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

Wildcards Impress On Extreme Sailing Series Debut
Extreme Sailing Series newcomers NORAUTO and Thalassa Magenta Racing made their intentions for Act 7 clear today as the penultimate stage of the global Stadium Racing tour got underway in Lisbon.

Joining the line-up for the first time were French-flagged NORAUTO powered by Groupama Team France and Thalassa Magenta Racing, the Extreme Sailing Series' first all-female crew. Brad Funk's Vega Racing completed the list of wildcard entries, returning to action after making their Extreme Sailing Series debut in Madeira last month.

NORAUTO wasted no time in showing the fleet what they were capable of, claiming the runners-up spot in the opening race. The team, led by New Zealander Adam Minoprio, followed up with three more podium finishes in five light-airs races to end the day in second place overall. Only Swiss team Alinghi bettered NORAUTO's record, with two race wins and two seconds seeing them wrap up the day on top.

Despite ending the day one place above the bottom of the table, Thalassa Magenta Racing's sailors came into the dock with huge grins on their faces after scoring a podium finish in what was only their second ever race together on a GC32. Led by former Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat, the team includes some of the world's best female sailors from all disciplines of sailing.

The action resumes tomorrow at 1430 local time (GMT+1) and will include a longer coastal race alongside the usual high-octane short course Stadium Racing the Extreme Sailing Series is renowned for.

Standings after Day 1, 5 races (06.10.16)

1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 55 points
2. NORAUTO (FRA) Adam Minoprio, Thibault Julien, Thierry Douillard, Matthieu Vandame, Nicolas Heintz, 53
3. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 50
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand, 44
5. Sail Portugal - Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Frederico Mello, Nuno Barreto, Luis Brito, Joao Matos Rosa, 39
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde, 32
7. Vega Racing (USA) Brad Funk, Nick Thompson, Trevor Bund, Erick Rodriguez, Mac Agnese, 30
8. Thalassa Magenta Racing (CAN) Sharon Ferris-Choat, Sally Barkow, Hannah Diamond, Annie Lush, Mariana Lobato, Elodie Mettraux, 29
9. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Chris Taylor, Elliot Hanson, Sam Batten, Rob Bunce, 28

Oyster Regatta Palma
Palma, Majorca: The opening day of racing at the Oyster Regatta Palma 2016 got off to a good start yesterday in light but tactically testing conditions. The Bay of Palma provided the perfect playground for the 43-strong fleet of Oysters gathered for this annual regatta at Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP).

Celebrating its 12th year in Palma, a record fleet of Oysters, ranging in size from 45ft-100ft, fought it out under the bright Mediterranean sun. Thanks to David Tydeman's course-setting expertise in the light, tricky conditions, all four classes completed a short, but enjoyable first of four-race, three-to-count series.

In the light breeze with winds reaching no more than 11kts throughout the day, there were some exciting starts with plenty of barging in at the committee boat end of the line. Starry Night team - Oyster 82-14(GBR) in Class 1 - was one of few to demonstrate a perfect port start, on the biased line, and was able to inch ahead in the crucial first stages of the race. However, in the overall standings on corrected time, it was Guardian Angel (RUS) sailed by Maxim Kudryashov and team on their super-tuned Oyster 885-04 whose impressive teamwork, gave them the edge. In the testing conditions they were able to beat Eddie Jordan's Lush - Oyster 885-01 skippered by Tim Beebe (IRE) by just 30 seconds on corrected time.

Rory and Susie McGrath sailing Dalliance - Oyster 62-15 (GBR) sailed well throughout the race and, after a good tactical move up the final beat, were able to win Class 3 by an impressive four minutes on corrected time over Richard Smith's Sotto Vento - Oyster 655-07 (GBR).

Hugh Johnson and team Nikitoo II - Oyster 54-19 (GBR) made an excellent start in Class 4 so it wasn't particularly surprising to find them winning their class by well over five minutes on corrected time. Ostra - Oyster 53-23 (GBR) Ritchie Gatt and team finished second from Peter Blackmore's Pied Piper - Oyster 49-12A (GBR).

The prize for the youngest team member in the fleet, who sailed an exceptional first race went to seven-year-old Olivia Hales sailing with her family on her grandfather's boat Cappella of London. Olivia is one of David Hales' four grandchildren and was happy to win this coveted prize.

Dubarry Ultima - Classic Craftsmanship
Dubarry Ultima It's been said of Ireland that it's a lovely country, just needs a roof. True, we get more than our fair share of rain from the storms that barrel in from the North Atlantic, but it's not so bad - it's not for nothing that we're known as the Emerald Isle.

In this part of the world we're also well used to making our living on the sea, in the sturdy Galway Hookers built by hand with traditional tools by local boatbuilders. These bluff-bowed gaff cutters have plied their treacherous trade on the often vengeful waters of the Bay for over 200 years. If ever there was a place where folk would appreciate a quality traditional sea boot - and had the craftsmanship to make one - it's here.

So it's here, in the town of Ballinasloe, a stone's throw from the Shannon and just inland of Galway Bay, that Dubarry started making boots in 1937. We've honed our traditional boot-making virtuosity, found sources of the finest quick-drying, long-lasting leathers, and perfected the technology behind a warm, waterproof classic boot with award-winning grip. What else could we call the world's best traditional sea boot, other than Ultima?

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Qualification System For The 2017 Sailing World Cup Series
The qualification system for the 2017 Sailing World Cup Series, the pinnacle series of Olympic class racing, has been published.

The 2017 Sailing World Cup Series will consist of two Rounds for all 10 Olympic Events plus, when possible, a Paralympic One Person Event. The Series will culminate with a Final in Europe.

Miami will host the first Round of the upcoming 2017 Series from 22-29 January 2017 with Hyeres, France following from 23-30 April 2017. A European Final will conclude the shortened series 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.

The Rio 2016 Olympic medallists will automatically qualify for the 2017 Sailing World Cup Final and they will be joined by winners of the Sailing World Cup Miami and Hyeres Rounds. For the remaining places, qualification to the Final will be based on combined results at the Sailing World Cup Rounds, with the highest placed finishers booking their spot on the start line.

Sailor invitations for the 2017 Sailing World Cup Series will be sent out on Monday 10 October.

View the Qualification System

GC32 Racing Tour Gears Up For Its Marseille Grand Finale
The 2016 GC32 Racing Tour's concluding event, Marseille One Design, is just a week away and while the teams on the podium are looking secure, the final order isn't.

Franck Cammas' NORAUTO powered by Groupama Team France has dominated the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, with the Volvo Ocean Race winner swapping helming duties with Kiwi former Match Racing World Champion, Adam Minoprio. They have won every event this year, except the GC32 Malcesine Cup. But nipping at their heels throughout has been the Swiss crew on Team Tilt, which has also never finished off the podium this season. Team Tilt goes into Marseille One Design just three points behind the leader.

This being the sole French stopover on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, Franck Cammas is reclaiming the helm of NORAUTO with Adam Minoprio moving to mainsheet.

This is the third consecutive year the GC32s have competed at Marseille One Design.

The third team from Switzerland is Realteam led by Jerome Clerc. Scoring a 10, 9, 7, 5 so far in this, the team's first season on the GC32 Racing Tour, they have shown steady improvement.

Nine GC32 teams are competing at Marseille One Design, with racing taking place from Thursday 13th October, until Sunday 16th. This is the third time Marseille One Design, organised by Sirius Events, has hosted the GC32s - part of its build-up to being European Capital of Sport in 2017. It will also be the venue for the sailing events, should Paris win its bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

Teams competing in the GC32 Racing Tour at Marseille One Design

ARGO (USA) skipper Jason Carroll
ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) skipper Flavio Marazzi
GUNVOR Sailing (SWE) skipper Gustav Petterson
Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) skipper Pierre Casiraghi
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) skipper Naofumi Kamei
NORAUTO (FRA) skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Realteam (SUI) skipper Jerome Clerc
Team ENGIE (FRA) skipper Sebastien Rogues
Team Tilt (SUI) skipper Sebastien Schneiter

Get It Right (From The Start)
Seahorse The internet is widening reliable access to the latest sailing hardware.

There is always a steady stream of new technologies filtering down from grand prix yacht racing and sailors at all levels are increasingly using the internet to monitor development and to purchase the latest equipment - in particular the newest hardware. From soft shackles, lash thimbles, Dyneema loops and strops to top-down furling systems, new technology offers light weight and strength, often for minimal additional cost compared with traditional products.

Lighter and stronger equals faster and safer which is a win-win scenario for any sailboat, whether it is used for club racing or blue water cruising. Rather than simply replacing your worn stainless shackles this winter, why not change them for soft shackles instead? However, as a consumer, how do I find out about the options available to me and identify the right products for my boat?

Compared to consumer goods, the sailing hardware market is small, dispersed and surprisingly difficult to reach for manufacturers.

Full article in the November issue of Seahorse:

Sea Going Clockwork: A Fascinating History
The clockwork in John Harrison's H4. Photo from Royal Museums Greenwich. Click on image to enlarge.

H4 Clockwork Until about the mid 1970s when quartz watches brought unprecedented portable time keeping accuracy, ships carried their own special types of clocks, called chronometers.

These were once the marvel of the age, representing the pinnacle of over 700 years accumulated development in clockwork time-keepers.

Insurers required two chronometers on some ships into the 1980s, each serving as a back-up and check on the other. Now just very desirable collectors' items, sic transit gloria mundi.

The story of the development of H4, the first clock that was practical to carry on a ship while remaining accurate, by John Harrison in 1761 is well known. As is the fact that Captain Cook carried a copy made by Larcum Kendel (known as K1) on board the Endeavour when exploring the South Pacific in 1772.

Cook also made use of the 'lunar distance' method of independently establishing time, which had been a serious contender for the 20,000 Pound Longitude Prize eventually awarded to Harrison for H5. That clock gained only 4.5 seconds in ten weeks, far more accurate than any land clock of the day.

H4 looked like a rather large pocket watch, 12cm in diameter, but incorporated many significant technical innovations: the first caged ball bearing and a balance wheel using a three-coil hairspring adjusted automatically by a bi-metallic temperature compensating 'fork'.

* Editor: "Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time" by Dava Sobel is a must read, fantastic book on this subject. Spring for the few extra bucks and get the hardcover illustrated version. Well worth it.

'Sparkman & Stephens Swan - A Legend' - The Book
Click on image to enlarge.

Sparkman & Stephens Swan - A Legend The new book 'Sparkman & Stephens Swan - A Legend', history of the Swan yachts built by the Finnish shipyard Nautor and designed by the American design office of Sparkman and Stephens, will be officially presented in Milan on November 17th. The only work of its kind, created by the founder of the S&S Swan Association Matteo Salamon, all proceeds from its sales will be devolved to charity.

This 288 page bible for S&S Swans is a must to have on board and in the clubhouse. A useful source of information for brokers and shipyards to consult when selling or refitting an S&S Swan, certain of finding all the details and characteristics of all the models. This prestigious and authoritative volume is destined to become a cult in the nautical world.

The lines plans (published for the first time anywhere), deck and sail plans, the most beautiful images of S&S Swans cruising and racing taken by Carlo Borlenghi, James Robinson Taylor and other yachting photographers, the drawings by marine artist Luca Ferron, and much more. The list of all the S&S Swans from their original papers, text by experts such as Juan Corradi, Daniele Fua, Matti Waris, honorary president Pekka Koskenkyla and above all by Lars Strom, alias "The Professor", ex director of technical engineering at Nautor who was directly involved in all the details of their construction since 1972.

Printed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, the book is available (price: 85 euro + shipping) by contacting the S&S Swan Association at website, or pre-ordering a copy online The printing of a second edition is not foreseen.

Letters To The Editor -
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* From Kevin Wood: re: World Cup Venues

For the conduct of the 1999 combined Olympic sailing classes and invited classes World Championships held on Port Phillip Melbourne Australia I was the championship director.

This event was an initiative of Sail Melbourne and attracted 2000 competitors from 55 countries making it the largest ever held and was highly acclaimed by the sailors and all concerned as an outstanding event.

The then ISAF President Paul Henderson said at the time , quote "Port Phillip is among the world's best open waterways for yacht racing with exciting wind and wave conditions for exhilarating sailing".

Following the success of the '99 Worlds ISAF used the format to establish the Olympic Classes World Championships with which I was directly involved including during this period being an Australian delegate to ISAF for eight years while also Chairman of Sail Melbourne.

It is now hard to believe that World Sailing has acted adversely in regard to maintaining a World Cup event in the southern hemisphere. The Asia / Pacific is becoming the worlds fastest economic growth region.

Sail Melbourne recognised this some years back and targeted the area by branding Sail Melbourne as the Asia / Pacific Regatta. At the last two Olympic Games 40% of the sailing medals were won by Australian and New Zealand competitors. The Americas Cup is dominated by sailors from "down under".

World Sailing is the peak body responsible for administering the sport world wide but with their latest decision on the future World Cup venues appears to be very Europe centric. This is to the detriment of sailing and in particular attracting and maintaining the participation of young sailors in the southern hemisphere who enjoyed competing in the Sail Melbourne World Cup Event.

Like various regattas in Europe breaking away from World Sailing ( ISAF ) maybe those of us in the southern hemisphere who are concerned for the future of sailing should consider doing likewise.

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The Last Word
The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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