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

Marinepool Melges 24 European Championship: Changes In The Top Ranking
Hyeres, France: An Easterly breeze blowing around 18 knots, much stronger than forecasted, has characterized the third day of racing here in Hyeres. The crews have been facing challenging conditions in terms of wind and waves, in the day that represented the turning mark of this Marinepool Melges 24 European Championship 2016 hosted by COYCH in cooperation with the International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) and French Melges 24 Class Association.

It was a good day for the French crew Euro-Voiles helmed by Christophe Barrue, that for the first time in this Championship raised the French flag over the fleet, gaining a first place in race number 8 with a good margin over the opponents.

In the overall ranking, after today's races, there is a new leader, the reigning World Champion EFG by Christopher Rast.

The overall ranking sees today EFG SUI684 in first place with 31 points, followed in the top five by Gill Race Team GBR694 (35), Marrakech Express ITA636 (44), Bombarda ITA841 (50) and Lenny EST790 (51).

Tomorrow, skippers' briefing is scheduled for 11.30 am, while the preparatory signal is intended for 1 pm. A wind shift to West is forecasted and the intensity of the breeze should be lighter than today, blowing around 10 knots.

Bertrand's Back
Cowes Etchells Fleet Captain and Regatta Director, David Franks, had a stellar day on the water. Photo by Click on image for photo gallery.

Cowes Etchells Worlds Cowes UK: It was a dramatic finish to the third day of the Etchells World Championship, sponsored by Red Funnel Ferries. John Bertrand, representing the Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS), was initially disqualified from Race 5, for being over early on a U-Flag start, and then re-instated after the Race Committee reviewed the decision. "We have cameras at both ends of the line and this system enabled us to have an exact picture at the start. Having reviewed this evidence some teams were re-instated for Race 5." confirmed Principle Race Officer, Phil Lawrence.

Steve Benjamin, representing the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club (USA), scored a bullet in Race 4, and fought back from a mid-fleet start in Race 5, to end the day four points behind Bertrand. "We fully expected John (Bertrand) to be ahead when we came in. He got a great start in the last race, as did we in the race before." commented Steve Benjamin. "I love coming to Cowes, I have been here for five Admiral's Cups and the Jubilee, and it is one of my favourite places in the world to go sailing. Today was tough again, but we have a really good team, and we are happy with our speed."

Seamus McHugh's team, flying the Swiss flag, is in fifth place for the regatta after a podium finish in Race Four. Cowes Etchells Fleet Captain and Regatta Director, David Franks, had a stellar day on the water, posting two top ten finishes to lift his team, representing the Royal London Yacht Club (GBR) to 6th overall.

"Today's success was a combination of ten years sailing in the Etchells and ten years of learning so many small things." commented David Franks. "The difference between these teams is not great, the difference is in the detail. You can get some lucky breaks, but it is all about the detail, and in particular it is about my crew, especially Graham Sunderland. He has stuck with me for years, when I was a hopeless helmsman. I was rather amused to see Ian Walker recently saying that 19 is not too young to start sailing, because I was 39!"

Racing for the 2016 Etchells World Championship continues on Thursday 8th September. With a discard kicking in from Race 6, a big change in the results is a distinct possibility.

Provisional top ten:

1. Triad2, John Bertrand / Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb, AUS, 38.0
2. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet, USA, 42.0
3. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews, AUS, 53.0
4. Matatu, Noel Drennan / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills, SIN, 53.0
5. TQUILA, Seamus McHugh / Luis Doreste / David Vera Vera / Leo Ramio, SUI, 66.0
6. Strait Dealer, David Franks / Graham Sunderland / Amy Prime / Richard Mason, GBR, 72.0
7. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic / Chris Larson / Stuart Flinn, GBR, 78.0
8. La Tomenta, Shannon Bush / Brad Boston / Curt Oetking, USA, 79.0
9. Alfie, Lawrie Smith / Joost Houweling / Tim Tavinor, GBR, 82.0
10. Feng Shui, Andrew Wills / Anatole Masfen / Matthew Kelway, NZL, 91.0

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

Seahorse Magazine

New bat new balls
It's not just about the new, more agile and faster America's Cup cats, everything else is going to be different in Bermuda, in particular how the AC50 crews actually 'sail the course' - as BAR head of technology Andy Claughton explains

World Sailing - Nothing like it
Having survived intact Craig Leweck offers an illuminating Rio perspective...

ORC column - Deciding your champions
It's not always easy to meet championship criteria... even for the organisers

Design - Most of the fun (less than) half of the price
The quick success of the Fast40+ has prompted some interesting rivals. Javier Soto Acebal

Sailor of the Month
A pioneer and a brilliant supporter of sailing

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Rio Paralympic Games
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will host the XV Paralympic Games which will include the fifth edition of the Paralympic Sailing Competition.

Boats used in competition:
Single-Person Keelboat - 2.4mR
Two-Person Keelboat - SKUD18
Three-Person Keelboat - Sonar

The first day of competition is Monday 12th September

13:00 2-Person Keelboat (SKUD18): Race 01
13:10 1-Person Keelboat (2.4mR): Race 01
13:30 3-Person Keelboat (Sonar): Race 01
Followed by 2-Person Keelboat (SKUD18): Race 02
Followed by 1-Person Keelboat (2.4mR): Race 02
Followed by 3-Person Keelboat (Sonar): Race 02

Confident Sonar Sailors Focused On Rio Silverware Swansong
The British Sonar sailing team believe that World Championship glory last December can act as a springboard to Rio 2016 podium glory as they get their Paralympic regatta underway on Monday (12 September).

Sunderland's John Robertson, West Mersea-based Hannah Stodel, and Steve Thomas, from Bridgend, head to their fourth Games together, focused on landing their first Paralympic silverware and bidding to lay to rest the ghosts of London 2012 where an off-the-water penalty denied them a bronze medal.

The trio previously won back-to-back World titles in 2005 and 2006, and, 10 years after landing their first crown, they returned to the top of the Worlds podium at the 2015 Para World Sailing Championships in Melbourne last winter, before following that up with silver at the 2016 event in Medemblik, the Netherlands, in May.

Stodel, 31, revealed that even though sailing is not currently part of the Paralympic programme for Tokyo 2020, it would have been unlikely that she and her teammates would have campaigned for a fifth Games anyway, meaning Rio is set to be their competitive Sonar swansong after 14 years together as a team. Now they head to Rio full of confidence they can finally achieve their career dream.

Nothing Like It
The father of modern sailboat racing, Paul Elvstrøm is congratulated by fellow Dane Eyvin Schiottz after winning his first gold medal in Torbay in 1948 in the Firefly class.

Seahorse Having survived intact Craig Leweck offers an illuminating Rio perspective...
After four years of following the athletes and events that paved the road to the 2016 Olympic Games, I came to Rio de Janeiro to witness dreams realised and aspirations shattered. I had never been to the Olympics before, but what with the hurricane of headlines that preceded the 31st Olympiad, what the heck, right?

My home town has hosted the championship Super Bowl game of the National Football League and the All-Star Game of Major League Baseball. The America's Cup has been in my town. There are prominent conventions and cultural occasions that occur regularly. You always know when these happen. Banners line the streets. Buses are wrapped with promotion. But in Rio there was nada. I heard the supplier failed to deliver. Add it to the list.

It was hard to know the Olympics were going on unless you knew the Olympics were going on. It was my first time to Rio and, while I didn't venture too far from a direct line between the sailing venue and my hotel, near Flamengo Beach, lest not to become headline fodder myself, there seemed to be marketing opportunities missed. However, the ticketed spectator area for sailing generally had a crowd, but what would you expect? Isn't being on a beach what you do in Rio?

Craig's full editorial in Seahorse:

Major Setback For Faceocean In The Vendee Globe
On August 31 August at 2:30PM ; faceOcean' mast, the boat skippered by Sebastien Destremau, breaks into four pieces in Saint-Mandrier in the Var. With the offical measurer in attendance, the incident occurs whilst doing a routine control imposed by the IMOCA class to all participants in the Vendee Globe

" I could have done without this !" said the guttered Skipper. "Dropping the rig two months from the start of the Vendee Globe, is a real nightmare. During the routine check, which is to lay the boat at 90 degrees, the shroud (D4) which holds the mast head, broke causing the fall of the spar."

"This is not the first setback faced by faceOcean. We are still alive and we won't give up that easily. My team and ours partners will do everything in their power to be on the startline comes November 6 " he added.

FaceOcean has already received the support of the organizers and several competitors are offering to help out.

Sebastien will attending the official press conference of the Vendee Globe on 14th September at the Palais Brongniart in Paris.

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Announces International Jury
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image announces a world class lineup of personalities for its international jury 2016. Andy Hunt (World Sailing CEO, UK), Keith Taylor (marine writer, editor and marine publicist, NZL), Antonio Palma (CEO, Mirabaud & Cie SA, SUI), Anna-Lena Elled (yachting journalist and picture editor, SWE), and Ian Walker (pro sailor, UK) will be selecting the world's best yacht racing photograph of the year.

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award has been held since 2010 to recognize the very best yacht racing image taken during the year, which best represents the essence and excitement of the sport. Open to professional photographers, it provides an opportunity for yacht racing specialists to display their work and to share their passion with a wide audience. More than one million people saw the pictures submitted for the last edition of the contest.

Three world class sailing photographers will be asked to pre-select the top eighty pictures out of all the photographs submitted before October 13, 2016 at midnight: Rick Tomlinson, Christian Fevrier and Eric Brin. Their selection will then be published on the event website and the social networks on October 18, 2016, allowing the public to vote for their favorite photograph.

Submissions of the photographs will be open between September 15 - October 13, 2016 at midnight on

Fair Winds Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week
Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image to enlarge.

Fair Winds She is 60 years old this year and is spending part of her birthday tour at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week, where the beautiful timber yacht 'Fair Winds' is unsurprisingly being admired by all.

Mark Chew and wife Sally Ann Balharrie are used to all the attention their Philip Rhodes designed yacht built by Abeking & Rasmussen in Bremen, Germany, receives.

"I am her fourth owner," Chew says of the 13 metre classic yacht which was originally built for a West-Coast American owner. "I saw her for sale in Trader Boat - the bible of dreams. I went to Auckland in 2002 and fell in love after a holiday on board. I bought her and sailed her back to Melbourne."

"I've had wooden boats before and wanted another. She was designed by Philip Rhodes - a most underrated designer," he says. "She is design number 633 and was originally built of mahogany on oak frames, but we replaced the oak with Kauri planks," he says of the yacht which is beautifully varnished timber below decks.

Since his purchase, Chew and a growing list of friends have done a lot of sailing around Tasmania, up to Hamilton Island, up and down east coast, back to New Zealand, then up to New Caledonia. "Sally Ann is really into the sailing when we arrive at regattas," he says.

"Four friends who came back from New Zealand with me are sailing at Magnetic Island Race Week with me. Fair Winds lives at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Williamstown, but we are away a lot of the time. We will sail back there eventually," her owner says.

"My boat has no auto helm, one foot pump, no hot water. It's not an easy boat to sail. My crew are wonderful. Without them, deliveries, maintenance etc. would not get done. Chris, our navigator/tactician, and his wife Sally Clapp have helped so much.

Chew, originally from England, and Balharrie are first-timers at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week. -- Di Pearson/SMIRW media

D-Marin Zadar Regatta Charter Available!
A recent drop from the upcoming Farr 40 regatta in Zadar, Croatia has offereed there boat and crew up for charter. Approximately 15,000 Euros gets you the boat, sails and full crew travel and accommodation. The event takes place September 21 -24; a preview of the venue here

Interested parties, contact Brady Stagg

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.

Click on image to enlarge.


* From Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: Three years hard labour came afloat today. We had to strip her right out and remove the original Indian iron fastening and replace them with bronze, 1400 of them! But she could sail now even if the interior is still work in progress!

Editor: Sir Robin informs that there are THREE Suhaili replicas being built for the Golden Globe race. The race founder speaks a bit about getting one sorted here

But the owners are all keeping quiet. Any updates or news out there? Please send to

* From Butch Dalrymple Smith: Most of the points Paul Henderson makes are more logical if you redefine the Olympics as entertainment rather than sport. This has led to the inclusion of bizarre events like synchronised diving, rhythmic gymnastics and 53 (!) varieties of unarmed fighting being included because they are easy to capture on video and beach volleyball because it looks sexy.

The retention of sailing in the Olympics owes more to on-board cameras and stadium formats than it does to World Sailing's diplomacy. Unfortunately the same policy also exiles to oblivion a number of worthwhile sports such as gliding and offshore racing that are almost impossible to make accessible to a television-viewing public.

* From Bob Fisher: Paul Henderson was the best, and doubtless will be the same again. Gets my vote every time.

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It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice -- there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia. -- Frank Zappa

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