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Victors emerge from 336 starters in Fastnet Race

In miserable rain there were celebrations developing in Plymouth as places were settled in the 45th Rolex Fastnet Race, the biennial battle on the briny around a desolate rock off the south-west corner of Ireland.

New York hosts classy debut

It will take something to grab the attention of New York in the week of the 4 of July, but five 70-foot trimarans set off from Newport, Rhode Island to pass the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French, up the Hudson River and to North Cove Marina 130 miles away on Monday.

Giovanni Soldini talks up Class 40

He’s raced around the world alone, crossed the Atlantic umpteen times, and is currently chasing records in a supercharged beast of a Volvo 70, but Giovanni Soldini, highly critical of the current state of ocean racing, is telling everyone who will listen that a much smaller yacht, the Class 40, is today’s best bet for the next few years.

Extreme Sailing Series director predicts fewer events

South coast gales in an English summer were in stark contrast to the race track off Istanbul, between the Aegean and the Bosphorus, as the founder and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series, Mark Turner predicted: “There will be less professional sailing events in the next three to five years.”

Hetairos clinches Caribbean 600 title

Hetairos, the 214-foot superyacht skippered by Vincent Fauquenoy, was first to finish the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Caribbean 600 in Antigua in an elapsed time of 2 days 2 hours 39 minutes and 32 seconds. But this was well outside the record set by Rambler 100 last year, which capsized in the Fastnet Race last August.

Ben Ainslie grabs slender lead at World Sailing Championships

In a slug it out, last man standing confrontation between rival members of a British squad that is eclipsing the rest of the world, the Finn class world championship, one of 10 being staged off Fremantle, W. Australia, saw reigning Olympic champion Ben Ainslie grab a slender lead over reigning European champion Giles Scott.

Records broken in Fastnet Race

Records smashed, boats smashed, but people safe in the 44th Rolex Fastnet Race. The 2007 record of 44 hours and 18 minutes was chopped by one hour and thirty-nine minutes as British Olympic medal winner Ian Walker brought Abu Dhabi’s Volvo race entry Azzam over the finish line just in time for breakfast.

Volvo readies first diesel plug-in hybrid

Volvo will display a diesel plug-in hybrid version of its V60 estate at the forthcoming Geneva motor show. The car will be put into production in 2012, and the Swedish car-maker claims it will be the first in the world with such a drive-train.

More headlines

Cristabella crew excel at the Audi MedCup

Britain's star-studded and medal-strewn sailors were again struggling for pace and consistency in waters off Barcelona as the third of this year's Audi MedCup series fired up after a 24-hour delay.

Diary: Maverick... with a Volvo

It took five whole episodes, but I've finally worked out what was bothering me about BBC1's Luther, starring Idris Elba as maverick copper DCI John Luther: the man drives a Volvo. Morse had his Jag, Gene Hunt his Audi Quattro, Rebus his Saab. But a Volvo? Would a maverick really drive a car with such an impeccable safety record? "Originally, Luther wasn't going to have a car at all," novelist Neil Cross, Luther's creator, explains in an email. "The producer pointed out this may prove to be impractical in a drama show... I wanted to give Luther the kind of car a man who didn't care much about cars he might buy, begrudgingly, when backed into a corner. He bought it 10 years ago from his erstwhile next-door neighbour, Fat Thommo Chitwood, for £500 and a David Bowie bootleg on blue vinyl. He suspects that at some point in its long history it was probably stolen, because there was a half-eaten packet of Murray Butter Mints in the glove box. It's probably still there."