In This Issue
Estonian Teams Take Early Lead In ORC European Championship
Chabagny Clings To Small Lead
Harken UK Exhibits at Southampton Boat Show 14-23 September 2018
Australia's Beyer commands early lead at DLR Laser Masters World Championships
Britannia Rules The Worlds
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Doyle Sails September Regatta incorporating the 2018 Performance 40 National Championship
America's Cup: Team New Zealand take lessons from Volvo Ocean Race in planning for spectators
Bitter End Yacht Club Update
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Samuel Pepys

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

Estonian Teams Take Early Lead In ORC European Championship
Limassol Marina, Cyprus: Under a hot Cypriot sun, the 29 teams entered in the 2018 ORC European Championship today made their way through patchy and shifty conditions to produce the first race results of the event from a short offshore race sailed in Akrotiri Bay. From a starting line laid out in front of the beach palms and cabanas at the host Famagusta Nautical Club, the fleet raced upwind to a mark off Cape Gata, the southernmost point on the island, then back to a mark east of FNC, with Class C then sailing upwind to the finish off Limassol Marina and Class AB racing on another lap.

The total course distance for Class C was 21.8 miles and for Class AB was 40.4 miles, and with start times at about 10:00 local time, the first finishers in Class C crossed the line at about 15:00 and Class AB at about 17:00.

The first boat to cross the finish in Class C was Tamumm-Marineshop, a modified Farr 30 from Thessaloniki, Greece skippered by Antonis Katigiannakis. With an elapsed time of 4H 24M 55S, this is one of the fastest-rated boats in the class, with their bold and bright red and black graphics easily seen on the clear blue Cypriot sea.

"The wind conditions were quite varied," said Katigiannakis. "There was some pressure along the right side of the course, and some further offshore on the left, but a hole in the middle," he said. "The trick was knowing where to stay in the breeze both on the way out to the first mark, and the way back."

A team that played this well was the 2016 European Champion, Aivar Tuulberg's custom Cossutti 38 Katariina II from Estonia. Skipper Karl-Hannes Tagu said they stayed to the outside in the pressure for most of the race, and could see where a mis-step into a hole would lead to disaster.

In finishing today only 5 minutes behind Tamumm, the Estonians were left with a 2:22 margin to defeat the class runner-up, Rudolf Vestral's Czech-based Italia 9.98 Giulia in corrected time, with George Drakopoulos's Bavaria Match 35 Blue Line from Greece in third by only 14 seconds after four and a half hours of racing

On the long course it was another Estonian team dominating the results in Class AB, Mati Sepp's Polli-modifed X-41 Technonicol, and by a similar margin: 2:50 in corrected time after nearly 7 hours of racing over Tomas Dolezal's Swan 42 Daring Sisters from the Czech Republic. In third by another 3 minutes in corrected time was Easy Swisha's X-41 Next from Israel. -- Dobbs Davis

Erratum: Yesterday's press release incorrectly stated there would be three European Championship crowns awarded, when in fact there are only two: one for Class AB and one for Class C.

Chabagny Clings To Small Lead
After just over two and a half days of racing on Stage 3 of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, the 'Don' of the fleet Thierry Chabagny (Gedmat), the 46-year-old solo skipper from Concarneau who is on his 17th La Solitaire, is clinging on to a lead but it has been cut from over ten to to just three nautical miles.

But as the two leading groups have converged, since midnight Chabagny's margin over key title contenders such as overall leader Sébastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance) has more than halved, and the 28-year-old winner of Stage 2 into Galicia was just over three and a half nautical miles behind Chabagny and still sailing a fraction of a knot faster.

Britain's NIck Cherry (Redshift) continues to hold on to 15th place, excellent considering his limited training and racing time this season.

Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) and Hugh Brayshaw (KAMAT) have made 15 nautical miles back on the leaders since yesterday, at a more tenable 17 nautical miles behind the leaders this morning but still need a shutdown in the breeze for the leaders to have any hope of catching up.

Tom Dolan (IRL) has moved up to 11th place, and holds first rookie position at 0500 local time.

Top five, Leg Three:
1. Thierry Chabagny, Gedimat, 124 nm to leg finish
2. Cecile Laguette, Eclisse, 4.14 nm to leader
3. Pierre Quiroga, Skipper Espoir CEM - CS, 4.54
4. Sebastien Simon, Bretagne CMB Performance, 5.83
5. Charlie Dalin, Skipper MACIF 2015, 5.90

Overall top five including stage 1 and 2 times:
1. Sebastien Simon, Bretagne CMB Performance, total time 6d 0h 4mn 48sec
2. Xavier Macaire, Groupe SNEF, 0d 0h 26mn 31sec behind leader
3. Anthony Marchand, Groupe Royer - Secours Populaire, 0j 0h 30mn 51sec
4. Thierry Chabagny, Gedimat, 0j 0h 34mn 23sec
5. Charlie Dalin, Skipper MACIF 2015, 0j 0h 36mn 9sec

Full rankings:

Harken UK Exhibits at Southampton Boat Show 14-23 September 2018
You can pull line, crank winches, and talk tech with Harken experts at stand J219 during the Southampton Boat Show. Learn how to inspect and service winches and keep your blocks and furling gear in tip-top condition.

Harken has lots of products to show you. Many have trickled down from the cutting edge of America's Cup technology and now are the refined parts that are used by today's cruisers and racers. Check out the value-priced line of Element blocks and the Reflex 3 top-to-bottom furler, as well as the new Fly™ 40 mm blocks, deck organizers, and Power3 ratchet blocks. A variety of winches, furlers and hydraulics will also be on display.

We also offer an approved list of selected retailers, boatyards, and riggers that have received extensive training on winch repair and service by Harken UK.

Our experts look forward to working with you. No question is too small. They're great problem solvers, and have oceans of ideas on how to make your boat easier, faster, and more fun to sail.

Australia's Beyer commands early lead at DLR Laser Masters World Championships
Adding two further race wins to his tally, Australia's Brett Beyer continued to dominate the Standard rig Master class at the Laser Masters World Championships sponsored by DLR on Dublin Bay on Monday (10th September 2018).

Despite a shifting breeze that gusted from ten to over 20 knots at times, Beyer's bid to defend his 2017 title showed no loss of his opening day form as he sailed in clear air ahead of his nearest challengers in the 60-boat class.

Elsewhere in the 302-strong event, the Grand Masters class proved that age is no barrier to Sailing's naughty-step with no fewer than 14 Black Flag disqualifications after the opening race of the day required five general recalls with racing delayed more than an hour.

The fleet is also grappling with the biggest Spring tides of the year with a strong ebb flow adding to the challenge of the fresh to strong winds.

Despite receiving one of the Black Flag disqualifications, Sweden's Tomas Nordqvist remains atop the Grand Master class after the weighty penalty was dropped when the discard came into play.

After two days of 20 knot westerly winds, Tuesday's forecast offers the prospect of another testing day ahead of Wednesday's welcome break in the schedule. Ironically, the conditions are expected to ease off for the day before building steadily towards a gale by Saturday evening.

Top three, Standard Apprentice Class (four races sailed)
1. Gord Welsh, CAN, 4 points
2. Leandro Rosado, ESP, 4, 10
3. Pete Smyth, IRL

Top three, Standard Master Results
1. Brett Beyer, AUS, 3
2. David Whait, AUS, 11
3. Orlando Gledhill, GBR, 15

Top three, Standard Grand Master Results
1. Tomas Nordqvist, SWE, 10
2. Carlos Martinez, ESP, 13
3. Mark Brink, USA, 14

Top three, Standard Great Grand Master Results
1. Wolfgang Gerz, GER, 5
2. Mark Bethwaite, AUS, 7
3. Alan Keen, RSA, 9

Full results:

Britannia Rules The Worlds
A trio of blind and visually-impaired sailors from the UK has won the Blind Match Racing World Championship 2018.

The Blind Match Racing Worlds - hosted for the first time in the UK by the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club - was won by Great Britain's Sharon Grennan, a completely blind sailor, and her visually-impaired crew: Liam Cattermole and Lucy Hodges MBE.

Grennan's GBR1 team remained undefeated in all of their 13 races over five days of close, competitive racing on the Clyde.

Yesterday, the event was visited by HRH The Princess Royal - Patron of the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club - who watched semi-final racing out on the race area and met with competitors, race officials, event organisers and sponsors ashore.

Gold - GBR1 (Sharon Grennan, Liam Cattermole, Lucy Hodges MBE)
Silver - GBR2 (Sally Rodrigues, Laura Cammidge, Edward Kitchen)
Bronze - USA (Walter T. Raineri, Bernard J. Bilonic, Brian F. Peoples)
4th - CAN (David Brown, Brian Arthur, Joshua Cook)
5th - AUS (Kylie Forth, Erin McGlew, Jodi Munden)

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is four amazing days of world-class racing in idyllic conditions appealing to a broad range of tastes. The Event, set in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean and powered by the cooling northeast trade winds is powered by an experienced, innovative and friendly race team. Our professional Race Committee provides custom-tailored racing for the thousands of sailors originating from the 32+ countries that come to race: from Olympic medalists and World Champions sailing Maxis and Performance Multihulls to holiday-makers on chartered Bareboats.

For the 2019 edition, there will be four days of Serious Racing, counting towards the overall result. Participants will be offered a mixture of races with a combination of windward-leeward and coastal races, blended together into an irresistible cocktail of racing chosen to suit each class. The all-out racing monohulls will savor the prospect of eight races over four days with windward-leeward races on two days and two longer coastal races testing both boat handling and tactics. It's easy to understand why the regatta attracts a large competitive class of 40ft and 50ft cruiser-racers.

With Heineken as a long-standing sponsor, the event's shore side parties are exceptional! Sample the local cuisine, offered by several famous, local restaurants at the Regatta Village before you make your way to the center stage and take in the sweet tunes of international & Caribbean artists. The St Maarten Heineken Regatta parties are legendary and make for everlasting memories on the "Friendly Island"!

Doyle Sails September Regatta incorporating the 2018 Performance 40 National Championship
Royal Southern Yacht Club, UK: The Doyle Sails September Regatta, organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, featured a wide variety of keelboats, sportsboats and one designs, and 16 teams vying for the Performance 40 National Championship.

The two-day regatta was held in a superb conditions in the Central Solent, a southwesterly gradient wind, ranging from 13 to 20 knots knots, provided ideal racing conditions for the fleet. After two days of thrilling racing, the flotilla returned to the safe confines of the Prince Philip Yacht Haven to enjoy the full facilities of the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Ian Schenkel and David Cummins' Ker 39 Rumbleflurg was crowned 2018 Performance 40 National Champion, and Doyle Sails Rob Larke, took a memorable victory over 'his idol' in the J/70 Class.

Black Group
Half of the 16 teams racing for the Performance 40 National Championship made the podium in a thrilling series of seven races, with the championship going right to the wire. Ian Schenkel and David Cummins' Rumbleflurg took victory in the last race on countback from Blair and Beckett's King 40 Cobra. Rob Bottomley's First 40 Sailplane, with a young Scottish crew, was third.

The Club Class had three long races of one and a half hours. David Hitchcock's XP-38 Red Five was the winner with 2 firsts and 1 second. Michael Rowlatt's GS45 Giuliana was runner-up. In IRC Two, Peter & Sarah Hodgkinson's X-362 Xcitable was leading after the first day, but Simon Perry's J/109 Jiraffe had a consistent regatta to win the class in the last race. David Riley's Corby 33 No Retreat was third.

Six straight bullets for Handley & James' Mustang 30 Gr8 Banter produced a flawless display in IRC Three. Dirk & Dianne van Beek's Sabriel Jr also won all six races in the J/88 Class. Glyn Locke's Farr 280 Toucan won the HP30 Class, just a point ahead of Malcolm Wootton's Farr30 Pegasus DekMarx.

In the J/70 Class Thor Askeland's Mjolnir, helmed by Doyle Sails Rob Larke, was the winner, taking the series win in the very last race. Ossie Stewart's Alfie, helmed by multiple work champion and Olympic medallist Laurie Smith, was second and Lendy Cowes Week Champion, Doug Struth racing DSP was third on countback from Niklas Zennstrom's Rán.

In the XOD Class, Nick Brebner's Lark won all three races on the first day. However, Lark did not compete on the second day but still won the class on countback from Andy Hamlett's Satu, and Peter Baines' Sphex. -- Louay Habib

Full results from the Doyle Sails September Regatta

America's Cup: Team New Zealand take lessons from Volvo Ocean Race in planning for spectators
When the Volvo Ocean Race fleet departed from the Waitematā Harbour in March, spectators lined the waterfront like palisades.

Along the waterfront of the Viaduct and Devonport, and all the way up North head, passionate and casual fans alike turned up for a glimpse of the action.

Team New Zealand took notice, and are looking to replicate that experience for the 36th America's Cup.

The reigning America's Cup champions revealed their proposed course locations for the 2021 regatta in Auckland, which aim to make racing more accessible for fans than ever before - taking into account the success of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Racing will take place across the wider Hauraki Gulf, running south along the North Shore beaches around North Head. The route will encompass the inner Waitematā Harbour right up to the Harbour Bridge and downtown Auckland, across the city's eastern suburbs and out the Tamaki Strait between Waiheke Island and Maraetai.

"When the America's Cup was last here, we were way out in the outer gulf," Team New Zealand's Ray Davies said. "Although that was nice steady wind conditions, it was pretty tough for the spectators.

"People are going to be able to see this race course whether you're on the water or not and that's pretty special for us to be able to bring it to as many people as possible."

The designated areas in the Hauraki Gulf and Waitematā Harbour should offer a wide range of race course options, with a full range of wind directions and conditions.

When unveiling the course in the Isle of Wight, Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton said they were fortunate that the Auckland landscape allowed the team to develop courses which would benefit spectators.

"The one overarching objective in identifying the specific race courses within the race area was to bring the racing as close as possible to the land based spectators," Dalton said. "We are incredibly lucky to have both North Head and Bastion Point where the public will literally be able to hear the AC75s whistling above the water and see the wind shifts on the water without having to set foot on a boat.

Video of the courses:

Bitter End Yacht Club Update
It is hard to believe that one year ago today Hurricane Irma made landfall at Bitter End causing catastrophic damage to our property and that of our friends and neighbors throughout the BVI and Caribbean. For the past year, we've been focused on helping our community recover while at the same time investing significant resources in the remediation of and planning for the redevelopment of BEYC. While all good things take time, we know that Bitter End 2.0 (as we like to call it) will be even better than before, and we can't wait to once again share the BEYC spirit with all of our friends and family!

We are profoundly grateful and humbled by the care and concern of our community, a group that has demonstrated great generosity and steadfast support during the past year. With your help, we have raised over $800,000 for projects to assist in the recovery of Virgin Gorda and the BVI, and while the territory has shown extraordinary resilience and spirit in the face of enormous hardship, there remains need for ongoing support and aid. We are committed to the long-term wellbeing of one of the most special places on earth and we will continue to invest in initiatives focused on education, the environment, healthcare and the stewardship of our oceans and surrounding communities. Your generosity is instrumental in making these initiatives possible.

During our clean-up, we came across a bunch of BEYC loot that we know is near and dear to all of our hearts. So in the spirit of marking the one-year anniversary of Irma, on September 17, we will launch our first ever online auction of treasured Bitter End memorabilia; 100% of the auction proceeds will support projects to restore and enhance the lives of Virgin Gordians. We'll offer our classic, oxidized copper room numbers as well as some very cool wooden breezeway signs…if you have a strong affinity for cottage 14 North, it can be yours, while at the same time you'll be giving back to the community! Check out our Facebook page here for the inside scoop on what may be included in the auction.

We remain eternally grateful to the Bitter End family of guests and friends from around the globe. Thank you for your support and we look forward to welcoming you ashore again soon. Now…let's get bidding!

Fair Winds,
The Hokin Family

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 Mark Jardine: In reply to Magnus Wheatley's letter to the editor:

Magnus Wheatley is correct about Robo, but his unnatural energy, and the ability to keep up his Laser sailing with an unwavering smile, is actually down to the fact that 'Robo' is short for 'Robot'. There are two versions of his titanium alloy body, one which resides in Australia and the other in the UK for the respective summers, and then are serviced during the winter months. He simply sends his memory to the correct body twice a year via WeTransfer. Those who know him must have noticed his vice-like handshake and the metallic clunk when his noggin hits a Solent navigation mark.

* Editor: a note from Robo about the origins of the shocking jacket in the image we posted. Our assumption that he purchased it from homeless ex-carnival barker was a bit off the mark. That technicolor dream coat and many others are from Koy Clothing Co.

And the story is pretty cool...

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The Last Word
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