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

Phaedo3 Take Line Honours as MOD70 Battle Comes To A Close
Lloyd Thornburg's mighty green MOD70, Phaedo3 crossed the finish line off Quarantine Point, Grenada this morning, completing the RORC Transatlantic Race at UTC 10:56:03 in 5 days 22 hrs 46mins 03 secs. Waging a 'Master and Commander' style battle from the start in Lanzarote, Team Phaedo held onto their lead, finishing less than two hours ahead of Tony Lawson's MOD70, Ms Barbados (Concise 10) and taking Line Honours victory in the second edition of the race.

Ms Barbados (Concise 10), skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield was the second boat to finish at UTC 12:36:44 and the friendly rivalry ceased as Team Phaedo3 welcomed their transatlantic match racing partners alongside the dock.

Phaedo3's Co-Skipper, Brian Thompson raved about the race:

"It was a fantastic race. What could be better than two great islands to start and finish in (Lanzarote and Grenada); it is a really good race course and we had a great competitor in Concise! It's a fascinating course with different sections, through the Canaries and a leg to Cape Verdes (for us) and then the downwind section across. It was a great match race across the Atlantic and we were never more than 70 miles apart. That's only 2 1/2 hours at the speeds we were going, equivalent of 20 miles apart on normal boats. We also did nearly 678 miles in one day and we averaged 28.3 knots which is fantastic.

rorctransatlantic.rorc.org

Nomad On Final Approach
The majority of yachts competing in the second edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race are predicted to finish the 3,000 mile race over the next few days. Nomad IV has just over 600 miles to go and is expected on Tuesday 8 December. By Friday December 11, most of the yachts will have completed the race and be enjoying the warm hospitality of the people of Grenada, safely moored in Camper & Nicholson's Port Louis Marina.

After racking up over 400 miles in 24 hours, the challenge of racing across the Atlantic was made very clear to the crew of Jean-Paul Riviere's French Finot Conq 100, Nomad IV, when their enormous spinnaker came billowing down and into the rushing waves around them. Jean-Paul Riviere sent this report in by satellite connection:

Nomad IV still hold a comfortable lead on the water. However after Nomad IV's spinnaker incident, recent progress indicates that their lead after IRC time correction puts them in second place behind Maurice Benzaquen's Pogo 1250, Aloha by less than 20 minutes. Southern Wind 94, Windfall, skippered by Tim Goodbody is 380 miles behind Nomad IV and estimated to be 5 hours behind after IRC time correction. Will Apold's Custom Nautor Swan 78, Valkyrie, is just over 100 miles behind Windfall and 20 hours after IRC time correction behind Aloha. Though Nomad IV must be the hot favourite to lift the International Maxi Association (IMA) Trophy for Monohull Line Honours, with the wind strengthening for the chasers including Aloha, and strategic positioning for the final gybes into Grenada being set up, the RORC Transatlantic Trophy is still very much up for grabs.

rorctransatlantic.rorc.org

Oman To Host Opening Event Of The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series In 2016
The Sultanate of Oman will create a rare slice of sporting history when it becomes the first country in the Middle East to host America's Cup racing by staging the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman in February 2016.

A point-scoring event for the opening stages of the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda, the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman will take place in Muscat from 27-28 February, as the curtain raiser to the 2016 season, which will be spread over six different venues around the world.

For many of the America's Cup sailors, including Sir Ben Ainslie (Land Rover BAR), Dean Barker (SoftBank Team Japan) and Franck Cammas (Groupama Team France), the waters off the Sultanate of Oman will be familiar territory, since Muscat has been hosting high performance multihull racing every year since 2011.

Near perfect sailing conditions that consistently deliver a 10-15 knot breeze combined with a sunny climate and warm waters have made Oman a popular destination for many Olympic Classes that have chosen to stage their World Championships at a time of year when the weather in Europe and North America limits training opportunities.

The driving force behind the Sultanate's sailing activity has been Oman Sail, which was established in 2008 to create a generation of sailors and raise the Sultanate's profile as a high end tourism destination using its centuries old traditions with the sea as a platform to promote its sporting, cultural and economic potential.

omansail.com
americascup.com

131 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 (16 entries), J/70's (38 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 thus far attracted 15 committed entries, and the three new class offered at this year's event are also gaining interest: ORC Club (14 entries), Multihulls (2 entries) and Performance Cruisers (7 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

The 2016 Solitaire Du Figaro Course Is Announced - A Coastal Challenge
At 1300 CET on Sunday 19th June, Leg 1 of the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro will kick off from the historic French town of Deauville. As many as 40 brave skippers are expected on the Solitaire start line next year, as a fleet formed of the world's best ocean racers and ambitious young Rookies prepares to take on 1,525 miles of Europe's roughest waters - single-handed.

"This edition of the Solitaire will be particularly challenging," Race Director Gilles Chiorri explained. "The coastal route will throw the game wide open, with skippers left to decide whether to stay closer to shore or go further offshore. To be successful around this course, the competitors will need seasoned offshore experience and tactical intelligence, enabling them to play the tides and weather to their advantage."

Director Mathieu Sarrot: "As 2016 is a Vendee Globe year, the Solitaire's most experienced skippers may be absent. This means the stakes will be high among the intermediate skippers, the skippers who consistently finish top 10 on a leg, but can't quite out sail the Yann Elies and Jeremie Beyous among the fleet. This is the year of the Solitaire regulars, their time to shine."

The 2016 course - 1,525nm:
Leg 1: Deauville - Isle of Wight Cowes (via Wolf Rock), 510nm
Leg 2: Isle of Wight Cowes - Paimpol (via Lands End and the Celtic Sea), 475nm
Leg 3: Paimpol - La Rochelle, 410nm
Leg 4: La Rochelle - La Rochelle (via the Ile d'Yeu), 130nm

www.lasolitaire.com

Szabo & Natucci Crowned In Nassau
The 2015 Star Sailors League Finals came to a dramatic conclusion today in the tactically challenging sublime waters of Montagu Bay, Nassau. Eleven teams with world class sailors from eight different countries contested the knock-out format of three races. Between the 22 sailors, they had totalled 28 Olympic campaigns and over a dozen America's Cups. The range of sailors was phenomenal; Jochen Schümann won the first of his three Gold Olympic Medals over 40 years ago, rising French Laser star, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz was not even born when Jochen Schümann stepped onto the podium of the 1976 Olympic Games, winning Gold in the Finn.

On the final day, there was one last twist. Pepper & Prada (NZL/BRA) gybed to the middle of the course on the final downwind leg, whilst Szabo & Natucci (USA/ITA) stayed out to the Rose Island side of the course. This turned out to be a winning move by Szabo & Natucci, who took the gun and the win for the 2015 SSL Final by a boat length from Pepper & Prada. Rohart & Ponsot (FRA) completed the podium to take third place and Polgar & Koy (GER) were fourth.

www.starsailors.com/starsailors/home.html

Outteridge Wins Amlin 'dash For Cash' On Final Practice Day
Hamilton, Bermuda: Artemis Racing helmsman Nathan Outteridge won the Amlin International Moth Regatta "Dash for Cash" today during the final day of practice before the regatta.

For winning the race on Hamilton Harbour Outteridge won $500 and a bottle of Gosling's Gold Seal rum. In accepting the award he donated the cash to the America's Cup Endeavour Community Sailing Fund and kept the bottle of rum.

The Endeavour Programme aims to provide a pathway to success for youth in Bermuda across all backgrounds as they experience an interactive curriculum labeled STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), water safety knowledge and an opportunity to develop life skills through a community sailing program.

Outteridge, a two-time Moth world champion, won't be able to race the regatta this week due to commitments with Artemis Racing. The final list of entrants includes 58 from 14 countries and includes the reigning European Champion, Rob Greenhalgh, the reigning US champion, Anthony Kotoun, and a slew of America's Cup sailors including Dean Barker, Francesco Bruni, Chris Draper, Paul Goodison, Kyle Langford and Tom Slingsby.

Racing will be held on Great Sound and up to three races per day are planned.

The Amlin International Moth Regatta is sponsored by Amlin plc, a FTSE 250-listed independent global insurer and reinsurer with operations in the Lloyd's, UK, continental European and Bermudian markets. Additional sponsors include the Bermuda Tourism Authority, EFG International, Gosling's, the Official Rum of the Regatta, and Kaenon Polarized.

bermudamoths.com

Extreme 40 Racing Catamaran Marstrom Composites 2009

Length: 40'
Hull Material: Composite
Current Price: On application

With the Extreme Sailing Series™ adopting a new boat for 2016, there is a unique opportunity to purchase a fleet of up to 10 Extreme 40 catamarans as a set, or individually, that are priced to sell.

Superfast, exciting to sail and to watch, the Extreme 40 catamaran was developed by TornadoSport in 2005 to bring sailing to the public on short courses in stadium settings.

Built in carbon-fibre, these "flying machines" are 40ft long and have a beam of 23ft. They have a top speed of around 40 knots. Complete with sails, shipping container, with spares and road container negotiable, these well-maintained boats could offer excellent corporate entertainment or activation around another race campaign.

Available from mid-December to ship from Europe/Australia/GCC.

Please contact boatsales@ocsport.com

www.ocsport.com

Future Of Famous Yacht Solo Hangs In The Balance
Click on image to enlarge.

In the lead up for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race there is one famous previous winner which is preparing for something quite different - the famous yacht Solo has stood abandoned on the hardstand of a Brisbane shipyard now for several years.

Solo is suffering severe corrosion, and with no prospect of her hardstand fees being paid, the owners of the yard are faced with some hard decisions to make as to her fate.

The yacht has a famous history which compelled legendary America's Cup skipper, Jock Sturrock, to write in 1987: "Few yachts in the world could match Solo's career as racer, cruiser and Antarctic explorer".

As a racing yacht, Solo competed in all offshore races in Australia between 1955 and 1963. She twice won line honours in the Hobart and twice on handicap. Her win in the 1962 race against the first American entry Ondine was a classic, and ensured her place in history.

Kevin Bourke has written a well-researched book about her history: 'Man of Iron Ship of Steel', published late in 2014. He mentioned her current plight and suggested she could be saved by establishing a Solo Heritage Trust. This Trust has not materialised, and requests from Maritime Museums have not been encouraging.

A total of $100,000 is required to save Solo and get her back in the water. To date, $25,000 has been pledged to this project, but this falls well short of the amount required.

Anyone who can help ensure her survival is asked to contact Kevin Bourke on 0419674451 or email kevin@flexlink.net.au

British 470 Sailor Elliot Willis Diagnosed With Cancer
Following medical tests, it has been confirmed that the British Sailing Team's 470 Olympic campaigner Elliot Willis has unfortunately been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Willis, 32, campaigns alongside 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience, with the world number two-ranked pair among the first athletes in any sport to be selected to Team GB for the Rio 2016 Games in September.

An appropriate course of treatment is currently being determined for the Sevenoaks sailor - a two-time World Champion in the double-handed Olympic 470 Class - with Willis inevitably set to take some time out of the boat.

The longer term impact on his and Patience's 470 campaign for Rio will be assessed in due course depending on the treatment recommended by medical professionals.

Luke Patience:
"I'm gutted for Elliot. Everything else takes a back seat when something like this happens. Elliot absolutely needs to do what's best for him and I'll support him in whatever way I can.

"Inevitably he will need to take some time out of the boat so we will discuss the best approach to keeping the campaign moving forward and take some decisions on that front when we know more."

rya.org.uk

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 Heike Blok: In August 2016 our most important sailing event, the Olympics, are to be held on the bay of Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro. However, increasingly ominous and unsettling messages are reaching us adding up to one conclusion: this location is a health menacing place, rife with raw sewage, resulting in a highly and dangerous contamination of the water.

Competitors will most certainly have to come in contact with that heavily contaminated water fostering a chance of illness or worse. Think mouth and nostrils at Bf. 4! Here again, financial interests, oversized promises and deals were obviously more important than the health of our sporting youth and the glory of the Olympics promoting international fraternisation so important these times.

Oh Herr Dr. Bach and Sign. Dott. Croce, what, if under your guys' watch and responsibility, the heretofore unimaginable would happen? Or are we already on another "FIFA course" now?

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The Last Word
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