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Up For a Fight Off Brighton
The five MOD70's have made it through the Dover Strait before nightfall and have enjoyed a gentle breeze which has allowed them to make some ten knots on average with a favourable tide and the whole group should now accelerate into their third night at sea.

That is the third hurdle taken since they left Kiel on Sunday afternoon, now there is about 250 miles of Channel sprinting ever faster in a N'ly breeze which should top out around 25kts.

Spindrift racing's extreme tactic of hugging the English coast has added a few small miles to their lead.

Behind FONCIA has been unable to do much to escape from their nemesis Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Some 35 miles to the east of Brighton now they are only 0.7 of a mile ahead of Josse's crew and so it will be a long night monitoring each other's progress as they press the accelerator towards Land's End.

And so early morning Wednesday the leaders should pass the SW tip of England and start the 250 miles climb to Dublin and to the finish line off Dun Laoghaire into a headwind which will ease back to become very light. ETA is around 0300hrs to 0800hrs Thursday am, in time for a full Irish breakfast.

Standings at 12h45 UTC 4th September

1. Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) 504.4 miles from Dun Laoghaire
2. FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux) 7.1 nm to leader
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sebastien Josse) 7.4
4. Race for Water (Stève Ravussin) 14.1
5. Musandam-Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) 16

Sardinian Storm: Racing Abandoned
Photos of Monday's racing by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Today's scheduled second day of racing at the 2012 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was abandoned in the face of thunder, lightning, torrential rain and extreme gusts.

Porto Cervo, Sardinia, usually conspicuous with blue skies and sunshine in early September, witnessed a series of severe squalls and even persistent hail storms. "Our intention was to have coastal races for four classes and windward/leeward racing for the Mini Maxis," explains Principal Race Officer Peter Craig. "We delayed the start this morning because we had reports of a very confused sea state which we decided to let settle with every intention of getting racing underway. Things then looked good. The breeze was further east than predicted and about 10-14 knots."

Around midday, the elements took a turn for the worse as Craig reveals: "Unfortunately reports about conditions inside the strait led to some different decisions as the situation deteriorated very quickly. Wind speeds of 25 knots became 35 knots with hail and cloud formations which we deemed to be unsafe." The Race Committee had no alternative than to call the 34-strong international fleet back off the water.

The forecast for the coming days remains hard to predict due to the intense low pressure system prevailing over the northeast of Sardinia.

Weather permitting, tomorrow sees windward/leeward racing scheduled for the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship and coastal races for the other four classes. Crews will now expect to race on Thursday, previously scheduled as a lay day.

The competition's current leaders after yesterday's first day of racing are: Ran 2 (GBR) in the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship; Velsheda in Maxi Racing; Aegir (GBR) in Maxi Racing/Cruising; Nilaya (GBR) in Supermaxi and Magic Carpet 2 (GBR) in Wally.

Sailing Without Wind
After this morning's retirement by the Class 40 Lupi and Mare yesterday, there are now just thirteen boats competing in the Normandy Channel Race. At the latest position report, Campagne de France, skippered by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, is leading in this Calvados event with a lead of 0.2 miles over the British team on Concise 2, 5.4 miles over Talanta and 6.2 miles over Eole Generation GDF - Suez. The latter has made up good ground on the leaders together with Solo. The NCR fleet will be tackling the Celtic Sea from tomorrow morning and already the fleet is bunching together in what are still very light conditions.

A general re-bunching perhaps?

Even though it didn't really last, the information at the end of last night and part of the early morning for those competing in the Normandy Channel Race, was that the fleet were finally enjoying more pressure in their sails. It has to be said that since the start of the Norman event on Sunday, the Class 40s and their pilots have been dealing with virtually no wind.

In the provisional overall standing, four boats and their onboard duos got the upper hand over the rest of the fleet yesterday thanks to a great performance offshore of Cowes, England's sailing Mecca. With a favourable current, Yannick Bestaven and Julien Pulve on Phoenix Europe Express, Talanta skippered by Eric Peron and Jean Galfione, Olympic pole vault champion in 1996, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France, who this year won the Transat Quebec-Saint Malo, and Concise 2 skippered by the talented British youngsters Sam Goodchild, 22, and Ned Collier Wakefield, 24, managed to do a bunk, lengthening their stride and getting over 15 miles ahead of fifth place.

Plugging In the New One-Design
Photo of Rick Deppe / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image to enlarge.

New VOR Design The new Volvo one-design boat for the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race is under way at Persico Marine in Italy. Rick Deppe / Volvo Ocean Race The new Volvo one-design boat for the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race is under way at Persico Marine in Italy. Rick Deppe / Volvo Ocean Race

How do you build the new one-design Volvo Ocean Race monohull? You start with a hull. Yet, you need a mould to build that hull. And you need a plug to build that mould.

That's the ongoing task at Persico Spa, in Bergamo, Italy - one of the four boatyards responsible for the manufacture of the high-performance racing yacht that will take the start line in Alicante in 2014. Built out of a polystyrene block, the plug is now being shaped by a high-tech milling machine.

Persico specialises in pieces of equipment such as moulds for the automotive and marine industries. Most of their processes are automated and their work is extremely accurate. Persico was involved in the last edition of the race, building Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Volvo Open 70 Azzam. This time, they are responsible for the hull only.

It is a three-stages process: first the plug, then the lamination of the mould over the plug and finally the construction of the hull itself. That is scheduled for the end of November: when the mould is removed from the plug, the hull is laminated inside the mould.

Persico Operations Manager Mark Somerville is a veteran of numerous America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race builds.

Mansfield Retains 1720 Euro Crown in West Cork
In a star studded cast in Baltimore, West Cork the 1720 European Championships finished on Saturday with National Champions Mark Mansfield and Terry English retaining their Euro title but only in the last race of the championship.

The result means Mansfield/English have won the last two Europeans and last two Nationals since they bought their current boat at the start of 2011.

The class is experiencing a resurgence of interest with inexpensive boats, one design racing and a good social aspect to the events (including finishing regattas on Saturdays to ensure a good final prizegiving night) credited as key points in the rebirth of the class over the last three years.

The Euro event was sponsored by Corona beer and sailed from Thursday to Saturday. 1720s came from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales to compete with an 18 boat fleet Sailing under race officer David O'Brien.

The Irish 1720 class has added a further two boats to its fleet number this season. The next Port of call for the class is Royal Cork's CH Marine sponsored October league.

Top five:

1. Mark Mansfield / Terry English, GBR, 16 points
2. Rom Durkin / Clive O'Shea, IRL, 18
3. Peter O'Leary, IRL, 19
4. Steve Forrester-Coles, GBR, 35
5. Robert O'Leary, IRL, 38

From Afloat magazine:

Complete Results (JPG download):

Kinsale Commodore Wins Dragon South Coast Championships
Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Cameron Good won the 15-boat Dragon South Coast Championships hosted by his own club in sunny conditions at the weekend.

Five races were held over two days with the overall results down to the final race in the warm up series for next week's staging of the prestigious Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club.

The home team of Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston fought off stiff competition from Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (UK) Andrew Craig and Neil Hegarty (Royal St. George, Dun Laoghaire) in a tightly fought contest.

Kinsale Yacht Club is now gearing up for the arrival of 65 dragons this week for the Gold Cup, with over 15 countries represented and several world-class sailors, ex-Olympians and current national and international title holders.

The Practice race is scheduled for 14.30hrs on Saturday 8th September, followed by the opening reception with Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The first race is on Sunday 9th September at 12.00hrs.

SB20 Russian Sailing Championship
The Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg in Russia has recently played host to the SB20 Russian Sailing Championship, which took place between the 23rd and 26th August 2012. The competition was held to promote sailing, identify the strongest crews amongst the 19 participating and develop the SB20 Class in Russia.

Throughout the year the SB20 fleet has increased in number whilst also continuously improving the skill and quality of fleet. The number of regional representatives in the championship this year illustrates this. The event also attracted a range of international entrants including a team from Portugal, led by Skipper Jose Paulo Ramada. The Portuguese team went on to finish in 6th place in the final results.

Competitors were moored in the Hercules Marina and racing took place in the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland with five races taking place over the three days. The lack of wind on certain days prevented some of the racers from competing to their best ability and beating the competition. However the vast social programme kept spectators and racers greatly entertained throughout the sailing weekend.

Oleg Zherebtsov, President of the Russian SB20 Association became the winner again this year, followed by Vladimir Prosikhin's team. Prosikhin is better known as a RC44 and IRC sailor and is new to the SB20 class; impressively in the amateur category his team took first place.

Spinnaker Tales
Sunshine Coast Ocean racing skipper Bob Robertson steered his Beneteau First 40 Lunchtime Legend to a convincing win in the Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week last Tuesday.

Robertson who has never been known to take a backward step away from a challenge against his personal skill finally accepted the IRC championship trophy in what has been a long campaign to prepare for another assault on the Rolex Sydney Hobart race in late December.

Lunchtime Legend launched a little over 12 months ago has faced a busy schedule of racing on the tropical winter sailing circuit.

They 'collected the bridesmaid bouquets' when Lunchtime Legend finished second to Yendys in the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week 'followed by another runner up trophy behind New South Wales rival Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire in the competitive IRC Div B Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Championship in late August.

However the proud veteran licked his wounds and cruised further north to Townsville where he and the Lunchtime Legend crew headed by the talented tactician Adam Brown were the star performers winning the line honours and corrected time double in all six races.

Their only real scare was in race three when local Townsville skipper Leon Thomas helming the Sydney 38 Guilty Pleasures IV missed the chance to lower the colours of Lunchtime Legend when they were separated by 1 second on corrected handicap.

But generally Sir Robbo the self proclaimed knight of Queensland offshore racing laid down the challenge that he was in Townsville on sailing business when Lunchtime Legend handed the fleet a sailing lesson when they recorded a 6 minute 27 second win in the opening race of the series.

Winning became a habit with Mooloolaba's Lunchtime Legend revelling in the warm temperatures and moderate winds became the first yacht to win the IRC class Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week title with a perfect score.

Naturally the veteran skipper was delighted with his regatta result "Cleveland Bay is a great venue for yacht racing, both the wind and water are warm and the post race celebrations on the deck at Peppers compliments a friendly atmosphere", Bob Robertson said.

He has been a great supporter of Queensland ocean racing having flown his 'battle flag' in all of the major Australian east coast classics including the physically demanding and tactically tormenting Rolex Sydney Hobart race.

Skipper Robertson has been talking up another Hobart race challenge and has high hope following the success on Cleveland Bay earlier this week that he will be better prepared after finishing 12th overall in 2011.

"Personally I now have a better understanding and confidently believe that Lunchtime Legend has the speed potential to finish with a top ten result" He said. -- Ian Grant

Sandbanks 18ft Skiff Show
Photo by David Harding, Click on image for photo gallery.

Sandbanks 18ft Skiff Show With a relatively long break following the European championship in June on Lake Garda and 3rd European Grand Prix event in Travemunde, teams have had plenty of time for training and boat optimisation promising a highly competitive 3rd Round of the UK 18ft Skiff circuit supported by Poole's Watersports Academy and French Connection Watersports.

Day one began under a slightly overcast sky and a light westerly breeze, which soon gave way to sunshine and freshening wind.

Day two dawned and saw the fleet rigging up in misty conditions. Breeze was again light WSW with plenty of puffs and shifts to create opportunity on the race course. No 1 rigs were again the only option as no more than 12kts had been forecast.

Race 6, the final race of the event, served up the most exciting to decide the final positions. The race started as the breeze built and shifted into the south, making the pin end heavily favoured.

Pica rounded in first place. Hyde finally upright but now deep in the pack joined Aftica, Team Rutland, Team Carsington and LED to set up a great battle on the final two legs of the event for the 3rd Podium place. At the finish line 20 seconds separated the group with Young & Reckless just moving into 2nd and Aftica taking a hard won 3rd place.

Despite the perfect score line Pica was pushed hard through the event to defend the North Challenge Plate in their usual style.

The final event of the UK and European Grand Prix series, as well as being the UK National Championships will be Plymouth. The Grand finale is to be hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club and the Mount Batten Centre on the 28th - 30th September. With 10 teams already confirmed and some autumn breeze, it could well be a cracker and the largest 18ft skiff event seen in the UK for over 5 years. -- Ben Clothier, Mason Woodworth

Cherbourg Race The Decider
Tonnerre de Breskens. Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

Tonnerre de Breskens The 2012 RORC Season's Points Championship came to a dramatic conclusion in Cherbourg in the early hours of Saturday morning. 278 yachts have competed in the ten race series, which was won overall by the smallest margin imaginable.

Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, completed the 78-mile race to Cherbourg in less than eight hours to win the last race of the RORC Season's Points Championship. However, Laurent Gouy's Ker 39, Inis Mor, claimed fifth overall in the Cherbourg race to win the seven month series by a single place. If Inis Mor had come sixth, the championship would have gone to Tonnerre de Breskens for an unprecedented third season in a row.

Two former Commodores had an epic battle in IRC Two, Andrew McIrvine's First 40, La Reponse, won the race from Peter Rutter's Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka, skippered by Philippe Falle. The two yachts enjoyed a close duel through the night with La Reponse crossing the line barely three minutes ahead to secure second place overall for the season.

In IRC Three Jean Pierre Kelbert and Pascal Loison's JPK 10.10, Leon, racing Two-Handed, took line honours and the win on corrected time. Nick Martin's fairy tale season came to an end racing his J/105, Diablo-J. A second place in the race secured the IRC Three and Two-Handed titles for the season and a magnificent third overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship. Diablo-J enjoyed a very close battle to Cherbourg with Christopher Palmer's J/109, J-T'Aime, which claimed third by just 13 seconds.

In IRC Four there was an emphatic win for Yacht club de Cherbourg's Figaro sailor, James Bruno. Racing his Sun Fast 3200, Le MC Do De Cherbourg, the local team took line honours for the class by over an hour. Jean Yves Chateau's Nicholson 33, Iromiguy, was second in the race and thereby securing second place overall for the season.

Whilst the RORC Season's Points Championship has come to a conclusion, many yachts that have competed in the championship will continue to race under IRC in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club including; the Rolex Middle Sea Race, The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta and The ARC 2012. -- Louay Habib

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1989 Open 60 IMOCA. EUR 220,000. Located In Monaco.

Designed by Philippe BRIAND and built in 1989 by Jeanneau Techniques Avancees in carbon and kevlar, this 60' open IMOCA is a true legend!

She participated to the five first Vendee Globe Challenges (under the names Fleury Michon X, Votre nom autour du Monde, Aquarelle, and Roxy), successively handled by Philippe POUPON (1989,1993), Bertrand de BROC (1997), Simonet BIANCHETTI (2001) and Anne LIARDET (2005).

After having received a thorough refit in 1998 (at yard MAG under management by yacht designer Marc LOMBARD), and received a sloop rig (she was orginally a ketch) and equipped with a canting keel and two asymetric daggerboards, she established a east-to-west circumnavigation with French skipper Philippe MONNET (under the name Uunet)!

Legendary canadian skipper Mike BIRCH also took her in the 2002 Route du Rhum and the 2003 Transat Jacques Vabre.

Brokerage through AYC International Yachtbrokers:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
You haven't won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors. -- Paul Elvstrom

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