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

Stellar Cast In Malta
Strombolicchio, one of the stunning islands which forms part of the course for the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo. Click on image to enlarge.

WHAT The 2015 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, will start this Saturday, 17th October, in Grand Harbour, Malta. For the second year in succession, well over 100 yachts will be competing, flying the flags of 22 countries.

The 36th edition of the race has a record number of 11 canting keel carbon fibre flyers racing, and weather permitting all of these high performance yachts are capable of breaking the course record, which has stood since George David's Rambler 90 record run of  2007 (47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds).

Leading the assault on the course record will be George David himself, racing the Juan K designed American Maxi, Rambler 88, with an all-star crew including; Brad Jackson, Andrew Cape, Joca Signorini, Rodney Ardern, Simon Daubney, Robbie Naismith, Lorenzo Mazza, Stu Wilson, Nathan Hislop, Jan Dekker, Jerry Kirby, Scott Beavis and Curtis Blewitt.

Two hi-tech multihulls will be racing in the MOCRA Class and both are very capable of beating Rambler 88 around the 606-mile course. Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD 70, Phaedo3, has been smashing world records since being launched last year. Phaedo3 is co-skippered by Brian Thompson

Californian Peter Aschenbrenner will be racing his 63-foot Nigel Irens designed trimaran, Paradox. Whilst on paper, Phaedo3 is faster than Paradox, under the MOCRA rating rule, Paradox beat Phaedo3 in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race. Paradox crew includes the world speed record holder, Paul Larsen, who achieved over 65 knots in Sailrocket in 2012.

The overall winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the coveted Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy is decided by the best corrected time under the IRC handicap system. Last year, the competitors experienced flat calm to storm force winds. This variety makes predicting the overall winner very difficult.

Melges 24 European Sailing Series: Coppa Lino Favini
Luino, Italy - The Melges 24 season in Europe has concluded today with a total of 8 sailed races during the Coppa Lino Favini. Audi tron ITA840 (Simoneschi-Benussi, today 1-1-7) has been crowned event and Audi tron Sailing Series winner.

The Coppa Lino Favini Overall sees first place Audi tron followed by Austrian Michael Schineis' team on Pure AUT716 (Schineis-Cassinari, 8-4-4), that has showed improving performances over the last events, third place for Franco Rossini's Blu Moon SUI825 (Favini-Sommariva, 10-13-1).

Great satisfaction also for Swiss Michael Good's Cinghi-Aile SUI382 (today 9-2-12) winner in the Corinthian class.

The Audi Italia Sailing Team has confirmed its supremacy in the Melges 24 Audi tron Sailing Series (recording a total of 5 acts, 27 races, 4 discards).

Top five after 27 races, 4 discards:

1. AUDI TRON, Riccardo Simoneschi, ITA, 56 points
2. Maidollis, Carlo Facassoli, Gianluca Perego, ITA, 171
3. Bombarda, Andrea Pozzi, ITA, 205
4. Altea, Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 206
5. Cinghi-Aile, Michael Good, SUI, 324

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

Lighter Breeze Shifts Across Haifa Bay On Day 2 Of 470 Worlds
A lighter breeze filled in over the race course in Haifa Bay on day two of the 2015 470 World Championships, proving a challenge for the teams as the wind came down the race track in bands and patches.

Racing got underway in around 8-10 knots, decreasing to 6 as racing wrapped up. Different sides paid at different stages of the race, mixed up with a reasonable amount of current. Six races and just four OCSs showed the restraint from teams, with no mistake worth making at this stage of the Championship.

Four different leaders across the races in each of the 470 Men Yellow and Blue fleets, with wins to Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov (RUS) and Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp (ESP) in the yellow fleet, and Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox and Lucas Calabrese/Juan De La Fuente (ARG) in the blue fleet.

Mat Belcher/Will Ryan continue to dominate, but all change in the leaderboard line-up behind. Points are close, including a four-way tiebreak for teams in third through to sixth on 16 points apiece, and a three-way tiebreak for the teams in seventh through ninth on 17 points each.

With the qualification series now complete, the thirty boat gold and twenty-nine boat silver fleets are decided and the nations in the hunt for World Championship podium places and Olympic Qualification slots are determined.

The 470 Men gold and silver fleets will have two races on Wednesday 14 October, starting after the 470 Women.

Top five, 470 Men, after 5 races:
1. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan, AUS, 5 points
2. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic, CRO, 15
3. Luke Patience/Elliot Willis, GBR, 16
4. Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov, RUS, 16
5. Matthias Schmid/Florian Reichstaedter, AUT, 16

Overnight leaders Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska of Poland hold firm in the lead, able to discard their 36th from race 4. Defending World Champions Lara Vadlau/Jola Ogar (AUT) up their game to score a 2,1 and accelerate to second overall, whilst Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) maintain third place on the scoreboard.

Two races on Wednesday 12 October for the 470 Women, with a scheduled starting time of 1300 hours.

Top five, 470 Women, after 4 Races
1. Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska, POL, 8 points
2. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar, AUT, 9
3. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark, GBR, 13
4. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie, NZL, 17
5. Anne Haeger/Briana Provancha, USA, 21

New Regatta Director Appointed For Cowes Week
Organisers of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week are delighted to announce the appointment of Phil Hagen as Regatta Director. Phil takes the reins from Stuart Quarrie, who retired following this year's regatta in August.

Phil is no stranger to Cowes Week, having started as a course setter 11 years ago. After four years he progressed to Course-Setting Coordinator, responsible for the planning and management of the course setting and race progress teams. Phil is an experienced yacht racer and has competed in many European events in a wide range of yachts including helming in the 6 metre and Farr 45 classes and race navigation on a 135ft Classic.

Phil is also a qualified race officer and has run a number of national championships in the Solent. In 1998, as Project Director, he was responsible for the planning, PR and operational delivery of the Cable & Wireless Adventurer, a successful round the world record attempt by a motor vessel. The success and record of 72 days still hold today.

Phil will join the team in early October and replaces Stuart Quarrie who, after seventeen years with CWL, has departed to spend more time racing and cruising with his family.

Next year's regatta takes place from the 6-13 August and more information is at

The IDEC Sport Maxi-Trimaran Has Been Launched
Photo by Jean Marie LIOT / DPPI. Click on image to enlarge.

IDEC After three weeks carrying out a brief refit at the Multiplast yard in Vannes, Francis Joyon and his team launched the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran (ex Groupama 3) today (Friday). She will go on stand-by for the Jules Verne Trophy in late October. This is another step forward for Joyon, who is due to carry out his first sailing trips next week with a crew of just five, whose names will be revealed at IDEC SPORT's christening ceremony on 14th October in La Trinite-sur-Mer in Southern Brittany.

Planning to go on stand-by in late October for the Jules Verne Trophy, Francis Joyon wants to begin training quickly, and will probably be out sailing next week. There are plenty of new things for the fastest solo sailor in the world to discover in the near future, as he will be attempting his first crewed record.

Joyon has chosen to tackle the Jules Verne Trophy with a crew of just five


Designers: VPLP team (Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prevost)
Previous names: Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII
Length: 31.50 m
Beam: 22.50 m
Displacement: 18,000 kg
Draught: 5.70 m
Mast height: 33.50 m
Structure: carbon-Nomex
Upwind sail surface: 411 m2
Downwind sail surface: 678 m2
Initial launch date: June 2006
Initial launch date in the colours of IDEC SPORT: 2nd October 2015

Seahorse November 2015
For you to devour in the latest issue...

Seahorse Magazine

Maxi 72 world champion tactician (sounds good!) Terry Hutchinson has a good month, Jack Griffin on the increasing pace of AC45F... and now AC50 development. But Frederico Pinheiro is not impressed

Pedalling fast
BAR Technical Director Andy Claughton sets out some of the tasks ahead for his team

Does length matter?
Not as much as it did and not as much as we might still think says Juan Kouyoumdjian

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Jotun Cup: The Night Challenge Between UFO Boats
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

WHAT Racing at night, a few metres away from the Molo Audace. Tacking and gybing buoys close to moored boats waiting for the Barcolana Regatta. Reviving a challenge that for more than ten years has seen the crews and owners of one-design class boats, among which about ten UFO 28 boats - quick and nimble one-design class boats - challenge each other and do everything to beat their opponents. This is what Barcolana Jotun Cup is all about.

The Barcolana would not be complete without the regatta "By Night": the sun sets, the floodlights are switched on and the breeze is waited for. As the start signal is given, the ancient "feud" between crews breaks out again: a regatta that turns into a show for thousands of people crowded on the quays on the evening before the Barcolana Regatta.

The Barcolana By Night Jotun Cup was organized in association with the Italian Navy League Trieste Division and Yacht Club Adriaco and was held last Friday night.

Fancy Dinner At The Cutty Sark?
Once every decade or so the world's sail training organisations come together for a transatlantic tall ships race, bringing young people together from all over the world. The Rona Sailing Project ( and, which has been taking young people from all walks of life to sea for over 50 years, is hoping to enter its flagship yacht "Rona II" into the "Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta", so that more than 120 teenagers can enjoy a unique maritime adventure taking them from Greenwich, England to Sines (Portugal), Bermuda, Boston, Quebec and Le Havre. In doing so they will be stretched to the limit, succeeding only through teamwork, trust and tolerance: lessons that will remain with them throughout their lives. After the race, the fully refitted "Rona II" will return ready to serve for a further decade, taking a further 2,000 to sea.

To prepare "Rona II", her afterguard and crew for the race is a huge effort, and to start this the Rona Sailing Project are holding a fundraising dinner at the world famous "Cutty Sark" clipper ship at the race's start venue, Greenwich. The black tie evening, Friday March 11th 2016, will comprise a champagne reception, a talk by the ship's curator and opportunity to tour the ship, and a three course dinner with wine, served directly under the ship's gleaming copper hull. It promises to be an unforgettable evening in remarkable surroundings, contributing to a worthwhile cause.

Tickets are available by cheque payable to "Rona Trust Atlantic Challenge" from Chris Stedman, 152 Green Lane, Chislehurst, BR7 6AY, or online at

For further information please email

Sebastien Destremau & Faceocean: 7th Official Entry For The  Vendee Globe
Sebastien Destremau Following 8,000 nautical miles and 42 days at sea from Cape Town (South Africa), FaceOcean is safely docked in Toulon (Carre du Port).

"I am absolutely delighted to have been confirmed as the seventh official entry for the Vendee Globe 2016. Seven is my lucky number. This official confirmation is a very good thing and it has allowed us to choose one of the best spots in Port Olona for the previous days leading up to the Big Race"

Meanwhile, FaceOcean will be sailing daily over the next couple of weeks with guests and media in the bay of Toulon. Early November she will be put on the hard stand for a long winter refit , before being re-launched in March for a busy sporting calendar.

"The Vendee Globe is a Solo race indeed ... but I do not want to do it alone ... Hence I invite you to get onboard FaceOcean,  to put your photo of the hull and to participate in the Vendee Globe's adventure with me... As a Fan, you might be able to win my boat 100% for Free ... Have a look on "

Already supported by over 1000 fans and 323 Crew-Members, our goal is to embark the World largest sailing community for attempting to climb the Everest of the Seas: The Vendee Globe.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new World Record

Record: Cowes to Dinard. Outright record.
Yacht: Phaedo 3. MOD 70
Names: Lloyd Thornberg USA and Brian Thompson GBR plus a crew of 5.
Dates:.22nd September 2015.
Start time: 07;47;58 UTC on 22/09/15
Finish time: 12;36;55 UTC on 22/09/15
Elapsed time: 4 hours 48 minutes and 57 seconds
Distance: 138 NM
Average speed: 28.66 kts

Previous record: "Lending Club". Laplanche/Breymaier. USA. April 15. 5h 14m 47s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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Huge potential with this out and out racer.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

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