In This Issue
Sodebo Ultim' wins Transat Jacques Vabre in record time | Clipper Race 3 Day 13: Winds Frustrate Across Fleet | The Perfect Nautical Gift for all Seasons by Latitude Kinsale | Clipper racing yacht marooned by green red tape | The path to glory in the Mini Transat | Auckland Council weighs five options for hosting 2021 America's Cup regatta | Wharf extension for America's Cup draws strong criticism | Fast boats just got faster | Kershaw's RYA Award for services to sailing | Grenada signs four-year contract with Royal Ocean Racing Club and Camper & Nicholsons | 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

Sodebo Ultim' wins Transat Jacques Vabre in record time
Having match raced each other down the Atlantic after leaving Le Havre last Sunday, Thomas Colville and Jean-Luc Nelias struck a blow for experience by holding off Sebastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel on their newly-launched Maxi Edmond de Rothschild to win the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Sodebo Ultim' crossed the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 10:42:27 (UTC), 7 days 22 hours 7 minutes and 27 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy, France. Sodebo Ultim' sailed 4,742 nautical miles at an average speed of 24.94 knots. Their time smashed the previous record of 10 days 0 hours 38 mins 43 seconds set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador) by 2 days 2 hours and 31 mins and 16 seconds.

"It's a great win; we've built a great story with Jean-Luc and Sodebo, we can both break records and win races," Colville said. "It was a huge contest from the first night."

Colville and Nelias lost a hard-fought 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre to Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidegory by under eight hours. Gabart sent a message from deep in the South Atlantic, where he is 9 days into his attempt to break Coville's solo round-the-world record. Josse will only get faster as he gets to know Maxi Edmond de Rothschild but Coville has shown he is far from yesterday's man against these new kids on the block.

Sodebo Ultim' had looked like playing the role of plucky underdog, hanging in there, but they have held the lead since taking it in the early hours of Thursday morning as Maxi Edmond de Rothschild were forced to gybe west into their wake.

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild had started favourite as the bigger, newer beast on the block and Josse beat his own prediction of an eight-day finish, but it was not enough. They sailed further and faster - 4,838 nautical miles at an average speed of 25.21 knots - but finished just 1 hour 47 minutes and 57 seconds behind Sodebo Ultim', but could not get close enough in the last 24 hours to suggest they would overtake. Josse and Rouxel arrived at 12:30:24 (UTC), a race time of 7 days, 23 hours 55 minutes and 24 seconds.

The smaller Ultime, Prince de Bretagne (Lionel Lemonchois / Bernard Stamm) is a distant third, 1,100 miles from the finish.

Date : 13/11/17 - 16h06
1. V and B
2. Imerys Clean Energy
3. Aina Enfance & Avenir

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

1. St Michel - Virbac
2. SMA

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

Clipper Race 3 Day 13: Winds Frustrate Across Fleet
A waiting game has descended over the Clipper Race fleet, with all the teams waiting on the wind to decide their fates heading into the second half of Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race to Fremantle, Australia.

PSP Logistics remains in the top spot on the leader board, and has a 33 nautical mile advantage on second placed Visit Seattle. But despite finally getting into some downward sailing yesterday, the overnight conditions have been tricky, as Skipper Matt Mitchell explains: "It's been an up and down 24 hours on the whole, with wind from 20 knots to 2 knots. We are currently in the latter which is beyond frustrating as the competition is heating up. We are doing all we can to defend our position, however with the 2.5 knot boat speed that we have right now, we are nervously looking over our shoulders.

Matt adds: "The wind is due to pick up over the course of the day, here's hoping our closest rivals don't pull away too much."

Two of PSP Logistics' closest rivals currently aren't going anywhere fast, with the third and fourth placed Qingdao and GREAT Britain stuck in a wind hole. Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch reports: "Not quite what I associated with Southern Ocean sailing. We have been sitting here for the past three hours drifting with the current at 2 knots. Mainsail and Yankee flopping from side to side - every sailor's dream. And at the moment, no end in sight."

Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell reports: "Whilst the southern group are all ridged out right now, the north-westerly should settle in at some stage in the next 12 to 24 hours.

"Looking ahead, the southern group should get the tail end of a front sometime tomorrow - 40 to 50 knots gusts - with the next one due on Thursday to be even stronger, with gusts to 60-70 knots."


The Perfect Nautical Gift for all Seasons by Latitude Kinsale
Latitude Kinsale Looking for that special gift that is nautical and unique?

The 3D chart is the perfect Christmas gift that is appreciated for a lifetime! It ticks all of the boxes: it's personal, bespoke, it's art with a difference and it's relevant.

As a shared gift amongst a group/crew or simply a treat for yourself!

Check out the website today, talk to Bobby Nash about your commission.

Any chart any where in the world !

Clipper racing yacht marooned by green red tape
Attempts to salvage a R100-million yacht that crashed into rocks near Cape Point have been blocked because the boat has washed up on a protected beach.

The process has been further delayed by a wildfire that came within a few hundred metres of the state-of-the-art racing yacht.

The boat is owned by the Clipper Round-the-World Race organisation, whose 12-yacht event rounded the Cape two weeks ago.

It ran aground on a reef near Olifantsbospunt after an apparent navigational error.

Cape Town salvage diver Gary Mills claims officials should have acted sooner to salvage the yacht while it was wedged on a reef.

Now it is on the beach and marooned by bureaucratic wrangling.

Its location in Table Mountain National Park means it is subject to environmental legislation prohibiting potentially damaging activities - such as the use of heavy machinery.

Clipper Race chairman and founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston confirmed the delay.

"Our objective is to remove [the yacht] as soon as possible and minimise any environmental effect," he said.

"The boat had its fuel removed, removing the risk of contamination.

"Ultimately there will need to be a judgment call by the authorities on the least-invasive recovery method." -- Bobby Jordan in South Africa's Times LIVE

The path to glory in the Mini Transat
Less than twenty-four hours from the finish, Ian Lipinski looks to be heading towards an historic double. Thus far, never before has a racer won in the production boat category and then repeated his win in the prototype category two years later. Following on from Sebastien Magnen on his prototype Karen Liquid in 1997 and 1999, he is set to become the second double champion of the Mini-Transat.

On two converging routes, Ian Lipinski ( and Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) are rapidly making headway towards Martinique, with the pair of them set to make landfall over the course of day on Tuesday. On their heels will be Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) and Andrea Fornaro (Sideral).

In the production boat category, the youngest sailor in the race, Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) is continuing to keep the opposition at bay with the maturity of someone who has knocked about a bit. We can but imagine what must be going through the mind of this young man. Not everyone is gifted with winning the Mini-Transat at 21 years of age.

Position report on 13 November at 15:00 UTC

1. Ian Lipinski ( 217.4 miles from the finish
2. Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 80.0 miles behind the leader
3. Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 155.3 miles behind the leader
4. Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) 182.6 miles behind the leader
5. Keni Piperol (Region Guadeloupe) 251.7 miles behind the leader

Production boats
1. Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 464.5 miles from the finish
2. Clarisse Cremer (TBS) 99.5 miles behind the leader
3. Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis-Cerfrance) 104.9 miles behind the leader
4. Benoit Sineau (Cachaca 2) 109.3 miles behind the leader
5. Thomas Dolan ( 115.2 miles behind the leader

Auckland Council weighs five options for hosting 2021 America's Cup regatta
Major changes are planned for Auckland's waterfront in the next few years as the city prepares to host the next America's Cup.

The regatta won't come cheap, with estimated costs ranging from $140m to $190m.

Councillors were presented with five venue options at a closed-door meeting on Monday, and Auckland Council's governing body will be asked to approve a final choice next week.

OPTION 1: Extending Halsey Wharf, which is Team New Zealand's preferred choice, but is also most expensive.

OPTION 2: Kicking Ports of Auckland off Captain Cook Wharf, with boats launching from the western side.

OPTION 3: Kicking Ports of Auckland off Captain Cook Wharf, with boats launching from the eastern side.

OPTION 4: Dispersed central. Extensions to Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf, and Westhaven Marina.

OPTION 5: Dispersed clustered. Extensions to Halsey and Hobson Wharfs, with further boats at Wynyard Point.

Wharf extension for America's Cup draws strong criticism
Opposition is growing to a large wharf expansion for the America's Cup, with fears it will cause lasting damage to the Waitemata Harbour.

The same groups who stopped further expansion of the harbour for port use are lobbying Auckland councillors ahead of a workshop today on options for the America's Cup syndicate bases.

"The time has passed for perpetual reclamation and wharf expansion to remedy short-term problems with long-term detrimental effects on the harbour," the Society for the Protection of Auckland Harbours and Stop Stealing Our Harbour said in a letter to councillors.

There is real urgency around making a decision and having the facilities built by mid-2019, when the first challenger syndicates arrive for the 2021 defence. Team New Zealand have a preference for all the teams based at one location.

Stop Stealing Our Harbour spokesman Michael Goldwater said in the letter to councillors that hosting the America's Cup was a great opportunity for Auckland but plans to expand Halsey Wharf is an "ad hoc, ill-conceived and unimaginative concept that will not be accepted by the public".

Fast boats just got faster
Seahorse The 3Di Force Code 0 built for Volvo winner Groupama is now available for all.

Building on its success with 3Di across grand prix, offshore and superyacht fleets, North Sails has launched a new variant tailored specifically for downwind applications. For the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 sail limits on the outrageous VO70s were tightened down following the previous event from 24 to 17 sails for the whole race. North's immediate focus was to try to figure out if any sails could be removed from the previous inventory without negatively affecting performance over the length of the course. 3Di was a new technology back then, and the bet was taken by both North Sails and some of the teams that it would perform better, and for more hours than string sails, therefore allowing fewer sails to be carried onboard.

Gautier Sergent, lead sail designer, had felt that in heavy-air downwind crews tended to back off to avoid breaking the boat - and the sailors. So if there was a sail that could be removed from the replacement cycle through less wear and tear, it might be the heavy-air downwind fractional Code 0 - as long as weight did not have to be added to make it bulletproof. Hence it was decided to develop a new fractional Code 0 that could last the whole race, while being light, fast and stable enough to reach at higher angles than the previous sail; the 3Di Force concept was born. This sail type not only went around the world on Groupama without any problems, it ended up becoming quite famous... as the team approached Lorient on the race's epic penultimate leg.

Full story in the December issue of Seahorse:

Kershaw's RYA Award for services to sailing
Ken Kershaw has been nominated for a National RYA Award by the RYA and World Sailing and has been selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.

He will receive his award at the organisation's annual awards ceremony in London on 24 November.

Ken Kershaw was an RYA staff member for 35 years before retiring in 2009. He was a GBR (British) representative on several ISAF (now World Sailing) technical committees, and was instrumental in the development of the Equipment Rules of Sailing and the In-House Certification System, both of which are the backbone of class rules and equipment control around the world.

He continues to be actively involved in developing offshore sailing safety and in particular has influenced the advance of International (ISO) Standards relating to all areas of yacht and sailor safety.

Since his retirement from the RYA, Ken has continued to represent the Association at World Sailing on the Special Regulations Sub-Committee, Empirical Handicap Committee and Oceanic and Offshore Committee and also provides support to the ERS Working Party. He also acted as lead GBR Equipment Inspector at the 2012 Olympics. Ken attended his final conference in Barcelona in 2016, and was subsequently presented with the World Sailing Gold Award for his contributions. -- Peter Nash in Marine Industry News

Grenada signs four-year contract with Royal Ocean Racing Club and Camper & Nicholsons
Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean has signed an agreement with The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Limited to host the finish of the prestigious transatlantic yacht race for the next four years. Competitors will depart from Calero Marinas Marina Lanzarote to tackle 2,995 nautical miles before arriving at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, with this year's start date confirmed for Saturday 25 November.

This year is the fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race - an annual event organised in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA). Twenty-two entries, with crews from around the world will be racing in a diverse range of boats from 10m (33ft) to 30.5m (100ft).

Pure Grenada CEO, Patricia Maher said: "Grenada is delighted to welcome one of the world's most prestigious yacht races to our shores, a move that confirms the stature of our yachting infrastructure and tourism attractions. Racing teams, yacht owners and their supporters will all enjoy a very warm welcome in Grenada over the coming years and can find plenty of ways to celebrate, from rum tasting and fine dining, to our cultural experiences, verdant rainforest and beautiful white sandy beaches."

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2007 TP52. $199,000 USD. Located in Annapolis, MD United States.

CONSTELLATION is a well known TP 52 that was formally called RIO Very little use the last year, she was 4th overall in the 2014 Newport to Bermuda Race. She is in good condition and is ready for more fun racing under IRC or ORC as many of her sister ships have proven time and time again

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

William Jenkins 410 267 9419 or 410 353 7862 ( cell)


Raceboats Only 2004 Farr 520 Performance Cruiser - BRAVE. 280,000 EUR. Located in Athens, Greece.

A true Performance Cruiser from the successful hull shape of the Farr 52. In sparkling order and very well looked after, minimal maintenance yacht for round the world sport.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 2011 TP / IRC 52 "Viento". 800000 USD. Located in Auckland.

Originally launched as "Container", this boat has always been a front runner in any regatta its entered and is arguably the most competitive TP/IRC 52 on the market today. Inshore and offshore capability, refined by the best that NZ has to offer. An absolutely turn-key, regatta winning boat!

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats
+44 2380 016582
+64 277733717

See the collection at

The Last Word
If your flirting strategy is indistinguishable from harassment, it's not everyone else that's the problem. -- John Scalzi

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka

Robline Ropes


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week