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Olympics Day One
Photo by PPL / Daniel Forster. Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics Finn Class:

It was perfect day for Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) as he won both races in the Finns on the opening day of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, leading both from start to finish. Ben Ainslie (GBR) was second in both races and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) was third in both races, but each of them had to fight hard for every place.

The Finns opened the sailing at the 2012 Games with a tricky and tough race on the Nothe course area, with a grandstand of 4,500 people cheering from the grassy bank beside the Nothe Fort.

In race one Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) won the pin with Florian Raudaschl (AUT) just above him. Ben Ainslie (GBR) started mid line and then seemed to favour the right side of the course. With the wind gradually increasing from 11-12 knots up to around 16-17 knots and gusting a bit more, the 2012 Games had opened with tough hike-out upwind followed by a physically testing free pumping downwind leg. Given the often shifty nature of the wind on the Nothe course it was interesting to see that the fleet was almost evenly split across the course area going upwind.

Hogh-Christensen judged the first beat perfectly to lead round from Raudaschl and Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), who are both sailing in their first Olympics. He sped away downwind and was never really threatened to win the race by a margin of around 20 seconds. Raudaschl sailed well to stay near the front, though he finally slipped to sixth on the final downwind while Mitakis hung on for fourth.

Ainslie rounded in tenth but pulled up to third at the first gate with some superb downwind sailing. He went right on the second beat and again lost places back to sixth. He pulled back up to third on the next downwind, but Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) had found a way into second. Ainslie finally went left on the final beat and maintained his place, and then moved into second on the final downwind with Kljakovic Gaspic crossing in third.

The 2008 Silver medalist Zach Railey (USA) didn't have the opening day that he had hoped for with a 10th and a 15th to sit in 15th overall. "We are fine as far as boat speed is concerned, but I made an error on the first beat in the second race and was pretty far behind with no real chances to get back to front group. But we will be ready for tomorrow. There's still a long way to go."

Races three and four are scheduled for Monday, both on Weymouth Bay courses. -- Robert Deaves

Finn top three after two races:
1. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN, 2 points
2. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 4
3. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 6

Star Class:

Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.


It was a photo finish in Race 2 of the Star class at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition as Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) overcame Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) by the narrowest of margins.

Both teams finished in a time of 73:39 but the race win was awarded to the Brazilians as they took the overall lead having finished fourth in Race 1.

On the race Scheidt said, "We exchanged positions on the second beat, one passing the other all the time and it came down to the finish line. It was a very interesting race. It was so tight that it was hard to see if we won."

Percy and Simpson had a weak start to the competition finishing Race 1 in 11th place but they fought back and almost recorded a bullet in the second place. Simpson said, "It was a tricky race and a good battle at the front. It was very shifty out there and we learnt a few lessons from the first race. We thought we were ahead and it was unbelievably close.

Ireland's David Burrows and Peter O'Leary are second overall after a consistent day that included a second in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. Meanwhile Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) are third overall. -- ISAF

Stars resume racing tomorrow at 14:10 local time on the Weymouth Bay West course.

Star top three after two races:
1. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA, 5
2. Peter O'Leary / David Burrows, IRL, 8
3. Mateusz Kusznierewica / Dominik Zycki, POL, 12

Women's Match Racing:

Photo by FIV/Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.


Racing started today at the 2012 Olympic Games for three classes. Womens Match Racing was one of the three. We had two great races despite finishing the day 1-1 on paper.

We sat out the first two races and then rotated in and started racing shortly after 3:30pm on the Nothe course, right under the noses of the spectators. Our first race was against Team Denmark. We had a tight race with them all around the course in the very shifty conditions but were able to extend a little right out from the second windward mark and went on to win the race to score our first point of the series.

Our second race was the last race of the day starting at 4:40pm. We were up against Team Spain. We had a great pre-start with them, giving them a penalty. We started to windward and ahead of them, controlling them for the first half of the beat. Half way up, we let them slip a little too far out to the right side of us and they got a shift and around us. We held close and were right behind them as we approached the top mark. We got in a little luffing match as they tried to pin us while looking for an opportunity to spin their penalty. The chance wasn't there and both boats tacked to port and bore away to round the mark and continue the race. Somehow, despite following their line around the mark, we caught the anchor line for the mark causing it to drift into us and cancelling the penalty.

And now with us stopped, she sailed away. We gave our best effort to catch up, and gained back a few lengths, but we couldn't catch up and we ended up losing the race. It was frustrating to lose in that way (there were two races in that flight in which this happened). But overall we are happy with how we are sailing and we are looking forward to sailing tomorrow. -- Anna Tunnicliffe, USA

Complete results for all classes:

Away Go (Some) Cameras
A bit of common knowledge from the sailing center that likely won't make it onto any official website... the cameras on board the boats caused some problems today. And won't be on the 49ers tomorrow.

The Polish Star Team of Mateusz Kusznierewica and Dominik Zycki did a gybe, caught the camera with the mainsheet and destroyed the cameras. The TV guys decided that they should quickly modify the mounts so that they are strong enough to withstand a a gybe. But ISAF decided that losing a camera was preferable to losing a rig. The 49ers were supposed to have them on tomorrow, but ISAF told them to... well.. you can guess. The camera mounts on the 49ers were even more of a problem / hindrance than on the Stars. So kudos to the ISAF today for putting sailors' interests ahead of the almighty tube. -- Editor

South Korea's Olympic Sailing Coach Sent Home
South Korea's Olympic sailing coach Lee Jae-cheol has been sent home in disgrace after he was caught drink-driving by police in Weymouth.

The coach was found to be more than twice the legal alcohol limit after drinking wine at a welcome party for the visiting athletes on Tuesday night.

Lee was ordered to pay a fine and costs totaling £340 and has been banned from driving in the UK for 18 months by magistrates after failing a breath test.

The South Korean Olympic Delegation held emergency talks and decided to send the coach back to Seoul "as an exemplary punishment" and the South Korea Sailing Federation apologised on behalf of the coach.

Victory for GBR Red as Wind Fills In for Final Day
Photo by Rick Tomlinson, Click on image for photo gallery.

Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup ended with a more typical Solent day, finally providing sailors with some fresh conditions and waves for the last double points scoring race of this week long series for international three boat teams and their amateur crews.

With a 66 point lead going into the final race, RYA Team GBR Red were in a strong position but there have been several occasions in the past when a dominant team has lost this competition in the last race.

Today's final bout got underway on time, but the first attempt had to be abandoned when, cruelly, the wind dropped off to nothing as the leaders closed to within 200m of the line. As the week's first cloud line eased across the Solent, so a westerly filled in and when the Race Committee went to sail the race again the wind was up to 17 knots and slowly built into the low 20s by the final beat.

Despite the wind being with the tide, a chop developed in the central Solent as the crews had to change gear to accommodate the stiffer breeze. This resulted in several incidents, boats being washed down on to the weather mark, another boat ended up on Brambles Bank and there was even a broach.

Today's race belonged to Hong Kong with Nick Burns' Ker 39, EFG Bank Mandrake, winning with a two and a half minute lead on corrected time from their teammates Joachim Isler/Andrew Taylor/Ante Razmilovic on their chartered Grand Soleil 43 Team Ambush Quokka 8.

But the series belonged to GBR Red, who managed to maintain their position ahead of second placed GBR White to claim the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup with a 63 point margin.

The victory for GBR Red as a team occurred yesterday when they posted a 2-4-5 after the park-up just prior to the finish.

Jamie Matheson, Executive Chairman of Brewin Dolphin has been in Cowes most of the week watching the racing. "We have been delighted," he said. "We have clearly had to deal with the wind occasionally being awkward but the race management team has done a fantastic job in dealing with that and the competitors have sailed very well indeed.

"It has been all sorts of different things - we have had sunshine, good breezes most of the time and we had the extraordinary visit of Her Majesty The Queen, the background of the superyacht, Athos! Cowes at its best."

Team Place - Team Name - Team Points
1. GBR Red, 276.5
2. GBR White, 339.5
3. France, 360
4. GBR Blue, 361
5. Benelux, 386.5
6. Hong Kong, 391
7. GBR Black, 435

Full Results can be found:

29er World Championship - Robles and Trittel Take Title
Photos by TW Marina Konitzer. Click on image for photo gallery.

29er World Championship Carlos Robles and Florian Trittel (ESP) can add another World title to the resume. This duo secured the 29er World Championship, besting the other 216 teams on the water even before the last race was sailed.

Robles and Trittel sailed a 8-2-25 today saving their discards for the last day with the 8 and 25. Lucas Rual and Kevin Fischer (FRA) widened the points with a 13-1-11 today but good enough to keep them securely in the silver medal position. Third overall was Mateo Majdalani and Klaus Lange (ARG)

Thunderstorms blew through town overnight bringing rain and wind and leftover seas. The 10am start enabled the Gold fleet to complete 3 races with the Silver and Bronze 2 each. Unfortunately some leftover weather cells and heavy winds kept the Emerald fleet from completing races on the final day.

Robles and Trittel claimed the top youth team while Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) who finished second at last weeks 29er European Championship were top female team in 14th overall.

Taariq Jacobs and Neil Malan from South Africa topped the Silver fleet with Kai Becker and Dorian Heitzig (GER) atop the Bronze. Emerald fleet winners remained Andrew Kilburn and Calum Healey from GBR.

The 2013 Worlds will be held in Aarhus, Denmark.

Andre Budzien Wins OK Dinghy Worlds
Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image for photo gallery.

OK Dinghy Worlds Andre Budzien won the 2012 OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek, Denmark after the final two races were sailed on Saturday. Greg Wilcox took the silver while Thomas Hanssen-Mild took the bronze. The final two races were won by Christian Olesen and Bjorn Allansson.

Despite forecasts of strong winds on the final day, the final day started overcast, damp and windless. Overnight storms had brought heavy rain which tested the integrity of much off the camp site, results in many damp sailors come the morning. The sun soon came out but the wind was not ready yet so AP was hoisted at 9.30 as once again the fleet waited for the elusive Danish wind to appear.

But appear it did and at around 13.30 racing got under way in a strengthening southerly that peaked at about 12-14 knots by mid-afternoon. Two fantastic races were sailed in an onshore wind with nice waves developing that was a fitting end to a great anniversary championship. In race six, Gunther Arndt (GER) was the early leader from the right but soon Christian Olsesen (DEN) took the lead and held it to the finish with Andre Budzien crossing in second and Thomas Hansson-Mild in third.

The wind increased slightly for race seven and Bjorn Allanson (SWE) was finally able to get out in front and he stayed there the whole race taking his first race win in great conditions. Stefan Myralf (DEN) was second while Nick Craig (GBR) produced his best result of the week with a third.

This meant that Budzien had taken the OK Dinghy world title at the first attempt, his first ever senior world title, after three Finn World Masters titles.

Final results

1. Andre Budzien, GER, 27 points
2. Greg Wilcox, NZL, 32
3. Thomas Hansson-Mild, SWE, 39
4. Nick Craig, GBR, 69
5. Jorgen Holm Nielsen, DEN, 74
6. Bartosz Rakocy, POL, 82
7. Jorgen Svendsen, DEN, 83
8. Bo Petersen Hellerup, DEN, 85
9. Gunther Arndt, GER, 89
10. Martin v. Zimmermann, GER, 92

SAP 5O5 World Championships
Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image to enlarge.

SAP 5O5 World Championships La Rochelle, France: On the 6th and final day of the 2012 SAP 5O5 World Championship the day was started with a tribute to 79 year old 5O5 sailor Jim Berry, taking part in his final World Championship after having competed in every Worlds since 1980. Jim lead the fleet out to start area where the days conditions of a well-established South Westerly breeze allowed the fleet to get away on time.

The race results before the start of the last race were close with it all to play for going into the 9th and final race. Kellner / Schoeler were the overnight leaders and had a solid buffer - and only needed to finish within 14 places of Saugmann / Gorge to take the title.

With a clear start Pinnell / Mitchell took the early lead and extended, Kellner / Schoeler however didn't start as well being trapped out on the un-favoured left hand side of the course. To add insult to injury, Kellner / Schoeler lost their spinnaker gear over the front of the boat at the first leeward mark which dramatically slowed the team down, and saw them relegated to 100+ at the next windward mark.

Saugmann / Gorge continued to extend and sailed a consistent race finishing in 3rd position with Bojsen-Moller / Bojsen-Moller in 2nd position and Pinnell / Mitchell winning the race by a 100m margin. Kellner / Schoeler finished outside the top 50 to hand the 2012 SAP 5O5 World Championships to DEN 8964, Jan Saugmann and Martin Gorge. -- Mark Angell

Overall 2012 SAP 5O5 World Championship Results

1. Jan Saugmann / Martin Gorge, Den
2. Jorgen Bojsen-Moller / Jacob Bojsen-Moller, Den
3. Christian Kellner / Martin Schoeler, Ger

Mabire New Leader in the Class40
Drinking tea on the Class40 Campagne de France. Click on image to enlarge.

Transat Quebec Saint-Malo 2008 Transat Quebec Saint-Malo winner and race veteran Halvard Mabire together with his crew Miranda Merron and Christian Bouroullec on Campagne de France have taken command of the Class40 fleet while Erwan Le Roux on FenetreA Cardinal 3 is less than 880 miles to the finish, heading to the Fastnet Rock and 50' Vento di Sardegna skippered by Italian Andrea Mura is leading the monohull charge towards Saint Malo.

The fleet's progress is being affected by the passage of a very active cold front that force the 103 sailors to sail in very testing conditions for all but mostly for the Class40 boats. Strategy is paramount as surely knows yesterday's leader Stephane Le Diraison on IXBlue whose northern option has proved to be very costly, the team has fallen down to 11th at around 120 miles from the frontrunners. The leading quartet, that chose a more southern route, is also closer to getting into the strong south-westerlies that will propel them to the finish line, which is now some 1,400 miles away.

Check out the latest position on the Transat Quebec Saint Malo online tracker at:

Top position report on July 29th at 13:40 GMT

1. Halvard Mabire - Campagne de France - Distance to finish 1457.2 nm
2. Sèbastien Rogues - Eole Generation - GDF SUEZ- 13,4 nm to leader
3. Jorg Riechers - Mare- 17.5 nm to leader
4. Fabrice Amedeo - Geodis - 20.5 nm to leader

Open Class
1. Erwan Le Roux - FenetreA Cardinal 3, Distance to finish 878.2 nm
2. Erik Nigon - Vers un Monde sans SIDA, 535nm to leader
3. Andrea Mura - Vento di Sardegna, Distance to finish 1,436 nm (First Monohull)
4. Gilles Lamire - Defi Saint-Malo Agglo, 569.2 nm to leader

Running The Rhumblines
The traditional bets of Bundaberg Rum have been wagered as sailors from around the nation prepare to test their tactical reputations in the popular Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week. This popular annual regatta hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club in the tropical winter sailing paradise of Queensland's Whitsunday Islands has attracted a record fleet to duel for ten class championships from August 10-16.

Sailors from the colder climates have cast aside their fur lined Ugg Boots and packed their boat bags with colourful crew shirts for what is known as Queensland's Tropical Shirt Regatta. Among the first time entries in record fleet is the Warwick 80 Maatsuyker which has cruised from the windy West Tasmanian fishing and tourist port of Strahan.

Her proud owner Ron Morrison who completed a refit of Maatsuyker in Brisbane 12 months ago is no stranger to enjoying a winter cruise in the Whitsunday Islands.

However this will be his first official entry into Queensland's Festival of Sails.

As expected Ron Morrison a friendly Tasmanian commercial fisherman has made no predictions about his personal expectations except to enjoy some happy sailing in the warmer tropical Whitsunday Islands.

During the closing stages of the refit Ron Morrison said "I have left things a bit late to race this year but we will enjoy a cruise then come back for some racing in 2012".

The impressive Warwick 24.6m Maatsuyker presents a threat to local skipper Don Algie who with his equally impressive Warwick 20.3 m Storm 2 has dominated the line honours in the Cruising Class.

Regatta founder Don Algie has the important tactical experience gathered from winning the class 'Gun Boat' trophy and while Storm 2 faces a supreme test he is not about to allow his Tasmania rival an untroubled path.

Technically waterline length and sail power will favour the larger Maatsuyker but the crew who man the deck of Storm 2 have the important knowledge of racing on these tactically tricky waters which will be important when Storm 2 starts the defence of her line honours title in the Double Cone/Armit Island race on Friday August 10. -- Ian Grant

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 S. Fishwick: For British residents, there IS live coverage of the Olympic sailing on the 'net, courtesy of the BBC. On Sunday, it was at

NB that URL may not be correct on other days, and it may not work at all (for copyright reasons) if the BBC think you are outside the UK.

Editor: You will have to set your browser up with a proxy server in the UK to view. Google "UK proxy server" and then "set up proxy server" for your particular browser. It's easy.

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The Last Word
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring, it was peace. -- Milan Kundera

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