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

Black Flag Comes Out On The GC32 Championship's Second Day
Conditions became lighter, but this managed to heighten the intensity of the racing between the 11 teams on day two of the GC32 Championship in Muscat, Oman.

With the wind dropping from nine knots to five, general recalls became the norm, as crews jockeyed to get the best starts. This forced Principle Race Officer John Craig to start races under a 'black flag', disqualifying premature starters. However this is indicative of the high level of competition in this GC32 inaugural championship, being run by the GC32 International Class Association in association with OC Sport.

The black flag claimed the scalps of two favourites in race two - Team Tilt and SAP Extreme Sailing Team, which were penalised with maximum points. However as the wind dropped, SAP Extreme Sailing Team came into its own, winning the third and fourth races comfortably. Despite this Oman Air, winner of today's second race, continues to lead at the end of day two. Ernesto Bertarelli and the Alinghi crew had another consistent day elevating them to second.

Once again the day started badly for Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner's SAP Extreme Sailing Team, when a halyard lock jammed just before the start of race one. As helmsman Adam Minoprio explained: "We had to lash it up there and we only managed to get our shore guy off just in time before the start."

Minoprio was furious with himself for their black flag start. "We had a good half an hour to think about it and be angry with ourselves, but what's done is done: You just have to get out there and do the best you can, otherwise you won't catch up with the leaders."

Thursday is a layday for the GC32 Championship

Overall results:
1. Oman Air, 27 points
2. Alinghi, 34
3. Team TILT, 41
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 35
5. Team ENGIE, 49
6. Red Bull Sailing Team, 47
7. Land Rover BAR Academy, 56
8. Argo, 64
9. Tawera Racing, 65
10. SVB Team Germany, 87
11. Youth Vikings Denmark, 92

Pieter Heerema Due In Les Sables Tomorrow Evening
In the 1400hrs UTC ranking this afternoon, the Dutch skipper, Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) only had 280 miles left to sail before crossing the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne. He merely needs to cross the Bay of Biscay to complete his solo round the world voyage. He is expected to do that on Thursday between 1700 and 2100hrs UTC. He is slowed down in the transition zone, which he will have to cross late tonight or early tomorrow morning. We should therefore get a more precise idea of the ETA for the skipper of No Way Back tomorrow morning.

Currently sailing off the coast of Spain, Pieter Heerema can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Dutch sailor is about to succeed in his personal challenge of completing the non-stop solo round the world voyage to take 17th place in the eighth Vendee Globe. After around 116 days of sailing, the first Dutch competitor in the history of the Vendee Globe will enjoy a fantastic welcome back to Les Sables d'Olonne with the harbour entrance open from 1500 to 2130hrs on Thursday.

Zhik Clearance Sale
Zhik Save up to 70% on end of line and ex catalogue items.

Your chance for a bargain scoop on some of our ground breaking Superwarm and Microfleece wetsuits, performance tops, rashies, thermals, shore kit and much more.

Zhik, the dynamic Australian based apparel brand, has been at the forefront of innovation, pushing the boundaries in design and fabric technology for all sailors since before the Athens Olympics.

There was clearly scope to bring in technically proficient gear to help athletes win gold.

Zhik gear is now the winning choice of numerous Olympic and World champions around the world.

Zhik are the official suppliers to the Extreme Sailing Series, World Sailing, the Australian Olympic team, and our technical ranges are used on board a number of America's Cup teams.

After success in dinghies, Zhik set about designing some brilliant yachting gear. Zhik Isotak™ and AroShell™ wet weather gear is rapidly becoming the choice for racing sports boats and Vendee Globe sailors. Our Isotak offshore range™ has recently been proven by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to have four times more waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions.

Meet The Main Behind 'the' Moment
Meet Pablo Arrate, the man at the helm of the video that contains some of the most epic images in Volvo Ocean Race history.

It's 25 March 2012, during the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Auckland to Itajaí.

Telefonica is sailing at break-neck speed in insane conditions, with over 40 knots of wind and 10-metre waves, in the Southern Ocean - the most dangerous and remote area of the planet for sailors.

At the helm of the boat is one of the best drivers in the world under extreme conditions, Pablo Arrarte.

"The Southern Ocean is like no other place on earth," he says

"The wind conditions are extremely strong, the waves are gigantic and the water is ice cold. "We love racing the boat in conditions like that, it's why you do the Volvo Ocean Race. I've never been afraid of things like that - the only thing that troubles me is the possibility of crashing into a container at night."

All of a sudden, the Southern Ocean strikes.

A giant wave hits with enormous force - shaking the boat and the crew as if they were rag dolls/

"If it wasn't for my harness, I'd have been in the water," Pablo explains. "It's one of those moments that you look back on with excitement, as long as it all ended up well, as it did in this case."

The video contains some of the most epic images in Volvo Ocean Race history - and although the crew got control of the boat quickly, the boat sustained damage to the bow which meant they had to stop in Ushuaia.

Once fixed, the team then continued racing toward Itajaí, where it arrived in second place just 13 minutes behind the leg winner, PUMA Ocean Racing

And it wasn't the last time that Telefonica would face a potentially race-ending situation that race. On the way to Lorient, racing through the pitch black night, they broke a second rudder which sent them into a jibe. Their mast touched the water, as they struggled to counter the force.

Can Humans Stop The Lionfish Invasion?
Have you ever seen a lionfish?

If you have, and you were in the Atlantic Ocean, you have witnessed one of the fastest spreading invasive species problems in the ocean. With eighteen spines protruding off their body, lionfish appear beautiful and exotic but these pervasive creatures have a voracious appetite and those venomous spines can cause serious pain. Both attributes make them dangerous to coral reefs and to the species that inhabit them. Their appetite allows them to decimate the population of other reef fish and the venom stored in the tips of their needle-like dorsal fins makes them difficult for humans to hunt. In the Atlantic Ocean, where they have no natural predators, they live up to their full potential to wreak havoc.

Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific region. So how did they travel to the other side of the world? The exact story is unclear but genetic testing has confirmed that Atlantic lionfish descended from about 10 original lionfish that were released in south Florida in the early 1990s. Since then, they have been found up and down the Northeast seaboard and as far south as South America.

Lionfish have continued to spread and recently have been found as far away as the Mediterranean Ocean. But increased awareness of the problem has lead many Caribbean islands to promote competitions to catch and kill as many lionfish as possible. Some forward thinking restaurants have even started offering lionfish on their menus.

When you fish look at a lionfish, it's hard to imagine them as horrific threats to coral reef health. Aesthetically speaking, they are simply majestic-looking creatures. But beauty aside, there are many factors that explain how they were able to quickly expand their population and why humans are stepping up to undo our own mistake.

Countdown To Final Act Of 4th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series For the final Act of the 2016/2017 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, over 250 sailors in four classes are expected this weekend in a series that has grown to become a must on the sailing calendar for many.

Organised once a month from October to March by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with SLAM on the initiative of Valentin Zavadnikov, these regattas are a great opportunity for foreign teams to establish their winter training base in the Principality.

The YCM is well represented in the J/70s with 17 of the 63 entrants flying the Club flag. Brazilian Mario Soerensen Garcia on Mandachuva is determined to conserve his first place, equal on points with the Swiss on Aprotec-Cer3, with the Russian Arttube in third ahead of the YCM's Stefano Roberti (Piccinina).

In the Melges 20s, Russian supremacy leaves little room for outsiders to muscle in, after a 100% Russian podium for the penultimate Act in January.

In the M32 catamaran class, six are taking advantage of Monaco's ideal conditions with the YCM's Guido Miani (Team Neverland) a strong favourite after winning the previous two meetings.

Having already raced at the 33rd Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse last month, the Stars are back for the third stage of their European winter circuit. The YCM's Filippo Orlando is still in with a chance of a podium finish and will be doing all in his power to achieve that goal.

Racing starts at noon on Friday 3rd March.

Industry News
The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show takes place this weekend with a host of new products and boats on display.

On the Allen Bros stand there will be two of these new craft, the International 14 from Composite Craft and the new Solo from the Boat Yard at Beer; both have full Allen fit-outs and custom fabrication.

Composite Craft's International 14, a sister boat to Katie Nurton's Hollom mk 2 design featuring Allen track and traveller systems for the jib and kicker.

The Solo uses Allen hardware throughout.

"Every aspect of the Solo was considered in the search for improvement. New foil moulds were CAD designed and five-axis CNC machined to ensure trueness and consistency of build," explained boatbuilder Kevin Driver.

"In combination with the enhancements to the rig this means the boat's overall handling and speed of the hull is an improvement over earlier designs."

The Fusion Sail Boat will also make its debut at the show. Billed as 'safe, stable and confidence building', the boat includes many new innovations.

International 14 world champion Glen Truswell will be showcasing the new boat and explained: "The Fusion Sail Boat is aimed squarely at improving interest and participation in the sport at an entry to intermediate level."

The boat is manufactured in the UK in triple layer foam sandwich polyethylene with Selden fit-out and Hyde sails.

The new F101 foiling trimaran, designed to make foiling accessible to the average club racer will make its first appearance on the Harken stand.

The show takes place March 4 and 5 at Alexandra Palace, London.


In a telling and poignant reflection of the state of the market for large sailing yachts, Marriott & Co (machinery and business assets valuers) in the UK is offering for sale by online auction the design firm's assets on behalf of the Liquidator of the company.

The lot catalogue makes for depressing reading. The office furniture and equipment, the iconic Dubois name and intellectual property is valued at a reserve price of £550. This includes the company branding and marketing materials, domain names, and the complete electronic archive of designs and drawings. In addition to various scale models, by far the most expensive item is an 18ft Avon RIB valued at £4,600.

Dubois Naval Architects has been inextricably linked with the development of sailing yacht design ever since its foundation in 1977. Striving to create yachts in which form and function are perfectly balanced, the studio also made an impact on the motoryacht world with a series of sleek vessels built by Alloy Yachts in New Zealand, and latterly the 46m Feadship Como for repeat owner Neville Crichton.

After joining Dubois Naval Architects as a graduate, principle designer Malcolm McKeon left the company in 2012 to set up on his own. His departure, combined with the drop in demand for large sailing yachts in recent years, the demise of yards such as Fitzroy Yachts and Alloy Yachts, and Ed's declining health, hit the company hard.

"I was very sorry to hear that Dubois Naval Architects has gone into liquidation," says McKeon. "I have fond memories of my 30 years with the company, designing some of the most impressive superyachts on the water today. Although the company now ceases to trade the name shall certainly play an important part in our industry's history."

Ed passed away on 25 March, 2016, aged 64. Peter Bolke, who had been with the company for 23 years, took on the role as managing director. But arguably the writing was on the wall: according to the lot catalogue, the only Work in Progress is design no. 405, a 58m sloop nicknamed "The Beast" in build at Royal Huisman, which is due for delivery in the Spring. -- Justin Ratcliffe


Cloudy Bay has today been announced as the Presenting Sponsor of the Round the Island Race™ which is forthwith branded 'The Round the Island Race™ in association with Cloudy Bay'.

Robin Aisher, Admiral of the Island Sailing Club, who has been fortunate to have raced in almost all the RTI races since the end of war in Europe, when he enjoyed his first circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight, commented:

"We are all delighted with this new partnership and are looking forward to delivering the Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay on 1st July! It's terrific to have you on board. There's a steady level of entries already coming in and this very positive news, will, I'm sure, provide a further boost to our competitor numbers this year."

Built on Cloudy Bay's three main themes of nature, food and travel, #comesailaway sums up an experience of the good life and a discovery of the values shared with the sailing world - confidence, timelessness, elegance and togetherness. It celebrates the moments, with responsibilities aboard complete, where everything stops to enjoy a well-deserved break.

Cloudy Bay Brand Ambassador Ben Fogle will be competing in this year's race on board the Farr 52 'Cloudy Bay' and will also be the on-stage VIP guest at the pre-race press conference in Cowes the day before.

This most famous of annual yacht races, the largest of its kind in the world, regularly attracts entries exceeding 1,500 yachts and upwards of 12,000 sailors racing the 50nm westabout course around the Isle of Wight, starting and finishing in Cowes.

Standard entries are now open via this link:

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 John Stott, Naval Architect

I just looked at the distance from Faroe island to Norway, it looks like being over 309nm. Considering this and another voyage to Iceland made by Frank Dye and crew in a Wayfarer back in the 60's, does anybody know why these voyages do not hold the record.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2009 JUDel Vrolijk 62 - Chinese Whisper. 2000000 AU. Located in Sydney, Australia

'Chinese Whisper' is for sale for a limited time only and it gives us great pleasure to have the green light to sell her. If you want to win the trophies at blistering speeds, this is the yacht to buy.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Micah Lane +61414307766


Raceboats Only Mills Design C&C 30Anema & Core. 175,000 USD LOCATION

Join the fun the C&C 30 Class is having at their one design events. Anema & Core is ready to race and stored indoors in a climate controlled facility.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Tink Chambers

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Raceboats Only 2008 68' A Custom Mills Maxi 72 Class. 1,375,000 USD. Located in Olbia, Italy.

We are proud to announce another central listing in the form of the Mark Mills designed 68 foot CAOL ILA. One of the most consistent mini maxi's in the world, she is now for sale. She is a no expense spared custom mini maxi that has proven to be very fast on all points of sail and in all wind ranges for both her past and current owner. She has been the dominate mini maxi for many years from Cowes to Sardinia and all points in between. New North sails in 2014, new custom spar package in 2012, new updated keel and bulb, she has always been kept on the leading edge of the design spectrum. When the other mini maxis went into the shed for modifications , she just stayed on the race course and kept on winning.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419 or
Greg "Twister" Tawaststjerna at +1.540.687.0700

See the collection at

The Last Word
It is instructive, for instance, to trace the computer industry's decline in vision, idealism, creativity, romance and sheer fun as it becomes more and more important and prosperous. -- Robert Shea

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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