In This Issue
2018 Melges 24 World Championship: Pre-Worlds
Blast Reaching to Portand
Harken Battcar Systems
Clipper Race 11 Day 1: Early Split In Fleet
Top Teams Seeking Answers at 164th Annual Regatta
Aberdeen Standard Sponsors Celtic Challenge for the Commodores' Cup
A club worth joining
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Class40 northern challenge
Grant Dalton's 2021 entry numbers talk falls short
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Bertie Wooster

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

2018 Melges 24 World Championship: Pre-Worlds
Victoria, BC, Canada - A second day of racing yielded three more races in light and tricky conditions to conclude the 5-race series at the Melges 24 Canadian Championship 2018, organized by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in cooperation with the Canadian Melges 24 Class Association (CM24CA), and the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, Esquimalt Squadron (CFSA).

Bruce Ayres' Monsoon from Newport Harbor Yacht Club, US has won the 42-boat fleet, winning in Corinthian Division was Robert Britten's Full Circle from Victoria, Canada, and the best Canadian team was Richard Reid's Zingara from Toronto. Melges 24 Canadians to conclude

The weather was a bit of a change from the blue skies of Saturday. Racers were excited as the forecast was for pressure in the 10-15+ knot range, and it was already blowing over 25 just a few miles southwest of the course at Race Rocks. You could sense that the enthusiasm was up on the dock. As soon as code flag D was hoisted at 9am for the harbour start, boats were off the dock without delay. The Race Committee set up in racing area A, off Esquimalt.

In the after event interview Monsoon' tactician Mike Buckley said that it's been light and tricky during these last two days and it's been different from the strong conditions what they have had while training here prior the Canadians.

In the Corinthian division the podium was completed by the very local Royal Victoria Yacht Club teams only. Robert Britten's Full Circle (CAN415) won the title with 28 points (1-(11)-11-9-7) followed by Fraser McMillan's Sunnyvale (CAN151) scoring 31 points (3-8-(10)-10-10) and Mike Bond's Hold My Beer collecting 39 points (6-(18)-14-15-4).

Overall Top 3 of the Melges 24 Canadian Nationals
1. Monsoon USA851, NHYC - Bruce Ayres, Mike Buckley, Jeff Reynolds, George Peet, Chelsea Simms - 15 pts
2. WTF USA829, California YC - Alan Field, Erik Shampain, Willem Vam Waay, Steve Hunt, Lucas Calabrese - 16 pts
3. Zingara CAN853, Toronto National YC - Richard Reid, Scott Nixon, Mike Wolfs, Billy Gooderham - 22 pts

Full results

Today it's a lay-day in Victoria giving to the teams a chance to explore this beautiful city and to have the final preparations for the 2018 Melges 24 World Championship. Tonight the 41 teams from five nations - Australia, Canada, Italy, Great Britain and United States are welcome in the Victoria International Marina for the Competitor's Meeting and the Opening Ceremony of the World Championship to be greeted by Commodore of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Randy Diamond. The battle for the Worlds' title will start on Tuesday with a first warning signal scheduled at 11am. The Harbour Start will be at 9am and the racing can be followed live via TracTrac website.


Blast Reaching to Portand
The 2018 Atlantic Cup fleet is steaming ahead for Portland, Maine after pounding upwind the past 48-hours. Nine boats remain on the racecourse following the decisions made last night by #37 First Light and #81 Esprit Scout to retire from Leg 2 and seek refuge in Newport, Rhode Island in order to further assess their damage.

For those that still remain on the racecourse, the conditions are still showing sustained winds of 20+ knots, however as teams round Point Alpha the final 160 miles are a reach as opposed to upwind. Seven teams, led by the French/Italian duo of Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani onboard Earendil have now rounded the virtual mark of 'Point Alpha' and are using the conditions to their advantage. Having been in upwind conditions for 48-hours, the crews delight at changing to a starboard tack, increased boat speed and a direct reach to Portland is evident.

Boat speeds have increased from an average of 5-6 knots to 18 knots and with 160 nautical miles of racing remaining it'll be fascinating to see whether #54 Dragon, the second oldest boat in the fleet, can maintain their 2nd place position against the charging Toothface 2 and Angola Cables./

The first arrival is expected in the very early hours of Tuesday with the remaining fleet expected into Portland throughout Tuesday morning.

Harken Battcar Systems
Harken Proven in the Volvo Ocean Race-again. And nothing so easy to add, adds so much safety.

Harken Battcars are so low in friction, you reef easily even while blast reaching. They're the difference between an uneventful reef and more hands out of the cockpit in the roughest conditions. Today's Battcar and track systems are completing their second lap of the planet in the Volvo Ocean Race. After more than 60,000 miles, they've proven so reliable the shore teams no longer feel the need to carry spares. They just pop the captive bearing cars off the track, inspect, rinse, and reapply.

Watch the video

Even better, new Harken slug track makes Battcar refitting your grooved spar a realistic DIY project—one far less expensive than in-boom or in-mast furling.

Battcar retrofits are easier than ever. You can do it with your mast up. New Harken slug track makes it possible. The track screws to pre-tapped slugs that slide into the mast groove. Slide in a slug. Screw on the track. Slide track up. Repeat. Then final tighten. Slugs are available for round or flat grooves so they fit perfectly and slide into place easily.

Watch the video.

Even better, new Harken slug track makes Battcar refitting your grooved spar a realistic DIY project—one far less expensive than in-boom or in-mast furling.

Battcar retrofits are easier than ever. You can do it with your mast up. New Harken slug track makes it possible. The track screws to pre-tapped slugs that slide into the mast groove. Slide in a slug. Screw on the track. Slide track up. Repeat. Then final tighten. Slugs are available for round or flat grooves so they fit perfectly and slide into place easily.

Watch the video.

Clipper Race 11 Day 1: Early Split In Fleet
Although the Clipper Race fleet spent the majority of the race to Panama in close quarters, it only took minutes for a split to emerge in Race 11: Nasdaq Race to New York - the second stage of the USA Coast-to-Coast Leg, the penultimate Leg of the 40,000 nautical mile, eleven month circumnavigation.

Nasdaq was the first to break away, opting for an easterly tack to avoid the wind hole settled close to the Le Mans start off the Atlantic coast of Panama. Skipper Rob Graham says: "Nasdaq tacked eastwards as soon as our mandatory 10 minutes holding course during the Le Mans start was up. We got a little worried when nobody followed but soon had PSP Logistics on our tail."

Two soon became four as GREAT Britain and Garmin also joined the breakaway group. GREAT Britain Skipper Dave Hartshorn explains: "Unlike some of the previous races, there is already a split in the tactics being played, with some of the fleet staying on a starboard tack and a few of us tacking over to a port one.​​

It's tight racing in the other grouping, with less than 4 nautical miles currently separating first from seventh. After being the windward boat in the Le Mans start, sits in second place and Skipper Conall Morrison comments: "We made the most of our good start position from the Le Mans draw and are still well positioned in the fleet.

"Our first waypoint between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic is 425 nautical miles away. So far the wind remains light, but we can see the occasional dark cloud and there are thunder and lightning patches about."

The race to New York is expected to take approximately 12 days, arriving at Liberty Landing Marina between 14-16 June. But to get there, the fleet will need to navigate its way through fickle winds and a complex arrangement of islands and reefs in the Caribbean, before trying to utilise the Gulf Stream to gain some extra speed in the final stretch to the finish line.

Top Teams Seeking Answers at 164th Annual Regatta
The Annual Regatta is North America's oldest annual sailing event. It was first run in 1845 on the Hudson River and has been sailed out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I., since 1988. The 164th edition will include an around-the-island race on Friday, June 8, and then buoy or navigator-course racing for one-designs and yachts sailing under IRC, ORR, CRF and PHRF handicapping systems on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. The 164th Annual Regatta is sponsored by AIG Private Client Group.

Like many of the 12 Metre teams currently sailing in Newport, LeFort and his crew have set their sights on the class's world championship in Newport in 2019. To account for the evolution of the class during its long history, 12 Metre yachts are grouped by vintage, racing boat-on-boat within each division. The Modern 12s, which includes boats that participated in the America's Cup in the 1970s and early 1980s, will have a fleet of four boats sailing in the Annual Regatta. Each has been updated with modern hardware and sails and modified within the bounds of the class rule.

​The race track for Friday's circumnavigation of Conanicut Island is just 19 miles long. But it delivers a full menu of tactical challenges, from the enigmatic tidal flows in the West and East Passages of Lower Narraganset Bay, the tricky ocean swells off Beavertail and the numerous geographically-influenced windshifts, which are unique to each wind direction. It requires constant focus from the trimming and tactical teams and a good dose of local knowledge.

This year, the regatta will award an overall trophy for the best corrected time under the three handicap rules that will have more than one division in the race: IRC, PHRF and Classics.

Awards for the Around-the-Island Race will be handed out at the AIG Awards Party on Friday evening at Harbour Court. Awards for the two-day weekend series will be distributed on Sunday. On Saturday, after racing, upwards of 800 competitors, family and friends will gather at Harbour Court for the Annual Regatta Dinner. This social event is one of the highlights of each Newport sailing season. -- Stuart Streuli

Aberdeen Standard Sponsors Celtic Challenge for the Commodores' Cup
Aberdeen Standard Investments is to sponsor the Celtic Team in their challenge for this year's Commodores Cup, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship event for three-boat teams with Corinthian crews. The event is now the world's premier team yachting event since the demise of the Admiral's Cup in 1989.

The 2018 event is being held in the Solent as part of the IRC European Championships, based in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight from 8 – 16th June. It comprises 8 inshore races, a short offshore race and a challenging race around the Isle of Wight.

The current holder of the trophy is France Blue which beat off a stiff challenge from several teams including the Celtic Team in the 2016 race.

The Celtic Team aims to showcase the wealth of sailing talent from Scotland in 2 of its boats which have crews comprised largely of young Scots. Jean-Renier and Jock Wishart's JPK 1080 'Shaitan' and the Wishart chartered 'Adventurer' (the Benetau 40 "Sailplane") will race with Andy William's Cornish-based Ker 40 'Keronimo' which is being directed by another leading Scottish sailor, Kevin Sproul. David Bedford has been recruited to direct tactics on 'Shaitan' while Plymouth-based Scot, Andy Sinclair, willmanage tactics on 'Adventurer'.

Celtic Team Captain, veteran adventurer Jock Wishart said "Aberdeen have always been very generous to me in the past, supporting some of my more "outlandish" activities. We hope we can give them a good return from this sponsorship." -- Jock Wishart

A club worth joining
Nautor Swan Seahorse Nautor's Swan are boosting their three one-design classes with a new calendar of races in some of the world's finest sailing venues (of course)

Swan regattas have always been special. They are held in stunning locations where the sailing conditions are reliably excellent, and the events are impeccably hosted by some of the world's most prestigious yacht clubs. Add to that some thrillingly close boat-for-boat racing interspersed with well-organised, genuinely social occasions, and you have pretty much the perfect regatta set-up, one that guarantees a strong entry list. Don't forget that these boats are also well-appointed, luxurious cruisers, so once the trophies have been handed out many owners go family cruising.

In 2002 Nautor's Swan made the racing even more exciting by going one-design. The Swan 45 class was followed in 2006 by the ClubSwan 42, both drawn by Germán Frers, and in 2016 by the Juan K-designed ClubSwan 50. Philippe Oulhen, ClubSwan 50 class president, explains why they decided to shift to one-design: 'I believe ClubSwan one-design racing brings a perfect balance between high-intensity and close racing with very well-organised events at the best yacht clubs in the world. Our goal is to support each team to concentrate and learn the best from the racing on the water, with top-quality race management.'

By now there are more than enough boats in these three classes to support a range of dedicated Swan one-design events in the Mediterranean.

Full article in the June issue of Seahorse:

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Class40 northern challenge
A record 10 Class40s have entered the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and more are expected to take up the tough 1,800 nautical mile non-stop race. Starting and finishing from Cowes Isle of Wight, the course takes the fleet as far north as Muckle Flugga in the Shetland Islands. The 61st parallel north is shared by Alaska and the Bering Sea! The 2018 race is an official event for the 2018 Class40 circuit and since the Class40s first competed in the race in 2006, only five have finished the gruelling challenge.

In 2006, Britain's Phil Sharp became the first Class40 skipper to finish the race and he went on to win the Route du Rhum later that year. Fast forward to June 2018 and Sharp with co-skipper Julien Pulve was victorious in the 1,000 nm Normandy Channel Race, winning by just six seconds after six days of racing! For the 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starting on Sunday 12th August, Phil Sharp will skipper Class40 Imerys and is one of the favourites to win the class.

"The diversity of racing around Britain and Ireland is a real challenge. You can get everything possible thrown at you. Just finishing gives tremendous satisfaction and makes you all the stronger for it," explained Phil Sharp. "We didn't do very well in 2006, but it was my first proper race in the Class40 and it was invaluable for the win in the Route du Rhum. It is a coastal race but you rarely see land and the course takes you further north than just about any offshore race. The weather can get very extreme and very cold. Racing in howling winds, fully in winter gear, makes it very easy to forget it is August. Pushing the boat to the limits can be stressful, but it is an amazing experience, surfing down waves getting doused in blue water. A Class40 transforms itself into a dinghy, especially the modern ones which are highly optimised racing machines," enthuses Sharp.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starts on Sunday 12th August 2018 from Cowes. The majority of the fleet will be racing under the IRC Rating system with additional classes for Class40, MOCRA and IMOCA. All boats will carry trackers and full coverage of the race is available by visiting the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race's minisite:

Notice of Race available

Grant Dalton's 2021 entry numbers talk falls short
Grant Dalton has all but confirmed there will be just three seriously-funded challengers for the 2021 America's Cup in Auckland.

Challenger of record Luna Rossa, Ben Ainslie's Ineos Team UK and the New York Yacht club are the big players confirmed for the monohull event.

There are enough bases for three more challengers at the Auckland waterfront but they are unlikely to be completely filled.

With the other challenger prospect also coming from America, the regatta may feature teams from just four countries. This compares unfavourably, so far, with last year's multihull regatta in Bermuda, which featured holders Oracle Team USA and challengers from five other countries.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2002 Swan 70-005 Flying Dragon. 1,400,000 EUR. Located in Genoa, Italy.

This Swan 70 combines the exhilaration of performance sailing with the comfort and security of a blue water cruiser. Under her former name 'Fastnet', she won the Swan Cup in 2002 proving to be unstoppable on the race course.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Giorgio Passarella

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07


Raceboats Only 1993 Nautor Swan 68 - SEA EAGLE OF SHIAN III. 495000 GBP Located in Scotland, UK.

Handsome German Frers Swan 68 which is perfect for both a cruising and regatta role. She is a capable and fast bluewater cruising yacht with a great layout for owners, 6 guests and crew. She has had some great updates through life including paint, decks, and rod in 2008, new electronics, communications and entertainment in 2011 and she is constantly updated. Now laid up under cover, she is awaiting her next yachting family to awake her from her slumbers.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222


Raceboats Only 2007 Oyster 655 - ROULETTE. 1,124,000 GBP. Located in Lymington, UK.

Performance Oyster from the board of Humphreys with carbon rig and sailors' set up. Stunning maple innards and has the kerfuffle for blue water.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222

See the collection at

The Last Word
It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought. -- Bertie Wooster

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