In This Issue
A closer game
Sure footed
Hyeres signs off World Cup Series Rounds in style
A spicy start to Antigua Sailing Week
Clipper Race Departs Seattle to Embark on Penultimate Leg
Specialists - UBI Maior
Significant rule changes boosts competition at Poole Regatta
The World Sailing Show: Programme 4 - Season 2018
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word

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

A closer game
Four teams are within four miles of the lead as Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race enters its second week on Sunday morning.

As at 1100 UTC on Sunday morning, Turn the Tide on Plastic was working hard to fend off attacks by Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel as the leading four boats have been gybing back and forth along the northeast coast of Brazil to take advantage of favourable current over the past 18 hours.

Now free of the Brazilian coast line, the teams will be looking to choose their lane into the doldrums, some 250 miles to the north, although with the fleet this far west, this is forecast to be the easiest of the four crossings in this race.

And while the pressure to perform remains, this weather is probably giving the sailors the most comfortable conditions of the race.

You can follow the progress of the fleet on the race tracker, now testing in live mode for the remainder of the Leg 8.

Positions at 04:18 UTC 20 April
1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing: 3175.7 nm to leg finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, 2.8 nm to leader
3. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 6.2
4. Team Brunel, 7.2
5. Team AkzoNobel, 23.8
6. MAPFRE, 40.7
7. Team Sun Huing Kai / Scallywag, 65.7

Sure footed
Dubarry Racing sailboats is more like playing a game of snakes and ladders than it is playing a game of chess. Navigators pride themselves on plotting a strategy that is five steps ahead of their opponents, and sometimes their strategy works. Other times, well, it's just a slippery ride down the back of some random snake, at least that's how it feels for the seven boats competing in the eighth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Since leaving Itajaí, Brazil the boats have been sailing upwind in moderate conditions not unlike a bunch of dinghy sailors short tacking up a windward leg, but on more of a global scale. Deciding when to tack to make some northing or when to tack back to go east is a subject of hot debate on each boat as the fleet races toward the bulge of Brazil. Around the bulge they will be able to ease sheets, crank up the afterburners, and enjoy the warm waters of the Caribbean sea on a fast and furious ride toward Newport, Rhode Island. Until then it's a delicate dance. Tack early and the Volvo Ocean Race tracker shows you atop the leaderboard only to have you drop to the bottom when you tack back to stay in the wind.

At this stage of the race it's more like a game of poker. You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them, and sometimes lady luck smiles on you and sometimes she does not. Less than a week into the race the fleet has stretched out a little more than usual but there is a long way to go yet. While most of the yachts have to leave things to lady luck, two boats, Team Brunel and Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag are carrying their own lucky cards; their Dubarry Crosshaven boots engineered and crafted to give them an edge no matter what the game.

Hyeres signs off World Cup Series Rounds in style
Hyeres, France signed off round three of the 2018 World Cup Series in style with consistent wind conditions allowing the final five Olympic disciplines to conclude their competition.

Home nation favourite Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) claimed his first Hyères World Cup Series gold medal after controlling Sam Meech (NZL) in the Laser.

All of the Hyères gold medallists will automatically receive an invitation to the Marseille World Cup Final, set to be held 85km down the coast from Hyères.

The remaining places will be based on performance across the whole series. The Laser and Laser Radial fleets will welcome the top 25 sailors with the remaining fleets opening up to the top 20.

Racing will commence in Marseille on Tuesday 5 June and conclude on Sunday 10 June. -- Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Final podium places:

1. Damien Seguin, FRA, 9 points
2. Bruno Jourdren, FRA, 24
2. Rafa Andarias, ESP, 34

470 Men
1. Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom, SWE, 28
2. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS, 49
3. Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox, NZL, 62

470 Women
1. Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz, FRA, 62
2. Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre, GBR, 67
3. Ai Kondo Yoshida / Miho Yoshioka, JPN, 78

49er Men
1. Dominik Buksak / Szymon Wierzbicki, POL, 49
2. Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn, NXL, 60
3. Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey, NZL, 62

49erFX Women
1. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 76
2. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen, DEN, 77
3. Victoria Travascio / Maria Branz, ARG, 96

1. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 38
2. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 46
3. Alican Kaynar, TUR, 50

1. Jean Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 40
2. Sam Meech, NZL, 101
3. Tom Burton, AUS, 109

Laser Radial
1. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 53
2. Monika Mikkola, FIN, 109
3. Paige Railey, USA, 120

1. Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti, ITA, 47
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface, GBR, 79
3. Iker Martinez de Lizarduy / Olga Maslivets, ESP, 89

RS:X Men
1. Pierre Le Coq, FRA, 88
2. Louis Giard, FRA, 92
3. Thomas Goyard, FRA, 110

RS:X Women
1. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 61
2. Peina Chen, CHN, 64
3. Malgorzata Bialecka, POL, 75

Full results:

A spicy start to Antigua Sailing Week
Mother Nature delivered fantastic conditions for the first day of the 51st edition of Antigua Sailing Week. English Harbour Rum Race Day 1 was spicy, packing a real punch. With 20 knots of breeze and a building sea state, the 116 teams that took to the combat zone revelled in fast conditions drenched in sparkling sunshine.

Stefan Jentzsch's German Carkeek 47 Black Pearl corrected out to win CSA Racing 1 with the modified American Volvo 70 Warrior sailed by Stephen Murray Jr taking second place, and the Cookson 50 Riff Raff, skippered by Brian McMaster from Australia in third.

In CSA 2, Peter Harrison's Superyacht Sojana sailed well to give its owner the perfect birthday present; a win in the first race of the regatta.

English Harbour Rum Race Day was a great occasion for Antiguan entries with five teams winning their respective CSA classes. The surf was up for Bernie Evan-Wong's RP37 TAZ scoring an impressive win in CSA 3 and Jonty Layfield's powerful Swan 48 Sleeper X glided through the rush-hour in CSA 5. Carlo Falcone's unique and legendary Caccia Alla Volpe took a big win in CSA 6, and Jules Mitchell's young team racing NSA Spirit, scored an impressive win for Antigua's National Sailing Academy in CSA 7.

Antigua Sailing Week continues Monday with the Fever-Tree Race Day where sailors from over 37 nations will compete on the second day of this truly international contest.


Clipper Race Departs Seattle to Embark on Penultimate Leg
The teams competing in Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race set sail from Seattle today (29 April) as they embark on the race stage which takes them to Panama. The intense 4,000 nm Race 10: The Garmin American Challenge is one of two stages in Leg 7 and is expected to take the crews approximately 26 days to complete.

Going into Leg 7, the penultimate leg of the 2017-18 edition, Sanya Serenity Coast is leading the overall standings, and is followed by follow Chinese team entry, Qingdao, which is in second and Visit Seattle in third.

On departure, all teams competed in a short inshore circuit in front of Seattle's impressive skyline. After two laps around Elliott Bay, the winning team was, very fittingly, Visit Seattle. The results determined the starting order for Race 10's Le Mans start which will take place on Sunday 29 April after the crews have passed through Puget Sound and into the North Pacific Ocean.

And that's where things will start to get interesting, as Clipper Race Director Mark Light explains: "It's going to get very tactical as the fleet heads south to Panama. If they stay inshore, there might be help from some tide and current but further offshore will generally will provide much stronger winds. Teams will need to think ahead - where do they want to be in three days' time and how are they going to get there."

The drysuits and thermal layers of earlier legs will gradually be replaced by sunscreen and shorts as the temperature rises near Mexico.

The fleet arrives into Panama between 23 and 27 May. After a short respite, the second race of Leg 7 will see the yachts travel North from the coast off Panama City, to New York City.

Specialists - UBI Maior
Seahorse Sailing is fortunate to have so many really smart and interesting people working away to pull off little bits of technical magic that, often unnoticed, play a disproportionate part in the success of the best programmes...

Nearly all of us have spent time playing with rigging to find optimal solutions for our boat, whether it's a dinghy, a keelboat, offshore racer or even a cruiser. Ambitious performance sailors hate inefficiency, friction and failure, while we love clever, elegant solutions that make us believe we are getting every possible bit of power to make us go fast and safe through the water.

Located at the heart of the precision engineering hub of central Italy UBI Maior Italia share this passion - they have the tools, the skills and, most importantly, the creativity and inspiration to try new solutions to the age-old fight against inefficiency in marine hardware. And being a relatively small operation makes them ideally suited to custom and semi-custom design and fabrication, where standard products may not be quite good enough to achieve the desired elegance in design and function.

Full article in the May issue of Seahorse:

Significant rule changes boosts competition at Poole Regatta
The International Paint Poole Regatta has today announced a change to the equipment required aboard yachts taking part in the Regatta.   This change has been made after careful consideration of the sailing venue and the type of racing which will feature during the regatta.

"We have today announced an amendment to the Notice of Race concerning the compliance to World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (ORS).  Previously, the Notice of Race specified that yachts must comply with ORS Category 4 and we have now amended them to Appendix B plus VHF radio, to reflect the sailing venue.  This reduced level of equipment will enable yachts to compete in the regatta, without the need to re-equip if they do not already comply with Category 4."  Martin Pearson - Regatta Chairman

The requirements of Appendix B can be found on page 27 of the ORS HERE.

For one design classes there are no changes, as these competitors will comply with their own class rules in terms of equipment on board.

Racing at Poole Regatta is held across five courses, with larger yachts competing in Poole Bay and smaller classes within the harbour. Competitor safety is of paramount importance to the regatta committee and following Appendix B plus VHF rules enables safe racing within the Poole Bay environment. Poole Regatta takes place over the May bank holiday weekend from 26th to 28th May.

The World Sailing Show: Programme 4 - Season 2018
Exiting the Southern Ocean marks a milestone in any circumnavigation, but for this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race the passing of the notorious headland triggered a deeply emotional response across the fleet. Leg 7 from Auckland to Brazil had been a brutal affair and tragically, had cost one crew member his life. A dismasting and widespread damage had added to the stress and by the end of the leg there was a new order on the leaderboard.

So after such a dramatic leg, this month the World Sailing Show headed out to the stopover in Itajaí, Brazil, to produce a Volvo Ocean Race special.

Volvo Ocean Race Special

  • The brutal Southern Ocean
  • Triumph and tragedy
  • Inside Dongfeng Race Team
  • Plus
  • Rolex China Sea Race
  • Going Extreme in Oman

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 Stephen Jones:

Philip Crebbin's story about Silver Shamrock and the first Indulgence brings back memories of a great year's racing. I was out of the office racing and 'hand holding' for 15 weeks just employed on getting 6 boats of my design into the UK team of 10. These were of course Indulgence, Voodoo ( which I raced on) , Gunsmoke. Smokey Bear, Tumblehome 2 and The Goodies.

The first 4 were all Hustler 32's with fractional rigs of all different ratios except Voodoo masthead , and all were completed from basic mouldings in garage workshops by their owners ( those were the days of DIY raceboats!).

Graham Walkers's Indulgence sported a stunning colour scheme and the subject of many original features including a special deep draft thinner and narrower keel designed by me which was shared with Smokey and another 32 Nenno.

Starting with Tumblehome 2 designed in 1973 I'd sussed how to get a decent fat arse onto an IOR boat without a huge 'L' penalty. It was only schoolboy maths but the resultant shape was a 'double' stern feature which I still use on heavy cruisers. The wide stern though not as wide as current 'unrestricted' boats was a big change from the Peterson/Holland pintails whose rational I could never understand except for lights airs and a slop.

It was obvious from the start that Graham was going to go on to big things as an owner. However in this event it was unfortunate that they happened to go the different way to Waverider the eventual winner in the long offshore race though Larry Marks's Smokey Bear upheld some honour by coming 2nd overall.

* From: Peter Morton

I remember Silver Shamrock very well. It may have looked like a fish but it would have been the first ever fish seen at Crufts. The local butcher provided the biggest cow thigh bone I have ever seen which was appropriately tied to the pulpit one night.

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The Last Word
Tell one of the crew there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he"ll believe you .Tell him the deck has wet paint on it and he"ll have to touch it to be sure. -- Anon.

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