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

2016 Rolex World Sailors Of The Year
The winners of the 2016 Rolex World Sailors of the Year were announced at an awards ceremony held at the 18th century Casa Llotja De Mar, in the presence of some 500 guests:

Male Winner: Santiago Lange, Argentina

Santiago Lange provided Rio 2016 with the fairy tale storyline of the Olympic Games as he won gold with Cecilia Carranza Saroli in the Nacra 17. At 54-years-old, six-time Olympian and two-time bronze medal winner, Lange was the oldest sailor competing, but his story goes beyond his age. Just one year prior to the Games Lange was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a lung removed. Making the start line of the competition was an achievement in itself for the resilient Argentinean. Lange showed what is possible when passion is backed by courage and determination.

Female Winners: Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark, Great Britain

Spurred on by missing out on London 2012 gold in the 470 Class, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark set about the Rio Games in determined fashion. They were near flawless in their build up. Gold at the 2015 Sailing World Cup Final, silver at the 2015 World Championships and two 2016 World Cup golds proved Mills and Clark were a force to be reckoned with. Once at Rio the British pair kept their focus on the task ahead. Only a disaster in the Medal Race could separate them from gold. That was never going to happen. Clark and Mills finished what they had started and wiped clean the disappointment of London.

www.sailing.org

Vendee Globe Day Four
Approaching Madeira, which the leaders should pass in the small hours of Thursday, the middle ground, direct course continued to work for the pacemaker. But the Banque Populaire solo skipper has seen his lead shrink slightly as he tries to hold his distance ahead of a chasing pack which are pushing each other hard in the light to moderate breezes. For Le Cleac'h it is key to get south of Madeira with a margin intact, knowing that first into the NE Trade winds will accelerate away. The Azores high pressure, and the fickle, unsettled winds it produces has proven hard to escape. The leading group of eight are within 30 miles of each other, the lateral spread at 120 miles between Le Cleac'h and British skipper Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) in eighth.

The pace to Madeira remains slightly quicker than that of the 2012-13 race when Francois Gabart was at approximately the same point in some four days, compared to the three days of Le Cleac'h who was Gabart's principal rival all the way round the globe in that race. Once into the trade winds the average speeds should be higher - 450 mile days commonplace for the foilers - and so the Equator should certainly take less than ten days. If the weather models prove true that should mean one new record on this race from the outset.

In the lighter airs - 8-12kts - it seems local choices, finding lanes of extra breeze has been more important than boat speed. Gains and losses have been irrespective of whether the IMOCA has hydrofoil daggerboards or not. Sebastien Josse's investment to the west has paid slightly and his Edmond de Rothschild was up to second place. Paul Meilhat on SMA improved overnight from seventh to second, then third. A gybe to the east dropped Jean-Pierre Dick to fourth. Thomson has held eighth through the day but has been as quick as the leaders, gained a little westing back and with it six miles on Le Cleac'h.

www.vendeeglobe.org

Yacht Racing Forum: Time To Register!
- Meet the sports' key players
- Make new contacts
- Generate business

The Yacht Racing Forum is the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing.

The event will take place in Malta on November 28-29.

The Forum will deliver ideas and concepts in three key areas that affect everyone in the yacht racing industry: Business & Marketing, Design & Technology and Risk Management & Safety.

This will be a great event, both informative and fun, and an excellent opportunity to network and do business!

Register: www.yachtracingforum.com

High Drama And Shock, Now For The Second Presidential Election
Here in Spain, far removed from the US Presidential election drama and shock, the World Sailing closed door meetings and lobbying continues unabated at Barcelona's Hotel Renaissance ahead of Sunday's Presidential and Board elections.

In the history of sailings peak body no incumbent President has ever been defeated in the quadrennial ballet, but now in 2016, that is becoming an increasingly likely happening.

By any measure, President Carlo Croce, has had a rocky four years, with some historic lows, the CEO replacement issue, the World Youth Sailing fiasco in Dubai, the awful scheduling clashes between World Championships and World Cups and the overall failure of the Sailing World Cup.

One well known ISAF player likened the last four years to watching a car doing a burn out, lots of noise and smoke and the smell of burning rubber, but after the smoke cleared, the car had not moved.

On top of this there has been a recurring theme is lack of transparency within the organisation under Croce, who has refused to subject himself to any robust media scrutiny. This scribe is aware of at least a dozen media interview requests which have been ignored. (Many of them during this Presidential campaign, including ones from this scribe).

In the last few years Croce has been leaving communications to others. Vice President Gary Jobson fronted the Yacht Racing Forum after the Sowrey and Malaysian messes while most observers believed it was Croce's responsibility.

Interestingly it's not just the media that are puzzled by this.

One of the oft asked questions that has been asked by delegates in Barcelona is, if you are not comfortable explaining and defending your plans and decisions, are you the right person to be President?

Added to that is the increasing criticism of the fact that World Sailing's President appears to be conflicted, still retaining Presidency of the Italian Federation and a major yacht club, well outside acceptable governance guidelines for most MNA's. While former President Paul Henderson, now 81, has entered the Presidential battle to register a protest vote on some key issues, it's clear he has no winning expectations.

But that is not the case with the Danish candidate 59-year-old Kim Andersen, active Dragon sailor, the 2011 European Dragon champion and the current World Sailing Equipment Committee Chairman.

Rob Kothe's full editorial:

scuttlebutteurope.com

My Song
Marlow are pleased to announce that we have worked with one of our global MGP (Marlow Grand Prix) Riggers T-E-C (Trabajos en Cabos) and VYC (Vickers Yacht Consultancy) to provide both a racing and cruising running rigging package for the new Baltic 130 "My Song".

The design brief was to provide two packages, as the yacht would be racing competitively and cruising around the Mediterranean and Caribbean as is the want with many new superyacht projects.

The package was completely custom built with machine tapered lines on halyards and sheets to create seamless light tails to reduce the weight in the boat when the halyards are at full hoist and on the lazy parts of the sheets.

Special cover blends were designed for both the racing and the cruising package to give optimum performance when racing and to increase longevity of the product when cruising.

The continued collaboration between Marlow, T-E-C and VYC of this project comes after the successful launch of the Baltic 115 "Nikata" which all three companies worked on together.

www.marlowropes.com

YJA Award Nominees Announced
Olympic Finn Class gold medallist Giles Scott, Round the Island Race record setter Brian Thompson and Clipper Race crewman Gavin Reid, have been shortlisted for the 2016 boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award.

Finalists for the 2016 boats.com Young Sailor of the Year Award are 15 year old 2016 Topper world champion Elliott Kuzyk, Tom Darling (18) and Crispin Beaumont (18), both Bronze medalists at the 2016 29er World Championships, and powerboat racer Thomas Mantripp (15), who won this year's GP RYA British GT15 and British Sprint Championship titles.

The winners of the awards will be announced at on January 10, 2017 at Trinity House, London following a vote among members of the Yachting Journalists' Association (YJA).

"The open nominations process for these two awards highlighted the number of exceptional achievements that we have witnessed in 2016," said Ian Atkins, President of boats.com. "Creating a shortlist of just three nominees for each category is never easy."

www.boatingbusiness.com

A Passionate Adventure: Lanzarote Prepares For Third Edition
Bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, 2,865 nmiles across the Atlantic, the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race has once again attracted a varied fleet, from MOD70s, Super Maxis, four Class40s and everything in between from 40-112ft (12.19-34.14m). Veteran professional sailors will race on the same course as first time Corinthians; all making tricky tactical decisions to ensure the fastest crossing and keep the momentum going on this long, intense race.

As winter arrives in the Northern Hemisphere and sailors make the most of the tradewinds to head south for a season of Caribbean racing and the RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2017, Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is a hub for yachts preparing for their transatlantic crossing.

Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife is at its busiest now with an influx of yachts arriving over the past few weeks in time for the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race to Grenada, starting on Saturday 26th November.

Spanish sailors on Path to Grenada
Having competed in four Volvo Ocean Races and with over 220,000 sea miles, Pepe Ribes is one of Spain's most experienced and talented offshore sailors. Pepe's recent accomplishment was on board the 100ft Comanche, setting an East to West Transatlantic record. He has crossed the Atlantic at least 24 times and will be Crew Boss and Navigator for Anatoly Karatchinski's Baltic 112, Path for the RORC Transatlantic Race. The magnificent Super Maxi has crossed the Atlantic on seven occasions, but this will be the first time she has raced across any ocean. For this, the owner has assembled a perfect crew combination for the Atlantic crossing, with his permanent highly experienced crew, led by Italian Captain Daniele Cesaro, enhanced by top racers.

rorctransatlantic.rorc.org

GC32 Guests Of Honour For First Time At Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Throughout the winter season Monaco bay comes alive with more than 300 sailors from 12 nationalities competing in the 4th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of international regattas, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco in collaboration with equipment manufacturer SLAM.

After a first Act in October for the Melges 20, two new classes are set to do battle this weekend (11-13 November), the J/70s (Act 1) and for the first time the GC32s (Act 1).

On Pierre Casiraghi's initiative, four of the latest generation GC32 foiling catamarans, including the YCM's Malizia will be competing for the first time, alternating fleet and match races on the same course layout as those for the America's Cup. The Monegasque team led by Pierre Casiraghi comprises Sebastien Col, Boris Herrmann, Richard Mason and Adam Piggott, doing battle against Team Engie, Realteam and Armin Strom Sailing Team.

The Melges 20s already got the ball rolling with their Act 1 early October, won by the Russian Alexandr Ezhkov (Pirogovo Sailing). He is here this weekend to defend his lead at the top of the provisional overall ranking, alongside some of the best sailors in this class, including Valentin Zavadnikov from the YCM, the man behind this series, on board Synergy.

The J/70s are out in force with 30-plus registered. This class has really taken off in the tiny Principality which now has 17 boats flying the Monaco flag. Nine are competing in this first meeting of the season, alongside German, Russian, Swiss, Turkish and even a Brazilian team.

www.yacht-club-monaco.mc

Huge Fleet Readies For Optimist Challenge
Hamilton, Bermuda: More than 100 Optimist dinghy sailors from six countries will set sail from the America's Cup Endeavour West Fort in Dockyard to compete for the Colonial Bermuda National and Open Championships this weekend.

Organised by the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association and hosted by the America's Cup Endeavour Programme, the regatta will be the largest fleet ever assembled to sail for a Bermuda national championship.

Numbers for the championship fleet this year have been bolstered by the high level of interest from BODA's American counterpart, the United States Optimist Dinghy Association, which is sending 20 sailors.

Fifteen top sailors from the US National Optimist team are registered, including Stephan Baker, the 2016 North American and US national champion from Florida. Also entered is fellow Floridian and 2015 Orange Bowl champion Bella Casaretto.

Other top sailors registered in the star-studded field include Kamil Manowiecki, 2016 Polish national champion as well as the top male and female sailors from Canada, Jack Gogan and Maya Heidenreich. Rounding out the international fleet is a small group from Belize and the Cayman Islands.

www.royalgazette.com

4th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Throughout the winter season the bay of Monaco will be alive with more than 300 sailors from 12 nationalities competing in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of international regattas, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco in collaboration with equipment manufacturer SLAM. After a first Act in October for the Melges 20, two new classes are set to do battle this weekend, the J/70s and for the first time the GC32s.

On the initiative of Pierre Casiraghi, four of the latest generation GC32 foiling catamarans, including Malizia will be at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series for the first time, alternating fleet and match races on the same course layout as those for the America's Cup. The Monegasque team led by Pierre Casiraghi comprises Sebastien Col, Boris Herrmann, Richard Mason and Adam Piggott, competing against Team Engie, Realteam and Armin Strom Sailing Team.

The Yacht Club de Monaco launched the 2016/2017 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series season with the Melges 20 class. Held early October it was won by the Russian Alexandr Ezhkov (Pirogovo Sailing), here this weekend to defend his lead at the top of the provisional overall ranking. The best sailors in this class will be on the start, including Valentin Zavadnikov from the YCM, the man behind this series, on board Synergy.

With 30-plus registered the J/70s are here on mass. The class has taken off in the Principality which now has 17 boats flying the Monaco flag. Nine are competing in this first meeting of the season, alongside German, Russian, Swiss, Turkish and even a Brazilian team.

www.ycm.org

Canada's Queen's University Crowned Winner Of The 36th SYWOC
The crews had to struggle during the last day of competition with only two races remaining to decide who would win the 2016 Student Yachting World Cup. The La Rochelle trophy awarded for the night race had already been won by Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland) and the AGPM trophy, awarded to the winner of the coastal races, by Southampton University (England). The weather was perfect for the final races: a sunny sky and a nice wind of almost 8 knots gave the opportunity to all crews to sail their best.

The first race was won by Southampton University (England), followed by Strathclyde University (Scotland), but most teams arrived almost in the same time. The last race of the competition was the most important since it would be taken into account for the general ranking (whereas the crews were allowed to cancel their worst races for the calculation of their total points). The whole race was dominated by the American team from California Maritime Academy who offered a great spectacle.

After the intense racing, the awards ceremony took place in the SRR (Regatta Society of La Rochelle) with all participants and partners of the SYWoC attending. The Student Yachting World Cup 2016 overall winner is Queen's University (Canada), followed by the California Maritime Academy (USA) only one point behind, Southampton University (England), Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland), Loughborough University (England), EPFL (Switzerland), Strathclyde University (Scotland) and Kobe University (Japan).

www.sywoc.org

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Soto 53

Fast cruising Sloop (design n. 44) made by Javier Soto Acebal who also supervised the construction of the boat. The construction of the boat and of its installations was carried out following the protocols of the European Economic Community (EEC) in order to get CE certification.

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ICE FIRE can now be obtained. She is a 2007 King Marine built TP 52 that was the last BRIBON, built for the King of Spain. Very successful on the Med circuit in 07/08/09, she came over to the States and as FLYING JENNY was very successful at all the NYYC annual regatta's, Block Island race week and NYYC race weeks. Since 2012, she has been ICE FIRE, and she was successful going to Montego Bay ( 2nd overall 2nd fleet in 2013) and won the 2012 IRC championship in Annapolis and that again last Fall (2014)

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The Last Word
In a democracy people get the leader they deserve. -- Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre

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