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

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IDEC Sport : Full Speed Ahead To Ushant
200 miles south of the Azores, IDEC SPORT is starting the final stretch of her round the world voyage in favourable winds, which they have managed to pick up, getting the timing just right ahead of a front associated with a low-pressure system. With the speedo firmly stuck at thirty knots, Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella, Sebastien Audigane, Clement Surtel and Gwenole Gahinet are on the home strait at the pace they set in the Southern ocean, maintaining high speeds, while remaining vigilant as they face the elements. With 1300 miles to go to the finish, they are now expected on Thursday morning in Brest after forty days of racing against the clock, as they enter the final phase of the Jules Verne Trophy attempt.

The record to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds.

"We're very lucky, as the weather is slotting into place. I think Francis must have spoken to the isobars," joked Bernard Stamm, who has every right to be pleased, with IDEC SPORT sailing smoothly on the North Atlantic swell under mainsail and gennaker in a 25-knot SSW'ly air stream. Approaching the Azores, everything is falling into place to allow them to continue to keep up the pace all the way to the coast of Brittany, as they sail practically on the direct route.

"We are entering a SW'ly air stream. It's more or less a straight line at full speed to Ushant in strong winds. It's up to us now to ensure we don't make any mistakes. We won't be putting our foot down like we did in the Indian. We want to preserve what we have built up, but it is great to finish at such high speeds. We're all remaining focused not to take excessive risks with the gear, which needs to work properly until the finish. We are remaining very upbeat about this incredible weather opportunity," added the Swiss skipper, who is about to finish his sixth round the world voyage.

Francis Joyon and the IDEC SPORT Team aboard the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT is about to achieve an incredible feat in the Jules Verne Trophy.

They are due to finish and cross the line off Ushant on Thursday 26th January 2017.

New Partnerships Prove Productive On Opening Day
The French duo of Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros started the day with a pair of seconds before slipping to 16th in the third race of the 49er class. With every team discarding its worst finish, Rual and Amoros have a one-point advantage in the overall standings over Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (GBR) and two points over Fred Strammer and Trevor Burd (USA) and the Lange brothers, Yago and Klaus (ARG).

With limited experience in the class, the French pair were a little surprised by their first day success.

"We sailed the 29er before for one year in 2013, and we started sailing 49er together in September [2016]," said Amoros. "That's why we are surprised. We work really hard and we're happy to be here. But it wasn't our goal [to be in the lead at the end of day one]. If we stay here it will be nice."

Another team looking to get a feel for things was the American duo of Fred Strammer and Trevor Burd. Unlike Rual and Amoros, Strammer and Burd have plenty of experience in the 49er, but with other crewmates. They have only sailed as a pair for 10 days.  

Strammer and Burd started the day with a 14th, but then added a fifth and a first to the scoreline. It's very early in what may be a gruelling four-year effort to reach the podium at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, but those early returns are promising.

Thomas Goyard (FRA) and Kiran Badloe (NED) are tied for first in the Men's RS:X class with three points. Goyard will wear the leaders jersey tomorrow by virtue of his win in the third race.

There's also a tie at the top of the Women's RS:X with Hei Man H V Chan (HKG) and Emma Wilson (GBR) both on four points. China's Yunxui Lu is third, with seven points.

Racing will continue from Regatta Park, Coconut Grove on Wednesday 25 January at 11:00 local time beginning with the Nacra 17 and 49erFX. -- Stuart Streuli

Seahorse February 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

La petite Anglaise
Patrice Carpentier was perhaps uniquely 'positioned' to revisit the special story of Ellen Macarthur and a remarkable Vendee Globe

Function not fashion
Brett Bakewell-White did not create his 'new' 98-footer to shock, rather as a pragmatic solution to complex problems. Ivor Wilkins

Bring back the thrill
After a decade of flogging up and down on windward-leeward courses many racing sailors are growing increasingly keen on taking in a little reaching... OneSails have some new solutions

Tacking now
Or in at the deep end... having been forced into some unplanned fast-learning in the art of shipping race yachts around the world, Team Vestas's former navigator Wouter Verbraak has joined Dutch group Sevenstar Yacht Transport to make a career of it

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
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Melges World League
Melges Performance Sailboats is proud to introduce the Melges World League (MWL), a racing platform that will unite multiple Class circuits for the 2017 season. Designed to increase rivalry and enhance the overall racing experience, the League will include the Melges 20 and Melges 32 spanning the North American, European and Asian regions.

Fundamentally, the MWL will connect these Melges Classes internationally into one, all-encompassing, professionally managed major league, organized and ran by Melges.

Over 140 teams are expected to compete in the 2017 Melges World League representing at least 20 nations, with more than 500 sailors actively participating.

Melges owners will engage in a competitive, unforgettable racing experience against sailors all over the world:
- Three (3) World League Divisions: North America, Europe and Asia,
- Over 140 Teams Competing,
- Battle for Division Supremacy,
- One (1) Overall Melges World League Champion.

Where Is Dun Laoghaire Sailing's Strategic Plan?
Last November's article about why Dun Laoghaire yacht clubs needed to put on a united front got a swift - and largely positive - reaction writes David O'Brien. It dealt with some of the fundamental impediments for sailing in the capital's waters and why the old sailing model no longer works. Stena paid for the harbour and cheap credit put boats in it but with those days over the challenge is to come up with a new way to keep sailing afloat. That article with proposals for change is here.

One criticism was that the piece merely skirted around the real issues; namely the necessity to consolidate some of the clubs and increase public access to the water through publicly-funded initiatives. Others asked for 'practical solutions, with a pathway and timeline'.

Somewhat perplexingly, however, as much as the article put the issue into the public domain, it does not seem to have even made the agenda on the various waterfront clubs' General Committees.

David O'Brien's editorial in Afloat:

Lecture: "A Voyage For Madmen"- The Golden Globe Race 1968-2018
"A Voyage For Madmen"- The Golden Globe Race 1968-2018 is an illustrated lecture by Gregor McGuckin which is to take place early next month on Thursday 2 February.

The talk as part of Glenua & Friends lecture programme begins at 20:00hrs in the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, Ringsend, Dublin 4. There will be an entry fee of €5 in aid of the RNLI.

In 1968, nine men set out from the UK in an attempt to be the first person to sail completely alone, non-stop and without any assistance around the world. Of the nine men that left only one, Sir Robin Knox Johnston, would make it back and into the history books.

In June 2018, 50 years on from this infamous race, 30 competitors will be setting out again from the UK in an attempt to replicate this great race by sailing alone, non-stop around the world using only technology from the 1960's. This means no GPS, satellite communications, water-makers and modern light-weight materials.

Dubliner, Gregor McGuckin, will be one of those on the start line in 2018, aiming to be the first Irishman to sail solo, completely non-stop around the world. In his illustrated presentation, Gregor will tell the story of the original race and what inspired him to compete in the "retro" 2018 edition of the Golden Globe Race.

Industry News
Elan, one of Slovenia's leading producers of performance sailing yachts and cruisers, has appointed three new distributors in Europe. Nautic Norway in Hjellestad will cover Norway, Sailway will handle northern Spain and Why Boats will cover the southern UK.

Nautic Norway will be making an appearance at upcoming boat shows in Bergen in early February and at the Oslo boat show in March with a range of Elan boats, including the new GT5. Why Boats and Sailway will begin marketing immediately, with their first boats available for inspection by early summer.

Elan has been building boats since 1949 at its factory in Begunje, Slovenia. The company offers three distinct lines - the Elan E & S range of high-performance racer/cruisers from 21ft-45ft, Elan Impression blue-water cruisers from 35ft-50ft, and the new Elan GT series beginning with a 40ft model. All models are designed by Humphreys Yacht Design in the UK.


Baltic Yachts in Finland has announced the appointment of Kjell Vesto to the role of head of semi-custom production. In his new role, Vesto will be responsible for the new Baltic 67 Performance Cruiser.

The Finnish sailboat manufacturer has also announced that it is further expanding its Palma Service and Refit operation and has appointed Robert van Wieringen to the role of country manager for Spain.

Van Wieringen joins the shipyard having 25 yearss experience in the yacht yachting industry.

Baltic Yachts has reported a very healthy order book and that work on a diverse range of projects are well underway. The Finnish boatbuilder says the new recruitment aims to meet market demands.


US boatbuilder Sabre Yachts has promoted Aaron Crawford to the role of president. Crawford will retain his responsibilities as chief operating officer, a role he has held for seven years.

Crawford first joined Sabre Yachts in 2010. He began his career at Carroll Marine, where he held various positions including head of product development and R&D. He then worked for Sparkman & Stephens Yacht Design in New York, project managing both sail and power yachts from 48ft-130ft.

In 2003 Crawford joined Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he served as general manager and head of engineering. At Outerlimits, Crawford managed the transition of the company from a hand-laminated FRP construction process to a post-cured epoxy construction process, as well as overseeing 100% growth in sales and throughput over his six-year tenure.


London On-Water will return to St Katharine Docks in May for the third year running.

This year, the show will be a stand-alone event running from Thursday May 4 to Sunday May 7.

Exhibiting will be Gunfleet Marine who will be showing the Gunfleet 58.

The semi custom yacht has a shoal draft 1.75m-centreboard keel that can be lowered to 3.6m and twin spade rudders.

There will also be range of stands in a 'mariner's retail village'.

Tickets to London On-Water are free, but anyone intending to visit should register via in advance.


Specialist superyacht rigging and survey company Marine Results is renewing its sponsorship of British sailor Alan Roberts when he competes in his fourth Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro solo race during the summer of 2017.

Marine Results will be stepping up its support of Alan's campaign by providing a van and trailer, as well as equipment for this boat including new running rigging. The company will also lend its expertise to ensure his rig is in top form for the four-leg 1500 mile race when it starts in June, when one of the team goes to Lorient to make final checks.

Alan is in a strong position to run an effective campaign. His 33ft (10.1m) Beneteau Figaro yacht is now owned by title sponsor Seacat Services, freeing him of financial pressure so he can fully concentrate on gaining a podium result - he has scored top Brit in the past two editions with a best race result of 3rd so far as well as topping the podium of the prologue in 2016. Aged 27, he still has plenty of potential to develop his offshore sailing career.

Marine Results is no stranger to equipping the rigs of long distance single handed yachts. Amongst the company's global grand prix and superyacht support it has also been closely involved with Open 60 campaigns, the Volvo Race and America's Cup.

Marine Results once again joins Alan's other campaign partners, Seacat Services, Zhik, Kilchoman and BEE.


Sailmaker Peter Hoeg in Drammen will enjoy two Anniversarys in 2017!

It is now 250 years since the family business started up at Tangen in Drammen, 6 generations later the sailloft is led into a celebration year by Peter Hoeg (55)

The loft in Drammen had its greatness during the sailing ship era, when Drammen was an important trade center. Since then the company has handled the transition from sail to steam, industrial revolution and two large fires. Peter passed his apprenticeship in the family business, and is also trained as a sailmaker/designer with 3 years of practice in California under Dave Ullman. He established Ullman Sails Norway as a franchise in 1990, and 2017 will also see the celebration of Ullmans 50th anniversary.


Henri Lloyd has appointed Andrew Wright as Global Marketing Manager.

Andrew previously lead retail marketing at Regatta Great Outdoors, where he was instrumental in their international retail expansion and also lead retail marketing at Jacamo when they expanded their bricks-and-mortar proposition in the UK.

Within our design and product development team, Andrew Dudgeon was appointed as Technical Product Manager in 2016. Andrew joins us from Ronhill, where he held the position of Product Designer for six years. His vast experience within fabric technologies and product design has been a massive contributing influence on the development of our latest marine collection and future innovations.

Both will be based at Henri Lloyd's head office in Worsley, Manchester.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1989 Frers 92 - BRISTOLIAN. 800000 GBP. Located in Palma de Mallorca.

Iconic and very special Frers 92 cruiser / racer that is well known on the international regatta circuit with her blue black livery and classic Frers lines. She continues to wins hearts and minds wherever she goes, and comes with new cloth and other performance updates.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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Raceboats Only 2011 Knierim 50 - EXCALIBUR. 490000 EUR. Located in the Balearic Islands, Spain.

A real head turner and a fresh new look on the Bluewater Cruising market. Fast and fun, and well equipped, this Knierim 50 is engineered for SAILING. All the best attributes of a racing yacht and a cruising yacht blended into one.

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Ben Cooper
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Raceboats Only 2001 Carroll Marine Farr 40. 125,000 USD. Located in Portsmouth, RI.

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.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

See the collection at

The Last Word
So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall. -- Roald Dahl

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