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
An All-Kiwi Final
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo and Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing were both on the brink of reaching the final, each skipper holding early 2-0 leads against Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match and Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing respectively. However, spirited fight backs by their opponents set up for a nervous finish with the scores locked on 2-2. Everything rested on the fifth and final flight. It was an intense finish to a day in which the tactical skills of all the teams were tested in light and fickle winds.
The petit final takes place on Monday 28 May from 1000 local time (CDT), while the final will be shown live from 1400 local time (CDT). For a full list of broadcasters visit www.wmrt.com/live/tv-schedule.html and to watch coverage online go to new.livestream.com/WorldMRT/germany
For live updates and Twitter feeds visit www.wmrt.com/live.html
Garbi No Show Means Quantum Racing Win Barcelona TP52 Title
It was due to be a Sunday High Noon shootout for the Troefeo Vela Conde de Godo regatta honours in the fierce early summer sunshine off Barcelona, America's world champions on Quantum Racing duelling with the shoot-from-the hip Italian-Argentine team of the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.
But the only key cast member visibly absent from the denouement, the scripted finale of the 52 Super Series's first of four regattas this season, was the Garbi. The usually reliable sea-breeze refused to appear.
After two and half hours of waiting, on edge waiting for the light zephyrs to build to a racing breeze, the race committee had no alternative but to cancel the final race, leaving Quantum Racing as the regatta winners and the leaders of the 52 Super Series as it moves next month to Costa Smeralda for the Audi Sardinia Cup.
With five new crew in their line up, and a couple of modest starts on Day 1 - by the admission of winning skipper-helm Ed Baird - Quantum Racing started Barcelona with obvious room to improve, but finished Saturday with a flourish, trumping the fleet with a pair of aces.
Baird and his crew, including new tactician Andy Horton and navigator Spain's JuanVila had the time and scope to build from Thursday's low budget starts, but Niklas Zennström's start to the penultimate race of the regatta cost them their chance to be real title contenders today. But the Swedish owner-driver and his crew leave Spain content that they are only two points off the top duo and have clearly moved up a level since winning the last Audi MedCup regatta here in September last year.
1. Quantum Racing, Doug Devos, Ed Baird, 14
Resurgent Abu Dhabi Board Express Train To Lisbon
Abu Dhabi were building a big lead on Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday after beating the fleet to a low pressure system that packs the power to catapult them to within a couple of hundred miles of the finish.
The team skippered by Britain's twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker have been bolstered by the misfortune of their rivals, with overall race leaders Team Telefónica and second-placed Groupama sailing team stuck, struggling to find pace in a high pressure system in fifth and fourth respectively.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG remain second on Leg 7, trailing the leaders by 48 nautical miles, while CAMPER are third, 60 nm behind. Both are in prime position to take advantage of an upcoming ridge that is expected to compress the fleet.
Meanwhile, Team Sanya are revelling in a return to racing after missing two consecutive legs with damage. The team are well to the back of the fleet but have made the boldest move of all, taking a route north to within 50 nm of the ice exclusion zones in search of better breeze. The trek north puts Mike Sanderson's team in a position to take advantage of a front that will come from the west, which Volvo meteorologist Gonzalo Infante said could see them gain decent pressure and wind shifts that could even edge them ahead of Telefónica and Groupama.
Infante said a ridge to the east of Abu Dhabi, along with the front that is coming from the west, would see the fleet compress over coming days. He said the boats further north were expected to fare best, meaning the possibility of more troubled times for Groupama and Telefónica, while giving CAMPER and PUMA a chance to catch up.
The fleet's Lisbon, Portugal ETA remains May 31.
Groovederci Captures Farr 40 U.S. East Coast Championship
As Groovederci pulled into the docks at Bert Jabin's Yacht Yard, crew members from the other Farr 40 programs stopped what they were doing, stood and applauded. It was a testament to how popular owner John Demourkas has become within the class.
Demourkas scored his first victory since joining the Farr 40 class in 2004, and boy was it a big one! The California skipper and his crew aboard Groovederci put forth a consistent performance over four days of racing on the Chesapeake Bay and captured the Farr 40 East Coast Championship.
Veteran owners Jim Richardson and Wolfgang Schaefer were among the first to come over to the boat and congratulate Demourkas, a Santa Barbara resident who returned to the class this year following a lengthy hiatus.
Groovederci was atop the 12-boat fleet upon conclusion of racing on Saturday, but it was a tenuous lead as Ramrod trailed by one point and five other boats were within six points. With six boats still in contention, Sunday's final day became a free-for-all with numerous tacking duels on the upwind legs during both races.
Cameron Appleton called tactics for Demourkas, who maintained his lead by posting a pair of fourths on Sunday and finished with a low score of 41 points. Groovederci won two races and placed fifth or better in six others to beat Barking Mad (Richardson) and Struntje Light (Schaefer) by three points.
Barking Mad and Struntje Light won three races each en route to totaling 44 points but Richardson's crew won the tiebreaker by virtue of having more second place results (two).
1. Groovederci, USA, John Demourkas, 41.0 points
Victory To Realstone Sailing After Five Races
After a calm Saturday, the Sunday at the Open de Crans offered some great sailing with 5 races and a victory of Realstone Sailing (3 wins out of 5 races) in front of Artemis Racing skippered by Michel Desjoyeaux and de Rham Sotheby's of Philippe Cardis.
French champion Michel Desjoyeaux came to steer Artemis Racing alongside Yvan Ravussin. Nicolas Charbonnier, Olympic Medallist in Beijing and dinghy World Champion was at the helm of Alinghi (to replace Ernesto Bertarelli). Fred Le Peutrec was at the helm of Zen Too, and Okalys welcomed the French Jean-Christophe Mourniac as tactician - Eric Monnin being busy on the World Match Racing Tour. Yet the ones we love to call the "Kids" of Realstone Sailing (Regatta Training Center in Geneva) with Jerome Clerc at the helm won the event.
The fight for the second position was also interesting. Michel Desjoyeaux on Artemis Racing said: "The day was fabulous! I was very doubtful this morning, especially after yesterday. But at the end we had a fantastic day and the wind conditions left the game very open. However I have to say that Realstone Sailing is really above the rest of the fleet! ".
Ranking of the Open de Crans:
Overall ranking after 2 legs:
Vulcain Trophy Program 2012
Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) - 4-6 May 2012
Gold Coast Australia Takes Another Victory in Clipper Race
Visit Finland finished in second place crossing the finish line at 0736 GMT (0336 local time) while Dutch entry, De LageLanden, claimed third place crossing the line at 0849 GMT (0449 local time) in the 2,100 race from Panama to New York.
Besides the podium positions, Geraldton Western Australia managed to take fourth place crossing the finish line at 1004 GMT (0604 local time) ahead of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital who crossed the finish line only 70 minutes later at 1114 GMT (0704 local time). Whilst having slipped from third place to fifth yesterday, it's the best position for the Scottish entry so far.
The rest of the fleet is expected to finish today local time. The teams will arrive in Liberty Landing Marina in New Jersey approximately six to seven hours after crossing the finish line.The whole Clipper Race fleet then sails in a formal parade across to North Cove Marina in Manhattan's financial district for a busy programme of activity with Clipper Race sponsors.
Latest boat positions (1200 UTC)
1. Gold Coast Australia, Finished
Finn World Masters Opens in Tropical Pwllheli
After a month of terrible weather across the UK, the Finn World Masters in Pwllheli North Wales has opened amid soaring temperatures and brilliant blue skies. The 131 Masters from 23 countries who are gathered in Pwllheli just cannot believe their good fortune.
The practice race was sailed earlier on Sunday. Despite the great weather, the price the sailors paid was a fitful wind as the forecast force 3-4 disappeared soon after the scheduled start, with two failed attempts to get the fleet away. After an hour's postponement, a sea breeze filled in and the fleet sailed two laps of a windward leeward course before being sent in. Laurent Hay (FRA) was the early leader, but opted for an early shower. Greg Wilcox (NZL) soon took the lead, but as the new breeze distorted the course the boats were sent home.
The first two races are scheduled for 12.00 on Monday. The Olympic Torch Relay also visits the club on Monday, the second time it has coincided with a major Finn Championship in two weeks. The championship consists of eight races including a medal race for the top 10 on Friday.
Follow the event on the club website at: www.pwllhelisailingclub.co.uk/finn2012/en/home/
Finally, Offwind Sailing for the GOR Fleet
At 12:00 GMT on Sunday, the Budels were back up to speed as the entire fleet raced off the wind with Sec. Hayai averaging 11 knots and digging into the 145-mile lead built by Phesheya-Racing as the Dutch Class40 remained near-static on Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, 168 miles ahead of the South Africans, Nannini and Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis are hanging on to Cessna Citation with grim determination, trailing the Kiwi-Australian duo by 89 miles at midday on Sunday as Colman and Cavanough close in on the bluQube Scoring Gate with just 180 miles remaining to virtual line running through the North Atlantic.
With weather files finally beginning to reflect reality, the westerly breeze is forecast to turn northerly over the next 24 hours and may provide the fast reaching conditions the teams have been waiting for.
GOR leaderboard at 12:00 GMT 27/5/12
Former Optimist Internationals arae First Time Olympic Qualifiers
Jesse & Zan Kirkland (Bermuda): the only nation to qualify for the first time in the 49er Class. Older brother Zan in 1998 was a member of the first Bermudan team to enter the Optimist Worlds. He was followed by Jesse who, starting at the age of nine in 1999, sailed a record five Worlds finishing with a silver medal in 2003.
Benjamin Grez (Chile): one of only two nations to qualify for the first time in the 470 Class. In Optimists he won the silver medal at the IODA Worlds of 2007. At age 19 he will be one of the youngest male sailors at the Games.
In the Laser Radial Philipine van Aanholt (AHO) and Mayumi Roller (USVI) became the first women ever to qualify their countries in any Class. Both sailed in the 2004 and 2005 IODA Worlds.
In the Laser Class:
Running The Rhumblines
Airlie Beach Race Week hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club remains as a popular drawcard for the crews who are planning an escape route from the chill factor associated with the winter gales that blow from The Great Southern Ocean.
The first high profile entry to contest the Grand Prix IRC division at Race Week 2012 has been officially lodged by Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania skipper Anthony Lyall the new owner skipper of the 2008 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week champion Cougar ll.
As expected while Cougar ll is the first entry from the Island State there has been a higher than normal interest from Victoria, New South Wales and West Australia with owners already firming accommodation arrangements for their crews, family and supporters.
This presents early confirmation that the 2012 Tropical Shirt regatta which is already known as friendliest on the Australian offshore sailing circuit will again live up to its reputation of providing exciting racing in the winter sun from August 10-16.
The entry of Cougar ll is an important step for owner skipper Anthony Lyall to gain the important tactical experience to be race prepared to fly his battle flag in the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart race in late December.
Meanwhile the performance of Cougar ll the first fully optimised Trans-Pac 52 to test her boat speed at Airlie Beach Race Week is expected to dominate the Grand Prix class line honours while the lower handicapped Mooloolaba Yacht Club sloop Brilliant Pearl (Gary McCarthy) should again show the required handicap rated speed to protect her 2011 Silver Medal in what promises to be an important tactical test for the Tasmanian team on Cougar ll.
Local Pioneer Bay sailors are also warming to the challenge with the experienced Kevin Fogarty steering Twister to an impressive win in last week's twilight sprint race.
Twister a relatively new Beneteau First 40.7 produced unmatched all angle sailing speed to protect her .883 handicap rating to secure a comfortable 1 minute 18 second win over the club championship leader Craig Piccinelli in Wobbly Boot while Nick Smail's Huahine claimed third another 30 seconds astern.
Both Twister and Wobbly Boot have been nominated to contest the Performance Handicap division at Airlie Beach Race Week and will need to reproduce their consistent sailing speed to match the competitively strong challenge from the New South Wales team including the John Bacon skippered Dark Star and Matt Allen's high performance Farr 40 Ichi Ban when the battle lines are drawn on Pioneer Bay in August. -- Ian Grant
All the seven IMOCA Open 60 solo skippers have profited from their first night at sea to switch back to single-handed routines and to point South, in order to get over, as best as possible, the high pressure ridge that has set between them and their first target, Santa Maria.
The fleet has opened up, with some noticeable lateral separation: between the pairs Vincent Riou (PRB) and Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire), who have positioned themselves more south and Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) and Javier Sanso (ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered) that have opted to stay north there is already a 50 miles split.
Provisional overall leader Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) has decided to stay on a more middle, conservative line - in the middle, with Vincent Riou (PRB) and Armel le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) following suit and taking the lead.
At 1300 UTC more than 27 miles separated first placed Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac Paprec 3 from Javier Sanso's ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, as the whole fleet is struggling in the wide high pressure area that hinders their progress, with average speeds going from the 8,5 knots recorded on Banque Populaire to the meagre 3,3 scored by Kito de Pavant on Groupe Bel in sixth place.
The notion that it would have been necessary to push right from the start, albeit with some careful tactics, to get around the light patch has been confirmed so far. Yet the fleet is very even, and the outcome very uncertain.
A rare opportunity to purchase an effectivley new Arcona 430, she has been lightlty used since new and only sailed around the Solent. Very highly specified and comes with upgraded cream Alcantara fabric making her feel light and more contempary.
Full suit of Quantum sails, main and genoa in carbon/technora double taffeta, Coda O with a Karver furler and spinnakers. The 0.6oz has never been used.
She is very well set up and this Arcona 430 makes for a wonderfully quick passage making yacht with great comfort below. Viewing is highly recomended.
Brokerage through Nicolle Associates:
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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]
To subscribe, unsubscribe, and select HTML or Text format visit scuttlebutteurope.com
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html