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Underdogs Take An Early Lead
Photo by Rick Tomlinson, rick-tomlinson.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Commodores' Cup Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK: Much to the delight of competitors and organisers alike, Mediterranean conditions prevailed on the Solent today as the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup leapt into action with two windward-leeward races held between Hill Head and Gilkicker Point in a 6-10 knot southeasterly.

In relatively light conditions a significant factor today was the tide, which changed direction between the races, but not equally across the course.

After two races it is not the British A team, but the supposed British underdog team, GBR Black, that is leading after a consistent performance across their three boats, all finishing within the top eight of the 21 boat fleet.

In GBR Black, Mike and Seb Blair's King 40 Cobra was the third best individual performer of the day with a 10-2, a fine start in what is their Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup debut.

Peter Morton, owner of the Corby 33 Salvo, the small boat in GBR Black, admitted he was "slightly surprised", his team was leading. "Now that the wind is down a bit, we feel a bit more comfortable with our boat relative to the others, otherwise we struggle a bit to keep our handicap. In this sort of wind strength, flat water, southeasterly breeze, we are quite happy, thank you. If we can keep this going all week, we will be alright."

With the British Keelboat Academy crew on David Aisher's J/109 Yeoman of Wight rounding out their team, GBR Black ends the day on 44.5 points, 3.5 ahead of British favourites, GBR Red.

The best individual boat performance of the day came from the Hong Kong team's EFG Bank Mandrake, better known in the UK as RORC Commodore Mike Greville's Erivale. Chartered by Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth, EFG Bank Mandrake posted a 3-5 today, just beating Neil Kipling's J/122 Joopster, in GBR White, by a point.

Tomorrow the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup fleet sets off on its offshore race, likely to head east out of the Solent. This is due to be of 24-36 hours duration. but the forecast is indicating very light winds overnight on Monday and into Tuesday morning.

Team Results: www.rorc.org/raceresults/2012/bdccovtm.html

commodorescup.rorc.org

Gold Coast Australia Wins Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race
Photo by onEdition. Click on image for photo gallery.

Clipper Race Southampton, England: It was a spectacular scene today as thousands of people turned out to watch the winning crew on board Gold Coast Australia arrive back in Southampton, England at the end of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The Australian entry won the race overall securing a podium in all 15 races around the world.

For the non-professional crew on board all ten ocean racing yachts, the return to Southampton marks the end of a 40,000-mile challenge of a lifetime.

The victorious Clipper Race entry Gold Coast Australia crossed the final finish line of Race 15 at 0407 GMT. Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, led a parade of sail on Southampton Water to welcome back the fleet of ten identical racing yachts after 51 weeks at sea.

The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race is the eighth edition of the world's longest race, visiting 15 ports of call on six continents. It is also the last race on the Clipper 68-foot yachts, as a brand new fleet of twelve identical 70-foot racing yachts will be launched for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race. Since the race started more than 4,000 people from all walks of life have participated in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Overall standings for the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race

1. Gold Coast Australia, 151 points
2. Visit Finland, 103
3. Singapore, 101
4. De Lage Landen, 99
5. Welcome to Yorkshire, 86
6. Geraldton Western Australia, 77
7. New York, 77
8. Derry-Londonderry, 62
9. Qingdao, 58
10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 40

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

The Crown Goes to Ran, All4one and Alegre
Photo by Jesus Renedo / Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. Click on image for photo gallery.

Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre Palma de Mallorca, Spain: The eight winners of the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre regatta were determined today after six days of very tight racing in the Bay of Palma. RAN in IRC 0, Audi All4One in IRC1, Alegre in Soto 40, Swanderful in RI 1, Power Plate in RI 2, Marguerite - Jsteam in X-35 and Mapfre in J-80 were the teams to clinch victory today in the most important regatta of the Mediterranean. Two of the winning skippers repeat victory Zennstrom and Gustavo Martínez Doreste, whereas the other five get it for the first time.

They Bay of Palma gave the perfect welfare to the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre on day 6, which started in Northeasterly winds of 18 knots at the beginning of races, dropping to 12 knots along the day. The wind shifts of around ten degrees and almost flat seas made for the perfect challenge for aspirants to the crown.

Not even hitting the pin mark at the start of race one and sweeping it away could prevent RAN from repeating victory in this 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre, after winning the 2010 edition. The IRC 0 division has delivered magnificent show on the water thanks to the six mini-maxis, the full international fleet of the class, which have been on the water over the six days of races. The Swedish boat was third and second, and today's wins went to Jethou and Stig. Runner up of this 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre in the IRC 0 division is USA flagged Shockwave, followed by Italian Stig.

In IRC 1 leaders Audi All4One and Audi Azzurra went into the final day tied on points, Jochen Schumann and Guillermo Parada turned the day's two races into a match race in which the Italo-Argentinean boat finished third, whereas the Franco-German skippered by Schuemann was fifth. This helped Parada's crew scratch two points, but the following race was to change things again. At the start of race 2 All4One went looking the left hand side crossing the bow of the fleet. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team remained at the right hand side and hit a pothole, and by the time they caught air again, Schuemann skippering All4One was gone.

In the very hotly contested Soto 40 division, Alegre and Iberdrola were battling for the final victory, which finally fell on the side of the Monaco flagged boat owned by Andres Soriano.

In J-80 Ignacio Camino's Nextel lost his options when his boat dismasted right before the start of race 1, forcing him to abandon. This benefited Mapfre who got rid of his main contender, and which sailed conservatively the two last races of the event, and got his first Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre crown. Nextel was third.

No big surprises either in X-35, where "Margherita - Jsteam", "Hotelplan - Spirit of Nerina" and "Red Electrica", the three top boats this morning, stepped on the podium in this same order.

www.regatacopadelrey.es

Ramsgate Week Gearing Up for Wight Vodka Socials
Wight Vodka Ramsgate, England: If you haven't already booked your place for this year's Ramsgate Week, may we suggest you do either for the wildly competitive racing or the wildly enjoyable evening socials!

"Wight Vodka has been involved with the Royal Temple Yacht Club since 2010 and Wight Vodka now plays a key role in the week long party that surrounds this International regatta," enthused Mike Brand, Commodore of the Royal Temple Yacht Club. "2012 sees the return of the Commodores Cup Half Ton Series and with a strong entry from Holland, Belgium, France and the UK, the Regatta promises to provide some really hot and competitive racing."

Ramsgate Week runs from the 30th July to the 4th of August. Yacht Racing in Ramsgate Week is split between committee boat starts approximately a mile offshore and cruiser class starts directly off the pier in Ramsgate. There are seven classes and the Regatta offers something for everyone both on the water and of course once back in the clubhouse.

Brand continues "To celebrate the Regatta in both a Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year there will be Wight Vodka cocktails flowing throughout the Royal Temple. Ramsgate is now a well developed coastal town and offers excellent restaurants and bars all within close walking distance of the harbour and yacht club. Spectators are encouraged to come and participate in the shore side experience including the fabulous entertainment throughout the week!"

Ritu Manocha, the entrepreneur behind 50° North and Wight Vodka, said "Ramsgate Week is a complete blast. From the racing to the après race parties, the organisers from the Royal Temple know how to have fun. Many thanks for Mike Brand's support, as we love having Wight Vodka behind the bars and in the hands of the crews at the Royal Temple!"

www.ramsgateweek.com
www.wightvodka.com

Team Aqua Win in Sweden
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.martinezstudio.es. Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Sweden 22nd July, Marstrand, Sweden: Team Aqua has won the RC44 Sweden Cup for the second year in a row with a race to spare, on a day where the wind increased and the sea state made for some exciting downwind sleigh rides in Marstrand.

It was tight going into the final day of racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup, only 10-points separated the top four boats.

Although disappointed not to have won on home waters, Artemis Racings' owner Torbjorn Tornqvist still enjoyed another great day of racing in Marstrand. "It was fantastic out there; huge waves, big winds and we had some great moments of speed, clocking 23 knots at one point with the water flushing over us. It was fantastic."

As for the overall RC44 Championship Tour each of the teams can now discard their worst event of the season. Team Aqua lose their fourth and count two firsts and a second. Artemis Racing are the only boat that can stop Chris Bake's team being crowned RC44 Tour Champions for the second year in a row. The Swedish team need to win the Adris RC44 World Championship in two months' time, with Aqua counting a fourth or worse to stand a chance of taking the Championship.

The final event of the season, which doubles as the classes World Championship, will take place in beautiful fishing town of Rovinj, Croatia from 3rd-7th October.

RC44 Sweden Cup 2012 Ranking (After thirteen races sailed)

1. Team Aqua, 36 points
2. Katusha, 54
3. Artemis Racing, 55
4. Aleph Sailing Team, 56
5. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, 75
6. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 82
7. Team Nika, 87
8. AEZ RC44 Team, 88
9. No Way Back, 96
10. RUS7 Sail Racing Team, 106
11. AFX Capital Racing, 126

www.rc44.com

A Good Start for the Transat Quebec Saint Malo
It was under a sunny sky and a good breeze that the 25 teams participating to the 8th edition of the classic fully crewed race started their voyage down the St Lawrence river and across the Atlantic ocean. After having said goodbye to their shore crews, families and the ever friendly Quebec public that gathered on the pontoons and lined the Bassin Louise lock, the boats reached the starting area, located just off the Parc de la Jetee. Among a huge fleet of spectator boats the first to cross the line were the 20 Class40 at 11:20 precisely (17:20 CEST), followed 15 minutes later by the three multihulls and two monohulls in the "Open" category. As expected the fleet started on a downwind tack under spinnaker in ten knots of south/south-westerly breeze quickly sailing past the Chateau Frontenac.

Aurelien Ducroz's Class 40 Latitude Neige - longitude Mer was the first to cross the line thanks to the skilful tactics by Eric Peron, leading the 20 boats strong fleet towards the old port of Quebec, closely followed by Fabrice Amedeo's Geodis, Christophe Coatnan's Partouche, Eric Tabardel's Bleu and German Joerg Riechers' Mare on the perfectly flat watercourse. Soon after the start the fleet split with a small group made by Denis van Weynbergh on Proximedia, title holder and race veteran Halvard Mabire on Campagne de France and Sebastien Rogues on Eole Generation - GDF SUEZ opting for staying close to the south bank.

In the smaller but no less competitive Open group, it was Italy's Andrea Mura on his 50' monohull to get the best start while the multis chose a more conservative strategy, waited a little longer before hoisting their big spinnakers. Taking advantage of his boat's speed Erwan Le Roux on FenetreA Cardinal quickly took the lead on Erik Nigon's Vers un monde sans Sida and Gilles Lamire's Defi Saint Malo Agglo.

The fight has just started, there are more than 2.965 miles to the finish in Saint Malo

www.transatquebecstmalo.com
www.facebook.com/TransatQSM
twitter.com/TransatQSM

Optimist Team Racing Qualification Series Completed
Photo by Matias Capizzano, www.capizzano.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Optimist Worlds Dominican Republic: A beautiful day was expecting the 42 teams qualified for the Team Racing today in Boca Chica. The 2 racecourses were very close to the Yacht Club and spectators had the opportunity to see the action on first hand.

In Team Racing each team competes with 4 athletes and they have to get the winning finish combination in order to win. More than 30 matches were sailed today and the task for the Jury was very hard.

Finally Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Italy, Finland, USA, New Zealand, Nederland, Turkey, Argentina, Spain, Croatia and Germany are the 16 teams qualified to the final series, tomorrow.

Local team had a difficult day and after two losses fro Italy and Poland were quickly off the completion. Singapore seemed to be the team in favor of winning since the won easily their qualification matches against Mexico and Greece.

The weather is expected to be breezier tomorrow with sunny skies, a perfect combination for the Team Racing Finals.

www.optiworld.org

The Final Push: Winners in 11 Classes
Newport Rhode Island USA: Neither too much nor too little wind, comfortably cool temperatures, plenty of sunshine glittering on the water - conditions couldn't have been more perfect as 98 teams enjoyed a conclusive Sunday of sailing at the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. The last session of the split-format regatta started on Thursday (July 19) for IRC, One Design and PHRF, and today each of 11 classes yielded a winner, with three of those classes - Swan 42, J/109, and Beneteau 36.7 - also naming, respectively, their new 2012 National, North American and Northeast Champions.

It was maxi racer George David (Hartford, Conn.) and his crew aboard the 90-foot Reichel Pugh Rambler in IRC 1 who showed a dominant performance over New York Yacht Club Commodore Bob Towse's Reichel Pugh 66 Blue Yankee to claim the Best Performance Overall in IRC and a Rolex watch for the effort. The two match-raced over ten races with Rambler posting 13 points to Blue Yankee's 18.

In IRC 2, Jim Swartz's (Park City, Utah) IRC 52 Vesper prevailed to win after today's three races where second-place finisher Interlodge, owned by Austin and Gwen Fragomen (Newport, R.I.), made a valiant effort to overtake. Having won three races yesterday, Interlodge proceeded to win only one today while Vesper won two.

www.nyyc.org
Complete results: www.yachtscoring.com

Running The Rhumblines
The Whitsunday Sailing Club will again attract important international media attention when they host the 2012 Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race week over their tactically demanding island passage courses next month.

This friendly tropical shirt regatta the first of Queensland's major winter race week series has grown in stature with 106 entries representing New Zealand and Australian Clubs lining up to contest ten highly competitive class championships.

International interest will focus on the impending match race for possible course records between the two super fast ORMA 60 trimarans Team Vodafone Sailing skippered by Simon Hull of New Zealand and their equally impressive challenger Team Australia skippered by Sean Langman of Sydney.

Every sporting clash between the proud nations of New Zealand and Australia always draws significant attention and Simon Hull who steered the wave 'kissing' Team Vodafone Sailing to runway line honours wins in 2011 has returned to protect their proud reputation.

He and the Team Vodafone Sailing crew have not made the lengthy and costly trip via the Auckland to Noumea race to play second fiddle, in fact they are determined to go head to head in a no holds match race to decide which nation can claim the right to having the fastest ocean racing yacht in the Southern Hemisphere.

Both Simon Hull and his crew who sailed free of any serious competition to record a runway win for the fastest yacht of the regatta last August remain respectful of their Australian challenger but they are not prepared to offer any leeway.

The clash between the two super fast windward hull flying trimarans promises to be action packed with Team Vodafone Sailing registering a runaway line honours win in the race to Noumea while Sean Langman's Team Australia contesting her first official coastal passage race in Australia shattered the Brisbane to Gladstone race record before dawn on Easter Saturday.

As expected Sean Langman is conservatively confident but as normal he has a healthy respect for his match racing rival.

Sean Langman has sailed far too many miles mainly at the helm of the record breaking modified open 60 monohull Zena to not realise that the impending tactical dog fight between Team Australia and Team Vodafone Sailing will be friendly sail in the tropical winter sun. Sure there will be times during the regatta when both crews will enjoy each other's company but that will change dramatically on the race course when the proud traditions of trans-Tasman sporting rivalry is played out during what is expected to be a thrilling tactical arm wrestle over the Whitsunday Sailing Club courses between August 10 to 16. -- Ian Grant

Sail4Cancer Silent Charity Auction
Sail4Cancer Silent Charity Auction The Superyacht Cup Cowes hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron will take place from 22-25 July 2012 in Cowes in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics.

Sail4Cancer is the official charity for the Superyacht Cup in Cowes. For the past ten years Sail 4 Cancer has helped cancer patients by offering the whole family the opportunity to go on a water-based break. The charity now helps some 500 people every year through sponsored ocean cruises, sailing days, riverboat adventures and special projects focussed on teenage cancer patients and young carers.

Sail4Cancer are holding a Silent Charity Auction with superb prizes generously donated by the sailing community. Auction lots include; racing with ICAP Leopard, Ben Ainslie's signed rash vest and a two night stay at the luxurious Old Swan & Minster Mill on the River Windrush.

For full details on how to make a bid visit: www.sail4cancer.org

Tension Mounts for Team BAE Systems as TDFV Podium Beckons
Just six points separate Team BAE Systems from the coveted Tour de France a la Voile podium after another robust performance in the shortened offshore race to Gruissan on Saturday plus the three inshore races today which all confirmed the team's preference for a strong breeze.

The Mediterranean was supposed to serve up flat seas and a gentle breeze, in contrast to the conditions the 14 strong TDFV fleet encountered in the Atlantic.

But when they went to start the 62nm offshore race from Roses in Spain to Gruissan, the Tramontana, an unpleasant 25 knot northerly wind looked to be posing extra risks so the race committee decided the boats should motor under storm jib for the first section of the course then race the rest of the 33 miles under sail.

They left Roses for Argelès and started the leg from there in winds gusting over 26knots. The mixed international crew on Team BAE Systems of Omani, French and British sailors rose to the challenge and despite the tough conditions, crossed the finish line in sixth place. They followed up Saturday's success with a string of top ten performances in Sunday's technical races, wrapping up a tiring weekend with a third place in the final race. It leaves Team BAE Systems in fourth overall with a real contest developing against Bretagne-Credit Mutuel Elite in third place with the inshore race on Monday and the final 124 mile offshore to La Seyne sur Mer set to decide the rankings.

Overall ranking

1. TPM COYCH, 782 points
2. Courrier Dunkerque, 775
3. Britain Elite Credit Mutuel, 733
4. BAE Systems Team, 727
5. City of Geneva, 709
6. Ile de France, 689

www.omansail.com
www.tourvoile.fr

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1949 Sussex Shipbuilding Laurent Giles Design 104. US$ 260,000. Located In France.

Gulvain is an opportunity to own a legendary sailing yacht. Built in 1949 and fully restored in 1991, and again refitted in 2006, this most famous Laurent Giles vintage ocean racer is presently lying in France and is available for sale for a small fraction of the cost spent to restore this historic yacht.

Designed by Laurent Giles, the foremost post war naval Architect in England, Gulvain was the world's first sailboat constructed of aluminum.

Gulvain is one of the most famous sailing boats in yachting history, and is a two time Trans Atlantic Race winner, and winner of many, many ocean races. Gulvain is featured in books and magazine articles including a 1960's photo album by Beken of Cowes of the world's greatest sailboats, "Beauty of Sail" and a 1950's oil painting by Montegue Dawson, "Ocean Racers". Gulvain is prominently described in The Encyclopedia of Sailing and is the subject of a book, "Gulvain: Fast off the Wind", written by John Tassos.

Brokerage through Robert Christopher Yacht Sales: www.yachtworld.com/robertchristopheryacht/

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

The Last Word
There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. -- Nelson Mandela

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