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The Fat Lady Is Clearing Her Throat...
Photo by Chris Cameron, Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup It didn't make any difference that Olympic hero Ben Ainslie was in the tactician's spot for the first time.

Emirates Team New Zealand still has Oracle'snumber. The Kiwis are just three wins away from the America's Cup.

They swept Races 6 and 7 on Thursday, winning by 47seconds and 1:06. If they win two more on Saturday, they'll be in position to sip Champagne on Sunday.

In Race 6, they got exactly what theywanted in the upwind third leg - an extended tacking duel. They have consistently had the advantage on that leg.

This time they converted a 12-second deficit to a 44-second lead by the end of theleg. The maintained the lead through the downwind fourth leg - by 42 seconds at the mark.

Ainslie replaced John Kostecki as Oracle's tactician and apparently helped Spithill right away. Spithill had his best start of the finals and Barker was trapped in a trailing position heading toward the starting line. Oracle won the start convincingly and beat the Kiwis to the first mark by nine seconds.

Barker reversed the positions at the start in Race 7. He took the outside position, and his boat was faster to the starting line and to the first mark. After the downwind second leg, the Kiwis' lead was just seven seconds.Then came the upwind leg, and ... So long, Kiwis. Oracle had no answer for them, and the only question from then on was how big New Zealand's winning margin would be.. -- Tom Fitzgerald in

Next Races:

Saturday, Sept. 14: Final Race 8 (1:15 pm PT), Final Race 9 (2:15 pm PT)
Sunday, Sept. 15: Final Race 10 (1:15 pm PT), Final Race 11* (2:15 pm PT)

* If necessary.

Movers And Shakers On Day Three
Two short sharp races in Narragansett Bay produced some thrilling action, as the 2013 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex passed the halfway stage. The wind speed settled in at about 12 to 15 knots from the south, but there were several shifts during the day. The narrow confines of the race area, in the East Passage between Gould Island and Prudence Island, meant that the fleet were very much bunched together. Picking the lifting tacks and gybes, as well as staying out of traffic and trouble, rewarded the smarter teams today.

After seven races there was a swing at the top of the leader board, but it was only temporary. The overnight leader, Larchmont (N.Y.) YC kept their lead after Race 6 but technical issues forced the American team to retire from Race 7, the resulting DNS dropping them to fifth. However, after redress was given, Larchmont YC was given average points for the regatta. For now, Larchmont YC are now tied for the lead with the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club put in another outstanding day on the water, scoring two more bullets, but it wasn't easy for the team from Ontario, the last race went to a photo-finish with Seattle YC. After a jibing duel to the finish, both yachts crossing the line, virtually in tandem but the win was given to Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Seattle Yacht Club had their best day of the regatta, scoring two podium finishes to climb up seven places to 4th. The British team from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, posted a 2nd and a 4th today, to leap up the leader board to third.

Standings after 7 races:

1. Larchmont YC, USA, 33.8 points
2. Royal Canadian YC, CAN, 34
3. Royal Thames YC, GBR, 44.3
4. Seattle Yacht Club, USA, 46.7
5. Royal Cork YC, IRL, 50.2
6. Japan Sailing Federation, JPN, 53
7. Royal Prince Alfred YC, AUS, 63
8. Cruising YC of Australia, AUS, 70
9. New York Yacht Club, USA, 71
10. Royal Yacht Squadron, GBR, 73
11. Royal Southern YC, GBR, 75
12. Royal Hong Kong YC, HKG, 78
13. The San Francisco YC, USA, 80
14. Royal Belgian Sailing Club, BEL, 82
15. Royal Freshwater Bay YC, AUS, 83
16. YC Argentino, ARG, 90
17. Yacht Club Italiano, ITA, 93
18. Nylandska Jaktklubben, FIN, 99.2
19. RCN de Barcelona, ESP, 106
20. Royal Swedish YC, SWE, 125

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All Set For A Final Day Show Down
Photo by IDA / Michael Austin. Click on image for photo gallery.

Dragon Worlds Weymouth, UK: Despite an initial three hour postponement, it was eventually possible for the Gazprom International Dragon World Championship race committee to run two further races, races five and six of the series, in a light breeze of 6-10 knots which veered between 240 and 260 degrees. Both races were incredibly challenging with big shifts and constant variations in wind strength and the teams were exhausted on returning ashore just before dark.

As always getting off the start line and finding a lane in a fleet this big and competitive was a major challenge and those who failed to so this found themselves languishing at the back. Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen was among those whose hopes of a podium position took a turn for the worse today as he added 30 and 45 to his scoreline. Even with the introduction of the discard after the sixth race Hoj-Jensen has dropped from fourth to eighth.

Race five saw Hungary's Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi rise to the top of the heap for the first time this series in a race where the lead changed on every leg. A 20 degree shift on the first beat effectively shuffled the pack and all the overnight leaders found themselves in the wrong end of the deck. After an intense battle Kis-Szolgyemi eventually beat off all challengers to take victory by a narrow margin from Holland's Peter Heerema with Sweden's Martin Palsson third. Despite rounding the first mark down in the 20s Klaus Diederichs sailed an impressive race to pull up into fourth place while overnight leader Andrey Kirilyuk took ninth.

Fridays's final day schedule has been revised to allow for two races instead of one, starting at 11.00, and with the forecast promising good winds there is every chance of getting the second race started before the 14.00 cut off. With so little separation between both the overall and Corinthian leaders everyone will be hoping for at least one really good race to close the championship in style.

Farr Yacht Design's Jim Schmicker Joins International Technical Committee
Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Farr Yacht Design (FYD) and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased to announce that FYD Vice President Jim Schmicker has joined the ORC's International Technical Committee (ITC). This is the first US-based member on the ITC since 2004, and represents an infusion of scientific knowledge and insight from one of the world's premier design firms to contribute to the ITC mission of supporting the science behind the ORC's rating systems used in 35 countries around the world.

A Senior Naval Architect at FYD, Schmicker was previously a member of the ITC from 1998-2004 when the ORC was supporting the IMS rating system and there were numerous successful Farr designs built to this rule. Over the past several years Schmicker has been focused on other custom and production race boat and cruising production boat projects, most recently the new Volvo Ocean 65 one design to debut in the next 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.

The ITC is composed of nine members and two research associates who are naval architects, measurers, marine engineers and experts in aero and hydrodynamics, and who annually pursue a research agenda to update and improve the Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) used by ORC. This VPP forms the basis for ORC to provide ORC International (ORCi) and ORC Club handicap ratings for over 9000 boats around the world that race using ORC rating systems, and is used at the annual ORCi World Championship, the official ISAF offshore World Championship event.

Cape Town To Stage First Stopover On Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Route
Cape Town will take the place of Recife on the route for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 in a direct change announced on Thursday at the city's V & A Waterfront.

The decision to go to the classic sailing city of Cape Town in South Africa for the 10th time in 12 editions of the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race means the teams will now make a single stop in Brazil in 2014-15 rather than two.

Recife's place on the route had been connected with a team from the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. Plans for that team - conditional for the decision to include Recife in the route as a second Brazilian port - have not progressed as expected.

"It is of course disappointing not to go to Recife in this edition but Brazil is very well represented in this race including a stop in Itajaí," said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad. Recife has the potential to be a good stopover in future and both parties will look at possibilities for forthcoming editions.

The Volvo Ocean Race is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and Cape Town has played a prominent role in its success. The South African city first appeared on the Volvo Ocean Race route in 1973-74, in the inaugural edition of what was then the Whitbread. Its return means the race will once again stop at all five continents in 2014-15.

The race route will now see the teams leave Alicante in Spain in October 2014 and head south some 6,500 nautical miles to Cape Town in South Africa. From there, they will race to Abu Dhabi before going to Sanya in China and Auckland in New Zealand.

The teams will then head round Cape Horn before stopping at Itajaí in Brazil and going on to Newport, Rhode Island on the east coast of the United States. They then cross the Atlantic to Lisbon in Portugal before going on to Lorient in France and then to the finish in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The new total distance will be 39,379 nautical miles.

Cape Town stopover dates: Arrival end of October/early November 2014, In-Port Race on the weekend of November 15, Restart Wednesday, November 19.

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

Seahorse Magazine

World news
The Class40 continues to boom, a speedy new beast from Rob Shaw, Australian sailing prepares itself for Rio 2016 and some good old-fashioned match racing. Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Carlos Pich, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier

Design - A thing of beauty
Dominik Scheurer and Gonzalo Redondo present the delectable new D3

Seahorse build table - Pressing on
Shaun Carkeek is on a roll with HPR

Sailor of the Month
Ladies first... that’s up to you, the reader

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Mistral Keeps Teams Ashore
Porto Cervo, Italy: The infamous Sardinian mistral was making its presence felt as teams gathered in Porto Cervo Marina this morning for Day Three of the Audi Settimana delle Bocche. After displaying the AP flag ashore the Race Committee was forced to abandon racing at midday as sustained winds and gusts of up to 40 knots showed no sign of abating. The TP52/IRC52 and Soto 40 boats competing in the event will once again take to the waters off the Costa Smeralda for windward leeward races tomorrow, Friday 13th September.

Azzurra and Quantum, in first and second place respectively in the overall classification with a delta of just one point, will have to wait until tomorrow to continue their duel at the top of the TP52/IRC52 fleet. Competition promises to be no less fierce further down the overall rankings as all is still to play for with Gladiator in third place on equal points with Ràn and just two points ahead of Interlodge and Provezza 7.

The event is also valid as the final leg of the European Circuit for the Soto 40 fleet and once again things are extremely close on the leaderboard. Earlybird leads by just one point over Bigamist and Estampa del Viento - in third place on equal points with Glen Ellen XXII.

The scheduled start has been moved forward one hour to 11 a.m. for tomorrow's penultimate race day. Approximately 10 knots of north-westerly breeze are forecast.

Provisional Results TP52/IRC52

Position. Boat (NAT) - R1/R2/R3 - Total Points
1. Azzurra (ITA) - 1/2/2 - 5
2. Quantum Racing (USA) - 2/3/1 - 6
3. Gladiator (GBR) - 5/1/7 - 13
4. Ràn (SWE) - 4/4/5 - 13
5. Interlodge (USA) - 3/9/3 - 15
6. Provezza 7 (TUR) - 6/5/4 - 15
7. Rio (USA) - 7/6/6 - 19
8. Paprec Recyclage (FRA) - 10/7/8 - 25
9. B2 (ITA) - 8/8/9 - 25

Provisional Results Soto 40

Position. Boat (NAT) - R1/R2 - Total Points
1. Earlybird (GER) - 2/2 - 4
2. Bigamist (POR) - 4/1 - 5
3. Estampa del Viento (ESP) - 1/5 - 6
4. Glen Ellen III (FRA) - 3/3 - 6
5. Black Pearl (GER) - 6/4 - 10

Iain Percy To Head Next Artemis America's Cup Team
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Iain Percy will take over the lead of the Artemis Racing America's Cup team as it plans for the next edition of the 162-year-old regatta, team owner Torbjorn Tornqvist said.

Percy, who led the on-water crew as skipper during this year's Cup campaign, will take the title of team manager and succeed Paul Cayard, the team's chief executive officer, after the current Cup ends, Tornqvist said today in a telephone interview from Geneva.

Artemis was eliminated from the Louis Vuitton Challenger series last month by the Italian Luna Rossa team backed by Prada SpA (1913) Chief Executive Officer Patrizio Bertelli. Tornqvist's team competed after a May training accident that killed Andrew Simpson, Percy's Olympic partner and longtime friend who won gold and silver medals with him at the 2008 and 2012 Games.

Tornqvist, whose 44 percent stake in the commodities trader Gunvor Group Ltd gives him a net worth of $3.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, said the racing campaign convinced him to take on a greater role in team operations. The 59-year-old said he also felt it was important to keep a core group of sailors to build around, particularly Percy, 37, and helmsman Nathan Outteridge, the 27-year-old Australian who won the gold medal sailing 49er class skiffs at 2012 Olympics. -- Aaron Kuriloff in

Ronstan Bridge To Bridge Race
Photo by Erik Simonson, Click on image for photo gallery.

Ronstan Bridge To Bridge Race Ideal conditions for the 2013 Bridge to Bridge as 65 competitors ( plus or minus) lined up for the 2013 edition. Flood tide, sunshine, minimal traffic, flat seas and 20 plus knots.

Multi hulls Orion the Mod 70 owned by Tom, Sieble, Smart Receuiters, Jerome Ternyck's Extreme 40 and Andy Costello's Lightspeed 32 were on the southern entry and all 3 appeared to have to slow to allow the thundering herd of 36 kiteboards, 20 18' footers, and 8 windsurfers to pass.

As of this typing, it looked like Orion and Lightspeed bailed out of competition early and Hamlin and company were dueling Johnny Heineken for line honors! -- From

Top ten final finishes:

1. Johnny Heineken, Kiteboard
2. Bryan Lake, Kiteboard
3. Joey Pasquali, Kiteboard
4. Geoff Headington, Kiteboard
5. Tom Siebel, Multihull
6. Eric Due, Kiteboard
7. Adam Withington, Kiteboard
8. Erika Heineken, Kiteboard
9. Tom Gore, Kiteboard
10. Chip Wasson, Kiteboard

Final results in full:

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The Last Word
You can always pick up your needle and move to another groove. -- Timothy Leary

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