Bertrand: "Right blueprint to be among the world's best sports" | Ran Racing On Top | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Barcelona fourth Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series | Light wind specialists shine at the Para World Sailing Championships | Andrew Simpson Foundation : The Sailing Charity at Lendy Cowes Week | European Match Race Copenhagen | For the Record | 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
The assessment of former America's Cup winner and Australian sailing legend John Bertrand, casting his eye over the current crop of America's Cup sailors, having witnessed first hand the revolution taking place in one of the world's oldest and most prestigious international sporting competitions.
The America's Cup may be a world-renowned sports event, but recent years have seen many facets of the competition undergo a transformation including the racecourse, the TV coverage, the spectators and the sailors themselves.
However, the greatest changes have perhaps come on the water with the boats themselves, helping to create an incredible visual spectacle that is unrivalled in sailing, let alone major global sport.
From the traditional monohulled vessels, such as Bertrand's iconic Australia II which was revolutionary for its time in 1983 with its winged keel, to the new-age vessels competing for the America's Cup this summer which are far more akin to F1 cars, flying across the water - this revolution in the boats used in the America's Cup further reinforces Bertrand's original view.
"We now have high-speed projectiles, operated by super-fast decision makers, and some incredibly close racing which is very cool," said Bertrand, skipper of Australia II in 1983, the boat which finally broke the 132-year stranglehold American teams had enjoyed on the America's Cup.
"I don't think anyone involved with selecting the boats on show out there could have ever envisaged just what they are capable of and what we have witnessed so far.
Ran Racing On Top
Porto Cervo, Italy: For two of the 2017 season's top 52 SUPER SERIES teams the familiar waters of Porto Cervo, Sardinia have been something of an emotional rollercoaster. The oft heard cliche that so competitive is the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet right now that one day you are in the penthouse, seemingly unstoppable, then, severely punished for the smallest of mistakes, you are languishing on the pavement.
On Day 1 of the Porto Cervo 52 SUPER SERIES Audi Sailing Week the defending 2016 champions Quantum Racing finished rock bottom of the leaderboard, counting maximum points, 12, after a finishing line infringement.
Today, in perfect conditions it was the turn of the world champions Platoon to have an unfortunate taste of life down in the nether regions of the fleet.
Harm Müller-Spreer's crew were over the start line on the first race today and finished last. Indeed the German flagged crew already have an aggregate of 22pts from three races, the same tally they won last month's World Championships over eight races in Scarlino.
On the up, Quantum Racing bounced back today in the style they have become known for. More often than not when they suffer a rare bad day then they are at their most accomplished in the races that follow. Today was no exception. The Terry Hutchinson, Doug DeVos, Ian Moore, Bora Gulari afterguard nailed a perfect pin end start. With space to leeward to drive into and accelerate.
Niklas Zennstrom's Ran Racing lead the regatta on 11pts with Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec second on 14pts with three boats – Sled, Alegre, Provezza – all tied on 15pts. For Liubomirov's team who were ninth of ten at the World Championship the return to Porto Cervo and a change in the afterguard seems to be working.
Standings after three races
1. Ran Racing, Niklas and Catherine Zennstrom, SWE, 11 points
2. Bronenosec, Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS, 14
3. Sled, Takashi Okura, USA, 15
4. Alegre, Andy Soriano, GBR/USA, 15
5. Provezza, Ergin Imre, TUR, 15
6. Quantum Racing, Doug DeVos, USA, 16
7. Gladiator, Tony Langley, GBR, 17
8. Azzurra, Familia Roemmers, ITA/ARG, 18
9. Platoon, Harm Müller-Spreer, GER, 22
10. Paprec Recyclage, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA, 23
11. Sorcha, Peter Harrison, GBR, 29
Designer Adolfo Carrau from Botín Partners and project manager Micky Costa take this opportunity to present to you... The Cannonball
Too much to digest!
There's been a lot going on at Volvo Towers in Alicante. James Boyd catches up with round the world race supremo Mark Turner
The flying mermaid
When will this foolish madness end? Jocelyn Bleriot takes a close look at the most crazy Ultim yet... with Guillaume Verdier, Sebastien Josse and Cyril Dardashti
The pre-race period in Bermuda was far from easy for Land Rover BAR. Andy Claughton
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Barcelona fourth Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series
The Extreme Sailing Series is set to return to Spain as Barcelona is announced as host for the fourth Act of the 2017 season, in a four-year deal with Host Venue Partner Fundacion Navegacion Oceanica de Barcelona, FNOB.
The cosmopolitan capital of Spain's Catalonia, a major tourist destination and one of the world's leading cultural and economic centres, is the final venue to be announced as part of the 2017 global tour.
From 20-23 July, Barcelona, where the 1992 Olympics were staged 25 years ago this summer, will become the fourth Olympic sailing venue to host the Series, alongside Qingdao, Rio and Sydney.
The free entry public Race Village will be located in front of the impressive structure of the W Barcelona hotel on the Placa Rosa dels Vents in the Barceloneta neighbourhood, the same location that the fleet of IMOCA 60s use to start and finish their epic voyage in the Barcelona World Race.
The Race Village will provide the perfect viewing arena for the racing, and will also offer a host of on-shore entertainment. Spectators can also watch the action for free from nearby Sant Sebastia, Barcelona's longest beach.
This will be the first time the ultimate Stadium Racing championship will be hosted in Spain since Almeria in 2011, and the first time since the Series transitioned to the hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans.
Light wind specialists shine at the Para World Sailing Championships
The Para Worlds, held alongside Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival in Kiel, Germany, saw more than 80 sailors from 39 nations tested by an inconsistent 6-9 knot west north westerly breeze.
Two races were completed in the Open 2.4 Norlin OD, Men's Hansa 303 and Women's Hansa 303, all One Person Keelboats open to classified sailors with minimum disabilities.
Those who thrive in light wind and sailors with their thinking caps on, constantly looking for shifts and gains on the water, moved to the head of their respective fleets.
Christopher Symonds (AUS) took two race wins in the Men's Hansa 303 with Rio 2016 Paralympian Piotr Cichocki (POL) following on both occasions.
The Australian and Polish racers hold the gold and silver positions at the early stage of the regatta. Three-time Paralympic medallist Jens Kroker (GER) follows in third overall.
The forecast for the rest of the week is for stronger breeze
In the Women's Hansa 303, France's Magali Moraines and Spanish Rio 2016 Paralympian Violeta del Reino share the lead on four points.
Moraines took the opening race win and followed up with a fourth. Del Reino sailed consistently, finishing second in both races.
Daniel Bina of the Czech Republic was the surprise package in the 2.4 Norlin OD, grabbing a first and a third to lead the 43-boat fleet.
Full results at www.manage2sail.com
Andrew Simpson Foundation : The Sailing Charity at Lendy Cowes Week
With all of its regatta activations capitalising to the fullest extent on the high profile spotlight on Lendy Cowes Week, the Foundation's objectives are, above all, to inspire, educate and fundraise. Additionally, this is the perfect platform to also remind the huge sailing and shoreside audiences, including local businesses, sponsors and partners, to support the Foundation's flagship event, the world's largest annual sailing event, Bart's Bash, taking place over the weekend of 16-17 September.
The 'Face of the Foundation' is none other than Olympic sailor Mark Covell who won a Silver medal in the Star Class with Ian Walker in 2000. Since then Mark has carved out a successful career as a reporter, MC and broadcaster/commentator. He will be galvanising everyone into action on behalf of the Foundation and providing a daily morning overview of activities on Cowes Radio.
The highlight is surely the Charity Day, Monday, 31st July, when the first race sailed at Lendy Cowes Week has been designated the 'Cowes Bash'! As a reminder of why the Foundation was formed and in a nod to the global fundraiser 'Bart's Bash', results from all fleets will be pooled to find an overall winner for the day. After racing, the Foundation is then hosting 'The Big Bash' in Cowes Yacht Haven, a great big party with fabulous prizes and on-stage entertainment
On-water & on-shore activities at Lendy Cowes Week also include:
- Daily overview of activities with Mark Covell on Cowes Radio
- Daily 'Try Sailing' sessions for local community and youth groups and regatta visitors
- A Golden Ticket Draw for major prizes
- Cardboard Boat Race
- The 'Cowes Bash' race followed by the 'Big Bash' party!
- ASF Youth ambassadors sail with Sunsail
- A Careers Cafe at the Sugar Store/Shepards Wharf
- The Great British Sail Off
- 'Simpson Sunnies' (the absolute must-have accessory for sale at the regatta)
- Audience participation; fun & games on the Parade and Cowes Yacht Haven stages!
- Foundation Ambassador appearances
Prior to the regatta, the Foundation will publish the daily schedule on its website andrewsimpsonfoundation.org and armchair supporters can check in daily and follow the action on social media:
European Match Race Copenhagen
While local skipper Martin Boidin took the honours at the sixth European Match Race Tour event held in Copenhagen, eyes were on World #11, the Polish skipper Patryk Zbroja who closed the gap to overall leader Simon Bertheau to 10 points. Mads Degnegard defeated compatriot Henrik Christensen to complete the podium.
In a perfectly organized event by the Royal Danish Yachtclub (KDY), local favourite Boidin completed the round robin with a clean sheet, while Zbroja, already winner of two European Tour events in 2017, struggled at the start, but then showed great consistency to finish in second place. Windy conditions on the demanding DS 37 did not favour the lightweight crews of Tour leader Simon Bertheau from France and World #21 Max Trippolt from Austria. This left the podium open for another Danish skipper, Mads Degnegard.
With only one qualifying event left, Tour leader Simon Bertheau is already qualified for the Grand Final, where Patryk Zbroja will start his final attack only 10 points behind. Already qualified are Slovenian skipper World #19 Dejan Presen and Austria's two time Olympian Christian Binder.
Germany's Ploen will host the last qualifying event of the European Match Racing Tour from 25 to 27 August 2017 where the remaining four spots at the Grand Final will be decided.
The Grand Final is 8 - 10 September in Ravenna, Italy. -- Helmut Czasny-Bonomo
Top five places, European Match Race Tour after event 6 of 8
1. Simon Bertheau, FRA, 150
2. Patryk Zbroja, POL, 140
3. Dejan Presen, SLO, 110
4. Christian Binder, AUT, 100
5. Vladimir Lipavsky, RUS, 75
European Match Race Tour Copenhagen
1. Martin Boidin, DEN
2. Patryk Zbroja, POL
3. Mads Degnegard, DEN
4. Henrik Christensen, DEN
5. Simon Bertheau, FRA
6. Max Trippolt. AUT
7. Jelmer van Beek. NED
8. Louise Christine Kristensen, DEN
9. Toby Austin-Fraser, NZL
10. Felix Jacobsen, DEN
For the Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:
Record: Bermuda to Plymouth. Monohull.
Yacht: "Talanta" Class 40
Name: Mikael Ryking. SWE. and crew Irina Gracheva. SWE
Dates:.2nd to the 15th June 2017
Start time: 02;09;04 UTC on 02/06/17
Finish time: 07;28;42 UTC on 15/06/17
Elapsed time: 13 days 5 hours 19 minutes and 38 seconds
Distance: 2870 NM
Average speed: 9.04 kts
Initial Monohull Record
Secretary to the WSSR Council
* From James Gaskin:
I, like some of you have been fascinated with the America's Cup for many years, I love the anticipation of the Cup Races, I enjoy the bewildering tactics employed by all teams to be at the pinnacle of development and I am always impressed with the innovation that is on offer. Innovation which through time, like any top sport (thinking F1) does filter down into normal facets of life and sport. We need such endeavours to spark and interest the curiosity and development of humanity, please do not knock it for the sake of being politically correct. Although it can seem like a circus, there are benefits to all, plus some lively entertainment - I am currently revelling in some Oracle bashing, let's hope the five day development window keeps Team NZ on top.
What interests me is the seeming development leaps that are being made in the area of Aero and Hydro Foils. Taking account of the fabulous achievements of Paul Larsen and the team at Sailrocket to push the Speed Sailing Record to 67 Knots. I wonder how the developments achieved through this America's Cup cycle could push the ultimate speed record further. The understanding and devotion we have employed to improving all foils and their performance could surely push this boundary to 100 Knots, in time.
For no other reason, than it would be fun. I dearly wish for some cross pollination of ideas to allow humanity to continue to strive forward. You could argue that it is through pursuits such as these that the idea of kites on container ships and other fuel saving ideas have been developed. Could this lead to automated, sail powered cargo vessels of the future, plus a new speed sailing record - I dearly hope so.
Let the cup live long in our hearts, make sure it is tough, because out of adversity some brilliance always come forth.
Reichel-Pugh design, McConaghy carbon construction, Sydney Hobart and Cape Town-Rio winner as Morning Glory.
Reinvented as the ultimate cruiser racer by the team at Nauta Yachts with new deck, interiors and rig.
After winning the ARC, she sailed and explored remote areas around the world such as Patagonia, Cape Horn, Polynesia and Eastern Australia.
Now back in the Med, she is in pristine condition with brand new carbon rigging, engine, genset, electronics, water maker and A/C system.
Ready to go for the next blue water cruise or maxi regatta.
First built as MONEY PENNY, then she was renamed VANQUISH, then BADPAK and now TREBUCHET.
Built impeccably by McConaghy ( Sydney) she first started life out as an STC 65 and was very successful at the 2008 maxi worlds beating her sister ships handily. Then she became VANQUISH and her success continued from the east coast of the states to right across the pond with results both in the transatlantic race that Summer as well as the Fastnet ( 3rd overall) From there she moved to California with much success in both races to Mexico and to Hawaii. In 2015, her LOA was extended to 69 feet ( similar to her bigger sister WIZARD) and the results on the race course have continued with her last major race, a 1st to finish and 1st overall in the 2016 Miami to Havana Cuba race.
She is currently stored out of the water and her owner ( a non profit foundation) is currently open to all offers
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The Last Word
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