In This Issue
Hong Kong-London | Committing Heresy | Rambler 88 confirms entry for Atlantic Anniversary Regatta | World Sailing Fleet Rankings | World Match Race Rankings | Hong Kong Yacht Club seeks Boatyard Manager | More than a hundred entries for the Finn World Masters at CN El Balis | 2018 ORC Superyacht Rule Now Available | Stalin's Yacht for Sale | 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

Hong Kong-London
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi70's crew have successfully completed the replacement of the starboard rudder which broke yesterday morning following a collision with an unidentified floating object. To be able to carry out this hard operation, they had to enter a zone of high pressure with little wind and a calm sea.

"The assembly of the spare rudder went well", explains Giovanni Soldini. "We managed to install it on the first try and we didn't lose much time. Maserati Multi 70 is back at 100% and we are happy. Now, we are on our way to Cape Town."

In the coming days, the crew expects to face tough weather conditions. Soldini explains: "For the day 2 February we are waiting for the passage of a cold front associated with a depression that could be violent, with winds of 40 knots and more. We will try to position ourselves as well as possible to take favorable but not too strong winds."

At today's ranking (13.32 UTC), beginning of the twelfth day of navigation, Maserati is about 2000 miles east of Cape of Good Hope.

On January 26, Day 8... Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi70's crew record a 730 miles advantage over Lionel Lemonchois' previous record.

Committing Heresy
Not too long ago at all, if you happened to mention the demise of the Laser, you would have been found instantly guilty of heinous treason. You would have faced the firing squad, and been summarily dispatched to have a long chat with Poseidon himself.

'The Weekender', as it was originally known before it adopted its much cooler 'new' name back in the day, has done well with the best part of 300k units delivered. However, poor construction techniques meant new ones always did better than old ones. Its rig was also distinctly outdated with the long boom and zero roach making it look all the more 12m-esque.

Still, the dinosaur kept going, and despite many new wanfangelled and naff machines appearing in the intervening years, the Laser's popularity continued. Great craft like Jim Close's X3 showed the way forward, with self-draining cockpits, asymmetric kites and swinging centreboards, but could not totally crack the power of diffracted light, as it were

That in itself was an interesting point, for normally Olympic Classes have zero commercial success. Lesser rigs (Radial and 4.7) made it more approachable for smaller and less powerful athletes, but it could not hide the fact that technology had moved on, and the Laser was left with no more mustard to offer the various blades.

The announcement of the 2019 RS Aero World Championships heading to the delightful waters of Port Stephens offers a very good counterpoint. This is a class that is on its own meteoric rise, and with voting for the 2024 Olympic Classes to be concluded soon ('ish' in the grand scheme of things), are we actually seeing the proverbial ducks line up?

John Curnow's full article in

Rambler 88 confirms entry for Atlantic Anniversary Regatta
The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta is the first ever regatta series with two Atlantic Ocean races in both directions. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), based in Hamburg, Germany. The first part of this extraordinary series was completed in December 2017 with the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada. The final part of the race series will see the fleet race 3500 nautical miles from Bermuda to Hamburg, starting on 8th July 2018.

For the Bermuda to Hamburg race, George David's American Maxi Rambler 88, is the hot favourite for line honours.

"The great attraction is to be racing on the ocean for so many days, and we have had good results rewarding our efforts, including two records and three fleet firsts." Commented George David. "The NRV was the host club for Rambler 90s first transatlantic in 2007, and the club set a high bar for organization and hospitality, and we are confident of the same in 2018. The big challenge is keeping the boat together while still going fast. The best advice I can give newcomers to the race; be totally prepared for anything that may happen and sail safely."

In three different yachts, all called Rambler, George David has raced west to east across the Atlantic on three occasions. In 2007, Rambler 90 took line honours in the HSH Nordbank Transatlantic (11d 16h 13m 59s). In 2011, Rambler 100 took line honours in the Transatlantic Race, establishing a race record (6d 22h 08m 2s). In 2015 Rambler 88 completed the Transatlantic Race winning IRC One (7d 16h 54m 46s). This will be George David's sixth transatlantic race in both directions.

Over 30 teams have expressed their interest to race from Bermuda to Hamburg, competing for Line Honours and under the IRC, ORC and ORCsy rating systems as well as one design Classes like IMOCA and Class 40. Confirmed entries include top performers from the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race: Overall winner, Eric de Turckheim's Teasing Machine. Winner of the ORC Division, Outsider skippered by Dr. Harald Bruning. Winner of IRC One, Hamburgische Verein Seefahrt's Broader View Hamburg, and winner of the Class40 Division, Mathias Muller von Blumencron's Red.

For more information, including the Notice of Race and how to enter:

World Sailing Fleet Rankings
The World Sailing Rankings rate skippers based on their performances at World Sailing Graded events over a 24 month period prior to the release date of the Rankings.

Top three rankings from the latest release 29 January:

470 Men
1. Mathew Belcher / WIlliam Ryan, AUS
2. Pangagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE
3. Carl-Fredrik FOck / Marcus Dackhammar, SWE

470 Women
1. Afrodite Zegers / Anneloes van Veen, NED
2. Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Irming Mrozek Gliszczynska, POL
3. Silvia Mas Deportes / Patricia Contero Reina - Paul Parcelo Martin, ESP

49er Men
1. Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell, GBR
2. James Peters / Flynn Sterritt, GBR
3. Diego Botin le Chever / Iago Lopez Marra, ESP

49er FX Women
1. Victoria Jurczok / Anika Lorenz, GER
2. Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth - Saskia TIdey, GBR
3. Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA

Laser Men
1. Pavlos Kontides, CYP
2. Nick Thompson, GBR
3. Tom Burton, AUS

Laser Radial Women
1. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN
2. Mathilde de Kerangat, FRA
3. Evi Van Acker, BEL

Finn Men
1. Ben Cornish, GBR
2. Alican Kaynar, TUR
3. Anders Pedersen, NOR

Nacra 17 - Mixed
1. Fernando Echavarri Erasun / Tara Pacheco - Tara Pacheco van Rijnsoever, ESP
2. Ben Saxton / Stephanie Orton - Katie Dobson, GBR
3. John Gimson / Anna Burnet, GBR

RS:X Men
1. Kiran Badloe, NED
2. Pawel Tarnowski, POL
3. Shahar Zubari, ISR

RS:X Women
1. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL
2. Stefania Elfutina, RUS
3. Hei Man H V Chan, HKG

Kiteboarding Men
1. Nicolas Parlier, FRA
2. Axel Mazella, FRA
3. Oliver Bridge, GBR

Kiteboarding Women
1. Daniela Moroz, USA
2. Alexia Fancelli, FRA
3. Stephanie Bridge, GBR

World Match Race Rankings
The World Sailing Match Race Rankings were introduced in 1989 and measure the performance of over 2000 skippers to identify the world's most consistent performers. There are two divisions - Open and Women. To gain women's match racing ranking poinst all crew members shall be women.

The Rankings rate skippers based on their performances at World Sailing Graded events over the 24 month period prior to the release date of the Rankings. Skippers score points by competing a Graded Events with the highest points awarded to the event winner and decreasing down. The most points are up for grabs at the World Match Racing Tour, followed by World Sailing Grade 1 events, Grade 2 through to Grade 5.

Top ten Open - January 17 release date
1. Philip Robertson, NZL
2. Ian Williams, GBR
3. Taylor Canfield, ISV
4. Harry Price, AUS
5. Sam Gilmour, AUS
6. Mati Sepp, EST
7. Maxime Mesnil, FRA
8. Chris Steele, NZL
9. Yann Guichard, FRA
10. Matthew Jerwood, AUS

Top ten Women - January 17 release date
1. Anna Kjellberg, SWE
2. Pauline Courtois, FRA
3. Renee Groeneveld, NED
4. Trine Palludan, DEN
5. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE
7. Antonia Degerlund, FIN
8. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE
9. Clare Costanza, AUS
10. Sanna Hager, SWE

Hong Kong Yacht Club seeks Boatyard Manager
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is looking for a high caliber individual to fill the post of Boatyard Manager which will become vacant in May 2018.

This is a Head of Department position reporting directly to the General Manager. The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating, overseeing and managing the day-to-day repair and maintenance activities of what is a very busy yard. Whilst technical knowledge, leadership skills and management experience are all very important criteria, it will be equally important that the successful candidate has a positive, proactive attitude and shows good interpersonal and communication skills with members and staff alike.

- Review current practices, procedures and policies and make recommendations for any improvements that are required in the short, medium and long terms.

- Ensure the appropriate resources are in place to support and facilitate the yard activities in a safe, cost effective, professional, environmental and sustainable way.
- Lead a team of workers and sub-contractors to handle the day-to-day boat repair and maintenance works for both large and small racing and cruising yachts, and the club's fleet of race management and support boats.
- Set up, implement and review maintenance programs for the boat fleet under repair.
- Provide technical advice and recommendations and prepare quotations on repairs and improvement works for members on their yachts.
- Proactively update members on the progress of any work being carried out in the yard.
- Prepare forecasts and budgets for the yard operation and report on monthly performance.
- Perform ad-hoc duties as assigned.

We look for an experienced professional with:
- Vocational/Technical School Certificate in related disciplines.
- Minimum 10 years' experience in managing a yard or in a similar yachting environment.
- Practical and proven knowledge in repair and maintenance of modern racing and cruising yachts.
- Excellent time-management and facilitation skills with the ability to supervise work in the agreed order of priorities.
- Sound management skills with an ability to manage, motivate and lead the whole boatyard team (including workers and sub-contractors) to achieve the desired result.
- Strong communication, interpersonal and customer service skills.
- Problem solving skills along with experience in costing, quality control, health and safety and environmental aspects.
- A natural commitment to achieving customer satisfaction from all work carried out by the yard.
- Proficiency in MS Office applications.
- Good command of written and spoken English.

We offer an attractive remuneration and excellent fringe benefits package to the right candidate. Interested parties should submit a comprehensive CV together with expected salary to the Human Resources Manager, RHKYC, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or email

More than a hundred entries for the Finn World Masters at CN El Balis
Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, 23th of January 2018.- The CN El Balis has already received over a hundred entries for the 2018 Finn World Masters in just two months' time. It will take place from the 18th to the 25th of May in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres (Spain). 110 skippers from around the world have already registered for the competition so far, for which the participation of more than 400 athletes in the Master category (40-49), Grand Master (50-59), Grand Grand Master (60-69), Legend (70-79) and Super Legend (80+) is expected.

Four months before the sailing competition, skippers from nineteen different nationalities have confirmed their participation. From Europe there will be representation from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden and Ukraine. In addition, the Americas will have participants from Bahamas, Brazil, Chile and the United States, and the list is completed with Oceania, Australia and New Zealand.

Other athletes that have so far confirmed their entry in Catalonia will be the French Laurent Hay, who was runner-up in last year's edition, or the British Allen Burrell, who won the silver in the Worlds in 2012 and 2011. Also, there will be the Swiss Piet Eckert, who was fourth in the 2017 Masters and sailed the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona in the Flying Dutchman class; the Dutch Thierry van Vierssen, sixth at the 2016 Masters; and the Swiss Christoph Burger, who ended up seventh during the last season's competition.

2018 ORC Superyacht Rule Now Available
Milan, Italy: The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is pleased to announce that the 2018 ORC Superyacht Rule (ORCsy) is now available and can be viewed online on the ORC's Superyacht website. Like the main ORC rating system, the rule and its formulation is accessible in the Rules section of the ORCsy webpage, supporting the general principles of science and transparency advocated by ORC.

The latest edition of ORCsy has several new features:

- the new online application for an ORCsy certificate is now more easily completed by its users, where separate areas of the application may be completed and saved as more information becomes available. This new application style is still in development, with a working prototype to be tested in Antigua by experienced users for their inputs on improvements;

- based on user input and observations from the 2017 racing season, small amendments and improvements have been made to the 2018 version of the ORCsy Velocity Prediction Program (VPP), and wind ranges for scoring have altered slightly so that the Light wind range now tops out at 8 knots rather than 9, along with some re-wording to be more clear on use of these ranges;

- the VPP Documentation and Measurement Guidance books have been re-worded to improve their clarity, as has the ORCsy Sailor Services system for self-serve copies of existing valid certificates, self-service running of test certificates, etc.

- a complete list of the improvements made to the ORCsy rule formulations can be found on the ORCsy Designer VPP webpage.

Stalin's Yacht for Sale
Moscow River Shipping Company (MRP), one of Russia's largest shipping firms, has put the country's oldest and rarest yacht up for sale. Known as the 'Yacht of Stalin', it was built in 1934 and was reportedly owned by Joseph Stalin. High operating costs mean it has been used solely as a restaurant since 2014.

The yacht will likely sell through auction with a starting price of around US$2-3m. Much interest has already been expressed by well-known collectors and philanthropists from the UK, US and some Arabian states.

The auction will be held in Moscow at the end of February.

Built in 1934 by Krasnoe Sormovo, a shipyard based in Nizhny Novgorod, the yacht was built for Stalin according to the military technical department of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR. Its length is around 69m and its width is 13m. The ship is designed for speeds over 30km/h.

The 'Yacht of Stalin' was also used by Maxim Gorky, a well-known Soviet writer who was one Stalin's minions. In the 2000s, the ship underwent an interior restoration that involved the replacement of its engine and navigation systems. -- Eugene Gerden

Bridie Keating, heart and soul of Derrynane, remembered
Keating's of Derrynane has a long association with sailing, as Conor O'Brien's signature in the guest book bears evidence today. And for the past five decades its owner's hospitality to wandering voyagers made her name synonymous not just with the bar and B&B but with the Co Kerry harbour too. Following her recent death at the age of 83, Winkie Nixon looks at how Bridie Keating touched the lives of so many sailors from these shores and beyond in his tribute here.

Derrynane in the far southwest of Kerry is of sublime beauty, set within a sea of myriad islands, rocks and beaches intertwining into a steep coastline where hills soon become mountains in a benign climate which, combined with its seeming remoteness, make it seem a place apart, a place where you feel more relaxed yet much more alive at the same time.

That renowned Cork Harbour sailing family, the Dwyers, were likewise enchanted by Derrynane and spent long happy summers there, while more recently a Derrynane sailing name which has acquired international note is Foxall. Roger Foxall sailed from Derrynane to Russia many years ago in a 32ft sloop, and his son Damian acquired the deep-sea sailing enthusiasm from a very young age through sailing from Derrynane, which he still regards as his home port. Bridie Keating proudly displays a Foxall information feature at the heart of the family hostelry which she ran for more than fifty years.

For those arriving by sea, it comes as a sweet surprise to amble up the little road and find this oasis of hospitality where Bridie was welcoming to all, cheerfully tolerating heaps of wet foul weather gear - indeed, providing facilities to dry it - and happily providing simple but nourishing food to go with the excellent pints.

This was how it was in Bridie's at Derrynane. You might drop in thinking first of refreshment and one of your hostess's legendary Kerry lamb sandwiches, and soon find yourself as likely talking with her to a voyager from a distant land or a mountaineer just down from some remote peak. Yet among such people the locals could more than hold their own, for they were a specially sagacious assembly, every one of them of special interest. And at their heart was kindly, wise, hospitable and occasionally very witty Bridie Keating, the soul of the place, genuinely interested in people, and in her quiet way, the very perfection of hospitality. She will be much missed.

Featured Brokerage
2000 Swan 60-017 Betsy. 950,000 EUR. Located in Napoli, Italy.

Hull number 17 of the world famous Swan 60 model range, Betsy has recently returned to the brokerage market.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Giorgio Passarella

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07


Swan 62-106 Acamar. 1,200,000 EUR. Located in Liguria, Italy.

'Acamar' is a highly customized Swan 62. As a cruiser, she has everything needed for a round the world trip and can be easily managed short-handed.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Giorgio Passarella

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07


2015 FB35 - "Young Guns". 300000 USD. Located in Auckland NZ

"Young Guns" started exceeding expectations from the very outset and with a no-expense-spared attitude towards her specification, the end result has been nothing short of epic! Consistently beating boats bigger in size and budget, there is not much this pocket rocket cant do!

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson
Ancasta Race Boats
+44 2380 016582
+64 277733717

See the collection at

The Last Word
It is always easy for those living in the present to feel superior to those who lived in the past. -- Charles C. Mann

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