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
Resounding Victory For Alinghi
Photo by Chris Cameron, www.chriscameron.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.
The opening Act of the Extreme Sailing Series more than lived up to all the pre-season hype and expectation, where the new teams got stuck in on the Singapore stadium racecourse - but couldn't quite topple the old order - with three returning teams from 2013 taking honours. An estimated 30,000 spectators watched over four days, as the Swiss team Alinghi sailed a near perfect regatta, with Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei and Yves Detrey, finishing more than 50% of the 29 races in the top three. The team had the Act wrapped up before the final double-points race - a feat rarely seen on the circuit.
* The biggest gust of the penultimate day saw Team Aberdeen Singapore plough into the back of Groupama sailing team
Groupama sailing team skipper, Franck Cammas, explained what happened: "We had big gusts and as we were finishing a gybe we saw Aberdeen come really fast from behind and that's the moment when they came over us breaking the mast. Besides the broken mast the damage is not too serious and it is mainly on the mast, the mainsail, the jib and a hole on the trampoline so I think we will be able to race tomorrow with another mast. Tanguy Cariou is the only crew member hurt but it's only superficial injuries. He was in the middle of the trampoline where the boat fell, which was the worst spot. Three crew members jumped off the boat. It's the risk of racing. What is tricky here is that the wind is quite strong and very gusty which is difficult to anticipate. It's not easy."
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 4, 29 races
1. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 217 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 193
3. Realstone (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant, 178
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 168
5. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Pierre Leclainche, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 160
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge, 156
7. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell, 152
8. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 128
9. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 128
10. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested, 126
11. Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong, 82
12. GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South, 59
RORC Caribbean 600 Welcome
On Saturday 22nd February, the RORC Caribbean 600 Skippers' Briefing and Welcome Party took place at the Antigua Yacht Club. The packed Skippers' Briefing was well attended and the RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott, welcomed the competitors to the 6th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. The course, start and finish line remain unchanged however, due to popular demand, there was a change to how the race can be viewed on the internet, as Nick Elliott explained.
"From the northern end of Guadeloupe, at Basse Terre, until just after the islands of Les Saintes, the trackers will go into 'Stealth Mode'," revealed Nick Elliott. "The Yellowbrick player will not show the yachts in this position but we will make it very clear to family and friends that this is the case on the tracker player."
After the Skippers' Briefing, a Welcome Party was held on the lawn at the Antigua Yacht Club. Hundreds of competitors enjoyed complimentary drinks and a Caribbean barbecue, with a steel orchestra, Panache, providing the music. Eddie Warden Owen, CEO of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, started the proceedings by welcoming RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine, to the stage.
The Honourable John Maginley, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture for the Government of Antigua gave a rousing speech, cheered on by the crowd. Gerry Daniel, Cruise and Yachting Officer for the Ministry of Tourism, was an honoured guest and the local Antiguan media were in abundance.
The RORC Caribbean 600 will start at 1100 local time tomorrow, Monday 24th February.
Les Voiles De Saint Barth
Click on image to enlarge.
Many of the regular competitors have been joined by newcomers, who have decided to get a taste for themselves of the atmosphere and the exceptional sailing conditions in the Caribbean and the next major date on the calendar: Les Voiles de Saint Barth, from 14th to 19th April.
Joan Navarro from Barcelona is the skipper in charge of the IRC 52 Balearia, a Botin and Carkeek designed boat, which crossed the Atlantic last November from Las Palmas in the Canaries, with ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers). Her first Caribbean outing was a success, as she won the Mount Gay Rum Barbados Race. The RORC classic, the Caribbean 600 and then the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will allow the beginners on board to learn more from Joan Navarro about how to sail this fast one-design boat.
Also arriving here within the framework of the ARC late last year, Aronax (X 482), skippered by Alain Charlot, and the Dutch crew on the X 602 Nix, skippered by Nico Cortlever a regular at Les Voiles de Saint Barth, having already competed three times, have already registered in the Spinnaker and non Spinnaker classes. They will be doing battle against the Swede, Rikard Roth, who is also busy preparing for the event with his X50 Xar.
Arco van Nieuland is the co-owner with his fellow Dutchman Andries Verder of the Maxi Aragon, a 72-foot Marten-designed boat. Specialising in maxi racing in the Mediterranean, the Dutch are also here for the first time.
With two months to go to the big event, 56 boats have already registered, including eight maxis, three IRC 52s, and today's finest cruising racers, Swans, Grand Soleil and X Yachts. -- Sabina Mollart Rogerson
IMX 45 For Race Charter
YRC Partners has been offering yacht charter services, both racing and cruising since 2004.
Their main offering is an IMX 45 which is based on the East Coast of the US, this boat is delivered ORC Cat 1 compliant and is ready to tackle any and all of the major distance races from the Block Island Race to the 2015 Transat.
The IMX 45 is a solid and proven winning design. IMThis is a boat truly capable of winning, as proven in the 2006 Bermuda Race when an IMX 45 "Temptress" won the highly competitive Gibbs High Lighthouse Trophy awarded to the boat with the best corrected time in the Bermuda Race and Cybele won her class in the St David Lighthouse Division.
The team at YRC Partners has worked diligently over the years to optimize all aspects of the boat's racing program. In 2008 YRC Partners engaged Evolution Sails in a sail development program. This partnership with Evolution has led to many optimizations and a current inventory of sails which maximizes the boats performance and minimizes the impact of both IRC and ORR ratings. In addition to the outstanding sail inventory YRC Partners has spared no expense in outfitting the boat, the boat is a navigators dream, and includes: B&G 3000, on board pc with 18" LCD monitor with Expedition software, a satellite telephone with 120 minutes for both voice and data, Radar, a cellular amplifier, AIS and a host of other features all designed to make this a winning platform.
Littlejohn and Hebbert Win 2k Gran Canaria
Italy in Carnival mood. Photo by Tommaxo Bo Vignoli. Click on image to enlarge.
3-4 at the final mark of the final race of the final and team Littlejohn and Hebbert are facing their first 2K defeat.... With 70 meters to go Hebbert breaks into second place, Ainsworth of Team Wessex now on the back foot needs to cross Littlejohn for a final hook. Bow to bow on a beam reach, Littlejohn forces a dial up, keeps the left and inside and drives home to victory.
3 days of the most intense of racing saw the Dutch move from a dismal 8th place to the semi finals on the final day; impressive by any standards. Wessex and Royal Thames go to 3 races before Wessex emerges to win a place in the finals.
Day 3 sailed in perfect conditions with a fleet of spectator boats has moved 2K firmly onto the calendar of Real Club Nautico Gran Canaria and all the visiting teams.
1. Littlejohn and Hebbert (Spinnaker)
2. Heywood and Ainsworth (Wessex)
3. Cornah and Lasko (Royal Thames Yacht Club)
4. Dutch Match and Team Race Association
5. Serpentine Race Team
6. Rome Race Team
7. Real Club Nautico Gran Canaria
Four More Sailors Join Dong Feng Squad
Four Chinese sailors from the Chinese Yachting Association have been selected to join the Dongfeng Race Team Academy Squad after the second round of Selection Trials. Xiaojing Li, Peng Zhang, Zhen Li and Chencheng Kong will join the existing Academy Squad sailors, bringing the total number of Chinese trainees to 12.
These 12 Chinese athletes will now compete against each other for several months in order to gain a place on the final race team. The Chinese crew members selected to sail onboard the Volvo Ocean 65 'Dongfeng' during the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be chosen from this squad.
Xiaojing Li was elected by Guangdong provincial team in 1998 and has since participated in four World Championships, two editions of the Asian Games and China's National Games four times. "Xiaojing works incredibly hard and is one of the best performers we've seen, he's a great team player," commented training coach, John Thorn.
Finn sailor Peng Zhen was also selected by the Guangdong Provincial Team in 1996 and has since participated in the Beijing Olympic Games and several world championships.
Both Zhen Li and Chencheng Kong share their teammates enthusiasm for the race. "We are delighted to be given the opportunity to prove ourselves worthy of participating in the Volvo Ocean Race. We will work hard to achieve our dream," says Chencheng Kong.
"These guys work so hard and their determination to become part of the final race team is unlike anything I've ever seen, they are clearly willing to push themselves to the limit and do whatever it takes, the competition is fierce," explains Thorn.
Willis Joins Patience In Bid For 470 Rio Gold
Nick Rogers and Elliot Willis, 470 Men. Photo by Thom Touw. Click on image to enlarge.
Olympic silver medallist Patience, and Willis, a two-time World Champion in the class, have teamed up in a bid to become Britain's first 470 Olympic gold medallists at the Rio 2016 Games.
The 30-year-old Willis, who won the 470 World Championships in 2006 and 2008 with former helm Nic Asher, had been sailing with two-time Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers during the 2013 season up until the World Championships in August.
The Sevenoaks sailor has since enjoyed a coaching stint with the British Sailing Team's 470 Women's pairings of Hannah Mills-Saskia Clark and Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre. But having narrowly missed out on the sole 470 selection berth for the 2008 and 2012 Games with Asher, Willis admits there is some unfinished business in terms of his own sailing ambitions, and is excited to be heading back on the campaign trail with Scotsman Patience, with Rio gold firmly in both their sights.
The pair will head to Palma, Majorca, next week for training ahead of their first event, which will be the ISAF Sailing World Cup event at the Spanish venue from 31 March-5 April.
A whole new ball game
Andy Rice talks to Mark Turner about returning to the Volvo Ocean Race after 25 years
Not so new kids
A look at Milan-based Advanced Yachts
Behind the scenes - Part 1
We spend some time with the technical gurus at Harken in an effort to get to grips with what was really going on out of sight onboard USA 17
A fundamental shift - Part 1
C-Class and AC72 design star (and also designer of some slippery rowing shells) Steve Killing traces the emergence of the full foiling catamaran
Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2
1yr Print Sub for UK residents: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/
1yr Digital Sub for £30: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital
Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine
80 Year Old Frostbite Dinghy Joins The Herreshoff Fleet Of Classic Boats
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA: The Herreshoff Marine Museum is pleased to announce the newest addition to its collection of classic boats.
It is the Herreshoff Class "B" one-design Frostbite dinghy ANKLE DEEP, built in 1934 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, RI for Charles Glenn Moody of Boston. ANKLE DEEP is in nearly original condition. The dinghy has been in the Moody family since it was new, and was donated in early 2014 by Mr. Moody's children in memory of their father. The donation includes the original purchase contract and invoice, cotton sails, canvas, and scrapbooks full of sailing correspondence.
In 1934, The Rudder magazine sponsored a design competition for a new one-design frostbite dinghy to meet the North American Dinghy Association rules for Class "B", and the design of Nicholas S. Potter of the design firm of Potter & Strawbridge was selected. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. built the first fleet of 20-odd boats for use at Larchmont, NY and Marblehead, MA. Both Strawbridge and Potter had worked in the design office of the Herreshoff Co. under its chief designer, Sidney Herreshoff.
More here: www.eastbayri.com
Harry L. Heckel Jr. died peacefully at home February 7. Harry was born February 17, 1916, in Los Angeles, California.
An avid boater, Harry sailed alone around the world at the age of 78. When he was 89, he completed his second solo circumnavigation. In 2007, he received the Joshua Slocum Society International's Golden Circle award for this feat. Harry's memoir, Around the World in 80 Years - The Oldest Man to Sail Alone Around the World - Twice!, was published last year.
In remembrance of Harry, you may wish to read his book.
* From T. Carder: While we should certainly applaud anyone who manages to reach the ripe age of 100, to call Viggo Jacobsen "the father of the Optimist Class dinghy" is not correct. While Mr. Jacobsen was certainly instrumental in creating the international juggernaut now known as the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA), the REAL father of the Optimist Class dinghy is the boat's designer, Clark Mills.
In 1947, Clark Mills, a boat builder in Clearwater, Florida drew the lines of the Optimist pram at the request of Major Clifford McKay and the local Clearwater, Florida Optimist Club. The Optimist pram was designed so that a boat could be easily built at home from two 4' x 8' sheets of plywood for under $50, and many many Optimists were built in garages and backyards and sailed and raced in Clearwater and around Florida long before Mr. Jacobsen ever laid eyes on one and brought the plans back to Europe.
Viggo Jacobsen should be applauded for bringing so many people into sailing by bringing the Optimist design to Europe and creating international awareness of the boat, and as such may be rightfully called the father of the IODA.
However, that may be a bit of a dubious honor, as many sailors now consider the Optimist dinghy to be a very poor choice as the primary junior trainer in use today (who wants to sail a box, anyway?) and the IODA in particular as being responsible for many unhealthy aspects of current junior sailing instruction, and possibly a major factor in the decline of continued interest and participation in sailing by youth.)
And considering the designer Clark Mills' original brief for the Optimist pram, to create a simple, inexpensive boat that could be easy to build at home, when one sees what the Optimist Class has become today, with such things as private coaches, countless nanny RIBs following fleets at regattas, and new boats costing upwards of $10,000 US, is rather ironic; one suspects the real father of the Optimist, Clark Mills, would be somewhat appalled.
Mr. Jacobsen recognised the virtues of the original vision of Clark Mills, to design a simple, inexpensive junior sailing boat, and deserves great credit for bringing so many people into sailing through the Optimist dinghy class; but that original vision for a simple junior sailor has been grossly preverted by what the IODA has become in recent years.
Perhaps the quote of Douglas Adams that you printed might apply: "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
* From Robert Wilkes: As unofficial historian of the Optimist Class I must point out that the tribute to Viggo, written by his club, is substantially accurate.
Those who wish to understand the true history of the Optimist and the part Clark Mills and Viggo each played are invited to download "The Optimist Dinghy 1947-2007" from http://www.wilkessail.net/OptimistHistory.pdf
As regards Carder's "the decline of continued interest and participation in sailing by youth." I quote again the published opinion of US Sailing past-president Gary Jobson:
"I think that youth sailing in America is incredibly vibrant .... everywhere I go, the junior part of this is doing pretty darn well."
An incredible ex racing trimaran with an unequalled prize list.
Originally built as PIERRE 1er for the legendary French sailor Florence Arthaud , she won the Route du Rhum in 1990, making her the first woman ever to win a major offshore sailing event.
She became LAKOTA in 1993 with her new owner and skipper, US tycoon Steve Fossett, who was 5th over the line in Route du Rhum 1994 despite a limited experience in multihull sailing. He then sailed her in the Transpac 1995 (1st over the line), San Francisco Yokohama 1995, Los Angeles Honolulu 1997 (2nd over the line), 1999 Pineapple Cup 1999 (1st). In total, he broke 12 ocean records with her between 1993 and 2000.
In 2000, she was sold to the Swedish team "Atlant Group". They broke many records. She became successively SONY (2001), PINDAR (2001 - skipper Emma Richards), SONY (2002), NICATOR (Le Cap Rio Race in 2003 : 1st over the line), TIETO ENATOR L'OREAL (2004), LAKOTA (2007) and SJOVILLAN (2008).
In 2011, she was sold to her current owner who enjoyed using her for cruising and fast ocean passages since. Current condition - ready to sail.
Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage: www.bernard-gallay.com
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html