In This Issue
Simon Spiers on Clipper Great Britain Drowns | Transat Jacques Vabre: IMOCA podium decided as Class40 trio contract | St. Thomas International Regatta & Round the Rocks Race | Pressure coming on | Surrogate? | Lucy Macgregor Wins in Busan | 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

Simon Spiers on Clipper Great Britain Drowns
Clipper Ventures is extremely saddened today to report the fatality of Simon Speirs, a crew member on board CV30, (GREAT Britain).

Simon, 60, from Bristol, UK, was on the foredeck assisting with a headsail change from Yankee 3 when he was washed overboard. Although he was clipped on with his safety tether, he became separated from the yacht in the Southern Ocean at approximately 0814UTC (1414 local time) in a rough sea state, in 20 knots of wind, gusting 40.

The team's man overboard recovery training kicked into immediate effect and despite the rough conditions, Simon was recovered back on board by the Skipper and crew within 36 minutes, at which point CPR was immediately administered by three medically trained crew, which included a GP. However Simon sadly never regained consciousness and was pronounced deceased at 0925UTC. The cause of death is unconfirmed at this time but thought to be by drowning.

All other crew are reported safe and are being supported remotely by the Race Office. The incident occurred on Day 18 in Race 3 of the 13 stage Clipper Race. The fleet was racing from South Africa, Australia. The yacht, which was in sixth place, currently has approximately 1,500 miles left to its destination.

At the time of the incident, Simon was clipped on, wearing his lifejacket, which included an AIS beacon, as well as approved waterproof ocean oilskins. A full investigation will now be carried out, as is standard practice, into the full details of the incident, including the reasons his safety tether did not keep him on board, in cooperation with the appropriate authorities.

The yacht is currently making best speed to Fremantle, Australia

Transat Jacques Vabre: IMOCA podium decided as Class40 trio contract
After seasoned campaigners, Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Elies arrived in Salvador de Bahia Saturday evening to win the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre in record time - and with Dick claiming an unprecedented fourth title - the podium places were completed today (Sunday) by the next generation duos on SMA and Des Voiles et Vous!

Behind them are the races within the race that characterise the different preparations, aspirations and generations of crew and boats left in the fleet. The Class40 is shaping up to be even closer race than the three classes before them, with a lead three separating overnight. The Anglo-Spanish pair of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) still lead, but the 20 miles they earned yesterday at the end of the Doldrums has evaporated before the Equator with less than 10 miles between all three again.

Reminder of the podium race times
Winner: St Michel-Virbac (Jean-Pierre-Dick / Yann Elies)
Saturday, November 18 at 20:11:46 in 13 days 07 hours 36 minutes 46 seconds.
Second: SMA (Paul Meilhat and Gwenole Gahinet)
Sunday, November 19 at 02:33:03; 6h 21min 17secs after St Michel-Virbac
Third: Des Voiles et Vous! (Morgan Lagraviere and Eric Peron)
Sunday, November 19 at 14:06:44; 17h 54mins 58 secs after St Michel-Virbac

Dick revealed that they had lost their big spinnaker after Cape Verde, but were able to stay ahead without it. For his part, Meilhat said that they could not have done more to catch their training partners, but that both he and Gahinet were proud of the their race.

The Imoca peleton are all in the south-east trade winds. Their road will be dotted with squalls. Those leading tight battles such as Bastide Otio, who are still holding off the theoretically faster Initiatives-Coeur, will want a good cushion having been reminded of how complicated and windless the arrivals into the Bay of All Saints have been, particularly at night.

Malizia II, Monday, November 20, 11:00 (UTC)
Bastide Otio, Initiatives-Coeur, 23:00
Bureau Vallee, Tuesday, November 21, 10:00
La Fabrique, Generali, Vivo a Beira, 10/11/12

Class 40
ETA: The leaders, Thursday, November 23, 02:00 UTC The Class40 lead trio have 900 miles to the finish and are averaging 10 knots in a well-established south-east trade wind. Anglo-Spanish pair of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) is ahead but his French pursuers from the start in Le Havre, Aina Enfance et Avenir and V and B, have closed the gap and in their newer boats are theoretically faster in these conditions.

Having been caught up in the Doldrums, TeamWork40 and Region Normandie Junior Senior by Enernex have slipped back and are 50 miles off the lead.

Those behind face the Doldrums, but they have contracted and look a little simpler to cross than last week.

Last arrival
La French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo (Gilles Lamire and Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent)   Sunday, November 19 at 23:47:03, 2 days 15 hrs 57 mins and 44 secs after the winner, Arkema.

Get Ready for Good Old Time Caribbean Fun! - St. Thomas International Regatta & Round the Rocks Race - March 22-25, 2018
IC24s racing in the 2017 St. Thomas International Regatta. Photos by Dean Barnes St. Thomas International Regatta We're rolling back the clock! The theme for the 45th St. Thomas International Regatta in the wake of two fall-season hurricanes is sun, sand, sea and simplicity! That means great racing by day and beachside toes-in-the-sand barbecues at night.

Fleets of IC24 from the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are expected to be strong, with charters of these homegrown vessels available for racing teams from the St. Thomas Sailing Center, based at the St. Thomas Yacht Club.

Beach cats, racing and cruising boats are welcome. We'll be working with charter companies for opportunities to race boats, as mother ships and a chance to cruise before and after the regatta.

Match racing, team racing, dinghy racing may all be part of the fun!

An updated NOR will be posted shortly on Yachtscoring

For more information, Email: or , Call (340) 642-3204.

Pressure coming on
There are new leaders as we head into the final week of racing in Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race...

On Sunday morning, with most of the leading group having finally gybed and sailing an easterly track towards Cape Town, Team Brunel defied expectations and turned back to the southwest in an effort to get closer to the stronger winds of a weather system that is expected to deliver the leading group towards their destination.

On Saturday morning, Dongfeng Race Team, who had been leading for much of Leg 2, appeared to cut the corner too close, sailing too far to the east, and were punished immediately for getting too close to the light wind area.

Leg 2 - Position Report - Sunday 19 November (Day 15) - 13:00 UTC

1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing -- distance to finish - 2,286.6 nautical miles
2. MAPFRE +9.3
3. Team Brunel +20.4
4. Dongfeng Race Team +53.0
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic +54.6
6. team AkzoNobel +70.9
7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +85.0

Seahorse In the new Cup Protocol TP52s are exempt from a ban on 'Surrogate Yachts' - only a part of the reason nine TP52s are in build.

The 52 Super Series 2018 is likely to have a lot in common with the 2015 season in which we saw nine new boats and three new teams on the starting line. For 2018 we again expect nine new boats and this time four or five new teams compared to 2017.

With the Protocol of the 36th America's Cup specifically mentioning the TP52 as an exception to its 'Surrogate Yacht' rule one may expect the 52 Super Series to be a safe haven for AC teams aiming to practise monohull racing with a similar number of crew as on the future Cup boats.

The Protocol reads: 'No competitor shall acquire, sail or test any Surrogate Yacht as defined in this Protocol and the AC75 Class Rule.' And then describes a Surrogate Yacht as 'Any monohull exceeding 12m LOA which is capable of producing meaningful design or performance information for use either directly or indirectly in the design, construction or sailing of an AC75 yacht, but excluding existing class yachts such as TP52s used only for the participation in and preparation for their class or any other official regattas.' Quite special to see the TP52 singled out in the AC Protocol, thank you, Defender and Challenger of Record.

Already two AC teams have expressed their intention to join the 52 Super Series 2018. Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing joins Tony Langley and the Gladiator team - with Langley remaining on the helm of his yacht - but I would say the sailing news of the month is the return of the New York Yacht Club to the AC stage, carried by two of its members who are both familiar faces at grand prix regattas, Doug DeVos and Hap Fauth.

Rob Weiland's full article in the December issue of Seahorse:

Lucy Macgregor Wins in Busan
Another crazy weather day at the 2017 Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the penultimate event of the 2017 Women's International Match Racing Series. The cold winds whipped around in all different directions as the finals were played out in the waters off Dongbaek Island.

Current Women's Match Racing World Champion, Lucy Macgregor, showed her mettle by handing Trine Palludan her first loss of the event in the first race of the Final. Macgregor lead off the start and both teams engaged in a fierce tacking duel up the beat and Macgregor played the shifts well to lead wire to wire.

With the first goal accomplished the Brits went on to win the second start by locking the Danes out at the start and comfortably advance to match point in the Final. But Team Kattnakken still had plenty of fight left going into the third match, but maybe not enough to turn the tide on the strong British team. "We definitely had good speed, but maybe focused too much on the small shifts and not enough on the boat positions in the big picture" analyzed Palludan after losing the match when Team Mac played the big shifts better, trying to turn the stinging defeat into a learning opportunity.

Team Mac (Lucy Macgregor, Bethan Carden, Rosie Watkins, Imogen Stanley, Charlotte Lawrence) went on to win the Finals 3-0.

With this win, Macgregor becomes the first skipper to win three times in Busan

Final Standings   1. Team Mac - Lucy Macgregor, Bethan Carden, Rosie Watkins, Imogen Stanley, Charlotte Lawrence, GBR
2. Team Kattnakken - Trine Palludan, Lea Richter Vogelius, Josefine Boel Rasmussen, Helle Jespersen, Joan Vestergaard Hansen, DEN
3. Team Anna - Anna Ostling, Karin Knigge, Linnea Wennergren, Marie Berg, Annie Wennergren, SWE
4. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team - Pauline Courtois, Maelenn Lemaître, Sophie Faguet, Louise Acker, Sophonie Affagard, FRA
5. New Sweden Match Racing Team - Caroline Sylvan, Louise Kruuse af Verchou, Klara Ekdahl, Johanna Thiringer, Malin Holmberg, SWE
6. Dutch Match Racing Team - Renee Groeneveld, Afrodite Zegers, Lobke Berkhout, Sanne Akkerman, Mijke Lievens, NED
7. L2 Match Racing Team - Marinella Laaksonen, Marianna Kontulainen, Daniela Ronnberg, Camilla Cedercreutz, Eva-Lotta Hokkonen, FIN
8. Team Parker - Sarah Parker, Charlotte Porter, Jess Russell, Milly Bennett, Juliet Costanzo, AUS
9. Team Costanzo - Clare Costanzo, Jessica Angus, Ruby Scholten, Lauren Crossman, Hannah Lanz, AUS
10. Swiss Women Match Racing Team - Alexa Bezel, Fiona Testuz, Manon Kivell, Berenice Charrez, Louise Thilo, SUI
11. Peregrine Racing - Linnea Floser, Hanna Ericksson, Charlotte Eklund, Beata Torneman, Ann Johnson, SWE
12. Team Ladies - Eunjin Kim, Seunghyun Park, Yeonsoo Jo, Seongmin Kim, Jiseon Moon, KOR

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 James Dadd:

Put quite simply, controlling a virtual yacht in a game isn't sailing. Just like playing "Call of Duty" doesn't make you a soldier, and playing "Assassins Creed" doesn't put you on the wanted list of the free world. Sailing is about getting out there and appreciating the world around you. It isn't about locking yourself in your room. On one hand in our sport we are telling people to enjoy, protect and respect the natural environment, on the other we are saying to shut yourself away from it and burn more power.

* From Paul Wells:

I read your piece on eSailing and world sailings involvement and my heart sank. Your footnotes sum up perfectly my feelings. And no you are not old and cranky, sailing is being in the open air, the breeze on your face, battling the elements, it's real, sometimes cold and frightening, sometimes blue skies and champagne sailing. Everything a computer is not!

* From Giles Pearman:

Just when I thought it safe to introduce my children to sailing ...

* From Tim Harrington:

Just saw the eSailing comments and thought i should write, totally agree that we should be on the water sailing, but until something better comes along, it could just be a great way to keep the kids entertained at the sailing club, when they can't go sailing because it's blowing too much, and then they might come back next the next day or next week to go sailing in less breeze! 

* From Euan Ross:

There are two issues here. World Sailing overreach - again, and what constitutes a sport? As the years go by, yacht racing management at every level becomes increasingly top heavy and the manpower required to run even a modest event is now truly mind-boggling. World Sailing is constantly on the lookout for new pies to poke their well-manicured fingers into, even when they are patently not welcome, as with kiteboarding. We really need yachting to be kicked out of the Olympics and let budget constraints keep these would-be empire builders in check.

Then there is the 'sport' issue. We have convivial eye-contact competitions like Bridge and sequestered hobbies like e-sailing, lacking even that. Bridge is a splendid diversion; even so, I was delighted to hear that the High Court was not convinced by its sporting credentials sport. Then the European Court of Justice reversed that decision. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands - all recognise Bridge as a sport. What are these folks smoking?

Well, maybe the same wacky-baccy as the Committee which has already adopted e-sports in the Asian Games, a competition second in size only to the Olympics, with 45 nations competing. E-sports will feature as a demonstration event in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and the mouse molesters are set to go mainstream at the 2022 Games in Turkmenistan. The OCA said the decision reflects "the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth", a statement which deftly avoids the word 'activity'. Now, e-sports are even being considered for the 2024 Paris Olympics - and it seems the hosts are keen.

I guess we can look forward to forbidding, sedentary goings-on, like the video game 'FIFA 2017', where a single geek leads an entire football team of autonomous 'players'. Going a step further, and perhaps sideways, there now real interest in fully autonomous electric racing cars - with real cars whizzing round a track so that out-to-lunch petrol-heads can smell the rubber and root for a heroic sporting identity comprising a few lines of source code! That surely is even dafter?

But, honestly, as far as yachting is concerned, in what way will the lost legions of socially reclusive e-yachtsmen benefit from the wit and wisdom of their new blazered and beflannelled overlords? One can only hope that, happily ensconced in their digital burrows and hidden behind blind VPN Providers, they will find the temptation to test the limits of Rule 69 irresistible.

On the other hand, a virtual World Sailing Conference might be a useful economy?

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Volvo 70 TELEFONICA BLACK is now for sale. Being used for light corporate duties since the race with a brief stint in the Caribbean. Full inventory, spares and an excellent price.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit. -- Arnold H. Glasow

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