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

Breeze In At Etchells Worlds
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Etchells Big breeze arrived at the 2016 Etchells World Championship today; fully powered up, punching through Solent chop upwind and pulling the trigger down wind, several teams experienced gear failure. The conditions were unexpected, 25 knots of solid breeze with bullets of pressure, sending the wind speed past 30 knots.

Race 6 was completed, guaranteeing a series for the regatta, and bringing a discard race into play. Argyle Campbell, representing the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, (USA), won today's only race. Andy Beadsworth, representing Warsash Sailing Club (GBR), was 2nd and reigning Etchells World Champion, Skip Dieball, representing North Cape YC (USA), was 3rd.

John Bertrand representing the Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS), extended his overall lead at the top of the fleet, scoring a 6th today and discarding a 22nd. Steve Benjamin's team suffered damage to their main sheet system before the start, which they repaired, but the knock-on effect was a rushed pre-start, and a 20th place dropped the team to 3rd overall. Irish born Australian, Noel Drennan, scored a 5th place to steal past Benjamin by a single point. Drennan has competed in the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and 30 Sydney Hobart's. This is Noel 'Nitro' Drennan's 18th Etchells World Championship.

Racing for the 2016 Etchells World Championship continues on Friday 9th September.

1. Triad2, John Bertrand / Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb, AUS, 22.0 points
2. Matatu, Noel Drennan / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills, SIN, 41.0
3. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet, USA, 42.0
4. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews, AUS, 49.0
5. TQUILA, Seamus McHugh / Luis Doreste / David Vera Vera / Leo Ramio, SUI, 51.0
6. Alfie, Lawrie Smith / Joost Houweling / Tim Tavinor, GBR, 51.0
7. K2, Andy Beadsworth / Grant Simmer / Steve Jarvin, GBR, 56.0
8. America Jane 11, Scott Kaufman / Jesse Kirkland / Lucas Calabrase / Austen Andersen, USA, 57.0
9. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic / Chris Larson / Stuart Flinn, GBR, 60.0
10. Strait Dealer, David Franks / Graham Sunderland / Amy Prime / Richard Mason, GBR, 61.0

Gladwell's Line - America's Cup Arb Panel Rules In Favour Of Team NZ?
The strong indications are that the Arbitration Panel for the America's Cup has ruled in favour of Emirates Team New Zealand over the withdrawal of the Qualifiers from Auckland and re-allocation of that event in Bermuda.

The Hearing was held in London in July 2016, before the start of the America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth.

As yet the Decision of the three-man Arbitration Panel has not been published.

The Proceedings of the Arbitration Panel were made confidential in a Protocol change made by a majority of the teams on June 20, 2016. That was over 15 months after the incident on April 1, 2015, NZT when Emirates Team New Zealand supported the position taken by Challenger of Record Luna Rossa (ITA) over the change of America's Cup class from the AC62 to the smaller AC50...

... What happens from here?

The determination of a remedy in the current Arbitration Panel case now hinges as much on the credibility of the current America's Cup Trustee, Golden Gate YC, as it does in equity for Emirates Team New Zealand.

A lot of territory between those ellipses... Richard's full analysis in

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
After two days of cancelled racing due to strong winds, today competition resumed at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in conjunction with the International Maxi Association, before the wind dropped off the light end of the Beaufort Scale.

In an attempt to recover the schedule, racing started an hour earlier by which time the wind was already sub-10 knots. The race committee chose to send boats south around the rugged Mortorio and Soffi islands, then north towards 'Bomb Alley', across to the Monaci Islands before returning to the finish off Porto Cervo. The Wallys and Maxi 72s, the latter sailing their Rolex World Championship, sailed a shorter version of this course in anticipation of a second race today.

Sadly with the wind dropping away, only one race could be sailed for the Wallys and Maxi 72s, while the course was shortened for the remaining classes.

In the Maxi 72s, today's race was won convincingly by Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima, elevating the Italian team to second overall, 0.75 points astern of leader and defending champion, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente.

After three races in the Wally class, International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher and his Wally 107, Open Season, remain unbeaten. Otherwise today in the Wally class it seemed to pay to be over early - both Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' Wallycento Magic Carpet Cubed and Claus Peter Offen's Wally 100 Y3K were OCS, but ended up second and third on the water. Sadly in a start line collision between the Wallycentos, the new Galateia was damaged and she will not be able to compete in the remainder of the regatta.

Full results:

The Art & Science Of Sails: Revised Edition
The Art & Science Of Sails: Revised Edition Tom Whidden, President of North Technology Group, and Michael Levitt, long time author and editor, have released an updated version of their critically acclaimed 1990 book, "The Art and Science of Sails". This new version, - "The Art and Science of Sails: Revised Edition" - takes an in depth look at the science and technology of sails. Its focus, whether for the serious sailboat racer or casual cruiser, is to allow the sailor to obtain the most effective use from the technology available.

Whidden, with 40 + years racing at the highest level of the sport, and co-author Levitt have done more than just update this book. With 90% of the content new, it is the definitive book on sails and the technology that has driven their advancement, especially since the 1990's. It's the latest and most accurate take on the complex subject of sails.

The 2016 edition takes a detailed look at the key topic sail design: aerodynamics, with special focus on the connection between the physics of airflow and the trimming of sails. It's the connection of theory and practice that allows for true understanding. In addition, it provides an historical background to sailmaking and to the advanced, and advancing, use of materials and tools including computer simulation.

The book will be available for purchase from October 1st.


Falmouth Boat Company To Refit Two Biscay 36 Yachts In Readiness For The GGR
Falmouth Boat Company, Flushing, UK: French yachtsman Antoine Cousot and Nabil Amra, an American based Palestinian, have launched their campaigns to win the 2018 Golden Globe Race, a 27,000 mile retro non-stop solo circumnavigation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's major achievement in becoming the first to sail solo non-stop around the world from Falmouth.

They will be among a fleet of 30 international yachtsmen and women, all sailing long-keeled traditional yachts who will set out on 16th June 2018, 50 years after Sir Robin started from Falmouth in 1968. He returned 312 days later as the sole finisher in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

Antoine Cousot (45) is a French professional sailor from Noirmoutier, France, married with three children who has sailed the equivalent of 3 circumnavigations delivering sailing boats and skippering large luxury yachts to all corners of the Globe.

Nabil Amra (41) is a foreign exchange trader based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who has sailed throughout the Caribbean and Great Lakes. He has been working diligently on his seamanship skills and feels ready to give a strong account of the tenacity and resoluteness of a Palestinian at sea.

This retro race is limited to production yachts between 32 and 36ft long, designed prior to 1988 with traditional long keels and stern hung rudders. The BISCAY 36 fits the bill perfectly. Designed by Alan Hill as a sturdy ocean cruising yacht back in 1973, 29 of these classic yachts were built by the Falmouth Boat Construction Company in Flushing.

Ironically, Cousot has bought VISCAYA, the first of these production yachts, launched in 1975, and Amra has ELE MAY, the last to be built back in 1990. Both sailors have brought their yachts back to the Falmouth Boat Company in Flushing, now headed by Jonathan Fielding, to have them extensively refitted for the marathon ahead.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Crosshaven Round the world racing teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in 2008. There are several reasons for that.

First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as freezing winds snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

Thomas Coville Advocates For A Multihull Volvo Ocean Race
I have been talking to Knut Frostad - a good friend of mine - since 2006 about multihulls in the Volvo Ocean Race. Now we have Mark Turner in charge and he knows the situation pretty well so he could make the decision to create something very special.

They want to reduce the budgets and doing that is not all about the price of the boats. If you reduce by nearly half the length of the VOR and have half the crew, you will reduce the costs by half. Only with multihulls is that feasible.

Plus, with multihulls you will make the public much more enthusiastic about the race because the boats will be faster and more exciting.

Then you have to consider the optimum size of the boats. We have been thinking about this question for a long time. Even on solo boats 100 or even 120 feet (approximately 30 metres) I would say is a good size.

Actually, when it comes to power and stability the important question is not the length but the width. If you get the width right compared to the size of the mast it makes for a very safe boat.

The full interview:

Annapolis Fall Regatta
Organizers of the Annapolis Fall Regatta have been both progressive and flexible over the years, which is a key reason why the event has thrived. Its use of internationally-recognized rating systems and now offering one-design racing highlights this as being the only event on the Chesapeake and one of the few in the USA to do so.

For handicap racing the regatta started off using the IMS system, but switched to IRC when that rating rule become more popular. Along the way, the High Performance Rule (HPR) was added to accommodate those types of boats. Last year, the Storm Trysail Club-Chesapeake Station introduced use of the rating system developed by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) as a handicap option. Use of these systems rather than local PHRF assures visiting entries of predictable and consistent ratings, resulting in better scoring and more fair racing.

A few years ago, a couple of one-design classes also requested starts and were welcomed to join the fun. With preparations underway for the seventh annual Annapolis Fall Regatta, it appears that this one-design element has become an important facet of the event.

This year's regatta, being held Oct. 21-23 off Annapolis, will serve as the Farr 30 North American Championship and also feature a strong fleet from the C&C 30 class. There is also a Sportboat class planned that will include the Donovan-designed GP 26's and a class for larger boats - both will use ORC ratings.

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 David Brunskill:

Very happy to see the continuing debate on offshore racing and the Olympics.

I would totally disagree though with Butch Dalrymple Smith as regards accessibility and interest in offshore racing.

As found in races such as the Volvo Race and Vendee Globe there is huge interest in offshore racing from the general public.

24/7 tracking, live TV broadcasts, real time position updates on the website, playing offshore race computer games (can you beat the sailors?) has all transformed interest in the offshore sport. In less glamorous offshore passage races mobile phone app tracking or AIS position reports as an alternative to dedicated trackers have reduced costs to family and friends and further opened up the sport. Readers of Scuttlebutt Europe will recall the fact that a team of non-sailors "won" a virtual game leg to Capetown. To remain competitive the gamers have to be awake 24/7 and have started creating teams in different continents to continually watch weather shifts and when necessary change their virtual course and sail plan. How about that for Olympic coverage!

Anticipation of light or heavy weather conditions and the tactics needed to find the best wind provide items for debate via social media.

Any incident at sea attracts high levels of Facebook, tweet and other commentary. Rules issues are rare - and the issues that do occur, normally with redress or breaches of navigational or safety rules are understandable.

Sponsors and advertisers can and do get high visibility from 5 - 6 days of continual offshore racing. There is serious money in this.

The potential of offshore racing as an understandable, high visibility, financially supportable Olympic sport has, in my view at least been hugely under-estimated.

* From Malcolm McKeag:

Butch Dalrymple-Smith as usual hits the nail on the head when he observes that the Olympics are now more about entertainment than sport, albeit and with much and due respect to Butch it's hardly an original observation. The two can combine well in stadium sports - indeed have done so since at least Roman times - but not well and some times not at all in 'outdoor' sports. And sailing comes firmly into the latter category. How much of Rio's sailing did we see on television? Not a lot and that pretty meaningless. So how about adopting my long-held strategy of pulling sailing out of the Olympics? What would be the consequences? First, sailors would get their sport back. Sailors could chose for themselves what boats they wanted to sail and race in. The really good sailors would naturally concentrate towards the most competitive classes (vide the Etchells Worlds currently being held from Cowes - as Gary Jobson used to say "the good sailors like to sail where the good sailors are"). There would still be World and Continental championships. The sport would continue to flourish and prosper.

Obviously, one serious consequence would be that the body that now calls itself World Sailing would lose most of its income stream. It would probably have to shed much of its infrastructure, perhaps even laying-off highly-paid staff at least some of whom appear to know the diminished square-root of Sweet Very Little about sailing and care even less about sailors. It would certainly deprive a whole host of politicians manque of their hobby. Indeed it would probably have to shrink so dramatically and stop doing so many of the things it now does that it would end up just concentrating on core activities such as codifying the Racing Rules and letting National Authorities do what they're mandated to do by their constituents and stop telling people how to run their events, not to mention their lives. And wouldn't that be simply awful?

But I don't suppose my idea will catch on...

* From Barry Pickthall:

Yes there are 3 Suhaili replicas in build or planning stage for the 2018 Golden Globe Race. One is framed up and being planked up, one is at the lofting stage, and construction for the third will start January.

Unfortunately, all three entrants have ticked the anonymity box, and I can't even tell you their Countries, but they will make a really good story when all entrants are forced to go public at the Skipper conference in Paris set for 5/6th December. This coincides with the Paris Boat Show.

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One of our latest Central Listing, a top drawer IRC rocket, with lifting keel, retractable prop, and all the mods for regatta competition

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Raceboats Only Tan 66 - NEW BOAT

The latest entrant into the large performance cat market comes from an all-French design and build team working under the management of Dubai-based Tan Yachts – which was founded by entrepreneur Xavier Bouin.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
If you have somebody who's brilliant and highly creative with a different point of view than you have, and a very different intellectual background, great things can happen. -- Kip Thorne

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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