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
60 Entries Meet First Entry Deadline For 2015 Transpac
By the end of the most recent standard entry deadline a week ago, the Transpacific YC has received entries from 60 boats from 5 countries around the Pacific region, including 57 monohulls and 3 multihulls, for its 48th edition of the Transpac.
Entries for this year's race represent a wide spectrum of boat types, ranging in length from the 1921 102-foot Owens-designed Royal Canadian Navy sail training ketch HCMS Oriole to the smallest boat in the current fleet: Yasuto Fuda's Feet 30. Fortissimo II from Japan.
There will be three 100-foot first-to-finish contenders: Roy Pat Disney and Bob Oatley's Aussie-America team on the Reichel/Pugh 100 Wild Oats, Syd Fischer's Aussie team on his Ragamuffin 100, and Manouch Moshayedi's recently-renovated Blakewell-White 100 Rio100 from Newport Beach. The first two have keel-canting systems that give them a boat-for-boat performance edge to be first to Hawaii and win the Merlin Trophy, and also to break the existing course record of 5D 14H 36M 20S.
Moshayedi's lightweight flyer with its fixed keel will be a top contender for the Barn Door Trophy awarded to the first boat to finish without use of stored power. David and Peter Askew's R/P 74 Wizard will be returning to this year's race and seek a repeat of their 2013 Barn Door Trophy win. Other boats in this first division will include Bob Lane's Andrews 63 Medicine Man, Lorenzo Berho's Kernan 70 Peligroso, and Tom Holthus's STP 65 Bad Pak, who is also returning from the 2013 race.
This year three of the four 52's entered thus far are from Mexico, including Ricardo Brockman's R/P 52 Vincitore, who finished third in this class in the 2013 race.
The ULDB Sleds were first introduced as a first-to-finish class in 1983, saw their popularity peak in the early '90's on the West Coast, then in the Great Lakes, and now back on the West Coast. Several will be racing to Hawaii once again, with names like Grand Illusion, Holua, Maverick, and OEX making the scratch sheet resemble one from a Transpac of two decades ago.
There is a solid turnout of Santa Cruz 50's and SC 52' including the returning champion in this class, John Shulze's Santa Cruz 50 Horizon.
The three current multihull entries are all Gunboats, and one, Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66 Phaedo, is returning this year after breaking their mast in the 2013 race and having undergone an extensive performance upgrade and re-fit described in the December 2014 issue of Seahorse magazine.
See the Race Documents section of the Transpac page of Yacht Scoring: www.yachtscoring.com
Florence Arthaud Killed In Helicopter Crash In Argentina
One of 10 people killed in the collision of two helicopters in Argentina, France's Florence Arthaud has been described as a "national treasure" by fellow sailor Shirley Robertson.
"Florence held the hearts of her nation when she won the Route de Rhum in 1990 -- a crazy sprint across the Atlantic, alone in very fast boats, an event watched live across the country with millions coming to see their heroes set off," Mainsail presenter Robertson told CNN.
Along with Camille Muffat and Alexis Vastine, the 57-year-old Arthaud was one of three sports stars killed in the collision as two helicopters transported the athletes to a gorge in northwestern Argentina to film the reality TV show "Dropped" for French broadcaster TF1.
According to Robertson, Arthaud had inspired a generation of French sailors.
"Brave and brilliant, nothing was impossible," added Robertson of Arthaud. "A true role model to the yachtswomen who would follow, she led the way.
New Website Helps Connect Sailing Schools With Students
The Boating Hub have launched a new website to help sailing schools advertise their courses, and to make life easier for those looking to take courses around the World.
The Boating Hub is the first and only online portal which collects sailing, motorboat, dinghy, kayak and keelboat course information from operators and presents them to boating enthusiasts of all levels through an easy to use search function.
Whether an amateur looking to pilot their first boat to seasoned professionals looking to sharpen their skills, visitors to The Boating Hub can browse a list of local, national, and international boating and sailing courses.
Training centres and individual instructors around the world that offer boating courses can sign up for free to advertise their offers to a targeted audience of people passionate about learning to sail and other boating disciplines.
To encourage sailing schools to sig up, for a limited time advertisers can add their courses for FREE with unlimited dates, whilst still enjoying the benefits of features such as automatic social sharing and dedicated profile pages.
To find out more about The Boating Hub and advertise your courses for FREE please CLICK HERE.
Rob Salthouse Compares VO70 With New One Design VO65
Veteran Round the World sailor, Rob Salthouse addressed a large group at the North Sails Auckland Loft, on the new Volvo65 one design used for the Volvo Ocean Race.
'Last race we were in the third generation of Volvo 70's - the design triangle had narrowed, and most of the designs were at the top - there wasn't much between the designs.
'All had their condition - Groupama was very fast in flat water and reaching - but they also had their slower points of sail depending on how their boat was configured.
'Now because the boats are one-design they say together on the same piece of water, and the results are much closer. Having said that in the first race I did at sea, we saw Assa Abloy over 50% of the time. The racing in the past has often been close, and we have seen some fantastic finishes including into Auckland.
'The Volvo 70 had a righting moment of 42tonne. The power to weight on a Volvo 70 is a lot better than on the 65's - which have a righting moment of about 33tonnes.
'Because the stability of the boats is lower the sail shaping and how we set the sails up is quite a lot different from what we were used to with the 70's and having that much more power - they could carry the power a lot further. -- Richard Gladwell
Full story in Sail-World.com: www.sail-world.com
Oracle Boat Seized By Federal Marshalls
Federal marshals seized America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA's prototype boat in San Francisco on Monday, before it could be shipped out of the country, in response to a lien filed by a fired sailor.
Marshals went to the team's base at Pier 80 and determined that the souped-up, 45-foot catamaran and its various components and wing sail were in three shipping containers the team was preparing to send to Bermuda.
Marshals Service spokesman Frank Conroy said the containers were stickered and locked. In maritime law terms, the boat was arrested. He said marshals had a "very pleasant exchange" with syndicate members.
"We didn't get the feeling of anyone trying to hide anything from us," Conroy said.
In a filing Friday, Oracle attorney David E. Russo said the boat that fired sailor Joe Spooner wants confiscated to satisfy the lien was sold to a French syndicate in December.
However, a photo taken shortly after Team France took possession of that boat shows it has hull No. 5. The boat sought by Spooner has the hull No. 4.
In an earlier filing, Oracle contended boat No. 4 hadn't been launched during Spooner's tenure with the team. Oracle argued that the boat was mismarked and although it said 4 on the hull, it was actually boat No. 5. Spooner provided evidence showing him sailing and repairing the vessel in question.
The dispute will return to federal court, where Spooner is seeking at least $725,000 in a wrongful termination suit. -- Bernie Wilson
HPYD5 At Volvo Boatyard
Auckland, New Zealand: The astonishing pace of progress in sailing performance and boat and sail technology was the theme of Burns Fallows' "Adapting to Change" keynote presentation today at the opening of the 5th High Performance Yacht Design conference in Auckland.
The Head Sail Designer and a Director at North Sails who has headed the sail program at Emirates Team New Zealand for 20 years, Fallow contrasted the incremental change in record times for sports like running and cycling with the explosive growth in sailing performance by small craft and ocean racers.
He was addressing naval architects, engineers, builders, designers and researchers from 15 countries, on hand in the conference room of the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard for three days of presentations and discussions on the current state of high performance yacht technology.
Fallow offered his own take on Alphonse Karr's proverb "The more things change, the more they remain the same," suggesting that when it comes to contemporary boats and technology "The more things change the more they change!"
He cited examples over three or four decades where running sprint records have reduced by 3% and cycling times have lowered by 10%. By comparison, speeds for the 500-metre sailing sprint record have shot up by 81%, and the 24-hour distance record zoomed up 77%.
During the America's Cup in San Francisco, the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 foiler hit a blistering 49.987 knots in a brief burst, helped he acknowledged, by a tidal push. That's 92.57 kilometres an hour (57.52 mph).
"It's amazing how quickly the extraordinary becomes ordinary," Fallow said. He remembered the first time the radical new foiler went sailing on the Hauraki Gulf. Six and a half tons of boat popped out of the water and sped foil-borne for 15 minutes. "Our reaction was 'OK, we've done that! What's the next order of business?'" -- Keith Taylor
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series
Since its relaunch five years ago the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series has developed into an event that offers golden opportunities for teams looking for top class but seriously fun racing...
There can be few sailing venues to beat Barbados… host to the ultimate Mount Gay Rum Red Hat Crew Party. Barbados, the home of Mount Gay Rum, and affectionately dubbed as the seafarers' Mecca, continues to attract those who enjoy a fun element along with the serious side of sailing. The Mount Gay series, which incorporates three days of coastal racing, the headline event - the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - and a final 300- mile ocean race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Challenge, is organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing and Mount Gay.
Next year the event, which runs from 16 to 24 January 2016, celebrates its 80th anniversary, which means there'll be even more of an excuse for a week of hot sailing and rum-fuelled partying.
By the nature of its date, which always falls in mid-January, this annual regatta marks the opening of each Caribbean race season. It not only serves as a warm-up for teams competing on the Caribbean circuit, but also acts as the perfect post- Christmas winter escape for crews from the Northern Hemisphere.
In Seahorse magazine: www.seahorsemagazine.com
Charity Begins Right Here
Over the past ten years that J.P. Morgan Asset Management has sponsored the Round the Island Race, more than £600,000 has been raised for charity, a truly fantastic accomplishment by all concerned; and there's plenty more to come as J.P. Morgan embraces a further two years as the Race title sponsor.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has been appointed the official Race Charity through to 2016 and, so far, the Trust has raised over £189,000 through the Race, which has been invaluable in helping it to achieve its three-year plan to double the number of young people in recovery from cancer that it works with by the end of 2016.
This year the Trust is awarding a flag to proudly display on Race day to teams and individuals who have raised over £50.00 for the Trust. Look out for the five Trust boats on 27th June and give them a wave as you go round! The Trust's young people will be looking out for the flags so why not get involved and have some fun on Race day. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt
There's more information about getting involved here: rtir.me/charity
* From Adrian Morgan: All great leaders should know how hard it will be to manage the inevitable: how to gracefully handle the moment when they are gently, sometimes brutally told that it is time they were "let go", either due to age or ability. In this case Dean Barker's age seems to have been the prime motive for suggesting he vacate the helmsman's role for something a little more managerial.
This happens all the time in politics and industry. Why in the America's Cup do we have this charade of hurt feelings, damaged pride, ego deflation and recriminations from those who must know their time has come; the ridiculous "who leaked what to who" as if this was the leaking of a state secret?
Too many stories emanating from the America's Cup, Volvo Race and others involve these kind of internal spats about money, status, sackings, who said what to whom etc. Dean Barker served his time to the best of his talents, a true Kiwi hero, and must have known that sooner or later it was right to step aside, or into a new role. Why did it appear to have been such a surprise, slap in the face? The manner of it?
In the wild when the old stag has served his purpose a stronger rival challenges and then boots him out of his harem, and no matter how successful he had been in his day, he goes away to lick his wounds. No law suits and debate in social media. And no role as a mentor for the new leader either. Natural law.
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
In the information age, you don't teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he'd have a talk show. -- Timothy Leary
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