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

Rambler Takes Up The Running
At 0700 local time, on Day Two of the RORC Caribbean 600, George David's RP90, Rambler, had opened up a four mile lead on the water from Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente. Rambler's water-line length is a big advantage on the longest reaching leg of the course and the American Maxi is expected to extend that advantage during the day, on the water at least.

Overnight, Bella Mente had stretched six miles ahead of George Sakellaris' RP72, Shockwave, to lead IRC Zero on corrected time by 15 minutes. Johnny Vincent's Pace was in a solid third place in class and will be hoping that the lead boats will run out of breeze at some stage of the race so that the British TP52 can press home their rating advantage.

During the first night, squalls were ripping through the race course at regular intervals, bringing cold rain and erratic wind; both in speed and direction, testing the mettle of the 60 strong fleet.

The twin masted schooners, Adela and Athos, have covered over 230 miles in just 20 hours. Athos is just a mile ahead of Adela on the water but, after time correction, Adela leads the Superyacht Class. The two largest yachts in the race are about to enter the narrow confines of the Anguilla Channel and a tacking duel of epic proportions is the likely outcome.

In IRC One, Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, has covered over 200 miles of the course in just 20 hours and continues to lead the class.

In IRC Two, all 12 yachts have averaged close to eight knots since the start, providing a highly competitive fleet. Peter Sowrey's First 40, Lancelot II, has been punching above her weight, no doubt aided by the talents of solo round the world sailor, Alex Thomson.

In IRC Three, Classic S&S 52, Dorade, has stretched out a five mile lead on the water and leads the class after time correction. -- Louay Habib

caribbean600.rorc.org

Local Challengers
While the Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage has been installed as favourite to win the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, the other top local challengers are certain to make life very difficult when the championship begins on Sydney Harbour next Saturday.

Jarvin is attempting to equal the legendry Iain Murray as a six-times winning skipper of the 75 years old championship and is the defending champion.

The 2013 regatta came down to a dramatic last race to decide the winner between Gotta Love It 7 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, crewed by skipper Jack Macartney and his team of Mark Kennedy and David Witt.

Both Gotta Love It 7 and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel have new hulls in 2014 but there has been interesting crew movements in both teams.

Sam Newton returns to Gotta Love It 7 while Peter Harris goes to his former team with Jack Macartney and Mark Kennedy.

David Witt, who has been a great 18ft Skiff competitor over a long period has elected to go back to a skipper position with new boat sponsor, and 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship sponsor, Sydney City Marine. Still to win the JJ Giltinan Championship as a skipper David was for'ard hand in Tim Robinson's 1999 champion Rockport – the first team from the northern hemisphere to win the title.

Two times winner of the championship, Michael Coxon has a strong team of Dave O'Connor and Trent Barnabas with him on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, while Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge make up another formidable challenger on Mojo Wine.

The racing this season has been particularly close with very little between many teams.

JJ Giltinan racing starts Friday February 28.

Follow all the action on www.18footers.com.au and www.18footerstv.com, which will provide full information, race reports and progress point scores throughout the championship. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

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

The Drone That Will Sail Itself Around The World
Click on image to enlarge.

Drone Extracts from a major feature article on Wired (via SailWorld.com) on a sailing robot, a Drone called Honey Badger

Richard Jenkins and Dylan Owens are the engineering duo behind Saildrone, which in the words of their website is 'a wind-powered autonomous surface vehicle.' On October 1, the 19-foot craft was set loose in the San Francisco Bay with a simple command lodged in its electronic brain: Sail to Hawaii. For 2,248 nautical miles the boat did the rest.

The path it chose happens to be identical to that of the annual Pacific Cup sailing race, and the fastest anyone has traversed this course is just over five days. The single-handed-sailing record is eight and a half days. As Jenkins and Owens look on, Saildrone is about to complete what might be called the first no-handed ocean sail: San Francisco to Hawaii in 34 days. It's not quick, but then again there is no one aboard to complain.

The journey has included a storm with gale-force winds followed by two weeks of doldrums.

The Honey Badger is more than a sailboat and more than a robot, although it's both of those things. The Pacific crossing is really a test of a new type of sail that automatically keeps itself pointed into the wind, like a weather vane. Adjusting a little tab on the back of the tail - a task handled by the Honey Badger's autopilot - is enough to maintain the correct course and to angle the wing so it creates forward thrust.

Saildrone's technology is so efficient it could potentially power vessels that today require a motor. Jenkins has developed a scaled-up version of his wingsail to propel passenger ferries that ply the waters of the San Francisco Bay.

You can read the full article here www.wired.com/autopia/2014/02/saildrone/

www.sail-world.com

The Day Caudrelier Turned 40 - And Became A Volvo Ocean Race Skipper
Click on image to enlarge.

VOR Sanya, China: It's Charles Caudrelier's 40th birthday this Wednesday; it's also his first official day as Dongfeng Race Team's skipper in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. "A key step as a sailor and as a man" for the Frenchman and winner of the last race.

Caudrelier is no stranger to the round-the-world 38,739-mile marathon as a key figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12. Announced as skipper of Dongfeng Race Team at the official christening this Wednesday in Sanya, he understands what it means to guide a team through the next edition.

Raised in Brittany, Caudrelier is one of France's best offshore sailors. He is recognised for his victories in the Solitaire du Figaro and the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre, not to mention his role in Groupama's triumph.

"Turning 40 today is a nice symbol," says this father of two. "I remember being a kid and watching Eric Tabarly and Peter Blake sailing this race - I never thought I would be in this position, years later.

"Today I'm reaching an age where I want to change role and take charge. Becoming a Volvo Ocean Race skipper is a key step for me as a sailor and as a man."

The Serenity Marina in Sanya, a race stopover in 2014-15, will host the team through their training period with their one-design boat before they head to Auckland for a proper offshore exercise at the end of March.

Dongfeng Race Team will then sail back to Europe to gear up for the start of the race on October 4 in Alicante, Spain.

volvooceanrace.com

New Fleets And British Commodore's Cup Triallists To Join Vice Admiral's Cup
Cowes, UK - The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's annual Vice Admiral's Cup regatta, taking place from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th May, is expected to attract a record entry.

This year the Half Ton Classics fleet, which is enjoying a popular resurgence of interest with many old boats being brought back to life to race under IRC, will join the event for the first time.

With the Half Ton Classics Cup taking place in St-Quay Portrieux, Northern Brittany in July, the Vice Admiral's Cup is perfectly positioned to act as a warm up regatta, and at least a dozen Half Tonners are expected to compete alongside their smaller sisters the Quarter Tonners, who will once again be one of the largest classes racing.

Another familiar class at the event will be the SB20s, which are also expected to field a strong fleet with more than 20 boats likely to race. The SB20s, Half and Quarter Tonners will share a racecourse with the J/109 fleet, which have also become a regular fixture of the regatta in recent years.

A second race area will accommodate the J/111s, the 45ft class (featuring the Swan 45s, Farr 45s, etc) and a new class for 39 to 43 footers such as the Kerr 39s, King 40s and one offs such as Erivale and Zero. This new class will be raced under IRC with a rating band of 1.05 to 1.15.

In 2012 the Vice Admiral's Cup acted as the inshore trials for that year's British Commodore's Cup Team. The result was acknowledged as one of the best trial events in many years and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club is delighted to confirm that the RYA has chosen the Vice Admiral's Cup as its inshore qualification event for the British team again this year. The RYA Selection Committee are using the regatta to help them identify three teams of three boats with IRC Endorsed ratings between 1.020 and 1.230 with the proviso that only one boat in each team may rate 1.150 or above. The Commodore's Cup triallists will join the big boats on race area two.

The Vice Admiral's Cup Notice of Race and Entry Form will be published shortly at www.rcyc.co.uk and further information can be obtained by contacting RCYC Sailing Secretary Jo Chugg on -- Fiona Brown  

Tom McClean Inspirational Speaker
Tom McClean This former SAS soldier, who became the first in modern times to row solo across the Atlantic, is an accomplished and entertaining speaker with many remarkable stories to tell.

Achievements
1969 : First man to row solo across the Atlantic
1982 : Sailed across the Atlantic in world's smallest yacht
1985 : Reclaimed Rockall Island for Britain living alone on this rocky outpost in the North Atlantic for more than a month
1990 : First person to cross the Atlantic in a bottle
Today: Tom runs a management adventure training centre in Scotland

Tom McClean delivers inspirational and motivational presentations about these incredible adventures. His style is highly acclaimed and each presentation is adapted to meet with each client's conference themes and requirements.

Tom is a firm believer that positive thinking is the frame of mind needed to succeed in both adventure and business, His 'Can Do' attitude is infectious, and inspires his audiences to greater things:

"If you think you can, you will" he says.

Tom McClean is represented by PPL Inspirational Speakers and is available for conferences, corporate events and after-dinner speaking

To book TomL www.pplmedia.com/speakers/tom-mcclean.html

Click Here for further details www.pplmedia.com/speakers/

or contact PPL LTD on +44 (0)1243 555561 or email:

PPL also represents round the world sailors Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Chay Blyth, Dee Caffari MBE,Tony Bullimore and Mike Perham, sailing coach Jim Saltonstall, America's Cup skipper Harold Cudmore,atlantic adventurer Geoff Holt MBE, commercial sea Captain William Wells, powerboat record breakerDag Pike, and sailing journalists Tom Cunliffe, Bob Fisher, Barry Pickthall anRob Salvidge.

HPR Rule V4h Now Available
The Offshore Racing Association (ORA), in cooperation with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), is pleased to announce that the latest version of the HPR Rule, V4H, is now available. The rule can be downloaded on the HPR website at www.hprsailing.org/technical/hpr-rule

V4H replaces the previous version, V3A, which was introduced in July 2012 and has been used with some modifications for HPR racing since its introduction at the St Francis YC Rolex Big Boat Series in September 2012.

"We have been working hard to refine the ideas first introduced in V3A, based on valuable input from our owners, sailors, designers, builders and others in our Committee and Technical Advisory group," said rule author Bill Lee. "This represents the latest compilation of all those ideas."

The database of measurements for HPR-eligible boat designs has now been updated in the V4H1 spreadsheet to contain only measured data from reliable sources. The V4H1 spreadsheet can be found available for download on the HPR website at www.hprsailing.org/technical/hpr-rule

Test certificates generated on the V4H1 spreadsheet now have a watermark on them to show that they are for demonstration only, and not valid for racing. Only rating offices authorized by ORC and US Sailing can issue valid HPR certificates.

"Some of these ideas have needed testing in the heat of battle at HPR events, and fortunately we have had several to draw on to refine these rules," said Lee. "But we are always open to new input, and welcome comments from all interested in helping improve this system."

ORA is the owner of the HPR rule, and is partnered with ORC in helping with the technical and administrative development of the rule, with the intent of helping to foster its growth outside the US.

For more information on the HPR rule, HPR designs, and the calendar of HPR races and events, visit www.hprsailing.org

For more information about the Offshore Racing Association, visit www.offshorerace.org

Industry News
German car giant Volkswagen has made a public takeover offer to the shareholders of Swedish truck, bus and engine producer Scania for a cash consideration of SEK200 per share. Volkswagen already has a majority stake in the company of 62.6%.

The Scania board have decided to appoint an independent committee consisting to evaluate the offer.

The independent committee will announce its opinion on the offer no later than two weeks before the expiry of the acceptance period. The committee has appointed advisors for legal, financial and communication issues.

Scania has been a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 2008 and is primarily a truck and bus builder. The company is also a major producer of marine diesel engines for the leisure and commercial markets.

https://plus.ibinews.com

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A call for entries for the fourth Annual International Yacht Design Awards has been issued.

Yacht Builders, Designers, Refit Yards and Marine Vessel Manufacturers worldwide are invited to enter their best yacht designs to the Annual International Yacht Design Awards (IYDA). Entries will be accepted for power, sail and luxury yachts as well as their refitting and interior designs.

Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of academics, professionals and press members. Entries to the International Yacht Design Awards can be made online at http://www.adesignaward.com by registering and uploading a presentation of the yacht designs before Friday, February 28, 2014 by 23.59 GMT+1, results will be announced on April 15, 2014.

www.prweb.com

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Exhibitors at the 2014 Helsinki International Boat Show (Vene Bat) claim to have generated more business this year than at last year's event, an indicator of restored consumer confidence.

Despite a 1.4% dip in attendance to 69,000 visitors, sales were strong during the 10-day event, which closed on Sunday. Several boating industry businesses say that the low point in sales of boats and boating accessories is now over.

According to a TNS Gallup survey conducted at the show, more than 90% of visitors were satisfied with the offerings on display and 93% said they would either 'probably' or 'certainly' return next year. Of the visitors, one-sixth came from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

The next Helsinki International Boat Show will be held from February 6-15, 2015 at Messukeskus, Helsinki. Messukeskus organises the event annually on behalf of Finnish marine industries federation Finnboat.

https://plus.ibinews.com

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Greek tax concessions on way...But only for bigger yachts

The Cruising Association which has been working on behalf of boat owners in France, Sweden and the UK, reports that there will be concessions for those with boats more than 12m long and that the Greek government will completely revise the current system of port police procedures.

There are several steps boat owners can take to minimise the impact of the tax which, although it became law on January 1, will not be implemented until an on-line fee collection process is up and running, probably sometime in March.

Boats of 12m and less pay a single fee on arrival or on launching. This permits them to cruise throughout that calendar year in Greece. There are three bands: 7.1m to 8m, €200; 8.1m to 10m, €300; and 10.1m to 12m, €400. CA has so far been unable to negotiate a lower rate for shorter visits to Greek waters.

Boats over 12m are notionally due to pay at least 3 times as much. For a calendar year, the fee would be €(100 x LOA) or €1,210 for a 12.1m boat. However, very few boats need to pay this, since there's an option to pay per month afloat at one tenth the yearly rate ̶ €121 a month for 12.1m.

The CA expects further news about changes to Port Police procedures. As soon as these are known, details will be posted on the CA public web site - cruising.org.uk/news/greektax

Beryl Chambers in Yachting Monthly: www.yachtingmonthly.com

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At next weekend's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show seven top British Sailing Team talents will be on hand to share their top tips and tricks at the Alexandra Palace (1-2 March).

On Saturday (1 March) 49er European Champion Dylan Fletcher and Paralympic bronze medallist and five-time SKUD World Champion Alexandra Rickham will officially open the show, now in its 63rd year, with Fletcher's fellow 49er sailors Dave Evans and Ed Powys, 2.4mR sailor Megan Pascoe and Laser Radial sailor Chloe Martin also calling in to offer their professional advice.

For the racing sailor looking to improve their skills, Dylan Fletcher will be ably assisting Dave Hivey with a talk on Skiff Tactics in the Coaching Area (1030 on both Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 March), Ed Powys will be helping RYA expert Chris Watts with his session on Racing Rules (1300), while Megan Pascoe will talk Tactics with Alan Williams (1400 on both Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 March).

Dave Evans will aid Chris Atherton with his 'Starting to Race' session at 1500 Chloe Martin will be on hand to help Dave Mellor with his talk on 'Posture and hiking' tips for the hiking sailor at 1600.

On Sunday 2 March, Nacra 17 World Championship silver medallist Hannah Diamond will join Dylan Fletcher and Megan Pascoe at the RYA's annual season-opening Dinghy Show, supported by Suzuki Marine. Diamond will give a talk for RYA Gold Members (invitation only) on her campaign for Rio 2016 in the new Nacra 17 mixed multihull event, as well showing off her skills on the Magic Marine Trapeze Rig, and on the virtual race track with the RYA Volvo Sail for Gold Game on the RYA Youth Programme and Volvo Car UK stand from 1400.

She'll also assist Chris Watt with his Racing Rules talk in the Coaching Area from 1300.

www.dinghyshow.org.uk

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

The Last Word
I alone, as the sharer of their way of life, presented a replica of childhood. -- Neal Cassady

Editorial and letter submissions to

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

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