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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RORC Caribbean 600
Crew from Tulip, the Frers Custom 88 from Holland. Photo by RORC/Tim Wright/photoaction.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

RORC Caribbean 600 A record fleet of 80 yachts will be competing in the 9th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starting from Antigua on Monday 20 February. This year's race will see the most spectacular line-up of high performance boats and crews racing from 30 different countries.

The crew list reads like the 'Who's Who' of international sailors with hundreds of round the world, America's Cup, Olympic and Volvo Ocean Race professionals rubbing shoulders with passionate corinthian sailors on the same 600 mile race course around 11 Caribbean islands.

Crews enjoyed the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 Welcome Party with dancing to the sounds of Panache Steel Orchestra and 1761 band © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

With less than 48 hours to go, it's a busy scene around the docks as crews prepare for the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 on Monday 20th February, but on Saturday evening it was time to officially open the race and welcome everyone to Antigua for the 9th edition.

Skippers from the 80 boats attended a briefing at Antigua Yacht Club where RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott highlighted some key points for the race and a few administrative requirements before they head off. It was standing room only for the 200 or so highly experienced skippers and navigators from the record fleet, but all were fully focused, listening attentively to the briefing for the 600-mile offshore race.

Following the briefing, race crews and guests were welcomed to the official opening at Antigua Yacht Club which was packed to capacity. RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd introduced the guest of honour, Shirlene Nibbs, Consultant in the Ministry of Tourism who welcomed competitors from 30 different nations to Antigua and Barbuda. She ended her speech with a quote from Mark Twain."

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

caribbean600.rorc.org

Amedeo Writes His Own Vendee Globe Story: 11th Place
Parisian political journalist turned solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place in the Vendee Globe when he crossed the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne at 09 hrs 03 m UTC this morning Saturday 18th February. His excellent finish represents the culmination of a dream to take part in the famous solo ocean race around the world. Sailing Newrest-Matmut, Amedeo's elapsed time for the course is 103 d 21h 1 m. He finishes 29 d 17 h 25 m after winner Armel Le Cleac'h and 01d 00hrs 36m after thenth placed Arnaud Boissieres. His average speed for the theoretical course is 9,8 kts. In reality Amedeo sailed 27700 miles at an average of 11.1 kts.

Hungry, because he has been on limited food rations for more than two weeks, but elated today he crossed the finish line to complete his race in perfect sunshine, making more than 10kts of boat speed through the flat seas, amidst an excited spectator fleet including his wife Charlotte and three young daughters Garance, Louise and Josephine.

* Roura to Finish Monday Morning with the Super Superbigou, Tough Going for Colman

Swiss skipper Alan Roura, the youngest of the 29 solo sailors who crossed the start line of the Vendee Globe on November 6th is expected to cross the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne Monday morning between 0800hrs and midday UTC in 12th position.

Seven solo racers were still at sea this Sunday afternoon. Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race.

Roura, 23, had less than 100 miles to go to the line late on Sunday afternoon and was struggling in light winds still today, making just three or four knots. His mood has been up and down over the last 48 hours or so, but the young skipper confirms already that he is fiercely proud of his race and the position he should gain.

Roura's Superbigou was built in a garden in Lesconcil, Brittany by Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm to a Pierre Rolland design in 1997. Stamm started his first Vendee Globe in 2000 with the boat but had to retire only days into the race with rudder and steering problems.

vendeeglobe.org

Mini Transat: Fully Booked, One Irish Adventure Sailor In 84-Boat Fleet
Solo Sailor Tom Dolan from County Meath has booked his place in October's Mini-Transat Race from La Rochelle to Martinique.

The sole Irish entry was in Dublin last night to talk about his exploits at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. This will be Dolan's second Mini-adventure having successfully competed in 2015.

For this 2017 edition of the race, organised by Collectif Rochelais pour la Mini Transat, the race will host a full contingent as the number of applicants signed up for the adventure already exceeds the 84 places available.

Forty years on from its first edition, the Mini Transat remains on the crest of the wave. A maiden voyage for some, a stepping stone to further sporting challenges for others, the Mini Transat holds a very special place in the world of offshore racing. In an era of new technologies and intensive communication, it is still the only event where each racer is pitted solely against themselves during a transatlantic crossing. No contact with land, no other link to the outside world than a single VHF radio, at times the Mini Transat is a voyage into solitude.

afloat.ie/sail/

www.minitransat.fr

Seahorse March 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

The (furling) revolution continues
Just in time for the next Volvo Ocean Race, Future Fibres have completed final testing of their new TorqueLite 2.0 furling cables, which should make the writhing foredeck python a little easier to bring under control when you are bouncing around and holding on tight down in the Southern Ocean (as will now be the case once again in 2017/18)

Tick tock
Ian Walker debates just how late a team can risk leaving it to start a Volvo Ocean Race campaign for the 2017-2018 edition

When heads need banging together
Rob Weiland says that some well advised government intervention would not go amiss in offshore racing

The first gold - Part I
Tim Jeffery remembers an extraordinary life with friends and family of the Great Dane

World Sailing - A rigorous partnership
Tokyo 2020 qualification! Alastair Fox

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Round Two Of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour
French sailing star Thierry Douillard avenged a shock last-minute defeat in the opening stage of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour by snatching victory in round two of the Gulf classic on Friday.

Riled by the Leg 1 result, in which his EFG Bank Monaco (MON) crew were pipped to victory by Team Renaissance (OMA) right on the line, Douillard began the 140-nautical mile sprint from Sohar to Khasab determined to make up for their mistake.

In another thrilling leg finish EFG Bank Monaco, who have won the past three editions of the 763nm race around the Arabian Gulf, overtook arch rivals Team Al Mouj Muscat less than ten miles from Khasab, on Oman's stunning Musandam Peninsula.

Douillard's men crossed the line victorious on Friday, 24 hours and 37 minutes after setting sail from Sohar and just three minutes ahead of Team Al Mouj Muscat, led by fellow countryman Christian Ponthieu.

The fleet began Leg 3, a 153nm stage to UAE capital Abu Dhabi, on Sunday morning.

Results of Leg 2:
1. EFG Bank Monaco (MON/Thierry Douillard) - 1.5 points
2. Team Al Mouj Muscat (OMA/Christian Ponthieu) - 3
3. Team Renaissance (OMA/Fahad Al Hasni) - 4.5
4. Team Zain (KUW/Cedric Pouligny) - 6
5. DB Schenker (GER/Annemeike Bes) - 7.5
6. Adelasia di Torres (ITA/Renato Azara) - 9
7. Team Averda (GBR/Andrew Baker) - 10.5
8. Bienne Voile (SUI/Lorenz Mueller) - 12

sailingarabiathetour.com/live/

18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Race 11
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiff Club Championship Sydney Harbour: With the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship just six days away, today's Race 11 of the Australian 18 Footers League's Club Championship on Sydney Harbour took on even greater importance than usual for the 19 teams contesting the event.

A 10-15 knots ESE wind allowed all teams to set their big #1 rigs.

The recently crowned Australian champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team of Micha el Coxon, Dave O'Connor and Trent Barnabas grabbed the lead soon after the start and, but for a brief period on the first spinnaker run, were never headed as they powered to a 2m53s victory.

Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Seve Jarvin and Jeronimo Harrison) recovered from a slow first windward leg to finish in second place, 44s ahead of Peroni (Nick Daly, John Walton and Steve Thomas).

Series leader Smeg (Lee Knapton) also came back from a slow start to finish fourth, ahead of Yandoo (John Winning) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

With only one more race to be sailed in the championship, Smeg leads with 32 points. Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel is next on 58 and Yandoo on 60.

The 2017 JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed from 25 February-5 March. (Sponsored by The Winning Group)

Race Dates:
Race 1 - Saturday 25 February
Race 2 - Sunday 26 February
Race 3 - Tuesday 28 February
Race 4 - Wednesday 1 March
Race 5 - Thursday 2 March
Race 6 - Saturday 4 March
Race 7 - Sunday 5 March

All races will be streamed live to enable everyone to follow the entire championship on the computer or other smart device from anywhere in the world. -- Frank Quealey

www.18footers.com

Phaedo3 Wins Antigua 360 Race
Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3 took part in the second edition of the Antigua 360º Race which was a 52 mile anticlockwise circumnavigation of Antigua.

Organized by the Superyacht Challenge committee, entry is exclusively reserved for boats entered in the 9th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 offshore classic. Crossing the line first and knocking almost an hour off their previous race, Phaedo3 completed the course in 3 hours 18 minutes and 18 seconds.

They were over 20 minutes ahead of the other MOD70 Maserati. Onboard the boat for the day were: Lloyd Thornburg, Brian Thompson, Michel Desjoyeaux, Rob Greenhalgh, Miles Seddon, Pete Cumming, Paul Allen, and Damian Foxall.

2017 New York Yacht Club Sailing Season
Newport, RI, USA: With a sparkling mix of tradition, technology, camaraderie and cutthroat competition, the 2017 racing season at the New York Yacht Club will be one of the most exciting, and diverse, in the Club's rich 173-year-history.

The coming summer's regatta schedule will feature the magnificent J Class yachts-which will be returning to the site of their 1930s America's Cup glory to contest the class's first world championship-and the unmatched tradition of the 163rd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, which will renew its claim on June 9 to 11 as the oldest annual sailing competition in North America and the unofficial start to the Newport sailing season.

The fifth Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup-the world's premiere Corinthian one-design keelboat regatta-and the Melges 20 World Championship (October 3 to 7) will see top amateur and professional sailors fighting tooth-and-nail for every inch. And that's just the high-profile items. Between invitational team races, fleet-racing regattas and member-only competitions, the summer schedule at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court is packed full from May through the middle of September.

nyyc.org

Medsailing-Eurocup
Medsailing Eurocup Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, Spain: A fantastic Easterly wind that began with 9 knots and picked up progressively up to 15 offered an awesome playing field for the fourth and last day of the MEDSAILING-EUROCUP Regatta. The 29er fleet sailed four races today, making a total of 12 races in the championship.

The event brought together 61 boats from 13 countries: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, and Spain.

They were joined by a fleet of twenty-five 420s, who had a three-day program with 9 races scheduled that was completed. The level was also outstanding in this fleet, with top teams from Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Catalonia, and Valencia.

A duel of titans in 29er, won by Zampiccolli-Chiste

After the eight races sailed in the previous days, the 29er fleet launched with two clear favorites who would fight for the victory: the French team Theo Revil and Gautier Guevel (CV Nantes), leaders with 8 points, and the Italians Federico Zampiccoli and Leonardo Chiste (CV Arco) with 10 points. A minimal difference that made all outcomes possible.

Impeccable scores (1-2-4-1) by Zampiccolli-Chiste have awarded them a well-deserved victory at the MedSailing-EUROCUP with 14 points, after two discards.

Victory for Marta Garrido (Punta Umbría) and Clara Llabres (Arenal) in 420

With six races already sailed, the 420s faced the day with a triple tie at 15 points by the teams Garrido-LLabres, Bover-Balaguer (RCN Valencia) and Akrich-Homar (RCN Palma).

The tie between the three leaders did not get broken until the ninth and last race of the MedSailing Regatta, although Lala Akrich-Cata Homar (8-2-2 ) and Garrido-Llabres (1-4-9) still remained tied.

Full results: cnelbalis.sailti.com

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Isabelita Betancor

* From Ingrid Frohlich:

I´m searching for information about my father Hans Christian Heinrich Frohlich, Swedish citizen. And the sailing vessel Isabelita Betancor.

The last I know is that she she docked at Recife in Brazil in the early seventies.

Isabelita Betancor is still Spanish registered, as far as we know.

I know from the spanish Official Lists of Vessels of 2002 and 2009 is that her distinguishing mark EA4872 was registered in folio 583 5th list and registered in Las Palmas.

"The vessel was built in 1948, being a traditional wood construction, in Las Palmas, was registered with the number 2041 of the 3rd list, fishing vessels, and rigged as a ketch (was a pure sailing vessel). The first owner was Ramón Betancor Villalba and the main dimensions were 15.26 meters length, 4.97 beam, and 2.28 depth, being the gross tonnage 23.14 TRB and the net tonnage 12.80 TRN. The cost of the construction was 50.000.- pesetas.

On 27th, may, 1969, the boat was changed to the pleasure register, 5th list, with the number 583. During 1970, exactly on June, 15th, the boat was sold to two swedish citizens, Hans Christian Heinrich and Mari Anne Moller for 20.000.- pesetas."

I also know that two engines 25 horses each were installed before the trip to South America in 1971.

I am grateful for all information about Isabelita Betancor and her crew.

This is how you can help:

Share this post or link to the facebook page in your feed, or in a private message to your friends.

If you know people who sailed or have contacts in the world with other sailors, tell them about this. In this way, I hope that as many people as possible get to read this, and then the chance that I'll get to know something about what happened to the boat and the crew will increase.

If you have access to newspaper archives, you can help me by searching for Isabelita Betancor and my father in the archives.

Welcome to my page on the search on Facebook.

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The Last Word
A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday... -- Principia Discordia

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