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

Upset! Williams Out
Perth, Western Australia: The upsets continue on the second day of the Match Cup Australia, as Ian Williams, who has won the world championship a record six times, is eliminated by local skipper Matt Jerwood. Williams and his GAC Pindar Team were never really in the game, with Matt Jerwood's Redline Racing leading all three races from start to finish.

"We're pretty stoked to have won that, it was great," commented Jerwood through an ear to ear grin. He is full of praise for his team, and quick with self deprecation.

"My team is fantastic, Patrick, Niall and Alex, they are so up to speed with what needs to be done on the boat, we just got in front on the starts, then just sailed away," was his run down of the races. Then he added "I don't do a lot on the boat, I just sit there and don't fall off, but it is quite mentally tiring".

Others to go through to the quarter finals in three straight races were Frenchman Yann Guichard and his Spindrift Team, and Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands, defeating Sam Gilmour and Pieter-Jan Postma respectively.

The tightest match of the day was between Denmark's Jonas Warrer and Kiwi Chris Steele, which went to a fifth and deciding race, Warrer had gone 2 - 0 up, but Steele clawed his way back to level the score. In the decider it was all over on the starting line, with Steele sailing away unopposed.

Home town skipper David Gilmour beat east coast rival Evan Walker from Sydney's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 3 - 2 in a series of tight races.

The event continues with further eliminations tomorrow, with the final on Saturday. -- John Roberson

Canfield Taylor, USA, 3 - Pieter-Jan Postma, NED, 0
Chris Steele, NZL, 3 - Jonas Warrer, DEN, 2
Yann Guichard, FRA, 3 - Sam Gilmour, AUS, 0
Matt Jerwood, AUS, 3 - Ian Williams, GBR, 0
David Gilmour, AUS, 3 - Evan Walker, AUS, 1

National Pride At Stake
The Nations Trophy has been launched by its founder, Nautor's Swan, with the fundamental commitment to revitalize the concept of competition between nations. It is an event which celebrates the history and spirit of international sailing, and reflects the camaraderie and competiveness central to the success of the sport. The first edition will be held from 10 - 14 October 2017 in Palma de Mallorca. The Nations Trophy is open to three Swan One Design classes: ClubSwan 50, Swan 45 and ClubSwan 42.

The racing in Palma will be conducted by the Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP), organizer of some of the world's most respected events including SailRacing PalmaVela and Copa del Rey Mapfre.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup winner, Jochen Schumann, is President of Swan One Design Racing and another key participant in the establishment of this new event.

Over the four days of racing, which comprise three days of windward/leeward courses and one coastal race, the Swan 45s will be competing for their World Championship and the ClubSwan 50s and 42s their European Championships. The intense schedule leaves no room for error. All races will count equal and there will be no discards.

The concept is for The Nations Trophy to be contested biennially, and plans are already in the making for the event to move to Newport, Rhode Island, in the USA in 2019, Cowes in the UK in 2021 and Hong Kong in 2023.

(Way) Better Than New
'One of the coolest things we've ever done' is how Adolfo Carrau of designers Botín & Partners recalls the Botín 65 racer-cruiser High Spirit

leek looks, yes, but don't be fooled - High Spirit is more than a stylish package. Design sister Caro finished runner-up in IRC 1 in a highly competitive 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race on corrected time, finishing less than one hour behind the full-on lightweight DSS racer Maverick.

Just two boats have been built to the Botín 65 design. One, Caro, has been very extensively campaigned but is still a beautiful yacht. The second, High Spirit, is barely out of the wrapper and ready to win.

'We are usually approached to design pure racing boats and we seem to do very well in this high-end market niche,' says designer Adolfo Carrau.

'However, when a private owner calls us to design a fast and beautiful boat without comprom ises and forgetting about any rating or box rules, then it's a dream come true!

'This is what happened when we designed Caro and High Spirit, as both owners were interested primarily in having a very fast boat to enjoy with friends and a small crew, mixing cruising and racing around the world.

Full article in the April issue of Seahorse:

RORC Easter Challenge - Free Expert Coaching
For competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge, over 14-16th April, the Royal Ocean Racing Club lays on coaching, both on the water and with detailed 'post match' analysis, FOR FREE. And this comes from some of the world's top coaches with backgrounds in the America's Cup and Olympic Games.

As is tradition, the RORC Easter Challenge kicks off the club's domestic program with three days of inshore racing on the Solent starting on Good Friday and culminating with a chocolate egg-laden prizegiving on Easter Sunday. While the regatta offers crews the chance to blow away the winter cobwebs, it is also, uniquely, the RORC's annual 'training regatta'.

In particular RRS rule 41 'Outside Help' is relaxed for this event, so, for example, during a race it is permitted to invite a coach on board if a more hands-on approach is required. Equally during a race a trimmer could, for example, hop off their boat on to one of the many coach RIBs to examine the trim from off their boat.

If there are any specific issues a team wants the coaches to look at, they can either ask while out on the water or can submit a request to the RORC in advance.

Each day after racing, there is an extensive standing room only debrief held at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse, where the coaches provide analysis of the day's racing for the benefit of all.

The RORC is laying on world class coaches for the Easter Challenge, the team led by the legend Jim Saltonstall, MBE, a man who has played a significant role in honing the skills of so many British Olympians from the like of Sir Ben Ainslie down. He is joined by the RORC's CEO, Eddie Warden Owen, who aside from being an accomplished sailor is a past America's Cup coach for Team New Zealand and Desafio Espanol.

North Sails will again support the regatta with their North U. Regatta Services, providing on the water coaching, including aerial video analysis. The North Sails team will be also be providing detailed weather forecasts and an overnight sail repair service.

The RORC Easter Challenge and its coaching opportunities are open to all entrants, not just RORC members.

The first warning signal each day will be at 1030. -- James Boyd

One Great Challenge, One Great Start For Transatlantic Race 2019
Sailing's greatest Corinthian challenge has confirmed the start date for its next edition; and this time, every competitor will depart Newport, R.I., on the same day. The entire Transatlantic Race 2019 fleet will cross the starting line on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, bound for the southern coast of England. A virtual gate off Lizard Point will enable teams to challenge the course record for this historic passage, but the official finish will take place off the Royal Yacht Squadron's waterfront castle in Cowes, England.

The Transatlantic Race 2019, which is organized jointly by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club, is a direct descendant of the first great transatlantic ocean race (at right), which started from New York Harbor on December 11, 1866. In the years since, this course has been plied with less frequency than other, shorter offshore race tracks; the 2019 edition will be just the 31st transatlantic race organized by the New York Yacht Club. Because of that, and the fact that a race from the United States to Europe (or the return) is virtually guaranteed at least one significant storm, simply finishing a transatlantic race remains one of sailing's most coveted accomplishments.

"Faster boats and evolving communications technology have aggressively shrunk the number of places where a team of sailors can truly feel they are alone against the elements," said NYYC Commodore Philip A. Lotz. "The North Atlantic remains one of the great wild places on this earth. In 2011, the four organizing clubs made a commitment to running the Transatlantic Race on a quadrennial schedule. The rise in interest from 2011 to 2015 is an indication that the thirst for true adventure still runs strong within our sport. We're excited to carry on this historic tradition, which dates back to the first quarter century of the New York Yacht Club."

For the 2011 and 2015 races, the starts were staggered in the hope that the diverse fleet of boats-from 100-foot supermaxis and multihulls to 40-foot family cruising yachts-would finish relatively close together. In 2019, all the competitors will start on the same day, navigating out the East Passage of Narragansett Bay before pointing their bows east.

Another significant change is that the official finish line of the race will be off Cowes, rather than Lizard Point on England's southwestern tip. The latter is a remote place and far from ideal when it comes to providing crews with the appropriate welcome after a long journey.

Bermuda Docking Mishap
Britain's Ben Ainslie Racing have become the first America's Cup syndicate to crash their new boat in an embarrassing docking slip up.

The perils of "parking" the high-powered 50-foot catamarans were highlighted by the British sailors as they returned from a training session on the Great Sound in Bermuda.

As they turned to approach the mobile dock at their base under sail power and without any help from their tenders, an unexpected gust of wind lifted the hulls and accelerated the boat nose-first into the dock.

There was no report on the extent of the damage but the catamarans have been designed to have replaceable bow sections to accommodate crash damage.

The Search For Matthew Flinders
London has a long history of digging up burial grounds to lay rail lines.

One body that may be disturbed in the name of progress is recognisable to every Australian - explorer Matthew Flinders, the first person to circumnavigate our continent.

Flinders, who was born in Lincolnshire, died in London age 40 from an undiagnosed kidney infection contracted in the tropics and was buried in a churchyard in inner-north London, next door to where Euston station now stands.

But that churchyard is to be dug up as part of the construction of Britain's 'High Speed 2' rail link from Euston to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Flinders' current resting place is a matter of debate.

According to experts from the Matthew Flinders Memorial Committee, a group of Australians and Brits who campaigned successfully for a statue of Flinders (and his cat Trim) at Euston, Flinders was indeed interred at the St James' Burial Ground.

However his sister-in-law, Isabella Tyler, visited in 1852 and reported his grave had gone.

Mrs Tyler found "quantities of tombstones and graves with their contents had been carted away as rubbish, among them that of my unfortunate father, thus pursued by disaster after death as in life," Flinders' daughter wrote in a letter.

Research has shown it is almost certain the remains were moved to an unmarked grave, or just dumped a short distance to the east and he now lies either under Euston Station (platforms 12-15) or still under St James' Garden.

Flinders, whose name is synonymous with multiple places in Australia, from Flinders Station in Melbourne, to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the town of Flinders in Victoria, is not the only famous historical figure in HS2's path.

In 2015 it was reported that Isambard Kingdom Brunel - history's greatest engineer and the architect of Britain's railway system - could be dug up.

His grave lies in Kensal Green Cemetery, which HS2 has acknowledged lies partly within land it intends to use.

Other famous graves there include Harold Pinter and Freddie Mercury.

Gavignet And Al Hasni Pair Up For Class 40 Challenge
Oman Sail has revealed a new adventure for 2017 as the pioneering national initiative takes on a double-handed Class 40 challenge pairing up mentor and long-term skipper of various Oman Sail projects, Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, with his protégé and Oman Sail's most successful offshore sailor, Fahad Al Hasni.

Gavignet and Al Hasni will take on some of the world's best shorthanded sailors in an ambitious programme that - all going well - will culminate in the Transat Jaques Vabre transatlantic race in November.

The new campaign is the latest stage of the relationship between Al Hasni, one of Oman's most promising sailors, and Gavignet, his mentor for the past six years.

The duo raced together as part of Oman Sail's MOD70 trimaran crew on Musandam-Oman Sail, a pairing that saw them set three world records over the course of a few years.

Al Hasni will begin the campaign fresh from leading his Team Renaissance crew to a runner-up spot (just behind Thierry Douillard!) in EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour, a 763-nautical mile race around the Arabian Gulf.

Oman Sail's Class 40 programme will see them take on the Grand Prix Guyader next month, the Normandy Channel Race in May, Les Sables - Horta in July and the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race in August.

If the training and racing has gone well and the crew development is at a high level, the season will conclude with the Transat Jacques Vabre, a 3,000-mile race from Le Havre in France to Salvador in Brazil in November.

Winds Of Change At The Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
One week before the start of the 48 Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR for the Olympic classes, Club Nautic S'Arenal, Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa and Real Club Nautico de Palma - the three organising clubs together with the Federación Balear de Vela- make final preparations for one of the biggest sports events in Spain and one of the most important and attended Olympic sailing events in the world.

Around 700 boats will participate in this edition of the Majorcan regatta, which kicks off on Friday 24 for ORC, J80 and Dragon (with three racing days until Sunday) and on Monday 27 for Olympic Classes. The Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR will end on 1st April with the celebration of the finals for Olympic classes and the prize giving ceremony in which the absolute winner of the 48th edition will be crowned.

634 boats and 842 sailors from 53 nations will participate in the different Olympic classes, in accordance with the number of confirmed entries (not final until Sunday 26th). This means a 10% entry increase compared to the last post-Olympic year (2013) and 22% compared to the previous one (2009).

One of the most striking moves has been made by Brazilian sailor Robert Scheidt. At 43 and 5 Olympic medals, this legend of the sport has moved from the Laser Standard to the 49er, a particularly physical boat. Scheidt had his debut on the skiff at the Miami World Cup Series (check World Sailing's video) and has just confirmed his entry at the 48 Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR.

Another noticeable change is brought by Russian-Ukrainian sailor Olga Maslivets (she has sailed representing both countries). She was the winner of the previous edition of the Sofia IBEROSTAR in RS:X W, but this year she will sail onboard a Nacra 17, as crew member of double Olympic medallist Iker Martínez and with the Spanish flag on the mainsail. The new tandem claimed victory at the Arenal Training Camps Trophy held last weekend although among a small fleet. Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco -the Spanish team in Rio 2016- did not participate in this regatta but will be at the starting line of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR.

Boaty Mcboatface Prepares For First Antarctic Mission
The remotely operated underwater research vessel known as Boaty McBoatface is preparing for its first research mission - an expedition into "some of the deepest and coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth."

Boaty McBoatface, of course, was the moniker that emerged triumphant in an online poll meant to name the newest research ship in the U.K.'s Natural Environment Research Council fleet. But the council opted to overrule the will of the people, and named the ship the Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough instead.

As a consolation gesture, however, a smaller autonomous underwater vehicle was named Boaty McBoatface. So the name lives on - albeit in a way that makes less sense, because a submersible vehicle isn't actually a boat. (Subby McSubface, anybody?)

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is still under construction, but Boaty McBoatface is already on the job.

* A petition asking Sir David Attenborough to change his name to Sir Boaty McBoatface "in the interest of democracy and humour" has reportedly garnered over 2000 signatures.

Featured Brokerage
2006 Farr 42 WoW. 169,950 EUR. Located in Dublin, Ireland.

Well-Equipped with a great inventory. 2016 Cork Week - IRC Coastal Winner.Designed for both inshore and offshore performance. The boat is in immaculate condition, with a great inventory of sails and equipment. Professionally maintained from new, WoW is in regatta winning condition.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Joe Hall
Farr Yacht Sales Europe

+44 1983 200901


2003 Swan 45-026 'Checkmate'. 295,000 EUR. Located Marina di Scarlino, Italy.

Checkmate is a three-cabin Swan 45 and has recently been introduced to the brokerage market. Currently lying at the Nautor's Swan Service Center in Scarlino, Italy, she is offered for sale in VAT Paid status.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jeremy Peek & Stefano Leonardi


2014 Swan 60-910 'Thor'. 3,250,000 EUR. Located in California, USA.

‘Thor’ was launched in November 2014 and is ready for racing or cruising. Currently lying in Mexico, she is available for immediate delivery.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Lorenzo Bortolotti

See the collection at

The Last Word
If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty." You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, no matter what. -- Ivan Stang

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