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

Aragon Wins The 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race
Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Marten 72, Aragon has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race and also the winner of IRC Zero. Skipper of the Dutch Maxi, Nicolas Lecarpentier collected the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy at a presentation held in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and back in Holland, Aragon's owners held a private party where the rest of the crew, family and friends watched the presentation via internet connection.

Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70, Phaedo3 has already been declared winner of the Multihull Class and Mike Slade's Farr 100, Leopard was awarded the International Maxi Association (IMA) Trophy for Monohull Line Honours and was third overall after IRC time correction. Infiniti 46, Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell was second overall and winner of IRC Canting keel.

Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron's Campagne de France was presented with a RORC Transatlantic Race Decanter as winner of the Class40 Division and Laurent Pellecuer's Seconde Chance was declared winner of IRC One.

Two yachts are still racing in the IRC fleet, however, neither James Heald's Swan 45, Nemesis nor Giles Redpath's Lombard 46, Pata Negra can better Aragon's IRC corrected time.

First Time In The Bass Strait For Vendee Globe
For the first time ever in the non-stop solo round the world Vendee Globe race's history, a competitor has gone through Bass Strait to avoid a storm in the Southern Ocean.

Frenchman Jean Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac) is the first Vendee Globe skipper ever to race through the Bass Strait. He was 45 nautical miles north of Devonport - half way across the north coast of Tasmania at 0400hrs TU this Wednesday. Dick was making 16kts and exited the Strait, and the shelter of Tasmania, at 0900hrs TU.

The French skipper has elected to sail a course over 400 miles north of the thumb line, usual track, as he seeks to avoid a violent storm which is now passing to the south of him. A helicopter flew over Dick, a solo skipper who is lying in seventh place on his fourth successive Vendee Globe and has twice won the two handed Barcelona World Race around the world, in his first sight of other human life since he left Les Sables d'Olonne (France) on Sunday 6th November.

Dear Santa... Please Can I Have Some Starboard Tack Now?
According to the current weather models, and as also supported today by the British skipper Alex Thomson in his Vendee LIVE call to Paris Race HQ, the two Vendee Globe solo round the world leaders Thomson and Armel Le Cleac'h should be at Cape Horn at Christmas. But, faced with probability of sailing on his unfavoured port tack for almost all of the remaining 3000 miles to the legendary 'corner' where the solo round the world race fleet turn left to climb back up the Atlantic, Thomson is rather hoping for an early Christmas present.

After snapping his starboard foil on November 19th he suffers a speed deficit in the moderate to fresh wind strengths on port gybe. Right now the Pacific Ocean is living up to its name for the two leaders, British skipper, Thomson is close to 300 miles behind leader Armel Le Cleac'h and has been racing in less than 10kts of breeze for some of today. The harsh reality is that he will likely have to wait until Rio before he can spend any sustained period on his favoured gybe, and hopefully pulling miles back on the French pacemaker Le Cleac'h.

Picture Yourself In Paradise! St. Thomas International Regatta - March 24-26, 2017
St. Thomas International Regatta Forecast call for snow and subzero temperatures? Then Register Now for the 2017 St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). The weather is sunny with a 100% chance for great racing in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands!

Don't be left out in the cold! The Offshore Cat class is sizing up to be among the largest and fastest in the Caribbean. Entries include four Gunboats - Arethusa, ELVIS, Fault Tolerant and Flow as well as the new HH66, NALA. Cats from rallies like the ARC from Europe and Caribbean 1500, Salty Dawg and NARC from the U.S. are invited to enter! One-design classes are multiplying! A half dozen Melges 20 are expected. There's a new C&C 30 class too. Over 20 home-grown designed IC24s will also be on the start line. IC24s are available for charter through the new St. Thomas Sailing Center, making it easy for teams to fly in and race. Calling all cruisers! The Non-Spinnaker class is heating up too with Beneteau Firsts, Dufours and Rangers registered.

Feeling hot, hot, hot! Get your Caribbean vibe on! The big 'Party Like a Sailor' shindig happens at Yacht Haven Grande, an ideal place for Grand Prix teams to dock and stock supply trailers. New, theme nights include a Show Your Team Spirit Night, Cruzan Rum & Reggae party where mixologists teach how to make the latest tropical cocktails, and a Cultural Showcase at the Awards Ceremony. New daytime fun includes DJ'd beach games and a visit from the Caribbean Mermaid Academy, which promises fun for the whole family, especially the kids!

Don't Wait! Register Now!
For information, Email: , Call (340) 642-3204

World's Highest Significant Wave Height As Measured By A Buoy
Note that this is "significant" wave height -- in essence, what an observer would have seen if he/she averaged over 15-20 waves passing by the buoy -- that is a much better thing than "rogue waves" which really cannot be accurately measured. According to one of our of panel's "wave experts": "There have been many more less reliable estimates of rogue waves from other platforms, and from satellite SAR. These are generally unverifiable, since there is no ground truth for the satellite, and the others tend to be from pitching and rolling platforms such as ships, and estimates are often based on damage to the superstructure, which may not have been level at the time."

The giant, picked up back in February of 2013 by an automated buoy between Iceland and the United Kingdom, measured 62.3 feet - significantly larger than the previous record of 59.96 feet measured in December 2007, also in the North Atlantic.

During the period of the highest waves the wind speeds measured on the buoy were over 35 kn for the 12 hours preceding the highest waves, with a maximum wind speed reported of 43.8 kn, as shown in Figure 2. The winds were measured using a Gill windsonic (acoustic) anemometer on the buoy at around 3 1/2 m above sea level.

Record was evaluated by the World Meteorological Organization committee of J. Turton, M. Brunet .T. Peterson, V. Swail, and R. Cerveny.

Jules Verne Trophy: A Possible Start Tomorrow For Francis Joyon
The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran has just gone to code green, meaning that their departure is imminent. They are about to make another attempt at the outright crewed round the world record, the Jules Verne Trophy.

Francis Joyon and his crew comprising Clement Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwenole Gahinet and Sebastien Audigane are back in Brest, where they are carrying out the final preparations and stowing supplies on the boat.

A window of opportunity has arisen with a start possible in the mid-morning on Thursday from Ushant. It should give them a good time to the Equator, as long as they manage to deal well with the first 36 hours, which look rough off Brittany. Francis Joyon is giving himself a few more hours to think about it before deciding whether to cast off tomorrow or not.

The latest sea state observations and forecasts for the near Atlantic and the weather systems expected in the South Atlantic are being analysed by Marcel van Triest. The Dutch router will provide his final analysis this evening to enable Francis and his crew to take the ultimate decision about whether to set sail shortly or wait until later in the week for the seas to ease.


Changing Of The Guard For The Classe Mini 6.5
The 2017 Administrators have thus been elected during the General Assembly that took place on December, 3rd

Sebastien Pebelier, Anna Corbella, Victor Turpin, Davy Beaudart and Ludovic Mechin have been elected for the first time.

They join Lucas Montagne, Yann Claverie, Armand de Jacquelot, Ian Lipinski, Nicolas d'Estais, Francois Jambou who were elected last year.

Thanks to Amaury Francois,David Raison, François Denis, Elise Bakhoum and Nikki Curwen for the work done and time spent for the Classe Mini.

Discoveries Race
A new regatta is being created by the European Sailing Fraternity and organized by the following Yachts Clubs: Clube Naval de Cascais CNC, Asociacao Naval de Lisboa ANL and Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria RCNGC. It will take place from August 27th to September 3rd, 2017 with a route between Lisbon, Portugal and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. This regatta commemorates the original route of the Discoverers and will be an excellent opportunity for the boats that want to cross the Atlantic towards America, since the port of departure and the arrival have unbeatable conditions for the participants, apart from the hospitality that the Locals have provided to sailors since this route was opened in the fifteenth century.

The regatta is open to all types of sailing vessels, with no restrictions, and its first objective and aim is to create camaraderie among all participants, with cultural visits and a lot of events at the ports of departure and arrival. For more information about the event, please go to the web:

Viper 640 Achieves International Status From World Sailing
Following steady growth of the Class, the high performance Viper 640 keelboat has successfully achieved International Status from World Sailing (ISAF).

More than 40 boats were shipped for a Bermuda regatta in November 2016 and the decision by World Sailing came just in time for this major Viper 2016 regatta to be designated an international event.

This follows on from selection earlier this year by Gulf State yacht clubs (GYA) for the Viper 640 to be their fleet boat. Their selection process was long and careful, considering the benefits of many sports keelboats. The Viper appeals to all types of sailor, all sexes, young and old and it is clear that the sailors enjoy dynamic sailing at outstanding venues with a strong social programme.

The next major event will be the Bacardi Miami Regatta in spring, March 5-11th 2017, a regular regatta venue for Vipers for the past few years which has attracted overseas participation from Australian, Canadian, and UK teams.

Yachting New Zealand Receive Funding Boost
Yachting New Zealand is looking to maintain the momentum the sport achieved at the Rio Olympics and have a better chance of doing this following an increase in funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand.

Yachting is a targeted tier 1 sport and has been earmarked to receive $15.1 million from HPSNZ in core funding over the next four-year Olympic cycle. This is an increase from $12.45 million received over the last Olympic cycle.

Yachting was one of the success stories of this year's Rio Olympics, securing four medals - gold in the 49er (Peter Burling and Blair Tuke), silver in both the women's 470 (Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie) and 49erFX (Alex Maloney and Molly Meech) and bronze in the Laser (Sam Meech). This equalled the record haul from the 1992 Barcelona Games.

The Nacra 17 crew of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were also fourth in Rio and all seven New Zealand boats finished in the top 10.

Yachting secured two medals at the 2012 London Olympics and one in Beijing four years earlier.

Young Designer Of The Year Awards
Boat International Media is delighted to announce the nine finalists of the 2017 Young Designer of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Netherlands-based shipyard Oceanco.

This year, for the first time, the competition has been divided into two categories to distinguish the experience levels of design students, from competitors who have finished their studies, to those that are employed as a designer or as an intern designer within the yachting industry. Entrants to both categories must be under 26 years old on January 1, 2017.

The finalists were chosen from over 100 entries submitted from students and professional designers from around the globe.

Student finalists will receive the invaluable experience of an all-expenses-paid visit to award sponsor Oceanco's inspiring shipyard in The Netherlands. A golden Neptune trophy will then be presented to the winners of both the student and professional categories, together with a cash prize at the ShowBoats Design Awards ceremony.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: Monaco to Porto Cervo. (The Wally Record Route) Outright Multihull Record.
Yacht: Phaedo 3. MOD 70
Name: Brian Thompson. GBR and 6 crew
Dates:.2nd November 2016.
Start time: 07;13;20 UTC on 02/11/16
Finish time: 15;06;51 UTC on 02/11/16
Elapsed time: 7 hours 53 minutes and 31 seconds
Distance: 195 NM
Average speed: 24.71 kts

This is the initial Outright Multihull Record. The Monohull Record for the Wally Cup is held by Esimit Europa 2 with 10h 13m 32s in 2012.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Chris Gongriep, Rainbow Owner & Holland Jachtbouw Founder, Dies
Chris Gongriep, whose love of sailing led to not just owning, but building superyachts, died today in his native Netherlands. He was 70 years old.

Gongriep was perhaps best-known in business as the founder of G&S Vastgoed, a successful real-estate firm in Amsterdam. It develops commercial and residential buildings, plus office space. It developed much of the Amsterdam South Axis district, for example. But yachting was both a personal and business passion. Gongriep commissioned a 43-foot-long barge from a Dutch shipyard in 1988. Two years later, he established a shipyard of his own, De Hemmes. The company built traditional wooden boats with flat bottoms. De Hemmes quickly became the now-famous Holland Jachtbouw, when Gongriep decided to construct aluminum sailing yachts instead. He gained traction in the industry by acquiring a yacht-management company from famed naval architect Andre Hoek.

Under Gongriep's ownership of Holland Jachtbouw, a number of significant sailing superyachts saw daylight. Among them is Windrose of Amsterdam, a 152-foot schooner delivered in 2001. Gongriep himself was the owner. The yacht broke the transatlantic crossing record not once, but twice, in 2002 and 2005. Another well-known build by Holland Jachtbouw is the 203-foot schooner Athos, its largest to date.

While motoryachts were in the mix as well, sailing had a hold on Gongriep's heart. No wonder, then, he commissioned the J Class Rainbow from Holland Jachtbouw. Rainbow, launched in 2012, is a 131-foot replica of the 1934 America's Cup winner of the same name. Gongriep still wanted to take advantage of modern technology, though. So, he requested a power system that would be whisper-quiet overnight. As a result, Rainbow features a hybrid propulsion and power system that's a first for any J Class yacht. It combines lithium-ion batteries, a primary engine, and a variable-speed electric motor doing the duty of a genset. The electric motor can power the full hotel load aboard Rainbow, as can the batteries. The batteries recharge while Rainbow is sailing, too.

Although Gongriep was no longer affiliated with G&S at the time of his death, the company issued a statement. "With the sudden death of Chris, we lose a special man. An enthusiastic and passionate entrepreneur who meant a lot to many people," it reads.

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Raceboats Only 2011 Spindrift MOD 70. 1,650,000 excl. VAT EUR. Located in West France.

Fully refitted. Track record includes 2012 Winner Multi One Championship,2012 2nd MOD 70 European Tour & Winner Krys Ocean Race. Full Inventory & full refit report available.

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