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

Holmberg Victorious at WMRT West Coast Cup
Light and shifty conditions forced the race committee to work hard to be able to deliver a fair outcome to the West Coast Cup today. With time and wind running out the semi-finals and final were cut, leaving the event result decided by the double round robin results.

The decision brought mixed emotions as always but with Holmberg and Norregaard leading both round robin results tables they appeared in a class of their own over the three day competition.

Typhoon X has looked strong throughout this regatta and skipper Mans Holmberg couldn't be happier with the guys onboard. "We've had great team work and done few mistakes. Even with lost starts we've managed to come back and win," Mans comments.

Taking the other prestigious qualification to the WC event was Danish Olympic star Allan Nørregaard. The team has constantly improved during this regatta and the combination of Nørregaard's experience in skiffs and catamarans, along with tactician Torvar Mirsky's match racing calls, has proven lethal. The team will switch roles this weekend when Allan will call tactics for Mirsky. The team will also keep Olympic gold medalist Max Salminen on the team so they will be a strong contender for this weekends Cape Crow Cup WT event.

For the two teams in third and fifth the inconsistent breeze was a hard blow since they were deemed outside the chance to win the entry to the next stage. Both Patrik Sturesson and David Gilmour came in to shore with hanging heads all round.

The winner and runner up to WMRT West Coast Cup win invitations to the first WC event of the 2016/2017 World Match Racing Tour season.

Stormy Weather
Photo by James Robinson Taylor, Click on image to enlarge.

Regates Royales A low pressure made its appearance on the bay of Cannes today at the 38th Regates Royales, bringing in heavy, grey clouds and rain. Luckily a breeze from the North-East enabled the Classics to race on a shortened triangular coastal course, while the Dragons had a quite complicated day and the 5.5 Metre had the first two races of their series.

Race committees managed to launch at least one race for each division, with the classics racing on a shortened course. The 150 crews had to put all their energy and skills to manoeuvre, hoist and take down the sails, tacking and jibing in the Bay of La Napoule and in the gulf of Juan.

The 5.5 Metre class had two races that confirmed the Swiss sailors' supremacy: Alain Marchand and his crew on Societe Nautique de Genève won the first race and were second in the following one.

It was not an easy day for the Dragons today, the weather conditions were hard on the 50 one-design boats. After several general recalls the race committee hoisted the black flag: five boats were over the line, disqualified and forced to go back into port. The ensuing race was certainly tricky and was dominated by the Swedish crew of Johan and Cathanina Larson, Chris Winter on Dancing Queen that led the fleet from start to finish

Among the Twelves  tactics were also the key, with Sovereign getting the best start and leading to the finsh line, keeping France and Chancegger behind.

The Classics too had a tough time today, trying to avoid the worst of rainstorms and getting the best out of shifty and patchy breezes under the dark grey skies. The gorgeous 23 Metre Cambria and the huge gaff schooner Elena showed the way to their little sisters but could not catch the leader Moonbeam IV in corrected time, that confirmed her domination in the class in front of  Hallowe'en. Freya of Midgard scored her second win in the Spirit of Tradition, while Arcadia won today's race in the Classics division, with Ganbare keeping her first place in front of Outlaw.

Full results:

Malizia And Pierre Casiraghi Set For 4th Stage of GC32 Circuit
Yacht Club Monaco GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup (22-25 September 2016)

‎There's still everything to play for! That's the philosophy driving Pierre Casiraghi and his team on Malizia as they line up for the start alongside six other boats for the penultimate stage of the GC32 Racing Tour on 22nd September in Sotogrande, Costa del Sol, Spain.

To date Spain is smiling on the Monegasque boat, winner in the owner-driver category and 4th in the final ranking at the 35th Copa del Rey held in August in Palma de Majorca. Having finished in the top three of five of the 12 races held, the Monegasques showed impressive consistency and fighting spirit aboard their fully foiling catamaran, sailing under the Yacht Club de Monaco flag.

It was a promising result for this young team who are competing for the first time in this top level Mediterranean circuit that includes America's Cup and Olympic sailors.

‎For helmsman Pierre Casiraghi, "With the light conditions forecast, good starts will be all important. Our aim is to stay in the top five. It will be difficult for sure, as all the teams are getting better at every event. But it's all still wide open." Malizia is just one point off 4th place and 6 points off 3rd in the provisional ranking. ‎‎

‎Sebastien Col, absent from the last event, returns alongside Boris Herrmann, Richard Mason and Alister Richardson who replaces Adam Piggott for this week.‎

Franck Cammas' Norauto currently tops the leader board, followed by Swiss Team Tilt.

Faceocean Becomes "Technofirst - Faceocean"
TechnoFirst, world leader in noise reduction technology and active vibration control becomes the main sponsor for the faceOcean Vendee Globe 2016. The race starts on 6 November in Les Sables d'Olonne.

Headquartered in Aubagne, the company designs and develops TechnoFirst since 1990 innovative solutions against noise and vibration to the building, transport, industry and personal protection: helmets assets, quiet Exhaust "bubble of silence" ... It employs 15 employees and generated a turnover of more than EUR 5.2 million in 2015.

FaceOcean carry the colors and TechnoFirst values ​​on all the seas of world. And because "further we go together," TPM - 4W - Alcatraz It - VirtualRegatta - Club Ampelos and Viris have also chosen to engage with alongside Sebastien Destremau and TechnoFirst - faceOcean as "Platinum" partners in the Vendee Globe.

J/24 World Championship
Wakayama, Japan: Five races are now in the books at the J/24 World Championship in Wakayama Japan, and the German team on JJOne has strengthened their lead over the 41-boat fleet. Daniel Frost's crew now tallies just 6 net points, able to drop an 11 in race three and keep a skinny tally of 1,2,1,2. Keiji Kondo's Fox of Japan moved up to second place after a solid 1,2,4 on Wednesday for 15 net points. Demichi Kousuke's Ichimokusan, also of Japan, rests in third with 22.

Following Tuesday's tropical storm, winds calmed to 5-8 knots over Wednesday's three contests. Following Fox in the opening race were Ichimokusan and American Will Welles on Cougar. JJOne earned their second bullet of the regatta in the day's middle battle, trailed by Fox and Mark Laura's Baba Louie of the USA. Einosuke Morita's Wailea won Wednesday's final duel, with JJOne and Kato Fumiya's Lull rounding out the top trio.

Racing continues through Friday. Complete event information is available at

EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2017
Changes to EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2017 are set to broaden this unique annual race's appeal with the announcement of a new route and the launch of attractive 'rock up and race' campaign packages.

Five offshore legs, starting in Oman's capital Muscat and finishing 763 miles later in Dubai, combined with three in-port showdowns in Oman, Doha and Dubai is likely to make Arabia's leading offshore race one of the most competitive yet, confirming its status as the most highly regarded sailing event in the region and a recognised tourism platform for showcasing the Gulf and its maritime heritage. 

In response to the extensive feedback collected after each edition, teams can now invest in turnkey campaign packages from event organisers Oman Sail, comprising bespoke branded Farr 30s, on board safety equipment, communications and logistical support and even a crew if needed. 

According to Dee Caffari, the Volvo Ocean Race sailor who skippered the first women's entry in EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour in 2012 and has now competed in four editions, this opportunity has immediately created more interest among teams who have never sailed in the region before.

"We were in Sweden recently at the Farr 30 International Regatta and quite a few of the teams were very interested in SATT when they realised they could turn up and race without any drama," she said. 

"It means they can come to a region they might be unfamiliar with and know they can be competitive with the full support of the organisers."

EFG Sailing Arabia - the Tour 2017 gets underway at the Al Mouj Marina in Muscat on 14 February 2017 and finishes with a prize-giving celebration in Dubai on 1 March 2017.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Preferred By Professionals
Dubarry Crosshaven If you had to invent the most punishing ordeal for offshore sailing footwear - an extreme boot camp perhaps? - then it would be a professional, fully-crewed round the world race: thousands of ocean-bashing, boat-trashing miles around the planet. If there's even the slightest imperfection in boat, man or gear, this race will find it, break it, then tell everyone about it.

For most of us, it's the ultimate contest of man and machine against nature. For Dubarry, it's R&D. After supplying its ever-green Shamrock boot to the professional crew of Ireland's Green Dragon entry in a 2008-09 round the world race, Dubarry's most fanatical designers listened, developed, tested, listened some more, tweaked, analysed and tested again. The result was the Crosshaven boot.

When Green Dragon arrived in Galway at the end of leg 7 for the best party the race has ever seen, elbowing their way through the "craic addicts" was Dubarry's research team, wanting yet more feedback. Their finishing touches sealed the Crosshaven's reputation as the offshore professional's boot of choice. Where's the proof of that? Professional teams chose Crosshaven in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 round the world races.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

Registration Open For 2017 Pensacola A La Habana Race
Registration for the 2017 Pensacola a La Habana Race from Pensacola Bay, Florida to Cuba's Marina Hemingway near Habana is now open. This race is a 511-miler, riding the tricky and often elusive loop current south from the top of the Gulf of Mexico to the bottom. Organizers hope for a 50-boat fleet for Pensacola a La Habana 2017 with three early entries now on file.

The second biennial race starts April 30, 2017. Qualifying yachts will take this unique southern challenge. Entry is open to multi-hulls and mono-hulls, amateurs and professionals, cruisers, racer/cruisers and all out racers.

The Notice of Race is posted at NOR. Registration is online through Yacht Scoring.

Classic cruiser boats should expect to cover the course in about four days, racers less. The Castillo del Morro Race - an international race promoting sportsmanship between nations that includes additional boats flagged in or visiting Cuba- is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2017. Trophy presentations follow with an evening celebration at Hemingway International Yacht Club.

The race will be sailed in Multihull and Monohull Fleets with two divisions in each: a PHRF race division under Gulf Yachting Association [GYA] PHRF ratings with regular credits or penalties and another under GYA PHRF modified handicap ratings in a Cruiser's Race Division that will offer additional amenity based cruiser credits and motoring allowances. -- Talbot Wilson

North Sails Pays Tribute To Former Owner Terry Kohler
The North Sails Group is deeply saddened by the passing of Terry Kohler, owner of North Sails from 1984-2014. North Sails and all of its employees around the world would like to pass their condolences to the family Terry leaves behind, especially his wife Mary.

Terry bought North Sails from Lowell North upon North's retirement in 1984. Terry was passionate about North Sails and helping North maintain it's position as technology leader within sailmaking. A graduate of internationally renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Terry saw the huge potential in embracing technology. It is under his guidance that North Sails introduced 3D sailmaking and our technologically advanced manufacturing and logistical systems.

In 2008 Terry brought North Sails and Southern Spars under the North Technology Group, putting in motion the concept of "The Engine Above The Deck." North Technology Group has since grown into a diverse family of companies serving marine and manufacturing markets worldwide. Each company was built on the principle of delivering advanced performance through superior technology and a commitment to quality craftsmanship and customer service.

Terry's love of sailing spilled over into the wider sailing community. He was a generous supporter of the sport, in particular women's sailing. Terry was especially interested in women's match racing, having worked with the last US Women's Olympic Team in 2012. Some of his greatest legacies will be the Sail Sheboygan Sailing Center and the non-profit Sailing Education Associate of Sheboygan (SEAS).

"Terry's business acumen and discipline were the perfect fit for North Sails when he bought the company from Lowell," commented Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group. "He was first passionate about sailing but secondly passionate about making North a more business-like company. He was insistent on using computer technology and communications systems that were very progressive at the time. His aggressive approach to wild ideas is a trait that has been filtered through our entire company culture. Personally, I will miss Terry's guide, but his passion for North will stay as part of our DNA."

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 Eddie Mays:

With regard to World Sailing's decision to tour only in the Northern Hemisphere perhaps they should consider another re-branding (is twice in one year a record?) to Hemisphere Sailing.

Franking I think it is insulting to all those countries south of the equator that have contributed so much to our global heritage

Unfortunately parochialism isn't confined to the rural depths of the west country even in the 21st century

* From Jonty Sherwill:

Re: A New Day for Singlehanded Dinghy Sailing (Scuttlebutt 4672)

As the starting point for so many of us in sailing it's always interesting to hear about new singlehanded dinghies. Challenging the now ubiquitous Laser is a tough call, many have tried but few have come close to achieving the essential mix of nice-to-sail and cheap-to-make. So can the Melges 14 or RS Aero deliver the killer blow to unseat this near half-century of 'tradition' just as the Laser did to the OK. It was the gem the Laser had to smash, conceived in plywood but now hi-tech the OK is still delivering performance and satisfaction where others fall short.

In 1957 Knud Olsen's concept was the first modern performance singlehander and when the Danish builder Henriksen 'laserised' his design in the 1970s to deliver great-looking cheap boats that won the Worlds it proved it could be done. With over 15,000 OK's built it is still a thriving international class that refuses to lie down, a benchmark singlehander that might surprise you just how good it is. 

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The Last Word
In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality. -- Karl Popper

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