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

IMOCA Ocean Masters Transat St Barth-Port La Foret
Eight IMOCA 60s are due to compete in the IMOCA Ocean Masters Transat St Barth-Port la Foret. This eastbound transatlantic race sets sail from the French Caribbean island of St Barth this Sunday, 6th December, bound for the Breton short-handed sailing capital, Port la Foret in France, 3,400 miles away.

Previously known as the Transat B to B, the race is traditionally held the year before the Vendee Globe. Previous editions were won by Loick Peyron on Gitana 80 in 2007 and, in 2011, by Francois Gabart's MACIF, the subsequent Vendee Globe winner.

This singlehanded race is important in the calendar, providing IMOCA 60 skippers with valuable solo racing experience, but also qualification miles for the Vendee Globe.

This year for the first time, the Transat St Barth-Port la Foret is being organised by Open Sports Management and forms part of the IMOCA Ocean Masters Championship that runs over 2015-6, culminating in the Vendee Globe. The event follows on from OSM's inaugural IMOCA Ocean Masters New York-Barcelona race last summer and will be followed in 2016 by the Transat New York-Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne).

The skippers competing include a mix of old hands and talented newcomers. Among the former group is Sebastien Josse, who finished fifth in the 2004 Vendee Globe and is entered in the 2016 race with Edmond De Rothschild. Among the line-up of hardware entered, this is the only latest generation VPLP-Verdier design, featuring the latest foil technology that causes the boat to fly partially. Having retired from the Transat Jacques Vabre, Josse will be looking to complete this race in his new speedster.

Another experienced IMOCA skipper, also a three time La Solitaire du Figaro winner, is Yann Elies, skipper of Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, who returns to the IMOCA class aboard the much developed 2008 generation ex-Safran.

Two other noteworthy former Figaro sailors are competing: Paul Meilhat (SMA) and the Safran team's latest skipper, Morgan Lagraviere.

Fabrice Amedeo, Newrest-Matmut
Yann Elies, Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir
Eric Holden, O Canada
Sebastien Josse, Edmond de Rothschild
Paul Meilhat, SMA
Enda O'Coineen, Kilcullen Voyager
Thomas Ruyant, Le Souffle du Nord
Morgan Lagraviere, Safran

Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar Competition
Wight Vodka It's time to put your thoughts into words and send in your nominations for 2015's Favourite Yachting Bar competition! Now in its seventh year, this competition is now tacking and gybing to the starting line! With such venerable establishments being ranked in the top position including the Peter Cafe Sport in the Azores as the World's Favourite in 2009, the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke in the BVI as the winner in 2010, IYAC in Newport, Rhode Island as the Favourite in 2011, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club in 2012, the One Bar Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, Spain in 2013, and one of our distiller's favourites in 2014, the King & Queen Pub in Hamble (pictured at right), we are asking the world's sailors to again scroll through their mobile phones' photo libraries over the last year to jar some memories of your favourite drinking establishments!

From all of the submissions, the team at Wight Vodka will choose the top 10 bars which are put forward for the online voting from Saturday the 19th December to Wednesday the 30th December.

We announce the winner on the 31st December and similar to years past, the Wight Vodka crew calls each of the winning bars on New Year's Eve to congratulate them! It's a great occasion to ring in the New Year and may the best bar win!"

Tell us your favourite:

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Returns To Portsmouth 21-24 July 2016.
ACWS Portsmouth 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.

24 Hours From Grenada
Day six of the RORC Transatlantic Race, and Phaedo3 & Concise 10/Ms Barbados are expected to finish the race Friday. Nomad IV leads the charge of the Maxis. Tales II makes up for lost time and Zed 6 finally heads south.

The two MOD 70s lit the after-burners on Day 5, scorching through the Atlantic with an incredible straight-line speed in excess of 30 knots. Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson and Tony Lawson's Concise10/Ms Barbados are due to finish the RORC Transatlantic Race on Friday 4th December at around midday local time in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Before the MOD70s reach the finish, the island of Barbados is probably the last tactical obstacle to negotiate. As Concise 10's Caribbean home, be prepared for something different from the team currently trailing Phaedo3 by barely three hours after six days of ballistic racing.

Battling for the overall win under IRC, Jean-Paul Riviere's French Finot Conq 100, Nomad IV has opened up a 250 mile lead on their nearest rival, Will Apold's Canadian Custom Swan 78, Valkyrie. Nomad IV is currently leading the IRC fleet overall.

New British End-To-End Record Under Sail
Vendee Globe solo challenger Phil Sharp aims to set Land's End to John O'Groats Sailing Record Starting Sunday or Monday.

Sean 'The Beard' Conway is crew, first man to run, swim and walk the length of Britain.

Harsh conditions expected, ideal training passage for the solo non stop race around the world, the Vendee Globe, which Sharp plans to start in November next year.

There are established records for walking, for cycling, for running, even for playing golf continuously the length of Britain but so far there is no reference for sailing non stop from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Phil Sharp, the Jersey based British yachtsman, who is in the very final stages of preparing a challenge for the famous Vendee Globe non-stop solo race around the world plans to establish a reference time.

Sharp, who established himself as one of Britain's best solo ocean racing talents when he won the Route du Rhum  transatlantic race in 2006, aims to start the 620 miles passage this Sunday or Monday and anticipates taking around 55-60 hours.

The Land's End to John O'Groats challenge passes through some of Northern Europe's most notorious water culminating in the Pentland Firth on the north coast of Scotland, the final hurdle before John O'Groats. Sailing through the long hours of darkness and in the strong, bitterly cold winter winds will be ideal training for the Southern Oceans of the Vendee Globe which starts off the Vendee coast of France in less than one year. The end to end challenge is being facilitated by Bruichladdich, the progressive Highland distillers whose Islay distillery they will pass as an important milestone at just over half way.

The Drheam-Cup In France
A new offshore race organised by the UNCL -Union Nationale pour la Course au Large, and DRHEAM-PROMOTION

From 15 to 21 August, the first edition of the offshore race the DRHREAM-CUP will take place between La Trinite-sur-Mer, the Isles of Scilly and Roscoff. This "OPEN" race is open to all, with the support of the SNT, the Trinite-sur-mer sailing club and the Yacht-Club de Roscoff / Baie de Morlaix Plaisance clubs. Are convened to this event, the Ultim, Imoca60, Multis 50, Class40 - the flagship classes that take part in the Jacques VABRE Transatlantic race - as well as the Mini 6.50 and IRC classes. Each crew is encouraged to take onboard a young person from a rural area, for the first stage at least.

A race in two stages

At sea, the DRHEAM-CUP will take place in two stages: an inshore race, the "LA TRINITAINE" trophy, and a long offshore race, "LA DRHEAM-CUP". On 15 August, competitors will warm up on a 40 mile course in Quiberon bay. In the evening, we "dream" of a great party, with a "dream night" after the fireworks, followed by a day of checks on the boats. The next day, they will head off to sea, on a 400 nautical mile run: first towards the Isles of Scilly, Lizard Point, Eddystone lighthouse (South Cornwall), before arriving in Roscoff - Morlaix bay.

Race programme

Extreme 40 Racing Catamaran Marstrom Composites 2009
Extreme 40 Fleet for Sale

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

Industry News
A Florida judge has dismissed the village of Key Biscayne's lawsuit against the National Marine Manufacturers Association over the Miami International Boat Show.

The village sued NMMA -- which runs the Miami show -- in April as part of its attempts to block the relocation of the show from the Miami Beach Convention Center to Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin.

The village accused NMMA of violating Florida's Public Records Act, claiming it withheld key documents from its negotiations with the city of Miami over the move of the show. Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin, though, ruled Wednesday that the association is not subject to the law as the "Village does not show that NMMA is the City's agent."

NMMA officials applauded the decision.

Full decision

From Boating Industry


The Yacht Racing Forum is delighted to welcome World Sailing (the International Sailing Federation, ISAF) as an Official Partner. The leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 7 - 8 December.

The sports' key personalities, classes, events, technical suppliers or athletes will be coming to the YRF in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 7 - 8. The event will attract some 250 people in one place at one time to do business and meet future clients.

" World Sailing fosters the sport of sailing from the grass roots through to the professional industry ", said Peter Sowrey, CEO World Sailing. " We are delighted to be a partner of the Yacht Racing Forum in Geneva this December. The Forum provides a great platform for the industry to network, discuss issues affecting the sport and share best practice. World Sailing will be playing a full part in the conferences and we look forward to seeing you in Geneva. "


Gill, the technical sailing apparel brand, is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Bennett to lead International Business Development.

Simon joined the Nottingham-based team in November 2015. He has spent over 20 years in the action and watersport industry, having worked previously Sola Wetsuits, Body Glove International and more recently as a brand manager for Pryde UK, where he launched Neil Pryde Sailing. Simon is a keen sailor, having competed at all levels over many years.

In addition, George Kingsnorth has been promoted to the role of UK Sales Manager. George's experience with Gill, the marine industry and wider outdoor technical clothing sector puts him in a great position to oversee all aspects of the commercial operation and manage the sales team in the UK and Ireland.


Marine clothing and footwear specialist Gaastra has opened a new flagship store in Stockholm, Sweden.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Gaastra first entered the Scandinavian market several years ago. The company operates a successful pop-up store in Copenhagen, a brand store in Malmo and its new flagship in Sweden is located in one of Stockholm's most prestigious shopping areas, the Mall of Scandinavia.

Gaastra's new 87sq m flagship store is located on the first floor of the Mall of Scandinavia department store next to brands like Gant, G-Star, Tommy Hilfiger and Lexington.

Gaastra is an international nautical lifestyle brand featuring performance and casual collections for men, women and children. Founded in 1897, the brand started as a sailmaker in Sneek and has grown to become a lifestyle brand with international appeal.

IBI News:


Sanders Sails, based in Lymington, Hampshire, are celebrating their 40th anniversary as a leading UK sailmaker. Managing Director Peter Sanders started the business in 1975, producing championship winning sails for the International Moth Class and quickly expanded production into all types of performance dinghy sails. Sanders soon branched out into the production of racing and cruising sails, and after 40 years the company now boasts a formidable list of yacht racing results.

Sanders now employs more than 20 experienced and knowledgeable staff, using materials ranging from traditional woven fabrics to the very latest custom carbon membranes.

Full release


Volvo Car Ireland is to become the new title sponsor of the prestigious Round Ireland Yacht Race.

2016 marks the 36th year anniversary of the biennial race, renowned as one of the world's most gruelling off-shore challenges, attracting entries from the UK, across Europe and as far afield as Russia, the USA and New Zealand as well as the home country.

Run by Wicklow Sailing Club, the Round Ireland Yacht Race is the only RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) race based in Ireland and is one of the longest off-shore race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club calendar, taking up to 7 days to complete. The first race took place in 1980 with only thirteen boats. Since then, held biennially, the fleet has grown steadily, attracting a record sixty boats.

The Race is regarded as near equivalent in terms of rating points to the Fastnet Race, the classic offshore race, which runs in alternate years to the Round Ireland.

The Volvo sponsorship comes at a pivotal time in the Race's development. Last year saw the establishment of a Dún Laoghaire base through a partnership with the Royal Irish Yacht Club, providing facilities thereby allowing larger yachts to compete. Race organisers have also just announced a further expansion to include a multi-hull category for the first time ever in its 36 year history.


The 2015 instalment of the METSTRADE show in Amsterdam has set new records in terms of attendance helping to reinforce its status as the B2B platform of choice for the global leisure marine equipment industry.

The RAI Amsterdam complex was once again a hive of activity for the three-day event, which has been consistently growing over the past 28 years.

Visitor attendance at METSTRADE 2015 was the highest recorded to date at 21,953, with a four percent rise in their international profile. Particular growth was noted in the number of visitors from Australia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. From a record total of 1385 exhibitors, there were more than 200 first-timers and when it came to delegates the number of yachtbuilders and designers/architects rose by four and 7% respectively, adding to the business potential for the suppliers.

Wind Tunnel Expert Fabio Fossati Passes
Fabio Fossati Last week Fabio Fossati, a long standing member of the International Technical Committee of the Offshore Racing Congress, has suddenly left us after losing his battle with lung cancer. ORC expresses its deepest condolences to Fabio's family for their loss, and recognizes the tremendous contributions he made to ORC over the years with his extensive research work in the Wind Tunnel facility at Milan Polytechnic University.

As a full professor with a PhD in Applied Mechanics and a lecturer at the Master in Naval and Nautical Design program at Milan Polytechnic and at the University of Genoa, Fabio also carried out intensive research in the field of numerical and experimental fluid-dynamics as applied to the field of sailing yacht design. He was the scientific research coordinator for the activities of Team Prada Challenge for the 2003 America's Cup, of Team Luna Rossa Challenge for the 2007 America's Cup and for the BMW/Oracle Racing Challenge for the 2010 America's Cup. This work helped elevate the Wind Tunnel facility he created at Milan into being recognised as a worldwide centre of research excellence.

He initiated a myriad of important projects, that will certainly have contributions well past his interrupted life. One in particular was getting Polytechnic support in 2012 for the building of Fabio's original idea of the "Barca Laboratorio," a fully instrumented boat for full scale testing of a sailing yacht - this project shows great promise, and has still to become fully operational.

His book "Aero-Hydrodynamics and the Performance of Sailing Yachts: The Science Behind Sailboats and Their Design" is a worldwide reference text for sailing yachts theory.

Ciao Fabio, be sure that you will not be forgotten, and your ideas will be brought forward by the ones who grasped them and share your passion and progressive visions. -- Dobbs Davis

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.

Paul Henderson

* From Paul Henderson: See the picture (click to enlarge) taken of Savannah by Tom Webster 1 year before Atlanta Games when  they wanted to put most of the dinghy classes on the sandspit.

Webster predicted that the Hurricane would wake Atlanta up.

During the Pre-Olympics several boats were destroyed and one volunteer broke his leg.

I sent them the pictures with the caption: "Please ring before you step into my office."

When I got back to the hotel there were many calls from the ACOG.

They asked what should they do?

I replied: "Pray to whatever God you might think might listen!"

They said we would get what we wanted for the Games and they did deliver but the IBM results were a disaster but along with Stegmeier we had McCreary and Pascoe looking after Sailing.

In fact Sailing was the only results that worked as all the other sports crashed.

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The Last Word
The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. -- Thomas Paine

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