November saw the return of Mallorca based Andy Leeman from the River Ganges expedition which he organised and led with a group of volunteers and journalists.
The Ganges is one of the mighty rivers of the Indian subcontinent. Fed by the Gangotri Glacier, a vast expanse of ice five miles by fifteen, at the foothills of the Himalaya (14,000 ft) in North Uttar Pradesh, which is the source of Bhagirathi, this joins with Alaknanda to form Ganges at the craggy canyon-carved town of Devprayag.
Over 2.500 kilometres in inflatable boats the team travelled from the river’s source to its mouth in the Bay of Bengal. This followed previous successful projects on the Mekong in 2006, and the Zambezi in 2008 which raised awareness of malaria and provided humanitarian relief.
Using only outboard powered RIBS as a means of transport in the most gruelling tropical conditions, Andy’s fascination with these great rivers just keeps driving him on to greater challenges.
Already there is planned The Congo Expedition (launch date: April 25, 2010, World Malaria Day) which is an unprecedented humanitarian project both in scale and scope and builds on the success of the 2008 Roll Back Malaria Zambezi Expedition. In 100 days and for the first time ever, specialists will travel the entire length of Africa’s second largest river by boat, drawing attention to a unique partnership that is beating back the scourge of malaria.
Regional Minister for the Environment, Miguel Angel Grimalt attended Balearics day at Barcelona Boat Show in November. Whilst there he announced that the Department of Environment will invest around €41 million in renovation and improvement of ports under the autonomous administration in 2010. This investment sum includes the flood barrier upgrading in Ciutadella.
Sr. Grimalt also reminded visitors that 1400 new moorings were created around the islands in the last two years, and among other actions were the installation of 9 fields of environmental buoys during the summer. They provide around 400 swinging moorings and were used by 15,000 yachts during 2009.
As mentioned in a stop press in last months issue The Mallorca Chamber of Commerce organised a round table discussion forum for the local leisure marine industry during late November. The theme was; “ What can the local nautical sector offer your business?”
The forum was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), held from 16 to 22 November with the Balearic Islands participating this year for the first time.
This initiative started four years ago in the UK with the support of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and in 2008 took place simultaneously in 78 countries.
Presentations were given by Marga Dahlberg, president of the Balearic Nautical Business Association, and Cristina Sastre of FENAN, on behalf of the charter sector. Whilst Patrick Reynes and Miguel Sunyer spoke for the associations representing marinas and sailing clubs.
A lot of the focus was about capitalising on the growing repair and refit market, expanding the local yacht charter opportunities, and encouraging young people to work and start business enterprises in the yachting industry.
Patrick Reynes Director of Marina Port in Palma, has been elected as president of ANADE (The Association of Nautical Sports Facilities) which represents the interests of 29 marina installations. 19 of them are under state (Port Authority) control, and 13 directly or indirectly managed by Ports de les Illes Balears (regional government.)
Patrick replaces the previous president Ricardo Ferrer, who is Director of Club Nautico Santa Ponsa.
The associations vice president will now be Cristina Mari, who is director of the Botafoc Marina in Ibiza, she will become president after Reynes has served two years.
Amongst the challenges that the new president will face during his term of office, will be ensuring that nautical tourism in the region remains competitive and continues to attract foreign revenues. Also to ensure that renegotiated marina concessions that the Port Authorities have committed to agree on new terms in 2010, are fairly and and equitably implemented towards his members.
As an example these include such facilities as Club de Mar, Alcudiamar, Puerto Portals, Port Adriano, RCN Puerto Pollensa, CN Fornells in Menorca, Marina Botafoc in Ibiza and Patrick’s own Marina Port on the Paseo Maritimo.
METS 2009 held in Amsterdam last November maintained its pole position as the industry’s premier international trade show with a visitor turn-out that was virtually equal to 2008.
“Given the further decline in the economy over the past 12 months, we were understandably concerned that this year’s show would experience a downturn in attendance. We were also very aware that this would be more evident with an extra 7,000 sq m, making the show the biggest ever in our 22 year history,” said METS/SYP Senior Product Manager, Irene Dros.
“But METS expanded to fill the given space!” she continued. “The steady stream of visitors, which did not fall off even on the traditionally quieter final day of the show, underlined how determined the industry is to do business – and to do it at METS and the SuperYacht Pavilion. We are delighted with the result.”
* 18,454 visits from 94 countries (2008: 18,485)
* 1,261 exhibitors from 40 countries (2008: 1,210)
* 119 exhibitors in the SuperYacht Pavilion (2008: 118)
* 4,967 exhibitor staff
The SuperYacht Pavilion (SYP) 2009 – newly located and expanded in hall 10, was one of the hottest spots at METS with exhibitors reporting a non-stop bustle of visitors. Stylish products were displayed in the Repair & Refit Boulevard with even more service providers present.
e3 Systems Malta, a joint venture between the e3 Systems Group of Spain and the Maltese-owned Melita Marine Group, was recently launched to provide advanced marine electronics for super yachts, cruise and commercial ships in Malta. With offices in Mallorca, Barcelona and Antigua and over 30 partners throughout the world, e3 Systems is the largest maritime electronic service provider in the Mediterranean.
During the launch, Roger Horner, Managing Director of the e3 Systems Group, gave a presentation to guests from the maritime industry of the services provided by e3, which range from the recent installation of VSAT on the world’s largest yacht currently under construction, to a satellite TV solution on one of the world’s largest cruise liners, the QM2.
“Our new operations’ office in Malta is an exciting launch as it will enlarge the support umbrella we provide for yachts and ships and also enable us to bring some of our existing, large client base to Malta for work,” said Roger Horner. He referred to this as “the Antigua effect”, which was what happened after they opened their office in Antigua last year, to the benefit of other local services. He also commented on government support, stating that: “In Malta there is government awareness of the value yachting can bring to the country, from the higher spend of the yachting tourist to the revenue generated by the maritime-associated service industry”.
The 5th Annual Future of Superyachts Conference is confirmed to take place on the 21st and 22nd June 2010, again Palma for the third year running.
Now firmly established as a "must attend" event on the superyacht calendar, The Future of Superyachts, the 5th Annual Conference takes place just before the Superyacht Cup, and will bring together an elite group of industry leaders for networking and debate.
The Future of Superyachts is a truly international conference in outlook and focuses on legal, financial, tax, crewing, registration, build and design issues, and regularly attracts an international audience of senior yacht executives.
Speakers and topics already confirmed include:
* The future of yacht design - Ron Holland, Ron Holland Design.
* Dealing with insurance fraud - Nick Smith, Charles Taylor Adjusting.
* The current and future shape of the superyacht finance market - Hugh Modderman, DVB Bank.
* The increased use of green technology in building and design - Paolo Moretti, RINA.
* Has superyacht brokering changed forever? - Toby Walker, Sales Director, Camper & Nicholsons Int.
After a very successful and by all accounts fun filled Round-the-Island event last year, Martin Whyte of AI Sailing, the RYA Sea School in Alcudia, has announced that they will be holding another Regatta in Mallorca from 19th to 25th June 2010.
The Regatta will start out from Alcudia on Sunday 20th, and finish up back there on Friday 25th June.
Martin told us; “Once again we are promising good sailing, great destinations and fabulous company.
Apart from owners entries which can be either motor or sail, individual places are also available on our AI yachts. You can learn to sail, and even try a day on different boats to improve your handling skills.”
The proposed itenary is:
* 20th - Alcudia to Porto Cristo
* 21st - Porto Cristo to Isle de Cabrera
* 22nd - Isle de Cabrera
* 23rd - Isle de Cabrera to Cala D’or
* 24th - Cala D’or to Porto Cristo
* 25th - Porto Cristo to Alcudia
Well known local marine insurance specialists, Seippel & Light - have negotiated a unique collective health insurance scheme which offers preferential terms to policy holders, combined with an opportunity to donate to Joves Navegants, a fully registered Sail Training Charity working with disadvantaged youngsters in Mallorca.
Being launched in January 2010 in association with top health insurance provider DKV, the special prices will be well below the individual tariff that can be obtained outside of a collective scheme. They will only be offered to those customers who commit to a regular donation or annual patronage of the Joves Navegants organisation.
Heidrun Bierkamper of Seippel & Light told us; “DKV are Europe's largest private health insurance company, they have an excellent reputation, and an attractive package for anyone looking for the optimal health insurance cover in a European country. Whilst their prices reflect the high level of cover and the wide range of specialists and consultants that can be accessed, they do offer a highly competitive tariff for a genuine collective scheme. This means that all members must be connected to a common cause, so we decided that Joves Navegants would be a most worthy one to adopt.”
Full details will be released during January when the scheme is officially launched and presented to the public.
Meanwhile the young trainees in seamanship that Joves Navegants are helping, have been very busy helping themselves. By repairing and refurbishing various items of nautical equipment in their workshops, and selling them at a weekly stall in Marratxi market, they have created quite a successful money raising operation.
What they need now are more items that can be worked on and sold. So please consider donating any items you have onboard that may be up for replacement, but could be refurbished and given a new lease of life with some dedicated work and time spent on them.
The Aigua Charter and Sea School team will be exhibiting at the London Boat Show at the Excel centre from 8th January 2010.
Taking a stand in the North Hall, the Palma based team will present their new boats for both training and charter, introducing the ‘sailing holidays with tuition’ package on both sailing and motor catamarans.
Aigua will present the beautiful new Beneteau 54 sailing yacht, available for both luxury charter and for specialist sailing tuition for people who would like to enjoy a touch of luxury whilst learning ‘the ropes’.
The school team is also hoping to steal some ‘Solent sailors’ away from the UK’s south coast, and encourage them to the Mediterranean for some sailing in the sunshine.
Copies of this edition of The Islander will also be given out to prospective charterers and students at the show, to demonstrate that The Balearics has a well developed boating infrastructure including a long established local English language yachting publication.
This year’s Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show is the 56th annual event of its kind in the UK capital. The Show is London’s leading and most established annual event showcasing boating, marine products and lifestyle.
Running from 8-17 January, the show will feature hundreds of boats and with over 400 exhibitors showcasing power and sail boats, dinghies, engines, electronics, deck equipment, charter holidays, sailing courses and more, in fact there’s no better way to discover the thrills of getting out on the water.
Getting to the show could not be easier, with ExCeL just 25 minutes from Waterloo and Liverpool Street stations.
RSB Rigging Solutions SL (RSB) part of Palma based Rolling Stock Group, provide a complete service for the maintenance, repair and replacement of standing and running rigging on all types of sailing yachts, from grand prix racing yachts and superyachts to wooden classics.
RSB work with all the major spar builders and the leading rigging suppliers to produce high quality running rigging for all size vessels.
This portfolio of products and expertise has now been complimented by the company becoming a European service centre for Southern Spars-RIG PRO.
Rig Pro provides comprehensive and professional repair, service and maintenance through their strategically located centres, to racing and cruising yachts whether they carry Southern Spars rigs or other brands.
Each centre is run by accomplished sailors in their own right. Having experienced the highest levels of yachting for themselves they understand every boat’s requirements.
Southern Spars specialises in the use of carbon fibre for the manufacture of masts providing the opportunity for four major advantages over aluminium as follows:
Weight; Dynamics; Aerodynamics; and Stiffness variation.
A key benefit of carbon over aluminium is that it is significantly lighter than aluminium for the same strength. The weight of a carbon fiber spar all depends on section size and the type of carbon modulus. For a typical tube that is the same size and stiffness using standard modulus fibre, a weight saving in the order 45-50% is expected. Using high modulus fibre, for a mast of the same size and stiffness, a weight saving in the order 60-65% is expected.
The advantage of carbon is not only in weight. Dynamically the spars behave differently. This has led to the use of stiffer spars that in turn has resulted in totally new rig/sail combinations that are superior to the old aluminium rigs.
RSB will now be known as RSB Rig Pro and as well as being European service centre for Southern Spars-RIG PRO, they are also agents for Hampidjan Ropes, Future Fibres and Navtec.
With immediate effect the corporate logo below will be used by RSB Rigging Solutions to reflect this new identity.
Just as we went to press it seemed to be confirmed at last, that the multihull deed of gift challenge match between The America’s Cup defender, Alinghi and the US BMW Oracle team was definitely out of the New York Supreme Court, and headed for the chilly waters off Valencia, to take place from February 8th 2010.
Below is the statement dated 15th December 2009 from Fred Meyer, vice-commodore of Société Nautique de Genève, (the official yacht club behind Alinghi.)
“ The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court today upheld Justice Kornreich's decision of 30 October 2009 that disqualified the America's Cup Defender Société Nautique de Genève's choice of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as venue for the 33rd America's Cup. The four-judge panel also upheld Kornreich's decision to exclude rudders from the measurement of the load waterline length of the race yacht.
Once again BMW Oracle's strategy to try to win the America's Cup in court instead of on the water has been successful. For the first time in the history of the America's Cup the Defender has been stripped of its fundamental right to select the venue. Société Nautique de Genève accepts this decision and Alinghi is looking forward to racing for the America's Cup on the water in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010.”
Indeed the Americans must have been confident that this decision would be reached, because on the previous Friday (11th Dec) they loaded their trimaran, the BOR 90, on board a cargo ship for transport to Valencia.
BMW Oracle Racing has been based in San Diego for nearly 16 months, where the team has been training and testing in preparation for the Match. Here, the BOR 90 has undergone several modifications as a result of the testing programme, including the unveiling of a giant wing sail.
Meanwhile the Alinghi team have continued their preparations and performance modifications to the Alinghi 5 catamaran, from their base at Ras al-Khaimah.
One of the major improvements they have made during this build up has been to fit a longer forward spine tube, with all it’s associated rigging. Grant Simmer, Alinghi design team coordinator said; “ The spine took approximately 4,000 man-hours to build in Villeneuve, Switzerland, and then it was shipped to Ras Al Khaimah. The longer bowsprit gives us the opportunity to add more sail area and change the balance of the boat downwind. It won't have any affect on the upwind sailing, only on the downwind performance.”
Here’s a brief reminder of how this all started:
Alinghi is the Defender of the 33rd America's Cup, sailing's most prestigious event and the oldest trophy in international sport. Founded in 1851, it predates the modern Olympics by nearly half a century. At its first attempt, Alinghi won the 31st edition of the event in New Zealand in 2003, and then succeeded in defending it in Valencia, Spain, in 2007, in what was the closest America's Cup Match of all time. The event was visited by over 6.4 million spectators and watched on TV by 4.2 billion viewers.
The Spanish Desafio Español team who bid to be the official challenger of record for the 33rd America’s Cup, were eliminated by a New York Supreme Court decision, ruling that their challenge was invalid.
Since then whilst several court hearings and appeals have been ongoing in New York, the Swiss and US teams have been working towards the inevitability of a multi hull, head to head, best of three series. The date was set by the court, and the Valencia venue only finalised at the 11th hour!