In This Issue
Group of Eight Set for Quarterfinals at Argo Group Gold Cup
RenRe Junior Gold Cup
North by North West
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Mid-Year Meeting to shape the future of Olympic sailing
Hyeres 2018 World Cup Series Highlights Show
Portsmouth Regatta Names Andrew Simpson Foundation as Official Regatta Charity
MAUI JIM Crowned Spanish J/80 National Champion
What Do I Need To Know About Rig Tune?
Industry News
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Lyndon B. Johnson

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

Group of Eight Set For Quarterfinals at Argo Group Gold Cup
Photo by Charles Anderson / RBYC. Click on image for photo gallery.

Argo Group Gold Cup Hamilton, Bermuda: When the Quarterfinal Round of the 68th Argo Group Gold Cup gets underway Friday morning the eight teams will bring an array of experience to the storied regatta.

Crews led by Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) and Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) all qualified for the quarterfinals on Wednesday by placing in the top four of the Round Robin stage.

They’re joined by Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Lucy Macgregor (GBR), Ettore Botticini (ITA) and Charlie Lalumiere (USA). The four skippers led their crews to the next round after placing in the top four, respectively, of the Repechage Round.

The quarterfinal pairings pit Canfield versus Botticini, Berntsson against Lalumiere, Aschenbrenner against Macgregor and Dackhammar versus Mirsky. The winner of each match will be the first crew to score three points.

The octet represents a mix of experience and youth. Botticini (22) is the youngest skipper in the fleet and Berntsson (47) the oldest. Mirsky and Macgregor are the reigning Open and Women’s match racing world champions, respectively. Botticini, Dackhammar and Lalumiere each are competing in their first Gold Cup, while Aschenbrenner is in his second Gold Cup. Berntsson, Canfield and Mirsky have four Gold Cup titles to their credit, and Berntsson and Canfield have nine top four finishes in the past 10 years among them.

ARGO Group Gold Cup Quarterfinal Pairings
Match 1: Nicklas Dackhammar vs. Torvar Mirsky
Match 2: Joachim Aschenbrenner vs. Lucy Macgregor
Match 3: Johnie Berntsson vs. Charlie Lalumiere
Match 4: Taylor Canfield vs. Ettore Botticini
(The winner of each match will be the first to score three points)

* Argo Group Gold Cup Pro-Am

After the completion of the Repechage Round some of the skippers took part in the Argo Group Gold Cup Pro-Am. Among the guest sailors were students from the Endeavour Community Sailing Programme.

A youth education and community sailing initiative, the Endeavour Community Sailing Programme has allowed hundreds of young students to learn to sail in both the west end and the east end of Bermuda. In addition to sailing, students were also exposed to science, technology, engineering, arts and math educational activities in an experiential classroom to improve their overall learning experience and foster their interest in pursuing STEAM career pathways in the future.

Eight students took part in the Pro-Am, after which a check for $5,000 was presented to the Endeavour programme from Gary Grose, Group Producer Management and Marketing Leader for Argo Group.

RenRe Junior Gold Cup
Stephan Baker representing the USA, is the pre-regatta favorite to win the 16th Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup when it starts May 9th. With four days of racing in this international invitational Opti regatta, three days are scheduled to be sailed in Bermuda’s Great Sound May 9th through May 11th. The regatta finishes on May 12th in Hamilton Harbour during an intermission in the finals of the Argo Group Gold Cup.

The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup attracts a spectacular group of young international sailors to compete against Bermuda’s top Opti sailors. Bermuda National Champion Ahzai Smith should expect to do well, along with other Bermuda National team sailors Racheal Betschart, Christian Ebbin, Laura Hupman, Sebastian Kempe, Magnus Ringsted and Nicole Stovell.

Top ten after 8 races:
1. Stephan Baker , USA, 8.0
2. Richard Schultheis, MLT, 15.0
3. Christian Ebbin, BER, 22.0
4. Daniel Links , AUS, 36.0
5. Sebastian Kempe, BER, 38.0
6. Cosima Schlueter, GER, 48.0
7. Ahzai Smith, BER, 50.0
8. Magnus Ringsted, BER, 60.0
9. Matt Ashwell, RSA, 68.0
10. Charata MacKinnon, ARG, 71.0

North by North West
After the first night at sea for the international fleet in the Antigua Bermuda Race the pace is relentless. The leading teams Warrior and Varuna are now over 300 miles offshore, blast reaching through two metre swell in the Atlantic Ocean. Warrior was observed to be hitting a top speed of 25 knots last night. At 1200 UTC on Day Two, the turbo-charged Volvo 70 Warrior, sailed by Stephen Murray Jr. had averaged 18 knots since the start of the race and will achieve a 24 hour run of about 450 miles; well inside record pace. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna is also set for a 400 mile run in 24 hours. Varuna is 30 miles behind Warrior but is estimated to be leading the fleet after IRC time correction.

The most easterly of the chasing pack is Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 Pata Negra, skippered by Oliver Heer. Pata Negra's crew include Gareth Glover, two-time skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race and the rest of the crew are all Oliver's friends from Switzerland, and will be celebrating his 30th birthday today

The most westerly team is Arnt Bruhn's German Class40 Iskareen.

Of the six German teams racing to Bermuda, Iskareen is second on the water behind Varuna. Sebastian Ropohl's JV52 Haspa Hamburg and Joachim Brünner's Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg are locked into a match race, as are two German Swans; Hanns Ostmeier's Swan 45 High Yield and Michael Orgzey's Swan 48 Dantes.

The vast majority of the fleet are to the west of the rhumb line, putting in additional miles to avoid an area of high pressure that is expected to arrive from the northeast tomorrow (Friday 11th May). At the moment, the strategic decision is to decide how far west to go to achieve the best performance. Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine, skippered by Laurent Pages has positioned closer to the rhumb line than the leaders; they will be hoping to stay in good breeze and sail less miles than the leading boats.

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

Seahorse Magazine

Foils first
When the creator of the original televised grand prix skiff series Bill Macartney went looking for a new game he told his 'creative partners' Morrelli & Melvin to give him a big set of foils, a powerful rig... and only then some trick hulls to float it all

Easier than ever?
Almost certainly not... argues Brian Hancock

Never a dull moment
Carlos Pich sits down with our favourite maverick designer Juan Kouyoumdjian

Happy birthday
Sam Davies is no longer casting around to find backing for her third Vendee Globe programme

Giving up the weave
Non-woven external finishes have moved into mainstream sailmaking

Twenty years and counting
It's really been that long since Wally - and Wally style - burst on the scene... The best large yachts would never look the same again

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
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Mid-Year Meeting to shape the future of Olympic sailing
London, Great Britain will host more than 200 international delegates from 10-15 May 2018 for World Sailing's 2018 Mid-Year Meeting.

Held at Chelsea Football Club, the Mid-Year Meeting will bring together World Sailing's Board of Directors, Events Committee and Equipment Committee ahead of two days of Council meetings.

Ahead of the Mid-Year Meeting, World Sailing received 62 submissions, alongside 12 deferred 2017 submissions, from Member National Authorities and Class Associations, proposing new World Sailing policies or changes to World Sailing's Regulations.

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition Events

The Events for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition will be decided by World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting. An Event is the name of the competition at the Olympic Games, for example, 'Mixed Two Person Multihull', and is not specific to a class or piece of equipment.

Following the 2017 Annual Conference, a 2024 Events & Equipment Working Party was formed to consider and make recommendations to the Events Committee on the 2024 sailing events. The Working Party conducted an extensive program of work to understand the issues relevant for sailing and the sports events programme in the Olympic Games. A full report of their work is here.

Ahead of the Mid-Year Meeting, World Sailing's Council approved an Events Committee recommendation to review the following Events:
Men's Windsurfer
Women's Windsurfer
Men's One Person Dinghy Heavyweight
Men's Two Person Dinghy
Women's Two Person Dinghy

The review of the five Events has meant that the remaining five Events and their equipment remain unchanged for Paris 2024. These Events and equipment are:

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Women's Skiff - 49erFX
Men's Skiff - 49er
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17

World Sailing received 58 submissions that propose recommendations for the Events that are under review. Class Associations and Member National Authorities have put forward submissions that state whether the Events under review should be retained or if new Events should replace them.

These submissions will be discussed and debated at the Events Committee meeting. The Events Committee will then make a recommendation to World Sailing's Council.

World Sailing's Council comprises the President, seven Vice-Presidents, two Officers of Honour (non-voting), twenty-eight appointed members (representing each of the regional groups of sailing nations), and representatives of the Offshore Committee, Classes Committee, Athletes' Commission and a Women's Representative.

The Council will discuss and debate the Events for Paris 2024 further before voting on the final list of Events for Paris 2024.

Following the decision, the Equipment Committee will review the Equipment for the Events which are under review.

Hyeres 2018 World Cup Series Highlights Show
Hyeres hosted 647 sailors, from 22-29 April, in round three of the 2018 World Cup Series. Qualification spots for the Marseille Final were up for grabs in the ten Olympic and one Para World Sailing event.

Portsmouth Regatta Names Andrew Simpson Foundation as Official Regatta Charity
Andrew Simpson Foundation The build up continues for the Portsmouth Regatta 2018 to be held on 9 & 10 June in the Eastern Solent. Miles Linington, Regatta Chairman recently announced that the Andrew Simpson Foundation has been adopted as the official Regatta Charity.

Richard Percy, CEO of the Foundation commented, "We are honoured for the Andrew Simpson Foundation to have been selected as the charity of the Portsmouth regatta. Over the past four years, we have supported a number of inspiring projects in Portsmouth with an aim to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in the local area. Through our recent partnership with the Portsmouth Sail Training Trust and by opening a sailing and water sports facility on Easton Road, we hope we can continue to have a positive impact, and help raise the aspirations of the young people of Portsmouth."

Regatta Director Adrian Saunders said how delighted the team are to welcome the Foundation. "Everything is really coming together now; Wightlink have joined our sponsors, as have Hyde Sails and entrants are building nicely. We expect the rate to increase as the substantial Early Bird discount expires on 18 May. With excellent prizes and a full programme of very competitive races we are confident of an outstanding event."

The J/109 Class will compete in the regatta for the first time this year. They will race as part of the Black Group fleet joining IRC Yachts competing for the Solent IRC series, Cruiser Class Yachts and the Sunsail Match 40 fleet who will be competing for the professional services regatta and the Gill race series. Russell Peace, Regatta Sailing Secretary is particularly happy to welcome the J/109s to a group sure to enjoy first class racing.

The Notice of Race and on line entry is now open.

Full details and documentation is available on

MAUI JIM Crowned Spanish J/80 National Champion
Bayona, Spain: The 12th Spanish J/80 Championship took place from April 27th to May 1st off Bayona, Spain, hosted by Monte Real Club de Yates. Twenty-six teams from across Spain participated, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean (Cantabria, Balearic Islands, Galicia, and Basque fleets).

After the eleven-race, four-day series, it was the Cantabrians aboard MAU JIM SUNGLASSES, skippered by Javier Aguado, that were crowned 2018 Spanish J/80 National Champions. The road to the top of the podium was not an easy one for Aguado and crew; in fact, the championship came down to the outcome of the final race between them and fellow Real Club Maritimo Santander member, the Olympian Jaime Piris on MERCURY.

What Do I Need To Know About Rig Tune?
There are four elements of rig tune that work to add power or take it away. If you understand the basic mechanics of each element, you can use rig tune to improve your trim and overall set-up. Rake (how far aft the mast is angled from a straight vertical, determined by the length of your headstay), athwartship tuning (is the mast centered and is it straight side to side), mast bend (controls the shape of the mainsail), and headstay sag (controls the amount of shape in the headsail).

Read the full article on and ask your sailing questions.

Industry News
Olympic gold medallist and multiple World Champion Tom Slingsby is dipping his toes back into Olympic class sailing and will join the Australian Finn squad at a training camp at Lake Garda in Italy tomorrow.

The highly-respected Slingsby won the Laser class at the London Olympics in 2012 before winning the America's Cup in 2013 as a strategist for Oracle Team USA the following year.

While the 33-year-old remains non-committal about his intentions two years out from the Tokyo Games, his expertise is a welcome addition to the Australian Sailing Team's four-man Finn squad, which is working under coach Rafael Trujillo, a silver medallist for Spain at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

In a social media post on Tuesday, Slingsby is shown sailing a Finn on Sydney Harbour, with a caption that includes: "At 88kg I need to put on some weight and get stronger to keep up but I love a challenge".

Slingsby spent time over summer training with Rio Olympics representative in the Finn, Jake Lilley, before competing at the Sail Melbourne regatta, where he came second to Lilley, despite being underweight for what is regarded as the heavyweight Olympic sailing class.


Arleigh International has acquired marine and industrial distribution company Aquafax for an undisclosed sum.

Aquafax - headquartered in Luton - has a network of six regional depots located around the UK and supplies all sectors of the marine industry, from marine engineers to boatbuilders.

Its product range is also distributed to specialist vehicle builders, coachbuilders and plumbers as well as being supplied into the mobile electricity solutions market and other general industrial applications.

Former Aquafax owner and current MD, Nigel Pearson, will continue in his current role and says it will be very much business as usual.

Arleigh International began trading as in 1969 and will record sales this year of £50m. The Group acquired Marine Mart in 1997, Midland Chandlers in 2006 and A.S.A.P. Supplies in May 2017.


Toronto-based retail chain Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) has entered into an agreement to purchase Olso, Norway-based outerwear manufacturer Helly Hansen for C$985 million.

Under the deal, which is expected to close in Q3 2018, Canadian Tire also assume C$50 million in operating debt.

Operating more than 1,700 retail locations under its Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, National Sports and Mark's Work Warehouse chains, CTC has a long history with Helly Hansen as one of its largest customers worldwide.

Helly Hansen CEO Paul Stoneham is expected to continue to lead the business from its existing facility in Oslo.

Canadian Tire is one of Canada's largest sporting goods retailers. Founded in 1922 as an automotive supply store, it has expanded its operations to sell a wide variety of consumer goods including housewares, lawn and garden equipment, sporting goods, hardware and marine accessories.


Garmin has reported sales of US$711m for its first quarter, up 11% compared to the same period a year ago. Net income was US$129.4m compared to US$238.4m a year ago.

The company's marine segment reported 9% sales growth, driven by its Navionics acquisition. It said gross margins were up year-over-year to 59%, while operating margins declined to 12%.

Garmin said it would maintain its 2018 guidance for revenue of approximately US$3.2bn and pro forma EPS of US$3.05.


The Valencia Boat Show has a new management team for the 2018 edition. Following the elections held last March, Mercedes Gomis became the new president of the Union of Nautical Companies (UEN), organising body of the Valencia Boat Show next to Valencia Marina. In the interest of the organisation of the show, a working group has been put together, made up by seven UEN managers who, together with Consorcio Valencia 2007, have drawn up the strategic guidelines of the next edition of the Valencia Boat Show.

Each of the managers of the Union of Nautical Companies will be responsible for one of the main areas of the show and will work closely with contract-based professionals. Mercedes Gomis herself will be responsible for overall management, Jordi Pujol will be in charge of the treasury area, while Berto Salom and José Ramón Alagarda will team up for the sales area. Esther Ballester will be in charge of coordinating the marketing and communications area and the production of the show will be the responsibility of Miguel Ferrà and Alfonso Alcocer, who will again be in charge of production on the water.

The Valencia Boat Show, which will be held from the 31st of October to the 4th of November 2018, will again have a wide selection of new boats from the main national and international boatyards as well as engines, electronics, accessories and nautical services by the main brands. Water sports such as surfing, kitesurf, paddle surf, kayaking and diving will also have the opportunity to present their products and novelties at Valencia Marina.


Yet another South African yacht club is set to be evicted from its berth inside a state-owned harbour following a court ruling last week in favour of Transnet, the National Ports Regulator.

The Mossel Bay Boat and Yacht Club has until the end of May to vacate its clubhouse and marina facilities to make way for a new business operator. The club lost its court bid to reverse Transnet's decision to transfer their expired lease to the new operator.

The eviction follows a similar court order against the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, which is being evicted from Port Elizabeth harbour about 400km east of Mossel Bay.

Historically sports clubs have enjoyed lower rentals inside South African ports due to their public benefit focus, but in recent years Transnet has introduced market-related rates. While clubs say the price hike is unfair, Transnet insists it is in line with their core mandate of managing state assets along commercial lines.

Many maritime stakeholders believe Transnet's stance contradicts government's stated intention to develop yachting and boat-building as key components of the maritime economy. Some fear sailing is considered too elitist despite several successful sailing development programmes involving previously disadvantaged communities.

In a public post on their website, the Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club said it was studying the court ruling with a view to a possible appeal.

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 Steve Pyatt:

Re Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup syndicate to change name - this may help them as they are now free to use as many Northern Irish sailors as they like under the tighter nationality rules whereas they couldn't have done under GB!

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See the collection at

The Last Word
When things haven't gone well for you, call in a secretary or a staff man and chew him out. You will sleep better and they will appreciate the attention. -- Lyndon B. Johnson

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