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In This Issue
RORC Transatlantic Record for My Song
No Wind Nassau For Day One Of Star Sailors League Finals
Harken®Element™ Blocks Won't Break Your Budget
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Why The Great British Sailing Challenge And Who Cares?
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
New Zealand Government commits extra $22.5 million for America's Cup infrastructure
World Sailing: Voting irregularities claimed on crucial Olympic vote
Prof O'Connell & Conor Clarke Dismasted While Leading Round Jamaica Race
J/70 UK Grand Slam
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: George Whitman

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

RORC Transatlantic Record for My Song
Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song finished the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race on Tuesday 04 December 2018 at 17:47:11 UTC taking Monohull Line Honours. The Baltic 130 owned by Pier Luigi Loro Piana, a member of the International Maxi Association (IMA), has also set a new Monohull Race Record after completing the 3,000 mile race between Lanzarote and Grenada in an elapsed time of 10 days 5 hrs 47 mins 11 secs, shaving 1hr 19mins 48 secs off the previous monohull race record set in the 2015 race by Jean-Paul Riviere's French Finot-Conq 100, Nomad IV.

RORC Race Officer Steve Cole presented Pier Luigi with the magnificent International Maxi Association Transatlantic Trophy for Monohull Line Honours and congratulated the team for setting a new race record.

"I feel very happy to come to Grenada, but it is too close to Lanzarote! We were enjoying crossing the Atlantic so much and racing My Song at 20 knots was amazing. I am very happy," commented Pier Luigi Loro Piana. "A little bit of rain at the end was fine, but we hope Grenada will show us some more sunshine." Pier Luigi had a message for his fellow members of the International Maxi Association: "They have to continue cruising and racing if they want to enjoy sailing."

My Song Crew for the RORC Transatlantic Race were: Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Giacomo Loro Piana, Luca Albarelli, Jaime Arbones, Andrea Balzarini, Gerri Baracchi, Giorgio Benussi, Alberto Bolzan, Ambrogio Francesco Maria Cremona Ratti, Gaetano Figlia di Granara, Andrea Forlani, Flavio Grassi, Cristian Griggio, Jose Ignacio Braquehais, Giorgio Peretti, Jacopo Piazzolla, Ignacio Postigo, Nicola Simoncelli, Vittorio Zaoli, Gabriele Zoppi.

Race Results: rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/results/2018-results.html

No Wind Nassau For Day One Of Star Sailors League Finals
Shortly after the AP over A flags was raised at 1330 EST, Regatta Chairman Paul Hutton explained: "On the race course there was nothing - the wind would come in with a few knots from the west, then the north, then nothing, then the south. It wasn't sustained and directionally it was all over the place." Traditionally Star boats need around 5+ knots in order to race.

"We have got a low pressure system west of us coming off the Florida coast and heading towards us. That is sucking all of the wind out the atmosphere," Hutton continued. "The front is expected here tomorrow. As it gets close, there will be slightly stronger wind, then, as it passes, quite a lot of wind. We'll see the wind swing into the north and then settle into the prevailing east. This doesn't often happen in December, but it can."

Ultra-experienced Star and America's Cup sailor Mark Strube, racing here with French 470 World Champion Kevin Peponnet, said: "Usually in the Bahamas at this time of year you get easterly trade winds. I have been here for five Western Hemisphere Championships and six Star Sailors League Finals and we've never been skunked. Most of the time the Bahamas are 15-25 knots every day, sunny, beautiful seas, everything perfect."

Racing for the full fleet runs through the Qualifiers until Friday, followed on Saturday with the Quarter Final, Semi Final and Final Races. Winner of the Qualifiers fast tracks directly to the Final Race, while second place heads directly to the Semi Final. Those that finish the Qualifiers in third to tenth places, get to race in the Quarter Finals. The top five Quarter Finallists progress through to the Semi Final. The top three from the Semi Finals join the winner of the Qualifiers in the Finals.


Harken®Element™ Blocks Won't Break Your Budget
Sailors around the world are putting Harken® Element™ blocks on their boats and reporting that the blocks are achieving what they had been designed to do: be durable and give reliable performance at a surprisingly efficient price. Element blocks are created with sideplates that combine forged hardcoat-anodized aluminum to resist corrosion and compound curves for increased strength. They are simultaneously contemporary and very robust.

Element's design uses the precise amount of metal required to protect the composite sheave with a proven journal bearing. No more. No less. You don't have to pay more than you need. So, size for size, Element is priced significantly lower than our previous line of popularly priced blocks. Whether cruising the bay, competing in a weekend race, or embarking on an extended passage, Element blocks will get you there without breaking your budget. Element is available in singles, doubles, triples, fiddles, and footblocks in 45, 60, and 80 mm. Accepting line from 8 – 16 mm.

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Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse magazine

Tonight's story is from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, and the birth of one of sailing's most famed (and infamous) parties.... the Quiet LIttle Drink

By 1969, the Sydney Hobart was a truly global affair, attracting teams from across the world to compete in the ultimate Blue Water challenge. With fame came fortune, and the ever-increasing fleets were leading to similarly-increasing formality and grandiose prize-giving events. Concern was growing among Sydney crewman friends CYCA Life Member Tony Cable (from the yacht Adria) and John Dawson (Weatherly) that the after-race social scene at Constitution Dock was in-turn becoming more fragmented, and the official events for owners and navigators only.

Not ones to stand idly by, they organised a little get-together at an out-of-the-way pub. The Shipwright's Arms on Battery Point was chosen as the location, and the event was dubbed with more than a little irony the "Quiet Little Drink".

It was, of course, anything but.

Striding into a tiny side-bar of the "Shippies" and startling the sole elderly regular there, the dynamic duo promptly made their modest order: "Two hundred beers please and keep them coming!"

In a very short time, the bar became so packed with crewmen shoulder-to-shoulder that beers were being passed through the crowd one-by-one, and out of the windows to the waiting horde gathering in the street. A short time later, the crew of Jisuma arrived, and quickly realising that a contest was on, one of their number, David Hutchen, strolled over to the darts blackboard and ceremoniously chalked: "Cable & Dawson: 200 beers. Jisuma: 200 beers".

Jokes, singsongs and lie-telling occupied the day, with the final tally, exactingly kept by David Hutchen, reaching 1,467 beers. Incidentally, Hutchen has carried the nickname "Chalkie" ever since that day.

The total was surpassed the subsequent year when it reached 2,000 beers, followed by 5,000 the year after that. It was onwards and upwards as the years went by, with the record becoming 20,197 beers drunk (around 10,000 litres!) in 1980.

The Quiet Little Drink, while it became an institution for the everyday crew-members in the Race, was still frowned upon by yacht club officials. Realising this and recognising the opportunity to use the stalwart event for a great purpose, the "Q.L.D." as it had become affectionately known, began raising funds for various charities, and also to send promising young local Tasmanian sailors to compete in overseas campaigns.

The Hobart bash was to eventually lapse, however, after 30 years going strong in this format. But while it was down, the Q.L.D. was not out, revived by the CYCA in the form of a cocktail party at the Club, which continues, to this day, to uphold the event's principle values of mateship and charity each year.


Tell us about YOUR favorite bar.



Why The Great British Sailing Challenge And Who Cares?
The Great British Sailing Challenge launched a few weeks ago, and much of the calendar is in place for 2019. At 7pm GMT on Wednesday evening Wednesday 5 December, the Challenge organisers Simon Lovesey and Andy Rice are hosting a live webinar to present the concept and explain the thinking behind it.

Join the webinar here: http://www.sailingchallenge.org/eventsites/content.asp?id=46976&eventid=12345

And you can send in questions in advance and while the webinar is happening live.

There will also be interviews with regular participants in the Selden SailJuice Winter Series who will share their reasons why they choose to take part in big multiclass handicap events. Contributors include Ralph Singleton from the RS800 class, Ben Schooling from the Musto Skiffs and one of the big drivers behind the massive growth of the RS Aero fleet, Pete Barton.

So join us on Wednesday evening and find out more about the Great British Sailing Challenge and where it fits in with the UK dinghy racing scene...

Join the webinar here: http://www.sailingchallenge.org/eventsites/content.asp?id=46976&eventid=12345

The 2018/19 GBSC Calendar

The dates for GBSC events already agreed are as follows, the latest one being the Wilsonian River Challenge in early June:
Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club - 17 & 18 November 2018
Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club - 8 & 9 December 2018
Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club - 27 December 2018
Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club - 16 February 2019
King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club - 16 & 17 March 2019
Derwent Dambuster, Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club - 11 & 12 May 2019
Wilsonian River Challenge, Wilsonian Sailing Club - 1 & 2 June 2019
The Bala Long Distance, Bala Sailing Club - 22 & 23 June 2019
Mountbatten Centre, Plymouth - 8 to 10 August 2019
The Ullswater Ultimate, Ullswater Yacht Club - 17 & 18 August 2019
Grand Finals, Rutland Water Sailing Club - 28 & 29 September 2019


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

Rodeo time - Part I
This Rhum should make some people very happy... and others rather sad - especially in their pockets. Vincent Lauriot-Prevost, Quentin Lucet, Daniele Capua And Jocelyn Bleriot

Different rules, interesting times, suited and booted... plus the man on the stick. Carlos Pich, Jack Griffin, Terry Hutchinson, Guillermo Parada, Blue Robinson

Come fly with me
Man, this one's been a while. Dave Hollom and Mike Lennon give you the 'Thinnair'

ORC - Positive signals
Actually it all went rather well. Bruno Finzi

Hard core
The 40th Anniversary Route du Rhum starts today... more or less!

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/

1yr Digital Sub for £30: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

New Zealand Government commits extra $22.5 million for America's Cup infrastructure
The Government has approved a further $22.5 million for America's Cup infrastructure, taking its total contribution to $136.5 million.

On Tuesday, economic development minister David Parker said the additional funds were approved following "higher than forecast costs for wave breaks and dredging work".

"This investment will ensure we deliver a great regatta in 2021, and negotiating to remove the tank farm off Wynyard Point will help revitalise the waterfront," Parker said.

On Thursday, Auckland Council would also consider approving an additional $14.5 million to complete the infrastructure needed, taking its total spend to $113 million.


World Sailing: Voting irregularities claimed on crucial Olympic vote
Several members of World Sailing's Council have complained that their votes at the 2018 Annual Conference were recorded incorrectly.

The vote in question was the first on the first day of the Annual Conference held in Saratosa, Florida in early November. It was to determine whether the controversial 2024 Olympic Events slate, selected in the Mid-Year Meeting should be re-opened and reconsidered. A two-part urgent Submission [037-18] from the World Sailing Board sought to facilitate consideration of this re-opening process.

At the end of the first vote, it was declared that the move to re-open had received 79% of the votes - 4% more than the required 75% threshold.

A second vote quickly followed which resulted in the Mixed One Person Dinghy event being dropped and a Mixed Two Person Keelboat event substituted.

Over the weekend just past, the draft minutes of the World Sailing Council meeting were circulated for confirmation, by the Councillors. A schedule was attached showing how individual Councillors had their votes recorded on the various issues and Submissions over the weekend.

A copy of the provisional Minutes and Voting Schedule was forwarded to longtime sailing administrator at a US national and international level, Tom Ehman, who published the document on his website SailingIllustrated.com

At least three Councillors who were against the urgent Submission 037-18 from the Board of World Sailing, have claimed that their votes were either recorded as "Approve" for the controversial issue, or are listed as "Abstain". A fourth is believed to have made similar claims

All three, Zvi Ziblat (ISR), Peter Hall (CAN), and Georgy Wossala (HUN), spoke against the Submission and said they voted "Reject".

On the Voting Schedule, Ziblat and Hall are shown as "Approve", while Wossala is shown as "Abstain".

If the voting sheet is re-scored with the claimed "Reject" options selected, the vote on Submission 037-18 receives 11 "Rejects" with 29 "Approves" or 72.5% and fails to meet the required 75% threshold for the 2024 Events to be re-opened. -- Richard Gladwell


* Following a request by Sailweb to World Sailing for comment or clarification of the voting procedure/result - Communications and Digital Manager Daniel Smith replied:

Just to note - the minutes were distributed to Council for their approval. They have not been published yet.

Please see our comment below:

World Sailing's Board of Directors will discuss the notifications made by Council members related to voting at the 2018 Annual Conference in Sarasota, Florida during a pre-scheduled conference call on 3 December 2018. World Sailing will comment further following the conference call.


We await their comment . . . and if there have been technical problems with the voting method, what action is to be taken.

Gerald New in SailWeb: www.sailweb.co.uk

Prof O'Connell & Conor Clarke Dismasted While Leading Round Jamaica Race
Two years to the day that Ireland's Embarr team won the Melges 24 Worlds in Miami, Conor Clarke and Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell were back on the water for the 380–mile Round Jamaica Race on Mark Shield's Beneteau 35s5 "Breakaway". Mark is Commodore of the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club which is now Conor's home club. Prof takes up the story of a circumnavigation that ended suddenly.

We were going very well, vying for first place on corrected time when, 15 miles from the finish in 25 knots of wind in tough upwind conditions, the starboard rod cap shroud failed at the turnbuckle and we were dismasted. We had a No. 2 genoa and a reef in the main at the time. It happened at 6 am yesterday morning.

We systematically cut all the lines, halyards, electrical cable and shrouds and sent the broken rig and the two sails to the ocean floor - including a brand new North Sails 3Di mainsail! Had we had more time, we would have tried to recover it all and bring it back onboard but we were drifting to a lee shore and had to move fast. It was an odd feeling - once the rig and all the bits had gone, there was an eerie silence which you wouldn't expect. Quite strange.


The 2nd Round Jamaica Yacht Race commenced at 12:00 hours Friday 30th November and was started at The Grand Port Royal Hotel Marina by His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L. Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J.


J/70 UK Grand Slam
Doug Struth & Geoff Carveth's DSP is the 2018 J/70 UK Grand Slam Champion scoring the best result in both the Corinthian and Open Divisions for the season. The total score for the nine-regatta championship was calculated by the best five results, including the J/70 UK Nationals which was non-discardable. DSP scored the best net points from any team in both the Corinthian and Open Divisions by the finest of margins. Clive Bush's Darcey was the top team in the Open Division, just a single point behind DSP. Ian Wilson & Marshall King's Soak Racing was the runner up in the Corinthian Division, also just one point behind DSP. Martin Dent's Jelvis made the podium for the Open Class, and Fiona Hampshire's Elizabeth was third in the Corinthian Class.

The J/70 UK Class will continue to train during the winter months, with organised clinics in the Solent and overseas. 2019 will be a massive year for the J/70 UK Class. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club is looking forward to welcoming the J/70 Class to Torquay for the 2019 J/70 World Championship: August 29th to September 6th 2019. The 2018 J/70 UK Grand Slam series provided qualification slots for the first 20 UK teams.

Full results can be found here: j-70.co.uk/grand-slam-2018/

2019 J/70 World Championship website: www.j70worlds2019.com

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The Last Word
Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise. -- Painted by George Whitman above the entrance to the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore in Paris

Editorial and letter submissions to

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