In This Issue
Barker and Berntsson Advance to Congressional Cup
Charleston Race Week
Maxi Banque Populaire capsizes off Morocco - now under tow
Star Western Hemisphere Championship
Clipper Race 9 Day 23: Stealth Mode For Final Stretch
Onorato's Mascalzone Latino in Charge at 2018 Melges 32 World League
Double Gold for Brits at Laser 4.7 Youth Europeans
Nice UIltiMed
Kiwi multihull veterans join the GC32 Racing Tour
Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend is Back with New 'Round-the-Sound Race
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Andy Zaltzman

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

Barker and Berntsson Advance to Congressional Cup
Click on image to enlarge.

Long Beach, CA: Dean Barker, USA, dominated the 2018 Ficker Cup, to win this Grade Two World Sailing regatta, and advance to the Congressional Cup, which runs Wednesday April 16 to 22, 2018.

Also qualifying for Congressional Cup is Johnie Berntsson, SWE, who finished second in the three-day regatta, which was founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1980 to honor legendary yachtsman Bill Ficker.

Barker was nearly undefeated in Ficker Cup, logging an impressive 13-1 record in the Round Robins. His only loss was to Dave Hood, USA: a Staff Commodore at LBYC and winner of the recent California Dreamin' stop, who used his local knowledge advantage to call a shift to the right side of the course.

But from that point on, Barker was unstoppable, dispatching Leonard Takahashi, JAP, in the semi-finals 3-0; and crushing Berntsson 3-0 in the finals.

Both Barker, and tactician Terry Hutchinson, are past Congressional Cup winners, (Barker, 2005 and 2009; Hutchinson, 1992) and America's Cup veterans, kingpins in NYYC's American Magic campaign to challenge for the AC in 2021. Other crew members are James Baxter, James Dagg, Sean Clarkson, Greg Gendell, and James Lyne, with Jennifer Tille on logistics.

Final Results:
Dean Barker
Johnie Berntsson
Chris Poole
Leonard Takahashi
Dave Hood
Maxime Mesnil
Peter Holz
Vladimir Lipavski

Charleston Race Week
There was an interesting dynamic taking place on the docks of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina Sunday morning.

Some of the boats competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were getting ready to go racing with sailors pulling on foul weather gear in anticipation of heavy air and rough seas. Meanwhile, a bunch of other boats were in breakdown mode with sailors packing up gear and carrying sails down the dock.

That unique dichotomy was the result of a split decision by event organizers in response to a severe storm that was due to hit Charleston on Sunday afternoon. After carefully reviewing weather reports and consulting with overall principal race officer Hank Stuart, event director Randy Draftz decided to conduct racing for certain classes while cancelling the final day of action for others.

Sperry Charleston Race Week organizers announced in the morning that competition in nine of the 10 one-design classes along with ORC C, which is comprised of smaller sportboats. Meanwhile, Stuart and his team elected to allow the two Pursuit Race classes to complete a condensed course out into the Atlantic Ocean and back. Meanwhile, the three classes on Circle 5 (J/105, ORC A, ORC B) came into Charleston Harbor for a windward-leeward course of approximately nautical miles.

Full results of all classes at

Maxi Banque Populaire capsizes off Morocco - now under tow
Following the capsize of the maxi trimaran Bank Populaire IX on Saturday night off the coast of Morocco, the crew was airlifted off the boat by the Moroccan Navy, and the boat is now under two to Casablanca.

Banque Populaire is an Ultim class trimaran 32 metres long (105ft) with 23 Metres beam (75ft) and a 38metre mast (125ft).

She capsized in 18-20kts of wind and moderate seas off the coast of Casablanca on Saturday night.

Vendee Globe winner, Armel Le Cleac'h, along with crew member, Pierre Emmanuel Herisse and cameraman, was taken off later in the day and arrived by helicopter at Casablanca, where the French Consulate has supported them.

Members of the shore team - two divers and three members of the technical team - arrived at the upturned boat on Sunday aboard. After several hours of operations and recovery of damaged equipment, the tug began the tow of the trimaran toward Casablanca.

Ronan Lucas, the Director of the Team Bank Populaire reports on social media that they have recovered some pieces of the mast which was broken in the incident and were trapped under the boat.

Star Western Hemisphere Championship
The two final races of the 2018 Star Western Hemisphere Championship were held today in 15-18 knots of wind from the southeastz. Jorge Zarif of Brazil was on fire winning both races today. It was very physical and the conditions suited the 25 year old Finn sailor perfectly.

Tutu and I had the second best scores with a 3, 2. Lars Grael had finishes of 2, 4 which was sufficient to protect his lead and win the Championship. At the last mark of the last race, Grael was 8th while we were second. Finishing in these positions would have given Tuto and I the Championship. But Lars and Samuel sailed very fast down the final run to pass 4 boats. I am happy with our performance considering it was our first time sailing together.

Jorge Zarif moved up to third for the series with his great finishes today and Augie Diaz with Bruno Prada crewing finished 4th. Tomas Hornos finished 5th.

The only sailor not from Brazil in the first three teams was myself. Brazil has always been a strong sailing country and they are producing more good young sailors like Tutu and Jorge Zarif.

This was the last event of the winter series here in Miami which started in November. The next Star Championship will be the Eastern Hemisphere Championship in two weeks time in Trieste, Italy. After that we will be racing on the west coast for several regattas including the North American Championship at Marina Del Rey in August. -- Paul Cayard,

Top ten after two races:
1. Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 18.0
2. Paul Cayard / Arthur Lopes , USA, 21.0
3. Jorge Zarif / Guilherme De almeida, BRA, 29.0
4. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA, 37.0
5. Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth, USA, 53.3
6. Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen, USA, 55.0
7. John Dane III / Tim Ray, USA, 60
8. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, USA, 60.0
9. Luca Modena / Marcello Sansone, BRA, 64
10. Jorgen Schonherr / Jan Eli Gravad, DEN, 66

Complete scores can be found at

Clipper Race 9 Day 23: Stealth Mode For Final Stretch
The leading Clipper Race teams have rounded the final waypoint of the 5,600 nautical mile marathon across the North Pacific Ocean, and are now racing directly towards the finish line and Seattle.

Or, that's what they are most likely doing, as both Sanya Serenity Coast and Unicef, who were sitting in second and third place yesterday, have opted to go into Stealth Mode for 48 hours.

For the first time in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, the teams have the option to use two 24-hour periods of Stealth Mode. These can be used either separately or concurrently to give 48 continuous hours of being hidden from both public view and from the view of the other Clipper Race teams. The Clipper Race Office though will remain in constant contact with all boats in Stealth Mode and receive regular position reports.

The back-half of the fleet remains spread out. Visit Seattle, which also successfully repaired its mast track yesterday, allowing the team to fly the main for the first time in three days, is trying to stay clear of the incoming high.

The latest Estimated Arrival Times into Seattle can also be found on the Clipper Race Website. The fleet was originally expected to finish the 5,600nm Race 9: The Race to the Emerald City from Qingdao to Seattle and arrive into Bell Harbor Marina between Saturday 14 and Thursday 19 of April, but conditions in the early part of the race means the boats are now expected between Thursday 19 and Saturday 21 April.

Onorato's Mascalzone Latino in Charge at 2018 Melges 32 World League
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Forio d'Ischia, Italy: Day Two in Forio d'Ischia, Italy delivered three races, officially ushering in the 2018 Melges 32 World League, European Division racing season. In true, competitive Melges 32 style, the points across the top tier of teams at the end of the day is tight, setting up for what will be a very exciting and intense finale on Sunday.

To no surprise, Vincenzo Onorato's MASCALZONE LATINO with Paul Goodison on tactics creamed the competition, taking home two out of three available daily bullets, giving him the overall event lead. Matteo Balestrero's GIOGI (Branko Brcin, tactician) and Germany's Fritz Homann at the helm of WILMA (Nico Celon, tactician) trail in second and third respectively.

After the absence of wind on Day One, the breeze arrived for Day Two - "nice, windy and shifty" is how Homann best described the day.

Giangiacomo Serena Di Lapigio (Michele Ivaldi, tactician) and his team aboard G.SPOT acquired the first bullet of the event. In the breezy conditions and choppy sea state, Serena di Lapigio rallied to held off the likes of Balestrero finishing up in second place, and a hard-charging Homann to take third.

But it was Onorato that made it a spectacular first day by collecting the win in Races Two and Three.

Top Five Results (Preliminary - After Three Races)
1. Mascalzone Latino - Vincenzo Onorato / Paul Goodison, ITA, 8-1-1- = 10
2. Giogi - Matteo Balestrero / Branko Brcin, ITA, 2-7-2 = 11
3. Wilma - Fritz Homann / Nico Celon, GER, 3-5-5 = 13
4. La Pericolosa - Christian Schwoerer / Sebastian Col, GER, 5-2-7 = 14
5. G.Spot - Giangiacomo Serena Di Lapigio / Michele Ivaldi, MON, 1-11-3 = 15

Full Results

Double Gold for Brits at Laser 4.7 Youth Europeans
The Laser 4.7 Youth European Championship in Greece finished with Giorgia Cingolani of Italy winning the Gilrs and Cesare Barabino of Italy the Boys title.

But British competitors took Gold in both the U16 championships.

Flo Nicholls (9th overall) of Britain took Gold in the Girls U16 championship, with Abby Childerley (10th overall) GBR second and Brooke wilson of Australia third.

In the Boys U16 championship, Finley Dickinson (9th overall) of Britain took Gold, with second Yoav Kfir ISR and third Jordi Llado Duran ESP third.

In the Girls championship, Cingolani took the title ahead of Eline Verstraelen BEL with Ursula Balas CRO taking the bronze.

In the Boys championship, Barabino took the title ahead of Emilios Monos and Dikaios Kerkoulas, both of Greece.

Full results:

Nice UIltiMed
From 28 April to 6 May, the City of Nice will host the Nice UltiMed, the first race of its kind to gather together at the heart of the Mediterranean some of the biggest Offshore Racing boats in the world, the Ultime trimarans. Designed to circumnavigate the globe, they are piloted by the best skippers of our time (Armel Le Cleac'h, Thomas Coville, Yves Le Blevec and Françis Joyon). It is an unprecedented event in a fabulous setting for these giants who have never before come together at the heart of the big blue, designed and devised to share the extraordinary with a Mediterranean audience. Discovering these monsters of the seas with family or friends is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Race start on Wednesday 2 May at 1:02pm
Head over to the Rauba Capeù promontory, between the Promenade des Anglais and the Port, on Wednesday 2 May, for a spectacular and memorable lunch break! At 13:02pm, the maxi-trimarans will cross the start line set between the luxury ocean liner, The World, and a totem pole rigged up at the end of the promontory. Very close to shore, the giants of the seas will put on a unique show under the public gaze, with live coverage through several TV teams (La Chaine l'Equipe, TF1, LCI, France TV, CNews, Infosport + …) out on the water and in the air.

Throughout the day, the public will be able to get up close and personal with these exceptional boats, meet the teams and learn how they work thanks to educational panels, commentary over speakers and interviews with the skippers and their team.

On Sunday 29 April, the maxi-multihulls will make their final adjustments during the Exhibition run spanning 100 nautical miles (around 160km) along the coast of the Sud-Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Head over to the Port at 09:00am to greet the skippers and their crews before the 11:00am start, which can be viewed from the Promenade des Anglais.

From 1 to 5 May, a Nautical Arena will be set up just metres from the Promenade des Anglais under the public gaze. Races will enjoy live commentary: dinghy sailing competition with Jean-Pierre Dick's "Easy to Fly", the "One Fly" and a variety of Olympic series. This genuine festival of sailing in the Mediterranean will include the participation of youngsters from the clubs around Nice and the PACA Sailing League.

The Race finish line for the giant trimarans will be identical to the start line, hugging the shore. See you at Rauba Capeù to celebrate the winner of the Nice UltiMed, whose arrival on the finish line is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday 5 May.

Finally, on Sunday 6 May, over one hundred and fifty craft are invited to celebrate the Ultimes during the Nautical Parade.

Kiwi multihull veterans join the GC32 Racing Tour
Despite the long commute, a second owner-driver team from 'down under' will be joining the GC32 Racing Tour when it gets underway at the end of May on Lake Garda, Italy.

New Zealander Simon Hull and his Frank Racing are no strangers to high performance multihulls, nor even the GC32 flying catamaran.

For the last nine years they have been enthusiastically campaigning what was originally a top French ORMA 60 trimaran - Michel Desjoyeaux' Route du Rhum and The Transat winner, Geant. Since acquiring his three float flier, the Hull trophy cabinet expended rapidly, as he snapped up repeated line honours in events such as New Zealand's Coastal Classic, set records in races to Fiji and Noumea and even competed in Australia's 'glamour' regattas at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

For Hull and Frank Racing, the GC32 Racing Tour starts strongly with the first ever GC32 World Championship over 23-27th May. With a fleet size in the mid-teens, the biggest ever gathering of the one design foiling catamarans, Hull admits he is uneasy about the challenge: "The Worlds will be fairly daunting given the number of foilers and the reaching starts..."

Hull is also joining the GC32 Racing Tour as it will allow him to compete on some bucket-list sailing venues. The World Championship for example is being held in renowned Italian sailing mecca, Lake Garda. "It sounds like a wonderful venue with lots of wind and flat water - it is going to be fun," he says.

Given that New Zealand won the America's Cup last year in foiling catamarans, there is no shortage of talented crew to join Frank Racing. One is his son Harry who trims, plus Guy Endean, Stu Dodson and Josh Salthouse, all by coincidence from New Zealand's most famous sailing dynasties.

Dodson will not be with them at the Worlds as he is already competing aboard Oman Air. He is being replaced by Kiwi match racing skipper, Will Tiller.

Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend is Back with New 'Round-the-Sound Race
Edgartown, Mass, USA: Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend, a Martha's Vineyard tradition anchored by its 'Round-the-Island Race ('RTI) of eight decades, is adding a new 'Round-the-Sound Race ('RTS) option for teams wanting to sail a shorter course of approximately 20 miles around government marks on Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds. The 'RTS adds yet another dimension to Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend and is an attractive alternative for those wanting to go a bit easier on Saturday or just even try short-distance racing for the first time.

The 'RTS will start at 0900 on Saturday, July 21, soon after the final start for all classes entered in the 56 nm 'RTI, which never ceases to challenge even the best of sailors while simultaneously wowing them with "The Vineyard's" scenic splendor.

The Saturday of short-distance racing follows two days of popular 'Round-the-Buoy Races ('RTB) in Edgartown's Outer Harbor. The 'RTB Races were added several years ago to add diversity to its format and extend the fun of Race Weekend on its front end.

Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend traditionally attracts entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, delivering superb racing action for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), Double-Handed, and Classic yachts. Professional teams as well as amateurs enter, and the mix is what keeps the atmosphere upbeat and adventurous. or contact

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The Last Word
To all the revolutionaries fighting to throw off the yoke of tyranny around the world: look at British democracy. Is that what you want? -- Andy Zaltzman

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see