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

Tales II Wins First Leg In The Atlantic Cup
Tales II skippered by Gonzalo Botín and Pablo Santurde, crossed the finish line first at 12:53:03 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 31, with an elapsed time of 72:48:03, to complete the 648 nautical mile first off-shore leg of the Atlantic Cup from Charleston, S.C. to Brooklyn, N.Y.! Spain's #123 Tales II finished 1 hour 33 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of #145 Earendil (74:21:43), followed by the all female team of #118 Oakcliff Racing (74:52:05).

Low wind speeds and a relatively strong outgoing tide caused the top of the fleet to condense around the Varizano Bridge this morning. After spending some time anchored to avoid getting sucked back out into the ocean by the current, the wind filled in from the north and Tales was able to finish in the lead.

It was an exciting leg and the sailors are ready to get some rest before the week of activities here in New York before they set off for Portland this Saturday June 4th at 12pm.

Hugo Boss Survives To Take The Lead In NY-Vendee
After yesterday's extraordinary destruction that forced five boats to double back to Newport, Rhode Island to effect appendage repairs, overnight British skipper Alex Thomson and his new steed Hugo Boss have pulled into the lead of the New York - Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode.

"I think I have just got a quick boat!" explained Thomson of how he had managed this in last night's 20 knot conditions. "She's a bit narrower than the other foilers and a bit lighter and I think that is what did it. It was rather pleasant apart from the amount of water which comes over the boat!"

During his 14 year tenure in the IMOCA class, Thomson has had his fair share of disaster so it came as huge relief that Hugo Boss passed through yesterday's waterborne minefield without damage.

This morning Jean-Pierre Dick's StMichel-Virbac was the fifth boat to reach Newport, Rhode Island, with foil damage, but she was also the first boat to leave again at around 1400 UTC. Of the four remaining boats Armel Le Cleac'h on Banque Populaire VIII has announced his retirement from the race while Yann Elies' Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir is expected to depart this evening and news is still awaited on Safran which sustained the most severe damage of the five to her foil which, like Banque Populaire's, was knocked back in its case.

Newport Turns It On
After yesterday's torrential rain and pea soup fog that restricted visibility on the race course, today Mother Nature smiled upon Newport, Rhode Island. The early morning mist burned off, finally revealing Goat Island and downtown Newport (invisible all of yesterday) and the sun came out allowing a gusty sea breeze to build into the high teens.

Day two of the World Match Racing Tour Newport saw a continuation of the Qualifying fleet racing rounds, used to determine the seeding going into the Super 16 knock out match racing rounds. With the M32 teams divided into four groups of five for the Qualifying fleet racing, the aim for crews today was to get into the top three in their group, guaranteeing a Super 16 berth. The bottom two in each group will get to match race in the 'Sail Offs' first thing tomorrow morning, the winner of which will get one of the final Super 16 spots.

Tomorrow conditions are set to be rain-free and will be fractionally lighter. The regatta enters its match racing phase starting with the Sail-Offs before launching into the Super 16s.

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

Seahorse Magazine

Ed Dubois created the first modern superyacht and now he is gone. Plus Giles Scott and a very bad day at the leeward gate, two Fireball world champions together as Bob Fisher chats with Steve Benjamin, a nod to Ron Amey from navigator Paul Antrobus and sorting your AC ducks out in time with Jack Griffin

Seahorse build table - Fresh start
Torbjorn Linderson believes that the Gunboat 'survivors' club' could lead the way in widening the draw of 'recreational' cat racing

Sailor of the Month
Both very creative... but in their own ways

ORC column
Looking after the little ones. Dobbs Davis

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Australian Sailing Statement: Olympic Nomination Appeals
The Olympic Nominations Appeals by two of the 49er FX crews, Tess Lloyd and Caitlin Elks; and Olivia Price and Eliza Solly; for non-nomination of a crew in that class to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team were dismissed by the Australian Sailing Appeal Tribunal this week.

Lloyd and Elks have now lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Australian Sailing has not made comment on this matter until this point, out of respect for the crews and their option to appeal. *

Olympic selection requires the highest standards of our athletes. The nomination criteria set out by Australian Sailing has evolved over the last two Olympic periods. This criteria has delivered success for our sailing team at recent Olympic Games and this has resulted in our sport receiving greater funding and more opportunities to support sailors in our Olympic pathway.

The nomination criteria was provided to all potential Olympic team members before the nomination period, clearly setting the standards required for them to be nominated for inclusion in the Australian Olympic Team. The criteria sets out the performance required, and no crew in the 49er FX and RS:X windsurfing classes achieved the baseline performance.

Full statement here:

* Translation from the original weaselspeak: "We crossed the line from neutral support to open advocacy of a particular team, which didn't make the grade and got repeatedly beaten by another despite a huge disparity in funding and support. So now we just won't send anyone. And we have no idea how to unring this particular bell."

2K Team Racing: Dutch Triumph In Tough Conditions At Anzio
Over 3 days and no less than 42 races it was all down to the last match between the Dutch and their great rivals from Cork. It was one of those starts that one wants to forget, but the Dutch clearly down, gambled on banging the corners to great effect. Back in the action at the windward mark the four boats were all within a boat length then it all started to unravel for Cork.

Twin penalties for Smit (NED) and Kingston(IRL) saw the game balanced. then Cudmore(IRL) collected a penalty for tacking too close... the Dutch are in the lead... a final Irish penalty and it is all the Dutch move into their tried and tested tight defence mode for the final run to the finish.

Host team Rome had had a hard regatta, losing to a rookie British team from the Royal Thames and to the young Italians from 3CV sailing as Banana 2....but the final honours were to go to them as then outplayed the Dutch to the closest of finishes in the final match....but all too late for the podium.

1st Dutch Match and Team Race Association (NED)
2nd Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL)
3rd Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR)

The 2K Tour now moves to another Italian Yachting paradise in Gaeta.

The Rome 2K was hosted by the Platu 25 Class and the Reale Circolo Canottiere Tevere Remo at the club's Anzio base.

Howth Yacht Club Crowns Royal Cork 1720 As Sportsboat Cup Champ
After three days of champagne sailing at Howth Yacht Club it was consistency in the largest fleet of the regatta that crowned Clive O'Shea and Tom Durcan's "T-Bone" as the 2016 Sportsboat Cup Overall Champion! The Crosshaven team topped the twelve boat 1720 fleet with two race wins and never posting anything worse than a fourth

The SB20 class was hotly contested with just one point separating the top four boats!!! After nine races and the full shedule completed Shane Murphy's "Two Men and Their Monkey" pipped Chris Arrowsmith's "MSS" with their four race wins trumping MSS' single race win.

Conor Murphy's UCD sailing team "The Implication" who won the J80 class.

Coast Guard Warns Of Potentially Dangerous Distress Signal
The Coast Guard has withdrawn the Certificate of Approval (160.037/23/0) for NAMMO LIAB AB Orange Hand Smoke Distress Signal, and the approval status of this certificate is now marked as "Former- Do Not Use." This action was taken because the chemical makeup of the signal was changed in October 2013 without Coast Guard approval and the signal that was manufactured is at risk of spontaneous combustion when dropped.

These smoke signals may be labeled and marketed as "Polar MK 4" by NAMMO LIAB AB or as "IKAROS" by Hansson Pyrotech. "IKAROS" Hansson Pyrotech is the more current manufacturing name. Datrex Inc., of Kinder, LA, is the only distributor for these products in the United States. There are approximately 2,790 signals with the potentially defect in the US market.

Datrex has removed all of its remaining stock from sale and is working with customers to replace these potentially dangerous signals. Any signal manufactured after October 2013 must be properly disposed of and replaced with a product that satisfies the vessel's carriage requirements. For questions or concerns, contact Datrex at 337-738-4511 or via email at

Storm Trysail Club 71st Block Island Race
Dreamcatcher Steals the Show

Larchmont, NY, USA: Dreamcatcher, a Swan 48 skippered by Stephen Kylander of Hingham, Mass. was the big winner at this year's Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race, which started Friday afternoon (May 27) and saw most of its 82 entries finishing Saturday evening and early Sunday morning. The 186 nautical mile race for IRC and PHRF boats is a Memorial Day weekend tradition that starts and finishes off Stamford, Conn., and takes a route around Block Island. This year's 71st edition hosted ten classes, including an IRC and PHRF class each for double-handed crews, as well as a youth challenge competition.

The fully crewed Dreamcatcher won its IRC Class 2 and turned in the best corrected time in the IRC Fleet to win the William Tripp, Jr. Memorial Trophy. The Dreamcatcher team also took home the coveted Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy for the best overall performance in the race; the George Lauder Trophy for best performance by a vintage boat; and the Roddie Williams Team Race Trophy, representing New Bedford Yacht Club (along with Crazy Horse and Kinship).

"The conditions were volatile," said Kylander, who explained that the wind went from quite light to an upper range of 20-25 knots, "and tough because of the variables, but we focused on where the next wind line was going to come from and made the right decisions. It was a thinking race from that perspective."

Full results:

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Morning Cloud Crew

* From David Arnold, Extra Master Mariner: I am so glad that Anthony Churchill, Edward Heath's first navigator, has spoken out against the current police investigation of Sir Edward Heath. After him as Morning Cloud navigator came Peter Nicholson, later Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron and then I took over as navigator of Morning Cloud V in 1979 when we were again a member of the British Admirals Cup team and raced in that very stormy Fastnet Race together during which 15 died (plus another four from the trimaran 'Legs of Man' of which only a few bits of wood were ever found). Like Anthony (and Peter) I have been contacted for a statement by the Wiltshire Police whom, I understand, are currently employing two civilians at public expense on a year's contract, to trawl through Sir Edward's papers in the Bodleian Museum in search of any incriminating evidence.

Ted Heath became a friend of mine and my family. He came to our house for drinks and parties, was a guest on our motor yacht Freshwater Bay and knew my wife, parents-in-law and children well. His reputation needs our support now he is no longer here to defend it himself. I said as much in an interview I did for the Times last August 7th. Due to the constraints of space I will deal only with the allegations being investigated by the Wiltshire Police pertaining to Jersey. They appear to be that Ted sailed out there in Morning Cloud, took aboard some small orphan boys from the orphanage, abused them, murdered one or more, returned the rest, and then sailed back to the UK. Facts to note concerning this accusation are:

1. Two Special Branch officers (Ken and Jim in my time) were always with Ted while he was ashore. He was the first ex-PM who insisted in lifelong close protection. They were with us again in 1980 when we were part of the British Sardinia Cup Team, based in Sardinia.

2. Our racing crew were ten in number of whom five are now dead (see attached picture - I'm the one sitting down). It would need three or four people to sail Morning Cloud V in cruising mode from Lymington (where she was berthed) to Jersey and back - at least ten hours for the 105 miles each way. There was no way Ted could have sailed her there and back alone.

3. It was a very open boat below, like most IOR racing yachts of the time - no private cabins. Even the WC only had a flimsy curtain for privacy.

4. The Haut de la Garenne School which catered for orphans was involved in a similar investigations in 2000. They dug up the cellars and some of the lawns anticipating the finding of human remains. They only found a few animal bones and the (expensive) Jersey Police investigation was terminated with some embarrassment especially as no boys had been reported as missing (which remains the case).

Ted's interests were politics, music and sailing. He loved his crew, mostly bluff Hampshire sailing men like the late Owen Parker, who would have had nothing to do with pedophilia and were nearly all long-married or partnered. I was very fond of Ted Heath and was (and still am) proud to have served with him and been his friend.

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