News Briefs for December 4 , 2006

The latest racing news

Harrowing Velux 5 Oceans Leg Draws To a CloseEarlier today, aboard his Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm arrived in Fremantle, Austrlia, winning Leg 1 of the Velux 5 Oceans Race. The defending champion covered 12,000 miles in 43 days, and arrived in Fremantle to the cheers of friends, family and sailing fans. Stamm holds a commanding lead in the race, and is one of only two competitors not to have suffered a severe setback or delay in Leg 1. Speaking on the dockside, Stamm commented, "I am very pleased to be here, to have won this leg, and to be back on dry land. It really was a very difficult leg; I had to go up the mast three times, once with strong winds over 25 knots. The start was hard, but the hardest moment was two days ago, when I suddenly got hit by a blast 50 to 60 knots. The South is always difficult, with strong winds and big waves, but I made it hard for myself by forgetting my thermal clothes, it was terrible."Stamm's hardship pales in comparison to the epic misfortune suffered by fellow competitors Alex Thompson and Mike Golding, who together limped into Cape Town, South Africa on December 1. A week earlier, Thompson abandoned his boat, Hugo Boss, and was rescued by Golding, whose boat, Ecover, was subsequently dismasted. Both sailors have withdrawn from the race. For the latest Velux 5 Oceans news, click here.Holmberg Weathers Monsoon CupOn Sunday, Peter Holmberg defeated Mathieu Richard 3-2 to win the 2nd annual Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.The series was a sea-saw affair between the 46-year-old Holmberg, helmsman candidate for America's Cup defense syndicate Alinghi, and Richard, a 30-year-old French match-racing ace. In the end, Holmberg, who nearly lost the Petit Final to Peter Gilmour, pulled out the championship. The Monsoon Cup is Holmberg's fifth career World Match Racing Tour victory, and places him sixth on the tour's leaderboard. Ian Williams is in first.For the latest World Match Racing Tour news, click here.Shot Putter Strengthens Germany's AC Challenge With four months to go before the start of the 32nd America's Cup, United Internet Team Germany has added former world class shot putter Oliver-Sven Buder as a grinder.The 41-year-old Olympian is thrilled to join his country's first-ever America's Cup crew. "Training with the team - whether it's on the water or ashore - is just so much fun and I hope to give the team a lot," said Buder, who participated in the Olympics in 1996 and 2000, became vice world champion in 1997 and 1999, European vice champion in 1998, and European champion in the junior division in 1985.For more about the German team, click here.Phuket Cup Attracts 100 BoatsThe 20th edition of Phuket King's Cup Regatta is shaping up to the largest ever, with 101 boats registered. Racing starts today in the Andaman Sea off Phuket, Thailand. For more, click here.