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Olympics Day 2
Photo by FIV / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics 49er

Allen Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) lead the 49er after the opening day but a fantastic finish in Race 1 saw them miss out on the opening 49er victory at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Manu Dyen and Stephanie Christidis (FRA) flew past Norregaard and Lang on the run to the finish in Race 1 after the Danes and French exchanged leads throughout the race.

Pre-race favourites Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS), Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) and Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) were all over the line at the start of Race 1. However in Race 2 it was business as usual for Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) as they took the bullet to sit third overall.

The Kiwis end the day in eighth place whilst the Spaniards are down in 15th after a slow start. Sweden's Jonas von Geijer and Niclas During are second after a consistent display of racing.

49ers resume racing tomorrow at 12:00 local time on the Portland Harbour course. -- ISAF, sailing.org

Top three after 2 races:

1. Allan Norregaard / Peter Lang, 6 points
2. Jonas von Geijer / Niclas During, 8
3. Nathan Outteridge / Iain Jensen, AUS, 9

Star
Photo by PPL / Daniel Forster. Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics

Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR), the 2008 Star Olympic champions, clawed themselves into the overall lead after, pushing Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) into fourth.

Lying in fourth place after two races on Sunday, Norway's Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen came out strongly in the third race of the Star class opening series, leading from the start until the final leg when they were given an instant penalty by the on-the-water umpires for propelling their boat illegally by trimming their sails. The Danes had to carry out two 360-degree turns, which allowed Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner (NZL) through to win and Percy and Simpson to catch up to within one second at the finish.

In the second race, sailed in up to 19 knots of wind, Swedish crew Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen took the lead on the first downwind leg of the course to lead at the leeward marks from Brazil and Great Britain. Despite constant pressure from Percy and Simpson, the Swedes held their nerve to win by 30 seconds.

Stars resume racing tomorrow at 12:10 local time on the Weymouth Bay South course. -- ISAF, sailing.org

Top three after 4 races

1. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson, GBR, 18
2. Eivind Melleby / Petter Morland Pedersen, NOR, 18
3. Fredrik Loof / Max Salminen, SWE, 19

Finn
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics

The Finn man of the moment Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) extended his lead on day two in the Finn class at the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth, and, while Jonathan Lobert (FRA) moves up to second, there is a four way tie for third place. Race wins went to the Dan Slater (NZL) and Daniel Birgmark (SWE).

It was another windy and beautiful day in Weymouth with sunny skies and 14-16 knots of breeze in the morning. The Finns sailed two great races in the Weymouth Bay West course and there was plenty of drama to keep the viewers happy.

Race three belonged to Dan Slater (NZL). After having to wait a long time to have his national selection for these Games confirmed, he has proven his ability with a stunning performance in testing conditions to dominate and win race three by nearly 30 seconds.

The fourth race was full of drama. First Hogh-Christensen hit the pin end on the start and after rerounding headed out right to clear his wind, but in last place Ainslie also had a bad start and at the top mark the two regatta leaders were 14th and 21st. At the front Tapio Nirkko (FIN) rounded first from Daniel Birgmark (SWE) and Rafa Trujillo (ESP). Nirkko then capsized at the downwind mark, though recovered his boat quickly and rejoined the race in sixth.

Then Trujillo also capsized after his rudder popped off.

With the wind increasing to 18-19 knots Birgmark powered down the run and just sneaked round the leeward mark ahead of Lobert to scream down the final reach to take the winner's gun. -- Robert Deaves, finnclass.org

Top three after 4 races
1. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN, 11 points
2. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 19
3. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 22

Laser

Five-time world champion Tom Slingsby (AUS) looked determined to banish his demons from Beijing 2008 when a victory and a second place in the Laser class placed him firmly at the top of the leader board on Monday.

The Australian entered the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as the clear favourite but failed to make the medal race and finished in 22nd place.

Guatemalan sailor Juan Ignacio Maegli (GUA) saw off the competition from the favourites to win the first race. Maegli held a commanding lead throughout the race and now lies in second place overall behind Slingsby after an 11th in second place.

2012 Laser World Championship runner up Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) logged consistent results in both of the day's races, placing him in third place on the leader board.

Lasers resume racing Tuesday at 14:00 local time on the Portland Harbour course. -- ISAF, sailing.org

Top three after 2 races

1. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 3
2. Juan Ignacio Maegli Aguero, GUA, 11
3. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 11

Laser Radial
Womens Laser Radial GBR Alison Young. Photo by Rick Tomlinson, www.rick-tomlinson.com. Click on image for photo gallery. Olympics

Today was the first day of racing for the Laser Radial The moderate south westerly 15 knot breeze saw Annalise Murphy get off to an impressive start in the Laser Radial class. She won both races today, leading Race 1 from start to finish. Race 2 saw her battle it out with rival Evi Van Acker (BEL) who had a strong lead on the downwind but Murphy continued to put the pressure on Van Acker. Approaching the lay mark, Murphy made her move overtaking Van Acker and really pulling away to win her second race with ease. She now leads the Laser Radial fleet heading in to Day 2 tomorrow. Murphy still has eight more races to sail followed by the double points medal race which will take place on Monday the 6th. -- Rachel Solon, Irish Sailing Association, www.sailing.ie

Top three after 2 races

1. Annalise Murphy, IRL, 2
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 5
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 9

* Editor: Yachting World magazine has a great blog... livestream photos, videos, behind the scenes stories, and a excellent early morning preview of what's coming up for the day: www.yachtingworld.com/olympics-2012

Complete results for all classes:
www.sailing.org/olympics/london2012/results_centre.php

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Les Sables - Les Acores - Les Sables
Except for the wind direction, the conditions were perfect for a start of the race. Slight sea, sun, 12 to 13 knots winds. The only small downside in the picture is that Minis will have to tack in the first days, which is not their favourite activity.

For 75% of the fleet, this fourth edition of Les Sables - Les Acores - Les Sables looks like an first journey. When comes time to cast off, some of them try to look fine joking to hide their stress, a lot of smiles are nervous ones.

Once passed the first buoy, the entire fleet has engaged a long upwind on port tack, heading west-north-west. At least for the first hours, the common intention is to go and find a fairly inactive front that is moving from the entry of the English Channel to the Atlantic coast. Behind this front, winds should quickly shift from West to North-West. Winds will progressively increase in strength up to 25 knots, even 30. Nothing insurmountable, but in these conditions, life aboard a Mini quickly becomes hellish.

Twenty-four hours into the first solo 1270nm leg of the Les Sables - Les Açores - Les Sables race, Artemis Offshore Academy Class Mini protege and the sole British entrant in this race, Becky Scott has been forced to return to the start port of Les Sables d'Olonne due to autopilot failure. Scott turned back at around 13:00 BST today, approximately 100nm from the start line, and is expecting to arrive back in Les Sables d'Olonne tomorrow morning where she will asses her situation and decide whether it is possible to restart. The race rules give her 36 hours to restart the race if she can.

"We've not spoken to Becky yet as the Mini Class rules only allow the competitors to carry a VHF radio. We know that she alerted the official race chase boat of her decision and we're already in touch with people in Les Sables d'Olonne who could help her but we don't know the extent of the problem at this stage," said Artemis Offshore Academy Performance Director, John Thorn.

The rest of the fleet is expected to complete leg 1 of Les Sables - Les Açores - Les Sables in around 10 days depending on conditions, arriving in Horta, Azores on 14th August.

Passage at the first buoy :
Protos :
1. Aymeric Chappellier, (La Tortue de l'Aquarium La Rochelle)
2. Milan Kolacek, (Follow me)
3. Antoine Rioux, (Festival des pains)

Production boats :
1. Damien Cloarec, (Damien Cloarec cherche sponsors)
2. Aymeric Belloir, (Tout le monde chante contre le cancer)
3. Justine Mettraux, (Team Work)

Race tracking: lessables-lesacores.geovoile.com/2012/

Event site: www.lessables-lesacores.com

Audi ORCi World Championship
Helsinki, Finland: On Monday 6 August 135 boats will take to the starting lines off Isosaari island in Helsinki on the first day of competition in the Audi ORCi World Championship 2012. Teams from 12 countries will be racing from Monday, 6 August through Saturday, 11 August in boats varying in size from 26 to 52 feet. Entries will be divided into two divisions, Class A and Class B, to fight for the ISAF Offshore World Champion title awarded to the winner in each class.

This is the highest turnout ever for an ORCi World Championship, surpassing the 119 entries at last year's Worlds in Cres, Croatia, and has prompted organizers from the Yacht Club Merenkavijat to not only create more room for the large crowd of entries at the regatta venue on Sarkka island, but to create two separate racing areas for each class. Class A will race in one group of approximately 50 boats, while the remaining boats in Class B will be divided into two sub-groups who will race first to be in the top of their respective group to qualify for the Class B Gold Fleet, and then finish the regatta racing for the overall Class B prize. Those that don't qualify will be racing for prizes in the Class B Silver fleet.

In addition to the overall prizes, organizers are also offering Corinthian prizes to the top finishers in each class who have all-amateur Group 1 skippers and crews as defined in the ISAF Classification Code.

Among the contenders in this year's Worlds is the reigning Class A World Champion from Cres, Alberto Rossi on his Farr 40 Enfant Terrible. Rossi has said this event will be important not only to defend his title, but to prepare his Italian team for the following month's Farr 40 World Championship in the US.

Another Italian Class A contender is Roberto Monti's Felci-designed GP42 Airis, being skippered by Cesare Bressan, who like 50 other entries is using the preceding Baltic Offshore Week regatta being held over 1-4 August as a tune-up to the main Worlds event. Airis will no doubt be sparring boat-for-boat against another GP42, Holger Streckenbach's Imagine from Germany.

And at the head of the pack in Class A will likely be two TP52's - Patrick Lindqvist's Blixt Pro Racing from Sweden and Thomas Nilsson's Wolfpack Trucknor from Norway.

Class B will also have several past ORC Champions. These include Jurgen Klinghardt's 2010 Class B World Champion patent 3 from Germany, the 2011 ORC Class B European Champion Martin Nilsson's Salona 37 Feelgood from Sweden, and Class B runner-up in the 2012 ORC European Championship last month in Italy, Enzo de Blasio's NM38 Scugnizza.

New designs to be showcased in Helsinki include Veolia, Torsten Bastiansen's XP 38 from Germany, and Claus Landmark's new Farr 400 Santa from Norway.

www.orcworlds2012.com

Punishing Final Day at the Taittinger Royal Solent YC Regatta
Photo by Jake Sugden, jakesugden.photoshelter.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Taittinger Royal Solent YC Regatta As the Commodores' Cup drew to a close on Saturday off Cowes, the Western Solent became the territory of the Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta 2012 with the event's fleet of 169 boats based in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, for two days racing over the weekend (27-29 July).

On Saturday, a total lack of breeze mid-morning delayed the start, but as clouds arrived over the Mainland shore with a marked wind shift to the west, the regatta's 11 classes fielding the greatest number of entries to ever compete in the event began racing around noon, heading upwind to Hurst Castle with the two IRC divisions; the Swan Classic Class; the Contessa Class; Classic Cruisers and Gaffers starting mid-Solent between Yarmouth and Lymington, while the International 6 Metres; International Dragon; International Folkboat; XOD and YOD were dispatched upwind from a separate start line off Yarmouth Green.

On Sunday, the westerly wind held and increased to 20+ knots delivering some challenging conditions as the ebb tide funnelled into Hurst Narrows. Chris Hills, overall winner of the regatta on Padfoot with a 1-1-1 scorecard in the Folkboat division, described the weekend's racing shortly after receiving the Taittinger Trophy at the regatta prize giving on the lawn in front of the Royal Solent Yacht Club (RSYC) on Sunday afternoon: "There were very challenging conditions with shifty breeze on Saturday and a lot more wind and more aggressive racing today," commented Hills. "It was fantastic racing and a great pleasure to race against the Yarmouth fleet as well as the Lymington boats that we race against regularly," he added.

While the single race on Sunday was muscular for the entire fleet, the dayboats had by far the toughest tour around the Western Solent.

Full results from the Taittinger RSYC Regatta 2012 can be found at:
www.royalsolent.org/racing_results.php

Melges 24 Worlds
Photo by Pierrick Contin, www.pierrickcontin.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 24 Worlds Torbole, Italy: On two race courses, one in front of Torbole and one further south, located just north of Limone, the Melges 24 World Championship came under starters orders with the evergreen Melges 24s divided into four groups, identified by colours.

More than 125 crews, from 22 nations, were in the water waiting for the much-anticipated start. During the first two races on the north course the orange group sailed against the blue group, while on the south the challenge was between the white and black groups.

At the conclusion of racing, Italy's Andrea Racchelli sailing Altea, with a second and a sixth, claims the top of the ranking while many of the favorites going into the day are trailing down in double digit position.

Conditions were extremely tough for all with many general recalls. Having been out of the Melges 24 fleet for some time Germany's Markus Wieser on AEZ, along with tactician Pascal Rambeau, proved that he certainly hasn't lost his touch in the class and thanks to a first and an eighth, is now lying second in the overall ranking by just one point. Outsider Tommaso del Rio's Maitech, put in two excellent performances of second and eighth to finish the day in third overall four points behind the leader.

Tuesday at least two more races are planned with race courses and groups reversed. Weather permitting the qualification series will conclude on Wednesday and with the introduction of the discard the fleet will be divided in Gold and Silver fleets. -- Fiona Brown

www.melges24worldchampionship.com

Hat Trick Deliver on Opening Race Day at 420 World Championships
Nadja Howitz/Sofia Middleton (CHI). Photo by Paul Szimak, derpaul.at. Click on image for photo gallery.

420 World Championships A great opening to the 2012 420 World and Ladies World Championships with three races held for each fleet.

The shifty breeze varyied from 8-14 knots. One hundred and seventy-nine teams from 28 nations took to the water on the first day of the twelve race series being held on Austria's Lake Neusiedl.

A hat trick day for Spain's David Charles/Alex Charles (ESP) and Alex Kavvas/George Kavvas (GRE) in the 420 Open fleet with three race wins each in their respective fleets.

Over in the 420 Ladies division, Jennifer Poret/Louise Chevet (FRA) delivered a 2,1,2 to have the most consistent day and lead the series so far.

420 Ladies - Provisional Top Five Results after 3 Races
1. Jennifer Poret / Louise Chevet, FRA, 5 points
2. Nadja Horwitz / Sofia Middleton, CHI, 6
3. Rachel Lee / Cecilia Low, SIN, 12
4. Agathe Geniteau / Marine Geniteau, FRA, 15
5. Jessica Lavery / Georgina Mothersele, GBR, 17

420 Open - Provisional Top Five Results after 3 Races
1. Alexandros Kavvas / Georgios Kavvas, GRE, 3
2. David Charles / Alex Charles, ESP, 3
3. Guillaume Pirouelle / Valentin Sipan, FRA, 10
4. Ricardo Paranhos / Patrick Essle, BRA, 13
5. Joao Pestana / Tomas Marques, POR, 14

www.420sailing.org/worlds

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 Geoff Jarvis: Re Olympic coverage

A couple of weeks ago I was intrigued to hear that the broadcast rights holder for North America (NBC) had made the bold move to stream live all the events from the London Olympics including the sailing. OK, raw video feeds are better than nothing, I thought.

On the first day of competition I dutifully tuned in to see the 1st races of the Finn and Star classes but could not get the stream to work; I hoped it could have been teething problems and feared that this was another hype that failed to deliver.

However, on Monday I was able to see races 3 and 4 of the Finn in glorious hi def live streaming with just the sound of the wind, waves and rustling of sails; who would have thought that Rafael Trujillo Villar of Spain would drop from 1st to finish 23rd after capsizing while in the lead on the way to the 4th mark!

No commentators to whine about, and we also had the addition of the occasional glimpse of the Stan Honey computerized graphics showing lay lines and distances between boats.

Bravo to NBC for making this available (and to the HDMI cable that allowed me to see the stream on my 42" television).

This does not bode well for my morning productivity during the next 2 work weeks...

* From Chris Brown: It does need to be mentioned that the BBC sailing coverage of the Olympics today was excellent. Really good camera work and the commentators are now learning their ports from starboards too. All in all a great job by the BBC.

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The Last Word
Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way. -- Christopher Hitchens

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