Scuttlebutt Europe #2552 - 20 March

Brought to you by Boats.com Europe, 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

Blasting Towards The Roaring Forties
With sheets cracked, the six-boat Volvo fleet led by Telefonica (Iker Martínez/ESP) is blast-reaching towards 40 degrees south at speeds of 17 to 18 knots. But, before the sleigh ride of the Roaring Forties towards Cape Horn can begin in earnest, the fleet will have to cross a ridge of high-pressure causing lighter breeze on Tuesday, which will add to the complexity of this leg from Auckland to Itajaí in Brazil.

At 6,705 nautical miles (nm), this is the longest leg of the around the world course and according to Stu Bannatyne, co-skipper of second-placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, keeping the boat in one piece in these early stages is an important part of the process of doing well in the leg.

As the leaders enter the transition zone, the wind has started to decrease to a more manageable 20 knots and more sail is piled on, however it is a very fine balance as to when to put the pedal hard down and when to throttle back.

At 1900 UTC, the first five boats were all south of the rhumb line and each had covered over 400 nm in the past 24 hours. Iker Martínez's Telefonica, the furthest team to the south, led the fleet 60 nm ahead of Mike Sanderson's Sanya in fifth. Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing trailed by 723 nm having restarted the leg earlier today after returning to Auckland briefly to affect repairs.

As the transition to the westerly breeze begins, it is likely that the fleet will become more compact before extending in the exhilarating downwind surfing conditions for which this race has always been famous.

www.volvooceanrace.com

Alpari World Match Racing Tour CEO Moves On
In June 2010, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour didn't have a title sponsor. The series had recently been acquired by new owners who were looking to make it more professional and commercially valuable. Two years ago, the WMRT appointed Jim O'Toole from outside the sailing industry to be CEO.

Two years ago, the tour's objectives were:

"The vision for the Tour is to grow the number and quality of events across Asia, Europe and the Americas. We have ambitious plans which will see us grow our brand dramatically as we build upon the success of recent years with more host city partnerships in key markets, a broader media platform and a stronger commercial proposition for sponsors and manufacturers."

At the end of his two year contract, Jim O'Toole will leave the series as CEO. In a statement issued on Friday, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour said:

"The Alpari World Match Racing Tour today announces that Chief Executive Officer Jim O'Toole will not be renewing his fixed term contract with the Tour and after discussions with the Board of Directors it has been agreed that he will part company with the Tour with immediate effect."

A statement from Jim O'Toole reads:

"With the recent announcement of Alpari as the Tour title sponsor and the conclusion of an agreement with the new venue in Chicago, the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is in an enviable commercial position in the world of sailing and I would like to wish the series and all its stakeholders every success moving forward."

Two years is a long time in the world of sailing. Two years ago, the America's Cup World Series didn't exist and the Extreme Sailing Series was a European only affair. Now all these events are competing for sponsorship, venues and an audience which is hard to grow.

The last two years have been tough financially, so with Alpari on board for the next five years, the Tour is in a position to really push the plans that were announced just after O'Toole began as CEO. -- David Fuller, his full editorial in YachtRacing.biz

www.yachtracing.biz/blog/2012/

Co-Skipper Change on GOR Class40 Cessna Citation
Click on image to enlarge.

Global Ocean Race After 22,000 miles and 104 days of racing in the double-handed, Global Ocean Race (GOR), the Kiwi skipper of Class40 Cessna Citation and overall leader of the GOR, Conrad Colman, is making his fourth co-skipper change for Legs 4 and 5 and will be racing with Australian sailor, Scott Cavanough, for the two final legs through the South and North Atlantic.

Colman sailed Leg 1 from Palma, Mallorca, to Cape Town with Spanish Mini 6.50 sailor, Hugo Ramon; for the Indian Ocean's Leg 2, the British Figaro specialist Sam Goodchild joined Cessna Citation delivering a win in Wellington, New Zealand and South African yachtsman, Adrian Kuttel was co-skipper for Leg 3 across the Pacific and around Cape Horn taking first place in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Cavanough has an immensely diverse sailing background from racing in the Sabot Nationals in his native Australia in the early 1990's, to the rarefied air of the international superyacht circuit.

Cavanough has logged plenty of offshore racing miles, including three Sydney to Hobart Races, the Sydney to Mooloolaba Race, the Brisbane to Gladstone Race and he took 15th place in the 2006 ARC. He also has big-boat, inshore racing experience joining the Wally yacht, Kenora, in 2005 for the Maxi Worlds in Sardinia for three years before moving to the J Class Ranger for 2007-2010 as First Mate, competing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean circuit including the Superyacht Cup in Palma, the Maxi Worlds, Antigua Classic Week, the Newport Bucket and Les Voiles de St. Tropez and has also raced on the big-name maxis, Alfa Romeo and Leopard 3.

With a fortnight to the start of Leg 4 from Uruguay to Charleston, the New Zealand - Australian duo are cramming in as much sailing as possible while working on their Class40 in Puerto Punta del Este. "We've got no major work-issues on the boat," confirmed Colman over the weekend. "Just a bit of rigging work, which is Scotty's speciality, a little bit of electronic work and servicing the sails," he continues. "We've already broken the back of the rigging work, so the job list is getting smaller," says Colman. "We're both competitive people and we've got the opportunity to prepare well for this leg with less of a rush than I've had in the past stopovers, so it's a great opportunity to prepare things perfectly for the leg to Charleston."

globaloceanrace.com

In at the Deep End for Academy Soloists in First Solo Figaro Race
Five Artemis Offshore Academy sailors took on their first Figaro race of the season against an impressive roll call of French sailing Figaro stars in the Marine Massif 2012. For Ollie Bond, Nick Cherry, Aaron Cooper and Henry Bomby it was their first ever solo Figaro race and they returned to the finish port of Les Sables d'Olonne having faced the harsh realities of racing at the sharp end. Sam Goodchild, winner of the Academy scholarship last year and with some solid race experience now under his belt, was determined not to 'get psyched out' by the big names and finished in a satisfying 8th place out of 29 competitors.: "Finishing in the top ten was fantastic as I didn't expect that to happen," reported Sam as he finished just 18 minutes and 55 seconds behind the overall winner. "It was a real morale boost to be able to keep speed with some of the top guys at times."

This year's edition of the Solo Figaro Marine Massif was won by Gildas Mahe in 24 hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds. Despite the tricky weather conditions dominated by fog and light winds delayed the start by 24 hours to Friday (16th March), and reduced the original 320 mile course to just 120 miles, Goodchild delivered a strong performance whilst Ollie Bond finished 2nd in the 'Rookie' division and 17th overall.

The Academy soloists have had a steep learning curve in their first official solo Figaro race realising for the first time how tough it can be: "Going around the top mark in second to last place was awful," said Ollie Bond before fighting his way back into the game. "I learnt how intense the Figaro is and that you've got to fight for every second because at the end of the race every boat length counts."

The next race for Sam Goodchild and Nick Cherry will be the Transat AG2R La Mondiale starting on the 21st May from Concarneau, France to St Barths in Caribbean - a double-handed transatlantic race and one of the premier races of the season.

Results - Finish Times
1. Gildas Mahe (Vendee 1) - 10:20:45
2. Yann Elies (Morbic) - 10:26:08
3. Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) - 10:28:20
4. Nicolas Lunven (Generali) - 10:30:30
5. Morgan Lagraviere (Vendee) - 10:31:39
6. Erwan Tabarly (Nacarat) - 10:35:45
7. Paul Meilhat (Skipper Macif 2011) - 10:36:10
8. Sam Goodchild (Artemis 23) - 10:39:40
9. David Sineau (Britanie Cosmetiques) - 10:40:05
10. Fred Duthil (Sepalumic) - 10:40:42
11. Alexis Loison (Vdc Offshore) - 10:44:23
12. Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkerque) - 10:44:30
13. Corentin Horeau (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Espoir) - 10:44:58
14. Yoann Richomme (Dlbc) - 10:45:53
15. Vincent Biarnes (Prati'buches) - 10:47:30
16. Damien Guillou (La Solidarite Mutualiste) - 10:48:48
17. Oliver Bond (Artemis 43) - 10:50:18
18. Isabelle Joschke (Galettes St Michel) - 10:50:20
19. Jeanne Gregoire (Banque Populaire) - 10:50:21
20. Didier Bouillard (Jehol) - 10:52:00
21. Thomas Normand (Financiere De L'echiquier) - 10:53:20
22. Aaron Cooper (Artemis 21) - 10:57:21
23. Nick Cherry (Artemis 77) - 11:02:49
24. Anthony Marchand (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Performance) - 11:06:40
25. Kristin Songe Moller (Kristin - For Fulle Seil) - 11:09:13
26. Nicolas Jossier (In Extenso Experts Comptables) - 11:12:23
27. Michel Bothuon (Les Recycleurs Bretons) - 11:15:01
28. Henry Bomby (Artemis 37) - 11:18:01
29. Germain Kerleveo/J.S. Henry (Ville De Vannes - Clown A L'hopital) -11:18:05

Rookie Class Results
1. Corentin Horeau (Bretagne Credit Mutuel Espoir) - 10:44:58
2. Oliver Bond (Artemis 43) - 10:50:18
3. Thomas Normand (Financiere De L'echiquier) - 10:53:20
4. Aaron Cooper (Artemis 21) - 10:57:21
5. Nick Cherry (Artemis 77) - 11:02:49
6. Kristin Songe Moller (Kristin - For Fulle Seil) - 11:09:13
7. Henry Bomby (Artemis 37) - 11:18:01

Online Registration Open for the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup
Dragon sailors from over 12 countries have already entered this year's Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup, to be held at Kinsale Yacht Club, Co. Cork Ireland from 8th-14th September 2012.

Already, entries from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Scandinavia, Portugal, France and the UK have entered as entries are expected from Hungary, Estonia, and further afield - from the USA and Australia - making this a truly international competition.

Participants are encouraged to register early and to book their and accommodation in this busy seaside town on the south coast of Ireland.

Entries are welcome through the specially designated website: www.dragongoldcup2012.com

The event is Sponsored by Private Client Investment Managers, Brewin Dolphin, who recently entered the Irish market with their acquisition of Tilman Asset Management.

Brewin Dolphin is also sponsoring the Grand Slam Series of Dragon events in Ireland this year which includes the Northern Area Championships and Edinburgh Cup in Belfast Lough in July, the Irish National Championships in Dun Laoghaire in August and the South Coast Championships and Gold Cup in Kinsale in September.

The Dragon Gold Cup was last held in Ireland in 1997, when the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire hosted the event.

For further information please contact: or call Kinsale Yacht Club + 353 21 4772196.

Follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/DragonGoldCupKinsale2012 or on twitter @dragongoldcup1

Trujillo Leads After Great Start to Europeans in Scarlino
The first day of the 2012 Finn Junior and Senior European Championship in Scarlino Italy was characterised by a shifty 8-10 knot north-westerly, moderate temperatures and some great racing. Rafa Trujillo (ESP) leads the way afer placing fourth and first, with 2007 European Champion Eduard Skornyakov (RUS) in second and Florian Raudachl (AUT) in third. Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) won the first race by a nice margin while Trujillo won the second in a thrilling finish.

It's been a long time since a Raudaschl was at the the front of an international fleet, but after his best first day ever at a major champinship Florian Raudaschl sits in third place.

In the Juniors, Michal Jodlowski (POL) leads in 22nd overall after placing 20th and 26th. But just one place behind on equal points is Dimitar Vangelov (BUL), while Tomas Hrncal (CZE) is 20 points further back. The current Junior World Champion, Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS), struggled today and lies in 34th overall, and fourth junior. The Junior Championship is as hard fought for as the senior championship, and often more so, as for these young sailors, a win at this level is a big acheivement and opens up many paths for future funding and support.

Fleet racing continues until Friday, with the medal race for the top 10 and the final race for the reest on Saturday 24th March.

Follow the racing on the liver blog each day at www.finneuropeans.org with Twitter feed from the media team and the sailors, photos, videos and much more.

Top five after 2 races:
1. Rafael Trujillo, ESP, 5
2. Eduard Skornyakov, RUS, 10
3. Florian Raudaschl, AUT, 10
4. Vasilij Zbogar, SLO, 12
5. Pieter-Jan Postma, NED, 13

Top five juniors
1. Michal Jodlowski, POL, 46
2. Vangelov Dimitar, BUL, 46
3. Tomas Hrncal, CZE, 66
4. Arkadiy Kistanov, RUS, 76
5. Elemer Haidekker, HUN, 76

www.finneuropeans.org/ec2012

Sam Davies' Saveol Launched In Concarneau
Click on image to enlarge.

Saveol Launched Sam Davies had the pleasure to see her monohull Saveol lowered into the Concarneau Bay waters. The entire team supporting Davies and her project for months and Saveol's former skipper Roland Jourdain also attended. The female skipper is now full of anticipation for what lies ahead.

Nearly 30 people were present for the special occasion this morning. The CEO and general manager of Saveol (Title-sponsor of the boat), other partners, people supporting Sam and her project since the beginning, tomato and strawberry growers, they all met at Moros wharf in Concarneau (Finistère) to attend one of the key moments for Saveol in the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe: The launch of the 60-foot monohull. Needless to say, the 37-year-old skipper did not miss a second of the symbolic operation marking the result of several years of effort on her part.

After months of hard work in her own office or in potential partners' offices, Sam Davies finally had the opportunity to get close to the sea and to her boat. And it was about time ! The British skipper was looking forward to sailing in her adopted homeland of Brittany. "I'm now going to take Saveol to Port-la-Foret, her home port, where technical adjustements will be taken care of and finally get to actually sail next week ! I just can't wait. The launch of the boat took place in ideal weather conditions. Because there was no wind, crane operation was no problem. But now, I'm hoping for some more wind so I can enjoy sailing on Saveol as soon as next Monday!`"

After enjoying her first sailing session, Sam Davies will move on to the next important step: The boat christening. It is scheduled on April 6th in Brest, not far from Plougastel, a town known for its production of strawberries, which happen to be one of the title-partner's specialties. And because every christening needs a godmother, 2011 Miss France Laury Thilleman will assume that role and attend the symbolic ceremony.

www.vendeeglobe.org

Challenging Start for the Warsash Spring Series
Photo by Eddie Mays, www.eddiemays.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Warsash Spring Series The 29th edition of the Warsash Spring Series got underway on 18th March 2012 and on a day when the wind went from zero then up to 16 knots in the short sharp squalls, both competitors and race officers needed to think quickly.

Forecasts varied but in the main indicated a high pressure area over the south of England bringing light and uncertain winds to the Solent, initially north-west then veering north. Many competitors found ice on the decks but sunshine developed by 0900. The breeze dallied under 5 knots, but this still enabled some crews to put in their first pre-race practice of the season. As the start sequence approached, the wind direction had certainly not settled and a postponement was announced for both Black and White Groups whilst race officers designed and redesigned a multitude of courses accordingly.

The Warsash Spring Series returns on 25th March and continues until 29th April.

Warsash Spring Series - Provisional results Sunday 18th March 2012
IRC1, RAN, Farr 45, Niklas Zennstrom
IRC2, Eaujet, Archambault A35, Mike West
IRC3, Strait Dealer, JPK 1010, David Franks
IRC4, Imptish, Impala, Barnaby Smith
J/Sprit, J'Ronimo, J/92, David Greenhalgh & John Taylor
J/109, Jagerbomb, Paul Griffiths
Sigma 38, Kindred Spirit, Rob and Julie Lee
J/80, Slightly Steamy, Nick Haigh
Laser SB3, Robina, Jo Lloyd

www.warsashspringseries.org.uk

Ladies First
The 2nd event in the Crewsaver Youth Series, held as part of the UK Laser Association's World & European Qualifiers for Standard & Radial rigs, was sailed at Stokes Bay S.C. over the weekend of the 17th & 18th March.

Weather conditions were predicted to be difficult with an area of high pressure building over the Southern UK. With perseverance the Race Officers managed to get in three races for all fleets on Saturday. Sunday morning's racing was postponed in the hopes that the wind would steady and towards mid-day one race was completed for the Standards, Radial Gold & Silver fleets before the wind faded completely.

At Sundays' prizegiving the winners of the Crewsaver Awards for the event were:

1st Standard Youth - Elliot Hanson - £50 voucher - His 2nd victory

1st Radial Youth - Rheanna Pavey - £50 voucher
2nd Radial Youth - Andrew Green - £30 voucher - His 2nd podium place
3rd Radial Youth - Jack Preece - £20 voucher

Congratulations to them all.

The final Spring Qualifier event in the Crewsaver Youth Series is next weekend at Portland, Dorset

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 2004 137' Danish Yacht. US$ 17,500,000. Located In Antigua & Barbuda.

Ranger, a replica of the "J-Class" yacht which won the Americas Cup in 1937, was a labor of love by the current owner. A stellar team contributed to the successful build of Ranger, finally launched by Danish Yacht in 2004. Naval architects Studio Scanu, Reichel-Pugh, and Fred Elliott worked with the original lines of Starling Burgess and Sparkman and Stephens to create a yacht that not only wins honors in regattas, but cruises in style as a proper luxury yacht. A departure from the original, she carries a central cockpit and doghouse as well as a splendid mahogany interior boasting 4 staterooms aft for owner and guests with 3 ensuite baths - all created by Glade Johnson Design. In addition, the interior is extremely quiet, as acoustical engineer Joe Smullin was in charge of isolating it from the hull, greatly reducing vibration and noise .

Whereas the hull is steel, true to the original, the new teak doghouse is carbon fiber underneath and the classic raised panel interior is actually Nida-cored to keep weight down. Countless hours were spent on fitting modern technologies and living concepts into the matrix of a vintage yacht that conformed to the J-Class Association?s rules and regulations.

Brokerage through Northrop and Johnson: www.yachtworld.com/northropandjohnsonfl/

Complete listing details and seller contact information at
uk.yachtworld.com

The Last Word
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. -- Mohandas Gandhi

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