In This Issue
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid | Sailors safe and sound after rescue from capsize in the Atlantic | Francois Gabart is near the Equator | Harken is Hard at Work. See the Results at METS 14-16 November | More Challenges for Volvo Ocean Race fleet | Mini Transat: Nothing new out west | Warmer (less cold), drier (less wet), fresher (less exhausted) | 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:

Sailors safe and sound after rescue from capsize in the Atlantic
The 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre now has 35 crews left racing following the abandonment today (Thursday) of Halvard Mabire and Britain's Miranda Merron on their Class40 Campagne de France and the capsizing last night of the Multi50 Drekan Groupe.

Eric Defert and Christopher Pratt, the two French sailors trapped on the overturned Drekan Groupe overnight, are safe and sound after being rescued by the crew of the Dutch cargo ship, Beautriton, this morning. They are now heading for Georgetown, USA, instead of the finish line in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

It was a sobering fifth day of this bi-annual double-handed Route du cafe, tracing the historic coffee trade route from Le Havre. The hectic pace set by the leaders, the chaotic sea and the violent squalls are making enormous demands on the boats and the sailors.

In happier circumstances, the headline surprise of the morning would have been Sodebo Ultim' taking the lead from Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in the Ultime class at the front of the fleet.

Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nelias's decision to position themselves further west paid in stunning fashion as they turned a 70-mile deficit into a 60 mile lead. Sebastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel were forced to gybe last night and are sailing in Sodebo Ultim's wake.

Ominously, the newly-launched Maxi Edmond de Rothschild had already eaten back 10 miles of that advantage yesterday afternoon, averaging 28 knots to their rivals 20.

In the Imoca, the favourite, St Michel-Virbac, was maintaining its lead, but even more impressive was the incredible SMA, who are still somehow in second just 30 miles behind in an old boat without foils. In the Multi 50 the fight is getting ever fiercer between Arkema and FenêtreA-Mix Buffet, who have opened up a gap of 150 miles on the rest.

In the Class40, the Anglo-Spanish duo of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) has been setting a speed that has been punishing his French rivals in newer boats and matching the older boats at the back of the Imoca 60 fleet.

Top three by class:

1. Imerys Clean Energy
2. V and B
3. Aina Enfance & Avenir

1. Arkema
2. FenetreA - Mix Buffet
3. Reaute Chocolat

1. St Michel - Virbac
2. SMA

1. Sodebo Ultim'
2. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
3. Prince de Bretagne

Francois Gabart is near the Equator
Francois Gabart set off last Saturday to attempt the single-handed round the world record, held by Thomas Coville (49 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds), and is due to cross the Equator on Friday morning, after about 6 days at sea, which was his goal when he set sail from Ouessant (Ushant). After this, the situation is also looking favourable, with a low-pressure area off Argentina, which could bring good speeds as the MACIF trimaran heads to the Cape of Good Hope.

6 is the number of days, to a few hours and minutes, that Francois Gabart must take to cross the Equator, probably on Friday morning. Most likely, the reference time established one year ago by Thomas Coville (5 days 17 hours 11 minutes and 52 seconds) will not be beaten, but as far as the skipper of the MACIF trimaran is concerned the important thing is to achieve his goal of crossing it in roughly 6 days.

Before even changing to the southern hemisphere Friday morning, Francois Gabart was already focussed on the days to follow, which are looking favourable: "The really good news, is that for the moment, everything looks like it will follow on well in the South Atlantic as far as South Africa, and this is really important, because this is something you have no control over when you leave", said the skipper happily, in his radio session with Macif headquarters. In practice what does that mean? "There's a low-pressure area off Argentina which will move to the east and we should be able to recover it to take us as far as South Africa. The weather files I looked at this morning with Jean-Yves Bernot's routing team gave a sailing time of 6-7 days to the Cape of Good Hope." On the clock this is about 13 days, when it took Thomas Coville 14.

Harken is Hard at Work. See the Results at METS 14-16 November
Harken The annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam is a great opportunity to see what Harken is up to in one place. This year we will introduce our line of Element blocks.

Element offers all types of sailors (even those who don't race!) Harken quality, durability, and engineering expertise at an affordable price. Element sideplates are forged aluminum for toughness, perfectly shaped to protect their fiber-reinforced sheaves and proven bearing system. Element will be available in early 2018 in singles, doubles, triples, fiddles, and footblocks in 45, 60, and 80 millimeter sizes.

More products on the launch pad: A new line-up of Hydraulic Power Valves, Controls, and Power Units; a high-efficiency Ceramic Mainsheet System for Grand-Prix catamarans; our Continuous Line Drive Furler for sportboats and multihulls; a New Larger REFLEX top-down furling unit and the newer, larger Flatwinder 500 powered pulley.

What's more? Harken is now the worldwide distributor of Ropeye products. The company's intriguing technical 'gadgets' eliminate unnecessary parts and minimize weight. Their U-Block and LockBone are both nominated for the industry's gold standard 2017 DAME award.

You'll find Harken at Stand 12.227 & 12:327. The Ropeye Stand is 12.435.


More Challenges for Volvo Ocean Race fleet
As temperatures rise and strong winds give way to localised storm activity on the approach to the Doldrums, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is picking its way through the cloud systems, attempting to connect the dots, joining the wind pressure cells.

Five-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Tony Mutter, on Vestas 11th Hour Racing, describes the dilemma facing his team as they try to position themselves best for the weather and tactically around the other teams challenging for the lead: "At the moment we are trying to get around this light air patch that is coming out off the coast of Africa. There's two ways... we can go west, or we can race south as fast as possible. Currently we're heading south. We have Dongfeng directly ahead of us and then we have MAPFRE and AkzoNobel going west right now. It's a bit of a split, so it's a hard one. With the wind direction, we can't really go west, so we have to let it play out... It's really hard..."

Race management has added a 'Ranking Waypoint' into the tracker so that the rankings better reflect the tactical positions of the teams during the early part of Leg 2. Please note, this is NOT a new mark of the course that the teams need to pass. Instead, it is a virtual waypoint that has been added to the software that is positioned near the mid-point of the expected doldrums crossing point. This intention is to give a more realistic ranking through the approach to the doldrums as well as an updated distance to finish that is closer to what the teams will actually sail.

Leg 2 - Position Report - Thursday 9 November (Day 5) - 13:00 UTC
1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish - 4,357.9 nautical miles
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +5.5
3. team AkzoNobel +10.1
4. MAPFRE +10.2
5. Team Brunel +12.7
6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +48.3
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic +79.7

Mini Transat: Nothing new out west
The better it is, the less it changes... In fact, the rankings are looking increasingly similar with every passing day. Even the more or less radical options are failing to shake up the hierarchy of the skippers' respective positions.

Sunday 12 November, an easterly wave of breeze is likely to stir things up considerably amidst the trade winds and this may well extend as far as 19°N. As such, the whole fleet is likely to have to contend with weak winds, the direction of which will be more or less random.

For the favourites, this means that it may well be game on once more in the hunt for the crown. Ian Lipinski ( now boasts a sufficient lead not to be overly alarmed by these shenanigans. However, in the production boat category, the situation could well be turned on its head and Erwan Draoulec (Emile Henry) and Clarisse Cremer (TBS) could see their rivals biting at their heels once more. After adopting a radical southerly option, the likes of Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis Cerfrance) may well be among them.

Position report on 9 November at 15:00 UTC

1. Ian Lipinski ( 1,022.3 miles from the finish
2. Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 122.3 miles behind the leader
3. Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 145.6 miles behind the leader
4. Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 205.3 miles behind the leader
5. Keni Piperol (Region Guadeloupe) 228.9 miles behind the leader

Production boats
1. Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 1,245.4 miles from the finish
2. Clarisse Cremer (TBS) 40.2 miles behind the leader
3. Tom Dolan ( 81.0 miles behind the leader
4. Benoît Sineau (Cachaca 2) 84.1 miles behind the leader
5. Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis - Cerfrance) 94.4 miles behind the leader

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:

Industry News
Last night at the Institute of Directors, iconic landmark of London's Georgian heritage, there was a black tie dinner held in honor of the nominees for the 2017 Maritime Media Awards. This is an annual celebration acknowledging exceptional contributions to the understanding of maritime matters in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Vanishing Sail is the winner the Donald Gosling Award for Best Television or Film!

"An absolutely superb film, with all aspects of it perfectly balanced against each other - very like Exodus herself, as rewarding a maritime documentary as you could hope for." Rob White Chair, The Maritime Foundation.

We sincerely hope this official honour & recognition will inspire support for our film to be distributed and more importantly, help us develop more boatbuilding projects for the communities of Carriacou!

Next screenings: Dartmouth, Plymouth, Falmouth - tickets:


Digital catalogue for METSTRADE 2017 out now The catalogue is now online in advance of the event taking place this month in Amsterdam

METSTRADE organiser Amsterdam RAI and the show's official magazine, IBI, will again send out advance digital copies of the METSTRADE catalogue.

Readers can download the digital catalogue or view it online

The digital catalogue will be sent to all IBI Plus daily email newsletter subscribers worldwide and all pre-registered METSTRADE 2017 visitors. Hard copies of the catalogue and floor plan will be available on site during this year's show.

The catalogue will also be available later from Free paper copies of the catalogue will be available at the show.


Is your club the best in the UK?

The RYA and Yachts & Yachting are joining forces to recognise and promote the outstanding achievements of sailing clubs across the UK.

Applications are now open for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award so if you think your club is one of the best in the UK then complete an application by 20 November.

Facility Development
Increasing Participation

The Club of the Year Award Panel will select five finalist clubs, one from each of the categories. The overall winner will be selected from these five by RYA members, Yachts & Yachting readers and the Panel. The winner will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show in March 2018.

For more information about RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award and how to apply go to


6 sports federations will liven up the International Paris Boat Show with the support of the Ministry of Sports.

As a new feature for 2017, the Nautic will be stretching out on the sand to offer visitors beach handball and beach tennis entertainment, two sports that are really taking off in France. With the support of the Ministry of Sports and that of the Union Sport et Cycle (Sport and Cycle Union), the French Federation of Nautical lndustries is keen to develop the practice of beach sports around the watersports federations (FFVoile, FFSNW, FFCK, FFA).

Programme for French Sailing Federation:

Boating coach at the 'Bienvenue à bord & Libre Visite de voiliers' (Welcome aboard & Self-guided tours of the sail boats) space. At the Nautic Stage: revealing of the Sailor of the Year on Sunday 3 December (from 16:00 to 17:00pm) and Top Club on Saturday 9 December (10:00am - 14:00pm).


The Valencia Boat Show, which was held from the 1st to the 5th of November in Valencia Marina, received a total of 14,728 visitors in its five days of exhibition, with a 50% increase in ticket sales compared to last year. The show attracted an equal number of visitors as the last edition despite having two days less - five days instead of seven - and just one open day with free entry compared to two open days in 2016.

In the 2016 edition the average number of daily visitors was 2,142, while this year it has been of 3,000, which represents an average increase of 40% visitors per day. The open day attracted about 8,000 people who came to see the exhibition of new boats, engines, accessories and nautical services and to participate in the free activities that were held on Sunday in Valencia Marina.

In 2018, the Valencia Boat Show will be held from the 31st of October to the 4th of November, coinciding again with the All Saints holiday, which is expected to attract visitors from all points of the mainland taking advantage of the bank holiday weekend and Valencia's good connections and favourable weather.

Featured Brokerage
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+44 2380016582


Raceboats Only 1994 Mumm 36. 90.000 EUR. Located in

For sale ABSOLUTELY MUMM 36 – 1994 Formerly Thomas I Punkt three time Mumm 36 world champion.

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Raceboats Only 2011 TP52 - SPIRIT OF MALOUEN VIII. 600000 EUR. Located in Lorient, France.

Super Series Specification TP52. Fully kitted out and ready to play. Has IRC sail configuration as well as class. Designed by Judel/Vrolijk in 2011. Formerly RAN racing and hugely successful in the TP class. Built by Green Marine to exacting standards and in excellent condition.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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+44 (0) 1590 679 222

See the collection at

The Last Word
NASA spent millions of dollars inventing the ball-point pen so they could write in space. The Russians took a pencil. -- Will Chabot

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see