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
The Red Boat Has A Name
MAPFRE, the global insurance giant, will be backing the Spanish challenge in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 to complete the fleet's line-up of title sponsors with just over a week to go before the event's launch.
The company is already well known as leading supporters of sailing and confirmed its support of skipper Iker Martinez's challengers on Friday ahead of the Race's opening event, the Alicante in-port race on October 4.
The Madrid-based company's timely announcement has delighted the Spanish team's CEO Pedro Campos who has worked with them on several previous campaigns in other events. "We are pleased and grateful to MAPFRE for its support in this new great adventure competing in the Volvo Ocean Race representing Spain," he said.
"MAPFRE has been supporting sailing for years and we have already worked together in big campaigns. Without a doubt, we will do our best to get MAPFRE and Spain in the highest place we possibly can," said Campos.
Although the Spanish team was only announced in the middle of the year, most expect them to be competitive in the one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boat with Martinez and long-term sailing partner and best friend Xabi Fernandez spearheading their challenge.
The crew is mainly formed by Spaniards but it also boasts some leading international sailors including Andre Fonseca, the only Brazilian in the fleet, and Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux, rated one of the leading single-handed sailors in the world.
Guest Editorial: Solo On A 130 Ft Trimaran
I'm trying to get my head around Yann Guichard taking on the Route du Rhum, alone, on a 130ft trimaran. The boat is, quite simply, a juggernaut.
I first saw her filming aboard Sydney Gavignet's gorgeous 105ft multi Oman Air before the 2010 RdR. Ellen MacArthur's globe circling ex-B&Q was dockside in Lorient, but next to Ellen's memorable machine was a trimaran that towered up into the sky making B&Q look, well, a bit small.
She was Banque Populaire V, the biggest trimaran in the world, designed with one mission in mind: to set a new fully crewed non-stop around the world record. Mission achieved in 2012 under skipper Loick Peyron; 45 days, 13 hours, shaving nearly three days off the previous record. Le job done.
Thanks to a few people and a cunning plan, I managed to film aboard Banque Pop for the 2011 Rolex Fastnet, for Rolex and Eurosport, an exceptionally rare media chance, and the sheer size, speed, finesse, Rolls Royce type ride, effortless power, incredible crew work and Fastnet course/race record smashing performance - 1 day, 8 hours, an overnighter! - all blew me away.
Brian Thompson, the English giant of oceanic multihull records, explained Banque Pop's astonishing qualities in this short film for Yachting World:
*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=sGZO7-22NAo, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*
For me, it brings what Yann is doing into perspective. It took eight crew to tack Banque Pop, now Spindrift 2, all grinding in unison to cant the mast through complex hydraulics. I had a go; burned my arms off.
Yann has hooked up a bike on deck, and is giving it a go all by himself, albeit with a smaller rig.
Is he nuts? Is he brave? Does he have a special wheelbarrow to convey the load of his cohones?!
I don't know. I'm writing this in Paignton's pier cafe while my dear daughter Frances is Topper racing. (A Topper parent! Pass those binoculars mate, looks like a Zone Squad out there...)
I've no doubt that Yann and Frances share a passion for sailing, and the sea, in their relative way. As we all do if we're reading this.
But gazing out of the window of this surprisingly good English cafe, the words "worlds apart" come to mind, as do "one hand for the boat Yann", "Godspeed", "can't wait to see this" and "mad as a box of frogs"... -- Digby Fox - livethestory.com
Extreme Sailing Series Returns To Nice
Act 7 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series global tour is just around the corner, as some of world's best sailors prepare to descend once again on to the shores of Nice, France, for the penultimate Act in the battle for the 2014 crown. The event will be broadcast live online to fans around the world from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th October 1530-1700 local time (GMT+2) daily, and nationally in France on Canal Sport+ on Saturday and Sunday.
Three Act victories so far this year puts Alinghi top of the Series leaderboard, and the Swiss team, helmed by Morgan Larson, will welcome back Olympic champion Anna Tunnicliffe as tactician in Nice.
This will be the fourth consecutive year the fleet have raced in Nice, and the Bay of Angels has delivered some of the most closely contested racing. Thousands are expected over the weekend to join in Race Village activities, located at the Quai des etats-Unis, and watch the international superstars of sailing go head to head, just metres from the shore. Follow all the action on twitter, Facebook and through the live video on the official website.
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings
1. Alinghi (SUI) 55 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 54
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 43
4. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 36
5. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 29
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 24
7. Oman Air (OMA) 23
8. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 23
9. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 23
10. Groupama sailing team (FRA) 20
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) 6
Marinepool - Clothing Partner of the Extreme Sailing Series™
Marinepool is widely regarded as one of the leading sailing clothing and maritime lifestyle brands and is the "Official Clothing Partner" of the Extreme Sailing Series™.
We have built a reputation for outstanding quality, excellent service and quick and reliable deliveries. These are only a few of the reasons why no less than 4 of this year´s teams in the Extreme Sailing Series™, among them 2012 and 2013 Champions The Wave, Muscat, are racing in Marinepool kit.
Using only the best materials and state of the art production technologies, no detail is omitted to ensure every product is optimized before it reaches the market. More than 23 years of experience and design excellence, plus the invaluable input of the world class athletes proudly wearing Marinepool garments, guarantee the products are at the cutting edge of technology.
Uncompromising, highly functional and extremely light weight; Tested and approved by many of the world's finest sailors.
As a group of companies with German roots and head quarters, operating in 43 countries, with product lines ranging from performance sailing clothing and a test winning life jacket range to maritime fashion, Marinepool is uniquely qualified and the perfect match for the clothing requirements of YOUR sailing team or company.
Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.
Dublin Bay Sailing Club Celebrates Its 130th Anniversary
Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) celebrated its 130th Anniversary Saturday night September 27th with a dinner in the National Yacht Club. Held after the last race of the Club's 2014 season, it was very appropriately attended by a full house of 130 racing enthusiasts who honoured the incomparable contribution the club has made to the development of sailing from Dun Laoghaire during the past 130 years.
Originally founded in 1884 as a club to provide racing for boats too small to be properly facilitated by the big boat-oriented sailing programmes of the large established yacht clubs, DBSC quickly evolved into an interactive force for the greater good of all yacht racing in the Bay, co-ordinating all the racing in and out of Dun Laoghaire harbour, and influencing the development of yacht design through the commissioning of classes such as the Dublin Bay 25s of 1898, the Dublin Bay 21s of 1902, the Dublin Bay Mermaids of 1932, and the Dublin Bay 24s of 1938.
Then as yacht building first became a matter of series construction in wood, followed by mass assembly in glassfibre, DBSC's influence continued, as its official recognition of a new one design - once it had achieved sufficient boat numbers - became fundamental to the new design's growing acceptance and continuing success in racing in the bay. -- WM Nixon in Afloat magazine
Les Voiles De Saint-Tropez
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Wind and sunshine coloured the opening day at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. Tomorrow, as is now customary, the Modern craft will have the honour of opening proceedings, whilst the classic boats proceed with registration formalities. Given that this is the fifteenth anniversary of Les Voiles, there will be a few slight twists to the week's packed race programme.
The sublime Fife designs of the 15mJI class will also begin their much awaited 'four-way jousting' tomorrow, whilst the immense J-Class boats will share the same round as the futuristic Wallys off Pampelonne.
This morning, some 62 Classic yachts, split into 5 classes, set sail in a series of staggered starts from the bay of Cannes. Indeed, in line with tradition, the Yacht Club de France's Coupe d'Automne makes for Le Portalet Tower in Saint Tropez as an enticing prelude to the upcoming races. The gentle 7 to 8-knot north-easterly wind, which has established itself in the Golf of Genoa over recent days, accompanied them all the way to the finish.
The 15m JI Mariska (Fife 1908) asserted herself in real time ahead of the huge gaff schooner Elena of London (Herreshoff 2009), after slipping along downwind for a little over 4 hours under large gennaker. Organised by the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez with the technical means of the Yacht Club de Cannes, the Coupe d'Automne is open to Traditional Period Yachts, Classic Traditional Yachts, "Spirit of Tradition" Yachts and the Metric Classes (12m JI, 8m JI, 6m JI).
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:
Roberto Tomasini (ITA)
'Roberto deserves this prize, not only as a great owner-driver, but also because with his commercial skills he runs what is perhaps the most professional organisation in a class where the standard is already extremely high!' - Annamaria Mihcich; 'My most sincere praise for Roberto, but we should also save a few plaudits for Roberto's tactician on so many of his boats... Vasco Vascotto!!!' - Maurizio Zanon; 'Absolutely the best at their game... Roberto and Vasco!' - Gabriele Fano; 'Roberto of course!' - Gianni Sirello.
This month's nominees:
Leslie Green (AUS)
Leslie Green drove his own McConaghy MC38 Ginger to a comfortable victory in the class's first ever Australian national championships during this year's Hamilton Island Race Week, against a small but strong fleet of similarly well-prepared rivals in a very high performance class. Green's team actually won the event overall with a race to spare. On his last birthday Leslie Green turned eighty-three...
Mark Mills (IRL)
Often the bridesmaid... Finally in Porto Cervo in September Andre Soriano's Mills-designed IRC 72-footer Alegre captured its first Mini Maxi world title. Mark Mills designs have actually had a terrific time of it during 2014, winning numerous big races around the world. But a Maxi world championship does not come easily, particularly when as a designer you find yourself competing against larger and very often more heavily-resourced professional rivals
Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!
Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month/vote-for-sailor-of-the-month
To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital
12 Metre North American Championships
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: Two days of a northerly (first strong, then light) and one day of a building southwesterly put six 12 Metre yachts to the test at their North American Championships, which were held off Newport, R.I. over September 26-28. Gunther Buerman's (Newport, R.I.) KZ-3 and Dennis Williams' (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory '83 defended their titles, respectively, in divisions for Grand Prix (yachts built for the 1987 America's Cup) and Modern (yachts built from 1974 to 1983), while a third division for Traditional (yachts built from 1958-1970) was won by Anthony Chiurco's (Princeton, N.J.) chartered American Eagle.
The long weekend started on Friday with three races held in 12-17 knots on Narragansett Bay in an area north of Newport's Pell Bridge. On Saturday, the racing was again staged north of the bridge, but the race committee managed only a single race before having to call things off due to lack of wind. Sunday's competition proved best and closest in nature to the America's Cup racing that was staged here from 1930-1983 when three solid-air races were held "outside" on Rhode Island Sound to determine final victors. To top off the day and the regatta, a pursuit-style "bragging rights" race (not counted in scoring) brought the 12 Metres back to Newport Harbor to finish together in a show of colorful spinnakers off Fort Adams.
Grand Prix Division
1. KZ-3, Gunther Buerman, Newport, R.I., 6 points
2. KZ-5 Laura, Kip Curren, Newport, R.I., 12
1. Victory '83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla., 10 pts
2. Intrepid, Jack Curtin, New York, N.Y., 13
3. Courageous, Ralph Isham, New York, N.Y., 14
1. American Eagle, Anthony Chiurco (Princeton, N.J.), 6
ISAF Invites Bids For 2016 Women's Match Racing World Championship
The International Sailing Federations is now inviting all Member National Authorities to bid for the 2016 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship.
The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds has been held every year since 1999 with the most recent event in 2014 being hosted in Cork, Ireland as Sweden's Anna Kjellberg claimed an emphatic victory over Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN) to take her first world title.
Bids must be received by the ISAF Secretariat and must include confirmation of support for the bid from the relevant Member National Authority. All bids received will be reviewed by the Match Racing Committee and their recommendations will be submitted to the ISAF Council for the final decision.
Bids to host the 2016 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds must be received by Friday 24 October 2014.
To receive the full bid process and for details of the information that must be included in the bid document please contact the ISAF Competitions Manager Jon Napier at the ISAF Secretariat.
ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship microsite - www.sailing.org/womensmatchworlds.php
* From Alessandro Castelli: I've read on Scuttlebutt Europe about your concern about the ISAF proposal to eliminate the Classification system used to define "professional" and "amateur", and let classes and events choose their system and policy.
This is one of the few times I disagree with Scuttlebutt point of view and I am not against an ISAF proposal.
I am a group 3 sailor and have been racing for many years in classes where the number of pro sailor on board is limited by the class rules.
The whole thing is such BS.
The owners, who in principle should be the ones deciding their class rules, are the first to pay fake group 1 sailors, breaking the rules.
I even witnessed the "mission" of a poor old ISAF officer who came down to an X35 national championship in Italy specifically to catch fake group 1 sailors. He couldn't do anything.
The system is not serious and is confusing.
I think that leaving everything open will self-tune in the end, saving some money for the racing owners.
Ambush was built by MacConaghy in 2008 and has since been successfully campaigned through Asia both on and offshore. She has been professionally maintained throughout and continues to win.
She is currently configured with a pole and a rating of 1.157 which has proven a very potent set up inshore against the newer breed of lighter 40 footers.
Ambush's design was developed by Mark Mills as a progression from the original Tiamat and the king 40 with input from Dave Ullman and the owners who have considerable offshore experience.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Great scientific discoveries have been made by men seeking to verify quite erroneous theories about the nature of things. -- Aldous Huxley
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html