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
Blasting into the Trades
Invitations Issued For 2019 Argo Group Gold Cup
The Perfect Nautical Gift for all Seasons by Latitude Kinsale
Classy fleet for 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
International WASZP Games
Hard Core - Musto
Industry News
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: V. Vale

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

Blasting into the Trades
Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi 70 and Peter Cunningham's MOD 70 PowerPlay have pulled the trigger, launching into the trade winds during the third night at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race. It will be a wet and wild ride on board as both trimarans have been recording boat speeds of over 30 knots. Maserati has maintained a course on starboard tack allowing the Italian team to use their foil (the starboard rudder is conventional due to damage before the start). PowerPlay have been soaking west, attaining a lower average speed, but sailing 57 miles less than Maserati to place just three miles astern.

On day four at 0800 UTC, Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song was leading on the water by 100 miles. Last night, navigator Nacho Postigo reported: "My Song is in 16 knots of wind from the north east and looking for a good moment to gybe." Nacho continued to comment this morning: "All is good on board; everything is under control. We finally hit the trades last night and started sailing in some waves and wind. We saw our first flying fish this morning and there's a good spirit and rhythm on board which is helped by great Italian food!"

Race fans will have noticed that the YB tracker player on the official website is displaying the track of the monohull record run of Nomad IV in 2015. My Song can be seen to be right up on record pace.

In the IRC fleet, racing for the overall win for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy, Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3 was estimated to be in pole position. My Song was second and Trevor Middleton's British Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep, skippered by Jake Carter was going well in third. Black Sheep has now got into the breeze and will be relishing the prospect of fast downwind racing. Arto Linnervuo's Finnish Xp-44 Xtra-Staerk is just 13 miles behind Black Sheep and with a longer waterline length will be hoping to catch Black Sheep on the reach southwest. Benedikt Clauberg's First 47.7 Kali, skippered by Corinne Wirth is the most easterly yacht of the fleet and made good progress during the night.

At 0800 UTC in the Class40 Division, Ari Kaensaekoski reported in from Sirius to say all is well on board despite falling 40 miles behind the latest generation of Class40s in the shape of Catherine Pourre's Earendil, and Henrik Bergesen's Hydra.

The leading Class40s are engaged in a terrific battle, with the lead swapping on numerous occasions. Pip Hare reported in on day three from Hydra: "On the second day, Earendil put in a good tactic to get seven miles ahead of us at Tenerife. As we came down the coast of El Hierro we had a terrific gybing duel and we managed to stay in a band of breeze to take the lead." As the two leading Class40s made headway into the trades, Earendil regained the lead over Hydra, but the two Class40s are still locked in their fascinating duel.



Invitations Issued For 2019 Argo Group Gold Cup
Hamilton, Bermuda: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club announces that invitations for the 2019 Argo Group Gold Cup were issued today for the match racing regatta scheduled May 6-11, 2019, with a $100,000 prize purse in the offing. The Argo Group Gold Cup is sponsored by Argo Group, an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance.

Invitations for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, one of the most coveted trophies in match racing, were mailed to 12 skippers based on their world ranking and past participation. The fleet will again compete in International One-Design (IOD) sloops on Hamilton Harbour.

The Argo Group Gold Cup was moved to May from its previously traditional October dates this year and proved very successful with splendid conditions throughout the five days of racing. With the success of the change, organizers decided to schedule the 2019 event for May as well.

Earlier this year Taylor Canfield of the U.S. won the King Edward VII Gold Cup a second time, having previously done so in 2012, and Lucy Macgregor of the U.K. placed fourth overall, the best finish ever by an all-women's crew.


The Perfect Nautical Gift for all Seasons by Latitude Kinsale
Latitude Kinsale Looking for that special gift that is nautical and unique?

The 3D chart is the perfect Christmas gift that is appreciated for a lifetime! It ticks all of the boxes: it's personal, bespoke, it's art with a difference and it's relevant.

As a shared gift amongst a group/crew or simply a treat for yourself!

Check out the website today, talk to Bobby Nash about your commission. www.latitudekinsale.com

Any chart any where in the world !

This year's Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar winner will receive a custom 3D chart from Latitude Kinsale ... a map of its place on the planet. Tell us about YOUR favorite bar (and you can win the TUIGA coffee table book or a Seahorse subscription).

Go to scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars

Classy fleet for 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
The 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race promises to be another pot boiler, with one of the strongest-ever fleets chasing line honours and the overall win to secure the Tattersall Cup.

A fleet of 91 will take to the 628-nautical-mile journey - those from NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria joining the international set representing China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Poland, Russia, the UK and the USA.

Five super maxis, 13 international entrants, 10 TP52s, one of the healthiest representations of 60-70 footers seen in years, smaller boats - and veterans that linger, resilient against the power of the newer models in the field - make up this year's fleet.

At the pointy end, the 'supers' and the larger grand prix boats will have Comanche's race record of one day 9 hours 15 minutes 24 seconds in mind as they sail down the coast to Hobart.

Since launching in 2014, Comanche has flexed her carbon muscles around the world - but the Oatley family's Wild Oats XI, with a record eight line-honours triumphs, inclusive of two triple crowns, remains Queen Bee.

When owned by American Jim Clark and Australian wife Kristy, Comanche took line honours from Ragamuffin 100 in 2015. Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant bought Comanche within days of last year's start. A race-long battle with Wild Oats XI ensued - Comanche came off a close second best, but inside the race record. However, 'Oats' was penalised one hour for a port/starboard incident with Comanche early in the race, translating to line honours and the new record for Comanche.

There are three other super maxis in the running and Peter Harburg's Black Jack, Seng Huang Lee's Scallywag (Hong Kong) and Christian Beck's InfoTrack crews will be holding nothing back. Who knows how it will end, as all five have undergone modifications, paying special attention to their weak points - and this trio are yet to flaunt theirs.


International WASZP Games
It has been a very busy few months at WASZP HQ with the northern summer now behind us and the southern summer ramping up we have seen significant growth in key markets.

We are pleased to announce our 700th boat been shipped out of the factory heading to the UK. WASZP are working with our UK Agent Duncan Hepplewhite of Sailingfast to build some excitement and media around this. It has been around 27months since the WASZP began production and we thank each and every one of our agents and sailors for their contribution to making the WASZP a success.

WASZP have been working hard on our WASZP Games concept and as the time of writing we have over 50 entries from 11 countries and expectations of 80 boats is a great achievement. It is not easy to mobilise the fleet to one of the most isolated cities in the world however those who attend will be rewarded with unparalleled WASZP conditions. At the event we will have a strong mix of Olympic representatives/hopefuls, along with young up and coming stars working on their foiling progression as well as a strong weekend warrior culture showing the versatility and strength of the class.

On the 21st of January we will be running the first ever International Slalom event, this will be a full live stream production with on-site commentary in the event village with the natural amphitheatre of the Swan River providing the perfect scene


Hard Core - Musto
Musto The Route du Rhum is about as hard core as offshore racing gets. Racing 3,500 miles singlehanded across the north Atlantic in early winter is tough going, arguably on a par with the major round-the-world races. Despite the challenge of racing from Saint- Malo to Guadeloupe in November, or perhaps because of that, the 40th edition of the Route du Rhum is booked to capacity. An all-time record 122 entries will be on the start line on 4 November, with an estimated crowd of two million predicted to descend on Saint-Malo for the massed start.

Many of these solo adventurers will be wearing Musto clothing for the race. They won't risk wearing anything else. Three of the better-known participants are Jérémie Beyou, Sam Davies and Sam Goodchild. Beyou's new steed is Charal, a space-age IMOCA with the most outrageous set of foils yet seen on an IMOCA 60. Having finished runner-up in the last Route du Rhum four years ago and twice being forced out of the Vendée Globe with gear damage, Beyou is determined to put in a good showing. That said, it's early days on the water for Charal and the Route du Rhum will provide a severe test for this cutting-edge design.

"We spend money on sails, foils, we do a whole heap of development, and when you're going offshore in an extreme boat, there's a big human element. If the human isn't optimised, warm, dry, comfortable, if you're not achieving those basic human needs, you're failing in your performance."

Full article in the December issue of Seahorse

Industry News
Click on image to enlarge.

WHAT Future Fibres, the world's leading supplier of composite rigging, has announced today the signing of a long-term lease agreement for a new factory space. The new space will facilitate a significant increase in operational capability to support Future Fibres' strongly growing business activities.

The new 60,000sqm ft. facility, based in Valencia, Spain, will become Future Fibres' dedicated service and R&D facility, allowing composite cables of over 100m to be produced. The facility will also be used as a new product production scale up facility, where the manufacturing processes for new types of composite tension cables will be developed and refined for both marine and non-marine applications, in support of Future Fibres' diversifying business.

The facility will also be used to house Future Fibres rigging service business - RigPro - where the increase in space will allow for a quicker yet more thorough level of service on cables and allow the business to focus on having the highest standards of customer care and service.

The signing of the long-term lease agreement coincides with the appointment of James Austin as the new Future Fibres General Manager. Austin joins the team after a successful period as CEO of North Thin Ply, a sister company within the North Technology Group, and has an in-depth experience of composite materials and technologies. Austin's mission is to increase the pace of commercialisation of the Future Fibres business with an emphasis on new product development along with market leading customer service and support.



The European Commission has announced it is implementing infringement proceedings on tax breaks applied in the yacht and aircraft sectors in Italy and the Isle of Man. The procedure is related to the investigations of last year's so-called Paradise Papers leaks which revealed widespread value-added tax (VAT) evasion in the yacht and aviation sectors of various member states.

Brussels has decided to "send a letter of formal notice to Italy for not levying the correct amount of VAT on the leasing of yachts. The Commission also decided to send a reasoned opinion to Italy because of its illegal system of exemptions for fuel used to power chartered yachts in EU waters. Finally, a letter of formal notice was sent to the UK concerning the Isle of Man's abusive VAT practices with regard to supplies and leasing of aircraft," the Commission said in a statement.

In particular, the infringement procedures are related to the reduced VAT base for the lease of yachts in the Italian tax law, the excise duty rules for fuel in motorboats in Italy, and the VAT practices in the Isle of Man, according to the EC.



Double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson OBE will join forces with sailing presenter and journalist Matt Sheahan and match racing world champion and Olympic sailor Annie Lush to host the RYA Dinghy Show 2019.

Shirley and Matt will also team up to host expert speakers on the Main Stage and Knowledge Zone throughout the show.

A Dinghy Show first, this year the Great Hall will have a dedicated host for the popular Sailors' Corner, Women's Sailing Hub and class association stages.

The theme of this year's show is #MyDinghyTribe - celebrating the different 'tribes' and diversity within the dinghy sailing community.

The show will take place at Alexandra Palace, London, on the weekend of March 2 - 3 2019 with more than 150 exhibitors, class associations and sailing clubs exhibiting.



The 2018 METSTRADE Show has again broken its own records in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers.

Show organisers say there was a 5% rise in visits compared to 2017 - 26,052 visits by 16,716 visitors, with more than 1,100 exhibitors already booking their space for the 2019 edition.

"Everything we do as organisers of the METSTRADE Show revolves around facilitating encounters across the spectrum of the sector we serve," said Irene Dros, maritime director at RAI Amsterdam. "Our role is to bring people together from around the world in the right environment for business, networking and fun."

She added: "Even those who have attended the event for years remarked on how animated the atmosphere was at this year's gathering in RAI Amsterdam.



The Maldives is readily known for its beauty and considerable potential as a superyacht cruising area, but while it has a number boat and yacht mooring locations, the country is still without a proper marina. This is set to change over the next couple of years with a new 30-berth facility opening in early 2019 and a larger 300-berth facility set to be completed in 2020.

The new 30 berth marina, the first in the Maldives, will open at the new Crossroads resort in January 2019 and will accommodate yachts up to 60m (197ft). Crossroads is described as "the most comprehensive and investment tourism project being undertaken in the Maldives."

The marina will include one 60m berth and four 40m (131ft) berths. Poralu Marine has provided the floating pontoon and Maricer Marine is supplying the pedestals, electrical, plumbing and other services.

Crossroads is a multi-island complex with the new marina at its centre. The resort includes a number of hotels, including a Hilton and Hard Rock. The resort is based on an island close to the Maldivian capital of Mahe, just 15 minutes by motorboat to Maldives International Airport.



Maine Boatbuilders Conference

This year's seminars include:

Diesel Engine Roundtable
Speakers: Peter Emerson (Mack Boring), Kevin F. Hampson (Milton Cat), Greg Sanborn (Billings Diesel & Marine), Brook Streit and John Mills (Motor Services Hugo Stamp)

Economic Carbon Construction
Speakers: Rich O'Meara and Phillip Dushkewich, Core Composites

Post-Hurricane Survey Report
Speaker: Jonathan Klopman (Marine Surveyor NAMS-CMS IAMI-CMI)

Quality Control in Boat Paints
Speakers: Alistair Smith (Alexseal), Tim Taylor (US Paint), Troy Tompkins (Axalta Coating Systems)

Thursday, December 6, 2018, at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.


Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1990 ORMA 60 Lakota. 290,000 EUR. Located in Asia.

An incredible ex racing trimaran with an unequalled prize list. She has been converted by her current owner into a fast, simple and light cruising trimaran for transoceanic sailing and blue water cruising. Originally built as GROUPE PIERRE 1er for the legendary French sailor Florence Arthaud.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

BERNARD GALLAY Yacht Brokerage

Tel +33 (0) 467 66 39 93


Raceboats Only 2005 X-Yachts X-43. 170000 EUR. Located in Sicily, Italy.

3-cabin, 2-heads ‘Modern’ X-43 cruiser racer from X-Yachts in Denmark. Launched 2005 and boasting a huge spec with professional maintenance and very well presented throughout.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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


Raceboats Only 2001 Farr 52 - "BOB". 140,000 GBP Located in South Coast, England.

"Bob" is unrecognisable from her original arrangement having gone through a huge optimisation process to bring her up to modern standards, such as square top mainsails, fixed longer bowsprits and most recently water tight bulkheads for safe ocean crossings....and certainly still a potent performer!

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats

+64 277733717
+44 2380016582

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

The Last Word
I started my publishing with one simple goal: to fight the control process. But I think that we're actually controlled most by our aesthetic. -- V. Vale

Editorial and letter submissions to

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

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine


Wight Vodka

Robline Ropes


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week