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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Transat Jacques Vabre
With SMA now abandoned from fourth place the breakaway group forming the vanguard of the IMOCA fleet is lead by Banque Populaire VIII which is just over 20 miles ahead of PRB, Vincent Riou and Seb Col with Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies and Charlie Dalin at 36 miles behind. Then there is a 280 miles gap back to Ruyant and Hardy. Bellion and Goodchild are ninth with 11 of the 20 starters still actively racing in the direction of Brasil.

In Class 40 the leaders are lengthening their stride too, Le Conservateur now 56 miles ahead of V and B but the top four boats are still within 100 miles of each other.

But, perhaps contrary to some expectations, the closest match on the race course is the duel between the two leaders, Sodebo Ultim' and Macif. Since 0430hrs this morning they have been pacing each other at near identical speeds 27-28kts, making around 530 mile days. Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidegorry still have the upper hand, five miles up on Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nelias.

The attrition rate continues:

* Hugo Boss crew helicoptered to safety

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre set off their emergency beacon this afternoon at 13.25UT. The Spanish Coastguard was informed and sent a rescue helicopter to their location 82 nautical miles from the Spanish coast.

Update: Alex Thomson and his team are back onboard HUGO BOSS which is now in a stable situation. Alex's IMOCA 60 is undergoing the necessary checks in order to tow her back to A Coruna, Spain.

* Technical problem on board the Ultim Actual

At 0400hrs UTC Friday morning, Yves le Blevec, skipper of the Ultim Actual and his co-skipper Jean-Baptiste Vaillant, informed the Race Management of the Transat Jacques Vabre that they have technical problems. Actual was sailing in manageable conditions, reaching in 20-25 knots at the latitude of Gibraltar.

Actual now route towards the European mainland making a speed of 7 knots in a W -SW'ly wind. Both co-skippers are well.

* Technical problem aboard Adopteunskipper.net

Nicolas Boidevezi , skipper of the IMOCA 60 Adopteunskipper.net competing in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015, has told his shore team they have a technical problem with the bottom of the starboard running backstay . The safety of the two skippers is not compromised right now . Nicolas and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier (USA) head towards a haven. The problem occurred as the boat was in 12th position after four days and a half of racing.

* Technical stop in Madeira for JP Dick and Fabien Delahaye.

Jean-Pierre Dick and Fabien Delahaye contacted their team to report two structural ribs have broken in the front of the boat by the middle of the sail locker. The duo aboard St-Michel Virbac are now routing towards Madeira.

* Creno - Moustache Solidaire en route to Spain

Following the breakage of a starboard spreader, Thibault Hector and Morgan Launay have secured their rig and decided to sail to Spain to make a repair. In a sustained wind of 30-35 knots SW'ly and high sea, a stainless fitting broke but the crew was able to quickly change tack to save the rig. But as the wind is veering NW Creno Moustache-Solidaire will be able to make a course towards La Coruna and Vigo in the next hours. The duo expects to quickly repair to return to the course.

* Eric Holden and Morgen Watson, O Canada, are heading to Vigo, Spain

Since yesterday Eric Holden and Morgen Watson have been struggling with a damaged mast track on O Canada. They are heading to Vigo, Spain where they hope to fix the problem.

* Spirit of Hungary (IMOCA 60) dismasted

This afternoon a little after 1700hrs UTC the IMOCA 60 Spirit of Hungary was dismasted while they were 65 Nm north of the island Madeira. They were in 15 knots of northwest wind. Nandor Fa and Peter Perenyi are well and warned the Race Direction they are on their way under engine to Madeira.

* Arthur Hubert and Valentin Lemarchand on the Class40 SNBSM Espoir Competition expect to make a pit stop in Madeira. They duo are now missing a part of the mainsail mast track which was ripped off. And so that prevents them from being able to hoist their mainsail above the second reef. They will have to take a minimum break of 12 hours in Madeira, according to Class40 class rules before they can resume racing after making repairs.

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com

Roble & Shea Takes Series, Le Berre Wins Busan
Anne-Claire Le Berre won the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race final 3 - 2, after marvellous match racing fights against Katie Spithill. As WIM Series title holder Camilla Ulrikkeholm finished 3rd in Busan, the Epic Racing team, with Maggie Shea substituting in Korea for regular skipper Stephanie Roble, takes the 2015 WIM Series and the coveted Terry J. Kohler Perpetual Trophy.

When seeing the light wind predictions for Sunday, Regatta Director Alfredo Ricci at the morning briefing announced the decision to cut the semis from "1st to 3" to "1st to 2" wins. As the wind in front of Haeundae Beach unfortunately was too light and unstable, the racecourse also had to be moved over to the Gwangan Bridge, where 8 - 10 knots of quite steady wind offered excellent conditions.

As WIM Series Champions Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Genny Tulloch, Aimee Famularo, Meg Six, Janel Zarkowsky, Sally Barkow, Jamie Haines and Liz Shaw of the 2015 Epic Racing team receives the Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy, named after US businessman Terry Kohler, a long-time proponent and supporter of women's match racing

The Terms of Series stipulates that the original skipper must be present at the last event to qualify for the Series Prize Money Pool. As a result Epic Racing wins the title but does not receive the prize money. The 20 000 USD that should have been awarded to the 2015 WIM Series Champion, will roll over to the 2016 WIM Series Prize Pool.

Total results in the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race (skipper, nationality, WIM Series points, prize money):

1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 25, 20 000 USD
2. Katie Spithill, AUS, 22, 15 000 USD
3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 20, 12 000 USD
4. Renee Groeneveld, NED, 16, 10 000 USD
5. Maggie Shea (substituting for Stephanie Roble), USA, 15, 9 000 USD
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 14, 8 000 USD
7. Anna Ostling, SWE, 13, 7 000 USD
8. Denise Lim, SIN, 12, 6 000 USD
9. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 10, 5 000 USD
10. Milly Bennett, AUS, 8, 4 000 USD
11. Diana Kissane, IRL, 6, 2 000 USD
12. Sung Eun Choi, KOR, 4, 2 000 USD

Top ten results in the 2015 WIM Series (skipper, nationality, WIM Series points, prize money):

1. Stephanie Roble/Maggie Shea, USA, 82, 0 USD
2. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 80, 12 000 USD
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 78, 8 000 USD
4. Anna Ostling, SWE, 68
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 55
6. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 40
7. Katie Spithill, AUS, 36
8. Renee Groeneveld, NED, 32
9. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 26
10. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 25

wimseries.com

Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sailing Week It's blowing twenty gusting twenty-five, blue water's hissing at the rail. The helm loads up, the boat takes off, down another Caribbean roller. The wild ride continues, stem-deep pristine ocean cascades over the bow. The deck is hot, the sun is brilliant, and so is the competition. Sun, Sea and Surf, the pace is on. Palm trees dance on Pigeon Beach, the 'Trades' are in, and you don't want them to stop.

Cracking jokes on the dock, salt encrusted, a cold one soothes the thirst. The beat goes on and the rhythm hits you. You nod, shake your hips, and move your hands and feet. You're tuned-in and the DJ's playing your favourite song with a hundred or more dancing with you. The sun sighs farewell, setting the skies ablaze, but the party goes on. You don't want to stop but it will be blowing twenty when the sun says - Good Morning.

The 49th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week - April 23-29 2016

www.sailingweek.com/v4/

To enter: www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1477

Mini Transat
The Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe competitors set off Saturday to conquer the Atlantic with a sustained northeasterly wind and rough seas. Most of the skippers have preferred to play it safe, given the weather conditions (wind of 25 knots on average) and the fact that the boats were loaded to cross the Atlantic.

A sustained wind, getting their bearings on board after a three-week stopover, a chaotic sea... conditions were favourable for some minor breakages for the fleet. Many solo racers have already planned a pit stop.

The first of the competitors to return to shore was Frederick port Mesel (Double Trouble), who headed back to Arrecife seriously doubtful about the interest in continuing after breaking one of his rudders.

Others have diverted to Fuerteventura, such as Davy Beaudart (Flexirub), who suffered a tear in his medium spinnaker, and Nacho Postigo (Vamos Vamos), a broken rudder

* Davy Beaudart announces his retirement

The skipper from Lorient has announced to the Race Direction his decision to retire from the Mini Transat Îles de Guadeloupe. He won the first stage and has been forced to retire due to technical problems.

Leg 2: Lanzarote - Pointe-a-Pitre 2764nm

Rankings:
www.minitransat-ilesdeguadeloupe.fr

Sailing World Cup Final Concludes In Abu Dhabi
Australia's Mat Belcher and Will Ryan led the gold rush as the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final reached its conclusion in Abu Dhabi

The result underlines the Aussies' position as firm favourites to strike gold at next year's Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro and adds to Belcher's haul of six Men's 470 world titles, three won in tandem with Ryan.

Final top three:

470 Men
1. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS, 10 points
2. Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom, SWE, 21
3. Stuart Mcnay / David Hughes, USA, 28

470 Women
1. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 15
2. Lara Vladlau / Jolanta Ogar, AUT, 21
3. Al Kondo Yoshida / Miho Yoshioka, JPN, 22

49er Men
1. Nico Delle-Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 22
2. Stefano Cherin / Andrea Tesel, ITA, 28
3. Gabrial Skoczek / Yann Rocherleux, FRA, 35

Finn Men
1. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 15
2. Alican Kaynar, TUR, 17
3. Pablo Guitian Sarria, ESP, 21

IKA - Formula Kite
1. Oliver Bridge, GBR, 10
2. Florian Trittel, ESP, 7
3. Alejandro Climent Hernandez, ESP, 5

Laser Men
1. Tom Burton, AUS, 21
2. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 33
3. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 36

Laser Radial Women
1. Josefin Olsson, SWE, 27
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 34
3. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 38

RS:X Men
1. Ivan Pastor Lafuente, ESP, 30
2. Ricardo Santos, BRA, 39
3. Tom Squires, GBR, 44

RS:X Women
1. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 12
2. Flavia Tartaglini, ITA, 21
3. Patricia Freitas, BRA, 29

Full results: www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image: Time To Vote!
The world's greatest marine and yacht racing photographers have entered this year's international Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest and voting is open to the public! The winning image and its photographer will be feted at the Yacht Racing Forum in Geneva on 8 December.

Sailing and photography enthusiasts from around the world are invited to vote for this year's Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image - click here to vote: www.yachtracingimage.com

The competition will be tight again this year, with no less than 135 professional photographers from 29 different countries entered. Their best shots of 2015 are now available to view and to be voted for, at the event website.

Two prizes will be awarded on 8 December in Geneva at the Yacht Racing Forum:

- The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image (main prize), awarded by an independent international jury

- The Audience Prize, awarded based on the online public vote (voting open until 1 December) and the delegates of the Yacht Racing Forum

The winners will share a purse of 2,000 Euros. The winner of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image will also receive a Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 1969 watch.

Vote!
www.yachtracingimage.com

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

Seahorse Magazine

The quest is on
The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award, Tour Voiles' wrap up and Spindrift 2 in the blocks. Bernard Schopfer

And now the grand finale
Class manager Rob Weiland takes a stab at spotting the best (and not so best) features of this year's TP52 fleet

The Ullman magic - Part I
Dave Ullman's three-time world champion 470 crew Tom Linskey delves into the archives

A lateral question - Part III
Kevin Ellway, Alan Smith and Andy Rice bring us the story of the Vampire

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/

1yr Digital Sub for £30: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

China Cup: Longcheer Takes Control With Round Island Race Victory
Photo by Stefano Gattini / Studio Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.

China Cup Wanhang Longcheer has seized control of the Beneteau 40.7 fleet after winning the round-the-island race today at the China Cup International Regatta. Arch-rival Emirates Team New Zealand had been leading in the early stages, as helmsman Chris Steele explained: "We led the fleet for the first half of the race. We and Longcheer broke out from the rest of the fleet and it was a pretty good battle for a while and then we set up to go around a group of islands which we thought was the correct course and they gybed off and reached away and sailed inside a couple of the islands. So there's a big debate now as to what the correct course was.

"There are protests being lodged, so we're unsure where we finished in that race. We maybe won it, or maybe finished 12th depending on whether we did the right course or not. It's all up in the air at the moment and we need to get together with the race committee and protest committee and find out who's right and who's wrong."

Almost all the fleet followed Longcheer, so if Emirates Team New Zealand were to win their protest, it could result in disqualification for the rest of the Beneteau 40.7s. Or it could be that Emirates were wrong all along. A long night was in store for John Doerr and his experienced International Jury, resolving this and other disputes from the day's racing.

The final day of the China Cup is forecast for lighter winds, although principal race officer Simon James remains hopeful of completing the schedule in time for the final prizegiving at the Sheraton Hotel Dameisha. -- Andi Rice

www.chncup.com

Atari 7 Takes Line Honours In Dubai To Muscat Race
Hannes Weimer's German Landmark 43, Atari 7, takes Line Honours in the 2015 Dubai to Muscat Race on Sunday 1 November, taking proximately three days to complete the 350-mile course.

"Taking Line Honours in a tough race was a real challenge." Commented Hannes Weimer, dockside at Marina Bandar Al-Rowdha, Oman. "There were so many stop-and-goes, three or four times we managed to put some distance on our competitors and every time we just ran out of wind, sometimes six to eight hours of being becalmed. But it was a nice regatta, with a great and friendly team on the boat, so we had lots of fun. However, we did run out of food and soft drinks today.

This was a slower race but much tougher than our previous race in a TP52, which we also took line honours with.

www.xtra-link.com

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2006 Cookson 50. Located in Sydney, Australia. 545,000 USD.

VICTOIRE is now our latest central listing and first of this new year of 2015.

She is one of the, if not the, most successful Cookson 50 ever raced. As JAZZ she was world famous for winning races from the Caribbean to Europe and then on to Australia. Her current owner purchased her in 2012 and kept right on winning with overall wins in the 2013 Sydney to Hobart and the Gosford to Lord Howe race. Also just recently 2nd in class ( behind a sistership) in IRC 0 for the 2014 Hobart race. Full safety gear, new sails in 2014, updated navigation area, VICTOIRE is ready to keep on going and has an owner who is serious about selling her.

Details

Contact
Thoroughbred Yacht Sales
William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
Thank you... motion sensor hand towel machine. You never work, so I just end up looking like I'm waving hello to a wall robot. -- Jimmy Fallon

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