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
Too Much Wind...
Les Voiles de Saint Tropez:
The team responsible for the organisation of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez is encountering exceptional times for this autumnal showdown. The culprit is a vast zone of high pressure centred over northern Europe, compressed by a depression circling the Gulf of Genoa, generating easterly breezes that have been sweeping the Var region's coastline since Monday.
With the Bay of Saint Tropez facing due east, there is simply no escape, with some impressive breakers out towards Cogolin. For the second day running, the yachts and their 4,000 sailors have been confined to shore, hoping for better on Thursday's much awaited Challenge Day.
Race Director Georges Korhel:
"It's the same scenario as yesterday, a little stronger even, with 48 knots recorded in Pampelonne this morning. It's really too much. The seas are even heavier than yesterday, despite the wind shifting slightly from the east to the south-east, but the breakers are even impacting the launches so it's simply not reasonable to try to race. Among the 180 Modern craft, there are of course a good twenty or so of the big boats geared up for offshore sailing, which could handle such conditions admirably. The issue is manoeuvring in and out of port, with the gusts capable of making them trip their anchors with the ensuing mayhem, so it's certainly the most reasonable option to cancel for today."
NACRA 17 Europeans:
Today's races at the Nacra 17 European Championship, which takes place in the Barcelona International Sailing Center until next Saturday, were cancelled due to severe wind conditions and swell, with gusts of wind of almost 35 knots and two meters' waves.
Tomorrow, Thursday October 1st, the Nacra 17 European will resume at the Barcelona International Sailing Center. According to the forecast the wind should ease off, so the Race Committee has scheduled four races. The European competition will run until Saturday, October 3rd.
And Not Enough...
Audi Melges 20 World Championship
The first day of the 2015 Audi Melges 20 World Championship hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club (SFYC) has come to an early close with no races due to no breeze. The day got off to a very slow start with a more than two-hour long onshore postponement under grey, overcast skies and wet conditions. Teams congregated inside SFYC, sipping coffee and drinks as they waited patiently for news as to whether or not they would get to race today.
PRO Bruce Golison and his race management team studied the forecast diligently throughout the morning and well into the early afternoon. Golison eventually pulled the plug on what would have been the first day of racing at the 2015 World Championship.
For tomorrow, Golison is hopeful. "Based on the forecast, it looks like it will be a nice afternoon of sailing. We may postpone ashore initially, but we think that it could be a three race day, on the later afternoon side."
RC44 World Championship
If there was one venue on the 2015 RC44 championship circuit with a reputation for regular wind, it would be Cascais.
Sadly the unseasonably fine weather the UK and northern Europe is enjoying this week is taking its toll on those further south, turning this part of the Iberian Peninsula into an isobar-free zone.
As Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio explained, (edited for expletives...): "Today was even worse than predicted. It was forecast to be strange, but no one thought it would be non-existent. It filled in three or four times and we got hopeful, but each time it went away. In the end we had 000. In four years of coming to Cascais it is the first time we've had no breeze."
And tomorrow? "Tomorrow is looking quite light again as well, but day by day things can move around a little bit. Let's hope tomorrow will be more exciting than what we have today." However Peter Reggio is not overly optimistic. "Hopefully it will be better than the forecast..."
Yacht Racing Logistics Manager
The right candidate should have a proven track record and be a self-motivated individual with hands on experience having existing contacts within the world's yacht racing circuits. You will be responsible to build the division on a global basis, actively approaching new contacts and to grow an existing client base and markets where we are already established. The role would see you managing relationships with yacht owners, captains and other stakeholders utilising the global offices and agents that we have established throughout the world.
Or call +31 20 448 8592 for more information.
World War I Shipwrecks Revealed Round Irish Coast
A team of scientists led by Dr Ruth Plets, School of Environmental Sciences at Ulster University, aboard the Marine Institute's Celtic Voyager research vessel has revealed detailed images of World War I shipwrecks in the Irish Sea.
The team set out to capture the highest resolution acoustic data possible of WWI shipwrecks lost in the Irish Sea, using a new multi-beam system (EM2040) on board the RV Celtic Voyager to get the best data ever acquired over these wrecks.
"We were able to capture the most detailed images of the entirety of the wrecks ever. Some of the wrecks, which are too deep to be dived on, have not been seen in 100 years. So this is the first time we can examine what has happened to them, during sinking and in the intervening 100 years, and try to predict their future preservation state," explained Dr Plets.
Among the shipwrecks surveyed were the SS Chirripo, which sank in 1917 off Black Head (Co. Antrim) after she struck a mine; the SS Polwell, which was torpedoed in 1918 northeast of Lambay Island; and the RMS Leinster, which sank in 1918 after being torpedoed off Howth Head when over 500 people lost their lives - this was the greatest single loss in the Irish Sea.
WADA Publishes 2016 Prohibited List
On 16 September, the World Anti-Doping Agency's Executive Committee approved the 2016 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, which is now available on WADA's website in English. The List will come into force on 1 January 2016.
Updated annually, the List is one of five International Standards that are mandatory for all signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). It designates what substances and methods are prohibited in- and out-of-competition; and, which substances are banned in particular sports. According to the Code, if a substance or method is found to meet two of three criteria (enhances performance, poses a threat to athlete health, violates the spirit of sport), then it could be considered for placement on the List.
As of today, the 2016 Prohibited List, the Summary of Modifications, and the Monitoring Program are available for download on WADA's website in English. French and Spanish will follow shortly.
FINNTEAM is something completely new in sailing: a multi-national sailing team promoting synergy, collaboration, fair play, tolerance and cultural diversity.
ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM. The concept is simple: create a team of sailors from around the world who are in need of coaching and funding to develop skills and train together, and then source the funding that allows each of them to succeed and achieve their goals - and reach the Olympic podium.
A crowdfunding campaign has been started on GoFundMe.com to launch the FINNTEAM on their route to the Olympic podium. Naming sponsors and other supporters are also being sought.
FINNTEAM has been launched with five sailors who are members of the most elite, focused, dedicated and diverse team of sailing athletes the world has ever seen. They are Alejandro Foglia (URU), Facundo Olezza (ARG), Luke Miller (USA), Oisin Mcclelland (IRL) and Santiago Falasca (ARG). Sailors from other nations are expected to be joining the FINNTEAM in the near future.
ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM - Join us for the journey of a lifetime.
Dean Barker Snaps Up Team New Zealand's Former Design Guru Nick Holroyd
Dean Barker has lured former Team New Zealand design guru Nick Holroyd to his new Japanese America's Cup syndicate.
Holroyd left the Kiwi outfit in June with other designers brought on board and the new "one-class" rules impacting the crucial department.
His link to Team Japan, which Barker heads in the wake of his departure from the New Zealand challenge, was confirmed on Wednesday with an appointment as technical director.
Holroyd will be responsible for getting Team Japan's AC48 catamaran up to speed in the buildup to Bermuda 2017.
Holroyd was the mastermind behind Team New Zealand's massive catamaran for the last America's Cup where the Kiwis got the jump on opponents by being the first to make them foil.
Holroyd takes a wealth of intellectual property with him. -- Duncan Johnstonne
Cherry Still Fighting For Generali Podium Dream
After a tough offshore race in which establishing a strong early position in the fleet was the key to success, top British skipper Nick Cherry has slipped two places on the Generali Solo Mediterranee leaderboard.
Arriving in Barcelona after two days of light airs, then big breeze and little sleep, Cherry finished 15th of 22 competitors. His second offshore result sees him now fifth in the overall standings, 47 points behind leader Alexis Loison of France.
With two days of competition still to come Cherry, at the helm of Redshift, is not giving up on his dream of an unprecedented British podium position.
"There are still six inshore races on Friday and Saturday and historically I have performed well in these round the cans races," said Cherry. "I'm 13 points behind Yoann Richomme in third, so a podium position could still be on the horizon. It's not over yet."
He went on to explain how a problem with his water ballast saw Redshift slip back through the fleet in the final hours. "The last night was wild. We had thunderstorm after thunderstorm. I couldn't fill my ballast, so could do nothing but watch everyone else sail past. It has left a bad taste in my mouth as I've worked so hard to get to this point. Hopefully that will turn into determination."
Top Three Leg 2 Generali Solo Mediterranee results:
Position/Skipper/Boat name/Time at sea
1. Vincent Biarnes, Guyot Environment/2d 14h 9mn 30s
2. Xavier Macaire, Skipper Herault)/2d 14h 26mn
3. Yoann Richomme, Skipper Macif 2014/2d 15h 1mn
Top Three Overall Generali Solo Mediterranee results:
1. Alexis Loison, Groupe Fiva, 72 points
2. Xavier Macaire, Skipper Herault, 93
3. Yoann Richomme, Skipper Macif 2014, 103
Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour: Oman Wins The Starts, Alinghi Wins The Day
It was a gusty race course for day one of Marseille One Design, the concluding event of the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour 2015. The 2012 Olympic Champion Nathan Outteridge was quick to get to grips with starting the GC32 on his first day as replacement helmsman for Sultanate of Oman.
But while the Omani crew were quick out of the blocks, it was Alinghi who were fastest to cross the finish line, Morgan Larson steering the Swiss boat to victory in four of today's six races. At times the boats touched over 30 knots on the fast downwind legs, the crews making the most of the windy conditions on La Rade de Marseille.
While Alinghi was the clear winner of the racing, in the speed challenge they were just eclipsed by the other Swiss team, ARMIN STROM. Marazzi and his crew covered the 600-metre course in a time of 58 seconds at an average speed of 26.81 knots and beat Alinghi by just 1 second.
Larson was the only skipper to go for a reef in the mainsail, in the belief that when you're high-speed foiling, sometimes less sail area equals less drag and more speed. It was a gamble that didn't quite work out, although probably the biggest factor was how much wind you got during your five-minute window to sail down the 600-metre course.
Racing continues at 12:00 on 1st October.
* From Phil Ross: We had probably one of the first dedicated cameramen on board Superstar for the 1980 Golden Fleece Great Circle Race.
Superstar was an IOR Peterson 47' that competed for Australia in the '77 Admiral's Cup and the Great Circle Race was a crazy race around Tasmania starting and ending in Victoria in January, not long after the Sydney to Hobart.
This was the days of old-timey film remember so the cameraman had his own bunk to store his gear and boxes of movie film.
The race consisted of, at least, 40kts on the nose no matter what corner we turned around that accursed island (love you Tassie). For seven days. Out of a crew of 11 we had 3 capable of crewing. (Great story about the owner BTW, but leave that for another day).
Needless to say we never saw the cameraman and completely forgot about him until we were safely tied up at Hastings at the finish and this flash sped past down the pier never to be seen again. He had pulled his bunk up tight against the cabin roof and remained there the whole week - no food no water, extraordinary effort on his part.
He left all his gear in the bunk and we had to box it up and return it to the production company.
The film was made and I believe available on YouTube but there is no footage from Superstar.
A great example of the ever popular Sydney 40. On top of this renowned design, LOCO benefits from many IRC upgrades and modifications to keep it right in touch with its rivals.
NEW keel configuration in 2012, NEW Selden mast in 2014 and NEW sails in 2013 and 2014. A great overall package and ready to hit the water running.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument. -- Christopher Hitchens
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html