Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, 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

Strength In Depth
With 65 entries, a record entry for the sixth RORC Caribbean 600 is a certainty and right through the fleet the quality and character of the yachts and sailors is strong and deep. 32 different makes of yacht, flying the flags of 11 different countries, will be crewed by passionate amateurs and world famous sailors.

George David's Maxi, Rambler 90, is the main contender to take the first gun at Fort Charlotte. Rambler's crew includes Peter Isler, Jerry and Rome Kirby, Brad Jackson and Jan Dekker - and this is just mentioning the winners of the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race.

Bertrand De Broc's IMOCA 60, VNAM, is another hot contender for line honours. Last year, De Broc competed in both the Vendee Globe (9th) and Transat Jacques Vabre (6th). The French skipper has also excelled in shorter offshore races with 13 Solitaire du Figaro and 8 Tour de France a la Voile, winning the race around France twice. The light displacement 2007 Finot Conq design is capable of demolishing the course and the opposition.

IRC Zero
In 2013, of all the major offshore races, only the record breaking entry for the Rolex Fastnet Race had a bigger IRC Zero class than this year's RORC Caribbean 600.

Rambler is the scratch boat, but two racing Mini Maxis can be counted as class favourites. Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente, returns with an all-star crew including Mike Sanderson, John Cutler and Terry Hutchinson in the afterguard. In 2013 Bella Mente was becalmed in the wind shadow of Guadeloupe and rumour has it that the team have been gathering data at the approximate time of their arrival this year, to try to avoid the same trap. George Sakellaris' RP72, Shockwave, will compete for the first time with Richard Bouzaid, Mark Mendleblatt and Robbie Doyle as part of a formidable crew list. A sensational Mini Maxi duel is most definitely on the cards.

Class 40
Four Class40 pocket rockets are entered for the race, although Willy Baissante's Tradition Guadeloupe has elected to sail under IRC Two Handed. Gonzalo Botin Sanz de Sautuola's Tales II will start as favourite for the Class40 division, having come runner-up in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Last year's Class40 winner and course record holder, Peter Harding's 40 Degrees, is also hoping to join the party. The crew are sailing the boat up from Brazil with an ETA just before the start.

Ross Appleby's Scarlet Logic was dismasted recently in Antigua. All of the crew escaped serious injury and Ross and co-skipper Tim Thubron are trying everything possible to get Scarlet Logic back in the race.

The 6th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is scheduled to start at 1100 local time 24th February. All of the fleet will be fitted with Yellowbrick Trackers

caribbean600.rorc.org

Training Day
60 of the world's most prestigious sailors took to Marina Bay today, racing under the blue skies of a sultry Singapore, for one final training session ahead of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series curtain raiser, which kicks-off tomorrow (20 February).

Within just ten minutes of training in the bay, a collision between Ben Ainslie's J.P. Morgan BAR and Oman Air resulted in a blow to the Omani flagged boat - leaving a hole at the rear of their Extreme 40.

Collisions continued in the congested stadium as Groupama sailing team hit a solid mark on the racecourse, causing damage just under the waterline to one of their hulls.

Sailing fans around the world can follow the LIVE coverage online from 21-23 February at 1600-1730 local time / 0800-0930 GMT / 0900-1030 CET at www.extremesailingseries.com

Timings subject to change and updates will be on the website daily.

Europe Week 2014
Norway has a fantastic historical history around sailing as well as construction and building of famous yachts and sailing boats. A hundred years ago Europe Week was a very important venue alternating between Germany, England, Spain and Italy as conductors of the Europe Week. The summer of 1914 was of course a very unstable time as everybody were preparing themselves for war. It was Spain that were to conduct Europe Week but again very few dared to travel to Spain with their boats - risking that they never could get their boats back to their home country. King Alfonso agreed to let Norway conduct Europe Week - a quiet part of Europe where one could avoid any war like experiences.

Europe Week was a great success as well as the historic races the week also was part of Norway's 100 jubilee for their Constitution - separating from Denmark in 1814 and from Sweden in 1905.

Several months ago it was decided to see if it was ever possible to again to conduct Europe Week in 2014 - 100 anniversary of the 1914 Europe Week and part of the 200 anniversary of 1814 and the Constitution.

The 200 anniversary of the Constitution will be duly celebrated all through 2014 and all through Norway. Europe Week will be part of the official national celebrations. His Majesty King Harald will chair the Organizing Committee.

For most people taking interest in international yacht racing, they will know that HM King Harald has a very long record participating in several Olympic Games and WCs, ECs and top international venues in 5,5 mR, Soling, off-shore racing and during recent years in the Classic 8 mR class. -- Henning Bull

www.europeweek214.no

Marinepool TEC Fashion Collection - A Perfect Blend Of Function And Fashion
Marine Pool 2014 saw the introduction of a completely new TEC Fashion line, designed and produced to the highest standards. TEC fashion is a cross over between functional clothing and fashion, which combines the best of two worlds.

Highly elastic fabrics with quick drying and odour preventing technical features provide unmatched comfort while the garments also protect from harmful UV rays and innovative double weave technology provides excellent moisture management. 3M reflective pipings and patches increase safety. Close fit cuts, high quality materials and a sportive design give the garments a fashionable dynamic look on and off the water.

Marinepool TEC fashion is the ideal outfit for sunny sailing days in the Med, as highly functional mid layers when the going gets tough, or for any performance sport. Performance is closely related to the optimum use of energy and is highest where none of the latter is waisted to cool or heat the body. Marinepool TEC Fashion helps keeping the body climate in balance, transports dampness quickly away from the skin and protects from wind, water and sun for a maximum of power and endurance.

The brand new TEC Fashion collection comprises ultra elastic trousers and bermudas for women and men for ultimate wearing comfort as well as short and long sleeved polo shirts and t-shirts from 4-way stretch fabric. Wind and water resistant 3D designed softshell jackets and vests, made from multi-layer stretch fabric are light weight and super comfortable. The new mid layer jackets and vests combine an ultra light nylon shell with a premium 3M Thinsulate® filling into a warm, water and wind resistant garment that is simultaneously a fashion statement. Last but not least highly functional jackets, utilizing the latest in 3-layer fabric technology protect from anything the weather gods might throw at you.

The new TEC Fashion Collection by Marinepool.

Design. Technology. Passion.

marinepool.com

David Kenefick Is Irish Sailor Of The Year For 2013
It's not hard to argue that 2013 was the biggest year by far in David Kenefick's sailing career. And that he's still only 22 years of age makes his solo sailing achievements over the last 12 months even more remarkable.

Indeed, his performance in the demanding Figaro Solo alone was surely enough to secure his place in our esteem - and garner him Afloat's Irish Sailor of the Year Award for 2013.

Kenefick's prodigious talent backed his claim to the Rookie of the Year title (never before awarded to a non-French skipper) as the youngest in the field running a gruelling Gallic gauntlet of almost 7,000 offshore miles, nearly all of them single-handed.

Kenefick crossed the line in the small hours of 23 June with a cumulative placing of 28th out of 40 finishers, third among the rookies - and becoming only the fourth Irishman to complete the race after Damian Foxall, Paul O'Riain and mentor Hutchinson.

e followed with a strong showing in September's Tour de Bretagne ala Voile, and an even more impressive display in the Generali Solo around the Mediterranean, where he finished 12th as the best rookie in the fleet.

That was enough to clinch the title of 2013's best Figaro newcomer for the young Corkman, who we also recognised as our Sailor of the Month for October.

"No one comes into this scene and performs at the top in their first year," he said as the weight of his achievements began to sink in.

But he did it, and so it was only right that we honour David Kenefick with the Sailor of the Year Award for doing what was previously thought impossible. -- W M Nixon

afloat.ie

The Kulmar Family - JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Champions Of 1976
Paul Ziems, Stephen Kulmar, Paul Kulmar after winning the 1976 JJ Giltinan Championship. Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Skiffs The 'Past Winners' list of the JJ Giltinan Championship shows "1976... Miles Furniture... Stephen Kulmar", but that statistic doesn't tell the full story about this team and their success in the 18s.

Australia's 18 Footers are famous for having generations of a family competing over many years, and occasionally even two generations competing at the same time.

What sets the 'Kulmar Family' apart is their unique achievement of 1976 when they won the coveted JJ Giltinan (world) Championship on Sydney Harbour.

The winning skiff was built by Les (father), with assistance from sons Stephen and Paul, in the garage under the family house.

Stephen Kulmar skippered Miles Furniture, with his brother Paul Kulmar and brother-in-law Paul Ziems rounding out the team.

The 1975-76 Season was the highlight of the team's career, but its achievements came only after finely planned design then on-going development throughout the season.

Stephen Kulmar recalls: To compete and win, we needed to rethink and take a more evolutionary approach to match the Bruce Farr-designed KB, which was sailed superbly by the great Dave Porter".

"We thought we could go one better with a slightly smaller, lighter, flatter boat. We spent the winter months in the workshop garage at home designing and building our second Miles Furniture".

The just reward for the meticulous planning, building and ongoing development of the boat was a victory in the 1976 JJ Giltinan Championship, on Sydney Harbour, when the Miles Furniture team defeated the defending champion Dave Porter, in KB.

It was an outstanding performance from 'the family

Like a number of other past Giltinan champions, the team will be at the Australian 18 Footers League on Sunday 2 March to watch Race 2 of the 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, and help celebrate its 75 years history at an after-race barbeque function to be held in the park alongside the rigging area. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com.au

Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Qualification System
The qualification system for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Qualification has been published: Download current version and view revision history: www.sailing.org/37381.php

The Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition regatta venue is the Marina da Gloria with racing taking place inside and outside the Guanabara Bay and will feature 380 athletes

Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) may enter a maximum of one boat per event, a total of 15 athletes (eight men and seven women).

50% of the entry quota in each event shall be qualified from those best ranked NOCs in the corresponding events at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

The remaining places in each event shall be qualified from the 2015 Class World Championship and in a series of Continental Qualification Events sanctioned by ISAF, to finish by 1 June 2016 at the latest.

More: www.sailing.org/news/37382.php

Oracle Team Usa To Open Spring Training In Australia
ORACLE Team USA, the America's Cup champion, will begin its sailing program in Sydney, Australia next month.

The team has scheduled practice against Team Australia, representing the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup.

ORACLE Team USA has shipped one of its AC45 catamarans to Australia for spring training before the sailing team returns to the United States later in the year.

"This training session on Sydney Harbour is the first of a series of trials and training sessions for our sailing team and will be the first time our sailors have been together since the America's Cup," said sailing team manager Tom Slingsby.

"We'll welcome back some old faces and introduce some new blood as we look for the right crew combination for the sailing team for the 35th America's Cup.

"These sessions will be coordinated with Team Australia and we're looking forward to sailing against this new Cup team."

ORACLE TEAM USA has already announced Jimmy Spithill, the skipper, and Slingsby, the strategist and sailing team manager, will both be returning to lead the sailing team.

Further sailing crew announcements are expected before the summer.

Viggo Jacobsen, Founder of IODA, Turns 100
Viggo Jacobsen sailing with Jes Gram-Hansen. Photo by Sailing Aarhus. Click on image to enlarge.

Viggo Jacobsen Viggo Jacobsen (the father of the Optimist Dinghy class) turned 100 on 13 February 2014.

The first Danish optimist dinghies were sailed in Vordingborg, Hvidovre, and Roskilde. The first regatta for optimist dinghies took place in Vordingborg on 24 April 1954, this was the beginning of the optimist dinghy era in Europe.

With Mr Viggo Jacobsen at the helm, the development of this class was started. The class first spread to Norway, Great Britain, Sweden Germany, Rhodesia, Finland Austria, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and USA, and later to the rest of the world. In 1965, Mr Jacobsen took the initiative in founding IODA, the International Optimist Dinghy Association, of which Mr Jacobsen was the first president, and his wife was secretary.

Since then, there has only been progress. Mr Viggo Jacobsen was the originator not only of the world's second largest class in sailing, but junior sailing internationally.

As a tribute to Viggo, Robert Wilkes, former Optimist class secretary, has released as a freely available document, the chapters of his historical history which relate to his great work. View it here.

www.optiworld.org/res/VJHistory.pdf

2015 ISAF Team Racing Worlds Bids Invited
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published guidelines for candidates bidding to host the 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championship.

All bids must be received by the ISAF Secretariat by email by 12.00 (UTC) on Friday 14 March 2014.

Great Britain were the first team to lift the ISAF Team Racing Worlds in West Kirby, Great Britain in 1995. Ireland came in second with Australia completing the podium.

From 2003 to 2009 USA dominated the event winning four in a row before the British team broke the trend at the most recent edition held in Schull, Ireland from 27 August - 4 September 2011.

In 2005 an Under 21 competition was introduced in Gandia, Spain and was won by Great Britain who also picked up gold in 2011 in the Under 19 category.

Bid guidelines: www.sailing.org/37329.php

ISAF: www.sailing.org/news/37331.php

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2004 Evento 42. 120,000 Euros. Located in Germany.

The "Silva Hispaniola" an Evento 42 was build in 2004 as a youth racing project and developed to the most successful German ORC racing team. The team sails short and medium range regattas.

"Silva" was designed and continuously optimized with judel/vrolijk & co. For optimal performance the 42 ft boat requires a team of ten.

Results:
1st German Championship ORC Inshore 2013
1st Aalregatta 2013
1st MaiOR 2013
5th Worlds 2012
1st ORCi European Championship 2011
1st ORCi IDM Inshore 2011

Details

Brokerage: Judel Vrolijk Yacht Design,

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -- Douglas Adams

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

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