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Super Sunday at the AC World Series in San Francisco
Photo by LUNA ROSSA / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

ORACLE TEAM USA today captured the two championships of AC World Series San Francisco, thrilling the capacity crowds who had front row seats to close-quarter, fast-paced racing on San Francisco Bay.

The day began with Russell Coutts, the four-time America's Cup winner, taking out teammate Jimmy Spithill in the Match Racing Championship. In a race that saw the lead change hands three times, Coutts eked out a 1 second victory with both boats screaming across the finish line overlapped at 20-plus knots.

Then, about 40 minutes later, Spithill found himself in another charge to the finish line. This time he needed to overcome Team Korea (Nathan Outteridge) to capture the Fleet Racing and Event Championship.

Spithill rounded the last mark slightly overlapped on Outteridge's stern and then got a penalty on his rival skipper. Outteridge was forced to slow down by the umpires, and Spithill sailed through to leeward and into second place for the race and a 1-point victory in the overall event standings.

The first AC World Series event in San Francisco, host city for the 2013 America's Cup, was hailed as a success by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, who presented the prizes to the top three crews in the Match Racing and Fleet Racing Championships.

Local officials estimated that more than 150,000 people visited the AC Village at Marina Green over the course of the event. Both of the ticketed seating areas were sold out each day, and Regatta Director Iain Murray said that a larger than expected spectator fleet turned out on the water to watch the racing.

For Coutts, the match racing title was his second consecutive, coming on the heels of a victory in Newport at the beginning of July, which wrapped the 2011-12 racing season. He has developed a fine touch for starting the AC45, which he displayed again today.

The next ACWS regatta in San Francisco is scheduled during Fleet Week, Oct. 2-7, when the ACWS fleet will share the Bay alongside the naval ships of the Pacific Fleet in one of the largest annual events held in San Francisco.

AC World Series San Francisco – Match Racing Championship

3. Artemis Racing White
4. Emirates Team New Zealand
5. Energy Team
6. Luna Rossa Piranha
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. J.P. Morgan BAR
9. Team Korea
10. China Team
11. Artemis Racing Red

Joshua Mcknight Wins 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships
Photo by Thierry Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Campione del Garda ,Italy: If Scott Babbage capsizes at the first weather mark then words are not enough to describe the tough, demanding but equally spectacular conditions on a race course. The "Peler", the morning northerly breeze on lake Garda, was blowing furiously from early on and with a violent storm forecast to hit Campione del Garda in the afternoon, the race committee had scheduled a 10am start. That gave the 60-strong Gold fleet of moths the opportunity to sail three exciting races that saw Joshua McKnight prevail, practically from start to finish.

When the race committee fired the gun for the day's first race, the 20-25 knots of Peler and one-meter waves were guaranteed to put a big strain on the sailors and their boats.

In the second race of the day, conditions weren't as brutal but no less than 20 boats had to either abandon due to gear failure or opt for the safety of the marina.

Without any doubt, the man of the race was Bob Gough whose bold tactical call paid a huge dividend and handed him the victory. On the northern race area, the eastern shore of lake Garda is usually favored. However, Gough saw a big left shift coming, separated from the bulk of the fleet and seemed like the lone ranger, approaching the first weather mark from the left. The move paid off and Gough rounded the first mark in third place, behind Mcknight and Babbage. He stuck to his strategy and overtook the leading pair while Babbage would snatch second place from McKnight right on the finish line.

As the sky cleared and temperatures rose the Peler abated in the third race. McKnight and Babbage were still separated by a two-point cushion and all McKnight had to do was to avoid having two boats between him and his sparring partner. Not only did he achieve it, he had a commanding lead from the start, crossing the finish line in front of Babbage. Rob Gough came in third and snatched the final podium place from Anthony Kotoun who struggled in these conditions.

Final Top 10 results after 9 races (1 discard) and qualifying rank

1. Joshua McKnight, AUS, 17 points
2. Scott Babbage, AUS, 20
3. Rob Gough, AUS, 51
4. Anthony Kotoun, ISV, 53
5. Andrew McDougall, AUS, 61
6. Bora Gulari, USA, 66
7. Chris Rashley, GBR, 74
8. Julian Salter, AUS, 85
9. Simon Payne, GBR, 97
10. Brad Funk, USA, 99

Optimist European Team Racing Championship
The fifth edition provided more racing than ever for the 16 national teams. Good winds and expert race management achieved a total of 213 matches in four days for the enthusiastic young sailors.

Spain finally retained their title but only after fluctuating fortunes. The first round robin of all 16 teams saw Russia as the undefeated leaders followed by Turkey, Italy and Spain. Two round robins of 8 teams with 1.5 points per win added to the first round scores led to a change of leader with Turkey as top seed. In the resulting semi-finals Russia regained the initiative to beat the Turks 2-0 while 2011 champions Spain defeated Italy. In an exciting final Russia won the first of the three races but Spain came through to win the event. Italy took bronze. However even the lower ranked teams were here to sail and pools of four enabled them to continue to do so.

At the closing ceremony Alen Kustic IRO representing IODA expressed thanks to the AVLL, commodore Paola Mora, race officer Fabio Barrasso, chief umpire Chris Atkins and everyone involved in the superb organization of this great event. He confirmed the decision of the IODA AGM that the beautiful pre-Alpine Valle di Ledro would continue to host the championship in 2013 and 2014.

Great Racing and Bright Sunshine at the Newport Bucket Regatta
Newport Rhode Island, USA: Seventeen spectacular yachts competed for Bucket honors under sunny Newport skies. Blessed with beautiful New England weather, well sailed races were completed on each of the regatta days. The winds were light and challenging but the yachts all rose to the challenge.

Indio's consistent good sailing brought them to the podium to accept class and overall honors. The 102 foot Frers designed and Wally built sloop won both races in the very competitive Gazelles class.

Sejaa was well-sailed on both days and won top honors in the Mademoiselles class. A good light air boat, conditions were on their side. The Grandes Dames trophy went to Tenacious - another well sailed yacht.

Saturday's race presented light but very sailable conditions and the Race Committee sent all classes on more lengthy courses. The Gazelles had a 26nm course and the Grandes Dames and Mademoiselles were sent on a 22nm one. The course was set to challenge all with beat, run and reaching legs. The tacticians rose to the challenge and the best sailed boats rose to the top. The first four boats crossed the line within 45 seconds, making for a very exciting finish.

Sunday's weather projections were for very light air, with some saying that the Bucket would be very lucky to get a race underway. After a half hour delay the wind did fill in and two short courses were set.

Special Trophies were awarded to three very deserving yachts. The Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy was presented to Lady B. Both ashore and on the water, their hospitality, enthusiasm and energy were in evidence. The Vitters Seamanship Trophy was awarded to MITseaAH in recognition of their great sportsmanship. Last but not least, the Chippewa Bomb was awarded to Wild Horses for their creative and fun "branding" of the other yachts.

The 2013 Newport Bucket Regatta Dates are August 23 - 25.

Josh Junior Wins Detroit Cup
Detroit, Michigan, USA: Josh Junior and his team of Matt Steven and James Sandall have today won the Detroit Cup, second stop on the ISAF Grade 2 US Grand Slam Series. The Wellington, New Zealand-based team defeated runner-up Taylor Canfield only in the fifth and final match after first leading 2-0 in the series.

Unlike all previous days of the four-day event that featured 12 teams from six nations, the wind today held steady enough to have no delays in completing the format of Finals and Petit Finals, with a 6-12 knot southerly providing perfect conditions for close racing. This prompted the Final Four teams to be particularly aggressive in their pre-starts, the site for most of today's penalties.

In Petit Final action, David Gilmour from Australia won the first match against Stephanie Roble, and was leading most of the second match until the final few lengths of the last downwind leg to the finish when rolled by Roble. Claiming she had the right to gybe to the pin end of the finish, Roble gybed to port but Gilmour held fast on starboard. The penalty went against Roble, as she was not within the required two lengths, thus ceding the match and third place to Gilmour.

2012 Melges 24 North American Championship
Photo by Fiona Brown, Click on image for photo gallery.

San Francisco, California, USA: It was non-stop action and drama on San Francisco Bay's Berkeley Circle today as competitors at the 2012 Melges 24 North American Championship completed races four to six of their eight race series. Some new faces hit the front of the fleet today, but thanks to a nice steady 3, 3, 2 scoreline Australia's Warwick Rooklyn, sailing Bandit, continues to lead the regatta by a 5 point margin from fellow Aussie Nathan Wilmot, helming Embarr for Ireland's Connor Clark. In third place is Alan Field sailing WTF who won race five and jumps up into third place on 15 points, just one point behind Wilmot. Argyle Campbell in Rock N Roll won race six, and now counts 17 points while Flavio Favini of Italy, helming the Swiss boat Blu Moon for Franco Rossini, won race four and now lies fifth overall on 18 points.

In the Corinthian Division for the all amateur crews Don Jesberg sailing Viva had a great day despite being disqualified following a mark rounding incident in race four. Fortunately his wins in races five and six stood and as a result he now leads the Corinthian fleet by a 4 point margin from Shawn Bennett in Melges 49. Today's other Corinthian race winner was Scott Holmgren in Rosebud and he now sits in third place just 1 point behind Bennett.

Two more races remain to be sailed on tomorrow's final day and with only nine points separating the top five boats we can expect a great finale to what has already been an extremely closely fought regatta. The forecast is for more good breeze so PRO Hank Stuart and his team have every intention of completing all eight races.

Top ten after 8 races:

1. Warwick Rooklyn, AUS, 13 points
2. Nathan Wilmot, IRL, 18
3. Alan Field, USA, 25
4. Flavio Favini, SUI, 27
5. Argyle Campbell, USA, 27
6. Brian Porter, USA, 32
7. Ian Sloan, USA, 51
8. Donald Jesberg, USA, 58
9. Bruce Ayres, USA, 63
10. Derek Ratteray, GBR, 79

Back-To-Back Wins for Hooligan at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Photo by Andrea Francolini / Audi. Click on image for photo gallery.

Marcus Blackmore's Sydney based TP52, Hooligan, has been crowned Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Class A winner, the first time a boat has taken back-to-back wins in the grand prix division in 29 years.

The final outcome in Audi IRC Australian Championship Class A came down to today's Molles Islands race and a victory was enough for a big comeback from fourth this morning to first by one point as Audi Hamilton Island Race Week closed in dramatic style.

Rob Hanna's Victorian TP52, Shogun V, placed second overall and Peter Harburg's RP66, Black Jack, finished third.

As well as the crew that nailed today's win, Blackmore paid tribute to 'the three guys we threw off the boat today to lighten it up'. With no more than 12 knots of ESW breeze on the instruments, minimal crew was an important part of the game plan.

Eight of Hooligan's crew were on board for last year's win.

Three classes have competed solidly for a week for the glory of being named Audi IRC Australian Champion. The ultimate winner of class A, B and C wins a brand new North Sails Code 2 spinnaker emblazoned with the Audi IRC Australian Championship logo, the first time Audi has offered such a prize.

The standout feature of the IRC fleet was the sizzling match up among the five TP52s and the great energy between the crews of these 52 footers, which are gathering momentum in Australia like they have done in Europe.

Building on the impetus of a growing fleet, Marcus Blackmore says the Australian TP52 Association is planning three east coast events next year.

Full Audi IRC Australian Championship results at

Race Week video highlights at

Running the Rhumblines
Whitsunday Sailing Club skippers Colin Pruden and Paul Mitchell showed they were up to speed by recording respectable class results in the 2012 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Colin Pruden helming Sandpiper Wutba showed that the relatively older ocean racer still had the required boat speed to match her modern rivals and gave them a real scare when they led the Non-Spinnaker Cruisers into the final.

Normally Sandpiper which has logged an enormous number of sea miles racing under various owners in the tactically demanding Whitsunday Islands would have protected her point score.But has a history of gluing to the water in the softer wind range.

Her rather fat hull shape and heavy displacement meant that skipper Colin Pruden and crew faced a tough task to protect their chance on winning when a rolling fog and light variable winds presented the crew with a frustrating final day eventually finishing 14th and third overall. "Sandpiper always sails well in a consistent light to moderate breeze but the weather for the final didn't smile on us". Skipper Pruden said.

Unfortunately they had to count their 14th finishing with a six race score of 39 points while final race winner Temeraire skippered by Les Batchelor representing the Capricorn Cruising Yacht Club finished with 34 points one point clear of Mooloolaba Yacht Clubs Christina Jay (Stuart Pascoe) with Sandpiper Wutba another 4 points off the pace.

Paul Mitchell helming the Merv Anderson designed Masrm 920 Here's Trouble faced some tough opposition when lined up up to test her handicap rated boat speed against the IRC class 3 pacesetters Jessandra 111 (Michael Spies) from Brisbane and the Victorian yacht Penfold Audi Sport (David Ellis) in the IRC Class 3.

However while Here's Trouble failed to threaten the more modern Jessandra 11 and Penfold Audi Sport they sailed smart with the advantage of local knowledge to beat the Canberra sloop Local Hero on count back to claim a deserved third overall. -- Ian Grant

Class40 Commits to the Transat Jacques Vabre Through to 2017
The Class40 Association has attracted proposals for varied and interesting races from a number of race organisers since its earliest days, and over the past few months, the class has received proposals for double-handed transatlantic races other than the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Solidaire du Chocolat. With the aim of creating a long-term race calendar, the class put out a tender in March for a double-handed biennial transatlantic race. It is the new Transat Jacques Vabre association which has been retained from amongst the proposals. And so a sizeable Class40 fleet is expected in Le Havre in October 2013 for the twentieth anniversary of the "Route du Cafe".

A typical Class40 season includes a transatlantic race in the autumn. There are also one or two 1000 mile races during the spring/ summer (Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables, the Normandy Channel Race, the Atlantic Cup...), as well as a few coastal races (the Grand Prix Guyader, the record SNSM, the World Championship...).

In even years, the Class40 fleet races alternately in the Route du Rhum and the Transat Quebec-St Malo.

The tender process meant that the Class was able to choose from amongst the different proposals put forward for a double-handed transatlantic race in the autumn of odd years. The decision involves a commitment over three editions of the race, through to 2017. By committing to the long term, Class40 competitors, sponsors and race organisers alike can plan for the next few years, thereby making the most of their investment and preparation.

In the meantime, Class40 sailors, many of whom have recently competed in the Transat Quebec Saint Malo, are on their way to Caen for the next event, the "Normandy Channel Race" from the 2nd to the 9th of September, prior to finishing this long season with the Class40 World Championship in La Rochelle from the 3rd to the 6th of October.

2013 Provisional Race Schedule
7 - 14 April, Normandy Channel Race (double-handed)
3 - 5 May, Grand Prix de Douarnenez (crewed)
12 - 26 May, The Atlantic Cup (double-handed & crewed)
9 - 12 May, Armen Race (crewed)
23 - 25 June, Record SNSM (crewed)
8 - 28 July, Les Sables - Horta - Les Sables (solo)
11 - 17 August, Rolex Fastnet Race (crewed)
29 Sept - 24 Oct., Transat Jacques Vabre (double-handed)

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new World Record.
Record: Around the Isle of Wight Outright.
Yacht: "Foncia" MOD70
Name: Michel Desjoyeaux. FRA  and a crew of 9
Date: Tuesday 16th August 2012.
Start time: 10.00 BST
Finish time: 12;21;25. BST
Elapsed time: 2 hours 21 minutes and 25 seconds
Distance: 50NM
Average speed: 21.3 kts

Comments: The record was established during the RYS Around the Island Artemis Challenge Race.
Previous record: "PlayStation" Steve Fossett USA. Nov 01. 2h 33m 55s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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