In This Issue
Dalton: We almost didn't make it... | A proud nation! | Partner Relationships | Transpac Starts in One Week | Tris Begin To Fly | Doug Peterson | Super-Senior Gauntlet Thrown Down by Fred Seeley (age 89) Series | 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

Dalton: We almost didn't make it...
The financial strains of Team NZ's 2017 America's Cup campaign almost saw it crash to a halt altogether, revealed CEO Grant Dalton.

Dalton told TVNZ that staff almost missed out on having their salaries paid in June as the pressure of the purse-strings began to tell.

"Ironically, we pay salaries on the 15th of each month, and until we won the Louis Vuitton a week and a half ago, I couldn't actually pay the 15th salaries so it's been pretty tight," said Dalton.

Team members were on reduced wages throughout the campaign, with the government opting to pull their funding following the move of the round-robin series from its original destination of Auckland to Bermuda.

It got so bad that at one stage, Dalton even considered giving up on the 2017 regatta altogether.

Ultimately a $5 million grant was made in order to help the Kiwis retain some of their talent following San Francisco, but decided against any further public grants under the weight of taxpayer pressure.

A proud nation!
It’s done and dusted. The Kiwis were a force too strong to be reckoned with. They innovated and backed themselves! The Cup now returns to New Zealand where a nation that is passionate about sailing and will embrace it with gusto.

Monday'’s race was just a rerun of the other 8. Groundhog Day. Nine knots of wind, sunny, warm, and a faster Kiwi boat being pedaled by four cyclists, carrying a very talented young sailor around in an armchair. He hardly looked like he was in a competition..more like a Sunday drive. Peter Burling, 26 years old, becomes the youngest helmsman to win the America’s Cup surpassing Jimmy Spithill who won at the age of 30 in 2010. How would it be to win a gold medal and then the America’s Cup all in 10 months at the age of 26? What do you do for the next 30 years?

The Island nation of Bermuda was a spectacular host in every way. The crystal clear water, the warm gentle breeze and the friendly people. It was a gem of a regatta.

Now it’s over to the Kiwis to make the rules? What kind of boat will it be? Mono hull or multihull? When will it be? Where will it be? I think there will be a large number of challengers least initially. Bertelli, Bertarelli, DeVos, New York Yacht Club, BAR, Artemis, Japan, France, Australia. I expect at least 12 challengers at the outset with about 9 showing up. Maybe the Kiwis and their Italian friends, Mateo de Nora and Patricia Bertelli will go for a large (80-90′) monohull, fixed keel, masthead roller furling headsails downwind, 15 crew. The boats could be quite fast, not as fast at the cats, but there would be plenty of action onboard. They will probably go for a 100% nationality requirement as this is the tradition of the America’s Cup and it suits the Kiwis. They will wait 4 years to host the Cup. But what do I know, it’s all just speculation. There will be plenty of that in the next few months.

I do think this America’s Cup was amongst the best ever. The television was the best ever, the village was the best ever,  the races were short and sharp and the boats were shockingly fast! The whole event was shrunk down to 5 weeks. There is a lot that was good there. Hopefully the Kiwis can build on that. -- Paul Cayard,

Partner Relationships
Marlow Ropes Marlow Ropes’ commitment to quality, innovation and performance ensures that we work with the very best racing athletes and sailing teams, supplying them with products they can rely on, whatever the race conditions. Our recent work with Land Rover BAR and Softbank Team Japan saw them using both off the shelf cores and covers from our Grand Prix Series, as well as new products specifically designed and developed with the Teams themselves.

Our partners provide invaluable product feedback which enables us to continuously develop and innovate, and, with our on-site technical experts, ensure that the quality and performance of our products is the very best it can be, and worthy of Grand Prix racers at the top of their game.

To find out more about our latest partnerships and products visit or see us at Cowes Week 29th July - 5th August, Southampton Boat Show 15th - 24th September and METS 14th - 16th November. Join us to meet the team and view our range of Grand Prix products.

Transpac Starts in One Week
Los Angeles, California, USA: The first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race starts next Monday, July 3rd, when 17 yachts in three monohull divisions will cross the start line at Point Fermin in Los Angeles to race to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away. In addition, one yacht in the multihull division - Jerzy Poprawski's catamaran Kastor Pollux - will make the start this day as well.

The starting gun will fire at 1:00 PM Pacific time, with the first (and only) mark of the course being to leave the West End of Catalina Island to port, 26 miles away. From there its over the horizon for a journey that could take some as long as 2 weeks, others as short as a few days depending on weather and size and speed of their boats.

Those that start on Monday will be the slowest boats in the fleet of 55 entries, with faster boats starting in another wave on Wednesday, July 5th and the fastest starting on Thursday July 6th, all at 1:00 PM except for the Multihulls on Thursday starting at 1:30.

From 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Sunday, July 2nd Circle Porsche is hosting Porsche Palooza, a fun day featuring test drives, new models from Porsche, and an impressive collection of 50 vintage models as well. Food, music, and many of the boats participating in Transpac will also be on display. The event is open to the public and is being held at Gladstone's and the Pine Street Pier in Long Beach.

For those interested in viewing the race firsthand on a spectator boat, contact Karen Edwards at . Media interested in attendance must first register with the event at the Press registration page found at   From on land the start may be seen from a cliff-top view at the historic lighthouse at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro.

Tris Begin To Fly
The Queen Mary 2 looks unbeatable at the front of the The Bridge - Centennial Transat but during the second day of racing on Tuesday she was finally being outpaced as the “Ultime” class trimarans behind her spread their wings and began to fly. 

After heading north, just west of the British Isles to get through the anticyclone that faced them in the Bay of Biscay from the start, all four have now tacked west. IDEC Sport (Francis Joyon) and MACIF (Franvois Gabart) were first to the depression and were making over 30 knots as they continued to exchange the lead. At the 19:00 ranking, Joyon was leading, with Gabart 13 miles behind, with 2,351 miles of the 3,152-mile course to New York to go. 

But unlike the QM2, heading directly to New York at 24 knots, the trimarans are having to square the great circle. “The race is anything but straightforward,” Joyon said.  “There’s no direct route in sight, and a lot of depressions to negotiate. It reminds me of my English Transats.” 

Sodebo (Thomas Colville) lost ground overnight and in the morning, and was 85 miles behind, but was also making over 30 knots by the afternoon.

Actual (Yves Le Blevec) was 200 miles behind Joyon, but gradually revving up over 20 knots. Samantha Davies, the only Briton in the race, on Actual reported this morning that even before they tacked west life was already becoming more difficult as their boat began to jump the waves.

Mervyn Wheatley, a 73-year-old ex-Royal Marine from Newton Ferrers, competing in the race for the fifth time, was taking on water through a smashed port hole after his 38-footer, Tamarind, was knocked flat in reported 60 knot winds and 15-metre waves. When the QM2 arrived to save him he had to scupper his yacht to avoid it being a danger to other shipping.

Doug Peterson
Doug Peterson On the same day the United States lost the America’s Cup to New Zealand, a San Diegan who designed Cup-winning boats for both countries died after a long bout with cancer.

Doug Peterson, a longtime Point Loma resident and San Diego Yacht Club member, was 71. His friend, Chris Calkins, said Peterson died Monday in a San Diego hospital.

Peterson was one of the top yacht designers in the world in the 1970s and part of the 1980s, then revived his career in the 1990s. He was voted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame earlier this year; the induction ceremony is scheduled for October at the USS Midway Museum.

In the mid-1970s, Peterson’s designs, often in partnership with Dennis Conner, dominated offshore racing contests.

In 1992 he joined with Bill Koch’s group and helped design America3, which defended the Cup in San Diego. Three years later, he wasn’t hired for the defense so he joined Team New Zealand as one of its lead designers and helped the Kiwis’ Black Magic win the Cup, again in San Diego, over Conner’s Stars and Stripes.

“A whole generation of yacht designers worked at some point for him and went on to be the principle designers during the past 30 years,” said Calkins. “He had a passion for the traditions of design and yachting.”

Peterson is survived by four children - Mark, Jamie, Laura and Julia.

Super-Senior Gauntlet Thrown Down by Fred Seeley (age 89) Series
The second Annual Thomas Point Lighthouse Race - a long distance race for Solings - from the Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis Harbor to - and around in either direction - the Thomas Point Lighthouse and return - will be conducted on Saturday, August 19th.

This year the event will include (for the first time) the Fred Seeley Esteemed Master´s Challenge.

The Fred Seeley Challenge is restricted to helmsmen over age 89 (Fred´s age) and is particularly directed at Stu Walker (who recently turned 94). One would think that Stu, sailing his own boat in his home waters and benefiting from having sailed the race last year, would be greatly advantaged over Fred, who will be sailing a borrowed boat far from his usual venues off Martha´s Vineyard and is handicapped by never having seen the course. But then Stu is handicapped by his visual loss (from macular degeneration) and the high likelihood that he will run into something (probably Fred) before the race is over.

Last year in a 12-14 knot gradient southwesterly Stu led the race under spinnaker for the first three miles down Annapolis Harbor - only to be overtaken on the beat to the lighthouse by the entire fleet who, looking for more wind, had ventured into the strong flood current in mid-Bay. But Stu was far to their right, dodging the adverse current inshore, when the local sea breeze and an abrupt 30 degree backing shift appeared. The mid-Bay boats rounded the lighthouse - and finished - far ahead.

The Thomas Point Lighthouse Race was conceived by Stu Walker as a summer variant of the highly popular New Year´s Day Ice Bowl Race up the Severn, around St Helena´s Island (in either direction) and back. All Solings are invited to participate in the annual Ice Bowl as they are to participate in the annual Thomas Point Lighthouse Race.

For the first time the event (August 19th) is also a call to all helmsmen over 89 to join Fred and Stu in a battle for the ages!

(Article written by Stuart Walker)

* After much consideration with members of his crew and other senior advisors, Fred Seeley has agreed to reduce the entrance age for the Esteemed Masters Challenge from 89 (his age) to 85, to bring in young blood (and thus providing a clearer path to victory by bringing into play additional competitors for Stuart Walker to run into, evil thought though that may be).

Further thought is being given to establishing a JV Class of 70 to 85, with the understanding that such competitors would not qualify for the Esteemed Masters Challenge, the Gauntlet, instead would be striving for the Mitten.

This contentious issue is being discussed and further news is to be expected. Advice from interested parties is welcomed.

Additionally, on the advice of his legal counsel, in order that the competition be free from any charges of undisclosed unfair advantages, Fred has admitted that he has, in fact, just had a successful cataract operation, which should enable him to see fairly (?) well by August 19th

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 Barry Pickthall:

Back in 2013, the world and I were locked on the edge of their seats as Jimmy Spitall, Ben Ainslie and the Oracle America’s Cup team secured the biggest comeback in sporting history. Millions watched the action live on the web and as the sporting miracle evolved sailing won thousands of new fans.

2017. The outcome didn’t even make last night's BBC News. There has been no coverage on the web and TV footage in the UK has been limited to pay-per-view on BT Sport. 

Yes the BBC did run a highlight package the day after, but once we have found out who had won, interest wains/

There was also an App but judging from the reviews this was not up to much:

by buoyracer32
"A poor app which is not easy to use and which does not give full information about each race. Could be a lot better"

Flakey App
by RobWinter44
"Virtual Eye disappointingly unreliable. Missed all the serious action of the final".

Keeps crashing
by Andy20392
"Paid for this app by mistake, wanted to watch a video, asked me for my Touch ID and next thing I know it thanks me for my purchase! So I just go with it and find that the App just keeps crashing and the content is so sparse you're better off on google news or YouTube. Rubbish!!”

I paid for a subscription, but then found that being in the UK, we were locked out of the fead!

This was short-sighted greed on the part of the Cup holders. Bermuda paid $80 million to put their Island on the world map. Land Rover shelled out the better part of £100m to promote their cars. Did either realise how few would be watching the Cup when they signed their cheques?

Congratulations to Grant Dalton and his Team New Zealand. Lets hope the Kiwis have a better view on how to present the Cup.

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