Photo by Maria Muina/ MAPFRE. Click on image to enlarge.
Sanya, China: Guillermo 'Willy' Altadill, son of one of the biggest names in Spanish offshore sailing, has the chance to make his own reputation in the Volvo Ocean Race after being called up for the fourth leg by MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez/ESP).
He follows in the footsteps of his father, also Guillermo, one of the biggest names in the history of the 41-year-old race, who competed on board Fortuna (1989-90), Fortuna/Galicia'93 Pescanova (1993-94), Assa Abloy (2001-02), Ericsson (2005-06) and Team Russia/Delta Lloyd (2008-09).
The team has also announced that Iker Martinez, the Spanish boat's skipper, will again miss the forthcoming Leg 4 from Sanya to Auckland to continue his pre-Olympic training in the United States. He also missed Leg 3 for the same reason.
Xabi, who won gold and silver Olympic medals with Iker, will again step up as stand-in skipper. Iker will, however, be returning for the fifth stage - longest and arguably toughest - from New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil, through the Southern Ocean.
Altadill jnr., meanwhile, couldn't believe his luck at being given his first taste of the Volvo Ocean Race at the tender age of 22, the second youngest in the current edition. Only Liu Xue ('Black'), 21, of Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) is younger.
He will replace Anthony Marchand (FRA), who is missing the 5,264-nautical mile stage to Auckland to undergo dental surgery on a troublesome tooth that plagued him during the third leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya.
The fleet, still missing Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) which is being rebuilt after hitting a reef in Leg 2, departs for Auckland on Sunday for the fourth stage of nine. Dongfeng Race Team carry a one-point lead ahead of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR).
Strong Southerlies Curtail Hardy Cup Day One Racing
Sydney, Australia: New Zealand sailor Chris Steele today made an impressive start to the prestigious Hardy Cup ISAF Under 25, Grade 3 match-racing regatta on Sydney Harbour following his close victory last week in the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in Perth, Western Australia.
In contrast to the final racing in Perth which was curtailed by light winds, today's opening flights were cut short as a strong southerly wind freshened to more than 25 knots, gusting to 30 knots and more.
Steele and his 36 Below crew from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron won two of their three flights today but heading the leaderboard after the limited first round robin were Australians Jay Griffin from Sydney's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Sam Gilmour from Perth's Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, who each came through unbeaten with five wins each. -- Peter Campbell
Round Robin 1 results from day one:
Sam Gilmour (RFBYC, WA) 5 wins, 0 losses
Jay Griffin (CYCA, NSW) 5 wins, 0 losses
Chris Steele (RNZYS, NZL) 2 wins, 1 loss
Matthew Jerwood (SoPYC, WA) 2 wins, 2 losses
Harry Price (CYCA, NSW) 2 wins, 2 losses
Jordan Reece (RSYS, NSW) 2 wins, 2 losses
Sam Mackay (RPNC, NZL) 1 win, 3 losses
Milly Bennett (RPAYC, NSW) 1 win, 3 losses
Sam Ellis (CYCA, NSW) 1 win, 3 losses
Claudia Thackray (RSYS, NSW) 0 wins, 4 losses
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:
Alex Pella (ESP)
'Fast on the sea, great fun on the shore' - Garcia Asier; 'Sir Robin is a superstar but Alex's result was magnificent... and with an all- Spanish project!' - Santiago Cuervas-Mons; 'Great performance assembling a team in a country where sailing has such a low profile' - Jose Verges; 'King of the Atlantic' - Xoan Campos; 'Good job... now for that big sponsor' - Carles Antic; 'Alex is the best this month but Sir Robin is still the boss!' - Juan Rivas; 'To win the Rhum without a sponsor is quite outstanding' - Jesus Renedo.
This month's nominees:
Peter Burling (NZL)
Wow... there's winning and there's winning! More than 170 Moth sailors turned up in Sorrento for the 2015 worlds, with countless Olympic medallists and 'upper-echelon' America's Cup sailors. But the world no1-ranked 49er helm quite simply crushed all of his opposition to end up with nine race wins out of a possible 14. Being big helped in a windy series... but brilliant boat handling helped more
Dave Hollom (GBR)
Yes, we're certainly a little biased when it comes to giving one of our regular writers a bit of a puff but... as the record books show, some 67 International 14s lined up for the 2015 worlds in Geelong of which the stunning total of one boat (sic) was drawn by our multiple model yachting and gliding champion. And that one boat, in the hands of Glenn Truswell and Sam Pascoe, wrapped up a tough series with a day to spare
Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!
Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month/vote-for-sailor-of-the-month
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Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor marine diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX®. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.
Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX® liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.
Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?
Gunboat 55 Catamaran Rainmaker Dismasts And Abandoned
The first new Gunboat 55, RAINMAKER, dismasted on 30 January 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras. She was 36 hours into a passage from the Gunboat yard in North Carolina to St Martin in the Caribbean when a vicious squall hit.
Gunboat founder Peter Johnstone broke the story on their Facebook page here, reporting that squalls had been in the 40-knot range for most of the day, but it was when "a full whiteout squall hit with winds at up to 70 knots" that the rig came down.
Onboard Gunboat 55 RAINMAKER was her owner, Pinterest investor Brian Cohen, his son and three professional crewmembers. The carbon mast and rigging was cut away without holing the boat and there were no reported injuries. The decision was taken to abandon the US$2.5m catamaran.
A US Coastguard helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 1700 local time and successfully hoisted all five crew from RAINMAKER. They were transported to Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, North Carolina, and reportedly arrived in good condition.
One Jacket To Rule Them All
When Australia won the world-renowned yacht race the America's Cup in 1983 for the first time in history, then-PM Bob Hawke famously declared on the TODAY show, "I tell you what, any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up today is a bum!"
But making the moment even more memorable was the former PM's attire, as he proudly donned a white jacket emblazoned with the kind of patriotic patterning regularly produced for tourists in gift shops around the country.
The jacket features the word "Australia", along with a mosaic of the national flag and a map.
Three decades on it has been revealed the unique clothing did not belong to the former politician.
The jacket's rightful owner, Perth architect Paul Burnham, told the TODAY show he had snuck into the media room at the Royal Perth Yacht Club where Mr Hawke was conducting media interviews, and had the jacket passed along to Mr Hawke.
"The last time I had it out was my daughter's history lesson at school, a show and tell on Australian prime ministers, so the museum kindly let me take it out and use it," he said.
"It's not the ideal fashion statement," Mr Burnham smiled.
Rainbow II Back In Waitemata Harbour
Chris Bouzaid already prowling the decks as Rainbow II slips back into the Waitemata Harbour. Click on image to enlarge.
Rainbow II went back into the waters of the Waitemata Harbour today, nearly 45 years since she was lifted aboard a freighter bound from Auckland to Germany where she would challenge for yachting's One Ton Cup.
Rainbow clinched victory off Heligoland on 20 July, 1969 - the same day that Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and in so-doing, the 36ft S&S design, built by Max Carter for young sailmaker Chris Bouzaid, ignited a rocket of her own, launching New Zealand into a blitz on every major offshore racing event in the world until Kiwis ruled ocean racing - on and off the water.
She emerged from the Vos Shed over the weekend and today was re-christened at Pier 21 by John Street's wife, Lorraine, in front of a gathering that included Bruce Marler, who was commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and a driving force behind Rainbow's campaigns for the Cup, current RNZYS commodore Andy Anderson, and Rainbow II crew stalwarts Roy Dickson, Alan Warwick and Peter Shaw.
One more than interested observer was Bouzaid's son Richard who, as a four-year-old, first tasted "stardom" when the Auckland Star newspaper photographed him sitting in the trophy that his father et al had just won in Germany. Richard is most definitely a chip off the old block, an international sailmaker of repute and a well-regarded offshore racer in his own right.
Rainbow is now on a berth outside the RNZYS where the final bits of her restoration will be completed, including the anti-skidding of the deck and cabin top. She will then start her sailing build up for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's five-race One Ton Revisited regatta scheduled to start on 28 February. -- Alan Sefton
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* From Malcolm McKeag: re: Sadi Claeys, Past-vice president ISAF, says "I wish to answer to the letter from Malcolm McKeag concerning the waters in Rio" then titles his letter " re: Blaming ISAF for the pollution in the water in Rio." He then goes on to pass the buck to the IOC which "should take the appropriate actions to protect their athletes."
But I did not and do not "[blame] ISAF for the pollution in the water in Rio." I asked, and ask, what is ISAF going to do about the fact that the Rio Games organisers intend that the sailing regatta be held in heavily polluted and sewage-strewn waters which they now admit that they cannot clean up?
ISAF owes its very name (changed post-1984 from IYRU to ISAF for this very purpose - and called ISAF only because the IOC already had on its books an ISF - looking after skiers) to its claim to the International Olympic Committee that it was the world governing body for the sport of sailing and that concerning the inclusion of sailing in the Olympics IOC should treat only with it.
The IOC accepted IYRU/ ISAF as what it calls an 'IF' - an International Federation. Sadi Claeys tells us that "ISAF is still responsible for the appointment of the race officials, the jury, the measurers etc.' This what the IOC, on its website, says are the duties of an IF: "The IFs have the responsibility and duty to manage and to monitor the everyday running of the world's various sports disciplines, including ... the practical organisation of events during the Games." So according to the IOC, ISAF is responsible for running the Olympic regatta - not just appointing officials. And it appears, from Sadi Claeys letter to Scuttlebutt Europe, that ISAF intends to run the Olympic regatta in seriously polluted waters. Let us all hope that none of the "race officials, the jury, the measurers etc" fall in.
* From Eddie Mays: When reading Mr Sadi Claeys' response to Malcolm McKeag's letter the words 'Buck' & 'passing' come to mind but I think that he (Sadi Claeys) may be right. It is not ISAF's problem. It is the problem of a world where the vast majority of our neighbours live below the 'poverty line' but where luckily we, the more fortunate ones, don't go very often or for very long.
The National Authorities also have the right to abstain and not send their competitors to somewhere that is possibly / probably dangerous for their health but no doubt the quest for Gold will be the overriding criteria.
After the IPC's decision yesterday with regard to Paralympic Sailing it would appear that our sport is not held in very high estime anyway. Not TV friendly
I apologise to your numerous readers for being cynical
* From Peter Wormwood: The last sentence in Sadi Claeys' rebuttle to concerns about the polution in Rio accurately demonstrates why sailors no longer feel represented by ISAF - "IOC should take the appropriate actions to protect their athletes." NO - ISAF, as the sailing representative to IOC, should take the appropriate action to protect THEIR athletes TO IOC. If our governing body doesn't step up and represent us, who will?...and, if not, why do we allow them to continue to be our governing body?! Their whole reason for being is to serve the sailing comunity...and that starts with protecting health and safety.
Unfortunately, the sailors are too weak individually to have success boycotting the venue. However, if the governing body of sailing refused to allow ITS ATHLETES to be endangered, I'll bet a new site up or down the coast could be organized pretty quickly. We in America already have a blueprint of how to handle an unresponsive governing body located in England. Maybe it's time for us to remember our roots and lead the rest of the sailing world into a revolt that will lead to a representative and inclusive form of government.
* From John Burnie: It has been announced by the International Paralympics Committee that sailing with be excluded at Tokyo Olympics 2020. According to the IPC this decision was made because sailing "did not fulfill the IPC Handbook's minimum criteria for worldwide reach."
The IPC Handbook states ... "only team sports widely and regularly practiced in a minimum of 24 countries and three IPC regions will be considered for inclusion in the Paralympics Games and for individual sports a minimum of 32 countries in three IPC regions."
The RYA /ISAF apparently will lobby the IPC regarding this decision - I have little confidence there will be any reversal of the decision without some loud support from the sailing communities. Powerlifting (included for Tokyo 2020) may well meet the criteria - but I would be surprised if the actual numbers participating in that particular sport exceed those actively involved in sailing. Time for some support below?
"A petition has been launched by Will Matthews, from Cowes in Britain, on the change.org website calling for the IPC to reverse their decision. By the end of Sunday it had already been signed nearly 4,000 times." (Mathew Sheahan - Yachting World).
Editor: the direct URL to the petition is
And as of this evening it had nearly 6800 supporters.
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The Last Word
Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. -- Jim Carrey