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

Bart's Bash Organisers Hail This Year's Event A Resounding Success
Bart's Bash 2016, the mass participation and fundraising sailing event held last weekend (17-18 September) in aid of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF), has been voted a resounding success by organisers and participants alike, especially in terms of expanding the interest in disabled sailing and extending this unique event's reach around the world.

In relation to the fundraising, the 362 clubs and sailing venues in 58 countries hosting Bart's Bash events last weekend, are still collecting money and some participants are still receiving donations through their Justgiving pages so the final fundraising amount will take a few days to compute!

Bart's Bash was given an enormous boost with 'show your support' messages from some very high profile sailing supporters who took to the water and to the social media channels in support of their friend Andrew 'Bart' Simpson. ASSF founding trustees include the America's Cup sailors Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy OBE who in turn brought on board AC teams in Bermuda, Artemis Racing, Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan to join in the fun and the fundraising, uploading beautifully crafted and emotive videos and images, and all of this further endorses the important underlying messages that are building on Andrew's legacy.

To apply for an ASSF grant for your local sailing club or sailing centre, please contact the Foundation as soon as possible for more details at or via the website

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Santiago Lange (ARG)
'Yes I like him, he is my brother!' - Juma Alwahaibi; 'We are so proud of you Fahad' - Marwa Al Saadi; 'It's so good to see the wonderful Oman Sail programme bear fruit' - Randall Richter; 'It's time for an Omani to shine!' - Olivia Tapit; 'I've seen him sail, very good' - Mohammed Al Balushi; 'He comes from a small fishing village, he is dedicated to this sport and he is a fine example of Omani friendship and hard work' - Jonathan Earsley; 'I think that Fahad was born only for this job' - Mohammed Salim Alhedi.

This month's nominees:

Vasilij Zbogar (SLO)
Other than for force majeure, the Finn battle at Rio 2016 was always going to be for silver behind the imperious Giles Scott. Vasilij Zbogar won that battle with a ferocious performance at a regatta that saw many of his more fancied challengers run out of talent in the tricky conditions. To do this at age 41, as free pumping redefines Finn physiology, with already huge physical demands magnified several times over, was rather extraordinary


John Bertrand (AUS)
Given the stellar line-up of world champions, America's Cup sailors and tacticians and Olympic medallists, you could have been forgiven for not expecting the Finn bronze medallist of 1976 to still be box office 40 years later at the 2016 Etchells Worlds. In fact, JB cleaned up, adding another title to a formidable CV that includes that epoch-setting win in the 1983 America's Cup, making him the toast of the New York Yacht Club...


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

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St. Thomas International Regatta - March 24-26, 2017 - Where Big Cats Roam!
Photos by Dean Barnes

St Thomas International Regatta Two hulls can be more fun! This is especially true when you're racing around the islands and cays in the St. Thomas International Regatta on the deck of a Bieker 53, Gunboat 60 or HH 66. "We're excited to ride the wave of interest in offshore multihulls by catering to this boats in 2017," says Chuck Pessler, regatta director. "After all, we've seen these big cats grow in number in the region's charter yacht fleets over the years.

Plus, a record 40 offshore cats will set sail for the Caribbean in November in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, many of them remaining in the islands for the season. Of course, the America's Cup has really given racing on twin hulls a boost." STIR is one of the only major Caribbean regattas to feature offshore multihull racing. In fact, the STIR Race Committee is prepared to accommodate offshore multihulls in their own classes. What's more, cat owners and crews will find there's plenty of purr-fect fun ashore.

Nightly parties, day-time beach games and live music, food and drink. World-class racing, the chance to trade tacks with America's Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic crews on the water and off is what earns STIR its motto, 'We Love It Here' You will too. Discount for Early Entry.

Register now!
Call (340) 642-3204.

About Those Bonus Points
There are still lots of questions about the bonus points... The winner of the America's Cup World Series carries two bonus points into the round robin match racing "Qualifiers," which begin 26 May in Bermuda. The runner up gets one bonus point. With six teams (remember that defender Oracle Team USA races in the Qualifiers), in this double round robin, a perfect score would be 10 points. The winner of the Qualifiers will start the America's Cup Match with a one point lead. If Oracle wins the Qualifiers their opponent in the Match starts with a score of minus one (-1). If a challenger wins the Qualifiers and they make it through the "Challenger Playoffs to the Match, Oracle starts at minus one.

So, those bonus points could be very valuable. Remember, too, that the final AC World Series ranking will be used to break ties at the end of the Qualifiers. If two challengers are tied for fourth, the AC World Series results will determine which challenger is eliminated and which one goes on to the semi-finals of the challenger selection. -- Jack Griffin, Cup Experience

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Tropical Storm Keeps Teams Ashore On Second Day Of J/24 World Championship
Wakayama, Japan: A slow-moving tropical storm dampened day two of the J/24 World Championship in Wakayama Japan. The 41 teams representing Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Peru, Singapore and the USA were kept ashore as heavy rains and winds were blanketing the area on Tuesday. Racing is scheduled to resume on Wednesday and continue through Friday.

Swedish Power And Danish Dynamite Lead The Way
The second day of the West Coast Cup gave the same wonderful racing conditions that we ended with on day one. With only minor changes to the course the race management fired off the racing at such a rapid pace that the teams barely got time to rest between starts.

With only a few races in the second round robin left Mans Holmberg is rising to the top. Despite his young age, only 19, he is showing that he is ready to carry on the match racing torch for his family. This season he inherited two team members from Rahm Racing in the form of Holger Tideman and Jacob Wilson. These two are probably some of the most experienced M32 sailors in the world and together with Axel Munkby the four of them make very few mistakes. The hours they have put in during training and racing is starting to show and has put them at the top of the leaderboard after day two.

Racing continues tomorrow with the second full Round Robin in the morning and semifinals and finals in the afternoon. Tomorrow we'll crown the masters of WMRT West Coast Cup and decide which two teams get the invitation to the WC event.

Follow the results live at

Sailing Champions League Final In Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo, Italy: Europe's top sailing clubs will compete in the final of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia from 23rd to 25th September. The aim is to win the sought-after silver trophy by Robbe & Berking and earn the title of Europe's "Best Sailing Club".

Thirty-two teams representing some of Europe's most respected yacht clubs will meet at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda this weekend for the final showdown. Clubs from twelve nations, including Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden will gather in Sardinia to attempt to take the title from defending champions the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club. The teams competing in the grand final in Sardinia are champions that have qualified over the past year via their national leagues as well as the best clubs from the preliminary round held in St. Petersburg (Act I) in August.

Top sailors from various Olympic classes will feature amongst the crews on board the J/70 boats provided by the YCCS in this international competition for the European title. Short, fast fleet races are scheduled to take place from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th September with Thursday 22nd slated as a practice day to allow all of the crews to familiarise themselves with the renowned regatta course off Porto Cervo.

IRC Double Handed Uk National Championships
Three races in challenging conditions in the Solent gave Chris Charlesworth and Rob Gullan the title of Overall IRC Double Handed National Champions 2016. Meow, a Contessa 26, was the winner of Class 3 with three bullets. Each of the three races was won by a healthy margin.

Pipped to the post for the Overall Title, Andrew Roberts and Bill Edgerley also sailed their J105 'Jin Tonic' with considerable skill achieving three first places too, and in the process successfully defended their 2015 Class 2 title.

Class 1 saw three separate winners with Malice (HOD 35, Huw Phillips & Mike Moxley) winning the windward/leeward race, Hot Cookie (Sunfast 3600, Neil Martin & Philip Barnes) the 'Round the Cans' and Synerjy (J11s, Laurence & Oscar Mead) the 3-hour passage race. Neil Martin and Philip Barnes with Hot Cookie showed the best overall performance and successfully defended their 2015 Class 1 title by just two points.

Overall IRC Double Handed National Champions 2016
Meow (Contessa 26. Chris Charlesworth and Rob Gullan

Class 1
1. Hot Cookie (Sunfast 3600. Neil Martin & Philip Barnes, 9 points
2. Fastrak X (Sunfast 3600. Nick Cherry & Ed Fishwick, 11
3. Malice (HOD 35. Huw Phillips & Mike Moxley, 12

Class 2
1. Jin Tonic (J105. Andrew Roberts & Bill Edgerley, 3
2. Jangada (JPK 1010. Richard Palmer & Jeremy Waitt, 7
3. Just Plain Krazy (JPK 1010. Stephen Hills & Ian Knight, 9

Class 3
1. Meow (Contessa 26. Chris Charlesworth & Rob Gullan, 3
2. Hubble Bubble (H Boat. Dave Wright & Luke Bradley, 6
3. Chaser (Sigma 33. Dave Cheney & Tom Cheney, 15

Jon Sanders Prepares For Record 10th Circumnavigation
Click on image to enlarge.

Jon Sanders Yachting legend Jon Sanders is about to set off on yet another circumnavigation of the world. It will be his 10th voyage around the planet and create yet another record for the 76-year-old West Australian. The long-time member of the Royal Perth Yacht Club will complete the journey in his trusty S&S (Sparkman & Stephens) 39 SV Perie Banou II, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.

Sanders and SV Perie Banou II are icons in the international sailing community. Jon Sanders is a solo yachting legend and holds a number of single-handed sailing records and awards. He has circumnavigated the world nine times, five solos, covering thousands of nautical miles.

Jon will start his historic, and last, circumnavigation from the RPYC Fremantle annexe, next month and return 12 months later.

Along the way he will compete in the The Dirk Hartog Island Race, as part of the 400th anniversary celebration of the landing of Dutch voyagers on Australian shores. The race starts on October 15.

He will also compete in the 2017 Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro Race, a 3600 nautical mile (6667km) race across the South Atlantic, starting in January 2017.

While Jon will spend the majority of his voyage sailing solo additional crew will join him for both of those events.

He is best known for his solo-non-stop triple circumnavigation of the world on board SV Parry Endeavour in 1988. That journey took him 658 days and saw him cover 71,000 nautical miles (131,492kms) - the longest distance sailed continuously by an person or vessel. -- Steve Lague

Cambridge Teenager Ben Edwards Sails Into The Record Books In Polar Ocean Challenge
A Cambridge teenager has sailed into the record books after becoming the youngest person to sail the North East and North West passages in one season.

Ben Edwards, 14, is part of the only British team attempting to circumnavigate the North Pole in one season.

The seven-strong Polar Ocean Challenge team, led by British explorer David Hempleman-Adams, left Bristol on June 19 for the four month challenge, sailing for 24 hours a day and working in pairs to undertake two four-hour watches in every 24 hour period.

They managed to successfully complete their quest to sail the North East Passage and North West Passage in one season. ]

Melges 20 Fleet In Sydney
In a bold experiment, Middle Harbour Yacht Club at Mosman (Sydney) has launched a fleet of Melges 20 sportboats to encourage members to enjoy an alternative to the usual Saturday racing at the local yacht club.

Several prominent MHYC members, most of whom already own other boats, have formed syndicates to purchase four second hand Melges 20s from the USA. The choice of the M20 revolved around the idea of a reasonably bullet proof and well-built boat, that is exciting to sail and offers opportunities to race internationally.

MHYC has over 500 junior members (under 18) on the books who are reasonably well catered for with learn-to-sail programs and a large number of (ahem) over 50s, but the 15 to 50 year group is well under represented. We all know why this is the case - it's the time when everyone is establishing themselves with families and careers and the financial and time demands are enormous. The Board of MHYC devised this experiment to offer commitment free sailing on the days when the owners are not using their boats to see if the idea could gain traction in attracting sailors in the target group to come back to sailing with their families.

There have now been two "Come and Try a Melges" days pre-season and this past weekend the Royal Prince Alfred YC combined with MHYC that saw 5 Melges 20s competing in the first of a 5 event Sprint Series. Time will tell whether the exposure of these fast and exhilarating sport boats will have the desired result, but it will be a lot of fun finding out!

For any further information on this program please contact Nicky Bethwaite at

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Great racing yacht for extremely fast sailing. She was originally named DUPON DURAN II. Orginally designed as a 53 footer she has been shortened to 50 ft.

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