In This Issue
Strong winds prevent play on opening day of Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2017 | Audi J/70 World Championship: Teasing Mistral | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Multiplast-Groupe Carboman produces the foils for Figaro 3 | Is It Already The America's Cup? Now The Search For Sponsors Has Started, A Bit Of Italian Bickering Can Do No Harm | The Farrs and the Quicks are back! | Abby Ehler and Andrew Cape to join Team Brunel | Adrienne Cahalan honoured as first woman to sail 25 Sydney to Hobart yacht races | 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
Strong winds prevent play on opening day of Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2017
Cowes, UK - The opening day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup dawned with blue skies and a brisk 20-25 knot westerly breeze. However, with the wind forecast to increase during the morning, the fleet was held ashore while two mark laying RIBs ventured out at 1100 to check on conditions first hand, which led to a decision to abandon racing for the day.
"We've been out on the Hill Head Plateau, where there's 22-25 knots of wind, with a sharp Solent chop and broken water," explained Principal Race Officer, Robert Lamb of the Royal Southampton YC, "...and there's no prospect of the wind dropping before the tide turns to the west later this afternoon, when the wind against tide will kick up an even worse sea state."
With the two Quarter Tonners that broke rigs during this year's Lendy Cowes Week serving as a fresh reminder of the relatively fragile nature of these boats, there was overwhelming support for the decision from owners and sailors. "I think everyone will be pleased, especially at this stage of the regatta, where you don't want to risk damage," said Tom Hill, owner of the newly restored Belinda.
Hill is a long-standing Quarter Ton owner, having sailed Runaway Bus for several years, before buying and refitting Belinda. "The standard is very high in the fleet," Hill says, "so you have to keep improving and you learn a lot by sailing against the strongest teams. Belinda is a fairer shape than Runaway Bus and is a much better boat in stronger breezes. John [Corby] did a fantastic job - the boat is now very rigid and feels really solid in a way that's lacking in some older boats."
Tomorrow the forecast is for a west-north-westerly breeze averaging 15 knots, but with significantly strong gusts. The intention is to complete four 45-minute races, with the first warning signal for the 23-strong fleet at 1100. -- Rupert Holmes
* A fleet of 23 exquisitely prepared classic race boats - along with some of the world's best sailors - have gathered in Cowes for the 13th edition of the revived Coutts Quarter Ton Cup.
With four countries represented, plus visitors from Scotland and Jersey, it will again be an international affair. As ever, there's a diverse variety of sailors, ranging from members of Ben Ainslie's 2017 Land Rover BAR America's Cup team, through seasoned trans-Atlantic solo racers, to long-standing Solent gurus. However, parachuting in a team of hot-shot experts is no guarantee of winning this event - it's often the crews that have practiced and raced together over a longer period that have the consistency to come out on top.
Louise Morton has won the event for the past three years in succession by adopting this strategy and will again be a formidable competitor. Her all-woman crew includes Olympian Kate Macgregor, plus match racing supremos Charlotte Lawrence and Imogen Stanley. "I'm really looking forward to this Quarter Ton Cup," Morton says. "Looking down the list of entries, the standard of the fleet is particularly high and there are some very good boats here, so the winner will need to show a lot of consistency."
Morton will need to keep a very close eye on the best-performing boat in the season to date - Sam Laidlaw's Judel/Vrolijk designed Aguila. Laidlaw goes into the event with the advantage of having sailed with exactly the same team at every regatta this year, which has already bagged him an enviable haul of silverware.
Audi J/70 World Championship: Teasing Mistral
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com.
Porto Cervo, September 13, 2017. The Mistral winds continued to batter the Costa Smeralda for the second day of the Audi J/70 World Championship, which is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the Title Sponsor Audi and the Official Sailmaker Quantum Sails. The strong north westerly wind came tantalizingly close to dropping to the 25 knot class limit. Principal Race Officer, Mark Foster continually updated the fleet but the wind refused to subside and racing was called off for the day at 15:00 CET.
Martin Kullman, Global Sales Director Quantum Sails, commented. "Tomorrow we are expecting 18 knots from the west with a medium sea state. So ideal conditions for the fleet, with the J/70s just about getting up on the plane downwind, let's hope the forecast is right."
Tomorrow, weather permitting, 162 teams will fight to gain the right to race in the Gold and Silver Championship fleet, the big change is that the scores from those races will now count towards the Championship Series.
How the Cup was won and why the Golden Globe in 2018 is going to be such a huge story. Rob Kothe, Jack Griffin and Terry Hutchinson
James Boyd tries to see past the many conflicting forces that will shape the next America's Cup in 2021
My... we do breed 'em
There are some quite remarkable people who are drawn to race sailing boats... Tim Jeffery sits down with Dr Frank Newton OBE
Seahorse build table - A fun design space
Erik Lerouge has a new Mini-Me trimaran
Sailor of the Month
Two masters of all they survey
Born in the Volvo - available to all
Hoping for the best is never much of a plan
... is everywhere on the latest WallyCento
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Multiplast-Groupe Carboman produces the foils for Figaro 3
Click on image to enlarge.
In the summer of 2016, Beneteau Group launched a global for tender call to find a sub-contractor able to produce the foils for its new cruising monotype designed by VPLP. The goal was ambitious, because the selected yard will have to produce two foils per week for one year, scrupulously respecting both the monotype design and in a strict economic framework.
Selected a few days before the 2016 Nautic, the knowledge of the company from Vannes, not least the technologies used in wind power by Plastinov (closed mould, resin infusion, etc.), enabled Multiplast to take up the challenge.
Samuel Napoleoni, engineer in charge of the project at Multiplast explains: "A first mould section of about 500mm was quickly machined in order to carry out the process validation tests. Each test took a week, we ran the process for a fortnight in order to work any "bugs" out of the construction procedure . At the beginning of the year, our objective was to make the manufacturing process strong enough to start mass production. In parallel, we produced the moulds and worked on the ergonomics of the workstation. It provided great satisfaction for our teams when at the end of June we took out the first four foils. At that time, we knew that we were on the right path".
Designed by Vincent Lauriot Prevost and his team (VPLP), these foils are very innovative pieces, both in their geometry and in their manufacturing method. Vincent Lauriot Prevost tells us more: "The foam manufacturing process developed by the Carboman Group seems to us perfectly suited to the Figaro 3. Structural resistance, compliance with weight specifications and geometry go beyond our expectations. It is a fine example of collaboration between the builder, the client and the architect."
A hundred foils will be made before the summer of 2018 to be mounted on the first 50 Figaro 3s.
Is It Already The America's Cup? Now The Search For Sponsors Has Started, A Bit Of Italian Bickering Can Do No Harm
The J70 Worlds is undoubtedly the finest event in the world sailing season. After a long family discussion, I managed to convince my son Achille, who usually races on Melges 20s, to race on a J70 as well so we could have some fun together and maybe in the evening take the mickey out of each other over a good glass of wine (red, of course).
Achille has never raced in the J70 class, he bought a brand-new boat and sent it to one of the yards of reference to fix some problems with the keel, as the class rules (C.8.1.C) stipulate. Then the boat, which I repeat had never been in the water before, was taken for its first rating which, as agreed between the seller and the international class, would be assigned during the initial checks. During these measurements a nonconformity was found in the keel, but the rating officer said that for him all that was needed to obtain the rating was to re-present the yacht with a new, conforming keel. Once we had the go-ahead from the rating officer, we purchased from an Italian supplier the keel of a new boat that was regularly certified by its French builder.
At this point the yacht was again brought before the rating officer within the time laid down by the Notice of Race, passed all the controls and obtained all the rating documents which made no mention of problems. All this happened, and the yacht was awarded its rating, at midday on Sunday, September 10. The timing too is important, but I'll come back to that later.
On September 11, after the skippers' briefing, well after the rating formalities were over and the fleet split into groups, my sons boat was in the Red group. The organising committee, at 7 PM, posted a notice that rejected the entries of seven boats because the Technical Committee had reported that these yachts had modified their keels, breaking class rule C.8.1. This is what happened. Incidentally, it's right and proper that appendages cannot be modified, but apparently last year at the San Francisco Worlds some participants were allowed to do work on keels that had been found not to conform, thus making it possible for them to race. I could also add that rating controls were rightly scrupulous for some boats but rather less zealous for others, but as Andreotti said, "you apply the law to your enemies but interpret it for your friends..."
I spoke of timing earlier, and it is to say the least singular that the organising committee, in other words the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, took such a grave decision and announced it only hours before the first race.
Several weeks ago the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda had already refused an entry from my friend Pietro Manunta from Olbia, one of the founders of Mascalzone Latino, because it arrived after July 3, the final date, although the Yacht Club had the option of accepting it on payment of a penalty.
What was singular was that they persisted in their refusal even when we were told by friends taking part that they had withdrawn from the race leaving room for us.
At this point I presented to the organisation a formal request to allow my son to replace me at the helm of my boat, whose entry had been accepted. I did this because I wanted my son Achille to race in this magnificent class, where I will never withdraw my modest logistical support in transport. My request was rejected by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the organisation, without giving any reason whatever.
It's a wonderful World Championship, but it started badly on dry land with seven competitive teams excluded, five of whom had put their boats in order (San Francisco docet), and arbitrarily excluding others who would have liked to take part: what's the point of writing in the Notice of Race that entries can be accepted after July 3 if you pay an extra €250? Perhaps because there would have been a third Mascalzone Latino racing?
It was organised dangerously badly on the water as well, with the ridiculous idea of having just one course for 180 yachts. It was certainly a decision taken with an eye to saving money, since it's well known that the Yacht Club is short of cash.
So we packed up our boats and left, even mine which could have taken part, but sailing is about fun, not just passion, and what happened was politics, only politics and nothing but politics. I have the honour to have been a member of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda for some decades, and the great honour of being awarded the Club's golden pennant. But those were different times with different men. The Club was governed by the sadly missed Commodore Gianfranco Alberini, a true seaman and a true Commander. I left the club after his unfortunate death when he was replaced by a Milanese accountant whose only contact with the sea was the blue of the sealing wax blazer that he always wore like the shell of a snail. He very rarely went out on the water, but his outings were memorable for those who had the delight of seeing him in action. Once he tried helming a Farr40, succeeding masterfully in broaching her every time he tacked - and notice I say when he tacked, I didn't say gybed.
It would be amusing if Bonadeo, to dispel all this climate of tension and conspiracy, delighted us by taking the helm of a J70. I'll lend you mine, laddie, she's properly entered, you only need to wear your blazer!
Well, we threw away a load of money not to take part. The story will be continued in actions for damages in the civil and sporting courts. Isn't that what lawyers and accountants are for? To stop you sailing, and not the contrary. -- Vincenzo Onorato
* Editor: Scuttlebutt Europe will print the reply from Edoardo Recchi, Sports Director of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and organizer of YCCS regattas in the Friday issue.
The Farrs and the Quicks are back!
Zen and the Farr 40 Fleet downwind at the 2017 John Calvert-Jones Trophy. Photo by Crosbie Lorimer, Bow Caddy Media. Click on image to enlarge.
The longstanding Australian Farr 40 class is assembling for another busy season with a great group of enthusiastic returning owners plus a new father and son team ready to reenrol at the school of hard knocks that is one design racing.
A social regatta later in September kicks-off the Farr 40's 2017-18 season a month earlier than previous years, then the four weekend regattas staged between Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and Newcastle lead into the NSW title coinciding with the Middle Harbour Yacht Club's (MHYC) established Sydney Harbour Regatta in March. Finally the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) will host the National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy, also in March.
Alan and son Tom Quick took ownership of what was the Farr 40 Transfusion at the end of the 2016-17 season and spent the winter months racing the renamed Outlaw on Sydney Harbour.
Speaking on the requirement for crew weigh-ins for the states and nationals only Tom adds, "It makes it friendlier and easier to get out on the racetrack with competent crew."
Gordon Ketelbey is standing for another Farr 40 association presidency term and says, "It's a solid fleet of nine. Roughly this number reoccurs each season and it's still the very best of one design racing. The class is alive and well and kicking with a strong association and professional administrator. The 2017-18 circuit is similar to last time and MHYC, where five of the 40s live, will run most of the regattas."
List of entries for the Farr 40 2017-18 season:
1. Estate Master - Martin Hill, MHYC
2. Double Black - Rob Pitts, Sandringham Yacht Club and MHYC
3. Edake - Jeff Carter, MHYC
4. Exile - Rob Reynolds, MHYC
5. Forty - Sam Hill, RSYS
6. Good Form - Joe de Kock, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club
7. Kokomo - Lang Walker, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
8. Nutcracker - Rob Davis & Andy Baker, SYC
9. Zen - Gordon Ketelbey, MHYC
Abby Ehler and Andrew Cape to join Team Brunel
Team Brunel adds Britain's Abby Ehler and Australian Andrew Cape to their squad for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. For Ehler it will be a reunion with Annie Lush having sailed the previous Volvo Ocean Race together with Team SCA. Cape isn't new to the team either. He has sailed two Volvo Ocean Races with Bekking before and was the Team Brunel navigator in the previous edition.
Abby first competed in the Volvo Ocean Race with Amer Sports Too in 2001-2002 and more recently in 2014-2015 with Team SCA making this Abby's third Volvo Ocean Race. Since the completion of the last Volvo Ocean Race, Abby has been involved with the re-fit of the VO65's at The Boatyard facility in Lisbon as well as working for the America's Cup LiveLine team who brought to the viewing audience the technology of on-water graphics.
For the 55-year-old Australian navigator Andrew Cape, also known as 'Capey', it will be his seventh Volvo Ocean Race. Of which the third with Bekking.
Adrienne Cahalan honoured as first woman to sail 25 Sydney to Hobart yacht races
It's a highly polished wooden board sporting the names of some of Australia's most famous ocean racing sailors and now the first woman has etched her name on it.s
Adrienne Cahalan, a mother-of-two, round the world navigator, former Australian sailor of the year, skiff skipper and lawyer was on the weekend honoured as the first woman to sail in 25 Sydney to Hobart yacht races after racing south aboard Ragamuffin in the 2016 event.
Dubbed the Hobart Heroes, sailors who have achieved the feat of 25 races are honoured at the annual Quiet Little Drink fundraising event with their names added to an honours board.
At the same event on the weekend, Brad Kellett became the youngest sailor at 40 to achieve the feat of 25 Hobarts with Andrew Taylor, Peter Sheldrick, Michael Bellingham and Bruce Clark all honoured for reaching the milestone.
While Cahalan, who wants to sail a Sydney to Hobart with her daughters when they reach the minimum age of 18, is the first woman to make the club, she is one of the most successful sailors on it.
She has the extraordinary record of six line honours wins from sailing on Nicorette and Wild Oats along with two overall wins and two race records.
She was also the first Australian female sailor aboard a line honours winner back in 2000.
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The Last Word
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