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

VO65 MAPFRE Dismasts During Offshore Testing In Spain
Click on image to enlarge.

MAPFRE At 17:15hrs local time on Thursday afternoon while the team was sailing about seven nautical miles SW of the island of Ons (Pontevedra) near their home base in around 25 knots of wind and four meter high waves the VO65 MAPFRE's mast broke below the first spreader.

"There was a crash and then the rig started to fall to starboard," reported Pablo Arrarte, MAPFRE's watch captain who was sailing as skipper of the boat during this period of testing. "We were sailing on quite a comfortable reach with waves also from the same direction and so at the moment we do not know why it has broken. We will have to analyse the data and the damaged parts in order to draw a conclusion."

The crew have not suffered any injuries and after fully checking for any collateral damage to other parts of the boat it took around two hours of intense work to secure the boat and recover the broken parts of the mast and the sails.

The team's emergency protocol was activated immediately and for safety reasons, Salvamento Marítimo [Maritime Rescue] was notified. They monitored the Spanish VO65 and when the crew had secured the boat the emergency services were duly informed that the crew were heading back to Sanxenxo under their own means.

The broken mast is the one used in the last Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

Royal Cork Launch The Irish IRC National Championships
Minister Simon Coveney and newly elected President of the Irish Sailing Association Jack Roy paid a visit to the Royal Cork Yacht Club last Monday night. Admiral John Roche and ICRA Commodore Simon Mc Gibney were also present as the club launched the Irish Cruiser Racing National Championships for 2017. The national event will be held in the Crosshaven club from Friday June 9th to Sunday June 11th.

Minister Coveney, a keen sailor himself, spoke of his delight in seeing Crosshaven and Kinsale (Sovereigns Cup) hosting major sailing events this summer and he wished both clubs every success. He encouraged all sailors to partake in the regattas and keep the sport at the forefront of the international sailing calendar which in turn will bring visitors from overseas and other Irish ports to the local area.

With National Titles up for the Royal Cork Yacht Club have put together a very experienced team of race officials across the various divisions and with a variety of division options available to ensure all racing interests are catered for.

International Race Officer Peter Crowley will take charge of the Non-Spinnaker and the new Coastal division which has been introduced due to the renewed interest in longer leg type racing. While in the IRC fleets International Race Officer's Jack Roy and Alan Crosbie are both lined up, with a mixture of windward leeward and Olympic type courses planned.

Sovereign's Cup will take place at Kinsale Yacht Club just two weeks later so visitors to the south coast can benefit from two major sailing events in close proximity to each other. Close collaboration amongst the two clubs has ensured free berthage for your yacht between events.

Queries can be directed to the event office at the Royal Cork Yacht Club on 021 483023.

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.

Easing The Pace: The Vp Bank Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge
Sloop 'Youth Instructor'. Photo by Christophe Courau. Click on image to enlarge.

Sloop Tortola, British Virgin Islands - Participating in the 4th Annual VP Bank Tortola Sloop Spring Challenge today proved to be a tough one for John S. Duncan OBE, Governor of the British Virgin Islands and the crew on Youth Instructor, one of the classic Tortola sloops from the local BVI fleet. The Challenge is part of the BVI Spring Regatta's Maritime Heritage Day, honouring the timeless historic Tortola Sloops which played an important role in island life more than a hundred years ago.

Given the tricky light breeze just one race was sailed today with a start off Nanny Cay and a reach over to Peter Island and back. Esmie skippered by Brian Duff took first, with Intrepid, skippered by Martin Van Houten in second. Duncan took third, sailing with Sjoerd Kosted, Head of Banking, VP Bank (BVI) Limited and today's sponsor.

"The breeze was variable and we had some issues at the start but once we got the team going, we had a lot of fun," Duncan said. "I had my right-hand man Steve George on board who is from Carriacou where the sloops are also built. It seems Steve was a little rusty, but you can see this kind of racing is in his blood!" Duncan said good-humouredly. He also acknowledged the support of VP Bank for their continued interest and effort toward helping to preserve the local fleet of historic sloops.

To that point, the Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation has been organized this past year to provide the funding necessary to keep these boats well maintained and where possible, out sailing. Geoff Brooks is Curator of the BVI National Maritime Museum at the H.L.Stoutt Community College which owns a number of the traditional sloops. Brooks assists in taking care of the sloops and promoting local maritime heritage.

"We really try to preserve our local culture here," Brooks said. "But it takes a lot of time and effort and money to keep these boats floating. We're hoping with the new Foundation that funding will be more readily available to maintain sloops that are in desperate need." If you love sailing in the BVI and care about its maritime history, donations to the Foundation are welcome!

OK Dinghy World Ranking - No Change At Top
For the first time in the history of the OK Dinghy World Ranking List, not only are the top 3 three unchanged, but the entire top 20 of the March 2017 release are unchanged from the previous release. European Champion, Bo Petersen (DEN) continues to lead from Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Greg Wilcox (NZL).

The only events since the October release have been the national titles in New Zealand and Australia.

At the New Zealand Nationals in January at Worser Bay in Wellington, Ben Morrison won from Luke O'Connell and Steve McDowell. McDowell got his revenge later, winning the North Island Championships in Turangi in February.

Mark Jackson won his sixth Australian national title at Drummoyne Sailing Club in Sydney Harbour in January from Mark Skelton and Peter Horne.

Excluding Wilcox, who resides in Germany, Jackson is the highest ranked sailor from down under in 13th place, while O'Connell makes a jump from 99th to 60th. Big changes in the rankings are expected after the May World Championship in Barbados, where large Australian and New Zealand teams have entered.

At the class begins its 60th anniversary year, the ranking list has also exceeded 500 entries for the first time.

The next ranking list release will be just before the European Championship in Faaborg, Demark and just after Warnemunde Woche.

Top ten:
1. Bo Petersen, DEN
2. Thomas Hanson-Mild, SWE
3. Greg Wilcox, NZL
4. Charlie Cumbley, GBR
5. Stefan Myralf, DEN
6. Richard Burton, GBR
7. Martin von Zimmermann, GER
8. Pawel Pawlaczyk, POL
9. David Bourne, GBR
10. Tomasz Gaj, POL

Industry News
India unveils plans for world-class marina

A consultant will be appointed to study the scope for a yachting facility in Puthuvype or Vallarpadam

Cochin Port Trust in India is exploring the possibility of setting up a yachting marina at Puthuvype or Vallarpadam. A consultant will be soon appointed to study the scope for such a project, A V Ramana, the Trust deputy chairman, told The Indian Express.

The only existing facility in the area is Kochi International Marina, owned by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). The site is located in the eastern coast of the Bolgatty Island.

Situated just 11 nautical miles from the international maritime route, Kochi is an ideal berthing spot for yachts from the West that travel towards the north-eastern parts of Asia after crossing the Suez Canal.

Currently, there are no intermediate berthing facilities for yachts leaving Dubai until they reach their destinations in the Far East.


London Boat Show unveils changes for 2018

The revamped new five-day event is set to open on January 10 and will include new shows within the show

British Marine Boat Shows, organiser of the London Boat Show, has announced plans for a re-defined event for next year.

Starting on Wednesday 10 January until Sunday 14 January, the now five-day event will be packed with attractions and new shows within the show. These include the Boating & Watersports Holiday Show and another event to be announced soon.

Featuring global and boutique brands, the new Boating & Watersports Holiday Show will take advantage of the prime holiday booking period.

Complete with its own high profile marketing campaign the event will offer knowledge, expert advice and live experiences to get visitors into the holiday spirit.


Selden Masts Ltd, the Swedish producer of aluminium and carbon spars, has announced that it has become a key spar provider to Oyster Yachts.

Previously supplying the masts for the Oyster 475 model, Seldén will now supply the standard alloy spars on the Oyster range up to the Oyster 825.

UK boatbuilder Oyster Yachts, produces high-end, bluewater yachts from its facilities in Southampton and Wroxham, on the East Coast.

Selden has also become an official sponsor of the Oyster World Rally 2017-2019. The rally fleet, which commenced its circumnavigation in January, comprises 29 yachts, seven of which have Selden rigs.


Naval architect studio Laurent Giles in the UK prepates to celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

Based in Lymington, Hampshire, the company was founded by Jack Laurent Giles in 1927 and quickly establishing himself as a pioneer in new design and construction techniques.

Laurent Giles was the first to design Gulvai, the all-aluminium offshore racing yacht. He was also one of the first to adopt GRP construction in the early 1960's.

Whilst many of his early designs were "gentleman's" sailing yachts the pursuit of performance was always paramount and honed in racing yacht design, this included the America's Cup Yacht Flica II.

The last 90 years have seen Laurent Giles work with many world leading shipyards and builders including Abeking & Rasmussen, Richards Shipyards, Benetti, Berthon, DML, Pendennis and Viareggio Superyachts to name but a few.


Crewsaver, has announced that it is to be an official event sponsor of the Gosport Marine Festival 2017, which will take place on Saturday 27th May 2017.

The get-on-the-water activities at the Festival will be branded Crewsaver GoWaterSport sessions. These Crewsaver GoWaterSport sessions will include dinghy sailing, kayaking and rowing sessions in Haslar Marina for those over 12 years old, and windsurfing, paddleboarding and kayaking for 6 to 11 year olds at the Cockle Pond. There will be 800 places available for those who want to get on the water. Crewsaver will also be offering practical support to the festival's Little Shipmates activities. The Little Shipmates zone will offer creative activities for children based around a 'safety on and around the sea' theme, so ideally matched to Crewsaver's core #LifejacketSafe message.

Gosport Marine Festival aims to connect the people of Gosport with the sea, so as Gosport's largest marine employer, it was natural for Crewsaver to get involved. The free community event will showcase boating of every kind from sailing dinghies and big yachts to paddleboarding and kayaking. There will be something for the whole family with the chance to get on the water as well as plenty of onshore activities.

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 John Burnie:

I have three notable ones:

A Ferro Cement build in Cowes called "Maid of Portland"

Another in Cowes with an owner who seriously liked his alcohol called "Sea Roses of the River" (seriously!)

In Antigua in the days of Channel 68 comms "Any Taxi" - as soon as they were called on VHF the Dockyard Taxi rank used to light up.

The late Glyn Charles did like a joke - I told him one about a shy young wife of a French Ambassador to London. When her English guests left quite early in the evening, citing their need to get up early to take a morning ferry, she blurted out "Ah you Engleesh are all ze same - early to bed and up with ze cock!"

True to form Glyn immediately named his recently launched Petticrow Soling "Erlay to Bed and Up Wiz Zee Cock". I actually saw it on the boat in Bosham. Sadly the name was eventually rejected by some austere body like the RYA or an Olympic Committee - too long apparently. * From Don Wood:

Very nice to read Doug Peterson to be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame .

Ganbare his first design is still going strong here in the Med , some 44 years on !

Last year she won the CIM Panerai Med Challenge for Classics .

A further link with some of her history -

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2000 Reichel Pugh, Lupa of London. 1,770,000 VAT paid GBP.

Lupa of London is a remarkable Reichel Pugh designed Carbon composite cruiser racer with an outstanding Baltic build pedigree and enviable trophy cupboard.

Built to combine the ultimate in luxury and performance, Lupa of London offers all of the comforts for cruising in a high tech package, She is built for speed and provides a highly rewarding sail.

Built using advanced carbon composite materials in order to reduce weight and enhance performance, Lupa of London boats a canting keel to improve sailing stability. Her flush deck and sleek lines will excite the most moderate of sailor, yet performance will excite the most qualified.

She is the ideal boat to combine enjoyable cruising with exciting racing events - Lupa remains a fast and winning yacht on the regatta circuit.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly


+44 (0)7476 888639


Raceboats Only 2002 Grand Soleil 44 - ELEUTHERA. 129950 EUR. Located in Lymington, United Kingdom.

Top drawer IRC weapon with recent rig and sails, fully faired hull and recent performer at the Commodores Cup. Available at a very very low price.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 2008 Mills 41 - Ambush. 185000 USD. Located in Hong Kong.

Ambush is a Mark Mills Designed IRC/ORC 41’ built by McConaghy Boats China in 2008. The design concept of this boat was simple...... create the strongest IRC boat possible in the light to medium wind range, with the occasional desire to stretch the boats legs offshore.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

+442380 016582

See the collection at

The Last Word
The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. -- Bertrand Russell

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see