In This Issue
Light and Shifty Conditions Greet 63 Boats at J/24 World Championship | Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship 2018 | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week | Malizia II to compete in Transat Jacques Vabre | Martin Stromberg joins Turn the Tide on Plastic | Season's Grand Finale for the Americas Fleet Starts Sept. 22 | Hamble Classics Regatta - 2nd edition | 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

Light and Shifty Conditions Greet 63 Boats at J/24 World Championship
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: While major storms continue to batter coastal regions of North America, fickle breeze was the theme of the opening day at the J/24 World Championship in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Sixty-three teams from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the USA endured winds around 6 knots to complete two races.

Tony Parker's Bangor Packet and James Freedman's Miss Conduct are tied on points at 9, with Parker holding that tie-breaker by way of a 7,2 on Tuesday (Freedman earned a 4,5) for the early advantage. David Klatt's Jaded and Mark Laura's Baba Louie sit tied at 21 for third and fourth place, respectively.

Racing continues through Saturday from Port Credit Yacht Club.

Full results:

Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship 2018
The Offshore Worlds will be held from 12 to 20 July 2018 in the first ever combined ORC and IRC championship, an innovative solution to unite the world's two largest offshore racing fleets. Be part of this unique fleet and register now for this historic event.

In July 2018 the challenging waters of The Hague will be the host for the best 150 offshore racing crews in the world. For over a week a combination of offshore and inshore racing will challenge these boats and their teams to determine who are the best in The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship 2018, which is now open for pre-registration.

Offshore racing will be competed in three classes on different types of yachts between 9 and 20 meters in length. Everything is measured for each boat's handicap ratings: the crew, the sails, the boat above and below the waterline. Using these measurements and clever hi-tech models will give each racing yacht ratings to help equalize the competition among unlike boats.

In 2018 it will be even more exciting: the 2 leading rating systems ORC & IRC have joined forces, efforts and knowledge into one combined Offshore Sailing World Championship.

"The RORC-ORC Working Party has been hard at work for many months now and we're pleased there is such broad agreement in the planning for this new combined event," said RORC Commodore Michael Boyd. "We expect this to get broad support from both ORC and IRC constituencies and look foward to further supporting this important championship event."

"We look forward to further cooperation with The Hague organizers and RORC to continue the World Championship traditions of fair competition and a challenging format to create great racing," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC.

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

Seahorse Magazine

And now it's all about what happens next...

Long shadow
The largely self-taught Doug Peterson brought Ganbare to the 1973 One Ton Cup and offshore yacht design was never the same again. Tim Jeffery remembers a good friend

Early signs
And Ivor Wilkins already knows a lot more than he is quite ready to let on... So watch this space

And more commitment - Bouwe Bekking is about to start his 8th race around the globe (sic)

Ken Read
And 2017 really is 'the year of the record'

Ten years and growing
And this year it's the turn of Aarhus, Denmark

The 2018 Grand (Caribbean) Tour
Can't make up your mind, why not have all of it?

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

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Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

SUPER SERIES A complicated, challenging weather situation resulted in just one race being sailed on the opening day of the 52 SUPER SERIES' season decider - the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week - but a confident win for circuit leaders, Azzurra sees them open their overall margin to eight points on Platoon and ten points on Quantum Racing.

Big, bumpy, leftover seas were out of proportion to the 10-12kt N'ly winds that swung around in direction, and rose, and fell in strength. Race Officer Maria Torrijo and her team achieved one good, solid race before the winds became too unstable for a second contest, and the 11-boat fleet was returned to shore.

Standings after one race Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week
1. Azzurra, Family Roemmers, ITA/ARG
2. Gladiator, Tony Langley, GBR
3. Sled, Takashi Okura, USA
4. Quantum Racing, Doug DeVos, USA
5. Provezza, Ergin Imre, TUR
6. Platoon, Harm Muller-Spreer, GER
7. Rán Racing, Niklas Zennstrom, SWE
8. Paprec Recyclage, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA
9. Bronenosec, Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS
10. Alegre, Andres Soriano GBR/USA
11. Sorcha, Peter Harrison GBR

Malizia II to compete in Transat Jacques Vabre
Monaco: After his 3rd place in the Rolex Fastnet Race, Pierre Casiraghi decided to enter the IMOCA 60' Malizia II - Yacht Club de Monaco for the 13th Transat Jacques Vabre. Known for being very demanding, the biennial race for double-handers leaves Le Havre on 5th November 2017.

Supervised by Pierre Casiraghi and led by German sailor Boris Herrmann, it will be the first time a boat flying the Yacht Club de Monaco's colours will be on the Route du Cafe. "In line with our Club's sailing policy as well as preparation for the Vendee Globe, it seems important to me that the Yacht Club de Monaco's offshore flagship Malizia II is able to compete in internationally renowned events to inspire our young sailors to dream big and get them considering new vocations," comments YCM Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi who has chosen Frenchman Thomas Ruyant to complete the team.

With three Transat Jacques Vabre under his belt, including 4th in 2015, and the last Vendee Globe on Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine, the Dunkirk sailor is an experienced ocean racer.

The race starts at Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) Sunday 5th November 2017, on a route inspired by the historic itinerary the clippers took when bringing Brazilian coffee to France. On the programme: 4,350 nautical miles ending in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. Thirteen IMOCA 60s are expected on the start.

Martin Stromberg joins Turn the Tide on Plastic
Sweden's Martin Stromberg, a three-time race veteran and winner from the 2011-12 edition, is joining skipper Dee Caffari's Turn the Tide on Plastic team for the Volvo Ocean Race. 

Stromberg, who will be a watch captain, helmsman and trimmer, adds round the world race experience and winning motivation to one of the youngest crews in the race.

"I have sailed around the world three times, I have won the race and yet here I am back for a fourth time," he says. "And I am back because it's the toughest, most challenging and most fun event in the sport. And I'm an athlete - I want to win!"

Stromberg has already been training with Turn the Tide on Plastic in the lead-up to the Prologue Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, which will see the fleet of seven boats race from Lisbon, Portugal to the start port of Alicante, Spain, beginning on 8 October.

The Volvo Ocean Race starts from its home port of Alicante on 22 October.

Season's Grand Finale for the Americas Fleet Starts Sept. 22
Newport RI, USA: Ten historic 12 Metres are sailing their North American Championship off Newport, R.I. over Sept. 22 -24 and promising a spectacular finish to their 2017 sailing season. The event, along with the Metrefest Newport, Newport Trophy and Edgartown Race held earlier this summer, counts toward points collected in the Road To The Worlds Waypoint Series that leads to the next 12 Metre Worlds, scheduled for Newport in 2019.

Ranging in length between 65 and 75 feet, the Twelves are best known as the America's Cup yachts sailed during the "Golden Era" of that event, which filled the years between 1958 and 1987. Since the America's Cup was held in Newport from 1930 to 1983 and many of the Twelves now call Newport their home, these yachts are dear to the hearts of locals as well as sailing aficionados worldwide, remembered for their intriguing designs, keenly competitive teams and famous skippers, which included Americans Ted Turner and Dennis Conner.

This year's North American Championship fleet will be hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and docked, just like back in the day, at Bannister's Wharf for viewing while not racing. The teams of 14 to 16 will compete in three divisions - Grand Prix, Modern and Traditional - from Friday through Sunday, and courses are planned for Rhode Island Sound and upper Narragansett Bay.

Entry list:

Grand Prix Division
KZ-5 Laura, Kip Curren, Newport, R.I.
KZ-3 New Zealand, Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla./Newport, R.I.

Modern Division
US-26 Courageous, Ralph Isham/Steve Glaskock/Alexander Auersperg/Ward Marsh, Newport, R.I.
US-22 Intrepid, Jack Curtin, New York, N.Y.
KA-10 Challenge 12, Jack LeFort, Jamestown, R.I.
US-33 Defender, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, Fla./Newport, R.I.
US-30 Freedom, Charles Robertson, Guilford, Conn.

Traditional Division
US-16 Columbia, Kevin Hagerty, Boston, Mass.
US-17 Weatherly, Jay Schakny, E. Greenwich, R.I.
US-21 American Eagle, Bob Morton/Cindy DeLotto, Newport, R.I./Edgartown, Mass.

Hamble Classics Regatta - 2nd edition
Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

Hamble Classics Regatta The 2nd Hamble Classics Regatta hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club (15-17 September) delivered another exceptional weekend of close competition for a diverse entry of 64 yachts split into eight classes, with celebrated classics plus gaffers, Metre yachts, dayboats and cruiser-racers racing in the Solent and based at the club's superb Prince Philip Yacht Haven.

The welcome arrival of the Spirit Yachts 'Oui Fling', Irvine Laidlaw's flush deck racer and Michael Hough's elegant 65ft Chloe Giselle spurred the addition of an IRC Zero division and this included Richard Loftus' iconic S&S Swan 65 Desperado, a yacht designed at around the event's pre-1971 eligibility benchmark and adding a thoroughbred classic profile to this exciting upshift in yacht size.

With a light northerly airstream forecast for the weekend the total contrast with the windy conditions in 2016 would provide new winners in some classes while in others established star performers showed typically consistent form. Racing on the 'green' course with Race Officer Stephen Parry and team, Fenton Burgin sailing Sioma won the all-Classic 6-Metre class from Tom Richardson's Thistle and Andy Short's Nancy, Simon Russell scored 4 wins in the 20ft XOD one-design class, while Adrian Green in Aurora pipped Rupert Street's Tschuss in the classic Dragon class, with newcomer Anthony Talbot in third place.

On the 'red' course for the larger yachts with PRO Peter Bateson in charge, Oui Fling won both races from Chloe Giselle and Desperado, while Steve Meakin and Andy Cassell of Ratsey Sails sailing Cormorant won the Gaffer 1 class, and in the 19-strong Regatta class Tim Yetman's West Solent One-Design Suvretta had the speed to win both races. 

Giovanni Belgrano's all conquering Whooper again dominated IRC1, the class boosted this year by the much admired S&S designed 43ft Firebrand now owned by Ramona-Ann Gale (skipper Peter Cyriax), Lutine of Helford (James Youngman), the S&S yawl Laughing Gull (Barney Sandeman), David Murrin's Cetewayo, Brian Smullen's McGruer 55ft Cuilaun, Andrew Pearson's Bojar and Tim Gaukrogers' Swan 55 Kira, these new arrivals joining Breeze (Robbie Boulter), Misty (Stephen Card) and Charm of Rhu (Martin Thomas) but sadly missing was Jason Fry's Shantih of Cowes due to a faulty engine and Chris Frost's Swan 36 Finola, entered but not sailing.

As sailors enjoyed the Elephant Boatyard's Rum Party the Concours judging team of David Aisher (owner of Thalia, built in 1888) with Jane Coombs from the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and Rob Peake, editor of Classic Boat magazine, got to work inspecting the yachts before deciding the three category winners. 

For the top award of Concours d'Elegance it was the fabulous Laurent Giles designed Lutine of Helford, for Concours d'Authenticité, the S&S yawl Laughing Gull, and for best presented GRP yacht it was Gloriana, a 1914 designed 16ft Hereshoff 12½ gaffer built in 1977 and owned by Ian Armstrong. Expertly crewed by his 7-year old son Rory they were also convincing winners of the Gaffer 2 racing division.

With the six event sponsors, Spinlock, Ratsey and Lapthorn Sailmakers, Performance Rigging, Classic Marine, Sandeman Yacht Company and the Elephant Boatyard all taking part in the racing and a charitible element (£900 donated to the Wetwheels charity during the weekend) the focus for next year's Hamble Classics will be to encourage even more classic style yachts, dayboats and gaffers to visit the River Hamble for this attractive and inclusive end of season regatta. -- Jonty Sherwill

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 Euan Ross:

Fields of Play

The America's Cup has been about many things over the decades since 1857. Sometimes it is about pushing boundaries and sometimes, frankly, it isn't. Sometimes the denizens of the match play to the gallery and sometimes they don't. There has been some discussion on what we will lose with the return to monohulls and what we will regain. Much of this 'fantasy football' has been muddled and unhelpfully partisan. Nevertheless, the sailors have now got their ball back. And there is no reason why the advocates of foiling competition cannot continue their pursuit of a commercially viable spectator sport under alternative banners.

What struck me most about Bermuda was that the paradoxical 'lifelessness' of high-speed foiling. Only when the boats crashed down could photographers capture memorable images. I understand that the event was considerably more impressive viewed live, but even so... If yachting does not involve contact with the water, half the game - and perhaps the most demanding half - is lost. Steering upwind through waves is the essence of helmsmanship while catching a wave early and holding it downwind is equally important. Driving a boat in flat water, in whatever mode, is merely steering, no matter how fast you go.

For my generation, the iconic pass in the history of America's Cup races was when Gretel surfed past Weatherly in the second race of the 1962 Challenge. Indeed, the performance of hull designs in waves (and indeed the hapless helmsmen) was a preoccupation, and occasionally an obsession, of the post-war period. Foiling on sheltered water lost all that. Sure, arcane dexterities were introduced, but these were transient skills, better mechanised, and thus consigned to oblivion in any case. The protocol for the 2021 America's Cup will become clearer through the autumn. Grant Dalton's pithy comments suggest that it will implicitly recognise the unique theatre of our three dimensional 'field of play' and its significance in the challenge of yacht racing.  That said, it's entirely possible that the Kiwis will be flying above it again shortly. We await events with interest.

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