In This Issue
Clipper Race 6 Day 5: Southerly Buster Marks Ocean Sprint Start | Flappy sails and glassy seas | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Golden Globe Race competitor Susie Goodall introduces 'DHL Starlight' at London Boat Show | Irish Etchells Classic Short-Listed for International Award | ACO 9th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2018 Day 2 | Industry News | 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
Clipper Race 6 Day 5: Southerly Buster Marks Ocean Sprint Start
After the Clipper Race fleet split into two packs, it has converged again over the last 24 hours as teams tackled stormy conditions, known locally as Southerly Busters, ahead of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.
During the fifth day of racing, it is Visit Seattle that takes the lead as it ploughs through the miles during the Ocean Sprint. Although this could change when yesterday's leader Sanya Serenity Coast returns to the Clipper Race Viewer from being in Stealth Mode at 12:00 UTC today. Only time will tell where the team places but it is likely, however, that racing remains close between the two teams with Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck reporting: "We are now sailing along nicely and although we are in Stealth Mode a few other boats can see us and I can't turn off our AIS as we are in a busy shipping area."
In second place, Liverpool 2018 is fully focused on completing the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint with Qingdao, which entered Stealth Mode at 06:00UTC, freezing its position on the Clipper Race Viewer until tomorrow morning.
With two teams in Stealth Mode, Garmin, which has played its Joker, sits in third place today and has also begun its Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint. However, Skipper Gaetan Thomas suggests it may not be the fastest result for Garmin: "The Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint will start very soon for us, looks like the end will serve up some windholes!"
The Elliott Brown Ocean Sprint results will only be confirmed once the final team has completed the sprint but with teams in Stealth Mode, and positions very much up for grabs, there is likely to be some interesting changes to the leaderboard before teams cross the finish line in Airlie Beach. PSP Logistics Skipper Matt Mitchell explains: "We now have at least 24 hours of downwind sailing before the next obstacle gets in our path by way of a high-pressure system stretching right across the race track.
Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race will finish in Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach and the fleet is expected to arrive between 13 - 15 January ahead of the inaugural Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival.
Flappy sails and glassy seas
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet enters its third day of Doldrums-induced torture as light conditions frustrate progress.
On the eighth day of Leg 4, it seemed the Doldrums were making up for missed opportunities earlier in the race by refusing to relinquish their grip on the seven teams currently ensnared in painfully light winds and blistering heat.
For three days now the crews have been solely focused on getting north as quickly as possible so they can lock into the consistent trade winds that will fire them towards Hong Kong - but the race has been slow going.
The wind has been almost non-existent, reducing average speeds over the last 24 hours to as little as three knots, while the air and sea temperatures have risen to uncomfortable levels. The only respite to the flapping sails and glassy seas is when a cloud appears - and then the temporary breeze it brings can be friend or foe.
The excruciating conditions have left the fleet flummoxed.
"It's hot and slow," said Jens Dolmer, boat captain on second-placed Team Brunel. "It's been frustrating - we've done under 100 miles in 24 hours. During the day it's very, very hot with no breeze at all. It saps your energy completely."
Asked to describe the current situation, Dolmer's crewmate Sally Barkow needed just one word. "Torture," she replied.
The fickle nature of the Doldrums has seen most teams make gains and losses. At one point it seemed that those teams more to the east - Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Dongfeng Race Team, team Akzonobel and MAPFRE - had got a jump on Turn the Tide on Plastic, Brunel and Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag to the east.
But by the next position report the westerly boats had pulled back the deficit and drawn level once more.
The real winners in the past 24 hours has been Scallywag, who have managed to reduce a gap of more than 30 miles to around 10.
Despite what the rankings say, the smart money remains on the team that can hit the trade winds lying some 250 miles north first - and jump on the highway to Hong Kong.
The TJV-TGV Express, Yves Le Blevec and Actual appear to be heading the wrong way, the Chinese-Kiwi connection gets stronger, Tom Slingsby finds a way to ease his Cup pain and more about that offshore Olympic gold. Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Thomas Coville, Sam Davies and Dobbs Davis
New kids - very new boats
What is it with Argentina and yacht designers... enter two more disrupters
It's no longer a state secret but it's still a hell of a way to spend a week in April
Now it's foot to the floor
A ludicrously tempting event just hit a whole new level of performance
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Golden Globe Race competitor Susie Goodall introduces 'DHL Starlight' at London Boat Show
Susie Goodall has introduced her newly refurbished boat ahead of her participation in the historic Golden Globe Race 2018. 'DHL Starlight' - named in a global competition organized by DHL, the Official Logistics Partner of Susie Goodall Racing - was brought to the ExCeL exhibition center in the UK capital to be officially launched at the London Boat Show.
DHL Express has provided logistics support throughout the refurbishment process, bringing items such as solar panels and watertight doors from around the world to Falmouth, Cornwall. Susie Goodall is one of the youngest skippers, and the only female, to be competing in the Golden Globe Race, which will see thirty sailors embark on a 48,000 km non- stop circumnavigation of the world's oceans without any outside assistance.
Irish Etchells Classic Short-Listed for International Award
Click on image to enlarge.
The superbly-finished Guapa - Spanish for "beautiful" - still sails like an Etchells. But she now looks like a very high quality miniature Swedish Skerries cruiser, with an exquisitely-crafted coachroof which can provide weekend cruising accommodation, although elegant and effortless daysailing is Guapa's true forte.
With her teak-laid decks and appropriately classic-style McWilliam Sails, Guapa has impressed a wide range of people with vintage yacht experience, including America's Cup superstar Dennis Conner's classic yacht specialist Johnny Smullen, who has described her as "an amazing bit of work".
Now Guapa has been short-listed for the latest annual round of awards by the international publication Classic Boat, and she's one of the final three that have reached the run-off in the Spirit of Tradition Under 40ft category.
All details on voting are here
ACO 9th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2018 Day 2
They had to wait a day for the wind to settle, but the competitors enjoyed a fantastic day's racing on day two of the ACO Musto Skiff World Championship in Blairgowrie, Australia.
There was a lot to think about on the race course. By late afternoon the tide had turned and was washing boats upwind at a hefty pace, making it easy to overstand the layline to the top mark. No side ever paid the whole time, the gusts were patchy, and the current also played its part in the tactics.
After three races, Newman leads overall with 12 points, while Knight is in second overall, an impressive result for a Pom nursing a bad back. Newman commented: "That's a pretty unusual wind direction for this place and those were pretty untypical conditions. The last race I didn't go as far to the corner as some people and that was probably the thing that helped, but Will [Phillips] was doing the same moves as me and looking strong. He's definitely one to watch this week, and Alex Knight has obviously proved he is too."
Bates and Poston also put in solid scores to sit in third and fourth overall, and the event is shaping up to be a battle between Aussies and Brits, with five of each nation in the top 10 overall.
Top five after three races
1. Jon Newman, Fast Girl, AUS, 12.0 points
2. Alex Knight, Musto Skiff, GBR, 16.0
3. Wayne Bates, Spud Muffin, AUS, 21.0
4. Dave Poston, Ultra Composites , GBR, 23.0
5. William Phillips, Suzanne, AUS, 24.0
Boats Group, the leading global classifieds marketplace and marketing software solutions provider to marine brokers and dealers, announced today that their Chairman, Ian Atkins, will be stepping down from his operational responsibilities with the company effective January 31st. Ian will remain a member of the Boats Group board as an independent director.
Having joined the company in 2000 when it was a San Francisco-based startup, Ian initially developed the company's operations outside North America where he successfully built key relationships and identified specific growth enablers throughout Europe. Appointed vice president and general manager of the global business shortly after its acquisition by Dominion Enterprises, Ian developed and executed business strategies that further positioned YachtWorld as the leading portal and MLS for the yacht brokerage market.
In late 2009, Ian led the consolidation of the leading marine brands - YachtWorld, Boat Trader and boats.com - into a single digital media entity, creating the Dominion Marine Media brand. In the difficult trading conditions that existed at the time, Ian, together with VP of marketing, Courtney Chalmers, developed new sales, marketing and educational programs that focused on helping their industry partners optimize their online marketing strategies.
In 2016, Ian led the company through the successful acquisition by Apax Partners and has since been engaged with the new executive team in planning the strategic direction of the business, as well as concentrating on positioning the Boats Group international business for accelerated growth.
Ian Atkins says, "I must say it is so satisfying to be leaving the business at a time when its prospects have never been stronger and in such safe hands. The new leadership team brings a wealth of technology and e-commerce skills to Boats Group that the marine industry can really benefit from. I've thoroughly enjoyed leading the business over the last 10 years or so and look forward to staying connected and watching it go from strength to strength."
Navico, the parent company to the Lowrance®, Simrad® and B&G® brands - announced today that it has acquired Yacht Defined Sweden AB ("Yacht Defined"), an international, award-winning, modern and user-friendly technology platform within navigation and digital switching systems.
At the same time, Navico has made an investment into HOC Yachts AB ("HOC Yachts"), a start-up, high-tech custom boat designer that will be used to showcase and validate Navico and Yacht Defined's developments in marine electronics, digital switching, boat integration and connectivity.
Established in 2016, Yacht Defined offers boaters an intuitive user interface for driving, living aboard and owning a boat. Acting as a central technology hub, the platform provides deep-system integration that delivers navigation display data optimization, remote control of onboard systems and entertainment, and vessel-wide over-the-air system updates, to name a few. The Yacht Defined system has been developed to deliver boaters the best possible user experience, making boating as intuitive as driving a car. It's also one of the first systems developed specifically with the boat builder channel in mind, eliminating many of the compromises required when creating products for other sales channels.
The UK leisure marine industry achieved its sixth consecutive year of growth in 2017, with total revenues climbing by 3.4% to £3.12bn - their highest level since the 2007/08 financial crisis. The latest industry figures, published today by British Marine, coincide with the launch of the newly revamped London Boat Show, which runs from January 10-14 at the ExCel exhibition centre in London's Docklands.
According to British Marine, the sector directly contributed over £1.3bn to the UK economy between March 2016 and April 2017, while supporting over 33,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the manufacturing and service industries. And while UK productivity remains sluggish compared to its G20 rivals, the marine sector continues to perform above-average in comparison with other UK industries, with an estimated Gross Valued Added output per worker of over £39,000.
Business confidence in the industry has also continued to increase over the last six months, with a net balance of 41% of British Marine members positive about the future.
The UK's boating tourism sector also appears to have been a key beneficiary of Brexit, with over 60% of marine tourism operators reporting increased sales over the summer. Marinas and boatyards were the second most positive sector, with a net balance of 47% of companies reporting revenue growth.
British Marine said a rise in 'staycations' helped explain why the two sectors had fared particularly well over the summer. Since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, the pound has fallen 10% against the dollar and 20% against the euro, making it more expensive for UK-based holidaymakers to take foreign holidays.
Harken Launches Power3 Ratchets for Black, Titanium, or Silver Regatta Days
Is the wind steady and strong? Breeze-on with puffs? Or is the air light to medium? 57 mm Power3 ratchet blocks have one-design sailors covered with three holding-power options that best suit the day's wind and wave conditions. More ratchet choices allow sailors to fine-tune their set-ups in tandem with the purchase that provides the ideal level of power, responsiveness, and grip.
"The standard black ratchet has been a wonderful all-purpose choice for years" said Matt Schmidt, lead engineer of the project. "Harken now offers sailors three ratchet choices with 10:1, 15:1, or 20:1 holding power*. This allows skippers to synchronize their rigging selections and sailing style to whatever the weather has in store for them on race day."
Power3 ratchets are available in 57 mm switchable, shackled Ratchamatic, and T2 soft-attach Ratchamatic configurations. All Power3 ratchets may be purchased individually. Switchable ratchets are also available in two-packs of 1.5x and 2x.
North Sails has announced that it will join the prestigious Newport to Bermuda Race as Performance Partner for the 2018 edition. The event is a 635-mile biennial distance race that draws an international fleet and includes a range of yachts from Super Maxis to Corinthian cruisers. The race, that prides itself on accessibility for a wide variety of sailors, is a great test of blue-water seamanship from historic Newport to the beautiful shores of Bermuda.
As Performance Partner, North Sails will be working with participants to help them optimize their offshore sail inventories. North will be hosting three seminars where North Sails experts, and race veterans, will be on hand to answer questions and discuss sail choices and weather routing for the race. The seminars will be held in Annapolis, MD, Portsmouth, RI and Stamford, CT.
Land Rover BAR have further strengthened their challenge for the 36th America's Cup with the appointment of Nick Holroyd as Chief Designer. Holroyd is a previous winner of the Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand, and was formerly the Technical Director at Softbank Team Japan for the 35th America's Cup. The appointment follows rapidly after the arrival of multiple America's Cup winner Grant Simmer as the team's new CEO; both will start permanently with the team in Portsmouth later this month.
Originally a University of Auckland graduate in Mechanical Engineering, Holroyd began to specialise in sailboat racing with an MSc in Maritime CFD and Applied Mechanics at the University of Southampton. He followed that with an 18-year stint at Team New Zealand, beginning in 1997 as a foil designer and naval architect for the team that won the 30th America's Cup in Auckland in 2000.
He became Technical Director in 2007 and stayed with the team through to June 2015, in which time Team New Zealand twice won the Louis Vuitton Cup (2007 and 2013) and in that time, he was instrumental in bringing foiling technology into the America's Cup. Next, he joined SoftBank Team Japan in June 2015 where he was also Technical Director for the 35th America's Cup in 2017.
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Calle Muelle Viejo, 6, 07012
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F: +34 971 737 425
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This Cookson 50 has an enviable race record, as do her sister ships and she is ready to challenge for yet more silverware on the upcoming 2018 circuit. Extensive overhaul in 2016/17, with a new, larger headed North 3Di mainsail and refurbished canting keel system. Turn-key offering.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
When one studies the properties of atoms, one found that the reality is far stranger than anybody would have invented in the form of fiction. Particles really do have the possibility of, in some sense, being in more than one place at one time. -- Alan Guth
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