Porto Santo rounding for Leg One | Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit | Grenada Sailing Week Classics - In a class of their own. | Greenings Claims Narrow Line Honours Into Cape Town | Girls on Film win the battle - Invictus win the war | Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series all set for 5th season | Botin Partners signs for NYYC America's Cup Challenge | Extreme Sailing Series San Diego | Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image | When Her Father's Yacht Vanished, She Searched the Sea Until She Finally Found Peace | 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
Porto Santo rounding for Leg One
After months of strenuous preparation, thousands of miles sailed in training, the first offshore leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will get underway on Sunday.
In a departure from the traditional long first leg down the Atlantic Ocean, this year the race starts with a (relative) sprint from Alicante to Lisbon.
Unlike the rest of the route which was set in stone more than a year ago, the final route for Leg 1 has just been announced, with Race Director Phil Lawrence selecting one of four options he had available to him.
His decision means the boats will head to Lisbon via the Portuguese island Porto Santo in the Atlantic. Like all things in sailing, it was the weather that determined the route.
"One of our course options was to send the boats out to the east, through the Bonifacio Straight, around Sardinia, back out through Gibraltar and straight to Lisbon. The medium-term weather forecast is for a strong mistral, potentially 50 or even 60 knots, followed by an extended period of high pressure and light winds throughout the Mediterranean, so that wasn't very attractive," Lawrence explained.
In order to avoid a dangerous blow followed by a frustrating lack of wind, the race director has decided to give the Volvo Ocean 65 fleet an early taste of the Atlantic.
"The leg course we've chosen is approximately 1450 miles. There's a varied weather outlook for that course, quite complex for the Atlantic, which will present some challenges for the crews and we expect them to arrive in Lisbon after approximately a week."
Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit
The Volvo Ocean Race has used the first of seven Ocean Summits it is hosting around the world in 2017-18 to launch a unique programme that will gather data from parts of the oceans that are otherwise inaccessible to scientists - while the Spanish government pledged its backing for UN Environment's Clean Seas campaign.
Wednesday's Ocean Summit in Alicante - held four days before the start of the 2017-18 edition of sailing's 45-year-old race around the world - brought together politicians, scientists, business and sport to tackle the problem of ocean health, with a specific focus on plastic pollution.
As the world's 14th largest economy, Spain's declaration of support is a significant boost to the UN's global campaign, which now boasts 32 member states and aims to 'turn the tide on plastic' by inspiring action from governments, businesses and individuals.
The Science Programme is key to that goal of creating action to tackle plastic pollution, based on accurate data.
The Programme - made possible thanks to the support of Volvo Cars, and a consortium including NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), JCOMMOPS (UNESCO-IOC), GEOMAR and SubCtech - is comprised of three elements.
All of the racing yachts in the 2017-18 edition will send data back from the oceans every 10 seconds - recording temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction. This data will be passed on to NOAA and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. It will contribute to more accurate weather forecasts and climate models.
Secondly, during the four most isolated legs in the race, all seven yachts will carry drifter buoys equipped with satellite communications to transmit information on ocean composition and currents.
Thirdly, the Turn the Tide on Plastic team skippered by British yachtswoman Dee Caffari will carry instruments onboard to test salinity, dissolved CO2 and Chlorophyll-a (algae), and for the first time ever, microplastics, directly in the sea water around them.
Dee Caffari's presentation at the summit:
Grenada Sailing Week Classics - In a class of their own.
Mathew Barker says:
"I enjoy coming to Grenada because apart from Antigua, it is one of the few regattas to provide a classic class, there is always great racing between the yachts on challenging race courses of the south coast. As for the parties? - Just brilliant on sea and ashore."
This Classic Class also includes traditional sloops such as 'Savvy', who's Captain, Danny Donelan, looks forward to challenging yachts from the Carriacou Sloop fleet.
To Register: www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4444
Website www.grenadasailingweek.com. Sign up for newsletter online, Email: , Facebook: GrenadaSailingWeek, or Twitter @grenadasailweek
Greenings Claims Narrow Line Honours Into Cape Town
The Greenings team claimed victory late last night in a thrilling finale to the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms, which saw the top two teams finish approximately two miles apart after 14 days racing through the South Atlantic in the second stage of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, from Punta del Este, Uruguay.
An intense battle played out between the top two teams since the opening day of the race, some 3,560 nautical miles ago. Greenings crossed the finish line first at 21:20:55 local South African time, (19:20:55 UTC), just 17 minutes and 45 seconds minutes ahead of Dare To Lead which finished at 21:38:40 local (19:38:40 UTC).
Andy Woodruff is the Interim Skipper for Greenings after the original Skipper, David Hartshorn suffered an injury on Leg 1.
It is the second consecutive stage win for Greenings, which also set a new Clipper Race record for the most nautical miles covered in a 24-hour period after notching up 329 nautical miles on Day 9.
Narrowly behind in second place was Dare To Lead, skippered by Capetonian Dale Smyth, who fought hard and was in the lead for much of the race. The team has played its Joker Card and will double the number of points for this race once official positions are announced.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet has now covered over 10,000 of the race's 40,000 nautical mile route since Race Start in Liverpool on 20 August.
Race 3 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race starts on 31 October, departing Cape Town for Fremantle, Western Australia.
Girls on Film win the battle - Invictus win the war
Sir Keith Mills' Ker40+ Invictus, is the 2017 FAST40+ Champion, after winning the last race of the season, taking second place in Round 5, to clinch the overall title. Sir Keith Mills lifted the FAST40+ Trophy, and the Cloudy Bay Bowl, as winner for the 2017 FAST40+ Race Circuit.
Peter Morton's CF40+ Girls on Film won Round 5 of the 2017 FAST40+ Circuit. The Isle of Wight based team won four of the five rounds, over the last six months. However, it was not enough to take the overall win for the season. The new Girls on Film is undoubtedly quick, and extremely well sailed, but a ninth in the first round, racing a chartered boat, proved the team's undoing.
Stewart Whitehead's Carkeek MkIII Rebellion, was fifth in Round 5, placing third for the 2017 circuit, and is a serious contender for 2018. Bas de Voogd's Carkeek MkIII Hitchhiker, finished the season in fourth place, the Dutch team was competing in the class for the first time. Dennis Gehrlein's young German team, racing Silva Neo, was third in Round 5, lifting the team to 5th for the circuit, a massive improvement on their 11th place last year.
The 2018 FAST40+ Race Circuit will shortly be announced, new teams are also expected to join the class next season.
Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series all set for 5th season
Organised from October to March by the YCM over three-day weekends, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier SLAM, the purpose is to give sailors an opportunity to prepare at the highest level for the upcoming season.
An initiative of YCM member Valentin Zavadnikov, it attracts teams from nearby Italy but also many from Eastern and Northern Europe. The programme is intense. Last year’s edition fulfilled all objectives with more than 70 races completed for 300+ sailors from 14 nationalities in five classes.
For the new season, the focus is on the J/70s and Melges 20s. Some teams have made no secret of their ambition, like Valeria Kovalenko (ArtTube) in the J/70s. Last season, the Russian sailor maintained an impressive consistency to win the Series after 21 races, with the Brazilians on Manda-Chuva in 2nd and the YCM’s Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda) completing the podium in 3rd. This season, the field is wide open for this class which is massively popular in Monaco with a fleet of 17, probably the biggest concentration in the Mediterranean.
In the Melges 20 last season, Russians ruled the roost with Alexandr Ezhkov (Pirogovo Sailing) on top, followed by Alexander Novoselov (Victor) and Vadim Yahinson (Leviathan).
Botin Partners signs for NYYC America's Cup Challenge
Bella Mente Quantum Racing (BMQR) is pleased to announce it has signed an exclusive agreement with Botin Partners Naval Architecture to design the yacht it will sail in the 36th America's Cup competition, which is scheduled to take place in Auckland, New Zealand, in early 2021. The syndicate will represent the New York Yacht Club, which has returned to the America's Cup arena after a 15-year absence.
Botin Partners is one of the world's most reputable yacht design firms, with a unparalleled track record of success across many classes, particularly large monohulls. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron announced just over a month ago that the next America's Cup will be sailed in the AC75 monohull.
BMQR is the combination of two successful American keelboat programs, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente Maxi72 program and Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing team. Over the past decade, Quantum Racing has sailed Botin Partners' designs to five world championships in the TP52 class (above). Locking in the design team early allows BMQR the opportunity to begin development of its AC75.
Marcelino Botin, the founder and president of Botin Partners, has extensive experience in the America's Cup having been the principle designer for Emirates Team New Zealand from 2004 to 2011, including the 32nd America's Cup when ETNZ won the Louis Vuitton Cup and narrowly missed defeating Alinghi in the America's Cup match.
Extreme Sailing Series San Diego
Alinghi and Land Rover BAR Academy were the teams to beat on the opening day of the penultimate Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in San Diego, USA. But it was the Swiss who demonstrated their prowess in the light winds and took the overnight lead as they left the Brits floundering in the final race.
For Alinghi's helm Arnaud Psarofaghis it was a good day at the office. The defending champion currently sits in third on the overall leader board and the pressure is on as it nears the end of the season.
Land Rover BAR Academy - helmed by four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie - also put in a strong performance which almost matched Alinghi's. Going into the final race the two were tied on points but, as Alinghi crossed the line in first, the wind died and the Brits were unable to complete the course in the allotted time and did not finish.
The GC32 Stadium Racing kicks off Friday at 14:00 UTC-7.
Standings after Day 1, 6 races
1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 64 points
2. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Ben Ainslie, Adam Kay, Elliot Hanson, Will Alloway, 59
3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Kostner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason, 56
4. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 54
5. Team Extreme San Diego (USA) Morgan Larson, Andrew Campbell, Matt Cassidy, Mike Kuschner, Cooper Dressler, 49
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller, 48
7. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Andy Maloney, Josh Salthouse, 45
8. Lupe Tortilla Demetrio (USA) John Tomko, Jonathan Atwood, Matthew Whitehead, Tripp Burd, Trevor Burd, 36
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image
The 'Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image' is a yearly photographic contest and exhibition. It seeks to recognise the very best yacht racing image taken during the year, and that which best represents the essence and excitement of yacht racing as a sport.
The contest is open to professional yacht racing photographers from all over the world. Three prizes are awarded:
The main prize is the 'Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image'. It is awarded by a panel of international specialists from the yacht racing and photographic industries
The 'Yacht Racing Forum Award' is decided by the 700 delegates of World Sailing's Annual conference as well as by the 300 delegates of the Yacht Racing Forum. It is selected on the basis of a vote amongst the top 20 pictures (selected by the international jury) exhibited at both conferences.
The 'public prize' is selected by the number of popular votes on Internet. This is a fun award, aimed at increasing the photographers visibility on the social networks and the global value of the contest. Photographers are encouraged to like and share pictures, and to do as much self-promotion as they can. This prizes recognizes the quality of the winning picture as well as the photographers' network and the support he (she) can generate around him and his (her) photograph.
The 2017 Gallery for the prize (yes, the public can vote...) is here:
Click on your favourite and you have the access to vote (Facebook access needed).
When Her Father's Yacht Vanished, She Searched the Sea Until She Finally Found Peace
After Argonaut went down in calm waters, Chelsea Rice-Morris was convinced of foul play. She didn't stop until she had her answer.
"Boats don't just sink," says Chelsea Rice-Morris. "People don't just disappear."
On July 25, 2012, the 59-foot Argonaut, a robust $600,000 yacht crewed by owner John Rice and French Canadian crewmember Guillaume Gosselin, was sailing in calm conditions just three miles behind a second boat, 20 miles off Maumere, Indonesia.
Then it wasn't.
On August 9th Gosselin arrived in the port of Kupang aboard an Indonesian fishing boat. He reported that the Argonaut had sunk 14 days earlier and John Rice was dead.
A great read, full article: narrative.ly/when-her-fathers-yacht-vanished
* From David Pelly:
For reasons that I do not quite understand, this seems to be the week in which superannuated yachting journalists are being allowed a free whack at the America's Cup in Scuttlebut. May it be my turn now?
The only special qualification I may claim is to have been a member of the World Sailing Speed Record Council since its establishment in 1973; longer than anyone except our wonderful Secretary General, John Reed. Because some of the attempts on our records have been in craft so bizarre that you have to think very carefully before even describing them as boats, the Council has needed to address some very basic questions such as: what is a boat? or, what is sailing?
Other rule-making organizations do not usually bother with such definitions, perhaps believing them to be self-evident but if you are confronted by a chap who is proposing to stand on a very tiny surf-board with insufficient displacement to support his own weight at rest and to sail over mud-flats with about one centimetre of water over them, pulled by a rigid-wing kite; would you accept it for a sailing speed record? This was not just a dream but an actual proposal which very fortunately never came to reality, but did encourage us to call for a minimum depth of water (Half the maximum beam of the craft afloat or 10cm, whichever is the greater). Furthermore, the water must not be frozen.
Competitors in the America's Cup are not likely to be bothered by these particular requirements but I would like to suggest to the 'wise men' who are currently hard at work composing class rules for the proposed America's Cup 75 foot monohull Class that they might like to borrow our Rules 7 & 9, both of which were clearly broken by all of the finalists in the recent event with the result that this was not a competition between sailing yachts but between clockwork machines which could not move until they had been 'wound up'. If this is allowed to continue unchecked, future America's Cup matches could take place in space rockets or any other type of machine.
Part of WSSR Rule 7. Manual Power
A yacht shall use human power only, apart from battery power for instrumentation. There is no objection to various methods of power transmission such as hydraulic provided there is no element of power storage beyond that associated with materials in their conventional sailing application.
WSSR Rule 9. Means of Propulsion.
A yacht shall sail by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed.
* From Owen Sharpe:
I'm thrilled to hear Larry's proposal. I thought the foiling cats were great in several ways. I think they'll end up being the boats for AC after Auckland, if that competition continues.
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The Last Word
Of course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. -- Robert Anton Wilson
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