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

Tell us your favourite bar, the seventh annual Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar competition in on!
scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars

World Match Racing Tour Announces 2016 Season
Hono, Sweden; Following the announcement during the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda in October that the World Match Racing Tour will transition to catamaran racing in the M32, the team have worked hard on creating a strong season that will be crowned with a $1 million U.S.D. prize to the winner. This has resulted in a season that consists of iconic sailing venues that will write a new chapter in the prosperous legacy of the World Match Racing Tour.

The Championship events of this season, which will form a short season when adapting to the new venue for the World Finals in Marstrand in July, will together create a total prize purse of over $2 million U.S.D. to the teams. Something that together with the introduction of the M32 has created a fast growing interest for the World Match Racing Tour.

The 2016 short season Championship Events will be hosted at the venues and on the dates listed:

- Fremantle, Perth, Australia, March 2nd-7th
- Long Beach, Los Angeles, USA, April 5th-10th
- Undisclosed Venue, April 18th-23rd (TBC)
- Copenhagen, Denmark, May 9th-14th
- Newport,  RI, USA, May 31st-June 4th
- World Championship Finals, Marstrand, Sweden, July 4th-9th

For Fremantle it will be the 30 year anniversary since the start of classic America's Cup event in 1986-87, Long Beach will host its 52nd edition of the Congressional Cup and Copenhagen will make a much sought after comeback to the premiere division of match racing.

Six of the ten Tour Card entries for 2016 were awarded after the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda based on the results on the 2015 World Match Racing Tour. The six teams at the top of the leaderboard have all accepted their Tour Card for 2016 and we can therefore confirm the following entries to the WMRT 2016:

- Ian Williams, GBR
- Bjorn Hansen, SWE
- Taylor Canfield, USV
- Keith Swinton, AUS
- Phil Robertson, NZL
- Eric Monnin, SUI

The final four Tour Cards will be presented this week

wmrt.com

McMillan Makes History On Sydney Harbour
British multihull racer Leigh McMillan was officially crowned the most successful skipper in the nine-year history of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney today when he clinched an unprecedented third championship title.

McMillan and and his crew on The Wave, Muscat completed his hat-trick in superb style with yet another convincing Act win on a breezy Sydney Harbour and against the stunning backdrop of the Sydney Opera House in front of thousands of spectators who lined the waterfront.

The key to The Wave, Muscat's success not only lies in McMillan's experience on the helm but in the consistent performance of his outstanding crew.

These include British double Olympic gold medallist and current ISAF World Sailor of the Year Sarah Ayton, America's Cup sailors Pete Greenhalgh and Ed Smyth and Omani sailor Nasser Al Mashari.

Extreme Sailing Series 2015 final results

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 87 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 74
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 70
4. Oman Air (OMA) 58
5. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 51
6. Team Turx (TUR) 44
7. GAC Pindar (GBR) 43
8. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) 42

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, Sydney presented by Land Rover

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 213 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand,198
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Lionel Vaucher, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 196
4. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi, 174
5. Team Turx (TUR) Mitch Booth, Edhem Dirvana, Selim Kakis, Diogo Cayolla, Pedro Andrade, 160
6. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Pavel Kalinichev, Pavel Karachi, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov, 143
7. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Enrico Zennaro, Pierre Pennec, Nevio Sabadin, Stefano Rizzi,Tom Buggy, 125
8. GAC Pindar (GBR) Adam Minoprio, Seve Jarvin, Jeremy Lomas, James Wierzbowski, Tyson Lamond, 122
9. 33 South Racing (AUS) Katie Spithill, Matthew Chew, Stacey Jackson, Henry Kernot, Luke Payne, 97

extremesailingseries.com

International Paint Poole Regatta Gift Vouchers
Stumped for what to put on your Christmas list? Then ask for gift vouchers for entry and/or berthing for the Regatta!

This three-day Regatta takes place from 28th to 30th May 2016 for all types of keelboat, from the larger IRC classes taking part in the IRC Southern Championship, to the 2.4mR class used in the Paralympics. The event is run by the Combined Clubs of Poole, and is held in the excellent sailing waters of Poole Bay and Poole Harbour.

Full details of the event, and how to buy the gift vouchers can be found on our website.

www.pooleregatta.co.uk

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
We're closing in on 100 submissions for Best Yachting Bar... Here are two recent submissions (pictured at right is the Plas Heli's Optimist Balconey).

Plas Heli - Welsh National Sailing Academy

The thought of a cold one looking over the views of Snowdonia and Tremadog Bay always drags me here but the lively bar and great welcome keep me here until it's way too dark to see the view!!

Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club

Repeatedly voted the best sailing bar on Long Island Sound, walls covered in wood that are adored with yachting history, hanging flags of clubs from around the world, displaying trophies and plaques for events that are legendary and serving rum and vodka "Southsides" with their own mix and crushed mint from the garden right outside the door. It is populated with sailors, very, very friendly sailors. If you have too good of a time, there are rooms right upstairs.

And while golf is not your humble narrator's favourite sport, this concoction is a neat twist on Arnold Palmer's famed iced tea / lemonade mix:

The John Daly

2 oz. Ice Tea
2 oz. Lemonade
1 shot Wight Vodka

On ice in a highball glass.

Send us your recommendation on the best yachting bar by Friday please... Voting on the top ten starts this coming Saturday.

scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars

Sailing World Cup Melbourne
St Kilda's usual foreshore and beach buzz on a warm summer Sunday grew louder when the Sailing World Cup Melbourne reached its peak. Eight Olympic classes peeled off their Medal Race one by one straight off the main beach, St Kilda Baths and pier, to the delight of visitors and sailors whose competition had already concluded.

Light morning northerlies moved around to the local sea breeze then tried to settle, swinging between south-east and south. By the time the men's 49er skiff teams went hunting gold at 14:30, 15 knots was the reading on the track, the most finals day would deliver.

Event director Mark Turnbull OAM and Sydney 2000 sailing gold medallist, dashing between his various responsibilities around the St Kilda sailing precinct, took time to assess the popularity of the final day's events. "We've got big crowds, plus the sailors are really happy, but importantly there are non-sailors everywhere; it's the general public getting close to the action which is brilliant and one of the reasons why we brought sailing to the people this year."

Melbourne's 2015 World Cup, which drew more than 900 competitors representing 23 nations.

The winner of each Olympic class at the World Cup also qualifies for the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi in November 2016.

Top three Olympic Class results

470 Men
1. Alexander Conway / Patrick Conway, AUS, 9 points
2. Thomas Klemens / Timothy Hannah, AUS, 26
3. Angus Galloway / Joshua Dawson, AUS, 28

470 Women
1. Carrie Smith / Jaime Ryan , AUS, 10
2. Sasha Ryan / Aurora Paterson, AUS, 18
3. Pip Pietromonaco / Amelia Catt, AUS, 28

49er Men
1. Logan Dunning Beck / Jack Simpson, NZL, 24
2. William Phillips / Sam Phillips, AUS, 28
3. David Gilmour / Rhys Mara, AUS, 29

49er FX Women
1. Tess Lloyd / Caitlin Elks, AUS, 19
2. Erica Dawson / Ellie Copeland, NZL, 20
3. Julia Gross / Cecilla Jonsson, SWE, 25

Finn Men
1. Oliver Twedell,, AUS, 13
2. Josip Olujic, CRO, 13
3. Nicholas Kennedy, AUS, 34

Laser Men
1. Collin Cheng, SIN, 26
2. Thomas Saunders, NZL, 37
3. Jeremy O'Connell, AUS, 42

Laser Radial Women
1. Ashley Stoddart, AUS, 14
2. Susannah Pyatt, NZL, 24
3. Tatiana Drozdovskaya, BLR, 29

RS:X Women
1. Joanna Sterling, AUS, 10
2. Audrey Yong, SIN, 25
3. Lara O'Brien, AUS, 32

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

Transat Saint Barth - Port La Foret: Keel Actuator Rod Damage Aboard Safran
Today, at around 14:00 GMT, Morgan informed Race Management and his team that the keel actuator rod had broken aboard the IMOCA60 monohull adopteunskipper.net, rechristened Safran for the Transat St Barth / Port-La-Foret. He was lying in 4th position at the time of the incident.

Morgan immediately carried out the necessary repairs to secure the keel and fix it in place. He remains in contact with Nicolas Boidevezi's shore team and that of Safran Sailing Team.

Morgan is currently sailing under reduced sail so as to preserve the boat as much as possible.

www.imocaoceanmasters.com

Amlin International Moth Regatta
Rob Greenhalgh today stamped his dominance on the inaugural Amlin International Moth Regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Lying in second overall entering the day, Greenhalgh won all three races to win the championship and the winner's share of $5,000 of the $10,000 prize purse.

"The week has been fantastic," said the 38-year-old Greenhalgh of Hamble, England. "It's been good to come to a new venue. Everyone's been very hospitable. I hope it keeps going."

bermudamoths.com

Fire Damages Annapolis Yacht Club
Heavy smoke and flames billowed from a three-alarm fire Saturday afternoon at the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Fire crews remained at the scene for hours into the evening, checking for hot spots and to determine the cause and the monetary loss of the building.

There was extensive fire damage to the second and third floors with water and smoke damage throughout the rest of the building.

The Annapolis Yacht Club released a statement saying the fire damaged the main clubhouse. The club will remain closed until further notice.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who toured the remains of the club on Sunday, said the state will provide "every possible assistance" to the club.

"It's a tragedy, but the wonderful news is, this holiday season, they were closed to get ready for the event, so the public wasn't there, the staff got out, everybody was safe," Hogan said.

The yacht club was founded in 1886 and the current building was built in the 1970s. Managers said they're now looking to relocate and rebuild.

www.wbaltv.com

Seahorse January 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

A sport of idiosyncracies - Part 1
Was there ever a more illustrious guest list? Dobbs Davis is introduced to the Pewaukee Blue Chip and goes sailing amid the corn fields

ISAF column
Young, old and just plain genius... gold medallist Malcolm Page on the Sailing Hall of Fame

IRC Column
It's all about the sort of 'fast' that we want to be encouraging. James Dadd

Design - Lighter and lighter
Jason Ker led the way towards a new era of lighter mid-sized IRC racers and now he's doing it all over again. Plus IRC-ORCi... not so different

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/

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

Length Of Britain Sailing Challenge
Passing the NW coast of Skye at 1600hrs this afternoon and the skies are already dark for Phil Sharp, Sean Conway and Alex Alley, the trio who are seeking to establish the first benchmark record for sailing from Land's End to John O'Groats.

The scenery has been breathtaking but sadly The Minch - the stretch of water which separates Skye from the Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland and the northern Inner Hebrides - will now mostly be passed during the long hours of darkness. But it is has been a generally better than expected day for Sharp, Conway and Alley, making good speeds since the morning on an even keel. With the boat sailing flat they have been able to tidy up the inside of the boat, dry it up and stay warmer.

But the nagging concern is still the prospect of a slow, upwind slog in light winds and big seas across the top of Scotland tomorrow. When Sharp planned the challenge he did so with a vision of fast running and reaching in these most inhospitable waters. And even when they left it was still looking good but now it is looking like contrary wind directions will make for an uncomfortable final 20 hours or so.

Phil, who sadly lost his mother to a brain tumour as a child is raising funds for Brain Tumour Research. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/PhilSharpRacing to fund research.

philsharpracing.com

Tough Day At The Office
Whilst out training on the Solent today, the team's test boat T2 capsized off of Ryde, Isle of Wight.

The boat, was righted quickly and no team members were injured.

Damage was sustained to a section of the wing, which the team is currently assessing, but plan to be back on the water in the New Year.

T2 is Land Rover BAR's second testing boat, launched three months ago on the 5th October.

The wind range was between 15 - 19 knots, the boat was sailing at a slow speed when an issue with the wing inversion initiated a capsize to windward. No other vessels were involved.

www.landroverbar.com

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The Last Word
If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. -- P. J. O'Rourke

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