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

Vendee Globe: One Year Out
The eighth Vendee Globe starts 6th November 2016. So far, 14 skippers have completed their registration and 13 others have completed their pre-registration.

There may well be other contenders, no fewer than 27 sailors have officially said they want to take part. More than half of them (14) have already completed the required paperwork and are officially registered.

Four sailors will be competing for the fourth time in the Vendee Globe in 2016: Vincent Riou, Jean-Pierre Dick, Bertrand de Broc and Jean Le Cam. If they manage to complete the race around the world, Arnaud Boissieres and Armel Le Cleac'h will also have achieved something remarkable: completing three Vendee Globe races in a row.

Coincidentally, the 14 sailors already registered are all French, which is far from the case for the 13 pre-registered, where there are six Frenchmen, but 7 from six other countries: Britain (Alex Thomson), Hungary (Nandor Fa), the USA (Rich Wilson), Italy (Alessandro Di Benedetto). Three other foreign sailors are pre-registered, but wish to remain anonymous before officially announcing their campaigns.

The first 14 officially registered in order

1. Jeremie Beyou / Maitre Coq
2. Tanguy De Lamotte / Initiatives Coeur
3. Vincent Riou / PRB
4. Morgan Lagraviere / Safran
5. Armel Le Cleac'h / Banque Populaire
6. Paul Meilhat / SMA
7. Sebastien Destremau / Face Ocean
8. Eric Bellion / Comme un seul homme-Stand as one
9. Jean-Pierre Dick / StMichel-Virbac
10. Fabrice Amedeo / Newrest-Matmut
11. Sebastien Josse / Edmond de Rothschild
12. Yann Elies / Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir
13. nc
14. Nicolas Boidevezi /

The pre-registered

- Alex Thomson (GB) / Hugo Boss
- Nandor Fa (HUN)- Spirit of Hungary
- Arnaud Boissieres / Le bateau des metiers by Aerocampus
- Bertrand de Broc / MACSF
- Kito de Pavant / Bastide Otio
- Louis Burton / Bureau Vallee
- Rich Wilson (USA) / Great America IV
- Alessandro Di Benedetto (ITA) - n/a
- Jean-François Pellet / Come in Vendee
- Thomas Ruyant / Le Souffle du Nord
- Jean Le Cam - n/a

And two other sailors from outside of France: a Spaniard and a Dutchman. They will each be announcing their project shortly.

RORC Season's Points Championship - 2015 Winners Announced
Winner of IRC Canting Keel class - Mikey Ferguson's Open 60, Artemis Ocean Racing (GBR). Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Click on image for photo gallery.

WHAT The 2015 RORC Season's Points Championship is the world's largest and arguably most competitive offshore yacht racing series. Over nine months, 13 races have been organised for 579 yachts with over 3,000 miles of racing in European and Caribbean locations.

RORC Yacht of the Year
Ian Walker, the first British skipper to win the Volvo Ocean Race will be presenting the prizes, bar one. The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team's Volvo Ocean 65, Azzam, skippered by Walker, has been awarded the RORC Yacht of the Year. Winning the Volvo Ocean Race in a one-design boat, competing against equally experienced sailors over nine gruelling legs with conditions ranging from calm to storm force, has been recognised by the RORC Committee as a truly outstanding achievement and a worthy winner of the Somerset Memorial Trophy.

RORC Season's Points Championship Winner
Gery Trentesaux, campaigning his latest Courrier, a brand new JPK 10.80, Courrier Du Leon has also had an astounding year, culminating in winning one of the most sought after trophies in offshore yacht racing: The Fastnet Challenge Cup for the outright winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race. For his achievements this year Trentesaux will add a further seven trophies to the bulging cabinet which includes the Jazz Trophy for best yacht in IRC Overall, the Grenade Goblet as winner of IRC Three and the Corinthian Meritorious Award.

Full list of trophies and winners (PDF)

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

Save The Date Save A Life
The Storm Trysail Foundation, in cooperation with the Storm Trysail Club, will hold its fourth Hands-On Safety at Sea Seminar at the New York State Maritime College at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, New York on Saturday April 23, 2016.

According to Seminar Chairman Charles (Butch) Ulmer, "This advanced seminar is aimed at serious coastal and offshore sailors, or those who want to be. About half our past attendees are active racers and use the seminar to prepare for the Newport-Bermuda, Transatlantic and other major races. Full ISAF (international) certification is available for those who complete the on-line curriculum, the one- day seminar and then take an online test."

The Hands-On sessions will include: fire fighting, pyrotechnics, survival swimming and life raft deployment, damage control, and actual Man Overboard drills on ocean racing yachts. Firing flares, shooting fire extinguishers, jumping in a pool in full foul weather gear and steering a forty-foot ocean racer is as far as you can get from sitting in a hotel ball-room for eight hours suffering from PowerPoint overload.

This certification meets a requirement for the Bermuda Race.

To get on a list to get more information, e-mail:

M32 Series Bermuda Notice Of Race Published
M32 North America, the organizing authority of the inaugural M32 Series Bermuda has posted the Notice of Race for the Series on the official notice board at

The Bermuda Series will include five events from January to April including a special match racing event on 5-6 March which will allow teams and owners to hone their match racing skills in the M32. This follows the announcement earlier this year that the World Match Racing Tour will be introducing the M32 high-performance catamaran to the World Tour from 2016.

One of the attractions of the M32 Series Bermuda is that the race courses will be set in Bermuda's famous 'Great Sound', the same course for the 35th edition of America's Cup in 2017.

Join Spindrift 2 In Her Round-The-World Record Attempt
Currently on stand-by for the right weather to start their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, Dona Bertarelli, Yann Guichard and their crew present the opportunity to share their adventure.

Spindrift racing has created a new platform devoted entirely to the record attempt. Using your computer, tablet or smartphone, you can explore the history of the Jules Verne Trophy and retrace the steps of the previous record holders. Go behind the scenes, meet the Spindrift 2 crew and see how they organise life on board for 45 days at sea. Experience Spindrift 2 as if you were actually there thanks to video footage of her at the dock, ready to depart.

The fun, accessible, entirely responsive website will be the place to go for daily updates during the around-the-world tour. The logbook will contain messages, photos and videos sent by the crew. Various experts will regularly shed light on the record, while the team's onshore router Jean-Yves Bernot will provide several illustrated weather reports. Finally, once a week, a live video link will provide an even closer experience of life on board.

Yacht Racing Forum: One Month To Go
Yacht Racing Forum The Yacht Racing Forum will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 7-8.

It will be a great event, both informative and fun, and an excellent opportunity to network and do business!

The Yacht Racing Forum will deliver ideas and concepts in three key areas that affect everyone in the yacht racing industry: Business & Marketing, Design & Technology and Risk Management & Safety.


Magnificent Fleet Set For 8th RORC Caribbean 600
Shipping straight to the Caribbean from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race will be Comanche, Jim & Kristy Hinze Clark's American 100ft VPLP/Verdier designed Maxi, which rightly claims to be the fastest monohull in the world for her 24-hour record run (2015 Transatlantic Race, 618.01 nm, averaging 25.75 knots). Comanche races with as many as 29 crew, led by Kenny Read, who was on board George David's Rambler 100 to set the RORC Caribbean 600 course record in 2011 (40 hours 20 mins 02 secs). Given the right conditions, Comanche is very capable of breaking Rambler 100's record.

Joining Comanche in IRC Canting Keel, will be Bouwe Bekking's Dutch Volvo Ocean 65, Team Brunel. This will be the first occasion that the one design round the world yacht has taken part in the RORC Caribbean 600.

In 2015, Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD 70, Phaedo3 set the RORC Caribbean 600 multihull record in 33 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds and will be returning after racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race this November.

Tony Lawson's MOD 70, Concise 10 skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield will match Phaedo3 for straight line speed. Peter Aschenbrenner's Nigel Irens 63, Paradox will struggle to keep up with the larger, lighter rivals, but Paradox has beaten both yachts under the MOCRA rating rule for the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

The 2016 RORC Caribbean 600 will be the first four-boat offshore-showdown in the history of the Maxi 72 Class. Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente lifted the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy in 2015, having scored the best corrected time under IRC. Bella Mente will be joined by Peter Ogden's Jethou, Jan-Henrik Kisteit's Momo and George Sakellaris' Proteus (ex-Ran V). -- Louay Habib

Emma Wilson Wins Sportsaid's One-To-Watch Award
Sixteen-year-old windsurfer Emma Wilson from Christchurch in Dorset has been named by Sir Steven Redgrave as the winner of SportsAid's coveted One-to-Watch Award 2015 at the charity's SportsBall last Thursday night (5 November) in London.

With former recipients including diver Tom Daley, sprinter Jodie Williams and Paralympian Hollie Arnold, Emma said it is an incredible honour to see her name alongside some of her idols.

More success has followed this year for Emma, winning a silver medal at the 2015 youth world windsurfing championships in Poland in July and the Yachting Journalists' Association's Young Sailor of the Year Award back in January.

Now preparing for the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships, which take place in Malaysia next month, Emma was sadly unable to accept the award in person due to ill health but had one of the nation's most successful sportswomen, cycling legend Victoria Pendleton, accept it on her behalf.

The One-to-Watch Award is presented every year at SportsAid's SportsBall to recognise the achievements of the country's most promising young athletes who rely on the charity's financial support to become Britain's next Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. In 2013 the award was presented by SportsAid's patron Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.

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

Record: Windsurfer/10sq m Class
Venue: Luderitz. NAM
Name: Antoine Albeau. FRA
Equipment: RRD Custom 40cm. NeilPryde EVO8 5.2sqm
Date: 2nd November 2015
Course length: 501m
Current: Nil
Start time: 14;33;51.28
Finish time: 14;34;09.56
Elapsed time: 18.28
Speed: 53.27
Previous record: Antoine Albeau. FRA. 2012. Luderitz. NAM 52.05

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Powering Coville Home: "The Most Beautiful Sail I've Ever Had"
Photo by Yvan Zedda - Sodebo. Click on image to enlarge.

North Sails The remaining two Ultime multihulls in the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre completed a testing 5,400 mile track over the weekend. Both MACIF and Sodebo are fully powered by North Sails. The powerful trimarans succeeded in outrunning the worst of the weather as they left Europe in their wake and engaged in an exciting high speed match race across the Atlantic. Ultimately it was the talented Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidegorry on MACIF who claimed a narrow victory ahead of the charismatic Coville and Nelias on Sodebo.

But as he approached the finish line, Coville couldn't help but comment: "I am sat at the nav table on Sodebo and as I looked up out of my window at my mainsail I was thinking: this is the most beautiful mainsail I have ever had." As one of the most experienced offshore sailors in the world with over 25 years racing at the highest level, he's certainly an authority when it comes to sails. Coville's mainsail is 2 years old and has done some serious miles, once again proving North Sails as the leader in durability and performance.

#northsails #TJV2015

The Helleville Festival Of Sail
Click on image to enlarge.

The Helleville Festival Of Sail After 50 years of sailing I still get a real buzz when I see a well handled sailboat, reaching across flat water on a sunny day - specially if it is a wooden sailboat.

In this part of the world that sight is all too common, as every coastal village and settlement is home to outrigger sailing canoes and larger sailing dhows, with lateen sailing rigs.

When we arrived in Helleville, capital of the island Nosy Be in Madagascar, the real extent of this sailing economy became apparent. Literally hundreds and hundreds of sailboats work the coast - some fishing, some carrying cargo, others working as ferries.

Each afternoon they would ghost past us in the anchorage, working to windward on the first flutters of the strengthening sea breeze. The big lateen rigged boats are incredibly quick and will sail seemingly into the eye of the wind, though the lack of any real keel means they sag away to leeward quite a bit.

The sailing canoes here are incredibly fast, and use live (human) ballast to keep the outrigger on the surface when power reaching - the crew walk out onto a timber frame that is cantilevered to port, and so counterbalance the outrigger on starboard.

From the Crystal Blues blog

...with a hat tip to Sail-World Cruising

18FT Skiffs: NSW Championship, Race 2
Photo by Frank QuealeyClick on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: A totally new crew on the 2015-2016 Gotta Love It 7 but the result was all too familiar in Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

John Winning Jr., Nick Catley and Josh Porebski replaced the all-conquering 2014-2015 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage but the new crew showed the class required to reproduce the brilliant performances of the former team.

Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead midway through the race to defeat (David Witt, Tom Clout, Tom Anderson) by 1m8s and has taken the overall lead in the championship, on three points, with two more races still to be sailed.

There was still plenty of action and some great sailing by many crews but the result was never really in doubt from that point as the '7' crew were faultless in the testing conditions.

Race 3 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only GITANA 11. 1320000 Euros.

Ex. Belgacom (until 2004) GITANA 11 was previously an Orma 60 Trimaran, she was lengthened to 77ft in 2009 in order to race in the Route du Rhum 2010.



See the collection at

The Last Word
People ask me what I'd most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday, I tell them, a paternity suit. -- George Burns

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