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

The Rhum Giants
Ultimate is defined as extreme or supreme and in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe the Ultimate class represents the battle of the giants, the extreme multihulls fight for supremacy. The Ultime class was created back in 2010 the giants return in 2014 for the historic tenth edition of the legendary solo Transatlantic from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe. Racing the Ultimes is one of the most pure human challenges in the race.

This year they are eight trimarans in this Ultime category. All are capable of completing the course to Pointe a Pitre in less than eight days and to maintain speeds of more than 30 knots. But all eight are different in their dimensions and their design philosophy depending on what their original purpose was. But all will require enormous levels of skill and stamina. And for each, just reaching Guadeloupe will be an achievement.

In order of size, here are the Ultime eight.

The Maxi Spindrift skippered by Yann Guichard is the biggest trimaran ever built to compete offshore and was conceived as a crewed record breaking machine. It is 131 feet long and the mast is 130 feet tall.

Then there are three trimarans of around 100 feet. Banque Populaire VII won the Route du Rhum 2010 in her previous colours and this time will be raced by Loick Peyron, Francis Joyon races Idec Sport and Thomas Coville the new Sodebo Ultime.

There the lighter Maxi80 Prince de Bretagne of Lionel Lemonchois.

And there are three near identical 70 foot trimarans, slightly revised and adapted MOD70s which are now set up for solo sailing: Multi70 Edmond de Rothschild skippered by Sebastien Josse, Musandam Oman Sail skippered by Sidney Gavignet and Paprec Recyclage sailed by Yann Elies.

The Route du Rhum starts November 2nd.


Designed To Break Monohull Sailing Records
It has been about a year since Jim Clark commissioned Hodgdon Yachts to build him a new racing yacht. This past weekend, that new racer, the Comanche, finally touched down in Boothbay waters.

Hundreds of people gathered in Shipbuilder's Park in East Boothbay this past Saturday, directly adjacent to Hodgdon Yachts, to watch the launch of the vessel. With black and red paint and at 100 feet long by 30 feet wide, the hull of the boat creeped out of its construction warehouse on stilts and slowly made its way to the platform that would lower it into the sea.

Now the racing yacht is scheduled to be towed to Rhode Island where it will receive its mast and keel. From there it will make the journey, by sail, to Charleston, South Carolina, and then it will be placed on a ship and transported to Australia before its inaugural race, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which takes competitors on an approximately 630 nautical mile journey from Sydney, Australia to Hobart, Tasmania.

SK2 Dinghy

SK2. Welcome To The New.
The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd and built by Ovington boats.

The SK2 is equally a capable racer for 2-3 crew or a performance day-sailor with family and friends. Developed as a strict one design class in mind it is equally suitable for a wide range of mixed fleet racing. The SK2 has been shown to live happily and be equally competitive amongst dinghies, sportsboats and more varied inshore club fleets. A true cross-over boat.

SK2's thoroughly developed package provides a new experience. The difference is the canting keel. Easily operate manually the canting keel provides additional righting moment and allows full use of SK2's powerful sailplan. Together this makes the SK2 suitable for a wide range of wind conditions. It also offers an ideal trialling vehicle for those with an eye on something bigger.

Weighing in at only 210kg (hull & Keel) it is towable by any car. At this weight an SK2 is also easily launched by hand like a dinghy from the beach or a boat slip.

Watching The Start
Just days until the beginning of the Volvo Ocean Race nine-month nautical marathon. Here's everything you need to know before the big day...

The race starts on Saturday 11th October at 14.00 CEST, when the teams depart on the 6,487 nm journey from Alicante to Cape Town.

You can watch LIVE streaming coverage from 13.50 CEST on our brand new mobile app - which also features a tracker, tailored notifications and route information,

Download the app here: Apple Store
Google Play
(The live coverage will also be available to view on

Also, don't forget to check Twitter for the latest updates from the water - find out what everyone is saying about the Volvo Ocean Race:

Information on the Race Village

Saturday 11th October also marks the start of our Virtual Volvo Ocean Race game! Sign up

The Volvo Ocean Race has contracted around 100 broadcasters worldwide who will be showing regular coverage of the event. Our flagship half-hour weekly show, Life at the Extreme, will round up all the action for 39 weeks from this weekend (October 11/12) until the end of the race. You can check the TV coverage in your country here

Spinlock IRC Single Event Rating Takes Over From LV TCC
The RORC Rating Office, the technical and administrative hub for all things Spinlock IRC rating-related in the UK, is re-badging its Limited Validity TCC (LV TCC) as the Single Event Rating (SER) with immediate effect.

The LV TCC scheme was an initiative launched two years ago as a means of introducing new owners to the benefits of racing under IRC without them having to apply for a full certificate. If owners only wanted to race in one or two events in the year they could apply for an LV TCC, with an upgrade to a full IRC certificate offered at a reduced rate.

The change of name is primarily being introduced to provide a more understandable and user-friendly path to build on the success of the past two years. 2014 saw 81 events accepting LV TCCs with 117 certificates being issued, compared with 54 events and 124 LV TCCs being issued in 2013.

A gateway into IRC racing

The newly branded SER is being rolled out to regatta and race organisers across the UK, with encouragement to include it in communications with their members and potential race and regatta entrants.

In spite of the LV TCC option already being widely available at club events and having been taken up by most major events over the past two years, the vast majority of interest has been from those run in the Solent region e.g. Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and Panerai British Classic Week.

The LV TCC has given owners the opportunity for a memorable day or week of IRC racing at minimal cost. However, it is positive to note that a small number of boats that held LV TCCs in 2013 have upgraded to full IRC certificates in 2014 and as the Rating Office Technical Director, Mike Urwin, comments, "We may not yet be seeing vast numbers but it is satisfying to have made some converts."

He continues, "Noting the apparent strong Solent/major event bias, while the significant increase this year in the number of events accepting LV TCCs confirms that Clubs around the UK are keen to get more people racing, we recognise that many potential racing owners are not aware of the SER option, or the help and advice they can get from their local IRC Advocates or the Rating Office.

"We hope that the change of name will make SER more accessible and widely recognised, and. we will also be talking further to club officials and members at the regional level including seminars to be jointly held with the RYA this winter."

For further information on the Spinlock IRC Single Event Rating, visit the RORC Rating Office website:

Seahorse November 2014
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Fixtures and fittings
As we roll into another Volvo Ocean Race Tim Jeffery - there from the beginning - reflects on the heritage that underpins this magnificent event

Staying dry - Part 2
Oracle Team USA software specialist Andrew Mason expands on the potential for advanced simulation ahead of the next America's Cup

It all started in a garage - Part 2
And the J/Boats team take a first tentative step into the grand prix world. Rod Johnstone

Paul Cayard
And how the sport - and the Rolex Big Boat Series - is steadily changing for the better...

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65

1yr Digital Sub for £30:

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McPherson Crowned Ceilidh Cup Champion
Nicole McPherson booked her place in the Grand Final of the 2014 RYA National Match Racing Championships after her crew clinched event honours at the Ceilidh Cup/Scottish Student Sailing Match Racing Championships which were held at the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club (RNCYC) this weekend (4-5 October).

Forming part of the RYA National Match Racing Series, the event is a match racing event for Scottish universities with additional non-student entrants, with the Ceilidh Cup being awarded to the best overall team as well as a separate prize for the best university team, which was won by Theo Hoole from the University of Strathclyde Sailing Club.

Final Ranking of Skippers & Clubs:
1. Nicole McPherson*, Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club (Ceilidh Cup Winner)
2. Theo Hoole, University of Strathclyde Sailing Club (SSS Match Racing Champion)
3. Connor Simms, Dundee University Sailing Club
4. Craig Paul*, Edinburgh University Sailing Club
5. Emily Robertson, Glasgow University Sailing Club
6. Scott McWhirter, Glasgow University Sailing Club
7. Alison Morrish*, University of Strathclyde Sailing Club (from round robin)
8. Calum Underwood, University of Strathclyde Sailing Club (from round robin)
9. Josh Bather, University of St Andrews Sailing Club (from round robin)

* denotes teams ineligible for the Scottish Student Sailing prize.

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Notice Of Race Released
The Notice of Race for ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, scheduled for 25-31 January 2015, has been released.

On-line entry will open on 10 November 2014 via The deadline for priority entries with regards to quotas is 5 December 2014. Entries must be received no later than 5 January 2015 to qualify for early entry.

Competitors in the Paralympic events will have five days of fleet racing from Monday 26 January to Friday 30 January. Medal Races across the ten OIympic events will bring the regatta to a close on Saturday 31 January where medals will be awarded to the top three boats.

Event winners in each Olympic event from ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami will qualify to the 2015 SWC Final whilst the best placed 'home continent' sailor will also qualify.

Regatta Headquarters will be located at the US Sailing Center Miami, an official Olympic training center, in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida.

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Melbourne - 7-14 December 2014
Miami - 25-31 January 2015
Hyères - 20-26 April 2015
Weymouth - 8-14 June 2015
Asian Round - September / October 2015
2015 Final Abu Dhabi - TBC

Industry News
A record 1,331 companies have registered to exhibit at this year's Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam. With just five weeks to go before the show opens on November 18, the number of exhibitors has already surpassed the total for METS 2013 (1,320 exhibitors), and as the final few places are filled, the three-day event for the global marine equipment sector is gearing up to be the biggest to date.

In addition to the record-breaking number of exhibitors, which hail from 46 countries, 18 country pavilions will allow nations to create their own distinctive area at the show under the auspices of ICOMIA, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations.

The Chinese Pavilion has grown in particular, with a doubling in the number of companies compared to previous edition. The square metre size of the Slovenian Pavilion has also grown by 50% compared to 2013 and the USA Pavilion is larger too.

The SuperYacht Pavilion will also be the largest to date, with more than 190 exhibitors. They will enjoy the benefits of a new stand design that reflects the unique nature of the superyacht sector while maintaining the uniform look and feel that ensures products and networking come first.

METS 2014 is organised by Amsterdam RAI in association ICOMIA. The show runs from November 18-20. -- IBI News,


A trio of key speakers will address a global audience to demonstrate how inspiration and innovation can increase participation and generate business success. Olympic Gold Medallist Iain Percy OBE will welcome delegates from around the world to the International Sailing Summit (ISS) on 17 November 2014 and record-breaking quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister and Rod Carr, Chairman of UK Sport will headline the Gala Dinner.

Highlights include Spinsheet Magazine's advice on changing your game plan to welcome diverse customers, using British Cycling as a case study to grow participation, Oman Sail's view on empowering women through sports and using cost effective technology to improve participation with examples from Sail Racer.

Organised by British Sailing, a group association of the British Marine Federation (BMF), the event is expected to attract some 150 delegates representing all aspects of their sailing sector from every corner of the globe


Yachting Australia is pleased to announce the finalists in 12 categories for the Yachting Australia Awards 2014, the annual celebration providing an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements and recognise contributions made, both on and off the water.

On Friday 17 October 2014, the winners will be revealed at the Awards ceremony to be held at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, Sydney.

Winners will be announced on Friday 17 October in the categories of
Male Sailor of the Year
Female Sailor of the Year
Sailor of the Year with a Disability
Youth Sailor of the Year
Sport Promotion Award
Sport Professional Award
Lifetime Achievement
Volunteer Award

This year sees the introduction of four new categories with nominations made by State Associations for these Awards.
Club of the Year
Official of the Year
Instructor of the Year
Coach of the Year


Feedback for the 16th Auckland On Water Boat Show (AOWBS), which ran from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 September 2014, has been overwhelmingly positive, with several significant sales made at the show.

Visitor numbers were up a healthy 14 per cent on the 2013 show, a result that show organizers were delighted with.

The 2014 edition completely sold out of exhibitor space, with nearly 200 exhibitors and more than 200 boats on display. The show welcomed nearly 30 new exhibitors to its lineup, another telling indication of its ever increasing popularity. -- Ellie Brade in


With a growing number of clients in the West Country, Nicolle Associates the international yacht brokers based in Hamble, have taken the decision to open a new branch in Plymouth.

The new Plymouth office will be headed by Peter Preston, currently a senior broker at Nicolle Associates Hamble office. He brings with him a wealth of 'boating' experience being a racing and cruising yachtsman, a transatlantic sailor, and one who is equally at home on motor yachts.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2012 High Performance Sport Cat "NINJA". 200,000. Located in Palma de Mallorca.

NINJA is designed by Brett Bakewell-White for coastal offshore racing and she is based on the SL33, designed by Morelli & Melvin. She is a fully category 3 compliant racing catamaran with navigation lights, 4 bunks, a small galley, life rafts etc.

In short NINJA is one of the fastest boats on the water considering she is only 33 feet long. She is quiet a "weapon" especially in light wind. She only needs 8 kts of wind to be fully powered up and reach speed of more than 15kts of boat speed.

Her success on the race course in NZ is talking clearly: a winning boat!

Contact for sale:
Siggi Mansaker


See the collection at

The Last Word
An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out. -- Max Planck

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Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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