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
Clipper Race Storms Into Cape Town
Photo by Bruce Sutherland/Clipper Race. Click on image to enlarge.
This leg across the South Atlantic Ocean is the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms and conditions didn't disappoint, pushing the fleet on in a fast and furious crossing with some record speeds in excess of 30 knots, with the front runners averaging a credible 10 knots across the entire 14 day dash from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town.
The final nail-biting finish played out in the dark around 2200 local time (2000 UTC) as three teams jostled for places with the massive iconic presence of Table Mountain felt, if not seen, as it cast a wind shadow across the closing stages near to the finish line. The light winds that Table Bay is renowned for created huge concern for the crew as Mother Nature played games with their prospects following a Force 7 blast with gusts well in excess of 30 knots just hours earlier.
GREAT Britain, Derry-Londonderry-Doire and Garmin battled for the lead next to each other as they converged on Cape Town. GREAT Britain took a small advantage but hit the wind shadow first, enabling Derry-Londonderry-Doire to have a chance to overtake. Just as it looked like the Northern Irish sponsored team would take the lead it also ground to a virtual halt as GREAT Britain started to accelerate again.
Garmin had gone slightly further out and looked to trump its two adversaries when it too got caught in a wind hole, not to escape until it was too late.
GREAT Britain sprinted towards the race finish off the V&A Waterfront to take Line Honours at 2030 UTC; Derry-Londonderry-Doire broke free of the wind shadow to finish at 20.40.18 UTC followed by Garmin at 2102 UTC.
Elapsed times for the first arrivals into Cape Town are:
GREAT Britain 14 days 2 hours 30 minutes
Derry-Londonderry-Doire 14 days 2 hours 40 minutes 18 seconds
Garmin 14 days 3 hours 2 minutes
Mission Performance 14 days 6 hours 53 minutes
12ft Skiff Upper Harbour Championship
Photo by Vita Williams. Click on image to enlarge.
Press and his new crew Hay, who is more at home on an 18 foot skiff, posted a resounding two minute 22 second win over nearest rival Geotherm (Brett Hobson/Bill Lusty), which in turn pipped Lincoln Crowne by one second in a thriller to the finish.
Press and Hay also won on handicap from Bigfoot Foot Custom Trapeze Harnesses, which is normally skippered by his father Murray, but in his absence today, was steered by Nick Press' former crew, Andrew Stevenson.
The easterly course took the fleet from the start off the host club, taking in Valentia Street, Manns Point West, Drummoyne Wharf, Spectacle Island, Birchgrove and the finish off the Club.
Thirteen boats started the race, but 12 finished when Skoll (Pete Polac/Rob Joyce) was involved in an altercation with a Laser, forcing their retirement.
The Upper Harbour Championship is one of the major lead-ups to the prestigious 12ft skiff Interdominion to be hosted by Auckland Sailing Club in New Zealand from 2-9 January, 2016. -- Di Pearson
Top Five Scratch Results:
1. Sydney Sailmakers (Nick Press/Andrew Hay)
2. Geotherm (Brett Hobson/Bill Lusty)
3. Lincoln Crowne (Jonathon Temple/Richard Jones)
4. Bigfoot Foot Custom Trapeze Harnesses (Andrew Stevenson/Scott Lanham)
5. The Bird (Dave Lusty/Glenn Farquhar)
SK2 - Salon Nautique Du Leman!
Click on image for SK2 Videos
The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd.
After a fantastic season with two tours around Central Europe SK2 is now showcasing at the Salon du Leman in Geneve, Palexpo, 13-15-15 of November 2015. Invited by our Swiss agent Sailing Corner we are delighted to attend this exclusive boat show.
For more information on the SK2 and what it has to offer visit www.sk2sailing.com
America's Cup - Who Cares About The Starving Sailing Fans? Not ACEA
The Bermuda regatta was shortened to just one day because of lack of wind on the first day. There was a similar occurrence in Portsmouth, where the regatta lost a day because of too much wind.
The most excruciating moment of the first day's television coverage was Shirley Robertson's interview on BT Sports One with the Hamilton Town Crier. Overall Day 1 was akin to Seinfeld gone sailing - the Show about Nothing.
The Brits were lucky, elsewhere on the planet, all those who had paid for the C+ App coverage of the Event got was a news ticker feed across the bottom of their phablet (Phone/Tablet) screens saying there was no racing that day. Shirley's efforts to make Something out of the Show about Nothing would have been devoured with relish by starving Cup fans outside Dear Old Blighty.
By our count, the America's Cup World Series has sailed more Practice Race days than actual Race Days. Who else is silly enough to schedule a two-day regatta, and expecting to get the full card of racing away?
For serious sailing fans, they seem doomed to fiddle-ass around with an iPad feature trying to get the Cup video running on a big screen. Imagine the scream if the Rugby or Football World Cup coverage was available only on phablet?
The America's Cup coverage is like a Porsche with no wheels. It looks good, feels good, but goes nowhere. Before too long even the most ardent fans tire of trying to re-engage with the event they loved in San Francisco, and change channels. -- Rob Kothe and Richard Gladwell, full editorial:
* This will leave a mark... some unhappy Android app buyers
Your humble narrator's experience is similarly dismal, as the iPad app I purchased on Sunday now will not open. Setting fire to eight dollars would have been a more rewarding experience.
National Fraudster Found In Lymington
Lymington will be thrilled that a missing fraudster has apparently been arrested and can do no more harm here.
In fact Lymington had no idea until very recently that the town was inadvertently harbouring a national fraudster.
That the man known locally as Dr Jonathan Johns who had ingratiated himself on the yacht club scene in Lymington, befriended a number of local people and set up what to all intents and purposes appeared to be a perfectly plausible local business, is apparently fraudster Peter Berry, who has been on the run for nearly two years.
Berry is a long time fraudster who targets single women, tells them extravagant lies and persuades them to give him large sums of money. Previously found guilty of 19 fraud offences he is known to have claimed more victims since leaving prison in September 2012 and had been recalled to prison in 2013 after being accused of stealing tens of thousands of pounds from women after telling them he was a yachtsman or lifeboat crewman and had achieved sailing records.
Berry operated LBP Aerial Imagery and was involved in the Lymington Town Sailing Club.
Proposal For National Watersports Centre In Dun Laoghaire Now Online
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the idea was recently proposed by the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs (DLCC) to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as they made their submission to the oral hearings on plans for a next-generation terminal for cruise liners in the harbour.
Those plans have attracted significant opposition in the locality, as evidenced by the large turnout for the joint boat rally and protest march against the scheme last weekend.
Rather than 'dividing' the harbour, as many opponents fear the cruise terminal would do, the DLCC say development of the HSS terminal as a 'National Watersports Academy' would help protect Dun Laoghaire's waterfront "as an outstanding recreational harbour and sporting amenity of national significance".
Based on the example of similar facilities in Pwllheli, Weymouth and Medemblik, the proposal envisages that Dun Laoghaire could host between 20 and 30 major events at such a centre throughout the year, "generating substantial additional revenue" for the town.
The complete proposal is available as a PDF:
Afloat magazine: afloat.ie
Antigua Sailing Week
Cracking jokes on the dock, salt encrusted, a cold one soothes the thirst. The beat goes on and the rhythm hits you. You nod, shake your hips, and move your hands and feet. You're tuned-in and the DJ's playing your favourite song with a hundred or more dancing with you. The sun sighs farewell, setting the skies ablaze, but the party goes on. You don't want to stop but it will be blowing twenty when the sun says - Good Morning.
The 49th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week - April 23-29 2016
To enter: www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1477
Finn Gold Cup In NZ: One Month To Go!
In one month racing will get underway for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup as Takapuna Boating Club on Auckland's north shore plays host to the world's best in the Olympic heavy-weight dinghy class.
Carrying an historical title, the Finn Gold Cup is the regatta which decides the Finn World Champion each year and Takapuna will be the venue for the 2015 edition. Racing gets underway on Tuesday 24 November and runs for six days with the medal race and prize-giving scheduled for Sunday 29 November.
It has been seven years since New Zealand last hosted an Olympic class world championship regatta in sailing and 35 years since the Finn class came to this country for their world champs.
Adding to the anticipation around the forthcoming event is the fact that New Zealand has a 20-strong contingent entered including medal contenders like 25 year old Josh Junior, from the Worser Bay Boating Club and 33 year old Andrew Murdoch from the Kerikeri Cruising Club.
Josh Junior won silver at the 2015 Finn European Championships held at Split, Croatia in May and was selected to represent New Zealand at the 2015 Rio Test Event in August this year where he narrowly missed a podium result finishing 4th overall.
Extreme Sailing Series 0 New Year, New Boat, New Challenges
Cool, calm and in control, whether he is addressing the world's top sailors at the morning briefing or on the radio coordinating fast-paced inshore racing, Phil Lawrence commands total respect. Over the past five years, Phil Lawrence, the enigmatic British Race Director for the Extreme Sailing Series has contributed to the success of this game changing Series.
Having forged a path through grassroots sailing from the age of 10 into the world of professional sailing, Lawrence's extensive career covers all aspects of the sport. It started with dinghy sailing on the Solent and continued with the Admiral's Cup and the 1992 Olympic Games in the Star, whilst all the time Lawrence was pursuing a successful career as an accountant in his "other life."
With a new and potent weapon of choice announced for 2016, in the form of the GC32 hydro-foiling catamaran, the Extreme Sailing Series is once again pushing the boundaries.
The performance of the GC32 boat is undeniably higher on the curve than the Extreme 40, with top speeds when foiling of 38-knots compared to 30 knots for the older 40s. Combined with the compact inner-city racetracks that the Series is famous for, the GC32 fleet promises to be quite a spectacle for guests and one hell of a test for Race Management.
Lawrence however, doesn't think it will be long before the teams settle in: "Racing will still be close and probably a little loose at the start of the year with new teams and new sailors, all in it to win it and with something to prove. But I'm sure by the end of the year a pecking order will be established and they will be at each other's throats."
Hull Material: Composite
Current Price: On application
With the Extreme Sailing Series™ adopting a new boat for 2016, there is a unique opportunity to purchase a fleet of up to 10 Extreme 40 catamarans as a set, or individually, that are priced to sell.
Superfast, exciting to sail and to watch, the Extreme 40 catamaran was developed by TornadoSport in 2005 to bring sailing to the public on short courses in stadium settings.
Built in carbon-fibre, these "flying machines" are 40ft long and have a beam of 23ft. They have a top speed of around 40 knots. Complete with sails, shipping container, with spares and road container negotiable, these well-maintained boats could offer excellent corporate entertainment or activation around another race campaign.
Available from mid-December to ship from Europe/Australia/GCC.
Some 51 products have been nominated to go forward for final judging by the Jury of the silver jubilee edition of the prestigious DAME Design Award competition. The products have been selected from a total of 110 entries from 24 nationalities and the jury will eventually choose up to seven Category Winners and one Overall Winner.
These will be announced during the Breakfast Briefing on the opening day of the METSTRADE show 2015, which takes place from 17 to 19 November in the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.
The nominated products are now available on metstrade.com
Russian investors may be among the main bidders for the purchase of several Italian marinas, IBI's correspondent Eugene Gerden reports.
According to a recent announcement by the Italian government, five yacht marinas - including ones in Capri and Sardinia, the most popular yachting destinations among Russian yacht owners - may soon be put up for tender.
An official spokesman for the Italian government also said that up to 2,500 places for yachts, valued at €50m, will be put up for sale at the initial stage, although these figures might later be significantly increased.
There is a possibility that a similar decision may be taken by the government of Greece. To date, the Greek government has already decided to sell marinas in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki. Tenders for their sale will be announced by the end of October of the current year.
IBI News: www.ibinews.com
Adrena : Official supplier for IMOCA Ocean Masters St Barth-Port la Foret and New York-Vendee Transatlantic races
As the creator of racing navigation software, Adrena and Open Sports Management (OSM) - the Organising Authority and promoter of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship - were definitely meant to get along.
In fact, most IMOCA skippers already use this navigation software and with a high standard of service, with the software regularly updated, it has become a vital tool for top ocean racers. Therefore, it made great sense for OSM and Adrena to reach an agreement.
In OSM's two main events over the new few months - the Transat St Barth-Port la Foret this December and the Transat New York-Vendee in May 2016 - the race management team for both events will be provided with both Adrena's "Pro Offshore" and "SHOM current atlas" products.
Fountaine Pajot accelerates its investments: € 4 million for the new models and € 6 million for a new plant
Fountaine Pajot, a leading global manufacturer of cruising catamarans, announced an acceleration of its investment program to support its sustained growth.
The excellent commercial momentum continued throughout the year 2014/2015 and was completed by a new annual growth of over 20% for the second consecutive year. Moreover, these two years, Fountaine Pajot has recruited 60 new employees.
The company occupies two performance industrial sites located in La Rochelle, in the heart of the reference production area in the nautical world.
Slovenia's Elan Yachts has launched its sailing yacht range on the North American market following the appointment of Springline Yacht Sales as its first US distributor.
The Elan brand is already well-known in North America for its downhill snow skis. The company, which has been building boats since 1949, also offers the Elan range of high-performance racer/cruisers from 21ft-45ft and the Impression range of deck saloon style cruising yachts from 35-50ft.
Based in Mystic, Connecticut, Springline Yacht Sales has been selling sailing yachts from its Mystic Shipyard location for many years. The company will debut both Elan and Impression models at the Boston Boat Show in February.
Elan is one of Slovenia's leading producers of performance sailing yachts and cruisers. In July the company was sold to Wiltan Enterprises Ltd and Merrill Lynch for an undisclosed sum.
IBI News: plus.ibinews.com
Leading aircraft manufacturer to support SoftBank Team Japan with innovative technology Airbus will team up with America's Cup challenger SoftBank Team Japan as a technology partner supporting them with its engineering expertise already recognised through its Innovation Partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA.
As part of this partnership, Airbus' knowledge in fields such as aerodynamics, instrumentation, simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis will be acquired by SoftBank Team Japan as they design their future race yacht.
SoftBank Team Japan, supported by Kansai Yacht Club, is the Japanese challenger for the 2017 America's Cup.
EXPERIENCE is now for sale. Built by the world famous Eric Goetz in 1996 as NUMBERS, she had unparralled success over the years racing under the IMS rule.
Donated to the United States Navy, she was renamed POLARIS and also did very well on the East coast of the United States.
She is now for sale by her present owner and is open to offers. Plenty of spare gear, carbon fiber mast, and in very good condition, EXPERIENCE is a fun fast racing boat that will do very well for years to come.
Thoroughbred Yacht Sales
William Jenkins at +1 410-267-9419
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. -- Lewis B. Smedes
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html