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

Count Down To Nassau: Rio 2016 Laser Podium At SSL Finals
It is a great honour for the Star Sailors League to welcome the whole Olympic Games Laser podium in Nassau from November 28th to December 4th. Tom Burton (AUS), Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Sam Meech (NZL) respectively gold, silver and bronze medal in Rio 2016, will be among the VIPs skippers racing at the SSL Finals 2016.

Tom Burton's (AUS) win in Rio was a bit of a surprise with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) leading the Laser Men ranking for the whole Olympic week, but in the medal race, the Sydneysider played a great strategy and managed to get Stipanovic stuck in the pack while finishing in 3rd spot with a six points gap with the Croatian, when he only needed five.

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) turned 30 just a couple of months before winning the first ever sailing Olympic medal in Rio for Croatia, on August 16th, 2016. It wasn't his first Olympic Games, he ended up 4th in London in 2012, but this past summer "it felt different" Stipanovic admits.

Stipanovic finished with a great 4th place at SSL Finals 2015, this time he will be sailing with Croatian crew Ante Sitic (CRO) and we expect to see that 4th spot improving.

The bronze medal for Laser in Rio went to New Zealand young sailor Tom Meech, born in 1991 in Portsmouth, England. He lived for some years on a house boat with his family and with her sister - also an Olympic sailor - they attribute their affinity to water to this period of their lives.

Meech is the first Kiwi sailor to win an Olympic medal in the Laser class. His sister, Molly Meech, also won a silver medal for New Zealand at the 2016 Olympics in the 49erFX class alongside Alex Maloney

25 teams will be competing at the SSL Finals 2016, the top 12 Star Sailors of 2016 and 13 wild cards drawn from every aspect of the sport. After four days of racing for all, the competition goes into the knockout stages. Single races decide who survives and who is heading for the dock. The last four teams will contest a thrilling final race, the first to finish will be the winner of the SSL Final 2016 and take home a lion's share of the $200,000 Prize Purse.

Rolex Yachtsman, Yachtswoman Of The Year Awards
US Sailing is now accepting nominations for its 2016 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards, widely acknowledged as the foremost individual sailing honors in the nation. Through November 30, 2016, each member of US Sailing may nominate the one male and one female sailor they believe has turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performance during the 2016 calendar year.

Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize the individual male and female U.S. sailor who has demonstrated on-the-water excellence at international and/or national events to earn their place in the history of the sport. For the 2015 competitive season, first-time winners Steve Benjamin of Norwalk, Conn. and Anne Haeger of East Troy, Wisc. were awarded the prestigious distinction. Previous recipients who have earned the honor multiple times include, Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dave Curtis, Dennis Conner, JJ Fetter, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Lowell North, Jan O'Malley, Jane Pegel, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.

At the conclusion of the nomination period, a shortlist of nominees will be presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each and vote by secret ballot to determine the individual award winners. The winners will be honored in late February during a luncheon at New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.

Submit your nomination(s) at

Harken Tech Team On Duty
Harken Francesco Canzi will keep your gear rolling during the 2016 TP52 Super Series in Cascais, Portugal. Francesco will be onsite and available from October 10 - 15 to provide technical support, with plenty of spare parts on hand for emergencies.

If time allows, he can also handle standard service requests: winch maintenance, system tuning, pedestal set-up, etc. Look for the red flags on the Harken service van.

Refit Begins
The start of the 2017-18 edition is still over a year away - but at the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard facility in Lisbon, Portugal, our team of boatbuilding experts is already working against the clock.

How do you prepare a boat to race three times more Southern Ocean miles than in recent editions? Well, it starts with an unprecendented and unique refit process, which will see all seven Volvo Ocean 65s undergo a complete overhaul.

"To say we're on a challenging schedule is an understatement," says Sam Bourne, Head of the Boatyard's Deck Gear Division.

"We have seven boats to upgrade between now and next summer. Every three weeks a boat will come in, and from January 2017, we'll start to push the boats out and hand over to the teams. There's not a moment to waste."

The first boat has already been lifted out of the water - and it's now a race against the clock for the Boatyard team as they work through a stringent re-fit process, based around reliability, to ensure that they can race another 45,000 miles around the planet.

Marion Bermuda Race
Marion MA, USA: Applications for entry in the 2017 Marion Bermuda Race have flowed in at a record pace for the 2017 race since registration opened on September 15th. In the first 15 days, 30 yachts entered the 645-mile amateur classic. The Founders division claimed 29. The Big Boat Division has only one applicant so far... it's 'Lilla', a Briand 76 Skipper Simon DiPietro. In 2011, 'Lilla' set the Marion Bermuda Race course record with an elapsed time of 68:58:45. Previous course record was 72:30, set in 1989 by the late Warren Brown's famous 'War Baby', a custom 61 S&S design.

The race starts June 9 from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. All qualifying cruiser style yachts are invited to enjoy the classic ocean challenge followed by all the post-race fun and activities at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. All are invited to stay for a front row seat at the 2017 America's Cup on Bermuda's Great Sound. The 2017 Marion Bermuda Race will finish the week before the America's Cup finals start.

In an effort to provide the best possible viewing opportunity for the 2017 America's Cup finals in Bermuda, the Trustees of Marion Bermuda Race moved their race start date to June 9, 2017. This enables all race participants to arrive in Bermuda prior to the start of the America's Cup finals on June 17, 2017.

Now, the America's Cup Event Authority has established the first and only dedicated travel website for America's Cup spectators to view and book packages to attend the 35th America's Cup. Ocean Race participants will have slips and moorings for America's Cup finals. Special accommodation packages are available.

Each Bermuda Accommodations package includes hotel accommodation, on-water spectator tickets on official spectator boats to watch the racing live and up close, round trip airport transfers and Official America's Cup merchandise. If you, your crew, or your guests and family are interested in attending the 35th America's Cup as an add-on after the Marion Bermuda race, please visit for more information.

If you are interested in booking hotel accommodation only, please email and a dedicated team member at Travel Places Bermuda Ltd., will happily assist you. If you are interested in Bed and Breakfast accommodations or other Bermuda properties:

Addressing The Key Issues
Seahorse Among topics introduced for the 2016 edition of the Yacht Racing Forum is a new module dedicated to Risk Management & Safety - an issue that is of increasing importance for all yacht clubs and race organisers...

(Nearly) as bad as it gets... as the GC32 of Prince Casiraghi of Monaco slices into the Rib of Italian photographer Carlo Borlenghi earlier this year at Malcesine on Lake Garda. The GC32 pitchpoled violently after impact, launching several crew far away from the capsized cat and her exposed foils. This incident highlights the severe lack of forward visibility once such boats are up and foiling - something that is yet to be widely appreciated/

Sailing is changing rapidly, with new technologies, faster boats and more and more high speed close contact. You are a club, a race organizer, a sailing team? Very probably you have no real idea of how exposed you are legally with this rapid evolution. We are talking liability, fines, compensation... and in some of the most extreme cases a real risk of prison.

Some recent examples: Phaedo's miraculous high speed escape from the midst of the ponderous X One Design fleet in Cowes Week, Spindrift's tragic accident during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Lorient and the much-publicised and violent GC32 crash with the powerboat of a famous international photographer in Italy during July. Plus of course, Franck Cammas's own severe injury suffered when falling from a foiling catamaran... There have been plenty of other near misses as well - as boat speeds increase so inevitably do the inherent dangers.

Weight Distribution For Trailering
A short video demonstrating the importance of weight distribution for boaters with car trailers has gone viral on Dun Laoghaire Marina's Facebook page.

Since the clip was posted by Dun Laoghaire Marina on Monday evening (3 October), it's ratcheted up an incredible 455,000-plus shares, as well as 80,000 likes and reactions on the social media platform.

And by noon today (Wednesday 5 October), the video has already had a incredible 20 million views.

Amid all that excitement, it's easy to forget the important message of the video itself, which shows how easy it is to lose control of a trailer on the road if it's not properly balanced for transport.

Bobby Molloy 1936-2016
Bobby Molloy The death of Galway's Bobby Molloy at the age of 80 yesterday has resulted in a mixture of sadness at his passing coupled with a sense of celebration of all that he achieved in his many areas of interest in a well-lived life.

He is of course best-known as an active Galway politician for 37 years, outstanding for his integrity and his active devotion to the interests of his hugely varied and scenically magnificent constituency of Galway West. Any TD who within one constituency represented the ancient port of Galway, the fabulous coast of Connemara - "The Land of the Sea" - and the Aran Islands would include maritime affair in his interests as a sensible career move.

But in Bobby's case, genuine involvement with the sea came long before he began to rise up the political ladder, and his interest extended beyond boats and sailing to all water sports, while in his younger days he was actively into rugby and Gaelic.

Just as he'd been introduced to sailing by helpful older friends, so Bobby Molly was keen to bring the new generations into boats, and on Sinead his crews included fresh talent such as Brian and Thomas Lynch, and a busy young sailing hopeful called Enda O Coineen. The wheel came full circle in 2009 when the Molloy household hosted one of the great parties of the Enda O Coineen-inspired Volvo World Race stopover in Galway. It was ostensibly to fete Ian Walker the skipper of the Irish boat, but it grew beyond that to celebrate everything that Galway has achieved as a sailing city despite its relative remoteness on Europe's most westerly coast.

That it has achieved this eminence is due in no small part to the quiet work behind the scenes by the late Bobby Molloy in both Galway and Dublin, and in Brussels too. He will be sadly missed. Our heartfelt condolences got to his wife Phyllis and family, and his very many friends.

Letters To The Editor -
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 Dr Frank Newton ( Sorebones) : I must say at I agree with the sentiments expressed by Gerald New that followed the press release from World Sailing. What a load of BS. Lots of words. Some arranged in a complicated manner but don't they add up to what we have been trying to do for years? Does a change of name require a re statement of what had been the aims and objectives of ISAF? And we're these objectives not the same as those of IYRU?

I think that the word that worried me most was REGULATE.

We have enough regulation already. This must not filter down to the non Olympic levels. We all do our best to make sailing enjoyable and popular. A mission statement is not required. Though of course it was probably aimed at the IOC and not at you and me!

Hurry up back please Paul .

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