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

Benj Takes The Lead
Photo by Click on image for photo gallery.

Etchells Worlds Cowes, UK: There was some more Aussie cheer, on Day Two of the Etchells World Championship. Noel 'Nitro' Drennan, has raced Etchells with Dennis Connor and John Bertrand, and his experience showed today, nailing the pin end of the start to win Race Three by a handsome margin. Drennan's bullet lifts his team above John Bertrand, but only into 2nd place. The Stars & Stripes of Steve 'Benj' Benjamin's team, from Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club Connecticut USA, leads the Etchells World Championship after three races.

"Very challenging today and a lot of fun." summed up Steve Benjamin. "We were unsure, which side was going to pay before the start. Literally before the gun, the pin came good and we were near that end of the line. It was then about how long to stay on that tack, that was dictated by the tide and the wind, and also the lane we were holding. The lane started to get congested so we tacked over and made it in good shape to the top mark. There is a long way to go in this regatta and the results do not count a throw out yet, so we are taking absolutely nothing for granted. It is a lot of fun sailing in this fleet, the racing is really tight and it is a fantastic mix of sailors, from so many areas of the sport."

In the Corinthian Class, Martin Webster's team, representing the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS), have taken the lead. Thomas Brennan's team, representing the Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR) drops to 2nd. James Badenach's team, representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, move up to third.

Racing at the 2016 Etchells World Championship will continue tomorrow, Wednesday 7th September, with races scheduled in the Central Solent.

Provisional top ten:

1. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet, USA, 24.0 points
2. Matatu, Noel Drennan / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills, SIN, 25.0
3. Triad2, John Bertrand / Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb, AUS, 28.0
4. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews, AUS, 37.0
5. TQUILA, Seamus McHugh / Luis Doreste / David Vera Vera / Leo Ramio, SUI, 37.0
6. Racer X 2, Mark Thornburrow / Mike Huang / Malcolm Page / Simon Cooke, HKG, 39.0
7. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic / Chris Larson / Stuart Flinn, GBR, 41.0
8. La Tomenta, Shannon Bush / Brad Boston / Curt Oetking, USA, 42.0
9. K2, Andy Beadsworth / Grant Simmer / Steve Jarvin, GBR, 43.0
10. Ice, Andrew Cooper / Mark Mansfield / Calum Healey, GBR, 43.0

Full results

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Velsheda. Photo by Carlo Borlenghi / MYRC. Click on image to enlarge.

Velsheda Porto Cervo, Italy: The record fleet of Maxis participating at the 2016 edition enjoyed a day's competition in blisteringly good conditions. Blue skies and warm breeze of 18 knots from the north-northeast greeted the competitors as racing started precisely at the scheduled hour.

The Maxi 72 and Wally classes undertook two high-pressure windward-leeward races, with Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and Thomas Bscher's Open Season ending the day on top of their respective standings. The remaining classes took on a challenging 36 nm coastal course. Appropriately, Win Win leads after one race in SuperMaxis; Rambler holds pole in Maxi Racing; My Song in Maxi Racing Cruising; Prospector in Mini Maxi Racing and H2O in Mini Maxi Racing Cruising.

The coastal course offered a full examination as the fleet were faced with numerous tactical decisions as they threaded their through "Bomb Alley", between the Maddalena Archipelago and mainland Sardinia, up towards the northern tip of Maddalena, before heading back downwind and outside the island chain to the finish off Porto Cervo.

In the SuperMaxi class, in her first race in European waters, Nikata led the way home.

For the Wallys and Maxi 72s engaged in close combat on the windward/leeward course, conditions were equally sublime. In the Maxi 72s, American yacht Bella Mente posted a first in race one and tied for second with Robertissima in race two, while Momo took the win. Bella Mente leads overall by 1.5 points from Momo. International Maxi Association President and owner of the Wally Open Season Thomas Bscher hunted down two wins, beating Lyra in race one and Tango G in race two.

Racing continues tomorrow, Wednesday, with competition due to get underway at 14.30 CEST.

North Sails Introduces 3DI Race
WHAT PERFORMANCE, DURABILITY, VALUE | North Sails 3Di RACE takes patented technology tested by the most competitive sailing programs in the world and translates them into your everyday race solution. 3Di RACE is engineered and designed specifically for boats up to 40'. With a unique, specialized layout, 3Di RACE sails will deliver optimized performance through wide wind ranges. Without surface tapes, RACE boasts an impressive strength to weight ratio - offering you a lightweight sail with robust capacity to perform.

Contact your North Sails expert today and learn how this sail is #builttorace

Marseille For IRC European Championship 2017
Following the successful inaugural IRC European Championship held at Volvo Cork Week in Ireland in July 2016, the Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Michael Boyd spoke about the new IRC European Championship at the Prize Giving: "I am very happy to announce that the 2017 IRC European Championship will be held in Marseille, France during the first two weeks of July and we will be there come what may.

In 2018 the championship will be in Cowes, 2019 could be held in Scheveningen, Netherlands and we have an application from the Royal Cork to return in 2020, for their tricentenary, and we hope to respond very soon. Looking forward to Marseille, I would point out that the Royal Ocean Racing Club has strong links with French yachting, especially UNCL and we are sure that IRC European Championship in Marseille will be a superb event."

The Bridge, The Historic Charter Of The Queen Mary 2
Cunard and THE BRIDGE Association have signed a formal agreement to charter the Queen Mary 2 to participate in THE BRIDGE 2017, an event that is being run under the auspices of the Mission Centenary 14-18.

The Queen Mary 2 will set off on Sunday the 25th of June 2017 on an unprecedented race against a fleet of giant trimarans sailing an opposing course between the bridge of Saint-Nazaire and the Verrazano Bridge in New York.

THE BRIDGE provides an opportunity for the prestigious liner to make its big return to its home port of Saint-Nazaire.

The Queen Mary 2 hosted an important meeting on Thursday September the 1st in Southampton, its British home port, a gathering that was both emotional and solemn. In the liner's sumptuous salons, with elegant lines with its slender stem, representatives of THE BRIDGE Association and Cunard, the liner's owners, signed an important charter agreement for participation in THE BRIDGE as part of the centenary celebrations which saw US troops land in France in 1917.

Four carbon fibre maxi-multihulls, led by sailings top talent have signed up to the unique race. Sodebo (Thomas Coville), Macif (François Gabart) Actual (Yves Le Blevec) who are part of the Ultim collective will be joined by Spindrift (Yann Guichard), skipper of the fastest boat to have sailed round the world, will come up against the 157,000 horsepower and 345-metre long steel giant.

Slingsby To Take The Helm In Toulon
ORACLE TEAM USA will have a new hand guiding the team around the race course during the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Toulon next week.

Sailing team manager and tactician/helmsman Tom Slingsby will take over steering the boat with skipper/helmsman Jimmy Spithill electing not to compete as he rehabs an injured elbow.

The full race crew in Toulon will consist of:
Tom Slingsby
Kyle Langford
Sam Newton
Joe Newton
Louis Sinclair

Sailor Andrew Campbell will be with the team as well as a back-up sailor.

Tom Slingsby is a Olympic gold medalist in the Laser class in 2012 and was tactician on board of ORACLE TEAM USA victory in 2013.

ORACLE TEAM USA head into the penultimate event of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series this week just one point back of the lead.

The top two teams at the conclusion of the series collect bonus points to carry into the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda in May 2017.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (current standings - points):

Land Rover BAR - 367
Emirates Team New Zealand - 357
SoftBank Team Japan - 328
Artemis Racing - 315
Groupama Team France - 292

Jersey Regatta
The countdown to the 18th combined Clubs' Jersey Regatta, sponsored for the fourth year running by Jersey's leading wealth management company UBS AG Jersey, being held from 9th to 11th September, has begun. This year, as well as providing three days' racing for sportsboat, cruiser, dayboat dinghy and sport-catamaran classes, the Regatta incorporates the Spinlock IRC Channel Islands Regional Championships and includes, for the first time, a Kona windsurfer class.

Industry News
Titanic Belfast is Europe's leading tourist attraction, after scooping a top gong at a major industry awards ceremony.

Paying tribute to the ill-fated ocean liner RMS Titanic and its history in the city, the Belfast Lough visitor centre took the award for Europe's Leading Visitor Attraction at the World Travel Awards in Sardinia last night (Monday 5 September), according to

The Guinness Storehouse, Buckingham Palace and the Colosseum in Rome were among the renowned tourist hotspots beaten to the prize, the first for Northern Ireland in the history of the awards.

As previously reported on, the four-year-old venue saw a 2% growth in visitor numbers in the 12 months before March this year, along with a 7% growth in revenues.


The Yacht Racing Forum is pleased to announce a three-year partnership with the world's leading sailmaker North Sails. President Ken Read and other North Sails experts will represent North in Malta.

"We are proud to join and support the Yacht Racing Forum," commented North Sails President Ken Read. "This forum gives us the opportunity to meet with the world's leading classes, events, teams and yacht clubs through one event. The new organizers of the Forum have a long-term vision, and they are determined to organize a great event. The international yacht racing community needs a Forum to showcase its products, to network and debate, and North Sails' looks forward to our participation."

The Yacht Racing Forum 2016 will take place on November 28-29 at the prestigious Grand Hotel Excelsior in Malta. The annual conference and exhibition aim to deliver important ideas and concepts in areas that affect everyone in the yacht racing industry, such as the business, organizational and planning aspects of the sport; design & technology and, for the second time, the role Risk Management plays in the structure of the sport.


Cobham SATCOM has been named Satellite and Radio Communications Equipment sponsor for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

It will be the sixth consecutive edition that the satellite communications specialist has supplied hardware to the Volvo Ocean Race, and the announcement ensures the latest SAILOR FleetBroadband products will continue to be a fixture of the world's toughest professional sporting event when the boats line up in Alicante in October 2017.

Cobham SATCOM's relationship with the Volvo Ocean Race stretches back to 2001 - and the race has become an increasingly important platform to deliver on multiple business and brand awareness objectives, whilst serving as the ultimate product testing ground.

The deal means that Cobham SATCOM will continue to supply not only the satellite communications hardware for the Volvo Ocean 65s, but also a wide range of radio and safety equipment.


On the occasion of the 2016 edition of the Cannes Yachting Festival, the Beneteau Group and its brands, all present at the show, will be exhibiting 72 models, including 18 new products and 16 models specifically dedicated to the luxury segment. The Group's very diverse presence illustrates a unique depth of its product line, which allows it to serve all types of professional mariners and recreational boaters.

Product development and new service offering at the center of the Beneteau Group's strategy The product line presented at this year's show is a direct result of the transformation plan the Group initiated at the beginning of 2016. This transformation plan has two major focuses: revitalizing the product plan and adapting the Beneteau Group's brand structure following its take-over of the US corporation RecBoats Holdings.

Expanding the product plan is a pillar of the Group's new strategy and is designed to meet each of our customer's specific needs and sailing projects. It has 2 specific focuses:

- Major investments: a €90 million investment plan (+17% versus 2016) will be executed in 2017 to further expand the product range of the Beneteau Group and its brands. A total of 32 new products will be launched during the course of the 2016-2017 season.

- The brand structure and distribution channels have been reorganized around four major global networks - Beneteau, Jeanneau/Prestige, Montecarlo Yachts, and CNB/Lagoon - with one ambition in mind: allowing dealerships and distribution channels to draw on the strength of brands and a service offering that is unparalleled in the world.


The Boating Business sponsored BMEEA Product of the Year Award winner will be announced at the British Marine Electrical and Electronics Association (BMEEA) 2016 Conference next month.

In addition, the BMEEA Dealer of the Year Award sponsored by Garmin (Europe) will be presented plus presentations and discussions followed by a formal dinner.

Topics covered include a presentation on MEOSAR by Justine Heely, Orolia CEO and lithium battery management by Dr Dennis Doerffel of REAP Systems.

In addition, Jonathan Hadley-Piggin will talk about the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Chris Pontet of SCISYS will present on electronic architecture and

Matthew Rumble of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will talk about the Role of Technology in modern SAR.

The conference will take place on October 19 at the RLNI College, Poole.

To attend contact BMEEA secretary Tony Johns at


Bavaria's operating results increased five-fold during the 2015/16 fiscal year, up for the second consecutive year and the best result for the group since 2009.

The results - in the mid-seven figure range - are against stagnating markets for sailing yachts and motorboats in Europe, together with weak economic growth in the United States and the Asian region.

Bavaria Yachts produces 24 different models of catamarans, sailing yachts, and motorboats at its headquarters in Giebelstadt, Germany and Rochefort, France.

The group's catamaran division has grown strongly in the last financial year with production trebling since taking over the Rochefort yard in 2014.

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 Malcolm McKeag:
The Pope for President again? Gets my vote: where do I sign?

* From Dr. Frank Newton:
I have great sympathy with Paul Henderson's points in his letter . Particularly I take exception to him being regarded as 'Just a sailor'. This lack of respect for a former President is indeed a symptom of the staff presuming that they are World Sailing and the rest of us are of little consequence. We merely foot the bill. I was for many years Chair of the ISAF Medical Commission during Paul's Presidency and at times we crossed swords, but always in the interests of the membership.

The saga he details reminds me of my three periods spent on the RYA.Council. During that time we adopted Board Sailing as a division but only after the UK Board Sailing Association had threatened to 'Go it alone' it alone as a sport. We debated 'Water Motorbikes' as being not suitable, then they were also invited into the fold.

We supported the concept of the hull of a yacht being not cluttered with garish adverts and graphics .Only to find the front 25% of the hull being reserved for ISAF use. We deprecated the idea of logos on sails but lost that battle too. We decided not to go to the 1980 Olympic Games to satisfy Maggie Thatcher with little thought of the sailors who had earned a team place.

But despite these inconsistent decisions we were a 'democratic ' organisation doing its best for the member sailors. I have in the past joined the lobby to retain the Finn dinghy as an Olympic Class as being the opportunity for the heavier sailor to take part in the Games. It sounds as though the World Sailing staff had little regard for the reduction in classes in the sailing portfolio. But of course much of the thrust for new exciting modes of 'Sailing' are driven by the television needs of World Sailing if it is to retain its share of the dividend that comes from the Post Games coffers if sailing is still part of the Olympic Club.

I remember when the then IYRU was run by a staff of three from rooms at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London. Topsy has grown and become more costly. I trust that sailors are not now out of sight .

I will not unsheath my sword and Paul would have my support, if it has any worth, in his bid to return to the throne.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only Volvo 70 - MONSTER PROJECT. 275000 GBP.

Strong and well built Volvo 70. Would make a perfect offshore racing yacht, or promotional line honours vessel.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact Ben Cooper +44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 2008 Custom Mills Maxi 72. 1,375,000 USD. Located in Olbia, Italy

We are proud to announce another central listing in the form of the Mark Mills designed 68 foot CAOL ILA. One of the most consistent mini maxi's in the world, she is now for sale. She is a no expense spared custom mini maxi that has proven to be very fast on all points of sail and in all wind ranges for both her past and current owner. She has been the dominate mini maxi for many years from Cowes to Sardinia and all points in between. New North sails in 2014, new custom spar package in 2012, new updated keel and bulb, she has always been kept on the leading edge of the design spectrum. When the other mini maxis went into the shed for modifications , she just stayed on the race course and kept on winning.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419 or Greg "Twister" Tawaststjerna at +1.540.687.0700


Raceboats Only Farr/Vismara 67' MISTER A. 1,350,000 EUR

“Mister A” is a 67' fast ocean cruising yacht and the result of design teams involving: Vismara Yacht Design as concept, interior and deck designer and in charge for general coordination; Farr Yacht Design for the naval architecture design of the hull, decks and appendages and structures; SP Technology for the structures analysis; and Southern Spars for the very innovative wing mast and rigging, studied for the aerodynamics by ICAD (International Consortium for Advanced Design) from Florence University. It is difficult to locate this project inside a pre-existing category, easier to guess that she will be the first of a new sailing yacht family: FAST OCEAN CRUISER.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Harmen Rockler
Farr Yacht Sales

+1 410 267 6550

See the collection at

The Last Word
Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. -- Charlie Chaplin

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