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Luna Rossa Challenge Fends Off Artemis Racing
Photo by Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing. Click on image for photo gallery.

San Francisco, California, USA: Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge overcame a spirited challenge from Artemis Racing and the threat of the film on its wing sail blowing out to win Semifinal Race 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America's Cup Challenger Series.

Skipper Max Sirena and the Luna Rossa crew won the 15.83-nautical-mile race by 2 minutes in winds that averaged 16 knots. But the crew had trouble before the start when the plastic film on the wing, known as Clysar, started peeling off the frames to which it is glued. Bowman Nick Hutton fixed the issue with some tape, but the team was wary of the situation all day.

"Obviously, we're happy to have the point, but I'm not happy with what happened to the wing because it's something we should avoid at this level," said Sirena. "But it's been a good day for us. I think we took some pressure off of us and for sure tomorrow we'll sail better than today. Touch wood, we'll have no problems."

Showing few signs of nerves, Artemis Racing helmsman Nathan Outteridge won the start of the race and led around the first mark, eliciting a loud round of applause from team supporters around San Francisco Bay.

"We're really, really pumped in Artemis Racing and super proud," said skipper Iain Percy. "To think that one week after launching we'd be sailing around the racecourse in 20 knots is beyond my wildest imagination. All the team support boats came over after the race and were cheering and clapping."

Soon after the mark rounding the Swedish team jibed to port and its lack of practice time showed. The team's AC72 came off its hydrofoils and slowed dramatically. Luna Rossa passed the Swedes' transom and jibed to port, staying on its foils.

On the second downwind leg the Italian AC72 was an average of 4 knots faster. Much of that speed advantage seemed to come from the Italians pulling off jibes where they didn't come off the hydrofoils.

Race 2 of the semifinal round is scheduled tomorrow at 1:15 pm PT.

Cowes Week
The fourth day of this year's Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week saw a change in the weather, with blazing sun but a long postponement while competitors waited in vain for a stable sea breeze to fill in.

An indefinite postponement was lifted at 1130, when the signals for a building south-westerly sea breeze were looking good. There was plenty of cloud building over the mainland and in the central Solent the overnight north-north-westerly airflow had already swung to the south, although there was just a few knots of wind speed at this stage. Close to the Island shore there was more breeze, but with a strong easterly component to the direction that was unlikely to last long before being replaced once the main afternoon sea breeze became established.

At 1330, with the fitful sea breeze still in the south-east along most of the south coast of the UK outside the Solent, race officials began making preparations to send fleets to the eastern Solent. However, with the west-going ebb tide now in full flow the and the mean wind speed frequently failing to climb above five knots, even in mid Solent, there was still not enough breeze for even the fastest White Group dayboats to make progress upwind against the tide on the start line. This was clearly illustrated by three J/70s that spent several minutes tacking back and forth in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron, without ever progressing towards the east against the tide.

With time running out to get the large number of starts away, it was with much regret that race officials had to make the disappointing, but unavoidable, decision to abandon racing for all classes at 1400, the latest feasible time to begin the start sequence.

* wins the inaugural SB20 UK Grand Slam on day four of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Jerry Hill, Craig 'Spike' Watson and Richard Lovering sailed an excellent series in a brand new SB20 which was only launched on Thursday 1st August.

Without completing the final two races of the event, just one discard was applied to the six results generated over the previous three race days. After the discard Jerry Hill and Joe Lewellyn were tied on 8 points, but Hill took the Grand Slam title and lifted the Sportsboat World Trophy on count back

The SB20 class now looks towards the 2013 World Championships, in early September in Hyeres, south of France. 100 boats are expected to compete in the Championship. -- Katie Jackson/SB20 Class

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

French Le Berre Undefeated In Lysekil Women's Match
She hasn't raced at all since the Match Racing World Championships in Sweden last year, but the absence has obviously not affected her skills. After the first day of round-robin in Lysekil Women's Match, French skipper Anne-Claire Le Berre has won as many matches as sailed, four, and is on top of the score board.

Lucy Macgregor only lost the match against Johanna Larsson and is now just trailing leading Le Berre with a 4 - 1 record after day one of the regatta

Lysekil Women's Match continues Wednesday and Thursday with the double round-robin, going into the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Semi finals will be sailed Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and by Saturday afternoon time has come for the great finale. Not only the winner of Lysekil Women's Match will be crowned, but also the first champion of the inaugural Women's International Match Racing Series. A 100 000 dollar total prize purse will be distributed!

Standings in Lysekil Women's Match 2013 after one day of round-robin.

Skipper, nationality, won/lost matches:
1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 4 - 0
2. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 4 - 1
3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 2 - 1
4. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS, 3 - 2
5. Johanna Larsson, SWE, 2 - 2
5. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 2 - 2
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 2 - 2
8. Claire Leroy, FRA, 1 - 2
8. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 1 - 2
10. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 0 - 3
11. Anna Kjellgren, SWE, 0 - 4

RS400 Championship Suffers A Setback
After the glorious first day, the second day sponsored by Forthcom, of the Volvo Noble Marine RS400 Nationals was a bit of a damp squid, with just one race completed before the wind died. No change for the leaders but Howard Farbrother and Dan Martin, with a second win, have opened the gap to nine points over Mark and Bec Barron who are tied on points with Stewart and Sarah Robertson.

Having looked at a nice breeze all morning the fleet launched into an 8 knot easterly. Of course we did not want to sail in a good breeze and the fleet decided we needed some serious starting practice so by the time we had 3 general recalls race 4 started in quite a soft 5 knots. Right was the way to go and Howard Farbrother/Dan Martin were a rocket ship somewhere over near Bass Rock and had a monster lead at the first mark.

The wind was fading on the first run and many crews struggled to keep the kites flying. This was of no concern to Wayne and Debbie Fletcher who flew down the run to pull through to second. The second beat soon became a light wind drift and the whole fleet was very happy when the race officer made the very sensible call to shorten course at the second windward mark. Farbrother/Martin won from the Fletchers. -- Gerald New in Sailweb

RS400 - National Championship, leading positions after 4 races

1. Howard Farbrother / Dan Martin, Queen Mary Sailing Club, 4 points
2. Mark Barron / Bec Barron Loch Tummel Sailing Club, 13
3. Stewart Robertson / Sarah Robertson Royal Forth Yacht Club, 13
4. Ben Robertson / Hannah Robertson Scaling Dam SC, 14
5. Roger Carter / Ian Robertson Wormit Boating Club, 16
6. Wayne Fletcher / Deb Fletcher Scaling Dam SC, 18
7. Keith Bedborough / Martin McCrew Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, 22
8. Andy Hatch / Daniel Hawkins Queen Mary SC, 23
9. Ian Robson / Harry O'Riordan Aldeburgh Yacht Club, 23
10. Stuart Urquhart / Richard Urquhart Royal Findhorn Yacht Club, 24

Ocean Race Around Australia Race To Go Ahead In 2014
On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the 1988 Bi-Centenary Around Australia Race (08/08/1988), Ocean Events is pleased to announce that the inaugural 'Ocean Race Around Australia' will go ahead in 2014.

Ocean Events invites mono and multihull boats from Australia and around the world to join the inaugural 'Ocean Race Around Australia'.

The unique format for this ISAF Category 1 event includes four start/finish ports, making it easier for competitors entering what is expected to be the largest open-entry, fully crewed coastal ocean race in the world.

Competitors have the choice of the following start ports and times:

Fremantle, Western Australia - start early July, finish early October
Port Lincoln, South Australia - start mid-July, finish mid-October
Melbourne, Victoria - start, third week of July, finish late October
Sydney, NSW - start end of July, finish early November

The race, which will permit crew changes at its 10 stopover ports and is expected to take approximately 90 days, will also incorporate an existing east coast race and regattas in the Whitsunday Islands. And major prizes and trophies will be awarded in both monohull and multihull divisions.

To enter, and for further information on the Ocean Race Around Australia , please contact Bob Williams, email: , or telephone +61 (0) 413057559.

Tall Ship Picton Castle Responds To Mayday Call
Aitutaki, Cook Islands – It isn't every day that a cruising yacht with engine trouble and damaged rigging is assisted by a 170-foot square rigger that looks like something from another era, but that's just what happened when the 42' sailing yacht Gobo issued a distress call in the early hours of July 30.

Relayed by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ), the call for assistance went out to all vessels within a 300-nautical mile radius. At 180 nautical miles away, the three-masted sail training ship Picton Castle was determined to be the closest vessel outside of a few fishing boats, and the only ship offering the yacht's crew an alternative to abandoning their craft.

Sailing under the command of Capt. Michael Moreland, the Picton Castle was en route between Manihiki and Aitutaki when the call for assistance came in.

Arriving at daybreak August 31, the Picton Castle launched her rescue boat at 0730, dispatching the vessel's Chief Mate and Chief Engineer to assess the situation and assist as necessary.

Chief mate Paul Bracken replaced a parted section of the shroud while chief engineer Alex Marts made repairs to the raw water pump and installed an electric auxiliary bilge pump.

With these repairs, no towing was required, and the yacht was able to carry on with their planned passage.

Picton Castle also resumed her passage to Aitutaki, where she arrived August 5. She will then sail to Rarotonga, then on Sydney, Australia for the International Fleet Review this October.

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

Two in a row
Swedish skipper Bjorn Hansen successfully defends his Swedish Match Cup title and in dramatic style

Support structure
Tim Smyth and Paul Bieker talk to Ivor Wilkins about the remarkable challenge of building lift foils for the new AC72 fleet

Master teacher
Blue Robinson sits down with the coaching magician at Emirates TNZ... Glenn Ashby

Sailor of the Month
Two men who always go it alone...

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From The "This Should Have Happened A Long Time Ago" Files...
A tradition of restricted male only membership dating back almost 200 years has been swept aside by the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight after the membership voted to allow women in as full members.

A meeting on Sunday, attended by 150 of the 475 members, voted unanimously in favour of the motion to extend membership privileges to women. There was not a single vote in opposition though the decision still has to be ratified by the full membership.

Officials at the Squadron, which is housed in a grand castle in Cowes and billed as one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world, said they had been lobbying members on the issue of women's membership for four years before yesterday's ballot.

There was no announcement from the RYS which established their 'gentlemen only' membership in 1815 when the club was founded and the club declined to comment.

Even lady associate members, the wives of existing full members, who were not eligible to vote, were unaware of this dramatic change of policy.

The Queen is the club patron and Prince Philip, a regular at the annual Squadron Ball is admiral but Princess Anne, a keen sailor, is one of the favourites for consideration while Dame Ellen Macarthur, who lives minutes away, might also be in line for a letter.

The news was welcomed throughout the sailing and sporting communities. -- Kate Laven in The Telegraph

Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy
Photo by Jurg Kaufmann / GYC. Click on image to enlarge.

The third edition of the Centenary Trophy, the only racing event that gathers the old ladies of the classic yachts circuit, 100 hundred years of more of age, is only two months away and the Gstaad Yacht Club are working non stop together with the organizers of the Voiles Saint-Tropez, hosting event of the regatta, to make sure that everything is ready to welcome the participants.

The first boat to formalize her participation is last year's winner: the fore and aft cutter Marigold owned by EnglishmanRichard Allan and dating back to 1892, when she was launched at the Camper and Nicholson shipyard in Gosport, UK.

Also expected to be on the starting line is Italy's Five tonner Bonafide (launched 1899) that will without question aim at repeating her victory in the 2011 opening edition.

The Centenary Trophy will take place on October 3rd, on the day that was traditionally devoted to the "defis", individual challenges between boats, and once again be raced with an especially created and constantly refined handicap system in a pursuit race, a format that has been proving extremely attractive not only for sailors but for the public alike, as easy to understand and follow.

The winner will be awarded with the exclusive trophy, created by Wakely and Wheeler of London in 1911.

The event is organized by The Gstaad Yacht Club in co-operation with the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez.

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