In This Issue
Half Ton Classics Cup | Raul Rios, Mac Agnese win Snipe Worlds | Land Rover BAR , Welcomed home to Portsmouth | Leg Zero = Light wind as calms continue | Onboard Tour of Volvo 65 Yacht | Olympic dream tossed aside to save mate's life | Breath Easier | Olympic dream tossed aside to save mate's life | Nacra 17's foil on the bleeding edge | Sir Thomas Lipton's America's Cup Launch Restored | Sea Jousting | 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

Half Ton Classics Cup
Photo by David Branigan, Click on image for photo gallery.

Half Ton Classics Cup Kinsale, Ireland: Consistent sailing by Nigel Biggs on his newly-refurbished Checkmate XVIII put the British team at the top of the leaderboard of the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale after a rain-soaked opening day. However, just two points separate first to fourth places and the regatta is set to be a cliff-hanger.

Although Phil Plumtree's two-times past champion Swuzzlebubble had impressive leads on the water, IRC handicapping greatly levelled the playing-field and the iconic Kiwi yacht by designer Bruce Farr could only muster a win in the opening race before scoring second and eighth places for the rest of the day and lies third overall.

In contrast, Biggs had two fourth places and a second while Paul Pullen's Miss Whiplash had a 3-3-4 day and only missed being overnight leader on the tie-break with Checkmate XVIII.

Of the host nation, a win in the third race for Howth Yacht Club's Michael and Ritchie Evans on The Big Picture neatly transformed their day after earlier sixth and fifth places. Fourth overall puts them two points ahead of their clubmate David Cullen on Checkmate XV who also had a race win to counter and eighth and a fifth during the day.

The prospect of clear skies and breeze for Day 2 will see another three windward-leeward races in place of the planned coastal race as near gale conditions forecast for Wednesday may disrupt the event programme.

Top six overall standings after Day 1 - three races (21 entries)

1. Checkmate XVIII Nigel Biggs (UK)
2. Miss Whiplash Paul Pullen (UK)
3. Swuzzlebubble Phil Plumtree (UK)
4. The Big Picture Michael & Richard Evans (Ireland)
5. Checkmate XV Dave Cullen (Ireland)
6. Headhunter Paul Wayte (UK)

Full results available

Raul Rios, Mac Agnese win Snipe Worlds
La Coruma, Spain: Raul Rios and Mac Agnese (PUR) closed out the final day at the Snipe World Championship to claim the 2017 title. After gaining the lead yesterday, they posted a 12-6 today to secure the victory. For Rios, winner of the past three US Nationals, this is his first Snipe World title. Racing for the 85 teams from 16 countries was held August 7 to 11.

Top five Gold Fleet:
1. Raul Rios/Mac Agnese, PUR, 36 points
2. Gustavo del Castillo Palop/Rafael del Castillo Palo, ESP, 41
3. Rayco Tabares Alvarez/Gonzalo Morales Quintana, ESP, 42
4. Alfredo Gonzalez/Cristian Sanchez Barreto, ESP, 52
5. Mario Tinoco/Alexandre Muto, BRA, 56

Full results Gold Fleet

Full results Silver Fleet

Land Rover BAR , Welcomed home to Portsmouth
Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics Bring the Team Home. In a combined effort of complex, time-sensitive logistics, Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics have safely delivered home the team's most precious cargo - after a fantastic challenge by the team at Land Rover BAR contesting the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda earlier this year.

Sevenstar Yacht Transport are once again delighted to assist with the direct charter shipping for the return of Land Rover BAR's temporary team base, 35th America's Cup race boat, test boat, all the support boats and containers and of course the team crew personal effects.

Sarah Rickarby, Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics says "it has been our pleasure to work with the team at Land Rover BAR to safely deliver all their cargo to Bermuda and to also make sure it has come home safely to Portsmouth. Over the 3 outbound charter shipments and the return charter ship we have safely transported over 4000m3 of cargo for the team."

Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics
Meridians House, 7 Ocean Way
SO14 3TJ Southampton
Contact: Sarah Rickerby/Wouter Verbraak
Phone: +44 2380821030

Leg Zero = Light wind as calms continue
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet restarted on Monday morning from the south coast of Brittany in the same order they finished yesterday, so it was no surprise to see MAPFRE and Vestas 11th Hour Racing take an early lead.

The fleet began the day in 10kts of wind but quickly fell into a light wind zone and have been struggling to make progress all day. The forecast is for more wind to increase - but from the west.

It means the navigators have to strike a delicate balance of making miles down the track while positioning themselves to the west of the fleet in order to catch the new wind first, without falling into the calms along the way.

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have pushed west early and are becalmed, losing miles to the rest of the fleet who have stayed in better wind for the moment. The new team is still discovering the nuances of their Volvo Ocean 65, and how different it is from their team's other boat, a much more powerful 100-foot supermaxi.

Respite comes with the new westerlies, expected to build to 10 knots at 2100 UTC - and that will turn to north-westerlies/northerlies that will allow the fleet to gybe in steady wind to Cape Finisterre and then down the Portuguese coast to the finish in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Onboard Tour of Volvo 65 Yacht
Team Brunel's Tom Napper gives Yachting World magazine a guided tour of the Volvo 65 round the world yacht on deck and down below.

Oman Air moves top of overall 2017 Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard
Oman Air took its second Act victory in a row in a thrilling Hamburg finale, despite last minute pressure from SAP Extreme Sailing Team. The triumph sees the Omani syndicate move into pole position in the overall rankings.

Red Bull Sailing Team rounds off the podium while early season leader Alinghi posted its worst result since 2012, following an action-packed, crowd-pleasing day on the River Elbe for Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Hamburg, presented by Land Rover.

The battle for glory between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Oman Air went down to the wire, however even a win in the final double-points race wasn't enough for the Danes, who needed to put at least two boats between them and their rival to finish ahead.

Red Bull Sailing Team finishes third and was awarded the Zhik Speed Machine Trophy, with insights from SAP, for the second Act running, for reaching the top speed of the regatta at 23.9 knots. The team remains fourth overall.

At some point during the Act, each of the top six finishers have had a turn on the podium, with the constantly shifting scoreboard demonstrating just how tricky the racing has been for the international fleet of world-class sailors.

The biggest upset of the Act sees Alinghi finish sixth and drop to third on the season scoreboard, a devastating blow for the 2016 champion, who led the 2017 rankings for the first three Acts.

The international fleet of GC32s will reconvene in Cardiff in less than two weeks for the sixth Act of the eight-Act season, headlining the Cardiff Harbour Festival. The UK stage will also see the champion of the 2017 Flying Phantom Series decided.

Final results, Hamburg:

1. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 177 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Kostner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason, 174
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller, 158
4. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Chris Steele, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Shane Diviney, Josh Salthouse, 149
5. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Chris Taylor, Oli Greber, Sam Batten, Matt Brushwood, 149
6. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 147
7. Team Extreme (GBR) Stevie Morrison, Luís Brito, Frederico Melo, Tom Buggy, Linov Scheel, 117

Breath Easier
Zhik Racing hard offshore with a degree of comfort while also keeping out of the water was never an easy task

It’s not until things go badly wrong that you really get to find out what you’re made of. And in a spot it’s also when you need your clothing to work flawlessly to give you the best chance when battling adversity. Aiming to become the first female to circumnavigate Antarctica singlehanded was always going to be a mission for Lisa Blair, but then, when her mast crashed down after 71 days at sea, life suddenly became a whole lot tougher for the plucky Australian.

Blair was grabbing some sleep below decks when she heard strange noises outside as her Open 50, Climate Action Now, battled on autopilot through 40kt northwesterlies in the Indian Ocean. ‘I grabbed my lifejacket and was clipping on as I stormed towards the companionway hatch to get on deck in a real hurry. Just as I was almost there I heard the worst sound imaginable... the noise of metal screaming loudly as it rips apart.

Full article in the August issue of Seahorse:

Olympic dream tossed aside to save mate's life
One moment, teen sailor Simon Hoffman was taking a key step ­towards his Olympic dream by competing in the 29ers World Championship off Los Angeles.

The next, he was in the midst of a life-and-death struggle more akin to a Hollywood blockbuster, under the hull of an upturned boat.

Approaching the first leg of the final race off Los Angeles's Long Beach last Saturday, he heard frantic screaming from a capsized boat 40m away.

The championship had been a key stepping stone in his dream to become an Olympian, but Hoffman now believes his higher purpose was to abandon the race, and instead save a life.

"Help! He needs help now!" a female voice cried out.

Hoffman's close mate, 17-year-old Irish youth champion and fellow competitor Johnny Durcan, was wrapped in ropes and submerged under his race yacht.

Hoffman and Spaniard Santiago Alegre, who also abandoned the race, worked desperately to release Durcan to get him to the surface. Asked how long Durcan was trapped underwater, Hoffman replied: "It could have been three minutes. Eventually, we managed to pull him out between the mast and the jib while ripping the ropes off from around him."

"He was unconscious and his eyes were open," Hoffman said. "Normally eyes are blue or brown, but the middle of his eyes were white. There was no life in them. We feared he was dead - and there was water gushing from his mouth."

By a quirk of fate, Hoffman had received intensive first-aid training three months before, as part of his bid to become a fully fledged sailing coach. Instinct and training kicked in. He took charge of the situation.

At one point, Hoffman turned to Alegre, and there was a silent acknowledgment that Durcan was most likely dead - but they did not give up. Finally, after five minutes on the boat, they received a sign.

"It was a slow blink on his right eye," Hoffman said. "It was a big difference from what we'd had for the last eight minutes."

Thirty seconds later, another sign: "He breathed through his nose once."

Soon after, Durcan's recovery gathered pace. He shakily sat upright. The US coastguard then backed up its boat to whisk Durcan to hospital.

Australian Sailing president Matt Allen said yesterday: "Simon's efforts show great bravery. We will do everything we can to ensure he is recognised. Everybody is so proud."

Durcan and Hoffman, both safely back home, now have a lifelong bond.

Nacra 17's foil on the bleeding edge
High performance design and development under pressure is what we expect at America's Cup level but that does not easily translate into Olympic Nacra 17 one design foiling multihull production, with the manufacturer using a host of cutting edge, (many would say bleeding edge )subcomponent suppliers and that is a lesson that World Sailing is learning right now.

We watched as Emirates Team New Zealand and the lesser lights used large teams of shipwrights to rebuild their foiling cats, well nigh experimental,night after night, but it's one thing to surgically modify a single racing machine in the wee hours, it's quite another to do the same thing when there is an Olympic one design class fleet anxiously competing ahead of Tokyo 2020, expecting to be able to train uninterrupted across the quadrennium in a settled design.

Drama at the Aarhus World Championship Test event in Denmark yesterday when the Olympic double handed multihull Nacra 17 class stopped sailing with the boats being 'recalled'.

The alarming message from World Sailing; 'The Nacra 17 medal races scheduled for Saturday 12 August are cancelled. World Sailing received a notification from Nacra Sailing on Friday 11 August stating that are recalling all foiling configuration Nacra 17s (including retrofitted versions) to replace the bearings for the dagger boards. Nacra Sailing has urged all owners not to sail these boats until the replacement bearings are fitted."

There were Instant visions of 45 foiling Nacra 17's on trailers lined up outside the Nacra Scheveningen office just north of The Hague in the Netherlands, with multihull crews fighting to get their boats back, now just a month before the World Championships off the French Mediterranean coast at The Grand Motte, which if the current problem is not resolved could even be cancelled.

It's not as bad as that fortunately but the fact is the design and manufacturing woes of the Nacra 17 class continues. -- Rob Kothe

Full article:

Sir Thomas Lipton's America's Cup Launch Restored
Click on image to enlarge.

Launch Restored An historic motorboat that used to ferry around the rich and famous has been lovingly restored to its former glory and is now worth £2million.

The Gelyce, which sailed the America's Cup around in the 1930s, is now valued at the staggering figure following extensive restoration - two years after it was snapped up for around £20,000.

The elegant 50ft vessel, built in 1930 by Camper & Nicholsons, the oldest leisure marine company in the world, was given to legendary yachtsman Sir Thomas Lipton to be the tender for his J Class racing yacht Shamrock V.

Sir Thomas - a merchant who established the renowned Lipton tea brand - and his yacht challenged five times for America's Cup glory and enjoyed the company of sailing enthusiasts King Edward VII and King George V.

Both Gelyce and Shamrock V were then subsequently taken on by Sir Thomas Sopwith, for whom Camper & Nicholsons also built the America's Cup challenger Endeavour.

Gelyce was once again used as her tender to transport guests to the bigger boat, and ferry about spectators.

But the outbreak of war meant her life as a tender was relatively shortlived, and she was then used as a vessel in the barrage balloon effort to fend off low flying aircraft over the Solent in World War Two.

In 2015, she was purchased by engineer Wint Taylor, a wooden boat restoration enthusiast from West London.

Mr Taylor, 70, paid around £20,000 and has spent a further six figure sum on the restoration once it was dragged by tug to be worked on by Classic Restoration Services in Windsor, Berks.

The two J-Class yachts which Gelyce served for have also been lovingly restored at a cost of £20million each - and it's hoped they can now be reunited in competition.

Sea Jousting
Click on image to enlarge.

Sea Jousting Sea jousting was a popular sport in the ancient world. The Egyptians created sculptures of brave jousters, and Romans picked up the past time too, filling their coliseums with water to conduct naumachia, or the reenactment of naval battles.

Today, the ancient maritime pastime continues in France. The epicenter is Sète, a town in the Languedoc, in the South, that held the first modern tournament back in 1666, and now has jousting schools that teach the art of la joute nautique.

The best time to see the sea jousting is now. Every August, as part of the annual festival Saint-Louis (16th-22nd), more than seventy competitions fill the canals, which swarm with boats and jousters taking aim at each other from their perches.

The south of France is accessible via major airports in Marseilles or Montpelier, but an affordable hub to make your approach is Barcelona. Drive across the Spanish border, through the foothills of the Pyrenees and pitstop at the old Roman amphitheater in Nimes see the bullfights or other local towns, now flooded for their annual festivals and fairs.

Sète is only a few hours drive, but make sure to book ahead. The jousts are the busiest time of the year, so make sure to book in advance and attend the modern naumachia prepared. 

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The Last Word
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