Brought to you by Boats.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
Qualification Proving No Formality for Tour Card Holders in Bermuda
Hamilton, Bermuda: The 2011 Argo Group Gold Cup burst into life today after several Tour Card Holders tasted defeat against wildcards and qualifiers in the second Qualifying Session in Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda.
In the opening exchanges, the headlines were all about Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team ISV and Lance Fraser (BER) Freelance-Digicel. A shock win for 18-year old Fraser against Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat was then superseded by a great run of wins for Canfield against three Tour Card Holders.
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, Mirsky and Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing all fell foul to Canfield, the young skipper looking every bit as impressive as last year in the Gold Cup when he finished in 6th place.
There’s little room for error in the Argo Group Gold Cup Qualifying Sessions where just two losses can put a team into the repechage. A crop of teams in Group 2 face that very prospect after Gilmour, Mirsky and Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing all finished the second Qualifying Session on 2-2
The third qualifying session gets underway at 0900 local time (-4hrs GMT) on Thursday 6 October. Catch the preview on The WMRT Morning Show with Hannah White and a review of each day on The WMRT Today Show after racing finishes at http://www.wmrt.com
Results after Qualifying Session Two:
Waiting for the Mistral
A first win in the colours of new sponsor Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) for the Spanish team headed up by Ignacio Triay promoted the crew to step clear at the top of a tight leaderboard with a margin of just one point ahead of Tony Langley's Gladiator.
There can be few more pleasant surroundings than the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda to spend time waiting for a sea breeze to establish itself, but the race team made a good call to have the fleet out and ready for the Race 3 start which got away at 1530hrs.
The late building thermal breeze proved to be difficult to read for the tacticians, keeping in the veins of pressure which pulsed down from the top of the course was key, whilst falling off the edge - out of the best breeze - either upwind or downwind meant losses.
Leaders after the first day, Gladiator kept their title challenge on track when Chris Larson (USA) and crew salvaged a solid fourth place, passing Quantum Racing down the final run.
After today's light breezes a change is in prospect Thursday with some pre-frontal weather likely through the scheduled coastal race, ahead of Friday's expected beefy Mistral winds. -- Andi Robertson
1. Paramount Park Murcia (ESP) 4+2+1= 7 points
Title Triple for Nick Craig
After the extreme winds and wintry weather for the past three years, the fleet of 27 boats arrived this year to a complete contrast and were greeted by a mirror like Pitsford Reservoir and soaring temperatures. It was a very hot, balmy weekend, and due to the conditions only five out of the scheduled six races could be sailed. Racing on Saturday finally started in 8-10 knots after an hour delay in temperatures approaching 30 degrees.
Craig takes the Inland Championship for the first time since 2002 to add to the National and World titles won in Largs earlier this year. In typical Craig fashion he had turned up with a new unrigged Aardspars mast and proceeded to try and rig it in his own dysfunctional way. This was partially successful, though he ended up sailing with no kicker for most of the weekend, no halyard and the mast foot was held on by nothing more than duct tape. However, the mast performed well and is hopefully early signs that the UK has finally produced a competitive and competitively priced mast. He was certainly seemed to have a speed and height edge over everyone else in most conditions, in combination with his Scolesbreaker hull and a Speed sail. Scoles used his own custom built hull with a New Zealand C-Tech mast and a second hand Quantum sail, while Deaves used a New Zealand Icebreaker with a C-Tech and a Quantum.
Bill Bradburn narrowly beat Andy Turner to Veteran's trophy after a great final day, while Richard Burton took the youth prize again after picking up some good results during the weekend and placing seventh overall.
After an exceptional weekend's sailing in tropical conditions, Craig summed it up nicely at the prizegiving when he said, "Who needs to go to Garda when you have Northampton Sailing Club." -- Robert Deaves
Marlow Ropes Release Free iPhone App.
The Marlow Ropes App is the first comprehensive rope information app to be released for the iPhone. It's free and easy to use, wherever you may be.
Overview The Marlow Ropes App consists of five tabs:
2. Technical. Understand your ropes with
3. Catalogues. The latest Marlow Catalogues in PDF format
- Use the inbuilt interactive barcode reader to scan the QR barcodes found on Marlow's new point of sale chandlery racking to discover further information
Login to the iTunes store and search Marlow Ropes to download your free copy of the App and start discovering everything it has to offer.
Download the Marlow App here:
Leaving Africa Astern
Early on Tuesday evening, 250 miles north-east of Cessna Citation, the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire were averaging the best boatspeed in the fleet having spent extended periods hampered by lack of wind.
Just over 400 miles south-west of Phesheya-Racing on Wednesday morning, the GOR race leaders, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France were over 300 miles off the coast making 10 knots on starboard gybe in around 16 knots of north-easterly breeze. "It's such a relief to be far out at sea, away from fishing boats and nets," admitted Merron very early on Wednesday. "The night is clear and full of stars, and incredibly warm and humid," she reports from 18 degrees South. "The moon has set and it is fairly dark and the one advantage of dark nights is the phosphorescence."
Throughout Tuesday night, Campagne de France and BSL were on a broad reach in around ten knots of NNE breeze and apart from a burst of speed at around midnight when Ross and Campbell Field were polling averages of a little under 15 knots, Mabire and Merron were fractionally faster, pulling ahead to 30 miles at dawn on Wednesday - the biggest deficit between the two boats since leaving the Mediterraean.
For the fleet leaders, the breeze should remain north-easterly and increase in strength as they reach the Cape Verde Islands while the boats closer to Africa may have the strongest breeze of around 20 knots on Thursday morning.
Volvo Ocean Race Legends
Steinlager, the iconic red Kiwi maxi ketch that dominated the 1989-90 race and enhanced the reputation of legendary skipper Sir Peter Blake, will go head to head with another maxi from the same race Rothmans, which was skippered by British Olympic helm Lawrie Smith.
Still in its original cigarette livery, the 80 foot Rothmans sloop has been kept in tip top condition and will attend the Legends Regatta in November as part of a full winter racing programme in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
On board the legends fleet will be an equally famous host of names from Blyth himself to Tracy Edwards, who many believe changed the face of professional sailing for women when she campaigned an women's crew on Maiden in 1989-90 and Swiss skipper Pierre Fehlmann, the only person to skipper an entry in five Whitbread Round the World Races.out. I am proud to be a part of it.'
The entry list represents a slice of Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Racing history from 1973 to 1990:
Copernicus: 1973-74 (45' sloop: the smallest boat ever to race)
The Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion will be held in Alicante 1 - 5 November.
Kate Laven in The Telegraph:
Onboard Electrical Revolution
Modern yachts are power hungry beasts with all their electronics, autopilot, freezers, TVs and other electric gadgets. The race for the shore power are always on, and many have to choose guest harbours rather than the tranquillity of an anchorage because they need power. Generators are becoming more and more common. But now there is an alternative - at least for those who sail a lot.
Solar panels and wind generators are usually only good enough to reduce the power usage on most yachts. Solar panels are best suited for multihulls as they have huge areas where the panels can be mounted, and wind generators usually only works best when sailing, since we seldom choose anchorages that is windy.
Watt&Sea is the name of the innovative company that has designed the high output fixed water generator.
It all started with Vendee Globe, solo non-stop round the world, in 2008. It is the renowned solo sailor Yannick Bestaven who started the project, as he wanted to sail around the world using only renewable energy.
He designed a generator that is fixed on the transom and can be lowered in to the water. The racing version weighs only 3 kilos and has minimal drag. It produces 40 amps when doing speeds over 12 knots (all numbers are on a 12 V system). It is most efficient in the 7-25 knot speed range.
Three of four boats in the Barcelona World Race used the generator.
Now the company has developed a less expensive cruising version. It generates, according to the company, 10 Amps at only 3 knots boat speed. If you sail in 8 knots the generator will deliver 40 Amps to your batteries. That's usually more than enough for most cruisers.
Read more on TheSailBlog.com
A similar expectation surrounds the combination of Matthew Belcher and crew mate Malcolm Page who are presently hold the premier No 1 ranking in the tactically demanding 420 class. Both Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page took a welcome break from their physically demanding circuit of International racing to contest the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week SB3 Dart championship in late August.
Unfortunately two on course starts and ultimate disqualification from races five and six placed the title winning prospects in jeopardy however like true champions they recovered to win the Bronze Medal behind the Glenn Bourke helmed Club Marine Blue and Tasmanian skipper Brett Cooper in Please Explain.
The 12 race series proved to be a supreme test of fresh wind sailing skill resulting in a runaway Queensland Championship win for Glenn Bourke and his crew of Sunshine Coast sailors Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith.
They were particularly impressive in mastering the gusty 25-30 knot breeze where the sail handling skills of Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith allowed skipper Glenn Bourke with the advantage to avoid being slammed into a time consuming 'wipe out'. "There were times when we were on the edge but thankfully we stayed upright". Glenn Bourke said.
Sure the gusty nature of the breeze and the associated strong flowing current on the windward leeward type course set in Dent Passage allowed plenty of scope for the crews to express their tactical skills.
But after 12 energy testing races Club Marine Blue emerged as the runaway champion however the crew of Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith who finished fourth at the 2011 World SB3 Dart championship in England have been forced to respect the sailing skills of the Olympians in Performance Sailing as the countdown for the 2012 World championship begins.
Both crews almost shared the same sea space when they became engaged in an exciting match racing duel over the final six races which provided a single point separation when Club Marine Blue finished with a 1-3-2-1-2-1 compared with the Performance Sailing combinations 3-1-1-3-1-2.
Naturally interest will continue to gain momentum as the Australian fleet continues to attract some of the nations most talented one-design racing crews to be on the start line for the World Championship at Hamilton Island in 14 months time. -- Ian Grant
On the spot
Success through failure
The man for all reasons
If you haven't subscribed to Seahorse already we're keen to help you attend to that! - Please use the following promotional link and enjoy the hefty Scuttlebutt Europe discount... and it gets even better for 2 and 3 year subscriptions...
Australian Performance Handicap Championships
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) Commodore, Rob Curtis, announced this exciting addition to the Regatta's format today. "The Club has been considering a host of developments over recent months to provide more interest for sailors and their families. There is a need to really look after the families of sailors, keep them well entertained with organised activities to compliment the wide range of local attractions the Coffs Region has to offer. Some of these exciting activities will be announced in coming weeks."
"For sailors the racing is of course competitive, and it's a warm water series so it emulates those more tropical race locations, continued Rob. To deliver an even more competitive aspect, the Club decided on inaugurating the Australian PHS Championships. The number of sailors who race PHS is significant and we believe they should be a recognised group and have a competitive Championship".
Racing commences on the 2 January with the Cat 2 Pittwater to Coffs Offshore Race. The Championship continues off the Coffs coast with a combination of windward leeward and passage races, open to Cat 4 yachts. The Regatta concludes on the evening of the 6th with the Prize Presentation.
The Australian PHS Championship Notice of Race will be available later this month. Competitors and crew are invited to register at the Regatta website www.pittwatertocoffs.com.au to receive updates and all the latest news.
In Pursuit Of Excellence
Adding a new dimension to Oyster racing, yachts were given a staggered start. The sequence and time-delay were decided by how well each yacht and crew had performed during the regatta. The pursuit race did not count as part of the overall series but designed as a novel way of ending what had been a very enjoyable gathering of Oyster Yachts.
The triangular course was designed to test boat-handling skills at different points of sail and produced some thrilling action. The new style of race created a new dimension to the competition. In previous races the faster yachts had been able to sail away from the fleet into clear air but on this type of course, swift yachts would need to overtake the early starters. The pursuit race was like a game of cat and mouse, a fast reaching start allowed the smaller yachts to speed away, whilst the larger yachts waited, prowling impatiently in the starting area. The magnificent Oyster fleet enjoyed some of the highest wind speed of the week and the tight course produced many battles within the three-hour race.
Alan Parker's Oyster 54, Oyster Reach and Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean produced a sensational final leg of the pursuit race with a spinnaker-luffing match for a fight to the finish. Starry Night of the Caribbean managed to sail past Oyster Reach, after a titanic duel. However, Alan Parker and his crew were delighted to be the first Class 1 yacht to cross the line.
Despite being on of the last yachts to start the pursuit race, Mike Freeman's Oyster 575, Can do Too was the first yacht to finish, showing impressive speed under the spinnaker, to cap off the regatta with yet another win. Thomas Messeck's Oyster 575, Satika finished the regatta in style with their best result of the competition, taking second place in the Pursuit Race. Satika is one of 35 yachts already entered for the Oyster World Rally starting in January 2013. Richard Smith's Oyster 56, Sotto Vento is also entered for the World Rally and took third place in the last race of the regatta. -- Louay Habib
No corners have been cut in assembling this one of a kind rocket. The best materials and equipment have been used to optimize speed and boathandling. Ocelot was built to compete Offshore. It is capable of setting records in downwind races. The top speed of this boat has not yet been seen. It has reached 29 knots so far.
Brokerage through Nelson Yachts: www.yachtworld.com/nelsonyachts/
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]
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