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

Wind Whips Up Maxi Fleet
Porto Cervo, Italy: A brisk 15-18 knot north-easterly breeze and increasingly choppy seas made for an exciting second day of racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship.

With only Thomas Bscher's Open Season holding onto her initial lead gained yesterday, an all-new set of contenders has moved up to take the top spots in their respective divisions: Robertissima III, owned by Roberto Tomasini Grinover (Maxi 72), Riccardo Di Michele's H2O (Mini Maxi RC/SOT), Maximilian Klink's Caro (Mini Maxi Racing), Windfall, owned by Michael Cotter (Maxi R/C), Vittorio Moretti's Viriella (Supermaxi).

The YCCS Race Committee took advantage of the conditions to send the fleet on a long coastal race with the Maxi 72, Wally, Supermaxi and Maxi Racing fleets completing a 38 mile course that took them to the northerly edge of the La Maddalena archipelago and down through Bomb Alley before hitting the finish line off Porto Cervo. The Mini Maxi and Maxi R/C divisions completed a slightly shorter course by cutting inside the island of Spargi.

With similar conditions forecast for tomorrow competitors and spectators alike will be in for another exciting ride. The first warning signal is scheduled for 11.30 a.m. with all divisions except the Wally and Maxi 72 classes due to complete coastal courses.

Rosehearty Reigns Supreme at Perini Navi Cup
Porto Cervo, Italy: With two victories in three races run, the 56-metre ketch Rosehearty, with Paul Cayard calling tactics, claimed overall victory in the sixth edition of the Perini Navi Cup. Second place went to the 45-metre sloop Clan VIII while the 60-metre ketch Seahawk, launched in 2013 and with Mike Toppa on tactics, placed third overall thanks to a bullet in today's final race.

Hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 2nd to 5th September, the event saw 15 Perini Navi yachts gathered in Porto Cervo for four days of racing and social events.

The third and final coastal race around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago brought the fleet south of Porto Cervo to round the picturesque isles of Mortorio and Soffi before returning to cross the finish line off the Gulf of Pevero. After two days of light airs, the 23/25 knots of westerly wind blowing on the starting line were a welcome change and provided for some exciting racing for sailors and spectators alike.

The decidedly brisker conditions clearly suited the 60 metre ketch Seahawk, who claimed her first win of the regatta ahead of Clan VII. Rosehearty, boasting America's Cup sailor Chris Draper at the helm, took third place but her previous two consecutive bullets assured her an overall win, just one point ahead of Clan VIII.

We Love It Here! You Will To! - St. Thomas International Regatta, March 25-27, 2016
St. Thomas International Regatta Riding the rails in March might sound like a bone-chilling experience. Not so when you're hanging tough off a TP52 in nearly 20 knots of tropical tradewinds while racing round-the-rocks in the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), with the rest of the fleet in red hot pursuit.

"We welcome European boats with open arms," says regatta director, Bill Canfield. "For the first time ever STIR will offer an ORC Club racing class. It's a great bang for your buck with Key West Race Week and STIR offering this rule at both events if you come across the pond. There's easy transport from Miami to St. Thomas right after Key West. So, put the Caribbean on your winter schedule this year."

New too, the STIR will run a one-day round-the-island race on March 24. This gives big boats especially a chance to tune-up and stretch their legs prior to the main event.

World-class racing, the chance to trade tacks with America's Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic crews and detune at nightly rum and reggae parties is what earns STIR its motto, 'We Love It Here' You will too.

Discount for Early Entry.

Register now!

Visit:, Email: , Call (340) 626-0239

The Perfect Score For Norwegian Kristian Nergaard at the 5.5m Worlds
After five days of intense fleet racing and 8 races in the beautiful archipelago of Nynashamn, Sweden, 'Artemis XIV' helmed by Norwegian sailor Kristian Nergaard and his crew composed of Johan Barne and Trond Solli Sather wins this year edition of the 5.5 Metre World Championship with the perfect score of 7 points.

Finishing in second and third position respectively, the two Bahamian boats, 'John B' (Gavin McKinney, Lars Horn Johannessen, Thomas Halberg) and 'New Moon' (Mark Holowesko, Peter Vlasov, P.Morland Pedersen) with 3 points only separating them. It is interesting to note that The Nassau Yacht Club and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas will be hosting again the 5.5m Worlds in 2017.

The first boat in the Evolution division, German yacht 'Alibaba' is 14th overall and the Italian crew of 'Tara' takes the 22nd place overall, first of the Classic division.

Traditionally preceding the 5.5m World Championship, the prestigious Scandinavian Gold Cup, a Nation trophy with one boat per country was won by 'Caracole' (Bernard Haissly, Nicolas Berthoud, Daniel Stampfli) representing France for the occasion.

Swedish 'Pop's John B' (J. Busch, V. Hofman-Bang, P. Frosell) won the Hanko Evolution Cup and 'Tara' (Mariacristina Rapisardi,M. Bonzanigo, G. Arrivabene) the Royal Kaag Classic Cup.

1. Artemis XIV, Modern, K. Nergaard / J.Barne / T.Solli Sather, NOR, 7.0 points
2 John B, Modern, G. McKinney / Lars Horn Johannessen / Thomas Hallberg, BAH, 25.0
3. New Moon Modern, M. Holowesko / P.Vlasov / P.Morland Pedersen, BAH, 28.0
4. Rana, Modern, Ph. Durr/ T.Treib / P.Epprecht, SUI, 35.0
5. Caracole, Modern, B.Haissly / N.Berthoud / D.Stampfli, SUI, 40.0

Full results

Supermaxi Takes To The Water Minus Her Bow
Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image for photo gallery.

Wild Oats Residents and office workers around Sydney Harbour were treated to a most unusual sight today: a 20-metre long, snub-nosed hull being towed upstream.

Only the colour scheme told the tale. This was Australia's most successful ocean racing yacht, Bob Oatley's supermaxi Wild Oats XI, revealing in public for the first time the extent of the modifications she is undergoing.

She was minus her bow.

Last week, a 10-metre section of the bow was cut off, and today what remained of her once sleek, silver hull was re-launched at Woolwich Dock so it could be towed up harbour, hauled out of the water and loaded onto a truck.

Overnight, this large chunk of Wild Oats XI will be transported to the McConaghy boat building facility to the north of the city where a new and longer bow section will be attached to it. At the same time, another two metres will be cut off the stern so that when she is back in the water and in racing trim she will again measure 30 metres overall: the maximum length allowable for yachts contesting the Rolex Sydney Hobart, race starting December 26.

The rush to update Wild Oats XI comes in the wake of news that arch rival Comanche, owned by American Jim Clark and his wife Kristy Hinze, will be shipped to Sydney in a few weeks with the express purpose of beating Wild Oats XI in the Hobart race and claiming line honours.

With the new forward section having already been prefabricated at McConaghy's, the remainder of the project is expected to take about eight weeks to complete. She should be back in the water and sailing by mid-November. -- Rob Mundle

Persico To Build New Volvo Ocean 65s
Italian boatyard Persico Marine has won the contract to construct new one-design Volvo Ocean 65s, depending on orders, for the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18.

The Bergamo-based company was part of the consortium that built the first seven Volvo Ocean 65 one-design boats that contested the 12th edition finishing in June this year.

Persico also made global media headlines when it carried out the complete rebuild of the shattered Team Vestas Wind boat in just four-and-a-half months after Chris Nicholson's crew struck a reef in the Indian Ocean during Leg 2 in November last year.

All seven Volvo Ocean 65s will race again in the next edition from October 2017 after an upgrade and a major re-fit. More of the identical boats built by Persico will join them for the 13th edition depending on demand from future teams.

Tom Touber, COO of the Volvo Ocean Race and Marcello Persico, Managing Director of Persico Marine underlined that they did not anticipate problems ensuring any new boats built matched the strict one-design specification of the existing seven.

A major re-fit for the entire fleet has been organised by the race for the end of 2016, when all boats would be returned to The Boatyard of the Volvo Ocean Race, stripped down, all parts re-measured, and, as necessary, upgraded.

Dubarry Ultima - Loved by Sailors
Dubarry Ultima It's hard to love a pair of boots. They either do a job or they don't. Some will have great grip and others will send you crashing down to the deck like some slapstick comedian. Some will keep the water out, others will leak like a pair of bespoke footbaths. Some will breathe to keep you comfortable, others will slowly baste your feet in their own sweat. Some will look great, others like you've just escaped from a circus.

Even if you do find a pair that ticks every box, that looks good, grips well and keeps you warm, dry and comfortable, you'd still struggle to love a boot. Unless, of course, it's a Dubarry boot. Take the Ultima, with its blend of rich, supple leather and durable man-made fibres, the hi tech GORE-TEX liner that acts like an air conditioner, the award-winning grip of the sole - yes, those are all there, recognised benchmarks of quality, but what you can't see or touch or smell is the soul. Ultima boots have it in abundance because, like you, they change. They gain experience at sea and improve with age just as surely as you do. That's why sailors love them.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Magnificent Seven For The GJW Direct Sailjuice Winter Series
Now in its seventh season, this winter dinghy handicap championship will test sailing skill and sheer persistence across seven of the biggest events of the chilly season.

The seven-event Series kicks off with the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash on the weekend of 21/22 November 2015. Previous winners include multiple national and world champion Nick Craig who won last season with various crews in his Merlin Rocket, 2015 RS400 National Champion Michael Sims who won the 2013/14 season in a Solo, and 2015 Fireball World Champion Tom Gillard who won the 2012/13 season.

Last year's GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series saw over 1,000 competitors taking part in 91 different racing classes. The Series has a massive online following each winter, with a big growth in mobile access. Last year attracted more than 34,000 unique users who totalled more than 90,000 visits to the Series website.

The following regattas constitute the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2015/2016:

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November 2015

Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December 2015

Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
Sunday 27 December 2015

Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
Monday 28 December 2015

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
Saturday 2 January 2016

Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
Saturday 9 January 2016

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 February 2016

Francis Joyon : The Countdown Has Begun
Francis Joyon is gradually getting his hands on the new IDEC SPORT trimaran. The boat has just arrived in Vannes in the colours of Lending Club, after a crewed record campaign. She will now be entering the yard at Multiplast (Vannes), and switch to her new colours of IDEC SPORT… while being prepared to go on stand-by for the Jules Verne Trophy.

Francis, the trimaran has just arrived in Vannes. Will you be getting your hands on her this time?
"Yes and no. She will officially be handed over on 15th September. But with Ryan (Breymaier, the skipper of the multihull, when she was in the colours of Lending Club), we are spending a few days together for the handover process. Yesterday in very fine weather, we delivered the boat to Vannes. She was lifted out of the water at the Multiplast yard, where she will be decorated in the colours of IDEC SPORT. Meanwhile, we are removing some equipment and the sails, removing the Lending Club labels and between the two of us, Ryan and me, looking at everything that needs to be done on the boat. For them, there are all the little jobs that need to be done after the charter period, while I'm looking at what improvements can be made.

Francis Joyon's goal with his new IDEC SPORT trimaran is to attempt to improve on the Jules Verne Trophy record time set by Loick Peyron's crew of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

An "Ultimate" challenge for Joyon, who is still the world's fastest solo round the world sailor after his achievement on the former IDEC in 2008, when he completed the voyage around the world in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 06 seconds.

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I understand cricket - what's going on, the scoring - but I can't understand why. -- Bill Bryson

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