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

A Fast Start From Ground Zero
Fremantle, Australia: The strong breezes of the Fremantle Doctor delivered a fast start to the opening day of the 2016 World Match Racing Tour season today in Fremantle, WA.

The idyllic Western Australian coastal town of Fremantle saw 20 international crews begin their fast and furious battle for supremacy in the M32 catamarans, a giant leap from the more sedate keelboats traditionally associated with world-class match racing.

However, the first two days are all about whittling down the 20 teams to the last 16 with a series of short, sharp fleet races, with the teams divided into four qualifying groups of five. With the fast-reaching starts - another major change to the traditional format of the World Match Racing Tour - the premium on making a quick and pinpoint accurate start is higher than ever.

For all 20 teams, the learning curve in this new era of racing is extremely steep, and the team that learns quicker than the rest can expect to do very well, both here in Fremantle and for this short season for the World Match Racing Tour which reaches its crescendo this July in Marstrand, Sweden at Match Cup Sweden.

Thursday's racing concludes the qualifying series of fleet racing, and the forecast of a more forceful Fremantle Doctor promises to deliver more spectacular racing for the spectators, both at the venue and live online.

A Look Inside The New M32 Build Facility
There are few names more respected in the world of high-performance yachting than Killian Bushe. Beginning his apprenticeship under his father George over 40 years ago, Bushe struck out on his own in 1978.

Since then, the list of boats built, project-managed, or otherwise benefitting from Bushe's work could double as a history of successful offshore yachting. Best-known over the past decade and a half for his hand in building 4 of the past 5 Volvo Ocean Race winners, Bushe was excited by the chance to join the M32 family and take on a new challenge in building the M32 Catamaran

M32World: You've run some of the most advanced yacht building programs in the world, and the new M32 facility is now at the very cutting edge of that business. What features are so special about the new facility? What are you most proud of?

Killian: The main features that make this building special are the amount of open space and the open plan, and the state-of-the-art dust control systems. These features allow a builder to easily and efficiently put together just about any boat or composite part. We're especially happy about the ultra-modern sanding boxes (which double as spray booths) and their dust-extraction systems. The building's design also makes for a worker-friendly environment. A happy work force equals good products, and like all companies, Aston Harald needs a work force that wants to come to work!

The new building also has a clever office layout to allow the sales and marketing team to work at their best, too. It has a raised mezzanine floor with a glass wall from which customers can view the production line when they visit, and it has a view of these 'Viking islands' from the lunch room that you could only dream about. Full interview:

Coming For A Fleet Near You...
Seahorse With clients like two-time Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux Incidence Sails should need little introduction to Seahorse readers

Incidence Sails has been a leading name in long-distance offshore racing sails for decades, often leading many of the world's other sailmakers in this tough genre due to their experience and success in the classes that compete in trans-oceanic events, such as the Imoca 60s, Mini 6.50s and Class40s, and of course some of the most famous giant multihulls that ever howled their way into the oceanic record books. The combination of intense racing in often gruelling offshore conditions has steered Incidence in identifying the crucial balance between innovation and durability that has allowed so many of their customers to stand on the podium at some of the world's toughest ocean racing events.

Huge Fleet To Challenge For 2016 Finn European Titles In Barcelona
The field is narrowing as the Rio Olympics draws ever closer and a key event for many of those fighting for the few remaining paces is the 2016 Senior and Junior Finn European Championships which is set to begin this Friday, 4 March, in Barcelona, Spain.

The final Olympic qualification event will be the Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma later in March, but the European Championship is being used by many nations as part of their selection series, both by those nations already qualified as well as those that are still hoping to qualify for the final European place in Palma.

The entry list is a huge 98 boats from 31 countries including an encouraging number of new and returning countries to the Finn class. The defending senior champion Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) will be looking for his fourth European title, but more importantly he is still looking to close down the selection series for Rio against Milan Vujasinovic (CRO). Their selections end in May, so this event is not being used, but will be crucial for confidence building for both of them.

The defending Junior Champion, Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) will have just as tough a battle to defend his title against at least 20 other juniors, as well as looking to stake his claim for a place in Rio, should Russia win the final European place in Palma.

The USA results based trials will conclude in Barcelona with 2008 Qingdao silver medalist Zach Railey (USA) going in one point ahead of Caleb Paine (USA) after the first leg at the Sailing World Cup Miami.

Meanwhile, the Italian trials continue through to the Gold Cup in May, with a strong team of eight athletes competing in Barcelona. While Italy has already qualified for Rio, Spain and Poland have not yet and are fielding large teams in Barcelona, but as usual the largest team is Russia with nine athletes taking part.

Bronenosec The Class Act In Brisk Bermuda
For the first round of the RC44's 2016 championship, Bermuda today demonstrated exactly why it is a perfect venue for next year's America's Cup.

On day one of the RC44 Bermuda Cup, there was sun, flat water and around 20 knots of wind, gusting into the high 20s by the close of play on Bermuda's Great Sound.

Coming from winning the 2015 RC44 Match Racing Championship, Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec Sailing Team again put in a top performance, through good boat speed, excellent tactics, near flawless crew work, but also with sheer dogmatism, allowing them to score two 'come from behind' wins. As a result the Russian team came close to being unbeaten, only toppled in the final flight against Artemis Racing after a jammed halyard prevented them from hoisting their spinnaker on the final run.

Despite scoring the most wins today, Bronenosec was the guilty party in a pre-start collision with Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team during the first cross of the first race of their season for which they were docked two points.

Tomorrow will be the first of four days of fleet racing at the RC44 Bermuda Cup with a first warning signal scheduled for 1200 local time. Follow the racing via the live blog at

RC44 Bermuda Cup - Match Race Results

1. Aqua - 4 points
2. Artemis Racing - 4 points
3. Team Nika - 4 points
4. Bronenosec - 3 points
5. Peninsula - 2 points
6. Katusha - 2 points
7. CEEREF - 2 points
8. Artemis Racing Youth - 1 point

Full results:

Gdynia To Host 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships
World Sailing is pleased to announce that Gdynia, Poland has been selected to host the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships.

Known as Poland's sailing capital, Gdynia is a dynamic, modern city with experience in running large scale events. The 2019 Youth Worlds will be held out of Marina Gdynia which is close to the city centre and offers excellent sailing and recreational facilities.

Gdynia has hosted a number of international regattas in recent years, including the 2004 edition of the Youth Worlds, 470 and Laser European Championships as well as Volvo Gdynia Sailing Days, attracting thousands of participants and spectators.

An Evaluation Panel received presentations for potential hosts of the 2019 Youth Worlds in February 2016 from the following venues:

Gdynia, Poland
Lelystad, The Netherlands
Shanghai, China

The Panel made their recommendation to World Sailing's Executive Committee who unanimously endorsed the recommendation.

The selection of Gdynia is subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements. -- Daniel Smith - World Sailing

Vanishing Sail At Annapolis Film Festival
Annapolis Film Festival presents the award winning feature documentary Vanishing Sail followed by Q & A with director and cinematographer Alexis Andrews, moderated by world class sailor, author and President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Gary Jobson.

If any of you are in the Annapolis/Chesapeake/Washington/Baltimore area please do come out and join us for this very special event!

Sunday April 3rd 10am, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Auditorium
801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Tickets available

Team Racing Umpires Manual
World Sailing has released a trial format this year in readiness for the review of all manual formats in November and there are two versions, one printable and one digital, of the Team Racing Umpires Manual now available.

Dickson Wins Sail-Off And Advances To Ficker Cup
Scott Dickson won the 2016 LBYC Match Race Sail-Off Sunday in this two-day Grade 4 match race regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club to determine which LBYC match racing skipper will get the invitation to compete in the 2016 Grade 2 Ficker Cup, April 1-3, a 2016 World Match Racing Tour qualifying event.

Five teams; Dickson, Dave Hood (Commodore), Will Durant (Rear Commodore) Wendy Corzine and Lisa Meier competed on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation's fleet of Catalina 37s and were motivated to enter the regatta with the hopes of making it to the Ficker Cup.

The top two finishers in this year's Ficker Cup are invited to this year's WMRT World Sailing Grade 1 Congressional Cup, April 5-10.

Final Results
1. Scott Dickson, LBYC
2. Dave Hood, LBYC
3. Will Durant, LBYC
3. Wendy Corzine, LBYC
5. Lisa Meier, LBYC

National 18 Goes Square Top
At an Extraordinary General Meeting held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club on Saturday 27 February, the National 18 Class voted in a number of rule changes that modernise the mainsail for the new Morrison designed 18 and increase the spinnaker size for the class too.

The changes complete a modernisation process that began at the National 18 AGM in Findhorn in 2012, after which Phil Morrison was asked to design a new hull, a prototype was funded by members of the class and then extensively trialed.

The new design was approved in July 2014 and White Formula appointed as builder in the autumn of that year. The first boat was completed in time for the 2015 RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show and eleven new boats were on the water by the time of the 2015 National Championship. As well as enjoying great class racing the new National 18s have been putting in some excellent results at multi-class events, including great results in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2015/16.

For the 2016 season at least 17 of the new Morrison boats will be racing and the introduction of the updated mainsail and spinnaker for this season will further enhance an already very successful new design. The new mainsail incorporates a broad head and laminate materials with a full length top batten. The new spinnaker is increased in overall size by 25%, bringing it to 21 sq metres total, and in addition twin spinnaker pole systems will be allowed.

The National 18 will be on show again at the 2016 edition of the RYA Suzuki Dinghy show, which takes place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March. The boat to be displayed on on stand B36 is a brand new build for Julian Berney of Blackwater Sailing Club, which will be formally named at the show at 14.30 on Saturday afternoon.

Porto Montenegro Opens World's Largest Superyacht Berth
Adriatic marina Porto Montenegro has expanded its berthing options by adding the world's largest superyacht berth.

Capable of mooring vessels measuring up to 250m, the gargantuan berth is even larger than the world's largest superyacht Azzam, which is 180m from prow to transom.

However, with several 200m+ superyacht concepts released over the past few years, Porto Montenegro is anticipating future demand for mooring even larger vessels.

The new berth dwarfs other Mediterranean offerings, such as the 190m mooring at One Ocean Port Vell in Barcelona and the 135m berth at Grand Harbour Marina in Malta.

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 Andrew Hurst, Seahorse: Thanks for the Firefly pic, but that's no Firefly that I ever remember sailing. Where are the yellow air bags, the vertical tubular Avon bailers (tricky when bent), the wooden top masts. Now that was a proper dinghy. Taught you to stay upright, too, since a flip meant 20-minutes with a bucket. And no, we did have (sort of) Dacron sails, 'coz we woz down wif the kids, ya'see.

* From David Evans: I was delighted to read today that the Oman Sailing Committee have withdrawn from hosting the 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships, which were due to take place in December 201. Obviously this was under pressure from ISAF/World Sailing, who at last have insisted their own rulebook must be obeyed, which states that organisers and organising countries must guarantee full and equal participation to all qualifying nations and their selected competitors.

This is a victory for both sportsmanship and fair play, we must congratulate World Sailing for recovering both their senses and moral compass!

Can we but hope that World Sailing have had a full guarantee from the UAE in respect of the World Cup final to take place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates during this October (2016).

I still think we should all demand a formal apology from both ISAF/World Sailing and also personally from World Sailing's senior executives to the Israeli competitors, who were prevented from participating on an equal footing at the recent 2015 Youth Sailing World Championships in Malaysia. After all this is about people and not politics!

Despite what the doubters suggested in January, it seems Championships can be organised rapidly and venues can be changed at short notice when there is sufficient egg on face!

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2013 Botin 65. 3,500,000 USD. LOCATION

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Her owner invisioned a yacht with mini maxi performance, but with an interior that is second to none and all incorporated into a package that can be raced with only 10 to 12 crew. Her race results have proven that the Botin office hit the ball out of the park with this design, as her first distance race she shattered the ARC transatlantic record and then in shorter races such as the 2014 Sydney to Hobart, she was 7th to finish boat for boat, beating all her similar sized race boats boat for boat, which resulted her being third in class behind two canting keel and smaller race boats. We believe this boat represents an outstanding opportunity to step right on the perfect racer/cruiser.


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2014 McConaghy Ker 46. 415,000 EUR.

Introducing the Ker 46, a light displacement, high performance racing yacht designed by leading IRC designers Ker Yacht Design. Following the success of the Ker 40, Ker Yacht Design and McConaghy boats have again combined to produce this exciting new product.

Designed and optimised for IRC and ORCi racing, a well balanced performance profile ensures a competitive edge in mixed fleets across a wide range conditions and venues. A development of previous designs such as the Ker 40 OD, the Ker 43 "Ptarmigan" and the Ker 46 'Tonnerre'* the new design not only benefits from further technical advancements in fluid dynamics and composite design, but also from practical experience on the water.

The Ker 46 has an all carbon structure with plan approval to ISO Category A standards by Germanischer Lloyd. Construction is without compromise, utilising comparable build techniques to those used in Americas Cup construction and fit out.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble


2009 Melges 32 Complete Package - ROARK. 69,950 EUR. LOCATION

Turnkey package for the next European circuit. This Melges 32 has a complete inventory, with race and training set of sails, set of covers and EU road trailer.


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+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
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