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
Swings and Roundabouts
On paper, this might appear worrying, but on water the situation is becoming favourable again for the giant trimaran this Monday afternoon: the calm conditions settling over the Bay of Biscay are now a distant memory for Groupama 3. This was the first challenge during this impromptu start, which only really took shape 24 hours before they set off. Indeed the chance to be part of the 'meteorological window' was worth taking… And for the time being the forecasts are holding true on the water. The ride across the Bay of Biscay was fairly quick until the early hours, where Franck Cammas and his nine men had to put in a gybe to anticipate the NE'ly wind shift.
Groupama 3 had to link together three gybes to clear Cape Finisterre and free herself from the coast (and the shipping) in order to benefit from an E'ly wind, which was increasing in strength the further south the giant trimaran got. From midday, Franck Cammas and his nine crew were racking up steadier speeds again for the long drop down towards the equator. As such the haemorrhage of miles conceded in relation to the reference time has been stemmed and this afternoon the boat was making the same speeds (over 22 knots) as its predecessor, Orange 2. Groupama 3's position has become favourable as she will now be able to make the descent towards the Cape Verde archipelago on virtually one tack. -- translation by Kate Jennings
Calling In The Jury
The five-person International Jury for the 33rd America's Cup met for the first time today.
Under consideration were five vital requests by GGYC to ensure fair and equitable racing:
- Can the defender unilaterally select wind and wave limits?
"The fact the hearing lasted from 1100 to 1730 proves that the issues being considered are significant and that the Jury gave the challenger and defender full opportunity to present their cases," said Ehman.
The meeting was adjourned. International Jury Chairman David Tillett indicated that the findings of his panel will be released Tuesday afternoon.
A further hearing concerning GGYC's request for redress over measurement will also be heard Tuesday at 1900.
* Richard Gladwell has been as deep into the weeds of this AC as anyone, providing countless insights into what's really going on, and here are his bets on how this comes off:
1. Effectively re-inserted Racing Rule 53 ('Skin Friction') after obtaining a New York Supreme Court ruling to delete it.
2. Set the starting time for the races despite the Deed of Gift's requirement that this be agreed by mutual consent.
3. Set wind and wave limits to favor its own yacht.
4. Changed the latest draft of the Notice of Race to ban certain wind detection equipment now being used by BOR that, previously, was permitted under all earlier drafts of the NOR.
5. Re-arranged the hierarchy of the applicable rules so that SNG's Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions would, in the case of conflict, overrule the Racing Rules; this is highly irregular and contrary to normal practice in yacht racing.
Richard's full article with complete explanations and notes on how he's called them at
* And speaking of yet another invaluable AC decipherer, our sister publication's favorite attorney Cory Friedman, on his way to Valencia to help us all make sense of the contest... We ran a bit last night copied from Scuttlebutt about helping to defray Cory's expenses.. and today Bill Koch (1992 America's Cup winner) responded to Scuttlebutt / Eurobutt's pleas and has offered $5000. Bravo!
But do keep the contributions coming. Anything not spent will be donated to youth sailing. Donate at www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/store
Baby It's Cold Outside - Time For Miami!
Because Strictly Sail moved its venue and we couldn't get the M52 under the bridge, Morris Yachts is having its own show in Coconut Grove at Shake-A-Leg Sailing Center Feb 11-14. The M29, M36, M42 and the new M52 will be on view. This venue is terrific for all sorts of reasons: great cause, great location and quicker access to some sailing in Biscayne Bay for those ready for a demo.
Kiwis Kicking Kangaroos In Interdominion Standings
In the first race sailors had two attempts at a start which resulted in two general recalls. It was a case of third time lucky, with a clear start, although under a black flag.
Race One saw local sailors taking out the top three places, with Worser Bay members Karl Purdie 1st, Paul Rhodes 2nd and Matthew Steven 3rd.
Race Two had one general recall followed by another black flag. Again, the local guys called the shots and Karl Purdie led at the top mark for a second time with Paul Rhodes close at his heels and Steve McDowell in third.
Racing was all over just after 5pm, with two races in the bag. The sun started to break through the clouds whilst the cold, wet sailors queued for the boat ramp and hoses. Wellington Harbour turned on a picture-book evening for the contestants, as a background for the evening of bon-homie in RPNYC.
At the end of Day 1 the results were:
Full results on www.okworlds2010.com
Hot Pink Sails Heat Up Miami
Second across the line were Piet VanOs and CC Childers (USA) followed by Francesco Piccini and Sofia Tedin (ARG) in third.
Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and as the wind slowly died after the finish, the storm clouds gathered and the fleet was sent in barely making the dock when the first squall line hit.
Getting Under the Skin of a Solo Sailor
Dr Weston, from the University's Department of Sport and Exercise Science, specialises in solo ocean sailing research and will interview the competitors and their shore managers before and after the event. He hopes to get 'under the skin' of the solo ocean sailor and undertake a systematic evaluation of the key strategies employed to prepare a skipper and their boat for single-handed round the world events.
Dr Weston said: "There are currently no guidelines available to help skippers prepare for these life threatening and environmentally challenging races. Our previous study produced some incredible data on the extent of the physical and psychological demands faced by skippers during long periods alone at sea. We have devised a programme which will provide a comprehensive evaluation of how skippers and their shore team prepare for the challenge. The results will be used to build a detailed set of guidelines to inform future skippers who wish to participate in such events.
"The University of Portsmouth is delighted to continue its partnership with Velux 5 Oceans for the 2010-11 race."
Dr Weston will present the results at a conference after the race and will publish a detailed report in a scientific journal. A detailed overview of the findings will be available to skippers on request and Clipper Ventures will be able to provide a detailed guide to skippers entered into future editions of the Velux 5 Oceans to help them optimally prepare for the event.
Light Airs Dominate Day 1 of Racing in Muscat
Renowned light-air specialists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, onboard Red Bull Extreme Sailing, finished the first day as top boat - with a lead of seven points over China Team - who are keeping a tight hold on their current overall 2nd placed position - and The Wave, Muscat.
With the wind reaching a maximum of 9 knots, it was a slow afternoon for the Extreme 40s, requiring more brain than brawn to get round the four courses. With the tougher 'reaching' starts, when the wind hits the start line from the side, rather than the more usual head on or from behind, some of the teams struggled to adjust and found themselves blocked and unable to get over the line cleanly. Current overall leaders of the Asian circuit, Oman Sail's Masirah, was one such team as skipper Pete Cumming explained. "It was tricky today, definitely not the 10-15 knots I predicted the fleet would get yeterday. The wind just died away and it was really hard racing. The sea was quite sloppy as we had a good wind this morning and the courses were tough so the fleet got spread out and there aren't many over-taking lanes.
Results after day 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia:
Red Bull Extreme Sailing - 22 points
2010 Miami Grand Prix Countdown - The Heat Is On
North America's Riviera offers the ideal late winter getaway with warm sunshine, ocean winds, and world class restaurants and nightlife. And of course, there is always world class competition and professional race management. Reminder: the first entry deadline is February 5.
Current entries, past results, planning details and online entry: www.Premiere-Racing.com
Robertson Shows His Intentions
On a day that saw a series of collisions as crews pushed the boundaries, and kept the repair teams busy, Robertson's experience showed as he kept out of trouble, and produced both good speed and smart tactics.
He summed up his day with his usual understatement, "it wasn't bad, we're pretty happy with it, we're still a bit rusty, but hopefully it'll come right in the next day or two. We had two real tough ones today, Gilmour was quite a hard one and we just came out ahead, and Gibbsey was a tough one. So it was the local boys in their own breeze. It was hard work in the stronger breeze, but I think we were all right, the boat handling worked."
With a score line of six wins and no losses, Robertson has a good margin at the top of the leaderboard over fellow Kiwi William Tiller in second place, his score is four wins to one loss. There is no shortage of rivalry between these two with Tiller being on Robertson's crew when he won last year.
Third place on the ladder is held by the host club's David Gilmour on a score of four wins and two losses.
A seabreeze that built to 25 knots during the afternoon, combined with a punishing schedule of races, tested the crews to the limit, with a long list of repairs to boats and people at the end of the day.
Both Robertson and Tiller are from Auckland's Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the club that has produced many of the world's to match racers.
The Warren Jones regatta is run by Swan River Sailing in conjunction with Royal Perth Yacht Club, and this year's hosts, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. -- John Roberson
(-1) Kyle Langford and Martin Boidin are deducted 1 point from their final scores for causing excessive damage.
Perfect Winter's Day Draws 148 Entries to Northampton
Where Peter Barton had capsized his way around the Bloody Mary three weeks earlier, the more moderate conditions suited his T-foiled Cherub to a T, with Barton and crew David Ellis winning both races of the Asymmetric fleet. Mike Cooke from Bristol Corinthian foiled his International Moth to victory in both races of the 7-boat foiling fleet.
In the Doublehanders, such was the lead set by the sole 505 of Andy Smith and Tim Needham that it looked as though the Bloody Mary winners from Staunton Harold would add the Steve Nicholson Trophy to their cabinet. However it was the Merlin Rocket fleet who dominated proceedings, sailing on level terms with the Fireballs through the water whilst enjoying a handicap of 1014 compared with the Fireballs on 982. Two Merlins finished on equal points from the two races, but a 1st place in the morning heat gave victory to Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis ahead of Ian Dobson and Matt Mee.
Just as the Merlins dominated the Doublehanders, the Phantoms smoked the Singlehanders. Andy Couch got two bullets and Simon Hawkes got two 2nds ahead of Steve Bolland's RS300 in third place.
The Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy was the second event of the brand new series, the SailJuice Global Warm-Up. This new winter travellers' series brings four of the biggest winter handicap racing events into a unified series, to find out just who is tough enough to race their way through Britain's toughest winter in more than 20 years. There are more than 2,000 GBP of prizes up for grabs, not only for the winners but for sailors throughout the fleet.
After two events, victory at the Bloody Mary plus their 3rd at the Steve Nicholson keeps Smith & Needham's 505 in pole position, although Barton's dominant Cherub performance at Northampton combined with a 4th at Queen Mary means the Lymington sailor sits just a point behind at the half way stage of the Series.
The four events of the Series are:
Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy, Northampton Sailing Club
John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
Hoo Freezer, Hoo Ness Yacht Club
* From Tyler Carder: While the legal wrangling has been a tad unseemly, it floors me to read the grumpy sentiments expressed about the 33rd America's Cup by Mr. Richard Allen, and Mr. Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe. This edition of the AC features two of the most advanced and exciting examples of sailing science ever produced, and many of us consider this to be the most interesting AC in decades. The thought that, after these amazing multihulls, the AC will get dragged back to those boring archaic lead-bottomed monohulls is horrible.
This boat just had a major refit, painted in 2009 and new timber floor fitted to the cockpit, she is ready to go racing and had been maintained to a very high standard, New keel & rudder in 2003, Boatyard cradle, spares etc available
Brokerage through Crosshaven Boatyard Co. Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/crosshavenboatyard/
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.
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/
NEW! 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