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In This Issue
New Leader At The Star Sailors League Finals
Malta Altus Challenge Is The New Entry Of The 36th America's Cup
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Kuka3 fight to the finish
18 Footer Teams Want A Change Of Fortune
Spring Break Safety Seminar
Maybird's Round Ireland Race
Classic Yacht Racing Series in 2019
2019 Superyacht Cup Palma
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Bobby Seale

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

New Leader At The Star Sailors League Finals
Bahamas conditions set in on day three of the Star Sailors League Finals with 12-18 knots winds from the prevailing northeast-easterly direction. With this wind direction the race committee moved the course out of Montagu Bay, where there were bigger waves, with limited protection from the full force of the Atlantic.

Despite being dominated by Olympic Finn sailors, the day ended with a new leader in Mark Mendelblatt and crew Brian Fatih, who now lead Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening by a mere point, going into the last day of the Qualifiers.

Top scoring helm today was Finn sailor, was Jorge Zarif, the 2013 Finn Gold Cup winner and this year's Star World Champion, and Pedro Trouche, scoring 4-1-2 today elevated the young Brazilians into third overall.

Their race win today came after taking the lead on the second beat after benefitting from a favourable shift on the left.

This year's Finn Gold Cup winner, Hungarian Zsombor Berecz posted today's second best score – 3-6-9 with Czech four time Finn Masters World Champion Michael Maier as crew, leaving them 10th overall. This was despite not finishing yesterday's last race when they broke a spreader, turning their mast to spaghetti, requiring them to fit a replacement overnight.

Friday is the final day of Qualifiers at the Star Sailors League Finals and the target is to finish within the top 10 to progress through to Saturday's Quarter Final.

Top ten:
1. Mark Mendelblatt (USA Brian Fatih (USA), 22
2. Robert Scheidt (BRA) Henry Boening (BRA), 23
3. Jorge Zarif (BRA) Pedro Trouche (BRA), 31
4. Diego Negri (ITA) Diego Negri (ITA), 32
5. Eivind Melleby (NOR) Joshua Revkin (USA), 39
6. Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) Dominik Zycki (POL), 48
7. Lars Grael (BRA) Samuel Gonçalves (BRA), 51
8. Xavier Rohart (FRA) Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA), 54
9. Augie Diaz (USA) Bruno Prada (BRA), 54
10. Zsombor Berecz (HUN) Michael Meier (CZE), 56

Full results


Malta Altus Challenge Is The New Entry Of The 36th America's Cup
One week since the close of the 36th America's Cup entry period, the Defender and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron have completed the required checks and accepted the Royal Malta Yacht Club challenge for the 36th America's Cup.

The Malta Altus Challenge becomes the fourth Challenger for the America's Cup in 2021, together with the Challenger of Record Luna Rossa (ITA), American Magic (USA) and INEOS Team UK (GBR).

The Royal Malta Yacht Club's Notice of Challenge was the first of the eight late entries to be received by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron within the late entry deadline - 5.00 pm on the 30th November NZT- and therefore the first to be processed.

It's the first time, in 167 years history of the trophy, Malta challenges the America's Cup. Despite being one of the smallest countries in Europe - just 316 km² (122 sq mi) – Malta's strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea has always made it a hub of maritime activity and a port of crucial importance throughout history.

The Royal Malta Yacht Club whose origins can be traced back to 1835, predating the America's Cup's existence, is indeed internationally renowned as the organizer of the 50 year old Middle Sea Race, the 606 miles regatta starting from La Valletta and sailed anti-clockwise around Sicily.

The Team Principal of the Malta Altus Challenge is Pasquale Cataldi, an Italian businessman born who is based in Malta, founder and CEO of the multinational real estate and development company, Altus. This is Cataldi's first involvement in the America's Cup but his intention is to pursue a long-term challenge:

The full team and further information regarding the challenge will be announced in Malta in the first quarter of 2019.

In the next few weeks other updates regarding the Notices of Challenge, received within the deadline, will be released.


Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse magazine

Today we again toast our host... Wight Vodka, sponsor of the Best Sailor Bar compeition for 10 years. Uniquely distilled seven times in small batches, blended and bottled in London under the watchful eyes and direction of a seventh generation master distiller with over 300 years of family experience. Wight Vodka is the only 42% abv, potato-based luxury vodka, hand-crafted in the United Kingdom today.

And for our friends in the Southerm Hemisphere... a summer cocktail! The Southern Wight

For those enjoying the arrival of summer, consider yourself lucky and bring in the beautiful season with the Southern Wight. This cocktail is best enjoyed with your family, friends and crew in the late afternoon or early evening, as a 'starter' before dinner.

The ingredients for the Southern Wight are:

1 Shot of Wight Vodka
2 Shots of Passion Fruit Juice
1 Shot of Lemonade (Sprite)
½ Shot Ginger Beer
Splash of Grenadine

Combine Wight Vodka and Passion Fruit Juice in a shaker with ice and mix it for about a minute to thoroughly chill it. Strain into your best martini glasses and then add a shot of chilled lemonade (Sprite or 7-Up) and ½ shot of Ginger Beer. Add a splash of Grenadine and serve them up to your favourite guests.

Have a few... and then put pen to paper, as it were, and tell us YOUR favorite bar.



Kuka3 fight to the finish
Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3, skippered by Roberto Chuny Bermúdez de Castro, overcame technical issues and a fire on board to post the best IRC corrected time so far in the RORC Transatlantic Race. After over 12 days of racing in the Atlantic Ocean, the crew looked tired but elated to arrive in Grenada.

Kuka3 finished the RORC Transatlantic Race on Thursday 06 December at 17:34:35 UTC in an elapsed time of 12 days 5 hrs 34 mins and 35 secs and was the second yacht racing under IRC to finish the race, after Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song. Kuka3 has set the best time after IRC correction and is in a very strong position to win the race overall and lift the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Commenting on the race, Kuka3 skipper Chuny Bermudez said: "Franco is incredible, he probably was driving the boat more than anyone else for the race. He is always keen to learn and that is so important for Franco and for all of the team, especially that he is also very happy."

"It was an interesting race and our first as a team offshore. I was really impressed with the guys, especially as some of them are a bit new to offshore racing. I provide the boundaries and they performed well, even when we had our problems. The pitstop in Cape Verde was like a Formula One! Very fast - just four hours to change batteries and a few cables. Five days before the finish we also had a fire on board which we dealt with very well. Everybody went straight up on deck and we used the correct extinguisher. However, we were without communication for days and it was a really big test for us," concluded Bermudez.

Kuka3 Team: Franco Niggeler, Roberto Bermudez De Castro, Enrico Turrini, Andrea Caracci, Gonzalo Araujo, Corrado Rossignoli, Gianni Giordo, Filippo Ardito, Massimo Farina.

Race Results: rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/results/2018-results.html

18 Footer Teams Want A Change Of Fortune
The cream of Australia's 18ft Skiff Racing talent is hoping for a change of fortune when the 2018-2019 NSW 18ft Skiff Championship resumes on Sydney Harbour on Sunday.

A number of leading teams lost valuable points in Race 1 when they had to go back and re-round the bottom mark on the first lap of the course, then were forced to stay ashore last Sunday when strong westerly winds, gusting to 40-knots, forced race officials to abandon racing on that day.

That race will now be re-scheduled, but in the meantime the high quality 18-boat fleet will be back in action in this Sunday's Race 3 of the championship.

Race 1 winner, John Winning (Yandoo) was disappointed that Race 2 wasn't sailed last weekend, but he is ready to try and retain his team's championship lead with another consistent performance this week.

The three teams most affected by the dramas in Race 1 were the three leading boats when the mark rounding incident occurred.

A mixture of young and experienced teams will also be challenging strongly.

Asko Appliances (James Dorron), Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) and Bing Lee (Micah lane), along with The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis), Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) all line up with strong chances of an upset.

All that's need now is good, fair sailing conditions on Sunday. -- Frank Quealey

Live streaming is available on 18FootersTV


Pensacola Yacht Club Satori Foundation's Spring Break Seminar: March 23-24, 2019
Pensacola, Florida: Now's your chance to get the boating safety experience you need, before you need it. The Pensacola Yacht Club Satori Foundation will host a US Sailing sanctioned one and two-day Safety-at-Sea™ Seminar on Saturday and Sunday March 23 and 24. At the same time your family can enjoy a Spring Time beach break in beautiful Pensacola, Florida.

The seminar will be held at Pensacola Yacht Club where Bayou Chico meets Pensacola Bay.

Pensacola's seminar programs are offered as a general 1-day 'Lecture Based' Safety Seminar or an in-depth, 2-day 'Hands On' seminar which is sanctioned by US Sailing and fulfills the important safety seminar attendance recommendation and requirements for US offshore races like the next the Regata al Sol in 2020 from Pensacola to Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

The seminar is a must-do experience for both power boaters and sailors. Anyone making an offshore race, planning an offshore passage or taking a shorthanded coastal cruise will profit from the planning hints, advice and the expert insights of the moderators and other presenters.

Moderated and taught by experienced, lifelong sailors who include some of the top names in boating, sailing and safety. Designed for boaters of all types and levels - cruisers and racers, novices and experts.

Appropriate for a wide range of boats - small, big, monohulls, multihulls (and powerboats, too) - that are sailed anywhere - near shore and offshore.

Curriculum is certified by US Sailing, with special attention to conditions and challenges of the host organization's sailing area. More than 1,000 sailors attend safety seminars around North America every year and many bring their families and crews. The certifications are good for five years.

The primary moderator is Bruce Brown. Mr. Brown was the chairman of the independent review panel for the 2012 Newport to Ensenada Race involving the loss of yacht 'Aegean' and her crew. He was a presenter at Volvo Ocean Race SAS Seminar in Miami. He is an instructor in the 100T USCG License Program and a presenter USCG Marine Industry Days. Brown is a published author of numerous safety related articles. He has been the lead moderator at the CCA Newport Bermuda Race safety seminar, and much more.

The second Moderator is Bill Biewenga. Biewenga is an accomplished inshore and offshore sailor. He has accumulated well over 400,000 sea miles including 41 transatlantic crossings, over 60 passages to and from the Caribbean, several TransPacs and Bermuda races, numerous record attempts, deliveries and races, as well as participation in 4 round the world races. He has experience as a skipper, navigator, weather analyst/router, watch captain, helmsman, deck hand, and project manager. He has sailed in the Great Lakes and virtually every ocean of the world.


Maybird's Round Ireland Race Achievement to be Celebrated at her Arklow Birthplace
A grand fair wind drives the 80-year-old classic gaff ketch Maybird across the Wicklow finish line to set an extended Volvo Round Ireland Race record of 9 days 22 hours and 35 minutes. Photo by Maeve Quinn. Click on image to enlarge.

When the 1937-vintage Tyrrell of Arklow-built 43ft gaff ketch Maybird (Darryl Hughes) finally crossed the line at Wicklow last week to record the longest-ever time for a Volvo Round Ireland Race, little did her crew of eight expect that their unique achievement would bring them popular fame writes W M Nixon.

But the fact that they kept gamely battling on against a wide variety of difficult sailing conditions, which had made the 704 miles course very challenging for even the most modern racing machines, gave the Maybird finish a special appeal. During the race, as the newer faster boats slipped away, Maybird was soon sailing a challenge of her own. Where the leaders had fair winds, she eventually found calm or headwinds. Where they'd had strong winds, by the time Maybird got there, conditions had become light – particularly off the West Coast, putting frustration amidst all the extra difficulties of sailing the Atlantic.

Maybird is the oldest boat and the only gaff-rigged vessel ever to complete the Round Ireland course. And as she also completed the Fastnet Race in 2011, she has now registered a remarkable double.

Full article on this remarkable yacht and crew in Afloat: afloat.ie/sail/events

Classic Yacht Racing Series in 2019
Newport, Rhode Island: The Classic Yacht Owners Association (CYOA) today announced a plan to continue and expand the series formerly known as the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge into 2019.

With Panerai's recently announced intention to discontinue their support of classic yachting events in both Europe and the US, the series was left without an Organizing Authority. This is one of the things the Classic Yacht Owners Association was built to do, and working in partnership with the individual event organizers Corinthian YC, Nantucket Community Sailing, the Herreshoff Museum and IYRS, CYOA will take over administration of the series for 2019 and beyond.

"We salute Panerai for their 13-year commitment to classic yachting in New England", said CYOA Chair Chuck Townsend. "They've laid a great foundation, and now CYOA, in partnership with the events' Organizing Authorities, will build upon it."

CYOA will partner with sponsors to expand and enhance the series to the benefit of all classic yacht owners. With CYOA taking the lead in this endeavor, the goal is to identify a core group of partners that have the resources and the desire to help take the classic yacht racing experience in the US to the next level with consistent and high-quality racing combined with terrific social events. CYOA will also look for opportunities to expand the series beyond the current four venues, and to develop collaborative partnerships with the classic yacht racing circuit in Europe.

The 2019 Classic Yachts Challenge Series will include the following events:

August 10-11: Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta, Marblehead, MA
August 16-17: Nantucket Regatta, Nantucket, MA
August 18: Opera House Cup, Nantucket, MA
August 24-25: Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta, Bristol, RI
Aug 31-Sept 1: Newport Classic Yacht Regatta, Newport, RI


2019 Superyacht Cup Palma
No fewer than 14 of the world's finest yachts have already expressed interest in the 23rd edition of Europe's largest and longest-running superyacht regatta, with 19–22 June blocked out in their 2019 programmes.

As ever, the Superyacht Cup looks set to welcome back old friends while getting ready to make some new ones.

The 2018 champion Velsheda will be back to defend her trophy and will be joined in the always impressive J-Class by Topaz, who will be sure to give her venerable classmate some healthy competition.

Also back – and no doubt out to deny Velsheda a second consecutive victory – is the super-ketch Mari Cha III, Superyacht Cup runner-up on countback in 2018.

Atalante, the giant Athos, Freya, Nilaya, Sojana, Inoui and Win Win are all also making a welcome return, while Huckleberry and Kealoha are the new kids on the block with the Superyacht Cup experience to look forward to.

The Notice of Race is now on the Superyacht Cup website for download at www.thesuperyachtcup.com/sailingdocs.php

Entry forms are available from

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 David Evans:

Just read yesterday's Scuttlebutt Europe, in particular "World Sailing: Voting irregularities claimed on crucial Olympic vote"

I along with many others have voiced our opinions about this dire and un-needed organisation, but whatever ones views, it must be obvious to all, that it seems to be increasingly looking like, walking like and sounding like, FIFA under the revered Mr Sep Blatter's custodianship.

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See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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2003 Cookson RIO 100. 1995000 USD. Located in California.

RIO 100 is for sale for a fraction of her build costs. Stunning success's the last few years include two barn doors in the transpac race, the race record in the Pac cup ( beating the 143 foot MARI CHA's record) race record to Puerta Vallarta, the list goes on and on.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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2013 KER46 Patrice. POA. Located in Sydney, Australia.

A Yacht for Champions The McConaghy Boats built Ker 46 has been continuously IRC optimised since her launch. She has an outstanding results sheet and is a turn key package for regatta sailing through to Cat 1 offshore races.

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tel: +61 414 332 255

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
I'd have no trouble being the barbecue kingpin of America. I'd just add it to all the other things I am: jazz musician, carpenter, architect, engineer and revolutionary. -- Bobby Seale

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html