Brought to you by boats.com Europe, 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
VOTE for your favourite bar in the Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar competition:
America's Cup Events May Be Held Annually
The America's Cup could be coming to New Zealand after all, if early speculation regarding the shape of the next regatta comes to pass.
One possibility mooted ahead of the next Cup is that all entrants to the next regatta will stage a leg of the America's Cup. An international series will be held before a semifinal and final in San Francisco, if that is the venue for the next Cup chosen by holders, Oracle Team USA.
Sources in the US, New Zealand and Australia have confirmed there is much talk in Cup circles of hosting "home" America's Cup events in the countries of competing teams. The idea is to have more frequent Cup action - good for sponsors and TV rights - and to focus on the Cup more than once every four years or so.
It must be emphasised that these are extremely early days and the Cup community is waiting to see what OTUSA decide in terms of the protocol for the 35th America's Cup - the guiding rules which cover the timing, location, format, type of boat and other elements. Without that, potential challengers cannot assess their ability to compete and, most importantly, the cost of doing so.
But, with Australia's challenger of record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, signed up and the likelihood of challenges from Britain, Italy's Luna Rossa, Sweden's Artemis and Emirates Team New Zealand, OTUSA is looking for new ways to do what everyone agrees on - reduce the costs.
It is understood Oracle wanted Auckland City to stump up 4 million-5 million (up to $8 million) for hosting such an event in Auckland the last time. The council is said to have offered 2m (over $3m) but the gap proved too large and ACWS events were instead held in Portugal, the US, the UK and Italy.
The theory now is that all entrants will get to stage an America's Cup event in their own back yard in 2014, 2015 and 2016 - with the local team arranging the event and "owning" the financial structure. -- Paul Lewis in the New Zealand Herald
Australia Tops The List Of King's Cup Winners
Australian entries won four of the 14 scheduled classes, followed by Japan with three classes racked up, in the Phuket King's Cup Regatta,, sailed off Kata Beach all this week.
As expected, in the Phuket Dinghy Series, raced as an integral part of the Regatta proper, Thai sailors - boys and girls - reigned supreme in the Optimists, the International Dinghy Class and the Windsurfing.
Aussie Ray Roberts racked up his fifth win in the Fiercely-contested IRC Zero Class, Alan Carwadine won the Multihull Racing, Chris Mitchell won the Cruising and David Boekemann did likewise in the Bareboat Charters.
Norikazu Arai led the Multihull Cruisers, and fellow-countrymen, Makiko Matsuichi (Sports Boats), and Yasuo Nanamori (IRC Two) filled out the Japanese entries
Singaporean Bill Bremner won the IRC One, Hong Kong's Anthony Root, triumphed in the iRC Three, Thai IthinaiYindsiri, won the Premier Class, German John Newnham was first in the Firefly 850 Sports, and one of the huge Russian contingent (22 entries)Eugeny Nikiforov, led the Open Charters.
Canada and the the UK appeared as winners of the Modern Classic (Jim Ellis) and the the Classic Classes (Peter Wood), respectively. -- Peter Cummins
The Whitbread Round the World Race - now the Volvo Ocean Race - spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.
Millions have been spent, legends created and six men have died. No one takes the race lightly and no one tells the story better than journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall who have been there for every race from the first in 1973. They mark the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing's greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners. They also detail the awesome advances in design and construction that make today's yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.
176 pages. 128 colour pictures and illustrations.
By Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall - Endeavour Books
£40 + postage and packing
Order online: www.southatlanticpublishing.com/sl_intro.htm
Host Cities Bid Process For The Transat 2016
The next edition of The Transat, the original solo race across the North Atlantic that was born as the OSTAR, will start in its historical time slot in May 2016 from the UK to North America.
Start and Finish Host Cities will be invited in January to put their case forward for hosting this event that is both steeped in history, and that helped create a sector of sailing that is now one of the major forces in the professional sport. Traditionally, The Transat has started from the iconic sea-faring port of Plymouth in the UK and finished in the USA. In New York in the first edition in 1960, then Newport, Rhode Island in the intervening years, before Boston became the arrival port in the last two editions in 2004 and 2008.
OC Sport renamed the race 'The Transat' in 2004, and added Artemis as Title Partner in 2008, focusing in that year on the IMOCA 60 Class, the boats that compete in the Vendee Globe in the same year. The 2012 edition was deferred at the request of the Class.
With the next edition of The Transat planned for May 2016 in its traditional pre-Vendee Globe slot, consideration is now also being given to the classes that could be invited to compete.
When OC Sport acquired the rights to the race in 2004, it was determined to serve the needs of the professional end of the sport, whilst the Royal Western Yacht Club continued to run a Corinthian race for non-professional sailors restricted to boats of up to 50 feet. The 2004 edition was open to 50ft monohulls and the IMOCA class (60ft monohulls) and the ORMA class (60ft multihulls). In 2008, with the demise of the ORMA class, entry was restricted to the IMOCA class and the Class 40 only. The decision on classes invited to participate will be taken by December 2014.
Consistent Season For Greg Wilcox
Greg Wilcox (NZL) returns to the top of the final OK Dinghy World Ranking release for 2013 after another solid season. He climbs two places to retake the world number one position he last held in 2011. Nick Craig (GBR) remains in second while previous world No 1, Jorgen Svendsen (DEN), drops to third.
As this goes to press, the next ranking event Sail Melbourne has just concluded and this will be included in the next release after the New Zealand Championships in April. A large fleet of OK Dinghies are currently sailing in Melbourne ahead of the Interdominion Championships after Christmas and also looking ahead to the next World Championships there at the end of 2014.
All this points to a class is in a pretty healthy state with 455 sailors from 14 nations counting at least one ranking regatta on the current release, with sailors ranging from 16 to 53 years old winning major regattas. -- Robert Deaves
Top Ten OK Dinghy World Rankings
Place, Name, Sail No, points, events
1. Greg Wilcox, NZL 544, 1024.32, 13
2. Nick Craig, GBR 2150, 974.30, 10
3. Jorgen Svendsen, DEN 1427, 946.59, 11
4. Stefan Myralf, DEN 1408, 929.39, 15
5. Jorgen Lindhartdsen, DEN 1364, 917.33, 15
6. Bo Petersen, DEN 1421, 849.22, 9
7. Roger Blasse, AUS 749, 822.86, 6
8. Andre Budzien, GER 782, 810.59, 6
9. Martin von Zimmermann, GER 693, 807.52, 11
10. Sonke Behrens, GER 778, 802.44, 8
Sir Ben at London Boat Show Q&A
Saturday 1st June 2013 was certainly a day to remember. it was a day of highs, and more highs and, it was a day for Round the Island Race records to tumble. It was the day when Great Britain's most successful Olympic sailor and America's Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, and his all-British crew aboard the AC45 J.P. Morgan BAR, trounced the existing Round the Island Race multihull record, held for 12 years by Francis Joyon, by an impressive 16 minutes.
Sir Ben, under the auspices of J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the Island Sailing Club, will be holding a public Q&A session on 8th January at the London Boat Show where his Race record-breaking AC45 will be on display and there will be some exciting Race news announced at 11.30am.
If you are thinking of entering the 2014 Race and haven't competed before, there is a wealth of information, including a series of practical preparation videos, available on the Race website. There is also a Forum on which you can post 'Crew available' or 'Crew wanted' notices.
Entries for the 2014 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, taking place on 21st June, will open on Friday 3rd January with the Notice of Race being simultaneously published online at www.roundtheisland.org.uk
2014 RC44 Championship Tour Announced
Venues for the eighth season of the RC44 Championship Tour have been confirmed. Two new venues will make their debut, alongside three RC44 favorites. The season will start in the Caribbean next February, where the class will be welcomed for the first time by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda.
The fleet will then travel across the Atlantic to Europe where they will compete at three European events in Cascais, Portugal; Marstrand, Sweden; and for the first time Sotogrande, Spain before crossing the 4000nm to Muscat, Oman for the final event of the season.
2014 RC44 Tour Schedule:
12 - 16 February - Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
23 - 27 April - Cascais, Portugal
25 - 29 June - Sotogrande, Spain
13 - 17 August - Marstrand, Sweden
19 - 23 November - Muscat, Oman
St. Francis Yacht Club Seeks Race Manager
For more information please visit www.stfyc.com or email resume to
World Yacht Racing Forum and Design & Technology Symposium
The 6th annual conference for the yacht racing industry takes place this week in Gothenburg to close the sailing season.
Over 200 delegates and more than 50 speakers are heading to Gothenburg for the sixth edition of the annual World Yacht Racing Forum, co-located with the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium. The two conferences have again attracted leading figures, experts and sailing personalities from all over the world.
The event will start on Tuesday 10th December with presentations and sessions focusing on the future of the sport, yacht racing sponsorship - brand activation, promotion of the sport, pitch, revenue streams and much more.
Running parallel to the Forum, the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium will focus on the latest developments issued form the America's Cup, foils and flying boats, rigid sails and new materials. The Symposium brings an important technical counterpoint to the commercial discussions that occur in the Forum.
Industry leaders in design, engineering and fabrication share their views on the state of the art technology used in hulls, decks, appendages, rigs and sails for use in the context of offshore and inshore racing. They will also discuss any trickle-down technologies we can hope to see from the 34th America's Cup.
There are other important topics also discussed at YRDTS, such as the latest advances in rating rules, the status of keel structure safety, and a new research project on offshore high-performance design being conducted by the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF).
The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2013 will be announced and celebrated during the Forum, on Wednesday, December 11. Whilst the international Jury has already chosen the Image of the Year, the delegates from the Forum and the Symposium will be asked to vote to select the winner of the public award.
Preparations are underway for the largest-ever dinghy sailing race to be held in memory of Olympian Andrew Simpson.
The sporting event, dubbed 'Bart's Bash', is due to launch on 1 February 2014 and aims to make it into the Guinness World Records book.
It is being organised in memory of the America's Cup sailor and double Olympic medallist, who was nicknamed 'Bart' by his friends and colleagues.
Simpson tragically died in May this year, aged 36, while training for the 34th Americas Cup.
A sailing charity to benefit children, set up in his memory, is going from strength to strength and recently named Ferndown First School pupils Harry Burton and Sydney Tabor as the first 'Andrew Simpson Sports Ambassadors'.
Practical Boat Owner: www.pbo.co.uk
Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series 2014
Warsash Sailing Club has announced the dates for the 2014 Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series. Six Sundays are earmarked for the Series, with starts from 10am in the central Solent. These are 16th, 23rd, 30 March and 6th, 13th, 27th April 2014. There is a week's break over Easter. Classes offered include four IRC divisions, J/109, Sigma 38, SB20, J/70 and J/80. For Black Group there will be one good race a day around the cans for four Sundays then two races on the last two dates. White Group sportsboats enjoy three races on laid courses each week.
The Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Championship offers racing within a more compressed time scale on Saturday and Sunday 12th/13th April and 26th/27th April 2014. All classes included in the Spring Series can enter, plus a separate class for Farr 45s and Quarter Tonners.
Warsash Sailing Club fields a 110-strong experienced race management team for the event which has been a regular annual fixture since 1984, the year when CHS, later IRC, was introduced.
Skippered by Dee Caffari , 'AVIVA' is one of the most reliable IMOCA 60 campaigned over the last 3 years, finishing every race and delivery successfully, in total 100,000 miles.
Built by Hakes Marine in NZ, 'AVIVA' is the sister ship to 'Ecover' which has proven the speed of the design leading the 2008 Vendee Globe in the south and finishing 3rdin the 2009 TJV.
Prior to the 2010 BWR the yacht received a comprehensive refit including conversion to tiller steering, more protective coach roof and a lighter more efficient cockpit layout.
AVIVA is now for sale and the owners are very keen to hear offers. Full specifications and inventories are available from Whitecap.
Brokerage through WhiteCap Associates Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/whitecapltd/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy. -- Richard P. Feynman
boats.com is a highly powerful and effective global marketing solution for the boating industry. With half a million new and used boat listings, offered across the globe by manufacturers, brokers, dealers and private advertisers, it is the most comprehensive site in the World. Over 1.4 million boating consumers visit our sites every month, generating up to 16.5 million page views, with over 500,000 of these visitors coming from within Europe. Whether you are providing a product or service or selling new or pre owned boats, boats.com offers an extensive and varied range of solutions, tailored to suit all marketing budgets offering extensive local and international coverage.
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html