In This Issue
America's Cup 35-Challenger Playoff | Conquer Cancer Foundation America's Cup Auction | Mirabaud Sailing Video Award | La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro | Monnin wins 20th Match Race Germany | New Boat, Same Old Result for Benjamin at Etchells US Nationals | Sail Wanted | Rafa Trujillo Opens Finn World Masters Defence With Two Bullets | 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

America's Cup 35-Challenger Playoff
America's Cup The Challenger Playoff started today on Great Sound in 15 knots from the southeast. The first pairing featured ETNZ against BAR while the second pairing was Artemis vs. Softbank Japan. Each pair was to race two matches today.

In the first race, ETNZ handily won the start over BAR and led around the first mark and down the first run. After ETNZ rounded the gate and headed off to the right, BAR approached the gate. All of a sudden they heard a loud noise inside their wing and the team immediately stopped racing to inspect. It was ascertained that the camber arm had broken and BAR retired from the race.

Unfortunately for all, the fix was to change the wing and that could not be done within the hour that they had available. So the Kiwi's went up 2-0.

In the Artemis vs. Japan pairing, Artemis started strong in the first race and led round the first mark and down around the leeward gate. Japan split to the right and immediately got in phase with the wind. At the first cross, Artemis on port, had to duck Japan now on Starboard. Japan was going well and stretched their lead and went on to win race 1.

Japan looked to be a solid competitor for Artemis. Should be a good series.

In Race 2, Japan got the better start and led for a lap and a half. Up the second windward leg, Artemis, sailing faster, closed and passed Japan. Artemis went on to win and tie the score in their series at 1-1.

It looked to me like Artemis made a change between the two races and was going better in race 2. Maybe a change to the rudders in some way... just a guess.

Two races for each pair are scheduled for tomorrow. The forecast has southwest winds at 18 knot building to 22 knots later in the afternoon. Should be a good day of racing at the upper end of the range. Wednesday looks too windy to race and Thursday looks like 10-12 knots. Let's hope BAR gets their back up wing on and comes out fighting tomorrow! -- Paul Cayard

* Ben Ainslie, Skipper and Team Principal: "It's a really tough situation for the team. Rounding the first leeward gate, we had a breakage in our wing control system, which meant we had to retire from the race. It is an extremely bitter pill for the whole team to swallow given that this is the first two races of the playoffs against ETNZ, but it's something we can deal with and we have the team to turn it around and come back fighting tomorrow."

Paul Campbell-James, Wing Trimmer: "We were absolutely level pegging with the New Zealand team. Giles had chosen the best way to go round the mark and we were executing a normal mark rounding - as we've done over a 1000 times in this campaign - and the wing just went pop.

"It went from our normal setting to having max power on the wing camber with no way of controlling it. We are absolutely gutted."

"We will see the damage when we take the wing apart. It's just one of those things in sport and tomorrow is another day, fantastic forecast and we are going to absolutely sock it to them."

Conquer Cancer Foundation America's Cup Auction
Marking the start of the 35th America's Cup, one of the the most celebrated and prestigious sports events in the world, leadership from the America's Cup Event Authority and "Official Cancer Charity" partner, the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF), met in Bermuda to discuss their unique collaboration and how they will combine efforts to raise awareness for the Conquer Cancer Foundation's mission. Established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Conquer Cancer Foundation works to create a world free from the fear of cancer by funding breakthrough research, connecting physicians and patients to the latest information, and developing programs to improve the quality of and access to cancer care for patients around the world.

From autographed America's Cup team items to can't-buy experiences, bid on one-of-a-kind items and more in the CCF / America's Cup silent auction:

Purchase your tickets to the America's Cup "Conquer Cancer Foundation Days" on Saturday, June 10 and Saturday, June 24. Visit for tickets and to donate to the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Mirabaud Sailing Video Award
Mirabaud Sailing Video Award This event was launched to honor the best sailing videos produced each year and their authors.

It is an annual contest, open to professional cameraman, directors, editors and TV production companies from all over the world, as well as sailors who produce on-board videos during races.

It celebrates high achievement in sailing imagery, filming, editing and story telling.

- The winner of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award will be determined by an international jury.

- The Prize of the Public will be awarded following votes from the public on Internet.

- The Special Jury Award is open to professional sailors, who produce on-board videos during races.

The winners will be celebrated during the Yacht Racing Forum, in front of the sports' leading personalities, events, classes, clubs and sponsors.

Registration and detailed rules:

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La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
Two of the most accomplished names in the fleet lead the first 430 nautical miles stage of the La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro as the top group close to within 20 miles of the most northerly turning point of the course from Bordeaux to Gijón. But two other pre-race favourites have been forced to fight their way up through the fleet after making errors since Sunday afternoon's start from the Gironde estuary.

Three times winner Yann Elies (Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir) may have sought to play the underdog card before the start in Bordeaux, claiming to have been a bit rusty and less prepared than he would have liked to have been, but the 43 year old is keeping pace with a lead of 0.2 nautical miles on the hard driving, cool headed Nicolas Lunven, the 2009 winner.

Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux), third overall last year and the winner of the opening leg into Cowes, has had to abandon Stage 1, from Brodeaux to Gijon, because of a broken port spreader. He reported to race direction that he is safe and unhurt and was routing towards Les Sables d'Olonne. It is a bitter disappointment for Tabarly who was lying in fifth place.

Nathalie Criou (Richmond Yacht Club Foundation) has signified her abandonment to the race leadership on the first stage of the solo URGO Le Figaro this Monday afternoon: given the delay she had accumulated and the need to keep with the fleet for safety (given the rough conditions), she will proceed directly to the leg one finish at Gijon.

A low pressure moving in to the NW of Ireland is creating brisk 20kts SW'ly winds which are due to increase with a cold front tonight. The key for all will be to be around the Plateau Rochebonne mark - by the Ile de Re - before this front arrives as it is due to bring poor visibility, heavy rain, big confused seas as the wind shifts rapidly into the NW.

After the Rochebonne turn - just SW of Les Sables d'Olonne - early this Monday evening it should be a fast, bumpy and testing 220 miles reach towards Gijon, but the winds are expected to drop away for the hours before the finish as a high pressure ridge moves in to dominate the area.

Top ten at 0600 local time France:
1. Adrien Hardy / Agir Recouvrement, 141 nm to leg 1 finish
2. Nicolas Lunven / Generali, 1.86 nm to leader
3. Sebastien Simon / Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Performance, 2.03
4. Charlie Dalin / Skipper Macif 2015, 2.37
5. Eric Peron / Finistere Mer Vent, 2.76
6. Yann Elies / Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, 3.59
7. Alexis Loison / Custopol, 3.63
8. Justine Mettraux / Teamwork, 4.40
9. Pierre Quiroga / Skipper Espoir Cem, 4.80
10. Pierre Leboucher / Ardian, 5.43

Monnin wins 20th Match Race Germany
Langenargen, Germany: Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Team have won the 20th Match Race Germany. In their eleventh attempt since 2004 the sextet of Eric and Marc Monnin, Simon Brugger, Lukas Gerig, Doren de Morsier and Loris von Siebenthal won Match Race Germany's jubilee edition on Lake Constance.

In the final, Monnin, age 41, sailing for the Sailing Club Stäfa, and his crew defeated Mati Sepp's well-oiled Estonian Sailing Team in an epic battle. Sepp took the first two wins and looked comfortable. "They were extremely fast", commented an impressed Eric Monnin who knew that he had to change his game if he would want to turn the tables. Monnin explained, "We decided to be more aggressive in the pre-starts as we spotted that phase as a little weekness of Mati's team." And the Swiss did just that. Their attacking put pressure on the Estonians. And the Swiss benefited with some desperately needed advantages. Finally they won the final 3:2.

Tweve teams from 10 countries had started into the five day series which has been visited by around 25.000 spectators. The best visited day has been Whit Sunday with more than 10.000 fans enjoying the quarter and semi finals, a total of 22 matches. It's been a day on which Lake Constance showed almost all of its multifaceted conditions: Winds between 5 and more than 20 knots, wild cloud formations in the sky, sunshine and finally a crystal clear blue sky in the evening.

The Grade 1 event on Lake Constance also was the opener for the new Match Race Super League. Co-Founders are Match Race Germany's Eberhard Magg and Harald Thierer. Eberhard Magg said, "We want to revitalize classic matchracing on monohulls and give it an international and really attractive stage. Therewith we follow the wishes and hopes of the next generation as well as many of the established top matchracing helmen farther enjoying this discipline."

Final results:
1. Eric Monnin, SUI, Albert Riele Swiss Team
2. Mati Sepp, EST, Estonian Sailing Team
3. Max Gurgel, GER, Vmax Racing
4. Max Trippolt, AUT, Trippolt Sailing Team
5. Markus Wieser, GER, Team 220+
6. Maxime Mesnil, FRA, Elite Team Match Race
7. Dejan Presen, SLO, Lumba Match Race Team
8. Simon Bertheau, FRA, Apcc equipe Jeune
9. Lukas Wosinksi, POL, Delphia Sailing Team
10. Olli Pekka Lumijarvi, FIN, Lumijarvi
11. Kim Kling, SWE, Caprice Match Racing Team
12. Andrei Nikolaev, RUS, Team Sprtceh

New Boat, Same Old Result for Benjamin at Etchells US Nationals
Newport, RI: Everybody loves a new race boat. But until it proves itself on the racecourse, there's always a tiny kernel of worry it won't live up to expectations, or even equal the performance of the boat being replaced. We all know what they say about a bird in the hand. Steve Benjamin and his team can cross that concern off their work list after sailing the freshly-splashed Stella Blue (aka USA 1427) to the 2017 Etchells U.S. National Championship, which was held as part of the inaugural New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, in Newport, R.I. Melges 20 and J/70 fleets also competed in the event.

Benjamin, and his team of Mike Menninger, Ian Liberty and David Hughes, were dominant over the course of the three-day regatta, winning four of eight races and finishing with a 17-point advantage over George Francisco in second place.

Benjamin won a silver medal in the 470 class in the 1984 Olympics, and is no stranger to that nose-tickling new-boat smell. But he held off ordering an Etchells from Dirk Kneulman's Ontario Yachts until he knew exactly how he wanted it set up. Benjamin typically sails as part of a four-person team and the ideal cockpit layout for that arrangement differs a bit from the traditional configuration, which was designed around a crew of three.

"There's been an evolution with Etchells over the years, so that's why we worked with the used boats trying to get the tuning and the systems all straightened out," says Benjamin, adding that the new boat was a present from his wife, Heidi. "This boat we just did everything that we wanted straight from the beginning and designed it that way. Dirk did a really nice job on this boat. It's everything that we hoped it would be."

2017 New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta
Top three by class

Etchells National Championship (8 races, 1 throwout)
1. Steve Benjamin, Stella Blue, 11
2. George Francisco, American Baby, 28
3. Chris Larson, USA, 29

Melges 20 (5 races, 1 throwout)
1. Wes Whitmyer Jr., Slingshot, 4
2. Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee, 10
3. Alexis Michas, Midnight Sun, 11

J/70 (5 races, 1 throwout)
1. Brian Keane, Savasana, 8
2. John Brim, Rimette, 10
3. Bruno Pasquinelli, Stampede, 14

Sail Wanted
Oyster 625 Sail Wanted USED 2nd hand (or 3rd hand even) 1.5 oz assymetric to suit Oyster 625.

Our I is 26.1 metres and our J is 7.4 metres so anything even a bit shorter would be considered.

Needed for 4 races only.

Anything sitting in your average 50 footer container??

Jock Wishart
+44 7711 727 298

Rafa Trujillo Opens Finn World Masters Defence With Two Bullets
The defending Finn World Masters champion, Rafa Trujillo, of Spain, opened his 2017 title challenge with two great wins on Carlisle Bay, Barbados. The 2017 Finn World Masters got underway with strong winds, moderate seas and two tough races. Six times champion Michael Maier, from Czech Republic is second while Laurent Hay, from France, is third.

After the practice races on Sunday was abandoned due to strong winds, a similar forecast for Monday didn't lend much hope for the racing to keep to schedule. An early AP ashore fuelled that dismay, but then the wind moderated to 18-20 knots and the fleet was sent afloat.

The 140-boat fleet is split into two starting groups, Yellow and Blue, with fleet assignments based on random selection. The Yellow group was widely considered the best group to be in with most of the favorites assigned to Blue. The Yellow group also has a potentially easier ride in strong winds as the outer loop is located closer to shore, so trades flatter water for more shifts against the inner loop which is further offshore.

Trujillo said, "It was a really difficult but fun racing. It was 27-30 degrees temperature and 20 knots and 30 degree shifts. It was quite a challenge. The level of the masters in my group is impressive. We had two general recalls and started with the black flag and everyone was fighting hard for the pin, so it was exciting racing and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

The 2017 Finn World Masters consists of a seven race series from Monday to Thursday, followed by a final race and a medal race on Friday.

Results after two races
1. Rafael Trujillo, ESP, 2
2. Michael Maier, CZE, 3
3. Laurent Hay, FRA, 3
4. Vladimir Krutskikh, RUS, 4
5. Piet Eckert, SUI, 6
6. Karl Purdie, NZL, 12
7. Michael de Courcy, GBR, 12
8. Antonio Poncell, CHI, 13
9. Ulrich Breuer, GER, 13
10. Allen Burrell, GBR, 15

Provisional results

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 Don Street

Regarding congratulating winner, I still do what I was taught to do when I was sailing in Western Long Island sound in the 40's thru the middle 50's.

My first skipper, Byron Musser, racing in the Manhasset Bay One design class, 18' heavy displacement keel boats, one of Olin Stephens first designs, always raised his hat, or gave a wave to thank the Race Committee for running the race.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
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