In This Issue
Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid | Rolling the dice in the South Atlantic | Busan Cup Women's International Match Race : Three Teams Through to the Semis | Core Events Highlight Busy 2018 NYYC Summer Schedule | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Melges 40 Grand Prix Continues With Rombelli Taking the Lead | Bermuda Lands World Sailing Conference 2019 | 18 Foot Skiffs Spring Championship Final This Sunday | Francois Gabart sets the outright Ouessant - Cape Agulhas reference time | Kiwi Spirit Tries Again | World Sailing launches eSailing World Championships | 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

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar: In Support of Sail Aid
Nominations open now for two awards: Best Caribbean Bar and Best Bar Elsewhere. Send us your bleary memories:

Rolling the dice in the South Atlantic
The first big gamble for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet since crossing the Equator was playing out on Thursday as team AkzoNobel lined up to 'cut the corner'.

At the 1300 UTC ranking Simeon Tienpont's AkzoNobel was in the Leg 2 top spot because their trajectory, around 70 nautical miles to the east of the fleet, puts them closer to Cape Town than any of their rivals.

But while they are technically in pole position in terms of distance to finish, the move is a tactical roll of the dice from Tienpont and his navigator Jules Salter.

By positioning themselves to the east they have reduced the amount of miles they need to sail, but the compromise comes in lighter winds.

By comparison, those teams closer to the Brazilian coast - Dongfeng Race Team, MAPFRE, Team Brunel and the most westerly boat Vestas 11th Hour Racing - are likely to pick up stronger winds brewing 500 miles to the south first, potentially catapulting them towards their goal.

Leg 2 - Position Report - Thursday 16 November (Day 12) - 13:00 UTC

1. team AkzoNobel -- distance to finish - 2,901.4 nautical miles
2. Turn the Tide on Plastic +42.4
3. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +45.7
4. MAPFRE +47.9
5. Dongfeng Race Team +52.3
6. Team Brunel +57.9
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +68.7

Busan Cup Women's International Match Race : Three Teams Through to the Semis
A slow start to the day as the wind alternated between spinning circles and glassing off completely. The patience of the race committee paid off as the round robin was completed in a light cold northerly breeze before moving on to the quarter-finals. Three of the four quarter-finals were decided with the last one to be finished tomorrow at the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race.

Quarter-Final Results

Anna Ostling, SWE defeats Renee Groeneveld, NED 3-0
Lucy Macgregor, GBR defeats Caroline Sylvan, SWE 3-0
Pauline Courtois, FRA defeats Marinella Laaksonen, FIN 3-0

Trine Palludan, DEN leads Sarah Parker, AUS 1-0 (To be completed Friday)

Round Robin Results (skipper, nationality, team, wins - losses):

1- Trine Palludan, DEN, Team Kattnakken, 11-0
2- Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 9-2
3- Lucy Macgregor, GBR, Team Mac, 8-3
4- Anna Ostling, SWE, Team Anna, 8-3
5- Caroline Sylvan, SWE, New Sweden Match Racing Team, 7-4
6- Renee Groeneveld, NED, Matchrace Team Netherlands, 7-4
7- Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team, 5-6
8- Sarah Parker, AUS, Team Parker, 4-7

9- Clare Costanzo, AUS, Team Costanzo, 3-8
10- Alexa Bezel, SUI, Swiss Women Match Race Team, 3-8
11- Linnea Floser, SWE, Peregrine Racing, 1-10
12- Eunjin Kim, KOR, Team Ladies, 0-11

The Busan Cup Women's International Match Race in Busan, South Korea, continues Friday with the remaining quarter-final matches followed by the semi-finals, then the final races, prize giving and closing ceremonies on Saturday the 18th of November.

Core Events Highlight Busy 2018 NYYC Summer Schedule
The 20th anniversary edition of Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex headlines a busy 2018 summer schedule for the New York Yacht Club. This mid-summer celebration of sailing will attract top keelboats and large multihulls from all over New England, and beyond, to Newport for five days of buoy and point-to-point racing, and post-regatta socializing.

The remainder of the 2018 schedule represents a strong focus on the Club's core events, including the 164th Annual Regatta, the Queen's Cup, the second annual New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, a trio of team races and the Resolute Cup, the unofficial U.S. yacht club Corinthian keelboat championship.

The season will begin with the Leukemia Cup on the first weekend of June and the 164th edition of North America's oldest regatta the next. It will conclude in late September with the Resolute Cup and a standalone regatta for the Club's new IC37 yacht.

"We're especially eager for the Newport debut of the IC37" says Paul Zabetakis. "While the Club's complete fleet of 20 boats won't be available until the spring of 2019, we expect to have a handful racing in Newport next summer, providing our members and one-design aficionados around the world with a preview of what we think will be the next great one-design keelboat."

2018 NYYC Racing Calendar
June 2 - Leukemia Cup
June 8-10 - 164th Annual Regatta
June 8-12 - Maxi72 Regatta
June 29-July 1 - NYYC One Design Regatta
July 16-21 - Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex
July 22 - Queen's Cup
August 3-5 - Morgan Cup Team Race
August 17-19 - Hinman Masters Team Race
August 24-26 - NYYC Grandmasters Team Race
September 10-15 - Resolute Cup
September 22-23 - NYYC IC37 Regatta

Seahorse November 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

World news
Maxis keep getting better (and faster), the pressure on the (runaway) favourite, back around the wrong way, bucking the (IRC) trend, big shoes to fill, Multi 50 resurgence, Hamo is rebuilt and a Caribbean we can help to rebuild. Ivor Wilkins, Dobbs Davis, Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Blue Robinson

Children of chaos
All agree that the foiling Nacra 17 is a stunning Olympic machine. Not everyone is thrilled with the problems of joining the fleet. Rob Kothe

No optical illusion
For code sails the challenge of mid girth measurement used to be all about hanging the washing off the leech…

Saving the whale (from us)
We need to hit fewer very large objects while out at sea - our largest known mammals would certainly not disagree

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
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Melges 40 Grand Prix Continues With Rombelli Taking the Lead
Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Day two in Palma at the 2017 Melges 40 Grand Prix hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma featured two close races offering up a new provisional leader. Alessandro Rombelli's STIG with tactician Francesco Bruni is now ahead of Japan's Yukihiro Ishida's SIKON with Manu Weiller on tactics by one slim point.

The light and shifty conditions only complicated matters for tacticians today, a circumstance to blame for the ever-changing positions at the top.

From today's heated battles, Richard Goransson at the helm of INGA accompanied by tactician Cameron Appleton came on strong early to take the win in Race Four ahead of Rombelli, ultimately moving him up in the overall standings to third.

Although more light and unstable air is predicted for Day Three, the Melges 40 Grand Prix in Palma has three races scheduled, one of those races will be the Garmin Race with guests aboard each Melges 40.

The Melges 40 Grand Prix is proudly supported by Helly Hansen, Garmin Marine, Barracuda Communication and North Sails.

Full Results (Preliminary, After Five Races)
1. Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni; STIG; 1-3-3-2-1 = 10
2. Yukihiro Ishida/Manuel Weiller SIKON; 3-2-1-3-2 = 11
3. Richard Goransson/Cameron Appleton; INGA; 4-1-4-1-3 = 13
4. Valentin Zavadnikov/Ed Baird; DYNAMIQ SYNERGY SAILING TEAM; 2-4-2-4-4 = 16

Bermuda Lands World Sailing Conference 2019
Hamilton, Bermuda: World Sailing, the global governing body for the sport of sailing, is heading to Bermuda for its Annual Conference in 2019. Building on the legacy of hosting the 35th America's Cup, the Bermuda Tourism Authority bid to host the prominent group at its Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico earlier this month. Delegates approved Bermuda's bid by a membership vote on November 12, 2017.

An independent economic report released last week on the America's Cup in Bermuda forecasts about $91 million in visitor spending on-island over the next five years as a result of hosting the world's most prestigious sailing competition. While everyone here at the Bermuda Tourism Authority was elated to learn the America's Cup contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bermuda economy, our focus is on the next frontier - pursuing and converting new business opportunities if they're a good fit for the island."

The World Sailing Annual Conference is the central meeting point where the strategy of sailing is reviewed, discussed and celebrated. A series of events will take place during the seven-day schedule, including the World Sailing Awards and the eSailing World Championships. "Hosting this conference in October of 2019 will not only bring incremental air arrivals, direct spending and occupied hotel rooms during the fall season - it will also bring influential event organisers that will experience Bermuda first-hand, test-driving the island for additional events," said Victoria Isley, chief sales and marketing officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

18 Foot Skiffs Spring Championship Final This Sunday
Despite some less than favourable wind conditions, the Australian 18 Footers League's inaugural 7-race Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour has been an outstanding success.

The 3-Buoys championship has produced six different winners from the six races sailed so far and has exposed some impressive credentials of the new, young teams who have performed so well.

Going into Sunday's final race of the championship, only 10 points separates the top seven teams and the likely overall winner can come from any one of these teams.

Present leaders on the points table:
Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis) - 20
Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) - 22
Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards0 - 24
The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley) - 28 (Brett Van Munster) - 29
Yandoo (John Winning) - 29
Smeg (Lee Knapton) - 30

Picking the overall champion is practically i,possible if the form in the six races sailed so far continues into the last race on Sunday.

Winners of the six races sailed so far are:
Race 1 - PANASONIC LUMIX - Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Nathan Edwards
Race 2 - TRIPLE M - James Ward, Adam Gillson, Huon Oliver
Race 3 - QUALITY MARINE CLOTHING - Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy
Race 4 - DE'LONGHI - Simon Nearn, Grant Rollerson, Brandon Buyink
Race 5 - ILVE - Ollie Hartas, Pedro Vozone, Rob Polec
Race 6 - NOAKES YOUTH - Kirk Mitchell, Daniel Barnett, Tim Westwood

The influx of new, young talent into the Australian 18 Footers League's fleet over the past few seasons has accelerated this year with the retirement of some of the long time 18ft Skiff sailors.

Club officials focus on introducing new talent each season, as a means of ensuring the continuation of the centry-long class on Sydney Harbour, and the present group has impressed some of the class' best judges.

Former JJ Giltinan champion Stephen Quigley has been at the forefront of junior coaching and is very much responsible for the talent on the water in the fleet, as well as the positive attitudes of the young men.

It goes well for the ongoing strength of the skiffs on Sydnbey Harbour.

Live streaming is available through

Francois Gabart sets the outright Ouessant - Cape Agulhas reference time
Less than two days after pulverising his own 24-hour distance record (851 miles), Francois Gabart crossed the longitude of Cape Agulhas on Thursday morning at 08.25 AM (UTC+1), which marks the entrance to the Indian Ocean, after just 11 days, 22 hours and 20 minutes at sea. This is an incredible time, since not only has the MACIF trimaran skipper improved the time it took the current record-holder Thomas Coville to pass this point in 2016, by 2 days, 6 hours and 24, but he has also set the best time outright at Cape Agulhas, single-handed and with crew combined!

This performance by Francois Gabart in the South Atlantic is outstanding. The MACIF skipper crossed the Equator on Friday 10 November, after 5 days, 20 hours and 45 minutes at sea, slightly behind by 3 hours 35 minutes on the time set by Thomas Coville one year earlier. He then sailed a high-speed diagonal course from the Equator to Cape Agulhas. This Thursday morning, at 08.25 AM he entered the Indian Ocean (he rounded the Cape of Good Hope at 06.15 AM) after 11 days, 22 hours and 20 minutes, which is 2 days and 24 minutes ahead of the time set by Sodebo in 2016, which he beat by roughly two and a half days in the South Atlantic.

Better still, on this section from Ouessant to Cape Agulhas, Francois Gabart has set the best time outright, single-handed and with crew combined, achieving a better time than Banque Populaire V, which took 11 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes to enter the Indian Ocean, in the Jules Verne Trophy in 2014, with a crew of 14 men on board. This is a difference of 1 hour and 29 minutes in favour of MACIF! In all, Francois Gabart took 6 days, 1 hour and 35 minutes to belt down the South Atlantic. Once again this is a new outright reference time, since Banque Populaire V, the fastest on this Equator-Cape Agulhas section up until now, took 6 days, 8 minutes and 54 seconds, in 2011, while Thomas Coville's time, in 2016, was 8 days, 11 hours and 33 minutes!

Kiwi Spirit Tries Again
At a time in life when many 80-year-olds are considering buying a more comfortable armchair, Stanley Paris is headed for the high seas hoping to become the oldest person to sail fastest, non-stop and solo around the globe. The former Otago Boys' High School pupil and Dunedin sailor has already made two failed attempts on his Bruce Farr-designed yacht Kiwi Spirit.

But this time the University of St Augustine founder, physiotherapist, wealthy real estate investor and adventurer has a new French-designed German-built yacht - Kiwi Spirit 2 - and hopes his third time will be a charm.

The present record, from Bermuda to Bermuda, is 150 days, 6 hours, and the record for the oldest person to circumnavigate non-stop is 71.

It's possible my boat will not be as fast, Dr Paris said. But not to worry. Just completing the voyage non-stop will make me, at age 80, the oldest to have done a successful solo."

Both of his previous attempts ended in South Africa - the first because of failings of the deck fittings, and the second because of a complete tear of the mainsail.

World Sailing launches eSailing World Championships
World Sailing, the world governing body, has moved into the world of eSports with the launch of the first virtual World Sailing Championships.

In partnership with the leading digital sailing platform, Virtual Regatta, the eSailing World Championships will be held every year starting from 2018.

The Virtual Regatta platform provides the perfect vehicle for the eSWC, with their established Inshore Regatta games. A new set of World Sailing regulations will be used to allow the sports Racing Rules of Sailing to be adapted to the virtual world.

Inshore regattas will be held through the year with players accumulating points that will establish their standings in the eSailing World Rankings. Players in the rankings will have the opportunity to qualify for global play offs, and ultimately participation in the live final. The final of the inaugural eSailing World Championships will be held in Sarasota, USA in November 2018.

The eSWC is aimed at everyone from expert sailors to sports gamers.

World Sailing is one of the first international sports federations to move into eSports and the move will allow existing and new audiences to engage in the sport on a digital platform. *

* Editor: OR you could just go sailing. On a boat. On a river, pond, lake or ocean, ferfeckssake.

I, for one, believe that this is a harbinger of End Times. Perhaps I'm just getting old and cranky, but for me the whole point of sailing is to get outside and the hell away from the computer. Good on the developers at Virtual Regatta for their programming skills etc. But is this really something that World Sailing should be involved in???? I think not. Comments welcome,

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The Last Word
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