In This Issue
£110m INEOS backing for the Cup
British America's Cup Team Rebrands
Harken Tech Team: At The Front at PalmaVela 2018
The Hyeres Challenge Continues
Match Race Super League - Szczecin Match Race
FAST40+ Class Circuit Round One
(Please) don't mess me around
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: History Repeats

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

£110m INEOS backing for the Cup
Click on image to enlarge.

Sir Ben Ainslie has announced a radical shake-up of his America's Cup team, with INEOS, one of the world's largest manufacturers of chemicals and oil products, ploughing £110 million into his challenge to bring sport's oldest international trophy back to Britain.

As part of its investment - the biggest ever British America's Cup investment - INEOS will take over naming rights, with Ainslie's name no longer forming part of the official team title.

The Portsmouth-based team will henceforth be known as INEOS Team GB, as opposed to Land Rover BAR [the BAR having stood for Ben Ainslie Racing].

Existing sponsors Land Rover and 11th Hour Racing have left with INEOS' £110m investment contingent on the team making a completely fresh start. New sponsors Belstaff, Limewood and Projekt Grenadier are part of the INEOS stable. The management/ownership structure has also changed with Sir Keith Mills and Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone stepping aside.

The deal, which was announced on Thursday morning at the Prospect of Whitby pub in Wapping, one of London's oldest maritime pubs, will effectively see INEOS 'hire' Ainslie's race team lock-stock, with most of the key players remaining in situ. Ainslie will stay on as team principal, Grant Simmer as CEO, Nick Holroyd as Chief Designer, Jono Macbeth as sailing team manager and Giles Scott as tactician.

The massive injection of cash will allow Ainslie and his team to properly fund a two-boat challenge for the 36th America's Cup, which will take place in New Zealand in 2021. -- Tom Cary

British America's Cup Team Rebrands
INEOS, one of the world's largest manufacturing companies, is to launch a challenge for the 2021 America's Cup.

INEOS has formed INEOS Team GB and is making the biggest ever British investment in the America's Cup in an unprecedented effort to bring the trophy back to Britain for the first time since the competition was established in 1851.

INEOS Team GB will represent the Royal Yacht Squadron's affiliated club, Royal Yacht Squadron Racing who issued the challenge to the current holder represented by Emirates Team New Zealand.

INEOS has partnered with Sir Ben Ainslie and his team to design, build and race the two-boat strategy. The boats will be 75 ft foiling mono-hulls and will use the very best of British technology and boat construction.

Sir Ben is Britain's most decorated and the world's most successful Olympic sailor. He was a member of the 2013 America's Cup winning team and is INEOS Team GB's Team Principal.

INEOS Team GB's CEO is America's Cup legend, Grant Simmer, who has competed in 10 America's Cups and won four, first as a young navigator aboard Alan Bond's Australia II, then twice with the Swiss team, Alinghi, and most recently with Oracle Team USA where - along with Ben Ainslie - they fought back from an 8 -1 deficit to win the trophy.

INEOS Team GB's Chief Designer is New Zealander, Nick Holroyd, one of the men responsible for Emirates New Zealand's Cup winning strategy. . He is joined by British Olympic gold medallist, Giles Scott, who will act as the team's Tactician.

Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and chairman of INEOS, adds, "With the resources of INEOS, the skill of Sir Ben Ainslie and his team and the experience of the Royal Yacht Squadron, I think INEOS Team GB has a great chance of success in 2021 and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

* Editor: reports are that this deal started with Ratcliffe and Ainslie chatting over the America's Cup in a pub. The lesson here, obviously, is that we should all spend more time in pubs.

Harken Tech Team: At The Front at PalmaVela 2018
Harken will again offer technical support at the 15th edition of this Palma classic

The Harken Tech Team is ready for the 15th edition of the PalmaVela Regatta, Palma, Spain. Service will be available onsite from Tuesday, May 1 through Sunday morning, May 6. The PalmaVela is the first major regatta of the Mediterranean season. That's all the more reason to keep the Harken Tech Team in mind for regatta assistance and emergency spare parts. Contact us in case you need support to keep your gear primed and rolling. You can't win if your kit lets you down. You will find the Tech Team's contact number at the regatta office.

The Harken Tech Team will also be present at these Summer 2018 events:

TP52 Super Series Sailing Week Sibenik, Croatia (May 22-27)
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta Porto Cervo (June 4-9)
TP52 Super Series Sailing Week Zadar, Croatia (June, 19-24)
Superyacht Cup, Palma (June 19-23)
TP52 Super Series Sailing Week Cascais, Portugal (July, 16-21)
Copa Del Rey/Palma (July 30 - Aug 4)
TP52 Super Series Sailing Week Portals, Majorca (August, 20-25)
Maxi Yacht Rolex/Porto Cervo (Sept 2-8)
Swan Cup/Porto Cervo (Sept 10-16)
TP52 Super Series Sailing Week Valencia, Spain (September, 17-22)

See the Harken Tech Team at work in the Volvo Ocean Race:

The Hyeres Challenge Continues
The third day of competition at round three of Sailing's World Cup Series in Hyeres, France provided further challenges for the competitors as light winds continued to dominate.

The 647 sailors from 46 nations racing across the ten Olympic disciplines and one Para World Sailing event contested a variable 5-7knot breeze on day three which enabled the light wind specialists to move to the front of their fleets.

Friday's racing will be the final day of fleet racing for the 2.4 Norlin OD, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, Men's RS:X and Women's RS:X ahead of their Medal Races on Saturday 28 April.

The remaining fleets will complete their series on Saturday with Medal Races following on Sunday. -- Daniel Smith

Top three by class:

1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 5 points
2. Antonio Squizzato, ITA, 10
3. Bruno Jourdren, FRA, 15

470 Men
1. Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom, SWE, 10
2. Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox, NZL, 15
3. Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi, JPN, 33

470 Women
1. Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz, FRA, 17
2. Silvia Mas Depares / Patricia Cantero Reina, ESP, 23
3. Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre, GBR, 25

49er Men
1. David Gilmour / Joel Turner, AUS, 20
2. Diego Botín le Chever / Iago Lopez Marra, ESP, 35
3. Dominik Buksak / Szymon Wierzbicki, POL, 36

49erFX Women
1. Helene Naess / Marie Ronningen, NOR, 29
2. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 38
3. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen, DEN, 42

1. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 23
2. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 24
3. Alican Kaynar, TUR, 28

1. Jean Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 40
2. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini, GBR, 41
3. Filip Jurisic, CRO, 42

Laser Radial
1. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 19
2. Maite Carlier, BEL, 34
3. Monika Mikkola

1. Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti, ITA, 18
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface, GBR, 27
3. Samuel Albrecht / Bruna Martinelli Cesário de Mello, BRA, 36

RS:X Men
1. Pierre Le Coq, FRA, 51
2. Thomas Goyard, FRA, 54
3. Louis Giard, FRA, 63

RS:X Women
1. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 31
2. Peina Chen, CHN, 35
3. Noga Geller, ISR, 42

Full results:

Match Race Super League - Szczecin Match Race
Szczecin is hosting international crews competing in the Match Racing World Cup for the 11th time. Szczecin Match Race regatta will take place TH Ecoming weekend on the Odra River in the city center and, as usual on the Dabie Lake. 12 teams from 8 countries will participate. Racing starts on Saturday, April 28 at 10 am, together with the official ceremony of nautical season opening at the North East Marina on Grodzka Island.

This edition of Szczecin Match Race is the third round of the Match Race Super League that consists of 18 regattas on 5 continents, finishing in December in Chile.

This year's lineup is one of the strongest in Szczecin Match Race's history. All participating teams are ranked in the top 100 in the World Cup ranking. The organizing committee choose 12 teams from all applications. Official registration will take place on Friday and then the final starting list will be confirmed and published.

Organizers provide 6 monotype TOM28 boats, one of the best match racing racers, well known from Chicago, Valencia or Ravenna events.

The Regatta is organized by TZR - Polish Match Tour Foundation and MT Partners. Hosts are North East Marina and Centrum Zeglarskie in Szczecin. Racing days from Saturday 28th to Tuesday 1st with first day taking place on Odra River next to Grodzka Island and following three days on Dabie Lake.

The Match Race Super League is the worlds biggest international series in Match Racing, 18 events, 4 continents.

Please find the current standings of the MRSL below:

FAST40+ Class Circuit Round One
This weekend, ten FAST40+ Teams will do battle for the Henri Lloyd Trophy, in Round One of the FAST40+ Race Circuit. Hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, the grand-prix racing class will have three days of thrilling action, racing on windward leeward courses and longer races around the cans. Niklas Zennstrom's Swedish Carkeek Ran7 will be making its debut in the FAST40+ Class.

New to the class this year will be Irishman Nigel Dowling, who has chartered Ker40+ Pace with Ian Budgen running tactics. Peter Morton, owner driver for Girls on Film, is recovering from a shoulder operation. Graham Deegan, will be the alternate helm for the first round. The FAST40+ Class wish Morty a speedy recovery. Racing is due to start at 11:30 BST on Friday 27th April. Eight races are scheduled over the three days.

Round One of the FAST40+ Race Circuit will take place in the Solent 27-29 April, organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club with multiple races in the Solent, including windward-leeward and racing around the cans.

(Please) don't mess me around
One thing that can be sobering about developing products hand in hand with the world's highest-profile professional sailors is in the final analysis they actually have to go out and use what they have put their name to...

'When you've absolutely, positively got to stay dry and warm, accept no substitutes. Musto HPX is the very best there is.' So might that straight-shooting film star Samuel L Jackson say if he were to play an offshore sailor in a movie. And he'd be right, except Musto's MPX range does a pretty good job too. MPX is one substitute that even Vendée Globe and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Sam Davies accepts, and in some cases prefers. 'HPX is bulletproof. But when you're singlehanded sailing in particular, there's a lot of up and down the stairs,' says Davies, whose CV includes three circumnavigations and 24 transatlantic crossings. 'MPX is more flexible, and still does an incredible job of keeping you warm and dry.'

Musto have worked closely with Gore-Tex for more than 20 years to develop the best possible offshore sailing kit. It has been a gradual, evolutionary process based on close relationships with top sailors such as Volvo Ocean Race skippers Sam Davies and Ian Walker, who are always very clear about what works in tough conditions, and where they believe improvements can be incorporated. While HPX is the flagship line in the Musto range, the more affordable MPX benefits from many HPX develop - ments a few years down the line.

Full story in the May issue of Seahorse:

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 Don Street:

In Scuttlebutt Europe and Scuttlebutt US I read in the course of the year probably a hundred letters and stories in scuttlebutt about what can be done to encourage racing and the views on sorting out olympic sailing.

One single voice that exhibits tremendous common sense, backed by a life time of sailing and involvement with national and international yachting, is that of Paul Henderson

All sailors and sailing administrators, national and international should stop , listen and reflect on what Paul says.

* From Rees Martin:

Of all recent international events we should be heartened by the development of the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race. The New Zealanders are making a real effort to uplift an event that was in danger of floundering in the mire of squalid self interest and the VOR administration have maintained the international status their event deserves.

Both entities represent differing approaches to international yacht racing. Of course they have different criteria but don't knock the drive and efforts of leading international sailors and extremely focussed sponsors. Yes the funding needed is scary but would you really have it any other way?

* From Philip Crebbin

Further to Malcolm McKeag's contribution to the fun comments about Harold Cudmore's Silver Shamrock at the Half Ton Cup in Poole in 1978, which was surprisingly uncompetitive and off the pace, there is actually a rather interesting corollary. It could actually be argued that this boat's lack of top performance has contributed greatly to British international yachting over the subsequent 4 decades, right up to the present day.

That Half Ton Cup was probably the absolute peak of the Half-tonners. There were 65 boats at the event, of which GBR was allowed to have 10 as the host nation. Several other nations, like France, also had their maximum allowance of boats. So if the entries had not been restricted for each country, there might have been over 100 boats.

There was so much demand for the British places that there was a full British selection trials that itself had 50 boats. I thought I was going to avoid that as I had been invited by Harold to be his driver for the said new Silver Shamrock, which represented Ireland of course.

Then, towards the end of the British trials, I received a call from a then completely unknown new owner asking if I would be able to help him out as they were not doing well enough to get into the 10-place team and there was only one weekend left in the trials. He had been persuaded by some friends and it was his first-ever sailing experience, with a boat that had been built in his backyard (using one of the Steven Jones Hustler 32 hulls), and he did not want to fail on his first effort in the sport by not even making the British team of 10 boats to compete in the main event. If that had happened, he might never have tried again - and what a disaster that would have been for British sailing!

Of course, I said that I was committed to sailing with Harold, but the owner then contacted Harold to ask if he would release me at least for the rest of the British trials. It was precisely because we had already identified that this new Silver Shamrock was not going to be competitive enough to have a chance of winning the Half Ton Cup that Harold was happy to agree with my sailing the last weekend of the British trials with this new owner.

This boat turned out to be competitive and it rather surprised all of us when we managed to win both the last two races of the British trials, one by quite a margin, and the boat got selected for one of the British places.

So Harold kindly allowed himself to be persuaded a second time and I stayed on the British boat for the Half Ton Cup. This would probably not have happened if Silver Shamrock had been properly competitive.

The boat - the very first Indulgence. The new owner - none other than Graham Walker, who became very fired up to pursue what was a new sport for him after coming close to winning this major international championship at his first sailing attempt (we were even winning the event overall after 3 of the 5 races before finally losing out in an almost windless long distance race round the Channel that took 3 days!).

Of course, Graham went on to become undoubtedly GBR's most successful racing yacht owner, winning many international events, over a period that has spanned nearly all the 40 years since then, including being behind our America's Cup challenge for the Fremantle campaign in 1986-87 - skippered by Harold Cudmore, who therefore got his just reward!! He has also been a great supporter of and participant in our Olympic sailing.

Who knows, perhaps all because Silver Shamrock happened to be a proverbial dog in 1978.

* From Richard Power:

Following on from Malcolm McKeag's comment today, there was of course a well known Two Ttonner that, when the awful truth about her capabilities became apparent, suffered the indignity of having an RSPCA "Remember, a Dog is for Life" sticker affixed to her keel one day when hauled out, for all to see.

Featured Brokerage
2004 Swan 62-103 Vega. 875,000 EUR. Located in Mallorca, Spain.

Named “Vega” since she was launched, delivered July 2004, second owner who has maintained her in very good condition by a full-time captain.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jaap Havenga

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07


1997 Volvo 60 (modified) - Bou Dragon. 230000 EUR. Located in The Hague, Netherlands.

Launched originally as "Silk Cut", she quickly established herself as the fastest ocean racer on the water and held the 24hr record for a number of years. In more recent times, she was known as “SEB" and now "Bou Dragon", where she has been meticulously maintained and modernised by her current owner.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Auckland

+44 2380 016582
+64 277733717


2015 Oyster 825 Maegan. 4,000,000 GBP. Located in Palma.

Maegan is Hull #3 of the incredibly successful 825 built by Oyster in Southampton, UK. Winner of the 2016 International Yacht & Aviation Sailing Yacht Interior Design Award.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly


See the collection at

The Last Word
It is mortifying to see a man occupying the lofty position of President of the United States descend from that position and join issue with those who are dragging their garments in the muddy gutters of political vituperation. -- The New York Herald on US President Andrew Johnson's "Swing Around the Circle" Tour in 1866.

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see