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Iran Captures British Racing Yacht
Iran is holding five British sailors after stopping their racing yacht in the Persian Gulf, the British government said Monday.
The yacht owned by Sail Bahrain was stopped on its way from the tiny island country to the Gulf city of Dubai on Wednesday when it "may have strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters," Britain's Foreign Office said. Sail Bahrain's Web site identified the yacht as the "Kingdom of Bahrain" and said it had been due to join the 360-mile (580-kilometer) Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race, which was to begin Nov. 26.
The event was to be the boat's first offshore race, the Web site said, adding that the vessel had been fitted with a satellite tracker.
Attempts to reach representatives of the raceboat's owner were not immediately successful.
Richard Schofield, an expert on international boundaries in the Middle East at King's College in London, said it was difficult to understand how the boat could have ended up in trouble with Iranian authorities.
"It's hard to see why, on a regular journey from Bahrain to Dubai, they would have gone through Iranian territorial waters," he said.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that British officials had been in touch about the matter with their Iranian counterparts for nearly a week. It was not immediately clear why British officials had decided to publicize the case now.
"I hope this issue will soon be resolved," Miliband said in the brief statement.
* The names of the captured sailors have not been confirmed, but sources said those on board were Sam Usher, Olly Smith, Luke Porter, Oliver Young and David Bloomer, a Bahrain Radio presenter who was planning to give regular updates through the race.
The official team website named the skipper as Nick Crabtree, a New Zealand-born businessman, who was not thought to be on the boat at the time of the incident. -- The Telegraph, www.telegraph.co.uk
* Statement from Team Pindar:
On 25 November, Sail Bahrain's Kingdom of Bahrain Volvo 60 racing yacht was stopped by Iranian navy vessels, as it was making its way from Bahrain to the start of the Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race. The boat may have strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters.
The five crew members, all British nationals, are still in Iran. All are understood to be safe and well and their families have been informed.
Guest Editorial -- Andy Dare
Photo by Andy Dare. Click on image for photo gallery.
I think the question nowadays is one of Responsibility.
People nowadays want to avoid as much responsibility as possible, as a result of the increasingly litigious & PC world we are living in. A phone call to the insurance company, to ask "what to do" is proof of this. It never used to be like that, once you went to sea, you called the shots, you made the decisions, & you took the responsibility, and not just as skipper, but everyone, by just being there.
That's called Seamanship, and is about taking that responsibility, making sound & safe decisions about what to do, for the good of the crew, the boat & others, while out there on the water. To me, seamanship is basically the description for your time & experience at sea, which is only gained after miles & miles of sailing & hence all the problems you will have to fix while out there - usually on your own & at night for good measure too!
So, lets imagine you had built the Auliana II yourself, & to sharpen your thoughts, lets say you had no insurance. Surely you would be doing anything & everything possible to keep the boat afloat, get it back to shore, where you can repair it & keep it going. I know I would!
I am not sure of all the details, but reading the ARC report, it took 6 hours for the tow boat to get to the Auliana II. Surely that is enough time to have a think about getting towed back to shore, & start YOUR planning.
How about getting all your spinny gear & rigging a cats-cradle round every strong point on the yacht in readiness. In the two mins I have been thinking about this I would have rigged lines from the mast back to the primary winches, so the tow line could be placed round the mast. How about getting some pipe, a sailbag or the boom cover even, & rigging up anti-chafe at the bow roller? All crew in full foul weather gear too, as well as lifejackets.
Would you have allowed the rescuing boat - however qualified & who ever they were - to just attach a tow line to your deck cleats - I certainly would not. Am sure it was a huge relief to see a lifeboat arrive from Salvamento Maritima, but it's still going to be a team effort, so I would not be relaxing & just leaving them to it. I would want to be involved with the planning, deployment & contingency ideas.
That question of Responsibility again!
As for not being possible to tow a boat 70 miles, - just half a day out - incredible! They were clearly not thinking very hard about it, or well prepared in my opinion.
Using Pindar's support boat the Hatherleigh, I towed the Open 60 Virbac back to Lorient in France, from a position 1,100miles out in the middle of the North Atlantic, actually Greenland was the closest land at the time we reached Virbac.
Also, you can imagine we had some large swells up there, and on several days of the return trip. It was a long 5 day tow back to France, but we managed it pretty easily actually, by planning for all eventualities - Seamanship!
No problem with cleats pulling of the deck - Open 60's don't even have cleats.
So, we had to think about the attachment point carefully, & as we had two of the shore crew with us who had built the boat, we chose the bobstay fitting on the bow, as it was out the way of the bowsprit, & very strong. It was obvious though that the line was going to chafe through, probably several times during the long tow home, so we rigged two "safety lines" from the tow rope back to a long rope system round several winches, which we knew were very securely attached.
The towrope did indeed part twice, but the back up plan worked well, & we were able to re-reeve the original system both times, and not lose much time.
The towline was long, & by long, I mean huge - about 250m long. We made a system with two tyres in the middle to take up the snatching loads that we knew to expect in the Atlantic swells. We also rigged a safety line here too, from rope to rope around the tyres, just in case they broke or parted.We also specifically placed the tyres in the centre of the tow, so they would drag in the water to provide damping in the swell & add elasticity to the system.
This was all planned in Plymouth before setting off, visiting the local tyre yard in Sutton & picking up the two largest tyres we could find from an old 4x4.
I am quite amazed that the Spanish lifeboat too, who must have towed many, many boats before. Why did they not do better.
I am sure we will hear more about this in the weeks to come, as the question of responsibility arises it self again:
What happens next?
What happens if someone else runs into to it?
Who is going to pay?
And finally, IF the yacht is going to be abandoned, then surely scuttle it. You have to think about others as well as yourself now. I am sure being so close to the shore made that harder to swallow, but what is everyone going to think if another yacht runs into it at night & themselves sinks or suffers injuries or losses?
Andy's website at www.wanderingbear.info
Bainbridge Launches New DIAX2 LPE Finished Sails
Click on image to enlarge.
Based on the success of DIAX2 LP, Bainbridge International is excited to aintroduce the next step in added value to the sailmaker, with the launch of DIAX2 LPE.
New DIAX2 LPE offers:
- Continual load path fibre that is not broken at seam junctions.
- Bonded seam on all film-on-film styles for a smoother finish.
- Utilisation of sail design and shape in simple cross cut panel layout.
- Skin only and finished sail options.
- Constantly developed load path fibre lay outs and designs.
- Improved processing methods for shorter lead-times.
DIAX 2 LP has seen great success with the club racer as an affordable racing option and DIAX 2 LPE comes from the feedback from that success to enhance its performance, usability and availability so that all sailors can benefit from this very attractive option.
DIAX2 LPE will be featured on our stand at London Boat Show, stand S020A, where we will also be launching lots of exciting new hardware products!
With a full range of sailcloth, sailmakers hardware and a global sales and support network, Bainbridge is uniquely qualified and committed to supplying the world with the finest quality materials. Founded in 1917, Bainbridge International is one of the longest established sailcloth manufacturers in the world, with almost a century's experience in developing and supplying the highest quality, highest performance materials to the marine industry. Bainbridge has always been at the forefront of technical developments within the world of sailcloth. Through the skills of our technical team, we have developed a number of products including AIRX Performance Spinnaker Fabrics, MP Multi-Purpose Spinnaker Fabrics, DIAX Laminated Sailcloth, Ocean and Ocean Premium Plus Woven Fabrics and our Sailman Full Batten Systems. These have been used by many high profile campaigns over the years including America's Cup, Vendee Globe, BT Challenge, the OSTAR transatlantic race and the Ellen MacArthur Trust.
Solo Racers To Insure Against Rescue Costs
Excerpts from Elaine Bunting's latest blog posting:
The decision by one sponsor to sue for the costs of saving a life at sea is likely to affect insurance requirements for racing.
From next year it is probable that these solo skippers will require insurance during major races to cover the costs of being rescued, including collateral damage to another competitor. Sadly, I believe this is a precedent and precursor of major changes to the Notices of Race for other events,.
This has arisen because PRB, sponsor of Vincent Riou, decided to sue a clutch of people after Riou's boat was damaged - and later dismasted - in his successful attempts to rescue fellow solo skipper Jean Le Cam from the upturned hull of VM Materiaux when Le Cam's keel fell off west of Cape Horn in January.
As I reported in April, PRB threatened to sue Le Cam's company, his insurers, the Vendee Globe race organisers and race director Denis Horeau for the collateral damage and costs of shipping the boat home from Ushuaia. An independent surveyor put the total at 750,000 Euros.
PRB has since dropped its claim against the race organisers and director, but is still making a claim against VM Materiaux's insurers and Jean Le Cam's own company.
Horeau adds that if the organisers decided to take out insurance "it means we accept that we are responsible for such a problem. This is not the way we want to go."
The NOR for the Barcelona World Race will be published in a couple of weeks. When it is, it may change legal responsibilities for the after-effects of a rescue for good. It would be a hard position to retreat from and eventually it could affect us all.
Another must-read, see the entire post at www.yachtingworld.com
Marazzi And Demaria Win Star South American Championship
Rio de Janerio, Brazil: Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria (SUI) won the Star South American Championship. A 70-boat fleet assembled in Rio de Janerio for the regatta. The regatta is viewed by all as the precursor for the 2010 Star World Championship, which will take place at the same venue in January.
Marazzi/DeMaria's consistency enabled them to distance themselves Adler/Gullherme (BRA) by nine points leaving many teams to scramble for the other podium positions. Fewer than 20 points separated the second through ninth place teams.
The Swiss team has been ranked #1 by ISAF since July. They placed eighth at the 2009 Star World Championship in Varberg, Sweden. Determined to win a Star World Championship, Marazzi/DeMaria have been in Brazil, along with many international teams, practicing for a string of Brazilian Star regattas leading up to the upcoming world championship. -- Lynn Fitzpatrick www.worldregattas.com/ViewInfo.php?ContentID=382
Final top ten:
1. Flavio Marazzi, Enrico De Maria, SUI
2. Alan Adler, Guilherme Almeida, BRA
3. Torben Grael, Marcelo Ferreira, BRA
4. Fredrik Loof, John Tillander, SWE
5. Lars Grael, Ronald Seifert, BRA
6. Afonso Domingos, Frederico Melo, POR
7. Ross Macdonald, Andre Lekszycki, CAN
8. Mark Mendelblatt, John Vonschwartz, USA
9. Robert Scheidt, Bruno Prada, BRA
10. George Szabo, Rick Peters, USA
11. John Gimson, Ed Greig, GBR
Event site: www.starworlds2010.com
The Royal St George Yacht Club (RSGYC) in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, one of Ireland’s leading yacht clubs, is seeking to recruit a Sailing Manager.
The Sailing Manager is a senior management position reporting to the General Manager.
The position requires an individual able to work in a Club and associated Committee environment, providing assistance to the Members charged with oversight of various aspects of Club sailing activities.
The Sailing Manager will have responsibility for managing the Club’s extensive water based activities, sailing/boathouse staff, the Club’s boating equipment and resources, and for managing the Club’s sailing budget. The role, which is primarily a management position, requires excellent knowledge of and experience with managing marine equipment and resources. The remuneration offered will reflect the skills and abilities necessary for the position.
A detailed job description and application form is available at www.rsgyc.ie/recruitment
About That Waterline Measurement
After [last week's] Hearing in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, the Challenger for the America's Cup stated that the inclusion of rudders in the crucial Load Waterline length measurement would disqualify GGYC's yacht.
Calculations by Sail-World from photos show that the length of BOR90, as the Challenger has been known to date, would extend to around 98ft, if the rudder on the outer float, or ama, were included in the length measurement, as argued by Societe Nautique de Geneve.
In one of 14 points that the New York Supreme Court has been asked to rule in the two year legal tragi-comedy that has been the lot of the America's Cup, Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled in late October that rudders would not be included in the vexed Load Waterline Length measurement, which is peculiar to the America's Cup. That ruling was not accepted by the Defender who Appealed in early November.
Societe Nautique de Geneve claim that the rudder contributes to waterline length and should be included in that measurement even though a significant length of the hull forward of the rudder is clear of the water - Alinghi Team -- Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com, www.sail-world.com
* Noted America's Cup historian, and correspondent, John Rousmaniere comments on the predilection of America's Cup designers to get around the various measurement rules, and in particular the measurement of Load Waterline Length, which has a particular and current significance.
Good on you for addressing the rudder/LWL issue with your characteristic seriousness and clarity (Click here to see the original commentary.) I don't see how this good information leads to the conclusion that the trimaran is too long because, when she heels, the load is put on the leeward ama. Under the rule and in conformity with historical practice (including when George Schuyler introduced the Load Waterline Length dimension in the 1881 America's Cup Deed of Gift), the boat is measured only when the hull is ready to sail, upright, and at rest.
This is the third time that I know of when the issue of measuring in another way has come up in America's Cup history.
In 1983, one argument against the legality of the winged keel was that it increased the boat's draft beyond the rule limit when the boat was heeled. That was true - but because measurement is done only when the boat is upright, the argument failed.
An earlier instance of creative (and legal) rule exploitation was Captain Nathanael Herreshoff's development of the so-called 'Gloriana bow' in 1891 to exploit a loophole in the dominant measurement rule in the U.S., the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club rule. Balancing measured LWL against measured sail area, the Seawanhaka Rule was the first effective two-factor measurement rule. Before then, ratings usually were determined solely by displacement or hull volume (the famous 'tonnage').
In a boat with Herreshoff's distinctive bow, when the boat heeled the short, low-rating waterline for measurement purposes quickly became a long effective sailing length that greatly increased hull speed. After this practice led to boats, like Reliance, with exceedingly lengthy and dangerous overhangs, Herreshoff cut off the loophole that he himself had discovered by writing a new measurement rule for the New York Yacht Club.
Generally called the Universal Rule, the rule tossed out centerline LWL as the key length dimension and replaced it with estimated effective sailing length. The new length was measured parallel to the waterline at a point halfway out to the rail (which was why it was called the 'quarter beam measurement'). Another way to estimate actual sailing length is to multiply LWL by a factor - for example, 104 percent was used in the first Cruising Club of America Rule in the 1930s. In both, the hull was measured when it was at rest, upright, and in sailing trim.
But the Universal and CCA rules don't apply here. The qualifying measured length under the America's Cup Deed of Gift is Load Waterline Length- the length of the actual waterline down the centerline of a loaded, upright hull.
There's only hull that meets that standard in your photos - BOR 90's center hull, which comes in at under 90 feet. -- John Rousmaniere in Sail-World.com, www.sail-world.com
A Glimpse Of WMRT Future?
Ever since it was announced that the World Match Racing Tour was under new ownership in September, many have been wondering what the future holds for the championship.
Most have welcomed the change of ownership, with a belief that the Tour will benefit from increased investment. Certainly if the prize pool for the 2009 Monsoon Cup is anything to go by, the World Match Racing Tour may be able to deliver a truly professional global sailing series.
The Monsoon Cup, which starts later this week in Malaysia, is offering total prize money of MYR1.57m (US$ 454,000). The winner pockets MYR 360,000 (US$104,000) while the last team (12th place) receives MYR 50,000 (US$14,400).
Monsoon Cup Race Advisor, Peter Gilmour said,
'This makes the regatta the biggest prize pool available throughout all sailing events in 2009. Importantly, the Monsoon Cup marks the final stage of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) where the ISAF World Champion will be crowned.'
Gilmour noted that the increase in prize money is attributed to the increased sponsorship commitments from the key sponsors and the State Government of Terengganu in providing such outstanding facilities and intra-government support that takes the event to a new level.
While there are many pretenders to the overused and largely misleading phrase, 'the F1 of sailing', the World Match Racing Tour is probably the only sailing event that comes close. It is truly global, visiting more diverse markets than any other event on an annual basis. It features some of the worlds best professional sailors and confers upon the winner the genuine title of World Champion.
Like many, we are eager to learn more about the plans for the WMRT 2010 and beyond. -- YachtSponsorship.com
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The Last Word
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. -- Bertrand Russell