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

A New Race Record Set At The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Arriving in Hobart at 02:31.20 on Wednesday 28 December, Anthony Bell's 100-ft Maxi Perpetual LOYAL has set a new race record of 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds at the Rolex Sydney Hobart and in the process secured line honours in the 72nd edition of the famous offshore race.

Perpetual LOYAL's remarkable time is 4 hours, 51 minutes, 52 seconds faster than the previous record set by Wild Oats XI in 2012. It is the 12th time since the inaugural race in 1945 that the record has been broken.

Perpetual LOYAL began the 628-nm race with intent, making an impressive start as the first yacht to pass Sydney Heads. Although she relinquished leadership of the race to the all-conquering Wild Oats XI during the rapid passage down the New South Wales coast of the Tasman Sea, Bell's crew was first to take advantage of the hydraulic ram failure sustained by the race leader nearly 21 hours into the contest. "We were probably neck and neck with Wild Oats, maybe a mile away, when it happened," explained Bell. "It was sad to see them break. We would like to have played on against them... but that's racing."

Bell and his crew of 18 comprises a number of experienced competitors including 25-time Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigner Brad Kellett and sailors - including Pablo Arrarte and Justin Clougher - who enjoyed line honours success 2015 onboard the American yacht Comanche. This in addition to Tom Slingsby, Olympic gold medallist and Rolex World Sailor of the Year in 2010. "Going into the race, we had nothing to lose," revealed Bell. "We came out of the blocks and raced one hell of a race. It was never part of our plans to break the race record but it's an awesome thing to have done."

Giacomo Beats Scallywag To Second On Line In Rolex Sydney Hobart
You could not wipe the grin from Jim Delegat's face when he arrived at the dock in Hobart after skippering his Volvo 70, Giacomo, to second place on line in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race early this morning.

Delegat was chuffed to finish 2 hours 56mins and 07secs inside Wild Oats XI's 2012 record and to beat Seng Huang Lee's 100 foot super maxi over the line by 2 minutes 10secs. All this with his two sons, Nikolas (20) and James (18) aboard to share the spoils.

James is the youngest sailor in this year's race, having turned 18 on December 11 - and it is his first Sydney Hobart experience - while Nikolas has just completed his second on Giacomo.

In the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Giacomo was dismasted on the Tasmanian coast, nearing the finish. So close and yet so far.

This time the crew of the former Groupama 4 (winner of the 2011-2012 VOR) were ashore and celebrating as Jim Cooney's Volvo Open 70 Maserati and Peter Harburg's modified V70 Black Jack were gliding towards the Castray Esplanade finish line in very little breeze on the Derwent.

First Cape Horn For Jeremie Beyou
At 1344 hrs UTC on Tuesday 27th December 2016, Jeremie Beyou (Maître CoQ) rounded Cape Horn in third place in the Vendee Globe. It took him 51 days 1 hour and 42 minutes since the race started on 6th November in Les Sables d'Olonne.

This was four days, one hour and ten minutes after Banque Populaire VIII (Armel Le Cleac'h) and two days, two hours and two minutes after Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson).

This is the first time that Jeremie Beyou has rounded Cape Horn in his sailing career.

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
Dozens of submissions to date for our eighth annual Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar competition.

You can submit YOUR entry until Friday January 6 2017.

From all of the submissions, the team at Wight Vodka will choose the top 10 bars which are put forward for the online voting from Monday January 9 through Tuesday January 30.

We announce the winner on February 1 2017.

Tell us your favourite:

Wight Vodka
Tack & Gybe Responsibly

And while mulling over your decision... enjoy this seasonal cocktail:

6 oz. Wight Vodka
1 c. mango lemonade
1 c. pink lemonade blended with ½ cup of strawberries
1 c. regular lemonade
1 c. ice

Fill blender with 1/3 of vodka and mango lemonade and ice. Blend and set aside. Repeat 2 more times, first with strawberry/pink lemonade then regular lemonade.

Chill each mixture, and keep each layer chilled until ready to pour in glass.Pour into serving glass in layers starting with mango mix, then strawberry/pink lemonade mix, and lastly regular lemonade.

Risk Management
A one-design Volvo Ocean Race equals tight racing around the planet - that was certainly the case with the VO65 one-designs introduced for the last edition of the event. But things could change considerably next time around... Blue Robinson talked to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's 2014/2015 race winning navigator Simon Fisher about rewriting the risk-reward equation as a result of 'opening up' the next edition of the race in 2017/18

Seahorse Magazine: Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner raised the element of a sheep mentality in the last race. How much of this was true, do you think?

Simon Fisher: From our team perspective onboard Azzam we were well prepared and so we set off with the mentality that we would be conservative, we wouldn't take too many risks and would play the fleet, and with this preparation and good boat speed we were hoping other boats would fall off the back of us. By not taking risks and by consistently scoring good results we would do well, which was how it played out. I know from speaking to guys in other teams as the race progressed that they saw our approach as a good one, so when everyone got closer and learned from each other, sure, a herd mentality started to develop.

SH: This is after all a one-design fleet...

SF: Exactly. When we used to race on the VO70s every boat was different, with each having optimum angles and each with a slightly different sail package, so there were times you had to commit to sailing to the angle that was fast for you. Now with a one-design boat, theoretically everyone's optimum angles are the same, and this, tied with the fact we can see each other on AIS all the time, meant it was close and so nobody wanted to take a big risk.

Full article in the February issue of Seahorse magazine:

Freides Crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Ranking Champion, Thielman Takes North American Title, Rombelli Tops Europe
With fifteen events completed spanning Asia, Europe and North America, the International Melges 20 Class presents a 2016 World Ranking trifecta

Earlier this month, the International Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) brought its 2016 World Ranking challenge to a dramatic end in Miami. At the conclusion of fifteen memorable events that took place all across Europe, North America and Asia, California's Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee has won the highly coveted title of 2016 World Ranking Champion.

Other notable teams that have had an impeccable year sailing the Melges 20 that made the top five rankings include Russia's Igor Rytov's Russian Bogatyrs, Guido Miani's Out of Reach, reigning World Champion Michael Illbruck on Pinta, Richard Davies' Section 16, North American Champ Justin Quigg's Character 2.0, Rob Wilber on Cinghiale and Jim Wilson's Oleander.

Above and beyond the individual results, the 2016 World Ranking has rewarded the entire International fleet with record numbers: a full 12-months of one design sportboat racing, 15 top-notch events around the world, and 113 participating teams representing 18 nationalities (Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

The IM20CA is now firmly looking forward to 2017 with great anticipation as it will make a debut in a new event format called the Melges World League. View a complete list of 2017 Melges 20 Events online at

2016 Melges 20 World Ranking Overall, Top Five Results
1. Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee = 111 points
2. Alessandro Rombelli, STIG = 107
3. Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs = 97
4. Guido Miani, Out of Reach = 96
5. Liam Kilroy, Wildman; 92

Full 2016 Melges 20 World Ranking

2016 Melges 20 European Ranking, Top Five Results
1. Alessandro Rombelli, STIG = 107
2. Guido Miani, Out of Reach = 96
3. Michael Illbruck, Pinta = 90
4. Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs = 82
5. Richard Davis, Section 16 = 78

Full 2016 Melges 20 European Ranking

2016 Melges 20 North American Ranking, Top Five Results
1. Daniel Thielman, Kuai = 73
2. Justin Quigg, Character 2.0 = 69
3. Rob Wilber, Cinghiale = 58
4. Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee = 56
5. James Wilson, Oleander = 54

Full 2016 Melges 20 North American Ranking

Dreams Are Possible
Frenchman Thomas Coville has smashed the round-the-world unassisted solo sailing record by a stunning eight days, in a Christmas feat he said he hoped would teach humans never to be "fooled into thinking things will be worse tomorrow".

An armada of vessels - including one carrying his wife and son - came out to meet Mr Coville off Brest, western France, on Monday morning. The 48-year-old received a hero's welcome with champagne upon touching dry land, becoming the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone in a boat in under 50 days.

"Great dreams never come off first time. I tried, I failed, I fell, I picked myself up again, I rebuilt myself," he said by way of explaining his extraordinary success.

He had crossed the official finish line in Ushant, an island in the southwestern English Channel, at 5.57pm local time on Sunday after a trip that took just 49 days, 3 hours, 7 minutes and 38 seconds.

This was the fourth fastest time for any circumnavigation on a yacht, including those with as many as ten crew.

After a decade and five failed attempts, Mr Coville's sixth almost foundered at one point when he narrowly averted a head-on collision with a whale. "We must have seen each other at the same time. I swerved, the boat veered sideways. For a moment I expected the worst. It could have ended there," he recalled.

The Next Generation Of America's Cup Boats
The new year will bring a flurry of activity in the America's Cup world with the six competing syndicates expected to launch their sleek new 50-ft race boats over the coming weeks.

Under the protocol that governs the next America's Cup, the earliest teams can launch their race boat is today. Given that date falls smack bang in the middle of the festive season when many marine suppliers will be shut down, it is likely we'll see most teams launch over the first couple of weeks of January.

While it is theoretically possible, how realistic is it that teams will be able to complete "dry laps" in a race situation?

Ashby reckons it is entirely realistic.

He says "dry laps" can be achieved in anything from 8-17 knots of breeze - or about 80 per cent of the conditions they're expected to encounter in Bermuda. In light winds there won't be the power to achieve full displacement, while in anything more than 17 knots it becomes a lot trickier to handle the boats, and you may see the boats bucking and the hulls kiss down on the water.

But to successfully pull off maneouvres without the hulls touching down on the water requires perfect choreography of crew work.

"There's probably about 6-8 things that have to happen exactly right to be able to pull the [foil tack] maneouvre off well," says Ashby.

"The daggerboard rakes, the transferring the load in the wing at the right time, crew transfer, and also getting enough power to be able to get the daggerboards up and down.

It's really quite a finely choreographed dance step that has to happen accurately to be able to pull it off consistently."

"I think we'll find in the racing next year that everyone will be able to do it, but it's how consistently well you can do it under pressure with another boat breathing down your neck."

Dana Johannsen's full article in the New Zealand Herald:

The Format For The Next Edition Of The Barcelona World Race Is Evolving
The Barcelona World Race is the second Round the World race on the IMOCA programme. Indeed, it was back in 2006 that the skippers opted for the race to take this direction and the first edition set sail in December 2007.

One of the aims of this race was to facilitate access to singlehanded and double-handed races for sailors who only had experience of fully crewed races. Sailing around the world in double-handed format before taking on the Vendee Globe is certainly a good strategy. It is this methodology that the current IMOCA skippers were keen to reassert when they suggested that the FNOB, organiser of the Barcelona World Race, develop the format of the race to make it more accessible without losing the high quality, competitive element of past editions.

In this way, the race will now make a stopover in Australia (Sydney to be confirmed), after leaving the Capes of Good Hope and Leeuwin to port, and then set sail again as a fleet back to Barcelona, this time leaving Antarctica to starboard and Cape Horn to port.

This edition offers competitors the opportunity to switch co-skipper during the stopover, with only the skipper compelled to sail the entire Round the World course.

Over the coming weeks, discussions will continue between IMOCA and the FNOB, who will officially present the race in its new format in Barcelona in February 2017.

Storm Trysail Safety-At-Sea Video Library Now Available Online
The Storm Trysail Foundation is one of the world's leaders in the development of safety-at-sea strategies and techniques. For over a decade, Storm Trysail Club members have been conducting Jr. Safety-at-Sea Seminars at yacht clubs across the U.S.; and in recent years the adult-focused Hands-on Safety-at-Sea Seminars have taught thousands of racing and cruising sailors how to protect themselves while coastal sailing or offshore racing.

One of the mainstays of the Hands-on Safety-at-Sea Seminar is a series of instructional videos that participants view online before attending the event. This 10-video library is now available to all sailors bringing them over two hours of safety-at-sea strategies, techniques, and tips developed by some of the world's top ocean sailors and introduced by Storm Trysail Club member Gary Jobson.

For a one-time fee of $40.00 US, sailors receive a lifetime subscription to the full library to view over and over. They and their shipmates will be better prepared in the case of an emergency whether racing or cruising, in coastal waters or offshore, under sail or power. And, as Storm Trysail updates and adds more videos to its library, subscribers will have access to the expanded collection at no additional cost.

The first ten videos cover:
- Practical Man Overboard Recovery
- Understanding Weather
- Understanding Offshore Weather
- Flares and Pyrotechnic Devices
- Storm Sails
- Shipboard Firefighting Strategies
- Fighting Shipboard Fires
- Personal Safety Equipment
- Cold water survival & Life Rafts
- Deploying a Life Raft

Sailors can click on the link below and order their subscription to the Storm Trysail Foundation's complete Safety-at-Sea Video Library. While they're at it, they can also purchase a subscription for crewmates, too. That would make a great, last minute holiday gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

Featured Brokerage
Infiniti 53 - NEW BOAT. 1,900,000 EUR.

The Infiniti 53, a new 53 foot canting keelboat suited for exceptional performance both offshore and inshore. The new yacht will feature a canting keel, gybing centerline daggerboard and leverages the dramatic performance advantages available through the DSS system. The design intends to revolutionize the performance of yachts in the mid-50 foot range. It will be the first Farr-designed boat featuring DSS foils.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Harmen Rockler
Farr Yacht Sales

+1 410 267 6550


2010 Corby Dale Nelson 36 - 2010. Located in Wales, UK.

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


2007 52' King Marine IRC 52. 325,000 USD. Located in Rhode Island, USA.

ICE FIRE can now be obtained. She is a 2007 King Marine built TP 52 that was the last BRIBON, built for the King of Spain. Very successful on the Med circuit in 07/08/09, she came over to the States and as FLYING JENNY was very successful at all the NYYC annual regatta's, Block Island race week and NYYC race weeks. Since 2012, she has been ICE FIRE, and she was successful going to Montego Bay ( 2nd overall 2nd fleet in 2013) and won the 2012 IRC championship in Annapolis and that again last Fall (2014)

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

See the collection at

The Last Word
A celebrated people lose dignity upon a closer view. -- Napoleon Bonaparte

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see