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

Champions Conquer On Sun Soaked Opening Day
In the build-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition the sky has been a dull shade of grey, but the minute the first day of racing started, the stereotypical Rio de Janeiro sunshine came out with a 10 knot wind to boot. It was a glorious opening session of sailing.

And it wasn't just the elements that delivered either as current Paralympic champions continued where they left off from London 2012, leading their respective fleets. Great Britain's Helena Lucas in the 2.4 Norlin OD, Australia in the SKUD18 and with the previous gold medallists absent, it was the Australian team who looked to fill the void early on in the Sonar.

The day began with a moment of reflection as Technical Delegate David Staley led a moment of silence for Ian Harrison MBE who passed away in late August, and quite fittingly a Memorial Service was held in his Great British home county on the same day as the Paralympic sailing begun.

In the hotly contested 2.4 Norlin OD class the pre-Games favourites all justified their tags with a bunched top six, but it is current Paralympic champion, Great Britain's Helena Lucas, who has edged in front with an impressive first race win and second placed finish on the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) race area to end the day on three points.

The champions continued to reign as Australia's Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch lead the SKUD18 fleet. Sailing on the Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) race area they took a bullet and a second place to sit top of the leaderboard on three points.

With compatriot Matt Bugg going well in the 2.4 Norlin OD and the SKUD18 team leading the way in their fleet, it was down to Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris to carry the baton for Australia in the Sonar to end a good day for the land down under.

The Australians led at every mark on the Escola Naval race area in race one to take the bullet and followed it up with a second place to sit on top of the leaderboard with three points. -- Richard Aspland

52 Worlds
Mahon, Minorca, Spain: Twelve TP52s will compete for the 52 World Championship title on the Balearic Waters off Mahón, Menorca starting Wednesday. Whilst there is no denying that Quantum Racing are the stand-out team this season - starting the fourth regatta of the 52 SUPER SERIES with a handsome overall lead on the season standings - it would be no surprise at all if it were to be any one of half a dozen different crews which leave Menorca clutching the title and the silverware next Sunday.

Menorca is a new venue to the TP52 class, and while many sailors have raced at the two previous Maxi regattas, this regatta happens late in the summer while the 2015 and '14 events were early season, and it is a much more open, unpredictable venue than many that the 52 SUPER SERIES visits.

Nacho Postigo, Palma-based navigator of Provezza, describes the racing arena as "one of the most open in the Mediterranean".

"Tactically it will be very open. There is every chance that on the same day two different scenarios will work, two different decisions working equally well. This is what I can foresee here. It is a very difficult area to interpret, to read, with so many different alternatives and options. It will be a great challenge."

52 World Championship Race Programme
Tuesday 13th September - Official practice race(s) from 13.00hrs
Wednesday 14th September - WL Races between 13:00 - 17:00 (approx).
Thursday 15th September - WL Race / Coastal Race between 13:00 - 17:00 (approx).
Friday 16th September - WL Races between 13:00 - 17:00 (approx).
Saturday 17th September - Coastal Race between 13:00 - 17:00 (approx).
Sunday 18th September - WL Races from 13:00 and prize-giving ceremony at 17.30hrs (approx).

2016 52 World Championship Entry List
Alegre (Andy Soriano GBR/USA)
Azzurra (Roemmers family, ITA/ARG)
Bronenosec (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS)
Gladiator (Tony Langley, GBR)
Paprec Recyclage (Jean Luc Petithuguenin, FRA)
Phoenix (Richard Cohen, USA)
Platoon (Harm Muller-Spreer, GER)
Provezza (Ergin Imre, TUR)
Quantum Racing (Doug DeVos, USA)
Ran Racing (Niklas and Catherine Zennström, SWE)
Sled (Takashi Okura, USA)
Sorcha (Peter Harrison, GBR)

Yacht Racing Forum: Time To Register!
Yacht Racing Forum The Yacht Racing Forum will take place in Malta, on November 28-29.

Many of the sports key personalities and brands have already confirmed their participation. 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.

The Early Bird Discount is almost over, don't waste any time!

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

More information and registration:

A Renewed Sailing World Cup For 2017-2020
Over its nine-year history, the Sailing World Cup has provided the foundations for the road to an Olympic and Paralympic Games, offering a glimpse of what will happen at the grandest stage in the sport.

The Sailing World Cup Series will continue to showcase and develop Olympic Sailing, it will be a key part of a sailor's Olympic campaign, integrate Para World Sailing, help create heroes and engage sailing sports fans, excite sponsors and broadcasters and conclude with a Final at which the winners in each event are crowned.

As part of the strategy, Miami, an existing and popular Sailing World Cup Round has been awarded a series Round each January from 2017 through to 2020.

Miami will host the first Round of the upcoming 2017 series which will be shortened to allow a switchover to a new calendar. Hyeres, France will follow in April before a European Final in late June / early July. Sailors attending the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne, Australia will automatically qualify for the 2017 series with the remaining places awarded based on the World Sailing Rankings.

After the shortened 2017 series, the Sailing World Cup series will run from October to July every year, incorporating three Rounds and a European Final at the end of June / early July. For sailors to qualify for the Final, they will have to commit to the full series.

Japan will host a Sailing World Cup Round each October from 2017 through to 2019 before holding the Final in July 2020, just weeks before the Olympic Games. Qualification regattas for the 2017/18 season will be announced by the end of October 2016.

The 2017-2020 Sailing World Cup series of events:

2017: Miami (January), Hyeres (April) + European Final (late June/ early July)
2017/18: Japan (October 2017), Miami (January 2018), Hyeres (May 2018) + European Final
2018/19: Japan (October 2018), Miami (January 2019), Europe Round (May-June) + European Final
2019/20: Japan (October 2019), Miami, (January 2020) Europe Round (May-June) + Japan Final (July 2020)

World Sailing are now inviting Host Cities in Europe to bid for the Sailing World Cup Series Final in 2017 -2019. Click here for the Bid Documents

Express Channel Crossing
The 27 Class40s competing in the Normandy Channel Race have all made it safely across the English Channel this morning after a simply perfect passage. Making headway downwind since rounding the compulsory Saint Marcouf course mark last night after 18:00 GMT, the duos happily launched into a sprint under large gennaker, making good speed on a single tack, bound for the Solent, a sound that separates the Isle of Wight from the British mainland. And the honours go to the English sailor, Phil Sharp (Imerys), who was first to make it through the eastern gate into the Solent as dawn broke on this first day of racing.

Teamed up with Frenchman Sam Manuard, he's leading the way in front of what is still a compact group of Class40s, with no fewer than 16 boats bunched together within a 9- mile area. Phil Sharp took control on rounding the Saint Marcouf mark thanks to a neat tactical move to the north of the island. The Channel hop, negotiated on starboard tack in a steady south-easterly breeze, was essentially a long drag race that enabled some of the especially honed boats like Solidaires en Peloton-ARSEP (Thibaut Vaucher-Camus - Fred Duthil), Talès II (Pablo Santurde - Fidel Turienzo), Earendil (Catherine - Pourre - Antoine Carpentier) and V and B (Maxime Sorel - Hugo Dallhenne) to really show what they were made of. Given the low tidal coefficient, this morning the duos' progress has barely been inconvenienced by the currents, which are often strong in this part of the world. As such, they should be able to quickly extract themselves from the Solent this morning before linking onto the English phase of this stunning course, reaching in a southerly breeze as they hug the coast. -- Kate Jennings

Porsche Cars North America Presents Corinthian Spirit Award
The most valuable trophy at the 2016 Resolute Cup won't go to the overall winner. The Corinthian Spirit Award presented by Porsche Cars North America will go to the sailor who, in the eyes of his or her fellow competitors, has best represented the ideals of Corinthian competition, including sportsmanship, keen sense of competition, courteous interaction and engagement with their competitors and regatta officials, and overall approach to the sport and traditions of sailing. The deserving sailor will take home an $8,000 Porsche Bike RS

Racing for the 2016 Resolute Cup, a Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs, starts on Wednesday, September 14, and runs through Saturday, September 17. Teams representing 28 yacht clubs from around the country have gathered at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I., this week to compete for bragging rights and an invitation to the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the premiere international big-boat, one-design regatta for amateur sailors. The 2016 Resolute Cup is sponsored by Porsche, Helly Hansen and Melges Performance Sailboats.

The Resolute Cup is a biennial Corinthian competition among U.S. yacht clubs. The 2016 Resolute Cup will take place Sept. 12 to 17, out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport. R.I. The event is an evolution of the U.S. Qualifying Series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which was first held in 2010, and serves as a pathway for American yacht clubs seeking to compete in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, sailing's premiere international, Corinthian, one-design competition.

Consistency In Toulon: Front Row Review From North Sails President Ken Read
North Sails It was as we had all anticipated - a light air regatta - so there were no surprises there. A couple of the players are super competitive in the light air, especially the local heroes on Groupama, so it was set up to be a great regatta.

In terms of the racing, it was a 'streaks' weekend - the longest streak won the regatta and that was Artemis Racing here. They looked prepared, organised and very calm. The first question I asked Outerridge yesterday, when we talked to him post-race, was whether he thought it was a coincidence that the two teams led by helmsmen who had just competed in the Olympics Games in Rio (Outerridge and Burling) were also the two teams who came out of the blocks hardest and best. He did not think it was coincidence at all.

I would say the big surprise of the event was Burling - he came out fast, and they looked great but I am guessing the team will be disappointed in how it finished. I am really looking forward to the final stop in this tour in Japan before the countdown to Bermuda...

#NorthSails #ACWSToulon

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Farr 30 Class Association Seeks Input On EFG Sailing Arabia
EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour delivers high level racing attracting top amateur and professional sailors from four continents in one of the most beautiful sailing destinations. The Farr 30 is one of the most exciting boats on the professional sailing circuit and as a one design event the focus is on the skills. The intense racing stretches each crew to the full, testing their skill, teamwork and versatility.The 2017 edition, the seventh since it was established in 2011, will take place from 14th February - 1st March 2017.

The Farr 30 Class Association would appreciate your input about possibly participating in this amazing event. Please help us by completing this survey.

More information about EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour can be found on their website

Farr 40 North American Championship
A strong contingent of Chicago Farr 40 sailors is campaigning to bring the class world championship back to the Windy City. They certainly helped their case by hosting a successful North American Championship, which concluded Sunday.

Chicago Yacht Club served as gracious host and provided impeccable race committee work while Lake Michigan delivered a wide range of conditions that tested the seven-boat fleet over the course of the four-day regatta.

"We were absolutely thrilled to host the Farr 40 North Americans and are very pleased with how everything went," said Leif Sigmond, vice commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club and owner of Norboy.

Flash Gordon 6, a professional entry owned by the father-son team of Helmut and Evan Jahn, captured the Farr 40 North American Championship in impressive fashion. Evan started the boat and steered upwind while Helmut helmed downwind as Flash Gordon 6 won six of 11 races and totaled 21 points.

Sigmond and co-owner Marcus Thymian sailed Norboy to a runner-up finish with 37 points. George Szabo called tactics while mainsail trimmer Tom Babel was the other pro onboard Norboy, which captured the Corinthian title in an incredibly tight battle with Hot Lips.

Owner-driver Chris Whitford and the Hot Lips team certainly sailed a terrific regatta, winning a race and placing second in four others. Hall of Fame professional Mark Reynolds called tactics for Whitford, who had high praise for the former Olympic gold medalist and multi-time Star world champion.

Lots of boats had trouble on Saturday when a squall swept across Lake Michigan and left 20-30 knot winds and heavy seas in its wake. Norboy made its move on the other Corinthian entries by posting a second and two thirds in the four races held Saturday.

Hot Lips may have fallen just short of capturing the North American Corinthian championship, but did secure the Great Lakes Farr 40 Fleet season championship as a result.

Ship Found In Arctic 168 Years After Doomed Northwest Passage Attempt
The double-wheeled helm of HMS Terror. Photograph: Arctic Research Foundation

HMS Terror The long-lost ship of British polar explorer Sir John Franklin, HMS Terror, has been found in pristine condition at the bottom of an Arctic bay, researchers have said, in a discovery that challenges the accepted history behind one of polar exploration's deepest mysteries.

HMS Terror and Franklin's flagship, HMS Erebus, were abandoned in heavy sea ice far to the north of the eventual wreck site in 1848, during the Royal Navy explorer's doomed attempt to complete the Northwest Passage.

All 129 men on the Franklin expedition died, in the worst disaster to hit Britain's Royal Navy in its long history of polar exploration. Search parties continued to look for the ships for 11 years after they disappeared, but found no trace, and the fate of the missing men remained an enigma that tantalised generations of historians, archaeologists and adventurers.

Now that mystery seems to have been solved by a combination of intrepid exploration - and an improbable tip from an Inuk crewmember.

On Sunday, a team from the charitable Arctic Research Foundation manoeuvred a small, remotely operated vehicle through an open hatch and into the ship to capture stunning images that give insight into life aboard the vessel close to 170 years ago.

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 Matthew Sheahan:

I hope it isn't a lonely path for Eddie and his views on TV coverage for sailing as he suggests, because he's spot on.

Yes, as Head of Performance Sailing for TV producers Sunset+Vine I'm biased, but I couldn't agree more.

Pretty pictures are all very well, but once the novelty has worn off surely what we want is a good story, well told with great images. Only then will others, who have less understanding of the sport, take more of an interest.

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