In This Issue
Hyeres World Cup | Hoping To Poke Larry Ellison's Lads In The Eye | Dont be a lemon - Sailors for the Sea | Giant international gathering for Rolex Fastnet Race | Industry News | 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

Hyeres World Cup
Over 500 sailors from 52 nations opened their quest for World Cup honours, personal best performances and bragging rights as the second event of the 2017 series got underway in Hyères, France.

In a stable 8-11 knot south easterly breeze, it was vital that those aiming for the top honours laid down a marker with consistent race results. Events can not be won on the first day in sailing but they can certainly be lost.

Racing continues on Wednesday 26 April at 11:00 local time. Live Medal Races will be shown on the World Sailing YouTube Channel on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April, bringing the penultimate event before the Santander Final to a close.

Ben Cornish admitted he didn't make life easy on himself in spite of taking an early lead at sailing's World Cup Series event in Hyeres, France, on Tuesday (25 April).

The Finn talent was one of three British boats to sit inside the top three positions after the first day of competition, with double Laser World Champion Nick Thompson and 49er duo Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell second overall in their respective events.

After two races, Laser World Champion Nick Thompson is joined in the Laser top ten by two fellow British Sailing Team athletes - Miami World Cup bronze medallist Lorenzo Chiavarini in seventh and Palma silver medallist Elliot Hanson in tenth.

Britain's 470 Women's teams saw a steady start to their regatta, with Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart in fourth posting 6,5 from their opening day and Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter in overall seventh, while in the RS:X Women's windsurfing event, Izzy Hamilton and Emma Wilson are currently fifth and eighth respectively after three races.

In the 49erFX, three races of 2,8,8 sees Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey in overall fifth, with Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface and John Gimson-Anna Burnet level on points in eighth and ninth places respectively after three races in the Nacra 17 multihull fleet.

Full results

Hoping To Poke Larry Ellison's Lads In The Eye
We got a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Land Rover BAR sailing team hoping to leave Oracle's Larry Ellison with a red face in this year's America's Cup.

Using some rather nifty custom-built mobile app tech, running on off-the-shelf Android hardware, the team hopes to win the America's Cup for Great Britain for the first time since the competition began in the 19th Century.

The app which will be central to Blighty's fortunes in this year's race was built by specialist bods Coderus, who are based at BT's Adastral Park in Suffolk. Thanks to recent rule changes, America's Cup crews are now limited to six sailors instead of the previous eight - meaning the team can no longer afford to have the tactician standing around the deck instead of mucking in with the rest.

They'll be up against the Oracle-sponsored Team USA, current champions, and also Japan, who are sponsored by tech titans Softbank. A number of other countries are also taking part.

Coderus' app will help tactician Giles Scott maintain his situational awareness even while he has his head down grinding away to generate hydraulic power for the boat's systems. A nifty little piece of custom work, the app's display shows not only the boat's position overlaid on the racecourse but also turning points, distance to go to next waypoint, boat speed and it even automatically changes view to zoom in at critical moments - all without any interaction from Scott.

Dont be a lemon - Sailors for the Sea
Seahorse More than 1,000 regattas have now signed up for Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas programme.

Anyone who sets out on a boat of any type will not be impressed with sharing the experience with floating rubbish. For most of us a big part of the journey is to reconnect with nature and the marine environment in a direct and meaningful way, and floating debris is just an ugly reminder of how man is damaging our precious, life-giving ocean. For some of us traversing at high speeds, this debris may be more than just an eyesore: collisions with debris that has damaged hulls and appendages and ruined races are today becoming commonplace.

Sailors for the Sea was founded to unite sailors around the need to protect the ocean and our local waters. Since 2004 the non-profit organisation has been working with the sailing and boating community to create easy-to-apply, pragmatic programmes that address current environmental issues. They empower boaters to become catalysts for change.

Full article in the May issue of Seahorse magazine:

Giant international gathering for Rolex Fastnet Race
August's Rolex Fastnet Race remains on track for a record-sized fleet. Currently 390 boats are entered: 338 competing for the main IRC handicap prize; the remainder racing for their own trophies in the Class40, IMOCA 60, Volvo Ocean 65 and Multihull grand prix classes.

This line-up makes the Rolex Fastnet Race the world's largest offshore race in terms of competitor numbers. Its entries are the most diverse, ranging from maxi-multihulls to the world's fastest monohulls, including those that compete in the fully crewed and singlehanded round the world races, to the racer cruisers and cruiser racers that form the majority of the IRC classes.

The fleet is also the most international. At the present tally, boats from 25 nations will be heading west down the Solent from Cowes on start day, Sunday 6th August.

As expected, the largest entry is from the UK with 58% of the fleet, but this means that 42%, or a whopping 164 boats, will have come from overseas.

France has dominated Rolex Fastnet Race results in both the IRC and non-IRC fleets in recent years and once again is back with a vengeance with the second largest entry, representing 13% of the fleet, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland with 7, 5 and 4% respectively.

This year's race has its largest ever Asian entry with boats coming from Korea, Japan and China.

In the Class40, Japan's Hiroshi Kitada returns to the UK with his Pogo40 S3, Kiho, having competed in the Transat bakerly and Quebec-St Malo races last year.

From China is Ark323, skippered by Li Yun. This Botin & Carkeek-designed TP52 (ex-Sled/Warpath), in 2015 became mainland China's first entry with an all-Chinese crew in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. The boat is now making the long haul to the UK to compete in another of the internationally renowned 'classic 600 milers'.

Korea's first entry in the Rolex Fastnet Race comes in the form of the GP42 Sonic. Campaigned by Andrew Rho, Sonic has been one of the most competitive teams in Korea's burgeoning big boat racing scene.

Industry News
Mastervolt has once again been chosen to supply the power system for each of the eight identical Volvo Ocean Race boats.

With the official press announcement Nick Bice, Chief Technical Development Officer of the Volvo Ocean Race stated: "Mastervolt is the technical part of the boatyard and the Volvo Ocean Race. And Mastervolt pretty much helped me to develop what I wanted a race supplier partnership to be. Last race they were onsite at every stopover, they supported us with what you couldn't believe. So they are a fantastic partner of the Volvo Ocean Race, and we are very much looking forward to be working with them in the future".

The Volvo Ocean Race edition 2017-18 race around the world promises to be even tougher than before. Not only will the yachts race further, there are also more stopovers, with more time spent in the Southern Ocean. Mastervolt says it was chosen again as the official supplier due to the excellent service provided and proven ruggedness of its installations, which will be powering everything from the large lifting keels right through to the watermakers and media centre.


The peak body for Australia's marine export and superyacht industries (AIMEX) has called on the Federal Government to change restrictive legislation holding back Australia's superyacht industry after an economic impact study revealed the high value to the Australian economy.

The AEC Group study found the Australian superyacht industry contributed a total of $1.97 billion to gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2016 financial year. The study was commissioned by AIMEX and supported by the Queensland government to gain a clear understanding of the superyacht industry's current and potential economic contribution.

An Australian first, the economic impact study found the superyacht industry to be a high value niche sector, held back by restrictive policy - if relaxed, the industry could contribute an additional estimated $1.12 billion to GDP by 2021, for a total contribution of $3.34 billion.


Sevenstar Yacht Transport will take naming rights to the new Triple Crown at Cowes Week 2017.

The Sevenstar Triple Crown at Cowes Week is a new initiative for 2017. A regatta within a regatta, the series is open to large IRC rated racing boats up to 36m LOA. Three classes will compete: Maxi-Racer Class; Cruiser-Racer Class (both with a minimum TCC of 1.500) and an Ocean-Racer Class (minimum TCC of 1.400). The series will take place on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Cowes Week, with the Wednesday race being designated an Around the Island Race.

Three of the sailing world's most historic and prestigious trophies will be awarded: The Queen's Cup, presented to the Royal Southampton Yacht Club by Queen Victoria in 1897; The King George V International Cup from the Royal Thames Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron's King's Cup 1920. The series winner will be presented with an overall trophy.

This year's regatta takes place 29th July-5th August. Entries for the Sevenstar Triple Crown are being taken online.


More sailboats will attend Sweden's Open Yard on Orust island than in 2016, claims Hallberg-Rassy in a release, confirming the event as the largest sailboat show in Sweden.

This year the event will be concentrated in just the one venue - Hallberg-Rassy's boat yard in Ellos on Orust, just one and a half hours drive north of Gothenburg. Previously the 'show' had been held at a number of yards in Orust.

This year sailboats from at least seven different countries will be on display with at least three world premieres already confirmed. Hallberg-Rassy claims the Open Yard is the only exhibition in the world where customers can see boat in production as it opens its factory doors to the public during the event.

A mirror show for motorboats takes place in Marstrand, over the same dates as the Open Yard and is arranged by the Swedish marine federation Sweboat.

Open Yard will be held in Ellos on Orust 25 to 27 August, 2017.


Spinlock, designers and manufacturers of rope holding equipment and personal safety products for leisure and commercial water users, are delighted to announce they are winners of the 2017 Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation.

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the UK's most prestigious business awards that celebrate and encourage business excellence. Winners must have demonstrated outstanding results in their respective fields of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity.

Spinlock have been selected as winners for their Deckvest lifejacket, a revolutionary product that has changed the landscape of the market for personal safety products used by those on the water.

This is the second Queen's Award Spinlock have won, having been presented with the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade in 2016 by the Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness enjoyed a guided tour of Spinlock's production facility and met with staff during his visit.


Crewsaver, a Survitec company, and one of the world's leading safety equipment manufacturers, announces continued sponsorship of the highly anticipated Scottish Series 2017.

Preparations are well underway by the Scottish Series organising authority, Clyde Cruising Club, as the anticipation builds for the prestigious event that is now in its 43rd year. Crewsaver is a historic sponsor of the Scottish Series and is delighted to be providing this year's event with six 2'6" dumpy mark buoys. The highly visible buoys are easy to manoeuvre and will be used to map out the trapezoid courses whilst providing minimal disruption to air flow in the area for the competitors.

Are you #Lifejacketsafe... Crewsaver, in conjunction with the Scottish Series, highly recommend entrants to be #LifejacketSafe by wearing a suitable and well maintained personal flotation device. To support this, all entrants will receive a discount voucher that can be redeemed against Crewsaver lifejackets and buoyancy aid purchases at Kip Marina, Crhu Marine, Largs Chandlers, Bosuns Locker, Tarbert Chandlery and Ardfen Chandlery (T&Cs apply).


Organizers of the 2017 Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show said attendance was up 7 percent last week at the four-day Northern California event.

The show was held April 6-9 at the Craneway Pavilion and Marina Bay Yacht Harbor on the waterfront in Richmond, Calif.

Organizers said the event overcame the effects of a storm that struck the area on the evening of April 6, damaging a portion of the in-water boats and displays.

The show will return April 12-15 next year at the same location.


The Yacht Racing Forum is pleased to announce the continuation of its partnership with world renowned composite materials supplier Gurit.

The Yacht Racing Forum 2017 will take place on November 27-28 in Aarhus, Denmark, six months prior to World Sailing's World Championships.

Gurit has established itself as a developer and innovator in the composites industry and positioned itself as the leading global supplier of composite materials, engineering services, tooling equipment, and select parts and systems. Over 30 years experience in the practical application of composites across various market sectors and projects, from small parts to large-scale structures, combined with a unique technical approach enables Gurit to offer the complete composite solution.

For more information and registration:

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 Andrew Hurst, Editor, Seahorse International Sailing Magazine

re: Rogue waves

All this talk of rogue waves... naah. Not for a minute, all sounds a bit Woodstock to me. What else are you men of the sea packing in your med kits?

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The Last Word
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