In This Issue
Back To Race Mode
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
Twenty years and counting
Fogerty's Silver Shamrock Adds to Vintage Half Tonner Fleet in Howth
Team Concise enter Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race
Chisholm Weekend at Itchenor Sailing Club on 5-6 May 2018
Alistair Rumball Celebrates 40 Years of Irish National Sailing School
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Mitch Hedberg

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

Back To Race Mode
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was punching due east on Monday as the sailors settle back into life at sea less than 24 hours into Leg 8

Following a big send-off from Itajai, Brazil, on Sunday, the seven-strong fleet - back up to full complement with the welcome return of Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag - faced a tricky opening night of unpredictable weather.

There was little chance for the sailors to acclimatise slowly as constant variations in wind direction and strength meant numerous sail changes.

MAPFRE were the early leaders in the opening hours but Xabi Fernandez's crew were reeled in after they got caught out by a cloud.

"We're all good here after a tricky start," Fernandez said. "Over the night we've had a little bit of action and we lost our position a little bit."

At 1300 UTC, and with just over 200 miles of the 5,700-mile leg ticked off, it was Turn the Tide on Plastic that topped the table, with Brunel in second and Scallywag, the most northerly boat, in third.

The more southerly-positioned Dongfeng Race Team, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, MAPFRE and AkzoNobel were in fourth to seventh respectively.

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
Photo by Jody Sallons-Day. Click on image to enlarge.

The Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Course, perfectly set for four long and lively legs of reaching, is really the first parade of the day. As in all races, small boats start first and are caught and passed by the big girls. But on this course, which serves as an elliptical carousel, everyone meets again and again.

The weather softened today with 13 to 15 knots of breeze yet somehow had enough strength to blow churned seas across decks and the hundreds of cameras trying to catch the action.

For history aficionados, The Cannon Course mimics a military parade as each stoic veteran passes by. This year we honour the Luders Yawl Frolic, built as a US Navy Training vessel in 1944. Mariella, the 79' Alfred Mylne Yawl served as a coastal patrol boat for the British Admiralty at the start of WWII. The 50' Hedges Schooner Russamee did reconnaissance missions in the Vietnam War; Seefalke II was built as a sail trainer for the German Navy; Ticonderoga of Greenwich was painted gray and placed in the Corsair Fleet, patrolling subs off the US; and our committee boat for the Single Handed Race, 52' Skagen Gaff Ketch Samsara, was a WWII patrol boat in the UK.

At the end of race 3, 64' Schooner Mary Rose leads the Vintage Class; 115' Schooner Aschanti IV is first in Classics Class; 36' Sloop Sweetheart holds her lead in the Traditional Class; 50' Ketch Petrana leads the Classics GRP Class; and 157' Staysail Ketch Chronos is first in Tall Ships Class.

For full race results see

Twenty years and counting
It's really been that long since Wally - and Wally style - burst on the scene... The best large yachts would never look the same again

When it comes to maxi boat racing few marques define and have progressed the genre as well as Wally. Part luxuriously appointed superyacht, part refined racing machine, technically groundbreaking and always the last word in stylishness, Luca Bassani's creations have been stopping people in their tracks with their aesthetics and stunning looks since the first Wally was launched in 1994.

Today Wally owners race hard and such is the competitiveness in the fleet that in 2017 there were different winners at each event, with the championship title undecided until the last gasp. One reason for the Monaco-based company's success as a racing class has been firmly establishing the parameters of its brand. Wally yachts must have a minimum standard of interior fit-out to ensure they can be cruised as well as raced. This effectively prevents overly enthusiastic owners going too far down the racing route, although this has not otherwise quashed their appetite for top performance, with many Wally campaigns being run like grand prix raceboats. Today their magnificent craft bristle with top international pro-sailors and the very latest sails and state-of-the-art equipment.

As Luca Bassani explains: 'A key factor in the success of the Wally Class is to allow teams to push the boundaries of competition, but within the limits of a truly cruiserracer division.

Fogerty's Silver Shamrock Adds to Vintage Half Tonner Fleet in Howth
Click on image to enlarge.

The latest addition to Howth's vintage fleet, Conor Fogerty's 'new' boat is something of an old favourite and one that should be very familiar to readers.

Silver Shamrock, the Ron Holland-designed and Cork-built Half Tonner that took its class world title in 1976, is still a winner four decades on - putting in a particularly strong showing last summer with then owner and skipper Stuart Greenfield.

But how did Silver Shamrock end up in the hands of Afloat's latest Sailor of the Year, and 'come home' to Ireland? As Fogerty explains it to, there was more than a little fate involved.

After some research, Fogerty became intrigued about the air of reverence around the yacht Harold Cudmore skippered to the Half Ton World Championship in 1976.

"I knew the owner, Stuart Greenfield, who had been racing her in the SORC; he had saved her from a death of neglect in Falmouth a few years earlier."

The appeal of a boat like Silver Shamrock was too much to ignore for Fogerty, who started "tyre-kicking a few Golden Shamrocks" in search of the right fit.

But little did he expect that the holy grail herself would pop up for sale on his Facebook feed.

"I flew down to Cowes to meet Stuart and his proudly dry-sailed Shamrock," Fogerty says. "As Stuart is a neighbour of Harold [Cudmore], I think there was an element of satisfaction in the deal, knowing that Silver Shamrock was returning home after some 40 years abroad."

And what a return it's been, as our own Winkie Nixon wrote yesterday of the splash Silver Shamrock has made in her new home waters of Dublin Bay - most recently coming first in class and third over all in the ISORA warm-up race last weekend.

With Bam! currently being shipped back from Antigua after Fogerty's class win in February's Caribbean 600 - and sponsorship pending a commitment to the Round Britain & Ireland double-handed race - all focus is now on the Silver Shamrock.

"The plan of action over the next 12 months or so is to train in some crew, modernise her deckware and rig and see if we can get Silver Shamrock back up to her former glory," Fogerty says of the family cruising project that's already become so much more.

"So to all my ISORA friends: beware of the boat lurking on the horizon!"

Team Concise enter Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race
Tony Lawson's Team Concise has entered the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starting in Cowes on Sunday 12th August 2018. Both the MOD70 Concise 10 and Class40 Concise 8 will take on the non-stop 1800-nautical mile race - one of world's toughest offshore races.

Concise 10 will be setting their sights on the ballistic world record set by Musandam-Oman Sail's MOD70 in 2014 (3 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, 36 seconds). Twenty-nine year-old British sailor Ned Collier Wakefield will lead a world class crew. As skipper of Concise 10 he has set numerous race records and taken multihull line honours for the Rolex Fastnet Race, RORC Caribbean 600, Round the Island Race, Round Barbados Race and competed in two epic, high-speed RORC Transatlantic Races. This will be Collier Wakefield's second Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and he was the winning skipper for Class40 Concise 2 in 2010.

Twenty-four year-old British sailor Jack Trigger will lead a British crew of five racing Class40 Concise 8. A world class fleet of Class40s is expected to race for line honours in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and to take a tilt at the 40ft or under race record set by Roderick Knowles' Swish in 2014 (8 days 19 hours 6 minutes and 49 seconds).

Trigger has an impressive resume, including multihull line honours with Concise 10 in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, and was part of the record breaking IMOCA 60 Artemis crew in the 2017 Length of Britain Challenge. Racing Concise 8, Trigger has won the 2014 and 2015 Class40 Division in the RORC Season's Points Championship and has set his sights on the Route du Rhum solo transatlantic race later this year.

Chisholm Weekend at Itchenor Sailing Club on 5-6 May 2018
Click on image to enlarge.

The first weekend in May will see the historic Sunbeam fleet of classic keelboats from Itchenor take part in the Chisholm Weekend, which comprises intensive back-to-back races competing for the Chisholm Weekend Trophy.

The event is always well-attended as it is the first weekend of two-day racing in the popular Solent Sunbeam Class calendar of racing and it is likely to be particularly well-attended this year since the class is celebrating its 95th anniversary. The Chisholm Weekend is in its 30th year and is held in honour of Sir Henry Chisholm.

It was in 1957 that Sir Henry Chisholm bought Sunbeam V24 Fay from a boatyard in Bosham and restored her to racing class condition. He simply 'fell in love with her classic lines'. In 1964 he was elected the Solent Sunbeam Class Captain, a post which he held for 11 years during which he became a central figure in this important yacht's history, hence the commemorative weekend of racing taking place in May each year named after him.

During his Captaincy, Henry rescued many of the fleet from oblivion, finding hulls in obscure locations and 'encouraging' a significant number of new owners and regular racers into the class. Sir Henry was also instrumental in the amalgamation of the Solent and Falmouth divisions of the fleet into one Sunbeam Class.

Sir Henry also successfully pursued his vision of resuming the building of new Sunbeams. The original plans for the boat had been lost in a fire after WW2, but Sir Henry commissioned, at his own expense, new plans which were taken off the lines of one of the existing boats. He subsequently donated these plans to the Sunbeam Solent Division so that new boats could be built to the original specification. The first of the new builds, Sunbeam V40, was built in 1976 in Cornwall with V41 built shortly after, to be finished by George Haines & Sons of Itchenor.

The Chisholm Weekend will take place on 5th & 6th May 2018 at Itchenor Sailing Club.

Alistair Rumball Celebrates 40 Years of Irish National Sailing School
The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School at Dun Laoghaire is celebrating it's 40th birthday this year, having been established by Alistair Rumball in 1978. From very humble beginnings above a charity shop on George's Street in Dun Laoghaire, the school has grown to be one of the largest water sports centres on the British Isles. Now the school is looking to get back in touch with all the staff and course graduates who've been through their doors!

on Saturday the 12th of May the school will host an open day where past staff and graduates are invited to return to get as many of the 250-boat fleet on the water at one time, followed by a small celebration back ashore.

Let the school know if you're coming along by contacting the school's office on 01 284195 or

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 Matt Cornwell:

As I observe the world of yacht racing grow in new and exciting directions, I am loving the evolution, or one might say revolution, but I am concerned that the safety precautions we are putting in place aren't keeping up with the changes. We weren't even dreaming of the foiling yachts that are now being raced in multiple classes and bringing in fresh enthusiasm for sailing around the world 10 years ago, it's fantastic. I am excited by the new dynamic, scientific and plain fun side to our wonderful and varied sport. My worry is however that sooner or later, sailors are going to be seriously hurt and one of my biggest concerns is that someone is going to fall off their boat and be collected by their own foils or those of their competitors. Should that happen it isn't going to go well and all the helmets, buoyancy aids and a spare-airs in the world aren't going to help.

There was potential for it to happen and perhaps a lucky escape or two in the last America's Cup. Fortunately lighter airs and a flat water venue meant that the risk was lower and we all came out unscathed, but moving forward none of the current foiling classes that I know of have any kind of precautions for keeping people onboard, crew are falling off on occasion and chance dictates that it's only a matter of time before the unthinkable happens.

Safety should not be an afterthought and it should certainly not be driven reactively by accident or at worse, tragedy. It is our responsibility to push it to the forefront of our magnificently evolving sport and it should be the most important section of any new class rule. Lets be proactive and most importantly, not be afraid to speak up about safety. We don't want to lose another friend in the future if it can be avoided today.

* From Paul Henderson

re: Olympic Equipment Selecton

My first choice is to keep the Tokyo2020 equipment thru to L.A.2028. Here is what might be done in fact the really only solution for Paris 2024:

1) Kites do not fit into the Sailing milieu so they must stand on their own "riders" and not impact Olympic Sailing.
2) Mixed events appears to be a new focus. Mixed Events do not work in single-trapeze boats only in double trapeze or no trapeze boats as it is the all up weight that counts either skipper or crew. Sailing is a weight sensitive sport.
3) Gender Equity has already been achieved as Sailing is over 45% women which is in the middle of all 35 Olympic Sports (7 Winter, 28 Summer)
4) Where a class can be Mixed do it. No need to have 49er Men and 49erFX Women.

The Events Committee WP is very suspect due to some perceived Conflict of Interest supported by remote Electronic Voting circumventing open Council debate.

No need to change for Paris 2024 but if there must be something here may be doable:
1) Windsurfer Men.
2) Windsurfer Women
3) Singlehander Men: Laser
4) Singlehander Women: Radial Women
5) High-Performance Singlehander: Finn (Open)
6) Single Trapeze Dinghy Men: 470
7) Single Trapeze Dinghy Women: 470
8) Mixed Double Trapeze: 49er.
9) Mixed Double Trapeze Cat: Equipment dependent on NACRA being usable.
10) Mixed Offshore Class: To be decided.

As usual trying to be constructive! EH!

* From Gordon Davies:

May I suggest an alternative approach to sailing at the Olympics. My suggestion is based on the erver-young Firefly but if a more modern boat offers the same flexibility in rig sizes and crew weight then it could be used instead. The idea is to use one boat with different rigs:

Double handed male - Firefly using big rig as developed by MIT (square top main, gnav and increased sail area).

Single handed male - Standard Firefly (as in 1948!)

Double handed female - Standard Firefly

Single handed female - Firefly with reduced main (storm rig)

The six sailors would then compete in a team racing event.

This series of events would be affordable, offer opportunities to a wide range of crew weights (retaining a true heavyweight class) and finish with a stadium event between competing national teams.

The other events could then be windsurfing, kite boarding and a 'spectacle event'. I personally believe that an offshore race would attract great interest, others may prefer foiling boats or another form of sailing

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The Last Word
I don't have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who'd be mad at me for saying that. -- Mitch Hedberg

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