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Back To Back Figaro Victories for Yann Elies
Yann Elies and his Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir crossed the finish line off Dieppe at 20:05:09 to take second on the fourth and final leg from Roscoff, and overall honours in the 2013 Solitaire du Figaro.

On cumulative elapsed time, Elies won by 26 minutes and 30 seconds from Xavier Macaire (Skipper Herault) and was 33 minutes 6 seconds ahead of leg 3 winner Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee) in third. Over the last 24 hours both Macaire and Lagraviere had been in a position to take overall victory in this year's race.

Significantly after he won last year, Elies is the only back to back winner in the race's recent history, (the only other person ever to have scored consecutive victories being Guy Cornu in 1975/6). He also joins the elite club of double Solitaire winners including fellow competitors in this race Armel le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire), Jeremie Beyou (Maitre CoQ) and Gilles le Baud (Carnac Thalasso & SPA), plus in past years Cornu, Nicolas Troussel, Jean Marie Vidal, and Gilles Gahinet. Only Jean le Cam, Michel Desjoyeaux and Philippe Poupon, are the super-elite to have won the race three times.

Elies started this year's Solitaire du Figaro in emphatic fashion. On leg one he survived the big conditions at Cape Finisterre and by heading offshore managed to find breeze when the wind shut down on the course for the final run down the west coast of Spain and Portugal. His victory into Porto gave him a 44 minute 4 second advantage over second placed Fred Duthil (Sepalumic). His overall lead grew to 57 minutes 6 seconds after finishing fifth into Gijon on leg 2.

But on leg 3 Elies' fortunes turned on their head. First he chose the wrong side of the course en route to Ile d'Yeu that left him mid-fleet. But worse was to befall him when, as the wind piped up off Belle Ile, Groupe Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir's forestay came tumbling to the deck. This might have been game over, but anticipating the wind freeing up Elies limped on to finish 21st into Roscoff, leaving him third overall, still in the fight, 32 minutes 28 seconds behind the new overall leader Fred Duthil, with leg 3 winner Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee) just 2 minutes 32 seconds ahead of him.

Top Ten Final Leg

1. Agir Recouvrement, Adrien Hardy
2. Groupe Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies
3. Skipper Herault, Xavier Macaire
4. DLBC, Yoann Richomme
5. Vendee, Morgan Lagraviere
6. Maitre Coq, Jeremie Beyou
7. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h
8. TBS, Michel Desjoyeaux
9. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance, Anthony Marchand
10. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Espoir, Corentin Horeau

Top Ten Overall

1. Groupe Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies
2. Skipper Herault, Xavier Macaire
3. Vendee, Morgan Lagraviere
4. DLBC, Yoann Richomme
5. Maitre Coq, Jeremie Beyou
6. Sepalumic, Frederic Duthil
7. TBS, Michel Desjoyeaux
8. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac'h
9. Groupe Fiva, Alexis Loison
10. Generali, Nicolas Lunven

Rehearsal Day
Ancona, Italy: There was nervous energy in the air here on the day prior to the start of the Adria Ferries ORCi World Championship, with both competitors and the Race Committee using the day to practice their respective roles in the coming show. 110 entries from 15 countries are here, divided into two classes, with each on stage tomorrow to start a 6-day performance for which team from each class will be crowned the new 2013 ISAF Offshore World Champion.

The locals said that today's sun-drenched, 6-10 knot conditions are not unusual for this time of year, though the forecast does show a suitable variety of wind predicted over the coming week. Nonetheless, those that are strong in the light showed well in the practice starts and the practice race offered today, and despite what seemed like a light turnout for this session, nearly all teams were on the water for their own training sessions after completing their registration and measurement formalities over the past few days.

Among the 22 boats that completed the race among 56 in the class, Giorgio Martin's TP 52 Aniene managed to spring ahead of their closest rival 52's and Piero Paniccia's Cookson 50 Calypso to finish ahead by over one minute in corrected time on the 9.3-mile course. In second place was not one of these fast 50's, but the much smaller Primed Rush Diletta, a Melges 32 owned by Mauro Mocchegiani, a clear contender in the light air and flat water of the day. The remaining six places were separated by only 1:30 in corrected time, a preview of the close margins that lie ahead for this event.

In Class B only 8 boats decided to complete the entire course, with another small light boat doing well amongst its larger rivals. Luciano Mastroianni's Farr 30 Candida Mente, one of the fastest-rated boats in Class B, won the race by 1:08 over Renato Pesaresi's Dufour 34 Machiael, one of the slower-rated boats in the class, over 11 minutes behind Candida in elapsed time on their 7.4-mile course.

The inshore course is a complex two-loop arrangement where Class A starts first, rounds the top mark and offset, and then reaches over another set of marks used to define their own dedicated windward-leeward track, before heading to a reaching finish to leeward of the leeward gate. This helps separate the two fleets and allow fair racing for both.

Another innovation is the mid-line start boat used to manage the 50+ boats in each start. This will help race managers more properly identify boats who are OCS, a problem that today resulted in a general recall for the over-anxious Class A fleet.

All-Danish Final At Danish Open Ladies Cup
The Danish Open Ladies Cup ended in an all-Danish final between home sailors Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen and Camilla Ulrikkeholm, a final that required five stunningly tight and truly explosive matches to decide this year's champion: Meldgaard Pedersen.

World ranking number one and recent World Championship silver medallist Camilla Ulrikkeholm didn't start this regatta very convincingly, but recovered a lot in the second round robin, and then managed to get to the semi finals with a margin of just one point. Once there she defeated Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain 3 - 1 for a place in the final. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen on the other hand looked strong from the beginning, winning the round robin with a 14 - 2 record and then 3 - 1 against this event's big surprise, Dutch rookie skipper Merel Wetteveen, in their semi final.

The petit final was won by Lucy Macgregor in two straight matches against Merel Wetteveen

Final results Danish Open 2013 Ladies Cup

1. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, Henriette Koch, Tina Gramkov, Nina Grunow, DEN
2. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, Trine Abrahamsen, Louise Ulrikkeholm, Joan Vestergard Hansen, DEN
3. Lucy Macgregor, Sophie Pearson, Annabel Vose, Maria Stanley, GBR
4. Merel Witteveen, Shannen Marck, Froukje Feenstra, Frieda van Belle, NED
5. Stephanie Roble, Jenn Chamberlin, Maggie Shea, Kayla McComb, USA, USD
6. Anna Kjellberg, Malin Kallstrom/Johanna Larsson, Karin Almquist, Åsa Carlsson, SWE
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Petronella de Jong, Helle Orum, Anne-Christianne Kentgens, NED
8. Anna Kjellgren, Maria Ohrn, Ann Dahlesten, Theres Wolgast, SWE

Standings in the 2013 Women's International Match Racing Series after three events:

1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 44
1. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 44
3. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 36
4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 33
5. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 25
5. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 25
5. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP, 25
8. Julie Bossard, FRA, 22
9. Katie Spithill, AUS, 19
10. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 17
10. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 17
12. Merel Witteveen, NED, 15
12. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS, 15
14. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 14
15. Susannah Pyatt, NZL, 9
16. Milly Bennett, AUS, 8
17. Anna Kjellgren, SWE, 7
18. Anne Marit Hansen, NOR, 4
18. Sung-Eun Choi, KOR, 4
18. Morgane Dreau, FRA, 4

J Class at the Superyacht Regatta
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

J Class Tensions were high on the dock this morning before the final race of the regatta. "There are 3 boats all in with a shot at winning," commented Richard Searle, one of the long time race crew on Velsheda. "It's great to see Lionheart up there as well as Ranger, our long time competitor, in the running ... having the 5 J's makes the race, increases the level of competition and intensity, and we all have to step up our performance as there is no room for error."

"The race today was all about the start" said Brad Butterworth, sailing aboard Ranger today. "Whoever got the left end of the line would get the advantage to the top windward mark, and Hanuman did a great job of that."

It was Velsheda that got by far the most spectacular start of the regatta, she charged the line with pace breaking past Lionheart and Ranger who had set up early and were killing time.

The all important first beat saw Hanuman round the first windward mark first, followed shortly after by Velsheda.

Hanuman continued to lead the procession around the 2 hour course. She had great boat speed and with no mistakes being made by any of the J's today, she was hard to beat. Second place was Velsheda making good on her fantastic start, followed by Ranger, Lionheart and Rainbow.

Overall results, see Hanuman the victor (this will be 7 out of 8 firsts for her), Lionheart and Ranger have equal points however with a first in Race 3 Lionheart takes second, with Velsheda fourth and Rainbow fifth.

Conditions were perfect today for the J's, a little heavier than originally anticipated with a breeze of 13-15 knots and sea state only slightly choppier than yesterday.

AC Mediation Ends Without Final Resolution
Mediation aimed at reaching agreement on implementing 37 safety recommendations previously issued by Regatta Director Iain Murray has ended after four days.

"The four teams agreed on the vast majority of the safety recommendations," said Bryan Willis, one of the two International Jury members acting as mediators. "It was a useful and positive exercise and ended with only a couple of points unresolved."

All 37 of the Regatta Director safety recommendations, developed in consultation with the teams following the fatal capsize of Artemis Racing last month, will remain part of the Marine Event Permit application previously submitted to the US Coast Guard.

"I want to thank the mediators for their work, as the process was beneficial," Murray said. "It was useful to hear the teams' perspective on safety from a competitive viewpoint.

"But as Regatta Director, I have a clear task. For me, safety means safety for everyone. Full stop. I stand behind all of the original recommendations to increase safety for all of our sailors this summer.

"If the recommendations are included by the Coast Guard in our Marine Event Permit then I will issue a Regatta Notice harmonizing the various Rule documents to reflect the safety recommendations.

"I look forward to working with the Coast Guard, teams and other stakeholders to ensure we run a safe and successful America's Cup this summer."

First NACRA 17 Worlds
The Hague, NetherlandsL The first ever World Championships in the Nacra 17 bring the global Olympic top of multihull sailing to The Hague, Netherlands. The event starts on Sunday July 21st, 2013 and runs until Saturday July 27th. With one month to go, there are now fifty entries from 22 countries. This new sailing discipline is part of the program of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The registered participants represent the whole world, from North and South America, Australia/New Zealand, Europe to Asia. Among the applications are the leaders of the ISAF World Ranking, Thomas Zajac and Tanje Chiara Frank from Austria. And the French duo Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet, who won the Delta Lloyd Regatta and a bronze medal in Palma. The winners of the French World Cup in Hyeres, Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga from Sweden, will also battle for the first world title in the Olympic Nacra 17.

The Netherlands will line up with three teams from the national selection. These are Mandy Mulder with Thijs Visser, Renee Groeneveld with Karel Begemann, and Elke Delnooz with Coen de Koning. Mulder and Visser won the ISAF World Cup in Palma, the Sofia Cup, earlier this season. Groeneveld and Begemann ended there as second and won also bronze at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik.

Tactical Race To Plymouth
With no inshore racing possible in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday for the Routes des Princes fleet due to very high winds on Dublin Bay, the focus for the multihull fleet returns to offshore racing as Leg 3, to Plymouth is set to start on Monday morning at 1100hrs local time (Dublin). After the spectacular capsize of Yann Guichard's Spindrift on Saturday there will now be three MOD70's racing on the penultimate offshore stage.

The race leading MOD70 was righted by crane on Saturday evening and the crew and technical team spent Sunday doing their best to restore what equipment had been salvaged and make the hull ready for repatriation back to France which is expected to take place later this week. Injured crewman Jacques Guichard (FRA), who suffered a fractured pelvis, remains in hospital and will be further evaluated by a specialist on Monday.

From the extremes of too much wind which prevented inshore racing on Dublin Bay - Sunday's gusts peaked at over 40kts - breezes are forecast to be insufficient for a meaningful attempt on the Round Ireland record which it was hoped might be an integral part of the Leg 3 course.

Instead the course to Plymouth has a measure of flexibility built. The extreme easterly turning mark may be as far up the Channel as Southern Head off Newhaven, East Sussex. There are three other choices at Nab Tower, Fairway and Shambles. The longest possible course is 850 miles and the shortest is 650. And racing in the English Channel - downwind with strong tides - will surely mean some of the most tactical racing yet.

Leg 3 starts at 1100hrs local time Monday. After a short windward-leeward loop off Dun Laoghaire at the start the course goes to Bardsey Island off the Anglesey coast, which is expected to be a 60 miles downwind leg in NW'ly winds starting off at a moderate 10-15kts and building later to 25kts. Bardsey is the first of two bonus points scoring opportunities for the first boat in each class. From this turn it is 195 miles to Fastnet Rock. As current forecasts stand this is likely to be upwind or a tight reach. Then from Fastnet the fleet will have 150 miles of downwind sailing to pass Bishop Rock and Hands Deep at the Scilly Isles. Bishop Rock is the second points scoring opportunity. Before passing Eddystone Rocks off Plymouth Race Direction will inform contestants what the remaining marks of the course will be. Fastnet and Bishops Rock, and beyond, the westerly breezes are expected to slacken off, mostly thereafter racing downwind in 10-12kts and less at times. Race Direction anticipates the leaders reaching Plymouth early on Wednesday afternoon.

Kiel Week
Sailors from six nations are leading the fleet in eight olympic sailing disciplines and paralympic boat classes 2.4mR. With Andrews Marks in the Finn and Sophie Weguelin/Eilidh McIntryre, the British are the first set for the Gold Fleet. In the 49er (Delle Karth/Resch) and 470 men (Schmidt/Reichsstaedter) Austrians take the lead after the second racing day, in the 49er FX (Jurczok/Lorenz) and the 2.4mR (Kroeger) German sailors are at the top. The Australian crew Jason Waterhouse/Lisa Darmanin keeps on going in the new olympic catamaran class Nacra 17, Finish sailor Tuula Tenkanen is in the front in the Laser Radial.

The wind on the second day was great again and made it possible to continue with the successful start of the racing week with 48 race starts. The German athletes were well in front, being able to gain a major part of the first places, 20 in total.

With only 17 teams in the 49erFX, there is no cut for the skiff women. But the German top teams would have easily made it, since they are at the top of the fleet. Tina Lutz/Susann Beucke (Bergen/Strande) could win two of the four races on Sunday, Victoria Jurczok/AnikaLorenz (Kiel), the German siblings teams Jule and Lotta Goerge (Kiel) were leading in the other two races. Now Jurczok/Lorenz are leading, followed by Lutz/Beucke. Goerge/Goerge are right behind the Australians Tessa Parkinson/Chelsea in fourth position.

The Finn is still dominated mainly by the Brits. Mark Andrew leads before Andrew Mills. This duo could win all races up to now with the Swedish Olympic Champion in the Star Max Salminen following them.

Tuula Tenkanen from Finland is sailing way up front in the Laser Radial. In second position is the first in the world ranking Tatiana Drozdovskaya from Belarus.

The two-time World Champion Robert Scheidt from Brasil celebrates a glorious comeback in the Laser. He left 90 competitors - the whole fleet - behind him. Philipp Buhl from Kiel is in third position.

* Kieler Woche.TV is transmitted on all racing days live from 12 to 14:30 and with the highlights from 17 to 17:45. In addition, there are several TV stations producing their own program in Schilksee. 13 million spectators were reached in 2012, this year the expected number is between 15 and 20 million.

You can access Kieler Woche.TV via the internet on or . The time-limited DVB-T channel 52 has been activated since Thursday and can be found by re-starting the search channel function. First broadcast programs have started this Saturday.

Bronze Age Britons' 'Run-Abouts'
Detailed analysis of a key long-buried ancient river channel in Cambridgeshire suggests that canoes, made of tree trunks, were the personal transport 'run-abouts' of choice in prehistoric times.

Now archaeologists and conservators have launched the largest ever conservation program for prehistoric artefacts in an attempt to save eight of the remarkable craft for the nation.

The ancient canoes will be treated with chemicals in a specially designed cold store conservation facility, funded by English Heritage, at a Bronze Age site and museum at Flag Fen near Peterborough.

Archaeologists, from Cambridge Archaeological Unit, have been studying the finely made craft since they were lifted from the still water-logged bed of a long-vanished river at Must Farm, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire in 2011 and early 2012. Further analysis of the vessels will take place during conservation.

Examination of the boats - dating from 1600 to 1000BC - has so far revealed that Bronze Age Britons developed a much wider range of dug-out boat design than previously thought.

"The evidence from Must Farm and elsewhere in Britain suggests that literally hundreds of thousands must have been made and used in the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age periods," said one of Britain's leading ancient boat specialists, Richard Darrah. -- David Keys in The Independent

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The Last Word
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