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

Gotta Love It 7 Wins 18ft Skiffs Australian Championship
Click on image for photo gallery.

Gotta Love It 7 became the 2013-2014 Australian 18ft Skiff champion after another brilliant win in the final race of the championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Ed Smythe (replacing the regular for'ard hand Sam Newton, who was married yesterday) again proved their dominance with the #2 rig on the North-East course to win by 53s.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) also sailed superbly as the team pushed the 7 crew all the way.

The gap back to third was 2m48s but the race for that position produced the highlight of the day as three boats crossed the finishing line just 9s apart.

Fish & Paykel (Grant Rollerson) and Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) fought hard and looked to have that position between them until Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison, James Dorron) flashed in on the port gybe to take third by 2s from Fisher & Paykel.

Five teams went into today's final race with just four points separating them.

It was a great finish to a closely-fought championship and makes the upcoming 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship, supported by Sydney City Marine, a must see event.

Today's race was sailed in a moderate North East wind which didn't reach the strength predicted earlier in the day. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Video coverage of the race can be seen on

Dates Set For 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup
Photo by Talbot Wilson. Click on image to enlarge.

Hamilton Bermuda: The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Argo Group have set the dates for the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup sailed for the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and a $100,000 prize purse. The penultimate event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour starts October 21st on Hamilton Harbour in Bermuda.

Twenty teams will enter the fray. Only two of them will reach the final match on Sunday October 26th. After the finals, the last team standing will put its name on the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup and take the $50,000 winner's check at the prizegiving on the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club terrace.

This year will mark the 64th staging of races for the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy, with previous winners including some of the greatest names ever to match race. Since the event was reformatted to be an event under the Match Racing Association in 1985, multiple winners include Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Peter Gilmour (AUS), and Ben Ainslie (GBR). The 2013 Defending champion is Francesco Bruni (ITL).

The Argo Group Gold Cup is the penultimate fifth stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, in which the teams compete for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Match racing in Bermuda for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as one of the classic heritage events on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

The 12th annual RenaissanceRe Jr Gold Cup will also be sailed October 23rd-26th in Bermuda.

Challenger Limits and Money Dog Cup
While much attention is focused on the ongoing search for a venue for the next America's Cup in 2017, the real problem appears to be the plans by holders Oracle Team USA to limit the number of yachts going to that venue.

At present, there is talk in the America's Cup community that potential challengers are resisting OTUSA's intention that only four challengers will make the trip to San Francisco (or wherever it is decided that the Cup will next be hosted) to contest the Louis Vuitton Cup - the winner of that trophy to become the challenger to take on OTUSA for the America's Cup.

The problem, as ever, is money. To take part in the Cup, challenging syndicates need to raise money through sponsorships.

However, if there are more than four challengers, they face the prospect of seeking sponsorship dollars when the sponsor may not even be able to get exposure at the Cup if they miss out in what OTUSA are setting up essentially as qualifying rounds.

Those "qualifiers" would be the America's Cup World Series, to be sailed in 45-foot AC45 catamarans which may be upgraded to foiling yachts this time. A series of global regattas would be held with only the top four heading to the America's Cup venue with their larger America's Cup boats.

According to Cup sources, this is about as popular with challenging teams as an oil spill. -- Paul Lewis in the New Zealand Herald

IMX 45 For Race Charter
YRC Partners has been offering yacht charter services, both racing and cruising since 2004.

Their main offering is an IMX 45 which is based on the East Coast of the US, this boat is delivered ORC Cat 1 compliant and is ready to tackle any and all of the major distance races from the Block Island Race to the 2015 Transat.

The IMX 45 is a solid and proven winning design.  This is a boat truly capable of winning, as proven in the 2006 Bermuda Race when an IMX 45 "Temptress" won the highly competitive Gibbs High Lighthouse Trophy awarded to the boat with the best corrected time in the Bermuda Race and Cybele won her class in the St David Lighthouse Division.

The team at YRC Partners has worked diligently over the years to optimize all aspects of the boat's racing program.  In 2008 YRC Partners engaged Evolution Sails in a sail development program. This partnership with Evolution has led to many optimizations and a current inventory of sails which maximizes the boats performance and minimizes the impact of both IRC and ORR ratings.  In addition to the outstanding sail inventory YRC Partners has spared no expense in outfitting the boat, the boat is a navigators dream, and includes: B&G 3000, on board pc with 18" LCD monitor with Expedition software, a satellite telephone with 120 minutes for both voice and data, Radar, a cellular amplifier, AIS and a host of other features all designed to make this a winning platform.

Email or call +1 917 345 8228

Laser Sailors Win OKI 24-Hr Race But Just Miss Lap Record
The 2014 OKI 24-hr Race results are in, with Andy Maloney and Nicholas Heiner coming through on the winning boat, sailing for Mansons TCLM Ltd with 118 laps - almost as many as Chris Dickson's 120 lap record.

'These are true champions,' said Murray's Bay Sailing Club Commodore Dave Gunn. 'You can't just cruise around in this competition and this year we had very good but very tough sailing conditions.'

'Conditions were perfect,' agrees winner Andy Maloney from Murray's Bay Sailing Club. 'It was great having wind all night with lots of hiking. It was very physical, but very fun.'

Maloney says the most challenging part was the lack of sleep, followed by the physical demands of the sailing due to the conditions.

Last year's winner, James Sandal won the solo category, racing through the night without breaks. He was passed dinner from the dock to eat on the way around and says: 'Now, I'll probably sleep for a week.' -- Danielle Wright in


Star Is Denied Place In RIO 2016
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed on Thursday that the Star class will not be part of the 2016 Games in Rio. The official recognition came with the release of the classification criteria for the Olympics, which closes any possibility of inclusion of new classes, as it would need a change to rules that are already in place.

The decision of the IOC Executive Committee meeting in Sochi, was to confirm that of 2011 when the exclusion of the Star was made by the ISAF. The Star class was in the Olympic Games since the Los Angeles Games of 1932. Brazil secured six Olympic medals in the class: two gold, one silver and three bronze. -- Gerald New

Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Regatta
att Pistay, Richard Davies, Charlie McKee. Photo by Joy Dunigan. Click on image for photo gallery.

Miami, Florida: The final day of racing at the 2014 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Regatta, hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club and supported by Melges USA, ended with no additional races being completed due to virtually no wind on Biscayne Bay. PRO Bruce Bingman, with the support of Coconut Grove's race management team, ventured out onto the course with every intention of firing off at least one more race before the 1 o'clock cut-off. Once on station, it was clear that the wind was not going to cooperate as had hoped. At 12.15, November over Alpha was announced, officially signalling no more racing.

With no new races to add, results from Saturday stand as final.

Congratulations to Richard Davies on Section 16, as he along with tactician Charlie McKee and crew member Matt Pistay are the 2014 Audi Melges 20 Winter Regatta Champions. This is the first time Davies has ever taken home top honors at a major Melges 20 event. With this win, he climbs into the overall 2014 Miami Winter Series (MWS) ranking lead, two points ahead of Tony Tabb's YOLO and Russ Lucas' Shimmer. Bacardi Miami Sailing Week takes place on March 6-8, marking the last and final event of the MWS. The chase is on.

Michael Kiss' Bacio claimed second overall. John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti finished third, also taking home the Top Master trophy. Alessandro Rombelli's STIG and Tabb's YOLO rounded out the top five respectively.

Final top five:

1. Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16; 2-6-3 = 11
2. Michael Kiss/Jeremy Wilmot, Bacio; 4-5-2 = 11
3. John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; 5-3-6 = 14
4. Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG; 6-8-1 = 15
5. Tony Tabb/Michael Buckley, YOLO; 10-1-7 = 18

Seahorse March 2014
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

The Tour
Like the Tour Voile only somewhat warmer... EFG Bank Sailing Arabia

Ruling the waves
Jocelyn Bleriot paid a visit to Franck Cammas at the headquarters of his Groupama Racing Team in Lorient

Terry Hutchinson heads south, things begin to evolve at Team New Zealand, a plea for simplification, a stylish new offshore regatta sees IRC making inroads into the Adriatic, Scheidt really is the king (in Nassau as well as Oman). Plus the reality of that San Francisco weather...

IRC column
It comes down to the racecourse - James Dadd

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Only 9 Weeks Until The First JOG Race Of 2014!
JOG open their 2014 race season with the Nab Tower race on Saturday 5th April. Open to fully crewed or doublehanded entries in IRC Classes 3, 4, 5 & 6 it's the perfect way to blow away the winter lay-up cobwebs and get the sailing season underway.

JOG are running a full race programme of 15 races in 2014 split across inshore/coastal passage races & longer offshore/ cross-Channel races. All races are open to non-members and members alike, so come along, compete in the inshore or offshore race series or just pick and's up to you.

In July 2014 JOG are going "on tour" with JOG Offshore Week, a series of 4 passage races of various lengths over the course of a week, starting in Cowes, taking in Dartmouth, the charming French ports of St Quay Portrieux & St Cast, & finishing in St Peter Port. The event is sure to provide some competitive sailing and true to JOG ethos, some great post-race story swapping opportunities too. It's the perfect way to start a sailing holiday around the Normandy and Brittany coastlines.

Entry Forms, full race programme & crew available/boats looking for crew information all now available online at

Livingstone Lecture To Beneft Phoenicians Before Columbus Expedition
There are a few places left for the  the Livingstone Lecture at the Royal Geographical Society on Tuesday 11th February. It is just over 200 years since the birth of David Livingstone - Africa's Greatest Explorer and the lecture will be presented by Colonel Paul Bayly FRGS and will cover his life: the man, the missionary and the myth.

As well as launching his new book on Livingstone, Paul is generously donating the proceeds of the evening to the Phoenicians Before Columbus  Expedition:

Tickets are available on the door but need to be reserved by emailing

The Society is located in Kensington at the junction of Exhibition Road and Kensington Gore.

RNLI'S First Jet Boat
The first of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RNLI) newest class of lifeboat, the Shannon, will arrive at Dungeness lifeboat station in Kent on Friday 21 February 2014.

The Shannon is the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets instead of propellers, making it the most agile all-weather lifeboat in the charity's fleet. The lifeboat's water jets not only ensure it is the RNLI's most manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat, but they also allow the Shannon to reach casualties in harder to reach places and in shallower waters.

Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon is 50% faster than the lifeboats it will replace - meaning casualties will be reached quicker.

Piers Wedgwood
Piers Wedgwood, a British lord and fifth-generation great-grandson of Josiah Wedgwood, creator of the distinctive blue and white pottery that embellishes tea tables and china collections, died Wednesday, Jan. 29, of cardiac failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Lord Wedgwood, who was an avid sportsman, donated the Wedgwood Heritage Trophy to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in 1990 to be presented first at the 1990 King Edward VII Gold Cup competition to the sailor who best represents the traditional values and history of sailing. The award, a classic blue and white Wedgwood piece, is on display along with the King Edward VII Gold Cup in the Rotunda of the Yacht Club. Lord Wedgwood often came to Bermuda to present the trophy in person and enjoy the racing at the Gold Cup.

Lord Wedgwood did not view his peerage as a mere title; instead, he was a working member of the English House of Lords with more than 25 years of service on the Defense and Heritage Parliamentary Groups. He left the House of Lords in 2001.

Lord Wedgwood helped raise money for charity. A pet project was the Lord Wedgwood Charity, which generates funds to supply high school sports programs in Birmingham with defibrillators to use when athletes experience cardiac arrest. He proposed the project in 2000 after doctors saved his life following a heart attack on a golf course in Alabama. -- Talbot Wilson and Bonnie Cook

The Last Word
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. -- Isaac Asimov

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