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
66 Teams To Start Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship
Parnu, Estonia: Sixty-six teams from eight countries throughout northern Europe have converged on Parnu in preparation for five days of inshore and offshore racing in the 2015 Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship, held over 10-16 August. The event is organized by Kalev YC, Parnu YC, the Estonian Yachting Union and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), and is the largest European Championship regatta held in the 12-year history of the event.
The competition will start on Wednesday, 12 August with an offshore race, followed by four days of inshore racing from Thursday - Sunday, 13-16 August. Racing will start each day at 1100 local time, and will be scored 1.0 points, with a total of 7 races scheduled.
Live video streaming with commentary will be provided by the media partner Postimees during the races, and on Friday to Sunday the spectator vessel REET will be available to go out to the course for those who want to see for themselves. REET will disembark from Parnu's central pier at 10:30 and return after racing at about 1500. More information here
As a preview to the Europeans, the Danske Bank Estonian ORC Championship concluded last Saturday, and featured 29 entries from 4 countries who were keen to get tuned up for the main event. After one 40-mile offshore and six inshore races, the winners were from outside Estonia: Martin Estlander and his X-41 XINI FREEDOM from Finland won Class B, while Patrik Forsgren and his modified Beneteau 36.7 PRO4U-MALIN from Sweden won Class C.
Daily results and photos from official photographer Max Ranchi will be available on the event website at orceuropeans2015.com, as will links to tracker data and livestream videos of the racing.
Team Volvo Steph and Guy Bridge Break The Kiting Record Around The Isle Of Wight
Steph and Guy Bridge. Click on image to enlarge.
This morning Team Volvo Steph Bridge and her 15 year old son Guy have successfully kitesurfed the 60 mile circumference around the Isle of Wight both making it round in less the 4 hours beating the current record. Guy Bridge is now the youngest person to kitesurf around the Isle of Wight in the time of 3hours and 34 minutes beating his mum back to Gurnard Seafront in Cowes by 17minutes.
On Monday 10th August amongst the busy solent water of the Cowes Week Regatta two kitesurfers from Exmouth, Devon set off on a practice record breaking attempt around the Isle of Wight. With a good forecast of between 15 - 20knots of wind they set off from Gurnard Seafront in Cowes at 09.47am and headed anti-clockwise around the island. Rounding the
iconic Needles at 10.22 and then continuing at a consistant rate round the back of the island. Guy Bridge, is the current British Foiling Race Champion, however this is his first endurance challenge, Guy beat his mother back by a mere 17minutes landing back at gurnard at 13.21pm, beating the current official record of 6hours and 14minutes set by James Meaning in 2008.
Steph Bridge who is Five Time World Kite Racing Champion has done endurance challenges before and has won the past two Red Bull Extreme Kite race events.
Today was a trial run ahead of next year when they hope to set an official Guiness Record for fastest kitesurfer around the Isle of Wight.
Hudson Wight Rewards Rya Members
We are delighted to offer Standard members of the RYA, a 20% discount and Gold members a 25% discount off any item in the current Hudson Wight product range, including the popular HW1 range of foul weather gear for offshore and coastal/inshore racing and cruising. RYA instructors benefit from a 35% discount!
However you refer to your foul weather sailing clothing- be it oilies or foulies - in all conditions, from long offshore races to coastal cruises, sailing jackets and sailing trousers made with 3-layer fabric technology, are lighter, keep you drier and breath better, keeping you more comfortable for longer.
Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear and OceanVent Technical Laminated Fabrics make sailing clothing made with 3-layer fabrics far more affordable because we sell our products direct to you with no distribution costs and no retail mark up.
That means you really can expect better for less. Indeed, our mission is to offer the very best quality, high specification foul weather gear, using the most waterproof, durable and breathable fabric technology available, at prices normally only seen on inferior products.
Our many and varied satisfied customers include seasoned offshore racers, long distance cruisers, competitive day racers and family coastal cruisers. Their unanimous feedback is that Hudson Wight sailing gear performs better than any other kit they have used previously…and they love our prices. Have a look at our website's testimonial page.
Looking Back: The Academy Fleet
A highlight of the Newport Bermuda Race has long been the very enthusiastic, and sometimes very successful, participation of young crews from service academies.
When it was first suggested that the US Naval Academy enter a boat in the Bermuda Race, a captain who was a fierce teetotaler worried that the midshipmen might be corrupted. "It is my understanding," he warned, "that after the conclusion of such a race, a rousing celebration usually takes place in Bermuda and the yachtsmen endeavor to forget the hardships of the voyage."
Others were willing to take the risk of exposing mids to Dark 'n Stormies (under close supervision) and so the Academy accepted the race's invitation to enter a boat in 1938.
The top service academy boat on corrected time in the St. David's Lighthouse Division is awarded the Destroyers Atlantic Trophy. In four of the last five races, it was won by Swift, a first-generation Navy 44 under different midshipman skippers. Her toughest competitor is a second-generation 44, Defiance, the top boat of the academy fleet in 2012, when she also won the Olin J. Stephens Award for best combined performance in Newport Bermuda and Marblehead Halifax races. That year Swift and Defiance finished second and third in the St. David's Lighthouse Division, and they were often within sight of each another.
The Swift-Defiance duel continues. In the 2015 Annapolis to Newport Race, the two crews had each other in view over every mile and finished 12 minutes apart, with Swift winning the race's PHRF Division.
John Rousmaniere's full article at bermudarace.com
Latest Team Beau Geste To Debut At Hamilton Island
Some of the best IRC boats in the world are heading to Hamilton Island this month for the IRC Australian Championship, reason enough for leading Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok to launch a brand new TP52 in Auckland and debut it at his favourite Australian regatta destination.
Kwok's international team, flying the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron burgee on his latest Team Beau Geste, hold the IRC Australian Championship division 1 crown earned back in April 2014 with their previous TP52 of the same name. This yacht will compete in the championship series running in conjunction with Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, August 15-22, 2015, as Secret Mens Business for new owner Geoff Boettcher.
Kwok sold the defending national IRC titleholder and Race Week's 2014 IRC division 1 winning yacht to Boettcher soon after last year's regatta in the Whitsundays, to concentrate on the program for his 80-footer also called Beau Geste. Returning to a two boat program with the new TP52 puts him back in touch with the concentration of Australia's best grand prix teams, and action.
Designed by Botin Partners and built in Auckland by Cookson Yachts, uniquely Kwok's latest IRC version of a TP52 is set up for inshore and offshore racing.
During Audi Hamilton Island Race Week the fleet encounters a wide range of courses and conditions from downwind starts in current and windward/leeward races in light airs, to plenty of breeze and big waves generated by fresh south-easterly tradewinds.
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Ancient Monolith Discovered In The Mediterranean Sea
Archaeologists working in the Sicilian Channel between Tunisia and Sicily have discovered a submerged 40-foot-long (8-meter) limestone monolith carved by Stone Age humans some 10,000 years ago.
Back then, the Sicilian Channel would have featured an archipelago of several islands separated by stretches of extremely shallow sea. Living on these islands were Mesolithic humans who were forced away from the region some 9,350 years ago-give-or-take 200 years-when water levels began to rise in the wake of the Last Glacial Maximum.
"The discovery of the submerged site in the Sicilian Channel may significantly expand our knowledge of the earliest civilizations in the Mediterranean basin and our views on technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants," write the researchers. "The monolith found, made of a single, large block, required a cutting, extraction, transportation and installation, which undoubtedly reveals important technical skills and great engineering."
Consequently, the notion that early Mediterranean peoples lacked the knowledge, skill, and technology to exploit marine resources or make sea crossings should be abandoned, conclude the researchers.
Ken Read's Fastnet Preview - Expect The Unexpected
Over three hundred boats have signed up to round Fastnet Rock in one of the most storied sailing races of all time. A favourite among sailors, the Rolex Fastnet Race is particularly good because of its unpredictability.
It is the essence of the Fastnet for grand-prix programs to match up with the most unsung corinthian heros producing a new result every year.
Take for example the 2013 overall winner, father-son team Pascal and Alexis Loisons who raced their JPK 10.10 Night and Day for the first double-handed overall win in 88 years. It's for families and friends, for grand prix, pros and everything in between.
I'll be skippering Comanche and our crew look forward to racing the 600 miles of spectacular ocean racing within the rich history of a race that is among the greatest that sailing has to offer. Sit down, hold on to your hats, and expect the unexpected - I can guarantee that this Fastnet will be no different in that respect.
Read more from Ken and North Sails: www.northsails.com
Monster Project Racing Charter Has 2 Places Left For The Fastnet
To Get On Board Contact: www.volvo70charter.co.uk /
MONSTER PROJECT, formerly Team Russia's Volvo Open 70 from the Volvo Ocean Race Round The World, is in high gear for the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race 2015.
This boat is a weapon and generates such a buzz wherever she goes; and Skipper Andy Budgen is caping her racing campaign this year with the the 90th Anniversary of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2015 and he has moved fast and drawn together an international team.
Fastnet has exceptional take up and has produced a conveyor belt of offshore talent.
If you haven't yet sailed a Fastnet... it's must-do on any offshore sailor's bucket list.
Want to sail it onboard Monster Project as she takes on sailing heavyweights such as Comanche, Hanuman, Rambler 88, and Leopard?
Major Modifications For Wild Oats XI
The recent Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu was the last for record-breaking Australian Supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, as we know her.
She will never look the same again.
The 30.5 metre long sloop, recognised as the most successful yacht to have contested the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race over its 70-year history, is on her way to an appointment with a team of boat builders who will transform her into something different and new.
Their first task will be to cut two metres from her stern, then extend her forward sections by the same length. There will also be changes made to the hull configuration, sailplan and rig.
"Wild Oats XI's profile will be considerably different when we have finished," said Sandy Oatley, who is coordinating the project for his father, the yacht's owner, Bob Oatley. "She is now ten years old and in need of a new lease of life, especially if we are going to have any chance of beating the four other 100-footers we expect to see on the start line for the Hobart race in December, including the American yachts, Comanche and Rambler."
"Wild Oats XI's result in the Transpac race was a fitting finale for the old girl as we know her," said her skipper, Mark Richards. "It's time she had a makeover - a big one.
"Lopping off the stern is relatively simple," Richards explained, "but the extension to the bow is far more complex. To retain the right hull shape we will be cutting off the existing bow section just forward of the mast and rebuilding her from there."
Not so apparent will be a change in profile for the existing daggerboards and horizontal hydrofoil wing fitted at the waterline, aft of the mast.
This wing, which was installed more than a year ago, made a considerable difference to Wild Oats XI's downwind speed as it significantly reduced the effect of nose diving. Design research on the new-look hull confirms that the combined influences of the increased buoyancy that will come via the longer bow section, and increased lift from the wing, will make Wild Oats XI even faster downwind.
The new-look Wild Oats XI is scheduled to be sailing again in November. -- Rob Mundle
Seattle To Debut As Clipper Race Team Sponsor
Visit Seattle will be a first-time Team Sponsor in the Clipper 2015-16 Race, using the race's global marketing platform to promote itself as a tourist and business destination.
The 'Emerald City', Seattle, Washington, will be represented by its yacht, Visit Seattle, with the city being publicised at key ports during the 40,000 mile circumnavigation.
Seattle will also be a Host Port, welcoming the crew at the end of the Mighty Pacific Leg 6 from Qingdao, China.
The Visit Seattle team will be skippered by British Skipper Huw Fernie, 31, from Cornwall.
The Clipper 2015-16 Race starts on 30 August 2015 from St Katharine Docks, London and will return eleven months later on 30 July 2016. Its global race destinations include Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Sydney, Da Nang - Vietnam, Qingdao - China, Seattle, New York and Derry Londonderry - Northern Ireland and Den Helder- the Netherlands.
Designed by Judel Vrolijk, built in carbon by Paul Hakes and his elite Kiwi team in 2013 this HH 42ft IRC racer is a good all rounder, exceptionally fast off the wind. Race results include overall wins in the Around the Goodwins, Ramsgate IRC Regatta, Gold Cup, Goblets Ostend Race and overall series wins in the Sail East IRC Championship 2013 and 2015, 1 x 1st RYS IRC Regatta 2015.
Top quality specification includes Harken winches and deck gear, Hall carbon spars, B&G electronics and a comprehensive inventory of North sails with several new in '14 and '15. Seriously for sale asking £295,000 incl vat.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism. -- Sir William Osler
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