In This Issue
World Match Racing Tour Switches Format For 2018 Season
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Questioning Future of Match Racing
New Team and Sponsor for the Atlantic Cup
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Frida Kahlo

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

World Match Racing Tour Switches Format For 2018 Season
The World Match Racing Tour will move to a shorter format for the 2018 season with just 12 teams invited to each event. The fleet racing spectacle, with six M32 catamarans fighting it out on the same racecourse, will remain in place as the Qualifying stage at each regatta and will seed teams for the match racing knockouts. Match racing will commence directly after Qualifying with a Repechage knockout stage for the bottom 8 from which the winners in each match join the top 4 from Qualifying in the Quarter Finals. Semi Final and Final stages will follow and a champion will be crowned.

As with the past two seasons, points will accumulate over the year at both Championship level events and World Tour level qualifiers, as we countdown to the 2018 Match Racing World Championship. Invitations to the final event will be given to the top 12 teams on the WMRT Leaderboard following the penultimate Championship level event on this year's Tour. Points are accumulated from both Championship level and World Tour level qualifier events with one discard given for a team's lowest score.

A shorter format with less teams means higher quality match racing over an intense period. Of the 12 invites available, six will go to Tour Card holders leaving four qualifying spaces and two wild cards at each event. This means that only the top match racing talent will make the cut to gain entry and help to keep the Word Match Racing Tour at the peak of match race sailing. Fewer days of competition means a tougher road to the final for most teams. The Super 16 Stage rarely produced a shock victory and was often treated as a practice session by the top teams. Exchanging the Super 16 stage for a Repechage stage will give the lower ranked teams more match practice before facing the top seeded teams and gives more sailing time to those who would have been eliminated in the Sail Off stage under the previous format.

WMRT Match Cup Sweden - Marstrand, July 4th-8th
WMRT Match Cup Norway - July 26th-29th
WMRT Match Racing World Championship - Shenzhen, China, November 8th-12th

In the build up to the Match Racing World Championship, the World Match Racing Tour is currently in discussions with multiple venues to add a fourth and fifth event to the 2018 season. It is with regret that at this moment we are only able to give full details of the first two events plus the World Championship. We felt the importance of announcing these events as soon as possible to allow sailors to plan their 2018 schedule to include the World Match Racing Tour and to ensure we keep the strongest match racing talent as part of the Tour. The 2018 World Match Racing Tour is taking shape and the management team is confident of securing deals with more venues in the second half of the season in the build up to our World Championship at the end of the season.

More details of qualifying events and the Tour Card Holder lineup for this season will be announced in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, to express interest in entry to any World Tour level qualifying event in you region please contact Details of the six World Match Racing Tour Tour Card Holders will be announced in the following days.

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

Design - Clever stuff going on
Everyone's foiling... well, not at all actually. But virtually everyone who is foiling today is relying on the same basic mechanics - which Phil Smith and John Ilett argue are now well past their use-by date

The lady doth protest too much, a different kind of Cup 'challenge', painful lessons to learn and how to keep your chin up in Miami. Plus 'those' scows. Blue Robinson, Jack Griffin, Charlie Enright, Malcolm Page, Carol Cronin, Terry Hutchinson

RORC news
For some it was simply too much of a good thing Eddie Warden-Owen

Seahorse build table - At it again
Jo Richards and Guy Whitehouse can be relied upon to think up 'interesting' solutions

Sailor of the Month
Love sailing, love racing, it's all the same really

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

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65

1yr Digital Sub for £30:

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

Questioning Future of Match Racing
Launched in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour has been the leading international professional match racing series, with a storied history marked by the list of hall of famers that have plied its waters.

The Tour got heightened status in 2006 when a partnership with ISAF (now World Sailing) granted the Tour 'Special Event' status to award the Match Racing World Championship Trophy. Not only was there now money on the line but also a prestigious title.

But after years of shrinking paydays and credibility questions, there appeared to be hope when Aston Harald AB acquired the World Match Racing Tour in 2015 with an inspired businessman eager to improve the landscape for professional sailors...

... Looking toward the 2018 Tour, I had repeatedly inquired about the schedule, with the announcement finally revealing on April 19 that an abbreviated season with fewer teams is the blueprint. No mention of prize money. Plans soon to be revealed on how to qualify. Promises of additional events.

The question now is, not so much about the future of the Tour, which appears troubled, but rather the future of the Match Racing World Championship title. With nearly all match racing in the world done in monohulls, including now the America's Cup, shouldn't World Sailing reconnect this prized asset to the sport it represents?

Craig Leweck's full editorial at

New Team and Sponsor for the Atlantic Cup
We are very excited to announce that the Atlantic Cup has partnered with Telecommunications Multinational Angola Cables! The finish line from Leg 1: Charleston - NYC will be the Angola Cables Finish Line and the start line for Leg 2: NYC - Portland will be the Angola Cables Start Line.

In addition, Angola Cables will be represented on the water through their continued sponsorship of the Angolan flagged Class40 #107Mussulo40 Team Angola Cables.

Competing in the Atlantic Cup for the very first time Brazilian Skipper Leonardo Chicourel and his Angolan co-skipper Jose Guilherme Caldas join the fleet having recently raced in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Backed by Angolan telecoms company Angola Cables this international team has sailed thousands of miles together on a fast boat. #107 is the sister ship both of #118 Oakcliff and #102 Privateer providing us with a race inside a race.

2018 Dates and Course

May 24th - Kids Day
May 24th - Skippers Party
May 26th - Leg 1 Start

May 31st - Kids Day
June 1st - NYC Pro-Am
June 2nd - Leg 2 Start

June 7th - Kids Day
June 9th & 10th - Inshore Racing and Race Village
June 10th - Awards Presentation

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race
The best thing about this year's Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race just may be that there will be little change in how the event's 94th edition, scheduled for July 14, unfolds. The world's longest consecutively run fresh water race, organized by Bayview Yacht Club, has a devoted title sponsor in Bell's Brewery and is as good as it gets when it comes to annually delivering exciting racing as well as colorful fun both before its start on lower Lake Huron and after its finish at Mackinac Island.

With a registration deadline of June 1, 134 boats have signed up, thus far, for the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which alternates its schedule with the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (July 21). The events are only a week apart, and Shoemaker is targeting a fleet numbering in the low 200s, which would keep the race at its averages for the last five years. (In 2016, the last time the race preceded the Chicago Mac, 219 teams entered.)

Last year ORR-EZ replaced PHRF for the smaller boats sailing in Racing classes on the Shore Course of 204 nm, while ORR was maintained for the larger boats sailing in Racing classes on the longer Cove Island Course of 259 nm. That will happen again in 2018, with both courses also hosting Doublehanded, Cruising and One-Design classes. The Cove Island Course will provide for a Multihull class as well. So far, the Racing class on the Cove Island Course is showing to be the largest, with 49 teams registered. In the Racing class for the Shore Course, 18 are entered.

One-Design classes are looking strong again with 10 J/120s, five J/35s and eight Beneteau First 36.7s among the registrants for the Cove Island Division, while six C&C 35 MKIs and four Santana 35s have signed up for the Shore Course division. (A minimum of 10 boats is required to constitute a class, and there has been interest shown by the Tartan 10 class.)

Twenty-three cruising boats have signed up for the Shore Course, while four are showing for the Cove Island Course racing. These are classes, along with the Double-handed, that Shoemaker sees strengthening over the coming years.

For more information go to or contact Race Chairman Gary Shoemaker at

With the first hull of the new Donovan One Design 26 well under way at the builder and more to follow, we look forward to bringing the fun of sailing this boat to discerning sailors.

A brilliant performance by Mike Beasley and his crew on his highly successful Donovan 26 Rattle-n-Rum saw them repeat the previous year's feat of being crowned overall winner of the handicap classes at Sperry Charleston Race Week. Sailing in ORC Class C they ran up an enviable scoreline and proved that the Donovan 26 is truly a race winner while remaining a simple to sail, well behaved and highly controllable, fun boat to sail.

The new Donovan One Design 26 is essentially the same boat, sharing hull, keel, rudder, mast but with extended sprit, increased sail area and other enhancements to improve all round performance and add to the fun of sailing it.

For further information about this opportunity and the Donovan 26 One Design 26, please contact Stagg Yachts at +1 410-268-1001 or visit


This spring the Ocean Explorer OE60 will be available to view at two international boat shows. The luxury high-performance, offshore cruising catamaran is designed by Germán Frers and built from a legacy of yacht builders in the Jakobstad/Pietarsaari region in Finland.

To get your VIP pass to either event or for more details on the OE60, please contact: Greg Tawaststjerna on email or call +1 540 687 0700.


Ben Rogerson Yacht Design (BRYD) have launched plans for their new BR31, an ultra-modern carbon racer, as a highly competitive option for the HP30 Class which has been set up on similar lines to the Fast 40+ Class.

The BR31 is aimed at ambitious racing sailors seeking fast, competitive and exciting racing at a fraction of the cost of running a 40 footer, yet offering similar features and feel. Designed for a maximum crew of seven, the boat will appeal to sailors wanting to step up from smaller sports boats, or those who want a smaller and exciting alternative within IRC & ORC racing.

BR31 Boat specification:
Loa: 9.55
Boa: 3.1
Draft: 2.4
Displacement 1900kg
IRC Tcc: 1.14

For more information please contact:
Liz Rushall, Rushall Marketing, 07718 317601,
Ben Rogerson, BRYD, 07723 025140,


TeamGaebler's SpeedFoiler project continues to gain momentum. The team - headed by the multiple sailing world champions Roland and Nahid Gabler - announced additional partners and suppliers for the construction of the high-speed catamaran and the planned global Foiling World Cup racing series. As recently as the beginning of June, the global specialty chemicals company Evonik, based in Essen (Germany), came on board as a partner in the development of the prototype.

A new official supplier is SAERTEX (, which will provide, among others, the carbon for the SpeedFoiler prototype. SAERTEX, which is headquartered in Saerbeck (Germany), is the world market leader in the production of multiaxial non-crimp fabrics and core materials for the production of fiber composites.


Hoek Design has announced the release of their new 49ft Pilot Cutter.

The yacht combines the classic styling of Hoek Design, with the benefits of a performance cruising yacht. Constructed with some of the world's most advanced production methods and materials, this yacht will be built in semi-production, but allow a level of customisation and owner involvement to ensure every yacht is unique.

The yachts will be built at McConaghy's facilities near Hong Kong, the same facilities that build many of the world's leading race yachts.

Hoek Design hallmarks are evident including attractive sheer, an open bulwark, a counter stern and low profile superstructure. Hoek Design has optimised the hull for fast cruising with a modern keel fin and bulb.

In addition, the boat will feature optimised foils to bring an extra element of performance. The yacht will be outfitted with a carbon rig and a sailplan with selftacking jibs for ease of handling. The interior is classic styling with modern equipment and outfitting.

All joinery is built and finished to McConaghy's high-quality standards. The interior is constructed using a mix of painted surfaces with timber laminate and soft fabric liners, and can be tailored to the client's requirements.

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:

re: World Sailing Offshore World Championship

I was intrigued to read about the proposed 'World Sailing Offshore World Championship'. The 'bidder document' is an optimistic punt. It is certainly not a 'commercial opportunity' that jumps off the page. World Sailing appears to think its ok to tap into our sport's legion of volunteers to make a buck. And that is just the event management; the matter of supplying the boats is still to come.

In the context of offshore racing around the World - a well-developed participation sport with a well-established hierarchy of achievement and prestige, the whole thing is unnecessary. Should the event occur, the new 'Offshore World Champions' will be a long way down the pecking order of offshore racing greats.

The history of world championships in this sector has been mixed to say the least. The 'Champagne Mumm World Cup' for Offshore sailing (and a fine drop it is too) was launched in 1992. The event was nation-based and networked the existing circuit with a rotating regional locus. Malcolm McKeag organised it. I remember it well because we were able to hijack the huge 'World Cup' trophy through a systemic error in the performance-based ranking system. We all had a good laugh and got fabulously drunk. Let's hope the handful of crews sailing one-designs at the World Sailing event can at least achieve that.

* From Alistair Skinner:

Paul Henderson's words have certainly stuck a chord. Probably because of a huge helping of common sense followed up by today's letters. My concern is that ours is an expensive sport to host as a one off. For example the Qingdao Marina in 2008 cost a reputed USD421m. That is USD1m per competitor and I am sure the like of Coca Cola and other sponsors got a much better return from other sports. Not only should be our sport be careful regarding the selection of classes it should also be mindful that our governing body is very biased towards what is effective just one client, the IOC. I would suggest that If the IOC bean counters at this 'client' decide the cost outweighs the return World Sailing would not only be powerless to prevent our sports removal but somewhat short of cash. Surely it would be wise to undertake a study of alternative means of funding our sport before we absolutely have to?

* From Ben Nichols

Never have a truer set of words been said about the best sport in the world than by Paul Henderson this week. Wake up decision makers or you'll be known forever as the people that killed our sport...

The Olympic Classes need to be affordable, worldwide and representative of the sport of sailing:

Singlehanded Light Laser
Singlehanded Heavy Finn
Double-handed Light 470
Double-handed Heavy Star
Skiff 49er

Singlehanded Light Laser 4.7
Singlehanded Heavy Laser Radial
Double-handed Light 470
Double-handed Heavy Elliott/J70
Skiff FX

Windsurfing should merge with the Surfing World and set up a whole new Body. Follow the highly successful Pro-circuits:

Kite-surfing: Slalom & Freestyle
Surfing: Freestyle
Windsurfing: Slalom & Waves/Freestyle.

Featured Brokerage
2008 Oyster 655 Rocas. 1,250,000 GBP. Located in the UK.

Powerfully rigged with fully battened mainsail, black carbon mast and V-boom. Superb teak interior joinery with ivory leather upholstery give a luxurious feel, she sleeps nine in four cabins.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly



2011 Reichel Pugh 42. 389000 EUR. Located in New Zealand.

A custom built machine with a real focus on Offshore sailing.. Very high-tech specification throughout, in particular her lifting propeller system and deflector controlled running backstay systems. She is a serious contender whether it be IRC/ORC/PHRF..... she covers them all well.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble


K36 - Samurai. Located in Japan.

The K36-SAMURAI is an all carbon light-weight high performance boat suitable for both inshore around-the-buoys and offshore long distance races. ACT, SDK structures and Pauger carbon have teamed up. 5 boats has been sold.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

+81 (0) 46 884 4141
+81 (0) 46 884 4142

See the collection at

The Last Word
There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst. -- Frida Kahlo

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see