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
Vendee Globe: Ruyant Limping To New Zealand
The cracked hull... Photo by Thomas Ruyant. Click on image to enlarge.
Vendee Globe solo skipper Thomas Ruyant is edging towards South Island New Zealand and, ideally, the sanctuary of Bluff with as much urgency has he dare, nursing his broken IMOCA Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine, which threatens to break in two after he hit a large, hard object on Sunday late afternoon.
"I have lowered the mainsail and am now motoring. I spent a few hours hove to. The damage at the front of the boat is spreading. The hull is opening up and the frame coming away a bit everywhere. I'm sailing to the south of New Zealand. I'm not sure if it will all stay in one piece until then.
What's good is that I'm in helicopter range, which is reassuring. I just have to push a button and they'll come and get me. The inside hasn't been affected and with my watertight doors, I'm sheltered. The shock was exceptionally violent. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
I was at 17-18 knots and came to a sudden standstill hitting what was probably a container seeing the damage it has done to the hull. The whole of the forward section exploded and folded up. Luckily the boat was not dismasted. It was really very violent.
I was sleeping on my beanbag and fortunately I had my head down in that, as I ended up hitting the mast bulkhead. I found things that were stowed in the stern right up against the forward bulkhead. They got thrown 10m forward.
I'm not far from the coast and I think I must be close to a shipping lane, which is perhaps the cause, as I have seen several cargo vessels. It must be the shipping lane between New Zealand and Australia. Given the seas down here, there are probably several containers in the water. I think that is what I hit given the violence of the crash. A nasty Vendee Globe. It's over. I got halfway around the world. I'm upset that it has come to an end like this. I've had my share of problems. A lot of problems, but this one, I wouldn't wish on anyone...".
AON Youth Worlds
Gold medals tumbled in Auckland at the 2016 Aon Youth Sailing World Championships as five winners were confirmed with a race to spare.
The French multihull sailors secured the inaugural Nacra 15 gold, the Australian 29er girl's won their first ever regatta, USA's 420 boys dieting and dedication paid off and both Israel and Great Britain took the RS:X titles.
USA's Wiley Rogers and Jack Parkin guaranteed themselves a gold medal with two wins from two races on day four. Explaining the key to the success Rogers said, "It took a lot of dedication, dieting and it hasn't really set in yet."
In second placed and with a 2-8 for the day, Israel's Ido Bilik and Ofek Shalgi will now have to take on Argentina's third placed sailors, Fausto Peralta and Martin Arroyo Verdi for the silver medal.
Nacra 15 pair, Tim Mourniac and Charles Dorange (FRA) lead the fleet by 23 points, enough of an advantage to win gold. The victory also handed crew Dorange his third Youth Worlds gold medal having won in the SL16 with Louis Flament in 2014 and 2015.
Italy's Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei, USA's Romain Screve and Ian Brill and Belgium's Henri Demesmaeker and Isaura Maenhaut will have a three way shoot out on the final day to claim the other two medals.
The French were understandably excited by their win but Australia's Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot were still focussed and business like ashore, "We have had a pretty solid and consistent regatta," said Wilmot.
Despite the focus, when it finally hit home that they would walk away from Auckland with a Youth Worlds gold medal the relief was evident, "We are still pretty shocked actually," said Wilmot, "we haven't ever had a regatta win in the two and half years we have been sailing together.
"We have had a lot of seconds and thirds so it's nice to finally get a win."
The 29er girl's have secured their gold with an unassailable 22 point margin back to the second placed Aleksandra Melzacka and Maja Micinska of Poland. New Zealand's Greta and Kate Stewart will fight it out with the Polish girls for who will take home silver and bronze.
Both RS:X titles were wrapped up in Auckland as Great Britain's Emma Wilson took the girl's title and Israel's Yoav Omer took the boys.
The final races are scheduled for 09:55 local time on Tuesday 20 December out of the Torbay Sailing Club.
Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar Competition
It's time to put your thoughts into words and send in your nominations for 2016's Favourite Yachting Bar competition! Now in its eigth year, this competition is now tacking and gybing to the starting line!
Our past roster of winners is world class:
Peter Cafe Sport in the Azores - 2009
Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI - 2010
IYAC in Newport, Rhode Island - 2011
Sint Maarten Yacht Club - 2012
One Bar Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, Spain - 2013
King & Queen Pub in Hamble - 2014
And our first double winner year... in 2015 it was Plas Heli in Wales and Pier View in Cowes taking the honours.
This year we have extended the submissions and voting until end January 2017.
Submit your nominees at scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars until Friday January 6 2017.
From all of the submissions, the team at Wight Vodka will choose the top 10 bars which are put forward for the online voting from Monday January 9 through Tuesday January 30.
We announce the winner on February 1 2017.
Tell us your favourite:
Tack & Gybe Responsibly
US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman Of The Year Awards
Sailing's top performers of the year are being heralded by US Sailing with the announcement of the eight men and six women who have been shortlisted for the 2016 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards.
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing's 2016 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award:
Star World Champion Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.)
Paralympic Silver Medalists Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendall (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine)
Rolex Farr 40, Maxi 72 and TP52 World Champion Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.)
Melges 20 and J/70 World Champion John Kostecki (Fairfax, Calif.)
Melges 24 World Champions and 470 North American Champions Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.)
J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall (Jamestown, R.I.)
505 World Champion Mike Martin (Mill Valley, Calif.)
Olympic Bronze Medalist Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.).
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing's 2016 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award:
Etchells Biscayne Bay Series - Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta Champion Shannon Bush (Refugio, Texas)
470 South American Championship Silver Medalists Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)
IKA Formula Kite World Champion Daniella Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.)
Laser Radial World Championship Silver Medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Melges 32 World Champion and College Sailing's Women's Singlehanded National Champion Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Melges 20 World Champion and Women's International Match Racing Series Finals runner-up Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.).
The winners will be announced in January and honored on Thursday, March 2, 2016, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.
Antigua To Bermuda Race Sails Into Series
The Spirit of Bermuda has announced its spring schedule which includes what is hoped to become an annual "legacy yachting tourism event" - the inaugural Antigua to Bermuda Race.
There will be several events and races in the Caribbean region on board the Spirit taking place between April 6 and May 22 and those interested in participating are encouraged to reserve their berths early.
The schedule culminates in the inaugural Antigua to Bermuda Race that will see the Spirit of Bermuda race the schooner America along with a fleet coming to the island just in time for the 35th America's Cup.
Taking place from May 9 to 22, the race is open to sailors of all levels aged 16 and over at a cost of $2,500 per person. Classic yachts, tall ships, superyachts, maxis and racing boats will all be making their way to the island for the start of the America's Cup, arriving just in time for Bermuda Day.
Chief executive officer for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation Diana Martin said: "This is promising for Bermuda and will bring many, many yachts, their owners and crews to Bermuda every year at the end of the Caribbean yachting season. This makes so much sense as yachts head for either Europe or the US, so why not come to Bermuda en route?"
There are other opportunities for residents to sail on board the Spirit during the spring in the Caribbean. The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta from April 19 to 25 is described as "a truly spectacular event with some of the world's most beautiful sailing boats".
For the full schedule of spring events and details on how to register, visit www.bermudasloop.org or call 737-5677.
Deadline for registration is January 31, 2017.
You choose the amount you want to give, then they can shop for top sailing kit from adidas, Crewsaver, Henri Lloyd, Musto and Rooster at www.performancesailingshop.com
ORR West Coast Championship Series - Southern Division
The Offshore Racing Association (ORA) announced the winners of the 2016 Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) West Coast Championship Series - Southern Division. Taking first place was Horizon, a Santa Cruz 50, owned by John Shulze. This incredibly competitive region brought out dozens of racers who vied for top honors.
This year the awards go to:
First Place: Horizon - owned by John Shulze
Second Place: Timeshaver - owned by Viggo Torbensen
Third Place: Pyewacket - owned by Roy P. Disney
Horizon had an incredible 2016 racing season with many wins landing them on top in this ORR series. Second place finisher, Timeshaver, a J/125 owned by Viggo Torbensen, also had a strong season. Coming in third place was Pyewacket, an Andrews 70 owned by Roy P. Disney.
Races included in the 2016 West Coast Championship Series - Southern division, included: San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race, MEXORC, Island Race, Newport to Ensenada Race, So Cal 300, Santa Barbara to King Harbor, and Long Point Race Week. Each yacht's score for the championship series consisted of points earned during these qualifying events. The San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race was weighted as two races and the So Cal 300 race weight as one and a half races. All other regattas were weighted as one race.
Former US Presidential Yacht Sold For Zero Dollars
Click on image to enlarge.
The USS Sequoia served five decades of American presidents from Herbert Hoover in 1933 to Jimmy Carter in 1977 (Richard Nixon met with Leonid Brezhnev on board to negotiate the first arms treaty with the Soviet Union). Latterly the 104-foot yacht was available for charters on the Potomac River, but since 2014 she has been laid up at a shipyard in Deltaville, Virginia, following a contract dispute over a $7.5 million loan between the yacht's owner, Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group LLC, and investment group FE Partners LLC.
Under default terms of the agreement, FE Partners could exercise an option to purchase the yacht for $7.8 million, but lawyers argued over how much the option price should be reduced because of much needed repairs.
Last month a judge in Delaware finally ruled that FE Partners could purchase the yacht for nothing. The judge, Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III, wrote a 21-page report that summed up the vessel's recent plight:
"The Sequoia, an elderly and vulnerable wooden yacht is sitting on an inadequate cradle on an undersized marine railway in a moribund boatyard on the western shore of the Chesapeake, deteriorating and, lately, home to raccoons."
The judge was tasked with assessing the costs of repair and outstanding debts. He concluded that FE Partners owed the Presidential Yacht Group nothing in exchange for the yacht, which could cost up to $4 million to restore. FE Partners is committed to refitting and preserving the Sequoia in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard so that future generations of Americans can enjoy what some have called "America's most famous boat."
Clubswan 50 Class In 2017
With 17 ClubSwan 50s sold to date, 2017 promises to be an exciting first season of racing for Nautor's newest One Design Class. Owners from Europe and Russia are among the first to join the new class.
The ClubSwan 50 was designed by Juan Kouyoumidjian to mark the Finnish brand's 50th anniversary earlier this year.
With a limit of four professionals (plus a boat captain) onboard, sail cards and strict owner driver rules, the groundwork is in place for fair play in this highly competitive Class.
The Class Rules have been prepared by Chief Measurer James Dadd and will be presented at the Class meeting next month on the occasion of BOOT Dusseldorf, where the ClubSwan 50 will also be on display from 21-29 January.
The ClubSwan 50 Class racing calendar for 2017 includes: Palmavela, the Giraglia Rolex Cup, the Copa del Rey and will conclude with the inaugural edition of The Nations Trophy hosted by the Real Club Nautico de Palma.
From 10-14 October, the ClubSwan 50 fleet will race in Palma to determine not only the first European Champion, but also for The Nations Trophy. While the Swan 45s will also battle to determine their World Champion and the Club Swan 42 Class have been invited to also take part.
Leading up to the racing season, two ClubSwan 50s will compete in the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean from 1-5 March at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda (BVI).
An excellent opportunity to buy into an established charter Whitbread 60. strong and well looked after, with regular maintenance and recent rigging and engine.
In 2014, she received two new 90 percent carbon membrane main sails from Evolution Sails NZ. In 2015, her decks were painted with Awlgrip nonskid; all the performance bells and whistles were inlayed in an opposing color on deck. Also in 2015, a new Quantum Code 1.5s spinnaker was added to her inventory.
2011 Reichel Pugh design. 45' Grand Prix racer. Lying UK. UK VAT paid. Sailing World's boat of the year 2011. Currently lying second overall in the RORC offshore series.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
Back On Thursday
Family travel precludes a Wednesday issue this week. Back on Thursday...
The Last Word
When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. -- George Carlin
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html