Scuttlebutt Europe #2480 - 29 November
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Looks Like The South
It has barely been a week of racing and already good news for Maxi Banque Populaire V. By crossing the equator at 00 hours 26 minutes and 52 seconds (Paris time) last night, after 5 days 14 hours 55 minutes and 10 seconds * at sea, Loick Peyron and his men are now the fastest of all time on this section of the Jules Verne Trophy. A record that is a good omen for what is next, promising to be just as fluid on the approach of St. Helena.
Improved by half an hour, the new reference time between Ushant and Equator becomes the property of the Maxi Banque Populaire V.
The famous St. Helena anticyclone, a southern match of the Azores', appears under the best conditions. Currently at 220 miles off the Brazilian coast in a South-East wind, the Maxi Banque Populaire V sailing conditions are relatively uncomfortable for men - the sea coming upfront the bow - but still allow the machine to display some satisfactory speed. In a few hours, the setting will change, to the delight of all, as explained this afternoon by Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant: "The wind begins to rotate a bit. We'll gradually go around the anticyclone. It's going to become more comfortable and it will be easier to sleep. We are not sailing tailwind yet so we have the sea movements facing the boat which makes us wriggling in all directions. But we all know it won't last, that it will get better by tomorrow. So we just bear with it. For now, the weather is wonderful. These are the trade winds in Brazil ". Marcel van Triest to add: "At that time, which is relatively early, the St. Helena anticyclone is quite south, although strong and big, but we have good circulation around it."
With the Equator behind them, Loick Peyron and his crew should thus have an open road in front of them for the descent of the Atlantic. About the transition to Good Hope, Team Banque Populaire's router wanted to be particularly clear and optimistic: "I see us passing the Cape of Good Hope in the thirteen days for sure, maybe in the twelve and a half days ... "
* Subject to validation by the WSSRC
Brian Thompson's blog: brianthompsonsailing.blogspot.com
Last Night at Sea for Groupama 4
"We've been sailing in light airs since this morning, but we should be free of it this afternoon so we can set a direct course for Cape Town, which is shaping up to be a quick passage. We're obviously a bit tired with the end of this first leg but everyone's in fine fettle. Groupama 4 is in tip-top condition: there's only been the first night in the Mediterranean where we had to scale the mast to sort out a minor technical issue. There have been no nasty surprises and we've always managed to drive Groupama 4 at 100%, even in these final days in the front which involved some high speed sailing!" explained Franck Cammas in the noon videoconference this Monday.
"This first leg was a bit special for us because of our solo option down the Moroccan coast. We're sorry not to have been in contact with the others as we ended up sailing in `record' mode, trying to make up the miles and catch up with our rivals. There was always a degree of separation between them and us and it wasn't the race atmosphere we were expecting... However, we have learnt a great deal about how Groupama 4 handles and we're really keen to do battle with the other five boats at the start in Cape Town!"
Virtually as soon as she arrives in Cape Town, the boat will be thoroughly checked and the eleven men that make up the crew will only have a few days to catch their breath and build up their strength again as the `In-port' race is scheduled for Saturday 10 December and the start of the second leg to Abu Dhabi, on Sunday 11 December...
Position of the competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race during the first leg from Alicante - Cape Town at 1400 UTC on 28/11/2011
1. Telefonica arrived in Cape Town on Saturday 26 November at 18h14m25s UTC
* From Chris Hill, Boat Builder/Shore Crew, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG. Photo by Chris Hill, click on image to enlarge.
After a lot of waiting for the weather to ease and waking up sleeping immigration officers to get through customs, I am now on board the fine vessel "Team Bremen."
The captain decided to take on more fuel so we can put the hammer down and get out to Tristan as soon as possible. Making good use of the time at the dock, we managed to get the cradle built for PUMA's Mar Mostro with help from Craig Rogers (Volvo Ocean Race) and Craig Garrow (pronto/DHL) and a few of their respective team members. I can't thank them enough for everything they have done to keep the ball rolling, and the time saved now will help get Mar Mostro on board as soon as possible upon our arrival.
We should be leaving the dock about 3 am (local), then it's just around four days and 1,500 nautical miles till we arrive in Tristan!
Overboard In The Pacific Without A Lifejacket
Just one of the Amazing Sailing Stories in Dick Durham's new book.
Find out what happened next at www.wileynautical.com/amazingsailingstories2
Ice Limit Reset - GOR Class40s Ready to Roll
News of the GOR ice limit spread quickly and a European agency currently monitoring Southern Ocean ice soon contacted the GOR's Race Director, Josh Hall, advising that relaxing the existing limit was acceptable and posed no extreme threat for the GOR's Class40s.
Subsequently, the GOR Leg 2 southern limit has been adapted to an exclusion zone below 42S from the start until 49E, north of the Crozet Islands, with an additional southern limit south-west of Australia below Cape Leeuwin stretching from 100E to 120E at 45S, pulling the fleet up towards the Australian Bight from the Southern Ocean, permitting a variety of options between the two southern limits. In addition, the GOR fleet has been instructed to leave Kerguelen Island at 49S and 69E to starboard and the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate, stretching north-south at 69E - approximately midway between the African and Australian continents - has been extended south to Kerguelen.
The delay to the GOR's Leg 2 start has been timely and Table Bay off Cape Town is no longer a boiling expanse of white caps and flying spray and the Class40 battle flags on each of the six boats in the V&A Waterfront Marina have ceased snapping hard on the forestays and shrouds as the teams make final preparations for the 12:00 (10:00 GMT) start on Tuesday.
The keel repair on Nico and Frans Budels' Sec. Hayai has been completed, the carbon mast re-stepped and the Class40 re-launched shortly after dawn on Monday morning in a superlative effort against the clock.
Global Ocean Race double-handed Class40 crew list for Leg 2 (Cape Town-Wellington) and Leg 1 points:
1. BSL: Ross and Campbell Field (NZL/NZL) 35 points in GOR Leg 1
Finn Focus at the 2011 Finn Gold Cup, Perth
For many sailors, as is the case with most classes, this will be their main trials for Olympic selection. Some sailors have already been given the nod, but for others, the battle continues, while also of course keeping an eye on the more important country selection. Seventy-five per cent of the country spaces for 2012 will be decided in Perth.
Though the final entry list has not yet been confirmed, the Finns have 77 expected entries from 33 nations, with the strongest and deepest fleet assembled in recent years. In all the are 22 former Olympians, four Olympic medalists and four former world champions.
The 2010 world champion, Ed Wright (GBR), is determined to put on a serious defence of the title he dominated and won in San Francisco 15 months ago. However, it won't be easy for him, with most sailors having upped their game for this important regatta and also because he - along with several other Finn sailors - has been spending a lot of time with the Green Comm Racing AC45 campaign.
The main challenger and probably the favourite for the title has to be the five times winner Ben Ainslie (GBR). Having been in Perth for about a month before the first race he will certainly be well prepared and it will be interesting to see how he performs. Remember, he has never lost a Finn Gold Cup.
Ainslie revealed, "The training has been going well. We have had a good mix of conditions and good training with the British squad. The focus for me was getting back into the boat after quite a long break after the Pre-Olympics. Getting the hiking legs going has been the main focus. Conditions have been a little variable but on the whole we have had medium to fresh winds which is what you expect from Fremantle."
Now that he has secured his place in Weymouth in 2012, is there less pressure on him for this event? "Well, there were only two goals for me with this campaign, firstly to qualify and then to try and win the Olympics. Having said that when you are at a world championships of course you want to be successful."
And looking ahead? "We will take a break in January and then it will be pretty intense all the way up until the Games. We have quite a lot of equipment to test and then the next Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth, in the UK, will be a big one for me as that is where I grew up." -- Robert Deaves
Garmin Hamble Winter Series
The race team faced a dilemma this week in the penultimate race day of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. An approaching front early on Sunday morning saw the forecast predicting gusts of 32 knots at start time, reducing to 10 knots by late afternoon. PRO Jamie Wilkinson made a good call with a 2 hour postponement that proved popular with crews, giving time for a leisurely breakfast or lie-in as the wind shrieked in the rigging.
The gusts were still hitting 27 knots as the fleet headed out, and many boats sported reefs and small sails. A strong weather-going spring tide created a sharp chop with the consistency of concrete, making upwind progress tricky. But the wind gradually decreased as the day went on, and by 1500 crews were scrambling to power their boats up and enjoying some flat water and a steady breeze as they beat home.
Belladonna continued her winning form in IRC 0, winning by a large margin. In IRC 1, Jim MacGregor's Premier Flair beat rival Visit Malta Puma by 22 seconds to take the top spot. Close rivals Elaine and Steady Barker had a close race in IRC 2, with Elaine taking the win. Past form continued in the J/109 class. Where Richard and Valerie Griffith in OutraJeous took a stonking lead over second-placed Offbeat. J/97 Jika-Jika had similar success in IRC 3, ahead of Archambault 31 ImaDjinn.
As has been the case throughout the series, the Sigma 38 class hosted some of the closest racing in the fleet. Chris and Vanessa Choules in With Alacrity kept ahead of Persephone in second and Pavlova III in third to cement their first-placed series placing.
IRC 4 also had some close racing this week, with positions changing throughout the race. Impala 28 Polly won on handicap ahead of Sigma 33 Prospero of Hamble. In the mixed sportsboat class, sponsored by Rib Shop, J/80 Jester beat Hunter 707 Turbulence by 30 seconds to take the top prize.
Next weekend is the final race of the 2011 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.
Full results: www.garminhamblewinterseries.co.uk
German Frers - A Passion For Design
It charts a family design heritage spanning 3 generations that has been responsible for the launching of more than 10,000 boats from dinghies to day keelboats, distinctive cruisers to successful racers, powerboats and superyachts.
Early chapters chart six generations of family history: How one ship owned by a Frers ancestor, was escorting a pirated Portuguese frigate back across the Atlantic in 1820, took formal possession of what are now known as the Falklands, an act that remains is central to Argentine claims over the Malvinas Islands today; the influence that revolutionary Che Guevara, a first cousin, had on the current generation, and German Frers apprenticeship with the best designers - his Father, and the New York masters Olin and Rod Stephens.
During the 50's and 60's when the design skills of German Frers Snr. were at their zenith, good yacht design was very much down to intuition and experience. This book shows how those traditional skills continue to hold true, but are now mixed with the very precise demands of structural analysis, aerodynamics, computer wizardry and hi-tech engineering.
'A Passion for Design' also highlights the rise of Frers Snr.' first son German in the world of IOR and Maxi yacht racing during the 70's and '80's, his involvement in three America's Cup campaigns and his pioneering work in developing performance oriented cruisers and superyachts. Now, German (Mani) Frers Jnr. the third generation, is adding to this reputation, having worked with his Father on some of the most prestigious projects from Dr Jim Clark's 155ft Hyperion and Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli's 105ft Ulisse, to a variety of successful Open class racers and on his own account, Sweden's Victory America's Cup challenger.
"Flipping Book" excerpt:
Written by Barry Pickthall
Order from: South Atlantic Publishing. www.southatlanticpublishing.com
18ft Skiffs: N.S.W. Championship - Race 2
Sydney Harbour: The Lumix team of Jonathan Whitty, James Hozak and Greg Dixon used good tactical sense to come from behind and win Race 2 of the N.S.W. 18FT Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
They took full advantage of a match race battle between Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7, which took those two teams well away from their mark to score a convincing 2m51s victory over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links, Trent Barnabas).
Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Tom Anderson, Dean Curtis) was a further 1m57s back in third place, ahead of Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman), Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) and Yandoo (John Winning).
Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) was seventh, followed by Smeg (Trevor Barnabas) and Gotta Love It.
Wind conditions before the start were uncertain as the direction continually varied and the strength was more than predicted.
With Race 1 being abandoned last Sunday, the series has been reduced to four races with all to count for total points.
Under the circumstances, Gotta Love It 7's 9th placings has made their task of defending the title even more difficult. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
EUROLYMP Sailing League
The EUROLYMP Sailing League will initially consist of up to five events, which will be dovetailed into the European segment of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Each event will conform with the new ISAF World Sailing Rankings system, as well as facilitating the new European League.
Discussions with potential event hosts have been in progress since ISAF announced their plans to change the Sailing World Cup and have now reached a point were the first edition of the new 'EUROLYMP Rules' have been formulated. There will now be a consultation process to finalise the detail, which will culminate in a further meeting between event hosts and EUROSAF in late January, early February next year. Final details of event locations, dates, the entry system and other details, will be published in early to mid 2012. Entries will be open to sailors from all ISAF member countries and at least two of the events will also welcome the Paralympic Classes. Possible new Olympic disciplines, such as Kiteboards, may also be included in some of the regattas.
1980 Olympic Boycott Sailors' Plea to RYA
While Sebastian Coe and most of the other British sporting elite defied Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's call to boycott the Moscow Olympics, the sailing team had their entries withdrawn by the RYA and their medal-hopes shattered. Coe went on to be made a Lord, and since 1980 many Olympic medallists have received honours including knighthoods and OBEs.
Colin Simonds, selected to represent Britain in the Soling class says: 'Three of our team members won the European championships in their classes in 1980 within a month of the Olympics - beating all the eventual medal winners. They had a Gold medal and an MBE stolen from their grasp by the RYA without any consultation or discussion. The medals are gone - but when will the RYA make best endeavours to put these three fantastic people who have served their sport for a lifetime up for an MBE? The USA team were all given Congressional medals of honour at the White House, we got a printed scroll - by post.'
He added, 'The RYA is doing a great job for the team these days but wants to make sure that even under extreme pressure they never stop their team racing again.'
The 1980 sailing team will repeat their request to the RYA to:
a) forego the right going forward unilaterally to prevent a team attending and
b) make a suitable and agreed gesture to those that they prevented attending in 1980.
A letter to the RYA has been signed by one or more members of every surviving crew selected for the 1980 Olympic Games:
High Quality and Keep it Simple - these have been the targets for the KIWI40FC Class 40 project from conception to fruition.
Following our Keep it Simple concept throughout the structural design, the geometries, the details and ultimately the construction methodology we have arrived with the KIWI40FC - a reliable, stiff, safe, well-finished, fast and aesthetically pleasing Class40.
To achieve this result, the correct vision and approach have been crucial from the outset with Farr Yacht Design fully involved in every element since we launched the design brief. Farr Yacht Design have enthusiastically provided the appropriate design solutions.
Brokerage through Farr Yacht Sales: www.yachtworld.com/farr/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
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