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

Lobert And Zbogar Secure Long Awaited Finn Gold Cup Medals
Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) secured their first ever Finn Gold Cup medals today after a tough medal race in Takapuna, New Zealand, which closed the 2015 Finn World Championships on the Hauraki Gulf.

With Giles Scott (GBR) already the runaway winner, the focus on Sunday was the two minor medals and the fourth 2016 Olympic qualification place.

The forecast was the worst of any day so far this week, and at the morning briefing the PRO Ian Clouston emphasised the race committee's policy of "a fair race or no race". The fleet was sent out on time, only to be sent back in an hour later and then back out later for a 14.00 start. However in spite of an 8-10 knot wind in place by then, it was still looking patchy so after a short postponement, the decision was taken to send in the fleet and send out the top 10 for the medal race.

This meant that the fourth place available here for Rio 216 went to Uruguay and Alejandro Foglia (URU).

The wind stabilised for the medal race and was an incredibly close fight

Final results (medal race in brackets)
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 48 (8)
2. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 93 (4)
3. Vasilij Zbogar, SLO, 112 (6)
4. Andrew Murdoch, NZL, 112 (9)
5. Max Salminen, SWE, 113 (7)
6. Pieter-Jan Postma, NED, 119 (1)
7. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 125 (5)
8. Edward Wright, GBR, 135 (2)
9. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 40 (3)
10. Tapio Nirkko, FIN, 14 (10)

Full results

Spindrift Returns To Speed Off The Brazilian Coast
At dawn on her eighth day at sea, the maxi-trimaran was situated off the coast of Salvador de Bahia, heading south after a small change of tack to take them slightly east of the course followed by the current Jules Verne Trophy holder.

Spindrift 2 had lost some ground on the record due to the lack of wind for 24 hours, but the wind came back at around midday, with wind speeds currently averaging 20 knots. The crew hope to take advantage of an area of low pressure that has developed off the coast of Argentina to increase their lead and enter the famous Roaring Forties.

16:00 UTC : 80 miles ahead of the current Jules Verne record holder
Distance covered from the start: 4244 miles
Average speed over 24 hours: 11,4 knots

IDEC Sport Has Crossed The Equator In 05 Days And 01 Hour
IDEC SPORT crossed the Equator on Friday 27th November at 03:03:52 UTC. Francis Joyon and his crew of five took 5 days 01 hour 52 seconds to sail from Ushant to the line separating the two hemispheres. They are more than half a day ahead of the record.

After making their way through the Doldrums in around fifteen hours, IDEC Sport is already in the South Atlantic and in record time, as 13 hours 55 minutes and 18 seconds less than the reference time set by Loick Peyron and his men in 2011 (5 days, 14 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds).

More than / almost half a day ahead at this intermediate point, this is good news for Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm (SUI), Gwenole Gahinet (FRA), Alex Pella (ESP), Clement Surtel (FRA) and Boris Herrmann (GER). So far, their attempt to smash the Jules Verne Trophy Record has gone perfectly well.

To take the Jules Verne Trophy record, IDEC SPORT has to be back across the line before 1544hrs on Wednesday 6th January.

131 And Counting...Entries Climbing For 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West Race Week The number of entries to the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week has exceeded 100, indicating one of the strongest early turnouts in years to this mainstay on the international sailing calendar held over January 17-22, 2016. Currently there are 16 classes organized: nine one-design and seven monohull and multihull classes racing under handicap. This indicates a diverse range of boat types attracted to race in the winter sun in Key West, with teams from 10 nations represented among the entries thusfar.

One design classes include the following: Melges 24's (16 entries), J/70's (38 entries), J/80's (5 entries), Farr 280's (5 entries), J/88's (8 entries), C&C 30's (11 entries), J/111's (9 entries), and J/122's (2 entries).

Among the handicap classes, IRC 0, 1 and 2 have thus far attracted 15 committed entries, and the three new class offered at this year's event are also gaining interest: ORC Club (14 entries), Multihulls (2 entries) and Performance Cruisers (7 entries).

Besides providing the best in race management on the water, organizers from the Storm Trysail Club will enhance the shoreside experience for all entries with afternoon seminars, evening prizegivings and social events, and full logistic support through their partners and vendors on the unique ambience offered by time spent in Old Town Key West.

For more information and to enter 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week, visit

RORC Transatlantic Race: Tactics, Speed And Damage
Only the second day into the RORC Transatlantic Race and race tactics, unbelievable speed and boat damage have already added to the story. Gonzalo Botin's Spanish Class 40, Tales II, diverted into Tenerife last night. All four crew are fine but they have sustained damage to their port rudder and need to weld the problem before the Spanish team continue racing. Meanwhile Mike Gascoyne's British Class 40 Silvi Belle 2 has been eating up the miles. Mike knows all about unplanned pit-stops having spent 30 years in Formula One and expects Tales II to come roaring out of Tenerife. Tales II showed extraordinary pace at the start and will be looking to chase down Silvi Belle 2 once they get back out on the race track.

Despite the northerly route looking to be the most favoured option at the start, the two MOD 70s, Phaedo3 and Concise 10 turned south after passing Tenerife shortly after dusk on the first day, Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson chose a line to stay off Tenerife, whilst Tony Lawson's Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield gybed south earlier and played the Tenerife coast, presumably looking for acceleration in the wind.

Gerald Bibot & Michel Kleinjans contacted the RORC Race Team this morning to report their position by satellite phone from Zed 6. The Belgian catamaran is the most northerly of the fleet and after less than 24 hours racing, there is 300 miles of weather gauge between Zed 6 and the MOD 70s to the south. The two extreme tactics will play out interestingly as their courses converge on the other side of the ocean and time correction is applied for Gerald's smaller, less powerful boat.

Para World Sailing Championships - Perfect Melbourne Conditions
Melbourne's run of perfect sailing conditions continued on the bay for races three and four of the Para World Sailing Championships out of Williamstown's Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

The breeze was generally southerly, starting at around eight knots and steadily building to approximately 12 knots towards the end of the second race.

Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS) in the SKUD18 and Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) in the Sonar retained their lead whilst Germany's Heiko Kroeger made a move to top spot in the 2.4mR.

The 2.4mR course was again the centre of the action. With forty eight evenly matched boats fighting for position at every mark rounding, there is action a-plenty and judges have been kept busy with protests at the conclusion of racing.

A feature of the second race today was the performance of the German champion, Heiko Kroeger, who seemed hopelessly buried in a mass of boats on the final rounding of the windward mark but in a masterful display of downwind sailing, skirted around the bunch on the northern side to record a very creditable fourth place to retain his place at the head of the leader board with 10 points, three ahead of Frenchman Damien Seguin, who finished today's program with fifth and first placings.

Racing is once again scheduled to commence at 13:00 local on 30 November. -- Bernie Kaaks, ISAF

Full results

Event website -

Young, Old And Just Plain Genius...
Gold medallist Malcolm Page on the Sailing Hall of Fame

In every sport there are incredible stories to be told. From individuals who achieve their dreams with heroic effort, to those who have the simple pleasure of encouraging others to enjoy a sport and get them to the starting line. Within these stories are achievements that sometimes seem beyond the usual realms of possibility.

World sailing has seven new Hall of Fame inductees to honour at our 2015 conference. These individuals have all made a significant impact on the water, but also with their remarkable attitudes and dedication to sailing have had a similar influence onshore. They have in their own way helped shape the sport we enjoy today.

This year's inductees:

Dennis Conner
Alessandra Sensini
Harold Vanderbilt (1884-1970)
Sir Peter Blake (1948-2001)
Buddy Melges
Valentin Mankin (1938-2014)
Torben Grael

Bios and more in Seahorse magazine:

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Returns To Portsmouth 21-24 July 2016.
ACWS Portsmouth Early bird tickets are on sale now - find out more

What's on offer?

The Race Village - Be part of the action. Part of the crew.
Get under the skin of the 'America's Cup' - see the sailors close-up, learn about the racing and the technology. Experience the exhilarating boats racing, with live commentary and big screens giving a blow-by-blow account as the teams reach incredible speeds.

The 'Race Village' includes:

- Team Zone - see the sailors close-up
- Main stage with world class MC's.
- Dock out/in show with the sailors.
- Large screens and audio commentary
- America's Cup technology zone
- Dedicated kid's zone, retail outlets and food & drink offerings.

The Race Village + Premier Grandstand Seating
Upgrade your 'Race Village' ticket with a dedicated grandstand seat for the day. The Premier Grandstand offers fantastic views of the racing with live audio race commentary.

The Sailors Lounge
A 'pop-up sailing club' dedicated to those who want the full sporting experience. The package includes a dedicated premier grandstand seat, private 'sports' bar, lunch and drinks voucher, 'Race Village' queue jump, special guest speakers and live screen with audio commentary broadcasting the racing.

Burling and Tuke Make History With New Zealand Sailing's Top Honour
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have taken New Zealand's top Award in the sport of sailing for the third consecutive year and are now among the most celebrated sailors in New Zealand.

Burling and Tuke, who currently have an international strangle-hold over the Olympic 49er skiff class, were tonight named the winners of the 2015 Executive Travel Group Sailor of the Year at the prestigious Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards.

Their names will now feature on the historic Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy, (first presented back in 1963) for three consecutive years - 2013, 2014 and 2015 - a feat not achieved by any other individual or crew in New Zealand sailing history.

Earlier this month the pair took out the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of outstanding achievements in the world of sailing, when named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year for 2015.

This was before they went on to take victory at their pinnacle event for the year. Burling and Tuke won the 2015 49er World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 21st and became the only 49er sailors to ever win three consecutive world titles in the Olympic skiff class. -- Jodie Bakewell-White

"Sea Organ" Makes Haunting Music With Ocean Waves
Croatian architect Nikola Basic has created a beautiful piece of architecture that merges the modern city with nature and playfulness.

His incredible "Sea Organ" graces the coast of Zadar in Croatia. The city was heavily bombed throughout the Second World War by British and American planes. As the war ended, a rushed reconstruction of the city took place, causing many of the once-loved spaces to enjoy the coast's natural beauty to fall into neglect. Basic wanted to design something that could bring life to the desolate concrete and return the creativity that the destruction of war lost.

The musical jetty was finished in 2005 and covers a stretch more than 70 meters (230 feet) long. The work was only made possible by drawing on experts from many different fields, from engineers, craftsmen, and even a professor of music who tuned the pipes correctly.

As varying strengths of waves and wind enter these spaces, air is pushed through a series of 35 polyethylene tubes of different diameters. At the end of each pipe is a whistle, tuned to play seven chords of five different tones.

In 2006, the piece was the joint winner of the 2006 European Prize for Urban Public Space which described it as the "perfect grandstand for watching the sunset over the sea."

Turning The Chase Boat Virtual
It used to be so easy. Instruments were rudimentary, so most of what could be gained came from an experienced and knowledgeable eye. The 1980s era America's Cup boat travelled almost everywhere at about seven or eight miles an hour, so all you needed was a seaworthy chase boat (as they came to be called) capable of maybe 10mph.

Inevitably, it was technology that turned up the complexity dial. The sailing instruments onboard Cup boats got better and radio data telemetry meant that designers, coaches and performance analysts could sit at a computer screen onboard the chase boat, watch the sailing and see the data all at the same time. So the chase boats got bigger, more substantial and more comfortable as a result, but a solid, seaworthy, converted fishing boat would still do the job. Not any more.

There aren't too many powerboats - never mind fishing boats - that can do 50mph; but that's what's required to keep up with a modern foiling, flying America's Cup Class boat. There are even fewer that can do that speed while people sit comfortably working at computers, and those that can will measure their fuel consumption in gallons per minute rather than miles per gallon.

It was clear from very early in the planning of Land Rover BAR's sailing programme that a different approach would be required. Enter the virtual chase boat. The concept was simple enough; the data would be transmitted directly ashore rather than to an accompanying boat.

Mark Chisnell's full article:

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 Butch Dalrymple Smith: John Waugh's admirable suggestion of a towing becket on the back of a safety harness would make even more sense if the line is also attached to the conventional front D-ring with a seizing. This would allow the wearer to have the convenience of a tether attached to the front while working on deck but if he falls overboard he (or she) could cut the seizing and be safely towed on his back until the mother ship is brought under control. In this position the casualty would even be able to clip a halyard to the front becket of his harness while being towed. Perhaps the seizing could be made so it would break naturally with the snatch load of falling overboard so even an unconscious person would be saved from drowning.

* From John Burnie: Following the tragic accident in an offshore race I believe the RORC prescriptions now require lifejacket tethers to have two attachment lengths (one long / one short). The excellent correspondence submitted on this topic implies to me is that it has been recognised that crew need to be hooked on so not only do they not go overboard but preferably they do not completely fall in the water and get dragged along.

I have raced an Orma 60 trimaran offshore and our crew aimed to be attached so we could not actually fall in the water - not always easy - but short tethers helped. At speeds of 25-30kts we also surmised that it would probably be better not to be hooked at all on if you were unlucky enough to fall into the water. If that had happened and you were dragged behind at high speed we were divided in opinion as to whether it would be better if the lifejacket inflated or not. Unfortunately during such a wet ride hydrostatic inflation devices had to be disabled anyway - something I trust life vest manufacturers have or will improve in view of how wet so many performance yachts have become.

Featured Brokerage: 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

The Last Word
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. -- Sinclair Lewis

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka

Robline Ropes


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week