In This Issue
Fair conditions for Volvo Round Ireland Race fleet as finishing-line beckons
Offshore Sailing Worlds Fleet Assembling
Countdown To Bermuda - Hamburg Leg Of The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta
The IMOCAs around the world with a crew in 2021
248 yachts in the 2018 edition of the AF Offshore Race
U.S. entry into America's Cup announces roster
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Criss Jami

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

Fair conditions for Volvo Round Ireland Race fleet as finishing-line beckons
Photo by Dave Branigan / Oceansport. Click on image to enlarge.

Round Ireland With line honours in the Volvo Round Ireland Race expected to be won on Wednesday afternoon, weather continues to dominate the stakes for the overall race win still to be decided on IRC handicap.

After the heavy upwind conditions off the West coast on Monday, flatter seas and a moderate breeze has provided some respite to the fleet that now stands at 42 boats following a series of retirements, most due to gear failure.

Niall Dowling's Ker 43-footer Baraka Gp has held the on the water lead and passed Rathlin Island off the North coast of Ulster on Tuesday evening with 150 nautical miles remaining to the finishing-line at Wicklow.

Libertalia - Team Jolokia skippered by Jean-francois Levasseur, Volvo 60-footer and Classe 40-footer Corum skippered by Nicolas Troussel are the nearest challengers to Dowling's efforts to take at least line honours in the 705-nautical mile race.

However, forecasts now indicate headwinds for the Irish Sea approach to the finish later turning in light northerlies. The notorious Rathlin tidal gate could yet catch the chasing pack if winds die at night and anchoring for some boats is on the cards.

In the overall race handicap stakes, Pasternak Nicolas on Jaasap, a JPK 1010 tops the provisional leader-board, taking over from Stephen Quinn's J97 Lambay Rules. And hovering near the top of the standings is Ian Hickey's Granada 38 Cavatina, now in her 40th year and hoping for a third race win.

The bulk of the fleet has still to reach the north coast but reports from the crews suggest idyllic sailing along the spectacular Mayo and Donegal coasts.

For Ronan O'Siochrú's team on Irish Offshore Sailing's Desert Star, having overcome a spell of seasickness for some crew-members, a universal problem has arisen on board. The boat's entire supply of toilet roll that was stored in one bag became water-logged in the cabin due to the stormy conditions. The heatwave conditions on deck are proving useful for drying out the supply, roll by roll.

Offshore Sailing Worlds Fleet Assembling
The Hague, Netherlands - With the final deadline now passed for committed entries to submit their measurement and certificate data, The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship is in final preparation for the fleet of 90 yachts from 15 nations to start the event. This fleet represents a diverse cross section of teams from around the world comprised of seasoned champions, newcomers and older production cruiser/racers, as well as brand new custom racing designs being sailed by professional crews and Corinthian amateurs.

For the first time both ORC's rating system and IRC, the system used by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and its French counterpart UNCL, will be used for scoring in this event, so all entries were required to be measured to have certificates from both systems. Use of these systems allows for boats of different types to race against each other under handicap in a week-long format of both offshore and inshore racing.

As the teams start assembling soon at Scheveningen Harbor, official activities start on Thursday 12 July with inspections of the fleet, a practice race and Opening Ceremony on Saturday 14 July, and the first offshore race starting on Sunday, 15 July. The length of this race will vary depending on the weather, but the first teams are expected to finish on Monday 16 July.

On Tuesday 17 July either offshore racing will resume, or the start of windward/leeward course racing will begin on two designated course areas off the beach at Scheveningen, with inshore racing to continue daily through Friday 20 July, and the Awards Ceremony and after party to follow that evening.

A total of nine races are scheduled, two offshore and seven inshore. The teams with the lowest combined scores using ORC and IRC ratings in each of three classes - Class A, Class B and Class C - will be crowned the new 2018 World Champions, with prizes also awarded to teams with all Corinthian (amateur) crew.

The largest and fastest boats are entered in Class A, with ten teams from six nations entered. These include veterans of past ORC championships, such as the reigning ORC European Class A champion from Finland, Tea Ekengren-Sauren's Swan 45 Blue Nights, who earned their title last year in Gdansk, Poland, and also newcomers such as Karl Kwok's Team Beau Geste from Hong Kong. This 2015 Botin 52 design is the farthest-travelled entry at the regatta, and has been racing successfully in the USA and Australia. The team is composed of pro sailors from around the world, including team manager Gavin Brady from New Zealand.

Countdown To Bermuda - Hamburg Leg Of The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta
Best Buddies near the Bermuda start line on July 2, 2018. Photo by Benedikt Woge/AAR. Click on image for photo gallery.

Bermuda to Hamburg The excitement at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was mounting on July 2, 2018, when Swan 441R Best Buddies started the second and final leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR). Being the exclusive entry in the Cruising Division of the regatta, the route will take them from subtropical Bermuda to the maritime HafenCity of Hamburg. Their start further marked the 1-week countdown to the major AAR start of the Racing Division on Sunday, July 8, which will see a fleet of 17 yachts race to the same destination.

It was also a very special day for one of the Best Buddies crew members: Erik Aldinger celebrated his birthday onboard the boat on the start day of the transatlantic race leg, surrounded by his other eight crew members. In true fashion of the AAR, which is a celebration of the jubilees of two of the most prestigious yacht clubs in Europe, the festivities continued until the Bermudian shore line was out of sight. "Best Buddies was the first draft of Nautor's Swan to build a race yacht as a one-design class, and after spending two years in the Caribbean, it fits perfectly that, with the 150th anniversary of NRV, there was finally another transatlantic regatta again", comments Susann Wrede, female co-skipper and co-owner of Best Buddies. The yacht is expected to arrive in Hamburg prior to the end of July. "Everything less than 24 days would be good", says Susann Wrede. "We are the smallest ship, therefore we would be surprised if we would not be overtaken. The big yachts, such as Rambler, are about ten generations ahead, which is simply incredible and it is great that they are participating as well", adds Kay Wrede, Susann's husband and co-owner of Best Buddies.

The nine 'best buddies' are now on their way towards their next mark, the Western approach to the English channel. "Best Buddies started at 12:30pm local time near St. David's Lighthouse in perfect conditions with 10-13 knots of wind, light waves and sunny skies", comments Stefan Kunstmann, Race Officer from the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). "They headed out at 110 degrees and are expected to be about 900-950 nm ahead on July 8, when the Racing Division starts. Presently influenced by a low pressure system, Best Buddies is expected to transition to a high pressure system by Wednesday morning. At present, there will be a high pressure squeeze between the Central Atlantic and New York. This usually means relatively nice weather for a long duration. If all goes according to prediction, they should stop going upwind and begin to transition to downwind sailing at about that time."

The heavy Swan performs best in stronger wind conditions and might be challenged once the wind drops to about five knots on Wednesday. However, the team around skipper Susan Wrede and her husband Kay Wrede are an experienced amateur crew. The Wrede-Family has a strong yachting and boat building background and have immense experience in sailing and crossed the Atlantic several times. With 39 years of age, Best Buddies is not only the smallest, but also one of the oldest yachts in the field. In 1979 the dark blue yacht left the famous Swan shipyard in Finland to take part in many ocean races. When the yacht stopped active regatta sailing in 1983, she went through a two-way story: She sailed as a cabin charter yacht and crossed the Atlantic Ocean many times. After the last refit in 2012, Best Buddies received a second life as an offshore racing yacht and has regularly participated in offshore races ever since. In the same year, the "old lady" won the Swan Baltic Sea Challenge and Susan and Kay Wrede were nominated for the German Offshore Award for their participation in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2015. The crew of 9, thereof two women, will use all their knowledge of refit and technology for a successful Atlantic crossing. Best Buddies is proudly flying the pennant of NRV and Royal Ocean Racing Club, who have both been associated with AAR since the early days of the first race leg, the RORC Transatlantic Regatta 2017 from the Canary Island to the Caribbean.

A YB Tracker is available to provide live-tracking of the entire fleet:

The IMOCAs around the world with a crew in 2021
After several months of talks and reflection, a partnership agreement has just been signed between the famous round the world race (Volvo Ocean Race / Whitbread Round the World Race) and the IMOCA class. The 60-foot IMOCA boats will be lining up at the start of the next edition, which will take place in 2021.

It is a major development for the IMOCA, which after French solo races like the Vendee Globe and the Route du Rhum, will be widening its horizons abroad with crewed races, like the Volvo Ocean Race, the biggest crewed round the world race with stopovers, the most recent edition of which has just ended in The Hague. Antoine Mermod, the President of the IMOCA class, declared that "as we work together to bring the most important offshore races in the world – short-handed and fully crewed – to the IMOCA class boats, it will allow us to grow the class internationally and offer more value to our stakeholders. This partnership should allow us to accelerate the development of some of the teams involved in the IMOCA."

During the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race last week in The Hague, a meeting was held with organisers, sailors and designers like Guillaume Verdier, Juan Kouyoumdjian, Vincent Lauriot-Prevost and Sam Manuard. Vincent Riou, who for a long time was in charge of the technical committee within the IMOCA, was also present: "I was asked to share my experience. The aim was to determine together whether the signed agreements made sense and to come up with some technical solutions."

Johan Salen, co-president of the VOR, declared: "Moving the race into foiling monohulls under the IMOCA class will motivate more sailors, teams and the wider marine industry to prepare for the next edition. Partnering with the existing IMOCA infrastructure means the professional offshore sailing calendar becomes more unified and efficient, this helps the sport as a whole and helps to build a sustainable business model for teams and sailors."

248 yachts in the 2018 edition of the AF Offshore Race
Stockholm, Swedenm: A competitive fleet of yachts have gathered in Stockholm for the 2018 edition of the AF Offshore Race, a unique race that starts in the heart of the city, stretches through the beautiful archipelago and continues out on open water and round the island of Gotland.

The AF Offshore Race was first raced in 1937 and has since the start been managed by The Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS). The course is 350 Nautical miles and with 250 boats competing it counts as one of the leading offshore events in northern Europe.

The number of participants has gone from 183 to 248 boats in the five last years and the number of foreign participants has also increased from 30 to 52.

8.00 PM Tuesday, 40 yachts have finished the race, 45 have abandoned racing and 152 are still out on the water. Looking at the overall results, before all yachts have finished, the current leader is Du Soleil (IMX 40) with an corrected time around the course at 56 h, 38 min.

Four minutes behind them on corrected time we have Goose II (Mumm 36) at second place.Furiosa (Cookson 50), who took line honours in the race around Gotland this morning, is currently on third place but the results can still be changed as more boats reach the finish in Sandhamn.

The first 24 hours of the race were windy but the conditions have been much lighter since midday on Monday. Some teams have been stuck in windless parts of the course today and the forecast says that the wind will continue to be light during the night.

U.S. entry into America's Cup announces roster
The United States-based team that will challenge for the America's Cup in 2021 announced its initial roster on Monday.

American Magic, backed by New York Yacht Club, released a roster of 17 sailors that includes nine from the U.S., four from New Zealand, two from Great Britain and one each from Argentina and Australia.

Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, Maryland, is the skipper.

A crew of 11 will be needed on the AC75, a 75-foot hydrofoiling monohull boat designed specifically for the 36th America's Cup, to be held off Auckland, New Zealand, in March 2021.

"The return of America's Cup activity to the Newport, Rhode Island, area will be a thrilling sight for sailing fans here, across the country and around the world," said Phil Lotz, commodore of New York Yacht Club.

The following make up the initial roster:

Helmsman/tacticians: Dean Barker (Auckland), Andrew Campbell (San Diego), Bora Gulari (Detroit), Ian Moore (Cowes, Great Britain).

Sail trimmers: Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Massachusetts), Maciel Cicchetti (Mar del Plata, Argentina), Paul Goodison (Sheffield, Great Britain), David Hughes (Miami).

Specialists: Matt Cassidy (San Diego), Sean Clarkson (Kerikeri, New Zealand), Jim Turner (Auckland).

Grinders: Cooper Dressler (Coronado, California), Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Florida), Caleb Paine (San Diego), Luke Payne (Fremantle, Australia), Joe Spooner (Auckland).

The head coach of the team is James Lyne of Granville, Vermont.

Seahorse July 2018
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Seems that Armel Le C'leac'h had been finding new ways to make his Imoca 60s go faster...

First steps (always) are exciting
Close and intriguing start to the TP52 year. Less tight for the Fast40s... Rob Weiland

The calm before the hurricane
Reefable wing sails are getting there - and now there is the substantial boost coming from the new AC75 programmes. Jocelyn Bleriot, Marc Van Peteghem, Bruno Belmont, Edouard Kessi, Romaric Neyhousser

It's 1926 and Jolie Brise owner - and Ocean Racing Club co-founder - George Martin wants to do the Bermuda Race... Clare Mccomb

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2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup
Oyster Bay, N.Y.L Ten teams of four, each with at least one female crew, competed at this year's 2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup. Hosted by Oakcliff Sailing and Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, the competitors finished an exciting Round Robin in the late Saturday evening, the second day of racing. The hot and humid conditions continued Sunday with no breeze and no wind. The race committee could not start any races past 1:00 pm ET, so they referred to the results of the previous two days to score the regatta.

Round Robin leader, Jack Parkin (Greenwich, Conn.), and his team composed of Ashton Borcherding (Greenwich, Conn.), Bram Brakman (Darien, Conn.), and Wiley Rogers (Kemah, Texas) were crowned the overall winners of the 2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup. Parkin's team represented the Riverside Yacht Club (Conn.).

They finished nine races with eight points, and only one loss in the Round Robin to last year's champion, David Wood (Corona del Mar, Calif.).

Also finishing with eight points through nine races were Cameron Feves (Long Beach, Calif.), Tanner Chapko (Coronado, Calif.), Brock Paquin (Coronado, Calif,), and Lukas Kraak (Palos Verdes, Calif.). Parkin defeated Feves in the Round Robin for the tie-breaker edge. Feves took second place overall and represented the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club (Calif.).

Placing third with six points was Ansgar Jordan (San Diego, Calif.), Soenke Jordan (San Diego, Calif.), Patrick Mulcahey (Los Angeles, Calif.), and Marianna Shand (Chula Vista, Calif.). They represented the Coronado Yacht Club (Calif.).

In its brief, yet impactful history on youth match racing in the U.S., this invitational event for 16 to 20 year-olds has served as an outstanding training ground for young sailors who are passionate about match racing and focused on competing at the next level.

Final results:
Jack Parkin
Cameron Feves
Ansgar Jordan
Cole Harris
Conrad Vandlik
Porter Killian
David Wood
Jack Reiter
Robert Turigliatto

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