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

Clipper Fleet Heads Across The Pacific
At 0100 UTC on 21 March, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet began the ninth of 14 races as it heads across the Pacific Ocean to Seattle, USA from Qingdao, China.

The Seattle Pacific Challenge will push the twelve teams to their limits in the longest single ocean crossing of the entire circumnavigation. Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has sailed the Pacific Ocean many times, including when he became the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-69.

"The Pacific is a huge ocean and this leg is a long one," says Sir Robin. "The feeling of isolation is probably the biggest challenge our crew is about to face because they've already seen the sort of weather they'll get. In that respect it's rather like the Southern Ocean with big seas and strong winds. So I think it's going to be the length of time they're isolated from the rest of the world that is going to be the hardest thing for them to cope with."

The crossing is estimated to take one month with the arrival window in Seattle from 15-20 April and Sir Robin's remarks about feeling isolated are compounded by the fact that at times, the teams' nearest neighbours could be those on the International Space Station some 300 miles above them.

* Adventurer Martin Frey has set off on the Mighty Pacific leg of the Clipper Race on the final stage of his quest to become the first person ever to climb the Seven Summits and sail the Seven Seas.

On completion of the 5,768 nautical mile race from Qingdao, China, to Seattle with his Visit Seattle team, Martin, a technology angel investor, 56, from Utah, USA, will achieve the feat after an eleven year journey spanning 35,000 nautical miles and more than 14.5 vertical miles.

Amongst his biggest achievements as part of the 14 challenges, Martin has summited Everest and sailed around the world with his family. Martin is crossing the world's largest expanse of water with a race team for the first time, with the Visit Seattle Clipper 70 yacht racing to its home port in Washington State.

Martin's quest began in 2005 with the Seven Summits. By 2012, he had climbed the highest peak on every continent and set his sights on sailing the Seven Seas.

Martin's groundbreaking venture follows a more than 30-year business career that included 13 years in Silicon Valley as a senior director for Cisco, where he ran a global support organization for Cisco's top service provider customers.

World Sailing Prohibits Two Kiteboarding Events
World Sailing has listed two International Federation of Kitesports Organisations (IFKO) events as Prohibited Events under the World Sailing Eligibility Code.

The 1st Junior Kitesports Freestyle World Cup (7-10 April) and the Kitefoil Silver Cup GP World Series (12-16 May) have been included on the Prohibited Events list following improper designation as a world event [Regulation 19.15(c)] and using an improper organizing authority [Regulation 19.15(d)].

World Sailing received no assurances that the 1st Junior Kitesports Freestyle World Cup and the Kitefoil Silver Cup GP World Sailing will be run under the appropriate rules or standards for kiteboarding and therefore have listed the events as prohibited.

World Sailing is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord as the world governing body of sailing, which includes kiteboarding (on water). The IFKO's recent establishment and governance claims to kiteboarding does not alter World Sailing's responsibilities.

To date World Sailing have developed the racing rules for freestyle, wave and speed kiteboarding, secured the introduction of kiteboarding to the Youth Olympic Games, supported the creation of the World Kite Tour and promoted recognised world championships through the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and separate World Cup events in the freestyle, wave and slalom disciplines.

Part of World Sailing's responsibilities is to ensure ensure that events take place within the structure of the rules and are run to appropriate standards for the event and protection of competitors.

World Sailing is committed to developing relationships with the IFKO to ensure the long term growth of the discipline. -- Daniel Smith, World Sailing

* The backstory of the battle between IKA and the best explained by Pressure Drop here:

Last July, The Virgin Kite World Championship opted NOT to work through IKA but work directly through ISAF:

A renegade branch of kiters formed the International Federation of Kitesports Organization:

* And to make matters even worse, the Virgin Group sponsored Virgin Kitesurfing World Championship circuit is not longer to be led by the Virgin Group, is now called the World Kite Tour, and is suing IKA.

The WKT will run as an official World Sailing-sanctioned kiteboarding world tour, and it is authorized to crown world champions. World Sailing also confirmed that the WKT will operate with a Special Event status, similar to windsurfing's PWA World Tour, Volvo Ocean Race, and America's Cup.

The provisional schedule for the 2016 World Kite Tour (WKT) is as follows:

France | April
Venezuela | May
Spain (Tarifa) | June
Sweden (Malmö) | July
Canary Islands | August
Germany (Fehmarn) | August/September
South Africa (Cape Town) | December

Suspense Over In 3rd Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series For The Melges 20s
The Melges 20s ended the 2015/2016 season of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series after three days of competition and eight races. "A fantastic event," according to Richard Davies (Section 16), winner of the fifth and final Act ahead of Igor Rytov (Russian Bogatyrs) and Philippe Pizzichini (Out of Reach), 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Organised once a month from October to March these regattas give international teams an opportunity to establish a winter training base in Monaco to prepare for the summer's big meetings. Valentin Zavadnikov, who instigated the concept has reason to be proud: "Every edition we improve. For this great finale, all the conditions were right: exceptional weather and eight races. The next season promises to be even better".

With 23 races over five months and 36 teams competing, the third edition has already been a success. Overall winner of the season was Alexander Ezhkov (Pirogovo) who topped the leader-board ahead of Igor Rytov (Russian Bogatyrs) with Yacht Club de Monaco member Vladimir Prosikhin (Nika) in 3rd.

This weekend also saw eight Smeralda 888s competing in their Spring Challenge. After winning seven of the nine races held this weekend, the team led by Timofey Sukhotin (Podeba) lifted the trophy, nine points clear of Roberto Tamburelli (Forrest Gump) in 2nd, and the doyen of the fleet, Adalberto Miani (Botta Dritta) in 3rd.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Rob Greenhalgh (GBR)
'Always remembers the little guys' - Ali Devlin; 'He works tirelessly for the development of the sport' - Matt Stark; 'Moth champion to Volvo to Fast40+ promoter!' - Lucy Armstrong; 'The sharp point of a new racing fleet, the boy done good' - Craig Nutter; 'The most dedicated sailor I have come across' - Timo Malinen; 'And bl**dy good fun to sail with' - John Tat; 'Plus the intergalactic champion in the Hamble Foxer fleet' - Nick O'Donnell; 'But as a youngster he was always being reprimanded over his behaviour...' - Pam Marrs.

This month's nominees:


Hugh Welbourn (GBR)
Like the uphill struggle facing our wing rig innovators, Hugh Welbourn and his small team have had to battle for acceptance of their DSS stability concept. Our nomination timing is prompted by the very significant announcement that McConaghy Boats are to start building two DSS designs in China. Meanwhile, the first DSS Infiniti 46 will begin racing in earnest shortly... confidence is high!


Eddie Warden Owen (Wales)
Stan Pearson and John Burnie first had the idea but someone's got to go on point and Eddie worked hard to see it through - and today it is one of the world's great ocean races. At 605nm the Caribbean 600 is the same length as the Fastnet and offers a nice counterpoint - or even reward - following that great classic. But a course that involves rounding 11 Caribbean islands means a rather different challenge for crews...


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

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Will Harris Takes Sixth In Figaro Opener
Great Britain's Will Harris was the stand-out performer in the opening race of the 2016 single-handed Figaro circuit, finishing in an impressive sixth place in a fleet of 23 boats on debut.

Harris, aged 22, from Surrey at the helm of Artemis 77, was the top rookie by some distance in the 342-mile Solo Concarneau Trophee Guy Cotten - a tough non-stop, two-day race along the French Brittany coast that saw bitterly cold and, at times, windy conditions.

Harris was one of three British newcomers to the Figaro racing circuit taking part in the Concarneau race who are currently learning their craft at the UK's Cowes-based Artemis Offshore Academy. Harris was the first non-French skipper to finish the race which was won by France's Charlie Dalin on Macif 2015.

The two other Academy rookies Hugh Brayshaw (Artemis 23) and Mary Rook (Artemis 37) finished the race in 17th and 19th places respectively. Academy alumni sailors Nick Cherry (Redshift) and Alan Roberts (Vasco de Gama) finished ninth and 10th.

The next race on the Figaro calendar is the 320-mile Solo Maitre Coq that starts from Les Sables d'Olonne on the French Biscay coast on April 15th.

Top ten double-handed division
Position/Co-skippers/Boat name
1. Yann Elies & Antoine Carpentier/Queguiner Leucemie Espoir
2. Sebastien Simon & Xavier Macaire/Bretagne CMB Performance
3. Adrien Hardy & Vincent Biarnes/AGIR Recouvrement
4. Gildas Morvan & Alexis Loison/Cercle Vert
5. Martin Le Pape & Eric Peron/Belloco Paysages
6. Sam Matson & Robin Elsey/Artemis 21
7. Milan Kolacek & Pierre Brasseur/Fulgur - Evapco
8. Andrew Baker & Nicolas Jossier/Artemis 64
9. Tanguy Le Turquais & Herve Aubry/Cuisine Ixina
10. Tolga Ekrem/Stephanie Jadaud/Freedom - Service á Domicile

Top ten single-handed division
Position/Co-skippers/Boat name
1. Charlie Dalin/Skipper Macif 2015
2. Yoann Richomme/Skipper Macif 2014
3. Thierry Chabagny/Gedimat
4. Nicolas Lunven/Generali
5. Anthony Marchand/Ovimpex-Secours Populaire
6. Will Harris/Artemis 77
7. Bejamin Dutreux/Team Vendee
8. Corentin Douguet/Sofinther-Un Maillot Pour La Vie
9. Nick Cherry/Redshift
10. Alan Roberts/Vasco de Gama

C&C 30 North American Championship
The C&C 30 One Design class has announced that its inaugural North American Championship will be held this summer as part of New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. The regatta takes place July 13-16, in Newport, RI.

The class has grown steadily since one-design racing began in 2015; 11 teams recently competed at the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week. With the rapid introduction of new teams, and with boats in build for early 2016 delivery, the fleet is expected to number at least 20 for the July event.

"The class is honored to hold our first North Americans at the NYYC," says C&C 30 One Design Class President Dan Cheresh. "The conditions in Newport are always spectacular, and the NYYC logistics and hospitality are top-shelf. I'm thrilled to be competing in such an exciting event; we'll be training hard all summer. The competition gets tighter at every regatta - I can't wait to get to the starting line."

The North American Championship Trophy will be presented at the Rolex Awards Gala at the New York Yacht Club.

The C&C 30 One Design is designed by Mark Mills and built in the USA by USWatercraft.

U23 Finn World Championship
The 2016 U23 Finn World Championship, for the Jorg Bruder Finn Silver Cup, will be hosted in Aarhus, Denmark, the host city of the 2018 Sailing World Championships. Online entry is now open and the Notice of Race and accommodation details are available on the event website at

The 2016 Finn Junior World Championship is being organized by Sailing Aarhus in conjunction with Kalovig Sailing Club and supported by the City of Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark. Kalovig Sailing Club is one of the six founding member clubs of Sailing Aarhus, the organizer of the 2018 World Sailing Championships, which is taking place in Aarhus.

Kalovig Sailing Club is not new to hosting international sailing events. In 2015 the club hosted three major Olympic class events: the Nacra 17 World Championship, the Laser Standard Europeans and the Laser Radial Europeans.

Denmark has not hosted an International Finn Championship since 2009 and this fact underlines that the Class considers Aarhus to be the pivotal choice for development of the Finn Class in Denmark.

The Finn U23 World Championship is being held at Kalovig Sailing Center from July 3 - 9 2016.

Very Cool, And A Cool 280K
Click on image to enlarge.

The Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon, one of the most buzzed-about timepieces introduced at this year's Baselworld, is a sailboat for the wrist. The dial miniaturizes elements of the deck of a classic racing yacht, including a wood deck, winches, lines and a mainsail boom.

The dial is made of inlaid wood in a color and curved design intended to resemble the deck of a classic yacht. A blued aluminum minutes hand represents the boom, the horizontal spar used to angle the mainsail on a racing boat. It swings down from the 12 o'clock position, sweeping across a retrograde minutes scale that extends from 3 to 6 o'clock. It is literally pulled across the scale by strong high-tech fibers that wrap around two "rigging screws" and two pinions designed to resemble - and function as - the winches on the deck of a racing yacht.

The winches use a drive gear, a spiral tensioning spring, and two lock pins to "tack" the boom. The lines are thinner than a human hair, measuring 0.0357 mm in diameter, and are capable of withstanding traction of 1.41 kg (about 3.10 pounds) without stretching. They are made of polyethylene Dyneema.

The watch will be made in limited editions of 18 pieces in white gold and 18 pieces in rose gold. It is priced at $280,000.

Although the design of the Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon is inspired by classic racing yachts, Ulysse Nardin supports the very modern catamaran boat of the Artemis Racing Team, the Swedish challengers in the 35th America's Cup, to be held in Bermuda in 2017.

Featured Brokerage

Premier 45 - NEW BOAT. First launched in 2011

The next generation of stylish performance cruiser, with generous and stable handling characteristics. With an interior designed by Snohetta, this yacht combines class-leading pace with a beautiful interior. Designed by Botin & Carkeek.


Premiere Composite Technologies
+971 (0)4 886 8555


2007 Judel/Vrolijk IRC 66 - NUMBERS. 125,0000 USD. Located in Newport, RI - USA.

One of our latest Central Listing, a top drawer IRC rocket, with lifting keel, retractable prop, and all the mods for regatta competition. Available now, for 2016.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


2015 McConaghy Boats New Build Ker 40+. 405,000 USD.

McConaghy Boats New Build Ker 40+ USD405,000 (Tax Not Paid) The second iteration from the Ker Yachts Design team, which offers vast levels of optimisation on from the original 40ft design. With three boats already sold and the first hull sailing in the UK and already winning silver wear, its clear to see that this boat is going to be the new 40ft benchmark.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

See the collection at

The Last Word
The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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