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
Flying Dutchman Disposes Of Barkow & Anyon
Perth, Australia: Match racing is a cruel sport, there is no second, just winners and losers, and Sally Barkow and George Anyon were reminded of this today in brutal style. Both have been eliminated from the Match Cup Australia with Dutch sailor Pieter-Jan Postma defeating both and making it through to the Super 16 Round.
The elimination of Barkow, a Tour Card holder, could be the first in a series of upsets in this regatta.
At the end of the group fleet racing stage of the event, there were clear leaders in groups one and two, but group three continued to provide close competition, with three teams tied for first place. In group one, Chris Steele ruled the roost despite having to count average points for today's four races, due to boat damage.
In group two, Taylor Canfield was the class act, chalking up a total of six wins and two second places, to win the group by nine points.
Frenchman Yann Guichard, and Australians Torvar Mirsky and Evan Walker all finished the series with 22 points in group three, and only one point back in fourth place is Ian Williams.
While on the first day the teams were challenged by light and shifty conditions, today it was all blood and guts, with winds in the 20 to 25 knot range, and plenty of crashes and capsizes.
The event is being hosted by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and sailed on the Swan river. Tomorrow it is all match racing and the elimination of eight further teams, with the finals being sailed on Saturday.
Match Cup Australia
Results Day 2: Qualifying
1. Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing - 13 points
2. Phil Robertson (NZL), Robertson Racing - 16
3. Matt Jerwood (AUS), Redline Racing - 20
4. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing - 32
5. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), ESSIQ Racing - 35
6. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Sailing Team NL - 41
1. Taylor Canfield (ISV), US One - 10
2. Steven Thomas (AUS), RPM Racing - 19
3. David Gilmour (AUS), Team Gilmour - 28
4. Nicolai Sehested (DEN), EWII Racing - 35.4
5. Jonas Warrer (DEN), Warrer Racing - 36
6. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32 - 44
1. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team - 22
2. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing - 22
3. Evan Walker (AUS), KA Match - 22
4. Ian Williams (GBR), GAC Pindar - 23
5. Mans Holmberg (SWE), CFA Sports - 30
6. George Anyon (NZL), RNZYS Performance Program - 37
Vestas 11th Hour Racing Launch Volvo Ocean Race Campaign
Vestas are returning to the Volvo Ocean Race for a second consecutive edition, after launching their 2017-18 campaign in partnership with 11th Hour Racing at simultaneous events in Newport, Rhode Island and Aarhus - where it was also announced that the fleet will make a 'fly by' of the Danish city on the final leg
Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. The team are the fourth to announce for the upcoming edition, which begins on 22 October, and they will use the race to promote a sustainability message around the world.
Enright and Towill had their first Volvo Ocean Race experience as skipper and Team Director of Team Alvimedica in 2014-15.
Vestas competed in 2014-15 as Team Vestas Wind - running aground on Leg 2 and rebuilding the boat against all odds to make a landmark return in Lisbon at the start of Leg 8.
This is only the second time in the Race's history, and the first since 1993-94, that three major team sponsors have returned for a second consecutive Race - with Vestas, Dongfeng and MAPFRE all back on the start line. Team AkzoNobel take the total number of confirmed teams to four with seven months still to go to the start of the race.
The Volvo Ocean Race also revealed that a mark of the course will ensure the fleet will sail close to Dokk1 in Aarhus on the final leg of the 2017-18 race between Gothenburg and The Hague - giving the people of the city a great view of the competing teams on their One Design Volvo Ocean 65s.
Twenty-five Danish sailors have competed in the race to date and two teams have raced under the Danish flag - SAS Baia Viking in 1985-86 and Team Vestas Wind in 2014-15. Vestas 11th Hour Racing will sail under Danish and American flags.
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Zhik, the dynamic Australian based apparel brand, has been at the forefront of innovation, pushing the boundaries in design and fabric technology for all sailors since before the Athens Olympics.
There was clearly scope to bring in technically proficient gear to help athletes win gold.
Zhik gear is now the winning choice of numerous Olympic and World champions around the world.
Zhik are the official suppliers to the Extreme Sailing Series, World Sailing, the Australian Olympic team, and our technical ranges are used on board a number of America's Cup teams.
After success in dinghies, Zhik set about designing some brilliant yachting gear. Zhik Isotak™ and AroShell™ wet weather gear is rapidly becoming the choice for racing sports boats and Vendee Globe sailors. Our Isotak offshore range™ has recently been proven by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to have four times more waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions.
Racers Get Ready, Regatta Ready!
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Over 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' will be prefaced by the 2nd Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighboring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Sailors are invited to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime Centennial Salute during Friday's race to the Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
An impressive class of five Offshore Catamarans certainly shows that STIR is where the big cats roam. Back for its third year is Fault Tolerant, a Gunboat 60 sailed by Rye, NY-based couple, Robert and Libby Alexander.
Flow, another Gunboat 60, owned by Stephen Cucchiaro from Boston MA, beat Fault Tolerant to win this class in the 2016 STIR and Flow will be back to defend its title.
Fujin, a Bieker 53 built by St. Croix, US Virgin Islands-based Gold Coast Yachts, will certainly be an entry to watch. The catamaran, owned by Greg Slyngstad from Sammamish, Washington, won the Offshore Multihull class at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta earlier this month.
Another class entry poised for the podium is Touch2Play Racing, a J/88 Canada's Rob Butler brought down after enjoying racing in STIR last year aboard his same-named VXOne. Butler invited Jeff Johnstone, president of Newport, RI-headquartered J-Boats, to crew with him for STIR and if there is anyone who knows how to make a J-boat go fast its Johnstone.
One-design classes are certainly growing in regatta participation and this year STIR welcomes the C&C 30s.
STIR organizers welcome two Danish Royal Navy sailing ships, the THYRA and SVANEN, which will be participating in both the Round the Rocks and STIR. The ships are 60-foot Bermuda rigged international open-ocean racers which are used as cadet training ships for future Danish Royal Naval officers.
Five days of racing in perfect Key West conditions made it clear that in 2017 we are in for a tough battle for all three spots on the podium. After 10 races it was Quantum Racing who in light conditions sailed near-faultlessly through the final two days (2,1,1) to come back from being well off the podium and take their first win from a pack of six boats that were all still in contention for second on the final run of the final race. The less consistent teams made up positions 8 to 11 but all showed potential. Sled with a 2nd and 3rd, Gladiator with a 1st, Alegre with a 3rd and 4th and we all applauded Paprec for their first and certainly well-deserved race win since joining the 52 Super Series.
With a bit of breeze, say from 9kt, this year as yet there is no visible performance spread between the boats. Where last year one could still see differences upwind now these are gone. If anything you sometimes see boats show good downwind speed. One of these is Rán, over the years always strong downwind, so I tend to credit helm and crew for that. Boats going faster or slower downwind than previously can often be related to changes made to the keel fin. These changes are nearly always primarily made to achieve better characteristics upwind and then unavoidably show up downwind. Of course sail design plays a role too but this is hard to quantify for the outside observer.
In Key West all eyes were on Interlodge, the new Botín Partners-designed boat. No doubt she is fast and it looks like she might be too fast to ignore in the sense that it might prove hard to optimise the 2015 boats to get to her potential once she is sorted out.
Rob Weiland's full editorial in the April issue of Seahorse:
Playtime For Plutocrats
The America's Cup is the greatest prize in yachting, known the world over as the oldest continual trophy in sport.
But it wasn't always very sporting. Over its history, huge fortunes have been wagered as billionaires and robber barons squabbled like children in the name of sporting glory. Their enormous yachts were graceful works of art, but the dueling egos of the owners often turned the racing ugly long before the starting gun.
The America's Cup has seen only brief periods of amicable racing and sportsmanlike conduct. Long forgotten are Lieutenant and Mrs William Henn, who in 1886 challenged for the Cup with their luxury live-aboard Galatea, towing their dinghy behind them. Galatea's interior boasted a Victorian iron fireplace, mirrors, paintings, potted palms and leopardskin rugs, along with a menagerie of domestic animals that included a cat, a dog, a raccoon, and a monkey named Peggy who helped haul up the sails. Gone too are the days when jovial tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton endeared himself to the America public as the gracious loser of five consecutive America's Cup challenges over a period of thirty years.
In the 1890s, yachting began to attract wealthy plutocrats, some with more money than sense. The 4th Earl of Dunraven - a hugely admired Edwardian aristocrat and dandy, fond of big game hunting, and co-author of a book on Spiritualism with homerotic overtones - crossed the Atlantic to pit his skills against those of a NYYC clique that included J.P.Morgan, William K Vanderbilt, August Belmont, and Henry Astor Carey. He challenged twice for the Cup, and twice failed to lift it. By now big boat yacht racing racing was a huge tourist draw in New York Harbor, and Dunraven felt he was unfairly and deliberately impeded by the large spectator fleet of following steam vessels. His belligerent nature came to a boil when he openly accused the NYYC defender Oliver Iselin of cheating by adding ballast overnight to lengthen the defender's waterline. Dunraven lost the ensuing inquest, was ejected from the NYYC, ridiculed even in his own country, and disappeared from public view.
Several decades later, evidence came to light that suggests Dunraven may have been on to something after all. The American yacht had a top secret inflatable bladder in its rudder, operated by a dedicated crewman Ed Wood who was sworn to secrecy and kept far away from the inquest. 'Floodable' ballast later became common on racing yachts, but at the time it was a likely violation of the rules. -- Thomas Dolby
HCL Technologies, the global IT services provider, is backing the Volvo Ocean Race as official IT services provider - developing and delivering IT solutions for the 2017-18 edition of the 45,000 nautical mile race around the world.
The partnership provides a unique opportunity for HCL, which boasts extensive infrastructure and offices in 32 countries, to work in collaboration with the race to deliver a world-class IT platform, helping fans follow the boats during their eight-month ocean marathon and at Host Cities around the world.
The IT infrastructure being built in collaboration with HCL will be the backbone of Volvo Ocean Race's streaming and TV production for key events such as arrivals, departures and the In-Port Race series.
The J Class Association are delighted to welcome Cloudy Bay, New Zealand's most renowned wine, as our Principal Partner for 2017 and beyond. The partnership between J Class Association and Cloudy Bay officially commenced on March 15th with the start of the St Barths Bucket,
Cloudy Bay was established in 1985 by David Hohnen, a pioneer and visionary, who was convinced of New Zealand wines' great potential. The winery was among the first five to be established in Marlborough, the country's finest wine region, and is now highly regarded for the superlative quality and consistency of its wines. Thirty years later, Cloudy Bay remains New Zealand's most recognized winery. Sauvignon blanc is the estate's flagship grape variety. Cloudy Bay also produces a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a delicately sparkling wine, Pelorus.
Cloudy Bay belongs to the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group.
The 2017 Yacht Racing Forum will be held in Aarhus. Denmark's second biggest city will host the tenth edition of the leading annual conference for the business of yacht racing, on November 27 - 28. A perfect & newsworthy destination: the city of Aarhus is the european capital of culture in 2017; the city will also host the 2018 Sailing World Championships, and is ideally located at the heart of Europe.
The event is organized by MaxComm Communication, and presented by Aarhus Events, Sport Event Denmark, Visit Aarhus and Sailing Aarhus.
The conference will focus on the theme "Growing The Sport"
The following modules will be discussed
-Design & Technology
-Marketing & Media
-Sports governance & Event Management
-Risk Management & Safety
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has today welcomed a ruling by Danish authorities that have placed injunctions on all Danish operators placing Burmese teak on the country's market.
The decision follows EIA's submission of evidence that Danish timber company Keflico violated the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and sets a precedent for other EUTR Competent Authorities.
Denmark's actions follow a November 2016 decision in Sweden where enforcement officials successfully prosecuted Almtra Nordic for breaching the EUTR.
Due to the high risk of illegality and a fundamental lack of transparency by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (a state-owned company responsible for the cutting and export of timber in Myanmar), it is not currently possible for any company to successfully apply due diligence to Burmese teak.
"The Myanmar Timber Enterprise needs to urgently address illegality within its operations and provide access to independent monitoring of its operations - or risk permanently losing access to Europe's lucrative teak market," said EIA forests campaigner Peter Cooper.
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The Last Word
No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. -- Alan Watts
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