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

Ayton, Burling & Tuke Win Isaf Rolex Sailor Awards
Carlo Croce, President of the International Sailing Federation announced the winners this evening crowning Sarah Ayton, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke as the 2015 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year.

This year's winners of the male ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award are the talented duo from New Zealand campaigning in the 49er for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have dominated the sailing scene over the last year, winning ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, while also competing in the America's Cup World Series with Emirates Team New Zealand.

Currently preparing for the 49er Worlds, the pair could not attend the ceremony.

Double Olympic gold medalist and the only female competing in the Extreme Sailing Series, Sarah Ayton (GBR) was awarded the female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

These prestigious Awards, sponsored by Rolex since 2001, are the highest recognition a sailor can achieve and are based on a sailor's results over a twelve-month period (eg. from September 2014 to the end of September 2015).

Last Night Nerves?
Rather than see their position eroded in any way during what should be their final day at sea, Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA class leaders Vincent Riou and Sebastien Col have actually bolstered their lead. They have added more than 20 miles since passing the latitude of Rio and now have 71 miles in hand with 245 miles to sail between them and victory in Itajai.

With only a few miles to until they reach the actual latitude of Itajai itself, the top duo are taking no chances, setting up a classic defensive position against Armel Le Cleac'h and Erwan Tabarly on Banque Populaire VIII. They are waiting as late as possible to turn right, to gybe in directly towards the finish line. Riou is on track for his second, back to back IMOCA class victory in the Transat Jacqes Vabre. The only other skippers to have won the premier monohull class twice in consecutive years are Yves Parlier, triumphing in 1993 on his own and 1997 with Eric Tabarly. Three times winner Jean Pierre Dick won consecutively in 2005 and 2007.

The forecast is for a tricky finish, as second placed Armel Le Cleac'h confirmed today from second placed Banque Populaire VIII : "The winds will be very light, there will be stormy gusts and a real mix. In these conditions gaps can open or close quickly. If we have any chance to win, believe me we will go for it." But bear in mind that this morning in Itajai the scene was more like an English horror movie, swirling fog, no wind at all, glassy seas and high humidity.

Mini Transat: A Game Of Tacking And Of Luck
In both the prototypes and series, the race leaders have opened up the lead. However, behind them, the gaps are closing.

In the series, the duel between Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) and Julien Pulve (Novintiss) is hotting up. Ian took the lead of the fleet for 0.4 miles. The two of them sailed and constantly monitored each other on the AIS, as their routes were so close to each other.

Behind them, Tanguy Le Turquais (Terreal) opened up a small lead over a group of three sailors : Edouard Golbery (Les Enfants du Canal), Armand de Jacquelot (We Van) and Edwin Thibon (Cœur Fidèle).

There are still 600 miles to go for the boats chasing Frederic Denis (Nautipark) who is still in the lead, and anything can happen. But to show strength at the end of a marathon is one of the best signals that a competitor can send to his adversaries.

Ranking 10th November at 6pm (TU+1)

1. Frederic Denis, Nautipark, 540.9 nm to finish
2. Luke Berry, Association Reves, 60.4 nm to leader
3. Ludovic Mechin, Microvitae, 63.6
4. Michele Zambelli, Illumia, 69.8
5. Clement Bouyssou, Le Bon Agent - Bougeons l'Immobilier, 90.5

1. Julien Pulve, Novintiss, 724 nm to finish
2. Ian Lipinski, Entreprises Innovantes, 0.7 nm to leader
3. Tanguy Le Turquais, Terreal, 55.7
4. Edouard Golbery, Les Enfants du Canal, 85.9
5. Armand De Jacquelot, We van, 102.4

SK2 - Salon Nautique Du Leman!
Click on image for SK2 Videos

The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd.

After a fantastic season with two tours around Central Europe SK2 is now showcasing at the Salon du Leman in Geneve, Palexpo, 13-15-15 of November 2015. Invited by our Swiss agent Sailing Corner we are delighted to attend this exclusive boat show.

For more information on the SK2 and what it has to offer visit

ISAF AGM To Hear Portuguese Proposal To Disband Council
Polluted Olympic waters is by no means the only embarrassment on the table for the blazers attending in Sanya.

The fundamental governance structure of ISAF is in question, with a proposal from Portugal to disband Council to be considered at the AGM. The remote and costly nature of this year's meeting in Sanya has resulted in a smaller than usual turnout of smaller nations who might support this move.

The woes of the Sailing World Cup will also be discussed, with rescue proposals being placed on the agenda by ISAF, who acknowledged that 'the Final is a long way from being a compelling event that attracts top sailors'. In this year's final two classes were cancelled for lack of entries, one class had only six boats and only two classes attracted the full complement of 20 boats.

Shipwreck Capital Of The World
The "ancient shipwreck capital of the world" containing at least 22 sunken vessels some dating back 2,500 years old has been found in a small Greek archipelago.

The "once in a lifetime discovery" was in the middle of an ancient trade route from Egypt to Cyprus.

The wrecks date from 700 BC to the 16th century were found within the past fortnight in the first ever underwater archaeological expedition to the islands in the Eastern Aegean.

More than half are from the Late Roman Period around 300 to 600 AD.

The wrecks in the Fourni archipelago shedding light on ancient trade routes linking the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, Cyprus, the Levant, and Egypt.

There Will Be A New Champion
There are not many events where beforehand such a statement can be made but with the 11th China Club Challenge Match the finals held in Wu Yuan Wan (Wu Yuan Bay) that was the only certainty.

The format normally leads, not to a champion, but the right to challenge last year's champ, the 'Defender'. Sadly the team who won the 'Club Cup' as it is often called in China having lost their sponsors couldn't attend.

That did not, however, take away from the quality of much of the racing and a heady schedule lay in store for the race officials with 16 teams entered having qualified through the fleet racing element a few weeks before.

Although there were sailors from 6 or 7 different countries, all teams primarily do their sailing in Greater China making this truly a regatta that develops and helps improve standards in our sport in China and right from the get go it was busy out there on the water.

A couple of further teams withdrawals, perhaps knowing their limits gave a couple of byes along the way but the expected teams then faced off in Day 3's final and petite final.

The form team, Hero Racing from Hong Kong had it pretty much their own way showing what sailing with a familiar team and in multiple events (talent helps as well of course) hardly missed a beat from their first race of the event until they crossed the finish line in the final with a 3-1 advantage.

So, just 11 months before competitors are back in Xiamen for the elimination round for the 12th China Club Challenge Match and as I was told by a number of competitors they were going to do better next year they better get out there practicing because every year the standard just gets better and better.

As an adjunct, it was interesting to read that the ISAF Match Racing Committee at the ISAF Annual meeting in Sanya yesterday announced that the World Match Racing Tour is, from 2016 moving to a format which starts with fleet racing to eliminate some of the teams before moving to match racing for the top teams, something the China Club Challenge Match has been doing for several years - where China leads sometimes... -- Alistair Skinner

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Returns To Portsmouth 21-24 July 2016.
Early bird tickets are on sale now - find out more

What's on offer?

The Race Village - Be part of the action. Part of the crew.
Get under the skin of the 'America's Cup' - see the sailors close-up, learn about the racing and the technology. Experience the exhilarating boats racing, with live commentary and big screens giving a blow-by-blow account as the teams reach incredible speeds.

The 'Race Village' includes:

- Team Zone - see the sailors close-up
- Main stage with world class MC's.
- Dock out/in show with the sailors.
- Large screens and audio commentary
- America's Cup technology zone
- Dedicated kid's zone, retail outlets and food & drink offerings.

The Race Village + Premier Grandstand Seating
Upgrade your 'Race Village' ticket with a dedicated grandstand seat for the day. The Premier Grandstand offers fantastic views of the racing with live audio race commentary.

The Sailors Lounge
A 'pop-up sailing club' dedicated to those who want the full sporting experience. The package includes a dedicated premier grandstand seat, private 'sports' bar, lunch and drinks voucher, 'Race Village' queue jump, special guest speakers and live screen with audio commentary broadcasting the racing.

Yachting Australia Announces The Australian Yachting Championship
Yachting Australia today announced a new name for what was known as the IRC Australian Championship and confirmed the locations of this premier yachting regatta for the next four years. The Australian Yachting Championship provides the opportunity to secure the future of Australian IRC, ORCi and PHS racing, providing the highest quality of competition in a variety of locations.

Following consultation and a review with competitors and boat owners in those categories over the past 12 months, the Board of Yachting Australia have approved a name change to the Australian Yachting Championship, previously IRC Australian Championship, aimed at increasing the profile and awareness of the regatta and the high performance of the competitors.

Also approved was the locations of the Championship for the next four years to allow time for owners and crew to schedule their attendance. Yachting Australia will work with the Host Clubs to prepare for the Championship and deliver a successful event, meeting the expectations of competitors, partners, media and other stakeholders.

A bid process has recently been completed with Clubs invited to apply to host the event in the next three years with applications received from Clubs in five States. Balancing the Clubs' performance, experience and infrastructure against a criteria including racing, off-water access, scheduling and location has resulted in Host Clubs being finalised for the next four years of competition.

2016 - Hamilton Island Yacht Club - August 20-27
2017 - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia - March
2018 - Sandringham Yacht Club - January
2019 - Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania - January

Clipper Race Leaders Claim Scoring Gate Rewards
In the Wardan Whip's first bonus opportunity, LMAX Exchange secured the maximum three points for being first across the Scoring Gate at 1425 UTC yesterday.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire picked up two points crossing almost seven hours later, and Qingdao, third, claimed the final point.

Blustery, bouncy conditions have meant surging boat speeds, lots of reefing practice and multiple sail change exercises which at least help to keep the on watch crew warm in the frigid Southern Ocean climes.

Explaining his decision to stay furthest south of the fleet, approximately 15 nautical miles north of the Ice Gate, Garmin Skipper Ash Skett says: "So we did end up heading towards Antarctica for a while yesterday, but it wasn't to flatten the boat in order to have steak for dinner (although we did and it was beautiful), it was to try to skirt a potential wind hole, putting all our faith in the accuracy of the weather files to try to make gains on those ahead.

"As it stands we are doing more or less the same speeds as our rivals, Mission Performance and GREAT Britain which have headed north to try to get around the top of it. Only time will tell which tactic pays off but whatever happens it was worth a go!"

Race standings / viewer:

New Boat Builds
From Seahorse magazine in cooperation with the Spinlock Special Projects Team

IRC 52

Utilising Vrolijk's latest TP52 hull but much lighter (7,290kg) without internal ballast, the VPP shows a big performance gain compared to existing TP52 designs

Designer - Judel-Vrolijk
Builder - Premier Composites
First Launch - March 2015



Plenty of form stability plus a deep-draught carbon fin and heavy bulb combine to give this natural sibling of the successful MC38 tremendous power to make maximum use of the generous sail plan

Designer - Dunning & Associates
Builder - Premier Composites
First Launch - April 2015


Ker 40+

Lighter in displacement than its race-winning predecessor, the new Ker 40+ features a deeper fin as well as an increase in reserve volume forward

Designer - Ker Yacht Design
Builder - McConaghy Boats
First Launch - February 2015



Curved C-profile daggerboards and T-foil rudders to improve performance and reduce pitching in a seaway

Designer - Morrelli & Melvin
Builder - HH Catamarans
First Launch - August 2015

Featured Brokerage
1989 69' McCurdy & Rhodes Sloop - GRACIE. 749000 USD. Located in Portsmouth, RI - USA.

Beautifully crafted Classic Cruiser Racer with grand pedigree. This 69' McCurdy & Rhodes Sloop is perfect for admiring glances and ocean crossings.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
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