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

Parts Stripped, Hull On The Reef
Vestas VOR The graphic picture shows the stricken Team Vestas Wind lying in a reef in a remote Mauritius archipelago of St Brandon after being grounded there at the weekend.

The team and race organisers are now working out the best way to recover the Volvo Ocean 65 in the Indian Ocean.

Neil Cox, shore manager of the Danish team, said: "The photo paints a pretty graphic picture of what's going on out there. The picture tells a 1,000 words."

He said his focus was still the security of the nine members of the crew.

"We have still got nine guys sitting on what is basically a sand pit out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

"They are still the priority. It's a peace of mind to know they're all safe and doing everything they can out there with the boat right now."

Cox said that sail ropes, fluids, electronics and hardware had been taken off the boat.

The nine-strong crew abandoned ship in the early hours of Sunday morning after the collision at 19 knots at 1510 GMT the previous day and waded through knee-deep water to a dry position on the reef.

They were picked up from there at daylight by a coastguard rib and taken to the nearby Ile du Sud.

The islet has very little communications with the outside world and the crew are awaiting transportation back to Mauritius. This is expected to happen within the next 24 hours.

The crew have received food packages via an airdrop from a coastguard plane.

* The VOR press office is not being very verbose...

"We are aware that media would like to speak to the members of the Team Vestas Wind crew following the grounding of their boat during the weekend.

However, the nine crew members are still not available for interview.

Meantime, we would direct you to media releases which both Team Vestas Wind and Volvo Ocean Race have issued. We intend to keep you fully updated on developments.

We will give you more information as soon as possible."

Duelling Dragons
Adventuress. Click on image to enlarge.

Panerai Transat Classique The Panerai Transat Classique 2015 has taken on a whole new dimension with the entry of two vessels designed by William Fife III, the schooners Altair and Adventuress. Bearers of the famous Fife dragon, these grand old ladies of yachting have perhaps, at last, found an event worthy of their fire-breathing insignia.

For the first time in the history of yachting, two vessels designed by celebrated Scottish architect William Fife III will be battling it out in a race across the Atlantic. Even the genius from the Clyde would never have imagined that two of his finest and most elegant creations would one day duel their way across 3,000 miles of ocean

First up we have Altair, the majestic schooner which needs little presentation. Launched in 1931, her 131' length overall is symbolic of the renaissance of classic sailing which came about in the mid-1980s. A familiar face on the Mediterranean classic yacht circuit, she has won just about every event and is now setting her sights firmly on the wide open sea and the long rolling swell in the trades.

Adventuress was built in 1924 on the shores of the Clyde, in Fairlie, Scotland. Her original rig comprised a Bermudan main sail and a gaff-rigged mizzen. Hull construction is teak planking on oak frames. Her history is patchy but we do know she was requisitioned by the Germans in World War II and used as a patrol boat before getting scuttled at the entrance to Villefranche-sur-Mer harbour. Refloated in 1950, she was comprehensively refitted and rigged as a ketch and then set off for the American East Coast where she sailed, from the Caribbean to New England, under the name Isabel. Subsequently she was purchased by her current owner

On the occasion of her re-launch , in 2012, her owner; a New Yorker, and a yachtsman of Turkish origin, quoted the English poet John Keats; "a thing of beauty is a joy for ever".

Get ready for 7 January and the start of the Panerai Transat Classique 2015, transatlantic racing at its most elegant, from Lanzarote to Fort-de-France.

Marinepool Ocean Racing Clothing For The 40knots+ Category
Marine Pool When Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe started on November 2nd two exceptional yachts - Spindrift2 and Oman Sail Musandam - were be at the starting line in the super fast Ultime class. Both capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.

Marinepool is the official clothing supplier to Spindrift Racing and to Oman Sail. Skippers Yann Guichard and Sidney Gavignet, who finished this epic race in 2nd and 5th respectively, were sailing the single handed race in the very latest Marinepool Ocean Racing suits.

Made from revolutionary Dermizax NX fabrics by Toray of Japan the Ocean Racing suit offers ultimate protection from the elements. A smart non porous membrane provides exceptionally high waterproofness, moisture permeability and low condensation. The smooth texture of the fabric, its light weight configuration and high elasticity make the garments comfortable. The 3-layer stretch fabric is highly breathable and abrasion resistant, features include waterproof zippers and 3M™ reflex patches for increased visibility at night. Latex dry suit seals reliably keep the enormous spray at these speeds outside. The top is available with a high offshore collar with signal colour hood or without a hood  for conditions when only a full face helmet is the answer.

Designed and developed with the skippers of the ultimate speed machines.

Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.

18ft Skiffs W.C 'Trappy' Duncan Memorial Trophy
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: Strong wind specialists David Witt, Tom Clout and Matt Wark thrived on the conditions today to bring home their 18ft Skiff, Smeg, winner of the 18ft Skiffs W.C. 'Trappy' Duncan Memorial Trophy on Sydney Harbour.

The Smeg boys revelled 20+ knots north east wind to lead the fleet from the start and were untroubled to take the victory by a comfortable 1m14s from Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Stuart Wells).

Mojo Wine, skippered by Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton, and crewed by Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey, was a further 1m16s back in third place.

The race began dramatically as one of the favoured contenders, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon), was recalled and lost more than one minute as the team returned and restarted.

First of the new skiffs Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) made her initial entry into the fleet but was forced out after an early capsize.

Two more new skiffs, and Noakesailing (Sean Langman), are also due to join the fleet in the coming weeks.

The Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy will be sailed on Sunday 14 December. This will be the final race before the Christmas-New Year break. Racing will then resume on 11 January with Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

Spinnakers At The Ready: Rorc Transatlantic Race
After a competitive start the fleet have been battling through the first night to negotiate the fastest passage through the Canary Islands and into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The entire fleet chose the northerly route through the channel between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and once again north of Tenerife. The northerly route puts the fleet nearer the fresh breeze coming from the north rather than south where an area of little wind has developed. The rhumb line goes straight through Tenerife but the highest point, Mount Teide, has an elevation of 3,718 m (12,198ft), which would give a significant wind shadow to any

Derek Hatfield's Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure, is estimated to be the early leader after time correction for the IRC Zero fleet. Rating far lower than the Maxi yachts in the class, Spirit of Adventure's lead is not surprising after less than 24 hours at sea; the Canadian team are highly experienced with six of the crew having raced the boat across the Atlantic before.

Jeremy Pilkington's RP78, Lupa of London. have used their 'wompa' Code Zero to great effect, sailing high and fast across the top of Tenerife to take the overall lead on the water during the night. At dawn, Lupa of London was 40 miles from the last island, La Palma, achieving a boat speed over twice as fast as the Finot 100, Nomad IV, sailed by Jean-Paul Riviere. It will be interesting to see the tactics employed by Lupa of London at La Palma. Further behind, the young team on American Class40, Oakcliff Racing, have also altered course to follow Lupa of London's track. -- Louay Habib

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous
The Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous returns to Virgin Gorda on 11 - 14 March 2015. The regatta presents three days of breathtaking sailing with a full race programme organised by the highly experienced Yacht Club Costa Smeralda international race committee.

The notice of race is available to download from the event website and with a strong intake of early interest, yacht owners who wish to participate in the event should register without delay to secure their place in the fleet.

This popular event on the international racing calendar attracts some of the finest superyachts in the world. Pre-registered yachts include Royal Huisman's recently launched 48m classic sloop Wisp, sleek lined 46m performance sloop Ganesha, stunning contemporary designed 60m Perini Navi Seahawk and Southern Wind's newly built 31m Farfalla.

Download the 2015 Notice of Race

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.

I Am A Sailor
Jurg Kaufmann I am a sailor. I am a sailor: This was the title of a photo exhibition, celebrated on Saturday 29 November at the Swiss Handicap Fair in Luzern opening. The photos show Wyra, Alex, Dominic, Florian, Luis and Patrick from regatta team.

Photographed and produced by famous Zurich photographer Jurg Kaufmann, the shoot took place in a warehouse; the models were constantly doused with buckets of water. There was a lot of laughter, the shoot was great fun.

The painting exhibition was made possible by the support of the St. Gallen-Appenzell per Infirmis and Thurgau, Schaffhausen. is an association that has set itself the goal of enriching the lives of people with special needs by sailing. On various Swiss lakes offers sailing courses for people with disabilities.

Juerg's images here

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Iain Percy (GBR)
'Olympic gold (twice), America's Cup team leader and a friend for more than life to Bart... No one could be more deserving' - Alistair Skinner; 'Intelligent, articulate and ultra competitive - the complete package' - Simon Wilder; 'A genuine champion' - Chris Mason; 'Bart's Bash was a wonderful idea, but it was in its execution that Percy's team showed real class' - Marc Turner; 'One of the very best in the world' - Wolfgang Schaefer.

This month's nominees:

Loick Peyron (GBR)
Legend is too small a word! Peyron was quietly preparing for a ‘tribute’ entry in the Route du Rhum on his own little yellow trimaran Happy – a sistership to Mike Birch’s original race winner Olympus. Then came a call from Banque Populaire asking him if he would again step up to the plate, not with the combination’s Jules Verne giant but the former Groupama 3. Thereafter it was just veni, vidi, vici...

Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
The performance of the Chinese Volvo entry Dongfeng in harrying Leg 1 winner Abu Dhabi Racing all the way into Cape Town was impressive on any number of levels. However what we are tipping our hats to is the brilliantly positive way in which Caudrelier took on the task of moulding a multinational team of patchy experience, shaping them into such a formidable squad. And are the best times yet to come?

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

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

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

Shackleton's Island Resting Place Now On Google Street View
When famed Irish explorers Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean set foot on the island of South Georgia in 1916, it was as remote as one could get in the world at that time.

Fast forward to 2014 and the vistas of that Southern Ocean outcrop are available to all, thanks to an intrepid hiker equipped with Google's Trekker backpack camera.

As reports, Linbald Expeditions and National Geographic sent one of their videographers with the special 360-degree camera unit to capture images for the Google Street View virtual mapping service.

And the fruits of that adventure are some 10,000 shots taken across nine locations, roughly plotting the path that Shackleton and his crew took on their pioneering Endurance voyage - and their epic journey to seek rescue when the ship was trapped in ice.

From Afloat

Links to the live Google Street View Imagery:

Featured Brokerage
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BLUE YANKEE is very close in design and shape to the 2008/9 R/P 63 sisterships LOKI and LIMIT and they have been dominating races in Australia. BLUE YANKEE is ready to keep winning with the same results anywhere in the world. Recent additions are an IRC prod and bigger spinnakers for 2011.


Bill Jenkins
Thoroughbred Yacht Sales


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The Last Word
Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'. -- Isaac Asimov

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