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Olympics Day 4
Photo by FIV / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

Olympics Finn class, rest day:

Just three weeks ago Jonas Hogh-Christensen said in an interview with Robert Deaves, "..we did push the bar and I can say we found some magic on the way. What it is will show at the Games."

How true those words have become. He has become the big story of the sailing events so far, grabbing headline news across the UK and the World while he has humbled the three time Olympic Champion Ben Ainslie. In the first six races Ainslie has yet to beat the newly tagged 'Great Dane'. Wednesday is a day off and while most of the sailors are just resting and rebuilding their energy, Ainslie will surely be working out a plan as to how he will approach the final four races of the opening series to overcome his Danish nemesis.

Apart from the hint of prescience in Christensen's words, nobody would have ever believed that Ainslie would be so far behind at the half way stage in the regatta. The next four races will set the scene for Sunday's medal race and on current form it is quite believable that the gold will be nearly settled by then.

However, Ainslie is never more dangerous than when he is down. He has proven that time and time again over the years. They say, never make him angry, you won't like him when he is angry. He was really angry after Monday's showing of a sixth and a 12th, but his response on Tuesday, of a fourth and a third, and both behind Hogh-Christensen is not exactly the kind of response that everyone expected, and definitely not the response that will drag him back into contention.

Thursday's races will therefore be crucial to see whether he possesses the arsenal to respond in a useful way.

Laser

The day's first race win went to New Zealand's Andrew Murdoch who like most Laser sailors throughout the day had been under pressure from the Cypriot. "We had a good start and I managed to inch my way into the lead," said Murdoch. "I enjoyed a comfortable lead for a while but I was under pressure from Pavlos. But I got into the breeze again so I was OK."

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) won Race 6 after a third in Race 5. He is third overall on 19 points to put a considerable margin between him and Rasmus Myrgren (SWE) in fourth on 35 points.

The Lasers enjoy a lay day Thursday before racing resumes at 12:00 local time on the Nothe Course.

Top three
1. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) - 12pts
2. Tom Slingsby (AUS) - 13pts
3. Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) - 19pts

Laser Radial

Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) won a race each in the Laser Radial to reduce Annalise Murphy's (IRL) early lead.

The Irish girl sits at the top of the leader board on 12 points whilst Van Acker is two behind on 14 and Bouwmeester is on 19.

Murphy maintains her lead however she could only manage an eighth and a 19th in a tricky day of sailing on the Weymouth Bay West Course.

The Radials enjoy a lay day on Thursday before racing resumes at 13:30 local time on the Portland Harbour course.

Top three
1. Annalise Murphy (IRL) - 12pts
2. Evi Van Acker (BEL) - 14pts
3. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) - 19pts

RS: X Men

Dorian van Rijsselberge continued his great start in the Men's RS:X after another race win which was followed by a third as Nothe spectators were treated to two RS:X races.

The Dutchman recorded another comprehensive victory in the third Men's RS:X race but in Race 4 the thousands of fans watching saw Nick Dempsey (GBR) claw his way back to win the race on the line ahead of Byron Kokkalanis.

Dempsey moves into third place after a photo finish in the final race of the day. When it looked like Kokkalanis would take the race win the Brit stepped it up a gear and took the bullet.

The Men's RS:X resume racing Thursday at no earlier than 15:30 local time on the Portland Harbour course.

Top three
1. Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) - 6pts
2. Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) - 15pts
3. Nick Dempsey (GBR) - 18pts

RS:X Women

Marina Alabau (ESP) won both of her races in the Women's RS:X to make it three bullets in a row and subsequently opening up an eight point lead.

The Spaniard has been in devastating form and her two bullets today added to her second and first on the opening day of the Women's RS:X makes for great reading as she sits on five points.

The Women's RS:X resume on Thursday at 14:00 local time on the Portland Harbour course.

Top three
1. Marina Alabau (ESP) - 5pts
2. Lee Korzits (ISR) - 13pts
3. Moana Delle (GER) - 16pts

Women's Match Racing

Australia's Olivia Price remains the only undefeated Women's Match Racer at London 2012 having won all eight matches sailed.

Price has been in tremendous form and defeated Anna Kjellberg (SWE) by two seconds in her first match of the day before a comfortable victory over Renee Groeneveld.

Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) and Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) are joint second with six points each whilst Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) is fourth.

The Women's Match Racers resume tomorrow no earlier than 13:30 on the Nothe spectator course.

Star

Wednesday was a lay day, racing resumes Thursday at 12:00 local time on the Weymouth Bay South course.

Top three
1. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson (GBR) - 10pts
2. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada (BRA) - 14pts
3. Frerik Loof / Max Salminen (SWE) - 17pts

470 Men and Women start their races on Thursday.

All reports from the ISAF: www.sailing.org/olympics/london2012/

Francis Joyon Smashes The 24 Hour Solo Sailing Record
Photo by JM Liot / DPPI / IDEC. Click on image to enlarge.

Francis Joyon 668 nautical miles. 1237 kilometres. That is the new 24 hour distance record for a boat skippered by a solo sailor. The French sailor Francis Joyon set this new outright 24 hour speed record yesterday evening aboard his 29-metre giant trimaran IDEC achieving an average speed of 27.83 knots.*

Francis Joyon set off from la Trinite-sur-Mer in Brittany last Friday to head for the Azores to look for ideal conditions to tackle the record set by Thomas Coville, who sailed 628.5 nautical miles in 2008 on his second attempt at the round the world record, still held by Francis.

"I had to look for the ideal conditions, which I only managed to find before in the Indian Ocean with steady, strong winds, preferably ahead of a front , in order to benefit from relatively calm seas... So I headed off around 800 miles west of Cape Finisterre, on the edge of the Azores high. I set off with a south-westerly wind, but from the start I had to deal with a swell coming in the other direction from the north.

I gave it my all and after a certain length of time, the swell eased off and the wind strengthened to 32 knots. It was extremely risky. The boat was constantly on the edge. I wasn't at the helm. I stayed there for 24 hours standing in the cockpit with the mainsail sheet in one hand and the solent sheet in the other. When the boat dug into a wave, I eased off one or the other. But I often had to ease them both off at the same time. There was no rest. I just swallowed down a few cereal bars to feed myself."

He took the reference time to 613.5 miles (average speed of 25.56 knots) during his successful round the world record attempt in 2007. Thomas Coville then grabbed the record from him in the following year covering 619 miles at an average speed of 25.80 knots near the Kerguelens. The very same Thomas Coville aboard his 32-metre trimaran then beat his own record, sailing 628.5 miles at 26.2 knots in December 2008.

* Awaiting ratification from the World Speed Sailing Record Council

www.trimaran-idec.com

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

Gullisara Takes The Lead
Photo by Pierrick Contin, www.pierrickcontin.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 24 Torbole, Italy: After yesterday's storms, today Torbole welcomed the Melges 24 World Championship fleet in style, first with a strong Peler wind from the north and later in the day with the famous Ora from the south, allowing the Race Committee to run two further races for the four qualification groups sailing in two fleets.

The third day of the event was very much a game of two halves. To secure good racing the crews were out of bed and on the dock by 6.30am to take advantage of the northerly Peler. Its direction prevents the race committee from laying two separate reliable courses and so the decision was made to race both fleets on one course for race three of the series. The two fleets were started separately but the site of all 125 boats on a single course was truly spectacular.

Having completed race three of the series the crews were sent ashore for a long lunch as the Peler dropped away and the legendary Ora began to build. For race four the fleets set up on two separate courses and with the Ora well established at the north of the lake the northerly course was able to get underway promptly and enjoy another perfect Garda race.

Unfortunately the Ora refused to stablise properly on the southerly course and as a result they were still waiting to start racing as the northerly group approached the finish line. With the Ora holding up well the Race Committee move the southerly group across and took over the notherly course ensuring that both fleets have now completed race four.

In the overall provisional ranking the lead has changed but remains in the hands of an Italian, namely 2011 European Champion Gullisara, helmed by Carlo Fracassoli with Enrico Fonda on tactics, who leads the fleet by a single point from Riccardo Simoneschi's Audi Ultra supported by Eberhard&Co. Gullisara impressed with a second and first place while Simoneschi, with Gabriele Benussi on tactics, claimed a second and a seventh, giving him a two point lead over third placed Saetta, helmed by Alberto Bolzan with Nathan Wilmot as tactician. Saetta is still counting 19 points from the first race, but like Fracassoli he produced a first and a second today and now has an 11 point cushion on fourth placed Andrea Racchelli in Altea who dropped out of the overall lead.

Organised by Circolo Vela Torbole in collaboration with the International Melges 24 Class Association, the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship will count a maximum of twelve races, with up to three daily races. Five races are required to made the event valid.

Live Streaming - www.bpse.it
Event Website - www.melges24worldchampionship.com

No AC72 Build For Energy Team
Sharing a place on the podium at the end of the first season in the America's Cup World Series with Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand, the team led by Bruno and Loick Peyron have decided to commit themselves to a second season of racing with some new ambitions, but in order to ensure their future, they have decided not to go ahead with the idea of starting work on the construction of an AC72 with a limited budget.

Energy Team will also be entering a youth team, comprising a number of young talented sailors, the selection of which is underway, in order to compete in the Youth America's Cup in September 2013 in San Francisco.

Bruno and Loick Peyron consider that the risk of beginning work on building an AC72 is too high and that it is their responsibility to protect the work done and the good results already achieved this season.

Bruno Peyron: "We have always said that we would not be competing just for the sake of it. This decision is a logical one, if we look at the goals we gave ourselves with the Yacht Club de France, which are still the same: to set up a team that is able to compete at the highest level and bring back the America's Cup. Our fine results this season should prove useful in the future and allow us to continue to build a real Challenger for the America's Cup. We can all be proud of the work that has been accomplished in such a short space of time, but we must not take a big gamble with the risk of losing everything. Whilst the final phase of our project is beyond our grasp this year, let us now look ahead to the 35th America's Cup..."

www.americascup.com

Becky Scott Retires from Les Sables-Les Acores-Les Sables Race
Artemis Offshore Academy Class Mini sailor Becky Scott has today made the difficult decision to retire from Les Sables - Les Acores - Les Sables after a broken autopilot main processor forced her to head back to Les Sables d'Olonne, France on Monday 30th July, after just 24 hours of racing. Scott arrived back in Les Sables d'Olonne on Tuesday 31st July around 09:30 BST where she then had 36 hours in which to fix the fault and restart the race. After replacing the faulty pilot and a successful test sail, it was looking hopeful that Scott would restart the race early this morning although the race committee had voiced concerns for Scott's safety.

Restarting the race some 300nm behind the fleet and safety boat, and it being unlikely that Scott could finish before the start of leg 2 on the 14th August, Scott admitted: "It was the right decision for me, but it is still very disappointing. I would have had 11 days in which to complete the leg and providing I had no further problems, would have given me two days rest before the start of Leg 2. It would have been difficult for me to get to the Azores and then be in a fit state to start the second leg."

Scott went on to say: "According to the rules I would have had to completed the race 84 hours behind the first boat which is not possible, so even if I finished I would be classed as a non-finisher and would not be eligible to compete in a class A race next year. I feel this is the right decision for me, although tough to swallow after a huge effort all year to be here on the start line."

www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com

* The Mini 6.50 "Prysmian", skippered by Giancarlo Pedote, at 2000 hrs French time holds a 3.6nm lead over second place "Follow Me" skippered by Milan Kolacke, a further 2.3 nm back is La Turtue de L'aquarium la Rochelle, skippered by Aymeric Chappelier. The fleet has left the Bay of Biscay and is now in the Atlantic. Pedote is right on the rhumline between Les Sables and Horta, making 7.5 knots. Those who have taken the northern position, however, may well have an advantage on Thursday if winds fill from the northwest as forecast.

Tracker: lessables-lesacores.geovoile.com/2012/

Event site (English portion has not been updated for several days...): www.lessables-lesacores.com

RORC Channel Race
Laurent Gouy at the helm of Ker 39, Inis Mor. Click on image to enlarge.

RORC Channel Race Starts Saturday August 4th - Flexi course race designed to last 24 - 36 hours, starting and finishing in the Solent.

With just two races left in the RORC Season's Points Championship, the 10 race series that started back in February is heading for a dramatic conclusion. Three yachts are contesting the overall victory and several classes still hang in the balance. GBR Red may have won the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup but a French and a Dutch team are contesting the overall win in the championship with a Two-Handed British boat also looking for a fairy tale end to the season.

Laurent Gouy's Ker 39, Inis Mor was the overall winner in this year's Round Ireland Race and leads the championship by just four points from Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens. Laurent hales from the Crouesty Arzon YC in Southern Brittany, France and the amateur team have travelled thousands of miles this season.

Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens is the reigning RORC Season's Points champion. Inis Mor narrowly beat Tonnerre de Breskens in this year's Round Ireland race and the Dutch flier has only beaten Inis Mor on one occasion this year, The Morgan Cup Race at the start of the season.

Inis Mor and Tonnerre de Breskens are also looking over their shoulder, as Nick Martin's J/105 Diablo-J is still very much in the hunt for an overall win.

The Season's Points Championship this year includes the RORC Caribbean 600, the North Sea Race and the Round Ireland Race. -- Louay Habib

www.rorc.org

Troon RNLI Rescue Man And His Dog After Almost 30 Hours At Sea
The RNLI lifeboat crew at Troon were paged at 7.50pm during scheduled Monday evening exercise on 23 July after reports of a flare four miles off Troon harbour.

On arrival at the scene, the crew found a single person plus a dog adrift in a small inflatable dingy. The seaman and his dog were taken aboard the all-weather lifeboat and brought back to Troon where the man was handed over to paramedics. He was then taken to Ayr hospital for further treatment.

As the story of the rescue unfolded, it came to light that the person rescued had been reported as being 'overdue' in his vessel Destiny at 2.00pm the previous afternoon.

Adrift all night, without engine power or pumps keeping the water at bay, his vessel succumbed around 24 hours later, capsized and sank off Ardrossan. The man abandoned his vessel, with his dog, and boarded the small inflatable dinghy which he had launched just a few minutes before Destiny capsized. The man and his dog spent another six hours adrift in his dinghy before a vigilant member of the public saw his last distress flare and raised the alarm.

After an estimated 30 hours, with the vessel giving up the ability to maintain steerage, gale force winds whipping up the seas of the area, loss of communication and finally to have the boat sink, it would be safe to say that the volunteer crew arrived in the nick of time.

Both seaman and dog are in the best of hands and recovering well from their ordeal.

The safe launch and recovery of the lifeboat was assisted by members of Troon lifeboat shore crew.

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

The Last Word
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. -- John Steinbeck

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