In This Issue
J/80 World Championship | 470 World Championships | Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge in the Starting Blocks | Mighty Merloe and Comanche on race record pace in 2017 Transpac | Imperiet overall winner AF Offshore Race | Seahorse Sailor Of The Month | Home Boats Make 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta a Local Success | 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

J/80 World Championship
Hamble, UK: The 16th edition of the J/80 World Championship got off to a flying start with two spectacular championship races for the 48 boat fleet. A southwesterly wind of 12 knots built during the afternoon, piping up to over 20 knots in the gusts. With wind over tide shortly after the start, the combat zone boiled up with the J/80s powering upwind, then surfing downwind, in a full on foam up. Rayco Tavares (ESP) leads the championship, Kevin Sproul (GBR) is second and Luke Patience (GBR) third.

PRO Stuart Childerley held a practice race In the morning, and after a big wind shift, moved the course to the east. "It can be a devil of a race area but we got two good races in today, helped by the competitors who settled into the tidal conditions very well at the start, but I expect that from this fleet, which is full of talented sailors." commented Stuart Childerley.

The battle of the day was won by reigning J/80 World Champion, Rayco Tavares, who is top of the leaderboard after the first day, but the Spaniard did not have it all his own way. Reigning UK National Champion, Kevin Sproul won Race One but Rayco scored a 2-1 to Kevin's 1-4. The battle is due to continue all week. -- Louay Habib

Top five after two races:
1. Hotel Princesa Yaiza (Corinthian), Rayco Tabares, ESP, 3.0 points
2. J.A.T., Kevin Sproul / Phil Taylor, GBR, 5.0
3. Ryoko Meka, Luke Patience, GBR, 8.0
4. HM Hotels (Corinthian), Javier Chacartegui Cirerol, ESP, 10.0
5. ArMen Habitat, Moriceau Simon, FRA, 17.0

Full results on YachtScoring

470 World Championships
Thessaloniki, Greece: A two-hour postponement ashore waiting for the thermal breeze converted to 8-10 knots for the first race, building to 15-16 knots, under a clear blue sky.

The day saw racing for the one hundred and thirty-three teams from 32 nations get underway around soon after 1400 hours across the two race tracks. All fleets are split into yellow and blue fleets for the 5 race qualification series, and will be reseeded overnight for the final 2 qualification races on Tuesday.

From Wednesday's day 3 of racing, the fleets will contest six final series races, before the top ten men and women teams advance to the Medal Races on Saturday.

470 Men
Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) claimed a 1,2,1 to lead the 470 men at the end of the opening day, and sit on a 3 point advantage over Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) in second. Third to Turkey's Deniz Cinar/Ates Cinar.

Carrying the world #1 ranking on their bow are Greece's Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis. The Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists have every ability to mount a credible bid for the World Championship and most recently won the Sailing World Cup Final in Santander. Their opening scorecard was a 10,4,2 and 5th overall.

470 Men Top Five - Provisional Results after 3 Races
1. Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom, SWE, 2
2. Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan, AUS, 5
3. Deniz Cinar / Ates Cinar, TUR, 5
4. Stuart Mcnay / David Hughes, USA, 6
5. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 6

470 Women
A standout performance from Hannah Mills/Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), who knocked out three wins in the blue fleet. Mills, the Rio 2016 Olympic medallist has transitioned straight back into the groove, despite stepping out of the 470 this year to race a skiff. After the discard kicked in with race 3, a 3,1,1 scorecard from Slovenia's Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol (SLO) puts them on tiebreak in second.

It's all the experienced campaigners up front, as Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter (GBR) place in third overall, also on tiebreak over two-time Olympian Xiaoli Wang from China who is racing her 10th World Championships, and is in fourth overall with crew Haiyang Gao.

470 Women Top Five - Provisional Results after 3 Races
1. Hannah Mills / Eilidh Mcintyre, GBR, 2
2. Tina Mrak / Veronika Macarol, SLO, 2
3. Amy Seabright / Anna Carpenter, GBR, 4
4. Xiaoli Wang / Haiyang Gao, CHN, 4
5. Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska, POL, 6

Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge in the Starting Blocks
Yacht Club Monaco Revive the spirit of the first international powerboat meetings launched in Monaco in 1904, while supporting development of clean energy is the task of the Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge (13-15 July).

Organised in partnership with the International Powerboat Federation (UIM) and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the event is unique in the Mediterranean. It is also the only contest to bring together on the open sea solar boats and, for the first time, boats whose batteries can be recharged by different sources of electricity.

It's a chance for engineering students to give free reign to their imaginations in designing and building boats to compete, the aim being to raise awareness of the potential of solar and electricity in the fight against global warming.

22 teams (8 nations) have already signed up. An endurance fleet race, timed slalom course and one-on-one duels are on the programme. Last year, Dutch team Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team and Dutch Solar Boat won the event for the third year in a row in their respective classes (Open and Challenge A), and Gerhard van der Schaar (Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team) set a new speed record at 49.10 km/h.

New this year is the Monaco Offshore Solar & Electric Race, a first, which will see three boats line up for a 25nm Monaco-Nice-Monaco race to set a reference time. The boats can take three people and meet YCM Offshore Class specifications. The YCM's goal is to foster partnerships between universities and respected shipyards.

Mighty Merloe and Comanche on race record pace in 2017 Transpac
Honolulu, Hawaii: One week after the first wave of starters and four days after the last wave, the bulk of the 55 entries in this year's 49th edition of the Transpac are at about their halfway points to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. On the 2225-mile course less than a dozen are still to reach the half-way points in their projected tracks in the race.

Unlike the last two editions of this classic biennial ocean race, the weather has been favorable for a "normal" passage to Hawaii, with the boats heading southwest after passing the West End of Catalina Island, then arching towards the west and now north of west as they get into the easterly tradewinds near the southern latitudes of the Hawaiian archipelago. The fleet's southerly arch away from the rhumb line has been intentional to stay away from the light winds in the Pacific High, but in the next few days some may extend west rather then south to cut down the distance if they're confident there is enough wind pressure to justify this move.

The conditions of relatively steady 10-20 knot winds with few holes has been perfect for the fleet leaders, who have been speeding along at over 20 knots of boat speed and are quickly consuming the remaining miles left to Diamond Head. At 0900 Hawaii Time today the three leading multihulls - H.L. Enloe's ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe, Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70 Phaedo and Giovanni Soldini's MOD 70 Maserati - have been locked in battle, with Merloe in the lead ahead of Phaedo by 57 miles with only 168 miles to go on their final approach to Oahu.

At current speeds, Merloe's finish time tonight will not only break the multihull race record set in 1997 by Bruno Peyron's Commodore Explorer of 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 sec, but possibly smash it by more than a day. The other two MOD 70's also likely to beat the previous mark by coming in only a few hours later.

At 1130 HST Jim Clarke's 100-foot monohull Comanche is comparatively close, only 482 miles out and also going fast: 20.2 knots. After having set a new 24 hour position report record (0800 Friday - 0800 Saturday) of 484 miles, she is also on track for breaking the monohull race record set in 2009 of 5 days 14 hours 36 min 20 sec set in 2009 by Neville Crichton's R/P 90 Alfa Romeo II. Comanche has to cross the finish line at Diamond Head tomorrow night before 12:36:20 AM HST on Wednesday morning to set a new record time.

In corrected time standings based on current positions and rates of speed, leaders in each division include: Mighty Merloe in Division 0, Frank Slootman's Pac 52 Invisible Hand in Division 1, Roy Pat Disney's Andrews 68 Peywacket in Division 2, Tim Fuller's J/125 Resolute in Division 3, John Shulze's SC 50 Horizon in Division 4, Larry Andrews's Summit 40 Locomotive in Division 5, Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson's Hobie 33 Dark Star in Division 6, and Rod Pimental's Cal 40 Azure in Division 7.

Imperiet overall winner AF Offshore Race
Imperiet II is total winner of AF Offshore Race - round Gotland 2017. Early Wednesday morning it was clear that none of the boats behind should be able to catch up.

The boat from Stockholm with skipper Paul Nord and crew arrived in Sandhamn early Tuesday evening, 52 hours and 43 minutes after their start in Stockholm. There was a long wait for the final result.

For the crew on board the winning boat, sailing is about three things: Boat speed, boat handling and a little bit of luck. With partly new crew with among others some from the old Imperiet gang and some from the boat Boxer finally there was victory.

Total second was Furiosa from Estonian, a Cookson 50 from the Big Boat class. Third was Absolute Blue, Swedish, First 40,7 in SRS A.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
J/80 World Championship Last month's winner:

Guillaume Verdier (FRA)
If there's one thing Verdier works harder at than drawing the best ocean racers of the current era it is dodging public recognition. Well, mon ami, we got you this time - as did the readers who voted for you. For those who quietly marvelled at the superiority of Team New Zealand's foil solutions and the way that one team had committed so confidently to the wind conditions expected for the final Match look no further than the Kiwi's secret weapon. How many Cup fans even knew the Frenchman wore an All Blacks shirt?

This month's nominees:


J/80 World Championship Sean Regan (NZL)
Capsize your boat (brutally) one day and win the next (OK, the day after but the boat was ready). The head of Emirates Team New Zealand shore operations, Regan led his team in a typically calm and quiet but still monumental rebuild of the team's single ACC raceboat following their pitchpole racing Ben Ainslie in the qualifying rounds. In fact, the broken carbon was not the biggest problem; try soaking the most complex (and effective) control systems in the fleet


J/80 World Championship Andrea Mura (ITA)
The Italian sailmaker worked his bits off to build a new Verdier/VPLP Imoca 60 for the Vendee Globe; in fact, his Persico boat may well have been the best-built in the fleet. However, Mura ran out of money, failed to find a sponsor and had to watch as his potential race-winner was dragged around at the back of the fleet by a skipper who admitted he didn't want to be there. But Mura did just win a storm-tossed Transat in his trusty old 50-footer Vento di Sardegna...


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

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Home Boats Make 2017 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta a Local Success
Photo by David Branigan, Click on image for photo gallery.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dublin, Ireland: Ireland's biggest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, came to a gentle close this afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with over 475 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing.

A light sea breeze of six knots allowed organisers to complete nearly all 290 scheduled races with many class titles hanging on the outcome of today's final race.

In a fitting tribute to the harbour's bicentenary year, racing for the coastal classes finished inside the harbour, a nod to a long-standing Dun Laoghaire yachting tradition.

Dublin Yacht Club's shared the bulk of the overall prizes, awarded this afternoon at the official prize giving at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, winning 23 of the 35 classes including the coveted 'Boat of the Week' Trophy.

John Maybury's J109 Joker II from the Royal Irish Yacht Club was named top boat after leading an extremely competitive IRC class one 28-boat fleet from start to finish.

The 31-boat offshore prize was won by Howth's Beneteau 34.7, Flashback skippered by Paddy Gregory. Gregory also lifted the Royal Dee Offshore Championship Trophy that was raced as part of the regatta.

Ten classes included the regatta as part of their championship calendar in 2017: GP14s, 420s and Mermaid dinghies raced for Leinster honours. The J24s, SB20s and Squibs decided regional titles and the Sigma 33s, Beneteau 21s and the Wayfarers raced for national trophies.

The biennial event is being hailed an enormous success both afloat and ashore for a combined fleet of 475 boats, the biggest on the Irish Sea. Over 290 races on five different courses were staged in a range of light to medium conditions since racing began last Thursday.

Although 180 visiting boats made up nearly half the fleet, yachts from outside the bay area took away only seven trophies. The bulk of the silverware has stayed on Dun Laoghaire's waterfront.

Trophies were awarded in each of the 35 competing classes this afternoon, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful stagings of Ireland's biggest sailing event.

Scotland's Clyde Cruising Club took a win in the Sigma 33 Irish open Championships. Howth Yacht Club had six wins in IRC two and three, the Howth 17s, J24s and non-spinnaer divisions but outside of that there was only single wins for Belfast Lough in the RS Elite, Rush Sailing Club in the Laser Radial, Sutton Dinghy Club in the IDRA 14s and Greystones Sailing Club won the Wayfarers.

In Dun Laoghaire, the Royal Irish Yacht Club topped the leaderboard winning six classes from IRC keelboats to Water Wag dinghies.The Royal St. George had five wins in one design classes. The National Yacht Club had three victories and the DMYC had two.

Full results are available on

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 Adrienne Cahalan:

re Mr David Witt's take on women offshore in his interview:

Women of the world we are indeed fortunate. We will not be required to be in the team skippered by one of God's most intriguing social experiments: Mr David Witt. I wonder who the lucky six chaps are that will accompany him in the trenches? Hats off to those brave soldiers.....!

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The Last Word
Though I know I’ll never lose affection / For people and things that went before / I know I’ll often stop and think about them / In my life I love you more. -- The Beatles, Rubber Soul, 1965

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