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

Transat Jacques Vabre
While a high pressure ridge threatens to slow the Ultime's positive progress south, the good news for the highly competitive IMOCA class is that the leaders have reached the awaited windshift which has allowed them to point their bows south west, out of the worst of a low pressure and at least in the direction of the finish line some 4800 miles away in Itajaí. But for the Class 40s and some of the later IMOCAs a new low pressure is the next big threat. 35 of the entry of 42 boats are still heading for Itajai

* Lemonchois and Bilou Rescued

Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain whose Ultime multi Prince de Bretagne capsized just after 1900hrs UTC Monday night, 140 miles NW of La Coruna resisted the option of activating their distress beacon and seeking outside assistance for as long as possible. But with 30kts winds this afternoon and four metres waves and the prospect of 40kts tomorrow Wednesday they triggered their beacon this afternoon around 1520hrs UTC. They consulted with their partners and shore team, keeping up to date with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction, and in the end the skippers safety is the main priority. CROSS Gris Nez and MRCC Madrid successfully coordinated their evacuation and by 1700hrs UTC the pair were in a helicopter.

* Safran retires:

After a good start to the Transat Jacques Vabre, Morgan Lagraviere and Nicolas Lunven were forced to turn back home last night. The cause was a crack in the hull at the starboard foil that generated a leak. It is impossible to continue the race in this condition. Contacted this morning, the Safran duo are headed for Brest where they are expected as night falls.

"The foil area is damaged on the starboard side," Lagraviere said. "The damage has spread around the area and water is seeping into the boat. We quickly tacked to get the damaged section of the hull out of the water. At the time of the incident, the conditions were intense but not extreme. There were 25-knots of wind and 3-4 metres of swell. The sea was not particularly rough and we didn't hear a particular sound."

Top three in class at 27/10/15 - 18h30

1. Le Conservateur, Yannick Bestaven / Pierre Brasseur
2. V and B, Maxime Sorel / Sam Manuard
3. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Troussel / Corentin Horeau

1. Ciela Village, Thierry Bouchard / Oliver Krauss
2. Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol / Cesar Dohy
3. FenetreA Prysmian, Erwan le Roux / Giancarlo Pedote

1. Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies / Charlie Dalin
2. Le souffle du Nord, Thomas Ruyant / Adrien Hardy
3. PRB, Vincent Riou / Sebastien Col

1. Sodebo, Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias
2. Macif, Francois Gabart / Pascal Bidegorry
3. Actual, Yves le Blevec / Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant

A Catch Up With Lizzy Foreman Before The Start Of Leg 2
Peta Stuart-Hunt chats with the 25 year-old British solo sailor Lizzy Foreman before she sets sail on the final 2,770nm leg of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe to Guadeloupe on 31st October in 'Hudson Wight', Hull 633, a 10-year old Series Mini 6.50m.

Lizzy is expecting to take around 20 days to reach Guadeloupe. The date by which all the competitors need to finish, in order to qualify for a place, is November 28th.

Her flight to Paris is booked for 29th November, so she's feeling reasonably confident!

PSH: Lizzy, you have already endured some very long days alone at sea during your first leg experience and now you will have been in Lanzarote for a month before setting of again on Saturday on Leg 2, a 20-day voyage of 2,770nm. How are you feeling?

LF: The stopover has been long for sure and when I leave Lanzarote my priority is to crack the hardest tactical point of the race, getting into the trade winds - much of the overall result of this race is going to be about getting in to these winds ASAP. The fleet will have to decide the best route to take leaving the Canary Islands (considering wind acceleration affects and the position of any low pressures), and then pick the best route around any low pressures we experience along the way.

PSH: What's your biggest worry setting off on Saturday?

LF: To be honest my worst nightmare is breaking something major like the mast or keel; but I'm most nervous about making a silly strategic error and finishing later than everybody else. The only upside being a good welcome on the pontoon!

I'm really looking forward to getting going again. We've been here for a month and eventually you start to feel nervous and stressed about what's going to happen next. I need to get into those trade winds and let everything settle.
Twitter: @lizzyracing
Facebook: Lizzy Offshore Racing

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

Korean Conclusion Of The 2015 Wim Series
Once again the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race marks the conclusion of a WIM Series season. A dozen of the world's leading women match racing sailors have come to Korea, but only a quartet can still win the 2015 WIM Series and the coveted Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy. The American Epic Racing team, with ordinary skipper Stephanie Roble, is leading World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby by just 7 points in the Series' standings, with Swede Anna Östling and Anne-Claire Le Berre of France respectively 12 and 14 points from the top spot.

On the Grand Finale in Busan, Roble herself will, however, not be able to attend: "I'm extremely bummed I won't be in Busan with Epic Racing. I had a previous commitment to sail the Etchells Worlds in Hong Kong, where I will be defending the title from 2014" she explains.

Substituting for Roble is professional sailor and long time Epic Racing crew Maggie Shea, Sailing Director of the Chicago Match Race Center and a US Sailing Team member aiming for the 2016 Olympics in the 49er FX.

With the rich prize pool of USD 100 000 for the event and USD 40 000 for the WIM Series, there is a lot for the sailors to be fighting for. The eighth edition of the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race will be raced October 28 - November 1 on historic sailing waters, with the torch from the 1988 Olympics still to be seen close to the Haeundae Beach. The boats

Skippers in the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series:

Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN
Anna Ostling, SWE
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA
Pauline Courtois, FRA
Caroline Sylvan, SWE
Milly Bennett, AUS
Katie Spithill, AUS
Denise Lim, SIN
Renee Groeneveld, NED
Diana Kissane, IRL
Sung Eun Choi, KOR
Maggie Shea (substituting for Stephanie Roble), USA

Three Peaks Yacht Race
The Three Peaks Yacht Race is one of the oldest and most remarkable multi-sport endurance races in the world. It is a unique event combining sailing, running and a little cycling; with the quirky feature that rowing is allowed in moments of calm. It takes competitors through some of the most spectacular scenery that the United Kingdom has to offer and truly challenges the sailors' navigational expertise.

Teams of four or five per yacht sail from Barmouth on the west coast of Wales up to the finish in Fort William on the west coast of Scotland. Two of the crew are required to climb each of the highest mountains in Wales, England and Scotland en route, thereby running the equivalent of three marathons in 3 or 4 days.

Entries are now open and the organisers would welcome enquiries. There is an early bird discount; £800 till the 1st March and £900 after.

Please email for further information. -- Sophie Bubb

5 Tips: Reaching And Downwind Starts - Some Advice From Sir Ben Ainslie
Four times Olympic Gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie talks to Matthew Sheahan about the best ways to tackle an unconventional start, which can be difficult to get right

The cut and thrust and elbow-shoving of a typical start is mostly about wrestling your way to the front of the queue. We all know the drill: assess the bias on the line, aim to start as close to the favoured end as possible while also carving out enough space around you to put your bow down and accelerate in the closing seconds. When the strategy falls short and you get covered to windward and/or squeezed from to leeward, it's time to bail out and look for a lane out on port.

But how does the plan change for a reaching or downwind start?

On the face of it, the close-quarters jostling and the tension are absent, making the process feel more civilised. Yet the reality is that this kind of start is even more critical than a windward one unless you get clear air and a perfect lane.

Ben's advice in Yachting World:

20-Year-Old Fremantle-Geraldton Record Tumbles
When Adrienne Cahalan's Whitbread 60 Elle Racing pumped out its water ballast and flew from Fremantle to Geraldton in a howling tailwind in 1996, she carved out the 220 nautical miles in a staggering 17 hours and 18 minutes. Garth Curran's Walk on the Wild Side twice recorded sub 20 hour times but was thwarted in his record attempt by morning calms near the finish, while the tiny 36 foot Bakewell-White designed General Lee sailed by Paul Eldrid and Scott Disley, went even better in 2010 when they came within an hour of Elle Racing's record.

In conditions which were generally lighter than ideal for a downwind sleigh ride, Craig Carter teamed up with principal helmsman and sail maker Paul Eldrid for a serious tilt at the record in the Carkeek 47, Indian. When they led the fleet into Geraldton Harbour and crossed the line at 6:41am on Saturday, they achieved what no boat had been able to before them in shaving seven minutes off Elle Racing's record.

Extreme 40 Racing Catamaran Marstrom Composites 2009
Extreme 40 Fleet for Sale Price: On Application

Length: 40'
Hull Material: Composite
Current Price: On application

With the Extreme Sailing Series™ adopting a new boat for 2016, there is a unique opportunity to purchase a fleet of up to 10 Extreme 40 catamarans as a set, or individually, that are priced to sell.

Superfast, exciting to sail and to watch, the Extreme 40 catamaran was developed by TornadoSport in 2005 to bring sailing to the public on short courses in stadium settings.

Built in carbon-fibre, these "flying machines" are 40ft long and have a beam of 23ft. They have a top speed of around 40 knots. Complete with sails, shipping container, with spares and road container negotiable, these well-maintained boats could offer excellent corporate entertainment or activation around another race campaign.

Available from mid-December to ship from Europe/Australia/GCC.

Please contact

New Skipper For Qingdao
Highly accomplished ocean racing skipper and instructor Bob Beggs is to take the helm aboard Qingdao in Cape Town for the remainder of its global Clipper 2015-16 Race campaign. The former British Army commando led the winning team in The Times Clipper 2000 Round the World Race.

Beggs, 55, is a successful ocean racing veteran. He achieved his first Atlantic crossing under sail in a Camper Nicholson ketch in 1988. He led Bristol Clipper to victory in The Times Clipper 2000 Race and is an experienced sailing instructor. Among his many racing campaigns are five Fastnet races as skipper, numerous Trans-Atlantic and Round Britain and Ireland races. In addition he has a wide range of activity interests which include diving, parachuting and skiing.

He replaces Skipper Igor Gotlibovych, who left the race following its arrival in South Africa.

Aoife's Special Sailing Talent Points Howth Towards The Olympics
With a disappointing showing by the Irish squad in the pre-Olympic Regatta in Rio in August, hopes are not high for our performance in the 2016 Sailing Olympics at this light wind city venue, which has already been the subject of heated debate about the specific racing locations, and the water quality. W M Nixon takes up the story, and looks at the possible new turn in the Irish lineup.

Pure sailing talent is such a beautiful thing that we should give it all the support we can, and out to the northeast of Dublin there's an impressive "Howth Can Do It" movement getting under way on the Peninsula to ensure that one of our own, 17-year-old Aoife Hopkins, gets all the support we can find in order to fulfill a remarkable talent which has developed prodigiously in recent months.

From being a child sailing star in the Spring of this year, Aoife Hopkins in the Autumn finds herself with near-adult status despite having only recently turned seventeen. And it's an adult status which has brought with it a rising world ranking in the Laser Women's Radial class which entitles her to compete for the Irish place - already secured for us by 2012's fourth-placed Olympian Annalise Murphy - in the Laser Women's Radial class in the Rio Olympics next August.

WM Nixon in Afloat magazine:

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 agree with James Troup on the importance of Celestial Nav, after all no one has (yet) figured out how to apply selective availability to the sun or the stars - much more reliable.

Featured Brokerage
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