In This Issue
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid | 800 miles of separation | Ludde Ingvall's Southern Gamble Pays Off | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Schedule announced for 2018 GC32 Racing Tour | Wild Oats double for Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race | RS Games 2018: The world's biggest dinghy event in 2018? | Day of Extremes at Sail Melbourne International | Bambino veloce | Shipwreck discovered off the coast of California may be former mafia casino | For The Record | 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:

800 miles of separation
Different strategies in tackling the complex weather scenario for the RORC Transatlantic Race have caused a huge spread in the fleet, with boats 800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, north to south. Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi leads the fleet, gybing further south last night and covering 247 miles in the last 24 hours. CQS is under 2,000 miles from the finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. CQS is 150 miles ahead of Canadian 96ft Southern Wind Sorceress in the battle to win the International Maxi Association (IMA) Transatlantic Trophy for monohull line honours.

Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is estimated to be leading after IRC time correction, and has made a move south to punch through the high pressure ridge, along with Sorceress. For now, Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon is continuing west, beating along the bottom of the low pressure system north of their position. The majority of the fleet are approximately 250 miles behind the leading pack. Two yachts have continued to beat into the low pressure system to the north of the rhumb line; Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project and Johann von Eicken and Pit Brockhausen's German Swan 56 Latona.

Near the rhumb line, a close battle is raging between three German yachts of near-equal size; all of which are youth training vessels. Haspa Hamburg, owned by Hamburgischen Verein Seefahrt (HVS) and skippered by 21-year old Max Gartner, leads on the water by just two miles from SKWV's Bank von Bremen skippered by 29-year old Alexander Beilken. Meanwhile, HVS's second boat in the race, Broader View Hamburg is estimated to lead the trio after IRC time correction. Fifty percent of the crew on the club's Andrews 56 are between 18 and 22 years and include skipper, Bjorn Woge's 19-year old son.

YB Race Tracker

Ludde Ingvall's Southern Gamble Pays Off
Ludde Ingvall's super maxi CQS now leads the fleet in the RORC Trans-Atlantic Race, having taken an early gamble on a southerly route which seemed to defy the weather predictions.

Heading south as soon as possible after the start, CQS was not amongst the front runners for the first five days of the 3,000 nautical mile race, while those that had chosen the northern option seemed favoured.

However since hitting the trade winds Ludde and his team have stormed into the lead, with an advantage of 150 nautical miles over second placed Southern Wind Sorceress

Since the start of the race on 25th November the tactics have been polarized, with the majority of the fleet opting for a northerly route, and looking good initially.

Seahorse December 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse build table - A new generation
One-design studio has seven of those nine new TP52s. There's always a reason. Marcelino Botin and Adolfo Carrau

World news
The remarkable people of the Caribbean. The TJV Grand Cru, go the 'new' Multi 50, inside (2021) track, US back in the game. Grant Dalton, Ivor Wilkins, Ken Read, Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis - you're the judge that matters
The master-coach is already preparing for his own next big regatta... read on

Optimising for The Hague
Which promises to be one hell of a good day at school for everyone concerned... Jason Ker

Design - Look back in pleasure
Considering what has been created from scratch in a relatively few years... a revelation awaits. Sean Mcmillan

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Schedule announced for 2018 GC32 Racing Tour
For its fifth season in 2018, the GC32 Racing Tour aims to continue providing the 'best foiling experience' for its competitors in several of yacht racing's top venues. Attracting both professional teams and those with owner-drivers, the circuit for ultra-high speed foiling one design catamarans will visit five southern European venues chosen to offer the best chance of providing optimum foiling conditions.

The circuit received a significant boost earlier this month at the World Sailing Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when the GC32 was awarded World Sailing Class.

For 2018 the circuit will continue its relationship with at least three of these venues, with a mix of stand-alone GC32 events and multi-class events.

2018 GC32 Racing Tour schedule:

23 - 27 May: GC32 Class Championship / Riva del Garda, Italy
26 - 30 June: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
31 July - 4 August: 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE/ Palma de Mallorca, Spain
12 - 16 September: TBA
10 - 14 October: TBA

The season kicks off with the second GC32 Class Championship, following on from the first, held in Muscat, Oman in March. Unique on the GC32 calendar, this is the only event when the stars align allowing the GC32s of both the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series to line up on the same race track.

Run by Fraglia Vela Riva, the 2018 Championship will be held out of Riva del Garda, in the northern corner of Lake Garda. Not only is Lake Garda stunningly beautiful, surrounded by giant Alpine mountains, but it is renowned for its exceptional wind conditions and flat water. Traditionally it is where GC32 speed records are set.

Wild Oats double for Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image to enlarge.

Wild Oats Followers of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race might think they are seeing double when the 628 nautical mile classic starts on Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

The reason for this is simple: on the starting line will be two yachts from the Oatley family's "stable" that are near-identical in profile and name.

First and foremost will be the famous 30-metre supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, which stands as the most successful yacht in the 72-year history of the great race. And, on the same starting line will be the 20-metre long Wild Oats X, the yacht that was the prototype for the big boat.

Despite the difference in size, both boats have the potential to be among the major prize winners in the Hobart race - Wild Oats XI for line and handicap honours and Wild Oats X for first on handicap. Wild Oats X's racing record over the years includes first-to-finish in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in 2005, 2007 and 2009, second in the 2004 Maxi Worlds in Porto Cervo and overall victory at Hamilton Island Race Week 2005. Most recently, at this year's Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Wild Oats X, skippered by HRH Prince Frederik of Denmark, took top honours in the Grand Prix racing division.

There will also be family ties between the two crews in the Hobart race: Dan Oatley, a grandson of the late Bob Oatley AM, will be aboard Wild Oats XI for his second Hobart race, while the skipper of Wild Oats X, Troy Tindill, is married to Bob Oatley's granddaughter, Nicky.

Troy has drawn on the talent of highly skilled local sailors and international ocean racing yachtsmen to make up the 14-man crew he has chosen for the Hobart race. Among the better-known names are around-the-world sailors Wouter Verbraak, Phil Jameson and George Peat and eight-time 18ft skiff world champion, Seve Jarvin. Tom Spithill, brother of Australian America's Cup sailing legend, Jimmy Spithill, will also be aboard Wild Oats X.

Ironically, Seve Jarvin's father, Steve, is the mainsail trimmer aboard Wild Oats XI.

RS Games 2018: The world's biggest dinghy event in 2018?
One of the world's biggest ever dinghy racing events will burst into life in Weymouth and Portland when the RS Games 2018 kicks off next August.

1000 boats and 1500 competitors from around 30 nations are expected to make the RS Games a huge festival of everything that's great about small boat sailing.

First off in August 2018 will be the RS Aero and RS Tera World Championships, followed by the RS Feva Europeans, plus Nationals and Europeans for the RS100, RS300, RS400, RS600, RS700, RS800, RS Vareo classes and concluding with the massive RS200 Nationals and RS500 Worlds. Full details of the event schedule can be found at the RS Games website at and on-line entries will open over the coming weeks.

Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, the 2012 Olympic Regatta hosts, have all the experience and space needed for such an enormous event which looks set to dwarf the last massive RS Games that saw 9 classes and 900 competitors back in 2011. Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour between them provide some of best and most versatile race areas in the UK. WPNSA have been awarded event sustainability recognition, proudly achieving ISO20121 standard, which compliments RS Sailing's own sustainability focus for its boats and operations.

Day of Extremes at Sail Melbourne International
It was another day of extremes at Sail Melbourne International for the second day of Olympic class racing (Thursday, 30 November 2017). More high temperatures and a hot breeze blowing off the land did not allow the sailors any cool off out on Port Phillip. A full day of racing was completed in most classes though with gains and losses across the fleets.

"It was especially hot today with the wind coming from land and when it started raining today I first thought I was hallucinating," 2017 Finn World Champion Max Salminen from Sweden said about the conditions. "It was a tricky day with big pressure systems coming and going and lots of gains and losses. But I rather take the heat than the Swedish winter."

Salminen currently ranks third in the high-calibre international Finn fleet racing in Melbourne, which is led by Australian Sailing Team's Rio 2016 Olympian Jake Lilley. Lilley continued to build his lead after winning both races of the day, while 2012 Olympic champion in the Laser and new addition to the Finn class Tom Slingsby defended his second place after a third and sixth place and sitting just two points ahead of Salminen, who posted a fourth and third place.

"Jake has a really good scorecard and he will be hard to get, but Tom I will try to get. It's a really good fleet here at this regatta, better than I could hope for so I'm super happy to be here and it's glamour sailing conditions. I heard it is supposed to become a bit stormier but I'll be happy to have that," Salminen added.

350 competitors from nine countries are competing in Melbourne with sailors coming from Australia, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Bermuda, Sweden and Canada.

Racing in the Olympic classes will resume on Friday, 1 December from 12:00 with the men's and women's 470, the Finn and RS:X. 49er/49erFX and Nacra 17 are scheduled to follow from 13:30 and Laser at 15:00. On Friday also the Invited Classes will join the racing action with the International 420, 29ers, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 as well as the Nacra 15, Open Bic and 2.4m joining the mix.

Bambino veloce
Seahorse 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:

Shipwreck discovered off the coast of California may be former mafia casino
A mysterious shipwreck that washed up on the Californian coast last February thought to be the missing Russian 'ghost ship', Lyubov Orlova, is more likely to be the infamous mafia gambling and vice ship S.S. Monte Carlo a new documentary for The Science Channel's What on Earth series has discovered.

The 4,250-ton Yugoslavian built cruise ship Lyubov Orlova - capable of carrying 110 passengers on cruises around the Antarctic in its heyday - has been missing since its towlines broke whilst it was being taken to the Dominican Republic in 2013 to be scrapped.

The Science Channel's What on Earth documentary makers had begun an investigation into the California wreck after investigators noticed that it was 295ft long - the exact same length as the Lyubov Orlova - but further research discovered that this wreck was made of concrete - not steel as experts had previously thought - and therefore could not be the lost cruise ship.

That led other experts to suggest that the shipwreck may be the S.S. Monte Carlo, an infamous former oil tanker obtained by the mafia and used as a floating casino, brothel and speakeasy which operated in international waters outside of the US in the 1930s.

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

Record: World KiteSail Record.
Venue: Port St Louis. Salin de Giraud FRA
Name: Alexandre Caizergues. FRA
Equipment: Kite Board. kite. Furtive 6.4
Dates: 13th November 2017.
Course length: 501 metres
Current: Nil
Start time: 13; 50; 49.91
Finish time: 13; 51; 06.71
Elapsed time: 16.8 seconds
Speed: 57.97 kts

Comments: Previous record: Alexandre Caizergues FRA. Port St Louis. Nov 2013. 56.62 kts

John Reed Secretary to the WSSR Council

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 Don Street:

When will we hear how with all the electronic navigation equipment on the Clipper yachts, and an experienced skipper in charge, did the clipper yacht go aground and become a total loss. In Caribbean Compass I wrote and article titled "Over reliance on electronic navigation supports the local salvors."

Sixty years in the Caribbean, fifty years in the insurance business, I can testify modern electronic navigation has not reduced insurance claims!!!!

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The Last Word
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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