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Bermudian Challenge Up And Running At Gold Cup
Photo by Charles Anderson / RBYC. Click on image for photo gallery.

Argo Group Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda: Bermuda National Match Racing Champion, Blythe Walker and youngster Lance Fraser have gotten their Argo Group Gold Cup challenge off to a strong start on the first day of competition, as the local favourites went head-to-head against the world's top match racers at the Alpari World Match Racing Tour's (AWMRT) penultimate stage.

Walker (BER) and Lance Fraser (BER) Fraser Digicell Match Racing Team draw the majority of local support on the island and finished first and second respectively at the National Championships.

Lance Fraser has lived in Bermuda for 17 years and currently studies in Canada when not skippering his crew that includes Team Bermuda Olympian, Jesse Kirkland, who recently returned from London 2012 where he competed in the 49er class. Fraser recorded an impressive 3-1 record in his first session as he looks to be one of four who will progress from his group through to the knockout stages.

Taylor Canfield (ISV) Canfield Racing once again staked his claim to being one of the up and coming teams on the match racing circuit, having made the Semi Final of the Chicago Match Cup Tour event earlier in the season. He finished the day with three victories from three and will go into the second day of Qualifying confident that he can make the knockout rounds once again.

The Argo Group Gold Cup second Qualifying Session will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 3 October from 0900AM local time (GMT-3).

Live broadcast coverage of all the action will be available online at www.wmrt.com/live from Friday 5 October at 1100AM. TV listings are available at www.wmrt.com/live/tv-schedule.html

Replays of live video footage from the whole season are available at new.livestream.com/WorldMRT/

Argo Group Gold Cup, Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda - Qualifying standings after session one:

Group 1
Taylor Canfield (ISV) 3-0
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 3-0
Blythe Walker (BER) 3-1
Ian Williams (GBR) 3-1
David Chapman (AUS) 2-1
Stratis Andreadis (GRE) 1-2
William Tiller (NZL) 1-2
Marek Stanczyk (POL) 0-3
Magnus Sandberg (SWE) 0-3
Peter Wickwire (CAN) 0-3

Group 2
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 3-0
Lance Fraser (BER) 3-1
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) 3-1
Eric Monnin (SUI) 2-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) 2-1
Sally Barkow (USA) 1-2
Henrique Haddad (BRA) 1-2
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) 1-2
Sergy Musikkin (RUS) 0-3
Jurjen Feitsma (NED) 0-3

wmrt.com
argogroupgoldcup.com

Foncia Winner of the MOD 70 European Tour
FONCIA left Marseille on Sunday afternoon needing to protect their six points lead from Spindrift racing by ensuring that, at worst, they finished directly behind Yann Guichard's crew.

When Spindrift racing actually crossed the finish line of the 651 miles course from Marseille first place it initially looked like they had done enough to win overall. Desjoyeaux's crew were in fourth 1.2 miles behind but had positioned themselves to the west of their rivals. The breeze filled better from their side of the course and the double Vendee Globe winner and his crew were able to narrowly cross ahead of Race for Water and Musandam-Oman Sail.

Just as the conclusion of the first leg from Kiel into Dun Laoghaire was extremely close in light winds, with three boats finishing within 77 seconds then, so too the finale into the Italian finishing port was very incredibly hard on the nerves. Over the last 10 miles of racing, the four top MOD70s struggled against each other in exceptionally light winds through the very early morning.

At seven miles to the finish line, making around 2 knots of boat speed Race for Water, Spindrift racing and FONCIA had only 0.3 of a mile between them.

Leg 5 Result
1. Spindrift racing (EUR), Yann Guichard (FRA)
2. FONCIA (FRA), Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA)
3. Race for Water (SUI) Steve Ravussin (SUI)
4. Musandam-Oman Sail (OMA), Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
5. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Sebastien Josse (FRA)

Final standings, provisional
1. FONCIA with 284 points
2. Spindrift racing with 282 points
3. Race For Water with 244 points
4. Musandam-Oman Sail with242 points
5. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with 228 points

www.mod70-europeantour.com

ISAF and Rolex Announce Nominees
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and Rolex are proud to announce the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2012.

ISAF received nominations for the 2012 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. The nominees are put forward based on achievements made during the qualifying period of 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012. Only one nominee wins from both the male and female category and the names vying for the coveted and prestigious 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award are:

Male
- Ben Ainslie (GBR) - Finn - London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist & 2012 World Champion
- Mathew Belcher & Malcolm Page (AUS) - Men's 470 - London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists, 2011 and 2012 World Champions and 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup Champions
- Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) - 49er - London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists & 2011 and 2012 World Champions
- Loick Peyron (FRA) - Outright Around the World Record
- Tom Slingsby (AUS) - Laser - London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist & 2011 and 2012 World Champion

Female
- Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofio Toro (ESP) - Women's Match Racing - London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists
- Helena Lucas (GBR) - 2.4mR - London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medallist and 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion
- Saskia Sills (GBR) - RS:X - ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion & European Youth Champion
- Lijia Xu (CHN) - Laser Radial - London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist

The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, taking place on Tuesday 6 November 2012. The venue for the event is the Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland.

www.sailing.org/worldsailor

Dean Barker's Blog: Bombshell In San Fran
Today the Event organisers dropped a bombshell on the Americas Cup competitors when they announced they will no longer be requiring the Teams to be based on Piers 30 and 32, and more importantly would not be paying for any redevelopment of the Piers as has been promised for the last 18 months.

I am sitting here completely stunned. We are a little over 6 months from relocating our base to San Fran to what we have been told would be a fully functioning base area complete with Team hospitality spaces and full access for the public to watch the teams preparing and launching their boats. It is now going to be a concrete slab with absolutely nothing on it which will now require us to secure cranes, jettys, and all services required to function. We have never budgeted for this and to be dropped on us now is quite unbelievable.

I have to say we are a long long way from the vision presented to us back in September 2010. Larry Ellison has done a lot for this AC and has put a lot of his own financial resource into making the Americas Cup next year a big event. However I think in terms of a lot of decisions made along the way by different people here we are with only 3 challengers and now no base facility to operate out of. This is a long way from the success of 2007 in Valencia no matter how you package it.

The catamarans are great but the AC72's are just way too expensive. Not only is the design and build of the new boats extreme, but then you need a small army just to launch and retrieve the boat each day let alone the work to maintain it.

There is no question the AC72 racing next year will be spectacular. That is fortunate because the rest of the show looks to be well below expectations.

www.kiwiyachting.co.nz/dean-barkers-blog

300-Year-Old Technique Saves HMS Victory From Rot
Restorers have turned to traditional caulking to protect HMS Victory from damp after modern techniques failed to do the job. A synthetic sealant was tried 15 years ago to stop rain water seeping through the planks of the top deck and rotting the inside of the ship.

But Andrew Baines, curator of HMS Victory, said: 'The modern material did not cope with the expansion and shrinkage of the wood and allowed water through. The top decks are the most important to seal to prevent the water penetrating the rest of the ship.'

He has now ordered his team of restorers to strip the synthetic sealant from the planks and try caulking instead. They will replace the sealant with hemp, reclaimed from old ropes, before waterproofing it with pitch.

Baines added: 'The navy spent 300 years maintaining timber hulled-ships, so this is a tried and tested technique. The method was used that long for a reason.'

www.yachtingmonthly.com

Greek Challenge Still Working on America's Cup Future
Back in 2009, a bunch of prospective America's Cup campaigns got together to get a few more races out of the old Version 5 AC Class boats while the billionaires fought over who had the right to do what next. The Louis Vuitton Trophy, organised by the slightly mysterious World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA), served a similar purpose to the America's Cup World Series - to give teams with no track-record or access to immediate funds a platform to showcase the potential of sailors in the hope that they might be able to attract sponsors.

One of the hopeful teams at the time was Greek Challenge. The team was the brain-child of Sotiris Bouzeas and had some ambitious non-sailing goals which have been made more challenging through economic conditions in southern Europe. With events being cancelled and compromised in countries like Portugal, Italy and Spain, it is hard to see how Greece would manage to convince rights holders to bring their show to town, but that's still the goal of Greek Challenge.

In the new world of the America's Cup, where Tornado and 49er talent is at a premium, Greece has some assets in the form of Iordanis Paschalidis and Kostas Trigonis who were recently crowned Tornado World Champions, and the Greek Challenge is still working away behind the scenes to try and make something happen.

Last week, Greek Challenge and the University of the Aegean (UoA) announced a partnership to try and create a new approach to sailing in Greece. UoA will also support Greek Challenge's bid to host America's Cup World Series Events in Greece.

But before that, there are things to be done closer to home, like using the curriculum to develop courses that will prepare future professional sailors to enter the competitive world of the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race etc. -- David Fuller in YachtRacing.biz

www.yachtracing.biz/blog/2012/

Dinghy Champions Prepare for Endeavour Trophy This Weekend
Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, UK: A total of 25 British national champions are signed up for the event, including 470 Olympic silver medallists Stuart Bithell and Luke Patience, plus last year's Endeavour champions Nick Craig and Toby Lewis.

This invitation-only event, to determine the overall dinghy champion of champions from the UK's most popular dinghy racing classes, is recognised as an ultimate achievement in British dinghy racing. The competition is exceptionally challenging and those who qualify through winning their own class championship, are given the opportunity to race equally talented sailors in this unique, highly demanding two-day event on the River Crouch.

Given the diverse entry, which includes singlehanded, doublehanded, heavy and lightweight crews, and to ensure the racing is as fair as possible, carefully selected, strict one-designs are chosen for the event. The Ian Howlett-designed Topper Xenon - used for the last seven years - has been is the chosen class for 2012. Not only does this particular design offer an ideal all-up crew weight range of between 18-24 stone (114-152 kilos), but also because it has no class championship, there is no class champion to gain an unfair advantage.

Athough there is a currently a chance of fresh west-south-west between 10-15kts with stronger gusts on Friday for the training session, the wind will go round to the north on Saturday and drop to 9-10kts. However, the forecast indicates the wind continuing to drop on Sunday (1-2kts) which means the race officer will be eager to complete as many races as possible on Saturday.

www.royalcorinthian.co.uk/endeavour-championship

Oyster Heaven
Oysters in Palma The final day of racing at the Oyster Regatta Palma, sponsored by Dolphin Sails, was blessed with glorious sunshine in the Bay of Palma. 20 knots of breeze and considerable swell provided sparkling conditions for the Oyster fleet. Two dozen Oysters enjoyed a magnificent day's racing with a points scoring windward - leeward race and an exhibition Pursuit Race, which was not part of the series but gave the competitors a thrilling end to racing.

In Class One, Thomas and Esther Meseck's Swiss Oyster 575 Satika had a cracking start but on the first beat, the power of the larger Oyster yachts came to the fore. Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean took up an early lead and did not relinquish it, taking the gun and the victory on corrected time from Alberto Vignatelli's Italian Oyster 72, AlbertOne3. Maxim Kudryashov's Russian Oyster 625, Guardian Angel was third by just 13 seconds on corrected time.

In Class Two, Gerd and Annemarie Köhlmoos' German Oyster 54, Sarabande continued to dominate the class, winning their third race in succession by a handsome margin to finish the regatta with a perfect score line. In the last scoring race of the series, Igor Lazurenko's Russian Oyster 54, Light Lana held on to a slender lead to take second place from Rudolf Kägi's Swiss Oyster 56, Magic Spirit, which was just a boat length behind Light Lana but ended the points scoring series in style, claiming third.

Racing at the Oyster Regatta Palma ended with a Pursuit Race, this was a non-scoring race with a staggered start designed to create a thrilling finish and that all went to plan. A box course was set around the Bay of Palma and the impressive Oyster fleet engaged in a gigantic game of 'cat and mouse' with the larger yachts aiming to make up the distance on the fleet in front of them. Only ten minutes separated the entire racing fleet after two hours of racing.

The Pursuit Race saw three British Oysters claim the top three positions. Andrew and Sabrina Eddy's Oyster 485, Gaia was victorious, which will be a great boost of confidence before Gaia takes part in next month's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Alan Parker's Oyster 54, Oyster Reach was second and a cracking start from Stephen and Alison Yeo's Oyster 45, YoHoHo of Sark was rewarded with a bottle of champagne and third place.

Full report by Louay Habib at www.oystermarine.com/breaking_news/161/Oyster%20Heaven/

International Cast Bound For Malta
A near record entry of yachts, from all over the world, is expected on the start line of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. In 2006, 78 yachts entered the race and this year that number may well be surpassed. With just a few weeks to the start, the organising team at the Royal Malta Yacht Club is making final preparations for the arrival of several hundred visitors. Some of the competing yachts from overseas have already arrived and are safely sheltered in Ta'Xbiex Marina and many more will be arriving over the next few weeks.

Last year, Lee Satariano's all Maltese team, racing J/122 Artie, pulled off a stunning victory to win the race overall.

Grande Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka left England on the 21st September to sail to Malta. Philippe Falle’s Deep Blue Racing Team will be taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race for the first time. However it has been an eventful trip for the yacht. Skippered by its owner Peter Rutter, Quokka broke its rudder in rough conditions in the Bay of Biscay, 200 miles offshore. After putting together a rudder and tiller made from internal doors, pipe cots and the vang. Quokka sailed un-assisted into La Trinite, nearly five days since the incident. The yacht now has a conventional replacement and the team are determined to make up the lost time to arrive in Malta in time for the race. -- Louay Habib

www.rolexmiddlesearace.com

Caribbean Sailing Association Measurers Review Csa Rule
Last weekend the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) measurers congregated in Antigua for their annual review meeting in advance of the 2013 racing season.

Over the next three months CSA measurers will be reviewing the rule to accommodate changes in new sail cuts and designs, carbon standing rigging, swing keels and asymmetric dagger boards and will amend the rule as necessary prior to the start of the season. Following the meeting, discussion among measurers, boat designers and high profile sailors will continue to ensure the adjustments made are well thought through.

Having been in use for more than 50 years, the CSA rating rule, first developed by Al Rapier from Trinidad, has continued to work well as a measurement rule throughout the Caribbean. During the season measurers continue to network with boat designers and actively assess any changes to local boats to ensure there are no misnomers and that ratings are adjusted as equipment and configurations change. Because the measurers are on the ground at each regatta they can easily deal with any issues that arise and assess and measure boats regularly. During the 2011/12 racing season 350 certificates were issued.

Within the measurement team there are literally years of experience from both within and outside of the Caribbean. David de Vries, international judge and chief measurer for some years, has now returned from the 2012 Olympics to focus once again on management of the CSA rating rule. The 2013 season also sees the return of Dick Stout in Barbados, a former chief measurer with years of measurement experience.

Changes made ahead of the 2013 season will be uploaded to the official CSA website at www.caribbean-sailing.com

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 James Pleasance, Executive Director, Alpari World Match Racing Tour, re: letter from George Morris

Thank you for your letter. This year, we are broadcasting LIVE racing from each stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour on the final 3 days of each event. Full un-interuppted replays of the LIVE coverage (2 hour shows) are available via our Livestream player at http://new.livestream.com/WorldMRT - simply select the event and race day and scroll to follow the event as it happened.

Edited highlights of each event including interviews and other features are also available via our website and You Tube channel at www.youtube.com/worldmrt

* From Steve Old: The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has commenced uploading their archival footage of old Sydney Hobart races to Youtube.

This is the link to the library.... www.youtube.com/user/CYCATV/videos

And this is the link to the first Hobart (1945) shot by Peter Luke in colour.(Mute) www.youtube.com

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The Last Word
There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line. -- Oscar Levant

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