In This Issue
Round The Island Race: Four Seasons In One Incredible Day | Invictus wins the Cloudy Bay Trophy | Star World Championship | Unprecedented - Southern Spars | SAP Extreme Sailing Team wins at Madeira | ORC Worlds Trieste 2017 Starts Monday | ÅF Offshore Race has started | 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

Round The Island Race: Four Seasons In One Incredible Day
Four seasons in one day, a game of two halves, a bit of everything; you can pick your cliche, but the 2017 Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay has certainly delivered on all levels.

Ultimately, it will be the MOD70, Concise 10 taking the lion's share of the headlines, and rightly so as Ned Collier Wakefield steered the 70ft trimaran to a thrilling race record, shaving exactly a minute off the time set by Phaedo3 in 2016.

If the spotlight falls on Concise then the remaining accolades will surely go to Adam Gosling's JPK10.80, Yes! which stormed round in IRC1 to take the biggest prize of the day, the coveted Gold Roman Bowl, awarded to the overall winner of the race on corrected time.

The morning dawned with little promise as a NNW wind in the high teens and some rain showers greeted the earliest starters, who were due to set off west, down the Solent and towards the Needles at 05:30.

At least the wind and rain helped wake the competitors up a little and perhaps wash away some of the excesses from the night before.

The early weather also conspired to give the 1342 racers a fast start, close reaching down the Solent with the tide beneath them; there were personal best times recorded to the Needles across the board.

Concise 10, the fastest boat on the water this weekend, started at 05:40 and made the Needles by 6:10 and went on to make St Catherine's Point at around 06:50. But it was not just the multihulls romping in the conditions, the monohulls were lifting their skirts and flying too.

The first monohull to round the Needles was the Volvo70 Sanya Lan at a little after 06:30.

For a long time it looked as though Irvine Laidlaw's Reichel-Pugh 82, Highland Fling XI would take the coveted Gold Roman Bowl after they took line honours for the monohulls. But, ultimately no-one could match the might of Yes! who managed to take victory by just shy of seven minutes on corrected time. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

The top trophies have gone to:

1 - Gold Roman Bowl winner - YES!
2 - Silver Roman Bowl winner - Highland Fling
3 - Royal Thames Challenge Trophy winner - Salvo

1 - Silver Gilt Roman Bowl winner - Antilope
2 - Fidelis Trophy winner - Cherete
3 - Geisco Trophy winner - Touche

Full results:

Invictus wins the Cloudy Bay Trophy
1342 yachts competed in this year's Round the Island Race, and nine of the top twenty yachts to finish were FAST40s. Sir Keith Mills' Ker40+ Invictus, helmed by Keith and his son Alex, took Line Honours for the FAST40+ Class, and the class win after IRC time correction to win the FAST40+ Cloudy Bay Trophy. In an epic race around the Isle of Wight, nine FAST40+ teams finished within just 18 minutes, after a six hour duel around the 56 nautical mile course - the class lead changing hands on numerous occasions.

Second for the Round the Island Race is Peter Morton's CF40+ Girls on Film, and combined with the team's results from the previous day's Windward Leeward Racing. Girls on Film is the winner of Round Two of the 2017 FAST40+ Race Circuit with Invictus second. Stewart Whitehead's Carkeek MkII Rebellion is third. -- Louay Habib

Star World Championship
Troense, Denmark: The 2017 Star World Championship kicked off today with the first race in 15-23 knots of wind and cloudy skies. The conditions got a bit gusty as the race progressed and 7 boats lost their masts. Unfortunately for us, we were one of them. We submarined near the end of the second downwind leg and the mast simply imploded. Yes, that is expensive.

I am crewing for my son Danny who is racing in his first Star World Championship. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to be together in this race. This is my 40th year racing Stars and to sail with my son, in his first World Championship, is an opportunity not to be missed. His grandfather Pelle Petterson, World Champion in 1969 arrived today to support the team. Pelle bought dinner tonight proclaiming we had already spent too much money for the day.

The Star World Championship course is rather long for these boats and featured 3 x 2 mile windward legs and 2 x 2 miles downwind legs, for a total of 10 miles. It was pretty physical out there so everyone will sleep well tonight.

For those of us with broken masts, we just got done putting in a new mast at 8:00 pm.

Up front, Lars Greal and Samuel Goncalves BRA, 2015 World Champion led wire to wire but only just held off a strong charge by Dr. Hubert Merkelbch GER Brian Fatih right at the finish. Third place went to Reinhard Schmidt and Paul Sradnick of GER. Elvind Melleby and Josh Revkin sailed a good race to claim fourth place.

This was one of those races were the top 20 were racing and most of the rest of us were surviving... or not. There are 76 boats entered. I'll get the number of countries tomorrow.

The Championship will consist of 6 races and each competitor will discard their worst score. This a nice feature for something like today but its a bit early to use your mulligan. -- Paul Cayard,

Unprecedented - Southern Spars
Seahorse Technology among the resurgent J-Class is only heading in one direction with rig technology at the forefront of development...

In the 1930s, when the rule was first introduced, J-Class yachts were the pinnacle of world yacht racing. But by 1940 many had been stripped or broken up for scrap metal for the war effort or just abandoned and left to rot in mud berths. Decades later several of these leviathans have been rebuilt and restored and are now part of a healthy and spectacular racing class that has also witnessed a number of new builds... or 'new old' builds. And as the level of racing in a remarkable fleet has increased so inevitably has the demand for 'faster' technology. Enter Southern Spars.

As in all development classes, the Js are restricted in what modifications can be made to the platform in the search for speed - but for the rig it is a different story.

Full story in the July issue of Seahorse magazine:

SAP Extreme Sailing Team wins at Madeira
It all came down to the final double-points race of Extreme Sailing Series Act 3, Madeira Islands, which went the way of Danish-flagged SAP Extreme Sailing Team.

Alinghi fought back to take second from Oman Air, but was not able to do enough to catch SAP Extreme Sailing Team. The Swiss syndicate finishes second and Oman Air makes up the podium in third.

It was a double victory for the Danes, who also take home the Zhik Speed Machine Trophy for the fastest team on the water, with insights from SAP, for hitting 24.5 knots in the Bay of Funchal.

In the Flying Phantom Series, Red Bull Sailing Team was crowned champion of the regatta, having been a clear leader since the beginning. The two-man crew included Jason Saunders and Thomas Zajac, who came fourth and third in the Nacra 17 class in the 2016 Rio Olympics respectively. The second and third spots went to the French, with Culture Foil 36 points behind the leaders and ZEPHIR by Idrewa a further 13 points back in third.

Act 4 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series will take place in Barcelona, where the fleet will race from 20 - 23 July.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 3, Madeira Islands

1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Kostner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Nicolas Heintz, 228 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 225
3. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 220
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Stewart Dodson, Shane Diviney, Sam Meech, Will Tiller, 199
5. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Chris Steele, Graeme Sutherland, Harry Hull, Sam Meech, Josh Salthouse, 195
6. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Owen Bowerman, Oli Greber, Will Alloway, Matt Brushwood, 169
7. Team Extreme (POR) Mariana Lobato, Olivia Mackay, Owen Siese, Peter Dill, Micah Wilkinson, Francesca Clapcich, 150

ORC Worlds Trieste 2017 Starts Monday
Trieste, Italy: After over a year of preparation, a consortium of organizers from six regional clubs near Trieste, the Porto San Rocco Marina, and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased that 115 entries from 19 countries have accepted their invitations and come to compete at the ORC Worlds Trieste 2017. This fleet is divided into three classes - 17 entries in Class A and 49 entries each in Classes B and C - with World Champion crowns to be awarded in each class after the conclusion of racing on Saturday 8 July.

Racing starts Monday on offshore courses set for each class, with the starts scheduled for 1400 local time on the waterfront of downtown Trieste and a course set to do laps along the Adriatic Italian and Istrian coasts. Each class will have courses designed in length to keep them at sea for at least 24 hours, and for the first time in the past 17 years of ORC Worlds history the fleet will be sailing in the waters of 3 nations: Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Principal Race Officer Giancarlo Crevatin explains another interesting feature of this race is that it is two races in one: "The fleet will pass through an intermediate scoring gate at Pirano to complete the Short Offshore Race scored as 1 point, and carry on to complete the course and get scored also 1 point as the Long Offshore Race. If the wind looks like it will go light and they will not be able to complete the course, we can shorten the race at a few different points."

The brand-new Humphries-designed Aquatich in race action for the first time:

"This boat is Humphries design, a fast racer/cruiser, and we are learning this as a new crew on a new boat every day we sail," says Bjornsen, who is from Stavanger, Norway. "So far things are going well, the boat is nice, it feels lively and it's fast. This looks like it will be a tough championship, there are many good teams here. Immediately after racing here we are packing up to move the boat to also race at the ORC Europeans in Gdansk, so this is an intense time for us."

Another northern European entry - Jani Lehti's Mercedes-AMG from Finland - is also trying out what amounts to a new boat: their Cossutti-designed Next 37 has new foils, a new taller mast and larger sails, placing it as a fast 37-footer in Class B.

The weather forecast for tomorrow and tomorrow night looks promising for wind: a weak offshore Bora system will keep the fleet doing laps in a westerly breeze in the Gulf after their start, and then when headed south to Croatia the conditions will be mixed with the possibility of the wind shifting to the south tomorrow night to bring them back to the finish near Porto San Rocco.

ÅF Offshore Race has started
ÅF Offshore Race 2017 has started. Tacking starts in light winds on the sunny Stockholm waters meant that the crews on the 241 boats had to make difficult decisions between taking time consuming manoeuvres or sail on in inferior winds in order to gain distance.

The starts, in the Royal Swedish Yacht Club´s classic regatta round Gotland, went smoothly. The only incident was in the class SRS A start when First 40,7 Blueprint miscalculated it´s position. As they tried to avoid a false start they instead collided with the starting vessel. The boat Blue print had to make a 360 degrees turn as penalty.

The last start was the Classic class with all the beautiful wooden yachts. They do not sail all the way around Gotland as the other boats, but go directly to Visby and back. The offshore cruiser and last year´s winner of the Classic class, Ballad, had a beautiful start. Among the other old wooden yachts is Peter von Seestermühe from Germany. This very yacht took part in the first round Gotland in 1937 and now after 80 years it is back again.

Now they have all started the 350 NM long adventure. The fastest boat can be expected to arrive in Sandhamn already on Monday evening, but for most of them the race will be much longer - probably two to three days. -- Mats Olsson

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 Jeff Morgan:

Those of you hoping to see "the best sailors" in the world at the next A/C should consider that Glenn Ashby is probably the greatest Catamaran racer on the planet today, you don't get to be 10 times World Champion in the formula one of boats without some talent. To stand any chance of competing with him would take a catamaran mind not just a bloody brilliant monohull sailor, and there in a nutshell is my perception of where teams without a proven seasoned multihull team member lost the cup before their campaigns had even commenced.

Since Dick Ogilvie and myself designed the initial principles of what would become the Extreme 40 series I cannot deny that seeing multihulls race for The America's Cup has been a dream since my childhood days at the Catamaran Yacht Club. So I enjoyed the coverage, though my feelings may well have been tempered had the result not gone the way it did. However, they did so I can say this was by far the best A/C I have ever seen, I am still smiling.

Now if we really wanted to know who is the best sailor in the world I do have a champion of champions event designed. Racing in multiple types of random craft, round robin knock out basis, last man or woman standing, would cost a fraction of what Mr Ellison had to spend to get people to come race him, we could even host it in Bermuda being there are some openings in the schedule. My money would be on Lars Grael, with Ian Williams on the podium.

Though restricting this to say 7 classes of multihulls Mr Ashby would probably be unbeatable. Hats off to Glenn, and, more importantly Team New Zealand for recognising what it is you need to make a multihull win. A renegade cat sailor.

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The Last Word
The man who really thinks he has an idea will always try to explain that idea. The charlatan who has no idea will always confine himself to explaining that it is much too subtle to be explained. -- G.K. Chesterton

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