Max Salminen maintains lead at Opel Finn Gold Cup | Birthday on Balaton for Finn Legend Gerardo Seeliger | Galateia again at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup | Lifesaver - Exposure lights | MAPFRE presents its Volvo Ocean Race team | Emily Nagel joins Team AkzoNobel | Sweden wins Nord Stream Race | 12m Enterprise Prepares To Return To Racing In 2018 | Hurricane Irma destroys marinas and ports in the Caribbean | 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
Max Salminen maintains lead at Opel Finn Gold Cup
Max Salminen, from Sweden, extended his lead at the Opel Finn Gold Cup to seven points after placing fifth in the only race possible on Day 4. Ed Wright, from Britain, remains in second, while Jonathan Lobert, from France moves up one place to third, on equal points with Wright. The race was won by the 2013 World Champion, Jorge Zarif, from Brazil.
Salminen is the only sailor so far to retain his overnight lead, while most of the top ten remain the same, apart from Anders Pedersen, from Norway, who placed ninth today, and moves into the top ten.
After six hours waiting for a stable wind, which shifted through almost 180 degrees during the morning and early afternoon, one late race was sailed in a slowly building breeze, topping out at 13-16 knots. Lobert made the best of the wet upwind as the wind increased past 10 knots and Oscar was raised at the top mark. He was followed round by Zarif and Nenad Bugarin, from Croatia.
Bugarin has sailed an excellent series and would be a title contender but for two letter scores that have left him carrying 114 points, a very high price in a fleet of this size and quality.
Zarif took the lead on the downwind and never really looked threatened for the remainder of the race. Lobert then came under pressure from Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary, on the second upwind, but just managed to stay in front. However Berecz went wider on the downwind and came into the final mark just ahead to finish second ahead of Lobert.
Racing is scheduled to start Friday at 10.00.
Top ten after seven races
1. Max Salminen, SWE, 31
2. Ed Wright, GBR, 38
3. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 38
4. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 48
5. Zsombor Berecz, HUN, 49
6. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 53
7. Piotr Kula, POL, 60
8. Facundo Olezza, ARG, 65
9. Anders Pedersen, NOR, 81
10. Milan Vujasinovic, CRO, 84
Birthday on Balaton for Finn Legend Gerardo Seeliger
Gyorgy Finaczy with Gerardo Seeliger at Balatonfoldvar this week. Click on image to enlarge.
Many of them involve the International Finn Association's President of Honour, Gerardo Seeliger, from Spain, who is not only sailing his first Finn Gold Cup in 41 years, but also celebrating his 70th birthday this Thursday. He is one of the oldest sailors here and recently relaunched his Finn career. He has been reenergised by the prospect of sailing the 2018 Finn World Masters in El Balis, near Barcelona, where he will officially qualify as a Finn Legend. This event is part of his training for next year. He is currently placed 102nd.
In 1970 Seeliger was sailing the European Championships in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland. In the latter part of the week it became very windy with winds from force 4-7. It was in the days of one long race a day, and because of fog on the Tuesday there were two races scheduled on Thursday, the second of which should not have been held. Two competitors were discovered floating away from their craft, including Seeliger. He had no lifejacket and was wearing several sweaters, common at the time for increasing weight.
He recalls, "I capsized and became detached from the boat."
"I was completely waterlogged. My lungs were full of water. I had given up."
Then he felt a pair of hands trying to pull him out of the water.
Hungarian Finn sailor, Gyorgy Finaczy, had seen Seeliger's overturned hull and started looking around until he finally found his fellow Finn sailor. Finaczy abandoned his race to save Seeliger. Somehow he got the soaking Spaniard into his boat and transferred him to a motorboat to go back to shore and to hospital for checks. Needless to say, Seeliger sailed the next day with no ill effects.
When Seeliger went home to Spain he went to the Olympic Committee and asked them to give Finaczy a medal for good sportsmanship and for saving his life. Finaczy was invited to Spain to receive the medal, but could not leave the Communist Hungary at the time, unless it was for an international sailing competition. He could only come at Christmas, so the Palamos Chistmas Race came into existence, created solely for Finaczy to be able to travel to Spain.
Earlier this week Gyorgy Finaczy and Gerardo Seeliger met again, for the first time in 30 years - old Finn friends with an unbreakable bond.
So the Finn Class wishes a happy 70th Birthday to Gerardo Seeliger.
He said, "Being here at the Finn Gold Cup is the best birthday present I could wish for."
Once a Finn sailor, always a Finn sailor.
Galateia again at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Following her victory in yesterday's second race, the new Wallycento Galateia blasted around the race track once again claiming both line honours and the win under IRC corrected time. She now leads the Wally class, 8 points ahead of the Wally 80 Nahita, with the Wally 77 Lyra a further point behind.
International Maxi Association member, Dieter Schon on Momo made it three wins in a row. The German team now leads the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship by 4.75 points.
A boat to benefit from the usually unfavoured right today was Alex Schaerer's Caol Ila R. This being her first Maxi 72 inshore event of 2017, the Swiss boat has been lagging at this year's Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. The crew was therefore delighted to lead at the top mark. "It shows that if you sail well the boat is still competitive against the new ones even in strong winds, when we are more optimised for lighter wind," said Schaerer. Sadly this was not to last. Their A2 the spinnaker promptly blew up upon hoisting.
They were not alone in blowing up sails. Hap Fauth's normally immaculate Maxi 72 Bella Mente ripped the top off her J3 four minutes into the first beat. Her crew carried out the speediest of jib changes, bareheaded. Despite this incident, they pulled up the fleet and at one point were up to second.
Tomorrow will be the penultimate day of racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Mistral wind is forecast to abate to 7-12 knots. -- James Boyd / www.sailingintelligence.com
Digital technology has entered every part of our lives and its growing acceptance in the marine safety field means that increasingly these devices and their improving ease of use can literally save lives.
At the forefront of this field is Exposure Marine's Overboard Location Alert System (OLAS), which allows its users to know instantly when and where someone has gone overboard or out of range and directs the user to initiate retrieval procedures. Without the need for any network signal, this system converts a mobile phone or tablet into an integral part of a boat's lifesaving equipment.
The way the system operates is simple: OLAS uses a low-energy Bluetooth network which is embedded into Exposure's proprietary Alert and Find technology. The phone's app can be paired with a discreet OLAS tag which can be worn like a watch or attached to a lifejacket or throwing object such as a Dan Buoy. The Bluetooth pairing creates a virtual tether to the tag, which is broken when it goes in the water or beyond its working range of 30m.
Full article in the September issue of Seahorse: www.seahorsemagazine.com
MAPFRE presents its Volvo Ocean Race team
The complete MAPFRE team have been presented today at the Real Club Nautico in Sanxenxo, the team's training base, in the presence of His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, the team's CEO Pedro Campos, and MAPFRE CEO, Antonio Huertas.
MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernandez was joined on the stage by the ten other crew members, who will make up the team, and perfectly combine talent, youth and experience, with a total of 21 round the world races, five Olympic medals, and three America's Cup victories among them, and includes the first Spanish woman in history to compete in the race, Olympic champion Tamara Echegoyen. Also New Zealand's Blair Tuke, who will try to become the first sailor in history to win the 'Triple Crown' of an Olympic gold medal, the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.
A further surprise is the under-30 crew member, Louis Sinclair from New Zealand, who has also joined the team.
1. Xabi Fernandez (ESP). Skipper
2. Joan Vila (ESP). Navigator
3. Pablo Arrarte (ESP). Watch Captain
4. Rob Greenhalgh (GBR). Watch Captain
5. Ñeti Cuervas-Mons (ESP). Bowman and boat captain
6. Tamara Echegoyen (ESP). Trimmer
7. Sophie Ciszek (USA/AUS). Bowman
8. Willy Altadill (ESP) Under 30 crew. Trimmer/helmsman
9. Blair Tuke (NZL) Under 30 crew.Trimmer/helmsman
10. Neal McDonald (GBR), Performance manager and helmsman (reserve)
11. Louis Sinclair (NZL),Under 30 crew.Trimmer/bowman (reserve)
Emily Nagel joins Team AkzoNobel
Team AkzoNobel - the Dutch professional sailing team competing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race - has announced Bermudian sailor Emily Nagel as the latest member of its international crew. Aged 23, Nagel is the eleventh sailor to be confirmed and will be taking part in her first around-the-world race.
Nagel - the youngest female sailor in this edition of the race - described becoming part of the team as "a childhood dream come true". She cites British solo skipper Dame Ellen MacArthur as the inspiration behind her long-held desire to race around the world.
As well as a stint as commodore of the University sailing club, she was also the British University Sailing Association (BUSA) ladies captain for two years. In 2015 she led an otherwise all-male BUSA team on a victorious team racing tour of the US.
With less than 50 days to go to the start of the nine-month, 46,000-mile race in Alicante, Spain, on October 22, Nagel and the rest of team AkzoNobel are currently engaged in an intensive program of crew training and speed testing from the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard base in Lisbon, Portugal.
Under race rules, the entire fleet of seven international teams competing in the 2017-18 edition of the 83,000-kilometer (45,000-mile) Volvo Ocean Race must arrive in Lisbon by September 18 for maintenance checks ahead of a non-counting prolog race to Alicante starting on October 8.
Sweden wins Nord Stream Race
Cape Crow Yacht Club from Hono near Gothenburg in Sweden has won the Nord Stream Race 2017 (26th August to 6th September) after finishing third on the final leg from Helsinki to St. Petersburg in Russia. The Swedes also take the "Nord Stream Cup" for best all-rounder in the combined inshore and offshore ranking. The German team from Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club has won the "Nord Stream Race Inshore Trophy".
Skippered by 25-year-old professional sailor Patrik Sturesson, the Swedish crew has established Cape Crow Yacht Club as "The Best Yacht Club of the Baltic Sea" and takes the Nord Stream Race Trophy 2017. On the ClubSwan 50 with Sturesson were navigator Jimmy Hellberg, Holger Tidemand, Erik Malmberg, Martin Krite, Axel Munkby, Marcus Hoglander, Johan Wikman, Arvid Bild, Julius Hallstrom and boat captain Giuseppe Filippis. With an average age of 28 years, the Swedes had the second youngest team.
Sailing with the team for the first two legs was the round-the-world veteran Martin Krite, part of the winning crew in the 2011/12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Swedes quickly worked out how to get the best out of the ClubSwan 50, the powerful one-design keelboat used by all five international teams in this year's competition, which set out from Kiel in Northern Germany on 26 August.
Finishing second on this leg and coming second overall in the offshore ranking were Nylandska Jaktklubben (Team Finland), led by charismatic skipper and Whitbread Race veteran Kenneth Thelen.
The final place on the podium for the offshore ranking goes to Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) in third place, with Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) in fourth and Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) in fifth place.
The only team who didn't sail to St Petersburg was Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) who decided to sail to Tallinn to analyse some minor damage to the mast in case it got worse during the passage to St Petersburg. -- Andy Rice, www.sailingintelligence.com
Nord Stream Race Trophy - four Offshore Legs
1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 7
2. Nylandska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) - 10
3. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 13
4. Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) - 14
5. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 17
Nord Stream Inshore Trophy
1. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) - 2
2. Nylandska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) - 5
3. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) - 5
4. Lord of the Sail - Europe (Team Russia) - 8
5. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) - 10
12m Enterprise Prepares To Return To Racing In 2018
Recently under new ownership, Enterprise US-27 begins a new phase of her life. The new team is very excited about the boat and the upcoming years of competitive racing in the 12mR modern fleet! What a terrific opportunity to bring back such a purebred as Enterprise into racing shape to compete for the 2019 World Championship.
Enterprise was built in 1977 as a continuation of the Courageous model. Designed by Olin Stephens at S&S, she was initially skippered by Lowell North of North Sails. She was beaten by Courageous in the '77 trials, but then continued on in 1980 and 1983 to serve as a competitive trial horse for the Freedom and Azzura campaigns. Enterprise has long been an admired design, and has served her crews well throughout many years of competition. Enterprise, US-27
The new team consists of some great friends and partners from the Newport area who are very excited to see Enterprise being taken seriously as a contender for the 2019 12mR World Championships. The new owner is an experienced and passionate yachtsman who has put together an equally passionate and dedicated group of sailors, designers, and engineers each sharing a long history in the 12mR community. The afterguard of the team consists of three individuals who shared in the early campaigns with Enterprise in 1977 and 1980. Steve Casella of NEB in Portsmouth, was an original builder of the yacht in 1977 at Minneford Yacht Yard. Tom Rich, also of NEB, was an original crew member when the boat was campaigned in 1977 by Lowell North, and Mike Toppa of North Sails who sailed on-board in 1979-1980 when she was a trial horse for Dennis Connor's Freedom campaign. Paul Buttrose, former President of the ITMA, has thrown his hat in the ring as Program Consultant, and David Pedrick of Pedrick Yacht Design has agreed to bring his valuable insight from years of 12mR experience into the fold for Enterprise. This tight nucleus of 12mR knowledge and experience are being joined by the current S&S design team based here in Newport and led by chief designer Brendan Abbott.
Hurricane Irma destroys marinas and ports in the Caribbean
Hurricane Irma has devastated several Caribbean islands, including Barbuda, Saint Martin and the British Virgin Islands. It has destroyed marinas and port facilities as its 185mph winds make their way northward towards south Florida. Nine people are reported to have died.
According to the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, around 95% of the buildings in Barbuda have been damaged. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the island was now "barely inhabitable" and estimated it would cost US$100m to rebuild.
Saint Martin's ports have also been decimated by the storm, according to news reports. The airport tower on the French side of the island has collapsed, while its harbour facilities have been destroyed. That means that no ships can come in with supplies. Reports online said that Dutch defence aircraft are flying to the island to assess the best way to open a direct route from the Dutch island of Curacao to move supplies to Saint Martin.
Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has also been hit badly. Photos show buildings in Road Town looking as though they have been bombed out. The capital's landmark building, Scotia Bank, has been completely destroyed. The "hurricane hole" at Paraqita Bay, where charter fleets from The Moorings MarineMax and others are based, was also badly damaged. Photos on social media show dozens of boats piled on top of each other in a corner of the marina. Other images of another BVI marina are filled with half-sunken vessels.
* From Butch Dalrymple-Smith
In your possibly justified criticism of the looks of sailing yacht A, your correspondent Georgia Boscawen missed the obvious point.
Sailing yacht A, in common with many other yachts of questionable aesthetics, looks fantastic from the inside, looking out.
And that, after all, is what the client is paying for.
* From John Waugh. Auckland NZ
It seems to me that people writing on the subject of future formats for the AC fail to recognise something very basic about sailing. It is a participation sport, not a TV spectacle. Twenty years ago when I wrote an "Irate of Hamble" letter to the BBC about the fact that they showed coverage of the Volvo Ocean Race at two o'clock on a Saturday afternoon when any sailor worth the name was out sailing, they replied that they had done their market research and had discovered who their audience was - Mrs Housewife in Slough doing the ironing of a Saturday afternoon. Whatever happens next time for the AC, please let it be for sailors and not television audiences.
Designed by Laurie Davidson, this Custom 70 (Mini Maxi) is a true performer in light breeze due to her narrow waterline and super quick in breeze. Clean and tidy deck layout and bright and airy interior.
The first dual-purpose cruiser/racer from the McConaghy/Ker partnership. Huge promise whilst on the race track as usual, but some proper interior comfort.
Maxi 79 Racer OURDREAM is a beautifully refitted maxi racing yacht that is easily sailed and perfect corporate or fun platform for both inshore and offshore regattas. Recent refit to a high standard means low running costs.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html