Stuart Alexander

Stuart Alexander is Sailing Correspondent for The Independent.

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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.

Tension on board as Ben Ainslie (right) and Paul Goodison suffer a disappointing final day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman, on the 40-foot catamaran J.P.Morgan/BAR

Extreme Sailing Series 2014: Leigh McMillan takes a popular home win as he guides The Wave to Muscat victory

McMillan and his crew are looking for a hat-trick of titles against a fleet that includes British sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie

The Swiss America’s Cup team Alinghi finished the penultimate day of racing in Muscat at the top of the overall leaderboard. Helping skipper Morgan Larson to the top were Anna Tunnicliffe (left) and Yves Detrey (right)

Extreme Sailing Series: Three wins from eight races on the third day for Ben Ainslie's J.P Morgan/ BAR team

Three wins from eight races on the third day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat pushed Ben Ainslie’s J.P.Morgan/BAR team from sixth up to fourth on the overall table, just five points short of a top three slot.

British gold medallist Pippa Wilson weighs up the race track from the bow of Sir Ben Ainslie’s J.P.Morgan/BAR Extreme 40 on the second day of the Muscat regatta

Extreme Sailing Series 2014: Fickle winds and frying temperatures can't prevent thrilling battle between Leigh McMillan and Morgan Larson

Larson's Alinghi leads the Extreme Sailing Series by just four points as the top four begin to pull away at the top

Extreme Sailing Series: Mixed success for Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie's team

Quadruple Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie saw five different winners carry off the prizes in the opening seven races of the Extreme Sailing Series regatta in Oman, but he was not one of them. As his JP Morgan/BAR crew includes two more British Olympic champions, Paul Goodison and Pippa Wilson, his reaction was surprisingly calm when he said: “We had some good races and some bad races…but we certainly have the ability to be up there with the top group, which is where we aim to be.”

Favourite wins EFG Sailing Arabia

The favourite won, the Plymouth University-backed team was not content with but happy with second, and the final leg flight for third place in the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour went to Team Delft from the Netherlands by winning the final leg from Mussanah to Muscat.

Serious crash but no serious injuries as Aberdeen Asset Management carves into potential French America’s Cup contender Franck Cammas’ Groupama in the opening 2014 Extreme Sailing Series regatta in Singapore

Sidney Gavignet stays in the overall lead on The Tour

Clever reading of the course instructions gave Marcel Herrera and the crew of Messe Frankfurt their first leg win on the split course from Dibba to Mussanah in the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour. It came also at the expense of all the other team, who were disqualified because they did not sail the course as stipulated by race director Gilles Chiorri.

Sidney Gavignet has eye on next leg of the EFG Sailing Arabia

While series leader Sidney Gavignet scored two firsts and a second in a trio of inshore races, his eyes were firmly fixed on the next leg of the EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour from Ras al Khaimah (RAK) to Dibba in Oman. It takes the fleet of six Mumm 30 yachts through the Straits of Hormuz and, while Gavignet, is concentrating on the tactical difficulties, the organisers have been attending to escort boats from first the United Arab Emirates Navy and then the Royal Nay of Oman.

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