In This Issue
Mini Transat: More haste, less speed | Dolan Clawing Back Places After Testing Start To Mini Transat | Mini Transat celebrates innovative design | Mark Turner in his own words | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | A fresh start for the HP30 Class | Tom Slingsby to put "100%" into getting an Australian America's Cup challenge | A Force to be Reckoned With | Tokio back for unfinished business in Legends Race | Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championships | 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: More haste, less speed
The wind is gradually veering round to the north, but it's still struggling to establish itself. In the light airs, some sailors are trying to hoist spinnakers, or even the code 5, which is flatter and easier to set. Failing the wind on the stern, the Mini skippers are going to have to zigzag their way along in a quartering wind to make the north-west tip of Galicia.

After two days of racing, the solo sailors in the Mini-Transat la Boulangère are still dawdling across the Bay of Biscay. The fleet is currently at the longitude of Gijon.

There are no major issues to report among the fleet in these mild conditions. Camille Taque (Foxsea Lady) has resolved her rig problems and managed to fix her keel, which had some play in it. Quentin Vlamynck has reported the failure of his masthead lights... With the exception of Matteo Rusticali, dockside in Royan after finally being towed by a trawler and then the lifeboat, everyone is still racing.

Ranking at 15:00 UTC

Production boats
1. Remi Aubrun - Alternative Sailing - Constructions du Belon - 1,106 miles from the finish
2. Erwan Le Draoulec - Emile Henry - 0.9 miles behind the leader
3. Clarisse Cremer - TBS - 2.7
4. Valentin Gauthier - Shaman - Banque du Leman - 4.1
5. Ambrogio Beccaria - Alla Grande Ambecco - 4.5

1. Erwan le Mene - Rousseau Clotures - 1,091.4 from the finish
2. Ian Lipinski - - 0.6 miles behind the leader
3. Jorg Riechers - Lilienthal - 5.1
4. Aurelien Poisson - TeamWork - 7.4
5. Charlotte Mery - Optigestion - Femmes de Bretagne - 8.5

Dolan Clawing Back Places After Testing Start To Mini Transat
Ireland's Tom Dolan is beginning to climb up the leaderboard after a testing first 36 hours in the Mini Transat La Boulangère.

Dolan, the sole Irish sailor among a fleet of predominantly French sailors, found himself in a demoralising position at the back of the 56-boat production division a few hours after Sunday's start to the 4,000-mile solo race across the Atlantic.

But the 30-year-old from Kells, County Meath, showed trademark resilience and impressive boat speed to jump up to 18th place this morning, around 13 nautical miles behind leader and arch rival Erwan La Draoulec.

This comes despite the Mini Transat media team reporting last night that he had to turn back briefly after missing a virtual mark on the race course.

At the 0900 French time position report Dolan and his boat were reaching in light winds of around six knots through the Bay of Biscay towards the next major milestone - Cape Finisterre on Spain's north-western tip.

From there the fleet will bear south south-west, locking into the trade winds that will take them towards the finish of the 1,350 nautical mile first leg in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in around a week's time.

Leg 1 is followed by a longer 2,700 nautical mile stage across the Atlantic to Le Marin in Martinique, lasting around two weeks.

Dolan, who relocated from Ireland to the Breton port of Concarneau to pursue his Mini Transat dream, is among the favourites in the production division following a string of impressive results over the 2017 Mini 6.50 season.

His goal is to become the first Irish solo sailor ever to reach the podium of the Mini Transat, one of sailing's most revered offshore races. -- Will Carson

Mini Transat celebrates innovative design
Mini-Transat La Boulangère is celebrating 40 years of race vessels with cutting-edge design.

Notable vessels include the prototypes sailed by Casimir Jarkowski in 1997 and Norton Smith in 1979, to Lilienthal skippered by Jorg Riechers or Arkema 3 helmed by Quentin Vlamynck.

Etienne Bertrand, the naval architect responsible for a number of prototypes, including Lilienthal, Jorg Riechers' new steed, stated: "In my view, the first prototype to really be designed specifically for the Mini-Transat was American Express, winner of the 1979 edition in the hands of one Norton Smith. She was a really versatile boat, which was both seaworthy and quick."

Past winners of the race include Thom Pousse helmed by Philippe Vicariot and Mistral Gagnant skippered by Herve Devic.

From 1989 to 2013, the Finot designs took the winner's cup six times.

From 1997, came the dynasty of Pogo 1s, then Pogo 2s, which would reign supreme through until 2013, but the 2011 race was dominated by racer and naval architect David Raison with his Magnum.

At the start, Ian Lipinski, who is sailing the, the next iteration of Raison's design, will have two other scow bows to contend with among others: Arkema 3 skippered by Quentin Vlamynck and Lilienthal sailed by Jorg Riechers.

From 2018, another adversary is looming, designed by Finot-Conq.

Mark Turner in his own words
There were shock waves across the racing world on Wednesday (26 September) after the Volvo Ocean Race announcement that not only was their CEO Mark Turner to leave, but that the proposed 2019-20 Volvo Ocean Race in new boats would not take place.

Turner stressed that Volvo's commitment to the race was not in question.

"They're very excited about this race and have more plans, more activation, and more things going on than they've ever had before," he said.

"So I think there's a genuine excitement and commitment to the race going forward, but we just couldn't move some of the processes and the steps forward in the same timeline that we needed to be able to guarantee that we'd have a great race in 2019 with boats actually finished and on the start line," added Turner, who joined the Volvo Ocean Race team in summer 2016.

He admits that "it's been a bit of a struggle to get everything together" for the 2017-18 race, which starts next month in Alicante, but stressed he was proud of what had been achieved.

Watch the video of Mark Turner above to hear his full statement.

Seahorse October 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
France, France, France, the perfect reminder, muted celebrations in Barcelona, Parko moves to the back of the bus. Plus when should you leave it to the elders to drive progress? Ivor Wilkins, Carlos Pich, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis - What now?
The multiple America's Cup skipper, helmsman, tactician and coach has a clear idea what lies ahead

Farewell, Bermuda... And long live the 36th America's Cup. Andy Claughton

Seahorse build table - A growing force
Now here's one you (probably) never expected to see in these pages. Or even expected to see at all

Sailor of the Month
Young blood and great expectations

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A fresh start for the HP30 Class
The RORC Rating Office has offered to give the HP30 Class professional, independent technical support, with the class rule and other technical class management. The Rating Office team supporting the class includes the Rating Office Director Jason Smithwick, Carole Abbott and Andrew Yates.

Originally setup in 2016, by Joe Hall and Jochem Visser, the class was defined for boats with certain performance characteristics, including a displacement of less than 2,200Kgs and fixed centre-line bowsprits, with asymmetric spinnakers and a minimum TCC of 1.050. In the first season, the fleet comprising FarEast28s, Farr280s, Farr30s, Open 7.5 and Seascape27s, achieved up to nine boats on the water at a number of events. Despite there not being any HP30 racing this season, the same boats came together once more at Cowes Week, racing in the mixed sportsboat IRC fleet and enjoyed some close competition and it is with this in mind and with demand from existing owners to find a way to kickstart the programme and get HP30 Racing back on the water for next year.

In addition to the technical support provided by the RORC Rating Office, the class will be run by the owners association, which is in the process of being formed. Joe and Jochem will continue to providing marketing and administrative support and are in the process of pulling the committee together.

Currently, 2018 HP30 Class starts have been offered at RORC's Easter Challenge and Vice Admiral's Cup events, as well as at Poole International Paints Regatta and Lendy Cowes Week. In addition, the HP30 Class is seeking interest from yacht clubs interested in providing starts, for these types of boats. Over the course of the next month, the rule will be finalised and the committee setup and a programme of racing put in place. Further information for ones and competitors will be available on the HP30Class website and social media pages in the near future.

Tom Slingsby to put "100%" into getting an Australian America's Cup challenge
Tom Slingsby, the 2012 Olympic Laser champion and winner of the America's Cup as strategist aboard Oracle Team USA in 2013, has declared he is devoting the next year of his life to getting an Australian America's Cup team together.

Rating the chances as "better than 50%", Slingsby has rented a property in Sydney and is working with two others to approach potential backers of a team. "There are a few people I'd love to start a team with. There's nothing concrete at this stage but we're opproaching potential backers."

"I'm pretty sure it (the AC75) will be foiling. Maybe not upwind but certainly downwind in certain wind strengths. We know roughly the size of the crews needed, but that's not our problem.

"Here in Australia we've got enough interest, we've got the sailors, the boat builders, the shore crew, the managers. It's just a question of rasing the money and getting the right team together.

A Force to be Reckoned With
With Australians well represented across the crews at this year's event in Bermuda, including three of the skippers - Team NZ's Glenn Ashby, Jimmy Spithill of Oracle Team USA and Artemis' Nathan Outteridge - there is a strong belief Australia could be a force to be reckoned with if they were to re-enter the America's Cup.

There hasn't been an Australian syndicate in the America's Cup since the last event in Auckland in 2003, but with Team NZ moving to tighten the nationality rules for the crew for the 36th America's Cup, there is a sense the time is right for Australia to get back in the game.

The prospect of an Australian challenge could prove tempting for Ashby, who told the Herald last week he is yet to decide whether he will commit to Team NZ's 2021 defence.

Tokio back for unfinished business in Legends Race
Gothenburg, Sweden: Tokio II will represent her sistership Tokio in the Legends Race, which starts from Gothenburg, Sweden on 21 June next year and finishes in The Hague, The Netherlands. Tokio will join Dutch yacht Flyer on the start line and is the second boat to announce participation in the Legends Race.

Two boats were built for the Tokio team entered in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World Race, but only one would take part. It seems a luxury nowadays, but building two boats was quite common practice in the Whitbread 60/Volvo Ocean 60 fleet until new rules prevented two-boat testing unless both boats were entered in the race.

America's Cup legend, New Zealand's Chris Dickson, would skipper the boat and he had to choose between a Farr-designed boat, or a boat from the board of Australian naval architect John Swarbrick. He chose the Farr boat and the Swarbrick boat was left behind. But now she will return to the racetrack to make her mark.

Tokio II is a Whitbread 60. The box-rule class made its first appearance in the 1993-94 race and later became the Volvo Ocean 60, when the Whitbread was sold to Volvo in 1998.

Ten W60s were on the start line on 25 September 1993, racing for the first and last time against the giant maxis. It was Dickson's first appearance as skipper, and he set off in a determined style.

Tokio had already won Legs 1 and 3 and was in the lead on Leg 5, from Punta del Este in Uruguay to Ft Lauderdale, USA, when, on 7 April, she came upright as the mast went over the side, leaving her race in tatters. All hopes of winning overall were dashed as, for the last time, the scoring for the race was on still calculated on elapsed time.

Dickson called the crew to collect the pieces of the mast and jury-rig a sail. Then they headed for the nearby port of Santos in Brazil, where they constructed a new mast from the wreckage in 36 hours and returned to the racetrack. But their hopes of winning the race were gone.

Tokio II regularly competes in famous offshore events such as the Gotland Runt (AF Offshore race) and the Rolex Fastnet.

Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championships
Emirates Team New Zealand's Andy Maloney, and his crew made up of Olympic Bronze Medallist Sam Meech & RNZYS YTP graduates Shaun Mason and Harry Thurston, have won the RNZYS Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championships on what was a hectic days sailing in Auckland.

It was a day for surviving out on the water with the wind well over 25 knots as well as some heavy 35 knot gusts coming through the course, meaning mistakes were very costly and easy to make, but it also made for an extremely entertaining watch for spectators.

It's been a great year for Maloney who won the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda with Emirates Team New Zealand, and he can now add the New Zealand Match Racing Champion feather to his cap, although this may have been the last time we see Maloney take on a match racing regatta. When asked about his stellar year and told he should probably get as many regattas under his belt this year as possible, Maloney laughed – "This is probably my last match racing regatta for a while."

2017 Yachting Developments NZMRC Final Placings
1. Andy Maloney
2. Graeme Sutherland
3. Leonard Takahashi
4. David Hazard
5. James Wilson
6. George Anyon
7. Matthew Hughes
8. Arnau Farras-Knowles
9. Sam Barnett
10.Frankie Dair
11.Samantha Osborne
12.Nick Egnot-Johnson
13.Patrick Harris
14.Alistair Gifford
15.Lachlan Grimwade
16.Colman O'roiden
17.Nick Rozenauers
18.James Jennings
19.Jono Barnett

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