In This Issue
Nenad Bugarin Masters Balaton Breeze | Day of surprises kicks off Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup | Where Sailing Comes First but the Rum is a Close Second? | Seahorse Sailor Of The Month | Clipper Fleet Approaching The Doldrums | Ocean Safety raises the game for Clipper Fleet | Guest Editorial - Jock Wishart | World Sailing invites bids for World Cup Series events | 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

Nenad Bugarin Masters Balaton Breeze
Nenad Bugarin, from Croatia, is the early leader at the 2017 Opel Finn Gold Cup at Balatonfoldvar, Hungary. Two very tricky races in shifty and patchy conditions left much of the fleet with at least one high score, but home favourite, Zsombor Berecz is second, with Piotr Kula, from Poland, in third. Ed Wright, from Britain, won the first race, while Bugarin won the second.

The time for preparation had ended and it was time to race. In the end 113 Finns made it to the start line for some tight and tricky racing with the wind shifting hugely and varying from 10-16 knots.

As one old and wise coach offered today, that in conditions like these, you are either very good or very unlucky. The good and the unlucky enjoyed a pizza party after racing and can look forward to two more races on Tuesday in slightly less wind but probably at least the same amount of trickiness.

Racing continues Tuesday at 10.00. -- Robert Deaves

Results after two races
1. Nenad Bugarin, CRO, 5 points
2. Zsombor Berecz, HUN, 9
3. Piotr Kula, POL, 12
4. Max Salminen, SWE, 13
5. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 16
6. Deniss Karpak, EST, 21
7. Ondrej Teply, CZE, 21
8. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 25
9. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 29
10. Facundo Olezza, ARG, 30

Day of surprises kicks off Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Racing began today at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship in Porto Cervo. This annual event is jointly organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the International Maxi Association, the body sanctioned by World Sailing to represent the Maxi classes.

It was a day of surprises for the seven classes competing. Firstly, there were the conditions: despite an 8 knot forecast, the course down the length of 'Bomb Alley' to the island of Spargi and back, eventually was seeing gusts of 15+ knots, albeit patchy.

Most delighted by his team's performance was winner of the Wally Class, Toni Cacace, owner of the Wally 94 Magic Blue. She was first Wally today despite being the sole boat in the 11-strong class not to have competed at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup before, under her present ownership. The building breeze today favoured smaller boats while the start was very stressful with these glamorous sailing giants all stacked up at the committee boat.

While the smaller Wally 77 Lyra and Wally 80 Nahita filled the podium on IRC corrected time, among the big Wallys, the Wallycento Galateia won.

In the Maxi 72s, defending Rolex World Champion Hap Fauth's Bella Mente won today, despite the team of the International Maxi Association Vice President having had a disappointing season.

In the Super Maxis, International Maxi Association member Filip Balcaen came ashore assuming his Baltic 112 Nilaya had scored a deep result. In fact, she had won ahead of Salvatore Trifiro's new 32.6m long Malcolm McKeon design, Ribelle.

In the Mini Maxi Racing class, Sir Peter Ogden's Vrolijk 72 Jethou was the clear winner ahead of American Bryon Ehrhart's Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky, recent winner of the Palermo-Montecarlo Race.

Racing continues tomorrow with a first start at 1130. The Maxi 72s and Wallys will sail windward-leewards and the other classes coastal courses.

Racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship takes places from 4th until 9th September with a layday scheduled for Thursday 7th September. -- James Boyd /

Where Sailing Comes First but the Rum is a Close Second?
Antigua Sailing Week Big warm seas, consistent trade winds, challenging round the buoys racing and the best shoreside parties in the Caribbean sum up the phenomenon that is Antigua Sailing Week. Preceded by an optional race, the Peters & May Round Antigua Race featuring 52 nm of perfect pre-ASW tune up for new teams, followed by five days of racing off Antigua's south coast and interrupted by a beach day, this is a regatta not to miss.

Classes include Big Boat, Racing, Sport Boat, Cruising, Multihull, Bareboat and Club Class. Daily prize givings at Antigua Yacht Club are legendary as is the final awards party hosted in historic UNESCO-accredited Nelson's Dockyard.

Bragging rights, the best silverware and a photo op with the Queen's representative, the Governor General mean you get the best of all worlds - professionally run race management, incredible history and Caribbean beaches, parties and English Harbour Rum.

Mix that with a Fever-Tree ginger beer and you have the Perfect Storm.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Nenad Bugarin Masters Balaton Breeze Last month's winner:

Richard Meacham (NZL)
Fair's fair, but when was Seahorse ever fair? The man credited with manhandling ETNZ's boats past every obstacle and getting his crew out rain or shine had his own moment of fame 'on' the bow with Team NZ in 2007. 'No one worked harder' - Burns Fallow; 'Mr Reliable'- Pete Melvin; 'Rock solid' - Kevin Dibley; 'An unwavering commitment to friends, employers and teammates alike' - Tom Schnackenberg; 'An outstanding professional' - Kyle Langford, Oracle (classy); 'Cheeky Dick finally got his smile back' - Giovanni Belgrano.

This month's nominees:


Nenad Bugarin Masters Balaton Breeze Mathias Coutts (NZL)
Mathias is the new Under-13 Bic O'pen World Champion - a title we expect only to grow in significance as the sailing world wakes up to the importance of getting young talent into modern boats at the earliest opportunity. Enough preaching... 11-year-old Mathias took six wins in 12 races with a worst placing of 8th in a 55-strong fleet at Lake Garda, racing against entries from 12 countries. Word is that Mathias's 'coach' came for free...


Nenad Bugarin Masters Balaton Breeze Stephen Baker (USA)
There is some ferocious young talent emerging right now: Baker has been on a roll for a while but when he won the 2017 US Optimist Nationals in August people really started to sit up and take notice - including now head of US Olympic sailing, Australian double gold medallist Malcolm Page. Seven races, seven wins, discarding a 1st place in a 103-boat fleet. Impressive? In fact, the whole US Oppi squad is humming right now


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

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

Clipper Fleet Approaching The Doldrums
The Doldrums Corridor is fast approaching and with current weather predictions favouring teams towards the back of the fleet, it will be tactically fascinating to watch over the coming days.

While yet to officially enter the Doldrums Corridor, the latest weather reports show the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or dreaded Doldrums as it is commonly known, is north, giving the fleet a taste of what is to come.

The searing heat is another indication the Doldrums are not far away, with Dale Smyth, Skipper of the ninth placed Dare To Lead, commenting: "A good 24 hour run on Dare To Lead, and we are managing to gain some ground on the group in front of us. However, this morning is incredibly light in the lee of the Cape Verde islands but at least still we are still managing to make progress.

"The heat on board is oppressive, even right through the night, so sleeping becomes difficult, with dashes to the deck to get out of the sauna below deck."

On the leader board, Qingdao still holds a slim lead over the second placed GREAT Britain, and Skipper Chris Kobusch says that the conditions are definitely changing, as the Doldrums Corridor approaches.

Fleet tracking:

Ocean Safety raises the game for Clipper Fleet
Ocean Safety The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is now underway and safety is, as always, top priority. Technology continues to improve and that gives the organisers ever more scope for ensuring crews are kept as safe as possible on the oceans. Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston tells Ocean Safety: "There's one thing that is paramount in ocean racing - safety, safety, safety." So, stepping up to the challenge Ocean Safety has supplied each crew member with a Kru lifejacket fitted, for the first time, with an Ocean Signal RescueMe MOB1. That means if someone goes overboard their signal will be immediately picked up on the yacht's AIS receiver and that of any vessel in the vicinity, so they can be located and rescued without delay.

Ocean Safety, the UK's largest marine safety equipment supplier, has supplied these along with a comprehensive range of onboard equipment for each of the twelve yachts.

Included is the latest Ocean SOLAS Compact liferaft, a space saving raft which was introduced to the skippers as part of their recent training package. Other new equipment includes flares, tether lines, traditional horseshoes and danbuoys for recovering crew from the water.

Guest Editorial - Jock Wishart
America's Cup has never been about Sport has it?? But what if it was?

I dream:

An event which is television friendly, (essential that both competitors are on the same screen) appeals to the "masses", yet incorporates all the accepted sailing skills so it is attractive to the sailors amongst us!

America's Cup has been many different things over the years:- from fleet race to match race, from "lead mine" monohulls to "state of the art" multihulls:- there is nothing set in stone.

A.C.35 was technologically amazing, the visuals fantastic and the use of boundaries helped contain the action but you need more than technology to make good television.

Quite frankly after the first few races and being impressed by the sheer speed of it all it was "boring". Sailing skills as we know it were not represented with four out of six of the crew primarily responsible to maintain a level of hydraulic pressure which a mini generator could achieve.

Oh for a tack,gybe,set :-the complexity and risks involved and not at least the skilled crewwork required

Ok to the "nitty gritty"


Let's get back into monohulls all be it foiling one's. Remember Formula1 cars are NOT the fastest cars on the race circuit they just look it!

Maybe 60 footers with 12 man crews a bit like the 12 metres so that there is real teamwork required.(We follow rugby because of the myriad of skills involved (so let us think Rugby Union on Water).

In any case why would you want to stay in multihulls this will just discourage new entries otherwise the "rich just get richer"

Maybe built to some form of box rule. Its vitally important that the speed differentials are little between the boats for good television

Monohulls that can be used over a wider wind range:- Television scheduling hates cancellations

With slighty slower speeds and no risk of "pitch poling" perhaps we can get rid of the helmets and "see people" again


SHOULD be retractable, so before the "start gun" foils are not allowed so the boats are much slower and we can therefore have proper "match racing" an important TV ingredient. Similarly rather as in F1 where you would only be allowed to use the Kers "overdrive" on certain parts of the circuit make at least one if not all the downwind legs non foil so that symmetric downwind kites WILL be used. Maybe even insisting that Symmetrical kites must be used on one downwind leg:- back to spinnaker poles and ripped kites which is all great TV

To keep costs down limit the number of Spis that can be carried.

Some technical challenges here but remember for AC 34 they did not expect foiling catamarans


Spectators want to cheer on and associate themselves with their own nationalities rather than a crowd of mercenaries: enough said.

Maybe institute a 75% national rule so the emerging countries can at least have some help. This also encourages talent growth in each nation.


Windward - leeward but would it not be great to have a reaching leg.

With so many variables let's make a proper "game" of it and in any case the boats are slower: 40 minutes sounds about right may be stretch to an hour.

NO lower or upper wind limit: "are we men or are we mice"


Keep: It is essential for the TV public to see both boats on one screen


So difficult with international companies involved.

Just make 50% must be built in your home country.

I dream!! but if it starts a few "hares running" it is good for sailing.

World Sailing invites bids for World Cup Series events
World Sailing is inviting Host Cities and Member National Authorities to bid for Sailing's World Cup Series Final in 2018 and 2019 as well as the European Round in 2019 and 2020. World Cup Series Final Bid Guide

World Cup Series Round Bid Guide

Kiel, Germany was awarded the 2018 edition of the World Cup Series Final, to be held alongside the world famous Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival, at World Sailing's 2016 Annual Conference. However due to conflicts of Kieler Woche and World Sailing commercial partners, a contract was unable to be concluded.

World Sailing is now seeking a European Host City for the 2018 and 2019 World Cup Series Final with excellent sailing conditions, world class on-shore facilities for the world's leading sailors and spectator areas.

The 2017/2018 World Cup Series will commence in Japan this October followed by the American Round in Miami and the French round in Hyeres in 2018. The Host City selected by World Sailing will be expected to host the World Cup Final in June / early July.

Japan will host the start of the 2018/2019 series in October 2018 with the American Round following in January 2018. The European venue selected for 2018/2019 will host sailors at the end of April with the Final to follow thereafter.

Member National Authorities or Host Cities interested in bidding for either the Final or Round should contact for further information.

World Sailing must receive bids via by 2nd October 2017 and the decision will be made on the winning bids at the World Sailing Board meeting in early November 2017. -- Daniel Smith, World Sailing

* Statement from Kiel Week:

Thanks to the perfect organisation on site, the different business partners from World Sailing and Kiel Week did master the challenge and promote the Paralympic sailing sport.

So the hope was to continue this cooperation between World Sailing and the Kiel Week Organisation for the next year by integrating the World Cup Series Finals into the Kiel Week or connecting them to the event. "The sports cooperation fits well, the date is coherent, but we have too many competing business partners. We want to grant the Kiel Week partners exclusivity and do not see any adequate solution to enable the partners of World Sailing an appearance at the Kiel Week without endangering long-term partnerships", explains Sven Christensen, Managing Director of Point of Sailing, Marketing Agency of the Kiel Week.

"But the good contact with World Sailing will continue and were are aiming to set up concepts together in the future, but not in 2018", explains Ramhorst.

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Neil Armstrong, that spaceman, he went to the moon but he ain’t been back. It can’t have been that good. -- Karl Pilkington

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