In This Issue
Bacardi Cup
New Race Director for 2018 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race
Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series starts on 18 March
Free money? No, but there is FREE coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge
Leigh McMillan back at Land Rover BAR
New route for ARC Channel Islands Rally 2018
Rouxel and Curtis join Team Brunel
Int. 5.5 Metre Class returns to its roots for 70th Anniversary
Howth Sailing Life Resumes After Storm Emma
Industry News
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage: Oyster 72 Crazy Horse, Oyster 825 Maegan, FB35 - "Young Guns"
The Last Word: Ivan Stang

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

Bacardi Cup
After yesterdays race was postponed due to thunderstorm activity in the area, today featured a double header. The wind was 12-18 knots from the northwest, which is always shifty here and makes for challenging racing.

In race one of the day, there was a big left shift off the line and Mark and I were not out in front enough to tack on it. That lasted three minutes and then the wind shifted back to the right. The boats that were able to play that first shift were the race leaders. Robert Scheidt and Brian Fatih held the lead at mark one and stretched on every leg. Jim Buckingham and Craig Moss had a great race as did Elvind Melleby and Josh Revkin. Mark and I had a great first downwind leg to get back in touch with the top group and even had a shot at 2nd in the last quarter mile of the race. Unfortunately for us, the pack to our left surged ahead in the final meters and we came away with a 7th.

In race 2, I really couldn’t do anything right. We went the wrong way on every leg and just got further behind. We finished 24th. Hopefully that will be our discard. I had a bad day today and sometimes that happens. We just have to shake it off and come out firing on all cylinders tomorrow.

Eric Doyle with Payson Infelise crewing led at the first mark followed closely by Jack Jennings and Frithjof Kleen and then Diego Negri. In the end, Jennings Kleen took the win followed by Doyle and then Negri who is putting together a very consistent regatta. Lars Grael is also coming on strong after a 37 in race one, he has 3 fourth place finishes. Yesterday’s second place team of Diaz/Prada had a tough day and dropped to 13th overall. Melleby Revkin still lead with a 3, 8 today.

Mark and I now lie in 7th place. After tomorrow’s race, the discard will come into effect. This will tighten up the scores and may shuffle some of the positions.

Two more races are on the schedule so still room to move up and down the board. -- Paul Cayard

Top ten after four races:
1. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, NOR, 14.0
2. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi , ITA, 19.0
3. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih, BRA, 26.0
4. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise , USA, 30.0
5. Xavier Rohart / Sebastien Guidoux, FRA, 35.0
6. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary, IRL, 41.0
7. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube, USA, 42.0
8. Arthur Anosov / David Caesar , USA, 46.0
9. Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 50.0
10. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, USA, 51.0

Full results:

New Race Director for 2018 Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race
Wicklow Sailing Club's Volvo Round Ireland Committee has announced the appointment of Hal Fitzgerald as Race Director following the decision of Theo Phelan to stand down from the role, as reported yesterday.

Fitzgerald is an ex-commodore of Wicklow Sailing Club and has been closely involved with running the race in previous years.

With 16 weeks until the 20th edition on 30th June 2018, entries continue to grow. 27 boats are currently entered for the race. Interest in the race once again extends far beyond Ireland and Great Britain, with entries from across Europe, including Team Jolokia from France aboard Libertalia. See the entry list here.

The largest boat confirmed to date is the Swan 65 Desperado of Cowes entered by Richard Loftus.

Dun Laoghaire's Ronan O’Siochru, will be competing in his fifth Volvo Round Ireland in a row.

Early bird entries closing date is 30th March.

Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series starts on 18 March
Come and join us at the premier early season event. Easy online entry.

Great racing and prizes including 50 trophies - 100 bottles of champagne - valuable goodies from Helly Hansen and Crewsaver.

The Spring Series is on six Sundays: 18 March to 29 April (excluding Easter).

There are 4 IRC classes + J/109, J/88 in Black group. White Group comprises Sportsboats (J/70 - SB20 - J/80 - Mixed). Other one design classes or extracted results are possible on request.

Crewsaver Spring Championship starts on 21 April

The Spring Championship is on the last two weekends of the Spring Series: Saturdays & Sundays 21-22 + 28-29 April. Up to 14 races over the four days.

Black group has 4 IRC classes + J/109, with the Performance 40 class racing within IRC 1. White Group is for J/70 - SB20 - J/80 Mixed Sportsboats -Quarter Ton Class.

Warsash Sailing Club - The first place to race in 2018.

Warsash Sailing Club, Shore House, Shore Road, Warsash SO31 9FS. 01489 583575

Free money? No, but there is FREE coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge
There are many ways to improve your yacht racing: You can practice more, get a better boat and equip it better, with better sails. You can round up more talented crew, maybe even a pro or two. Frequently absent from this list though is coaching: The single feature of a campaign that can consolidate all its parts; the independent set of eyes that can identify where mistakes are being made, plus the advice on how to fast track their correction.

Held over the Bank Holiday weekend (30th March to 1st April), the RORC Easter Challenge is open to all, not just Royal Ocean Racing Club members, and available to all entrants is FREE COACHING.

This comes from several of the most respected coaches including the guru himself, Jim Saltonstall, whose 'ferrets' have included several of Britain's most successful Olympic sailors including Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy, etc. Then there is RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen, a former professional sailor and coach to leading America's Cup teams, notably Team New Zealand. Also back for the umpteenth year is Mason King who aside from his three decades in the Met Police, has for 20 years also been one of the UK's leading Yachtmaster Instructors. Mason is a regular coach for Sailing Logic, which has its First 40, Arthur Logic entered in the RORC Easter Challenge sailed by a crew from J.P. Morgan.

In addition, several top professional sailors and sailmakers from North Sails UK will be on the water to offer the benefit of advice, with of course special focus on sail set-up and trim.

This free coaching is available to all; the RORC's aim simply to help raise the level of UK yacht racing. "This is not something that is just focussed on the sharper end of the fleet - it is focussed on all the fleet regardless of their level," confirms Stone.

However the coaching is optional. To receive it crews competing must register for it with the RORC beforehand, when they can also specify anything they need the coaches to address.

To enter and for more information go to:

Leigh McMillan back at Land Rover BAR
Ahead of the start of this year’s Extreme Sailing Series, Land Rover BAR have secured leading British sailor Leigh McMillan to be part of their 36th America’s Cup campaign.

McMillan will take on a joint role, working as design and sailing team liaison for the critical first development phase of the new AC class, whilst also helming the Land Rover BAR Academy team’s GC32 in the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series alongside the pivotal role of mentoring the Land Rover BAR Academy.

McMillan is a three-time winner of the Extreme Sailing Series making him the competition’s most successful ever helmsman. He will be reprising a role he undertook when the Land Rover BAR Academy first competed in the Extreme Sailing Series at Oman in 2016. The young British team secured third place on that occasion, and will be looking to have a positive start to the season.

The Academy has had another big intake of triallists for 2018, now narrowed down to just 13 ambitious and driven young male and female sailors. Those that make the final cut will become the 2018 intake. They will support the Extreme Sailing Series team to get experience of the professional circuit, and will have the opportunity to sail with the senior team in the PAC52 events that Land Rover BAR will contest, with Tony Langley’s Gladiator sailing team in 2018.

New route for ARC Channel Islands Rally 2018
Following two successful editions ARC Channel Islands, entries are now open for this summer's rally which features a new route for 2018 with Dartmouth as the start port.

Run in association with RYA Active Marina, the Rally is popular with cruising sailors for its unique mix of preparation advice and support from a lead boat, combined with a cruise-in-company and social activities ashore.

The aim of ARC Channel Islands is to give cruisers the impetus and encouragement to extend their cruising horizons, whether as a first offshore voyage; perhaps a first time double-handed cruising; or sailing with young children, or experiencing crossing the Channel at night.

2018 will see the first 'South West Edition' of ARC Channel Islands, starting from Darthaven Marina, Dartmouth with a social programme as well as boat safety checks, passage planning guidance and a Skippers Briefing. The Dartmouth Yacht Club are supporting the new South West edition, which will run in alternate years with the South Central route from Gosport, offering the chance for West Country cruisers to benefit from the rally organisation.

The route of this summer's rally has been modified to suit the course from Dartmouth, with landfall after the Channel crossing at Guernsey replacing Cherbourg. This new route also allows for the inclusion of Jersey to the route, before heading back across the Channel from Alderney.

Rouxel and Curtis join Team Brunel
French offshore sailor Thomas Rouxel and Olympic winning medalist Nina Curtis will join Team Brunel for Leg 7 from Auckland (NZL) to Itajai (BRA). Rouxel returns to the Volvo Ocean Race after competing for Dongfeng Race Team in the previous edition. Curtis makes her debut in the race. Next, to them, boat captain Abby Ehler returns after a well-deserved rest in the last Leg.

Thomas Rouxel is looking forward to going into the Southern Ocean from Auckland to Itajai, all the way around Cape Horn. Rouxel: “I think Team Brunel is a very great and very strong team. I'm very excited to be back in the Volvo Ocean Race. Unfortunately, the result was not the one we hoped for in the last leg but I’m sure we can do a lot better. So I hope that will happen and I can do my part in it.”

For former Olympic sailor Nina Curtis (AUS), a silver Olympic medalist in London 2012, this will be her first Volvo Ocean Race. Curtis: “I’m very excited. Most of my sailing has been done in the Olympic circuit. I’ve done two Olympics campaigns, making it to London where we won the silver medal. Then sailing in the Nacra and the 49erFX in the last four years. While I was match racing, I have done two Sydney to Hobarts and for that lots of ocean racing. Mostly along the East coast of Australia."

"I’ve known Kyle Langford for a while and I have actually sailed with Abby a few times while I was very young. I don’t even know if she remembers that or not.”

Crewlist Team Brunel - Leg 7
Bouwe Bekking - NED - skipper
Andrew Cape - AUS - navigator
Carlo Huisman - NED
Kyle Langford - AUS
Alberto Bolzan - ITA
Thomas Rouxel - FRA
Peter Burling - NZL
Abby Ehler - GBR
Nina Curtis - AUS

Int. 5.5 Metre Class returns to its roots for 70th Anniversary
The Rule of the International 5.5 Metre Class was written in 1948 and the first boat, K-1, The Deb, was designed in 1948 by Charles E. Nicholson. The boat was first sailed in the Solent in 1949.

Seventy years after The Deb was designed, the 5.5 Metre fleet is returning to the same waters where she was launched. The 2018 International 5.5 Metre World Championship in Cowes, UK, will be the highlight of the class's 70th anniversary year.

With enthusiastic fleets and devoted sailors in many countries, the International 5.5 Metre remains one of the most numerous Metre classes, and is still very popular around the world.

The 2018 international circuit begins with the Alpen Cup in Torbole, on Lake Garda and ends with the Herbstpreis on Lake Thun, Switzerland in October, with visits to Glücksburg, Lago di Como, Midland, Canada, Travemünde, Copenhagen and Cannes along the way, in addition to two weeks in Cowes for the famous Scandinavian Gold Cup and 5.5 Cups, followed by the World Championship.

Howth Sailing Life Resumes After Storm Emma
In Howth, sailing life goes on after the destructive shock of Storm Emma on Friday, with its Force 12 onshore east to northeast winds, and the serious damage to the roof of the end-of-pier shed in which the classic gaff-rigged Howth 17s have been stored since their foundation in 1898 writes W M Nixon.

In that first winter of 1898-99, there were just five boats in the Long Shed, but as the long-lived class have now expanded to a fleet of 20, there was only space for seven down the pier, while the rest are wintered elsewhere. But fitting-out together in the Long Shed was in itself one of the ancient and much-loved rituals of the class. Yet whether it will ever be enjoyed again remains to be seen.

However, the spirit of the class and of Howth sailing in general is such that there’s no doubt the fleet will soon be back to full and growing strength afloat, as new boats are being built to the 121-year-old Walter Boyd design.

As for the seven boats damaged in Friday’s mayhem, this morning Class Captain (and HYC Vice Commodore) Ian Byrne quietly confirmed that five of them will be sailing again this year, and of the other two, Rosemary (built 1907) may make it afloat again before the 2018 season is finished, though the worst-damaged boat, Anita of 1900 vintage, will take a little longer.

Industry News
Mast manufacturer Sparcraft Masts South Africa is expanding its facility on the back of strong growth in the country's catamaran export business.

Sparcraft Masts owner Craig Hulbert told IBI the business would also be investing in a new rigging division, a 12m in-house anodising plant, and a large CNC router for faster production times.

Hulbert acquired Sparcraft last year from Southern Spars, merging the aluminium mast production with his own Durban-based firm G-Wind Spars. The amalgamated business, based in Cape Town, is now southern Africa's only mast manufacturer since Southern Spars closed their carbon mast factory in December last year.

Hulbert said he hoped to further consolidate his business in the wake of the current world recovery in yacht sales. “The increased export business of production catamaran builders in South Africa, due to the world recovery in yacht sales in America and Europe, translates into a growing business where more than 80% of our production is exported,” said Hulbert, who closed down his Durban facility to concentrate on the new Cape Town operation.


UK marine electronics distributor SMG has added Navico’s Lowrance brand to its product portfolio. SMG will now distribute all three Navico brands: Lowrance, which is aimed at fishing – particularly in fresh water and near coastal areas; Simrad, which focuses on powerboating – cruising and sportfishing in particular; and B&G, which serves the sailing market.

“We’ve had a lot of success with Navico’s B&G and Simrad brands but our customers have also been asking us for Lowrance, as it has long been a favourite of fisherman in the UK. We’re therefore delighted to add the brand to our 2018 range,” says Ray Badminton, SMG’s managing director.

Established in 1972, SMG is one of the UK and Ireland’s largest value added distributor of marine electronics. The company offers all major brands including Garmin, Raymarine, Simrad, B&G, Lowrance, Furuno and ICOM. SMG also distributes and provides third party channel development for over 50 other brands within the marine, watersport, fishing and outdoor sectors.


The International 49er Class and International Nacra 17 Class are delighted to announce their partnership with renowned sailing apparel manufacturer Magic Marine.

Magic Marine is a favourite of numerous top sailors across the entire spectrum of the sport, and the partnership will see the Magic Marine brand appear at the upcoming European Championship and Junior World Championship venues, on Championship websites, social media, communications and across video distribution channels.

The resumption of the sponsorship, which was initiated in 2013, comes after the 49er Class spent a year away, but reaffirms Magic Marine as a family member of the 49er Class. Additionally, the sponsorship extends to the Nacra 17 class for the first time. Together, these three classes and Magic Marine bring together these spectacular sailboats and wonderful sailing apparel.

As well as promoting its partnership through branding and associations with sailing’s top Olympic athletes, Magic Marine will provide the 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 sailors and our fans with a range of apparel and equipment at discount prices. The sponsorship support includes on-site Championship merchandising and online availability.

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 Alessandro Castelli (Happy Laser sailor since 1982):

The Laser will forever be the most sailed boat in the world for one main reason.

It’s the only sailboat that allows you to sail with no time and money hassle.

The easiest way to go out sailing.

And the easiest way to race (even locally) in crowded fleets.

No matter how little time and money you can dedicate to sailing, you’ll always find a day to quickly rig your Laser, without any maintenance, and go out having fun.

And when you sail it as a Master, the fun is even bigger!

* From Cam Lewis

Laser 4314 - “ROCK” is still going strong and based on Vinalhaven Island, Fox Islands Maine - I have this boat since @1973 - it is Orange

Strong and solid and still has a mahogany daggerboard and rudder

Plus its available for anyone to come and sail in the warm waters of Fox Island Thorofare from May through October

PS: Named after first salt water sail on a Sunday early in the spring out of Padanaram Harbor - my friend Ted Scott provided local knowledge on how to sail in and out of the gut between the USA and the Breakwater - worked perfectly outbound, yet on our return - we met the Rocks full tilt with the dagger board and both got launched in the frigid waters”

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See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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2015 Oyster 825 Maegan. 4,000,000 GBP. Located in Palma.

Maegan is Hull #3 of the incredibly successful 825 built by Oyster in Southampton, UK. Winner of the 2016 International Yacht & Aviation Sailing Yacht Interior Design Award.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly



2005 Oyster 72 Crazy Horse. 1,250,000 EUR Located in Gibraltar

Unique carbon Oyster 72. Designed for fast, comfortable cruising plus occasional racing. Extensive refit in 2015 adding double forecabin, new decks and more. Viewing recommended to understand quality of refit of this intriguing yacht.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly


See the collection at

The Last Word
We all know how stupid the average person is. Now realize that, by definition, fifty percent of the population is dumber than that. -- Ivan Stang

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