In This Issue
Jose Luis Doreste leads Finn World Masters
Tense times for Volvo Ocean Race fleet
Southern Spars at the Superyacht Cup
First GC32 World Championship bristling with World Champions
INEOS Rebels UK looking for podium finish at GC32 World Championships
Over 50 boats confirmed for next months Volvo Round Ireland Race
World Sailing release five-year strategy
Denmark unveils crown jewel for Sailing World Championships
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: P.G. Wodehouse

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

Jose Luis Doreste leads Finn World Masters
After three days without wind, the 2018 Finn World Masters finally got underway on Wednesday with three glamour races at El Balís. The 350 boat fleet, split into four groups, each sailed three races in a sea breeze that built from 7-12 knots during the day. The 1988 Olympic champion, Jose Luis Doreste, from Spain, leads the 350 boat fleet from Giacomo Giovanelli, from Italy, and Aleksander Kulyukin, from Russia.

Racing was rescheduled to start at 12.00 to make best use of the best forecast of the week. The first two days of racing, and the practice race, had been abandoned due to lack of wind.

As expected the race management was perfect with quick turnarounds, square lines and true beats. The fleet was coming ashore by 15.30 after three fantastic races. It was just a great day to be on the water racing Finns.

In the Yellow fleet Doreste and Giovanelli shared the line honours. Doreste was unsure about his speed before racing started and surprised himself with how well he sailed.

In the Blue fleet, race wins went to David Huet, from France, Matt Visser, from Australia and Xavier Penas, from Spain.

The 1977 Finn Gold Cup winner, Joaquin Blanco, opened with a 2 and 3, but then slipped up with a 19th to sit in 15th overnight.

In the Green group, Laurent Hay, from France dominated the first race, had a problem finishing the second due to catching up the previous fleet and crossed second and then got a jury penalty at the start in the third, which left him mid fleet. Antonio Poncell, from Chile, won the second race and Fredrik Tegnhed, from Sweden, the final race.

So that's a lot of racing in one day. Twelve starts, 11 winners, and only one man won two races, Doreste, who leads overall.

On Thursday, the rescheduled Annual Masters Meeting will take place at 10.00, followed by a 13.00 start o the water, hoping to get two races in. Four races are needed for a series, but after five races, then a medal race can be sailed on Friday.

Results after three races
1. Jose Luis Doreste, ESP, 4 points
2. Giacomo Giovanelli, ITA, 5
3. Aleksander Kulyukin, RUS, 9
4. Fredrik Tegnhed, SWE, 11
5. Thomas Schmid, GER, 13
6. Xavier Penas, ESP, 15
7. Vladimir Krutskikh, RUS, 16
8. Michael Maier, CZE, 16
9. Andre Budzien, GER, 16
10. Paul Mckenzie, AUS, 16

Tense times for Volvo Ocean Race fleet
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was beginning to converge again on Wednesday as the Leg 9 sprint across the Atlantic continued at pace.

A split of almost 300 miles had opened up early in the 3,300-mile leg from Newport, USA, to Cardiff, Wales, as the seven-strong fleet broke into two groups.

Team Brunel, team AkzoNobel, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag chose to make the most of strong south-westerlies, rocketing southeast at breakneck speeds.

Meanwhile MAPFRE, Dongfeng Race Team and Turn the Tide on Plastic elected to head northeast on a more direct route towards Cardiff and the Leg 9 finish.

Having been overtaken by a high pressure system which now blocks their path to the east, the two groups were starting to come back together again – and it remains to be seen which will emerge in front.

Having already knocked off a third of the leg in three days, the fleet is currently expected to arrive in Cardiff on May 29.

But before then they have a week of full-on, no holds barred ocean racing to contend with.

After their last-minute win in Leg 8, MAPFRE top the overall leaderboard but Dongfeng Race Team are just three points behind with Brunel holding down third place, 11 points back – so it's all on.

Race tracker:

Southern Spars at the Superyacht Cup
The start of the Superyacht Cup is fast approaching; with just over a month to go until the longest running superyacht regatta in Europe begins.

This year, Southern Spars will be supporting the event as a 'Friend of the Superyacht Cup'.

As the industry leader in the manufacturing of carbon fibre rigs for high performance superyachts, we were proud to offer our support to a regatta that shows off some of the finest superyachts in the world.

As part of our support, Southern Spars will be focusing on the cutting down of plastic waste by providing, together with the organisation, 1000 branded water bottles at the event. They will be able to be refilled at various stations throughout the SYC village.

Southern Spars will also be hosting a Happy Hour on Friday 22 June in the Superyacht Cup tent, just like we have done in previous years.

With some of the newest Southern Spars rigged yachts and retrofits signed up to take part, this year is shaping up to be one of the best yet!

First GC32 World Championship bristling with World Champions
While teams have been formally taking part in practice racing today, tomorrow flying catamaran competition starts in earnest out of the Fraglia Vela Riva in Riva del Garda at the first GC32 World Championship. The event will be a rare occasion when GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series teams get to lock horns.

The race area is one of the most spectacular in sailing with a 1,800m high mountain and vertical cliff face immediately to the west, the lake disappearing off into the distance to the south, with the Dolomites either side.

This week the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series teams go head to head in the first ever GC32 World Championship.

Across the 13 teams competing at the GC32 Worlds are numerous other past sailing World Champions in boats of all shapes and sizes. Jason Carroll and his Argo team won this title in the highly competitive Melges 32 in 2013 and 14. Ernesto Bertarelli is best known for successfully challenging and then defended the America's Cup with his Alinghi team, present leader of the Extreme Sailing Series, but also helmed his boat to victory in the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in 2001. NORAUTO skipper Franck Cammas is multiple World Champion in both the ORMA 60 trimaran and C-Class catamaran. In addition to his two Olympic gold medals, Red Bull Sailing Team skipper Roman Hagara won two Tornado World Championships. Even Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley has multiple world titles to his name, notably two in the Etchells keelboat.

Joining Roman Hagara's Red Bull Sailing Team this season as helmsman is former America's Cup foiling catamaran helm and main trimmer Chris Draper, a double 49er skiff World Champion. "This is an awesome event with an incredible line up of people. There are not really any weak teams - everyone has been sailing these boats a lot and putting in mega-hours. It will be an awesome Championship."

The sailor with the most World Championship titles in a single class is competing in the GC32 World Championship, aboard Sébastien Schneiter's Team Tilt. Glenn Ashby is better known for skippering Emirates Team New Zealand to victory in last year's America's Cup, but in sailing circles is renowned for his incredible nine World Championship titles in the A-Class catamaran. This is in addition to his three World titles in the F18 and another three in the former Olympic Tornado catamaran.

Racing at the GC32 World Championship is scheduled to start Thursday at 1300 CET.

Follow it live at

INEOS Rebels UK looking for podium finish at GC32 World Championships
Newly reformed INEOS Rebels UK are gearing up to compete at the GC32 World Championships, Riva del Garda, from 23rd - 27th May. The World Championship is also Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series and the British team are looking for a podium finish at their second racing event of 2018.

The INEOS Rebels UK team is made up of some of the country's top youth sailing talent, aged between 19-24 years old. The 'Rebels' initiative aims to change the face of youth sailing in the UK by offering an opportunity for talented young sailors to push themselves as they develop their skills both on and off the water. The programme is also part of INEOS TEAM UK's commitment to supporting the next generation and offering a pathway for young British sailors to enter the Americas Cup.

The team currently sit fourth over-all on the Extreme Sailing Series after Act 1 in March. Three times Extreme Sailing Series winner and INEOS TEAM UK senior sailor, Leigh McMillan leds the team as Helmsman and mentor, with 22 year old Will Alloway as Skipper. Oli Greber takes on the role of Bow, Mark Spearman as Main Trimmer, Adam Kay as Float and Matt Brushwood makes up the squad as Float / Reserve.

Extreme Sailing Series 2018
Act 1: Muscat, 14 - 17 March - 4th
Act 2: GC32 World Championship, Lake Garda 23 May - 27 May
Act 3: Barcelona 14 - 17 June
Act 4: Cascais, Portugal 5-8 July
Act 5: Cardiff, 24 - 27 August
Act 6: San Diego, 18 - 21 October
Act 7: Los Cabos, 29 November - 2 December

For many years the invisible power behind the throne of some of the world's biggest and fastest yachts, the legendary, at times even mythical, Swiss composites engineers at Carbo-Link have emerged from the shadows…

Standing rigging has come an impressively long way from the sturdy but stretchy, wound stainless of our youth. The top end of performance yachting has since gone through rod, early composites such as aramids, Spectra, PBO and Vectran and ended up today mostly with carbon fibre. Teething problems with carbon fibre rigging, especially getting it to turn corners and terminate, have been solved and today, for some, the manufacturing process is more akin to boatbuilding. Incredibly, the very latest high-tech carbon rigging all but eliminate stretch.

Spearing this revolution for more than two decades has been Dr Andy Winistoerfer. For many years Dr Winistoerfer was a leading light at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, where he developed the anchoring system for bundled carbon cables which is still in use today. His now well-established company, Carbo-Link, was born in the 1990s as commercial spin-off from EMPA and the STEM university ETH Zurich after they had been commissioned to design, engineer and manufacture the giant cables for the 124m cable-stayed bridge in Winterthur, Switzerland. The bundled carbon fibre cables supplied for this had a breaking load of 1,200 tonnes.

Full story in the June issue of Seahorse:

Over 50 boats confirmed for next months Volvo Round Ireland Race
A wide field of international entries from the United States, Finland, Norway, France as well as Irish and British crews are amongst the 54 entries to date for the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 that was launched this eveningl

Additional enquiries are still being handled by the Wicklow Sailing Club organisers though the 2016 record entry of 69 boats is unlikely to be matched this year.

In spite of the rugged 704 nautical-mile course facing the crews on the 30th June at Wicklow, a touch of glamour will be featured as Stephen O'Flaherty's Soufriere, the elegant yacht from the James Bond movie Casino Royale is also entered. And Richard Loftus's classic Swan 65 Desperado of Cowes will be the largest boat racing this year.

Several entries feature crews from Sailing schools around the coast, many of whom are new recruits to the sport or fulfilling 'bucket-list' ambitions.

Another past race winner will also be making a return to the Volvo Round Ireland Race next month. Justin Slattery from Carrickfergus was the navigator on Eamon Crosbie's Calyx Voice & Data, the Ker 32-footer than won the race in 2004. He will be amongst a pro line-up for Niall Dowling on Baraka GP, one of the candidates for this year's overall race win.

Start of the race is the 30th of June.

World Sailing release five-year strategy
At World Sailing's Mid-Year Meeting, the world governing body of the sport released an ambitious five-year strategy 2018-2022.

The Strategy is broken down into four pillars which include:

Inspiration and Participation - To build a strong profile and image for sailing - using our key points of difference to resonate with people and to give them a lifetime of sport. Presenting the sport in a compelling and engaging way to attract and retain a wide global fan base

Membership and Governance - To provide a professional and valued service to our members that enables the sport to grow in relevance and influence. To establish a governance structure within the International Federation that is simple, clear and transparent to all stakeholders

Sport Integrity - To create and regulate, exciting and safe competition events with fairness and integrity

Leadership in sport - To provide leadership to the sport through strategies that ensure its long-term sustainability and growth. To seek collaboration with partners to deliver successful implementation

Each pillar then has a clear set of detailed strategies which will provide the International Federation with direction over the next five years. In order to ensure the strategy remains on track, a series of measures will be used enabling reporting into World Sailing's Member National Authorities and other key stakeholders.

Read the strategy

Denmark unveils crown jewel for Sailing World Championships
With just 71 days to go to the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus Denmark 2018 the new Aarhus International Sailing Center was officially opened today.

Denmark's new home of sailing has immediately joined elite international company in being awarded the highest status by World Sailing and also gained the royal seal of approval from keen sailors, Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark.

"It's a great day for the sport because the Center will be a magnet for developing talent," Kim Andersen, president of World Sailing, said. "We see this all over the world where there are elite centres. People learn from each other across classes and across nations.

"Hopefully the Center and the Worlds will set new standards for how we grow the sport," Andersen, who represented Denmark at multiple World and European Championships, added."Sailing is backed by everyone in Denmark - the Crown Prince competes in the Farr 40 or Dragon - I always say Denmark isn't a country it's a coastline."

Andersen and Crown Prince Frederik, both now more used to racing Dragons, hoisted a spinnaker on a 49er FX to mark the moment.

From July 30 - August 12, 2018, the Aarhus International Sailing Center will welcome 1,500 sailors from around 100 countries and an estimated 400,000 visitors. The sailors will be fighting for two prizes - medals in Aarhus and qualification for the Olympics. The Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 is the first big qualification event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and Enoshima (sailing).

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The Last Word
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