In This Issue
Star Western Hemisphere Championship
Fleet of 246 boats makes final preparations on eve of Sperry Charleston Race Week
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Storm Damage at Dublin Bay Sailing Club
Zennstrom's new FAST+40
Life Post-Opti?
Scotland To Host Blind Match Racing World Championship
Industry News
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: J. R. "Bob" Dobbs

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

Star Western Hemisphere Championship
The final series of the Star winter racing is happening on Biscayne Bay, today through Sunday. Two races per day are scheduled to award the Spring Silver Star in the USA. 37 teams from 7 countries are competing.

With the sun shining, the water temperature at 78F, the wind from the east at 10-14 knots, the sailing conditions were excellent as usual on Biscayne Bay. The Brazilian’s came out strong with Lars Grael and Jorge Zarif finishing in the top three in both races and taking a commanding lead in the series after day 1. There were several individual recalls in both starts and the wind was shifty as it came over Key Biscayne. So there was plenty of mixing. If you got out of phase with the shifts you could lose a lot of distance in a hurry.

I am sailing this regatta with Arturo Lopez of Brasil. This is our first time sailing together so we have some room to improve on our boat handling and communications. We managed a 9, 3 and are in 4th place. Many of the top teams had one good race and one in the teens. It is a long series at 8 races and after 5 races, each team will discard their worst score. The “discard” keeps the teams very close in score and usually means that the regatta will be won in the last race, which is good.

Friday’s forecast is for winds in the 10 knot range from east southeast. -- Paul Cayard,

Top ten after two races:
1. Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 3.0
2. Jorge Zarif / Guilherme De almeida, BRA, 4.0
3. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, USA, 11.0
4. Paul Cayard / Arthur Lopes , USA, 12.0
5. Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen, USA, 17.0
6. Andy Macdonald / Brad Nichol, USA, 17.0
7. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA, 18.0
8. Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth, USA, 18.0
9. Marcelo Bellotti / Mauricio Bueno, BRA, 19.0
10. Brian Cramer / Cam Lymburner, CAN, 22.0

Complete scores can be found at

Fleet of 246 boats makes final preparations on eve of Sperry Charleston Race Week
Competitors in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were hurriedly carrying equipment, sail bags and other gear down to the docks while the various vendors were busily setting up shop.

Event director Randy Draftz and other organizers with Charleston Ocean Racing Association were huddled in a conference room going over last-minute details while volunteers were working furiously to install the infrastructure that transforms the beach area into a thriving party venue.

By mid-afternoon, a large contingent of boats was out on the water testing sails and tuning rigs. Most of the J/70 and Melges 24 fleets conducted a series of practice races mid Charleston Harbor. A significant number of VX One and Flying Tiger 7.5 entries filled the racing area in the Cooper River located closer to the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

Thursday was all about final preparations and practice in advance of Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018. It will be go time on Friday as 246 boats in 16 classes take to the waters off this historic coastal city during the 23rd edition of this renowned regatta.

Quantum Sails professional Ed Baird conducted the first of many weather briefings in the tent area on Thursday morning and declared the forecast quite promising. Baird said competitors can expect a healthy sea breeze from the southeast on Friday and Saturday.

“Right now it looks like we’re going to have some great racing,” Baird said. “For two days at least, the sea breeze should be really solid and fairly steady.”

Baird said Sunday could be a bit dicey as current forecasts call for a front to move through Charleston. However, there is optimism the conditions will improve in time to complete the three-day regatta in the afternoon.

Seahorse April 2018
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

It's not just business
The man in ultimate charge of Dongfeng's Chinese-backed Volvo Race programme Guillaume Semblat explains the limitations of the purely commercial model to Tom Mullen

Rod Davis - Just the three
When you finally get right down to it, it really is that simple

ORC - A new experience (for all)
And a time to learn... as the ORC and IRC fleets compete together at long last at the Hague

Tech Street: Spot the join?

Tech Street: Hybrid agility

Sailor of the Month
You don't have to be a spring chicken, you know!

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Storm Damage at Dublin Bay Sailing Club
Dun Laoghaire Harbour did not emerge unscathed from the winter storms and neither did the Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) starting hut on the back of the town's West Pier.

The concrete walled plinth which has been supporting the West Pier Hut since DBSC moved to that location in 1968, was demolished during the first week-end of March and totally swept into the sea by the force of the great storm and blizzard. Not one solitary concrete block was left behind. DBSC are enormously glad they didn’t leave the Hut on station last winter, as they have occasionally had to do in the past for financial reasons.

DBSC's first Tuesday race is a bare fortnight away, on the 24th April, and the first Thursday race on the 26th and the first Saturday race on the 28th April so the race is on to get the hut back in situ as soon as possible.

The club is one of the largest yacht racing club's in Europe catering for over 320 boats in 22 different classes every week from April to September.

Zennstrom's new FAST+40
Click on image to enlarge.

Niklas Zennstrom FAST40+ Rán is due to be splashed this week, and to celebrate the boat builder, Jason Carrington, threw a Shed Party at Carrington Yachts in Hythe, near Southampton, UK.

From the drawing board of Carkeek Design Partners, Rán will go for its first test sail this week. A new carbon mold was CNC milled by Persico in Milan, and shipped to Carrington Yachts. Jason Carrington is world-renowned both as a professional yachtsman and as a race yacht builder.

With an all carbon fibre construction, Rán has a very minimalistic layout with halyard locks to reduce the size and number of jammers and winches. There are no jib-cars, control lines adjust the position of the headsail clew and the spinnaker drop system below deck is state of the art. The single grinder pedestal and trimming positions are aft to keep crew weight to the back of the boat. The helm position, via a tiller extension, is behind the main sheet trimmer, and forward of the tactician. Rán features side-deck hiking benches and forward of the rig, the flush deck eases sail changes and manoeuvres. Rán also features a lightweight and environmentally friendly electric engine.

The FAST40+ Class returns to the Solent this April with a Training Regatta 21-22 April, and Round 1 of the six series circuit taking place 27-29 April. A dozen teams are expected to be competing in thrilling short sharp multiple races each day. -- Louay Habib/FAST40+ Class

Life Post-Opti?
Four-time America’s Cup winner and professional boat builder Matthew Mason has designed a bow extension and more performance sail to be used on a traditional Optimist, something he calls the O-Pro.

The bow extension clips onto the front of an Optimist, extending the hull length by 450mm, and the new sail is also 1.2m² bigger than a standard Opti sail.

Mason recently presented the O-Pro concept at World Sailing’s annual meeting and has fielded calls from a number of European countries as well as from India and the Cook Islands.

It might be in less well-off countries where the O-Pro has the most potential. The hull extension vastly improves the performance of the boat in a cost-effective way and also extends the life of the yacht.

Graduating to the next classes can be expensive, which can see a dropoff from the sport.

“Stats show that, on average, about 200 kids participate in our Optimist nationals every year but only about 20 percent of those continue sailing, so it’s not a great retention story,” Mason told Boating New Zealand. “Something’s wrong.

“I think there are two main issues: loneliness and cost. Sitting alone in a boat for hours on end isn’t much fun for a kid. Many want to participate in an activity they can do with their friends. The Opti’s a one-man boat so it can be quite solitary. This modification not only allows bigger, heavier kids to continue sailing as they grow, but it’s also perfect for two-up sailing.

“Secondly, for kids who become serious about competitive sailing, the step up to the next class of dinghy is prohibitive - anything from $5000-$10,000. That’s a lot of money for many families. I believe the O-Pro fills the gap. The modification kit is a relatively inexpensive outlay - around $1500 - and immediately offers bored sailors a more dynamic, performance-orientated boat. It’s an affordable solution.”

From the New Zealand Herald

Note: LONG video.. the portion about the OPro starts 7:18:51

Scotland To Host Blind Match Racing World Championship
Scotland’s oldest sailing club has been unveiled as the host venue for the Blind Match Racing World Championship.

World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, has chosen the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club to host the Blind Match Racing World Championship from 1 - 7 September 2018. It is expected that the world’s top visually-impaired sailors will travel to the Helensburgh-based sailing club to compete.

2018 will mark the first time the Blind Match Racing World Championship has been held in Great Britain.

“I was thrilled to win Gold at the Blind Sailing World Championships in Sheboygan in 2017 as part of the Great Britain team and prove that with the right support anything is possible.

"It will be really cool to compete at a World Championship in home waters where I learnt to sail. Now that Scotland has been confirmed as the host nation for the 2018 Worlds I hope that it will encourage other Scots, who may not think of sailing as a sport they can take part in, to give it a go.”

The Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club is Scotland’s oldest sailing club. Founded in 1824 the Club is headquartered in Rhu, Helensburgh and has a fleet of nine one-design Sonar keelboats which are ideal for match racing. Since 2015 RNCYC has hosted the Scottish Keelboat Academy, helping to develop the skills of young sailors to successfully transition from dinghy to yacht racing.

Industry News
Italian superyacht-builder Privilege Yard, whose founder Mario La Via was arrested in 2016 as part of an investigation into the brand’s bankruptcy a year earlier, is set for the history files as its 12ha shipyard in Civitavecchia, Italy is now up for auction.

Located within the port of Civitavecchia on land originally granted by the local port authority, the site may appeal to other yacht-builders as it is very close to waterside access. The yard is being sold by the Court of Civitavecchia as a bankruptcy asset.

A value of €9.4m has been placed on the site, which includes 11 modern buildings and a large open area. The Court has indicated that it will be open to evaluating bids no lower than €7.52m. Bids have to be submitted by 18.00hrs on April 19, 2018. Received sealed bids will be opened on April 20 at 16.00hrs.

The yard has no direct access to the dockside, but Privilege did not see this as a problem despite there being a road and railway line to cross before reaching the dockside.

Privilege Yard had a short but fluctuating performance which involved labour issues, financing difficulties and planning challenges. The uncompleted Privilege One remains at the yard and the Court has stated that there are conditions related to this, which run for six months and a possible further six months.

At one point, IBI was told that the 127m (417ft) Privilege One was as good as sold and that the buyer wanted to purchase a larger 150m (493ft) superyacht. The yard claimed it could build superyachts up to 210m (689.5ft).

Full details of the yard facility are available at

IBI would like to clarify that Privilege Yard SpA is in no way related to French catamaran builder Privilege Marine, which is now owned by Germany’s Hanse Group.


YATCO has completed a major round of funding to accelerate its global expansion. The Fort Lauderdale-based company bills itself as the “Official MLS of Yachting.”

"The increased capitalization to YATCO will allow us to better reach the worldwide consumer marketplace as well as accelerate the introduction of our all new BOSS platform,” said Steven J. Myers, founder and CEO, in a statement. Myers said the new platform would “revolutionize” the yachts for sale and charter marketing business by integrating all software into a “single back office solution.”

In the last two years, Myers says that it has increased its development and marketing team to 17 professionals in Florida and Europe. The company also plans for further expansion of personnel in California, Annapolis, London, and the South of France by the end of 2018. “For the past 18 years YATCO and our preceding company Yachtcouncil have done an amazing job of serving the world’s leading professional luxury yacht brokers,” said Helen Ryan, director of marketing. "With this new phase of our growth we are now excited to aggressively expand our reach to both the online yachting and boating markets worldwide.”

Ryan said that the company will have an additional website for consumers as well as partnerships.


Marinestore has expanded to Essex Marina. The new chandlery store adds to the group’s existing outlets in Burnham on Crouch, Maldon and West Mersea.

Essex Marina is located on the River Crouch, next to Wallasea Island. With deep water berths located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is a popular location. Berth holders and visitors alike can rest assured that their chandlery needs will be well served with the huge range of products which Marinestore lists.

From well known brands such as Barton, Marlow and West Systems, to carefully sourced unique product lines such as Debond Sikaflex Remover and everything in between, Marinestore is a one stop chandlery shop. Friendly, knowledgable staff add the final touch in making shopping trips a pleasurable and productive experience.

Eleanor Callus MD for Marinestore said,

“Marinestore has been selling chandlery in Essex since 1992, so the opportunity to take over the store in Essex Marina and expand our presence was a very easy decision. We look forward to working alongside the team at Essex Marina and into the future, providing a comprehensive range of chandlery on site for every need.”


A new superyacht hub centre is under development in the Japanese port of Yokohama for completion in 2019. The facility will offer 900m (2,950ft) of berthing space with a depth of at least 13m (43ft) alongside, so will be able to accommodate the largest superyachts.

News of the project emerged at the Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference being held in Singapore ahead of the Singapore Yacht Show.

Nigel Beatty, the owner and founder of Superyacht Logistics, told IBI: “We are helping with the planning and development of this facility. On one side of the pier there will be 450m (1,478ft) of quay and on the other side a split of 200m (656ft) and 250m (820ft). Yachts can be berthed stern-on or alongside.

Featured Brokerage
2011 Comar 100 RS - SHADOW. 4,250,000 EUR. Located in Cyprus.

Epic sailing yacht with metallic livery and totally sparkling sailing. Below decks she is light, airy and comfortable for her guests and crew.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222


2008 Oyster 655 Larette. 1,350,000 GBP. Located in France.

Larette is a luxurious modern sloop with contemporary design. She offers great volume for a 65 foot yacht whilst offering outstanding performance due to her carbon mast and boom, combined with performance sails.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly



2011 TP52 - SPIRIT OF MALOUEN VIII. 600000 EUR. Located in Lorient, France.

Super Series Specification TP52. Fully kitted out and ready to play. Has IRC sail configuration as well as class. Designed by Judel/Vrolijk in 2011. Formerly RAN racing and hugely successful in the TP class. Built by Green Marine to exacting standards and in excellent condition.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222

See the collection at

The Last Word
Do What Keepeth Thou from Wilting Shall Be the Loophole of The Law. -- J. R. "Bob" Dobbs

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