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

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Josse Takes Line Honours In The Transat Saint-Barth / Port-La-Foret
On crossing the finish line off the Linuen Est mark, at the entrance of Port la Foret harbour, this Wednesday 16 December, at 20hr 18mn 17s GMT, the skipper of IMOCA60 Edmond de Rothschild won the transatlantic race in style after dominating proceedings from beginning to end, only giving up the head of the race for the first six hours to SMA skipper Paul Meilhat.

His race time is 10d 05hr 18mn 17s. and his average speed along the great circle route (3,375 miles) equates to 13.76 knots. He covered some 3773 miles over the ground at a speed of 15.38 knots. In so doing, he qualifies for the Vendee Globe 2016.

Rankings on 16 December at 22h (UTC) and ETAs in Port-la-Foret

1. Edmond de Rothschild, Sebastien Josse: Finished on 16 December 2015 at 21h 18' 17" - Winner in 10 days 5h 18' and 17"
2. Newrest / Matmut, Fabrice Amedeo, 818.3 nm. ETA potentially Saturday 19/12 am
3. Currency House Kilcullen, Enda O'Coinnen, 1098.0 nm. ETA potentially Sunday 20/15
4. Le Souffle du Nord, Thomas Ruyant, 1128.4 nm
5. O Canada, Eric Holden, 1190.2 nm
6. Safran, Morgan Lagravirre, 1210.5 nm
Abd. SMA, Paul Meilhat

Emirates Team New Zealand Launch On Water Testing Program
Emirates Team New Zealand ticked off another major milestone of their 35th America's Cup today, launching the first test boat in Auckland today.

The silver and red boat is formerly Luna Rossa's AC45 test boat, which has been loaned to the Emirates Team New Zealand by the Italian syndicate.

While it is an exciting occasion for the team having the boat touch the water, the reality is it will take a few days to perform systems tests and gear checks before the real testing begins.

The goal over the next few months for the test boat is to run through an immensely structured testing program with the sailors and designers implementing their learning's and development into the next test boat due out early next year.

The launch of the boat caps off what has been a quietly successful year for the team.

"Our year has been a solid one," continued Shoebridge. "We have been quietly grafting away in the background, our sailors have been performing leading the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, we have signed some significant sponsorship deals, our designers have been relentlessly developing and refining, we have moved our entire operational base, Pete and Blair have been named the ISAF sailors of the year, and now we have our initial test boat on the water."

Hot Rides For Charter, Win Team Tech Shirts!
St. Thomas International Regatta St. Thomas International Regatta, March 25-27, 2016

Picture yourself holding a prize on the Caribbean's only over-the-water awards podium!"

This is your chance at the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), March 25-27, 2016. No worries if you can't bring-your-own boat or don't want to sail in a bareboat class. Companies on both sides of the pond have sleek sailing yachts available to charter in St. Thomas.

RegattaCharters.Pro, based in Ibiza, Spain, boasts a choice of a TP 52, Farr 60, Maxi One Design 80, VOR 70, Maxi 100, Shamlor 67, Stimson IRC 42, Saona 44, Swan 46, Swan 56, Swan 65 and Swan 90. OnDeck Ocean Racing in Antigua is chartering its First 40.7, Spirit of Athena (equipped with new carbon main and jib) and Farr 65, Spirit of June by the crew slot and its First 40.7 and Fast 42 by the boat. Contact details available at:

Now, how about a chance to show your team colors on the podium?

"In an effort to encourage early entries, we're offering a chance for teams that register early to win a chance to outfit their crew with customized long sleeved tech shirts with the boats name on the front," says regatta director Chuck Pessler.

Simply register for STIR online at Early registration is only US $250 up until January 31, 2016. On the last day of November, December and January, one entry each month will be selected at random from among all entries to date.

"The earlier you register, the more chances you have to win!' says Pessler.

To date, two Gunboat 60s - Arethusa and Fault Tolerant, nearly a dozen VXOne's, ten home-grown one-design IC-24s and more are registered, with sailors hailing from the Caribbean, U.S., Europe and Australia.

For more info:, Email , Call: (340) 642-3204.

Super 12's - Bruce Farr On The San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge
Crews will compete in late July 2017 for one of the biggest cash prizes in sailing when a $500,000 purse gets split among the top three crews, in the San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge.

Conceived in early 2015, largely out of frustration over the direction of the 35th America's Cup, the San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge will feature a new class of yacht, the Super 12.

The new class and event are an attempt to recapture one of the great eras of America's Cup racing. The new event will feature an updated 12 Metre, an eclectic crew, and a mix of fleet and match racing, plus an undertaking that all crews will continues racing at some level in the regatta right through to the final day. There will be no early showers for the Super 12 crews participating in the San Francisco regatta.

The yachts will be a strict one design, composite construction by a single US builder.

Leading the design brief development is Bruce Farr. Now retired, Farr is acting as a consultant and emissary on the project, listening, and talking with various owners and parties interested in being involved in the Super12's. His former company Farr Yacht Design handles the detailed design development and structural engineering of the new yacht.

As well as being involved in the Super 12 class, noted designer Bruce Farr was one of the working party of designers who formulated the ACC (monohull) rule in the early 1990's Event Media

Farr is a logical choice, having been one of the Kiwi design trio who came up with the first fibreglass 12 Metres, back in the mid-1980's. The then New Zealand Challenge built three fibreglass 12 Metres. Today, all three are still in good condition and 30 years later are still being actively raced.

Farr says the-the design concept with the 'Super 12" is to give the appearance of a 12 Metre above the waterline, and to a large degree in the rig - with some obvious improvements. 'Below the water it is, modern as you can within the constraints,' he adds. -- Richad Gladwell in

SYRF's Wide Light Project Report Published
The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) is pleased to announce the publication of reports on its landmark study of the hydrodynamics of offshore high performance boats. Dubbed the Wide Light Project as a description of the type of hull form studied, the final report was written by project leader Andy Claughton of Land Rover BAR and is available now on the SYRF website .

The project report and the data generated by this study are available in the SYRF Technical Resources Library, a unique online repository of research papers, articles and technical data related to the study of performance sailing.

The Wide Light study's purpose was to provide insight into the accuracy of existing modeling methods in predicting the performance of typical Wide-Light designs. It is intended for this information to better inform and equip handicapping systems and box rules to address these designs.

Supermaxi Wild Oats XI Is A "Totally Different Animal"
Wild Oats before and after. Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image to enlarge.

Wild Oats The dramatically modified supermaxi yacht, Wild Oats XI, was a "totally different animal" according to skipper, Mark Richards, after the yacht had completed the 24-hour qualifying run for this month's Rolex Sydney Hobart race.

"She just lifts her bow and goes like she's never gone before," an enthused Richards added. "It's still early days, but I think we've got the yacht we wanted."

Richards and his 18-man crew had pushed the 30-metre-long sloop as hard as possible during the trial that took the yacht onto the open ocean off Sydney, and across the smooth waters of Sydney Harbour.

The near 300 nautical mile passage was the first solid test for Wild Oats XI since she was re-launched ten days ago following "surgery" which saw the hull almost cut in half and a new, 14-metre long, bow section fitted. It was a carefully calculated modification which it is hoped will lead to Wild Oats XI leading the 110 yacht fleet into Hobart for the ninth time in 11 starts in the 628 nautical mile Hobart classic, which starts on Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

Her next test will come in the Solas Big Boat Challenge, a Hobart race curtain-raiser which will be staged on Sydney Harbour starting at 12.30pm tomorrow.

The modifications to Wild Oats XI came as a result of a "think tank" involving owner, Bob Oatley AO, and his son Sandy, the yacht's original designer, John Reichel, of the American company Reichel-Pugh, Mark Richards, representatives from the builders, McConaghy Boats, and key members of the crew.

Richards said that the new, more buoyant forward sections of the hull, combined with the larger and more powerful sails the champion yacht can now carry, had contributed to a noticeable increase in speed on almost every point of sailing. However, he was quick to add that Wild Oats XI's arch rivals for line honours in the Hobart race - the American yachts Comanche (Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clarke) and Rambler 88 (George David), plus local entries Perpetual Loyal (Anthony Bell) and Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer) - would be hard to beat to Hobart, especially if they get strong cross-wind reaching conditions. -- Rob Mundle

The Fleet Gathers
The fleet of 110 international yachts is in the final stage of preparations for the 71st edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which will start on Saturday, 26 December in Sydney Harbour.

Teams from 28 nations are gathering at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the Race Village in the lead up to this iconic race, one of the highlights of the Australian sporting and social calendar.

Earlier this week, in a preliminary battle of the big boats, Wild Oats XI, took on the likes of Ragamuffin 100, Perpetual Loyal and Rambler 88. Racing was extremely close over the 14 Nautical Mile course, but it was Bob and Sandy Oatley's rebuilt Maxi that came out ahead reiterating that the record holder will be one to watch during this edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart. As will the JPK 10.80 Courrier Leon, skippered by Frenchman Gery Trentesaux.

"I am now 57 and it is important for me to enjoy a couple of great races around the world every year. The Rolex Sydney Hobart was already on our schedule but of course with our overall win of the Rolex Fastnet Race, I was extremely motivated to put together a strong team for this race. Our crew includes Alexis Loison, winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 and Michel Quintin, a former Windsurfing World Champion," said Trentesaux, the two-time veteran of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia was founded in 1944 and is the organiser of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which will start on Boxing Day at 1300 local time.

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

Seahorse Magazine

A sport of idiosyncracies - Part 1
Was there ever a more illustrious guest list? Dobbs Davis is introduced to the Pewaukee Blue Chip and goes sailing amid the corn fields

ISAF column
Young, old and just plain genius... gold medallist Malcolm Page on the Sailing Hall of Fame

IRC Column
It's all about the sort of 'fast' that we want to be encouraging. James Dadd

Design - Lighter and lighter
Jason Ker led the way towards a new era of lighter mid-sized IRC racers and now he's doing it all over again. Plus IRC-ORCi... not so different

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Industry News
Summer 2016 will see the world's biggest annual solo yacht race come to Cowes, with the town council and Visit Isle of Wight hoping it will mean a big boost for the tourist trade.

The Solitaire du Figaro will bring 45 top solo offshore sailors racing in 33ft Figaro Beneteau II boats across the Channel waters in June.

Cowes is to be confirmed as the UK's only race stopover during the Paris Boat Show today (Friday).

Organisers say the event was worth more than half-a-million pounds in media coverage both here and abroad to last year's English hosts, Torbay.

They hope around 20,000 people will visit Cowes and the economic benefits to the Island could reach £2 million.

Organisers of the Island bid OC Sport, of East Cowes, plan to run five days of family entertainment, including live music in a race village, while UKSA will offer people the chance to sail.

Cowes was awarded the event after numerous organisations, including the town council, raised a combined total of £100,000 in cash and kind, as part of Destination Cowes.


To meet the demands of expansion, Petticrows Ltd - builders of world class one-design racing yachts and Olympic Finn dinghies - is relocating to new premises.

As from 1 January 2016, Petticrows Ltd will trade from Dammerwick Business Park, just two kilometres from its current site on the east coast at Burnham-on-Crouch.

The new purpose-designed development will allow for more efficient structuring of production, and is more conveniently located for road and rail links.

The move will also help Petticrows strengthen its recently formed partnership with Rannoch Adventure to build cutting edge ocean rowing boats in association with Charlie Pitcher - solo trans-Atlantic crossing world record holder. 

Tim Tavinor - Petticrows Managing Director - commenting on the move said: "It is very exciting to set up new premises because it has given us the opportunity to restructure and modernise our working environment.

Petticrows Ltd new address (as from 1 January 2016)

Office Unit 6, Workshops Units 13 and 14
Dammerwick Business Park
Marsh Road

All telephone and e-mail addresses remain unchanged.


The Spanish trade association ANEN has announced that the Fourth Nautical Summit (Congreso Nautico) will be held from 9-10 March 2016 at the Telefonica Tower in Barcelona.

The event will focus on the latest development in the leisure marine industry in Spain, including an update on market trends, the profile of the consumer and business development opportunities.

ANEN will announce details of the programme in due course.


On the 4th of December at the Groupama Team France stand at the Paris Boat Show, Dominique Dubois, CEO of the Carboman Group, signed the contract to build two catamarans for the French Challenger for the 35th America's Cup, which will take place in Bermuda in 2017 AC45 and AC50

This signature followed discussions that has started last September between Bruno Dubois, Groupama Team France General Manager, and the Multiplast yard.

The production of the AC45 Turbo and the AC50 will be shared between two of the group's entities : Decision S.A. in Switzerland and Multiplast in France


Spanish marine industry association ANEN has announced that the charter sector is up 38.3% in 2015. The increase follows a tax exemption in place since October 2013.

According to data released by ANEN, issued in conjunction with the Spanish association of superyachts (AEGY), registration of yachts for charter was up 56.7% in 2014 and 38.3% in the 10 months to November 2015. The data is based on a report from the Spanish maritime authority.

In addition, AEGY has released a study that shows an increase in the number of 24m-plus yachts registered for charter, from 52 in 2014 to 86 in 2015. The study also show that the charter market in the Balearics generated €22.9m in this period.

ANEN and AEGY concluded that the impact of the charter market in Spain could be greater with a legal framework similar to that of other markets in Europe.

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 Eddie Mays: I read with some sadness in today's (16th) edition that Jamie Wilkinson is to be replaced as Race Director for the Hamble Winter Series.

I had the privilege, and I don't use the word lightly, to work with Jamie for seven years as his Administrator for the Series in the late 90's & early 00's when entry levels were always over 250 boats and even reached 285 one year. His knowledge of what makes a good series, both on & off the water, was outstanding and a great education to me.

I wish the 2016 edition of the Series well. 'The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on' etc.

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The Last Word
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