Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, 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
Realstone Throw Down The Gauntlet
Photo by Chris Cameron, www.chriscameron.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.
The much-anticipated opening Act of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series began today in Singapore under the gaze of the cities soaring skyscrapers, where eight races produced six different winners. The Swiss flagged Realtstone were the form team, executing a consistent strategy in the trying conditions, to finish the opening day of the global tour top of the leaderboard - their best result since joining the circuit last year. Some of the newer teams struggled to get to grips with the stadium racecourse, posting a mixed bag of results and a crash between defending champions The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar will leave the Aussies with a night of repairs ahead.
Realstone, who after yesterday's practice racing described themselves as 'the underdogs' played a low risk game, setting up for manouvres and executing them precisely to give themselves some breathing space on the packed racecourse.
Many of the fleet struggled for consistency today, and none more so than newcomers Emirates Team New Zealand and J.P. Morgan BAR, who finished the day with two race wins a piece - but also a handful of last places.
Standings after Day 1, 8 races (20.02.14)
Position / Team / Points
1. Realstone (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri, 56 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 48
3. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 48
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 46
5. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell, 44
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge, 43
7. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested, 39
8. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 38
9. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 29
10. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 28
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South, 20
12. Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong, 17
Green Marine Hands Over Volvo Ocean 65 To Team Brunel
Green Marine, a world leader in the construction of high performance composite racing yachts, has now officially handed over the third Volvo Ocean 65 to Team Brunel, to begin preparations for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 starting in October. Team Brunel has successfully completed its sea trials in the Solent, UK and is now heading off to its base in Lanzarote to prepare for the Race.
Meanwhile, work is underway at Green Marine's factory near Southampton, UK on the next boats in the series. In total, seven have been ordered by the Volvo Ocean Race organisers.
As lead contractor for the build consortium, Green Marine is responsible for the complete assembly and fit out of the Volvo Ocean 65s, as well as overseeing the quality of the consortium's work. Over the course of an 18 week period for each boat, the Green Marine team assembles the primary and secondary structures, installs and fits out the interior including all electrical, hydraulic, steering and other systems, fits the keel and deck gear, and finally paints and commissions the finished yacht.
"The Volvo Ocean Race momentum is building," says Green Marine's CEO Richard Acland. "We have now delivered three Volvo Ocean 65 one-design racing yachts and are working to a precise time schedule to handover boats to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in March and Team Alvimedica in April.
Team Brunel is the tenth boat to be built by Green Marine for the Volvo Ocean Race, previously the Whitbread Round the World Race, over its 41 year history.
Official Technical Clothing Supplier To Emirates Team New Zealand
Gill is extremely proud to be working with Emirates Team New Zealand once again in 2014. The technical sailing brand has already supplied a comprehensive range of product for the first act of the Extreme Sailing Series starting in Singapore this week.
Grant Dalton Managing Director at Emirates Team New Zealand commented "We worked with Gill on the TP52 program when we won the Medcup two years in a row and the Louis Vuitton Trophy Regattas in 2010. Now as was then we found the gear comfortable and a perfect product for what we required, it is great to be working with Gill again as we start the journey towards the next Americas Cup"
The product line-up supplied to the team includes pieces from the highly acclaimed Gill Race Collection, designed specifically for high-performance, intense-activity sailing. Bryan Stewart, Director at Gill said "We love working with Emirates Team New Zealand, one of the most iconic sailing teams on the planet. It gives us the opportunity for our product to be used at the very top of our sport, and to work with the team to hone and develop our gear. We are supplying some of the best possible kit for the type of sailing they are involved with. Our Race Collection performs best in a fast paced high pressured environment - exactly like the Extreme Sailing Series"
Dean Barker added "It is great to be working with Gill again as we start on the journey towards the 35th Americas Cup. Emirates Team New Zealand have had a great history with Gill and it is nice for this to be able to continue".
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour
Two firsts and a second place in the Inport races at Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club in Ras Al Khaimah was enough for Sidney Gavignet and team on EFG Bank (Monaco) to take the overall win.
The team, on EFG Bank (Monaco) were, once again, spot on identifying the shifts in race one, giving them an early advantage up the first beat of the tight, stadium-style course. In doing so, managed to keep Kay Heemskerk and Team Delft Challenge - TU Delft/Katie Pettibone and her all girl team on Al-Thuraya Bank Muscat, exactly where they wanted them, in second and third places respectively.
Having won all four offshore legs since the start of The Tour in Baharin 10 days ago, Gavignet, skipper of EFG Bank (Monaco) was delighted to finally win the Inport races, something that has eluded the team so far this year.
The teams departed Wednesday for the fifth offshore leg.
After an extremely close, tactical race from Ras Al Khaimah to Dibba, Sidney Gavignet and team on EFG Bank (Monaco) narrowly beat 21-year-old Marcel Herrera and UK students on Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team, to win Leg 5 of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2014.
This 104-mile leg is not only one of the most challenging as far as tactics go but it is also one of the most interesting because it takes the fleet 50 miles up and around the Omani Peninsula and 50 or so miles down the other side to Dibba in Oman, an area known for its rugged mountain ranges that rise up to 2,100 metres.
The conditions were fairly true to form and the race became a game of two halves, with the first segment of the race blessed with good, power-reaching conditions up to 17kts, and the second segment down the other side of the peninsular dogged by light, shifty winds in the lee of the mountains.
The fleet is now based at Six Senses Zighy Bay located in a large natural harbour at Musandam Peninsula in the Sultante of Oman. The final inport races take place on Friday.
'Incidents' at the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship
Click on image for photo gallery.
During the 75 years history of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship there have been many 'incidents' which have involved teams who won the championship in which the incident occurred (albeit one them lost the championship on protest) and almost saw a breakdown between the governing bodies and competitors of Australia and New Zealand.
Obviously, the high level of competition and the nature of the competitors who sail the 18ft Skiffs, as they try to gain any advantage possible over the opposition, lead to numerous protests and much 'bad blood'.
One of the most notable 'incidents' relates to the 1939 regatta.
After winning the first regatta on Sydney Harbour in 1938, Bert Swinbourne (Taree) led the Australian team to Auckland to defend his title at the 1939 regatta.
Huge crowds on the foreshore were estimated at 25,000 people, but the series was marred by several protests, the latter of which saw Swinbourne (the provisional winner) being disqualified, and New Zealand's Gordon Chamberlin (Manu) declared the winner.
Swinbourne lodged an appeal against the decision, but when the appeal wasn't heard before the Australian team returned home, he decided to hang on to the trophy.
When the Australian Board of Control later upheld the New Zealand decision, Swinbourne didn't agree and refused to hand over the trophy.
He was expelled by the Australian League and for the next four years the Giltinan Trophy remained hidden in Swinbourne's possession (said to have been under the kitchen sink in his house).
In 1944, he finally apologized for his actions and returned the trophy to the League.
It was subsequently handed over to New Zealand and presented to the 'Manu' owners. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
IRC 1,2, 3 Classes at the RORC Caribbean 600
Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, returns for another crack at the RORC Caribbean 600. Last year the Dutch flyer was leading the race on time correction before the wind trap at Guadeloupe dashed their hopes. Colin Buffin's Uxorious IV returns for the third attempt and the British Swan 62 has been class runner-up on two occasions. Last year's IRC Three winner, Jonty Layfield, returns with a brand new boat. The Azuree 46, Sleeper, will include highly experienced crew including one of Antigua's best young Laser sailors, Sean Malone.
Race boat charter has become very popular in RORC racing in general and IRC Two is almost entirely composed of well prepared charter yachts that offer single berths, or the entire yacht, to paying clients. This is probably the most competitive class in the race and, with a number of yachts all capable of the same speed around the 600 mile course, close boat-on-boat action is a likely scenario. Former RORC Commodore Peter Rutter's Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka 8, can be counted as one of the favourites. Quokka has been chartered to Bernie Evan Wong to compete in his sixth race. A highly accomplished crew includes Phillippe Falle, Dana Nicholson and RORC Vice Commodore Michael Boyd. Peter Sowery will skipper First 40, Lancelot II. Peter is a passionate amateur sailor but Alex Thompson, third in the last Vendée Globe, will bring a professional approach that must make Lancelot II contenders for the class. First 40, Southern Child, has been chartered by the Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club, the British Army team is led by Paul Macro.
The smaller yachts in the race will have some fascinating duels; these crews will spend longer at sea than the faster boats which may be more tiring but the sailors will get a lot more Caribbean racing in! Yuri Fadeev's Reflex 38, Intuition, is the scratch boat in IRC Three and Fadeev has raced more RORC miles than most. Girls 4 Sail, racing First 40.7 Hot Stuff will be skippered by Nicola Henderson. The all-girl crew are a familiar team on the Caribbean inshore circuit but this will be their debut in the RORC Caribbean 600. RORC Committee Member Adrian Lower returns to the RORC Caribbean 600 with Swan 44, Selene. Adrian is a highly experienced sailor having competed in numerous Fastnets and the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race; this will be Selene's second RORC Caribbean 600.
The 6th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is scheduled to start at 1100 local time 24th February. All of the fleet will be fitted with Yellowbrick Trackers
Wanted! Farr 30's For Sale
This is a cry out to anyone out there who owns a Farr 30 but doesn't race it in one design regattas. Please, please sell your boat! The Farr 30 is one of the best boats ever built. Ask anyone who have ever raced or sailed on one. But today there are just way to few of the 200+ boats that was built that are actually racing in the one design regattas. At the same time there are lots of people who are looking for a Farr 30 to buy, but they can´t find any. There are a few to be found on the different yacht broker sites around, but where are all the rest?
We are primarily searching for Farr 30:s for sale in Europe and North America. The one design class is reestablishing in North America and growing rapidly in northern Europe with Sweden as a strong fleet with some 15 boats. We had The Worlds in Bastad, Sweden in 2012 with 19 boats participating. In 2014 The Worlds will be sailed in Copenhagen, Denmark and the class is aiming for 25+ boats.
If you own a Farr 30 and could consider selling it. Or if you know of a boat for sale, please e-mail (for European boats) or (for boats in North America) . We will publish links and info to all boats for sale at farr30.se, farr30.org and on our Facebook pages as soon as we get the info. We will also send the info to potential buyers that we have been in contact with who are trying to locate a Farr 30 for sale.
ISAF Issues Social Media Guidelines For Race Officials
With the increasing use of new communication to ols on the web such as blogs, social networks, call and text message services, it is nec essary for ISAF Race Officials to consider how their own use of such tools interacts with thei r role as an official.
Restricting the use of social media is not desi gned to inhibit freedom of speech or rights to privacy, but it is inevitable that appointment as a race official means the official must limit their use of such tools in order to comply with the ir duties as an official.
ISAF's goal is to provide guidelines to help ra ce officials balance these concepts in order to avoid potentially embarrassing situations for the r ace official and for ISAF.
Document for download here: www.sailing.org/37436.php
Qantaslink Brisbane To Gladstone
The 2014 edition of the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race will be the sixty sixth time the race has been held. The race will start at 1100hours on 18th April. From the start, yachts proceed via a buoy off Redcliffe Point to the North West Channel up to Caloundra and through to Gladstone, a distance of approximately 308 nautical miles. Weather dependent, the first yachts can be entering the Harbour in Gladstone around 7.30am the following morning with the bulk of the fleet finishing late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning.
Entrants in the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone race for the Courier Mail Cup, one of the oldest perpetual trophies in Australia that has been competed for on a continual basis.
2013 saw Wedgetail win the race ahead of stiff competition from an impressive list of challengers including the infamous line honours winner Wild Thing and Queensland racer Black Jack, both regular Brisbane to Gladstone and Sydney to Hobart entrants.
The current record for the fastest time to complete the course is held by Skandia [Grant Wharrington] in a time of twenty hours, twenty four minutes and fifty seconds set in 2004. Many believe that this year is the year this long standing record will be broken. At the pointy end of the fleet the battle between Wild Thing and the all new Volvo 70 from Black Jack is likely to be a fierce one.
Others likely to be near the front will include Alive, the previous incarnation of Black Jack (66), Maxi Raggamuffin, Kerumba fresh from a fine showing in the Sydney Hobart and the Volvo 60, Spirit of Mateship. -- Nigel Statham
Australian Kiteboard Nationals
Kiteboarding Australia announces the 2014 National Championships will be held in a little over a month, with riders competing in Freestyle, Formula Course Racing and Kite-Foil Racing divisions.
The event will be held from 17th to 23rd of March and is hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club. The Freestyle event will be held inside the marina of the yacht club. The racing will be contested in the waters of Port Phillip Bay off of Middle Brighton Beach and RBYC. The first ever Australian Kite-Foil Racing Championship will also be run during the event.
The Freestyle will be run from the 17th to the 23rd of March, the Formula Course Racing Championships will be run from the 20th to the 23rd of March and the Kite-Foil Racing Championships will run from the 22nd and 23rd.
For more information, including online competitors registration and all event details, visit www.rbyc.org.au
Any sensible offers will be considered. Tokoloshe has been campaigned by the same owner since new and has had no expense spared in order to keep her competitive and looking good.
All sails by North. 3dl, 3di and panelled delivery sails.
34 sails in total including 2012 and 2013 sails.
Re faired and re painted 2010.
New deck paint 2013
Spare rudder, spinnaker pole and much more.
This yacht is very well equipped and prepared and is ready to sail.
Brokerage by Blue Marine Yachting: bluemarineyachting.com
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all. -- David Lynch
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html