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Tenth Annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar competition is OPEN. Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse Magazine.
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In This Issue
Intense preparation with nine days to go
America's Cup: Dennis Conner on the two US Challengers
6 Reasons to Register! St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) - March 22-24, 2019
Are Today's Boats Getting in the Way of Sailing's Popularity?
How Simple is that? - Cyclops
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Golden Globe Day 169 - Mark Slats gains another 154 miles on Jean-Luc Van Den Heede
Industry News
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Laura Ingalls Wilder

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

Intense preparation with nine days to go
Intense preparation is the name of the game as realisation dawns on owners and crews that only nine days remain before the start of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Top of the list is David Witt, skipper of Sun Hung Kai Scallywag. Witt and the super maxi's owner, Seng Huang Lee, are battling the clock to have two spinnakers recut. Replacements have been kindly donated by other super maxi owners, after the Hong Kong entry tore two in the Grinder's Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge last week.

Sounds simple, but it isn't. All the supers have different rigs, so it is a massive undertaking to recut and test both in time for the big day. Michael Coxon and his crew at North Sails are under the pump to ready the kites in time.

Reve's owner, Kevin Whelan is also pacing, as the mast is out of his Beneteau 45F5 waiting for a repair. "There are five boats in the line in front of me, but I've been promised it will be ready in time," said Whelan at the CYCA yesterday.

Others based at the CYCA are also finishing jobs and undergoing safety checks as the big day draws nearer.

Michael Green, the linchpin on Matt Donald and Chris Townsends TP52, Gweilo, has a torn Achilles tendon. A crew mate says: "He did it in the Newcastle Bass Island race and made it worse when he did the Cabbage Tree Island Race." Now Greenie is battling to get better in time for his 40th Sydney Hobart race, but remains stoic.

On a more positive front, Koa's Andy Kearnan and Peter Wrigley have ramped up their crew with two familiar faces and Sydney Hobart stalwarts, Larry Jamieson (with 32 Hobarts behind him) and Campbell Knox, whose vast offshore and America's Cup experience adds to an already accomplished crew.

www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

* To mark the 20th anniversary of the deadly 1998 v, Four Corners has unearthed this archived episode investigating what happened in that fateful event.

America's Cup: Dennis Conner on the two US Challengers
Mr America's Cup, Dennis Conner, a veteran of nine contests for the Auld Mug, winning four, gives his insights into the US America's Cup Challenges, including the new Stars & Stripes team - which carries the name that he turned into one of sailing's legends.

Video on Sail-World.com:
www.sail-world.com

6 Reasons to Register! St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) - March 22-24, 2019
Don't get left out in the cold! Register now for STIR, the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing.' www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com Here are five great reasons:

1. Enter by December 31 to win customized long-sleeve high-performance team shirts! The name of your vessel may be randomly drawn to win this prize. Next drawing January 1, 2019.

2. Early entry discount! Pay US $150 until January 31, 2019. Entry fees increase to US $300 between February 1 and March 20, 2019. Registration for IC24s: US $200, Beach Cats: $200.

3. Most Classes in the Caribbean! Register in CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association-handicap) Racing or Cruising; IRC; ORC; Multihull; Beach Cat or One Design classes with a minimum length of 20-feet.

4. Extra day of racing! Register too for the Round the Rocks Race on March 21.

5. BYOB or charter! Several companies offer charters: Or, charter an IC24 from the St. Thomas Sailing Center ($2200 for boat with good sails; $2700 with new sails; (stsc.styc.club) for the 3-day STIR, practice day and 30-day Bluewater Membership at the regatta host, St. Thomas Yacht Club.

6. Getting Here & Staying is Easy! American, United, JetBlue, Delta and Spirit all fly direct to St. Thomas from cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Orlando and Miami. Hotels, B&B's, resorts, villas, condos and Airbnb's are open.

Trade tacks with America's Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic skippers and crews. 'We Love It Here' You will too! For information, Email: , Call (340) 775-6320.

stthomasinternationalregatta.com

Are Today's Boats Getting in the Way of Sailing's Popularity?
With offshore racing due to debut at Paris 2024, Winkie Nixon asks whether Olympic boats should be of the sort club sailors can identify with or TV-friendly F1 designs.

In trying to increase sailing's public awareness, we quickly find people referencing Formula 1 car racing, and claiming that sailing will only find universal appeal if its major events are staged in the most spectacular boats available.

Certainly, this has long been the way of the America's Cup. But that's quite obviously a sailing spectacular for people to stare at in wonderment, rather than expect any sense or possibility of personal involvement.

However, the Olympics are different. Olympic sailing is arguably the kind of sailing we can do at club level but carried to the ultimate extremes of personal high performance. But is that necessarily the way that sailing should go? In a tech-obsessed era - a state we've arguably lived in since man chipped his first flint axe-head - there are those who would argue that the boats used in the Olympics should be at the furthest edge of technological development.

This is their point in arguing that today's boats are getting in the way of developing sailing's popularity. In a sense, they argue that by using popular everyday boats for a television spectacular like the Olympics, the powers-that-be are making the images decidedly humdrum for an audience steeped in technological wizardry.

It's an approach which came to a head a month ago when, thanks to the remarkably high Irish representation in the committees of World Sailing - a priceless inheritance from the determinedly internationalist days of Dun Laoghaire's Ken Ryan - we were among the first to be able to report the confirmation about the inclusion of an offshore racer (to be crewed by a woman and a man) in the lineup for the 2024 Olympics at Paris, when the sailing will be at Marseille.

The boat proposed will be between 6 and 10 metres overall, and non-foiling. With the course planned to have them at sea for three days and two nights, it will be the longest event in the Olympics, and all boats will be connected for sound and vision 24/7, so the human interest levels should be very high indeed.

WM Nixon's full editorial in Afloat: afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/

How Simple is that? - Cyclops
For 30 years very little changed in the measurement of line and rigging loads. But free thinking combined with tidy engineering has delivered a powerful yet simple new solution... one which will allow far more sailors to benefit from this key performance - and safety - input

Every now and then, a new gadget comes along that can change the way we sail, or how we think about sailing, or both. Load measurement is a strong contender right now to become the next big thing, thanks to a new and potentially transformational piece of kit.

Load measurement has proven to be a powerful tool for America's Cup teams and others at the bleeding edge of yacht racing. Its performance-enhancing benefits are now about to become much more widely available with the launch of an ingenious and entirely new type of load cell, the Cyclops Link. Don't be surprised if load measurement soon trickles all the way down to become standard practice at sportsboat regattas.

Full technical article in the January issue of Seahorse

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

We choose the winner of this year's 10th Annual contest with three factors: Best story about the bar, best recipe from the bar, and voting. You can submit a new entry for voting while sending is a story and recipe.

A recent submission and a new one for us: Le Blue Lady, Antibes.

And while mulling over your decision... enjoy this seasonal cocktail. Very summery... whether you're in the Southern Hemisphere, wish you were, or just trying to shake off a sleet storm, this one fits the bill:

Layered Lemonade Drops
6 oz. Wight Vodka
1 c. mango lemonade
1 c. pink lemonade blended with ½ cup of strawberries
1 c. regular lemonade
1 c. ice

Fill blender with 1/3 of vodka and mango lemonade and ice. Blend and set aside. Repeat 2 more times, first with strawberry/pink lemonade then regular lemonade.

Chill each mixture, and keep each layer chilled until ready to pour in glass.Pour into serving glass in layers starting with mango mix, then strawberry/pink lemonade mix, and lastly regular lemonade.

Tell us your favourite: scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars

scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars

wightvodka.com
latitudekinsale.com

Golden Globe Day 169 - Mark Slats gains another 154 miles on Jean-Luc Van Den Heede
Dutchman Mark Slats has taken a further 154 miles out French Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede over the past 7 days, reducing the gap to 794 miles with 4,300 miles still to run before the winner returns to Les Sables d'Olonne at the end of January.

Both have had their share of problems during the past week. Slats, who was suffering severe stommach problems untl tracking the source to rotten milk, was forced to lie hove-st for the first time during this race after running into heavy head winds

On Saturday he texted: BAD WEATHER GUSTING 40 KT AND 5M SEAS ON THE NOSE. NO FUN!

followed 5 hours later with: HOVE TO NOW. FIRST TIME I STOP SAILING BECAUSE BAD WEATHER

Since then, business has returned to normal but Slats has to endure another 500 miles of northerly winds before beginning to experience the Easterly air flow now benefitting Van Den Heede 13 degrees to the north.

These head winds gave Van Den Heede equal concern at the end of last week when the pounding even in moderate conditions, extended the crack in Matmut's aready damaged mast. The 73-year old Frenchman was forced to climb the mast a sixth time to reinforce the temporary binding that is all that holds the lower shroud attachment points to the spreader above. Now that he is back to reaching across the winds, all seems OK for the moment, but he knows that to finish, he must sail very conservativly.

Today, Estonian Uku Randmaa is within 230 miles of Cape Horn, and looking forward to rounding some time on Wednesday. He is experiencing boisterous 40 knot following winds at present, but the forecast suggests that this could die to almost nothing within the next 48 hours.

Fourth placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar has repaired the failing bearings within the steering pedestal aboard his Tradewind 35 Puffin, and having successfully dodged the storm that threatened to overtake him last week by heading south into the NO-GO Zone, now faces the prospect of running the gauntlet before another low pressure system in 3 days time. This one threatens to be the biggest storm to-date with 60-70 knot winds and 12-15 metre seas. Race HQ has advised Kopar to thread his way south of the first small storm but not drop below 53S latitude before December 20,

Finland's Tapio Lentinen whose Gaia 36 Asteria remains covered in barnacles and trails in 5th place among the Glolden Globe racers some 6,300 miles behind the race leader, has a solid breeze in typical southern Ocean weather for now and will have been buoyed by the fact that he has taken 102 miles out of Jean-Luc's lead over the past week.

Position of skippers at 08:00 UTC 17.12.18
1. Jean- Luc VDH (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut, 4326 nm to finish
2. Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick, 794 nm to leader
3. Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All, 2962
4. Istvan Kopar (USA)Tradewind 35 Puffin, 4455
5. Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria, 6382

Retired
Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
Philippe Peche (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Metier Interim
Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna
Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
Loic Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
Mark Sinclair (AUS) Lello 34 Coconut

Chichester Class
1. Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda - In Albany, W Australia

goldengloberace.com

Industry News
Energy Observer, the first hydrogen-powered vessel aiming to achieve energy self-sufficiency, with zero greenhouse gas and fine particle emissions, has be equipped with Oceanwings® wingsails.

The hybrid propulsion system consisting of a composite mast 12m high and two sails on 32m2, will reduce the craft's energy spending.

Designed by VPLP Design, Oceanwings® wingsails are jointly developed and manufactured in CNIM's industrial facilities in La Seyne-sur-Mer. The installation of Oceanwings® on the Energy Observers is the first step towards reducing the environmental impact of global shipping.

"OceanWings® wingsails will undoubtedly find their place in fields as diverse and recreational sailing, yachting, maritime and offshore fishing," said Marc Van Peteghem, joint founder of VPLP Deisgn.

Inspired by the rigid sails of the America's Cup, the technology allows energy savings of between 1 and 42% depending on the vessel.

www.gasworld.com

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Emirates Team New Zealand has chosen Genesis as its Official Energy Partner and sole provider of electrical, gas and solar power for its Auckland base. The partnership is set to benefit New Zealand schools through the Genesis School-gen programme by inspiring the next generation of kiwi kids into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Genesis and Emirates Team New Zealand will work together to introduce new STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) resources and activities for schools in the lead-up to the Cup's Defence. Members of Emirates Team New Zealand and the Genesis School-gen team will tour schools with the America's Cup to inspire future STEM leaders and innovators.

The official contract signing and unveiling of the Genesis sign by Marc England and Grant Dalton took place on December 17th at 5pm at the Emirates Team New Zealand Base.

Genesis is repeating its role as chosen power provider following its initial sponsorship of Team New Zealand during the 2003 Defence of the America's Cup in Auckland.

Emirates Team New Zealand is currently designing its first 75-foot foiling monohull, employing over 70 engineers, designers boat builders and sailors.

Emirates Team New Zealand has a long history of innovation in boat building and its design and technical modifications were crucial to winning the America's Cup in Bermuda in 2017.

www.scoop.co.nz

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UBM Sinoexpo, the organisers of the China International Boat Show (CIBS), are expecting over 40,000 visitors to the relocated 2019 show which will be taking place from 20-23 June at a new venue - the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai. More than 600 exhibitors are expected to be present at the event, showcasing an eclectic display of boats and marine products. The show was formerly held in April at the Shanghai International Expo Center some 16 kms from the new location in the city near Hongqiao airport.

The largest indoor boat show in Asia, CIBS attracts most recognised names in the industry and includes five national pavilions accommodating an impressive list of exhibitors. Visitors to the show will be able to experience parallel events taking place alongside the boat show with registration including entry to lifestyle exhibitions including The Life Style Show 2019 (Water Sports | Lure Fishing | RV Camping | Theme Travel) .

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Polish boatbuilders have managed to increase yacht sales last year to 801 craft, up 17.3% compared with 2016.

In 2015, Polish boatbuilders sold 640 such yachts, said consultancy firm KPMG in its market report based on data from the Polish Chamber of Marine Industry and Water Sports (Polboat). The association defines luxury yachts as those with a price tag of at least €200,000 (US$229,000).

"The industry still remembers the deep crisis that began in 2008 and is cautious regarding the further development of this market in the coming years," says Polboat president Sebastian Nietupski in the report.

It is estimated there are close to 1,000 companies active in the country's boatbuilding sector, but more than 95% of the Polish industry's output is intended for foreign markets. These include Western Europe, as well as countries in North America, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

Set up in 2006 and based in the country's capital Warsaw, Polboat says it represents the interests of local boatbuilders, producers and distributors of accessories, suppliers of equipment, and other stakeholders from the Polish yacht industry.

www.ibinews.com

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The US International Trade Commission (ITC) Friday issued its final decision in the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into common alloy aluminium sheet from China, affirming the Trump Administration's tariffs of up to 176%.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) was among trade groups urging the government to remove all duties on aluminium sheet because of the ruinous effects on boatbuilders.

"The ITC's approval of the 96.3% to 176.2% duties on common aluminium sheet from China makes it clear that the commission and administration are not concerned by the downstream fallout of this action - consequences that have been taking a toll on multiple American industries, including marine manufacturing since the US Department of Commerce self-initiated these investigations nearly a year ago," said NMMA president Thom Dammrich in a statement. "Unfortunately, the antidumping and countervailing duties are on top of the Trump Administration's 10% tariff on virtually all aluminium imports."

Dammrich reiterated the immediate impact the tariffs have had on the marine industry. "Higher production costs and material shortages. Boat builders are seeing a 30-40% price increase for aluminium sheet, even though the vast majority source the material domestically. In addition, the compounding tariffs on Chinese aluminium sheet have strained the global supply, making it difficult for our industry to find enough aluminium sheet to keep up with manufacturing demand.

www.ibinews.com

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Yanmar will be the principal sponsor of the Dragon Gold Cup 2019, to be held in Medemblik, 9-14 June 2019.

he Dutch Dragon Class Association has entered into cooperation with Yanmar, the Japan based industrial equipment manufacturer, for the company to be the principal partner during the Dragon Gold Cup Event 2019.

It will be the 75th edition of this historic annual yachting event. The Dragon Gold Cup, initiated by the Clyde Yacht Clubs' Association in 1937, has as deed of gift: "bringing together as many competitors of different nationalities as possible for (Dragon) yacht racing in a friendly spirit."

During the event, the Yanmar's sailing team, which consists of former America's Cup sailor Peter Gilmour, together with Yasuhiro Yaji and Sam Gilmour, will compete for the cup in their Dragon. In addition, the company will showcase their products and services for the marine environment.

www.intdragon.net

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.

Featured Brokerage
2003 Swan 70-003 Blue Pearl. 1,350,000 EUR. Located in La Spezia, Italy.

Blue Pearl is the third Swan 70 and was delivered in 2003. Until 2006, the boat was stored ashore and unused while her original owners built a larger Swan yacht. Sold to her current owner in mid 2006, she was set up for a mutli-purpose program of competitive racing and comfortable cruising.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Giorgio Passarella

Tel. +377 97 97 95 07
nautorswanbrokerage.com

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1935 Alfred Mylne 54 Ft Cutter - Irina VII. 625000 EUR. Located in France.

This beautiful Alfred Mylne designed Fife yard built cutter is pedigree indeed. Both cruising and racing she is a yacht for the connoisseur most certainly.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Barney Sandeman

+44 (0)1202 330077
33 High Street
Poole, Dorset
BH15 1AB
United Kingdom

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1996 Nautor Swan 48R - ASSUAGE. 238,000 GBP. Located in Lymington, UK

ASSUAGE is an upgraded model of the evergreen Swan 48. Both beautiful to look at and to sail, ASSUAGE has a superb record of accomplishment on both the racing course and is more than proving herself as a bluewater cruising yacht from an Atlantic crossing and a season cruising in the Caribbean.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222

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

The Last Word
We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime. -- Laura Ingalls Wilder

Editorial and letter submissions to

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