In This Issue
Guangzhou welcomes the Volvo Ocean Race | A Glorious Start: 8th Superyacht Challenge Antigua | Harken Products Debut at Miami World Cup Series | Push-back on Wynyard Point bases | Regular rivals and new contenders are heading for The Superyacht Cup Palma | Newly formed Land Rover BAR Gladiator make TP52 racing debut | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour | Launchings | 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

Guangzhou welcomes the Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was treated to a warm welcome in Guangzhou, China on Thursday afternoon, after arriving 70 miles up the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong.

The Chinese Dongfeng Race Team was in the spotlight for the festivities upon ­­arrival. Sitting in second place on the overall leaderboard, behind race leaders MAPFRE, Dongfeng was feted by the local fans.

After proceeding with the public arrival festivities, the skippers then met the local media:

David Witt, skipper, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, on raising the profile of sailing in the region: "Let's not forget we had two Asian teams running first and second in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race and I think that's a great indication of the interest and the growth of the sport here in Asia and I think you'll see more of that in the future."

A Glorious Start: 8th Superyacht Challenge Antigua
Superb conditions and close racing were the order of the day for Race One of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua. In the Corsairs Class, Elfje took the first gun, and after ORCsy time correction won the class, just 16 seconds ahead of Rebecca, with Spiip third. In the Buccaneers Class, Acadia was the victor with Zig Zag taking second place, just 37 seconds ahead on corrected time from Maramar.

Principal Race Officer John Coveney commented on the 21 nautical mile race, lasting just over two and a half hours. "The course was designed to test the fleet evenly at every point of sail, and I have to say, with a moderate to strong breeze from the east, coupled with a slight sea state, it was just a glorious day to go racing."

After a two mile beat, the fleet eased sheets heading offshore in anticipation of setting downwind sails onto a broad reach. A tactically and physically demanding downwind leg followed, with gybes-a-plenty. The penultimate leg was a beat, playing the stunning bays along the rugged Antiguan coastline, before a short and sharp power reach to the finish.

In the Buccaneers Class, the 90ft Hoek designed sloop Acadia executed a text book start, just one second shy of the line. Acadia was launched in late 2016, and has beautiful classic lines, twin cockpits and a deckhouse leading to a rich mahogany interior. Acadia's traditional appearance is complimented by a lightweight aluminium hull and fin keel. The carbon rig flies a full main,  cutter-rigged foresails and a top-down furling asymmetrical headsail.

In the Corsairs Class, two magnificent sloops enjoyed an epic battle with the 112ft German Frers designed sloop Spiip getting the better of the duel in the latter part of the race. The Bill Dixon designed 105ft Danneskjold was originally launched in 2009, and was the first Superyacht to use a telescopic keel. Danneskjold's hull is made from advanced composites contributing to an impressive displacement of just 70 tonnes, and a minimalist deck layout enables slick manoeuvres. America's Cup and multiple world champion Mike Toppa is part of an impressive crew.

Harken Products Debut at Miami World Cup Series
The 2018 World Cup Series Miami is in the record books. 543 sailors from 50 nations competed for 50 medals in this pre-Olympic run-up to the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan. Teams raced in light to brutal breeze-on conditions, a comprehensive test of boat handling and tactical skills against peers.

Harken hardware was spotted onboard boats throughout. New products in the Nacra fleet included Harken's high-efficiency ceramic mainsheet systems. They feature insert-molded ceramic bearings that almost eliminate rolling resistance, making it easier and less fatiguing for crew to trim powerfully and precisely. Under test was a new 29 mm soft attach with an amazing MWL of 300 kg (551 lb).

It is specifically designed for high-tech line and features a titanium outer race and sheave, stainless ball bearings and inner race, and composite sideplates—ideal for use in vang cascades and backstay systems.

The 29 mm joins Harken's 18 mm high-load block and will be formally introduced to the public at London's IRA Dinghy Show, March 3-4. Harken At The Front.

Push-back on Wynyard Point bases
If there are America's Cup teams located on Wynyard Point either on the current plan lodged on January 30, 2018, as part of the Resource Consent process, or in the so-called Wynyard Point proposal favoured by the Minister, then they will be close to some existing oil and other flammable substances storage facilities.

The US-based correspondent writes: "As an American who plans to attend the Cup, I think I can speak for many other potential attendees (read: tourists spending money in NZ) in saying that the Minister's preferred option is horrendous in terms of locating the bases in attractive surroundings that people will want to visit and patronize.

"I expect the teams will feel the same way. With apologies for the likely too-American reference, it's like asking people to spend their vacation at a Superfund site in the middle of a refinery complex. That can't really be what NZ wants to show to the world, both in person and on TV."

Sail-World NZ has long railed against siting teams in proximity to the tanks. It was not a pretty situation in Bermuda and is much worse in Auckland.

The issue was side-lined by the initial proposal for an extension to the Halsey Street Wharf favoured by Team New Zealand and Panuku Developments.

Yesterday we took a camera around the Wynyard Point area and took in some of the sites and scenes - not a great look.

Regular rivals and new contenders are heading for The Superyacht Cup Palma
Old battles will be rejoined and new rivalries forged when the 22nd Superyacht Cup gets underway this coming June in what is one of the most hotly anticipated yacht racing events of the year.

No fewer than 19 of the most impressive yachts on the planet have already signed-up, including four of the illustrious J-Class yachts who will be making their first appearance since 2014 at Europe's longest running and largest superyacht regatta.

After a relatively smaller if no less classy 2017 when the event coincided with the America's Cup Superyacht Regatta in Bermuda, the Palma-based Superyacht Cup will see old friends and old rivals mixed in with new competitors across four days of racing.

When this gathering gets to lock horns out on Palma Bay, it is the evocative J-Class yachts that will initiate proceedings on 20 June.

Pushed hard by international crews boasting America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race pedigrees, the J-Class will see the classic 1933-launched Velsheda go up against Svea, the newest addition to the fleet and - at 43.6m - the longest. Meanwhile, Ranger - built in 2003 and the first of the 'new age' Js - and Topaz, another newbie, will also be competing, with another likely contender currently waiting in the wings.

Out in the superyacht classes there will be plenty looking to dislodge the overall 2017 defending champion Bolero, whose crew kept cool and consistent last time out when the pressure was on.

Class A winners in 2017, the Baltic-built flyer Win Win is a regular at the Superyacht Cup and will be looking for the overall title this year, as will the lightweight carbon and very fast Ribelle - second in 2017 - and the lean and very lime green Inoui.

Other regulars at the Palma regatta include the 45m Wally yacht Saudade, placed third in class last year and with three back-to-back Loro Piana Super Yacht Regatta wins in Porto Cervo to their credit, and Atalante, one of three distinctive Hoek Design entries.

Then there are the newcomers to the Superyacht Cup - Aquarius, Kealoha, Take Five, Highland Fling and Leopard 3, the latter two in particular with formidable racing credentials.

The Superyacht Cup runs in Palma, Mallorca, from 19-23 June.

Newly formed Land Rover BAR Gladiator make TP52 racing debut
The newly formed team is gearing up for its racing debut, the SCYA Midwinter Regatta in San Diego on the 10th - 11th February. They will spend the week training on the race course ahead of the weekend's racing.

Sir Ben Ainslie and Tony Langley will lead the team with Langley at the helm. Many of the crew that represented Land Rover BAR at the 35th America's Cup competition in Bermuda last summer will be racing, including Sailing Team Manager Jono Macbeth and the British Olympic Finn gold medallist from Rio 2016, Giles Scott.

Giles Scott recently returned to the Finn class, winning the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA with a day to spare. David Carr (grinder), Matt Cornwell (bow), Nick Hutton (mid-bow), and Andy McLean (navigator) will also be aboard from the AC35 crew.

Geoff Povey will return as grinder from last season's Gladiator crew, alongside Andrew Escourt (main) and Tom Wilson (pit); with Jono Swain (downwind trim) and two times America's Cup winner Joey Newton (trim) joining the team for the circuit.

Land Rover BAR Gladiator will return to San Diego for the NOOD Regatta on the 16 - 18th March before going on to race in the 52 Super Series - the leading high performance monohull racing circuit - with the opener taking place 23 - 27th May in Sibenik, Croatia. While two events in the UK, the Round the Island Race (7th July) and Lendy Cowes Week (4 - 11th August) will offer the British team an opportunity to race on home waters.

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

World news
(Very) uncomfortable boats, soft wings, America's conundrum and Australia cranks it up (even more). Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Blue Robinson, Dobbs Davis, Ivor Wilkins

The clock is ticking for Cup teams and there is way more to the Star Sailors League than meets the eye. Plus stretching the entente with the Golden Globe

Rod Davis - Jumping the (development) curve
You just gotta remember to listen with your eyes…

Sailor of the Month
Determination plus persistence equal delivery

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EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour
Sunday, February 4, will see the opening skirmishes in a highly competitive fleet of eight Diam 24 teams with a series of stadium races at Salalah in the south of Oman.

It marks the start of an intensive 14-day campaign which will take the international fleet along hundreds of miles of Oman's striking coastline before the final, deciding encounters in the capital Muscat.

The teams face a demanding schedule of intense inshore stadium racing and challenging coastal raid courses, interspersed with road trips between some of the six coastal venues:

4 February - Salalah - Stadium Racing
5 February - Salalah - Coastal Raid
7 February - Duqm - Stadium Racing
8 February - Duqm - Coastal Raid
10 February - Masirah - Coastal Raid
11 February - Masirah - Stadium Racing
13 February - Ras Al Hadd - Coastal Raid
14 February - Sur - Stadium Racing
16 February - Mutrah - Coastal Raid
17 February - Mutrah - Stadium Racing

The fleet includes several of the multihull's leading exponents keen to get their season off to an early start.

Boat name TBC (OMA) - Skipper: Stevie Morrison (GBR) - Crew: Abdulrahman Al Mashari, Quentin Ponroy

Beijaflore (FRA) - Skipper: Valentin Bellet (FRA) - Crew: Julien Villion, Guillaume Piroulle, Valentin Sipan, Jason Saunders

DB Schenker (GER) - Skipper: Elodie-Jane Mettraux (SUI) - Crew: Sophie de Turckheim, Mathilde Geron, Marwa Al Khaifi

EFG Bank Monaco (MON) - Skipper: Thierry Douillard (FRA) - Crew: Mathieu Richard, Ali Al Balushi

Team Lorina Golfe du Morbihan (FRA) - Skipper: Solune Robert (FRA) - Crew: Louis Flament, Riwan Perron, Charles Dorange

Poujoulat (FRA) - Skipper: Bernard Stamm (SUI) - Crew: Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Gwen Riou

Renaissance (OMA) - Skipper: Cedric Pouligny (FRA) - Crew: Yasser Al Rhabi, Sami Al Shukaili, Haitham Al Wahaibi, Hussein Al Mansoori

VIVACAR (FRA) - Skipper: Matthieu Souben (FRA) - Crew: Didier Le Vourch, Fred Moreau

Last week YF alerted you to the build progress of the new Baltic Yachts 112 Custom Yacht and now we can let you know bout the Baltic 85 Custom that is also under construction.

This yacht started build in Summer of 2017 and since then the hull is more-or-less completed. The yacht will feature a grey hull with white superstructure and mast/boom. The design is by Dixon Yacht Design while the interior is by Mark Whiteley Design

Onboard you will find room for just two cabins, one for the owner and the other for guest, therefore up to four will be accommodated. Two crew members can also be slept onboard. She is being built with a composite structure that features E-Glass on the outer skin, Divinycell foam core and pre-preg carbon on the inner skin. The keel features a telescopic lifting keel system that the owner chose. This will allow for the draft to be reduced from 4.3-meters down to 2.95-meters. This yacht is on course for delivery later this year.


The brand new RS21 keelboat responds to the need for a progressive, simple and affordable solution for keelboat clubs that increasingly see the opportunity for fleet ownership, league competition and training.

Development of the boat was inspired by direct approach to RS Sailing by several leading keelboat programmes.

The design puts close racing over ultimate performance - convenient ownership over complexity - it maximises low maintenance and value. This is the boat to bring wider availability, enjoyment and popularity back to keelboat racing.

The RS21 is both high quality and a sound financial proposition. Realistic costs allow appealing club charter fees - or affordable investment by syndicates of sailing friends.

Key Features:
- LOA 6.34m - Beam 2.2m - Draft 1.38m
- No-hiking rule
- 2-part carbon fibre mast - for convenient storage and transport
- Retractable carbon composite bowsprit
- One Design and Club sails specification options
- Optional symmetrical spinnaker
- Optional integrated, rechargeable & retractable electric sail-drive propulsion
- Stowage aboard for all equipment to improve operational speed & efficiency
- Integrated data logger & innovative, cost efficient electronics option


The Truly Classic 127 series of Hoek Design sailing yachts has expanded once again after TC127-3 was given a technical launch in the Netherlands earlier this month.

Built at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw and due to be fitted out in Turkey at SES Yachts, this 38.8 metre aluminium-hulled yacht is based on Atalante, which was launched by Claasen in 2015 as the first Truly Classic 127 yacht. A second hull is currently nearing completion at British yard Pendennis.

TC127-3 will differ from her sisterships in having a single deckhouse and a steering position set well aft. Likewise, the sailplan and interior layout has been tweaked without affecting the exterior lines and dramatic overhangs.

Hoek Design explains that an unusual fractional sailplan should provide "sparkling performance in light winds". Ease of sail handling was a key priority, and for this reason, the owner has chosen a Park Avenue-style boom and swept-back spreaders, meaning that only one set of runners and checkstays are required.

Due for completion in 2019, TC127-3 will offer accommodation for up to six guests split between a master suite, double cabin and a twin room, while the crew quarters will allow for a staff of up to six people.


With the new Sun 440 boat, Jeanneau has introduced a new style and new features that may have redefined what we'll expect from cruising yachts in years to come. Why should we leap over coamings, wedge ourselves into an odd shaped berths or scale the mast to reach the head of the stack pack? We don't. Jeanneau aimed to make sailing more comfortable, and it has succeeded. She's comfortable and easy to sail – in fact, she sails well.

She has three layouts available, only one has reduced berth shapes and sizes to those normally found on yachts – the two double forward cabin layout. All the other layouts have large rectangular berths giving the 440 a feeling of space not normally found on yachts this size.

On deck, she's got plenty of storage for sails and cruising clobber and moving around deck is a doddle. She could be easily handled by a couple, or with family and friends. Down below, she's light, spacious and well laid out. Who could want more from this style of boat?

If you enjoy coastal cruising and a few longer passages thrown in, there are many features on the 440 that you won't find on other yachts in her class: the full-length volume giving chine, fold down coamings, central galley, the rectangular berth and the innovative walkway from the helm to the deck.

Facts and Figures:

Price as tested £301,856
LOA 13.39m (43ft 11in)
Hull Length 12.64m (41ft 5in)
LWL 12.00m (39ft 4in)
Beam 4.29m (14ft)
Draught 1.6m (5ft 2in) (Shoal version)
Displacement 8,561kg (18,874 lb)
Ballast 2,670kg (5,886 lb)
Ballast ratio 31.2%
Displacement / Length 137.8
Sail area 90.30m2 (972sq ft)
SA/D ratio 22


Since the production of our Finn moulds in 2014, Petticrows have been steadily building Finns and to date have built 40 boats.

Work has been taking place on a project inspired by the the Legend - Howard Sellars to build a maintenance free wooden decked boat. 

Petticrows have been perfecting a new advanced technique to encapsulate extremely thin wood veneer within a GRP laminate using a new infusion process.

This has proved interesting but extremely challenging at times as boats built by this method must be suitable for high level racing and therefore have the weight, stiffness and weight distribution comparable to standard GRP boats.  We have to date built 2 'wooden decked' boats that you may have seen out on the water.

The new style infusion process has now been rolled out for the production of all Finn foredecks. The laminate achieved with this new technique is superb, both light and flexible, GRP boats built with these new style laminate foredecks are showing excellent boat speed and all boats built from now on will incorporate these new style decks.

For further information, contact Kay Tavinor

Featured Brokerage
Outremer 5X - NEW BOAT

At just under 60ft the flagship of this successful and well-established multihull supplier also offers a step-up in performance with naval architecture by VPLP

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Outremer Yachting
+33.467 560 263


Club Swan 50-003 'Cuordileone. 1,100,000 EUR.

ClubSwan50: A yacht that is a small revolution in performance and pure sailing pleasure.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Lorenzo Bortolotti

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07


1998 Swan 48-123 'E2'. 395,000 EUR. Located in Valdivia, Chile.

Swan 48-123 E2 is a beautifully presented yacht and currently moored in Chile. Sold to her current owner in 2014, she underwent a refit and maintenance period in Italy before starting her voyage to South America.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Lorenzo Bortolotti

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07

See the collection at

The Last Word
We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit . . . . if we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable. -- Port Huron Statement, 1962

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see