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!
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Sailing In Sight Of Each Other In The Middle Of The Pacific
At daybreak on the deck of Spindrift 2, the crew spotted, in the distance, the silhouette of the trimaran Idec Sport. After travelling half the way around the world since leaving Ushant on November 22, racing nearly 30,000km across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the two trimarans on a quest for the Jules Verne Trophy, found themselves side by side, past New Zealand, in the Pacific Ocean.

The unlikely scenario only adds more spice to the already extraordinary adventure of a crewed round-the-world record attempt. To a virtual competition against the record time set by Banque Populaire V, Spindrift 2's crew have added close-quarter sailing since the antipodes. For the route to Cape Horn, the southern option was not selected. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard's team are currently riding along a depression, to the north.

www.spindrift-racing.com

Transat Saint Barth - Port La Foret
The terrible twins, two intense mid-Atlantic depressions, continue to make their impression on the IMOCA Ocean Masters Transat St Barth-Port la Foret boats as the bulk of the fleet approaches the Azores islands from the southwest. Thankfully, today conditions have abated, downgraded from 'survival' to moderate to strong following winds.

In such conditions the boats should be eating up the miles towards the finish. In the event, after the pasting they have received over the last 48 hours - conditions every bit as bad as they can expect in the Southern Ocean a year from now in the Vendee Globe - the skippers are now attempting, in the most seamanlike manner, to deal with the damage sustained to their boats or, in the case of Paul Meilhat, to himself.

At 13:20 GMT, Paul was evacuated via a stretcher onto the patrol boat's rib. Ten minutes later, he was airlifted by helicopter, bound for the island of Terceira where he was taken in hand at the Santo Espirito hospital.

This evening, the Portuguese doctor in charge of the sailor was able to provide a reassuring diagnosis. Suffering from a fracture of the pelvis and a small fracture of the rib, his condition was such that he did not require an operation.

The success story of this IMOCA Ocean Masters Transat St Barth-Port la Foret is certainly that of Sebastien Josse and Edmond de Rothschild. The added speed of the race's only new generation foil-assisted IMOCA 60 has helped her stay ahead of the worst of the conditions and at 1100 UTC today she held a lead of 700+ miles over Fabrice Amedeo's Newrest-Matmut, now up to second. At that time, she was running in 30 knot southwesterlies, 290 miles west of La Coruna, with 540 miles left to sail. Her ETA at the Port la Foret finish line is 1700 UTC (1800 local time) tomorrow (16th December).

Ranking 10/12/2015 AT 20.00 GMT
1. Edmond De Rothschild - Sebastien Josse (FRA)
2. Newrest-Matmut - Fabrice Amedeo (FRA) +707.6nm
3. Le Souffle du Nord - Thomas Ruyant (FRA) +844.6nm
4. O Canada - Eric Holden (CAN) +907.2nm
5. Safran - Morgan Lagraviere (FRA) +910.0nm
6. Currency House Kilcullen (IRL) +951.9nm
Abd. SMA - Paul Meilhat (FRA)

www.imocaoceanmasters.com
www.imoca.org

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

Sir Ben Ainslie's New America's Cup Yacht
The first images of Sir Ben Ainslie's new racing yacht have come in, and the British racer is calling the boat the most advanced he's ever had.

The British design team who built the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing AC45 T2 craft have likened it to a fighter jet, citing use of cutting edge technologies from both the automotive and aerospace industries.

At 45 feet, Ainslie's T2 boat is a prototype design for the America's Cup team whose final build, yet to come, is expected to reach speeds in excess of 50 mph.

Headed up by Land Rover's Ben Ainslie Racing project, the boat's all-British design team includes former America's Cup winners as well as a host of British collaborators including Red Bull Advanced Technologies and the advanced technology business Prodrive.

www.ybw.com

Final Four Skippers Announced For 2016 World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour today announced the remaining four 'Tour Card' skippers that will join the 2016 World Championship. Yann Guichard (FRA), Mattias Rahm (SWE), Nicolai Sehested (DEN), and the first ever all-female Tour Card team to be led by Sally Barkow (USA) complete the list of ten appointed Tour Card Skippers for 2016.

Making his first ever appearance on the World Match Racing Tour, former Olympic sailor Yann Guichard from France is well known to the multihull world following multiple campaigns including the Rolex Fastnet Race and Multi One Championship. In 2011, Guichard co-founded Spindrift Racing with partner Donatella Bertarelli and the team are currently attempting to break the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe on board the maxi trimaran Spindrift 2;

Double Olympian and former America's Cup helmsman Mattias Rahm, SWE is no stranger to match racing after winning the Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand in 2007. More recently, he has turned his skill to multihull racing, winning the first M32 Scandinavian Series in 2013, and finishing second in 2014 and 2015;

Danish match racer Nicolai Sehested and his TREFOR Match Racing Team returns to the World Match Racing Tour in 2016 following his role on board Team Vestas in the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race. In his brief participation in this years World Match Racing Tour, Sehested and his team won the Energa Sopot Match Race in Poland, and the team are now focused on adapting to the multihulls for 2016;

Completing the skipper line up is US born Sally Barkow. A former Olympic sailor and two-time US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Barkow has earned her racing stripes both inshore and offshore, most recently on board the all-female Team SCA in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race.

2016 World Match Racing Tour Championship Schedule:
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

wmrt.com

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
Just a few days left before voting... Here are two recent submissions

Pirate's Bight Bar & Restaurant

A short sail from Road Town, sandy beaches, painkillers by the bucket, and of course the giant Jenga set, make this my favorite sailor's bar. (Photo is prior to the recent fire and rebuild)

Dog Watch Cafe, Stonington , CT

Besides the fact that The Dog Watch is less than 100 yards from my personal mooring, the service is beyond enthusiastic. Bar tenders Lisa (inside bar) and Wendy (outside bar) always know what you like, how you like it made and serve it with a smile. Besides never having a bad drink - is there such a thing as a bad drink? - the food is always well prepared and plentiful

My story took place in June of 2013. we had just returned to Stonington aboard a friend's boat, Regulus, from the Marion to Bermuda Race. we were asked by US Customs to remain on the Boat at the dock until they could come from New London to check the boat back into the country. David Eck, owner of the Dog Watch sent out cheeseburgers and beers over the two hours we had to wait.

Now that is service!

While you type up your recommendation for us... enjoy this lovely holiday cocktail:

The Nutcracker:

1.5oz Wight Vodka
1oz Amaretto
1oz Hazelnut Liqueur
1oz Creme De Cocoa

Shaken with ice.... and strained. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

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

Entry List For 2018 Golden Globe Race Now Stands At 30
Race Founder Don McIntyre has stepped down from competing in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, to devote his efforts to leading the management team

French champion Eric Loizeau and Estonian solo circumnavigator Uka Randmaa are the latest entrants to set their sights on winning the 2018 Golden Globe yacht race. They made their announcements at the first Golden Globe competitor conference, held at the Little Ship Club, London today.

Four more potential competitors: Graham Applin (52) from Addlestone, Surrey, UK; Francesco Cappelletti (37) from Montevarchi, Italy; Loïc Lepage (59) from France and a confidential entrant from New Zealand, now brings the number who have paid the initial A$3,000 entry fee to 30.

Other entrants hail from America, Austria, Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Palestine, Russia Switzerland and UK

Race to be run under the burgee of the Royal Nomuka YC

The 2018 Golden Globe Race will be sailed under the auspices of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga. His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulukalala has agreed to become Patron of the Race, and Sione Sonata Topou, the Tongan High Commissioner in London attended today's GGR Conference.

Like the original Sunday Times event, the 2018 Golden Globe Race is very simple. Depart Falmouth, England on June 14th 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world via the five Great Capes, and return to Falmouth. Entrants are limited to use the same type of yachts and equipment that were available to Robin Knox-Johnston in the first Race.

www.goldengloberace.com

Prince Philip Cup In Champions' Sights
Champion Hobart yachtsman Nick Rogers has made a striking return to racing in the classic International Dragon class, winning the Tasmanian championship sailed on the River Derwent over the weekend. Steering Karabos IX, Rogers won six of the eight races, and placed second in the other two races against a fleet that included a Victorian and a Western Australian yacht.

The victory augers well for Rogers' prospects of winning the prestigious Prince Philip Cup Australian championship in Hobart in January for a record 12th time, 11 as a helmsman and once as a crew.

One of Rogers' major rivals in the Prince Philip Cup will be defending champion, 88-year-old Sydney yachtsman Gordon Ingate who recently won the New South Wales championship on Sydney Harbour.

Rogers' Prince Philip Cup win as a crew was sailing with Ingate in Whimsical when the veteran won his first-ever Cup, on the Derwent in 2008. Ingate's crew next January will be his long time for'ard hand David Giles and Roger Hickman, who skippered Wild Rose to victory in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

With the Prince Philip Cup regatta set for January 2-10, 2016, the International Dragon Class of Tasmania brought forward the State championship to this week and invited potential interstate competitors to ship their boats to Hobart early.

Rogers last won the Prince Philip Cup on the Derwent in 2012, his 10th win as a helmsman of this own boat. Ingate won the Cup on Melbourne's Port Phillip last Janaury. -- Peter Campbell

www.mysailing.com.au/

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

World news
Wunderkind Francois Gabart does it again straight out of the box, PRB wins as Banque Pop 'maybe' throttles back, those Imoca 60 blues, scorecard Team New Zealand 1 America's Cup media coverage 0, doing it for the kids, plus few rules (yet) for those C&C30s. Andrew Mcdougall, Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Dobbs Davis

Seahorse build table - Film star
PROtect have been at it again with a 'super-film' for the new AC50s. Giuliano Luzzatto

Sailor of the Month
Visionaries and innovators... no question

Nautical Expo
Browse a Large Range of Sailboats

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Stuart Childerley Appointed Pro Of The Hamble Winter Series
Hamble River Sailing Club today announced that Stuart Childerley has been appointed Principal Race Officer for the 2016 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. Stuart is an experienced Race Officer and brings a wealth of sailing knowledge and expertise to this prestigious Solent event.

Stuart brings more than 35 years international sailing experience. Earlier this year, he won the Etchells European Championship in Cowes with Jeremy Thorpe from Antigua, and the Double Handed division of the Rolex Fastnet Race with team mate Kelvin Rawlings, finishing 4th overall. Among other events in 2015, Stuart was CRO at the ISAF World Sailing Series event at Weymouth and the Silvers Marine Scottish Series at Tarbert. He was also PRO of the RORC inshore series and is a regular PRO at Royal Southern YC events.

Next year, Stuart will again have a busy RO schedule, including running the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2016, 29er Nationals, 420 Nationals, Fling Regatta in Cape Town, St Maarten Race Week and Antigua Race Week.

Stuart takes the baton from Race Director Jamie Wilkinson, who moves to an honorary role within the Winter Series organising team.

www.hamblewinterseries.com

Trimaran Spotted Drifting Almost Exactly 5 Years After Capsize
On the 3rd December 2010 it was reported that Lalou Roucayrol's Multi50 trimaran Region Aquitaine - Port-Medoc had capsized while on a delivery back from the finish of the Route du Rhum. It happened in possibly the worst position around 1,000 miles from Bermuda, the Azores and the Caribbean.

On Satuday 5th December 2015 it was sighted floating NE of Madeira. Delivery Captain Hanna Golebiewska on board the Lagoon 450 catamaran and reported the position to the operations office at Reliance yacht Management who immediately advised the Coast Guard. The organisers of the Route de Rhum have also been advised

Roucayrol, and his three crew sheltered initially in the interior of central hull to await rescue but had to clamber out and wait on the trimaran's upturned centre hull when hatches failed

A British cargo ship La Scala bound for Gibraltar diverted to the upturned trimaran to recover the crew.

The hull is clearly a hazard to shipping and yachts in the area. Any future reports will allow us to predict future positions.

www.relianceyachtmanagement.com/blog/

www.bwsailing.com/cc/

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 William Sandberg: I hate to disagree with my friend Don Street, but American YC actually burned down in 1951. I was there. I am still a member of American and now a member of Annapolis YC. Annapolis' clubhouse was mostly steel and concrete. It will come back stronger than ever with a great Board and supportive members. The members' immediate reaction has not been over the loss of the building, but the fate of our terrific staff. Local restaurants, bars and other clubs in the area have reached out in ways they can help the staff. Incredible spirit.

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The Last Word
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