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 editor@scuttlebutteurope.com

Forty Sailing Titans Take On 'Lull Alley'
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Two gradient breezes fighting made it a trying time and a long penultimate day for many of the 40 sailing titans competing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association.

However with the final day of racing on Saturday, following tomorrow's layday (postponed from today), there are only two classes where the winners are close to being decided.

All boats, ranging from 60 footers to the massive 66.7m ketch Hetairos, today sailed a coastal course between Sardinia and the Arcipelago di La Maddalena. At start time the wind was 9 knots, but in the channel it turned extremely patchy, the northeasterly breeze occasionally being cancelled out by a north northwesterly. As a result Porto Cervo's famous 'bomb alley' was today redubbed 'lull alley', the wind holes ensnaring even some major players.

After winning two races yesterday to take the lead in the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, MOMO finished last today after she and Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou fell into a hole southwest of La Maddalena. In a class where split second finishes are usual, MOMO today arrived 18.5 minutes behind the leader.

Conversely after a disappointing Wednesday, today's Maxi 72 race belonged to Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima III. The Italian team nailed the pin at the start, went left up the first beat and successfully defended for the rest of the race.

Friday is layday, when the International Maxi Association will hold its AGM. The final day of racing is on Saturday.

Full results: www.yccsfiles.com/results/myrc15/myrc15.htm

A Perfect Day For Alite Racing In Calm Waters
With the entire season at stake, the first day of the M32 Series Scandinavia finale in Stockholm, Sweden dawned with picture-perfect weather...for fishing. Glassy water and Northeasterly wind from zero to three knots meant a challenging day for sailors and race officials as the double-points season finale began.

Despite a long, tough first season in the M32 Fleet, series backmarker Michael Hestbaek (Hydra Racing Team) jumped out to a huge lead in the first race of the day after a near-perfect start, extending around the course to a nearly 3-minute pasting of the fleet in the light air race.

After a long delay for the wind to return to the Norr Mälarstrand river in the heart of downtown Stockholm, it was Southern Swedish America's Cup vet Martin Strandberg (Alite Racing Team) hitting the starting line exactly on the button while series leader US-One and Denmark's Trifork Racing were called over the line early.

US-One looked less like the undefeated champion of the M32 Series today, with two bad starts and numerous missteps around the course, but young American Taylor Canfield remained confident about his crew's ability to overcome.

www.m32series.com

ISAF and Cup Jury Summonsed by California Court
The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been served with a Summons by a San Francisco Court.

The action has been brought by Matthew Mitchell (NZL) a former Oracle Team USA crewman who was one of five to be penalised by the International Jury after conducting an investigation and Hearings into allegations of boat tampering in the America's Cup World Series.

The papers were filed with the San Francisco Court last Friday.

The taking of civil court legal action against the ISAF and a Jury, is unprecedented, and could have deep ramifications in the sport - where ISAF certified and approved officials are involved in all forms of adjudication, on a voluntary basis, and usually without any insurance.

The claim centres around the premise that the Jury is a panel of five Arbitrators and seeks to have the Arbitration Award vacated.

It is also claimed that the Jury had ignored the law of scienter, which requires that an offending party must have knowledge of the 'wrongness' of an act or event prior to committing it.

Mitchell claims that he did not know that the changes to Kingposts and other modifications were illegal. He assumed because they were on a support team work-list, that they had been approved by the team's rules adviser and were, therefore, legal. The boats involved were AC45 wingsailed catamarans and were strict one-designs, and could not deviate from the class rules in any way. -- Richard Gladwell in Sail-World.com

www.sail-world.com

Quantum Key West Race Week Extends Early Entry Deadline To October 1
A strong initial turnout for entries has prompted event organizers at the Storm Trysail Club to decide to extend the early discount deadline one month further to October 1st, 2015 for the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week. After October 1st, the entry fee increases by $4/foot of the overall length of the entered boat.

Already the majority of entries to the 2016 event have signed up for one-design competition in several classes: Melges 24, J/70, J/80, Farr 280, Viper 640, J/88, C&C 30, J/111, and J/122 classes. And there are other one-design classes also considering their entry plan to the event.

Among the handicap classes, IRC 1 and 2 have thusfar attracted 9 committed entries, with more expected, but the real growth is expected in three new class offerings at this year's event: ORC Club, Multihulls and Performance Cruisers.

Organizers are also exploring the option of having exhibition race classes at the event to give spectators on shore a taste of the excitement of competitive sailing.

Classes that may be interested in a reduced format of three days of racing over Wednesday-Friday, January 20-22nd, should as soon as possible contact event manager Bill Canfield at bill@keywestraceweek.com.

Entry form and race documents:
www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1390

keywestraceweek.com

Safety: Of Major Importance And Constant Concern
The Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe skippers all attended the safety briefing held this morning with the 24F pilots and border patrol boat staff that survey movements on the Bay of Biscay.

The Falcon 24F pilots, based on Lann Bihoue, have gathered valuable experience from working in the Bay of Biscay in both Summer and Winter, so are ideally placed to explain and give advice on how to manage a problematic situation.

At each of the briefings they remind us of some of the things not to forget: First thing is not to abandon the boat until the very last minute, because as the Mini Transat Îles de Guadeloupe race director, Denis Hugues highlights: "the boat is the safest place. Some skippers have left their boats only for them to be found on the other side of the Atlantic." The briefing is also opportunity to explain how the skippers can best organise a boat evacuation, prepare for any eventuality, which is however, something that all will do the utmost to avoid.

Friday 11th September Programme
14:00 - 19:00 Official Mini Transat Oles de Guadeloupe village opening with the official opening ceremony at 18:00.

Fleet departure 19th September.

www.minitransat-ilesdeguadeloupe.fr

Snipe Junior Worlds - Breeding Ground Of Champions
Talamone, Italy: The Snipe Class has a long history of producing and attracting great sailors. The 2015 championship is no different and a quick look at the list of competitors sees the potential of the future of sailing in these juniors.

Begun in 1973, the Snipe Class saw the need to promote youth sailing creating a Junior World Championship. Over the years it has attracted top youth sailors from around the world and produced such Junior champions as Torben Grael (BRA), Bill Hardesty (USA), Luis Calabrese (ARG) and Andre Fonseca (BRA). Among its ranks sailors have gone on to be Olympians, Volvo Round-the-World sailors, Team Race World champions and Kiteboard World champions.

With a strong list of contenders (36 teams) at the 2015 event, including four female skippers and two all-female teams, the regatta is set to create more champions.

The juniors begin racing on 14 September on the bay of Talamone with the prizegiving set for 18 September. The senior teams roll in the following day with racing being held 21-26 September. 83 teams are registered for the Open Worlds with some of the junior teams staying on to test their skills.

For the Open Worlds, returning to try to regain their titles are 3 former Snipe World champions, Augie Diaz (USA-2003 & 2005), Ricardo Fabini (URU-1989) and Alexandre Tinoco (BRA-2011) against strong teams fielded from Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Japan, Belgium and the United States, to name a few of the 18 nations represented.

Follow along as the teams battle for the 2 titles: http://www.snipeworlds2015.com for results and updates.

www.snipeworlds.org

Seahorse October 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

First semester
The VO65s came through their first test pretty well, but much was learnt to be put into technical refinements before the next race. James Dadd

ORC Column
Fast boats to the fore - but nothing is that simple

Seahorse build table - Upping the ante
The latest designer to enter the WallyCento market is French talent Philippe Briand

Sailor of the Month
First-time winner and record-breaking champion

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St. Maarten Yacht Club New Sponsor Of The NARC
The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is excited to announce that they are officially sponsoring the North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC). The NARC, which departs November 1st, (or best weather window near that date) 2015, is free for participants to join. The sponsorship puts new emphasis on the NARC's finish in St. Maarten where the Sint Maarten Yacht Club will host the final party and offer an early sign-up discount for the 36th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, scheduled for March 3 to 6, 2016.

The 16th annual NARC's primary function is to encourage boats that are heading south from the U.S. East Coast to join together for socials, discounts, and shared weather routing. "The NARC started in 2000 as a way to move the Swan charter fleet to the islands and over the years it has morphed into a much anticipated event for boats making the annual pilgrimage south," said Hank Schmitt, organizer of the NARC and CEO of Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO), a crew network service.

Also new is an opportunity to participate in the first annual Dominica P.A.Y.S. (Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services) "Yachtie Appreciation Week" on the island of Dominica.

For more information on the NARC or Offshore Passage Opportunities, contact Hank Schmitt, 1-800-4-PASSAGe, +1 631-423-4988 or visit www.sailopo.com

Nord Stream Race
Click on image to enlarge.

In only a few days the participants of Nord Stream Race 2015 will leave the Flensburg Fjord and head out to the 800 nautical mile race towards Saint Petersburg. For some crews this is familiar terrain as they have already sailed the same route in 2013 or at least crossed the Baltic Sea in the other direction during Nord Stream Race 2014. For others it will be the first time they dare to advance this far out into the eastern part of the Baltic.

Principal Race Officer (PRO) for all concerns on the water will be Stefan Kunstmann. For over 20 years now he has gained experience in organising inshore and offshore regattas by being a member of racing committees or being the PRO himself for example at Kieler Woche, ORC World Championships and Olympic Games. Just recently he managed the Fastnet Race and is already looking forward to the next race.

So the participating crews are in good hands. It will be exciting to see whether one of the yachts can beat the World Speed Record for the route Flensburg - Saint Petersburg. Current record holder is the yacht OUTSIDER of owner Tilmar Hansen from Kiel who covered the distance during the Nord Stream Race 2013 in three days, 38 minutes and 23 seconds. Unfortunately OUTSIDER will not take part in the 2015 edition as the boat recently suffered some damage.

The race can be followed best via the race tracker on the event website www.nord-stream-race.com

Letters To The Editor - editor@scuttlebutteurope.com
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 Ginny Jones: Like older women, older boats have been around the block and have a depth of experience and skills that younger [more shallow] boats [and women] cannot emulate.

Many older women and older boats get more beautiful as they age.

In particular a boat with a gorgeous hull shape and sheer, varnished wood and bronze hardware will be cherished by loving owners; further they are infinitely renewable. I'm on shaky ground here with this comparison (particularly being an older woman myself) but there are lots of analogies that can be made and almost all of them are complimentary to older boats and older women.

To cut to the chase: old boats -- the older classics, particularly those from the golden years of yacht design (1930's), are beautiful and elegant with such class -- something that the likes of the red hot racers can never hope to achieve. At least not in my life time. Perhaps the top sailors have decided that it is more fun and a lot more rewarding to sail on a true classic rather than on some tricky keeled, wide arsed, bucket scoop cockpitted, flat sheered monster with more graphics plastered on sail and hull than a pony tailed Harley Davidson rider has tattoos.

Enough said.

If you were given the choice of sailing on DORADE, or VELSHEDA, or even a Swan 65 as opposed to the latest COMANCHE, which would you choose?

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The Last Word
Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation's Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us. -- Sen. John Kerry

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