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

Women's Match Racing Women's Match Racing

In an exciting finale to the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition Spain's Tamara Echegoyen overcame Olivia Price (AUS) 3-2 in a thrilling Women's Match Racing final played out in front of the Nothe spectator area.

Winds of up to 25 knots blew across the course and with the scores level heading into the final race it would be winner takes all. A penalty turn for Price proved to be the deciding factor as Echegoyen comfortably won the final race to take gold.

Echegoyen and her crew of Sofia Toro and Angela Pumariega were the surprise package of the regatta and caused many stirs along the way and were deserved winners.

Price meanwhile was chuffed with her silver, "The medal means a lot. It's been wonderful. I've enjoyed every minute of being here. We're really happy with silver. We didn't give up. Everything's just been amazing."

Victories swung each way early on as both teams set themselves out to take a win each in the first two matches but as the pressure mounted the competition heated up.

In the third race Price was flung from her boat after losing control at high speed on the first downwind leg in the strongest and biggest waves of London 2012 so far. The Australian had just powered her way past Echegoyen when they lost control and careered into an unplanned gybe that flung Price into the water.

Price's crew, Curtis and Whitty heaved their helm back on board but the Spaniards were too far ahead for them to catch as they took a 2-1 lead.

* ISAF received notification of an application filed by the Russian Olympic Committee to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 11 August 2012.

The application challenged the result of the Women's Match Racing Semi Final result between Spain and Russia.

ISAF responded to the application and the case has subsequently been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 11 August.

ISAF's rules, policies and procedures assure athletes a level playing field and ISAF is disappointed that the Russian Olympic Committee filed the application to CAS. ISAF is pleased that CAS was able to make their decision so quickly and allow the Women's Match Racing Finals to continue uninterrupted.

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

470 Men

Australian Men's 470 sailors Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) lived up to their billing as pre-event favourites, taking second place in a nervy Medal Race to win gold.

Their closest opposition, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR), had to make do with silver after pushing the Australians all the way in the light-wind race, but in the end finishing fourth on the day.

Bronze went to Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG), who were third in the Medal Race, which was won by Croatia's Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO).

On the starting line, Belcher and Page tried to harry the British crew into a poor start during the final minutes before the off but Patience and Bithell shrugged them off and took control at the starting gun.

On the final leg, Patience and Bithell's challenge for gold evaporated when they incurred a penalty turn for illegally trimming their sails for extra speed, leaving the Australians unfettered to finish the race in second and in the gold medal slot.

Calabrese and de la Fuente were never challenged for their bronze by their only rivals Gabrio Zandona and Pietro Zuccheti (ITA), who finished the Medal Race in sixth and took fourth place overall in the regatta.

Top Three
1. Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) - 22pts
2. Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) - 30pts
3. Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) - 63pts

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

470 Women

New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie came out on top in a winner takes all battle between Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR).

Aleh and Powrie started level on 33 points with Mills and Clark and a battle between the two crews was in prospect.

However, New Zealand looked to have won the gold before the race was even half-finished when Great Britain trailed in ninth, two minutes and 29 seconds behind.

Mills and Clark did everything right at the pre-start and forced the Kiwis to the back of the fleet. But whilst the Brits went left the Kiwis went right and the Brits got caught in the pack and were unable to turn. Aleh and Powrie capitalised to take a commanding lead at the first mark and they further extended it through a light wind race to take the bullet by 41 seconds ahead of Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA).

Although they had a great start the Brits could not get out of the pack and Clark said, "The thing I am most gutted about was that it wasn't a really good scrap for the gold. We got a really good start. They got out and we got wedged in."

Despite a penalty turn Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) managed to do enough to take bronze. "For us the medal race was really exciting as we were so close to the others - France and Germany," said Berkhout. "We had to do a penalty on the first downwind, but we fought back and we are proud of ourselves."

Top Three
1. Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) - 35pts
2. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) - 51pts
3. Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) - 64pts

Complete results:

Audi ORCi Offshore World Championship
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Audi ORCi Offshore World Championship Helsinki, Finland - Showing the rewards of careful planning, preparation and execution in a sailing venue over 3000 kilometers from home, two Italian teams have won Gold medals in the Audi ORCi Offshore World Championship. This is the fourth time in ORC history that there has been an all-Italian sweep of Gold medals in the World Championship.

In Class A, Alberto Rossi and his Italian Farr 40 Enfant Terrible took the lead in Day Two of the event and never looked back, thereby repeating their 2011 win in Cres, Croatia last year, and becoming the first-ever repeat Offshore World Champion.

The next three boats in the results from Class A were newer, faster designs: the Silver medal winners on Blixt Pro Sailing from Sweden and the 4th-place Wolfpack Trucknor team from Norway were both racing TP52's, and the Bronze medal winners on Roberto Monti's team of Italians on Airis were racing on Monti's Felci-designed GP42.

The top all-amateur team in Class A was 6th-placed Amserv, Juss Ojala's Estonian GS 42, who thus wins the Corinthian Prize for this class.

In Class B it was not only speed but clever tactics that won the Class B championship title for Vincenzo de Blasio's Italian team on his NM 38S Scugnizza, with a dramatic finish decided within seconds in corrected time. The team from Napoli remained focused and dug back to get within striking range of the leaders by the second top mark, gybed early, caught the same shift that vaulted them back into contention on the beat, and ran to an astounding 4:00 minute win.

But they needed to put boats between them and the series leader Lenco, Erik Van Vuuren's Dutch Salona 37, to take the overall win. Lenco had the early lead in the race, and seemed to be on their way on the last run to the championship title, but chose to not gybe to cover their rivals, thereby missing the shift. Mats Victorin's Swedish X-332 Sport Boxer slipped into second, 26 seconds ahead of Lenco in corrected time, and set up a tie in points between Scugnizza and Lenco.

Because the two had equal number of first places (three), the tie-break went back to how many second places each team had, and Scugnizza's three to Lenco's one was good enough to take the title.

The Bronze medal winner, Patrik Forsgren's Swedish First 36.7 Team Arken Zoo, was also the top all-amateur crew in Class B, and therefore wins the Corinthian Prize for that class.

Next year's ORCi World Championship will be held over 21-29 June 2013 in Ancona, Italy.

Get Ready For Something Special...
Wight Vodka The crew at Wight Vodka teamed up with some of London's most talented musicians to deliver an epic track speaking directly to our yachting and racing fraternity. High & Fast has been released today on Google Play, iTunes and other online distribution sites and based on early feedback from pre-release sessions, this track will be in our minds for many, many years to come.

"Wildly similar to the inspiration for Wight Vodka, I came up with the idea of creating a huge yachting and sporting anthem while on the Solent heading over to Cowes two summer's back," said Dan Hiza, the co-entrepreneur behind Wight Vodka and now the co-writer and co-producer of High & Fast. "High & Fast speaks to all those who love the ocean, thrive on competition, have a 'never give up' attitude and make the absolute most out of life."

Wight Vodka teamed up with Producer Atar Shafighian of SUS Music to develop and ultimately deliver High & Fast. "I remember first meeting Dan and having him pour his thoughts and early lyrics at me," said Atar. "Having only been on the water a few times in my life, I had to keep up with him but I knew there was something great to work with, including passion, energy, competition, athleticism and pride. High & Fast came together with Dan's drive and the pure talent of my colleagues Ben Barritt, Russ Hayes, Nick Trepka and Nathan Williams on guitars, drums, piano and vocals, as well as the awesome strings from Rachael Lander, Victoria Lyon, Becky Hopkin and Kirsty Mangan. With over a year's worth of work behind us, we're proud to be releasing High & Fast over the course of this summer's 2012 Olympics."

Dan's recommendation is to "Enjoy this track when you're in the gym, on your bike, pounding the pavement, on the beach and of course on the water practicing day-in and day-out striving for perfection."

Tack & Gybe Responsibly.

EUROSAF Youth Sailing European Championships
Aarhus, Denmark: Sunshine and reasonable breezes, in the region of 10 - 12 knots, made the medals races enjoyable for both sailors and spectators alike. The course was laid close to shore so everyone could witness the races at first hand, without the need to go afloat. This is the first time that medals races have been used at a youth championship and the reaction of the coaches and sailors was generally very positive. The debate will now continue within EUROSAF as to whether they will continue to use the double-points scoring medal races to conclude the event in Tavira, Portugal, in 2013.

Racing took place over four days, with just the medals races on the fifth and last day, but some have suggested the last qualifying race should take place on the last day, with the short medal races in the afternoon of the same day. This idea was attractive to the sailors and coaches, who also suggested all fleets should sail three races each day, with the high performance dinghy completing as many as sixteen races over four or five days. All these ideas are to be discussed in the coming few months, prior to the Notice of Race for the 2013 event being issued later this year.

Individual winners of each discipline were as follows:

Girls Single-handed dinghy: Laser Radial
First - Celine Carlsen, Denmark
Second - Joyce Floridia Italy
Third - Line Host, Norway

Boys Single-handed dinghy: Laser Radial
First - Henrik Begby, Norway
Second - Michael Beckett, Great Britain
Third - Obias Hemdorf, Denmark

High Performance Dinghy (Open)
First - Frederik Melson & Markus Lielsen, Denmark
Second - Sara Piasecka & Merek Kalinowski, Poland
Third - Ole Kuck and Niclas Kath, Germany

Sailboard, Boys
First - Joe Bennett, Great Britain
Second - Mattia Camboni, Italy
Third - Martin Kieran, Great Britain

Sailboard Girls
First - Saskia Sills, Great Britain
Second - Noelle Finch, Great Britain
Third - Melanie Jariel, France

Girls Double-handed dinghy: 420
First - Clara Addari & Arianna Perini, Italy
Second - Anna Bettoni & Sofia Carluccio, Italy
Third -Simay Aslan & Beste Kaynakc, Turkey

Boys Double-handed dinghy: 420
First - Davide Marrella & Francesco Rossi, Italy
Second - Ruggiero Di Luggo & Davide Russo, Italy
Third - Pierre Garreta & Eliot Michal, France

Second Victory for Camilla Ulrikkeholm in Lysekil
Titleholder Camilla Ulrikkeholm from Denmark did it again. After exciting races in Saturday's perfect conditions in Lysekil Women's Match, she secured her victory, sailing 2 - 0 against Alexa Bezel in the final.

For home sailor Marie Bjorling Duell from the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, Mandy Mulder was too hard to beat in the match for third place. In an intense sequence before the start, Mulder managed to push the Swede over the line too early. When Marie then had to turn back and restart, the match was already gone for her.

Even tougher was the semi-final between Bezel and Mulder, which went to six matches. That was because the Dutch began with a loud crash into the side of Bezel's boat in the first match. The umpires then penalized Mulder twice, and also deducted one point for not trying enough to avoid the collision.

Final result in Lysekil Women's Match 2012. Place/name/nationality/prize money:

1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 100 000 SEK
2. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 47 000 SEK
3. Mandy Mulder, NED, 39 000 SEK
4. Marie Bjorling Duell, SWE, 31 000 SEK
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 27 000 SEK
6. Sally Barkow, USA, 24 000 SEK
7. Silvia Roca Mata, ESP, 19 000 SEK
8. Petra Kliba, CRO, 13 000 SEK
9. Anna Kjellgren, SWE, 0 SEK

Results in the semi-finals of Lysekil Women's Match 2012:
Marie Bjorling Duell, SWE - Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN 2 - 3
Mandy Mulder, NED - Alexa Bezel, SUI 2 - 3

Running The Rhumblines
Photo by Ian Grant. Click on image to enlarge.

Yendy's The Whitsunday Sailing Club celebrating 41 years of spreading a friendly welcome to all who sail or motor into the marine wonderland of the Whitsunday Islands have hosted another highly successful Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week.

Success can be identified in many ways but it can only become a reality from the energy and loyalty provided by their happy group of club volunteers.

There are far too many to name individually however their time helpful and friendly nature has been a major contribution behind this unique special event being acknowledged as Australia's friendly Tropical Shirt Regatta.

Sure all the high profile sailors who travelled from the colder latitudes south of the Tropic of Capricorn remained serious about their tactical challenges on the water but their self expression broke into a sun tanned smile when they gathered on the yachties deck to enjoy the post race environment.

There was an important element of appreciation expressed by a Victorian 'Party Person' who prefers to remain nameless because he has snuck away to enjoy some friendly R'n'R in what he calls the tropical sailing paradise.

"For me this is the best place on the planet, no woollen socks, no ugg boots, no beanie or log fires, and maybe I should whisper no orders from the person who I must obey" He said. We have met and enjoyed a 'Frosted XXXX' at many other places but this former Flag Officer of a prominent Victorian club and a first time visitor to Airlie Beach. Said" This is the best place to chill out and I will be back with the family next year".

Even the normally serious nature of long term local sailing friend Graham Jiggins who skippers the well sailed Adams 10 Grizzly joked happily during a conversation regarding his regatta results.

Jiggo who gives no leeway on the water had good reason to be happy with his Grizzly sailing team showing the potential to win the competitive Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week Performance Handicap class trophy.

"Grizzly is a lovely boat to sail ". He said.

After three races Graham Jiggins deserved to show an element of pride in his older generation yacht Grizzly which with a consistent score of 6-5-3 and 14pts held the series lead over their Whitsunday Sailing Club rivals Reignition (Charles Wallis) 16 pts and the Kevin Fogarty helmed Twister on 17pts..

However while they have impressed their supporters the star performer of the 111 yacht regatta is the impressively fast and tactically well sailed Sydney TP 52 Yendys which promises to win the Grand Prix IRC class with a perfect score.

Yendys chartered by former Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Geoffrey Ross of Sydney and helmed by New Zealand Americas Cup sailor Gavin Brady besides firming a strong grip on her class championship off Airlie Beach has shown the commanding all angle sailing speed to firm as a major contender to win the Audi Australian Championship during the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week starting on Saturday. -- Ian Grant

Event website:

2012 Santa Maria Cup Cancelled
Annapolis, Maryland, USA: The 2012 Santa Maria Cup has fallen victim to three uncontrollable factors that have caused the cancellation of Women's Match Racing events across the US and throughout the world: the struggling world economy, the intense schedule and cost to compete for an Olympic berth, and the announcement that Women's Match Racing will not be an Olympic event in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Each of these factors have put time and money/sponsorship constraints in the lap of the top teams in Women's Match Racing. EYC had hoped to be able to overcome these challenges but it has become apparent that September 2012 is too soon after the Olympics to secure enough high-ranking competitors to remain a Grade 1 event this year. Thus, like so many other outstanding Women's Match Racing events worldwide, Santa Maria Cup 2012 has been cancelled and EYC will begin planning Santa Maria Cup 2013.

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 Louay Habib: I must say that I came to exactly the same conclusion as John but did not focus that on the USA team's results per se. There was one distinct moment when Patience and Bithell were along way in front and basically because they were virtually the only team with a kite up and in control.

I am not advocating putting intermediate sailors into situations that they can not handle but all too often sailing is called off at regattas with experienced sailors making up the majority of the fleet. However, I believe that one of the primary reasons for this is the threat of legal action. Obviously organisers of regattas must show a duty of care at all times but even the most well managed regatta and best thought out insurance waiver can be challenged.

The resulting court costs can be horrendous regardless of who actually wins the case. Often the plaintiff will receive a part settlement but the costs are shared, great for the lawyers but terrible for the event and the plaintiff.

Nanny Policy perhaps but legal systems that are heavily influenced by costs of an action are more likely the root of the problem.

* From David James : I write in response to John Burnie's missive yesterday in which he wrote "I remember the windy Monday / Tuesday of the America's Cup Jubilee Regatta in Cowes where, (despite some damage), many of the American participants were thrilled to be racing in winds over 25 kts. Racing in the USA would definitely have been cancelled under such conditions due to implicit and draconian safety policies."

I also competed in that regatta and agree that the conditions were Jubilee worthy. However, Mr. Burnie is entirely incorrect when he asserts that this would "definitely" have been cancelled here in the States. Here in San Francisco we routinely start races in 30+ knots of breeze, and I can recall at least 7 races when I have started (and in 6 cases, finished) with breeze consistently in excess of 40 knots. When it gets much beyond that I don't think a race committee is being unreasonable in postponing a race as the risk of injury becomes substantial.

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
This is for everyone. -- Tim Berners Lee

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