In This Issue
Provezza Eye the Puerto Portals Prize | Tornado European Championship | Watch your back | McDougall + McConaghy Moth Words | ORC European Championship | Etchells Gertrude Cup | Garmin Returns As Team Partner In Clipper | MAPFRE Signs Echegoyan and Ciszek | 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

Your humble narrator missed an issue last night. A rare event, this one due to a veterinary emergency for one of my dogs. He's OK. Long night. TJ is a rescue dog; I encourage those without a pet (or who want to add to their flock) to get a rescue dog or cat. You'll soon discover the quandary of "who rescued who?"

Provezza Eye the Puerto Portals Prize
Puerto Portals, Spain: Ergin Imre's Provezza team have been tantalisingly close to winning a regatta twice this season but have not yet managed to close the deal. They go into the final day of the Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week Friday with a lead of three points.

They may lead by three points over second placed Platoon but in fact the fifth regatta title of the season is wide open. Just seven points separates Provezza from sixth placed Slead. Two races are expected to form Friday's finale with Azzurra one point behind Platoon, and Quantum Racing five points off the lead.

Current 52 SUPER SERIES champions, Quantum Racing finally got the start they wanted off the line in the third race and were able to lead to the finish from Azzurra, while Harm Muller-Spreer's Platoon completed a typically solid day in third, 4,4,3 for the day.

While Quantum Racing suffered with a couple of bad calls over the day and compounded their pain when they had to circle round after being squeezed out from the windward mark layline, rounding ninth, so too Azzurra had their own problems. Penalised for a pre-start incident leading into Race 1, they had to fight back hard to gain a third.

Results after 8 races
1. Provezza, Ergin Imre, TUR, 30 points
2. Platoon, Harm Muller-Spreer, GER, 33
3. Azzurra, Roemmers Family, ITA/ARG, 34
4. Quantum Racing, Doug DeVos, USA, 35
5. Ran Racing, Niklas Zennstrom, SWE, 36
6. Sled, Takashi Okura, USA, 37
7. Bronenosec, Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS, 43
8. Gladiator, Tony Langley, GBR, 52
9. Alegre, Andres Soriano GBR/USA, 60

Full results or via the app.

Tornado European Championship
Centro Vela Dervio, Lake Como? The Hellenic Police team of Nikolaos Mavros and Alexandros Tagaropoulos, GRE 11 had their goal set on becoming European Tornado Open champions for the second time in a row and they did it!

After finishing 1st in 6 out of 8 races no one can challenge their sovereignty throughout the event.

Second place overall goes to Marcel and Joerg Steiner. The two brothers scored only top 5 results proving they are so well trained, especially in these conditions.

Third place goes to Martin Rusterholz and Michael Gloor, the winners of the Swiss nationals.

A new entrance in our class won the impressions and respect from everybody. The youth team of Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand from France had an amazing performance despite some bad times in three of the races. The crew jumped to the Tornado after some F18 titles and they seem very strong, smart and promising contenders for next year's events.

Sails are set to Thessaloniki, Greece for the World championship starting on the 28th of August.

Final top five
1. Nikolaos Mavros / Alexandros Tagaropoulos, GRE, 9 points
2. Marcel Steiner / Joerg Steiner, SUI, 18
3. Martin Rusterholz / Michael Gloor, SUI, 27
4. Wolfgang Klampfer Paul Klampfer, AUT, 40
5. Jean Marc Cuanillon / Leon Cuanillon, SUI, 46

Full results

Watch your back
Seahorse Magazine At right: Colley leaves the helm to the autopilot on his much -travelled Jeanneau 3200 while he accesses his Zeus3 system via the water resistant touchscreen to manage everything from basic navigation to laylines and wind shift trends to monitoring approaching traffic on the integral AIS

It's not just in the Vendee Globe that today's self-learning autopilots are challenging the helming abilities of the human being on the handlebars...

Aside from being the boss of UK Jeanneau importer Sea Ventures, Nigel Colley is also an active shorthanded racing sailor on his Sun Fast 3200 R2 Fastrak XI and director of racing at the Solo Offshore Racing Club. This growing breed of shorthanded racers are highly reliant on the accuracy of the systems onboard and the ability of those systems to drive the autopilot with maximum efficiency.

Fastrak has twin rudders and a single pilot ram is connected to the rudder link bar along with a rudder reference unit. This is the same set-up that went around the world on several boats (including Hugo Boss) in the recent Vendee Globe, albeit the much more powerful Imoca 60s have an additional ram hooked up as a reserve.

Full article in the August issue of Seahorse:

McDougall + McConaghy Moth Words
The early morning Peler from the North provided contrasting fortunes for the fleet of 220 Moths racing day 3 of the McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds 2017 hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine. After a lunchtime break to repair boats and refuel with more pasta, all fleets were sent back out for a much more sedate afternoon of racing, but again the Garda wind gods had other ideas. By 1600hrs the weak afternoon breeze shut down for the day determining the all important Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets for the Final series.

The Green and Blue fleets were sent out early for a 0830 hrs start but a number of competitors stayed ashore to make a late judgement as to whether to sit out the first race of the day. The Blue fleet was sailing the Southernmost course off the picturesque medieval city of Malcesine. However, just the downwind dash to the race course proved too much for many.

The Peler was honking a good 20 - 25 knots with some steep waves. After about an hour the PRO got racing started but only about 16 boats got off on time. Some others joined shortly after to complete one lap and get a score on the board. For the second race of the day, race 4 of the event, the breeze did soften into the teens but the conditions were still gnarly and difficult for the club level sailors.

Paul Goodison (GBR) took up from where he left off yesterday adding another two wins to keep a perfect scoreline. He was pushed hard but never really threatened by another Olympic medallist from GBR, Simon Hiscocks, who finished with two excellent seconds.

ORC European Championship
Gdansk, Poland: The rain that drenched everyone yesterday in the opening act of the Dr Irena Eris ORC European Championship Gdansk 2017 continued again today, and with just enough wind to yield two completed North Sails inshore races to add to the event's scoreboards.

Among the 13 teams from 5 nations in Class A, two teams are rising to the top of the standings after two races today. Tea Ekengren-Suaren's Swan 45 Blue Nights from Finland did well today, scoring 2nd by only 35 seconds after 1.25 hours of racing in the first 7.05-mile two-lap windward-leeward race, and winning the 6.7-mile course of the same type in the second race today by nearly a minute over yesterday's race winner, Erik Berth's sistership Tarok VII from Denmark. Blue Nights is thus now in the lead with 5 points over Tarok VII on 6 points, with Axel Seehafer's Soto 40 Sportsfreund in third on 12 points.

In the 29 boats in Class B from 10 nations, the top five finishers in both races were all of the same boat type: X-41. This is not surprising, this class having had highly competitive one-design racing among themselves over the past several years in and around the Baltic region.

Martin Eslander's Xini Freedom from Finland is doing the best of the X-41's on scores of 5-2-1, ahead of Priit Tammenmagi's Premium skippered by Mati Sepp from Estonia by 6 points, with only 3 points separating the next five places in the standings. This could very well be the class to watch to produce the closest and most contentious results.

And on strong scores of 1-1-3 in a fleet of 40 boats from 9 nations, Class C is currently in control of the Pro4U team from Sweden, who won this class at the last ORC European Championship held in the Baltic region in Parnu, Estonia in 2015.

Racing will resume Friday with another two inshore races planned to start at 11:30 AM, with Windward/Leeward courses set in two course areas nearby in the Gulf of Gdnask. Live trackers will be used once again, with access made through portals on the event website.

Etchells Gertrude Cup
James Badenach's team representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, has won the fourth edition of the Gertrude Cup, after holding off a strong challenge from the USA Youth Team, led by Connor Needham. Bruce Huber's team, representing the Royal Yacht Squadron, recovered from a show-stopping collision on the second day, to claim third. Two youth teams tied on points for fourth, with the Grieg City Academy YC , led by Montel Fagan-Jordan, winning on countback, from the Royal London Yacht Club Youth Team, led by Ted Blowers.

Two races were held on the final day of the Gertrude Cup, taking the series tally to thirteen. Pewter skies with rain and sea fog, reduced visibility and air temperature, but did not dent the enthusiasm of the eleven international teams. A southwesterly gradient breeze built during the day, peaking at 20 knots, with the wind oscillating 20 degrees, producing a shifty race course in the Central Solent. Once again, the Royal Thames Race Management Team, led by PRO Phil Lawerence, produced windward leeward courses with slide rule precision, taking into account a strong tidal flow. Two teams shared top performance of the day. Bill Steele's team representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and Rob Tyrwhitt-Drake's team, representing the Royal Ocean Racing Club, both scored podium results.

Final Results:

Garmin Returns As Team Partner In Clipper
Garmin, the Global GPS Navigation and Wearable Technology company, is returning for a third consecutive campaign as a Team Partner in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, which starts in Liverpool on Sunday 20 August, 2017.

The Garmin team will be led by Gaetan Thomas, 29 from Brussels, who is making race history as the first Belgian Skipper to complete in the twenty-year history of the event.

Garmin made its debut as a Team Partner in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, and finished an impressive fourth in the previous 2015-16 edition.

A global brand, Garmin will use the global circuit of the Clipper Race, which visits six continents across eleven months, to connect with customers and communicate stories and content all over the world.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will start in Liverpool on Sunday 20 August 2017 and return almost a year later on Saturday 28 July 2018, after following a global route which includes stopovers in Punta del Este, Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya, Qingdao, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry Londonderry.

MAPFRE Signs Echegoyan and Ciszek
MAPFRE have completed their squad for 2017-18 by naming two female sailors - Spanish Olympic gold medallist Tamara Echegoyen and Volvo Ocean Race star Sophie Ciszek. The addition of Echegoyen is notable for two reasons - she is the first Spanish woman ever to compete in the race, and she takes MAPFRE's Olympic medal count to five.

Sophie, who raced onboard Team SCA in 2014-15, joins up with Xabi Fernandez's crew to compete in her second consecutive edition - and will be keen to build on an impressive debut in which she won the prestigious Hans Horrevoets Rookie Award.

It's been a long road to the start line for Sophie, who has been desperate to get back in the race for a second time.

For Xabi, the signing of the two females represents a landmark moment in the assembly of his squad.

"Tamara has been working hard since March, when the crew first started to sail. With all that I have talked about, both with Pablo [Arrarte] and Neal [McDonald], they agree that as we expected, she has an important learning curve and is gradually gaining confidence and contributing more to the team."

He continued: "Sophie is someone who has already sailed on this type of boat, so perhaps it's been a little easier to adapt, although it is also an environment totally different from the previous one. On Team SCA, they had more people on board and so more hands for each job and now she is trying to adapt to sailing with us, which is a bit different."

In less than a week, the 2017-18 fleet will line up alongside each other for the first time this edition as they assemble in Gosport, UK for Leg Zero.

The team departed yesterday and the new recruits join recent edition Blair Tuke and the rest of the all-star crew which is eyeing a first Race win in Spain's history.

The 2017-18 edition will see the teams cover 45,000 nautical miles in a race that features a total of 12 Host Cities and will finish in The Hague, Netherlands at the end of June.

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