In This Issue
Man overboard on leg leader Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag | Hollywood Boulevard Sinks, Crew Rescued | "Dasher" The World's First Fully Electric Luxury Motor Yacht from Hinckley Yachts. | ACO 9th MUSTO Skiff World Championship | Single-purpose tightly focused mile-muncher | Etchells Sailor appointed Race Director of Lendy Cowes Week | Monaco Optimist Team Race: A Scandinavian victory | Clipper Race 6 Day 9: Weather Front Predicted To Bring Faster, Flatter Conditions | 18ft Skiffs: NSW Championship, Race 4 | Barcelona World Race 2018/19 Notice of Race is published | 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
Man overboard on leg leader Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag retain the lead in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, despite a dramatic man overboard scenario on Sunday.
Crew member Alex Gough was washed overboard by a wave during a sail change, near midday local time on Sunday afternoon, in winds of 15-20 knots.
The team swung into recovery mode, and Gough was back on board within seven minutes, unharmed. Scallywag resumed racing immediately.
"He went out on the outrigger, I was driving, and we went off a big sea and it picked him up threw him off, like a horse," skipper David Witt said.
"The main thing is, we got him back on board. He's safe. But I think it's shown everyone how hard it is to see the guy in the water. Even on a sunny day, 18 knots of wind... You wouldn't want to be doing this in 20 knots in the dark."
Gough wasn't wearing a harness or a lifejacket. Witt says he should have been tethered, or at minimum have told the helmsman what he was doing, before he went outside the lifelines on the outrigger.
"I was pretty stupid, but luckily the guys were on to it. They turned around bloody quickly," Gough said. "I'm good. I'm fine. It was a bit scary... But off we go again."
The manoeuvre cost the team some miles, but they had a few to spare, and still lead the fleet on the fast charge westward towards Hong Kong, now just over 2,000 nautical miles away.
Dongfeng Race Team and team AkzoNobel continue to take a northerly option in comparison to the rest of the fleet, but to this point, are not seeing significantly different weather conditions.
MAPFRE has worked well to push out some 30 miles ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Brunel but remains at least 150 miles directly behind Scallywag and with some work to do to reel in the leaders as the fleet winds and weaves through the islands, islets and atolls of Micronesia.
Positions at 0100 UTC January 15
1. Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, 1953 nm to leg finish
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, 67 nm to leader
3. Team AkzoNobel, 77.5
4. Dongfeng Race Team, 83.5
5. MAPFRE, 163
6. Team Brunel, 200.1
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 208.3
Hollywood Boulevard Sinks, Crew Rescued
Another one bites the dust, as the mighty sunfish claims one more. This time it is Ray Robert's Farr 55, Hollywood Boulevard (built by Cookson's as Living Doll for Michael Hiatt). Returning from Hobart and en route to Sydney, the vessel was 81nm Nor'east of Flinders Island at 1100 hrs on Sunday when the rudder took the brunt of the impact.
The six-person crew were able to send a mayday, as well as activate the EPIRB, and were ultimately winched to safety after abandoning ship. The vessel sank in the high winds and large swells that were present at the time of the incident. This made it even more challenging for the Ambulance Victoria crews sent to retrieve them in two choppers. Interestingly, given the location of the incident way out to sea, both choppers had to refuel at Flinders Island before proceeding to the stricken craft. Three of the crew were taken to the LaTrobe Valley, and the three others were returned to base at Essendon. Roberts greeted them there and praised the efforts of the rescuers in complimenting them on 'a marvellous effort'.
Being carbon, Hollywood Boulevard probably began to make the hole where the rudder bearing even larger as the stock began to bash around, and this makes stopping the ingress of water even more challenging. When the exceptionally pretty, and beautifully presented Farr 53, Georgia, had her rudder bearing fail during a Hobart some years ago, a similar situation befell her, as her rudder dropped down a bit and began to carve a massive hole in the hull. Georgia's crew worked tirelessly to save her, trying to push life jackets into the ever-increasing hole, and also pumping like mad, but ultimately they were forced to let her go to Davy Jones' locker.
"Dasher" The World's First Fully Electric Luxury Motor Yacht from Hinckley Yachts.
First launched at Newport International Boat Show, September 2017, it has won several prestigious awards including "Best Powerboat under 35ft" and "Best Green Yacht in Show".
Read more at www.hinckleyyachts.com/models/dasher/dasher/
ACO 9th MUSTO Skiff World Championship
Four races on a windy final day of the ACO Musto Skiff World Championship held the potential for all kinds of place changing, but Jon Newman kept his nerve to win a second world title in this demanding singlehander.
With the breeze gusting up to 25 knots off the Blairgowrie shore, but also shifting through as much as 30 degrees, it was a far from straightforward race course. Blasting out to a corner was rarely the best answer, unless you wanted to minimise manoeuvres. Playing the shifts and gusts was the best way to do it, provided you had the skills to make it work.
In the first race of the afternoon, Will Phillips did what he needed to do if he was to bring the fight to Newman for the world title. He led the race all the way to the finish, only to tip in on the final gybe to the line. By the time he righted the boat he could only manage 11th while fellow Australian Thor Schoenhoff cruised past for the win, and Newman was fifth.
Richie Robertson, who won the first heat a few days ago, has struggled in the light to medium airs that dominated the middle part of the competition, but the 100kg-plus local sailor was back in his element today. He was third in the first heat, then won the next, 10th in the third and second in the last race of the regatta. This dragged up him up into 19th overall.
First Master (over 45) was Wayne Bates in 9th overall and first Grand Master (over 55) was Arthur Brett, three-time Contender World Champion, in 11th overall. First Youth was Hayden Brown (under 25) in 28th.
Final top ten
1. Jon Newman, AUS
2. WIllilam Phillips, AUS
3. Jamie Hilton, GBR
4. George Hand, GBR
5. Thor Schoenhoff, AUS
6. Alex Knight, GBR
7. Dave Poston, GBR
8. Marcus Hamilton, AUS
9. Wayne Bates, AUS
10. Matthias Houvenagel, AUS
Single-purpose tightly focused mile-muncher
Four decades ago a sleek, flush-deck keel boat appeared in the summer race circuits around New England and turned heads with both its looks and its speed around the racecourses. Fractional-rigged with a large genoa and balanced sailplan, the J/24 was an instant hit; within a few short years fleets were appearing all over the US and elsewhere, with the top names in the sport enhancing the competition among rival sailmakers fighting for their share of a fast-growing new market for sails.
The newest offering from J/Boats, the J/121, is both a logical extension of other performance designs they have built over the years but also a significant departure for the company. The J/120 brought sprit-boat sailing to the 40ft range two decades ago, and more recently the J/122 brought a more modern and IRC-friendly design to the same size range. Both, however, assumed a full crew of 8-10 people would race onboard, with the sailing systems and interior accommodation arranged accordingly.
Full story in the February issue of Seahorse:
Etchells Sailor appointed Race Director of Lendy Cowes Week
Laurence Mead has been appointed Race Director of Lendy Cowes Week. He is well known in the Etchells Fleet having raced all over the world in the fleet and is a former British President.
His extensive sailing CV goes well beyond Etchells to include the World Match Racing Tour, many ocean races including the Sydney Hobart, numerous RORC Commodore's Cups as skipper of the Hong Kong team, and much racing on a number of other yachts and dinghies. He has an extraordinary memory and can recount nearly every race in some detail.
Lendy Cowes Week is the biggest regatta in the world - it started in 1826. Even if it were half its size it would still be the largest. Last year there were 8,000 competitors, about 100,000 spectators, and 40 starts for each of the 8 days, including an Etchells Class start.
Laurence will be sailing regularly in the Cowes Etchells Fleet outside of Cowes Week. He ran the first Etchells Youth Academy with David Bedford; we have now seen over 360 youths sail in the Fleet, four of whom went on to race with Ben Ainslie Racing. We have also seen the outstanding success of the young Grieg City Academy sailors who trained in our Youth Academy and were the first state school team to complete a Fastnet campaign.
Monaco Optimist Team Race: A Scandinavian victory
The curtain fell on the 9th Monaco Optimist Team Race organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco with support from FxPro, Eventica, Fon and clothing supplier SLAM. For YCM General Secretary, Bernard d'Alessandri, it was an event "that kicked-off the new year in style and gave the youngest an opportunity to show-off their talent as racers."
Sixty-four contestants divided into 16 teams from 16 nations put on a show in the main harbour, Port Hercule, amidst the yachts. An original match race for under-14s, it promotes team-work and hosts the most competitive clubs, with Oman Sails making its first appearance along with a group from the Punta del Este Yacht Club in Uruguay, and national teams from Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.
Match races for teams of four Optimists tested the technical, tactical and team spirit qualities to the limit, with 150 races completed in light winds, with no respite during the war of nerves that competitors were engaged in.
Final top three rankings, Monaco Optimist Team Race
1. Helsingfors Segelklubb HSK, (FIN)
2. ARM Urla Sailing Club, (TUR)
3. KSSS - Royal Swedish Yacht Club, (SWE)
Clipper Race 6 Day 9: Weather Front Predicted To Bring Faster, Flatter Conditions
Teams have been continuing their upwind slog as they tack up the Queensland coast, and positive thinking finally looks set to pay off as the latest weather forecast predicts a front will shortly pass over which should leave behind Southerly winds.
Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell has suggested that the first of the teams will be soon be experiencing the front which will pass over the whole fleet within twelve hours. After that, it should be a slightly faster and flatter race as the teams look to close the last 400nm of Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race.
Liverpool 2018 and Sanya Serenity Coast have been swapping the lead between them following some intense racing in close proximity.
The Wondrous Whitsundays Race has served up some of the most dramatic and mixed weather conditions of the Clipper 2017-18 Race so far. During an impressive electrical storm overnight, Qingdao, in ninth place ahead of Unicef in eighth, was hit by a lightning strike which has affected some of its on board electrical systems and instruments.
All crew are safe and well, the yacht is fully under control and the team is still racing. Qingdao is currently utilising battery powered navigation lights at night and is able to charge the boat batteries via the main engine in neutral, which does not contravene any race rules. It also has GPS functioning normally on the Garmin chart plotter for navigational use, and a handheld GPS as a backup, however it is unlikely that the crew or Skipper will be able to send back any blogs or emails for the remainder of this race.
18ft Skiffs: NSW Championship, Race 4
Southerly winds gusting to more than 40-knots for most of the day forced race officials to postpone Race 4 of the NSW Championship on Sydney Harbour today,
Every effort was made to get a start, but even after delaying the scheduled start time by 90 minutes, officials had no alternative but to postpone the race.
One possibility now is to possibly stage two 'sprint-style' races next Sunday so the full five-race championship can be completed on the scheduled final day. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
Barcelona World Race 2018/19 Notice of Race is published
With 365 days to go until the start of the fourth edition of the Barcelona World Race (12th January 2019), Barcelona's round the world regatta has issued the official document containing details of the key rules of the regatta.
This Notice of Race for the Barcelona World Race 2018/19 has been eagerly anticipated. Changes to racing dates, the competition format, which now has two legs and an option to change co-skipper in the second leg, are new features which mean the IMOCA calendar's double-handed round the world event has a brand-new look.
The most significant changes set out in the document are as follows:
1. The deadline for registrations is the 30th September 2018.
2. The start will be given in Barcelona on the 12th January 2019, at 13:00 (GMT+1).
3. The official press conference will take place on the 10th January 2019 at 12:00 (GMT+1).
4. The start in Sydney of the second leg will be on the 9th March 2019.
5. All boats must start the second leg of the regatta no later than 48 hours after the official start of the leg is given.
6. A single technical stopover for repairs or medical assistance is permitted on each leg.
7. Final overall rankings for the Barcelona World Race 2018/19 will be calculated based on the sum of points gained across both legs.
"Young Guns" started exceeding expectations from the very outset and with a no-expense-spared attitude towards her specification, the end result has been nothing short of epic! Consistently beating boats bigger in size and budget, there is not much this pocket rocket cant do!
Maegan is Hull #3 of the incredibly successful 825 built by Oyster in Southampton, UK. Winner of the 2016 International Yacht & Aviation Sailing Yacht Interior Design Award.
Unique carbon Oyster 72. Designed for fast, comfortable cruising plus occasional racing. Extensive refit in 2015 adding double forecabin, new decks and more. Viewing recommended to understand quality of refit of this intriguing yacht.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. -- Arnold H. Glasow
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html