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The Swedish Goddess and the English Gladiator Hit First
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Copa Del Rey Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Conditions in the Bay of Palma couldn't have been better for the start of races of this 31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. The fleet had to wait an hour and twenty minutes before the postponement flag was down, but was finally rewarded with a southerly breeze of ten to twelve knots in the two racing areas where the windward-leeward courses were set up today. All the classes were on the water by 13:30 hours and run two races but for the Soto 40's which had their practice race today, and will jump onto the stage tomorrow Tuesday.

Niklas Zennstrom's 72 footer RAN delivered a great performance on the water by winning the day's first test, which was followed by a second position -first before times were compensated- in the second and last race. The Swedish boat, winner of the 29th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre in 2010, leads the overall classification after two races, followed by Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou, and New Yorker Bella Mente.

As far as IRC 1 was concerned, Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator comfortably controlled the first race from beginning to end, after starting at the pin end thus leaving Jochen Schuemann's skippered Audi All4one as well as Audi Azzurra with Argentinean Guillermo Parada at the helm behind.

The Spanish-Portuguese alliance onboard Swanderful was rewarded with a second and a first position in the 31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre first two races for the RI1 division. Spanish VOR runner up Roberto Bermúdez de Castro is calling tactics onboard the Swan 52 owned by Portuguese Jose Caldeira. Defending Champion Rats on Fire of Rafael Carbonell won the first race, but a third position in the second one leaves them second in the overall classification so far. Third and tied in seven points are Roumanian Natalia and Spanish Grupo Clínico Luis Senís. Four out of the fifth first classified are Swan designs.

The fleet's one-design classes, the J-80's and X-35's, delivered tight and intense racing, specially the former, which was one by Spanish Mapfre of Carlos Martínez. Finish Samuli Leisti owned Audi Ultra leads the X-35 classification.

A crew member of Turkish Provezza was seriously injured on a hand and had to be sent to hospital .

Tomorrow the committee expects to launch two more races, and the two first tests for the Soto 40's.

www.prensarcnp.es/copa10/

Preview of the Finn Class at London 2012 Olympic Games
The first race of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition for the Finn Class is now just 13 days away. The Finn fleet will consist of 24 sailors from five continents and is one of the most competitive fleets ever mustered for an Olympic regatta. The Finns are the first class to race, starting on Sunday 29 July, and finish on the first medal race day on Sunday 5th August. But before then there is a lot of sailing to be done...

It is a deep field of talent. The fleet consists of four Olympic medalists, six former World or European champions, and another seven championship medalists. In fact any of 14 sailors could arguably win a medal of any colour. There is also a healthy mix of youth and experience in the fleet with ages ranging from 19 to 48, while the average is 30.

Without doubt the favourite once again has to be Ben Ainslie (GBR). Though he has shown everyone the occasional chink in his armour over the past year he is still the man everyone needs to beat, and beating him will not be easy. If he wins in Weymouth he will go down in history as the most successful sailor ever at the Olympic Games, taking that accolade from another Finn great, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN).

Whatever happens, Ainslie will undoubtedly be the story of the week. He has already stated that anything else but Gold would be a disaster, so he is bound to make the headlines, winning or not. He reflected, "...a home Olympics makes it very special. I was in Trafalgar Square when they announced that London had won the bid for 2012, the atmosphere was electric and that's when I decided I wanted to continue my Olympic career and be a part of it. It is the most important regatta in my life right now, but they were all important to get to this point. I guess I have had more time to prepare for it, and I have had to as the home competition has been tougher and the venue is also tough strategically."

But with such a talented pool of sailors victory is not a given and he will have to work incredibly hard for it. More than half the fleet are quite capable of denying Ainslie a dream result and they want to be there just as much as he does.

One man who knows that only too well is the 2008 Silver Medalist Zach Railey (USA). He was the only man who could beat Ainslie going into the 2008 Medal race but had the door firmly shut in his face by a determined Brit.

The other main challenges are expected to come from Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), who took bronze in the test event and silver at the 2011 world championship; Jonathan Lobert (FRA) who took silver at the test event and always produces his best in Weymouth; Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), double European Champion and always hovering around the top of the fleet; and Rafael Trujillo (ESP) the silver medalist from the 2004 Olympics and the 2007 World Champion, though he has had an inconsistent season so far.

Full article by Robert Deaves at

www.finnclass.org

Introducing the Seahiker Boot
Sperry Top Sider Sperry Top-Sider's SeaHiker Boot, with GripX3 Technology, provides sailors with the ultimate grip and traction through a unique lab-tested combination of Adaptive Wave Siping™, Hydro-Grip™ Rubber and Sperry Top-Deck 360™.

The SeaHiker Boot also includes an additional 4mm of padding on top of the boot's 4mm neoprene shell. The added upper traction and padding gives sailors the confidence to hike hard during performance maneuvers.

Key features:

• Adaptive Wave Siping disperses water underfoot to reduce slippage on wet/ dry surfaces.
• Non-marking Hydro-Grip Rubber provides stickiest outsole for maximum on-deck traction.
• Sperry Top-Deck 360 provides full surface grab and grip for all-round performance.
• Breathable materials ensure a quick-drying shoe.
• Zipper garage and adjustable and removable strap offer a secure fit.

Further information can be found at: www.sperrytopsider.com/gripx3

Danish Delight with Leaders in Top 2 Positions
Photo by Robert Hajduk, roberthajduk.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

29er European Championship Danish sailors continue to lead the 29er European Championship with veterans Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen in the lead with a narrow 1 point lead over fellow Danes Katja Salskov-Iversen and Christian Christfort Gormsen. Tess Lloyd and Eliza Solly, Aussies and the top youth team had a great comeback posting two bullets and a second to move them into 3rd overall as well as Johanna Sommarlund and Marcus Anjemark of Sweden who also won two races but posted a 6th in the last race, which still moved them to 5th in the standings. The American team of Chris Williford and Kai Friesecke sailed a 2-1-2 moving them to 4th.

Sun, rain and storm cells moved across the two course areas once again providing the full gamut of conditions. But the top of each fleet clearly exhibit top skiff sailing skills by their ability to change gears in the varied conditions being thrown at them by Mother Nature. Blue skies were quickly replaced by rain squalls with 22 knot puffs followed by lulls and postponements or races held in lighter breezes. Both the Race Management teams and sailors were kept on their toes today.

Tomorrow's forecast does not look much better with an 80% chance of rain and lighter winds although the forecast does have the breeze picking up later in the week, but not with the rain subsiding.

Racing continues with one more day in the qualifying series followed by three days of the final series. The prizegiving will be held on Friday, July 20. Photos provided by Robert Hajduk, www.facebook.com/shuttersail.

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

Go Solo
Applications for the 2012 Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trials are now open.

Solo and short-handed racing is demanding, competitive and all encompassing, it requires a unique set of skills and few make it to the top echelons of the sport. Ellen MacArthur, Mike Golding, Dee Caffari, Samantha Davies and Alex Thomson are just a few of the modern-generation British sailors who have made an impact in this highly competitive discipline that is dominated by the French. The Artemis Offshore Academy offers British sailors the chance to train exclusively in this discipline, and now in its third year the Academy will be staging its annual Selection Trials.

Taking place between 9th - 14th September at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the Selection Trials are an opportunity for any sailor, male or female, of any age, with a proven sailing track record, be it dinghy, match racing, Olympic or offshore to test their solo potential.

If selected, successful applicants will train with the Academy's full time Development squad, and on completing their winter training, the sailors will compete and gain experience on the solo offshore racing circuit in preparation for the highlight of the Figaro calendar, the prestigious Solitaire du Figaro. Only sailors who show determination, aptitude and a willingness to improve throughout the race season will be considered for the Academy's entry in the Solitaire du Figaro in 2013.

The Artemis Offshore Academy Figaro programme is not all on water training, the squad will attend shore-based classes in meteorology, navigation, sponsorship, French language and media training; imparting the necessary skills for the sailors to go on and build a successful solo sailing career, a career that perhaps one day will end on the top of the Vendee Globe podium - a first for British sailing.

For your chance to attend the Selection Trials and have the chance to join the next Artemis Offshore Academy Development Squad apply now! Entries close at midnight on the 20th August. The 2013 Development Squad will be announced the week of the 17th September.

www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com/apply

A Norse Flair to Brest 2012
Statsraad Lehmkuhl. Photo from the ship's website: www.lehmkuhl.no

Statsraad Lehmkuhl The Tonnerres de Brest this Monday was a thrill to the senses with Norway today's guest nation and Brittany's farmers and fishermen honoured on Brest's docks. For Norway this event has really become a tradition since the countries of Scandinavia haven't missed a single edition of the maritime festival since the event began back in 1992. Clad in their finest Bunads, the traditional Norwegian costume, the nation provided visitors with a very warm welcome throughout the day.

Our Norwegian friends have pulled off the challenge they set themselves 4 years ago: to bring us at least 20 boats for our 20th anniversary of the Tonnerres de Brest! The MS Sjokurs, 85m, an old ferry from 1956 (in the commercial port), the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, 98m, one of the most beautiful three-masters in the world, the Halsnøy, a copy of a craft from the year 200, Gaia, a superb replica of a drakkar (which will be joined by the Dreknor, a replica "sistership" from Cherbourg), the Vaaghals, reconstruction of a Renaissance boat found in Oslo, the Ragnvald Jarl which was part of the fleet of "Express Coastal boats", the Folkvang, a Grovfjord cutter, in the far North, which is 101 years old, the RS 10 Christiania, an old lifeboat from 1895 designed by Colin Archer, Kamalie af Lister, a replica of a pilot boat designed by Colin Archer; Enigheten, a replica of a boat linked to the history of the Norwegian Constitution 1814 and Havørn, a White Sea yacht inspired by Roald Amundsen's Fram.

There are also a dozen traditional craft and archaeological replicas, with the smallest boats out on the hard in the village and then launched for the occasion. Among the latter group is the Halsnøybaten, reconstituted from archaeological remains which date back to before the year 400, the Vaaghals, a replica of a XVIe boat, some small combined row and sail boats with square sails ("Geitboat", "Hog"), the Fyring built according to a model of the viking boats from Gokstad (IXth), a nordlandsbater (Norland boats) by the boat builder Ulf Mikalsen, a Sognebat, a kind of canoe for the inner fjords and several "oselvars" (Norway's small 'national' boat).

www.lestonnerresdebrest2012.fr

Mar Mostro Is On The Market...
Click on image to enlarge.

PUMA's Mar Mostro PUMA's Mar Mostro, the Volvo Open 70 skippered by Ken Read for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, is now on the market. Mar Mostro was designed by Juan K and built at New England Boatworks. For boat specs and details, visit: pumavolvo70forsale.com

"Mar Mostro is an amazing yacht, whether sailing around the world or on an IRC race track. We were very pleasantly surprised when we won the only two IRC events we sailed in! Around the buoys and in the Transatlantic Race, both against very stiff IRC competition, Mar Mostro was fast and reliable in all conditions. This boat can win at any level as well as break records with ease. Whomever buys this boat will share the wild ride PUMA Ocean Racing has been on during our epic and exciting around-the-world race!" -- Mar Mostro Skipper Ken Read

Cork Week: The Final Chapter
Like a fine seafood platter, Cork Week dishes up a huge variety of courses and Friday's Harbour Race was the centrepiece of a phenomenal week of racing. The entire international fleet racing at Cork Week enjoyed a scenic race in Cork's historic harbour. The weather may have closed in once again but the myriad of racing boats parading passed Cobh provided a spectacular finale to what has been a very special regatta.

In IRC Zero, Piet Vroon's electric blue Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens streaked away right from the start to take line honours by a significant margin.

In IRC One, Richard Fildes' Abersoch based Corby 37, Impetuous held off a strong challenge from Royal Cork YC member, Conor Phelan racing Ker 37, Jump Juice.

It was all to play for in IRC 2 with two yachts vying for the class win and the title of 2012 Irish J/109 National Champion. After two legs of the Harbour Race, Hall & McDonell's Dublin based Something Else led the charge but Ian Nagle's Jelly Baby made a decisive move on the beat past Roches Point to gain the upper hand. Royal Cork's Jelly Baby never looked back and won the last race of the regatta to win both the class and the J/109 Irish Championship.

In IRC 3, Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable won today's Harbour Race to take second overall. The team are all from Cornwall and the vintage half tonner was beautifully restored at the famous Pendennis Shipyard. However, the clear winner of the class was the Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral, Peter Deasy with his Sunfast 32, Bad Company.

In IRC 4, John Twomey's Sonar, Baileen Ban won today's race scoring their fifth win of the regatta. John's next event will be the Paralympic Games in Weymouth.

In the 1720 Class, Robin & Ben O'Mahony took the gun today putting pressure on overall leader Denis Murphy's Aquatack. However, Aquatack managed a third place to hold on to the class win. -- Louay Habib

Full results at www.corkweek.ie

Bravery of Port Isaac RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Crew Honoured
Port Isaac D class lifeboat Copeland Bell in action. Damien Bolton is at the helm and Nicola-Jane Bradbury is the crew member on the left. Photo by RNLI / Bob Bulgin. Click on image to enlarge.

RNLI Three volunteer crew members from Port Isaac Lifeboat Station have each been awarded one of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's highest accolades for their courage, leadership and initiative in rough and dangerous sea conditions beneath the cliffs of the North Cornwall coast in April 2012.

Helmsman Damien Bolton, 31, along with crew members Nicola-Jane Bradbury, 40, and Matthew Main, 29, launched the inshore lifeboat in force 4-5 winds to rescue two people who had been swept into rough water very close to the cliffs.

The two casualties were within an arc of semi-submerged rocks and were being tumbled in the confused and breaking 3 metre waves, making any rescue extremely challenging. Operating at the extreme limits of the lifeboat's capabilities, Damien used great seamanship skills to manoeuvre the lifeboat towards the two men, who were struggling to stay above the crashing surf. They managed to pull one of the men to safety. The other was recovered to the lifeboat, but, tragically, did not survive.

For their outstanding courage and bravery in the face of great danger, Damien has been awarded the RNLI's Silver Medal for Gallantry and Nicola-Jane and Matthew have each been awarded the charity's Bronze Medal for Gallantry.

rnli.org.uk

French Victorious in St.Malo
This year's race to St Malo race proved to be a fast and tactical affair with French yachts dominating through virtually all of the classes. Olivier Pesci and his crew on Grand Soleil 40, Beelzebuth 3 were overjoyed to learn that they had won the King Edward VII Cup for the best corrected time in all IRC classes.

"For a crew who come from Brittany, it was a fantastic experience to win this race. Although the firework display at St.Malo was to celebrate our national day, the 14th July, we enjoyed it even more because we were celebrating our victory in the St.Malo Race! For a Breton to win the King Edward VII Cup is a dream come true and our next dream is to win the Brewin Dolphin Commodore Cup for France."

Beelzebuth 3 was top of the class in IRC Two and of the 28 in the division the first seven places all went to French teams. UNCL President Marc de Saint Denis and Gery Trentesaux MC34 Patton, Courrier Vintage was just 7 minutes behind Beelzebuth 3 and Philippe Delaporte's J/122, Pen Azen was third. These three yachts also occupied the podium for the race overall.

In IRC One, French domination continued with Loday & Nicoleau's Grand Soleil 43, Codiam taking the class win but only just RORC Commodore, Mike Greville skipper of Erivale III was less than 7 minutes behind on corrected time. Erivale was the top scoring British yacht overall. Herve Borgoltz's Grand Soleil 44, Eleuthera was third and Laurent Gouy's Ker 39, Inis Mor scored fourth, which was good enough to lift the French team to the top spot for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

In IRC Three, Franck-Yves Escoffier A 35, Ame-Hasle came out on top beating the highly experienced team on Foggy Dew skippered by Noel Racine into second place.

IRC 4, Jean-pierre Bonnet J/105, Moontiger was the victor, Eric Mordret's JPK 9.60 Leonardo was second with Harry Heijst's S&S 41, Winsome taking third place and as a result now leads IRC 4 overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

In the Multihull Class, Fequet Loic's Multi 50, Maitre Jaques literally flew around the track, completing the 155-mile course in an astonishing 12 hours and 39 minutes.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with The Channel Race, starting on August 4th after the showcase event of the season. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup in Cowes, which starts 23 July.

www.rorc.org

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2006 KER 37. EUR 245,000. Located In Crosshaven, Ireland.

This boat has been fully optimised for IRC and no expense spared in keeping her in top condition Viewing recommended.

Brokerage through MGM Boats: www.yachtworld.com/mgmboats/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter. -- Winston Churchill

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