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
Spain Enters Sixth Boat In 2014-15 Fleet For Volvo Ocean Race
Spain is back for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with a boat spearheaded by two of the country's leading sailors, Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernandez who will be aiming to help claim their nation's first victory.
It's the eighth time out of the 12 editions of the race that Spain has been represented in the 41-year-old event.
The campaign, which is being mounted by Galician sailor/businessman Pedro Campos, is the sixth crew announced so far for the Race which begins in Alicante on October 4 with the in-port race there followed by the departure on leg one to Cape Town a week later.
The Campos team, which will be announcing their title sponsor and skipper shortly, has already taken possession of their one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boat in Southampton, England and is currently preparing the boat to be launched.
Previous Campos teams to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race are movistar (2005-06), Telefonica (two boats in 2008-09) and Team Telefonica (2011-12), the latter skippered by Martínez.
The team's sponsors are expected to be announced in the next months and the campaign will also be supported by Spain's National Sports Council and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation.
2014 Newport Bermuda Race Starts Friday
Friday, June 20 at 12:50 EDT the New York Yacht Club Race committee will sound the first warning signal for the 49th Newport Bermuda Race off the deck of the 125 foot ketch Axia. She anchors the starting line that will stretch west to east across the mouth of Narragansett Bay.
The sail-training vessel Spirit of Bermuda owned by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation will start first in Class 0 leading the fleet to her island home as the sole boat in the Spirit of Tradition Division. Spirit will be racing her second consecutive Newport Bermuda Race, chartered this year by Bermuda businessman Jim Butterfield.
Ten minutes later, the first of 14 other classes is scheduled to start. Classes should start at 10-minute intervals after that. Class I features two regular top finishers in this 635-mile classic. Selkie, a McCurdy & Rhodes 38 footer with past Cruising Club of America Commodore Sheila McCurdy at the helm, has come second in the St. David's Lighthouse division twice. Pete Rebovich returns to try to earn his recently rebuilt Cal 40 Sinn Fein a third St. David's Lighthouse win. Pete has had the same crew of friends and family since 2006.
From Class 2 the spotlight will be on the Olin Stephens yawl Dorade and the Navy 44 Swift which was a top finisher in 2012. The 52-foot S&S yawl built in 1929 and painstakingly restored by Matt Brooks of San Francisco also sailed in 2012.
Class 3 features Carina, sailed by Rives Potts and his regular crew of friends. They had an excellent weekend tune-up in the New York Yacht Club 160th annual Regatta presented by Rolex, Carina has won the St. David's Lighthouse Division and the sterling trophy in the past two races. She also won in 1970 under then owner Richard Nye. If Carina wins, she will be the yacht holding the most Lighthouse trophies. She will again be tested in her class by another Naval Academy boat, Defiance, which finished second in class and second in the St. David's Lighthouse Division in 2012.
There is dock talk around the Newport Shipyard that this may be a 'small boat' race based on wind predictions. These excellent competitors in the smaller boat classes may have an edge.
'Hudson Wight' Races Three-Up In The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race
Lizzy is one of the great British female hopes for next year's gruelling Mini Transat, having now completed all her solo racing miles to qualify and with Hudson Wight on board as her title sponsor. Lizzy is also being supported by the Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes. The Club has granted her immediate temporary Club membership for the duration of her Mini Transat campaign and, in a further generous gesture, the Club has awarded Lizzy a grant from its charitable Youth Trust.
Hudson Wight is also delighted to announce that Yellowbrick has joined the Lizzy Racing team of supporters and is delighted that everyone will be able to follow Lizzy's progress on Hudson Wight's website. The Yellowbrick wakes up periodically (e.g. every 15 minutes), obtains a position using the GPS satellite network, and then transmits that position back to an online map, which will be embedded on www.hudsonwight.com
Followers can also keep up to date with Lizzy's solo racing exploits on Twitter by following @hudsonwight
Coutts Repeats Offer Of Second AC62 For Challengers
Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts, has repeated the offer of a second AC62 for the Challengers in the 35th America's Cup, removing a major criticism of the Protocol surrounding the event.
Coutts' offer followed a comment made by Oracle Team USA skipper, Jimmy Spithill in the course of a radio interview broadcast a week ago in NZ. When questioned as to why Oracle, as Defender, had been allowed to have two AC62's yet the Challengers were restricted to one, Spithill responded that the same option had been put to the Challengers, but they had not taken it up.
Writing on his Facebook page in response to a NZ Herald article critical of some aspects of the Protocol, one of which was the single AC62 for the Challengers, Coutts responded:
In negotiations for the current Protocol, Oracle Team USA proposed that all teams should have the option of building two sets of hulls on the same terms as currently apply to Oracle Team USA (namely no extra wings or components, very limited sailing time, have to race the first set of hulls, second set of hulls built from same moulds). Oracle Team USA would continue to support that position should the Challengers wish to reconsider their position. Note that Oracle Team USA can't unilaterally change the Protocol: it can only be changed by majority vote.
Read Richard Gladwell's editorial in Sail-World.com:
The Mini Fastnet: Sharing The Legend
This Mini Fastnet 2014 will see 37 pairs at the starting line. In Prototypes and Production boats alike, there will be a lot of big names again this year: plenty of 'rookies' plus some 'oldies but goldies' livening up the 29th edition of this legendary circuit of 600 nautical miles between Douarnenez and the Fastnet Rock. The prologue race is Saturday 21 June, the race start on Sunday 22nd.
In the Prototypes, a surprising pair was announced yesterday: Davy Beaudart (Cultisol) joins up with David Raison, the designer of his brand new Maximum; a designer who dared to try rounded bows.
In this year's Marie-Agnes Peron Trophy, the two Raison designs - Magnum (the boat with which David won the Mini Transat in 2011) skippered by Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) and Maximum skippered by Davy Beaudart (Cultisol) - gave us a fine duel, way ahead of the classic hull designs.
Giancarlo, en route to qualify for the 'Route du Rhum' in Class40, won't be on the starting line of the Mini Fastnet, but Davy will use the legendary 600 nautical miles to learn from the father of these astonishing hulls.
Several other familiar faces are coming back for a taste of the Mini Fastnet: Pierre Denjean is partnering Luke Berry (Wild Side). Look out for those two: Luke is new to the circuit, it's his first year as skipper, but he's already chalked up one victory (the ArMen Race, paired with Jorg Riechers, from whom he bought the Prototype), won 2nd place in the Pornichet Select, finished 3rd in the Marie-Agnes Peron Trophy and 4th in the Lorient BSM, where he was also partnered with Pierre.
Two pairs of talented old friends who will no doubt be at the forefront:
- Damien Cloarec is teaming up with Yannick Le Clech. These two have recently won the the ArMen Race, while Damien has also racked up 2 solo wins (the 'Mini en Mai' and the Marie-Agnes Peron Trophy)
- Jonas Gerckens (Netwerk) is teaming up with Thibault Reinhart who is celebrating ten years of Mini racing this year.
Also look out for the all-new Ofcet 650 with Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes). This Bertrand design, which was put on the water just 10 days ago, has already let its guns do the talking on the Marie-Agnes Peron Trophy. Although a future Production boat, this is the only Ofcet 650 currently racing, so is for the time being officially classed as a Prototype. Ian will be partnered by Charlie Pinot, with whom he carried off the 2013 Mini Fastnet in the Production boats.
Dubarry Crosshaven - Preferred By Professionals
For most of us, it's the ultimate contest of man and machine against nature. For Dubarry, it's R&D. After supplying its ever-green classic, the Shamrock boot, to the professional crew of Ireland's Green Dragon entry for the 2008-09 Volvo, Dubarry's most fanatical designers listened, developed, tested, listened some more, tweaked, analysed and tested again. The result was the Crosshaven boot.
When Green Dragon arrived in Galway at the end of Leg 7 for the best party the race has ever seen, elbowing their way through the "craic addicts" was Dubarry's research team, wanting yet more feedback. Their finishing touches sealed the Crosshaven's reputation as the offshore professional's boot of choice. Where's the proof of that? Competing teams chose Crosshaven in the 2011-12 VOR and again in the upcoming 2014-15 race.
Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea
Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 - Line Honours Arrival
Esimit Europa 2 crossed the finish line off Monte-Carlo at 12:35 CEST, to secure her fourth Line Honours victory in the offshore race of the Giraglia Rolex Cup.
Her elapsed time of 24 hours, 35 minutes, 56 seconds was well outside her record (14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds) for the 62nd edition of 241-nm race, which she set in 2012 when the race finished in Sanremo. The predicted tricky wind conditions of the past 24 hours put paid to any hope of bettering her benchmark time.
The arrival was a special moment. The YCM is the home-club for the Slovenian yacht and owner, Igor Simcic, and the race crew featured Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco and a member of the YCM Management Committee.
RTI Race Boat Change For Ainslie
The Island Sailing Club, organisers of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race has been informed that Leopard, the largest boat in Saturday's Round the Island Race, at 30 metres, and due to be co-helmed by owner/driver Mike Slade and Sir Ben Ainslie, has been pulled from the Race owing to rigging failure. Leopard broke her own monohull record last year achieving 3hrs 43mins 50secs.
Sir Ben will instead be racing on the Farr 45 Rebel (IRC 0) in the first start at 0630 on Saturday and he says that despite his regret at not having the chance to go for both RTI course records, having broken the multihull record last year rounding in 2hrs 52mins 15secs, he is delighted that he will have an opportunity to still enjoy racing with his fellow BAR Team members and is looking forward to what potentially might be a more relaxing ride than he had last year.
Nightshift Repeats as Boat Of The Day Winner at Farr 40 California Cup
Marina del Ray, California: Kevin McNeil has sailed his Star boat in big regattas on Santa Monica Bay. Andy Horton competed in the 2007 Olympic Trials for Star class on the same body of water. That combined experienced has helped the Nightshift team post consistent results in an extremely tricky venue this week.
McNeil has done a superb job of steering while Horton has been solid calling tactics to help Nightshift string together six strong races to open the California Cup, being held on Santa Monica Bay.
Conditions on the ocean course off Venice Beach for Thursday's action were quite similar to the day before (8-12 knots out of the southwest) and Nightshift was dialed in again. McNeil steered the Annapolis entry to a splendid score line of 3-4-1 to earn Boat of the Day honors for the second straight afternoon.
One of the most impressive performances on Thursday came from skipper Michael Shlens and his team aboard Blade 2. A Corinthian boat comprised entirely of amateur sailors, Blade 2 surprised the 15-boat fleet by leading from start to finish in Race 5.
Shlens has campaigned an Express 37 for almost two decades and also races a Melges 30. This is his second year in the Farr 40 class and first time competing against the professional teams that regularly do the International Circuit.
Top five after 6 races:
1. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 14.0
2. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 21.0
3. Plenty, Alex Roepers, USA, 21.0
4. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 32.0
5. Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 34.0
Full results: www.yachtscoring.com
A Race-Monster For Round Texel
Former Olympic sailor and multiple Round Texel winner Mischa Heemskerk, together with the fanatical cat sailor Eduard Zanen from Texel, are looking to 'fly' around Texel with their remodelled flying M20 catamaran.
Winning the Round and setting a new record with a self-built boat is what Heemskerk is looking to achieve. Already back in January, the mechanical-engineer come sail maker/boat builder was playing with the idea to remodel an M20: "In late January we started with rebuilding the hulls and broadening the beams and the installation of the new daggerboard casings. I have designed various daggerboards, and now on Texel we are just putting on the finishing touches. We have placed winglets and daggerboards for stable flight."
Heemskerk: "If the conditions are good we think we should be able to sail the Round within two hours. By flying on the foils the whole hull stays dry and you have a lot less resistance. The difficulty is that you are sailing in three dimensions: upwards, windward and leeward, and forward. You have to really, really pay close attention."
Mischa Heemskerk was eight years old when he and his father sailed his first Round Texel in a Nacra 5.8: "I'm not entirely sure but I think I have taken part in the Round about 31 times. I have often built a boat with my father but never won in a self-built or remodelled boat. I have in a Tornado and twice with a Formula 18. This year we are definitely going for the win and a Round-record! "
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds Entrants Confirmed
The entries for the inaugural ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Helsinki, Finland from 23-27 July have been confirmed.
Organised by the Nylandska Jaktklubben in conjunction with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the ISAF Grade W event will welcome 15 skippers racing J/80 boats.
In its inaugural year the 2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship is open to competitors under 23 years old on 31 December 2014.
The highest ranked sailor amongst the entrants is 20-year-old Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN). At World #12 in the Open Rankings the Dane has had considerable success on the Open circuit that has enabled him to remain as one of the top 25 match racers for the last two years.
New Zealand's Chris Steele will come into the event buoyed having won his first ISAF Grade 2 regatta, the Chicago Match Cup qualifier, over the weekend of 13-15 June 2014. The 21-year-old has worked his way up the ISAF Open Rankings to World #17 having secured a string of podium finishes at ISAF Grade 2 and 3 regattas since he made his match racing debut at the Musto International Youth Match Racing Championships in November 2011.
Racing at the ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds commences on Wednesday 23 July and concludes on Sunday 27 July.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds Entrants
Vladislav Abramov (RUS)
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)
Philip Bendon (IRL)
Valerio Galati (ITA)
Sam Gilmour (AUS)
Florian Haufe (GER)
Jakob Klitte (SWE)
Mark Lees (GBR)
Nelson Mettraux (SUI)
Pierre Quiroga (FRA)
Slawomir Plichta (POL)
Tyler Rice (ISV)
Markus Ronnberg (FIN)
Nevin Snow (USA)
Chris Steele (NZL)
African Formula Kite Championships
The African Formula Kite Championships returns for the second consecutive year in Egypt. From 23rd till 28th of June Soma Bay will see epic races of the best riders around the world bringing 5 days full of action and top level competition in fleet racing while an additional event for the TwinTip: Racing Class will be held from 27th till 28th of June.
The excellent conditions of the spot offering flat-water, perfect off-shore and side-shore winds guarantees a thrilling challenge where all the riders will try their best as they will compete for the 20,000 Euros prize money. At the same time the riders will aim for a good place in the world ranking in order to qualify for the 2014 Formula Kite World Championships. The Championship is organized by the Egypt Sailing and Waterski Federation under the authority of International Kiteboarding Association, the Formula Kite Class and the TwinTip: Racing in co-operation with the International Sailing Federation.
The event includes the following disciplines, divisions and grades:
- Fleet Racing Men
- Fleet Racing Women
- Fleet Racing U18 Men and Women (born 1997 or later)
- Fleet Racing U21 Men and Women (born 1994 or later)
- Fleet Racing Master Men and Women (born 1978 or before)
- Fleet Racing Grand Master Men and Women (born 1968 or before)
Promo video of the event:
From The 'Restoring Faith In Humanity' Files...
No-one seems to know how he got there, but a dog found at sea after a ferocious storm in New Zealand has been rescued by the crew of a Navy patrol vessel during a Customs operation. They were already navigating between dangerous logs in the water when they noticed the dog, balancing on a distant log. 'There was significant debris in the water and on one large log floating in the water was this poor helpless dog. I would hate to think how long he was there', said Lt. Anthony Norris.
The dog was taken ashore, where the sailors found a friendly face who knew the dog's owners.
After handing over the dog, the sailors then spent further time removing the largest debris from the water to aid with safe navigation for boats sailing in or out, before continuing their patrol. -- Lee Mylchreest in Sail-World.com
Full refit in 2012, including topsides Vinyl Wrap, full suit of Doyle Sails, and IRC optimization from Mark Mills. She is complete and ready to race anywhere in the world.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic. -- Carl Sagan
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html