In This Issue
Vestas 11th Hour Racing Collides With Fishing Vessel | Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag record historic win into home port of Hong Kong | Hometown Heroes | Fast40+ Class Announces 2018 Programme | New video highlights Cruising Association Lobster Pots Campaign | Sydney To Hobart Winner Claims Australian Yachting Championship | Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race 2018 | For The Record | Industry News | 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

Vestas 11th Hour Racing Collides With Fishing Vessel
Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a British Cayman registered vessel with a multinational team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, has collided with a fishing vessel.

The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters. Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning).

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.

HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital.

* Fatality confirmed of fishing vessel crew member

The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew member of the fishing vessel.

On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.

Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident.

All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.

Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag record historic win into home port of Hong Kong
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have won Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, leading the fleet into their home port of Hong Kong.

It's an historic win for skipper David Witt and his team who had to overcome significant setbacks on the leg before grabbing the lead with a bold tactical call out of the Doldrums last weekend.

It was an extended Doldrums crossing, and Scallywag had moments where they appeared to be in a strong position.

But late in the crossing, after falling behind the fleet again, Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh made the decision to cut the corner, and turn to the west earlier than the opposition who kept pressing north in search of stronger winds.

Hometown Heroes
It was a hometown heroes welcome for David Witt and his crew aboard Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag as they rocketed into Hong Kong to take their first leg win of the Volvo Ocean Race. The racing had been intense since the Scallywag team snatched a surprising come-from-behind lead as the hunters hunted them with every bit of grit and determination, but they fended off all challengers by employing a well known inshore tactical strategy; they placed themselves squarely between those chasing and the finish line, and the tactic paid in spades. By winning the leg they became the first ever Hong Kong-flagged team to win a leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Much of the credit for their victory should go to Libby Greenhalgh who came on board as navigator in Melbourne. Libby, along with Annemieke Bes are the two females on board and their contribution has been massive. The leg from Australia to Asia is a minefield that needed to be navigated with a steady hand and steady head. After a bit of a rocky start Greenhalgh and skipper Witt saw their opportunity as the leading boats wallowed in the calms of the doldrums. Taking a calculated gamble they "cut the corner" turning toward Hong Kong before the rest of the fleet. The risk was that they would run out of wind but they skirted a windless zone on either side, remained in a steady breeze, and took a commanding lead. Some will say that they got lucky while others will know the truth; it was their Dubarry Crosshaven boots engineered and crafted to take on the tricky condition of the Pacific Ocean that gave them the winning edge.

Fast40+ Class Announces 2018 Programme
The 2018 FAST40+ Race Circuit kicks off this Apri. The season has been extended to six scoring events, ending in October, to decide the overall FAST40+ Champion. For the 2018 season the majority of the events will be stand alone regattas including the FAST40+ National Championship, and the prestigious One Ton Cup.

The season opener will be a non-scoring training regatta in the Solent on 21-22 April, with a class coach working alongside team coaches, to improve performance throughout the fleet.

Over a dozen teams are expected to be racing on the FAST40+ Race Circuit, and other IRC events throughout 2018. The next FAST40+ update will focus on team news, with some interesting developments to be revealed.

21-22 April: Training Regatta
27-29 April: Class Round One
26-28 May: Class Round Two
29 June - 01 July: National Championship Round Three
4-7 August: Lendy Cowes Week Round Four
13-16 September: One Ton Cup Round Five
19-21 October: Class Round Six

New video highlights Cruising Association Lobster Pots Campaign
The Cruising Association (CA) has just released a video highlighting the dangers of entanglement with lobster pots as part of its campaign for better marking of static fishing gear.

Introduced by Tom Cunliffe, the video features two experienced yachtsmen describing their frightening encounters: Norman Kean whilst researching updates for Irish pilot books and Steve Williams whilst racing off Anglesey.

The campaign has clearly hit a nerve with the boating public. The CA has received an enormous response from people around the UK and worldwide telling of their experiences with unmarked pots and static fishing gear. More than 6,000 people have signed a petition posted by the CA on the government website calling for consultation with all interested parties on how to address this hazard and make navigation safer for everyone on the water.

The petition is still live and will remain so until the closing date of 12th March.

The CA feels that it is time for everybody with an interest in boating to work together to find a solution, particularly one that is affordable and practical for our fishermen. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

See the petition at:

Sydney To Hobart Winner Claims Australian Yachting Championship
Matt Allen and his Ichi Ban Team have another trophy to add to their cabinet after claiming Allen's second Australian Yachting Championship early in what is shaping to be a bumper 2018.

Allen, who last won at this regatta in 2003, said it was a great thrill to claim all eight races at the Championship, which concluded at Sandringham Yacht Club on Sunday.

"It's not of often you get eight from eight but, I must say, in the middle race today, we only got it by one second from Secret Men's Business," said Allen, whose yacht claimed handicap honours in the Rolex Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race in December.

"I think the whole week's been a great success, a lot of great sailing, and I think every race has been really good fun on Port Phillip Bay."

Allen, who is also Australian Sailing President, learnt to sail at Sandringham, which he praised for having staged a fine regatta.

Reverie finished the regatta second overall and Khaleesi third.

In Division 3 IRC Philosopher edged out Executive Decision on countback to win the title. "Very happy with the result, very happy with our crew, they're a good young bunch of people from Hobart," said skipper Shaun Tiedemann.

"This has been an absolutely awesome regatta. It's been very very well conducted, unreal Race Officer and support team. Just amazing."

Tiedermann said his team "might have a crack" at the next Championship, which will be held in the Team's home state.

Doesn't Matter rounded out the podium places in third.

The 2018 Australian National Multihull Championship was won by Victorian Fury Road.

The 2019 Australian Yachting Championship will be hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania

Full results:

Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race 2018
Entries are growing for the Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland race run by the Royal Western Yacht Club of England. The Race starts in Plymouth Sound on Sunday 3 June 2018. The yachts turn right out of the eastern entrance of the Port of Plymouth and, keeping all land to starboard including Ireland and the out crop of Muckle Flugga at the top of Scotland, set out on their 2000 mile adventure.

One of the joys of the race, apart from the feeling of satisfaction that you have sailed around the island we live on, is meeting up with fellow competitors in the four 48 hr compulsory stop-over ports of Kinsale, Castlebay, Lerwick and Lowestoft.

If you are interested in competing in this challenging race please visit the Royal Western Yacht Club of England website to see the Notice of Race. We look forward to receiving your entry.

The race is a qualifier for the AZAB 2019.

The Royal Western Yacht Club has signed up to be a 'Clean Regatta' Yacht Club.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: World Women's Windsurf Record.
Venue: Luderitz. NAM.
Name: Zara Davis. GBR
Equipment: Simmer Style Speed Board 40cm; Simmer Style 5.0
Dates: 22nd November 2017.
Course length: 501 metres
Current: Nil
Start time: 12;14;08.86
Finish time: 12;14;29.81
Elapsed time: 20.95 seconds
Speed: 46.49 kts
Corrected for current: N/A.
Comments: Previous record: Karrin Jaggi. SUI. 2015. Luderitz. 46.31 kts

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Industry News
HanseYachts says it has received a preliminary injunction by an Italian court against an Italian competitor to stop building a boat that it describes as "imitative". The company said in a statement that the court order forbids the Italian builder to "manufacture, advertise, exhibit, promote, sell or transfer the imitative boat" in Italy.

Hanse did not name the competitor but said it was a copy of its Fjord line. The court has found that the imitative yacht is likely to be perceived as a "Latin version" of the Fjord 42, therefore giving rise to both a likelihood of confusion and a free-riding on HanseYachts' commercial success on part of the Italian shipyard," said the Hanse statement. The decision could be appealed by the Italian company.

"This is an important partial victory," says Dr Jens Gerhardt, CEO of HanseYachts AG. "Usually, certain details have been copied to date, such as the Dehler Uni Door or the signature window lines of the Sealine and Hanse families. We have taken this sportive until now, and see it as a compliment in many ways for our innovative and outstanding quality in design. But the copy of an entire boat is something that we cannot accept."


North Sails 3Di NORDAC is already recognized as game changing cruising technology and has claimed yet another coveted prize. The revolutionary polyester sail, designed for small to medium sized cruising boats, was yesterday announced as a winner of SAIL Magazine's renowned Pittman Innovation Awards.

The SAIL judges recognized that 3Di NORDAC offers the wider sailing community the unique 3Di technology developed on the race course: "With its new 3Di NORDAC sails, North has combined the great cost-effectiveness and durability of traditional sails with the 3Di process by building them entirely in polyester, with polyester filaments set in polyester resin in the 3Di structural tape ," said SAIL editor Charles J. Doane. "The result is an affordable all-polyester sail that is lighter, less stretchy, more durable and more mildew-resistant than traditional woven polyester sails - a win-win for cruising sailors everywhere."

Commenting on the award victory, North Sails CEO Dan Neri added, "In 2015 we saw a real opportunity to create product differentiation in the cruising market and we felt confident we had developed something special with 3Di NORDAC. We are pleased by the response from the cruising community."


The Financial Times has reported that Rolls-Royce is considering selling its commercial marine business. Many Rolls-Royce engines and transmissions are used in the superyacht sector.

The paper reported an inside source who said the sale is likely, though the company will keep its naval marine businesses. Last year, Rolls-Royce's marine division had losses of £27m on sales of £1.1bn. The commercial marine division accounted for around 75% of those sales.

CEO Warren East told the paper that he was looking at "strategic options" for the marine business as part of a larger restructuring for the company. He is considering trimming the company's five business units into three.


BAR Technologies is excited to announce the launch of BAR Rigging to focus on offering high performance cutting-edge rigging techniques, materials and practices in the marine industry including grand prix racing campaigns, dinghy classes, cruisers and the super yacht market.

BAR Rigging is led by Chris Noble, a member of Land Rover BAR's shore and operations team during the British Challenger's first America's Cup campaign. BAR Rigging will apply the same design tools, manufacturing processes and product knowledge developed through the team's America's Cup Challenge to deliver a high standard in quality, reliability and performance not yet seen within the textile rigging market.

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of BAR Technologies on the BAR Rigging services, "We recognised that through all the experience the team has gained, alongside the learnings and developments from the 35th America's Cup, we have something really special to offer out to the wider marine industry.

"With sole retail rights to certain technical developments, this allows us to offer our clients the inside track on the latest technology and innovations, as-well as genuine and affordable performance gains."


Lippert Components, a subsidiary of LCI Industries, plans to acquire the Taylor Made Group. Terms were not disclosed, but a statement said the deal is expected to close in two weeks if terms are agreed upon.

Taylor Made's 2017 sales were around US$150m. It operates 10 facilities, including two in Europe. Its sales break down to 20% aftermarket, 25% industrial and 15% international.

"LCI is one of the leading providers of windows for the RV towable industry, and with the addition of Taylor Made's products, will be a leading supplier of marine and industrial market windshields as well," said Scott Mereness, LCI president, in a statement. "We expect to leverage our purchasing, sales, distribution, and administrative capabilities to improve the profitability of this business, and we expect this acquisition to be immediately accretive to LCI's earnings."

Lippert Components has 52 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the US, Canada and Italy. Taylor Made will be LCI's largest acquisition in the last 22 years. "It is representative of our strategy of quickly assembling a portfolio of companies and products that will help us become a major contributor to marine component designs and solutions," said Mereness.

Most of Taylor Made's executive teams will remain after the acquisition under the leadership of Jason Falk, LCI vice president of operations.

In July, the company acquired the marine seating business of Lexington LLC for US$40m.

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2008 Oyster 655 Matawai. 1,650,000 USD. Located in Newport, RI, USA.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
Sign seen on stand at the London Boatshow:
"This toilet is a demonstration model only - to see a demonstration please ask a member of stand personnel" -- with hat tip to Don Wood

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see