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

Phaedo3 In The Driving Seat
On Day 5 of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 is approaching the halfway point in the race, well ahead of their Italian rivals, MOD70 Maserati, skippered by Giovanni Soldini. Mike Slade's Maxi ,Leopard 3 has turned south, hoping to cross a pressure ridge to keep up their quest for the RORC Transatlantic Race Record. Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verder's Dutch Maxi Aragon continues to lead the IRC fleet racing for the overall win.

In the MOD70 duel, Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson has consolidated their advantage over Giovanni Soldini's Maserati. Over the last 24 hours, Phaedo3 climbed north, maintaining a boat speed consistently well over 20 knots on port gybe before executing a move onto starboard in between Maserati and the finish. Initially, Maserati closed the gap as Phaedo3 negotiated the pressure ridge in front of them, but once they punched through, the team extended their advantage, pulling away at twice the boat speed of Maserati. This morning Phaedo3 has a 220 mile lead and has sailed a massive 280 additional miles to achieve it.

Mike Slade's Leopard 3 is now 200 miles ahead of the chasing pack racing in IRC, vying for the IMA Trophy for Monohull Line Honours. However there will be no respite on board the British Maxi. Slade set out to make an assault on the race record set by Nomad IV last year and his team will be coaxing every ounce of speed out of their charge.

Leopard3's race against the clock is captured by the graphics on the YB Tracker player on the official website. Leopard 3 is 160 miles nearer the finish than the 'Ghost of Nomad' but 13 hours behind on estimated elapsed time. The next big decision for Leopard 3 will be how to cross the pressure ridge in front of them, and following the MOD70s playbook is not necessarily the right solution.

The RORC Transatlantic Trophy will be awarded to the best yacht racing under IRC. After time correction. Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verder's Dutch Marten 72, Aragon continues to impress and is estimated to be still leading after time correction. Leopard 3's quest for the race record has also put the team up the IRC ranking into second place. However, the biggest improvement in the overall ranking has come from Infiniti 46 Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell, which is making a move north. -- Louay Habib


Star Sailors League Finals
Four races were held today outside Montegue Bay offf the east end of New Providence Island. The wind was easterly at 14 knots for the first race dropping to 7 knots for the fourth race. There was a 15 degree persistent shift to the southeast as the day went on.

Josh and I didn't have a great day. We didn't seem to have speed upwind and I am not going to win the sail fanning contest downwind against the Laser and Finn Sailors. In this regatta, it is open season on pumping, rocking and ouching so it is like a gymnastics competition downwind. Our worst race is a 17th yet we slid in the overall standings down to 19th. The discard kicked in today and we don't have any top 10 races. Hopefully there will be enough wind tomorrow and on Friday to race five more races and finish the schedule. We are just 4 points out of 12th so plenty of vertical movement is possible for us.

We took our mast down tonight after sailing to check it and found a few things slightly off so we adjusted it for more power and put it back up in the dark. We will use our light air mainsail tomorrow also.

Robert Scheidt took over the lead in the series today. He and Mark Mendelblatt seem to be the fastest to me. Obviously they are sailing well too. Diego Negri of Italy has good speed and is in second overall. The top three are in a league of their own so far. -- Paul Cayard,

Top ten after six races:

1. Scheidt / Boening, 10 points
2. Negri / Lambertenghi, 12
3. Mendelblatt / Fatih, 14
4. Hogh-christensen / Milne , 34
5. Olezza / Melo, 35
6. Stipanovic / Sitic, 37
7. Rohart / Ponsot, 41
8. Zbogar / Bercz, 45
9. Kusznierewicz / Zycki, 45
10. Fantela / Arapovic, 53

Rambler 88 Arrives In Saint Lucia
George David's super-maxi Rambler 88 has added a new accolade to her already enviable sailing reputation as she crossed ARC Finish Line in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia 15:14:15 local time (19:14:15 UTC) on Monday 28 November to break the ARC Course Record.

Departing Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at 12:45 on 20 November alongside over 200 boats in this year's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), the Juan K. designed cutting edge racer has been pushed to her limit by an impressive professional crew of sailing legends. Fellow boats in the ARC Racing Division, including many of the previous record holders sailing on board VO70 Trifork, were left in their wake; even light winds were not going to stop Rambler's mission to claim the record.

The new course record now stands at 8d 6h 29m 15s beating the previous time by 1h 10 minutes and 15 seconds. In 2015, Team Brunel sailed 3343.3nm based on the YB track at an average speed of 16.8 knots. Winds have been lighter than last year, however Rambler 88 took advantage of a small depression which formed mid-Atlantic soon after the start, enabling the boat to sail a very northerly route and then have a fast reach down to Saint Lucia. Overall, they have sailed approximately 270nm less than Team Brunel, which has been a crucial factor for this year's lighter wind crossing.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Course Record has been beaten; a year ago VO65 Team Brunel claimed the title from Farr 100 Leopard by Finland. Mike Slade's super-maxi had taken over two days off the previous record set by Caro, a Knierim 65 in 2013.

Small And Perfectly Formed
Seahorse Many of the most elegant developments in composite racing equipment historically emerge from the fastest small boat classes. A relatively young UK group of carbon specialists are currently showing how it's done…

As the development of modern dinghies and yachts continues to progress so sailing speeds increase and fleets become tighter. Gains are harder to find but arguably more important. As well as reducing hull weights, increasing righting moments and improving foils, another big chunk of performance gain has been achieved through rigs and sails. An area that has been ignored, until recently, has been the sail batten. This is probably due to the small gains available vs larger speed gains available elsewhere, but every small gain is now critical.

Moth rigs have evolved a lot over the past 5 years as upwind speeds increase while the need for power downwind is always there. Given the limited sail area on a Moth, 8.25m2, there is a big trade-off between upwind and offwind performance. High upwind speeds produce high AWS numbers, resulting in a very overpowered boat that requires depowering quickly. But turn the corner and maximum horsepower is needed to go low and fast.

Full article in the January issue of Seahorse:

The Carlos Aguilar Match Race
The Carlos Aguilar Match Race, the 5th and final event of the 2016 WIM Series, is just about to begin in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Wednesday saw the twelve competing teams practising on the waters of Charlotte Amalie harbour, offering the usual testing sailing conditions:

"Offshore direction made the wind extremely shifty, but it was really nice to be back in a boat again, in such a wonderful place," says Renee Groeneveld of The Netherlands.

The Dutch skipper is one in a group of five, fighting for the podium positions behind superb 2016 WIM Series winner Anna Ostling. The Swede secured her title already in the latest event in Busan, Korea, by finishing fourth there.

Ostling's compatriot and fellow member of the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, Caroline Sylvan, is in third place in the 2016 WIM Series standings, with the runner-up position within reach.

An unexpected newcomer as a WIM Series skipper for the St. Thomas event is Josefine Boel Rasmussen, normally main sail trimmer and tactician in Danish Team Ulrikkeholm, winner of the 2014 WIM Series. With regular skipper Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby at home in Copenhagen, looking after her new-born son, team member Trine Palludan was supposed to fill in at the helm. However, just having arrived to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Palludan immediately had to head back to Denmark again, due to a family emergency. As a substitute for the substitute skipper, Josefine Boel Rasmussen will now need all the preparation she can possibly get: "Well, I haven't helmed for about ten years, so maybe I don't even remember how to do it" Josefine laughs.

The Carlos Aguilar Match Race/2016 WIM Series Finale is a World Sailing Grade One event. The format features a full round robin of all teams, followed by knockout quarterfinals for the top eight, and then knockout semi-finals, petit-finals, and the finals on Sunday December 4.

Southern Ocean Fight Continues One Week In
The battle for the top spot in the Vendee Globe showed no sign of letting up today as the frontrunners prepare to celebrate one week in the Southern Ocean. Three days after snatching the lead from arch rival Alex Thomson, French skipper Armel Le Cleac'h was today clinging to first place by just twelve miles as the pair forge a path east at 48 degrees south.

Since passing the Cape of Good Hope on the morning of November 24 the leading duo have been exchanging blows, gaining and losing miles on a daily basis. Le Cleac'h initially overtook Thomson, whose boat Hugo Boss is lacking a starboard foil, and pulled out a lead of around 30 miles. But since then Thomson, the only Brit in the solo round the world race, has been able to get within throwing distance of Le Cleac'h because the conditions north of the Kerguelen Islands, a remote archipelago deep in the southern Indian Ocean, are not conducive to foiling.

After more than 9,000 nautical miles of racing the evidence seems to point to Le Cleac'h's Banque Populaire VIII having the edge in foiling conditions but Hugo Boss being the quicker boat off the foils.

More than 3,500 miles behind the leaders the bulk of the Vendee Globe fleet was rejoicing in rising speeds as they began to feel the effects of a South Atlantic depression. French skipper Fabrice Amedeo, in 14th place on Newrest Matmut, reported winds of 20 knots potentially building to 40 knots as the low pressure system strengthens. "It was a big challenge over the last two days to get round this high pressure and get more wind," Amedeo said. "Finally we're on the road to the Cape of Good Hope. The wind will increase gradually in the next 24 hours. Tomorrow I'll have more wind as the low pressure arrives, perhaps 40 knots."

Congressional Cup Confirmed Second Event For 2017 WMRT Season
The World Match Racing Tour is proud to announce that the WMRT Congressional Cup will be the second event of the 2017 season. The legacy of this illustrious event is with its 53 years of sailing history, a grand part of the sport of match racing. The WMRT Congressional Cup is hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club March 27th - April 2nd 2017.

The 53rd Congressional Cup will be the eighth time the event forms part of the World Match Racing Tour providing important ranking points towards the World Championship in match racing.

Many of sailings biggest names have been etched on to the Congressional Cup. If this year's entries want to have their name inscribed alongside Dennis Connor, Ted Turner, Dean Barker, Peter Gilmour, Ed Baird, Ken Read, Ian Williams and last years champion Taylor Canfield they will have to bring their "A"-game.

The WMRT Congressional Cup, as well as the qualifying event WMRT Ficker Cup, will be sailed in Catalina 37s - a proven monohull designed for match racing. This will put a twist on the 2017 Tour since they will be the only two events sailed in monohulls and may open up to some different skill sets among the big contenders for the World Championship title.

Run For The 1851 Marine Trust In The Virgin Money London Marathon
Guaranteed places available!

When: 23 April 2017
Where: London
Registration fee: £100
Sponsorship target: £1,900

Are you a seasoned runner who wants to try and beat your last Marathon finish time? Or someone completely new to running who wants to tick off the London Marathon from your bucket list?

Thanks to the 1851 Marine Trust you can!

The 1851 Marine Trust is the Official Charity of Land Rover BAR, Sir Ben Ainslie's British team aiming to bring the America's Cup home. We use the power of sport to enable, engage and encourage young people from a wide demographic to:

Experience sailing and give them opportunities to continue in the sport
Understand the career choices and wider opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

Consider the environment and act sustainably
The 1851 Marine Trust is offering five people the chance to run in next year's Virgin Money London Marathon. By joining Team 1851 Marine Trust you will be helping us raise valuable funds which will allow us to continue inspiring and engaging young people.

We will be with you every step of the way, providing a running vest, water bottle and training and fundraising support, including loads of tips and marathon essentials.

If this sounds like the sort of challenge you'd like to take on, please download and fill in the form below and send it back to by 8 December 2016 at 12pm.

Application form (Word Doc)

Application form (PDF)

Entries Mount For 21st Marion Bermuda Race
Entries continue to come in for the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race. In the first 15 days after entries opened some 30 boats entered. Now the total has reached 48 including 18 newcomers to the Race. That's two more than the final entry total for the 2015 race. Racing starts in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts on Friday June 9th.

Yachts have until May 27th to complete their entry, but are always encouraged to enter early and be prepared. There is lots to do to get a yacht and its crew safe and ready to cross the Gulf Stream.

Since 1977 the Marion Bermuda Race has been a premier 645-mile ocean race. It's a sailing event which appeals to a broad range of cruising and racing enthusiasts. The spirit of the race is one focused on Family and Fun, and all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event.

This year the race ends just before the 2017 America's Cup starts. There will be an America's Cup Superyacht Regatta, a J Class Regatta, the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, and the America's Cup Match finals... all happening as Marion Bermuda yachts are coming into Bermuda. This will be a spectacular 16 days of sailing and spectating for Marion Bermuda racers who choose to vacation in Bermuda after the ocean race.

Yachts enter the race by using the online system accessible on the Marion Bermuda Race website.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2016 Ker 40+ - Magnum 4. 550,000 GBP. Located in Hamble, UK.

A completely unique opportunity that will NOT last long! MAGNUM 4 The 2016 Ker 40+ is now available. This BRAND NEW BOAT is on the market and offering a HUGE saving for its next owner.

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Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats
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Raceboats Only 2011 Salona 41. 199,999 EUR. Located in Hong Kong.

This Salona S41 is a perfect combination of comfort and high performance cruiser.

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Raceboats Only 2001 Carroll Marine Farr 40. 125,000 USD. Located in Portsmouth, RI.

This is hull # 96 and has always been very well maintained by her three owners.She was first built as SAMBA PA TI and then she was named TWINS. Her current owner has not used her for several years, but she is located in Portsmouth Rhode Island, has been under shrink wrap and has a Captain maintain her. In her inventory are many North sails, with several 1st string primary racing sails, having never been out of the bags! If one is in the market for a very nice and lightly used Farr 40, DARKSIDE could be the weapon of choice.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

See the collection at

The Last Word
The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. -- Quentin Crisp

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