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

Team Akzonobel To Race Brand New Volvo Ocean 65 In Volvo Ocean Race
Alicante, Spain: Team AkzoNobel will compete in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in a brand new boat.

Team AkzoNobel, led by Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont, will tackle sailing's toughest team test in the new Volvo Ocean 65 currently being constructed at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy.

The boat, scheduled for completion in May, is identical to the current one-design fleet of seven Volvo Ocean 65s which competed in the 2014-15 edition.

Tienpont, who made the team's milestone announcement on Wednesday at the HISWA Amsterdam Boatshow, said: "Team AkzoNobel is a brand-new team being built from the ground up - so a brand-new boat feels right.

Tienpont is a double-America's Cup winner who has twice raced the Volvo Ocean Race before, onboard ABN Amro Two in 2005-06 and Team Vestas Wind in 2014-15

The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante on 22 October 2017 and finishes in The Hague in the summer of 2018. The teams will complete a course of around 45,000 nautical miles, visiting a total of 12 Host Cities around the world.

Azzurra Work Their Miami Magic
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

TP52 Azzurra may have had to wait until the second day of the Miami Royal Cup, the second event of the 52 SUPER SERIES season, to score their first race wins of 2017, but two well earned victories off Miami Beach Wednesday sees the Roemmers family team step eight points clear of Platoon at the top of the regatta standings.

Tactician Vasco Vascotto was on top of his game, winning off the pin end of the line and gaining early on the left of the first race then completing a thrilling come from behind second win only on the final quarter of the last run of the day.

After starting the day level on points with Azzurra, Harm Muller-Spreer's Platoon are now second while a solid 3,4 day for Ergin Imre's Provezza sees the Turkish-flagged team leapfrog Quantum Racing, who did not start so well and scored a sixth and seventh.

Working round the clock through Tuesday night and all the way through Wednesday seems set to pay off for the Gladiator team. After their new boat was badly damaged in a collision on Tuesday their industrious shore team and crew had their substitute boat - their 2015 red Gladiator - re-rigged and ready for delivery to Miami from West Palm Beach, aiming to be ready to resume racing Thursday. They will be granted redress for the races missed.

Preliminary Results Through 4 Races
1. Azzurra (Roemmers family, ITA/ARG), (2,2,1,1), 6 points
2. Platoon (Harm Muller-Spreer, GER), (3,1,8,2), 14
3. Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR), (5,3,3,4), 15
4. Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA), (1,4,6,7), 18
5. Rán Racing (Niklas Zennström, SWE), (4,8,4,3), 19
6. Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (10,5,2,6), 23
7. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA) (8,6,7,5), 26
8. Sled (Takashi Okura, USA), (6, DSQ12,5,9), 32
9. Sorcha (Peter Harrison, GBR) (9,7,9,8), 33
10. Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR) (7, RDG/7, DNC/12, DNC/12), 38
11. Paprec (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) (DNC/12, DNC/12, DNC/12, DNC/12), 48

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.

Gabart and the MACIF Trimaran To Attempt The Single-Handed Round The World Record
Photo by Christophe Launay, Click on image for photo gallery.

MACIF The MACIF trimaran returned to sea on Wednesday 8 March, after a 4-month winter refit. In addition to checking all the parts of the boat, it mainly involved improving ergonomics. The most visible area of work carried out by the technical team focused on completely protecting the cockpit.

Being able to sail safely in dry surroundings is essential for the first single-handed round the world, which Francois Gabart is preparing to sail towards the end of the year. "Last year, we partially closed-off the cockpit. We have taken this idea further this year, with a porthole and composite bulkhead system that provides the helmsman with better. The cockpit is now completely closed. I want to be able to pilot the boat without worrying about my own safety", explains Francois, who is satisfied with the result. This new feature must now be tested at sea!

Although the single-handed round the world record attempt is the main goal this season, Francois Gabart and Macif are also preparing for The Bridge. This race with crew will see four maxi-trimarans (Actual, Idec Sport, MACIF and Sodebo) race alongside the giant Queen Mary 2 liner, between St. Nazaire and New York (start 25 June). "The line-up will be splendid. We will be racing against Idec, which has just sailed round the world in 41 days with crew, and Sodebo, which did it in 49 days single-handed - two boats that have left their hallmark on the history of sailing", says Francois gleefully.

For the MACIF skipper this Transat will be a new chance to further his knowledge of his 30 metre trimaran. "Right from the start, with Macif, I've had the following approach: each racing event serves as preparation for the next. The Bridge will prepare our round the world, which in turn will prepare the Route du Rhum 2018. Our dynamic is always to learn more and perform through progress. We do this to balance out the short-term and the long-term."

Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl Top Chart on a Perfect Bacardi Cup Day
It's a perfect day in Miami to sail the third day of the Bacardi Cup and get two races in with steady 14 knots ESE. RC moved back the start at 11:00 AM and shortened the distance of today's first race in order to make up Monday's cancellation. Today is the last day the Stars will be alone on the bay, as tomorrow the other classes - the J/70, Viper 640, VX One, VX Evo, Flying Tiger and A-Cat classes will begin racing in the 8th BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG.

Today's distance was four 1.5 legs for a total of 6 nautical miles. Following a general recall with a black flag start, race 2 (first of the day today) began shortly after 11:00 with 69 boats checked in. Szabo/Natucci took the win.

Race two of the day got underway with the black flag up shortly after 1:00PM for a 5-leg/7.5 miles regatta with 12 knots ESE. Mendelblatt/Liljedahl managed to finish first.

Racing will resume tomorrow with an 12:00AM EST start with one longer race that you can follow live on with great commentating and analysis thanks to Virtual Eye 3D graphics.

The (Furling) Revolution Continues
Seahorse Magazine Why reduced line loads, improved flexibility and the reduced coiling diameter of the latest VO65 headsail furling cables should make for happier round-the-world sailors when the next Volvo starts in October

You're on the foredeck of a Volvo 65, at night, bouncing up and down and heeled over with constant spray turning your headlamp beam into a light show, with the occasional half ton of green water trying to tear you off the boat while you wrestle with trying to furl the code zero. The watch captain says you'll gain a full knot in boatspeed and hold course better by getting this sail furled and off the deck… quickly. The pressure is on.

In these trying circumstances aren't you glad the sail luff is secured to a TorqueLite 2.0 cable? Even with the countless hours of performing this manoeuvre over many months, you know the process will be smooth and reliable due in part to the improvements Future Fibres have made in their latest cable product:

TorqueLite 2.0 has twice the torsional stiffness of its predecessor, halving the number of turns required to get your furl started. This means that less physical effort is expended, especially in demanding conditions, in getting the sail away quickly and safely, allowing the trimming team to re-mode more quickly.

Full article in Seahorse:

Olympic Performance Manager
RYA Jobs The RYA has a mission to be the world’s most successful nation in boating competition, in order to inspire future champions. Having won 58 medals since 1900 with more Golds than any other sailing nation, The British Sailing Team’s pedigree is unrivalled. The goal is clear – to be medal competitive in all 10 Olympic classes, and to convert at least half of these opportunities into medals at Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

The RYA is looking for an accomplished Performance Manager who will be integral to the senior management of the Racing Team. Their remit will be to drive the ambition to deliver annual inspirational successes across all Olympic disciplines including medal targets at Tokyo 2020 and play a critical role in the overall ambition of the RYA to be the world’s most successful nation in boating competition to inspire future champions.

This will include translating the Tokyo 2020 strategy and working with the Director of Racing to create and deliver a strategic performance plan. As the individual tasked with implementing the performance strategy, the post holder will work with Coaches, Head of Science and Medicine and Head of Research and Innovation to drive the ambition to deliver against milestones and targets in the next four years.

The successful candidate will have a track record in Olympic or Paralympic Sailing with international experience as a competitor or professional. They will have experience of managing and developing a multi-disciplinary team of coaches, support staff and athletes. Above all, they will demonstrate the ability to influence and inspire within a high-performance system. Based in Hamble, the role involves significant international travel and attendance at events outside normal office hours for which time off in lieu is allowed.

Attractive salary and benefits package including pension scheme, free life insurance, 25 days annual leave plus public holidays and discretionary Christmas holiday

Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 Interviews to be held in Southampton 4th or 5th April 2017

For a more detailed job description please visit

To apply please review the job description, complete an application form and equal opportunities monitoring form.

Applications, or requests for an initial confidential conversation, should be sent to Dawn Brown:

The RYA is committed to equality of opportunity. We would encourage applications from women, candidates with disabilities and ethnic minority groups who are currently under-represented at this level of post.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a 3 new World Records:

Yacht: IDEC. 120 ft Trimaran
Name: Francis Joyon. FRA and 5 crew

Record: South Indian Ocean RTW Intermediate Record.
Dates:.29th December 2016 to the 4th January 2017
Start time: 05;42;11 on 29/12/16
Finish time: 02;49;56 0n 04/01/17
Elapsed time: 5 days 21 hours 7 minutes and 45 seconds
Comments: Previous record: 12/12/15. IDEC. Francis Joyon. FRA.7 days

Record: South Pacific Ocean RTW Intermediate Record.
Dates: 4th January 2017 to the 12th January 2017
Start time: 02;49;56 on 04/01/17
Finish time: 00;03;27 on 12/01/17
Elapsed time: 7 days 21 hours 13 minutes and 31 seconds
Comments: Previous record: 25/02/05. Orange II. Bruno Peyron. FRA.8d 18h 8m

Record: Equator to Equator RTW Intermediate Record.
Dates:. 22nd December 2016 to the 20th January 2017
Start time: 03;17;31 on 22/12/16
Finish time: 12;28;26 on 20/01/17
Elapsed time: 29 days 9 hours 10 minutes and 55 seconds
Comments: Previous record: 30/12/11. Banque Populaire 5. Loick Peyron. FRA. 32d 11h 52m

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

High Performance Yacht Design Conference
The High Performance Yacht Design Committee is pleased to announce that HPYD6 will take place in Auckland, NZ as part of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in early March 2015 (11th-14th March).

Papers are invited on all topics relating to the design of high performance power and sailing yachts, including:

- structural design and analysis
- performance prediction
- wind tunnel and towing tank testing
- computational methods
- hull and appendage design
- regulations and rating rules

Abstracts are due 1st May and final papers are due 1st November. All papers are reviewed by an international technical panel. See for more details.

For more information about the format of the abstract or paper please email

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 Rich Hayes: The excellent points Adrian Morgan makes (#3791) got me thinking.

There is clearly a huge opportunity here.

With the tea producers in Asia, Africa, etc, and consumers in UK, AUS, NZ, USA, etc, we have a grand opportunity for a friendly competition between foreign countries which should have massive interest, bearing in mind that in the UK alone we average just under 7,000,000 cups of tea every hour. The trophy could be a large silver teapot or ewer, and as a joke it could be of extreme ugliness and have no bottom. I am sure we could find a silversmith willing to knock up something for, say, 100 sovereigns or thereabouts.

The boats should be made of wood as an acknowledgement to traditional tea chests, and of a decent size in keeping with the importance of the product. Perhaps the size of the old tea clippers is going too far, but something about 85' LWL should be fine.

Most tea-drinking households have a Universal Rule to consume this beverage regularly, so the yacht handicapping system could be named after that principle. Morgan's Rule would be compulsory, which is to drink a mug of tea after rounding the windward mark.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2006 Farr 42 WoW. 169,950 EUR. Located in Dublin, Ireland.

Well-Equipped with a great inventory. 2016 Cork Week - IRC Coastal Winner.Designed for both inshore and offshore performance. The boat is in immaculate condition, with a great inventory of sails and equipment. Professionally maintained from new, WoW is in regatta winning condition.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Joe Hall
Farr Yacht Sales Europe

+44 1983 200901


Raceboats Only 2003 Swan 45-026 'Checkmate'. 295,000 EUR. Located Marina di Scarlino, Italy.

Checkmate is a three-cabin Swan 45 and has recently been introduced to the brokerage market. Currently lying at the Nautor's Swan Service Center in Scarlino, Italy, she is offered for sale in VAT Paid status.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jeremy Peek & Stefano Leonardi


Raceboats Only 2014 Swan 60-910 'Thor'. 3,250,000 EUR. Located in California, USA.

‘Thor’ was launched in November 2014 and is ready for racing or cruising. Currently lying in Mexico, she is available for immediate delivery.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Lorenzo Bortolotti

See the collection at

The Last Word
From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.' -- Edgar Mitchel, Apollo 14 astronaut

Editorial and letter submissions to

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