In This Issue
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Figaro Leg 2: Downwind Across Biscay
Find the time!
Optimist Worlds: Team Thailand wins Team Racing Finals
Sailors' wisdom wanted!
International 6 Metre European Championship
Grand Prix Valdys - Arkema Team wins the Grand Course
"We've Done a Lot of Swimming" - Ben Ainslie
America's Cup: More interest still lurking
George Miller's 'Pixie' Wins International 12 Irish Championships
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Adolph Hitler

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

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Porto Cervo, Italy: The first day of the 29th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Maxi 72 Rolex World Championship, organised by the YCCS with the support of the IMA and the collaboration of title sponsor Rolex, saw Sardinia at its best. More than 40 participating maxi yachts enjoyed perfect sailing conditions with a mistral wind of 12 to 16 knots, with gusts of up to 18 knots at some points on the coastal route of approximately 35 miles that was set for three out of the six classes. The Mini Maxi groups 1 and 2 had a very similar but slightly shorter course, while the Maxi 72s, competing for their World Championship, faced two windward-leeward races on a different regatta course.

Reigning champion Momo, helmed by YCCS member Dieter Schoen with Marcus Wieser on tactics, immediately racked up two consecutive victories, followed by another Club member, Dario Ferrari at the helm of Cannonball, who took two second places. In third place on equal points are the American boats Lucky and Proteus.

The Super Maxi category sees three J-Class yachts competing: Topaz, Velsheda and Svea, which respectively occupy the top three positions in the classification followed by the two modern Super Maxis, Vittorio Moretti's Viriella and Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song, the fastest boat on the water - but penalised in compensated time. Tactician Alberto Bolzan - the only Italian sailor to have taken part in the past two editions of the VOR, the tough round-the-world race - explained: "Unfortunately, the corrected time result didn't reflect the way the day went, we're really happy with how the group worked, with how the boat sailed and the choices we made so we're heading home with a smile. Over the next few days we will be working on the numbers to improve our performance on a boat that is already fantastic.

In the Wally Class Magic Carpet Cubed, clearly the star of the Wallycentos, dominated. Given the difference in length, the Wallycentos soon stretched away from the rest of the fleet doing battle on the course through the La Maddalena archipelago. As they approached the finish line a spectacular skirmish took place between J One and Lyra, however a subsequent protest led to the disqualification of J One, initially class leader. The new owner and helmsman of Lyra, Terry Hui, a Canadian born in Hong Kong, had an excellent debut.

Among the Maxis it was the Southern Wind Grande Orazio owned by YCCS member Massimiliano Florio that took the best corrected time ahead of the fastest yacht of the fleet gathered in Porto Cervo, Rambler, which finished in second place on corrected time. Third place went to Inti-3, the Wally 94 owned by Lauro Buoro.

In the Mini Maxi 1 group, the defending champions on SuperNikka immediately made their intentions clear on the regatta course, winning ahead of Wallyño and Lorina 1895. Roberto Lacorte, helmsman and the owner of SuperNikka: "A beautiful but challenging day, Spectre gave us a hard time, this year they have updated their sails, but that makes things more fun. We did what we promised to do and got the result. Our meteorologist Riccardo Ravagnan perfectly forecasted both the direction and intensity of the wind, in every part of the day. We had an average wind that went from 14 to a maximum of 18 knots, there were drops, passing inside the islands, but the intensity and direction were what we expected, and this allowed us to race with the right configuration."

On this first day, the defending champion also won in the Mini Maxi 2 class: H2O, the Vallicelli 80 owned by Riccardo De Michele with Lorenzo Bodini on tactics, took victory ahead of two Swan yachts: the 65 ketch Shirlaf and the 651 Lunz Am Meer.

Tomorrow crews will meet at 9 a.m. in Piazza Azzurra for the daily weather briefing from Quantum Sails. Racing will continue at 11.30 am with a forecast of very light and unstable breeze. The Wally Class will be given a windward-leeward course, while all other classes will complete a coastal race. As usual, on their return to shore crews will gather for after-race refreshments in the Piazza Azzurra.

Figaro Leg 2: Downwind Across Biscay
Stage 2 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, 520 nautical miles from the bay of Saint Brieuc to Ria de Muros-Noia in Galicia, Spain started on time Sunday at 1400hrs CEST (+2hrs TU) under beautiful late summer skies and bright sunshine in seven to eight knots of NE'ly breeze. In front of a big spectator fleet including everything from canoes, RIBs, cruisers and sailing dinghies.

The first 24 hours of the second stage of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, racing from the Bay of Saint Brieuc to Ria de Muros Noia in Galicia, proved as difficult and demanding as the forecasts predicted. But the just rewards arrived this afternoon off Ushant, on the NW corner of France as the wind steadied and built allowing speeds to rise.

After a long, exacting, sleepless night negotiating the north coast of Britanny in light northeasterly winds of just 4-6kts and strong tidal currents the 36 solo racers on their 32ft one design Figaro Beneteau 2s making between 3 and 4.5 knots for much of the time, the leaders were in more solid, regular downwind conditions.

Late this Monday afternoon, 26 hours after yesterday's light winds escape from Saint Brieuc, the leaders were covering ground at more useful speeds across the early stages of the 370 nautical miles passage across the Bay of Biscay, typically 11kts for closely grouped pacemakers Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Populaire) and Pierre Leboucher (Guyot Enevironnement), all in sight of each other.

Britain's Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) has made wise strategic choices and held excellent speed through the day to establish himself in an excellent fourth place, in close company with his training group partners from the Pole Finistere, Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015) and Sébastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance). Southampton trained naval architect Dalin is the four times podium finisher who, is bidding , one last time, for his first overall win before moving to the IMOCA 60 class.

It is very early in the four stage race, which finishes in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie - home of Beneteau - on Friday September 14th, but Anthony Marchand has already proven himself something of a strong title contender who is currently thwarting Dalin's ambitions.

Standings at 1815hrs UTC +1hr - French unless stated

1. Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer-Secours Pompier) 350.6nms to finish
2. Pierrer Leboucher (Guyot Environnement) + 0.3nms behind leader
3. Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015) +0.5nms
4. Alan Roberts, GBR, (Seacat Services) +0.5 nms
5. Sébastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance) +0.6 nms

9. Justine Mettraux SUI (Teamwork) +2.1nms
23. Hugh Brayshaw GBR (KAMAT) +10 nms
28. Nick Cherry GBR (Redshift) +11.5nms
29. Thomas Dolan IRL (Smurfit Kappa) +11.9nms
34. Joan Mulloy IRL (Taste the Atlantic A Seafood Journey) +22.4nms behind leader.

Find the time!
Rolex Swan Cup This year's Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia looks set to become the most popular edition yet of this 'busy' celebration of Swan ownership

If you could capture the essence of the world's best-loved regattas and incorporate them into one event, you'd have something like the Rolex Swan Cup. Over the last two decades or so, word of this happy synergy has spread beyond the hard core of veteran Swan owners because this year's event, hosted as ever in Porto Cervo by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, is anticipating its largest ever entry list. Between 9-16 September, organiser Nautor's Swan is expecting a record 125 yachts flying flags of 23 nations across five continents for this biennial festival of racing, relaxing, meeting old friends and making new ones.

To make the celebration even more special, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Mr Ferragamo taking the helm at Nautor's Swan, sparking a rapid revival in the marque's fortunes and an infusion of Italian design flair into recent launches.

Full article in the September issue of Seahorse

Optimist Worlds: Team Thailand wins Team Racing Finals
Yesterday was a great day of competition in Team Racing Finals at the 2018 Optimist World Championship. A medium breeze of 10 to 12 knots allowed the teams to battle it out until the end.

There were great match-ups and performances for Teams THA, ITA, ESP, USA, ISR, ARG and many more with the first three prevaling. Thailand and Italy managed to moved to the final that took place in light wind. Big advantage for the Thailand Team which sailed great throughout the series and deserved to win the valuable title leaving the Italian Team to second place and Spain as the second runner-up.

Congratulations to all the teams for the great performance and the spectacular sailing they presented to everyone, in a venue so close to the spectators.

A great end to Team Racing competition brings the begininng of a great final series of fleet racing today. -- Stelios Charalambous, ICARUS Sports

In the open championship, gold fleet, top five after 7 races, 1 discard (66 entries):

1. Marco Gradoni, ITA, 6 points
2. Panwa Boonnak, THA, 12
3. Stephan Baker, USA, 16
4. Richard Schultheis, MLT, 17
5. Tommy Sitzmann, USA, 19


Sailors' wisdom wanted!
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International 6 Metre European Championship
Photo by Fiona Brown. . Click on image for photo gallery.

WHAT La Trinite Sur Mer, France: Glorious sunshine and light airs were the order of the day for the opening two races of the International 6 Metre European Championship in La Trinite Sur Mer on Monday 3 September. As the 38 boats from 10 nations came to the race area there was a light but steady north easterly blowing and the Race Committee was able to get the first or the two planned races underway promptly.

Whilst initially the wind was relatively steady, it wasn't long before the battle between the sea and land breezes began in earnest making conditions for both the competitors and the race committee somewhat challenging. The early north easterly just about held up for the first race, but the committee then had to delay the second start for a while as the sea breeze tried to fill in. Eventually the north easterly regained control and the committee got race two underway.

The Open Division were somewhat over eager to get proceedings underway for the first race and as a results Beat Furrer in Temptation 3, Jamie Hilton racing Matt Brook's Scoundrel, Claus Henningsson's Notorious and Paul Wealick's Max'Inux were all disqualified for being on course side at the start. All four of these boats appeared to do well on the water, but it was Fredrick Dahlman's Nivola from Switzerland helmed by Reinhard Suhner who sailed superbly to win by a two minute forty seven second margin. Peter Harrison's St Francis IX, being helmed by Andy Beadsworth, ultimately took second place with fellow Brit Robin Richardson sailing St Kitts third and Patrick Monteiro de Barros from Portugal aboard Seljm fourth.

The Classics has obviously learnt from watching their younger sisters and the entire fleet managed to start on the correct side of the line. Eric Jespersen at the helm of Rainer Muller's Llanoria, a stunning 1948 Sparkman & Stephens design and build which has won Olympic Gold twice, the One Ton Cup twice and the legendary Seawanhaka Cup twice, sailed a beautiful race to win by a minute exactly from His Majesty King Juan Carlos's Bribon Gallant with Violetta Alvarez's recently restored Charles Nicholson designed 1938 Erica third.

Tuesday's second day of racing promises a little more wind in the morning with a north easterly or 12 to 15 knots, however, it is due to drop again in the afternoon so everyone will be hoping that the two planned races can be completed before it starts to die. The regatta continues until Friday 7 September. Two windward leeward races a day are scheduled until Thursday 6 September with Friday 7 September being a reserve day. -- Fiona Brown

Grand Prix Valdys - Arkema Team wins the Grand Course
We were expecting the match and we were served! The great 150-mile Grand Prix Valdys - Multi50 race, which was played between Roscoff and Douarnenez via the Ouessant and the Chaussée de Sein, has, in fact, offered an incredible scenario with unstable light airs, Abominable algae fields, strong currents and crossings galore. The key: a lot of twists, gaps that were made then defeated and, on arrival, small differences between the boats. The first four boats arrived on the line in just ten minutes on Monday, late morning. Better, only 30 seconds finally separated the winner, Lalou Lucayrol, from Erwan Le Roux.

Ranking of the big race:

1. Arkema arrived at 11.35'09
2. WindowA-Mix Buffet at 11:35'39
3. Chocolate Rite 11:40:54
4. Solidaires in Peloton at 11:45:34
5. Ciela Village at 12:12:50
6. The French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo at 13:33'46.

General classification (after 4 races):

1. Arkema (Lalou Roucayrol) 13 pts
2. FenêtreA - Buffet Mix (Erwan Le Roux) 14 pts
3. Solidaires in Peloton (Thibaut Vauchel-Camus) 19 pts
4. Chocolate Rite (Armel Tripon) 21 pts
5. Ciela Village (Thierry Bouchard) 31 pts
6. French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo (Gilles Lamire) 31 pts.

Tuesday's program:

10.00 am: Start of the first race of the Triple A Trophy
18:00: Award ceremony for the Triple A Trophy and the Grand Course

"We've Done a Lot of Swimming" - Ben Ainslie
Asked during the AC Overture what he was willing to reveal about their test boat, Ben Ainslie replied, "We've done a lot of swimming."

Jack Griffin at Cup Experience notes this unofficial video showing a capsize

And this from World Sailing last January:

America's Cup: More interest still lurking
The 2021 America's Cup could swell with a potential six other challengers eyeing involvement in the 36th edition in Auckland.

Currently there are three confirmed challengers – Luna Rossa, American Magic, and INEOS Team UK – seeking to oppose Cup holders Emirates Team New Zealand.

However, Italian challenger of record Luna Rossa, who will handle the Prada Cup challenger series in Auckland, confirmed there was interest from several start-up teams to get involved.

George Miller's 'Pixie' Wins International 12 Irish Championships
International 12 Irish Championships The term 'vintage' is rarely used in respect of racing dinghies, however, in 1920 the Olympic Federation were felt that a suitable dinghy should be used in addition to the 40m.2, 30m.2, 15m., 12m., 10m., 8m., 7m., and 6m. keelboat classes. The International 12-foot dinghy was selected.

This class is still active in Ireland, in two forms, the original single sail rig, and the later Dublin Bay Sailing Club innovation of moving the mast aft and providing a jib, but with no increase in total sail area. The Royal St. George Yacht Club organised the fifth Irish Championship of recent years, on 2nd September 2018. Entries came from far and wide including one UK entry, one dinghy from Clew Bay and one from Lough Ree. Four races were held in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Full results

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 Laura Dekker: re: the shipwreck of her ship "Guppy" on Manihiki Island. Click on image to visit her blog post.

Laura Dekker

Initial Damage Report of Guppy's grounding in Manihiki Isl.
Based on information gathered from different sources.
Vessel Particulars when leaving Whangarei Harbour May 2018
Build in 1978
Designer: Michel Joubert
Length: Originally 11.40 m now 12.30 m ( professionally extended)
Beam: 3.76m
Draft: 1.90m
Weight: 11 ton
Cruising Speed: 6-7 kn
Bridge Clearance: 18.70 m

She was first thrown on the reef during a squall in the night which is very common throughout the whole pacific. The place of initial stranding was between rocks with big surge

She was being bounced up and down for a few days before being thrown further onto the reef during another squall.

Estimate of repair costs ex-Salvage cost (details in Laura's blog post)

Total: €385.000
This is exclusive of salvaging costs, shipping, environmental costs ( already going on) It shows clearly that Guppy is a total loss already and not worth fixing - especially considering the fact that she will never be as safe as she ones was and LifeSails intention is to sail with kids. LifeSail should have Guppy insured according to our agreement, however the insurance probably won't pay out more then the market value - which is around €70.000. In this particular case I don't know how the insurance will handle the situation since Guppy was anchored purposely on a very dangerous spot.

LifeSail is still under the impression that they can salvage Guppy, but after making this damage report and cost involved it's clear to me that this is not an option. With a heavy heart and many tears in my eyes I've come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is get her of the reef as soon as possible to limit more damage to the coral and environment and then scrap the boat.

Details, photos and updates at

During rescue attempts the yacht moved resulting in her bow being completely under water.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
The organization of our press has truly been a success. Our law concerning the press is such that divergences of opinion between members of the government are no longer an occasion for public exhibitions, which are not the newspapers' business. We've eliminated that conception of political freedom which holds that everybody has the right to say whatever comes into his head. -- Adolf Hitler

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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