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

Volvo Ocean Race: First Day At Sea
Photo by Christophe Favreau, Click on image for photo gallery.

VOR Start Team Vestas Wind emerged as narrow leaders when daylight broke on the Mediterranean after the first night of Leg 1 but the fleet was closeley bunched after a night of rain and wind shifts as a weather front passed over the fleet.

Team Vestas Wind Onboard Reporter Brian Carlin summed up how things were progressing at the head of the fleet in his overnight log.

"We keep battling it out for the lead with MAPFRE right now," he reports. "Team Brunel is out on the wings, the night will be long. A change in wind has already been causing some tactical moves within the fleet.

"Just after dark set in, a big left hand swing developed within minutes putting an all-hands-on-deck scenario for the crew. I suspect this to continue throughout the night."

By 0700 UTC with wind speed around 10 knots, the Danish boat was still just two nautical miles clear of MAPFRE, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing a mile adrift of them and Dongfeng Race Team bringing up the rear but still very much in touch.

In all, three boats - MAPFRE, Abu Dhabi and Team Vestas Wind - held the lead during the course of the night before a move by the Danish boat to head to the coast in the opposite direction to the rest of the fleet paid dividends at around 0300UTC. And during the day on Sunday just 4 nautical miles separated first from last as the fleet prepared for the transit through the Straits of Gibraltar and out into the North Atlantic.

The fleet was expected at the Straits at around 1900UTC.

Ranking at 1525 CEST (1325 UTC) Sunday:

1. Team Vestas Wind
2. MAPFRE - 0.6nm from the leader
3. Dongfeng Race Team - 2nm from the leader
4. Team Alvimedica - 3nm from the leader
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 3nm from the leader
6. Team SCA - 3nm from the leader
7. Team Brunel - 4nm from the leader

Testimony of a VOR App Addict
So, this is a little tough for me, you know, I don't usually like opening up and sharing emotions. I'm a man, after all.

The first time I tried the App was through a friend, Chris Carpenter. I guess that's how it always starts, through so called friends, mixing with the wrong crowd....

Chris said "have you tried the App?" "What App?" "The race App, it's really good. It actually works better on your phone than on a computer. The graphics are smoother."

I don't normally go for this sort of thing, but, well, Chris is a mate - ha, that's what I thought anyway - and, you know, what harm could it do? So I downloaded.

The rush was instant. I could pinch zoom in and out of the tracker, see the little boats whizz along, speed up time, watch all the lead changes and boat tracks. And when I could spin the whole world round with my little finger, well, that was it. I knew I was hooked.

Now I have to get the phone out every few hours, just to see how my favourite team is getting on.

And this is the really sick part. The stuff they don't tell you about. My daughter is fighting me for the phone. Whenever it comes out, she's wants some too! She wants to know how the girls are getting on. It's like a disease man!

So, you know. It's infected our family. We're arguing about tactics. I'm even having to go out and work to pay for all the time I can twiddle on the App. No wonder the employment rate is soaring in our part of the world.

And there's, like, videos, and onboard chats, and some American chick, Genny something, yakking about how it's all going, and God it's free. They're actually giving this stuff away just to get us hooked!

Right there man, that is a Goddamned crime. These people should be locked up!!! These evil app pushers, they've got one helluva lot to answer for!!!

Phew... Sorry. Gets me pretty worked up this sort of thing.

I better sit down.

Anyway, that's my testimony. I guess if I've learned anything, it's, like, nothing new. It's been said a thousand times. If you don't want to get addicted, Just Say No. Such simple words. If only it was so easy... Thanks for listening. -- Digby Fox -

Windy Start With Big Swells In Busan
The Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the last event on the 2014 WIM Series, couldn't have kicked off with more challenging conditions. Sunday's racing offered waves of up to three metres height, gusts around 30 knots and as many degrees suddenly shifting wind direction:

"I felt just like being in a washing machine" sighs Anne-Claire Le Berre of France, who, despite that impression, managed the conditions in a formidable way. With three wins and no losses she's the only undefeated skipper at the top of the scoreboard so far in the regatta.

Super Typhoon Vongfong is not expected to disturb the racing in the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race until Monday, but Sunday's conditions were challenging enough for the crews on this final event of the 2014 WIM Series. The swells and the puffs caused not only severe difficulties in boat handling, but also a few minor breakdowns and some seasickness among the crews. Yet 20 matches were sailed, after a short initial postponement.

With Super Typhoon Vongfong predicted to approach the waters of Haeundae beach on Monday, bringing 50 millimetres of rain and as many knots of wind, it may be no racing at all.

Standings in the round-robin of the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the fifth and final event of the 2014 WIM Series (skipper, country, wins - losses):

1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 3 - 0
2. Katie Spithill, AUS, 3 - 1
2. Trine Palludan, DEN, 3 - 1
4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 2 - 1
4. Denise Lim, SIN, 2 - 1
4. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 2 - 1
4. Susannah Pyatt, NZL, 2 - 1
8. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 2 - 2
9. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 1 - 2
10. Sung Eun Choi, KOR, 0 - 3
10. Urara Fujii, JPN, 0 - 3
12. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 0 - 4

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

Seahorse Magazine

Some you win some you lose... with Terry Hutchinson, Dobbs Davis celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Big Boat Series, Nick Holroyd of Emirates TNZ takes a first look at AC62 design and we catch up with 'new' Italian skipper on the block... Roberto Tomasini

Quality sells
Even TP52 class manager Rob Weiland is faintly amazed at the number of TP52s in build

Have your say!
The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation needs your help... as Dobbs Davis explains

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Esimit Europa 2 Wins Barcolana Regatta
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Barcolana Trieste, Italy: "What a race!" was the most common remark among the thousands of spectators at the dock side of Trieste, after a dramatic finish of the 46th edition of the Barcolana regatta, as Esimit Europa 2 crossed the finish line first, struggling in conditions of calm and very light breeze up to only 2 knots of speed.

At the famous Barcolana, the sailing festival in Trieste, 1,878 yachts gathered at the starting line, which was the highest number of yachts in the last five years. This year, this largest single-start regatta in the Mediterranean was marked with extreme conditions of calm and light breeze, in which the crews had to navigate in no more than two knots of wind speed throughout the course of the race. The organizers had to shorten the original course of about 13 nautical miles to end at the first water mark.

In a dramatic finish with sailboats Maxi Jena, Tempus fugit and Illyteca (Tutta Trieste), the crew of Esimit Europa 2, which is composed of the best sailors from 11 different European countries, led by the German sailing legend in the role of skipper and helmsman, Jochen Schumann, managed to cross the finish line as the first in the fleet. After 2 hours, 38 minutes and 38 seconds of sailing on only about four nautical miles long course of today's race, the Esimit Europa 2 achieved its fifth consecutive victory at the Barcolana regatta, and its 34 consecutive victory since its christening in 2010. The second and third place went to the sailing boats Illyteca and Maxi Jena.

In very different conditions of this race in the year 2010, the Esimit Europa 2 established the record of 56 minutes and 13 seconds on the 16.8-mile course.

Eric Monnin Wins Teamwork Geneva Match Race
Swiss local hero Eric Monnin and his team Sailbox won the twelfth edition of TeamWork Geneva Match Race ahead of David Gilmour (AUS) and Arthur Herreman (FRA).

The final took place on Sunday afternoon in light and fluky winds off the Societe Nautique de Genève. Eric Monnin didn't leave a chance to Gilmour, winning the final 2-0.

Monnin was sailing with olympian sailors Yannick Brauchli and Romuald Hausser, as well as Julien Falxa.

Slightly disappointed with his result, Gilmour said he enjoyed sailing on lake Geneva for the first time: "It's a beautiful spot and we were very happy to compete here. We are disappointed with our result but Eric sailed really well. We've been in Europe since may and this is the end of our european tour. We will now head to Bermuda where we will once again sail against Monnin."

TeamWork Geneva Match Race was organized by Societe Nautique de Genève with the support of IT company TeamWork.

Final ranking, TeamWork Geneva Match Race 2014
1. Team Sailbox, Eric Monnin (SUI)
2. Team Gilmour, David Gilmour (AUS)
3. Match the World Sailing Team, Arthur Herreman
4. Lumba Match Race Team, Dejan Presen

18ft Skiffs R. Watt Memorial Trophy
Sydney Harbour, Australia: 18ft Skiff Racing was back on Sydney Harbour today when the Australian 18 Footers League staged the R. Watt Memorial Trophy 3-Buoys race as the opening event of its 2014-2015 Season.

A perfect 18-knot North-East sea breeze prevailed, giving competitors some excellent rides and spectators great racing action to watch.

The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew of Michael Coxon, Dave O'Çonnor and Trent Barnabas were superb to lead for most of the race before finally crossing the finish line 12s ahead of the nearest challenger.

Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Jeronimo Harrison, Gus Williams) were consistently near the head of the fleet throughout the race to come home in a deserved second place.

Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Clinton Evans (Gotta Love It 7)were a further 54s back in third place.

With new teams and several replacement skippers and crews on the opening day, the race produced some great battles throughout with placings changing continuously behind the winner. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Final Placings were:
1. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers
2. Asko Appliances
3. Gotta Love It 7
4. Lumix
5. Smeg
6. Appliancesonline
7. Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel
8. Yandoo
9. Mojo Wine
11. Noakesailing
12. Fisher & Paykel
13. Ilve

De'Longhi, Pure Blonde, The Kitchen Maker

Nick Bubb Joins The John Merricks Sailing Trust As A Trustee
Nick was the recipient of a JMST award back in 2003 which supported his Mini Transat campaign and allowed him to demonstrate the potential he had begun to show as an emerging talent in shorthanded ocean racing. He subsequently went on to race around the world non-stop on a maxi-cat in the Oryx Quest, competed in the Volvo Ocean Race, Transat Jacques-Vabre, Route du Rhum, Mini Transat, numerous Round Britain & Ireland races and many other Open 60, Class 40, Mini and Figaro events.

More recently, Nick skippered the centenary Shackleton Epic Expedition during their crossing of the Southern Ocean re-tracing Shackleton's voyage from Antarctica to South Georgia, on a 23 foot wooden rowing boat in vintage clothing.

Professionally Nick no longer works in sailing and after a short career in finance, now works with the wildlife conservation charity Fauna & Flora International as their Global Development Executive. Many of his achievements he attributes to the support he received from the JMST and the life changing opportunities that were given to him as a result.

As part of the voluntary role which includes helping to select future awardees and promoting the JMST, Nick will be representing the Trust at the North Sails Golf Day on Friday 24th October, an annual event that always draws the support of former colleagues and friends of John's.

Sir Ben Ainslie and Matt Cornwell from Ben Ainslie Racing and Iain Percy, Skipper of Artemis Racing will be joining Nick and a host of past Olympic medallists, professional sailors, yacht designers and marine industry colleagues, who turn out to play a good game of golf whilst remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.

Venezuelan David Gonzalez Arria Wins The 2014 Sunfish Youth World Championship
Arapahoe, North Carolina, USA: Holding a slim two point lead going into the final race of the nine race series, David Gonzalez Arria of Venezuela stayed ahead of his closest competitor and finished third in the race to win the series. Alonso Collantes of Peru was seventh in the final race to finish second overall. Finishing strong in the last two days of racing and rounding out the top three was Daniela Rodriguez of Ecuador. John Birkett also representing Ecuador was fourth and Chase Carraway of the United States finished in fifth. Thirty seven competitors from six countries participated in the championship. The Youth World Championship was open

The Youth World Championship will be immediately followed by the Sunfish World Championship with seventy two sailors. Twelve races are scheduled in the World Championship running from October 13 through 16 with October 17 as a reserve day if necessary.

2014 Sunfish Youth Worlds final results

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The Last Word
So Einstein was wrong when he said, "God does not play dice." Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen. -- Stephen Hawking

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