In This Issue
• Team New Zealand begin historic construction on America's Cup boat
• World Sailing puts Prize Money on the line for 2019
• The Basics - IMA
• Opportunity Knocks for Antigua Bermuda Race
• Industry News
• Michael Koppstein
• Letters to the Editor
• Featured Brokerage
• The Last Word: Barry Miles
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
Team New Zealand begin historic construction on America's Cup boat
For the first time in the history of Emirates Team New Zealand, the team has begun construction of its own America's Cup boat in their own purpose-built boatyard on Auckland's North Shore.
Led by Team New Zealand Build Operations Manager Sean Regan, the facility which has been a long-term vision of the team, starting from the ground up and turning a clean factory floor into one of the most up to date, purpose-built composite boat building facilities in the country.
The layout of the vast 1800 sqm building has been extensively considered with the view to putting together the most effective and comfortable workspace possible. The team has sought feedback from some of the industry's best boatbuilders as well as many of our valued team suppliers.
The real performance benefits of bringing the boat building 'in-house' for Team New Zealand is the ability to shift resources and schedules to suit the team's operations which enables a more efficient link between the designers at the team base in the Viaduct and the production team on the North Shore.
The America's Cup world now eagerly awaits the first boat to emerge from the boat build facility towards the middle of 2019.
World Sailing puts Prize Money on the line for 2019
...but not for World Cup sailors.
World Sailing released the 2019 eSailing World Championship as the second season was officially launched at Boot Düsseldorf in Germany.
Following a first season that saw 169,000 eSailors from 74 nations compete over six months, the second will see the introduction of prize money, a new competition format, National Championships and more global live events.
You could say, everything World Sailing has struggled to provide for their mainstream business as the world governing body for the sport of sailing.
eSailing has the advantage of being organised by the leading digital sailing platform, Virtual Regatta, founded by former pro-sailor Philippe Guigné, and started with the 2006 edition of the Route du Rhum.
The company now organizes more than 15 races a year, including the Vendée Globe, the Route du Rhum, and the Solitaire du Figaro. In addition, Virtual Regatta is the official and exclusive game of major sailing events including the Ocean Race, Extreme Sailing Series and the Star Sailors League.
Broadly speaking there seems to be a general decline in the numbers taking part in competitive sailing, with just a few exceptions. There are of course multiple reasons playing into this and it is true of many other sports in this day and age. In the UK cricket, golf and rowing are all in decline- only cycling is growing. Perhaps the noncompetitive culture in junior schools is having an effect but it seems more likely that the competitive bar has been raised so high that unless you are in an Olympic medal-targeted elite you fall out of any sport quite early.
There are now more Maxi yachts in the world than ever before. Most new builds, however, are multi-purpose yachts and not pure racers. Relatively few are competing or if competing they do so in just a few events per year. Clearly there is a change in focus.
Opportunity Knocks for Antigua Bermuda Race
The Antigua Bermuda Race is organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week. The oceanic race will start from Fort Charlotte Antigua, just after Antigua Sailing Week on Wednesday 8th May. The 2019 Antigua Bermuda Race will be the third edition of the 935 nautical mile race through the Atlantic Ocean to Bermuda.
Twenty yachts from seven different countries have already expressed their intention to compete and form a diverse fleet. A number of yachts are offering charters, including single berths for sailors who want a memorable experience. The Antigua Bermuda Race is supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum which guarantees a rousing send-off in Antigua and a warm welcome at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Tim Gollin's stunning Lombard designed 67-foot sloop Arara is new to the race. Tim is a member of the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, Martha's Vineyard, USA and recently purchased the carbon flyer.
"Arara is coming out of the yard in France around mid-Feb with a new look before we sail her to the Caribbean," commented Tim Gollin. "The crew is likely to include American, French and Italian sailors. Arará was built by Black Pepper Yachts, a boutique French yard. She has an IMOCA 60 style hull with a square top main, water ballast and has a very light displacement at under 13 metric tons. So she is fast off the wind and fun in an Atlantic swell. Until now I only know about the swell off the Spanish and Portuguese coasts! I am really looking forward to sailing her in the Caribbean."
UK Sailmakers is re-opening in Ontario under the ownership of long time Canadian sailor Randy St. Jacques. Randy has 50 years of both racing and cruising on many boats under his belt. For the last 10 years Randy as sold sails for several brands, but he decided to move to UK Sailmakers because the brand provides the best products and reputation for service on Lake Ontario. It has been a year since Brian Chapman unexpectedly passed away leaving Toronto sailors at a loss. "Brian Chapman set the bar incredibly high for quality sails and service," said Randy. "He will be a tough act to follow and I hope that I can live up to the expectations he created with sailors on Lake Ontario."
With the formation of the new loft happening so recently, there was no time to prepare a booth for this year's Toronto International Boat Show, but UK Sailmakers Ontario will be offering Boat Show Pricing for all new sail orders placed by Thursday, January 31st.
UK Sailmakers Ontario will continue to provide UK Sailmakers customers top quality Sails and Repair Service. Please call or e-mail Randy to discuss your repair or new sail requirements.
In 2019, Banque Populaire will celebrate 30 years of sailing sponsorship. On the occasion of this anniversary, it reaffirms its commitment to this sport, with which it shares the values of courage and entrepreneurship, by developing an ambitious program that will lead it to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024, of which it is premium partner.
A few weeks after the accident of the Maxi Banque Populaire IX which led to its capsizing and its destruction during the Route du Rhum, the Sailing Bank renews its confidence in Armel Le Cleac'h and launches the construction of the Maxi Bank Popular XI, a new Ultim that should be launched in the winter of 2020/2021. More motivated than ever, the of Banque Populaire will align with the races of the Ultim class program from the season 2021.
This maxi-trimaran, the fourth built or developed by the Banque Populaire team, reflects the spirit of innovation and the search for performance that has always animated the Sailing Bank. This boat will be designed with the support of the architectural firm VPLP Design for the platform and GSea Design for the structure, in collaboration with the engineers of the design office of Team Banque Populaire. The construction will be entrusted to the two largest French shipyard specialist offshore racing: Multiplast and CDK Technologies, the latter providing full project management of the future Maxi Banque Populaire XI.
Clarisse Cremer will join Team Banque Populaire next July at the end of the Solitaire du Figaro that she will run under the colors of Everial. She will participate in the Transat Jacques Vabre in November aboard the Monocoque Banque Populaire X (Ex-SMA). In the process of learning and cooperation that is at the heart of this project, it is naturally Armel Le Cleac'h who will be the co- of the boat from Le Havre.
Clarisse Cremer will benefit from all the expertise of Team Banque Populaire and will be accompanied in its progression by the last winner of the Vendee Globe.
A new Venice Boat Show has been announced and will take place in the Arsenale, in the nautical heart of the historic city, from June 18-23. The announcement was made this afternoon at the Düsseldorf boat show in a joint press conference that included representatives from three Venetian marinas, the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, and Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi.
Galassi highlighted the city's unique characteristics that, coupled with its direct access to the Adriatic, give it the potential to become "fundamental" in the annual European show calendar. Venice was the location for the Italian's builder's 50th anniversary celebrations last year, and Galassi indicated the new show would have the builder's full backing, adding that the event would be the only Italian show it would invest in in 2019. He added that Riva's new 50m in steel would be presented there and urged other builders to join the event.
The new show, organised in association with Vela, a company responsible for various commercial projects in the city, will be situated in the Arsenale, which features a 40,000sq m water basin with 500m of wharfs and piers; up to 100 moorings and 100 ground standings. There's 5,000sq m of indoor and a further 5,000sq m of outdoor exhibition spaces.
As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, Mercury Marine unveiled an all-new 5hp propane-powered outboard at the Toronto International Boat Show on Friday evening, marking the company's first venture into the propane outboard market.
"Propane is a clean, energy-efficient power source that is easily transportable," said Mercury Marine senior director, marketing and strategic planning, Adrian Rushforth. "The portability of this engine is just fantastic. The engine weighs less than 60 pounds and a tank of propane weighs less than 20 pounds, so it allows you to access places that you really can't get into with gasoline-powered engines, whether a person is camping, fishing, hunting or just exploring remote waters."
Rushforth notes that the new engine generates 30% lower exhaust emissions than comparable gasoline outboards and is CARB three-star rated. A standard 20-pound (five gallon) propane tank is said to provide up to 10 hours of run time at full throttle.
The new four-stroke engine utilises a 7.5 cubic inch (123cc), single-cylinder powerhead, and is available in both 15-inch and 20-inch shaft lengths. An easy-to-reach shift lever provides F-N-R switching, while six tilt positions including a shallow-water drive setting allow operators to adjust to engine for a variety of applications.
The propane engine will also be offered in Sail Power models intended for use on smaller sailboats. Weighing in at 63 pounds, the propane Sail Power model is offered in a choice of 20-inch or 25-inch shaft lengths and includes additional application-specific features such as reverse-thrust exhaust relief, a high-thrust propeller and an integral four-amp/50-watt alternator for battery charging. Engines are expected to begin shipping in late Q1 or early Q2.
After months of negotiations, Italy's Ferretti Group today announced that it has acquired the Wally yacht brand through an exclusive license agreement. The news will be officially presented at boot Dusseldorf
"There has long been a mutual fascination between us and Wally and from today we will continue to develop this extraordinary brand with method, vision and investments. And with the same energy and creativity that have led Ferretti Group to the top of the yachting world," says Ferretti CEO Alberto Galassi.
"As a yachting enthusiast, I'm looking forward to discovering the boats that will come from the exclusive collaboration with Luca Bassani," he adds. "It is easy to foresee that they will push the frontiers of innovation and aesthetic avant-garde to new echelons."
The Ferretti Group has a portfolio of brands encompassing Ferretti, Pershing, Itama, Mochi Craft, Riva, CRN and Custom Line. With the addition of Wally sail and powerboats, Ferretti now claims to have the widest range of brands in the entire Italian industry.
Ferretti says it plans to invest more than €84m over the next four years- €70m in the first two years- in the development of the Wally brand and in the design and construction of new product ranges.
One of the world's leading offshore sailing teams, Alex Thomson Racing, has renewed its partnership with international rope manufacturer Gleistein Ropes for a further two years.
Having penned an initial partnership back in 2014, Alex Thomson Racing and Gleistein Ropes will now work together to develop and install a complex rigging system onboard the ocean racing team's new IMOCA 60 race boat. The yacht, which is set to launch this summer, is being designed and built with one key objective in mind- to win the 2020-2021 solo, non-stop round the world Vendée Globe race.
Dr. Heide Giese-Bothe, Market Manager Water Sport at Gleistein Ropes, added: "Offshore racing is arguably the most gruelling discipline in yachting, taking man and material to their absolute limits, and leaving virtually no room for second chances.
"The partnership we have enjoyed since 2014 with Alex Thomson Racing has been as enriching as it has been challenging. Besides providing rope solutions that achieve an unsurpassed level of performance, our primary task is to ensure complete reliability- under some of the toughest conditions that yachts are ever subjected to. We are delighted to be continuing as the Official Rope Supplier to Alex Thomson Racing and aim to jointly bring the team's new HUGO BOSS yacht across the finishing line in first place at the next Vendée Globe".
Founded in 1824, Gleistein Ropes is a leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of high quality ropes. Operating from two of the world's most modern production plants, in Bremen and Trencin, the business produces a multitude of synthetic fibres into more than 5,500 different kinds of rope.
After graduating in Engineering Design and Construction at the Institute of Technology in his native Australia, Michael drew upon both his passion and his academic training to forge a lifelong career in the yachting industry.
As a professional sailor, Michael logged some 200,000 nautical miles, which included many offshore regattas and culminated in an extensive four-year circumnavigation whilst working as the captain on board 31m Whirlwhind XII.
Michael served a brief tenure with Ron Holland Design before accepting an invitation from Wolter and Alice Huisman in 1992 to become the Royal Huisman shipyard's Technical and Commercial Representative in the USA. Michael worked at Huisman for some 25 years, ending his career as its representative in the US, before moving to Lürssen in 2017 as the German yard's United States Promoter.
Our thoughts are with Michael's wife Cathy, his son Justin and all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
* From Helen Elliott: re: Rolex Fastnet Race
The RORC 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race was oversubscribed so many skippers were left disappointed. However, the sailing school that I've signed up with, Sailing Logic, are definitely in and I've discovered a bit more about the boat I'm going to be racing on. 'Lancelot II' is a Beneteau First 40 (so 40 feet long or 12.24m) and I was pleased to learn that the crew will be half male and half female, 5 of each. I've signed up for a RYA First Aid at Sea course which will be the first Sunday in February; this is not obligatory for every participant but one person per boat must have completed the course. I'd have done it anyway just to give myself confidence.
The RORC website says "The Rolex Fastnet is not a race for novices" and as such there are qualification criteria. As a housewife unconstrained by paid work, I am luckily able to sign up for the full campaign rather than the compact one. Before showing up on the start line in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on August 3rd I will have undertaken one training weekend and one RORC race in May, one training weekend and one RORC race in June, and 2 RORC races in July. I'm feeling more daunted by this adventure than on the day I signed up for it.
* From Alessandro Castelli: re: Laser Future
Whatever the future of the Laser will be, we Laser sailors want and have the right to decide it, as it has always been.
Good thing that ILCA here came out with a clarifying statement, because to see the president speaking about new fancy rigs that we never heard of before has been a bit worrying.
Personally, as actual master and former youth and senior Laser sailor, I'd rather keep an easy to use and long lasting equipment rather than sail 10% faster.
Excellent option for all things Maxi, and IRC. Very capable Reichel/Pugh 82 Custom for both inshore and offshore, she has been well cherished in this ownership. Full powered winch setup makers her very simple to sail and run without huge crew numbers.
MOMO needs no introduction Winner of the last two Maxi 72 world championships. Perfect throughout and turn key with all the gear to keep on winning
Swan 45 Elena Nova Elena Nova is one of the most successful Swan 45 in the fleet. She became world champion in 2016 and won the Copa del Rey in 2017 in this high competitive one design class. Professionally maintained with no expense spared.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
I think of the 60s as a supermarket of ideas. We were looking for new ways to live. -- Barry Miles
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