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
Well known Australian yachting journalist Ian 'Stripey' Grant sadly passed away on Good Friday after a brief illness, perhaps appropriately on the day of the start of 65th ocean race he loved so much, the Brisbane to Gladstone.
'Stripey', 76, suffered a massive heart attack in a Brisbane hospital in the wake of a series of severe strokes a few weeks ago. He died only a week or so after his beloved Marie, the 'child bride' as he always called her, passed away in the same hospital after a long illness.
He had been producing a myriad of stories about sailing his Queensland up to the week he suffered the first stroke, and was a regular contributor to scuttlebutteurope.com as well as Australian newspapers, sailing magazines and web sites.
Wherever you found 'Stripey', you found his Marie, and that he did not want to be separated from her, both passing away in the same hospital in Brisbane.
He was 'Mr Media' of Queensland sailing, keeping everyone informed of those from the big players, right down to the youngest, who were already starting to make their mark.
To yachties around Australia, to fellow members of the Society of Nautical Scribes, 'Stripey' will be linked closely to the media operations of the Brisbane to Gladstone Race, Hamilton Island Race and Airlie Beach Race Week.
He had covered with great enthusiasm every Race Week at 'Hammo' since its inception, as well as nearby Airlie Beach Race Week and the activities of the Whitsunday Sailing Club, and his writings did much to promote the mass migration of yachties to Far North Queensland for these regattas.
In total he covered some 24 world championships and well over 100 National Championships, Olympic selection trials in Queensland as well as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He always followed the activities of Queensland sailors in national and international events, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
In 2001, he received Yachting Australia's Media Award, the citation reading: "A prodigious worker who is able to recall and contrast not only the events of the past, but to build them into a story that is relevant and up to date in both content and interest for the reader. Over the years Stripey, with his encyclopedic memory, his sense of history and his smile has become the face and voice of sailing for much of Australia."
Sail-world.com editor Rob Kothe wrote that sailing had been an obsession and passion for 'Stripey' from the age of eight when he was adopted as the boat-shed boy polishing the mild-steel centreboards and wool-tying spinnakers, balloon jibs and ringtails for Brisbane 18-footer sailors.
He later graduated to being a 'bailer boy', sailing in the winning crew of the 1949 Australian 18-footer championship. As a young man he was in the crew with famous Queensland yachtsman Norman Wright Jr when they sailed the former Captain John Illingworth-owned Mouse of Malham to victory in the 1960 Brisbane to Gladstone Race.
In a tribute to 'Stripey's' 53-year contribution to the race management of the Brisbane to Gladstone, race director Herb Prendergast recalled how he had watched his first Gladstone Race, aged about 13, after peddling his bike across Brisbane suburbs to Woody Point Jetty "with his Vegemite sandwiches for his lunch."
Recalling 'Stripey's colourful journalistic prose, Prendergast said his turns of phrase such as "anti-fouling blistering speed", "throwing buckets of water on the winches and turning blocks to stop them running hot" and "the Bramble Bay torture track" had brought many a smile to reader's faces".
'Stripey's' prose was sadly missed in reports of this year's 65th Brisbane to Gladstone Race as was his good humour and companionship. -- Peter Campbell
An Easter Sunday Celebration
A "Wrong Way Around" race wrapped up sailing today at the four-day St. Barths Bucket Regatta. Thirty six superyachts in four classes (Grandes Dames, Mademoiselles, Gazelles and J Boats) circumnavigated the French West Indies island of St. Barths, giving Bucket fans on shore and at sea an awe-inspiring view of some of the largest and most beautiful and technologically advanced yachts sailing in the world today.
The race course, which covered 21 to 26.4 nautical miles (depending on the class), reversed Friday's "Around the Island" journey and put boat handling skills to the test right off the bat with a downwind start. All but the J Boat class adhered to a "pursuit-style" racing format, requiring each yacht to time its run to the gun for a separate pre-determined start time and hoist a spinnaker as soon as possible after crossing the starting line -- the theory being that if all crews in each class sailed equally well, aboard their varied yachts of different speeds, they would meet at the finish line all together.
The theory worked especially well today in the 18-20 knot breezes, with yachts barreling down on the finish line, drawn again by their giant spinnakers, within minutes - sometimes seconds -- of each other.
In the Mademoiselles class, the 55 meter schooner Adela, built by Pendennis and helmed by Dennis Conner, maintained her regatta-long position at the top of the scoreboard with a second-place finish today.
In the Grandes Dames class, the 48-meter Georgia, built by Alloy Yachts, claimed overall victory by crossing the finish line first in her class today.
Claiming second place overall in this class, with a fourth today, was the 54 meter Perini Navi Parsifal III, while the 38 meter Axia, which was presented with both the All Star Crew Award and the Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy at this regatta, finished third overall after posting a third for today. The winner of the Vitters Shipyard Seamanship Trophy was also from this class: the Perini Navi Zenji.
This was a historic event for the J Class, as it was the first time five of them have graced the same starting line since 1937. Hanuman, built by Royal Huisman, proved unbeatable throughout the three days, winning handily over the line and on corrected time in the first two of three races held here. Today, Lionheart edged out Hanuman by just two seconds at the line, but Hanuman still prevailed on corrected time to leave Lionheart in second overall. Velsheda, Ranger and the Holland Jachtbouw built Rainbow followed in third through fifth places, respectively.
Winning the King's 100 Guinea Cup for Thursday's "extra day" race for J Boats at the Bucket was Hanuman. The top Corinthian J with an amateur owner/helmsman to win the Corinthian King's Cup was Lionheart.
Every year the Bucket Organization devotes a portion of its entry fees for a worthy cause in St. Barths. This year, a donation in the amount of 18,000 euros was made to the St. Barths Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program.
Next year's event is scheduled for 27 - 30, March 2014. -- Barby McGowan
Sailing Rallies Host The Transatlantic Forum - 11th & 12th May
The weekend is designed to be informative & fun, covering preparation, planning and what you are likely to experience during an Atlantic crossing. Whether you are planning to sail the Atlantic this year, next year or if you have only just started dreaming about it - the Transatlantic Forum will provide expert advice and plenty of hints and tips to make your trip a success.
The forum will showcase Sailing Rallies signature event, the Christmas Caribbean Rally and a variety of speakers, all of whom are experienced ocean sailors, including author Jane Russell, weather forecaster & routing specialist, Mike Broughton and John Simpson, MD Sailing Rallies. There will also be representatives from a wide variety of ocean sailing companies.
For more information visit www.sailingrallies.com
Chilly RORC Easter Challenge Concludes
Scoreboard stars were once again David Franks and his JPK 1010, Strait Dealer in IRC Three. Their two wins today saw them conclude the regatta with straight bullets across the event's seven races, a repeat of Strait Dealer's scoreline last year at the IRC Nationals.
The winner of IRC 1 also scored two bullets today - Sir Keith Mills' TP52 5°West also claimed the overall prize in the big boat class in what is the first regatta for the TeamOrigin boss as an 'owner driver'.
Between the speedy trio of Ker 40s, it was Andrew Pearce's white-hulled Magnum III that came out on top, finishing second overall in IRC One, six points ahead of Edward Broadway's Hooligan VII.
Runaway leader in IRC Two was the King 40, Tokoloshe, of South African owner Michael Bartholomew. With a 3-1 scoreline today, the Hamble-based crew podiumed in all seven races this weekend to finish 15 points clear of second.
In IRC Four, Peter Schofield's HOD35 Zarafa dominated and like 5°West and Strait Dealer won both today's races. The Lymington-based team finished 6.5 points ahead of Altura & Steamy, the First 34.7 campaigned by Neil Cash and Nick Haigh.
Although they admit there is "room for improvement" with their results, one of the most enthusiastic participants at the RORC Easter Challenge was the team on Sebastien Delasnerie's Dr Feelgood (again). The Paris-based crew has their A-35 berthed in Cherbourg and made the trip over for the training regatta, the first of many RORC races they plan to do this season, says Delasnerie. However of this regatta he admitted: "We didn't train enough for the training regatta! But it was extremely helpful because this is the early race of the season. Cowes is very exotic! The people are extremely friendly. Even the customs guy was nice to us!" -- Report by James Boyd in TheDailySail.com
Royal Ocean Racing Club: rorc.org
35th Spi Ouest-France-Intermarche - Exceptional Conditions
During the Easter weekend, the thermometer rarely exceeded zero degrees. Cold feeling accentuated by an east wind.
After a rainy and windy first day, two days were relatively quiet. Today was the last day, the wind came back strong. An icy breeze Northeast gusting to thirty knots shook a strong IRC fleet.
While some suffered, others rubbed their hands with glee.
"The Spi Ouest-France - Intermarche was physical, and it worked out well for us, says Mathieu Bolu, 5.70 Open winner. Our crew is rather heavy and we have an advantage in the tough condtions. '
On CODIAM,the winner in IRC 1, Nicolas Loday helmsman has also welcomed the weather. "Our Grand Soleil 43 is comfortable in the breeze, he says. So you love the wind. Even though we have also had some problems with a torn spinnaker. '
For Eric Brezellec annd his tacticien Sebastien Col the last day of breeze left them ashore. Their J 80, Interface Concept, did not need to go on the water to confirm a victory gained the previous evening.
In the M 34 class, Daniel Souben won with 16 points ahead of Franck Cammas, Groupama. Thomas Coville, Sodebo, completed the podium.
"Our early season training paid off, said Souben. At first first, the conditions were harsh. The beautiful entrance is on the crew confidence. Now it will keep that little extra. We are delighted for several reasons. This is a rematch of 2011 when Franck Cammas beat us by a small margin. '
Scheduled next year, from 17 to 21 April, so later in the season, the Spi Ouest-France - 2014 Intermarche should, in all probability, take place under milder conditions. -- Philippe Guegan
Complete results: spi.snt-voile.org/resultats.html
Marinepool Automatic Life Jackets - Test Winners Around The Globe
Using only the best materials and state of the art production technologies, no detail is omitted to ensure every product is optimized before it reaches the market. More than 20 years of experience and design excellence, plus the invaluable input of the world class athletes proudly wearing Marinepool garments, guarantee the products are at the cutting edge of technology. Uncompromising, highly functional and extremely light weight; Tested and approved by many of the world's finest sailors.
Our 300N ISO Premium offshore automatic life jacket has come out on top as the best overall product on the market in a test of German magazine YACHT (issue 12/12) while the same and other lifejackets of our wide range have won recent tests in NED, FIN and AUS.
No wonder they are the choice of Oman Sail´s MOD70 trimaran and scores of other offshore racing crews.
Marinepool offers performance automatic life jackets for racing where weight is absolutely crucial. Our Aero automatic life jacket weighs only 600g, that is 500g (!) less than other life jackets claiming to be "lite". Why go for second best?
Go for the test winner and learn more about the Marinepool life jacket range on marinepool.comcentrica.it/buyersguide2013/#/138/ or
Blasse Extends Lead at OK Dinghy Worlds In Perfect Pattaya
It was more of the same on day two at the Singha OK Dinghy World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand with slightly less wind and tide making the racinge3xciting and close. Race wins went to Nick Craig (GBR) and Mike Williams (AUS) though Roger Blasse (AUS) continues to lead overall.
Race three started after a few recalls as the ebb tide pushed the fleet over the line. Soon after the start Nick Craig tacked on a left shift and crossed the fleet to lay the top mark perfectly as more than half the fleet overstood and ended up reaching back. Craig extended away though Andre Budzien (GER) and Roger Blasse closed up at the gate. Budzien briefly took the lead by rounding the opposite gate, but Craig held on until the wind came back in his favour and in the fight to the finish, took the win from Blasse and Budzien.
With four tough races completed the fleet can now enjoy a lay day on Tuesday, with various activities and entertainments organised in and around Pattaya tonight and on Tuesday. Those that survive will continue racing on Wednesday, though some will be using the time to recover energy ready for the final six races. The championship concludes on Friday.
Results (top 5 from 70) subject to protest
1. Roger Blasse, AUS, 8 points
Full results here: varuna.org/day-two-overall/
Regatta Favourites Open The Scores
With increasing wind and waves, the 49ers have had a tough day in Palma. After two races in the yellow group, racing was cancelled for the day. The British team of David Evans and Edward Powys have mastered the heavy weather with a victory and a third place. However the Danish teams have had their word to say.
Last year winner, Jonas Warrer (DEN) and new crew Peter Lang (DEN), and Allan Norregaard with Anders Thomsen (DEN) placed in the top ten in the first race, and took the first two places in the second.
With an Olympic medal in 2008 and 2012, Denmark has put its trademark on skiff sailing.
In Palma, the Danish 49ers teams are among the favourites with last year winner, Jonas Warrer defending his title with new crew, Peter Lang. They have both won an Olympic medal with Jonas taking Gold in Beijing and Peter, the Bronze in London.
The 49er FX didn't have the opportunity to race
Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh Mcintyre won the 470 Women with a clean score. "It was pretty full-on for the first day, but good though. We were pretty fast on the racecourse so that made things quite simple and then we just played it quite simply. We were just trying to do the basic stuff well."
Alison Young in the Laser radial has been just as good with two victories. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) and Sarah Gunni (DEN) are second and third on equal points with a 4th and a first place. They are closely followed by the french taking the next four places.
Australians and Austrians are neck and neck in the 470 Men with Mat Belcher/Will Ryan and Matthias Schmid/Florian Reichstaedter taking the lead in their respective fleet with two bullets.
2011 European and World Champion Giles Scott has opened the score in the Finn, with London Bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA) winning the second.
World ranking leaders Tom Burton (AUS) and Philip Buhl (GER) are leading the Laser competition with zero points. The new format and ranking system trialled in Palma, gives 0 points for a first place and allows a race discard from the second race. This can explain why with a DNC in race one and a victory, Tom Burton has taken the lead of the fleet with zero points to his scoreboard!
Toni Wilhelm (GER), Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Ricardo Santos (BRA) are leading the RS:X men with the young German collecting two bullets.
Maayan Davidovich (ISR) is continuing in her good form after winning the ISAF SWC Miami with a race victory. She is taking the lead with her discard from World #1 Flavia Tartaglini (ITA). Racing was also cancelled today for the Nacra and the 2.4.
The forecast for the second day of racing is for a 15 knots North Westerly breeze and will hopefully allow all classes to race. -- Corinne Mckenzie
Sovereigns Cup - 26th - 29th June 2013- 'Gourmet Racing'!
Renowned for its warm welcome, Sovereign's Cup provides racing under IRC fleets as well as the Irish Performance handicapping system 'ECHO', on both windward leeward and round the cans courses. Renowned for its competitive yet fun ethos, Sovereign's Cup has seen entries ranging from TP 52'S to GK 24's, all of whom are extended the same hearty welcome.
Entries for this year's event are registering at an unprecedented level which is testament to the value for money and reputation of the event. Notable entries thus far include the Ker 40, 'Keromino', Corby 37, 'Impetuous', the J-109 'Storm', together with a plethora of 1720's and Quarter tonners competing for their European and Irish Championships respectively.
Taking place from 26th - 29th June 2013, The Covestone Asset Management Sovereign's Cup offering competitive IRC racing in the picturesque "Gourmet Capital of Ireland" provides the perfect regatta destination this year.
For more information or to register see www.sovereignscup.com or contact
International Corinthian Competition Returns To Newport
The 20 yacht club teams will race one-design NYYC Swan 42s - identically tuned and equipped with supplied sails - on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, one of the world's most legendary sailing venues. Along with the 2011 champion, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, returning to defend its title, the fleet will include the host club and 15 invited international clubs, plus three American yacht clubs determined by a qualification series held in the fall of 2012. The 2013 regatta promises another test of ability and tactical expertise as these yacht club teams from around the world display their patriotism and the competitive skills of their best sailors while in pursuit of the championship crown.
Competitors must be non-professional (Corinthian) sailors and members of the yacht clubs they represent; they must also be nationals of their countries. For 2013, the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will welcome competitors from the following yachts clubs:
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (AUS)
Those clubs have previously competed alongside host New York Yacht Club (USA). New to the event are the Royal Belgian Sailing Club (BEL), Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS), Royal Southern Yacht Club (GBR), Royal Swedish Yacht Club (SWE), as well as the three teams determined by the outcome of the 24-club U.S. Qualifying Series held at NYYC: Larchmont Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club and Seattle Yacht Club.
For more information on the 2013 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex, contact Event Chairman Paul Zabetakis at , or visit nyyc.org/yachting-public and follow the link to the Invitational Cup event pages.
Antipodes Does The Double
With eleven boats of the 24 boat San Fernando feet safely anchored off the beach and target finish times for the other boats now passed, Geoff Hill can relax in the knowledge that Antipodes will lift not only the silverware for Line Honours but also for IRC Overall at the formal prizegiving back in Hong Kong.
The Philippine team of Standard Insurance Centennial, headed by Ernesto Echauz, finishes second overall, with the Ker 40, Peninsula Signal 8 coming in third, and 1st in IRC Racing Division 1.
The steady conditions enjoyed by the leading boats did not last for those further back in the fleet, with the curse of the Luzon hole hitting both early this morning and at sundown.
* From Eskimo Nell: Respected Sirs: I fear you may have been the butt of an "April Fool" jape in regard to your item on the causes of the recent Cutty Sark fire. Your informant suggests that sun shining through the new glass 'sea' that surrounds the hull may have been the cause, like a schoolboy using a magnifying glass to burn down the school.
And therein lies the rub, Sir: in Britain we haven't seen the sun since last October.
You should 'fire' (oh ho ho - Geddit?) your London correspondent.
Fast cruiser / racer in "like new" condition - never slept on board, never used heating etc.
Brokerage through YBM - Yacht Broker Mallorca: www.yachtworld.com/yachtbrokermallorca/
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