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

Record Pace
By dawn on the second day of the RORC Caribbean 600, the vast majority of the 64-strong fleet were negotiating the chicane of islands to the northern end of the course, weaving through the stunning islands of Saba, St.Martin and St.Barths.

However Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3, was literally miles ahead of the fleet. Screaming down the big reach out of St.Barths, Phaedo3 entered the stealth zone at Guadeloupe to the south at 0300 this morning. The 'Green Flash' has been averaging over 20 knots of boat speed since the start and at that rate will smash the course record by 10 hours.

George David's Juan Kouyoumdjian designed maxi, Rambler 88 has been charging round the course at an average speed of 15 knots. At 0600 this morning Rambler 88 had reached the halfway stage. In real time they are on course for the monohull record, but their average speed must be maintained or increased if Rambler 88 is to set a new benchmark.

A fascinating battle is developing for the overall winner of the RORC Caribbean 600, which is decided after IRC time correction. At 0600 on Day Two, Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente, had the best corrected time of the 54 yachts still racing under IRC. Rambler 88, although ahead on the water, is over two hours behind Bella Mente on corrected time. These two yachts will be the first of the IRC fleet to enter the 'twilight zone'. Bella Mente's navigator, Ian Moore spoke about the difficult passage around Guadeloupe before the start of the race.

"The RORC have decided that the tracker player will be switched off so that yachts cannot see how the competition negotiate the tricky wind shadow behind Guadeloupe," commented Moore. "The wind is forecast to decrease in strength and shift to the south, just as Bella Mente arrive at the 'twilight zone'. We have been runner-up twice in this race and how well we handle the wind shadow may well decide our overall performance in the race."

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Dave Hollom (GBR) - Int 14 Designer
'The first reach was nuts, with white sails we were doing crazy speeds. Our boat was just mental, it just goes and goes' - Glenn Truswell (with Sam Pascoe above); 'In the high-tech world of RC yachting Dave has been outstanding in designing, building and sailing. At the top of the game for 30 years he still ranks in the top 3 in the world - and his foil designs helped me to 8 world titles!' - Graham Bantock; 'I won the worlds with an A-Class designed by Dave as part of his 12-Metre research... Thanks!' - Derek Priestley.

This month's nominees:


Ian Williams (GBR)
What more does the UK's (and world's) best match racer have to do to attract the attention of the elite sailing teams? By winning a 5th world title Williams becomes the most successful match racer of all time. Like Russell Coutts (engineer), Williams is also a qualified professional man (lawyer). Brains and discipline definitely help. Hopefully a further US$186,000 in prize money will ease any feelings of injustice...


Gannon Troutman (USA)
'It felt good to get a result like that, I hope to be up there again...' and no doubt you will. He opened with a 26th in the pro-riddled 54-strong J/70 fleet at Key West, but went on to count a 1,2,3 among a score good enough to see him finish 5th overall... one place behind Jud Smith. Gannon Troutman was 12 years old at his first major keelboat regatta. You sort of suspect we'll be hearing a lot more of this young man


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

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PSP Celebrates Mediterranean Sailing With February Offer
PSP Worldwide logistics company PSP is running a special service to help sailors get their yachts to the Mediterranean this spring.

PSP is running its first Mediterranean sailing of 2015, right in time for the start of the new sailing season, and celebrating the launch with discounted rates for those who book before the end of February.

The vessel will depart from Southampton between March 18 and 25, heading first to Palma and then to Genoa. It will be a full water/water, mast up service and space is available for every type of boat, including:

- Sail Yachts
- Motor Yachts
- RIB/Tenders
- Superyachts

The loading will be overseen by PSP's expert loadmaster and carried out using PSP's own lifting gear and fully adjustable shipping cradles.

PSP is renowned worldwide for its specialism in transporting yachts and counts Sunseeker, Fairline and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race among its customers.

To take advantage of PSP's early bird February offer and for a quotation call +44 (0) 1489 565577 or email

To find out more about PSP visit

EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour
Two wins in a row for EFG Bank (Monaco) after leg 4. Gavignet and his super-tuned crew that includes Spanish sailor Alex Pella, Nicolas Lunven, and Ireland's Damian Foxall, had a poor start but it did not take the seasoned team long to find their stride and lead the 11-strong fleet round the windward mark

Although they had an impressive one-and-half minutes lead at the mark, they were pushed all the way by the ever-threatening Zain Sailing Team - headed by seasoned Tour competitor, and former team partner of Gavignet, Cedric Pouligny.

In third place after a race long struggle through the fleet following an OCS (over the line at the start) was Marcel Herrera and Team averda (Oman).

The Royal Navy of Oman announced the team's retirement from the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour after Leg 4 due to extensive boat damage.

Leg 5 of the Tour started today at 0900. This leg from Abu Dhabi to Doha is one of the most challenging not least because it is another long one at 159nm. It will be a real test of stamina with fatigue being the biggest issue. Crews will need to be constantly alert as they negotiate the oil field and shallows along the way. When they arrive in Doha in the early hours on 25 February, however, they will be rewarded with fine hospitality at the Four Seasons Marina.

Former Sailing President Calls For Sport To 'Regrow In A Balanced Way'
Barry Rose, a former ISA President, says it is 'incredible' during a period of consultation by the ISA that the sailing community was not asked about the set-up of a 'new quango' called the 'Irish Sailing Foundation'. In a sport that is attempting to navigate its way out of recession, Rose warns If resources are 'sucked out of a limited pot' it will effect the ability of Clubs. The challenge, he says, is to 'regrow in a balanced way':

The current reform and re-connect with the grassroots of sailing taking place in ISA is admirable and needs to happen. Well done to the team driving this through. It seems incredible to me that in the middle of this process without consultation with the wider sport and seemingly out of the blue an advertisement would appear for a CEO of what appears to be a new quango called ISF (apparently under the auspices of the ISA) whose brief is to raise €2.7m a year from a tight economy for elite and Olympic sailing in addition to funds currently generated.

Where has this come from? If this amount of resources is sucked out of a limited pot will it effect the ability of the grassroots to raise funds for Clubs and the events that form the backbone of the sport on the ground in the form of sponsorship and funding vital support structures to grow the wider sport.

We live in interesting times for our sport...

Full story in Afloat:

Royal Ocean Racing Club Full Time Racing Administrator
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is looking for a full time Racing Administrator to join the Race Team in Cowes.

Primary duties involved in the administration of the Racing Programme are; supporting race competitors entering races, organising volunteers, managing trophies and prize giving's, booking race team and race officer travel and accommodation, compiling and distribution of race publications and paperwork.

The successful candidate will have experience using Microsoft Programmes - Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint and Outlook and ideally have experience updating website content and in using databases.

He or she must be very well organised and able to work under pressure, be confident and sociable and happy to travel as the programme dictates.

An understanding and experience in sporting event administration, particularly in the sailing world would be of great benefit.

Salary and full job description on application.

To apply send a CV and covering letter outlining experience and suitability to:


Nick Elliott
Royal Ocean Racing Club
20 St James's Place

Industry News
Following negotiations with Shumway Marine and the full support of the designer Bruce Kirby, the existing moulds and templates have now been purchased by Rondar Raceboats Ltd.

This is a major step forward for the Class, which is now underpinned by a quality boatbuilder with a proven record of production success and service.

Rondar Raceboats currently have two production bases, one in Wiltshire, England, and another in the USA, with a full service and distribution team.

There is also a strong SONAR Class Association who govern the Class worldwide. The existing moulds and strict measurement control by the association will continue to ensure uniformity of performance.

Rondar's first demonstrator boat out of the mould is expected to be launched by April 2015 in the UK.


The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in the US says that attendance reached 96,009 visitors for the most recent Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, a 1% increase over the previous year.

The trade association said that some exhibitors had record sales.

The NMMA has already announced plans for the 2016 edition of the boat show, which will move from Miami Beach Convention Center ot Virginia Key at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin. The Strictly Sail Miami portion of the show will stay at Miamarina at Bayside.

The City of Miami is investing US$16m to prepare the new location for the 2016 boat show.


McMurdo Group has announced its commitment to International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) by becoming the first search and rescue technologies and solutions provider to join the Federation. The group's aim is to increase global awareness of the needs of marine mass rescue and help coordinate action to prevent the loss of life in the world's waters.

McMurdo Group has joined the IMRF as an Associate Member. By partnering with the IMRF and other organizations around the globe, McMurdo will be able to help develop a more cost-effective rescue capability to meet ever-growing challenges, especially those emanating from mass rescues at sea. As part of its commitment to the IMRF, the Group will also be making a donation to the Federation.


Nickys Canvasworks and Sail Clinic, based in Brighton Marina, are the first Elvstrom UK Authorised Dealer to be announced as part of an on going expansion programme by Elvstrom Sails UK.

Elvstrom Sails, one of the largest sail lofts, was established in 1954 by Paul Elvstrom, four times Olympic medallist.

UK is the British subsidiary, is now headed by Jeremy White who brings many years of sail making experience, from America's Cup to dinghy sailing projects to the loft.


Italian shipyard Perini Navi has appointed Fabio Boschi as chairman of the board of directors and Fabio Perini as honorary chairman.

Boschi has served as CEO of Perini Navi's holding company, Faper Group, since 2009. Faper controls a group of companies that operate in paper machinery, real estate and various other industries.

Boschi was previously in charge of investment banking for a major Italian bank and, for a decade, he worked in strategic consulting and corporate finance with KPMG in Italy and the UK.

Perini Navi designs and builds large sailing yachts and motoryachts under the Picchiotti brand name. The group is comprised of the Perini Navi shipyard in Viareggio, the Picchiotti shipyard in La Spezia, Perini Istanbul-Yildiz in Turkey and Perini Navi USA.


At the Miami Boat Show in Florida (USA), Sunsail and Cowes Week Limited (CWL) launched a new charter package for US sailors interested in participating in the world famous Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

US sailors will be able to buy this package through the Florida Sunsail office in Clearwater and the choice of yachts is across a range of different boat types (not just the fleet of Sunsail's Match First 40s) and Sunsail's team is also offering assistance with booking flights, accommodation and transfers, if needed. The aim is to provide a comprehensive service to the US racing community by leveraging the relationship between Sunsail and CWL.

This year's regatta takes place 8-15 August. Visit


Workers arrived early Monday morning to start their day at Christensen Shipyards, the Vancouver Canada-based builder of custom yachts, only to find the gates locked.

The manufacturing plant was closed, although it appeared that workers were remaining at a nearby site where a Christensen yacht, "Missing Link," sat in the Columbia River nearby.

It's not the first time the builder of custom yachts has closed down production as it has struggled financially in recent months. Late last year, the company temporarily closed down for a week. Subsequently, operations started up again, but new information added to concerns about Christensen's financial health.

In the past couple months, several businesses have made initial filings under the Uniform Commercial Code naming Christensen as a debtor and spelling out collateral, public documents show. -- Aaron Colvin in The Columbian


Gurit (SIX Swiss Exchange: GUR), a worldwide leading developer and manufacturer of advanced composites and technologies, is delighted to announce sponsorship of the High Performance Yacht Design Conference to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, at the Viaduct Marine Events Centre,  from March 9 to 11, 2015.

Gurit has been associated with HPYD since its inception and is very proud to reinforce its involvement by a gold sponsorship in 2015. The company's connection and history with HPYD has seen a multitude and depth of boating- and marine-passionate Gurit presenters and contributors as well as participants in the organizing committee and the technical review panel over the years.


This month's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show will take place at Alexandra Palace in London between 28 February and 1 March and there promises to be plenty to see and do for dinghy enthusiasts.

This year the show has a brand new 'Cruising Corridor' which will enable visitors to find out why dinghy cruising is one of the UK's fastest growing and most popular boating activities.

The Dinghy Cruising Association will be on hand to welcome newcomers to the world of dinghy cruising and offer expert advice about techniques and equipment with the help of a fully-kitted cruising dinghy.

Two multiple World and National Champions, Ian Pinnell and Holger Jess, on hand for Q&A sessions.

Visitors to the show are invited to meet the champions on the 5o5 Class Association stand (C86) and bring questions about the class, boat construction, boat tuning and race tactics.

Also on the stand will be displayed the very latest in boat design and boat set up and experts will be on hand to explain how the boat works and how the boat is adjusted for different sailing conditions.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only J Class Rainbow. 10,450,000 EUR. Located in the Caribbean.

Rarely does an opportunity arise to acquire such an elegant and iconic yacht. A replica of the 1934 America's Cup winner and re-designed in 2012 by Dykstra Naval Architects for racing and cruising. Built to superb Dutch quality by Holland Jachtbouw, with a unique hybrid propulsion system and a luxurious Art Deco interior. Fantastic regatta achievements and fully equipped with Southern Spars carbon rig and spars and a full inventory of North Sails cruising and racing sails.


Pieter van der Weide

See the collection at

The Last Word
If history is any indication, all truths will eventually turn out to be false. -- Dean Kamen

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