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
Chinese Sailor Guo Chuan Missing Off Hawaii
The first Chinese sailor to sail solo non-stop around the world on a monohull (in 137 days and 20 hours), Guo Chuan dreamt of becoming the first Asian to take part in the Vendee Globe. He even visited Les Sables d'Olonne to attend meetings with other skippers hoping to compete in the Everest of the seas.
In the end, he acquired Francis Joyon's former IDEC trimaran and renamed her Qingdao China. Last year with an international crew, Guo Chuan set a new non-stop sailing record for crossing the North East Passage in the Arctic Ocean.
On 19th October, he set off from San Francisco on another adventure, this time sailing solo. He was attempting to smash the Pacific crossing record to Yokohama (Japan). The sailor's team has been without news since Tuesday.
The latest news on Guo Chuan's website is not very reassuring: "Guo's shore team received updates from MRCC. Crew of USS Mankin Island has visited the boat but did not find Guo. They collected all Guo's belongings aboard for his family. They lowered the mainsail around 11.50am. Search and rescue is continuing on the sea."
* The USCG has suspended the search:
The boatcrew confirmed Chuan was not on the vessel although his life jacket remains aboard.
Weather on scene was reportedly 23 mph winds, seas to 5-feet with good visibility and scattered clouds.
On-scene assets searched a total area of more than 4,600 square miles over the two-day period.
Involved in the search were:
- HC-130 Hercules airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
- USS Makin Island (LHD 8) homeported out of San Diego
- Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crew attached to the USS Makin Island
The Quindao China remains adrift, the mainsail has been doused and the vessel has been marked. A broadcast notice to mariners alerting vessel crews in the area to the potential hazard to navigation has been issued. Chuan's racing team is making arrangements to recover the vessel.
Claire Leroy Took The Busan Round-Robin
Experience, experience and nothing but experience, that's what really counts when it comes to match racing, the chess game of sailing. And Claire Leroy has got loads of it, with two World Championship titles, several years as number one on the world ranking, and double triumphs in the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race under her belt. Now the French skipper has just won yet another round-robin. In Korea. With an impressive 9 - 2 score. Is she on her way to a third Busan title?
Claire Leroy and her Mermaid Sailing Team had a really successful Thursday on the waters just outside Haeundae Beach in Busan. The French team won six straight matches, and didn't lose a single one during the whole day. That perfect score took them all the way to the top of the leader board. In testing conditions with 20 knots of shifty and puffy breeze, combined with a lot of swell and some current.
The Busan Cup Women's International Match Race continues Friday with the quarterfinals, to conclude Saturday with semis and final.
Round-robin result in the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the 4th event of the 2016 WIM Series (name, nationality, wins - losses). The top eight advances to the quarterfinals:
1. Claire Leroy, FRA, 9 - 2
2. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 8 - 3
3. Trine Palludan, DEN, 8 - 3
4. Anna Ostling, SWE, 8 - 3
5. Katie Spithill, AUS, 7 - 4
6. Stephanie Roble, USA, 7 - 4
7. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 6 - 5
8. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 5 - 6
9. Renee Groeneveld, NED, 4 - 7
10. Diana Kissane, IRL, 2 - 9
11. Milly Bennett, AUS, 1 - 10
12. Gyeong Jin Lee, KOR, 1 - 10
Gaetano Mura - Solo Round The Globe Record
At 10 p.m. Wednesday October 26, Italian solo sailor Gaetano Mura on board his Class40 Italia, left Puerto Banus on the Spanish coast, where he spent some time completing the formalities for his Gibraltar-to-Gibraltar round the world record attempt. From the village close to Marbella Gaetano headed to the starting line, positioned south of the Trinity Lighthouse, on the famous Europa Point marking the extremity of the Rock of Gibraltar.
By crossing the line today at dawn, at 05:20 CEST, Mura officially kicked off his Solo Round the Globe Record project, that will take him around the planet promoting the colours of his native country.
Yesterday the Italian skipper completed all the bureaucratic procedures to have his record attempt ratified and everything went to plans, as confirmed by John Puddifoot, member of the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) who worked on site with Gaetano to check all the details. "The work was all right, we found the boat in perfect conditions, everything is ok on board and we could install our own instruments that will gather and store all the data on the course, thanks to Gaetano and his shore team's help." Puddifoot, who has been working for the WSSRC for a long time and based on his experience with other skippers, confirmed that the Italian sailor is: "In top form, in good spirits and very determined. I believe he is in the best conditions to leave for such a tough and demanding challenge."
Once out of the Straight and into the Atlantic ocean, heading towards the Canary Islands, Gaetano pushed Italia faster and after sailing along the European Coast, logging in miles towards the open sea. The forecasted weather conditions have been confirmed by Andrea Boscolo, Gaetano's meteorological advisor. Italia will come across a couple of days of unstable conditions, with some rainstorms and windstorms generated by a low-pressure system over the area.
After having left the Canaries to starboard, on Sunday, Italia will be able to profit from more set conditions and enter a more favourable flow of Trade Winds to head South.
Gaetano's route can be followed on his official website (in Italian only for now): www.gaetanomurarecord.com/la-rotta/
On 1 January 2017 the new edition of the World Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing will come into effect. Over the past four years World Sailing has received and considered proposals from all over the world on how the rulebook should evolve. The final result was published in July and is available as a free download on the World Sailing website, with the rule changes coming into force at the start of 2017. Not all changes are mentioned here but this is a summary of those that are probably the most significant.
Main picture: The pressure on a jury is never greater than when large sums of money and insurance companies become involved - underwriters often now stipulate that a full hearing will be necessary even if an agreement has been reached through arbitration. This expensive day's yachting was at Les Voiles de St Tropez when Wally Tilakkhana speared Wally Ryokan 2. There's a joke in there somewhere...
The biggest change to the rules affecting when boats meet on the water is to rule 18.3 (tacking in the zone). The rewritten rule will only make a difference in the case of a starboard-hand mark rounding or when both boats tack inside the zone (port-hand roundings are unaffected). A boat that tacked in the zone must also be fetching the mark after the tack if the amended rule is to apply.
Under the revised rule, at a starboard-rounding mark a boat tacking in the zone from starboard to port must complete her tack while keeping clear of boats approaching on port tack (as normal) and must keep clear of these boats if they become overlapped to leeward during the rounding. However, the boat that tacked will no longer break rule 18 if she causes the other (port tack) boats to sail above close-hauled to avoid her after she completes her tack (which was the case previously).
Jon Napier's full story in the December issue of Seahorse
Slow Race To China
Black Baza won the opening salvo of the 10th China Cup International Regatta after taking line honours in the opening day of this four-day event, the Hong Kong to Shenzhen Passage Race.
Anthony Root's Ker 42 custom footer outsmarted her larger competition in the extremely light and patchy breezes and managed to pick a way through the wind holes to take the winner's gun ahead of the bigger boats. Among Root's crew is double Olympic medallist Jo Aleh, who is calling strategy on Black Baza. "We were climbing up on the boom at times, to get a good look around at the best of the breeze," said the Kiwi superstar. "It wasn't really a boatspeed day, just about keeping yourself in the wind, wherever you could find it." On handicap Black Baza finished 2nd behind last year's division winner, Hero Racing skippered by Tiffany Koo.
Among those that suffered in the light airs was Jelik, the 75ft Reichel/Pugh racing sled skippered by Frank Pong. "We went left towards the shore, and I should have known better," admitted Pong. "The forecast said it was going to go right and I should have paid attention because that's exactly what it did. We were leading nicely off the start line, but when the new breeze came in, the boats out to sea had at least twice as much wind as we did, and they sailed around us and straight past us to the finish."
Jelik was one of many boats that failed to finish before the 4pm cut-off time. The leading Beneteau 40.7s were within spitting distance of the finish line but weren't quite soon enough for any of the fleet to get a score on the board.
The light winds look set to continue on Friday, the final bit of the hangover after a big typhoon hit this region a week ago. Saturday and Sunday promise better breeze, so this edition of the China Cup is certain to test a variety of racing skills. Principal race officer Simon James is looking to keep things interesting with a variety of course formats for the three days of inshore racing.
Advance Preparations Underway For Quantum Key West Race Week
The Storm Trysail Club has flip flops on the ground in Key West, the southernmost point of the continental U.S., and advance preparations are underway for the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, scheduled January 15-20, 2017.
The entry list for the must-attend regatta of the winter is fast approaching 90 boats, the nightly parties are being planned and the sponsor list is well-tuned with six companies - Quantum Sails, City of Key West/Key West Tourism, Lewmar, B&G, Marlow and Mount Gay Rum - returning from last year as Platinum Level sponsors. They're joined on the list by first-time sponsor Gill North America.
The fleet features 11 TP52's, which will be sailing the first leg of the 2017 52 Super Series in Key West. The lineup includes Doug DeVos's (Ada, Michigan) 2016 series and world champion Quantum Racing as well as longtime class members Alberto and Pablo Roemmers's (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Azzurra and Niklas Zenstromm's (Bursledon, UK) Ran, the 2016 Owner/Driver Champion. In all, seven of the 11 entries hail from foreign countries.
The J/70 Class, with 23 entries and counting, is another class that looks strong. "We have many class members who are fond of Key West Race Week, who've done it many years in the past," said the class executive director, Chris Howell. "I expect there'll be upwards of 50 entries, similar to last year."
The History Of The Famous SOS Distress Signal
The SOS distress signal has been a staple for emergency communication for 110 years, and although communications technology is very different now to the days of Morse Code, the term is still widely used today.
The SOS distress signal was the work of the British Marconi Society and the German Telefunk, who established it at the Berlin Radio Society on October 3, 1906 - although it wasn't properly introduced until July 1, 1908.
To celebrate this landmark occasion, we take a look at some of the interesting SOS facts from across the last 110 years:
Contrary to popular belief, SOS does not stand for 'save our souls' or 'save our ship'. Nor does it mean 'send out succour'. SOS actually stands for nothing at all.
SOS was selected purely because it could be very easily transmitted in Morse code during distress (dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, dot-dot-dot). Only later did the likes of 'save our souls' emerge.
Faithful to its heritage to embody the love of sailing and cruising, the annual rendezvous for the "Catamarans Cup" has set sail for the 7th successive year.
The Catamarans Cup is an international regatta for cruising catamarans. A unique event which combines racing and a relaxing holiday in the Greek Islands, with numerous side events, including welcome parties hosted on each island, local events, award ceremonies, cocktail parties, beach BBQs.
The Marina of Alimos in Athens was the magnet for sailors arriving from 18 countries around the world, who flocked to join this special. The week long program of racing, themed competitions, parties and opportunity to explore the region, has seen the popularity and reputation of the Catamarans Cup grow year on year.
The event targets all levels of experience and types of catamaran, and for 2016 features thirty-seven boats and more than 350 sailors. Starting and ending in the Marina of Alimos, the fleet heads to Kea, Kithnos, Poros, Epidaurus and returns to Athens on 28 October.
The curtain of the event will fall with a spectacular ceremony on 28 October in Alimos, where sailors will have the opportunity to share memories and experiences and celebrate their achievements and the pure fun of sailing.
The Catamarans Cup is organized is under the auspices of the HTO, with official patronage from the Municipalities of Kea, Kythnos, Poros and Epidaurus.
* From Jamie Leopold: Thank you for the heart warming article about Jim Weekes and the Gold Medal he won while crewing on the renowned 6 Metre Llanoria at the 1948 London Olympic Games.
It is truly fitting that the Medal be returned to the Seawanhaka Yacht Club. And the trophy that was made with the Medal by SYC is absolutely beautiful. Herman "The Swede" Whiton would be ever so proud!
GPH: 550.2 Shipyard: Harkey Yachts (South Africa), july 1998 Design Botin & Carkeek Construction Sandwich Vinylester / Kevlar
One of the most successful IRC yachts on the water today. An eye watering budget left no stone unturned on this Grand Soleil 46. Owner is now moving on and a great opportunity to move into the limelight for a staggeringly low price.
Pre-preg carbon speedster for crewed and shorthanded offshore racing and employing the patented Dynamic Stability System.
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The Last Word
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