In This Issue
Brad Jackson takes over as skipper for team AkzoNobel | Simeon Tienpont Statement | Azko Team Statement | Inside the Volvo Ocean Race: The Boatyard and North Sails | Spindrift Racing wins Alicante Match Cup | IRC Congress looks to the future | You're Invited! Celebrate the 45th Anniversary St. Thomas International Regatta - March 23-25, 2018 | 18ft Skiffs Spring Championship, Race 2 | A helping hand in the Caribbean | 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

Brad Jackson takes over as skipper for team AkzoNobel
Three-time Volvo Ocean Race winner Brad Jackson has been announced as skipper of the Dutch Volvo Ocean Race entry team AkzoNobel for the 2017-18 edition of the 83,000-kilometer around the world race.

The forty-nine-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand is competing in his seventh Volvo Ocean Race after coaching the Swedish all-women entry Team SCA in the 2014-15 edition.

Jackson will take on the skipper role as well as his watch captain commitments shared with three-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran and 2008-09 edition winner Joca Signorini (BRA). Jackson's appointment follows the recent departure of Simeon Tienpont (NED) from the team.

As well as Signorini, Jackson's crew includes three-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor and 2008-09 edition winner Jules Salter (GBR), 2005-06 competitor Luke Molloy (AUS), Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Martine Grael, Danish match racing skipper Nicolai Sehested, young up-and-coming New Zealand sailor Brad Farrand, and 23-year-old Bermudian Emily Nagel - the youngest female sailor in the current edition of the race.

Team AkzoNobel sailing team line up:
Brad Jackson (NZL) - skipper
Brad Farrand (NZL) - bowman, sail trimmer
Martine Grael (BRA) - sail trimmer
Luke Molloy (AUS) - helmsman, sail trimmer
Emily Nagel (BER) - sail trimmer
Jules Salter (GBR) - navigator
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) - boat captain, helmsman, sail trimmer
Joca Signorini (BRA) - watch captain, helmsman, sail trimmer

Brad Jackson profile - Volvo Ocean Race participation:
2014-15: Team SCA - manager and coach
2011-12: Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg - 3rd
2008-09: Ericsson 4 - 1st
2005-06: ABN AMRO 1 - 1st
2001-02: Team Tyco - 4th
1997-98: (Whitbread Race) Merit Cup - 2nd
1993-94: (Whitbread Race) New Zealand Endeavour - 1st

Simeon Tienpont Statement
Following the team's action, Simeon Tienpont issued a statement:

The meeting with skipper of team AkzoNobel Simeon Tienpont and Communications, Public Affairs & Legal Affairs of AkzoNobel, which was cancelled by AkzoNobel a few times and was late, did not contribute to any solution.

The deadlock Tienpont was forced in yesterday following AkzoNobel's one-sided termination of the contract was not resolved; the meeting did not contribute to any solution, so there was no other choice than to go public after AkzoNobel's suggestive statement about our skipper Simeon Tienpont.

During the Prologue leg of the Volvo Ocean Race (which left Lisbon on October 8th), so at a time AkzoNobel knew that Tienpont as a skipper was unreachable, AkzoNobel terminated their contract with Simeon Tienpont and his entire team. The team finished third in the Prologue.

AkzoNobel announced their sponsorship in the 2017-18 race on July 5th, 2016 in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, and were the first team to enter the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race. The Volvo Ocean Race is the longest and toughest sailing race in the world. Tienpont has participated twice in the race (2005-06 and 2016) and is a two time America's Cup winner.

AkzoNobel has refused to reverse its decision and it looks they are unwilling to continue the Volvo Ocean Race campaign with Tienpont as their skipper.

Tienpont: "Disappointing, especially because me and my team were successfully racing the Prologue from Lisbon to Alicante."

Tienpont: "They talk about a contract break, which is absolutely unfounded and is very damaging to my reputation, especially in view of the timing, just before the start of the race. I can only guess that it is about a small budget overrun on a safety issue, but we have always been 100% transparent to AkzoNobel about our financial affairs and all our expenses have been made with their approval. It is them, not me, who is in clear breach of the contract."

More in Scuttlebutt:

Azko Team Statement
First of all, we want to thank everyone for the many messages and comments the team has received over what has been a difficult few days for us. We appreciate every single one of them - the positive and the negative ones - and we very much value everyone's passion for the campaign.

Right now team AkzoNobel is dealing with a challenge none of us ever expected to face. It has been tough, but the sailors and the shoreside support staff have every intention to be on the start line next Sunday for the start of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The complex nature of the events that have unfolded over the last week have meant we have been unable to communicate with our supporters as openly as we would normally do so, and for that we are sorry.

The title partner and owner of the team has said:

- Simeon Tienpont's management company STEAM breached its contract to manage the team AkzoNobel entry in the Volvo Ocean race 2017-18
- The breach was serious enough for AkzoNobel to terminate the contract with immediate effect and AkzoNobel then took over the full management of the team
- Simeon was offered the option to continue as skipper but opted not to continue and has left the team

Full statement:

Inside the Volvo Ocean Race: The Boatyard and North Sails
North Sails With the start of Leg 1 fast approaching, the Volvo Ocean Race's Boatyard Sail Loft manager, Nathan Quirk, and head of Boatyard, Neil Cox, explain how North Sails 3Di technology has changed the game in port.

It's been 30 years since North Sails began making sails for the Volvo Ocean Race. During that time North Sails has equipped VOR teams with the highest quality sails to see them through the round the world epic. But a lot has changed in the past three decades, and as the race has evolved, becoming faster, more extreme and more professional, so the demand for cutting-edge sails has grown.

The development of North Sails 3Di technology was in many ways a response to the sailors' demand for lightweight sails with increased durability. North 3Di sails are made using tiny pre-impregnated filament tapes to mirror the load-bearing and shape-holding qualities of a rigid aerofoil wing while remaining lightweight, durable, and easy to handle. It was to prove a breakthrough in technology, one that completely overhauled the way Volvo Ocean Race teams approach sail management.

"We have five days to service between 50 and 60 sails. Previously teams would re-cut and modify the shapes of their sails to keep them straight and performing at their optimum level. We don't do that anymore because we don't have to - we can get these teams around the world with the 3Di sails, and they're still in great shape."

Full Story:

Spindrift Racing wins Alicante Match Cup
Alicante, Spain: On a day when you couldn't have asked for better sailing conditions, Yann Guichard's Spindrift Racing rounded off a flawless display with victory at the Alicante Match Cup.

Guichard defeated Dutch two-time Olympian Pieter-Jan Postma in the final to maintain an impressive 100 per cent win rate during the four-day regatta, held in conjunction with the start of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

The weather gods saved their best until last, delivering a 10-12 knot breeze and bright blue skies for the final day of action that saw the M32s able to really stretch their legs. Again the fleet of seven 65ft Volvo Ocean Race boats provided a stunning backdrop as they held their own Pro-Am racing just offshore from the M32 race course.

Spindrift Racing & Sailing Team NL qualify for opening event of 2018 WMRT Season A delighted Guichard said the result was just what his team wanted going into the 2017 WMRT Match Racing World Championship in Shenzhen, China, in under two weeks.

Final Standings
1. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing
2. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Sailing Team NL
3. Jonas Warrer (DEN), Team Warrer
4. Markus Edegran (USA), E11even Racing
5. Nico Delle Karth (AUT), Chilli Racing
6. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32
7. Quentin Delapierre (FRA), Team Lorina - Golfe du Morbihan
8. Lukasz Wosinksi (POL), Delphia Sailing Team
9. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing
10. Kim Kling (SWE), Caprice Match Racing Team

Detailed results

IRC Congress looks to the future
Another successful annual IRC Congress meeting was held in early October in the popular sailing venue and race destination of St Malo on the northern French coast. Forty delegates from as far afield as Japan and the USA came together to talk about the International Rating Certificate (IRC) racing around the world, technical development and ideas on encouraging participation in yacht racing generally.

In 2018 there is the exciting prospect of the IRC European Championship combined with the RORC's Commodores' Cup in Cowes in June, closely followed by the joint IRC and ORC Hague Offshore World Championship in the Netherlands in July. These events set the high standard for IRC racing in 2018, along with the major offshore classic races that continue to be scored using IRC.

However, the IRC Congress never loses sight of the core of the IRC fleet who are taking part in club racing around the world every week and much talk at Congress was how to further encourage this. Everyone agreed that exciting events drive participation. This is demonstrated by the record four minutes for the Rolex Fastnet Race entry to be fully subscribed and the large number of boats that entered the Offshore Worlds straight after registration opened. Clubs were encouraged to put on events that provide an escape from the stresses of modern life, with a variety of courses, and some longer races with interesting destinations.

The IRC Technical Committee has been working on technical developments including the rating of boats equipped with foils, and a longer term review on rating 'code zero' sails. IRC has always been fast to embrace new developments in yacht design, while as far as possible retaining the characteristic simplicity of the IRC Rule and avoiding too much complexity for the majority of owners.

The 2017 IRC Congress Minutes are published on the IRC website, as well as the IRC 2018 Rule text and a summary of the Rule changes.

You're Invited! Celebrate the 45th Anniversary St. Thomas International Regatta - March 23-25, 2018
St. Thomas International Regatta Be part of a celebrated history and make your own by registering now for the 45th St. Thomas International Regatta! What started as a handful of any boats afloat, with estimated handicaps and informally set courses has grown into the 'Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing' with high tech racing machines, several classes such as the one-design C&C 30s and numerous handicap rules including CSA, IRC and ORC by which winners, sometimes separated by seconds on corrected times, are calculated. Yet, what's stayed the same is the camaraderie, spirit of sportsmanship and fair play and a great gusto to sail and party hard.

"STIR is the St. Thomas Yacht Club's oldest signature regatta and we are determined not to let the double blow of hurricanes take us off course for 2018," says regatta director, Chuck Pessler. "STIR is a time-honored tradition with past winners that read like a Who's Who of the sport and our 2018 event gives entrants a chance to add to this history with their own podium finishes."

Register now in CSA; IRC; ORC; Multihull; CSA Bareboat; and One Design classes with a minimum length of 20 feet.

For more information, email: or , or call (340) 642-3204.

What to help in U.S. Virgin Islands' hurricane relief? Donate to the Marine Rebuild Fund: and All donations to this non-profit will be used to clean up the current cruising grounds including storm-beached boats, grow marine industry offerings and develop marine vocational programs.

18ft Skiffs Spring Championship, Race 2
Photos by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: The Triple M 18ft Skiff team of James Ward, Adam Gillson and Huon Oliver totally dominated Race 2 of the Australian 18 Footers League Spring Championship, which was sailed in a light Easterly breeze on Sydney Harbour today.

Ward and his team were prominent from the start and took the lead at the first set of windward marks after a battle for supremecy with Smeg (Lee Knapton) and The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley) shortly after the start.

Triple M soon raced away to a clear lead on the first spinnaker run and only John Winning, Cameron McDonald and Michael Kennedy on Yandoo looked likely to be able to put pressure on the runaway leader.

At the end of the first lap of the course, Triple M led Yandoo by 1m30s and had the same lead at the conclusion of the following lap.

The team on the leader were faultless omn the final lap and went on to score a 2m2s victory over Yandoo.

While the two leaders were rarely challenged for their positions throughout the entire race, the battle for the minor placings was quite the opposite.

Several of the new and young teams impressed again and last week's winning Panasonic Lumix, on 6 points, holds a one point lead over Yandoo and Finport Trade Finance in the seven-race championship.

Another young team on Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel is next on 8 points, followed by Smeg on 13, Quality Marine Clothing on 15, and ILVE (Oliver Hartas) on 16.

Today's light conditions on Sydney Harbour test the fitness of all teams as they come to grips with the tricky winds at the Rose Bay end of the course.

Race 3 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 22 October. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

A helping hand in the Caribbean
Click on the logo for a photo gallery of Sevenstar's rescue efforts

Sevenstar After the Caribbean Islands were left devastated from recent hurricanes, Dutch yacht transport company Sevenstar quietly went to work. The result: last week Sevenstar delivered 140 pallets of aid, including generators, medicines and water at no cost to the devastated island of St Thomas for the American Red Cross.

Says Richard Klabbers, MD Sevenstar Yacht Transport: "We are frequent visitors to the Caribbean islands, delivering hundreds of yachts each year. Over the last ten years we have built many great relationships; they are close friends and are in great need of help to re-build their community. We have the ships, and we want to help. It is fantastic to be able to assist in a meaningful way with what we do best - providing timely transports in a well prepared and coordinated manner."

We see it as our humanitarian responsibility to take care of those in need and where possible we will help at no cost. Please contact Nic Kuhne who is coordinating our aid efforts on should you feel we can be of further service.

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 George Morris:

Further to the two very good articles on the 'need for speed' in the AC (and a few others that are doing the rounds): I enjoyed the foiling boats but would not force them on anyone who did not want to pump one round the racecourse. I enjoyed the WMRT and was surprised as to how well it adapted to the catamaran format. I quite like the Extreme Sailing Series although it is at its most interesting in non foiling, non extreme light wind situations. I enjoy the JJ Giltinan race week. I have just watched the Volvo 65s blundering around an inshore racecourse in Alicante. Superb.

FWIW the Americas Cup could as well be sailed in VO65s as anything else - preferably in Capetown in a gusty Force 7. And my contribution to all this? Absolutely nothing - I have no idea what Mapfre do for a living or GAC Pindar or Moviestar or ABN AMRO or any of the others. But thanks to the wonders of YouTube it is all there in my livingroom. After a four hour orgy of watching TV I can then go out and sail my Weta, remembering to shout 'three two one - deploy' at the windward mark and 'Weight up' after every tack and feel that I have been part of it. I am now working on a New Zealand/Oz accent to complete the experience.

* From Adrian Morgan:

Magnus makes some killer points in his spirited defence of Larry Ellison. And about time someone stood up for a man who did indeed try and change the course of the America's Cup, and has in many ways succeeded. It will never be the same again. But that has ever been the case, as the AC reinvents itself through controversy, court rooms and craft changes from crazy lead mines to foiling cats, and now to what should if they have any sense be a stupendous, full crewed foiling monohull. How could you race anything else on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf, after the bowling green pitch in Bermuda? Makes sense.

As for bored sailors on 12 Metre lead mines with only winches to grind, sails to trim, masts to climb, spinnakers to set and peel, tactics to plot, sails to pack, (foils to trim?), you only have to run back the YouTube of Oracle as they finished the last race to sense the relief on the faces of the miserable grinders for whom the ordeal was, thankfully, over.

As for spectacle, I was talking to a friend who was in Bermuda, on a spectator boat. Spectator as in, once the race had started, the best view was on a screen in the deck house. In short: he was watching the same picture as I was in my cottage in the Highlands. Sure, there were moments of drama, thank goodness. For me it was a case of watch the start, catch it mid-race, to see who was leading, and cut to the finish. Speed is relative, a quick fix that soon wears off. Who watches F1 for the speed alone?

Let's not go into the absurd idea that the defender can join the challengers and discover all their secrets. And all the other stuff about token Americans, protocol changes, boat changes, cabals, and the general jimmying the rules we have come to expect of American defenders over the years. The Kiwis will not be immune to the temptation to shift the advantage ever so slightly their way, of course. How much is the question.

Lastly, as many people will be putting finger to keyboard this morning in answer to Magnus' brilliant tirade against the pompous middle class retirees , if Larry really has the sport at heart, let him harness the might of Oracle and, with a clean sheet, home grown talent prove that America can win the Cup back honestly, without recourse to lawyers and on (relatively) level terms. I suspect he'll walk away from a game he can no longer manipulate quite so shamelessly.

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