In This Issue
San Fernando Race: Scallywag Smashes 2001 Record | RORC Easter Challenge | Evan Walker Steals Coconut Grove Cup At Final Turn | While Stocks Last - America's Cup | Les Voiles De St. Barth | Block Island Race Week | The Hunt Is On For The World's First Luxury Ship | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage

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

San Fernando Race: Scallywag Smashes 2001 Record
Photo by RHKYC/ Guy Nowell. Click on image to enlarge.

Scallywag Hong Kong's 100' super maxi Scallywag owned by Seng Huang Lee sailed into San Fernando, Philippines at 23:47:17hrs Friday - absolutely smashing the 2001 San Fernando Race record of 49h 55m 12s by an incredible 15 hours, 27 minutes and 55 seconds.

The 2001 record was set by Sam Chan's 70' ULDB Sled, FfreeFire, Sam Chan is also taking part in this San Fernando race onboard his other FreeFire, a TP52, and is expected to arrive in San Fernando on Saturday evening.

The new San Fernando Race record now stands at an imposing 34h, 27m and 17s.

This is the second Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club race record that Scallywag holds - she raced her way to the record books last November in the Hong Kong to Hainan Race and holds an impressive record of 23h 31m 52s.

The final boats raced in to San Fernando, Philippines on Saturday night and early this morning including Emocean2, Christopher Allan's Swan 55 the sole double handed entry, which arrived at 18:42:12hrs. Christopher Allan was accompanied on board by long time offshore sailor Olivier Decamps. Emocean2 received 4th in the Premier Cruising Division.

A span of 51hrs separated the first boat to arrive and the last this morning. Michael Lunn's Azuree 40FC Lion Rock sailed in at 02:18:10hrs. Tim Bruce's Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 Diamond Queen followed at 03:02:47hrs taking first in the HKPN division. Sadly Richard Winter's Moody 46 Soko sailing in the HKPN division retired in the early hours of this morning due to light air.

Congratulations to all division winners of the 40th anniversary of the San Fernando Race including Hong Kong's 100' super maxi Scallywag owned by Seng Huang Lee for her win in her division IRC 0, the coveted IRC Overall win and the new race record of an impressive 34h27m17s an incredible 15h27m55s faster than the 16 year old record set by Sam Chan's 70' ULDB Sled, FfreeFire in 2001. To Steve Manning / Anthony Root's Custom Ker 42 Black Baza for her win in IRC 1 and 2nd place in IRC Overall and Anthony Day's XC50 Explorer for her win in the IRC Premier Cruising Division.

RORC Easter Challenge
Across the 50 boat fleet competing at the RORC's three day long domestic season opener, that doubles as its annual training regatta, it was close across most classes, but none more so than IRC One. In this, Mike Greville's sparkling Ker 39, Erivale III managed to lose her three point lead in today's opening round the cans race and the victor was only decided on the final, head down, charge for the finish line in race two.

Three races were scheduled Sunday, but the wind dropped as the new breeze attempted to settle towards the end of the first race, causing the course to be shortened for IRC Two and Three. With the wind shifting dramatically, it took three attempts to get what was to be the second and final race underway.

Within IRC One, there was a match race between the two Mark Mills-designed MAT 1180s. Tor McLaren's two week old Gallivanter got its first taste of glory, winning today's opening race, However sistership, Christian Zugel's Tschuss, finished seven points ahead overall.

Star performer throughout the regatta was Sir Keith Mills' Invictus in the FAST 40+ class, racing within IRC One. With a 1-3 today, the black Ker 40+ won the regatta by a mighty 11 points. However it was not easy and all five of the FAST 40+ had their moments with Tony Dickin's Jubilee looking particularly strong today, leading the opening stages of race two, which was eventually won by Mark Rijkse's 42° South.

In IRC Two, a late charge from RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine on La Reponse was enough to get his First 40 onto the podium but not enough to make an impression on the race for the lead between David Franks' JPK 10.10 Strait Dealer and Redshift Reloaded, the Sun Fast 3600 belonging to Ed Fishwick.

Evan Walker Steals Coconut Grove Cup At Final Turn
Miami, USA: In a day filled with leaderboard upsets, the event winner was decided rounding the final mark in the final race of the regatta. Australia's Evan Walker and his Team KA Match struck lucky on the last beat to win the final cross and pop a wheelie on the finish line to take the win in style.

Coming in to this final day of competition, US Virgin Islander Anthony Kotoun led the fleet after a string of wins in the early round robin series. Conditions today were the strongest of the week, averaging 20knots, so perhaps this increase in pressure is what caused Kotoun to slip down the pecking order after three losses this morning during the conclusion of the round robin.

Fresh from their podium finishes at last week's Tour event Miami Match Cup, Harry Price and Nevin Snow finished the round robin series in the top two spots respectively. Denmark's Daniel Bjornholt and his Youth Vikings Denmark team continued their success from day one of competition. Improved boat handling saw less unforced errors by the Danes which allowed them to climb to fifth seed going into the quarter final knockout round. Another big mover was The Magenta Project team, skippered by New Zealand Olympian Jo Aleh, who moved from bottom of the table after wins this morning and coming out on the right side of a three-way tie.

In the quarter final round, Australian Harry Price going down to USA local Jeremy Wilmot was the shock of the day. Despite winning the first match Price, who won the recent Miami Match Cup, couldn't seem to bring it all together in the series that went 2-1 to his American opponent.

In the first semifinal pairing Anthony Kotoun failed to find his rhythm and he would be the first to admit that he didn't perform to his greatest, getting bested 2-0 by Evan Walker. It was a similar story in the other semifinal with Jeremy Wilmot being outsailed by fellow American skipper Nevin Snow in a 2-0 series. As well as making the final, both Walker and Snow also qualify for the World Match Racing Tour Championship level event, Match Cup USA.

While Stocks Last - America's Cup
Americas Cup Tickets This summer in Bermuda promises to give us the most dramatic America's Cup in the event's history... and the ticket store is open

In its 166-year history the iconic America's Cup, the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport, has probably never featured a stronger line-up of teams. The yachts that will be raced are also comfortably the fastest in the illustrious history of the 'Auld Mug', and Bermuda's Great Sound is the perfect stage on which to run the greatest race on water.

Tickets for the events, running in Bermuda from 26 May to 27 June, are becoming some of the hottest properties in world sport and they are available now from

In 2017 there will be six teams competing to win the America's Cup, starting with Defender Oracle Team USA. With skipper Jimmy Spithill looking for a historic 'threepeat', winning the 'pitbull's' third America's Cup following victories in 2010 and 2013 (more of which later), his team have to be among the favourites.

If Spithill can pull off that historic three-in-a-row he will have to be in serious consideration for the title GOAT, Greatest Of All Time, but will that pressure takes its toll?

Full story in the May issue of Seahorse magazine:

Les Voiles De St. Barth
After three days of tight competition on the waters off the French West Indies island of St. Barth, many of the teams racing in Les Voiles de St. Barth headed into the final day today with the hopes of either dismounting class leaders or fending off competitors that were climbing up in the rankings. However, due to lack of wind the Race Committee was forced to make the difficult decision to cancel the final day of racing.

In Maxi 1, the competition was tight between the eight boats, but George Sakellaris' Proteus shined throughout the week, defending its 2016 class win and finishing off the regatta with a solid three-point lead over second-place finisher Prospector. Also, for overall best performance among all Maxis competing, Sakellaris took home the regatta's most coveted prize, the Richard Mille 60-01 Regatta Flyback Chronograph timepiece.

Maxi 2 Class Winner: Windfall
Ian Walker, Tactician:
"It was great for us because last year we had damaged the rigging after having won one of the earlier races so there was a bit of unfinished business for Mike, the owner of the boat. He steered the majority of the races and we had pretty much the same team back from last year, so it was very satisfying to win."

CSA 0 Winner: Sorcha
CSA 1 Winner: Fortunata
CSA 2 Winner: Oystercatcher XXX1
CSA 3 Winner: Blitz
CSA 4 Winner: Pasco's Jaguar
Melges 24 Winner: Team Island Water World
Multihull Winner: Fujin

* Lloyd Thornburg's 40ft "FOMO" finished the Les Voiles de St Barth in 2nd place after the 4th race was cancelled due to lack of wind.

Block Island Race Week
Letter from the Chairman

It has been exciting watching entries come in over the past several weeks. The very diverse fleet now boasts over 140 entries, and we know other shy boats are planning to enter soon.

Perhaps the biggest news from the organizers this month is that we recently amended the Notice of Race to add ORC classes in response to several requests from both existing and potential entries. Amendment No. 3 and the Amended Notice of Race are available through YachtScoring. Boats with either ORCi or ORC Club certificates are eligible for the ORC classes. This will be ORC's first appearance at Block Island Race Week and promises to provide sailors a new opportunity to see it used.

There are two other upcoming opportunities to help you prepare for race week. First up, on May 20, 2017, the Storm Trysail Foundation puts on its Safety at Sea Seminar at SUNY Maritime in the Bronx. Not only are there are valuable lessons to be learned and refreshed there, but you can also earn a certificate suitable for the new requirements for the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race.

Practice, practice, practice -- even in distance mode. Enter the Storm Trysail Club's annual Block Island Race, an 183 NM jaunt from Stamford, around Block Island and back in time for a party at Stamford Yacht Club and your neighbor's Memorial Day BBQ. The race starts off Stamford on the afternoon of May 26, 2017. Enter on

The Hunt Is On For The World's First Luxury Ship
Italian divers are to mount an expedition this week to try to find the long-lost remains of a ceremonial barge built on the orders of the Emperor Caligula 2,000 years ago.

Caligula, renowned as one of Rome's most psychopathic and sadistic rulers, had enormous boats built so that he could take pleasure cruises on Lake Nemi, situated in a range of volcanic hills 20 miles outside Rome.

The remains of two such barges were found between 1928 and 1932 when the lake was partially drained on the orders of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who had heard of the legend of the lost boats.

An ancient Roman underground tunnel that connected the lake to surrounding farmland was re-opened in order to allow the water to drain out, revealing the skeletons of the two boats and a treasure trove of artefacts.

It is believed there may have been a third boat, which has never been found.

Local fishermen say that in one area of the lake their nets often get snagged and they haul up Roman artefacts.

"We know from documents from the 15th century that one of the boats went down in an area of the lake different to where the other two were found during the Fascist era," said Alberto Bertucci, the local mayor.

Scholars have debated for years whether the barges were built purely as pleasure craft, or whether they were constructed as floating temples in honour of the goddess Diana or other popular deities.

It has been suggested that Caligula ordered them built as a form of one-up-manship, in order to rival ceremonial barges constructed by the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt.

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 Zvi Ziblat:

My 2pence to the "women in the Olympics" and especially applauding Debbi Booth facts found which tells the true story.

I am afraid you all miss the real catastrophe that is happening toward 2020 with the new move by ISAF board for a new "gender equality" meaning the following

1. Quotas: The Board proposed the following quotas for the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition as per Submission E21-17:

Olympic Quotas

25% more RSX W than RSX M. Is that the real world?

20% more Radial W than Laser M?

Maybe it is time the women tell the decision makers to wake up and stop this joke.

* From David Munge:

Team New Zealand

In the April Seahorse page 14/15 we have a photo of the Kiwi team practicing for the TdeB. (Click on image at right to enlarge). Bums up, heads down, only one person looking out of the boat. I am well aware that sailing boat racing has changed, but has it changed that much, that as a team you don't need to know what is going on around you. I understand all about the wonderful comms systems but???????????

* From Nicky Bethwaite:

This is one of those arguments that seems to go round in circles, and perhaps it is generational. Growing up sailing in the 1960s and 70s, there were only a handful of women competing at the top level and certainly, they were winning in open events (Cherubs, Moths, 470s for instance) in Australia. In 1986 when the first women's only event was announced for the 1988 Olympics, I was extremely dismissive, considering it patronising and unnecessary. However, I bit the bullet and competed in the 1988 Games in Pusan, Sth Korea and since then, my view has taken a complete 180 degree turn.

I look around now and there are far more women sailing, including at the top level. In club racing they are competing on equal terms with the men and the crowd after racing, whether at the bar or the barbecue, has a far higher proportion of women than were ever apparent 30 years ago. The numbers of girls learning to sail aren't quite at the 50% mark, but again, the numbers are increasing. Whether that's thanks to the Ellen Macarthurs, Vanessa Dudleys, Isabelle Autissiers or Shirley Robertsons is a moot point, but at least there are some shining examples to follow.

Damian Foxall is right to say it shouldn't be necessary, but as in a great many other areas of our lives, positive discrimination is sometimes necessary to prove a point. After all, it has been the women only Olympic classes that have given Anna Tunnicliffe, Carolijn Brouwer and Marie Riou (amongst many others) their opportunities in professional sailing.

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