In This Issue
Guest Editorial: Philippe Serenon
UBS 20th Jersey Regatta
Testing start for Dolan in Transat AG2R La Mondiale
A Ship That Sunk Nearly 200 Years Ago May Have Been Discovered
Foils First
Industry News
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Mark Rudd

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

Guest Editorial: Philippe Serenon
I completely agree with Alistair Skinner's comments: Our sport is losing ground when there are all good reasons why it shouldn't.

My explanation for this is that because it is a technical sport, the general mind set is not marketing orientated.

When I mean marketing I mean answering the basic question : What drives the interest of the general public? Because in the end, it is the Public who brings recognition, not the fans.

Individuals might be ignorant but a crowd is always right otherwise forget about democracy!

In the 60's and 70s', sailing was a limited practice and people on beaches were impressed by those moving in front of their eyes on their fragile dinghies or sailing out of sight.

Early oceanic sailors were true discoverers and public was appreciative of the risks taken by these guys, ready to face unexpected situations never lived before.

The tales from bearded sailors coming out of the blue was perfect for press, distorted sound of BLU perfect for radio and scarce B&W images of starts and arrivals impressive as unseen perfect for TV.

Sailing was so attractive that JFK attended America's Cup races !

Now what are we left with? A never ending planetary regatta on monotypes which looks more like a masochist exercise than a reasonable sporting event and a fight to choose the right boats for the Olympics.

The last two America's Cups failed to meet their objectives due to a flawed marketing strategy, forgetting general public, believing that power, money and technology would be enough to create momentum with a management blinded by the enthusiasm of top end fans and professionals simply impressed by technology and speed.

The public does not appreciate technology, they want human stories! Enda O'Coineen's story a prime example. Want another proof point? Millions of people attending starts and arrivals of the Vendee and the Route du Rhum.

So first, let's stop believing that speed on water is the main driver: 20 or 40 knots on a TV screen looks pretty much the same while a heeled boat at 8 Knts shows more than a fast cat on flat water !

But there is light at the end of the tunnel and speed can be part of it: Next Am Cup's boats, at this point in history, seem virtually impossible to sail and this new endeavour towards flying boats has a potential to drive interest.

The rule has been carefully designed so that we are back to a much more human dimension while opening new avenues for flying boats which could renew the game.

So, let's care more about general public expectations, bring them thrill and excitement.

To do this, let's build marketing strategies based on right situation analysis and aim at changing for a new paradigm.

Philippe Serenon
UNCL Past President
President of IRC French Owners Association

UBS 20th Jersey Regatta
Jersey Regatta Scheduled for 14th to 16th September and sponsored for the sixth year running by UBS AG Jersey, this year sees the 20th edition of the combined clubs' Jersey Regatta, the Island's 'flagship' sailing event.

The Regatta schedule provides racing for sportsboat, IRC and NHC cruiser/racer, Quarter Ton, dayboat, dinghy, sport catamaran and windsurfer classes, a veritable 'catch-all for both local and visiting sailors alike. In this special year, the fifth Spinlock IRC Channel Islands Regional Championships for IRC-rated Classes 1 & 2 cruiser/racers will be a major feature of the programme.

The event opens on the Thursday evening with a welcoming reception followed by a distance race for the sportsboat and cruiser/racer classes on Friday morning. Saturday and Sunday sees these classes racing in and off St Aubin's Bay over round-the-cans and Olympic-type courses. The 'small boat' classes race over Olympic-type courses entirely within this beautiful Bay.

As ever, Jersey Marinas will be providing complimentary berthing for competitors during the lead-up to the Regatta whilst Condor Ferries is offering discounted fares for those competitors wishing to ship their boats to the Island to join in the event.

The Regatta is an open event to which visiting boats are assured of a very warm welcome.

The Notice of Race is available on the website, Enticingly low entry fees are made even more attractive with an 'early bird' fee for those entering no later than 6th August. The definitive closing date is 7th September.

For further information, e-mail .

Testing start for Dolan in Transat AG2R La Mondiale
It's been a challenging first few days for Irish ocean racer Tom Dolan and French co-skipper Tanguy Bouroullec as they take on a gruelling 4,000-mile race across the Atlantic.

Light winds dogged the fleet of 20 identical Figaro Bénéteau racing yachts following the start of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale from Concorneau, France, on Sunday April 22.

Dolan and Bouroullec, racing on Smurfit Kappa-CerFrance, had a slow start after picking up seaweed on their keel and rudders but managed to pick their way back up to 12th place.

Four days into the race the wind has finally picked up, and today speeds on the boat were up into the mid-teens as they dive south along the coast of Portugal.

The Transat AG2R La Mondiale is the first major test for 30-year-old Dolan, from Kells in County Meath, in the ultra-competitive Figaro Bénéteau class since stepping up from the Mini 6.50 fleet at the start of 2018.

The race, finishing in St Barts in the Caribbean, comes just months after Dolan raced solo across the Atlantic in the 2017 Mini Transat in which he placed sixth overall in a fleet of 56.

Among the Transat AG2R La Mondiale fleet are 2016 Figaro La Solitaire winner Yann Richomme and reigning serie division Mini Transat champion Erwan La Draoulec as well as Vendee Globe racers Morgan Lagraviere and Thomas Ruyant.

Follow Tom's progress on his Facebook page. The race can be followed on the official tracker.

Top ten places 25/04/2018 at 18:48
1. Britain - CMB Performance - Sebastien Simon / Morgan Lagraviere, 3189.6 nm to finish
2. Breizh Cola, Gildas Mahe / Nicolas Troussel, 2.53 nm to leader
3. ACT Covering, Adrien Hardy / Thomas Ruyant, 4.42
4. Royer Group - Secours Populaire, Anthony Marchand / Alexis Loison, 12.79
5. Armor Lux - Gedimat, Erwan Tabarly / Thierry Chabagny, 16.27
6. Guyot Environment, Pierre Leboucher / Christopher Pratt, 16.73
7. NF Habitat, Corentin Douguet / Christian Ponthieu, 21.90
8. The Beads of St. Barth, Ronan Treussart / Simon Troel, 24.83
9. The Macaron French Pastries, Eric Peron / Miguel Danet, 25.25
10., Justine Mettraux / Isabelle Joschke, 31.13

A Ship That Sunk Nearly 200 Years Ago May Have Been Discovered
Shipwreck hunters are planning to excavate around a Lake Erie wreck this summer that they think could be the remains of a schooner that went down nearly two centuries ago.

Its size, design and location point toward it being a sailing ship called the Lake Serpent, which sunk in 1829, the National Museum of the Great Lakes said Monday.

That would make it one of the oldest wrecks ever discovered on Lake Erie. The shallowest of the Great Lakes where violent storms whip up in a hurry is home to hundreds of wreckage sites. Many have been found in recent years by a small, dedicated band of hunters.

To determine whether the latest discovery to be announced is indeed the Lake Serpent, divers will first need to get a closer look at wreckage and move away the sediment covering part of the ship.

"Because it's so small, that makes it very, very old," said Tom Kowalczk, who spotted the wreckage on his sonar screen in the summer of 2015. "That puts it way back to an early time frame and really limits the possibilities."

The schooner was built in 1821 in Cleveland at a time when the city had less than 1,000 residents. Its job was to carry cargo - produce, flour, whiskey, limestone - to ports along the lakes.

Foils First
Seahorse When the creator of the original televised grand prix skiff series Bill Macartney went looking for a new game he told his 'creative partners' Morrelli & Melvin to give him a big set of foils, a powerful rig... and only then some trick hulls to float it all

Everything about the new SuperFoiler racing circuit in Australia is about adrenaline-fuelled speed - and that applies as much to the design and technical development of the equipment as to pace around the course. For the Doyle Sails team tasked with producing the horsepower for these high-octane foiling trimarans the challenge was irresistible, despite the tight timeframes for designing, developing and delivering fast one-design sails for the fleet.

The SuperFoiler circuit is the brainchild of Australian father and son duo, Bill and Jack Macartney, and aims to take over the mantle of the highly successful 18ft skiff grand prix circus, which Bill Macartney pioneered.

Industry News
Bavaria Yachts has filed to enter self-administration.

It is understood the administration will apply to the German boatbuilder's monohulls but that multihull brand Nautitech, based in France and acquired by Bavaria three years' ago will continue to operate as normal.

Bavaria started building boats 40 years' ago in Giebelstadt in southern Germany and was the first to introduce a modern assembly line production system to boatbuilding. The company's motor boats were launched in 2000.

The company is expected to continue to build and deliver all of its current orders. It is believed new financial backing is being sought after its US backers withdrew their support.

A statement from Bavaria is expected imminently.


Fernhurst Books

Fernhurst Books publishes the essential guide to fibreglass yacht restoration and repair.

A thoroughly practical manual on how to give a fibreglass cruising yacht a complete overhaul or to do specific restoration tasks. Filled with hundreds of colour photo-sequences, which detail how to replace the engine, hatches, electrics, plumbing, rigging, gelcoat and much more. Practical advice on when to call in the professionals and when to consider doing work yourself.

The Restoration Handbook appeals equally to sailors and boat owners who want to overhaul a boat completely and to those who have one or two smaller jobs to do. Although the whole boat is covered, each section is broken down into manageable chunks. Readers can work their way through each job using the clear sequential photographs for step-by-step guidance.


At the 2018 RYA Dinghy Show, the RYA asked me to give a summary of the British Marine Futures Project to their Clubs and Class Association members forum.

The RYA are now re-running this talk as a Webinar on 1 May 2018 at 7pm.

The talk examines the participation trends in dinghy and yacht sailing over the last 15 years, as well as changes in demographics, and the significant changes in consumer buying behaviour across different generations.

Pulling the information together has produced a very thought provoking picture, that is relevant for the whole industry. (And for the powerboat enthusiasts, the figures are not dissimilar to the sailing figures - these are in the full report).

The talk is a rapid whistle through the trends, together with Mark Jardine's (Y& insights on engaging young people in sailing, which he also presented at the Dinghy Show. Plus, it also looks at some of the key considerations for clubs and organisations for the future, in the light of the trends found.

Whilst the webinar is mainly being aimed at clubs, classes and training organisations, it also has much content that is relevant to the entire industry too. And, many of us are also members of a club or association (or two!)

From a personal perspective, it seems to me that a key out-take is that the issue is far bigger than something for just our governing and trade body to grapple with. The report is really a catalyst for action. Every organisation, be it a club, marina or manufacturer needs to be engaged with and planning how to engage (and retain) more people in the sport, the light of the changes going on in society and consumer behaviour.

Please sign up below if you want to attend. If you can't make it on the night, the RYA hope to send a link out to a recording of the webinar afterwards. -- Liz Rushall

Sign up to the Webinar

I undertook the Futures research as a project for British Marine last year and presented the findings to their board last June. The work took place over six months and was based on an analysis of all existing published research available on boating and watersports, as well as papers on social and consumer trends.

Find out more about the Futures Project.


Hayling Island Sailing Club is to open its doors (& beaches) for a fun-filled Open Day, Monday 28th May 2018.

There's never been a better time to join Hayling Island SC and you don't have to own a boat to be a member. HISC offers some of the finest sailing, shore and social facilities anywhere in the country.

There's the added incentive of a waiver on joining fees for anyone taking out membership before June 2018, representing a saving of £350.

Join us at the Hayling Island SC Open day taking place Monday 28 May 2018. There will be fun activities, a hospitable welcome, cafe's and bars, live music and people on hand to tell you all about the club and its incredible range of activities both waterside and social.


Solent Refit, one of the UK's leading yacht repair and refit companies, is relocating its activities from Hythe Marine Park to Saxon Wharf – both sites being in the Southampton area. The move follows Fairline's recent decision to make Hythe its new base, which will allow it to build larger yachts over the coming years – taking it into the lower end of the superyacht market.

The move will see Solent Refit operate under different conditions in terms of facilities, as it will be working in an open area undercover with projects on the hardstand area at Saxon Wharf. It will lose both its 10,000sq m hall providing an undercover space for new builds, repairs or refits and its 1,500-tonne capacity slipway.

Saxon Wharf is operated by MDL and it is the site of the Oyster Yacht facilities and Southampton Yacht Services, which were so much in the news recently. The Wharf offers facilities for yachts of up to about 80m (263ft) and a dry stack for boats up to 13m (43ft). It also has a 200-tonne capacity travel lift and a number of heavy duty pontoon berths.

Saxon Wharf is also very close to MDL's Shamrock Quay marina, which can accommodate yachts up to 70m (230ft).

IBI understands that negotiations will start shortly between MDL and Oyster Yachts, now owned by Richard Hadida Yachting, in terms of whether they wish to make any changes to the facilities they have at Saxon Wharf.

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 Chris Gould:

Following from Alistair Skinner's letter, surely most club sailors don't sail Olympic classes because a) they pick one of the classes that their club has a decent size fleet of and b) they want to stand a chance of winning!

* From Dale Kushner:

I have commented before regarding concern that the Volvo Ocean Race is inhibiting Itself by being prescriptive on the boats and managing it. Even though it is done in the interest of saving money for they entrants, the formula stifles the event.

It is interesting following the Americas Cup that forecasts are between 9-12 boats could be on the start line for the next challenge.

Bearing in mind, whatever the boat, each syndicate will need to invest in designing and building these boats spending a serious amount of cash, much more than a VOR entry... In fact part of the appeal is exactly that. Who can build the fastest boat. Yet with the Volvo Ocean Race they have gone in the other direction. Just by having a class makes the boats relatively slow and outdated before the following event.

Whatever we think about the America's Cup and the purity of the event, the facts are that they pioneer design and technology in boating. The Vendee is the monohull's version of the design and technology advancement in offshore racing. For VOR to really be taken seriously again, they too need to regain this sort of reputation. The VOR 65's have somewhat held the event back, although admittedly the principal and cost savings made a lot of sense, but to build a hybrid of a IMOCA just puts you in competition with the Vendee... the difference is they are launching newly designed boats all the time so they will quickly overtake VOR Imoca boats possibly within days of the first VOR Imoca being launched.

Allowing entrants to develop independently and manage their own boats will put the buzz back into the event... making fast class boats does not make it unique... it makes it all the same.. While the idea of One design makes perfect sense.. I think it inhibits the event from growing it's entries.. As we watch a single digit entry numbers chase themselves around the world.. Notwithstanding I think it is a great race.

* From Malcolm McKeag:

Don Street's memory of that Half Ton Cup in Poole is correct - and there's more...

It was rumored that Harold tried to buy a dog licence for the boat, to afix to the mast a la Admiralty writ. And I seem to recall a T-shirt with the legend 'It takes a lot of boats to beat Silver Shamrock - and they're all here.'

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See the collection at

The Last Word
I cherished my hate as a badge of moral superiority. -- Mark Rudd

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