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
America's Cup Numbers
The Spanish company that had to put the event together at short notice did a good job considering that there was very little time to prepare and unfavourable timings. The media side of the event was innovative with large emphasis place on the use of the web, but delays and uncertainty relating to event timings will have impacted the final results significantly.
Despite being launched only days before the event, the official website of the 33rd America's Cup offered fans the chance to watch live video of the racing via an official stream. The numbers for this part of the event then are more tangible. Organisers report 2,800,000 visits by 1,200,000 unique visitors.
Perhaps mindful of the relatively poor TV numbers, organisers use the household penetration number to suggest a 2,160 million potential viewing audience. To illustrate just how unhelpful that number is, consider that according to worlwide internet usage numbers, YachtSponsorship.com has a potential viewing audience of 6,767 Million.
The live feed was watched by 656,000 unique visitors via the official site. The feed was a sore point amongst many fans, often struggling to keep up with the demand. We did not manage to get the high-res version to work at all, even after giving away email details to download the proprietary player. Luckily, the feed was distributed through 350 other websites, some of whom buffered the stream, causing a slight delay but delivering a significantly better viewer experience.
We will wait to see what the BMW ORACLE numbers are, if they release them, as the American team's coverage was far superior in terms of content, organisation and technology. -- Excerpted from a must-read at YachtSponsorship.com, see www.yachtsponsorship.com
J Class Regatta 2012
The J Class Association is pleased to announce outline plans for a series of spectacular regattas in England during 2012 - the Olympic Year. This will be the first time in history that more than four of these imposing yachts will race together in a fleet.
The outline plan has received a positive response from J Class owners and event planning is now proceeding. Many yachts in the fleet are now preparing to be on the start line for these 2012 events.
Round The Island
"The 1930s era saw the birth of the Js - the greatest sailing Class ever created" Just 10 yachts were constructed, six in the USA and four in England. There were other designs produced but not built. During this period there were never more than four J yachts racing together.
Only three originals survived the Second World War - Shamrock V, Endeavour and Velsheda. They rested and rotted in mud berths, until their rebuild and rebirth as 21st Century racing superyachts.
With the formation of the J Class Association (JCA) in 2000, the possibility existed for replicas from history to be built and race again. New yachts have been launched and some are under construction. Most of these projects are expected to be completed by 2012, creating a fleet of the biggest, finest racing yachts the world has ever seen.
Rainbow is expected to launch in 2011 and could line up against Endeavour, repeating the historic races for the America's Cup of 1934.
Hanuman (Endeavour 11) could sail against Ranger in the classic repeat of the 1937 America's Cup. Svea, a Swedish design dating from 1937 was never built but is expected to start construction this year, 73 years after being designed.
The potential exists to have up to nine J Class yachts completed in time for the regatta
Nine is probably a dream too far, but five yachts sailing together would be magnificent.
Shamrock V - Sir Thomas Lipton's last yacht to compete for the America's Cup. Launched: 1930
The history of the Class is on the official website: www.jclassyachts.com
It really is all change for the Spanish Barcelona Race entries as Jocelyn Bleriot finds out
How did it all look ten years ago and what can that tell us about where we are now headed... Andrew Hurst fires up the crystal ball
All to play for (probably)... Russell Coutts thinks so, certainly... but he's not entirely convinced we're going sailing yet
If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...
Clipper 09-10 Race 6: Singapore To Qingdao
"We have had a productive morning, removing a seven metre piece of broken mast without incident," reports watch leader and round the world crew member, Mark Cole. "All the standing rigging deck fittings have been removed in addition to the fittings from the broken mast piece. We have fitted some blocks to the masthead that should enable us to fly the tri-sail and storm jib if required and the holes in the deck at the starboard gateway have been temporarily repaired with a plywood/epoxy sandwich, bolted through the deck."
A diver has also completed a full hull check to ensure there was no damage while the folded rig was hanging over the side of the 68-foot yacht.
The crew is working towards being able to leave on Wednesday morning Taiwan time and is currently refuelling to maximum capacity - 1,500 litres in the tanks plus an extra 200 litres - for the journey ahead.
Spirits amongst Team Finland's multi-national crew are high and they are understandably proud of what they have achieved as a team - both on the water to make the boat safe in the wake of the dismasting and in port as they make their repairs.
Out on the course the other yachts have had a torrid time in the last 24 hours. Spirit of Australia, at the back of the pack a week ago, is maintaining the lead she has now built up at the front - and it's been anything but easy.
"The sea state is atrocious and the wind even worse, although the weather files do show some easing in the wind later today so we should be grateful for small mercies if it comes."
Positions At 0900 Utc, Tuesday 16 February 2010
1. Spirit of Australia, Distance to leg finish 552 nm
Those Classy Guys From SNG...
"I have never seen such disgraceful behaviour on a committee boat, trying to influence the PRO [principal race officer] to the point of ordering me to stop the [start] sequence," wrote Bennett.
Unwilling to back down, Bennett called on the help of Oracle's representative on his committee boat, Tom Ehman, plus a support boat driver who is also a qualified umpire, to run the start sequence. The race eventually began just five minutes before the deadline.
Oracle went on to claim their second straight win to snatch the Cup from the Swiss.
Monday was the last day a race could be run before several days of strong wind and dirty weather struck Valencia. Had the race failed to get under way it is likely the America's Cup would still be on hold.
Bennett, a highly experienced yachting official, was clearly furious about the attempted interference from the SNG and said he would have made a lot more of the situation had Oracle not wrapped up the best-of-three series on Monday.
"I can tell you if we had further races to do, those guys would have been left ashore and I would have picked up some more of my Spanish mates to do the start." -- Dana Johannsen in the New Zealand Herald: www.nzherald.co.nz
The Passing of Sailing's True Rocket Scientist
It is with much regret that we inform you of the passing of Bernard Smith on February the 12th.
A brilliant mind in many fields not least of which was sailing. Born in New York's Lower East side in 1910 from a long line of blacksmiths, Bernard went on to be one of the founders of American rocket science and later to become director of the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, Virginia. Amongst all this, Bernard's seminal book, "The 40-knot sailboat" was published in 1963. It was a simple and easy to read book that outlined Bernard's farsighted concepts for tackling the issues of high speed sailing.
Most of Bernard's radical concepts confronted the big issues of sailboat stability head on and were free of the shackles of convention. His book and the craft within (which he described as 'aero-hydrofoils') inspired many designers aiming to unlock their secrets and the potential for power and stability that they promised over conventional craft. It wasn't until the 27th of November, 2007 that the Vestas Sailrocket team finally broke through 40 knots in a craft based on Smith's ideas. They were delighted to contact Bernard and tell him at the ripe old age of 97 that his vision was realised. A year later they called him to tell him that his 40 knot concept was in fact a 50 knot concept and at that stage the fastest sailing 'boat' in the world.
Bernard remained sharp as a tack until his passing in Boca Raton, Florida last week. The Vestas Sailrocket team continue to develop his concepts and believe that one day, he will be broadly acknowledged in the sailing world for the true visionary genius that he was and the originator of a whole new era in high speed sailing.
Bernard is succeeded by his wife May and daughter Susan Ida Smith.
Available in two formats:
- Digital. Providing an electronic/digital version of the magazine that gives you additional powerful interactive features such as video clips, archiving, highlight notes etc
- Print. For those of us who love and cherish the experience of a quality printed magazine, Yachtworld Magazine, delivered free of charge to your door, will be a magazine you will find essential for your buying or selling needs.
The race will now be re-sailed on Friday, 19 February.
In the meantime Race 4 will be sailed tomorrow (Wednesday 17 February) and Race 5 on Thursday, 18 February.
* A few weeks before the start of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale, Romain Attanasio and Samantha Davies "are pleased to announce" their duo on board the Figaro Saveol! Two months after having formalized his partnership with Saveol, Romain Attanasio takes Sam on board, for the Transat AG2R. The couple in real life has finally decided to set off on the adventure of sailing together.
The Figaro Saveol will sail for the first time on the Figaro circuit taking on board the most Breton of British sailors. Fourth in the last Vendee Globe aboard Roxy, the female sailor based in Tregunc has become one of the tenors of the Imoca circuit and now returns to the Figaro following a four years absence.
For Romain, the partnership with Saveol at the end of the year came at the right time and it is with a particular commitment that he will vigorously defend the colours of the tomato producers of his area.
After seven years together, these two do not have any secrets from each other anymore, a real asset on a transatlantic double, "to set off for 3710 miles requires a sound understanding among the crew, we obviously blind trust each other, but above all we have tremendous respect for the other's work", says Romain.
Saveol includes 150 growers who produce the widest range of tomato on the French market with over 20 varieties and has become the leading producer of tomatoes in France in 25 years. The cooperative also cultivates the famous Pougastel strawberry.
* Following Liz Wardley's dismasting, on 17 December 2009, the decision was taken to change the rigging of the SolOceans One-design to return to a less innovative option than that originally adopted, but better matching the skippers requirements. The design meeting for this new mast was held on Tuesday 9 February 2010 at the SailingOne base in Saint Philibert - La Trinite-sur-Mer (Morbihan).
For the occasion, Jean-Baptiste Daramy, production manager of the SolOceans One-design at SailingOne, brought together: Michel Desjoyeaux, the class technical advisor; Charles Caudrelier who was Test Skipper of the SolOceans One-Design Bostik in 2007-2008 and sailed the equivalent of more than half a world tour on its test sail, the architect, Pascal Conq (Finot Conq et Associes), Beat Wildberger, Engineer and designer of filament wound high modulus carbon fibre masts (Alucarbon), Benoît Coville, designer of the Navtec standing rigging and Jean-Philippe Connan (Karver furlers).
At the end of the studies carried out before this meeting and on the basis of the ideas put forward by Michel Desjoyeaux and Charles Caudrelier on his return from Wellington (NZ) in the spring of 2008, in collaboration with Pascal Conq and Jean-Baptiste Daramy, the decision was taken to replace the initial wing mast of the SolOceans One-design with a fixed mast with single spreaders. These spreaders will be articulated to make reefing manoeuvres easier.
This rigging will use a solution perfected and tested successfully by Michel Desjoyeaux on PRB, his IMOCA 60 prototype for the Vendee Globe 2000. The sail plan remains exactly the same as that perfected on the recommendations of Charles Caudrelier.
* From David Mackintosh: re: John Waugh's comment "Am I the only one who thinks the multihull cup was a bit boring." Yes for sure i think so - i for one was glued to my PC watching and waiting to see the outcome
Confined to a narrow weather window that never permitted the touted 40 knots that some suggested and caused further ridicule of the event after all the cancellations and delays." Well 33 knots was something was it not? and generally sailing at three times the wind speed well i can only dream about what that must be like.
And now we know a lot more about the delays now when The SNG Race Committeewent on strike and refused to handle the flags so that the second race could be started - so looks like they had form here - just the final shenanigans from EB and SNG dontyathink? Even playing the race card after being beaten "it was Europe V AMERICA and the American courts - and it is the Americas Cup" ( IT is NOW!!!) we had no chance - AND they (BOR) kept making their boat faster and faster by altering it sob sob sob.
"Technological marvels, maybe but for someone who relishes skill in yacht racing, one very good lay line call is not enough." You must have been watching a different event from me i seem to remember a brilliant move on Alinghi by JS in the pre start manouvers of race one. And JS keeping that beast flying upwind and down in both races - not skilled - just pure luck? i think not - then JS putting the pedal to the metal on the second leg of race two - nope not skill. And JS fighting all the way up leg one of race two when on the wrong side of the course and making THE MOVE when it mattered - nope not skilled. Then of course we have Alinghi making her move to the RHS on leg one and holding her own all the way up that leg - not skilled either? - only to be out foxed at the top mark. Then there was the constant possibility of 'something happening' to these high tech boats. Boring it was not - not in my mind - and i would have loved it to be best of seven races.
* From Tom Hayhoe: Not since 1970 when another owner driver, Baron Bich (in yachting cap and white gloves - I am sure that's what Bob Fisher reported at the time), took the helm in the last race of the challenger elimination series and France 1 was lost in the fog, has the America's Cup seen such an embarrassing performance as Alinghi's pre-start manoeuvres in both races 1 and 2. Brad Butterworth was clearly very relieved to be able to attribute the defeat to the superiority of the wing since it meant he didn't have to blame the guy steering (unless, of course, Ernesto was only following the tactician's instructions).
Let's hope AC34 is sailed in race boats not speed triallists, and maybe we'll see some proper match racing.
* From Eddie Mays: Now that it is all over and I have had a couple of days to think about it I am both delighted & disappointed with the event
I must admit that I had not imagined the real beauty of watching the boats, particularly BMW Oracle, travel at three times the windspeed
The starts were interesting
However, having watched the first ten minutes of the first beat of the first race I then had time to go into Southampton, 8 miles away, pick up some work and return home before they had reached the first mark.
I watched the pre-start of Race 2 and the first ten minutes of the beat. I then went and watched the first half of the Spurs match. When I came back the Sky broadcast had gone off line and that seemed to sum it up somehow.
Technically accomplished, Poetry in motion but as boring as hell
Let's hope that AC34 is a proper contest, 15 rounds & all, as the 'World Championship' of our sport should be!
Proven performer in Australia's highly competitive IRC fleet, with regular race wins against TP52s and recently launched designs.
The Last Word
Use this box to send a copy of this issue of the Scuttlebutt Europe Newsletter to a friend:
Or [FORWARD] for a page where you can send copies to up to a dozen friends.
Yachtworld.com on line magazine is available free of charge and delivered digitally every month. Click here to receive your copy: www.yachtworldmagazine.com/ywm/latest/
NEW! See the Boats Blog at Boats.com -- www.boats.com/blog/
To subscribe, unsubscribe, and select HTML or Text format visit scuttlebutteurope.com
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html