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.

ISAF Annual Conference
ISAF Council commences on 13 November and concludes on 14 November where the final decisions will be made.

Events Committee

Rio 2016 Sailing Competition Manager Walter Boddener made the trip over to Sanya to present to the committee on next year's Olympic Games. Boddener, alongside ISAF Technical Delegate Alastair Fox, ran through final plans for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition following an update of the successful 2015 Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta, the Olympic Test Event.

ISAF recently announced the provisional schedule for Rio 2016 and it was received well by the sailors.

The committee focused on the format and qualification system for Tokyo 2020. In advance of the Events Committee meeting, the Equipment Committee put forward a recommendation on the future of the Nacra 17. The Events Committee endorsed their recommendation to evolve the Nacra 17 into a foiling multihull for Tokyo 2020. It was also agreed that a long-term strategy for the 2024 Olympic Games and beyond was essential.

Oceanic and Offshore Committee

The Oceanic and Offshore committee approved several submissions relating to the Special Regulations for the 2016 - 2017 edition of the book and this included a major re-write of the regulations.

A working party was created between the ORC, IRC Congress with ISAF support to work on a rating system for world championships over the next three years.

The Committee also recommended introducing in-build validation of yachts. At the moment the paper plans are certified, moving forward, surveyors will be able to go into the builders to inspect.

To stay up-to-date with the Annual Conference, a live blog will be available from Saturday 7 November through to Saturday 14 November here - www.sailing.org/follow/2015-annual-conference-blog.php

www.sailing.org/meetings/2015-conference.php

Putin's Spokesman Dismisses Accusations Of Doping In Russia; Claims No Evidence
Vladimir Putin's spokesman has said accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russia appear unfounded. Dmitry Peskov said that when charges were made, they must be based on some evidence.

He said: "As long as there is no evidence, it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded."

When asked for the Kremlin's opinion about the cause of the charges against Russian athletes, he responded: "It's none of our business to ponder over the causes of such scandals."

At the same time the UK Athletics chairman, Ed Warner, called for Russia to be banned from international competition and stripped of hosting next year's IAAF World Junior Championships in Kazan in the wake of the Wada report on doping allegations.

"I am all for suspension until the systems in Russia are proved to be robust," Warner said. "The IAAF is meeting later this week to consider suspending Russia and my strong advice would be that you have got to do that.

"If you suspend the Russian athletics federation you then have to remove the world junior championships - cancel them and take them elsewhere.

www.theguardian.com/world/

Evidence
Russia operated a huge state sponsored doping programme that sabotaged the London 2012 Olympics and should be banned from athletics, according to a damning report by the World Anti Doping Agency.

The 325-page review by an independent commission chaired by Dick Pound, a former Wada president, uncovered a "deeply rooted culture of cheating" and recommended that Russia be suspended from competition and barred from the Olympic Games in Rio next year unless it entirely overhauls its approach.

French police last week arrested Lord Coe's predecessor, Lamine Diack, the IAAF legal adviser Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle, the former longstanding head of the IAAF's anti-doping unit. Prosecutors said they would have arrested Diack's son and former IAAF marketing consultant, Papa Massata Diack, if he had been in France at the time.

Diack, the IAAF president for 16 years, is accused by French police of accepting more than €1m in exchange for covering up positive drug tests.

www.theguardian.com/sport/

WADA report

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

Land Ahoy! 24 Hours To Go
For the leaders of the Mini Transat Iles De Guadeloupe, something has changed. The best part of the race lies in their wake and the land is getting imperceptibly closer. The horizon and the sky are filling with colour, while the trade winds are slowing down. With some of the prototypes just 24 hours away from the finish line, the battle is still going strong: the clear leader, Frederic Denis (Nautipark), has slowed down as the winds ease off. In his wake, they are attacking from all sides.

In the production boats, the battle between Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) and Julien Pulve (Novintiss) is over: one went south, the other went north ... following different paths.

These are the last hours of the race. The very first competitors will enjoy their last sunrise on this Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe. For those chasing Frederic Denis (Nautipark) at the head of the fleet of prototypes for almost 10 days (over 11 days of racing), it's their last chance Thursday.

Ranking on 12th November at 15:00 (TU+1):

Series
1. Julien Pulve, Novintiss: 403 nm to finish
2. Ian Lipinski, Entreprises Innovantes, 2.3 nm to leader
3. Tanguy Le Turquais, Terreal, 83.8
4. Edouard Golbery, Les Enfants du Canal, 129.1
5. Armand de Jacquelot, We Van, 145.5

Prototypes
1. Frederic Denis, Nautipark, 142.1 nm to finish
2. Michele Zambelli, Illumia, 53.7 nm to leader
3. Luke Berry, Association Rêves, 68.5
4. Clement Bouyssou, Le Bon Agent - Bougeons l'Immobilier, 90.7
5. Axel Trehin, Aleph Racing, 109.9

www.minitransat-ilesdeguadeloupe.fr

Tanguy De Lamotte (FRA) and Samantha Davies (GBR) Finish Fifth IMOCA
Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA) and Samantha Davies (GBR) on Initiatives-Coeur crossed the Transat Jacques Vabre finish line at 1939hrs and 14secs UTC this Thursday evening to secure fifth place in the IMOCA class. Their elapsed time for the theoretical course of 5400NMs is 18d07h09m14s, setting an average of 12.30kts. In reality the duo sailed a course of 6124NMs averaging a speed of 13.95kts. Their delta behind IMOCA Class winners Vincent Riou and Seb Col is 1d 6hr 46min 50 secs.

For the British skipper, who finished fourth in the 2008-9 Vendee Globe, fifth place today on a 'cameo' return to the IMOCA fleet alongside de Lamotte, is her best finish of her four Transat Jacques Vabre races, her previous being sixth in 2003 in the IMOCA class with Nick Moloney on Team Cowes.

www.transat-jacques-vabre.com

SMA Confirms Entry In The Transat 2016
Paul Meilhat, skipper of the IMOCA 60, SMA, has today confirmed his participation in The Transat 2016.

SMA is the first of the IMOCA class to enter the solo classic from Plymouth to New York that sets sail on 2nd of May. Tracing its roots back to 1960, the race will be contested in four classes - IMOCA 60s, Multi 50s, Class 40s and giant multihulls or Ultimes with no limitation in upper size in that class.

Born just outside Paris, Paul Meilhat, the 33-year-old SMA skipper who now lives in Brest, will race in The Transat as part of his build-up to the 2016 Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race.

Historically The Transat has seen some of the greatest sailors of all time compete ahead of their Vendee campaigns. Although The Transat is an iconic race in its own right, for the IMOCA fleet it has become the race to win for this very reason.

Accompanied by the Mer Agitee technical team set up by solo sailing legend Michel Desjoyeaux and Team Manager Marcus Hutchinson, Meilhat has one of the best support networks in the class.

www.thetransat.com

124 And Counting...Entries Climbing For 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West Race Week The number of entries to the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week has exceeded 100, indicating one of the strongest early turnouts in years to this mainstay on the international sailing calendar held over January 17-22, 2016. Currently there are 16 classes organized: nine one-design and seven monohull and multihull classes racing under handicap. This indicates a diverse range of boat types attracted to race in the winter sun in Key West, with teams from 10 nations represented among the entries thusfar.

One design classes include the following: Melges 24's (15 entries), J/70's (35 entries), J/80's (5 entries), Farr 280's (5 entries), J/88's (8 entries), C&C 30's (11 entries), J/111's (9 entries), and J/122's (2 entries).

Among the handicap classes, IRC 0, 1 and 2 have thusfar attracted 13 committed entries, and the three new class offered at this year's event are also gaining interest: ORC Club (9 entries), Multihulls (4 entries) and Performance Cruisers (3 entries).

Besides providing the best in race management on the water, organizers from the Storm Trysail Club will enhance the shoreside experience for all entries with afternoon seminars, evening prizegivings and social events, and full logistic support through their partners and vendors on site...plus the unique ambience offered by time spent in Old Town Key West.

For more information and to enter 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week, visit www.keywestraceweek.com

Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship
Middle Harbour Yacht Club is broadening the appeal of the 38th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), which is sure to boost even more interest in the annual two day event to be held over the weekend of 28 and 29 November.

"We are intending to include a NSW InterClub Challenge in the SSORC and will shortly post an amendment to the Notice of Race," Ian Box, a Past Commodore of MHYC and Event Chairman announced today.

"Teams of three yachts need to have a combined TCC of no more than 3.50 and the inaugural winners will be decided by the best team result across the SSORC and the Sydney Harbour Regatta in March 2016," Box said, "but in future years, other Clubs events are expected also to be included."

Peter McNamara, who has recently returned to yachting, conceived the idea after recognising a competition gap for IRC yachts of 35 to 45 feet with Corinthian crews. He feels the Challenge will evolve and enhance competition in the style of the former Admiral's and Kenwood Cups. -- Di Pearson

Entries close at 2400 hours on 20 November.

www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au

NGA To Update Bowditch, Seeks Public Input
Nathaniel Bowditch's "The American Practical Navigator," often simply called "Bowditch" and regarded by mariners as the premier navigational reference, is due for an update, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency wants input from mariners the world over.

The first edition of "The American Practical Navigator" was a revision of "The New Practical Navigator," the most popular navigational text of the 1700s. Bowditch, a famous mariner and mathematician, worked with other experts of that era to revise and update the original publication and published it in 1802.

NGA and its predecessor organizations have been responsible for reviewing the publication and ensuring it meets the demands of the modern mariner since the 19th century. The U.S. government purchased the rights to the book in 1867 for $25,000. The U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, an NGA predecessor, assumed responsibility for updating the publication in 1868, and it has been regularly updated ever since.

Now in its ninth edition, the publication is freely available for download from NGA.

The deadline for users to insure their comments and feedback are considered for the new edition is June 30, 2016. The next edition of Bowditch is expected to be published and released by NGA in 2017.

To submit contributions and feedback for the next edition of Bowditch, please visit the NGA Bowditch survey website, download the survey files, and send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

msi.nga.mil

Marriott Rewards Around The Island Race
This coming Sunday, some 240 boats will line up in front of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Causeway Bay for the start of the Marriott Rewards Around The Island Race, a 26nm clockwise circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island, first recorded as taking place in 1864 with an entry list of six boats.

With the first of 90 minutes of starts getting underway at 0830hrs, the first boats should finish their race around mid-day if the breeze delivers as forecast, however as all competitors race under handicap, the fleet will continue to finish throughout the afternoon until the cut-off time of 1700hrs.

Also challenging each other over the same distance, 11 coastal rowing boats and 22 outrigger canoes hailing from as far afield as Singapore, China and Chicago will start and finish their race at RHKYC's Middle Island sailing and rowing centre on the Hong Kong's south side.

www.rhkyc.org.hk

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The Last Word
The stupider it looks, the more important it probably is. -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

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