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
The Brits Win The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Cup Series
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Ainslie's team sailed extremely well to secure the overall title with a race to spare. With the overall series win, Land Rover BAR earns two bonus points for the next stage of the America's Cup (see below).
ORACLE TEAM USA and skipper Jimmy Spithill pushed hard, finishing ahead of BAR in the first race of the day, but Ainslie was able to sail with controlled aggression to a 4, 2, 3 scoreline, and into the overall series win.
For the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Fukuoka, it came down to a tie-break with Land Rover BAR clawing into a tie with Artemis Racing in the final contest, and taking the regatta by virtue of a better result in the last race.
But with attention shifting to Bermuda and the America's Cup racing next year, the focus was on the overall title and bonus points it confers.
By taking first place on the overall Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series leaderboard, Land Rover BAR has collected two bonus points to carry forward into next year's Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda.
With a second place finish on the overall leaderboard, ORACLE TEAM USA secured one bonus point for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers next year.
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series - OVERALL Leaderboard
1. Land Rover BAR -- 512
2. ORACLE TEAM USA -- 493
3. Emirates Team New Zealand -- 485
4. Artemis Racing -- 466
5. SoftBank Team Japan -- 460
6. Groupama Team France -- 419
Thomson 'Breaks' Gabart's 24-Hour Distance - But Record Won't Stand
Vendee Globe leader Alex Thomson came within a whisker of setting a new world record for the furthest distance sailed solo in 24 hours before a collision in the South Atlantic put paid to his chances. Data revealed today from Vendee Globe HQ shows that Thomson, the sole Briton in the singlehanded round the world race, had sailed 535.34 nautical miles when the starboard foil of Hugo Boss was ripped off by a submerged object yesterday.
The distance sailed by Thomson is actually greater than that set by reigning Vendee Globe champion and current record holder François Gabart, who notched up 534.48 nautical miles in the 2012/13 edition of the race. However the official rules of the record state it must be broken by one whole mile in order to be recognised - and Thomson's distance falls short of that by just 259 metres.
The narrow miss is symbolic of Thomson's luck over the past 24 hours. He was pulling away at the head of the 29-strong fleet when Hugo Boss was wounded in the collision at 1035 UTC.
Where a foil once exited the boat only a stump now remains, something Thomson will have to deal with for the remainder of the race. The ailment has already started to have an effect on the rankings. Thomson has been forced to take his foot off the gas and his healthy 125nm lead has since been whittled down to under 90 nm. Josse, who has moved into second, and Le Cleac'h, in third, have been trying without success to hunt down Thomson since he snatched the lead eight days ago, but they have now started to move in tentatively.
* Bertrand de Broc forced to retire
Following on from the collision that his boat experienced early in the race off Portugal, and after sailing to the island of Fernando de Noronha and diving twice to inspect what was happening under his hull, Bertrand de Broc, skipper of the monohull MACSF, after consulting with Marc Guillemot his Team Manager, has taken the decision this evening to retire from the race.
Bertrand de Broc decided yesterday evening to head for the island of Fernando de Noronha to inspect the hull of his boat. After consulting his architect, Bertrand has been forced to retire from his fourth Vendee Globe. A large part of the hull has in fact been damaged, making it impossible to continue in the race. The deafening noise that is coming from the damaged hull is very handicapping for the skipper, even if he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones. This was a very difficult decision for the successful skipper and his team, who have done their utmost to enable him to continue this solo race around the world. Tackling the Southern Ocean in these conditions, Bertrand knew would be extremely risky. It was therefore the wise thing to do, even if he is very disappointed.
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Atlantic Rally For Cruisers Sets Sail From Las Palmas De Gran Canaria
Following years and months of planning, two weeks of preparations and provisioning and final hours of farewells, the yachts taking part in ARC 2016 made their way out of Muelle Deportivo in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this morning. There was an air of excitement throughout the marina as the ocean adventure truly begins for 1,307 sailors setting off to the Caribbean shores of Saint Lucia.
While the ARC is a cruising rally, there is a start and finish line, and the boats are split into divisions according to size, type and competition. A total of 212 yachts sailing under the flags of 31 nations crossed today's start lines.
It was a particularly competitive start for the 34 boats in this year's Racing Division, providing an exciting spectacle for all watching. VOR70 Trifork and Swan 46 Aphrodite were over the line early and receive a 3 hour time penalty. In the beam reach provided by the NE breeze, asymmetric gennekers were quickly hoisted on many boats, keeping the crews busy soon after the start.
The 152 cruising monohulls, which make up 70% of the ARC fleet, enjoyed classic conditions for their start, with a variety of coloured sails hoisted soon after the 13:00 sound signal.
Conditions look set to give the fleet a gentle first night at sea, with winds staying around 10-12 knots from the East-Northeast. A small area of low pressure mid-Atlantic will be causing the navigators a dilemma, as the easy gains of a northern route may then bring the boats into light winds later on the course. Playing safe by going south may well be the best option for constant, if light, winds this year.
Of the 216 boats in the ARC, 4 are still in Las Palmas; 3 with technical problems delaying their departure, and one boat, Hot Stuff, which has had to return to port following a collision in the pre-start sequence of the Racing Division.
Race tracker: www.worldcruising.com/arc/viewer.aspx
Mauritius To Durban Yacht Race Returns
The Point Yacht Club announced the return of the Mauritius to Durban race, adding to the festivities of the magnificent milestone in the Club's 25th anniversary year.
This will be the seventh edition of the challenging race that is due to start in Mauritius on Saturday, 17 June. The last time this trade wind race was held was in 2005 where Cape Town's Warrior took both the line and handicap honours.
The first time the 1,690 nautical mile event was held was in 1985 and 32 years later, the race returns. Boats entering the race will be eyeing out the record of 6 days, 8 hours and 32 minutes as the time to beat. The extraordinary race record was set in 1989 by the boat Get More Fun skippered by Terry Clarence and owned by Dave Reese.
Speaking about it's return, Commodore for the Point Yacht Club, Craig Millar, said, "I think this is wonderful for the club and wonderful for yacht racing. The Mauritius to Durban race is such an iconic race for our country. It currently is the only international race finishing in home waters. It was so popular in the 80s, being held every couple of years and I am delighted that it is back. I plan to be the first boat to enter!"
No stranger to hard-core sailing, Millar, who was the skipper of the 2005 Durban entry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race concluded, "We have a number of significant events planned in our big year and I think this long haul race rounds off the festivities nicely. Being a yacht club, it makes sense to have a significant yacht race to include in the diary. June is a fantastic month to do the passage and it is just after the other blue water race we are organising, the Vasco da Gama in April."
Corinthian Class Developed For Superyacht Association
The superyacht racing circuit is thriving with new yacht owners coming on the scene every year. Yet stakeholders agree that there is a need to broaden the appeal of superyacht regattas. Recognizing this need, a new class has been developed with the primary goal of attracting more yacht owners and growing participation. The Corinthian Spirit Class offers an alternative to what is viewed by some as increasingly competitive and resource intensive racing.
The new Corinthian Spirit Class is intended to differ with an emphasis on close, fun racing, featuring reduced regatta expenses, streamlined access to a superyacht handicap, and minimal impact on the yacht captain's resources in the lead up to regattas. By addressing concerns about what is required to get yachts 'race ready', this new class will attract yacht owners who have participated in the past and those who have yet to compete.
Event organizers are enthusiastic about offering this option to their racing entrants. "We feel this initiative has great potential for the Superyacht Cup Palma going forward," said Event Manager Kate Branagh. "We know yacht owners who love the superyacht racing scene, but aren't all about the racing. Providing them with an alternative that doesn't require excessive race preparation or augmenting permanent crew, while still enabling them to participate and compete has already been very well received."
The Corinthian Spirit Class features a modified eligibility criteria, with no spinnakers and only jibs on furlers or hanks. With no spinnakers, the need to augment permanent crew is minimized. The handicapping philosophy for the new class eliminates the need to optimize one's yacht for racing.
Small and perfectly formed
Former skiff world champion, Volvo sailor and now Fast40+ class president Rob Greenhalgh has been working closely with Paul Roberts at Customised Composites to develop a better batten solution for today's much more demanding sailplans. It all started with the Moths... but now it's gone a whole lot bigger
Sam Davies, Sophie Ciszek and Ian Walker discuss the new crewing options for the next Volvo Ocean Race with Blue Robinson
New boats and races but for now the rules stay the same... and that's the secret. Rob Weiland
Incredible but true
Patrice Carpentier talks sparmaking with Vendee Globe legend Yves Parlier
Seahorse build table - Any more for any more?
Designer Renaud Banuls creates something exceptional for photographer Clint Clemens
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Viper 640 International Championship Sponsored By EFG
When it was decided that the Viper 640 sports boats would travel to Bermuda during November 2016 for its major regatta, everyone was looking forward to the big winds that prevail on the Great Sound at that time of year. Unfortunately on two of the days too much wind prevailed. The 4-day event, the Aspen Viper 640 International Championship sponsored by EFG, was held from Wednesday - Saturday, November 16-19, in conjunction with the 2016 North American Championship. The regatta came down to only six races over two days of sailing. As was the case on Thursday's second day of the event when 25+ knot westerly winds with puffs well into the 30's kept the racers ashore, the final day's racing also had to be cancelled as the low hovering around Bermuda brought winds well in excess of 25 knots with puffs and frequent rain squalls crossing the Great Sound with wind speeds in excess of 35 knots.
It should be noted that a handful of crews did go for a sail Saturday morning inside the more protected waters of Hamilton Harbor and they were rewarded with spectacular downwind sleigh rides noting that had they been outside in the Great Sound it would been difficult for even the most skilled among the fleet to handle the strong, frequent puffs.
When International Race Officer and PRO Hank Stuart (Rochester, NY) raised Alpha over November, the sailors found the desire to race was countered by the desire to not break boats…or people. As such, Friday's results for the 41 boats held fast. That allowed Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, MD), Brendan Healey (Greenwich, CT), and Ian Coleman (Annapolis, MD) to take home both the International and North American Championship trophies. Justin Scott (Darien, CT) sailing with Rob Crane (Darien, CT) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, MA) claimed second place, also winning the Governors' Cup (top finishing skipper over 55 years of age). Geoff Fargo, Jeff Grange, and Spencer Steffen, all hailing from Santa Barbara, CA, were third and also the top placing Corinthian crew.
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* From Don Street, Jr: Regarding the November 5 Newport Bermuda record attempt reported in Scuttlebutt on both sides of the Atlantic, the planners did not do their research well. The weather between Newport and Bermuda begins to get unstable in early October and becomes more unstable by the week.
In November long range weather forecast are good for about 36 hours MAXIMUM ,and very unreliable after 24 hours I pointed this out in the first article I ever wrote, Going South September 1964 Yachting. The article has been re written re published six or seven times in the last fifty years. The subject has been covered by a dozen and a half published letters to editors.
The last few letters have stated that Routing services should stop giving long term weather forecasts in late October, November and December as they are just too unreliable.
I am not a meteorologist, just an experiences sailor who has done about fifteen fall trips from the east coast of the states to the Caribbean and for sixty years have observed the fall weather as it affects boats heading south.
My views on unreliability of long term weather forecast in the fall is backed up by Bob Rice weather guru to numerous American cup campaigns.
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The Last Word
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