In This Issue
Groupama exits America's Cup challenge | Torbin Grael wins Star European Championships | Last Day for Maximum Savings on North Sails One Design | New Open Criteria For 50th Transpac Barn Door Trophy | Lipton Cup Comes Home to San Diego | Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition | Victor "the medal maker" Kovalenko to be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame | Kay Cottee to be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame | 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

Groupama exits America's Cup challenge
French insurance group Groupama confirmed Monday the end of its sponsorship with an internationally acclaimed yachtsman Franck Cammas. Groupama, which has supported the French sailor since 1997, decided not to follow him in his new project for the 2021 America's Cup after supporting his team for the 2017 edition in Bermuda.

Says Groupama in its statement, "For Groupama, the sporting and geographical framework that has just been announced and recently confirmed by the organizers of the Cup is now too far from its natural mutualist European and French bases. It is in this context that the group thinks and will soon announce the evolution of its sponsorship policy which will remain ambitious but in different sports and geographical territories."

Although he can already count on the support of Norauto - a French based company which focuses on car repairs, car accessories and car parts - in his desired challenge for the America's Cup, Cammas recently explained that he would "exploit other interesting and innovative ways of financing."

Torbin Grael wins Star European Championships
Negri-Lambertenghi touched the victory at the European Star Championships: despite the first in the final test they finish second with 2 points from Torben Grael, who wins the Open Championship

At the Yacht Club Sanremo the great entertaining Star European Championship is over, with the great names of the sailing world, which once again demonstrated the charm of the former Olympic Star Class

The places on the podium were in play until the last moments, with only four points separating the top three places.

Silver for Italy with Diego Negri (Yacht Club Sanremo) and Sergio Lambertenghi (Circle Sail Torbole), who ended the Star European Championship in the best way possible: they won the 6th and last race started in light wind conditions on 6 knots, which then increased to 15.

Brazilian crew Grael-Lopes took fifth in the sixth and final race, but that was enough to remain in the lead of the overall standings, winning the Championship (open) with two points advantage over Negri-Lambertenghi; third the former world champions Augie Diaz-Bruno Prada (USA), disqualified from the last test, but remained on the podium, despite the same score with other Brazilians Lars Grael-Samuel Goncalves, second in the final test but with no partial victory over the United States.

Final top ten:
1. Torben Grael / Arthur Lopes, BRA, 15 points
2. Diego Negre / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA, 17
3. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA, 18
4. Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 18
5. Emilios Papathanasiou / Anronis Tsotras, GRE, 31
6. Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen, USA, 33
7. Roberto Benamati / Steffen Rutz, ITA, 40
8. Giampiero Poggi / Manlio Corsi, ITA, 50
9. Nando Colaninno, Federico Colaninno, ITA, 54
10. Thomas Allart / Killan Weise, NED, 54

Full results

Last Day for Maximum Savings on North Sails One Design
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In the market for new sails? Now is the best time to order - our best savings of the year are available through Tuesday, October 31st. No tricks (all treats!), contact your North Sails expert today and save 15%.

New Open Criteria For 50th Transpac Barn Door Trophy
The Board of Directors at the Transpacific YC have announced they have loosened the restrictive criteria defining monohull yachts eligible to receive the First to Finish "Barn Door" trophy in the next 50th edition of the Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race, aka the Transpac. The start of this 2225-mile classic biennial ocean race that was first run in 1906 is scheduled for the week of July 8, 2019.

Specifically, when issued the Notice of Race for the 2019 edition will remove any restrictions on use of moveable ballast or non-manual power to define those eligible to receive this classic trophy, while boats that are first-to-finish contenders may not have a length greater than 100 feet overall (30.48 meters). This criteria is similar to that used in numerous other ocean races around the world, including the Sydney-Hobart, Fastnet, Middle Sea and other races.

From 2009 - 2017 those monohull entries that used moveable ballast or non-manual power were eligible to race, but the first boat to finish with these systems on board was not eligible to win this trophy, and instead were contenders for the Merlin Trophy.

Previous first-to-finish trophy award winners include some of history's greatest ocean sailing yachts, such as Dorade (1936), Ticonderoga (1963-65), Stormvogel (1967), Blackfin (1969), Windward Passage (1971), Ragtime (1973-75), Merlin (1977, 1981, 1987), Morning Glory (2005) and Pyewacket (1997-99, 2007). The trophy itself was built and dedicated as a large carved and polished slab of native Hawaiian Koa wood, and hence acquiring the moniker "Barn Door."

Barn Door Trophy winners were often at the forefront of design and technology in their respective eras of racing. It was Barn Door Trophy winner Merlin in 1977 that by setting a new course record helped bring about a revolution in "Fast is Fun" offshore yacht design and the development of new classes of Ultra Light Displacement Boats (ULDB's). In 2005 it was Hasso Plattner's Reichel/Pugh maxZ86 Morning Glory that did the same with her canting keel system, now a standard feature on most first-to-finish contenders.

With this new more open criteria, any monohull that fits the length restriction and safety regulations may be eligible to win the Barn Door Trophy. This includes current-generation oceanic speedsters such as IMOCA 60's, Volvo 70's, and canting-keeled SuperMaxi's such as this year's Merlin Trophy winner Comanche. It is widely speculated that the announcement being made in one month from the organizers of the 36th America's Cup is for their new monohull design to include elements of foiling technology - this application on an offshore boat could conceivably also be used in a Barn Door contender in 2019.

Lipton Cup Comes Home to San Diego
San Diego, CA, USA: The final day of the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup began with a postponement while breeze filled in from the South. Race Committee was able to get the first race off at 1:45pm setting a shorter, 3 lap course across the bay which was key in achieving all 3 races needed today to complete the regatta.

San Diego YC had a tough first day of the regatta but improved throughout, seeing their best scores Saturday which put them neck and neck with Newport Harbor YC, the defending 2016 Lipton Cup champs. After the victory, San Diego YC skipper, Tyler Sinks, said, "It feels like redemption. Having won and lost once before - it's definitely more fun to win than to lose."

SDYC Commodore John Reiter talked about the win and regatta. "The future of the sport is in provided boats. We had visionaries back in 2010 that helped to make this event one of the best of the best. The 2017 Lipton Cup win was a great way to cap off a strong year." -- Liz Smith, SDYC Partnerships Director

Final standings:
1. San Diego
2. Newport Harbor
3. San Francisco
4. Larchmont
5. Chicago
6. New York
7. Coronado
8. California
9. Long Beach
10. Balboa
11. Southwestern
12. St. Francis

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition In Support of SailAid UK

One of the recent submissions in the Best in the Caribbean category is one that your humble narrator has personally visited, and can vouch for the generous souls behind the bar, and the kind souls on staff and membership.


St. Thomas Yacht Club, US Virgin Islands (pictured at right)

Here's what makes it so great...

The bar at St. Thomas Yacht Club is part of the clubhouse designed by the late Kendrick Bragg (Capt. of the WW II B-17, made famous in A Wing and a Prayer). In the rafters of the bar are hundreds of burgees left by visiting yachtsmen over the last half century. Attached to the bar is a covered patio that looks over the STYC dock and mooring field in beautiful Cowpet Bay. The patio has been anchored by a spectacular wooden gaff-rigged flag mast that was brought from Suriname in the late 1960's. In the early 1980's a boom was added to the mast, over which a marine canvass awning was fashioned for shade. The combination of bar and shaded patio make STYC the perfect place to spend a hot afternoon with your favorite drink. The bar/patio has also been the gathering-place for countless numbers of sailors during hundreds of STYC regattas that are famous for live music and fabulous parties. The bar has hosted most yachtsmen who have ever lived in or visited the northern Caribbean.

Unfortunately, as a result of Hurricane Irma the flag mast is no more and STYC is searching for a replacement. The bar, however, is back in business and is a wonderful place to enjoy the Caribbean breezes and your favorite libation.


STYC has bounced back much faster than many of our favorite watering holes. You can help them return by supporting SailAidUK and other charities.

The team behind Sail Aid UK has been looking into additional fundraising options to help broaden the reach and appeal of its initiative beyond the pro-sailors and to also attract support from the huge cruising fraternity that enjoys sailing the Caribbean waters as much as anyone.

There is now a range of exclusively designed and affordable T-shirts incorporating the Sail Aid UK logo and available in men's and women's sizes for £25 incl. P+P each and children's sizes at £20 incl. P+P, available to purchase online through the Sail Aid UK website.

All profits from sales go directly to Sail Aid UK.

In tandem with organising the final details for its Black Tie/Loud Shirt Dinner at Land Rover BAR on November 11th, Sail Aid UK has also launched its Online Auction which is now LIVE!

The team has been busy sourcing a terrific array of interesting and appealing items across the affordability scale for people to bid on. These range from luxurious weekends away (off boats!) and high-end sailing experiences, to a private antenatal class in London with 'Doctor and Daughter' (bid starts at £200) or a bottle of House of Commons Scotch signed by the Prime Minister Theresa May and with bids starting at just £150!

Send your Best Yachting Bar stories to Scuttlebutt Europe at

Victor "the medal maker" Kovalenko to be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame
Victor Kovalenko Renowned sailing coach, Victor 'the medal maker' Kovalenko OAM, will be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame this week at a ceremony in Sydney.

"Victor Kovalenko has altered the course of Australia's achievement at the Olympic Games since coming to this country 20 years ago. The impact he has had on our Olympic sailing program will be forever admired," said the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame Selection Panel on the announcement of Kovalenko's induction.

Since arriving in Australia from the Ukraine in the leadup to the Sydney 2000 Games, Kovalenko (born 1950) has coached Australia's 470 athletes to five gold and one silver Olympic medal.

Over the course of his career, Victor's athletes have won ten Olympic medals (six gold, one silver and three bronze) over eight Olympic Games. His charges have also won more than 18 world championship titles, in addition to dominating European and other international regattas.

In addition to Olympic medals and world titles, Victor has also been named as Australia's coach of the year in both 2008 and 2012, and received an OAM in 2012 for his services to sailing.

Seven Hall of Famers will be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame this Friday, 3 November 2017 at the Hyatt Regency, Sydney.

Kay Cottee to be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame
Kay Cottee Kay Cottee AO, the first woman to perform a single-handed, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the world is to be inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame (ASHOF).

An initiative of Australian Sailing in partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum, the ASHOF was established to recognize the greats of Australian Sailing. According to the highly regarded Selection Panel, Cottee has achieved at the highest level in our sport.

"Kay Cottee AO inspired generations of female sailors when she became the first woman to sail unassisted, non-stop around the globe via both hemispheres," said the Selection Panel in announcing her induction. "To this day, Cottee remains an inspiration to people of all generations across the globe."

Born in 1954, Cottee circumnavigated the globe in her 37 foot (11 m) yacht Blackmores First Lady in 1988. Her extraordinary feat was made even more remarkable by the fact that she completed it at a time when modern GPS was in its infancy.

Cottee's circumnavigation was eastbound from Sydney, Australia and took her around the five great capes in the southern ocean. Departing Sydney she headed south of New Zealand, across the Pacific Ocean, around infamous Cape Horn and then north to cross the equator and round St Peter and St Paul Rocks in the North Atlantic. From there Kay headed south again and rounded the Cape of Good Hope before crossing the Indian and Great Southern Oceans on her way home around the southern tip of Tasmania. She then turned north for the final long run up the east coast of Australia to Sydney.

Cottee spent more than six months alone at sea. She started out on November 29, 1987, and after sailing for 189 days, 0 hours and 32 minutes she finished on June 5, 1988. Her voyage saw her log 22,100 miles at an average speed of 116.93 miles per day. The voyage was completed without touching land, and without any form of outside aid apart from radio contact.

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Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

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