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

Minimal Margins, Maximum Skill
The Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship fleet engaged in two 8nm windward/leeward races designed to test short-course racing prowess. Strategy, tactics, timing and fitness were examined in equal measure. Sailed under a clear blue sky, crews found the tight course and shifting wind rewarded advance planning and determination, while punishing hard errors and weakness. Robertissima III proved boat of the day securing a 2,1 scoreline that moved her into second overall 4.5 points behind Alegre, which finished 1,3. Ràn 5 lies in third, a mere half-point back.

Both the Wally and J-Class fleets sailed the same courses as the Mini Maxi Racers. With the wind, around 10-12 knots in the first race and 7-9 in the second, swinging up to 40 degrees, it was tough going in the contrasting yachts. Y3K leapt to the top of the Wally standings posting a 2,1 score. Defending champion, Jean Charles Decaux's J One is in second level on points. Lionheart proved the most adept of the J-Class with a bullet and a second. She is now in second overall, level on points with Ranger, and one point behind class leader Rainbow.

The remaining classes undertook a scenic coastal course that saw the yachts head briefly into the Maddalena channel to round Secca dei Tre Monti, before heading south to Mortoriotto. The Mini Maxi Racer/Cruisers sailed 24.7nm, while the Supermaxis and Maxis sailed a slighter longer 28.8nm version of the course

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship
1. Alegre (GBR), Alegre Yachting Ltd., 5.5 points
2. Robertissima (CAY), Roberto Tomasini, 9
3. Ran 5 (GBR), Niklas Zennstrom, 9.5

Mini Maxi R/C
1. Lupa Of London (GBR), Jeremy Pilkington, 2
2. Bronenosec (RUS), Alpenberg S.A., 6
3. Arobas (FRA), Gerard Logel, 6

Maxi Racing
1. Highland Fling XI (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 2
2. Odin (CAY), Tom Siebel, 4
3. Bristolian (GBR), Bristolian Marine Ltd., 8

1. Rainbow (NED), SPF JH2, 6
2. Lionheart (GBR), Stichting Lionheart Syndicate, 7
3. Ranger (CAY), R.S.V. Ltd., 7

1. Firefly (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 2
2. Inoui (SUI), Marco Vogele, 4
3. Viriella (ITA), Vittorio Moretti, 6

1. Y3K (GER), Claus Peter Offen, 6
2. J One (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 6
3. Magic Carpet 3 (GBR), Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 8

Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2 Qualify for Route Du Rhum
"Solo sailing a trimaran the size of Spindrift 2 requires complete physical commitment," says Yann Guichard, who recently sailed from the Azores to La Trinite-sur-Mer, alone at the helm of the world's largest racing multihull. With two months to go before the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, the skipper arrived late Monday afternoon and appeared positive and satisfied with his single-handed sail. His arrival fulfils the compulsory qualification required for the event.

Since Spindrift 2 was launched in 2008, nobody has had the audacity to sail this maxi-trimaran single-handed. The 40 metres long Spindrift 2 was designed to be raced by crews and holds several respective major ocean-sailing records. Spindrift racing thought long and hard about taking part in the Route du Rhum, adapting the trimaran especially for this epic race which will commence on November 2nd this year. The cockpit has been redesigned for use by a single-handed sailor/ Meanwhile, the surface area of the sails has been reduced by around 20% and an autopilot system has been fitted. The trimaran has not been reduced in size, however, and Spindrift 2 remains by far the largest boat taking part in the 10th edition of the most iconic of transatlantic races.

Almost 80 competitors registered in five boat classes for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe will be required to arrive in Saint-Malo by Friday October 24th, the eve of the official opening of the village. Until then, the Spindrift racing team will juggle their efforts between preparing Yann and Spindrift 2 for the autumn transatlantic race and the end of the D35 season on Lake Leman. Last weekend in Versoix, Ladycat finished fourth in the Open Nationale Suisse. The action will recommence this Saturday in Geneva with the Grand Prix Grange & Cie.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Volvo Ocean Race teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in the 2008 edition. There are several reasons for that.

First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as winter's teeth snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX® Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven -- Born at sea

Monkey Marine International 14 UK Nationals
After 4 days of solid big breeze that Weymouth has built a reputation for in the 14 fleet, after a phenomenally windy worlds in 2011, Sunday was meant to be 12 knots dropping to 8. Instead it turned out to be a perfect 15 knots all day.

Final top ten:
1. Glen Truswell / Sam Pascoe, 9 points
2. Archie Massey / Harvey Hillary, 12
3. Douglas Pattison / Mark Tait, 17
4. Richard Bone / Chris Rodway, 32
5. Andy Fitzgerald / Richard dobson, 33
6. Katie Nurton / Nigel Ash, 43
7. Kimball Morrison / Ed Dyer, 48
8. Julian Pearson / Nick Martin, 60
9. Robin Pascal / Martin Pascal, 67
10. Sam Barker / Josh O'brien, 80

Report in Yachts and Yachting

The Worlds will be held in Geelong, Australia 3-17 January 2015.

Dock Talk: Team Vestas Wind
Alicante, Spain: Chris Nicholson's Team Vestas Wind crew will enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with less time to prepare than any of their rivals but brimming with experience combined with youthful energy.

The Australian skipper is banking on the tried and tested including two sailors with seven Volvo Ocean Races under their belts already - New Zealanders Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse - in his crew announced this week.

The pair is joined by two other crew members with Race experience, Dutch navigator Wouter Verbraak and the first Argentine to be named for this year's race, Maciel Cichetti.

Nicholson will also have plenty of new talent on board with 23-year-old Australian Tom Johnson joining Danish Volvo Ocean Race first-timers Nicolai Sehested and Peter Wibroe.

To complete the team, Irish film-maker and photographer Brian Carlin will be responsible for bringing the story of Team Vestas Wind to millions of fans around the world as Onboard Reporter.

Lipton Cup 2014: Watch Out For The Sorcerer's Apprentices!
It's always great to see youth sportsmen & women challenge the established master, and this year's Lipton was a good example of how our youth are developing and how the face of sailing is changing.

Lipton Cup, one of the oldest sporting events in South Africa, is the ultimate event to win in sailing and has been sailed for by teams from Walvis Bay to Maputo over the last 105 years. Each yacht club may enter a single team for the event, which is sailed in identical L26 keelboats. Having won the event last year in Durban, the team from False Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) returned the challenge to the Cape and this year's event was held in the waters adjacent to Simonstown Naval Base.

With 15 teams competing, it was fantastic to see that the majority of sailors were under 25 and many were still teenagers. Even more noteworthy, was that many of the boats were youth development teams, who had come to Simonstown to take on the Grand Master of this event, Greg Davis who, with today's win, has now won it 12 times!

Greg and his experienced team sailing the yacht Co-Ordination, were exemplary on the water and won 3 of the 4 races! -- Trevor Wilkins

Final top three:
1. Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) - Yacht Co-ordination, Greg Davis/David Rae -co-skipper
2. Zeekoeivlei Yacht Club (ZVYC) -B&G, Daniel Agulhas -skipper
3. Royal Natal Yacht Club (RNYC) -Orion B2G2, Brennan Robinson -skipper

SK2 Dinghy

SK2. Welcome To The New.
Click on image for SK2 Videos

The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd and built by Ovington boats.

The SK2 will be shown at Southampton Boat Show 2014 and will be available for test sails at the show. The boat will be in the marina in berth M010. Book your test sail early by e-mailing us at or come to see us on our shore based stand at E032.

For more information on the SK2 and what it has to offer visit

Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds
The game will be wide open in the Laser and Laser Radial at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championship with large numbers gunning for World Championship glory and a Rio 2016 Olympic place.

Seventy two nations featuring 150 sailors will compete in the Laser fleet whilst 58 nations will sail in the 120-boat Laser Radial fleet. Both fleets will kick start racing in Santander on Friday 12 September.

Santander 2014 acts as the first qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Twenty three Laser and 19 Laser Radial nation spots are there for the taking which will make for tight and fierce competition on the Bay of Biscay.

Brazil's Robert Scheidt heads to Santander as the defending champion having taken his ninth Laser world title at the 2013 class World Championship in Al Mussanah, Oman. Since returning to the Laser in March 2013 Scheidt has picked up where he left off, racing at the front of the pack.

Final series racing will start on 14 September with 15 September a reserve day. Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 will see the Medal Race places decided before the finale on Thursday 18 September where the medallists will be decided.

* The British Sailing Team's world number five-ranked sailor Sophie Weguelin has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander (8-21 September).

The Lymington sailor, who competes in the 470 Women's event with Eilidh McIntyre, was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) following the flight home from the Aquece Rio International Regatta last month, and has been undergoing treatment to resolve the DVT and minimise any further risk.

In order to ensure she makes a full recovery, with no adverse effects to her health, Weguelin has been advised by the medical team not to sail for six months.

This period encompasses the Santander World Championships, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Grand Final in Abu Dhabi (26-30 November), and the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (24-31 January 2015).

* The 2014 ISAF Olympic World Championships will be held in Santander, Spain starting 8 September. The combined worlds are held every four years and bring together all Olympic classes in a single competition. Santander 2014 will be the qualifier for Rio 2016. The British Sailing Team have qualified a minimum of four entries per event in what will be a preview of Rio 2016 - and a lot more competitive. It will be interesting to see if this is appreciated by British television and newspaper media and what level of coverage they give to it. Perhaps Ben Ainslie could make a well publicized "surprise" visit . . .

As always with sailing events, weather plays its part in deciding the outcome of the medals, depending on the particular strengths of competitors in the prevailing conditions. The British Sailing Team is well diversified, with a leaning towards stronger winds and medals can be expected in the men and women's 470, the Finn, 49er and men's RS:X, with the Laser and Radial as maybes.

The hardest to forecast are the two new events, the 49erFX and the Nacra17, where all competitors are improving with each event and no British crew has really claimed this as their own.

No doubt team manager Stephen Park will pitch his expectations on the low side, but it really is time for the British team to show that they can produce medals at the big events and justify the funds and resources lavished on them. -- Gerald New in

16 Sailing Champions Invited To All Ireland Sailing Event At Howth Yacht Club
16 national sailing class champions have been invited to compete at the Howth Yacht Club hosted All Ireland Sailing Championships on the 6th and 7th of September. The championship, which began in 1947, will be sailed in the ISA's fleet of J80 keelboats where some of the nation's top sailors will battle it out for the coveted Helmsman's Trophy. Scroll down for invitee list.

From its invite list published yesterday the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has opted not to invite some of the strongest Irish dinghy and one design keelboat classes. For example there is no Flying fifteen invite despite a proud showing of 29–boats for its championships on Strangford Lough last weekend. Neither is there an invitation for the Laser, Fireball, Dragon, National 18 or Puppeteer classes. Nor are there invitations extended to the Olympic squad such as Annalise Murphy, winner of the women's Moth World Championships.

Mirror, Topper and 420 class invitees are also missing from the list but these may yet appear on the Junior Helmsmans invitee list as these classes are mainly sailed by youth sailors in Ireland.

The 16 boats will compete in two fleets of eight on Saturday, each scheduled for three races.

From there the top three boats from each fleet will progress to Sunday's final four-race series with two additional places remaining for the top two boats from a two-race repechage on Sunday morning.

Dates Confirmed for ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland
The RYA, in conjunction with the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), is pleased to confirm that the Weymouth and Portland leg of the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup will take place from the 8 -14 June 2015.

Returning to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic waters, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland will be the fourth stage of the six-leg revamped elite series. Racing will be conducted over five days with the fifth day of racing deciding who will take home the medals in a spectacular Medal Race day format for all classes.

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Melbourne - 7-14 December 2014
Miami - 25-31 January 2015
Hyères - April 2015
Weymouth - 8-14 June 2015
Asian Round - TBC
2015 Final Abu Dhabi - November 2015

For further information on UK Sport's Gold Event Series visit

Let's Take a Popular Stand and Lead
August was a big month for sailing in the popular media. Terry Hutchinson had an interview in Maxim, a lifestyle magazine that boasts a monthly readership of nearly 9 million. Jimmy Spithill and Dean Barker will be competing for bragging rights in a private fishing tournament orchestrated for The IMT Fishing Show in New Zealand.

Olympic sailors from several countries were quoted by the international media, including the Wall Street Journal, regarding the pollution in Guanabara Bay, the next Olympic sailing venue.

These are sure signs that sailing and elite sailors are being accepted into popular culture by popular media. With more exposure they may be able to attract more people to the sport and past time. Imagine how popular the sport would be if it started to take a stand and take direct action on a relevant transnational issue such as the deteriorated quality of our oceans? -- Lynn Fitzpatrick

Not Sailing But Very Cool... 70 Years On
With a hat tip to Peter Montgomery for sending this link to your humble narrator ... this is a wonderful, if sobering and poignant look at the past. Specifically the past of 70 years ago right before, during and right after D-Day.

The technical effect is stunning... hold your cursor over an image from 1944, slide to the right, and you see the exact same location 70 years later in 2014.

With so much falling apart in the world... at least these places are a hell of a lot better off today thanks to the nearly inconceivable bravery of so many.

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Ian Gordon

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The Last Word
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