In This Issue
Sailing Clubs: Time is Short
Youth to Keelboat at Antigua Sailing Week
Ocean Safety rolls out spring education programme
Nice Ultimed
2018 Melges 40 Grand Prix Starts at PalmaVela
A high bar?
Absolute Maximum!
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: G.I. Gurdjieff

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

Sailing Clubs: Time is Short
You may not be aware that the Executive Committee of World Sailing intend to bring major changes to the Paris Olympics of 2024. It is paramount that those who are in a position to defend our sport and its character, starting at club level, understand the message that we are trying to convey as we believe for many reasons that the very future of our sport is being put at risk. Some of us are sailors who became Olympians because of yacht clubs who embraced us when we were very young and supported our dreams. Some of us even went on to make sailing into a career.

But it is too easy for administrators and those who control sailing to become removed from the sport they have been appointed to help to manage.

Fundamentally our sport is and always has been based upon three fundamental pillars: sailors, clubs and classes. Sailing is facing a critical period in our long involvement in the Olympic Games and it is dangerous to think that 'this does not matter to me'. Well, it does.

World Sailing's far-reaching proposal moves the focus from accessible classes like the Laser Radial to a technology-driven format demanding wholesale replacement of expensively acquired boats and equipment. It is now possible that up to eight of the 10 current Olympic sailing disciplines will be dropped for Paris 2024 - crushing the hopes of countless young sailors who are dreaming of some day representing their club and country and becoming Olympians themselves. And of course the less well-funded the sailor - and the sailing nation - the more they will be hurt.

What is virtually a complete change in classes will not only wipe out the enormous investments made year after year by those chasing the Olympic dream, it will take a heavy toll on the sailing clubs that support the sport. Competitive sailing is based on the clubs, where young sailors start sailing in starter dinghies, often after members have helped them take their first step by learning to swim. The water is our arena.

For everyone involved in club sailing the issue that needs your immediate attention is that the Olympic format under consideration by World Sailing sees the Finn, 470 Men and Women, Windsurfer Men and Women, Laser and Laser Radial all possibly dropped for the 2024 Olympic Regatta. Only the 49er and 49erFX will remain. The range of sailor weights and body sizes with a place in Olympic sailing will reduce even further.

Instead World Sailing propose a wholesale switch of emphasis to foiling and foiling equipment, as has already happened to the Nacra 17 fleet - with the substantial increase in cost and complexity (certainly the foiling Nacra is spectacular... but in some conditions it is slower than its non-foiling predecessor).

The thrust is to use Olympic Sailing as a vehicle to introduce kitesurfing, a subjectively scored, wave-jumping, foiling, off-the-beach event held not at the Olympic Sailing venue but at a new Olympic Surfing venue.

It is our firm opinion that kitesurfing has earned its right to be called a sport of its own, and should fly on its own merits and not use sailing to promote its desire to be included in the Olympic Games - and its commercial interests. The reality is that one does not need a sailing club to go KiteSurfing - 'riders' just have to pack their gear and find a beach. There are also menacing issues of ongoing anti-trust lawsuits and disputes about who really owns the commercial equipment that will be used and the patents that will control supply.

The proponents of these wholesale changes to what we know as 'Olympic sailing' argue that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) demand such a switch within their Olympic Agenda 2020. Yet the IOC themselves deny any such arbitrary decrees - stating only that they remain in 'ongoing negotiations' with each of the 35 Olympic Sport Federations.

For good reason a major issue today is gender equality. But sailing has always promoted women - this was reconfirmed only this month by the IOC's latest competitor audit. Olympic sailing already boasts a 45 per cent women's participation rate - the average across all current Olympic sports.

Finally, these crucial issues are intended to be decided by means of an 'electronic vote'. How removed from the grassroots of sailing is a remote electronic vote? No face-to-face debate between representatives of Member National Authorities, instead a remote process executed by the click of a mouse... The result could be an Olympic line-up made up entirely of fee-paying manufacturer classes.

The clubs - your sailing club - are the foundation of competitive sailing. You are also the power behind your Member National Authority. They are elected by you and they are only there to represent your views.

If you are against such hurried major changes to this sport then we urge you to back this demand to the IOC and World Sailing: 'That the selection of sailing equipment and events for Paris 2024 be frozen by the IOC until all of the issues involved are openly, democratically and transparently scrutinised focusing in particular on the effects that dramatic changes of equipment have on the sailors who dream to be Olympians and on the sailing clubs who have nurtured their dreams.'

If you agree with our concerns please contact your own National Federation, tell your Yacht Club and Class Association to do the same and lobby hard to ensure it does not support the destructive proposals to be put forward by the World Sailing Executive Committee later this month.

Time is short. The future of our sport rests with each of you.

A group of concerned sailors.

Sime Fantela
Giles Scott
Mathew Belcher
Hannah Mills
Luke Patience
Panagiotis Mantis
Victor Kovalenko (Coach)

From the May issue of Seahorse magazine:

Youth to Keelboat at Antigua Sailing Week
Global Bank of Commerce Day at Antigua Sailing Week is all about supporting aspiring youth sailors. The Youth to Keelboat Programme (Y2K) was launched in January 2018 by the Antigua & Barbuda Sailing Association (ABSA) in conjunction with Antigua Sailing Week. The programme is aimed at giving youths aged 16-25 years keelboat experience during Antigua Sailing Week. Thirteen young sailors are competing in just about every class at Antigua Sailing Week, thanks to the Y2K programme. Over the past few years, hundreds of young sailors have learnt the sport through the National Sailing Academy and the Antigua Yacht Club - that grass-roots development is now bearing fruit.

Leading CSA 7 with a string of four bullets is the National Sailing Academy's Cork 1720 Spirit, skippered by Jules Mitchell. Only a shredded spinnaker in Race 5 has dented their perfect scoreline. The teenage team are all from Antigua and have grown up together and that camaraderie and natural understanding shines through, which is truly inspirational. Three of the team have already competed at the Sailing Youth Worlds. Jules Mitchell now aspires to represent Antigua & Barbuda in the Laser and Rocco Falcone and Louis Bavay have aspirations in the 29er.

The Grieg City Academy from the North London comprehensive school have a team at Antigua Sailing Week that are just 14-17 years of age. Having never sailed in Antigua or in a Cork 1720 and have taken time to get to grips with the complexities and heat. However, today the young team scored a third place and took a bow on the stage at the daily prize giving.

Day Three of Antigua Sailing Week was blessed with heaven-sent conditions. The first of two starts was affected by cloud cover with more unstable gusty conditions. Later in the day the tropical sun burnt off the low cloud and the trade winds blew a steady 18 knots across both race courses. Race 5 marked the halfway point in the scheduled ten race regatta and leaders are emerging in all of the 13 classes. Peter Harrison's superyacht Sojana remains unbeaten in CSA 2, as does Jonty Layfield's Swan 48 Sleeper X in CSA 5.

In CSA 1, the turbo-charged American Volvo 70 Warrior, sailed by Stephen Murray Jr. revelled in the big conditions on the Windward Beach course, romping through the surf to score two bullets to open up a five point lead on Stefan Jentzsch's German Carkeek 47 Black Pearl. Brian McMaster's Australian Cookson 50 Riff Raff is third.

Ocean Safety rolls out spring education programme
Ocean Safety Ocean Safety doesn't just sell a wide range of safety equipment. The company is at the forefront of shaping safety standards throughout the marine community. Having the right kit on board is all very well until it comes to using it in an emergency, and most people have never had to launch a liferaft in a real life situation, let off a flare either, or recovered a person overboard.

Ocean Safety is running a range of demonstrations throughout the spring to a variety of audiences. An MOB and liferaft launch demonstration took place at Lymington Yacht Haven last weekend and prior to that Steve Bockett and his team took the owners and crews of World Cruising's upcoming ocean rallies through offshore safety requirements and procedures. On 12th May the team will be delivering an exclusive event to the members of the London-based Cruising Association with training centred around MOB products and recovery procedures, lifejacket awareness, a flare demonstration and grab bag contents.

The company is stressing the importance of emergency planning in advance - it's no time to be reading the instruction manual once someone has fallen overboard.

Ocean Safety can tailor a safety seminar for every type of group, both leisure sailors and commercial ship crews.

For more information contact

Nice Ultimed
Click on image for photo gallery.

TEXT Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, has a bold vision for the city and is investing billions of Euros on infrastructure - the new tramway 'ligne 2' will whisk sailors from the airport to the port in 25 minutes - to allow Nice to host international sporting events.

Since the late Yves Carcelle brought a round of the Louis Vuitton Cup to the port in 2009, Estrosi has had an ambition to put Nice (whose Club Nautique hosted its first international regattas in 1886) back on the chart, dreaming of it being the Sable d'Olonne of the Med.

With input from native Niçois Jean-Pierre Dick he has brought three 'titan' trimarans to town, laying on a spectacle along Nice's Promenade des Anglais, including a kid's' Discovery Exhibition.

(It just needed a multihull-style trampoline according to my 7-year-old daughter).

Nice Port sports an eclectic mix of vessels from colourful, local 'pointu' fishing boats to family cruisers and superyachts, with captains of big yellow Corsica Ferries manoeuvring in comfortably, even as the trimarans vie for space.

Under 20 minutes East (when the SNCF train service is not on strike) is the Yacht Club de Monaco - which made Estrosi an honorary member in December 2009 - whose President, Prince Albert II, came to sail on the Nigel Irens -designed Sodebo for the Sunday's display parade.

Monaco and Nice complement each other, as friendly rivals, and it shouldn't be long before Prince Albert II's nephew and offshore racer Pierre Casiraghi enters this multihull arena with a bigger Malizia.

Start cannon to be fired by Christian Estrosi at 13.02, Wed 2 May, to allow the French to watch the departure in the sacred lunch break - marked daily by a ritual 12.00 cannon fired up at 'Le Chateau' - a tradition started by an 'Englishman' (actually a Scot), with the approval of the Mayor, in 1861 who liked to remind his wife to get home for lunch. The boats race to a buoy off Marseille, leave Sardinia and Corsica to port, and are scheduled to be back to the finish line at the end of the Promenade on Saturday. -- Nick Jeffery

2018 Melges 40 Grand Prix Starts at PalmaVela
Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Beginning on Thursday May 3, the spring appointment of the 2018 Melges 40 Grand Prix kicks off at PalmaVela, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma.

The Melges 40 Grand Prix 2018 circuit will commence this coming weekend in Palma de Mallorca, Spain as part of PalmaVela. The Class moves on to Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Italy on July 5-8 - an event reserved exclusively for the Melges 40.

Post Porto Cervo, the fleet returns to Spain at the invitation of the organizers of Copa del Rey, a regatta that needs no introduction. The fourth and final event of the 2018 circuit takes place in Miami, Florida where the Melges 40, for the very first time will race overseas. It is where you will see the name of the one who has already succeeded in the golden book of the Melges 40 Grand Prix, its first winner - the very Italian STIG by Alessandro Rombelli.

Rombelli has confirmed his presence on the 2018 Grand Prix circuit, returning with none other than Francesco Bruni - his super afterguard. Together with Jordi Calafat, they were the architects behind STIG's wildly successful 2017 season.

Sweden's Richard Goransson helming INGA FROM SWEDEN with world-renown Kiwi tactician Cameron Appleton is back in action and ready to take on the competition, given in great shape after the winter tests held in Palma de Mallorca.

The team being named as the team to beat is Yukihiro Ishida's SIKON representing Japan. With Spain's Manu Weiller at his side calling tactics and in lue of a tremendous victory last year in Palma, they are officially on the watch list.

The list of top competitors also includes Russia's Valentin Zavadnikov (Michele Ivaldi, tactician) sailing DYNAMIQ SYNERGY, and Andrea Lacorte's VITAMINA (Branko Brcin, tactician).

A high bar?
Seahorse Magazine Dutch Olympic sailor Kalle Coster and Sailmon are aiming to do for performance sailing what Steve Jobs and Apple did for the 'mobile telephone'

In four short years Sailmon have evolved from ambitious start-up to serious contender and are gaining traction as a go-to solution for processing and displaying data onboard. Right across the sport, from François Gabart (Macif) to Nathan Outteridge (Artemis), key players are using the products in increasing numbers.

Kalle believes the reason for the company's fast rise is simple: 'We are born sailors, it's in our blood and Sailmon is the natural expression of that. We work to help bring sailing into the 21st century and share it with the wider world.'

The company's mantra - 'designed by sailors for sailors' - rings especially true for Kalle. The son of double Olympian Dick Coster, Kalle has won medals at world cups, world and European championships and has held the no1 ranking in the Men's 470. 'The only medal we missed out on was an Olympic one, though we came painfully close!

Full article in the May issue of Seahorse:

Absolute Maximum!
All time record 122 entries for the 40th Anniversary Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe!

By January 31st, the number of entries increased to 120. A few days after the official closing of registration for the race from Saint-Malo toPointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. Fittingly this is a historic number for a legendary race.

At 40 years on the first Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, entries are highly coveted, and have been expanded. OC Sport Pen Duick, the organizing company, in consultation with the city of Saint-Malo and the Guadeloupe region set the new fleet limit at 120 and it was the sailors of Class 40 and the Rhum Multi categories that benefited most. But when the entries finally closed on March 31st, the organizers and the race director were faced with one last equation to solve. Of the eight places open to the Ultimate, two were not filled, and one of the maximum of seven for the Multi50, one place was vacant. The IMOCA and Mono Rhum were only slightly increased in size, with the NoR provision for 'communication vessels'. was taken. The following increase in the limit to 122 soloists is explained by Mathieu Sarrot,In the interest of fairness, we want to bring in a number of other things. This means the number of entries in the rum Mono fleet will be 17 and in the IMOCA it will be 23. With the IMOCA fleet we wanted to find ourselves a little more flexible, showing solidarity with the class. With the Barcelona World Race being canceled, we did not want to rob one of the lucky sailors of their chance to take part in the 2018 - 2019 season. "

With 122 racers on the start line and challenging the famous Transatlantic classic course, it will impact significantly on the logistics and safety planning. " We are currently considering the idea of ​​dividing the boats on the starting line," confirms Jacques Caraës, Race Director. "However, the fleet, which was already split into two or more multihulls on one side and the other, could have a start line between 3 and 3.5 miles long "

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 David Evans:

There appears to be a bit of a glut of Oysters on the 2nd hand market at the moment.

Couldn't have anything to do with "Polina Star lll" could it?

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The Last Word
A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering. -- G.I. Gurdjieff

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