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Former Tour Champion Shines In Qualifying
Photo by Alpari World Match Racing Tour / Rick Tomlinson. Click on image for event galleries.

Argo Group Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda : Former Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) Champion, Adam Minoprio, went unbeaten on the second day of racing at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda, an event he finished second at in 2008 and 2009. Now he is hoping to finish with a clean sweep tomorrow to secure the first pick of Quarter Final opponents.

Minoprio (NZL) Argo Group BlackMatch won the Tour in 2009, becoming the youngest ever skipper to do so, aged just 24. Having spent some time away from match racing, sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race, he returned to the premier international series at the recent Match Race France and now feels that he is starting to get back in tune with the standard needed to compete at the highest level.

Taylor Canfield (ISV) Canfield Racing continued his momentum on the other side of the draw, establishing a 6-0 record to leave him leading the event, and the chase for the historic King Edward VII Gold Cup.

Elsewhere, a turnaround in results from Sergy Musikkin in group 2 has put the Russian skipper in contention to progress to the next round with 3-4, despite having ended his first day’s racing without a win in three.

The Argo Group Gold Cup third Qualifying Session will take place tomorrow, Thursday 4 October from 0900AM local time (GMT-3).

Qualifying standings after session two:

Group 1
Taylor Canfield (ISV) 6-0
Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 5-1
Ian Williams (GBR) 4-3
Blythe Walker (BER) 4-3
Stratis Andreadis (GRE) 3-3
William Tiller (NZL) 3-3
David Chapman (AUS) 3-4
Marek Stanczyk (POL) 2-4
Peter Wickwire (CAN) 2-5
Magnus Sandberg (SWE) 0-6

Group 2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) 5-1
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) 5-2
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 4-2
Eric Monnin (SUI) 4-2
Lance Fraser (BER) 4-3
Sally Barkow (USA) 3-3
Sergy Musikkin (RUS) 3-4
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) 2-4
Henrique Haddad (BRA) 2-5
Jurjen Feitsma (NED) 0-6

Racing The Ac45S In San Francisco (Again)
Today's first day of racing at the America's Cup World Series San Francisco features eight teams in the match racing qualifying.

This afternoon's racing is live, 4:00-6:00 pm PDT, and can be viewed on Virtual Eye:

Seven matches are planned for the teams that finished 4th through 11th at the August regatta. The pairings and scheduled start times are listed below (all times PDT):

Q1, 4:05: Team Korea vs. Luna Rossa Piranha (winner advances to race Artemis Racing - White on Thursday)
Q2, 4:20: China Team vs. Energy Team (winner advances to race winner of Q3 on Thursday)
Q3, 4:35: Artemis Racing - Red vs. Emirates Team New Zealand (winner advances to race winner of Q2 on Thursday)
Q4, 4:50: J.P. Morgan BAR vs. Luna Rossa Swordfish (winner advances to race ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL on Friday)
Q5, 5:05: Loser Q2 vs. Loser Q1
Q6, 5:20: Loser Q3 vs. Loser Q4
Q7, 5:48: Winner Q5 vs. Winner Q6 (winner advances to race ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS on Friday)

Not Happy...Statement From Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand says the America's Cup event organizer's decision to abandon development of a team hub on the San Francisco waterfront is irresponsible and another let-down for San Francisco. It ignores the America's Cup conditions of entry under which all teams are contractually bound to exclusively conduct their operations from team bases provided by the event organisers in an America's Cup village.

Managing director Grant Dalton said: "The original vision of locating all team bases on Piers 30 and 32 along with all the facilities required to operate the AC72s, will not be fulfilled."

"A site plan showing team bases and the facilities has been in circulation for months and, as recently as the last regatta at San Francisco, event organisers promised to provide hospitality facilities. Negotiations have got as far as allocating base areas to individual teams.

"Teams have been planning their operations in San Francisco next year on the strength of these promises.

"To hear yesterday that those plans have been abandoned six months from when the teams would move to San Francisco is scandalous. Oracle, which has a permanent base on city limits, will not be adversely affected."

"Two teams in particular - Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa - will be disadvantaged," he said.

The decision potentially denies the people of San Francisco and visitors to the city an opportunity to see all the teams close up. Just as with motor racing, people like to visit the pits. With the Swedish team wanting to be based at Alameda and Oracle a long way to the south and out of reach to the public, the city and port authority may not realize expected financial returns that have been widely publicised by the organisers.

"Our team has experienced nothing but goodwill and warmth from the people and authorities in San Francisco and we feel acute embarrassment at this turn of events. We hope authorities are able to step in and hold organizers accountable for this further retreat which is symptomatic of a continuing pattern."

* David Fuller from weighs in:

The commercial entity set up to manage the money of the 34th America's Cup - the ACEA, says that the decision to allow teams to choose where they base themselves is 'fan friendly'. The spectator experience is more important for edition 34 than any potential legacy or redevelopment goals.

Stephen Barclay, CEO of ACEA is reported to have said:

" seems that people want to go to the Marina Green, and they don't want to go to some piers south of the Bay Bridge."

While that statement might please the members of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, it might not go down well with locals in Embarcadero.

The line is that the fans come first and running the recent America's Cup World Series warm up match in San Francisco allowed organisers to test the format for the main event. As a result, Emirates Team NZ will have to spend more money if they want to run their hospitality from Pier 30-32.

The America's Cup World Series circus will test fan attitudes again this week as the event is staged in San Francisco for a second time.

* And Kimball Livingston adds:

Barker's blog landed like its own bombshell on my Tuesday dawn. So I asked around and -

Not true, says the America's Cup Event Authority. ACEA will build that base if ETNZ wants it. Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority, tells us that, to this point, infrastructure costs have been paid by Race Management "and passed along pro rata." If so, there's nothing really new in that part of the budget.

Barclay claims that the intent remains to provide infrastructure on Piers 30-32, per the longstanding plan, with two differences. Teams are no longer required to be based there, and America's Cup will not pay for hospitality infrastructure on the piers, which hits ETNZ, Barclay says, because ETNZ wants to keep hospitality inside the base. To that extent, if they make that choice, he says, "Then New Zealand will have extra costs, and Dean is right. I had said that we wanted a big hospitality space down there and I'd pay for it. But if you look at the numbers, who went where in August, it seems that people want to go to the Marina Green, and they don't want to go to some piers south of the Bay Bridge. So why should we be spending our fan actualization money [more than $1 million] anywhere but at the Green? The choice to move some elements from Piers 30/32 was driven directly by the success of August regatta and by asking the question: how do we deliver the best possible fan experience?"

THE Race-Village-to-be will be remain at Piers 27-29, per plan, where the city's new Cruise Ship Terminal will emerge from the hubbub following America's Cup 2013. In Barclay's version of events, the difference now is in taking part of the infrastructure cost -the hospitality portion -from Piers 30-32 and moving it to the Marina Green.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

David Howlett (GBR)
‘Knighthood’ - Nick Griffiths; ‘At least an OBE’ - John Greenwood; ‘Why the reticence about David’s contribution?’ - Richard Hart; ‘He’s done an extraordinary job, first with Iain [Percy] then Ben’ - Vasiliy Kravchenko; ‘Top bloke, ready to help anyone’ - Simon Pettit; ’Great memories, a few shareable’ - Fiona Brockholes; ‘Legend’ - Andrew Howarth; ‘One of the best!’ - Blue Robinson; ‘Unsung hero’ - Marcus Hutchinson; ‘A pain in the arse, but I can’t thank him enough’ - Mark Andrews; ‘Arise, Sir Sid’ - Tony Harris.

This month's nominees:

Mick Cookson (NZL)
Maybe it’s just an overweight clunker but somehow we doubt that. The fact is that however much paddling may be going on out of sight, Emirates TNZ’s first AC72 has been proving a model of reliability as Dalton’s men fly her up and down the gulf to extract the maximum information before starting boat 2. A very different story from the team’s two main rivals; the boys at Cooksons should take a bow

Oscar Mead (GBR)
Not a bad sailor (like his dad), at age 18 Mead was the youngest skipper to enter the OSTAR three years ago, finishing 6th. Since then, prompted by the drowning last year of a UK sailor, securely tethered to his yacht but unable to keep his head above water, Mead has been developing a new harness intended to ensure that in a similar situation the victim is towed backwards and face-up, to minimise the deadly ingress of spray and water

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

International Flying Dutchman World Championship
Santa Cruz, California, USA: Hungary's Szabolcs Majthenyi and András Domokos took the 2012 Flying Dutchman World title on 30 September having wrapped up the top honours with a day to spare. With gold in the bag the pair headed into the final day without any nerves or worries, but for those below them, the race for second and third was on.

The fleet got away for a clean start in Race 9 with 8 knots of wind and a slight chop testing the 43-boat fleet.

The local team Philippe Khan crewed by Steve Bourdow (USA), Olympic silver medal winning Flying Dutchman crew at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, used their local knowledge and skill to round the first windward mark in third place followed by Majthenyi & Domokos.

Down the fleet places were being won and lost, some boats capsized in the Santa Cruz swell which can roll boats in on a reach.

By the end of the second beat, the first four places remained unchanged. Nicola & Francesco were in fifth place and some of the other American teams were revelling in the conditions with Lin Robson & Adriaan Schmal and Tim Sayles & Matthias Kennerknec rounding sixth and seventh.

Within a hundred metres of the finish Krammer & Geelkerken managed to find some extra speed and rolled over McKee & Bismark to win the final race and secure second place overall.

The second place pulled Kiwis up to fifth place overall displacing Peggy & Torsten Bahr who retired from the race and finished sixth overall. -- Richard Phillips

Top Five
1. Szabolcs Majthenyi & András Domokos (HUN) 15 points
2. Enno Krammer & Ard Geelkerken (NED) 18
3. Kay-Uwe Lüdtke/Kai Schäfers (GER) 21
4. Nicola & Francesco Vespasiani (ITA) 34
5. Andrew McKee & Mathew Bismark (NZL) 47

Full results

Match Racing Championship Goes To The Wire
Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev's Synergy Russian Sailing Team today claimed the 2012 match racing title at the Adris RC44 World Championship, in a nail biting finale that went to the wire on the waters off Rovinj, Croatia.

The day was characterised by light winds, a major shift to the right half way through the afternoon and despite dropping below 5 knots towards the end of play, there was still enough to keep the nimble black RC44s moving.

While the Russian team and their American skipper Ed Baird could have had secured the 2012 match racing title half way through today, getting the result finally sealed in their favour ended proved extremely hard. Not only were they scheduled to sail less races than their competition at the start of the day, but they managed to lose two of their first three races.

With Synergy winning its last match against Massimo Barranco's AFX Capital Racing Team and with the schedule of flights shortened due to the dying breeze, only then was the championship finally theirs.

The fleet racing for both the 2012 season prize as well as the beginning of the Adris RC44 World Championship starts tomorrow at 11:30 (CET), follow racing via the live blog at

Overall Match Race Ranking (After five events)

1. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS) / Ed Baird (USA), 22 points
2. Aleph Sailing Team, Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Mathieu Richard (FRA), 20
3. Team Aqua, Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appleton (NZL) - 20
4. Katusha, Gennadi Timchenko (RUS) / Brad Butterworth (NZL) - 18
5. Team Nika, Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tomislav Basic (CRO) - 15
6. No Way Back, Pieter Heerema (NED) / Michael Hestbek (DEN) - 14
7. Artemis Racing, Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Morgan Larson (USA) - 14
8. CEEREF RC44 Sailing Team, Igor Lah (SLO) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA) - 12
9. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team, Rene Mangold (AUT) / Markus Wieser (GER) - 12
10. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, John Bassadone (GBR) / Vasco Vascotto (ITA) - 11
11. RUS7 Sail Racing Team, Kirill Podolsky (RUS) / Serguei Chevtsov (RUS) - 11
12. Puerto Calero - 6
13. Ironbound, David Murphy (USA) / Andy Horton (USA) - 6
14. AFX Capital Racing Team, Massimo Barranco (ITA) / Gabriele Bruni (ITA) - 3
15. MAG Racing, Krzysztof Krempec (POL) / Piotr Przybylski (POL) - 2
16. Aegir, Brian Benjamin (GBR) / Manu Weiller (ESP) - 0

Spinnaker Tales
Mooloolaba architect Ken Down will have a different set of plans to present when he contests the open Queensland Farr 40 championship on Brisbane's Moreton Bay later this month.

Down a former International Admirals Cup winning crew member and Yachting Queensland President will need to call on all of his previous experiences to become a front line contender with Bribie Star.

He will face an Australian championship standard fleet which has also attracted interest from former World champion Transfusion owned and helmed by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis winner of the 2012 Rolex World championship Bronze Medal on Lake Michigan last Month.

Transfusion contested the Chicago World's with London Olympic 49er class Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen as key crewmembers and has been nominated as the pre-regatta favourite for the Queensland championship on October 27-28.

This presents the father and son sailing team of Ken and Lucas Down with a formidable challenge to compete on the front line with the Transfusion crew and the Queensland IOR champion Skreenkraft/Lambourdini jointly raced by the experienced Moreton Bay father and son sailing team of Howard and David Lambourne.

If local knowledge provides an edge in boat speed then the Lambourne combination who proved to be the star performers in the XXXX Gold IRC Queensland championship could become the combination to watch.

They have been the pacesetter in Queensland Farr 40 racing over the past two seasons and are looking forward to the challenge of testing their tactical strategy and boat speed against their high standard local and interstate rivals.

The selected course area east of Green and St Helena Islands has the potential to present a number of hidden challenges which promise to sort the best from the rest.

These races between a fleet of almost identical yachts which all have a chance of winning will be determined by the crew who are in sync with the critical changes in the current flow and all the variables in wind velocity and direction.

Even the most minor tactical blemish or crew error can prove to be the difference in winning or finishing back in the pack.

There is no doubt that the recent World championship competition experienced by the crew of Transfusion suggests they will be the crew to beat when the battle lines are drawn to decide the winner of the unique hand crafted Queensland Farr 40 championship trophy.

"I believe we have ticked all the important boxes, with an experienced race management team headed by Louise Davis and a unique display of trophies ".Queensland fleet captain Howard Lambourne said. -- Ian Grant

The Tradition Within Tradition
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Voiles St. Tropez Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is as fine a display of traditional values as one could desire. Racing commenced today for the older portion of the fleet, including those competing for the Rolex Trophy.

The Tradition division took to the Bay of Saint-Tropez spurred on by a breeze that promised much at midday when the first signal sounded, but proved more troublesome: building, dying and shifting throughout the time it took the competitors to complete the 12 nautical mile course around the Bay under a clear blue sky.

Within the yachts vying for Rolex Trophy there are a myriad of stories. The four15 Metre Rule yachts provide the perfect example of the importance of tradition within the assembled fleet. Built to the International Rule at the beginning of the twentieth century, "Metre" does not refer to the length, but to rating; Mariska (launched1908), Hispania (1909), Tuiga (1909), and Lady Anne (1912) actually measure almost 30 metres (98 ft) in overall length.

Andy Longarela is the skipper of Hispania, originally built for King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Hispania was one of some twenty 15 Metre yachts launched between 1907 and 1917, and the third of eight designed by William Fife III. According to Longarela: "She is the most noble boat I've ever sailed. She provides very deep sensations, completely different to the feelings on a modern boat. I have never forgotten my first impressions. You learn every day, discovering the possibilities of the boat."

The details of Hispania's chain of ownership appear lost to the confusion of European conflict in the mid-1900s. By a stroke of good fortune she was discovered in the early 1990s in the mud off the south coast of England by some resolute Spaniards intent on saving a piece of their yachting heritage. After a joint restoration by Fairlie in the UK and Asterilleros del Mallorca in Palma, Hispania was relaunched March 2011 by current owner Fundación Isla Ebusitana.

Longarela is confident that their effort to keep alive this heritage is worth it: "Spain is very proud of this boat. She is very important to the Spanish sailing community."

Hispania finished second today, behind Mariska, in the 15 Metre class - a sound enough start in her bid to claim the Rolex Trophy.

55 yachts are registered within the Tradition division for the Rolex Trophy, awarded to the best performing yacht over16 metres in length on deck.

Building Legacies at the Renaissancere Junior Gold Cup
Hamilton, Bermuda: The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup is set to begin this Thursday and already most of the 16 international competitors from 15 countries and many of the 22 Bermudian competitors have been out practicing on the Great Sound. While the site of a fleet of Optimist dinghies heading out to deep water is always impressive, the myriad of countries represented on the boats really offers a glimpse as to how wide ranging Opti sailing is.

Yet, for these Junior Gold Cup sailors -this may also be the start of a legacy of competitive sailing. The RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup is now celebrating its 10th year with Renaissance Re as its title sponsor. Some of the sailors who first came here as youngsters are back. As adults Lance Fraser of Bermuda, Taylor Canfield of the USVI and Nicolai Sehested of Denmark are all racing here in the Argo Group Gold Cup. All three are skippers racing now for some of the $100,000 in Gold Cup prize money and a spot for their name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

That is the legacy of an event that has consistently invited promising young sailors who are 13 or 14 years old to compete and make their first real debut in professional level sailing where they meet sponsors, professional competitors from their home country racing in the Argo Group Gold Cup. They also get the rare opportunity to race in the warm waters of Bermuda - something that is hard to forget.

Danish skipper Nicolai Sehested still recalls his time as a youngster sailing here in the Junior Gold Cup in 2003.

"To this day I still talk about coming to Bermuda and sailing here when I was 13, said Sehested, who is sailing in his first ever Argo Group Gold Cup this year as skipper. "I never forgot meeting Danish sailors Jasper Radich and Jes Gram-Hansen who were my sailing heroes back then and today I actually compete with them in various regattas." Sehested is also coaching youth sailors himself and is keeping a close eye on the two Danish sailors competing here in the Junior Gold Cup. -- Laurie Fullerton

Election of ISAF Officers
Full details of the candidates for the elections of President and Vice-President of the International Sailing Federation, to be held in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland in November 2012, are now available on the ISAF website.

The election for President and the seven Vice-Presidents, will take place at the ISAF General Assembly on 10 November 2012.

The ISAF Officers are voted for by the Member National Authorities (MNAs), who represent their nation within ISAF. Officers are elected for a four-year term which will start on 11 November 2012 and end at the next General Assembly, to be held in November 2016.

Full details of the eligible candidates, including biographies of each candidate, stated goals and nominating MNAs, are available to view at:

The eligible candidates for election at the 2012 ISAF General Assembly are:

Nominated as Presidential candidates

Carlo Croce (ITA)
David Kellett (AUS)
Eric Tulla (PUR)

Nominated as Vice-President candidates

George Andreadis (GRE)
Chris Atkins (GBR)
Marcelien Bos-De Koning (NED)
Adrienne Greenwood (NZL)
Nuno G Henriques (POR)
Oleg Ilyin (RUS)
Nazli Imre (TUR)
Gary Jobson (USA)
Jose Leandro (POR)
Quanhai Li (CHN)
W Scott Perry (URU)
Alberto Predieri (ITA)
Gerardo Seeliger (ESP)
Riccardo Simoneschi (ITA)

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The Last Word
Making peace, I have found, is much harder than making war. -- Gerry Adams

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