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
Jump Start Turns Lead From Aussie To Kiwi
San Francisco, California, USA: Runaway wins on the first day of the 13th annual 18' Skiff International Regatta Monday may have resembled the lopsided racing in the 34th America's Cup on these same tricky waters a year ago, but this time the tide turned at the starting line.
After sailing away in the first of two 6.7-nautical mile, two-lap windward-leeward races in the week-long event hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, Brett Van Munster's ASCC-sponsored entry from Australia placed second to Skip McCormack's Event Clothing from New Zealand---or thought he had until he hit the beach.
Then he learned that he had been called for crossing the line early and not returning to start properly.
Van Munster disagreed, saying, "We were going for the pin [end of the line].We didn't pass the pin until three seconds after the gun."
One of his two crew, Paul Montague, agreed, noting, "We were a boat length behind."
Rivals on some of the other seven boats had mixed views, but veteran Graham Catley of New Zealand---who inherited first place overall with a pair of second places---thought ASCC may not have heard his recall hailed from the other end of the line.
"We heard the call," Catley said. "That's why we went back ... and why we were so far behind for most of the second race. They called 'ASCC'."
Catley's son Nick, 26, who is crewing for McCormack's Events Clothing, which won the second race, said, "We were closer to the line than they were."
By the end of the week it may not matter. Boats may discard their worst result after five races and two results after nine races. -- Rich Roberts
The leaders (after 2 of 10 races)
1. Maersk Line, Graham Catley/Tom Peet/Brad Collins, Auckland Sailing Club, 2-2, 4 points
2. Events Clothing, Skip McCormack/Nick Catley/Josh McCormack, Auckland Sailing Club/San Francisco YC, 4-1, 5
3. CST, Howie Hamlin/Cameron McDonald/Matt McKinlay, Newport Harbor YC, 3-5, 8
Cape Town, South Africa: The wind-gods threw the book at the 15 teams competing in the opening race of the 2014 Lipton Challenge in False Bay today. Starting in a 22 knot northwester that looked set to strengthen, most of the boats opted for reduced headsails. In no time at all the wind had dropped below10 knots, and a rapid sail change on the first down wind leg was called for.
With the Royal Cape Yacht Club team stretching out an impressive lead, the wind veered to the north and freshened again, rewarding the vigilance of those tacticians who had spotted the pressure up towards Muizenberg. Then, just as conditions looked fairly settled a bank of cloud popped over the mountains above Simon's Town, heralding a 45deg swing to the west. The RCYC Academy team, racing for Zeekoevlei Yacht Club and skippered by Sieraj Jacobs, read the signs perfectly. They headed west and stormed into 2nd place, right on the heels of the leaders.
On the final down wind leg the two RCYC boats had a thrilling tussle, but the deeply experienced senior team, led by Greg Davis and David Rae, held their nerve and won the day. -- Trevor Wilkins
Harken Tech Team Ready To Roll At The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup; Rolex Swan Cup
Tech maestros from Harken Italy will be on-deck at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (8/31 - 9/6) and the Rolex Swan Cup (9/8 - 9/14), Porto Cervo, Sardinia.
Busted block? A cranky winch? Drop by for a consult. Our well-stocked service van will be parked in its usual spot on the main "A" pontoon near the sailing yachts.
Look for the Harken flag. Contact phone numbers and email addresses are prominently displayed on the van windows as well as the regatta notice board.
Oman Fly The Flag On British Waters at the Extreme Sailing Series
Photo by Lloyd Images. Click on image to enlarge.
Cardiff Bay saved the best for last for the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet, where Alinghi, The Wave, Muscat and J.P. Morgan BAR battled it out until the bitter end for the top positions, in one of the closest - and most exciting - three-horse fights seen in the Series, which resulted in a three way collision and three consecutive penalties in the final race.
The Wave, Muscat took advantage of the tussle to sail away with the win at Act 5 presented by Land Rover - and importantly closing in on Alinghi on the overall 2014 Series leaderboard.
That left Ben Ainslie and Morgan Larson in a straight shoot out for second, but the British skipper couldn't break the domination of Switzerland's Alinghi, with Larson snatching it from the grasps of J.P. Morgan BAR.
Cardiff has once again delivered an outstanding event, with 90,000 spectators getting front row seats to the action, as part of the Cardiff Harbour Festival. Act 6 Istanbul takes place from the 11-14 September, and with news of a local team entry in the coming days, it will be a packed startline of 12 teams, as the fleet head to the city where East meets West.
Act 5 Cardiff, presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 33 races
1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 210 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 205
3. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell, 203
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 186
5. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, 182
6. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 175
7. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Thierry Douillard, Jonas Hviid-Nielsen, Brad Farrand, Nicolai Sehested, 174
8. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 154
9. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 154
10. GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Hugh Styles, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski, 153
11. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Ray Davies, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 151
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings
1. Alinghi (SUI) 47 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 45
3. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 34
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 33
5. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 25
6. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 22
7. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 20
8. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18
9. Oman Air (OMA) 16
10. Groupama sailing team (FRA) 15
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) 5
AUDI Melges 20 World Championship
This final leg of the Audi tron Sailing Series is scheduled 25-30th August in Riva del Garda.
Thanks to the organisation of B.Plan Sport&Events in cooperation with Melges Europe and the hosting Yacht Club Fraglia Vela Riva, 60 teams coming from 10 world nations (Italy, United States, Russia, Czech Republic, Japan, Germany, Canada, Austria, Monaco and Danemark) will be gathering on Lake Garda.
The most representative of the American fleet is with no doubt the reigning champion John Taylor on Ninkasi with tactician Bill Hardesty, and Russell Lucas' Shimmer with Melges-Michetti, Wes Whitmyer's Slingshot, winner in Talamone and Samba Pa Ti of Melges 32 world champion John Kilroy and Olympian Paul Goodison.
The Audi Melges 20 World Championship officially starts on Monday morning with measurement and registration controls, practice race is set on Tuesday the first warning signal on Wednesday 27th at 12:30. Up to ten races are scheduled through Saturday, no warning signal will be displayed after 3.30 pm.
Fireball UK Nationals
Tenby Sailing Club, Pembrokeshire, UK: With the event already in the bag for Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton , the final day could have been an anticlimax and in terms of the podium places it probably was. However the Fireball Nationals always offers more, and with prizes to play for across the fleet there was plenty of action in the last 2 races.
Race 9 got underway on a gate start in a fresh Northerly breeze around 13 knots. Ian Dobson & Tim Linsell got off to a flyer and in lovely sunny conditions they went on to take a well deserved race win.
For the final race of the series the wind freshened just before the start and the fleet enjoyed some champagne Fireball conditions to end the week. Gillard & Anderton displayed the form they had shown throughout and won it from Dobson & Linsell, with the Irish duo Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella getting a well deserved 3rd. In the Silver fleet, Simon Lomas-Clark and Rob Daniels had an absolute flyer, carding a seventh to bring them within one point of a fleet win. Oh so close!
FInal top five, gold fleet:
1. Tom Gillard & Richard Richard Anderton
2. Ian Dobson & Tim Linsell
3. Matt Burge & Simon Wheeler
4. Dave wade & Tim Hartley
5. Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella
'Boatique' Hotel To Be Adjacent To Britannia In Edinburgh
The operators of UK's last royal yacht, Britannia, a major visitor attraction in Leith have acquired Fingal, a former Scottish tender of the Northern Lighthouse Board, which on occasions worked in Irish waters having called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The near £1 million investment of Windsor Castle, the current name of the classically designed ship built in 1963, is to be converted into a 25 bedroom luxury 'boatique' hotel. She will be berthed permanently adjacent to Britannia in Edinburgh's historic port of Leith.
Fingal was the final ship built by Blythswood Shipbuilding Company in Glasgow. The Leith registered vessel spent most of her Northern Lighthouse Board career of 30 years from Oban followed by her last 6 years based in Stromness, Orkney.
Developing a floating hotel adjacent to the Britannia represents natural organic growth for the Trust, which has the requisite management skills in-house, and servicing demand from both day visitors and evening event guests for quality accommodation.
When the new 'boatique' opens she will be berthed adjacent to Britannia, which since her launch in 1953 had toured the world during her 44 years career serving as the British royal yacht for Queen Elizabeth II and members of the royal family.
2015 Irc Australian Championship Heading To Hamilton Island
The premier national IRC racing event returns to Hamilton Island and the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, which last hosted the championship in 2012. History was created at that event when Marcus Blackmore took out the IRC Australian Championship with his TP52 Hooligan, making it back-to-back wins following his success in 2011. His was the first boat in 29 years to win successive championships in the grand prix division at Hamilton Island.
Racing will again take place in three classes (Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3) allowing similar-sized yachts to compete in their relevant division and offering fairer racing.
A fleet of 182 boats has just finished the 31st edition of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. The annual event again proved it's a magnet for quality IRC boats from around the country, attracting three divisions from the BH36 Local Hero in division 3 up to the current Audi IRC Australian champion, Karl Kwok's TP52 Team Beau Geste which took out division 1 honours.
The dates and duration the championship are currently being finalised and details will be released later in the year on www.yachting.org.au
Offshore Racing "Royalty" Joins One Ton Revisited Line-Up
Two of the "royals" of New Zealand offshore racing - John and Kevin Lidgard - have joined the line-up for the One Ton Revisited regatta in February/March 2015. Successive generations of the Lidgard yachting dynasty, father and son John and Kevin are to crew for Bevan Hill on the John Lidgard-designed and built Result. The 36ft 2in (11.02m) Result was constructed, of kauri/kahikatea (glassed), for the 1977 One Ton Cup in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.
One of John Lidgard's many great moments in a highly-distinguished offshore racing career was in 1971 when he skippered New Zealand's Southern Cross Cup team that comprised Pathfinder (Brin Wilson), Runaway (John Lidgard) and Wai-Aniwa (Chris Bouzaid). That trio notched up an unprecedented (and, one suspects, never-to-be-repeated) 1, 2 and 3 in the Sydney-Hobart classic to also clinch New Zealand's first win in the Southern Cross Cup teams' series. That would have been particularly satisfying for John Lidgard - designer, builder and skipper of Runaway and captain of the team - quite a "fourfecta".
Another newcomer to the fleet is the S&S design Young Nick, which was also built for the 1971 One Ton Cup defence in the Hauraki Gulf. She was commissioned by industrialist, the late Lou Fisher, and skippered by former Rainbow II tactician (now yacht designer) Alan Warwick. -- Alan Sefton
International 14 POW Week
The International 14 Monkey Marine Prince of Wales Cup and Championship Week is taking place at Castle Cove SC this week with the first races on Wednesday 27 August. The famed Prince of Wales Cup (the class championship) will take place on Saturday 30 August in Weymouth Bay.
The class may have lost its place at the peak of dinghy sailing to the rise of the all pervasive Olympic dinghy classes, but it remains a unique design and handling combination that produces great competition and continues an unrivalled bloodline back to the early 1900s. -- Gerald New
For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:
Record: Around Britain and Ireland. Outright Women
Yacht: SCA. VO65
Name: Sam Davies. GBR
Dates:. 11th August to the 16th August 2014.
Start time: 09;10. 11/08/14
Finish time: 06;10;39. 16/08/14
Elapsed time: 4 days 21 hours 00 minutes and 39 seconds
Distance: 1773 NM
Average speed: 15.15 kts
Previous record: "Aviva" Dee Caffari. GBR. Jun 09 6d 11h 30m 53s
Meticulously maintained and prepared and at the forefront of previous generation design, Gamesa is without question one of the fastest and best maintained boats available today. Bearing in mind the reshaping of the 2014 IMOCA rule, Gamesa is well capable of being developed as a major player in the 2016 Vendee Globe.
Gamesa has some unusual IMOCA and has certain significant competitive and financial benefits over other boats currently available. As well as being one of the fastest of her the generation – the recent rule changes and grandfathering rules (now fixed until 2016) she remains one of the only MOCAs with a race proven/super strong carbon keel blade. The new 2014 rule requires all new boats and also existing boats with pre-existing steel keels to change them for the new (far heavier) IMOCA design prior to Vendee 2016. This represents a significant 400+kg weight penalty.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them. -- Stephen Fry
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html