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The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Aboard Spindrift Racing. Photo by MOD70 Spindrift Racing. Click on image to enlarge.
For the leaders of the KRYS Ocean Race the frontal system that they have ridden since Saturday night continues to prove the gift, which keeps on giving.
Before leaving New York, initial predictions suggested that the five MOD70's would benefit for at least three to four days, but as the leaders now contemplate negotiating the north east side of the Azores high pressure system, it now seems likely they will have every chance of curving progressively towards Ireland, the Scillies gate and then to the finish line in Brest with hardly any reduction in speed.
Sebastien Col, tactician and helm from FONCIA, even suggested today that the most favourable weather files had them reaching the finish with no gybes.
With the S-SW'ly winds still hitting over 30kts this afternoon, their fourth since leaving Manhattan, the speeds of the three leading MOD70's continue to be impressive. Spindrift racing have clocked up another day of more than 700 miles on the mid afternoon rankings, holding their average speed just under 30kts.
So far Spindrift racing's remarkable 711.9 miles sailed over 24 hours, set Monday, is the highest run yet.
Yann Guichard and his team, which has lead since Sunday night, still managed to increase their margin on the chasing duo today. With around 1300 miles to sail to the finish, Spindrift racing was holding an advance of 50 miles this afternoon ahead of Seb Josse and crew on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with FONCIA 13 miles behind them in third.
Foncia's Sebastien Col told the live radio call today that their best option should present itself as they pass over the Azores high pressure system. Depending on its evolution as the more southerly boat of the leading trio, FONCIA may find a better, reaching angle sooner whilst their two opponents may find themselves slowed, on a more downwind, open angle.
Neal Mcdonald Calls Time On Brilliant Volvo Ocean Race Career
At the end of each of the Volvo Ocean Races since 2001, British offshore sailor Neal McDonald has famously said no more. But the 2011/12 edition is officially the end, bringing the curtain down on a distinguished career in which contribution has mostly outweighed reward.
His sixth Volvo Ocean Race, serving as watch leader with Telefonica looked set to earn him the victory that, bizarrely has escaped him since he first participated, as a bowman on Lawrie Smith's ill-starred Fortuna campaign in 1993-94.
But it wasn't to be. From leading the race for eight months of the race, Telefonica slumped to fourth place on the final leg, the campaign hampered by slow downwind speeds and a broken rudder in the penultimate leg.
The race has changed dramatically over the 20 years he has been involved and it is the longer race, the shorter stopovers and his extra responsibilities as father to Lily and James that has prompted his decision, finally.
"The race has become more stressful because everything is sailed to within a knife edge of sensible seamanship but the level of professionalism has also increased which is why there are relatively few accidents or injuries despite the added danger.
"The days when the boat is slowed to change sails are long gone. Everything is done at full pelt in modern racing which makes it hard work. It is incredibly hard work."
Read Kate Laven's full editorial in The Telegraph: www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/
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GripX3 was created in collaboration with Team Sperry Top-Sider, a world-class team of 35 sailors who tested the footwear in extreme competitive conditions. Watch the video at vimeo.com/42231734 to hear from some of the Team Sperry athletes involved in technology's development and find out more about the inspiration behind GripX3.
Battle of Britain
The La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cachemire is in English waters today, with the 36 skippers having rounded Wolf Rock off the coast of Cornwall this morning and currently racing past Start Point. Fabian Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) is holding firm in first, while British skipper Sam Goodchild is racing in the top 10 as the fleet sails through home waters for this sailor from the south-west of England.
The 31 French, three English, one Portuguese and one Norwegian sailors began the cross-Channel stage of Leg 3 late last night, beating across the 80 miles from the Grande Basse buoy to Wolf Rock - which encompasses some of Europe's busiest shipping lanes - in darkness in a brisk north-westerly. The leaders rounded Wolf Rock around 7.30am (CEST), with Lagraviere, Nicolas Lunven (Generali) and Yann Eliès (Groupe Queguiner/Journal des Enterprises) gybing out rapidly while Delahaye, Frederic Duthil (Sepalumic) and Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) held a more inshore line.
With Duthil and Morvan moving up to second and third, local sailor Sam Goodchild (Artemis 23) was also making the best use of his familiarity with this stretch of coast to hold a top 10 position throughout the day. Since passing the Lizard the fleet have mostly remained on a long port spinnaker reach, with Lagraviere making the most of any opportunity to play the angles to retake second position as they passed Plymouth.
The latest rankings show Delahaye in first place separated by the smallest of margins from second placed Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee) in second, with Duthil (Sepalumic) in third.
Martin Robitaille (CAN) Finn Junior World Champion
By winning the last race of the Finn Silver Cup, Martin Robitaille didn't leave any doubt that he truly deserves the Finn Junior World title. Despite a difficult start with an OCS, a penalty from the jury and one from the measurer, the Canadian was able to bounce back, winning four races and the title. Competition was tough with strong opponents like the current European Champion Michal Jodlowski (POL) second overall, 2011 Junior World Champion Arkadiy Kistanov who takes the bronze, or early leader Lennart Luttkus (GER) in fourth overall.
The title was up for grabs until the last race. Robitaille, Jodlowski and Kistanov played cat and mouse at the front, with each of them taking the lead at times, but the Canadian came back on the last run taking the race and the title.
A lot of the Junior Finn sailors are sharing the same objective for the 2016 Olympic Games and given the standard seen this week, many among them will be there to represent their country.
Final top ten:
1. Martin Robitaille, CAN, 46 points
2. Michal Jodlowski, POL, 53
3. Arkadiy Kistanov, RUS, 58
4. Lennart Luttkus, GER, 61
5. Andrei Ianitchii, RUS, 73
6. Viktor Filippov, RUS, 73
7. Peter Mc Coy, GBR, 75
8. Milosz Wojewski, POL, 76
9. Viacheslav Sivenkov, RUS, 87
10. Thomas Morel, FRA, 93
Event website for full results:
Tidal Power Determines the Leaders of the Pack
Day 4 in Clipper Race 14 to Den Helder, the Netherlands has seen the fleet of ten ocean racing yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race take on the tactical challenge of timing the notorious tidal gates of the North Sea, in an attempt to win a coveted podium position.
Gold Coast Australia continues to lead the pack whilst in the last 24 hours Singapore has successfully challenged Visit Finland for second place. With just two miles separating the yachts, the race continues to heat up.
With just 19 miles currently separating first place Gold Coast Australia and fifth place De Lage Landen, the race is still anyone's for the taking, "With less than 400 miles to go until we reach Den Helder, this race is going to be decided fairly quickly. There is still everything left to play for, as there are only a few miles separating all ten yachts," explained Stuart Jackson, skipper of the Dutch entry, De Lage Landen.
During the fleet's stay in Den Helder, Recruitment Manager David Cusworth will be holding free hour long presentations for those interested in taking part in the future races. Click here to find out more about the Clipper Race Roadshow. Latest positions
1. Gold Coast Australia, 315 nm to leg finish
2. Singapore, 7 nm to leader
3. Visit Finland, 7
4. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 17
5. De Lage Landen, 17
6. Welcome to Yorkshire, 28
7. Qingdao, 40
8. Derry-Londonderry, 50
9. New York, 55
10. Geraldton Western Australia, 63
Quebec - St. Malo Race: Quebec Gets Ready
The race start is only two weeks away and Quebec City is already bustling with activity. As the first boats are moored in the Bassin Louise, the port, the city and the many local fans look forward to the big offshore event with eager anticipation. 14 boats line up on the pontoons and crews work relentlessly on the last details and preparations, while the remainder are arriving with a few pit stops on their way up the eastern seaboard of the US. The 24 entries must be in Quebec by July 12th.
The Quebecois Georges Leblanc, Luc Forcier and eric Tabardel, who have been in town for a couple of days are sharing the offhsore racing magic with their fellow countrymen while the boats skippered by voiliers d'Aloys Le Claquin, Denis Van Weynbergh, Fabrice Amedeo, Sebastien Rogues, Halvard Mabire, David Augeix, Anna-Maria Renken, Jacques Fournier, Erwan Le Roux and Eric Nigon, have all completed their delivery and have brightened the harbour under the imposing Chateau Frontenac.
For this 8th edition of the race, the organisers have created a circuitmade of six different marks that will allow spectators to follow the initial miles live from six locations on the river banks in the East-Quebec area. The villages of La Malbaie, Rimouski, Matane, Sainte-Anne- des-Monts, Gaspe and Perce are well into the final preparations of the activities that have been created to cheer the fleet passing on the St-Lawrence river, before heading out on the transatlantic crossing.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Saint-Malo is also preparing to welcome the sailors, with an intense programme that is set to commence on July 31st and continue through to August 12th.
A brand new series of tracking Apps developed by Korem will provide for live following the race on the web and on smartphones. With two weeks to go to the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo race start, the organisers have officiallyintroduced the App created by the Quebec based developerKorem, that will enable fans to follow the race live in 2D and 3D.
The free web, iPhone and iPad App is already available for download at www.transatquebecstmalo.com, filed under Transat Quebec St-Malo 2012. From the start of the race data will be updated regularly in order to keep a track of the boats as they sail down to the 6 towns, 6 marks that will bring the fleet down the river.
Photo by Ian Grant. Click on image to enlarge.
Madison Kennedy confidently returned to her year 12 studies at Matthew Flinders Anglican College this week after winning the U19 World Laser Radial sailing championship Silver Medal on Brisbane's Waterloo Bay.
Because of her important study commitment the relatively quite Sunshine Coast teenager had a rather low key preparation however she managed to express her exceptional talent to finish second overall behind Maxime Jonker of Holland and six points clear of Bronze medallist Georgina Povall of England.
Maxime Jonker came to Australia fresh from an extensive preparation while Madison Kennedy who regularly races with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron fleet at the championship venue had to mix her training time with making sure the important school work was in good shape.
Thankfully the World championship conveniently fell in the winter vacation allowing Madison to again express her skill at the tiller of her Laser Radial.
The Australian Youth Olympian and member of Queensland Academy of Sport sailing team coached by the talented Adrian Finglas showed she was ready to go into battle setting her target on sailing clean and fast in a mix of tactically demanding winds.
Coach Finglas who has expressed success in a wide range of classes including the Yngling at the 2008 Olympic regatta in Beijing cleverly assisted Madison to build her regatta race by race. She has spent a lot of important sailing time under the watchful Finglas however her personal attention to detail has played the major role in the development of her career to now be recognised as the best U19 female Laser Radial skipper in the Nation.
Both Maxime Jonker winner of three qualifying races and Madison Kennedy who recovered after recording and 18th in race 1 were headed for a boat on boat match race to decide the Gold Medal on the final day.
While Madison sailed fast and smart Maxime Jonker sailed smarter and faster to break the possibility for the championship to be decided on a count back when both skippers sailed onto the course as joint championship leaders.
The title deciding performance came when Maxime Jonker expressed her determination and skill to race with the required strategy to make sure her rival was tactically well covered with little chance to sneak ahead.
Looking back Madison Kennedy said "It wasn't my best day of the regatta, that's pressure for you. But I'm happy with second ".
Her special personal achievement adds to a unique family sailing record.
Older brother Mitchell also a member of the Queensland Academy of Sport sailing squad has completed an impressive international regatta campaign in Europe while father Mark has the career distinction of winning the Laser class Gold Medal during the World Masters Games in Sydney.
Meanwhile Madison who is committed to gaining a top score in year 12 has shown with her Silver Medal that she is a top student in the nautical classroom. -- Ian Grant
Newport Bermuda Jury Penalizes Carina
The International Jury for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race has penalized the yacht Carina 15 minutes in elapsed time because a professional sailor briefly steered the boat during the race. The rules of the St. David's Lighthouse Division in which Carina sailed (and which the boat won) require that only amateur sailors steer while racing.
The ruling does not affect the race standings. The penalty trims Carina's margin over the second-place St. David's Lighthouse boat, the U.S. Naval Academy's Defiance, to 16 minutes, 22 seconds from 34 minutes, 34 seconds. Carina also remains winner of Class 3 under the IRC rule.
The International Jury made its decision after a hearing on Sunday, July 8, in which Carina's owner and captain, Rives Potts (Westbrook, Conn.), participated. The Jury determined that Carina's crew list as provided by Potts before the race listed all of the boat's 12 crewmembers as Category 1 amateur sailors under the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) sailor classification code. The rules for the St. David's Lighthouse Division permit a boat the size of Carina, a 48-foot sloop, to have as many as three professional sailors in the crew with the condition that none of them steer while the boat is racing.
One of Carina's crew was Kit Will, whose ISAF Category 1 classification had expired in April 2010. Two days before the race start, Will applied to ISAF and was classified as a Category 3 professional sailor. (There is no Category 2 in the ISAF code.) Will did not inform Potts that he had been reclassified as a Category 3 until after Carina finished the race in Bermuda. By then Carina had been presented with the Corinthian Trophy for top boat with an all-amateur crew. Potts returned the trophy to the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, which runs the race for the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Potts filed a report with the International Jury in which he stated that Will had briefly steered Carina during the race. Potts requested that the Jury review the matter. "Mr. Will was aware that Category 3 competitors were not permitted to steer the yacht while racing," the Jury stated in its decision. "During the race Mr. Will steered the boat on two occasions for brief periods amounting to several minutes." The Jury imposed the 15-minute penalty.
While the Bermuda Race has no official overall winner, the top boat in the St. David's Lighthouse Division is generally regarded as the winner because this is the largest division and features amateur sailors.
The members of the International Jury are Peter Shrubb (Bermuda) Chairman, Lynne Beal (Canada), Robert Duffy (Bermuda), Patricia O`Donnell (U.S.), and Arthur Wullschleger (U.S.) -- John Rousmaniere
IRC Small Boat Championship
This weekend sees the first running of the IRC Small Boat Championship, a new event targeted at smaller IRC-rated boats. It has been organised jointly by the Solent IRC Owners Association and Hamble River Sailing Club and sponsored by OneSail and YouBoat. This new event has been arranged in response to comments from owners of smaller racing yachts that there are not enough good racing opportunities designed specifically for them.
This weekend sees extreme neap tides, with low tidal rates, ideal conditions to give good racing for smaller boats. Classes are limited IRC ratings less than 0.960, equivalent to the normal class 4 and below. So there will be no larger boats burying the smaller boats on the start line and then taking all the wind on the first beat. Three races are planned for Saturday and two on Sunday.
Reaction from owners has been very positive, with several hurried renewals of IRC certificates in order to compete. 20+ boats have entered, including several top names. The first race will start in the region of Hill Head buoy at 11.00 on Saturday morning. After racing, crews will be returning to the Hamble River clubhouse for the day's prize giving; with Saturday also providing food and a social evening.
Entries will remain open until Friday 13th. Contact SCRA on 01983 295744 or email
or see the website www.solentirc.org.uk
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The Last Word
A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad. -- Albert Camus