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SEIKO 49er European Championship - Qualifying Begins
Two races were held for the 49er fleet for the first days of qualifying for the European and Youth World Championship. Recovering from their epic long distance race held the day prior, the 63 boat fleet were split into two groups and sent to two courses on Lake Garda with seemingly two separate winds.

The yellow fleet seemed to have the better wind and sailed near the eastern side of the lake, near Torbole. The wind seemed more consistent in strength yet shifty with the sailors still heading to the cliffs off the line. The Alonso brothers of Spain sailed well posting a 1-3 and carrying a 1 from the previous days long distance race to take the overall lead for the regatta. Also sailing in the yellow fleet, the Polish team of Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski sailed a consistent 2-2 and sit tied for 2nd overall with 13 points.

Third place are Julian d'Ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA) who led the blue fleet with a 4-4 after today's racing. The blue fleet had much lighter winds and had one race that barely made the time limit as the wind began to die.

Racing continues with 1 more day of qualifying with the top 25 teams advancing to the finals. The top 12 teams from the Olympic Games an automatic invitation to the Gold fleet. The final series will be held in Theatre style with a 4-round knock-out style racing and a Grand Final series to be held on the last day with the final 4 boats.

Tommy Mueller Claims the Lead on Day Two
Photo by David Branigan, Click on image for photo gallery.

Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland: Day two of the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale gave the sixty strong fleet another tough work out as they completed race two of the series in big seas and winds of up to 28 knots from around 220 degrees.

After an initial general recall the fleet got away cleanly at the second time of asking.

In the overall standings overnight leader Lawrie Smith, sailing GBR763 Alfie, exacerbated a knee injury sustained yesterday and struggled to finish the race crossing the line in 18th place so drops down into seventh overall. Today's race win takes Tommy Mueller to the top of the league table with five points while Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen's steady fifth means he remains in second overall on seven points. Joergen Schoenherr has jumped up into third place and is just a single point behind Hoj-Jensen with Dimitry Samokhin fourth on eleven points and Martin Byrne fifth on fifteen.

In the Corinthian Division for the all-amateur crews today's race winner was Reemt Reemtsma, sailing GER1121 Caroroo, who also claimed sixth place in the overall division. Second place went to Remy Arnaud, sailing FRA396 Legend, Frank Berg was third and local boy Cameron Good, sailing IRL211 Little Fella was fourth. In the overall Corinthian standings Reemtsma now leads the fleet on four points from Good on five with Berg third counting eight points and Four more races are scheduled and the regatta continues until Friday 14th September.

Southern Spars at the Monaco Yacht Show 2012
Southern Spars Southern Spars is set to bring their passion, design, technology and performance to the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show, stand QJ03, New Zealand Street. Our sales and marketing team will be on-hand for any inquiries you have about Southern Spars' products and services, from the new and now proven-in-competition TPT technology to our EC6 composite rigging. DON'T MISS OUT, Southern Spars Annual 'Freshly Brewed' breakfast briefing, Thursday 20th September 8:15am - 9:45 in Monaco. Request an invite at our stand or email:

Please contact

Rolex Big Boat Series
Photo by Erik Simonson, Click on image for photo gallery.

Rolex Big Boat Series San Francisco, California USA: On the fourth and final day of the 48th annual Rolex Big Boat Series, a majority of the eight classes competing had bristling showdowns to determine winners, while others held the line to establish early leaders as class victors, including IRC A's Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah) and his team aboard the TP52 Vesper, which also were named the IRC North American Champions for 2012.

As it did last year here, Vesper also won the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy, one of six coveted awards given for best performances in specific classes at this regatta. The trophies remain on display at St. Francis Yacht Club; however, six Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner watches are presented to skippers as personal evidence of their teams having won them.

Today's single "Bay Tour" distance race showed all classes (four for IRC, one for Catamarans and one each for Express 37s, J/105s and J/120s) the four corners of San Francisco Bay, routing 66 teams on courses that incorporated a start near Berkeley Pier to the east, mark roundings near the Golden Gate Bridge to the west and natural obstacles such as Alcatraz and Treasure Islands for assured testing of navigational skills. Conditions remained the same as they basically had been all regatta long: amazingly free of San Francisco's famous morning marine layer, with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 60s, and plenty of breeze going the same direction as a strong flood tide, which meant mostly smooth-water sailing.

Final Results (top-three)

IRC A (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz, 8
2. Rio, TP 52, Manouch Moshayed, 13
3. Swiftsure II, Schumacher Custom 54, Sy Kleinman, 24

IRC B (IRC - 5 Boats)
1. Soozal, King 40, Daniel Woolery, 9
2. TNT, Custom Tripp 43, Brad Copper, 15
3. Swazik, Swan 45, Sebastien de Halleux, 21

IRC C (IRC - 6 Boats)
1. Double Trouble, J 125, Peter Krueger, 10
2. Resolute, J 125, 15
3. August Ice, J 125, 19

IRC D (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Hawkeye, IMX 38, 11
2. Tupelo Honey, Elan 40, 13
3. Encore, Sydney 36 CR, 22

Catamarans (PHRF_ToT - 7 Boats)
1. Shadow, ProSail 40 Cat, Peter Stoneberg, 10
2. BridgeRunner, SL33, Urs Rothacher, 16
3. Vamonos, Sig 45, Tom Siebel, 22

HPR (Exhibition Class) (ToT - 6 Boats)
1. Double TRouble (HPR), J 125, Peter Krueger, 12
2. Rock & Roll (HPR), Farr 400, Bernard Girod, 18
3. Resolute (HPR), J 125, Tim Fuller, 21

J 105 (One Design - 21 Boats)
1. Donkey Jack, J 105 34.5, Shannon Ryan/Rolf Kaiser/Steve Kleha, 31
2. Godot, J 105, Phillip Laby, 31
3. Blackhawk, J 105, Scooter Simmons, 37

J 120 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Desdemona, J 120 40, John Wimer, 17
2. Chance, J 120, Barry Lewis, 18
3. Grace Dances, J 120, Dick Swanson, 20

Express 37 (One Design - 7 Boats
1. Blade Runner, Express 37, Michael Shlens, 17
2. Golden Moon, Express 37, Kame Richards, 19
3. Bullet, Express 37, Michael Maloney, 20

Ups And Downs, Lows and Highs en route to Cascais
Since leading around the famous Fastnet Rock at around 0730hrs UTC this morning, Yann Guichard and the crew of Spindrift racing profited from an initial gain but as they passed the latitude of the Scillies and then Ushant they had their four MOD70 European Tour rivals astern abreast in a line, all in equally hot pursuit.

Spindrift racing, which lead for 90 per cent of Leg 1 from Kiel to Dun Laoghaire and then won the City Races series on Dublin Bay, had eked out some 10 miles of advantage on the chasing pack as they continue a southerly course for Cascais, Portugal where they are expected Wednesday.

Their initial gain was on the two tacks out to the rock last night but through today they have held a steady lead. Though most had expected to be through a slow moving cold front earlier, and so into faster, reaching conditions that was not expected until the afternoon. The front has been moving at much the same speed as the MOD70's

Michel Desjoyeaux and the team on FONCIA lie second but spent some time replacing the rudder fuse and downhaul after the main rudder struck an object. They lie second, virtually even with Musandam-Oman Sail who have remained in the top three since before Tuskar Rock last night and were pacing the European Tour leaders well this afternoon.

Speeds had picked up late afternoon, to over 20kts, indicating that the chance to set gennakers progressively has arrived and faster, easier southbound progress is on the cards.

At the moment the direct route south is the most logical with the fleet lined up side by side. But there will be a tendency to slide west as a second front approaches, but ahead there is a big high pressure ridge which is centred over Portugal which will bring a more N'ly regime, fresh at first but dropping as they descend the Iberian peninsula. And so the fleet is likely to compact again before Cascais.

Defenda Inflatable Yacht Fenders
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Swans In The Spotlight
Porto Cervo, Italy: A fleet of almost sixty Nautor's Swan yachts are preparing to grace the 17th edition of the biennial Rolex Swan Cup, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Nautor's Swan. The first of five days of racing commences tomorrow, Tuesday 11th September, for all four of the week's divisions: Maxi (18.29 metres/60 feet and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classic (models including those designed by Sparkman and Stephens) and Swan 45 One-Design.

The eclectic fleet includes yachts from thirteen countries and territories, comprising Austria, Belgium, the Cayman Islands, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Three of the competing crews are already well-acquainted with the testing waters of the Costa Smeralda. The Swan 80s Plis Play (ESP) and Marco Rodolfi's Berenice Bis (ITA) as well as the prolific Swan 60 Bronenosec (RUS) all performed impressively during last week's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

A vast range of Nautor's Swan yachts are represented from the 11.66m Only You, a Sparkman & Stephens Swan 36, - competing in the Classic division - to the imperious 34.34m Swan 112 Highland Breeze, the largest yacht in attendance and figuring in the highly-competitive Maxi class of 19 boats, which includes four Swan 60s in the aforementioned Bronenosec, Emma, Vertical Smile (DEN) and Swing, whose crew will include Leonardo Ferragamo, President of Nautor's Swan since 1998. In the same Class, two Swan 66s - Lionessa of Douglas (GBR) and Lot 66 (NED) - represent the model designed to commemorate Nautor's Swan's 40th anniversary in 2006.

Elsewhere, in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship, defending champion Earlybird (GER), led by co-owner Christian Nagel, will start as favourite in the eight-strong fleet.

Weather permitting, coastal races are scheduled tomorrow for all classes except the Swan 45 One-Design who will engage in two windward/leeward races. Racing is scheduled to start at 11.30 and a Sirocco breeze of 8-10 knots is forecast.

The Blue Lecture with Monty Halls
Monty Halls Monty Halls is a writer, explorer, television presenter and public speaker. A former Royal Marines officer who worked for Nelson Mandela on the peace process in South Africa, he left the services in 1996 to pursue a career in leading expeditions. Having achieved a First Class Honors degree in marine biology, over the next decade he circumnavigated the globe four times on various projects, leading multi-national teams in some of the most demanding environments on earth. Notable expeditions included an anti poaching project in the high montane grasslands of the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, the discovery of a sunken city off the coast of Tamil Nadu in India, and a (successful) attempt to find and photograph a rare crocodile species in the mountain pools of the Raspaculo Basin in Central America. In 2002 he was awarded the Bish Medal by the Scientific Exploration Society for his services to exploration.

Monty's television career spans over 8 years and includes the BBC's "Great Escape" series where he lived on the west coast of Scotland, the Outer Hebrides and west coast of Ireland with his large hound Reuben as well as the BBC's Natural History Unit series "Great Barrier Reef" and most recently "The Fisherman's Apprentice". Monty writes a weekly column for the Daily Mail and Outdoor Fitness magazine as well as being a regular contributor for various specialist dive monthly's. He has written several books, titles include "Great Irish Escape", "The Fisherman's Apprentice" and "Great Ocean Adventures.

The Blue Lecture is part of the Marine City Festival 2012 and is being supported by the Marine Institute, National Marine Aquarium and Destination Plymouth.

Saturday 15th September

Doors Open at the National Marine Aquarium at 19:30. Monty will also be signing his latest book, The Fisherman's Apprentice after his talk. Bar will be open

To reserve your place:

The UK National Aquarium is at Rope Walk, Plymouth, Devon PL4 0LF

The Three 5.5m Musketeers: Gullichsen, Muoniovaara and Von Meyerinck
Click on image to enlarge.

5.5m In Boltenhagen Germany, Johan Gullichsen took home the Scandinavian Gold Cup with his Addam 4, Matti Muoniovaara and the My Shout came first in the Hanko Evolution Cup and Lutz von Meyerinck's Blueprint won the Royal Kaag Classic Cup. Von Meyerinck also received the NRV Champions Cup, an impressive perpetual trophy for the crew with the most first places of the year's NRV Champions Week.

For the second time in a row, the Scandinavian Gold Cup is going to Finland after two days and three races of fleet racing with seven boats each representing a different nation and one day of fierce but fair competition between the Finnish boat and the Norwegian represented by Kristian Nergaard.

Winner Johan Gullichsen said a few words tonight during the prize presentation: "I've been sailing for this prize since 1956, almost every year and had only ever won it once before, 26 years ago."

Regatta Website:
Class site:

First Place Tie at 5.5M IC World Championship
Gavin McKinney (BAH 19) from the Bahamas and Swiss Flavio Marazzi (SUI 224) are tied at the top of the leaderboard after the first two races of the 50th 5.5m IC World Championship which is being held in Boltenhagen, Germany. The best Classic yacht is Lutz von Meyerinck's Blueprint, the winner of the Royal Kaag Classic Cup 2012, in 16th place. They are seven points ahead of the best Evolution boat, Michael Schulz with Above the line at 17. Scandinavian Gold Cup winner Johan Gullichsen had a bad first start and was found to be on the course side before the start signal. He is in 20th place overall, but showing his skill with a fifth place in the second race.

The sun came out in full force to welcome the sailors at the race area on the Wohlenberger Wiek. Due to a bad weather warning for Tuesday Race Officer Hans-Herbert Hoffmann decided to make use of the fantastic sailing conditions and complete two races during day one of the world championship. Among the 37 boat strong fleet are ten of the formerly Olympic Classic yachts (built from 1949-1969), and nine Evolution boats. The top 15 however is comprised of Modern yachts, which were built with shorter keels, larger rudders and carbon masts from 1994 onward.

The 5.5 Metre class will sail a total of eight races with one discard before crowing this year's World Champion on September 14, 2012. Ashore sailors are invited to the Swiss on Tuesday evening, which is hosted by the Swiss 5.5 Metre Class Association.

1. John B, Gavin McKinney: 5,1
2. Ali-Baba, Flavio Marazzi: 2,4
3. Oro Nero, Jochen Schümann: 6,3

Best Evolution result:
17. Above the Line, Michael Schulz: 17, 24

Best Classic result:
16. Blueprint, Lutz von Meyerinck: 16, 18

Full results:

New Names and Old Favourites in Auckland to Russell Marathon Race
Auckland, New Zealand: Six weeks out from the NZMYC Coastal Classic we look at some of the new and notable boats likely to grace the fleet for the great race north.

Division One is going to welcome, for the first time, Kia Kaha to the fleet. Kia Kaha is the TP52 formerly known as Valkyrie, Lexus and Bigamist, and sailed by Russell Coutts and some of the then young breed of Team New Zealand sailors in 2005.

Steinlager II, the double masted vessel sailed to Whitbread victory in by Sir Peter Blake, will also attract attention, and at 25.5m in length, really does have might on her side, especially in heavy windward conditions. Steinlager II was the first maxi ketch built in composite - a boat building material that is now considered standard in modern race yachts.

For three years, the thirty foot swing keeled Karma Police has given handicappers headaches and been one to watch. But Karma Police, and the similar Orbit, have now been sold offshore. Orbit is in Sydney, and Karma Police is enjoying fresh water sailing, in Detroit. That leaves just Deep Throttle, and Overload, to confirm if they will represent the 'giant slaying' micros in this year's event.

With Matt Flynn's super fast and ultra high tech cat thought to be losing the race for the 2012 start (but who knows!), TeamVodafoneSailing, which broke the sub six hour record last year, will probably lead the big multihulls, and the entire fleet for that matter, into Russell. Roger Pagani's Triple 888, and Taeping, will be hot on her tail. Taeping and 888 have both undergone foil development programs, fitting AC45 style assymetric foils, says Tim, that have given Taeping a big performance gain.

In the battle of the small multihulls, the new player of note, and the short priced favourite in Division 7 is tipped to be the Katipo called Ninja, a 10m version of an SL33 cat designed by local designer Brett Bakewell-White.

The Formula 28 cat, Charleston, sailed by Shane and Casey Bellingham is described as a 'blur' in light or moderate conditions and can frequently beat its much bigger rivals from Division 6. Borderline won the BMW Auckland Regatta on line and handicap and is considered the form boat, but Dirty Deeds will be sporting a new carbon wing rig that is just coming into tune at the right time.

The New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club Coastal Classic starts from 10am on Friday 19 October off Devonport Wharf in Auckland, and finishes off Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands. The race is 119 nautical miles in length and last year a new record was set by TeamVodafoneSailing, of six hours and 43 minutes.

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 David Munge: Congratulations on Artdesign, web builders for the Dragon Gold Cup. A big green button, on the home page labelled RESULTS, which linked you through to the results. Web designers please note, people use a web site first and foremost to get the RESULTS!

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11. -- Barack Obama

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