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Hoj-Jensen Takes The Lead; Smith Black Flagged
Photo by Fiona Brown, Click on image for photo gallery.

Dragon Edinburgh Cup Weymouth, UK: It was all change on day three of the 2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management in Weymouth, where today's fifth race brought high tension on the race course and the introduction of the discard. As a result the leader board has been well and truly shuffled and it will be all to play for in tomorrow's final race.

Today's race winner was fleet newcomer Grant Gordon, sailing with Ruaridh Scott and Joost Houweling, who enjoyed a spectacular dog fight with Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing with Andrew Norden and Hamish McKay. Initially Hoj-Jensen just had the upper hand, but on the second run Gordon got through to take control for the remainder of the race. Behind them the chasing pack was vying for position with constant place changing and some nail biting mark roundings. Ultimately Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing with Jean Sebastien Ponce and Vicente Pinheiro de Melo, got the best of the situation and led Simon Brien, sailing with Mark Brien and David Gomes, Mick Cotter, sailing with Simon Fry and Tim Goodbody, Mark Dicker, sailing with James Campbell, and Drummond Sydenham and Klaus Diederichs, sailing with Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea, across the line.

The race also produced some big upsets with several of the leading boats being black flagged including overnight leader Lawrie Smith, sailing with Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor, and leading Corinthian Julia Bailey, sailing with Graham Bailey, Keith Tippell and Will Heritage.

Overall Top Six After Five Races

1. Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, GBR775 Danish Blue - 5,(14),10,3,2 = 20 points
2. Klaus Diederichs, GBR758 Fever - 1,(15),7,6,7 = 21
3. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, GBR761 Jerboa - 10,8,(12),1,3 = 22
4. Lawrie Smith, GBR785 Alfie - 8,6,8,2,(42bfd) = 24
5. Grant Gordon, GBR780 Louise - 7,7,16,(19),1 = 31
6. Julia Bailey, GBR720 Aimee - 3,2,2,25,(42bfd) = 32 (Corinthian)

RC44 Sweden Cup
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

Sweden Cup The wind kicked in at the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand for the third day of racing, with conditions not dissimilar to The Solent it was the British boats that excelled. Aegir Racing, Nika and Synergy all won races, but an excellent and consistent day from Team Aqua (GBR) took them to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the RC44 Sweden Cup, Team Aegir's (GBR) top performance moved them into second overall and day one leaders, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), slipped back to third.

After a general recall the fleet got away in a building 14 knot southerly breeze.

For the final race of the day, conditions remained unchanged, 16-18 knots of breeze and big swell.

Racing continues in Marstrand until Saturday 29th June

RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Ranking (After six races)
1. Team Aqua, 22 points
2. Aegir Racing, 28
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, 28
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 30
5. Artemis Racing, 33
6. Team Italia, 36
7. Aleph Racing, 41
8. Katusha, 44
9. Team Nika, 45
10. Ironbound, 46
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team, 54
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team, 61

To The Jury...
Emirates Team New Zealand confirms its intention to file a protest with the America's Cup Jury seeking a ruling that the regatta director has exceeded his jurisdiction in seeking to unilaterally introduce changes to the AC 72 Class Rule.

The recommended changes relate to additional weight of the yachts and rudder elevators.

The team says that changes to the rule so close to the start of racing require the unanimous consent of all eligible competitors.

The proposed changes relate to two of the regatta director's 37 safety recommendations issued on the 22nd May 2013 following the Review Committee's report after the capsize of Artemis Racing.

Emirates Team New Zealand supports all the other safety recommendations, which have now been approved by competitors, including the reduction of wind limits and various new rules to ensure enhanced crew safety. However it is our view that the contentious Class Rule changes are performance-related rules not necessary to ensure safety.

The team says the organisers are wrong in seeking to legitimise the unauthorised Class Rule changes by seeking to use the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard to introduce these rules via the Marine Event Permit.

The decision of the jury will be final and binding on all parties, and contrary to some media speculation, any competitor who resorts to a Court in an issue where the Jury has jurisdiction immediately ceases to be eligible to compete.

Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said: "We look forward to the jury determining the issue so, whatever the decision is, we can get on with the racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup starting July 7."

French 52 Makes Eight For Royal Cup Marina Ibiza
Eight 52's will race next week when the 52 SUPER SERIES is hosted for the first time on the Balearic Island of Ibiza. The second European regatta of the season, the Royal Cup, reflects the initiative of the owners to choose venues which are a mix of established, key regattas and standalone regattas at desirable, perhaps less well known locations.

For the first time this season the racing programme includes a coastal race. Scheduled for Thursday the longer course options include a circuit of beautiful Formentera Island which is around 45 miles. The chances to utilise specialist reaching sails and work on a more open race track is one which may see different 52 teams coming to the front of the fleet.

In Barcelona last month it was the Ed Baird skippered Quantum Racing, with Terry Hutchinson calling tactics, which prevailed to win the first regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES. Their afterguard includes Spain's Olympic gold medallist Jordi Calafat as strategist, a sailor whose knowledge of the Ibiza racing waters might be a significant asset.

Returning to the 52 SUPER SERIES for the first time this season is Jean-Luc Petithuguenin's Paprec Recyclage. The crew which is lead by skipper-helm Stephane Neve, a former prominent French sailmaker now working in Petithuguenin's recycling business, has been together for many year and is predominantly amateurs. Among the Paprec crew are a doctor, engineer, supermarket manager and a factory manager.

Follow racing live on

Jeanne Socrates - Near To Victory In Victoria
70-year-old Jeanne Socrates, the British sailor who never says 'die', whose boat Nereida has had almost everything aboard broken during her solo sail, is nearing her quest to become, on her third attempt, the oldest woman on earth to complete a solo, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the globe.

The British grandmother is due to sail back in Victoria Harbour, British Columbia within next several days after spending more than 245 days at sea alone.

During her journey she has had to climb the mast multiple times, lower herself upside down into the wake water to repair her rudder, and for the last several weeks has been relying on ham radio buffs after she lost all her communications gear in heavy weather.

Her Najad 38 yacht, Nereida, the second Nereida, will be officially timed as she passes the Ogden Point breakwater.

Nereida departed from Victoria Harbour on 22 October 2012.

Jeanne's voyage is being recorded by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. When she arrives the yacht will be escorted in by a Prince of Whales whale watching boat. For those who are near enough to greet her, after arrival, Nereida will be docked in front of the Empress Hotel, courtesy of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

Jeanne's first attempt resulted in the total loss of her first Nereida on a beach just 60nm short of the completion of her circumnavigation. During her second attempt her vessel was knocked down off Cape Horn, suffering a broken boom and other severe damage. Knocking back a tow, Jeanne limped into Ushuaia, repaired the boat, and kept going across the Southern Atlantic. Sometime along that leg she realised that on arrival into Cape Town she would achieve a record of sorts, not a non-stop record, but still the record as the oldest solo female circumnavigator.

Jeanne's site:

Sovererign's Cup
RCYC's O'Leary clan continued to carve their way to the top of the 1720 European Championships table with six of the scheduled races completed. Nicholas, onboard T-Bone enjoyed a second and two bullets in today's racing held as part of the Covestone Asset Management Sovereign's Cup. T-Bone now enjoys a six point lead overall over Spiced Beef, with brothers Peter and Robert O'Leary onboard, which found today's shifty wind in Bullen Bay less to its taste. Baltimore-based Ben Cooke on Smile and Wave continues to keep the top two honest in third, just a further point adrift, while Anthony O'Leary, lies waiting in fourth should his sons slip up in the remaining races.

In the Quarter Ton Cup, the competition continues apace amongst the 8-boat fleet. Rob Laidlaw in Aquila appears at this stage to marginally have the upper hand over Rob Gray's all-black Cote, scoring two bullets and a second to Gray's two seconds and a first. There's not much in it though, with the final race today being decided by a mere seven seconds. William McNeill's Illegal Immigrant lies in third overall after three third place finishes, and likewise Tony Hayward's Black Fun was remarkably consistent notching up three fourths today, to lie in fourth place overall. However, the smart money at this stage would be on Laidlaw or Gray to lift the trophy.

In Class 1 IRC, John Maybury's Joker 2, has established herself as the boat to beat, not having been outside the top three to date, and scoring a bullet in today's second race. Local KYC boat David Scott's EOS lies in second place overall after squeaking a win from Joker 2 by two seconds in the first race today. The A35 Fool's Gold of Rob McConnell lies in third overall but, with just eight points separating second and sixth places and amid reports of very competitive racing - where minute margins are making significant differences - no one is calling this class yet.

Complete results of all classes at

Missing Schooner: Fears For Seven On Board
Rescue officials say they have "grave concerns" for seven people aboard a US schooner that has been missing for three weeks between New Zealand and Australia.

Authorities said the Nina, an 84-year-old wooden vessel, is skippered by American David Dyche.

There are two other American men and three American women aboard, aged between 17 and 73, and a 35-year-old British man.

Maritime New Zealand said extensive searches by plane this week had found no sign of the 21m (70ft) schooner.

It set off from the Bay of Islands settlement of Opua on New Zealand's North Island on May 29 bound for the Australian city of Newcastle, north of Sydney.

A New Zealand meteorologist took the last known calls from the crew on board the yacht when it was about 370 nautical miles west of New Zealand.

"The weather's turned nasty, how do we get away from it?" Bob McDavitt was asked when he took a satellite phone call from Nina on June 3.

A storm around at the time saw winds gusting up to 110km/h (68mph) and waves of up to 8m (26ft).

* NINA is one of the most famous designs of Starling Burgess and was built on the beach at Monument Beach, MA by Reuben Bigelow, launched in 1928. Rigged as a staysail schooner she was designed and built for the trans-Atlantic Race from NYC to Santander, Spain, which (the smallest vessel) she won.

She measures 58' 10" LOD, 50' on the WL and draws close to 10 feet on 44 ton displacement.

Built for Paul Hammond she also raced in 1928 in the Fastnet which she won in 4 days and 12 hours, 48 minutes as the first American yacht to do so. In the later ownership of DeCoursey Fales she won the Stamford to Vineyard Race so frequently that it became known as her race.

She also won the Bermuda Race, and was so successful on the race course that Mr. Fales used to donate her trophies back and then win them again. More recently she was owned by Hans van Nes (whose son Nick owned PETREL while another son, Gordon, owned the Boston pilot schooner PILOT) and visited the Vineyard on frequent occasions. In the late 80's she was sold to Rosemarie and David Dyche III who sailed her all over the Med, Atlantic and then through the Canal and into the Pacific for a circumnavigation.

Jim Lobdell mentioned growing up in a harbor that had both BRILLIANT and NINA to admire, and I can only add WHEN AND IF and MALABAR II, as well as a few other lovely schooners such as JUNO, REBECCA, CHARLOTTE, VOYAGER and MARTHA, ALCYONE, ADVENTURESS and the ROSE OF SHARON (also designed by Starling Burgess) to make it perfect. I'm thinking quickly about classic wooden schooners so if I've missed yours, my apologies.

NINA is a grand boat, and we can only hope that she's drifting somewhere and will make landfall eventually. Unfortunately the signs are not positive. She's a lovely boat and very fast but the last communication was June 4th and she was in a bad storm. The reports that mention the 1300 miles between NZ and Australia where she has disappeared as being a voyage that an 85 year old schooner couldn't do in less than 20 odd days has never examined NINA's race record. Let us all say a prayer for those at sea, and hope that she shows up. -- Ginny Jones

Letters To The Editor -
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* From Iain Murray, Regatta Director, 34th America's Cup: Regarding the letters to the editor posted in Scuttlebutt Europe #2866 - 27 June, there appears to be some confusion about recommended changes to AC72 rudders which I would like to clear up.

Following the loss of Andrew Simpson when Artemis Racing capsized, I convened an expert safety review committee to consult with sailors, designers, engineers and shore team personnel to assess safety. After their review, I issued 37 safety recommendations to ensure our racing this summer will be as safe as possible.

Of the 37 recommendations, all have been strongly supported by the teams except for the one dealing with rudder elevators.

Currently, there is a lot of misinformation about what this recommendation is and what it means. There are two main factors to consider - the size of the rudder elevators and their angle of attack, plus a third point.

In simple terms rudder elevators are winglets on the rudder blade which act as control surfaces. The elevators are horizontal and control the pitch of the yacht. As with any rudder, a large surface area provides better control but comes with a drag cost.

My safety recommendations increase the span of the rudders to a minimum of 2.1 metres and stipulate a minimum size of the elevators at .32 square metres, attached to the bottom of the rudder in the most submerged position possible.

The aim is to minimise the chance of a pitch-pole (when the bow of the boat submerges and the stern rises out of the water). The AC72s need control at all times as they are travelling in excess of 40 knots and the hydrodynamic loads when turning the rudders /elevators at speed is substantial.

The current rule forces each competitor to fix the angle of the elevators each morning by 8:00 a.m., when the boat is measured. But different angles of attack on the elevators are necessary for different wind strengths. Under my safety recommendation, the teams can adjust the angle of attack on the elevators up until five minutes before the race start, allowing for more control in the conditions they are likely to encounter in that race. Under the current rule and under my proposal, the elevators can not be adjusted while racing.

After consultation with the teams over the past two weeks, I have been persuaded on a third point. The elevators can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. The penalty for offsetting the elevator (referred to as asymmetric) to one side of the rudder is that it introduces a bending moment into the 2.1 metre span of the rudder and as a result the rudders need to be stronger and heavier in construction.

I have yet to hear a convincing argument from any team that my recommendation will not enhance control and thus safety during racing. What I have heard is that this recommendation will make the boats easier to control and more stable.

This is a safety issue, pure and simple. Deeper, submerged rudders, with bigger elevators and control surfaces fixed at the most appropriate angle of attack for the conditions simply make the boats safer.

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The Last Word
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