In This Issue
RORC 2017 Season's Points Championship | New Conditions And New Faces At Front In Hyeres | ORC Sportboat European Championship Open For Registration | Tickets for the America's Cup | GC32 Racing Tour owner-driver contest | The Herreshoff Marine Museum Lecture Series Presents | 1851 Trust appoints Ben Cartledge as CEO | Giant Among Regattas - Kiel Week | Gold Star for the Golden Globe | Featured Brokerage

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

RORC 2017 Season's Points Championship
Over 500 yachts are taking part in the 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship. Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. While this year the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race is the showcase event, there are fourteen testing races that make up the championship, and every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner and for class honours.

The 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship destinations include the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Virgin Gorda, plus the Spanish island of Lanzarote. There are seven European destinations: Belgium, France, Great Britain, Guernsey, Ireland, Malta, and the Netherlands. Five races are to count for Class Honours and the highest total score will designate the winner Overall racing under IRC.

The first European race of the 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship will be the Cervantes Trophy Race, 100 yachts are expected to start from the Yacht Squadron Line.

Dutch Grand Master, Piet Vroon is back, as skipper of Ker 51, Tonnerre 4, taking another tilt at the championship in IRC Zero. In IRC One, Alan Hannon's RP45, last year's Best Overseas Yacht will be racing. In IRC Two, Michael Boyd's Lisa is the highest rated boat, and sees Gilles Fournier's French J/133 Pintia as one of the teams to beat.

Cervantes Trophy Race
Start: 29th April, 2017
Course: Squadron Line, Cowes - Le Havre
Distance: 110-160 miles (Channel Marks may be included).

New Conditions And New Faces At Front In Hyeres
Finn Class:

On the second day at the World Cup Series in Hyeres, France there were new conditions and some new faces at the front. In the Finn Class, wins went to Brazil's Jorge Zarif and Ed Wright from Great Britain, but Ben Cornish continues to lead, on equal points with Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands. Turkey's Alican Kaynar has moved up to third.

The wind had swung 180 degrees overnight and brought similar strength winds to Tuesday, but also a lot of grey cloud later in the day and some very light rain.

Hoping for some of the stronger winds that were predicted. "Apparently it was meant to be windy all week but it's not materialised yet."

The Finns continue with two more races scheduled for Thursday from 11.00. Racing continues until the medal race on Sunday 30 April. -- Robert Deaves

Finn top five after four races
1. Ben Cornish, GBR, 10.0 points
2. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 10.0
3. Alican Kaynar, TUR, 15.0
4. Fabian Pic, FRA, 17.0
5. Piotr Kula, POL, 21.0

Kiteboard report:

A grey, overcast morning welcomed the sailors from the ten Olympic classes as well as the Open Kiteboarding (foiling Formula Kite) and the 2.4 Norlin OD, a Para World Sailing event, to the boat park with an expected morning breeze of 7-12 knots from the west.

Following a brief morning postponement due to a wait for the wind, the Open Kiteboaring (foiling Formul Kite) fleet went out for the first of their 6 scheduled races in a westerly 10-15 knot breeze.

Six further races were conducted and the perfect records held by Axel Mazella (FRA) and Nicolas Parlier (FRA) were crushed in the opening race of the day. Mazella finished second in the blue fleet and Parlier third in yellow.

That was, however, just one blip on the record as they got back to winning ways immediately after, taking the remaining five victories in their respective fleets. They are tied on 10 points at the top with Maxime Nocher (MON) following nine points behind.

With a strong wind forecast for the next two days, things could change however now that the fleet is divided into "Gold" and "Silver", and the two leaders facing each other in direct competition for the first time.

Racing continues with the final series on Thursday and Friday, before the all deciding medal races on Saturday afternoon.

TOP 5 after 12 races (2 discard)
1. Axel Mazella (FRA, F-One) - 10 points
2. Nicolas Parlier (FRA, Ozone) - 10
3. Maxime Nocher (MON, Enata) - 19
4. Toni Vodisek (SLO, Ozone) - 22
5. Titouan Galea (FRA, F-One) - 29

GBR skiff crews steal the show on Hyeres day two

British skiff sailors ruled the second day of World Cup Series racing in Hyeres, France, with Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell and Charlotte-Saskia Tidey each winning two of their three races on Wednesday (26 April).

Fletcher and Bithell built upon a solid opening day on Tuesday with two further race wins and a tenth in the 49er fleet to see them emerge from a three-way points tie with the yellow jerseys heading into Thursday's third day of competition.

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt join their teammates in the top five.

Dobson and Tidey weren't to be outdone in the skiff stakes, winning the day in the women's 49erFX fleet with 1,1,5 from their three races, which elevates them into overall second place behind Olympic Champions Martine Grael-Kahena Kunze of Brazil after six races and two days of competition.

Full results of World Cup Series Hyeres

ORC Sportboat European Championship Open For Registration
Riga, Latvia: The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and the Yacht Club Auda are pleased to announce that Registration is open now for the 2017 ORC Sportboat European Championship to be held over 7-13 August in Riga, Latvia. The event is open to entry for boats that are 6.0 to 9.15 m in length, weigh less than 2000 kg, and have a Displacement/Length ratio (DSPM/LSM03) of less than 6.00.

Combining the power of the ORC VPP with an application specified to small, light and fast keelboats, the ORC Sportboat class is attracting attention throughout the world as a fair and transparent handicap solution for these style boats. This year's edition is expected to draw on both the local fleets in Latvia and from among active Sportboat sailors throughout the Baltic region and beyond.

According to the new 2017 ORC Sportboat rules, three divisions are planned, where Division A will be for boats with DSPM/LSM03 of

Led by an international race management team, the regatta will feature two days of measurement and practice, followed by a Coastal race and three days of inshore racing. The top three finishers in each division will receive trophies in both the Open and Corinthian divisions.

"ORC sportboats are an important segment of our ORC rating system," says Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. "Our technical committee members made many changes to the system in the last few months to improve the measurements, ratings and scoring of this class, so we look forward to this year's championship to be better than ever."

Tickets To The 35th America's Cup America's Cup Tickets The America's Cup is the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport and this summer it is coming to Bermuda for the 35th enactment of the greatest race on water.

From 26th May until 27th June the fastest yachts in the 166 year history of the "Auld Mug" will be raced by the greatest sailors in the world on the beautiful, crystal clear waters of Bermuda.

ORACLE TEAM USA are the Defenders and they are taking on teams from around the world. Great Britain is represented by Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR; SoftBank Team Japan are lead by Dean Barker; Sweden's Artemis Racing are skippered by Nathan Outteridge; Franck Cammas and his Groupama Team France squad are flying the flag for France and Emirates Team New Zealand are helmed by Peter Burling, 2016 Olympic Champion.

The events in Bermuda will be one of the world's greatest sports events and will be watched by millions of people worldwide, on TV and live at the America's Cup Village in Bermuda.

To book your place at what many experts are predicting will be the best America's Cup yet go to

GC32 Racing Tour owner-driver contest
Of the 10+ teams set to take part in this year's GC32 Racing Tour, three teams - a cosmopolitan mix from the USA, Japan and Monaco - will fight it out for the 2017 Owner-Driver Championship.

Compared to other foiling catamarans, the GC32 is simpler to sail and logistically easier to run. For example, it features a conventional mast instead of a wing, rope control systems for the sails and foils instead of hydraulics and relatively big foils to promote stability when flying. These all make the GC32 suitable for owner-drivers to helm and amateur crews to get foiling.

The GC32 Racing Tour's Owner-Driver Championship was introduced last season when it went to the wire. Pierre Casiraghi on Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco led going into the final event, but ultimately Jason Carroll's Team Argo finished second overall at Marseille One Design, pipping the Monaco crew at the post.

With the GC32 Riva Cup, the first event on the GC32 Racing Tour, now just two weeks away, competition on the 2017 Owner-Driver Championship looks set to be more intense, all the teams one year more experienced.

Team Argo is sailing with the same crew as it had for February's GC32 Championship in Oman, including leading American Moth and big boat sailor Anthony Kotoun and British former Olympic and America's Cup sailor Alister Richardson.

Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco enjoyed its first season the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016, with skipper Pierre Casiraghi, younger son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, getting to grips with the high speed GC32 catamaran under the expert tutelage of German round the world sailor Boris Herrmann and French former America's Cup helmsman and Moth sailor Sebastien Col.

But this season the two favourites could well receive a surprise from the Land of the Rising Sun. For Naofumi Kamei's Japanese team Mamma Aiuto!, 2016 was their first GC32 season and they too intend to build on the foiling catamaran knowledge they have gleaned.

The GC32 Riva Cup will take place in Riva del Garda, Italy over 11-14th May.

The Herreshoff Marine Museum Lecture Series Presents
The America's Cup Heats Up
A Preview of the 2017 Cup Races in Bermuda. Presented by Cup Experience Editor Jack Griffin

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
Reception begins at 6 PM. Lecture at 7 PM.

Members: $10
Nonmembers: $18
Save $8. Support the Museum. Click Here to join today.

Advance registration is strongly suggested to ensure adequate seating for the lecture.

REGISTER ONLINE or call the Museum to make a reservation: (401) 253-5000

1851 Trust appoints Ben Cartledge as CEO
Ben joins the 1851 Trust in Portsmouth at an exciting time, and will lead the development and delivery of sailing and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education projects as well as shaping the future of the 1851 Trust.

The 1851 Trust is the Official Charity of Land Rover BAR, the British Challenger for the 35th America's Cup.

Ben was previously Director of Strategy at Maggie's, a national cancer support charity. Ben comments "The 1851 Trust is a unique organisation - able to inspire young people through the excitement of Land Rover BAR, the British Challenger for the America's Cup. The 1851 Trust is supported by an incredible board of trustees, donors and partners; with Sir Ben Ainslie as the patron and HRH Duchess of Cambridge as a Royal Patron. I'm thrilled to be joining the 1851 Team as CEO at such an exciting time, and am really looking forward to growing the Trust's impact."

Ben replaces interim CEO Jo Stocks who has led the development of the 1851 Trust over the past 18 months. During this time, the 1851 Trust has delivered a range of projects which has seen over 2000 local children experience sailing, 1500 children nationwide engaged in hands on STEM activities or experiments, 62 local schools have brought classes to visit the hands-on Tech Deck & Education Centre at Land Rover BAR and over 600 teachers have registered for BT STEM Crew, the 1851 Trust's unique online educational resource.

Under the leadership of a permanent CEO, the 1851 Trust has plans to increase both on and offline participation of 11-16 year olds in STEM activities, introduce a focus on sustainability and extend the Trust's reach to beyond Hampshire and Solent areas.

Giant Among Regattas - Kiel Week
Kiel Forty-five years after it was built to host the 1972 Olympic Regatta, Keil Schilksee remains host to one of the best-known regattas on the planet

Just around summer solstice the Baltic Sea will once again draw the full attention of the sailing world. When the legendary Kiel Week opens on 17 June it will not only be one huge waterfront festival for approximately three million visitors from all around the globe. More importantly, at its heart, one of the biggest regattas worldwide will now be revitalised with a programme finally befitting its former fame.

Kiwo', as Kieler Woche is often dubbed, has seen all the big names at the startline over the years - from recent superstars like Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er class and America's Cup team leader Ben Ainslie, to Robert Scheidt, Jochen Schumann, Torben Grael and Dennis Conner, to name just a few.

Kiel has always been one of those go-to events on the sailing calendar: you simply had to race and better still win here in the usually windy and variable waters off former Olympic playground Kiel-Schilksee at the entrance to the Kiel fjord.

Full article in the May issue of Seahorse:

Gold Star for the Golden Globe
Click on image to enlarge.

Golden Globe Falmouth Boat Co. has used a next generation paint system for the first time worldwide on Gold Star, a yacht set to compete in the Golden Globe Race 2018.

Gold Star is the new name for Vizcaya, the first Biscay 36 built by Falmouth Boat Co. As part of her current refit for the solo non-stop round the world race, the Flushing based boatyard has delivered a spectacular new finish in gold.

The metallic Awlcraft Solids and Effects base coat was finished with the next generation clear coat by AkzoNobel. This was the first time globally that the combination of the metallic base coat and the new clear coat have been applied by an applicator outside of the AkzoNobel paint facilities.

Falmouth Boat Co. is launching Gold Star during the first week of May so that Antoine can sail her to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall to illustrate a talk he's giving on Thursday 4 May about his preparations for this arduous race.

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