In This Issue
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid | South pays in RORC Transatlantic Race | Icebergs and a not so Pacific Ocean for Francois Gabart | Where Sailing Comes First but the Rum is a Close Second? | OSTAR Yacht Abandoned in Transatlantic Rescue Washes Up On Irish Beach | Registration Now Open For 2018 Orc European Championship | Bambino veloce | Dublin Bay 21 Revival & Ilen Restoration | Clipper Race Yacht (CV24) Salvage Operation Update | Letters to the Editor | 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:

South pays in RORC Transatlantic Race
The record fleet in the RORC Transatlantic Race (1st leg of the westbound Atlantic Anniversary Regatta) have been at sea for five days now, and all of the 22 yachts still racing have turned their bows south towards Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina on the spice island of Grenada.

The majority of the fleet have yet to cross a long ridge of high pressure extending from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic to reach the northeast tradewinds. Over the next day or so, one of the biggest tactical decisions will play out in the 3,000 mile offshore race; crossing this area of light winds as quickly as possible will be richly rewarded. Leaders are beginning to emerge in the relative classes and the line honours leader, CQS has a virtual opponent to contend with.

In the early hours of day 5, Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt Muratet 54 Teasing Machine and Bo Teichmann & Thomas Jungblut's German Elliott 52 Outsider were the first to alter course south to cross the ITCZ. In the leading Maxis, Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon was the first to dive south, followed by Canadian Southern Wind Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

At 0800 UTC on Wednesday, Sorceress was the closest yacht to the finish, 2,092 nautical miles from Grenada. However, Ludde Ingvall's Australian 98ft Maxi CQS, which had made the decision to go south after rounding Tenerife, was fully into the tradewinds with a VMG of over 10 knots, compared to Aragon's VMG of just over six knots. Keen observers of the race will note that a new 'virtual competitor' has been added to the YB Tracker. The 'ghost' of Nomad IV's track in 2015, which represents the challenge to CQS to set a new monohull course record. CQS virtually passed Nomad IV in the early hours of day five.

The YB trackers estimate the positions of the yachts on handicap, based upon its distance from the finish, and its average speed from the start and distance sailed over the last 24 hours. It currently has Teasing Machine leading overall under IRC rating. Outsider is second overall and Aragon third. In IRC One, Bjoern Woge's German JV53 Broader View Hamburg is leading the class and Richard Palmer's British JPK 10.10 Jangada leads IRC Two and the Two Handed class. In the Class40s, Berthold & Tobias Brinkmann's MarieJo was the first to turn south. Mathias Mueller von Blumencron's Red still leads by 26 miles, but the move by MarieJo looks to have paid off.

Icebergs and a not so Pacific Ocean for Francois Gabart
Francois Gabart has been at sea for over 24 days. The day before he crossed the 180th meridian with a stable lead of one and a half days on the time clocked up by Thomas Coville, the current holder of the single-handed round the world record. On Monday, when the skipper of the MACIF trimaran had just set a course further north, he met a floating object he did not expect: an iceberg. Now focussing on his next goal, Cape Horn, he is fighting very rough sea conditions in the Pacific.

Monday was emotionally-charged for Francois Gabart, since, just after this encounter with an iceberg, at a roughly 60 degrees South latitude, he crossed the antemeridian (180 degrees longitude East or West), an imaginary date line, where the time changed from Monday 27 November 23:59 to Monday 27 November 0:00, as if he hadn't moved at all! These are landlubber notions. The skipper of the MACIF trimaran says himself that he doesn't have the leisure to think about this "mishmash" of time: "I follow universal time (UTC - 1 hour in relation to French time). I haven't kept up with time zones since the start. I'm well aware that I'll be getting one extra night than the clock says and that I'm down under, but I have plenty of other things to be thinking about and I don't want to waste my energy on that. The only thing that changes is that the days get a little shorter, because I'm heading east.

Despite slowing down late last week and again today in the rough seas, Francois Gabart has maintained his lead of a little over one day and a half on Thomas Coville's time, holder of the single-handed round the world record since 25 December 2016.

Track his progress:

Where Sailing Comes First but the Rum is a Close Second?
Antigua Sailing Week Big warm seas, consistent trade winds, challenging round the buoys racing and the best shoreside parties in the Caribbean sum up the phenomenon that is Antigua Sailing Week. Preceded by an optional race, the Peters & May Round Antigua Race featuring 52 nm of perfect pre-ASW tune up for new teams, followed by five days of racing off Antigua's south coast and interrupted by a beach day, this is a regatta not to miss.

Classes include Big Boat, Racing, Sport Boat, Cruising, Multihull, Bareboat and Club Class. Daily prize givings at Antigua Yacht Club are legendary as is the final awards party hosted in historic UNESCO-accredited Nelson's Dockyard.

Bragging rights, the best silverware and a photo op with the Queen's representative, the Governor General mean you get the best of all worlds - professionally run race management, incredible history and Caribbean beaches, parties and English Harbour Rum.

Mix that with a Fever-Tree ginger beer and you have the Perfect Storm.

OSTAR Yacht Abandoned in Transatlantic Rescue Washes Up On Irish Beach
Click on image to enlarge.

OSTAR After being abandoned mid-Atlantic during the short-handed OSTAR race in June, Michele Zambelli's Class 950 entry Illumina 12 has turned up on a beach in County Kerry this week.

The Italian Ostar skipper triggered his EPIRB after encountering keel problems, two weeks into the race. A Canadian Air Force helicopter, Rescue 911, picked up the solo sailor just six hours after the rescue was initiated. The skipper had no injuries.

Five month's later, Illumina has been discovered on a beach in Brandon Bay having travelled across the Atlantic to the south west coast of Ireland.

A local man, Mark Brodie, was one of the first to discover what was left of the state-of-the-art yacht.

Brodie was walking his dogs just a few metres from the site of the famous ship wreck of the Port Yarrock when his daughter asked him to come and look at a 'whale' that had been washed up on the beach.

'I was amazed to find the upside down yacht. It does not appear to be holed and the hull looks in excellent condition as well as the metal work,' Brodie told

It is understood the hull has been removed from the beach by the local authorities.

Registration Now Open For 2018 Orc European Championship
Limassol, Cyprus: Registration for the 2018 ORC European Championship, in Limassol, Cyprus is now open and the Notice of Race is officially posted. This Championship regatta will be the third in a line of three consecutive events, with the Famagusta Nautical Club also organizing the 2018 Optimist Mediterranean Championship (21st - 25th August), followed by the 2018 Optimist World Championship (27th August to 6th September) and finally ending with the big event of the ORC European Championship held over 8-15 September.

After two days of measurement and registration, racing will start on Monday, September 10th with an Offshore Race, with the following four days dedicated to Inshore buoy racing and Saturday 15th September allocated as a Reserve Day and also for the Awards and Closing Ceremony. Three classes will compete, with a maximum of 50 entries in each class, and winners in each class will be awarded 2018 European ORC Champion titles, in addition to Corinthian prizes for the top all-amateur teams in each class.

There will also be a fourth class competing at the ORC European Championship, and although entries will not be eligible for the 2018 European ORC Champion titles, they will be sailing for the ORC Challenge Perpetual Trophy. This so-called "Class D" will be part of all the festivities of the Europeans and will include yachts that do not fall within the range of CDL limits yet will still need to have either a valid ORCi Certificate OR a valid ORC Club Certificate with potential for future upgrade to ORCi. This Class will be sailing under a different Notice of Race and race area.

Bambino veloce
Forty-three years after the launch of the super-successful Grand Soleil 34 Cantiere del Pardo decided the time was right to have a go at Mark 2…

The first new-generation Grand Soleil 34 was launched at this year's Yachting Festival de Cannes in September and, at the time of writing, boat number two has been launched and a further four boats are under construction. The new '34' actually has an LOA of 10.70m (or just over 35ft), but remains the smallest boat the yard has launched since the original version of the Grand Soleil 34 in 1974.

A lot has happened in the sailing world since 1974 and Grand Soleil has moved with the times, creating a modern incarnation of the original. Both boats are beautifully built cruiser-racers, and the differences between them are explained by 43 years of advances in yacht design and construction technique, as well as the evolving priorities of Grand Soleil owners.

The Grand Soleil 58 has been one of 2017's success stories, and the first 80-footer ever to be built by the yard is also under construction.

Full story in the December issue of Seahorse:

Dublin Bay 21 Revival & Ilen Restoration
Click on image to enlarge.

Dublin Bay 21 The restoration of classic yachts and traditional craft to the recognised international standard is still relatively new in Ireland writes W M Nixon. In fact, it could be argued that the major project in Dunmore East, completed in 2005 on the 1894 G L Watson-designed 37ft cutter Peggy Bawn, is still the only example we have in Ireland of the painstaking and meticulous research and work of the highest quality that is required on a vessel of this size for total authenticity.

The Peggy Bawn project was for maritime historian Hal Sisk, and while Michael Kennedy was the lead shipwright, many specialist talents were involved in creating a widely-admired masterpiece.

Now Hal Sisk is working on a completely different idea, a revival of the legendary Dublin Bay 21 class, the famous Mylne design of 1902-03. But in this case, far from bringing the original and almost-mythical gaff cutter rig with jackyard topsail back to life above a traditionally-constructed hull, he is content to have an attractive gunter-rigged sloop - "American gaff" some would call it - above a new laminated cold-moulded hull which is being built inverted but will, when finished and upright, be fitted on the original ballast keels, thereby maintaining the boat's continuity of existence, the presence of the true spirit of the ship..

It's a fascinating and complex project to which we'll be returning in future postings on For now, the first DB 21 to get this treatment is Naneen, originally built in 1905 by Clancy of Dun Laoghaire for T. Cosby Burrowes, a serial boat owner from Cavan who had formerly owned Nance, the 1899 Dublin Bay 25 which was the only DB25 to be built by designer William Fife's own yard in Fairlie - she still sails in the Mediterranean, now under the name of Iona.

WM Nixon's story in Afloat:

Clipper Race Yacht (CV24) Salvage Operation Update
It's been less than one month since Greenings ran aground on the opening day of Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race. Whilst the rest of the fleet has now completed the race into Fremantle, Western Australia, the salvage operation to remove the yacht from the Cape Peninsula is also now close to completion.

At the time of the incident on 31 October 2017, all crew were quickly and safely evacuated from the yacht by local rescue services, the NSRI, with no injuries reported. After being contracted by the Clipper Race, Navalmartin, the Casualty Management Service provider of the Clipper Race's insurers, promptly dispatched local Admiralty Expert and Surveyor, Peter Brinkley from Cape Town and instructed a salvage team to assess the situation and attempt the salvage of the yacht in the first crucial hours.

At this stage pollution control was of paramount importance for the team, so immediate action was taken to minimise any risk and remove fuel from on board whilst attempting to overcome the ingress of sand within the hull.

Following careful coordinated analysis of the situation by all interests and reviewing the state of the yacht (CV24) over the following 48 hours, it was unfortunately decided that the vessel would take no further action in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, and subsequently that it was beyond repair and would be assigned to be removed by appointed salvors.

The removal contract was awarded to The Subtech Group/Ardent who specialise in the provision of world class marine services, including salvage projects throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. With an operating base in Cape Town, a team were quickly mobilised working with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the casualty management team to oversee the clean-up operation and wreck removal.

"The current situation is that the mast has now been lowered gently by using the scaffolding tower. Only the keel and some of the bottom and port side shell remain, and they are buried in the sand, however we expect these final parts to be removed in the coming days and the beach will then be restored."

"Much of the hull and deck gear has already been air-lifted away from the site."

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 David Brunskill:

Offshore racing and the Olympics.

Gary Jobson should be congratulated for continuing with this initiative.

Offshore sailing, in conjunction with the Olympics has the ability to develop:

1. Additional revenue potential for World Sailing via online tracking and its associated web derived revenue streams, not least from the offshore "race game" community.

2. Equipment improvements for offshore and cruising sailors.

3. Visible demonstration of the seamanship and navigation skills needed in this form of the sport

4. The ability to develop the use of virtual marks and visible reporting (and judging) of mark roundings via use of drones and gps tracking systems.

5. More interest generally in sailing in the Olympics from the general public, cruising and offshore sailors.

6. Forty eight hours of continuing media coverage. Much easier to slot into radio & TV network timings and newspaper deadlines round the world. No other sport in the Olympics could provide that level of continuing news interest in every time zone.

We are fortunate in having a number of World Sailing vice presidents, including Gary Jobson, with experience of offshore racing. With Stan Honey currently chairman of the World Sailing Offshore & Oceanic committee also involved, there is a highly skilled set of individuals at the top of our sport and able to take this initiative forward.

I can only see strongly positive gains for our sport if offshore sailing is brought closer to the Olympic arena

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Good condition and budget entry into the Farr 40 world. Comes tax paid. Little used in recent years as owner has changed class.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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+44 (0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only Swan 82-010 Grey Goose PRICE Located in

This Nautor's Swan 82 FD "Grey Goose" is the perfect combination of performance cruising, easy and safe boat handling with a shorthanded crew and blue water sailing capability.

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Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jaap Havenga

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Raceboats Only 2993 Swan 70-003 Blue Pearl. 1,500,000 EUR. Located in La Spezia, Italy.

Blue Pearl is the third Swan 70 and was delivered in 2003. Until 2006, the boat was stored ashore and unused while her original owners built a larger Swan yacht. Sold to her current owner in mid 2006, she was set up for a mutli-purpose program of competitive racing and comfortable cruising.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jeremy Peek

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See the collection at

The Last Word
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