Scuttlebutt Europe #3436 - 9 October
Repechage Round Underway at Argo Group Gold Cup
With six of the eight quarterfinalists set at the $100,000 Argo Group Gold Cup, all eyes are on the Repechage Round to see which two crews will join the action slated for Friday.
At the end of today Chris Steele's 36 Below Racing from New Zealand and Keith Swinton's Black Swan Racing from Australia have the edge. They're each at 2-0 with two of seven scheduled flights completed.
Besides Steele and Swinton the Repechage Round also includes two America's Cup teams, Dean Barker's SoftBank Team Japan and Francesco Bruni's Artemis Racing, World Match Racing Tour regular Johnie Berntsson's racing team (the event's reigning champion from Sweden), Blythe Walker's Team RenRe from Bermuda, and two other younger teams - Chris Poole's Riptide Racing from the U.S. and Reuben Corbett's racing team from New Zealand.
Six teams have already qualified for the quarterfinals, based on finishing in the top three in their respective groups in the rounds robin. The teams from Group A include Phil Robertson's WAKA Racing, Eric Monnin's Swiss Match Race Team and Ian Williams' GAC Pindar.
The teams from Group B are Taylor Canfield's US One, Bjorn Hansen's Nautiska Racing and Adam Minoprio's BlackMatch.
Clipper Race 2 Day 1: 'A Baptism Of Fire'
The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms is underway with the fleet mostly in a tightly-bunched pack after 140 nautical miles and 14 hours of racing.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire was first across the start line just off Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, closely followed by Visit Seattle and Clipper Telemed+.
The fleet experienced strong winds of 22 knots on the nose from the get go.
In the first few hours of racing the crew and yachts are already being tested by the stormy conditions the South Atlantic Ocean is well known for. PSP Logistics was hardest hit with a running backstay problem, but given the short distance travelled from Rio, the team is already back out racing after having returned to port for repairs last night.
As of 0800UTC PSP Logistics is only 132 nautical miles behind current leader Garmin.
The Clipper Race fleet is due into Cape Town between 21-25 October and will be berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront until 31 October.
Race standings: clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings
100 And Counting…Entries Climbing For 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week
The number of entries to the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week has just hit 100, indicating one of the strongest early turnouts in years to this mainstay on the international sailing calendar held over January 17-22, 2016. Currently there are 16 classes organized: nine one-design and seven monohull and multihull classes racing under handicap. This indicates a diverse range of boat types attracted to race in the winter sun in Key West, with teams from 10 nations represented among the entries thusfar.
One design classes include the following: Melges 24's (14 entries), J/70's (19 entries), J/80's (4 entries), Farr 280's (5 entries), Viper 640's (3 entries), J/88's (7 entries), C&C 30's (10 entries), J/111's (8 entries), and J/122's (2 entries).
Among the handicap classes, IRC 1 and 2 have thusfar attracted 14 committed entries, and the three new class offered at this year's event are also gaining interest: ORC Club (7 entries), Multihulls (4 entries) and Performance Cruisers (3 entries).
Besides providing the best in race management on the water, organizers from the Storm Trysail Club will enhance the shoreside experience for all entries with afternoon seminars, evening prizegivings and social events, and full logistic support through their partners and vendors on site…plus the unique ambience offered by time spent in Old Town Key West.
For more information and to enter 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week, visit www.keywestraceweek.com
Complete version of the Notice of Race: issuu.com/glpubs/docs/qkwrw2016_nor
Bermuda Hotels Fully Booked For World Series
Hotels are fully booked ahead of this month's America's Cup races - with hoteliers optimistic the event is already helping the ailing tourism industry to turn a corner.
Six hotels and guesthouses across Hamilton and Paget told The Royal Gazette of very positive take-up for the three-day Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, which begins next Friday.
They said it gave them great hope for 2017, when Bermuda will host the 35th America's Cup, and added that next weekend's festivities would help to show the Island in a new light to many visitors, who would potentially return in future.
The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, the Royal Palms, the Rosedon Hotel, the Rosemont, the Oxford House and Coco Reef all said they were at full occupancy or very close to this.
Pompano Beach Club, Southampton, which is slated to host Oracle Team USA in 2017, said about half of its 75 rooms had been booked for the World Series.
However owner Larry Lamb remained upbeat, telling The Royal Gazette: "America's Cup, for the Island, is great. It's put a ton of kids in schools. Car sales are way up. Supermarkets are fuller. A tremendous amount of good has come from this event.
"Originally they predicted hotels would benefit, but it's more apartment rentals. These are just average folks doing a job.
"They've rented the heck out of the apartments, which is still filling a void in Bermuda's economy. Economically, it's great." -- Nadia Hall
On The Small And Large Screen...
This Sunday yachting enthusiasts and casual sailing fans around the United States will have a chance to experience from the comfort of their living room the excitement, drama and pageantry of the 2015 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.
An hour-long program, produced by Emmy-winning producer Gary Jobson, will air on Sunday, October 11, at 5 p.m. (EDT), on ESPN2. An edited version of the program will air on Eurosport on Wednesday, October 14, starting at approximately 11:20 p.m.
In 1973, with almost no experience, Mexican captain Ramon Carlin raced against the superstars of sailing in a 9 month deadly round the world regatta winning the overall prize.
A new documentary by Bernardo Arsuaga titled "The Weekend Sailor" is to be released in 2016.
Bernardo, who is a partner in a law firm in Monterray, Mexico, couldn't get the story of how this comparative novice had won sailing's inaugural premier round-the-world race out of his head.
"This is a man who had only sailed some 80 hours or so beating the sport's biggest names of the time, like Chay Blyth and Eric Tabarly."
Until the Whitbread Race, Carlin's experience consisted of sailing his small sailboat in Acapulco for one weekend a month over two years plus a trans-Pacific crossing.
Bernardo went on to meet Ramon Carlin himself, still sparky and lucid past his 92nd birthday, and organised the entire documentary project, including staging a reunion meeting for the surviving crew for the first time since their Whitbread triumph 40 years earlier.
Safran-Guy Cotten: Looking Back On Two Years Of Partnership With Gwenole Gahinet
The finish of the Generali Solo concludes the Figaro Beneteau season and also marks for Gwenole Gahinet, 5th in the Championnat de France Elite de Course au Large (France's elite offshore solo sailing championship), the end of his two-year partnership with Safran and Guy Cotten.
Starting in late 2013, the partnership between Safran and Guy Cotten was born of the desire of both companies to support a young talent on the Figaro Beneteau circuit, a championship that has always been the school of offshore racing. Then aged 29 and a revelation in the Mini Transat 2011, Gwenole Gahinet was chosen to wear the colours of the two companies and joined the Safran Sailing Team with Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière.
Gerard Le Page, CEO of the Safran Sailing Team: "We're proud of the success of this Figaro experience, conducted jointly with our friends from Guy Cotten. For two years, there has been a fine alchemy between Safran and Guy Cotten working alongside Gahinet Gwenole, who beyond his talent has a great and engaging personality. We achieved our objectives, which were to support him and give him the means to progress to the highest level. We all hope he continues his sporting projects and we look forward to his future success."
Who was fast out of the box this year? Easy to say now that Azzurra have shown such speed, consistency and intelligent optimisations. Their 35pt lead over second-placed Quantum Racing and about 50pt over numbers three to six going into the final event is impressive. Their boat's detailing is based on many years of racing TP52s and building quite a few Azzurras. Their sailing team over the years has not varied that much, the Argentinean core can almost be seen as family and is now in a happy mix with four Italians, one Spaniard and the 'odd one out' Kiwi trimmer Grant Loretz.
The boat is sometimes owner-driven by Alberto Roemmers Jr but 90 per cent of the time it is Guillermo Parada at the helm. Vasco Vascotto calls the shots (with a few variations on Mamma Mia) and Bruno Zirilli navigates. This year the team have shown more focus and better composure under pressure than before. I am sure this has taken a lot of work.
Maybe not a surprise, given Azzurra is the first sister out of the mould, but Bronenosec possibly was the fastest boat from hitting the water. In many ways the opposite from Azzurra as a team, as it is owner Vladimir Liubomirov's first TP52. Vladimir always drives the boat himself, it was launched the week before the first event and the team had very little advance practice. The Bronenosec team is built around the crew of the same owner's RC44 and is a mix of sailors from Russia, Italy, Australia and New Zealand.
Audi China Coast Regatta
A quality fleet of 40 boats will line up for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's flagship 'Big Boat' regatta scheduled to take place from 9 to 11 October in eastern Hong Kong waters. Making the most of the seasonal north east monsoon, the regatta committee has focused its efforts into revolutionizing the format and racing schedule, eschewing the traditional racing area off Lamma Island in favour of Nine Pins and Po Toi, in part to cater for the needs of the growing IRC Racer 0 fleet.
Rather than stipulating a rigid structure, the Sailing Instructions allow the Race Officer Sofia Mascia the freedom to tailor her courses and race formats to the prevailing conditions, which should keep the fleet on its toes at all times during the three day event. Courses have also been re-written and overseas boats should enjoy views of Hong Kong seldom seen by the casual tourist, with the Islands Courses taking in many landmarks in the eastern approaches, including the poetically named Fury Rocks.
The seven-strong IRC Racer 0 division includes the TP52's FreeFire, Millenium Racing and Chinese entry Ark323. They are joined by Australian legend Syd Fischer on Ragamuffin 100, local legend Frank Pong on Custom 75 Jelik and Custom Smith 72 Antipodes.
While the 'Hot 40s' have a reputation as one of the hardest fought divisions, IRC Racer 2 boasts the largest contingent with 12 entries, including the Chinese sailed A40RC, Seawolf and many recognizable names from recent editions of the regatta. HKPN has also increased in size to eight entries for this year's event, ranging from Flying Tiger 10, Kiasu, to Custom 30 Sloop DEA II.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan Aiming For Hat Trick
The 2015 Men's and Women's 470 World Championships will get underway in Haifa, Israel from Monday, 12 October 2015 with Australian Sailing's dual World Champions Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) aiming to defend their title for the third time in a row.
Current World #1 and defending World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, coached by "medal-maker" Victor Kovalenko, continue to be a strong combination having continuously finished on the podium at every sailing regatta they have competed at since getting together post the London 2012 Games.
Most recently they won the 2015 International Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August – the second Olympic Sailing Test Event on the road to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
They also won the 2015 Israel Open Nationals last week which was regarded a built-up event to the World Champs and are aiming to make it three World Championship titles in a row for them as a combination as well as a sixth title for Olympic gold medallist Mat Belcher.
The 2015 470 World Championships commence Monday, 12 October 12:00 Israel local time (20:00 AEST) with the world's best Olympic 470 class sailors racing at the coastal city of Haifa for six days. Medal Races and prize giving are scheduled for Saturday, 17 October.
Pre-preg carbon speedster for crewed and shorthanded offshore racing and employing the patented Dynamic Stability System. Engineering by Gurit and available with either fixed or canting keel
Designer - Welbourn/Infiniti
Builder - Infiniti /URSA
First Launch - Oct 2015
A new range of high-performance luxury cruising catamarans join this expanding sector. So good that the builders are calling them Supercats. The first two 66-footers off the build line have already been sold
Designer: Morrelli & Melvin
Builder: Hudson Yacht and Marine
First Launch: July 2015
With many of the same features as the NEO 400, the 350 is a very fast boat on the water with a special eye taken to avoid pointless penalties under ORC and IRC. The boat can be rigged for symmetric chutes or A sails; a water ballast option is available
Designer: Ceccarelli Yacht Design
Builder: NEO Yachts
First Launch: Oct 2015
An ultra-powerful new 44-footer that is directly descended from Carkeek's all-conquering HPR 40. Expect this to be an offshore mile muncher every bit as much as it's certain to be a high-pointing inshore rocketship
Designer: Carkeek Design Partners
Builder: Premier Composites
First Launch: Nov 2015
Sparkling example of the X-50, a competent cruising yacht and also a good IRC contender, a true master of all trades.
+44 (0) 1590 679222
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. -- Steve Jobs