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

Chinese Sailing Team Enters 2016 Newport Bermuda Race
Newport Rhode Island, USA: For the first time ever an all-Chinese team will race in the Newport Bermuda Race. Started in 1906 as one of the three most famous off-shore sailing racing competitions, the 2016 'Thrash to the Onion Patch' is going to share its 50th anniversary with the first Chinese entry in its history - Team Noahs.

Located in Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai. Noahs Sailing Club built this team as the first racing team with all Chinese members, from skipper and crew to sponsors. Furthermore, the club has been the first and the only owner of a TP52 boat in China. In this race, they will sail a chartered J44.

The team has chartered a J44 yacht from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and will take their place in this highly competitive class alongside of five other J44's racing for the coveted St. David's Lighthouse Trophy. This silver lighthouse replica is awarded to the corrected time winner of the largest division in the race. Newport Bermuda has no overall winner, but has winners in all six of its various divisions. The St. David's Lighthouse Division is the largest with 113 entries.

* Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, will not be involved in Comanche's record attempt in this month's Newport Bermuda Race.

The 100-foot supermaxi, co-owned by American billionaire Jim Clark and former Australian supermodel Kristy Hinze-Clark, is attempting to break the elapsed time record of 39hr 39min set by George David's Rambler in 2012.

Spithill was among Comanche's crew that won the prestigious Sydney Hobart Race in January but is unable to take part in the boat's upcoming record bid because of Oracle's preparations for their America's Cup defence in the Great Sound next year. -- Colin Thompson

The Newport to Bermuda Race starts June 17

Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy
The Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy was first competed for in 1995, after Sir Kenneth Preston, who had led the British sailing team in the 1960 Olympics, presented it to the Royal Yacht Squadron shortly prior to his death. Sir Kenneth wished that the trophy be competed for by a deserving one design fleet that had the spirit of one design and involves young sailors. It is a feather in the cap for the Cowes Etchells fleet to have retained it for so many years.

The Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy Regatta attracted one of the largest fleets of Etchells seen in the Solent for many years. Bolstered by the forthcoming 2016 Etchells World Championship, to be held in the Solent 31 August - 10 September. 28 teams with sailors from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong and the United States of America, raced for the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy. Three Royal London Etchells Youth Academy Teams took part, skippered by Anna Watkins, Owen Bannerman and Martin Evans.

The eight race programme over three days produced thrilling racing, with 11 teams achieving podium results. Peter Duncan was the winner of the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy, Ante Razmilovic was second with Lawrie Smith third.

Full results:

First Test, First Taste
Seahorse Without a really good high mode you're going to find yourself in trouble... says Rob Weiland

The influence of the 52 Super Series with its mainly windward-leeward courses means that today's TP52s are all honed to be able to sail upwind in a very efficient high mode. With up to eight boats racing, plus a bit of luck and an even racecourse, you can still find clear lanes on a two-mile beat in a less specialised upwind mode... but not with 10 or more boats. So the success of the 52 Super Series in a way adds an extra limit to our TP52 box rule.

It is, however, amazing how much you can optimise within what at first sight is a tight set of constraints. Competition and stress go hand in hand: positive stress in the sense of a welcome challenge helps to focus and enjoy the game where negative stress gets in the way of performing and, possibly worse, of having a good time. The event organiser cannot do much to control the stress on the water other than provide a fair playing field, but for sure we can try to provide stress relief ashore.

Full story in the July issue of Seahorse:

Hawaii Loses Out On Hosting America's Cup Preliminary Races In 2016
Hawaii - where Larry Ellison, owner of current America's Cup holder Oracle Team USA, owns most of an island - won't be hosting a qualifying yacht race this year that will lead up to the upcoming 35th America's Cup in 2017, a spokesman for the race confirmed to Pacific Business News on Thursday.

The America's Cup, which will be held in Bermuda, will hold world series event stops in Muscat, Oman; New York; Chicago; Portsmouth, England; France and Fukuoka, Japan, the first time an America's Cup event will be held in Asia in 165 years.

The Japan announcement came Thursday, in which its fifth largest city will host the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Nov. 18-20.

Peter Rusch, spokesman for the America's Cup Event Authority, told PBN that the America's Cup schedule for 2016 is complete.

"Nothing has been decided beyond this year," he said. -- Duane Shimogawa in Pacific Business News

Fast40+ Class Announce 'One Ton Cup'
The FAST40+ Class announced today that they will compete for the prestigious One Ton Cup at their event in September to be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble between 16-18th September 2016.

The One Ton Cup has been raced for in International 6 Metre yachts, and for a short time on 6.5m SIs. In 1965 this trophy moved into the world of ocean racing, and from there into the RORC and IOR ruled racing circuits. Most recently, in 1999, the Cup was presented to the Corel 45 Class. Winners of the Cup include many legends in our sport such as Syd Fischer, Harold Cudmore, Henrik Soderlund, King Harald V of Norway, Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts.

The FAST40+ CLASS represents the modern day One Ton race yacht, light displacement race boats, with IRC TCCs of between 1.210 and 1.270. This narrow band of high performance race yachts is designed to deliver fast, close inshore racing.

Robert Greenhalgh, Class President, came up with the concept in 2014 and, after engaging the commitment of a number of interested owners and sailors, this year the class will host a fleet of 14 race boats competing at the highest level over a circuit of 5 UK based events. The boats hail from 7 countries - UK, Ireland, Scotland, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Germany - and the fleet is growing quickly in competitor numbers and profile.

162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta Presented By Rolex
Newport RI, USA: Four Maxi72s will compete in the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex (June 10 to 12, Newport, R.I.) with the winner crowned the class's first North American champion.

The Maxi72 class is a development of the International Maxi Association's Mini Maxi Racer class, which was comprised of performance boats from 60 to 80 feet in length. A desire for more boat-on-boat competition led a group of owners to standardize a few key measurements - a maximum length of 72 feet and a maximum keel draft of 17 feet, 8 inches - and formalize other class rules. Innovation is rewarded, but moderated. The result is a group of unique boats that are very similar in performance.

"The boats are very even," says Dieter Schoen (Tortola, British Virgin Islands), the owner of MOMO, and one of the newer members of the class. "Every boat can win a race."

The other Maxi72s competing in the 162nd Annual Regatta presented by Rolex are George Sakellaris' Proteus (Framingham, Mass.) and Caol Ila R (Birkirkara, Malta), which is owned by Alex Schaerer.

Traditionally, the maxi yacht scene has centered around the Mediterranean regatta schedule, with the annual Rolex Maxi Yacht Club serving as the premiere championship for all sailboats big and beautiful. This winter, however, the class scheduled a few events in the Caribbean and then journeyed north for the 162nd Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, and the Newport Bermuda Race.

Justin Slattery Joins Phaedo 3 Crew For Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race
A record breaking trimaran has added Ireland's double Volvo Ocean Race winner Justin Slattery to its crew for Volvo Round Ireland Race in just over a fortnight's time.

The MOD 70 Trimaran Phaedo 3 competes in the 700-miler in just over a fortnight and the tri has been getting some pre-race attention at Venture Keys in Cowes on the Isle of Wight being given some attention. She was re-launched on the weekend with a new design of vinyl wrap. The boat will leave Cowes in a few days to head to Dun Laoghaire for the start of the Round Ireland Race off Wicklow on Saturday, June 18. The crew onboard for the race will be: Lloyd Thornburg, Brian Thompson, Miles Seddon, Rob Greenhalgh, Pete Cumming, Sam Godchild, Paul Allen and new crew member for the race Slattery.

AC50 Building Program Well Underway At Core Builders
With the forthcoming America's Cup in Bermuda just under 12 months away, production of the wingsails and AC50 one design hulls and components are well underway at Core Builders Composites in Warkworth, about an hour north of Auckland.

The facility has been used by Oracle Team USA for their America's Cup projects dating back to the wingsailed trimaran of the 2010 America's Cup, and again for the successful defence of the America's Cup in 2013.

That one design America's Cupper concept means that there is no longer any point in total secrecy during the build phase at Core Builders and for the first time in America's Cup history, Sail-World can publish photos of America's Cup yachts during construction.

We were shown all the one design pieces of the AC50 platform - hulls and decks, cross beams, and pods which are identical for all teams in the 35th America's Cup. Wingsails are one-design in shape, but otherwise unrestricted.

Smyth's only reluctance is to disclose what parts they have built for which team, as this information is protected by NDA's and Terms of Trade. "We've done work for every team. We have built full Main Elements for four teams - that's a total of eight wingsails."

Core Builders Composites are now on their 28th wingsail build - an era which started with the 2010 America's Cup winner. -- Richard Gladwell

Full story in

Guip Shipyard Preparing To Celebrate Historic Vessels At Brest 2016
L'Audiernais. Click on image to enlarge.

L'Audiernais Guip Shipyard will be celebrating ships listed on France's register of historic vessels during Brest 2016, Brittany's forthcoming festival of the sea.

It's Guip's way of paying tribute to the Sailing Trusts and the Regional Departments for Culture (DRAC) which for the last three decades have endeavoured to save and preserve traditional craft on the same footing as heritage buildings and sites. Since 1982 a total of 140 boats have been rescued and 117 now appear on France's register of historic vessels. Over twenty of them will sail to Brest in July for the festival.

Two boats restored by Guip Shipyard will be relaunched during Brest 2016, in keeping with festival tradition.

L'Audiernais is going back in the water on 13 July. Built in Audierne and launched in 1936, this coaster carried cargo for years, in particular for the Isle of Sein. Next, she spent time fishing spiny lobster before returning to the sand-carrying trade along the coast of Northern Brittany. Her final job before retirement involved carrying passengers around La Rochelle. She entered the list of historic vessels in 1988.

The completely rebuilt Patron François Morin will get her turn the following day, 14 July. Built in 1959 by the Lemaistre Shipyard of Fécamp, Normandy, this all-weather lifeboat entered service the following year at the SNSM station on Ushant. Over the next 35 years she carried out 198 rescues and 250 medical evacuations. She was listed on France's register of historic ships in 2010.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=hZtVl2zr9NY, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Kitesurfing Family Take On Round-The-Isle Of Wight Challenge
A family of professional kitesurfers will take to the waters around the Isle of Wight this July in an attempt to beat the World Sailing Speed Record for the fastest time around the island.

The record is currently held by a large multihull, Fonica, with a time of two hours, 21 minutes, and 25 seconds.

The family - Steph and sons Olly (18) and Guy (16) Bridge - will be reaching speeds of up to 30knots, riding on hydrofoil kiteboards.

With unpredictable conditions, the three athletes will require three safety boats, a team of medical personnel, and several kite handlers on hand to support them.

As a practice run, five-time World Kite Race Champion Steph Bridge and son Guy completed the course in 2015, describing the trial as 'much tougher than expected'. Nevertheless, both are eager to beat the record in 2016.

Steph is no stranger to tough challenges, having already raced across the English Channel with Sir Richard Branson and successfully set a Guinness World Record in 2012.

Her sons Olly and Guy are as adrenaline-fuelled as their mother, competing internationally and holding multiple Championship titles between them. At present, Guy is the 2015 British Hydrofoil Champion, and Olly is the Vice World and European Race Champion.


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The Last Word
I hate birthdays. I thought that I only hated my own birthday, and then I realized that I hate my children's birthdays too. -- Samantha Bee

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