In This Issue
• Bermuda 1000 Race: 17 solo sailors lining up
• Race for line honours - Rolex Fastnet 'double' long overdue
• SailGP Racing Series Heads to San Francisco
• Flying Fifteen Subaru World Championships
• Dragon European Cup
• When life’s (not) a drag - Future Fibres
• Solo Maitre Coq
• Compelling Start To Action In Scarlino
• Cyril Dardashti: "The Combination Of Charles And Franck Will Be The Solution"
• Letters to the Editor
• Featured Brokerage:
• • FB35 - "Young Guns"
• • J/133 - HEPHZIBAH
• • X-Yachts IMX 38
• The Last Word: Sam Ervin
Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and YachtScoring.com EuroSail News 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
Bermuda 1000 Race: 17 solo sailors lining up
It is in a week from now on Wednesday 8th May that the Bermuda 1000 race will start from Douarnenez (Brittany). It is the first event in the 2019 IMOCA Globe Series and the only solo race of the season. Seventeen sailors representing six nationalities are expected to take part, including three women and seven solo sailing rookies. They will be facing 2000 miles of racing back to Brest, via the emblematic Fastnet lighthouse and the Azores. We take a look today at the line-up.
As in all of the events in the IMOCA class, the Bermuda 1000 Race will be bringing together a large and eclectic fleet with sailors competing on boats launched between 1998 (Alexia Barrier) and 2015 (Fabrice Amedeo and Giancarlo Pedote). While there are huge differences in terms of the technology, we shall also see skippers coming from a wide range of backgrounds with different experiences and various goals.
Seven solo rookies
Among the seventeen registered, seven will be taking part in their first solo IMOCA race. Sebastien Simon (Arkea Paprec) will be racing once again on the former PRB. He has just spent 35 days aboard her and sailed twice across the Atlantic: firstly between Cadiz and San Salvador (Columbus Route) sailing double-handed with Vincent Riou, and then secondly, between Miami and Port-la-Foret sailing alone. Also competing on a foiling IMOCA, the Italian, Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group) has been sailing for two months on his new boat and will be taking advantage of this new 2000-mile race to boost his confidence and see how he measures up against his rivals.
Three other rookies will be setting sail aboard IMOCAs built for the 2008-2009 Vendee Globe: Miranda Merron (Campagne de France), Maxime Sorel (V and B-Sailing Together) and Clement Giraud (Envol). By competing in the Bermuda 1000 Race, they will learn a lot and will certainly enjoy the competitive aspect too, even if their prime goal is to finish the race and grab some precious miles to be selected for the 2020 Vendee Globe. Also discovering his boat, the Belgian skipper, Denis Van Weynbergh (Eyesea.be) will be taking part with the same aims aboard Nandor Fa’s former IMOCA. The countdown has begun too for British sailor, Pip Hare, who has been able to sail on her IMOCA (the legendary Superbigou), but is counting more on the wealth of experience she has acquired sailing solo on other types of boat over the years.
The 17 skippers registered for the Bermuda 1000 Race:
Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Art & Fenetres)
Alexia Barrier (4myplanet)
Yannick Bestaven (Maitre CoQ)
Arnaud Boissieres (La Mie Caline-Artipole)
Manuel Cousin (Groupe Setin)
Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur)
Clement Giraud (Envol)
Pip Hare (Superbigou)
Boris Herrmann (Malizia Yacht Club de Monaco)
Ari Huusela (Ariel 2)
Stephane Le Diraison (Time For Oceans)
Miranda Merron (Campagne de France)
Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group)
Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil)
Sebastien Simon (Arkea-Paprec)
Maxime Sorel (V and B-Sailing Together)
Denis Van Weynbergh (Eyesea.be)
The programme for the Bermuda 1000 Race:
- Monday 6th May: Course to be announced
- Tuesday 7th May, 1730hrs (Douarnenez): Race briefing
- Wednesday 8th May, 1300hrs (Douarnenez): Start of the Bermuda 1000 Race
- Wednesday 15th May (Brest): First competitors expected to finish
- Saturday 18th May, 1800hrs (Brest): Prize-giving ceremony
Race for line honours - Rolex Fastnet 'double' long overdue
While the main kudos in the Rolex Fastnet Race comes from class wins or ultimately the Fastnet Challenge Cup for the overall IRC winner, who will simply be first home to Plymouth often turns into an engaging, heavyweight bout.
Among the monohull contenders this year, in one corner is the Hong Kong newcomer - Seng Huang Lee's 100ft Scallywag, skippered by Australian David Witt with a crew featuring many of the sailors from their Volvo Ocean Race campaign. In the other is George David's familiar Juan K-designed Rambler 88, a boat that has been tweaked to within an inch of its life by its fastidious crew including many former Alinghi/Team New Zealand America's Cup heroes.
For Scallywag, the Rolex Fastnet Race will be one of the pinnacles amid a major trophy hunting season that kicks off in the Caribbean at the Antigua Sailing Week and follows with the Antigua Bermuda Race, and then the historic Transatlantic Race 2019 from Newport, RI to Cowes via the Lizard. Post Fastnet Scallywag heads for the Med.
Part of Scallywag has enjoyed previous success in the Rolex Fastnet Race - her foredeck and some of her frames come from Charles St Clair Brown and Bill Buckley's Maximus, line honours winner in 2005. However otherwise she was launched brand new for the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart as Ragamuffin 100 for Australian sailing legend Syd Fischer, who contributed to her design with Witt and naval architect Andy Dovell.
According to Witt, Scallywag, with a beam of 5.8m, falls between the slender multiple Hobart winner Wild Oats XI (5.1m beam) and the powerful Comanche (8m beam), the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race line honours victor. "We are the lightest 100 footer with the most sail area," says Witt. The boat has a keel that cants to +/- 45deg, twin daggerboards and starts the season with a new boom.
Recent races conditions haven't favoured big boats on handicap. In 2003 Charles Dunstone came close to claiming 'the double' (ie line and handicap honours) with his Reichel Pugh 76 Nokia but was beaten across the line by Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo 1. The last boat to score the 'double' was Ludde Ingvall and his maxi Nicorette in 1995.
Even rarer are the 'triples' ie line and handicap honours plus the race record. Wild Oats XI managed it twice (2005 and 2012) in the Rolex Sydney Hobart and George David and Rambler have also enjoyed it in other races, notably the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2007 (with a record that still stands), the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland Race and in last year's RORC Caribbean 600. "This has to be the goal for us in this year's Rolex Fastnet although - as always - the weather needs to cooperate," states David. "Big breeze should give us the edge against Scallywag and conversely lighter breeze won't."
SailGP’s spectacular racing series is coming to San Francisco Bay, which is known for its strong sea breezes and tidal flows. Six national teams will compete in the series’ identical, supercharged 50-foot F50 foiling catamarans capable of breaking the 50-knot speed barrier.
More than 26,000 spectators attended the first-ever SailGP event in Sydney in February, which saw each of the teams earn podium finishes at least once. The Australia SailGP Team sits atop the rankings, with Japan nipping at the Aussies’ heels. The U.S. SailGP Team is looking to move up the leaderboard on home waters in San Francisco.
Following the San Francisco grand prix, SailGP heads to New York (21-22 June) and Cowes, England (10-11 August), before the Marseille, France, final (20-22 September). The season will conclude with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race to determine the overall champion.
We’re excited that there’s Harken equipment on the boats, but we’re more excited about what SailGP means for the sport of sailing. Sydney SailGP highlights.
Flying Fifteen Subaru World Championships
With the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships combined with an International event and the Championships of Ireland September promises to be a fantastic festival of sailing on Dublin Bay hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.
Preparations are well under way and all countries have completed their qualification series with the closing date for those qualified and early entries to the event of 30th April. There are also a number of places available in the Pre Worlds which is the Championship of Ireland, for crews to enter the World Championships. The event takes place 50 years after the first Flying Fifteens raced in Dublin Bay.
Joining the expected good number of local boats crews from as far away as New Zealand, Australia and Canada as well as our closer neighbours from Spain, France and the UK. are all preparing to make their way to Ireland for the event. These include current World Champion Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (UK), European Champions from Lake Garda Hamish McKay & and Andrew Lawson (UK) along with the National Champions of most countries including Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly from the host club.
April 30th also sees the official launch of the event at the National Yacht Club with the main title sponsor Subaru along with a number of other sponsors that will all help make it a successful championships. -- Jonny Fullerton
Cascais welcomes International Dragon Fleet for second leg of 2019 Dragon European Cup
Cascais, Portugal: The 24th HM King Juan Carlos Regatta, to be hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais from 1 to 4 May 2019, will see the leading International Dragon crews come together for the second leg of the four regatta 2019 Dragon European Cup series.
After a stunning opening event in Cannes in April, the fleet moves on to Portugal’s Atlantic Coast for what promises to be another hotly contested regatta. Cascais offers spectacular open ocean racing with big waves and strong breezes. The top players from the Cannes event have made the trip to Cascais and with crews from Portugal, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Russia, Monaco, the United Kingdom and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club all taking part it will truly be an international affair.
Portugal’s Pedro Rebelo de Andrade currently leads the series having taken victory in Cannes and goes into this regatta with home waters advantage. For Britain’s Grant Gordon Cascais is also familiar territory and having had to settle for third place in Cannes, following the abandonment of a race he was leading and a black flag in the penultimate race, he will be very much hoping to avoid incident and climb the rankings. Also hoping to move up the leader board are Switzerland’s Hugo Stenbeck and Russia’s Dmitry Samokhin, who finished fifth and sixth respectively in Cannes.
Eight windward leeward races are scheduled over the four days with courses set in either Cascais Bay or the Guia race area, depending on weather conditions.
The 2019 Dragon European Cup circuit comprises four regattas plus a Grand Final. The four regattas are the Dragon Grand Prix Cannes (2-5 April), the 24th HM King Juan Carlos Regatta, Cascais (1-4 May), the Dragon Grand Prix Germany, Kuhlungsborn (3-6 July) and the Dragon Grand Prix Spain, Palma de Mallorca (11-14 November). The Grand Final takes place in Palma on 15 and 16 November. To qualify for the Final, teams must compete in three of the four regattas including the Grand Prix Spain. Twenty teams will qualify for the final and there will be a quota for Non-Corinthian and Corinthian sailors based on the proportion of non-Corinthian/Corinthian teams participating in all four qualifying events.
Daily news reports, videos and images will be available from www.intdragon.net. Further information about the 24th HM King Juan Carlos Regatta can be found at www.cncascais.com
When carbon fibre standing rigging became a viable option for raceboat spar packages, most of us got very excited. This was the last frontier to pursue in raceboat technology where steel could finally be eliminated and huge gains in performance could be realised quickly from the many kilos of weight saved aloft in the spar system. Stability would go up, pitch gyradius down, and the boats equipped with this new technology would be measurably faster as a result. Enter Future Fibres.
While most of the features of this new technology were positive, there were a few downsides. These included the complicated details of attachment to the boat and spar, replacement options when a new section may be needed, transport logistics from the fabrication facility to the commissioning site, potential damage from impacts to the rigging, and the larger diameter of carbon rigging that creates additional windage in the spar system compared with steel rod rigging.
Future Fibres addressed some of these issues in its ECsix product, which consists of small carbon strands bound together in a unidirectional bundle that gives both flexibility for easy transport when coiled and multidirectional strength since the loads are distributed among the strands. In addition, this design can more readily absorb impact energy by deflecting when hit compared with a solid carbon rod. ECsix can lose 25 per cent of its carbon strands but still keep the spar upright and to date it has had zero failures.x
Solo Maitre Coq
For Irish solo racer Tom Dolan a low stress May day, today, is a time for recovery after two days of inshore racing in the Solo Maitre Coq and time for homework and preparation for the 400 nautical mile long offshore race which starts Thursday.
Dolan, sailing Smurfit Kappa, finished in sixth place in yesterday’s second inshore race of the series, from the 47 strong fleet of Figaro Beneteau 3s. Aggregated to a disappointing 31st in a topsy turvy light wind opener on Monday, the French based soloist from County Meath lies 19th overall as the contemplates the first solo long offshore for the new class. He is the top placed non-French skipper on the standings today but has Loick Peyron breathing down his neck in 20th and 2016 La Solitaire winner Yoann Richomme in 21st
The inshore courses have been more of a test of close quarters manoeuvres and sail handling, sail hoists and drops, multiple tacks and gybes and predicting the angles of the next leg - so choosing the fastest sail combination. Sailing solo this is much harder than during the first event for the new class, the Sardinha Cup, which was sailed two up.
The inshore races carry a points coefficient of 1.5 but the points bounty on the offshore race is 4 and so Dolan will make good use of his time today to make sure he has a full understanding of the likely weather situation around the course which is due to finish back in Les Sables d’Olonne on Saturday.
Top five after two inshore races:
1. St. Michel, Yann Elies, 13.5 points
2. Action Contre La Faim, Benjamin Schwartz, 18
3. Region Normandie, Alexis Loison, 18
4. Groupe SNEF, Xavier Macaire, 24
5. 57, Adrian Hardy, 28.5
Standings after two inshores www.solomaitrecoq.com/classement-2019
Compelling Start To Action In Scarlino
Following three intense and approximately hour-long races for the 24-strong fleet across the three Classes – ClubSwan 50, Swan 45 and ClubSwan 42 – eight crews were able to savour victories: OneGroup (Germany), Ulika (Italy) and Mathilde (Switzerland) in ClubSwan 50; Blue Nights (Finland), Porron IX (Spain) and Motions (Netherlands) in Swan 45 and Far Star (Italy) and Fantaghiro’ (Italy, two race wins) in ClubSwan 42.
On top of the respective leaderboards after the first day of competition are: Earlybird (Germany, ClubSwan 50), Porron IX (Swan 45) and Fantaghiro’ (ClubSwan 42).
The first two races were played out under a consistent 11-12-knot breeze with the menacing rain shower developing over the Tuscan hills sparing the race course. The third race was impacted by lighter, shiftier breezes with the finish line for the Swan 45 and ClubSwan 42 fleets brought forward to the second upwind mark.
Cyril Dardashti: "The Combination Of Charles And Franck Will Be The Solution"
On Thursday the Gitana Team put an end to dockside speculation and announced that it is not one but two skippers who now succeed Sébastien Josse. They are both Volvo Ocean Race winners, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier. They will share the skipper role on the Ultime Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. General manager, Cyril Dardashti talks to Tip & Shaft about their choices.
Before we talk about Franck and Charles let's go back to the departure of Sébastien Josse. Really there was no explanation of ‘why?’, can you give us some background now?
This is not a subject on which I want to go into now. Let us say we wrote a great story for eight years together with Seb. Then we had differences on how we saw things. It's like a marriage in some ways. In the beginning, everything is hunky dory but over the passage of time views are not necessarily the same. That's what happened and that made managing the team difficult, hence the parting of the ways.
Was the abandonment on the Route du Rhum a factor?
Absolutely not. What happened we all take shared responsibility. We knew that the boat was young and that it was likely to have problems because of that.
This separation is not the first for the Gitana team, which might have a gained a reputation as a "consumer" of skippers when we compare it some teams like Sodebo, Macif or Actual who have the same for many years, why is that?
A few things: first, I do not know if we can say that having a skipper for eight years means that we are "consumers", ours is already a good, long story. There was a period about ten years ago when things were a bit unstable so maybe we are still saddled with that reputation as a hangover for that period. But we are different compared to with Sodebo for example, our operation is different: on the one side we have a skipper who found and services a sponsor and he leads the project, on the other, Gitana, a stable which gives the ‘wheel’ to a driver. We see it as how it is done especially in F1. In F1, nobody draws that conclusions when they drivers stay one or two years in a stable.
Now let's talk about the announcement made on Thursday: did you really contact anyone to succeed Sébastien?
Nobody ! When we announced our separation, the idea was to see what was out there in terms of candidates wanting to come forward themselves to be part of the history of Gitana and so go ahead and contact us. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of candidates and their level of motivation. We have the image of a closed, maybe insular team which is not quite true but we were happy to see that there was a real enthusiasm out there to join our project.
How was the choice made?
We had a number of criteria that I am not going to detail here. But for a start there were candidates who did not immediately feel able to go solo on this machine. For our project, we could not wait one or two years to train a skipper. When we were Archimedean (ie non foiling), it was possible to go from an Imoca to a large trimaran, but now there is a huge divide.
Does this mean that you had a short-list? How many were on it?\
Yes, four skippers.
So bearing in mind what you have just said, in addition to Franck and Charles, we can reckon that the others were Pascal Bidégorry and Thomas Rouxel?
You can say that, but I am not going to name any one, because we have the greatest respect for all the people we saw and we do not want to generate ill feeling
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The Last Word
Divine right went out with the American Revolution and doesn't belong to the White House aides. What meat do they eat that makes them grow so great? -- Sam Ervin
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