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
Injury and Dismasting Give Crews a Stern Reminder
Yesterday, within the space of an hour, two very serious events had provided a stark reminder of just how dangerous and on the edge this race can be.
PUMA's Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA) became the second boat to dismast on leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race. The first was Ian Walker and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam on the first night. PUMA's Mar Mostro has since retired from this leg and will score zero points. Read and his team are considering all options in order to get the boat to Cape Town as quickly as possible.
"To say that we are disappointed would be the understatement of the day," he said shortly after the rig went over the side. The boat was reaching in about 23 knots of wind, with one reef in the mainsail and a jib and staysail set. "This is by no means the end of the [PUMA] programme, but realistically it is quite a setback," Read added.
Meanwhile, CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) now in second place, also had a stern reality check of what exactly they are doing and how on the edge it is.
Shortly before PUMA's dismasting yesterday, bowman Mike Pammenter (RSA) was injured when, during a sail change, he was swept off his feet by a wall of water and collided with the shrouds, with the full impact being felt by his mouth.
Trailing blood, Pammenter staggered below where he was attended to by race veterans and medics Tony Rae and Stu Bannatyne.
Pammenter's front tooth was completely smashed out and he cut his lip. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet, saving him from worse injury.
"The comforting thing for sure was seeing Tony go about his role as the medic on board," said CAMPER's MCM Hamish Hooper. "Not too many people could suture up an open lip and inject a tooth nerve with anaesthetic on a Volvo Open 70 in the middle of a South Atlantic low-pressure system. True heroics."
In spite of this drama, CAMPER only conceded two miles to race leader Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) who remain focused on being the first boat to cross the line in Cape Town and are 94 nautical miles ahead of CAMPER. Telefónica is still heading south in order to skirt the Saint Helena High, which due to its position further south this year than ever before, means sailing more miles than anticipated in order to reach the westerly breeze on the southern side, and the fast escalator to Cape Town.
* Update from the Helm
Ken Read, Skipper, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG. Click on image to enlarge.
It has taken me a long time to come to this conclusion: There is nothing you should be surprised about in ocean racing. Yesterday was no exception.
Wake up racing, go to sleep 2,500 miles from where you need to be with a 15 foot stump for a mast and a storm jib and storm trysail lashed to it going 2.8 knots. Wondering when food will run out and how to use the limited amount of diesel fuel that is on board.
This is when you need friends and people that care for you.
In the modern days of communication I can call anyone in the world from the phone on the boat just as if I was in my car driving down Memorial Blvd in Newport, Rhode Island...just a tad more expensive.
Calls to VOR headquarters sprung them into action. Calls to our sponsors and Kimo and the phenomenal shore team and they spring into action. Dozens of ideas being thrown around. Trying to think clearly because we are in the middle of freakin nowhere and I have 10 people who not only want to continue with this race and see this thing through, but they also want to eat at some point and have water to drink and be real human beings...and not drift toward South Africa with no hope of being there in the near future.
So this is where we are.
At approximately 18:00 GMT this evening, the ship Zim Monaco should arrive to our position to deliver 450 litres of diesel fuel. At the end of the day, we determined diesel is our lifeblood out here. With it, we can make water and make ground towards a given destination with our 15-foot stump. And that destination is...drum roll...the beautiful island of Tristan da Cuhna!
That's right, Tristan Island. My daughter, Tory, sent me a fantastic e-mail telling me that Tristan has a population of 275 people and is literally a volcano sticking out of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean 6.5 miles wide. It is the closest point of land, which we can re-supply and rally around the next part of our plan. No airport, no other way to get to the Island except by boat.
From Tristan, we plan to have a ship meet us coming from Cape Town with its own crane that can center pick the boat up and place it on the ship on our cradle that our shore crew will have in place upon arrival.
Oh, and the harbor is too shallow to get into in Tristan. We will have to do this in the ocean.
On the ship will be our shore team with a 20-foot container full of tools and equipment and all of us, and we will spend the next four-plus days of transport to Cape Town putting the pieces of Humpty Dumpty back together again.
The spare mast is being flown in from the U.S. as we speak and will meet us in Cape Town. We will need to get the boat in the water as soon as we get to Cape Town to tune the rig properly in time to do the In-Port race and next leg to Abu Dhabi.
Wight Vodka's Favourite Yachting Bar Competition Is Open!
London, England: It's back, and it's better than ever! Wight Vodka's Best Yachting Bar competition is open for your submissions, and we're expecting a very tight race this year. Thus far, you have voted the Peter Cafe Sport in the Azores as the World's Favourite in 2009, and the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI in 2010. In addition to being recognized by the world's yachting community, the bars received a trophy and prized bottle of Wight Vodka to celebrate their win.
2011's contest is fully powered-up from today, hence, we're outlining a few voting rules to maintain clarity during the competition.
1. The Submissions - As of today, we will begin accepting your written recommendations of your favourite yachting bar on the Scuttlebutt website at scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html . The deadline for the submissions is Monday the 5th December. Please include your name, email, the name and location of your favourite bar, the reasons for your love affair, including commentary on atmosphere, the people, the staff, the location, the food, and of course the drink.
2. The Panel Selection - A panel of judges from Wight Vodka, Seahorse magazine and Scuttlebutt Europe will read each essay and choose the Top Ten Bars to put forward for the vote. Please keep in mind that the top ten will be chosen based both on the quality and passion of the submission, as well as the numbers of submissions received for a particular bar. The emphasis, however, will be on the quality of your submission.
3. The Voting - From Saturday, the 10th December, the Top Ten Bars will be announced and the voting will begin. Voting this year will be accessed through the Scuttlebutt Europe website and will be open until Tuesday the 27th December.
4. The Winning Bar - The winner will be announced on 31st December and, similar to last year, the crew from Wight Vodka will be placing calls to the winning bars on New Year's Eve to congratulate them!
We look forward to receiving your submissions from today at: scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html
May the best bar win!
About 50° North
50° North are the creators of Wight Vodka. The company's spirit and enthusiasm for the ocean, coupled with the centuries-old regatta traditions of the Isle of Wight (and of course a full appreciation of superior vodka!) culminated in the creation of the world's smoothest, 42% ABV potato-based vodka. One sip of Wight Vodka will make a believer out of the most discerning connoisseur, and the company welcomes your joining a unique and elite class.
Tack & Gybe Responsibly.
German Frers - A Passion For Design
This coffee table biography provides an insight into the lives, designs and passions of one of the most prolific design families - all named German Frers. It is a book to delight all owners of Frers designed yachts, those that have crewed on them, and all students of yacht 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
Format: 302 x 234mm. 207 pages
Illustrations: 194 colour pictures + 83 Drawings
Price: £35.00 Sterling + P&P ISBN: 09531044 0 0
Order from: South Atlantic Publishing. www.southatlanticpublishing.com
The Jules Verne Trophy Stopwatch Is On
Watching closely to weather forecasts for the past few days, Loick Peyron and his men have decided to take advantage of the front that now stretches between Ireland and Portugal, taking a departure opportunity waited for the past month. By crossing the virtual start line between Ushant and the Lizard Point at 09h31min42s, the Maxi Banque Populaire V is undertaking the Jules Verne Trophy, for the second attempt of her history. "Light" for the warm-up, weather conditions should quickly gain in intensity in the Bay of Biscay, thus plunging the fourteen sailors directly at the heart of their oceanic subject. The stopwatch is on, along with a great adventure.
At 5.03pm, Monday 21st November, a month after mooring at the Port du Chateau in Brest, Loick Peyron and his men were finally able to give in to the urge to take off.
At 09h31min42s this Tuesday, finding the optimal weather configuration over the Atlantic and in consultation with the strategic cell composed of Ronan Lucas and Juan Vila on board, and Marcel van Triest on shore, Loick Peyron crossed the imaginary line between the Creac'h lighthouse situated on the Northwest tip of the Brittany island and Lizard Point, on the south west of Britain. The light conditions to get into the swing of this non-stop round the world won't last for long and the menu should seriously get tougher for the sailors.
Tough and wet, this entering should allow Loick Peyron and his crew to negotiate the descent to the equator at first, then to South Africa, under these more than acceptable conditions.
Downwind, pushed by North / West stream, Maxi Banque Populaire V will then begin its journey around the world. To write their names on the prestigious list of the Jules Verne Trophy and enter the offshore racing's history, Peyron and his men will have to stop the World Sailing Speed Record Council timer before Monday, the 9th of January 2012 at 17h15min34.
Southern Ocean Ice Limit Confirmed for GOR Leg 2
Click on image to enlarge.
On Sunday 27 November, the six double-handed Class40s in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) will cross the start line of Leg 2 off the main harbour's breakwater in Cape Town at 14:00 local time (12:00 GMT). Ahead of the teams are 7,500 miles and approximately one month of racing through the high latitudes of the Indian Ocean before the fleet reaches the finish line off Wellington, New Zealand.
Despite Class40's impressive track record of safety and durability, the GOR Race Committee cannot be complacent, especially with the added risk of icebergs, 'growlers' and 'bergy-bits' drifting increasingly further north into the Indian Ocean from Antarctica and presenting a major threat to the GOR fleet on their classic circumnavigation route through the Southern Ocean. Consequently, the GOR's Race Director, Josh Hall, and the GOR Race Committee have consulted with the teams and imposed a mandatory southern limit for Leg 2.
During the inaugural GOR in 2008-09, the Indian Ocean southern limit was at 50 degrees South and included non-scoring safety gates south of Australia, effectively pulling the fleet north from the desolate and demanding seas to the south
Earlier this year, during the double-handed, round-the-world Barcelona World Race, satellite radar located a massive field of ice south-west of Cape Town as the fleet of IMOCA Open 60s dropped down through the Atlantic. A mandatory waypoint was subsequently implemented, forcing the boats north of Gough Island at 40 degrees South, 1,700 miles WSW of the Cape of Good Hope. More recently, in mid-October, shortly after leaving Cape Town on Leg 3, the skipper of De Lage Landen, a yacht competing in the fully-crewed, Clipper Round the World Race, reported 'two very large icebergs' at 44 degrees S, 49 degrees E in the vicinity of the Crozet Islands - a familiar, remote landmark for high latitude sailors.
With this unusual frequency of ice drifting north, the GOR southern limit for Leg 2 has been installed at 42 degrees South on a line stretching from the start, across the Indian Ocean to a point at 120 degrees East, south of Australia, with the Celox Sailing Scoring Gate running north-south along 69 degrees East, approximately halfway along the 42S southern limit, bisecting the Indian Ocean. Tactically, this will mean more miles sailed by the GOR fleet as while the GOR 2008-09 boats sailed closer to 50 South on a shorter route, covering 6,800 miles with the winning Class40 taking 32 days, the current fleet will sail further north, covering more miles.
The possible weather implications of staying above 42S may also mean encountering headwinds spinning off the top of high pressure systems sandwiched between the deep, low pressure systems that roll eastwards around the bottom of the planet - a scenario that may favour the first generation Akilaria Class40s, Financial Crisis, Phesheya-Racing and Sec. Hayai, while the Verdier-designed Tyker 40 BSL has proved formidable off the wind, as have the Pogo 40S2 Campagne de France and the Akilaria RC2 Cessna Citation.
Dubarry Storm - Designed To Perform
The great thing about the best technical clothing is that it's fit for purpose. There's no frilly bits, no cherries on top, and it won't fall to pieces when the going gets tough. It's a focused, durable, effective masterpiece - just like you. With its waterproof outer and a storm flap inside the zip, it's going to keep you dry. And its snug chin guard and polarfleece inner will keep you warm. It's warm, dry, confident styling in six colourways, and it does exactly what you want a jacket to do.
Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.
Transat B To B: Back To Brittany
The idea of the Transat B to B was born, some four years ago, so as to provide future competitors in the next Vendee Globe (2012), with a qualifier race taking them back to Europe after the Transat Jacques Vabre. The first edition led the fleet from Salvador de Bahia in Brazil to Port la Foret in Brittany and saw victory go to Loick Peyron, tailed by Kito de Pavant and Michel Desjoyeaux. The second edition is offering up an equally choice line-up.
Eight competitors will be at the start of this second edition of the Transat B to B. First up is Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), the brilliant winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Barcelona World Race, who will be keen to demonstrate that's he's not just an expert in double-handed sailing. He'll certainly have his work cut out though with such solid competition as Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire), Vincent Riou (PRB) and Marc Guillemot (Safran). The British contingent will also be well represented with Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), brimming with renewed confidence after his excellent second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre, and Mike Golding (Gamesa), who is fine-tuning the modifications made to his monohull. For Francois Gabart (Macif) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallee), this will be a baptism of fire in the solo sailing domain, but the two young sailors are out to prove that experience isn't everything.
Initially scheduled for 3 December, the race start will finally take place on Monday 5 so as to enable all the shore crews to complete the necessary repairs, after a particularly boisterous Transat Jacques Vabre, before delivering the boat across the Caribbean Sea.
On the eve of the start, the boats will take part in a tour of the island in crewed configuration, as a way of thanking the population of Saint Barts for their warm welcome.
Track the race on the website www.transatbtob-imoca.org
The largest sailing regatta in the Arabian Peninsular with a US$ 50,000 prize fund is now in its third year. Firmly established as one of Oman's major sporting events, the Muscat Regatta provides a wonderful opportunity for close to one hundred aspiring sailors from all over Oman to compete against international opposition at a spectacular venue.
Hosted by the Marina Bandar Al-Rowdha, in association with the Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Ministry of Tourism. The 2011 Muscat Regatta includes inshore racing for yachts and dinghies on the 24th - 25th November followed by the 230-mile offshore Chairman's Cup Race from Muscat to Khasab, starting on the 26th November. Title sponsorship is once again generously provided by the Bank of Beirut.
The Muscat Regatta is very much geared towards promoting young Omanis, mostly in their teenage years, who aspire to join the elite sailors from the Sultanate that compete at Grand Prix sailing events throughout the world. However, a significant number of international sailors are also competing, giving the regatta a very competitive edge.
International race management team, GWM Racing has again been appointed as regatta and race management consultants. The fleet of approximately 50 boats is separated into several different classes including Hobie Cats, Lasers and RS Q'BAs. The Farr 30 fleet will not only race in the inshore event but also offshore with other keelboats to compete for the Chairman's Cup. With a prize fund of US$ 50,000, the 230-mile race to Khasab has attracted an international field of sailors from all over the world including; Australia, Germany, Great Britain, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. -- Louay Habib
Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.
* From Roger Johnstone: We can guarantee that thousands more words will be written on the VOR rig losses to date - probably without the true causes emerging for quite some time, if ever - and how this changes the competitive dynamics versus original forecasts and expectations.
But the most interesting would be in the 200-word press release from Alicante announcing relaxation of the two-mast limit. This could even be standing by already "in draft" on someone's laptop. That part will have been relatively easy wordsmithing - Knut Frostad's quote might be a touch trickier....
* From Hall Spars: The news yesterday that Puma's Mar Mostro lost her rig was devastating for all on the Puma team. Hall is working closely with the crew, the rig designer Scott Ferguson, and standing rigging supplier Southern Spars to get to the root cause of the dismasting. Collectively, we will take every measure to prevent its recurrence.
This is the same team of experts that produced the highly acclaimed rig for Telefonica in the last Volvo Race. Puma's mast was a careful evolution of that rig and has seen tens of thousands of miles of tough service, including a Transatlantic-winning effort earlier this year.
The spare mast was quickly prepared for shipping yesterday at Hall's Bristol, RI, factory. It will be picked up today and trucked to JFK Airport in NY in time to beat the Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving holiday ban on commercial trucking in the U.S. The mast is scheduled to reach Cape Town coincident with the arrival of the Puma team.
"We're doing everything in our power to get Puma back in the race as quickly as possible," says Eric Hall, President of Hall Spars. "We are in continual communication with the shore team, and we will have everything in place in Cape Town to ensure that the mast replacement goes as smoothly as possible. The resilience of the Puma team is extraordinary and our thoughts are with them as they make the difficult journey into port."
1995 Farr 39 ML. US$ 89,900. Located in Lake Texoma, Texas, USA.
Following huge success of the 40 footers MARINARIELLO, HIGH 5 and the conservative 39's RUSH and FLASH GORDON, this innovative design was conceived as a racing yacht, faster for its size and more exciting to sail at a reasonable cost.
The Farr 39 is a dual purpose yacht designed with a moderate displacement making it easy to drive and handles beautifully around the course. A generous sail plan and long sailing length offer exhilarating performance planing and surfing, reaching and running. High sail area relative to displacement and wetted surface area are the key elements for the Farr 39's exceptional downwind and light airs performance.
The deep bulb keel and deep rudder offer exceptional stability with excellent upwind speed in a wide range of conditions.
Brokerage through World Yachts, Inc.: www.yachtworld.com/worldyachtsinc/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
Nobody is nobody. Everyone has something to offer. -- Buckaroo Banzai