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

Record! Cape2Rio In 10 Days 11 Hours
At 23:29 GMT on 14 January (h21:29 in Rio - h00:29 on January 15th in Italy) Maserati crossed the finish line of the 14th edition of the Cape2Rio, establishing the new speed record of the race.

Giovanni Soldini and Maserati team run 3,300 miles between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro in 10 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds.

The previous record was held by Zephyrus IV, a 74' American maxi which covered the distance in 12 days, 16 hours and 49 minutes in 2000.

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
With all three NZL Sailing Team Laser campaigners, and New Zealand's best up-and-comers, to be joined by top international competitors from Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, the Netherlands and Korea the scene is set for an almighty battle to determine who will be 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland champion in the men's single-handed Laser event.

In 2013 Andy Maloney took second place to Australia's Ash Brunning, while young kiwi Sam Meech was third. The Australian is back for another go in 2014.

The quality of the Australasian sailors and the excellent racing on offer has also attracted some of the class's front runners from around the globe. Rutger Van Schaardenburg from the Netherlands who placed 4th at the 2013 Laser World Championships last November in Oman will be another international to watch. Van Schaardenburg's compatriot Nicolas Heiner will be in town for the regatta and so will Sweden's Jesper Stelheim.

The New Zealanders are likely to be in top form with the 2014 Laser National Championships on in Nelson from 15 to 19 January providing the domestic sailors with a chance to get some quality fleet racing in the lead-up to 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland.

Racing starts on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on Saturday 1st February and runs for four days with prize-giving to follow racing on Tuesday 4th February.

Temperatures Rise As Clipper Race Scoring Gate Approaches
As the 12-strong matched fleet head further north to the Equator temperatures on board soar as the teams report enjoying 24 hours of Champagne sailing. However, with the Scoring Gate less than 450 miles away, could a wind hole scupper the leaders of the pack and leave a window of opportunity for the other competitors to win those valuable extra points?

As the fleet leave behind the Southern Ocean once again, and head into the Coral Sea and its tropical climate Derry-Londonderry-Doire show no signs of relinquishing it's minimal but early lead. Less than 20 miles separating the first nine teams, with reports of 18 to 20 knots of wind in 'perfect conditions' will there be a change in fortunes as a wind hole has been forecast just as the fleet approach the Scoring Gate.

As the new recruits settle into life at sea it seems Switzerland's fighting spirit was reignited with its unexpected win in Race 7. During the night Invest Africa snuck ahead of the Swiss entry providing skipper Vicky Ellis the perfect opportunity to give the new team members a valuable if not fruitful sail change lesson.

Marinepool Iso Automatic Life Jackets - Test Winners Around The Globe
MarinePool Safety is the last area where compromise is an option. 

Marinepool utilizes only the best materials, state of the art release mechanisms and all life jackets are produced in ISO certified production facilities. More than 20 years of experience and design excellence and a proven track record have made the German brand the largest producer of life jackets for the leisure market and its products the benchmark in the market.

Marinepool life jackets have come out on top of product tests by magazines around the globe again and again. Proof that our no-compromise designs and no-nonsense attitude result in the best product for your safety. Marinepool is striving after setting the bar ever higher to satisfy the demands of top athletes and the general watersport enthusiast alike.  

For both highest functionality and uncompromising quality go hand in hand and add to their success on the race courses or their pleasure when out at sea.

Turning the wearer quickly into the correct position, with face and airways clear of the water, while putting them in a secure and comfortable floating position regardless of weight and size is crucial.

At the same time, the life jackets must offer a simple and hassle free adjustment system for harness and crotch strap. Marinepool life jackets excel in both areas and are made to the new ISO 12402 standards - already compulsory in Italy and Spain for life jackets sold in these countries - which are much more stringent than previous CE standards.

Marinepool offers a comprehensive range of 150N, 180N and 300N automatic and manual life jackets as well as 50N and 100N foam filled life jackets for cruising and performance sail racing. In addition, the range includes horse shoes, sling rescue systems and ISO certified life lines with two or three hooks.

Comfort and ease to wear make it more likely that life jackets are put on and it remains fact that only a life jacket that is worn can do much good.

Visit us at boot Dusseldorf January 18th - 26th, Hall 11, Stand H41.

The ISO life jacket range by Marinepool. Design. Technology. Passion.

Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West 2014 is gearing up for its trademark full week of racing on the aqua-colored waters off the coast of the Conch Republic.

Spectators on the water will be thrilled by the sheer size and speed of the racing machines in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1). Shockwave, skippered by George Sakellaris (Framingham, Mass.) will look to defend its title against fellow 72-footer Bella Mente (Hap Fauth, Minneapolis, Minn.) and the 69-foot Caol Ila R (Alex Schaerer, Newport, R.I.).

Action figures to be intense in the 52 Class (IRC 2), which features an international fleet of six boats loaded with the world's top professionals. Key West is the kickoff event for the 52 Super Series, which was won last year by Quantum Racing. Doug DeVos will skipper the Quantum entry in Key West with America's Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson aboard as tactician.

Azzurra, owned by Pablo Roemmers of Buenos Aires, Argentina, took first in Key West last year and will have Vasco Vascotto calling tactics again as it seeks a repeat. Ran, which captured the 52 world championship, will look to improve upon its third place finish from a year ago with British pro Adrian Stead calling tactics for owner-driver Niklas Zennstrom.

Defending champion Decision, a Carkeek 40 skippered by Stephen Murray (New Orleans) headlines the High Performance Class and will no doubt duke it out daily with sister ship Spookie (Steve & Heidi Benjamin, Norwalk, Conn.).

Newport-based professional Tim Healy will be back to defend his title in J/70 class, which has attracted a whopping 62 boats. Runner-up Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) and third place finisher Bruno Pasquinelli (Dallas, Texas) will also be back as the J/70 class contests its Midwinter Championship.

A real bounce-back one design at Key West this year is the J/80 class, which will have 13 boats on the starting line.

Deneen Demourkas will be sailing her Melges 32 after being nominated for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award for her performance on the Farr 30 circuit in 2013. Her husband, John Demourkas, will be racing in J/70 class as the couple makes their annual pilgrimage from Santa Barbara, Cal. -- Bill Wagner

Skip Novak Wins Cruising Award
In recognition of his many years of encouraging sailors to undertake extreme adventures through his writing and documentaries, and notably Yachting World's Storm Sailing Techniques series, Skip Novak has been awarded the Ocean Cruising Club's Geoff Pack Memorial Award.

Skip was an obvious person to whom to turn for our series. He has spent 26 seasons in Tierra del Fuego, South Georgia and Antarctica leading sailing and combined climbing and sailing expeditions. Besides being a sailor, Skip is probably the world's most accomplished and experienced Antarctic and sub-Antarctic mountaineer. He runs a very successful yacht charter business, Pelagic Expeditions.

Skip was born in Chicago in 1952. He is best known for racing in four Whitbread Round the World Yacht Races since 1977. At the age of 25, he navigated King's Legend to 2nd place, skippered Independent Endeavour in 1979, then Simon Le Bon's Drum in the 1985/86 race, coming 3rd.

In 1989 he was project manager and skipper of Fazisi, the first Soviet entry in the Whitbread Race.

He has also raced round the world in maxi multihulls, co-skippering the 33m catamaran Innovation Explorer to 2nd place in The Race, the non-stop, no limits circumnavigation in 2001. -- Elaine Bunting

Up The Speed, Up The Insurance Policy
Patrice skipper Tony Kirby had to adjust the yacht's insurance policy, not because it crashed out of its debut Sydney Hobart with hull damage. Rather he anticipated it would record break-neck speeds at events including Geelong's Festival of Sails starting next week. "When I got the policy it said I'm insured to 20-knots of speed, and I thought 'geez, this won't do'," Kirby said.

"So I'm now insured to 30 knots. The yacht's sistership in Cape Town did 32 knots downwind; we've managed 25 so far. There's nice flat seas and solid wind in Geelong on Corio Bay, so we're excited to see what she can do."

Kirby's Ker 46 has set tongues wagging since her baptism in November last year, racking up a string of podium finishes and a fourth in its first test-run in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Cabbage Tree Island race.

All the success made the light-displacement carbon-hulled racer a fancied favourite for the coveted Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race's Tattersall's Cup, awarded to the overall winner. It looked like Patrice was set to continue as she started, leading overall with just 50-odd nautical miles remaining on the run to Hobart.

But as a stiff sou'wester blasted 40, 50 and then over 60 knot winds across a confused, short and sharp sea near Tasman Island, the dream run came to an end.

Three fractures in two bow ring-frames surfaced and Patrice's race was over.

An around-the-clock repair effort means Kirby is now back on track in his racing program. Patrice will return to the water today, Monday 13th January, her gear reloaded and delivery stock packed for the 400 nautical mile trip across Bass Strait to Victoria.

Kirby expects to leave Hobart on Wednesday and hopes to arrive in Williamstown on Port Phillip on Saturday.

The crew will reassemble on January 22 and begin training for Victoria's oldest sporting trophy, the Festival of Sails, where they will join the event's grand prix division contesting the Racing Series.

Kempe Named Royal Bermuda YC Commodore
Hamilton, Bermuda: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the third-oldest club holding a Royal Warrant outside of the British Isles, underwent a changing of the guard on New Year's Day. Somers Kempe succeeded Jonathan Brewin as the club's commodore, a position that he will hold for the next two years. Kempe will oversee all executive meetings during his term and matters concerning functions of the club such as the biennial Newport-Bermuda Race. He also intends to carry on the club's mandate of fostering the sport of sailing in Bermuda.

Kempe is not the only member of his family to serve as the club's commodore.

"My uncle Richard 'Dick' Kempe was the last Kempe to serve," he said, "and I wear his commodore lapel pin in memory of him and his longstanding service to the sport of sailing." One of Kempe's short-term objectives is to ensure that this year's Newport-Bermuda Race is a successful event that "highlights the club and the Island in a positive light".

Because of his appointment as commodore, Kempe will be heavily involved in organising the 635-mile ocean race and, as such, will not be able to compete.

"I am disappointed not to be sailing, as this would have been my eleventh straight participation and I really enjoy the race," he said. "But I am happy that I will be experiencing the event from a different perspective, which not many people get to do." -- Colin Thompson, the Royal Gazette

Rescheduled Brass Monkey This Saturday
Rescheduled Brass Monkey at Yorkshire Dales SC, part of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series is all set for Saturday 18 January. The first of two Handicap races kicks off at 11am.

Take a look at the Notice of Race and changes on the event website since there is now a 3 minute start sequence! Entry is single handers at £15 and double handers at £20 which includes lunch, drinks all day and mulled wine. -- Gerald New in Sail Web,

Event site:

Struggling To Find Funds
Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton is struggling to find the funding to put together another round the world sailing campaign.

Dalton's given himself until March to find the 17 million Euros needed to enter the next Volvo.

"I just can't see the money at the moment.

"Will that change? It might, but it's going to need a minor miracle at this point to change." Dalton says Spanish shoe company Camper isn't interested in funding another Volvo campaign, but is committed to another America's Cup challenge.

Scuttlebutt Turns 4000
Our sister publication hits a nice milestone (we hit 3000 tomorrow...)

Milestones are worth mentioning, and the 4000th Scuttlebutt newsletter on January 15th is one of them. That it happens a day following founder Tom Leweck's 83rd birthday is worth a shout too.

Scuttlebutt was first launched in 1997, well before regatta organizers and the sailing media had embraced the Internet. The early focus of the email newsletter was Southern California, but as interest in the publication grew both nationally and internationally, so did the content. The manner in how the sport of sailing would be reported was forever changed.

The website came along in 2003, and we selected from what remained available. The site was revised in 2013, now allowing us to post content in near real time, with the newsletter distributing the top stories of the day. Social media further shares the updates.

While Scuttlebutt was clearly a good idea when launched, surviving for 17 years means something else. Hopefully it means we are doing something right. We follow a simple credo: 'Credible, Reliable, Responsible'. It has served us well.

Our respect for the sport, and its participants, is paramount. Our role isn't to overshadow but to observe and to share. Fulfilling this role would not be possible without the support of outstanding sponsors and elite readership. We have the best of both!

It's hard to say what Scuttlebutt will look like in the future, but we hope you'll be involved in the decision. Sail on!

Featured Brokerage
Featured Brokerage Boat 1957 William Garden Teak Cutter. 45,000 GBP. Located In Lochgilphead, Argyll & Bute, United Kingdom.

Pegeen is a beautiful classic large family cruising yacht from the 1950's, designed by the highly respected Canadian naval architect William Garden, and built by the A. King yard in Hong Kong. Garden was a prolific designer, and in a career spanning nearly 70 years penned hundreds of vessels of all types. Like Pegeen, many of his designs were built in the Far East e.g. the Formosa ketches, but his earlier work has more in common with contemporaries such as Olin Stephens, with fine fast hulls. Pegeen demonstrates the early evolution of this hull form applied to a larger cruising boat.

Brokerage through West Coast Yachting Ltd.:

Complete listing details and seller contact information at

The Last Word
I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it. -- Groucho Marx

About 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, offers an extensive and varied range of solutions, tailored to suit all marketing budgets offering extensive local and international coverage.

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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