In This Issue
Caribbean race season officially open | European Match Race Tour | Future Fibres continues supporting the RC44 Class | The Role Of Luck | Top sailors head to Miami for the first test in 2018 | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | From the "cool stuff at BOOT" files... | 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

Caribbean race season officially open
Barbados Sailing Week incorporating the headline event - the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race - is officially underway writes Sue Pelling.

A skippers' briefing at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, followed by the first of many beach parties at Barbados Cruising Club last night, gave competitors, families and guests a chance to enjoy the local Bajan hospitality to not only mark the start of this popular annual event but also celebrate the start of the Caribbean regatta season.

Barbados Sailing Week 2018, which runs from 16-24 January, is organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, all of whom are proud to welcome visitors from all over the world for a week of seriously fun racing and partying.

Howard Palmer (Chairman of the Race Committee) in his opening speech at the Skippers' Briefing made special mention of the recent re-branding of the event - Barbados Sailing Week - and Mount Gay's continued involvement as the headline sponsor for the Round Barbados Race, which is a unique challenge that gives teams a chance to win their skipper's weight in rum if any of the 20 records are broken.

Another change for this year's event is the return of the hugely competitive J/24 class which, by popular demand, has its own intense, two-day/four-race series (19-20 January). Going by previous form, racing for honours in this class will closely fought with results undoubtedly going down to wire.

Today's opening three-day Coastal Series for all-comers (17-19 January), looks set to produce a decent breeze, which should give keen racers a chance to enjoy stunning sailing in the clear turquoise waters off Carlisle Bay in the south-west corner of the Island.

European Match Race Tour
Following the success of the inaugural edition in 2017, this year's European Match Race Tour will feature seven qualifying events all over Europe followed by the 2018 Grand Final in Montenegro's Tivat.

The European Tour will start on the beautiful waters of Croatia's Sibenik in February before heading the Adriatic coast south to Tivat in Montenegro. Stop number three in April will be at PWA's windsurf world cup venue at Podersdorf at Lake Neusiedl in Austria, followed by the Tour's first visit to Sweden, when Gothenburg will welcome the match race circuit beginning of May. Another stop in Scandinavia at Copenhagen's KDY will keep the teams busy on the Baltic, followed by Poland's Swinojusce, where the northern section of the Tour will finish with another remarkable event. Last year's host of the Grand Final, Ravenna, will provide the last opportunity to qualify for the 2018 Grand Final which will take place in September at Porto Montenegro, Tivat, where the mountains of Montenegro and the scenic landscape will provide a spectacular backdrop for the climax of the European Tour.

There will be no changes to the scoring system of the Tour. Each skippers' best three results from the qualifying events will count and the top eight skippers in the general ranking will qualify for the Grand Final. There will be double points on offer which guarantees excitement till the end. The skipper with the highest points from the three events plus his Grand Final score will be crowned Tour Champion 2018.

The European Match Race Tour 2018
Tour Stop 1 - 16-18 Feb 2018 - Sibenik, CRO
Tour Stop 2 - 16 - 18 March 2018 - Tivat, MNE
Tour Stop 3 - 6-8 April 2018 - Podersdorf, AUT
Tour Stop 4 - 5-6 May 2018 - Gothenburg, SWE
Tour Stop 5 - 26-27 May 2018 - Copenhagen, DEN
Tour Stop 6 - 22-24 June 2018 - Swinojusce, POL
Tour Stop 7 - 31 Aug-2 Sept 2018 - Ravenna, ITA
Grand Final 2018 - 13-16 Sept 2018, Tivat, Porto Montenegro, MNE

Future Fibres continues supporting the RC44 Class
Future Fibres The 2018 RC44 Championship Tour schedule has been announced and, in its twelfth edition, this exciting one design class is looking to be one of the most competitive race circuits this year.

Co-designed by five-time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts and naval architect Andrej Justin, the RC44 is a light displacement, high performance one-design racing yacht, with many of the world's most highly skilled elite sailors having previously raced with the Class.

As official rigging suppliers for the entire class, Future Fibres is proud to continue our support of the tour. Finding the balance between performance and cost efficiency is no easy feat but in this creative design, and in using Future Fibres rigging, the RC44 class has achieved just that.

The Role Of Luck
I've been writing for a while on the impact of cognitive bias in decision making - looking at the systematically flawed judgements that human beings are hard-wired to make. And working as a commentator and strategic analyst for the Volvo Ocean Race is certainly throwing up plenty of meaty examples as seven boats try to deal with the vicissitudes imposed on their round the world odyssey by oceanic weather and currents.

My most recent Strategic Review explained how - as the fleet exited the Doldrums - the Hong Kong entry, Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag went from 80 miles behind to 80 miles in front. They did it by watching the leaders sail into a hole, and then swerving around it.

In contrast the overall race leader MAPFRE - skippered by Xabi Fernandez - came off worst of the lead group. Boats sailed away from them on either side leaving them with a 175 nautical mile deficit to the leader. -- Mark Chisnell in his latest blog.

This is definitely one to bookmark:

For those who haven't discovered Mark's work yet:

Mark writes suspense and mystery thrillers, technical books on the art and science of racing sailboats, along with non-fiction books and journalism on travel, sport and technology for some of the world's leading magazines and newspapers, including Esquire and the Guardian.

Mark began his writing with travel stories, while hitch-hiking around the world. He got a job sweeping up and making tea with the British America's Cup team in Australia in 1987 to earn the money to get home. He worked his way onto the boat as navigator and has sailed and worked with six more America's Cup teams since then. He's also won three World Championships in sailing, and currently runs the Technical Innovation Group at Land Rover BAR, Sir Ben Ainslie's British America's Cup team.

Top sailors head to Miami for the first test in 2018
Over 540 sailors, from 50 nations, will be competing in Miami, USA, for the second of four regattas in Sailing's 2018 World Cup Series.

From 21-28 January, some of the best sailors, including Olympic medallists and World Champions, will be competing across all ten Olympic events in Miami, giving their best to ensure a solid start to the year.

The first opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is at Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 this August. World Cup Series rounds in Miami, USA and Hyères, France as well as the final in Marseille, France, at the Paris 2024 Olympic venue, will give a clear indication on who will be gunning for gold at the World Championships and in line to qualify their country for the Tokyo 2020.

Some of the stars sailing in Miami include the Australian Laser Men's sailor, Tom Burton, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the legendary Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) who clinched an emotional Nacra 17 gold medal in Rio.

Racing at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami will commence on Tuesday 23 January at 11:00 local time.

Live Medal Races on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January will bring the week to a close before the series heads to Hyères, France in April. -- Aadil Seedat, World Sailing

Live tracking, sailor analytics, live weather data and racing status will be available on the platform here -

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

Seahorse Magazine

The materials were different
We've looked in some detail at certain technical aspects of the original J-Class. Now Don Street considers the challenges as well as the dangers of getting them around the racecourse

Saving the phone bill
Moving large yachts, especially fragile race yachts, around the globe is never easy… but it's becoming a great deal easier

World Sailing - Closing the gap
Eduardo Sylvestre

RORC - Gathering dust?
Eddie Warden-Owen

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

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Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

From the "cool stuff at BOOT" files...
EOS Chaise Longue For those visiting the Dusseldorf Boat Show looking for something exceptional; look no further than the carbon furniture from British company Essence of Strength, which will be on display on the Boote Exclusiv stand in Hall 7a stand number B08.

Suitable for superyachts, homes and apartments the furniture range has been inspired by organic simple structural forms and made possible by the use of ultra-high-tech carbon composite materials.

The EOS Chaise Longue is a celebration of how material engineering is beautiful.

Contrasted with exquisite leather finishing, this limited edition piece is made for those looking to enjoy a piece of functional art that is truly unique, and exceptional.

See the EOS Chaise Longue at Boot Dusseldorf on the Boote Exclusiv Stand, 20th-28th January 2018, Hall 7a, stand 08. Call +44 7973 228848 to meet one of the founders at the show.


J Composites will be gracing the international German boat show (20 to 28 January) with a new craft, the J/121. The latter is part of the French brand's One Design Sport range and has been devised for shorthanded sailing for all-round performance and inshore-offshore races. It's a whole new approach for J since it's the first time that a J boat will benefit from ballast tanks. Otherwise, J is showcasing a boat that is true to its image, with all the usual features of the boats designed by the Johnstone family: sleek lines, solidity, reliability and interior comfort for fun, fast sailing.

"It's a big J/111 with a few major developments, including a slightly beamier design than the usual J so as to integrate ballast tanks and two steering wheels. She also benefits from a removable stay mounted on a hook like the Class 40s or Imocas. The concept is already proving to be a hit in Europe with 4 boats sold in the UK, 1 in Germany, 1 in Spain and 1 in Sweden. It's increasingly difficult to put together a crew, so it is an entirely logical move for J to offer a 40-footer geared up to be sailed offshore by two or three sailors," says Didier Le Moal, General Manager of J Composites. J will also be showcasing the J/112E, the J/97 and the J/70 in Dusseldorf. See you on stand 15B21...

On Sunday 21 January, Jeff Johnstone and Didier Le Moal will present the J/121 to the press around a cocktail at 17:30 hours local time.


Latitude Kinsale will be exhibiting at the Dusseldorf BOOT show which starts this Saturday and runs until January 28th. Here is a preview of what will be on display. There will be a special prices for the pieces on display at the show so if you are interested then contact Bobby Kinsale () and we can discuss.

Latitude Kinsale

NEW: This year I am introducing exciting new products - Gold leaf Chart, transforming classic nautical charts using precious metals with a touch of class. Using 23 carat gold leaf and a very interesting print process to create a stunning chart of the Isle of Wight . Have a look at the image at right. You can see that the land is gold and is over printed with black ink.

If you are at the show please call by and enjoy the display. Hall 7 Stand 70D.


Spinlock - the award-winning designers and manufacturers of rope-holding equipment and personal safety products for water users - will be exhibiting exciting new Volvo Ocean Race products at the world-renowned boat show in Dusseldorf, from the 20th - 28th January 2018.

A European debut, Spinlock will be displaying their greatly anticipated Custom Volvo Ocean Race edition Deckvest and Beacon Waist Pack at the event.

Designed with both ease of use and safety in mind, the custom edition of Spinlock's Deckvest is ISO12402 approved and has a buoyancy of 170N. As well as being lightweight and comfortable to wear, the product has a quick release manual harness attachment point that allows users to release connection in an emergency.

Also developed to assist the Volvo Ocean Race crews, the Custom Beacon Waist Pack ensures sailors have easy access to essential, life-saving items at all times. An innovation in managing three pivotal safety items - the Ocean Signal MOB1 AIS device, Ocean Signal PLB1 and ACR strobe - the Beacon Waist Pack has easy-to-find pockets for equipment. It allows devices to be identified, deployed and activated easily in a hurry - even in the dark or with gloved hands. The devices are tethered to the waist belt safety pack and float in neoprene covers. The whole pack floats and can be thrown to a man overboard.

Visitors will find Spinlock in Hall 11, stands H25-H39. They will be hosting a drinks reception on Friday 26th January at 6pm to showcase the latest equipment and clothing used in the Volvo Ocean Race.


Interested in discussing advertising with Seahorse Magazine at BOOT? Graeme Beeson will be there Saturday 20th until lunchtime Tuesday 23rd ... contact him at for a meeting!

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, re last night's Last Word:

John Lilly for a year or so lived on St Thomas USVI in late 50's early 60s. He frequently sailed on Iolaire on day charters to St Johns.

We got to know him well. He was a good sailor, interesting to talk to about his research with dolphins, good conversationalist, quite good looking and a bit of a skirt chaser.

The gals referred to him as "a porpoise with a purpose"

Featured Brokerage
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See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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See the collection at

The Last Word
The illegal we can do right now; the unconstitutional will take a little longer. -- Henry Kissinger

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