In This Issue
Atlantic provides wild way for fleet competing in Volvo Round Ireland Race
Day 4 RC44 Marstrand Cup - Poons enjoys perfect finish
Around the world with Southern Spars
Henry Wetherell clinches his first Finn Nationals title
Resilience and Patience Prove Keys to Success at New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta
Late AC Entries Possible
Atlantic Anniversary Regatta
Round The Island Race This Saturday
WASZP Europeans - Final Day
When trial and error is no longer enough
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Hunter S. Thompson

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, 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

Atlantic provides wild way for fleet competing in Volvo Round Ireland Race
Baraka Gp. Photo by Dave Branigan / Oceansport

Volvo Round Ireland Race As the leading the boats in the Volvo Round Ireland Race pass the halfway stage and start crossing Sligo Bay this evening, the 705-mile is proving to be a tough challenge with up to a dozen boats forced out by the conditions.

Niall Dowling’s 43-footer Baraka Gp continues to lead the race on the water and is a contender for line honours but only after a tough slog up the West Coast of Ireland.

“The coastline is spectacular with clear skies - if we were going the other direction it would have been ideal!” said Baraka Gp Boat Captain James Carroll. “We’re keeping the boat together so we’re happy about that but we still have pretty tough conditions.”

The worst of the strong winds that gusted over gale force at times was experienced off the Skellig Rocks and Blasket Islands with wind against tide conditions that Carroll described as “very, very rough.. However, even though the sea state moderated slightly off the Aran Islands, the leader is still dealing with breaking seas.

So far, the leading boats have yet to shake off the pursuing pack of mostly smaller and older boats that are performing well under IRC handicap. At present, the race looks like it will be a small boat win in Wicklow later this week.

The current leader on handicap corrected time is Stephen Quinn’s Lambay Rules from Howth Yacht Club in Dublin as is one of the smallest entries amongst the 56 starters that departed Wicklow on Saturday afternoon.

Several boats have been forced out of the race, mostly due to gear failure in the testing conditions while one boat retired for a precautionary medical check for a crew-member who received a minor shoulder injury after a fall on board.

Former race winner Michael Boyd on Jedi reported a Man Overboard early on Monday morning who was “immediately and efficiently” recovered on board. The Irish Coast Guard was informed but no further action was required and the team is continuing with the race.

On current weather forecasts, the first boats to reach Wicklow are expected on Wednesday morning. The first boat to cross the finishing-line receives ‘line honours’ but the Volvo Round Ireland Race is decided on handicap corrected time so the overall winner is likely to be at sea for several more days.

Live tracking is available on

Day 4 RC44 Marstrand Cup - Poons enjoys perfect finish
Dutchman Nico Poons and his crew on Charisma triumphed at the end of a thrilling final day in the 2018 RC44 Marstrand Cup which came down to the last run of the 12thand last race in sparkling sunshine off Sweden's west coast.

Poons started the day in second place, two points behind overnight leader Torbjorn Tornqvist on Artemis Racing, but after scoring a fourth place in the first race of the day, then his third win of the series in the second heat, he just needed to finish one place behind Artemis to win the title.

Charisma started well in the final race but a disastrous windward mark rounding first time round saw her drop from third to last in the nine-strong fleet of high-performance all-carbon monohulls.

But Poons and his team, with Ray Davies on tactics, found speed on the run and by the second windward mark they were on Artemis's tail. They then sat there down the final run to the finish, winning the title on countback with the two crews tied on 48 points.

Poons now takes the lead for the season in the RC44 fleet from Igor Lah's crew on CEEREF, which finished fourth here, three points behind Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika.

The next event in the calendar is the RC44 World Championship in Cascais in Portugal starting on September 26th.

For full results visit:

Around the world with Southern Spars
Southern Spars Congratulations to Dongfeng Racing Team who won the 2017/18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. It was the closest final in the history of the race, with three teams separated by just one point going into the final leg, and it definitely provided a thrilling end to this year’s race.

Southern Spars has a long history with the race, having supplied spars to the event’s podium finishers since Sir Peter Blake’s victory in 1989-90. 38 Volvo teams throughout the years have sported our spars, from the previous alloy rigs to the innovative carbon Southern Spars rigs used today.

For this edition Southern Spars and Future Fibres provided the entire rig for the Volvo Ocean 65 one-design and our team has been on site at all of the Volvo stopovers, providing assistance to the teams and maintaining their rigs. Providing excellent service support was just as important as supplying the highest quality rigs, so that the teams knew that they were in the safest hands possible.

It has been an excellent year working with the Volvo Ocean Race and we are proud to have made this journey with the teams around the world.

Henry Wetherell clinches his first Finn Nationals title
Henry Wetherell clinched his first Finn national title at Mengeham Rythe SC on Sunday after only one further race was possible. British Sailing Team member Wetherell also took the U 23 title, ahead of GAC Pindar U 23 Cameron Tweedle in second with Grand Master Graham Tinsley third.

Henry Wetherell only took one race win across the championship's tricky weekend, but his consistent scoreline of 1,2, (12) 2, 3, saw him take the title by an impressive 13 points, Everyone had one nightmare result when the race went inside out but it takes maturity to keep a calm head and recover as much as possible. With the high temperature and thermal instability it was always going to be a tough job for the race team, but PRO Robert Macdonald did a sterling job in getting as many races as were humanly possible out of the weak and un-predictable breeze.

Race winners Wetherell, Simpson, Smith and Burrell can now add their names to the famous lists inscribed on the historic perpetual trophies, alongside the likes of Vernon Stratton, Ian McDonald-Smith, Chris Law, Ben Ainslie, Andrew Simpson, Giles Scott and Ben Cornish. Henry Wetherell can also add his name to the elite group etched onto Sunday Times Gold Cup.

Top 10 results:
1. Henry Wetherell, Under 23, Beaver Sailing Club, 8.0
2. Cameron Tweedle, Under 23, WPNSA, 21.0
3. Graham Tinsley, Grand Master, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, 24.0
4. James Skulczuk, Under 23 WPNSA, MYC, 26.0
5. James Downer, Gurnard Sailing Club, 29.0
6. Allen Burrell, Grand Master, Thorpe Bay Yacht Club, 35.0
7. Michael de Courcy, Grand Master, Mengeham Rythe Sailing Club, 35.0
8. Hector Simpson, Under 23, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, 42.0
9. Jack Arnell, Under 23, Christchurch Sailing Club, 48.0
10. Markus Bettum, Under 23, Gurnard Sailing Club, 49.0

Resilience and Patience Prove Keys to Success at New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta
A bad start in light air in a 37-boat fleet can be fatal. If you let it be. Skipper John Baxter and his team on the J/70 Team Vineyard Vines = were determined not to let a mistake at the outset of the first race define their regatta. So instead, they got to work, found the advantageous puffs and shifts, and battled through a fleet of top amateur and professional sailors to an 11th in the only race on the first day of the second annual New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, which was sailed Saturday and Sunday out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was enough to keep them in the hunt.

Today, in virtually identical conditions, Baxter and his team, which includes his wife Molly, Jake LaDow and Ben Lamb, were nearly unbeatable, winning two races and placing third in the final race to secure a seven-point win in the regatta's biggest class.

With 59 boats spread across three competitive one-design classes, the One-Design Regatta has earned a place on the summer calendar in just its second year. The wind played possum for much of the weekend, but the New York Yacht Club Race Committee earned strong reviews for getting in four races for each of the classes.

2018 NYYC One-Design Regatta Final Results

J 70 (One Design - 37 Boats)
1. Team Vineyard Vines, John & Molly Baxter, USA, 16
2. USA 2, Timothy Healy, USA, 23
3. Surge, Ryan McKillen, USA, 23
4. Rimette, John Brim, USA, 29
5. The SLED, Eiichiro Hamazaki, JPN, 30

Melges 24 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Wardance, Peter Bergendahl, USA, 5
2. Dark Energy, Laura Grondin, USA, 9
3. Ripcord, Paul Bergendahl, USA, 13
4. Shaka, KC Shannon, USA, 19
5. Slingshot, Wes Whitmyer Jr, USA, 22

Etchells (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. America Jane 11, Scott Kaufman, USA, 11
2. Terrapin, Stephen Benjamin, USA, 13
3. American Baby, George Francisco, USA, 17
4. US Youth Team, Connor Needham, USA, 18
5. Blackadder II, Andrew Cumming, CAN, 20

Late AC Entries Possible
ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton said in interviews that the team wants more challengers and is willing to provide design help to any of the four "smaller" teams still in discussion about a late entry. Late entries can be accepted until 30 November 2018 with a USD 1 million late entry fee. The Protocol allows ETNZ and Luna Rossa to make changes at any time, so nothing prevents them from waiving the late fee.

Dalton did not name them, but the four teams are probably:

Team France - Franck Cammas
US One - Mike Buckley / Taylor Canfield
Adelasia di Torres (ITA) - Renato Azara
a team from China - Craig Monk (NZL) involved

Plans for the America's Cup venue in Auckland show space for two more team bases. You can listen to the Dalton interview here.

Dalton says a team can be competitive with a budget of of €40 million (USD 47M). INEOS Team UK announced a budget three times as big - €110 million (USD 145 million). -- Jack Griffin, Cup Experience

Class40 Eärendil competing at the AAR Bermuda Hamburg
Atlantic Anniversary Regatta The Class40 Division of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, organized in the 150th anniversary of Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, is coming. The latest entry of the AAR Bermuda-Hamburg Race is Eärendil with Skipper Catharine Pourre. The Class40 Division now includes 4 competitors.

Catherine is the first female Class40 Skipper in this division. Besides the German Melanie Aalburg, Skipper of the SKWB youth team :Bank von Bremen", Catherine is the second female skipper in this race.

The French skipper has won the Class40 division for the RORC Caribbean 600, setting a new record for the 600-mile race around 11 Caribbean islands.

Eärendil took line honours for the eight-strong Class40 Division in an elapsed time of 2 days 13 hours and 15 seconds and has won the first leg of the Atlantic Cup to New York.

"Eärendil" will compete at the AAR against Arnt and Soenke Bruhn's "ISKAREEN", Mathias Müller von Blumencrohn's "Red" and the US team "toothface".

With 17 yachts confirmed the AAR Entry List heats up again. Who's next ?

AUDIO interview dockside with Catherine Pourre by RORC Race ReporterLouay Habib

Round The Island Race This Saturday
For the 2018 Round the island Race in association with Cloudy Bay, Raymarine will be the Official Technical Partner and Official Tracking Partner. As Technical Partner, Raymarine will team with leading marine meteorologist, Simon Rowell, to deliver the all-important pre-race Live Weather Briefing at 6pm, at the new venue of the Cowes Yacht Haven Event Centre. The weather is one of the biggest factors on the day so register for your reminder to watch the LIVE Raymarine Weather Briefing. Watch and be in with a chance of winning over £2000 worth of Raymarine kit.

As the Race’s Official Tracking Partner, Raymarine are supporting the race organisers desire to have not only one of the largest races in the world but also one of the safest. Safety for all is paramount to the organisers so this year they have announced that all boats must register a minimum of one mobile phone per team to enable them to sign up to use the Race’s live GPS tracking system. Although not mandatory this year, transmitting an AIS signal (Automatic Identification System) is recommended. AIS not only enables safer tracking and accountability for the organisers but also offers enhanced benefits for the sailors who can enjoy post-race analysis through the bespoke tracking system.

Entries are still open for the 2018 edition of the Round the Island Race, which takes place on Saturday 7th July. Our final entry period runs until the 4th July after which no further entries will be accepted. Get your entry in now to make sure that you don't miss one of the greatest experiences in the sailing calendar!

WASZP Europeans - Final Day
Photo by Marc Ablett. Click on image for photo gallery.

WASZP Well the day we had been waiting for all event finally arrived. 15-18 knots of Lake Garda goodness rolled in early from the south and it was all to play for with European Championships on the line. Tom Trotman from Australia was in a strong position heading into the final day and consolidated with a 1,2,2 scorecard to take the overall event from Bruce Curson who finished with 2 bullets in the final 2 races. It will be fantastic to see this guys go head to head again at the WASZP Games in Perth 2019.

The battle for the overall European Champion was much more intense with 17 year old Nicolai Jacobsen holding a slight advantage over French sailor Pierre Leboucher. In the first race of the day Jacobsen put one hand on the trophy by finishing in 2nd place with Leboucher back in 5th. Then in the second race of the day Leboucher was looking really good and chasing hard only to have a sensational crash picking up a knee injury that all but dashed his championship hopes. Jacobsen then sailed a smart final race to stay out of trouble and take the WASZP European Championship to Norway.

The racing was extremely tight and as good as you will ever see on such a high performance foiling boat. With the standard lifting with every race completed it was amazing to see 15 boats coming into an upwind gate at 20knots boatspeed.

I other categories, Italian sailor Margerhita Porro won the womens championship from 6 others, while Jacobsen won the youth division. In the masters category it was Bruce Curson from New Zealand and in the 6.9 rig it was young Richard Schuilthie from Malta.

The GPS speed challenege was also hotly contested with the top speed of the week coming from Norwegian Erik Karlsen with 22.9 knots recorded on he final day. The fastest speed we have seen at an event is still 26.1 knots set by New Zealander Nick Olsen at the Australian nationals.

When trial and error is no longer enough
Seahorse The potential risks and consequences of high-speed foiling are an accelerating topic of debate that is finally making its way into the sport’s wider consciousness. Now speculation needs to be replaced with fact...

Over the past decade high performance boats have become much faster. The pace of development has been meteoric, particularly with the widespread uptake of hydrofoiling. While the popularity of the International Moth took off in the mid-noughties, it took the flying exploits of the AC72 catamarans in the 2013 America’s Cup to really capture the attention of the wider sailing world.

Since then the number of foiling craft has proliferated, from dinghies and small cats up to the likes of Wild Oats XI, which has also dabbled with foils at the Maxi level. Now foils have become de rigueur on the latest generation of Imoca 60s, and so it goes on.

Speed up, reliability down Breakage is an almost inevitable part of development. As legendary America’s Cup designer Ben Lexcen once said, ‘If it doesn’t break it’s too heavy.’ However, this trial and error approach doesn’t cut much ice with the insurance industry.

Simon Tonks, deputy head of marine at Hiscox, has been insuring raceboats for more than 20 years. ‘At Hiscox we’re passionate about the sport of sailing and we love to support the latest developments,’ he says. ‘But with these increased speeds come increased risks, not only to the boats, but to the people sailing them and those in the vicinity. When you’ve got MOD70s and other kinds of high-performance boats flying around confined spaces like the Solent, these have safety – and insurance – implications.’

Full article in the July issue of Seahorse

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The Last Word
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