In This Issue
New Attempt On Jules Verne Trophy Imminent
Offshore Nirvana
Harken Battcars
Athens selected to host 2019 Finn European Championship
Xabi Fernandez: "We Should Be In The Next Ocean Race"
Fareast Boats at BOOT Dusseldorf
11th Hour Racing Announces New Grants
Wendy Tuck guest speaker for Port Phillip Women's Championship
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Spiro T. Agnew

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

New Attempt On Jules Verne Trophy Imminent
After two and a half months of stand-by, Spindrift 2 is preparing to leave for a new attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. The crewed round the world sailing record has been held since 2017 by Francis Joyon, who completed the non-stop course in 40d 23h 30m. Spindrift 2, the giant black and gold 40 metre trimaran, is planning to leave the port of Brest for the start line off Ushant on Tuesday afternoon.

The time of just over 40 days achieved by IDEC Sport in 2017 could be broken by Spindrift 2, if the weather conditions remain favourable.

"We have been on stand-by since November 5 and there has been no real opportunity to get around the world quickly: I have never experienced a winter like this! We need to cross the equator in about five days: but we risk getting ahead of a front and having to sail to port, which is not very typical. But if we wait for this front to pass, we would then suffer at the hands of the Azores anticyclone. We are anticipating leaving the dock in Brest on Tuesday afternoon to reach the line off Ushant, and look to start in the early hours of the Wednesday morning, between midnight and three o'clock, but this is to be confirmed, " comments Yann Guichard.

By starting on Tuesday/Wednesday, the crew projects crossing the equator after five days and then hooking into a system in the South Atlantic, which could allow the team to cross the longitude at the Cape of Good Hope in less than twelve days ... This is the system preferred by the land-based weather router, Jean-Yves Bernot, for the team to reach the Indian Ocean in good time.

Yann Guichard has selected eleven crew, which includes the core of his team - Christophe Espagnon, Francois Morvan, Xavier Revil, Jacques Guichard and Erwan Israel.

Crew Of Spindrift 2:
Yann Guichard - skipper
Erwan Israel - navigator
Jacques Guichard - watch leader / helm
Christophe Espagnon - watch leader / helm
Xavier Revil - watch leader / helm
Francois Morvan - helm
Thierry Chabagny - helm
Sam Goodchild - helm / bow
Erwan Le Roux - helm
Duncan Spath - helm
Benjamin Schwartz - helm / bow
Jackson Bouttell - helm / bow

Jean-Yves Bernot - router

Offshore Nirvana
With just over a month to go until the start of the RORC Caribbean 600, 77 teams from across the world have already entered the spectacular 600-mile offshore non-stop race around 11 Caribbean islands. The overall win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy over the past decade has been dominated by teams from the United States. This year, at least 17 teams will be flying the Stars and Stripes and the vast majority will be racing under IRC. In the Class40 Division, the 2018 Route du Rhum and the forthcoming 2019 Le Défi Atlantique have assisted in creating a record 10 entries, nine of which will be flying the French Tricolour in the 11th edition.

The RORC Caribbean 600 has been an epic offshore combat zone for the Maxi72 Class and Hap Fauth's Bella Mente (USA) and George Sakellaris' Proteus (USA) have both won overall on two occasions. Both teams are back again this year, and alongside Peter Harrison's British Maxi72 Sorcha, they are among the favourites.

This will be the first RORC Caribbean 600 for the new Botin-designed Bella Mente built by New England Boatworks, Rhode Island, USA.

Charlie Enright will skipper David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 Wizard (USA) and like Bella Mente will be flying the burgee of the New York Yacht Club. The Juan K design has supreme pedigree having won the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race as Groupama and the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart as Giacomo. Wizard's crew includes a number of Volvo Ocean Race sailors, including three past winners: Simon Fisher, Phil Harmer and Daryl Wislang.

The competition in the Class40 division is shaping up to be hotter than ever before. A record entry includes the defending champion and race record holder, Catherine Pourre's Earendil (FRA).

Two of the stand-out new entrants are Luke Berry's Lamotte - Module Création (FRA), third for the 2018 Class40 Championship, and Aïna Enfance Et Avenir (FRA), skippered by Aymeric Chappellier from La Rochelle, France. Chappellier was runner-up for the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre, and last November runner-up in the Route du Rhum. -- Louay Habib

Harken® Battcars: Nothing So Easy to Install Adds So Much Safety
Harken Battcar Systems Harken® Battcar Systems make quick and safe mainsail reefing and unreefing possible, at any wind angle…even while broad reaching... even with just one or two crewmembers. Battcars can be the difference between an uneventful nighttime reef from the cockpit and having to get out on deck. Now, new Harken slug track makes retrofitting your grooved spar a realistic DIY project, at a fraction of the in-boom or in-mast furling prices. The process is easy: Select the correct system size, determine track type and length, choose an endstop kit, then specify battcar quantity and models.

Watch an installation.

Athens selected to host 2019 Finn European Championship
Athens, the birthplace of the modern Olympics, has been selected to host the most important Finn regatta of the year, the 2019 Finn European Senior and U23 Championship, after the previous host in Marsala, Sicily, was forced to pull out following damage to the club after the rough weather that hit the coast of Sicily during December 2018.

The championship is scheduled to take place in May, and the severe damage in Marsala jeopardised the successful organisation of the event. Regretfully, the host club, Circolo Velico Marsala, had no option but to withdraw.

After extensive discussion and consultation following the withdrawal of Marsala, the International Finn Association (IFA) Executive has decided to allocate the 2019 Finn European Championship to Athens.

The IFA is very grateful to the many clubs around Europe that promptly came forward to help the Finn class in such an emergency situation. Finally, the Hellenic Sailing Federation in the Athens International Sailing Centre, host of the very popular Finn training this winter, as well as past events, has been chosen.

The Finn Class is delighted that Peter Reggio, PRO at the last three Olympic Games for the Finn, has been appointed as Principal Race Office for the championship.

The 2019 Finn Open European championship, which will be held from the 10 to 18 of May in Athens, will also be the second Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification event for the Finn with four places to be allocated. The last Olympic selection opportunities will be the continental qualifications with one place remaining per continent.

With Olympic qualifications and many country internal selections being decided at the 2019 Finn Open Europeans, the event is expected to attract one of the largest and most competitive fleets ever. -- Robert Deaves

Xabi Fernandez: "We Should Be In The Next Ocean Race"
Xabi Fernandez sounds determined to be on the start line of The Ocean Race again leading a MAPFRE team. It would be his sixth racing circumnavigation, his successes to date including his two handed IMOCA debut with Iker Martinez on the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race. Now doubtless spurred on by having finished so close to victory on the last race – his first full race in the skipper's role – Fernandez, now 42 years old, is in the early stages of planning for The Ocean Race and is embracing the change to the IMOCA. Right now he is working again with Sir Ben Ainslie, as a member of INEOS Team UK.

Having had time to digest the Volvo Race and move on, how is life now? Was it easy to put the race to bed with no regrets?
It has been OK, we did quite a bit of corporate sailing to finish off and then I did a bit of sailing and I joined Ineos Team UK working with them part time, doing all I can with them and trying to be at home as much as possible. I try to help on the technical stuff and work with Iain Jensen as much as possible with my experience in bigger boats. So I am just starting to find my feet there as well. It is flexible that means I will be involved until the nationality rule and be forced to be there full time, but right now the design team is working full on and it is not so busy. Right now I am in Portsmouth ten days a month.

How do you look back at the race?
I think it was a very good race for us. It was pretty painful afterwards to have got so close, to finish how we did. But the organisation and the feedback after the race was super-good for us and we are more than happy. I don't think we have any specific regrets. We always say we changed nobody on the water or on the shore and we stayed close together. We knew the competition would be very hard and we look at the trouble we had on the Southern Ocean leg but I am sure we were lucky other times. I have tried hard to see all the good things we did, so we did a good preparation before the race. We sailed quite a lot but not too much, the experience on board was good to guide the training and we all enjoyed the race quite a lot. It is not worth dwelling on mistakes, if you did you would not do it.

From Tip & Shaft

Fareast Boats at BOOT Dusseldorf
WHAFareast BoatsT Fareast Boats are one of the fastest growing keel boat producer globally. Founded in Shanghai, China in 2002, it all started with Optimist dinghies and in 2010 the product range extended into with our high performance keel boats. In 2015 the award winning FAREAST 28R was launched, which is a World Sailing recognized OneDesign class with over 400 boats build until today!

During 2018, Fareast upgraded the production facilities north of Shanghai to be state-of-the art in the business. Major investments into new technology has increased the product quality, shortened lead times, and minimized waste during production. All under ISO 9001. Later this spring 2019 Fareast will launch the FAREAST 37R. A real Performance-Racer for full crew racing, as well a shorthanded. During BOOT Düsseldorf we are showing our entry level club keelboat, the FAREAST 19R. A perfect boat for clubs that are looking for a high performance boat, for an affordable price, meaning less than USD 20.000!

As Fareast boats are committed to sailing, we have made an agreement with S/ to serie-produce the new S/V14 boat and offer if for USD 3000 to all sailors with a disability!

The FAREAST 19R, FAREAST 28R and S/V 14, will be on display at BOOT Düsseldorf. Warm welcome to visit us in Hall 15, stand D39!

11th Hour Racing Announces New Grants
Newport, RI: 11th Hour Racing today announced eight grantees, representing a variety of organizations and projects in the U.S. and the U.K. Funded by The Schmidt Family Foundation, 11th Hour Racing's grant program is committed to mobilizing sailing, marine, and coastal communities to create systemic change for the health of our oceans.

The new projects recently supported by 11th Hour Racing include the following organizations

Clean Ocean Access (U.S.) - This grant will support the newly launched initiative Healthy Soils, Healthy Seas Rhode Island, a collaboration among four local organizations that are establishing composting practices for businesses, residential buildings, and individuals.

eXXpedition (U.K.) - eXXpedition runs all-women sailing voyages designed to educate participants about plastics and toxic chemicals in the oceans.

Final Straw Solent (U.K.) - Final Straw Solent has quickly become a force for increasing awareness of plastic pollution and eliminating single-use plastics within its local community through its beach cleanups and grassroots campaigns.

Hudson River Community Sailing (U.S.) - This grant is launching a second Sail Academy for middle school students in Northern Manhattan, NYC, building off Hudson River Community Sailing's successful youth development program focused on environmental education and STEM curriculum for students from underserved neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan.

Ocean Conservancy (U.S.) - Through this grant, Ocean Conservancy's Global Ghost Gear Initiative will remove approximately 5,000 pounds of derelict fishing gear from the Gulf of Maine.

Sail Newport (U.S.) - This grant will support Sail Newport's Pell Elementary School Sailing Program including staffing, sailing instructors, teaching supplies, and transportation for the students to and from school.

The Ocean Foundation (U.S.) - This grant will support The Ocean Foundation's Seagrass Grow program to offset the footprint of Vestas 11th Hour Racing's 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

World Sailing Trust (U.K.) - The Trust promotes participation and access to the sport, supports young athletes, and develops programs to safeguard our planet's waters. =

If you are interested in learning more about any of the grantees, or 11th Hour Racing's mission, please contact us. 11th Hour Racing holds at least two grant reviews a year, the next deadline for submissions is March 1st, 2019.

Wendy Tuck guest speaker for Port Phillip Women's Championship series and Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta
Wendy Tuck Wendy Tuck, winner of the 2017-2018 Clipper Round the World Race, is to be the guest speaker at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS), for the start of the Port Phillip Women's Championship series for the Jennifer Goldsmith Perpetual Trophy.

Tuck the only female to ever win an around the world race when she skippered a near-novice crew to win the Clipper Round the World race this year, was named Australian Female Sailor of the Year and inaugural Offshore Sailor of the Year for 2018, and was a finalist in the Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

The yachtswoman will speak at the RMYS on Thursday 31 January at 7.30pm in the Harbour Room. For those wanting to make a night of it, dinner will be available at the Club beforehand. Those wishing to attend can register at:

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.

* From Malcolm McKeag:

As will have been the case with so many sailors around the world I was shocked by the news of the death of Jeff Martin: he was no age at all! At the end of the Seventies the predominantly young sailors of the still relatively new Laser had earned such a reputation for lawlessness and disregard for the Yacht Racing Rules (as they were then called) that many clubs were reluctant to host events and serious sailors were either leaving or not joining the class.

I covered one such event at Burnham-on Crouch and reported that at the downwind turns the mark would simply disappear under the press of boats sailing round, over and inside it. Upwind most of the fleet simply rocked their way to the top mark. Yachts and Yachting had barely hit the bookstalls when I had a call from Jeff, newly employed (and that itself was unusual in those days - most were part-time volunteers) as the full-time class secretary.

He was not complaining: he wanted as much information as possible about the event and the behaviour of the sailors. He was only too well aware of the reputation the class had already gained and knew that unless discipline were quickly imposed the class would implode. In his quest he volunteered himself for protest committees, arranged rules briefings and brooked no nonsense. He quickly became an International Judge - I believe he was the UK's youngest IJ at the time. The Laser class in the UK - and subsequently internationally - owes him a huge debt, as indeed does sailing in general. His death is a great loss to the sport.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 GP42 - SILVA NEO. 250,000 EUR. Located in Hamble, UK.

Extremely competitive 40 ft IRC and ORC contender. Full inventories for both rule and has had extensive refits over the past two years.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222


Raceboats Only 2013 Botin 80. 1,550,000 USD. Located in San Diego, CA, USA.

CABRON is now for sale. Formally known as BEAU GESTE, this Botin 80 lacks for nothing. All North sails, B/G wind gear, container FULL of spare gear, she is turn key Call for the massive details

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

William Jenkins
410 267 9419
410 353 7862


Raceboats Only 1995 Yachting Developments S&S Maxi. 320000 EUR. Located Nr.Naples, Italy.

Extensively refitted beautiful boat with great sailing performances combined with easy handling. The yacht was designed by S&S for offshore racing and cruising in IMS Regulation. She had a major stern modification in 1997, new keel 1997, and new carbon rig 1997.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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

See the collection at

The Last Word
I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won't deceive you except in matters of this sort. -- Spiro T. Agnew

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