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

Top 30 To Battle For Grand Slam
The sun shone brightly on the City of Hamburg today, as three million people celebrated the 827th birthday of its harbour. Thousands of locals and visitors lined the banks of Lake Alster to watch the third day of the SSL City Grand Slam, 86 Star Teams raced in three flights and put on a spectacular show on a tight windward leeward course. The top and bottom marks were within yards of parklands and bridges crammed with racing fans. After a delayed start, allowing an easterly breeze to settle in, the NRV race committee set inch perfect courses. With legs of just 600 metres, great starts and instinctive boat handling was at a premium today.

In the first heat, Italian duo, Negri & Lambertenghi won a battle royal against two past Star World Champions. Germans Stanjek & Kleen led at the start, nailing the committee boat end of the line to lead at the first mark. Negri & Lambertenghi and Polish team Kusznierewicz & Zycki, were hot after the Italians, but once into clean air, Negri & Lambertenghi kept it simple to win the race.

The second heat of the day was won by five time Olympic medallist, Volvo Ocean Race and Louis Vuitton winning skipper, Torben Grael, racing with Stefano Lillia,

The last flight of the day produced a fantastic battle between a German team and the reigning Star World Champions, Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada. Diaz & Prada took the lead, on the last leg, to take the gun.

Racing continues Friday for the top 30 teams in the SSL City Grand Slam. Carrying points through to the second round, four to five races are scheduled and the overall winner will get a bye through to the final. Second place will get a bye through to the semi-final. Of the thirty teams racing tomorrow, only the top ten will survive, as the SSL City Grand Slam goes into the knock-out stages.

Watch the event LIVE here

Coville Just Misses Out On 24-Hour Solo Distance Record
Thomas Coville, the hugely experienced skipper of the giant trimaran Sodebo, came within less than 10 miles of setting a new solo 24-hour distance record today as he raced on day three of The Transat bakerly.

The Frenchman had no concern for the record - which currently stands at 682 nautical miles - but was intent only on pushing his multihull as fast as he dared in his duel with his main rival in the Ultime class, Francois Gabart on board Macif.

However in the 24 hours to 03.00 BST today, Coville travelled 673 miles, just nine miles short of the mark set by his fellow French skipper Armel le Cleac'h on board the trimaran Banque Populaire VII in 2014. Sodebo and Macif are currently about 550 miles due south of Horta in the Azores and sailing a classic tradewind route across the Atlantic on their way from Plymouth to New York.

For much of the race the two skippers have been in sight of each other but are now about 40 miles apart on a north-south axis, with Coville just ahead.

Several hundred miles north of the Ultime battle, the three other fleets in The Transat bakerly - the IMOCA 60s, Class40s and Multi50s - are preparing for the onslaught of an Atlantic depression which is set to hit them tomorrow night and then dominate their first weekend at sea.

The now nine-strong Class40 race is still being led by Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep, while the four remaining Multi50s are being led by Lalou Roucayrol on Arkema.

The remarkable feature of the IMOCA race has been the performance of Vincent Riou on PRB. The former Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race winner has managed to either lead or hold second place despite racing a conventional boat against two foilers.

At present Riou is around 10 miles astern of the class leader, the aforementioned Armel Le Cleac'h on the foiling Banque Populaire VIII, and six miles ahead of Jean-Pierre Dick on the foiling St Michel-Virbac.

Riou's performance offers a fascinating insight into how the foiling IMOCAs and non-foilers will compare in this year's Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race.

Seahorse June 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Coming in from the cold...
The growth in fast composite cruising cats has yet to be matched by a growth in opportunities for well organised but 'sensible' racing. Nigel Irens

Hidden world
Until America's Cup 2013 boat aerodynamics were addressed by few designers outside the C-Class. But not any more... explain Pete Melvin, Jb Braun and Bill Pearson

Old dog masters new trick
Andy Rice watches the dominant match-racer of his generation move seamlessly into lightweight cats... (though the subsequent switch back to heavy monohulls did not go quite so smoothly)

Moving fast - staying dry
And things have come a long, long way

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Americas Cup World Series In New York
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

With only two days until America's Cup class racing returning to New York Harbor for the first time in nearly a century, NBC Sports personality Bob Costas hosted the six competing skippers in a public press conference at Brookfield Place Winter Garden in Battery Park City.

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series New York is the fifth lead-in regatta before next year's 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. It is also the first World Series regatta since Oman in February.

Emirates Team New Zealand heads to the water as the overall leader of the series, having totaled 192 points by placing in the top three in all four completed regattas. The Kiwis are led by skipper Glenn Ashby and helmsman Peter Burling, but it's the first time they'll be sailing together since Oman.

The last time that America's Cup racing was held off New York was in 1920, but it was outside of the harbor. Racing on the Hudson River offers unique challenges, with the wind blowing through the skyscrapers and currents running up to 4 knots. Fans will be able to view the racing anywhere from Pier A in Battery Park up to Pier 25 on the West Side, and it all is free to the public.

Watch the racing May 7-8 on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra in the US or find your country here. You can also watch live by downloading the America's Cup app, available for iOS or Android (territorial restrictions apply).

Landmark Finn Fortnight
The Finn class is going Italian over the next few weeks with two major championships taking place at almost opposite ends of the country - Gaeta and Torbole - with a combined total pre-entry of more than 500 boats. Both events are notable landmarks for the class, but for different reasons.

The Finn Gold Cup is first up and begins in scenic Gaeta this weekend, with around 80 pre-entries. The Finn World Masters follows immediately in Torbole on Lake Garda on Friday 13 May.

Both of these landmarks highlight the popularity and strength of the Finn Class at the moment.

One of the other extraordinary facts about the season so far is that a different sailor has won each major regatta. Jorge Zarif (BRA) won in Miami, Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) won the Europeans in Barcelona, Josh Junior (NZL) won in Palma and Jake LiIley (AUS) won in Hyeres. Everyone has pushed themselves to be at the top of their game for the upcoming Olympics, as well as fighting for Olympic selection.

The Finn Gold Cup will be the end of most of the ongoing Olympic trials.

The compelling Croatian trials between Kljakovic Gaspic and Vujasinovic will conclude next week. On paper Gaspic should be favourite, but Vujasinovic has taken the advantage in their last two meetings, so it looks to be heading for a very close finish.

The Italian trials will also end in Gaeta, with very little light between the top riders. Michele Paoletti (ITA), Giorgio Poggi (ITA) and Filippo Baldassari (ITA) have all produced good results over the past year but none outstanding enough for automatic selection.

Canada is also still in selection phase, with the front-runners being the more experienced Martin Robitaille (CAN) and newcomer, Tom Ramshaw (CAN).

The Australian trialists Lilley and Oliver Tweddell (AUS) will be in Gaeta, following an exceptional performance in Hyeres last week and news is still pending about a decision on selection.

All told, the fleet competing for the honour of winning the 60th Finn Gold Cup contains eight former world or European champions.

Road To Vendee
Alex Thomson sets sail on board his new HUGO BOSS. Watch as Alex explains what it is like to be sailing after his recent set back in the Transat Jacque Vabre 2015.

The Alex Thomson Racing Team are currently in Newport preparing HUGO BOSS for the start of the Ocean Masters New York to Vendee Transatlantic Race, starting on the 29th May. This will be Alex's first solo race onboard his new foiling IMOCA 60.

Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor auxiliary diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.

Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Copenhagen Match Race
Three days of intense competition at the Copenhagen Match Race concluded today on the Danish capital's Tuborg Havn. The World Sailing Grade 3 match racing event doubles as a qualifier for next week's World Match Racing Tour Copenhagen, which kicks off on Monday. Copenhagen Match Race was the second qualifier for the main event following Bermuda Match Race in March.

Racing high performance M32 catamarans, conditions on the race course off Copenhagen over the three days were challenging with very variable winds that required numerous course changes. Nonetheless the six competitors had succeeded in completing four round robins, or 20 races apiece by the close of play today.

Coming out on top was young Swede Nicklas Dackhammar and his Dackhammar Racing crew, who were the class act of the event, finishing clear ahead with 16 wins.

Half points were deducted following collisions during racing.

The results from Copenhagen Match Race count towards the overall World Match Racing Tour leaderboard and have caused Sam Gilmour to ascend to third place overall, behind Nicolai Sehested and Taylor Canfield. Similarly Hans Wallen now holds fifth place behind six time Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams.

Results - Copenhagen Match Race
1. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) - Dackhammar Racing - 16 pts
2. Sam Gilmour (AUS) - Neptune Racing - 12.5 pts
3. Hans Wallen (SWE) - Wallen Racing - 12 pts
4. Chris Rast (SUI) EFG Sailing - 8.5 pts
5. Patrik Sturesson (SWE) - TBE - 8 pts
6. Anna Ostling (SWE) - Team Anna - 1.5 pts

Industry News
Gunboat International was sold at auction to GL Yachting USA and the sale is expected to close on Friday.

Principals at Grand Large Yachting, which consists of French builders Allures Yachting, Garcia Yachting and Outremer Yachting, reserved comment prior to the closing.

Documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of North Carolina's Greenville Division showed that GL Yachting USA Inc. had been named as what is called a stalking horse bidder - the best viable bidder that would eliminate low-ball bids.

A list of the largest 20 creditors amounted to roughly $6,025,845 million in claims, although there were more than 100 claims in total. Company assets were listed at $1.1 million, and total liabilities were about $15.6 million, according to court documents.


The RC44 Portsmouth Cup announced today the support of world-class specialist boatyard, Premier Endeavour Quay, who have agreed to become an Official Supporting Partner and Provider of the event Technical Bases at the UK event.

The third stop on the global RC44 Championship Tour, the RC44 Portsmouth Cup takes place between the 13th and 17th July 2016 and will be the first time this prestigious high performance one-design racing class will stage an event in the UK.

Premier Endeavour Quay is a specialist boatyard, situated in Premier's Gosport Marina on the western shore of Portsmouth Harbour, and a short distance away from the world famous sailing venues of the Solent and Cowes, Isle of Wight. The yard has been selected by Teamorigin Events, the host organiser of the RC44 UK event, due to its ideal location and extensive facilities and experience.


Spinlock has been handed Britain's top business award for its part in boosting the country's international trade. The Isle of Wight-based company was today named as the winner of a coveted Queen's Award for Enterprise for its success in the global sailing market.

Spinlock is among a small number of companies nationwide to receive an accolade for international trade this year.

Spinlock's heritage dates back to 1968 when it began selling navigational instruments from offices in London. The move to Cowes on the Isle of Wight in 1976 and the development of its own product range has since grown to become the industry leader in rope holding technology for yachts and the go-to brand for rope cleats, clutches and jammers.


Crewsaver announces sponsorship with the Silvers Marine Scottish Series 2016 for the second year running.

The sponsorship will see the racing areas, including that of the One Design Racing, provided with buoys from Crewsaver's extensive mark buoy range. The mark buoys will be professionally branded at Crewsaver HQ. Joining the buoys are custom branded wraps in navy which will be used to identify the start marks.

The highly esteemed Scottish Series run by organising authority, Clyde Cruising Club will be running from the 27th to the 30th May 2016.


World Sailing is pleased to announce Zhik, the global leader in marine apparel, as its 'Official Technical Clothing Partner'.

Founded in 2004, Zhik bring an innovative approach to the sailing market and continue to develop and evolve their range for on the water and around the dock, combining performance with style.

The five-year sponsorship agreement between Zhik and World Sailing will run until the end of 2020 and will see both partners work collaboratively to further develop and market the sport in new and existing territories.

World Sailing Staff and Race Officials will be provided with Zhik clothing to wear at World Sailing's family of events and World Sailing will launch a retail range of branded Zhik clothing later this year which will be available for purchase at all of World Sailing's events and online.

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2003 Hugh Welbourn DK Yachts 46. 285,000 EUR. Located in Gaeta, Italy

Welbourn 46ft Racing Yacht, built in 2002 and extensively refitted in 2010/11, composite carbon/epoxy construction. The deck layout of this DK46 racing yacht was also modified in 2011 for short handed cruising in addition to fully crewed racing. Winner of many races including the Rolex Middle Sea in 2012.


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Ker 46 - NEW BOAT

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The Last Word
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