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In This Issue
Route du Rhum: Le Cleac'h rescued as conditions begin to improve
Winter racing resumes with the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
ORC and OMA Unite To Form New ORC Multihull Rule
Return of Athos and the Flying Machines
See the DAME-Nominated CLR Mooring Winch at METS 13-15 November
First video of American Magic' s AC75 test foiler
Best Women Match Racers Set Sail in St. Thomas
49th Star Class South American Championship
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Nelson Mandela

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

Route du Rhum: Le Cleac'h rescued as conditions begin to improve
After yesterday's gale which ended the hopes of many skippers, conditions are now more manageable for the boats in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe fleet that are still actively racing.

French sailor Armel Le Cleac'h was successfully rescued by a fishing boat overnight, plucked from his upturned Banque Populaire IX ULTIME trimaran around 2130hrs CET. The fishing boat is heading to Spain.

The worst of the gale has passed through and whilst dozens of skippers are left licking their wounds, the leading groups in each of the six divisions are now able to make good speeds to the southwest.

Passing north of Madeira this morning the two race leaders François Gabart on MACIF and Frances Joyon on IDEC Sport have been struggling to break through the light, erratic winds of the Azores high pressure system. But they should emerge into the first of the tradewinds by this evening. Gabart, winner of the IMOCA class in this race in 2014, holds a lead of 70 miles over Joyon opening up some 30 miles since yesterday afternoon.

Thomas Coville has reported he plans to resume racing, aiming to leave La Coruna just as soon as the repairs to the cross beam of his Sodebo Ultim' are completed. Third placed ULTIME skipper Romain Pilliard on the smaller, lighter Remade-Use It Again is heading to La Coruna for repairs, leaving just two currently racing in the ULTIME class.

It has been a good night's work for Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss. The British skipper, who has led the IMOCA fleet since the first morning, is now more than 85 miles ahead of second-placed Paul Meilhat on SMA after taking a route 150 miles to the west of his rivals.

Traditionally 'west is best' in transatlantic races and Thomson, on his first attempt at the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe should continue to profit from a faster wind angle as far as the lighter winds zone of the Azores high which is impeding the progress of the lading ULTIMEs today.

Sam Davies diverts after boat delaminates
French-based British solo skipper Sam Davies is diverting to the nearest safe port after discovering a delamination in the hull of her IMOCA Initiatives Coeur.

Davies informed her team at around 1700hrs CET/1600hrs UTC that she was concerned about worrying noises coming from her hull. On closer inspection from inside the boat she discovered the hull bottom was deforming.

She spoke with the architects and their conclusion is that the delamination has occurred due to the slamming in the big waves in the Bay of Biscay gales. Davies is reported to be safe and well and has turned to a northeasterly course. She is about 430 nautical miles west-south-west of Brest.

Amedeo Heads Back to Brittany After Bowsprit Damage. Bestaven To Pitstop in Cascais.
French skipper Fabrice Amedeo has reported damage to the bowsprit of his IMOCA Newrest-Art et Fenetres and is making for a port in Brittany which he expects to reach between Wednesday and Thursday.

Amedeo, the 40 year old former Le Figaro business journalist turned ocean racer, was sailing at between 18 and 20 knots of boat speed in waves of between four and five metres when he noticed the damage to his gooseneck. He was around 140 nautical miles northeast of the La Coruna Traffic Separation Zone (TSS) and sailing with three reefs in his mainsail and under J3 headsail.

He has no explanation for the damage as there was no obvious bang. He slowed down immediately and checked the bow of his boat for other damage.

And fellow IMOCA skipper Yannick Bestaven is making for Cacais in Portugal to make a technical stop after incurring damage to the mainsail track on Maitre-Coq. Bestaven was in seventh place.


Winter racing resumes with the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Act 1 kicks-off the 6th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series season on Friday 9th to Sunday 11th November at the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Organised by the YCM between October and March in collaboration with technical clothing supplier SLAM, the programme comprises five Acts including the Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse (7-10 February 2019). These meetings are an opportunity for teams to establish their winter base in the Principality and prepare for major upcoming events, like the J/70 World Championship which will take place for the first time in Monaco in October 2021.

After a warm-up race on Thursday at 2.00pm, Act 1 gets underway in earnest at noon on Friday with more than 40 one-design boats set to line up on the start lines, mainly J/70s alongside the Smeralda 888 and Melges 20 classes, totalling more than 150 crew members.

Proving itself a true capital of yachting, Monaco attracts talented sailors from all backgrounds as evidenced by the 260+ sailors from 11 nationalities, divided across 180 boats, who competed in 58 races over the winter in the 2017/2018 season.

Provisional programme
Thursday 8th November - 2.30pm: Warm-up Race
Friday 9th November - 12 noon: First Warning Signal
Saturday 10th November - 11.00am: First Warning Signal
Sunday 11th November - 11.00am: First Warning Signal


ORC and OMA Unite To Form New ORC Multihull Rule
Sarasota, Florida, USA: The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and the Offshore Multihull Association (OMA) are pleased to announce their partnership to develop a new handicap rule system called ORCmultihull, or ORCmh. This new system is intended to provide measurement, VPP rating and scoring tools for large performance multihulls, a new and exciting sector in offshore racing.

"We're very happy to work with ORC to help build the measurement and certificate generation process needed for this system," said Phil Lotz, president of OMA and Commodore of New York YC. "They have proven their abilities at handling the data for generating many thousands of certificates in the ORC Club, ORCi and ORC SuperYacht rules, so we look forward to having the same coherent level of administration brought to our system for fair and transparent handicapping to performance multihulls."

ORCmh will evolve from the MultiRule system, which OMA developed with help from the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF). MultiRule uses on-the-water performance data, "cleaned" and analyzed by KND Sailing Performance, to produce boat performance curves (polars) as wind speed and wind angle vary. These curves in turn become the boat's rating and the Performance Curve Scoring (PCS) system can be used to reflect the large changes in multihull speeds through various wind speeds and angles.

"We have been using the MultiRule system now for 3 years and it has been working well for the OMA. I look forward to working with ORC to help build a VPP validated by our performance data," said Larry Rosenfeld, Technical Director of OMA and also on the Board of SYRF.

PCS was computationally difficult for sailors and race managers, but now with the creation of a mobile app developed by OMA and SYRF these calculations are done in seconds and are available in real time for sailors. This represents a breakthrough in bringing accuracy and accessibility to handicap racing. With the push of a button, the PCS calculator app produces the relative time allowance between your boat and your competition, giving you a powerful tactical tool on the race course.

The first regattas anticipated to use ORCmh will be in the upcoming season of events starting with the BVI Spring Regatta at the end of March 2019, followed by Les Voiles des St Barth in mid-April, Antigua Race Week in early May and Porto Cervo in June.



Return of Athos and the Flying Machines
The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 is set to be a spectacular edition of the fantastic 600 nautical mile race around 11 Caribbean islands. Of the early entries, the largest yacht competing will be the 203ft schooner Athos, returning to the race after her round the world adventure. Three of the world's fastest multihulls will also be taking part, Argo, Maserati Multi70, and PowerPlay.

With an overall length of 203ft, Athos is the world's largest privately-owned two-masted schooner. From the drawing board of Hoek Design Naval Architects and built by Holland Jachtbouw, Athos has a displacement of 348 tons and can hoist nearly 33,000 sq. ft.of downwind sail area from its rig which towers over 200ft above her teak decks.

Athos competed in the RORC Caribbean 600 every year from 2013 to 2015 before setting off on a four-year round the world trip. After leaving Antigua, Athos passed through the Panama Canal into the Pacific, visiting some phenomenal locations including: Galapagos, French Polynesia, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Palau, Singapore, Thailand, and Maldives. Athos arrived back in the Mediterranean in May 2018 and plans to depart for Antigua at the beginning of December to take part in the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600.

Neptune's Trident
In 2015, Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 was the first MOD70 to take part in the RORC Caribbean 600, smashing the multihull race record by over six hours. The following year Phaedo3 had an epic duel with Tony Lawson's Concise10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield. Phaedo3 won the 2016 duel by less than 10 minutes, setting the current multihull race record (31hrs 59mins and 04 seconds). In 2017 a battle between Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi70 and Phaedo3 resulted in another win for Lloyd Thornburg, by just over 13 minutes.

For the 2019 edition, for the first time in the 11-year history of the race, three of the world's fastest ocean-going trimarans will be competing: Maserati (ITA), PowerPlay (GBR) and Argo (USA), who will all be gunning for glory. Concise10 is now under new ownership; Peter Cunningham's PowerPlay Racing purchased the MOD70 earlier this year. Ned Collier Wakefield is retained as skipper along with most of the crew. For the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600, PowerPlay will line up against Argo (formerly Oman Sail), skippered by Jason Carroll, winner of the 2018 GC32 overall Owner-Driver Class. Maserati Multi70, is once again skippered by Giovanni Soldini.


See the DAME-Nominated CLR Mooring Winch at METS 13-15 November
The Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam is a great opportunity to see what Harken has been up to. See the revolutionary new Harken® CLR™ Mooring Winch for both sail and power yachts, a flush-stowing deck-mounted powered winch featuring geometry and mechanical characteristics never seen before. It's been nominated for the industry's gold standard 2018 DAME design award.

No retracting, flush-mounted winches have ever offered the power-for-size ratio like that of the CLR (Compact Light Retractable). It occupies 40% less horizontal and less than 50% the vertical belowdeck space required by previous market leaders. The CLR weighs just 33% of its competition while delivering comparable mechanical advantage. This gives naval architects more usable belowdeck space.

Harken's newest thinking will be on display, including:

The popularly priced forged-aluminum Element™ blocks. The Rewind™ Radial® winch, which operates like a 2-speed winch -- fast trimming in first gear and more power in second. Turn a knob to engage the rewind function, and you can trim and ease remotely without going to the winch and unwrapping the sheet. Harken's line of manual, electric and hydraulic winches including its captive winch technology.

Find Harken at Stand 12.227 & 12:327. Harken AT THE FRONT.


First video of American Magic' s AC75 test foiler
In what has become the way of America's Cup Challengers' sailing video debut, the US based team has been caught on fan-cam as they sailed their AC75 prototype in light air and flat water.

The American Magic team were shot sailing the 38ft AC75 surrogate on Rhode Island Sound, and are the second team to have launched a foiling monohull under the maximum 12metre length permitted in the Protocol governing the 36th America's Cup, to be sailed in Auckland.

It is not known whether one of the designated helmsman for the US team, Dean Barker was on the helm of the AC75 test boat.

INEOS Team UK, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie launched a 28ft foiling surrogate in August, which seems to have performed better than expected by most who are sceptical of the foiling monohull concept, which will be used for the first time in the 2021 America's Cup.

The US challenger seems to have very steady flight height - without the variances observed initially on the British boat. The US boat is sailed by a crew of five - less than half of the 11 allowed in the AC75. -- Richard Gladwell


Best Women Match Racers Set Sail in St. Thomas
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands: Twelve of the world's best women match racers will compete in the Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), presented by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, on November 29-December 2. Following a hiatus in 2017 after major hurricanes damaged the island, the CAMR is back and once again hosting the fifth and final event of the 2018 Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). It's a perfect scenario: world-class sailors competing in St. Thomas' Charlotte Amalie harbor, one of the world's best sailing destinations.

One of three teams representing France at the WIMS Series finale at the CAMR is Match in Pink by Normandy Elite led by skipper Pauline Courtois. Courtois and her crew sailed in the 2016 CAMR, won the 2017 WIM Series and are leading this year's Series going into the Virgin Islands event.

Also returning is Sweden's Johanna Bergqvist and her Team Bergqvist Match Racing.

The remaining ten skippers competing with their teams in the WIM Series finale at the CAMR are: 2016 CAMR defending champion, Renee Groeneveld, from the Netherlands; France's Margot Vennin and Margot Riou; Sweden's Anna Ostling, Linnea Floser, Sanna Mattsson and Helena Nielsen; Great Britain's Octavia Owen; and the USA's Morgan Wilson and Janel Zarkowsky.

The CAMR is known internationally for introducing young sailors to the sport, working cooperatively with the V.I. government and V.I. Department of Tourism in its efforts to get more of the island's youth out on the water. As such the event hosts the CAMR Youth Regatta each year.

The 2018 CAMR is sponsored by the V.I. Department of Tourism, St. Thomas Sailing Center, Virgin Islands Sailing Association, St. Thomas Yacht Club, IGY's Yacht Haven Grande and Bellows International.

WIM Series standings ahead of the final event (Team, skipper, nationality, points):
1. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, Pauline Courtois - FRA, 87
2. Team Kattnakken, Trine Palludan / Henriette Koch - DEN, 85
3. L2 Match Racing Team, Marinella Laaksonen - FIN, 56
4. Swiss Women Match Racing Team, Alexa Bezel - SUI, 46
5. Mermaid Sailing Team / New Sweden Match Racing Team, Claire Leroy - FRA, 41
6. Team Bergqvist Match Racing, Johanna Bergqvist - SWE, 40
7. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, Margot Vennin - FRA, 33
8. Team Mac, Lucy Macgregor - GBR, 25
9. ProKaTeam Sailing Team, Ekaterina Kochkina - RUS, 24
10. Team SkOna Vibbisar, Antonia Degerlund - FIN, 24
11. ChicaCER, Laurane Mettraux - SUI, 22
12. APCC Women Sailing Team, Margot Riou - FRA, 21
13. Team Anna, Anna Ostling - SWE, 20
14. Team BAAM!, Allie Blecher - USA, 16
15. Swedish Women's Match Racing Team, Sanna Mattsson - SWE, 16
16. Stockholm Match Racing Team, Sanna Hager - SWE, 15
17. Women On Water, Henriette Koch - DEN, 14
18. Peregrine Racing, Linnea Floser / Hanna Ericksson - SWE, 13
19. BERGAUF Sailing Team, Milena Laverycheva - RUS, 12
20. NZ Match, Celia Willison - NZL, 12
21. Athena Racing, Octavia Owen - GBR, 11
22. BornToSail, Alexandra Martynova - RUS, 10
23. Team Skogman, Jassi Skogman - FIN, 8
24. Dutch Match Racing Team, Renee Groeneveld - NED, 0
24. Team Nielsen, Helena Nielsen - SWE, 0
24. As One, Janel Zarkowsky - USA, 0
24. Caribbean Wind Racing, Morgan Collins - USA, 0


49th Star Class South American Championship
The 49th Star Class South American Championship will officially start tonight in Rio de Janeiro with the Opening Ceremony at the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro - ICRJ.

Racing will take place from tomorrow to Sunday November 11th with two races a day thru to Saturday and only one scheduled for the last day.

The Star Class South American Championship was first held in 1952 when the Star Class came to South America. The first event was organized by the ICRJ and was won by Roberto Bueno and his Star named "Xodo", and it will be organized once again here after 49 years and after several legendary editions, like the one in 2009, when at the South American Championship at ICRJ in Rio a record of entries of 63 Stars from 14 nations was registered. The event was won by Flavio Marazzi with Enrico de Maria (SUI).

This year the entries are a little more than 20, but the level is super high.

Five times Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt from Brazil will sail with fellow Brazilian crew Arthur Lopes, former Star class President and 2015 Star World Champions Lars Grael with Samuel Gonçalves (BRA) will also be on the start line and along with them that year runners up Marcelo Fuchs with Ronals Seifert (BRA).

One of the youngest Star World Champion ever was crowned about a month ago in Oxford, MD, Brazilian Finn sailor Jorge Zarif won his first Gold star in the USA with Guilherme de Almeida, and he will join the Silver star event too in Rio de Janeiro, With him on the boat this time Ubiratan Matos.

The race course will be those used at Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the first start scheduled tomorrow, November 8th at 12.00 local time (GMT -2).


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 David Munge: As Bob Fisher comments, Dr Frank Newton ( Sorebones ) has hit the nail on the head. In a brief communique with Andrew Hurst, editor of Seahorse, the other day, he made the comment that if you're over 84 kilos there is no Olympic class for you to sail in. Does anybody have any idea what the percentage of the sailing community is over 84 KG? Weigh equality, or gender equality, that is the question.

A solution might be, to mandate if a new class or sailing discipline, I.E. mixed offshore sailing, foiling kites, doesn't have a certain number of nations registered by 2022, then Olympic status could offered back to the Finn class. Wikipedia tells me there were 23 Finn nations represented in Rio, and thus only 23 people, from a single sex, to accommodate, if keeping numbers, and cost is important.

* From Sharon Hugheston:

Aside from the Equestrian events, where a Dressage horse can cost $60K to $100K (source: marketplace) plus thousands for a saddle, thousands for the rider's clothing... no other Olympic sport in 2024 will cost as much for an athlete than a keelboat.

Of course swimmers need a pool, basketball needs a court, but those are commonly found, publicly owned, facilities. Those cannot reasonably be considered personal equipment for a sport. The vast majority of sports have VERY inexpensive personal costs for gear. Athletics? Badminton? Boxing? Wrestling? Compared to keelboat sailing?

The number of nations and athletes that can afford to be competitive in Olympic Keelboat Sailing is very, very small. World Sailing has lost the path here.

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The Last Word
I never lose. I either win or I learn. -- Nelson Mandela

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