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

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Winners Crowned
After four days of compelling racing on the Waitemata Harbour, 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland has come to a close with winners crowned at prize-giving following racing today at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club.

Top finisher by class, Olympic Classes

49er: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, NZL
49erFX: Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech, NZL
470: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, NZL
Laser: Rutger van Schaardenburg, NED
Laser Radial: Ryan Lo Jun Han, NZL
Nacra 17: Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders, NZL
Finn: Andrew Murdoch, NZL
RS:X 9.5: Jon-Paul Tobin, NZL
RS:X 8.5: Natalia Kosinska, NZL

Full results: sailauckland.org.nz

Hardy Cup
Photo by Mitch Watkins. Click on image to enlarge.

Hardy Cup Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron: "A bluebird day on Sydney Harbour," was how Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron event organiser Mitch Watkins described conditions for the opening day of the Hardy Cup Under 25 ISAF Grade 3 match racing regatta.

Eleven teams from Sydney and Gosford in NSW, Perth in Western Australia, Singapore and from Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand are contesting the regatta through to Thursday.

Today produced a classic north-easterly seabreeze, building throughout the day from 10 knots to 20 knots, with gusts of 24 knots late in the afternoon with the temperature each 29 degrees.

Unfortunately, the competition began with a collision between New Zealander Chris Steele and Sam Ellis from Gosford Sailing Club in the second match of the day. The outcome: a black flag penalty for Steele and the Elliott 8 being towed ashore with a broken shroud.

Down one boat, race officers had to re-jig the order for the first round-robin, limited racing for the day.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Jordan Reece had a good day with four wins from four flights, including a hard-fought win over West Australian David Gilmour that saw race positions change and penalties interchanged.

At the end of the day, David Gilmour's Team Gilmour from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club came out at the top of the leader board, winning his next four flights to have a score of five wins from six flights.

His younger brother Sam's Neptune Racing team, whom he beat in the final of last week's Warren Jones Regatta, scored four wins from six flights, while Jordan Reece's Estate Master team from the RSYS had a 4/4 result, including that win over David Gilmour.

However, because of the delays caused by the damage to one boat early in the day, the overall results to date are somewhat inconclusive. -- Peter Campbell

www.rsys.com.au/hardy-cup

ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 3 February 2014 have been released.

Top rank by class:

Men's 470: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
Women's 470: Sophie Weguelin / Eilidh Mcintyre, GBR
Nacra 17: Ben Saxton / Hannah Diamond, GBR
Laser: Tonci Stipanovic, CRO
Laser Radial: Mathilde de Kerangat, FRA
Men's RS:X: Ricardo Santos, BRA
Women's RS:X: Bryony Shaw, GBR
Finn: Oliver Tweddell, AUS
49erFX: Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA

Events Included (PDF)

The full ISAF World Sailing Ranking lists, results from all ISAF Graded events, lists of Graded events throughout the year, Ranking release dates and the method of calculation for the Rankings can be found on the ISAF website at www.sailing.org/rankings

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.

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

www.marinepool.com

Mystic Seaport Honors Historian and Author John Rousmaniere
Mystic Seaport is pleased to announce the William P. Stephens Award has been presented to the distinguished yachtsman and author, John Rousmaniere.

Established in 1988, and named after William P. Stephens, long known as the "Dean of American Yachtsmen" and "the grand old man of American yachting," the award is given in recognition of a significant and enduring contribution to the history, preservation, progress, understanding, or appreciation of American yachting and boating.

Rousmaniere is an authority on maritime history, especially the history of yachting, and has written 15 books on this subject. His books include "The Golden Pastime: A New History of Yachting"; histories of the Bermuda Race, the America's Cup, the New York Yacht Club, and other yacht clubs; biographies of the yacht America and the classic yawl Bolero; and two studies of marine photography focusing on the Rosenfeld Collection. He has written two books about storms, "After the Storm" and "Fastnet, Force 10", the latter about the deadly 1979 race off England in which he sailed. Rousmaniere has served as yachting editor of "The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History".

He edited a book on yacht design titled "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts" and the Olin Stephens autobiography, "All This and Sailing, Too," published by Mystic Seaport. Rousmaniere's books on sailing safety and seamanship include "The Annapolis Book of Seamanship," which just went into its fourth edition. He also contributes articles to Sea History, WoodenBoat, and other magazines.

www.mysticseaport.org

Andrew Cape Joins Team Brunel
Enkhuizen, The Netherlands: Australian navigator Andrew Cape is back for his sixth Volvo Ocean Race with Team Brunel, reuniting with his former skipper Bouwe Bekking.

Aged 51, Cape first took part in the race in 1993-94. He entered five editions since then, including in 2005-06 when he sailed with Bekking on movistar.

Called "Capey" by his sailing friends, the Australian took second with PUMA Ocean Racing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. He returned with Team Telefonica in the last edition and finished third.

He will be in charge of analyzing the weather and deciding the best route for the 38,739 nautical miles of the next edition starting on October 4 this year. Cape has sailed six times around the globe, and also won five Sydney-Hobart races.

Andrew Cape in the Volvo Ocean Race:
2011-12 - Team Telefonica
2008-09 - PUMA Ocean Racing
2005-06 - movistar / Ericsson
1997-98 - Toshiba
1993-94 - Tokio

teamsailingholland.com
volvooceanrace.com

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Robert Scheidt (BRA)
'Thank God I'll never be in the same Laser Masters category as him' - John Roberson; 'To win [the Laser worlds] so convincingly at 40 is beyond super-human' - Alex Fox; 'Robert is a monster! Invincible!' - Rafael Valdivia; 'Lasers, Stars, it doesn't matter, he's driven, cool and very, very fast' - Luiz Kahl; 'Russell [Coutts] was brilliant but now he's in management; Robert is still delivering on the frontline' - Richard Hardcastle; 'A true champion and a great example for the beautiful sport of sailing' - Marieke Rapoulie.

This month's nominees:


Bob Oatley (AUS)
The Australian owner of the super-successful maxi Wild Oats clearly has no intention of slowing down as he gains in 'maturity'. Although he no longer sails onboard for longer races, Oatley is the driving force behind one of the world's most aggressive sailboat development programmes. Wild Oats does boast a veritable quiver of appendages but the overall effect is clearly successful. And now there is an America's Cup campaign


Giovanni Soldini (ITA)
Having failed in his efforts to raise funding for an Italian challenge for the previous Volvo Ocean Race, Soldini did not turn his back and walk away like many others would have done; instead he decided to take full advantage of the training VO70 he had already acquired, modifying her for oceanic record breaking and travelling the globe on behalf of his sponsor Maserati. The recent Cape Town-Rio race was his latest success


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital

Board Shake Up For Irish Sailing Association
The Irish Sailing Association's (ISA) Annual General Meeting on March 1 will see a shake up in the board of the national governing body with the retiral of its president and two other directors to be replaced by members of the recently formed Strategic Review Group (SRG). It's all part of a drive to stem the decline in sailing that has seen membership at some of the country's biggest clubs drop by some 30% amid concern over current association policies.

David Lovegrove from Howth Yacht Club is standing for the office of President and significantly two senior SRG members that have been looking into the operation of how the association performs are set to join the board. SRG Chairman Brian Craig and a former President of the ISA, Roger Bannon are standing for election. Both men are widely credited with achieving success for the sport in the past, Craig with the staging of some top international events and Bannon with the reformation of the ISA itself, more than a decade ago. Bannon previously cited cost as the elephant in the room for sailing.

From Afloat magazine: afloat.ie

More from David O'Brien in the Irish Times: www.irishtimes.com

Spithill Looks For '3-Peat'
Jimmy Spithill will return to ORACLE TEAM USA as the team re-groups to win its third consecutive America's Cup.

The youngest skipper to ever lead a team to victory in the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport, Spithill says the lure of working with team principal Larry Ellison and CEO Russell Coutts again was too strong to ignore.

"There were some very good offers out there, but at the end of the day, Russell and Larry, I wouldn't be here without them..." Spithill said.

Spithill has made the America's Cup his life's work, beginning as a 20-year old skipper of the Young Australia team in the 1999/2000 Louis Vuitton Cup. He's raced in every event since then, making steady progress towards the victory in 2010, when he became the youngest skipper to win the trophy, followed by the successful defense last September.

Spithill sees the America's Cup as the ultimate team challenge, a measuring stick for the individual in a team environment.

"This is one of the ultimate tests, athletically, mentally and in team management, that you can find. It's very addictive!"

Other members of the ORACLE TEAM USA crew will be revealed in the coming weeks.

americascup.com

2013 Rod Stephens Trophy Awarded to Jean-Pierre Dick
The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has selected Jean-Pierre Dick (Nice, France) to receive the Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship for his completion of the Vendee Globe 2012-2013 after sailing without a keel for the last 2,650 miles of the solo non-stop around-the-world race. The trophy is given "for an act of seamanship that significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht or one or more individuals at sea." The award will be presented on May 21, 2014 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

Dick, a qualified veterinary surgeon with a master's degree in business, spent many years as a business executive before devoting his life to ocean racing. His accomplishments include four circumnavigations and five transatlantic crossings.

In the Vendee Globe 2008-2009 Dick had to retire to New Zealand after suffering rudder damage due to an unidentified floating object.

After 48 hours, he continued racing without the keel, and on February 4, 2013, after sailing 27,734 miles, Dick crossed the finish line in fourth place with an elapsed time of 86 days, three hours, three minutes and 40 seconds. His other major accomplishment during the race was covering the greatest distance in a 24-hour period, clocking 517.23 miles while racing on December 10th with an average speed of 21.6 knots.

www.cruisingclub.org

RNLI To Be Official Charity Partner For The 2014 Round Britain And Ireland Race
The Royal Western Yacht Club of England has announced that the RNLI are to be the chosen charity partners for the legendary Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014. The two-handed event, which will start on 1 June is run every four years and first began back in 1966. The race starts and ends in Plymouth with stop overs in four ports and each has an RNLI lifeboat station.

Entries are now being accepted for the race, which is open to all yachts and multihulls between 30 and 50 feet in length and crewed by two people only. The event has become an international classic, attracting many famous names over the years. Race Director Alan Nichols says;

'The course runs clockwise around all of Great Britain and Ireland with compulsory stops at Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick and Lowestoft where the hospitality is legendary. It is a huge test of endurance and seamanship and definitely not for the faint hearted and we require entrants to complete a qualifying voyage before their final entry is accepted.'

'The RNLI has a vital presence in Plymouth and each of the stop over ports and it seemed entirely appropriate that we should invite the charity to join us as our partner for the 2014 event. Their volunteers are our guardians if you like and those of us who enjoy such racing appreciate knowing that they are on standby to help us 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The RNLI also believe in prevention rather than cure and we hope our joint belief in safety at sea will be reinforced by this liaison.'

rwyc.org
www.rnli.org.uk

The Last Word
Major writing is to say what has been seen, so that it need never be said again. -- Delmore Schwartz

Editorial and letter submissions to

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

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