In This Issue
Foggy first 24 hours has Dongfeng Race Team leading the charge
The hard yards...
Monnin Wins Match Race Germany
HP30 Class ­ Vice Admiral¹s Cup Review
Second Italian Challenger - Adelasia di Torres
UBS 20th Jersey Regatta
A Wall of improvement
Obituary: Willy Persico
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Richard Feynmann

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

Foggy first 24 hours has Dongfeng Race Team leading the charge
Four teams are within four miles of the lead as Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race enters its second week on Sunday morning.

As at 1100 UTC on Sunday morning, Turn the Tide on Plastic was working hard to fend off attacks by Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel as the leading four boats have been gybing back and forth along the northeast coast of Brazil to take advantage of favourable current over the past 18 hours.

Now free of the Brazilian coast line, the teams will be looking to choose their lane into the doldrums, some 250 miles to the north, although with the fleet this far west, this is forecast to be the easiest of the four crossings in this race.

And while the pressure to perform remains, this weather is probably giving the sailors the most comfortable conditions of the race.

You can follow the progress of the fleet on the race tracker, now testing in live mode for the remainder of the Leg 8.

Positions at 04:18 UTC 20 April
1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing: 3175.7 nm to leg finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, 2.8 nm to leader
3. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 6.2
4. Team Brunel, 7.2
5. Team AkzoNobel, 23.8
6. MAPFRE, 40.7
7. Team Sun Huing Kai / Scallywag, 65.7

The hard yards...
Dubarry It's somewhat of a dichotomy that an event like the Volvo Ocean Race, which covers over 45,000 nautical miles and spans close to nine months, is won and lost in the tiniest of moments. Take for example the heartbreak that was felt on board the Dutch yacht Team Brunel when, after leading for most of Leg 8, they had their victory snatched from them in the final few minutes of the leg when the Spanish entry Mapfre snuck by them in light winds and in thick fog to cross the finish line in first place. There was not a thing that skipper Bouwe Bekking and his crew could do. The wind gods dealt Mapfre an errant puff and that was all that was needed for them to win after almost 6,000 miles of hard fought open ocean racing.

That must have been a bitter pill for Bekking and company, but Bouwe is a wily veteran of numerous hard won battles and he knew that there would be other opportunities. This past Saturday Team Brunel found their opportunity and showed the fleet who was boss to convincingly win the Newport In Port Race. Bouwe and his team led off the start line, held on to their lead despite the fickle breeze in Newport harbor, and extended to win the race in convincing fashion. To make their victory that much sweeter it was Mapfre that stared at their transom to take second place.

There will be many more "moments" before this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race is relegated to the history books, but so long as Team Brunel are able to keep a cool head and their lucky Dubarry Crosshaven boots on their feet, they will have a better than even chance of finishing on the podium when the race wraps up in The Hague in June.

Monnin Wins Match Race Germany
The 20th anniversary of Germany's most popular Matchrace Regatta is history. With its 21st edition and elated 30.000 visitors over five action-packed days, the organizers ushered in the next decade of their success story.

On the water, Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Match Race Team including his brothers Marc and Jean-Claude Monnin as well as Lukas Gerig, Simon Brugger and Methieu Renault, pressed their stamp on the 2018 Match Race Germany. They won the German Grand Prix of the Match Race Super League for the second time in a row. In a hard fought final, the famous Swiss Clockwork prevailed against former Matchracing World Champion and America's Cup semi-finalist Karol Jablonski and his Jablonski Racing Team by 3:0. Vladimir Lipavski's Russian Team Ost Legal Sailing defeated Dejan Presen's Slovenian Lumba Match Race Team by 2:0. Presen was missing 50 centimeters to achieve the possible 1:1. Instead he had to settle for fourth.

Twelve teams from nine countries had started into the German matchracing classic last Thursday. Seven survived the cut after the initial Round Robin. Amongst them the only German helmsman Max Gurgel and his team Vmax Yachting. The quintet from the Hamburger Segel-Club, had recommended themselves for the quarter-finals as third in the preliminary round with an outstanding performance and two wins over World Champion Jablonski and European Champion Lipavski. Nevertheless Gurgel's team had to settle for fifth, got defeated by Lepavski's Team Ost Lega Sailing (1:2). "Of course we are quite disappointed but proud of our performance in the earlier stages", said Gurgel, whose team claimed third a year ago at their Match Race Germany premiere. Two bad starts, normally a strenght of the Germans, led to defeat.

HP30 Class ­ Vice Admiral¹s Cup Review
Photo by Rick Tomlinson, Click on image for photo gallery.

HP30 What a fantastic three days of racing has just been had!

RORC Cowes, Vice Admiral¹s Cup (VAC) was blessed with near perfect Conditions (bar a tardy breeze on the first two days) but despite this, the race Committee delivered superb courses in balmy, pleasant conditions, to make for a Fantastic weekend of racing.

The HP30 Class, lining up for their second outing at the VAC, consisted of Five boats, including Mittens Revenge a FarEast28, three Farr280¹s ­ TOUCAN, Pandemonium and FOMO and the highly polished Farr30 Pegasus. With Pandemonium and FOMO joining the fleet for the first time this season and with no Fast40+ class racing at the Vice Admirals Cup this year, it was down to the HP30s to lead the way in terms of performance and looks amongst the monohull classes. The sleek lines, generous hull forms and huge sails areas contrasting dramatically with the smaller and slower mono hulls racing on the Bravo course.

The racing proved extremely close throughout the weekend, with the top Three boats finishing the first day tied on six points. Day two saw Pegasus move into the lead with three solid wins but on the final day, TOUCAN came back into the mix with a domineering bullet in race 7 and a second in the final race. Not enough to wrestle the Lead back from the Farr30, but definitely a marker for future battles.

"We had a really great regatta­ it was fantastic racing and we¹re very Happy that the results are so close," says Alex Locke of Toucan. "We've spent a lot of time on the water, practicing manoeuvres and tweaking settings, as have other boats in the class and it's great to see that it pays off."

Alex's words are absolutely bang-on; despite the friendly nature of the HP30 Class and the Corinthian credentials of the teams, the racing is full-on. No-one gives quarter whilst racing demonstrated no more neatly than at the start of Race 6, when TOUCAN and FOMO left the door open for Pegasus to hook both boats neatly off the line at The start, forcing them to both tack around. A clear demonstration of this teams intent and focus on winning every opportunity.

Finally congratulations must go to Malcolm Wootton and his highly polished team. They sailed consistently well to win the event convincingly.

"The great thing about this class is you can take an affordable boat and optimise it, or you can buy a ready to go boat like a Farr 280 and still win. As hard as we have worked on Pegasus the boat certainly doesn't do the work for us. This weekend was seriously intense racing and much closer on the water than the results showed. We sailed well this weekend, a few mistakes for sure but importantly kept ourselves clean when we needed and trusted our own decisions and it paid off." Comments David Thomas, mainsheet trimmer on Pegasus.

The next outing for the HP30 Class is the Nationals at Poole International Paints Regatta over the May Bank Holiday weekend and with another Farr30 and a J90 joining the fleet, the competition will continue to improve and grow. The upward trajectory continues through the season, with the arrival of a German and a Swiss Farr280 , plus a McConaghy 31 and a FarEast31 from Sweden, all coming to enjoy the competition that HP30 has to offer. -- Joe Hall

Second Italian Challenger - Adelasia di Torres
A challenger from Sardinia was first mentioned last December and now has started to release more information.

Adelassia di Torres
Key players
- Syndicate head Renato Azara
- Head of design Valerio Lombardi
- Head of sailing team Duccio Colombi
Budget €64 million
Significant funding from private backers
Sponsorship from the Sardinia region
Planned team of 170 members
Boat to be built in Olbia
Team headquarter in La Maddalena

From Jack Griffin's

UBS 20th Jersey Regatta
Jersey Regatta Scheduled for 14th to 16th September and sponsored for the sixth year running by UBS AG Jersey, this year sees the 20th edition of the combined clubs' Jersey Regatta, the Island's 'flagship' sailing event.

The Regatta schedule provides racing for sportsboat, IRC and NHC cruiser/racer, Quarter Ton, dayboat, dinghy, sport catamaran and windsurfer classes, a veritable 'catch-all for both local and visiting sailors alike. In this special year, the fifth Spinlock IRC Channel Islands Regional Championships for IRC-rated Classes 1 & 2 cruiser/racers will be a major feature of the programme.

The event opens on the Thursday evening with a welcoming reception followed by a distance race for the sportsboat and cruiser/racer classes on Friday morning. Saturday and Sunday sees these classes racing in and off St Aubin's Bay over round-the-cans and Olympic-type courses. The 'small boat' classes race over Olympic-type courses entirely within this beautiful Bay.

As ever, Jersey Marinas will be providing complimentary berthing for competitors during the lead-up to the Regatta whilst Condor Ferries is offering discounted fares for those competitors wishing to ship their boats to the Island to join in the event.

The Regatta is an open event to which visiting boats are assured of a very warm welcome.

The Notice of Race is available on the website, Enticingly low entry fees are made even more attractive with an 'early bird' fee for those entering no later than 6th August. The definitive closing date is 7th September.

For further information, e-mail .

A Wall of improvement
For a class declared as having 'passed' as recently as 2012 the TP52 seems to be doing rather well…

Although I see myself as a butler running a complicated house, some see me as a saviour and others as just lucky when it comes to my work as manager of the TP52 class.

For sure it is easier to look good in your profession when things go well. Then again, to be tested at times helps to become better at the job. Since being declared dead by most in the industry in 2012 when we were down to four boats, the remarkable resurrection now known as the 52 Super Series, built upon three owners deciding to set up a new series when the MedCup faltered, has since attracted about 20 owners. From 2014 to 2018 it was the motivation behind the construction of 20 new TP52s.

Confidence is back, as 52 Super Series experienced in her recently launched Technical Partners programme – chalking up names like Quantum Sails, North Sails, Southern Spars, King Marine, Longitud Cero and Botín Partners. Their contribution allows live TV links between races for interviews and race summaries. Some new 2018 boats still need to be launched but what I see so far makes me extremely happy to be part of this household. -- Rob Weiland, TP52 and Maxi72 class manager

Full article in the June issue of Seahorse:

Obituary: Willy Persico
Willy Persico South African shipyard Southern Wind has announced the passing of its founding president and friend

Willy Persico, founder and CEO of South Africa's Southern Wind Shipyard, has passed away at the age of 79.

The Italian entrepreneur and naval engineer was well-known in the world of sailing and shipbuilding, having founded Cape Town-based Southern Wind in 1991. He was also a former president of Rodriguez Shipyards.

"I like to believe that I've made many friends and clients happy," Persico once said.

In respect of his way of being reserved and private, Southern Wind has issued a statement to say that silence speaks more than any words.

"Incredulous we learned today from his family that for some months Willy had hidden a great concern for his health," it says. "Our thoughts go to them, to their friends and to all those who in recent years have been fortunate enough to know him and appreciate his greatness and generosity.

"Willy leaves a precious legacy that all of us friends and collaborators will know how to collect and carry on. Good wind Willy."

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 Malcolm McKeag:

I like Euan Ross's ideas - and lest any sceptic think the idea far-fetched let me assure them the format is tried, tested and works. We used to do this at the late-lamented Kenwood Cup in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a Cup-within-a-Cup regatta called the Plywood Cup. Each competing team was given two 8x4 sheets of ply, a roll of tape, a jar of resin and a kit of basic hand tools. They had two hours to build a boat of their own design invention. Material to build simple spars and a sail was also included (the clever ones saved sufficient off-cuts to make paddles) and the boats then raced around a simple out-and-back course. If spectators, of any gender, were lucky the spectacle also included an impromptu wet T-shirt competition.

* From Chris Pratt:

I've watched our Games sailing events change over time.

Two themes stand out - wonderfully, the enabling of competitive women and mixed events and then the terrible progressive reduction of events in which large, athletic men can compete. Since the Star was left out, been down to the Finn to be the only heavy weight event.

I support enabling competition equality through having a cross section of events but the latest moves by our leaders demonstrates a prejudice that I can't understand or endorse.

Whilst we look for media and profile, our leaders also have an obligation to display why our sport is so good, why our athletes are no less Olympian than other sports. I also want our best to be able to show these things, so how can we move to prevent a significant cohort of athletes from competing.

I am a dual Australian Olympian. I sailed Finn. If they need to replace Finn then they need to come up with something very special, because not a lot out there comes close to the complete package that is a Finn and a Finn sailor.

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The Last Word
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong. -- Richard Feynmann

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