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An Intense Second Day
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

The second day of competition gathered the most international fleet in the history of the Copa del Rey MAPFRE for an intense share of racing in the three race courses in the Bay of Palma. This time, the wind at the start of the first race went from 7 to 13 knots, depending on the race course. The race committee was able to accomplish its program: three races in all classes except in Mahou J80 and La Caixa X-35, who sailed two races. Now all classes have four races sailed.

Hublot IRC 0 and IRC 1
Sir Peter Ogden's British "Jethou" is still leading the provisional results in the class IRC Hublot 0 despite finishing fourth in the last race of the day. Today, the best of the class was Alessandro Rombelli's Italian "Stig", with two victories (1-3-1).

In Hublot IRC 1, Michele Galli's "B2" signed an almost perfect score (2-1-1) which allows him to escape to the front of the overall results with a nine point cushion over German "Speedy", winner of the first race of the day. Third is Swiss "Team Vision Future", one point behind "Speedy".

Gaastra IRC 52
Today Niklas Zennström's "Ran" and Ed Baird's "Quantum Racing" fought a magnificent duel in the Gaastra IRC 52 class. The Swedish boat won today's first two races, but a mistake at the start of the third race prevented him from finishing a perfect day. Zennström managed to climb back to literally cross the finish line at the same time as American "Interlodge", so they each received 5.5 points. Ed Baird scored the victory in the last race and is the new class leader, but only half a point ahead of "Ran".

G. H. Mumm ORC 1 and ORC 2
Today the best among the 36 teams in G.H. Mumm ORC 1 was Rafael Carbonell's "Rats on Fire". The Swan 45 scored two bullets and a third allowing him to lead the provisional overall with a difference of six points over his nearest rival, "Grupo Clínico Dr. Luis Senís" skippered by Axel Rodger, who won the last race of the day.

In G.H. Mumm ORC 2, Pedro Campos' "Movistar" has completed an excellent second day, scoring 2-1-1 and leading its class, three points ahead of arch-rival, Iñaki Castañer's "X-Spain" (3-3-2). Joan Cabrer's "Airlan-Aermec" completes the provisional podium, which won the first race of the day and finished the other two races with a fifth and a fourth.

The 32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE will continue tomorrow at 13h00. All classes are scheduled to sail two windward/leeward races except Hublot IRC 0, Hublot IRC 1 and Hublot IRC 52, which will sail a coastal race around the bay of Palma.

Full results:

So... How Fast Is Oracle?
Team New Zealand are still trying to get definitive performance figures on Oracle but have conceded that the America's Cup holders look "real quick".

Team New Zealand's shore crew had the syndicate's giant catamaran in the shed yesterday for the start of modifications aimed at gaining more speed for the Louis Vuitton Cup final starting on August 18.

So members of the sailing crew took the opportunity to board a chase boat and spend the day observing Oracle's two-boat testing on San Francisco Bay.

While the Kiwis have totally dominated Italy's Luna Rossa and struggling challenger Artemis Racing will need a miracle to be competitive, the big question remains: how fast are the Americans?

The problem is the Kiwis are struggling for exact data on Oracle.

They have filed two series of questions to the International Jury asking why Oracle aren't making their performance data available when they are two-boat testing on the race course, often immediately after a challenger race.

The challengers have to make their statistics public. Oracle can punch those numbers into their computer and get a strong comparison against their own figures.

But that information flow is a one-way system at present.

"They have got a pretty good idea of our performance. They can analyse our numbers and angles. We haven't had that opportunity (to analyse Oracle's numbers).

"So they probably have the slight upper hand in knowing how we are and we can only guess theoretically the performance of their boats," Glenn Ashby said. -- Duncan Johnstone in

Race Ready For Cowes Week?
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International 8mr World Championship
Helskinki, Finland: Four races have been completed at the Nordea Private Banking 8mR Worlds in Helsinki, Finland with Hollandia strengthening their lead in the strengthening wind on day two.

Tuesday morning in Helsinki was cloudy and on the island of Liuskasaari, home for the organizing club Helsingfors Segelsallskap, the weather forecast promised strengthening winds and some showers.

Race Committee decided to choose the area G for racing to avoid high waves typical in an easterly wind. This area is to the northern side of Isosaari and covered wind and waves from the open sea. As the fleet approached the race area some minor showers appeared but the air was warm and a steady 16 knot wind was blowing.

The first start of the second day was successful and 27 boats went to the racing course at 11:00. The first boat over the finishing line was Yquem II SUI-2 owned by Jean Fabre after 58 minutes of sailing, followed by Ruud van Hilst's Hollandia NED-1 and Lafayette GBR-2, owned by Murdoch McKillop.

Not so lucky was Elfe II H-9 owned by Andi Lochbrunner who had a man overboard resulting in outside help from the press boat so they got DNF to the results for the race. Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident.

The second race started with even stronger wind of 20 knots from East at 12.40.

Racing will continue on Wednesday at 11:00 local time. The wind forecast is not that promising: weakening winds and major direction change around midday.

29er World Championship - French Remain Atop Leader Board
Aarhus, Denmark: A challenging day for competitors and race committee alike on Kalovig Bay! A morning race was held in 8 knots for all courses with the Race Committee holding a watchful eye on the radar with an approaching thunderstorm. The impending storm cell hovered south of Aarhus before bringing wind and rain at the finish of the race, sweeping across the edge of Kalovig Bay.

Thomas Jorgensen, IRO commented "We have had a long day for the 4 Race Management teams on the water. We started at the scheduled time at 12:00 but we had heavy rain with thunder at the finish and displayed AP on all courses and waited for better conditions. But another cell was behind it and we made the decision to send all fleets ashore for safety reasons. After 2 hours on shore, the wind arrived again from the southwest and we had 12 knots with 2 fine races to complete the qualifying series."

With the fleet now split into gold, silver, bronze and emerald fleets, the final push is on to determine the 29er World Champion. Leaders in the gold fleet are Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros (FRA) who remain in the lead. Charlie Wyatt and Tom Siganto (AUS) had a stellar day moving back to second and American brother duo Quinn and Dane Wilson sit third overall. Ragna and Maia Agerup of Norway continue to be the top female team and are 17th overall.

Aarhus Sailing and Kalovig Sailing Club are host to the event and have enlisted the many parents as volunteers to help with the launch and retrieval and trolly sorting as well as distributing the daily after race snack to all competitors.

Twenty-five nations are representing all continents with 213 entries in this highly competitive fleet.

The finals begin on Wednesday, July 31 followed by two more days of the final series.

RS Tera World Championships
Photo by Gabrielle Morehead. Click on image to enlarge.

Weymouth, UK: Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) home to the 2012 Olympic Sailing Venue this week play host to 122 RS Tera competitors, numerous parents and supporters for the 2013 World Championships. Entrants from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America will be competing in the 2012 Olympic Waters for the Championship title in what will be a highly international and closely contested event.

122 boats were put through registration and scrutineering from Sunday to Monday morning. The event is made up of two fleets, RS Tera Pro fleet and RS Sport fleet, who will sail a 10 race series on trapezoid courses over the next four days with today being allocated for those who wanted to practice sail. The current conditions down in Portland Harbour were windy today so the practice race was cancelled in favour of close to shore practice sailing for those who wanted to test the waters prior to the event.

RS Tera Sport fleet World Champion Billy Vennis-Ozanne from Great Britain will be looking to repeat his performance, this year in the RS Tera Pro fleet. He will however, be challenged by the strong team of South African entries in the Pro fleet as well as sailors from Denmark, Spain and Australasia.

In the RS Tera Sport fleet, the Dutch and Argentinian sailors along with those from Australia and New Zealand will all be competing hard with Great Britain to the poll position.

Marlow Cowes Support
The Marlow Van will be in the regatta support area at Cowes Yacht Haven for Cowes Week. Providing a repair, replacement and technical advice service to all the sailors throughout the week in conjunction with Spencer Rigging.

This will be the 3rd year that the Marlow Van has been on standby ready to assist. Repairs and remakes can be completed overnight ready for the following day of racing. The world famous regatta gives Marlow a chance to engage with the end users and iron our any issues with product and hardware interaction. Technical advice is available pre and post sailing with technical minded staff on hand to look over your boat.

Look out for the Marlow Van and come and talk to the guys.

Marlow will be working in partnership with Spencer Rigging on the island to provide the rope and rigging services. They are located at Empire Buildings, St Mary's Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7SX Tel: 01983 292022

Spain and Great Britain Crowned 420 World Champions
The final day of racing at the 2013 420 World and Ladies World Championships in Valencia, Spain ended with Spain's Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones winning the 420 World Championship title and Great Britain's Annabel Cattermole/Bryony Bennett-Lloyd sealing victory in the 420 Ladies World Championship in Valencia, Spain.

The surprise of the day was undoubtedly the victory in the 420 Open fleet by Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones, who managed to close the gap separating them from the first placed team going into the day and recent ISAF Youth World Champions Tiago Britto/Kneipp Andrei from Brazil.

The Spanish pair literally snatched victory from Brito/Kneipp who had led the series until race 11, by sailing the race of their lives, with the Brazilians back in 28th.

420 Open - Leaderboard Top 5
1. Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones, ESP, 83 points
2. Tiago Brito/Andrei Kneipp, BRA, 86
3. Sebastien Simon/Pierre Rhimbault, FRA, 92
4. Swann Hayewski/Alexis Thomas, FRA, 93
5. Jose María Ruiz/Fernando Davila, ESP, 94

Great Britain's Annabel Cattermole/Bryony Bennett-Lloyd exceeded their expectations and secured gold. It was only after the qualifying stage of the Championship that the pair became realistic contenders, as their consistent scoreline stood out, with only two finishes outside the top 10.

There is no break for Bennett-Lloyd who will be charging over to La Rochelle, France to sail a 470 for the first time, as stand-in crew for Anna Burnet at the 470 World Championships, which gets underway on 5 August.

The British pair also won the John Merricks Trophy for the best under-18 crew.

420 Ladies - Leaderboard Top 5
1. Annabel Cattermole/ Bryony Bennett -Lloyd, GBR, 52 points
2. Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew, SIN, 69
3. Sara Scotto Di Vettimo/Vittoria Barbiero, ITA, 74
4. Nadja Horwitz/Carmina Malsch, CHI, 76
5. Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo, ITA, 79

A successful top overall nation defence for Spain, who retain the Francis Mouvet Trophy they won in 2011 after a dominant performance from the results of Xavier Antich/Pedro Terrones, Jose Maria Ruiz/Fernando Davila and Paula Barcelo/Margarita Alba.

A stunning week of racing at the 2013 420 World Championships in Valencia, Spain with 374 sailors from 27 nations enjoying 6 days for racing hosted by the Real Club Nautico Valencia.

Mirror World Sailing Championships
Photo by Gerardine Wisdom. Click on image to enlarge.

Day 2 of the Mirror World Sailing Championships on Lough Derg, Dromineer, Co. Tipperary got off to a tricky start. Race 3, the first race of the day, began with a total of three general recalls and two race abandonments due to severely quick shifting winds. Eventually, sixth time lucky, the fleet were clear and the race finally got under way. Finishing yesterday in 3rd overall, Sarah Richards and her son George (GBR) took the win in this race followed by Katie Davies & Gemma Keers (GBR) in second and father and daughter Jeremy and Lauren Stephens in third (GBR).

The second race of the day got off first time under a black flag. Up the middle seemed to be the optimum tactic in the steady 18 knots breeze.

Up the second beat with winds were gusting to 25 knots. With wind constantly between 20 and 25 knots and quite a few retirees, the PRO called the fleet temporarily ashore after the second race of the day. However with no reduction in wind the fleet did not venture out for a third race. -- Rachel Solon

Top five after four races:

1. Ryan Robinson / Michaela Robinson, RSA, 22 points
2. Jeremy Stephens / Lauren Stephen, GBR, 30
3. Sarah Richards / George Richards, GBR, 32
4. Katie Davies / Gemma Keers, GBR, 33
5. Douglas Elmes / Scott Levie, IRL, 36

Deepest Shipwrecks Found In Gulf Of Mexico
Underwater cameras have spotted two other sunken vessels that likely went down with the main ship 170 miles southeast of Galveston in Texas sometime during an early 19th century storm.

They came to rest 4,360ft (1300m) below the surface, making them the deepest Gulf or North American shipwrecks to have been systematically investigated by researchers.

During eight days of exploration that ended this week, the scientists used remote-controlled machines to recover more than 60 artefacts from the initial shipwreck site.

It is likely each ship was carrying 50 to 60 men and that none of them survived. Among the wreckage were telescopes and other navigational tools that survivors likely would not have left behind if they could have helped it, the researchers said.

The ship that the team set out to examine initially was armed with six cannon and may have had two masts. Undersea images show the outline of a copper-clad, 84ft (25m) long by 26ft (8m) wide wooden hull.

Sky News:

Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary Regatta
The Royal Yacht Squadron will issue its Preliminary Notice of Regatta this week as preparations get under way for the Club's Bicentenary Regatta to be held in 2015.

Founded in 1815 the Club will mark its 200 years with an invitational regatta during 25th - 31st July 2015 at its historic home in Cowes with racing on the Solent and a race around the Isle of Wight. The Royal Yacht Squadron has invited 25 clubs from 19 countries to send crews to the event with the option of taking part in a one design regatta with yachts provided by the Organising Authority or participating in IRC racing. Additionally two crews of four aged up to 30 from up to ten of the invited clubs will take part in a J80 team racing competition.

The 2015 Transatlantic Race, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club , the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club, is expected to attract a good number of entries who will use the race from Newport, RI as a feeder event to the Solent.

The regatta is open to Transatlantic Race participants rated up to IRC 1.850, while larger yachts can take part in the Race Around the Island. Yachts from the invited clubs will race in IRC 1.050 - 1.850 and two boat club teams can be formed in the rating band 1.050 to 1.350.

A very high level of interest has already been shown in the event. A number of J-Class yachts have indicated their interest in taking part in the Bicentenary Regatta, and Nautor's Swan will be adding the Transatlantic Race to their 2015 ClubSwan calendar with a provisional plan to have a Swan class in the regatta.

The RYS Bicentenary Regatta will be held two weeks before the annual Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week regatta and the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The 2015 Bicentenary Regatta pages will be launched on the RYS website shortly.

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The Last Word
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