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

A Surprise Before Saturday?
The early morning (CET) Saturday should see the first Ultime break the finish line off Itajai, Brasil to take overall line honours in this 12th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. With just under 800 miles of racing left the last 24 hours have seen Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nelias come right back into race leaders Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidegorry, reducing their deficit from a maximum figure of over 250 miles to a margin of 120 miles this Thursday afternoon.

Whichever of the teams do cross the finish line first, the course record for the 5400 miles passage from Le Havre to Itajai, will not be broken. The 2013 mark 11 days, 5 hours, 3 minutes and 54 seconds of racingset by Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier on the MULTI 70 Edmond de Rothschild expired just after 1700hrs today.

Deep disappointment is evident today for the Class 40 duo Thibault Vauchel-Camus and Victorien Erussard whose bottom rudder fitting broke.

They had only just fought their way up to second place, enjoying a spirited, close battle with Louis Duc and Christophe Lebas on CARAC/Advanced Energies and with Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on V and B.

Vauchel-Camus and Erussard are due to arrive in the Cape Verde around 1900hrs UTC this evening.

The IMOCA 60 leaders seem finally to be emerging out of the Doldrums with a layline for the NE corner of Brazil which remains tight. They have ended up crossing at 32 deg 30 W rather than the usual 27 deg to 30 deg and so will be sailing tighter and higher than they would want to get past this corner.

Positions at 05/11/15 - 17h30

1. Le Conservateur, Yannick Bestaven - Pierre Brasseur
2. V and B, Maxime Sorel - Sam Manuard
3. Solidaires en Peloton ARSEP, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus - Victorien Erussard

1. FenetreA Prysmian, Erwan Le Roux - Giancarlo Pedote
2. Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol - Cesar Dohy
3. Ciela Village, Thierry Bouchard - Oliver Krauss

1. PRB, Vincent Riou - Sebastien Col
2. Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies - Charlie Dalin
3. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cleac'h - Erwan Tabarly

1. Macif, Francois Gabart - Pascal Bidegorry
2. Sodebo Ultim, Thomas Coville - Jean-Luc Nelias
3. Prince de Bretagne, Lionel Lemonchois - Roland Jourdain

Round Ireland 2016 To Include Multihulls
The Round Ireland Yacht Race organisers have announced the inclusion of a separate multihull class for the 2016 race. This will be the first time that multihulls have been invited to compete.

One of the first multihulls to express interest is from Team Concise. Ned Collier- Wakefield, Team Director and Skipper for Team Concise, has indicated that they intend entering their 3 boats into the 2016 Round Ireland - the MOD 70 and their 2 Class 40 boats.

The multihull yachts will compete against each other for a new race trophy and course record.

In May of this year, the Omani trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail set a new record for the circumnavigation of the island of Ireland by sail - 1 day 16 hours 51 minutes and 57 seconds - but this was not in a race setting. The Round Ireland race record (for monohulls) is held by Mike Slade who completed the race in 2 days 17 hours 48 minutes 47 seconds in ICAP Leopard 3 in 2008.

Wicklow Sailing Club organises the Round Ireland Yacht Race under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. As in 2014, the 2016 race is being jointly hosted with the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. This association with the Royal Irish ensures that there will be ample space for larger monohulls and now also multihulls which wish to compete in the race.

The race officially opens for entries in January 2016 but expressions of interest are welcome at the email address below.

29ers Easier To Maintain
29er The Int. 29er Class recently approved the use of GRP foils to enable sailors to maintain and repair their foils easier.

These cool foils are now class legal and ready for competition as of November 1.

Approved by ISAF and incorporated into the Class Rules, the foils follow the 29er's big brother & sister 49er/FX with the GRP foils, surpassing the older aluminum foils.

Built by Ovington Boats and offered at the same price as the aluminum, sailors will now have stiffer foils that will have a longer race life…and look cool!

All ISAF Youth World boats (both boys & girls fleets) will be supplied with the new foils in Lankawi, Malaysia.

Mini Transat: Duel In The Sun And Pack Of Four
A 5-mile gap separates the first prototype from the fourth in the 2pm ranking. In series, it is also a constant battle between the two Ofcet boats, with a strong lead over more than 40 miles ahead of the third one. At this pace, the first could reach Guadeloupe as soon as the afternoon of November 12th.

Lizzy Foreman (Hudson Wight) has announced she has torn her two spinnakers. Roland Ventura (Fondation Planiol) was very pleased to announce that he had managed to fix all technical problems he was struggling with since the first night. The Italian-born skipper had also planned a unique initiative for this second leg, for he planned on throwing a bottle into the sea with a word of thanks to all who helped him set up his project. A nice way to keep alive the Mini Transat overseas.

Ranking 5th November à 3pm (TU+1) :

Series (Ocean Bio-Actif Ranking)
1. Ian Lipinski, Entreprises Innovantes, 1860 miles to finish
2. Julien Pulve, Novintiss, 3 milles to leader
3. Tanguy Le Turquais, Terreal, 48
4. Edwin Thibon, Coeur Fidele, 66
5. Antonio Fontes, Vela Solidaria, 70

Prototypes (Eurovia Cegelec Rankiing):
1 Clement Bouyssou, Le Bon Agent - Bougeons l'Immobilier, 1768 miles to finish
2 Axel Trehin, Aleph Racing, 0.2 miles to leader
3 Frederic Denis, Nautipark, 2
4 Ludovic Mechin, Microvitae, 3
5 Luke Berry, Association Reves, 16

Garmin Hamble Winter Series Half-Time Review
With four weekends and seven races in the bag, we've reached the halfway point of the 2015 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

The winds have been predominantly light, and the weather unseasonably warm for the Autumn. These conditions of course have meant shifts a-plenty for competitors racing in the central Solent - not to mention a challenge for race officers Kathy Smalley and Stuart Childerley to set their courses.

When the series resumes on Sunday 8th November, there will be one race a day scheduled, meaning that boats with gains to make will have to work hard to make their gains in the four races remaining.

In some fleets, there is a clear winner - like IRC 0, where Cornel Riklin's Jitterbug has recorded a perfect score in the series so far.

Half-time Leaderboard:

IRC 0 - Jitterbug
IRC 1 - Fast Tack Puma
IRC 2 - Malice
IRC 3 - Blackjack II
IRC 4 - Stan the Boat
Sigma 38 - Persephone
J/109 - Jiraffe
Impala 28 - Polly

Titanic Lifeboat Biscuit Sells For £15,000 At Auction
Click on image to enlarge.

Titanic Biscuit A biscuit which had been aboard a lifeboat on the Titanic has sold at auction for £15,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the Spillers and Bakers Pilot cracker, from a survival kit in a lifeboat, was "the world's most valuable biscuit".

It was bought by a collector in Greece.

A photograph purporting to show the iceberg that sank the ill-fated liner sold at the same auction for £21,000. The picture was taken by a steward on another ship which passed the iceberg.

Mr Aldridge said they were among the most "collectible and iconic" Titanic items to be sold.

The auction, at Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, also saw a "loving cup" presented to the captain of the Carpathia, which came to the Titanic's aid, also sell for £129,000 to a UK collector.

It was given to Captain Arthur Rostron by survivor Molly Brown, paid for by donations from wealthy passengers after the disaster.

Mr Aldridge said the price paid for the cup made it the third most valuable item associated with the Titanic story to have ever been sold.

The biscuit was saved by James Fenwick, a passenger on the Carpathia which picked up Titanic survivors.

Seahorse December 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Twenty (sic) Imoca 60s come out to play, Marc Van Peteghem on moustaches, first 100ft solo tri gets rolling, the prolific Jim Young, Sandy Oatley and those not so minor changes to The Oats... plus approaching the end of the tunnel. Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis
ISAF, Rio 2016 and why things are not always as simple as they sometimes appear from the outside

ISAF column
And why empty fuel cans will no longer meet offshore flotation regulations. Stan Honey

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'Bellafonte' First To Cuba
Pensacola, Florida, USA: The Corsair 31R trimaran, 'Bellafonte', was the first overall to finish in the 2015 Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race. 'Bellafonte' led the Multihull Division out of Pensacola Bay on Saturday October 31st and completed the 511 nautical mile (nm) rhumb-line course at 2:06:41 AM on Wednesday morning November 4th. She finished after almost four days, and she actually sailed some 650nm tacking most of the way to Marina Hemingway.

'Bellafonte', sailing not so close to the wind... as multihulls do, had a long wet ride. The little tri - sailed by Pensacola skipper Mike Patterson and crew PeeWee Chason, David Johnson and Andrew McMillan - went from Pensacola to near Tampa Bay before catching wind shifts that enabled them to take some long Cuba-friendly tacks south to cross first on elapsed time. With a -30 seconds-per-mile handicap in their division, how they will do on corrected time is another matter.

'Bene Vita' - the second multihull to finish - has a 177 seconds-per-mile handicap in that division. She finished at 12:28:08 PM Wednesday. Initially, reports indicated she 'apparently' might have used her engine through the light air on Tuesday to help get to Cuba quicker. Engine use is allowed in this race, but incurs a stiff handicap-based penalty... adjusting the handicap time allowance by a correction factor and by the amount of time the engine runs in gear.

Several of the boats that have finished - and many still on the course - have used their engines for propulsion. Calculating the adjusted corrected times of all the boats will be complex.

The original Havana Race was sailed from St. Petersburg, FL when 11 boats hit the starting line on March 30, 1930.The competition grew in size and stature to be a favorite of Gulf Coast sailors. It became a preliminary to the famous Southern Ocean Racing Circuit and attracted top yachts from the Americas and the international scene. Then bullets started flying at masts, and Castro overthrew the Cuban government, so the race was discontinued in 1959. -- Talbot Wilson

See more at A History of Pensacola Yacht Club's Involvement with the Havana Race prepared by Tom Pace, Jr. at

Industry News
Cowes-based marine hardware manufacturer Spinlock and the RORC Rating Office in Lymington, UK, are pleased that Spinlock will continue to sponsor the IRC rating rule in Great Britain and France.

Spinlock is an independent company based in Cowes, UK, that designs and manufactures rope holding equipment for sailing boats, from dinghies up to the largest superyachts, as well as their award-winning Deckware personal protective equipment.

Over the last three years the company has been proactively involved with GBR IRC owners and clubs, including attending prizegivings and seminars and presenting specially personalised Deckvest Lifejackets at GBR IRC Championships in 2014 to mark the 30th anniversary of the IRC rating rule.

Spinlock also promoted this year's successful #ThisBoatCan campaign to promote the diversity of the IRC fleet, with those sharing their best on-water photographs each month winning a Spinlock buoyancy aid. The company also distributes Spinlock IRC mast stickers to certificate holders in Great Britain and France each year.


Sunsail, which has been an avid supporter of the regatta for many years, has once again established their partnership for the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The regatta, which takes place March 3-6, 2016, has the largest bareboat fleet in the Caribbean and offers competitive racing in a superb sailing environment.

This relationship has been one that has been cultivated over many years, and although they have been official contracted sponsors for several years now, Sunsail has supported the event one way or another for much longer.

By providing committee boats for the event, Sunsail ensures that the race committee can focus on other aspects of the regatta. The catamarans they supply are perfect for use as start boats, and because they come fully equipped they are extremely comfortable for the volunteers to be on all day. Sunsail is a natural fit for the event. During the 2015 regatta there were 30 entries in the bareboat fleet from Sunsail alone.


The focal point of this year's METSTRADE show, which opens its doors to a record number of exhibitors on Tuesday 17 November, will be sustainability. This theme will be a red thread both before and during the event, with highlights such as a new recycling conference, the Material Xperience within the InnovationLAB concept and presentations on the InnovationLAB stage. What's more, METSTRADE organiser RAI Amsterdam is unveiling a range of initiatives that reinforce its emphasis on eco-friendly events.

The leading B2B trade show for the marine equipment supply industry is going greener than ever. Most of the 20,000-plus visitors to the upcoming METSTRADE show in Amsterdam will enter the show with digital tickets and smartphone scanning. This is just one of many ways in which RAI Amsterdam is working towards earning the ISO 20121 European sustainability certificate for the exhibition industry in 2016. Improved waste separation will be another visible sign at the METSTRADE show as the RAI makes good on its strategic promise to 'be one of the visible frontrunners in the field of sustainability in the conference and event industry in Europe.

IBI News:


The Royal Southern Yacht Club is extremely proud to have been announced as the 'overwhelming winner' of the Sailing Today 'Yacht Club of the Year' Award 2015, sponsored by Rolly Tasker Sails.

Sailing Today is published by Chelsea Magazines and is a sister publication to Yachts & Yachting and Classic Boat magazines.The magazine launched its own awards earlier in the Summer to recognise the best the marine industry and the cruising world have to offer.

The Royal Southern was nominated for this Award by Marketing & Media consultant Peta Stuart-Hunt who mounted a strong campaign using social media. Once shortlisted, this was supported by the Club's own membership to garner votes.


As part of Nautor's continued commitment to the North American market, the Finnish company is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Stearns as a representative for Nautor's Swan.

Based in Chicago, with a long-standing track record in yachting, Stearns brings a wealth of experience to the team and opens up a new region previously uncharted by Nautor.

The Great Lakes area is well known for sailing and important events such as the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, making it an ideal new territory for Swan particularly following on from the recent launch of the Swan 54, a true bluewater Swan, and the ClubSwan 50.

Featured Brokerage
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email : Web :

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