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Williams Wins Chicago Match Cup
Photo by Andy Carter / AWMRT. Click on image to enlarge.

WMRT Reigning Tour Champion Ian Williams was today crowned the 2012 Chicago Match Cup winner after a 3-0 battle against Australian youngster Jordan Reece, which also closed the gap on Bjorn Hansen at the top of Alpari World Match Racing Tour leaderboard, the Swede having won the day's Petit Final to take third.

Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar went into this inaugural US Tour event desperate for a win, having finished second and third at his previous series events so far this season. Starting strongly despite an enforced crew change due to an appendicitis suffered by his tactician and mainsheet trimmer Bill Hardesty, Williams kept true to his tactician's wishes sent from hospital: "Tell Ian nothing fancy! Keep it smooth and fast!"

Jordan Reece (AUS) - Estate Master Sailing Team did well to make the Finals, the 21-year old's first-ever in the Tour, as he kept the pressure on the World Champion in every match of the Finals. The closest he got to victory was in wresting the lead away from Williams on the first run of the second match, rolling over his rival in the light choppy conditions to take the lead into the bottom gate.

Despite taking a comprehensive 3-0 win, Williams was impressed with his 21 year-old opponent, saying: "For Jordan to be competing in the final of an Alpari World Match Racing Tour event so early on is a fantastic achievement. I can't remember how long I was plugging away before I made my first Final but I think it was more like a year. It's a great start for him.

"It is important for us to have gotten some points back on Bjorn [Hansen] in the overall leaderboard. We've caught him up a little bit and it looks like it'll go all the way now.

"St. Moritz is a big point scorer so that'll be an important regatta. We love that event and we've been on the podium there for the last six years so we're looking forward to that one."

Replays of the day's racing is available to watch live online at

Final Result:
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs. Jordan Reece (AUS) - Estate Master Sailing Team 3-0

Petit Final Result:
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team vs. Taylor Canfield (USVI) - Canfield Racing 2-0

Semi Final Results:
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar vs. Taylor Canfield (USVI) - Canfield Racing 3-0
Jordan Reece (AUS) - Estate Master Sailing Team vs. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 3-2

Final results, Chicago Match Cup:

1. Ian Williams (GBR)
2. Jordan Reece (AUS)
3. Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
4. Taylor Canfield (ISV)
5. Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA)
6. Phil Robertson (NZL)
7. Johnnie Berntsson (SWE)
8. Sally Barkow (USA)
9. Keith Swinton (AUS)
10. Laurie Jury (NZL)
11. Simone Ferrarese (ITA)
12. Don Wilson (USA)

Tricky Breeze Challenges
Photo by David Maher / Sportsfile. Click on image to enlarge.

ISAF Youth Sailing Championships Dun Laoghaire, Ireland: If conditions were challenging yesterday, they were even more so on day two of the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Dun Laoghaire.

A westerly to southwesterly breeze, blowing off the picturesque town on the outskirts of Dublin, was making the wind both shifty and gusty out on the water for the 343 future Olympic potentials, all under 19 years of age, who have congregated in the Emerald Isle from all four corners of the globe. At one point a squall passed over the fleet measuring 25 knots in the harbour.

Despite the testing conditions on the water, competitors in the eight classes all completed three races and with five races in total now sailed, have been able to discard their worst result.

With the offshore breeze making life difficult, Spain's Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel managed to score a 1-1-3 today in the 29er fleet. But they are not alone to have a single figure overall result in the mini version of the Olympic 49er skiff with France's Lucas Rual and Thomas Biton winning the last race. They are now four points behind the Barcelona-based sailors.

Britain is also leading in the RS:X Girl's class where Saskia Sills is putting together a near immaculate series, discarding the third she scored in today's first race to end the day on 5 points, eight points ahead of Italy's second placed Veronica Fanciulli. Meanwhile Reg White, the late 1976 Tornado Gold medallist, would have been proud of his grandson Rupert, who posted a 1-1-2 today with crew Tom Britz to move into the lead of the SL16s.

One of the fleets where it remains tightest at the top after five races is the RS:X Men where Korean defending champion Cho Wonwoo, still leads, but remains just a point ahead of Mattia Camboni (ITA), one of a collection of sailors able to discard their BFD disqualification from the first race. However among the Laser Radial Boys, the Mitchell Kiss (USA) leads after winning today's second race, but is tied on points with Italy's Marco Zani.

Three points separates the leaders in the Laser Radial Girls, where Norway's Line Flem Höst holds a four point advantage over Turkey's Pinar Kaynar, winner of today's second race.

Racing continues at 12:00 tomorrow with two races, with conditions forecast to be stronger and even more gusty.

Overall Results

Laser Radial Boys
1. Mitchell Kiss, USA, 34 points
2. Marco Zani, ITA, 34
3. Mark Spearman, AUS, 39

Laser Radial Girls
1. Line Flemhost, NOR, 15
2. Pinar Kaynar, TUR, 18
3. Agata Barwinska, POL, 21

420 Boys
1. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan, FRA, 11
2. Pieter Goedhart/Lars Van Stekelenborg , NED, 22
3. David Charles/Alex Charles, ESP, 25

420 Girls
1. Anabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin , GBR, 7
2. Carrie Smith/Ella Clark, AUS, 18
3. Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Disalle , ITA, 18

1. Carlos Robles/Florian Trittel , ESP, 5
2. Lucal Rual/Thomas Biton, FRA, 9
3. Quinn Wilson/Dane Wilson, USA, 14

SL16 Catamaran
1. Rupert White/Tom Britz , GBR, 6
2. Paul Darmanin/Lucy Copeland, AUS, 10
3. Henri Demesmaeker/Phillip Hendrickx, BEL, 10

RSX Boys
1. Wonwood Cho, KOR, 9
2. Matta Camboni, HKG, 10
3. Kieran Martin, GBR, 14

RSX Girls
1. Saskia Sills, GBR, 5
2. Veronica Fanciulli, ITA, 13
3. Anastasiya Valkevich, BLR, 17

A Classic Weekend
Photo by Daniel Forster, Click on image to enlarge.

New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport If the rest of the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex goes as well as this weekend did, there will be hundreds of very satisfied sailors telling their tales of joy next weekend, when the split-format regatta is scheduled to officially conclude. For the past two days (July 14-15), the Weather Gods have aimed to please and succeeded by delivering sunshine and sound breezes, which allowed 28 visually arresting vintage yachts to engage in lively battles for victory in six classes (two for handicap-rated Classics, one each for 12 Metres of Modern, Grand Prix and Traditional makes, and one for Herreshoff S Boats). When all was said and done--for this weekend, anyway—the skipper of the S Boat Osprey, Michael McCaffrey (Newport), claimed overall honors for best performance in Race Week's first half and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner to wear on his wrist as a symbol of the distinguished level of excellence he had achieved.

McCaffrey had to contend with nine other S Boats, which were among a total of 104 S Boats designed by the great Nathanael Herreshoff and built between 1919 and 1942 (96 of those in Bristol, R.I.) to be lovingly passed on and rebuilt or restored through the decades hence.

In the 12 Metre racing, Modern Class, Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla.) posted two victories today and three total in his four-race score line to give his Victory 83 a three-point overall lead over Jack Curtin's (New York, N.Y.) Intrepid. Yesterday's leader in Traditional Class, American Eagle, owned by Herb Marshall (Barnstable, Mass.), finished 2-2 today to Alain and Dan Hanover's (Weston, Mass.) Columbia, which won both races today and replaced American Eagle at the top of the scoreboard. The Grand Prix Class saw Kip Curren's (Warwick, R.I.) Laura prevail to take victory over James Heckman's (Arlington, Va.) USA 61, with which it had been tied on points going in to today. USA 61 had a gear failure in today's single race held for that class and was unable to finish, settling for six points, while Laura claimed a total of four to win.

The New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex continues on Wednesday (July 18) with a 19-mile Around the (Conanicut) Island Race, which is optional and separately scored from Race Week's "second half," which runs from Thursday (July 19) through Sunday (July 22) and features a National Championship for Swan 42 class, a North American Championship for J/109s and a Northeast Championship for Beneteau First 36.7s. Other classes competing will be IRC, J/111, J/105 and Melges 32.

31st Copa Del Rey Audi MAPFRE
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image to enlarge.

Copa Del Rey Audi MAPFRE Palma de Mallorca, Spain: The 31st edition of the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre kicks off tomorrow in the Bay of Palma with a fleet of 119 boats thus remaining the regatta with the largest fleet in the Mediterranean. Organised by the Real Club Nautico of Palma, the event's racing schedule will run from Monday to Saturday, and will gather a total of 1.200 sailors in five categories competing in real and compensated time.

For the first time in recent history, the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre will be held in mid July, so as not to coincide with the London Olympic Games. On the other hand, the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre sticks to its commitment to real-time racing by adding a new division: the Soto 40 class, a box rule design which has rapidly grown in Europe, currently featuring eight units. The one design X-35 and J-80 classes, and the RI and IRC divisions make up the rest of the fleet. A key highlight is also the participation of the full international mini-maxi fleet, with six units two of which are brand new builds: Italian flagged Stig and Hap Fauth's Bella Mente. Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling XI stands as the boat to beat by the rest of a fleet which features units such as Niklas Zennstrom's RaN, winner in Palma in 2010, the always-competitive "Jethou" owned by Sir Peter Ogden, or Shockwave of George Sakellaris.

The TP 52's make up the bulk of the IRC 1 division, a fleet of six boats which features new builds such as Alberto Roemmers Audi Azzurra, the Italo-Argentinean defending champion, French-German Audi All4One, or Tony Langley's Gladiator. The box ruled design will compete along with other IRC converted 52 footers such as Aifos or Provezza 7, and 60 feet Swans such as Emma or Bronenosec.

The Soto 40 class also promises thrilling and intense racing, with teams such as the European Soto 40 Championship leader Ngoni, second classified Iberdrola, Bigamist of renown boat owner and sailor Pedro Mendonca, or Noticia IV of Luís Martín Cabiedes.

All classes will run a maximum of twelve races, with a scheduled agenda of two windward-leeward races each day. As in previous years, the bay of Palma will be divided into three race courses. The J-80 and X-35 classes will compete in race area Alpha, the one closest to the city, whereas the Soto 40 's , IRC and RI will share the remaining two, Charlie and Bravo. These last two divisions will have their coastal course on Tuesday. Competition will begin tomorrow at 13:00 hours, with the exception of Soto 40, which will jump onto the stage next Tuesday.

29er European Championship Day 1
Photo by Robert Hajduk, Click on image for photo gallery.

29er European Championship Very shifty and windy conditions on the Baltic Sea gave all 99 teams a run for their money on the first day of the 29er European Championship in Sopot, Poland. With the fleet split into 4 flights, the Race Committee was able to complete 3 races a piece for all flights giving all the teams a chance to experience racing in the conditions provided just off the beaches of Sopot.

With blue skies in the morning, flat water and wind of 15-20 knots with puffs to 30 were recorded but by the 11am start, the two courses were reporting 17 knots with oscillating breezes. A few general recalls were spread across the two race courses, but generally the races were run in a total of 4 hours with excellent management. As the day continued, the RC wind reports ranged from 6-22 knots.

At the days end, 29er veteran sailors Denmark's Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaad Olsen lead with 4 points over Marit llena and Oriol Mahiques of Spain. Katja Salskov-Iversen and Christian Christfort Gormsen, also from Denmark sit in 3rd overall with 6 points.

Racing continues with two more days in the qualifying series followed by three days of the final series. The prizegiving will be held on Friday, July 20.

Live reports and daily results:
Facebook: Int 29er Class.
Twitter: #Int29er

Marinelli Leads Audi Melges 20 Fleet in Malcesine
Photo: BPSE - Studio Borlenghi - Luca Butto. Click on image for photo gallery.

Audi Melges 20 Malcesine, Italy: After a day plagued by unstable weather, the Audi Melges 20 fleet completed two races. In first overall is Alessio Marinelli aboard Candida Sailing Team, the leader of the provisional ranking of the third event of the Audi Melges 20 Sailing Series.

After a solid first race, finishing third, Marinelli and tactician Branko Brcin performed a successful second race,

For De Falco's Peccere, it was a positive day. Mirko De Falco and Guglielmo Giordano finished in ninth place overall. Even more important for the Neapolitan team is the fact that their direct contenders, Renato Vallivero's Turnover had one of the worst day ever finishing deep in the fleet.

A day of dark and light for Rob Wilber's Cinghiale and and Mascalzone Latino Jr., they both failed to repeat their success in the first race.

The warning signal of the third race of the event is scheduled for Mobnday at 8 a.m., hoping for the arrival of Peler (morning wind from the north)/

Top Ten Results (After 2 races)
1. Alessio Marinelli/Branko Brcin, Candida Sailing Team; 3-2 = 5
2. Giancarlo Capolino/Francesco Ivaldi, Legionario; 6-3 = 9
3. Guido Miani/Gabriele Benussi, Audi Out of Reach; 9-1 = 10
4. Davide Albertini/Flavio Favini, Leviathan; 4-7 = 11
5. Manfredi Vianini Tolomei/Lorenzo Bodini, Maolca; 11-4 = 15
6. Claudio Dutto/Fabio Zeni, Asante Sana; 7-8 = 15
7. Lauro Bonora/Carlo Fracassoli, Camay; 8-11 = 19
8. Dario Levi/Andrea Casale, Fremito d'Arja; 15-5 = 20
9. Mirko De Falco/Guglielmo Giordano, Peccere; 5-15 = 20
10. Marco Franchini/Sandro Montefusco, Mezza Luna; 13-10 = 23

Running The Rhumblines
Close racing in the Whitsunday Sailing Clubs sprint race series has continued to reveal that Surefoot could become the yacht to watch when the 2012 Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week Performance Handicap championship is decided next month.

The Peter Norlin designed 11.3 m Surefoot launched in 1981 and now racing in her 31st season with present proud owner Rod Sawyer at the helm again expressed her class to claim a special corrected handicap win in last Wednesday's sprint race on Pioneer Bay.

Surefoot competing with a .950 time correction factor was predictably outpaced in the battle for line honours when the Charles Wallis skippered Reignition power sailed to a convincing 1 minute 59 second victory over the Damien Suckling steered Another Fiasco.

However skipper Rod Sawyer and the Surefoot crew who have the benefit of knowing how hard the 'Golden Oldie' can be pressed finished third behind her larger and more modern rivals. The Surefoot crew where relatively confident believing they had sailed smart and fast enough in the 10-12 knot East South East breeze to win on overall handicap.

They were sure that they had saved their time on both Reignition and Another Fiasco while the Craig Piccinelli helmed Wobbly Boot stood as the only challenger to spoil the post race celebrations for the happy Surefoot sailing team.

Again the low rated Jim Young designed 8m Wobbly Boot posed a serious threat when her crew appeared to have time on their side to protect their low .850 time correction factor.

But they fell short when Surefoot despite her 31 years of hard racing including representing The Royal Papua Yacht Club in the 1983 Admirals Cup and registering eleven Sydney Hobart races in an impressive log book showed she can still pace it with her more modern generation rivals when she claimed a six second win on corrected time.

For skipper Rod Sawyer the victory was a timely performance as the countdown to be race ready for the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week enters an important stage.

Hopefully the vintage class Surefoot will not suffer with an unfair handicap rating when the regatta 'Battle-lines' are drawn on the warm Whitsunday Island waters for the opening race on the important international racing series on Friday August 10.

Meanwhile Surefoot remains as the sentimental favourite with past crew members who valued experiencing her proven racing pedigree when contesting the major international classics before spending the twilight of her career racing under the Whitsunday Sailing Club burgee. -- Ian Grant

One For The North, One For The South
Four points - there are only four points left between Courrier Dunkerque 3, overall leader and winner of the first technical race sailed today in Talmont St Hilaire, and TPM-Coych, second overall and winner of the second race of the day. Perfect sailing conditions for a fight, which keeps getting tighter.

18 knots of northwest wind, local swell and sunshine : conditions were ideal for the two races sailed today in Vendee, right in front of the marina of Port-Bourgenay.

The first race started at 2pm with a good start for Courrier Dunkerque 3 and a bad one for their direct rival TPM-Coych. "We were behind the line," explains the co-skipper Tugdual Becquemie, "then our skipper Fabien Henry positioned us well on the first upwind bit. We were third at the upwind mark. Once back in the game, we sailed well and fast. We were even leading at the last mark but didn't want to risk it and Courrier Dunkerque 3 has been better on the last bit. They take a beautiful victory."

Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite takes the third place ; the amateurs of Ville de Genève-Carrefour Prevention another impressive 4th place. A day for the amateurs, with a 6th place for BRED / La Normandie and an 8th one for the Dutch students from TU Delft.

20 races have been sailed so far in this Tour de France à la Voile 2012. The two worst coefficients have now been removed. Rankings remain the same with Courrier Dunkerque 3 still leading overall, still hoisting the blue spinnaker, and a threatening TPM-Coych now only four points away.

Another technical race will be sailed tomorrow at 10am before to take the boats out of the water and start travelling by road to Roses, Spain, Mediterranean Sea.

Provisional top ten general ranking after 20 races:

1. Courrier Dunkerque 3 (FRA 08) - Daniel Souben, 574 points - Blue Spinnaker
2. Toulon Provence Mediterranee -Coych (FRA 07) - Fabien Henry / Tugdual Becquemie, 570
3. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Elite (FRA 18) - Nicolas Troussel, 544
4. BAE Systems (OMA 4) - Cedric Pouligny, 527
5. Ville De Geneve - Carrefour Prevention (Sui 19) - Jerome Clerc / Elodie Mettraux, 515
6. Nantes Saint Nazaire - E.Leclerc (Fra 6) - Corentin Douguet, 501
7. Ile De France (Fra 1) - Vincent Aillaud, 490
8. Bred / La Normandie (Fra 15), Skippe Par Arthur Herreman / Baptiste Choquenet, 428
9. Cotes D'armor Bretagne (Fra 14) - Josselin Le Moine, 419

IRC Small Boat Championship
The event was organised through the Solent IRC Owners Assoc. driven by committee members Graham Nixon and Kathy Smalley with Hamble River Sailing Club being the hosts.

The number of entries (29) made two classes possible over a five race event, three Saturday and two Sunday. Steve Parry was CRO and laid on a variety of courses using Solent race marks most of the time. Saturday Race 1 was triangles. Race 2 sausages and Race 3 a rhombus. Sunday, due to other yachting traffic was two sausages. They say variety is the spice of life, we got it and this made for a very happy fleet.

Well we haven't had any summer yet and Saturday didn't disappoint. It was forecast to rain and rain it did. In Race 2 the course, committee boats and competitors disappeared into lashing rain and gloom, making one thankful for gps. It was definitely a case of hoods up, heads down while squinting out the side for oncoming traffic. Sunday allowed us to leave some of the foul weather gear behind and the sun did show itself briefly.

The racing was to prove competitive and as always the way to win is first eliminate your own handicaps. To this end in class 1 Menace was victor and in class 2 Eskimo was all conquering.

By popular demand it should happen again next year, venue to be decided. -- Rupert Smalley

Class 1:
1. Menace, James Morland
2. Tinker T, David Bunn
3. Moondog - Andy & Peter Pickett

Class 2:
1. Eskymo, David Cowell
2. Svenja, Michael Stoner & David Reed
3. Energia, Ant Chapman

All the results can be found at

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The Last Word
Anybody can be a bum; all it takes is the right girl, the right bar and the right friends, and you are well… your buddies will see you off. They'll christen your dumpster for you. -- Bill Hicks

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