In This Issue
Breezy start for Monaco Globe Series organised by Yacht Club de Monaco
Tough Upwind Conditions Make The First 24 Hours Brutal
Class49 Earendil competing at the AAR Bermuda Hamburg
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
D35 - GP Versoix
ORC Sportboat European Championship
No end in sight
Phil Sharp & Julien Pulve win the 6-day war by 6 seconds
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Mark Twain

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

Breezy start for Monaco Globe Series organised by Yacht Club de Monaco
At 1.00pm on Sunday, the gun was fired for the first Monaco Globe Series by YCM President, HSH Prince Albert II, from the motor-yacht M/Y Pacha III (1936).

Earlier, the President greeted skippers at a brunch in honour of Irishman Enda O'Coineen from the last Vendee Globe, there to support his compatriot Joan Mulloy paired with Thomas Ruyant on Kilcullen Team Ireland for this double-hander, unassisted non-stop race, the first stage of the new IMOCA 2018-2020 world championship. Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, it's a chance for participants to gain points towards qualifying for the Vendee Globe 2020.

An east-south-easterly breeze provided a unique spectacle at the start. As they sped away at 12 knots heeling on a port tack, the whole fleet set the tone in the first few minutes. Leeward of most of the fleet, SMA skippered by Paul Meilhat and Gwenole Gahinet led closely followed by the Monegasque boat Malizia II skippered by Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann.

Isabelle Joschke and Alain Gautier on Monin also played a winning hand, bearing away to leeward at the start to take the lead. It's too early to make any predictions. One thing is certain, what comes next promises to be fast-paced as the fleet attacks the windiest section during the night, with a storm forecast for Corsica with gusts and possibly hail.

Race Director Guillaume Rottee is adapting the circa 1,000nm course depending on weather. Current state of play: the fleet heads for the Strait of Bonifacio down Corsica's west coast, then to the Gulf of Mondello in Sicily, passing in front of Circolo della Vela Sicilia, Challenger of Record of the 36th America's Cup and organiser of the Palermo-Montecarlo, then to south Sardinia (no longer Mahon in the Balearics), and back up towards Cagliari and then to Monaco where they are expected to arrive Friday 8th June.

Follow their progress on the race tracker

List of competing boats:
Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco - Pierre Casiraghi / Boris Herrmann
SMA - Paul Meilhat / Gwenole Gahinet
Newrest Art & Fenêtres - Fabrice Amedeo / Eric Peron
Bureau Vallee 2 - Louis Burton / Arthur Hubert
Monin - Isabelle Joschke / Alain Gautier
4myplanet2 - Alexia Barrier / Pierre Quirogea
Groupe Setin - Manuel Cousin / Alan Roura
Kilcullen Team Ireland - Joan Mulloy / Thomas Ruyant
Boulogne Billancourt - Stephane Le Diraison / Stan Maslard

Tough Upwind Conditions Make The First 24 Hours Brutal
Following a light downwind start to the second leg of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the conditions have deteriorated making it a brutal 24-hours for the teams. The crews are currently battling 30 knots of breeze coming from the northeast in what's been described to us as a horrendous sea state.

The Class40 design is such that it launches off the top of waves, accelerating free from liquid drag before landing, belly first and pounding into the waves ahead. It has a rhythm of launch, pound... pound... pound before regaining speed to continue. 36, unforgiving, relentless hours will definitely test the mental strength of these top, offshore competitors.

The fleet has been taking a pounding and many have reported damage.

#37 First Light have reported significant damage to their solent and are heading for calmer waters to assess the damage.

#111 Power of One reported that the lashing holding the solent in place broke forcing them to climb the mast and make the required repair.

#128 Toothface has reported issues with their water ballast system leaving them unable to use it.

#81 Esprit Scout has reported similar issues of those seen by Power of One and are waiting for the conditions to subside prior to climbing their rig and re-lashing their solent.

With the low moving northeast over the fleet and the fleet turning north around Point Alpha it's conceivable that the teams will stay within the northeast quadrant providing yet more challenging upwind sailing. There is enough disagreement within the weather models to make this next 24-hours very uncertain.

At 3pm ET #54 Dragon Ocean Racing currently leads the fleet. You can follow the fleet online at or on your mobile device via the YBRaces App.

Class49 Earendil competing at the AAR Bermuda Hamburg
The Class40 Division of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, organized in the 150th anniversary of Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, is coming. The latest entry of the AAR Bermuda-Hamburg Race is Earendil with Skipper Catharine Pourre. The Class40 Division now includes 4 competitors.

Catherine is the first female Class40 Skipper in this division. Besides the German Melanie Aalburg, Skipper of the SKWB youth team "Bank von Bremen", Catherine is the second female skipper in this race.

The French skipper has won the Class40 division for the RORC Caribbean 600, setting a new record for the 600-mile race around 11 Caribbean islands.

Earendil took line honours for the eight-strong Class40 Division in an elapsed time of 2 days 13 hours and 15 seconds and has won the first leg of the Atlantic Cup to New York.

"Earendil" will compete at the AAR against Arnt and Soenke Bruhn´s "ISKAREEN", Mathias Müller von Blumencrohn´s "Red" and the US team "toothface".

With 17 yachts confirmed the AAR Entry List heats up again. Who´s next ?

AUDIO interview dockside with Catherine Pourre by RORC Race ReporterLouay Habib

Photo by David Dodge, Click on image to enlarge.

28 intrepid solo skippers set off from Cowes yesterday in sparkling sunshine and a 15 knot SWly breeze for the start of the 2018 edition of the soloFASTNET race. The class 2 start was particularly memorable for a cruising boat who was merrily heading towards the shore at Gurnard under a cruising chute, needing to gybe onto port to avoid the beach, when they suddenly realised they were right on the start line with 16 highly competitive class two boats heading towards them with right of way. Meanwhile Nigel Colley avoided the chaos to get a near perfect start in strong tide at the buoy. After champagne sailing the fleet were in for a tough night - as forecast, the wind died as the tide turned and by 2300 most of the fleet could be seen going in circles on the yellowbrick tracker. A large North-South split developed, and initially the boats in the North were favoured as the wind died sooner in the South, but the tables were turned when the boats in the South picked up the new breeze first and started moving.

The fleet is currently sailing downwind under spinnakers, and as of 1900 Sunday, 28 hours into the race, Frenchman Stephane Bodin is leading the race on his JPK1010 Wasabi Enertek, ahead of Ian Hoddle's Sunfast 3600 Game On and Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK1080 Raging Bee 2. Offshore seems to have paid - the three boats have been flying downwind under spinnaker in up to 25 knots of wind, while further inshore Nigel Colley on Fastrak lamented "must learn to navigate...". Ian Hoddle had an anxious moment on Game On when his pilot failed with the boat barrelling along under spinnaker in 20 knots of wind. Ian grabbed the helm before working out a fix - lashing the helm prior to doing an emergency spinnaker drop involving a broach and a gybe, before rebooting the pilot and rehoisting his smaller red spinnaker.

A fantastic video of the start from Jeremy Waitt's drone can be found here or on the SORC facebook page.

Regular updates on the race will be posted at
while the boats can be tracked on the Yellowbrick tracker app.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month

Last month's winner:

Paul Goodison (GBR)
‘Forget the past victories, back-to-back Moth Worlds against the best in the world… amazing sailor’ - Peter Morton; ‘Goodie’s roll is not likely to stop any time soon’ - Tom Burnham; ‘Paul is one of the nicest guys out there - he goes out of his way to help anybody, even me (the bullshit of the last Cup was probably not for him!)’ - Peter Whipp; ‘Goodie is the man! Super Fun hanging with him in Florida this winter learning to foil; an epic nice guy who shares his knowledge with great pride and endless humour!’ - Cam Lewis.

This month's nominees:

Stan Honey (USA)
Easy to first think of Honey as one of the world’s greatest ocean racing navigators, with a Jules Verne Trophy and Volvo Race win under his belt. Then there is that amazing record of innovation in televised sport, ranging from football to the America’s Cup. But beneath the radar Honey works tirelessly to improve the sport itself - he was the driving force behind both the Olympic offshore submission and this year’s first joint IRC/ORC offshore world championship in The Hague

Gus Miller (USA)
For a second time the World Masters drew a fleet of 350 Finns this year. The Masters circuit has been a phenomenal success story for which many people deserve praise, few more so than Gus Miller - this year’s winner in the Super Legends division. Having fought in Korea, shortly after leaving the Marines Miller just missed selection for the US Olympic wrestling team of 1956… then only switching to sailing to try for the Finn spot on the 1960 US Olympic team

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

D35 - GP Versoix
By clocking three second-place finishes today, Alinghi won the Grand Prix de Versoix ahead of Racing Django and Swisscom (for those interested, we also placed 4th, but from the four races validated, the worst score is here for the ranking).

Following the victory in the Genève-Rolle-Genève yesterday, Alinghi has therefore scored twice this weekend and added only two points in the overall standings of the D35 season. Mid-championship, the team leads the D35 Trophy by four points, ahead of Zen Too (16 points) and Ylliam Comptoir Immobilier (18 points) - click here for the full ranking.

The team looks forward to welcoming you on Saturday, June 9, from 10am for the starting gun of the 80th Bol d'Or Mirabaud.

Full results (PDF)

ORC Sportboat European Championship
Photo by Andrea Carloni / YCCP. Click on image to enlarge.

Trieste, Italy: A final day of racing yielded one more inshore race in light conditions to conclude the 7-race series at the ORC Sportboat European Championship 2018, hosted by YC Porto Piccolo.

Davide Rapotez's Melges 24 Destriero from Italy, with his crew of Lorenzo Coslovich, Simone Viduli, Alan Ravaglio and Marie Sole, has won the 11-boat Division A. Winning Silver in this division was Agnes Watger's Esse 850 Khulula from the Netherlands, and winning Bronze was Alessandro Gianni's Melges 24 MIG from Italy. All three podium finishers had all-amateur Corinthian crews.

Meanwhile in Division B the team on Mind the Gap Tempus Fugit, the Fat 26 owned by Edoardo Marangoni and Nicolò Cavallarin who yesterday secured their overall win, also raced to yet another 1st placed finish and defeated 15 other entries in Division B. Silver medal finishers were Ugo Guarnieri's Delta 84 Chardonnay, and winning Bronze was Gianni De Visintini's UFO Cattivik. The top Corinthian entry in Division B was Maurizio Planine's Zero named KM Zero in 4th place. All entries in Division B were from Italy.

"Our next focus will be on the Offshore World Championship in The Hague."

No end in sight
(Multiple) America's Cup-winning sparmaker and composites pioneer Eric Hall has been at it again... with his perennial mantra: simplicity

For most product designers simplicity is the ultimate goal. The obvious benefits include lighter weight, lower prices and simpler servicing. Alphalock Systems had just those goals in mind in the design of their new automatic halyard locks. 'The best-engineered products are always the simplest products,' says Alphalock president and designer Eric Hall.

Hall explains that, to date, locks requiring no tripline have necessarily had systems of multiple torsionally acting springs, latches and ball detents. 'Although they work fine as intended,' he explains, 'their springs eventually wear, the ball detents, which must be tuned for proper locking flipper operation, tend to rust if left idle for a time and their relatively complex disassembly and assembly, especially when reinserting the custom springs, have made servicing them a bit of a chore.'

'Alphalocks, on the other hand,' says Hall, 'have basically only two moving parts, the counter-rotating locking flippers. When servicing them all you need to do is unbolt the clamshell housings and take out the flippers. To reassemble insert the two self-aligning flippers and refasten the clamshells.'

Full article in the June issue of Seahorse:

Phil Sharp & Julien Pulve win the 6-day war by 6 seconds
Ultimately, victory in this incredible six-day edition of the 2018 Normandy Channel Race came down to just six seconds. Indeed, this was all that was separating the top two on the finish line set off Ouistreham yesterday afternoon, Imerys Clean Energy skippered by the duo Phil Sharp-Julien Pulve just snatching the win from Carac skippered by Louis Duc and Gwen Riou despite a valiant effort from all involved in what has been an intense battle from beginning to end.

Lasting a little over 6 days and 50 minutes, the Normandy Channel Race gave rise to a merciless elimination race, which saw the original 27 competitors gradually falling out of contention from one course mark to the next. Indeed, the leading group went from 14 in the Solent, to 11 at Wolf Rock, then around 6 at Tuskar and Fastnet and eventually just 3 for final victory, in a race punctuated by a series of dramatic turns of event. The three-way final that started at the Channel Islands went right to the wire, each of the duos taking a turn in the hot seat on the last morning of the race. Phil Sharp and Julien Pulve took the win after a superb effort coloured by sheer stubborn determination. In so doing, the Briton joins the Spaniard Pablo Santurde on the list of double consecutive champions of the event.

Though the final duel between Imerys Clean Energy and Carac will go down in the event's annals, Aïna Enfance et Avenir naturally warrants a mention after playing a key role in proceedings and finishing just 5 minutes shy of the winner. "We were jostling for first place from beginning to end with the other two," Aymeric Chappellier points out. "The three-way match was transformed into a duel as we approached Raz Blanchard and we thought Carac was cooked. But no. That's how it goes! We made a few errors, but overall we sailed well." -- Denis Van-den-Brink

Podium positions:

1. Imerys Clean Energy - 6d 0h 50mn 49 sec. Speed: 6.63 knots. Distance covered: 1,107.18 miles at 7.64 knots
2. Carac 2 - 6d 0h 50mn 55sec. Speed: 6.63 knots. Distance covered 1,134.60 miles at 7.83 knots with just 6 seconds of separation
3. Aina Enfance et Avenir: 6d 0h 55mn 19 sec. Speed: 6.62 knots. Distance covered 1,109.03 miles at 7.65 knots. 4 minutes 30 seconds of separation.

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The Last Word
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. -- Mark Twain

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see