In This Issue
Luna Rossa Challenges America's Cup | Bouwe Bekking back with Team Brunel | Out of the Same Mould | Dragon Edinburgh Cup | Vendee2020Vision: The final four | Dan McConnell | 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
Luna Rossa Challenges America's Cup
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron accepts the challenge of Circolo della Vela Sicilia, which becomes the Challenger of Record for the XXXVI America's Cup.
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is pleased to announce that it has accepted a challenge from Circolo della Vela Sicilia which was received immediately upon the victory of Emirates Team New Zealand in the last race of the 35th America's Cup.
As the first challenger, CVS will be the Challenger of Record for the 36th America's Cup and its representative team will be Luna Rossa Challenge.
The 36th America's Cup will be open to further challengers from any organized Yacht Club of a foreign country under conditions to be announced in due course.
RNZYS and its representative team, Emirates Team New Zealand, look forward to working with CVS and Luna Rossa Challenge to create an exciting future for the event by combining innovation with the traditional sporting values of the America's Cup.
Bouwe Bekking back with Team Brunel
Bouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 edition - and give himself another chance at claiming an elusive first victory at the eighth attempt.
No one has sailed more miles in the Volvo Ocean Race than Bekking, who made his first appearance as a crewmember on Philips Innovator back in 1985-86.
More than 30 years on, and now aged 54, Bekking's Volvo Ocean Race obsession has only intensified.
Team backers include Brunel, the Dutch-based global project management, recruitment and consultancycompany, and its founder Jan Brand. Brunel are Volvo Ocean Race veterans themselves, having had their first involvement in 1997-98.
The theme of the 2017-18 campaign is 'Engineering the Future.' - an initiative of a consortium of Dutch companies, including Brunel, Abel, Royal Huisman and EY.
With four months to go before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, the starting grid is almost full.
The other confirmed entries are team AkzoNobel (skippered by Simeon Tienpont), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez), Vestas11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright), Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt) and Turn The Tide On Plastic (Dee Caffari).
The return of Brunel means that for the first time in the race's history, four major team sponsors are back for a second successive edition. As well as Brunel, Vestas, Dongfeng and MAPFRE are all back after competing in the most recent edition in 2014-15.
With the 2017 Rolex TP52 World Championship coming up, a decade after the first Rolex TP52 worlds in 2006 in Miami and after so much development of boats and class racing over the years, maybe a good time to weigh in?
A TP52 is of course more than a set of numbers, but then again to get an idea what you are actually looking at or reading about numbers do help. The length overall of 15.85m and beam of 4.42m result in a hull area including the transom of just under 85m2 and a deck area of just under 59m2. Depending on build quality a Nomex cored hull will weigh 500-550kg, a Nomex cored deck 210-240kg and the internal structure just over 300kg. Then taping the lot together plus some items like composite chainplates, stanchion sockets and so on will add another 50kg for a total weight of the composite construction of 1,050-1,150kg.
If not restricted by the TP52 structural guidelines I would say theoretically one can build up to 10 per cent lighter, but either at considerable added cost using ultra high-modulus carbon and optimised Nomex cores or at reduced strength or a very unproductive combination of the two. There is no way one can build lighter, stronger and cheaper by for instance using foam cores as I still see suggested every now and then. -- Rob Weiland
Full article in the July issue of Seahorse:
Dragon Edinburgh Cup
Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK - With 38 teams from as far afield as Russia and Turkey and across the UK and Europe already entered, and some 40 boats expected on the start line, the 2017 edition of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup is lining up to be a bumper edition. Sponsored by Oliver Morgan Architects and Stoneham Construction Ltd and hosted by the Island Sailing Club, the Edinburgh Cup will be preceded by the Dragon South Coast Championship, with the two events running from 8 to 14 July 2017.
The entry list includes some of the biggest names in the sport including Denmark's Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, whose sailing CV includes two Olympic Gold and one Olympic Silver medals as well as multiple World, Continental and National Championship wins, who will be hoping to claim his sixth Edinburgh Cup title. Julia and Graham Bailey were Edinburgh Cup champions in 2016 and 2015 respectively and are returning to the fray equally keen to engrave one of their names the trophy for a second time.
Fresh from victory at the recent International Dragon World Championship in Portugal comes Andy Beadsworth, who is very much hoping to add his name to the illustrious list of winners already on the Edinburgh Cup.
Other big names we can expect to see challenging for podium positions include Ireland's Martin Byrne, who won the Edinburgh Cup in 2011, Cornwall's Martin Payne who last won the Cup in 1999, multi-class champion Mike Budd from Abersoch, who is keen to break his reputation for being the bridesmaid at this event, and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, who will combine her duties as Regatta Chairman with a serious campaign to finally get her hands on the coveted trophy.
Vendee2020Vision: The final four
In its quest to determine the best candidates to follow in the footsteps of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen Macarthur, Mike Golding and Alex Thomson as Britain's next top singlehanded offshore racing star, Vendee2020Vision has further refined its squad of sailors down from six to four.
The scheme, run by Whitecap Ltd in Southampton, provides vital training for its candidates in their goal to win singlehanded offshore racing's ultimate event: the Vendée Globe. The quadrennial solo non-stop round the world race is next due to take place in 2020 and throughout its history has been French-dominated. British sailors have finished second twice (Alex Thomson in 2016-17 and Dame Ellen Macarthur in 2000-01) and twice finished third (Mike Golding in 2004-05 and Alex Thomson in 2012-13), but ultimate victory has eluded them.
The Vendee2020Vision squad of four for this season comprises:
Andrew Baker - 27, from Saintfield, Northern Ireland
Lizzy Foreman - 26, from Surrey
Sam Goodchild - 27, from Falmouth, Cornwall
Will Harris - 23, from Weybridge, Surrey
Dan and wife Jane, BOC Challenge in 1995. Photo and text by Paul Gelder.
The life of Dan McConnell a Seattle public relations pioneer in extreme sports who died aged 72, will be celebrated Thursday June 29th.
Dan was a globe-trotting communications strategist and Crisis Consultant who worked on campaigns in the Everest of sailing as well as mountains. He died on May 8, 2017, after a courageous battle against complications with diabetes. He continued to work up until the last few months of his life. His wife of 47 years, Jane, who travelled with him as they covered adventures around the world was part of a unique, enduring partnership.
British sailing journalist Paul Gelder, who edited Yachting Monthly magazine for ten years writes:
'I circled the globe with Dan during the 1994-95 BOC Challenge Round the World Singlehanded Race. During that 8-month epic Dan was the calm at the center of a raging publicity storm as three separate dramas unfolded and became front page news around globe. Throughout these dramas, Dan fielded press requests with dignity, integrity and incredible patience.
'First, Brit Josh Hall was rescued from his sinking boat after hitting a shipping container off Brazil on the first leg from Charleston to Cape Town. Then French superstar singlehanded sailor Isabelle Autissier, the only woman in the race, was dismasted in the Southern Ocean on leg two when waves smashed a five square meter hole in the coachroof of her 60ft yacht, EPC2 (Ecureuil Poitou Charentes 2).
'In one of the most dramatic rescue in ocean racing history, Isabelle was rescued by helicopter from a Navy frigate 1,000 miles south of Australia on New Year's Eve. Questions were asked about the rescue cost in the Australian Parliament. Isabelle said: 'Maybe I'm not worth a million dollars?'
'Finally, on leg three 70 year old Brit Harry Mitchell, sailing a 40ft yacht in Class II was lost at sea 1,400 miles from Cape Horn. His body was never recovered.
'Dan belonged to a rare breed in the media - a newspaper man's idea of a PR man. He was succinct, informative, sympathetic and always went the extra mile to help get the story out. But never at the expense of inaccuracy. He also had a secret weapon: an entertaining wit and wry humor when appropriate. '
American sailing editor Herb McCormick recalls collaborating with Dan on a 13-month sailing expedition he took part in around North and South America. 'In every instance, Dan was a great boss - direct in his opinions and instructions, nurturing when he needed to be, a natural teacher, praiseworthy when justified, fair and honest at all times.'
A celebration of Dan's life will be held on June 29, 2017, on what would have been his 48th wedding anniversary at Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle. To honor Dan's legacy, endowment donations can be made at giving.uw.edu/mcconnell
* From David Munge:
Great Kiwi win, World domination now, as they are also likely to beat the Lions.
I hesitate to even comment on remarks made by somebody as eminent as Paul Cayard, and this might be envy, but Paul was in Bermuda, and no doubt mixing it with the teams etc. However, for the viewer in the UK, and I had to go to the local hotel to see it, it was akin to the Red Bull Air Races, and once you have seen one, nothing much changes.
Seeing the boats flying is fantastic, but if you see the tack from the prodder webcam all you see is a foil go down, and another go up, and the jib languidly flop from one side to the other. That the flying tacks can be made is great, but there is very little action apart from bouncing on the trampolines. Gybes are almost invisible from a distance. Mark rounding no drama. Scalectrix comes to mind.
Cyclors, were great but the TdF starts on Saturday and then we shall see real cyclors, in the saddle for 5-6 hours uphill and downhill.
Match racing is almost no existent, Ken Read tried to make a big thing about the hook at the start, but the boat making the hook invariably was the loser since being high up the line was beneficial. Little bits of up wind covering happened but when one knot of extra wind speed is worth three knots of boat speed, getting into the pressure was the big winner.
Watching Oracle start with an extra point was outrageous, and having 5 days to work on the boat between races equally so.
Poor Ken Read again trying every day to explain VMG was also amusing.
Would I love to sail on the boats absolutely, would I like to be in Bermuda for a month and mix it with the teams, absolutely, was it a spectacle absolutely. Is it the pinnacle of match racing, absolutely not.
Too much Kings clothes. Let's hope the Kiwis change things.
* From David Pelly:
With the America's Cup on its way back to Auckland, it is time for a wide-ranging debate on suitable boats for future matches which will also filter down to other branches of sailing.
For large and fast sailing yachts, the concept of 'Powered Sailing Systems' has been accepted for a while, both to control crew numbers and for the general safely of navigation but this year's A/C boats went a big step further away from traditional ideas of sailing yachts by developing boats that absolutely required powered systems for both their hydrofoils and their deformable wing rigs. They could not sail at all without their hydraulic systems which in turn were powered by hydraulic accumulators that stored the energy supplied by grinding or pedalling crew-members.
I think many people might feel this went too far in breaking the long-held view that stored mechanical energy should not play a part in yacht racing, especially as the same work could easily have been done by efficient electric motors and batteries, recharged by solar cells on the sails.
A puzzling feature of this year's boats was their reliance on curved lifting foils that needed to be constantly trimmed in both rake and twist. None of the designers seem to have tackled the concept of dynamic stability, with ride-height controlled by surface feelers, as seen on the International Moth and many other small hydrofoil boats. These weird curved foils seem to have been a hang-over from earlier attempts to rule out flying hydrofoils that were in turn circumvented by the Kiwi designers who saw they could 'bend' their permitted dagger board through a right-angle so that it provided both lift and side-force.
It might be more sensible to dump all such rules, leaving only limits on overall beam and draught. This could open the way to boats that were at once faster, cheaper and easier to handle while at the same time provide a certain 'step back' towards a more traditional view of sailing yacht and away from this year's hybrid clockwork toys.
* From John Walker:
Comments about AC televisual coverage have raised a number of questions. For those not familiar with the BT Sport packages, BT Sport 1 comes free of charge to those of us who elect to use BT as a broadband provider, but BT Sport 2 is a high definition output for which BT charge. All of the preliminary challenger racing and most of the final was streamed live on BT Sport 1, using very good imagery, graphics and informed commentary - not sure why they put Clare Balding in to bat so late in the proceedings but probably budget, but you've guessed it, the penultimate day of racing was transferred to BT Sport 2 and those subscribers who have chosen not to pay the extra were left without coverage at what might have been expected to be the moment critique. BT also have a nasty habit of switching their coverage of premier rugby to BT2 at critical moments in the season without explanation or apology.
For those of us interested in watching the coverage of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup competition, the only option appeared to be Red Bull TV, whose live stream dropped out with alarming and frustrating regularity on both days and Barry's point about coverage in general was highlighted by the fact that in the only competition in which the British entry actually won, British print media that I saw completely failed to report the success.
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The Last Word
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