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

Tie Between GBR and AUS at the Top of the Nacra 17 Europeans
British Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves are still leading the overall of the Nacra 17 European Championship, which takes place in Barcelona (Spain) until next Saturday, but are now feeling the pressure from Australians Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis.

The second day of the championship in Barcelona saw wind speeds that went from 12 to 17 knots from the NE and rather big waves. The fleet of 42 boats from 23 nations completed three races, which now, with a total of six races overall, allows applying the first discard, where the teams can discard their worst result.

Saxton and Groves are still at the top of the leading board. However, after scoring a sixth, fifth and twelfth, they have lost the six-point cushion they had yesterday.

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 30th, will be the third day of the six that make the European Championship. The forecast announces strong winds.

Top five after six races, one throwout:

1. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves, GBR, 21 points
2. Darren Bundock / Nina Curtis, AUS, 21
3. Franck Cammas / Sophie De Turckheim, FRA, 27
4. Fernando Echavarri / Tara Pacheco, ESP, 33
5. Paul Kohlhoff / Carolina Werner, GER, 35

Mini Transat: The Countdown On Stage 1
For the seven competitors still at sea, the main stakes are to cross the line before the race closes, even if it is six days after the arrival of the first prototype or series boat.  It should not be a problem for most of them. Only some of them see the Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

The Spanish sailors, Aitor Ocerin (Iparbeltz) and  Jesus Jimenez (Helly Hansen Tarifa)  arrived in the  night to validate their first stage, as well as Frédéric de Mesel (Double Trouble) and Sylvain Michelet (A chacun son Everest). Jan Heinze (Lonestar) and Xu Jingku (China Dream)  are sheltered from all  of this discomfort. It will be less simple for Fidel Turienzo (Satanas) who has to finish before Friday morning, and who still has almost 350 miles to go, whilst being threatened by  becalming.

It will be an almost  impossible mission for Maxime Eveillard (Héli Stratégy)  who still has 1000 miles to go. Pilar Pasanau (Peter Punk)  has, according to what she has said, given up after several days of becalming and  fog, and has landed at Vigo.

The  Rules of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe are clear. Every competitor who finishes out of time (6 days after the first in each category) will be classed as out of time for the first stage. They can, however, join the second stage and be penalised for the first stage with added time of the closing line, plus 24 hours.

Congratulations John Demourkas And Team Groovederci For Winning Rolex Farr 40 Worlds!
North Sails Congratulations John Demourkas and team aboard North Sails-powered Groovederci for winning the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship! Racing with a complete North Sails inventory, including revolutionary 3Di RAW upwind sails and V-Series spinnakers, Team Groovederci stayed incredibly consistent throughout the 11-race no throw-out series.

 A special congratulations is also in order for Gary Ezor and his team onboard Coquille for taking top honors among the Corinthian teams -- also with a complete North Sails inventory. Completing the North Sails Farr 40 hat-trick, Alberto Rossi and his Enfant Terrible team dominated the overall 2015 Farr 40 International Circuit Championship. 

When performance counts, the choice is clear:

JClass at St. Tropez
There are worse places in the world to spend the morning waiting to see if racing is going to happen or not than the waterfront cafes of Saint Tropez. Today the waiting proved to be in vain as the AP over A signal was given a little after 1130hrs this morning and the race fleet for Les Voiles de Saint Tropez had racing for the day cancelled due to strong winds and big seas on the race area. This afternoon's gusts are forecast to peak at nearly 30kts.

The smiles remain broad aboard the Shamrock this morning after they were credited with beating J Class rivals Ranger yesterday under IRC handicap by a mere 18 seconds on corrected time after three hours and 22 NMs of racing. Might just be time for a petit mousse or deux for the Shamrock V crew, they finished sixth on corrected time with Ranger seventh.

Royal Southern Yacht Club
AVEVA September Regatta inc. J/111 UK National Championship J/80 UK National Championship

The Summer Season of regattas at the Royal Southern Yacht Club came to a spectacular conclusion with the AVEVA September Regatta, which featured a high performance Fast 40 Class and the J/111 UK National Championship plus the J/80 UK National Championship. With a diverse entry across 12 different classes there was a genuine mix of racing options on the Solent.

America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race TV Producer, Digby Fox, wraps up the action with a video show from the event.

Small Ships Race: The Future Of Sailing
Over in the Solent this Saturday, 3 October 2015, around 24 vessels will be taking to the water with some very brave crew members onboard.

It's the annual Small Ships Race and, to take part, 50% of each crew must be made up of members who are under 25 years old, most of whom will not have sailed before.

Participating boats gather in Cowes on Friday afternoon, 2 October, with a race on the Saturday and prize giving on Saturday evening.

ASTO, who organises the race, wants to give the young people involved an experience they may not otherwise have had the opportunity to enjoy.

And evidence suggests that by providing a first taste of the high seas the future of sailing is secured.

IODA Seeks Secretary General
IODA The International Optimist Class Association (IODA), the leading class in world sailing for young people, is seeking to recruit a full time Secretary General

We seek:

- a good honours graduate or an individual who has received relevant training to an equivalent level, and or
- a person with experience of managing a small or medium sized business within a team structure
- someone who would like to dedicate his/her talents and experience to the development of young people through sport, and
- has the ability to work successfully with dedicated volunteers and executives in a truly global business

The individual shall be able to:
- write and speak perfect English
- understand the sport of sailing at competitive level
- have enthusiasm for the development of young people through sport
- demonstrate exceptional organisational skills
- have a high level of numeracy
- be flexible regarding working hours. This is NOT a 9-5 position.

We offer:
- an exciting and important role in a truly exceptional organization.
- flexible working hours and location, if preferred from home
- competitive remuneration

To apply
- The full job description is available on our website:

Please email your CV and tell us why you are applying for this post to:

Application deadline 31st October 2015

Scramble For Points At Argo Group Gold Cup
With Bermuda being home to the 35th America's Cup, on 6-11 October, 16 skippers will once again be fighting it out to win another of match racing's most prestigious events, the Argo Group Gold Cup. 

This year the World Match Racing Tour has expanded with the addition of 'World Tour Events', joining the six regular Tour events, now known as 'World Championship Events'. So now each of the 'World Championship Events' scores 35 for a win, 31 for a second, 28 for a third and so on, while the larger array of 'World Tour Events' score around half that - 18 for a first, 16 for a second, 14 for third, etc.

Across the season competitors get to keep their top three results in the knowledge that the top six teams on the Tour leaderboard, and probably the top eight, will get a place at the Monsoon Cup. Those that do get to race in the grand finale in Malaysia, are obliged to count their performance there, it becoming a mandatory fourth result in their season's score line. For doing well in Malaysia not only earns event prize money but part of the US$ 440,000 prize purse for the 2015 championship season. 

From a World Match Racing Tour perspective, the Argo Group Gold Cup is significant because it is the last chance for competitors to scramble for points in an attempt to improve their Championship scores going into the Monsoon Cup.

Travel To Cuba Now Permitted By Boat For Us Citizens
The Department of the Treasury and the Department of Commerce are announcing additional revisions to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and Export Administration Regulations (EAR),

‚ÄčTransportation by vessel of authorized travelers - between the United States and Cuba only and without stops in third countries - will be authorized by general license. Certain related lodging services aboard vessels used for such travel will also be authorized.

License Exception Aircraft, Vessels, and Spacecraft (AVS) will authorize temporary sojourns to Cuba of certain categories of vessels. Eligible categories of vessels are cargo vessels for hire for use in the transportation of items; passenger vessels for hire for use in the transportation of passengers and/or items; and recreational vessels that are used in connection with travel authorized by the Treasury.

All authorized travelers will be allowed to open and maintain bank accounts in Cuba in order to access funds for authorized transactions while in Cuba.

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 Philippe Serenon: re: IRC Forum at La Rochelle:

As the moderator, let me add some comments to those translated from French and written Monday in this beloved newsletter: The message of participants was not so much about technical factors but about marketing issues.

The rule is probably one of the less complex ones, but consumers (sailors) are looking every day for more ease of use. The conversation revolved about this: How can we improve the experience and reduce the necessary time and cost to make a certificate, thus enabling more people to join IRC racing fans ? Also, a lot of comments have been made, specifically for France, about improving the on shore entertainment to be more attractive to a wider audience, Cowes week or Voiles de St Tropez being the perfect examples.

The beauty of the IRC rule is to enable on the same start line, people having racer-cruisers aside prototypes, protecting assets (value of boats) while offering high level sport. This is why this rule has a great future if it continues to adapt to a changing world it has always done.

Best example was an old One Tonner race which took place last weekend in Sanary, French Med coast. 5 boats had almost identical TCCs and raced almost real time. Perfectly maintained by passionate owners, these Carter 37, Swan 38, Stephens 37 and Drac 02 (Mauric) enjoyed racing with such a fair rule. So IRC makes IOR relive in One tonners as it does successfully with Half tonners!

* From Malcolm McKeag: The San Francisco 12 Metre regatta (aka The Sour Grapes Cup) will not be the first time on-board cameramen will be used to televise inshore yacht racing. ("... onboard cameramen for the Super 12 Cup would be a first for a major race around buoys" - Scuttlebutt Europe 29th September).

On board cameramen were used regularly in the Royal Lymington Cup match race series in the 1980s and early '90s and in the World Match Race Championship of 1989 staged by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club out in Christchurch Bay.

That 1989 event may well have been both the best managed and at the same time most boring match racing event ever staged. The racing had most of the best match racers in the world at the time (if you leave out Dennis, that is), was held in specially provided, new and super-twitchy Beneteaus (Benetaux?) with the cameramen (all carefully weight-equalised and carrying water-filled ballast) tethered on to the stern scoop or moving in unison into the hatchway.

It was raced in steady reliable breeze on a wide current-free race track practically out-of-sight of land. The windward mark was adjusted for every leg in the event of any small shift, a dedicated observer on the committee vessel using a stop-watch to check that the boats were spending equal time on each tack.

The result, of course, was that in every race the boat that won the start won the match - and that without troubling the umpires. Our producer, Gary Lovejoy, was tearing his hair out to find something interesting going on.

The final was between Peter Gilmour and Chris Dixon. Gilmour won the start and led around every mark. Another yawner. How on earth were we going to make any of this look exciting - even interesting?

Gilmour turned the windward mark to run to the finish, Dickson tucked comfortably astern. Someone in the Aussie boat forgot the topmast backstay. The chute popped beautifully. The mast went over the bow. The producer almost clapped his hands. 

The programme was what was called 'a commercial half-hour' i.e. about 23 minutes long. I think perhaps seven of those minutes were taken up by that mast-fall as seen from Gilmour's boat, from Dickson's boat, from the helicopter, from the camera-boat astern, from the camera-boat ahead, in real time and in slo-mo and - 'let's just look at that mast coming down again' - from the camera boat alongside. 

And perhaps the highlight of the show was the presenter, in his RIB, rushing up to Gilmour's boat for that all-important 'first reaction'.

Presenter: "Peter - what happened?"
Gilmour: "The mast fell down."

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The Last Word
It must never be forgotten that political and economic activity is only effective when it is understood as a prudential activity, guided by a perennial concept of justice and constantly conscious of the fact that, above and beyond our plans and programs, we are dealing with real men and women who live, struggle and suffer, and are often forced to live in great poverty, deprived of all rights. -- Pope Francis

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