NYYC to challenge for 36th America's Cup | Thompson and Lunven join Turn the Tide on Plastic | Made in Saint Tropez | Mobile is EVERYTHING | Two way fight for 2017 GC32 Racing Tour title | Ignore the status quo | Newport Delivers More of a Good Thing at Melges 20 World Championship | 2018 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival | 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
NYYC to challenge for 36th America's Cup
After a decade and a half away from sailing's flagship competition, the New York Yacht Club, represented by Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association, will challenge for the 36th America's Cup. The New York Yacht Club held the ornate silver trophy from 1851, when it was won by the yacht America (above), through 1983 - a run often known as the longest winning streak in sports. The Club regularly challenged for the trophy in the years that followed the historic loss to Australia II off the coast of Newport 34 years ago, but had remained on the sidelines since its last challenge with Team Dennis Conner for the 2002-'03 America's Cup.
The challenging syndicate will be led by two of the most successful American yachtsmen of the last decade: John J. "Hap" Fauth (Naples, Fla.) and Doug DeVos (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Since 2005, at the helm of three successive yachts named Bella Mente, Fauth and his team have reached the top of the podium in numerous distance and buoy races at venues in North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Fauth is a three-time world champion in the Maxi72 class.
DeVos and the Quantum Racing program have set the standard for excellence on the 52 Super Series circuit, and its predecessor, the MedCup, with overall series wins in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016. One common link between the two teams is Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association Skipper and CEO Terry Hutchinson, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and veteran America's Cup competitor. Hutchinson, like Fauth, is a long-time New York Yacht Club member.
Even though entries won't officially open until January 1, 2018, and the class rule for the AC75 won't be finalized until early spring, there are many pivotal decisions ahead for this team. The return to monohulls will enable the team to pool the technological resources of two elite sailing programs and get a jump on the competition.
"The decisions we make over the next six months will play a significant role in determining the ultimate success of our campaign," says Hutchinson, who sailed as tactician for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2007 America's Cup match, the last to be contested in monohulls. "The early support of Hap, Doug and the New York Yacht Club puts us in a very strong position. But we can't take anything for granted. The race for the 36th America's Cup has already begun."
Thompson and Lunven join Turn the Tide on Plastic
Turn the Tide on Plastic have added British offshore legend Brian Thompson and the renowned French solo sailor Nicolas Lunven to their roster ahead of the Prologue Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts on Sunday.
Skipper Dee Caffari describes Thompson as "one of the fastest people on the water". A vastly experienced offshore sailor, he has broken the round the world record twice, and sailed non-stop around the world four times, the first British sailor to accomplish this. He was part of the winning ABN AMRO ONE crew in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race.
Nicolas Lunven won the gruelling Solitaire du Figaro in 2009 at the age of just 26 and has since secured podium places in the event in 2012 and 2016. He also sailed as navigator with MAPFRE at the beginning of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.
Lunven and Thompson will split off the navigator duties on the Turn the Tide on Plastic team. Lunven is scheduled to be on board through Melbourne, at which point Thompson will join the crew through the Auckland stopover. The dynamic duo will share the navigator duties through the rest of the race.
The learning process for Caffari and her team continues this weekend, when Turn the Tide on Plastic competes in the Prologue leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Seven teams will race their Volvo Ocean 65s nearly 700 nautical miles to Alicante, Spain, the host city and start port of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Prologue is scheduled to start on Sunday 8 October at 1300 UTC, with the teams arriving in Alicante on Wednesday/Thursday.
Made in Saint Tropez
Over thirty Modern and Classic craft took up the gauntlet today, in duel configuration or with multiple challengers, in a series of friendlies to neighbouring Pampelonne in line with the Club 55 Cup tradition.
Meantime, the rest of the fleet remained in port, treating the huge crowds, lured by the summery atmosphere, to the opportunity to revel in the spectacle of the sublime boats and their crews up close at the dock. The nautical and maritime festivity quickly spread to the streets that meander about the little port in the wake of the crew parade, ringing out long into the night with the typical pizzazz of seafarers' gatherings.
Today the Club 55 Cup saw the Defender Eugenia V, the 1968 Rhodes design, competing against Savannah. It was the latter that secured the win at the end of the 15-mile sprint from Saint Tropez to the beach of Pampelonne. It is a gentlemen's race according to the very terms outlined by the protagonists gathered at the Club 55 to celebrate the new Defender.
In 1995, an American yachtie competing in the J-Class races, one Elizabeth Meyer, wanted to create a Spirit of Tradition. This yacht was inspired by William Fife's J-Class sloops and a plethora of other beauties, but she wanted a boat that measured less than 100-feet in length. For this particular J-Class, Pedrick and Munford teamed up to create Savannah. Strikingly beautiful, her features embody all that is wonderful in the design of 20th century yachts.
Throughout the day, ten or so challenges livened up the race zone between the little port of Saint Tropez and the beach of Pampelonne, following in the historic footsteps of the challenge on which Les Voiles was founded in 1981. Of particular note was the keenness of the crews of the three 12 m JIs, Ikra, Sovereign and France to continue with their week of jousting. From midday, they became embroiled in a friendly race bound for Lion de Mer, neck and neck, constantly sizing up their respective speeds at every point of sail as the breeze filled in. There were no points on the scoreboard at the end of this shakedown, but their appetites are further whetted for when they begin racing in anger again tomorrow in the group of Marconi Classics.
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Two way fight for 2017 GC32 Racing Tour title
Marseille One Design, the grand finale of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour takes place next week and will be the deciding event of the European circuit for ultra-high speed foiling one design catamarans. This will be the fourth consecutive year the annual GC32 Racing Tour championship has concluded off France's second city.
Going into Marseille One Design, the fight for first place is now between two teams - present leader of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour, Realteam, skippered by Jerome Clerc, and Argo of two time Melges 32 World Champion, Jason Carroll. So far this season Realteam has won two events, the GC32 Riva Cup and last month's GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup in Calvi, while Argo beat Realteam at the GC32 Villasimius Cup and at the 36th Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Argo finished second at Marseille One Design in 2016. Going into next week's deciding event, the Swiss hold a slender two point lead over the US team.
Mathematically there is an outside chance that third placed Mamma Aiuto! of Naofumi Kamei could relieve Argo of second place, but realistically the Japan team should be looking over its shoulder. Currently three points behind in fourth, Sebastien Rogues and his crew on Team ENGIE will be racing on home waters and are hungry to achieve their objective of a podium finish on the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour.
If positions on the overall leaderboard are firming up, this is entirely not the case in the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour owner driver championship. Here the top three boats - ARGO, Mamma Aiuto! and Pierre Casiraghi's Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco - are within one point of each other.
Racing will take place on Marseille's Rade Sud, directly off Corniche du President-John-Fitzgerald-Kennedy and the Prado beach. The GC32 Racing Tour fleet will be moored in the Marina Roucas Blanc. Marseille One Design will be first event hosted in the future Olympic Marina following confirmation last month of Paris' successful bid to host the Olympic Games in 2024. This year Marseille is also European capital of sport and has been the venue for a huge program of sports events of which Marseille One Design is part.
The Volvo Ocean Race is fast approaching and this one will see three times more sailing in the Southern Ocean than recent editions of the round-the-world classic. However, the new course still takes the fleet four times across the Equator, so extremes of weather and climate are still very much part of the contest. Demanding on the sailors and very demanding on their clothing...
This is shaping up to be perhaps the most competitive Volvo Ocean Race yet, because it's very hard to pick a likely winner from the strong line-up of seven, potentially eight teams. Introducing the one-design element to the last edition of the race made for some of the closest finishes seen in the race. With teams using identical equipment, the focus now is on marginal gains wherever you can find them; one of those key areas is what you wear.
Two crew with a real chance of winning the 2017-18 edition are Team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team, and they've both opted to wear Zhik on their race around the world.
Newport Delivers More of a Good Thing at Melges 20 World Championship
Newwport, Rhode Island, USA: As sailors waited at Sail Newport for the Day Two morning announcement on the course location from PRO Peter 'Luigi" Reggio, debates were waged on both sides; some sailors wanted to give their bodies and equipment a break and head north of the Newport Bridge for flat water, others wanted to take advantage of yet another day of Newport's southwest breeze. At 9 a.m., Reggio announced the seas were manageable and the wind was slightly less than Day One, and that all teams should proceed to course Alpha...it was time to go outside.
After a small adjustment to the starting line to compensate for a pulsing left shift and one general recall, Race Five began. Despite the lefties, teams that were able to work the top right's combination of stronger breeze and favorable ebb tide were able to make big gains.
After two days of epic World Championship racing, Justin Quigg's CHARACTER 2.0 extended his lead ever so slightly in the Corinthian division over Cesar Gomes Neto's PORTOBELLO. Sweden's Johannes Lind-Widestam on INTERMEZZO remains in third.
Post race, sailors gathered at NYYC Harbor Court for the daily awards hosted by Team SLINGSHOT and RED SKY, with specialty team drinks and an impressive raw bar.
The forecast for Thursday, Day Three in Newport at the World Championship, calls for a whole new scenario - light breeze. Already, there is a great deal of discussion about which course (inside or outside) the fleet might race tomorrow.
Top Five World Championship Results (Preliminary - After Six Races, One Discard)
1. Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee, USA, 18
2. John Kilroy Jr., Samba Pa Ti, USA, 27
3. Jim Wilson, Oleander, USA, 29
4. Vladimir Proshikin, Nika, RUS, 31
5. Daniel Thielman, Kuai, USA, 33
2018 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
We WILL Be Racing. Join Us!
With most of the Caribbean islands caught in the wrath of hurricane Irma and then Maria - two category five hurricanes that hit land and made history - the message from the organisers of the BVI Spring Regatta is strong and clear:
"We will be racing again! We want sailors to know to plan to come back and race in 2018," says Regatta Director, Judy Petz who has been helping coordinate immediate supplies and fund raisers since disaster struck the beautiful islands just weeks ago.
Visiting yachtsmen will make an important contribution towards the recovery of tourism and the economy in the region, so let it be known the British Virgin Islands will be open for business. Please don't put off your plans. It is intended that the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, located at Nanny Cay Marina, will run from 26th March to 1st of April 2018. It might not be in exactly the same format, but the organizers are focused on continuing with their plans.
"We are determined that in six months time, the 47th BVI Spring Regatta will go ahead. It might look a little different, but we'll still be putting on a great regatta," continues Petz, who has been overwhelmed by the offers of help and support from the event's 'regatta family' and followers around the world.
It may seem a little premature to start reaching out to sailors and to talk of planning events when the daily lives of so many are still in turmoil, but one of the best ways to support and help rebuild the islands is for sailors, who have been welcomed here so warmly, continue with their plans to join the regatta as part of their Caribbean racing circuit. This will help rebuild the country, restore tourism and the future of these wonderful islands.
Enter here: yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4419
* From Adrian Morgan:
The sight of tons of wrecked and jumbled glassfibre and carbon in the Caribbean must make us all wonder where it will end up. Much of what is salvageable will, no doubt, be "recycled" but there is then the question of what becomes of the rest. Seahorse runs a piece this month about the problem, and it is one that we as sailors and the industry need to face up to. Wherever you go these days you see abandoned or sad-looking glassfibre boats, often with forlorn For Sale signs, rotting, or rather not rotting in corners of boatyards. Over 13,000 what they call "end-of-life" boats are lying around Holland and there may well be 75,000 clogging the banks of the Ijsselmeer by 2030.
The answer (although it won't happen) is a return to wooden boats which, like their owners, have a finite life and disappear naturally.
The sad but ultimate fate of wooden boats to slip away gracefully gives us owners some moral superiority over those folk who buy glassfibre boats. It is because they are so good, so perfect, so easy [sic] to maintain, and almost impossible to destroy that makes them so, well, bad.
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The Last Word
The ship's transporters - which let the crew 'beam' from place to place - really came out of a production need. I realized with this huge spaceship, I would blow the whole budget of the show just in landing the thing on a planet. -- Gene Roddenberry
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