Miami Match Cup | A Different Day, A Different Story | The Paralympic Fightback Starts Here | San Fernando Race | Royal Ocean Racing Club's Easter Challenge | Launch Of The Mirabaud Sailing Video Award | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage
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
Miami Match Cup
Harry Price leads his Down Under Racing team to another day at the top dropping just one in thirteen races at Miami Match Cup, positioning himself untouchable for progression to the knockout rounds tomorrow. Americans lead the charge behind with Nevin Snow's 13Fifty Racing and Markus Edegran's E11EVEN Racing chasing the Australian hard.
US Virgin Islander Anthony Kotoun and Australia's Evan Walker sit tied on points for the remaining spot in the final four. Walker made several appearances at last year's Championship level events and finished 17th at the Match Racing World Championships. Walker struggling for the top spot clearly shows that competition around the World Match Racing Tour has stepped up for the 2017 season.
Kotoun, 41, sitting in equal 4th is proof that the new era of the World Match Racing Tour is not just for twenty-something year olds. Making his comeback to the Tour since sailing with Ed Baird, Peter Holmberg and Bill Hardesty in the monohull days Anthony finds the catamaran racing a new and exciting challenge.
The Round Robin series will conclude tomorrow before the race committee move to the knockout semifinals and final matches to crown a winner and decide which two teams will qualify to Match Cup Sweden.
A Different Day, A Different Story
Shiftier breeze and a change in the direction and design of the racecourse, in comparison to yesterday, forced many competitors to shift gears for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth and yielded a mixed bag of results for the event's nine classes. The fleet of 65 boats battled while navigating the rocky coast and its strong currents on courses, between 26 and 32 nautical miles, around the eastern side of the island.
For the Maxi 1 Class, Proteus may still hold the lead but the deck has been shuffled for the line-up of competitors that follows, due in part to Hap Fauth's Bella Mente being over the line early at the start. At Les Voiles de St. Barth, there is no option to go back to the line and restart; instead, 10% of your time upon finishing is added to the final score. Bella Mente continued on to sail a fantastic race today, taking first place on corrected time, but due to the mishap they were pushed down to sixth place in the race and fourth place overall. SFS and Prospector climbed up to second and third place, respectively.
In addition to Proteus, six competitors are still holding on to their class leads after today, including Kenneth Howery's Fortunata in CSA 1. Unlike many of the other teams, Fortunata Tactician Tommaso Chieffi felt that today was comprised of smooth sailing and agreeable conditions.
The official "Day Off" is scheduled for tomorrow, followed by the final two days of racing, Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15.
In November 2014 World Sailing merged with the International Federation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) to create a strong, sustainable organisational relationship to provide a solid platform to support sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. Less than three months later the competitive sailing community received a stunning blow. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that sailing would not be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
As with most setbacks, our first reaction was anger and frustration. Upon further reflection at World Sailing we realised that, although the decision taken by the IPC was unquestionably a great disappointment, it provided us with a unique opportunity to carefully examine para-sailing as a whole; to address the problems that the IPC, quite rightly, faulted us on; and to make the necessary changes to get sailing back into the Paralympic Games.
Full article in the May issue of Seahorse magazine:
San Fernando Race
16 boats came out for the 40th Anniversary of the San Fernando Race, a 480nm race across the South China Sea from Hong Kong to San Fernando, Philippines.
Racing started today slightly east of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Kellett Island Clubhouse due to a work area in the harbour. The warning signal for racing sounded at 1310hrs in 8 to 10kts of due east breeze. The fleet vied for position on the start line in a 10-minute start sequence with all boats getting away cleanly at 1320hrs.
The left side of the harbour seemed to pay off for the only Philippines entry in the Race; Ernesto Echauz's TP52 Standard Insurance Centennial as well as Hong Kong boats - the Custom Ker 42 Black Baza owned by Steve Manning and Anthony Root and the GTS 43 Mandrake III owned by Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns allowing them to sneak up the fleet. As the fleet approached Lei Yue Mun, gains and losses were made as the wind dropped to 1 to2kts and yachts tiptoed along until the breeze filled in again and kites were hoisted in Junk Bay.
The first boat through the Lei Yun Mun gap and subsequently out of view on the horizon was Hong Kong's 100' super maxi Scallywag owned by Seng Huang Lee. Scallywag crew no doubt have the San Fernando Race record on their mind and will do their best to slice some time off the 2001 record set by Sam Chan's 70' ULDB Sled, FfreeFire of 49h 55m 12s. Scallywag raced in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's last major offshore race the Volvo Hong Kong to Hainan Race in November and chopped 2h 22m 41s off the previous record.
With most of the fleet now out of Hong Kong waters the boats navigators will be watching the weather forecast to see how they can best position themselves to take advantage of the strengthening NE monsoon breeze tonight, which could possibly see wind strengths up to 20 to 25kts.
Strong, Diverse Line-Up For The RORC Annual Training Regatta
Britain's premature summer looks set to continue into this weekend for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Easter Challenge, running on the Solent from Good Friday until Easter Sunday.
The RORC Easter Challenge traditionally doubles as the opener for the club's domestic season and as a 'coaching regatta'. Aiming to try and raise the calibre of racing in the UK, the RORC lays on expert coaching for free for the entire regatta. This comes from some of the world's top coaches, including Jim Saltonstall, MBE, who has played a significant role in honing the skills of so many successful British Olympians. He is joined by professional coach Mason King, plus Eddie Warden Owen, CEO of the RORC - who, aside from being an accomplished sailor has coached America's Cup crews including Team New Zealand and Desafío Español.
They are supplemented by nearly the entire posse from North Sails UK: Frank Gerber and Jeremy Smart will be in the North RIB, while the rest will be racing, but all will be available at the post-race debriefs that will take place daily at the RORC Cowes clubhouse. North Sails is also providing drone footage from the day's racing which will be shown at the debriefs and the clubhouse bar.
At present the line-up for the RORC Easter Challenge ranges from the Ker 46, Lady Mariposa, to a quintet of Quarter Tonners, including regular contenders, Sam Laidlaw on Aquila and Louise Morton's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup winner, Bullit.
Stealing the limelight will be the five FAST40+ class yachts, including Sir Keith Mills' Invictus. However nipping at their heels will be the two Mark Mills-designed MAT 1180s, Gallivanter and Christian Zugel's Tschuss (one of two German competitors in IRC One, along with Soenke Bruhns' M34, Hotspot).
IRC Two will comprise the 30-40 footers including a strong posse of First 40s, such as RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine's La Réponse to David Franks' 2012 IRC National championship winning JPK 10.10, Strait Dealer, via several J/109s and Tom Kneen's JPK 10.80, Sunrise.
Racing in IRC Three are the Quarter Tonners as well as Harry J. Heijst's S&S41 Winsome, plus the smaller J/Boats, including three J/97s. Also in the mix are a pair of Sigma 38s, one being the British Offshore Sailing School's Rumour of BOSS, campaigned this season by Team Challenge Racing - a mixed youth crew aged 17 to 25, led by 18-year-old Charlie Ellis.
Racing at the RORC Easter Challenge gets underway on Friday morning at 1055 with several practice starts.
Launch Of The Mirabaud Sailing Video Award
Open to professional TV, film and video producers, cameramen, editors and filmmakers, the 'Mirabaud Sailing Video Award' will also celebrate the professional sailors who film their achievements during regattas.
The main prize - the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award - will be determined by an international jury. The Prize of the Public will be awarded following votes from the public on Internet. The Special Jury Award will celebrate the sailors who produce the best on-board videos during races.
The winners of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award will be celebrated during the Yacht Racing Forum (Aarhus, Denmark, November 27-28, 2017), in front of the sports' leading personalities, events, classes, yacht clubs and sponsors.
The Mirabaud Sailing Video Award website will be launched in May 2017, allowing producers to submit their work. The videos will be published on the event website upon reception, whilst the public will be asked to vote from September 1.
* From Alexander Meller, 505 7200
Regarding Ms. Coady vs ISAF, I agree with Damian Foxall!!!
On the page: sailing.org/2016-olympic-games.php, ISAF lists the Olympic events from 2016 as:
470 - Men
470 - Women
49er - Men
49erFX - Women
Finn - Men
Laser - Men
Laser Radial - Women
Nacra 17 - Mixed
RS:X - Men
RS:X - Women
All events with "Men" above should have been listed as "Open", unless a compelling argument could have be made that a female would have an advantage over a male in those classes and events; good luck with that!
As Trine Elvstrøm (Tornado crew 1984 and 1988 Olympics), Cathy Foster (470 helm 1984 Olympics), other female sailors as Mr. Foxall listed, and the many females currently competitively racing in dinghies and keelboats have proven, females can be competitive --- if they chose to -- against males. This may be unique to sailing of all the Olympic sports, and should be highlighted and celebrated by ISAF at the Olympic level, and not just by having a single "Mixed" class, but by also allowing women to compete in Open event if they choose to.
* From Jim Champ: The sad reality though is that if you make every Olympic event open then only the tiniest minority of competitors will be female. One only needs to look at the records to see this is the case. The tiny number of exceptions, like Cathy Foster and Trine Elvstrom, only highlight this. Even in classes like the Europe and the 470, which would seem to favour smaller sailors, there seems to be some combination of physical characteristics which makes it extremely challenging for equally talented female sailors to beat unusually small male ones at elite level. Below elite level this doesn't seem to apply, and there are plenty of classes with a reasonably healthy percentage of competitive female sailors, and long may that continue.
So I suppose I agree with Mr Foxall: maintain mixed and female classes only where needed. But 'where needed' includes all Olympic class and Olympic qualification events like the one where the Coady incident occurred.
* From Debbi Booth:
I was interested in Mr Foxall's article, and by the end was in somewhat agreement with him. Maybe women should be allowed to stand up and be counted? As a female racer, one could say that it is a subject close to my heart.
I was impressed with his statistics regarding the Olympic Classes, however I suddenly wondered whether the recent Volvo Ocean Race rule changes would be derided in a similar way in future; "Why did females need special rule changes to be included? Why couldn't they just compete? It was 'Open' before these rules changes!" Except of course, the problem is that women weren't being chosen. And now they will be.
So, I decided to look into the statistics. In fairness, I did it quickly and used Wikipedia (horror and shock!) so I am happy to be corrected if I have overlooked something.
1980 - All open events - No female medallists. 154 men and 0 women competing.
1984 - 6 open, 1 mens - No female medallists. 298 men and 2 women competing.
1988 - 4 open, 3 men, 1 women - Female medallists only in the female class. 360 men and 43 women competing.
1992 - 4 open, 3 mens, 3 womens - Female medallists only in female classes. 322 men and 83 women competing.
1996 - 4 open, 3 mens, 3 womens - Female medallists only in female classes. 361 men and 100 women competing.
I did not go any further than this, as I believe the pattern to be established and ran out of time. As I was not alive for 3/5s of the above Olympics I can only use the statistics to look at why decisions were made. But I presume it was to increase female participation. It worked.
We now have an amazing group of young female sailors coming up and we need to make sure they continue to be catered for. We have already seen what happens if all events are 'Open', and it really isn't ancient history yet. These changes were made in most peoples lifetimes, and they were made for good reasons, and they worked. We shouldn't have forgotten the 1980s sailing team yet. 154 men and 0 women. It is not because women weren't sailing back then. I know they were, because I know some of them.
I applaud the sentiment, I worry about the outcome.
* From Sean Doyle:
Damien Foxhall's submission is an excellent summation and I endorse his views wholeheartedly as I am sure do many of our great fraternity
It's time that the creeping elitism is curbed and facilitate the spot as it is meant to be enjoyed.
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Back on Monday
Your humble narrator will be travelling on Friday to his nephew's wedding. With a side trip to find my lost youth.
The Last Word
Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich. -- Daffy Duck
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