In This Issue
Towards the Equator | AUS 13' and 16' Skiff Nationals | Antigua Sailing Week - Charter Opportunities & Flight Deals | Monaco Optimist Team Race: A regatta without borders | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Concern over an RNLI 'Drowning Gap' in Wales reaches the London Boat Show | Etchells 2018 Australian Championships | 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

Towards the Equator
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was buoyed by the arrival of new breeze on Thursday, potentially spelling an end to several days of torment at the hands of the Doldrums.

The seven teams hit the Doldrums - a fickle band of low pressure notorious for its calm wind - on Monday, and since then have been inching north at painfully slow speeds in sweltering tropical heat.

But on the ninth day of racing, with almost exactly 3,000 nautical miles remaining of the 6,000-mile stage from Melbourne to Hong Kong, it had all changed with new wind of up to ten knots filling in.

And with the new conditions came a new leg leader - a few well-timed gybes shot Vestas 11th Hour Racing ahead of their rivals and to the top of the table, if only by the thinnest of margins. "It's been an incredible 24 hours," skipper Mark Towill said. "It's been very hot and really tricky with the clouds. We put ourselves in a good position and we're happy with where we are. It's been an incredible effort by the team. We're looking forward to another exciting night, getting to the trade winds and into more stable breeze."

Leg 4 - Position Report - Thursday 11 January (Day 10) - 13:00 UTC
1. MAPFRE, 3025 nm to leg finish
2. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 12.73 nm to leader
3. Team Brunel, 13.24
4. Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, 15.27
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, 25.98
6. Team AkzoNobel, 28.39
7. Dongfeng Race Team, 33.36

AUS 13' and 16' Skiff Nationals
Photo by Michael Chittenden. Click on image for photo gallery.

The temperature hit 35 plus degrees in the sun and that was agony as the crews waited to get a final start for almost 3 hours. With the breeze literally switching thru 180 degrees of the compass, to their credit the race committee waited just one minute before the official cut off time to lower the AP flag to get the race away.

On que Sydney Harbour delivered with a 15 knot North Easter to see the fleet scream to the top mark.

Where we reported yesterday it was supposed tp be a three horse race for the title; very quickly it became a battle Royale with Sutech buried at the start, and for them it was game over.

It was a classic match race with Manly Surf n Slide taking the lead with Brydens in hot pursuit. It stayed that way to the finish and that was reflected in the overall result. Manly Surf n Slide winners of the championship with the final result split by a mere 3 seconds from Byrdens.

Taking Bronze were the lads from Sutech, but not far behind was TJS and Southern Beaches Rugby and Growthbuilt. The results page lists the rest of the champions in hot pursuit. Whilst in the 13 foot class it was "Mighty-Mite" who took the lead from the beginning and they protected their position to ensure they went home with the silverware; closely followed by Bartley Construction and Big Foot rounding out with the Bronze medal for third overall.

As we have repeatedly reported, the gap in the 13 class was so small in elapsed time; we have the future of the class well in hand.

Full results:
Regatta Website:

Antigua Sailing Week - Charter Opportunities & Flight Deals
More than 65 teams from all over the world have already committed to the 51st edition of Antigua Sailing Week. Many more are expected and it's not too late to join them. There are still single places and whole yacht charters available. Backed by Dream Yacht Charter and Virgin Atlantic, there are some fantastic New Year deals, and independent charter firms offer a myriad of options to experience the Caribbean's most famous regatta.

Virgin Atlantic is the Official Exclusive UK Airline sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week and operates three flights weekly between Antigua and London Gatwick flying Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

"Virgin Atlantic is pleased to offer preferred rates to family, friends and participants travelling to Antigua from London Gatwick for Antigua Sailing Week 2018," commented Sean Edwards, Virgin Atlantic Regional Business Development Manager - Caribbean.

To take advantage of the offer, email with your preferred travel dates, cabin of your choice and quote promo code 'ASW2018'.

Dream Yacht Charter is the world's largest charter company with over 900 yachts in 45+ destinations worldwide including Antigua Slipway, English Harbour, Antigua.

"Bareboats for Antigua Sailing Week have been booking up fast and availability is now getting tight," commented Dan Lockyer, Dream Yacht Charter General Manager, North America. "We are relocating boats to Antigua from other bases and we do have boats available, but if you are thinking about racing in the Bareboat fleet, it would be advisable to book up very soon so that we can meet the demand." Motherships are also available as race fleet bases or for cruisers who like the idea of being in the middle of the action but not racing.

For more details go to:

Independent charter companies still have yachts and single berths available.

For more details on opportunities for race charters and crew opportunities at Antigua Sailing Week visit:

The Notice of Race for Antigua Sailing Week 2018 and the Peters & May Round Antigua Race are now available online and can be viewed here:

To enter ASW 2018 click here:

Monaco Optimist Team Race: A regatta without borders
2018 is the 'Year of Regattas' at the Yacht Club de Monaco, as the one-design winter training base awaits the arrival of some 250 competitors of all ages in January. The youngest get the ball rolling this weekend, starting Thursday (11th January) with the Monaco Optimist Team Race, a team-match-race format. Then the weekend of 19-21 January it's the turn of the J/70s in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, ahead of the big one, the 34th Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse, 9-11 February 2018.

Monaco Optimist Team Race: 16 teams, 16 nations
For the ninth edition, 64 under-14 sailors divided into 16 teams will be competing in the Monaco Optimist Team Race, organised with the support of FxPro, Eventica and Fon. It opens with an International Clinic for four countries (Monaco, Uruguay, Russia and Croatia): two days of intensive training and coaching, supervised by Chris Atkins, one of the world's best-known team race specialists from World Sailing.

An original match race for teams of four Optimists, it encourages team-work and is extremely popular. This year there are teams from north and southern Europe, as well as Eastern Europe with the return of a foursome from the St Petersburg Sailing Academy in Russia and one from ARM Urla Sailing Club in Turkey. Oman Sails is making its first appearance, and a group from the Punta del Este Yacht Club in Uruguay have crossed the Atlantic to compete for the first time.

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

And so the dam breaks
It's taken a while but the Mini fleet has woken up. Joe Lacey and Fred Augendre sit down in Lorient with scowman David Raison

Some journey
Today the company that bears his name covers everything from iceboating to America's Cup racing - and a lot more besides. But that's a very, very long way from where it all began. Peter Harken

To boldly go
That AC75 - Franck Cammas, Grant Simmer and Dean Barker talk to James Boyd

Design - The master of (multihull) intuition
Very tough - Ian Farrier

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Concern over an RNLI 'Drowning Gap' in Wales reaches the London Boat Show
A Welsh lifeboat man and his son make a barefoot protest at the London Boat Show 2018

Father and son, Huw (43) and Steffan Williams (9), can be seen today walking half-dressed and barefoot to the RNLI stand at the London Boat Show, at the ExCel exhibition centre, in a symbolic protest against the RNLI taking vital equipment away from their lifeboat station in West Wales.

The pair travelled over two hundred and fifty miles to the capital to raise awareness of the RNLI's plan to remove the only all-weather lifeboat from the county of Ceredigion in 2020, creating what has been dubbed the 'Drowning Gap' by the Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign.

The 'Drowning Gap' is the sea area in Cardigan Bay which is currently served by an all-weather lifeboat at New Quay. Under the RNLI's current plans, when this boat is withdrawn at the end of its operational life, there will be a gap of over 70 miles of coastline between the nearest all-weather lifeboat stations in Barmouth and Fishguard.

There has been an all-weather lifeboat in New Quay for over one hundred and fifty years but, while the RNLI are rolling out state-of-the-art Shannon class all-weather lifeboats around the coast of the UK and Ireland, New Quay has been chosen as one of the first stations to lose all-weather lifeboat capability in the RNLI's recent Coast Review.

Whilst the RNLI has refused to publish its Coast Review report, it is clear that the decision to downgrade lifesaving provision will result in cost savings running into millions of pounds. However, a report published by the Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign claims that 25% of rescues carried out by New Quay's all-weather lifeboat could not have been achieved by the inshore lifeboat that the RNLI plan to station in New Quay.

Full story:

Etchells 2018 Australian Championships
Photo by Jonny Fullerton. Click on image for photo gallery.

Fremantle, Western Australia: Magpie sailed by Graham Taylor, James Mayo and Richard Allanson has one hand on the trophy this evening after scoring 2nd and 1st in the two races on the penul-timate day of racing at the 2018 Etchells Australian Championship sailed off Fremantle.

Not so much wind today and a little cooler but the fleet of 32 Etchells left the dockside for 2 windward/leeward races of 1.5nm legs in a short steep swell rolling in towards the harbour.

As the discard comes into play after 5 races, Graeme Taylor's Magpie team has one hand on the trophy with a lead of 10 points with 2 races to go on the final day. Michael Manford and his crew from RFBYC in Perth had to use up his discard (13th) but with a 4th in race 6, holds on to second place overall by a small margin of 2 points. David Turton and his crew of Queenslanders are now tied on points with Jeanne-Claude Strong on 20 points as Martin Hill and his Sydney based crew slips to 5th overall.

Another day of great racing with only one retirement due to a swimming incident shows just how close the racing has become in this fleet. The final day of racing (Friday) is scheduled for a 1035hrs start (local time) and racing will again be streamed live via the facebook site in the link below. -- Jonny Fullerton on behalf of Swan River Etchells Fleet

Results (Top 6 of 32 boats after 6 races)
1. Magpie - Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, Richard Allanson, AUS, 8 points
2. The Croc - Michael Manford, Dean McAullay, Nick Gray, AUS, 18
3. This Thing of Ours - David Turton, Josh Torpy, Klaus Lorenz, AUS, 20
4. Jeanne-Claude Strong, Seve Jarvin, Marcus Burke, Kate Devereux, AUS, 20
5. Lisa Rose - Martin Hill, Mark Langford, Julian Plante, Joachim Aschen-brenner, AUS, 26
6.Ciao - Douglas McGain, Michael O'Brien, Anthony Nossiter, AUS, 29

Full Results & Regatta info:

The French CNB yard, part of the Beneteau group, has a long-standing reputation for producing well thought out large yachts at prices that make other boat builders shudder.

The latest model from CNB, part of the Beneteau Groups, is a 66-footer designed by Phillipe Briand to be the largest sailing yacht that can be handled by a family crew, without professional crew. A hydraulic roller-furling boom, developed in an exclusive partnership with Hall Spars, helps to make sail handling easy, without having to resort to a performance sapping in-mast furling mainsail. Code Zero reaching sails and asymmetric spinnakers can be set from the carbon bowsprit to enhance speed under sail in light airs.

The deck layout follows the now standard formula of a guest cockpit forward and crew / helm area aft. The latter has more space than many, which will make working the boat easier, while the forward area has a clear walk through to the main companionway, even with the table in use. Right forward is a large sail locker, while the transom houses a large tender garage with space for a 3.2m RIB.

The first CNB 66 to leave the factory will be revealed to the public at the Dusseldorf boat show in January 2018. It fits into the company's production models between the Bordeaux 60 and the CNB 76 and CNB 94. Seven owners from Europe, Australia and Mexico have already placed orders based only on seeing the plans.

Length overall 20.61m
Beam 5.51m
Draught 2.95m
Upwind sail area 215sq m.
Water capacity 1,000 litres
Fuel capacity 1,300 litres
Air draught 28.76m


Finnish yard Baltic Yachts has released the first in-build pictures of its forthcoming 112 Custom sailing yacht, which is due to launch in spring 2019. Designed by Malcolm McKeon, this 34.14 metre sloop was designed for an experienced owner who wants to embark on worldwide cruising with the occasional foray onto the racecourse.

Accommodation is for eight guests in four cabins, including a full-beam owner's cabin forward, a VIP and two twin cabins, while the aft crew area allows for a staff of up to five people.

Key features include a telescopic keel that allows the draught to be reduced from 6.15 metres to 3.91 metres and a retractable propulsion system, which will enhance speed and manoeuvrability when powered by her square top mainsail.

Carbon fibre is a key part of the construction process, not just in the lightweight hull but also in creating the Bimini, which will provide all-weather protection for those relaxing in the cockpit. The result is an overall weight of just 84 tonnes


ClubSwan 125, the new Juan Kouyoumidjian high performance superyacht, is a demonstration of Nautor Swan's cutting-edge design principles and desire to be the ultimate leaders in performance and quality.

As leaders in innovation themselves, Southern Spars were the obvious choice to apply all of their expertise to this new exciting project. By providing a high modulus rig package with the latest advances in automated carbon fibre placement, the Swan125 can reach maximum performance in its ultimate pursuit- to be the fastest monohull ever conceived.

This is not the first time that both Southern Spars and the Finish Yard have partnered together, as the Southern Spars rig with Future Fibres rigging was also an essential part of the previous JK design, ClubSwan 50. Southern Spars have relished this opportunity to offer a well-developed performance package again.


The new 42m E-volution, designed together with American yacht designer Jim Pugh is also a progressive step for Perini Navi. The 42m aluminum sloop has elegant lines and the stylish comfort that the Italian yard is renowned for, combined with a powerful sail plan, carbon fibre mast and rigging. A hybrid propulsion system has also been developed for the E-volution, combining both a diesel engine with an electric motor. The E-volution is ideal for long distance cruising and meets the needs of a new generation of owners seeking impeccable design, simple sailing and performance.

Lamberto Tacoli also announced the dates of the seventh edition of the Perini Navi Cup which will take place at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 19-22 September 2018. Three days of coastal racing in the stunning emerald waters of the Sardinia, with spectacular social events shoreside, the Perini Navi Cup is the most important event on the calendar for Perini Navi owners and friends.


Prior to the Monaco Yacht Show, Malcolm Mckeon Yacht Design announced confirmation of a contract for the design of a 78m sloop, the studio's largest design commission to date.

Speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews, Mckeon reveals that the project, having progressed through several evolutionary stages, has now been costed by a number of shipyards and the client is considering the next step.

Project MM78 is an extreme design and has some unique features for a yacht of its size. Mckeon explains that the client wanted a large sailing yacht that didn't actually feel like a large sailing yacht when on board. This has been achieved by the studio through an ambitious use of glass, with floor-to-ceiling hull windows in the main saloon and master suite and a glass aft bulkhead. Large hull-side platforms further enhance the connection with the water. The 360-degree view from the cockpit has negated the need for a flybridge, which would be a first for a new build of this size.

Featured Brokerage
Donovan 26 OD. $77,474 CIF. Annapolis MD, USA USD.

The Donovan 26 OD is an evolution of the successful GP26 built by Wrace Boats

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Tink Chambers
Stagg Yachts



2005 Nautor Swan 62 - GLISSE. 995,000 USD. Located in West Palm Beach, FL - USA

Extremely practical modern-generation cruising Swan from German Frers. Twin wheels, easily-handled rig and a fantastic interior layout combine to offer effortless and powerful ocean cruising. GLISSE is now in Palm Harbor Marina in West Palm Beach for the winter. Great location, easy access in and out to see the yacht.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222


2010 Swan 60-903 'Vertical Smile'. 2,200,000 EUR. Located in Italy.

Vertical Smile is the third Swan 60 to be delivered and was launched in 2010. Currently lying in the Nautor's Swan Service Center in Scarlino, Italy. She is available to visit by appointment.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jeremy Peek

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07

See the collection at

The Last Word
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