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In This Issue
Route du Rhum: Pierre Antoine wins Rhum Multi Class
Schooling's Smash & Grab @ The Dash
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Martinique Flying Regatta
A Warm Welcome in Lanzarote
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Done and Dusted - 52 Super Series
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta changes its long-established regatta format
Dean Barker describes new foiling monohull as 'a real challenge'
Back On Monday
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

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: Pierre Antoine wins Rhum Multi Class
The wife of Lalou offers a bottle of wine to Antoine to thank him for picking up her husband after he capsized in his Multi 50 before being transferred to a tug. Photo by Alexis Courcoux. Click on image to enlarge.

Route du Rhum In the amateur Rhum Multi class the outright leader since the start off Saint Malo in Brittany on November 4 and the convincing winner 16 days later was the veteran French sailor Pierre Antoine on his trusty wooden trimaran, Olmix.

This time Olmix which was built back in 1991 and is a boat that Antoine knows inside out, had no such dramas as her skipper sailed a textbook race through early storms and then into the trade winds. He stopped only briefly to pick up the Multi50 skipper Lalou Roucayrol from his upturned trimaran, Arkema, about 1,000 miles east of Guadeloupe.

Antoine's time was 15 days, 21 hours and 15 minutes which sets a new record for the Rhum Multi class.

Gavignet wins the Rhum Mono class
French sailor Sidney Gavignet has today won the Rhum mono division in the four-yearly solo Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe transatlantic sailing race.

At the helm of Cafe Joyeux, 49-year old Gavignet crossed the finish line at Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe at 19:18:05 local time (23:18:05UTC) after 16 days, 10 hours 18 minutes and 5 seconds at sea.

Gavignet has been the outright leader in the class since the start off Saint Malo in Brittany on November 4, with his nearest competitor, Sebastien Destremeau (Alcatraz IT Faceocean), still some 140 nautical miles from the finish when he crossed the line.

British sailor Phil Sharp completes Class40 podium
The British sailor Phil Sharp has today finished third in the highly-competitive Class40 division in the four-yearly solo Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe transatlantic sailing race.

At the helm of Imerys Clean Energy, 37-year old Sharp from Jersey crossed the finish line at Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe at 22:01:50hrs local time (02:01:50hrs UTC Wed 21st) after 16 days, 13hours 1minutes and 50 seconds at sea.

In a thrilling race to the line Sharp was denied second place by French rival Aymeric Chappellier at the helm of AINA Enfance Et Avenir by just 1 hour 45 minutes and 35 seconds.

A total of 123 sailors started the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe on November 4 off Saint Malo in Brittany. The Class40 division was the most numerous of the six classes in the 3,542-nautical mile race with 53 skippers taking part.


Schooling's Smash & Grab @ The Dash
Ben Schooling might have hit the committee boat, but the Helensburgh sailor also sailed his Musto Skiff to a strong victory in medium airs at the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash.

The opening event of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series couldn't have enjoyed a better weekend. Light to medium airs made it possible for the race committee to hold four back-to-back handicap races on the Saturday. Sunday was slightly stronger breeze for the non-discardable Pursuit Race, and the Great Lakes numbers proved their worth, producing nine different classes in the top 10, and 17 classes in the top 20 overall.

The light-to-medium conditions on Saturday, combined with a four-sided course with a beat, a tight reach, a run and a broad reach, all worked perfectly to Ben Schooling's strengths in the Musto Skiff. Where other Musto sailors struggle to break through the traffic, Schooling has demonstrated over multiple seasons of the Sailjuice One boat hit the committee boat, and one boat won the 111-entry Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash.....

This event brought many big names to Draycote, such as Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane (7th in a 505), former Fireball World Champion Tom Gillard (9th in a Solo) and Fernhurst Books author Nick Craig crewed by Emma Clarke (44th in a Merlin Rocket). This was also a celebration of the diversity of UK dinghy racing, with boats as varied as Colin and Oly Murray's spectacular Norfolk Punt, the three-man National 18 skippered by former Series winner Pete Gray, the Challenger trimarans and a gathering of eight Hadron H2 singlehanders competing for their Inland Championship.

Draycote also served as the season opener for the brand new Great British Sailing Challenge which runs throughout the year and culminates in a 100-boat Grand Final at Rutland Sailing Club next September. SailRacer was running the tracking at Draycote and the use of GPS tracking to gauge the relative performance of different classes is a major theme of this new series. More to follow from Draycote in a few days.

Full results, and registration for all remaining events:

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
WHAT The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is four amazing days of world-class racing in idyllic conditions appealing to a broad range of tastes. The Event, set in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean and powered by the cooling northeast trade winds is powered by an experienced, innovative and friendly race team. Our professional Race Committee provides custom-tailored racing for the thousands of sailors originating from the 32+ countries that come to race: from Olympic medalists and World Champions sailing Maxis and Performance Multihulls to holiday-makers on chartered Bareboats.

For the 2019 edition, there will be four days of Serious Racing, counting towards the overall result. Participants will be offered a mixture of races with a combination of windward-leeward and coastal races, blended together into an irresistible cocktail of racing chosen to suit each class. The all-out racing monohulls will savor the prospect of eight races over four days with windward-leeward races on two days and two longer coastal races testing both boat handling and tactics. It's easy to understand why the regatta attracts a large competitive class of 40ft and 50ft cruiser-racers.

With Heineken as a long-standing sponsor, the event's shore side parties are exceptional! Sample the local cuisine, offered by several famous, local restaurants at the Regatta Village before you make your way to the center stage and take in the sweet tunes of international & Caribbean artists. The St Maarten Heineken Regatta parties are legendary and make for everlasting memories on the "Friendly Island"!


Martinique Flying Regatta
There was lift off today at Martinique Flying Regatta, the Caribbean's first regatta purely for foiling boats. Conditions on the Baie de Fort de France for day one could not have been better with 18-20 knots and flat water, the palm tree-lined bay protected by the mountainous island. The 'boats' sailed three races, while on a separate course the Windfoil and KiteFoil classes raced four.

Top ranked Moth sailor here, Benoit Marie came out on top, winning two races out of three to lead the field of 19 flying singlehanders, ahead of Aymeric Arthaud and Dutch former 470 Olympian Kalle Koster. This result was despite breaking his port wing bar on the way out to the start today.

The Moth-like, one design Onefly class started their races five minutes after the Moths. Among the eight competitors, it was Solitaire du Figaro and Tour de France a la Voile sailor Julien Villion who dominated, winning all three of today's races while only Hugo Feydit in second showed any similar sort of consistency.

In the 12-strong KiteFoil fleet, Axel Mazella also scored four straight bullets, while Kieran le Borgne was en route for a string of seconds, but was let down by a 12th in race three. Former Vendee Globe competitor Morgan Lagravière currently holds third behind Olivier Blotiere.

In the Windfoil class of seven competitors, it is Trevor Caraes, who is dominating with three bullets and a third, finishing the day two points ahead of Thomas Lequesne, who scored straight seconds.

As expected Volvo Ocean Race and Route du Rhum winner Franck Cammas is leading the GC32 class on NORAUTO powered by Team France, the two flying catamarans hurtling around the course today at speeds touching 36 knots. The performance was very even between the two boats, with just five seconds separating them in the first and third races. Team France Jeune, skippered by Robin Follin even managed to win today's third race.

Today's fabulous conditions are expected to be repeated tomorrow in this French Caribbean foiling paradise. -- James Boyd


A Warm Welcome in Lanzarote
The 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race in association with the International Maxi Association, will start from Marina Lanzarote on Saturday 24 November 2018. A full programme of social activities started on Monday November 20, with a Welcome Reception hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife. Founded in 1872, the prestigious yacht club is located at the heart of Lanzarote's capital city. The delightful Pingüinos synchronized swimming team put on a spectacular display to open the evening's entertainment for competitors and honoured guests.

Tim Thubron, RORC Deputy Racing Manager welcomed all teams and officially opened the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race at the first of several social events for crews taking part in the 3,000 nautical mile race. He also thanked the Calero family for their continued support, as well as the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife, hosts of the Welcome Reception.

Competing teams for the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race are making ready for the race, using the full extent of the facilities at Marina Lanzarote. Henrik Bergesen's Class40 Hydra has been lifted out at the marina's extensive yard for anti-fouling and a final inspection of the hull before the race: "It's a good yard with a great reputation," commented Hydra's Paul Peggs. "Besides anti-fouling the boat, it is nice to have a look at her under the waterline and we have no issues at all, which is all good news." -- Louay Habib


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Done and Dusted - 52 Super Series
Seahorse That one was a battle...

And then, all of a sudden, the 2018 Super Series is done and dusted. The 2017 podium (Azzurra 1st, Platoon 2nd, Quantum 3rd) for 2018 is reversed with Quantum (160pt), Platoon (197pt) and Azzurra (197pt).

At first sight a comfortable win for Quantum Racing but, boy, did they focus and work hard to realise this one. How hard again came to the surface at the Super Series prizegiving. As he was after winning the Rolex TP52 Worlds in Cascais, Terry Hutchinson when 'speeching' clearly was emotional. This man not only puts pressure on his team. From now his focus will be on the American Magic America's Cup effort – it will be interesting to see who is going to replace him on Quantum for 2019…

Luna Rossa marked its farewell from 52 Super Series with a narrow win of the final 2018 event in Valencia – 1pt ahead of Quantum with Platoon another single point astern in 3rd. There was nothing in it between these three, if anything the regatta showed Platoon had a small edge in the light conditions.

The final day of racing with three windward/leeward courses saw Quantum dealing best with the mental pressure and both Luna Rossa and Platoon a bit shaky. Meanwhile, others were clearly enjoying the day, like Sled (5,3,1) or Phoenix (2,2, oops 11).

Full story in the December issue of Seahorse

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta changes its long-established regatta format
A new steering committee for Antigua Classic is led by Carlo Falcone as chairman, with Cameron Fraser as vice-chair and Franklyn Braithwaite as commodore of the Antigua YC.

The committee says: "The main aim of this new committee is to make sure all our competitors are happy. It is therefore focussing more on what happens on the water by introducing windward starts and new courses so that the racing is both safer and more challenging.

"The definition of classic boat eligibility for registration is also under review and meanwhile a new Dragon class will be included at the Regatta in 2019.

"We will still be holding our very popular shore-based parties and social events, such as music night and the sea shanty competition, and other traditional events that celebrate this unique and world-class event."

A number of yachts have already expressed interest in or registered for the 2019 event here www.antiguaclassics.com/registration/

Steffan Meyric-Hughes in Classic Boat:

Dean Barker describes new foiling monohull as 'a real challenge'
America's Cup veteran Dean Barker has described the new foiling monohull as "a real challenge" as he looks to transfer the catamaran instincts to the new platform.

The former Team New Zealand skipper is now on the wheel of American Magic, the New York Yacht Club's syndicate for the 2021 America's Cup in Auckland.

Barker who sailed the massive 72-foot Kiwi catamaran in San Francisco in 2013 and then Team Japan's 50-foot foiling cat in Bermuda last year, is getting a taste of the potential of the new monohull as he steers the American Magic test boat.

"Learning to sail this boat is going to be a real challenge. Already we have seen higher speeds and the boats demand really good control systems and everything else, as much as we had in the catamarans," Barker, hired by the Americans because of his extensive foiling experience in big boats, told Sailing World.

"So yes, it is going through and trying to develop a lot of those systems. I guess understanding how to sail the boat, like the instincts that we learnt in the catamarans, is going to be transferable to this boat.

"There are different characteristics we are seeing already, but for us it is very early days."

Barker said they were watching closely how the Brits under Sir Ben Ainslie were progressing in their test boat.

While there has been video released of both syndicates straight line foiling in the test boats nothing has been seen of turning procedures.


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Back On Monday
Your humble narrator is headed to an ostentatious McMansion in North Carolina's Outer Banks to celebrate his favourite holiday: Thanksgiving. What's not to love about socially sanctioned gluttony, overindulgence in wine and spirits, and American football on huge flatscreen televisions? And no damned presents.

A dozen family and friends and half as many dogs in attendance. This one will be the first Thankgiving with my new son-in-law and last one before the scheduled June Grandfather ceremony. A rare day when it seems as though growing old is just fine.

We'll return for the Monday 26 November issue.

May your week be filled with love and joy and long afternoon naps.

The Last Word
Actually, we're all very excited for Colin, as he's been invited to play at a U-2 gig...what great reunion dances those German submarine crews have. -- I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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