For whom will the America's Cup bell first toll? | Before You Trust Your Life to a Jacket | Race Expert/Watch Officer | Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge | Superyacht Cup: Watch Out, We're Back | Vasco de Gama Race | John Lee appointed Chief Executive Officer of Australian Sailing | Jason Smithwick to become Director of Rating for IRC | Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award | 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
For whom will the America's Cup bell first toll?
With Practice Session 4 just concluded, in Bermuda some very clear trends emerging - and particularly so when the results of the Practice Sessions 1,3 and 4 are combined and considered, in the context of a win-loss record/percentage. The number of races sailed by each team also tells us something about their current emphasis.
From what has been seen to date, the America's Cup can be expected to change hands at the end of June.
With the exception of Emirates Team New Zealand who has raced only one day in Bermuda, the same teams are winning when paired with a particular opponent. There is a repetitive pattern emerging.
Artemis Racing has sailed 29 races for 24 wins and 5 losses across the three series. That gives her an 83% win record. The Swedish team didn't have a good day on the first day of Practice Session 1, but after that started taking wins off Oracle Team USA, and looks to have the measure of the America's Cup Defender. The Swedish team have been sailing with a set of daggerboards which are believed to be optimised for the mid to upper wind limit - and with the exception of the final day of Practice Session 4, the sailing has mostly taken place in this wind range.
Against the Defender, Artemis Racing have won seven races in a row, plus another two when Oracle Team USA withdrew with reliability issues. That's a 7-0 or a 9-0 win/loss sequence - depending on how you score the game.
The Swedes win/loss percentage climbs to an impressive 85% if Race 15 in Practice Session 4 is discounted - after Artemis gave Emirates Team NZ a easy win by starting 24 secs late.
Oracle Team USA started with a hiss and roar, clocking up a nine win and two loss record in the first series. The wheels started to fall off in the third Practice session - and on the basis of the last two Practice Sessions, OTUSA has a 52% (9 win - 8 loss) record.
While all teams will claim that they have more speed developments to come, the fact is that no team is going to stop developing. -- RIchard Gladwell
Full editorial in Sail-World.com:
Before You Trust Your Life to a Jacket
Dun Laoghaire RNLI is making a timely warning this Bank Holiday weekend to all lifejacket owners to ensure the appropriate safety checks are carried out by a competent agent ahead of the main boating season.
The safety appeal comes following the results from a free lifejacket advice clinic held in Dun Laoghaire by the RNLI's community safety team last weekend.
Of the 131 lifejackets checked, only 21% were found to be completely fault free.
The lifejackets were brought to the free clinic by a variety of boat users and were checked by experienced RNLI volunteers. While the RNLI offers sea safety advice it does not offer a pass or fail assessment on lifejacket servicing.
Just over half the units tested had the recommended crotch straps fitted that are considered vital to ensure that a lifejacket inflates correctly on the wearer and remains in place, keeping the wearer's head above the water and helping to prevent fatigue.
There were numerous examples of life-threatening problems detected during the checks. Ninety of the units had out of date firing mechanisms and 23 had corroded gas bottles that risk incorrect inflation in an emergency.
Other problems identified at the clinic included lifejackets that had already been fired (3), missing gas cylinders (3), missing firing mechanisms (3), bladder abrasion (3), holed bladder (3) and one unit that was so old it didn't inflate at all.
Race Expert/Watch Officer
The nerve centre of the offshore operation is the Race Control room at our HQ in Alicante and Race Expert/Watch Officers will be crucial to its operation - in both safety but also race communication terms to fans.
The role of Race Expert/Watch Officer is the perfect opportunity either for very experienced sailors who want to be back in the heart of the Volvo Ocean Race or young sailors determined to compete in the race in the future. Key aspects of the role include, in a phased watch-keeping mode whilst the boats are racing:
- Build relationships with each team, via constant communication with the sailing teams at sea and our Onboard Reporters.
- Monitoring of the fleet with the best navigation and weather tools available.
- Analysis and communication of team strategy, supporting our wider media and comms team with their high quality content, and direct and immediate explanations of tactics to our online audience as a Race Expert via various digital channels 24/7 (Race Expert whats app etc).
- Being a first point of contact for emergency incident management, supporting the Crisis Management Team.
Requirements to apply:
EU national or ability to acquire necessary EU working permits.
Fluent English (written and spoken). Other languages are a plus.
Your CV/resume must be in English, and confirm your nationality/work permit status.
Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge
Eight teams from several nations taking part in different classes at Antigua Sailing Week competed in the fifth edition of the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge.
The three-race final was contested between four teams from four different countries: Rebel (ANT), R-Six (POL), Sojana (GBR) and Dingo (TRI).
Sojana came out all guns blazing, once again nailing the start in the first race to stamp its authority on the finalists with a convincing win. Race 2 and it was deja vu as Sojana got away well and extended on the fleet, but on the penultimate leg, Sojana seemed to run out of wind. The dog saw the rabbit and Dingo came charging through to pass Sojana and take the gun. The last race was set to decide the winner and cool-hand Richard Sydenham helmed Sojana to victory. The Rebel team from Antigua took second place; an amazing achievement as the team of Rhone Kirby, Angelise Gordon and Jahread Jeffyrs are all in their teenage years, including Angelise who is just 15 years old. In third place was Robert Janecki's Polish team, R-Six.
Racing at the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week will continue tomorrow, Thursday 4th May. Two races are scheduled for the majority of classes and this will be the penultimate day of racing action for the regatta.
Superyacht Cup: Watch Out, We're Back
This year's fleet is made up of a selection of incredibly varied yachts. For example, we'll be able to see new entrants so fresh their paint's practically still wet (like the 34m Ribelle). Aside from newcomers, the line-up also sees a myriad of yachts that have served many years on the circuit and have proven blue water credentials.
The 32m Frers designed Bolero competed for the last time in 2010. We're thrilled to be able to see her blue lines slice through the race course this year. We're also excited to see the 42m This is Us and her spirited crew return, this steadfast entrant competed in no less than three previous editions: 2011, 2012 and 2014. As the 2011 fleet boasted ten yachts graced with Andre Hoek's distinctly elegant lines this edition featured a dedicated Hoek Class, in which This is Us finished third.
Another former competitor and delicious example of Dutch boat-building expertise is the 46m Windrose of Amsterdam. This award-winning schooner has been out of the racing scene for a while; she competed for the last time in 2009. With her classic lines and the crew's sailing savvy she'll be amped to show her adversaries what she's made of. We can't wait.
Vasco de Gama Race
Durban, South Africa: In a thrilling slide down the coast to Port Elizabeth, a new record has been set, and one broken in the 46th edition of the Vasco da Gama hosted by the Point Yacht Club that started offshore of Durban at midday on Freedom Day, and concluded a few hours after sun up on Saturday.
Overall line honours and the title holders of the new multi-hull record, the crew of SmartTri40 co-skippered by Theunis Potgieter and Sean Jones bolted through the finish line in a dazzling time of 42 hours, 58 minutes and 53 seconds. Smashing the mono-hull record, the yacht Rocket captained by Herbert Karolius rocketed her way down in 44 hours, 1 minute and 53 seconds, annihilating the 2015 record set by Nicholas Mace on Gumption. The previous record was 54 hours, 58 minutes and 2 seconds.
No stranger to multihull sailing, Jones is the owner to one of the quickest boats in Durban, his pacey catamaran, Bandit. "The tri is a beauty to sail, compared to Bandit, she really is a dream. A more modern design. Surfing downwind, you just had to put her in the right place, line her up and you would hardly have to adjust her. You can really push it on the tri, be on the edge and still feel like you are completely in control. SmartTri40 is a lot more powerful, a lot more forgiving. She is a machine but completely controllable."
The crew of four sprinted down to East London in 23 hours, clocking a top speed of 24.8 knots with the breeze recording at around 37 knots,
The small fleet that competed in the epic 400NM race traversing some of the most treacherous coastline in the world, are all were safely docked near Algoa Bay after a unique race. The next major event for the Point Yacht Club is the clubs 125th birthday celebration, so it is fitting to see records tumble in this milestone year for the club.
John Lee appointed Chief Executive Officer of Australian Sailing
Australian Sailing is pleased to announce the appointment of John Lee as Chief Executive Officer. John is an experienced and well-regarded sports administrator and has held senior roles in transport, tourism and Government. A former Board member of the Australian Sports Commission and CEO of NRL clubs Sydney Roosters and South Sydney, John has also held a number of senior leadership roles and Directorships including the North Queensland Cowboys, Events NSW and the Advertising Standards Board.
Matt Allen thanked outgoing Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll, who has joined the Australian Olympic Committee, for his leadership over almost three years, saying "working alongside Matt as we engaged with States, Clubs, Classes and members during One Sailing provided an outstanding result for sailing. We wish Matt all the best with the AOC and look forward to our ongoing relationship with him and his team, particularly in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020".
John commences with Australian Sailing on Tuesday 9 May 2017.
Jason Smithwick to become Director of Rating for IRC
The Lymington (UK) based Rating Office is to be managed by Dr Jason Smithwick. Following on from academia, roles in the research industry and sailing's international federation Smithwick will take up his post at the head of a team of four full-time staff and several external consultants on 3rd July this year.
Established in 1974 the Rating Office has been coordinating the measurement of sailing boats and the issuing of rating certificates for over 43 years. Over the years the Rating Office staff have been coordinating the measurement and rating of everything from IOR boats in the '70s and 80's, IMS in the early '90s and CHS in the '80s and '90s which evolved into IRC in use today.
In addition to calculating ratings the office is involved in the management, measurement and in some cases, the creation of class rules for fleets such as the Whitbread 60, the current VOR 65, the new Club Swan 50, Swan 45 class, Mumm 30 and Mumm 36 classes, Nautor Swans, Wallys, Maxi 72 and countless other sub-groupings that use the IRC Rule today. The Rating Office is also actively involved in international safety standards for yacht racing and has key roles in RYA and World Sailing working groups and committees.
Dr Jason Smithwick (45) graduated from Southampton University in 1994 continuing in the world of academia for another 10 years gaining his doctorate and eventually ending up as Principal Engineer & Software Manager at the world renowned Wolfson Unit. The next stage in his career was in the role of Technical and Offshore Director at sailing's international federation, known today as World Sailing.
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award
Sailing photographers from all over the world are invited to enter the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award 2017. Started in 2010, the world's premier photography competition dedicated to the sport of sailing provides an opportunity for professional photographers to share their passion for sailing with a wide community.
" The upcoming America's Cup & Volvo Ocean Race, the arrival of the Vendee Globe, the Mini Class, Figaro, Classic yachts events and so much more should once again generate an extraordinary selection of images that will illustrate the diversity of the sport of sailing ", said Nicolas Mirabaud, member of the Executive Committee at Mirabaud. " We have been involved in sailing at the highest level for over a decade, supporting projects who reflect high performance, teamwork and technology. It is always a great pleasure to discover the latest developments of the sport, but also its beauty and poetry through the pictures submitted for the award. "
No less than 149 professional photographers spanning twenty-five nations submitted a picture for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award 2016 and generated an exceptional selection of images. French photographer Jean-Marie Liot won the main award. 34'680 people voted for their favorite picture on Internet whilst 1,8 million pages have been viewed on the event website.
The top eighty photographs submitted before October 12, 2017 at midnight will be preselected by a panel of three international and well recognized yacht racing photographers and published on the event's website.
The top twenty pictures selected by the jury will be displayed during the Yacht Racing Forum, on November 27-28 in Aarhus, Denmark, in front of the sports leading personalities. The winning photographer will receive the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award whilst a minimum of € 2'000 prize money will be distributed to the winners.
Two secondary prizes will also be awarded during the Yacht Racing Forum: The Yacht Racing Forum Award (selected by the delegates attending the Yacht Racing Forum) and the Public Award (selected by the votes from the public on Facebook).
Photographers can submit only one photograph, taken between November 1, 2016, and October 12, 2017.
Lupa of London is a remarkable Reichel Pugh designed Carbon composite cruiser racer with an outstanding Baltic build pedigree and enviable trophy cupboard.
SEAWONDER is an immaculate, race-winning MC46, launched by Marine Composite in late 2003. She is built entirely from pre-preg carbon over Corecell. She has been professionally maintained and has a comprehensive inventory of sails and equipment. A new bow and IRC/ORC keel were fitted in 2009.
An excellent opportunity to buy into an established charter Whitbread 60. strong and well looked after, with regular maintenance and recent rigging and engine.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy. I love the Republic. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me! -- Emperor Palpatine
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html