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In This Issue
Alex Thomson Grounded on Guadeloupe Island
Armel Tripon wins Multi50 class and is third overall
Lalou Roucayrol: A study of happiness while upside down
Last Call for Early Registration for Grenada Sailing Week 2019
Spring 18ft Skiff Championship Is Down-To-The-Wire
U. S. National Sailing Hall Of Fame Inducts Six
Ocean Safety's full range of accredited Ocean SOLAS Ultralite liferafts now available
South African Olympians sail to victory in China
Hot racing, warm weather: Oman's EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour is a winter treat
Glenn Ashby wins A-Cat pre-worlds
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: WHAT

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

Alex Thomson Grounded on Guadeloupe Island
Alex Thomson Racing is currently managing a developing incident, which occurred during La Route du Rhum: Destination Guadeloupe. Today (Thursday, November 15) between 21:45 and 22:00 AST Alex Thomson's IMOCA 60 race boat grounded on Guadeloupe island. Skipper Thomson is safe, uninjured and in no danger. Structural checks are ongoing. The situation is being closely reviewed and monitored by the technical and management teams at Alex Thomson Racing, who are in contact with Thomson, together with the Route du Rhum race organisation. Thomson is continuing to race onboard HUGO BOSS and intends to complete the race.


Armel Tripon wins Multi50 class and is third overall
Photo by Yvan Zedda. Click on image to enlarge.

Blessed with bright Caribbean sunshine and a 20-knot trade wind for the final passage around the island of Basse Terre, French solo skipper Armel Tripon today won the Multi50 class in the 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

The 43-year-old solo ocean racing veteran from Nantes crossed the finish line off Pointe-a-Pitre on his brown and white trimaran, Réauté Chocolat, at 16:32hrs local time this afternoon (20:32hrsUTC/21:32hrs CET) and becomes the third finisher in the four-yearly 3,542-nautical mile single-handed race from Saint Malo in Brittany.

Tripon's race time was 11 days, seven hours, 32 minutes and 40 seconds. He missed the class record for the race set by Erwan Le Roux in 2014 - who is on course to finish this race in second place behind Tripon tomorrow - by just two hours and 19 minutes.

The sun was just starting to set as a relieved and delighted Tripon brought his multihull alongside Pointe-a-Pitre's victory dock, in front of the iconic Memorial ACTe dedicated to the history of the slave trade.

The 43-year-old Frenchman who is in just his second year in the fast, light Multi50 trimaran class, was not tipped among the favourites to win when the 11th edition of this classic race that started in Saint Malo on Sunday, November 4th.

The next finisher in the race is expected to be Britain's Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss who is on course to win the IMOCA class. He is now less than 140 miles from the line. Behind him Erwan Le Roux is set to be the runner-up in the Multi50s behind Tripon and has just over 200 miles to go.


Lalou Roucayrol: A study of happiness while upside down
From his upturned Multi50 Lalou Roucayrol spoke this morning about his capsize yesterday, how he is getting used to the situation and how he is whiling away some of his time waiting to be rescued by reading "Propos sur le Bonheur" (Alain on Happiness) by the French philosopher Émile Chartier, also known as Alain.

"I'm drifting," said Roucayrol. "I'm about to clamber outside into the fresh air. I need to get out because I feel like I am trapped in a space capsule. There is a lot of noise with what remains of the rigging hitting the hull as there is quite a lot of sea running still.

"Yesterday was hard and complicated undoing the rigging. I had to make sure it had totally gone. There were two bits and the stump of the mast which I could not get to, but i'd like to get to them before Olmix (Pierre Antoine, leader of the Rhum Multi Class) gets to me tomorrow morning.

"I have organised myself for life on board. I have been here before with Mayeul (Ed note....Lalou capsized on November 10th, 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre with Mayeul Riffet). The biggest problem is that is so hot and humid inside. I can't open the hatches because there is too much sea around. And there is a lot of slamming on the deck. It is bloody noisy."

Yesterday, you know, I did not have time to read a lot. I spent my day in the water cutting away the rigging and securing the boat. I was pretty scared a few times, I don't mind telling you.

The best moment was when the Falcon (plane) flew over me. It was great, they stayed a long time with me; we chatted by VHF it was really nice. It was a good end of a difficult day with that lovely plane flying around. "


Last Call for Early Registration for Grenada Sailing Week 2019
Building on the success of the last edition organisers have been busy making sure that you will have the best time possible from new and exciting courses, to plenty of fun at the after parties. In addition, this year Grenada Sailing Week will be helping Judd Tinius celebrate his 70ft classic yawl Galatea's 120th birthday. Everyone is welcome to come and join the celebrations. But to all Classic boats out there, we invite you to come challenge Galatea, winner of her class for the last two years.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to benefit from the early registration fee for the Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2019. Sign up and pay now or by the 30 November 2018 for the reduced fee of US$90. After this date the fee goes up to US$130.

We are already looking at fierce competition in racer and racer/cruiser class. And we are excited to announce that we are continuing the popular one design J24 class. With two different coasts to race off offer both tactical and challenging racing to test your skills. There is lots of fun to be had both on and off the water. With our two fabulous host venues, Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and Secret Harbour Marina, four days of racing and six nights of parties this regatta at the start of the racing season is one not to be missed.

Pure Sailing, Pure Racing, Pure Grenada!

Sign up now on YachtScoring


Spring 18ft Skiff Championship Is Down-To-The-Wire
The Australian 18 Footers League's seven-race Spring Championship won't be decided until almost half the 18-boat fleet have crossed the finish line in the final race of the series, on Sydney Harbour next Sunday (18 November).

With all seven races to count for each team in the overall points for the series (there is NO DISCARD in this series), two teams share the lead, but are just four points ahead of some red-hot challengers.

Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Charlie Gundy) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards, Rory Cox, Jacob Broom) are equal on 28 points, although Finport Finance holds a psychological advantage with two wins and three minor placings from the six races sailed so far. Only a DNF in Race 4 has been Finport's poor result.

Despite the statistics, the young Rag & Famish Hotel crew has been on the pace throughout the series and recorded five top-4 placings in the first five races.

The Rag's team will also benefit from the 3-Buoys mark rounding (handicap system), which handicaps the fleet throughout the length of the course.

As the fleet's 'Scratch' boat, Finport Finance will have to sail to the furthest windward mark on each of the three laps of the course, while Rag & Famish Hotel has to sail to the nearest, then twice to the middle mark on her three laps of the course.

It will likely produce a catch-me-if-you-can situation as The Rag team should be able to set their spinnaker for the downwind legs while the Finport team are still working to their mark.

While Finport Finance and Rag & Famish Hotel obviously have the points on the board, each team will have to look out for more than just the other, as the closest two challengers to them on the points table are two of the hottest teams in the fleet.

Smeg (Michael Coxon, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) is in third position on 32 points, followed by Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) on 43 points.

Two young teams, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Tom Quigley) and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell, Daniel Barnett, Tim Westwood) are in equal fifth place on 44 points, followed by the most experienced team in the fleet, Yandoo (John Winning, Mike Kennedy, Cam McDonald) on 46 points.

Live streaming action on www.18footers.com.au

U. S. National Sailing Hall Of Fame Inducts Six
The NSHOF Class of 2018: Keith Michel (accepting for William Webb), John Coumantaros (accepting for his father George Coumantaros*) and Ding Schoonmaker*; front: Scott Biddle, Vince Brun, Sophie Biddle, Bill Koch* -- *Inductees and Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. Photo credit: Downtown Photo. Click on image to enlarge.

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) celebrated its eighth class of Inductees on Sunday, November 11, at Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC), concluding three days of activities that included a symposium for junior sailors with Inductees, a boat tour of LYC's hidden neighborhood off the Intracoastal Waterway and social events at both LYC and the city's iconic Top of the Pier at Pier 66.

The Induction Weekend has evolved into an annual reunion of the sailing fraternity and the LYC clubhouse was overflowing with former crews of the maxi yachts Boomerang and Matador, each owned by an Inductee, along with Olympic medalists Kevin Burnham, Morgan Reeser and Anna Tunnicliffe, Paralympian Paul Callahan, and Olympians Peter Commette, Paris Henken and Cory Sertl.

Also on-hand to welcome the Class of 2018 into their ranks were prior Inductees Ed Baird, Peter Harken, Gary Jobson, Bob Johnstone and Tom Whidden.

The six Inductees, including three posthumous honorees, were celebrated for their impact on sailing, and bring to 71 the number of enshrined heroes of the sport. The National Sailing Hall of Fame continues to fulfill its mission by drawing attention and recognition to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.

"The common thread this year is the blending of art and science in sailing; putting the two together to achieve excellence on the racecourse," said Gary Jobson, President of the NSHOF in his preface to introducing the Inductees.

Inducted to the National Sailing Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2018:

Famed yachting cinematographer John Biddle (Philadelphia, Penn./Jamestown, R.I.)

Three-time Soling World Champion, Brazilian-American Olympian Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif.)

Shipbuilder and naval architect William Webb (New York, N.Y.)

Theee Inductees were recognized with the NSHOF Lifetime Achievement Award:

the late Greek-American shipping magnate and veteran offshore sailor, George Coumantaros (New York, N.Y.)

businessman, noted maritime memorabilia collector and 1992 America's Cup winner, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.)

1975 Star World Champion Ding Schoonmaker (Naples, Fla./Watch Hill, R.I.), who was not only instrumental in the founding of the US Sailing Center in Miami but also was a tireless advocate for the sport through his involvement with the national governing body, as well as the International Sailing Federation, now known as World Sailing, of which he served two terms as Vice President.


Ocean Safety's full range of accredited Ocean SOLAS Ultralite liferafts now available
Ocean Safety's Ocean SOLAS Ultralite liferaft range is now available in 6, 8,10 and 16-person models and comes with official MED Ship's Wheel accreditation.

The first to be developed was the 12-person version of the rafts, causing a sensation last summer when they were chosen for the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race in the quest to save weight. A vital 23% was shaved off the new Ultralite compared to previous similar liferaft models.

While the rafts used for the Volvo race were already fully certified, the MED (Marine Equipment Directive) conformity means that the remaining liferafts in the range, the 6, 8, 10 and 16 person models can now be installed on commercial vessels throughout EU and other European countries and other flag states.

The Ocean SOLAS Ultralite compact liferaft is derived from Ocean Safety's original space-saving Ocean Ultralite liferaft using carbon composite technology to give that vital boost in the search for speed for performance yachts and other vessels where weight saving is a priority. The key areas of development have been in the inflation system, pack contents and the construction of the canister. Despite the weight reduction, the liferaft containers still offer the same strength qualities to withstand harsh marine environments.


South African Olympians sail to victory in China
Click on image to enlarge.

There was joy for South Africa as RSA Magic claimed victory at the Fareast 28R World Championship in China recently.

The South African sailors emerged victorious out of 26 teams from 14 countries competing in the prestigious event.

"It was a fantastic opportunity," said two-time Olympian Roger Hudson, who skippered the boat along with Malcom Hall.

"The championship was in a beautiful place in Lake Fuxian in south west China - a very tricky sailing venue and we certainly managed to get the hang of the place during the four/five days we had to prepare before the event."

Heading into the fourth and final day of racing, the Cape Town team were already on top, having claimed four race wins and earning themselves a six-point advantage. The talented team took a second place in the first race of the day and then wrapped up a memorable overall win with victory in the final race of the event.

"It was a fantastic event - really well-organised. We were invited by the organisers, through Royal Cape Yacht Club, to compete and they took really good care of us in terms of flying us over there and putting us in a great hotel and keeping the costs really low for us as a team," he added.

"Our team comprised of Malcolm Hall - who's the owner of our Cape 31 Magic - and myself, [fellow Olympian] Asenathi Jim, Alex Burger, Alex Ham and Calvin Gibbs, so a very strong team and we had a great time.

"We really enjoyed it and it was a great chance to get to know the Fareast 28 and obviously to come away with the win was a little bit beyond our expectations, but we were really pleased.

Final top five
1. Malcolm Hall, RSA, 21 points
2. Ridgely Magsanay Balladares, PHI, 36
3. Martin Tjeerd Hingst, NED, 38
4. Emerson Ronquillo Villena, PHI, 44
5. Jacob Ted Jakobsson, SWE, 58


Hot racing, warm weather: Oman's EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour is a winter treat
As winter begins to assert its lengthy grip on Europe the appeal of warm weather sailing further afield starts to have a growing appeal. While the Caribbean and other long-haul destinations will always have their devoted fans, among many of the high-speed fraternity - and Diam aficionados in particular - Oman is now looming large in their early season planning.

The new-look EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour earned plaudits and praise in February this year when it delivered exciting and challenging racing in a spectacular setting. Unlike the seven previous editions of the popular event, the 2018 Tour exchanged racing in the southern Gulf region for a memorable course along Oman's magnificent coastline.

Eight hard-charging Diam 24 crews fought it out over two weeks, completing a total of 24 races taking in seven different venues, with Valentin Bellet's Beijaflore crew earning the win ahead of Thierry Douillard and his EFG Bank team.

It is perhaps no coincidence that both crews, along with three other EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour teams, went on to finish in the top-10 in the ultra-competitive Tour Voile. Pre-season training was never so enjoyable, or worthwhile.

Following up on this success, the 2019 edition will repeat the winning formula of in-port and coastal racing - though sending what is expected to be an enlarged fleet in the reverse direction, starting in the capital Muscat on February 2nd with the conclusion in the subtropical city of Salalah, more than 1,200km to the south, on February 16th.

Along the way the crews and supporters can soak-up the extraordinary beauty of the coral reefs and lagoons of Bandar Khiran, the history of Sur, nature reserves in Ras Al Hadd and the island paradise of Masirah.

With a turn-key charter package on offer, including all in-country transport, catering, accommodation and race support alongside return shipping to the UK, EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour has earned its place as a pre-season, warm weather contender - with a shot of authentic Arabian spice in the mix.


Glenn Ashby wins A-Cat pre-worlds
Glenn Ashby won the A-Cat Australian Championship with six wins from seven races to finish 12 points ahead of Pete Burling of New Zealand.

Ashby dominated the 60 strong Open foiling fleet national championship which was also the A-Cat pre-worlds event in Hervey Bay, Australia.

Burling was the only other competitor to win a race, but only once dipped into double figures.

In third place was Holland's Mischa Heemskerk, and fourth was Aussie Darren Bundock, with fifth Stephen Brayshaw, sixth Steve Brewin and seventh Jacek Noetzel of Poland.

And it looks like this group, plus Blair Tuke of New Zealand and Mark Bulka of Australia will be the main title contestants when the World Championship starts on Sunday.

Winner of the Classic fleet national championship was Andrew Landenberger, counting seven wins from the nine races.

Final top ten:
2018 A-Cat Australian Championship - Open Fleet (60 entries)

1. Glenn Ashby, AUS, 6 points
2. Peter Burling, NZL, 18
3. Mischa Heemskerk, NED, 28
4. Darren Bundock, AUS, 30
5. Stephen Brayshaw, AUS, 31
6. Steven Brewin, AUS, 32
7. Jacek Noetzel, POL, 43
8. Blair Tuke, NZL, 54
9. Mark Bulka, AUS, 65
10. Thomas Johnson, AUS, 67


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 Philip Crebbin:

How sad it was to read about the death of Stuart Walker, a fantastic sailor (and writer about sailing), as well as a fantastic gentleman - and that is all before even covering his main profession as a doctor.

The latter is something that I and my wife had personal experience of something like 30 years ago now. We were travelling for a few days on the east side of the US, nothing to do with sailing, and had come down to the Annapolis area from New York. My wife happened to eat a takeaway meal where something must have been bad as she came down fairly quickly with really bad stomach pains. These gradually got worse and it became clear that we needed to get some medical help.

I realised that it was an incredible coincidence that we were fairly close to where Stuart and Francis lived. I knew him quite well from doing a lot of Soling events that he had also competed in some years previously, as back then he frequently came over to Europe for regattas. But time flies by and I had not seen him for a few years.

I managed to track him down and call him, wondering whether he would even remember me, but of course he did and he immediately invited us to come over to his house. This proved to be a real godsend as my wife was in quite a bad state by then, and otherwise we would have had to rush off to a hospital emergency - not something one likes to do when just visiting the US, with all the implications.

Francis immediately put her to bed and Stuart started applying his medical magic. It took quite a while, especially as by then she was already quite weak, but he succeeded in bringing her back to health and strength over the course of about three days. There was just never a question that he was happy to provide the hospitality (along with Francis of course) and that he was the one to take charge of seeing my wife through from what he actually confirmed was potentially quite serious food poisoning in the beginning. He said that it was anyway better not to move her again straight away and he was happy that with a bit of time he could do everything necessary at his home base.

So fortunately we were soon able to thank them and take our leave, but it is a longlasting memory. In fact, I have to say that this was one of those special experiences in the whole of life, and it is an absolute testament to Stuart Walker, the gentleman, and also his excellent doctoring skills of course, along with his lovely wife Francis!

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The Last Word
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