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

Superyachts In Palma
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Superyachts Palma The past few days have seen some of the world's biggest names in sailing fly into pretty Palma de Mallorca and the yachts' crew make all necessary preparations to race this first, Pantaenius race.

This 20th edition boasts an entry list as wildly varied as ever, with superyachts ranging from the 24m freshly refitted Nautor Swan Stay Calm, (she'll be sailed hard by a super hot racing team whom regularly sail in the TP52 class) to this year's giant of the fleet: the 60m gaff-rigged schooner Germania Nova. This Superyacht Cup will be her very first regatta.

Aside from this being the first ever race for some very promising competitors, the Palma Bay will also be the stage for a showdown between a number of yachts who have been duking it out at previous regatta's. For instance the 45m Saudade and the 33m Win Win have been bow-to-bow at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta this month.

To ensure close racing between boats of similar speed, the fleet has been divided into four classes and for the second time this year the SYC will be implementing the ORC-sy rating rule. Tested and trialled last year and freshly revised for this year's regattas, this latest handicapping system is heavily based on objectivity and clarity. Additionally, this boat-measurement-based rating has proved itself to make for tight racing and has attracted the thumbs-up from event organisers, owners, captains, and crew.

Results from the first day of racing:

Kiwis Lead 18′ Skiff Triple Crown
The inaugural 18′ Skiff Mark Foy World Championship will commence on the crystal clear waters in Fiji in just a few short days. Known to be amongst the fastest mono-hull yachts in the world, these boats always produce spectacular rides and equally spectacular crashes. Over 100 chaotic sailors will descend on the island of Denarau and will let their presence be known. The 18′ Skiff sailors are set to take over the land and the water in what will be an explosive event.

While the Mark Foy World Championship is a stand-alone event, it will also make up leg three of the inaugural 18 Foot Skiff South Pacific Triple Crown.

The Triple Crown is competed for over three regattas; the JJ's Giltinan in Sydney, the ANZAC Championship in Auckland, and now the Mark Foy World Championship in Denarau, Fiji.

Leading the charge for the silverware is Yamaha from New Zealand, skippered by Dave McDiarmid with Matty Stevens and Brad Collins pulling ropes up front.

Representing the Auckland Skiff League and Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Yamaha is definitely going into the event as the clear favourite.

Updates and results will be available via and the official Facebook page

Hamble Yacht Services Announces One Ton Cup Title Sponsorship
Fast 40 Hamble Yacht Services, the central Solent's leading full service boatyard for racing yachts, has taken title sponsorship of the One Ton Cup, to be held in September.

The Cup has been adopted by the highly successful Fast 40+ Class. The Royal Southern Yacht Club will organise three days of inshore racing from 16th - 18th September.

HYS will provide free berthing to all competing boats, plus onshore facilities, including showers, catering and a lounge area with wifi at the HYS Events Centre situated right on the waterfront. Around 14 of the state of the art high performance racing yachts are expected to enter the event and whilst more than two thirds of the Fast 40+ fleet is permanently based at HYS, the remaining Cowes based competitors can be assured of a warm welcome.

Bertie Bicket of Hamble Yacht Services comments "We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative to bring grand prix sailing - and the One Ton Cup itself - back to the Solent."

The Cup, created in 1897 will make its way from the Yacht Club de Paris to the guardianship of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, with transit and security being overseen by HYS. For more information visit

Up-Down Round Ireland Race Sees Battle Of The Bulge
An intriguing Round Ireland Race tussle has been taking place this afternoon and evening along Ireland's most easterly coastline where County Down bulges out towards both Galloway in Scotland and the Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea writes W M Nixon.

Four boats - three Irish, one French - have been trying to trade places in the southwest to south winds as they dodged the north-going ebb tide across the mouth of Belfast Lough, and then rock-hop on down the outer coastline of the Ards Peninsula and beyond to where - well south of the entrance to Strangford Lough - the bulge comes to a sudden stop at St John's Point with its very conspicuous lighthouse.

The four boats, with their IRC ratings in brackets, are Paul O'Higgins new JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (1.046), Dave Cullen's J/109 Euro Car Parks (1.016), Patrice Carpentier's Sunfast 3200 GROUPE 5 (0.995), and Stephen Quinn's J/97 Lambay Rules (0.971).

In terms of distance from the finish they're widely spread, as Rockabill is 58 miles from Wicklow, Euro Car Parks is 67, Groupe 5 is at 80 miles, and the smallest one, Lambay Rules, is 102. Thus it must hardly seem a race at all to anyone accustomed to the One-Design scene. But believe me, there's a ding-dong going on out there, and from now to the finish at Wicklow some time tomorrow, it's neck-and-neck on the figures, even if they're barely in sight of each other. -- WM Nixon in Afloat magazine:

Rome 1960, A Right Royal Regatta
Rome 1960 was the first time ever the Olympic Games was televised around the world, arguably the first step on the road to becoming the global mega event we will see in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in just 50 days time.

Sailing in the elegant Dragon, World Sailing's President of Honour and IOC honorary member, HRH King Constantine II of Greece, then crown prince, was part of the first crew to win an Olympic gold medal for Greece in sailing since Stockholm 1912. His Royal Highness, sailing with Odysseus Eskidioglou and Georgios Zaimis, beat 26 other nations to take the gold. The Greek boat's consistent performance in the tricky light winds eased them past the silver medal crew of Jorge Salas Chávez Hector Calegaris and Jorge del Río Salas (ARG) and the bronze medal boat of Antonio Cosentino, Antonio Ciciliano and Giulio De Stefano (ITA) who had led for most of the regatta.

Something Absolutely Gigantic Appears To Be Whistling In The Caribbean Sea
Scientists love a good mystery, and the oceans of the world - being massive, deep, dark, and inherently enigmatic places - are literally full of them. The latest conundrum comes courtesy of the Caribbean Sea, wherein a very low-pitch sound, one well beyond the hearing range of humans, can be heard. In fact, something down there is so huge and mobile that it's generating waves in Earth's gravitational field.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the authors describe how their instrumentation picked up something they describe as a "whistle". The note itself is an A-flat. Something quite sizeable is clearly making its presence known, but initially, it was unclear whether the noise was emanating from something living or another natural process.

Taking sea level and pressure readings from the bottom of the basin, assessing the frequency and magnitude of the regional tides, using satellites to measure small changes in the local gravity, and feeding this all into multiple models of oceanic current activity based on a period of time from 1958 to 2013, the team began to suspect the noise was not, sadly, coming from a gigantic sea monster.

Remarkably, the culprits are the waves, hiding in plain sight....

Full article:

Dubarry Crosshaven - 'Race Face' Protection
Dubarry Crosshaven It's pitch-black. We're on the wind halfway across the Irish Sea, heading for 'The Rock' in a Force 6 - and it's building. On the rail we might look like a troop of Japanese snow monkeys on valium but we've huddled into something like comfort when skip calls the headsail change we've been dreading for the last five minutes. Three minutes later I'm clipped on with my feet on the leeward toerail with an armful of changed foresail when a wave engulfs the foredeck. The water clears and I'm still onboard thanks to the combined efforts of my tether and the stanchion lodged in my crotch. Lucky me.

Sail change over I'm back on the rail but my feet are cold and wet and my enthusiasm for this caper ebbs quickly away, unlike the sea water - the boots were still wet a week after the finish in Plymouth. It's 1989 and, though the stylishly weathered Shamrock boot is much in evidence, the Crosshaven is but a dream. Had I been wearing Crosshavens, the gaiter and drawstring would have kept my feet dry and my race face on. Funny how something so simple can be so incredibly effective.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

RORC IRC Nationals - A Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup Warm-Up
With 61 yachts from seven nations, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's three day long IRC National Championship, starting tomorrow (Friday 24th June), will feature one of the strongest line-ups of recent years. 

In addition to the new high speed, adrenalin-fuelled box rule classes, the FAST40+ and HP30, several competitors are using the IRC Nationals as a warm-up for next month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Almost all of the Commodores' Cup teams will be represented this weekend, and across the size range - from the GBR Blue big boat, James Neville's HH42 Ino XXX, competing in the FAST40+ class to James Chalmers' J/35 Bengal Magic and Philippe Bourgeois' A35, Dunkerque - Les Dunes de Flandre, both racing in IRC Three, but part of the GBR Red and Flanders North Sea teams in July.

Among them is also the present IRC National Champion, Peter Morton, who returns with his JND35, Salvo, which is one of the three boats in the Commodores' Cup Israel team. However for the IRC Nationals, the regular Salvo crew is on board.

Racing at the top of IRC Two is Admiral of the RORC, Andrew McIrvine, whose La Reponse is one of five First 40s competing (along with two First 40.7s) and will be part of GBR Red in July. This weekend La Reponse will lining up against Frans Rodenburg's slightly higher-rated sistership, Elke, that is part of the Flanders team.

At present the forecast for the IRC Nationals is light to moderate with a building 10-13 knot southwesterly tomorrow, lighter winds on Saturday and 10-14 knots from the west on Sunday.

Adding Some 'Fun' Into Fundraising
Charity fundraising plays a significant role in the staging of the annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, taking place this year on Saturday 2nd July. Amongst the thousands of competitors taking part, many are helping to raise funds for their favourite charity, often with heartfelt and very personal stories.

Indeed it is an element of this Race that is so close to their hearts that J.P. Morgan Asset Management awards The Charity Cup to the boat that has raised the most funds in the previous year's Race campaign. This year that accolade goes to 'Team Jackie' who raised the significant sum of £70,000 for Keech Hospice in 2015.

Team Jackie is back and proud to be supporting Saracens in this year's Race. 'Sarrie' the camel mascot recently visited Britannia Corporate Events in Hamble to check out some of the Team Jackie yachts that are taking part in this year's race and helping to raise much needed funds for the Saracens Sports Foundation and Space for Giants.

The official Race charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, has five yachts entered in this year's Race with 25 young people sailing and it has been confirmed that Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Trust's Patron, will once again be taking part, on EMCT 1 - Moonspray.

So far the Trust has raised over £269,000 through its Official Race charity partnership.

You can also still sign up. Late entries are open until 12 noon on Wednesday 29th June.

Legendary Yacht 'Locomotion' Sinks
Three sailors delivering a 45-foot racing yacht from Hawaii to its new owner in Newport Beach had to be rescued 150 miles offshore when the boat began to sink.

A 41-year-old man, a 56-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman aboard the Locomotion were about a day from reaching Newport Harbor last week when every sailor's nightmare came to life.

The vessel, an Andrews 45, hit an object in the water June 13, damaging the rudder. Water rushed in and the boat began sinking, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Simpson.

The Locomotion's crew deployed its life raft, activated a GPS-style device to alert rescuers to the boat's location and called the yacht broker, who alerted the Coast Guard just before 7 p.m.

About four hours later, the Coast Guard arrived on a helicopter and a patrol boat. One by one, the Locomotion crew members jumped into the water with a Coast Guard officer and swam to a basket that hoisted them into the helicopter.

No one was injured, authorities said.

The Locomotion, however, was lost under the waves. Locomotion was well-known among yacht racing enthusiasts, having sailed in races around Southern California since it was built in 1999 by Santa-Ana based Westerly Marine.

It was named Long Beach Race Week's PHRF Boat of the Week in 2010 and was the fifth monohull to finish the annual Newport to Ensenada race in 2001.

750 Miles Of Cold Waters In The Race To Alaska
Some 150 sailors, paddlers and rowers will climb aboard 60 assorted boats in Port Townsend and set off for the second nonmotorized Race to Alaska this week. It's billed as Washington's Iditarod.

This time last year, Seattle sailor Dan Blanchard was drenched in 50-degree saltwater, sleep-deprived, mildly hypothermic and clinging to the helm of a flyweight sailboat, battered by 35-knot winds and 5-foot waves somewhere along the British Columbia coastline.

For more than 10 days, he and his exhausted crewmates aboard a 31-foot trimaran crashed through gale-force winds and surf, trying to remember why they decided to sail from Puget Sound to Ketchikan, Alaska, with no motor.

"It was like car camping in an enormous washing machine," he recalled with a shudder.

This week he's going back for more. Early Thursday morning, Blanchard will be one of some 150 sailors, paddlers and rowers who climb aboard 60 assorted boats in Port Townsend and set off for the second nonmotorized Race to Alaska.

Race site:

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From John Stott, Naval Architect: I was very impressed by Captain Geary's letter, but perhaps less so his letters, even though they are no doubt well earned. My background is about 25years in the yacht and military/commercial industries since university, carrying out structural calculations and stability documentation on a daily basis (I am finishing off a stability book for a 73m motor yacht at the moment).

I must say I have come across poor engineers who were members of professional bodies just as frequently as I have come across good engineers who were not. While I agree that surveying is open to impostors, I must say that it would, in my experience, be impossible to fraudulently carry out much of a naval architect or design/structural engineers work without the ability to produce calculations and this simply and is what sorts the men from the boys in a very obvious way.

Editor: Captain Geary's website:

The full article in case you missed it...

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