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Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Tuesday at Cowes dawned with plenty of sun and light southerly winds that started to build at 0900, reaching 10-12 knots by the time of the first starts. Later the breeze increased still further, to give puffs of up to 16 knots by late morning, before easing back to a mean speed of just over 10 knots.

The large yachts in IRC Class 0 were racing for one of the event's biggest prizes, the Britannia Cup. The two TP52s, the highest-rated boats in Class 0 - Johnny Vincent's Pace and Peter Cunningham's Powerplay - had a close race throughout.

On the long final leg from Lymington Bank to the finish, a heading wind shift forced Pace to sail lower relative to the wind and therefore in a stronger adverse tide under an A3 asymmetric spinnaker. For a while it looked as though Powerplay, which deployed a FRO (a sail developed for the Volvo Ocean Race for use in exactly these conditions) would pull away from her older rival. She took line honours, but with Pace finishing just 49 seconds later Pace won on corrected time by more than a minute.

In IRC Class 1 Steve Travis' Ker 40 Keronimo negotiated big changes of wind strength and direction on the final leg to take line honours five minutes and 14 seconds ahead of Willem Wester's Grand Soleil 46 Antilope. It was just enough to secure victory for Travis, by a margin of just six seconds on corrected time. Another Ker 40, Jamie McWilliam's Peninsula Signal 8, was third across the line, but dropped to ninth on handicap. On corrected time, third place went to Michael Bartholomew's King 40 Tokoloshe.

In the Sunsail F40 class the fleet was similarly spread evenly across the line, with Powell Systems Engineering winning the north end, although within a couple of minutes Pip Hare's Cazenove Absolute powered over the top of her. Eden Yachting also showed good speed, but it was the boat that won the southern end of the start line, Dan Sanders' Coast Graphics, that emerged as a clear early leader as the boats sailed south of the Beaulieu River on the way to Hamstead Ledge.

These three boats dominated the race, with Coast Graphics finishing first with a three-minute advantage over Cazenove Absolute. Dubai-based Eden Yachting was third, just 17 seconds later. -- Rupert Holmes / CWL

Full reports and results for all classes at

* Yachts damaged in winds of up to 19 knots on the first day of the regatta

A trip on the press boat at midday delivered drama in the form of two early Cowes Week casualties: one yacht displayed a torn sail and another was towed back to the marina with a broken mast.

You can watch a video of the boats below:

Artemis Challenge For Charity
Fresh from a successful Krys Ocean Race, Oman Sail's Multi One Design (MOD70) Musandam-OmanSail is set to take on the sixth edition of the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The Artemis Challenge has a change of format for 2012, IMOCA Open 60's and MOD70's will pair up into teams, with the pairing decided on the morning of the race by way of a coin toss.

Musandam-OmanSail skipper, French offshore sailor Sidney Gavignet, will line up alongside Michel Desjoyeaux onboard his MOD70 Foncia, with Artemis Ocean Racing II and Gamesa skippered by Britain's Mike Golding completing the IMOCA Open 60 line up. On Thursday 16th August, the two classes will start off Cowes heading west, but after a short leg the MOD70 trimaran's will round a mark and proceed to race east around the Island. They will compete a 50-mile course around the Isle of Wight, with either class racing in opposite directions.

The crews will be racing for their chance to claim a share of the £12,000 prize money for their nominated charity. Musandam-OmanSail have chosen to support the Al Hayat Association, a non-profit organisation which was established in Oman in 2011 to raise drug awareness amongst young people. It helps the victims of drug abuse in the country through a wide range of mental, physical and spiritual support.

This year the prize money will be split between the team's nominated charities, with £8,000 going to the winning two-boat team and the rest split between the fastest MOD70 and fastest IMOCA 60 yacht.

Joining the Omani's on board for the race around the Isle of Wight will be a host of well-known offshore sailors and celebrities including; British television presenter and historian Dan Snow, his wife Lady Edwina Grosvenor and record breaking round the world sailor Dee Caffari, who earlier this year took part in Sailing Arabia The Tour with Oman's first all-female crew. Sailing alongside skipper Sidney Gavignet for this event are two of Britain's finest offshore and inshore sailors. Brian Thompson recently won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in a record breaking 45 days, he will join former Olympic sailor Leigh McMillan who is currently skippering The Wave, Muscat and leading the Extreme Sailing Series 2012.

This will be the last race Sidney and the Oman Sail team will compete in before they head to Kiel in Germany to compete in the MOD70 European Tour at the end of the August.

You will be able to follow the Artemis Challenge fleets progress around the Isle of Wight via the live tracking at

Try and Beat Britain's Most Successful Olympic Sailor, Ben Ainslie This Week and Win Great Prizes
Compete against the triple Olympic gold medallist from the comfort of your living room at, then post your top score on to see if you are the day's winner.

The RYA Volvo Sail for Gold game is the only place online sailors can test their skills by racing against some of the worlds very best sailors including Ben, Olympic gold medallist, Paul Goodison and Olympic Windsurfing Medallist, Nick Dempsey plus many more of the team selected to represent GBR.

Sailors can transfer their talent of one of Britain's most successful sports into the virtual world by using touchscreen gestures to gybe, tack and sail around a world championship course whilst collecting bonus stars to increase their scores.

Aimed at both sailors and non-sailors alike, players will gain an understanding into how the country's top medal hopefuls will sail for gold in 2012 and try to beat their scores on the online leader-board!

Go to or search for 'Sail for Gold' in the App store.

Engadin Wind
Being one of the longest running events in Europe, this year the Engadin Wind attracted more than 130 kiteboarders, windsurfers and sailors.

In the end, both the world famous "Engadin Surfmarathon" and the "Best of 3" competition (a combination of Speed, Slalom and Course Racing) were dominated by the kiteboarding fleet. 15 year old Oliver Bridge (GBR, North) won the 35th edition of the "Engadinwind Surfmarathon" in 46 minutes and 27 seconds ahead of fellow kiteboarders Dirk Hanel (GER, North) and Martin Mike (SUI, North/Ozone). Best Windsurfer was Nicolas Warembourg (FRA, JP/NeilPryde) in 5th with 48:31 minutes, best Sailor on his Moth was Philip Käsermann (SUI, Mach2/KA) in 4th (47:14 minutes)

The "Best of 3" competition was also dominated by kiteboarders, with Dirk Hanel taking victory ahead over Patrik Diethelm (Italy) and 41-time windsurfing world champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (SUI).

Saint-Petersburg Classic Yacht Week Gets Underway
The Saint Petersburg Classic Yacht Week gets underway this week and is the first of its kind in Russia's beautiful and historic former capital. The event forms the final leg of the racing series for classic yachts in the Baltic Classic Circuit organised by the Scandinavian Classic Yacht Trust. Participants will include the classic yachts of St. Petersburg such as Mirame, Nayada, Zvezda; the national yacht class of Russia, L-6; Swiss and Russian 8mR and Russian 12mR and Old Gaffers.

During Monday and Tuesday all visiting yachts will pass customs procedures and border formalities with the assistance of yacht agents. Racing begins on Wednesday with two races in the afternoon following the skippers meeting, opening ceremony and press conference. The second day of racing on Thursday will begin with two fleet races and the Old Windsurfing Cup. Racing ends on Friday with the final two races.

During the week the Old Windsurfing Cup will be held. The champions of the last century will participate and, for the first time, the public can get acquainted with the legends of Russian windsurfing.

During the festival historic reconstruction of seizure of the Swedish frigate will take place and the citizens will be able to visit classic yachts anchored on the roads. The festival will proceed on Sunday, including a bus tour to the Summer Palace, the Children's Violin Orchestra on the shore and an exhibition of old yacht photographs.

The Saint Petersburg Classic Yacht Week 2012 is organised by the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg and runs from the 14th August to the 20th August in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Back To The Southern Ocean
Click on image to enlarge.

The full rigged ship 'Caroline', under the command of Captain Clyma and chartered by the Shaw Savill Co., sailed from London, England on March 25 1874, bound for Queenstown*, Ireland, to embark 301 passengers. She then sailed on April 16 for St. Vincent, in the Grenadines, staying 24 hours before sailing again, this time bound for Port Chalmers, the harbour of the southern New Zealand town** of Dunedin.

In that era of mass European immigration to far countries, 'Caroline' was a popular choice for the journey to Australia and New Zealand. This powerful ship of 984 tons, had a very good reputation for excellent Captains and fine crew (this including good doctors), which was so essential, as the long journey south on the Atlantic Ocean and then a week or more in very often, horrendous conditions in the Southern Ocean, reduced many passengers into ill health and in quite a few cases, death.

On this particular voyage, conditions were good on the Atlantic Ocean. 'Caroline' crossed the equator on May 15 and with favourable winds and some times under full sail, quickly made her way south toward the Cape of Good Hope. Within the week before passing south of that far tip of South Africa, the ships crew were busy aloft removing the Royals and Upper Topgallant sails from their spars. This mystified some of the passengers, who by now thought they were sea-wise and couldn't imagine why the Captain would slow the fine progress they were making toward the 'promised land'.

However, during the next ten days the wind direction shifted into the southwest and the temperature had dropped from the balmy 26 degrees celsius, of the mid Atlantic, to a mere 14 degrees. 'Caroline' was now south of the 35 degree latitude, the wind was rising, the sea-state was getting worse and the Southern Ocean beckoned...

Full article by Jim Bolland, celebrating his new painting of the Caroline in A Brush with Sail:

Palermo - Monte Carlo Race
500 nautical miles are ahead of Esimit Europa 2 at the 8th edition of the Palermo - Monte Carlo regatta starting on August 18th in Palermo, Sicily. After taking line honours last year and breaking the course record at the Giraglia Rolex Cup regatta in June, the Esimit Sailing Team led by German skipper Jochen Schumann is, in favourable conditions, aiming to beat the course record set in 2010.

Gorizia, Italy. Well accomplished European sailors coming from seven different countries are composing the Esimit Sailing Team, which united competes under the European flag. The team is again participating at the 500 nautical miles long race, connecting the cities of Palermo (Italy) and Monte Carlo (Monaco) with two of the most renowned sailing clubs. Esimit Europa 2 sailed out of her base in Antibes (France), heading towards Palermo, on Friday 10th August.

After breaking the course record by 3 hours and 6 minutes at this year's 60th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, the Esimit Sailing Team is looking ahead to new challenges. If favourable conditions enuse, the European sports team, led by two time America's Cup winner and three times Olympic champion Jochen Schumann, may well break the record of 48 hours, 52 minutes and 21 seconds set in 2010.

This year's regatta, organized by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco, marks the 8th edition of the event.

Event site:

Spinnaker Tales
Personal determination has allowed veteran Sunshine Coast Ocean racing champion Bob Robinson to be listed among the 'gritty fighters' in the sport.

His campaign started many years ago with the IOR One Tonne class sloop Hot Prospect finishing third in his first Brisbane to Gladstone Race.

However apart from filling the trophy cabinet with a career best third overall in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and two victories in Queensland' premier blue water classic with Sellars Witchcraft 11 and Corrobboree his racing log book continues to reveal a never ending list of minor results.

A little over 12 months ago he bought his latest challenger which was jokingly named Lunchtime Legend.

Again he told all who were prepared to listen that he was back in the game to test his experience and tactical skills against the best in the Nation.

Lunchtime Legend a production Beneteau First 40 ocean racer virtually still had the boat yard dust in her bilge when skipper Bob Robertson contested her maiden regatta at the 2011 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Since then he has flown his relatively tattered 'Battle Flag' in the Sydney Hobart the Brisbane Gladstone and the Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Race and has not faced the need to find space on the mantelpiece for another trophy.

But he has never been known to take a backward step and personally advocates the philosophy - when the going gets tough the tough get going.

He and his Lunchtime Legend crew certainly experienced another rugged grind at Airlie Beach over the past week but were outpaced by the Geoffrey Ross skippered high performance Sydney TP52 Yendys

Yendys has a touch of Royal class having been raced by King Juan Carlos of Spain before becoming the star performer in the 2012 Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week.

As expected Yendys contesting her first official Australian regatta has comprehensively outsailed the fleet to prepare the Lunchtime Legend crew to accept another minor regatta trophy while Bob Robertson has promised to never give up the chase.

"While I have to accept being the chaser Lunchtime Legend is in there for the long haul". Robertson said.

However he can claim to be Queensland's best Beneteau First 40 racing combination following an interesting boat on boat battle against arch rivals Blunderbuss (Tony Kinsman), Black Label (Tony Ross) and Take Flight (Mike Keyte).

Predictably Bob Robertson let his match rivals know that he had not sailed from Mooloolaba to the tropical sailing paradise of Airlie Beach to top up his sun tan.

He was on a mission to tactically prove that Lunchtime Legend could protect her re-sale value by winning Queensland's best Beneteau First 40 award.

Skipper Robinson racing with tactician Adam Brown has a firm grip on that title but they will enter a more searching challenge when Lunchtime Legend lines up against the best yachts in the nation when the sails are tensioned for class honours in the annual Audi Hamilton Island Race Week starting on Saturday. -- Ian Grant

Yellow Sea International Yacht Race
A demanding first leg expected the sailors the previous two days. The first boat to cross the line, of this 210 nautical miles leg, was Team Irene. The team finished, after 2 days at sea, on the afternoon of the 13th. This was due to the lack of wind during the first night, which made the pace of the race, drop significantly and delay the fleet.

The wind range was from 0 to 30 knots and in combination with heavy rain and fog; this leg was one to be remembered. Especially for Edeler Stern that faced gear failure, when their rudder, during the heavy storm, was damaged and had to be fixed it on the water. Fortunately all boats finished properly in Weihai, with Irene claiming the first place, in front of Weihai Ivy and Uminoko that finished second and third respectively.

Today a lovely tour expected the sailors; Weihai is a city in Eastern Shandong province of People's Republic of China with a population of nearly 3 million. The city is backed by mountains and is built on a series of low hills. It enjoys a temporary continental monsoon climate. Although it is a small city by Chinese standards, it is a strong Chinese port and touristic location for Chinese and Koreans

Tomorrow, an inshore race is scheduled in front of the city and next to Liugong Island that will attract hundreds of spectators.

Leg 1 video report:

Attempts By English Heritage to Stop Boats Anchoring in the Bay Lack Authority
English Heritage has no power to restrict anchoring in Osborne Bay, one of the South Coast's most popular anchorages, the RYA has advised.

The heritage body, which manages nearby Osborne House, has placed no-mooring buoys in the bay, and stationed a staff member on the beach to heckle boats venturing inside the buoys with a megaphone.

In fact, the buoys were placed to mark the limits of a swimming area for visitors to the beach, which has opened to the public for the first time this summer.

The licence English Heritage gained from the Marine Management Organisation to lay the buoys does not, however, permit the organisation from prohibiting navigation or anchoring.

This is not the first time English Heritage has fallen foul of the boating community this summer, after it denied access to the newly opened open beach to dinghies from anchored boats.

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 Chris Cheney: So Mr. Burnie doesn't think Americans race in 25 kts, I'm guessing he's never done Key West?

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The Last Word
It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment. -- Freeman Dyson

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