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

Hazwan's Ambition Grows With Hansen Conquest
Johore Bahru, Malaysia: Local hero Hazwan Dermawan (MAS) wowed his Malaysian fans with another giant-killing performance in Qualifying Session two of the Monsoon Cup, as this time he dispatched world championship contender Bjorn Hansen (SWE) with a winning margin of 1 minute and 1 second.

Normally the local Malaysian team would consider itself fortunate to win just one match in Qualifying against 11 other high-calibre teams at this event, the finale of the World Match Racing Tour. After defeating the pugnacious young Australian Keith Swinton on day 1, Hazwan revised his expectations and targeted two more victories before the end of Qualifying. Having identified Johnie Berntsson as his next scalp, the 27-year-old Malaysian did indeed run the Swede very close until making a mess of his final gennaker hoist on the run to the finish.

Even if he didn't beat Berntsson, Hazwan later met another Swede, Bjorn Hansen, who is a hot prospect for winning the overall World Championship this season. In the afternoon racing session, strong adverse current forced crews to pick a side and hug the banks of the Straits of Johor as much as possible, creating massive splits and huge variations of fortune across the race course. The wind gods smiled on their local favourite and HazOne Racing Team beat Nautiska Racing by one of the biggest margins of the day.

Qualifying Session 1 after Flight 13

Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 8-0
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 5-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 5-3
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 4-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4-4
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team 3-2 (-1 point)
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 2-3
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 2-3
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-3
Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 2-6
Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (MAS) hazOne Racing Team 2-6
Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot 0-5

Cowes Fire Destroys One-Designs And Classic Keelboats
A fire at a boatyard in West Cowes on the Isle of Wight yesterday, Monday January 25, has seen the destruction of around 30 yachts and one-design dayboats, including many irreplaceable classics.

XOD class captain Mike Till reported that seven XOD one-designs were among the boats destroyed in the blaze, which ripped through an industrial unit off Bridge Road known as Samuel White's, formerly Souter's yard. Till described it as 'an unmitigated disaster'.

"It's probably the greatest single loss of boats ever recorded in one place. They were all top-class XODs, old obviously, but in beautiful condition. Three of those boats are the core of the Cowes Division, so it's a huge loss. The Vice-Captain lost his boat, and I am now Class Captain of the whole fleet without an XOD.

"You can't buy a replacement. You could buy another XOD, it's never going to be the boat you've lost. You can't just walk out and buy something off the shelf. My boat was built in 1938, called 'Delight' X75, many of the others were post-war. The point about these boats, we're just guardians of them. There's a heritage here and in the XOD fleet there's a finite number of boats, there are no new ones being built at the moment. They've been around since 1911 and they've never had a loss like this in the XOD fleet before."

Fifteen Etchells keelboats were also destroyed.

Five Dragons are reported to have been lost in the fire, including both modern and classic designs.

The Quarter-Tonner 'Espada', whose many victories included winning the Quarter Ton Cup and class at Cowes Week, was among the racing boats lost in the fire.

Also completely destroyed were several classic yachts in the middle of their restoration. They included a 114-year-old gaff cutter named 'Witch', which was being restored by Martin Nott and had only months left after a nine-year ongoing refit project. There was also a 58ft ketch, 'Fedoa of Bute', an Alfred Mylne design originally built in 1927 which had been worked on by a restoration team full-time for several years at Moreton Marine and was due to launch later this year. -- By Helen Fretter

New Marlow Product Options With Black Dyneema®
WHAT Marlow continues to work with the latest fibre innovations from the worlds most reputable, innovative and trusted fibre producers. With the launch of DSM Dyneema's black Dyneema®, we are able to offer a number of product upgrades and improvements that were not possible with traditional coating methods.

Super strong and light, made from UHMwPE, 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers on a weight-for-weight basis, it's everything white Dyneema® is - in permanent black.

Black Dyneema® fiber is perfect for those situations - aesthetic or usability - where a black material is desirable. The black color is integral to the fiber. It's not a coating. It cannot wear off. And the breaking strength, stiffness, low elongation, low weight, durability and consistent quality are exactly the same as you are used to with Dyneema®.

The launch of black Dyneema® now enables us to offer black cores and cover and marker options within our Grand Prix Series that would previously have been susceptible to fading or wear. This is thanks to the DSM's new melt dying process during manufacture which means that the yarn holds colour all the way through.

Key amongst Marlow's product improvements include black chafe cover and lifelines as well as solid black D12 cores and lashline (SK75 only) as well as MGP and Oceanus cover options. A key innovation for lifelines is the ability to now incorporate retro-reflective or glow-in-the-dark markers in black lifelines for added safety during night-time offshore crossings and races.


DN World Championship
Ostergotland, Sweden: What a day! Wish you all could have been here. The weather was gloomy when we arrived at the ice but the wind was up. Racing was called on and out we went to the course. Visibility wasn't as good as everyone had hoped right before the racing but then the sun eventually came out and we had some fantastic racing in all fleets. The ice was covered with water and the wind was brisk.

There were different visitors to the number one starting position today including Tomas Lindgren S81, Ron Sherry US44, and Frederic Lonegren S8.

There was also quite a few mast failures during the day as well.

Final top ten
1. Karol Jablonski (his TENTH Championship win)
2. Michael Burczinski
3. Vaiko Voorema
4. Lukasz Zakzewski
5. Ron Sherry
6. Matis Alvikis
7. Madars Alvikis
8. Argo Voorema
9. Fredrik Lonegren
10. Thomas Ebler

The European Champioinship is now underway.

Morgan Larson Returns To The Extreme Sailing Series
Former champion Morgan Larson, who held off Leigh McMillan on The Wave, Muscat to win the 2014 title, is returning to the Extreme Sailing Series with an all-star line-up on board Oman Air.

The announcement marks a welcome return for Larson to the Series after a year-long break, in which the talented American skipper missed out on winning the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour by just one point.

Joining Larson on board Oman Air for 2016, are former McMillan crewmates on The Wave, Muscat Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth and Omani bowman Nasser Al Mashari. They will be joined by former GAC Pindar trimmer James Wierzbowski. Double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton, who became ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2015, will be the Oman Air coach.

As the Series prepares for its landmark tenth season the full line-up of world-class crews and eight global venues will be announced at the 2016 season launch in Dubai, hosted by the Dubai International Marine Club on February 10, 2016.

Live To Tell The Tale
BIM's 'Live To Tell The Tale' campaign will run across the country from the 18 January until the 12 February.

Fifty-three fishermen have lost their lives at sea over the last ten years. In 2015, there were four fatal accidents in the sector. Against such stark statistics, BIM recently launched a national advertising and Public Relations campaign entitled 'Live to Tell The Tale' to drive more fishermen to complete mandatory BIM safety survival training and wear their personal flotation device (PFD) lifejacket at all times when at sea.

According to BIM commissioned research undertaken by Behaviour and Attitudes, more than 36% of fishermen personally know a colleague who has been lost at sea. However, despite this, over half of these fishermen still do not wear a Personal Flotation Device when at sea.

The 'Live to Tell the Tale' campaign is looking to reverse this trend by promoting a behaviour change to motivate and encourage fishermen to take part in survival training and wear their Personal Flotation Devices at all times while on board their fishing vessel.

Hear how David Massey survived a terrifying accident at sea thanks to his PDF lifejacket...


Industry News
On December 11th, more than 600 staff, VIPs, friends, family, and sailing luminaries from around the world embraced the Northern night to help inaugurate the state-of-the-art Aston Harald factory in Hönö, Sweden.

The factory, once fully operational, will allow the skilled Aston Harald build team to build and launch eight identical M32 catamarans every month to aviation-level tolerances. Vice President of Production Martin Krite said the new factory combines the most efficient boatbuilding techniques and technology with the same passion for quality boatbuilding made legendary by the creator of the M32, Goran Marstrom.

Are you an experienced boatbuilder or do you know one who might be looking for an exciting new opportunity with Aston Harald and the M32 World?

Career Options


The Progressive Insurance San Francisco Boat Show has been cancelled for 2016. The US trade association had earlier postponed the event until April because of El Nino rains blanketing California.

"Moving our show at the last minute, following the weather caused by El Niño for our original January dates, presented more of a challenge for our exhibitors and our logistics team than we anticipated," said Dave Geoffroy, show director.

The organizers said that all exhibitors would receive refunds from the cancelled show.


Specialist global logistics company Peters & May has announced a strategic merger with Peters & May Global Logistics to create a new range of logistics solution.

The move will see the Southampton-based company, which has provided specialist logistics and consultancy in the marine sector since 1988, be able to offer clients a broadened solution across six new divisions: Global Boat Transport, Commercial Transport, Superyacht Transport, Racing Logistics, Freight Forwarding and Automotive Transport.

New offices have been opened recently, including one in Genoa, which is a regular port of call for Peters & May shipments.


Sail the Wight is pleased to announce the first sponsor for the 2016 race, the Isle of Wight Distillery. Xavier Baker and Conrad Gauntlett from the Isle of Wight Distillery are giving their full support to Sail The Wight including bottles of the Wight Mermaids Gin.

Wight Mermaids Gin is a new gin distilled with Rock Samphire on the Isle of Wight in the Island's first fully licensed still.

Sail The Wight - this is the 11th year of the race, which started when two friends from East Cowes Sailing Club challenged each other to raise money for charity by racing around the Isle of Wight. For Notice of Race go to


The Polish government is planning to overhaul the value-added tax (VAT) policy regarding local shipyards.

Under the plan, companies are to be exempted from paying the tax from the beginning of every contract. Currently, they are reimbursed the VAT following the delivery of the craft.

The plan was unveiled by Poland's Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways Marek Grobarczyk. The measure will be included in a draft bill, which is being prepared by the ministry.

The latest initiative is part of the cabinet's wider efforts to boost Poland's shipyard and boatbuilding sectors.


Leonardo Ferragamo recently announced the appointment of Sebastiano Fanizza as Commercial and Business Development Director for Nautor's Swan. Mr Fanizza's role will be to manage and develop new strategies for the company.

Sebastiano Fanizza brings a wealth of experience to Nautor's Swan from his successful career in international yacht sales, having worked in the yachting industry as Sales Director for Europe and Apac over the last decade and as service manager before.

ClubSwan, created to develop the Swan Owner's experience and to offer services, opportunities and privileges to them and their friends, is one of the key departments. Ettore Mattiello, ClubSwan Director together with Claudia Tosi, Racing Office Manager and the new comer Sara Torrini, Club Swan Secretary are working on 2016 exclusive events and partnerships for ClubSwan members.


Icarus Sailing Media, the leading watersports TV production and distribution company, has been awarded the contract for TV production and distribution of the RC44 Class 2016 Series.

Icarus Sailing Media's extensive distribution footprint will see content from the RC44 Series broadcast to more than 160 countries worldwide through TV news, dedicated sailing and sport TV series, via Icarus' dedicated TV show Inside Sailing and available online.

In 2016, the RC44 fleet will again tour some of the world's finest sailing waters, with series' stops at five renowned venues. The season kicks off in Hamilton, Bermuda, home of the 35th America's Cup, in March, before heading to Europe, where teams will descend on Sotogrande, Spain in May, Portsmouth, Great Britain in June, Cascais, Portugal in September, and the series finale, Valetta, Malta in November.

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The Last Word
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