In This Issue
Spectacular Conditions On Day 2 at Coutts Quarter Ton Cup | ILCA Laser Standard Men's World Championship | Audi J/70 World Championship | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Bart's Bash 2017 | Open Letter to respond to Mascalzone Latino | Five bullet day for Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco | Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup | Not Sailing But Very Very Cool | 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

Spectacular Conditions On Day 2
Mark Richmond's Cote approaching the windward mark on day 2 of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup 2017 with Land Rover BAR sailor Nick Hutton on board as bowman. Photo by Paul Wyeth. Click on image to enlarge.

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup Cowes, UK: The second day of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup delivered spectacular, though challenging, racing on a glorious day that saw three different race winners and six boats scoring at least one podium result. Sam Laidlaw's Aguila, which initially was scored with a perfect run of second places, appeared to be the most consistent boat on a day that saw many competitors yo-yoing up and down the leaderboard.

However, a protest saw Aguila disqualified from the first race and therefore thrust well down the overall results until the discard kicks in. Ian Southworth's Whiskers therefore leads the fleet after the first four races with a score of 10 points, including two race wins, while Tony Hayward's Blackfun is second overall on 13 points. Behind them, Mark Richmond's Cote holds third place with 23 and Paul Gibbons' Anchor Challenge fourth on 27 points.

The day started with a west north westerly wind of 17-20 knots, which decreased gradually through the afternoon, but there were significantly stronger gusts that produced plenty of the spectacular broaches for which the class is notorious. The class is also renowned for close racing and today proved to be no exception. In race three, for instance, a group of 12 boats crossed the finish in a period of only 65 seconds.

Four more frenetic 45-minute races are planned for the final day of racing tomorrow, with more gentle conditions of 8-10 knots promised.

ILCA Laser Standard Men's World Championship
Racing got underway at Split, Croatia for the Laser Standard Worlds. Host club is Sailing Club Mornar.

Sam Meech made a strong start to the Laser world championships in Split overnight, winning one of his two races to sit in third overall.

Extremely shifty conditions greeted the 147 competitors in Croatia, meaning big gains and losses could be made, so Meech was happy to emerge from the first day in a healthy position with a win and a fourth in his two races.

The competitors have been split into three fleets for the first three days of qualifying before they're put into gold, silver and bronze fleets.

Top five after 2 races sailed:
1. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 2 points
2. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 4
3. Sam Meech, NZL, 5
4. Giovanni Coccoluto, ITA, 5
5. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini, GBR, 5

Audi J/70 World Championship
J70 Worlds The world's largest sportboat fleet finally commenced racing at the Audi J/70 World Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in collaboration with the Title Sponsor Audi, and the Official Sailmaker Quantum Sails.

Relative Obscurity (USA), Peter Duncan - Judd Smith leads after three races. Petite Terrible #Audi (ITA), Claudia Rossi - Michele Paoletti is second in the rankings, and L'Elagain (ITA), Franco Solerio - Daniele Cassinari is third.

In the Corinthian Class after Race 3: White Hawk (ITA) Gianfranco Noè, Give Me Five (FRA) Follin Robin, and Marnatura (ESP) Luis Bugallo.

Under clear blue skies, with a westerly breeze, ranging from 12-20 Knots, three races were held on the beautiful Costa Smeralda. The J/70 Armada left the safe confines of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda apprehensive of what was to come. The sight of 162 teams gathered on the race course was nothing short of spectacular, a gigantic festival of yacht racing. The fleet would not return for over eight hours of intense competition, salt-encrusted and elated by the experience.

J Boats Stuart Johnstone, racing with Henry Brauer on American entry Rascal, spoke about the first day of racing at the Audi J/70 World Championship. "It was an extraordinary feeling leaving the harbour this morning, I was thinking back to the golden days of the J/24. I was filled with family pride, seeing so many sailors going out there to enjoy a spectacular day of sailing."

"Out on the race course, we could recognise the depth and talent of the fleet," continued Stuart, "If you fell out of the top tier, it was very difficult to claw your way back before the top mark. Downwind the classic post-mistral conditions meant there were big lulls as well as big puffs, which is very challenging. Packs of boats kept passing each other with sometimes 50% difference in boat speed."

The Audi J/70 World Championship will continue tomorrow, September 15, the intended first warning signal at 1100 CEST. The 162 boat fleet will be split into Gold and Silver Fleets.

Seahorse September 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Ivor Wilkins loves a parade, Carlos Pich with a (complete) change of tone for the Barcelona World Race, Vincent Lauriot-Prevost and Patrice Carpentier race the Atlantic, the Joyon-Coville battle without end and Dobbs Davis watches the return of a wizard

Hard to win
Oracle Team USA design co-ordinator Scott Ferguson has never had any doubts about that

But new rating office director and IRC supremo Dr Jason Smithwick has yet to decide...

Eight bells
A very tough month. Rob Weiland

Much ado about a lot
James Dadd looks at the (massive) task ahead

(Much) more than furlers
Beautiful sleepy port begat beautiful high tech

Moving on from Rio
America's Cup 35 wasn't June's only big event

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Bart's Bash 2017
This weekend, the sailing world will once again unite in memory of sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson under the global umbrella event title, 'Bart's Bash'. It is already designated as The World's Largest Sailing Event having achieved a Guinness World Record in 2014 when it was first staged.

This year, the fourth Bart's Bash, there are 589 venues from across 79 countries signed up to take part in this extraordinary participation and fundraising event for the Andrew Simpson Foundation.

The Andrew Simpson Foundation continues to promote the sport and all the benefits it brings to people of all abilities. A number of Islands in the Caribbean affected by Hurricane Irma have taken part in Bart's Bash in previous years and were due to take part in 2017. In light of recent events, the Andrew Simpson Foundation has pledged to use the funds raised from this year's Bart's Bash to help those affected rebuild their community sailing projects, allowing them to continue to deliver grassroots sailing to programmes young people.

After spending a year away in Bermuda for the America's Cup, high profiled sailor, Iain Percy will join his friends and family at the WPNSA where he spent many years training for his Olympic campaigns with Bart. Iain will be sailing his Bart's Bash in the Star boat in which he competed in the first Bart's Bash in 2014 with Andrew's eldest son, Freddie Simpson.

An easy way of helping support Andrew 'Bart' Simpson's legacy is TEXT TO DONATE (any time/any amount of money from a fiver upwards!) e.g.: BART17 £5 to 70070

Open Letter to respond to Mascalzone Latino
Porto Cervo (OT), September 13, 2017. Edoardo Recchi, Sports Director of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and organizer of YCCS regattas.

Ever since Commodore Gianfranco Alberini hired me seventeen years ago to organize regattas at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, I have done my best to make sure that all participants in sporting events at our Club receive the same impartial treatment, so that they can compete fairly under the same rules and conditions.

The YCCS has always respected and held Team Mascalzone Latino in high regard over the years that they have competed in many events and across various Classes at our Club. There has never been any cause for contention between us.

In the occasion of an exclusion and subsequent withdrawal from the Audi J/70 World Championship, I choose not to comment on the words directed by Team Mascalzone Latino and its owner, Mr. V. Onorato, towards our Commodore R. Bonadeo, who has nothing to do with this affair and who is considering whether or not to take action on a personal level. My job is to answer the criticism directed publicly at the YCCS.

The Audi J/70 World Championship is without a doubt the largest World Championship event of 2017. With 172 teams registered, it is the largest World Championship for sportboats ever organized, and we are very happy with the enthusiasm that the teams have shown.

As always, all teams- in this case 172 boats and crews- underwent J/70 Class Rules controls. It took the International Rating Committee, eight people of whom three from the Italian J/70 Class team and five from the International team, four days to check and measure all the 172 teams registered. This Rating Committee is separate and independent from the YCCS that is the Organising Authority for this important event.

After checking, weighing and measuring hulls, appendages, weight, safety equipment and sails on all of the boats participating, the Rating Committee found that seven boats had obvious deformities in their keels. These deformities were signalled to the O.A. and to the National and International J /70 Class representatives.

On September 11th at 7:00 PM the Ratings Committee posted the results of their measurements on the J/70 Class event's bulletin board, as per the norm before a regatta gets underway. These results were posted before the event and not late as Mr. Onorato has affirmed. The ratings checks were completed just four hours earlier, at 3:00 PM. Mr. Onorato claims that the ratings checks were done in a different way than at other events, but this has nothing to do with the YCCS. The ratings checks were done by Class rules just as the ratings for any One Design regatta we organise are done. The O.A.'s notice that the seven non-conforming teams would be excluded from competition was met with protests on the part of most of those teams who asked the eight judges from the International Jury, none of whom are Italian but all of whom have been selected by the Federazione Vela, for a re-check. They confirmed the decision to not allow the seven teams to compete saying that the O.A.'s decision was correct and fair. I got a call from Pietro Manunta asking if he could register after the deadline after we had already turned down tens of other tardy teams. To stay fair to the other tardy teams I said no, that I could not apply the conditions for tardy registrations (after July 3) that were in the Regatta Rules and conditions for tardy registrations because we already had a record fleet that strained our logistical capacity to the max.

The request to substitute the entire team sailing aboard Mascalzone Latino with the team that sails aboard Mascalzone Junior was turned down by the Regatta Committee, headed by the International Regatta Judges and nominated by the Federazione Vela, because Class Rules state that as single members of a team can be substituted for valid reasons, there must be valid reasons for changing an entire team. These valid reasons were not presented. In formulating that decision it was asserted that the team in question had not been allowed to compete because there were irregularities in their boat, and these irregularities are always the boat owner's responsibility.

All the teams racing, 172 total from 25 different nations, had made significant investments to come to Porto Cervo. We reserve the same fair treatment for all, be they four friends camping out to top professional teams with AC sailors and budgets. Our sport is one that rewards go to the best performer on the water. Not to those who spend the most money. Fairness is fundamental and a fundamental, J/70 Class rule states, that appendages that cannot be modified. If, after a J/70 Class ratings check, it becomes clear that those appendages have been modified, whomsoever has authorised and paid for those modifications becomes responsible for them. Otherwise the other teams racing could not compete in fair conditions in their World Championship.

The seven teams that have been excluded from completion have been found to have boats and/or teams that do not conform to J/70 Class rules. We hope that the other teams can sail in fair and safe conditions along the trapezoid and 2 parallel windward-leeward courses that we have planned to handle such a large fleet. At the end of the event the teams participating in it can best answer Mr. Onorato and say if they found that the event was indeed, "dangerously and poorly organised both on land and on the water by a Club that is poor both in monetary and in human resources."

The documents that motivated the above decisions are available to all on line and the YCCS's decision as O.A. has the full support of both the Italian and the International J/70 Classes. The International Jury is also in accord with our decision. It would be extremely difficult that Classes and Jury on this level would "have it in" for Team Mascalzone Latino.

On our part, we are working hard and stretching our operative capacity to accommodate such a large event. We are very pleased to have terminated the measurements and ratings of the largest fleet of sportboats in the history of our sport to date. The reasons that led to the withdrawal of Team Mascalzone Latino are personal reasons of the owner, Mr. Onorato. His words on Commodore Bonadeo will be taken into consideration at a later date. I have sailed with our Commodore on his Farr 40 and other boats of his, and even if we didn't always win we never felt we had to publish press releases to vent our spleen. As the saying goes, it isn't if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. -- Edoardo Recchi, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda

Five bullet day for Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco
The silver flash, that is the GC32 foiling catamaran Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco, put in an extraordinary performance, posting a perfect scoreline on day two of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup on the Bay of Calvi, despite ultra-tricky conditions.

While the forecast indicated strong wind and big seas, more marginal than on day one, a smart call by the race management team in getting the boats racing three and a half hours earlier than scheduled, paid off. This enabled five windward-leeward races to be sailed, without yesterday's big swell, but in winds that ranged from 10-25 knots, at times with significant shifts. It was a day when making calls about the correct side was as vital as crew work, adapting sail choice to wind strength.

Former America's Cup skipper Sebastien Col, who helmed Pierre Casiraghi's Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco today and yesterday, said: "I think in the first two races we sailed well, better than the rest of the fleet, and probably getting a bit of luck with a few shifts - but you needed that to win races, because the wind was so shifty. Then by the third race, our confidence had built. Everything was working very well on board." Calling tactics on board has been young British former Olympic and Figaro sailor, Richard Mason.

Tomorrow conditions are forecast to be more regular in the afternoon when 15-18 knots are forecast. The aim is to return to the schedule with a first warning signal at 1230 for two rounds of the ANONIMO Speed Challenge followed by racing with reaching starts.

GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup overall results

1. Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco, 11 points
2. Argo. 22
3. Team ENGIE, 23
4. Realteam, 25
5. Mamma Aiuto!, 28
6. .film Racing, 38
7. Zoulou, 56

Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup
Newport RI, USA: To describe the tactical approach which led Eastern Yacht Club to the low-point score of Day 3 of the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, Ben Richardson used a word not often associated with successful big-boat sailing: reactionary. "You had to be pretty reactionary," said Richardson, a former Laser Masters World Champion and Pan Am Games competitor. "We never went into any particular race saying, 'Oh, you've got to go left,' or 'You've got go right.' You had to continually adapt up the beat and see where the pressure was. There were pretty big pressure differentials and you had to connect the dots up the beat, and on the run."

Eastern Yacht Club moved from fourth to third in the overall standings and now has a 15-point advantage over a pack of boats clumped in fourth to ninth. Southern Yacht Club finished third on the day, but only two points behind Eastern, and leads the regatta by 9 points over Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, which won two of the day's three races.

The race for first has really come down to three boats, and two of them will need some help from the current leader if they want to hoist the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup trophy on Saturday. Another strong day by Southern tomorrow may well sort out the overall podium. The most interesting racing may focus on the battle for fourth, with six teams all within 8 points of that spot. Those positions are unlikely to be decided until the final beat of the final race.

Racing for the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will start Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m. There are three races remaining in the 12-race series.

Results after Race 9, Day 3
1. Southern Yacht Club (2,2,1,2,8,2,7,1,2 27 pts)
2. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (1,3,3,1,7,12,1,7,1 36 pts)
3. Eastern Yacht Club (7,4,2,5,13,6,2,3,3 37 pts)
4. Yacht Club Argentino (10,14,7,3,9,1,6,2,10, 62 pts)
5. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (11,1,8,4,5,4,11,14,5 63 pts)

Full results.

Not Sailing But Very Very Cool
On Sept. 15, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will complete its remarkable story of exploration with an intentional plunge into Saturn's atmosphere, ending its mission after nearly 20 years in space. News briefings, photo opportunities and other media events will be held at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Launched in 1997, Cassini arrived in orbit around Saturn in 2004 on a mission to study the giant planet, its rings, moons and magnetosphere. In April of this year, Cassini began the final phase of its mission, called its Grand Finale -- a daring series of 22 weekly dives between the planet and its rings. On Sept. 15, Cassini will plunge into Saturn, sending new and unique science about the planet's upper atmosphere to the very end. After losing contact with Earth, the spacecraft will burn up like a meteor. This is the first time a spacecraft has explored this unique region of Saturn -- a dramatic conclusion to a mission that has revealed so much about the ringed planet.

Live coverage starts at 7 AM EDT:

If you have never see the video of the Huygens Probe landing on Saturn's moon Titan... launched from the Cassini spacecraft in 2005:

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 Peter Barton, RS Aero Class Association Manager

RE: 'Since the J/70 was introduced in 2013, over 1400 boats have been sold worldwide, making it fastest growing One Design class in sailing history. '

The RS Aero was introduced three years ago in the summer of 2014 and has now sold over 1420 boats to date in approximately 45 countries.

With 96 RS Aeros from 16 nations at our first World Champs in Carnac, France this summer we will be looking to break the 150 entries mark when the 2nd World Championship comes to the UK next summer.

Just sayin' ;-)

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