From The Archives: Records, Optimists, Soverel

Published on January 4th, 2017

Here are some moments in sailing history stored in the Scuttlebutt archives

5 years ago: Three and a half years after being launched in August 2008 and after her second attempt, the 131-foot maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V has entered records’ history by taking the Jules Verne Trophy at the end of a circumnavigation of 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds around the globe. Loick Peyron and thirteen crew members shattered the previous time of 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds held since March 2010 by Franck Cammas and Groupama 3. (Scuttlebutt 3501)

10 years ago: Bowing to the inevitable, (San Francisco) Bay Area youth sailors are finally joining the ranks of the popular Optimist dinghy class, the boat in which the young people of the world learn to sail. The popular model is sailed today in more than 110 countries by more than 150,000 young people. But the Bay Area has been slow to go with the flow and join the move towards the little seven-foot long, square bowed boat, first built in 1948, that some call a “sailing bathtub.” For decades in the Bay Area, where local pride and tradition run strong, sailing families shunned the “Opti.” For their children’s first boat, they chose instead a rival eight-footer called the El Toro, designed in the Bay Area and affectionately known as the “Bull Ship.” Southern California families also steered clear of the Opti, remaining loyal to another small craft, the Sabot. (Scuttlebutt 2254)

15 years ago: Mark Soverel passed away January 3 at his home near Stuart, Florida. He was 52. Soveral had been diagnosed with cancer last year. Many will remember Mark as a real “sailor’s sailor”. He designed the boats, went into the shop and built it, assembled an all-star crew, and won regatta’s driving. Grand Prix regattas such as the SORC, MORC Internationals, Admirals Cup, More than a handful of current “pro’s” either worked with Mark, sailed with Mark, or were involved with his projects. “Moody Blue”, “Locura”, “Volition”, “Virginia Leigh”, “Grey Mist”, “Blue Angel”, “JB Express” and many, many others. (Scuttlebutt 979)

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