In This Issue
Ed Wright Smashes Opening Day at Finn Europeans in Marseille | RORC De Guingand Bowl Race | SoftBank Team Japan Selects Harken as an Official Supplier | IRC European Championship | The Mediterranean OK Dinghy Revival | The Final Fit Out | M32 Project Manager Wanted | St. Petersburg Confirmed as Location for World Match Racing Tour | For The Record | Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association Race 3 | 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
Ed Wright Smashes Opening Day at Finn Europeans in Marseille
Marseille France: Ed Wright from Great Britain has opened the 2017 Finn European Championship with two emphatic race wins after a strong mistral kept the fleet on shore for most of the day. France's Jonathan Lobert was consistent with two fourth places to sit in second, while two fifth places for Anders Pedersen of Norway leaves him in third overnight.
After the practice race was abandoned yesterday, the mistral was still in place for the first full day of racing and though the early indication was that racing would start on time, this was soon rethought as gusts of 37 knots and a very steep sea was recorded on the race area. So the fleet sat on shore under AP under mid afternoon, when finally the wild wind abated slightly, but enough to get some racing underway, though the wind was still topping out at 30 knots.
Each race started with one general recall and then the black flag. The race was really one of two halves: in the starting area big waves and 25 knot winds; at the top mark, 10 knots, flat water and 60 degree shifts, with the windward mark set a few hundred metres of the high ground of L'ile de Pomegues.
The first race was initially led by class veteran Rob McMillan, now of Australia, who had a 30 second lead round the top mark. However his training partner, Wright, had taken the lead on the second upwind to extend down the reaches for his first win of the day, followed by Hungarian Zsombor Berecz and Ben Cornish of Great Britain.
The second race was much the same with the strong winds at the start line giving way to huge random shifts the further the fleet progressed up the course. This time Wright led all the way round, to win from Sweden's Max Salminen and the young Nenad Bugarin from Croatia.
The fleet finally came ashore after 19.00, exhausted, but happy after an awesome day of Finn sailing.
Racing in the opening series continues until Saturday, with the Semi-final and Final scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Top ten after two races
1. Edward Wright, GBR, 2
2. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 8
3. Anders Pedersen, NOR, 10
4. Max Salminen, SWE, 11
5. Ben Cornish, GBR, 11
6. Zsombor Berecz, HUN, 12
7. Milan Vujasinovic, CRO, 17
8. Oliver Tweddell, AUS, 19
9. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 21
10. Henry Wetherell, GBR, 21
RORC De Guingand Bowl Race
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's offshore racing season continues this weekend with the 4th race of the RORC Season's Points Championship. Over 80 yachts are expected to take part with the vast majority of the crews made up of passionate Corinthian sailors with their own set of goals.
Designed to last 24-36 hours, the De Guingand Bowl Race starts and finishes in the Solent and is a flexi-course allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club to design a bespoke course.
"Without the constraint of finishing the race in a totally different location, we concentrate on the weather and tidal conditions to decide the course," explains RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott. "We try to get all of the fleet to finish the first beat in the same tidal vector, so as to avoid a tidal gate early in the race."
In IRC Zero, Daniel Hardy's Ker 46 Lady Mariposa is the fastest yacht rated under the IRC rating system. However, several yachts in IRC One could challenge Lady Mariposa for Line Honours including Alan Hannon's RP45 Katsu, Edward Broadway's Ker 40 Hooligan VII, and Tor McLaren's MAT 1180 Gallivanter.
In IRC Two, Richard Neocleous' Ocean 55 Julia returns after its debut in last season's championship. The crew come from Hertfordshire and 18 year old Louie Neocleous will skipper Julia as he did last year.
In IRC Three, Trevor Sainty and Simon Forbes Jelenko is one of many J/109s that will be racing with the RORC this season. The crew have been together for about ten years and did their first Rolex Fastnet with Jelenko in 2015. The De Guingand Bowl Race is part of the teams programme for another crack at the Rolex Fastnet.
In IRC Four Dave Cooper & Paul England will be racing their Dehler 38 Longue Pierre. This will be their first RORC race this season, as part of their 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship campaign.
SoftBank Team Japan Selects Harken as an Official Supplier
IRC European Championship
With nearly 40 entries (from Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Turkey and France) and more than twice as many expected in the next two months, the Marseille 2017 IRC European Championship promises to be a great event.
Two months before the event, the entry list shows a variety of designs, including four TP52s already registered. The German crew of Phoenix will face the Southern French teams of Arobas2 Alieee and Team Vision Future, 'king' of the French Mediterranean coast and winner of the last SNIM. Team Vision Future is a favourite in IRC0.
Another one to watch will be the Italian boat Endless Game. This Cookson 50, docked in Naples throughout the year, will be rubbing shoulders for the first time,
The boat is new. "Fast, funny and competitive" according to a crew who has sailed against them for many years, the "Red Devils Sailing Team. A boat to follow closely, especially in its confrontation with the TP52s.
The Half-Tonner Sibelius, usually sailing in the Atlantic, will have aboard the president of UNCL, Jean-Philippe Cau. Sibelius is one of ten competitors in the half tonner category, and could contend in the fight for the title. Former IOR racers, first built in the 1970's, the half-tonner class has been a reference boat since it was supported during the solo race Aurore, then Le Figaro.
In the context of The Hague 2018 Offshore Sailing World Championship, organized in ORCi and IRC, UNCL will offer on request an IRC certificate to boats holding an ORCi 2017 certificate. "We encourage boats that normally race ORCi to join in and race in this IRC event,"the President of the UNCL says.
The four days of the competition will consist of tactical and coastal courses, including a long race. The opening ceremony will take place at the Union Nautique Marseillaise (UNM) on Wednesday 5 July, with the awards ceremony will be held at the Cercle Nautique et Touristique du Lacydon (CNTL) on Sunday 9 July.
The boats must be docked at the Societe Nautique de Marseille (SNM), by 0900 on July 5, and that day will be devoted to registration and equipment inspection. The boats will be moored and grouped every day on the pontoons of the SNM (Quai de Rive-Neuve). -- Raphael Mira
The Mediterranean OK Dinghy Revival
In 2013 a very old OK Dinghy was rescued from the bottom of a garden in the South of France and after lots of cleaning, repairing and painting, was restored to racing condition. It was the beginning of a revival in OK Dinghy sailing on the Mediterranean coast of France.
The old OK Dinghy had been built by, and was in the garden of, the former top French OK Dinghy sailor, Daniel Dahon, later a Finn and Star coach to some of France's top sailors. The boat was renovated by Henri Berenger of the Societe Nautique de Sanary, which is located about half way between Toulon and Marseille. Another OK Dinghy appeared soon after and there were now two boats sailing at Sanary. By 2017 this number had grown to around 15 OK Dinghies sailing in the area, now mainly based at Bandol because of public works in Sanary harbour.
As is often the case with a revival, enthusiasm and competitiveness grows fast and many of the old boats were soon replaced with newer and better equipment. The fleet now consists of mainly new boats with carbon masts, and enjoys some very competitive and close racing.
Such was the growth of the fleet that in May 2017 they decided to run the a Mediterranean Championship at the Societe Nautique de Bandol from 5-7 May.
A pleasant 12-15 knot westerly on the opening day enabled all 16 sailors, young and old, to enjoy some great racing just off the island of Bendor, where the 1969 OK Dinghy World Championship was held. Julien Dejugnat led after the first day from Alain Renoux and Jean Louis Petetin.
The wind had switched to the west for Saturday's racing with Dejugnat sailing well again in his new Synergy Marine boat to maintain the lead from Renoux, while Tim Petetin moved up to third place overall.
Unfortunately the final day was abandoned with a strong mistral keeping everyone on shore, so Dejugnat won the 2017 OK Dinghy Mediterranean Championship.
The OK Dinghy Mediterranean revival continues...
1. Julien Dejugnat, FRA, 7
2. Alain Renoux, FRA, 8
3. Tim Petetin, FRA, 15
4. Jean-Christophe Morin, FRA, 18
5. Jean Louis Petetin, FRA, 23
6. Laurent Petetin, FRA, 26
7. Pierre Arrighi, FRA, 34
8. Jean-Claude Lidon, FRA, 36
9. Henri Berenger, FRA, 45
10. Fabian Capilleres, FRA, 54
The Final Fit Out
With seven boats already having gone through the one million euro per boat refit process, the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard team in Lisbon is nearing the finish line of an epic and unique fleet upgrade project.
It's the first time in the sport's history that a refit procedure of this size been undertaken, and with the full fleet from 2014-15 now almost complete, barring some remaining branding procedures, attention has turned to the brand new boat belonging to Team AkzoNobel.
The eighth boat in the 2017-18 fleet arrived in Lisbon just a few weeks ago after being constructed at Persico Marine in Italy, and the team has already set about fitting the boat with the latest deck gear and electronics ready for a race around the planet.
With the finish line in sight, this week marks a major landmark for the team – but with the clock ticking, there's no time to waste. Just 167 days to go until the start of the 2017-18 edition!
M32 Project Manager
The next edition of the Race will include a fleet of M32 catamarans in most Host Cities enhancing both the on-the-water guest experience and the public spectacle.
The role of M32 Project Manager is to manage the operations of the fleet of M32 yachts within the scope of the VOR. You will work closely with the specialists in the VOR management team who will support you in the functions, which require their area of expertise, such as logistics, guest experience, and race management.
Primary duties including but not limited to the following areas:
- Work with the VOR Commercial players and Operations Head of Host City on the commercial opportunities for Host City and Delivery partner managed events.
- Identify the Host Cities where it is possible to host events the weekend before the main events week at the VOR stopovers. Liaise with the Host Cities, via the Head of Host City, to offer and customize events and set the level of technical and on the water support that is required, and the associated costs
- Work closely with the Guest On-Board Manager to assist planning and delivering the M32 Catamaran Guest On-Board Program
- Undertake regular inspections and manage the maintenance and repair program, to keep the boats in peak condition
Requirements to apply:
EU national or ability to acquire necessary EU working permits.
Fluent in spoken and written English. Proficiency in other languages will be beneficial Your CV/resume must be in English, and confirm your nationality/work permit status.
Email your application to
St. Petersburg Confirmed as Location for World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour will visit the Russian city of St Petersburg for Match Cup Russia as its Northern Europe stopover.
With the Winter Palace to the south and Vasilievsky Island to the west the racing will take place in the heart of St. Petersburg at the foot of the historic walls to the Peter-and-Paul Fortress.
Sailing so close to the shore will guarantee spectators a grandstand view over the full racecourse from all angles with an unparalleled setting within the city centre. The event village will be situated on the beach in front of the Peter-and-Paul Fortress with the M32 catamarans landing on the beach after racing each day, giving fans unparalleled access to the event, the sailors and the machines they race on.
The Championship level event will run August 1-6th with finals on Sunday afternoon to crown the champion of Match Cup Russia. A last chance to qualify for the Championship level event will be available through St Petersburg Match Cup which will take place just west of the city in front of the glorious St Petersburg Yacht Club 28-30th July.
For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of the following new National Record established at La Palme, FRA in April 2017: For further details visit the WSSR Website www.sailspeedrecords.com
POL. Piotr Dudek
Secretary to the WSSR Council
Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association Race 3
36 boats have entered the first ISORA offshore race to take place next Saturday. The offshore race will be approximately 60 miles, depending on the weather, starting in Holyhead and finishing in Dun Laoghaire.
The fleet is a great cross section, from classic to high tech and from small to large, demonstrating the range of boats that are interested in racing offshore. The newly adopted "ISORA Progressive ECHO" will ensure a greater spread of prizes for the race with prizes for six classes and trophy for overall as well as the famous "Race Winners Jacket", says ISORA's Peter Ryan.
The gathering of such a large numbers of boats and their crew in Holyhead on the Friday evening and again hopefully at the NYC on Saturday evening will generate a great social atmosphere, adds Ryan.
After Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, the ISORA fleet gather again for a new offshore race to Arklow on May 27th.
Read more on that new race and all other races at www.isora.org
MAGIC TWELVE is a pure cruiser racer. She has won many races and yet she remains a very good cruising sailing yacht. Most of her cruising accommodation is dismounted in Racing mode.
LEOPARD 3 is fully prepared and ready to sail away. She is arguably the most high profile racer cruiser yacht in existence. This speed machine has a history around the world for trophy-hunting and record-breaking and represents a pinnacle in the evolutionary timeline of super maxi development.
GREEN DRAGON is a fantastic Volvo 70 Class yacht, which can be used for serious racing, race charter, cruising and even as a conversion project.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. -- Winston Churchill
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html