In This Issue
Bouncing off the boundary
Lagos completes 2018 GC32 Racing Tour
Hybrid Agility
Time to Rethink Offshore Conditions
Round the Rocks Winners Announced, 45th St. Thomas International Regatta Starts Friday
RORC appoints new Assistant Racing Manager
Industry News
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Werner Heisenberg

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

Bouncing off the boundary
With big breeze in the forecast, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet prepares for a true taste of the Southern Ocean...

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet continues its relentless charge east, towards Cape Horn on Thursday, enjoying the best the Southern Ocean has to offer.

The teams have been skirting the southern race course boundary and racing in strong but manageable winds in the 20-25 knot range which have allowed the crews to rack up 500 mile days.

But that's all about to change.

Sailing south of a high-pressure system, the fleet has enjoyed bright sunshine and relatively warm temperatures from the northerly wind direction.

The forecast however is for a cold front to back the wind into the west-southwest, dropping the temperature significantly. The wind is forecast to increase to 35-40 knots, or even higher, for several days, and the accompanying sea state will make manoeuvres challenging.

"So far it's been rough, but fast," notes Rob Greenhalgh from second-placed MAPFRE. "We've had 20-25 knots which is perfect. But in about 24 hours, we're expecting an increase from the west to about 35 knots..."

"It is going to be heavy conditions for three or four days, 35-45 knots, perhaps more," said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. "Also a huge sea, maybe 10 metres."

Standings as of 2018.03.23 01:00:00 UTC
1. MAPFRE, 4770.7 nm to leg finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, 14.4 nm to leader
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, 14.9
4. Team Brunel, 22.9
5. Team AkzoNobel, 31.0
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 38.8
7. Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, 79.8

Lagos completes 2018 GC32 Racing Tour
The final pieces of the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour jigsaw are now firmly in place, with the ultra-high speed one design flying catamaran circuit again visiting five venues across southern Europe this season. Each venue has been picked with the aim of providing optimum foiling conditions to maximise the time the owner-driver and pro teams will spend racing in fully-airborne mode. Of the venues chosen for this fourth season of the GC32 Racing Tour, two are brand new to the circuit.

The final venue to be announced is Lagos in southern Portugal. Just 10km away from Cape St Vincent, the southwesternmost tip of Europe, Lagos has a maritime tradition going back millennia.

The GC32 Lagos Cup takes place off Lagos over 27 June-1 July.

Teams for 2018 GC32 Racing Tour will be announced over the coming weeks. Those looking to join the Tour, can contact Christian Scherrer on to find out more about the GC32 Racing Tour and boats that are available for sale and charter.

2018 GC32 Racing Tour schedule

23-27 May: GC32 World Championship / Riva del Garda, Italy
27 June-1 July: GC32 Lagos Cup / Lagos, Portugal
31 July – 4 August: 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE/ Palma de Mallorca, Spain
12-16 September: GC32 Villasimius Cup / Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
10-14 October: GC32 TPM Med Cup / Toulon, France

Hybrid Agility
Seahorse Magazine The goal with the Dutch-built Agile 42 was to identify and then deliver a very different type of offer in terms of high performance and quality...

A designer's dream and a builder's vision seem to have recently coalesced rather nicely to create the Agile 42, a brand new high-performance, all-carbon luxury cruiser from the Netherlands.

Successful entrepreneurs are hard to please. They're demanding, uncompromising and don't easily settle for second best. They're also the market that Tim van Daal, CEO of VMG Yachtbuilders, and designer Maarten Voogd decided to target with a new brand, Agile Yachts, of which the Agile 42 was the first example to be launched last winter.

Voogd is one half of the design partnership Simonis Voogd, formed with Cape Town-based Alexander Simonis in 1991. Voogd and van Daal have been friends for over 20 years and both are based in the town of Enkhuizen on the Ijsselmeer, which is where they hatched the initial plans for Agile Yachts.

Agile: adj, able to move quickly and easily. The name is a promising start but how would they go about satisfying this exacting clientele?

'We were thinking about what kind of boat we should build to target a new generation of successful professionals between 40 and 50 years old,' says van Daal. 'What kind of boat would they want? It was quite an organic process, starting with talking about what we like ourselves...'

Full article in the April issue of Seahorse

Time to Rethink Offshore Conditions
Not long after seven Volvo Ocean Race teams were forced to find safe passage through the crowded waters off Hong Kong, with a collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a fishing boat resulting in one fatality, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race put their fleet of 11 boats to a similar test.

From the start in Sanya, the Clipper 70 skippers were passing through the same waters enroute to Qingdao and quickly faced the chaotic conditions of the region. Though unlike the Volvo fleet which were beam reaching at 20+ knots, the Clipper crews were fortunate to be sailing at less than half that pace.

Visibility is imperative for safe passage. But add darkness or fog, exasperate it with speed and racing mentality, and navigating through regions with known fishing fleets becomes a game of Russian Roulette.

From Craig Leweck in Scuttlebutt:

Round the Rocks Winners Announced, 45th St. Thomas International Regatta Starts Friday
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Nearly a dozen boats reveled in the mix of spectacular scenery plus tactical challenges in brisk winds and bumpy seas as the fleet sailed around the island of St. John in the 3rd Round the Rocks Race. In the end, it was Teamwork powered by El Ocaso, a J122 chartered by Beaufort, NC's Robin Team and his family from Caribbean Yacht Racing Ltd. that won the CSA Spinnaker 1 Class, plus earned their name on the Perpetual Trophy for Best Elapsed Time. That time was 3 hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds to circumnavigate the 19-square-mile island of St. John, home of the Virgin Islands National Park.

Antigua's Bernie Evan-Wong and his crew aboard the Reichel-Pugh 37, Taz, finished second in the CSA Spinnaker I class, followed by Ontario Canada's Rob Butler and his team aboard the Reflex 38, Touch2Play Racing in third. In the CSA Spinnaker 2 class, the winner was St. Thomas' Stephen Schmidt and his fellow sailors aboard Schmitt's Santa Cruz 70, Hotel California Too.

Nearly fifty boats will compete in the three-day 45th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), starting Friday. Last year's podium finishers well represent CSA Spinnaker Classes. In fact, the first through third place boats in Spinnaker 1 in 2017 are back to battle again. In order, these are St. Thomas' Peter Corr's King 40, Blitz; Teamwork powered by El Ocaso; and Big(gest) Trouble, St. Petersburg, Florida's Tom Elsen's Melges 32. Likewise, Touch2Play Racing's Butler's is back and looks forward to bettering their second-place finish last year in CSA Spinnaker 2.

New this year is a one-design Hobie Wave class. The beef up of the beach cat class this year is ideal since the boats are beach-able. This is something that helps ease the traffic at the dock, which is much smaller due to hurricane damage.

Equally large at 13 boats is the one-design IC24 class, with sailors representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S.A.

RORC appoints new Assistant Racing Manager
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Thubron to the post of Assistant Racing Manager. Thubron brings to the team a wealth of experience in yacht racing, both as a skipper of successful racing teams whilst working as a professional skipper managing racing and charter yachts, and as the organiser of major events whilst working for his previous employer, the Royal Southern Yacht Club. Thubron has competed in numerous RORC races both in the UK and abroad and achieved success at National and International level including Cowes Week, Cork Week, Antigua Sailing Week, the Swan European Regatta and, additionally, class wins in the Rolex Swan World Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, RORC Caribbean 600 and RORC Season's Points Championships.

Whilst at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Thubron successfully delivered an extensive sailing programme of multiple regattas, club races and major events that included the Match Cup, One Ton Cup, Hamble Classics, J/70 European Championship and J/80 World Championship. He was additionally responsible for managing the club's 60-berth Prince Philip Yacht Haven along with RIB berths, dry sailing berths, dinghies and river pontoons.

Industry News
Henri Lloyd are delighted to welcome Ross Partridge as the new UK Marine Sales Manager.

Ross brings a wealth of experience from the marine trade, having an excellent track record both in the UK and internationally. He has previously worked at Raymarine and more recently Lewmar.

Ross is an active sailor and brings an enormous amount of enthusiasm and professionalism and is looking forward to taking up this new challenge.

He will be working from our Hamble office and showroom and will have overall responsibility for all UK marine sales for Henri Lloyd.

Paul Strzelecki, Chairman of Henri Lloyd, is delighted to welcome Ross and he and the team are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.


Sweden's Najad AB has acquired Arcona Yachts AB for an undisclosed sum. Both companies manufacture and sell sailing yachts in the premium segment and will continue to develop and sell yachts under separate brands.

Najad, with production on Sweden's west coast, produces yachts for blue-water cruising, comfort and ease of use. Arcona builds yachts in Sweden and Estonia for racing and cruising.

Together, the combined companies constitute one of the strongest players on the market, employing around 90 people with a combined turnover of more than SEK 100m.

During the spring, Najad and Arcona will launch several new models. The companies will coordinate management and administration from the Najad office in Henån on the island of Orust.

Both Najad and Arcona will continue to design, produce and market their respective product portfolio as before.


Perini Navi will take part for the first time in the Palm Beach International Boat Show, from March 22nd to March 25th.

During the show, which is held at West Palm Beach, Perini Navi will preview two brand new ground-breaking projects that represent a new era for the brand's designers: the 25m Eco Tender and the 42m S/Y E-volution.

The 25m Eco Tender is a 25m yacht designed to extend the experience of a long distance cruise on a Perini Navi. The aluminium design by the Perini Navi designers, coordinated by Franco Romani, Style Center and Design Director, is much more than a traditional Chase Boat, and will accompany its larger sister during its navigations around the world. The Eco Tender presents many innovations in both technology and ease of use: first and foremost a sophisticated, flexible hybrid propulsion that features a "zero emission mode", which allows for silent operation at night and also grants access to many nature reserves that would be otherwise off-limits.

Innovative and in many ways revolutionary, the new S/Y E-volution 42m was also designed by Franco Romani, who chose the celebrated American naval architect Reichel Pugh for the hull lines. The yacht will be built in aluminium, with a sloop rig, sleek lines, lifting keel and powerful sail plan with carbon fibre mast.

The name E-volution stands for one of the major innovations brought by Perini Navi to this vessel: "E" for Electric. This yacht will also feature the new Perini Navi propulsion system that combines a diesel main engine with an electric or diesel electric propulsion that allows for many different configurations, both at sea and when moored or at anchor.


Round the World race winner Mike Golding OBE is to open new five-star facilities after a £.4m investment at the Beaulieu River Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour.

To welcome sailors for the start of the season, the upgraded showers and facilities building has been designed to offer mooring holders and visitors first-class services in keeping with the yacht harbour's natural setting in the New Forest National Park.

The project has been overseen by Lord Montagu and his sister, the Hon Mrs Mary Montagu-Scott - who is High Sheriff of Hampshire and a keen sailor and interior designer. She has taken inspiration for the decor of the 11 large, luxury rooms from their New Forest surroundings.

Mary, who is also Commodore of the Beaulieu River Sailing Club, will join world champion and global record breaker Mike Golding for the opening on Saturday March 24th. Mooring holders have been invited to the launch and a raffle will be held in support of the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

The building includes a fully-equipped laundrette to refresh clothing and linen after days or weeks afloat, as well facilities for families and disabled visitors. It is the latest in a series of investments in the five Gold Anchors-winning Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour on the unspoilt Beaulieu River - which is one of the few privately owned estuaries in the world.

The Beaulieu River's unique character and natural charm make it a popular boating destination considered to be one of the most picturesque locations on the south coast and close to the sailing centres of Cowes, Lymington and Hamble.

Free Wi-Fi, an on-site chandlery open seven days a week and cycle hire are available at Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour. A restaurant, bar and tea shop are on the doorstep at the 18th century shipbuilding village of Buckler's Hard, with its Maritime Museum.


OC Sport celebrates its 20th anniversary with new brand identity

The pioneering international event creator, organiser and rights-holder, OC Sport, this year celebrates its 20th anniversary with a full-rebrand, new company logo and strapline and re-launch of its website.

Check out OC Sport's new website here and new company video here.

Founded in 1998 to promote the stellar sailing career of Dame Ellen MacArthur, OC Sport is now growing on several fronts with a rapidly expanding portfolio of events in professional sailing, amateur cycling, running, trail running and triathlon.

Remi Duchemin, OC Sport's Co-Founder and Executive Director, said that this is the right time to give the company a new brand identity, as it looks ahead to the next 20 years with a cutting-edge and innovative agenda.


Dutch sailing yacht builder Contest Yachts will this month open its new Sales & Service Centre in Palma. This move is part of the company's strategic expansion plan which will open a presence for its growing customer base in the Mediterranean and the increasing number of Contest yachts using the local cruising grounds.

The new centre will be fully operational from this month with Contest Yachts Mediterranean being managed by Mark van Gelderen. He has a strong track record in yacht building and pro-circuit racing CV. This includes time as build supervisor and then captain of the 35m(115ft) Hoek-designed Firefly, the first classically styled F-Class.

As to other developments at Contest Yachts a top of the agenda item is the construction of the company's new flagship model, the first 26m (85ft) Contest 85CS. The fit-out is now well underway with internal structures, systems and much of the engineering in place in advance of first-fit cabinetry and timber furnishings. The deck is also in fit-out separately to the hull.

This eases work-practice on both hull and deck and allows completion of the larger furnishing components off the boat before installation on board, again easing work and enabling larger, more complex panel sections and detail joinery than if working lid-on. This open-hull approach also provides a perfect birds-eye view for visitors keen to see the work in progress.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only Extreme 40. 65000 each GBP.

2 EXTREME 40s For Sale
Between the 2 boats have an amazing race track record!
Both boats had a major refit at the start of 2015 .

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Peter Greenhalgh
Tel: (+44) 07515 635669
Skype: peterngreenhalgh


Raceboats Only 2004 Marten 49 - "Vineta" 345,000 EUR. Located in Hong Kong

"Vineta" is the most competitively priced boat on the market and incorporates an upgraded 3-spreader mast configuration from Southern Spars, which makes her a real bandit on the rating game, as well as unrivalled performance cruiser.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

+442380 016582


Raceboats Only RP 78 maxi "Capricorno". Located in La Spezia, Italy.

Reichel-Pugh design, McConaghy carbon construction, Sydney Hobart and Cape Town-Rio winner as Morning Glory.

Reinvented as the ultimate cruiser racer by the team at Nauta Yachts with new deck, interiors and rig.

After winning the ARC, she sailed and explored remote areas around the world such as Patagonia, Cape Horn, Polynesia and Eastern Australia.

Now back in the Med, she is in pristine condition with brand new carbon rigging, engine, genset, electronics, water maker and A/C system.

Ready to go for the next blue water cruise or maxi regatta.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nauta Yachts
+39 335 53 487 27

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The Last Word
Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think. -- Werner Heisenberg

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