In This Issue
Jules Verne Trophy: Equator Record
Van Den Heede regains the initiative... for now
Windy with 7 races in run-up to 35th Primo Cup in Monaco
Monique becomes first female winner of Bloody Mary
America's Cup World Series 2019
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
49er added to Pan Am Games
Best Practices for Race Management Forum
Inland Waterways Guide to France & Belgium
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Dave Barry

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

Jules Verne Trophy: Equator Record
On Monday 21 January at 07h45 UTC, Spindrift 2 broke her own record by just over an hour, by crossing the Equator in 4 days 19 hours 57 minutes. This also gave the black and gold team an advantage of more than 23 hours (180 miles) over the current holders of the Trophy Jules Verne, IDEC Sport. This is the first challenge in the team's quest to beat the round the world record. The time for the passage from Ushant to the Equator still has to be officially ratified by the WSSRC (the international organisation that oversees records), but Yann Guichard and his crew can be pleased with this first section of the course, and bettering their own record time, set in 2015 (4d 21h 45'), by 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Spindrift 2 crossed the line in front of the Creac'h lighthouse on Wednesday 16 January at 11h 47 '27' UTC and quickly took advantage of the favourable conditions. The crew had to gybe the 40m trimaran about a dozen times to ensure that they stayed in the trade winds as they passed through the Canary Islands and and the island of Hierro.

"We entered the Doldrums at 2° North: they were not very active, so we had to get through in relatively little breeze, but it was especially nice to have the full moon when we crossed the equator: we even saw the eclipse! It was beautiful for a good hour ... Everyone has really been on the pace and the modifications that we made to the coach roof have been a real bonus - we are definitely less exposed. The route to the equator was not easy: we had quite lumpy seas in the lead up to the islands, then we had to gybe a lot and pass right through the Canaries and Cape Verde archipelagos." Commented Yann Guichard, a few moments after crossing the equator, the 'line' separating the north and south hemispheres.

However, the team is not out of the Doldrums yet, as they are currently stretching some 120 miles to the south of the Equator. The team will have a challenging six hours or so before they can hook into the south easterly trade winds blowing off Brazil. But the good news is that a strong front is due to leave Cape Frio (off Rio de Janeiro) on Tuesday.

To beat the record, Spindrift 2 needs to complete the course before February 26 at 11h 16m 57sec UTC
Crew Split Times References
Ushant-Equator: 4d 19h 57 '(Spindrift 2 in 2019)
Equator-Cape Aiguilles: 6d 08h 55 '(Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Cape Aiguilles -Cape Leeuwin: 4d 09h 32 '(IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Leuuwin-Cape Horn: 9d 08h 46 '(IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Horn-Equator: 7d 04h 27 '(Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Equator-Ushant: 5d 19h 21 '(IDEC Sport in 2017)

WSSRC crewed records
Crossing the North Atlantic (Ushant-Equator): 4d 19h 57 (Spindrift 2 in 2019)
Crossing the Indian Ocean (Cape Aiguilles-S Tasmania) : 5d 21h 07' 45'' (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Crossing Pacific Ocean (S Tasmania-Cape Horn) : 7d 21h 13' 31'' (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Equator-Equator- : 29d 09h 10' 55'' (IDEC Sport in 2017)
Around the World (Jules Verne Trophy) : 40d 23h 30' 30'' (IDEC Sport in 2017)

Van Den Heede regains the initiative... for now
The elastic between Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats has stretched in the Frenchman's favour over the weekend allowing him to open up a 215-mile lead over his Dutch rival. A week ago, the difference in terms of distance to finish was just 28 miles. Both skippers have used up what remained of their 160 litre supply of diesel fuel, with Slats expending the last drop pushing his way through the windless high pressure system sitting over the Azores. The two are now within the same weather system.

Slats is currently 330 miles south of Van Den Heede's upwind position at the start of what could be a straight drag race to the finish. The unknown factor is the forecast - especially for these two skippers, for both have been cut off from weather feeds from the Ham Radio Net community for using unlicensed call signs throughout the Race. This came to light last week when Dutch and St Lucia radio authorities issued warning notices against the skippers. Licenced Ham radio operators who communicate with them not only face losing their licences, but the threat of a large fine and possible prison sentence!

Forecasting is particularly acute for Van Den Heede whose Rustler 36 Matmut has the prospect of running straight into another high pressure system predicted to form to the north east by Wednesday. It could affect Slats too, but not before his yacht Ophen Maverick has closed the distance.

The question then for Jean-Luc is whether to push hard for the finish and run the risk of breaking Matmut's damaged mast, or settle for second place. The fact that 3rd placed Estonian Uku Randmaa trails 3,450 miles behind, could well persuade the Frenchman to push all out for a win, knowing that if the worst happens, he could still finish 2nd under a jury rig.

Plans are now well in hand for a festival to welcome the first finishers back to Les Sables d'Olonne with Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is now predicting a January 31st finish,

The finish of both skippers and press conferences will be broadcast live on the GGR Facebook page, and TV VNRs and copyright free photographs will be made available shortly after.

Windy with 7 races in run-up to 35th Primo Cup in Monaco
The weekend offered proof if needed that the J/70 fleet is thriving, judging by the number that turned out for Act III of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, with 40 boats entered.

"Conditions were top with a steady wind and flat sea. I was especially impressed by how responsive the Race Committee and staff were in managing races in such quick succession," said Ian Wilson, World J/70 Class President, competing on Soak Racing to see the YCM organisation, ahead of the J/70 World Championship in Monaco in 2021.

After 7 races, a leader emerged in the Russian Andreï Malygin (Maria) who also won the Corinthian category. Flanking his team on the podium were the two YCM boats, Loïc Pompee's Allo Ill and Ludovico Fassitelli on Junda, leader of this winter championship, who despite his tactician's absence proved combative and quick. A result that bodes well for the rest of his season.

In the Melges 20s, the Russian Alex Team helmed by Alexander Mikhaylik won the day, followed by Marina Kaverzina (Marussia) and Monegasque resident Valentin Zavadnikov (Synergy) in a close-fought battle for 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

All meet again 7-10 February 2019 for the 35th Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse, with SLAM garments for the top 3 teams in each class.

There is still time to register for this one-design regatta that has been opening the Mediterranean season for the last 35 years.

Classes: J/70, Melges 20, H22 and Longtze Premier.

Monique becomes first female winner of Bloody Mary
Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather sailed their 29er skiff to victory at the 242-boat GJW Direct Bloody Mary, round five of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series.

Monique Vennis-Ozanne has become the first ever female winner of the legendary pursuit race, the GJW Direct Bloody Mary. Saturday produced a good breeze in West London, with some spiky gusts for the 242 entries, representing 56 classes from 98 clubs. The force three, gusting four and later five made for a lively outing that tended to favour the faster boats who started later in the afternoon.

Topper sailor James Crossley led from the second mark for two hours followed by Cameron Sword and Andy Peng also in Toppers. After two hours the 420 of Jack Lewis and Fraser Hemmings overhauled the Topper. Their lead only lasted 15 minutes until Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather in their 29er flew past them. As the clock ran down to the two and half hour finish, the 49er or Rick Peacock and Nick Murray was closing fast only 20 metres behind. The younger crew kept their heads to become the first 29er ever to win the Bloody Mary... and winning first Junior, first Lady helm, first 29er class prize and winners overall.

The Top 10 places were:
29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather
49er (224) Rick Peacock and Nick Murray
29er (2433) Oliver Evans and William Garman
420 (54487) Jack Lewis and Fraser Hemmings
420 (55242) Megan Ferguson and Bettine Harris
RS800 (1166) Ralph and Sophie Singleton
2000 (22334) Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge
Laser (214100) Jack Hopkins
Musto Skiff (544) Ben Schooling
Osprey (1356) Ben and Simon Hawkes

First Lady Helm: 29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne
First Queen Mary Helm: RS400 (1441) Mark Oakey
Grand Master: Merlin Rocket (3764) Tim Fells
First Junior Helm: 29er (2661) Monique Vennis-Ozanne

America's Cup World Series 2019
There will be only one ACWS in 2019 - already announced for October, no exact dates set, in Cagliari, where Challenger of Record Luna Rossa has their base. How many teams will race? The Protocol requires all teams to compete, but what if the new challengers from Malta and The Netherlands cannot have their boats ready in time? And what about the Foil Cant System? This is to be supplied equipment. Structural problems surfaced when the first foil arms were tested. Will ETNZ and Luna Rossa be able to deliver seven sets of Foil Cant Systems in time for all teams to race in October?

America's Cup World Series 2020: The Protocol calls for three ACWS regattas in 2020 plus the Christmas Regatta in Auckland, and specifies that the venues (but curiously not the dates) are to be announced by 30 November 2019. If it is true that the Dutch challenge is conditional on adding a fourth ACWS in The Hague, Luna Rossa's approval will be required. -- Jack Griffin

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month

Last month's winner:

Boris Herrmann (GER)
'I like Paul just as much but his win was a present from Alex and, hey, who else could a German vote for?' - Jochen Rieker; 'Good sailor, inshore and offshore which is not usual' - Max Wentzel; 'Boris is not only an excellent yachtsman but he also managed to get the finance... which is now perhaps more challenging than the sailing' - Uwe Hollenbach; 'Best German sailor ever!' - Andreas Elwe; 'Boris is just a fantastic sailor and also a great guy!' - Bendix Hempel; 'The clear winner, Boris and Team Malizia all the way, he is incredibly well-organised and works very hard to keep all his fans in touch... He's a top chap!' - Sophie Hunt.

This month's nominees:

Glenn Ashby (AUS)
By the end of the Australian A-Class Nationals the rest of the fleet warming up for the worlds the following week must have already been throughly grumpy, the 'nine-time' world champion winning with 5 bullets in 8 races. It got worse... after the first day of the worlds Ashby came back ashore with three wins in three races (amazing no one else went home really). Did we say that last year he skippered the America's Cup winner?

Jorge Zarif (BRA)
Talk about the man of the moment. Zarif has a long history of success in the Finn class including winning the Gold Cup aged 20 while holding the Junior Silver Cup (still the only person ever to do so). Then in 2018 he paid the Star class some attention, winning the worlds and, perhaps even more impressive, seeing off the most star-studded fleet ever to win the Star Sailors League and become the closest thing to sailing's International Champion of Champions

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

49er added to Pan Am Games
The Pan Am Sailing Federation (PASAF) is pleased to announce that Pan Am Sports with the Organizing Committee of the Lima 2019 XVIII Pan American Games (COPAL) have increased the Athlete Quota for the Sport of Sailing for Lima 2019 by 20 athletes.

The athlete quota increases from 148 to 168 in order to increase the number of boats in the Mixed Two-Person Multihull - Nacra 17 from eight to ten and to add an additional 11th event, the Men's Two-Person Skiff, the 49er with eight boats.

The Country Qualification regatta for the 2019 Pan Am Games for both the 49er and the Nacra 17 will be the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series - Miami, to be held January 27-Febuary 3, 2019 in Miami, Florida, USA.

PASAF is also pleased to announce that World Sailing will utilize the 2019 Pan Am Games as the Regional Games Qualifier for Tokyo 2020 in these two events:
Men's Singlehanded - Laser
Women's Singlehanded - Laser Radial

And also, as the Continental Country Qualifier, in these three additional events:
Men's Two-Person Skiff - 49er
Women's Two-Person Skiff - 49erfx
Mixed Two-Person Multihull - Nacra 17

Best Practices for Race Management Forum
The Best Practices of Race Management Forum was held on January 12, from 9-5 at Charleston Yacht Club. The forum can be attended via Zoom Web-conferencing at

Topics covered included: Starting Best Practices; Course Management; Mark Management; On Water Safety; On Water Umpiring; and Race Management Operations.

Watch the entire forum on video here.

The Cruising Association publishes new edition of the Inland Waterways Guide to France & Belgium
The 2019 edition of the Cruising Association's guide Cruising the Inland Waterways of France and Belgium has just been published.

This authoritative 204-page guide, edited by Gordon Knight and Dr Roger Edgar, is now in its 23rd edition and available directly from the CA's online shop at as well as from the bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Described as their 'Bible' by regular users and yacht skippers planning routes to and from the Mediterranean, the guide contains a wealth of information on cruising routes, cruising preparations, supplies, equipment, licences and documents, useful addresses, books and websites as well as listing around 250 mooring places throughout France and Belgium. The listings include comments on facilities, depths, prices, closest shops, restaurants and nearby attractions. The latest edition also includes details of fuel locations, either alongside or within easy jerrycan distance.

Produced by the CA's European Inland Waterways Section, the Guide is updated annually from reports contributed by CA members who are actively cruising the waterways, over 150 of which were submitted for the latest edition alone.

Priced at £25 plus p&p, the Guide includes a 25% discount offer on first year membership to purchasers applying online for CA membership during the year. CA members have access to the online edition of the guide, which is updated up to three times a year and contains hyperlinks to the CA's proprietary CAptain's Mate app, enabling users to access the most up to date information on mooring locations.


Marten 67 - Ancasta

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2002 Swan 70-005 Flying Dragon. 1,400,000 VAT Paid. Located in Genoa, Italy.

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2009 Marten 67 - "Caol Ila". 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.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
In 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which, as any American high school student can tell you, was an act that apparently had something to do with stamps. -- Dave Barry

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