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

In This Issue
Fever-Tree Race Day 2: Buzzing in Antigua | IMOCA General Assembly Gives Thumbs Up For Foils | Seahorse Sailor of the Month | Stunning cast for the Antigua Bermuda Race | RORC Cervantes Trophy | Industry News | Featured Brokerage

Fever-Tree Race Day 2: Buzzing in Antigua
The second day of racing at the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week was blessed with awesome conditions, easterly trade winds pumping solid breeze over the cliffs and through the bays on the stunning south coast of Antigua. Add bright sunshine and the infamous Antiguan sea state and you have a sweet and spicy cocktail to savour. The majority of the 150-strong fleet got a double helping of racing in paradise today with two races, testing the boat handling and mettle of the competitors.

Ten teams remain unbeaten, but the devil is in the detail and a close-up look at the results reveals incredibly tight racing throughout the fleet. The undefeated are: Peter Harrison's Sojana, the K3 Foundation's Kialoa III, Clint Brooks' Conviction, Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster, Robert Szustkowski R-SIX, Rodney Dodd's Blue Finn, Thomas Sparrer's KH+P Bavastro, Cannon & Harvey's KHS&S Contractors, Ian Martin's Spellbound and Russ Whitford's Tumultuous Uproar.

Race winners today included: Sergio Sagramoso's Melges 32, Lazy Dog, putting it on top of the class in CSA 4 and Mark Chapman's Trini team racing Ker 11.3, Dingo, Sir Bobby Velasquez's St.Maarten team racing L'Esperance, Steve Carson's Dehler 33, Hightide, Raymond Magras' Speedy Nemo and Russell Bertrand's Kraken Beers With Dirty 'Oars. The competition is so intense in CSA 8 that Geoffrey Pidduck's Biwi Magic leads the class without winning a single race.

The closest race today was undoubtedly Race 2 in CSA 7, which resulted in a tie for first place between Martin Oldroyd's British 40.7, Ortac and Ferron & Byerley's St.Maarten J/39, Micron 99 Lord Jim.

IMOCA General Assembly Gives Thumbs Up For Foils
The IMOCA Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, 26th April in Paris at the Federation Française de Voile. This meeting was highly anticipated, because, in addition to reviewing a rich season that culminated in the end of the Vendee Globe, the IMOCA class rules had to be set for the next four years, and technical decisions made, given the number of new projects waiting in the wings.

Unveiled for the first time on an IMOCA60 in 2015, the new generation foils have caused lively debate. Although ground breaking, these appendages proved very reliable and efficient, as well as making for a very strong topic for communication during races. IMOCA60s equipped with foils took the first four places in the Vendee Globe, demonstrating that this technological innovation has more than proved its worth. As a result it was very logical for the General Assembly to reinforce its initial decision to permit these foils by allowing more options to adjust them in order to optimise their use.

Creating stability in the rules guided the Technical Committee's proposals for new development, and so the new rules, adopted by a very large majority of the General Assembly, are now fixed until 2021.

Among the decisions approved at the AGM, boats will now carry one sail less while some other amendments have been made to improve safety following feedback from the last Vendee Globe and Barcelona World Race.

The Assembly agreed the race program for the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship cycle over the next four years to ensure the best preparation for the 2020 Vendee Globe. It again opted for stability with a schedule including the Rolex Fastnet Race, Transat Jacques Vabre and Route du Rhum while reiterating its support for the Barcelona World Race, which was presented by Xose-Carlos Fernandez, the Director of its organisers, the Fundacio Navegacio Oceànica de Barcelona (FNOB).

On 12 January 2019 the round the world race will start from Barcelona, where it will also finish, but its renewed format now includes a stopover in Sydney.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Matteo De Nora (SUI / ITA)
This only happened once, for Francis Joyon, but our little-loved veto has been played again because of escalating concern for the institution of the America's Cup. De Nora has backed Team New Zealand for years but now there really could be all to play for. The Cup might soon regain more of its precious allure or it may enter another hiatus under what is looking more and more like a cartel. That there even are two possibilities is largely due to the passion of one man without whom this Cup might be a dull story indeed.

This month's nominees:


Conrad Colman (NZL)
Every Vendée Globe has its unlikely hero – no disrespect, matey. Others have invested heavily in trying to complete the race without fossil fuels but Colman was first to succeed – his mission gaining extra unplanned coverage when he lost his mast with over 700nm to go but plugged on to become this year's darling of the fans who flocked to Les Sables to greet him. Not quite Yves Parlier, building a mast in the deep south, but a nice confluence of events


Martine Grael (BRA)
Home from Rio with the 49erFX gold medal, have shower, give the boat a quick polish then off again on the campaign trail for Tokyo, starting with the Miami World Cup where the latest Grael in a remarkable bloodline took up where she left off, dominating the series with her medal winning crew Kahena Kunze to end the regatta nearly 20pt clear of their nearest rivals. Torben, Lars, Martine… for sure, it's time to give Brazilian cooking a try


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Stunning cast for the Antigua Bermuda Race
Spirit of Bermuda. Click on image to enlarge.

Spirit of Bermuda An impressive entry list is taking shape for the Antigua Bermuda Race which starts from Antigua on Friday 12th May, 2017. With 22 entries including 17 over 50ft and seven Maxis and one SuperMaxi, the sight of the fleet departing for the 900 nautical mile race will be nothing short of spectacular. The variety of the fleet shows the wide appeal of the offshore race, attracting ocean going cruisers, round the world racing yachts, high performance multihulls, as well as classic designs.

The latest entry to the Antigua Bermuda Race is the beautiful classic Bermudian yawl, Mariella, skippered by owner, Carlo Falcone. The 80ft (24m) Alfred Mylne-designed ketch was built entirely from wood by the legendary William Fife & Son yard in Scotland in 1938 and was restored by Carlo after being badly damaged in a hurricane. Mariella is now in fantastic condition and on top form having secured overall victory in the recent Panerai Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.

One of the first yachts to enter the Antigua Bermuda Race was Spirit of Bermuda and there is more than meets the eye to the 112ft three-masted schooner. Just a couple of weeks before the start of the Antigua Bermuda Race, Spirit of Bermuda was racing with the giants at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Spirit of Bermuda got the better of the 141ft (43m) Columbia and gave the professional crew on the 210ft (64m) Adix a run for their money.

Spirit of Bermuda was designed by Bill Langan, Chief Designer at Sparkman Stephens, the highly acclaimed naval architect produced the designs for Nirvana, Sagamore and Eos. The concept of the design for Spirit of Bermuda was a picture from the 1830s

Watch Leaders on board Spirit of Bermuda for the Antigua Bermuda Race will be three young Bermudians, who have learned their skills on board; Dkembe Outerbridge-Dill, Patrick Perret and Lamar Samuels. "Glory!" commented Dkembe when asked to describe the race in one word. "We are racing to win and coming home to Bermuda having sailed thousand of miles since we left will be glorious."

RORC Cervantes Trophy
The European season of offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club started with 100 yachts competing for the Cervantes Trophy race organised in association with the UNCL and the destination yacht club Societe des Regates du Havre. The 160 nautical mile race started on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line to the east. Leaving Owers to port, Rustington to starboard, A5 then General Metzinger to port and finish.

Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott reported: "The start was delayed by ten minutes due to a container ship going through then they all got away. A southerly wind of ten knots increased to about 15 knots giving a fast passage to Owers. As the fleet passed Owers the wind began to fade before building to 20 knots from the east."

It was Gilles Fournier's J/133 Pintia who took Class 2 line honours and was the class and overall winner of the Cervantes Trophy on corrected time

Last year's overall champion, First 44.7 Lisa, sailed by RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd was second in IRC Class 2 edging out Ed Fishwick's Two Handed entry Redshift Reloaded.

The top three yachts in IRC Four excelled in the race, finishing within site of each other and likely to be aware that the class winner would have made a strong challenge for the race win overall. Noel Racine's JPK 1010 Foggy Dew crossed the line just over 16 hours into the race. Just 15 minutes behind Foggy Dew, Paul Kavanagh's Swan 44 Pomeroy Swan was locked in a duel with Harry Heijst's S&S 41 Winsome. Pomeroy Swan crossed the line just a minute ahead of Winsome to take the IRC class win and second overall in the Cervantes Trophy Race.

The 20 strong IRC Two Handed Class featured an epic battle for the class win and podium positions. Ed Fishwick's Sunfast 3600 Redshift Reloaded took line honours by just over two minutes but on time correction it was not enough to better Rob Craigie's corrected time racing Sunfast 3600 Bellino, along with crew Deborah Fish. Stephen Hopson's JPK 1080 Blue Note was third.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with the De Guingand Bowl Race, starting on Saturday May 13, 2017.

Industry News
Organizers said more than 14,000 people attended the eighth edition of the International Multihull Boat Show in La Grande Motte, France, in April, and 60 percent of the attendees came from abroad.

Windy weather for the first few days of the April 19-23 event gave way to sunshine, organizers said.

Organizers said about 60 multihulls were in an area given over to in-water displays, with additional floating pontoons set up; the quantity of boats and wide range of those on display offered the visitors a huge choice.

Organizers said others involved in the sector - charter firms, chandleries, sailmakers, electronics firms, equipment makers and financial service providers - also turned out in force at the show.

The show will return April 18-22 next year.


Camper & Nicholsons International has named Cromwell Littlejohn as its USA commercial director. The company said the appointment is part of its restructuring plans, which has included adding staff to its Yacht Management and Charter Marketing teams in the US.

Littlejohn will spearhead the company's strategic growth in the US market, working in close cooperation with managing director Paolo Casani who is based in Monaco.

Littlejohn has worked in the yachting sector for more than 30 years, including 15 years with Merle Wood & Associates and most recently with Northrop & Johnson. He was named International Yacht Brokers Association (formerly FYBA) Broker of the Year for 2015. He has been an IYBA board member for 11 years, two as president, and sits on the board of the American Yacht Charter Association.


Two legendary names in the sport of sailing have joined forces to rollout the inshore Melges racing events this season. Helly Hansen is proud to be the official clothing supplier of the European Division of the Melges World League (Melges 20 and Melges 32 circuits) and the brand new Melges 40 Grand Prix.

The Norwegian technical sailing brand will be outfitting event staff on land and on water during the upcoming spring and summer racing events at sailing top spots in Italy, Spain and Croatia. Race officers, judges, event staff and boat booms will be displaying the HH logo for the duration of the Melges European Regattas and World Championships.

Michael Uhl, Helly Hansen, Marketing Director Europe adds, "With Melges, we have found the perfect partner. It has always been our mission to make professional grade gear – living up to the needs of the best sailors in the world. By partnering up with Melges, we are very excited to join the most competitive and strongest One-Design yacht racing circuit in the world."


Managing director Sean Langdon has made a number of key new appointments to strengthen the senior management team at UK boatbuilder Discovery Yachts Group following the recent management buyout of the company.

Keith Watson has joined the company as Finance director. Watson is a highly experienced FCCA with particular experience in fast growing businesses.

Christopher Bodine joins the company as Sales and Marketing director bringing a wealth of global sales experience having held sales and marketing director-level roles within a number of premium marine sector businesses in the UK, USA, and Asia.

Chris Bramble heads up the yacht manufacturing at Discovery as Production Director. Bramble has been with the company since 2016 and has extensive yacht building experience with a number of premium yacht brands, as well as comprehensive knowledge of lean manufacturing best practice techniques in luxury yacht building.

Olly Love has been appointed Design Director. A graduate of Solent University in Yacht Manufacturing, Love has worked for a number of yacht builders including a well-known British sailboat builder and has been with Discovery since early 2016.

Tracey Phillips, who has been with Discovery for a year, takes on the position of Client Project director. Phillips spent over 17 years as Aftersales manager at a prominent luxury sailboat builder.


A new event, the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show, will make its debut in October 2018 with help is setting it up being provided by British Marine Boat Shows (BMBS). The new event will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and organised by ADNEC, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.

BMBS already has contacts with ADNEC because it owns the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London where the London International Boat Show is held every January.

Murray Ellis, Chief Officer of Boat Shows, British Marine, said: "In working alongside ADNEC, British Marine Boat Shows aims to leverage its expertise for ADNEC deliver a highly successful marine event in Abu Dhabi. The UAE is one of the fastest growing markets for leisure crafts and yachts in the world."


Michael Schmidt Yachtbau (MSY) has finished work on a new tempering oven/paint hall at its yard in Greifswald, Germany.

Responding to the increasing demands for large carbon sailing yachts, the new facility, measuring 31m by 12.5m, is the largest of its kind in northern Germany, the company claims.

MSY specialises in carbon sailing yachts, and the new oven will enable it to produce boats up to 30m in length.

The new hall is the latest addition to a state-of-the-art production site opened by MSY in Greifswald last December.

The facility boasts 3,000sq m of floor space and 500sq m of office space. The brand new yard was designed and built specifically for creating and fitting out large carbon sailing yachts.

The Last Word
Talk is cheap. Show me the code. -- Linus Torvalds

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