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Dismasting, Debris & Dazzling Speed In Transpac
San Pedro, California, USA: It was a glorious day for some teams, but not great for others today in the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Race organized by the Transpacific YC, or the Transpac.

Earlier today the Transpacific YC received the following report: "At 1830 UTC (1130 PDT) Phaedo dismasted in location 28 58.247N 130 09.576W. Everyone onboard is fine, we have secured the boat, cutting away the mast and section of the boom, and are now heading towards the LA area under engine.  

"At the time of the dismasting we were sailing under A4 at around 16 kts."

A sat phone interview with the team indicated they thought the top of the mast failed first, and then the rest came down soon after. The true wind speed was about the same as boat speed: 16 knots.

Without enough spar left to set a jury rig, Phaedo is headed back towards LA under power, making about 6 knots. At this speed the team reckons they have about 250 miles range in fuel, which means they will require fuel assistance to complete the remainder of the trip to the coast.

Other teams have been facing other dangers, reporting floating debris. Bob Hayward's Seastream 650 Manatea still leads the fleet to Hawaii in Division 8, but said they struck a 10-foot section of what probably was a telephone pole at 28-35N 138-54W. Manatea and crew are OK and sailing, but also reported miscellaneous floating pieces of lumber, "like the structure of a house."

No doubt these are all pieces of wreckage from the March 2011 Tōhoku Tsunami tragedy in Japan, making its way in the currents the circulate around the north Pacific.

But the other news is good: the fleet is still hurtling fast towards Hawaii at dazzling speeds, and course records are not out of the question as Giovanni Soldini's canting-keeled Volvo 70 Maserati rolled off another 400+ mile day (423 to be exact) to average 17.6 knots, and thus also take the Division 1 lead in corrected time from David Askew's R/P 74 Wizard.

At these speeds Maserati and Syd Fischer's Elliott 100 Ragamuffin 100, who is only a few miles away, are both on record pace: Neville Crichton's R/P 100 Alfa Romeo II in 2009 set the monohull course record of 5D 14H 36M 20S in 2009 for an average speed over course of about 16.5 knots. Whoever finishes first would win the Merlin Trophy for fastest monohull in the race, but if a record falls they would also win the Transpac Honolulu Race Elapsed Time Trophy, aka the Clock Trophy, donated by Roy Disney, which he himself won on Pyewacket in 1997 and again in 1999.

And the Barn Door Trophy for the fastest of the fixed-keel entries could not only go to Wizard if they maintain their lead, but they might even beat their own record time of 6D 19H 44M 28S set in 2011 when sailed as Belle Mente if her current pace of averaging 16.3 knots is able to hold.

Four Races and Four Winners
Photo by Fiona Brown, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cowes, UK - There are more glamorous classes, there are more modern classes, and there are undoubtedly more expensive classes, but you would have to go a long way to find a class that offers more spectacularly close racing and bang for your buck than the Quarter Ton Class. This proved true once again on the opening day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2013 where the pace was fast and furious and four different boats claimed a race victory.

Daybreak brought hot sun, but not a breath of air and wisely Race Officer Rob Lamb promptly announced a three hour postponement giving the 26 teams time to relax, drink coffee, bimble on their boats and top up their tans. Right on time the breeze filled in and racing got underway at 14.00, as anticipated, in a relatively stable west-south-westerly breeze of 8 to 12 knots.

Whilst Quarter Ton racing is always incredibly close the quality of the sailing is truly exceptional and it's rare to see significant contact. Unfortunately a relatively short fair tide first beat in race four meant that the bulk of the fleet arrived at the weather mark together and mayhem ensued.

Blackfun led in from the port layline while Phoenix, owned by the Welch, Fulford, Manser & Fleming partnership, came in on starboard with Bullit hard on her heels. Blackfun clearly thought they had room to squeeze in, but sadly they misjudged it and, with nowhere to go, Blackfun sailed full tilt into her transom, breaking the carbon spinnaker pole and gouging a hole in the stem. Behind them Bullit luffed hard to avoid ramming Phoenix, but unfortunately the force of the impact had caused Blackfun to spin to weather and Bullit was unable to avoid them too, making the second contact of the day. Initially Blackfun did turns but on realising later that serious damage had occurred they retired from the race.

The bumper cars theme continued at the second mark although fortunately with less serious consequences.

In the overall standings Rickard Melander's Alice II, a 1990 Phil Morrison design, now has a three-point lead over Ian Southworth's Whiskers, a 1979 Joubert Nivelt, and Louise Morton's Espada, designed by Bruce Farr in 1980, who both count fourteen points. There is also a tie for fourth place with Ashley Curtis aboard Bullit, a 1979 Faroux design which won the 1979 and 80 Quarter Ton Cups, and Willy McNeil and Mike Pascall's Illegal Immigrant, designed by Ceccarelli in 1991, tied on 18.5 points.

Tomorrow's forecast indicates we can expect another sunny morning with little wind until early afternoon when a decent sea breeze if anticipated. Up to four further races may be sailed tomorrow and the regatta continues until Wednesday 17 July.

Hugo Rocha Wins J80 Worlds
Click on image to enlarge.

What was your objectives before to take part in the competition ?

"We are a new team, it was the first time we sailed altogether. Two crew are from Russia, Saint Petersburg, two are from Spain and I'm from Portugal.

We all trained but always on our own. We all participate to championship. Last month I participated to the Spanish Championship and my team finished 3rd but we had to change the team composition because some of the crew had setback.

At the beginning of the competition, we struggle a little bit to manœuvre the boat but then we rapidely improved. I can divide the competiton into two parts : the first 50% we were good (5-12-14-17) and the second 50% we were ok (1-1-3-1-6)."

It's a shame we couldn't have sailed today but the wind was irregular and very light.

Final top ten skippers
1. Hugo Rocha, ESP, 43 points
2. Luc Nadal, FRA, 43
3. Eric Brezellec, FRA, 51
4. Carlos Martinez, ESP, 52
5. Iker Martinez, ESP, 53
6. Quentin Ponroy, FRA, 62
7. Nicolas Lunven, FRA, 63
8. Jose Mara Van Der Ploeg, ESP, 74
9. Rayco Tabares Alvares, ESP, 87
10. Herve Leduc, FRA, 89

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RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race
Mike Slade's Farr 100, ICAP Leopard at the start of the RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race. Photo by Click on image to enlarge.

Mike Slade's Farr 100, ICAP Leopard, took Line Honours and was later declared the overall winner of the RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race, lifting the prestigious King Edward VII Cup.

Loic Fequet's Multi 50, Maitre Jacques, took Line Honours in the Multihull Division, claiming the Dinard Trophy for the second year in a row.

Whilst ICAP Leopard and Maitre Jaques managed to stay in the breeze, the rest of the fleet experienced super-light conditions with many yachts opting to retire. Those who persevered had strong tides to contend with and resorting to kedging was a common occurrence for the majority of the RORC fleet. Those that completed the course also had to persevere and maintain concentration through two nights at sea with little more than zephyrs of wind during those hours of darkness.

In IRC Zero Harm Prins' Volvo 60, Pleomax, was the winner, taking the Lloyds of London Salver. Laurent Gouy's Ker 39, Inis Mor, was first in IRC One, winning the Noryema Trophy. Laurent sailed a fantastic race, coming second overall winning the Derek Boyer Trophy, beating larger boats more favoured to the conditions.

IRC Two was dominated by French yachts. Michel Peretie's A40, Stamina III, was the winner of the class. As IRC Two was the largest class racing to St Malo, Stamina III also claimed the Yacht Club de France Shield.

Pascal Loison's JPK 10.10, Night and Day, had an outstanding race winning IRC Three and the Two-Handed Class.

IRC Four was won by Noel Racine's JPK 10.10, Foggy Dew. The team from Cherbourg had a cracking start leading the entire fleet for much of the Solent and Foggy Dew managed to keep the boat moving when others were forced to anchor. The smallest yacht taking part, Andrew Pickett's Laser 28, Moondog, was runner up and Jean Yves Chateau's French Nicholson 33, Iromiguy, was third. -- Louay Habib

Gold Medal Winning Coach Wins Laser National Title at Lyme Regis
Photo by Eddie Mays, Click on image to enlarge.

Jon Emmett, who last year coached Chinese Gold medallist Xu Lijia to victory in Weymouth, won the UK Masters' national title in the Laser Radial class at the weekend. Jon was amongst the 121 helms from across the UK, Ireland & the Netherlands who packed the famous Cobb and harbour beach at Lyme Regis for three days. The UK Laser Masters' Nationals were sponsored by Wildwind Sailing Holidays and is for UK Laser sailors who are at least 35 years old. Both the Standard and Radial fleets raced and this weekend, as well as competing for the National titles, the sailors were also looking to qualify for the Masters' World Championships which take place in Oman at the end of November.

The high pressure area lodged over the UK made conditions very difficult for the Race team on Friday and Sunday. It was only on Saturday that a good sea breeze enabled three races to be completed. In the Radial fleet Jon Emmett won Friday's single race and all three on Saturday to be sure of taking the title with a day to spare. In the Standard fleet life was far more difficult and it was only when he won the single race on Sunday that Terry Scutcher took the title on countback from Roger O'Gorman, with Dutch helm Lennart Cnossen two points adrift in 3rd.

At the Saturday evening Championship dinner Glyn Purnell, who had served for many years as the Masters' Representative on the UK Laser Association National Committee was presented with a framed and signed print from the weekend's racing. Also at the dinner Peter Young, also from Weir Wood S.C., won a week's sailing holiday courtesy of the sponsors Wildwind Sailing Holidays.

The prizes were presented by Lyme Regis Mayor (and club member) Sally Holman and she and the rest of the Race Team were thanked for their efforts over the weekend. -- Eddie Mays

The full results can be found at the club website,

Black Flags Fly At Solo Championship
The second day of the Solo Nationals had a certain air of deja vu for Stuart Godwin... To mis-quote Wilde - To lose one race to a black flag may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose a second looks like carelessness - Godwin won the first race Tuesday and led the second, before Charlie Cumbley overtook him to cross the line... in silence. When Godwin crossed the line it was also in silence and the race went to a surprised but very happy Andy Tunnicliffe.

Overall the leading five are covered by four points after four races. Cumbley leads with 8 points, second is Howard with 9 points, third Harvey with ten. In fourth is Geoff Carveth tied on 12 points with Michael Sims.

Godwin has no more room to manouver, despite winning two races, he has used both his discards and cannot make any more errors if he is to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. -- Gerald New

Top five after 4 races (115 entries)

1. Charlie Cumbley, 8 points
2. Matt Howard, 9
3. Ross Harvey, 10
4. Geoff Carveth, 12
5. Michael Sims, 12

Flying 15 UK Nationals
Racing got off to a great start today at the UKGLOBAL Flying Fifteen Nationals. Two races were held in sparkling conditions as Weymouth baked in 25 degree temperatures.

Both races were held within Portland Harbour, just beside hosts Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA). Breezes were light, with 6 knots on the first race, while the second started in 8 kts. Both races were held on windward leeward courses.

The 40 competing boats included visitors from France and Australia, and the Australian pair swiftly adapted to sailing in the UK, taking a bullet in the second race.

After a very close day's racing, Mike Hart and Jeremy Davy lead overall. Three teams are just a single point behind in what promises to be a very closely contested Championship. -- Alan Henderson,

Results, Race 1

Charles Apthorp/ Jonathan Clark, Hayling Island
Simon Kneller/ Dave Lucas, Grafham Water
Alan Bax/ James Grant, Hayling Island

Race 2
Ashley Smith/ Kym Thumpkin, Sandgate SC, AUS
Mike Hart/ Jeremy Davy, Hayling Island
Richard Lovering/ Matt Alvaredo, Hayling Island

Seahorse August 2013
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Another way
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On ways to distinguish the finest wheat from the very best of the chaff

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Classic Yacht Week: St. Petersburg
For the second year running, the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg (SPBYC) will welcome a fleet of beautiful Classic Yachts to the historic and former capital city of Russia for Classic Yacht Week 2013.

Saint-Petersburg Classic Yacht Week forms part of the Baltic Classic Circuit which consists of 3 major regattas for classic boats on the Baltic; the Stockholm, Saint-Petersburg and Helsinki Classic Weeks. This Circuit connects the 3 Baltic cities and aims at establishing cultural and professional relationships as well as uniting the classic yacht community.

The event consists of a regatta and festival and will run from the 23rd to the 29th July. The festivities will begin on Wednesday 24th with an opening ceremony followed by the first races of the week. Classic Yachts entered this year include last years' overall champion Nika, a Russian National Class L6 and Nina, the Russian Compromise Centreboard boat. Nina is the oldest boat entered; built in 1898, she is over a century old and finished top in the antique vessel class in 2012.

Joining them is Mirame, a gaff-rigged yacht who was built in 1910 and is crafted with a beautiful mahogany hull.

Entrants will have a second day of racing on the 25th, before the classic yachts partake in a night-time passage on Friday 26th; this will take them from the Yacht Harbour Hercules and through the St.Petersburg draw bridges into the Neva River, before finally anchoring on the roadstead of the iconic Peter and Paul Fortress.

Yachts will remain at the Fortress; also home to the grave of the famed founder of Saint Petersburg City, Peter the Great, who also established the first Russian Navy in 1696; whilst the owners, their friends and families, citizens and tourists alike enjoy the classic vessel festival.

Tour Voile: How Groupama 34 Won At St Gilles
84 miles in a day: an early start followed by many lead changes, a bold but unsuccessful option for Nantes St Nazaire E. Leclerc before a final gybing battle. Groupama 34 wins less than a minute before Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite and Courrier Dunkerque 3 takes third.

After the light morning breeze gave way to a steady westerly sea breeze, 12 M34s passed the Boeufs buoy off Noirmoutier.

"Bretagne Credit Mutuel was in the lead but they went to one side," said a victorious Franck Cammas on Vendee pontoons. "We made the most of some wind shifts and came out on top." This victory adds a factor of 3 to Groupama 34's two offshore victories so far. Bretagne Credit Mutuel and Courrier Dunkerque are disappointed to miss the victory, as OmanSail who finished off the podium. The Ville de Genève Carrefour Addictions Swiss guys are delighted with their 5th place; crew Martinique BE Brussels has a huge smile taking 6th place, and the first amateur.

Tomorrow two in-port races will be sailed St Gilles, weather permitting. Departure time from the dock at 11:30am; racing start at 12:30pm. It will be the very last Atlantic racing day.

Top five ranking after 19 races before jury:

1. Groupama 34, Franck Cammas, 793 points - Blue Spinnaker
2. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite, Troussel Nicolas, 760
3. Courrier Dunkerque 3, Souben Daniel, 739
4. Sodebo, Coville Thomas, 722.5
5. Team Omansail, Cedric Pouligny, 703

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