Deutschland Sailors Stake Early Podium Spots in 49er and FX | European Match Race Tour Ploen | Moving on from Rio - Kiel Week | Forties, Dogger, Fisher: 150 years of the Shipping Forecast | Gulari Injured in NACRA 17 Capsize | Last Call for Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards | The Laser Book - Sixth Edition | Team Sweden wins leg home in Volvo Ocean Race conditions | Greenings Re-joins Clipper Leg 1 | For The Record | 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
Deutschland Sailors Stake Early Podium Spots in 49er and FX
After losing the first two days of the49er and FX World Championship to a lack of sailable conditions, Day 3 of the 2017 Worlds opened under yet another curtain of fog, rain, and light air. With a tantalizing breeze a few miles offshore just beyond the fog banks, frustration reigned ashore for sailors, coaches, and race officials as the waiting game continued.
At around 2 PM, the first rays of sun tickled the top of the masts just as the Northerly breeze began to flow, and a few minutes later, hundreds of faces were smiling as officials hoisted the flags and released the 49ers from the shore.
Big rolling ocean swells greeted the fleets, with a light 4-7 knots of northerly breeze providing enough power to get through the lump, but not much more.
Of all the teams, no one started the day stronger than Portugal's own Olympic veterans Jorge Lima and Jose Costa - the duo took a bullet in race 1 and a 2nd in race 2 in their section.
Lima and Costa are looking forward to the stronger wind and bigger waves forecast for the rest of the week - conditions similar to their training camp in Lima's home port of Cascais.
Great Britain's James Peters and Finn Sterritt continued the strong performance they showed during their bronze medal European Championship sail last month, scoring a 2,2,5 to lead all 49er fleets after three qualifying races. They lead a massive, 11-team strong British 49er effort, but surprisingly Peters/Sterritt are the only UK team in the top ten after three races - something that most expect to change rapidly when the breeze kicks in tomorrow.
German 49er sailors had a huge first day of racing, and not just the veterans: Rio medalists Tommy Ploessel and Erik Heil finished their day in third place, ending the day with a 1,2 in the final two races. Meanwhile, Ploessel/Heil's longtime training partners and rivals Justus Schmidt and Max Boehme did them one better; a 4,3,2 scoreline was good for second overall, just one point ahead of the Olympic vets and tied on points with the British leaders.
With the women's 49er FX fleets only able to complete two races for each of their two courses, results may not mean much, but despite missing a few months of training and the European Championship, Rio silver medalists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) were back on the form they showed when winning the first ever FX World Championship in 2013, leading with 4 points. European weather models are now predicting 15-25 knot northerly breezes by Thursday afternoon.
European Match Race Tour Ploen
Jelmer van Beek and his Team Dutch Wave won at Germany's Tour stop, the last opportunity to qualify for the European Grand Final held in two weeks time at Ravenna. Local skipper Lars Hueckstaedt took silver ahead of Germany's favourite skipper Max Gurgel.
Perfect sailing conditions at northern Germany's Lake Ploen combined with the experienced organizers from the Heizkoerper Sailing Team provided two days of match racing at best.
Jelmer von Beek, who won already this year's German Championship, set the pace right from the beginning. Once in the lead he dominated the event while Lars Hueckstaedt showed his best performance this year so far by sailing into the second place.
With the victory at Ploen, van Beek qualified for the Grand Final together with Helmut Czasny (AUT) and the Croation team of Teo Piasevoli. There they will meet the leaders of the European Match Race Tour, the French team with Skipper Simon Bertheau, who are trailed by Polish World #11 Patryk Zbroja.
The Grand Final 2017 will take place from 8 - 10 September at Italy's Ravenna as an World Sailing Grade 2 event with double points for the Overall Rankings of the European Tour.
Final Results Top 4
1. Jelmer van Beek - NED
2. Lars Hueckstaedt - GER
3. Max Gurgel - GER
4. Henrik Christensen - DEN
For the organisers it was another typical Kieler Woche... this year attracting 4,000 sailors from 65 nations, competing in 1,700 boats of all shapes and sizes. The race committee started more than 400 races over the nine-day regatta.
Kiel Week is one for the bucket list and you really have no excuse not to take part at least once in your sailing career. Aside from the high-profile Olympic classes, there is every kind of keelboat class plus junior and senior one-design fleets such as the Laser 4.7, the 420 and 505. From the seasoned pro to the almost-beginner, there is something for every sailor.
This year's Kiel Week, 'Kieler Woche' as locals refer to it, attracted some of the biggest names from Rio 2016. The irrepressible Robert Scheidt was back, now in a 49er with fellow Brazilian Gabriel Borges. 'I first came to Kiel Week in 1993 when I was 19. My mother was with me and I was racing the Laser,' Scheidt recalls. Three years later he would go on to win the first of his five Olympic medals, a gold in the Laser at Atlanta 1996, beating a certain 19-year-old from Great Britain, Ben Ainslie, into second place.
Full article in the September issue of Seahorse: www.seahorsemagazine.com
Forties, Dogger, Fisher: 150 years of the Shipping Forecast
As British as cricket, strawberries and cream and a cup of tea, the Shipping Forecast marked its 150th anniversary last Thursday 24 August.
According to The Met Office, it is believed to be the longest running continuous forecast in the world.
Initially printed in the daily press, it was then sent to ships using telegraph communications. The first radio broadcasts began in 1921 and it wasn't until 1925 that the BBC was chosen to broadcast the shipping forecast.
Since then, its evolved into the iconic forecasts that sailors and non-sailors alike can listen to four times a day.
The Shipping Forecast has a 93% accuracy, while the inshore waters forecast has a 97% accuracy.
The Shipping Forecast has inspired numerous songs including Blur's "This Is a Low", Radiohead's "Limbo", and has even been sampled by The Prodigy in their song, "Weather Experience".
In 2011, listeners to Test Match Special failed to hear the dramatic end of England's successful Ashes series - the station cut away to the Shipping Forecast moments before the final wicket fell.
More fun Shipping Forecast facts: www.ybw.com
Gulari Injured in NACRA 17 Capsize
US Sailing Team Nacra 17 athlete and Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) suffered an injury during a training incident on Wednesday, as he and teammate Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) were preparing for the upcoming Nacra 17 World Championship (September 5-10, 2017) in La Grande Motte, France. Gulari lost part of three fingers on his right hand after he came in contact with the boat's rigging during a capsize in strong wind conditions. Gulari is currently recovering at a local hospital following surgery, and is expected to return to sailing in approximately four weeks.
"This is an unfortunate setback, but Helena and I will bounce back from this and continue our campaign for Tokyo 2020," said Gulari, a two-time Moth World Champion and the 2009 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the year. "I'll definitely be back on the water as soon as I'm able, which should be in about a month."
Gulari and Scutt will retire from the 2017 Nacra 17 Worlds, and focus on Gulari's recovery in the coming weeks.
Last Call for Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards
World Sailing is inviting nominations for the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. There are two categories - male and female - and sailors nominated may represent any discipline of the sport.
Nominations can be made by anyone but the sailor (or crew). Those nominated for the 2017 Award must have performed an "outstanding achievement in the sport of sailing between 19 September 2016 and 31 August 2017".
Click here to nominate a sailor (or crew) for the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
Nominations must be received by World Sailing no later than 19.00 UTC on Friday 1 September 2017.
World Sailing will draw up a shortlist of nominations with the highest and most inspirational achievers going on to become the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Nominees.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday 7 November 2017 at the World Sailing Awards Ceremony in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The Laser Book - Sixth Edition
Nearly 30 years later, they are publishing the sixth edition of this classic text, updated for all the recent developments including the Mk 2 Standard sail and the new composite top section. The book covers all 3 Laser rigs: the Standard rig, Radial and 4.7 with new photos of medal-winning sailors.
Tim Davison, Fernhurst Books' founder, still remains the author, but he has enlisted help from some of the top Laser sailors to ensure this book is bang up-to-date:
- Gold medal winning coach, past Radial World Champion and UK Laser Association Training Officer, Jon Emmett has contributed to all aspects of the book and sailed the Standard rig Laser for most of the photos.
- Alan Davis, the National and European Masters Champion in the Standard rig, shared his secrets for the new Mk 2 sail.
- Lijia Xu, who Jon coached to win gold in the Laser Radial in the London 2012 Olympic Games, has passed on her tips and sailed the Laser Radial for the photoshoot.
- Matilda Nicholls, who has just won the Radial Youth Girl National and World Championships and was previously Under 16 Girls European Champion and 6th Girl in the Worlds in the 4.7 rig, has helped with the advice for that rig.
Double Laser World Champion, Nick Thompson has also kindly contributed the Foreword.
* This was standard textbook for your humble narrator's sailing school which at one point had 17 Lasers in its varied fleet. This one should be in everyone's library. Who HASN'T sailed a Laser???
Team Sweden wins leg home in Volvo Ocean Race conditions
After a night of terror, exhilaration and 20+ knot boat speeds, Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) arrived home to a glorious victory this morning at the end of leg two of the 2017 Nord Stream Race. At 420 miles, this was by far the longest of the trans-Baltic yacht race's four legs, taking the boats from Copenhagen to the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS) at Saltsjobaden, outside Stockholm.
The Swedes relieved Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) of the lead halfway to the turning mark off Bornholm on Monday night. Last night, passing Gotland, they seemed to find a groove of their own, extending away, to finish with a lead of 50 minutes.
For the five crews, last night's ride on their ClubSwan 50s was sensational, hard running in 25 knot winds, gusting to 30, in steep, short waves. In the pitch black night, the fast ride was both exhilarating and terrifying. "It is not often that I get really scared on a boat, but last night I did! It was like a mini-Volvo Ocean Race," admitted Martin Krite. He should know having won the round the world race in 2011-12.
Last night, running downwind, the boats were hitting 22 knots top speeds, but there was a price: "Just before we got into the Archipelago, we were on our side for about four minutes," admitted Krite. Fortunately no one was injured in the broach.
Next arrival off Saltsjobaden, the magnificent location of the KSSS clubhouse, was Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark). The best moment for the Danes was on the long starboard gybe across to Gotland yesterday evening when they went from fourth place to almost drawing level with the Swedes.
Such was the pace of the Nord Stream Race boats on this leg that their arrival into Stockholm was a day earlier than scheduled. This will allow crews recovery time before the Nord Stream Race's third leg to Helsinki begins on Saturday, 2nd September. -- James Boyd, sailingintelligence.com
Nord Stream Race 2017 - leg two times:
1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 43h 29m 09s
2. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 44h 18m 34s
3. Nylandska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) - 44h 33m 32s
4. Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) - 44h 51m 27s
5. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 46h 13m 06s
Nord Stream Race 2017 - overall results after two offshore legs and two inshore series
1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 5
2. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 7
3. Nylandska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) - 9
4. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 11
5. Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) - 13
Greenings Re-joins Clipper Leg 1
The Greenings team resumed its Clipper 2017-18 Race campaign yesteday evening following the yacht's diversion to Portugal after Skipper David Hartshorn suffered a serious hand injury. The incident occurred approximately 450nM off the coast of Portugal on Saturday evening when British professional Skipper David Hartshorn, 52, was leading a spinnaker drop with his crew. A spinnaker sheet became caught around his left thumb resulting in a serious open fracture which required urgent medical attention.
Greenings is now motorsailing to the position of 40°12.395N, 009°29.969W which is exactly 1923.8nM from the midpoint of the Doldrums Corridor. This is the same distance that the yacht was at from the Doldrums Corridor midpoint when the incident occurred.
The overall time for Greenings for Race 1 will be calculated as the elapsed time from Race Start in Liverpool, until the time the team crosses the finish line in Uruguay.
The rest of the Clipper Race fleet is currently racing through the Atlantic and is expected to arrive in Punta del Este, Uruguay, between 20-25 September.
For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new Performance Certificate.
Route sailed: First Woman Around Antarctica under the WSSR Rules.
Yacht: "Climate Action Now" 50 ft Monohull.
Name: Lisa Blair. AUS
Dates: 22nd January 2017 to the 25th July 2017
Start time: 03;21;00 on 22/01/17
Finish time: 10;42;38 on 25/07/17
Elapsed time: 183 days 7 hours 21 minutes and 38 seconds
Comments: Achieved with one stop.
Secretary to the WSSR Council sailspeedrecords.com
OCEAN PEARL is the ex Club Mediterrannee winner of the Race in 2001 (around the world regatta) with New Zealand skipper Grant Dalton. She had a fantastic track of records and prize list before she undergone similarly to her sistership ex Swift, a complete refit and conversion project into a fanta
"Wan Ma Rang" is a well optimised and cared for GP42 design, that offers huge potential under IRC and ORC racing, through a wide range of wind conditions. Continually upgraded throughout her life.
One of the most competitive ORC boats on the market today, with a sister ship having recently won the 2016 World Champs. Get in touch to learn more and be on the podium in Poland 2017!
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
I always wish the hotels were like they are in movies and TV shows, where if you're in Paris, right outside your window is the Eiffel Tower. In Egypt, the pyramids are right there. In the movies, every hotel has a monument right outside your window. My hotel rooms overlook the garbage dumpster in the back alley. -- Gilbert Gottfried
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html