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
AP Investigation: Olympic Teams To Swim, Boat In Rio's Filth
Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.
An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues - results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.
It is the first independent comprehensive testing for both viruses and bacteria at the Olympic sites.
Neither the government nor the IOC tests for viruses, relying on bacteria testing only.
Extreme water pollution is common in Brazil, where the majority of sewage is not treated. Raw waste runs through open-air ditches to streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites.
As a result, Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach.
Olympic hopefuls will be diving into Copacabana's surf this Sunday during a triathlon Olympic qualifier event, while rowers take to the lake's water beginning Wednesday for the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships. Test events for sailing and marathon swimming take place later in August.
ISAF Pablum.. er... Statement!
ISAF is in continuous discussions with Brazilian authorities in preparation for the Olympic Games, and has been given reassurances on pollution and objects in the water, in and around the race area of Marina da Gloria and Guanabara Bay.
ISAF, Rio 2016, the IOC, the Brazilian Government, Rio State Environment Institute (INEA) and State Environment Agency (SEA) are all working together to prepare for Rio 2016, and Brazilian authorities are working to guidelines and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure a safe and fair field of play for the athletes.
The health and safety of the competing athletes is paramount and responses have been implemented from concerns raised by both Member National Authorities (MNAs) and sailors from previous events, including the 2014 Aquece Rio, the first of two sailing test events that was held in August 2014.
Sailors were concerned with objects that may interfere with racing during the Olympic Games, and in response the state government launched a tender of up to $11million USD for 17 ecobarriers to be put in place. These ecobarriers will prevent floating garbage from entering Guanabara Bay and the race areas. The new system of ecobarriers will be complemented by ecoboats that will collect garbage that accumulates around the barriers, with a further step of a monitoring system utilising satellite pictures to support the ecoboats.
* Editor: ecobarriers and ecoboats only get the chunks. Our April Fool's Day story about '"turd cutter dolphin strikers" is another equally ludicrous proposal. Bacteria and viruses are the real issue. The barriers will do nothing to solve those hideous problems.
Sh** Gets Real...
The World Health Organization has asked the IOC to analyze virus levels in Rio de Janeiro's Olympic waters, and the governing body of world sailing says it will start doing its own independent virus tests.
The moves come after an Associated Press investigation showed a serious health risk to Olympic athletes in venues around Rio rife with sewage.
In a statement to the AP, the World Health Organization said it suggested the International Olympic Committee start monitoring for viruses at the Rio venues.
"WHO has also advised the IOC to widen the scientific base of indicators to include viruses," the statement said. "The risk assessment should be revised accordingly, pending the results of further analysis. The Rio Local Organizing Committee and the IOC are requested to follow WHO recommendations on treatment of household and hospital waste."
Kru Sport and R10: The Ultimate Fastnet Combination
By integrating two top lifesaving products Ocean Safety has increased the chances of survival at sea for a person overboard. The Kru Sport Pro lifejacket is the choice of racing sailors and when it is fitted with the Kannad R10 AIS Survivor Recovery System it provides the best chance of being located. That's why the Kru and R10 combo is a great choice for crews taking part in the Rolex Fastnet Race starting on 16th August.
The Sport Pro's waistcoat design makes it very comfortable and barely noticeable to wear and that's why it's more likely to be worn for longer periods by sailors at sea on tough ocean races like the 600 mile Fastnet.
The R10's small size means it is unobtrusive and fits easily onto the Kru. The Kannad R10 alerts AIS receivers on vessels within a six mile radius with precision position information, so an MOB alert will transmit both onboard the yacht, and on other vessels in the area.
Ocean Safety can help with last minute preparations for more than 40 items that are needed to meet Category 2 Offshore Special Regulations and RORC prescriptions and every one of them can be purchased from an Ocean Safety stockist.
Victory Heralds Sweet Return For Sehested
Sopot, Poland: Nicolai Sehested (DEN) and his TREFOR Match Racing Team clinched victory today at the Energa Sopot Match Race, Poland, the 10th stage and World Championship Event of the 2015 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).
A triumphant Sehested defeated current ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 2-0 in the Final providing plenty of action for the spectators lining the end of the 500m Molo Pier. Local favourite Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team finished third defeating Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 2-1 in the Petit Finals.
Next stop on the World Match Racing Tour are the World Tour Events - Knickerbocker Cup in New York (5-9 Aug), Oakcliff International (13-16 Aug), Chicago Match Cup Grand Slam (21-23 Aug), and the Detroit Cup (27-30 Aug). The teams will then meet for the World Championship Event - Argo Group Gold Cup - in Bermuda from 6-11 October as the penultimate event of the 2015 World Match Racing Tour.
1. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) TREFOR Match Racing
2. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
3. Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team
4. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing
5. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
6. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing
7. Przemyslaw 'Tara' Tarnacki (POL) Energa Yacht Racing
8. Matt Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing
9. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox
10. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour
11. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing
12. Sam Gilmour (AUS) Neptune Racing
2015/16 World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard Standings
1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 90 points
2. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 85
3. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 60
4. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing 59
5. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 58
6. Matthew Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing 51
7. Phil Robertson (NZL) Team TREFOR 51
8. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 49
9. Przemyslaw 'Tara' Tarnacki (POL) Energa Yacht Racing 48
10. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 44
RYS Bicentenary International Regatta
The Royal Yacht Squadron's Bicentenary International regatta is complete. "Four seasons in one week," was the apt summary from crew member Richard Mason of Dorade of Monday's gales, and a gradual wind reduction to the windless afternoon that ended the regatta today.
IRC Class 1's course was shortened from five to four legs at Saltmead in the western Solent. The race was won by Tom Siebel's Swan 90 Odin, sailed well by her crew which benefitted from the talents of Peter Isler as Navigator, and Steve Hayles as strategist/trimmer. Overall honour for the week ultimately went to Tony Langley's brilliantly sailed TP52 Gladiator.
Winning all four races in the J Class, capped by a come-from-behind victory today, Velsheda maintained her excellent record on what are considered the famous yacht's 'home waters' by winning the class.
The three grand Classics, Eleonora, Mariquita and Sumurun started in the same direction, and were given one long leg to a mark near the forts off Portsmouth, against the tide. A breakage to the top of her mast cost Mariquita a position in this last race and the overall victory went to Robert Tobin's 1914 built Sumurun, which gained two second and two firsts in the series.
Class 4 was abandoned in the light winds today while Class 3 had only one finisher, Rives Potts' Carina. The win sealed her overall victory in class for the owner, who also represented the visiting New York Yacht Club teams as their Commodore.
Class 4 sailed enough races for a series during the week however. "We sailed hard until the time limit expired," said owner of the winning Anna Mai Phil Hutchinson.
IRC Class 2 were a little more lucky. Simon Henning's Mumm 36 Alice completed today's race as winner nailing overall first place.
There was total US domination of the Team Racing and Level rating events.
Results and further information on the website: www.bic2015.org.uk
Young Sailors Complete Tough Ireland Circuit In Drascombe Lugger
In Baltimore yesterday evening, the Ogden brothers of County Cork received a warm welcome home from family and friends as they successfully concluded their circuit of Ireland with their 18ft Drascombe Lugger Lughnasa.
They'd taken eight weeks for an RNLI fund-raising voyage which they'd originally hoped might be completed in just four writes W M Nixon. But in this summer of exceptionally strong winds, it's a fantastic achievement for Nathaniel (now 23) and his brother Fergus (16) to have completed such a voyage at all in an open boat.
The minimum distance you can possibly sail, simply going headland to headland, is 704 miles. But when you add in the course diversions to ports of shelter which a boat like this has had to make to overnight or to ride out gales as a succession wind-bringing depressions followed one another, you can very quickly get to a total of more than a thousand miles.
As for the speeds they sailed at, four knots is good going for a Drascombe lugger, but it was often much less than that - sometimes very much less. And going to windward is not Lughnasa's strong suit. Yet when it has to be done, it just has to be done, and they particularly remember twelve hours of beating to windward off the Clare coast.
So next time you're on top of the Cliffs of Moher savouring the Wild Atlantic Way on a day of rugged western weather, just imagine what it must have been like for the Ogden brothers to be miles at sea off this unforgiving shore in an 18ft open boat.
North Sails Adds To Its Roster Of Global Sailing Talent
The latest addition to the North Sails team is world champion sailor and CEO of Melges Europe, Federico Michetti. He has joined as a performance advisor bringing a lifetime of sailing experience to North Sails alongside an already impressive group of past and present world-class sailors. Michetti will play a key role within North's Class Sail Development (CSD) team and will be a leader and class expert for the Melges 20, 24 and 32 classes.
Based in Milan, Italy, Federico has spent his entire life sailing and has won five Melges 24 World Championships; two Melges 32 World Championships; and two ILC World Championships. He is also a twotime winner of the Farr 40 European Championship and three time winner of the Melges 24 European Championship to name a few of his sailing accomplishments.
North Sails is proud to lead the way in giving sailors across the board the ability to engage, learn and benefit from the expertise of those at the top level. Federico's appointment is the latest example of this, ensuring all levels of sailors will benefit from his wealth of knowledge.
Beautiful Maps Show The World's Oceans In Motion
The world's oceans are in constant motion, and this series of maps published by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio helps provide us with a nice illustration of this movement.
The maps, which were created at various times in past years, show the many warm and cold ocean currents responsible for transporting water across long distances throughout the world's oceans.
In addition to the ocean currents, you can also see swirly features, known as ocean eddies, on the maps. An ocean eddy is formed when currents sometimes pinch off into sections, creating the circular current. Sometimes significant eddies are given names, according to NOAA.
A collection of the maps with explanatory text on Weather.com: www.weather.com
The NASA collection:
Kick 'em Jenny Volcano Rumbles To Life Off Grenada
An active underwater volcano is rumbling beneath the Caribbean Sea. And scientists say an eruption could sink ships and shoot up hot rocks into the air.
The volcano, Kick 'em Jenny, sits off the northern coast of Grenada. Officials raised its threat level Thursday to orange, which means it could erupt with less than 24-hour notice.
Kick 'em Jenny started stirring on July 11, and has produced more than 200 small earthquakes since then, according to the Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies.
Even though the crater is about 600 feet (180 meters) below the surface of the ocean, the volcano is a hazard to locals and ships in the region.
In addition to putting ships at risk of sudden sinking, an eruption could throw hot rocks up through the water and into the air far above the ocean surface. Such rocks can go up to 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the volcano and have the ability to significantly damage or destroy ships.
One of Grenada's worst maritime disasters is believed to have occurred as a result of degassing from the Kick 'em Jenny volcano in 1944. At least 60 people died when a ship sank with 60 people on board.
End Of An Era With Death Of Magnus Halvorsen
Magnus Halvorsen and Freya crew, 1963. Magnus is center, fourth from left. Click on image to enlarge.
The record set by Magnus and his brother Trygve (who died in November last year) in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race may never be eclipsed. They won three consecutive races with Freya, in total achieving five firsts and five seconds in the 1950s and 1960s in Australia's famous ocean race.
The Halvorsen brothers (five all told, plus two sisters) came from a line of Norwegian shipbuilders and sea captains on both sides of a family that went back five generations, migrating with their parents and siblings to Australia in the 1920s.
All the sons were to make their mark on recreational boating in Australia, but it was Trygve and Magnus who have left such a legacy to ocean racing with superb yachts Solveig IV, Peer Gynt, Anitra V and Freya, the only yacht to win three consecutive Sydney Hobart Races on corrected time.
During World War II, the Halvorsen's became an important part of the war effort, building many vessels for the Australian and US armed services, including the well-known Fairmile.
As wooden boat builders they carried on the traditions of their Norwegian forebears and their skills in this medium were displayed as the builders of their ocean racers but also the America's Cup challengers Gretel and Gretel II.
After sharing the 1966 Australian Yachtsman of the Year honour, Trygve and Magnus went their separate ways in yachting; Trygve sailing in several more Hobarts, while Magnus navigated the American maxi yacht Kialoa III when she set a long-standing Sydney Hobart race record in 1975.
Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen last got together to be the official starters of the Sydney Hobart in 2007 and again in 2012 when a small group of yachtsmen attended a lunch at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to mark 50 years since Australia's first challenge for the America's Cup with Gretel in 1962.
Trygve passed away on 8 November 2014 at the age of 94 and with the death yesterday, 27 July 2015 of Magnus at the age of near 97, a remarkable combination has ended: Australia's most successful yacht designers, buildings and ocean racing sailors of the 1950s and 1960. -- Peter Campbell
Ex. Belgacom (until 2004) GITANA 11 was previously an Orma 60 Trimaran, she was lengthened to 77ft in 2009 in order to race in the Route du Rhum 2010.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Contrary to what the politicians and religious leaders would like us to believe, the world won't be made safer by creating barriers between people. -- Michael Palin
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html