In This Issue
Mini-Transat: Getting into the swing of things | Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag surprise with new crew announcement | Where Sailing Comes First but the Rum is a Close Second? | Team Brunel supported by Royal Huisman in Volvo Ocean Race | Melges 20 World Championship | project 60 - Materials still needed to finish the book | Boats to Bridges | Come from behind win for Katusha in Cascais | New Racing Manager appointed for The Royal Ocean Racing Club | 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

Mini-Transat: Getting into the swing of things
The first 24 hours are now in the wake of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère fleet. For all that, the switch from one world to another hasn't gone without its share of difficulties as a result of minor preparation issues and the time required for the solo sailors to get into the swing of things.

Enemy number one for some at the moment is sea sickness. At this morning's audio session, certain sailors admitted feeling a little under the weather, including Julien Bozzolo (, Francois Denis ( and Arnaud Etchandy (Ipar Hego). They're surely not alone in this, but at the front of the fleet the leaders are already being careful not to disclose any signs of weakness as tradition dictates.

The first hours of racing can also have their share of nasty surprises. Julien Hereu (Poema Insurance) has been trying to resolve an issue with his generator, whilst Marc Miro (Alfin) has reported difficulties getting his AIS to work. Meantime, Irish skipper Thomas Dolan ( has had to retrace his steps after realising that he'd failed to respect the course marks at the coastal course gate. Italian Matteo Rusticali (Spot), who set sail at the helm of the oldest boat in the race, built for the Mini-Transat 1991, has sadly dismasted and was originally making for La Rochelle under jury rig. Given his course, it would seem that he's now opted instead for the mouth of the Gironde estuary to make landfall.

For now, the remainder of the fleet is trying to contend with a system of prevailing westerlies.

Top Five Rankings at 15:00 UTC

Prototypes 1. Erwan le Mene - Rousseau Clotures - 1,203.2 miles from the finish
2. Ian Lipinski - - 1.1 miles behind the leader
3. Romain Bolzinger - - 2.2
4. Aurelien Poisson - TeamWork - 2.7
5. Jorg Riechers - Lilienthal - 3.7

Production boats
1. Erwan Le Draoulec - Emile Henry - 1,208.9 miles from the finish
2. Remi Aubrun - Alternative Sailing - Constructions du Belon - 0.2 miles behind the leader
3. Valentin Gauthier - Shaman - Banque du Leman - 0.9
4. Pierre Chedeville - Blue Orange Games - Fair Retail - 1.5
5. Clarisse Cremer - TBS - 1.8

Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag surprise with new crew announcement
Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag have announced three new crew members for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, including Dutch Olympic medallist, Annemieke Bes.

Skipper David Witt, who is leading Hong Kong's first ever entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, has announced three new additions to his crew - Tom Clout (AUS), Antonio Fontes (POR) and Dutch Olympic Silver medallist, Annemieke Bes (NED).

Witt, who previously stated he was intending to sail with a crew of seven men, has surprised by including Bes as part of his final crew line up. New race rules, designed to incentivise teams to take female crew, limit an all-male crew to seven sailors. Under race rules, a mixed crew can include up to an additional two female sailors, for a total of eight or nine.*

Until today, Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag was the only team, out of the seven competitors, to not have considered female sailors. The announcement of Bes now means every Volvo Ocean Race team has female sailors fully integrated into their crew line up.

Bes was, until recently, part of team AkzoNobel, the Dutch entry in the race skippered by Simeon Tienpont, but recently made the switch to Witt's team.

The boats are currently undergoing a final maintenance period in Lisbon ahead of sailing to Alicante for the start of the race on 22 October 2017.

*Other crew configurations include 10 sailors if the team consists of an even male/female split. An all-female team may race with 11 crew.

Where Sailing Comes First but the Rum is a Close Second?
Big warm seas, consistent trade winds, challenging round the buoys racing and the best shoreside parties in the Caribbean sum up the phenomenon that is Antigua Sailing Week. Preceded by an optional race, the Peters & May Round Antigua Race featuring 52 nm of perfect pre-ASW tune up for new teams, followed by five days of racing off Antigua's south coast and interrupted by a beach day, this is a regatta not to miss.

Classes include Big Boat, Racing, Sport Boat, Cruising, Multihull, Bareboat and Club Class. Daily prize givings at Antigua Yacht Club are legendary as is the final awards party hosted in historic UNESCO-accredited Nelson's Dockyard.

Bragging rights, the best silverware and a photo op with the Queen's representative, the Governor General mean you get the best of all worlds - professionally run race management, incredible history and Caribbean beaches, parties and English Harbour Rum.

Mix that with a Fever-Tree ginger beer and you have the Perfect Storm.

Team Brunel supported by Royal Huisman in Volvo Ocean Race
The Dutch yacht builder Royal Huisman supports Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 through their expertise and know-how. Last week there was a team from Royal Huisman in Lisbon to help the shorecrew in and around the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard with last big pre-race maintenance.

Skipper Bekking is very excited about the support from the Dutch yacht builder. Bekking: "The expertise and know-how from Royal Huisman are undisputed. On top of that they have a glorious history in this race as the builder of two winning boats: Flyer and Flyer II. With their yachts Dutchman Conny van Rietschoten won the Whitbread Round the World Race, the predecessor of the Volvo Ocean Race, in the late 70's, early '80's.

Team Director Gideon Messink: " Royal Huisman is, as a partner from the Sailing Holland Sailors Club directly connected to Team Brunel. Where we can benefit from their knowledge and skills, they get unique opportunities from the Volvo Ocean Race. They can bring in guests and relations in the impressive world of the Race and have a very exclusive view behind the scenes. Besides the big namegiving sponsors we're also looking for partnerships that touch both parties at their core expertise and goals.

Melges 20 World Championship
In its rich sailing history, Newport, R.I. has played host to just about every famous sailboat race on the planet: the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and countless grand prix World Championship events, not to mention a long and distinguished bucket list of ocean races that every sailor dreams of.

In just a few days, the International Melges 20 Class Association (IM20CA) will add to that list. It will cap off a long and awesome season with the commencement of the 2017 World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

With an impressive fleet of 40 teams from four continents, representing nine nations, sailors, friends and families alike will be treated to Newport's best conditions for a full on experience of this iconic sailing venue.

Tuesday, October 3rd is set aside for final measurement checks at Sail Newport, Pre-World Championship races and opening ceremonies at NYYC. Racing commences on Wednesday, October 4 with an 11.00 warning. The Championship will conclude on Saturday, October 7 with an awards ceremony at Sail Newport.

2017 Five Ten Melges 20 World League Results (After 12 Events Complete)
1. Igor Rytov, Russian Bogatyrs, RUS, 136 points
2. Vladimir Prosikhin, RUS, 95
3. Achille Onorato, Mascalzone Latino, RUS, 82
4. Drew Freides, Pacific Yankee, RUS, 77
5. Alexander Ezhkov, Pirogovo, RUS, 73

Event site:

project 60 - Materials still needed to finish the book
As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the OK Dinghy, a new book is being published. Under the working title, project 60, this will be the story of the OK through personal anecdotes and stories.

While many sailors and friends have sent in stories for the book, and there are a lot of really good ones, we still need lots more to complete the project. Many people have also promised materials and not yet delivered.

The goal remains to try and get this book published before Christmas so you can all have one in your stocking, but for that to happen a lot of stories need to arrive in the next month.

So please search your memory, think of a great story and send it in, whether it's 100 words or 2,000 words. Photos are always useful, though in this case not obligatory. Please send all contributions to OKDIA. at

It's still OK to do this right now. Thanks. -- Robert Deaves

Boats to Bridges
Old GRP yachts don't die, nor are they very good at just fading away. But things are changing...

'See first that the design is wise and just; that ascertained, pursue it resolutely' William Shakespeare

Sustainable development is traditionally defined as something that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Using innovative thinking to advance sustainable practices is core to The Schmidt Family Foundation's 11th Hour Racing programme. One area in which the programme is now involved is the delicate but still largely overlooked issue of the disposal of obsolete leisure craft.

Space is a precious commodity at the Rhode Island State central landfill: in 2038 the 1,040-acre site will stop accepting new material. The looming deadline has made one waste problem more complex: what to do with old fibreglass hulls?

The steady accumulation of end-of-life vessels in coastal communities across the United States and Europe has sparked discussion around a variety of intertwined environmental and economic issues. Currently, the most common destination for these ageing craft is the landfill or worse: abandoned in backyards, boatyards or local waterways. Landfill managers typically use a simple mechanical process to cut and crush the glassfibre mat, polyester resins and ancillary material, subsequently compressing and burying remains within the greater mixture of municipal solid waste.

Based on the established estimates of national end-of-life vessel populations, these traditional processes are already burying millions of metric tons of fibreglass around the world each year. This practice is a mistreatment of usable composite material and is environmentally perilous waste management.

Full article in the October issue of Seahorse:

Come from behind win for Katusha in Cascais
Cascais laid on an action-packed day for the conclusion of the 2017 RC44 Championship's penultimate event, the RC44 Cascais Cup. At the beginning of it, Igor Lah's Team CEEREF held a slender lead, but lost it to Charisma. By the start of the third and final race Alexander Novoselov's Katusha was leading by two points. Despite Team CEEREF sailing an immaculate final race, a second placed finish for Katusha enabled the Russian team to win the RC44 Cascais Cup by just one point.

While the wind started off at 10-14 knots, again from the unusual northerly, offshore direction, by the first run it was already up to 20 knots and remained firmly in the 20-25 knot range for the remainder of today's three races. In this RC44s could hit speeds of 20+ knots during downwind surf-fests.

Katusha's 3-1-2 winning scoreline today was the best any of the boats posted this week. Ed Baird was standing in for Andy Horton on tactics and paid tribute to the Katusha team. "They know how to make this boat go really well and it makes the tactician much smarter. It is always important to be quick and the guys made the boat go well. Without that, none of this happens."

With a discard kicking in following this regatta, so Igor Lah's Team CEEREF is on level points in the 2017 RC44 Championship with Katusha, but the Slovenia team leads – and is the new recipient of the golden wheels (the RC44's yellow jersey equivalent) – through having a higher result at the 2017 RC44 World Championship.

Having led for the duration of the four day event here, Lah was disappointed not to have won the RC44 Cascais Cup. "We missed it for a second time by a point, so we will come back next year to try and make it third time lucky."

The 2017 RC44 Championship is set to conclude next month with the RC44 Calero Marinas Cup in Marina Arrecife, Lanzarote over 23-26 November.

RC44 Cascais Cup - Overall ranking

After 12 races
1. Katusha, Alexander Novoselov, 48 points
2. Ceeref, Igor Lah, 49
3. Charisma, Nico Poons, 53
4. Peninsula Petroleum, John Bassadone, 58
5. Nika, Vladimir Prosikhin, 60
6. Bronenosec, Vladimir Liubomirov & Kirill Frolov, 66
7. Artemis Racing, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 68
8. Aqua, Chris Bake, 68
9. Artemis Racing Youth, Gustaf Lidvall, 76

New Racing Manager appointed for The Royal Ocean Racing Club
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Stone as the new Racing Manager from mid-November 2017. He will succeed Nick Elliott who has carried out an exemplary job over the past nine years for the international members' club based in London and Cowes.

Chris from Australia will bring over 15 years of expertise to the position that includes his most recent role as Sailing Manager in the Senior Management Team at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and previously at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

As a professional sailing administrator, he has vast experience and proven ability managing significant events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Farr 40 Worlds, Etchells Worlds and Volvo Ocean Race and Clipper Round the World stopovers.

Chris has competed at Cowes Week and in events such as the Melges 32 National Championships and Etchells Worlds.

Chris will direct the Race Management Team based in Cowes, Isle of Wight who work year-round on the RORC Season's Points Championship; a much-coveted series of offshore races running at regular intervals from February to November. He will also be responsible for running a series of inshore events such as: The RORC Easter Challenge, Vice Admiral's Cup, IRC European Championship (includes the Commodores' Cup), as well as the RORC's signature event, the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race that regularly sees over 300 boats taking part.

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The Last Word
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