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

First J-Class Worlds Announced
The first J-Class worlds will be held at Newport, Rhode Island from 21-26 August

Hosted by the New York Yacht Club, the J-Class Association, and the International Maxi Association, the new J-Class worlds hopes to revitalise the history and excitement behind the celebrated class. The multi-day regatta will feature windward-leeward and coastal races with yachts based from Newport Shipyard in the historic town centre.

After the conclusion of the America's Cup J-Class Regatta in Bermuda in June - coinciding with the 35th America's Cup - the J-Class fleet will sail for Newport. The expected yachts to participate include: Ranger, Lionheart, Topaz, Svea, Hanuman, and Velsheda.

J-Class Association and North Sails have also recently announced the inaugural Kohler Cup, a trophy named in memory of Terry Kohler, former owner of North Sails. The cup is a season-long points championship awarded to a J boat.

Over the course of the season, each yacht will accumulate points based on its results, with events bearing more significance as the season progresses. The trophy will be presented at the J-Class worlds in Newport, RI, August.

Artemis Training Boat Crash
A development catamaran being sailed by America's Cup syndicate Artemis Racing of Sweden crashed during a practice session on the Great Sound today.

The syndicate says in a post on its Facebook page that there were no injuries and that one of the 45-foot catamaran's crossbeams was damaged.

Artemis says it will resume practicing aboard its 50-foot race boat on Thursday.The 35th America's Cup begins in late May.

Artemis Racing Statement:
During a practice session this afternoon Artemis Racing's development boat (T2) sustained beam damage whilst training. There were no injuries in the incident, and the yacht is back at the base.

The team looks forward to getting out on its ACC boat for the second week of practice racing, starting on Thursday.

Artemis Racing Add Olympian Jake Lilley To The Roster
Finn sailor, Jake Lilley, joined the team at the end of 2016 as a Grinder after impressing Exercise Physiologist , Pete Cunningham. "Jake has shown great dedication to his training over the past 5 months or so and has turned himself into a great upper-body athlete who can now achieve decent power numbers on the grinding pedestal", said Pete.

The Queenslander has had a meteoric rise since learning to sail at 15 years old, after a bad bike crash forced him to look at other sports. Jake was part of the Australian Olympic squad in Rio, and is focused on helping the team to win the 35th America's Cup.

During his time in Bermuda he has been impressed with the level of professionalism within the team, and is working hard to step up to the challenge of the America's Cup.

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

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Solo Yachtswoman Forced To Abandon Antarctica Bid
Sydney: An Australian attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo was forced to abandon the bid Tuesday after being demasted in ferocious seas and high winds, more than two months after setting sail.

Lisa Blair was 72 days into the non-stop and unassisted 14,000-nautical mile voyage around the icy continent on her yacht "Climate Action Now".

She was aiming to break the record set by Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov who braved storms, freezing temperatures, and the threat of icebergs to complete the journey in 102 days, 35 minutes and 50 seconds.

But the conditions have taken their toll, with her support crew saying the yacht's mast broke early Tuesday 895 kilometres (554 miles) south of Cape Town in seven metre (22 feet) swells and 40 knot winds.

"The mast is currently being dragged behind the boat. She is regrouping after making the boat safe and at first light will assess the situation," her spokeswoman Tracey Whittaker told AFP.

"With the damage she has, the record attempt is abandoned," she added, shortly after speaking with Blair, who was unhurt in the incident.

Why Volvo 'D2D' Is The Perfect Mini-Offshore Race
Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race (D2D) race organisers at the National Yacht Club have published five compelling reasons why June's race measures up to be the 'perfect family friendly offshore race'. The club is keen to build on the ethos and tradition of the race.

1. At almost 300 miles it is the perfect length typically taking the whole fleet something between 30 and 50 hours to get to Dingle in the beautful surrounds of Kerry.

2. It is mostly along the coast rather than a crossing which contrubites to safety and enjoyment.

3. It mixes both racing boats and cruising boats with prizes for both.

4. It is in the same year as the Fastnet race, thereby providing a perfect training ground for crew and boat as testified to by RORC (the Royal Ocean Racing Club) the Fastnet Race organisers. It also forms part of the ISORA (Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association) season.

5. It is a great feeder race. Having arrived in Kerry the participants can choose to cruise the amazingly beatiful area of Kerry and West Cork or head back to Kinsale for Sovereigns Week.

Volvo Car Ireland already firmly established as the brand partner for sailing in Ireland have added the D2D race to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the other major events on the sailing calender in Ireland.

Scugnizza's RRS 69
The issue arose due to the apparent installation of hidden water tanks under the cockpit to affect extreme stern-down trim for measurement. At the event the measurers confirmed the boat was in this trim in accordance with their certificate, but did not find the tanks.

However, when sailing the boat did not appear to be in stern-down trim, but level trim, and many photographs of the boat sailing confirmed this.

ORC did numerous calculations to demonstrate the weight and volume of water needed to get to this unusual measurement trim, and how it was not possible to achieve this without some additional amount of undeclared ballast.

Scugnizza tried to claim that they could achieve level sailing trim by placing items such as anchors in the forepeak while racing, but even the weight of these items in this position was insufficient to put the boat in level trim for racing.

While not admitted as evidence, there was also before and after photos taken of the interior of the boat with the tanks in place and them having been removed immediately after the European championship and prior to their next event, the Italian championship, which the boat was re-measured for, had a substantial rating increase, and competed to finish only 7th in class.

Its unfortunate this team was not caught at the event and the matter dealt with then, but the measurers could be forgiven for having missed the tanks because they were partially obscured by the wheel well under the cockpit.

Any punishment is now in the hands of the FIV.

Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge
Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, The Inn at English Harbour and Antigua Pro Racing, will host the 4th Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine (9) races scheduled to take place over two (2) days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. Racing takes place 8-9 May.

The event will consist of up to fourteen (14) teams, each representing a different yacht club from around the world, and sailing in a friendly competition to determine the overall champion. The winning yacht club will then earn itself the paid entry and accommodation at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort to defend its title the following year.

The schedule will consist of both inshore and offshore short course racing on the south coast of Antigua.

All boats, race day lunches and official functions will be offered by the hosts as part of the entry fee.

The Antigua Yacht Club Marina will offer special rates for the accommodations for participating teams. -- Louay Habib

Register your interest:

New VPP Multihull Handicapping System Coming Summer 2017
The Offshore Racing Association (ORA) is pleased to announce that a new VPP multihull handicapping system will be released for use this summer. "ORR-MH" will use the latest VPP technology and testing procedures to handicap the diverse range of multihulls that are racing on the world's oceans and coastlines.

ORR-MH will join ORR, ORR-EZ, HPR (High Performance Rule) and ISYR (International Superyacht Rule) as part of the stable of rating systems administered by ORA. ORA is collaborating with Teeters Yacht Technology and Eagan Software for the final testing stages of this new multihull VPP-based handicap system.

ORA will continue to work with the various race organizers, owners, designers and multihull experts in further refining and upgrading this system. The research effort and development process was headed by Jim Teeters, ORA Technical Director and head of Teeters Yacht Technology. Jim has been coordinating with various designers and multihull experts during the development of ORR-MH. "These are exciting times in the world of handicapping with all of the new foil technology for both mono and multi-hull sailboats," said Teeters.

ORR-MH will be the multihull handicap rule used for the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race in its new Multihull Division. The race already uses ORR for handicapping their Monohull Divisions. "We are very pleased to have been selected by this prestigious offshore event. Multihulls present a unique handicapping challenge, as they are as diverse a fleet as monohull sailboats and many have partial or full foiling ability," stated Bjorn Johnson, Executive Director of ORA. He continued with, "We look forward to working with these and other events that have an interest in promoting fair handicap racing, whether it is with one hull or multiple hulls."

This, Give Thanks, Will Never End
Floaty McFloatface? Petition launched to name the new Isle of Wight floating bridge

The Isle of Wight Council has rescinded on its decision to veto Floaty McFloatface as the name of the new floating bridge at Cowes.

It comes following outcry on social media after a spokesman said the name would not be considered.

A petition was even launched by regular bridge user Martin Linnenbruger to call it Floaty McFloatface, which has so far attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

The council is running a competition to name the bridge, who operates between Cowes and East Cowes.

Speaking to the Isle of Wight County Press Online, the leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Dave Stewart said the name would now be considered.

"When my administration says we'll ask island residents what they want to call the new floating bridge, we mean it. If Floaty McFloatface is out in front in terms of popularity, that suggestion will not be vetoed by officers."

"Today our cross-party executive unanimously decided to overturn any decision by officers to rule out Floaty, or any other suggestion provided it isn't offensive," he continued.

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 Adrian Morgan:

Here we go again: no longer the "best sailors in the world" but now the greatest. 'The "Auld Mug" will be raced by the greatest sailors in the world.' So not Armel, or Francois, or Alex, or Jean Pierre, or Sebastien, alone or supported by brilliant crew work, but four guys pumping handles, or cyclists and a couple of, OK, highly skilled sailors at the back. It will be fun to watch, no doubt, could be exciting, "successful" even.

No, it's not the event, the foiling, the complex rules or the perversion of the event or even the waste of money (it was ever thus) but the hyperbole and, let's face it, b******t that we have to put up with in the absence of real facts and real news. As I said wrote once before, the best AC sailors have no place on today's AC boats, which is why we'll see most of them crewing the J Class and Superyachts this summer.

* From Iain McAllister

When I was a nipper learning to sail at the Royal Clyde Yacht Club, a couple of members who'd just become engaged turned up with a new Flying Fifteen called FFORANOCCASION.

* From Dave Hollom:

During the America's Cup in Fremantle the French Challengers boat, in deference to their main sponsor, was called "French Kiss", the tender was called "Kiss Me Tender", the chase boat was called "Kiss me Quick" and, allegedly, the helicopter was called "Kiss me Chopper".

Editor's note: Of COURSE the French got sail number FRA-69 for Le Defi Areva, which saild in the Louis Vuitton Cups in 1992, 1995, 2000 and 2003. If memory serves they were insistent on it. It really is the little things in life that make it worth living.

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The Last Word
All my life I have been grateful for the contribution France has made to the culture and glory of Europe, and above all for the sense of personal liberty and the rights of man which has radiated from the soul of France….Show me a moment when I swerved from this conception, and you will show me a moment when I have been wrong". -- Winston Churchill, 1944

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