In This Issue
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid | Transat Jacques Vabre: Merron Heading To Port With Damage As Sharp Powers Into Lead | Accelerating away from Madeira and towards decision day | The Perfect Nautical Gift for all Seasons by Latitude Kinsale | Seahorse Sailor Of The Month | HP30 Class | Warmer (less cold), drier (less wet), fresher (less exhausted) | For The Record | 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

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid
Nominations open now for two awards: Best Caribbean Bar and Best Bar Elsewhere. Send us your bleary memories:

Transat Jacques Vabre: Merron Heading To Port With Damage As Sharp Powers Into Lead
British sailor, Miranda Merron and her French co-skipper - in sailing as in life - Halvard Mabire were heading for land this evening (Tuesday) to assess a damaged port rudder after their Class40 boat, Campagne de France, broached in heavy conditions in the Bay of Biscay.

Both sailors are apparently uninjured and will draw on all of their enormous experience to return to this 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Shortly after 12:00 UTC, Campagne de France, maintaining a strong challenge in 5th place in class, suffered a brutal broach, causing the bracket holding the port rudder, to break.

The 60-year-old Mabire, a big figure in French sailing and president of the Class40, and Merron, 48, a winner of the race in 1999 and formidable competitor, struggled for more than two hours to get their new boat back in order and check the damage.

The breakage is depriving them of a rudder, making the boat unmanageable. A repair can only be made in the shelter of a port. Mabire and Merron should decide their destination by the evening.

The cold front did some damage though as the Ultime-class Maxi 80 Prince de Bretagne broke its mainsail halyard last night. Skippers Lionel Lemonchois and Bernard Stamm plan to take shelter behind Santa Maria, the island southeast of the Azores, to climb to the top of the mast.

Class40 hit
Gustave Roussy have aerial trouble and are no longer receiving wind data and also tore their staysail. V and B, who had been pressing at the front of the fleet, were forced to drop their sails for two hours to laminate a cracked front bulkhead. In these chaotic sea conditions, that will need constant monitoring.

Before the front even arrived it had scattered the Class40s at the back of the fleet. Earendil making a short stopover in Camaret-sur-Mer to repair their staysail, and the Brazilian team, Mussulo 40 Team Angola Cables, stopping over in the same port to solve their electronic problems. Other boats changed course to avoid the worst.

Sharp work at the front
The Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde surged from fourth into first place, passing two French duos in newly-launched boats that are four years younger than Imerys Clean Energy.

Speaking in the morning, Sharp was most happy that they had got through the front unscathed and was looking forward to catching up. He probably did not imagine it would only take a matter of a few hours to catch and pass Carac and Aïna Enfance & Avenir. Carac edged in front by the evening but Sharp has laid down the challenge.

Contrast those experiences with the largest boat in the fleet, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which flew through the front and pointed its bows towards Salvador at around 20:00 UTC on Monday night. "We crossed the front in two hours, that's the advantage of the multihull," skipper Sébastien Josse said.

The Ultime class are approaching the Azores and are almost a fifth of the way to the finish in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil (twice that of the Class40) Behind them, interestingly, the Imoca and Multi 50 fleets are intertwined.

Accelerating away from Madeira and towards decision day
As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet continued to charge west at breakneck speeds on Tuesday, a crucial decision that could ultimately affect the overall outcome of Leg 2 was looming.

The seven teams have been treated to a wet and wild opening 48 hours to the 7,000 nautical mile stage from Lisbon to Cape Town, their biggest challenge to date.

Boat speeds have been soaring close to 30 knots as the VO65s charge downwind on a tradewind-powered sleigh ride that has lasted since leaving Lisbon on Sunday.

But as well as having to deal with the physical demands of such extreme sailing, the Volvo Ocean Race crews are caught in a mental game of chess on water as they try to choose the ideal moment to head more directly south.

At 1300 UTC MAPFRE were showing as the lead boat with Dongfeng Race Team and team Akzonobel in second and third.

But the reality at this stage of the leg is that official rankings come second to actual positions on the water relative to the weather that lies ahead.

The big decision revolves around whether it will pay to be further west or further south. The fleet were today split by just 60 square miles, with MAPFRE opting for the more southerly route, while Dongfeng around 40 miles to their north west choosing the westerly option.

Not only must the crews avoid a huge wind shadow in the lee of the Canary Islands but also consider the best possible crossing point for the Doldrums, the ever-moving band of low pressure lying three-plus days away to the south.

Leg 2 - Position Report - Tuesday 7 November (Day 3) - 13:00 UTC
1. MAPFRE -- distance to finish - 4,938.3 nautical miles
2. Dongfeng Race Team +22.0nm
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +36.0
4. team AkzoNobel +37.2
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic +43.3
6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +45.3
7. Team Brunel +56.9

The Perfect Nautical Gift for all Seasons by Latitude Kinsale
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Check out the website today, talk to Bobby Nash about your commission.

Any chart any where in the world !


Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid Transat Jacques Vabre: Merron Heading To Port With Damage As Sharp Powers Into Lead Last month's winner:

Guillermo Parada (ARG)
'Grande Guille' - Osvaldo Serrano; 'Voto por Guille Parada!' - Guillermo Garlini; 'El Trueno!' - Gaston Usuario; 'Cola leche!' - now that one got us (Google) - Gasto Popovsky; 'Great crew, great people' - Omar; 'Un gran profesional de la vela' - Gustavo Wilhelmus; 'ha siddo sie,pre un dominador' - (careful with that one on Google) - Javier Maldonado; 'le temenos muy alta' - (we fear you a lot...) - Jesus Beceiro; 'never pony' - (the same) - Matias Pereira; 'We learned to like each other...' - Rob Weiland. Always!

This month's nominees:


Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid Transat Jacques Vabre: Merron Heading To Port With Damage As Sharp Powers Into Lead Igor Rytov (RUS)
In a month that saw Russian crews at the top of almost every major one-design competition Rytov's achievement stood out as a first in the annals of offshore racing. Sailing with an all-Russian crew on another trusty JPK 10.80, Bogatyr, Igor Rytov is now the first Russian skipper to put his name on one of the classic ocean racing trophies, winning this year's Rolex Middle Sea Race overall by just over 6 minutes, surviving nearly four days of rapidly changing conditions


Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid Transat Jacques Vabre: Merron Heading To Port With Damage As Sharp Powers Into Lead Larry Ellison (USA)
Errors, there were a few, wise after the event, there are aplenty... always. Like it or not, Sir Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison did change the America's Cup for ever and a lot of it was very good and is strongly influencing AC36 as ETNZ graciously admit. Muchmoney was spent, lots of opposition overcome (OK, sometimes steam-rollered) but they dragged the event so far forward it can now afford to ease back just a little for the longer term


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

HP30 Class
The HP30 Class will soon be re-established, with a new constitution, class association and race programme.

A Class Constitution has been drafted by RORC Rating Office and has been posted on the HP30 Class website.

RORC Rating has spent some time working on the Class limits and proposes the following for discussion by the Class Association and approval:

Min LH: 8.5m Max LH: 9.6m (existing boats) - new boats Max LH: to follow
Min TCC: 1.055 Max TCC: 1.150 (may be slightly higher)
Max Draft: 2.45m
Max IRC DLR: 125 per certificate
Min Speed Ratio: 0.119 - The minimum TCC^2/LH ratio is less length sensitive and kinder to some of the existing boats allowing them to achieve the Class Limits, without having to make massive changes to their configurations.

Clarification over definitions for Existing Boat, Build Date and Series Dates to be advised in the RORC Rating Class Limits document and Class Rule which will be supplied in the future.

Broadly speaking, the following boats fit into the class: FarEast28R / Farr280s / Farr30s / Henderson30 / Soto30 / C&C30 / BR31 / Cape31 / FarEast31R and Pauger30.

There is plenty of choice for varying sizes of budget and there are other boats which could be optimised to fit the rule with minor changes.

The committee will meet as per the Class Association Constitution (now on the website). Joe Hall has offered to assume the role of Class Manager. Dates and details of the first meeting will be posted in due course. For those with time to support the HP30s please email

Warmer (less cold), drier (less wet), fresher (less exhausted)Seahorse
Crews in the first Whitbread in 1973 pretty much stayed wet from start to finish. But thanks to continuous innovation things are rather better now...

Few people have been involved in the Volvo Ocean Race for as long as Bouwe Bekking who, as the skipper of Team Brunel, is about to embark on his eighth campaign in one of the world's toughest offshore contests. Bekking knows where his priorities lie and somehow maintaining the condition of his crew in such a long and fatiguing event is probably the most important priority of them all. Hence one thing that Bekking will never mess around with is clothing. Team Brunel is one of three entries this year to have adopted Musto as their clothing supplier.

Since Bekking first competed in his first then Whitbread Round the World Race onboard Philipps Innovator in the 1985-1986 event the boats have only become steadily faster. Back in the mid- 1980s no one had even conceived of a large keelboat that could lift out of displacement mode and on to the plane. Life onboard was a good deal more comfortable - or rather less uncomfortable - back then, and although the pace of the race was not exactly sedate, it wasn't as 'by-the-moment' as it has become today.

Full article in the December issue of Seahorse:

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

Record: Chicago to Mackinac
Yacht: "Il Mostro" VO 70
Name: Peter Thornton USA and 13 crew
Dates:.16th to the 17th October 2017
Start time: 22;40;30 UTC on 16/10/17
Finish time: 16;40;19 UTC on 17/10/17
Elapsed time: 17 hours 59 minutes and 49 seconds
Distance: 289 NM
Average speed: 16.06 kts

Previous record: "Stars and Stripes" Steve Fossett. USA 1998. 18;15;32

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Industry News
Members of the yacht racing community and sailing industry from all over the world are invited to Save the Date and join the Yacht Racing Forum 2018, on October 22-23 in Lorient, Brittany. Organized by MaxComm Communication, and co-hosted by Bretagne Développement Innovation and the cluster Eurolarge Innovation, this event will reassemble the sports' key personalities: event organisers, sponsors, designers, professional sailors, boat builders, media as well as insurance and finance companies, and provide a unique opportunity to network, debate the future of the sport and make business in one of the sport's strongholds.

The dates of the Yacht Racing Forum 2018 are changed to October 22-23 in order to fit in with the international sailing calendar and allow delegates to visit the Race village of the Route du Rhum, in Saint-Malo. An optional guided tour of the region's sailing industries, active in yacht racing, will also be proposed to the Forum delegates.


Jeremy White

Jeremy White, manager of the UK Elvstrom Sails loft in Hamble was given the 'Innovator of the Year' award at the recent annual Elvstrom Sailpoint Conference in Denmark for all the global lofts and dealers.

The award was made by Jesper Bank, commercial and R&D director in recognition of Jeremy's concept and design innovation for Elvstrom's new Blue Water Runner (BWR) downwind sail, launched earlier in 2017. This unique new sail is effectively three sails in one, combining two Yankee-style reaching sails on one furler. It can be flown directly downwind with the two sails peeled apart in goose-wing mode, used as a powerful reacher and also as a Code 0 sail in lighter breezes. It is already proving popular for offshore cruising owners.


The organising committee of the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo in Australia plans to cancel next year's show. A statement said the show would be "halted effective 2018".

The Gold Coast show, which started in 2011, originally launched in October of 2011 to showcase Coomera boatbuilders. In 2015, it changed dates to run at the same time as the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) in May. After pressure from participating builders, equipment suppliers and the Boating Industry Association, the show dates last year were changed to March. Organisers said 23,000 visitors came to see more than 600 exhibited boats during its three-day run.

The organising committee said that it "reluctantly" came to the decision because its boat builders "are now bustling as a result of new-boat sales and the hardstands and re-fit sheds are a hive of activity." It added that space for the show had become a "significant consideration".


Australia's technical sailing apparel producer Zhik has come on board as Official Apparel Partner and Event Supplier of the 2017 Sail Melbourne International regatta (29 November - 3 December 2017).

Zhik, who is a supporter and partner of the World's best sailors, adds the Sail Melbourne International (SMI) partnership to their existing support of Australian Sailing and the Australian Sailing Team.

The new partnership will see a Zhik event merchandise shop at the event with items also being available online. Also, every entry in the regatta will receive a Zhik SMI branded cap as a part of their entry and Zhik will provide prizes for the Invited Class winners as part of their partnership.


The Volvo Ocean Race and Sina Sports in China have agreed to a content partnership that will see video and digital coverage from the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 distributed across the Sina Sports platforms.

Along with an 11-part television series that began in October and runs monthly through July 2018, Sina Sports will also feature weekly race udpates, regular news highlights and streaming of race leg starts, in-port races and leg finishes and arrivals of the fleet into each port stopover.

Sina Sports will access other live updates from the race including live interviews or boat look-ins and will also have instant access to race standings, boat trackers, updated photos and more via Volvo Ocean Race's digital widgets.Sina Sports are also able to distribute highlights on the popular Weibo platform in China, which will be showing the race's weekly update.

The Chinese Dongfeng Race Team are competing in their second Volvo Ocean Race with French skipper Charles Caudrelier, who led the team, which featured six Chinese sailors, to a third-place finish in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.

This edition of the race also features stopovers in Hong Kong and Guangzhou in January and February 2018.


Exhibitor registration is now open for the 11th Barclays Jersey Boat Show, which will be held over the Spring Bank Holiday of Saturday 05 to Monday 07 May 2018.

Organised by Ports of Jersey with the operational support of local specialists, 3D Events, the three-day show will take place in and around St Helier Marina, Weighbridge Place and Marina Gardens.

First staged in 2008 as an opportunity to showcase Jersey's marine leisure industry to a wider audience, the event continues to grow in both size and reputation, regularly attracting in excess of 30,000 visitors over the three days and continues to be the largest free-entry event in the Channel Islands.

The 2018 show will once again provide an eclectic mix of entertainment both on and off the water, including the Main Stage programme of musical performances, live demonstrations and without doubt the continuing presence of the Royal Navy. Full details of activities and participants will be posted on the official website, as well as associated social media sites as and when confirmed.

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Raceboats Only 2016 Modified Ker 40+ - "PACE". 575000 GBP. Located in Cowes, UK.

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Raceboats Only 2010 Davidson Custom 70. 850000 EUR. Located in East Coast, Italy

Designed by Laurie Davidson, this Custom 70 (Mini Maxi) is a true performer in light breeze due to her narrow waterline and super quick in breeze. Clean and tidy deck layout and bright and airy interior.

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