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

America's Cup Row Over Plan For Smaller Catamarans
Smaller, 45ft catamarans are being promosed but Italian billionaire Patrizio Bertelli is threatening to pull out Luna Rossa Challenge because he has already spent so much planning for 62ft catamarans

The 35th America's Cup in 2017 could be won with dramatically reduced budgets as low as £11 million if new rules are signed off to have the Bermuda event contested in smaller boats. But the plans have already sparked a row, with Italian billionaire Patrizio Bertelli threatening to pull out Luna Rossa Challenge because he has already spent so much planning for 62ft catamarans.

The exact size of the proposed new boats was not specified on Thursday but they are unlikely to be much bigger, if at all, than the 45ft catamarans which will be used in the America's Cup World Series.

Team Luna Rossa Challenge said it "is distinctly opposed to the proposal ... to change the Class Rule for the 35th America's Cup and therefore the boat that was previously accepted by all challengers on June 5, 2014. If the principle of unanimity of all challengers required to change the Class Rule were not to be respected Luna Rossa will be obliged to withdraw from the 35th America's Cup." -- Tom Cary in The Telegraph

Big Wave Blast Off In Malta
Fleet racing at the RC44 Valletta Cup got off to a challenging start on Malta's north coast, the 11 crews taking on some of the biggest waves and most confused seas they have ever encountered in their slender one designs.

With the start area for the windward-leeward courses set up off St Julian's, northwest of the Maltese capital, the first race was made no easier as the wind dropped off to 6 knots, leaving the boats at the mercy of the big waves on the downwind legs. There was then a wait for the breeze to settle before it re-established itself in the northeast, building to 18-20 knots for race two and dropping again for today's third and final bout.

Despite his absence from the circuit, it was Slovenian skipper Igor Lah and Team CEEREF (Adrian Stead calling tactics and Tim Powell on mainsheet) that claimed the first two races.

With a full gale forecast tomorrow afternoon, the race committee is intending to start early with the first start scheduled for 09:30.

RC44 Valletta Cup Fleet Racing Results

1. TEAM CEEREF - 11 points
2. Katusha - 11
3. Bronenosec - 12
4. Team Nika - 15
5. RUS - 7 Anywayanyday - 15
6. Peninsula Petroleum - 16
7. Charisma - 16
8. Team Aqua - 20
9. Artemis Racing - 21
10. Artemis Racing Youth - 29
11. MAG Racing - 32

5O5 Pre Worlds
Close racing on the final day of the 5O5 Pre-Worlds with the better end for the reigning 5O5 World Champion.

The first race of the South Africa 5o5 Nationals (pre-worlds event) in Port Elizabeth resulted in Saugmann and Karbo of Denmark winning with Britain's Ian Pinnel and Johannes Tellen in fourth place. In race 2, Pinnel and Tellen took race 2 ahead of Holt and Smit of the USA with Saugmann and Karbo finishing in sixth. -- Gerald New in

Top five after two races: (28 entries)
1. Holt - Smit, USA, 6 points
2. Pinnel - Tellen, GBR, 6
3. Saugmann - Karbo, DEN, 7
4. Higgins - Marsh, AUS, 7
5. Conrads - Haines, USA, 13

Seahorse May 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Gaining (serious) momentum
Damian Foxall, Sidney Gavignet and Alex Pella were a few of the big names who joined EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour for 2015

Still growin'
Josh Impey and Scott Vogel bring us up to date with Southern Spars' rig developments

Rob Weiland tries to avoid being run down in the flood of new TP52 launches

Perfect combination
As two of the best-known names in high-tech and large yachts join forces

How did we get here?
BAR technical director Andy Claughton looks at the backdrop to the genesis of the AC62s that will race in Bermuda

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65

1yr Digital Sub for £30:

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine

Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Australian Championship
"You can't win a regatta on the first day, but you can lose it," reminds the leading Farr 40 skipper Guido Belgiorno-Nettis after day one of the Aberdeen Asset Management 2015 Farr 40 National Championship for the John Calvert-Jones Trophy.

He's satisfied Transfusion is in a defensible position, yet a countback is the only mechanism separating the top Sydney team from the Andrew Hunn steered Voodoo Chile sailing for the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania after the opening four races on Sydney Harbour.

Transfusion and Voodoo Chile finished the day on nine points and Jeff Carter's Edake is within reach on 12 points in third. There were plenty of holes in the average 8 knot WSW breeze on the harbour

Gordon Ketelbey's Zen is fourth, Rod Jones' Kindergarten fifth and Sam Hill's Forty in sixth place. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Industry News
The Yacht Racing Forum announces a new concept and format for its 2015 edition, to take place over December 7-8.

Now composed of separate conference streams, this annual event will deliver important ideas and concepts in three key areas that affect everyone in the yacht racing industry: the Business, organizational, and planning aspects of the sport; the importance of Design & Technology to drive innovation and, for the first time, the role Risk Management plays in the structure of the sport.

Dobbs Davis, technical journalist at Seahorse magazine, and James Gradwell, who has been working in yacht racing conferences since 2008, are part of the organizing team and determined to take it to a new level. "This event is important for anyone involved in yacht racing", says Davis, who will help develop the technical side of the event. "Designers, builders and engineers from various regions and cultures don't have many opportunities to meet. The yacht racing world is moving so fast, with new innovations like rigid sails and flying boats, that it is important to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and business for these new realities. Yet there are still many clever ways to maximize the value of existing technologies, and the Forum will be an important discussion venue for these ideas as well."

The venue for the Yacht Racing Forum will be disclosed this spring, and negotiations are already underway for the 2016 and 2017 editions of the event.

The World Yacht Racing Forum will take place on 7-8 December.



Ten members of Italian Marine Industry Association have decided to withdraw from the organization in the latest rift that could threaten the future of the Association as we know it

These are troubled times for Italy's marine industry association UCINA, which is facing the resignations of 10 of its members on the eve of elections for its new president.

Apreamare, Arcadia Yachts, Azimut-Benetti, Baia, CRN, Ferrettigroup, Maltese S.p.a., Marina di Varazze, Mase Generators and Salpa have all announced their plan to leave UCINA, citing that they don't share the association's philosophy and don't feel properly represented by the organization.

Immediately after the announcement, Lamberto Tacoli, stand-in president of UCINA following the resignation of Massimo Perotti in January, has withdrawn from the run for presidency.

According to UCINA Tacoli pooled just 15% of the vote to become the next president, while fellow council member Carla Demaria, president of the Italy-based Monte Carlo Yachts, registered 70% support among council members. Contentiously Demaria is also a board member for the Beneteau Group in France.


As the OC Sport managed Dongfeng Race Team, the only Chinese entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, continues to exceed all expectations, so OC Sport continues to forge even stronger links in China. Currently on the Volvo Ocean Race project OC Sport is partnering with the Chinese cities of Shiyan and Sanya, as well as Chinese brands of Aeolus Tyres and Dongfeng Trucks. A new three year deal has been signed with Qingdao as Host Venue Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series, as the company boosts internal resources to reflect the company's growing activities in Asia.

What has been more challenging, apart from trying to find Chinese sailors capable of taking on the Volvo Ocean Race, is trying to pierce the Chinese public's awareness of offshore ocean racing. Chinese like to win and there are plenty of sports where they have enjoyed enormous success, particularly in the Olympics for example. Anyone familiar with sailing knows that there is no shame in coming second and it is a major sporting achievement just to finish a Volvo Ocean Race leg in one piece. But that has been a hard message to get across.

Bruno Dubois, Dongfeng Race Team Director, explained further: "The top-level management at Dongfeng Trucks and the people we work with have grasped this. They have understood it after a year - they now realise that it is quite hard to win. But the majority of the public still do not know - again it is the first time they have encountered sailing of any kind and for them there is no difference between car racing, badminton and sailing. That is another big challenge for us - it's not just about introducing the Volvo Ocean Race to China, it is also about introducing a new mentality and a new sport in general…"

Full interview between Bruno Dubois and Ed Gorman, former sailing and Formula One correspondent for The Times:


Naval architect Geoff Van Gorkom has joined the C&C Yachts team as technical director for the C&C 30 One-Design. Known as a high-performance one-design built to tight tolerances, Van Gorkom's expertise is invaluable to maintaining maximum consistency in the construction and finish of each hull. In addition, he is responsible for all of the class's technical documents. Van Gorkom is a graduate of the University of Michigan Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Program, and is the designer of high-performance sailing boats including the Mount Gay 30. He is also the principal of Van Gorkom Yacht Design.


Organisers of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week are delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Johnson as the Commercial and Marketing Director for the event.

Kate is a keen sailor with a strong background in brand strategy & marketing. She began her career at Accenture before specialising in marketing consultancy, at the advertising agency St Luke's followed by Clear (part of the M&C Saatchi group) where she led projects for clients including  Unilever, Mars and Boots. Kate learnt to sail on the Solent and grew up watching the Cowes Week racing from the family beach hut at Calshot. She has since competed in the regatta a number of times.

Kate will join the team in mid March and replaces Michelle Warner who, after ten years with CWL, has departed for pastures new - exchanging the world of boats for classic cars.

This year's regatta takes place from the 8 - 15 August and more information is at


Prime minister Joseph Muscat launched Yachting Malta Ltd. today, a joint venture between the Royal Malta Yacht Club and the government, through Malta Projects Ltd.

Muscat emphasized the importance of yachting to local industry, not just simply as a pleasurable pursuit but as an asset to the maritime sector that aids economic growth and creates jobs.

"The main purpose of Yachting Malta is an increase in the yachting industry and for Malta to become a unique destination. In the next two years, Malta Yachting will focus on developing a business plan to attract more yachting activities, benefiting the economy of the country," Muscat said.

Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer
Sea Tow Services International, Inc. is deeply saddened to report that its legendary Founder and CEO, Captain Joseph Frohnhoefer, Jr., died peacefully at the age of 71 on Tuesday, March 24, at his home in Southold, N.Y., after a brief battle with cancer. His wife of more than 46 years, Georgia, was by his side. Sea Tow's Capt. Joe remained at the helm of Sea Tow, the international on-water assistance company he founded in 1983, until the end.

In addition to running Sea Tow with the help of his wife, daughter, Kristen Frohnhoefer, and son, Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, Capt. Joe was a volunteer EMT in his local community on Long Island's North Fork. He served two terms on the U.S. Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), formed to advise U.S. Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. Capt. Joe also co-founded C-PORT (Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing), the national association for the marine assistance industry, in 1986, and served on the C-PORT Board of Directors until his death.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Owen Sharpe: re: AC45 for the America's Cup: Absolutely the right call.  I can't wait.

* From Dr. Frank Newton, Former Chair ISAF Medical Commission: In 1991 I wrote an article for Seahorse Magazine on the topic of water pollution.

We have not made much progress since then! Probably the same turds floating that were there at that time .

Read Dr. Newton's article here in Seahorse (with thanks to the magazine's archivist!)

Note: This is a 5 meg file!

* From David Evans: Was delighted to see the letter from Euan Ross, pointing out the misuse of the word Chinese when describing an all standing gybe.

These death roll leeward broach gybes are unpleasant and with runners and tacking backstays they were lucky to not wreck their mainsail - Kevlar and Carbon don't like gybes onto runners.

There really is only one way to avoid these leeward broaches and that is sail more dinghies and not be too greedy about going low in heavy conditions - perhaps we will see the big-boys concept making a return!

* From Alistair Skinner: A slight correction to Euan Ross's 'Chinese Gybe' piece. Because a traditional junk rig has bamboo battens and no boom it therefore has no kicker or vang. This combination of weight aloft and nothing to hold the boom down allows the sail to 'sky' at point of gybe and flick over with the top half coming over more slowly because of the weight of the bamboo.

However I do tend to agree with him that the gybes in the VOR fleet were gybes all standing but NOT Chinese gybes. Just another case of how language evolves through incorrect use by people who don't really know. (I am not referring to Euan). I have lived in Shanghai for the past 14 years and have actually seen a 'genuine' Chinese gybe and they are a lot less dramatic than what the VOR bots have recently experienced

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1976 Palmer Johnson S&S 46 - ARISTEIA. 120,000 USD. Located in Alogonac, MI - USA

Classic S&S from 1976 always stored under cover and heavily updated - bit of a barn find really!


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. -- Terry Pratchett

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week