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

The Jackal And The British Lion
Around the sun drenched hunting grounds that the Vendee Globe race dock represents to the huge crowds enjoying a slow promenade round the 29 IMOCA round the world race boats, Armel Le Cleac'h and Alex Thomson are the 'big beasts', The Jackal and the British Lion. The appearance on their race boats today causes long, human traffic jams. Logic alone dictates that they are two of the outstanding favourites to win this eighth edition of the solo non stop round the world race.

Le Cleac'h who grew up on the Bay of Morlaix with Jeremie Beyou has been runner up twice, to Michel Desjoyeaux in 2008-2009 on Brit Air, and in 2012-2013 when he finished less than three hours behind Francois Gabart after a round the world match race. Thomson was third last time.

Le Cleac'h, 39, long since known as The Jackal for his proven ability to stay the pace, ready to swoop on the misfortunes, bad luck or bad judgement of those ahead of him, is skipper for Banque Populaire VIII, one of the Vendee Globe programmes with the biggest budget and the most accomplished cutting edge technical programmes, including the optimisation of their hydrofoils and sailplan.

Blue eyed Brit Thomson, whose early sailing experience was windsurfing in the North Wales surf, has already done a big volume of media in his native England, all the major broadsheet newspapers, the big TV and radio channels want reports when the race is under way, as well as commitments in Germany, Italy and, of course France. His Hugo Boss is the most menacing, threatening IMOCA, the latest and most extreme looking design to be launched.

One year ago today his boat was upside down in the Atlantic off Portugal and he was being rescued in a helicopter. But today his boat is substantially rebuilt and reinforced. He may not win a popularity contest in the Vendee Globe host nation but the interest in him and especially his black Hugo Boss and Mercedes branded missile certainly matches that of Le Cleac'h.

The Vendee Globe starts on November 6th.

World Sailing Delay Finals Venue Decision
Under the new Sailing World Cup programme the short 2017 series will finish with a European based final in late June or early July 2017.

The venue for the 2017 Sailing World Cup Final was put out to bids, with a decision scheduled by 26 October.

As of last Thursday (27 October) the RYA, who have submitted a bid, said that no decision had yet been made by World Sailing. No reason for the delay was given.

The Kiel Week regatta in Germany, which takes place in late June, already features racing for a number of the Olympic classes within its programme under the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup.

World Sailing may consider that upgrading the German event, with its full-on media programming, would be a more popular move than risk a poorly attended UK event.

In the new Sailing World Cup programme, no Olympic classes' regattas are scheduled for the UK up to the 2020 Games. -- Gerald New in SailWeb

Fly And Sail Options At The Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, which runs from 16-24 January and marks the start of the Caribbean race season, is fast becoming a good charter option for race-thirsty, sun-seekers. Those keen to escape the post Christmas northern hemisphere winter chill, could do worse than sign up for a place on one of the many charter yachts competing at this popular Caribbean regatta.

The event organisers - Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and Mount Gay - are preparing for the biggest entry seen for some years in 2017, which means there will be high demand for charter boats/places.

As well as the three-day Coastal Series, guests can look forward to the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race where it is possible for teams to win their skippers' weight in Mount Gay Rum if they break any of the 14 records. For the adventurous type, there's even a final 265nm Ocean Passage Race to Antigua to link up with the Superyacht Challenge.

Bajan hospitality includes the legendary Mount Gay Rum Red Cap party, and a grand prizegiving party, while on lay-day there's a chance to experience a tour/tasting session at the Mount Gay Distillery, and enjoy a specially laid-on exhibition polo match.

Charter options include:

Ocean Phoenix 77ft luxury yacht (Charterworld)

Palpatine, Stimpson 42 (Stormforce Coaching)

Spirit of Juno and First 40 and Farr 65 (Ondeck Antigua)

Conviction, TP52 (Island Yachts)

Event details, and contacts regarding more charter options:

A "Sailbot" Crash Avoidance System?
A remarkable tale of sailing grit and cunning has gotten almost no coverage: The University of British Columbia's Sailbot Team and its Transatlantic Challenge is going on as we speak. The team has developed, designed, and built a roughly 20-foot autonomous sailing catboat, called Ada. This wishbone-rigged, bulb-keeled sailing robot has navigated nearly 2,500 miles in a mostly zag-zag course through the mid-Atlantic.

Like most pioneers there have been issues: On August 29th, disaster struck when its rudder froze. Ada has also survived power outages, gear failures and getting crushed by other ships and debris. In spite of her struggles, Ada is making real headway. The craft is 500 miles west of Portugal. And she brings with here real news for humans: her on-board smarts indicate a technology that can evolve in the first real crash-avoidance system for yachts. Humans can expect to see robot-control craft shaping up at the starting lines soon. The Sailbot team is considering entering the Vic to Maui transpacific race in 2018.

Securing The Future
One of the biggest successes of the last Volvo Ocean Race was the boatyard, centralising much of the work - and costs - of keeping a fleet of much-abused grand prix race yachts at the top of their game. Blue Robinson looks ahead to 2017-18 with boatyard manager Nick Bice

Seahorse Magazine: How did the VOR boatyard evolve through the last race?

Nick Bice:For us the period of greatest evolution was before the event actually started. We spent a lot of time developing what we wanted to provide, yet not really knowing precisely how it was all going to work. A big part of that of course was how much the teams were going to trust us on what we said we were going to achieve.

Alicante before the start during the assembly period was probably the most difficult 'stopover'. We had 50 people there, starting up the boatyard - but as the race went on the servicing obviously became steadily faster and more refined.

SH: What did the boatyard do well... and what not so well?

NB: The best thing we did was develop as a team, getting to the point where everyone respected each other, the project, the race, the teams in the race and all the other shore staff. What was the hardest thing was that it took a lot of our time to gain the full trust of the teams. It was such a huge shift from what the teams were used to, and what we learned was that we needed to educate the teams a lot more on what we were doing - not just one or two in each team, but the whole team.

Full interview in the December issue of Seahorse:

Industry News
Construction is now underway on the state of the art Caroline Bay Marina in Bermuda's new Morgan's Point Development. The new marina will accommodate some 23 Superyachts in excess of 200 feet, a half dozen more 100 footers and another dozen smaller yachts. This will be the configuration for the 35th America's Cup events in May and June 2017. While the marina will be open in March of 2017, other elements of the Caroline Bay Resort will not be completed until 2018.

Caroline Bay Marina is located on the peninsula which bisects the Little Sound and Great Sound in Bermuda. The America's Cup course is located in the great Sound and the Red Bull Series course is in the Little Sound. The Marina is in close proximity to the main staging area in Dockyard and will offer a range of experiences and services for guest yachts and superyachts visiting during the America's Cup events.

Located in Bermuda's Southampton Parish, Morgan's Point is a peninsula jutting into the Great Sound area. The point was originally two islands that were known as Brothers Islands. They were renamed Tucker's Island and Morgan's Island in 19th century. The US Navy subsequently joined the two islands and then connected them to the mainland at the Kings Point to create the present peninsula.

During World War II, the US Navy built a sprawling naval annex (NAS) on the site, 247 acres of flat land joined by a causeway to the mainland at King's Point. The US Military operated here for over 50 years, and thousands of US Military personnel were posted here with their families. This peninsula was renamed Morgan's Point after the US Navy left.

Expression of interest in berthing superyachts or berthing smaller vessels at Caroline Bay Marina are now being accepted on the marina website at


Peters & May Extend Partnership with 52 SUPER SERIES for a Further Three Years.

Bespoke Logistics provider Peters & May Group have agreed to extend their successful partnership with the 52 SUPER SERIES for a further three years.

Having worked with the team throughout the 2015 and 2016 seasons, transporting the TP52 race boat fleet and ancillary equipment across Europe, Peters & May are well aware of the logistics required for a high profile circuit such as this.

In 2016, 12 teams travelled over six months, racing in five different locations in Tuscany, Sardinia, Mallorca, Menorca and Portugal. The Peters & May team were at hand throughout the planning stages and at each stop, loading and unloading yachts and their equipment.

2017 will see the circuit continue to expand, with the fleet returning across the Atlantic to race in Key West and Miami.


The catalogue for the 2016 METSTRADE show is now online in advance of the event taking place next month in Amsterdam

The organiser of the METSTRADE show, Amsterdam RAI, and the show's official magazine, IBI, will again send out advance digital copies of the METSTRADE catalogue.

Readers can download the digital catalogue or view it online.

The digital catalogue will be sent to all IBI Plus daily and Superyacht Business weekly email newsletter subscribers worldwide and all pre-registered METSTRADE 2016 visitors. Hard copies of the catalogue and floor plan will be available on site during this year's show.

The catalogue will also be available on the IBI and the METSTRADE show websites.


Two marine leisure conferences are planned to be held in Greece in 2017.

The Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, which is held every other year, is scheduled to take place from May 23-24 next year at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.

In its 4th edition, the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum covers both the cruise shipping market as well as yachting with a particular focus on the Eastern Mediterranean.

Running on alternate years to the Posidonia Shipping Exhibition, the Forum has developed into an important event for reviewing the two key marine tourism markets which make significant contributions to the Greek tourism industry.

The event is supported by a number of yachting and cruise organisations as well as many yacht related businesses and cruise operators.


Cowes Week Ltd (CWL) has announced new sponsorship opportunities for brands looking to partner with the Cowes Week regatta and capitalise on the next phase in the event's development.

Previous Title Sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management celebrated their final year of association with the event during the 2016 regatta, and the opening now provides a rare opportunity for fresh organisations to collaborate with the world-famous event.

The three new Presenting Partner packages introduced today by CWL provide a more focussed engagement for organisations mindful of the current economic climate and restrictions on traditional corporate hospitality. Along with opportunities to support and benefit from a wide range of enhancements that are planned for 2017 and beyond - including competitor and spectator Apps, GPS tracking, new social media initiatives, enhanced TV coverage and activities to champion the grassroots level of the sport - the packages will also provide sponsors with a high level of visibility, activation opportunities and association with the event, without the additional cost of naming rights.

Companies interested in discussing the sponsorship opportunities available at one of Britain's longest-running and most successful sporting events should contact Kate Johnson, Commercial and Marketing Director for Cowes Week Ltd,

Cowes Week 2017 takes place from the 29 July - 5 August


Garmin said it grew revenue 6 percent in the third quarter to $722 million with fitness, outdoor, marine and aviation collectively growing 24 percent from the prior year's quarter and contributing 70 percent of total revenue.

The company raised its expectations for the full year, and is now projecting earnings of $2.65 a share on revenue of $2.95 billion - up from per-share earnings of $2.50 on $2.90 billion in revenue.

Gross margins for the quarter that ended Sept. 24 expanded to 56.2 percent, compared with 53.3 percent in the prior-year quarter, and the company said its operating margin expanded to 22.1 percent from 18.5 percent last year.

The company reported net income for the quarter of $125.1 million, or 66 cents a diluted share, up from $119.3 million, or 63 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

For the second year in a row Garmin was recognized as the Manufacturer of the Year by the National Marine Electronics Association, winning awards across a broad range of product categories.

Garmin also received the IBEX Innovation Award in the OEM Electronics category with the Fantom TM marine radar series.


The Beneteau Group said it ended fiscal 2015-16 with net sales of 1.083 billion euros - about $1.8 billion - and a strong increase in boat sales.

The company said it saw strong growth in the boat segment in Europe, followed by North America, but continued weakness in South America - especially Brazil - that prompted the company to darken its boatbuilding operations in the country.

In South America, business was down sharply, with revenue dropping 62 percent, to 6.2 million euros ($6.75 million).

"The Brazilian market is particularly affected by the magnitude of the economic and social crisis and affecting the country for several years," the company said in a statement.

Beneteau said it decided to stop the production of boats at Angra dos Reis because Brazil has been unable "to achieve reliable development forecasts."

The management of the business is being transferred to the group's U.S. subsidiary, the role of which was expanded in August.


Sevenstar Yacht Transport of the Netherlands has joined the Oyster World Rally as its official Yacht Transport Supporting Partner, providing the participants in the rally with the transport of their yacht where needed.

The Oyster World Rally 2017-19 is exclusively organised for the owners of Oyster yachts. It entails a 27,000 mile circumnavigation extended from 15 to 27 months and comprises four connecting stages. The departure from Antigua is set for January 2017.

Sevenstar Yacht Transport is a leading provider of yacht shipping services, with a global network of destinations and a fleet of over 120 independent vessels.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1993 Whitbread 60 - BLUEPRINT. 90000 GBP. Located South Coast, UK.

An excellent opportunity to buy into an established charter Whitbread 60. strong and well looked after, with regular maintenance and recent rigging and engine.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 1996 Farr 30 One Design RHUMB PUNCH. 48,900 USD. Located in Califonia, MD, USA

In 2014, she received two new 90 percent carbon membrane main sails from Evolution Sails NZ. In 2015, her decks were painted with Awlgrip nonskid; all the performance bells and whistles were inlayed in an opposing color on deck. Also in 2015, a new Quantum Code 1.5s spinnaker was added to her inventory.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Jesse Fielding
Farr Yacht Sales America



Raceboats Only 2011 Reichel Pugh KATSU. 275,000 EUR. Located in the UK.

2011 Reichel Pugh design. 45' Grand Prix racer. Lying UK. UK VAT paid. Sailing World's boat of the year 2011. Currently lying second overall in the RORC offshore series.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Alan Hannon

See the collection at

The Last Word
What it takes to become president has nothing to do with what it takes to be president. -- Richard Rose

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