In This Issue
Rambler 88 takes Line Honours at the Rolex Middle Sea Race | Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition | SAP Extreme Sailing Team triumphs in San Diego | St. Thomas International Regatta | Vestas 11th Hour Racing, team AkzoNobel lead the way | No Optical Illusion | Spindrift Racing In Chinese Championship Finale | Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race | Nacra 15 Youth Olympic Qualifying | 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

Rambler 88 takes Line Honours at the Rolex Middle Sea Race
George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 has taken Line Honours in the 2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race, crossing the finish line at the  Royal Malta Yacht Club at 21:48:09 CEST on Monday 23rd October, in an elapsed time of 2 days, 9 hours 48 minutes 9 seconds.

This was the third consecutive year that Rambler 88 has taken Monohull Line Honours in the race. The ten year old record set by George David in a previous Rambler still stands, after the fleet experienced light winds for the first 30 hours of the race. By contrast, the gale force conditions which crossed the course early Sunday morning produced an epic run for Rambler 88 over the second half of the course; the 88ft canting keel Maxi covered 300 miles in just 14 hours.

"The Mistral conditions reminded me of 2007 in Rambler 90 when we set the record, but then it blew even harder maybe 50 knots. This time we saw 40 but mainly mid-30s. In those conditions it is a little hard to see, it is exciting and very wet, especially when you turn a corner, and you are sideways to the waves. It was a really wet race, and when we had the pedal down we were into the 30s for boat speed. It is nice to get home first, but we race this boat for a corrected time win as well. You can never tell until the last boat is in, so we will have to wait and see."

Rambler 88 Crew: George David, Brad Butterworth, Dean Barker, Rodney Ardern, Silvio Arrivabene, Josh Belsky, Rodney Daniel, Will McCarthy, Robbie Naismith, Simon Daubney, Stu Wilson, Dean Phipps, Mark Newbrook, Nathan Hislop, Jan Dekker, Jerry Scott Beavis, Curtis Blewett, Brian Giorgio, Aaaron Reynolds - Lovegrove

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition
Pictured at right: Pirate's Bight Bar & Restaurant, Norman Island BVI

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar In support of Sail Aid UK

It's time to put your thoughts into words and send in your nominations for 2017's Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar competition! Now in its ninth year, this competition is now open! We are accepting nominations and welcome your stories, drink recipes and memories.

This is a special year for yachties and the bars they love. Many of the world's greatest ones have suffered unthinkable hardship and devastation from hurricanes throughout the Caribbean.

To honour those establishments that have been hard hit, some of which may not soon return, we will present TWO awards this year:

This includes bars both open and closed at this time.

This category is for currently operating establishments. Where you can go and personally celebrate their nomination or victory.

For generations the Caribbean has been a home away from home for the United Kingdom's sailing industry. Building an economy and infrastructure around tourism and the hosting of sailors and their events and regattas.

Now after decades of helping to build and strengthen our community, Sail Aid UK and some of Britain's most well known sailors want to help rebuild theirs.

Please visit to learn of fundraising events and auctions, and DONATE what you can.


SAP Extreme Sailing Team triumphs in San Diego
It was deja vu for SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi as it went down to the final double-points race to decide the winner of the penultimate Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in San Diego, but the Danes held their nerve to walk away the champions.

With tensions running high and teams pushing hard, there were two collisions within the final two races. As SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi fought for pole position, a simultaneous battle for third raged between Oman Air and Red Bull Sailing Team. But the Omani syndicate fell foul of a penalty and watched Red Bull Sailing Team sail its way onto the podium.

Although the chance of defending its 2016 Series title is now slimmer, Swiss-flagged Alinghi - currently in third in the overall standings - has made gains on Oman Air for second and is now only one point behind.

NZ Extreme Sailing Team helm Josh Junior showed moments of brilliance, twice leading in a race before being overtaken within the final few legs. The Kiwi squad finished the Act in fifth and remains in fifth in the Series overall.

An unfortunate issue with the boat meant that Land Rover BAR Academy was unable to compete in the opening two races. Re-joining the fleet in race 22, the British syndicate - which was helmed by four-time Olympic gold-medallist Sir Ben Ainslie - failed to find its form of the opening day. It finished the Act in sixth and remains in sixth in the season standings.

The international fleet will reconvene in Los Cabos, from 30 November - 3 December, for the double-points final Act of the 2017 season, presented by SAP. Racing will take place in front of the Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 7, San Diego, standings after day 4, 25 races

1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason, 273 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 263
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller, 239
4. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 233
5. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Andy Maloney, Josh Salthouse, 212
6. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Ben Ainslie, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Will Alloway, 201
7. Team Extreme San Diego (USA) Morgan Larson, Andrew Campbell, Matt Cassidy, Mike Kuschner, Cooper Dressler, 198
8. Lupe Tortilla Demetrio (USA) John Tomko, Jonathan Atwood, Matthew Whitehead, Tripp Burd, Trevor Burd, 152

2017 Extreme Sailing Series overall standings

1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 78 points
2. Oman Air (OMA) 73
3. Alinghi (SUI) 72
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 66
5. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 56
6. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 54

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.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing, team AkzoNobel lead the way
An eventful opening 24 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race has seen skipper Charlie Enright's Vestas 11th Hour Racing grab the lead as the fleet converge on the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew, along with team AkzoNobel, were the first to make a break for the Spanish coast as night fell on Sunday evening, where they benefited from favourable conditions and emerged in front of the fleet.

"We took the inshore route with good angle and we know we crossed ahead of the fleet when we converged with them again," explained Enright. "For now the only boat in sight is AkzoNobel. But we like our sail set up. We feel like we're going through the water well."

That's an understatement. On Monday afternoon, the team, along with second placed AkzoNobel is picking up a nice shift as well as increased pressure and the leading pair will likely extend their lead into the Strait.

For team AkzoNobel, it's been a whirlwind 24-hours. After three of the team's most experienced crew elected not to sail Leg 1, reinstated skipper Simeon Tienpont submitted his final crew list just an hour before leaving the dock. But the new configuration has been on fire since leaving Alicante, and at the 13:00 UTC position report was in a solid second place.

Leg 1 - Position Report - Monday 23 October - 13:00 UTC

1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing -- distance to finish -- 1096 nautical miles
2. team AkzoNobel + 6nm
3. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +15
4. MAPFRE +15
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic +17
6. Team Brunel +18
7. Dongfeng Race Team +19

No Optical Illusion
It took a lot of time and effort but 25 years after first - briefly - seeing the light of day on Chris Dickson's Whitbread 60 Tokio the Code Zero sacrificial leech has finally been consigned to the sailing history books

In describing the luff shape of Doyle Sails' new cable-less Code Zero, the designers use a lens analogy - which neatly illustrates the smooth curve that projects forward but gives no hint what it actually achieves. That subtle bulge represents a significant performance gain and an elegant solution to an issue that has troubled these asymmetrical sails ever since increasing boat speeds started dragging apparent wind further and further forward to the point where offwind progress was achieved with upwind trim.

As is often the case, class and rating rules often lagged behind the pace of technical development, leaving sailmakers and competitors to adopt clumsy work-arounds to extract the available performance within outdated regulations.

Almost from the time that asymmetrical spinnakers became mainstream, the name of the game has been to design flatter and flatter sails - until they came up hard against limits imposed by the rating rules.

Full article in the November issue of Seahorse:

Spindrift Racing In Chinese Championship Finale
Yann Guichard and his crew will be competing in the much-anticipated Championship Final of the World Match Racing Tour from Tuesday in Shenzhen, China.

The World Championship is being held as part of the 11th edition of the China Cup International Regatta, and Guichard and his crew will be among 1500 sailors representing almost 40 countries competing in Daya Bay near Shenzhen, one of China's most advanced and up-and-coming cities.

This event marks the culmination of the 2017 World Match Racing Tour with Spindrift racing competing in five events in the season, and recently winning the Alicante Match Cup with a perfect score at this showcase event held against the backdrop of the Volvo Ocean Race start.

The M32 fleet will be back up to full strength for the World Championship, with 18 teams competing to win the coveted title. Spindrift racing will face stiff competition from the likes of reigning World champion Phil Robertson, Taylor Canfield, Ian Williams and Chris Steele amongst others.

Fleet racing for the WMRT World Championship starts on Tuesday with the fleet racing the teams divided into three pools.

Fleet One
Robertson / China One Ningbo
Canfield / US One
Guichard / Spindrift racing
Holmberg / Gothenburg Racing
Thomas / RPM Racing
Edegran / E11EVEN Racing

Fleet Two
Williams / GAC Pindar
Steele / 36 Below Racing
D Gilmour / Team Gilmour
Mirsky / Mirsky Racing Team
Warrer / Warrer Racing
Aschenbrenner / Aschenbrenner Racing

Fleet Three
S Gilmour / Neptune Racing
Jerwood / Redline Racing
Postma / Sailing Team NL
Dackhammar / Essiq Racing Team
Berntsson / Berntsson Sailing Team
Price / Down Under Racing

M32 Spindrift crew for World Championship:
Yann Guichard - Helmsman
Christophe Espagnon - Mainsail
François Morvan - Trimmer
Sam Goodchild - Bowman

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race
The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is undoubtedly one of the toughest of all yacht races. First organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in 1995, the 1,805nm course is reputedly tougher than a transatlantic race as it negotiates headlands with tidal challenges all around the UK, as well as the notorious British weather. The race starts and finishes in the Solent and is on a four-year cycle because of the toughness of the race which is a step up from a typical RORC offshore and even the Rolex Fastnet Race.

It attracts the serious RORC racer looking for a special challenge and this race is special; three times longer than a Fastnet, circumnavigating all the islands of the UK, including Muckle Flugga, the most northerly point, which is a momentous place for any sailor as it is further north than Cape Horn is south!

Senior RORC member, Gavin Howe will be racing a brand-new Sun Fast 3600 Tigris which is typical of the size of boat that competes in the race. Gavin raced around the course in 1978, 40 years ago and will have 23-year old Sam Cooper as crew.

In 2014 the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race set an unprecedented five new world records because an intense low pressure system settled over northern UK making the race a downwind ride for the faster boats. The MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail did not tack once in the whole of the 1,800nm as she sped around the outside of the low pressure system with the wind behind her.

For 2018 an amazing variety of yachts is expected, with world-class professional and passionate corinthian sailors racing together to climb one of offshore racing's biggest mountains, and will include IMOCA and Class 40s.

The 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is also an official event for the 2018 Class40 circuit. In 2014, Swish, skippered by Canadian Roderick Knowles set the world record for monohulls '40 foot and under' of 8 days, 19 hours, 06 minutes and 49 seconds.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starts on Sunday 12th August 2018 from Cowes. All boats will carry trackers and full coverage of the race is available by visiting the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race's minisite:

Pre-Notice of Race available HERE

Nacra 15 Youth Olympic Qualifying
Right now in Medemblik (Netherlands), 28 eager Nacra 15 teams representing 13 Nations and four continents are preparing their first Nacra 15 Youth Olympic Qualifying event. In October 2018 the Nacra 15 will be the youth sailing boat during the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. The goal, to be one of the Fourteen Nacra 15 teams representing their respective countries who will participate during these Youth Olympic Games. The teams must be mixed teams in the age born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003. The Nacra 15 is the "pathway class" to the Olympic Nacra 17 multihull. These top youth racers race to qualify their country.

Today the practice race has been sailed in great sailing conditions, 14-17knts. The weather forecast for this week also looks good. Race 1, tomorrow Tuesday 24th at 11.30 with 4 races scheduled back to back per day, through to Friday, a true test of fitness, skill and stamina. A total of 16 races are scheduled.

Races can be live followed by tracking . Also look for updated information and results at the website and Facebook page Nacra15 Class Association.

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Reichel-Pugh design, McConaghy carbon construction, Sydney Hobart and Cape Town-Rio winner as Morning Glory.

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Maxi 79 Racer OURDREAM is a beautifully refitted maxi racing yacht that is easily sailed and perfect corporate or fun platform for both inshore and offshore regattas. Recent refit to a high standard means low running costs.

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See the collection at

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