In This Issue
Mini Transat: The funnel settles the accounts | Transat Jacques Vabre Start | Transat Jacques Vabre - a first for the Yacht Club de Monaco | Next stop - Cape Town | Gabart and the MACIF trimaran are off! | Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Contest | Pickled herring all round | 10th Annual Conch Republic Cup | Vote now for the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year | John Bertrand offers to help Slingsby | 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: The funnel settles the accounts
Between the islands of Santo Antao and San Vicente, the competitors have to make their way along a channel spanning seven miles wide. The passage through the gate will give a precise idea of how everyone is ranked as well as drawing up an initial hierarchy prior to making the big leap across the Atlantic from which there is no way back.

They are there. In fact, at the head of the fleet, Ian Lipinski ( and Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) got through it some time ago after a little hook southwards to distance themselves from the wind shadow created by the mountains of Santo Antao, which culminates at nearly 2,000 metres. With the disturbed cone of breeze able to influence play as far as 30 miles out, we can well understand the prudence of the top two, who didn't want to play with fire. Particularly so with three rivals in hot pursuit, Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal), Romain Bolzinger ( and Charlotte Mery (Optigestion - Femmes de Bretagne), who would certainly have snapped up the opportunity to play catch-up.

Behind this leading group, Andrea Fornaro (Sideral) is likely to be first of the chasing pack to negotiate the channel, just ahead of Keni Piperol (Region Guadeloupe), who has made a great comeback after a prudent start. However, they'll have to keep an eye out for Aurelien Poisson (Teamwork) who could really close the gap thanks to an option a long way to the south. It should be roughly the same set-up for Pablo Torres (Bicho II Puerto Sherry) against the group of rivals slightly further to his north made up of Fred Guerin (, Jonathan Chodkiewiez (Tasty Granny) and Julien Hereu (Poema Insurance). However, Julien is bound to have other things on his mind today since he celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday on his own albeit with a pot of Nutella, a packet of M&Ms and some spicy sausage... Presents have a sentimental value at sea, the likes of which you find nowhere else.

Position report on 5 November at 15:00 UTC

1. Ian Lipinski ( 2,016.3 miles from the finish
2. Simon Koster (Eight Cube Sersa) 34.2 miles behind the leader
3. Jorg Riechers (Lilienthal) 56.3 miles behind the leader
4. Romain Bolzinger ( 65.1 miles behind the leader
5. Charlotte Mery (Optigestion - Femmes de Bretagne) 69.9 miles behind the leader

Production boats
1. Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis - Cerfrance) 2,085.6 miles from the finish
2. Erwan Le Draoulec (Emile Henry) 14.6 miles behind the leader
3. Clarisse Cremer (TBS) 23.2 miles behind the leader
4. Pierre Chedeville (Blue Orange Games - Faire Retails) 39.5 miles behind the leader
5. Benoit Sineau (Cachaça 2) 46.4 miles behind the leader

Transat Jacques Vabre Start
A pumped up Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) - the Anglo-Spanish pair - were first across the line in the Class40 as the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2017 started at 13:35 (French time) from its home in Le Havre, in Normandy, France today (Sunday). Beautiful light but lively weather greeted the fleet of 37 boats and 74 crew.

With 15-18 knots of north-westerly winds, a choppy shallow sea and plenty of current against them, they negotiated 15 miles of coast to round the first marks at Antifer and etretat. It will be a highly technical and tactical starting phase, with lots of sail changes and no sleep tonight.

The Ultime should be passing Ushant around midnight, followed by the Multi 50 in the middle of the night. The Imoca and Class40 are likely to suffer most in a softening wind against the strong currents at the tip of Cotentin, and the gaps with the multihulls will already start to widen.

All four classes are looking at record times for this bi-annual double-handed transatlantic "Route du Cafe" race of 4,350 miles to Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil.

First across the start line
Ultim: Sodebo Ultim'
Multi 50: FenêtreA - Mix Buffet
Imoca: St Michel - Virbac
Class40: Imerys Clean Energy

Transat Jacques Vabre - a first for the Yacht Club de Monaco
Among the 34 boats competing in the 13th Transat Jacques Vabre, which started on time in a fresh north-westerly on Sunday 5th November at 12.35pm (UTC), is the foiling IMOCA 60' Malizia II - Yacht Club de Monaco.

It is the first time a Monegasque boat has competed in this famous offshore race, an initiative of YCM Vice-President, Pierre Casiraghi. Although he was unable to take part he has entrusted the helm to YCM member Boris Herrmann (his teammate on the GC32 circuit on Malizia), paired with Dunkirk sailor Thomas Ruyant.

The fleet comprises 15 Class 40s, six Multi 50s, three Ultimes and 13 IMOCA 60-footers. Malizia II - Yacht Club de Monaco is being thrown in at the deep end with one goal in mind: "Obviously we want to finish on the podium, and weather conditions permitting, it would be great to cross the line before 19th November which is National Day in Monaco," said Boris Herrmann before leaving the quay.

YCM General Secretary, Bernard d'Alessandri, added that the boat's participation was integral to the Club's sailing policy to "position the Principality as a mecca for yachting, but not just for luxury yachts".

A ramped-up calendar for 2018 includes a regatta in June reserved for the IMOCA 60' class.

Next stop - Cape Town
Dongfeng Race Team converted a strong start into an early lead as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet embarked on Leg 2, a 7,000 nautical mile race from Lisbon to Cape Town.

Conditions were perfect for the leg start, with bright blue skies, and a 15-20 knot Northerly breeze that allowed the fleet to reach up and down the Tagus River past the city front of Lisbon.

After exiting the river and heading offshore past the protection of Cascais, the wind is forecast to build to over 30-knots, with a heavy ocean swell near 4-metres. It will be a fast and challenging first night at sea as the teams charge to the southwest.

within 15-minutes of clearing the mouth of the river, the fleet was already seeing over 30-knots of wind and Dongfeng Race Team recorded a boatspeed of nearly 33-knots.

Leg 2 - Position Report - Sunday 5 November (Day 1) - 15:00 UTC

1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish - 5,094.2 nautical miles
2. Team Brunel +0.2nm
3. MAPFRE + 0.6
4. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +0.9
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +1.6
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +1.8
7. team AkzoNobel +1.8

Gabart and the MACIF trimaran are off!
On standby since 22 October, François Gabart cast off , Saturday 4 November, at 10.05 (French time, UTC+1) to take on the challenge of the single-handed round the world record. The MACIF trimaran skipper left his home port of Port-la-Forêt, on Friday evening, to make his way to the round the world starting line located between the Creac'h lighthouse, in Ouessant (Ushant), and the Lizard Point lighthouse in Cornwall, England, before setting sail in an 18-knot north-westerly.

To beat the record, held since 25 December 2016, by Thomas Coville in 49 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds, François Gabart will need to cross the finishing line before 13.09 on 23 December (French time, UTC+1). In addition to working relentlessly to push his 30-metre trimaran as hard as he can, he will also need a sequence of favourable weather conditions, starting with the weather he will meet on the first run to the equator, which Thomas Coville crossed last year in 5 days, 17 hours, 11 minutes and 52 seconds.

Follow François Gabart's record attempt on the MACIF trimaran
On the map:

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Contest
Today's featured submission from

Juanas Pagodas & Sailors Grill, Navarre Beach, Florida

Here's what makes it so great... Coldest beer, magnificent sunsets, best music, on the water with docks, friendliest people

And today's special Vodka drink... one that's perfect for any hour of the day. The Espresso Martini.

Legend has it that a top fashion model walked into a London bar in 1984 (no report on the time of day) and asked for a drink that would both wake her up... and f**k her up. Thus was born the Espresso Martini. Sophisticated, edgy and unexpectedly strong.

Wight Espresso Martini

1 Part Kahlua
1 Part Wight Vodka
1 Part Espresso
Optional: Add Simple Syrup To Taste
Garnish with a few espresso beans.

Shake the Kahlua, Wight Vodka and espresso together with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass to get rid of all the small ice chips. Tip: Shake for like 10 seconds for optimal frothiness.

Now that you're on your way towards wakefulness and/or the other... pull out your credit card and have a kind thought for the yachting community in the Caribbean. Give to Sail Aid UK to help our brethren back on their feet.

Send us YOUR favorite watering hole:

Pickled herring all round
On the 10th anniversary of the first Yacht Race Forum it's the good burgers of Aarhus in Denmark who will play hosts to this year's edition

The annual conference for the business of yacht racing will celebrate its 10th anniversary in November in Aarhus, Denmark. Founded in 2008, the event has steadily gained momentum since it was taken over by the Genevabased team at MaxComm Communication, led by event MC Bernard Schopfer.

In the three years since, the number of exhibitors has tripled. For a great many of those involved at the sharper end of yacht racing - opinion-formers, suppliers, sailors, organisers, sponsors, administrators - the Forum has become an important information sharing and networking opportunity in the run-up to Christmas.

The Yacht Racing Forum remains the only business-to-business conference dedicated to bringing together players from across the whole yacht racing industry and the 2017 conference will once again be populated by key personalities from within the industry worldwide.

10th Annual Conch Republic Cup
The Conch Republic Cup (CRC) announces its 10th Edition of the Key West Cuba Race Week January 26 -February 3, 2018. "In celebration of the historic relationship between Key West and Havana we wish to renew the peace, love and friendship that are promoted through this event," said CRC Executive Director, Karen Angle during a recent visit with Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich of Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba. This year the race promises to be better than ever with the support of Key West Community Sailing Center, Key West Yacht Club and the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba. This week long event is designed to give competitors the chance to cross the waters of the Gulf Stream to and from Cuba as well as race against Cuban sailors in the Torreon de la Chorrera Buoy Race.

The sailing history between Cuba and Key West began with ships sailing between the two islands for the purpose of trade. Once commercial shipping began to use fuel the ways of the sailing ships passed into the history books. However the tradition of sailing between Cuba and the US has continued with several events and races from all over Florida. The Florida Keys has the Conch Republic Cup that Commodore Escrich from Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba helped to start in 1997 with Peter Goldsmith from the Key West Sailing Club which is now the Key West Community Sailing Center.

Today among sailors the crossing between Cuba and Key West is still on their bucket list. The Florida Straits has always been seen as a challenging body of water due to the strong current of the Gulf Stream and intense nature of the winds.

Registration Deadline is December 31, 2017. For more information including the updated Notice of Race and full schedule Visit

Vote now for the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year
World Sailing is now inviting the sailing community, sports fan and the public to vote for one male and one female who they think should be crowned 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

Public voting is open for a 72-hour period and will close on Tuesday 7 November at 17:59 CST, 23:59 UTC, just hours before the announcement at the inaugural World Sailing Awards in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Female Nominees:
Marit Bouwmeester (NED)
Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA)
Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU)
Tara Pacheco (helmed by Fernando Echavarri) (ESP)

Male Nominees:
Glenn Ashby (AUS)
Peter Burling (NZL)
Thomas Coville (FRA)
Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA)

John Bertrand offers to help Slingsby
America's Cup-winning skipper John Bertrand has offered to help Tom Slingsby in his bid to get Australia into the prestigious sailing regatta for the first time in more than 20 years.

Bertrand guided Australia II to victory in 1983, breaking the United States' 132-year monopoly of the competition. Australia hasn't had a boat in the America's Cup since 2000.

Slingsby, the 2012 Olympic men's Laser gold medalist and two-time America's Cup sailor aboard Oracle Team USA, is keen to get an Australian boat up for the 2021 challenger series in New Zealand, most likely off Auckland. Emirates Team New Zealand won the America's Cup in June.

"Tom Slingsby is endeavoring to pull it together. I've said to Tom, 'I'll help in any way I can'," Bertrand told Australian Associated Press on Friday. "But it's up to the people who are willing to underpin something like this to maybe 90 percent of the total budget, so that's always the challenge."

Read more here:

18ft Skiffs Spring Championship, Race 5
Click on image for photo gallery.

Sydney Harbour, Race 5 of the Australian 18 Footers League's Spring Championship produced the fifth different winner when Ollie Hartas, Pedro Vozone and Rob Polec brought ILVE home a 23s winner on Sydney Harbour today.

The ILVE team had to come from behind to grab the lead at the final set of windward marks then hold off the former world champion SMEG team of Lee Knapton, Moke McKensey and Ricky Bridge. (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall and Nick Hord) was a further 58s back in third place, just ahead of Jordan Girdis' Panasonic Lumix, Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) and Noakesailing (Sean Langman).

With just two more races to be sailed in the championship (after each team drops its worst performance so far), Finport Trade Finance leads the points table on 15 points, followed by Panasonic Lumix on 18, also on 18, Yandoo (John Winning) on 20, Smeg on 20 and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 21.

The less exterienced ILVE team sailed faultlessly on the spinnaker run to the finish line off Clakr Island and gave the series its five different winner and a great finish over the next two weeks.

Race 6 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 12 November.

Race 7 (last race of championship) will be sailed on Sunday, 19 November. -- Frank Quealey

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Ker 40+ - PACE. 575,000 GBP. Located in Cowes, UK.

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2007 TP52 - RKO. 440,000 EUR. Located in Sydney, Australia

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Ancasta Race Boats
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See the collection at

The Last Word
The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality. -- John F. Kennedy

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see