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

Route Du Rhum: Dramatic First Day
Ill fortune was in no way selective as it struck a wide cross section of the La Route du Rhum-Destination fleet over the first 24 hours of the 3542 miles Transatlantic race which started from Saint-Malo, France on Sunday afternoon, bound for Guadeloupe.

The most high profile early casualty is the 31m Ultime trimaran Sodebo Ultim' of Thomas Coville which struck a cargo ship last night around 2330hrs UTC, losing the starboard float right back to the crossbeam. The solo round the world ace who was considered to be one of the pre-race favourites to win into Pointe-a-Pitre was unhurt and arrived in Roscoff at a little after midday today, disappointed and shaken.

Two sistership Class 40s lost their keels just hours apart. Francois Angoulvant had to be airlifted off his recently launched Sabrosa Mk2 by a 33F helicopter just after midnight and taken to Brest for medical observation. Marc Lepesqueux was luckier in that he managed to keep his boat upright when he lost his keel, stabilising it by filling the ballast tanks and he was able to make it into Guernsey.

An ankle injury has forced Nicolas Troussel (Credit Mutuel Bretagne) - runner up in the 2010 edition - out of the race. Thierry Bouchard ( succumbed to an injured wrist. Sail or rig repairs are required on Exocet (Alan Roura), Fantastica (Italy's highly fancied Giancarlo Pedote) and Teamwork (Bertrand Delesne). Double Vendee Globe finisher Arnaud Boissieres reported he was heading for his home port, Les Sables d'Olonne with a combination of problems.

Conrad Humphreys' hopes of building from a strong start were compromised when the Plymouth, England skipper had to re-route into Camaret by Brest to replace a mainsail batten car luff box. Sailing Cat Phones he arrived in Camaret just before 1600hrs local time this Monday afternoon and his technical team reckoned on a two hours pit-stop.

Two Multi 50 skippers required to be towed to port by the SNSM. Loic Fequet's Multi 50 Maitre Jacque lost a big section off its starboard float, a seeming repeat of a problem suffered a year ago according to the sailor from Brittany who finished second in the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre. And also in the Multi50s Gilles Buekenhout (Nootka) broke a rudder and had to be towed to Roscoff where he arrived around 1600hrs CET this afternoon.

Loick Peyron and the giant Banque Populaire VII (which won the last edition as Groupama) continues to lead the race at the head of the Ultime fleet by a matter of 45 miles ahead of Yann Guichard (Spindrift 2). The battle of the giants was taking on its hotly anticipated centre stage action this afternoon as Guichard continued to march steadily up through the field, now into slightly more moderate breezes but still with big confused seas. He was almost 10 knots quicker than Peyron on the late afternoon poll. The leaders were due to pass Cape Finisterre this evening around 1930-2000hrs. Meantime after holding second for much of the time Sebastien Josse, Yann Elies and Sidney Gavignet are locked in a three cornered battle in the Multi70s with 3.5 miles separating them after 28 hours of racing, between 57 and 60 miles behind the leader.

11 abandons:

1. Thomas Coville (Ultime - Sodebo Ultim') : collision with cargo ship
2. Bertrand de Broc (IMOCA - Votre Nom autour du Monde) : elbow injury and pilot damage
3. Alain Delhumeau (Multi50 - Royan) : dismasted
4. Loic Fequet (Multi50 - Maitre Jacques) : float damaged
5. Erik Nigon (Mulit50 - Un monde sans sida) : mainsail shredded
6. Gilles Buekenhout (Multi50 - Nootka Architectes de l'urgence) : rudder broken
7. Francois Angoulvant (Class40 - Team Sabrosa SR 40MK2) : lost keel
8. Marc Lepesqueux (Class40 - Sensation Class40) : lost keel
9. Nicolas Troussel (Class40 - Credit Mutuel de Bretagne) : injury
10. Thierry Bouchard (Class40 - : injury
11. Arnaud Boissières (Class40 - Du Rhum au Globe) : technical problem

Dongfeng Battle On Despite Damage
Dongfeng Race Team has suffered significant damage after part of the control lines for the masthead gennaker sail broke, but the Chinese boat continues to challenge for Leg 1 victory in the Volvo Ocean Race after pulling off a rapid repair job to retain second place.

The setback happened at 1800 UTC on Sunday when part of the sheeting system snapped and the high loads held in that line were released across the leeward deck, causing significant damage.

There were no injuries but damage to the boat include a broken wheel which will handicap Charles Caudrelier's crew when they gybe, the push pit, aft stanchions and a satellite antenna.

The team lost about five miles during the half hour it took to get the sail under control, assess the damage and get back up to full speed.

During that time, the boat speed dropped to around 12 knots from 22 knots.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Dongfeng and third-placed Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) are powering along at an average of more than 25 knots in the icy Southern Atlantic wind. Just 34 nautical miles (nm) separate the first three boats.

They are approaching 750nm to go before the welcoming sights of Table Mountain

Marinepool Ocean Racing Clothing For The 40Knots+ Category
Marine Pool When Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe will start on November 2nd two exceptional yachts - Spindrift2 and Oman Sail Musandam - will be at the starting line in the super fast Ultime class. Both capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and among the hottest contenders for line honours.

Marinepool is the official clothing supplier to Spindrift Racing and to Oman Sail and skippers Yann Guichard and Sidney Gavignet, respectively, will sail the single handed race in the very latest Marinepool Ocean Racing suits.

Made from revolutionary Dermizax NX fabrics by Toray of Japan the Ocean Racing suit offers ultimate protection from the elements. A smart non porous membrane provides exceptionally high waterproofness, moisture permeability and low condensation. The smooth texture of the fabric, its light weight configuration and high elasticity make the garments comfortable. The 3-layer stretch fabric is highly breathable and abrasion resistant, features include waterproof zippers and 3M™ reflex patches for increased visibility at night. Latex dry suit seals reliably keep the enormous spray at these speeds outside. The top is available with a high offshore collar with signal colour hood or without a hood for conditions when only a full face helmet is the answer.

Designed and developed with the skippers of the ultimate speed machines.

Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.

Comanche Sets Course For Australia
Photo by Onne van der Wal. Click on image to enlarge.

Comanche Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's newly-launched 100 foot Super-maxi 'Comanche' has left Charleston, USA, on a ship bound for Australia to take on the blue water classic Down Under

The 70th edition of world-famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has attracted a record-equalling five 100 foot super maxis, and the last of the ocean racing machines to hit the water has just left Charleston, USA, bound for the start line in Australia on December 26th.

Comanche, built in Maine (USA) and launched only a couple of weeks ago, will make her debut alongside one of the most competitive fleets ever assembled for the bluewater classic Down Under. An American yacht has not taken line honours in the 628-mile challenge since Larry Ellison claimed victory in 1998 but there is a lot of excitement about the potential of the recently launched Comanche.

Comanche, which was sailed by Ken Read and the crew from its base in Newport (RI) to Charleston (SC), is currently on a ship to Australia with the intention to compete in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge in Sydney Harbour on December 9th. The boat, which boasts a 150 foot mast constructed by Southern Spars and huge sails from North Sails, including a spinnaker of more than 11,000 square feet. The send-off on Boxing Day from Sydney Harbour is always a spectacle and 2014 promises to be one of the greatest showcases of big boat ocean racing.

Final crew:
1. Ken Read, USA, skipper
2. Kelvin Harrap, NZL, tactician
3. Stan Honey, USA, navigator
4. Tony Mutter, NZL, watch captain
5. Morgan Trubovich, NZL, trim
6. Sean Clarkson, NZL, main trim
7. Ryan Godfrey, AUS, pit
8. Casey Smith, AUS, boat captain
9. Joe Fanelli, USA, grind
10. Brian Macinnes, USA, grind
11. Jon Von Swartz, USA, grind
12. Keats Keeley, USA, pit
13. Warwick Fleury , NZL , main trim
14. Chris Maxted, AUS , floater
15. David Rolfe, NZL, trim
16. Richard Clarke, CAN, strategist
17. Kimo Worthington, USA, runners
18. Ben Bardwell, USA, bow
19. Julien Cressant, FRA, floater
20. Greg Gendell , USA, bow
21. Louis Sinclair, Virgin Islands, floater

2017 America's Cup Venue Decision
In December, the final host venue announcement will be made with Bermuda and San Diego the remaining candidates to host the 2017 America's Cup.

"We're moving forward on the host venue agreement," Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller Schiller said. "Bermuda and San Diego have now submitted their final bids and in each case we have a potential partner who has presented a compelling event plan. The benefits of that will accrue to each of the teams leading to a successful 35th America's Cup.

"It's been a running start for me," concluded Schiller, who has been in his role since late summer. "We have a lot of work to do between now and the end of the year. But all our teams have worked together, and we look forward to sharing additional positive news in the coming weeks."

29th Atlantic Rally For Cruisers Sets Sail In November
This November, over 240 boats and 1200 people, including 34 children aged under 16, will take part in the 29th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which sets sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, heading 2700NM across the Atlantic to Saint Lucia.

ARC sailors have a choice of routes with the introduction of ARC+ Cape Verde, and two starts are planned: 52 boats sailing ARC+ will depart Las Palmas marina (Muelle Deportivo) on Sunday 9 November, followed by the larger ARC fleet (190 boats) on Sunday 23 November. As always, the ARC fleet represents almost every principle sailing nation. This year there are boats registered in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, UK, Germany, Japan, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, USA and 13 other nations, making 36 in total.

New Website Helps Connect Sailing Schools With Students
Boating Hub The Boating Hub have launched a new website to help sailing schools advertise their courses, and to make life easier for those looking to take courses around the World.

The Boating Hub is the first and only online portal which collects sailing, motorboat, dinghy, kayak and keelboat course information from operators and presents them to boating enthusiasts of all levels through an easy to use search function.

Whether an amateur looking to pilot their first boat to seasoned professionals looking to sharpen their skills, visitors to The Boating Hub can browse a list of local, national, and international boating and sailing courses.

Training centres and individual instructors around the world that offer boating courses can sign up for free to advertise their offers to a targeted audience of people passionate about learning to sail and other boating disciplines.

To encourage sailing schools to sig up, for a limited time advertisers can add their courses for FREE with unlimited dates, whilst still enjoying the benefits of features such as automatic social sharing and dedicated profile pages.

To find out more about The Boating Hub and advertise your courses for FREE please CLICK HERE.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=BeQULwwj3UE, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 On J 122 Artie
This was my fifth RMSR on the J 122 'ARTIE' and 8th together as co skipper with Lee. It also is my fourth Overall Win with a J Boat…1996 J 105 BIGFOOT - 2001 J125 STRAIT DEALER - 2011 J122 ARTIE AND 2014 J122 ARTIE again.

I like offshore racing with my friends and family, as it's more of an adventure and challenge, rather then when doing it professionally. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but both are demanding in terms of boat prep and individual crew contribution. All in all, they are both similar in terms of work demands and crew commitment.

The advantages of having a talented and experienced crew is that when we did get the breeze (40 to 50+ TWS) and large seas (8 to 10 meters) we handled the boat without any dramas and or damage, only ripping the JT out the foil twice and broaching (a few times!) plus losing our wind instrument at the top of the rig, only to settle down with our storm jib and two reefs in the main (still over powered at times!) and be sure that we did actually finish the race. We did not have to push the boat but we were still racing and didn't actually know at the time that we were hours ahead of all our competition.

Basically we sailed from Favignana to the finish line in 25hrs!...nearly half the race... not bad going for a bunch of amateurs!

ARTIE's winning team - RMSR 2014

Lee Satariano
Christian Ripard
Sebastian Ripard
Tim Davis
Tommy Ripard
Mathieu Almekinders
Matthew Gusman
Sam Pizzuto
Gordon Bugeja

If you don't have a good team, you just won't get through it or you will break things and when it comes down to it, this team proved excellent." -- Christian Ripard

World Yacht Racing Forum 2014
The sport of racing sailboats encompasses numerous elements, from the commercial to the Corinthian, from inshore combat to offshore adventures, from the fast and furious to the deliberate and tactical. Sustaining a sport so rich in diversity are creative and energetic individuals who share the same passion the sailors have in seeing the game grow and evolve with emerging developments in advanced boat design, innovative race formats, applications in high technology and new media paradigms.

Now in its seventh year, the World Yacht Racing Forum is the only international sailing conference designed to attract these individuals who have significant influence on the sport in all its genres to come together to share their ideas. The event format combines short presentations made by key leaders in their fields, followed by moderated round-table discussions where all delegates can have their voices heard among peers to discuss the issues facing the sport and to share best practice.

Another important feature of the WYRF is the numerous breaks made between sessions where the ideas expressed get a chance to take root in face-to-face networking and future business opportunities.

No other conference can offer these features where ideas can transform into action so quickly. -- Dobbs Davis in Seahorse:

Theatre Style Initiative In Play
Since 2010 the 49er class has been investigating, testing and exploring exciting ways to conclude regattas. The Theatre Style concept is now up for a final vote this week at the ISAF Annual Conference on inclusion at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. The concept will either be killed off (and we go back to one double point medal race) or it will be adopted. Last year the Events Committee rejected the Class's submission. Council, after hearing the Class's strong supporting argument, defered the decision wishing for further testing of the concept. This year, there is no time left to defer and a decision will be made.

Top 10 reason ISAF should put Theatre Style in the Rio Games

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The Last Word
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. -- John C. Maxwell

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