Issue #2992 - 6 January

Brought to you by 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

Cape To Rio: Maserati Leads, Crew Fatality On Yacht 'bille'
The Cape to Rio Race sponsored by Xtra-Link started on schedule, cheered on by hundreds of spectator boats and many more people ashore, the city of Cape Town gave the 36 yachts a magnificent send off. The Royal Cape Yacht Club bell was ringing out incessantly as the fleet left the dock. After a lap of Table Bay, the fleet headed out to the open waters of the South Atlantic, heading for Rio de Janeiro.

The 3,300 mile race started benignly enough with bright sunshine and 10 knots of breeze, however as expected a low pressure system, emanating from the South Atlantic, reached the fleet on the first night. Touching Gale Force 8, the fleet were battling through 40 knot head winds and an angry sea state with streaks of foam visible in the darkness. Giovanni Soldini's Volvo 70, Maserati was the first yacht to make it through the front and reaped the rewards.

Once through the gale, Maserati eased sheets and changed heading to the north west, the canting keel flyer was power reaching away at well over 20 knots of boat speed.

Maserati leads a pack of yachts that have chosen to head west, including Robert Dates' RP52, Scarlet Runner, Craig Sutherland's Open 60, Explora and Scott Kelly & Dave Gough's Leopard Catamaran, Tulliana, which leads the multihull fleet. However, a group of yachts has chosen to head north from the start. This strategy has avoided beating into last night's stormy weather but another low pressure system is due to arrive to the south of their position. The yachts that have headed north may well find themselves in a windless area, whilst the yachts further south may make big gains. -- Louay Habib

* The fleet experienced stormy conditions on their first night, with reports of 40 to 60 knts of wind and swells of 6 metres. Many yachts experienced difficulties with the conditions but most are coming through the worst part.

The current situation on the following yachts:

- BLACK CAT has reported a broken rudder and is proceeding back to Cape Town, one crew has a sprained ankle and all are well.

- PEEKAY have reported sail problems and are proceeding to Saldanha Bay, crew all well.

- EXPLORA have reported engine flooded but all well and will attend to the problem in calmer conditions.

- ISLA, have reported both engines inoperable, but generator working, PEEKAY have reported receiving a PAN-PAN from ISLA. We have had communication from them to say that all is well.

- BILLE reported earlier today mainsail problems and that they were proceeding back to Cape Town for repairs. At 15:00 a report was received that the boat was demasted and there were a number of serious injuries on board. Sadly the yacht reported a fatality of one crew member.

MRCC have activated all their agencies and we are in constant communication with the vessel. Race HQ sent the nearest vessel Genevieve Too to yacht Bille and they are currently standing close by to offer assistance.

- Ava reported in this morning saying that they were having battery power problems. At 16:18 an EPIRB was activated from Ava and we have received no communication from this vessel since then. MRCC have activated all agencies even though the yacht appears to on course from the XtraLink tracking system.

- DoDo reported in at 19:30 this evening to say that they have lost steering and engine power but are hove to and will do repairs to resume racing.

The naval frigate, Islandwana, has been mustered with medical crew and will be departing this evening to attend to yacht BIlle and Ava. -- Ray Matthews, Race Chairman

Race tracker:

2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship
Britannia, the type of 18 footer racing prior to the Giltinan championship. Click on image for photo gallery.

18ft Skiff Championship The Australian 18 Footers League has announced a fleet of more than 30 of the world's best teams from six countries will contest the 2014 J.J. Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour from March 1-9.

The 2014 event celebrates 75 years of "the world's greatest 18 footer championship" since the first regatta on Sydney Harbour in 1938.

Since the original day in January 1892 when Mark Foy decided to popularize sailing, which was at the time dominated by competitors who were only interested in their own competition, 18 Footer Racing has been fortunate that other administrators have followed to keep up the promotion.

The Foy 18s, which were prominent in the "Big Boat Era" until the early 1930s, were forced out with the introduction of a new type boat which was quickly adopted by the newly formed 18 Footer League.

James J. Giltinan, like Foy before him, was an entrepreneur and a visionary who had been successful with the introduction of Rugby League football to Australia in 1908.

Giltinan and his League club members decided that it was important to establish an international competition for the iconic Australian 18 Footers and the JJ Giltinan (world) Championship was born.

On the water, the big question in 2014 will be whether Seve Jarvin can extend his championship wins (as a skipper) to six and so equal the great Iain Murray, who is the team manager for Jarvin's Gotta Love It 7.

While Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team have won five of the past six championship regattas, adding another in 2014 will not be easy as the quality of the fleet is so strong. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Clipper Hobart To Brisbane
With the fleet reportedly battling a challenging front with wind speeds reaching up to 40 knots in the last 24 hours, the teams are getting used to life at an angle. 'Climbing frame' living conditions test the patience of the crew and skippers as the fleet fight to make gains in Race 7 to Brisbane, Australia continues.

PSP Logistics decided to retire as a safety precaution following a failure of the deck around the base of the starboard running backstay.

Skipper Chris Hollis described the conditions they were experiencing prior to this in his report: "We took off on one wave as another crashed in to the side of the boat which exploded right under the hull like a death charge. I can see why there are so many horror stories of rogue waves...I for one am glad to be back on the East Coast!"

On Old Pulteney Skipper Patrick Van Der Zijden described how a crew member was quickly brought back on board thanks to the safety policy of tethering crew on deck: "John Yuen slipped from the bow and was left hanging on his life line next to the boat; with quick help from the crew and a halyard John was craned back on board with a bit of a shock and a wet suit but otherwise unharmed."

The rest of the teams battle on as Derry-Londonderry-Doire continues to show no signs of relinquishing its lead, however with Switzerland, OneDLL, Old Pulteney and Jamaica Get All Right chasing down the front runner with less than 16 miles between them, Race 7 is still anyone's for the taking.

With the fleet leaving behind the unpredictable conditions of the Bass Strait, the 'frustrating' Australian Eastern Current (EAC) continues to provide challenging sailing conditions while hampering the progress of the fleet.


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More at Seahorse magazine:

Laser Radial Youth World Championships
Two new Laser Radial Youth World Champions were crowned in Oman on Friday after one of the closest championships in recent history went right down to the wire, just one single point earning both Benjamin Vadnai of Hungary and Monika Mikkola of Finland their 2013 titles.

Vadnai came in five places behind Gianmarco Planchestainer in 10th place in the final race but with six points separating the two, following the Italians disappointing DSQ result in the protest hearing on Thursday night, it was enough for victory which was confirmed after some frantic and nail-biting verification from Race HQ.

The same uncertainty prevailed among the Girls when Celine Therese Herud from Norway nudged a victory over Singapore's Jillian Lee and although Mikkola came in 11th, which she promptly discarded, it was enough to hand her the 2013 Girls title.

All winners were presented with their trophies at a special prize giving ceremony at the Mussanah Sports city by His Excellency Sheikh Rashad bin Ahmed Al Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Sports Affairs and Chairman of Laser World Championships Organizing Committee.

Sailors were all congratulated on their performances at the 2013 Laser Radial Youth Worlds, which brought the curtain down on the 2013 Laser World Championships series of three consecutive regattas.

Top three, girls:
1. Monika Mikkola, FIN, 34 points
2. Celine Therese Herud, NOR, 35
3. Line Flem Host, NOR, 48

Top three, boys:
1. Benjamin Vadnai, HUN, 49
2. GIanmarco Planchestainer, ITA, 50
3. Sebastien Schneiter, SUI, 54

Ragamuffin Cleans Out The Trophy Cupboard
Syd Fischer's TP52 Ragamuffin, skippered by his grandson Brenton has cleaned out the trophy cabinet at tonight's ocean race prize giving by defending their triple handicap crown in IRC, ORCi and PHS adding to their line honours win in the 2014 Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs race hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. In doing so, Ragamuffin etched their name in the history books to be the first boat to accomplish the back to back achievement in the 33 year running of the race.

The younger Fischer took out the coveted IRC handicap crown with a corrected time of 31hrs 46mins 31secs to win by a convincing 14 hours from Rob Reynolds DK46 Exile whilst Warwick Sherman's new Ker Gts43 OCL 2 was a further hour back to take the final podium position.

In ORCi, Ragamuffin took the spoils in a corrected time of 31hrs 58mins 41secs with the Hudson/Lockley/Murphy Farr45 Pretty Woman 14 hours back in second whilst Roy Leslie's Elan 37 Koko was third.

IRC Division One was a carbon copy of the overall IRC result whilst in IRC Division two, it was Koko first with Dennis Cooper's Sydney 36CR Amante second and race debutant Andrew Butler's Dufour 36, Astral in third.

The band new multihull division measured under the Offshore multihull rule (OMR) was won by Shaun Carroll's Seacart 30 Morticia in a corrected time of 19hrs 33mins 19secs followed by Darren Drew's Grainger 9.5 cat Indian Chief with multihull record maker and breaker Sean Langman's Orma 60 Team Australia in third.

Prince Philip Cup: Australasian Dragon Championship
Click on image for photo gallery.

Dragon Swan River, Perth, Australia: After two days of heavy breeze, sailors arrived early in the morning for an 0830 hrs warning signal with a smoke haze hanging over the Swan River and a cooler 10 knots from the East on the water.

The local West Australians said that the Easterly's are tricky and race 3 sponsored by Pantaenius turned out to be a real tactical feast.

A big swing and pressure band handed the German visiting team of Tommy Muller, Mario Wagnrer and Richard Franklin a last gasp chance to spoil the party.

The former world champion and Gold Cup winning German Dragon ace closed to within a boat length of the finish line as Grant Alderson slid inside him on the finish pin to take his first win in a Dragon championship. Willy Parker, Denis Cullity and Julian Harding (Soundrel) sailed very well to recover to cross in third.

Race 4 of the Prince Philip Cup is scheduled to start at 1430 hrs local time (Monday), immediately followed by race 5.

The Prince Philip Cup continues to Thursday 9th January, organised by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in conjunction with the West Australian International Dragon Association. -- Jonny Fullerton

Results: (Top 6 after 3 races)

1. Robert Campbell/John Moncrieff/John Low/James Stout, AUS, 10 points
2. Gordon Ingate/David Giles/Brad Sheridan, AUS, 12
3. William Packer/Denis Cullity/Julian Harding, AUS, 13
4. Peter Bowman/Jenny Fitzharding/David Hay, AUS, 23
5. John Anderson/Tim Cummins/Matthew Wilson, AUS, 24
6. Ron Packer/John Longley/Ned Longley, AUS, 24

For full results (PDF):

Auckland's Birthday Regatta: 27 January
At 174 years of age it's New Zealand's oldest sporting event, even older than the America's Cup and it celebrates the day that Captain Hobson's officials raised the flag to found what would later become the city of Auckland.

It's now known as Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, and it is one of the biggest regattas in the world, hosted by 17 different yacht and watersports clubs, the Royal New Zealand Navy, and with events at locations throughout Auckland.

Feature events include an 18 foot skiff race, 420 North Island Champs and the Opti and Starling Auckland Championships, radio controlled micro yachts, and Dragon Boats. -- Zoe Hawkins

Full details at

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 Malcolm McKeag: I stand to be corrected by others more versed in the annals of yachting history, but I believe the first yacht race to be called an 'ocean race' was in 1869 from Dover to Cherbobourg organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

The RTYC thereafter organised a number of other open-water races known contemporaneously as 'ocean races' although, taking place as they did in the English Channel and the North Sea, they were what would today be called offshore races.

Certainly the first Round Britain Race, organised in 1887 by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, was billed as an 'ocean race... the like of which has never been known in the annals of yachting'. No fewer than 11 yachts took part: three schooners, three cutters, three yawls and two ketches. They varied in size from 225 tons to 40 tons. The winner was Sir Richard Sutton's Genesta - best known for her 1885 challenge for the America's Cup. A full account of the race can be found in Douglas Phillips-Birt's The Cumberland Fleet, a history of the first two hundred years of the Royal Thames.

The Royal Thames YC continued to organise these 'ocean races' until the first World War but after that cataclysmic time its interests seem to have turned inshore. I conjecture that this lack of interest by the club that had been organising ocean racing in Britain for half-a-century played no small part in the thinking of Herbert Stone, Weston Martyr, EGM and the other founder members of the 'Ocean Racing Club' that they would be better served by doing it themselves.

* From Louay Habib: Having just spent 3 weeks in Lanzarote seeing the Christmas Caribbean Rally depart. I can say from a first hand basis that Bar One is a great bar. It became the 'office' and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Click on image for photo gallery.

One Bar


The Atlantic is just the other side of the marina wall and many yachts pull into Bar One just as they leave to cross the Atlantic because it is right next to the fuel jetty.

Talking to sailors in the final minutes before a long cast off is always interesting!

Saturday lunchtime paella is also awesome!

A big thumbs up to Patricia who works behind the bar so hard with a big smile on her face!

Featured Brokerage
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125' over all incl. bowsprit/boom

The hull and rig are exactly faithful to the original 1900 design.

The interior has been compromised from the original layout to allow for the required modern safety standards, such as the 4 watertight bulkheads.

Brokerage through Baum & Koenig GmbH:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
This is the real secret of life - to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. -- Alan Watts

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