Bob Gough – The Texas Sailing Association (TSA) has a long tradition of producing champion racers that have bested the best at events all over the globe. But none of that would have been possible without the support of many selfless Texans who volunteered to run world class events in their home waters. To honor Bob Gough, one of Texas‘s legendary race officials, a new event to be held January 28 and 29 has been launched… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
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Following on from the hugely successful Coastal Series over the last three days, competitors at the Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta are enjoying a well-earned rest in preparation for tomorrow’s big race. Event details – Facebook – For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Key West, FL (January 19, 2017) – By winning the final race of the highly competitive 52 Super Series and with it the class championship, Doug De Vos’ (Ada, MI) Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week hosted by the Storm Trysail Club… event website. Event details – Scoreboard – Facebook… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Key West, FL (January 20, 2017) – Showing the winning hallmark of a crew that are current 52 SUPER SERIES champions, and three times holders of the title, Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing team came back from an uncharacteristic high scoring, mid-regatta, three-race slump, to close out the first regatta title of 2017, triumphing in today’s last race of Quantum Key West Race Week… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
The International Lightning Class Association is now accepting applications for the 2017 Lightning Boat Grant Program. This award-winning program is celebrating its eleventh year and presents recipients the opportunity to compete in one of the most popular one-design classes from June-October 2017. Two select teams will be chosen. These teams will receive a Lightning sailboat with all of the equipment necessary to compete, reimbursement for entry fees and gas and a mentor for the season. Candidates must be 19 years old. Applications and proposals are due by January 31, 2017. Full Report.
Since its creation in 1907 as the International Yacht Racing Union sailing’s peak body has been British based. One hundred ten years later, the organisation now known as World Sailing has reach a fork in the road… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE! by Rob Kothe
Mental state has a lot to do with performance. Races can have unexpected twists that result in situations you weren’t expecting, and maintaining a positive mind state can be tough when your days on the water are long. North Sails Expert Mike Marshall, 2016 J/22 World Champion and nominee for the 2016 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, shares advice on maintaining a successful mental state: For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Key West, FL (January 19, 2017) – Solid, consistent sailing over the nine races sailed so far for the 52 SUPER SERIES fleet at Quantum Key West Race Week sees Ergin Imre’s Provezza crew go into the one race final day showdown holding a two points cushion over three boats all locked up on the same points tally.
The Provezza team finished their 2016 season disappointed. As one of the key contenders for third overall on the end-of-season podium, their challenge faltered at the final hurdle when they went 9,9,9 from the last three races at the EGNOS Cup in Cascais last October.
The short off season was put to the best possible use, the post season debrief and analysis resulted in small changes to the crew line up, to their boat, set up, looking to make strengths from their weaknesses.
Biggest change is Peter Holmberg coming in to steer. Since an eighth and ninth from Monday’s opening two races Provezza have yet to win a race at this regatta but their fifth and third today is typical of an assured consistency which sees them with a fighting chance of winning the six event season’s first regatta.
“We made a few changes, a couple of crew changes a couple of mode changes to the boat, a few sail things. It’s just a lot of small refinements.” Tactician and project manager Tony Rey explains, adding with a smile, “We’re still capable of a disaster like anyone else. But we feel good, we’re sailing the boat well and we’re going better in light air, which we haven’t done in the past.
Race Schedule for the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES
Quantum Key West Race Week, January 16– 20.
52 SUPER SERIES Miami Royal Cup, March 6 – 11.
TP52 World Championship SCARLINO 2017, Scarlino, May 15 – 20.
Porto Cervo 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, June 20 – 25.
Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, July 23 – 28.
Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, September 18 – 23.
Source: 52 Super Series
Bridgetown, Barbados (January 19, 2017): The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta concluded in spectacular style today with sunshine, a good working breeze up to 17-18kts, and a relatively flat sea. The 15nm course took the fleet out to the west, followed by a long windward leg to Oistins, not far off South Point. The conditions made for a particularly exciting conclusion to the Series with results in some classes going down to the wire. Full Story.
Key West, FL (January 19, 2017) – Four classes are up for grabs with one race remaining at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week. Tomorrow’s lone race for all classes will decide the winner in the 52 Super Series, J/111 Class, J/70 Class and the ORC Class.
Two races were held today, Marine Partners’ Day, in light winds between 6 and 9 knots from the southeast. These were held after a harbor postponement this morning that was signaled to allow the light northeasterly wind to shift around to the forecasted southeasterly.
After posting finishes of 2-1, Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key was named Boat of the Day. Skeleton Key also took over the lead in the J/111 Class with the low score of 24 points.
Skeleton Key won the class last year but got its defense off to a slow start with an 8th in Race 1. Since then the crew from Northern California has steadily climbed the leaderboard while the early series leader, Rob Ruhlman’s (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff, has been dropping. In the past four races Skeleton Key has finished 1-3-2-1 while Spaceman Spiff has finished 3-9-3-5.
“Today was all about being flexible. It was a very challenging day,” said Wagner, a two-time All-American sailor in the late 1980’s. “We’re always very confident in our boatspeed, the trick is to put ourselves in position to use it. We didn’t see a bias on the racecourse to one side or the other, so we tried to maintain tactical flexibility. That allowed us to benefit from boatspeed.”
Spaceman Spiff trails Skeleton Key by 4 points and now has to keep an eye over its transom at Jeffrey Davis’ (Cleveland, OH) Shamrock, which has 29 points.
“I have a lot of respect for the Spaceman Spiff guys. They sail their boat very well,” said Wagner. “The conditions were so challenging today that it was easy to come out on the wrong side of events. We were fortunate to be able to improve our position today and that’s all that we could hope for.”
The challenging conditions led to a shuffling of the order in the 52 Super Series and J/111 classes, and a tightening of the order in the ORC Class.
Ergin Imre’s Provezza IX from Turkey, with Peter Holmberg (St. Thomas, USVI) driving and Tony Rey (Middletown, RI) calling tactics, took over the class lead. Provezza IX posted a 5-3 today and leads with 40 points. Doug De Vos (Ada, MI) helmed his Quantum Racing to finishes of 2-1, good for low point boat of the day in the class, and moved into a three-way tie for second in the standings, 2 points behind Provezza IX.
Quantum Racing is tied with Harm Müller Speers’ Platoon from Germany, which had led since Monday, and Alberto and Pablo Roemmers’s Azzurra from Argentina. Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán from Sweden is also in the mix, placed fifth with 43 points.
Full report and highlight video… click here
(January 19, 2017; Day 34; 22:00 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT have been eating up the miles in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world. The IDEC SPORT Maxi trimaran will soon be leaving the South Atlantic. Francis Joyon and his crew of five should be sailing into the Northern Hemisphere early this evening. This morning they are progressing at around 400 miles from the Equator keeping up speeds of around twenty knots as they head north. Full Report.
(January 19, 2017; Day 75, 22:00 FR) – French sailor Armel Le Cléac’h today won the Vendée Globe in one of the most thrilling finishes the solo round the world race has ever seen. Le Cléac’h was crowned victor in the long-running battle with British skipper Alex Thomson for the top spot in the solo round the world race.
Le Cléac’h, 39, sealed the win, and a place in the Vendée Globe history books, crossing the finish line at 1537 UTC to complete the course in 74 days, three hours and 35 minutes. His time sets a new record for the race, beating the previous record of 78 days 2 hours 16 minutes set by French sailor François Gabart in the 2012-13 edition by three days, 22 hours and 41 minutes. Dozens of spectator boats took to the water to welcome their new hero back to the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne, from where the race started on November 6 last year.
Le Cléac’h, runner-up in the last two editions of the Vendée Globe, said he had now fulfilled a lifelong dream. “This is a dream come true,” he said. “I hoped to win this race 10 years ago but I finished second. Today is a perfect day. I understand that today I have done something big. My team have been amazing they’re the dream team, and this is their day too.” Le Cléac’h also paid tribute to Thomson for his skill and tenacity in pushing him right to the finish line.
Le Cléac’h took the lead within 24 hours of the race start but had lost it to Thomson by the time the skippers, both racing on new-generation foiling IMOCA 60s, reached the Equator. After catching Thomson in the Southern Ocean the pair traded places on numerous occasions before Le Cléac’h established a solid lead on December 3.
From that point on he refused to relinquish his grip on first place despite a sensational effort from Thomson to reduce an 819nm deficit at Cape Horn to just 50 miles at the Equator. Even when Thomson surged to within 30 miles of Le Cléac’h with a few hundred miles to go the French sailor held strong, defending his position until victory was all but guaranteed.
Le Cléac’h averaged an incredible 15.43 knots of boat speed over the 27,455 miles he actually sailed, on occasion hitting speeds in excess of 30 knots. His best 24-hour run came on January 16 when Banque Populaire covered 524.11nm averaging 21.8 knots, surpassed only by Thomson who on the same day sailed 536.81nm averaging 22.4 knots, breaking François Gabart’s existing record by two miles. Le Cléac’h held the top spot for 56 of his 74 days at sea, and between him and Thomson they broke every single one of the existing race records.
Thomson is expected to cross the line between 0600 UTC and 0900 UTC in one of the closest finishes the race has ever seen.
Ranking (Top 5 of 29 as of 22:00 FR)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), Finished, 74d 03h 35m 46s
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), 75 nm to Finish
3. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), 636 nm
4. Quéguiner – Leucémie Espoir, Yann Eliès (FRA), 1912 nm
5. StMichel-Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), 1922 nm
(January 19, 2017) – Last month the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted the conclusion to the fourth year of the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). Altogether 147 sailors, 28 teams from 17 countries participated in the 2016 season, sailing 747 matches, fighting for a share of the prize of USD 222,000. June saw a new event and venue, the Helsinki Women’s Match in Finland. The benchmark event, Lysekil Women’s Match, followed in August, in September the World Championship and Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, WI. Swedish World #1 Anna Östling and team won all these three events. Full Report.
(January 19, 2017) – Next month, more than 70 yachts are expected to take part in the RORC Caribbean 600, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s stunning race around 11 Caribbean islands. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua. With 16 entries, the largest number of American boats ever seen on the race course will include several serious race teams with a chance of winning the overall trophy. Full Report.
Virtual Vendée Globe 2017 winner Matthew Johnston beat more than 450,000 virtual skippers to the top spot, taking 72 days, two hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds to complete the race. The 38-year-old from Adelaide, Australia, spoke moments after his boat Mangina-PYR crossed the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m just your average guy from Australia with a wife and three kids. For work, I’m a computer systems engineer at a power station up in the north west of Western Australia, so I’m a bit of a nerd by trade.
What’s your sailing background?
I’ve been sailing since I was six, through local dinghy classes. I worked my way up to 14ft skiffs and was travelling round the world sailing them with a good mate of mine from Australia. Then, I had kids and all of that got put in the back pocket, but now I’ve jumped back in and I’m sailing Etchells with a couple of great mates in Australia.
How did you get into playing Virtual Regatta?
I love sailing and I’ve been playing Virtual Regatta for a few years now. I first dabbled with it in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race and then started to take it a little bit more seriously in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s just gone from there.
How much sleep have you had over the past few months?
I’ve limited amount of sleep on some nights, whereas some nights I’ve slept like a baby. The Southern Ocean is a great thing, you can just set up your boat and forget it, and sometimes you don’t have to look at it for two days. Going through the Doldrums is a bit of a different story, you don’t get much sleep then and it feels like you’re actually on the boat.
What were the key moments in the race?
The timing between Christmas and New Year, as we were approaching the Equator close to the coast of South America was one, I jumped to the front. There was a group of 10 or 12 of us that managed to squeeze through a weather system and get to the north and the trades. That was basically the race. From there the rich got richer and that was it.
How does it feel to win?
I’m ecstatic, I’m over the moon. It’s one of those things you don’t even consider at the start of the race. I was joking with a Swedish friend of mine, who was also playing the game, that after the horrible start I had, there was every chance I’d win the race, because every time I’ve had a bad start in the past I’ve ended up going ok. The joke has become a reality.
Are you looking forward to getting back to reality now?
My wife would like me to come to bed every now and then, so that’s one thing I’m looking forward to. But I love the game, I’m basically addicted to it. If there’s a Virtual Regatta Anonymous group out there I’m ready to join it.
Noordwijk, The Netherlands (January 18, 2017) – The Dutch Hobie Cat class association together with Coastal Sailing club Noordwijk (ZVN) are inviting all Hobie Cat sailors and aficionados to attend the 2017 Hobie® Multi Worlds & Europeans in Noordwijk. Eligible Hobie classes will compete in their respective World or European Championships from July 20 – 29, 2017. There has been a growth in Hobie sailing especially in the Hobie 16 and Hobie Dragoon in recent years. In hosting the Worlds and Europeans, the country hopes to confirm their position in the hotspot of catsailing, the Hobie Cat. Full Report.
(January 18, 2016; Day 33; 21:45 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT is eating up the miles in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world. IDEC SPORT is less than 1000 miles from entering the Northern Hemisphere. At 17°S this morning, the big red and grey trimaran is climbing up the Atlantic pushed by the Brazilian trade winds, allowing Francis Joyon and his men to keep an average of 25 knots as they continue in their attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy. Full Story.
By Chris Beeson, Yachting Monthly
James Jermain has tested hundreds of yachts in his 30 years as Yachting Monthly’s chief boat tester, here he looks at the main keel types, their typical performance and the pros and cons of each type of keel.
The performance and handling of a yacht depends on many things, but perhaps the most important single feature is the shape of the hull and the profile of the keel. Over the years hulls have become shallower and keels narrower, but for many types of sailing this progression is not necessarily progress. Of the various shapes that have evolved, each has its own advantages in different circumstances. Here is a run-down of how they may fit your sort of sailing.
Fin Keel with Spade Rudder
This keel type has a low wetted surface area and aerofoil shape, which means speed and agility. It is the most common modern option, usually combined with light but beamy hulls with high freeboard.
The Pros for General and to Windward sailing of the fin keel include:
* Low wetted surface and good aerofoil shape means good speed, high pointing and quick tacking
* Light steering
* Best designs can slice through heavy seas in reasonable comfort
The Cons for General and to Windward sailing of the fin keel include:
* High volume, light-weight designs can be lively and tiring in heavy weather
* Flat sections can cause slamming
* Less steady on the helm, requiring more work and concentration
* Strong tendency to round-up when hard pressed
* Generally require earlier reefing
* Can be unstable when hove to
Downwind sailing pros of the fin keel include moving fast through the water and the boat will be quick to surf and may even plane. Cons of the fin keel are that the boat can broach easily and suddenly or it can be directionally unstable and hard to control in heavy conditions.
Under power, boats with the fin keel have precise handling and turn tight and quick, and some handle almost as well astern as ahead, while there is a limited lateral area so the boat may be susceptible to beam winds at low speeds, and an unattended helm can slam over suddenly.
When the Bayview Mackinac Race made the shift in 2016 to use the ORR rating system for its longer Cove Island course (259 nautical miles), the race continued using PHRF for the shorter Shore course (204 nautical miles). However, in 2017 the 93rd edition of the race has eliminated PHRF from the Shore course in favor of ORR-EZ. Full report.
Key West, FL (January 17, 2017) – To the delight of the more than 600 sailors competing in the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, Day 2’s racing nearly mirrored Day 1’s memorable conditions.
Today, Lewmar Day, offered more stellar racing in 15- to 20-knot winds amid sunny skies and warm air temperatures. To borrow from a familiar phrase, ‘Race. Rinse. Repeat’.
“It was another challenging, windy day, but these are the conditions you expect down here,” said Kris Werner, tactician for Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) J/88 Hijinks. “We made the comment sailing in both days to take a look around: it’s just beautiful here. We’ve had two perfect days of sailing and couldn’t ask for more. It’s been great.”
Hijinks is Weyler’s first boat. She’s never competed at race week before and today is a day that will live in her memory forever. Hijinks was named Boat of the Day after posting victories in both races. The crew now has the low score of 5 points and leads Ryan Ruhlman’s (Bratenahl, OH) Spaceman Spiff by 6 points.
“This is very exciting,” said Weyler. “I have an outstanding crew.”
“It was her idea to come here and do this and get the whole Key West Race Week experience,” said Werner. “It’s a little beyond her skill set to handle the boat on the start line so she’s crossing the rail and soaking it all in.”
Ruhlman’s father, Rob Ruhlman (Cleveland, OH), sailing the J/111 Spaceman Spiff, said that conditions like today are what keeps him coming back year after year. “I’ve done race week 15 or 20 times and like the format. I like that it’s not a two- or three-day regatta. It’s always a great experience. Very few places are like Key West,” said Rob Ruhlman.
With two 2nds today, Spaceman Spiff leads the J/111 Class with the low score of 7 points. Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, the defending class champion, moved up to second by winning both of today’s races and trails by 6 points.
“Our buddies on Skeleton Key sailed really well today,” said Rob Ruhlman. “I’m happy that we were able to dig out of a few holes. We dug out from 4th or 5th at the windward mark in the first race and had a bad start in the second race. The racecourse seemed very open. There was no particular emphasis on one side or the other.”
As for staying ahead of Skeleton Key, Rob Ruhlman said, “We beat them both times yesterday, so they can be beat. They’re a good team, but this class is very good. The boats are incredibly evenly matched; it’s close, tight racing. The winner is usually the team that doesn’t make mistakes. It’s very diff from a boatspeed standpoint to make up lost ground.”
In the Flying Tiger 7.5m, Nigel Brownett’s (Long Beach, CA) Hogfish Racing won both of today’s races and has a 1-2-1-1 scoreline, good for a 4-point lead over Brian Tyrell’s (Benton City, WA) 04. Brownett is sailing with longtime friends Andrew Kerr (Seattle, WA), Jahn Tihansky (Annapolis, MD) and Paul Molenda (Chicago, IL).
“We’re still getting up to speed on the boat but seem to be getting a handle on it,” said Brownett, who admitted to being a bit banged up by the conditions. “There was huge wind yesterday and today. It’s typical Key West sailing, the stuff you come to expect and why we come here.”
In the 52 Super Series, Ergin Imre’s Provezza IX from Turkey, with Peter Holmberg of the U.S. Virgin Islands driving and Tony Rey calling tactics, had the low score of the day with 4 points from two 2nd-place finishes and climbed up to fifth in the standings with 21 points. Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon leads with 14 points.
“We had a discussion on the way out about how badly we had done the day before and set our goal for ourselves to back each other and be a team and to rebuild our confidence and get back on the horse,” said Holmberg, a past match racing world champion. “The team did an awesome job. We sailed the boat really well and got some good results.”
Todd Stuart’s (Key West, FL) White Rhino (Swan 56) won the lone race in the Performance Cruising Class. White Rhino finished 30 minutes ahead of Ken Johnson’s (Stoughton, WI) Grateful Red and corrected out to a 13-minute victory.
“We’re switching up the crew positions every race,” said Matthew Mullan, the boat captain. “We’re worried that if the wind gets lighter our friends on Grateful Red will bring out their new sails and give us a run. They don’t want to use the new sails in winds over 20 knots and the mainsail they’re using has done at least two trans-Atlantic crossings.”
The ORC Class saw Alex Sastre’s (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m) take the daily win with a 3-1. High Noise moved up to third in the standings, but Chris and Karen Lewis’ (Houston, TX) Kenai (J/44) and J.D. Hill’s (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) still hold 1-2 in the overall standings, separated by 2 points.
In the J/70 Class, Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network from Italy posted another solid 1-2-5 and leads with the low score of 14 points. Tim Healy’s (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes holds second with 26 points while Glenn Darden’s (Fort Worth, TX) Hoss is third with 36 points.
Dan Cheresh (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 also put up some more steady finishes, going 1-3-1 on the day to lead the class with the low score of 8 points, good for an 8-point lead over Kip Meadows’ (Raleigh, NC) RoXanne.
Racing resumes tomorrow with the first warning signal for all three divisions scheduled at 11:00 am.
Racing is scheduled for January 16 to 20.
Source: Storm Trysail Club
(January 17, 2017) – On his black and yellow boat, wearing the IMOCA Hugo Boss’s colours, Matt Johnston and his entry Mangina-PYR have won the 2016-2017 Virtual Vendée Globe Edition. At the end of a very tight race, and after more than 26,000 nm around the world, this virtual sailor arrives ahead of 451,000 players.
New Zealander Derek Watt (NZ-Eligo ‘’IST”) and Frenchman Didier Flament (Didflam) complete the podium.
After the start on November 6, it took 72 days, 2 hours 23 minutes and 10 seconds to sail virtually around the globe, which started and arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne. For over two months on the Virtual Regatta’s flag game, competitors tuned their settings, continuously analyzing the weather to select the best route. It’s a young Australian from Adelaide, in South Australia, who wins this virtual circumnavigation.
In 540th place at Cape of Good Hope, (which is the first of the three major capes in this circumnavigation), Mangina-PYR, as the boat is named, began its climb up the ranking. Moving up to 288th at Cape Leeuwin in the southwest of Australia, and then 142nd at Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of the American continent, the skipper has crossed the Equator and entered the northern hemisphere in 12th, then taking the victory today in Les Sables D’Olonne.
Johnston beats by 2 days and 10 hours the former Lilian Launay’s reference race time. On this circumnavigation, he will have sailed 26,592.20 nautical miles at an average speed of 15.4 knots.
“Shortly before the Vendée Globe start, I have been lucky enough to take part in a sailing championship with Michael Coxon of the Australia North Sails,” said Johnston. “His experience and his common sense have been very helpful to me. It mainly advised me to go as fast as possible in the different transition phases, but also to descent and climb up back as fast as possible in the Atlantic Ocean. That’s what I’ve tried to do and it worked pretty well. I’m very glad of this victory in the Virtual Vendée Globe. It’s incredible.” – Read on
The qualification system has been released for the 2018 Sailing World Championships set to be held from July 30 to August 12 in Aarhus, Denmark. The Sailing World Championships are held every four years and is the largest gathering of Olympic class sailors. Competition will be held in the same ten Olympic events from the Rio 2016 Games plus Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding. Full report.
(January 16, 2017) – Sail Canada has announced the recipients of the 2016 Sail Canada Awards and the Rolex Sailor of the Year Finalists, which are Peter Wickwire, Paralympic SKUD team of John McRoberts and Jackie Gay, and Paralympic Sonar team of Paul Tingley, Scott Lutes, and Logan Campbell. Full report.
(January 16, 2016; Day 31; 23:30 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT have seen their lead evaporate in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world. After enduring a period of light winds, IDEC SPORT is now moving slightly more to the east trying to find the SE’ly trade winds which should take them to the Equator. Full report.
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup was a new event in 2013, organized by the America’s Cup Event Authority, delivering four days (Sept 1-4) of racing during the break between the conclusion of the challenger finals and the start of the 34th Match.
The event was deemed a success, such that eight sailors from the ten teams have now found positions on America’s Cup boats. So the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will occur again in 2017, with initial qualifiers on June 12-16 followed by the finals on June 20-21.
Among the 12 teams – representing 12 countries – is Next Generation USA representing the United States. The team is made up of six sailors, ages 20 to 24, with many different sailing backgrounds and experiences.
Helmsman Carson Crain and wing-trimmer Matthew Whitehead, a veteran from 2013 Youth America’s Cup, are fresh off Olympic campaigns in the Men’s RS:X windsurfer and Nacra 17 multihull, respectively Tactician Reed Baldridge and bowman Markus Edegran have recently completed successful college sailing careers and are pursuing sailing as a profession. Scott Ewing, soft sail trimmer, is a multi-talented skiff and multihull sailor, and Preston Farrow brings experience on the GC32 and knowledge of the Bermuda venue to the team.
Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck caught up with Carson for an update:
Share your emotion on being selected.
I really wasn’t sure what would happen. In the end, it came down to only two teams competing for the USA spot. It could have gone either way. I was notified our team was selected right before Christmas but we had to keep it a secret until the announcement today. That has been tough.
Tell us about your qualifier.
It was last November in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. To prepare, we had been competing in Marstrom 32 events throughout the summer as well as some other multihull regattas. But for the qualifier, we were required to sail the GC32, which is a high performance, production foiling catamaran.
So we had to go to Europe to find one, and decided to work with Iker Martinez, a multiple world champion and Olympic medalist, and his crew on their GC32, Movistar. We were able to spend a solid five days training on the GC32, and then rolled into the qualifier which was two days of evaluation by Hans Peter Steinacher from Red Bull.
Now that you are selected, what’s your plan to prepare for the Youth America’s Cup?
We are currently in Spain training with Iker Martinez and his team. We have a full schedule of training for the next five months leading up to the event that includes training in Spain and Bermuda. Iker will continue to be our coach through the Youth America’s Cup event.
The 16th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference, to be held June 3 in Marblehead, MA, provides an all-day event for women of all skill levels to learn or enhance a variety of recreational sailing skills through land and water-based workshops. Featuring keynote speaker Sally Barkow, an Olympic sailor, two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and member of Team SCA in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, Sally offers unique insights and experiences that can be applied to sailing and to life. Details.
(January 15, 2016; Day 30; 22:02 FR) – Winds have died off for Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world. Now along the latitude of Buenos Aires, their latest 24 hour run of 502 nm has decreased their lead to 2022.5 nm (-114.1 nm) ahead of the current time set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds. Details.
The Chicago Yacht Club Mackinac Committee have released a revision of the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations for monohull entrants in the 2017 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac to align them closely with the US Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements. At 289.4 nm, the start dates for the 109th edition are July 14 and 15. Full report.
(January 14, 2016; Day 29; 22:02 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT are heading offshore from Argentina in their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world.
Nearly at the latitude of Buenos Aires, their latest 24 hour run of 473 nm has increased their lead to 2136.6 nm (+142.3 nm) ahead of the current time set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Status as of 22:02 FR
Distance to Finish: 5686.5 nm
24 Hour Distance: 473 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 19.7 knots
Ahead/Behind: +2136.6 nm
A longtime maker of high-end components for sailboats has severely scaled back operations as it searches for a new investor to rescue the financially troubled business and its 52 employees.
The situation at Hall Spars & Rigging became dire when a deal to sell the company to a new owner suddenly collapsed in late December, President and CEO Thomas Rossi said in an interview with the Providence Journal. The company had to shut down for the holiday season and is now operating with fewer than 10 employees, he said.
“It was very disappointing and very abrupt,” said Rossi. “I was forced … to tell people a week before Christmas that they are being furloughed.”
Hall, founded in 1980, is renowned for manufacturing composite parts, including masts, for high-performance sailboats, including America’s Cup yachts. It has grown to include locations in Holland and New Zealand, which are under separate management and are not affected by the situation in Bristol.
“Hall U.S. is in a different predicament. We are victims of the 2008 recession and the associated loss or drop in discretionary spending, which results in very little boat building being done in the U.S.,” Rossi said. Most of the European work is being done by our Holland facility and a lot of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Rim work is being done in New Zealand.”
Rossi, a retired Navy commander who has held executive positions at Anteon Corp. in Middletown and Caton Connector Corp. in Kingston, was brought on board Hall Spars last July. His charge, he said, was essentially help “right the ship.” He succeeded Eric Hall, the company founder, who stayed on as chairman.
Since the company has developed expertise in fabricating strong, lightweight parts of carbon fiber, Hall has sought to diversify into other industries, such as aerospace, Rossi said.
“We changed course to not only support our marine customers, but growing our non-marine work,” Rossi said. “But that course change probably came too late. We hit some significant challenges.”
Rossi, however remains optimistic.
“Our hope and our efforts continue to be to recapitalize the company and to bring those employees and customers back,” Rossi said. “There’s definitely people, local and abroad, that are interested in Hall U.S. surviving and have expressed interest in buying.
(January 13, 2017; Day 69) – British skipper Alex Thomson is pulling back crucial miles on Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac’h in the last 24 hours, executing his final play to take the title. Thomson revealed yesterday that in order to stand a chance of overhauling French skipper Le Cléac’h before the finish of the solo round the world race he must get to within 50 miles of him in the next few days.
At the 1100 UTC position report yesterday Thomson’s Hugo Boss was 227 miles adrift of Le Cléac’h’s Banque Populaire VIII as the pair passed to the west of the Cape Verde Islands. At the same time today that deficit was down to 151 miles as light winds forced Le Cléac’h to slow to just three knots, almost four times slower than Thomson’s 11.9 knots.
Thomson too will see speeds drop as he hits the dead spot but with several days of light-wind sailing ahead before stronger south-easterlies fill in near the Azores even the smallest of gains were welcome.
Thomson was not the only one with reason to celebrate. Crossing the Equator yesterday in 13 days, three hours and 59 minutes after rounding Cape Horn, Jean-Pierre Dick set a new race record for the passage. He shaved almost 16 hours off the reference time of Vendée 2012-13 winner François Gabart of 13 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes. In fact, four skippers have bedted Gabart’s time:
Alex Thomson – 13 days, five hours and 30 minutes
Yann Eliès – 13 days, seven hours and 20 minutes
Jean Le Cam – 13 days, seven hours and 57 minutes
In stark comparison, race leader le Cléac’h was almost 32 hours slower than Dick over the same distance, but his woes did not stop there. His losses caused by a painful crossing of the Doldrums were today laid bare. Fifteen of the race’s remaining 18 skippers made gains on Banque Populaire over the past seven days.
Frenchman Eric Bellion has been by far the biggest winner in the last week, pulling back 641 nm on Le Cléac’h, with Jean-Pierre Dick was next in line making back 388nm. Only Thomson and 17th-placed Pieter Heerema lost ground on Le Cléac’h, Thomson dropping 26nm to the leader and Heerema losing 10nm.
The current ETA in Les Sables for the Vendée Globe leaders is Thursday January 19.
Ranking (Top 5 of 29 as of 22:00 FR)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), 1761 nm to finish
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), 122.6 nm to leader
3. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), 624.63 nm
4. StMichel-Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), 1114.7 nm
5. Quéguiner – Leucémie Espoir, Yann Eliès (FRA), 1277.0 nm
(January 13, 2016; Day 28; 22:37 FR) – Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT are in the final leg of their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world.
While they had to wait a short while for the low-pressure system to leave Argentina, Joyon and his men are now making good progress towards the north on a good point of sail. With strong winds and a good angle, plus decent seas ahead of the low and a crew that managed to get some rest in the calm conditions off the Falklands… everything is falling into place off Argentina to get back up to the incredible speeds we have seen from the IDEC maxi-trimaran over the past four weeks.
“We’re going along at 27-30 knots on a very easterly bearing, which will gradually swing around to the north,” Clément Surtel, one of the five men in Joyon’s band of warriors, is calmly looking ahead to the next few days aboard IDEC SPORT, as they deal with the various hurdles in the South Atlantic.
“With the big gennaker at 140° to the wind, on manageable seas, it’s smooth sailing time again. Yesterday was a day of extremely light airs, allowing the weary foot soldiers to get some rest and carry out an inspection of the boat,” explained the sailor in charge of the technical aspects. “I saw that there was some wear I hadn’t seen before.”
This goes to show how hard they have in fact been pushing the boat since 17th December. “We dealt with all these little problems and the boat is back to 100%. We’re pleased to get back up to speed this morning. We’re on our way home now. We are focusing on the boat and looking forward to a positive outcome. We need to remain focused until we get to Ushant.” Incidentally, Clément Surtel is a cousin to Servane Escoffier, Louis Burton’s wife. The skipper taking part in the Vendée Globe is just ahead of them and they were able to exchange a few e-mails.
Clear skies, flat calm seas, favourable winds… the helmsmen have however not yet finished with their gloves and protection. “We’re still down at 50°S and at night, it’s chilly, so we sleep with our wooly hats on,” said the youngest member of the crew, Gwénolé Gahinet, still in awe of the sights around the Falklands yesterday. “We enjoyed rounding the Horn and passing the Falklands. Since this morning we have got back up to high speed. We’re expecting 30-35-40 knot winds in the coming hours. That’s quite windy, but we don’t have that nasty swell that goes with it sometimes. We will turn off to avoid the worst of the low this evening between 1600hrs UTC and 2300hrs UTC.”
Their latest 24 hour run of 429 nm has slightly increased their lead to 1994.3 nm (+122.5 nm) ahead of the current time set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Status as of 22:37 FR
Distance to Finish: 6228.4 nm
24 Hour Distance: 429 nm
24 Hour Speed Average: 17.9 knots
Ahead/Behind: +1994.3 nm
The 53rd Congressional Cup regatta, the second stop on the World Match Racing Tour, will host seven of the world’s top 10 match racing skippers when it takes place this year on March 27 to April 2 in the waters off Long Beach, California.
The Congressional Cup is regarded the ‘granddaddy of match racing’ as Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) innovated the game of match racing in 1965 and was a pioneer in on-the-water umpiring. The seven-stop WMRT global series commences in Australia in March and concludes in China in November.
Returning to defend his Congressional Cup Championship title is three-time winner Taylor Canfield, ISV (ranked no.1 by World Sailing), who will vie to match Peter Holmberg’s record of four Congressional Cup victories (1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002). Leading the opposition is Phil Robertson, NZL (no. 4) – who edged out Canfield in last year’s WMRT finals to capture the 2106 World Match Racing Champion title.
Other past Congressional Cup winners on the leaderboard include 2011 and 2012 victor Ian Williams, GBR (no. 2), and Johnie Berntsson, SWE (no. 37), who triumphed in 2009. Sam Gilmour, AUS (no. 3), Eric Monnin, SUI (no. 9) and Nicolai Sehested, DEN (no. 23) also join the line-up, along with Chris Steele, NZL (no. 6) who is carrying a WMRT Tour Card for the first time.
Steele scrapped his way into Congressional Cup history via the Ficker Cup qualifier in 2015; earning a wild-card entry in 2016. “We have been chasing the Tour Card for several seasons now and have been falling short every time, so we are super happy to have it for the 2017 season,” Steele announced.
Making his Congressional Cup debut is another rising star from the land down under, Harry Price, AUS (no. 5), who scored his slot by winning the 2016 US Grand Slam – a bracing quartet of back-to-back match racing regattas held last summer. The final contenders will be decided in the Ficker Cup qualifier, held in the days leading up to Congressional Cup.
While other WMRT Championship Events are raced in M32 multihulls, the Congressional Cup is challenged in a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for LBYC’s match racing series; which guarantee an even platform and exciting competition. Gilmour, who finished third last year, described it as, “some of the most exciting racing I’ve ever done,” and lauded LBYC for both the high level of racing, and hospitality.
The Congressional Cup is hosted by LBYC, renowned for its outstanding hospitality and organization, utilizing the talents and energy of more than 300 member volunteers annually. Since 1965 the world’s top ranked skippers have come here to compete for the esteemed Congressional Cup and the Crimson Blazer – an honor bestowed to sailing icons like Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner, Taylor Canfield and more.
Racing is held directly off the city’s Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can view this world class competition for free, beginning around 11AM each day.
For more information on Congressional Cup visit www.thecongressionalcup.com
Background: In 2013, Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the design and production rights to the one-design M32 catamarans. In July 2015, Aston Harald AB acquired the World Match Racing Tour, which then began the use of the M32 during the 2016 Tour. Launched in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by World Sailing.
For further information; www.wmrt.com
Source: Congressional Cup, Scuttlebutt
Ventusky, a web application which displays weather from around the world, has introduced a unique wave visualisation system to its online tool. With the help of animated arcs, it shows the movement of waves in the oceans and seas across the world.
The map clearly depicts how waves propagate across the water’s surface in relation to the wind. The visualisation also exposes hazards that arise in specific areas (places where the wind blows in a direction opposite of the direction of the waves, for instance).
The animated lines in the application also depict wind visualisations, which are much easier to create than wave visualisations. Creating wave visualisations is much more complex due to the manner in which waves propagate in the ocean.
The reason is that the wind does not affect the height of the waves solely in that specific location, but also in locations hundreds of kilometres away, which may be completely windless. As a result, the visualisation takes into account not only the direction of wave propagation, but also their height.
The application displays two types of waves: swells and wind waves. Waves travelling outside of their place of origin, and are thus not caused by local winds, are called swells. Waves caused by winds in that specific location are called wind waves. The total height of the wave is the combination of the height of the swells and the height of the wind wave.
In the application, wind waves are marked in white and swells are marked in black.
This feature allows you to quickly find areas where high wind waves are travelling in a different direction from the swells. This situation is very dangerous for boat transport (waves are much less predictable and it is very difficult for sailors to control their boats in such situations). Another highly dangerous situation arises when the wind is blowing against the direction of the waves, making them much steeper. The application can also display the period of the swells and wind waves.
Data for this application is supplied by the highly precise German ICON model, with a resolution of approximately 13 km. The data from this model is used primarily for directing maritime transport, which requires superior predictions. The Ventusky application is the first to make data from this model accessible to the general public.
The goal of the application is to offer highly precise data on waves in the oceans and seas not only to sailors, but also to surfers and swimmers, and thus increase overall safety. It is the first on-line application that displays ocean waves to such a comprehensive degree.
View wave display: https://www.ventusky.com/?l=wave
The VentuSky web application is operated by the Czech company, InMeteo, which works in the analysis and visualisation of meteorological data. It has been providing the general public with meteorological information for over 5 years. InMeteo boasts long-term collaborations with international companies. It has been operating one of the most popular Czech servers, In-počasí, for several years, which helps provide the general public with weather information. It allows anyone to participate in providing weather information, whether through semi-professional meteorological weather stations or by sending short weather news. It has created a one-of-a-kind service on the Czech web that connects people and improves overall awareness about meteorological events in the atmosphere.
Source: David Prantl
Newport, RI – The first annual J/70 U.S. Youth Championship will take place concurrent with the J/FEST New England Regatta on August 11-13. The goal of this event is to help develop and build leading-edge junior keelboat sailing programs across America.
The winning club of this event will get ”free” usage of fully equipped International J/70 one-design class sailboat, with sails and trailer, provided ”free of charge” by J/Boats, to the winning club and its membership for twelve months.
The U.S. J/70 Youth Championship (USJCA) is open to ten (10) Youth Teams representing US Sailing recognized Sailing Clubs or Organizations. Sailing clubs may enter more than one youth team per event, but may only qualify one team for the USJCA championship in Newport, RI.
The 10 Youth Teams will compete on ten brand new J/70 Class sailboats with class sails (main, jib, spinnaker) that comply with J/70 Class rules. The boats will be identically rigged and tuned at “base settings” that are recommended by the sailmaker.
In order to qualify for the ten slots, youth teams must qualify for entry by being the top scoring Youth Team in the J/70 Class at one of the following Regattas:
Feb 24-26 – J/70 Midwinters St. Petersburg
Mar 09-11 – Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Mar 17-19 – San Diego NOOD
Apr 20-23 – Charleston Race Week
May 05-07 – Annapolis NOOD
Jun 03-04 – J/70 Great Lakes at Cleveland Race Week
Jun 03-04 – Cedar Point (CT) One Design Regatta
Jun 09-11 – Chicago NOOD
Jul 15-16 – St. Francis YC Sportboat Regatta
Jul 27-30 – Marblehead NOOD
Here is the USJYC Notice of Race: http://www.jboats.com/images/stories/pdf/J70_Youth_NOR_011217.pdf
Source: J Boats
Portsmouth, RI (January 12, 2017) – Olympic Bronze Medalist Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) and IKA Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) today were selected as US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.
This selection follows the announcement in December of the eight men and six women shortlisted for the award and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing. A slate of nominees, determined by the membership of US Sailing, was presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists, who together discussed the merits of each nominee and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners.
Paine and Moroz will be honored on Thursday, March 2, 2016, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.
Caleb Paine – US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
Under immense pressure to return Team USA to the Olympic podium in sailing, Caleb Paine prevailed in an epic medal race to earn a bronze medal in the Finn class, the Men’s Heavyweight Dinghy at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In his first career Olympic Games, Paine led the medal race at every mark. He passed Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic in the overall standings to earn a place on the podium.
“It was a tough battle for me, and I feel fortunate to come up with a medal in the end,” said Paine. “I didn’t get off to the best start, but I kept my eyes open and saw an opportunity to make a gain on the right side, and it was go all the way or nothing at all, so I had to fully commit and fortunately it paid off.” – Read on
Daniela Moroz – US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
Foiling prodigy Daniela Moroz has reached the pinnacle of her sport at the age of 15. On the world’s largest stage, the high school sophomore rose to the occasion on the final day of racing at the IKA Formula Kite World Championship last September in Weifang-Binhai, China.
Moroz was on equal points with reigning world champion, Russian Elena Kalinina, 18, on the last day of racing. Despite the light air, which had typically favored Kalinina, Moroz won all four races on the final day to secure the world championship. She won eight of 12 races overall. – Read on
(January 12, 2016; Day 27; 23:00 FR) – After rounding Cape Horn, Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT are in the final leg of their bid to win the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest outright time around the world. Their latest 24 hour run of 429 nm has slightly decreased their lead to 1871.8 nm (-23.7 nm) ahead of the current time set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron and his crew on the 40 VPLP-designed trimaran Banque Populaire V of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds. Full report.
Key West, FL (January 12, 2017) – David and Peter Askew and their all-star crew on the Reichel Pugh 74 Wizard took monohull line honors in the 160 nm Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, setting a new elapsed time of 10:18:50 while also winning the IRC division. Other winners included J/44 Kenai (ORC), Melges 32 BadFish (PHRF A), Beneteau FC 10 Macushla (PHRF B), and Simpson 48 Peregrine (Multihull). Details.
A growing concern for offshore races is the danger of UFOs – unidentified floating objects. While on occasion it is a collision with a marine mammal, it is too frequently a result of items not meant for the sea – timber, trash, or worse, shipping containers.
But what about military explosives? An unexploded mine believed to be from WWII was recently found floating north-west of Norderney in the German sector of North Sea.
Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said the mine was found January 10 by a security vessel at the edge of the Gode Wind 2 offshore wind farm in Germany.
The mine will be towed to shore where it is expected to be detonated on a sandbank of the River Jade. The plan to detonate the mine at sea was cancelled due to weather conditions, the Command for Maritime Emergencies said.
Between 1940 and 1945, U.S. and British air forces dropped 2.7 million tons of bombs on Europe, half of that amount on Germany. It is believed that as many as 10 percent of the bombs dropped by Allied aircraft had failed to explode.
Even now, over 70 years later, more than 2,000 tons of unexploded munitions are uncovered on German soil every year. Before any construction project begins in Germany, from the extension of a home to track-laying by the national railroad authority, the ground must be certified as cleared of unexploded ordnance.
Do we need to be sweeping the race courses now too?