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

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition
The Top Ten have been announced... and now it's time to vote for the best of 2016.

Vote here:

Le Cleac'h Extends Lead
French sailor Armel Le Cleac'h has almost doubled his lead on arch-rival Alex Thomson overnight after finding breeze to the west of the Cape Verde islands.

After several days of painful progress through the Doldrums that allowed Thomson to close the gap to under 100 nautical miles, Le Cleac'h was this morning 180nm ahead of the Brit. In fact in the 30 minutes leading up to the 0400 UTC report the speedo on Banque Populaire VIII was up to 17 knots while Thomson's Hugo Boss was only making 11. The new buffer will be welcomed by Le Cleac'h, who yesterday spoke of his frustration that an unlucky Doldrums crossing had allowed Thomson back into the game.

Jeremie Beyou, on the other hand, has barely felt the effect of the Doldrums after he passed the Equator yesterday at 1329 UTC. With the Doldrums dissipating, Beyou's Maitre CoQ was this morning making a steady 10 knots north, 700nm behind Le Cleac'h. Eric Bellion was today just 150 miles from Cape Horn, with Conrad Colman a further 100 miles behind.

Top ten ranking:

1. Armel Le Cleac'h, Banque Populaire VIII, 2059 nm to finish
2. Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss, 252 nm to leader
3. Jeremie Beyou, Maitre CoQ, 822
4. Jean-Pierre Dick, StMichel - Virbac, 1262
5. Jean Le Cam, Finistere Mer Vent, 1417
6. Yann Elies, Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, 1429
7. Louis Burton, Bureau Vallee, 2743
8. Nandor Fa, Spirit of Hungary, 4144
9. Eric Bellion, COMMEUNSEULHOMME, 4844
10. Conrad Colman, Foresight Natural Energy, 3964

Quantum Key West Opens The 2017 52 Super Series
Austin and Gwen Fragomen's brand new, recently launched TP52 Interlodge will make its racing debut when 11 highly competitive boats line up to start the 2017 52 SUPER SERIES at Quantum Key West Race Week, next week.

The pressure is on to hit the start line in optimum shape. Since the last regatta of the 2016 season, the EGNOS 52 SUPER SERIES Cascais Cup, in Portugal, there has been just 11 weeks available to make changes to boats and rigs, to ship boats from Europe to Florida, and to make changes to the crew line up. So the preliminary week of informal training off Key West promises to be doubly important.

Racing starts Monday 16th January and runs through to Friday 20th January. For the first time in the six-year history of the world's leading monohull grand prix circuit, all six regattas - two in the USA and four in Europe - will count towards the overall 52 SUPER SERIES title.

Interlodge is one of four boats that race this season within an open book - shared information and coaching - Quantum Sails programme along with the 2016 champions, Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing, Harm Muller-Spreer's German-flagged Platoon and Tony Langley's Gladiator, which races for Great Britain. These four teams got together for a few days of pre-Christmas training in Florida.

For the first time in the USA, all of the action from the final three days of racing will be streamed live from the race course supported by expert commentary and analysis on 52 SUPER SERIES TV, powered by Quantum Sails. Programmes will start at 10 minutes before each start and will be available on and on the 52 SUPER SERIES app, which is available for IOS and Android devices.

Heading To Key West Race Week At Sixty-Five Knots
Harken The Harken Tech Team trailer has just port tacked traffic jams on the Florida Turnpike and earned an inside overlap coming into Key West. Winches need a tune-up? Underdeck furler need a little attention? Looking for replacement ball bearings? Or just want a consult with the Harken Tech Team - live?

This year, you'll find our full-service trailer parked in the driveway turnaround immediately in front of Regatta Headquarters at the Waterfront Brewery.

We'll be open and ready when you arrive!

Contact us at 1-727-460-4274 YJA Young Sailor Of The Year 2016
Elliott Kuzyk Elliott Kuzyk (15), from Poole won the YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award following his victory in the 200-strong Topper World Championship In Ireland, an event open to all ages. Elliott eventually took the title after a seven-way battle for top spot. He also broke UK regional records by winning the Topper Southern Area Championships for an unprecedented fifth year. "It really is a prestigious trophy and I didn't expect to win," said Elliott. "But I am very happy."

The runners up are 18-year old 29er class dinghy sailors Tom Darling from Kettering and Crispin Beaumont from Halesowen, and 15-year old powerboat champion Thomas Mantripp from Lowestoft,

Ian Atkins, Chairman commented after the ceremony, 'I'm proud to present the Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the year awards once again this year. 2016 was so full of extraordinary sailing achievement - from multiple Olympic gold medal wins, to many new British world champions, to life saving heroics. Today we are delighted to recognise all of the UK's success in such a diverse and challenging sport.'

Etchells Australian Championship
An outstanding 46 boat line-up is due to contest the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club run Etchells Australian Championship January 11-15, 2017, including five current and former world champions and multiple national champions in Etchells and other classes.

Current Etchells world champion John Bertrand isn't competing with his 2016 winning worlds crew, instead he's recruited Bill Browne and Jake Newman to challenge for the series with Triad2. The trio has achieved their own success in the class, a state title and second at a previous national title.

The 2012 Etchells World Champion team of David Edwards and Ivan Wheen will be joined on Edwards' latest Etchells called Iron Lotus by sailmaker Michael Coxon on the helm plus Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron youth sailor Alex Rozenauers.

Racing is due to start on Thursday January 12 in southerly winds 15-20 knots turning east to south-easterly 10-15 knots during the day. On Friday fresher north-easterly winds 15-20 knots increasing to 20-30 knots during the afternoon are forecast to blow, chopping up the sea state and testing crews' heavier weather prowess.

Two races per day and a maximum eight races constituting the series are scheduled to be conducted under PRO Ross Wilson in the vicinity off Palm Beach Headland on Sydney's Northern Beaches known as the Palm Beach circle.

Thursday's first warning signal is due to sound at 1255hrs and Friday through to Sunday the start sequence begins at 1155hrs. The final trophy presentation will take place at the RPAYC after racing on Sunday January 15.

Services To Sailing Recognised
Giles Scott, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark - British sailing's golden trio from the Rio Olympic Games - have been recognised in the New Year Honours list.

The Olympic champions were named as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to sailing following their Rio achievements where Mr Scott maintained a five-games British winning streak in the Finn event and Ms Mills and Ms Clark claimed a first ever British Olympic gold in the 470 Women's class.

Ian Walker, double Olympic medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winner, has also been made an MBE for services to Olympic and international competitive sailing and Solihull sailor Andrew Yates has received the British Empire Medal for his contribution to sailing in the borough.

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Team Renaissance For EFG Sailing Arabia
Since Fahad Al Hasni first competed in the inaugural EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour (EFG SATT) back in 2011, he has dreamt of standing at the top of the podium, having won fair and square with a team made up of Omani sailors.

In 2017, at his seventh attempt on the title, he will get his best chance as skipper of Team Renaissance, which is sponsored by the Omani multinational oil and gas company and comprises 90% Omani talent with French navigator Guillaume Berenger having to brush up on his Arabic to offer directions.

Last year, they finished in fourth place just one agonising point behind Team Averda after some polished offshore performances. In both the second leg from Abu Dhabi to Doha and the last one from Sohar to Muscat, they posted second places and gained the confidence to raise expectation levels for 2017.

His Omani crew features some familiar faces including three teammates from Oman Sail's MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail Sami Al Shukaili, Ali Al Balushi and Yasir Al Rahbi, all of them experienced EFG SATT campaigners.

When the 2017 route was announced earlier this year, the Omanis welcomed the changes. The fleet of identical Farr 30s will start at Al Mouj in Muscat with an in port race, then head north on the first leg to Sohar, a relatively short sprint of 105 nautical miles.

The second leg (140nm) will take them to Khasab, the capital of the Musandam Peninsula before the fleet heads to Abu Dhabi on a 153nm leg. It will be back to sea for a 160nm dash to Doha in Qatar where more points will be up for grabs in the second round of in port races before the last and longest leg (205nm) to Dubai for a final round of in port racing.

2017 Pineapple Cup And The First Ever Cuba Cup
We're 23 days away from the start of the Pineapple Cup, and we're up to 15 competitors (TP52s, Swans, Gunboats and more!) that will certainly make for some exciting competition in a great race. The skippers meeting will take place at the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club on Thursday February 2nd at 5pm. Immediately following will be the pre-race party that crew and family are invited to attend.

In keeping up with the fun spirit of the race, we will again be awarding a Log Book Award to the team with the most interesting log record! It can be submitted in any format: written blog, video, poetry, whatever! We encourage you to get creative! The prize will be awarded to the log book that our judges enjoy the most. Highlights of the log will be reported at the awards night.

With less than one month to the start of the 33rd edition of the Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race, The Montego Bay Yacht Club is pleased to announce additional sponsors and partners to the race including: Quantum Sailmakers, Budget Rent A Car Jamaica, Wright Maritime Group, RMK Merrill Stevens, PredictWind, FitVine Wine and Doctor's Cave Beach. In addition, 15 teams are currently registered for the 811-nautical mile race that will depart from Miami on February 3rd.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Peter Morton: re: Alistair Skinner's note on Ton Cup:

See this from a very formative site with all the results of Ton Cup Events

Resultats Quarter Ton Cups' Result:
1967: 15ft. Rating RORC Rule, 1971: 18ft. Rating IOR, 1979: 18.55ft. Rating IOR, 2005: under IRC.

Three rules for the QTC and not a class designed under IOR.

* From Gordon Davies: Many of remember with some nostalgia the heady days of level rating racing under IOR. Couls we not use one of the current rating systems to provide exciting level rating racing once again.

When a new boat is designed and built the rating does not come as a complete surprise to the design team and owner. A boat can be built and rigged so that it comes close to the intended rating. How about an IRC Level Rating Certificate that would measure and rate the boat and then impose the minor corrections - limited to adjusting sail area and weight - to achieve the required rating.

In this way the once popular Ton Cups could be revived as the summit of small yacht racing. I would hope, in order to maintain the tradition of the Ton Cups being sailed in sea-going yachts, that an appropriate long coastal or offshore race be part of the championship programme.

* From Gavin Allwright, Secretary, International Windship Association (IWSA)

Please see the EU commissioned report on: Study on the Analysis of Market Potentials & Market Barriers for Wind Propulsion Technologies for Ships

The study report, commissioned by the European Commission DG Climate Action last year, has been released. The CE Delft led team has covered a lot of ground and one of the headline conclusions include: "In 2030, the market potential could amount to around 3,700-10,700 installed systems on bulkers and tankers, associated with approximately 3.5-7.5 Mt CO2 savings and 6,500-8,000 direct and 8,500-10,000 indirect jobs."

The International Windship Association will be working to facilitate and help to secure funding to assist with this scaling up of the sector in 2017-18 and I look forward to sharing further developments with you in the near future.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 Mills 37 - Crazy Horse. 95000 GBP. Located in Dublin, Ireland.

Following typical Mark Mills lines, Crazy Horse is raring to get back out on the race track. Big overhaul last year and now looking good as new.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble


Raceboats Only 2004 90' McConaghy Custom Racer. 1,500,000 USD. Located in Annapolis, MD United States.

RAGAMUFFIN 90 is now on the market and our latest central listing. Built as GENUINE RISK in 2004, and competing world wide from Sardinia to Hawaii, GR always was at the front of the fleet. Under her second owner, she won both the 2010 Newport to Bermuda race, and the overall prize for the 2011 811 mile Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay race, and the overall win at Antigua sailing week both under Csa and IRC leaving no question that she was still one of the fastest maxi boats sailing.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419


Raceboats Only 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

See the collection at

The Last Word
You know how dumb the average person is? Well, by definition, half of 'em are even dumber than THAT. -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

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