Tenth Annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar competition is OPEN. Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse Magazine.
Tell us about your favourite bar!


In This Issue
A hectic first 24 hours as the fleet heads west
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede Suffers Knock-Down And Damage To Rig
Check out the Harken® Family of Furlers for Free-Flying Sails
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar - 10th Annual Competition
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Newport Bermuda Race Strikes Gold
Dave Cullen's Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner Checkmate XV is ICRA's Boat of the Year
Notice of Race for Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2019 online
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Louis L'Amour

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

A hectic first 24 hours as the fleet heads west
The majority of the 123-strong Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic fleet has enjoyed a brisk first 24 hours of racing as they head west into the Atlantic.

But while most have settled into the race without major problems, there have been early difficulties for a minority of competitors.

Among them are some of the most closely followed boats, including that of Seb Josse and Thomas Coville in the ULTIME class and Jeremie Beyou on board Charal - the newest boat in the 20-strong IMOCA fleet.

Those sailors apart, the opening stages have seen the fleet make rapid progress from the start off Saint Malo on Sunday where hundreds of thousands of people came out to watch, as the sailors made the best of fresh south-southeasterly winds in the opening stages of their 3,542-nautical mile voyage to Guadeloupe.

Once passed Ushant the choice was whether to head north around the Traffic Separation Scheme at the tip of Brittany or go south and, in the IMOCA fleet, Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss led the way on his own in the north.

The move has paid handsome dividends for the British skipper as he continues to lead the division going into day two from Vincent Riou on PRB and Paul Meilhat on SMA.

Behind the IMOCAs the battle at the front of the Class40 fleet has been as competitive as might be expected with a tight leading group separated by just a few miles on the water, led by Yoann Richomme on Veedol AIC.

Britain's Phil Sharp in seventh place on IMERYS CLEAN ENERGY has already had to deal with his first technical failure when an internal ballast tank inspection hatch failed, sending 500 litres of water into the boat. Sharp bailed it out and has made running repairs.

In the wake of the Class 40s the amateur Rhum Multi and Rhum Mono classes have been making good progress with a handful of boats - among them Loïck Peyron on the small yellow trimaran Happy - choosing to head for shelter in Brest and other Brittany ports to ride out the storm forecast to hit the fleet tomorrow.

In each class the Brittany Ferries 24-Hour Trophy has been awarded to the skipper that achieved the greatest distance during the first full day at sea. The winners were Gabart in ULTIMEs, Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema) in Multi50s, Thomson in IMOCAs, Luke Berry (Lamotte Module-Creation) in Class40s, Sidney Gavignet (Cafe Joyeux) in Rhum Monos and Pierre Antoine (Olmix) in Rhum Multis.

Ranking at 1600hrs CET (1500hrs TU) Monday 5/11
1 Francois Gabart (MACIF) 2,973 nautical miles to finish
2 Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire IX) + 18.46 miles behind leader
3 Francis Joyon (IDEC Sport) +25.96 miles

1 Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema) 3,185 miles to finish
2 Armel Tripon (Beaute Chocolat) +48.48 miles behind leader
3 Thierry Bouchard (Ciela Village) +53.60 miles

1 Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) 3122 miles to finish
2 Vincent Riou (PRB) +26.74 miles behind
3 Paul Meilhat (SMA) +28.18 miles behind

1 Yoann Richomme (Veedol-AIC) 3,249 miles to finish
2 Louis Duc (Carac) +2.5 miles behind
3 Arthur Le Vaillant (Leyton) +7.17 miles behind

1 Pierre Antoine (Olmix) 3,255 miles to finish
2 Jean-Francois Lilti (Ecole Diagonal Pour Citoyens du Monde) +3.4 miles behind
3 David Ducosson (Air Antilles Caseneuve Maxi Cat) +18.46 miles behind

1 Sidney Gavignet (Joyeux Cafe) 3,293 miles to finish
2 Vento di Sardegna (Andrea Mura) +11.06 miles behind
3 Wilfred Clerton (Cap au Cap Location) +31.68 miles behind.


Jean-Luc Van Den Heede Suffers Knock-Down and Damage To Rig
At 1500hrs UTC 5th NOV. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede called GGR Founder Don McIntyre to advise that his Rustler 36 Matmut had been knocked down badly to about 150° which had damaged the connecting bolt attachment to the mast that holds all four lower shrouds. The mast was not in danger of falling, but it was not securely tensioned. The bolt has slipped 5cm down in the mast section and slackened the rigging.. He is still in the storm with 11 metre seas and 65knot winds. Conditions are expected to moderate in the next few hours.

The 73-year old race Frenchman from Les Sables d'Olonne is now running downwind with no sails until conditions improve. He will then effect a repair that will allow him to hoist sail again and make for Valparaiso, Chile where he will make a permanent repair.

Jean Luc was not injured during the knock-down, has requested no assistance at this time and is confident he can make Valparaiso safely. This will mean that he will move to the Chichester Class once he makes that port to effect repairs.

This is NOT a Code Orange situation for GGR and Jean-Luc is well in control of the situation. GGR will monitor his progress to port.


Check out the Harken® Family of Furlers for Free-Flying Sails
The Harken® Reflex™ furling system provides sailors with the confidence that their free-flying A-sails, gennakers, and code-style sails will furl with speed and control. The result? Sailors use downwind sails more often -- even when sailing shorthanded. The compact drive unit is easier to handle than other designs. Pull the furling line and the drive unit reacts reflexively to rotate the torsion cable, immediately transferring torque to the head swivel without unwanted corkscrewing that delays response. The head swivel reacts instantly, spinning the sail smoothly and completely from top to bottom for an even roll-up. The furled spinnaker lowers easily to the deck, ready for the next hoist.

The Reflex furlers are offered in three sizes: Unit 1 is rated at 1.5T maximum working load for boats up to 11 m (36'). Unit 2 is rated at 2.5T MWL for boats up to 14 m (45'). With a rated load of 4.5T, the Reflex 3 fits asymmetric spinnakers on monohulls with typical boat lengths of 13 - 17.7 m (44 - 58') and multihulls 12 - 16.7 m (39 - 55'); code zero sails on monohulls 12 - 16.5 m (39 - 54') and multihulls 11 - 15 m (36 - 50').

See Reflex in action here.


Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar - 10th Annual Competition
Supported by latitudekinsale.com and Seahorse magazine

A reminder from a long time reader that our first winner, Peter Cafe Sport in Horta, is still going strong, still as vital to sailors crossing the Atlantic, and truly one of the world's greatest establishments.

Here's what makes it so great:
"Peter Cafe Sport is unlike anywhere else on earth. It is quite literally the crossroads, the rest, repairm, recuperate and invigorate station for thousands upon thousands of sailors. Beyond just welcoming... you walk in and your head literally spins looking at the hundreds of burgees and momentos from sailors both anonymous and world famous. This has to be on the bucket list of any serious sailor."

For a hundred years, sailors from all over the world, sheltered by this harbor, have found support in 'Peter's' friendly and welcoming atmosphere of open conviviality and pleasant conversations.

As well as food and drink... Peter has a Scrimshaw Museum:

The "Peter" Scrimshaw Museum was born in 1986 and is now a must-visit for all who seek to discover the true history of Faial. Its importance is widely recognized as it preserves, through the pieces on display, the testimony and memory of this great adventure that was the whaling, mainly in the islands of Faial and Pico.

One of the largest and most beautiful collections in the world of Scrimshaw is still exhibited: the ancient art achieved through the process of engraving and carving on the teeth and bones of sperm whales caught on the high seas. This practice was born aboard the New England whales and was perfected by the Azores. The best-performing pieces were saved, cherished and handed down from generation to generation by the Peter family until they reached our museum.

Perhaps they will win again this year...

Please tell us about YOUR favorite bar: scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars


Seahorse Sailor Of The Month

Last month's winner:

Tony Lawson (GBR)
'So often you've thrown the kids the keys to the Camaro and just let 'em rip. Respect' - Paul Larsen; 'Tony has given countless youngsters a start in offshore racing... myself included' - Sam Goodchild; 'Tony's generosity turns young sailors' dreams into hard, fast and wet reality!' - Helena Darvelid; 'Tony is not just the sailor of the month' - Henry Bomby; 'He is not only generous but offers youngsters a chance to gain priceless experience' - Pete Goss; 'For all that he has done he deserves a big hand... and he gets my tick in the box!' - James Boyd; 'One sailor who walks the walk' - Miranda Merron.

This month's nominees:

Jud Smith (USA)
They all turned up, 91 boats and half the pro sailors on the planet. And it was a battle. Jud Smith added the 2018 J/70 world title to a busy trophy cabinet after finishing just 1pt ahead of runner-up Bruno Pasquinelli. The top three were covered by 3pt after 11 hard races. Tight. As well as being among the best one-design sailors of his generation (three Etchells world titles for starters) Smith is also one of the most helpful guys in the boat park - here that counts just as much

Hunt Lawrence (USA)
Oakcliff Sailing, with its 100+ boat fleet, wide ranging programmes that teach youngsters about life as well as sailing and a team of world-class sailors like Dave Perry led by Whitbread and AC veteran Dawn Riley, is now a worldwide benchmark. But while it is now largely self-funding Oakcliff Sailing Center only exists because of the foresight and financial backing of Hunt and Betsy Lawrence when the story first began back in 2010

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Zhik, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month/vote-for-sailor-of-the-month

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

Newport Bermuda Race Strikes Gold
The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee has earned gold-level certification from Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas program for their 2018 Newport Bermuda Race.

Clean Regattas is a certification system with five levels—Participant, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum—enabling sailors to protect their local waters with as many of 25 best practices as possible, making sustainability approachable and easy.

The race earned Clean Regattas certification previously, in 2014 and 2016, but this is the first year the race reached the Gold level.

Joe Harris, leader of the Newport Bermuda Race Green Team, reported achieving 19 of 25 best practices en route to earning Gold certification. Those practices included:

- Organizing a Green Team of volunteers;
- Engaging the public through the race website and social media;
- Reducing the number of single-serve plastic water bottles used by competitors in favor of re-usable containers;
- Providing water-refill stations;
- Providing compost stations;
- Making the race a "Trash Free Regatta under RRS Rule 55 (No discharge)";
- Encouraging recycling and making recycling stations available in both Newport and Bermuda.



Dave Cullen's Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner Checkmate XV is ICRA's Boat of the Year
Howth Yacht Club's all-conquering vintage Half Tonner Checkmate XV was the winner of the ICRA Boat of the Year Award at the association's agm held at Lough Derg Yacht Club yesterday. The cruiser-racer award completes a stellar season for the North Dublin campaign that has seen victories on both the national and international stage.

Cullen, already an Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month, emerged as clear overall champion in Howth's successful Wave Regatta in June and then went on to record outright class wins in both the National and Royal Irish Yacht Club Regattas. See those respective regatta reports here and here.

A skilled helmsman himself, Cullen is also noted for his ability to provide impressive standards in boat management programmes, and top-level personnel resources with the likes of Nin O'Leary, Maurice Prof O'Connell and Mark Mansfield readily joining the Cullen crew lineup.


Notice of Race for Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2019 online
Enrolment is open for the 12th edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta taking place from 3 to 8 June 2019. The Notice of Race with all the relevant information is available online, on the homepage of the YCCS website and in the dedicated event section.

The 2019 edition will debut a new format, with the event taking place over five days instead of four in order to allow for any cancelled racing to be rescheduled.

Unique courses through the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago and natural buoys set against turquoise waters will act as the backdrop to the sailing action, while back ashore a dedicated programme of activities will be organised for owners and their guests.

The entry form is available online. For further information visit the website or contact the YCCS Race Office and/or Press Office.


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 Euan Ross re: World Sailing

They say that "a camel is a horse designed by a committee".... and now we know which committee (apparently operating without an effective chairperson) was responsible.

* From Dr Frank Newton ( Sorebones ):

Some years ago when I was chair of the Medical Commission of what is now World Sailing we were able to study an interesting paper from Jacques Rogge.

This detailed the weight distribution of competitors in all the then Olympic Classes.

It indicated the mean weight suitable for a class and the distribution of lighter and heavier competitors. The study further pointed out the racial suitability of a particular class demonstrating that Asian races were at a disadvantage by reason of slighter stature in some classes being more suited to others. The weight distribution of the Finn class indicated a wide range of weights more suitable for European, Australasian and North American sailors than for Asian races, who proved most suited for other existing classes. A case of horse for courses. However the decision to discontinue the Finn dinghy means that many jockeys no longer have a horse!

As the average heights and weights of mankind continue to progress there will be many sailors who are in future to be more suited to the Volvo Ocean Race. But will they even continue to be sailors as they grow up?

National Youth Race Training schemes target the very young to introduce them to our sport. The usual pyramid of progress has a wide base in the Optimist, Topper and similar classes. Progress is into either a slightly larger single handed dinghy, or with a friend into a small two handed dinghy. Some children drop off the pyramid. Sadly girls tend to be lost in their early teens when the physical growth of boys of a similar age becomes subject to testosterone. At the next stage in the pyramid progress is into larger two handed dinghies or skiff types for some, and for others into larger single handers.

At this time many young sailors start to think of taking their sport more seriously, whilst others slide into a sail for enjoyment club based life. The pyramid has now become fairly narrow. Choices have to be made as to what next. Parents are now into more heavily funding their offsprings choice. How heavy are they? How tall? How physically mature? A stage where the next step is the big one. Do I aim for the stars? But which star? For some , and in some countries more than others, there may be no suitable star. The pyramid has come to a dead end if they are too large and there is no suitable choice left. Whilst other lighter male sailors or female sailors are able to continue to the pointy area, for others there is no longer any point in sailing in the Olympic Games. They will fall off the pyramid. Surely World Sailing has a duty to look after all body types of all nations.

The quest for Gold seems now to relate to funding of an over large organisation which only balances its books via the "Olympic TV Money". Time for another sort of Brexit perhaps?

Featured Brokerage
2017 Solaris 50. 770,000 ex VAT EUR. Located in Sardinia, Italy.

Launched 2017. Huge spec, and very well presented latest generation Solaris 50 with Southern Spars carbon rig and almost every possible option ticked. ** Residual French lease available

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Lead broker - Michele Antonini
Tel: +39 333 74 89 281


2010 Petite Flamme PRICE Located in Scarlino, Italy.

Petite Flamme is the second Swan 60 to be delivered and was launched in 2010. Currently lying in Scarlino. She is available to visit by appointment

See listing details in Nautor's Swan Brokerage

Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Lorenzo Bortolotti

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07


1994 WAI-HAU Orma 60 Trimaran. 700,000 EUR. Located in Portugal.

Using the FUJI COLOUR trimaran moulds for her construction, Francis JOYON built this fast trimaran and won the 2000 OSTAR EUROPE 1 Race. After her race life, she received a lot of improvements to make her to handle as a fast cruising trimaran but without losing her fantastic potential.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

BERNARD GALLAY Yacht Brokerage

Tel +33 (0) 467 66 39 93

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain. -- Louis L'Amour

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html