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

5.5m IC World Championship
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image to enlarge.

5.5m Two great races completed on the second day of the 5.5m World Championship 2014 in Porto Santo Stefano, Tuscany. A challenging course for the 37 yachts from Bahamas, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Italy that sailed under sunny skies with winds from the east north-east at 8-15 knots gusting to 23 and flat azure seas with occasional whitecaps.

After two races, 1st Artemis XIV - Kristian Neergaard (NOR57), 2nd John B - Gavin McKinney (BAH19) and 3rd Sinewave - Thomas Muller (GER82). Mission Possible - Markus Wieser (GER79) wins Race 1 and Sinewave - Thomas Muller (GER82) wins Race 2.

Videos of racing
Photo gallery

Top Three Results Overall:
1. Artemis XIV - Kristian Neergaard, NOR, 4 points
2. John B - Gavin McKinney, BAH, 6
3. Sinewave - Thomas Muller, GER, 9

The weather forecast for Wednesday 24 September calls for violent thunderstorms starting this evening and stormy conditions tomorrow with southeasterly winds at 20-22 knots.

San Francisco Return For Rolex Farr 40 Fleet
The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship will be held in San Francisco, California next month (15-18 October). More than 20 yachts are expected to take part in the defining juncture of the Farr 40 racing season

The St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, last hosted this event in 2004; however, the Farr 40 fleet recently had the opportunity to test the famed wind and tidal conditions of San Francisco Bay during September's Rolex Big Boat Series. The current Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, Italy's Alberto Rossi, sailing Enfant Terrible, finished second overall at the event, succumbing to Rolex Farr 40 North American Champion Alex Roepers a native of The Netherlands who skippers Plenty.

Rossi won his 2013 World Championship on a tie-breaker countback following the closest finish in the event's history, and his crew will again be joined by skilled tactician Vasco Vascotto, fresh from an impressive Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup onboard the Mini Maxi Robertissima III. However, successfully defending a Rolex Farr 40 world title is a difficult task and has only been achieved by one team: Italy's Mascalzone Latino in 2007 and 2008.

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

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Stamm And Le Cam team up for the Barcelona World Race, Soubenn beats Cammas to the Tour Voiles, no Atlantic records (for now), the Irish close out the French in Cowes, another 'new' Half Ton launch (in Kiwi), plus a new Class 950, Iain Murray on making 'that' difficult decision... and design data for all courtesy of Stan Honey and friends. Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

Rod Davis
An illuminating reprise of coaching methodology from one of the latest recruits to Artemis Racing

Seahorse build table - Welcome back
Time for a new raceboat from Stephen Jones

It all started in a garage - Part 1
Dobbs Davis sits down for a serious history lesson with J/24 designer Rod Johnstone

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Concern That ISAF Proposal Will Cause Chaos In The Sport
Every year ISAF solicits opinions from their member national authorities to help decide how to improve the game of sailing. Submissions are made in August, are assigned to their relevant committees for consideration, and are debated in November at the Annual Meeting. After deliberation, committees bring their proposals to the ISAF Council, who then vote on whether to adopt these recommendations into the Rules.

The ISAF Executive Committee can also bring items in front of the Council, and one of their submission offered this year is a shocker. ISAF is proposing to eliminate the Classification system used to define "professional" and "amateur" sailors and let the classes and events manage it themselves.

For ISAF to be the target of criticism for being out of touch with the sport is nothing new, but this proposal has some real dangers.

For nearly two decades, dozens of classes and events have used the ISAF Sailor Classification system to help shape the kind of sailors they want racing by helping to define the difference between someone who races as a pastime or as a profession.

And more than just defining this code, ISAF has developed and refined a free-access, web-based system to administer and manage it as well, with 100,000+ sailors from 216 countries using the system.

The system is not perfect, and has come under fire at various times for applying the definitions in ways that don't always seem fair, such as mixing the truly pro sailors who are making a living at racing with those who are not getting paid directly but may work in the industry and can make a boat go fast.

But this has evolved, improved and become more consistent with time, and most classes are happy with its application and use so that a Group 1 ("amateur") sailor in one class is assured to have similar status in another class.

Full story in Scuttlebutt:

MOCRA UK Bembridge Regatta
Saturday's forecast was pretty dismal with fog and very light winds, however the visibility improved and there was enough of a breeze to set the 14 cruiser/racer multihulls off for three relatively pedestrian windward/leeward races.

With the wind gusting to 20 knots Sunday's more entertaining first race was also the Bembridge SC's "Barts Bash" race. Buzz (Seacart30) hurtled round the 10.36km course in a mere 28 minutes 55 seconds.

The final race started with a short but perfect beat to Warner, then it was off to the Nab Tower and back to Derrick. With almost perfect reaching conditions it was no surprise that line honours and overall winner of the race was Phil Cotton in Buzz. Second place was Mark Lacey in Voodoo Spirit ahead of Nick Barlow in Kittiwake.

A great weekend and as always a pleasure to welcome the MOCRA fleet to Bembridge. Congratulations to the overall Regatta winner, Phil Cotton in Buzz, to Di Broadbent in Smithy who was second and to Steve Homewood (and family) in Alini who was third. The Barts Bash race was simply amazing and for a great cause.

For more details see

"Racing" AC45's - One Design
ACEA announced last week that all six America's Cup teams have agreed to a project to modify the AC45 catamarans for foiling in the America's Cup World Series (ACWS). When will racing in foilers begin? Will the foiling AC45's be one design? What wind speed will be needed to foil an AC45? Will the Youth America's Cup be raced in foiling AC45's?

Three teams, Luna Rossa, Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA have already modified AC45's for foiling. Ben Ainslie Racing will launch their modified AC45 within a few weeks. Each team has made the modifications differently. The trick for the America's Cup World Series is to keep the AC45 a one design class and avoid an arms race in AC45 development. This means they will have the same shape daggerboards, rudder wings and rake control systems. The AC 45 Class Rule needs to be changed and the boats used for racing must all be modified by the builder, Core Composites. At least six AC45's - one for each competitor - will need to be modified for racing. The question is when - before any racing begins, or part way through the series?

The Protocol strictly limits the number of daggerboards and wings a team can build for their AC62, but allows an unlimited number of daggerboards and wings on their development AC45's. In fact, as long as the lower part of the hulls is the same shape as an AC45, they can build anything they want to test - a boat with wider beam, aerodynamic crossbeams, hydraulics, electronics, cockpits and grinding stations, daggerboard and rudder rake controls, you name it. -- Jack Griffin in Cup Experience

Traditional Shipbuilding Barn Raised In Beaulieu
A replica of an 18th century shipwright's workshop has been completed in Hampshire, following months of manual labour by apprentices, students and carpenters.

The Buckler's Hard project began in March, with an aim of preserving traditional shipwright's skills and restoring classic vessels.

The completed Shipwright School in Beaulieu will be run in connection with the International Boatbuilding Training College in Portsmouth.

Mary Montagu-Scott, the daughter of Lord Montagu, who has led the project said: "I am delighted that this long planned project has finally come to fruition.

"It has been a unique build in that it has been totally hand-made, using traditional methods and original tools, from the timber of approximately fifty estate trees grown less than a mile away from the site."

WIM Series Event On Lake Michigan
The penultimate event on the 2014 Women's International Match Racing Series is the Buddy Melges Challenge. The event will be raced for the remainder of this week on Lake Michigan, in the mid-US town Sheboygan. World Champion Anna Kjellberg of Sweden is the highest ranked skipper to participate.

The Buddy Melges Challenge has been an ISAF Grade One match racing event in Sheboygan for a number of years. The event is named after the famous Olympian, America's Cup sailor, boat builder, and Wisconsinite Buddy Melges, whose contributions to the sport have been long standing. The trophy for the event resides in the Sheboygan Yacht Club and is a replica of the America's Cup.

The Buddy Melges Challenge will be raced in a fleet of immaculately maintained Elliott 6Ms - the same boats that were used for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition

World #1, current WIM Series leader and four consecutive times winner in Sweden, Camilla Ulrikkeholm of Denmark, will not be at the US event due to work commitment

The trophy for the WIM Series overall winner - The Terry J. Kohler Perpetual Trophy - is named after Sheboygan businessman Terry Kohler, a long-time proponent and supporter of women's match racing and all of the sailing activities at Sail Sheboygan

Participants in the Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth stage of the 2014 WIM Series:

Anna Kjellberg, SWE
Stephanie Roble, USA
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA
Caroline Sylvan, SWE
Juliana Senfft, BRA
Chantal Hearst, CAN
Madeline Gill, USA

Standings in the 2014 WIM Series, after three stages out of five (skipper name, nationality, WIM Series points):

1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 72
2. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 63
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 46
4. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 45
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 44
6. Stephanie Roble, USA, 33
7. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 32
8. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 28
9. Annabel Vose, GBR, 25
10. Morgane Fountaine, FRA, 14
11. Lucie Scheiwiller, FRA, 12
12. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 10
13. Mary O'Loughlin, IRL, 8
14. Linda Rahm, SWE, 7
15. Rajaa Al Owaisi, OMA, 6
16. Laura Dillon, IRL, 6
17. Anastasia Guseva, RUS, 4
18. Anne-Christianne Kentgens, NED, 0

Melges 24 European Sailing Series - Dutch Open Championship
Medemblik, Netherlands: Audi tron has reconfirmed its leadership in the Melges 24 Class winning the final act of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series.

At the end of 7 races sailed under very light breeze, the Audi Italia Sailing Team has collected a strong margin over the strong Dutch team John Des Engelsman's NED-645 becoming the best team sailing the one design boat produced by the Melges Performance Sailboats.

Third on the podium within 18 points margin from the leader we have Miles Quinton's Gill Race Team GBR 694 with Marshall King/Geoff Carveth on the helm that took over David Rowen's GBR-557 .

Now that the 2014 Melges 24 European Sailing Series is over, the Audi Italia Sailing Team is focused on its final committment at the Audi tron Sailing Series Melges 32, taking place in Genova 3-5 October.

In Medemblik Audi tron has sailed with Riccardo Simoneschi in the helm, Enrico Fonda (tactician), Stefano Orlandi (trimmer), Federico Buscaglia (pitman) and Lucia Giorgetti (bowman).

Full results:

ISAF Turns Down Technology
After three days at this farce that has been the ISAF World Championships in Santander, I wrote an opinion piece about starting technology (see Related Content). It was prompted by a general recall under Black Flag, where several sailors were thrown out of the race but others who were over the line were not.

I suggested that it should be possible to adapt the marvellous technology developed by Stan Honey and his team for the 34th America's Cup, to provide an electronic line and sensors on every bow that would tell the race committee exactly who was over the line. In the AC, it was accurate to within 2cm.

Well now the plot thickens. According to ACEA Race Director, Iain Murray, the technology was offered to ISAF. Stan Honey told them they could have it for less than it would cost to send all the startline officials to Santander and put them up in hotels.

Apparently, the reaction couldn't have been more violent if he'd suggested sleeping with their sisters. What? Stop the gravy train? Deprive all those elderly souls of their free junket? Just to give the sailors a fairer race?

"By the way, Stan, we don't think we need you on that ISAF sub-committee any more. Heretics have been burned at the stake in Spain before, you know."

We've had live tracking of yacht races for at least five years. It has worked perfectly at Sail Melbourne since 2009, as it did at Perth 2011 and the 2012 Olympics. It even works globally - you can find the Volvo Ocean Race boats when they're deep in the Southern Ocean.

But here at Santander the 2D tracking hasn't worked at all and the 3D kept locking up - if you could get it to load in the first place. There were people sitting up until the small hours of the morning in Australia to follow the races - only to find the technology didn't work.

So I was very surprised to hear that SAP offered ISAF their superb analytics software, which has been proven at Extreme Series and the 505 Worlds. According to my very reliable source, they didn't even get the courtesy of a reply. SAP didn't want money - they were even prepared to pay to have their techs here to make sure it worked.

Please embrace this new technology now. -- Roger McMillan

* Editor: Roger has a long list of troubles at Santander here:

* Editor: The Pope has reminded your humble narrator that when he was ISAF President 20 years ago, Bernie Stegmeier, then head of IBM Suisse and President of the Swiss MNA too him to Swatch Watch... where they'd developed a system that would "beep" a sailor if he was over the line. Paul and Bernie both thought the worst thing in racing was to finish the race and find out you were OCS.

Swatch engineers told ISAF that it was accurate to plus or minus 3 feet. Race officials said it was not accurate enough, and the Race Committee as ISAF killed the idea. Paul noted that an RC person stationed on a bobbing boat... with the mark banging around in the waves ... was bound to be less accurate, but to no avail.

Stan Honey's got it down to 2cm? And ISAF still turns it down? Wow...

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