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“get off the bow!”

"oh, wait.... never mind!" The end of the second round of this 9th edition of Les Sables – Les Açores – Les Sables is definitely full of suspense! Despite the 450 miles that separate the most extreme competitors to the south and north, the game is still very open on this seventh day of racing. In the check-in this Thursday, Pierre Le Roy (1019 – TeamWork), the winner of the first leg with more than 20 hours ahead of his runner-up, took control of the fleet but, 190 miles to his north, Jacques Delcroix (753 – Actual) remains, for the time being, faster in VMG. So whose stage victory is this weekend?...

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the mountain and muhammed

Big Pimpin' For many years they have been fastidiously creating some of the world’s finest yachts. One small drawback is that for many clients Baltic Yachts has always been rather a long way away geographically. Not any more... There are big advantages to building yachts on the west coast of Finland. For the last 50 years, it has been a centre of excellence where a talented workforce of shipwrights, joiners, composite builders, and many other specialists produce some of the finest sailing yachts in the world, accumulating a vast pool of knowledge, experience and skills. There’s just one snag with the location – it’s a very long way, especially by sea, from the places where most owners choose to sail and keep their yachts. The solution for Baltic Yachts was to set up a service and refit hub in the epicenter of the Mediterranean yachting scene. ‘We started down here with warranty projects,’ says Matthew Lester, Baltic Yachts’ head of aftersales service who leads their steadily growing operation in Palma, Mallorca which is based in and around the STP shipyard in the heart of the city’s old harbour. ‘We were always coming here and we opened a workshop so we didn’t have to work out of our suitcases all of the time. And we were increasingly being asked to work on other boats. In 2014 we decided to staff the company here and we’ve never looked back.’ More here....

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Featured Slot 3

it’s getting hot out there, too

The Environment As sea ice vanishes, Greenland melts, and wildfires scorch the planet's northernmost forests, new research confirms what scientists are sounding alarms about: the Arctic has warmed much faster than the rest of the world in the past several decades. The phenomenon, called Arctic amplification, is caused by the heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels. The pace of the temperature increase around the North Pole in recent decades was four times higher than the rest of the planet, researchers at the Finnish Meteorological Institute found in a study published Thursday. Another problem: Climate models, which scientists used to predict long-term change, are not capturing this high rate of warming, lead author and researcher Mika Rantanen told CNN, which was part of this study's motivation. That's concerning because if the models can't recreate what's happening right now, scientists can't be confident in their long-term predictions. "Because of this discrepancy, we decided that this needs to be corrected," Rantenen said. "This needs to be updated." Read on, thanks to CNN....

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Featured Slot 2

it’s getting hot out there

The Environment The falling water levels on the Rhine River are getting critically low, according to German officials, and could severely restrict traffic between the Lower and Upper Rhine at the town of Kaub as early as Friday. The low water is already putting a drag on German commerce due to reduced draft for inland traffic; a partial shutdown at Kaub would put more drag on Germany's economy, which is already heavily affected by sky-high natural gas prices and the prospect of an impending cutoff of Russian energy. The Rhine carries a substantial share of Germany's petchem, crude and coal cargoes, among other commodities, and it provides a vital connection to the Port of Rotterdam, the largest seaport in Europe. Barges on the Lower Rhine deliver bulk materials to the industrial heartland of Germany, the Rhine-Ruhr region. The port of Duisberg, which serves this trade, is the largest inland port in Europe. Read on....

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floating saucer

The distinctive lines of a Mark Mills design - in this case it is Michael Berghorn’s Mills 45 Custom HALBTROCKEN 4.5  that enjoyed success with a clean sweep of victories today for a 5.0 point total after four races in the ORCi Euro Ahamps. More here....

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chillin’

Young sailors at Etobicoke Yacht Club (Toronto, Ontario) waiting for the wind and learning how to love the water. Photo credit instructor Mélodie Phillips....

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resurgent

Big Pimpin' There may not be an offshore medal on the menu at Paris 2024 but one of the favorites to be selected as the platform for the next Olympic Regatta has dusted itself down and is now steaming back into international prominence. How many yachts can you think of that combine 20-knot plus performance and one-design racing in decent-sized fleets with Category A offshore certification and weekend accommodation for four people, but can also be trailed behind an average car? And how many of those can be rigged and launched by two people in a couple of hours, without needing a crane? When Rodion Luka went looking for a boat that could do all that, he couldn’t find anything suitable in production. There was a gap in the market, which he decided to fill and thus the L30 was born. You may have heard about the L30 in 2019, when it was selected by World Sailing for the double-handed mixed offshore world championships and widely assumed to be a shoo-in for the (subsequently abandoned) offshore event at the 2024 Paris Olympics. But there’s a lot more to this nine-meter Swiss Army knife of a boat than that. Continue....

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Featured Slot 3

how it’s done

Fifty-two International Fourteen from six nations attended the 2022 World Championships hosted by the FSC Club in Flensburg, Germany. After a 12-month delay due to COVID, the Championships faced an additional challenge due to the global costs of containers, preventing USA and Australian fleets from attending. The event showcased the growth of the class in Germany with 30 boats from the host nation, many of whom were attending their first i14 championship. As a development class, the i14 is well known for introducing new technologies to sailboat racing. This year, the fleet focused more on refinement with no significant innovations. The B6 virtual one design from Ovington was to be joined by a new production run of Hollom 3's built in Germany. Both boats offer race-winning levels of performance off-the-shelf, which will be vital to attracting newcomers to the class in the build-up to Garda 2024. The number of female helms and crews at the championship was a real talking point. Flora Preisinger (GER), Lauren Laventure (Can), Katie Nurton (GBR) and Angela Denninger (GER) would all be competing for a top 10 result. Under-25 Teams from Canada and Hawaii also participated in their first world championship. Defending champions Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary dominated Race-1 in very unstable conditions. Having engaged shift-o-matic, the team lead from start to finish with Andy Shaw and Rob Stuckett in a solid second and UK National Champions Glenn Truswell & Ed Fitzgerald recovering to third. Conditions were similar on Day 2, with an unstable, bandy south-westerly making for a shift and position day. Off the line, German National Champions Dennis Gehrlein and Lasse Nielandt showed a good turn of speed before Massey and Hillary took the lead, having mastered the positioning on the course. Shaw-Struckett and Truswell-Fitzgerald rounded in second and third and set...

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that was the week that was

Continuing on from our look at the weekend racing of the 2022 Cowes Week. The first thing I would say is that this cannot be a full and complete report as with 30+ classes racing for 7 days would take a book. For those who would to see a fuller report on the week’s activities and racing they should visit www.cowesweek.co.uk. Planet Sail produced excellent daily video round-ups while Cowes Week official writer Rupert Holmes produced an excellent daily summary broken down to an overview followed by a more detailed account of the day’s racing. An extremely well-oiled machine where much of the year-long effort to produce such an outstanding regatta is fuelled by enthusiastic volunteers producing an extremely professional event. They even have VAR on some start lines to identify early starters avoiding the dreaded third gun and a general recall. And they are guns on the Squadron line, miniature cannons so there is no excuse for not hearing them. The 2022 event, just four years short of their centenary - yes the first Cowes Week was 1826 – was by Cowes Week standards a relatively small affair with JUST 450 or so boats competing but for all that was as competitive as ever. (Big years give quadruple figures a fright.) An amazing event with, for some, it being one of the few regattas they do each year while elsewhere one boat sported a VOR winner on board while on at least one day a quadruple Olympic gold medallist was at the helm of a competitor (yes, they won but by just 53 seconds after a 30-mile race and that was with Sir Ben driving). One young dinghy sailor commented that she wasn’t used to helming such big boats but she learned lots from watching how the other guys...

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