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

Too Much Wind - No Racing Today At Quantum Key West
Key West, FL, USA: Yesterday organizers with the Storm Trysail Club knew wind conditions would be on the edge off for today, which is why race committee chairman Dick Neville asked principal race officers on all three divisions to complete three races yesterday at Quantum Key West Race Week 2016.

"The forecast was not promising, so we postponed a decision for one hour, sent some boats out to the race area to determine the exact conditions, and the wind speed was higher than the forecast and building," Neville said. Northeasterly winds were blowing a steady above 25 knots and routinely gusting to more than 30 knots - producing what Neville politely described as a "nasty sea state."

"We have a lot of smaller boats in this regatta so we decided not to send them out. We debated about Division 1, but believed it would be tough for them as well," Neville said. "At the end of the day, we were concerned about gear breakage across the board.

"We've heard from sailors over the years from running regattas that the rolling 30-minute postponement is pretty frustrating. Because if you end up abandoning, you haven't been able to do anything constructive," Neville said. "So we thought we would make the call early today and allow the sailors to enjoy a day off."

Forecasts are favorable for the remainder of the week and Neville believes the PRO's on all three divisions will succeed in completing a 10-race series. "Based on the forecast for the next three days, we think we can get most of the scheduled racing completed," he said.

That's all that really matters to Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, CT), skipper of the TP52 Spookie. "I think as long as we get in 10 races all the sailors will be happy," he said.

Tomorrow's forecast is for the breeze to abate to be sailable conditions, with the first race signals scheduled to start at 11:30 EST.

Cruising Club Of America Announces 2015 Awards
The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced the recipients of the organization's five major awards for 2015:

The Blue Water Medal "Without Date" is awarded to Australian native Jon Sanders in recognition of a lifetime of sailing achievements, including nine circumnavigations

The Blue Water Medal, awarded to British sailors Tom and Vicky Jackson, recognizes their extensive racing and cruising over more than 34 years

The Far Horizons Award, awarded to Canadian sailors Kaspar and Trisha Schibli, recognizes a meritorious series of cruises aboard their yacht Starfire

The Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship is awarded to Canadian cruisers George Juri and Grit Chiu for their lifesaving rescue in critical conditions

The Richard S. Nye Trophy is awarded to John E. Sanford of Tiburon, Calif., for meritorious service to the CCA.

The award recipients will be celebrated at the CCA's annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on March 4, 2016.

St. Thomas International Regatta: Something For Everyone! Register Now!
St. Thomas International Regatta Sailors who like round-the-rock and round-the-buoy courses will find lots to suit their fancy at the 2016 St. Thomas International Regatta, set for March 24-27. The first-ever one-day Round the Rocks Race on March 24 offers a full range of exhilarating sailing challenges while circumnavigating the beautiful U.S. Virgin Island of St. John and its pristine National Park. Crews will need to keep on their toes with frequent tacks along offshore cays, cross currents and wind shifts around St. John's east end and slalom-like conditions in the downwind.

The three-day STIR follows with courses changing daily from a race to St. Thomas' dramatic harbor of Charlotte Amalie and back to buoy-racing, all a short sail from regatta headquarters at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Monohull and multihull, sport boat and ocean racer, spinnaker and non-spinnaker boats - there's definitely something for everyone.

"There's no penalty if you can't or don't wish to enter the Round the Rocks Race since scores don't count toward the STIR. It's just another way to sail and enjoy our beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands waters and win. There will be a special prizes awarded right after the race!" says regatta director, Chuck Pessler.

Can't BYOB (bring your own boat)? Several U.S. and European companies have top yachts already in the Caribbean to charter by the boat or crew spot:

Global Yacht Racing offers its J/120 (Sunset Child), Grand Soleil 43 (Quokka) and Beneteau 47.7 (EH01);

Performance Yacht Charter its Swan 51 (Northern Child) and Beneteau First 40 (Southern Child);

OnDeck Ocean Racing its Farr 65, Fast 42 and Beneteau First 40.7;

RegattaCharters.Pro a full fleet including a TP 52, Farr 60, Maxi One Design 80, VOR 70, Maxi 100, Shamlor 67, Stimson IRC 42, Saona 44 and Swans from 46 to 90 feet.

Register for STIR by January 31. A random drawing of all boats registered by this date will award one lucky crew customized long-sleeve tech shirts.

Bring family, bring friends! STIR takes place over Easter Weekend. St. Thomas offers a wealth of beaches, sights, shops, restaurants and more to keep everyone happy during their stay whether on sea or land.

Register at

First Entry For The 9th Transat Quebec Saint-Malo
Quebec City, Canada: The 2012 winners of the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo, the French/British duo Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, on their Class40 Campagne de France are the first confimed entry of the 2016 edition of the world-famous transatlantic race from Quebec to France starting on July 10. This will be Mabire's fourth participation to the race, that he won in 2008 and 2012, and the third appearance for his partner and co-skipper.

"The Transat Quebec Saint-Malo is an important race from both a nautical and cultural perspective," explains Halvard Mabire. "This transat is a unique challenge: it's a fully-crewed race that crosses the Atlantic from West to East. In recent years the Class40 has been the most popular and the most consistent, where competition has always been always very intense. We hope that as fans of this major event, Quebecers will help showcase the Class40. On a personal level, the last two editions of the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo have been pretty good for me, so I feel duty-bound to return."

Crews wishing to enter can register until March 31.

The Transat Quebec Saint-Malo has been held every four years since 1984, and has always started on the line drawn between Quebec City and Levis.

Introducing The High Performance30 Class
Working together, the UK Sports Boat Association (UKSBA), Farr Yacht Design and marine marketing specialists, Activate Switch, are in the process of helping to establish the High Performance30 Class (HP30s).

"We have received a huge amount of interest from UK owners, looking for high performance sportsboat racing, in the UK," comments Jochem Visser. "Having raced against the these boats at Cowes Week last year and followed their progress, it seemed sensible to team up with Activate Switch to pool resources and put a sailing programme together for 2016."

Having worked hard to develop the Farr280's in the UK over the last eighteen months, Activate is wary of classing the boats as sportsboats. "It is true that these boats are sporty," comments Joe, "but they have received the same levels of design investment and use the same systems and technology that you find on much larger Grand Prix yachts; they are more like mini TPs, which is why we plan to brand this type of racing High Performance30."

The HP30 Class rule is currently under development and to be announced soon but in principle, it will be designed to the following criteria:

- Ballasted keel boats with asymmetric kites on centreline based poles
- Maximum length overall of 30'(9.15 m)
- Maximum displacement of 2000kg
- Maximum DLR of 100 in which DLR=27.87x(Boat Weight)/Length Waterline 3
- Minimum limit of positive stability of 60 degrees
- Forthe first season(s) boats upto 9.5m may be included under a grandfather rule subject to meeting all other requirements.

The Rule will be for boats from 7m to 9.15m specifically targeted at racing around the 30' bracket such as the C&C 30, FarEast 28, Farr 280's and other sports yachts. There will be an upper limit in length for this class (currently at 9.15 m) and a lower limit in minimum rating (TBA soon).

First Ever 470 African Championship Awards Angola A Place At Rio
The 2016 470 African Championship was a ground-breaking moment for sailing in Africa, as the event marked the first ever 470 African Championships and first Continental Olympic Qualification Event.

Eleven races and five days of competition saw Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson crowned the inaugural 470 African Champions and Angola claim it's place on the starting line at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Jim/Hudson's clean win of the 25 minute Medal Race put victory nicely in the bag.

Jim/Hudson secured South Africa's place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games during the 2015 470 World Championships in Israel last year, so the battle to claim the one African continental qualification place unfolded between the teams representing Algeria and Angola.

Angola's Matia Montinho/Paixao Afonso opened their assault with a strong 3rd place in race 1 and soon held their advantage over team mates Francisco Artur/Edivaldo Torres and the Algerian pair of Hakiim Djoulah/Samir Ksouri. A consistent scoreline rewarded them with a sixth place overall to give Montinho/Paixao Afonso's the honour of securing their nation's place to Rio and a massive celebration of success for Angola.

Their achievement marks the first time Angola has competed in the 470 Men event since the 1992 Olympic Games.

However, the challenge is a long way from over for the two Angola teams, as they now face off to decide who will make it to the Olympic starting

470 African Championship - Final Top Five Results
1. Asenathi Jim/Roger Hudson (RSA1) - 17 points
2. Sibusiso Sizatu/Alex Burger (RSA11) - 27
3. Brevan Thompson/Alexander Ham (RSA12) - 31
4. Taariq Jacobs/Joshua Rubenstein (RSA111) - 45
5. Ricky Robinson/Brennan Robinson (RSA8) - 53

Final Results:

SSL City Grand Slam Sold Out In Under 24 Hours
Star Sailors League, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and hosting Starfleet HF/Lub were expecting huge interest from competitors for the first SSL City Grand Slam in May 2016 on Lake Alster, Hamburg, but never expected to achieve the limit set to 70 boats in less than 24 hours.

The official registration opened on Thursday January 14th at 2pm on and by Friday at noon 71 keelboat lovers were already signed up. With 14 countries represented, including World Champions and Olympic medalists, the organizers may extend the limit and Star sailors should still apply for entry.

In the meantime, a waiting list was opened: you can write an email to with skipper name, boat name and sailing number, nationality and if you have a crew please add their name too.

20 VIPs, yet to be finalized, will be taking part and every team will have a shot at the prize purse of US$100,000 and up to 3,000 points valid for the SSL Ranking.

Seahorse February 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Loick Peyron feels safe (at 30kt), Frederic Denis in his Mini cave, the strong views of Luca Devoti, (Maxi) kit of parts and Key West 2016. Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

A driver of innovation
Maritime chess... John Rousmaniere looks ahead to the 50th Anniversary Bermuda Race

Kite strings
It will soon be 10 years since we first experienced the 'boosted' string-drop. Mark Wiss

Happy 10th birthday
Merf Owen looks back on 10 years of success for one of the most important offshore classes

ORC column
Shaun Carkeek and Dobbs Davis

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Getting Ready To Rumble
Click on image to enlarge.

Team Concise MOD 70, Concise 10, is proudly flying the colours of BTMI and the name Ms Barbados for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race (Thursday 21st January). Team Director, Tony Lawson, first hit Barbados 50 years ago as a young boy fresh off a yacht with literally no shoes to his name and not a dollar in his pocket. But Bajans looked after him and he has prospered. The self-made property entrepreneur started Team Concise ten years ago racing Class40s and the Concise stable still includes two today. The young team has won the world championship and class at major offshore events, including the Rolex Fastnet Race and the RORC Caribbean 600. However, the step up to MOD 70 racing is a quantum leap for Team Concise. There is no doubt that the show down between Ms Barbados and Phaedo3, this Thursday, will be top of the sailing bill during Barbados celebration of 50 years of independence.

Whilst Phaedo3 has the upper hand in terms of experience, the race on Thursday is in Ms Barbados' backyard and Team Concise has been training hard over the course. They have already succeeded in completing the circuit in less than four hours (the current record is 4hrs 23 minutes).

Over 50 yachts are expected to turn our for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, with staggered starts, to ensure they all arrive back at the Barbados Cruising Club in time for the legendary after party. Meanwhile Team Concise will continue their training out of Port Ferdinand, the luxury marina development in the north of Barbados, where they are generously hosted by Bjorn Bjerkhamn and his team.

Women's Keelboat Worlds Sailing J/70s!
Portsmouth, RI, USA: The International Women's Keelboat Championship (IWKC) returns! The revitalized US Sailing Championship, with a new and exciting approach, is aimed at maximizing opportunities for women sailors to participate in high caliber regattas against top international sailors.

The American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. will host the new IWKC in J/70's from August 14th to 20th, 2016. With the goal of attracting more international teams, the championship will rotate each year to venues within, and outside the U.S.

The format consists of fleet racing with a "team racing" twist, featuring two flights of six boats each with teams rotating after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. Host clubs will ensure quick rotations and on-the-water judging, in addition to an improved viewing experience for spectators.

The International Women's Keelboat Championship was inaugurated in 1985 through the efforts of the US Sailing Women's Championship Committee--- for years the women sailed J/24s. The event became one of the premier women's sailing event in the USA and worldwide. The Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, RI was host for the event and hosted the championship until 2001, before it moved around the country to different venues.

Afloat.Ie Reader Leads Gardai To 'stolen' Welsh Yacht In Malahide
An and Dun Laoghaire Marina appeal led Gardai to a yacht 'stolen' in North Wales last week being found in a north Dublin estuary.

The yacht was found within hours of the story being published last Friday in Malahide, one of Ireland's most popular boating inlets.

Gardai have confirmed the yacht in question, a 38-foot ketch named 'Fram', has been recovered. It has been seized by Gardai and secured for technical examination a Malahide Marina. Gardai are investigating the theft and looking at local CCTV to see how and when the Vindo 38, long keel ketch came across the Irish Sea from Holyhead Marina.

Following an report it is understood an eagle eyed reader spotted the yacht, with white hull and varnished topsides, recently moored in Malahide estuary. The reader noted it appeared very similar to the boat originally featured in social media by Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Anyone with information about the craft is asked to make contact with Malahide Garda Station.

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The pocket rocket 'Erivale III' is now available.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

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The Last Word
Life is indeed precious, and I believe the death penalty helps affirm this fact. -- Former New York City mayor Edward Koch

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