Sailing's Big Ben chimes in mainstream media

Showman: Ben Ainslie played with the crowd - London 2012 Olympic Games
The biggest sailing story world-wide this week, bar none, was in fact one of the biggest mainstream story of the week world-wide.

It was six times Finn world champion, Britain’s favourite Olympian Ben Ainslie, with all the poise we are used to seeing, taking the London 2012 Olympic torch on the first leg of its journey from Britain’s Lands End to London.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that if Big Ben does NOT win Olympic Gold, that will be the British Olympic story, note not just sailing story.

While Ainslie is looking unstoppable, the sub-story might be that the battle for overall Olympic sailing supremacy might be tougher than expected for the GBR team.

The Laser, Laser Radial, 470 Mens and 49ers look out of reach for the Brits courtesy of the Australian Sailing team and China's Lijia Xu. Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page just won their third World Championship in a row overnight.

While the British team is there or there abouts in many disciplines (they have grabbed the 470 Womens World title) the next 70 days will certainly be critical, with the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta looming large.

Belcher and Page on day two of the 2012 470 World Championship - photo Thom Touw


Good news from Australian boat builder Sydney Yachts, its tough out there but their Sydney GTS 43 is quietly carving a serious spot on the very competitive IRC scene. The Ker designed boat, Nowra NSW built boat is consistently performing. The first one in Asia, Steve Mannings's Walawala 2 has impressed and a second one is about to be launched in Hong Kong.

No publicity around it but the AGM of the International Laser Class Association is happening this weekend in Germany. Be interesting to see what happens, after the Fundamental Rule vote failed to have any impact on the vexed issue of builders, trademarks and non supply of Laser and their parts in UK and Europe at the moment.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing jagged their third IN Port race in Miami overnight, while Groupama scored a strong second to pile the pressure on overall race leaders Telefónica.

The top four team Telefónica, Groupama, Puma and Camper are very close overall on points. There is just a day to go before the start of the transatlantic leg to Lisbon.

Veteran multihuller and sometime America's Cup writer Bob Fisher is reporting from Naples, Italy for the Fourth round of the America's Cup World Series, where the Australian and New Zealand sailors crewing the two Team USA are being pushed very hard by the French and Aussie Korean. Team USA Spithill came up trumps overnight.

Lots more news from Australia and beyond in another exciting sailing week and a great winter ahead.

This could be our best every Olympic Sailing regatta and the Sail-World team in Weymouth will be our biggest ever surpassing our Sydney and Qingdao teams. We need a big team because we will be sending out a total of 24 newsletters between now and August 12th, leading up to and during this very significant regatta.

Each of those will go to more than 145,000 readers – 3.48 million newsletters. Big numbers in traditional sailing magazine terms but the explosion in smart phones and tablets is fuelling rapid growth.

More than half of the traffic to Sail-World.com, MarineBusiness-World.com, Powerboat-World.com and FishingBoating-Word.com is now via iPhone, Android phone and a parade of tablets.

News that iPhone 5 will have a 4.8' retina screen means the Androids will all go big screen too and the mobile online world will notch up again.

You can put a single touch link to Sail-World on your iPhone and a lot of Androids now and our news app is coming soon.

Exciting times...
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