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

Reynolds And Liljedahl Return To Form
Miami, Florida, USA: The opening race of the 87th Bacardi Cup was sailed today on Biscayne Bay after several postponements due to light air, and in this highly competitive and aggressive fleet of 54 boats it was no surprise when seven teams were disqualified under the black flag rule.

The wake-up call may be for anyone who did not anticipate San Diego's Mark Reynolds and local sailor Magnus Liljedahl to return to their old ways. The duo, who shared both Olympic Gold and a Star World Championship win in 2000, had not sailed together in 10 years. Already the skipper and crew with the most Bacardi Cup wins to their credit (seven for Reynolds and five for Liljedahl; which include three they won together in 2002, 1998 and 1997), the win of the day's lone race would seem to indicate they are on their way to setting another Bacardi Cup record.

"Overall a pretty good race," said Reynolds. "Magnus was of great help. We didn't sail together in 10 years, but we were not rusty -- just getting old! It felt like the good old days. In the past I would come to Bacardi expecting to win; now I don't have that expectation, but it feels good to be on top."

Following Reynolds and Liljedahl across the finish line in second and third, respectively, were brothers Torben Grael and Lars Grael of Brazil whose sibling rivalry will be an interesting facet of this regatta.

The fifth annual running of BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will run through March 8, 2014. Regatta headquarters are at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove. The six-day racing schedule is headlined by the Star class whose teams are contesting the 87th Bacardi Cup. On the last four days of the regatta, the Stars will share Biscayne Bay with competitors in the Audi Melges 20, J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and VX One classes.

18ft Skiffs 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 1-Re-Sail
Click on image for photo gallery.

18 Foot Skiffs Defending champion Seve Jarvin and the Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage scored their second win of the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship when they took out the Re-sail of Race 1 on Sydney Harbour today.

The win gives the team a great start in defence of the title, but the win today was far from easy.

Grabbing the lead for the first time at the final windward mark, Gotta Love It 7 had to hold off strong challenges from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O'Connor, Trent Barnabas) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison, James Dorron) before taking the honours by just 12s from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Asko Appliances was a further 11s back in third place. (Euan McNicol, replacing Micah Lane) finished fourth, ahead of UK's Rick Peacock on Haier Appliances, Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson), Yamaha (David McDiarmid, NZ) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

With two races now comoleted, Gotta Love It 7 has a total of two points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on five, Haier Appliances on 11, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel 12, The Kitchen Maker (Will Phillips) 15 and C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ).

A light shifting NE breeze was an improvement on the earlier days racing and the four lap windward-return course provided some close racing for the spectator fleet. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League
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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.

Clipper Race 9 Restarts
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman and Founder of the Clipper Race, has repaired the forestay bottlescrews of nine of the 12-strong Clipper 70 fleet with the rest being completed over the next day.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said inevitably there are things that need adjusting with a new fleet of boats. Race 9, Singapore to Qingdao, China was halted and the boats diverted to Hong Kong so the repairs could be carried out quickly before the race restarted less than a day later.

Knox-Johnston has been lashing the forestay instead of using a rigging screw using the exact same system he does on his Open 60 racing yacht.

"There was no alternative. It wasn't just a question of possibly losing a mast, it was a question of safety so we had to take action instantly," said Knox-Johnston.

"There are always adjustments needed with new boats and little things that need looking at. It's not the end of the world because the skippers were onto it very quickly.

"The crews were all prepared when they arrived into Hong Kong so we could get on with it very quickly. There is an advantage with a one design fleet that it makes it easier for us as one solution fits all boats.

"We suspect a lack of articulation at the base of the forestay is the main reason for this type of failure. The fitting is being replaced with Dyneema cordage.

Irish Cruising - Sailing's Magic Elixir For A Long Life
Suvretta in the Beagle Channel in southern Chile. Photo by Sam Davis. Click on image to enlarge.

Irish Cruisinng Cruising is the hidden side of sailing, yet it's the choice for the majority of those going afloat. Whether it's day cruising, a longer venture in the annual holidays, or the dream cruise of a lifetime across oceans, this is our sport. Unlike racing, which generates its own narrative even if only through the recorded results, much of cruising would slip under the radar completely were it not for cruising awards. W M Nixon considers the latest annual batch from the Irish Cruising Club.

Cruising under sail seems to be the secret of eternal youth. Last night's Annual General Meeting of the Irish Cruising Club in Dun Laoghaire saw a distribution of awards to voyagers from all parts of Ireland who sailed successfully in many areas of the globe in boats mostly of modest size. Yet any outside analyst would soon have made the point that many of the achievers were of mature - sometimes very mature - years, and fulfilling a retirement dream.

But despite any ICC membership gathering these days being a sea of silver heads, age is the last thing they think about. This club of 550 members has become the mixture of an Active Retirement Association - very active indeed, as it happens - and a sort of seagoing extension of the Men's Shed movement.

If you were looking for an illustration of Ireland's changing demographics, and our very rapidly changing attitude as to what constitutes old age, you need look no further than the ICC. Time was when it was thought quite something when one of the club achieved the Golden Jubilee of their membership. But these days, it's no big deal to have been on the strength for fifty years, as the senior member is Joe FitzGerald of Crosshaven, who this year marks 70 years in the club, and he is closely followed by Douglas Mellon who joined in 1947 from Howth - he now lives on the Scottish Riviera in Kircudbright.

WM Nixon's article in Afloat:

30kg Single Hander
Click on image to enlarge.

Aero After several years of development testing four different hull variations and numerous rig, foil and layout options, RS Sailing unveiled what could become one of the most important new sailboats of this era at the Suzuki RYA Dinghy Show in London - the RS Aero.

In many ways you can think of the RS Aero as a 21st century Laser - with the most fundamental difference being ultra-light weight. A full size single hander that, amazingly, weighs 30kg - the same as an Optimist.

Every dinghy sailor can imagine how that changes the game. Sail the boat and you quickly realise you underestimated it. From the exhilaration on the water, to the sheer user-friendliness ashore, the RS Aero re-sets preconceptions: The rush as the boat accelerates - the ability to carry it up the beach single-handed - the convenience of youths or small women lifting it onto a roof-rack with ease.

A three rig system, as per the Laser, has been envisaged from the start to cover the desired sailor range - RS Aero 5 (youths) - RS Aero 7 (women & light men) - RS Aero 9 (men). All spars are carbon fibre, with a common top mast and boom for all sails and radically different stiffness lower mast sections. The hull is so light that even the Aero 5 has a higher sail area to weight ratio than most existing single-handers and retains the Aero's incredibly dynamic feel. -- Martin Wadhams

Harken Tech Team Spring Regatta Service
Harken Winches need a tune-up? Hydraulics misbehaving? Missing a cotter pin? Whatever you need, the Harken Tech Team has you covered. Stop by and see us for a fix-up or just to chat during these spring regattas: St. Maarten Heineken Regatta; Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta; St Barth's Bucket Regatta; Melges 24 Euro Cup; Laser Europa Cup; Split Olympic Sailing Week; Optimist Easter Regatta; RC44 Championship Tour.

For details:

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Bob Oatley (AUS)
‘Bob has done so much for sailing in Australia and supported so many talented sailors that he definitely deserves this award’ - Jon Roberson. Oatley is best known as owner of a string of Wild Oats, but in Australia he is equally regarded for a great deal of behind the scenes effort to support emerging talent. His family is also keen on innovation, witness the multiple-appendage configuration of Wild Oats XI and the rotating keel Reichel-Pugh design launched two years ago. Sailing technology needs more Oatleys!

This month's nominees:

Glenn Ashby (AUS)
Competing against one of the toughest fleets on record and with no room for mistakes following a race retirement with a rudder failure, Ashby secured his eighth A-Class world title in Takapuna in February... to bring to 15 his total of world championship victories in multihulls. No wonder Grant Dalton was rather keen to re-sign the prodigiously successful Aussie to his very Kiwi Cup team

Seve Jarvin (AUS)
He’s now won the Australian 18ft Skiff championship six times, once as sheet hand and five times as skipper of Gotta Love It 7. And with five consecutive JJ Giltinan wins also under his belt Jarvin’s about to challenge Iain Murray’s all-time record of six wins in a row between 1977 and 1982. Jarvin is also racing the Extreme Sailing Series. Surely a phone call from the organisers of the next Aussie AC challenge is only a matter of time..

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

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Aarhus International Sailing Centre Close To Becoming A Reality
Establishing an International Sailing Center in Aarhus, Denmark is getting closer to become a reality. The winner of the architectural design competition for the Aarhus International Sailing Centre has been announced.

There has been a vision for Aarhus International Sailing Centre since 2008, when Sailing Aarhus hosted ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships at the Bay of Aarhus.

Since then Sailing Aarhus, an event organization established by 5 major clubs in Aarhus, has been organizing many international championships every year, among those the 49er & 49erFX European Championships 2013, 29er World Championship 2013, A-Cat World Championship 2011, 505 World Championship 2010 and several European Championships through the years.

Besides the City of Aarhus, the project is supported - among others - by the Danish Sailing Association, Team Denmark, the National Olympic Committee, Sailing Aarhus, the University of Aarhus and the Sports Academy Aarhus.

In March 2012, the Aarhus International Sailing Centre Foundation received a donation from the AP Møller and Chastine McKinney Møller Foundation to hold an architectural design competition.

The architectural design competition was launched in May 2013 by the Aarhus International Sailing Centre Foundation and 31 international architect teams applied for prequalification to participate. There were five competent and experienced teams in the competition. They each came up with a design for the international sailing center, which will be situated in the new city quarter Aarhus.

The architectural design competition was won by the Copenhagen-based company Entasis Architects A/S. The winner was chosen by a unanimous jury. -- Dan Ibsen

Full story in

Sydney To Mooloolaba Yacht Race
Brindabella at 22 knots 1995 Sydney to Mooloolaba race. Click on image to enlarge.

Mooloolaba The Notice of Race has been posted and online entries will open on Wednesday, March 5th.

The revitalization of the 469 nautical mile race to the Sunshine Coast and inclusion of multihulls is being driven by Sean Langman, owner of the 60-foot trimaran Team Australia.

Motivated by this year's New Zealand Coastal Classic, a multihull event open to monohulls, Langman is supporting the first race to offer both Australian fleets the chance to race side-by-side for separate trophies.

Multihull entries will race under OMR and PHS handicap and monohulls will be scored under PHS.

Both are eligible for separate line honours trophies.

An IRC division won't be offered this year due to the Audi IRC Australian Championship being staged at Newcastle the next week. IRC scoring and trophies will be included from 2015 onwards.

The original feeder race to the Brisbane to Gladstone was founded in 1964 and hosted by MHYC at The Spit. It was first called the Sydney to Brisbane race and later rebadged when the finish line was moved from Moreton Bay to Mooloolaba in 1973 for an open sea finish.

The resurrection of the Sydney to Mooloolaba Yacht Race marks twenty years since the record of 1 day 20 hours 1 minute 43 seconds was set by George Snow's mighty Jutson 79 Brindabella back in 2004. -- Lisa Ratcliff

Padlocks No Protection From Metal Thieves
Sailing clubs are urged to give their security a rethink as news emerges of thieves apparently targeting boats in storage for their aluminium.

The Flying Fifteen Blog highlights a recent incident at Welton Sailing Club on the Humber Estuary in which "a significant number of aluminium masts were stolen from dinghies".

A member of Humber Yawl Club wrote of the break-in: "Shroud wires have been cut to release the masts, which must have been removed in either a lorry or a van.

"While the club has experienced break-ins in the past, this is the first occasion when aluminium materials have been stolen. It would appear the club was targeted specifically for this material."

That metal thieves, who commonly steal copper from railway cabling or lead from roofs, have turned their attention to aluminium fittings on boats should be of great concern to boat clubs throughout the UK and Ireland.

These Guys Know How To Do PR...
Click on image to enlarge.

mast Walk Watch as solo round the world yachtsman Alex Thomson performs a daring feat on board his high-speed yacht, HUGO BOSS: He climbs up the 30-meter high mast of the moving vessel and dives into the ocean.

This is not the first stunt we've seen from Alex - two years ago he completed the "Keel Walk", a stunt that has become famous throughout the world

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The Last Word
Despite its name, the big bang theory is not really a theory of a bang at all. It is really only a theory of the aftermath of a bang. -- Alan H. Guth

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