Edoardo Lupi with tactician Branko Brcin, took second and third place respectively among the competing boats eligible for the Europeans. The event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with B-Plan Sport&Events and Melges Europe, is also valid as the third leg of the Audi Sailing Series for the class.

The final classification for the event sees America's Jason Carroll on Argo in the lead on 53 points, however as the Melges 32 class rules permit the European Challenge Cup to be awarded to a European boat only, Carroll has to be content with taking the top prize for the third leg of the Audi Sailing Series ahead of Onorato and Cirillo.

The next official appointment for the International fleet is in Europe. The Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series Event No. 4 takes place on July 20-22 in Malcesine on Lake Garda, Italy.

Then, immediately following, all eyes will turn to Newport, R.I. where the showdown of all showdowns will take place, beginning with the 2012 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport on July 27-29. Nationals is just another step as teams work toward the 2012 World Championship, also happening in Newport, hosted by the New York Yacht Club on September 20-29.

Top Ten Results (Final, After 10 Races, 1 discard)

1. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo, 53 points
2. Vincenzo Onorato/Nathan Wilmot, Mascalzone Latino, 55
3. Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, Fantastica, 63
4. Naofumi Kamei/Manuel Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!, 64
5. Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, Torpyone, 66
6. Wolfgang Stolz/Jasper Radich, Opus One, 78
7. John Kilroy/Steve Hunt, Samba Pa Ti, 79
8. Edoardo Pavesio/Gabriele Benussi, Audi F.lli Giacomel | FRA MARTINA, 82
9. Andrea Pozzi/Flavio Favini, Bombarda, 84.4
10. Mauro Mocchegiani/Matteo Ivaldi, 87

A Tribute To Johan Devocht
Johan Devocht We have all been shocked by the sudden death of Johan. He was a great friend of the Fireball class and a very dear friend of mine. I therefore thought it only fitting to share a few of my many Fireball memories of Johan.

Johan will be best remembered by Fireballers as a member of numerous International Juries. However, there was far more to his links with the class.

Johan was extremely proud of the fact he had built and still owned a Fireball. So he was one of "the boys"; he was regularly the Belgian Fireball representative at International Fireball Council meetings. He was also very proud of his national heritage.

At the 1993 Fireball World Championships in Belgium, Johan was the PRO. This was Fireball's first experience of his regatta management skills. He then changed his involvement with race management and became an ISAF International Judge and served on several Fireball Juries but from the 1999 Worlds in Brest (FRA) he had an almost perfect record in attending Fireball World and European Championships all round the world.

At the 2000 Thailand Worlds he was Jury Chairman and continued in this role for most of the subsequent championships. Johan brought much more to this role than the traditional picture of the ISAF man in a blazer. He was always professional in the role and was always ready and able to assist in all matters. He could always be relied on to deliver - sometimes he would work well into the night both at home and at events ensuring the event ran seamlessly. The current quality of the Fireball NOR & SI templates owes much to Johan.

The memories are endless and I am sure you will have your own special memories of Johan; I am sure they will include his easy smile and good cheer after sailing. He was part of the Fireball family and the class was his passion; he always wanted to be Class Secretary for just two weeks. I know he would want the class to build on its current reputation and continue to deliver the highest quality championships in stunning venues.

The sad thing is we will have no new memories. Our thoughts are with his family.

I hope you will raise your glass to him next time you stand at the sailing club bar. -- Andrew Davies

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From John Waugh: So It's all going to be sorted by changing the boat. I think not. The original Whitbread races had a point to them. People - ordinary sailors like you and me - taking on this huge race emulating the clippers of the 19th century, the three Capes, the Southern Ocean and then home. The new format is barely recognisable with this meandering all over the world in search of television dollars to ludicrous destinations, complicated point systems, yachts being transported on ships, in port races for yet more tv dollars. Its all turned into a circus and frankly a boring circus.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I make the plea - let's take a step back to the Corinthian days, recapture the romance and the daring and do away with this industrial yachting. The way NOT to do this is to turn it into yet another one design race aimed at entertaining Mrs Houswife in Slough or Shanghai as she does the ironing on a Saturday afternoon.

* From Bernie Case: The current photos & videos of The AC 45s simply illustrates how irrelevant to the general sailing community the Americas Cup has become. The basic principles & techniques required for match racing as we knew it no longer exist. The principle of National Teams competing representing their country no longer applies.Australian teams in the past, were actually Australian Teams. Under the current system there is nothing relevant to hull or sail development of general use to the average yacht owner. The vessels are in fact not even seaworthy. They certainly could not run the event in Fremantle, as in the past, as I doubt any would even survive the course when the "Fremantle Doctor" settles in.

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The Last Word
Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

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