In This Issue
Less than 2 minutes separates first two Protos | Game On! Register Now for St. Thomas International Regatta - March 23-25, 2017 | MAPFRE edges Team Brunel to win abbreviated Prologue Leg | Musto announced to be official supplier to ring in a victory for Team Brunel | Italy Takes An Early Lead At The Nations Trophy | Melges 40 Valencia Grand Prix | Notice of Race for the IRC Europeans and Commodores' Cup | Silk Cut Back for the Legends | 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

Less than 2 minutes separates first two Protos
Ultimately there was very little separating the top two sailors with their radically different temperaments and track records at the end of this first leg. The former had the status of defender in this race and was constantly calling himself into question regarding his position within the Mini fleet. The second had decided to consider this race as a journey of self-discovery with nothing to lose enjoying what he can come to the circuit to search for.

One came from north-west, the other from the north-east and yet Arthur Leopold-Leger and Ian Lipinski ended up crossing tacks barely two miles from the finish of this first leg. Another hundred metres or so and we might have seen a reversal of the ranking, that's how close a call it was for the top two.

Ian Lipinski: "For the past two days, all I've seen is my rivals making up tens of miles on me. It's felt like I wouldn't get through this. As you don't know where the others are, your mind soon starts racing and you imagine that you're the only one to have gone off on a limb on a catastrophic option. Last night, I was convinced that a whole bunch of skippers had already made it into Las Palmas. My game plan at that point was to limit the damage, not go for the win.

The race isn't all about these last 300 miles either though. Once again, I've had an absolute ball sailing this boat. I've discovered lots more things, another way of using my keel to make the boat lighter and a new way of helming in heavy seas. This boat is such a melting pot of considerations that you feel like you'll never cover all the angles. Roll on the second leg with some beefy trade winds, that's all I ask..."

* Valentin Gautier wins Series Class first leg in Mini Transat

By securing Series class victory in the first leg of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère, Valentin Gautier (Shaman - Banque du Leman) has swept away the doubts that had bombarded him after a rather chaotic pre-season. Indeed, after winning the Pornichet Select, he was subsequently forced to retire from two other races and hadn't been able to train as much as he would have liked.

Seemingly, he has quickly found his bearings again. Indeed, upon arriving in La Rochelle, somewhat undermined by a season which hadn't gone according to plan, Valentin Gautier was able to dig deep and move up towards the front of the fleet from the start of the race. Always in the match right from the Bay of Biscay, he rapidly got amongst it with the small group of favourites who were monopolising the top spots.

"First place is very cool. I've had a bit of a complicated season. I won the first event and then I had two retirements in a row; the first due to injury and the second as a result of material damage. Since then, I'd done no singlehanded Mini races at all. I needed to reassure myself a little. Inevitably, pocketing this first leg in the production boat category is really neat. Now I just have to make sure I have fun in the second leg because however things play out, my Transat is a success."

First five, Series:
1. Valentin Gautier, 10d 03h 40min 29s
2. Remi Aubrun, +02h 20min 03s
3. Clarisse Cremer, +02h 27min 54s
4. Erwan Le Draoulec, +02h 43min 46s
5. Benoit Sineau, +03h 30min 06s

First five, Protos:
1. Ian Lipinski, 9d 23h 22min 12s
2. Arthur Leopold Leger, +01min 53s
3. Erwan Le Menek, +06h 10min 32s
4. Romain Bolzinger, +07h 07min 45s
5. Aurelien Poisson, +07h 37min 23s

Game On! Register Now for St. Thomas International Regatta - March 23-25, 2017
Sailing is underway, the bar is open and the wonderfully-challenging round-the-rocks waters off the St. Thomas Yacht Club are as beautiful and challenging as ever. Plan now to put the Caribbean, the 45th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) on March 23 to 25 and 3rd Round the Rocks Race on March 22, 2018, on your race calendar!

You want it? We have it! STIR 2018 offers it! Classes: CSA (Racing or Cruising); IRC; ORC; Multihull; Beach Cat or One Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet. It doesn't matter if you cross the pond on the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, the RORC Transatlantic Race or on your own, we have a hot class ready for you to offer some cool competition!

Already registered is Canadian Rob Butler's Touch2Play racing, of which Butler has traded his J/88 for a new Reflex 38. Back is Island Water World Racing in the one-design IC24 fleet, with St. Maarten's Frits Bus and STIR regatta director, Chuck Pessler. El Ocaso, Caribbean Yacht Racing's J/122 is registered and ready for charter. New, is Red Hot Caribe, Emanuele Bianchi's USA-based high-performance Tartan 101, and Russia's Pjotor Lezhnin Racing, sailing their RG650.

The chance to trade tacks with America's Cup, Volvo Ocean and Olympic crews on the water and off is what earns STIR its motto, 'We Love It Here' You will too.

Register now!
Email: or
Call (340) 642-3204

MAPFRE edges Team Brunel to win abbreviated Prologue Leg
The Spanish MAPFRE team won the Volvo Ocean Race Prologue Leg on Wednesday, holding off a late charge from Team Brunel after Race Management shortened the course, converting the compulsory gate at Cabo de Gata into the finishing line.

For skipper Xabi Fernandez and his team, it's a continuation of the success MAPFRE found on Leg 0, where the team was the overall winner of the four-stage leg.

"It's all good on board," Fernandez said shortly after crossing the 'virtual' finishing line.

"It's been really good training. It's been a close race and I'm really happy with the team's performance."

Close behind the winner was Team Brunel.

Both of the leading teams owed their performance in large part to a decision they took early in the leg, shortly after the start, when they hugged the coast of Portugal in contrast to the rest of the fleet further offshore.

The coastal route paid in a big way, and less than 24-hours after the start, MAPFRE and Team Brunel held a decisive lead over the fleet, turning this into a two-boat race for victory.

But the chasing pack had a hard-fought battle for third place, with team AkzoNobel squeaking in just ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastic and Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

"We had a very good race, very enjoyable. Good close racing," said skipper Simeon Tienpont. "We were in the game all the way. MAPFRE and Brunel went a different route which worked out for them, but with the rest of the fleet we took the best we could out of it and I'm very confident after finishing in third place."

At the back of the pack, Dongfeng Racing held off Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag.

With the shortened course putting the finishing line some 120 miles away, the teams will now motorsail to Alicante, the start port of the Volvo Ocean Race. The event Race Village opens Wednesday evening, with entertainment, ceremonies and fireworks.

The teams are expected to arrive beginning in the pre-dawn hours on Thursday, ahead of practice racing on Friday and the MAPFRE in-Port Race Alicante on Saturday. Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race starts on 22 October.

Volvo Ocean Race Prologue Leg - Positions and finishing times (UTC), 11 October

1. Mapfre; finished 09:49 UTC
2. Team Brunel; finished 10:06 UTC
3. team AkzoNobel; finished 12:44 UTC
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic; finished 12:53
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing; finished 12:59
6. Dongfeng Race Team; finished 13:09
7. Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag; 13:17

Musto announced to be official supplier to ring in a victory for Team Brunel
Musto is proud to be announced as the official supplier to Team Brunel, skippered by Dutch Sailor and Volvo Ocean Race Veteran Bouwe Bekking. Team Brunel will compete in the Race starting in Alicante, Spain on 22nd October 2017, with the race covering 45,000 nautical miles, six continents and 12 host cities.

Bouwe Bekking is the most experienced skipper taking part in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. His first attempt at the race was in 1985-86 with the 2017-18 edition of the race possibly being his last attempt to lift the trophy and he's ensured that he has a stardust crew around him.

Team Brunel as the latest announced team is the dark horse of 2017-18 edition of the race - its crew has come together late but is full of world-beating talent that could see the team lifting the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy in June 2018. The most noticeable crew addition is Kiwi hero Pete Burling who joins the team fresh from a whirlwind 12 months in which he's won Olympic gold and the America's Cup as the driver on Emirates Team New Zealand - he's now aiming to be the first sailor to win the sport's Triple Crown.

Bouwe Bekking, Skipper Team Brunel: "Over the years the boats have got more physical, way faster and therefore also far wetter. Musto has done a great job developing foul weather gear which is breathable, flexible and allows you to do your job whilst staying dry and comfortable. I'm delighted to be wearing Musto for the fourth time in the Volvo Ocean Race."

Petra Carran, Head of Marketing, comments: "It's fantastic for Musto to be working with a sailor of Bouwe's experience and sailing excellence. We look forward tosupporting Bouwe and Team Brunel throughout the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 and wish them every success as they cross the start line this month."

Italy Takes An Early Lead At The Nations Trophy
Racing at the first edition of The Nations Trophy started in earnest today with the fleet of 28 Swan One Design yachts completing two races in trying conditions. A struggling breeze led to a two and a half hour delay to the scheduled start, and once underway the racing was technically demanding as crews worked hard to both gain and maintain. At the end of Day 1, Italy is the leading country in The Nations Trophy, with Spain in second and Netherlands in third.

In the individual championship fleets, the ClubSwan 50 Europeans are led by Cuordileone (ITA), with Porron IX (ESP) in pole position in the Swan 45 Worlds and Far Star (ITA) heading the pack in the ClubSwan 42 Europeans. Boat of the day across the three classes, was Luis Senis Segarra's Porron IX posting an impregnable score-line of 1, 1.

There was an early warning of a difficult day ahead, as local wind guru Nacho Postigo explained the weather forces at play at this time of the year: "Today is going to be a typical Bay of Palma day for the end of summer/beginning autumn. The water is relatively hot, and while the land gets really cold in the night, which is good, it does not get as hot as it does in the summer. So the difference in temperature between the land and sea is not as high and you can have a weaker thermal." And that is what played out. The wind failing to break above 8 knots through the two races and, what pressure there was, suffering some huge oscillations with boats mentioning 40 degree shifts.

Racing at the 2017 Nations Trophy continues tomorrow, with the first race scheduled for 12 noon.

Melges 40 Valencia Grand Prix
Valencia, Spain: The second act of the 2017 Melges 40 Grand Prix circuit got off to a strong start with three races completed on opening day in light to moderate breeze, naming three different race winners.

Atop the charts overall is Valentin Zavadnikov's DYNAMIQ - SYNERGY SAILING TEAM with Ed Baird on tactics. They successfully submitted a 1-2-2 scoreline to take an early lead, while Porto Cervo champ Alessandro Rombelli at the helm of STIG with tactician Francesco Bruni gave the day a good run to finish up one point behind in second place.

It was an awesome starter day for new Melges 40 owner Yukihiro Ishida aboard SIKON with Chris Rast serving as tactician with a big win in Race Three.

More grand prix racing excitement is scheduled for Thursday, October 12.

Results after three races:
1. Valentin Zavadnikov/Ed Baird; MON-13, DYNAMIQ - SYNERGY SAILING TEAM; 1-2-2 = 5
2. Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni; ITA-4, STIG; 2-1-3 = 6
3. Yukihiro Ishida/Chris Rast; JPN-40, SIKON; 3-3-1 = 7
4. Richard Goransson/Cameron Appleton; SWE-42, INGA; 4-4-4 = 12

Notice of Race for the IRC Europeans and Commodores' Cup
The Notice of Race for the 2018 IRC European Championship, incorporating the Commodores' Cup, is now available.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) welcomes expressions of interest for the event, and online entry will be open from Monday 8th January 2018. As announced earlier this year, the Cowes-based championship will be held from 8-16th June and will follow the successful Commodores' Cup race format, with a variety of different courses ranging from inshore, coastal and offshore - 10 races in all using the Spinlock IRC rating system.

The RORC has instigated a new format to include the Commodores' Cup, a Corinthian team-based event within an IRC fleet racing championship which is open to amateurs and professionals. New for 2018 are the following:

1. Competitors wishing to enter the Commodores' Cup are invited to create teams of three boats with a rating between 0.995 and 1.270 with a max DLR of 210

2. Teams can represent a club, a region or a nation. For national representation, authorisation may be required from the appropriate MNA

3. The Commodores' Cup maintains its Corinthian ethos with only one professional sailor allowed on each boat

4. Boats that race with two females or two crew under 25, or one female and one under 25, are allowed an extra crew member

5. There is no crew weight limit, only the crew number limit on their IRC rating certificate.

Download a pdf of the Notice of Race

For more information go to: or contact the RORC Race Team:

Silk Cut Back for the Legends
Gothenburg, Sweden: Record-holder Silk Cut is the fourth boat entered in the Legends Race next year. She was originally skippered by Britain's Lawrie Smith.

Silk Cut started the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race as the pre-race favourite, with odds of 7:2. The combination of Lawrie Smith as skipper and strong funding held good promise. A fast boat, with the skipper willing to take some chances, Silk Cut, claimed a new 24-hour multihull world record of 449.1 nm, averaging 18.71 knots on Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Western Australia.

However, Smith's luck ran out, when on Leg 5, from Auckland to Sao Sebastiao in Brazil, the wind gusted to 68 knots and, 2,000 nm from land, Silk Cut's mast snapped at the second spreader and Smith headed for Ushuaia, the southernmost port in the world and retired from the leg.

With a new mast, Silk Cut's form improved with a win on Leg 6 from Sao Sebastiao to Ft Lauderdale, USA, beating Paul Cayard and EF Language, the eventual race winner, by 78 minutes. But, in a fleet made up of 10 Whitbread 60s, Silk Cut was only able to finish midway through the field, in fifth place overall.

Now called Boudragon, Silk Cut has been completely renovated and is skippered by Hans Bousholte, the former skipper of BrunelSunergy, also an entry in the 1997-98 race. Hans nowadays is a motivational speaker and gives lectures about the Volvo Ocean Race (

In 2014 Hans started the Oceanraces Academy, a programme for young talent with the ambition to sail big boats. The ultimate aim is to train and prepare them for ocean races like the Volvo Ocean Race. To make this all possible, Oceanraces Academy organises corporate sailing events and multi-day trips.

Boudragon/Silk Cut will not only be taking part in the Legends Race 2018 from Gothenburg to The Hague, she will also be present in the stopovers of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 in the start port of Alicante, Lisbon and Cardiff.

Anyone who wants to sail onboard Boudragon/Silk Cut can sign in on

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2005 TP52 - ORLANDA. 199,950 EUR. Located in East Coast, Italy.

Original spec TP52 that has had a 2013 refit, including new paint, and has been little used since. Full offshore interior with heads and galley.

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Ben Cooper
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2007 X-46 - VITAMINA X. 190000 EUR. Located in West Coast, Italy.

3-cabin version of this popular X-46 performance cruiser. With super cool carbon rig, she has been well looked after and is well equipped for coastal cruising. She has spent her life in the Med being well cherished.

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2008 Corby 36 - Stratisfear. 95000 EUR. Located in Pwhelli, Wales.

The pocket rocket "Stratisfear" is now available for the 2017 season and as ever with these Corby designs, they come with IRC potential in abundance.

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The Last Word
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