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

Volvo Ocean Race Adds Fastnet Race, New Prologue To 2017-18 Qualifying Schedule
The Fastnet Race, one of the most revered and feared tests in sailing, and a new Lisbon-Alicante Prologue will both feature in an intense period of pre-race qualifying for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 - serving as a first clash of the fleet while providing an early form guide for the fans.

In the sixth of a series of 10 major announcements in 10 days, Race Management outlined a number of mandatory qualifiers before the start in Alicante, Spain, in October 2017 - including provisionally a transatlantic test for all the fleet in June or July.

In August, the fleet will assemble for Cowes Week in the Isle of Wight, UK for 'Leg Zero', which will include the 600-mile Fastnet Race.

The Rolex Fastnet Race - always unpredictable - will take the teams from Cowes, through the English Channel, around Land's End and out into the Celtic Sea. After rounding Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland, they race on from Plymouth. The boats will then race from Plymouth to Lisbon, Portugal to complete Leg Zero.

Teams will then tackle a brand new Prologue race from Lisbon to Alicante, where they will remain until the start of the 2017-18 edition.

RORC Transatlantic Race
Racing across the Atlantic evokes the primal desires of any offshore sailor and the Grenada-bound RORC Transatlantic Race, departing from Calero Marinas Marina Arrecife, Lanzarote on Saturday 26th November, has attracted a highly diverse range of boats and crews to compete in the third edition.

Mike Slade's 100ft canting keel maxi, Leopard 3 is no stranger to the Atlantic. Leopard has accomplished five separate Transatlantic records over the last nine years and has crossed the Atlantic 12 times, with this race being Boat Captain, Chris Sherlock's 30th crossing. Leopard 3 is very capable of breaking the current monohull record for the RORC Transatlantic Race, set by Jean-Paul Riviere's Finot 100, Nomad IV in the last race in 10 days 07 hours 06 mins 59 secs.

Maserati, synonymous with Italian flair and style, will be represented in this year's RORC Transatlantic by Giovanni Soldini's foiling MOD70. This will be the first time the multihull in its new foiling set up has raced across the Atlantic, and it is something of a test bed for the international team.

Soldini has over 25 years of ocean racing experience and is probably the most decorated Italian offshore sailor of all time winning the Around Alone, Quebec-Saint Malo, OSTAR and Transat Jacques Vabre. Soldini has completed over 40 oceanic crossings and since 2011 has been the skipper of the VOR70 Maserati, setting records for the Cadiz-San Salvador route and the New York-San Francisco Gold Route. However, the MOD70 Maserati is a new project only conceived this year.

Infiniti 46 Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell will be one of the smallest yachts in the race, but her innovative design means that Maverick is capable of tremendous speed. DSS foils, like short airplane wings protrude from the side of the hull, producing both righting moment and lift. Maverick also has a canting keel and the combination of these allow the boat to sail faster than the wind speed, in certain conditions.

Notice of Race and full details of the RORC Transatlantic Race can be found on the event minisite:

Entry enquiries, please contact:

Leading Sailing Brands Are Partners Of The Yacht Racing Forum. Why Don't You Join Too?
Yacht Racing Forum The sports' top brands have confirmed their participation at the Yacht Racing Forum, Malta, November 28-29.

North Sails, Volvo Ocean Race, the World Match Racing Tour, Clipper Ventures, World Sailing, Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image, GAC Pindar, Gurit, GeoRacing, Marine Camera Solutions, Virtual Regatta, Icarius Sailing Media, Yachting Events / Yachting Malta and others have understood that the Forum is THE PLACE TO BE for business, networking, valuable information, debates and fun.

No less than seventeen international media have also joined the event as official media partners.

Our goal is to develop this event with a long term vision. If you consider joining the Yacht Racing Forum as a partner in the future, we suggest you come and visit us in 2016 in order to make up your mind.

If you become a partner in 2017, we will reimburse your 2016 entry fee.

Call us for enquiries: + 41 22 735 55 30

Steinlager Back Onboard With Emirates Team New Zealand
It's black to the future as Steinlager return as a sponsor to Emirates Team New Zealand for the 35th America's Cup challenge in Bermuda in 2017.

For the first time since 2003, the famous Steinlager brand will be back on the kiwi boat as Emirates Team New Zealand race, to once again win the oldest trophy in international sport. New Zealand's involvement in the America's Cup began with Steinlager proudly as a sponsor for the 1986 Fremantle America's Cup with KZ-7, The 'Big Boat' challenge with KZ-1 in 1988, the New Zealand Challenge in 1992 and continued all the way through to the ultimately successful campaigns 1995 and 2000.

Steinlager and Lion have had a long and proud association with New Zealand yachting that goes back over 30 years to the 1985/86 Whitbread Round the World Race. Sponsor of 'Lion New Zealand' the boat skippered by Sir Peter Blake and crewed by Grant Dalton and Kevin Shoebridge. Steinlager was then naming sponsor of two of Sir Peter Blake's offshore sailing campaigns, 'Big Red' the high tech trimaran and most famously the all conquering Steinlager 2 Whitbread boat, with Shoebridge as Watch Leader that won every single leg of the race in the 1989/90 edition of the race.

In reflecting on the history of the relationship Grant Dalton says, "It was the beer sipped out of the America's Cup with the New Zealand victories in 1995 and 2000, it is our intention to again savour the taste of success with Steinlager and the America's Cup in 2017."

Mysteries Of Asgard's Irish Gun–Running Flotilla
Conor O’Brien and his sister Margret aboard Kelpie off Ireland’s West Coast in 1913. Click on image to enlarge.

Asgard The Erskine Childers-led Howth and Wicklow gun-runnings of July 1914 took place so quickly and efficiently that those involved ashore only had fleeting glimpses of the boats involved. Although Erskine & Molly Childers' historic ketch Asgard is now conserved and comfortably at home in the museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin, much less is known or remembered of the other four vessels which took part. W M Nixon takes a look at a line of research which has taken a leap of the imagination to visualise one of these mysterious craft.

You only have to visit the conserved Asgard in Collins Barracks in Dublin to get a true sense of the past, and the special nature of this fine yacht. You grow into an understanding of how it was that people of the utmost respectability, people who sailed one of the best cruising yachts of her era, willingly led themselves and their friends and other yachts into a successful gun-running venture just before the Great War broke out.

That Great War gave everyone the message, loud and clear, that guns are for killing people, they're not for fun. Yet grim and all as the ultimate message may be, Asgard herself is reassuringly peaceful. And if you have the good fortune to be in a group beside the Asgard listening to a talk by ship conserver John Kearon of how the project of saving the Asgard was achieved, you find yourself in a different world of respect for ancient objects, and a sense of promise for the future.

A must-read historical piece from WM Nixon in Afloat:

Team Bases Stand Up To Hurricane Nicole
Hurricane Nicole was no match for the trio of America's Cup teams already based here.

Oracle Team USA, Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan all came through the category 3 hurricane, which passed directly over the island on Thursday packing winds exceeding 120mph, virtually unscathed.

"We prepared well for the storm and fortunately came through it pretty much unscathed," Grant Simmer, the Oracle general manager, said. "We have some damage to our docks, but nothing that will affect our operations, so we're spending the day putting the base back together and we expect to be fully operational by this evening."

Oracle are no strangers to the weather phenomenon having also been confronted by Hurricane Joaquin at their Dockyard base last year.

"This is the second major storm the team has been through in Bermuda and like last year, we're very impressed with how fast Bermuda bounces back," Simmer added. "By early this morning, the sun was shining, roads were being cleared, power being restored and life returns to normal quite quickly."

Situated nearby Oracle's base at Dockyard's South Basin is Team Japan, who also reported a clean bill of health. -- Colin Thompson in The Royal Gazette

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

John Bertrand (AUS)
'It was like playing full-back against your boyhood hero and even aged 69 he still kicked 10 goals past us... Respect' - Jim Badenach; 'It's simple, John Bertrand is a legend' - Marek Zwierz; 'Amazing performance by a fantastic sailor... he first thrashed me 45 years ago so us old boys need to stick together' - Peter Morton; 'Classy and cool' - Carol Cronin; 'JB's been my sailor of the month every month since September 1983' - John Lammerts; 'Top guy, friendly and helpful... and with both ends of the fleet!' - Rob Goddard.

This month's nominees:


Dorian Van Rijsselberghe (NED)
The winner of 7 of the 10 races in the Men's Boards at London 2012 and the gold medal (sic) and another 7 out of 10 at Rio 2016 and another gold. In Rio he finished with less than half the points of runner-up Nick Dempsey. Van Rijsselberghe won his first national title aged 13 and you wouldn't want to fight him for the Dutch slot for Tokyo. The worst thing is he's also unbearably popular in the tight-knit RS:X fleet


Claudia Rossi (ITA)
Got a decent pedigree has our Claudia. Her dad is 'enfant terrible' ORC world champion Alberto Rossi and Claudia also did a nice job preserving family honour with a strong fifth-place finish at the breezy J/70 Worlds in San Francisco. Nine top-five finishes in a 70-boat fleet rammed with what felt like every good pro-sailor on the planet suggests we will be hearing a lot more about Italy's latest speedy driver. A nice career on the Mediterranean maxi circuit awaits


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Gladwell On The New VOR Media Rules
Although it seems a small thing to fans, it will be a big difference for media coverage of the race to have crews sending their perspective on the race onto social media.

For several editions of the race we have been running the weird environment of being able to see the boats and weather in real-time and then working off images and reports that are usually about 24 hour hours old.

To add to the confusion the off-the-boat reports have been worked over by PR people - and they are far too perfect and glib to have come from the media station aboard a Volvo 70/65 supposed to be bouncing their way across the Southern Ocean.

Having covered the race since 1885/86 (Lion New Zealand), the coverage has evolved from the famous 'How are you? Where are you?' calls from Peter Montgomery to almost immediate coverage for a time as the crews could post online directly from the boats. The raw and salty texts were amazing - and the toughest decision was what to leave out.

Then a few editions ago that elixir ceased. For some reason, the PR people associated with sailing events seem to think they can shape the coverage to the wider world.

Maybe they can run obstruction on some things, but in doing so they can't help but sanitise the reports - and that raw edge which made them so enthralling, as in the day's of PJ's radio calls - was buffed out.

Hopefully that rawness will return to Volvo Ocean Race coverage - along with video and still images to match the fine words and grunts so that the coverage can be correctly time sequenced.

Richard Gladwell, New Zealand editor for

World Sailing and the RYA Launch New World Sailing Rules APP
In partnership, World Sailing and the Royal Yachting Association are delighted to announce the launch of the brand new World Sailing App.

Using the eBook technology and expertise of the RYA, who over the last six years have established a comprehensive library of interactive eBooks, the World Sailing App will be the one stop shop for the 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing and associated documents for sailors across the globe.

In addition to the rules, the app will also include other documents when they become available:

- World Sailing Case Book
- RYA Case Book
- World Sailing Q&As
- Team Racing Call Book
- Match Racing Call Book
- Offshore Special Regulations

The Integrated eBook is the clever tool in the app enabling the user to navigate seamlessly between rules and cases, highlighting a number of cases per rule in both overview and full case details formats.

It is available to purchase in-app and includes a rules mode in the settings to display Windsurfing, Team, Match, Radio or Kiteboard Racing amendments for the user's convenience.

There are also useful features such as a simple to navigate search function to find all relevant rules and equipment rules and pop-ups for all definitions where they are referenced in the text. These pop-ups help refer back to the detail of the definition without navigating off the page.

The Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020 and the Equipment Rules of Sailing are available now in the app, both in the Integrated eBook and as basic free eBooks. The RYA and World Sailing Case Books will be added in due course, followed by the other documents in the spring. Additional languages will be added as and when other MNAs come on board.

The World Sailing App can be downloaded for FREE through the App Store - and the Integrated eBook is available as an in-app purchase. It will be available to Google Play and the Windows Store in due course.

Visit the dedicated World Sailing App page ( to find out more as the app evolves and how to get it.

The Annual Carlton Pinheiro Lecture At The Herreshoff Museum
Herreshoff: American Masterpieces
Book Signing with authors
Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz, & Claas van der Linde

Thursday, November 10th
Reception begins at 6 PM. Event begins at 7 PM.
Event Admission: $10
Free with purchase of a book

For the first and only time in 2016, all three authors will be together to present their fine work. Marine historian Maynard Bray and Herreshoff expert Claas van der Linde, in collaboration with renowned nautical photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz, present the very finest of the Herreshoff designs afloat today, with insightful commentary on design evolution in every facet from lines to displacement to hardware, accompanied by full-color images of each vessel both in detail and under way, as well as unique color reproductions of Herreshoff's own archival plans and drawings. Each entry incorporates a history of the boat (or class), its owners, race results, and fate, celebrating the many that still grace our waters. Special guest, Kurt Hasselbach, curator of the Hart Nautical Collections at MIT, will also be in attendance.


Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2010 Corby Dale Nelson 36. Located in Wales.

From the drawing board of John Corby, the technology of a cedar strip/carbon fibre composite hull.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson
Ancasta Port Hamble


Raceboats Only 2013 Infiniti 36GT - Foiled. 189,000 GBP. Located in Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.

The high performance gentleman’s day sailor, powered by Dynamic Stability Systems. Whether for shorthanded say sailing or fully-crewed racing, this boat delivers performance and ease of handling.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Joe Hall
Farr Yacht Sales Europe

+44 1983 200901


Raceboats Only 2013 J-111 - British Soldier. 139,000 GBP. Located South Coast, England.

This 2013 example of the ever popular J-111 cruiser/racer, is certainly the best value for money option on the market today. Get in touch to learn more.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson
Ancasta Port Hamble

See the collection at

The Last Word
The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness. -- Pierre Trudeau

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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