In This Issue
340 Entries... Five Minutes...
2019 ORC Rules, VPP and Calendar Of Events Now Available
Keep Your New Year's Resolution! Sail in the St. Thomas International Regatta
Van Den Heede serves 18 hour penalty
505 World Championship Title for Martin and Lowry
Catapult Wins Second Weekend of 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series
31st Transatlantic Race
Brian Southcott
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Timothy Leary

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

340 Entries... Five Minutes...
No... it's not another Led Zeppelin reunion ticket sale. It's a full house for the Fastnet.

Once again the Rolex Fastnet Race has confirmed itself to be by far the world's largest offshore yacht race. After the entry for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship event was opened at 1200 UTC, the 340 available places for boats in the IRC fleet were all taken within just four minutes and 37 seconds. This was just 13 seconds outside the record time recorded in 2017.

The first entry to sign up on the RORC's Sailgate online entry system for the biennial 605 mile race from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland, was regular competitor Derek Saunders and his Farr 60 Venomous. He narrowly beat the German Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt club's Judel Vrolijk 52 Haspa Hamburg and Tom Kneen's JPK 11.80 Sunrise who were next fastest. After the first two minutes 180 boats had already been entered successfully. After the first frenetic four minutes and 37 seconds when the maximum entry limit was reached, subsequent requests were filtered through to the reserve list. Ultimately after the deluge subsided 440 boats had entered in total.

Yachts from 25 countries are due to take part this year: The bulk of these are from the UK, from where 201 boats were registered, followed by the dominant French (winners of the last three editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race) with 81 and the Netherlands with 33. The entry includes a strong contingent of 16 boats from the USA, many making the passage across to the UK in the Transatlantic Race 2019. This leaves Newport, RI on 25 June bound for Cowes via the Lizard and is organised by the RORC in conjunction with the New York Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron and Storm Trysail Club. Entries from further afield have been received from Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey, Hong Kong and Korea among others.

This strong entry shows that the change of date has made little impression on the desire to do the Rolex Fastnet Race: The start date was moved to Saturday, 3 August and for the first time it will be setting off before Lendy Cowes Week (rather than on the traditional Sunday immediately after it).

It should be noted that with the Rolex Fastnet Race the RORC has led the way among the organisers of the world's classic 600 milers in inviting other grand prix racing yacht classes to compete outside of the main IRC fleet. This has led to the race featuring some of the very best offshore racing hardware from yachts competing in the Volvo Ocean Race to the giant 100ft long French Ultime multihulls and the IMOCA 60s of the Vendee Globe. For 2019, an especially strong line-up of Class 40s is anticipated. -- James Boyd

2019 ORC Rules, VPP and Calendar Of Events Now Available
Milan, Italy - The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is pleased to announce the 2019 versions of its Rules and regulations, Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) and Worldwide Calendar of events are now published and are available on the ORC website at These are available both for the ORC and ORC Superyacht rating systems.

Organized into separate rulebooks and documents, the ORC rules include the International Measurement System(IMS), the ORC Rating System rules for ORC International and ORC Club certificates, the ORC Superyacht Rule, the ORC Sportboat Class Rules, and the ORC Championship Rules, Standard Notice of Race, Standard Sailing Instructions, and the ORC Championship Checklist, collectively known as the "Green Book." These are available for viewing and download at

The changes are summarized at this link:

Among the changes are improvements made to the aero- and hydro-dynamic modeling of the ORC VPP based on research, observations and user requests. For example, the model for added resistance due to waves was upgraded, the windage drag due to hiked crew was improved, and the model for crew weight position was improved to be optimized for boat speed and not just heel angle.

In the IMS, there are not many changes, but some measurement procedures are clarified and streamlined, such as internal ballast, propeller shafts that are not installed on centerline can now be measured, position of the weights for boom inclinations and minor clarifications on mainsail and mizzen staysail measurements.

In the ORC Rating System rules for ORCi and ORC Club, numerous clarifications are made in rules for ballast systems, boats with both asymmetric and symmetric spinnakers may now declare that the asymmetric sails are flown only on centerline, and other minor items.

For the Green Book, new 2019 CDL limits defining the three classes at ORC Championship events have been devised for minimal disruption to the fleet from the 2018 limits, and are as follows:

Class A: 16.50 >= CDL > 11.62
Class B: 11.62 >= CDL > 9.80
Class C: 9.80 >= CDL > 8.60

The only change was small shift in the Class A-B split at 11.62 m CDL.

And for ORC Club and ORC International certificates, national rating offices may now opt to include a new appendix page of ratings based on specific course models in addition to the standard Long distance/Coastal and Windward/Leeward models shown on current certificates.

The 2019 ORC VPP Documentation will be available soon after the 2019 ORC VPP gets distributed to the 35 independent Rating Offices located around the world.

For those interested in subscribing to the 2019 DVP, this is available now at the discount rate of EUR360/year until 15 January, when the price increases to its regular rate of EUR600/year. More information on the 2019 DVP can be found at

The 2019 ORC Superyacht (ORCsy) Rules are also nw available online from the ORC Superyacht page at And for those interested in subscribing to the ORC Superyacht DVP, this is also available now for EUR840 for existing subscribers and EUR1200 for new subscribers on the ORC Superyacht page at

And for those interested in seeing how the 2019 VPP affects the ratings of their boat or others in the fleet, the ORC's Sailor Services system is also now equipped to run Test certificates, Speed Guides and Target Speeds for nominal prices payable through PayPal. This unique public access system is available after free registry at

In addition to the 2019 Rules and VPP, the 2019 ORC Worldwide Calendar of Events is also on the ORC website at This list of event information has been provided by race organizers, rating offices and others and is continuously updated as new information becomes available.

And the ORC Superyacht Calendar of events is available at

More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at

Keep Your New Year's Resolution! Sail in the St. Thomas International Regatta
St. Thomas International Regatta Start the year off heathy and bright by registering now for the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), March 22-24, 2019. There's no better way to keep in shape mentally and physically than sailing on the Virgin Islands' warm turquoise seas, under a tropical sun with plenty of tradewinds.

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. STIR boasts the 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.

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

Bring Your Boat 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; for the 3-day STIR, practice day and 30-day Bluewater Membership at the regatta host, St. Thomas Yacht Club.

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.

Van Den Heede serves 18 hour penalty
French race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede served out his 18 hour penalty (for improper use of his satellite phone on 09.11.2018) on Saturday and is now clear to race the remaining 2,150 miles to the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne. He expects to arrive there on 26th January.

But will he still be first?

While Jean-Luc was serving his 'time-out' in the penalty box south of the 20°N parallel, 2nd placed Dutchman Mark Slats was powering northwards through the SE Trades at more than 5 knots and by 08:00 UTC today, had closed the difference in 'distance to finish' to within 417 miles. Worse for Jean-Luc, the NE Trade winds have disappeared and he is likely to be facing the frustration of calms until Wednesday at least, while Slats continues to make strong gains.

The two skippers are racing identical Rustler 36 designs, but Matmut carries a smaller rig and mast damage, which Jean-Luc does not want to overpress. Ophen Maverick has the benefit of a larger sail plan, but after 25,000 miles, she beginning to show signs of wear which could lead to breakages. These final 2 weeks promise to provide a nerve-racking finale.

Third placed Estonian skipper Uku Randmaa and his Rustler 36 One and All, survived last week's South Atlantic storm unscathed, and now finds himself drifting in a hole, making only 1 knot on Sunday, so has used the time to dive overboard and give the hull another clean. The forecast suggests that the winds will not return until later today – and then from the north! His climb up towards the Equator will not any easier than it was for the two leaders but at least temperatures are warming by the day.

Surprisingly, Istvan Kopar, who rounded Cape Horn on December 1, has made most progress of all during the past 5 days, but now head winds have become his new reality and Puffin's VMG has dropped to 2.8knots today.

Also surprising is the 5.1knots recorded by Tapio Lehtinen's Finnish entry Asteria. She is covered in barnacle growth, which is sapping her speed at an ever-increasing rate. Last week, GGR HQ lifted the restriction of the NO-GO ZONE south of the 42°S Parallel in the South Pacific as a safety measure for Lehtinen to escape the worst of a Southern Ocean storm running up behind, and Tapio has been running before strong NE wind towards Cape Horn ever since.

505 World Championship Title for Martin and Lowry
Mike Martin and Adam Lowry were able to skip the final two races of the International 505 World Championship, having secured the title with a day to spare.

Winners of the penultimate race (R9) were the Dane/Aussie pair Jan Saugmann and Marcus Cooper with South Africa's James Largier and Richard Hutton-Squire in second, and Peter Nicholas and Luke Payne of Australia third.

The honours for the final race also went to Nicholas and Luke Payne with Germany's Julian Stueckl and Johannes Tellen taking second, with Mike Holt and Carl Smit of the USA in third to confirm their second place on the final podium.

Parker Shinn and Eric Anderson made it an all US final podium with Nicholas and Payne claiming fourth, Howard Hamlin and Jeff Nelson USA were fifth and sixth were Wolfgang Hunger and Holger Jess of Germany.

Britain's Ian Pinnell and Reeve Dunn finished in seventh, Nathan Batchelor and Harry Briddon tenth and Penny and Russ Clark 20th.

Top five:
1. Mike Martin/Adam Lowry, USA, 24
2. Mike Holt/Carl Smit, USA, 38
3. Parker Shinn/Eric Anderson, USA, 42
4. Peter Nicholas/Luke Payne , AUS, 48
5. Howard Hamlin/Jeff Nelson, USA, 50

Full results

Event site:

Catapult Wins Second Weekend of 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series
January 6, 2019–Fifty-five J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the middle weekend of the 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series. Joel Ronning's Catapult took the victory with 24 points in five races. Ronning fell ill on Saturday morning, so Wendy Reuss stepped in to helm the team to scores of 5,2,3,1 in gorgeous conditions (winds around 15 knots with higher gusts, under a cloudless sky). Catapult was two notches behind Travis Odenbach's B Squared after day one. Light winds around 6 knots allowed only one race on Sunday, with Ronning feeling better and returning as Catapult skipper. They finished 13th, but Odenbach landed 20th, giving the Catapult team the weekend victory (Odenbach totaled 29 overall points). Brian Keane's Savasana placed third with 33 points. The 18-boat Corinthian division was topped by Andrew Fischer's Button Fly.

Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 leads the Porch Series, which included a Racegeek Clinic. The weekend also featured practice races in which teams were able to learn from on-water coaches in moderate breeze as a cold front was passing through the Tampa Bay area.

Racing concludes at Davis Island Yacht Club on February 8-10. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at

31st Transatlantic Race
It will be the 31st Transatlantic Race organised, at least in part, by the New York Yacht Club. The Transatlantic Race 2019 is organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club.

A new addition to the 2019 race will be a doublehanded division. In 2015, a few entries in the 40-foot Class 40 division raced with just two sailors on board but they were scored among all the other entries.

The world's oldest most challenging of oceanic races
When the race starts on 25th June it will be the latest edition of the world's oldest, most respected and most challenging of oceanic races dating back more than a century and a half.

In 1866, just 15 years after a syndicate of its members famously won what would become the America's Cup, the New York Yacht Club ran its first Transatlantic Race. Three schooners entered – Fleetwing, Vesta and Henrietta, the latter owned by New York Herald heir James Gordon Bennett Jr. – for a prize purse of $90,000 (roughly $1.34 million in today's money). To ensure it was a true test of seamanship, it set sail from New York in mid-December.

Remarkably all three of these high-powered, inshore racers made it to the finish line off the Needles, though six hands lost their lives, washed off the deck of Fleetwing during a gale.

The Kaiser's Cup
The most famous Transatlantic Race was in 1905. German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II put up a solid gold trophy, the Kaiser's Cup, for the winner. This competition was intended as a forum for Germany to showcase its sea superiority at a time when Britannia ruled the waves.

In the end the Kaiser's yacht Hamburg was beaten soundly by American Wilson Marshall's Atlantic. Skipper Charlie Barr drove this now famous 227-foot, three-masted schooner from New York to The Lizard in just 12 days, four hours, one minute and 19 seconds, a record that would stand for 92 years.

The present race record time of 6d:22h:08m:02s was set by George David's maxi Rambler 100 during the 2011 race.

Brian Southcott
WHAT Brian Southcott (GBR) who was IYRU/ISAF Treasurer for 14 years died on 19th December.

Brian Southcott was appointed International Yacht Racing Union Treasurer at the IYRU General Assembly in November 1990. Brian succeeded Ian Butler as the second treasurer of IYRU, a post introduced in 1977.

As a member of the IYRU/ISAF Executive Committee he attended their meetings until retiring as Treasurer in November 2004 where he was subsequently awarded the Gold Long Service Medal. Subsequently he continued his membership of the World Youth Sailing Trust for a further 12 years.

Brian was a chartered accountant and Member of the London Stock Exchange.

Brian died at the age of 86 after a short illness, he was the longest standing member of Tamesis Club on the River Thames at Teddington.

In the 1950s and early 1960s (when there were fewer dinghy class national championships) he won the prestigious Ralph Gore Trophy in the 1952 Firefly Class Championship. In the Merlin/Rocket Class he won the National Championships in 1959, 1961 and 1963. Subsequently he raced Lasers for many decades. He was a member of many RYA Committees and RYA Council from 1961 onwards.

World Sailing extends its condolences and sympathy to Brian's wife Joan and family.

The funeral will be at Mortlake Crematorium on 1 February at 12 noon and it will be followed by a celebration of Brian's life at Tamesis Club, Teddington.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2012 Swan 60. 1,500,000 EUR. Located in Scarlino, IT

The new Swan 60 offers a high-volume interior, a large and well-protected cockpit and regatta levels of performance. To meet these conflicting demands, Nautor has made extensive use of state-of-the-art technology in the design and the construction of these magnificent yachts... The boat features an entirely new hull built from advanced materials, while at the same time preserving Nautor Swan’s core values: to be comfortable for cruising and fast for offshore racing

See listing details in Nautor's Swan Brokerage

Lorenzo Bortolotti
Nautor's Swan Brokerage
T. +377 97 97 95 07


Raceboats Only 2007 X-Yachts X-41 - Bandit. 160000 GBP. Located in Lymington, UK.

The best X-41 on the market. A large refit in 2017 with standing and running rigging, upholstery, instruments and interior re-varnish, she looks like a new yacht. Four out of the top 10 at the ORC worlds in 2018 were X-41s; priced in sterling she offers a very good opportunity.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
Telephone: +44(0) 1590 679222


Raceboats Only 2009 Marten 67. 2,000,000 EUR Located in Sardinia.

Occasionally a jewel of a yacht is built. Coal Ila should be seen and sailed to truly appreciate her exquisite detail and thrilling performance. Simplistic arrangement allows for short handed sailing, as well as competitive fully crewed racing. Lifting keel arrangement, really ticks the boxes.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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

See the collection at

The Last Word
If you don't like what you're doing, you can always pick up your needle and move to another groove. -- Timothy Leary

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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