In This Issue
Figaro Leaders Change Throughout Light Winds Sunday
Rolex Fastnet Race 2019 - Change of Date
Summer in Winter - St. Thomas International Regatta - March 22-24, 2019
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Concludes In Grand Style
Lady Mariposa wins the Cherbourg Race
ORC European Championship
Star Swedish Championship
Industry News
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Robert Anton Wilson

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

Figaro Leaders Change Throughout Light Winds Sunday
Fred Duthil (Technique Voile) and Alexis Loison (Custo Pol) who share the lead after just over 28 hours of a very light wind, slow Stage 3 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, but lying in fourth place Sebastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance), the overall race leader, is perfectly poised at less than half a nautical mile behind the leading duo. His assured strategic choices and speed in the light airs are further evidence in the growing belief he is on course to win this edition overall come Friday of this week.

Cape Finisterre and the north west corner of Spain is one of the most feared areas on European ocean racing routes. On Stage 2 of this 49th edition of La Solitaire weather advisers warned the solo skippers to, typically, expect up to twice as much wind as on the approach. It might appear that the reverse is true on the reciprocal passage. Only this evening were the leaders starting to climb the lower reaches of the Bay of Biscay and free themselves of the calms of A Coruña,.

Through a long, dark first night the breeze was never more than five knots from the north. The offshore route paid initially for eric Peron (Finistère Mer Vent) who led at Cap Villano, the Radio France buoy.

Finally climbing clear of the capricious winds and strong tidal currents of the Spanish coast the fleet are into the northerly breeze which should veer more east during the early hours of Monday morning. But once again the night will be marked by very light, unstable airs and - again some 11 hours of darkness with hardly any moon. The conservative strategy will be to ascend northwards close to the rhumb line staying with the making, most direct angle. But there will be more bubbles of calm. The breeze in the east and south of the bay is forecast to diminish.

Ireland’s Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) has stuck to his game plan, paced himself against his key rivals and made better strategic plays than on Stage 2. His choice of listening to comedy routines to keep himself awake and focused through the long, intense hours in the light winds may be contributing to what appear to be consistently decent speeds, well in touch with the lead group.

He has worked offshore, in the west, and has avoided the worst of the light winds potholes, to lie 11th, top Rookie.

Top ten, leg 3 at 18:53:00 local time (to say this is a close race is a bit of an understatement)

1. Frederic Duthil, Technique Voile, 307 nm to leg finish
2. Alexis Loioson, Custo Pol, .14 nm to leader
3. Gildas Mahe, Breizh Cola, .41
4. Sebastien Simon, Bretagne CMB Performance, .57
5. Eric Peron, Finistere Mer Vent, .76
6. Pierre Leboucher, Guyot Environnement, .91
7. Charlie Dalin, Skipper MACIF 2015, 1.01
8. Xavier Macaire, Groupe SNEF, 1.53
9. Anthony Marchand, Groupe Royer - Secours Populaire, 1.91
10. Thierry Chabagny, Gedimat, 2.19

Rolex Fastnet Race 2019 - Change of Date
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image to enlarge.

Fastnet Race The 2019 edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday 3rd August 2019, which is two weeks earlier than the original published date.

Unusually, the race will now run the week before Lendy Cowes Week, whose dates remain unchanged, starting on Saturday 10th August. This break with tradition, in consultation with Lendy Cowes Week, has been made for a number of reasons, including weather concerns over late August.

"We have been wrestling with this decision over the summer and particularly the relative timing with other events in Cowes and the Solent," said RORC Commodore Steven Anderson. "A late August start has weather implications for our big fleet and we anticipated running into the summer bank holiday would cause difficulty for many participants. Bringing the race forward by two weeks addresses these issues and allows us to encourage the fleet into Cowes in the pre-race days before the start.”

Commenting on the change of date RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone said:

“Bringing the race forward to Saturday 3rd August will give more time for those competitors who wish to race in Lendy Cowes Week. The prize giving in Plymouth will now be held on Thursday 8th August and this will allow competitors to make the journey back to the Solent in time to join the racing.”

More detailed information and the official Notice of Race will become available very soon on the Rolex Fastnet Race website:

Summer in Winter - St. Thomas International Regatta - March 22-24, 2019
St. Thomas International Regatta Stretch that feeling of summer by registering now for the 2019 St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Set for March 22 to 24, 2019, there’s nothing like the feeling of tropical tradewinds blowing through your hair while riding the rails on competitive round-the-islands courses. STIR is the most user-friendly sailing event in the Caribbean. Register in CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association); IRC; Multihull; CSA Bareboat; Beach Cat or One Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet. Register now too for the Round the Rocks Regatta.

This stand-alone tune-up for STIR, set for March 21, features an awesome circumnavigation of the neighboring 19-square mile island of St. John, home of the Virgin Islands National Park. There’s something for everyone ashore as well! Nightly parties, live music, food and drink. World-class racing, the chance to trade tacks with America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic crews on the water and off is what earns STIR its motto, ‘We Love It Here’ You will too. Discount for Early Entry. Register now!, Email: , Call (340) 775-6320.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Concludes In Grand Style
Porto Cervo, Italy: The 29th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 Class World Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association and title sponsor Rolex, concluded with the usual healthy participation - 41 yachts racing - and to the great satisfaction of all present thanks to beautiful sailing days in weather conditions that failed to deliver only on Tuesday, when instability forced the Race Committee to postpone racing for the day.

Today the fleet completed a coastal race of approximately 30 miles in winds from the north west of 9 knots which gradually increased to 12 knots and brought the yachts to round the island of Spargi before returning to Porto Cervo.

The Wally Class sailed two windward-leeward races, won respectively by the Wallycento Tango and the W80 Lyra - the overall victor thanks to an enviable scoreboard, with two second places posted as their worst results.

The Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship win had already been mathematically assigned yesterday, a day in advance, to Momo, owned by YCCS member Dieter Schoen. Cannonball, owned by another YCCS member, Dario Ferrari, took second place. Today Momo once again proved her supremacy by winning ahead of Proteus, with tactician Tommaso Chieffi, and Cannonball, with Vasco Vascotto on tactics.

Winner in the Super Maxi class was the J-Class yacht Topaz, followed by the other two participating Js, Velsheda and Svea.

The Maxi class was dominated by the Southern Wind 82 Grande Orazio, owned by YCCS member Massimiliano Florio, which clinched the win with a day to spare in front of Vera and Rambler.

Among the Mini Maxi group 1 boats, Roberto Lacorte's Supernikka had already mathematically ensured victory yesterday while the other podium finishers were the Swan 601 Lorina 1895 and Wallyño, owned by Benoit de Froidmont. The situation was similar in the Mini Maxi group 2 where H2O, owned by YCCS member Riccardo De Michele had already won a day in advance and also received prizes as the top scoring YCCS member and IMA member. Joining him on the podium were the Swan 65 Shirlaf owned by Giuseppe Puttini, and the Swan 651 Lunz Am Meer owned by Marietta Strasoldo.

Lady Mariposa wins the Cherbourg Race
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the Yacht Club de Cherbourg, and the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Start: Friday 7th September 18:00
Course: Cowes - Cherbourg
Distance: 80Nm

A magnificent collage of spinnakers heralded the start of the 2018 Cherbourg Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Seventy teams set off east in the Solent with a flooding tide for the 80 nautical mile race across the English Channel. After an upwind spell to clear the Isle of Wight, the fleet enjoyed a spectacular night race on a reach to Cherbourg. Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King, was the overall winner under IRC. Ross Hobson's Seacart 30 Buzz finished the race in an astonishing 6 Hours 44 Mins 07 Secs to take Multihull Line Honours. Filip Balcean's ClubSwan 50 Balthasar took Monohull Line Honours, and was second overall, ripping around the course in 7 Hours 35 Mins 17 Secs. Third overall and winner of IRC Two was Gilles Fournier's J/133 Pintia.

Ross Hobson's Seacart 30 Buzz was the smallest boat in the race, but scorched around the course to be the first boat into Cherbourg.

Ed Fishwick's Sun Fast 3600 Redshift Reloaded was the victor in the 24-strong IRC Two Handed Fleet. Going into the Cherbourg Race, Red Shift Reloaded was tied on points with Nigel Goodhew's Sun Fast 3200 Cora for the 2018 IRC Two Handed National Championship. Winning class in the Cherbourg Race clinched the national title.

Congratulations to all the class winners for the Cherbourg Race including: Mark Emerson's A13 Phosphorus (IRC One ), Jean-Eudes Renier's JPK 10.80 Shaitan (IRC Three), Noel Racine's JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew (IRC Four), and Peter Harding's Phor-ty, skippered by Sam Goodchild.

The final race for the 2018 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 50th anniversary of the 606 nautical mile race will start from Malta on 20th October, 2018.The Royal Ocean Racing Club Annual Dinner and Prize Giving will be held on 17th November in London. -- Louay Habib

ORC European Championship
Limassol Marina, CyprusL In a fleet that is not overly large but is incredibly diverse, three classes will start battling tomorrow for three class crowns in the 2018 ORC European Championship. This is the first ORC championship event held this far east in Mediterranean waters, with sixteen teams in Classes A and B representing the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Israel, Russia and Ukraine, and thirteen teams in Class C from these countries plus Greece. All will start the five-day championship tomorrow with an offshore race off the coast of Limassol of 39-mile duration for Classes A and B, while Class C will race a 21-mile course. Racing starts in the morning at 10:00 local time, with a time limit of 21:00.

Most of the local-based teams are new to this championship-level of ORC racing, but there are some loyal veterans who are back from past events in quest of a 2018 title crown.

In Class B, for example, Mati Sepp from Estonia brings a strong team with numerous podium performances on his modified X-41 Technonicol, while another team from Estonia, Aivar Tuulberg's custom Cossutti-designed Katariina II, was the 2016 ORC European Champion in Class C at that year's event held in Porto Carras, Greece and wants to claim the title again this year. In Class A the local-based team racing on Nicolas Epiphaniou's Corel 45 Iron FX will be hard to beat being the fastest boat with some of the best local knowledge in the fleet.

One third of the fleet here is from a nation relatively new to ORC championship racing: Israel. These teams have also sent some of their best sailors to Limassol, including Ayal Hamburger's First 44.7 Spirit, who has 470 Olympian Eyal Levin on the helm. Most of these teams will also be racing back to Tel Aviv on September 16th in the Cyprus - Israel Regatta.

Today the fleet practiced on a race course set out on the Limassol beachfront, with the reliable Cypriot seabreeze that propelled the Opti World Championships last week kicking in today at 12-15 knots. This produced close racing among the Class A and Class B entries racing together but being scored separately, and among the Class C entries who have their own separate start.

Star Swedish Championship
This year the 2018 Swedish Championships were held on Baggensfjarden just outside of Sune Carlsson's Batvarv in Saltsjobaden.

Once again Leif Carlsson, Lars Nordling and the rest of the organizers put on a fantastic event all the way around. From the racing to the social events after the sailing, everything was top notch and all of us competitors had a great time.

We started things off with a clinic hosted by Frithjof Kleen. About 15 boats participated and learned a lot from the veteran crew. When it came time to race, we had eight races over the three day event in varying conditions. With 28 boats registered, there was some great competition.

The first day saw races being completed in winds ranging from 8-12 knows of wind. There were a few shifts meaning a few gains and losses could be had. Johan Qviberg with Michael Nettelbladt faired the best winning the first race and finishing the day with 10 points.

Day two saw some cloudy weather cover the race course the entire day. We had slightly lighter wins in the morning with the breeze building as the day went on. Johan and Michael picked up where they left off and went out to win the first race again and finish the day with two more top five results. The competition was tight between the top 5 and things were set up for a fantastic final day.

Going into the last day the question was if Johan and Michael could hold onto their lead over Tom Lofstedt and if anyone else could challenge for the podium positions.

After a still morning and little wind, the race course filled with breeze. Johan and Michael ended up finishing their regatta after posting a 6 in the first race while Tom didn't fair as well and ended up in 15th. This would be Tom's drop and secured the win for Johan and Michael. The last race would decide the rest of the podium places with second and third up for grabs. In the end Tom and his crew Joost Houweling finished up in second, while Carl Schroder and Henrik Glimstedt got third place.

The 2018 Swedish Championships were a hotly contested event and a great team took home the win. Congratulations to all competitors and especially those on the podium. A huge thank you to the organizing officials for hosting such a great event, we all are looking forward to the Oktoberpokalen September 29-30th. It would be fantastic to see as many or more teams on the line at the end of the month! -- Danny Cayard

Industry News
Berthon The Berthon Group expands into Spain Strategic partnership between Berthon International and Sentinel Yachting in Palma de Mallorca.

Berthon, one of the world’s leading refit, engineering and blue water yacht sales specialists, employing 150 people (including 30 apprentices) has entered into a strategic partnership with Palma-based Sentinel Yachting to offer a full range of yacht management, engineering, maintenance, refit services and yacht sales, to be called Berthon Spain. It joins Berthon France and Berthon UK to compliment Mediterranean & European coverage respectively; Berthon USA in Newport Rhode Island covers the USA.

Under the terms of the agreement, Berthon has acquired a meaningful interest in Sentinel Yachting which has expanded rapidly since its incorporation in 2014 to offer full guardiennage packages, in-house engineering, electronics, fabrication, plumbing, rig-support and of course brokerage.

Full article available at -


Sparkman & Stephens has announced that Donald Tofias, of Newport, RI, has purchased the iconic yacht design and brokerage firm. Mr. Tofias will assume the role of President of the firm, having purchased 100% of the assets.

Donald Tofias is a lifelong sailor and founder of the W-Class Yacht Company. His first boat was an Alcort Sailfish, purchased when he was 12 years old.

Over the past 30 years Tofias has owned and campaigned a Waldo Howland and Ray Hunt, Jr. Concordia Yawl, a W. Starling Burgess Cutter, and for the past 20 years, W-Class Racing Yachts, including the W.76 sloops, designed by Joel White, which will now be marketed by Sparkman & Stephens.

Donald Tofias said, “we intend to preserve the history of Sparkman & Stephens, while at the same time building and expanding on its great tradition in yacht design and brokerage.”

The company will be headquartered in Newport, RI. Mr. Tofias is often quoted as saying, “Newport is the yachting capital of the world.”


Antigua is synonymous with yachting and for upcoming season the calendar line up looks as exciting as ever. The official kick start to the season has long been the Antigua Charter Yacht Show and 2018 is no exception. Taking place from December 4-10, the 57th show will provide a showcase for some of the world’s finest yachts and crews to meet with brokers prior to the beginning of the Caribbean Season.

Antigua has some of the most extensive yacht service facilities in the Caribbean including marinas, boatyard and hauls out facilities, training, sailmakers, riggers, and other marine expertise.


Tim Hollingsworth has been appointed as Sport England’s new Chief Executive.

Tim is currently Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, a role he has held since 2011. He replaces Jennie Price, who announced in May that she would be leaving Sport England after 11 years as CEO.

Tim brings a wealth of senior experience to Sport England. As Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, he led the organisation through both the historic London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with ParalympicsGB achieving an incredible 147 medals at the latter to finish second in the medal table. More recently ParalympicsGB achieved its best-ever performance at a Winter Games, winning seven medals including a gold at Pyeongchang 2018. Alongside this success at Games time Tim has led the increase in profile and interest in the Paralympic movement, driven the commercial and business growth of the BPA as a charity and ensured it is at the forefront of challenging perceptions of disability in society.

Prior to the BPA he was at UK Sport for seven years, first as Director of Policy & Communications and then Chief Operating Officer, following over a decade working in senior roles in corporate communications. Tim is also currently a Board Director of the Youth Sport Trust and the National Paralympic Heritage Trust and a member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Paralympic Games Committee.


Doyle Sails Palma has announced that legendary pro sailor Luke Molloy was joining the team as Grand Prix Sails Consultant.

Doyle Sails Palma announced new leadership back in February 2018 with the news that Chris Sherlock and Phill Maxwell were taking over the business and planning to expand the Doyle offering in Palma. Since then a new loft has opened, the team has been growing and business is booming!

Luke Molloy, Australian, has an incredible breadth of experience in the pro sailing world. He most recently completed the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race onboard Team Akzo Nobel where he also managed to achieve the current 24-hour record at 602 nautical miles. He was a helmsman/trimmer and in charge of the sail programme for that campaign.

Prior to that Luke was part of the Victory Challenge team in the 2007 America’s Cup, the AMN AMRO 2 team in the 2005/6 Volvo Ocean Race and has achieved many other victories across classes such as Melges 32, Farr 40s, Swan 45s, TP52s and many other Maxis and Grand Prix race boats.

Luke is a qualified sailmaker and a highly experienced sail programme manager and so brings a huge talent to the Doyle Sails Palma business and Doyle as a Group.

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 Magnus Wheatley:

Very sage words of caution in Friday’s Eurobutt with regards the Irish organisers of the Laser Masters needing to be on their game with regards the dapper chap pictured, replete with neckachief, that goes by the universal nickname of “Robo”.

Please can his credentials be checked as the rumour in Cowes is that he is really somewhere between the ages of 18-21 judging by his boundless enthusiasm for everything sailing, his wonderful yachting journalism and his forever upbeat manner.

My father, in his 80’s, claims to have both sailed with and against “Robo” for years and I remember sailing that Fremantle 8 at Cowes Week with a chap called “Robo” back in the late 90’s. Same chap? I think it is!

The elixir of life belongs to Mr Roberson and I wish him every success in the Laser championship. “Forza Robo” as they say in Italy!

Featured Brokerage
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See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly



Raceboats Only 2012 Swan 53-521 'Puffy'. 1,161,000 EUR. Located in New England, USA.

Puffy is a fantastic example of the Swan 53. It has been specified with only the very best of everything available and has some very tasteful custom touches.

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Raceboats Only 2002 Swan 45-001 Kyknos. 335,000 EUR. Located in Cesenatico, Italy

Swan 45-001 left Finland during the spring of 2002 and within two months was collecting silverware as the overall winner of the 50th Anniversary Giraglia Cup. She still has everything it takes to be competitive in the Swan 45 one-design class and is offered for sale at a very attractive price.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Giorgio Passarella

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07

See the collection at

The Last Word
You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you. -- Robert Anton Wilson

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