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

Two Records Under Threat
The 28th edition of the China Sea Race has the potential to rewrite the record books for not just one, but two records, as the progress of both RP66 Alive and Banuls 60 Catamaran MACH2 suggest that both monohull and multihull records set in 2000 are under serious threat.

After 24 hours of racing, both boats had covered in excess of half the course and, averaging 12kts VMG, have a current estimated elapsed time of around the 44 hour mark. The current outright record is 47h 43m 07s, while the multihull record stands at 48h 01m 47s.

This, of course, takes no account of changing weather patterns as the boats approach the Philippine coast and it is interesting to note that, of only two boats in the fleet to stay high of the rhumb line, Standard Insurance Centennial has possibly the best local knowledge of likely conditions. UBOX is hot on her tail, currently estimated to finish after around 56 hours, together with fellow IRC Premier competitors, Shahtoosh and Moonblue 2, who have both elected to stay south for now.

There is a constant change at the top of the leaderboard for the projection of winner in IRC Corrected time, with only three hours on estimated corrected time (ECT) separating the top seven boats.

Night 2 beckons and forecasts suggest it will be as rough as the first night out, with the north east monsoon picking up behind the fleet. If it is strong enough to negate the diurnal breezes off the Luzon coast, we could be looking at Line Honours being taken at 1000hrs tomorrow.

Armchair enthusiasts can follow the action by checking the Yellowbrick trackers at

Syd Fischer Hangs Up His Sea Boots
Syd Fischer The world's oldest supermaxi skipper and sailor Syd Fischer is hanging up his sea boots.

Fischer has finally confirmed scuttlebutt around the waterfront with the legendary America's Cup campaigned and Sydney to Hobart retiring from his sport at age 89.

"I reckon I've done my dash,'' said Fischer of his decision to quit ocean racing.

Fischer skippered his 100-footer Ragamuffin to second place over the line in the last Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

The yacht suffered a terrifying knockdown at sea when a wild storm slapped the fleet the first night at sea.

"It was a bit bumpy,'' a laconic Fisher said when quizzed about the conditions on his arrival in Hobart.

When asked if he would compete in the 2016 event he said "maybe, if I'm still crazy enough'.

However Fischer admitted his loss of balance made it increasingly difficult for him to move around his supermaxi, confining him below more than he would like during long ocean races.

Among his greatest victories were overall wins in the Sydney to Hobart, the famous Fastnet Race in the UK, the Clipper Cup in Hawaii and the 1979 Admiral's Cup.

Marlow Ropes Leisure Marine Team
Marlow Ropes 2015 saw a major change for the Marlow Ropes Leisure Marine team when our longest standing member of staff, Marilyn Kitcher retired after 47 years! With this departure came change and we have taken the opportunity to expand and restructure our team.

Graham O'Connor
Leisure Marine Sales & Customer Service - USA

Graham works in conjunction with Paul Honess in managing some of our key MGP Rigger network as well as handling much of our communications with our USA sales office. He came to Marlow in 2011 from a background in sales and customer service within the rope industry and that experience has helped him develop into a pivotal role in our leisure marine customer service team.

Peter Lillingston
Leisure Marine Business Development Executive - UK

Having been around boats all his life, and with an enviable wealth of experience as a leisure and commercial boat captain, Peter grew up racing dinghies competitively at school and then went on to study traditional boatbuilding for two years before going on to work on superyachts for 5 years. Since swapping his sea legs for a van sales position at Marlow in 2013, Peter is now responsible for developing our UK and Ireland Leisure Marine business. Peter also manages our van sales operation as well as our 3 independent sales agents in Northern England, Scotland and Ireland. Peter is also currently racing on an East Coast Stella called L'etoile.

Artemis Racing Launch Two Boat Testing
Yesterday marked an important milestone for Artemis Racing, launching their new Turbo boat in the waters of Bermuda, and beginning their two boat testing programme.

Artemis Racing skipper, Nathan Outteridge, commented, "It was good to have our first two boat session here in Bermuda, especially given that it was also the first day that we've sailed from our new base at Morgan's Point. With the early forecast looking very light, it was great to be able to get out there."

"We did a few systems checks to start before the other boat came out. To have two boats lined up this far out from the America's Cup is a big thing for us. It was nice not to have to use another team to check how we were going, we can now start to do that in house."

Artemis Racing is the first 35th America's Cup challenger to start training with two prototypes, allowing both for comparison in design, and for valuable match racing training.

The team is looking forward to heading to Oman next week for the first event of the year in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series. Racing will take place over 27-28th February in the one design 'AC45F's'.

Clipper Seattle Pacific Challenge Race - Day 4
The yachts have passed the first waypoint off the southern tip of Japan, and are now headed upwind north towards the Great Circle route in stronger northerly, north-north-easterly winds that will continue to build.

The sea state has also built, due to the 3+ knots of the Kuro Shio current helping push the teams along, but it is against the wind, making for rough seas.

When the teams passed Japan, the wind had died and the yachts that were to the south were in more favourable conditions, meaning the leading boats' leads were reduced.

Garmin is still leading the fleet, with LMAX Exchange second 4.7 nMs behind and Unicef now up a place in third, 2 nautical miles in front of Derry~Londonderry~Doire which has dropped two places.

Limbering Up
This Friday's opening regatta of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's domestic calendar, the RORC Easter Challenge, provides an opportunity for the 50 or so crews to ramp up their programs for the 2016 season. To help, for the three day duration of the regatta the RORC lays on free coaching, led by the eminent Jim Saltonstall, supported by RORC CEO and former America's Cup coach Eddie Warden Owen, plus North U Regatta Service's Andreas Josenhans and Chuck Allen, who fly across from the States especially for the occasion.

Those on the steepest learning curve will certainly be FAST 40+ crews, the new high performance class making its debut at the RORC Easter Challenge. Here the two latest entries, bringing the class tally up to 10, are two time Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup winner Anthony O'Leary aboard his turboed Ker 40, Antix, and Kevin Miller with his new optimised GP42, Zephyr.

The FAST 40+s will take up all of IRC One with those with the most time in their boats likely to enjoy most success - namely Sir Keith Mills' Ker 40+ Invictus, Stewart Whitehead's Carkeek 40 Mk2 Rebellion and South African Mike Bartholomew's modified GP42 Tokoloshe II.

Among the non-FAST 40+ 40 footers, Roger Bowden is fielding the King 40, Nifty (ex-Tokoloshe 1) and will face James Gair and the Cowes Race School's Mills 39 Zero II ( and another former Irish Commodore's Cupper, Conor Phelan's Ker 37 Jump Juice, part of the potent 2008 team, the same year as she won the IRC Nationals.

The RORC's coaching regatta this Easter weekend is also providing an early season warm-up for contenders gunning for spots in the British team in this year's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, due to take place out of Cowes over 23rd-30th July. The trials for the British team kick off formally in late April, but the Easter Challenge provides a first glimpse of their form.

Ancasta Easter Promotion Announced
Ancasta Ancasta has some great Easter incentives available to buyers during its ten day Ancasta Easter Promotion, which runs 25th March to 3rd April 2016.

There is a huge variety of power and sail boats, including cruiser racers, listed for sale in Ancasta's Spring Collection magazine and online, and buyers benefit from incentives including FREE lift or launch, FREE structural survey and FREE year's contract with Sea Start as well as a 25% discount on safety kit from Ocean Safety and 10% off first year's insurance. With summer fast approaching, there is no better time to buy.

Terms and conditions apply, see more at

Come Try The Marstrom 32
"Sailing Series" has the pleasure to invite teams, journalists and enthusiasts to test the M32 catamaran, that will be the protagonist of spectacular races in the 2016 "Sailing Series" season.

The tests will take place from March 30th to April 3rd at Fiera di Genova, Italy, thanks to the collaboration with "I Saloni Nautici".

Still some slots available.
Book your test now!

Please write to

Kon-Tiki2: Pacific Raft Expedition Abandoned
Fourteen adventurers have been rescued off the coast of Chile after "atypical" weather forced them to abandon the recreation of a historic maritime journey.

The Kon-Tiki2 expedition had been sailing two balsa rafts from Peru to Easter Island and back, documenting climate change, marine life and the impact of pollution.

The crew had spent 114 days on the Pacific Ocean, reaching Easter Island and covering 4,500 nautical miles (8,334 km) before they requested a rescue Wednesday around 950 nautical miles from Chile "due to atypical winds."

"This is an El Nino year and the weather patterns we have encountered have been atypical. We realize that reaching South America will take too long and we prefer to evacuate to ensure safety for all," expedition leader Torgeir Higraff said in a statement.

Launchings UK reviewer Rupert Holmes found the 2016 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389 at the London Boat Show, and shot a quick video tour of this sailboat.

To understand why we're excited to get a look at the new 2016 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389, you first have to look back at the Sun Odyssey 379 which we reviewed in 2012 (read Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379: Everything You Need, and More). The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey line has proven quite popular, and the 379 was one of its big hits. Today this sailboat has been refined, improved, and reintroduced.


Sunreef Yachts' first sailing catamaran from the Sunreef Supreme Range is a 68 footer.

Sunreef Yachts' latest concept was created to respond to a growing demand for more personalized, comfortable and technically advanced units and embodies a very specific philosophy of yacht creation. This concept of power and sailing catamarans is currently taking shape in the shipyard's production halls and is going to be premiered during this year's Singapore Yacht Show held between the 7th and 10th of April 2016.

The total living space equals almost 300sqm, offering the surface of a superyacht on a unit below 24 m.


Knysna South Africa: Harvey Yachts has opened a custom yacht manufacturing facility in Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa. The company plans to build luxury sailing blue water catamarans using state-of the-art materials including carbon fiber to ensure strength and minimal weight.

Owners Phil and Laura Harvey had previously operated Harvey Yachts for 15 years in Cape Town. They suspended operations for more than a decade during which time they were instrumental in the manufacture and development of custom yachts around the globe as well as development of the Gunboat brand in China and the United States.

Recognizing a need for custom 50-60foot luxury catamarans that also possess racing caliber performance capabilities, the Harvey's decided to re-open Harvey Yacht in Knysna. Knysna has a long history of boat building and has been a hub for catamaran builders for years. The area is known for its skilled boat building work force.


Nautor's Swan has announced the formation of the Swan 50 Class:

The boat will be measured and certified directly at the yard, with a measurement process having been designed together with the boat building process

All supplied components will be endorsed with a certification

Visual reference marks will be present on the hull and its appendages in order to prevent ex-post optimizations

Class Rules will be released in Fall 2016

The ClubSwan 50 Class will apply for World Sailing Recognition in 2017



The spectacular new 85 meter sailing yacht AQUIJO is the world's largest high-performance ketch and marks Vitters Shipyard's and Oceanco's first delivery in 2016. Both yards worked closely together throughout all stages of this custom project. Built under the project name P85/3069/Y711, this extraordinary sailing yacht's naval architecture and exterior design is by Tripp Design Naval Architecture with the interior design by Dolker + Voges.

The superstructure is designed to blur the boundaries between inside social spaces and outside deck areas, and offers long clear sight lines throughout. Her stunning interior is clean, contemporary and modern.

Her 90-meter masts are two of the tallest masts in the world. Her performance sail plan is set up to be safe, reliable and simple to handle.



Construction is proceeding apace at Claasen Shipyards in the Netherlands on the third Truly Classic 90, designed by Hoek Design Naval Architects.

The owner's representative on the project is Peter Wilson of MCM – the fourth collaboration between Claasen and MCOM, the most recent being the TC127 Atalante.

The hull and insulation were completed first, and the carpentry work has now started. All the technical and electronic installations are in the capable hands of Cornelis Jongkind Yacht Installation, which recently began the prep work by fitting the piping and cabling.

The giant 35.60-metre keel-stepped mast and 11.40-metre boom are being made in carbon by Hall Spars in the Netherlands. The sail package will be supplied by Doyle and includes a mainsail, yankee and staysail, all of which will be operable from the cockpit. There is also a brilliant red and white top-down furling A3/asymmetrical.

The launch is slated for May 2016. In addition to this new Truly Classic 90, Claasen is currently also busy with a 77 ft Pilot Classic.

Featured Brokerage

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2013 Botin 65 - CARO. 2000000 EUR. Located in La Ciotat, France.


Ben Cooper
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2002 Sinergia 41. 45,000 EUR. Locate on request.

She is now lays on shore, freshly cleaned and painted underwatership. She is ready to sail. The sails are still in good condition.




1977 Nautor Swan 65 - EDEN. 675,000 USD. Located in Simpson Bay, St. Maarten

Probably the most beautiful series yacht in the world with many updates including new rig for the Jubilee, an interior refresh in Finland and recent refits on both sides of the Atlantic - she is spectacular.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
A generation which ignores history has no past - and no future. -- Robert Heinlein

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