In This Issue
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid | RORC Transatlantic Race to Teasing Machine | A game of risk and reward | America's Cup: Second Italian syndicate set to compete | Young Belgians hold firm on second day in Sanya | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Tony Rae says America's Cup 'just has to be in Auckland' | 18 Shades of Gray at a sunny and snowy Datchet Flyer | Mobile is EVERYTHING | 2018 Melges 24 European Sailing Series | 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:

RORC Transatlantic Race to Teasing Machine
Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine was today declared the overall winner of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. Whilst a number of the record 23 yacht fleet are still racing, none of them can better Teasing Machine's corrected time under IRC. Teasing Machine is the smallest yacht to win the RORC Transatlantic Trophy, which has been previously won by yachts in the Maxi Class.

Teasing Machine tactician Laurent Pages and navigator Jean-Luc Nelias form a formidable partnership. The Frenchmen took the same roles for skipper Franck Cammas winning the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, and Nelias won this year's Transat Jacques Vabre on Sodebo Ultim with Thomas Colville, smashing the race record.

The scheduled Prize Giving was held at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Teams were awarded prizes in the presence of the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Grenada Tourism Authority CEO Patricia Maher, and Nikoyan Roberts, Manager of Nautical Development for the GTA and the Secretary General of the International Maxi Class Association, RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine.

Tilmar Hansen, skipper of Outsider was delighted to win the ORC Division overall. "This has been a very competitive race, and for our next race, the RORC Caribbean 600, we will need to put more fire in the oven. Teasing Machine will be there and our good friends and rivals Varuna will also be back."

Overall Winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race winning the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy and IRC Class 0 - Teasing Machine, Eric de Turckheim

Monohull Line Honours winning the IMA Transatlantic Trophy - CQS, Ludde Ingvall

Multihull Line Honours and MOCRA Multihull Winner - Zed 6, Gerald Bibot

Class40 Winner - Red, Mathias Mueller von Bluemencron

ORC Division Overall Winner - Outsider, Tilmar Hansen

ORCSy Division Winner - Sorceress, Will Apold

A game of risk and reward
A trade-off between speed and safety was playing out among the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Tuesday as the teams gear up for their first real taste of Southern Ocean brutality.

While the Leg 3 finish line in Melbourne lies some 5,000 nautical miles in front of the teams, it's what is behind them that is currently consuming them.

A huge depression is forming west of the fleet with winds of up to 60 knots at its centre - and it is moving so fast that the seven Volvo Ocean 65s will not be able to outrun it.

Rather the teams will have to make tough decisions about where to position themselves in relation to the storm, which is set to strike on Thursday.

The toss-up is between risk and reward. A more southerly route will see faster sailing over the next day or so but with it comes the danger of being closer to the centre of the depression. What's more, a virtual exclusion zone to keep the fleet north of Antarctica's ice fields will prevent teams diving below the low to escape its strongest conditions.

On the other hand the northerly option appears safer as it will put the teams further from the storm's centre, easing the huge pressure on the boat, but it will undoubtedly prove slower.

A split appeared in the pack today, with current leg leader Dongfeng Race Team, MAPFRE, team Akzonobel and Team Brunel choosing to go south, while Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Turn the Tide on Plastic are opting to stay more to the north.

Leg 3 Cape Town to Melbourne
Positions at: 13:00 UTC 12 December 2017

1. Dongfeng Race Team 5098.28 nm to finish
2. MAPFE, 5100.41
3. Team Akzo Nobel, 5102.10
4. Team Brunel, 5105.68
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, 5112.39
6. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag, 5112.43
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 5122.81

America's Cup: Second Italian syndicate set to compete
A second Italian syndicate is likely to challenge for the America's Cup.

Italian media are reporting that Adelasia of Torres, based in Sardinia, intend to be in Auckland in 2021. They will join fellow Italian syndicate Luna Rossa.

Adelasia of Torres is headed by freight company and super yacht service boss Renato Azara. Duccio Colombi, who has won multiple sailing championships in Europe, will be part of the challenge.

Azara confirmed the intention to challenge while backers were being sought. He said the boat would be built in Olbia and constructed of carbon.

"The consortium is ready and we are already putting together the sponsors. This is an open consortium, because around the project of Adelasia we hope to bring the whole of Sardinia.

Young Belgians hold firm on second day in Sanya
Belgium's 14-year-old Nacra 15 helm Lucas Claeyssens and crew Anne Vandenberghe continue to impress at the 2017 Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China by holding on to the overall lead in the 18-boat fleet.

Claeyssens is one of the youngest competitors at the Youth Worlds, an event open to sailors under 19 or born after 31 December 1998, and is showing experience beyond his years, both on the water and when faced with a deluge of cameras and media requests.

The wind was up and down again in Sanya with cloud cover once again present across the racing area. An 8-12 knot breeze was present throughout the day with an increase when the sun broke through the clouds later on in the day.

Out of the 374 sailors from 60 nations racing across nine fleets in Sanya, only three are younger than Belgium's Claeyssens.

The Belgian team got off to a flyer on day one, winning two races and finishing second in the other. They solidified their position on Tuesday with a seventh, which they discard, as well as a fifth and third. Sitting on 12 points, they are four clear of Australia's Shannon Dalton and Jayden Dalton.

Seven races remain in the Nacra 15 and it's fair to say the Belgium team won't get too carried away with their early success. The day's race wins in the Nacra 15 went to Switzerland's Max Wallenberg and Amanda Bjork-Anastassov, who are third, the fourth placed Silas Mühle and Romy Mackenbrock (GER) and Canada's Helen Horangic and Theodora Horangic.

Racing is scheduled to resume at 11:00 local time on Wednesday 13 December. -- Daniel Smith - World Sailing

Top three by class:

420 Boys
1. Otto Henry / Rome Featherstone, AUS, 5 points
2. Thomas Rice / Trevor Bornarth, USA, 9
3. Ido Bilik / Noam Homri, ISR, 12

420 Girls
1. Carmen Cowles / Emma Cowles, USA, 4
2. Hatty Morsley / Pippa Cropley, GBR, 13
3. Maria Clara Vignati / Garona Emiliana Lopez, ARG, 13

29er Boys
1. Theo Revil / Gautier Guevel, FRA, 22
2. Ville Korhonen / Robin Berner, FIN, 24
3. Rok Verderber / Klemen Semelbauer, SLO, 26

29er Girls
1. Margherita Porro / Sofia Leoni, ITA, 12
2. Zoya Novikova / Diana Sabirova, RUS, 19
3. Emilie Andersen / Maren Edland, NOR, 19

Nacra 15
1. Lucas Claeyssens / Anne Vandenberghe, BEL, 12
2. Shannon Dalton / Jayden Dalton, AUS, 16
3. Max Wallenberg / Amanda Bjork-Anastassov, SUI, 17

Laser Radial Boys
1. Guido Gallinaro, ITA, 10
2. Daniil Krutskikh, RUS, 13
3. Josh Armit, NZL, 16

Laser Radial Girls
1. Charlotte Rose, USA, 3
2. Dolores Moreira Fraschini, URU, 7
3. Wiktoria Golebiowska, POL, 17

RS:X Boys
1. Hao Chen, CHN, 7
2. Yoav Cohen, ISR, 8
3. Fernando Gonzalez de la Madrid Trueba, ESP, 16

RS:X Girls
1. Giorgia Speciale, ITA, 8
2. Emma Wilson, GBR, 11
3. Ting Yu, CHN, 12

Nations Trophy
ITA, 22
USA, 24
ISR, 28

Full results:

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

Devils, details, a second French 'Vendee' and our columnist gets an America's Cup team (which is handy!) JAck Griffin, Rob Kothe and Terry Hutchinson. Plus some special words on the entente from the always magnificent Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (a walking advert for the virtues of ocean racing, BTW)

Flavour of the year
Multihull racers of a few years ago would be amazed what these boats do

Warmer, drier, fresher
Boats getting faster also means getting wetter; so clothing demands only go up

Life on deck just got easier
More Italian flair but this time it's the tradition of engineering excellence

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Tony Rae says America's Cup 'just has to be in Auckland'
Former Team New Zealand grinder Tony Rae has said despite overseas speculations and money-talk, the 2021 America's Cup 'just has to happen in Auckland.'

Although Team New Zealand claimed victory over Oracle Team USA earlier this year in Bermuda, reports about whether the event would remain planned for Auckland has caused concern.

Speculation spread after Team New Zealand and the Government had discussed the multi-million dollar hosting fee and the US$80 million offer from the Middle East, which sought to take the regatta away from Auckland.

However, Rae told Radio Sport that 'selling the Cup would be the last thing Grant Dalton wants' and the country had no need for concern.

"As far as sell the event to another country that is definitely not happening, I mean if you were in these other countries surely you'd love to try and have the Cup there and I think it's probably the other way around, they're trying to get it over there, it's not us trying to sell it."

Rae, who sailed the Volvo Ocean Race six times, said it's unbelievable that we as a small country can win these trophies and that we need to embrace the opportunity to defend it on home turf.

"I think that people have to just forget about how it's going to happen and just get on with it ... someone has to pay for it ... I think if Sir Peter Blake were still around the thought of having this Cup after winning it and not defending it in New Zealand, would be absurd to him."

18 Shades of Gray at a sunny and snowy Datchet Flyer
Peter Gray, Rich Pepperdine and Simon Forbes raced their National 18 to victory in wintry weather at the Datchet Flyer, round two of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series which took place on 9 & 10 December.

It was a complex and challenging weather forecast for the weekend as the remnants of Storm Caroline cleared out of the UK, but 72 boats still came to do battle at Datchet Water Sailing Club, near London Heathrow Airport. With the wind blowing a 10 knot westerly from Windsor Castle, the leeward mark was situated close to the clubhouse, making for excellent spectating as the handicap fleet fought for buoy room.

The Toppers were the biggest entry with seven boats and a strong youth entry encouraged by the GJW Direct grants offering reduced entries for those entering multiple events in the Series.

The forecasts for Sunday predicted very strong winds building very quickly from 13 knots in the morning to almost 45 knots so principal race officer Barry Peters made the wise decision to announce an earlier start for the non-discardable final race. However, Sunday morning dawned much snowier than forecast for West London, with many competitors (and helpers) struggling even to make it through the treacherously icy roads to Datchet. With snow settling on the ground, the Datchet Team battled to clear the slipways in order to allow the ribs and fleet to launch. But it was a struggle to maintain safe launching conditions and with the wind building the race committee were forced to cancel racing.

This meant the overnight positions stood and the National 18 (Gray, Pepperdine and Forbes) declared winners of the 2017 Datchet Flyer. Gray is a former winner of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series which he won in 2011/12 sailing a Scorpion with Rachael Rhodes. The Dobsons' GP14 was second, one point in front of the Wilsons' Wayfarer. There were 10 different classes filling the top 10, with six singlehanders, three doublehanders and the winning triplehander, the National 18.

Other category winners included:
First Lady - Emma Stevenson (Osprey)
First Youth - Curtis McKay (Radial)
First Junior - Leo Wilkinson (Topper)
SpeedSix Fastest - Matty and James Lyons (49er)

For full results go to:

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2018 Melges 24 European Sailing Series
The management of the International Melges 24 Class Association announces the details of the 2018 Melges 24 European Sailing Series. From the first look at the calendar, it appears clear that the next one will be south and Italian oriented: in fact, five events out of six are planned to be held in Italy and the main reason for that is the Melges 24 European Championship to be held in Riva on Lake Garda in August.

The season will open in Tuscany, in iconic Punta Ala, at the end of March (23-25) and will continue in Slovenia in April (27-29), with the fleet heading to Portoroz that is ready to welcome the Melges 24 class again after the successful experiences of the past few years. The 2018 Melges 24 European Sailing Series will then move on to the internal waters, with a double appointment on the Garda Lake: Torbole (June 29 up to July 1), where the Melges 24 international fleet will return after the 2012 Worlds won by Italian Gullisara helmed by reigning world champion Carlo Fracassoli with the record number of entries, and Riva del Garda (August 3-10) for the Melges 24 European Championship. The season will end with the Melges 24 Italian Championship planned to be sailed on the Como Lake (September 14-16), and with the Lino Favini Cup, also valid as Swiss Open Championship held in Luino (October 12-14).

Besides the events of the 2018 European Sailing Series listed below, one more regatta will be held on Lake Garda - in Malcesine on May 18-20, the regatta of the Melges 24 Italian Series, which means altogether two pre-events for the European Championship to be held in August in Riva del Garda.

1. March 23-25 - Punta Ala ITA
2. April 27-29 - Portoroz SLO
3. June 29 - July 1 - Torbole, Lake Garda ITA
4. August 4 - 10 - Riva, Lake Garda ITA - Melges 24 Europeans
5. September 14 - 16 - Domaso, Lake Como ITA
6. October 12 - 14 - Luino, Lake Maggiore ITA

The Notice of Race of the series, online registration for the events and more detailed information about the logistics will be published in January.

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The Last Word
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