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Armel Le Cleac'h Wins Figaro Leg 2
Two times past winner Armel Le Cleac'h on board Banque Populaire, crossed the finish line in Gijon, on the northwestern coast of Spain at 16:21:43 CEST today, June 10th 2013, winning leg two of the 44th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard cachemire. Le Cleac'h covered the 298 miles from Porto to Gijon in 2 days, 3 hours and 11 minutes at an average speed of 5.8 knots. With today's win his personal leg wins record goes up to 6 victories in 10 participations to the race. For Le Cleac'h this also represent the second victory in Gijon where he triumphed in the 2010 race.

On the final few miles, in a purely match-racing style battle, the skipper from Finistere managed to fend off the continuous attacks from Morgan Lagraviere on Vendee, who crossed in second only 59 seconds later, at 16:22:42. Interesting to note that Lagraviere came in second in Gijon in the 2012 edition of the race too.

Third place went to Anthony Marchand on Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance, who finished at 16:26:12, fourth to Jeremie Beyou on Maitre CoQ at 16:28:58 and fifth to leg 1 winner Yann Elies on Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie espoir, who thus keeps his provisional overall leadership.

Sam Goodchild on Shelterbox - Disaster Relief was the first non-French skipper to finish in Gijon. He crossed at 16:52:12, a bit over 30 minutes after leg winner Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) in 11th position. A bit more than three minutes behind Goodchild, it was UK's Nick Cherry's turn on Magma Structures to finish at 16:55:36 in 14th position overall. Henry Bomby (Rockfish) after a not very positive start and first part of the leg made a brilliant recovery, finishing in 20th with a gap of only 1 hour and 18 minutes on the winner. Edmund Hill (Artemis 37), who has been trailing the fleet since the first few hours of the leg, is expected to get to Gijon later today.

The only female entrant this year race, Claire Pruvot (Port de Caen Ouistreham), was the first rookie in Gijon. The young match-racer turned offshore skipper closed in 16th overall, preceding by a few minutes her most serious adversaries in the special newcomer category David Kenefick (Full Irish) and Jackson Bouttell (Artemis 77) who finished in 18th in 19th respectively and separated by an incredible 31 seconds gap after more than two days at sea.

Etchells World Championship In Italy 1st Day
Rosignano, Italy: On the first racing day of Etchells World Championship two races have been run on the sail area of Yacht Club Cala de Medici, Rosignano Marittimo, Italy.

Due to the crazy weather conditions of this year's Italian spring - completely cloudy in the morning, warm sun a clear sky in the afternoon - the race committee had to postpone the first starting gun scheduled for noon: the start of the first race of the day was at about 3pm with a very ligh northwesterly wind, not more than 3 knots. Then later in the afternoon the wind increased up to 10/12 knots and it was possible to start a second race.

In the first race the American team headed by Marvin Beckman (who last week won the Italian Championship on the same venue) took the lead all the way to the finishing line.

In the second race the wind freshened over the race area: Hong Kong helmsman Ante Razmilovich (winner of the European Championship sailed at the beginning of May in Cowes, IOW, UK) won the start on port at the pin end, but could keep the lead only until the first mark rounding. Then the British team headed by James Howells took the head of the fleet until he crossed the finishing line.

Tomorrow races start at noon. -- Laura Jelmini

Good Old Gaffers In Dublin Bay
Looking every inch a classic, Brian & Conor Turvey's Howth 17 Isobel turns elegantly to windward in the Liffey. Photo by W M Nixon. Click on image to enlarge.

Old Gaffers In Dublin Bay It's not the boats that are the marina manager's nightmare. It's the bowsprits. That said, the boats themselves, with their long old keels and huge propellor apertures, or even with funny little props set under the quarter - these boats can be problematic. With configurations like this, you can bet for sure they can be awkward enough to manoeuvre. And handling them in confined spaces, you need a masters degree in prop crawl.

Yet that is still something to which normal boaties can relate. But then you throw in a bowsprit as big as a telegraph pole, pointing into everywhere it isn't wanted like a snouty mongrel, then you really do have a problem in a confined harbour normally used by shiny little boats that can spin in their own length, and stop within seconds of engaging in astern.

All of which goes to explain why the Old Gaffers Association, celebrating its Golden Jubilee with a Round Britain challenge with a couple of diversions to Ireland, has tended to focus on major ports with long pontoons and longer quays for its main gatherings. In Britain the festivities are sponsored by Associated British Ports, while in Ireland it has been Dublin Port and Belfast Harbour who have put out the welcome mats. So the fleet came to Dublin Bay from May 31st to June 4th to be hosted by the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Associations through the generous hospitality of Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, and Dublin Port gave it all a fine fair wind...

WM Nixon's great story and dozens of great photos in Afloat magazine:

Seahorse July 2013
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Transatlantic history, the wider importance of Team New Zealand, Caribbean wrap, Oracle Racing's third contender and US America's Cup reflections. Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Ivor Wilkins

RORC news
Eddie Warden Owen

Seahorse build table - Glamour
A look at that speedy new Botín 40-footer

Sailor of the Month
Extremes of the displacement spectrum

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Olympic Champion Steals The Show On Day Two
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy welcomed a second day of light fickle breeze at the Sail for Gold Regatta as China's 2012 Olympic Champion Lijia Xu stole the show on day two of this five day regatta.

The London 2012 sailing venue served up similar conditions to that of day one with a building breeze across Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay. All fleets took to the water in an average 4-6 knots which slowly increased to 8-10 knots giving the majority of fleets a full day of racing.

Returning back to WPNSA for the first time since claiming Olympic gold and becoming China's first ever Olympic sailing gold medallist is Lijia Xu (CHN). The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year claimed an impressive four races win ahead of fellow teammate Dongshuang Zhang (CHN) who posted four seconds to stamp China's authority at the top of the Laser Radial fleet. Alison Young is third after 4-4-3-3.

In the Laser fleet New Zealand's Sam Meech clung onto his overnight lead with a 1-2-5-2 from the four races completed on Course Area E.

In the Nacra 17 class, the new multihull class for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, British Sailing Team's Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond revelled in today's conditions, outdoing yesterday's leaders Lucy Macgregor and Tom Phipps (GBR) with two firsts and a second, taking the overall lead on count back.

Racing is scheduled to start at 11am tomorrow (Tuesday 11 June) with rain and a 14-18 knots forecast in store.

Full results of all classes at

Sakamoto Breezes Into Nations Cup Final After Vladivostok Surprise
Wataru Sakamoto defied home advantage and the rankings to win the Asia regional final of the ISAF Nations Cup in Vladivostok and qualify for the Grand Final in Middelfart, Denmark on August 6-10.

After three days racing in Platu 25s in stable 6-12 knot south-easterly winds at the Seven Feet Yacht Club on the waters of Amursky Bay, Sakamoto dominated Singapore's Maximilian Soh in the final on Sunday, reeling off three successive victories. Soh will also get a wildcard to the Grand Final in Middelfart.

Japan and Singapore join the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Finland, Australia, New Zealand and of course, Denmark in the Open category of the Grand Final.

For an elated Sakamoto, coached by the Laurie Jury, the winner of the last Nations Cup in 2011, it was third time lucky in Vladivostok.

Vladimir Lipavsky, many people's pre-regatta favourite, left his charge to the line too late. The Moscow sailor won the third-fourth place play-off 3-0 against Vladivostok's Ilya Ermakov, but had been well-beaten 3-0 by Soh in the semi-final on Saturday. Sakamoto beat Ermakov 3-1 in the other semi-final.

There was no women's event in Vladivostok, that will take place at Viana do Castelo, Portugal on June 12-16. -- Matthew Pryor

1. Wataru Sakamoto, JPN
2. Maximilian Soh, SIN
3. Vladimir Lipavsky, RUS
4. Ilya Ermakov, RUS
5. Nikolay Korolev, RUS
6. Ebrahim Abdulla, RUS

Francis Joyon At The Starting Line Tonight
Francis Joyon is due to set off early tomorrow (Tuesday 11th June) to tackle the solo Atlantic crossing aboard his maxi trimaran IDEC. He is expected to cross the official starting line at the foot of Ambrose Light off New York between 0000hrs and 0600hrs GMT (0200hrs - 0800hrs CET). He will be facing the Atlantic alone all the way to the Lizard at the southernmost tip of Cornwall and is hoping to complete the voyage in less than 5 days, 19 hours, 30 minutes and 40 seconds in order to have his name added to the registers of the World Speed Sailing Record Council in place of the current holder, Thomas Coville.

If he succeeds he will become the only man to hold the four most important solo sailing records, the Round the World Record, the 24-hour distance record, the Columbus Route record and the North Atlantic record.

"The weather opportunity tonight is looking decent," according to Jean-Yves Bernot, the leading light in ocean racing navigation, who continues to assists Francis Joyon is his major sailing challenges. To put it simply, the conditions are looking favourable, if not ideal, but are decent enough to allow him to make this attempt. Back in France, the two men had been watching a low-pressure area develop over the continent of North America, offering the strength and trajectory that suits this record, which over the years has become increasingly difficult to beat. During the weekend, Francis Joyon was more and more certain of the situation and decided to climb aboard a plane yesterday to head for New York, where he will get back with his giant trimaran IDEC, currently moored in Gateway Marina in Brooklyn, New York.

Solo North Atlantic records
1987: Bruno Peyron, Explorer catamaran, in 11 days, 11 hours 46 minutes and 36 seconds
1990: Florence Arthaud, Pierre 1er trimaran, in 9 days, 21 hours and 42 minutes
1992: Bruno Peyron, Explorer catamaran, in 9 days, 19 hours and 22 minutes
1994: Laurent Bourgnon, Primagaz trimaran, in 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds
2005: Francis Joyon, IDEC 1 trimaran, in 6 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 37 seconds
2008: Thomas Coville, Sodebo trimaran, in 5 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 20 seconds

Melges 24 International Swedish Championship
Click on image for photo gallery.

Argentario Sailing Week Herman Horn Johannessen from Norway is the Swedish Champion in Melges 24 2013 arranged by Malmo Segel Sällskap in Limhamn amongst 29 participants.

The competition became a thriller as many of the top teams failed in the first race. NOR732 secured the winner's title in the two finishing races with excellent performances on the course.

Johannessen was follow by another Norwegian boat - NOR 400 with Kristoffer Spone as skipper followed by the German boat GER690 with Marcus Scheel as skipper and he won over DEN612 with skipper Kris Houman with only 1 point.

The favourite Ants Haavel from Estland won 2 races but ended on 7th place. The waters outside Ribersborg Beach were very tricky with sudden changes in the wind direction with a force between 3-8 m/s. The Swedish boat ended on 8th place (Berntsson from Stenungssund) on 11th place (Skallen fran Amalsvik) and on 13th place (Martin Fridh from Malmp). Other boats from Malmo ended on 15th place (Peter Ekdahl) and on 22nd Torsten Bergh

Final top five after 7 race (29 boats)

1. Herman Horn Johannessen, NOR
2. Kristoffer Spone, NOR
3. Marcus Scheele, GER
4. Kris Housman, DEN
5. Peder Jahre, NOR

Folkboat Nordic National Championships
Principal Race Officer Jane Pitt-Pitts, Matthew Jones, Caroline & Stuart Watson. Click on image to enlarge.

Nordic National Championships This year's championships were sponsored by the marine insurance company GJW Direct and held over the weekend of the 8th & 9th June in the Western Solent by the Royal Lymington Y.C. The intention was to race in Christchurch Bay on Saturday and then move inside Hurst Narrows for the final two races on Sunday. The unseasonal strong North-Northeasterly breeze made the trip out into the Bay impractical.

Principal Race Officer Jane Pitt-Pitts set three testing 'windward / leeward' courses near the mouth of Lymington River and with the wind both shifting in direction and varying in speed it was a day of mixed fortunes for many of the boats with places both won and lost in equal measure. There were race wins for 'Crackerjack' (the Watsons & Matthew Jones), Chris Hills helming 'Padfoot' and 'Madelaine' (Edward Donald). Overnight the lead was shared by 'Crackerjack' & 'Padfoot' with Ado Jardine helming Jeremy Austin's 'Tak' in 3rd place.

The wind had eased by Sunday morning but was still subject to shifts that made significant differences to each race's results. -- Eddie Mays

Overall Results (Top 5):

1. Crackerjack (Stuart Watson & Matthew Jones)
2. Tak (Jeremy Austin)
3. Padfoot (Chris Hills)
4. Tagomago (James Harrison)
5. Samphire of Oykel (James Hoare & Graham Coulter)

Argentario Sailing Week
Photo by James Robinson Taylor, Click on image for photo gallery.

Argentario Sailing Week The 14th Edition of the Argentario Sailing Week, the international regatta reserved for classic yachts taking place in Maremma, Tuscany, from the 13th to the 16th of June 2013. The Classic Yachting event is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano in partnership with the Florentine haute horologerie brand Officine Panerai which for many years has been promoting the culture of classic sailing through the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the largest international circuit of regattas for the most beautiful classic yachts still sailing.

Among the 48 yachts from France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy that have entered the Argentario Sailing Week Forty-eight, there are some of the gems of the Mediterranean: Cambria (Bermudian Cutter, built in 1928, L. 40 meters), Mariette of 1915 (Schooner, built in 1915, L. 42 meters) and Mariquita (Fore and Aft Cutter, built in 1911, L. 38 meters).

The boats will be docked at the old harbor of Porto Santo Stefano, also known as "La Pilarella". Sailing lovers and enthusiasts will have the golden opportunity of admiring close-up the classic beauties which have made the history of yachting for over a century.

The yachts are divided in five categories: Vintage, Classic, Big Boats, Spirit of Tradition, Metric classes and One Design.

Racing will take place from the 14th to the 16th of June while Thursday 13 June has been reserved for final registration formalities and measurement.

Weather forecast for the race area: Consorzio LaMMA

Slow Go... No Joe
I am sorry to report that I have elected to withdraw GryphonSolo2 from the Bermuda 1-2. We had very light winds all day today (Sunday) and were becalmed in the Gulf Stream this evening. The weather forecast did not show much wind in the next few days, and I have some personal and business commitments later this week, so I reluctantly decided to pull the plug and bring the boat back to Newport (220 miles) rather than carry on to Bermuda (420 miles). I am motoring now so would expect to be back in Newport in about 36 hours.

Sorry to end things so abruptly but there are more events on the calendar this summer including Marblehead to Halifax in July so stay tuned. -- Joe Harris

Live Race Tracker:

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2002 Judel / Vrolijk Maxi Racer. EUR 595,000. Located In Baltic Sea, Germany.

The yacht was built for the Daimler Chrysler Atlantic Challenge 2003 and was fastest yacht. For the season 2005 the yacht was comlpetely refitted. She is very well maintained and in a ready to race condition. Also convertible for cruising.

Brokerage through Michael Schmidt & Partner GmbH:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
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