In This Issue
Francois Gabart smashes the single-handed round the world record! | Relentless work by leaders in Volvo Ocean Race | VOTING OPEN... Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar | Courtois Wins the WIM Series and the Bedanne Cup | One of the tensest final days in Youth Worlds history | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Jangada Triumphant in Grenada: Winner of IRC Two and IRC Two Handed | World Sailing equipment selection process for Paris 2024 | Historic Draw Declared In Clipper Round The World Yacht Race To Sydney | 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

Francois Gabart smashes the single-handed round the world record!
Francois Gabart, who left Ouessant on 4 November 10:05 (UTC+1), crossed the finishing line of his solo round the world, located between Lizard Point and Ouessant, at 02:45 (French time, UTC+1) this 17 December. For his first attempt, the MACIF trimaran skipper establishes a new single-handed round the world record of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds, improving the time taken by Thomas Coville on 25 December 2016 (49 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds) by 6 days, 10 hours, 23 minutes and 53 seconds.

His time is the second time outright in a round the world, crewed and single-handed combined. Only IDEC Sport (Francis Joyon) succeeded in achieving a better time in the Jules Verne Trophy (40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds). The MACIF trimaran will have covered a true distance of 27,859.7 miles, with a true average over this course of 27.2 knots.

During the round the world, Francois Gabart left a lasting impression on everyone by beating the reference times one by one on his way. The most significant ones were the distance sailed single-handed in 24 hours (851 miles between 13 and 14 November, against 784 miles, which was his own personal best), but also with crew and single-handed combined, on the Ouessant-Cape of Good Hope section (12 days, 20 hours and 10 minutes, the Pacific Ocean crossing (Tasmania to Cape Horn in 7 days, 15 hours and 15 minutes) and Cape Horn-equator (6 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes).   (*subject to confirmation by the WSSRC)

Relentless work by leaders in Volvo Ocean Race
It's been a physically relentless day of manoeuvres as the teams skirt the southern boundary of the race course. The pace is expected to continue over the next 36 hours...

Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE are gybing back and forth as they zig-zag in an east-southeasterly direction, trying to stay as close as possible to the southern boundary of the race course, imposed by the Antarctica Ice Exclusion Zone (AIEZ) - a virtual line implemented to keep the crews away from dangerous icebergs.

"During the next 30 hours we are going to gybe at least every hour, so it's just a nightmare," said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. 

The reason is simple. Gybing these boats takes all hands. The off-watch crew is wakened and either brought on deck to assist with the manoeuvre or stay below to shift all the gear from one side of the boat to the other. The entire procedure can take around 30 minutes of hard physical labour. And the leaders are gybing more than once per hour at the moment.

At the back of the fleet, team AkzoNobel is back up to sailing at 100 per-cent after a second attempt at repairing the broken mast track held firm.

Leg 3 - Position Report - Sunday 17 December (Day 8) - 13:00 UTC
1. Donfeng Race Team -- distance to finish - 3,103.3 nautical miles
2. MAPFRE +5.3 nautical miles
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +53.3
4. Team Brunel +74.3
5. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag +83.1
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +133.4
7. team AkzoNobel +250.8

* Team Brunel passed Amsterdam on Sunday at the beginning of the afternoon. Team Brunel of the Dutch skipper Bouwe Bekking is on its way to Melbourne in Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team is expected to arrive in Australia around Christmas.

Ile Amsterdam
On Sunday afternoon, exactly one week after leaving Capetown, Team Brunel passed Île Amsterdam, an island located in the South Indian Ocean northeast of Kerguelen. The French island is 56 km² in size and is considered one of the most remote areas in the world.

Conditions in Southern Ocean devastating
The conditions in this part of the Southern Ocean are debilitating and require the extreme of the crew. With a water temperature below zero and wind speeds of 30 knots on average in the past few days, it consumes energy.

Volvo Ocean Race rookie Kyle Langford (AUS): "You dress as well and warmly as possible. But even when you're fully covered up you still get wet. The worst thing is putting on a wet balaclava over your head and putting on wet gloves. But you know that if you don't do it, then these parts will freeze, and you certainly don't want to risk that. So you have no choice."

VOTING OPEN... Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar In support of SailAid UK

We've selected a dozen submissions based on humour, drink recipes, nostalgia and sordid tales...

This year there will be TWO awards... for Best Caribbean Bar and Best Elsewhere. Some of our favourite Caribbean bars are still recovering from the hurricanes, hopefully to return someday soon.

One that took a very big hit is the Bitter End Yacht Club... which has its own charity donation website, one with a 100,000 USD matching fund from an anonymous donor:

"The Bitter End is like no place on earth! The North Sound is the perfect place to sail, kite, SUP, dive, and hang out with family and friends, with its great winds, clear blue water, and surrounding peaks. We discovered The Bitter End on our honeymoon in 1993, the two of us sailing an old Pearson 30 around the islands. We have returned 15 times over the years, and our four kids grew up exploring all that the land and sea has to offer. It is like a second home to them. But more important than the beauty of the islands is the unbelievable team of people who really make The Bitter End so special. They are caring, enthusiastic, fun and energetic. Each year on our return, we are greeted by 'old friends' welcoming us back just like we are family. These people who have done so much for us have lost everything, and now it is our turn to help them. It is this extended family at The Bitter End that we are supporting with our matching gift of $100,000, and we hope that this helps others dig deep to increase their gift, or make a first-time gift. Please join us in helping the tremendous family and team at The Bitter End." ~A BEYC "Repeater Guest" who chooses to remain anonymous

You can donate here

Vote twice! One for each category...

Courtois Wins the WIM Series and the Bedanne Cup
An incredible final day at the Base de loisirs de Bedanne, as the sun came out and the crowds followed to see the final day of racing at the 2017 International Bedanne's Cup and see the champions decided for the 2017 Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series).

After a short break ashore where the final and petit-final teams were presented on the stage to the spectators, the sailors took to the water to decide the podium places.

In the petit-finals, Vennin and Blecher exchanged wins for the first two matches and the 3rd place on the podium came down to a final deciding match.

Fast forward to the final where Le Berre took the first blood by winning the first match wire to wire, but Courtois quickly put Le Berre on the ropes by winning the next two matches.

The fourth match started well for Le Berre as Courtois received a penalty in the pre-start for gybing along the shoreline when she did not have rights to do so. Le Berre continued to control the start and led Courtois off of the start line with a two boat length lead. But shortly up the first windward leg, Courtois took advantage of a shift and took a slight lead. The match remained very close. On the 2nd downwind leg Courtois gybed onto starboard just ahead of Le Berre, but Le Berre misjudged the distance and speared Courtois with her bow sprit to receive a penalty. This cancelled Courtois' earlier penalty and Courtois sailed on to victory, winning the final 3-1.

Final Standings (Team - Skipper & Crew - Nationality; Prize Money (Euros); WIM Series Points):

1. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team
Pauline Courtois, Maelenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, Sophie Faguet, FRA

2. French Women's Match Racing Team
Anne-Claire Le Berre, Mathilde Geron, Cecile Andrieu, Sigrid Longeau, FRA

3. Team CVSAE
Margot Vennin, Juliette Dubreuil, Clotilde Ponçon, Sophonie Affagard, FRA

4. Team BAAM
Allie Blecher, Bekah Schiff, Ali Blumenthal, Meg Six, USA

5. APCC Women's Sailing Team
Margot Riou, Clementine Hilaire, Marion Ledoux, Tiphaine Ragueneau, FRA

6. L2 Match Racing Team
Marinella Laaksonen, Carla Westersund, Camilla Cedercreutz, Lisa Gerkman, FIN

7. Peregrine Racing
Linnea Floser, Karin Heden, Sara Edholm, Louise Thilo, SWE

8. ProKateam Sailing Team
Ekaterina Kochkina, Natalia Iureva, Elena Buyanova, Anna Kulkova, RUS

9. Swedish Women's Match Racing Team
Sanna Mattsson, Niki Blässar, Louise Lindkvist, Nellie Lindner, SWE

Final Results:
Pauline Courtois (FRA) defeats Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) 3-1

Petit-final Results:
Margot Vennin (FRA) defeats Allie Blecher (USA) 2-1

Semi-final Results:
Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) defeats Margot Vennin (FRA) 3-1 Pauline Courtois (FRA) defeats Allie Blecher (USA) 3-0

One of the tensest final days in Youth Worlds history
Sanya, China delivered the tensest final day in the history of the Youth Sailing World Championships with eight gold medals decided on the final run to the finish line.

Italy's Margherita Porro and Sofia Leoni had confirmed gold in the Girl's 420 but minimal points separated the front runners in the remaining eight fleets ensuring it went down to the final race.

Sanya saved the best for the final day with gorgeous sunshine and a consistent 12 knot easterly breeze.

Italy's consistent performance across the week means they win their fourth Nations' Trophy.

Top three by class:

420 Boys
1. Otto Henry / Rome Featherstone, AUS, 37 points
2. Thomas Rice / Trevor Bornarth, USA, 43
3. Ido Bilik / Noam Homri, ISR, 46

420 Girls
1. Carmen Cowles / Emma Cowles, USA, 13
2. Violette Dorange / Camille Orion, FRA, 39
3. Arianna Passamonti / Giulia Fava, ITA, 40

29er Boys
1. Theo Revil / Gautier Guevel, FRA, 69
2. Mathias Berthet / Alexander Franks-Penty, NOR, 77
3. Santiago Duncan / Elias Dalli, ARG, 80

29er Girls
1. Margherita Porro / Sofia Leoni, ITA, 45
2. Zoya Novikova / Diana Sabirova, RUS, 75
3. Jasmin May Galbraith / Chloe Fisher, AUS, 76

Nacra 15
1. Max Wallenberg / Amanda Bjork-Anastassov, SUI, 57
2. Shannon Dalton / Jayden Dalton, AUS, 57
3. Lucas Claeyssens / Anne Vandenberghe, BEL, 62

Laser Radial Boys
1. Maor Ben Hrosh, ISR, 54
2. Daniil Krutskikh, RUS, 57
3. Guido Gallinaro, ITA, 60

Laser Radial Girls
1. Charlotte Rose, USA, 43
2. Dolores Moreira Fraschini, URU, 43
3. Daisy Collingridge, GBR, 69

RS:X Boys
1. Yoav Cohen, ISR, 26
2. Hao Chen, CHN, 27
3. Sil Hoeksstra, NED, 45

RS:X Girls
1. Emma Wilson, GBR, 24
2. Giorgia Speciale, ITA, 24
3. Ting Yu, CHN, 29

Nations Trophy
ITA, 53
ISR, 69
USA, 71

Full results:

Seahorse January 2018
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

The race that launched 1,000 careers
Frederic Augendre takes the Figaro 3 prototype out for some testing of his own

Planes, trains and automobiles
Decision Composites outside Lausanne have been responsible for some of the fastest and most 'edgy' raceboats of the modern era. And plenty else besides. Founder Bertrand Cardis reflects on an interesting 30 years...

Do good
Chris Bedford, Simon Fisher and Mark Towill balance challenging for a round-the-world race win with achieving some other more publicly spirited objectives

Cup heritage - Part III
From a disappointing Big Boat to an elegant if rather large 'C-Class' to a technical run through of the IACC America's Cup era. Eric Hall

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
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Jangada Triumphant in Grenada: Winner of IRC Two and IRC Two Handed
Richard Palmer's British JPK 10.10 Jangada, racing two handed with Rupert Holmes has finished the RORC Transatlantic Race in an elapsed time of 21 days 17 hours 32 mins 55 secs and is the winner of IRC Two and IRC Two Handed. Whilst yachts are still racing, none can better Jangada's IRC corrected time. Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina gave the triumphant duo a warm welcome, as is customary for every arrival in the RORC Transatlantic Race:

"The race took significantly longer than anticipated, but our preparation and anticipation for the race saw us through without any big issues. Rarely do you finish a race before the predicted time and the reality is you often finish after it," explained Richard Palmer dockside after the finish. 

Palmer, owner of the smallest boat in the record fleet this year continued: "Before the start, our routing showed little difference between going north or south. However, the route to the north was less stable with low pressure systems to contend with. Whilst by going south and once through the transition zones, the north easterly tradewinds were relatively far more stable. We worked extremely well as a team; if you saw dark clouds behind the boat it was re-assuring to call down below and get an immediate response. The one time I didn't, we had a spectacular broach, so I learnt that lesson well. Arriving in Grenada to such a great welcome was fantastic, but we only managed to drink half the beer before drifting into a long sleep."

After 23 days of racing three boats are still at sea: Lyssandra Barbieri's Dufour 40, Hatha Maris, Berry Aarts' No Doubt (also racing Two-Handed), and RORC Commodore Steven Anderson's Gemervescence, co-skippered by Jane Anderson. At 1200 UTC 17 December, Gemervescence was 190 miles from the finish and expected at around 2100 hours 18 December.

Follow the remainder of the fleet still racing:

World Sailing equipment selection process for Paris 2024
In 2018, World Sailing will make a number of important decisions concerning the Events and Equipment that will be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition in Marseille, France.

To ensure a joined up and efficient approach to the decision-making process, World Sailing's Board of Directors appointed a joint Procedure Working Party of the Events Committee, Equipment Committee and Constitution Committee. The Working Party is responsible for advising on the procedures and Regulations that should be followed in deciding the 2024 Olympic Events and Equipment.

The Events Committee will debate electronically which Events will be placed under review and a recommendation will be given to World Sailing's Council for approval by 31 January.

By 19 February 2018, World Sailing's Council will vote electronically on approving the Events Committee recommendation and if approved, the list of Events placed under review will be published.

If World Sailing's Council rejects the Events Committee recommendation, Council can debate which Events it wishes to place under review. They will vote electronically on which Events to place under review and the list will be published.

In addition, under new Regulations approved by World Sailing's Council in November, the Board of Directors will decide what Olympic Equipment is being reviewed in accordance with World Sailing's anti-trust review procedures by 8 January 2018.

In advance of World Sailing's Mid-Year Meetings, set to be held in London, Great Britain in May, World Sailing will invite submissions, proposed changes to World Sailing's regulations, from Member National Authorities, World Sailing Class Associations, the Board, the Chairmen of Committees established by Council, International or Recognized Rating Systems, the Chairman of the Women's Forum and the President. The deadline for submissions is Monday 19 March 2018.

The Events Committee will meet on 12 May with the Equipment Committee following on 13 May. World Sailing's Council, the policy-making body, will meet on 14 and 15 May to make the final decision on the Events, the name of the competition, based-on advice from the expert committees.

After World Sailing's Council has decided the Events for 2024, the Equipment Committee will review the Equipment for the Events which were placed under review. The Events & Equipment Working Party will discuss the options and provide guidance to the Equipment Committee.

Submissions on equipment can also be made to the November 2017 meetings proposing decisions in the same manner and if new equipment is to be selected, evaluation trials must be held.

By no later than November 2019, World Sailing's Council will decide on any new equipment used for 2024.

  The International Olympic Committee is expected to confirm the event programme for the 2024 Olympic Games in the autumn of 2020.

Historic Draw Declared In Clipper Round The World Yacht Race To Sydney
A dead heat has been declared for the first time in Clipper Race history, with both GREAT Britain and Nasdaq to share eighth place in Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test. Clipper Race Director Mark Light says: "It's great racing. We have had some really close finishes over the years, finishes by just seconds, but this is physically too close to split, it's a dead heat. It doesn't really get any closer than this."

Despite racing for 14 days and approximately 2,500 nautical miles from Fremantle, Western Australia, GREAT Britain and Nasdaq were neck-and-neck as they entered Sydney Harbour on Saturday 16 December but swapped positions frequently. With the two teams matching each other gybe for gybe, it remained close right until the end, with not even the Skippers and crew able to determine who had made it across the line first.

GREAT Britain was originally awarded eighth place by just seconds in the immediate aftermath of the race finish. But, as usual with very close finishes, photographic evidence from both boats was examined by the Clipper Race Committee, who quickly announced the result to be inconclusive and too close to call.

The decision means GREAT Britain and Nasdaq, currently third and eleventh respectively in the overall rankings, will both be awarded five points for finishing in equal eighth position. Liverpool 2018 and will still be recorded as officially finishing in tenth and eleventh place respectively.

"I think even having a boat on the line and trying to eyeball it, it was impossible. It was that close," says Mark.

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The Last Word
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