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

De Pavant Rescued
Kito de Pavant, the 55 years old French skipper of Bastide-Otio, who suffered damage to his keel when racing in the remote South Indian Ocean while racing in the Vendee Globe solo round the world race, was successfully recovered from his stricken yacht around 0100hrs TU this morning and taken aboard the research and supply ship Marion Dufresne II approximately 110 miles north of the Crozet Islands. The solo skipper was immediately assessed by the ship's doctor. De Pavant is uninjured but is extremely tired and disappointed.

Kito De Pavant

* Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi who had to abandon the Vendee Globe when the top part of his mast broke off has safely arrived in Cape Town. Shiraishi arrived at 1055 UTC.

* And by nearby Simonstown, to the south east of the city, Romain Attanasio arrived around 1800hrs TU this evening where he plans to make repairs to his rudders, unassisted within the race rules.

* Shortly before 0700 UTC this morning, Thomas Ruyant - Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine - informed his boat captain, Laurent Bourguès, that damage to the boat had led to an ingress of water.

While operating his port ballast tank system, the end of the snorkel tube, which allows him to fill the tank when the boat is at speed, broke off without causing any further damage to the hull. Thomas immediately saw that a lot of water was coming inside the boat. He quickly blocked the leak with bags and anything else he could find within reach.

He immediately gybed to move to the port tack to keep the hole out of the water. Thomas has already managed to dry out part of the boat and is dealing with the situation.

With the support of Laurent Bourguès, he is currently looking for the best way to stem the flow of water. He has the required equipment on board.

Le Souffle du Nord pour Le Projet Imagine is currently experiencing 30-40 knot winds and heavy seas (3-4 m high waves).

* Retirement of Sebastien Josse and the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild

For the past 48 hours, Sebastien Josse, currently lying in third place in the Vendee Globe, has had to put his race on hold to focus solely on his safety and that of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild. The serious damage to his port foil, that occurred on Monday morning at 09:30 GMT, left him in a tricky situation where he had to contend with some extreme weather conditions - 40 knots of breeze and 8-metre waves - to the South of Australia, along the edge of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone.

This Wednesday, a considerable improvement in the weather situation enabled the skipper of Gitana Team to finally have a thorough check of the damage suffered by Gitana 16.

Unfortunately, the news is not good and any solutions for repairs are not sufficiently long-term to complete over half a round the world, which equates to nearly 15,000 nautical miles. It's a tough moment and the disappointment is immense: Sebastien Josse and Gitana Team announce their retirement from the Vendee Globe 2016-2017.

RORC Transatlantic Race
Leopard 3 makes her way to Port Louis Marina. Photo by RORC/Arthur Daniel. Click on image to enlarge.

Leopard Mike Slade's British Maxi, Leopard 3 crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada at 07h 22m 37s GMT on 7th December 2016, taking Monohull Line Honours and winning the International Maxi Association (IMA) Trophy for the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race. The RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy will be awarded to the yacht posting the best corrected time under IRC. Leopard 3 has set the bar and must now wait to see if their corrected time can be beaten.

Leopard 3 were enjoying a brunch at the aptly named Victory Bar and Restaurant, Port Louis Marina. The conversation was very much towards the competition for the overall win on corrected time. The biggest threat to Leopard 3's corrected time is Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Marten 72, Aragon. The Dutch Maxi still has over 500 miles to go and at the moment their estimated corrected time is five hours outside the benchmark set by Leopard 3. However, with the trade winds re-established, the opportunity for Aragon to better Leopard 3 is a very real one. Infiniti 46, Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell also has a chance to snatch overall victory.

Track the race

All I Want For Christmas! St. Thomas International Regatta - March 24-26, 2017
St. Thomas International Regatta What do you give that sailor on your holiday gift list? An entry to the 2017 St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR)! It's the perfect way to put some sun and fun in a cold winter morning. Register Now! (www.stthomasinternationalregatta) Then print out the completed registration form and place it into a holiday card or wrap it up in a bow topped box. Discounted Early Entry. Pay only US $250 up until January 31, 2017.

Or, is there a someone special you'd like to impress? Then charter a racing yacht and put a picture of it in a Christmas stocking. Half dozen companies on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the Caribbean, are offering everything from a Swan 90, TP 52 or Maxi One Design 80 to a Beneteau First 40, J/122 or J/120 for charter by the crew slot or entire yacht for STIR 2017.

Charter companies

How about something for the landlubber kids or parents? Attach plane tickets to St. Thomas to candy canes. There's direct air flights to several U.S. cities. Nearby Puerto Rico offers direct air service to Europe. Or, rent a villa with the help of STIR concierge, Island Way Services ( or 340-244-8457), and put a photo in a box along with a mango or pineapple to give the gift a real flavor of the tropics. STIR host St. Thomas Yacht Club sits on a stunning white sand beach perfect for relaxing ashore while racing takes place offshore. Plus, social festivities include theme parties and new beach games.

Register Now!

For information, Email: , Call (340) 642-3204.

Gaetano Mura Past The Cape Of Good Hope
The first of the three great capes is already in the transom of Italia, the Class40 Gaetano Mura is pushing hard to try and set a reference time for the single-handed round-the-world circumnavigation. The Italian boat and skipper have rounded the Cape of Good Hope, on the southern tip of the African continent during the night of December 4 in very tough weather conditions, right in the mid of low-pressure system. Showing the Italian flag, the skipper from Sardinia granted himself a toast with a glass of wine from his native island.

The Roaring Forties are not easy, for anybody. In the area where Gaetano is sailing are at least another two skippers from the famous Vendee Globe race, one being the unfortunate Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi, on board Spirit of Yukoh, who has been forced to retire after dismasting and is trying to reach Cape Town.

"After two very tough days, I've managed to get back to the keyboard and write. We were well prepared for this low pressure. When it got here, myself and the boat were ready to tackle it. The wind increased and the waves got higher, fed by some 40 knots of wind, with gusts at 45 knots. We managed to get going, with two reed and a small jib. Later we entered an even stronger low, very active and fast, with heavy rain and 55 knots of wind. We opted for another reef to the mainsail and an even smaller jib. We sailed through it, topping 22/23 knots of speed down the huge waves. The worst lasted some three hours and when the wind veered, we needed to gibe in 40 knots. It is very dangerous to manoeuvre in these conditions. We let some time pass but then the wind direction wasn't manageable anymore and the heel was too strong."

Gaetano's route can be followed on his official website at:

Click on images to enlarge.

Figaro Beneteau 3 This Figaro Beneteau 3 is the fruit of a collaboration formed by the Beneteau Group, with the Class Figaro, OC Sport, the organiser of the Solitaire URGO- Le Figaro and Le Figaro group. Penned by naval architects Van Peteghem - Lauriot-Prevost, whose designs won the last two Vendee Globes and are likely to be on the podium for the 8th edition, the latest of the Class Figaro one-designs is in safe hands.

The first prototype is entering the build phase and will be ready to be launched and trialled over the course of the summer 2017. It has been established that the Figaro Beneteau 3 will come under design category A under ISO/World Sailing.

She will wear the insignia of modernity: foils, yes, but also a more high-performance hull below the waterline that is free of ballast tanks, with a narrower and lighter keel, a mast stepped further aft and a more generous sail plan. Finally, the brief for the Figaro Beneteau 3 was naturally to be as reliable as her predecessor.VPLP affirm that if a foil were to break in a collision,it wouldn't damage the boat's structure.

In contrast to the foils on the Imoca60, the latter will have an inward-facing profile.

Made of foam sandwich, glass fibre and polyester resin, it is in line with current designs. The most significant change is the disappearance of the ballast tanks.

As is the case on the Imoca60, the mast is stepped further aft, which enables the incorporation of more high-performance sails and a bowsprit is attached.The solo sailors will sail with a fathead mainsail, a genoa and of course a jib, as well as a masthead spinnaker (measuring 105m2) and, to seek out speed in the light airs, a small gennaker.


Flying Phantom Essentiel

The Flying Phantom Essentiel is an 18' all around boat easy to use, able to foil in a wide range of conditions and attract new people to foiling. This new boat is based on the expertise Phantom International has built up over the last 5 years being the pioneer in foiling catamarans.

The Flying Phantom Essentiel is foiling with both dagger boards down like we tested on the first Flying Phantom prototypes in 2012. This foil configuration makes the boat to be more user friendly and less physically demanding for the crew. She is able to reach 20 knots in 10 knots of wind ! The boat can be stowed on the beach as the dagger can be fully removed from the top. The L shape rudders increase safety for the crew if anyone falls overboard.

The Flying Phantom Essentiel is equipped with optional side wings in place of trapeze to improve crew accessibility.

The boat will be officially launched during the Paris Boat Show in December, production will start early of 2017 for spring deliveries.

Length: 5.5m / 18'
Width: 2.55m (EU road legal)
Weigth: 170kg
Mast: 9.1m aluminum
Hulls construction: Epoxy glass sandwich
Main sail: R Polyester laminate / 17sqm
Jib: R Polyester laminate / 5sqm
Code 0: R Polyester with furling system / 20sqm


Bruckmann Daysailer

The Bruckmann Daysailer enters the design race as a confident daysailer and capable performance yacht. A split personality, she may readily carry upwards of eight individuals for an excursion around the bay, and yet she is equally adept as an overnighter. In either instance she will be a true performer and head turner, as exhibited by her low profile, aggressive sail plan and performance-oriented shoal draft keel.

The Bruckmann Daysailer features modern rigging and deck hardware components. Spars are constructed of economical aluminum with carbon fiber available as an option to achieve the maximum in strength-to-weight performance. All control lines are lead to the aft cockpit where a single driver can control all aspects of fine-tuning the sails. The main halyard and reefing lines are located on top of the cabin house to port, and can be fitted with an electric winch if requested. A central hydraulic system located at the helm station controls the boom vang and backstay. A 100% roller-furling jib aids the guests in simplifying upwind sailing.

The E-glass and Core-Cell hull and deck are built using the highest quality stitched fabrics and vinyl-ester resins resulting in an extremely durable and light structure.


Oyster 118

British yacht builder Oyster has moved the 36m project Oyster 118 from its moulding yard in HMS Daedalus, Lee on Solent, to the shipyard in Southampton.

A major logistics challenge, the move involved the 'Blade Runner' barge, a 100- tonne and a 750-tonne crane on the shingle beach as the 26 tonne composite hull was swung 45 metres out into the Solent for its 15 mile sea voyage around to the shipyard.

The first job was to place the hull on to its 46-tonne cast lead keel before settling in for the next 15 months of fit-out.

Oyster 118 is the largest Oyster ever built in the UK. This flagship project follows the Oyster 100 and Oyster 125 built in Turkey between 2008 and 2013.

The company unveiled the Oyster 118, the largest Oyster yet drawn in partnership with Humphreys Yacht Design, in spring 2015. Her launch is planned for December 2017 with handover in May 2018 after sea trials in the Solent. -- Murielle Gonzalez


Botin 40

At the request of Ancasta Race Boats, Botin Partners and McConaghy have been working on a new 40' IRC race yacht targeted at the ever growing FAST40+ circuit.

Over the past 20+ years Botin Partners have been one of the dominant forces in the TP, Mini-maxi and IRC fleets.

This new yacht will be a limited edition build with only three hulls available from the tooling, the costs of which will be equally shared by the three buyers.

World renowned composite engineers Pure Design & Engineering have been contracted for the composite engineering of the yacht.

The yacht will be built in prepreg carbon, from CNC cut, female, high temperature tooling. Underdeck systems come as standard and there is an extensive list of factory fitted options available from the McConaghy build library including sheet reelers, take down systems, deflector drums, precision foils, bulbs and more.


Foiling 101

A new British designed and built trimaran - the Foiling 101 - heralds another leap towards foiling boats reaching the mainstream.

The concept of the Foiling 101 originates from Alan Hillman's experience of teaching many people to foil in the International Moth class and addressing the main barriers they faced. Together with business partner Jerry Hill he set about creating a new boat without the design restrictions of a box rule, so that foiling could be made easy.

The pair's ethos was to create a foiling boat that anyone weighing 70-120kg can sail. The result is a trimaran with foils on the central hull that's designed to take off in wind speeds of only eight knots, and can achieve sailing speeds of 10-25 knots. To initiate foiling all you do is heel the boat onto the windward float, sheet in and go. The windward heel creates a stable platform and the correct initial heel angle to enable the boat to accelerate to foiling speeds.

The central hull is relatively long to maximise separation between the rudder and daggerboard. This solves the control problems, notably excess pitching, from which other foiling boats tend to suffer. In addition to the 8.5 square metre mainsail, a 7 square metre gennaker will help keep the adrenaline flowing when sailing downwind.

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Raceboats Only 2007 52' King Marine IRC 52. 325,000 USD. Located in Rhode Island, USA.

ICE FIRE can now be obtained. She is a 2007 King Marine built TP 52 that was the last BRIBON, built for the King of Spain. Very successful on the Med circuit in 07/08/09, she came over to the States and as FLYING JENNY was very successful at all the NYYC annual regatta's, Block Island race week and NYYC race weeks. Since 2012, she has been ICE FIRE, and she was successful going to Montego Bay ( 2nd overall 2nd fleet in 2013) and won the 2012 IRC championship in Annapolis and that again last Fall (2014)

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Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

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