In This Issue
Audi J/70 World Championship | Southern Yacht Club Claims 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup | Ocean Safety to put Volvo teams through pre-race safety training sessions | Sam Laidlaw's Aguila claims Coutts Quarter Ton Cup | Surprise victory for Realteam at GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup | Nominations Launched For YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2017 and Young Sailor of the Year | The 2018 Grand (Caribbean) Tour | Dugout Canoe Surfaces after Irma | Spithill wants America's Cup return | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage

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

Audi J/70 World Championship
Porto Cervo, Italy: The Audi J/70 World Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in collaboration with the J/70 International Class Association, and with the Title Sponsor Audi, and Official Sailmaker Quantum Sails.

With sparkling sunshine, a significant sea state, and a warm westerly breeze, piping up to a ballistic 30 knots, the world's largest championship sportsboat fleet enjoyed a fantastic finale.

Peter Duncan is the Audi J/70 World Champion, after a stunning performance, scoring podium finishes in every race, including three race wins. American Brian Keane's Savasana scored a second in the final race, moving up to runner up for the championship. Italian Luca Domenici moved up to third in the final race. Italian Claudia Rossi's attempt to become the first lady helm to win the title was ended with a Black Flag in the final race. -- Louay Habib

Gold Fleet

Audi J/70 World Champion:
Relative Obscurity (USA), Peter Duncan - Diaz de Leon
Second: Savasana (USA) Brian Keane - Stu McNay
Third: Notaro Team (ITA) Luca Domenici - Diego Negri

Gold Corinthian Class Winner:
White Hawk (ITA) Gianfranco Noe
Second: Marnatura (ESP) Luis Bugallo
Third: Give Me Five (FRA) Robin Follin

Silver Fleet Overall Winner & Corinthian Winner:
Noberasco Das (ITA) Alessandro Zampori

Southern Yacht Club Claims 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup
Newport RI, USA: In Saturday's single race, the Southern Yacht Club was as sharp as they had been in the previous 11 races, starting strongly and never wavering. SYC eventually finished second to Royal Thames in the race, and four places ahead of their only remaining competition for the overall trophy, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Australia. In 12 races, the Southern Yacht Club team accumulated just 34 points, the lowest winning total for a Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup by 10 points.

With a margin of 8 points over second-placed Royal Sydney to start the day, and only one race remaining, Southern Yacht Club was in a comfortable position. But light air and fog can dampen the confidence of even the most credentialed sailor. A long delay only added to the anxiety.

Southern Yacht Club was the first rookie competitor to win the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup since the host New York Yacht Club won the inaugural competition in 2009. But the team, which was composed of veteran sailors with many significant campaigns under their collective belt, approached the regatta with the appropriate commitment. Buoyed by the membership, and especially crew member Stephen Murray Jr., the team was able to purchase a boat to train on all summer and sail in regatta.

The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup took place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardized across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, Nautor's Swan, AIG and Helly Hansen.

Final results

1. Southern YC, USA, 34
2. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, AUS, 46
3. Eastern Yacht Club, USA, 67
4. New York Yacht Club, USA, 74
5. Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, 77
6. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, HKG, 85
7. Japan Sailing Federation , JPN, 88
8. Yacht Club Argentino, ARG, 92
9. Itchenor Sailing Club, UK, 96
10. New Bedford Yacht Club, USA, 114
11. Royal Cork YC, IRL, 114
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, SWE, 121
13. Shelter Island Yacht Club, USA, 121
14. Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, 134

Ocean Safety to put Volvo teams through pre-race safety training sessions
Some of the biggest names in racing are to undergo intensive safety training with Ocean Safety in preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race which starts on October 14th.

Ocean Safety will work with the crews for a full week starting 16th September at South Tyneside College's state of the art survival training centre.

Ocean Safety has provided the majority of all the necessary lifesaving equipment to the seven yachts taking part in the gruelling 37,000 mile race, including the Jonbuoy Recovery Module and the new SOLAS Ocean Ultralite liferafts, amongst other vital onboard safety equipment.

"Although many are veteran Volvo racers and ocean sailors who have seen Ocean Safety's demonstrations before it is always important to check that their skills and safety knowledge is current and up to date," comments Alistair. This is the fifth consecutive event that the company has been involved in.

Ocean Safety's involvement doesn't stop there.  The safety equipment on all the yachts will be checked and serviced before the yachts go to Alicante, and then further final checks will be made in the days before the start. Ocean Safety will also have a presence in Auckland to inspect the kit half way around.

Sam Laidlaw's Aguila claims Coutts Quarter Ton Cup
Aguila on her way to victory in the 2017 Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. Photo by Paul Wyeth. Click on image to enlarge.

Winds ranging from 5 knots to 27 knots provided a thorough test of competitors at this year's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. Few teams were able to maintain consistent performance across such a wide range of conditions and for most it was a very high scoring series.

However, Sam Laidlaw's Aguila dominated the front of the fleet throughout the championship and put up an impressively flawless performance today, winning all three races. Laidlaw's team of Brett Aarons, Dan Gohl, Tom Forrester-Coles and Robbie Southwell, finished the series as overall winner, counting just nine points from seven races.

Apart from a shocker in the final race, Ian Southworth's Whiskers also sailed a consistent regatta, counting predominately first and second places to finish in second overall on 14 points. Third overall was taken by Mark Richmond's Cote on 29 points and fourth by Paul Gibbons' Anchor Challenge on 32 points.

As well as the main prize for the overall winner of the Quarter Ton Cup, the event also awards a raft of other prizes. The Roger Swinney trophy for boats other than the winners of the Open and Corinthian Divisions rating lower than 0.910 was won by Whiskers.

Terence Dinmore's Captain Moonlight won the prize for the oldest crew, with a combined age of 334 years, and Willie McNeill's Illegal the youngest (167 years). The oldest bowman, winning the walking stick, is 59-year old Led Pritchard of Whiskers. The concours d'elegance for the best-presented boat went to Lincoln Redding's Lacydon Protis. -- Rupert Holmes

Surprise victory for Realteam at GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup
An unforced error caused victory to slip through the fingers of Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco on the final day of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup, leaving the Swiss Realteam to claim their second event win on the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour.

While summery conditions initially gave way to an overcast sky and rain, out on the Bay of Calvi it was the most stable day with 15-20 knot winds. This enabled one round of the ANONIMO Speed Challenge and five races with reaching starts to be held. 

In the ANONIMO Speed Challenge it was Jason Carroll's Argo which made the fastest run today with an average speed of 21.21 knots for the two reaching legs and the gybe between. 

Crews and spectators alike today were pleased the race committee was able to set up America's Cup-style courses with reaching starts/finishes. As the wind piped up to 20 knot for the fourth race, the start became even more of a high octane affair. Once again the Bay of Calvi's fish farm formed an obstacle on the left side of the race track forcing boats that went this side to reach into the leeward gate at warp factor. On Argo they hit 36 knots. 

Going into the final event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour, Marseille One Design, Realteam holds a two point lead over Argo.  

On this occasion it was Naofumi Kamei's Mamma Aiuto! that claimed the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup owner-driver prize. Incredibly there are now three teams - Argo, Mamma Aiuto! and Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco all tied on points in the 2017 season Owner Driver Championship going into the last event of the season: Marseille One Design will take place over 12-15 October.

Nominations Launched For YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2017 and Young Sailor of the Year
Nominations for the 2017 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Awards open today to start the selection process of finding Britain's top Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the Year.

The NEW YJA Young Bloggers Competition intended to give young bloggers, journalists, video and photographers and aspiring radio presenters a chance to get their first break in yachting journalism was also launched. 

Nominations for both awards and the Bloggers competition were launched at the Southampton Boat Show today, and close on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

 Nominations may be made online via the YJA website as well as the Boat Show and Premier Marinas websites.  Nomination forms will also be available on other exhibition stands, at yacht clubs, and at all nine Premier Marinas in the south.

The prestigious yachting awards were  launched  at a reception hosted by Premier Marinas at the Southampton Boat Show, attended by past Award winners and members of the Yachting Journalists' Association.

Barry Pickthall encourages the yachting community to make their nominations, "Don't rely on someone else to name your yachting hero or rising star to be considered for the 2017 YJA Awards.  Nominating couldn't be simpler."  

Nominations can be made online at or by posting back one of  nomination cards being distributed throughout the Boat Show, to Yacht Clubs across the country, and from any Premier Marinas site across the south of England.

Nominations are welcomed until Sunday, October 15, 2017. The winners for each Award will be announced on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Trinity House, London.

The 2018 Grand (Caribbean) Tour
We've managed to remain in close touch with our friends in the Caribbean Sailing Association throughout their recent and dreadful experiences - offering by comparison minuscule but still sincere support wherever it can be of any use whatsoever.

We were thrilled - and surprised - by the inspiring stated ambition to run their scheduled regattas for the coming 2018 Caribbean season. We at Seahorse will be digging deep and stretching ourselves a little thin but we are committing now to having people at all the events we possibly can and we very much encourage the entire sailing community to do the same.

The Caribbean regatta circuit plays a huge role in supporting the local economies of many of the islands that were just ravaged by Hurricane Irma - islands and communities that have been incredibly welcoming to us all in the past.

Now it's our turn. As racing sailors, if ever you had an interest in visiting or revisiting a Caribbean Regatta then early 2018 is the best - and most public spirited - opportunity (hopefully) any of us will have in our lifetimes.

The following article maps out the CSA's key events - we urge you to commit to one or more today, notify the organisers of your intention to take part and support wonderful communities that are at this moment working desperately hard to provide their families with something approaching normal living in the most adverse and dispiriting of conditions.

Dugout Canoe Surfaces after Irma
Click on image to enlarge.

A dugout canoe reportedly washed ashore during Hurricane Irma on the north side of Cocoa, Florida. A local resident reports that he was riding his bicycle after the storm and spotted the canoe by the shore. Familiar with state laws, he suspected the canoe came from Sovereign Submerged Lands and reported it to the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, Division of Historical Resources, Department of State.

The canoe was evaluated by a professional archeologist based in Canaveral on Thursday, September 14. The canoe is approximately 15 feet long and weighs hundreds of pounds. It is waterlogged and has a very small number of barnacles on it. The construction is atypical, with not only a squared off form commonly seen in the historic period, but compartments and what appears to be a seat.

Initial assessments suggest the canoe is over fifty years old, which makes it historic in age, but the approximate age of the canoe is not yet confirmed. The department is having the canoe carbon-dated and we should receive results within a few weeks. Overall, its appearance and the presence of a cut nail suggests it is not a precontact canoe. In other words, it is maximum several hundred years old and minimum probably several decades old.

Florida has the highest concentration of archaeological dugouts in the world with more than 400 from the state. Wooden artifacts like canoes are only preserved in constantly wet environments or constantly dry environments. Because Florida is so wet, it has an environment conducive to preservation of wood. There are several uncommon but not unique things about this particular canoe: 1) its overall shape, construction and paint, 2) the nature of the find, and 3) the location of the find adjacent to the Indian River and the probable association with saltwater.

The canoe is currently being kept wet and is in a safe place. The Division of Historical Resources is working with local museums to provide a short-term and long term plan for its conservation, preservation, and ultimate public display in Cocoa.

Read more

Spithill wants America's Cup return
Jimmy Spithill said he wants another crack at the America's Cup after skippering Oracle Team USA's drubbing at the hands of Emirates Team New Zealand in Bermuda this summer.

The Australian, twice a winner of the Auld Mug, told a New Zealand radio station that he did not want his America's Cup career to end with the 7-1 defeat by Team New Zealand in AC35 on the Great Sound in June.

"I don't even know if I will ever get over Bermuda, but I can't leave it like that," Spithill said on an interview with Newstalk ZB. "I love the game. I'm pretty much obsessed with it and, for sure, my plan is to try and get back there, and I'm sure you guys would love to hear, get that Cup back off New Zealand."

Speculation is rife that Oracle will not enter AC36 in Auckland four years from now. Bob Fisher, the British sailing writer, wrote in Yachts and Yachting that Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle Corporation, was set to turn his back on the America's Cup. Fisher reported that he had received an e-mail from Sir Russell Coutts, the chief executive of the team and the America's Cup Event Authority in Bermuda, that wrote: "My understanding is that Oracle/Larry will not be entering."

Spithill did not say whether he knew what Ellison's plans were, and said: "I would love to see Larry back in the game ... either way, I want back in."

The 38-year-old, who led Oracle to victory in 2010 and 2013, did not mention whether he was in talks with any potential employers for AC36. -- Ben Saunders, Sports Editor

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 Susan Zaluski:

We are all overwhelmed and surrounded by love from all parts of the world. It is touching and has brought the Jost Van Dyke community together. Jost Van Dyke has been utterly devastated and the photos and personal narratives of this storm are both heartbreaking and inspiring. 

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Susan and I am the Director of the Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society which Foxy founded years ago and I also work for him at Foxy's coordinating events, social media and other marketing tasks. I have resided on JVD for several years and consider it and the Foxy clan home and family.

Today I received word that I am - at least temporarily-- the official external voice of Foxy's. You can direct questions to me. Please keep them essential and know that those of us impacted are working overtime whilst also dealing with our own trauma. Know that Foxy and Tessa are committed to rebuilding the bar and JVD. Foxy, tessa, justine and jemilla will remain on JVD. They are staying put. I was able to see Adrian and Naya today who are on their way to New Jersey to live with Raquel and their cousins Isaac and Lilly. Tristan and Zander will stay on Jost for the time being.

If you haven't already heard, much of Foxy's is intact and they moved all the food from the Soggy Dollar and Hendo's trailers in White Bay and brought them to Foxy's which is functioning as a community kitchen. While there is looting and shooting in Tortola, on Jost Van Dyke they are working together, clearing roads, prioritizing their needs and redefining their future - as a community. It is, no lie, the most inspiring thing I have ever seen in my life.

And that brings me to an important next point - your ideas and energy are greatly appreciated; however, at this time everyone at the outside is telling JVD what it needs. Everyone is tripping over each other and it is getting confusing. The preservation society and others are working to raise funds and we have started a Go Fundme:

Donations can also be directed to us through

Please share widely.

I will visit JVD for a few days this week and will have several meetings - which have stared here in puerto rico with survivors about what the most pressing needs are and where to direct funds. We are also  not lacking in expert review of the situation. The UN and colleagues from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been on site to JVD for assessments.

We are also getting a great aid response here in San Juan where the Puerto Ricans and the "Puerto Rican Navy" have been northing short of amazing. If you know of people wanted to donate, please direct them towards me.

Thank you so much for your interest and energy.

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