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

Fair Dinkum Ripper
Photo by Teri Dodds, www.teridodds.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Gill Melges 24 World Championship Australia's southern states are in the midst of another summer heatwave. The upshot is Geelong's trusty afternoon sea breeze was waylaid today, cutting short the Gill Melges 24 World Championship 2014 by one race.

The standings at the end of race 11 became the final results and Bora Gulari missed his opportunity to trade places for second overall.

Blu Moon helmsman Flavio Favini and owner Franco Rossini had the world championship wrapped up with a day to spare and opted to haul out and pack up the boat this morning, ready for shipping back to Europe.

Their win gives the Blu Moon team of Favini, Gabriele Benussi, Stefano Rizzi, Giovanni Ferrari and Nicholas Dal Ferro the prestigious double of current European and World Melges 24 champions.

The fleet poked around Corio Bay until 10 minutes before the 1500hrs cut off to start racing then crews turned for home to haul out and change into their civvies for tonight's gala dinner. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Series Results (Open)

1. Blu Moon, Flavio Favini, SUI
2. Star, Harry Melges, USA
3. West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes, Bora Gulari, USA
4. Cavillino / Mclube, Chris Larson, CAN
5. Audi Riccardo Simoneschi, ITA

Series Results (Corinthian)

1. Roger That Cameron Miles, AUS
2. Redmist Robin Deussen, AUS
3. Amigos Geoff Fogarty, AUS

www.melges24worldsaustralia.com

Bouvet and Mion End Belcher Win Streak
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image for photo gallery.

MOCR The Miami weather saved the best for last on a special Medal Race Saturday edition of the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Medals were decided in 10 Olympic events on Biscayne Bay under sunny skies and enough wind for good racing.

Uncooperative wind this week limited the number of series races for most of the events. This created even more significance for the medal round race(s), as many sailors and their crews were in contention Saturday. The Medal Race series included the top ten ranked sailors in each fleet competing in one race with double points applied. The 49er and 49erFX conduct a series of three short races worth single points each.

The story of the day, quite possibly came from the Men's 470 event.

The defending champions Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) had a slight lead over Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) by one point at the start of the day in the Men's 470 event. The regatta favorites World #1 Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were 14 points back of the leaders.

Saturday belonged to the French team Bouvet and Mion who notched their first ISAF World Cup victory. A fourth place finish was good enough to secure the gold medal, as fleet leaders McNay and Hughes dropped back to ninth in the medal race.

Meanwhile, Belcher and Ryan placed second, which moved them up for a silver medal. McNay and Hughes earned bronze medal honors.

The second place finish for Belcher snaps his 18 regatta win streak, and 10th with Ryan.

Top three by class:

2.4
1. Megan Pascoe, GBR
2. Allan Leibel, CAN
3. Helena Lucas, GBR

49er
1 Jonas Warrer / Peter Lang, DEN
2. Bradley Funk / Trevor Burd, USA
3. Stephen Morrison / Chris Grube, GBR

470 Men
1. Sofian Bouvet / Jeremie Mion, FRA
2. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
3. Stuart Mcnnay / David Huges, USA

470 Women
1. Sophie Weguelin / Eilidh McIntyre, GBR
2. Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA
3. Lara Vadlau / Jolanta Ogar, AUT/POL

Finn
1. Giles Scott, GBR
2. Oliver Tweddell, AUS
3. Jorge Joao Zariff, BRA

49er FX
1. Sarah Steyaert / Julie Bossard, FRA
2. Guilia Conti / Francesca Clapcich, ITA
3. Frances Peters / Nicola Groves, GBR

Laser
1. Tonci Stipannovic, CRO
2. Robert Scheidt, BRA
3. Nick Thompson, GBR

Laser Radial
1. Paige Railey, USA
2. Marit Bouwmeester, NED
3. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN

Nacra17
1. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA
2. Thomas Zajac / Tanja Chiara Frank, AUT
3. Ben Saxton / Hannah Diamond, GBR

RSX M
1. Byron Kokalanis, GRE
2. Nimrod Mashich, ISR
3. Makoto Tomizawa, JPN

RSX W
1. Bryony Shaw, GBR
2. Laura Linares, ITA
3. Flavia Tartaglini, ITA

SKUD 18
1. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR
2. John McRoberts / Jackie Gay, CAN
3. Ryan Porteous / Cindy Walker, USA

Sonar
1. Bruno Jourdren / Eric Flageul / Nicolas Vimont Vicary, FRA
2. John Robertson / Hannah Stodel / Stephen Thomas, GBR
3. Alphonsus Doerr / Hugh Freund / Timothy Angle, USA

mocr.ussailing.org
www.sailing.org/worldcup/home.php

Race The RORC Caribbean 600 On A Volvo 70!
RORC Caribbean 600 Monster Project Do you dream of sailing a Volvo 70? The keel fully canted. Flying a huge spinnaker with six of your crewmates grinding on the pedestals in tropical sunshine. Feeling the power as the boat accelerates down a wave at 25+ knots in warm Caribbean winds...

This could be you!

Monster Project, Team Russia's boat (Kosatka) in the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race, is the only Volvo Open 70 available for charter - a unique opportunity for amateur sailors to experience these amazing racing machines!

The RORC Caribbean 600 is the headline offshore racing event in the Caribbean. With a 600 mile course around 10 islands, it's an epic race to rival the Fastnet - but much warmer!

Join us on Monster Project for our RORC Caribbean 600 program:

- Tuesday 18 through Saturday 22 February: pre-race training at Falmouth Harbour in beautiful Antigua
- Saturday 22 February: Welcome Party, Antigua Yacht Club
- Sunday 23 February: final boat preparations / rest day
- Monday 24 February: RORC Caribbean 600 starts at 1050h
- Friday 28 February: Prize-giving Ceremony, Antigua Yacht Club

Monster Project's RORC Caribbean 600 package includes:

- Race entry
- Berthing fees
- Pre-race training
- Professional Racing Skipper and Crew
- Food and bottled water during sailing
- Monster Project race clothing
- Safety equipment (loan)
- Wet-weather clothing (loan)

Can't make it to the RORC? Monster Project also operates Caribbean, UK, European and Trans-Atlantic Racing and Adventure Sailing charters for groups, corporates and individuals.

See the Calendar on our website:
www.volvo70charter.co.uk
email:

EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour
Click on image to enlarge.

EFG Sailing Arabia Imagine the Tour de France a la Voile transplanted to the Gulf and you have a reasonably accurate picture of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour.

In fact many of the Farr 30s used in the race originally came from the Tour a la Voile. This is perhaps why this four year old event has attracted several top competitors from France, such as Bertrand Pace, Herve Gautier and Cedric Pouligny, enthusiastic Farr 30 sailors to a man, alongside international stars such as Sidney Gavignet, Dee Caffari and Neal McDonald, who last year enjoyed the fresh challenge of racing in the Gulf.

EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour is the most ambitious of the ever increasing number of yacht races being laid on in the region, thanks to the efforts of Oman Sail. Oman Sail is a pioneering national initiative established in 2008 that is using the sport of sailing in a novel and ambitious way to rekindle the Sultanate of Oman's maritime heritage, to foster Oman's socio-economic development and to promote the country as a high-end tourist destination.

Oman Sail has really succeeded in putting the Sultanate on the international sailing stage through hosting the Extreme Sailing Series, the RC44s, last year's ISAF Conference and, most recently, the Laser World Championships.

Full story in Seahorse magazine: www.seahorsemagazine.com

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Underway
2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is underway with compelling racing unfolding across all the Olympic, Paralympic and Invited classes taking part in the ISAF 100 point regatta being sailed on the Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland provided glamour conditions for the opening day of the regatta with beautiful sunny skies and a 17-18 knot southerly breeze allowing for a full schedule of racing across all classes.

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2014 takes place at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club from the 1st – 4th February 2014.

The NZL Sailing Team are anticipated to feature strongly in what is the biggest Olympic and Paralympic class regatta in New Zealand, and alongside them will be New Zealand's top developing youth sailors and keen competitors in a range of invited classes such as the OK Dinghy and A-Class catamaran.

All Olympic and Paralympic class boats are invited to take part: The Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 Men, 470 Women, 49er, 49er FX, RS:X 8.5, RS:X 9.5, Nacra 17, Skud 18, 2.4mR and also other classes are encouraged: the OK Dinghy, 29er, 420, Liberty, Hansa 303, Kiteboards, F18 and A Class Catamaran.

Over four days of racing 11-15 races will take place for each fleet, and the format for all classes will be fleet racing with no medal race. All racing will take place in the Waitemata Harbour, in the surrounds of Rangitoto Island, North Head, Mechanics Bay and Browns Island.

www.sailauckland.org.nz

Swiss Have A Field Day At Monaco's Primo Cup
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Primo Cup Once again the Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse confirmed its reputation as a top class event, with variable conditions throughout the three days proving difficult for some, while others appeared to make light of the elements to produce convincing victories. A great start to the season at this first big winter regatta.

With a total of eight races, of which seven counted, for the one-designs competing in the first weekend - Star, Dragon, Surprise and J/24 - and seven races, of which six counted, in the two IRC categories, competitors had plenty of opportunities to rediscover their reflex actions, sail trimming skills and get the feel of the helm again, so crucial to pulling off a win.

Unstoppable since the start of this first weekend with five race wins, the Swiss Jean-Jacques Chabard (Team Vision Future) dominated in the IRC 1&2 category, ahead of Frenchman Olivier Maubert (Esparlica 3) and Monaco resident Roberto Tamburelli (Forrest Gump III).

All in all the Swiss had an excellent regatta, with a double 1-2, not only in the Surprise class with Nicolas Groux (Signaterre) beating his compatriot Michel Glaus (Teo Jacob), but also Lorenz Zimmermann (Squalo Bianco VII) pipping Christoph Gautschi (Fram) to the post in the Stars. YCM society member Andrea Orlando (Acciuga Jr) clinched 3rd place.

In the other categories, the Russian Anatoli Loginov (Strange Little Girl), was victorious in the Dragons, ahead of Monegasque Michael Kurtz (Activists); the Frenchman Adrien Follin (Give Me Five) in IRC 3 and victory in the J/24 for the Greek Dimitrios Altisiadis (Evniki) ahead of four-time European champion in the series, Jan Southworth (Il Riccio).

www.primo-cup.org

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship, Race 4
Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Skiff Sydney Harbour: The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage gave another brilliant exhibition in the 16-18-knot East wind to dominate Race 4 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The defending champion team grabbed the lead soon after the start and were relentless as they powered away from the fleet throughout the race.

Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) was 1m28s behind '7', with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O'Connor, Trent Barnabas) another 36s back in third place.

Jack Macartney's Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel finished fourth, ahead of Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson).

Today's result has thrown the championship wide open, after each team has discarded the worst performance to date.

Mojo Wine and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers are equal on seven points, followed by Gotta Love It 7 on eight, Asko Appliances 10, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel 11 and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) on 14.

The Australian champion is now likely to come from the winner of next Sunday's race. -- Frank Quealey

www.18footers.com.au

Warren Jones International Youth Regatta
It was an all Gilmour final in the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta on the Swan River on Friday afternoon.

David Gilmour, who is 14th on the ISAF world rankings, earned the right to compete in the final by despatching New South Welshman Andy Green by two-nil in their best of three quarter final. He was then able to select his semi final opponent and immediately selected Matt Jerwood, whom he defeated in two straight races to earn his spot as a finalist.

Sam Gilmour, ranked well below David at 33, had a more traumatic journey into the final. During the first round he was involved in a "T-Bone" collision with Matt Jerwood, leaving Jerwood's boat with a large triangular hole in the side. Sam's tactics were unpredictable but at times, brilliant. Having qualified in the final eight for the quarter finals, he moved into the semis, where he accounted for Chris Steele 2-1 in the best of three, bringing about the first ever final between brothers in the 12 year history of the Warren Jones Regatta.

The final was decided in three straight races, all of them close, but all of them decisive as David showed his younger brother why he is ranked in the world's top 20 in the sport.

Final over all results:

1. David Gilmour
2. Sam Gilmour
3. Chris Steele
4. Matt Jerwood
5. Will Tiller
6. Tristan Brown
7. Chris Poole
8. Andy Green
9. Adam Middleton
10. Chris Staub
11. Kohei Ichikawa
12. Ashlen Rooklyn

www.wayf.org.au/WJI/

Gilmour Brothers Set For Another Match Race Duel
West Australian brothers David and Sam Gilmour are set for another duel when they each skipper a team in the prestigious Hardy Cup Under 25 ISAF Grade three match racing event on Sydney Harbour, starting tomorrow.

The brothers last week fought out the final of the Warren Jones Youth Match Race Regatta in Perth, with elder brother David winning a tightly fought title in three straight races.

Sons of former America's helmsman and world match racing champion Peter Gilmour, the brothers and their crews arrived at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron today where the eleven teams for the Hardy Cup had a day of practice racing on the Harbour.

The Hardy Cup, an initiative of America's Cup helmsman and Squadron member Sir James Hardy, has over the past 12 years proved a significant stepping stone to national international yachting for many young sailors from throughout Australia, New Zealand and other overseas countries.

This year's Hardy Cup fleet represents yacht clubs in Sydney, Perth, Gosford, Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore and includes the four top placed skippers from last week's Warren Jones Regatta: David and Sam Gilmour from WA, New Zealander Chris Steele and Matthew Jerwood, also from WA. -- Peter Campbell

rsys.com.au

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 Barry Dunning: Since 'yachting' has been replaced by 'sailing' in the Olympics, keelboat sailing has been replaced by dinghy or multihull sailing which, for me, does not represent the sport in which I partake.

Keelboat sailing should be reinstated into the 2016 Olympic Games probably represented by the Star class, a boat that keelboat sailors can identify with. The most exciting racing at the last Games in Weymouth was enjoyed by the Star and the Elliot 8. I know because I was there as head marshall.

* From Ronnie R McCracken: It is obvious Mr. Evans has not been to a major Laser Championship for at least the last 10 years. If he had been he would see that Country Letters are on the Laser 4.7, Radial and Standard sails. Also a large proportion of normal club sailors have put their national letters on the sail with pride.

* From Terence Browning: It might have been worse when we moved from K to GBR. Could have been KGB!

* From Gordon Davies: David Evans is annoyed by the use of GBR for United Kingdom sail numbers. A common mistake - even the UK Olympic team, aided and abetted by the Government and the BBC got the name of the country wrong. At the 2012 Olympics, the team representing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland did quite well despite being misnamed Team GB, thus ignoring a constituent part of the country! So if even the Brits can't get it right how can they expect international sporting bodies to do any better.

In any case, David will not have to wait long. If all goes well, within a few years he will be able to hoist proudly sails with ENG numbers, whilst on the Clyde they will be happy to use SCO (or possibly ALB), and on the Menai local boats will have CYM sail numbers.

On a more general point, international sporting federations are all faced with the problem of keeping contact with the grass-roots of their sport. On the one hand the ruling body may appear remote and disconnected, on the other clubs and sportsmen fail to engage fully with their national and international bodies. Sailing, in my opinion does rather better than many other sports. In my experience, for instance, if one can arrange to attend an ISAF annual conference there are opportunities for self-invited individuals (technically they are called "observers") to be heard.

Sailing has one advantage - the Olympics are not the unique pinnacle of our sport. The Olympics are increasingly orientated towards "stadium sports", with formats that attract television audiences worldwide. Some sports have been transformed radically to meet these demands, archery being an example. There are forms of sailing that can meet these demands, and they will continue to thrive in the Olympics. As an aside, ISAF and IOC continue, inexplicably, to ignore team racing - by far the ultimate stadium sport in sailing!

We are fortunate indeed to have other high profile events - equally unrepresentative of sailing as club sailors know it - that present other aspects of our sport including the America's Cup and the major oceanic races in mono-hulls and multi-hulls. These events give sailing a far higher profile than it would achieve based on the type of sailing we "mere mortals" know and love. Meanwhile, there are the great events the winning of which we, the ordinary sailors, recognise for their true sporting value. There are hundreds, if not thousands of such events. Many classes even have two or three - the Stars have a Worlds and the Bacardi Cup, the Dragons their Worlds and the Gold Cup. Cruiser racing offers a plethora of major events - would you rather win the Round the Island, Cowes-Dinard or the Fastnet?

This diversity is the great richness of our sport. Finding a balance between the different, and possibly contradictory, constraints and needs of the many versions of our sport will always require constant negotiation and compromise. Rejecting one branch of sailing as irrelevant is probably not the most diplomatic starting point for this ongoing discussion.

The Last Word
What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute's mirth to wail a week?
Or sells eternity to get a toy?
For one sweet grape who will the vine destroy?
Or what fond beggar, but to touch the crown,
Would with the sceptre straight be strucken down? -- William Shakespeare

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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