Brought to you by Boats.com Europe, Yachtworld.com Europe, 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
Velux 5 Oceans Starts
And they're off! With the sun shining brightly and a fresh breeze blowing, the five international skippers in the Velux 5 Oceans blasted across the start line beginning a 30,000-mile adventure around the globe.
Crowds packed the race village and lined the walls surrounding the Bassin des Chalutiers to watch the emotional goodbyes as the skippers said farewell to their family and friends. Following a moving departure ceremony held on the steps of the VELUX House the five impressive Eco 60s left the dockside at 1pm.
More than 400 spectator boats carrying thousands of fans, friends and family of the skippers and media accompanied the fleet out to the start area. A host of special guests were among the spectators including Maxime Bono, the Deputy Mayor of La Rochelle, and Jack Dillenbourg, the Mayor of Sport for La Rochelle. Race veterans including Isabelle Autissier, Jean Luc Van Den Heede, Thierry Dubois and Bernard Stamm as well as round the world sailor Nick Moloney joined race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to watch the action from the water.
After months of build-up, the starting gun finally sounded at 4pm and the four-yearly race, known as The Ultimate Solo Challenge, began. The 2010/11 edition of the race is the eighth its 28-year history. Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski showed his aggressive style of racing honed during years of top level dinghy racing hitting the start line right as the starting gun fired. Although Gutek's yacht Operon Racing is the oldest boat in the fleet, it is a previous Vendee Globe winner and he led the fleet to the first mark, south east of the Ile de Re.
* The Velux 5 Oceans race management announced that Australian yachtsman Garry Golding will not compete in the 2010/11 edition of the race.
With just one day until the start of the race, Golding had not arrived in La Rochelle, home of the Velux 5 Oceans. He had also not sailed a qualification passage which skippers must complete to prove both they and their yachts are up to the challenge of sailing around the world.
Golding announced his participation in the 30,000-mile solo round the world race in February and has since been based in Gosport, UK, preparing his Eco 60 yacht Oz.
Velux 5 Oceans race director David Adams said: "We admire Garry's tenacity in pursuing of his dream to sail solo around the world. His determination encapsulates the spirit of the Eco 60 class. Regrettably time has run out for Garry and there is now no chance that he can compete in the Velux 5 Oceans. We wish Garry the best of luck for the future."
Coutts Wins RC 44 Fleet Race Worlds at Puerto Calero - Spithill Overall Winner
Lanzarote, Canary Islands: Australian Jimmy Spithill, Anders Myralf of Denmark and the international crew of the yacht 17 concluded a banner week in the Canary Islands by winning the inaugural RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.
After three days of match racing at the outset of the week, the regatta wrapped up today with the conclusion of the fleet racing, which counted 10 races in total. The yacht 17 won the match racing and finished second in the fleet racing to claim the championship.
Spithill, Myralf and the 17 crew entered the day in the lead, but an early start in one race and penalties in the other two nearly scuttled their regatta.
"We're feeling great," said Spithill, 31, of Sydney, Australia. "It was a tough day on the water for us. We tried to stay clean but got tangled up a couple of times. It was really unpredictable on the water, but at the end of day we hung tough and got it done."
Heading into the final heat of the fleet racing portion of the regatta the top three boats - No Way Back, BMW ORACLE Racing and 17 - were within 1 point of the title.
No Way Back and 17 each had to perform penalty turns in the race, which allowed BMW ORACLE Racing, led by tactician Russell Coutts and local helmsman Jose Juan Calero to claim the win.
With just the Miami RC 44 Cup remaining on the schedule, BMW ORACLE Racing leads the season standings with 8 points, followed by No Way Back with 10 points, 17 with 12 points, Artemis with 12 points and Team Aqua with 15 points.
The Miami RC 44 Cup is scheduled Dec. 7-12
Fleet Racing (after 10 races)
Final Standings (including match and fleet racing)
J Class 2011 Desk Calendar
Calendar details: 12 colour pages, flip to show day, week, weekends, month.
Available from 1st November 2010.
Please order your 2011 Calendar online at : www.jclasssupporters.com or call UK +44(0)1590 645082
A Busy Weekend for the Farr 40s
Annapolis, Maryland, USA: It didn't take long for Rod Jabin (Annapolis, Md.) and his Ramrod team to show who was boss at the 2010 Rolex Farr40 North American Championship. On Friday (Oct. 15), the first of three days of racing, Ramrod won two races straight off the bat, in each case leaving second to defending champion Helmut Jahn (Chicago, Ill.) on Flash Gordon. When the two teams traded finish positions in race three, it left some hope that the next day could see Flash Gordon or one of seven other teams rebounding for a lead change, but it was not to be. Ramrod, with Jabin at the helm and fellow Annapolitan Chris Larson calling tactics, was unstoppable, winning not only all three races on day two but also the final two races on Sunday.
In the end, Ramrod posted a mere nine points to Flash Gordon's 20. Kevin McNeil's (Annapolis, Md.) Nightshift finished third with 28 points.
1. Ramrod, Rod Jabin, USA, 9 points
Estate Master winner of Peppers Anchorage F40 Regatta. Photo by Sam Crichton. Click on image to enlarge.
Sydney, Australia: Lisa and Martin Hill's Estate Master have won the 2010 Peppers Anchorage Farr 40 regatta after a three day event that provided a liquorice all sorts of weather for the six teams racing. The final day of racing was held inshore on Port Stephens in a west- south west breeze that began the day at 18 knots and gradually decreased to eight knots for the last race of the regatta.
Going into the last day of the regatta after a forced lay day on Saturday due to winds constantly over 30 knots at Port Stephens Guido Belgiorno Nettis' Transfusion led Estate Master on a count back with Chris Way's Easy Tiger II in third.
The race committee were keen to make up for the day of racing lost on Saturday so set up a course that provided four races on the last day.
1. Estate Master, Lisa & Martin Hill, MHYC, 11 points
Corinthian Division Winner - Twin Edake Jeff Carter MHYC
Report into Asgard II Sinking is Published
The vessel which sank in the Bay of Biscay on 11 September 2008 while on route to La Rochelle, France was carrying 5 crew and 20 trainees.
All on board were evacuated safely from the vessel and transferred to the ships life rafts where they were brought to the island of Bel Ille by the French coastguard.
Minister or Defence, Mr. Tony Killeen commented that while the findings into the cause of the sinking are inconclusive it recognises that the vessel was equipped and maintained in excess of the statutory requirements and that higher safety standards were in place on the ship which were above those required by legislation.
The Minister also noted that the report acknowledges the leadership shown by the ship's Master, Colm Newport and he commended his and the crew's handling of the emergency situation.
Copies of the Report are available on the MCIB website at www.mcib.ie
Spithill Garners Male Sailor of the Year in Australian Yachting Awards
Spithill (31, Sydney, Australia) won the award for guiding BMW ORACLE Racing's trimaran USA to victory in the 33rd America's Cup Match last February.
"It's an honor to have won the award. I'd like to congratulate all the other competitors and nominees, and especially thank my family, my father (Arthur) and brother (Tom)," Spithill said in his acceptance speech.
Spithill's father and brother represented him at the ceremony hosted by the sport's national authority, Australian Yachting, at The Deckhouse, Sydney Harbor.
"I'd love to be there, but I'm in the Canary Islands competing at the RC 44 World Championship," Spithill said in a video message broadcast at the ceremony.
Spithill previously won the Australian Sailor of the Year award in 2005-06 for winning the ISAF World Match Racing Championship and the Melges 24 World Championship.
Spithill is just the second Australian to skipper a winning America's Cup yacht. He follows John Bertrand who, in 1983, steered the first challenger to win the America's Cup and broke the New York Yacht Club's 132-year winning streak.
Additionally, BMW ORACLE Racing sailing team coach Glenn Ashby (33, Melbourne, Australia) received the President's Award from Australian Yachting.
Ashby played a critical role in expanding the sailing team's confidence aboard the 90-foot trimaran at the beginning of the year. Later in the year, he and Spithill teamed up to capture second place at the International C Class Catamaran Championship.
Ashby clinched his seventh A Class Catamaran World Championship in Italy last July. It was his 14th world title.
Camet Introduces The Women’s Wahine Sailing Shorts In Slate Grey
For more information on these shorts, please go to www.camet.com
Royal Southern Academy Match Cup
With the Notice of Race and Entry Form now available for download from the Royal Southern Yacht Club's website www.royal-southern.co.uk/Academy , the organisers of the inaugural Royal Southern Academy's Match Race Cup are confident of a strong turnout with plenty of sailing talent entering this new competition that kicks off its first round in November.
The Royal Southern Academy confirms that there has already been substantial interest from ISAF Open top 100 rankers and University teams alike to compete in the inaugural Academy Match Cup final being staged in March 2011.
With twelve teams in each round, the first three entries received are from ISAF top 100 Open Match racers including Andy Shaw (#68), new World Student Match Race Champion, and Ali Hall (top ranking #39). ISAF has confirmed the Royal Southern Academy Match Cup as a Grade 4 event.
There are two qualifier rounds being staged on 20/21 November 2010 and 5/6 March 2011, with twelve places available for each qualifier. The top six teams from each round will qualify for a place in the finals to be held on 26/27 March 2011.
The event will be sailed in standard Laser SB3's supplied by Pelican Racing and entrants are invited to charter the boats at reduced rates for training purposes by applying to Natalie Gray, Sailing Secretary at:
World Match Racing Tour Confirms Strategy
At first glance, the World Match Racing Tour was the sailing event most likely to be effected by changes to the America's Cup. Despite Russell Coutts' claims that there is no identifiable pathway for sailors to the America's Cup, the WMRT, at the top of a pyramid of global support racing, has consistently provided elite competition for skippers who have dreams of becoming AC heroes.
At a well produced press announcement in London's Hospital Club yesterday, the World Match Racing Tour responded to recent planned changes to the America's Cup by confirming the vision outlined by new owners last December. WMRT CEO Jim O'Toole presented a platform that he believes will fill a void left by the America's Cup moving to multihull boats.
The highlights of the plan are - more races at more venues, more prize money and new boats.
In order for the World March Racing Tour to be relevant to sponsors, the series must expand into territories that are important markets for stakeholders. There are currently no WMRT events in Australia, USA, UK or the Middle East.
Taking a leaf out of the Volvo Ocean's Race's book, the World Match Racing Tour have announced that 6 new events will be added to the tour via a bidding process to be managed by external consultants. The bidding process for host cities will be revealed later, but venues will have to meet environmental criteria (there needs to be wind) as well as financial obligations to cover prize-money and media plans. New venues will also be expected to provide new high-spec match racing boats.
Full editorial at www.yachtsponsorship.com
Within a Hair's Breadth of his Childhood Dream
Although it will soon be time for Kito's first Rhum, the skipper has his "baggage" as they say. He knows the route and his yacht by heart, and single-handed racing is what he is good at. He also did an Atlantic crossing single-handed on board Groupe Bel in the winter of 2007, for the Transat BtoB between Brazil and Brittany in which he was ranked second, behind Loïck Peyron and ahead of Michel Desjoyeaux.
Interview with the skipper this morning as Groupe Bel was moored to the Dinard nun-buoy while waiting for a gap at St. Malo:
Which Rhum racer has marked your life most?
"Without hesitation, Mike Birch, the first winner, someone in whom I recognize myself. When he won, he already travelled a lot and delivered a lot of boats. He was not predestined to do this; he was just a sailor who liked that. Your "childhood dream" is about to come true, so? "That's the way life goes. I had to be patient before I could race my first Figaro, my first Transat Jacques Vabre and now my first Route du Rhum. I feel so fortunate to be able to set off in these conditions, thanks to the people at Bel Group who trust me and have made it possible for me to set off with such a beautiful boat."
How do you see this race turning out?
"There are 85 contenders on the starting line always with this mix of professional skippers and sailors who come with a different approach and their amateur status. They are also living their dream. Thanks to the Class 40, the challenge remains accessible even though this mix of sailing profiles is disappearing in other races. This side of the Rhum is very pleasant."
People talk of hard sailing on board multihulls of the "Ultime" class, but in the IMOCA (60' Open monohull), it will be just as much so and why?
"The Rhum in IMOCA is a middle-distance race. Whereas there are 4 to 5 standby sails in the multihull class, we have double this on our boats and more than half of them to move from one side to another with every tack. With the material and the supplies, that is nearly 600 kilos that has to be manually transported and often, when you're finished, you have to start again. Add to this the excellent level of the sailors and the homogeneity of the boats and you get a transatlantic race that is similar to a long leg of the Solitaire du Figaro. On a Vendee Globe, you manage the length throughout. You sail using your autopilot and you preserve the boat. Here, we will be on deck and at the helm 20 hours a day to be at a max all the time. It will be a fascinating race and difficult to win. It's going to be quite some match!"
Built for beauty and speed in 1928, Kelpie is still winning races today. The COI for 41 charter passengers or 24 under sail. Kelpie holds many records and is often referred to as "the fastest schooner on the West Coast". With extensive refits over the last 20 years and continual maintenance, Keplie is as fast and elegant today as when she was first launched.
Brokerage through Classic Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/myclassicboats/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
Use this box to send a copy of this issue of the Scuttlebutt Europe Newsletter to a friend:
Or [FORWARD] for a page where you can send copies to up to a dozen friends.[USERTRACK]
Yachtworld.com on line magazine is available free of charge and delivered digitally every month. Click here to receive your copy: www.yachtworldmagazine.com/ywm/latest/
See the Boats Blog at Boats.com -- www.boats.com/blog/
To subscribe, unsubscribe, and select HTML or Text format visit scuttlebutteurope.com
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html