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

Coville Makes It To New York As Runner-Up In The Ultime Class
Thomas Coville, one of the great French solo sailors of recent times, became the second competitor to finish The Transat bakerly this morning when he brought his Ultime trimaran, Sodebo, to the finish at New York.

After a voyage from Plymouth of eight days, 18 hours and 32 minutes, the 48-year-old who has completed seven circumnavigations of the world plus numerous transatlantic races and record-setting voyages, finished just nine hours, 37 minutes and 23 second behind class winner Francois Gabart on Macif.

Coville's giant multihull crossed the finish line in the dark off Sandy Hook at 09:02:02 BST, having travelled a total of 4,656 nautical miles through water at an average speed of 22.11 knots.

He may be the runner-up, but Coville put on an astonishing display of big boat solo racing as he matched Gabart for much of the voyage, despite sailing a heavier boat.

As Coville finished, the third-placed competitor in the Ultime class, Yves Le Blevec on Actual, is 255 miles from the line.

Elsewhere in The Transat bakerly fleet, Isabelle Joschke has managed to establish a lead of six miles in the competitive Class40 battle. In second place British skipper Phil Sharp on Imerys, who celebrates his 35th birthday today, is now nine miles ahead of third-placed Thibaut Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton-Arsep.

Also celebrating his birthday today is Armel Le Cleac'h who still leads the IMOCA 60 fleet, now well to the west of the Ice Exclusion Zone and about 280 miles southeast of the coast of Nova Scotia.

1. Francois Gabart/Macif - 8 days, 8 hours, 54 minutes and 39 seconds at sea
2. Thomas Coville/Sodebo - 8 days, 18 hours, 32 minutes and 2 seconds at sea
3. Yves Le Blevec/Actual - 255.5nm to the finish

1. Armel Le Cleac'h/Banque Populaire - 708.7nm to the finish
2. Vincent Riou/PRB - 40.88nm to the leader
3. Jean-Pierre Dick/St Michel Virbac - 154.09nm to the leader

1. Gilles Lamire/French Tech Rennes St Malo - 768.2nm to the finish
2. Lalou Roucayrol/Arkema - 235.10nm to the leader
3. Pierre Antoine/Olmix - 486.47nm to the leader

1. Isabelle Joschke/Generali-Horizon Mixite - 1327.3nm to the finish
2. Phil Sharp/Imerys - 5.68nm to the leader
3. Thibaut Vauchel-Camus/Solidaires en Peloton-ARSEP - 14.44nm to the leader

* Currently 2nd in The Transat bakerly, Lalou Roucayrol contacted his shore team at 11.30 am on Wednesday 11 May to advise them of damage on board the trimaran Arkema.

Fabienne Roucayrol :

"Following a collision with an Unidentified Floating Object, the daggerboard of the trimaran has sustained serious damage. Lalou is unhurt but is now sheltering and surveying the damage. It would appear unlikely that this can be repaired at sea. Without a daggerboard, upwind sailing becomes impossible. Karine Fauconnier and Eric Mas are working on a route for downwind sailing so that the boat can reach New York in race mode."

Berntsson Gets Upper Hand Over Barkow
Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32, was pulled up yesterday for swearing live on camera at the World Match Racing Tour in Copenhagen, so she has resorted to an angry growl as her family-friendly alternative to letting off steam.

There was plenty of growling from the Team Magenta 32 skipper this afternoon, but plenty of grinning too in her ding-dong match against Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Flux Team. As the previous M32 Tour event in Fremantle proved a few weeks ago, the lead changes in a catamaran match race can be far in excess of what we saw on the old format Tour in monohull keelboats.

With three matches down, the Swede sits on match point for tomorrow's conclusion of their Super 16 match-up. Barkow's head was spinning from all the frenetic action on board. A lot easier, she said, to call tactics when you're watching from shore than it is from your own boat in the thick of battle.

Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking made an appearance at the event today, catching up with his former Volvo rival Iker Martinez (ESP), Team Espana, who was one of those that didn't race today. The Spaniard's turn will come tomorrow when he goes up against the young Kiwi Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing. The 49er Olympic Champion is sailing with a very experienced crew that includes his former Luna Rossa America's Cup team mate Pierluigi de Felice, Volvo Race veteran Pablo Arrarte and up and coming 49er talent Diego Botin

Thursday sees the conclusion of the Super 16 to determine which of the original 20 teams makes it through to the Quarter Finals in sunny Copenhagen. Live coverage will be shown at from 1400 local Danish time.

Squally Sotogrande Stunts Match Racing Day
'The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain', but for the opening day of match racing, prior to the start of the RC44 World Championship Marina de Sotogrande fleet racing tomorrow, the Andalusian port received an unseasonal, but thorough soaking.

25km away, Gibraltar was obscured by cloud, as the match racing, which rolls from regatta to regatta over the RC44's annual championship, only reached its second flight before there was a giant shift, the wind shut down completely and the boats were sent in.

With just one and a half flights sailed, two boats still managed to end the day on two wins - 2015 RC44 fleet racing champion, Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika, and Chris Bake's Team Aqua, winner of both the match racing and the fleet racing at this seasons' opening event in Bermuda in March.

Fleet racing, counting towards the RC44 World Championship Marina de Sotogrande, begins tomorrow at 1130 CET and will run for four days.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=jFdztRGRVVI, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Staying Put
Alicante's regional government, Generalitat Valenciana, announced today it had agreed a commitment to keep the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante for two more editions.

The deal will see Alicante maintain its position as the start port for the 14th and 15th editions of the race (2020-21 and 2023-24, under the current format of a race every three years), as well as remain the base for the race headquarters and the Volvo Ocean Race Museum during this period.

The current agreement expires at the end of 2018.

The Volvo Ocean Race had an economic impact of 274 million euros in the Valencian region (plus 47.6 million euros in the rest of Spain) and generated the equivalent of 4,833 full time jobs in the region from 2008 to 2014, according to an economic impact study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Alicante has been the start port for the last three editions of the round-the-world race (2008-09, 2011-12 and 2014-15) and will be once again in 2017-18 when the fleet visits Lisbon as its first leg destination.

According to the terms of the new contract, Alicante would also host the start in the following two editions. The race headquarters moved to Alicante in 2010 and the Volvo Ocean Race Museum opened in 2012.

World Sailing Midyear Meeting
Last week Lausanne hosted the World Sailing Mid-Year meeting with some important points about the future of sailing coming out of Switzerland throughout.

In a speech by President Carlo Croce to Council outlining three key areas for the federation going forward, Croce highlighted Better Governance, Olympic and Paralympic development and the Sailing World Cup as priorities moving forward. You can read more details about these priorities in his full speech here.

The World Sailing Council, with CEO Andy Hunt, have also initiated a number of changes to the constitution and regulations of the Federation as a draft two-year roadmap was announced in a collective effort to drive the sport forward.

The roadmap is geared toward continued good governance based upon a consultation with member national associations and stakeholders and is born out of an Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) governance review.

As many International Federation's (IF's) continue to gather widespread media coverage, World Sailing aim to maintain and exceed the governance standards it holds over the coming years. Focusing on meeting ASOIF standards, a three stage process will be implemented, which you can read in more detail at

Round The Island Race Amends Finish Time
Race organisers at the Island Sailing Club (ISC) in Cowes have taken the unusual decision to amend the finish time of this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race to help alleviate any concerns competitors may have about being able to complete the Race within the usual time limit of 2200hrs. With entries currently standing at 860 + the ISC reiterates that the first start is at 0830 but that they have extended the finish deadline by 30 minutes to 2230. Standard entries close at midnight on Saturday 18th June.

Race organisers are always delighted to see familiar family names cropping up in the entry list and this year, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Contessa 26, the 78 year-old designer Jeremy Rogers has entered the beautifully restored 1966 Grayling with a family crew including 15 year-old grandson Jonah, and Hattie Rogers, a successful sailor in her own right.

Seamanship Award
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race camaraderie shared amongst its thousands of competitors and also Race volunteers and safety teams on Race day often manifests itself in nominations for and the awarding of the Seamanship Award, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston.

During most years someone will at some point display great courage and/or particularly brave or selfless seamanship or emergency aid to help another and these feats are recognised through nominations for the Haven Knox-Johnston Seamanship Award. More details will be released on the Race website before the Race weekend.

Match Race Germany Starts On Thursday
Langenargen, Germany: The rehearsal for Match Race Germany was a sunny pleasure in light winds on Lake Constance. Twelve teams from eight nations got acquainted with the big yachts, practised maneuvers and enjoyed the spectacular scenerey with the Alps, Castle Montfort and Langenargen's Gondola Harbour with all the coloful flags in the backdrop.

Kohei Ichekawas Team Gekko came the furthest way, left Tokyo yesterday to travel 18 hours and 10.000 kilometers to picturesque Langenargen located at the shores of beautiful Lake Constance.

During the rehearsal on Wednesday, skippers and crew enjoyed light winds and sunshine for most of the day.

Amongst the top favorites to win Germany's most famous matchracing classic, Karol Jablonski might be one oft he most „hungry" helmsman. The ten times icesailing world champion steered the Spanish Challenger Desafio Espanol into the semis of the 32rd America's Cup in the waters off Valencia.

Participants, Nations & Team Names

Pierre Rhimbault /France, Matchtogether)
Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS, Ost Legal Sailing)
Przemek Tarnacki (POL, Energa Yacht Racing Team)
Dejan Presen (SLO, Lumba Match Race Team)
Philip Bendon (IRL, Bendon Race Team)
Lukasz Wosinski (POL, Delphia Sailing Team)
Maxime Mesnil (FRAU, Co Pilotes By Normandie Elite Team)
Nelson Mettraux (SUI, Geneva Match Race Team)
Kohei Ichikawa (JPN, Gekko)
Bojan Rajar (SLO, Eureka Sailing Team)
Adrian Maier-Ring (GER, Innotio Match Race Team)
Karol Jablonski (POL/GER, Jablonski Racing)

Mickey D'Alton 1921-2016
Mickey d'Alton The passing of Mickey d'Alton of Killiney at the age of 95 further reduces our direct links to an increasingly remote era. A noted navigator, voyager and enthusiastic Dublin Bay sailor, his background and education were such that he spoke with total clarity in an unmistakable Dublin accent of a very specific type in a voice now almost entirely of a bygone era, a voice which is heard in the few extant recordings made of George Bernard Shaw as he held forth with his clearcut opinions on some topic of the day.

Clearcut opinions on many topics were likewise Mickey d'Alton's approach to the human condition, for he was someone who lived life to the full with all the extra zest of a survivor of active service in World War II. As a young lietutenant, he commanded a landing craft at D- Day in Normandy in June 1944, and though his war experience was one of the few subjects he didn't linger on in conversation if it arose as a topic at all, this aspect of his long and well-lived life came centre stage in January 2015 when a remarkably moving ceremony aboard the French naval vessel Somme, which came to Dublin Port specially for the occasion, saw the French ambassador honour Michael d'Alton as a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, while he also received the United States Veterans Distinguished Services Award.

Until sixteen months ago when he received his military honours, Mickey d'Alton was best known as a sailing man, and in the world of sailing it was in the inner circles of cruising that he was most highly regarded. Over the years, his awards have included the Faulkner Cup of the Irish Cruising Club in 1956 and 1961, the ICC's Round Ireland Cup in 1964, and the same club's Wybrants Cup in 1983 and 1986, its Fingal Cup in 1990, and the Fortnight Cup - for a cruise to the Isles of Scilly in the little Siamsa - in 1997.

In addition, there would be a host of trophies from offshore races of varying lengths, and from inshore racing in Dublin Bay. And then sixteen months ago he became a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and a holder of the USV Distinguished Services Award. He was a great man. Our heartfelt condolences go to his son Mark and his daughter Sonda and to Mickey d'Alton's many friends and shipmates. -- WM Nixon

Featured Brokerage

Raceboats Only Raceboats Only Raceboats Only

1996 Mumm 30. Located in Turkey.

Specification Farr 30 / Mumm 30
Completely new painted in 2013, also mast and boom.
She was always drysailed.




2007 JPK 110 - LANNA AEL. 135000 EUR. Located in Brittany, France.

The JPK brand of yachts are world IRC beaters and Lann Ael is a beautiful example of her class. She is complete with an excellent sail inventory and trun key ready to go to the next rega


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


M32 One Design

In action on both the World Match Racing Tour and the M32 Series. Its lightweight carbon-fibre hull and two-piece mast make the durable M32 very easy to transport. Crewed by 4-5, this low-drag design uses just main and gennaker to achieve full performance


Magnus Holmberg

See the collection at

The Last Word
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' -- Isaac Asimov

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

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

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka

Robline Ropes


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week