In This Issue
Melges 32 World Championship | Hanuman Extend Their World Championship Lead in Newport | J Class Battle for the Kohler Cup | A new breed of carbon racer | Clipper Fleet Tackling The Bay Of Biscay | Bearing Update 4 after Nacra 17 Executive Call - Tuesday August 22, 2017 | With Karine Fauconnier injured, Lalou Roucayrol recruits Alex Pella | Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2018 Online Registration Open | Early morning start for 29ers | Rough Going for Ida Lewis Distance Race Fleet | Why Handicapping Sail Materials Is A Material Mistake | 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

Melges 32 World Championship
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cala Galera, Italy: The first day of the 2017 Melges 32 Boero World Championship in Cala Galera, Italy hosted by Circolo Nautico e della Vela Argentario has concluded with two races, leaving the fleet to bask in Russian colors.

Pavel Kuznetsov's TAVATUY with Evgeny Neugodnikov as tactician won both races today. He and his team earned a perfect score in the 10-12 knots of breeze out of the Northwest, which unmistakably reveals their intention, not to mention their potential. Although the event is quite young, they have confirmed that they are the team to beat.

It was also a very positive day for the current 2017 Melges 32 World League leader, Giangicomo Serena di Lapigio's G.SPOT representing Monaco. He submitted a 2-3 scoreline to now sit in second overall.

The fleet hits the water again for Day Two with forecasts stating light air conditions may prevail with a warning at 13.00 (Italy).

Top Five Results (Preliminary - After Two Races)
1. Pavel Kuznetsov/Evgeny Neugodnikov, TAVATUY; 1-1 = 2
2. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G.SPOT; 2-3 = 5
3. Andrea Lacorte/Gabriele Benussi, VITAMINA AMERIKANA; 5-4 = 9
4. Edoardo Pavesio/Manuel Weiller Vidal, FRA MARTINA; 3-7 = 10
5. Andrea Ferrari/Pietro Pietro Sibello, SPIRIT OF NERINA; 6-5 = 11

Full results:

Hanuman Extend Their World Championship Lead in Newport
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

After winning Tuesday's 20 nautical miles opening race, Hanuman paired an initial fourth place to victory in the second of the two windward-leeward races today. They open up their leading margin at the J Class World Championship in Newport RI to three points ahead of the consistent Lionheart which has scored now three third places.

Although Hanuman lead across the finish line at the conclusion of a tight first windward-leeward of the day, so closely were the chasing pack snapping at their heels that they dropped to fourth on corrected time. Topaz won their first race ever when they held off Velsheda by just seven seconds, while Lionheart's margin for third over Hanuman was just two seconds.

There was not as much doubt in the second contest. After breaking clear of Velsheda which were overlapped with them at the first windward mark they gradually eked out their lead to finish one minute and 17 seconds ahead of the championship's sole 'original' J Class.

The SW breeze came in on cue at between nine and 14kts, the second race starting at 1535hrs was the windier of the two. There were more than enough shifts in wind direction and pressure to keep the contests tight and even.

For Thursday, the third racing day of the first ever J Class World Championship, the forecast is for lighter airs before the breezes are set to strengthen once more for Friday and Saturday.

Results after three races:
1. Hanuman, 6 points
2. Lionheart, 9
3. Velsheda, 10
4. Topaz, 11
5. Svea, 12
6. Ranger, 15

J Class Battle for the Kohler Cup
The largest fleet of J Class yachts has assembled for their first-ever World Championship this week. Six yachts will engage in a five-day battle of beauty and brawn in the waters off Newport, Rhode Island. Per class rules, all of the yachts racing are original J Class designs using the most advanced boat building and equipment technology. While considered Superyachts, at North Sails we think of the J's as a Grand Prix class because the teams are sailing as aggressively as if they were on a TP52. Many of the teams have recently upgraded to 3Di RAW, the lightest, highest performance sail that has been smashing records and filling trophy cases. 

In addition to the World Champion title, the fleet is also competing in the final act of the Kohler Cup, a trophy named in memory of Terry Kohler, the former owner of North Sails, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. The Kohler Cup is a season-long points championship awarded to a J Class yacht, presently Lionheart sits on top of the leaderboard with 14.5 points. Velsheda and Hanuman follow closely behind with 14 and 13.5 points respectively. J Class Worlds is worth double points, so the win is up for grabs.

A new breed of carbon racer
For racing sailors seeking action packed, high level, fast performance, Grand Prix 40 footer style racing at a fraction of the cost, the BR31 offers similar features and feel.

This high-end, affordable, semi-custom racer, from Ben Rogerson Yacht Design has been optimized so you can compete under ORC or DLR, and as a highly competitive HP30 Class contender.

Designed for a maximum crew of seven, and packed with many of the features found at the top of the sport. The BR31 appeals to sailors seeking to make the step up from smaller sports boats, and those wanting a smaller and exciting alternative within IRC & ORC racing.

- High quality construction and British build
- Lightweight carbon fibre construction
- Fast competitive IRC & ORC racing
- Performance options available
- Estimated IRC Tcc: 1.14

Clipper Fleet Tackling The Bay Of Biscay
As the fleet makes steady progress south past the UK and towards Northern France, Skippers and crew are focusing on the next challenge; the Bay of Biscay, notorious for violent storms and heavy seas.

Ahead of the fleet, the weather is changing somewhat. A new low moving southeast across the race track should reach the Portuguese coast by the weekend. Whilst it does not look particularly strong, it will provide several tactical options for the twelve teams.

Over the last 24 hours, positions continued to change on the leader board and 98 nautical miles now separates first placed Unicef from Greenings, in twelfth place, who selected a more westerly route as it entered the Celtic Sea yesterday.

The front four leaders, who broke away with the strong flowing tides in the Irish Sea, remain close, with 18 nautical miles separating Unicef, Sanya Serenity Coast, Visit Seattle and Dare To Lead.

Bearing Update 4 after Nacra 17 Executive Call - Tuesday August 22, 2017
The new active lower bearings for the Nacra 17 are in production.  By late Friday night (August 25) enough units for all those entered in the World Championships will have been produced. 3 machines are working almost 24 hours a day to accomplish the task.

This production run of bearings (for the Worlds fleet) is being produced in a batch process, unlike the prototype parts that were machined one by one. Therefore, all of the parts will become available at the same time on completion of the batch.

As a result all bearings will become available for distribution at the same time on Saturday (August 26). A representative from Nacra Sailing will fly to La Grande Motte on Saturday with as many bearings as required for distribution there. Separate arrangements will be made for teams not in La Grande Motte. Nacra Sailing will be in touch with all entrants to confirm delivery logistics.

With this note, we reaffirm that the 2017 Nacra 17 World Championship will be held in La Grande Motte, as planned from September 5-10, 2017. -- Rob Kothe

With Karine Fauconnier injured, Lalou Roucayrol recruits Alex Pella
Karine Fauconnier suffered an injury during a training session on the Multi 50 Arkema in July. She will not be able to take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre race alongside Lalou Roucayrol, who therefore has had to find a new co-skipper to replace her at very short notice. And the choice fell on the highly experienced Spaniard Alex Pella.

Lalou and Alex now have 80 days to get to know each other and become an effective team, ready to sail off from Le Havre on 5 November. Meanwhile, on land, Karine Fauconnier remains actively involved in the project, in charge of routing and weather strategy. In her words, "it's now a threesome we'll have to contend with"!

Changing a co-skipper less than three months before the start of a major event surely is not a comfortable situation. But Team Arkema Lalou Multi took the right course of action when Karine Fauconnier suffered an injury while training on the Multi 50. After setting off on a qualifying course despite being in pain, the skipper realized that she would not be able to take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre race under those conditions. "We're very sorry about this situation as the Lalou and Karine pair had already put a lot into this. They were working very well, and now we have to start all over again. But this was the wisest and most reasonable decision when it comes to the health of a sailor and the performance of a boat", explains Fabienne Baron-Roucayrol, team manager.

A highly experienced all-rounder, Alex has an impressive nautical CV and a superb record of achievements to his credit: three round-the-world races (one on a monohull, two on a multihull), joint holder of the Trophee Jules Verne with the IDEC Sport crew skippered by Francis Joyon, winner of the legendary Route du Rhum 2014 in Class40.

Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2018 Online Registration Open
Online registration is open for the Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 29 Jan to 3 Feb 2018 at

The event will open at Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay on Grenada's southeast coast with registration and skippers briefing, followed by two days of racing and the lay day. The calm protected bay of Secret Harbour has long been a favourite among sailors. The regatta will move around to Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Port Louis Marina at the entrance to St George's Harbour for more racing off Grand Anse Beach, parties and the grand finale at the Victory Bar.

Island Water World continues to be Title Sponsor for the fourth consecutive year and race day sponsors Mount Gay, Sea Hawk, Secret Harbour and Grenada Tourism Authority also continue their loyal support. Grenada Sailing Week is gearing up to make this edition an even more challenging and exciting racing event. So come along to the friendliest regatta in the Caribbean and 'Spice it up' in Grenada.

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Early morning start for 29ers
After a late night and the jury throwing out one race on the Charley course, ½ the fleet was sent to sea at 9:30am to re-sail the previous days race in a solid 8 knots.  The remainder were released an hour later and all fleets then completed 3 races in 6-10 knots of steady breeze, once the sea breeze settled.

One more day of qualifying before the 179 boat fleet are separated into their final fleets.

Top ten results after six races, one discard:

1. Frederico Zampiccoli / Leonardo Chiste, ITA, 5 points
2. Nick Robins / Billy Vennis-Ozanne, GBR, 8
3. Theo Revil / Gautier Guevel, FRA, 11
4. Oscar Engstrom / Hugo Westberg, SWE, 14
5. Benjamin Jaffrezic / Leo Chauvel, FRA, 14
6. Andrea Barrio Garcia / Nestor Vega, ESP, 20
7. Dmitry Lazdin / Dmitril Araslanov, RUS, 20
8. Elias Odrischinsky / Oliver Silen, FIN, 21
9. Kasper Nordenram / Axel Pantzare, SWE, 23

Full results

Rough Going for Ida Lewis Distance Race Fleet
Newport Rhode Island, USA: The weather started out gloomy, then got downright nasty for the 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race, which started Friday, August 18 off Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I.

A forecast calling for storms to pass over the race course during the night convinced seven of the original 40 entrants to drop out prior to the start for six classes (IRC, PHRF Spinnaker A, PHRF Spinnaker B, PHRF Cruising Spinnaker, Doublehanded and Multihull).

Of  the remaining 33 teams, an additional ten were forced to retire due to damaged equipment or other problems incurred during multiple squalls that left memorable impressions and their calling cards of driving rain and winds gusting 40+ knots. 

  "It was biblical," said Brian Cunha (Newport), who took overall honors in PHRF division and won his 11-boat PHRF Class A with a crew comprised primarily of local sailors. "It was just one cell after another, and it was raining so hard you couldn't have your face to the wind, because it hurt so much. We were waiting for Noah's Ark to come floating by."

The two PHRF Spinnaker classes and the IRC class sailed a 150 nautical mile course that took them to Buzzard's Bay Tower, past Block Island to a government mark off Montauk Point, back to Buzzard's Bay Tower and then back to Block Island before heading home. The first storm hit on the first stretch to Buzzard's Bay Tower, making for a long, wet, yet exhilarating night of competition.

The first to finish the race was the modified Volvo 70 Warrior (formerly Camper), co-skippered by Stephen Murray, Sr. and Stephen Murray, Jr. of Metairie, Louisiana. Finishing at 12:41 a.m. on Saturday, Warrior not only took line honors but also topped IRC Class, which started with ten boats and finished with seven.   Second to cross the line after Warrior was Hendrikus Wisker's (Round Hill, Virginia) Swan 55 Haerlem, in Cruising Spinnaker class, at 4:37 a.m. The team, along with three others in its class, sailed a shorter 107 nm course. 

Top Three Results

IRC (10 Boats)
1. Warrior, Volvo 70, Stephen Murray, Jr., Metairie, LA, USA - 1 ; 1
2. White Rhino 2, Carkeek 47, Todd Stuart, Key West, FL, USA - 2 ; 2
3. Lucy Georgina, Xp44, Peter Bacon, Noank, CT, USA - 3 ; 3

PHRF - Spinnaker A (11 Boats)
1. Irie 2, Kerr 55, Brian Cunha, Newport, RI, USA - 1 ; 1
2. Vamoose, J 120, Bob Manchester, Barrington, RI, USA - 2 ; 2
3. Temptress, Taylor 41, John Gowell, East Greenwich, RI, USA - 3 ; 3

PHRF - Spinnaker B (9 Boats)
1. Young American YCC (Youth), J 105, Young American Jr. Big Boat Team, Rye, NY, USA - 1 ; 1
2. COCO, Swan 36, Ian Scott, Newport, RI, USA - 2 ; 2
3. Mischief, Lyman-Morse 40, David Schwartz, Bristol, RI, USA - 3 ; 3

PHRF - Cruising Spinnaker (4 Boats)
1. Haerlem, Nautor Swan 55, Hendrikus Wisker, Round Hill, VA, USA - 1 ; 1
2. Kiska, Hanse 445, Will Richmond, Hopkinton, MA, USA - 2 ; 2
3. Gallop, Hanse 430, Dennis Ferreira, Holliston, MA, USA - 3 ; 3

PHRF - Doublehanded (5 Boats)
No boats in this division completed the race

Multihull (1 Boat)
No boats in this division completed the race

Why Handicapping Sail Materials Is A Material Mistake
Sailing is not golf. Handicapping a sailboat race is a silly, silly idea: Length, weight, sail area, wetted surface are difficult to compare fairly. Nothing comes close to a simple "three-stroke handicap" that captures the subtle mix of tools that make a boat fast or slow. But, still, we sailors want to have fun, we don't want confusing rules and penalties that are faulty in basis. Mostly we want to collect our friends and all our different boats, together at the same party, and race.

It's what we do.

Today, we're going to rant about the especially gnarly problem of rating penalties on sails inventory. We'll tell you now, we see no logic for imposing penalties based on sail fabric. Leveling the regatta playing field is simply not that easy. Let's bring some rationale to the current state of affairs regarding handicap racing and sails.

Overburdened Racing Rules

Classic and SOT racing organizations have over-burdened race penalties over the years. There appears to be two issues around sails that race committees believe should affect rating: The color and aesthetic of the fabrics used for vintage and classic boats; and, concerns over performance gains from higher tech, modern materials.

Rules like the International Mediterranean Committee, or CIM, rating system show what happens when the issues with sails are misunderstood by racing committees. Widely used in Europe, CIM seems to have employed a team of undergrad law students to draft up its Notices of Race. You'll find detailed handicap penalties, it's like the worst translation of Monopoly rules, or one of those you-tube bad-lip-reading videos for a beer pong frat party. Confounding!

Further reading of CIM rules reveal ever-more granular definitions for all kinds of things, particularly sail materials and rating adjustments for these materials; all this renders up a hazy, hard-to-follow logic that has led to some frankly nutty regulations. Of many terrible examples for abuse in regulations is in the Panerai series regattas that flatly prohibit (!) modern materials in classic yachts. Further, some regattas adapt parts of the rule and prescribe boats a separate class created solely for boats carrying modern sails, as if curing some sort of affliction. And, we say, 'What?'

Full editorial from Stephens Waring Yacht Design:

Featured Brokerage
1997 Volvo 60 (modified) - Bou Dragon. 230000 EUR. Located in The Hague, Netherlands.

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See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Auckland

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2010 PARADOX 62ft cruiser-racer trimaran. 990,000 EUR. Located in Bermuda.

One of the most unique sailboats launched in the past five years, Paradox is a unique cruiser / racer trimaran designed by the legendary design team of Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret. Built by Marsaudon Composite , using the moulds of Loick Peyron’s highly successful ORMA racing trimaran Fujifilm

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly



2007 IMOCA 60 COMPAGNIE DU LIT - BOULOGNE BILLANCOURT. 450,000 EUR. Enroute to France.

A fine racing yacht that has proven its capabilities in all kinds of conditions, COMPAGNIE DU LIT is arriving in Australia in the coming days and will be available for viewing over the Christmas period.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly


See the collection at

The Last Word
There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. -- Raoul Duke

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