In This Issue
Team Oman Air take the Extreme Sailing Series San Diego Act trophy
Etchells World Championship - Practice Race Abandoned
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Fitting Send Off For Rolex Middle Sea Anniversary Fleet
Golden Globe Day 112 - Code Red Alert
Dave Perry Wins 2018 International Masters Regatta
Saint-Malo prepares for a magnificent 12 days
Vale Robin Crawford
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Samuel Pepys

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

Team Oman Air take the Extreme Sailing Series San Diego Act trophy
Finishing the Act with an impressively consistent score sheet, the Omani squad scuppered the Swiss team’s chances of a fifth Act win this year by implementing carefully calculated match racing techniques as the competition drew to a close.

Despite their hard work to maintain the lead they had held since the start of the San Diego Act, the team onboard Alinghi were unable to defend their winning streak against match racing champion Phil Robertson and his crew: Pete Greenhalgh, Nasser Al Mashari, Stewart Dodson and James Wierzbowski.

The Omani-flagged boat had been snapping at the heels of the Swiss throughout the Act, but had failed to overtake Psarofaghis and his team until the grand finale today.

The crews will now begin preparations for the highly anticipated double-points grand finale, Extreme Sailing Series Los Cabos, presented by Element Sports Group, which takes place from 29 November – 2 December.

It’s tight at the top – expect a furious fight as the teams take each other down in the final Act of the 2018 season.

Extreme Sailing Series 2018 San Diego, presented by SAP, standings after Day 4, 21 races (21.10.18)
1. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Stewart Dodson, Nasser Al Mashari: 233 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey: 232
3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Kostner, Adam Minoprio, Julius Hallstrom, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason: 226
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Dan Morris, Rhys Mara, Micah Wilkinson: 199
5. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) Will Alloway, Leigh McMillan, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman: 190
6. Element Spark Compass (USA) Taylor Canfield, Sam Hallowell, John Wallace, Matt Noble, Mateo Vargas: 159
7. Team Mexico (MEX) Erik Brockmann, Tom Buggy, Alex Higby, Tom Phipps, Danel Belausteguigoitia Fierro: 147

Extreme Sailing Series 2018 overall standings
1. Alinghi (SUI) 68 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 65
3. Oman Air (OMA) 63
4. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 54
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 50
6. Team Mexico (MEX) 42

Etchells World Championship - Practice Race Abandoned
Brisbane, Australia: Of practice does make perfect, then certainly getting all of the huge Etchells fleet out on the water and back again safely has been locked in. Sailing out or being towed, setting sails, heading up into the wind to lock in the direction and also the flicks were some of the items that this expert armada of sailors also proved they were totally conversant in.

The sun was out for the morning briefing at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, where course layout and description, safety protocols, and starting procedures were carefully gone through. There was a delightfully mild and soft East to Sou’Easter wafting through at under eight knots, and the riplets were only just making about 200mm in height.

As we set out past Green Island due East of Manly, and turned South into the course area, the breeze did stiffen, first making 12 knots and then onto 18 as it clocked a little further right into a ESE position. Ultimately, turning your head back around to shore told the tale. The airport and then the Gold Coast Seaway radios started crackling into life with thunderstorm warnings, and it was not long before the lightning and thunder heralded the magnitude of what was on the way.

A large spectator fleet had also made the most of the opportunity to come and see what was going on. Whilst the Etchells went to windward to investigate the breeze and the pressure and direction fluctuations, those spectators go to wander through them all. Some, like the large trimaran, even came barrelling through under full noise. It was at this point that you really did feel like it was game on.

Even Huey, the God of Wind, decided it was time to get serious, and the extra pressure he was generating mean the sea quickly climbed up to 400mm and as everyone later rushed home it was 750mm plus. So by two o’clock local, when the racing was meant to begin, it indeed had become a race to get back into the club. Lightning was everywhere but in the lenses of the photographers, and the thunder became more ominous as its volume and duration both increased. The area affected was also large, with it extending from Southern Queensland, all the way into the top of New South Wales.

Two races are indeed planned for tomorrow, Monday October 22. The first will be of approximately 90 minutes in duration and have the fleet finish downwind. Weather dependant, the second race will be longer, perhaps up to 180 minutes, as the fleet will finish into the wind.

Racing concludes on Saturday October 27.

Seahorse November 2018
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
The extraordinary Charal, the Figaro succession, aka the silent explosion, a career change in New Zealand, for a limey of course, going at it hard in Hamo and a Frenchman abroad. Patrice Carpentier, Ivor Wilkins, Carlos Pich, Blue Robinson, Dobbs Davis

Top of the game
Three Fast40 titles on the trot... definitely time for something even faster. Shaun Carkeek

Small town big
The Stars are doing just fine thank you after departing the Olympics. Roger Vaughan

Resurrection day
Oyvind Bordal kept a close eye on a pretty aggressive new long distance cruising project; then when it (literally) fell over he bought it

Brilliant racing (outstanding chocolate)
... or why racing in the giant Spi Ouest regatta in La Trinite is quite simply the best Easter present you can possibly imagine

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Fitting Send Off For Rolex Middle Sea Anniversary Fleet
The 50th anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race is underway. A record fleet of 130 yachts was waved on its way by large crowds filling the bastions of Valletta and the Three Cities, and other vantage points. Grand Harbour, Valletta, is a magnificent location in its own right. Each year, the lily is gilded by an intrepid fleet of Corinthian and professional sailors, adventurers and voyagers, all determined to take on the challenge presented by this classic 606nm offshore race.

By 17:00 CEST, the majority of the fleet was hard on the wind heading for Capo Passero on the southern tip of Sicily. The heavier displacement boats are enjoying the upwind conditions. Strategic decisions are beginning to play out, with most staying north of the rhumb line. Approaching the land, the breeze looks to be shifting and fading. Staying in the best pressure to round the cape will be the common goal.

George David's Maxi American Rambler 88 is leading the charge in the monohull fleet, with their closest rivals on the water two miles behind: Dieter Schon German Maxi72 Momo, and the 115ft Baltic Nikata. In the Multihull fleet, Giovanni Soldini's Maserati and the Ned Collier Wakefield skippered PowerPlay were in close combat just off the coast of Sicily, locked in a duel, having blasted close to 70 miles upwind in just four hours. Just before going to press, Maserati reported suffering damage to the starboard rudder. She continues to race and the extent of the problem is being examined.

Class Analysis At 17:00 CEST
IRC Two: the Andrea Calabria skippered Swiss Swan 82, 2nd Chance, is revelling in the upwind conditions, Vadim Yakimenko’s TP52 Freccia Rossa is going well after a cracking start, as is Eric de Turckheim's French NM54 Teasing Machine, and Vincenzo Addessi’s Italian Mylius 60, Fra Diavolo.

IRC Three: Dominique Tian's French Ker 46, Tonnerre de Glen, leads on the water by two miles from Vittorio Biscarini's Ars Una. Ramon Sant Hill & Jonas Diamantino’s Maltese Farr 45, Comanche Raider III, has made an impressive start and is in the mix with the leaders.

IRC Four: Swan 651 Lunz Am Meer, skippered by Riccardo Genghini, has been in her element upwind. Philippe Franz's NM43 Albator is holding on to their bigger rival, just ahead of Frank Werst's Swan 53 Silveren Swaen. The Podesta family racing the Maltese First 45, Elusive 2, is among the front-runners, and holding off their local rivals, Josef Schultheis & Timmy Camilleri on the Xp-44, XP-ACT.

IRC Five: Jonathan Gambin's Maltese Dufour 44, Ton Ton Maltacharters, leads on the water from two well-sailed French teams: Gery Trentesaux's JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande and Yves Grosjean's J/133 Jivaro.

IRC Six: Rossko, skippered by Timofey Zhbankov, holds lead from a trio of boats just a mile astern: Gerard Ludovic's Solenn, Igor Rytov's Bogatyr, and Piercarlo Antonelli's Bora Fast.

Golden Globe Day 112 - Code Red Alert
At 18:27 UTC on Saturday 20th Oct. the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra (JRCC Aus.) picked up a distress beacon alert from French solo skipper Loïc Lepage. They had already been alerted by GGR organisers that his yacht Laaland had been dismasted and was taking in water some 600 miles SW of Perth, Western Australia, and took on responsibility for coordinating a rescue mission.

JRCC issued an immediate MAYDAY relay to all shipping and at 20:30 UTC, a Challenger aircraft was despatched from Perth with a droppable pump onboard to assess the situation and photograph the disabled yacht. The plane arrived on scene at 23:09 UTC and raised communications with Lepage via VHF radio. Loïc advised that he was conducting repairs to his engine and did not require the pump or any other supplies to be dropped. He also stated that water ingress was at a rate of approximately 160 litres per hour but that the onboard pumps were keeping up. The aircraft reported that the mast did not appear to be attached to the vessel, and that no other significant external damage was visible.

Throughout this period, JRCC Aus. continued to seek assistance from merchant shipping, while GGR Organisers sort to communicated with other sailing vessels in the region. Due to the severe conditions, two merchant ships advised that they were unable to assist for safety reasons.

At 05:07 UTC, GGR Organisers spoke to Lepage via satphone. The Frenchman advised that water ingress remained at the same rate, that the onboard pumps were keeping up, and that he was not in imminent danger of sinking. He also reported that the yacht’s engine, which had suffered some damage from water ingress into the boat, would not start, and that a jury rig had still to be set-up. Laaland continued to drift in the approximate position 38° 50.33’ S 104°15.27E, and that Loïc was seeking rescue and transfer off his vessel.

Lepage has since repaired his engine and been advised to motor in a northerly direction to shorten the distance between him and the rescue vessels. JRCC Aus. intends to utilise the MV Shiosai and SV Alizes II as surface rescue assets and to keep Stoker on stand-by until Mon 22 Oct when a decision will be made based on a re-assessment of weather conditions and progress of Shiosai and Alizes II overnight.

Dave Perry Wins 2018 International Masters Regatta
San Diego, California: This weekend’s impressive fleet of determined sailors came to the 2018 International Masters Regatta ready to race. Five time Match Racing Champion Dave Perry came to race too, but like a true Master, his preparation began the moment he received his invitation. Perry started the regatta off strong and in the lead on Day One. Finishing the day in a tie with Tad Lacey, Perry’s win in Series Race 3 was the tiebreaker that put him in first place and set the bar for the rest of the weekend. Come Day Two, Perry never let the momentum die. Numerous sailors jumped the gun and were forced to restart while Perry’s seasoned skillset and stacked San Diego crew got off the line clean and kept Perry at the top of the score sheet.

The breeze for Day Three started off similar to Days One and Two with light winds from the south. The morning’s foggy skies burnt off just in time for the regatta, but made for some unique photo opportunities on the way out to the course. The wind picked up and peaked at 9 knots midday, again making for ideal racing conditions on South San Diego Bay.

Two new sailors to the International Masters Regatta also proved themselves with smart, intense sailing this weekend. Andy Roy, coming from Royal Canadian Yacht Club, started off Day One in fourth place and moved one step up the ladder each day, finishing in second place and earning his spot on the podium. California Yacht Club’s Bill Peterson saw a similar climb finishing in third place by the end of the regatta. Both sailors are new to the J/105.

1. Dave Perry Pequot YC, 45 points
2. Andy Roy,, Royal Canadian, 58
3. Bill Petersen, California, 63
4. David Gould , Cortez Racing Assoc., 68
5. Jon Andron, St Francis, 71
6. Doug Rastello, Newport Harbor, 73
7. Tad Lacey, San Franciso, 74
8. Bill Menninger, Newport Harbor, 81
9. Julian Bingham, Mobile, 90
10. Chuck Driscoll, San Diego, 90
11. Ted Moore, New York, 108
12. Richard du Moulin Larchmont/Storm Trysail, 115

Saint-Malo prepares for a magnificent 12 days
With less than seven days to go until the opening of the race village in Saint-Malo, the excitement is ramping up ahead of 12 days of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

The race village officially opens its doors on October 24 at 14.00, welcoming 123 skippers and their boats, alongside 170 exhibitors. The opening ceremony will also see a spectacular light show at 18.00, created by the City of Saint-Malo and its partner, ENEDIS.

The race village will open every day from 10.00 to 20.00, with an earlier opening time of 08.00 on the start day on November 4th. The village will also stay open until 22.00 every Friday and Saturday with the Brasserie du Rhum, the official brewery of the village, remaining open every night until 02.00 with various music acts and events to look forward to.

The official presentation of the competitors in six classes is another event not to be missed, with the 123 skippers attending on Saturday, October 27 at 18.00 at the Fosse aux Lions (Intra-muros).

With over two million visitors expected to visit the Saint-Malo race village over the 12 days, we are set for a fantastic festival with lots to see and do. To view the full programme and events schedule please click here

Vale Robin Crawford
Robin Crawford Well-known yachtsman and philanthropist, Robin Crawford, died peacefully at home on Thursday evening, October 18, after an extended battle with cancer and dementia - he was 70.

One of a few to realise the ambition of all offshore racers, he won the Sydney Hobart in 1992 with his brand new Farr 40 IMS, Assassin (in conjunction with the IOR winner, Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin), at which time he was a member of Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

Robin was well-known and respected in sailing circles. Skippering Assassin, he cleaned up in 1993, winning the Sydney Mooloolaba and 3-Points races, the Gascoigne Cup, the Big Boat Series and the Ronstan IMS Championships. He also finished third overall in the Brisbane Gladstone Race. For this, he was nominated in the Ocean Racer Awards, losing out to Syd Fischer.

Robin contested the1993, 1994 and 1995 Hobarts on Assassin, chartering the yacht out for the race in 1997. He sold a share in the boat to Hugo Van Krestchmar and the two raced her to Hobart again in the fatal 1998 Hobart, but like most of the fleet, retired. In between, he continued to perform well in other races and contested around nine Sydney Hobarts in total.

A member of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia since 1994, Robin became chairman of the Ocean Racing Club of Australia (ORCA), the same year, and also represented Australia at the Kenwood Cup, alongside George Snow’s Brindabella and Andrew Strachan’s Ninety Seven.

Philanthropy was integrated into the Point Piper yachtsman’s life from his university days onwards, starting with the Autistic Children’s Association. Directorships with the Schizophrenia Foundation of Australia and Clean Up Australia followed. He was also essential to the creation of the Centre for Social Impact.

Robin worked with Dr Chris O’Brien to get the Lifehouse project, which transforms treatment for Australian cancer patients, up and running. The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse was named in O’Brien’s honour, following his death from brain cancer in June, 2009.

Ironically, he was to need the services of Lifehouse when he faced his own battle with cancer in early 2013.

A memorial service for Robin Crawford will be held at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia on Wednesday 24th October at 12.00pm and friends are welcome to attend.

Our sympathies go to Robin’s wife, Judy, his daughters Clare and Kate and their families.

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