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

Slow Home Run For Beyou
Two consecutive attempts at the Vendee Globe lasted no more than 17 days for Jeremie Beyou but the highly talented French skipper should finally complete the famous solo round the world race Monday afternoon, or evening, and secure third place.

After being forced out by rig damage to his Delta Dore on Day 17 in November 2008 and then by keel damage to his previous Maitre CoQ on the ninth day of the 2012-13 race, greater and greater levels of patience are bit one more virtue that Beyou has had to add to his list of competitive attributes. He has been snared by extremely light winds over the last few days, his progress towards the finishing line in Les Sables d'Olonne has been extremely slow. At times today and last night he has been making just 1 knot. Add the fact that the contrary, E'ly wind direction means Beyou is not only glacially slow but had to route north east before making a final long tack down the Breton coast, ironically passing through the home, local waters where he has spent so many training and racing hours. The finish line can now no longer come quick enough for the soloist who started out as one of the favourites to win. During this Sunday afternoon over a four hour period Beyou made just 2.9NMs

Top ten ranking:

1. Armel Le Cleac'h, Banque Populaire VIII, Finished 19/01/2017 15:37:46 UTC
2. Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss, Finished 20/01/2017 07:37:15 UTC
3. Jeremie Beyou, Maitre CoQ, 190 nm to finish
4. Jean-Pierre Dick, StMichel - Virbac, 734 nm to Beyou
5. Yann Elies, Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, 760
6. Jean Le Cam, Finistere Mer Vent, 782
7. Louis Burton, Bureau Vallee, 2486
8. Nandor Fa, Spirit of Hungary, 3525
9. Eric Bellion, COMMEUNSEULHOMME, 4444
10. Conrad Colman, Foresight Natural Energy, 4631

Thomson's Turning Point
After 24,000 nautical miles and 74 days he was barely across the finishing line of the Vendee Globe and already declaring that he wanted another go.

Conditions were below zero as the sun rose over Les Sables d'Olonne. He had slept just five hours in the last three days and none in the last 24hours. He had declared he was 'dangerously exhausted' some days before. British solo sailor Alex Thomson was running on empty, finishing as the bridesmaid and yet already thinking of the next race.

Offshore sailors rarely say this. They have notoriously short memories, which allows them to recover quickly and go back out for another go, but few ever make such a bold statement so soon after a gruelling race.

But Thomson is different. His story, a remarkable one in which one of the best known names in British offshore sailing has changed in front of our eyes in 12 months. More importantly, it's clear that Thomson knows he has changed too.

From a bold, often fearless sailor with a reputation for keeping his foot hard to the floor longer than may have been good for him, Thomson has emerged from this 2016/17 edition as a determined, relentless, smart thinking long distance sailor. After a lifetime racing long distance offshore, his career has turned a corner, not simply because he improved his position in the Vendee Globe by one place, but because he knows he and his team have managed to arrange their ducks in a row in a way that has not been possible before. -- Matthew Sheahan

Full editorial:

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Contest
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Today while we celebrate our top ten competitors for the best yachting bar of 2016, we remember one that's long gone but not forgotten... The Compleat Angler of Bimini.

From Peter Swanson's blog in Soundings:

Once upon a time Bimini was my first choice when clearing into the Bahamas, not because it's the closest settlement to Florida, but because of the Compleat Angler, once one of the world's great saloons. Replete with photos and memorabilia, the Angler was one of three great shrines to Ernest Hemingway, who, according to legend, wrote much of "To Have and Have Not" within its old timber walls.

My crew and I had a few beers there on Jan. 11, 2006, soaked in the atmosphere, listened to a couple of songs by the Bahamian band, and after waiting until midnight to drink one last cuppa rum for my 51st birthday, rowed back to the boat for an early start to Chub Cay the next morning.

Twenty-four hours later, in the early morning hours of Friday the 13th, the Compleat Angler burned to the ground, killing its owner.

The Angler was erected in 1933 - as Prohibition was winding down in the United States — by a prominent local Brit named Helen Duncombe, whose husband had been Bimini's British colonial administrator. Inspired by her friend, sportfishing pioneer Michael Lerner of New York, Mrs. Duncombe believed this new sport had a future in Bimini. She built her place to resemble a comfortable old inn like those from her childhood in Kent.

Appropriately, the builders used the weathered timber of a derelict liquor barge named Dreamland, which had supplied American rumrunners from Bimini waters since 1924.

The full story in Soundings Online

Our top ten are still around... and await your vote...

Voting is open through January 30th with the winner announced on February 1.

Vote here:

Race For Mallorca Sailing Record
The newly renovated marina of Port Calanova are sponsoring Olympic champion Iker Martinez on his new challenge, breaking the sailing around Mallorca world record. Together with his team, he has been training in the marina, home port of the National Sailing School, and is now ready for the epic quest.

The tour around Mallorca comprises 160 miles (almost 300 kilometres) which must be tackled non-stop. The route involves difficult spots such as the northern coast of the island, where participants must sail close to the Tramuntana mountain range. The current record was accomplished on April 2005 by the German Maxi boat 'UCA', with a total time of 17 hours, 14 minutes and 39 seconds.

The so-called Four Stripes Challenge ('Desafio Las Cuatro Barras'), promoted by Real Club Nautico de Palma, was opened this year to new types of sailing boats, establishing six categories in three different divisions. Martinez will compete with his M32.

Their boat is in red code since last Monday, standing by for a more favourable weather forecast to start the challenge. It seems like the clouds that have rolled over the island this week will start clearing on Sunday, when they will probably enter orange code, which means 48 hours before green code, when the crew can set sail.

Additional Benefits for IRC Certificate Holders
IRC The main benefit for sailors racing with an International Rating Certificate (IRC) is of course the exciting, competitive racing to be found in 40 countries across the globe. In addition we have negotiated some special extras for IRC racers in 2017 ...

Award-winning hardware specialists Spinlock, now into their 5th season of IRC sponsorship, are offering IRC competitors a generous 25% off all their products across the range - a perfect opportunity for you to update your rope-holding and personal safety gear for 2017!

Keep up with latest technical developments and racing news with Seahorse International Sailing, the official magazine of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the world's No1 yacht racing title. Seahorse continues to provide IRC certificate holders with free access to six editions per year of their online digital magazine and this year is also offering certificate holders a dedicated subscription package for a full 12-month Print and/or Digital Bundle.

Tuff Luff from Sea Sure
Sea Sure, a UK based yacht fitting specialist, are offering a 15% discount off their twin groove headsail systems, Tuff Luff & Tuff Luff Aero. Tuff Luff Aero is manufactured using a light weight Black Polycarbonate plastic in a new patented teardrop shape to offer 9% more lift to give you the winning edge in 2017.

Discount for RORC members
IRC certificate holders are eligible for a discount on RORC membership.

For full details and links see

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.

The World Sailing Show - Programme 13 - Feb 2017

- Coville's new world record - The greatest achievement in sailing?
- New talent on the podium at the Youth Worlds
- Beyond help aboard a broken boat - The Vendee Globe takes its toll
- Sydney to Hobart - Another record smashed
- 60 seconds with the president

Live on YouTube from Monday 23 January 2017

YouTube Channel

Porec Returns Croatia To WMRT
The match racing tradition in Croatia runs deep and the Adriatic coast has seen many big match racing events over the years in locations such as Rovinj, Dubrovnik and Umag. Split was for many years part of the World Match Racing Tour in it's infancy but since 2007 Croatia has been outside of the grand prix match racing scene. 2017 marks the year when the legacy continues as Porec picks up the torch and brings back the World Match Racing Tour to the Adriatic.

The city of Porec is placed in the middle of Istria in the north of the Croatian coastline. The popular summer resort brings perfect racing conditions for the M32 catamaran.

The owner of the WMRT, Aston Harald Sports, has signed a four-year deal with the local organiser Scandinavian tours. "We're very proud to take Croatia back to the World Match Racing Tour. In May this first year we will organise a WT level event with a $25,000 prize purse. This event will qualify to the WC event in North America in August." Says Vedran Susic from Scandinavian Tours and continues, "But already next year we will step up to a WC level event. We believe a yachting country like Croatia deserves to be part of the worlds premiere racing circuit."

WMRT Porec Match Cup will be sailed 26-28 May, 2017 in M32 catamarans. The WT event will qualify in to the WC event held in North America in August, 2017.

Ian Walker To Swap TP52 For RS400 At The Tiger
The penultimate event in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series heads to Rutland Water for the two-day Tiger Trophy in aid of the John Merricks Sailing Trust. Amongst those already entered for the 4th & 5th of February is Ian Walker MBE, winner of the last Volvo Ocean Race.

Last week Walker helmed the multi-million dollar TP52 Interlodge at Quantum Key West Race Week in the warm, blue waters of the Florida Keys. He flies back home later this month to ready himself for a much tougher, colder challenge, when he takes the helm of an RS400 worth just a few thousand pounds.

Crewed by class veteran Keith Bedborough and representing Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, Walker returns to the event that was first won by his old friend, the late John Merricks. Those names Merricks and Walker become synonymous with Olympic dominance during the mid-nineties, as they won international event after event in the Men's 470, and finished off their campaign with a hard-won silver medal at the 1996 Games in Savannah.

Walker hiked his way to another silver medal, this time with Mark Covell in the Star class at Sydney 2000. But that's about the last time the veteran of three Volvo Ocean Races had to use his hiking legs, so the outing in an unfamiliar RS400 could be a rude awakening for the professional sailor who these days is more used to gripping a wheel than a tiller extension. On Saturday evening Walker will also be the guest speaker at the famous Tiger Dinner, where he will remind his fellow sailors of the great times he had racing against and alongside Jonny Merricks.

If you want to race against Ian Walker and the other top-class competition at Rutland Water in just over two weeks' time, enter here:

Vale Steve Sleight
Steve Sleight Steve Sleight author of several sailing books, including DK Complete Sailing Manual, Sailing Essentials and KISS Guide to Sailing has died at his hometown of Cowes.

Mr Sleight taught himself to sail at the age of ten and was teaching others by the age of 14.

His achievements include founding and developing The Knowledge Zone and Cowes Online, Cowes TV the iZone network of digital-out-of-home screens and print titles.

Mr Sleight was also a former editor of All At Sea newspaper and MD of Voyaging Yachts from 2011 - 2014.

He also worked in sponsorship consultancy and in the field of new media.

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 Roland Gaebler: Yes we can..... a very simple system to run multihull and monohull aside in one race.

- OPEN Division with different lenghts.
- RATING Devision with racing and cruising groups.

This is the right and most simple formula for the future of sailracing worldwide aside one design, olympic and youth classes. For sure you can use other lenghts and regional ratings.

But excluding any sailboats is NOT the way into the future. Sydney-Hobart without Multihulls...... come on Australia! Stone age?

No one can stop evolution and innovation. Better you allow all boats to compete, or your event out of date soon.

And there is another great move in our sport. Single- and double handed racing on boats above 20foot. The "Silverrudder" 2017 has opened and after only 24 hours more than 400 participants have signed up. It is an race around the big island of Fünen (Denmark).

Monohulls and multihulls in one race. Lets sail and have fun together!

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2011 M Boats Soto 40 - NGONI. 175,000 GBP. Located in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Fine example of the SOTO 40. She is currently stored inside, on her low cradle and ready to ship anywhere in the world.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 1973 Maxi Racer 20m One Off - PHANTOM. 325000 EUR. Located West Coast, Italy.

An absolute gem of a yacht. Built originally for the founder of Wally Yachts, she offers sublime sailing performance and beautiful lines. Maxi Racer 20m One Off that’s been constantly updated and absolutely ready for the next owner.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 2001 Nautor Swan 80 - ALPINA. 1,490,000 EUR. Located in Antibes, France

Superb example of the Swan 80. New decks and paint in 2016 with excellent inventory for cruising and racing.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
The Party told you to reject all evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. -- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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