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Hampshire sailor Alex Thomson loses mast in Barcelona World Race

Credit: Barcelona World Race

Hampshire sailor Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes, skippers of the IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss, which was leading the Barcelona World Race, have lose their mast overboard.

The yacht was sailing in moderate conditions when, after a rigging failure, the mast fell overboard and broke.

Thomson, 40, and Spaniard Ribes, 43 will now cease racing in the Barcelona World Race 2014 -2015.

The skippers and the shore team are currently evaluating how to get the boat to the nearest landfall, which is likely to be Salvador de Bahia in Brazil - a significant distance from the boat’s current position.

Entries open for Round the Island Race

It is the biggest sailing event of its kind in the world Credit: Meridian

Entries open today for the 84th Round the Island Race. The event attracts 1500 boats and thousands of sailors. The race takes place in June from Cowes. Olympic and World champion sailors will compete alongside amateurs, families and sailors of all ages.

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Portsmouth to host America's Cup events

News conference about the America's Cup Credit: America's Cup

Portsmouth will host two America's Cup World Series events over the next two years.

The America's Cup World Series is the preliminary race series of the 35th America’s Cup, consisting of eight to ten regattas taking place around the world during 2015 and 2016.

All America’s Cup teams will compete in the series. Their overall placement will affect the seeding and starting score they take into the America’s Cup Qualifier events in 2017.

Hampshire record-breaking sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, takes third place in Route du Rhum

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Sir Robin completes another record breaking voyage across the Atlantic

Sir Robin came third in the Rhum class as he crossed the finish line at Pointe a Pitre at 4.52pm local time/8.52pm GMT after 20 days, 7 hours, 52 minutes and 22 seconds at sea. He managed to hold off rival Wilfrid Clerton, who was 20 miles behind.

When he last sailed in the race 32 years ago he finished in 14th place in a time of 20 days, 20 hours, 20 minutes.

The first man to sail solo, non-stop round the world in 1968/9 said he was happy to finish the 3,542 mile race after the "intense" contest for the final podium place.

He sailed the 3,542 mile (Rhumb line) course at an average speed of 7.26 knots but in reality he actually did 4,416 miles at an average of 9.05 knots.

Sir Robin, who founded the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, returned to his solo ocean-racing roots by entering his Open 60 yacht Grey Power into the Route du Rhum competition which started today in St Malo, France.

The veteran sportsman, who was the oldest participant, last competed in the 3,542-mile race from St Malo, France, to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean in 1982 in his 70ft catamaran Olympus.

And this is his first solo race since his Velux 5 Oceans circumnavigation in 2006-7, which he also sailed in Grey Power.

Grey Power targeting a third place finish as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, races across the Atlantic - on his own

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's view over the blue waters of the Atlantic Credit: Sir Robin Knox Johnston

The first man to sail solo, nonstop round the world in 1968/9 is currently in fourth place on his Open 60 Grey Power. He is just three miles from the third-placed yacht, having dropped down a place this morning after holding onto third for almost 36 hours.

Sir Robin is involved in a “stimulating” battle with three other yachts for the final podium in a week which has seen light winds, rain squalls and big wind shifts in the Azores high pressure system.

Sir Robin, who founded the Clipper Race at his base in Gosport, Hampshire, has 1,253 miles to go till the finish line. He set off from Saint-Malo, France, on 2 November on the 3,542 mile Transatlantic contest.

He said:

The fight for third is very exciting. It has been a frustrating week at times though. The North Atlantic depressions pushed the Azores high South after the big yachts had passed through.

This meant I had to go deeper South to avoid it, which means a greater distance to the finish. We have all been battling lighter than forecast winds, rain squalls and big shifts in the wind, but we are in the Tropics after all.

– Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Sir Robin thanks supporters ahead of transatlantic race

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