In This Issue
ORACLE TEAM USA win the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers | Challenge Playoff Day One Postponed To Monday | Slow Start for the Figaro | Opinion: America's Cup runneth over with blokes | New kid comin' | Hungry Like The Wolf In Riva | Looking For A Dragon Trailer | ACO 8th MUSTO Skiff World Championship | Finn Masters poised for Caribbean encounter in Barbados | J/70 Europeans | 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
ORACLE TEAM USA win the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers
Emirates Team New Zealand have decided to take on Land Rover BAR as their opposition in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs semi-finals
At the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers on Saturday, Emirates Team New Zealand finished second in the final standings, one point behind eventual winners ORACLE TEAM USA.
ORACLE TEAM USA won the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers and, with that victory, go into the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton with a valuable point already banked.
However, with ORACLE TEAM USA's place in the America's Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, already assured as the Defenders of the 'Auld Mug', Emirates Team New Zealand were handed the opportunity to select their opposition in the next stage after finishing as the next highest seeded team from the final Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers standings.
Faced with the opportunity of taking on Artemis Racing, SoftBank Team Japan or Land Rover BAR, Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling finally ended the anticipation by revealing his answer at the final press conference of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers.
"We have sat down as a team and decided we would like to pick Land Rover BAR," said Peter Burling.
Challenge Playoff Day One Postponed To Monday
The beautiful Bermudian sunshine was out in full force for Sunday's scheduled first set of races in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs, but unfortunately the required winds for racing were not.
America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) confirmed just after 4.00pm AST that the four scheduled Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs races planned for Sunday, June 4th, had to be postponed until Monday, June 5th as the winds across the Great Sound were below the minimum six knot limit America's Cup Class (ACC) boats compete in.
"Tomorrow the conditions look better so we'll look to restart at around 2.00pm on Monday with Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand vs Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR first, then Dean Barker's SoftBank Team Japan against Nathan Outteridge and Artemis Racing."
Slow Start for the Figaro
The first of four stages of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, the 48th edition of the French multi leg solo offshore race started Sunday afternoon from the Gironde estuary by Bordeaux.
But the all too gentle winds which required a delay to the original start time, finding the 43 solo skippers drifting and struggling to beat the tidal flow, seemed in stark contrast to the forecast for stormy winds, so strong that the race organisers have prudently shortened the stage from the proposed 525 nautical miles to 430 miles by taking the race only two thirds of the way north up the Bay of Biscay.
This edition promises to be one of the toughest fought for many years. Highlight is the return of titans Jeremie Beyou (Charal) and Yann Elies (Queguiner Leucemie Espoir), the two most outstanding solo skippers of their generation who are each bidding to become the first ever skipper to win the race four times. Both legendary solo racers who grew up in the same area of Brittany as contemporaries of this year's Vendee Globe winner Armel Le Cleac'h, have won three times. Elies won in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and shares the record for the most stage wins - 10 - with Frenchman Jean Le Cam. Beyou first won in 2005 and then again in 2011 and 2015.
The race remains the uncompromising proving ground for the world's best solo ocean racers. Four winners of La Solitaire also went on to win the Vendee Globe, Christophe Augin, Alain Gautier, Michel Desjoyeaux. It is the race which shaped the predatory talents of Le Cleac'h who won La Solitaire in 2010 and finished second twice in the Vendee Globe before winning the most recent edition. It is where, as the race publicity this year says, 'here legends are born'
Opinion: America's Cup runneth over with blokes
In the Louis Vuitton qualifier series for the 35th America's Cup we expect the usual wealth beyond all measure on show in Bermuda in terms of team and TV budgets and infrastructure, against the backdrop of the spectating superyacht flotilla. Based on the last two decades of Cup history, I guess we should have anticipated another all-out bloke-fest.
"When it comes to sport, the America's Cup is at the pinnacle for new technology, but it remains in the dark ages when it comes to gender equality," says Radio NZ's Sally Murphy in the opening paragraph of her piece titled 'America's Cup: Where are all the women?'.
Katie Pellew, sister of the America's Cup Defender skipper James Spithill, who is on the ground in Bermuda posted to her social media on May 31: "Where are all the women??? In the AC Village over the last few days I have seen many friends who are female sailors and fellow female competitors. They are all Olympians, match racing champions and world champions, yet every single one is in a hospitality/PR/officiating role here during the Cup."
The last time women played an active team role on an America's Cup boat was back in the mid-1990s. That was more than 20 years ago and the subsequent two decades read like the Bermuda Triangle in terms of women and the Cup.
Now the story continues as we watch the qualifiers for the 35th edition rollout in a class of boat that has precluded women from gaining on board roles, due to the power-to-weight ratio the ACC foiling catamarans demand. If women are sidelined because they lack the necessary strength then obviously the design suits only half the crew pool, irrespective of talent and experience.
Much more aware thanks to recent articles by Murphy and two-time Olympic champion Shirley Robertson on the subject of why women aren't competing at the highest levels of the sport, in particular the AC, I watch the live telecast at sparrows each morning hoping that at some point the commentary team will throw to a female designer, umpire, engineer or sailmaker; in fact any technical expert or decision-maker. But I'm disappointed. -- Lisa Ratcliff
Lisa's full editorial:
New kid comin'
In fast-moving areas of technology it's often a case of first having an idea, then start making it and only then getting around to designing it as you go along. That was not exactly the case when Al Newton and AC Marine & Composites co-founder Katinka Burmester found themselves looking, at very short notice, for large premises plus a long shopping list of specialised equipment, to respond to a 'very' serious enquiry from Atlantis Resources, world leaders in tidal power generation.
An initial period spent pre-manufacture testing brought unexpected benefits: AC Marine & Composites (ACM&C) set new benchmarks, by infusing up to 120mm of carbon Triaxial laminate in one hit and on a repeatable basis. This initial period doubled up as a final round of 'interviews' before the company was awarded the manufacturing contract itself - ahead of 19 of Europe's largest composite groups.
Full article in the June issue of Seahorse:
Hungry Like The Wolf In Riva
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Second overall goes to Fritz Homann from Germany, helming WILMA with Nico Celon as tactician, and Russia's Pavel Kuznetsov on TAVATUY with Evgeny Neugodnikov as tactician finishes the event in third.
In the Corinthian division, another new event winner - Francesco Graziani at the helm of VITAMINA takes home the Riva Del Garda trophy.
Two events remain for the Melges 32 in 2017 - the European Championship takes place in Sibenik, Croatia on July 20-22, and the World Championship happens approximately one month later in Cala Galera, Italy.
Top Five Results (Final - After Four Races)
1. Edoardo Lupi-Massimo Pessina/Lorenzo Bressani, 18 points
2. Fritz Homann/Nico Celon, 22
3. Pavel Kuznetsov/Evgeny Neugodnikov, 22
4. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, 23
5. Matteo Balestrero/Daniele Cassinari, 24
Top Five Melges 32 World League Results
1. Matteo Balestrero, 40 points
2. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, 36
3. Andrea Lacorte, 33
4. Pavel Kuznetsov, 30
5. Edoardo Pavesio, 28
Looking For A Dragon Trailer
Click on image to enlarge.
He wants to celebrate his 89 year by racing Gypsy, her 86 year, by racing Gypsy in the 2019 Cannes regatta celebrating the Dragons 90 th birthday.
In 1997, his son and namesake D3 dragged out of a farmers field, Fafner 1936 Johannsen winner of the original Dragon Gold cup. D3 did a crash two months restoration/ re build in time to take part in Dunlearly in the 60th Dragon Gold Cup anniversary Regatta. Don Street also took part in the regatta racing Gypsy.
The two dragons were trailed from Glandore to Dunlearly, while Don sailed Iolaire, his 46' engineless yawl built 1905 to Dunleary to act as mother ship, Gypsy on one side, Fafner on the other side,
217 years of wooden boats on one mooring.
In 2004 D 3 trailed Gypsy to St Tropez to take part in the 75th Dragon Anniversary Regatta. Fafner was the oldest dragon in the regatta, crewed by D3, his father Don and his younger brother Mark. There is a great photo of Fafner and crew pg 342 in the magnificent book 75 Years Of Dragons by Hecht and Halbe
In the light his racing in the anniversary regattas, Don is hoping to find someone to sell him at an affordable price a dragon trailer capable of carrying Gypsy from Glandore Ireland to Cannes to take part in the dragon 90th birthday regatta.
ACO 8th MUSTO Skiff World Championship
Bahía de Palma, Spain" The final day of the championships dawned with battles to be done for all the key titles. The sun was shining but the sea breeze was taking its time to build so the 12 oclock start was postponed.
After a short delay the fleet set out and started just before 13:00 under P flag; which was general recalled so the U flag came out and then the race got away at the second time of asking but there were a number of boats recorded UFD.
The race was abandoned; some were happy; some not but those who were recorded UFD were the most happy as they got to rejoin the race restart,
Race 13 then was restarted just after 14:00 there was an individual recall but no-one returned.
By this time the waves had built to a steep chop; Keen was leading with Robertson (AUS) second and Schwerdt third. Keen then hit a bad set of waves and capsized opening the door to the chasers.
At the finish Schwerdt took the win from Hilton (GBR) and Keen in third.
This gave Schwerdt a good advantage going into the final race; if Keen won he just had to finish in the top 10.
As the race unfolded Keen held his lead but Schwerdt was pulling through the fleet and at the finish it was Keen who took the win from Robertson (AUS) with Schwerdt in 3rd taking the title by just 6 points which over a 14 race regatta is a slim margin.
Congratulations to Frithjof Schwerdt who is the new World Champion.
Final top ten
1. Frithjof Schwerdt, GER, 35 points
2. Bruce Keen, GBR, 41
3. Andy Tarboton, RSA, 87
4. Tim Hill, AUS, 91
5. Justo Martinez Balaguer, ESP, 95
6. Dan Kilsby, GBR, 110
7. Ben Schooling, GBR, 122
8. Julian Ramm, GER, 127
9. David Poston, GBR, 128
10. Iver Ahlmann, GER, 139
Finn Masters poised for Caribbean encounter in Barbados
One hundred and thirty seven Finns from 21 countries are waiting on a beautiful sandy beach under the brilliant blue skies of Barbados as the 2017 Finn World Masters was officially opened Sunday night at the Barbados Yacht Club overlooking the picture book azure waters of Carlisle Bay.
Following directly on from the OK Dinghy World Championship last week, a lot of the sailors arrived early and have been training in the bay to try to get to grips with its idiosyncrasies that became rapidly apparent during the OK regatta. The Practice Race was scheduled earlier on Sunday but a strong wind gusting to 28 knots exceeded the wind limit set by the class and racing was abandoned shortly after the fleet arrived in the start area. It wasn't all-bad news though as it enabled the sailors to spend more time on the beach enjoying the club's excellent hospitality.
The fleet here includes the past three Finn Masters World Champions, Rafa Trujillo from Spain, Vladimir Krutskikh from Russia and Michael Maier from Czech Republic as well as nearly a dozen sailors who have been propping them up for the past few years. The largest team is from Great Britain, with 31 entries
Forecasts for Monday and later suggest even stronger winds... we hope they are inaccurate.
Eight races are scheduled over the coming week with five titles up for grabs: Masters, Grand Masters, Grand Grand Masters, Legends and Finn Masters World Champion
Hamble, England: The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) is proud to be hosting the 2017 J/70 Class European Championships in conjunction with the J/70 UK Class Association.
Racing commences on Monday 5th June, with an opportunity for competitors to sail a practice race, then the Championships run Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th June. The Championships provide a great opportunity for teams to prepare for the 2017 World Championships in Sardinia, Italy in September. RSrnYC's PRO Stuart Childerley commented, "The intention is to run eleven Championship races. We are preparing for a large fleet and I am sure the sailors will find racing on the Hillhead Plateau area of the Central Solent challenging and fun. The Solent in June can be a stunning championship venue."
The fleet that has assembled to via for the European Championship title is second to none. There are ten nations (Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, & USA) participating in the forty-five-boat fleet, including Claudia Rossi's PETITE TERRIBLE from Ancona, Italy, the 2016 European champion.
* From Fiona Hicks, SLYC/RUYC:
In reply to Malcolm McKeag's question, I can advise that the wonderful tradition of cheering the winner of a race is alive and well at Strangford Lough Yacht Club with the beautiful River Class yachts. This action is easier to carry out with a one-design class where all boats hopefully finish close enough together to see who the winner is, not so obvious with handicap racing where the eventual winner could be well behind the boat achieving line honours. I imagine other classic one-design fleets still carry on the tradition.
* From Adrian Morgan:
At the (Royal)** Loch Broom Sailing Club in Ullapool we will often raise a hand in salute to the winner of the Flying Fifteen race of the day, adding a cheerful (through gritted teeth) "Well done". Scots are not renowned for their outward show of emotion, so any hip hooraying would be frowned upon as being overly congratulatory. My reaction to a win, either by myself (increasingly rare) or one of the other skippers in our small and imperfectly formed fleet is, instead of clapping, to bang the side decks exuberantly, but not too hard as Ffly is a 30-year old boat, best treated gently.
** Royal is in recognition of the fact that all important club business is transacted at the bar of The Royal Hotel, opposite.
* From Ivan Nelson:
A very good point raised by Mr McKeag. We did the same just up Belfast Lough at Holywood YC at the same time long ago!
Now it seems to have died out, maybe not everywhere? I wonder.
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The Last Word
Descartes' last words: I think not.
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