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
Tell us your favourite bar, the seventh annual Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar competition in on!
Excellence To The Very End
Light southerly winds awaited competitors on the last day of the Para World Sailing Championships conducted by the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Williamstown, Australia.
Although Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch had the Para Worlds all wrapped up prior to the final race, there was no hint of complacency in the team. During a pre-race delay while the race committee waited for the breeze to settle, the Australians spent their time adjusting the rig for today's lighter weather, testing the result and tuning again. Most other teams took the opportunity to simply relax and sail around the starting area. It was no surprise then, when the Australians burst away from the start line and quickly established a break on the rest of the fleet. They extended that lead throughout to finish well clear - an emphatic conclusion to a brilliant campaign for the World champions.
Several athletes will remain in Williamstown for the next ten days with several crews competing at Sailing World Cup Melbourne. From thereon in it's into 2016, Paralympic year, and sailors will have their eye on the 2016 Para World Sailing Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands along the way.
Top three, by class
1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 27 points
2. Heiko Kroeger, GER, 34
3. Matt Bugg, AUS, 54
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 12
2. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 30
3. Marco Gualandris / Marta Zanetti, ITA, 45
1. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Steve Thomas, GBR, 36
2. Colin Harrison / Jonathan Harris / Russell Boaden, AUS, 37
3. Aleksander Wang-Hans / Marie Solberg / Per Kristiansen, NOR, 47
A Corinthian Championship For U.S. Yacht Clubs
Which United States yacht club has the fastest sailors? That question will be answered next September, when yacht clubs from around the country gather for four days of intense one-design competition on Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. The Resolute Cup, A Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs hosted by the New York Yacht Club, is an evolution of the U.S. Qualifying Series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which was held on even years starting in 2010. At stake, once again, will be berths in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, scheduled for September 2017. But the Resolute Cup is much more than a stepping stone to the premiere international Corinthian regatta in the sport of sailing.
The Resolute Cup emphasizes Corinthian, one-design competition between yacht clubs. Each competitor must be an ISAF Group 1 (amateur) sailor, and a member of the club he or she represents. Teams will compete in two different fleets of identically tuned keelboats during the regatta. The New York Yacht Club's Sonar fleet will be used for the competition, as will a second design, which will mostly likely be a 20- to 25-foot sport boat.
Invitations for the 2016 Resolute Cup, A Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs, will be issued in early 2016. Interested clubs are requested to apply for an invitation by completing an online form that can be accessed here
The deadline for applications is December 31.
Antigua Sailing Week
It's blowing twenty gusting twenty-five, blue water's hissing at the rail. The helm loads up, the boat takes off, down another Caribbean roller. The wild ride continues, stem-deep pristine ocean cascades over the bow. The deck is hot, the sun is brilliant, and so is the competition. Sun, Sea and Surf, the pace is on. Palm trees dance on Pigeon Beach, the 'Trades' are in, and you don't want them to stop.
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
Icebergs In The Indian Ocean
The north-north westerlies picked up even more strength this morning to the east of Madagascar, enabling Spindrift 2 to reach average speeds of around 30 knots once again. The area of the Indian Ocean where the trimaran has been sailing for the past couple of days remains tricky due to the presence of icebergs south of the course and high pressure to the north.
The strategy involves sailing no closer than 50 nautical miles away from the biggest ice, while performing a series of gybes to stay in a corridor, on a run to the Kerguelen Islands. The crew has access to satellite images taken by the French specialist agency CLS, which locates the largest icebergs, some of which measure 300 to 400 metres long.
Spindrift 2 is now back up to speed, and in just a day's time will reach the Kerguelen Islands, an archipelago that is well known for its fish-rich shallow waters, which attract fishing boats, but also make for a chaotic sea.
308 nm behind the current record holder
Distance covered from the start: 9,562 nm
Average speed over 24 hours: 19.9 knots
Distance over 24 hours: 378.1 nm
Close Call With An Iceberg, High Speeds… And 200 Miles Regained
IDEC SPORT has regained 200 miles in 24 hours. The Furious Fifties are pushing the big, red trimaran at high speed across the Indian Ocean. But they need to watch out for icebergs. Yesterday, Francis Joyon's crew came within a mile of one of these ice monsters, as big as a cargo ship…
"We knew that by diving south we would find a little more wind. We're already a long way down, but our route across the Indian takes us a long way south. We may well go down to 54 degrees south."
You read that right. 54 degrees south is a long way down. The Furious Fifties require them to keep a permanent watch. "We change over every half hour at the helm now," added Francis. The six men on IDEC SPORT are fighting to keep their hands and faces from freezing. "Fortunately inside the boat, we have a little heater, which allows us to dry our clothes and give us a few extra degrees. It's 11 degrees inside at the moment."
IDEC SPORT has regained almost 200 miles from the record pace in the past 24 hours. The difference has gone from 800 miles at the same time yesterday too 600 this afternoon. A quarter of their losses regained in just 24 hours, At these high speeds, everything can change very quickly and IDEC SPORT is expected to cover more than 700 miles today.
The Transat Announces Stellar Line-Up At The Paris Boat Show
The 2016 edition of The Transat, the 3,000-mile solo transatlantic classic from Plymouth in the UK to New York City, will feature some of the top names in world professional solo ocean racing.
Releasing details of the latest entries on the opening day of the Paris Boat Show, race owner and organiser OC Sport, revealed that 15 skippers have now entered the four-yearly race that sets sail from Plymouth on May 2nd and more entries will be confirmed in the next few days.
Among the high-profile skippers who have entered The Transat 2016 are the IMOCA single-handers Seb Josse on Gitana, Jean-Pierre Dick on St Michel-Virbac Sailing Team, Armel Le Cleac'h on Team Banque Populaire and Paul Meilhat on SMA.
In the Ultime class, two skippers have committed so far - Yves Le Blevec on Actual and Thomas Coville on Sodebo.
The Transat will also feature Class40 monohulls and the Multi-50 class. Five Class40s have entered so far, including two female skippers in Britain's Miranda Merron on board Campagne de France and the German skipper Anna-Maria Renken on Nivea.
The Multi50 fleet includes Pierre Antoine on OLMIX Sailing Team and Lalou Roucayrol on Team ARKEMA.
Another unique feature of the 2016 race will be the participation of three-time race winner Loïck Peyron. He will sail the course outside auspices of the race on Eric Tabarly's first boat, Pen Duïck II. This was the yacht on which Tabarly won The Transat (then known as the OSTAR) back in 1964, inspiring a generation of French solo sailors as a result.
Hobson and Lusty Crowned NSW 12ft Skiff Champions
In the closest of shaves, the Geotherm crew of Brett Hobson and Billy Lusty have been crowned new NSW 12ft skiff champions following six races held over two full weekends on either side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Geotherm's crew had to be at their best to defeat defending five-time NSW champion and six-time Interdominion champion, Nick Press and his new crew Andrew Hay on Sydney Sailmakers. Under pressure, Geotherm's crew was brilliant, finishing off the Championship with two bullets to claim the title by one point.
Hobson, from Abbotsford, also broke in a new crew this season in 18 year-old Lusty from Berowra. With different crew members, Hobson has won the NSW title three times previously.
Next on the agenda is the 56th Interdominion 12ft Skiff Championship, to be hosted by Auckland Sailing Club from 6-9 January. It is the 'world championship' of 12ft skiff sailing, hosted each year by Australian and New Zealand in turn. It is rare to see the visitors win away from home, but all will be doing their level best to overcome the strong Kiwi field.
Top of the Australian contenders are the new NSW champions, Hobson (who won the Interdominion in 2009) and Lusty, along with the Press/Hay combination. Press senior and Lanham will also be there.
Joining them are Cunning Stunts (Lachie Paramor/DuncanCampbell), Skoll (Peter Polec/Rob Joyce), Slippery When Wet (John Williams/Macca Paton), The Bird (Dave Lusty/Glenn Farquhar), Ghetto Sled (Richard Billett/Paul O'Malley Jones), Squid (Terry Ellis/Brad Madders), The Wingman (James Fleming/Jono Andersen), Tank Girl (Ben Guymer/Shaun Thompson) and Hempel Yacht Paints to be skippered by Michael Spies fresh from his Rolex Sydney Hobart campaign and crewed by Robbie Polec. -- Di Pearson
This three-day Regatta takes place from 28th to 30th May 2016 for all types of keelboat, from the larger IRC classes taking part in the IRC Southern Championship, to the 2.4mR class used in the Paralympics. The event is run by the Combined Clubs of Poole, and is held in the excellent sailing waters of Poole Bay and Poole Harbour.
Full details of the event, and how to buy the gift vouchers can be found on our website.
Tour De France A La Voile 2016
The Tour de France a la Voile 2016 was presented Friday at the Paris Boat Show. The event is looking strong ahead of the second edition to be sailed on Diam 24 boats. Entries have been open for only a month and 31 teams have already announced their participation. Several more teams are keen to join while looking to complete their budget.
The event is attracting more and more host ports. Looking at renewing the route one-third at a time, the Tour will return to the Normandy cliffs of Dieppe this summer. The Diam 24 will then discover two new locations amongst the most beautiful of the French coastline: Baden-Golfe of Morbihan in southern Brittany and Hyeres and its islands, including Porquerolles, in the Toulon Provence Mediterranee area.
As usual, there will be nine 'Acts' - this time with a Mediterranean accent. "Mainly for sport and logistic reasons, we focus every year on a given area while staying within the three weeks of racing and sharing equally between the different coastlines over several editions," explained Jean-Baptiste Durier. The other Acts of the Tour 2016 were already host ports last year: Dunkirk, Roscoff, Gruissan, Marseille and Nice - where the final will be hosted once again.
Don't lose your cool
Good engineering practice, but now colour-coded indicators of thermal activity can be made integral for highly loaded cordage. Jon Mitchell
The laws of evolution
The older Imoca 60s will indeed be faster than the new boats at times... as Guillaume Verdier explains to Jocelyn Bleriot
Shock and awe - Part 1
(Some of) the C-Class has stepped up by several notches thanks to the arrival of Groupama. Steve Clark
The day after tomorrow
Why deck-sweeper wishbone rigs look like the way to go... plus son of Sailrocket. Paul Larsen
Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2
1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/
1yr Digital Sub for £30: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital
Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.
The Solo Offshore Racing Club (SORC) are pleased to announce the soloFASTNET, a brand new offshore race on one of the world's most demanding ocean race courses. Starting off Cowes on July 2, 2016, the fleet will navigate the 610NM course west along the English south coast, across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock off Ireland, south around the Scilly Isles and to the finish off Plymouth.
The soloFASTNET is a handicap race under IRC with the option, subject to interest, to include one design classes. The Solo Offshore Racing Club prides itself on an ethos of safety and good seamanship. All boats must meet ISAF Category 2 Regulations, AIS ClassB and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) and YB trackers are mandatory and all competing skippers will be required to have substantial short handed offshore experience.
In less than a month from the soft launch of the website provisional race entrants already total an outstanding 46 yachts. A broad range of skipper nationalities sporting a wealth of shorthanded experience have registered, including Australia, UK, France, Belgium and Ireland. The latest list of interested boats and skippers can be viewed on the website.
The soloFASTNET has been certified by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England (RWYC) as an official qualifier for their 2017 OSTAR race. The RWYC will host the soloFASTNET prize giving and post-race party in their excellent clubhouse.
Don't Rock The Boat, Whatever You Do
In early July 2015 Sail-World interviewed, on his third day in the office, Peter Sowrey the man in the hot seat in Southampton.
Sowrey had a strong corporate background in large organisations where decision making was a premium, and this decision making was fact based.
At the time, we asked Sowrey just how he felt he could handle the politics of a very political organisation ISAF. He said,' I am not interested in politics, I let the facts speak for themselves'.
Sowrey's optimism on his ability to engender change within the peak sailing body without worrying about politics seemed to us overly optimistic, and so it is proven.
Now the highly credentialed and experienced corporate reformer is gone. (See the ISAF Press release)
Did he jump or was he pushed?
Don't assume a press release is a fact, but was there a culture clash?
Although he was an enthusiastic sailor Sowrey had not been involved in the machinations of ISAF and not been present at any ISAF Annual Conferences or Mid-Year conferences.
Looking at the background of the conversation that came out of Sanya, China, at the Annual General Meeting, that is pretty plain to see. The speed at which the CEO wanted to move, and the speed at the which the ISAF executive has traditionally moved seems to be poles apart.
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team's full editorial: www.sail-world.com
Stunning Racer Cruiser from the board of Botin. Extremely fastand comfortable, with a chic interior and very competitive inshore and offshore.
+44 (0) 1590 679222
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas A. Edison
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html