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


Peyron Across The Finish Line On Banque Populaire
Route du Rhum Loick Peyron has finished first in the Ultim class and has broken the record for the Route du Rhum. Report not yet posted on the event site as we finish Eurobutt for the night...

Live arrival video

Report from earlier in the day:

Peyron is predicted to cross the finish line around 0230hrs TU/0330hrs CET/2230hrs local. To beat the established race record of 7 days and 17 hours he needs to break the line by 0619hrs TU /0719hrs CET/0219hrs local time.

At 1600hrs TU this afternoon Peyron, on the 31.5m trimaran Maxi Solo Banque Populaire, was 178nm miles from the finish line, averaging 23kts. His nearest rival Yann Guichard on the 40m Spindrift 2 is over 240 miles in his wake.

For Loick Peyron whose 49th passage of the Atlantic this race will complete- his 18th solo - winning the Route du Rhum would add to a remarkably full collection of sailing honours. In 2011-12 he skippered the 14 man team which currently holds the all out non-stop around the world Jules Verne Trophy record aboard Banque Populaire V, the trimaran which is ironically finishing second to him, as Spindrift 2. He has won the Transat three times, the Transat Jacques Vabre twice. Adding to the B2B race back from Brazil in 2007 this will be his seventh Transatlantic win solo or two up. He was second in the 1990 Vendee Globe after rescuing fellow competitor Philippe Poupon and won the 2011 Barcelona World Race round the world with Jean-Pierre Dick. He has raced in the last two America's Cups, in 2013 with Atrtemis Racing and in 2010 with Alinghi.

Peyron has led since the first night of the race and has scarcely put a foot wrong, supported by routers Marcel van Triest and Armel Le Cleac'h - who should have been sailing this race as solo skipper.

Top three by class at 0400 (French time zone)

Ultim - 8 Participants
1. Banque Populaire VII, Loick Peyron, 17.5 nm to finish
2. Spindrift 2, Yann Guichard, 205.2
3. Edmond De Rothschild, Sebastien Josse, 408

Imoca - 9 Participants
1. Macif, Francois Gabart, 1377
2. Maitre Coq, Jeremie Beyou , 1407
3. Safran, Marc Guillemot, 1518

Multi50 - 11 Participants
1. Fenetrea - Cardinal, Erwan Le Roux, 1283
2. Arkema Region Aquitaine, Lalou Roucayrol, 1320
3. Rennes Metropole - Saint Malo Agglomeration, Gilles Lamire, 1417

Class40 - 43 Participants
1. Tales 2 Santander, Alex Pella, 2114
2. Otio - Bastide Medical, Kito De Pavant, 2121
3. Le Conservateur, Yannick Bestaven, 2149

Rhum - 20 Participants
1. Aneo, Anne Caseneuve, 2178
2. Vento Di Sardegna, Andrea Mura, 2237
3. Tradysion Gwadloup, Willy Bissainte, 2394

ISAF Annual Conference Concludes In Palma De Mallorca
From 1-8 November 2014 more than 500 delegates from over 70 nations gathered in Palma to discuss, debate and decide on the decisions that will take the sport forward into 2015 and beyond.

ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, met on 7 and 8 November to vote on the recommendations for the expert committees. The 2014 Annual General Meeting brought the Conference to a close.

Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition

The final day format for the 49er and the 49erFX was a hotly discussed topic with a lengthy debate. ISAF Council voted for one double points Medal Race without boundaries and a target time of 20 minutes.

It was also decided that all supplied equipment at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition should be distributed after a public draw, ensuring transparency.

As part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Qualification System, ISAF included Continental Qualification Events in the pathway to help develop sailing around the world. Reflecting the IOC Qualification System Principles the key requirements are to ensure participation of the best athletes and ensure universality through continental representation.

ISAF Council agreed on the recommendation from the Events Committee on the regattas that will be held in 2015 and 2016.

African qualification events will be held at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Mallorca, Spain as well as events in Cape Town, South Africa and Algeria. The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Asia and 2015 ASAF Cup in UAE will see the Asian qualification spots picked up. European spots will be available at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta with 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne providing the Oceanic qualifiers. The 2015 Pan-American Games will decide one quota place each in the Laser and Laser Radial for North and South America. The additional places will be up for grabs at the 2016 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.

* David Kellett (AUS) has been awarded the ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy, which honours an individual for their outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing.

The trophy, which was first awarded in 1988 in memory of Beppe Croce, ISAF President from 1969-1986, was presented to Kellett by ISAF President Carlo Croce at the 2014 ISAF Annual Conference in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Kellett is the first recipient from outside of Europe or the America's.

* The ISAF President Development Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the development of sailing, has been awarded to Tunku Abdul Jalil Ibni Sultan Ibrahim of Johor, Malaysia.

Tunku Jalil has been instrumental in the development of the sport in Malaysia and the launch of the Liga Layar Malaysia (LLM) and Belia Belayar sailing programmes. Launched late in 2013 with the backing of the Malaysian Ministry for Youth and Sports and the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) the programmes have given thousands of young people the opportunity to learn about sailing and gain experience in match racing across the country.

In its first year, the Belia Belayar has so far introduced over 4,600 students to the sport across six venues.

Tunku Jalil is also the Chairman of Malaysian sailing company Innovatige Sdn, organiser of the Monsoon Cup, the final event of the annual Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography
Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography Eileen Ramsay was at the centre of a unique period in yachting history, and this wonderful book, featuring her classic photography, celebrates an extraordinary woman and her extraordinary subjects. Eileen's heyday was between 1950 and 1970 - a time when eccentrics ruled, records were there for the setting, and women weren't often to be found behind the lens.

But Eileen established herself as one of the greatest yachting photographers of her time, taking famous portraits of sailing icons like Francis Chichester and Eric Tabarly, Olympians, including Rodney Pattisson and Keith Musto, and historic pictures from the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic (OSTAR) Races.

Her unique archive records the explosive growth in dinghy and offshore sailing during post-war years, and includes pictures of the first Enterprises, Mirrors, Ospreys, Optimists and the first America's Cup 12 metres Sceptre and Evaine.

Eileen, now into her 90s can remember just about every photograph she has taken and relate an anecdote or story about each one. Many of these memories are also recorded in the book.

Eileen Ramsay - the Queen of Yachting Photography, is a spectacular celebration of a pioneering photographer and a fascinating time in yachting history.

160 pages, 123 classic pictures. £25 + postage & packing

Melges 32 Gold Cup
Miami, FL - With every ounce of optimism, all fifteen competing teams anxiously took to the waters off South Beach on Sunday morning, the final day of competition at the 2014 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club (CGSC). Unfortunately, the wind Gods disappeared and the rain filled in, basically washing away any hope of additional racing. Instead, despite the periodic heavy downpours, the fleet filed into Monty's for an awesome afternoon of food, beer, drinks, music, celebration and awards - the absolute perfect fleet ramp-up and send off for the World Championship taking place on December 1-7 in Miami.

Around midday, PRO Anderson Reggio realized that the conditions the fleet had hoped for was not going to materialize, hence the decision to call off any further racing. Shortly thereafter, at Monty's Sunset at South Beach the awards ceremony took place naming Pierre Casiraghi and his Robertissima team comprised of tactician Vasco Vascotto, Federico Michetti, Giovanni Cassinari, Gunnar Bahr, Simone Spangaro, Stefano Nicolussi and Armin Raderbauer as 2014 Melges 32 Gold Cup Champions.

Top Five Results (Final - After Five Races)
1. Pierre Casiraghi/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima, 15 points
2. Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG, 26
3. Keisuke Suzuki/Bill Hardesty, Swing, 27
4. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta, 29
5. John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti, 31

Full results:

Legislating For America's Cup
An America's Cup Act will soon be tabled before Bermuda's Parliament as the Island vies with San Diego for the right to host one of sport's most prestigious events.

The move was announced as tension mounts surrounding the final decision, which is expected before the end of the year.

The legislation is required for the America's Cup World Series Racing Event in 2015, and should Bermuda be chosen as the host of the main event in 2017.

Governor George Fergusson said the biggest sailing event on the sporting calendar would highlight Bermuda's heritage as a maritime destination and give the Island's tourism product 'unprecedented exposure."

"In the event Bermuda has the privilege of hosting the Cup Finals, experience from former host venues indicates it will have a powerful impact on our economy over the next three years, attracting worldwide attention and generating jobs, investment and revenue across multiple sectors including, hospitality, construction, transport, security, retail, wholesale, real estate and telecommunications," he said during yesterday's opening of Parliament. -- Simon Jones in the Royal Gazette

Classic Boats Kept Going By High Fashion
It's just possible that when high fashion and dedicated classic boat fans link up, an unexpected bond can be formed. Certainly it seems to have happened when Vogue Netherlands got together in Crosshaven during the summer for a photo-shoot with Darryl Hughes' superbly-restored 1937 Tyrrell-built 43ft ketch Maybird.

And the successful outcome of it all, with a useful cheque being presented to Crosshaven RNLI afterwards, was a reminder that while boat restoration projects can indeed be brought to a successful conclusion, once the job is done, you then have to move on to the next stage of finding imaginative and useful things for the boat to do, as there's nothing worse for the wellbeing of any boat than doing nothing.

The story of Maybird has been told in snippets here before. She's a very near sister of the 16-ton ketch Aideen which was built by Jack Tyrrell of Arklow in 1934 for Billy Mooney, who in those days was Howth-based, but he later became a leading figure in Dun Laoghaire. Aideen was built to a Fred Shepherd design, but it's said that Shepherd had only been brought in to put manners on numerous very detailed drawings by Billy Mooney himself, including the layout – unusual at the time - of a centre cockpit.

For many people, such a restoration would be enough in itself, but Darryl Hughes showed his calibre by progressing on to keep Maybird as active as possible. She was raced in the classics in the 2011 Fastnet, and finished in a slightly better time than that recorded by Aideen in 1947. As well, she has been cruising extensively, sometimes on a semi-commercial charter basis, while also taking part in classic yacht regattas.

A few snippets from W M Nixon's piece in Afloat:

Seahorse December 2014
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Terry Hutchinson wraps up the year that was 2014 and Andreas Kling and Svante Domizlaff remember German offshore yachtsman par excellence Hans-Otto Schumann. Plus who needs lift-foils?

Design - Orange crushed
The already rapido Gunboat 66 Turbo Phaedo has undergone a further dramatic upgrade programme. Project design engineer Dave Mccullough walks us through...

ORC column - Good problems to have
Dobbs Davis

Masters of their field
Jocelyn Bleriot meets JPK Shipyard's Breton founder Jean-Pierre Kelbert

Among the best of the best...
So says no less a figure than Sir Russell Coutts in describing the Transpac classic

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

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18ft Skiffs Club Championship, Race 2: Eric Bowen Memorial Trophy
Click on image for photo gallery.

TEXT Sydney Harbour: The champion Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage again showed the class which has seen the team sweep all before them in recent seasons of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour when they won Race 2 of the Australian 18 Footer League's Club Championship today.

Team Seven took the lead on the third leg of the South course and from that point were never headed before taking the victory by 48s from the early leader Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris).

After a long battle with Coopers-Rag, Smeg (David Witt, Tom Clout, Matt Wark) finished a further 19s back in third place.

Leading point scores in the series so far are: Gotta Love It 7 (2 points), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (4), Smeg (6), (10) and Yandoo (14).

Defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Asko Appliances are tied on 15 points.

Next Sunday is a 3-Buoys race for the Chris Webb Memorial Trophy

Exposure Unveils Potential New Optimist Design
Industrial design student Tim Arbuckle wants more young people to get into the sport of sailing and he believes he may have the design to get nine to 15 year-olds messing about in boats.

The Auckland man has taken The Optimist, the small yacht novice sailors start on, and modified some of its core features to make the vessel more easily transportable and storable.

Mr Arbuckle's prototype design called the Oppistack is part of Exposure, the annual exhibition of work by final year students from the College of Creative Arts, which opens at Massey University's Wellington campus tonight.

At present most trailers used to carry the yacht can only transport a maximum of eight optimists per trailer by storing them sideways, he says.

By folding down some of the yachts key components such as its 2.1 metre mast and enabling the parts to sit down in the boat, Mr Arbuckle believes up to 24 Optimists can be stacked and stored on a trailer.

Lovely Venue, Eh?
Rio de Janeiro: Thousands of dead fish have begun mysteriously washing up in the polluted Rio bay that will host sailing events at the 2016 Olympics -- and experts are at a loss to explain why.

Guanabara Bay has already been the subject of concern amongst sailors who are to compete in Rio because of the human sewage that gets pumped into its waters.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed confidence that Guanabara will be fit for purpose by the time of the games.

But the recent appearance of thousands of dead fish, and the foul stench of their rotting carcasses, has attracted further scrutiny with the Olympics less than two years away.

Scientists are baffled by the phenomenon but say there is no evidence so far to suggest pollution is the cause.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Alistair Skinner: I am usually a supporter of virtually everything Malcolm McKeag says but he a little off the mark with his comments in today's Scuttlebutt. Since the beginning of time those that paid for the boat determined the nationality of the boat and even as recently as the 'flying AC' it was considered that Oracle was an American Team?? but that is slightly differnence as the VOR has no mention in "nations" in its NoR. And if we are bothered about nationality in sport what do we call the English Premier Football League where there seems hardly a team that is "English"?

Simple fact is that Dongfeng Race Team is only in the race because Dongfeng Trucks, Aoleus Tyres and Shiyan City funded the entry. I reckon that makes it a Chinese team - along with many '000's of Chinese supporters who are following the race on Weechat, Weibo and other media many of which had absolutely no interest in sailing before the race started.

The very presence of DFRT in the VOR can only be good in this nation where sailing is a fledgling sport and success at any level can only be better.

When our sport is seeing falling participation in traditional powerhouses like the USA and others we should surely applaud efforts like the Gulf and China to raise awareness of - and to grow - our sport in new areas rather than criticize where the team is actually from.

As someone who has actively been promoting our sport here in China for the past 13 years I know that the entry of Dongfeng Trucks as the named sponsor in the Volvo Ocean race is a welcome shot in the arm for our efforts and I can hardly wait for the welcome the boat will receive when it arrives in China at the end of Leg 3.

* From Guy Nowell: Re: Malcolm McKeag's very understandable moan about the 'banal and meaningless names of the boats'..

For the time being, just think of them as Ian Walker's lot, Charles Caudrelier's mob, Nico's crew, Bekking's bunch and so on. I am not likely to buying a Chinese lorry anytime soon, so the identity/occupation of the sponsor is of no interest or concern.

Going forward, we do know that a great deal hinges on the performance of Dongfeng and whether that produces 'engagement with sailing' in China - Volvo and Dongfeng (the companies) are intertwined, so much of the VOR is propped up by Chinese money, directly or indirectly. If the VOR captures the imagination of the Chinese, we have a continuing event. If not, the VOR is going to be fighting to stay alive at all.

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