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
Les Voiles De St. Barth 2014: Weather Factors In
The Weather Gods had promised more breeze for Day 2 of Les Voiles de St. Barth, and it came in a steady line of squalls moving south to north across the island, presenting challenging conditions for competitors and the Race Committee alike.
After a general recall, the Maxi and Spinnaker Zero classes took off on a 17 nautical mile course along the southern coast of St. Barth, only to disappear into a driving rain and building breeze halfway up the first beat as they got raked by the first squall.
With visibility on the start line greatly diminished, the Race Committee held off for about 40 minutes, and then with persistence and a weather break before the next approaching squall, they managed to send off Spinnaker 1-2-3 and Melges 24 classes on the same course as the Maxis. Spinnaker 4, Non-Spinnaker, and Multihull classes were next, racing on a 26 nm course out along the southern coast before doubling back and wrapping around the island's north coast for an additional long beat and then a run back to the finish.
Given that the bigger, faster boats in the Maxi and Spinnaker Zero classes were able to cover distances quickly on the coastal courses' long reaching and downwind legs, the Race Committee ran a second race for these classes, sending them again on the same 17 nm course.
And the Leaders are...
Racing is extremely close, and after two days (and two or three races in each class), the top two boats in all classes, save Non-Spinnaker, are separated by no more than two points.
Tomorrow, Thursday, is the traditional lay day on Baie Saint Jean, where competitors will enjoy lunch at Nikki Beach as well as festivities that will include stand-up paddleboard racing.
Racing continues on Friday and Saturday (10 a.m. start) for the nine classes: Maxi, Spinnaker 0-1-2-3-4, Melges 24, Non-Spinnaker, and Racing Multihull.
Maxi: Bella Mente, Hap Fauth, JV 72
Spinnaker 0: Near Miss, Frank Noel, TP52
Spinnaker 1: Lazy Dog, Sergio Sagramoso, Melges 32
Spinnaker 2: White Rhino, Stephen Cucchiaro, Swan 56
Spinnaker 3: Ramanessin, Eamonn Rohan, Grand Soleil 43
Spinnaker 4: Maelia, Raphael Magras, X-Yacht
Non-Spinnaker: L'Esperance, Sir Bobby Lelasquez, Beneteau 45FS
Racing Multihull: Sea Cart 26 Team All Stars, Carl Hennix, SeaCart 26 Trimaran
Melges 24: Budget Marine/Gill, Andrea Scarabelli
Official Website: www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com
2014 Entry List: www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com/site/blog/inscrits-2014/
ORC European Championship
Valencia, Spain: With the final version of the Notice of Race now posted, entries for the ORC European Championship are now steadily increasing, with teams from seven countries from throughout Europe now entered. Among them are some past champions at this and other international ORC events, with all gathering at Real Club Nautico Valencia (RCNV) for racing over 1-6 July.
Christian Plump was ORC World Champion in 2010, and will be racing on his Swan 45 Elena Nova.
Another international entry that is attracted to race in Valencia is Marco Bruna, owner/driver of the Grand Soleil 37 Valhalla, who expects good competition and a high-quality event.
Valhalla has a strong competitive pedigree, having won several local events at home in the Gulf of La Spezia, including twice winning the Cup Carnival of Viareggio (2013 and 2014), first place at Mariperman at La Spezia (2013) and victory in Group 3 of the ORC Trofeo Accademia Navale di Livorno (2012). Valhalla also won 7th place at the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca in 2013 and was 7th place among the Corinthian crews at the ORC World Championship in Cres in 2011.
But these international crews may have a tough time against some Spanish entries, particularly Pedro Campos, well-known as one of Spain's most-accomplished offshore sailors, with victories earned in several past ORC Championships and even the Volvo Ocean Race. His Movistar team will be racing a Sinergia 40 and defending their overall title earned last year at the Trofeo SM La Reina.
Events begin at the ORC European Championship with Registration and Measurements starting on Monday, June 30th and continuing through Wednesday, July 2nd. Then a 70-mile offshore race starts the competition on Thursday, July 3rd, followed by three days of inshore racing off Valencia to conclude on Sunday, July 6th.
Marinepool NTS Dinghy Collection
The National Team Series by Marinepool provides novelties in the area of neoprene but also new dry suits. A great variety of neoprene suits in different thicknesses, rash guards and flex shirts (both short-sleeve and long-sleeve), accessories such as knee pads, removable sleeves, neoprene boots and gloves as well as matching life jackets, hiking pants and trapeze harnesses result in a comprehensive dinghy collection with a benchmark setting quality.
Indeed, dinghy wear for Olympic racing requires highest standards in terms of fabric selection and design. Body climate management is crucial for an athlete´s performance and thus the selection of the right materials and the combinability of styles to suit a wide range of weather conditions and venues like the cold Solent and hot Rio is of utmost importance.
The NTS neoprene suits by Marinepool are made from durable and flexible materials. Strong reinforcements at knees and bottom with extra inside patches ensure high abrasion resistance at stressed parts while elastic flex neoprene at shoulders and along the sides all the way down to the ankles allow great mobility, comfort and a perfect fit. Additionally the collars, cuffs at sleeves and legs of all neoprene suits and drysuits have been designed with a focus on waterproofness.
Besides of the outstanding functionality of the National Team Dinghy Series, the products draw remarkable attention due to their attractive design: the basic colours grey and black are combined with jazzy highlights in neon colours. The result is an aggressive and speedy high performance look.
The new Dinghy Series by Marinepool
Design. Technology. Passion.
Audi IRC Australian Championship
The welcome mat is out and the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club marina filling with the last of the arrivals for the Audi IRC Australian Championship commencing tomorrow, Thursday 17 April, and running through to Easter Sunday.
The Bureau of Meteorology advises a low pressure system over the south-eastern Tasman Sea and ex tropical cyclone Ita to north over the Coral Sea are moving slowly to the south-east and a high pressure system is moving south of Tasmania extending a ridge along the New South Wales coast. This ridge is set to bring a decent S-SW 15-20kt air flow to Hunter coastal waters tomorrow and Friday, April 18.
Six short course races, one medium distance and a long race likely to take the big boats as far north as Cabbage Tree island off Hawks Nest and as far south as Swansea is the planned schedule of racing over four days.
The championship entry list of 31 has been broken up into three divisions so boats of a similar size and with comparable handicap ratings race together. Within divisions there are multiple ongoing duels set to resume at this next encounter.
Four TP52s part of last year's standalone TP52 Southern Cross Cup are due to meet again in division A. They'll share the limelight with Tony Kirby's runner up at the IRC states, his still new Ker 46 Patrice gaining pace with a bolstered crew, and Matt Allen's shmick 60-foot Carkeek design, Ichi Ban, launched last November.
The grudge match between Middle Harbour Yacht Club sistership DK46s, Rob Reynolds and Neil Rechlin's Nine Dragons, picks up where it left off in division B. Behind them Matt Fensom's modified Farr 40 Long Time Dead, fully re-tuned having raced solidly for five days at Sail Port Stephens, meets NCYC stablemate PT73, Tony Lobb's also modified Farr 40.
Division C's formidable line up in the 35- foot range includes Local Hero, a BH36, Spirit, an RP36, Cocomo the Sydney 36 and L'Altra Donna, a Summit 35. All but Local Hero ironed any wrinkles at Sail Port Stephens.
Cammas On Caudrelier - Different Styles, Same Objective
Franck Cammas bucks the trend of top class ocean racers who tend to be built on the very massive side. But the little Frenchman still ranks as one of the toughest around, a man whose word is law on any boat he choses to skipper. Ask him about Charles Caudrelier, though, and he immediately breaks into a broad smile.
When we caught up with the man who won the last Volvo Ocean Race at his first attempt, exhausted and unshaven he looked like he'd rather be tucked up in his bunk than answering our questions after a day of hot competition in the Extreme Sailing Series in Oman.
Talk about his fellow Frenchman Caudrelier, the newly appointed skipper of Dongfeng Race Team, though, and suddenly the defences fall away. You can barely haul him off the subject.
"Ah, Charles," he beamed. "Charles is a very easy guy in a group. There's never a problem with Charles."
The pair have known each other since they met up as newcomers 20 years ago and immediately struck up a firm friendship based on growing mutual respect both on and off the water.
In many ways, they are chalk and cheese. Cammas tends to give very little time to people he regards as fools and will tell them so; the ever-amiable Caudrelier deals with them with a shrug and a laugh.
Their relationship was put to the ultimate ocean racing test in the last Volvo Ocean Race on board Groupama 4, especially when Cammas' first leg gamble to hug the African coast failed to pay off with the spectacular gains he'd bargained on. Cammas needed guys he could trust on Groupama 4 and Caudrelier fell firmly into that category.
"We have very different styles of leadership, I'm more easy-going than Franck but we're both trying to do the same thing: build a team that can work together.
"We just do it in different ways."
Last Places Available On Volvo 70 Monster Project For Antigua Sailing Week And Transatlantic Adventure
After a successful first Caribbean season featuring two Line Honours wins and a new race record, two exciting events remain before we return to the UK.
Season finale: Antigua Sailing Week
Join us for this highlight of the Caribbean season! Spend your days racing on Monster Project with the keel fully canted, huge sails flying and grinding on the pedestals in the sunshine! Then kick up your heels at the Regatta's famous parties or relax on one of Antigua's glorious beaches.
Join us for our 8 day package or tailor your own combination of training and racing days.
- Training: 24-25 April
- Round the Island Race: 26 April
- Antigua Sailing Week: 27 April - 2 May
After Antigua Sailing Week comes something many sailors dream of - a voyage across the Atlantic. Our Transatlantic Adventure takes us from the Caribbean to England in two legs. First leg (5 - 29 May): a 2,500 mile journey beginning in Sint Maarten, past Bermuda and ending in the stunning Azores, combining beautiful locations with all the challenges and glory of a long ocean passage.
Second leg (2 - 12 June): a shorter but no less challenging hop from the Azores to Southampton via the infamous Bay of Biscay.
Packages available for either or both legs of this epic voyage!
For more information visit www.volvo70charter.co.uk or email:
2016 Vendee Globe: Where Are The Women?
Ellen, Samantha, Dee, Anne, Isabelle, Catherine, Karen...the women who have taken part in the Vendee Globe have always thrilled the public and been the focus of our admiration. For the 2016 Vendee Globe, we are still lacking that feminine touch. We can bet however that this gap will still be filled, remembering what happened in the past...
Lining up at the start of the Everest of the Seas in 1996, Isabelle Autissier and Catherine Chabaud opened the Vendee Globe up to women.
When Ellen MacArthur, the 24-year old British sailor lined up in 2000 on Kingfisher, a boat specially built for her, the general public wondered how she would manage: so young, so fragile... at the helm of such a big boat. But what is there left to say except she finished in second place behind Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB), apart from the fact that the latter was rather jealous about the welcome given to the young woman by the crowds in Les Sables-d'Olonne?
On Roxy in 2004, Anne Liardet proved to the general public that you can be a sailor and mother of three children. Anne came in eleventh out of twenty ahead of another French sailor, Karen Leibovici, who finished thirteenth.
In 2008, it was time for the Brits, Samantha Davies and Dee Caffari to dominate the airwaves with pictures expressing their sheer pleasure as they sailed around the world in style. The arrival back in Les Sables always lives up to expectations even when the sailors don't always manage to complete the race, as was the case for Samantha, whose Saveol was dismasted off Portugal in 2012.
Today, Samantha Davies, Dee Caffari, Isabelle Joschke and Jeanne Gregoire, to give just a few names are dreaming of setting up a Vendee Globe project. If no women made it to the start in 2016, it would be a step back in time to twenty years ago in the Vendee Globe. That can't happen.
Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen Return To Olympic Racing Circuit
Following the recent gold and two bronze medals at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma, the Australian Sailing Team are now a few days away from the start of racing at the next ISAF World Cup Regatta in Hyeres, France.
Over 1,100 athletes have registered to sail in Hyeres next week, including a near-full contingent of the Australian Sailing Team and Squad.
Hyeres will also be the first time this year that 49er Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge (NSW) and Iain Jensen (NSW) will return to the European racing circuit in Olympic class sailing. The duo, who have re-signed for another America's Cup campaign with Swedish Artemis and last won the Olympic 49er event at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne in December, have prepared together with the Australian Sailing 49er squad on home waters at Lake Macquarie.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres from 19-26 April will be the last World Cup of the 2013-14 as the series draws to a close. Racing commences on Monday, 21 April across ten Olympic and two Paralympic events. The Medal Races on Saturday 26 April will bring the regatta to a close.
Adversity Created Popular 40 Year-Old One-Design Land Yacht Class
Manta Singles launch from the starting line. Photo by Duncan Harrison. Click on image to enlarge.
Thus was born the Manta Winjammer land yacht, now commonly called the Manta Single. First produced in early 1974, it is arguably the oldest continuously-manufactured one-design land yacht in the world. Its aircraft-like quality, light weight, portability, ruggedness, ease of use and reasonable cost made it popular from the outset. In the early days, hundreds were produced, and many were shipped to international customers.
The design will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year and be featured as a one-design class at the FISLY-NALSA 14TH Landsailing World Championship (the Worlds) to be held July 12-19, 2014 at Smith Creek Playa near the town of Austin in Northern Nevada. NALSA, the North American Land Sailing Association, will host the event and is the U.S. Affiliate of FISLY, the International Federation of Sand and Land Yachts, the world governing body for competitive land sailing. One design classes must adhere to strict "as-built-by-the-factory" specifications and emphasize sailor (pilot) ability, not experimental design. They are popular because the designs are constant, offer a pure test of sailing ability and do not create an expensive innovation "arms race".
While the Manta Single has enjoyed steady but moderate sales, its popular two-seater sibling, the Twinjammer (Manta Twin) introduced in 1976 and also a one-design, has outsold the Single by a 10-to-1 ratio for many years and regularly fields the largest fleets at U.S. landsailing regattas. The Manta Twins are expected to vie with a new development (experimental) class, the International 5.6 Mini, for largest fleet at the regatta.
2014 RS:X Class Annual General Meeting July 1st, 2014 at Cesme, Turkey
The 2014 AGM of the International RS:X Class Association will be held during the RS:X European and Youth European Championships at Cesme, Turkey.
The exact location and time of the meeting will be published on the Class website later.
and the Submission Template
RS:X National Class Associations / MNAs shall confirm their appointed delegate for the 2014 RS:X AGM and authorise that person to vote on any submission on their behalf. Said authorisation shall be received by email sent to by 2400hrs UTC on 30th June 2014.
* From Daniel Charles: For those who are left speechless by the De Ridder verdict, re-reading Jonathon Green's "Cassell dictionary of insulting quotations" (Cassell, 1999) might supply some needed inspiration.
Barring somebody from the highest level of sailing competition for breaking a specific rule in a class which is not even an ISAF class appears drastic; to oust the culprit for five years, basically breaking his career and imposing an enormous financial fine belongs less to justice than to mental pathology.
That such an appalling verdict does not observe what is practised in other sports demonstrates, for the nth time, how ISAF is cut from the reality -and plainly doesn't care. Let's remember that this holier-than-thou international body is the same who shamelessly sustained, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court of New York, that there has never been a ballasted multihull (as if the 1960s Golden Miller and Misty Miller never existed!), a case of either crass ignorance or sheer dishonesty.
As a sailor I am ashamed to be represented by such an organization.
Racing boat A40 RC GERANIUM KILLER is the fastest sailing boat in the RC market. Her structure is optimised for racing and she is much lighter than other boats of her type, meaning that she has won most races and regattas that she has entered: le Tour de Course, la Giraglia, les Voiles de St. Tropez, le Trophée Semac, etc. Her 3 separate cabins, kitchen and bathroom facilities also make her an excellent fast cruising sailboat, ideal for a short-handed crew.
Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage: www.bernard-gallay.com
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
I would suggest that science is, at least in my part, informed worship. -- Carl Sagan
Back On Monday
Your humble narrator is off on Good Friday (as in off to the shore...). Back on Monday.
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