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

Mirsky Completes The Local Line Up
Royal Perth Yacht Club skipper Torvar Mirsky kept the spectators on the edge of their seats as he came back from 2 - 1 down to defeat Sweden's Nicklas Dackhammar to become the fourth local skipper into the quarter finals of the Match Cup Australia.

Earlier in the day Steve Thomas, also of Royal Perth, had become a giant killer, eliminating Tour Card holder Nicolai Sehested in three straight races, to join yesterday's local qualifiers David Gilmour and Matt Jerwood.

Thomas has seen his confidence grow since sweeping undefeated through last week's qualifier, then continuing his impressive performances this week.

Also going through to the quarter finals today was reigning world champion Phil Robertson of New Zealand, who was pushed all the way by Sweden's Mans Holmberg.

The two northern hemisphere skippers to make it into the next round are Frenchmand Yann Guichard and Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands.

Conditions on the Swan River today provided challenges in the shifty southerly wind, with gusts causing a few anxious moments, and some opportunities. -- John Roberson

Steve Thomas, AUS, 3 - Nicolai Sehested, DEN 0
Phil Robertson, NZL, 3 - Mans Holmberg, SWE 1
Torvar Mirsky, AUS, 3 - Nicklas Dackhammar, SWE 2

Promising Signs For Oracle In Practice
The build up to the 35th America's Cup reached another significant milestone yesterday with two teams lining up for the first time in the new 50-foot foiling catamarans in the Great Sound.

Oracle Team USA, defenders of the "Auld Mug", and British challengers Land Rover BAR competed in two practice match races in ideal foiling conditions.

Oracle swept both races in their boat 17 contested on an informal course in the absence of a race committee and umpires.

Measured by the GPS speedometer in a powerboat running even with Oracle, the flying cat hit some 48kts blasting downwind in 18-20kts of southwesterly breeze, slicing through the two-foot chop and powerboat wake like a hot knife through butter.

Swedish challengers Artemis Racing showed up to the party but had to postpone their scheduled races after suffering minor damage. Groupama Team France was out testing but did not participate in practice with another team, while SoftBank Team Japan's boat remained in the team's boat shed.

The practice period runs until March 26. -- Colin Thompson and Talbot Wilson

Seahorse April 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World Sailing - Showcase - Olympic Offshore Sailing
Gary Jobson and Stan Honey write on a subject with potential to deliver a fantastic step forward for Olympic sailing

The sixth generation
Combine a designer with a long history of racing success with a boatyard famous for delivering outstanding yachts for long-distance luxury cruising and the result can be most acceptable

Seahorse build table - Half Ton days are here again
Mark Mills' new 31-footer joins the party

RORC - Caribbean speeding
And the Phaedo is no longer having things all her own way. Eddie Warden-Owen

A not so secret ambition
Portugal looks headed for the Volvo Ocean Race

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65

1yr Digital Sub for £30:

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

Coutts Questions New Zealand's Pedal Power
America's Cup boss Sir Russell Coutts has applauded Team New Zealand's radical shift to pedal-power, but questioned its effectiveness.

Coutts, CEO of the America's Cup Events Authority and five-time winner of the America's Cup including twice with Team New Zealand, felt the Kiwis' shock move reflected the search for an edge that sport's oldest trophy demanded.

"There has always been innovation in the Cup and you've got to say that Emirates Team New Zealand has been one of the more creative teams over the years in terms of their culture of developing new thinking, new technology," Kiwi Coutts told Yachting World.

"In terms of the bike-power grinders, if I'd want to describe them like that, they've probably been considered by quite a few of the teams and it's great to see that one of them is trying it ... certainly it is going to provide some interest and that's a good thing for the America's Cup."

"I think it will be an advantage when they get locked into a straight line, but of course it's probably much quicker to cross the boat and immediately lock into the conventional grinder with your hands.

"For the pedal grinders to be effective you really have to lock both feet in so you have the capability to push and pull at the same time.

"It's just a matter of whether they can develop systems to get to that situation rapidly because obviously one of the most important times to grind is during the manoeuvres.

Evolution Of The Class
As the class moves in to a new era of foiling we discuss the evolution of the Nacra 17 with BST members

Foiling chat with Ben Saxton and Tom Phipps at this years Dinghy Show.

New Owner Preparing Historic Racing Yacht For Competition
The 12 Metre yacht Freedom has been purchased by Charles A. Robertson (Guilford, Conn.), a well-known East Coast sailor who has been active in a number of America's Cup and 12-Metre campaigns and is well known for skippering his Frers 75 Maxi Cannonball and a series of other like-named boats to victory in various one-design and offshore racing events.

Robertson, a former trustee of the New York Yacht Club, plans to race Freedom in the boat's home waters of Newport, R.I. starting in June. He will participate in the International 12 Metre Class's recently announced Road to the Worlds series that culminates in the 2019 12-Metre World Championship, which is scheduled to coincide with celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the New York Yacht Club.

Designed by Olin Stephens and constructed at Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, NY, Freedom was the last yacht to successfully defend the America's Cup for the New York Yacht Club by defeating Australia in 1980 in four out of five races. After the 1983 America's Cup, she was sold to France where she stayed for many years before returning to the U.S. in 1999. Currently, Freedom is at Pilot's Point Marina in Westbrook, Conn. where she is undergoing substantial work. Along with getting new sails, instruments and electronics, she will be newly painted to look similar to how she did in 1980."Olin was a dear friend of mine, and Freedom was the last 12 Metre he designed," said Robertson.

J/Fest New England
JFest Event organizers are excited to announce that registration is open for the second annual New England J/Fest Regatta. The regatta is being hosted by Sail Newport the weekend of August 12-13th 2017.

North Sails is the Partner Sponsor for this exciting regatta that is limited to J/Boat owners and crew. Racing will take place in the beautiful waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. This will truly be a thrilling weekend of racing which will encompass a celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the J/24 class as well as the inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship.

Sail Newport will host the regatta which will include two full days of One Design and PHRF racing along with the regatta party, dinner and award ceremonies. Registration is open now with no payment due until 14 July.

Wing Sail, Foils And Telescopic Keel - A Mini Revolution
Lalou Multi and the Arkema Chemical Group collaborated to come up with a race boat packed with innovation, but the real breakthrough is one you can't see

This is Arkema 3. She was launched in 2016 and she pulls together several cutting edge design technologies. She has a telescopic canting and rotating keel. When vertical, she draws 2m but when the keel is canted, the keel extends to offer more righting moment. It can also be rotated to provide lift to windward. She has articulating foils too, and caps it all off with a wingsail. Even in a class known for its willingness to embrace the future, this is wacky.

In October this year young skipper Quentin Vlamynck will sail her solo across the startline of the Mini 6.50 Transat, from La Rochelle to Gran Canaria, then on to Martinique. What follows will determine if all these features work together. What is not in question, though, is the fact that this is the first composite boat that will be able to be recycled. At the end of her life, rather than cluttering up a boatyard or being chainsawed into landfill, she can be dismantled.

She has been built using Elium, which is a styrene-free liquid thermoplastic acrylic resin developed by Arkema. At the end of the boat's life, she can be ground down and the materials reused to make new composite structures. End of life boats are becoming an ever-bigger problem precisely because composite boats we have built for the last 60 years using standard resins cannot be recycled.

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.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

* From Sir Robin Knox-Johnston:

I had a lovely day with these enthusiastic young people from Greig Academy in North London, who have worked hard to raise the money for their boat, get qualified, re-fit the boat, and are doing all the races to qualify for the Fastnet. They are determinded to make a race of the Fastnet.

No silver spoon for them. They have worked and fund raised for this opportunity.

More youngsters like this and we don't have to worry about the future of our sport.

What a wonderful experience and I hope to see them in a few races this summer.

* From Jon Holt on the program:

Our current situation is that Scaramouche is mechanically and structurally surveyed, sound and capable for the race but we do need to make changes down below to increase the numbers we are coded for so that more of our young sailors can go. The key lesson I have learned from the whole project is to plan way in advance, so I am simultaneously planning for the Fastnet but also beyond at the same time and they are two very different projects. The first involves getting our core crew ready and qualified (which they almost are) and the second involves preparing our next set of crews- both younger and also female. I am very keen that they do it properly and follow the same 'sailing journey' as the current crew of 16-18 year olds do!

I could talk/type endlessly about Scarmaouche, the crew and the additional benefits which they have seen and indeed what I think sailing can do for formal education in the UK. Our crew have very starkly and quickly learned resilience of course but there are so many hidden benefits to the English Education system which include:

1) A whole range of qualifications which can be achieved through the RYA, sitting there waiting to be used e.g. Day Skipper

2) The essence of modern educational theory is that it is discriminatory of 'educators' do not set the bar high- and of course in sailing the bar can only be set high because a big wave and wind on the bow and a spinnaker does not change with political trends

3) We have made wonderful friends other schools through our offshore races. These happen to be from public schools but the great thing is that at the end of an offshore race the conversation is firmly on tides and sea state not on the subjects which the press like to raise which generate division and to a sailor are irrelevant.

4) There is no other sport where the royalty of it (ie Robin), the stars and former stars, equipment suppliers are so generous which makes it a very accessible sport. The problem is in peoples' minds. Yes to takes a lot of meetings and talks but then again I would not expect Marlow Ropes to randomly drop £5000 worth of rope at my door if I didn't ask for it first! But too many people don't ask and the go on to talk about cost in a local coffee shop! In addition through these meetings our boys have learned a) how a business works, b) presentation skills, c) if you want to do something you have to earn it.

* Editor: Here's where you can donate to the Academy sailing program, here's hoping we see Scaramouche at the Fastnet:

* From Talbot Wilson: re: the collision of BAR's AC50 in Bermuda this week:

Based on the rules and protocol (as it is now)...
A challenger cannot replace a hull… and the bow section is clearly included as part of the hull.
Bows are removable for transportation in a container.

Challengers can build one pair of hulls, Defenders can build two pairs.
All can repair to strict one-design specs.
See the notice board for all this rule/protocal stuff

AC Rules
Rules 1.4n defines a hull as: "hull means one of two canoe bodies including their removable bows, which together displace the majority of the AC Class Yacht's weight when floating in measurement condition.

AC Protocol
35.1 Limits on Hulls.
(a) The Defender shall not Launch more than two (2) pairs of Hulls. In the event that the Defender Launches two (2) pairs of Hulls in accordance with this Article 35.3(a), the Defender shall race the first pair of Hulls that it Launched in the America's Cup Qualifiers and in the Match, except that: Refer amendment [followed by exceptions and conditions to use the second pair of hulls]

(b) A Challenger shall not Launch more than one (1) pair of Hulls. Refer amendment 4


Look at the bit on the NZL facebook revealing yet another protocal change by the defender and 5 challengers training in Bermuda.

America's Cup Class race boats lining up already?

Until this week it was prohibited by the protocol, but now allowed after yet another rule change.

Working together to protect their future AC framework agreement?

* From Rich Hayes: re: Boaty McBoatface

Maybe we could expect the American broadcaster NPR not to know their cringle from their ram's horn, [#3802] but there is a good argument for a 'submersible vehicle' to be referred to as a boat. Doubly so because this one is carried on a ship. Boaty McBoatface is therefore brilliantly and correctly named!

The mother ship perhaps should be re-named Shippy McShipface to avoid confusion in communications; I can't be the only one who has had a bizarre and surreal VHF conversation with a vessel named after a person.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only MC31 - NEW BOAT

Plenty of form stability plus a deep-draught carbon fin and heavy bulb combine to give this natural sibling of the successful MC38 tremendous power to make maximum use of the generous sail plan

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

McConaghy Boats

+61 2 999 777 22


Raceboats Only C&C30 OD - NEW BOAT

The C&C OD is hot. Combining the excitement of one-design racing with the magic of racing offshore – this boat does both.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

C&C Yachts



Raceboats Only 2007 52' King Marine IRC 52. 325,000 USD. Located in Rhode Island, USA.

ICE FIRE can now be obtained. She is a 2007 King Marine built TP 52 that was the last BRIBON, built for the King of Spain. Very successful on the Med circuit in 07/08/09, she came over to the States and as FLYING JENNY was very successful at all the NYYC annual regatta's, Block Island race week and NYYC race weeks. Since 2012, she has been ICE FIRE, and she was successful going to Montego Bay ( 2nd overall 2nd fleet in 2013) and won the 2012 IRC championship in Annapolis and that again last Fall (2014)

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

See the collection at

The Last Word
A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him. -- Man Ray

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