In This Issue
Canfield Completes Sweep of Round Robin at Argo Group Gold Cup
Off to a Flying Start
Mediterranean new playground for IMOCAs thanks to Monaco
Five TP52s will bolster wide fleet at Samui Regatta
Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup syndicate to change name
Offshore Worlds 2018 Class C Teams Confirmed
Meech and McKenzie in top three at Laser Europeans
The 21st century Mayflower: preparing for an autonomous voyage
For the Record
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Charles Baudelaire

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

Canfield Completes Sweep of Round Robin at Argo Group Gold Cup
Photo by Charles Anderson / RBYC. Click on image for photo gallery.

YC Monado Hamilton, Bermuda: Taylor Canfield's USone Sailing Team completed a clean sweep of the Round Robin at the 68th Argo Group Gold Cup.

Canfield and crew Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, George Peet and Erik Shampain continued the winning ways they started yesterday and finished 10-0. They advance to Friday's Quarterfinal Round where they'll choose their opponent.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals are crews skippered by Johnie Berntsson (9-1, 8.5 points), Joachim Aschenbrenner (8-2) and Nicklas Dackhammar (6-4), in that order.

The remaining seven crews led by skippers Lucy MacGregor (6-4), Torvar Mirsky (5-5), Charlie Laulimere (4-6), Marek Stanczyk (2-8), Ettore Botticini (2-8), Sam Gilmour (2-8, 1.5 points) and Chris Poole (1-9) advanced to the Repechage Round.

After the first three of seven scheduled flights, Lalumiere streaked out to a 3-0 lead, followed by MacGregor at 2-0, Mirsky at 2-1, Botticini at 1-1, Gilmour at 1-2, Stanczyk at 0-2 and Poole at 0-3.

Today's conditions weren't an exact carbon copy of yesterday's but they were similar enough to provide plenty of horsepower for the crews. The south/southeasterly blew 10 to 15 knots and was shifty enough that no lead was safe.

Tomorrow's schedule calls for the Repechage Round to be completed in the morning followed by the Pro-Am in the afternoon. The four matches of the Quarterfinal Round are scheduled for Friday.

Off to a Flying Start
The 2018 Antigua Bermuda started on Wednesday 9th May off Fort Charlotte, Antigua. Brilliant sunshine and 20 knots of trade winds combined to produce a spectacular start for the 14 yachts and 96 sailors competing in the 935 nautical mile oceanic race. Eager to begin the adventure, a highly competitive start saw the fleet fully powered up, beating into the Caribbean swell. At Green Island the fleet eased sheets, hoisting downwind sails and accelerating into a power reach that should last for at least 48 hours.

"We have a real variety of yachts racing this year, but the teams are peppered with some highly accomplished sailors," commented Les Crane Antigua Bermuda Race Chair. "At the start Varuna, Teasing Machine and Warrior went right inshore to get the lifting pressure, but just about the whole fleet got away to a good start. The high performance yachts will be fast, but this race is not just about grand prix racing yachts. We have teams entered like the Volvo 60 Challenger which has just three crew, 20 feet each! Also Pata Negra which is heading to Newport for the race to Bermuda, and the all-Irish crew on Irene III who will be smiling all the way to Bermuda. Safety is also a key area; all of the fleet have trackers on board and if a team has a problem, there are nearby yachts to offer assistance. We had a great party in Nelson's Dockyard last night supported by Goslings Rum and another one to look forward to at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club."

Three hours into the race a battle was raging at the front of the fleet between Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna and the turbo-charged AmericanVolvo 70 Warrior, sailed by Stephen Murray Jr. After blasting around the windward east side of Antigua at over 20 knots, Warrior was just three minutes ahead of Varuna on the water. Varuna then gybed west, while Warrior chose to stay just east of the rhumb line. As the leading yachts approached Barbuda, Varuna was launched up the leeward side of Barbuda in flatter water, whilst Warrior opted for the roller-coaster ride up the windward side. The two yachts were virtually neck-and-neck as they left Barbuda, but Varuna was seventeen miles west of the rhumb line. Eric de Turkheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine was third on the water. Three miles behind Teasing Machine, the chasing pack was led by three German yachts; Arnt Bruhn's German Class40 Iskareen, Sebastian Ropohl's JV52 Haspa Hamburg and Joachim Brünner's Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg.

All of the teams racing in the 2018 Antigua Bermuda Race are expected to pass Barbuda before dusk; the next land they will see will be the finish at Bermuda, over 900 miles away in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mediterranean new playground for IMOCAs thanks to Monaco
YC Monado Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the first Monaco Globe Series, stage one of the new IMOCA (2018-2020) Championship, is set to kick-off 1-8 June with nine of the 60-footers registered and one pending.

The non-stop, 1,200nm double-handed offshore race is a chance to rack up points for the Vendee Globe 2020 on a magical route in the Western Med. After the start in Monaco, the fleet races down Corsica's west coast, is propelled through the Strait of Bonifacio to Sicily, then the Balearic Islands before the return to Monaco.

Among sailors confirmed are Bretons Paul Meilhat and Gwenole Gahinet on SMA, winners of the last Rolex Fastnet Race. They face Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee 2 who with two Vendee Globes, three Transat Jacques Vabres and two Route du Rhums behind him, is accompanied by Class40 regular Anna-Maria Renken. Other ladies at the helm include Isabelle Joschke (Monin) and Alexia Barrier on Club Corsaires 2020.

Also competing is IMOCA newcomer Manuel Cousin; seasoned offshore racer Stephane Le Diraison paired with Stan Maslard; and Fabrice Amadeo and Eric Peron returning to the fray as a pair after a Transat Jacques Vabre.

A driving force behind the project is YCM Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi, paired with German sailor Boris Herrmann on Malizia II, who wants to inspire youngsters: "We don't get the chance to see IMOCA boats very often here in the Mediterranean, which is why this meeting is unique."

Monaco Sat (Inmarsat partner) is opening its communication channels to teams free of charge, so they can broadcast photos and videos to bring their experience alive for the public. There's also a competition for children to win a chance to see the start and a "Virtual Regatta" game, where offshore fanatics can pit their skills against the pros on the Monaco Globe Series course.

Provisional programme:
Friday 1st June 2018
Exhibition day for teams and their sponsors

2.00pm: Runs and courses in Monaco Bay
5.00pm: Press conference to launch the Monaco Globe Series
6.00pm: Globe Series Opening Ceremony (by invitation)
8.30pm: Gala Dinner (by invitation)

Saturday 2nd June 2018
Exhibition day
2.00pm: Runs and courses in Monaco Bay

Sunday 3rd June 2018
1.00pm: Start of 1,200 nautical mile race

Friday 8th June 2018
6.00pm: Prize-giving ceremony

Five TP52s will bolster wide fleet at Samui Regatta
The countdown is on for the 2018 Samui Regatta as boats from around Asia are heading to Thailand's second most popular island destination for the final event showdown of the 2017/18 AsianYachting Grand Prix from 26th May to 2nd June. Now in its 17th year, Samui Regatta has been dubbed the 'Tropical Island Regatta' where daily prize-givings are on the beach at Host Sponsor Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, the racing conditions are fast and the weather is warm. Top yachts and sailors from around the region come to compete each year and this year the fleet looks to be one of the most competitive ever.

Leading the charge in class IRC Zero is the 66-foot Alive (AUS), skippered by Duncan Hind. A newcomer to Samui Regatta, but a familiar face in Hong Kong and on the Australian circuit, Hind and his crew are up against some tough competition in the form of five TP52s – defending champion THA72 (THA), skippered by Kevin Whitcraft; Ark 323 (CHN), lead by Li Honguan and sailed with an all-Chinese crew; Freefire (HKG), skippered by Sam Chan; Team Hollywood (AUS), skippered by Ray Roberts; and Team Ulumulu (MAS), skippered by Troy Yaw. These are joined by Sarab Singh's well-campaigned Windsikher II out of Singapore, a past winner in Samui.

The 17th Samui Regatta will take place 26th May to 2nd June, 2018 headquartered at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, and is organised by Regattas Asia in conjunction with the Samui Yacht Club Regatta, under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Municipal of Koh Samui and the Sports Authority of Thailand.


Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup syndicate to change name
Sir Ben Ainslie has had to rename his America's Cup syndicate for the second time in a fortnight after a branding row with the British Olympic Association.

Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team were changed to Ineos Team GB when British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe took over sole sponsorship in a $217m deal backed by his huge petrochemical business Ineos.

But that was blocked by the British Olympic Association which has stood firm over its trademarked "Team GB" name it uses for its athletes.

Ratcliffe says the yachting outfit will now be named Ineos Team UK instead.

Offshore Worlds 2018 Class C Teams Confirmed
Scheveningen, Netherlands: It is only 62 days left until the start of The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship, and the approved entries in Class C are now confirmed for this first-ever regatta using both IRC and ORC scoring to crown three new World Champions of offshore sailing. These Class C entries include 56 boats that are among teams from 18 nations that are now eligible to compete in inshore and offshore races on the North Sea held over 12-20 July from the event's harbor base in Scheveningen, Netherlands.

Among those approved for Class C are three brand-new custom designs built especially for the Worlds by three different designers and built in three separate countries - another testament to the strong attraction this event has had on the international sailing community. These include Sven Nuutmann's Eestii Meedia Sailing Team, a new boat from the Cossutti design studio in Italy and built in Estonia; Nightshift, Marco Scholten's new Judel/Vrolijk 36 built in Poland for his Dutch team; and another entry that is all-Dutch eco-friendly design and build - Erik Van Vuuren's Waarschip 36 named Hubo.

Scholten said Nightshift has been a dream in the making for a few years, having first approached family friend and designer Rolf Vrolijk about this project in 2014. The original design parameters were then changes in 2015 after ORC established their CDL class divisions to give a new target for size.

Construction of hull and deck then started in Poland at Rega Yachts, but then a battle with health issues over the past year or so slowed progress while Marco's father Jan led the effort to finish the construction and commissioning of the boat to their specifications...Jan was a former boatbuilder at Bavaria Yachts.

Meanwhile its still possible for qualified teams with larger boats eligible to be in Class A or Class B to pre-register for the Worlds - at the moment their quotas have not been filled and entry requests are being taken until Monday, May 14th.

And meanwhile as a sort of pre-Worlds regatta being held at the same venue, as well as serving as the Dutch ORC National Championship, the North Sea Regatta is underway now until 20 May with both offshore and inshore races scored in both ORC and IRC. Numerous Worlds entries from throughout the region will be refining their skills at this important event that annually opens the racing season on the North Sea.

Meech and McKenzie in top three at Laser Europeans
Sam Meech and Andrew McKenzie continued their charge at the Laser European championships in La Rochelle overnight (NZ time) but things are about to get a whole lot more difficult as all the other top sailors join them in gold fleet.

Meech is second and McKenzie third after three days of qualifying. Meech added a second and fourth overnight and is now one point behind Australia's Matthew Wearn and McKenzie banked two third-placed finishes to be another five points behind.

The complexion of racing will change tonight as the top 54 sailors compete over three days in gold fleet, including a third New Zealander George Gautrey who qualified in 42nd. The first three days saw the 160 competitors split into three fleets, which saw some very low scoring from many in the top 20.

Susannah Pyatt is the best placed of the trio of New Zealanders in the Laser Radial in 19th with Olivia Christie 39th.

Results and standings after the thrd day of the Laser European Championships at La Rochelle, France, overnight:

Laser (160 boats)
1. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 5 points
2. Sam Meech, NZL, 6
3. Andrew McKenzie, NZL, 11

Laser Radial (93 boats)
1. Maxime Jonker, NED, 5
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 10
3. Emma Plasschaert, BEL, 14

Full results:

The 21st century Mayflower: preparing for an autonomous voyage
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project is being undertaken by a consortium of businesses, including autonomous craft specialists MSubs, Plymouth University and yacht designer Shuttleworth Design. With the support of a crowdfunding campaign and numerous sponsors, the project aims to create a wind and solar-powered yacht that will chart its own course across the Atlantic in 2020, as part of Plymouth's 'Mayflower 400' celebrations.

However, this inaugural journey is just the start for the vessel, codenamed MAS 400. Following its arrival in the US, it will be chartered for scientific expeditions worldwide, with docks on board housing unmanned vehicles to collect data and perform both oceanographic and atmospheric testing.

According to project manager Paddy Dowsett, the Mayflower is being designed to "encapsulate the pioneering spirit of the original Pilgrim Fathers", as well as reflect Plymouth's status as a maritime hub and attract high-tech maritime businesses to the city.

Initially, the MAS 400 sported a trimaran design with a multi-hull structure designed to reduce wind and wave impact. However, Dowsett says this was ultimately too expensive and complex for many UK shipyards to handle. Switching to a traditional mono-hull design will make the vessel more robust and less susceptible to the elements.

Despite the design change, the project is still committed to making MAS 400 as environmentally friendly as possible. In addition to a two-masted sailing rig, the large surface area of the vessel will be bedecked with photovoltaic cells that will convert sunlight into energy for propulsion. While the ship is propelled by wind, its propeller blades will run in reverse, generating power through their shafts.

For the Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new Performance Certificate.

Route sailed: Cape Town to Hobart around Antarctica.
Yacht Katharsis II, 72 ft Oyster.
Name: Mariusz Koper. POL and 8 crew.
Dates: 23nd December 2017 to the 5th April 2018.
Start time: 06; 56; 20 UTC on 23/12/17
Finish time: 05; 55; 25 UTC on 05/04/18
Elapsed time: 102 days 22 hours 59 minutes and 5 seconds

Comments: The Antarctic Loop was completed South of 60° starting at 0800 on 07;01;17 and finishing at 1400 on 20;03;18 in a time of 72 days 6 hours.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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The Last Word
One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk. -- Charles Baudelaire

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