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
Musandam - Oman Sail Breaks 20-Year-Old Round Ireland Sailing Record
The Ministry of Tourism of Oman's flagship MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail made history for the Sultanate this morning when it broke the 22-year-old Round Ireland record after completing the 700 mile course in a remarkable 40 hours, 51 minutes and 57 seconds, slashing almost four hours off the existing record.
The six-man crew, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, and including Omani sailors Fahad Al Hasni, Yasser Al Rahbi and Sami Al Shukaili, key members of last year's Round Britain and Ireland world record setting team, plus Spain's Alex Pella and French multihull veteran Jean Baptiste Levailland, crossed the finish line beneath the Kish Lighthouse off Dublin Bay just before 1000 UTC having started their record attempt at 1704 UTC on Monday.
They needed to be back by 1500 to take the record but their breakneck speeds down the west coast of Ireland, at one stage reaching 38 knots, meant they were finished well before that, some three hours and 50 minutes faster than the 44 hours and 42 minutes set by Steve Fossett in his first ever world record back in September 1993 aboard his 60ft trimaran Lakota. Helmsman Fahad Al Hasni said this record attempt coming at the end of a European winter, had proved tough.
"It was both scary and exciting because we saw 40 knots of wind and massive waves that we reckoned were around six metres but the main challenge was the cold," said Al Hasni.
This was Musandam-Oman Sail's second attempt on the Round Ireland record. Two years ago they set off from Dublin Bay with high hopes but were forced to abandon due to unsafe conditions.
"With a 50% Omani crew, this record shows that the present and the future of sailing in Oman is on the right course."
Times subject to World Record Sailing Speed Council ratification. -- Daphne Morgan Barnicoat
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 Finish In Newport
As we send out tonight's Eurobutt ... finishes live on the VOR site:
1. Dongfeng Race Team , FINISHED, Elapsed time: 017d 09h 03m 00s
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, FINISHED, Elapsed time: 017d 09h 06m 25s
3. Team Brunel, 1 nm to finish
4. MAPFRE, 2 nm to finish
5. Team Alvimedica, 23 nm to finish
6. Team SCA, 65 nm to finish
Improve Your Chances Of Survival - Be Seen and Get Rescued Fast!
You may think a man overboard will never happen to your crew. If it does, being found fast could be the difference between life and death.
Exposure's MOB strobe and searchlight is designed to do just that - make the difference between life and death.
As soon as the buoyant, pocket-sized MOB hits the water, its 1300 lumens strobe starts flashing automatically. What's more, it will keep flashing for up to 40 hours. 1300 lumens means it's highly visible from the air and can be seen from more than five miles away.
The MOB strobe is a really powerful search light as well, so it serves as the perfect personal crew torch for offshore racing too.
What is it like to be a man overboard in pitch dark? See the video.
One night, your MOB light might just make the difference.
JFK's Racing Boat, Flash II, To Be Sold At Auction
Click on image to enlarge.
The Star Class Sailboat, Flash II, owned and raced by John F. Kennedy between 1934 and 1940, is getting ready to cross the auction block in Texas. The boat was raced by JFK and his older brother Joseph P. Kennedy - also part-owner of the craft - in the Nantucket Sound Star Fleet, but was also used frequently by the brothers for pleasure sailing. It will be sold as part of Heritage Auctions' May 18, 2015 Americana & Political Grand Format Auction.
The boat is registered as #721 by the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association.
"The Kennedy brothers made quite a name for themselves in the Nantucket Sound Fleet racing circuit with this boat in the late 1930s," said Mark Prendergast of Heritage Auctions. "It's also been the subject of extraordinary and painstaking restoration. Not only is it a piece of American history, it's also seaworthy and ready for adventure."
This boat was actually the Kennedy brothers' second Star sailboat (thus the "II" designation). They had previously purchased Star #902, the first Flash, which they sold in 1936 after discovering Flash II was simply a superior boat when they won the Nantucket Sound Star Class Championship with it that year. Racing for Harvard in the East Coast Collegiate Championship in 1938 they won the MacMillan Cup, besting two future America's Cup winners. The most impressive win of all that this boat would lead JFK to was in the 1937 Atlantic Coast Championship, winning a race (but not the championship) where he won by an unheard of 4-1/2 minutes - a testament to both the boat and to the future president's superb handling skills.
Plans To Create New Land For The America's Cup
Ambitious plans to create new land for the America's Cup have caught the eyes of local and international contractors, after tenders were invited for land reclamation in Dockyard's South Basin.
There are definitely local contenders for the job, which involved bulkheads and retaining walls to contain the materials for the site - sediment that could come from the local sea floor, or get imported from abroad.
"Like everything in life, it all ends up being price driven," said Andrew Dias, Wedco general manager.
"The schedule is that tenders are due back by the end of this month.
"From there we have about two weeks to review - there's a lot of detail to go over, but we look to award the contract in the coming week or so after that. We hope to start in July and hopefully have it completed by the first quarter of 2016."
Tender documents can be collected from Wedco's office in the Clock Tower Mall. The project will provide a base for the America's Cup Village for the event, set to go ahead in 2017.
I'm going to miss Antigua Sailing Week. Reclining in my seat with a Bloody Mary at the business end of the plane, ie at the back near the bogs with all the other thrombosidal grafters, I reckon ASW is in my top three... with Cork Week and West Mersea Cadet Week. Ah to be 14, sailing really badly on beaten up Mirrors, and chasing girls...
These days I get to share with Louay. He ain't no supermodel... but he's fantastic company. As a journo he's phenomenal. How can he know everybody at the beginning of a regatta?
At my fourth ASW, I got to film on the MOD 70 tri Phaedo - cool boat with cool guy Brian Thompson lending his extraordinary oceanic experience to the team (who were rather charming with me, thanks). We, ahem, they, smashed the round Antigua record. Then to a Beneteau something with some beautiful girls called The Sirens... that was a tough day... and finally to a grizzled bunch from Guernsey, who sailed brilliantly in sizzling, scintillating race conditions. I kind of thought they should have won the overall Lord Nelson Trophy, but never mind, they'll get over it, and the Sleeper crew who did win sailed an immaculate regatta.
Roddy, my camera buddy, beat me over the head with his Canon 5D Mk III to film aboard the new foiling Gunboat. This is an interesting story for sailing in general; Cup foiling on a cruiser. Check our vids here, (nice editing Robin). -- Digby Fox
Practice With The Pros!
North Sails is excited to be growing their North U. Regatta Services in Europe in 2015 at the North Sails Trim Cup in Lomma Bay, Sweden.
Kicking off the season our team will be offering expert advice during and after racing, which includes on water coaching followed by a debrief and photo / video analysis from our experienced professionals.
If you're racing at the Trim Cup, come join us for a free coaching clinic!
North U. Regatta Services has been growing over the last two years at regattas in the United States and will be at the BIC International Regatta The IRC Event (RYSR) in Cowes, UK (July 23-31). For information on that event see rys.org.uk/event/bic-international-regatta
It's Character Boats From The Isle Of Man To Achill Island
Joe Pennington's Master Frank pushes her way into our awareness in all her authentic and characterful glory. The sole surviving Manx longliner is an eloquent ambassador for the Isle of Man's maritime traditions. Photo by Dave Owens. Click on image to enlarge.
With the hope that boat numbers will start to increase again as we emerge from recession, categorisation resumes its central place in our thinking about the different types of craft we sail. Yet for a while, when the economy was at its nadir, you could classify your boat in almost any way you liked so long as you at least went out sailing, and kept fleet numbers at some sort of viable level.
But with things now on the move once more, some folk reckon they can afford to become a little more pernickety. For instance, the word is that the Old Gaffers Association may be going to insist that its racing awards can only be won by properly gaff-rigged boats. Yet when they were celebrating their Golden Jubilee in 2013 when the times were very thin indeed, some venerable but Bermudan-rigged craft were allowed to have a meaningful role.
And if this was queried by some pedant, the official response was that they were actually setting gaff mainsails which just happened to be three-sided, and this was only as a temporary measure in response to the straitened times......
Quite so. But W M Nixon reckons that in the end, regardless of a boat's alleged type, it is character that is the final arbiter of quality both in the boats and their owners. In an exploration of this, he takes us on a virtual voyage from the Isle of Man to Achill Island, taking in some varied boat festivals on the way.
Lovely photos and Winkie's full article in Afloat: afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/
The Return Of Louis Vuitton?
In a back to the future move, Portsmouth may see the re-uniting of French luxury goods house LVMH with the America's Cup if talks between Louis Vuitton and the America's Cup Event Authority are successful.
The Louis Vuitton Cup for 30 years was part of the prize for winning the challenger elimination series and the sole right to line up against the holder. But relations between the two sides deteriorated ahead of the 2007 series in Valencia - the LV Cup had almost become bigger than the main event.
Now the old partnership may be renewed for the whole of the warm-up, the America's Cup World Series.
The way was made easier by the withdrawal of the Italian challenge, backed by rival luxury goods brand Prada, and the value to the pinnacle sailing event may not be so much in the amount of money which LV pays - believed to be far less than 2007 - but in the endorsement which its renewed participation brings to the America's Cup. The holder, Oracle Team USA and the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, has been seeking in to achieve both stability and change against a background of sometimes virulent criticism. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent
International 420 Class Launches New Online Training Resource
The International 420 Class has launched the Exercise e-Book, a new online training resource targeted at providing world class training techniques and strategies on Performance Improvement for Coaches and Sailors.
The new International 420 Class Association Exercise e-Book provides a selection of carefully chosen performance training exercises, with accompanying video and commentary to provide sailors and coaches with a step by step path to improving their skills. From covering boat set-up to techniques at mark roundings, strategies and tactics on the startline to gybing in strong winds, the e-Book covers a diverse range of training exercises. The International 420 Class Association Exercise e-Book is provided free of charge to 420 sailors and coaches around the world.
SK2 - News And Shows!
Click on image for SK2 Videos
The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd and built by Ovington boats.
Following the appointment of Salona Norge as the dealers for all Scandinavian territory, the SK2 will be shown at Oslo Boat Show 2015 form this Friday along the week end. There will be one unit on land and a further unit will be available for test sails at the show. Book your test sail early by e-mailing Salona Norge at
For more information on the SK2 and what it has to offer visit www.sk2sailing.com
Garda Trentino Olympic Week
From Wednesday to Sunday all the Olympic and paralympic classes will be involved in the II leg of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup. The first leg took place in Palma, Majorca and now the event returns to Italy for the third consecutive year under Eurosaf and The Italian Sailing Federation.
On Wednesday, 6th May the II leg of the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup got under way at Riva del Garda on Lake Garda, Trentino and will end on Sunday, 10th May. The European Olympic Tour is played out over 5 stages in Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany and France. For Italy this is the only chance to see all the Olympic and paralympic classes compete together. Only the Finn class is missing due to the European Championships running at the same time.
The event is organised by Fraglia Vela Riva together with various clubs from Upper Garda including Lega Navale Italiana di Riva, Circolo Vela Arco, Circolo Surf Torbole and Fraglia Vela Malcesine and expects athletes from 55 nations including many emerging countries and many from overseas.
For the second year all three paralympic classes, Sonar, Skud and 2.4 MR will be well represented by crews who are preparing for the World IFDS (Isaf Disabled Sailing Association) Championships which will be held for the first time in Italy and has actually been awarded to Fraglia Vela Riva for 2019.
Results from Wednesday's racing:
1. Sivitz Kosuta Simon, Farneti Jas, ITA, 4 points
2. Cinar Deniz, Cinar Ates, Galatasaray, TUR, 6
3. Savoini Emanuele, Savoini Enzo, ITA, 6
1. Mrak Tina, Macarol Veronika, SLO, 3
2. Kirilyuk Alisa, Dmitrieva Liudmila, RUS, 10
3. Berta Elena, Paolillo Giulia, ITA, 10
1. Cebrian Martinez, ESP, 5
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 7
3. Donertas Cagla, TUR, 8
1. Wearn Matt, AUS, 2
2. Jbaptiste Bernaz, FRA, 3
3. Burton Tom, AUS, 5
Ready For The European Championship
Many sailors are already in Split training for the 2015 European Championships. The first races are scheduled for May 12. Alejandro Foglia (URU) is coming to Split for the first time and is quite looking forward to visiting this beautiful city.
He said, "I never been in Croatia, so it will be my first time in Split. I have heard we can have any kind of conditions and I am looking forward to it! I like to race in big fleets so it's going to be good fun!"
Alejandro is part of the Dinghy Academy team from Valencia that also includes the 2013 European Champion Vasilij Zbogar (SLO), who is looking to reclaim his title after placing second behind Ed Wright (GBR) at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres last week.
Ed Wright (GBR) will go into the 2015 Finn European Championships in Split as the new World No 1. His third place at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres last week was just enough to reach the top spot, replacing Ivan Klakovic Gasic (CRO) at the top of the board.
Five years ago Wright finished as runner-up to Kljakovic Gaspic at the 2010 European Championships, also in Split, and is looking to turn the tables this time around.
Great looking cruiser racer that is optimised for performance ocean crossings and which offers speed, comfort and epic passage times. Call for her full details or a viewing.
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The Last Word
God may not play dice but he enjoys a good round of Trivial Pursuit every now and again. -- Federico Fellini
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