Some stories you may have missed this month

Hervé Gastinel, Group CEO, Groupe Beneteau says innovation is key to growth. Photo: METSTRADE 2018

Hervé Gastinel, Group CEO, Groupe Beneteau says innovation is key to growth. Photo: METSTRADE 2018


At METSTRADE 2018, Hervé Gastinel CEO of Groupe Beneteau held a keynote. As CEO of one of the worlds biggest boatbuilders, he is worth listening to.

Hervé Gastinel emphasis was on the critical importance of innovation in product development, customer service and manufacturing transformation. In short, the 3 areas of focus is innovation in product development: connectivity, easy boating and sustainable boating.

Lifetime Achievement Award to Groupe Beneteau’s Annette Roux. Photo: METSTRADE 2018

Lifetime Achievement Award to Groupe Beneteau’s Annette Roux. Photo: METSTRADE 2018

Groupe Beneteau’s innovation road map includes improved connectivity, with all systems accessible through a common user interface and easier boating using autonomous technologies like collision avoidance, self-docking and predicted maintenance. The company’s approach to the environment will include parallel-hybrid solutions with a longer-term focus on fuel cells.

Far from fearing digital transformation, Gastinel says the whole marine industry should embrace it as a way of reaching young and newer boat buyers and users. Groupe Beneteau is also working on a range of solutions to improve customer experience and make boating accessible, from leasing, club and fractional ownership models, to its new Band of Boats full service portal.

Anette Roux, often called “The First Lady of Yachting” was honoured for five decades of standout leadership and service to Groupe Beneteau and to the wider marine industry and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anette Bénéteau-Roux is still very much involved in the company her grandfather founded. She took over the helm of the company at only 22 and has navigated the group with great care and skill ever since.

The drama and perseverance of the GGR 2018

The Golden Globe Race has seen its share of drama and personal tales of bravery and unparalleled seamanship. Hope everyone tunes in to the website or have them in their social media feed. The tracker is on 24/7 and Race Admiral Don McIntyre and Barry Pickthall keeps the press with a steady flow of relevant info.

Don McIntyre, GGR 2018 Founder with an update about the race on the 14th of November.

The incredible sleep walk of Alex Thomson

"I expected to arrive in Guadeloupe today, not hit it," Thomson said at the finish. Famous for keel walks and mast walks as part of the marketing campaigns of his sponsor Hugo Boss can now add sleep walking to his badge it seems.

He had just sailed his 60 ft IMOCA class racing yacht named Hugo Boss aground during a nap and after using the engine to free himself from the rocks, the race committee issued a 24 hour penalty leaving him with a disappointing third place. However, the well spirited 44 year old British yachtsman took the whole incident in good manner. This years Route du Rhum was ultimately won by French yachtsman Paul Meilhat. A race that saw its 40th run this year.

Volvo Ocean Race investigates tragic accident in Hong Kong

The collision occurred between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a non-racing vessel on 20 January 2018. Around 30 miles from the Leg 4 finish line in Hong Kong. 

Tragically, one fisherman lost his life in the incident. He had been recovered from the water and taken on board Vestas 11th Hour Racing and was transferred by helicopter to a hospital in Hong Kong where medical staff were unable to revive him.

After this accident, The Volvo Ocean Race commissioned an independent report to examine ocean racing at night in areas of high vessel traffic density.

The report is now available for download and it offers some unique insights and learnings from the authors. It draws from the accident in Hong Kong, but also looks at racing in close quarters in high traffic areas.

Photo by: Vestas 11th Hour Racing

Photo by: Vestas 11th Hour Racing

Racing boats have increasingly become faster and speeds over 25-30 knots are becoming the norm. As race organisers always seek to draw as many spectators as possible, a race held close to-or inside high traffic density waters will always bring considerable risk.

The report discusses several subjects like night sailing, the use of AIS and the ability of crews to keep a good look out. Such themes are always relevant to any sailor around the world and this report offers relevant reading.

Noting the potential speed of the boats, complex collision avoidance problems can develop quickly and with little warning in congested waters. The report team formed a strong view that the navigation lights should be enhanced.

A number of recommendations were made in the report and included:

• use of an improved coax connector and antenna at the masthead for the AIS system and a new testing and monitoring regime for AIS performance,
• tailored training packages be provided for the fitted, radar, AIS and navigation systems and their use in collision avoidance,
• the FMCW radar be replaced with a more appropriate technology for offshore racing,
• FLIR be further investigated,
• an extra set of sidelights and a sternlight light be fitted near deck level, • an all-round white masthead flashing light be fitted as an anti-collision warning, and
• a set of lights be fitted on the upper spreaders to illuminate the top of the mainsail.

From sailing in the dark waters of Hong Kong to the west coast of Norway:

A Norwegian Navy Frigate collides with tanker and sails aground

Photo: Norwegian Coastal Administration

Photo: Norwegian Coastal Administration

The Royal Norwegian Navy’s “Helge Ingstad” collided with a 250m (820ft) vessel ,The “Sola TS”, on 8 November.

The question everyone is asking is:

How could a top modern, super radar and AIS equipped, professionally crewed navy war ship collide with a 250 meter tanker after being warned about a possible impact on the VHF several times by the tanker?

The Norwegian Armed Forces are managing the salvage operation, in cooperation with Norway's Coastal Administration. The Norwegian Civil Aviation Commission and the local police are investigating the cause of the casualty.  

The future of Americas Cup is here

The evolution of the cup has spun a revolution and come up with another radical design to take home the Auld Mug.

The AM38 test boat, better known as the MULE, touches both sunlight and the sea for the first time. Half the size of the AC75 racing boats set to be used in the 36th America's Cup (Auckland, New Zealand, 2021), the MULE has New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for sailing's highest prize, flying across Narragansett Bay near Newport, Rhode Island.
The America’s Cup is oldest trophy in international sport and dates back to 1851 when the yacht America sailed across the Atlantic to take on the best of the British fleet.  
The trophy won that day was donated through a Deed of Gift to the New York Yacht Club, to be held as a challenge trophy for friendly competition between nations.

Since then the trophy has only been raced for 35 times in the 167 years. To this day the famous quote mentioned to Queen Victoria all those years ago continue to ring true : “There is no Second”