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
Racing starts tomorrow at the inaugural GC32 Championship. 11 international teams, from the Extreme Sailing Series and the GC32 Racing Tour, plus a few competing in this summer's Red Bull Youth America's Cup will line up off Al Mouj (The Wave, Muscat), on the outskirts of Muscat, Oman from Tuesday 28th February until Sunday 5th March. Eleven GC32s represents the largest ever gathering of the one design foiling cats, which are built in nearby Dubai.
The final five teams for the GC32 Championship, run by the GC32 International Class Association in association with OC Sport, have been announced today.
Among the Extreme Sailing Series heavy-hitters, Red Bull Sailing Team is a favourite. The Austrian team led by two time Olympic Tornado gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, finished the Extreme Sailing Series third last year.
Land Rover BAR Academy announced its squad for the 2017 season today. Like last year, the crew here is unusually being led by its bowman, in this case with former shorthanded offshore sailor, Rob Bunce, taking over from Neil Hunter, who has graduated up to the Land Rover BAR America's Cup sailing team.
PRO John Craig is aiming to run up to six races day of around 25 minutes duration. With a relatively light forecast this will most likely be with a reaching start and finish sandwiching windward-leewards. There is also the opportunity to hold a 'long distance race'.
Racing is scheduled to start daily at 1300 local time, but Craig reckons this may be brought forward: "The wind is supposed to happen early in the morning, whereas at 1300 it looks like it might die." A layday is still scheduled for Thursday.
The GC32 Championship is the first being run under World Sailing's new Racing Rules of Sailing 'Fast Boat Edition 2017-2020'. Born of the America's Cup, these are modified version of the RRSes to take into account the unique traits of ultra fast boats like the GC32s.
Among the rules being modified have been those governing weather mark gate roundings, a dramatic simplification of the tacking rights (designed to prevent collision) and the elimination of the 'proper course' rule.
New Zealand's Tawera Racing Joins Extreme Sailing Series Line-Up In Muscat
The seventh challenger for Act 1 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series is announced today in the form of New Zealand-flagged Tawera Racing, which will compete as a full season entry. The team has been formed to give New Zealand's elite youth sailors a launch pad into the cutting-edge world of foiling multihull racing.
With a mix of previous Extreme Sailing Series competitors from the GC32 era and New Zealand's finest fresh-faced youth sailors, this newly-formed squad should throw up a strong challenge to the well-established and seasoned crews it will face as it takes to the water on 8 March.
Co-skipper and helm Chris Steele comes with valuable experience in the Series, having competed last season on board CHINA One and as skipper and helm of Act 8 wildcard team RNZYS Performance Programme on Sydney Harbour.
Joining Steele as co-skipper and mainsail trimmer is New Zealander Graeme Sutherland, tactician on board Steele's match racing team, 36 Below Racing, and twice international Youth Match Racing champion.
Irishman Shane Diviney returns to the Series as headsail trimmer, having crewed alongside Steele on both CHINA One and RNZYS Performance Programme and having competed on board wildcard Gazprom Team Russia last season.
The youngest member of the crew is 18-year-old foil trimmer Leonard Takahashi, an accomplished New Zealand/Japanese 49er, Optimist and match racing sailor. Taking turns to work the bow will be Kiwi sailors Josh Salthouse, who crewed on board Steele's winning 2016 New Zealand Match Racing Championship team, and George Anyon, 2016 Nespresso Youth International Match Racing champion.
Tawera Racing will take its place alongside the rest of the fleet for Act 1 from 8-11 March, following the GC32 Championship at the same location, which takes place from 27 February - 5 March.
The incredible Monsieur Joyon, time-out in Bermuda, a new TP52 threatens and those Banque Populaire amenities in full. Jack Griffin, Armel Le Cleac'h,Terry Hutchinson, Patrice Carpentier
Design - Flying oldies
'Cabinet GSEA' in Brittany are to date the only engineers to have converted a 2012-generation Imoca 60 to foiling. Damien Doyotte
Seahorse build table - Little beauty
Pete Melvin introduces Morrelli & Melvin's (very cool) new TF10 folding foiler trimaran
Paul Cayard - Great for the sport
Something really good has been going on down in Nassau
Sailor of the Month
Kindred spirits underneath
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Plymouth To The Gareloch
A pair of intrepid voyagers are attempting to smash their existing record this year by covering 500 nautical miles of open sea from Plymouth to the Gareloch.
Acting Petty Officer Phil Slade and MOD civilian Mark Belamarich will sail non stop from Plymouth to the Gareloch in a dinghy to raise money for both the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Bowel Cancer UK.
The pair are set to stop-off on the Gareloch in May at the culmination of their record breaking attempt.
Last year the sailors set a new record by travelling non-stop from Plymouth to Portsmouth, vis Septiles in France, using a Royal Navy Bosun sail training dinghy.
The 309.25 nautical mile trip was recognised by Guinness World Records as the longest distance ever sailed in a double-handed dinghy.
Phil and Mark are looking to smash their existing record by covering over 500 nautical miles.
To support Phil and Mark on their 2017 record breaking attempt, "Bosun 500 Challenge" visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com
Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed
Join us at the first ever National Maritime Museum Cornwall late and receive exclusive access to the ground-breaking Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibition.
Explore this provocative and challenging show, hear insights from our guest curator Dr. Matt Lodder, and enjoy sets from Blues extraordinaire Tom Dale and Honey Club Residents: Balouu & Tom Gecim, all while enjoying a free drink courtesy of Sailor Jerry. Discover the surprising and truly moving stories behind Cornwall's tattoos through screenings of our Tattoo Tales project and take home some of our fabulous tattoo merchandise.
Artemis Racing Launch Their America's Cup Class Yacht
Artemis Racing, the Swedish challengers for the 35th America's Cup, launched their America's Cup Class (ACC) yacht at a ceremony at their team base in Morgan's Point, Bermuda. The boat was officially christened Magic Blue by Natalia Tornqvist and was lowered into the water for the very first time in front of a crowd of invited guests and the team's family, friends, boat builders, designers, sailors and shore crew.
Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner of Artemis Racing, was on hand at the event to see the hard work and thousands of hours of design and build culminate in the launch of the team's ACC boat
With the wraps now off Artemis Racing's boat, that brings to four the number of America's Cup team ACC boats that have now been launched. Land Rover BAR, ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand have all unveiled the incredible foiling catamarans that they will be racing on Bermuda's Great Sound in May and June 2017.
The Price You Pay
"I've certainly put a lot into my America's Cup and Olympic campaigns over the last 20 years and you give up a lot of other things that people in other walks of life take for granted, like a decent social life or seeing your friends more often.
"But it's the price you pay for something that is important to you."
These are the words of Iain Percy, Team Manager and Tactician of Artemis Racing, winner of two gold Olympic medals, one silver Olympic medal and multiple European and world champion. In short, Iain is a winner.
The next challenge for the incredibly talented British sailor is to help his Artemis Racing team win the 35th America's Cup, and his focus and determination on helping the Swedish outfit take the Auld Mug to Sweden means he won't be having a more active social life, or seeing his friends, any more in the short term than he has over the last 20 years.
"The intellectual challenge of trying to solve all these problems collectively, as a unit, is fascinating." Words you don't expect to hear from a sailor, but this is part of what sets Percy apart. He may be a supremely talented athlete, but he's also one of the more cerebral sailors out there, embracing the mental tasks that face him as Team Manager and Tactician as much as the physical challenge of racing an America's Cup Class (ACC) boat in the 35th America's Cup.
"You're doing this for a team that you care about, and that's the bit that matters to me."
Again, another insight into what drives a man who has seen victory, defeat and experienced the tragic loss of his best friend and teammate Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.
If you weren't an Artemis Racing fan already, you will be after watching this insight into Iain Percy:
60 Years Of The OK Dinghy
Some early OK Dinghies in Denmark in 1959. Click on image to enlarge.
Sixty years ago two Danish sailors combined their great ideas and created the fantastic OK Dinghy. Axel Damgaard's vision, combined with Knud Olsen's design skills, created an innovative and exciting dinghy that has now lasted six decades.
In the early years, many in Denmark tried to have the boat banned because it was demed to be so hard to control, but the early OK Dinghy sailors stuck at, learned how to control the boat and make it go fast and it flourished into one of the most successful classes of the 1960s and 1970s.
The resurgence in the class today is perhaps because the boat attracts the same pedigree of sailor as it did 60 years ago for very close and competitive racing. The class is a family of sailors worldwide who love to sail the OK Dinghy and to be with other OK Dinghy sailors (well, most of them anyway) and which embodies having huge amounts of fun on and off the water.
There will be lots of celebrations this year, and lots of reasons to celebrate. We look forward to the first OK Dinghy World Championship in the Caribbean, as around 80 sailors head to Barbados in May. The biggest event in Europe will be the European Championship in Denmark in August, which will be the main focus of the 60th anniversary celebrations and is expected to attract a huge turnout. In most countries the growth continues, with new fleets, new boats, new builders and new sailors in new parts of Europe. There is a lot to celebrate.
A New Book...
As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary it is proposed to publish a new book on the class. This will be vastly different from 'Completely OK', which was published for the 50th anniversary, cheaper, smaller and much more stories. What is needed is for everyone to contribute an anecdote, a funny story, a memory of some race or other.
They will then be compiled chronologically to create a narrative of people and events in the class, notorious prizegivings, extreme races, funny stories, drinking stories, and sailing stories. It will be a reflection of the people in the class who enjoy racing such a great little boat in great company.
If everyone receiving this email contributed 100 words, the job would be almost done.
So please wrack your brains, think of a great story (try not to libel too many people) and send in your story, whether it's 100 words or 2,000 words. Photos are always useful, though in this case not obilgatory. Please send all contributions to
Help The Search To Find The Best Name For A Boat
Boat owners are being asked to help in the hunt to find the best boat names by MS Amlin, formerly Haven Knox-Johnston, the leading boat insurance specialists.
The idea was prompted by their own name change to become MS Amlin now part of a top 10 global insurance group able to offer cover for all types of craft, all around the world.
Keith Lovett, MS Amlin's Senior Underwriter, said: "Names are really important - people only give a name to things they really care about - children, their home, pets - and, of course, boats! We're proud to call ourselves MS Amlin which got us thinking about also celebrating boat names. So we are asking boat owners for stories or photos about boat names, not necessarily their own, and we'll be giving away Southampton Boat Show tickets each month for the best or funniest name, photo or story"
The search started at this year's London Boat Show where leading figures in the boating world including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Russell Currie of Fairline Yachts, Steve Arber of Tingdene Marinas, Graham Davies of Pontos Winches and Mark Jardine of yachtsandyachting.com all had their thoughts and suggestions captured on video.
To submit your story or photo and a chance to win Southampton Boat Show tickets visit www.boat-zone.com/names/
The World Sailing Show
- Francis Joyon's staggering new world record
- Unveiled - the new America's Cup Class machines
- High speed crash and burn on the ice
- You Tube bonus feature - Vendee Globe, Armel vs Alex
Tour Captain Nat's Model Room With Halsey And Maynard
If you've ever dreamed of getting a personal tour of Captain Nat's model room by Halsey Herreshoff and Maynard Bray, here's the next best thing!
Join Maynard and Halsey for your own private tour of the model room (without getting up from your favorite chair). It's a fascinating look at the tools and techniques used by Captain Nat to design the boats that were built at HMCo with insights that only Halsey and Maynard can provide. Must see TV for anyone interested in design, innovation or the history of the fastest boats on the planet.
Our friends at Off Center Harbor invite you to sign up to get instant access to Part 2 of this video series, plus you'll get 10 more of OCH's best videos. We love them, and we're pretty sure you will too!
OffCenterHarbor.com is a great membership website for wooden boat enthusiasts with over 800 professional videos and articles on wooden boats (many of which are Herreshoff creations).
Maxi champion Reichel/Pugh 82 which is equally good at coastal and inshore racing. Equipped to an incredibly high standard and ready to go for next year’s Caribbean season and beyond.
Now we’re really cooking with gas as Ker and McConaghy introduce this 90ft globe-girdling powerhouse. All three of the new McConaghy cats look to deliver a nice combination of aesthetics, roomy interiors but still a promise of proper sailing
+61 2 999 777 22
RAGAMUFFIN 90 is now on the market and our latest central listing. Built as GENUINE RISK in 2004, and competing world wide from Sardinia to Hawaii, GR always was at the front of the fleet. Under her second owner, she won both the 2010 Newport to Bermuda race, and the overall prize for the 2011 811 mile Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay race, and the overall win at Antigua sailing week both under Csa and IRC leaving no question that she was still one of the fastest maxi boats sailing.
Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan. -- Terence McKenna
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