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ORACLE Team USA Takes Race 4, But Kiwis Lead 3-0
San Francisco, California: ORACLE TEAM USA won Race 4 of the 2013 America's Cup Final in an amazing display of boathandling. With the wind blowing 22 knots and each team's AC72 seemingly on the verge of control, ORACLE TEAM USA scored an 8-second victory.

Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 3-0, however, due to a penalty imposed on the defender by the international jury. ORACLE TEAM USA won't get a point on the scoreboard until its third victory.

Tomorrow is an off day for the America's Cup before racing resumes on Tuesday with Race 5 and 6, scheduled to start at 1:15 pm PT and 2:15 pm PT.

* Only in their dreams would the wildest of the Kiwi supporters dared to predict the outcome of the first day's racing in the 34th America's Cup. Two victories, carved in 'proper' match racing fashion by being faster on the upwind legs, to Emirates Team New Zealand put a big grin on the face of the team's managing director, Grant Dalton, the oldest man on either boat.

'Dalts' would have remembered one former San Franciscan sailor for whom the America's Cup held a special place. Tom Blackaller, who teased Dennis Conner in Fremantle when he made allegations that the Kiwis were cheating by building a glassfibre 12-Metre. 'Dennis, I don't think you should have said that,' quipped Blackaller. 'I take it all back,' said DC. 'I don't think you can,' said Blackie. Tom Blackaller died at the wheel of his race-car 24 years ago today.

The starts of both races were keenly contested, but in each of them, Jimmy Spithill steered the Oracle Team USA AC-72 to leeward of his opponent, but each time Dean Barker managed to avoid the attentions of his attacker and led around the first mark to begin the downwind leg. -- Bob Fisher in,

Team Oracle Seeking America's Cup Rule Change
Surprise, surprise , America's Cup cheats Oracle now want to change the very rule they made that has come to bite them in such historic fashion.

Still reeling from the jury decision that saw four squad members banned, a US$250,000 fine and the loss of two points in the cup series against Team New Zealand that started this morning, Oracle continue to complain.

Yet their complaints are at a system they instigated with their right to write the rules as cup holders.

They made three huge calls for this regatta - removing the right to appeal jury decisions, instigating a rule aimed at silencing critical Kiwi boss Grant Dalton with the "protecting the reputation of the America's Cup" protocol, and declaring any syndicate which started court action would be thrown out of the event.

The "Dalton rule" cost them the fine and the points because they were caught cheating, an act which lost them their team members, including the crucial trimmer Dirk de Ridder.

Now, with out any recourse, they have seen the error of their ways - and are bleating.

Oracle skipper James Spithill wants the appeal process reinstated.

"That's something that needs to be looked at," Spithill said, adding that other professional sports allow for appeals.

That is out of Oracle's hands at the moment. Only the winner of this cup will get to set the next agenda. -- Duncan Johnstone

Key West Race Week
Make it an Endless Summer! Don't let the shorter days and cooler nights get you down. Plan your ideal winter escape to Key West for world-class racing, unique shoreside fun, and Florida's southernmost sunshine and dependable breeze at Quantum Key West 2014.

The NOR is posted, registration is open, and the scratch sheet is building. Key West Race Week has the international and national competition you won't find anywhere else in January! IRC, HPR, mini-maxis, TP52s, PHRF, Melges 32s, Melges 24s, Swan 42s, J/80s, and J/70s will all fill the ranks!

Things will be heating up in Key West in January, don't be left in the cold! January 19 - 24 2014.

Entries and more:

Qualcomm 2013 Star World Championship
San Diego, California, USA: John MacCausland and Phil Trinter took the Qualcomm 2013 Star World Champion title and add their name to the 92 year old Star Class' International Trophy. Andrew Campbell and John von Schwarz won their second race of the series today, and their second ever race at an International Star World Championship.

According to the local sailors, the trick to sailing in San Diego is to get a clear start, tack onto port as soon as possible and sail towards the right side of the course for about 30 minutes, then tack back onto starboard and head towards the windward mark. Today, that was not the case. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Competitors were surprised to see some boats sail on the left side and round the windward mark in the front of the fleet. Today's conditions were very unusual and yielded some interesting results throughout the fleet.

Over the course of the Qualcomm 2013 Star World Championship, the Star fleet experienced some of the best, most difficult, and even uncommon conditions San Diego has to offer. The Race Committee did a phenomenal job adjusting the courses to ensure fair races for the sailors and the competition increased with each day.

Top five final places:

1. J. MacCausland-P. Trinter, USA, 19 points
2. A. Campbell-J. von Schwarz, USA, 28
3. M. Reynolds-H. Haenel, USA, 29
4. X. Rohart-S. Pulfer, FRA, 31
5. B. Lendbetter-G. Morton, USA, 39

Classic Boat (under 7300 series)
Mark Buler and John Rudderham, USA

Woman Sailors
1. Jessica Costa, USA
2. Nina Ariles, FRA

Junior Sailors (under 25 years of age)
Top Junior Skipper - Tomas Hornos
Top Junior Crew - Josh Revkin

Master (50 - 60 years of age)
John MacCausland and Phil Trinter

Grand Master (60 - 70 years of age)
Vince Brun and Brian Terhaar

Exalted Grand Master (70+ years of age)
Alessandro Pascolato and Magile Boening

Impressive Finale
Photo by ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

Porto Cervo, Italy: The 2013 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup concluded today in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. A dramatic final day saw three yachts making impressive recoveries to seal championship titles in the event organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association. Two windward/leeward races concluded the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship with a coastal race through the Maddalena archipelago organized for the remaining classes.

Today's winners were: Ran 2 (GBR) in the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship with a bullet and a second; Velsheda (GBR) in J-Class; Morning Glory (GER) in Maxi Racing; Nefertiti (GBR) in Maxi Racing/Cruising; Nilaya (GBR) in Supermaxi; and, Open Season (GBR) in Wally.

In mounting a stunning comeback during both the week and today's final race, Niklas Zennstrom's Ran 2 has reclaimed her Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship title.

Final Results 2013 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Position, Boat Name, Boat Owner, Races - Total Points

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship
1. Ran 2 (GBR), Niklas Zennstrom 3-4-2-(10)-7-1.5-1-2; 20.5 points
2. Alegre (GBR), Andres Soriano, 1.5-5-1-(11)-5-3-5-1; 21.5
3. Shockwave (USA), George Sakellaris 4.5-1-3-(6)-3-7.5-6-3; 28

Maxi Racing
1. Aegir ((GBR)), Brian Benjamin, 5-3-1-1-2; 7
2. Morning Glory (GER), Hasso Plattner, 2-2-2-2-1; 7
3. Highland Fling (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1-1-3-3-3; 8

Maxi Racer / Cruiser
1. Altair (ITA), Paolo Scerni / Roberto Tomasini, 1-1-1-1-5; 4
2. Nefertiti (GBR), Anders Nordquist, 2-2-2-2-2; 8
3. Freya (USA), Donald Macpherson, 4-3-4-3; 14

1. Velsheda (GBR), Tarbat Investment Ltd, 1-1-2-3-1; 5
2. Rainbow (NED), Chris Gongriep, 2-2-1-1-2; 6
3. Ranger (CAY), Rsv Ltd., 3-3-3-2-3; 11

1. Nilaya (GBR), Filip Balcaen, 1-1-1-2-1; 4
2. Firefly (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 2-2-2-1-3; 7
3. Inoui (SUI), Marco Vogele, 3-3-4-3; 13

1. J One (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 1-2-1-1-(3)-1-3; 9
2. Magic Carpet 3 (GBR), Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 6-1-2-(6)-1-2-5; 17
3. Open Season (GBR), Thomas Bscher, 4-4-4-3-6-3-1; 19

Gottifredi Maffioli Regatta Support At Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Starting from August 29 th to September 8th, Gottifredi Maffioli Tech Service Van will be in Porto Cervo to fully assist your boat. During the regatta we will have full access to the event with our professional rigging service to help you with any breakdowns that you may have. We will be there to provide a complete repair, replacement and technical upgrade you may need.

Ivan and Piero from Tecnosailing together with Jack Bolina and Project Rig will be the Gottifredi Maffioli shore team on the dock.

They will be at your fully disposal every day ready to jump on your boat before and after the races to set your running rigging at the best.

For any technical suggestion and running rigging improvement you can talk with them directly at the Gottifredi Maffioli's Van or you can give them a call at the following mobile numbers:

Ivan Bertoldo +39 335 6347175
Piero Rolandi +39 340 5783131

Project Rig:
Paolo Torre +39 335 5740807

Jack Bolina:
Davide Patuelli +39 335 5351728

From The Four Corners
When a global fleet takes to the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound on Tuesday, 10 September, it will mark the start of the third biennial New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. The regatta is open to a limited number of the world's pre-eminent yacht clubs with crew composition strictly limited to non-professional sailors. The 20 teams will race identically tuned one-design Swan 42s.

The fleet is made up of host club the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), 2011 defending champion the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, 15 invited international clubs, and three American yacht clubs determined by a qualification series.

Among the clubs returning to the fray is the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), one of three British clubs alongside Royal Thames Yacht Club and the Royal Southern Yacht Club (the latter of which is competing in the event for the first time).

Eight additional teams are participating in the Invitational Cup for the first time, including Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS).

A number of the teams will cross multiple time zones to reach the starting line. Four will cross the equator, including Yacht Club Argentino from Argentina, and three Australian teams: the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), organizers of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, along with Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

Two clubs making a third consecutive appearance, and each hoping to convert their experience into victory are the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) and Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (RCNB).

Four teams will be flying the Stars and Stripes of the United States. The host, New York Yacht Club, and the teams that emerged from a Qualifying Series that rewarded the top-three finishers with an invitation to the biennial main event. Larchmont, Seattle and San Francisco Yacht Clubs took the places from a fleet of 24 teams.

Racing begins on Tuesday, 10 September, and concludes on Saturday, 15 September.

Drama Laden Opening Day
Photos by IDA /Michael Austin. Click on image for photo gallery.

Weymouth, UK: The opening day of the Gazprom International Dragon World Championship 2013 at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) produced controversy, drama and one incredibly tough but exciting race. The controversy revolved around race management with some unhappiness amongst the sailors about both starting procedures and course changes. The extremely shifty conditions and the eagerness of the crews didn't make life easy for Race Officer Tim Hancock and the results show that a number of the hot favourites found themselves much further down the ranking than they would normally expect.

After early morning thunder storms and heavy rain blew through, the crews arrived in the race area to find a shifty south westerly wind of 15-18 knots, scudding clouds, occasional bursts of wonderful sunshine and plenty of big waves. It took three attempts to get the race started, two under black flag with a total of seven teams being sent home for an early bath. Amongst those out of the race were Mark Dicker, IDA Chairman Richard Blickman, IDA Technical Committee Chairman Philip Dohse and Dave Ross, whose crew this week includes David Bedford.

After racing Hoj-Jensen summed up the fleet's thoughts well saying "We couldn't see the marks. Because the waves are so big they would have been smart to have a big boat with a big flag up there." Martin Payne added "I think when the course is so long you don't need to go quite so drastic [with mark moves], just a subtle move one way or the other.

Many of the hot favourites going into the event found themselves caught out by the big shifts and mark movements.

Whilst some struggled others excelled and on the line Hoj-Jensen claimed victory from Libor with Brenneck second, Russian triple Olympian Andrey Kirilyuk, who this week is standing in for regular helm Dimitry Samokin, third and Braslavets fourth.

For Hoj-Jensen it was a day of double victory as he also won the Corinthian Division for all amateur crews, with Martin Palsson in second, Remy Arnaud third and Philipp Ocker fourth.

Tomorrow two races are scheduled and with lighter winds forecast it will be a very different day of racing.

18' Skiffs Take A Rough Afternoon Off
San Francisco, California, USA: Coming to grips earlier with the race schedule for the Nespresso 18' International Skiff Regatta for the Mark Foy Trophy on merciless San Francisco Bay, a veteran competitor had this comment: "Yikes!"

Howard Hamlin knew what to expect, and his qualms came so true on practice day Saturday that Sunday's pair of opening races following the two America's Cup matches were postponed until Monday, when the 18s will have the bay to themselves.

"That's why we set up all the reserve days," Hamlin said, "because we didn't know how it would play out."

While Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA take a day off Monday from their contest the 18s will be able to start at noon Pacific time instead of 3:30 in the afternoon.

Saturday's launch debacle and subsequent outbreak of flips in 22 knots of chilly breeze sweeping down the bay may have entertained the AC spectators who hung around in the Marina Green bleachers, but the St. Francis Yacht Club race committee saw the problem.

Hamlin, with crew Matt Noble and Paul Allen, were among those suffering multiple capsizes. Their boom broke in the last one.

Another sailor called it "basically unsailable," more than even the best skiffers can handle.

So they'll take the AC72s' days off Monday, Wednesday and Friday to start their races at noon. Those were scheduled to be days off for everybody leading into the windups next Saturday and Sunday, but as of this report nothing further had been decided.

The postponement is a rare one for the 18-footers' regatta. Only one race had been called off in the first 11 years.

Presently unchanged is the traditional and mostly downwind 5.3-nautical mile Bridge to Bridge race from the Golden Gate to the Bay bridge, open to a wide array of entries. -- Rich Roberts

Sehested Wins Both the Oakcliff International and the Grand Slam Series
Photo by Molly Riley. Click on image for photo gallery.

Oyster Bay, New York: TRE-FOR Match Racing with Danish skipper Nicolai Sehested captured the Grand Slam Series title with Team Gilmour knocked out in the semifinals. Only competing in three of four Series events, Sehested had no room for error. But, with Chris Steele (NZL) being eliminated in the quarterfinals and David Gilmour (AUS) having to drop his 9th place finish from Chicago, Sehested only needed to guarantee a ten-point lead on Gilmour at the Oakcliff International to confirm his victory. Once done, all focus went to the last stage of the event, the finals.

Sehested was able to win the two initial races, but Monnin took the third, forcing the finals to a fourth match. In the end, Sehested sailed strong and consistent races and took Monnin down in a 3-1 series. For their win at the Oakcliff International, Sehested's team takes home a large portion of the $10,000 prize and for winning the Grand Slam Series title, they received invitations to the Chicago Match Cup and the 50th running of the Congressional Cup.

Rounding out the top four at the Oakcliff International were Eric Monnin of Okalys Corum Sailing Team, Mark Lees of Team Echo Sailing, and David Gilmour of Team Gilmour in second, third, and fourth places, respectively.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Barry Dunning: It seems rather ironical that we are asked to cheer for Oracleteamusa when more than half the crew are not of American origin. Should they change the name to OracleteamAUSTRALIA? best regards

* From Daniel Charles: Laurence Mead's is right to say that "What most events now forget is that the first people they should appeal to are the enthusiasts" - but these enthusiasts can be the general public: what about the hundreds of thousands spectators at the start or arrival of the Vendee Globe?

What about the million people massed at St Malo every four years at the start of the Rum Race? "Sailing will never be a prime-time TV, pro-sport": well, it certainly was a prime time TV sport in France in 1980s because it was NOT a pro-sport yet.

The Vendee, the Rum Race are now pro-event but they have kept their public attraction because they remain first of all human and technical adventures before being sport. Sailing, for the public, is escape, not going round buoys.

I hate to break it to people, but the public don't care about pros: it cares about heroes and passion. As long as one reduce sailing to a bunch of "rich dudes in big boats paying for pro's" the public won't be interested. The attempts by pros to better their livelihood by attracting the public have been failures: I saw the greed of pro racers destroy the splendid Formula 40; the same pro racers, by transforming the ocean-going, short-handed Orma into a daysailing, crewed machine destroyed the class.

Pros want to exploit the public, and the public doesn't like it. Is this the reason why the advent of pro-racing coincides with the biggest drop in the practice of sailing? From 1988 to 2004, America lost 61% of its sailors (source: NSGA). At the speed they rarefy (less 6 to 8% per year, according to ISAF - that's some 80% less in twenty years) there won't be any enthusiasts left.

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Standing rigging was renewed in 2006

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The Last Word
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