In This Issue
Low Winds Delay America's Cup Qualifying Races | Seahorse Sailor Of The Month | Van Isle 360 Yacht Race | ACO 8th MUSTO Skiff World Championship | Med40 Series | Dragon Trailer Needed | Spinlock's Lifejacket: A winning edge? | Nick Craig secures record fifth OK Dinghy world crown | Match Race Germany | 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

Low Winds Delay America's Cup Qualifying Races
Mother Nature has proved she is the only force that can beat the collective might of the America's Cup teams.

An announcement today by the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) and America's Cup Race Management (ACRM) confirmed that the four scheduled Round Robin 2 Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers races planned for Wednesday, May 31st, have had to be postponed until Thursday, June 1st, due to winds below the minimum six knot limit America's Cup Class (ACC) boats can compete in.

Speaking about the decision, Iain Murray, America's Cup Race Management Regatta Director, said, "It is obviously not ideal that we have to postpone races, but that is precisely why we have spare race days in the schedule.

"Mother Nature is fickle, it is as simple as that, and since time immemorial sailors have had to contend with light and strong winds.

"After four fabulous days of perfect conditions, today was our turn to deal with the light winds, I am, though, confident we will be back racing tomorrow."

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Low Winds Delay America's Cup Qualifying Races Last month's winner:

Conrad Colman (NZL)
'Conrad is the craziest god!' - Reka Szilagyi; 'Outstanding!' - Paul O'Riain; 'Respect' - Ariane Griffoni; 'He spoke to our school and inspired them all' - Grant Crawford; 'Legend, exactly why we love the Vendee Globe' - Alex Mills; 'A Vendee without fossil fuel, I'll be having some of that' - Randy Vogel; 'Fighting the ultimate cause for green oceans' - Andrew Bellamy; 'Awesome job, tackling every setback with good grace' - Elsa Pomar; 'Amazing, zero budget but still sets out to prove a point with zero emissions' - Craig Smith.

This month's nominees:


Low Winds Delay America's Cup Qualifying Races Guillaume Verdier (FRA)
Meteoric is the only way to describe the career trajectory of this brilliant - and still annoyingly youthful - designer! Verdier became involved with the Imoca 60 fleet ahead of the 2012/13 Vendee Globe; working alongside multihull experts VPLP the two teams identified a new Imoca concept and their designs dominated the race. For 2016 every new Imoca 60 was built to their designs. Now there is a new Ultim: Verdier's biggest 'solo' project


Low Winds Delay America's Cup Qualifying Races Peter Craig (USA)
It looks increasingly likely that there will be no Key West Race Week in 2018 although there is a good chance that the event will reappear in the not too distant future but in a different guise. However, a great deal of the success and entry demand this great event enjoyed in its heyday is down to Craig and his team at Premier Racing who ran faultless regattas year in year out. Craig himself is in constant demand running premier regattas around the world. No surprise


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

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Van Isle 360 Yacht Race
With 32 boats accepted, the Van isle 360 Yacht Race is shaping up to be another exciting race around the rock. Beginning and finishing in Nanaimo British Columbia, the race circumnavigates Vancouver Island counter clockwise in a series of 9 legs over a 14 day period.

The skippers and crews are immersed in some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet every day. Encounters with wildlife, Orca's, Bald Eagles, Humpback Whales or Seal Lions are part of the expectation on each leg. The race celebrates the 11th circumnavigation this year and the big change for the race is the move away from PHRF to ORC ratings and scoring, and the use of ORC Scorer software instead of Sailwave.

Since 2011, the last year that the entire Van Isle fleet raced PHRF NW, the Van Isle fleets have been searching for alternatives. About 4 months before the start of the 2013 race, the Van Isle Organizing Authority received a call from representatives of the "Big Boat Fleet" in the Pacific North West indicating that they would like to try something different than PHRF NW for the 2013 race.

The Van Isle Organizing Authority is open to scoring a division by any scoring method, provided there is consensus amongst the skippers for the scoring method. The scoring system chosen for 2013 & 2015 for the Big Boat fleet was IRC by consensus of the skippers.

After enduring years of criticism for not using PHRF BC (since we are a Canadian race) and using PHRF NW (because it is/was the most popular on Vancouver Island, and it is used by our neighbours to the south), it became apparent that a search for a solution that would work for all competitors, the sport, and not just the Big Boat Fleet was indeed a desired outcome. In 2015, a decision was made to try out ORC alongside PHRF NW to see if it made a noticeable positive influence with the skippers. It seemed to do just that.

The race has many challenges with course direction and wind speed. The inside legs are mostly (should be) upwind legs with the prevailing winds being from the North West, and the outside legs are downwind (2011 a notable exception). Leg 6, from Port Hardy to Winter Harbour is a long (69.1 nautical mile) U shaped course with upwind, reaching and running over a 10-24 hour period. Wind conditions and current can vary massively during this period, and with a fleet ranging from a TP52 to a Laser 28, one can be certain of sailing in different conditions at the front, middle and rear of the fleet.

Unlike PHRF with a single time correction factor, ORC rating certificates provide a matrix of time correction factors for a boat based on the predicted performance in various wind conditions and wind angles sailed. This matrix provides the basis for Performance Curve Scoring which is at the heart of the ORC scoring software. Implied wind speed can be calculated separately for each division which is a huge improvement over past scoring methods.

We look forward to providing updates from the race course beginning on June 10th in Nanaimo. For further information on ORC please visit and for the Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race please visit

ACO 8th MUSTO Skiff World Championship
Normal service has resumed!

The fleet arrived at Club Nautic S'Arenal to clear sunny skies and 25 degrees on the Bay of Palma and the beginning of a sea breeze pushing back the clouds over the land.

Race 4 was away first time a couple of minutes after the official start time of 13:00 in 10-12knots of westerly sea breeze, with the fleet splitting with some competitors choosing left towards the shore, others heading out right towards Palma and the remainder working the shifts up the middle of the course.

Race 5 got away on the 2nd attempt under a U flag following a general recall with Schwerdt showing consistency today rounding the windward mark in the lead, very closely followed by a group including Tim Hill, who was also having an impressive day, Schooling, Jono Shelley (GBR 526), Julian Ramm (GER 308) and local sailor Justo Martinez (ESP 560). The majority of the fleet chose to bear away set and head inshore towards S'Arenal and this was to become a feature of todays racing.

Schwerdt continued to lead on lap 2 from Hill, Schooling, Ramm and Ahlmann and these boats led the fleet home with Schwerdt taking the win from Hill, Schooling, Ahlmann and Ramm.

Class Chairman, Iver Ahlmann pulled off a pretty spectacular start to race 6 and led the fleet up the course in a breeze that had now dropped to 7-8knots with Hill and Keen in hot pursuit and young Swiss sailor Alex Greil (SUI 306) joining the group along with Kilsby, Schooling and Sergio Arroyo (ESP). Ahlmann had no intention of being caught controlling the race on lap 2 by sailing towards the left of the beat and taking advantage of any shifts to take the win from Hill, Keen, Greil, Schooling and Kilsby.

The first discard has now come in with Germany's Frithjof Schwerdt leading the table the class are off to their gala dinner tonight and looking forward to more spectacular weather tomorrow.

Top five
1. Frithjof Schwerdt, GER, 13 points
2. Bruce Keen, GBR, 25
3. Ben Schooling, GBR, 27
4. Tim Hill, AUS, 36
5. Dan KILSBY, GBR, 38

Full results

Med40 Series
The first event of a new sailing circuit - the Med40 Series - that promises to open up high-performance planing boats to a wider audience, will kick off at the Sail Racing PalmaVela in May 2018.

Founded by the yachting entrepreneur, Siggi Mansaker and the cutting-edge yacht designer, Shaun Carkeek, the Med40 Series, will follow the Fast40+ class rule. Boats of both new and old design will be allowed to enter, however, new boats should be built according to the rule. Initially, the series will accommodate a wide rating band at the lower end.

For the organisers, this Series is a natural evolution. Carkeek has been designing successfully for every high-performance circuit on the globe, right up to the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, for over two decades. He introduced this high-performance concept in the USA after discussion with clients at the New York Yacht Club eight years ago.

The high-performance Fast40+ has been highly successful in the UK in the Solent after its debut in 2016 and the Med40 Series will bring that drama to the Med in 2018.

The first Med40 Series has four rounds scheduled during the summer of 2018 with an autumn series planned for October to December.

Season 2018 - Palma de Mallorca
Round 1 Sail Racing Palma Vela, May
Round 2 MED40 Series, June
Round 3 MED 40 Series, July
Round 4 Copa Del Rey, August
Autumn Series: October to December

Dragon Trailer Needed
Don Street, who wrote his first article Going South Yachting sept 1964 at 86 is probably the oldest yachting writer in the world that is still writing and sailing. He races Gypsy, an Anker and Jensen dragon built 1933,the oldest dragon in the world still racing hard.She 80 starts in the 2016 season.

His ambition is to, at 89 race the 86 year old Gypsy in the dragon 90th birthday bash in Cannes in mid September 2019. This will only be possible if he can find a good dragon road trailer, plain and simple, nothing fancy, capable of making the trip, Glandore Ireland to Cannes and back.


Spinlock's Lifejacket: A winning edge?
Spinlock Top British lifejacket designers Spinlock have created the world's most technologically advanced lifejacket in a bid to give Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup team, Land Rover BAR, the winning edge at the 35th America's Cup, whilst also ensuring their safety as they fight to bring the Cup home.

As official technical suppliers to Land Rover BAR, Spinlock have been developing the T2 Jacket with the Land Rover BAR team since 2014. Following wind tunnel testing and innovative safety features, designed with high-agility athletic crew work in mind, the T2 has been engineered for minimum drag and optimum maneuverability with a primary aim of keeping the sailors safe should they end up in the water. It is made from state-of-the-art motorcycle-grade material that acts as shock absorbing body armour to protect the crew in the event of a capsize or crash. Plus, it comes with an emergency air cylinder and a knife cleverly built in so sailors could survive for longer if trapped under a capsized boat. Crucially, it has been designed to allow a sailor to remove it within five seconds should they become caught.

Full article:

Nick Craig secures record fifth OK Dinghy world crown
The Barbados wind beats to the same rhythm of the boom-box buses that rumble past the Barbados Yacht Club each day. It starts, it stops, it turns around, all the time going in no particular direction. You pick it up and take it one way only to find it is taking you in the wrong direction. It pulsates like the booming bass beat. It is hot and humid.

For the majority of sailors at the 2017 OK Dinghy World Championships in Barbados, it has been hard to make sense of the wind, but one person has shown an uncanny ability to be in the right place every time, and sail his boat faster than anyone else.

Discarding a third place in the 79-boat fleet Nick Craig, from Britain, dominated the series for perhaps his most convincing win ever. This is his fifth OK Dinghy world crown and perhaps the sweetest yet as he becomes the first person in the 60 year history of the class to win five world titles.

The defending champion, Jim Hunt, sailed an impressive series as well, never below fifth, and put together a scoreline that in most years would have easily won him the title. Third place Luke O'Connell, from New Zealand, led a strong Kiwi challenge with five boats inside the top ten.

Only one race was possible on the final day in perhaps the most capricious wind of the week.

Final top ten
1. Nick Craig, GBR, 10 points
2. Jim Hunt, GBR, 22
3. Luke O'connell, NZL, 42
4. Steve Mcdowell, NZL, 53
5. Paul Rhodes, NZL, 55
6. Roger Blasse, AUS, 56
7. Mark Perrow, NZL, 64
8. Chris Turner, GBR, 65
9. Greg Wilcox, NZL, 78
10. Jorgen Svendsen, DEN, 96

Full results

Match Race Germany
Langenargen / Lake Constance (Match Center Germany / Match Race Germany), 25 May 2017. One day before the start of the 20th anniversary edition of Match Race Germany on Lake Constance, the twelve teams from ten countries completed their free training on Wednesday. For six helmsmen and their crews it's been a Swabian premiere.

Despite a long matchracing break, multiple World Champion and pro sailor Markus Wieser of the German Touring Yacht Club in Bavaria hasn't forgotten what had him move up to the Top Ten a couple of years ago.. The 53-year-old was the only German winner of Match Race Germany back in 2001. Wieser had been tempted by the anniversary edition to celebrate his comeback at Match Race Germany.

Phil Robertson is the current Matchrace World Champion and won Match Race Germany back in 2012. However, the New Zealander is not on the helm himself at the German Grand Prix. Robertson will support the Finnish team of skipper Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi as tactician. Under Swiss flag, Eric Monnin's experienced Albert Riele Swiss Team is taking part representing the Stafa Sailing Club. The Swiss had reached their best result in Match Race Germany in 2015 when they came second.

The wind and weather forecast promised high temperatures and light winds for Thursday's (June 1) first race

The teams:

Markus Wieser / Team 220 + / Germany
Max Gurgel / Vmax Racing / Germany
Max Trippolt / Trippolt Sailing Team / Austria
Kim Kling / Caprice Match Racing Team / Sweden
Eric Monnin / Albert Riele Swiss Team / Switzerland
Andrei Nikolaev / Team Sportceh / Russia
Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi / Team Lumijarvi / Finland
Dejan Presen / Lumba Match Race Team / Slovenia
Maxime Mesnil / Elite Teammatchrace / France
Lukasz Wosinski / Delphia Sailing Team / Poland
Mati Sepp / Estonian Sailing Team / Estonia
Simon Berthau / Apcc Equipe Jeune / France

Featured Brokerage
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FURTIF was constructed with sophisticated techniques and software which have enabled the perfect combination of weight, length, width and waterline. She can be maneuvered short-handed. As well as being a fast performance yacht, the interior and accommodation offer great comfort when cruising.

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Raceboats Only 2002 Farr 52 FURTIF2. 180000 EUR. Located in Toulon, South of France.

She was built in 2002, refitted in 2008 in New Zeeland by the current owner and brought to France in 2012. She has been optimized for the IRC racing. 2016 Rating : TCC = 1.288. Well maintained and ready to go.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly



Raceboats Only 2012 SEATEC Multi 50. 110000 EUR. Located in La Rochelle, France.

TRIBULATIONS was designed by Nigel Irens and built with the same mould as Fujicolor (Mike Birch) and Fleury Michon IX (Philippe Poupon). Named Laiterie du Mont Saint Michel in 1987 and skippered by Olivier Moussy, she was then taken over by Olivier Kersauzon as the Esso Super Plus.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly


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The Last Word
Boy the idea of CHAOS is a scary proposition to some people. It IS a scary proposition. And they will believe some ridiculous things to avoid the idea of having to deal with chaos. I say BRING IT ON. -- George Hrab

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