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

Frederic Denis (Nautipark) First To Pointe-A-Pitre In Prototype
Frederic Denis, from La Trinite in Brittany, France, has won the Mini Transat after crossing the finish line off the Iles de Guadeloupe first, at 09:12:30 GMT (05:12:30 local time in Point-a-Pitre) on Friday November 13.

After his 3rd place finish on the first stage to Lanzarote, Denis was six minutes behind Axel Trehin (Aleph Racing), but with his closest rivals trailing by over 50 miles, he was a clear winner as he crossed the finish line in Guadeloupe.

Denis's average boat speed over the theoretical distance was 9.04 knots. Nautipark covered an actual total of 3,230.79 miles on the water, more than 455 miles more than the theoretical distance, and sailed at an average 10.52 knots.

Ian Lipinski Wins Series Class
It is only after having crossed the finish line that Ian Lipinski (Entreprises Innovantes) could savour his victory after the duel with Julien Pulve (Novintiss). But it was difficult! The last three race days have been hell for those who sailed through the first stage with a comfortable lead. Ian had over 11 hours lead over Julien: in the end, things were much closer.

When Julien found a way to escape, it began a long period of suspense. The northern route chosen by the sailor from La Rochelle paid off and Ian Lipinski ended up 60 miles behind his opponent. Finally, though, the turnaround didn't happen.

Two Ofcets in the first two positions for the production boats is perhaps the beginning of a great industrial adventure for the La Rochelle boatyard that committed to this crazy gamble.

With such an excellent result, the order book should fill up in the coming months.

We now expect Tanguy Le Turquais (Terreal) who should take third place in the production boats after a long lonely journey between the leading duo and the battalion of pursuers.

Overall Provisional Ranking Prototypes
1. Frederic Denis - 800 - Nautipark arrived at 10h 12mn 30s HF TU+1 on the 13th November
2. Luke Berry - 753 - Association Reves arrived at 00h 18mn 18s HF TU+1 on the 14th November
3. Ludovic Mechin, Microvitae arrived at 00h 32mn 16s HF TU+1 on the 14th November

Overall Provisional Ranking Series boats
1. Ian Lipinski, Entreprises Innovantes, arrived at 10h 15mn 06s HF TU+1 on the 15th November
2. Julien Pulve, Novintiss, arrived at 02h 06mn 15s HF TU+1 on the 15th November

www.minitransat-ilesdeguadeloupe.fr

Annual Conference Wraps Up In Sanya, China
A two day meeting of the ISAF Council followed by the Annual General Meeting drew the 2015 Annual Conference to a close in Sanya, China.

More than 500 delegates met on the Chinese island of Hainan from 7 - 14 November to make the decisions that will shape the future of sailing into the new year. The meeting of ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, voted on the recommendations made by the ISAF committees throughout the week.

ISAF President Carlo Croce delivered his report to ISAF Council on 13 November touching on the spirit within the current ISAF Executive Committee as well as the goals of the federation. The report is available to view on the ISAF website here www.sailing.org/news/41430.php

Three new members were welcomed into ISAF. The Nicaragua Federation of Sailing and St Vincent and the Grenadines Sailing Association were welcomed as full members of ISAF with the Anguilla Sailing Association becoming an associate member.

The Montserrat Yachting Association resigned as an ISAF associate member.

The Match Racing Committee was reformed into a Sub-committee that will report into the Events Committee. The Youth Worlds Sub-committee were changed to the Youth Events Sub-committee.

The Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Committee and the Empirical Handicap Sub-committee were discontinued.

The Regional Games and Development & Youth Committee were combined into a single Development and Regions Committee with a Regional Games Sub-committee created. The ISAF Sail Rankings and Match Racing Rankings Sub-committees were changed into Working Parties.

Finally, the Disabled Sailing Committee's name change to the Para World Sailing Committee was approved.

The Nacra 15 was selected as the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships multihull for the 2016 event and onwards. It was also confirmed that the five events for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the Boy's and Girl's Windsurfing, Boy's and Girl's Kiteboarding and a Mixed Multihull event. The Techno 293+ was confirmed as the windsurfing equipment and the Nacra 15 for the Mixed Multihull. The Kiteboarding equipment is to be confirmed.

Class applications came from Kiteboards, Dinghies, Foiling Catamarans and Around the World Race yachts. The RS Aero, Far East 28R, Volvo 65, IKA Twin Tip Freestyle, IKA Kite Foil and Nacra F20 Carbon were approved by ISAF Council and will now be subject to signing a contract. The M32 Class application was deferred to the 2016 Mid-Year Meeting.

The next ISAF meeting will be the Mid-Year Meeting in Milan, Italy next May with the 2016 Annual Conference taking place in a European destination to be confirmed from 5 - 13 November 2016.

www.sailing.org/meetings

Gill Previewing New Ranges Of Technical Clothing At Metstrade Show In Amsterdam, 17-19 November
Gill is proud to attend the METSTRADE show at Amsterdam RAI. It's the world's largest exhibition for the marine leisure industry, with over 1,300 exhibitors from around the world. Gill will be previewing its new range of technical sailing clothing for 2016.

Among the highlights will be the Keelboat Racer range, which uses an extremely tough 4Dotâ„¢, 3-layer waterproof and breathable fabric. The fabric is 5% lighter yet 50% more durable than its predecessor, making for the ultimate performance racing range.

Gill will also be showcasing its Thermoskin performance range of Neoprene products, which is designed for thermal insulation in wet and cold conditions. It uses an innovative blend of materials to produce Gill's warmest, most flexible and durable range of wetsuits.

These products and more will be on show at the Gill stand - booth 03.303.

The METSTRADE show floor plan can be viewed online.

www.gillmarine.com

Betsy Alison Awarded For Para World Sailing Development
Betsy Alison (USA) has been awarded the ISAF President's Development Award for her outstanding achievement in the development of Para World Sailing in 2015.

Awarded at the 2015 Annual Conference in Sanya, China, Alison was presented with the award by ISAF President Carlo Croce at the meeting of ISAF Council.

A successful sailor and coach, Alison is currently the Head Coach of the US Paralympic Sailing Program and Chair of the Para World Sailing Committee.

Alison is well known for bringing new sailors into the sport at grass roots level - much more than simply taking sailors out on the water for an initial experience. She has supported and provided clinics at grass root level events in and around the USA with her main aim of developing a pathway for all types of people, with differing levels of disabilities and competition experience.

The ISAF President's Development Award is the second time Alison has been recognised for her work. In 2006 she was the recipient of the Gay S Lynn Memorial Trophy for her outstanding service to sailing and sailors with disabilities.

www.sailing.org

Finn Gold Cup
The 2015 Finn Gold Cup starts in Takapuna, New Zealand in just over a week. There are nearly 90 pre-entries from 29 nations. It is the biggest event of the year for the senior fleet and for many a crucial event in the run up to the Rio Olympics next year. At least four places on the starting line in Rio will be decided over the next two weeks.

For the New Zealand Finn fleet, the return of the Finn Gold Cup has been a long time coming, far too long. Thirty-five years ago the 1980 Finn Gold Cup was also held at Takapuna Boating Club, just north of Auckland. It happened during a period of political turmoil that would eventually see many of those sailors who qualified for the 1980 Olympics, fail to attend in Moscow. Some of those are back this year as coaches. It has been a generation since the world's best sailors fought for one of the sport's toughest trophies in Kiwi waters and a lot has changed.

The Pre-worlds regatta runs from this Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 November. The Finn Gold Cup runs from Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 November. Ten races are scheduled from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 November, with the medal race and final race on Sunday 29 November.

2015.finngoldcup.org

Stakes High For Strong British Entry At 49er Worlds
British skiff hopefuls will begin racing tomorrow (16 November) in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the 49er and 49erFX World Championships (16-21 November).

Argentina will host some 100 crews aiming to be crowned 2015 49er or 49erFX World Champion, with just nine months to go to Rio 2016 the stakes are high.

At the recent South American Championships (5-8 November) in Buenos Aires, all three British Sailing Team 49er pairs, James Peters-Fynn Sterritt, John Pink-Stuart Bithell, Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign, finished inside the top eight. In the 49erFX Charlotte Dobson-Sophie Ainsworth ended their South American event in eighth. A confident conclusion for British sailors at the World Championship warm-up event.

Peters-Sterritt led the British contingent and the fleet for the majority of the week, almost dethroning the unbeaten Kiwi sailors, Peter Burling-Blair Tuke. However, a disappointing final Medal Race left them just outside the silverware in fourth.

World number one ranked pair, Fletcher-Sign finished seventh at the South Americans and will also be in the hunt for a 49er World Championship medal. In the women's 49erFX Dobson-Ainsworth are the top ranked British boat in attendance, meanwhile Kate Macgregor-Steph Orton are teaming up for the first time.

Results will be available at 49er.org

www.britishsailingteam.com

124 And Counting...Entries Climbing For 2016 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

NZ Match Racing Nationals - Steele Wins Final 3-0
Chris Steele and his 36 Below Racing/RNZYS crew of Shane Diviney, Josh Salthouse & Harry Hull, beat George Anyon 3 - nil in the Final of the New Zealand Match Racing Championships, on Sunday afternoon.

Steele lead undefeated on Day 1 and then after a disappointing Day 2 he qualified in 4th spot going into this mornings semi finals.

Steele reflecting on what a difference a day can make, "last night we just talked about focusing more on our own race. Bringing it back to basics and keeping the same tempo the whole way through".

This is in contrast to last year where Steele didn't lose a race until the final series allowing Josh Junior to take the title. The 22 year old, is currently the highest ranking New Zealander on the ISAF World Rankings.

Final Placings

1. Chris Steele - RNZYS
2. George Anyon - RNZYS
3. Dave Hazard - RNZYS
4. Tugdual Piriou - CNC
5. Thomas Saunders - TYPBC
6. Lucas Chatonnier - RNZYS YTP
7. Alan Quere - CNC
8. Stephanie Kirkman - RNZYS YTP

www.rnzys.org.nz/

Countdown To 2016 Etchells Worlds In Cowes Begins
With the 2015 Etchells Worlds now completed in Hong Kong, preparations for the 2016 event start to ramp up. Taking place from the 5th to 10th September the Championship will be run by the Royal London Yacht Club, based on The Parade in Cowes.

Fresh from victory at the 2105 Etchells Worlds in Hong Kong, the crew of Aretas declared their intention to defend their title in Cowes. John McLean spoke on behalf of the 3 man USA team, commenting that it had been a 5 year programme to take them to the pinnacle of one design keel boat racing. Having reached it, Skip Dieball, Jeff Eiber and John are determined to repeat that success in the testing waters of the Solent next year when the fleet will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Etchells.

Australian clubs from Sydney and Melbourne alone have over 10 owners who have stated intentions to race, including the legendary John Bertrand, who sailed Australia II to become the first ever non-American winning helm of the Americas Cup, and more recently a double Etchells World Champion. John speaks with fond memories of his previous regattas here: "Both on and off the water, Cowes is one of the very best yacht racing locations in the world"

2016.etchellsworlds.org

Clipper Race 3 Day 15: Winds Ease To Give Teams A Temporary Breather
Steady surfs and large swells eased over the past 24 hours and light, fluffy winds overnight and this morning are now providing a temporary time out from the strenuous Southern Ocean onslaught of the past seven days.

The overall fleet positions still remain largely unchanged from yesterday. LMAX Exchange still leads, just over 100 nautical miles ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second and Qingdao, third. Fourth place GREAT Britain and fifth place Garmin are battling out the closest rivalry of the fleet, as just five miles currently separates them.

This calm, light patch is definitely temporary. The next expected weather front is getting stronger, and depending where and when it passes over teams, they may have gusts into the 70 knot region in the next 24 to 48 hours, with a big back round to the south west after it goes over.

Leader LMAX Exchange is 1300 nm to the race three finish in Albany, West Australia.

clipperroundtheworld.com

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1996 49' Goetz Taylor. 89,900 USD. Located Green Bay, WI, USA.

EXPERIENCE is now for sale. Built by the world famous Eric Goetz in 1996 as NUMBERS, she had unparralled success over the years racing under the IMS rule.

Donated to the United States Navy, she was renamed POLARIS and also did very well on the East coast of the United States.

She is now for sale by her present owner and is open to offers. Plenty of spare gear, carbon fiber mast, and in very good condition, EXPERIENCE is a fun fast racing boat that will do very well for years to come.

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

The Last Word
What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we've never met. -- David Levithan

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