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Jorg Riechers Takes Command
Mare, skippered by Germany's Jorg Riechers takes a firm hold of the lead in the Class40 fleet racing on the the 8th edition of the Transat Quebec - Saint-Malo. The Sam Manuard designed boat has demonstrated good performance and Riechers together with an expert crew made up of Sam Manuard, Remy Aubrun and American Ryan Breymayer, has been setting a rhythm in the fresh southerly winds coming down the Gaspe region. Just four have managed to maintain the pace, making further gains on the approach to the two final marks on the St. Lawrence River: Gaspe and Perce, that they should reach later today before reaching the open Atlantic.

Two more opportunities for the huge crowds who since the start in Quebec have been gathering on the river banks of la Malbaie, Rimouski, Matane and Sainte-Anne des Monts to greet the sailors. Meanwhile the monohulls continue to struggle in the tricky river conditions. Just Erwan Le Roux, skippering the trimaran FenetreA Cardinal has reached the ocean's open waters and heads in a upwind tack to the next course mark at Madeleine Island.

Behind this group the rest of the fleet is still pushing hard for a possible compression in the bay of Gaspe. Stephane Le Diraison on IX Blue is in sixth position at less than 30 miles, David Augeix on his Akilaria EDF-Energies nouvelles is in 12th 40 miles behind the leaders and everything can still happen before the fleet heads on the long reaching tack towards Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. Luckily no issues or damage has been reported so far from the 25 boats who are about to leave the St Lawrence.

J Class Solent Regatta - Hundred Guinea Cup
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Saturday morning saw warmth and sunshine in the Solent for the J Class Hundred Guinea Cup race; East around the Isle of Wight, based on the original America's Cup course.

Light Easterly wind was due to give way to just a whisper of Southerly breeze in the day, and the prospect of a shortened course looked likely. Nothing could have dampened the enthusiasm of the spectator fleet though, as hundreds of them joined the Js at the start line, anticipating a race to rival the glory days of the 1930's America's Cups.

Rainbow sensibly withdrew from Saturday's racing for safety reasons after a small technical issue. The remaining three, Velsheda, Ranger, and Lionheart were a fantastic spectacle as they hoisted their 16,000 square feet of mainsail and genoa, and began circling on the RYS line area, North of Cowes.

By the time the boats reached Fort Albert, it had become apparent that the strong adverse tide through Hurst and patchy winds up the Solent were going to make finishing the round the island almost impossible, and the Race Committee took the decision to shorten the course retrospectively, as agreed in the sailing instructions. The course was finished at the Needles, where times had been taken. The results (including Time Correction Factors) were calculated but kept a secret from the Js until the prizegiving, where all the crew and owners assembled that evening.

Lionheart's position at The Needles won her the King's Hundred Guinea Cup. This was a fantastic achievement for Lionheart and her owner, competing in their first J Class regatta, and well-deserved as Lionheart has performed consistently well at each regatta and taken line-honours twice, narrowly losing out on first place each race on corrected time.

Velsheda rounded about two minutes behind, and Ranger a further five minutes behind.

Because of her great results in the Solent, two wins and one second, Velsheda was awarded the Corinthian King's Cup for the regatta's best amateur helmsman. Originally presented by King George V, the Corinthian King's Cup, dating from 1914, will be presented each year as a perpetual trophy "for friendly competition between J Class yachts, each sailed by an amateur owner".

The Kings Hundred Guinea Cup was originally presented by King George VI at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club in 1937. Both trophies were kindly donated by Jan Hart; associate member of the JCA, keen supporter of the fleet, and owner of the building copyright for JS1 Svea.

* After 12 years as Secretary of the J Class Association, and the great success of the two UK J Class events this year, David Pitman is retiring from the role.

This has been a fascinating era for the J Class, starting with the inaugural meeting of the Association in 2000. David created the constitution and a set of rules that would defend the historic original yachts (Shamrock V, Velsheda, Endeavour) but would allow for the building of new yachts, to original hull lines plans. This led to interest in new projects.

He stated: "It has been my pleasure to work and sail with the J class fleet for more than 15 years, creating an environment where the Class can grow and flourish".

David is looking forward to continuing the growth of Strawberry Marketing, his very successful design and marketing agency, established in 1989, and focusing on increasing the strength of Strawberry Yacht Management - which offers superyacht support services.

We Are Recruiting
The Oyster fleet of award winning yachts from 46' to 125' is renowned throughout the sailing world for performance, quality and customer service.

We are expanding our sales team in response to increasing demand from international markets for Oyster yachts, which are valued from around £750,000 to £15,000,000.

We seek two senior sales professionals, one to be UK based and one to be based in our new offices in Palma, Mallorca. The successful candidates will probably be experienced yachtsmen, and will certainly be familiar with building discreet relationships with high net worth individuals and confident in selling a luxury, lifestyle product. Although experience of selling yachts is preferable, applicants who can demonstrate sales success in luxury property, private aircraft or similar sectors are welcome to apply.

Whilst a good standard of written and spoken English is required, fluency in European languages is a priority. Technical awareness and exposure to the Central European, Mediterranean and Russian markets would also be an advantage.

Applications, which will be treated in the strictest confidence, should be sent in writing with full details of relevant experience, for the attention of David Tydeman, Oyster Group CEO, to:

No agencies thank you.

Anchor Practice
Photo by Rick Tomlinson, Click on image for photo gallery.

The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup fleet came ashore today after their high scoring offshore race with war stories, not of wrestling on the foredeck in gale force winds, but of repeatedly anchoring in a flat calm to prevent themselves being whisked off down Channel by the powerful spring tide.

After heading east down the Solent from Cowes yesterday lunchtime, the boats had to head out into the English Channel, down to a virtual mark 17 miles south of Bembridge. Unfortunately after passing this virtual mark late yesterday afternoon, the westbound tide was so strong and the wind so light that they were unable to get back to complete the mark rounding. Thus the entire fleet was forced to anchor for most of the evening until the tide turned. This 'kedging', they managed with mixed success.

Around six boats weren't successful and ended up dragging. Among them was Premier Flair, Jim Macgregor's Elan 410 racing in Team GBR Blue, which was washed 5 miles west down the Channel before their anchor finally bit. "We had plenty of anchor equipment - two anchors, two cables and loads of rope, but that didn't hold," said Macgregor.

The boats then made good headway north back up to the Outer Nab 2 mark where they were again expecting to anchor in the early hours of this morning with the tide turning west once more. Around this mark there was another mass fleet park up as the wind once again died on the tide turn.

Ultimately with three re-starts the results favoured the small boats and it was the Paul Worswick -skippered A 35 CNBC that came out on top for RYA Team GBR Red. Their result corrected out to win the offshore race (with its 2.5x points weighting) two and a half minutes ahead of the lowest rated boat in the fleet, David Aisher's British Keelboat Academy-crewed J/109 Yeoman of Wight in GBR Black.

Due to the visit of HRH The Queen to Cowes tomorrow, only one windward-leeward race will be held in the afternoon in the Solent at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.

29er World Championship - Day 2
More racing in varied conditions brought out the best in all the 218 29er teams. The morning fleets were treated to light conditions of 6-8 knots in shifting winds as the sea breeze fought to establish itself. As the seabreeze did finally settle in bringing 12 knots, the afternoon sailors were treated to great planing conditions which skiffs were built for.

The green fleet were first off the beach making up for yesterday's lost race, then everyone sailed 3 races a piece in their newly shuffled fleets based upon the overall results. Spaniards Carlos Robles and Florian Trittle sailed a 2-1-1 today and seem to be in their ISAF Youth Worlds form.

Americans Christopher Williford and Kai Freisecke sit in second overall with a 1-2-2 while Noppakao Poonpat and Steven Thomas from Thailand have.

Racing for the qualifying fleet finishes tomorrow, Wednesday, July 25 with three days of the final series beginning Thursday. The prizegiving will be held on Saturday, July 28.

Superyacht Cup Cowes
Cowes, UK: Despite being the last yacht to cross the start line of yesterday's Pantaenius sponsored Race 1 of the Superyacht Cup Cowes, the crew of the 34m Royal Huisman built Unfurled found their way through challenging light air conditions to cross the line first on a shortened course.

As the early morning mist lifted with blue skies above, the fleet were started from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 1105 with the 45m Briand Mari Cha III crossing the start first headed to the Eastern Solent on the longer course toward the NAB tower. As the rest of the fleet followed with Unfurled last over the start line, the yachts progressed slowly up the course helped by the flood tide towards the first mark at North Sturbridge.

Due to the lack of consistent wind and the imminent tidal change, the decision was however taken by the race committee to shorten the course. Unfurled were finished between Warner and the committee boat at 1415. They were followed by Leopard 3 four minutes later and Hamilton finishing at 1504. Athos, who had to put in an extra tack to lay the finish line, finished fourth at 1512. The remaining fleet retired from the race or were unable to reach the finish.

Racing Tuesday was postponed until 2pm awaiting the sea breeze which was expected to fill in towards the early afternoon.

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

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:

"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

Spinnaker Tales
Perfectionist Sunshine Coast fibreglass boat builder David Biggar will hang the Gone Sailing sign on the office door of his Yandina Stallion Marine complex to take up an important crew position on Black Jack.

On this occasion he will only lay up his tools for a few days when the Peter Harburg owned and Mark Bradford skippered Black Jack contests the physically demanding and tactically tormenting 384 nautical mile Audi Sydney to Gold Coast race against a high performance fleet starting on Saturday.

David Biggar also closed up shop over the Easter weekend when the Black Jack racing team scored a convincing win in the Qantas Brisbane to Gladstone race.

The popular corrected handicap win was a reward for the Black Jack crew who showed after committing to a dedicated 4 year learning process involving how to master the technical details to sail the canting keel pocket-maxi had paved the way to register their career best result.

Black Jack has now qualified to be recognised as a distinct challenger to keep her New South Wales rivals honest in what promises to become a 'State of Origin war on the water' for the honour of winning the 2012 Audi Sydney to Gold Coast with the fastest corrected handicap.

But their real test rests within every tactically demanding nautical mile between the start on Sydney Harbour and the finish line off Southport's Main Beach.

Sailing smart during the dusk to dawn hours avoiding the speed damaging southerly current and weathering the notoriously challenging waters off Cape Byron will be the major priority in the race strategy on Black Jack.

However while the Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats X1 the Rolex Sydney Hobart race record holder remains as the line honours favourite, Black Jack is ranked among the handicap contenders with the 2011 Sydney Hobart winner Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) the Victorian sloop Living Doll (Michael Hiatt) and the three time Sydney Hobart champion the 39 year old Sydney yacht Love and War.

There will be little opportunity for the champion Queensland crew on Black Jack to enjoy the coastal scenery with the unpredictable weather forecast promising to produce a high workload of sail changes.

However as proved with their Gladstone Race win the Black Jack crew are up to the task. Another top result will add to crew confidence when Black Jack lines up to contest the Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel race starting on Friday August 3 before tracking a course into the warm Whitsunday Island waters to contest the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week from August 18-25.

Meanwhile the boat building schedule at Stallion Marine will continue while the company principal David Biggar shares a different responsibility on the deck of Black Jack. -- Ian Grant

Andre Budzien Early Leader at 50th OK Dinghy World Championship
Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image for photo gallery.

Despite a high scoring day for most of the favourites, Andre Budzien (GER) is the early leader of the OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek, Denmark after placing second and third in Tuesday's two races. 146 OK Dinghies are currently competing for the 50th OK Dinghy World Championship.

The high temperatures brought the side effect of no wind early in the day and the sailors were held on shore to enjoy the summer conditions while the wind established itself.

Race one got under way in 6-8 knots after one general recall under the black flag, which proved costly for the line honours winner. Bo Petersen (DEN) was the early leader and led for much of the race but then missed out the spreader mark at the second windward mark and by the time he has recovered had dropped to fourth. On the final beat the leaders really closed up and the finish was too close to call. In the end Jorgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) crossed first, but he was one of five black flagged at the start, so handing victory to Petersen. Andre Budzien (GER) crossed in second with Greg Wilcox (NZL) in third.

The wind had increased slightly for race two and followed a similar pattern.

Racing continues Wednesday with two more races scheduled. The championship concludes on Saturday.

Top ten after two races
1. Andre Budzien, GER, 5 points
2. Rene Johannsen, DEN, 9
3. Bo Petersen, DEN, 10
4. Roger Blasse, AUS, 18
5. Greg Wilcox, NZL, 20
6. Jorgen Svendsen, DEN, 23
7. Christian Hedlund, DEN, 26
8. Alistair Deaves, NZL, 28
9. Thomas Hansson-Mild, SWE, 31
10. Jorgen Holm Nielsen, DEN, 31

There are also videos and interviews on the event YouTube Channel:

Edging Closer to a Podium Finish
It is all on for Team BAE Systems, powered by Oman Sail going into the final day of the Tour de France a la Voile. The multinational team of Omanis, Brits and French is fighting for a place on the podium and after the final 124-mile offshore race today from Gruissan to Seyne-Sur-Mer is on equal points with third-placed Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite.

The final offshore leg was a 22-hour battle to stay in the top five and as the sun cam up on the Mediterranean, the Omani boat was lying second, but in dying shifty conditions they dropped back to finish fourth much to the disappointment of skipper Cedric Pouligny: "It was a bit frustrating because we had a superb race right up until the finish. We were consistently at the top of the fleet, very much in the game, we were second at one point and then, just before the finish line, the wind dropped and the fleet was completely reshuffled. Sometimes it just comes down to a lottery, but that is yacht racing!"

Wednesday is the last day of the Tour de France a la Voile 2012 and two inshore races will decide the final overall ranking - Oman Sail's Team BAE Systems have everything to gain and have the Brittany boat in their sights!

Ranking Gruissan-La Seyne-sur-Mer
1. Ville de Geneve
2. TPM Coych
3. Bred La Normandie
4. Team BAE Systems
5. Nantes-Saint-Nazaire

Provisional overall standings
1. TPM Coych (854 pts)
2. Courrier Dunkerque (834 pts)
3. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite (793 pts)
4. Team BAE Systems (793 pts)
5. Ville de Geneve (784 pts)
Event site:

Featured Brokerage
1999 Najad 490. EUR 376,000. Located In Denmark.

TOP Najad 49 in good condtions and well equipped, this Najad 49 was sailed in nordic area.

Brokerage through Baltic-Yachtpoint:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
Plato says that the unexamined life is not worth living. But what if the examined life turns out to be a clunker as well? -- Kurt Vonnegut

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