Brought to you by Boats.com Europe, Yachtworld.com Europe, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to
VOR Stopover In Miami
Alicante, Spain: Miami, Florida, will host the start of the transatlantic leg to Lisbon, Portugal, for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Florida has a long association with the event, as this will be the fifth time the sunshine state has welcomed the world's premier offshore race.
Miami has successfully fought off tough competition from other North American ports, in its bid to win back the event it previously hosted in the 2001-02 edition of the race. Miami will see the boats arrive after their charge north from the Brazilian port of Itajai.
The race village will be located at Bicentennial Park, on the Biscayne Bay, in the heart of Downtown Miami. It is a 29-acre, open park which is suited for major events and has been used in the past for shows such as the Cirque Du Soleil.
American sailors have a victorious history in the race, with two winners of the US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, John Kostecki and Paul Cayard, also winning the Volvo Ocean Race (2001-02) and Whitbread Round the World (1997-98). The 2008-09 race also saw fellow US Yachtsman of the Year, Ken Read snatch second place overall on PUMA on the penultimate leg of the race.
The remaining host ports will be revealed before the end of March.
Berntsson All Alone At 5-0 After Day 1 Of Con Cup
Long Beach, California, USA: The Long Beach breeze would seldom be called fickle, but it took a freak turn Tuesday that settled a battle of unbeatens and left defending champion Johnie Berntsson of Sweden in first place after Day 1 of the 46th Congressional Cup.
Late in the fourth of five flights, the wind shifted 70 degrees to northwest directly out of downtown Long Beach and dropped from a peak of 16 knots to 3, sending Berntsson home free.
Then, with the course re-set in the new direction, Berntsson (5-0) made all the right plays to beat four-time winner Gavin Brady (4-1) by 1 minute 25 seconds in the last flight of the day.
At day's end, then, Brady shared second place with Italy's Francesco Bruni, last year's runnerup, and two-time winner Dave Perry, whose only stumble was against Berntsson, who made the noted rules guru pay hard with penalties for two tactical miscues to win by 1 minute 24 seconds.
It was not so nice a day for Sally Barkow, a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and the event's first woman skipper since 1996 who sits at 0-5 after what she described as a learning experience.
Racing will continue starting at 11:30 each day, conditions permitting. Each boat will race every other boat twice in a double round robin. The top four will advance to best-of-three semifinals and finals Saturday. The non-qualifiers will run a fleet race.
The racing is in the Long Beach outer harbor off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, with free grandstand seating and parking for spectators.
(after 5 of 18 flights)
Berntsson, 5-0; Brady, Bruni and Perry, 4-1; Iehl, 3-2; Hardesty and Neugodnikov, 2-3; Monnin, 1-4; Barkow and Ferrarese, 0-5.
Wight Vodka Regattas Announced
The crew at Wight Vodka are gearing up for a fantastic regatta season in 2010. Having formalized a number of partnerships with some of the UK's best yacht clubs and regatta organisers, winners in their respective classes will receive an inscribed bottle of Wight, custom Wight Vodka regatta caps and of course, the glory that goes along with it all!
Ritu Manocha, the owner of the chic Wight Vodka brand, has let us in on a few of the confirmed events to be on the watch for this year, including the X-Yachts Solent Cup held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on the 1st to the 2nd May, the Tuesday Night Racing Series held by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes from the 20th April through to the 24th August, the Royal Lymington Challenge Cup from the 3rd to the 5th of June, the Women's Open Keelboat Championship at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on 24th and 25th of July, and the British Powerboat Festival in Cowes from the 25th to the 29th August.
"There are so many fabulous regattas and festivals to be involved with" said Ritu. "One of the more 'casually enjoyable' events that we're involved with is the King & Queen Pursuit Race off Hamble on the 10th April. This is run by Janet Bradley and her enthusiastic team at the King & Queen Pub. All proceeds go to the Hamble Lifeboat and there are some great prizes such as the 'Most Stylish Rounding' of the Wight Vodka racing mark."
If you're not able to get into one of the regattas or parties that Wight Vodka is sponsoring this season, they are also running a quarterly prize drawing off their Facebook page. Simply Fan Wight Vodka and you're automatically in a drawing to win a coveted bottle! And of course, to purchase bottles of Wight Vodka, go online to www.vodkaemporium.com
Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta
In 2010 the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta The Hague will expand dramatically. Due to the addition of Olympic and Paralympic sailors, the organization banks on a growth of about 200 boats. Both the Laser Euro Cup (Standard and Radial) as well as the 470 class are part of the program. The Paralympic 2.4mR also makes it debut in the Scheveningen event.
At Whitsun Weekend from May 21 until May 24, about 150 Lasers are expected to line up for the start. They will have their own course, which brings the total of race courses up to six. "We also count on many foreign 470 teams, as the 470 Worlds will be held in Scheveningen in July. The 2.4mR class is open to disabled and able-bodied competitors." Only the Int. 14 fleet won't return.
Despite the recession, the big boats seem to set course to Scheveningen again. Sluyters: "This category suffers more from the economical crisis. However, we have heard about quite a few Swans that will enter the regatta. This year, we expect a total of 700-800 entries and 300 volunteers, which means we belong to the biggest sailing events in Europe." In order to create enough room for everybody, the former Norfolk Harbour will be equipped with permanent jetties.
On Tuesday May 11, the starting gun of the 110-mile Vuurschepenrace from Scheveningen to Harwich will be fired. This is the first race of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta. After a lay day in Harwich, the IRC and ORC classes sail the R.O.R.C. North Sea Race back to Scheveningen on Friday 14 May. During the Whitsun weekend, from 21 May until 24 May, more than 700 boats compete in the inshore races before the Coast of Scheveningen. Several disciplines participate: big yachts, Olympic classes, catamarans, open boats and surfers. -- Diana Bogaards
BMW Sailing Cup World Final
The wind gods in Auckland, New Zealand continued to raise the challenge for the seven international crews competing in the BMW Sailing Cup World Final 2010 today, with winds gusting over 30 knots testing their skills to the limit.
Today saw the beginning of the match race section of the regatta, starting with the teams who placed 4th to 7th in the fleet racing competing in a sudden death round robin. This was to establish the fourth semi-finalist, as the top three teams - New Zealand, Italy and Malta - had progressed directly from the fleet racing to the match race semi-final.
Germany and Hong Kong were first eliminated, leaving European neighbours Spain and Portugal to do battle for that sought-after semi-final slot. Portugal won the match and, as a big squall raced down the harbour, the yachts were sent ashore for the semi-final boat draw, presided over the BMW New Zealand CEO Mark Gilbert.
Back out on the water, Team New Zealand, as top place-getters in the fleet racing had the right to choose their semi-final opponents and elected to race against Team Malta, leaving the Italian and Portuguese teams to do battle.
Portugal was penalized in a pre-start incident, but came from behind to win the first match when the Italian team dropped their spinnaker in the water and sailed over the top of it. They failed to finish the race, leaving the Portuguese to sail around the rest of the course on their own. "It was not bad luck, it was a big mistake," said Italian skipper Jacopo Pasini."
In the other match, Team Malta received a penalty for failing to keep clear of Team New Zealand in a pre-start duel. However, Team Malta sailed strongly up the first beat in strong winds to narrowly lead around the first windward mark. On the downwind leg, however, with the two boats close alongside each other, the Malta team lost control and broached, allowing Team New Zealand to jump clear and lead around the course by a comfortable margin.
Race Director Russell Green said that because of the weather conditions, the semi-finals had been reduced to the first to win two matches. Because of the squalls today, the racing was cut short, but Green said: "We will try to complete the semi-finals tomorrow if there is enough time and then we will proceed to the match race final."
Team New Zealand vs. Team Malta 1-0
Team Portugal vs. Team Italy 1-0
2010 GP42 Series In The Audi Medcup - Be Part Of It!
In just 2 months, the GP42's will once again be bringing high-tech excitement to the 2010 Audi MedCup. In their inaugural year as part of the 2009 event, these speedsters consistently offered a level of competitiveness at or beyond that of their larger TP52 bretheren, but at a fraction of the cost. In fact, for the media exposure, level of competitiveness, design innovation and sheer excitement, there is no better value today in Grand Prix racing. Its no wonder that most of the GP42 teams enjoy sponsored support unseen in most other classes.
Several teams from four countries are currently planning GP42 Series programmes in the 2010 Audi MedCup, but there's always room for more to join in the fun. With the fabulous race organization, lavish shoreside hospitality, and close attention from the world media, there is no better stage for top-level sailing.
Racing in Stage 1 is set for 12-16 May in Cascais, Portugal...why not join us?
Contact Class Manager Paolo Massarini at
, call him on +39 335 230870, or visit www.medcup.org or www.gp42.org
U.S. Entry For Velux 5 Oceans Race Begins Refit In Charleston
Round The World Champion Racer Brad Van Liew hauled out his ECO 60 racing machine this afternoon with support from an enthusiastic network of sailing and adventure racing fans.
Van Liew has competed in the event twice, in 1998/99 and 2002/03, with a convincing 1st place victory in Class II aboard Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America in 2003.
An enormous shipbuilding crane hauled Brad's ECO 60 out of the water at Detyens Shipyard in North Charleston, where hardworking Charleston shipbuilders and technicians supervised the gentle placement of the racing yacht in a custom-built cradle nearby. Van Liew and his shore team will conduct their comprehensive refit over the next three months in a building on the old Charleston Navy Base. One area of their work has attracted a surprising amount of interest among the public - new electrical generation systems that will allow Van Liew to race around the world without the use of fossil fuels at all. This would be a world's first in the modern era of racing, where optimal performance depends on sophisticated - and power-hungry - electronics for navigation, safety, communication, and lighting. The system includes thin, flexible, high-efficiency solar panels on deck, along with prototypes of a new hydrogenerator system that produces power via small propellers that run just below the surface of the water. Such a system has been avoided by racers for competitive reasons, but the new prototypes generate large amounts of energy with nearly no effect on the speed of the boat.
The complete refit will include extensive work disassembling the rig, rudders, keel and daggerboards, while the entire deck layout and sail handling systems will be modified to suit Van Liew's personal sailing style and the intricacies of sailing a 60-foot boat competitively alone. The electronics package is one of the most important performance tools on a modern racing yacht, and Van Liew will replace the entire system currently aboard the boat. His new system of radar, chart plotters, autopilots, and communications gear will be from B&G, with the latest high-performance chipsets and software.
The race boat sports a carbon/Nomex hull, twin daggerboards and rudders, a canting keel, more than 5,000 square feet of sail on a huge 95-foot mast, and ultra-light overall weight of just 8.5 tons.
Record Entries For Shetland Round Britain & Ireland 2010 Race
Race Director Peter Taylor (L) and Alex Bennett (R) on board Fujifilm in Queen Anne’s Battery Marina. Click on image to enlarge.
This year's Round Britain and Ireland Race, sponsored by Shetland Islands Council, has proved so popular that for the first time in the history of the event the organizers have had to start a waiting list for hopeful competitors.
With still more than two months to go before the start, the Royal Western Yacht Club (RWYC) has announced that it has reached its target of 60 two-man yachts and multihulls, with crews from around the world now undertaking qualifying voyages to prove their fitness and suitability to compete.
Race Organiser for the RWYC Peter Taylor is thrilled by the number and quality of the entries: "We have crews from the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, France, Belgium and Italy, and of course from the UK including Alex Bennett from the westcountry. We've had a surge of interest from Class 40 competitors, 10 in the last month alone, and this has resulted in the race filling up so early. These state of the art craft are the fastest 40 footers on the water by far and will make for some very, very exciting racing."
Mr. Taylor explained that limiting the number of entrants to 60 optimized the efficiency of the administration for the race, and also took into account berthing arrangements. The race's home port, Queen Anne's Battery Marina, has already joined forces with Sutton Harbour Marina, from where Plymouth itself grew as a major port and city, to provide enough space for all the starters.
The fleet will be split into two sections for the start to avoid conflict between boats in Plymouth Sound, and spectators will find the best vantage points to watch the majestic start to a great adventure on Plymouth Hoe or at Jennycliff, to the east of the Sound.
Anyone wishing to go on the reserve list for the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland 2010 should contact Peter Taylor by email at
Guys Don't Read This Ad!
Ladies: Camet just released their newest women's shorts the Martinique. They feature a low rise, a longer inseam and are in your favorite color: black! Sizes range from 2-16 and you can get the optional foam insert for the seat. These shorts are awesome for women!
Buy them today before the holidays at: Annapolis Performance, Line Honors, Point Loma Outfitting, Sailing Pro Shop, Sound Boatworks
More dealer info can be found at www.camet.com
The RC 44 Class is Coming to America
Ten RC 44's competed in last year's Championship Tour in Europe and the Middle East. Photo by Roberto Marci / RC 44. Click on image to enlarge.
The RC 44 Class Association announces today its project to expand to North America. Twenty-two One Design RC 44's have been built to date. The latest one is currently being finalised, and will be shipped to Newport (Rhode Island) this spring, allowing pro sailors and potential owners to test-sail the boat.
Dee Smith, a professional sailor and project manager involved in top level yacht racing events, has been named RC 44 agent for North America. "This is a great opportunity to start a very exciting new One Design Class here in North America", he commented. "The RC 44 has proven to be a huge success in Europe and we feel there is a need for a boat that is both exciting to sail and cost effective to run here in the States. We already have many established teams looking to acquire an RC 44 and get this party going."
"The North American circuit will be adapted to the owners' desires", explains the RC 44 Class manager Bertrand Favre. "Some characteristics of the Class are fundamental, such as the One Design aspect, the amateur owner driver and direct umpiring. However we are also open to new ideas regarding the format of racing. One thing is sure: thanks to the easy logistics of the Class, it will be possible to sail in great locations in the US, both on the East and West coast and even on lakes."
The RC 44 will be displayed and test sailed in Newport in the middle of June (dates tbc). A media day will be organised and media will have the opportunity to see the boat and talk to the founder of the Class Russell Coutts.
New ISAF Website and Media Co-Ordinator
Johno Fullerton has joined the Secretariat of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) in the role of Website and Media Co-ordinator.
Johno Fullerton (GBR) joins ISAF's Marketing and Media department where he replaces News Editor David Knapman who leaves at the end of March. He will have key responsibilities for delivering ISAF's news and press service and the ISAF website www.sailing.org. He has a background in sports management and marketing, having worked in the sponsorship, PR and marketing fields for a number of years before joining SportBusiness International, a commercial sports magazine based in London.
He continued working on a freelance basis for SBi whilst spending more time compiling race reports and articles on the sport of sailing. For the last five years Johno has been involved with most of the major yacht racing circuits in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Johno has been a racing sailor for many years, competing in dinghies, keelboats and performance yachts in Europe, the Caribbean and Australia.
Contact Johno Fullerton at newseditor (at) isaf.co.uk
1995 70' Dencho Turbo Sled, US$449,000. Located in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Custom built carbon fiber Andrews 70' Super fast, capable of winning any regatta she enters. Complete with two keels depending on your racing environment. Vessel had a refit in 2008 and is in wonderful condition. She is straight forward and fun to sail, round up the gang and have a ride of your life, clear your mantel, the trophies will follow !
Brokerage through World Yachts, Inc.: www.yachtworld.com/worldyachtsinc/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right? -- Ellie Arroway in "Contact"