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CSM's Spartan Floods
Velux 5 Oceans skipper Chris Stanmore-Major feared his yacht was sinking after finding the cabin flooded with hundreds of litres of water in the middle of the North Atlantic. The 33-year-old, competing in the 30,000-mile round the world yacht race known as The Ultimate Solo Challenge, discovered the potential disaster halfway into the final sprint of the event from Charleston, USA, to La Rochelle in France.
CSM had been locked in battle with fellow racers Derek Hatfield and Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski around 1,000 miles east of the Canadian province of Newfoundland when the drama unfolded. His yacht Spartan had been travelling at around 18 knots in strong winds when he returned to the cabin following a sail change to find it flooded.
"My immediate thought was that something had breached the hull," CSM told the VELUX 5 OCEANS team. "I have literally never seen that much water inside a boat before. I informed race control that I thought I was dealing with a hull breach. I started to pump out the water then carried out a full check of the boat and found there was only one place the water was coming into the cabin, and that was by the rear bulkhead."
"As the water levels started to go down I could see better what was going on. I found there was a 3ft crack in the hull by the bulkhead. Thankfully, there was no hole in the hull - the water had flooded in from the back compartment of the boat which had been full of water to weigh the back of the boat down."
Eventually all the water was pumped out of the cabin but the flooding had completely soaked the contents of Spartan including CSM's computer and all his clothing. It also accidentally triggered his emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) which sent out a distress signal to rescue services.
Race control were then contacted by Falmouth Coastguard, and Derek and Gutek were diverted to CSM's position. When it became clear CSM's situation was not critical they returned to racing mode. Both skippers will be afforded redress by the race committee for their part in the incident.
"It is reminder that we have been out here for a long time now and I need to be very very careful with my boat," CSM said. "Not only is it a piece of sporting equipment, it is also my survival cell if something goes wrong. The speed gate is coming up and we're still fully functional so we will give it the best shot we can. We're still in the race and we will try to give the other guys hell before we get to the finish."
Positions at 0600 UTC
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 1521.5 / 0 / 201.3 / 8.4
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 1601.3 / 79.8 / 199.3 / 8.3
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 1604.2 / 82.7 / 236.4 / 9.9
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 1606.2 / 84.7/ 206.8/ 8.6
Breezy Conditions: 2 Retirements
Whilst the majority of the Normandy Channel Race fleet is continuing to battle along the English coast, Livewire and Partouche have announced their retirement from the race. Stuart Dodd and Steve Kennington encountered technical issues right from the start. On passing the Saint Marcouf islands, the English duo opted to make for Cherbourg to attempt to effect repairs but for them, the race stops here. As for Christophe Coatnoan and Sebastien Figue, given the difficult sailing conditions thus far and upcoming, they've decided to head back.
There is an almighty battle at the head of the fleet for this second edition of the Normandy Channel Race. Since the start, 10 boats have been riding along neck and neck in some breezy sailing conditions. At this lunchtime's radio session, Yoann Richomme, co-skipper aboard Des pieds et des mains, explained the situation: "It's lively and wet! At the moment, we have 25 knots of breeze and big seas". At the front of the fleet, the top three at the 1400 GMT ranking were within three miles of each other, but the proximity of the boats doesn't seem to be affecting the leaders, Fabien Delahaye and Bruno Jourdren, Port de Caen - Ouistreham: "We don't have a lot of visibility so we're just concentrating on our race, our strategy, downloading the weather and trying to make headway".
The fleet is making towards Plymouth Sound and is set to pass the South-West tip of England early tomorrow morning.
The wind is easing gradually but remains fairly strong. However, over the coming hours, sailing conditions are set to become more manageable. This should give the skippers, and the boats, the time to breathe a little before the next major difficulty, Tuskar Rock. -- Kate Jennings Ranking on Monday 23 May at 1400 GMT:
1. Port De Caen Ouistreham, Fabien Delahaye/Bruno Jourdren, Dist To Finish 765 nm
2. Initiatives Saveurs, Tanguy De Lamotte/Sebastien Audigane, 766
3. Marie Toît - Caen La Mer, Marc Lepesqueux/Michel Kleinjans, 768
4. Des Pieds Et Des Mains, Damien Seguin/Yohann Richomme, 769
5. L'express - Sapmer, Pierre-Yves Lautrou/Dominic Vittet, 771
6. Talanta, Jean Galfione/Eric Peron, 772
7. Mare.De2, Jorg Riechers/Etienne David, 774
8. Defi Gde - Tzu Hang, Axel Strauss/Nicolas Boidevezi, 776
9. Red, Matthias Blumencron/Boris Hermann, 778
10. Phesheya Racing, Philippa Hutton/Nick Leggatt, 779
11. Gryphon Solo 2, Joe Harris/Josh Hall, 795
12. 40 Degrees, Hannah Jenner/Anna-Maria Renken, 799
13. Spliff, Andrew Dawson/Rune Aasberg, 815
14. Ocean Eleven, Stephanie Alran/Caroline Vieille, 821
Retired: Livewire, Stuart Dodd/Steve Kennington
Retired: Partouche, Christophe Coatnoan/Sebastien Figue
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:
Hasso Plattner (GER)
It was good to see the international range of names who put their support behind this vigorous racing sailor and equally vigorous sailing benefactor. Torben Grael, Henrik Soderlund, Manfred Schreiber, Jim Pugh and Mads Ehrhardt were among those who made great play of the example set by this German sailor who at weekends can be found racing everything from his beloved 505 to his maxi Morning Glory and his superyacht of the same name.
This month's nominees:
Richard Hart (GBR)
Seventy three year old Finn legend Richard Hart tried for some time to set his rig and boat up the same as Ben Ainslie and the other top Poms but found it just didn’t suit his style... So eventually this year Hart returned to the trusty set-up that he has established during 50 years in the class. Result! Hart won the second race at this year’s UK Finn championships and went on to finish 10th overall in the 42-strong fleet...
Brad Van Liew (USA)
You can only beat those you race against and in Brad Van Liew’s case beat them he has. In fact Van Liew has executed a very polished job in dominating the small Velux 5 Oceans line-up, with a good enough programme that some are pressing the popular singlehander to roll straight into the Vendée Globe. That, however, is a very different ball game requiring a very different boat. As well as a hell of a lot more money.
Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Harken McLube, Dubarry & Musto. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!
Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at
* Seahorse has a special six issue subscription offer for those who vote and/or comment on the Sailor of the Month... vote and see!
Tacktick Solution For High Quality Wind Data
Click on image to enlarge.
Tacktick have launched an innovative new 'Airflow' feature to their Maxi range of racing electronics which delivers high-quality true wind data. The new feature offers an automated calculation which takes into account the airflow effects from sails and boat heel and delivers stable and precise true wind data from one tack to the other. The Airflow feature is simple to set up and offers a cost effective solution to accurate wind data for those who take their racing seriously.
Tacktick's Maxi range can be interfaced to existing onboard electronics or fitted as stand-alone instruments. With no wires to run through the boat or up the mast and super-thin, lightweight displays, Tacktick's instruments offer the most weight efficient package for race boat owners.
For Spring offers on Tacktick's racing Performance Packs (in £, € and $) visit www.tacktick.com
Glyn Charles Memorial Pursuit Race
Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane. Click on image to enlarge.
The Glyn Charles Memorial Pursuit Race was held at Hayling Island Sailing Club on Saturday 21st May in perfect conditions.
Winners were Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane sailing an International 14, second Jason Russell, Moth Foiler and third Jon Ibbotson and Sophie Mackley in a National 12.
In all 160 boats entered this charity pursuit race, run by Hayling Island Sailing Club, with a great entry from Bosham Sailing Club, which was Glyn's home club at the time of his untimely death whilst competing in the Sydney to Hobart Race in 1998.
As ever the race was sailed in the spirit that has become accustomed with this pursuit race. Whilst taken seriously by some, the majority of competitors are 'celebrating Glyn's Life' by taking part - all proceeds of the event are presented to The John Merricks Sailing Trust - and having a fun sail with their loved ones in a vast array of different dinghies around Chichester Harbour.
In these 'difficult' economic times the sponsors should get a special mention for supporting this 'must do' dinghy race by supplying some super prizes which were spread throughout the finishing boats - MUSTO, HARKEN, GUL, TACKTICK, SCOTT, FOR HER FROM YOU and HISC: we thank you sincerely.
Margaret Charles, Glyn's mother, presented the prizes and thanked all the competitors for attending and for helping to raise so much money for the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
The largest fleet on the day was the RS200s (23 boats) with Tom Morris and Emma Porteous heading them home in 10th position. Mike and Gemma McIntyre were the first keelboat finishing 19th in the super competitive Flying Fifteen fleet (19 boats).
139 boats finished the race, the Teras all made it ashore safely (credit to them - they all finished) and ￡2,000 was raised for a great charity - the John Merricks Sailing Trust, which is what the race was all about. Glyn would have loved today's race and its unique atmosphere. -- Suzy Hamel
Full results at www.hisc.co.uk
English skippers Geoff Carveth, Robert Greenhalgh and Craig Burlton expressed their one-design fleet racing skill to fill the major places in the Zhik SB3 Laser World championship on the Royal Torbay Yacht Club course last week.
Geoff Carveth steering Race Team Gill claimed his second World championship in three years when he and crew produced a near faultless display to win the title by four points from Robert Greenhalgh at the helm of Red while Craig Burlton completed the English team dominance with Gill Racing Team finishing another 26 points of the pace.
However while the racing on home waters favoured the English crews the 'makeshift' Queensland combination of master tactician Glenn Bourke (Hamilton Island ) and Sunshine Coasts Audi Australian ocean racing champions Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith prevented England from completing a clean sweep of the top five places.
Glenn Bourke a triple World Laser Olympic dinghy champion overcame limited racing experience with Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith showed why he is ranked among Australia's best helmsmen when he steered Club Marine into fourth just seven points behind the Bronze Medallist Gill Racing Team.
For Rod Jones the result was a fitting reward for introducing the high performance class into Australia through his Sunshine Coast based OceanBuro Performance Racing syndicate.
Collectively the top three British crews set a vice like grip on the championship winning eight of 12 races but in the end Geoff Carveth who also won the pre-world Gold Medal proved with his 4-2-3-4-1-2-6-9-1-8-4-2 score that consistency has its rewards.
The Race Team Gill combination finished all fourteen races in the top 14 discarding a 9-14 while the Red racing team winner of four races placed their title winning prospects in damage control when they finished the critical final four races with an 11-7-17-4 compared with a 1-8-4-2 by Geoff Carveth.
Placing fourth overall was similar to winning a medal with the Club Marine crew gaining Australia's best ever result at an Laser SB3 World championship.
Their top four finish has set the foundation for an even stronger result when the next World championship regatta is decided at Hamilton Island in December 2012.
Sure the Club Marine crew deserve to be happy with their result but it will take a super human effort to prevent the strong English team from ruling on the warm waters of the Whitsunday Islands when the battle lines are drawn to decide to next World champions.
The next four months will provide Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith with the opportunity to gain a head start over their English fleet racing rivals with the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August providing another important step to develop the required boat speed and crew technique to repel Team Britannia from continuing with their undefeated record as the World's best Laser SB3 sailing nation. -- Ian Grant
Busch, Zimmermann and Feldtmann Make History
Martin Busch, Eduardo Zimmermann and Maximo Feldtmann. Photo by Matias Capizzano. Click on image for photo gallery.
A new Argentine Champion after 6 years, ARG 34 with Martin Busch, Eduardo Zimmermann and Maximo Feldtmann were crowned yesterday after only two races during the past weekend in light winds. The team that after a year of inactivity in the Soling class and many years in the past achieving good results but unable to claim the highest trophy finally broke the ARG 32 team Edding dominance in the Argentine Scene.
The Championship were tuff, different wind conditions, a big fleet and 6 teams fighting at the top, in which team Altisur ARG 36 with Pablo Despontin, Pablo Noceti and Ezequiel F. Sasso took second and ARG 40 with Alejandro Chometowski, Julian Gazzari and Nicolas Moreno third. The Surprise came at the fourth place with ARG 28 Agustin Nottebohm, Alejandro C. Moore and Diego Weppler, in this team Agustin who for the first time beat the brother and the teacher Warburg after his recent training at the Audi Soling worlds in Chiemsee.
16 boats took part of the event, one of the biggest Argentine championship, inclusive thinking that 17 teams sailed the event (two shared one boat) a very old one that promises to continue trying and will look for help to improve performance for the SA champs next semester. They could not finish any race due to the 15 minutes time limit, but Eduardo Muller the owner without no experience at all with the Soling Class, and brothers Windmuller had the temple to go out every day and try it.
The ARG 1 Classic Trophy was again won by ARG 26 with Carlos Zotta, Ruben Salvucci and Fabian Marchese, they are sailing with a boat from 1975 and in light winds are really fast and achieved good races results.
Complete Results: www.soling.com
Dubarry Crosshaven - The Best Gets Better
Click on image to enlarge.
You'd have to go around the world to find a better boot than Dubarry's Ultima or Shamrock - so they did. Green Dragon's raced round the world in Dubarry boots and their Southern Ocean feedback helped to create the world's best offshore boot. Top of the Dragons' list was a waterproof built-in gaiter with top draw-cord to make sure your foredeck forays don't result in a bootful of briney. They're warmer too, lined with GORE-TEX® Duratherm waterproof insulation, heel and toe reinforcement and a new super-supportive footbed inspired by Formula 1 technology.
Dubarry Crosshaven - boots born in the Southern Ocean.
Joe Harris and Gryphon Solo 2 Enter the Global Solo Race
At 12:00 UTC on Sunday, American solo sailor, Joe Harris, crossed the start line of the 1,000 mile, Normandy Channel Race on his new Akilaria RC2 Class40, Gryphon Solo 2, racing in this demanding double-handed event with Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) Race Director, Josh Hall. While the duo are fully-focused on the current race, shortly before the start gun fired off the town of Ouistreham, Harris announced that he has entered Gryphon Solo 2 in the single-handed version of Hall's Class40 round-the-world race, the Global Solo Race 2013-14 (GSR).
For Harris, a highly-experienced solo sailor, former commercial fisherman and boat builder who is currently running his own real estate investment, development and consulting firm, entering the GSR is the first step in fulfilling a longstanding goal: "For me, this will be the culmination of a dream I have had for a long time and I am very pleased to be the first entrant to the Global Solo Race 2013-14," he confirms. Harris and Hall have collaborated on numerous racing campaigns, winning the 50ft monohull class together in the double-handed, 2005 Transat Jacques Vabre on the American skipper's Finot Design Open 50, Gryphon Solo, and the GSR entry continues this successful relationship.
"I am sure that many entries will follow mine," Harris predicts, "but it somehow feels appropriate that I enter this race first, as this was really my dream when Josh and I sailed together in the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabre and came up with the idea of the GOR," he explains. "Many days of hard work by Josh and his team have gone into creating the fantastic race that the GOR has become, as is witnessed by the 19 entries in the 2011-12 edition set to start in September." The GOR's format has particular appeal for Harris: "The race concept combined with the popularity of Class40 has really hit the mark," he adds. "I see a very bright future for both the GOR and GSR.
As soon as Gryphon Solo 2 crosses the Normandy Channel Race finish line, Harris, Hall and their support team, which includes 2008-09 GOR veteran, David Thomson, plan to remove the yacht's carbon rig and prepare the Class40 for the GOR and GSR's mandatory 180 degree self-righting test scheduled for Monday 30th May at the V1D2 specialist offshore racing yard in Caen.
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2010, Porto Cervo. Photo by Jeff Brown, SYM. Click on image to enlarge.
Porto Cervo, Italy: The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) in collaboration with Boat International Media, has been the inaugural event on the Mediterranean superyacht calendar for some years now. The partnership between the YCCS and the Italian luxury wear brand combines the sporting and social attributes unique to regattas in the Costa Smeralda and continues to go from strength to strength with 28 superyachts enrolled in the event taking place from 7th to 11th June 2011.
The fourth edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will once again see a spectacular fleet of some of the world's largest sailing yachts (minimum length overall 24 metres) gather in Porto Cervo for four days of racing through the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago. Competitors will be divided into Performance and Cruising divisions and will include regular visitors to YCCS regattas such as the 50 metre Zefira and of course My Song, owned by Pier Luigi Loro Piana. Claus Peter Offen's Y3K and the 30 metre Indio, division winner in 2011, will also take part and will be ones to watch as will two of the largest yachts in the fleet: the 54 metre Marie and the imposing 57.5 metre Twizzle.
Dutch Sailing World Cup Event Ready To Start
The Delta Lloyd regatta, 5th event on the ISAf Sailing World Cup circuit is set to start on Tuesday May 24th in Medemblik, Holland.
Some 600 boats in the ten Olympic classes and the paralympic 2.4 representing 61 countries are set to hit the water and compete for Sailing World Cup points and the title.
Five teams are back in Medemblik to defend their title. The Delta Lloyd regatta is the first international event in Europe for 2010 SWC winners Eivind Melleby and Peter Morland Pedersen (NOR) in the Star class. In the 49er, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) after placing 4th in Sail Melbourne are back on the circuit to defend their title in Holland.
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) in the Finn, Tom Slingsby (AUS) in the Laser and Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the Laser Radial will be eager to retain their title on the IJsselmeer lake.
Racing will start on Tuesday at 11 am and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
The Medal races are scheduled over two days, with the 470 Men and Women, and Star on Saturday from 6PM and the remaining classes on Sunday. They will be broadcast live with videos integrating 3D tracking and be followed on the event website: www.deltalloydregatta.org
2004 34' Atkinson Sloop. US$83,000. Located in Pattaya Thailand.
Phillip Atkinson has born a clever design concept that was conceived for low latitude sailing , river and shallow ground exploration normally reserved for catamarans but without the price tag.
An all round sailing yacht that will make good speed in light conditions and handle heavy weather sailing.
You may even consider racing this yacht. Simple in design and large on living space she makes for an enjoyable sailing experience. A large uncluttered cock pit and great head room down below is very pleasant in a 35 foot yacht.
A great boat she is complete with a roached main sail , roller furling headsail sail and spinnaker make this yacht very attractive. A walk through transom makes swimming and diving simple. An enclosed head and functional galley add to the concept of this Yacht. Large opening hatches provide great ventilation.
Brokerage through Lee Marine Co.,Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/leemarine/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out. -- Richard Dawkins