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
Off The Hook... Shocked... Shocked...
World Sailing will take no substantive action over the exclusion of two world champions from the World Youth Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Despite having identified that actions of the Malaysian authorities, in excluding competitors from Israel, broke three Articles of its Constitution or Regulations the Malaysian's penalty will be simply the receipt of a letter from the controlling body of the sport of sailing.
The Israel Sailing Association will also receive a letter from World Sailing, presumably for not alerting the world body before withdrawing from the prestigious Youth World Championship on Christmas Eve.
The report seems to be the absolute minimum World Sailing could get away with, and will be viewed by many as a whitewash of the Malaysian actions.
The reality of the situation is that the World Sailing Constitution is so flawed that the Executive Committee would appear not to have the power of suspension or any other penalty for a breach of its Constitution or Regulations for discrimination.
Perhaps the strongest safeguard against a re-occurrence lies not with the World Sailing bureaucracy, but the fact that the sailing and world news media have been alerted to the situation and reoccurrences will receive the undivided attention of the Fourth Estate.
Richard Gladwell's full report (considerably more detailed and informative than that from World Sailing):
ISAF report: www.sailing.org/news/39107.php
RTIR Entries Open Friday
Entries open for the 85th edition of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Friday 15th January.
To encourage a strong take up of early bird entries, the ISC is offering ONE FREE ENTRY to this year's Race. The lucky winner's name will be drawn at random after Early Bird entries close on 13th February. www.rtir.me/entries
The Race organisers at the Island Sailing Club are delighted to announce that the new Fast 40+ Class will be competing in this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on 2nd July. The class will not be eligible to race for the Gold Roman Bowl but is competing for the Turbo UK Cup.
The Race welcomes back the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in its final year as the Official Race Charity after five highly successful years and a fantastic £226,364.25 raised which has enabled an additional 334 young people to join the Trust for a four day trip and 95 young people in recovery from Cancer to be able to sail in Britain's Favourite Yacht Race.
The Trust CEO Frank Fletcher says that the partnership with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, the ISC team and the Race Partners has been outstanding for the Trust.
"The opportunities that have been opened up for the Trust through this partnership have been exceptional and it's no word of a lie to say that it has provided the Trust with a fantastic basis for moving forward."
In 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is hoping to raise a further £40,000 through its association with the Race.
Refresh your memory of why this Race is known as 'Britain's Favourite Yacht Race'. 2015 Race promo video:
Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor auxiliary diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.
Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.
Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?
Convexity Wins M32 Series Bermuda Opener
The M32 Convexity team skippered by Chicago-based Don Wilson won the first event of the M32 Series Bermuda this weekend sailing on the Great Sound, the same course for the 35th America's Cup in 2017.
Convexity won the event just one point ahead of The Magenta Project team skippered by Sally Barkow including crew-members from the former Volvo Ocean Race Team SCA, and fellow Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble.
After the scheduled practice day on Friday was cancelled due to high winds, the five teams competing in the first event of the Bermuda Series were given little time to prepare for a gruelling eight races on Saturday as the breeze held at 20 knots with gusts over 25 knots.
The series returns to Bermuda next month from 19-21 Feb with a third event from 11-13 March and a final event 15-17 April.
Joining the Bermuda fleet in February will be Team GAC Pindar skippered by defending five-time Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams.
Key West Highlight- J/88 Oceanvolt Racing O.D.!
The 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week is shaping up to be one of the largest in recent years. Under the new stewardship of Storm Trysail Club and Regatta Chairman Bill Canfield, the event has 140 boats registered with 78 J/Teams (56% of the fleet!) spread across three one-design classes (J/70, J/88, J/111) and three handicap classes (IRC & ORR).
Racing is taking place from January 18th to 22nd in the gorgeous aquamarine waters of the Florida Keys. One of the highlights for the week will be the inaugural J/88 Midwinter Championship with eight boats participating on the Division 3 course area. Featured amongst that enthusiastic fleet will be the Key West debut of the new J/88 Oceanvolt model. Called BLONDIE 2, she will be sailed by Tod Patton and Jeff Johnstone. They will be facing a rogue's gallery of top teams from Canada, San Francisco, New York and Ohio.
The other significant one-design class debut will be the nine J/111s sailing their first J/111 Midwinter Championship on the Division I course area. More news on all J/Teams and classes in next week's Key West preview.
18th Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race
The 18th Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race is set to be the most heated competition in the race's history with a number of prestigious international sailing champions announcing they will contest this year's edition.
At last night's launch (Wednesday 13th January 2016) Race Organiser Theo Phelan announced that Michael Boyd, the Commodore of RORC and current holder of the international Commodore's Cup, will return to compete in the 2016 race, marking the 20th anniversary of his Big Ears win in the 1996 Round Ireland, with many of the same crew.
Phillip Johnston, owner of the current holder of the Round Great Britain and Ireland Race record for 60ft monohulls, Artemis-Team Endeavour, has also confirmed that he will be entering the impressive Open 60 under skipper Michael Ferguson.
Meanwhile the current holder of the Fastnet Roger Justice trophy Ronan O Siochru has also confirmed that he will be back to contest the Volvo Round Ireland for the fourth time.
At the end of 2015 internationally renowned sailor and US businessman, George David also announced his intention to enter his yacht Rambler 88 into the 2016 race. The canting keel maxi yacht would be a strong contender to break the Volvo Round Ireland Race record of 2 days 17 hours 48 minutes 47 seconds which is held by Mike Slade in ICAP Leopard 3 achieved in 2008.
Meanwhile, following the announcement that 2016 will be the first time that multihulls will be invited to compete, Team Concise have already indicated their intention to enter their world-class fleet.
The 2016 Volvo Round Ireland departs Wicklow Bay on Saturday 18th June 2016 with the first start at 13.00 hours.
Racing To Bermuda: A Driver Of Innovation
Few tests of blue water seamanship are as iconic as the 635nm Newport Bermuda Race. The next start, on 17 June 2016, will be the race's 50th and will also mark the 90th anniversary of the partnership of the organisers, the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Sailed almost entirely out of sight of land, the Bermuda Race was created in 1906 by Thomas Fleming Day, an American yachting writer who believed in the then radical idea that amateur sailors in small yachts could sail safely in blue water. After English yachting writer Weston Martyr sailed in the seventh Bermuda Race in 1924, his and others' enthusiasm for ocean racing prompted the founding of both the Fastnet Race and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Fast forward 48 years and in 1972 the RORC entry Noryema won one of the roughest Bermuda Races ever.
The 100th Anniversary race in 2006 had the largest fleet in the event's history, 265 boats. Today international fleets of more than 160 boats compete in the biennial race as the key component of the Onion Patch Series, a parallel inter-club and international team race event
Full article in Seahorse' February issue:
Dead Fish Blight Rio Olympic Bay, Again
Thousands of dead fish were found floating in Rio de Janeiro's picturesque but polluted bay Wednesday, not far from where the Olympic sailing competitions will be held in August.
Bobbing in the waves alongside floating garbage, the fish, mostly sardines, washed ashore near the international airport, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from where Brazil will hold the 2016 Olympic sailing courses.
Masses of dead fish have previously been found floating in the bay in October 2014 and February 2015, when more than 12 tons were removed.
Authorities have blamed the tropical heat, but some residents are doubtful.
* From Henry Menin: Well, at last, World Sailing has completed its "investigation" into the situation involving the conditions imposed by Malaysia and the Malaysia Yachting Association (MAS) on Israeli athletes, prohibiting them from displaying their national emblems and from playing their national anthem at the recent Youth World Championships ... if they could get there.
It is clear that MAS violated the anti-discrimination clause of the World Sailing Constitution. As a result, World Sailing has promised not to allow this situation to occur in the future and has listed sanctions that may be imposed if it does. But no action was taken against MAS.
Based on World Sailing's failure to take any action with regard to sanctions on MAS for this most recent blatant and outrageous discrimination against ISR, a patent violation of the WS Constitution, one has to have less than complete confidence and faith in the resolve of World Sailing to actually impose sanctions in the future.
Congratulations MAS. You have drawn back the curtain in front of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz and revealed him to be the weak and cowering paper tiger that he is.
Thank you Richard Gladwell for the enlightening, detailed and comprehensive review of the ISAF/World Sailing proceedings that led to the discriminatory practices at the Youth World Championships in Malaysia and for keeping this matter on the front burner.
Bill, Matt and Tom, I am proud to have had you as teammates. And then, of course, there are all those in whom we are so grossly disappointed.
* From: Peta Stuart-Hunt, UK: I urge everyone interested in boats and boating to try and fit in a visit to the London Boat Show currently taking place at ExCel (until Sunday 17th January). In order for so many of us to continue enjoying a career in the marine leisure market, we need to do everything we can to support the exhibitors and help maintain a buoyant and thriving industry; investment, sales, motivation and positive thinking helps ...but action speaks louder than words.
The UK's marine leisure industry has so far provided me with 30 years of interesting opportunities in a sometimes challenging and demanding marketplace. It has proven to be a extraordinarily supportive and a friendly environment in which to learn, grow and contribute.
I've witnessed the ebb and flow and stuck it out during recessions and redundancies - working with many of the most high profile brands and events but also helping to improve the marketing and PR profiles of some smaller and/or less well-known companies in times of need.
British Marine published their annual stats on 11th January and it will be interesting to hear how sales are bearing up after this January's Show. Everything is crossed for a good outcome.
TRITIUM is a modified ORMA Trimaran - stretched to 73 feet. Originally built by offshore veteran, Jean Le Cam, the boat was updated by Artemis Racing for testing of AC wing and dagger foils. The boat was heavily modified - with floats lengthened to 73 feet - the addition of hydraulically manipulated lifting "C" foils, hydraulic canting rig, and cross beams reinforced, for the new loads.
TRITIUM competed in the 2013 Transpac, where it was First-to-Finish and had the fastest elapsed time. Currently located in California - its design enhancements produce one of the fastest offshore vessels in the Pacific.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always. -- Albert Schweitzer
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