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

IDEC Sport Will Cross The Equator Tonight
Francis Joyon and his crew of five have slowed down in the Doldrums, but are already making their way out. The time to get to the Equator will therefore be more or less five days. Or in other words fifteen hours or so better than the current record time for this stretch.

"We're still ahead? About 200 miles? That's good. The lads will be pleased." On the phone this lunchtime, Francis Joyon's first thoughts were for his crew, who have been hard at work since last night, when IDEC SPORT entered the Doldrums. The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone has lived up to its reputation: alternating between calms and very strong squalls with winds varying horribly in direction and strength.

This part of the voyage is always feared by sailors. The big, red trimaran wasn't spared. An extremely violent squall for example forced them to furl the big gennaker quickly and make their way through this dark area without any headsail in a lightning storm and in torrential rain. "The crew were running around in every direction on the deck. It was surrealistic," Francis Joyon told us.

So it looks more than ever likely they will smash the 5 days and 15 hours that it previously took to get to the Equator from Ushant.

At 1600hrs on Thursday 26th November, after 4 days and 14 hours at sea, IDEC SPORT is accelerating again and sailing at 23.1 knots at 03°20 North and 27°52 West, in the middle of the Atlantic. Bearing: south (192°). Distance to the Equator: 200 miles. Lead over the record pace: 207.8 miles.

RORC Transatlantic Race: Northerly Route Likely For The Start
Gerald Bibot's Belgian 42ft catamaran, Zed 6 is likely to be one of the first yachts to finish the 3,000 nautical mile race and will be hoping to win the Multihull Class after MOCRA time correction. Racing with Gerald will be Michel Kleinjans, who has set numerous world records, including the Round Britain and Ireland and Round Ireland races.

Gerald Bibot is the founder of Great Circle which produces the weather prediction and routing programme Squid. One of the features of Squid is Ensemble Modelling, running 20 related but different analytical models and then synthesizing these results into a single spread in order to improve the accuracy of predictive analytics.

"By slightly changing the conditions that have been forecast we can produce different scenarios, which offset possible errors in the data. This has been a major step forward in meteorology in the last 10 years. Great Circle considers these ensemble probabilistic models as the better way to forecast long range weather routing and this is particularly true when high pressure is forecast on the route, as it will be for the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race. Over the past few days, the probability of a high pressure system coming across the course has been increasing. So the trick will be whether you run north or south of the high pressure," says Gerald Bibot.

"What is now clear is that it is very likely that the fleet will head west north west to a point about 200 miles west of Madeira, as 19 out of 20 ensemble models are suggesting this. Then the decision will be to continue in a westerly direction or to head south on the traditional great circle route. We know that there will be a high pressure system west of the Canary Islands, but what we don't know is how big it will be and how long it will remain in place. This high pressure ridge will make a big difference to the race because the boats will have to go around it, adding more miles to cover."

Fleet tracker

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Crosshaven Round the world racing teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in 2008. There are several reasons for that. First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as freezing winds snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of the following new National Records, all established at Luderitz, NAM during October and November 2015: For further details visit the WSSR Website

CRO - Boris Vujasinovic
FIJ - Andrew Redfern
FRA - Antoine Albeau
GBR - Farrel O'Shea
GER - Christian Bornemann
ITA - Patrik Diethelm

CZE National Kitesurf Record: Martin Hulinsky

John Reed
Secretary to thye WSSR Council

Clipper Race: Finish Line Beckons For Final Two Teams
The Wardan Whip produced the tightest finish of the Clipper 2015-16 Race so far, when after twenty-five days and 4,850 nautical miles of racing. Mission Performance and IchorCoal were neck and neck on the approach to Albany. In the end it was Mission Performance which crossed the line first at 1005 UTC (1805 local time), swiftly followed by IchorCoal at 1007 UTC.

There were three more arrivals into Host Port Albany in the last 24 hours, namely Da Nang - Viet Nam at 1340 UTC which finished in eighth place,Visit Seattle in ninth at 1726 UTC and PSP Logistics in tenth at 2356 UTC.

Unicef is the remaining boat racing after ClipperTelemed+ took the decision to retire and accept twelfth place to avoid spending days in the centre of a high pressure system with extremely light winds almost 1000 nautical miles from the finish, which would have further delayed its arrival into Australia.

As of 0900 UTC Unicef is 84 nautical miles from the finish line and sailing at a speed of 9.4 knots, so it is expected in Albany between 2000-0000 UTC.

At 421 nautical miles from the finish line and traveling at 8.4 knots,ClipperTelemed+ is expected to arrive on Saturday 28 November.

Race 4, the Elliot Brown Timekeeper Cup to Sydney gets underway on Tuesday 1 December.

Scott Extends But Fabian Pic Wins The Third Day At Finn Gold Cup
Giles Scott (GBR) extends his lead at the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna to 18 points after two more races were sailed on the Hauraki Gulf. Deniss Karpak (EST) won the first race of the day to move up to second, while a great day for Tapio Nirkko (FIN) leaves him in third overnight. However the performance of the day went to Fabian Pic (FRA), who followed up a second place in the first race with a race win in the second.

It was a long day on the water in Takapuna. The day started with a postponement on shore, but when the fleet was sent out towards Rangitoto, the wind died and clocked, so the course was moved back to the Takapuna side. It was mid-afternoon before the first race got away after a few false starts. Eventually two races were managed out of the three were originally scheduled. The fleet didn't come ashore until past 18.00.

Racing continues Friday with three races scheduled again. With more wind forecast by some, hopefully the championship will get back on track.

Top ten after five races
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 13 points
2. Deniss Karpak, EST, 31
3. Tapio Nirkko, FIN, 31
4. Edward Wright, GBR, 37
5. Fabian Pic, FRA, 41
6. Milan Vujasinovic, CRO, 43
7. Ben Cornish, GBR, 46
8. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 48
9. Vasilij Zbogar, SLO, 49
10. Caleb Paine, USA, 51

Extreme 40 Racing Catamaran Marstrom Composites 2009
Extreme 40 Fleet for Sale

Length: 40'
Hull Material: Composite
Current Price: On application

With the Extreme Sailing Series™ adopting a new boat for 2016, there is a unique opportunity to purchase a fleet of up to 10 Extreme 40 catamarans as a set, or individually, that are priced to sell.

Superfast, exciting to sail and to watch, the Extreme 40 catamaran was developed by TornadoSport in 2005 to bring sailing to the public on short courses in stadium settings.

Built in carbon-fibre, these "flying machines" are 40ft long and have a beam of 23ft. They have a top speed of around 40 knots. Complete with sails, shipping container, with spares and road container negotiable, these well-maintained boats could offer excellent corporate entertainment or activation around another race campaign.

Available from mid-December to ship from Europe/Australia/GCC.

Please contact

New Boat Builds
From Seahorse magazine in cooperation with the Spinlock Special Projects Team

Botin HPR 40

Botin HPR 40

Marcelo Botín enters the HPR market... Good for the designers and similarly good for HPR.

Designer - Botin Partners
Builder - McConaghy Boats
First Launch - May 2013


Ker 33

Ker 33

Expect the new Ker 33 to be every bit as successful as the previous Ker IRC 40. With three double berths this new IRC/ORC design offers dual-purpose use while a two-part mast saves on transport. At least three boats sold to date.

Designer: Ker Designn
Builder - McConaghy Boats
First Launch: 2014


C&C30 OD

C&C30 OD

Twin backstays to allow a larger square-top main help to distinguish this foxy new addition to the 30ft market.

Designer: US Watercraft
Builder: Mark Mills
First Launch: April 2014


Premier 45

Premier 45

The next generation of stylish performance cruiser, with generous and stable handling characteristics.

Designer: Botin & Carkeek
Builder: Premier Composites
First Launch: July 2011

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: I largely agree with Roger Marshall. We undertook some tests with a Clipper 68 4 years ago, using a 75 Kg dummy, and it was alarming to discover that when on the long tether, secured to the front of the Life Jacket, the dummy floated face downwards at 2-3 knots. This will lead to drowning very quickly as the nose and mouth are exposed to the inflowing water. On the short tether the body is largely clear of the water.

The Clipper solution is to throw the boat aback immediately someone goes overside so the "casualty" can hang on vertically until recovered. There is no time to drop the sails.

Recovery does present a problem with a high freeboard. Our solution was to put another person overside on a halyard with the helicopter strop on a second halyard, and put it around the casualty who probably has cold hands and would have difficulty tying a rope around themselves. However we found it necessary to remove the automatic inflator from the rescuers life jacket as it was very hard to manoeuvre the strop if the Life jacket had inflated.

To speed up recovery, all the Clipper Life Jackets now have a becket on the front, and the rescuer goes overside with another halyard with a large hook on the end. The hook is easily placed through the becket and the halyard wound in so that recovery is speedy. All Clipper crews are now trained to do this, and on the real occasions it has been used, 3 times in 20 years, it has worked quickly and successfully.

* From John Waugh: I agree with the findings of Roger Marshall re being towed face first with a harness. However, as a person who has frequently been towed behind yachts for pleasure in the somewhat warmer climes of northern New Zealand, may I suggest a possible solution, put the harness fastening on the top back of the life jacket. Being towed backwards in this way creates an air space around the face and one is able to breathe. There may be some issues related to life jacket construction and ease of unclipping with this idea but it may be a solution to this problem.

* From Brent Isaacson: As a teenager I was performing tricks on a single waterski at 13 knots when I fell. My free leg became entangled in the ski row and I was towed along underwater. Luckily I was able to get a few fingers above the surface which were seen by the observer and they stopped the boat. The force pinning me underwater was tremendous.

The thought of falling overboard at 15 knots, let alone double that speed horrifies me. The jerk on a harness attached to your chest would break you in half.

Anyone who waterskis knows the tremendous wrench to your arms of you don't let go the ski handle as you fall.

Perhaps safety lines need a shock fuse so that you are connected to the boat as long as that is a safe option but which releases you if the jerk on the line would otherwise be deadly.

* From Malcolm van Rooyen: Councillor Letts has nothing to be upset about as Southampton turned its back on yachting events. It gave up on the BT Around the World, also the Volvo Around the World etc etc. it also gave up the Balloon Festival all in favour of Cruise Ships and Container ships - and now he feels aggrieved !

Go figure Southampton has not done anything to attract tourism other than provide berthing for Cruise Ships that bring the city to a standstill as 4,000 plus passengers get off and 4,000 plus passenger get on. How many support the area ? Very few.

Councillor Letts should look at Southampton's decisions before feeling let down.

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The Last Word
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life... It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. -- Melody Beattie

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