Stuart Alexander

Stuart Alexander is Sailing Correspondent for The Independent.

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Four-time world champion Ian Williams’ GAC Pindar topped the qualifying stage of the opening Alpari 2014 event at Langenargen, Germany

Team GAC Pindar’s skipper Ian Williams finishes top of Match Race Germany qualifying

Williams scores 10-1 to finish first with Phil Robertson in second

Boats float along the shoreline of the polluted waters of Guanabara Bay

Olympic Games 2016: Rio's sailing test event to be held in polluted Guanabara Bay

30 sailors will race in all 10 classes against their international rivals on the same racecourses which have been designated for 2016

Sir Ben Ainslie played a role in Oracle Team USA's victory last year

Olympic golden boy Sir Ben Ainslie lines up £50m America's Cup gamble

Competitors for an at least £50m. assault on the America’s Cup may not even make it to the final shoot-out under the new rules issued months after they were expected for the next event in 2017. Nor do they know where the racing will be staged, but they do know they have to stump up $2m. in entry fees, to be paid in two instalments this year, and find an additional performance bond of $1m. plus guaranteeing to insure all their team members and be responsible for their safety. This is consequential on the death of British gold medallist Andrew Simpson while training with the Swedish challenger Artemis on San Francisco Bay in May 2013.

Team GAC Pindar skipper Ian Williams, four-time winner of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, starts his quest for a record-breaking five card trick in Germany next week

Ian Williams prepares for Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Fighting fit and raring to go, four times world match racing tour champion Ian Williams has stepped up the intensity of his crew’s preparations as he bids for a record-breaking fifth title in Germany next week.

Solo sailor Sam Goodchild (centre) hopes there will be more champagne moments for Team Plymouth next month’s Figaro Race

Sam Goodchild targets success for Team Plymouth in next month’s Figaro Race

The Vendee Globe solo race is the young man's dream

The Red Bull had regatta winner Alinghi on its horns on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao, China
There be dragons as Oman Air scoots across the bay in Qingdao, restored to racing in the Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series.
Sailor Ben Ainslie (centre R), captain of the JP Morgan Racing (BAR) team, preparing for a training session in Singapore back in February
David Smith tries to break through the Leinster defence

Toulon 29 Leinster 14 match report: Jonny Wilkinson forced off but Brian O’Driscoll crashes out

Xavier Chiocci and Drew Mitchell crossed to give Toulon victory but Jonny Wilkinson was forced off following a heavy collision

America’s Cup 2017: Sir Ben Ainslie waiting on AC35 format before decision to mount British challenge

A moment of truth is rushing up for Sir Ben Ainslie and his hopes of mounting a British challenge for the next America’s Cup. The format for the next Cup, AC35, in 2017 was expected in March. Latest whispers say it could be next Monday or Tuesday. Even then, it will be incomplete.

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Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
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Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
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Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

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Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
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Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
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Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game