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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Transat Jacques Vabre: Gentle Sunday Start But Biscay Will Bare Its Teeth
A slow but nonetheless challenging, stressful start to the 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre sent 42 entrants in four different classes out of the Seine Basin in the direction of Itajaí, Brasil on the first of the 5400 miles biennial double handed 'coffee route' race across the Atlantic. With tens of thousands lining Le Havre's docks, beaches and the headlands, enjoying a Sunday afternoon stolen from summer, the very light winds and contrary tidal flow made a slow, sticky start.
Instead of the fleet spreading immediately by size and speed, all divisions - 14 Class 40, 20 IMOCA 60s, four Multi50s and four giant Ultimes remained intermixed for the first 20-30 minutes as the duos sought to find the best breeze while countering the tide.
For the five new IMOCA 60s sporting cutting edge foil technology the light NNE'ly breeze was nowhere near enough to allow them any technical advantage. It was a return to heads-out-the-boat basics, spotting the best wind pressure on the water and making best use of it.
There will be an uncomfortable, difficult period in Biscay with winds to 40kts and waves of seven metres during late Tuesday and Wednesday. The silver lining is that the low pressure generating these strong winds appears to be relatively slow moving. That should mean a more orderly sea state than that generated by a fast moving front, but the potentially boat breaking seas will consequently sustained over a longer period.
This evening at 2215hrs UTC/2315hrs CET Jeremie Beyou, skipper of the IMOCA 60 Maitre Coq, told his shore team of a problem with their forestay.
According to the information provided by Beyou, the stay which holds the mast to the bow had unscrewed and so duo, Beyou and co-skipper Philippe Legros, will stop into Roscoff where his shoreteam will be waiting to assess the problem and make a repair.
The problem occurred while the boat was in 4th position after 10 hours of racing.
RS:X World Championships
The RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, concluded in spectacular style with the Medal Races producing nail-biting competition and two extremely worthy world champions. Peina Chen, the 26 year-old super-fit Chinese sailor confirmed her overall win of the Women's World Championship, while an eighth place for Frenchman Pierre Le Coq in the Medal Race was enough for him to retain his leading position and secure the Men's title.
The championship couldn't have finished on a better note with winds in the mid teens resulting in planing conditions that made the Medal Races in the afternoon particularly exciting.
Pierre Le Coq, 26, was unstoppable this week and led the men's division from start to finish.
Aichen Wang (CHN) who finished today's Medal Race in sixth place, and just one point behind Le Coq overall, took the silver medal, while Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) won the bronze.
Eighteen year-old Stefania Elfutina (RUS) maintained her 10th overall in the world championship and clinched the 2015 Oman RS:X Under 21 Women's Windsurfing Championship title.
RS:X World Championship Overall Results (top 10)
Pierre Le Coq, FRA
Aichen Wang, CHN
Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED
Zhichao Zhang, CHN
Piotr Myszka, POL
Mateo Sanz Lanz, SUI
Pastor Lafuente Ivan, ESP
Louis Giard, FRA
IMattia Camboni, ITA
Chunzhuang Liu, CHN
Peina Chen, CHN
Bryony Shaw, GBR
Lilian de Geus, NED
Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL
Malgorzata Bialecka, POL
Marina Alabau Neira, ESP
Charline Picon, FRA
Blanca Manchon, ESP
Jiali Sun, CHN
Stefania Elfutina, RUS
Mini Transat: One Week Until Second Leg Start
The Mini Transat Isles de Guadeloupe competitors met yesterday in Lanzarote. Every solo skipper should have signed in with the organisation from yesterday at 5pm. The first briefing of the week to present the organisation of the prologue will be held today at 10am.
A gentle recovery for the solo sailors of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe. For those who stayed in Lanzarote, it is time to change gears, to switch from holiday mode to a much more industrious atmosphere.
During the first leg, the race director Denis Hugues had some health problems that led to his hospitalization on arrival at Lanzarote. Although he is better today, he cannot be physically present at the start of the second leg.
Together with Denis, the Douarnenez Race Team has therefore implemented an alternative solution that meets federal requirements and allows Denis to continue to monitor the event. François Seruzier becomes race director; Jean-Jacques Quere, who has already assisted Denis Hugues, notably on the Mini Fastnet, will support him in this task. The two will be in permanent contact with Denis.
The weekend reunion of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe began this afternoon in Lanzarote with the Prologue in the waters of Arrecife. The skippers went out sailing, this time not solo, but some accompanied by their local sponsors, others by students from the sailing schools of Puerto Calero, others by relatives and friends. For all of them, the Prologue has been a great opportunity and a unique experience to get to know the minis on the inside and in person.
The Prologue started at around three pm local time, and the Mini Transat Isles de Guadeloupe competitors taught the crew the particularities of their minis 6.50
Dubarry Crosshaven - Preferred By Professionals
For most of us, it's the ultimate contest of man and machine against nature. For Dubarry, it's R&D. After supplying its ever-green Shamrock boot to the professional crew of Ireland's Green Dragon entry in a 2008-09 round the world race, Dubarry's most fanatical designers listened, developed, tested, listened some more, tweaked, analysed and tested again. The result was the Crosshaven boot.
When Green Dragon arrived in Galway at the end of leg 7 for the best party the race has ever seen, elbowing their way through the "craic addicts" was Dubarry's research team, wanting yet more feedback. Their finishing touches sealed the Crosshaven's reputation as the offshore professional's boot of choice. Where's the proof of that? Professional teams chose Crosshaven in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 round the world races.
Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea
Chris Benz Luderitz Speed Challenge
Luderitz, Namibia: This week, new riders came from France and Great Britain to join the others already in Luderitz to attempt to break records.
Antoine Albeau (France) the 22 x World champion in Windsurfing achieved 49.94 kts at the beginning of the day in 25-30 kts of winds only with a bigger sail for light conditions: 6.4m, he was just over 2 knots off his own World Record of 52.05kts.
Most of Antoine's runs achieved 49 kts (4x) and 48kts (3x); Patrik Diethelm, the Italian record Holder achieved 49.79 kts (Best speed for him today and achieved over 49 kts (3x) and 48 kts (3x) close to his record (51.18 kts). The battle for top speeds has been really tight between these two riders.
Many other riders have achieved solid performances in such light wind conditions (light for Luderitz!): Yann Coadic (French windsurfer) who achieved 47.55 kts last year, almost beat his PB (Personal Best) with 47.44 kts.
Manfred Merle (Germany) has been very close to his German National Record of 2013 with 47.3 kts (2013: 47.86 kts) and is definitely targeting the actual Record: 48.82 kts - achieved at the Luderitz Speed Challenge 2014 event by Christian Bornemann
The 3x World Record Holder (1991-1993), Thierry Bielak from France, a specialist in much stronger conditions, has achieved 46.84 kts with an amazing 50.87 kts top max speed in moderate winds.
Weather forecasts have revealed record conditions for next week: coming between Thursday and next Sunday.
*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=3KLk6Gz-ZnU, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*
Storm Trysail Annapolis Fall Regatta
Annapolis, Maryland, USA: After three days of conditions ranging from light to moderate breeze and on courses varying from windward-leewards to a short offshore tour of the Chesapeake Bay, this past weekend's 2015 edition of the Storm Trysail Club's Annapolis Fall Regatta has produced winners after seven races in three scored classes: IRC, C&C 30's, and for the first time in the US, in ORC as well.
Austin and Gwen Fragomen's nearly-new Botin 44 Interlodge walked away with the IRC Class, with a near-perfect scorecard marred only by a second place earned in Race 4 due to an OCS. On a tie-break, Andrew and Linda Weiss's Sydney 43 Christopher Dragon earned the runner-up prize in this 8-entry big-boat class.
Saturday and Sunday featured another five windward-leeward races on a course set south of Thomas Point Light, a location made necessary by the four other regattas being held in Annapolis over this weekend, including the 200+ entries in the Opti Atlantic Coast Championships.
While Interlodge is new this year, this was not the newest boat in the fleet: Jim Grundy's sleek, low-freeboard Harry Dunning-designed 41-footer Baby Bella was just launched and making her competitive debut at this regatta. Also, the Judel/Vrolijk-designed HH 42 being sailed by Glenn Walters is relatively new as well, having just come from her US debut at the US Sailboat Show here in Annapolis.
Using ORC scoring within the same class, Paul Milo's J/122 Orion from Annapolis took victory by a 5.5-point margin, with all bullets and two seconds in the no-discard series. Milo also plans to head south for Key West, but via some distance races as well, including the Ft Lauderdale-Key West Race, the Miami-Havana Race, and Quantum Key West Race Week.
Asked about his feelings on use of ORC for the first time, Milo commented "I think the system is great, it's based on measurements, its transparent, and it seems fair across the boat types. If we offered it more here in the Chesapeake I would definitely consider doing more racing here, particularly the distance races that we enjoy."
Time Expires For LMAX Exchange Or Qingdao To Claim A Podium
The time has passed for either LMAX Exchange or Qingdao to claim a podium position in Clipper Race 2: The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.
With both boats racing on elapsed time, they needed to finish within 86 hours and 10 minutes of the first three teams over the line to finish above them in the placings, and that time passed at 0812 UTC this morning.
This means GREAT Britain is confirmed as the race winner with Derry-Londonderry-Doire in second and Garmin third.
With 210 nautical miles to go for LMAX Exchange, and Qingdao in Stealth Mode, it is going to be a tight finish between the two. It is estimated LMAX Exchange will finish at around 0800 UTC (1000 local) on 26 October, and Qingdao at approximately 1200UTC (1400 local) tomorrow, meaning they are anticipated to finish in 9th and 10th respectively.
* Clipper Race veteran British Skipper Matt Mitchell, 28 is to join ClipperTelemed+ in Cape Town, to lead the team for the remainder of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race following the resignation of its current Canadian Skipper, Diane Reid who is leaving for personal family considerations.
Matt Mitchell has over 120,000 nautical miles under his belt, not only having led a team in the previous edition of the Clipper Race, but in a long catalogue of races including two Fastnets, three RORC 600s, Antigua Sailing Week, St Martin Heineken Regatta, St Thomas Rolex Regatta, BVI Spring Regatta, Le Voiles de St Barths, Cowes Week, Round the Island Race, Hamble Winter Series and ARC.
Race Viewer: clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings
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Built in carbon-fibre, these "flying machines" are 40ft long and have a beam of 23ft. They have a top speed of around 40 knots. Complete with sails, shipping container, with spares and road container negotiable, these well-maintained boats could offer excellent corporate entertainment or activation around another race campaign.
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18ft Skiffs Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.
Gotta Love It 7 trailed the early leader Lumix for most of the course but once the team grabbed the lead approaching the final windward mark the result was not in doubt.
Lumix finished third, a further 31s behind Yandoo, followed home by Asko Appliances, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Euan McNicol), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Micah Lane) and Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn).
An early casualty was the brand new Smeg, which was launched for the first time only minutes before the start.
The crew were concerned that a problem with the mast was too risky to continue in the 18knot North East wind.
The conditions took a toll on several teams with De'Longhi (Simon Nearn), Mojo Wine (James Ward), Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) and Alcatel One Touch (Stephen Quigley) forced to retire.
Spectators were treated to some great action as all the teams drove their charges all the way around the course.
The spinnaker runs were a thrill a minute with centreboards the feature of the day.
There will be more exciting action next Sunday when a full fleet of 19 teams will line up for the first race of the NSW Championship. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
US Sailing Board Of Directors Elect Bruce Burton As President
Dallas, Texas: The US Sailing Nominating Committee named new members of the National Governing Body's Board of Directors, who elected Bruce Burton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) as the next President of US Sailing. The decisions became official on Thursday at US Sailing's Annual Meeting in Dallas at the Homewood Suites by Hilton. Cory Sertl (Rochester, N.Y.) was elected Vice President of US Sailing.
The US Sailing President serves one three-year term. Previous US Sailing President Thomas Hubbell (Delaware, Ohio) has led the organization since November of 2012.
The newly elected Officers of US Sailing's Board of Directors include Martine Zurinskas (Alpharetta, Ga.) as Secretary, Steve Freitas (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) as Treasurer, and Gary Gilbert (Oakton, Va.) as Select Director. These officers were nominated by new President Bruce Burton and elected to their positions by the Board of Directors on Thursday.
New board members Richard Jepsen (Alameda, Calif.) and Ron White (South Bend, Ind.), and incumbents Jim Walsh (Brick, N.J.) and JJ Fetter (San Diego, Calif.) have been elected to serve a three-year term. Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) was elected to serve a one-year term.
Defiance is the 15th and final Marten 49. She was launched in October 2009 for her sea trials in Sydney before being shipped to the USA and was then sailed from Savannah to the British Virgin Islands, where she remained for two and a half years. She was used for light cruising and day sailing around the Virgin Islands during the winters and was laid up ashore in the summers on her own cradle. In May 2012 she was sailed North to Rhode Island to do the early summer racing season and then returned to the British Virgin Islands for the winter 2012/13.
Without question the most up to date and immaculately presented Marten 49 available today.
Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
It isn't the rebels who cause the troubles of the world, it's the troubles that cause the rebels. -- Carl Oglesby
Editorial and letter submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org