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

At Stake In Japan
Eight rounds, six countries, millions of spectators at the events and on TV, billions of words and views in newspapers, magazines and on websites, and it all comes down to Fukuoka, the ninth and final round of the 2015 / 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

At stake in Japan are a number of prizes.

Firstly, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series trophy, awarded twice before and ready to be handed over to the overall winner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

That team will also claim two points in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, the opening round of the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda, and a powerful incentive for all the teams who can win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series to push themselves beyond their limits to do so.

Those two points are basically two wins in the round robin Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in the bag. In the round robin stage, each team races one another twice, so going into that with a two point advantage is a huge step towards the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs.

Basically, it is win at all costs in Japan. Land Rover BAR are the leaders of the pack going into Japan, and they have a decent 14 point gap to ORACLE TEAM USA in second on 423 points, with Emirates Team New Zealand three points off the Americans on 420. All three teams have a good chance of winning the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, but, mathematically, so do SoftBank Team Japan, now lying in fourth on 399 points. Yes, the Japanese team needs the teams ahead to suffer on the waters of Japan, but with a mathematical chance to fight for, there is still reason to hope for Dean Barker and his crew.

Royal Southern Prizegiving
Sailing successes are rewarded at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Annual Prizegiving Hamble, Hampshire, UK" The annual Prizegiving is one of the highlights of the year at the Hamble-based Royal Southern Yacht Club, preceded by a formal dinner for 150 guests and held on Saturday evening (12th November).

It has proved to be another outstanding year for the Royal Southern, hosting a number of high profile events including the Landsail Tyres J Cup, the X-Yachts Solent Cup, Oyster Week, the J/111 European Championships, the FAST40+ Class competing for the prestigious One Ton Cup at their event in September and the inaugural and highly successful Hamble Classics Regatta ... and pretty much everything in between!

Graham Nixon steered a steady course through the Prizegiving, presenting trophies with names such as the Tom Titts (sic) and the Export Woodbine Trophy to the Chippie Davie Trophy, and every one as meaningful to its donor and its recipient as the next.

A vast array of trophies, goblets and assorted glassware was handed out including the awarding of THE COMMODORE'S CUP to Jack Davies and presented in memory of Past Commodore John Beardsley to the Royal Southern Academy member for outstanding contribution.

Mike Bartholomew was named winner of THE WEST BOUND TROPHY - The Travellers Trophy, presented in 2016 for the furthest distance travelled to compete. Each Summer, Mike comes to the UK from South Africa to race his boat Tokoloshe.

THE TONY DAVIS MEMORIAL TROPHY is awarded in memory of Tony Davis for achievement in offshore sailing. Yves Dervieux was the proud recipient, well known on the offshore racing circuit for success in a series of boats all named Botez Coat, winning the Normandy Channel Race, Ouistreham (the Commodore Trophy), the Morgan Cup and he was second in the Cervantes Trophy Race. This was his 'swan song' season, finishing second in class in the J/109 fleet in the Round the Island Race.

THE TANNER CRUISING TROPHY, presented in 2016 by Maggie Widdop in memory of her parents and brother, is given in special recognition of cruising. This year the award went to Russell & Helen Tribe to acknowledge their several seasons of cruising the Scottish coast in their yacht IO.

THE RICHARD CANN TROPHY was awarded to the Junior Cadet who has demonstrated by his or her endeavours both on and off the water that he or she goes the extra mile for others and is regarded as a conscientious, kind and courteous role model. Nicholas Walters was the proud recipient.          

THE LIGHTFOOT TROPHY is awarded in memory of Nigel Lightfoot and presented by the Youth Committee to a Junior Cadet who has shown enthusiasm and encouraged the younger sailors of the Club. Ben Childerley won this but as he is at school his sister Abby collected it on his behalf.

Annabel Vose received THE INTERNATIONAL CUP, presented to a Junior Cadet or Academy member for outstanding achievement internationally and who has shown encouragement to the younger sailors in the Club.

Abby Childerley was soon in the spotlight herself when she was awarded the YOUTH EXTERNAL COMPETITION TROPHY for her recent strong performances in the Laser 4.7 Class.

Each year the DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S TROPHY is awarded for a different regatta or achievement.  In 2016 it has been presented by the Cruising Committee to Janey Devine.               

Topping off this remarkable evening of sailing plaudits attracting well-deserved applause, was the presentation of the Champion of Champions Trophy.

The title 'CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS' and its associated prize has been awarded for the past four years to the owner/ skipper of the boat scoring the highest points across the four Summer Series regattas.

This year the title and the prize has been awarded to Michael and Sebastian Blair, campaigning Cobra, their King 40, with a young and talented crew. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

Setting Sail for the RORC Caribbean 600
Thirty-four yachts have officially entered the ninth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starting from Antigua on Monday 20th February 2017. With almost double the number of entries at this time last year, the race has already attracted a magnificent fleet and is expected to better last year's record entry of 70 yachts.

Over the next four months, a huge variety of yachts will arrive in Antigua, along with crews from all corners of the world in order to prepare for the start of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 600 mile yacht race around eleven Caribbean islands.

"The RORC Caribbean 600 is the only true offshore race in the West Indies and is a very attractive event for many sailors. I love every part of the race as you have to navigate to always put the boat in the right place, even though the situation is often changing," explains veteran French round the world sailor, Lionel Pean who is skippering the physically demanding Volvo 70, SFS II in the 2017 edition.

"The race requires full mental concentration and that is one of its most exciting values. You always have to ask yourself questions about your decisions and it is also a very technical race from one leg to another. There are always decisions to be made and many effects from the land. Racing around so many tropical islands in great weather is very beautiful. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a very unique race," says Pean, whose nickname is 'the Rock' (and it's not just about his rugby player physique). -- Louay Habib

2017 Notice of Race

List of Entries

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

Seahorse Magazine

(Max) speed for all
Trickledown can require serious smarts - and investment - if it is to be relevant. The development of North 3Di Race took both

All pulling together
No need to be self-obsessed when cold and damp on the rail... become an active member of your boat's data acquisition and management group

Better testing better products
If you can meet the technical clothing needs of a string of Rio 2016 medallists you can probably work wonders offshore as well

Sleek as ever
Umberto Felci's new 58-foot addition to the Grand Soleil performance range has something of the Mini Maxi about it...

Why some of the most sophisticated fibres in the best racing cordage can be vulnerable to fatigue just as much as abrasion

Rod Davis
Just shake your head and softly whisper 'WTF'

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Industry News
The world’s largest marine equipment trade show, METS Trade, opened Tuesday at RAI Amsterdam in the Netherlands to large crowds amid cool, rainy weather. More than 22,000 professional exhibitors are expected this week for what is billed as the largest METS Trade ever, featuring a record 1,471 exhibitors.

Winners of the seven categories of the 26th DAME Design Awards for innovative design were announced, including the winner of the overall 2016 DAME Design Award - electric marine engine manufacturer Torqeedo GmbH.

Torqeedo took top honors for its Cruise FP range of electric sail drives. Torqeedo also was the winner in the Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems and Fittings category.

Additional DAME category award winners were:

Marine Electronics and Marine-Related Software - Airmar Technology for its DX900+ Multilog, the marine industry’s first Bluetooth-enabled, multifunctional sensor

Interior Equipment, Furnishings, Materials and Electrical Fittings Used in Cabins - C.M Illuminazione for its Jolly Roger reading lamp with adjustable magnetic reflector

Marina Equipment, Sails and Rigging - Harken Inc. for its Air Winch with performance optimization gear sets

Lifesaving and Safety Equipment - Securitag SAS for its Sea-Tags MOB alarm system, which connects via smartphone and requires no onboard installation

Marina Equipment, Boatyard Equipment and Boat Construction Tools Materials - TruDesign for its Skin Fitting Installation Tools, which enable one person to carry out all installation of through-hull skin fitting

Clothing and Crew Accessories - Zhik Pty Ltd. for the water-repellent fabric technology in its Zhik line of performance watersports apparel.

The DAME Design Award competition attracted 117 product submissions from companies in 26 countries; 67 products made the list for final consideration. In addition to the category and overall winners, 22 products received special mentions.


The Volvo Ocean Race will work more closely than ever with the marine industry’s biggest innovators after agreeing Official Supplier status with a host of major companies for the 2017-18 edition.

Industry leaders Spinlock, Riwal and Gottifredi Maffioli will join existing Boatyard suppliers Volvo Penta, North Sails, Mastervolt, Southern Spars NZ, Harken and B&G as Volvo Ocean Race Official Suppliers in order to develop and create bespoke products and solutions for sailing’s toughest offshore challenge.

Right now, the agreements include work on the €1 million-per-boat refit process underway in The Boatyard’s state-of-the-art facility in Lisbon, Portugal. In the long term, the hope is the collaboration will lead to innovations that trickle down into the consumer sector.


Organizers said more than 360 manufacturers of sailboats and yachts, multihull boats, catamarans, daysailers and dinghies will present their products at boot Dusseldorf in Germany in January.

Halls 14 to 17 will be transformed into an enormous sailing center at the Jan. 21-29 event, turning the 48th International Boat Show into what organizers said is the most important platform worldwide for the presentation of all classes and kinds of sailing.

Market leaders Jeanneau, Beneteau, Bavaria and Hanse will be represented again, highlighting interesting advances in their development operations. Other exhibitors will include Hallberg Rassy, Dufour, X Yachts, Oyster CNB and Swan.

A detailed list of all exhibitors and the boats they will present at boot 2017 is available at


Boat International Media has announced that the twelfth World Superyacht Awards will return to the impressive Palazzo Vecchio.

For those who missed out on the splendour of last year, this will be another opportunity to dine under the breathtaking frescoes created by Michelangelo and Leonardo di Vinci.

On Saturday 13 May, the elite of the superyacht world, owners and industry leaders will come together to recognise the finest superyachts launched throughout 2016. The weekend programme will offer guests further opportunities to explore this historic city including events such the finalist cocktail party, Sunday brunch as well as other cultural activities.


This year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the largest in the event’s history. “There was a lot of new product out there,” Show Management CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III said.

Show Management CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III said attendance at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was up 5 percent this year from the 2015 show.

The company, which produces the show, does not release exact figures, but it pegged the number of visitors at about 100,000.

This year’s show, which began Nov. 3 and concluded Monday, was the biggest ever - about 3 million square feet at seven sites, Zimbalist said. Although the number of exhibitors - about 1,000 - was down slightly, many bought more space, accounting for the event’s growth in size.


The British Marine Trades Association awards dinner will take place during the London Boat Show.

It’s awards time of the year and we’re asking for your nominations for the Boating Business / Marine Trades Association annual awards that will be presented at The Pearson Room at Canary Wharf during the London Boat Show.

The awards acknowledge achievements within our industry and we’re asking for your nominations for potential award winners.

Each year the annual dinner and awards evening grows in popularity so this year the event will take place at a new venue able to accommodate all those that would like to attend.

The awards will consist of the British Marine Trade Association Retailer of the Year, British Marine Trade Association Personality of the Year, British Marine Trade Association Chairman’s Special Award, Boating Business Environment Award, Boating Business Website Award looking at interesting design and use of the latest apps etc, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Scott Deverell Young Businessperson of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, David Coleman Excellence in Exporting Award and the British Marine Leisure Boating Customer Service Award.

Recommendations for the awards should be sent to .

Tickets are now available for the award ceremony and dinner - enquiries should be sent to

Sponsors include Ocean Safety, A Plan Insurance, PSP Logistics and Matchtech and further sponsorship opportunities are available.


The German Fair Trade Commission has approved the acquisition of Blohm+Voss GmbH by Lurssen Maritime Beteiligungen GmbH & Co. KG.

With the acquisition of the Hamburg shipyard, the Bremen-based, family-owned company intends to strengthen, in particular, the service offerings for repair and refit of yachts, naval and commercial ships as well as enhancing its naval new build activities within their corporation.

In the coming weeks, the first steps towards intensifying the cooperation will be initiated.

The purchase agreement was signed at the end of September this year.

Founded in 1875, the family-owned, German company Lurssen specialises in the design and manufacture of yachts over 60m as well as naval and coastguard ships.

The private yacht and military ship new build business is supported by extensive service offerings in after sales, including refit, repair, maintenance and global logistics services.

With the acquisition, the Lurssen Group will now combine six highly specialised shipyards with around 2,800 employees in Northern Germany.


INNOV’SAIL, International Conference on Innovation in High Performance Sailing Yachts that will be held in Lorient, France, from 21 to 23 June 2017.

The conference venue is in the Cite de la Voile Eric Tabarly, a purpose-built marine centre and museum dedicated to the adventure of modern sailing. The Cite is in the heart of the Yacht Racing Centre in the beautiful bay of Lorient, home of many high technology yachting industries and racing teams.

The conference will provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest scientific and technological research and its application in the complex field of high performance yachts and competitive sailing. INNOV’SAIL 2017 will offer a unique opportunity to scientists, naval architects, engineers, sailors, sail makers, boat and rig builders and others involved in this fascinating and challenging field to come together to share skills and know-how.

Papers are invited on the following topics to be covered by the conference (list not restrictive):

- Aerodynamics
- Design of sails, masts, rigging
- Hydrodynamics
- Design of hulls, appendages, foils
- Structural analysis and materials
- Fluid structure interaction
- Computational methods and model validation
- New experimental results and techniques
- Towing tank, wind tunnel and full scale measurements
- Performance enhancement in general
- Racing tactics and strategy, micro-meteorology and sites investigation
- Wind propulsion for ships
- Eco-design, eco-friendly yachting, energy on board

Abstracts of no more than 400 words and 2 pages should be sent to before November 15th 2016. Full papers of accepted abstracts will be due for March 1st 2017.

Please contact us for more information, either at or at

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The Last Word
I suppose he must have taken about a nine or something in hats. Shows what a rotten thing it is to let your brain develop too much. -- P.G. Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves

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