Stuart Alexander

Stuart Alexander is Sailing Correspondent for The Independent.

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Alicante to Cape Town: The Volvo Ocean Race begins

West is best has long been the mantra of those racing south down the Atlantic and it is the two boats furthest west when attacking the booby trap of the Doldrums on the first leg of the Volvo round the world race from Alicante to Cape Town that were celebrating conventional wisdom with what could be a decisive break yesterday.

Skipper Ian Walker (right) directs operation on Abu Dhabi’s Azzam in the build-up to the Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race 2014: Luck, guile and fitness will be key to whichever crew triumphs in 38,739-mile, eight-month battle

The seven teams competing for the round-the-world title are preparing in Alicante ahead of what will be a gruelling journey in a variety of conditions

Bouwe Bekking is looking forward to his seventh round the world races as skipper of Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race

Bouwe Bekking prepares to race around the world... yet again

He is competing in the Volvo Ocean Race

Morgan Larson and Switzerland’s Alinghi won the Extreme Sailing Series regatta in Nice, extended his lead for the 2014 season, and goes into the final round in Sydney in December strongly tipped to lift the championship.

Extreme Sailing Series: Ben Ainslie claims third behind Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi at Nice

As Morgan Larson steered Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi to another grand prix victory in the Extreme Sailing Series at Nice, and his great rival and defending champion, a crestfallen Leigh McMillan, had a shocker in The Wave, Muscat, so Britain’s multiple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie saw a “massive learning curve” deliver a series-best third place.

The Extreme Sailing Series fleet has enjoyed late summer sunshine racing the seventh of its eight regatta, 2014 programme in Nice.

Extreme Sailing Series 2014: Morgan Larson powers Switzerland’s Alinghi team into commanding lead as Leigh McMillan endures a day to forget

The defending champion of 2013 was bottom of the heap, 40 points behind Alinghi and needing to pull something out of the bag to stay in touch

Defending Extreme Sailing Series champion Leigh McMillan and his The Wave, Muscat crew are still in touch but needing to recover strongly in the final two days of the Nice regatta.

Extreme Sailing Series Nice: Denmark’s Realteam lead at the halfway stage

Nice, Riviera favourite of the British for over 100 years, was almost too nice for the second day running of the Extreme Sailing Series but revelling in the extended summer conditions was Denmark’s Realteam, still leading at the halfway stage.

Altair leads the traditional fleet off the start line

St. Tropez swaps brash for beauty and the classical power of sail

Waiting list to spend, spend, spend on the glories of a bygone era and relax without security headaches

The pre-war kings of America's Cup yacht racing, the mighty J-Class monsters, live on at the Voiles de St. Tropez this week

Alpari World Match Racing: Ian Williams takes second place

As a fleet of 304 classics, with over 25 centenarians in their number, gathered in St. Tropez, and a dozen Extreme 40s prepare to do battle further east on the Côte d’Azur in Nice, Ian Williams wrapped up another Alpari World Match Racing event in Amsterdam with a not quite satisfying second place in the Dutch Match Cup. 

Ian Williams (left) and his reshuffled GAC Pindar crew, made short work of reaching the semi-finals of the Chicago Match Cup in the Alpari series

Rio 2016 Olympics: GB sailing squad book places in all 10 of the classes

The march to Rio took a major step forward in Santander this week when the Great Britain sailing squad booked places in all 10 of the classes which will take part in the 2016 Olympic Games. Any doubts about who could or could not qualify Team GBR disappeared with the Scottish referendum vote and any doubts in opposing country squads about the continuing strength in depth of talent available to keep Britain’s medal winning ways on track were equally dispelled. Individual Rio selection will be made at a much later date.

Leigh McMillan skipper of The Wave, Muscat, and a crew which includes double gold Olympic medallist Sarah Ayton had to fight all the way to win the Extreme Sailing Series

Sailing: The Wave on top again as they win fifth event in Extreme Sailing Series

In conditions as soggy but not as blowy as predicted, fortunes swung one way and then another as Oman’s The Wave, Muscat won the fifth event of eight in the 2014, taking the Cardiff title in the Extreme Sailing Series.

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