In This Issue
Young British Crew Smash Length Of Britain Record | National Sailing Hall Of Fame Inducts Eight Sailing Heroes | Element: Harken for People who don't Need Harken | Alicante Volvo Ocean Race Village | The World Sailing Show: Programme 9 - October 2017 | Quiet Cannes | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Industry News | Featured Brokerage

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

Young British Crew Smash Length Of Britain Record
Four young British sailors crossed the virtual finish line off John O'Groats in the early hours of Monday morning to establish a new Length of Britain record of 2 days, 14 hours and 6 minutes. It marks the second record held by the British Vendee2020Vision team who in 2014 took the World Record for Monohulls 60 feet and less for Round Britain and Ireland.

Daniel Steel, Chief Executive of Sail Scotland, who developed and organise the challenge said: "We are delighted to crown the Vendee2020Vision team as the new Length of Britain Record Holders. They have shown incredible skill and endurance, taking on the weather and tidal conditions to not only reach the north coast of Scotland in a world record time, but to smash it by over 21 hours. It will be fascinating to see this talented young crew continue to develop, and I hope that taking on our iconic challenge to Scotland will be a memory that lives with them as they make a name for themselves on the world stage."

It has been a trip that has seen every kind of condition you could expect, from over 40 knots and a confused sea state to battling against the clock with no wind at the finish.  

Vendee2020Vision crew list
- Mikey Ferguson
- Lizzy Foreman
- Andrew Baker
- Jack Trigger

National Sailing Hall Of Fame Inducts Eight Sailing Heroes
Left to right, top to bottom: Presenters Bob Johnstone and Mason Chrisman Bill Martin, Robby Naish, Tom Whidden, Corny Shields, Fred Mills, Berny Mills, Sham Hunt Randy Smyth and Timmy Larr. Photo by NSHOF/Stephen Cloutier. Click on image to enlarge.

Hall of Fame Newport RI, USA: The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) celebrated its seventh class of Inductees on Sunday, September 24, during ceremonies hosted by New York Yacht Club at their magnificent Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport.

Inducted to the National Sailing Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2017:

Bill Bentsen (Lake Geneva, Wisc.), a two-time Olympic medalist - bronze in 1964 and gold in 1972 - who has created an indelible legacy for the sport through his contributions as a racing rules and race administration expert

* 5.5 World Champion Ray Hunt (Duxbury, Mass.), the innately talented yacht designer of both sail and power vessels

* Clark Mills (Clearwater, Fla.), best-known as the designer of the wildly popular Optimist dinghy used by children under age 16

Windsurfing superstar Robby Naish (Haiku, Hawaii), who won his first world championship title at age 13 and went on to build a multi-million dollar watersports business

Two-time Tornado Olympic Silver Medalist Randy Smyth (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), whose expertise as a catamaran sailor led to, among other things, work on major motion pictures

America's Cup sailor Tom Whidden (Essex, Conn.), the industry giant who recently celebrated 30 years with global brand North Sails.

Two additional Inductees were recognized with the NSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award:

Bill Martin (Ann Arbor, Mich.), whose leadership roles in business and sailing - including the Presidency of the U.S. Olympic Committee -  led to a noteworthy 10 years as Athletic Director at the University of Michigan

* Corny Shields (New Rochelle/Larchmont, N.Y.), winner of the inaugural Mallory Cup which earned him national recognition on the cover of Time magazine in 1953, who conceived the Shields one-design in 1964 and founded the I.O.D. class.


Element: Harken for People who don't Need Harken
Harken Element You're not a racer? But you are a sailor? That's fine. Because at Harken, we make products for sailors.

Consider our new Element blocks. Everything that doesn't contribute to durability and strength is gone! The result?  A Harken block - robust, contemporary, and priced for your wallet.

Sideplates combine forged aluminum and compound curves for strength, pairing the perfect amount of metal to protect the sheave with a proven bearing system.

Offered in singles, doubles, triples, fiddles and footblocks; 45, 60, and 80 mm sizes; accept line from 8 - 16 mm. 

Available in early 2018.

Learn more at:

Alicante Volvo Ocean Race Village
With just over a fortnight to go until the Alicante Race Village opens its doors to the public on 11 October, excitement is building at the home of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Building teams have been working around the clock to erect the eyecatching structures that make up the largest Race Village in the Spanish city's history - and thousands of tourists from around the planet are expected to flood the region to experience the Volvo Ocean Race first hand.

The 2017-18 edition will be the fourth time that Alicante has seen the Race fleet depart for a round-the-world marathon - but at 55,000 square metres, this year's Race Village is bigger and better than ever before.

And the largest structure on the site is the Volvo Pavilion, which is the two-tier structure being built in the timelapse video. Sitting right at the heart of the Volvo Ocean Race Village, it's a one-stop shop that showcases the Volvo brand for customers and the general public alike.

The World Sailing Show: Programme 9 - October 2017
World Sailing Show The next Volvo Ocean Race promises to be one of the closest in the history of the event. So after a four stage offshore practice session, how do the seven teams rate their prospects? Gitana 17, the world's biggest foiling tri took her maiden flight.

A team of teenagers from an inner London school took on their first Fastnet, while the 80 year old J Class mounted its first ever world championships.

And then there's a first glimpse of the future as we go behind closed doors to see the Volvo Ocean Race's new foiling offshore racer.

Add a round up of key world championships and this month is all about firsts. -- Matthew Sheahan

- Volvo Ocean Race Preview
- World Championship reports
- First flight for Gitana 17
- Teenagers take on the Fastnet
- J Class Worlds
- Into the future - Volvo Super 60

The World Sailing Show You Tube Channel

Quiet Cannes
Grey skies and light airs were on the menu today for the opening day of the 39th Regates Royales de Cannes - Trophee Panerai. Two races were launched for the Dragons while the classics had some serious training before racing starts tomorrow for them too.

The palms on the world-famous Croisette were not moving much today. The wind was light and shifty as the sun rays were almost totally hidden by the thin clouds.  As the sea breeze was late in showing up and it was patchy on the race area, the Race committee had to make several attempts before being able to launch the first race for the 44-boats strong Dragon fleet.

The Russian crew skippered by Anatoly Loginov on Annapurna prevailed on fellow countryman Igor Goikmberg on Zenith and Germany's Michael Schettun on Chi, in third place.

Yet, race 1 was just an appetizer, because the flimsy and shifty wind forced the RC to set a new course to launch race 2. The day's second round reshuffled the cards on the table: the Russians were not at their best and finished mid-pack, whilst the British and the Germans sailed on a high.

The light air did not discourage the classics' crews, who took advantage of it to do some training and to fine-tune their setups and improve their manoeuvres before racing starts on Tuesday.

12 Metres or ketches, centenary yawls or gaff cutters, dozens of yachts went out on the bay.

There will be many more tomorrow, when racing kicks off officially and just under a hundred boats will wrestle for victory, in different divisions and classes.

The wind should still be a light easterly, increasing a notch in the afternoon thanks to a warmer sun on the Bay of  La Napoule. The air temperature should also be very pleasant and typical of the early autumn on the Cote d'Azur, with some 20-23° C.

The outlook for the rest of the week is even more positive: the wind should steadily increase.

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

Most satisfactory
Good enough in fact that several new boats are into final planning for 2018. Rob Weiland

Development - one year on
Maurizio Cossutti had quite contrasting examples of his design work racing in European regattas this year. He's also fast coming around to the virtues of rating simplification…

Cup heritage?
Often quoted, frequently used in arguments over the Cup's future but where does this heritage 'stuff' all actually come from? Eric Hall

Talk about sex
Certainly the issue is going to be central to the whole 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Blue Robinson

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Industry News
Media Accreditation for Yacht Racing Forum 2017 open

The Yacht Racing Forum 2017 will take place on 27-28 November in Aarhus (DEN). This is a must attend event for media representatives from all over the world, where the present and future of yacht racing will be debated by the sports key personalities. 

The two-day conference will be held alongside the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium, dedicated to professional designers, builders and suppliers of racing yachts. 

The Risk Management & Safety conference will focus on the legal and risk issues around team operations, event organiser liability, construction, sponsor requirements, intellectual property, logistics, surveys and team member contracts.

Register here (scroll to bottom of page for "Media Accreditation" area):


North Sails has been the exclusive sail supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race since the debut of the VO65 one design fleet in the 2014-15 edition. Now, after analyzing extensive race data, further modeling and listening to feedback from Volvo Ocean Race sailors, North has created a new 171m² gennaker to fill an apparent gap between the masthead code 0 (MH0) and the J1 jib, boosting the performance of the VO65s in the process.

"It's the first time we've even seen a J0, and I think it's my new favorite sail. It's a really interesting space that it fits into so we'll have a look at that in more detail. It's a big change for the sail wardrobe for this edition of the race." -- Dee Caffari, skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic


One month before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, event organisers have announced that Swiss watchmaker Omega will be Official Timekeeper of the 2017-18 edition.

The Swiss watchmaker boasts a long history in top-level competition.

Prior to becoming a Race Partner of the Volvo Ocean Race, Omega has taken the role of Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games on 27 occasions since 1932, and has partnered with Emirates Team New Zealand on many America's Cup campaigns, including the inspiring Cup win earlier this year.

Speaking about the new partnership, Raynald Aeschlimann, OMEGA President and CEO said: "It is very exciting for OMEGA and it's a great privilege. We know sailing very well, but the Volvo Ocean Race truly speaks to our pioneering brand spirit, our love of exploration and our pursuit of excellence. It really is a unique opportunity and we can't wait to support the sailors with our renowned timekeeping."


The 40th edition of the Cannes Yachting Festival (CYS) ended on a buoyant note, with many exhibitors telling IBI that it was the best show since before the global financial downturn. Capacity at the 41st edition in 2018 is expected to increase significantly after the organisers announced that they will conduct a study into the use of Port Pierre Canto for next year's event.

With strong winds during the show, many seas trials had to be cancelled. Some builders and dealers indicated that they would be holding trials after the show.

The general feeling from the show is that the European industry is on an upward path, building on the results of earlier shows in Dusseldorf and elsewhere. A number of key players such as Azimut-Benetti, Ferretti, Sanlorenzo, Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline were among several exhibitors announcing new investment plans.


He's been chasing America's Cup success over the past 15 years and now Ian Stewart will look to deliver Olympic success after joining Yachting New Zealand as the new high performance director.

Stewart will be tasked with running the high performance programme, with the main aim of delivering Olympic and world championship success.

He replaces Jez Fanstone, who resigned last November after eight highly successful years highlighted by last year's Rio Olympics when New Zealand sailors won a record-equalling four medals.

It's a timely appointment, with less than three years until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and under 12 months until the combined world championships in Aarhus when New Zealand sailors can qualify boats for the Olympic Games.

Stewart was most recently Oracle Team USA's operations and logistics manager in Bermuda and prior to that was Emirates Team New Zealand's logistics manager from 2003-15.

Stewart also fashioned a successful CV as a sailor, and was a sailing member of Tag Heuer's 1995 America's Cup campaign, helmed during two round the world yacht races on board Merit Cup in 1997-98 and Tokio in 1993-95 and competed for New Zealand at the youth world championships.


Nautilus International has issued an urgent warning to its members working on superyachts regarding a situation that has been affecting seafarers in the south of France. According to the maritime union, there has been an 'alarming increase' in the number of crew being summoned to court by the French authorities in recent months.

"The seafarers that have been summoned to court have often received extremely short notice, which may be attributable to the current 'state of emergency' across the country," explains Nautilus' strategic organiser Danny McGowan.

Some of the Nautilus members that have been called to court have been investigated for anchoring in prohibited areas, despite weather conditions dictating that the chosen anchoring position was the only option. Others - particularly captains - have been investigated and summoned for the actions of their subordinates for seemingly minor infringements of the regulations.

"As we all know, owners or guests can often exert pressure on masters to breach rules, with the promise that any punitive fines will be covered by them," adds McGowan. "The promise of fines being covered, however inadvisable, might work for monetary fines, until it is realised that fines can exceed €10,000 and the promises disappear."

In addition to this, McGowan notes that offences can be recorded against an officer's Certificate of Competency and, in the worst-case scenario, punishments can extend to custodial sentences.

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The Last Word
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