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

LMAX Exchange Pips Great Britain By 42 Seconds
The tightest battle of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race so far came right down to the final seconds as LMAX Exchange claimed an incredibly narrow victory over constant rival GREAT Britain in the Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race.

Just 42 seconds separated the teams which crossed Airlie Beach's Pioneer Bay Finish Line at 2137.18 local time (1137.18 UTC) and 2138.00 (1138 UTC) after spending the past 48 hours locked in battle, match racing within close sight of each other up the tropical Queensland coast.

Garmin finished almost 90 minutes later at 2305 (1305 UTC) to take the third podium in the final race in this All Australian leg which had the most amount of lead and fleet position changes of all six races completed so far.

After completing the gruelling Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Clipper Race fleet departed Tasmania seven days ago to cross Bass Strait for the third time in as many weeks as it headed 1,631 nautical miles north up the Eastern Australian coastline, this time in less punishing conditions than the 50 knot gusting on-the-nose winds faced during their previous races.

The Airlie Beach stopover marks the first time the Clipper Race fleet has ever visited the Whitsundays region in Queensland, world renowned for its tropical coastline and 74 islands right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Clipper Race will depart Australia for Race 7 to Da Nang, Vietnam on Monday 18 January.

Yachting Journalists' Association Awards
Ian Walker was today named YJA Yachtsman of the Year by the Yachting Journalists' Association at a prestigious awards ceremony. Eleanor Poole was named YJA Young Sailor of the Year and famous yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Yachtsman of the Year Award is one of Britain's most coveted sporting trophies and 2015 marks its Diamond Jubilee. Previous winners include Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Ben Ainslie. It's regarded by many as "the knighthood of yachting" and is awarded by the Yachting Journalists' Association.

Ian Walker, from Warsash in Hampshire, became the first British skipper to win the Volvo Ocean Race in the event's 37 year history, when he led Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to victory in the 2014/15 event. Ian and his team also won the in-port race series and set a 24-hour distance record of an incredible 550.82 nautical miles.

Eleanor Poole, from Dunsford in Devon, impressed members of the YJA, by garnering a string of firsts to win the 2015 Topper National championships at the age of 14, as well as securing an impressive seventh at the 2015 Topper World Championship on Lake Garda, Italy.

Mike Peyton, who has been described as 'The world's foremost yachting cartoonist,' was named as the recipient of a special YJA Diamond Jubilee Lifetime Achievement Award. Peyton, who celebrated his 95th birthday on January 8th, has been a unique commentator on the sailing scene for more than 60 years.

Ian Atkins, president of, said: "I was delighted to reveal the winners of the YJA Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the Year awards today. The event marks our second year as sponsors, and we're pleased to be part of this historic event in its 60th year. As a long-time competitive sailor myself, I feel strongly about being involved in a framework that rewards the most deserving yachtsmen. I'd like to say a huge congratulations to both Ian and Eleanor on behalf of"

Dubarry Ultima - Loved by Sailors
Dubarry Ultima It's hard to love a pair of boots. They either do a job or they don't. Some will have great grip and others will send you crashing down to the deck like some slapstick comedian. Some will keep the water out, others will leak like a pair of bespoke footbaths. Some will breathe to keep you comfortable, others will slowly baste your feet in their own sweat. Some will look great, others like you've just escaped from a circus.

Even if you do find a pair that ticks every box, that looks good, grips well and keeps you warm, dry and comfortable, you'd still struggle to love a boot. Unless, of course, it's a Dubarry boot. Take the Ultima, with its blend of rich, supple leather and durable man-made fibres, the hi tech GORE-TEX liner that acts like an air conditioner, the award-winning grip of the sole - yes, those are all there, recognised benchmarks of quality, but what you can't see or touch or smell is the soul. Ultima boots have it in abundance because, like you, they change. They gain experience at sea and improve with age just as surely as you do. That's why sailors love them.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Etchells Australian Championship
Someone very prominent said that it was champagne racing today. He should know, for he has a list of accomplishments the envy of all, and also stands atop the standings after Day Two at the 2016 Etchells Australian Championship. John Bertrand, together with crew Billy Browne and Jake Newman have ensured their boat, Triad, has a four-point buffer over the Racer X outfit from Hong Kong.

Three races, opening with a first, then a fifth and ultimately a fourth place shows the wonderful consistency they are very much known for. From around 1030hrs in the morning they, along with an ever-burgeoning number of craft took to the water for practice and to settle into the very different conditions on offer, relative to yesterday.

It seems very weird to say that everyone was two-boating, where they check their pace directly against another craft, when there were 48 of them out there, but his is exactly what was occurring. If they weren't all fired up from it, then the spectators and media team certainly were.

Racing continues all week and concludes on Friday.

Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 Joins Clean Regattas Program
The Storm Trysail Club is proud to announce that Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 is doing its part to restore ocean health by participating in Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas Program.

Organizers at the Storm Trysail Club, which took over management of Quantum Key West Race Week last year, will implement several measures at this year's regatta with the goal of achieving "Bronze Level" Clean Regattas certification.

"All responsible sailors should do their part to make as little impact as possible on the environment," said John Fisher, chairman of Quantum Key West Race Week 2106. "The Storm Trysail Club believes strongly in the Clean Regatta Program and is committed to doing everything possible to minimize the environmental footprint of our events."

The Storm Trysail Club embraced the Clean Regatta Program this past year by bringing the 50th anniversary edition of Block Island Race Week into compliance. The club unanimously agreed it was a positive step in the right direction and wanted to extend the initiative to Quantum Key West Race Week.

Ocean Cruising Club Vertue Award
Camden, Maine, USA: Doug & Dale Bruce, former Regional Rear Commodores for USA NE, announced that Sid & Rebecca Shaw of Falls Church, Virginia were recently chosen as the winner of the Ocean Cruising Club's Vertue Award for 2015.

The Vertue Award is to given each year to the Ocean Cruising Club member in North America who best represents club founder, Humphrey Barton, through sailing achievements or service to the club and cruising community.

Sid & Rebecca Shaw fulfil all the criteria for the Vertue Award. Sid qualified for the OCC in 1965 (50 years ago) for a passage from the Galapagos Islands to Hiva Oa, Marquesas. Rebecca qualified in 1972 on a passage from Beaufort, North Carolina to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

Over many years and many passages the Shaw's have crisscrossed the South Pacific to numerous destinations, including Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and many islands in between. On the Atlantic side they have cruised the Caribbean, Venezuela, Cuba, Nova Scotia, New England plus their home waters of Chesapeake Bay.

The Shaw's have written numerous articles for the OCC's "Flying Fish" magazine describing their many adventures. Additionally they served effectively as members of the London-based "General Committee" which is charged with managing the club's day-to-day operations and helping to set long range policies.

2016 International 14 Australian Championship
Sydney, Australia: Dave Hayter and crew Trent Neighbour scored a rare Queensland win in the Australian 14 footer Championship contested on Sydney Harbour in January.

Hayter and Neighbour looked threatening from the invitation race and they showed new found consistency across a wide wind range to score 1, 1, 4, 1, 3, 1, 1, 4 to take the International 14 title from defending champions Brad Devine and Ian "Footy" Furlong.

Hayter said his boat is a pre-preg carbon hull built in 2009 and assembled through 2010. The rig is based around a Bieker spar that has been modified by stiffening up the leading edge with carbon.

The sails are pretty much the same as previous years and are a product of Hayter's work with his sailmaker father Alex who runs Alegayter Sails out of South Australia.

Hayter said he also changed from PBO rigging to carbon rod which he says is not as hard to handle as he thought. The carbon rigging is lighter, comes on a roll, is price competitive with stainless steel and has zero stretch which makes setting the boat up much easier as settings just lock in and there is little movement. As for packing it away, the rod "just rolls up" and goes in the trailer as normal.

The Australia 14 fleet is sending two containers and at least 18 boats to France to contest the Worlds which are expected to attract a total of about 90 boats. Some of the Australian crews are expected to sail their new Dave Hollom-designed i14s which are in the final stages of their build.

Top five Australian Championship results:

1. El Diablo (David Hayter/ Trent Neighbour, DPSS, QLD), 8 points
2. Del Boca Vista (Brad Devine/ Ian Furlong, PDSC WA), 17
3. Ron Jeremy (Chris Vaughan/ Matt Balmer, SYC, VIC), 20
4. Alexander Sails (David Alexander/ Daniel Wilsdon, ASC, NSW), 24
5. Ronstan/Irwin (Lindsay Irwin/ Andrew Perry, Black Rock SC, VIC), 28

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

M32 One Design

M32 One Design

In action on both the World Match Racing Tour and the M32 Series. Its lightweight carbon-fibre hull and two-piece mast make the durable M32 very easy to transport. Crewed by 4-5, this low-drag design uses just main and gennaker to achieve full performance.

Designer - Marstrom / Ljung
Builder - Aston Harald Composite
First Launch - Oct 2015




The Carkeek 47 is a thoroughbred new HPR-IRC racing yacht, created with similar objectives to the C40 with HPR-driven performance both inshore and offshore - utilising no-compromise grand prix construction and technology throughout

Designer: Carkeek Design Partners
Builder: Premier Composites
First Launch: Dec 2013


Arcona 410

Arcona 410

What looks likely to be another fast-cruising success from this growing manufacturer; built using vacuum-infusion technology, her lay-up incorporates a 20mm Divinycell foam core everywhere except in areas of very high loading

Designer: Stefan Qviberg
Builder: Arcona Yachts
First Launch: Oct 2014


FarEast 28R

FarEast 28R

No surprise that at an ex-works price of US$38,000 these fast and good-looking little speedsters have been flying out of the factory. A direct follow-on from the same company's very successful 18, 26 and 31ft models

Designer: Simonis-Voogd
Builder: FarEast Boats
First Launch: Sept 2014

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 Nick Hutton AUS: As a member of the Youth Sailing World Championship sub-committee at the time the Youth Worlds were awarded to Malaysia, I can categorically confirm that assurances were sought from the Langkawi bid team regarding the requirement that all nations would be welcomed at the event. These assurances were freely given by the Langkawi bid team, as bid teams do.

So World Sailing doesn't need to say 'in future, assurances will be required', making it appear that those assessing the bid were derelict in their duties or naive enough not to ask the question.

World Sailing now needs to sanction Malaysia for failing to deliver on their promises.

Of course assurances will be needed in the future. But they are no use if those who wilfully ignore them are allowed to do so without sanction.

* From Len Davies: Whilst interested persons and parties await the outcome, I believe those involved in the Youth Worlds debacle investigation are presently getting loads of exercise - passing the buck one to another and massaging the findings to suit an agenda.

No prizes for suggesting that blame will be neither apportioned nor accepted!

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2011 Ngoni - M Boats Soto 40. 250,000 EUR.

The One Design Soto 40, Ngoni is actively for sale.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

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The Last Word
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