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

73 Teams Ready To Race at ORC European Championship
Porto Carras, Greece - A record turnout of 73 teams from 12 countries are here at the Porto Carras Marina, ready to start the first of five days racing tomorrow in the 2016 ORC European Championship. This event, organized by the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), will feature two days of offshore racing and three days of inshore racing on the picturesque waters of the Aegean south of Sithonia.

Among these teams are several past champions from Greece and throughout Europe, including the 2009 Class A World Champion Meliti IV-Musto, a Grand Soleil 42R owned by Greece's George Andreadis, and the 2013 Class B World Champion Scugnizza, Vincenzo de Blasio's NM38S from Italy. Crew lists here abound with America's Cup, Olympic, and other high-level sailing talent, as well as over 30 teams vying for trophies in the Corinthian Divisions of Class AB and Class C.

Tomorrow morning race managers will make a selection among several race course options for the first race of the series, which is planned to start at 1100. Due to the strong thermal component of the wind, the courses will be set to try and finish boats in the early evening before the thermal dies out.

For more information, results, photos and video from the 2016 ORC European Championship, visit the event website at

Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2016 Off To Spectacular Start
Abersoch, Wales, UK: The 2016 Dragon Edinburgh Cup, supported by Gwynedd Council and the 'Wales 2016 Year of Adventure - Snowdonia Mountains & Coast', got off to a fantastic start in Abersoch with two races in a 12-18 knot northerly wind and plenty of sunshine. The South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club's race committee did an excellent job with the courses in the shifty offshore breeze and the 35 strong fleet made the most of the opportunity for some great racing.

With two of the six scheduled races completed Lawrie Smith's first and third put him into a single point lead over Martin Byrne with Grant Gordon three further points back in third place. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox finished race two in ninth and lies in fourth place, one point ahead of Rob Campbell who leads the Corinthian Division as well as lying fifth overall, and two points ahead of Paddy Atkinson. The top ten is rounded out by Oliver Morgan seventh, Mike Budd eighth, Mark Dicker ninth and Clare Hogan tenth.

Paddy Atkinson and Seafire's performance is particularly rewarding for owner Neil Lamont who is not able to race this week. Neil suffers from Parkinson's Disease which currently prevents him from sailing and so he is using the event to promote awareness of and raise funds for Parkinson's research. Neil has donated a stunning Charles Bell original watercolour of Dragons sailing in Abersoch Bay which will be auctioned at the Edinburgh Cup Prize Giving Dinner on Friday, and at Wednesday evening's Champagne and Canapes Party there will be a raffle for a Nebuchadnezzar of Tattinger Champagne with all proceeds going to Parkinson's Disease research.

Racing continues until Friday 8 July with a total of six races scheduled and a single discard coming into play after the fourth race is completed. Two races are planned for Wednesday when the wind is expected to swing into the south-west and to build from around 12 knots at the start of the first race to the mid-teens with gusts up into the low twenties by late afternoon. -- Fiona Brown

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

Seahorse Magazine

With events slipping on and off the AC World Series programme Jack Griffin looks at logistics and practicalities, Peter Holmberg is a big fan of 'not broke-don't fix' and Terry Hutchinson on filling the America's Cup void

Find the good problems
With Nathan Outteridge on the team Brian Conolly is not short of good feedback

A delicate balance
But TP52 and Maxi72 manager Rob Weiland is just the sort of benign dictator to pull it off...

The life of a sails man
Of course there is a great deal more to three-time America's Cup winner Tom Whidden than that - as Sean Mcneill finds out

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Team Akzonobel First Entry Of Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
Dutch campaign, Team AkzoNobel, has today been announced as the first entry of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 - over 15 months before the start of the next edition.

Backed by AkzoNobel - a leading global paints and coatings company headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, employing around 45,000 people worldwide, and whose portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. The boat will be led by first time skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED), who will be racing in his third Volvo Ocean Race.

Having made his debut as a rookie onboard ABN AMRO TWO in 2005-06, he returned to the world's toughest offshore race to join Team Vestas Wind for the final two legs of the 2014-15 edition

Team AkzoNobel represents a nation with not only a rich maritime heritage, but a special connection to the Volvo Ocean Race, with Dutch teams having lifted the trophy three times, in 1977-78, 1981-82 and 2005-06.

Dutch sailing legend Conny van Rietschoten remains the only skipper in the history of the race to have won two editions in a row, and Tienpont, who won the prestigious Conny van Rietschoten trophy - the highest honour in Dutch sailing - in 2013, is proud to be following in the 'Flying' Dutchman's footsteps.

Wallen Double-Bullets Into Super 16
Hans Wallen bounced back from a slow start in Marstrand to win his last two Qualifying heats and earn a place in the Super 16 of the World Championship Finals of the World Match Racing Tour.

Today was the second and final day of the fleet racing phase of the competition, with 20 international teams divided into four groups of five. For the bottom two in each of those groups, they go into Wednesday's Sail Offs to determine which four teams live to fight another day in the competition, and which four go home early.

The 55-year-old Wallen started the Tour season in startlingly good fashion, battling his way through to the final of the first event in Australia. But since then the Olympic silver medallist from Sweden has struggled, including the early stages of this week. "We were lacking confidence, we weren't getting the right spirit in the boat," said Wallen. "The first two races of today, our heads weren't in the right place but then I said, 'It's time for us to behave like winners, for us to approach the start like we own it.' So that's what we did, and it worked."

Wednesday's schedule starts with the bottom eight teams competing in the Qualifying Sail Offs, to see if they can fight their way through to the Super 16 and the knock-out phase of the competition.

Live coverage will be shown at from 1400 local Swedish time.

Marstrand Results Day 2 - Qualifying

Group 1
1. Taylor Canfield (ISV), US One - 15 pts
2. Hans Wallen (SWE), Wallen Racing - 23 pts
2. Steven Thomas (AUS), RPM Racing - 24 pts
4. Mattias Rahm (SWE), Rahm Racing - 29 pts
5. Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Nautiska Racing - 33 pts

Group 2
1. Ian Williams (GBR), GAC Pindar - 15 pts
2. Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing - 20 pts
3. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing - 23 pts
4. Evan Walker (AUS), KA Match / CYCA - 29 pts
5. Eric Monnin (SUI), Albert Riele Swiss Match Race Team - 35 pts

Group 3
1. Iker Martinez (ESP), Team Espana - 16 pts
2. Nicolai Sehested (DEN), TREFOR Matchracing - 18 pts
3. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Essiq Racing - 22 pts
4. Murray Jones (AUS), Full Bants Racing - 32 pts
5. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32 - 35 pts

Group 4
1. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing - 12 pts
2. Phil Robertson (NZL), Phill Robertsson Racing - 24 pts
3. Matt Jerwood (AUS), Redline Racing - 25 pts
4. Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Flux Team - 31 pts
4. Keith Swinton (AUS), Team Accure - 31 pts

IMOCA / Transat Feel Good Factor!
Quentin Lucet and Daniele Capua, responsible for monohull IMOCAs at VPLP, reflect on the May and June trans-Atlantic crossings of the VPLP design/Team Verdier foilers.

What lessons did you learn from The Transat bakerly and the New York-Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne)?

Quentin Lucet: First of all, works to render the boat more reliable were successful. Structural weaknesses which appeared at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre have been resolved.

Daniele Capua: And now the skippers have gained confidence and are starting to feel more comfortable with what is, it has to be said, a very different way of sailing. After a period of uncertainty, this resounding vindication has done us the world of good! We took a lot of risks so it's reassuring to see our designs working well.

At last the foilers are getting into gear in the New York-Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne)...

Quentin Lucet: Yes, it's the first time! It's important to understand that we tailored the boats for the Vendee Globe and the previous editions just didn't have similar conditions. This time we saw they could add, on average, an extra 2 to 3 knots when reaching.

And close-hauled, have they caught up?

Quentin Lucet: That's the other piece of good news. Even though very few of the boats were carrying the second version of their foils, they did extremely well. For instance, on The Transat bakerly we saw Banque Populaire holding on to PRB, the fastest upwind sailer in the fleet. The V2 and V3 foils should almost-completely erase any remaining discrepancies.

What can we do, in design terms, about the collisions with OFNIs that we saw on the return race?

Daniele Capua: I flew over to Newport, where five of the boats had called in, to examine the damage and advise the teams on how to carry out suitable repairs. We're going to do for the IMOCAs what we did for the ORMAs and apply the same principles of strengthening, cushioning and watertightness. The idea is to manage the force chain so we can place the reinforcements in the right places. And allow the skipper to continue the race with reduced performance or to simply remain afloat, depending on the severity of the impact. Quentin Lucet: The positive in all this is the keel zone held up well despite getting knocked about quite considerably.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of new World Records:
Record: Around Isle of Wight; Kitesurfer and Singlehanded
Vessel: Foil Kitesurf Board
Name: Guy Bridge
Dates:.30th June 2016
Start time: 10; 10; 49 UTC
Finish time: 12; 43; 14 UTC
Elapsed time: 2 hours 32 minutes and 25 seconds
Distance: 50NM
Average Speed: 19.68 kts

Comments: Initial WSSR World Record.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Mike Atkinson RIP
Mike Atkinson's caricature of himself

Mike Atkinson Mike Atkinson, known to Boating Business readers for his witty cartoon Portland Bill has died of cancer aged 64.

The cartoons, which ran regularly in Boating Business, portrayed the saga of old salt Bill who kept a wise but beady eye on boating trends.

Having been encouraged by his father, Vernon, who was also a keen cartoonist, Mr Atkinson first started satirising life after he left the Merchant Navy at the age of 28.

His career also included a spell working for the Post Office in London collecting cash from phone boxes before moving to Torbay and taking up a position with the council's environmental health department.

His love of the sea was depicted in his cartoons, as his partner Glenda Lowcock explained: "He enjoyed doing the cartoons very much. They were a hobby of his for years. He wanted to continue but life took him away.

"He loved the sea and boats."

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