In This Issue
A nice run to Hobart | Freyja, a 1945 timber yacht, ready to set sail in Sydney Hobart | Wild Oats Crew: 301 Starts | Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar | Pushing to the limit on the race to Melbourne | Land Rover BAR share 35th America's Cup Bermuda Sustainability Report | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Jon Sanders Completes a Record 10th Circumnavigation | Titanic's Shoe Ghosts | Samantha Davies and Tanguy de Lamotte, on course for Barcelona | Featured Brokerage | Back On Wednesday The 27th

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

A nice run to Hobart
The Bureau of Meteorology has given the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet an early Christmas present - speaking at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning, Bureau of Meteorology's Manager, Weather Services NSW, Jane Golding, delivered a forecast that points to a fast, mostly broad reaching and running race.

"The race will start in a moderate east/south-easterly breeze around 10 knots," Golding expects, "and the winds will shift around to the north-east during the afternoon., to around 15 knots off Batemans Bay."

All four models the Bureau use point to the nor'-easter building overnight and the next day to around 20 to 25 knots in Bass Strait and down the Tasmanian coast, and those favourable winds will hold into the 28th as well.

The models are split about a weak southerly front that will develop on the southern Tasmanian coast on the 28th, but Golding describes the change as fickle, and it may not even reach the fleet before it is pushed out to sea by a big High in the Tasman.

It is a wonderful forecast for the Line Honours favourite, LDV Comanche, this month purchased by Australian Jim Cooney. In these conditions, the wide, powerful 100 footer should expect to pull away from her narrower rivals Wild Oat's XI, Black Jack, and InfoTrack, which, as Perpetual Loyal, broke the race record in somewhat more robust but similar weather last year.

www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

Freyja, a 1945 timber yacht, ready to set sail in Sydney Hobart
Andrew Miller has sailed the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 15 times, but his 2017 attempt at the iconic race looks set to be his slowest.

Not because of bad weather or unexpected complications, but simply because he will be skippering one of the oldest vessels in the fleet - the graceful 1945 timber ketch Freyja.

While the super-maxis are likely to scoot quickly down the Australian coast, Freyja will be persevering at the back of the fleet.

"[I approach the race] with patience," Mr Miller said.

"It's not going to be the fastest trip in the world, that's for sure; in fact, it'll probably be the slowest boat I've ever been to Hobart on."

Freyja's history dates back more than 70 years to the United States and after researching her history, Mr Lees said she was launched in Alameda, in California in 1945.

Freyja arrived in Australia in 1979 - the same year her 2017 skipper Andrew Miller competed in his first Sydney to Hobart race.

The yacht had to be taken apart plank-by-plank in a restoration job that took about six months.

Freyja's crew is hopeful she will be competitive in the cruising division of the race.

Mr Miller estimates that in good conditions, travelling at five knots, Freyja should arrive in Hobart on the afternoon of December 31, five days after leaving Sydney.

www.abc.net.au/news/

Wild Oats Crew: 301 Starts
When the knife-like bow of the supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, carves across the start line in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day the 20-man crew will have an astonishing 301 starts in the classic to their credit.

On top of that, three of them - skipper Mark Richards, Steve "Mothy" Jarvin, and kiwi Robbie Naismith - will have been aboard for every one of the yacht's 13 starts since being launched in 2005.

In total, the number of nautical miles covered by the entire crew in Hobart races is the equivalent of Wild Oats XI having sailed more than eight times around the world - or more than three-quarters of the way to the moon. Steve Jarvin lays claim to the most race starts with 28, followed by Iain Murray with 23.

Wild Oats XI, owned by the Oatley family, was scheduled to be out of the water for much of today day for a final hull polish. At the same time technicians were finishing repairs to the yacht's instrumentation which was damaged when lightning stuck the top of the mast early last Sunday.

On the crew front, skipper Mark Richards said today it was unlikely that the yacht's regular Hobart race navigator, Juan Vila, would be aboard for the Hobart race. Vila is currently navigator aboard Mapfre, which is leading the fleet towards Melbourne in the Volvo round-the-world race.

Richards said current indications are that Mapfre would not reach the finish in time for Vila to jump ship and get to Sydney before the Hobart race start.

"It's a scenario we had always planned for," Richards said, adding that prominent Australian navigator and offshore sailor, Ian "Fresh" Burns, would be aboard for the Hobart race.

Meanwhile, Wild Oats XI's "little sister", the 20-metre long Wild Oats X, has undergone some minor modifications this week in preparation for the Hobart race.

Skipper, Troy Tindill, said it was hoped that the changes would increase the yacht's chances for winning the race on corrected time. He said that the most significant change was strengthening the bowsprit so a more powerful headsail could be carried in light conditions. -- Rob Mundle

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
In support of SailAidUK

Just a week of voting left for this, our ninth annual contest. A dozen finalists going for two awards this time: Best Caribbean and Best Elsewhere. Caribbean entries include those that haven't yet returned from hurricane devastation. Here's hoping they all do, as soon as possible.

This world can certainly use a few more drinks on the beach...

For those who are in colder climes this time of year, another great Vodka drink to warm the soul...

The Frosted Blitz

2 oz. Wight Vodka
3/4 oz. triple sec
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. cream
1/2 oz. agave nectar
2 dash of Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients except cream in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass. Add cream and stir with a cinnamon stick. A dollop of whipped cream and ground cinnamon to taste.

Two things left on your list:

1. Go to sailaiduk.com and give to help the Caribbean marine industry rebound.
2. Vote for your favourite yachting bar (pick two, one from each category)... Voting closes at midnight UTC on December 29th.

scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars

Pushing to the limit on the race to Melbourne
It's been a physical battle and a mental challenge as the crews fight off exhaustion on a final push to the south...

MAPFRE extended their lead over rivals Dongfeng Race Team on Thursday as Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race entered its closing stages.

While the finish line isn't quite in sight, the most physical element of the battle is in the rear-view mirror for the leaders.

Determined to notch up another victory after winning Leg 2 from Lisbon to Cape Town, MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernandez has been pushing his crew to the absolute limit as they close in on Melbourne.

In an effort to stay in front of Dongfeng after snatching the Leg 3 lead from them on Wednesday, MAPFRE gybed 16 times in less than 12 hours overnight as they skirted the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone (AIEZ).

It was twice as many as Dongfeng opted for, with each gybe requiring an incredible physical effort from each crewmember, not to mention the slowing of the boat through the gybing process.

Yet the hard work paid off - and at 1300 UTC MAPFRE had more than doubled their lead of yesterday to 30 nautical miles, with less than 1,300 miles of the leg remaining.

The current ETAs see MAPFRE and Dongfeng arriving on December 24 (UTC); Vestas, Brunel, Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Christmas Day; and AkzoNobel on December 27.

Leg 3 - Position Report - Thursday 21 December (Day 12) - 13:00 UTC

1. MAPFRE -- distance to finish - 1,285.2 nautical miles
2. Donfeng Race Team +30.2 nautical miles
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +122.8
4. Team Brunel +158.7
5. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag +335.8
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +401.1
7. team AkzoNobel +575.8

volvooceanrace.com

Land Rover BAR share 35th America's Cup Bermuda Sustainability Report
Six months after returning to the UK from Bermuda - where the team were based for the 35th America's Cup - Land Rover BAR are now sharing their learnings and achievements in the Bermuda Sustainability Report; namely that large sporting events present a unique opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and a positive impact in the communities where they are hosted.

The report covers the activities undertaken in preparation for and during the team's relocation to the island at the end of 2016, through to their return home to Portsmouth in July 2017, and has been created in collaboration with the team's Exclusive Sustainability Partner, 11th Hour Racing.

Land Rover BAR was publicly launched in June 2014, with the goal to win the America's Cup alongside becoming one of the most sustainable sports teams in the world. In these three years the team have scored many firsts, one of which was to become the first professional sports team in the UK to construct and operate from a BREEAM excellent standard building.

Read the Report

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

World news
The TJV-TGV Express, Yves Le Blevec and Actual appear to be heading the wrong way, the Chinese-Kiwi connection gets stronger, Tom Slingsby finds a way to ease his Cup pain and more about that offshore Olympic gold. Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Thomas Coville, Sam Davies and Dobbs Davis

New kids - very new boats
What is it with Argentina and yacht designers... enter two more disrupters

Treat yourself
It's no longer a state secret but it's still a hell of a way to spend a week in April

Now it's foot to the floor
A ludicrously tempting event just hit a whole new level of performance

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Jon Sanders Completes a Record 10th Circumnavigation
Fremantle, NSW, AUS: Ocean Cruising Club Honorary Member Jon Sanders AO OBE CitWA left Rottnest Island on the last leg of his mostly single-handed circumnavigation last week. The passage was approximately 500nm. He arrived in Carnarvon, WA aboard s/v Perie Banou II, an S&S 39, on Wednesday the 20th of December, 14 months after departing Fremantle. Once again Jon has accomplished the extraordinary, fuelled by his mantra, "Why be ordinary when I can be original?" The 78-year old, who underwent open heart surgery in 2015, achieved yet another historical milestone in an extraordinary sailing career.

A native of Fremantle and schooled in Perth, Jon began his sailing career at a young age. He started breaking records and became the darling of the Australian Press when he completed a solo triple non-stop circumnavigation in 1988 aboard s/v Parry Endeavour, a 71,000 NM journey that took 658 days to complete. He won the hearts of Australians the world over and Parry Endeavour now takes pride of place next to the 1983 America's Cup winner Australia II in the Fremantle Maritime Museum.

Jon's website has the following achievements reported among many more:

1970 First solo circumnavigation trip east to west mostly sailing through tropics.
1981-2 Double nonstop solo circumnavigation west to east via Southern Ocean.
1988 March 13th returned from 658 days 21 hours and 18 minutes at sea, completing three non-stop solo circumnavigations. Guinness Book of Records as longest distance ever sailed continuously by any vessel (71,023 nautical miles).

www.jonsanders.com.au

Titanic's Shoe Ghosts
More than 100 years after RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, all that remains of the more than 1,500 people who perished is their shoes and other personal belongings. This video explains why.

www.soundingsonline.com/news/shoe-ghosts

Samantha Davies and Tanguy de Lamotte, on course for Barcelona
The British sailor has confirmed her pre-registration for the Barcelona World Race 2018/19 teaming up with French yachtsman Tanguy de Lamotte. The exceptional duo join the list of 15 teams who have also announced entries for the double-handed round the world regatta in 2018/19.

Samantha Davies (Portsmouth, 1974) is one of the world's most experienced yachtswomen who is well-liked and well-known for her tenacity and competitive edge. Samantha Davies surprised and delighted transoceanic sailing fans in 2008 with a fantastic fourth place finish in the Vendee Globe with Roxy, a boat which was built two generations behind the latest models racing in the round the world solo challenge. The British sailor returned for the next edition of sailing's 'Everest' but was unfortunately forced to abandon the race when her yacht was dismasted.

The pair know each other well having already joined forces for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015 and 2017. Tanguy is a naval architect and began racing the oceans when he built his own Mini Class boat for the Mini-Transat 2005. He then moved into the Class40s, also building a boat for himself. He soon became an expert in the 40 footers and won the World Championship in 2008, the Solidaire du Chocolat 2009 and the Fastnet Race in 2007 and 2010. He joined the IMOCA class in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2013, later taking on the Vendee Globe 2013, finishing in a respectable 10th place. In the latest edition of the round the world solo challenge he was unfortunately forced to withdraw with rigging damage.

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Featured Brokerage
2001 CNB 93 - SAVARONA. 2,450,000 USD. Located in Palma de Mallorca.

Great looking sailing yacht which is available fresh from a nautical makeover of epic proportions including decks, paint, interior and all systems.Gleaming.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222

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2011 Comar 100 RS - SHADOW. 4250000 EUR. Located in Cyprus.

Epic sailing yacht with metallic livery and totally sparkling sailing. Below decks she is light, airy and comfortable for her guests and crew.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222

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2014 Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200. 99000 EUR. Located in Lelystad.

Very well maintained and fast Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200 ready to go. She is treated with hard antifouling (black). Every year she is taken outside on the hard. Every two year she is put on the hard for 4 months. The other year they sail winterseries.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Bach Yachting

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

Back On Wednesday The 27th
Your humble narrator will be celebrating the season with family and friends and working once again on the "perfect egg nog" that has eluded him for more than half a century. Off for a few days, back on Wednesday.

May your days be merry and bright.

The Last Word
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Editorial and letter submissions to

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