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

Six Miami Medals As First 2017 World Cup Concludes
Britain's sailors concluded their first World Cup regatta of the 2020 cycle with a six-medal haul as the Sailing World Cup Miami drew to a close on Biscayne Bay on Sunday (29 January).

Gold for Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell (49er) and a British 1-2 in the Nacra 17 event from Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves and Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface on Saturday were topped up with two further silver medals and a bronze from Sunday's second day of medal racing.

Lorenzo Chiavarini captured the first British medal of the final day in the Laser class, leapfrogging compatriot and two-time World Champion Nick Thompson to the third step of the podium.

Ben Cornish started the Finn medal race in silver medal position, and had his work cut out defending it during a testing medal race in shifty wind conditions.

In a nail-biting 470 Women's medal race - the final race of the regatta - Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre so nearly made it a third gold for the British Sailing Team, but were edged out by Dutch duo Afrodite Zegers-Annaloes van Veen just before the finish.

Top three by class:

470 Women
1. Afrodite Zegers / Anneloes van Veen, NED, 26 points
2. Sophie Weguelin / Eillidh McIntyre, GBR, 29
3. Silva Mas Depares / Paula Barcelo Martin, ESP, 39

470 Men
1. Stuart McNay / David Hughes, USA, 56
2. Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi, JPN, 60
3. Panagiotis Mantis / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE, 68

RS:X Men
1. Louis Giard, FRA, 36
2. Pierre le Coq, FRA, 75
3. Mateo Sanz Lanz, SUI, 78

RS:X Women
1. Yunxiu Lu, CHN, 44
2. Marina Alabau Neira, ESP, 56
3. Manjia Zheng, CHN, 74

1. Jean Baptiste Bernaz, FRA, 70
2. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 125
3. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini, GBR, 134

Laser Radial
1. Vasileia Karachaliou, GRE, 28
2. Evi van Acker, BEL, 46
3. Mathilde de Kerangat, FRA, 69

1. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 23
2. Ben Cornish, GBR, 51
3. Anders Pedersen, NOR, 55

1. Dylan Fletcher-Scott, GBR, 60
2. Benjamin Bildstein, AUT, 79
3. Diego Botin le Chever, Iago Lopez Marra, ESP, 91

49er FX
1. Martine Soffiatti Grael, BRA, 35
2. Ragna Agerup, NOR, 56
3. Victoria Travascio, ARG, 69

Nacra 17
1. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves, GBR, 39
2. Tom Phipps / Nicola Boniface, GBR, 50
3. Nico Delle - Karth / Laura Schofegger, AUT, 66

Full Sailing World Cup Miami results

Destremau Closes The Door On The Big South
Sebastien Destremau rounded Cape Horn at 1336hrs UTC this Sunday afternoon the final Vendee Globe skipper to exit the Big South and turn safely north into the Atlantic.

The French skipper, who pit-stopped into Tasmania to check and repair the rig of his TechnoFirst FaceOcean, may have rounded in 18th place 37 days after the race winner Armel Le Cleac'h and four days and 16 hours after his closest rival, the Dutch solo skipper Pieter Heerema (No Way Back), said today he could scarcely believe what he has achieved so far on his 1998 launched Finot design which first completed the 2000-1 Vendee Globe course as Josh Hall's Gartmore.

Until he sailed his IMOCA home from South Africa in August 2015 Destremau had confined his racing experience to grand prix offshore and inshore sailing.

Eric Bellion (CommeUnseulHomme) crossed the Equator in ninth place at 2343hrs UTC last night and looked set for a relatively straightforward passage through the Doldrums. He is looking to live every one of his last days on the race course to its fullest as he remains sure that his Vendee Globe is a once in a lifetime experience.

Louis Burton is expected to be the next Vendee Globe skipper to finish into Les Sables d'Olonne, on course to arrive on Wednesday. He was making 17kts this afternoon some 80 miles north of the Azores on his Bureau Vallee.

There Is A Choice
Italian fibre and rope specialist Gottifredi Maffioli is finding a fast-growing market for furling and aft rigging cables constructed with SK99 Dyneema

Much has been written about hightech rope as well as the benefits of carbon standing rigging in its various incarnations. But what about that grey area between rods and rope? Maffioli is well known across the yacht racing market for its ropes, but the Italian manufacturer is also now a leading supplier of composite cables, primarily using unidirectional Dyneema of which the highestperforming type is currently SK99.

Like its forebears, SK99 is an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), a family that also includes Spectra, although SK99 is a more recent product. This latest iteration follows the initial development of SK90 by Dyneema's Dutch manufacturer DSM, working with Maffioli for the fibre's use in running rigging onboard Alinghi's successful defending America's Cup Class yacht in Valencia in 2007.

Full article in the February issue of Seahorse:

Team New Zealand Reject New Framework Agreement
Emirates Team New Zealand have rejected a framework agreement reached by their 35th America's Cup rivals.

The agreement, announced at a press conference in London this week, would lock in the existing class of foiling catamarans, lower costs for potential new syndicates to enter the America's Cup and narrow the downtime between cycles.

However, New Zealand, who were not present at this week's press conference at the House of Garrard, did not sign the agreement, which would be moot if they were to win this summer's Cup on the Great Sound.

The Kiwis said they prefer to stick with tradition as spelled out in the Deed of Gift, the document that governs the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport. "Emirates Team New Zealand believe the future America's Cup format is to be decided by the Defender and Challenger of Record as it has historically been," the team said in a written statement.

Traditionally, whenever the America's Cup changes hands, the new defender takes some time to negotiate the format and class of boats to be used in the next regatta with the Challenger of Record, which represents the interests of all the challengers.

There is no Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup after Australia's Hamilton Island Yacht Club dropped out early in the cycle and was replaced by a committee of the remaining challengers.

Signing the agreement were Oracle Team USA, the two-times defending champions, SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team France, Artemis Racing and Land Rover BAR.

The Kiwis have been at odds with the America's Cup Event Authority since the latter switched the America's Cup Qualifiers from Auckland to Bermuda, resulting in the syndicate losing millions of dollars in funding from the New Zealand government.

Team New Zealand took its case to an arbitration panel and has reportedly won, which could lead to an award of millions of dollars from the ACEA, who have yet to announce the panel's deliberations.

Both sides also clashed over the controversial amendment of the class rule for the next America's Cup, which led to the withdrawal of Luna Rossa Challenge, from Italy.

It was the first time in Cup history that a class rule has been altered in midstream. -- Colin Thompson

Last Day To Vote For Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
Voting will close at midnight GMT Monday (the midnight dividing Monday and Tuesday) for the best Yachting Bar for 2016.

This has become a two-bar race between Pewaukee Yacht Club of Wisconsin and the Rochester Yacht Club of New York, with tens of thousands of votes.

Some very determined members...

We announce the winner in our February 1 issue after review by the team at Wight Vodka / True North, Scuttlebutt Europe and Seahorse magazine.

Congratulations to ALL of this year's nominated bars... and to those who serve essential libations to sailors around the world.

Here's one to try out yourself: the Vesper

3.0 ounces gin
1.0 ounce Wight Vodka
0.5 ounce Lillet Blanc

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Twist a large swathe of lemon peel over the surface of the drink and drop it in.

This cocktail is odd for a number of reasons, but it is an oddness that results in genius. Most martinis are tempered with dry vermouth. The Vesper uses Lillet Blanc, a aromatic aperitif wine that really complements the vodka and the gin. The bit of oil from the lemon peel adds an extra depth to the drink.

This drink was made popular via the first James Bond book, Casino Royale, in which Bond's love interest is named Vesper Lynd. -- from Forgotten Cocktails,

Vote here:

18 Footers Australian Championship
It was a game of snakes and ladders for the minor podium places today in race four of the 18 Footers Australian Championship in a 9-12knot ESE. Lee Knapton's Smeg led at the top mark the first time but David Witt's came through on the long reach from Shark Island to Robertson Point to take the lead.

From there they extended their lead and held on to it comfortably while Smeg and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) battled it out for second. Never far behind was Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Coopers 62 Rag & Famish (Jack Macartney).

After the first lap of the course, there was little change. But after the windward return, there was plenty of action at the front of the pack.

Coopers 62 Rag & Famish and Asko Appliances put the pressure on the race leaders and when got stuck during a tack at the top mark, they closed the gap. But Witt's team was able to hang on to take the win after a long reach and work up to the finish line at Clark Island.

It was a photo finish between Asko Appliances and Coopers 62 Rag & Famish, which saw the red boat take second by one second.

The final race of the series, race five, will be sailed next Sunday, February 5. -- Kimberley Wilmot

Guest Editorial: World Sport To Leave Trump's America?
Many international sporting federations, including sailing, have taken firm anti-discrimination action. This has been demonstrated most clearly in preventing World Championship events from being staged in countries that do not allow free entry to athletes from all around the world. World sporting bodies, especially those that are Olympic sports already, have such a policies or are moving to them, as it is central to the International Olympic Committee's core values.

Now should it become permanent, there will be ramifications of President Donald Trump's ban on people born in a range of Muslim majority countries, namely Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Libya from entering the USA. It will not only have a dramatic effect families, business, but politics and sport, as well.

Yes, this could be human suffering in the very same vein as Apartheid. The immediate and potential devastation for families, and people in general, is significant.

Speaking from the White House yesterday, Trump said the ban was "working out very nicely", but he will no doubt be displeased that overnight a Federal Court Judge temporarily overturned the Executive Order.

But we need to consider that the Republicans control both the House and the Senate.

So accordingly, a law along the lines of the Executive Order that the new Republican President signed on Friday, would then also catch Green Card holders, and hundreds of thousands of people with existing, valid US visas, for it would include many Muslim born citizens from other countries. One would not want to belittle the human suffering that would cause in any way, but there will also be shockwaves for the world's sporting landscape.

At the World Sailing (WS) meeting in early November last year in Barcelona, Spain, there was robust discussion about the location of the World Sailing annual conference being held in Sarasota, Florida in November of 2018. This was entirely because of the possibility of Donald Trump being elected, with an oft-repeated ban on Muslims entering the USA as part of his platform.

Most members of the WS Council plainly thought that the likelihood of Trump winning the then soon to be held US Presidential election were slim. Accordingly, the notion that the USA would ban Muslims from entering their country was also considered to be improbable, so they voted to hold the 2018 World Sailing annual meeting in the USA.

Yet under the rules of sailing's peak body, and should it all come to pass, the event will now have to be switched to another country.

Therefore, World Championship events, such as the Youth Sailing World Championships scheduled for Corpus Christi Texas in July of 2018, and the annual Sailing World Cup currently running in Miami, Florida, would disappear from the American landscape.

Now multiply these kinds of impacts across the 40 Summer and Winter Olympic sports alone, and one wonders just how an anti-Muslim ban would help 'Make America Sport Great Again'? -- Rob Kothe

Immigration Ban Throws La 2024 Olympics Bid Into Turmoil
Donald Trump's immigration ban threw Los Angeles' bid for the 2024 Olympics into turmoil as the city's mayor accused him of "fanning the flames of hatred".

The new US president's executive order severely restricting access to America by citizens of several Middle Eastern and African countries - potentially even those holding dual nationality with the likes of Britain - appeared to deal a major blow to LA's hopes of landing the Games later this year.

The International Olympic Committee votes in September whether to award sport's biggest event to LA, Paris or Budapest, and one of the officials who will decide their fate condemned on Saturday what was among Trump's first acts since taking office.

IOC member Richard Peterkin, of St Lucia, posted on Twitter: "Trump's Executive Order on immigration is totally contrary to Olympic ideals. For him, collective responsibility trumps individual justice."

LA mayor Eric Garcetti: "Congress outlawed the banning of immigrants by nationality more than 50 years ago, because we have long known that it does not make us safer. It only fans the flames of hatred that those who wish us harm seek to spread."

Block Island Race Week Announcement
Storm Trysail Club, the regatta organizer for Key West Race Week, is announcing that entries are now open for the 2017 edition of the famous Block Island Race Week. The event runs from June 18th to 23rd, 2017.

It is the only five-day race week in New England that features great racing and six parties in the Storm Trysail Tent at the infamous "The Oar Restaurant" - all framed by Block Island's special ambiance.

Major championships will be decided: IRC, J/44, and J/109 North Americans, PHRF and J/88 East Coasts and the J/105 New England Championship!

Racing is also offered in Performance Cruising classes, both spinnaker and non-spinnaker (PHRF), and double handed (PHRF).

Enter Now! $2 per foot LOA early pay discount, if entry fee paid on or before March 1, 2017!! For more details, NOR, and entry for sailing Block Island Race Week.

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: Around the World. Singlehanded
Yacht: Sodebo4. 120 ft Trimaran
Name: Thomas Coville. FRA
Dates:.6th November 2016 to the 25th December 2016
Start time: 13;53;02 on 6/11/16
Finish time: 16; 57; 30 on 25/12/16
Elapsed time: 49 days 3 hours 4 minutes and 28 seconds
Distance: 21600 NM
Average speed: 18.36 kts

Comments: Previous record: "IDEC". Francis Joyon. FRA. Jan 08. 57d 13h 34m 6s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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MC90. New Boat.

Now we’re really cooking with gas as Ker and McConaghy introduce this 90ft globe-girdling powerhouse. All three of the new McConaghy cats look to deliver a nice combination of aesthetics, roomy interiors but still a promise of proper sailing

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2004 90' McConaghy Custom Racer. 1,500,000 USD. Located in Annapolis, MD United States.

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See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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The Last Word
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria. -- Dr. Peter Venkman