Tenth Annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar competition is OPEN. Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse Magazine.


In This Issue
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race
How to Watch the Race
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Top quality venues announced for 2019 M32 European Series
Round Martinique Regatta
Strong fleet set to contend Australian OK Dinghy Nationals
All Star Cast - Yacht Racing Forum
Early Entry Closing for Antigua Sailing Week
Florida's Red Tide Killing Stone Crab Business. Crabbers Going Out of Business.
Industry News
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Benjamin Franklin

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

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race
Champagne start before a battle of minds

A fast start is expected for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this afternoon. However, soon after day turns to night the fight for line and handicap honours is expected become one of strategy and tactics as winds weaken, according to Matt Allen, the owner and skipper of defending Tattersall Cup winner, the 52-footer Ichi Ban.

The 85-strong fleet was told by the Bureau of Meteorology at the final race briefing at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning that 10-15 knot north- easterly winds were forecast for the 1pm start on Sydney Harbour. Out the Heads, north to north easterly winds of 15-25 knots are forecast to catapult them southwards at a nice speed.

However, despite a strong wind warning expected early Thursday morning, the race should become a battle of the mind and on water cunning for all crews in a race that could especially see the fight for handicap honours and the Tattersall Cup wide open to the end.

Iain Murray, strategist on Wild Oats XI, another one of the five super maxis and a record eight times winner on line honours, said the atmosphere of the crew was relaxed heading into the start.

“I think it looks such a benign race I think the crew are relaxed,” said Murray for whom this will be his 25th Sydney Hobart.

“When you get a forecast of a lot of wind and huge waves in Bass Strait and all of that it is a bit twitchy but it looks like a fairly calm passage across Bass Strait.

“So it I think (it is about) trying keep it calm, get some rest and there are going to be long nights, avoiding the pot holes and trying to stay in the wind is the target for us.”

Asked what are the hazards of the forecast, Murray said: “The real issue is linking all the bits of wind up, and there will be light spots and sports where there is not much wind.

“I think the boats that keep continuously moving fast (will benefit) … the difference between going fast is going five knots, or 10 knots or 12 knots and if you do that for a couple of hours it is a big difference.”

Asked which boat he believe will be the biggest threat for Wild Oats XI, Murray tipped Comanche that won line honours last year, but on protest after Wild Oats XI was penalised an hour after crossing the line in Hobart first for an incident with Comanche at the start.

“I would expect Comanche to charge off after the start like we often see, particularly in the stronger nor-easter going on to the north,” Murray said.

“I think the race is going to come alive probably from 8 or 9 o’clock tonight.”


How to Watch the Race
Be at the epicenter of the main event. Race villages are set up in Sydney and in Hobart to catch the beginning and the end of the race.

Australia’s Local Network 7 News will be broadcasting a 90 minute program starting at 12:30pm AEDT on Boxing Day with special guest commentary. Tune in!

If you are not in AEST, follow the race at www.RolexSydneyHobart.com to stay up to date with live news announcements. You can also follow the race at www.NorthSails.com

Track the entire fleet, or just one boat. See how fast teams are traveling and how far they have to go to get to the finish line.

If you’ve got a boat, you’ve got front row seats to all the action. Just remember to stay clear of the exclusion zone and listen to Race Committee Officials to find out what’s happening.

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

Plenty of fans for today's featured bar. With all the activity in Antigua for yachties, this establishment has garnered rave reviews from around the world:

Cloggy’s Antigua

Here's what makes it so great...
You couldn’t find a more relaxed place in the middle of season to sit and enjoy nothing less that a great burger to a seafood salad that V knows I’m having without asking what I’m going to have. :)

Great food. Great drinks. Great staff. Super service. The atmosphere and the hospitality given by Ton and Vanessa is what makes it the best place to be...

The view, food, drinks, atmosphere... it’s a full on Yachty place !

Is there a special drink they make?
Freshly squeezed Lime squash with a dash of vodka and bitters.

Tell us about YOUR favorite bar. Voting ends at 2400 GMT December 28



Top quality venues announced for 2019 M32 European Series
For 2019, the M32 European Series will see teams in the high performance one design catamaran class competing in five events across Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands culminating in the M32 World Championship on Lake Garda.

In late March teams get the opportunity to blow the cobwebs away at a warm-up and training event in San Remo, close to the French border in Italy. Two months later the season starts up in earnest with the first scoring event taking place in Marina di Pisa, Italy in late May. The circuit then visits Holland before arriving in Sweden. 2019 will be the second season of racing for the combined Mediterranean and Scandinavian M32 fleets in the M32 European Series.

The first event in Sweden will take place near Gothenburg, close to the island of Hono where the high tech catamarans are manufactured by Aston Harald. The boats will then head up the Swedish coast to Stenungsund, just north of Marstrand, for two days of inshore racing, prior to their competing in the Tjorn Runt. Organised by the Stenungsunds Segelsällskap, this annual race anti-clockwise around the island of Tjorn is 28 nautical miles long. Typically it attracts several hundred entries, making it one of the highest participation sailing events in Sweden. This year an M32 claimed the course record, held for many years before by a substantially larger ORMA 60 trimaran.

After this the pace of the season intensifies with the M32 fleet returning south to Riva del Garda at the sailing mecca of Lake Garda, for their Pre-Worlds and World Championship at the end of August. The Pre-Worlds will be the last scoring event of the 2019 M32 European Series and will be the prelude to the World Sailing-sanctioned M32 World Championship. For these events, the fleet is set to be joined by teams from the M32 North American Series, making the journey to compete in the class' premier event.

New for the 2019 season is that over and above the existing entries in the M32 European Series, the M32’s manufacturer Aston Harald, is offering two boats free of charge to teams wishing to compete on the circuit. The intention is for one of these top be a ‘development team’, while the other will be to entice new owners into the circuit. -- James Boyd

2019 M32 European Series
San Remo, Italy - 22-24 March (non-scoring warm-up event)
Marina di Pisa, Italy - 24-26 May
Holland - 21-23 June (host venue to be confirmed)
Gothenburg, Sweden - 19-21 July
Stenungsund, Sweden - 15-17 August (two days inshore racing followed by the Tjorn Runt)
Pre-Worlds, Riva del Garda, Italy - 24-25 August
M32 World Championship, Riva del Garda, Italy - 26-30 August


Round Martinique Regatta
One month to go until the discounted registration for The Round Martinique Regatta comes to a close (19/01/2019). There is still time to join the 20 boats already in the running. See how you measure up against the elegant Class40s and take part in this fantastic sailing festival across Martinique. See for yourself just how this magnificent event looks in our official teaser trailer.

Thursday 7 February:
Skipper welcome at the Race Village on the waterfront at Fort de France
17:00 Registration closes and Skipper Briefing
18:00 Welcome reception cocktail party

Friday 8th February:
10:00 Start of the first leg “The Round Bay” in the Fort de France Bay
18:00 YCM Event Party open to all

Saturday 9th February:
06:00 Start of “The Round Raid” (80 nm Fort de France - clockwise)
10:00 Start of the “The Round Rally” (Fort de France - Marin anti clockwise)
19:00 Surprise Party, Saint Anne Bay, la Dunette

Sunday 10th February:
09:00 Start of “The Round Rock”
13:00 Lunch at Grande Anse d’Arlet beach
18:00 Prize Giving at the Race Village on the waterfront at Fort de France

Register your entry: http://www.theroundmartinique.com

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=uhvxMKONNv4, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Strong fleet set to contend Australian OK Dinghy Nationals
With just a few days to go before the start of the 57th Australian OK Dinghy Championship, the entry list is looking like a who’s who of OK sailing in Australia, with 30 entries so far received. The championship will take place at Black Rock Yacht Club from 28 December 2018 to 3 January 2019.

The entry list includes the four most successful Australian OK Dinghy sailors over the past three decades, all of which are members of the Black Rock Yacht Club (BRYC): Roger Blasse, Mark Jackson, Andre Blasse, and Mike Williams. These four have won all but two national titles since 1995, and in fact BRYC members have won the national championship some 37 times since it first began in 1963.

Roger Blasse has the honour of having won the most titles in Australian OK Dinghy history. Since 1988 he has taken the national title a total of 10 times already and is now looking for an illusive 11th. He is probably the most successful Australian OK Dinghy sailor of all time, having won the world championship twice, in 1998 and 2013, though he hasn’t won a national title since 2008.

Having sailed all his life and trained for his two world titles on the Port Phillip waters, he knows them well. Port Phillip is famous for its great sailing conditions, reliable winds and large waves.

Mike Williams is back after a few years absence at the national championship. He won three back-to-back titles from 2010 to 2012. And with four titles under his belt, Roger’s elder brother, Andre Blasse, is another favourite at the upcoming championship.

There was some indication of form at the recent Go for Gold Regatta at BRYC, where Jackson put together almost a clean sheet and won with a race to spare from Steve Wilson and Andre Blasse. A healthy fleet of 24 OK Dinghies is also competing this week at Sail Melbourne, sailed from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, just to the north of BRYC.

The national championship begins with a coaching session on Thursday 27 December before the invitation race and opening ceremony the following day. The National title series consists of 10 races from Sunday 29 December to Thursday 3 January, with a lay day on New Year’s Day. -- Robert Deaves

The Notice of Race, Entry Form and current Entry List can be found here: www.bryc.com.au/news/11045/

All Star Cast - Yacht Racing Forum
Seahorse We all knew it would be good, but hosting the latest Yacht Racing Forum in Lorient - world capital of offshore sailing - was indeed a stroke of genius

With more than 450 delegates from all over the world gathering in Lorient, France, for two days of conferences, presentations and debates, the Yacht Racing Forum has confirmed that it is indeed the premier business-to-business platform for the sport of sailing.

Sailing history oozes out of Lorient, where Eric Tabarly is feted as a hero of French sailing, alongside living legends such as Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux, Loick Peyron and Alain Gautier, many of whom were present at the Yacht Racing Forum. The conference brought together no less than 450 delegates, while the exhibition space included around 20 stands representing the most dynamic brands from around the world that are involved in competitive sailing. Three state-of-the-art yachts were also on display: the new Figaro Beneteau 3, the 26ft one-design foiling catamaran Easy to Fly and the Volvo Ocean 65 AkzoNobel.

Peyron shared his passion for cruising and racing at the Design and Technology Symposium on day one of the Forum. 'When I'm racing, I'm dreaming about cruising. When I'm cruising, I don't like to be inefficient,' he explained. 'That's why many of our innovations from racing are useful for cruising.'

Full technical article in the January issue of Seahorse

Early Entry Closing for Antigua Sailing Week
The 52nd edition of Antigua Sailing Week is once again shaping up to be the regatta not to miss for the 2019 Caribbean Regatta Season. A huge variety of yachts have already committed to the event, with sailors from across the world looking forward to savouring fantastic racing and top live entertainment to dance the night away. Antigua Sailing Week has always been an international regatta and early entries feature teams from all over Europe, North America, as well as teams from the Caribbean Islands. For early entry to Antigua Sailing Week, saving US$4 per foot, teams must enter and pay before December 31, 2018.

The variety of yachts competing is exceptional, ranging from high performance multihulls and Maxi Ocean Racers, through TP52s and performance cruisers, and bareboats and Sportsboats.

The eight day regatta programme starts Friday 26 April with a free Newport Shipyard Racing Rules of Sailing Seminar. Saturday 27 April is the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race. Racing for Antigua Sailing Week starts on Sunday 28 April and concludes Friday 3 May, save Wednesday 1 May which will be the Lay Day Beach Party at Pigeon Point.

Not into racing? No problem! Antigua Sailing Week offers the opportunity to Chase The Race every day of racing. Chase the Race sets off and returns to Falmouth Harbour so you will be completely immersed in the activities of a typical race day, without the stress of having to win! Advance reservations recommended.

For full information and online entry go to: www.sailingweek.com

Florida's Red Tide Killing Stone Crab Business. Crabbers Going Out of Business.
You know the toxic red tide in south Florida is serious when Joe's Stone Crabs, the world-famous seafood restaurant in Miami Beach, starts to run out of stone crabs. But the stone crab crisis is indeed serious, and it's decimating the stone crab fishing industry.

"This is about the worst I've ever seen it," Rick Collins, 69 and an Everglades City crabber for more than 50 years, told The New York Times. Until this year, he usually caught 400 pounds of stone crabs a day. One day recently he offloaded 73 pounds, and he doesn't know how much longer he can stay in business.

In the past, scientists assumed that stone crabs could survive south Florida’s perennial toxic red tides. But the red tide with its toxic algae has lasted much longer this year. Scientists say that prolonged exposure to the toxic algae, which consumes oxygen at night, can kill sea life below. Stone crabs are smaller and less adept swimmers than blue crabs. They use their relatively large claws to scuttle along the ocean floor away from the red tide. They can survive for short periods of time without oxygen in the water, but this year the red tide has been too prolonged.

Because of the shortage of stone crabs, Joe’s has removed them as an entrée option. Now they’re just listed as an appetizer. Read more:


Industry News
In answer to an increasingly frustrated and angry business lobby this week, the British Government set aside two billion pounds to assist front line government departments cope with an unmanaged Brexit and revealed that it will be contacting over 200,000 businesses to try to explain the impact as well as provide 100 pages of updated online advice about possible changes at borders. Certain strategically key industries such as defence, food, pharmaceuticals, etc are reported to have been better informed by the Government and are better prepared with stock piling measures for the probable consequences and immediate aftermath of a chaotic exit. However, until the promised information is available, which is due to be communicated this week, the vast majority of UK companies have still not made plans as what to do in the absence of an EU agreement on terms of trade with Britain.

To highlight the anxiety the country is experiencing, earlier this week it was announced that 3,500 troops would be held in readiness to cope with possible disruption at ports and possible choke points.

European suppliers should expect British boat builders and equipment importers/distributors to build up their inventories of raw materials and components as a precautionary measure to secure production levels until some form of normality is restored - in whatever form an eventual deal is structured.

Commenting on the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and a transition period, Lesley Robinson, chief executive officer at British Marine said, “Like many industries up and down the UK, we do not support the idea of the UK leaving the EU in a ‘No Deal’ scenario. It is vitally important that our members have stability for their businesses while the UK and EU negotiate the details on the future relationship,” she emphasized.

“The transition period agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Statement on the Future Relationship would deliver that stability and afford the UK more time to tackle some of the unanswered concerns of our industry, like the future of VAT-paid status on vessels already placed on the market in the EU,” Robinson continued.

“British Marine hopes that members of the UK Parliament can put aside their differences and support the Prime Minister’s deal, which does offer security to UK businesses and helps protect jobs, growth and investment.”

For those looking for more information specific to the boating industry, British Marine has provided additional resources about Brexit available on its website at the following links:

Is there a No Deal Brexit on the Horizon

How to comply with the Recreational Craft Regs in a No Deal Brexit scenario



A new strategic summit which will address the prospects for yachting, marine tourism and related infrastructure in China is planned to be held in Hainan from March 25-27, 2019. The event follows a recent roundtable held in Hainan to discuss the Chinese market and in particular the plans for Hainan, which is China’s most promising yachting area.

The new initiative is being led by Arthur Tay, CEO of Singapore-listed SUTL Enterprises Pte Ltd, which manages, operates and develops marina projects in Asia and elsewhere. SUTL has two projects in China, two in Indonesia and one each in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the US.

Initial details of the initiative were given at the Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference held in Singapore earlier this year by Li Ning, secretary general of the HCYA.

At the time, Li Ning told IBI: “This new experiment will be developed over the next one to three years and it will include yacht building, new marinas and other yacht-related activities. Currently Hainan has 14 marinas which offer a total of 1,835 berths for yachts up to 60m (195ft). The largest of these has 700 berths.”

Li Ning said that large yacht-building yards would be established and subsidised by the Chinese government. “A number of areas for yacht industry centres are being identified and participation in these will be open to both domestic and international companies which would receive the subsidies,” he said.

The holding of the recent roundtable and the planned summit next March is part of the MOU agreement between SUTL and the HCYA.



IBI’s annual compilation of major boat shows around the world provides attendance figures, location and organiser details - and is available in print, as a digital download or online with live links to the show’s website and organiser

Published and distributed this week togther with the December issue of IBI magazine, the IBI International Boat Show Calendar is the industry’s go-to reference for the most significant trade and consumer shows serving the recreational boating business on a global basis. Each listing includes key statistics on the show, including venue, show hours, average number of exhibitors and attendees, website address and organiser contact details.

IBI’s calendar is published in cooperation with the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO), indicating which shows qualify as members based on compliance with IFBSO’s Code of Excellence and achievement of additional criteria to earn silver, gold or platninum status. Look for the IFBSO member status on show listings.

The 2019 calendar is available in print distributed to all magazine subscribers free of charge, FOR DOWNLOAD, or available to view online with real-time updates.



The Canadian government is to remove all retaliatory tariffs on US recreational boats, marking the most positive development on the trade front in months. The news was announced last night. It follows the reciprocal countermeasures applied by the Canadian government announced on July 1, 2018, in response to the US Section 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium.

The latest action - officially called the “Amending Remission Order” - effectively ends the 10 per cent tax on US boats heading to Canada.

Canadian dealers that paid the 10 per cent surtax, which went into effect on July 1, 2018, can now apply for a refund by following the instructions at this Canadian Finance Department link


Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1987 Baltic Yachts 83. 740,000 EUR. Located in Pisa, Italy,

Iconic blue-hulled full custom Baltic 83. Completely refitted in 2006 and beautifully maintained ever since. Huge value for money for such a special and well-constructed yacht. Over 100 new photos (July 2018) available

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Lead broker - Alex Grabau
Tel: +44 (0)1590 673715


Raceboats Only 2007 Farr 100 - LEOPARD 3. 2,950,000 EUR. Located in Palma de Mallorca

Farr 100 LEOPARD 3 is the ultimate charter yacht. Hugely competitive for line honours racing and a very comfortable charter yacht operating with a very successful package.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
Telephone: +44(0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 2011 Reichel Pugh 45 - "Katsu". 215000 EUR. Located in Italy.

KATSU offers a huge amount of potential on the race track, whilst not overly-compromising on comfort below decks. Great successes under ORC and IRC, she is a potent weapon offshore and is a much more forgiving platform, that is far more manageable compared to the newest breed of flyers.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats
+64 277733717
+44 2380 016582

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

The Last Word
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. -- Benjamin Franklin

Editorial and letter submissions to

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

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