Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, 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 email@example.com
Esimit Europa 2 Take Line Honours
The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 17 yachts had officially retired from the race by 11:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. The Race Committee has received no reports of any injuries to crew from the fleet.
Last night, the 100ft canting keel Maxi, Esimit Europa 2, skippered by Jochen Schumann, was outside record pace for the course but this is the fourth time Esimit Europa 2 has taken Line Honours for the Rolex Middle Sea Race and that has never been achieved before. Royal Malta Yacht Club Commodore, Godwin Zammit, presented Esimit Europa 2 with their fourth line honours flag.
Niklas Zennstrom's Maxi 72, Ran V, finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race about three hours after Esimit Europa 2 to set the 'bar to beat' for the yachts still racing
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie has emerged as the hot favourite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize.
While the rest of the seven-strong fleet were left some 90 miles plus in their wake, searching for the gusts which would finally propel them back into contention, skippers Ian Walker (GBR-Abu Dhabi) and Bouwe Bekking (NED-Team Brunel) were powering clear towards the island of Fernando.
They still have just over half the 6,487 nautical miles to complete the opening leg between Alicante and Cape Town but the experienced pair already look to have made this a two-boat sprint to the finish come the first week of November.
For Team SCA's British navigator Libby Greenhalgh, it was a particularly frustrating night after the women closed a large gap on the rest of the fleet of around 75 miles by Tuesday only to fall back again once they too hit the Doldrums.
Bekking, the 51-year-old Brunel skipper who is competing in the Race for a record-equalling seventh time, knows all about the frustrations of trying to 'race' through the Doldrums when the winds and fates seem stacked against you - or rather are just not there.
"Throwing the dice we hate. We prefer to act on facts and figures. But then I can reflect as well that sometimes 'luck' is with you and sometimes against. But in the end it will even out."
It also helps to have a navigator on board with the towering experience of Andrew Cape (AUS), as Bekking does, or Simon Fisher (GBR) on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
Williams And Stanczyk Lead Groups In Argo Group Gold Cup Qualifying
Hamilton Bermuda: Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar who is #1 on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and stands #2 in ISAF rankings going into Stage 6 at the Argo Group Gold Cup had a nearly perfect first day in the Argo Group gold Cup. He won all four of his matches but stands on 3.5 points.
Williams tried to cross Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa in a close match and failed to make it. Bruni's bow roller caught William's backstay and the two boats twirled away locked together for what seemed like an age. Both skippers were penalized 1/2 point for the incident. Williams leads Group 1 going into flight 6 on Wednesday.
Leading Group 2 is Marek Stanczyk (POL) Henri Lloyd Rainmaker Racing, a former Polish Match Race Champion. He finished the first day with a perfect 4 points and no losses. Stanczyk defeated Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, Eric Monnin (SWI) Swiss Match Racing Team, Nathan Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing.
Taylor Canfield ((ISV) US One, top seed in Group 2, has 3 points. He is joined there by Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Racing Team and Staffan Lindberg (Fin) Alandia Sailing Team
Sailing starts again on Thursday at 9:00 ADT with more Qualifying matches. The forecast for Thursday calls for winds of 18 to 22 knots in the morning decreasing to 12 to 18 in the afternoon. Isolated showers and a risk of thunderstorms throughout the day.
It's all change at the Tour Voile as the event goes multihull (much to the approval of Francois Gabart), a look at the extraordinary 'Ultime' line-up in the 2014 Route du Rhum, a stirring tale of courage and calm from the Tasman, an epic 31st Hamilton Island Race Week and something a little better than PHRF. Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis
Seahorse build table - Cool as ice
Giuliano Luzzatto catches up with an ultra-slippery new offering from Umberto Felci of Felci Yacht Design
Sailor of the Month
Just keep plugging away (and you'll get there)
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Giles Scott Makes Star Debut in the SSL Finals 2014 at Nassau
Nassau, Bahamas: The list of champions taking up the invitation to the second Star Sailors League Finals, organised by the Nassau Yacht Club for December 1st to 7th 2014, is getting longer by the week.
After the recent announcement of the first 12 competitors, who gained automatic access to the SSL Finals because of their positions in the Skipper Ranking, and the first guest star, London 2012 gold medallist, Freddy Loof, it is the turn of the very young but also very promising Giles Scott. Now virtually a certainty for the British Olympic squad, the rising star is also seen as a natural successor to Ben Ainslie who has retired from that side of the sport to devote himself full-time to the America's Cup.
Unbeaten in 2014, Scott repeated his brilliant double of 2011 this year to become both Finn European and World Champion.
The SSL is also growing fast and looking set to hold plenty more big surprises in the coming weeks. The hottest tips on the water will be Robert Scheidt, who has won five Olympic medals, two in the Star class, London 2012 Star champion Freddy Loof, top-ranked SSL skipper Diego Negri, Robert Stanjek, World Champion 2014 at Malcesine, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Gold Star and two-time Olympic medallist, Xavier Rohart, bronze at Athens and two-time World Champion, and many more.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao
Qingdao, China: It was a light wind, big wave finish at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the medallists were decided across the six fleets competing on the waters of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) had wrapped up gold in the Men's RS:X the day prior but intriguing battles for gold across the remaining fleets played out in a tense day of competition.
The stakes were high with Qingdao medals on the line, a share of the prize money and invitation places at stake for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final set to be held at the end of November in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Next up for many of the racers is the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 26-30 November.
Top three by class:
1. Jordi Xammar / Joan Herp, ESP, 30 points
2. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 34
3. Onan Barreiros / Juan Curbelo Cabrera, ESP, 37
1. Mengxi Wei / Yani Xu, CHN, 15
2. Xiaomei Xu / Ping Zhang, CHN, 26
3. Shasha Chen / Haiyan Gao, CHN, 28
1. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 28
2. Pavls Kontides, CYP, 36
3. Tom Burton, AUS, 46
Laser Radial Women
1. Dongshuang Zhang, CHN, 25
2. Tina Mihelic, CRO, 36
3. Sara Winther, NZL, 38
1. Byron Kokkalanis, GRE, 30
2. Aichen Wang, CHN, 46
3. Max Oberemko, RUS, 49
1. Jiali Sun, CHN, 53
2. Olga Maslivets, RUS, 61.40
3. Hongmei Shi, CHN, 83
Full results: www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
ISAF Sailing World Cup Website
Cowes Etchells Winter Series
Cowes Etchells winter series was reduced to just one day, Sunday 19th October, Saturday the 18th had a horrid forecast so racing was cancelled on the Friday night, but for the few who did venture out onto the bramble bank on the Saturday sailing the conditions were not ideal, in fact rather strange with 20 degree jib backing wind-shifts, the racing was unlikely to have been great.
But 9 teams made it to the starting line on the Sunday morning and were greeted by 17kts gusting 22, that gradually increased to 22 gusting 26, from a SSW direction over an ebbing time that made for a slight to moderate sea state. Three races were sailed.
For the Cowes Fleet's league season results it was Shaun Frohlich first, David Franks second and Rob Goddard's Stampede third who also won the Corinthian league.
Sailing in Etchells for many of the fleet continues in Hong Kong and Miami over the winter, before racing starts again in Cowes next April. -- Rob Goddard in Yachts and Yachting:
RYA Eric Twiname Youth And Junior Team Racing Championships
This weekend (18-19 October) winning glory went to 'Gingernut and Assorted Biscuits' and team '420' as they were crowned 2014 RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing champions in their respective events.
The biggest team racing event in the world was held at Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir, with 23 Junior (under 16) teams and 27 Youth (under 19) teams competing for championships honours.
Following a full day's racing on Saturday with 10 rounds completed on both the Youth course with Fireflies and the Junior RS Feva course, standings started phenomenally close on the Sunday. The Youth fleet saw 11 of the 27 teams fighting for seven places that make up the Gold A Fleet, while there were three teams in the Junior fleet who had all lost only one race each.
However, with Sunday bringing gusts of up to 42 knots, racing soon came to a close at lunchtime after only one more round of stage one was possible, resulting in the event winners being decided from the final standings in the round robin stages.
2014 RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships results:
1. Gingernut & Assorted Biscuits (Hayling Island SC/Royal Torbay YC)
2. 420 (Datchet Water Sailing Club /Frensham Pond SC)
3. RS Tera Assoc 1Youth
1. 20 (Warsash SC/Royal Lymington YC/ Spinnaker Sailing Club)
2. Sevenoaks School
3. Winchester College
Full results: enter.sailracer.org/events/
ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 20 October 2014 have been released.
- Men's RS:X racer Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) climbs to World #1 following ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao victory
- Australia's Tom Burton (AUS) retains World #1 in the Laser after Qingdao bronze
- Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp (ESP) continue their rise after first senior title at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao
- Ups and downs in the Laser Radial after World Cup Qingdao.
Top ranked sailors by class:
470 Men: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
470 Women: Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA
49er: Jonas Warrer / Peter Lang / Anders Thomsen, DEN
49er FX Women: Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA
Laser Men: Tom Burton, AUS
Laser Radial Women: Marit Bouwmeester, NED
Finn: Bjorn Allansson, SWE
Nacra 17 Mixed: Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA
RS:X Men: Byron Kokkalanis, GRE
RS:X Women: Flavia Tartaglini, ITA
The full ISAF World Sailing Ranking lists, results from all ISAF Graded events, lists of Graded events throughout the year, Ranking release dates and the method of calculation for the Rankings can be found on the ISAF website at www.sailing.org/rankings
2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Finance Challenge Launched
Over 150 finance professionals participated in the inaugural Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week Finance Challenge in 2014 and due to its success, the 2015 event will not just be repeated, it will be staged over five days instead of just one. It will be organised in partnership with Sunsail, the newly appointed Official Charter Sailing Partner of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, using Sunsail's identical fleet of 30 Sunsail Match First 40s from 10 to 14 August, 2015.
The winners of last year's regatta, Aberdeen 1, followed by Deloitte Blue, with Red Funnel M&G 1 in third, have already expressed an interest to participate.
A daily prize giving will be held in Sunsail's hospitality area in the lively Cowes Yacht Haven and the overall Challenge champions will be awarded the perpetual Finance Challenge Trophy on Friday 14th August.
All finance companies racing in the Sunsail Match First 40 class will be eligible to enter and Sunsail has allocated a portion of its 30 strong fleet for finance companies wishing to take part.
The 2015 regatta takes place from 8 - 15 August.
Those companies wishing to enter the Challenge should contact Alex Tredget of Sunsail Events at firstname.lastname@example.org
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* From Euan Ross: The Volvo Tracker - correction: This stuff drives us all nuts, but bear with me. If you have updated to 64 bit Chrome as I have just done, the Volvo Tracker's Unity Web Player download link delivers incompatible software. It simply does not work, as an earlier correspondent noted. You have to download a different 64 bit Unity Player (run an internet search for this) and then restart your long-suffering computer. Then the cumbersome process works as we have suggested. Now let's get back to the sailing!
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