In This Issue
MAPFRE take a stunning win into Newport
Argo Group Gold Cup Packed With Action On Day 1
Record breaking conditions forecast for Antigua to Bermuda Race
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Nations Trophy Mediterranean League
UK Yacht Builder FIBRE Mechanics Added as Second Builder for IC37 by Melges One-Design
Gladwell's Line: British Challenge ups the tempo
Entries to Poole Regatta up by 25%
America's Cup Rumors and Rumblings
Magical meeting of the Yacht Restorers' Brotherhood
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Emmett Grogan

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

MAPFRE take a stunning win into Newport
The Spanish team MAPFRE stunned the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Tuesday morning by stealing a win in Leg 8, with a shocking come-from-behind victory into a foggy Newport, Rhode Island.

One day before the finish, with just 300 miles to go, MAPFRE was in fifth place.

As Tuesday morning dawned, and with the fleet ghosting towards the finish line in extremely light and shifty winds, Xabi Fernández's team was among the leading quartet, battling in slow motion with Team Brunel, Dongfeng Race Team and Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

And even when the leaders were just 500 metres from the finish line, MAPFRE was still trailing Team Brunel as the pair emerged from the fog within sight of the spectators at the Fort Adams Race Village.

But on approach to the final turning mark, MAPFRE picked up a zephyr of wind to sneak past Brunel and claim what just moments earlier would have been seen as a very improbable leg win. The margin after nearly 16 days of racing was just 1-minute and 1-second.

Dongfeng Race Team, who had been ahead of the fleet on the approach to the east coast overnight Monday night, suffered the cruellest fate over the final miles.

Every break seemed to go against Charles Caudrelier's team and after being in position to claim the leg win, the team had to settle for fourth place with Vestas 11th Hour Racing storming past Caudrelier's crew in the final mile of the leg.

The Race Village at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island will officially open at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon.

Finish order:
1. MAPFE, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 17:44:29
2. Team Brunel, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 17:45:30
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 17:59:04
4. Dongfeng Race Team, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 18:25:21
5. Team AkzoNobel, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 19:21:22
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 19:24:14
7. Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, ARV Elapsed time: 15d 20:56:52

Argo Group Gold Cup Packed With Action On Day 1

HAMILTON, Bermuda (May 8, 2018) - In a day packed with so much action that many skippers' memories were left blurred, Taylor Canfield's USone Sailing Team streaked out to the early lead at the 68th Argo Group Gold Cup.

Canfield and crew Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Erik Shampain and George Peet won all six of their matches and are the only undefeated team remaining at the $100,000 match racing regatta. Close behind are Joachim Aschenbrenner's Team TriFork from Denmark with a 6-2 record. Johnie Berntsson's crew stands third at 5-1 and Lucy MacGregor's crew from the U.K. is fourth with a 5-3 record.

A total of 35 races were completed today as principal race officer David Campbell-James took advantage of the southerly wind blowing between 10 and 15 knots. With the wind blowing across Hamilton Harbour there were shifts of 20 to 30 degrees at times with many puffs. The steady pace of action left many struggling to recall what had transpired during the day.

Argo Group Gold Cup Standings (After 7 of 14 flights in round robin)
1. Taylor Canfield (Miami, Florida, USA) - 6-0
Crew: Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, George Peet, Erik Shampain
2. Joachim Aschenbrenner (Fredensborg, Denmark) - 6-2
Crew: Ian Coleman, Will Mackenzie, Rob Scrivenor
3. Johnie Berntsson (Stennungsund, Sweden) - 5-1
Crew: Oscar Angervall (trimmer), Björn Lundgren (main trim), Robert Skarp (bow/tactics)
4. Lucy MacGregor (Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom) - 5-3
Crew: Bethan Cardin, Hannah Diamond, Annie Lush, Kate MacGregor
5. Nicklas Dackhammar (Gothenburg, Sweden) - 4-2
Crew: Olof Lundgren, Eric Malmberg, Jakob Wilson
6. Charlie Lalumiere (New York, NY, USA) - 3-3
Crew: Scott Ewing, Bleddon Mon, Ian Storck
7. Torvar Mirsky (Perth, Western Australia) - 2-4
Crew: Lachy Gilmour (tactics), Cameron Seagreen (trimmer), Graeme Spence (bow)
8. Sam Gilmour (Perth, Western Australia) - 2-4
Crew: Adam Negri, Keith Swinton, Pat Voss
9. Ettore Botticini (Porto Santo Stefano, Italy) - 1-5
Crew: Simone Busonero, Andrea Fornaro, Lorenzo Gennari
10. Chris Poole (Falmouth, Maine, USA) - 1-6
Crew: Brian McMarton, Trent Turigliatto, Ryan Zupon
11. Marek Stanczyk (Gizycko, Poland) - 0-5
Crew: Stefaniuk Jedrzej, Jakob Pawluk, Michal Szmul

Record breaking conditions forecast for Antigua to Bermuda Race
Record breaking conditions are forecast for the second edition of the Antigua Bermuda Race, with strong easterly trades expected to provide fast reaching conditions for the first two days of the 935 nautical mile oceanic race. High pressure east of Bermuda is expected to decrease the gradient wind, shifting south to create tactical lighter running conditions for the finish into Bermuda.

The American turbo-charged Volvo 70 Warrior, sailed by Stephen Murray Jr. is expected to be the front runner and their current estimated elapsed time is inside the record set last year of 3 days, 20 hours, 32 mins, 41 secs.

"Sailors superstition prevents me from predicting elapsed time, but we are optimistic we can shave off quite a bit of time from last year," commented Warrior's Stephen Murray Jr. "Our goals are a repeat of last year's grand slam; winning CSA, IRC and a new course record, and we would also love to be the first recipient of the new Warrior Trophy for best IRC performance. We are so excited to have great competition from some very hot boats. This year, we will have our work cut out for us to beat Varuna and Teasing Machine; two proven winners in grand prix racing. As always, we hope to get recognition to the mission of Warrior Sailing, helping veterans through the sport of sailing. A strong showing against this stiff competition will hopefully spread the word about Warrior Sailing."

Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna will revel in the reaching conditions and should prove very adept at the VMG running conditions predicted for later in the race. Three Spanish Volvo Ocean Race sailors will strengthen the solid German team; Guillermo Altadill has competed in six round the world races, Chuny Bermúdez won the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, and Jaime Arbones is a veteran of ocean racing.

Other German contenders include: Joachim M. Brünner's Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg, class winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Hanns Ostmeier's Swan 45 High Yield; Michael Orgzey's Swan 48 Dantes; Sebastian Ropohl's JV52 Haspa Hamburg, and Arnt Bruhns' Class40 Iskareen.

The Antigua Bermuda Race will start from Fort Charlotte, Antigua on Wednesday 09 May 2018 at 1200 local time (UTC-4).

Seahorse May 2018
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

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...

Getting organised
Range of boat type nuts... future plans secure Andrew Mcirvine

Counting blessings
Plenty to smile about... Rob Weiland

The opening night of the Caribbean 600 did not go entirely according to plan for the team on the mighty Fujin. Paul Bieker and Jonathan Mckee

Master designer - Part I
Surely you didn't think we'd rush this one... John Rousmaniere

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Nations Trophy Mediterranean League
Sail Racing PalmaVela, organised by the Real Club Nautico de Palma, is the first, big multi-class regatta of the Mediterranean season and, as such, is a highly competitive affair carrying great kudos. Some 134 entries and over 1,500 crew from 26 nations contested the 2018 event. For the Swan One Design contingent of 17 yachts, the 15th edition of this spring tradition formed the second event in The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2018.

The time of year may be associated with new life, but it was some perennial performers that stamped their mark on the event. European Champions, Earlybird, secured ClubSwan 50 and Christian Plump's Swan 45 Elena Nova won here for the sixth time. Massimo de Campo's ClubSwan 42 Selene Alifax bucked the trend, more in keeping with the season, by winning a first major Swan One Design contest. In the battle for top nation, Germany were the clear winners with Earlybird and Elena Nova proving a formidable combination.

The next event for Swan One Design classes competing for The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League is the three-day inshore series at the Rolex Giraglia in Saint-Tropez, from 9 to 12 June.

Sail Racing PalmaVela 2018 - Swan One Design Results

ClubSwan 50
1. Earlybird (GER), Hendrik Brandis, 20
2. Mathilde (SUI), Morten Kielland, 22
3. Onegroup (GER), Stefan Heidenreich, 28

Swan 45
1. Elena Nova (GER), Christian Plump, 21
2. Porron IX (ESP), Luís Senís, 25
3. T'ala (GBR), David Collins, 25

ClubSwan 42
1. Selene Alifax (ITA), Massimo De Campo, 16
2. Pez De Abril (ESP) José Maria Meseguer, 24
3. Dralion, (GER) Pit Finis, 25

The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League (PalmaVela)
1. Germany (12) [Earlybird 7; Elena Nova 5]
2. Spain (8) [Pez de Abril 4; Porron IX 4]
3. Italy (7) [Selene 5; Ulika 2]

UK Yacht Builder FIBRE Mechanics Added as Second Builder for IC37 by Melges One-Design
IC37. Photo by Stuart Streuli. Click on image to enlarge.

With demand soaring for the next big one-design keelboat class, the New York Yacht Club and Melges Performance Sailboats have licensed a second manufacturer for the IC37 by Melges. FIBRE Mechanics, based in Lymington, England, will join Westerly Marine (Santa Ana, Calif.) as an official builder of the 37-foot one-design keelboat designed by Mark Mills to a concept created by the New York Yacht Club. The Club has ordered the first 20 boats for use in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and as a member charter fleet. The first IC37 by Melges is currently undergoing sea trials in Newport, R.I., and will be christened this coming Saturday, May 12, at the 31st Commissioning of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court.

FIBRE Mechanics is a new name in the boatbuilding industry, having formed in late 2016. But the core team of managers and boat builders is comprised of former employees of Green Marine, which built many America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race yachts during a distinguished run as one of the world's premiere builders of custom composite yachts.

Maintaining the strict one-design characteristics of the burgeoning class will be the top priority for FIBRE Mechanics, which will be building its hull and deck molds from the original plug created by Westerly Marine.

The plugs and other associated tooling are currently en route to the FIBRE Mechanics shop in Lymington, with construction of the first boat scheduled to begin by mid-summer. Melges Performance Sailboats is currently taking orders for privately-owned IC37s, which should be available early in 2019.

Gladwell's Line: British Challenge ups the tempo
At last, there has been some America's Cup news that is not about some politico's warblings, the umteenth option for base locations or yet another Kiwi pressure group trying to use the America's Cup as a crowbar to achieve some aspirational agenda.

Last Friday, at the Prospect of Whitby, a Thameside pub dating back to 1520, Ben Ainslie announced that there had been a major change in the financial backing of the British America's Cup team challenging through an affiliate club of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The "new" money in the City who'd backed the first challenge by Ben Ainslie Racing has been quietly shuffled off centre-stage, along with Land Rover as naming rights sponsor, to make way for a new single sponsor, INEOS, a privately owned petrochemical conglomerate, who will pump £110million/NZD$217million into the Challenge.

Part of that eye watering sum is believed to be a payout to the existing sponsor/backing team.

The former management and financiers associated with LRBAR's Bermuda challenge, outwardly wished the new group well. While their AC50 appeared to be lacking in the boat-speed department in Bermuda, the management group were able to put together a very good infrastructure of bases, sailing programs and networks that extended far beyond just the America's Cup program. It is a big ask to get a first time Cup team to function properly, but they did well. It will be interesting to see how much of that rich inventory is engaged in the current Challenge.

Land Rover BAR was not quite so restrained their surprise exit saying in a statement: "We are extremely disappointed having worked tirelessly to support Ben and the entire team. It is a great blow to us all that our partnership will not continue."

Describing how the new deal came about, Jim Ratcliffe, founder and chairman of INEOS, said he thought he was merely going out to have a drink, arranged by a mutual friend, with Ainslie - and one thing led to another.

Our guess that Ainslie's team had done their detailed budgeting and concluded that they would be seriously short of funds for a two boat AC75 challenge.

RIchard's full editorial in

Entries to Poole Regatta up by 25%
Early Bird entry numbers to the International Paint Poole Regatta are up by 25% compared to 2016. Word is spreading fast about Poole Regatta being an unmissable race weekend and with entries open until May 23rd, many more are still expected.

2018 is shaping up to be the biggest Poole Regatta to date. Racing begins on Saturday 26th May and runs across the bank holiday weekend. The prize giving will be held in the new Parkstone Yacht Club Clubhouse on Monday 28th, after racing has concluded.

As the largest class, the number of IRC yachts has already surpassed the total number of competitors from 2016. The fleet will be split across three IRC classes, with each having separate starts. As an extra incentive Poole is hosting the IRC Southern Championships, which act as a great warm up event for the IRC European Championships, held two weeks later in Cowes. The Fast 40+ fleet will also be holding round two of their race circuit over the weekend, alongside the MOCRA, J24, HP30, VPRS and 2.4mR National Championships. The Shrimper class will be holding its Southern Championship over the weekend.

America's Cup Rumors and Rumblings
Mike Buckley has been working for over a year to launch a second USA challenger. He claims to have much of the needed funding committed. The deadline for challenges is 30 June 2018, although a $1 million late fee will allow challengers until 30 November 2018.

Kiwi olympic medalist and America's Cup winner Craig Monk has been working with a potential Chinese entrant.

A second Italian challenger, from Sardinia, was in the news in December, but there has been no word since then. -- Jack Griffin in Cup Experience

See Jack's new America's Cup Guide:

Magical meeting of the Yacht Restorers' Brotherhood
Photo by WM Nixon. . Click on image to enlarge.

The wind is at last from the west, the easterlies of the longest winter in memory have finally relented, and it's time to be in the west of Ireland and Connemara, time to eavesdrop on two senior boat restorers as they yarn about the challenges they face, and where it might all go writes W M Nixon.

Dickie Gomes of Strangford Lough has been custodian and skipper of the 36ft-Ainmara for more than fifty years. She was designed and built by John B Kearney in Ringsend in Dublin in 1912. The other boat custodian is Paddy Murphy, who once upon a time was Ringsend-based, but he now lives in far Renvyle in northwest Connemara. For many years he has been grappling - both in Dublin and in Connemara - with the challenge of bringing the 1916-built 45ft Isle of Man fishing boat Aigh Vie back to life.

Both boats have more stories entwined about them than you'd think possible. John Kearney was a foreman shipwright in Dublin Port, but he wanted to be a yacht designer. And he is so described on his gravestone in Glasnevin in Dublin, his wish fulfilled when he died aged 88.

"John Kearney was a foreman shipwright in Dublin Port, but he wanted to be a yacht designer"

He was one tough little man. So determined was he to design and build Ainmara to prove himself that, after he'd finished his hard day in the Dublin Port workshops, he would return home across the Liffey to Ringsend by the little local ferry, and then set to work every night, building Ainmara without any power tools, with his tasks illuminated by oil lamps. He had the job finished in 18 months.

Aigh Vie, as we've recounted here in, was the result of an anonymous gift to the captain of an Isle of Man sailing trawler which was owned by others. That trawler - the Wanderer - was the first vessel to reach the stricken ocean liner Lusitania after she'd been hit by torpedoes from a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale during the Great War in 1915.

The trawler captain William Ball and his crew were heroic in saving something like 160 lives. And within a year, this mysterious sum of money appeared with a firm of solicitors in his home port of Peel, with the request that Captain Ball commission the local boat-building company to construct his own dreamship. The Aigh Vie was the result. -- W M Nixon

Another of W M Nixon's superb articles in Afloat:

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2005 Swan 75-002 Anteo. 1,600,000 EUR. Located in Tuscany, Italy

The Swan 75 Flush-Deck is a practical and seaworthy long range cruiser with a hi-volume four-cabin interior and spacious deck layout.

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1993 Swan 68-004 Explotadot. 1,300,000 Located in Barcelona, Spain.

Swan 68-004 Explotadot was originally launched in 1993 as ‘Solleone’ for the chairman of Nautor’s Swan. She was the first Swan 68 to feature four guest cabins with a galley forward arrangement, allowing greater separation from guests and crew.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
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