Tenth Annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar competition is OPEN. Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse Magazine.


In This Issue
Stars & Stripes Team USA confirm acceptance as 5th Challenger of the 36th America's Cup
IMOCA Annual General Meeting
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Regates Royales de Cannes 2019 edition confirmed
James Spithill out of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
Seahorse for the Holidays
World Sailing Faces More Questions
Looking for that last minute Christmas gift or a treat for yourself?
Scott Returns to Finn Racing
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Stephen Hawking

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

Stars & Stripes Team USA confirm acceptance as 5th Challenger of the 36th America's Cup
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is pleased to confirm that the identity of the 5th accepted challenger for the 36th America's Cup is the Long Beach Yacht Club, another historic and internationally respected yacht club.

It will be represented by 'Stars & Stripes Team USA' which brings the number of Challengers that will race in Auckland in 2021 to five, with Defender Emirates Team New Zealand the 6th team. Stars & Stripes Team USA is the second US challenge after American Magic in addition to the Challenger of Record Luna Rossa (ITA), INEOS Team UK (GBR) and Malta Altus Challenge (MLT).

Established in 1929, the Long Beach Yacht Club is renowned for the Congressional Cup, the premier match racing event in the world outside the America's Cup - that since 1965 has attracted the world's top ranked skippers aiming to be awarded with the coveted Crimson Blazer.

The name Stars & Stripes Team USA has been blessed by 'Mr America's Cup' Dennis Conner himself.

"Our name is a nod to Dennis Connor's 'Stars & Stripes' campaigns that defined all-American, America's Cup racing for decades. We are the next generation," said Co-Founder Mike Buckley.

Working alongside Buckley is former Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield who has been ranked the #1 World Sailing match racer for three of the past five years and is a four time winner of the Congressional Cup.

While more details will be released in early-January 2019 during a public launch, the team has already announced several key people.

Justin Shaffer, with a career in Major League Baseball and Facebook and a TP52 background, is the team CEO and will be sided by Tod Reynolds, who ran the 2016 America's Cup World Series Chicago, in the role of COO. General Counsel, Melinda Erkelens is an industry veteran who has participated in five America's Cup campaigns.

At the head of the design team is JB Braun who was part of Oracle Team USA in 2013 and 2017.

Stars & Stripes Team USA has already started building their AC75 race yacht in Michigan, a build process that was accelerated by a design and technology package purchased from Emirates Team New Zealand.

The Long Beach Yacht Club (Stars & Stripes) approval comes one week after the Royal Malta Yacht Club (Malta Altus Challenge) entry.


IMOCA Annual General Meeting
The IMOCA class held its annual general meeting on Tuesday 11th December in Paris. This gathering enabled the class to present its appraisal of what was a very positive 2018 season coming to a climax with an outstanding edition of the Route du Rhum, destination Guadeloupe.

IMOCA has now included both of the emblematic round the world races in its race calendar: the 2020 Vendee Globe and the 2021-2022 Ocean Race (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race), which the organisers presented in Paris yesterday.

2019 looks like being an exciting, action-packed year with six races on the programme including the Transat Jacques Vabre, which is expected to bring together between 25 and 30 IMOCAs, including at least six monohulls with foils from the latest generation.

The two most emblematic round the world races are now in the IMOCA class programme. There will of course be the Vendee Globe sailed solo, which is due to start on 8th November 2020. In addition to that, we now have "The Ocean Race," a crewed round the world race with stopovers, which will also be raced aboard IMOCAs. The main features of this race were presented in Paris on 11th December. The Ocean Race will start from Alicante in October 2021. The selection of the other stopover hosts is currently being carried out by the organisers. "We hope to see between ten and fifteen IMOCAs taking part," explained Antoine Mermod. "The fleet will include boats that have historically competed in the Volvo Ocean Race and boats that have taken part in the Vendee Globe. We are looking forward to a highly international line-up. The French and English speaking worlds of ocean racing, which for many years went their own way are now converging. We are advancing together intelligently and learning a lot from each other with the shared desire to build a solid project for the future." The time gap between the finish of the Vendee Globe and the start of The Ocean Race is relatively short and therefore the crewed version of the IMOCA will be very similar to the solo version. The rules make it possible to transform the boat easily with only marginal changes to the rules.

The IMOCA calendar for 2019:
- From 3rd to 6th May: Guyader Grand Prix
- From 30th May to 2nd June: Uship ArMen Race
- July: Valencia Globe Series
- 3rd August: Start of the Rolex Fastnet Race
- 18th - 22nd September: Azimut Challenge
- 27th October: Start of the Transat Jacques Vabre


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"!


Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar Supported by Latitude Kinsale and Seahorse magazine

Another note from a reader tonight, for the very first winner back in 2009, and still going strong. At the center of crossroads in the Atlantic.

Name and location of the bar
Peter Cafe Sport, Horta, Azores

Here's what makes it so great...
All the guests at PCS have sailed at least half an ocean to get there. And all the great ones have been here and really enjoyed it: the Hiscocks, Tabarly, Chichester .... simply everyone! And they all left their footprints there, just look around! Unbeatable! Besides that, the owner and the staff are great, vey friendly, charming and helpful people. Yes, it is a home very far away from home.

Is there a special drink they make? Care to share the recipe with us?
Gin Tonic is the drink to drink - as easy to prepare as any other Gin Tonic in the world

VOTING IS NOW OPEN. Our winner this year will be decided on votes, AND best story AND best drink recipe.

Tell us all about YOUR favorite bar.



Regates Royales de Cannes 2019 edition confirmed
The 41st edition of the Regates Royales de Cannes is scheduled for next September, from 21 through 28. The city of Cannes and the Yacht Club de Cannes (the event organizer) will be welcoming once again the world's best classic yachts in the stunning bay of the Côte d'Azur.

A few days ago Panerai, title sponsor of the Mediterranean circuit has announced its intention to cease its sponsorship. The Yacht Club de Cannes and its president Jean-Pierre Champion confirmed that the Regates Royales will take place regularly as it happened over the last 40 years, and will be welcoming all the crews on the Côte d'Azur, on the last week of September 2019.

"We want to thank Panerai for the 11 years' support that has enabled us to make the Regates Royales shine on the international scene. For the city of Cannes and the Yacht Club de Cannes, the Regates Royales are key and their long history is going to continue in 2019." Said Jean-Pierre Champion, Yacht Club de Cannes' president.

A new page in the history of the Regates Royales de Cannes will be written next year, with the usual passion and an exceptional line-up, with no less than 200 boats expected to be present.


James Spithill out of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
America's Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill has incurred an elbow tendon injury while preparing for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on the Comanche 100 Supermaxi, and as a result he will not be participating in the 2018 edition of the iconic Australian event. With a primary focus on being healthy for his America's Cup campaign with Luna Rossa, Spithill flew to Los Angeles to be evaluated by his surgeons Dr. Robert Bray and Dr. Andrew Bulczynski (Disc Sport and Spine Center Los Angeles), who conducted surgery immediately. Taking prompt action, rather than aggravating the injury with continued training or racing, averted potential months of downtime, and Spithill is expected to be fully recovered early in the new year.

A native of Australia, Spithill will return to watch and support the Comanche team in their bid for top honors and defending their title when the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race kicks off on 26 December 2018.


Seahorse for the Holidays
Seahorse Magazine Our friends at Seahorse and running a fantastic offer this December and don't want Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers to miss out.

For a limited period on they are offering their best available price on a Seahorse subscription and have also bundled in a 'great night in on them' with a free rental copy of Coyote - the excellent Mike Plant story (it's one not to be missed).

This great offer can be accessed on this link - bit.ly/SECOY19

World Sailing Faces More Questions
The row over the vote by World Sailing, that substituted a Mixed Two Person Keelboat event for the Mixed One Person Dinghy event in the 2024 Olympics continues…

The former head of sailing's governing body has joined other sailing officials in questioning the results of a vote to add a mixed-gender offshore class to the 2024 Olympics.

Paul Henderson of Toronto, who also is a former member of the International Olympic Committee, said in a letter to World Sailing President Kim Andersen of Denmark that some votes were recorded incorrectly during the recent annual conference in Sarasota, Florida, and the governing body must re-open the issue.

"Your prompt attention to this rather unfortunate situation is in order," Henderson wrote to Andersen on Saturday.

Henderson was president of what was then called the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) from 1994-2004 and was on the IOC from 2000-04.

At least four members of World Sailing's Council have said their votes were improperly recorded, which should have been enough to defeat the offshore proposal. In the process of approving the offshore class, the Finn class, which has been in the Olympics since 1952, would be eliminated after the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Andersen said that once World Sailing has completed the overview of the voting processes, "we need to decide what appropriate action to take next."


Looking for that last minute Christmas gift or a treat for yourself?
Ingrid Abery Photography Ingrid Abery Photography presents her latest collection of high quality action images captured at the sharp end of the international regatta stage.

Framed and unframed hand prints, Acrylic prints and photographs on brushed Aluminium in gold or silver are available.

Log onto: www.ingridabery.com to take a virtual tour through Grand Prix, America's Cup, J-Class, Olympic, Superyacht, Classic and idyllic Caribbean scenes to spice up any wall!

Scott Returns to Finn Racing
Giles Scott is joining the other British Finn sailors at Sail Melbourne, Australia's premier Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta. Scott will join Ed Wright, Henry Wetherell and Ben Cornish in the Finn event, which also includes Nicholas Heiner of the Netherlands and Josh Junior of New Zealand.

Scott has been racing recently with Ben Ainslie and the INEOS Rebels UK team at the Extreme Sailing Series grand finale in Los Cabos, Mexico, as part of the British America's Cup team preparations for the AC36 event.

He took part in the Miami Olympic regatta in January, where he took the gold, and in the Japan Olympic trial in September where he took silver behind Holland's Nicholas Heiner.

Scott did not compete in the 2018 Finn Europeans where Ed Wright took the title or at the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, where Zsombor Berecz of Hungary took the Gold Cup title.

Also taking part in the Melbourne Regatta is Britain's Lorenzo Chiavarini in the Laser event, which includes Aussie Mat Wearn and Kiwi Sam Meech.


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The Last Word
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark. -- Stephen Hawking

Editorial and letter submissions to

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

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