In This Issue
Team Brunel leads fleet out of Newport
Vice Admiral's Cup
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Near record Finn World Masters at El Balis
Three Races On Sunday See Early Contenders At 470 Europeans
Tom Dolan's Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance Win 'Battle of the Rookies' in Epic Transat Race
Match Race Germany
Runaway Cannonball
Eight Bells: Bjorn Johnson
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: The Ig Nobel Prize

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

Team Brunel leads fleet out of Newport
The fog burned off and the sun came out just in time for the start of Leg 9, the last double-point scoring leg of the Volvo Ocean Race...

Team Brunel accomplished its first goal on Sunday afternoon, taking the early lead on Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Newport, Rhode Island to Cardiff, Wales.

The Dutch team, led by eight-time race veteran Bouwe Bekking, has been on a tear over the last two months of the race and is attempting to muscle its way from a podium position into a battle for the overall race lead.

Leg 9 is a 3,300 nautical mile transatlantic race and the third and final double-point scoring leg.

The forecast for the leg is complex, with several weather systems in play, as well as the Gulf Stream to navigate. The ETA for the leg is in the eight to nine day range.

Current Volvo Ocean Race Overall Leaderboard
1. MAPFRE - 53 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team - 50
3. Team Brunel - 42
4. team AkzoNobel - 36
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing - 28
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag - 27
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic - 22

Vice Admiral's Cup
The Vice Admiral's Cup has a long-standing reputation for providing exceptionally close competition. The final day of racing this year saw further intense racing, with most classes going to the wire, in a building south-easterly sea breeze.

The Quarter Tonners went into the final day with only 1.5 points separating the first three boats. And finished with all three tied on 19.5 points.

With Aguila having won three races in the series, Laidlaw took the overall win, with Morton second and Southworth third. "

With four boats almost level rating, the Performance 40s also saw tight racing, with four boats taking race wins and every boat in the fleet scoring at least one podium result across the eight races. Race five was particularly notable as the entire fleet finished within 53 seconds on corrected time.

Last year's winner in the Diam 24 trimaran class, Ricardo Pavoncelli's Gaetana 3, again emerged victorious. However, he was pushed hard, particularly by Piers Hugh Smith's Team Maverick, which won three of the last four races and ended the event only two points behind the Italian boat. Jon Hutching's 3 Wise Monkeys also posted a consistent series to finish two points behind Smith.

In the J/109 class Simon Perry's Jiraffe dominated the early part of the regatta, winning the first three races. However, Chris Preston's Jubilee led a strong challenge on the second day, leaving the leaders just two points apart at the start of the final day. In today's first race Jubilee started with the upper hand and still held the lead at the end of the first lap. However, she lacked pace downwind and slipped to fifth on the final lap. Jiraffe then went on to win the last race, finishing the series on nine points, with Jubilee second on 15 and David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish third on 23 points.

John Pollard's Xcellent stamped his authority on the SB20 class, which held its Southern Area Championship at the regatta. Pollard won six of the eight races and discarded a third

Anyone looking at the overall results might assume thatMartin Dent's J/111 Jelvis had an easy ride to victory, thanks to his six race wins. However the scoreboard belies the effort that went into those results.

There were three different race winners in the HP30 class, but Malcolm Wootton's Farr 30 Pegasus Dekmarx was always close to the front. -- Trish Jenkins

Full Results:

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

World news
And 'Oops' went Armel, a smart way out for the Volvo Ocean Race, happy birthday in La Trinite, dancing with wolves... in a challenging place for a big yacht race, relief in New Zealand, a cruel place to sail and why Randy Draftz is king of regatta organisers. Carlos Pich, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins

Read - or weep
Finn sailor Miguel Ángel Morales (inset) is not in the mood for a flyweights-only Olympic regatta...

Master designer - Part II
And we hope that you have learnt as much in this series as we have. John Rousmaniere

Rod Davis - Reset
Make it easy... and don't let them near their cars

A wall of improvement
Now that's a comeback. Rob Weiland

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Near record Finn World Masters at El Balis
More than 350 Finn sailors gathered Sunday 20 March at the Club Nautic El Balis, in Spain, as the 2018 Finn World Masters was opened under beautiful blue Mediterranean skies, which together with the fantastic Catalan hospitality, made for a finntastic evening.

From the first arrival to the last, every Finn sailor has been warmly welcomed by the club, which has been planning for this moment for three years. At the opening ceremony, the Finn Masters President, Andy Denison, commented on how smooth everything has been running and the welcome everyone has received. "Something is going right here. The attention to detail is outstanding."

The opening ceremony took place on the club's beach overlooking the sea, with several hundred people present.

Earlier in the day the practice race was attempted, but a fading wind meant all races were abandoned. The forecast for the coming week could present some challenges to the race committee with very light winds predicted for much of the week.

Racing is scheduled to start at 12.00 Monday, with a series of seven races leading into Friday's final race and medal race. The fleet of 352 sailors from 32 nations has been split into four groups, on two different course areas. The scale of the event is huge, with boats poked into almost every corner of the northern half on the marina at Port Balis.

While the event is just four boats short of breaking the record attendance of 355, set in 2016, it has broken the record for the most Legends (45) and Super Legends (5), that have entered this year.

Three Races On Sunday See Early Contenders At 470 Europeans
Three back to back races on Sunday 20 May at the 470 European Championships in Bourgas, Bulgaria sees the early contenders strike out at the front of the leader board.

Racing on Saturday's opening day was abandoned due to light winds, but all change on Sunday as the breeze kicked in around 8-10 knots. The race track was very hard to read, so strategy came to the fore as most teams scored up and down results.

470 Women - Provisional Results After 3 Races
1. Gil Cohen/Noa Lasry, ISR, 3 points
2. Silvia Mas Depares/Patricia Cantero Reina, ESP, 3
3. Barbara Cornudella Ravetllat/Sara Lopez Ravetllat, ESP, 9
4. Linda Fahrni/Maja Siegenthaler, SUI, 9
5. Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter, GBR, 9
6. Elena Berta/Bianca Caruso, ITA, 11
7. Frederike Loewe/Anna Markfort, GER, 13
8. Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol, SLO, 15
9. Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen, NED, 15
10. Fabienne Oster/Anastasiya Winkel, GER, 15

470 Men - Provisional Results After 3 Races
1. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoines Dantes, FRA, 6 points
2. Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez, ESP, 7
3. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro, ITA, 7
4. Thomas Ponthieu/Eliott Michal, FRA, 9
5. Nitai Hasson/Tal Harari, ISR, 9
6. Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov, RUS, 12
7. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom, SWE, 12
8. David Biedermann/Jann Schuepbach, SUI, 12
9. Stuart Mcnay/David Hughes, USA, 13
10. Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar, SWE, 14

Racing continues on Monday 21 September with 3 races scheduled for each fleet starting at 1300 hours.

The 11 race series runs from 19 May-23 May, after which the top ten teams will advance to the podium deciding medal race on Thursday 24 May 2018.

Nations competing are: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.

Tom Dolan's Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance Win 'Battle of the Rookies' in Epic Transat Race
Ireland's Tom Dolan of the National Yacht Club has finished the Transat AG2R La Mondiale in 11th place overall, coming home as first rookie in the process.

Dolan and co-skipper Tanguy Bouroullec crossed the finish line of the iconic transatlantic yacht race on their boat Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance after 19 days, nine hours, five minutes and 10 seconds.

The duo, who had only sailed together once before teaming up for the 4,000-mile dash from Concarneau, France, to St Barts in the Caribbean, took the top spot in the hotly contested 'rookie' category for first-timers

They finished ahead of arch rivals Erwan Le Draoulec and Lois Berrehar by just 45 minutes.

It's an impressive start to the Figaro Beneteau season for Dolan, who moved into the class from the Mini 6.50 - and joined forces with eco-packaging giant Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance - at the start of 2018.

The 20-strong fleet of two-person teams included 2016 Figaro La Solitaire winner Yann Richomme as well as Vendee Globe racers Morgan Lagraviere and Thomas Ruyant.

Dolan's Transat AG2R rookie victory is all the sweeter as Le Draoulec was one of his and Bouroullec's closest competitors in the Mini 6.50, and the winner of the 2017 Mini Transat.

"This result sets me up nicely for the rest of the season," added Dolan, 30, from Kells in Meath. "The boat has been demystified and now I can concentrate on preparing for the big one - the Figaro du Solitaire."

Match Race Germany
They have achieved their minimal goal, but couldn't hide their disappointment: Max Gurgel and his Team Vmax Yachting are eliminated from the 21st edition of Match Race Germany. The only German skipper in the fleet of twelve teams from nine nations and his team from Hamburg were defeated by Vladimir Lipavski's Russian Team Ost Legal Sailing (1:2). With their eyes firmly set on the semis, Gurgel's crew suffered from two weak quarter final starts, normally a strength of the team.

In contrast to the Germans, Dejan Presen's Lumba Match Race Team got it right in two out of three quarter final races and defeated 24 years old Szymon Jablkowski and his Jablkowski Sailing Team by 2:1, earning their spot in the semis. Third team to join Defending Champion Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Match Race Team in the semi-final round, was the former Matchrace World Champion, twelve times Ice Sailing World Champion an America's Cup semi-finalist Karol Jablonski. The 56 years old helman from Poland increased his performance from race to race and defeated Maxime Mesnil's French Match in Black by Normandy Elite Team by 2:1.

Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Match Race Team had catapulted themselves directly to the semis a day earlier after they won the preliminary round where they only lost one race against Jablonski's crew.

The semi-final pairings are thus determined: The Monnin's Swiss clockwork meets up with Lipavski's Ost Legal Sailing. In the other duel Dejan Presen is facing Karol Jablonski

The semi-finals were scheduled to start on Sunday late afternoon, but a persistant calm put a test of pacience on Race Officer Rudi Magg and his team from Yacht Club Langenargen. Match Race Germany will celebrate its Grand Final and the winners on Monday (Pentecost).

Runaway Cannonball
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

After a long wait for wind on the Bay of Naples today, Rolex Capri Sailing Week concluded with a windward-leeward/coastal race for the Maxi and Mylius classes, competing here with the support of the International Maxi Association. The course comprised a weather mark off Capri, a leeward gate directly off the Sorrento Peninsula, before returning to a finish off Capri's Marina Grande. Ultimately the wind went light and the Race Committee wisely shortened course at the gate.

Among the Maxi Racers all initially went to form with Dario Ferrari's Pepe Cannonball leading round the top mark ahead of Alex Schaerer's Caol Ila R. However while the Italians carried out a conventional bear away set, Caol Ila R gybe set taking them directly away from Capri's wind shadow. Pepe Cannonball gybed at the same time, but the damage was done and her perfect scoreline received its only blemish of the week.

Sir Peter Ogden's newly turboed Jethou was third with American Bryon Ehrhart fourth in his first regatta aboard Hap Fauth's former Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship winner, Bella Mente, now rechristened Lucky.

Some of the closest racing this week has been between the Mylius yachts competing here for their annual championship. A final win today for Ars Una was enough to hand Vittorio Biscarini's Mylius 50 overall victory. But it was close - just one point ahead of Aldo Parisotto's 65 Oscar 3 and two in front of Vincenzo Addessi's Mylius 18E35 Fra Diavolo. -- James Boyd /

Full results:

Eight Bells: Bjorn Johnson
Bjorn Johnson, a consummate Corinthian Yachtsman who gave generously and tirelessly of his time and knowledge to the sport of sailing, crossed the bar on May 16 in Newport, RI. He was 62 years of age.

Bjorn was a proud member of the Cruising Club of America, New York Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Atlantic Highlands YC (past commodore) and the North American Station. He was past chair of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee and also served as the leader of the BROC's sub-committees for inspections committee, sponsorship, and race-entry management.

Bjorn Johnson was a champion racing sailor and a passionate cruiser. As a lifelong sailor his racing accomplishments are too numerous to list. Among the highlights are the almost 20 Newport Bermuda Races, winning the overall trophy on Shere Kahn in the 2001 Bermuda One-Two, and winning with Larry Huntington on Snow Lion in the 2015 Transatlantic Race. As a cruiser, Bjorn sailed with many CCA members, and in 2018, he had planned to race in the Newport Bermuda Race and follow on with a cruise to Europe.

Professionally, Bjorn served as the executive director of the Offshore Racing Association, a not-for-profit organization that, among other things, owns, promotes and maintains the Offshore Rating Rule.

Bjorn could do anything on or around a boat, and he would generously help anyone who asked. Marine electronics pros and boat builders would tell him: "You could do this for a living!"

He was not just a Norwegian from Jersey—Bjorn was a renaissance man. He was an engineer, an athlete, a husband to Kristine, a father to Kirsten and Tatiana. He was a great cook, an artist, painter, plumber, and decorator, too. He loved his family, boats, real estate, cars—more or less in that order.

We have not only lost a champion but a champion of our sport. We have lost a fine friend and an extraordinary shipmate. - W. Bradford Willauer, Commodore, Cruising Club of America

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The Last Word
First it makes you laugh, then it makes you think. -- The criteria for an Ig Nobel prize

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