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

Taking Action To Avoid The Storm
After spending some of yesterday during the day and evening hove to, slowed to speeds of just two or three knots as he sought to reduce the level of danger he faces negotiating a violent storm, Yann Elies, the fifth placed French skipper of Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir, was today struggling to come to terms with his choices and their consequences.

The three times winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, racing his second Vendee Globe, sounded concerned at not knowing exactly what weather and seas he still has to face but so too he is 'fed up' that his prudent choices mean also accepting the net loss of very hard earned miles to his rivals in front of him who are not affected.

Some 600 miles south east of Tasmania, Elies has tiptoed as the low's centre passes just to the north of him, but he is tired and stressed and has had more than 40-knot winds to deal with. And he is concerned that he will still have unruly seas of more than seven and a half metres to contend with. All the while he has been taking avoiding action, he says. He has lost another 24 hours or more than 400 miles to fourth placed Jeremie Beyou - his long time Figaro class rival.

Beyou (MaƮtre CoQ) is now 835 miles ahead when two and a half days ago that delta was 375 miles.

Jean Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac), who is sixth, was arriving into the lee of Tasmania around 1800hrs UTC having diverted more than 500 miles north east to avoid the same storm.

At the front of the fleet, Alex Thomson's deficit behind leader Armel Le Cleac'h is at just on 200 miles. The following few days are about disorderly high pressure, lighter wind areas.

18ft Skiffs: Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew's decision to go with their new big rig proved a winner in this past weekend's Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy 3-Buoy 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour.

With a 12-15 knot ENE wind prevailing, only four of the 18-boat fleet elected to go with the bigger #1 rig and it was decisive in the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers win.

Thulow's team of Michael Coxon, Dave O'Connor and Trent Barnabas crossed the finish line 32s ahead of second-placed Line 7 (Jonathan Whitty, Aron Everett, Greg Dixon), with Ilve (Ollie Hartas, Mark Muirhead, Adam Bolton) a further 12s back in third place.

The race began sensationally with (David Witt) and last week's winner Triple M (James Ward) recalled for being over the line too early.

Triple M's crew returned while the Appliancesonline crew were unaware of the recall and continued to sail the course.

For the rest of the fleet, the start was even and there was a close battle for supremacy on the long windward beat from the start off Clark Island to the 3-Buoys marks off the Beashel Buoy.

The race was the final race before the Christmas-New Year break.

Racing will resume on Sunday, 8 January with the W.C. 'Trappy' Duncan Memorial Trophy

The 2017 JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed from 25 February-5 March. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

The Best Of (Spring) Times
Seahorse Magazine The biggest keelboat regatta in America... take a wild guess?

For the past 10 of its 22 years, Sperry Charleston Race Week has seen its popularity explode as more and more teams from the US and beyond have discovered the unique pleasures of springtime racing in a historic city known for its ambience of charm and its southern hospitality. After several years of very rapid growth, the combination of an attractive destination, excellence in event management, consistently great sailing conditions and a time-efficient format has all contributed to this event becoming the largest keelboat regatta in both North and South America. No wonder entries now reliably exceed 250 boats - divided into multiple one-design and handicap classes.

And then of course there are the beach parties... Charleston in the spring is a magical place: mild weather, Southern hospitality, history and culture, and azaleas in full bloom helped prompt Travel & Leisure magazine to name Charleston the 'No.1 Destination city in the US and Canada' for the past four years straight (Charleston was upgraded to No.1 Destination city in the world for 2016).

Full story in the January issue of Seahorse:

RYA Response to UK Sport Funding Announcement
The RYA has welcomed today's UK Sport funding announcement for sailing, which will underpin the sport's World Class Programme for the 2017-2020 Olympic cycle.

As a multi medal-winning sport for the fifth consecutive Games and top nation at the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing competition, the sport has been granted 'Band 1' status and £26.231 million to support its performance efforts towards Tokyo 2020.

"We're proud that sailing once again delivered against its medal targets and contributed towards a hugely successful British performance at Rio 2016 which captivated the nation and inspired a new wave of aspiring young athletes and sailors," said RYA Performance Director John Derbyshire.

With sailing not currently on the Paralympic Games programme for Tokyo 2020, the sport is not eligible to receive a World Class Programme Paralympic funding award. The RYA will, however, continue to invest strategically in racing at selected Sailability and regional High Performance Clubs with the aim of developing racing participation and supporting World Sailing towards having the sport reinstated for the 2024 cycle.

2017 GC32 Racing Tour
In 2017 the GC32 Racing Tour will build on its position as the circuit offering the 'best possible foiling experience' to competitors, with an easily-accessible five regatta circuit spanning southern Europe.

Welcoming both professional teams and those with owner-drivers, the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour will visit top European sailing venues offering the best chance of 10-20 knot winds and flat water; conditions that promote optimum foiling. As always on the Tour, races are short, but the venues allow large enough courses to be set, so the flying catamarans can stretch their legs fully and crews can experience why the GC32 is one of the world's fastest one designs.

2017 GC32 Racing Tour
11-14 May - GC32 Riva Cup / Riva del Garda, Italy
28 June-1 July - TBA
2-5 August - 36 Copa del Rey / Palma de Mallorca, Spain
13-16 September - TBA
12-15 October - Marseille One Design / Marseille, France

Supermaxis Clash Ahead Of Sydney Hobart
A trio of supermaxis will clash for the first and only time on Tuesday prior to the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day.

The Australian duo of Wild Oats and Perpetual Loyal will dice with Seng Huang Lee's Hong Kong yacht Scallywag in the annual high-speed harbour event - their only meeting prior to being on the start line in December 26.

But missing from the action on the 14 nautical mile harbour course is the fourth supermaxi heading to Hobart - Ludde Ingvall's radical 100-footer CQS.

Ingvall, a former two-time line honours winner of the race with previous big boats, has opted to train rather than race in the event after arriving in Sydney from New Zealand late last week. "We have a number of tweaks and modifications to make and it will take a few days to iron out," Ingvall said.

The winner of the Big Boat Challenge will claim early boasting rights ahead of the 72nd Sydney to Hobart.

All three yachts have had work done since the last race south where both Wild Oats and Perpetual Loyal were early casualties of stormy conditions and Scallywag raced as Syd FIscher's Ragamuffin.

Wild Oats sports a new bow, Perpetual Loyal has been strengthened and like Scallywag, has also made changes to its water ballast system.

Industry News
Robbie Young has been named Managing Director of Harken New Zealand. Young, who previously led the development and operation of Harken's hydraulics business internationally, replaces Harken New Zealand Managing Director, Garry Lock, who will continue his involvement in an advisory capacity.

George Clark, the current Commercial Manager of Harken New Zealand, has been appointed Vice-Managing Director of the New Zealand arm of Harken.

Young, 54, grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana in a multi-generational boat-building family. His sailing experience includes four America's Cup campaigns: Courageous 1983, America II 1987, Stars and Stripes 2000, and BMW Oracle Racing in 2003. He was on the shore team for Paul Cayard's Pirates of the Caribbean in the 2005 - 06 Volvo Ocean Race. He first lived in Auckland from 1999 to 2006, through two New Zealand defenses of the America's Cup. Young has a 24-year-old daughter and a 22-year-old son. He is married to a Kiwi, Maria Ryan-Young.


Sweboat - Marine Industries Association - has agreed with the Association Western Swedish boat industry (VSBB) to take over the floating boat show in Marstrand Association pushed for two years.

After last week's announcement that Sweboat would no longer organize any floating exhibition on the West Coast, the reactions have been many. The message has been that the boating industry wants it Sweboat to arrange industry fairs.

After new negotiations with VSBB - and parallel to the association Sailboats Sweden now have recommended all of sailboat companies exhibiting in Marstrand - took Sweboat decision to acquire fair in Marstrand and thus re-arrange a floating exhibition on the West Coast.


Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Miller Lite beer, distributed by Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support of the 2017 regatta.

Cruzan Rum, which is produced at its Estate Diamond distillery on St. Croix, was founded in 1760 and has been run by eight generations of the Nelthropp family.

Miller Lite, the Original Light Beer produced by the Miller Brewing Co., in Milwaukee, WI, is produced using a special 21-day triple hops recipe. The recipe uses a unique blend of choice Saaz and Pacific Northwest hops, caramel malt and strain of the original brewer's yeast that Frederick Miller brought from Germany in the 1850's.

The St. Thomas International Regatta, now in its forty-fourth year, is a world-class event renowned for its fantastic round the buoys and round the islands racing, first-class race committee and friendly can-do attitude towards its competitors. Over 80 entries, including a sleek fleet of offshore catamarans, plus one-design Melges 20s, C&C 30's and home-grown IC24s are expected in 2017. Additionally, the second annual Round the Rocks Race, a circumnavigation of the neighboring island of St. John will take place March 23.


RS Sailing have entered into a new partnering relationship with McConaghy for the build of a selection of RS Sailing's small boat and keel boat range.

McConaghy will be the build partner for the RS Elite, the RS 500, the majority of RS Sailing's foils, with further projects likely to be added.

Production will be at the same facility that McConaghy is already building for many of the world's leading brands, including its partnership as builder of the MACH2 foiling moth and the WASZP foiling moth.


ORACLE TEAM USA has received four all-electric BMW i3 cars for team members to use in Bermuda.

The island's BMW dealership, Ultimate Motors, presented the cars to the team on Monday afternoon in a ceremony at the team base in Bermuda.

First launched in 2013, the BMW i3 is now the world's best-selling BEV in the Premium Compact BEV segment with more than 60,000 sold. The BMW i3 has won two World Car of the Year Awards, selected as 2014 World Green Car of the Year and also as 2014 World Car Design of the Year. The i3 was also given an iF Product Design Gold Award, and, in the first UK Car of the Year Awards, it won in two categories: UK Car of the Year 2014 and Best Supermini of 2014.


Digitally simulating the air and water to gain a better understanding of the impact of fluid interaction on a boat's elements, such is the core of HDS GSEA Design's experience. On Monday evening, during the French Sailing Federation's champions' night, the Lorient-based design office received the prize for high technology, in the design category, organised by the Federation of Nautical Industries. A just reward for these inventors behind the scenes.

Sharper than the FBI, more Breton than the IMF, the FSI is at the very heart of what's topical in the marine industry and its latest revolutions. This acronym, which means Fluid-Structure Interaction singly sums up the question of performance and reliability in terms of appendages, and notably foils, which have become an obvious solution in the marine world as we know it today.

Since the main idea is to enable multihulls to make headway with solely their appendages piercing the water - and for monohulls to extract themselves as much as possible from the resistance created by the water -, it has become crucial to understand and anticipate how these appendages behave when subjected to the elements. As such, the FSI solution is a piece of software that enables the design of these appendages to be optimised by calculating all the parameters of resistance, flow and stability in flight by digitally simulating the deformed shape of the water around the elements that come into contact with it.

In the past, HDS received 1st prize for innovation for the wing of USA 17 and GSEA Design was rewarded for the design of Groupama's C-Class. On Monday evening, at the Edouard VII theatre, HDS GSEA Design took to the stage to receive its trophy for high performance.


Quantum Announced as Official Sailmaker of the Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race and Cuba Cup

We're pleased to announce that we've partnered with Quantum as the official sailmaker of the Pineapple Cup and Cuba Cup!

Quantum will have representatives on site at the start of the Pineapple Cup in Miami. We'd like to introduce these reps that will be at the event and invite you to reach out to them now to take advantage of their expertise for your sail planning needs.

Quantum Pineapple Cup Reps:

Marty Kullman


Alexander Clegg


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This is hull # 96 and has always been very well maintained by her three owners.She was first built as SAMBA PA TI and then she was named TWINS. Her current owner has not used her for several years, but she is located in Portsmouth Rhode Island, has been under shrink wrap and has a Captain maintain her. In her inventory are many North sails, with several 1st string primary racing sails, having never been out of the bags! If one is in the market for a very nice and lightly used Farr 40, DARKSIDE could be the weapon of choice.

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Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

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The Last Word
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwrd. -- Vernon Law

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