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

49er And 49er Fx Worlds Day 1
Buenos Aires, Argentina. The sun has risen and the men and women of the 49er and 49er FX fleets have begun the first day of the 2015 World Championship.

The weather for day one presented an ENE early with a bit of hazy sunlight, and reasonably warm temperature of 26 degrees. Just hot enough to get the FX sailors seeking shade and trying to stay alert before their fleet headed out.

The men's 49er fleet started in the morning session with the breeze slowly switching from ENE to a more Easterly 6-10 knot wind. Consistency was not the name of the game for most of the sailors in each group. Notable sailors whom usually place well in the top ten, and from the previous South Americans sailed very much all over the board. Sailors all noted it was quite difficult to read the patterns because, well, there weren't any really! Currently standing in the top three places are: 1st- Croatia's Kostov/ Cupac, 2nd- Spain's Paz Blanco/ Paz, and 3rd - Poland's Przybytek/Kolodzinski.

For the women's 49er FX fleet the afternoon posed a bit steadier direction in same ENE vein, but the pressure variance was between 4-14 knots. They might've had more breeze to start but as the races were sailed, the breeze pressure slowly dropped making the final race a pretty light one! Apart from the top ten finishers, some higher point finishes were common amongst mid fleet in this final race.

Currently standing in the top three slots are: 1st- Denmarks' Nielsen/Olsen, 2nd-France's Steyaert/Compan, And 3rd- Italy's Conti/Clapcich. Denmark's Nielsen and Olsen had a slam dunk of a day winning the first three races and throwing out only a 5th place finish. Countries yet to qualify for the women's fleet from Norway and Ireland sit both in the top ten.

The FX fleet will start tomorrow leaving the 49er fleet to hopefully see more breeze come in during their afternoon session. Wind forecast is looking similar to today's and possible chance of thunderstorms early AM.

Can Le Conservateur Hang On?
Approaching Cabo Frio, to the east of Rio, there are now just 20 miles separating the top two Class40s in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Long time leaders Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur on Le Conservateur have opted to gybe inshore and are in light upwind conditions, closing to the cape while rivals Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on V and B have stayed offshore looking to be first to a SE'ly shift in the breeze but risking sailing more miles. But with 500 miles of racing to go until the finish line in Itajai, the ourtcome of Class 40 might be decided in the next few hours.

Their only real title rivals are going 'round the outside' at 8kts. Having spent three days snared in the real Doldrums as V and B caught three hundred miles, Bestaven and Brasseur must have concerns that a tropical Doldrums will swallow them again, but this could go to a close match race to the finish.

Brazilian Olympic gold medallist Eduardo Penido and co-skipper Renato Araujo on Zentra are 49 miles ahead of a chasing trio of Class40s lined up side by side, drag racing in the SE'ly trades. Philippa Hutton Squire and Pip Hare, the South African and British girls duo, still hold a narrow lead in this group and are slightly faster this afternoon.

They Are Partners Of The Yacht Racing Forum. Why Don't You Join Too?
Yacht Racing Forum The Yacht Racing Forum will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 7-8.

We are very proud to count some of the world's key industry players amongst our partners, including: Volvo Ocean Race, Gaastra, Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image, Gurit, GeoRacing, Spinlock, Marine Camera Solutions, Bol d'Or Mirabaud, Hydros, Composite Inspections, iCon, Virtual Regatta, World Match Race Tour, Icarius Sailing Media and several faithful official suppliers.

No less than ten international media have also joined the event as official media partners.

Our goal is to develop this event with a long term vision. If you consider joining the Yacht Racing Forum as a partner in the future, we suggest you come and visit us in 2015 in order to make up your mind.

If you become a partner in 2016, we will reimburse your 2015 entry fee.


Seven Sailors Inducted Into World Sailing's Hall Of Fame
In 2007 the International Sailing Federation celebrated its centenary and to mark the occasion, introduced a Hall of Fame.

Olin Stephens, Dame Ellen Macarthur, Paul Elvstrom, Barbara Kendall, Eric Tabarly and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston were all inducted in the first instance.

They have been joined by seven new inspirational sailors who have been honoured at the 2015 Annual Conference.

These individuals have made a significant impact on the water, but also with their remarkable attitudes and dedication to sailing whilst onshore. They have all in their own way helped shape the sport we enjoy today.

The inductees are:
Dennis Conner
Alessandra Sensini
Harold Vanderbilt (1884 - 1970)
Sir Peter Blake (1948 - 2001)
Buddy Melges
Valentin Mankin (1938 - 2014)
Torben Grael

Sailors will be inducted into the Hall of Fame every third year of the Executive Committee's tenure. The next induction will be in 2019.

Foiling Moth Is First Around Hong Kong
Marriott Rewards Around The Island Race 2015
Starting at 0830hrs this morning at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Causeway Bay, 232 boats gathered on two start lines in 8 to 10kts of easterly breeze hoping to be able to race the full 26nm circumnavigation to starboard.

After getting all the classes on the outer line away without a single boat starting ahead of time, Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen took the committee boat to port to check whether the breeze extended through the western approaches and, more importantly, if there was enough to keep the fleet moving through Cyberport.

Finding adequate breeze, Stompf-Jepsen noted the scorching progress of RHKYC Coach, Rob Partridge on his International Moth, who had already passed through the second of two check-in gates at Cyberport and quickly made the decision to allow the fleet to 'go all the way'.

Partridge finished after just over 2 hours and 47 minutes of racing - not a course record but enough to claim Line Honours by a country mile. Next boat to finish was at the other end of the size spectrum, with Frank Pong's 72 foot Jelik completing the course ahead of a mix of big boats, dinghies, one-design keelboats and beach catamarans.

Provisional results and race records:

Ranger To Rainbow: The J Class Yachts
Ranger To Rainbow: The J Class Yachts A perfect Christmas present and a good read. The book 'Ranger to Rainbow' covers the rebirth of the J Class from the late 1990s and includes a short history of these iconic yachts from their origins in the 1930s. It offers an insight into the enormous task of delivering these monster yachts across oceans to the many regattas around the world and racing them.

The book is packed with many technical and sailing images, and covers the build and launch of five new replicas, the technical developments, the crewing and the Class Association.

132 pages A4 packed with colour images.
"What a wonderful account of the past 15 years in the class and how great to have it written by the one who was on board and on the inside of it all. I read it in one go!"

More details at: and also available from leading bookshops and Amazon.
ISBN 978-0-9576156-2-5

A Hawaiian Canoe Crosses The Oceans, Guided By Sun And Stars
Next June, a working replica of a traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe - 62 feet long, double-hulled, with two powerful crab-claw sails - will make its way down the Hudson River, one small leg in a three-year journey.

In a nod to their seafaring ancestors, the crew of 13 will forgo modern navigational equipment - no compass, sextant or GPS devices, not even an iPhone - in favor of wayfinding, a traditional navigational technique that relies on gauging the position of the sun, moon and stars, taking into account variations in ocean currents and wave patterns and even the behavior of fish and birds.

The canoe, known as Hokule'a ("star of gladness"), was built in 1975 by the Polynesian Voyaging Society to promote Hawaiian indigenous culture, in particular the voyaging and navigational traditions that brought Polynesian settlers to the Hawaiian archipelago. Its inaugural voyage in 1976, from Hawaii to Tahiti, was a 2,500-nautical-mile journey marked by a raucous arrival in Papeete Harbor in front of 17,000 people, according to the society.

Since then, the canoe has been traveling around the Pacific trying to help settle the debate about the origins of early Polynesian settlers. In his 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition, the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed from South America to Polynesia on a raft with no modern navigational equipment to demonstrate that South Americans could have settled Polynesia the same way. Heyerdahl's hypothesis was never embraced by most scholars; still, Hokule'a has proved Polynesians were more than capable of the feat.

Joe Harris Begins Record Attempt
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: Joe Harris, of South Hamilton, MA, departed Newport this morning at 09:18:24 EST. Aboard his Class40 GryphonSolo2, he will be attempting to break the 40 Foot Monohull Non-Stop Round the World Record. The existing record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds, set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013. Finishing in Newport, the attempt is an approximate distance of 26,700 nautical miles. To beat the current record, he'll need to average 195 miles per day, or approximately 8.2 knots.

Joe's site:

Industry News
Seventeen boat builders and four equipment manufacturers all in contention for 1st Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement Awards.

The inaugural event, organised jointly by IBI magazine and METSTRADE are designed to recognise individual and team success within boat building companies globally across six categories of business achievement.

The categories involved will highlight success in the following business areas; retail marketing initiatives; international distributor/dealer development; boat builder and equipment manufacturer collaborative solutions; innovative on board design solution; advancement in a production process; individual lifetime achievement award.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner on Wednesday 18th November, 2015 at The National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam.


Ocean Safety will be launching a brand new lifejacket in its Kru range, the Kru Sport 185N at METS this week. The Kru Sport is a new generation design, developed from Ocean Safety's extremely successful Kru Commodore, combining cutting-edge design with technically advanced materials.

Safety and Survival Systems International Ltd (3Si) is a Group backed by August Equity and are the owners of Ocean Safety Ltd, Typhoon International Ltd and International Safety Products Ltd in the UK and Revere Survival Inc. in the USA. The group has a large portfolio of marine safety products and services covering commercial, leisure and military markets. It specialises in high quality customer service and will continue to develop the business on a global basis.


The J-Cup organisers have announced that Landsail Tyres will return as title sponsor of the J-Cup 2016 in Partnership with B&G. The regatta returns to its home club, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, from 8th - 11th June.

Into its 16th year, the J-Cup has attracted strong entry numbers since the very first regatta in 2000. Organisers Key Yachting attribute this to their legion of very dedicated and passionate owners, 66 of which entered the 2015 event. The largest class at the J-Cup was the fast growing J/70 fleet, with one design racing also on offer for the J/80s, J/88s, J/97s, J/109 and J/111s.

The timing of the event, two weeks prior to the IRC National Championships and the Round the Island Race the following weekend, will allow boats that have travelled long distances to compete in three stellar events.


The Round the Island Race website is awarded First Sea Lord's Digital Media Certificate of Merit by The Maritime Foundation

The Race organisers at the Island Sailing Club together with J.P. Morgan Asset Management & their Race Communications teams headed up by Peta Stuart-Hunt for the Race, J.P. Morgan's agency Into the Blue and Next Generation Results (NGR), are honoured to have been nominated for a Maritime Foundation Award this year.

The Race website, designed and maintained by Andrew Rayner and his team at NGR and its entire contents supplied by a mix of internal & external resources - from all the news elements to the comprehensive practical information, plus outstanding imagery, videos and blogging, not to mention the importance of tracking technology and results - received a Certificate of Merit in the First Sea Lord's Digital Media category.


Northrop & Johnson is delighted to welcome Jochen Brill as a Sales Broker in the Palma Office.

Jochen grew up in Spain. After graduating from university with degrees in economics and management, he tried his hand at banking in Barcelona. Jochen then joined the yachting industry as an export manager at Belliure. He has worked for Michael Schmidt brokerage, Newton/Merill Stevens and Dahm International, where he was the brokerage director. Jochen is well known throughout the yachting industry.


Harken today announced a new breed of two-speed winches specifically designed for trimming the hard wing sail on AC48 boats. They feature a set of interchangeable gearing kits that give America's Cup teams the flexibility to create the perfect blend of speed and power for each day's weather and crew configuration. With a ceramic-coated drum, and a nearly empty middle to reduce weight, they will be instantly recognizable on the new generation of winged foiling America's Cup catamarans.

The hollow middle is a first for sailing winches, as are the changeable gear kits. Winches will have seven interchangeable first-speed options and six second-speed options. A 200 mm drum allows fewer wraps, fast trimming and faster easing. Harken produces both standard and counter-rotating versions for correct lead angles from either side of the catamaran.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only Grand Soleil 54. £340,000 inc vat. Located in Hamble, UK.

The perfect cruiser-racer, this Grand Soleil 54 has undergone a continuous programme of professional maintenance and is presented absolutely ready to go. The boat is a wonderful blend of style and performance and is beautifully equipped for both short-handed cruising and for sailing the oceans of the world.

She has performed successfully under IRC at Cowes Week and in RORC offshore programmes. To arrange a test sail in Hamble call Key Yachting, exclusive Grand Soleil agent in the UK & Ireland, open 7 days a week. 02380 455669



The Last Word
In the face of such horror the people of Paris, almost instantly, out of instinct, rebuffed the barbarism of the attacks so completely and so utterly that the terrorists had failed in their mission before the attacks were even over.

Let us remember what the people of Paris did in this moment of darkness. Within an hour of the first explosion, as far as I can tell at this point the #PorteOuverte movement had already begun. A phone number. A hashtag. They all went up seemingly in a flash of collective will. And what everyone was saying is that the doors are open. Anyone stranded in Paris, anyone who needed a place to stay, could have one. Thousands upon thousands of people, in the whirlwind of tremendous fear, made that statement and that sacrifice, without even thinking about it.

And then there were the taxi drivers. The city was on lockdown. People were stranded. The taxi drivers of Paris, instead of removing themselves or, as many might, using the emergency to make money, offered free rides to anyone who needed them. There are times when there is such a thing as a common humanity, and it matters more than anything.

In that stadium, shocked by the sound of detonation, what did they do? They sang the Marseillaise.

The terrorists who try to manipulate the political symbols have met their match in Paris, whose people know how political symbolism works. Paris knows that the vital gesture, the human gesture, affirms life in the face of carnage. -- Charlie Pierce,

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