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

Competition Heats Up
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Maxi ROlex Porto Cervo, Italy: Day three of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship 2014 brought continued sunshine and blue skies and a shifty northerly breeze of around 10 knots.

In the seven-boat Mini Maxi division competing for the world championship title Alegre maintains the overall lead she has held since day one, although her rivals grow dangerously closer each day. Firefly also maintains her lead in the Supermaxi division as do Highland Fling (Maxi), Lupa of London (Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising) and Rainbow (J-Class) in their respective divisions.

Only the Wally fleet sees a change of leadership today as France's J One takes command. With a lay-day scheduled for tomorrow, all will be decided in the final two race days remaining before the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association, wraps up Saturday 6th September.

The Mini Maxi Racing class completed a further two windward-leeward races today, taking them to a total of five races run and bringing a discard in to play. As a result only two points now separate the top three boats with Andres Soriano's Alegre, runner up in last year's contest, sitting just ahead of Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima who in turn is only half a point ahead of current title holder Niklas Zennstrom's Ran 5. Today's lighter airs clearly did not suit the leading boats which failed to post any bullets today. Instead it was an all-American day as the smallest boat in the fleet, Caol Ila R, claimed victory in the first race while George Sakellaris' Shockwave took the win in the second.

The rest of the fleet completed another stunning coastal course winding through the granite islands and outcrops of the La Maddalena archipelago which took the Wally, J-Class, Maxi and Supermaxi yachts north through the coastal channel to round Spargi island before doubling back home for a total of 31 miles. The Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising fleet rounded a mark just south of Spargi to complete a slightly shorter version.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Peter Morton (GBR)
'Great sailor, even greater old stories... and always there keen to help anyone out with problems great and small' - Sacha Oswald; 'Nice work, Morty!' - Ado Stead; 'You can't beat him so you may as well join him' - Chris Mason; 'Half Ton sailors must stick together' - Bert Jansen; 'My vote is for Mr and Mrs Morton, an awesome double act who have done so much' - Mark Mills; 'He deserves this one' - the wife!; 'A perfect winner' - Bob Fisher; 'Morty led the way for us young guns in Jersey... and still does' - Blue Robinson.

This month's nominees:


Jason Ker (GBR)
With his Ker 40 IRC designs taking the top two individual boat slots at this year's Commodores' Cup came further endorsement of this British designer's courage and also self-confidence in going out on a limb at the time, some three years ago, when he first convinced himself that when properly executed a lighter displacement design approach could perform (more than) satisfactorily under the IRC system


Roberto Tomasini (ITA)
Not quite out of left field, but this rapid Italian owner-driver had been off the major sailing scene for some 25 years as he built his business empire. Now with a little more time on his hands he is cleaning up in the Melges 32 class in Europe (with the irrepressible Vasco Vascotto at his shoulder) and is also doing a thoroughly good job in the Mini Maxi class having purchased the former Rán 72 from Niklas Zennstrom


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

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Cherbourg Race
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Cherbourg Race is the penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points Championship and the last race of the season across the English Channel. For many of the competing yachts, the 75-mile dash to Cherbourg will be the final race of the RORC season and several class winners are likely to be decided this weekend.

In excess of 60 yachts will be competing from Belgium, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Following a spectacular Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, there are new challengers to the overall title for the RORC Season's Points Championship.

Following a gutsy performance in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, the Army Sailing Association's J/111,British Soldier, is the current overall leader for the championship.

Vincent Willemart and Eric Van Campenhout's Belgian MC34, Azawakh, is currently second overall, but the Cherbourg Race will not be their last race of the RORC Season, as they will be sailing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

In IRC Canting Keel British IMOCA 60, Artemis - Team Endeavour, skippered by Mike Ferguson, returns to RORC racing after the team's world record racing run and class win in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Ian Budgen and Fred Schwyn's British Volvo 70, Monster Project, is en route to Malta and will not be competing this weekend.

In IRC One RORC Rear Commodore Steven Anderson's Corby 40, Cracklin' Rosie, leads the class but the British team will need a good result in Cherbourg to stand any chance of winning the title for the first time. Piet Vroon's Dutch Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, is in action this weekend and is unbeaten in the class this season but second by virtue of only competing in four races. -- Louay Habib

Marc Guillemot and Safran On Course for the Route Du Rhum
On November 2, the skipper of Safran will line up at the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. This will be Marc Guillemot's fifth appearance in the race. It is a race he has particular affection for and for which he will be preparing hard after his IMOCA went back into the water on August 27 in La Trinite-sur-Mer.

Launched in 1978 with Michel Etevenon (the advertising executive who introduced sponsorship into competitive sailing) at the helm, the Route du Rhum is held every four years, drawing together professionals and amateurs on board monohulls and multihulls on the same start line.

This solo transat introduced talented sailors to the public and created a profession. "I particularly love this race," Guillemot says. "The duel between Michael Malinowski and Mike Birch, who won by just 98 seconds at the finish in 1977, made a deep impression on me. I am part of the generation of skippers who started offshore racing just after that. The course is beautiful, dotted with intense moments like the big surfing in the trade winds. That takes incredible energy solo."

After a complete overhaul this summer, Guillemot's IMOCA has begun a series of solo and crewed tests. On the programme are: three courses at Port-La-Foret to have some competition, the Defi Azimut on September 26, 27 and 28, and as much solo sailing as possible to get some miles under the belt to be ready on November 2 in Saint-Malo.

Great Sailing For The Fortunate Few
Hamble, Hampshire, UK: Royal Southern Yacht Club's GAASTRA August Regatta served up great sailing for the fortunate few who were able to take part.

Big or small, however, for some it was a return to the scene of previous triumphs, not least Mike Wallis and his J/109 Jahmali. Racing in the most competitive class in the whole regatta - IRC 2 - Jahmali also won by the narrowest margin, a single point.

Smart work by race officers and more than obliging weather, which saw the welcome return of summer, allowed a full programme of races across both black and white groups. Saturday saw the breeze up to around 20 knots, while Sunday's lighter airs saw courses shortened in the regatta's final races.

Wins were shared around the J/70 class which went to Andrew Barraclough's Jenga 8 with four bullets, ahead of Bob Pearson's Thumper and Paul Molesworth's JustNow, each with a victory apiece.

It was a contest too in the J/80s, though one dominated by Mike Lewis' Jester with six straight wins ahead of Andrew Wishart's Seafire and Charles Bonfield's Jammy, who were separated on countback.

Successive wins - five - in the SB20 class saw Scott Graham's Chill Pill victorious ahead of Whyaduck (Tom Clay) and Striptease (Rebecca Anthony).

The XOD's fourth race of the regatta was also for the Bursledon Regatta Trophy - Stanley Steele Challenge Cup which was won by Keith Hughes' Nannett. The class was won by Andy Hamlett's Satu, which won the other five races.

The Royal Southern's Summer Series finishes with the AVEVA September Regatta taking place over the weekend 20-21 September, including the Royal Southern's participation in 'Bart's Bash' which will be run as part of the first race on Sunday 21st September. -- Phil Riley

Extreme Sailing Series 2015 Notice Of Race Available
With entry now open for the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series, and the Notice of Race available, Series organiser OC Sport and Series Main Partner Land Rover are officially inviting team entries, for what will be the ninth year of competition on the international sailing calendar.

OC Sport has also confirmed the fleet will be once again returning to the Middle East, and from 11-14 March, Muscat, Oman will host Act 2 of the 2015 global tour.

Each Act will be contested over four days: one day of potential open water racing traditionally reserved for media followed by three days of Stadium Racing open to public and VIP guests.

The first start gun of 2015 will be fired in Singapore, Host Venue for Act 1 from the 5-8 February, with Muscat now confirmed as the second stop on the global tour, hosted by local partners Oman Sail.

Additional venue, team and partner announcements will be made over the coming months. Full information on the complete circuit is being supplied confidentially to the teams ahead of the individual public venue announcements.

Is Ireland's Maritime Heritage Recognised?
Is it neglect, ignorance or a failure of our educational system that Irish public consciousness appears to lack awareness of the impact which Irish mariners have made on world and Irish history?

From St. Brendan the Navigator; Grace O'Malley, Granuaile; John Philip Holland; Tom Crean; Captain Robert Halpin; Ernest Shackleton, all Irish, to Admiral Barry of Wexford; Admiral William Brown of Foxford; Francis McClintock; Captain Roberts of the Sirius, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic; Jerome Collins, the first media meteorologist; all are names which, when brought together underline a strong maritime heritage and there are more.

There are people who are trying to remedy the years of neglect of our maritime heritage and one effort in this regard is the symposium which the National Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire will hold later this month. This is being organised jointly with University College Dublin and is a response to the "extremely low level of Irish maritime heritage research." -- Tom MaxSweeney in Afloat magazine:

Industry News
Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear will be at the Southampton Boat Show, right opposite the press stand on B012. Hudson Wight is the Title Sponsor of Lizzy Foreman, the UK's Mini Transat sailor who will compete in this infamous solo race in 2015. Mini Transat 6.50 also known as Transat 650 is the solo transatlantic yacht race that starts in France and ends in Guadeloupe, covering over 4,000 miles with a stopover in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Lizzy will be at the show, her blog at


A University professor, composites yacht builder, inspirational single-handed deaf yachtsman, joiner shipwright and panel of experts chaired by an experienced journalist are among the eclectic line-up of personalities who will be presenting at the 2014 Shipwrights Lectures. The lecture series, now in its fourth year, promises to be a riveting occasion for marine apprentices, young shipwrights and students. The event takes place on Wednesday 15th October 2014 at the Turner Sims, University of Southampton at 14.30.

Award-winning Gerry Hughes, the first profoundly deaf person to sail single-handed around the world will talk about his inspirational voyage. Gerry received the RYA Sailability Personal Endeavour Award for his 32,000 mile circumnavigation via the Five Great Capes in Quest III, his Beneteau 42s7.

The aim of the Shipwrights Lectures is to inform, inspire and show apprentices and students how careers in the immensely wide-ranging marine industry can develop from learning skills in engineering, laminating, wiring, joinery and outfitting to design, naval architecture and management. Attendance is free for apprentices nominated by their employers and young people under the age of 25 who are studying in the marine sector. Each apprentice receives a certificate of attendance.

For more information and to register your attendance:


Sailboat hardware manufacturer Harken Inc has named Zofia Truchanowicz as managing director for Harken Poland.

Truchanowicz is a medal-winning competitive sailor, and has been involved in sailing administration and race officiating at national, Olympic and offshore levels. An international judge and umpire, Truchanowicz has been a member of the jury and umpire teams at the Olympic games, Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour, and numerous other high-profile events.

Currently, she is the rules advisor for the all-female Team SCA competing in the 2014-15 Volvo.

Truchanowicz replaces outgoing managing director Magdalena Rakowicz, who has held the position since 2008.


One of the sporting world's most enduring partnerships celebrates an important milestone this year: the 30th anniversary of the relationship between Rolex, Nautor's Swan luxury sailing yachts and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, partners in the biennial Rolex Swan Cup, one of the world of sailing's signature regattas.

Taking place from 8-14 September, the 2014 Rolex Swan Cup will once again provide the dynasty of Swan yachts an opportunity to engage in close racing in the challenging and scenic waters off Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

"The Rolex Swan Cup is one of the iconic regattas in the world. It is rewarding to see how it builds up and is consolidated event after event," explains Leonardo Ferragamo, Chairman of Nautor's Swan since 1998. "It represents the utmost co-operation between three great entities: Rolex [title sponsors since 1984], the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda [event organizers] and, of course, Nautor's Swan." Fittingly, 2014 also marks the 30th year of the partnership between Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.


France's Total SA has agreed to sell CCP Composites to Polynt Group SpA, based in Italy, for an undisclosed price.

CCP produces unsaturated polyester resins, gelcoats and vinyl ester. Its combination with Polynt's unsaturated polyester resins business would create the largest composite resins producer in Europe and number three globally, the companies claim.

CCP has 800 employees at 26 production sites worldwide, including 220 employees in France, mainly based at its Drocourt plant in northern France.

Its U.S. operations are based in North Kansas City, Mo. Until 2011, the company was known as Cook Composites & Polymers Co.

The company's revenue was $560 million in 2013.


While the fifth generation of Artemis Offshore Academy sailors are gearing up to go solo in the coming months, the time is now for the sailing public. For a second year the Artemis Offshore Academy welcomes you to try your hand at solo sailing at the PSP Southampton Boat show, open between the 12th - 21st September 2014.

As part of the show's 'Try a Boat' experience, the Academy team will be running five GO SOLO sessions daily, each an hour long, aimed at giving experienced keelboat sailors the chance to give solo sailing a go. Budding solo skippers will be welcomed by one of the Artemis Offshore Academy's experienced sailors or coaches and coached through a short drill of manoeuvres, including hoisting the mainsail and headsail, tacking, setting spinnaker, gybing, dropping spinnaker and finally dropping the mainsail alone. The session (approximately 60 minutes) will be a non-stop high intensity session designed to give Academy guests the true solo experience (weather dependent), with a hope to whetting their appetite for short-handed sailing.

Applications for the GO SOLO try boat will close on Wednesday 10th September.

To apply:

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Contact Tink Chambers at Stagg Yachts: , +1.410.268.1001


The Last Word
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