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

How Libby Outsmarted The Guys
Libby Greenhalgh took her courage in her hands and split with the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet approaching the Straits of Gibraltar - and it briefly left the women of Team SCA in a good lead as they entered the Atlantic on Monday.

The Team SCA navigator has made her reputation as a skilled meteorologist but she still wondered if she had made the right call when she ordered the magenta boat to go north when the other 55 sailors went south.

"Everyone except us were going the southerly route through the Straits and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why," said the Briton.

"We wanted to stay with the fleet but we also wanted to stick with our plan - and our plan has us sailing north."

The crew had to wait four hours after their tactical gamble for their next position report - and found that they were sitting pretty, some 21 nautical miles clear of their rivals.

"The team collectively hooted and hollered for joy as Libby told us we were ahead," related their onboard reporter, Corinne Halloran. "Our risk paid off big time and we are now officially sailing in the Atlantic Ocean."

By midday CEST (10:26 UTC), however, the rest of the fleet had made up for lost time and were again bunched up in a 14-mile spread from first, Team Vestas Wind, to last, MAPFRE. By this time, Team SCA were fifth.

All of the fleet, were sailing at around 10 knots.

At 2155 UTC, October 13:

1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
3. Team Alvimedica
4. Team Vestas Wind
5. Team Brunel
6. Team SCA
7. Dongfeng Race Team

How A Bitter Feud Sank The Sydney To Hobart Race Yacht Wild Thing
It was the high-profile sailing partnership that promised a return to the glory days of its maiden win in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.

But the team behind the drama-plagued 100-footer Wild Thing has imploded in a mire of bankruptcy, financial disputes and accusations of incompetence that famously saw the vessel disqualified just three hours before the start of the 2012 race.

The boat's skipper Grant Wharington has been bankrupted following a disastrous property project in Victoria and has fallen out royally with the boat's alleged owner David Price over finances and the failures of Wild Thing.

Under questioning by ­lawyer Innis Cull, Mr Price blamed Mr Wharington for the team being disqualified from the 2012 race, which he believes Wild Thing would have won.

Officials ruled team Wild Thing had not properly submitted their paperwork, but Mr Price told the court Mr Wharington included false ­information on documents about modifications he had made to the boat, leading to them being disqualified.

"We were disqualified ­because he was inept in building and helping to build the boat," Mr Price said.

"His representations were incorrect, he lied on documents and ... the racing commissioner ... forbid us from ­entering, causing great distress to everybody involved."

The [bankruptcy] examination heard disputed claims about the value and ownership of Wild Thing, which is at risk of falling into the trustee's hands.

Mr Price's company, BC-39, allegedly bought the boat from Wharington Properties for about $40,000, despite estimates valuing it at more than $1 million, the court heard.

But shipping records showed it was still listed as being owned by the company.

Luderitz Speed Challenge
Luderitrz, Namibia: Easier conditions, records have increased.

After the last strong conditions, today the wind was good enough to improve and break some other National Records.

Beginning at 20-25 knots reaching 30-35 knots in the middle of the afternoon.

This 3rd day of race has seen improved conditions with a more stable wind and a shallower wind angle.

The channel has been pumped to increase the level of water as well.

Andrew Redfern, the Fijian who has established the record of his nation on Thursday reaching 36.41 kts in difficult conditions and never stopped improving today until exceeding 40 knots. He has been helped and coached by Anders Bringdal, Farrel O'Shea and Sébastien Cattelan. As Andrew Redfern is leaving us tonight, the new Fijian Record is now 40.87 kts.

Another National Record has been broken today. We saw the Swedish kitesurfer Roger Ornvang pushing it the whole day until achieving 43.19 kts beating his own record from last year which was 41 knots.

The spectators enjoyed a nice battle between the young Dutch Hans Kreisel and his mentor Jacques van der Hout who led the race today with 47.74 kts.

Some of the riders took the opportunity to train in choppy conditions today and test some equipment in the lagoon.

Erik Beale has shown lots of knowledge from his great experience in Speed Sailing using the whole day to test his prototypes which are a combination of a windsurf and kitesurf board adding a cavitating fin. The result looks promissing. -- Sophie Routaboul

Marinepool - Clothing Partner of the Extreme Sailing Series™
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We have built a reputation for outstanding quality, excellent service and quick and reliable deliveries. These are only a few of the reasons why no less than 4 of this year´s teams in the Extreme Sailing Series™, among them 2012 and 2013 Champions The Wave, Muscat, are racing in Marinepool kit.

Using only the best materials and state of the art production technologies, no detail is omitted to ensure every product is optimized before it reaches the market. More than 23 years of experience and design excellence, plus the invaluable input of the world class athletes proudly wearing Marinepool garments, guarantee the products are at the cutting edge of technology.

Uncompromising, highly functional and extremely light weight; Tested and approved by many of the world's finest sailors.

As a group of companies with German roots and head quarters, operating in 43 countries, with product lines ranging from performance sailing clothing and a test winning life jacket range to maritime fashion, Marinepool is uniquely qualified and the perfect match for the clothing requirements of YOUR sailing team or company.

Purchase the Extreme Sailing Series™ Collection by Marinepool directly from the official online store: or contact us for your customized team wear on

Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.

Postponement Of Monday's Racing At The Busan Cup
Photo by Kim Wolf. Click on image to enlarge.

Busan Cup With winds around 30 knots, and even stronger gusts from the nearby Super Typhoon Vongfong, there was no possibility at all to race in Busan on Monday. The sailors received the disappointing but expected message when gathered for the Monday morning briefing in the 19th floor gym of the Seacloud Hotel:

“From the hotel roof we can clearly see the sea state and feel how much the wind is blowing, well above the limit” Regatta Director Alfredo Ricci stated.

“Even without the Official Warning of Korean Coast Guard, there wasn’t a single chance to sail today” Ricci continued.

The Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the last event on the 2014 WIM Series, will resume racing Tuesday, if the weather allows

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

Rare British Win In The Star Class
Ante Razmilovic and Brian Hammersley scored a rare British win in the Star class Trofeo d'Amicizia at Brenzone on Lake Garda over the weekend. They beat the reigning European Champions, Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy by one point, with Christian Scheinecker and Gebhardt Wallinger of Austria third. Since the removal of the Star class from the Olympics few Star boats are raced by British crews. -- Gerald New in

International Star - Trofeo d'Amicizia - Final top five:

1. Ante Razmilovic, Brian Hammersley, GBR, 11 points
2. Diego Negri, Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA, 12
3. Christian Scheinecker, Gebhard Wallinger, AUT, 19
4. Tom Lofstedt, Jesper Sundman, SWE, 20
5. Alexey Zhivotovsky, Lev Shnyk, Vodnik, RUS, 23

Full results:

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 15-18 October.

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.

The first of four days of racing commences on Wednesday 15 October, with the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship prizegiving concluding the week's activities on Saturday 18 October.

Just So Dominates Jog Offshore and Inshore Series
David McGough's J109 'Just So' has dominated the 2014 JOG Offshore and Inshore series from the outset. Starting with a win in the Cowes-Cherbourg Race in April, she went on to take three further firsts, a second and fourth for a convincing overall win in the Offshore series.

A closely fought win in this weekend's JOG Inshore Cowes-Owers race, saw her vying against J109 Jibe, and put her clear ahead to win the Inshore series, with fours firsts, two seconds and a fourth.

Powered by Elvstrom Sails EPEX laminate membrane sails, Just So also won the 2013 Offshore series. This is the first time she has won both JOG series in the same year.

A very happy David said, "We had everything on Saturday, 5 to 19 knots, sunshine, heavy rain and hail. The thunder and lightning threatened but was always on the edges. The wind shifts were huge and we played snakes and ladders with Jibe.

However, in difficult conditions yesterday, and even with only six of us and our revered tactician in bed ill, we managed another 1st out of 12 boats with Jibe two minutes behind. We were first overall on corrected time by 20 seconds out of 58 boats! What a way to finish the season - it has been a great JOG year."

Voodoo Child Wins Bluboats Cup 2014
The Voodoo Child Sailing Team Team won last weekend not only the blu26 class championship at the Züricher Yacht Club but with this also the Bluboats Cup 2014, the annual blu26 class championship. In second place we find last years winner Giachen Racing and in third place the Team Hazel. Overall 22 blu26 have participated in the five championship regattas held in Switzerland and Germany.

The full results matrix of the Bluboats Cup 2014 is online in the news section of the bluboats website:

New Uk Youth Sailing And Education Initiative
On Monday October 13th, Sir Keith Mills and four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie launched the 1851 Trust, which aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training to become innovators of the future and stewards of the marine environment. 

The Duchess of Cambridge will be Royal Patron of the new charity. 

The Trust will be supported by Ben Ainslie Racing, and the team will host a Visitor Centre for the Trust at the team's Portsmouth headquarters, opening in June 2015. It will be an interactive showcase for the sport, sustainability and innovation. Sir Ben Ainslie will also be a Patron of the 1851 Trust.

1851 was the year of the Great Exhibition, a celebration of modern industrial science, technology and design and championed by Prince Albert. It was an opportunity for countries to showcase the best of their achievements. A syndicate of businessmen from the United States brought the schooner called America to demonstrate their shipbuilding skills. America outclassed the British racing fleet of 1851, and began the challenge that Ben Ainslie Racing have now embraced - to bring the Cup home.

The Trustees will be: Rod Carr CBE, Chair of UK Sport; Robert Elliott, Chairman and Senior Partner of Linklaters, the global law firm; Jo Grindley, representing Ben Ainslie Racing; Sir Richard Ottaway MP; Wendy Schmidt, President of The Schmidt Family Foundation and co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute; Rob Stevens CB, former Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation; and Georgie Thompson, broadcaster.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series / MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships
There might have been a mixed bag of weather conditions but the central Solent hosted some great, close racing for the second weekend of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series, this week comprising the first of two MDL Hamble  Big Boats championship weekends.

For the second race of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series the forecast predicted a light Northeasterly wind that would build to around 17 knots as the day went on, and so it proved, with all classes fitting in two races from a startline near Hill Head.

The big boats of IRC 0 were first away. Niklas Zennstrom's Farr 45 Kolga won both races, ahead of a brace of J/111s - Louise Makin's Kolga and Chris Body's Icarus with two  2nds and two 3rd  places respectively.

In IRC1, Bernard Olesinski's X-40 Xinska improved on her 2nd place last week to score two firsts this week. Tim Octon's Doyle Sails and Nick Rawbone's Playing Around took a 2nd place apiece.

In IRC2, Robbie and Lis Robinson's Hot Rats leads the class overall after their win in the first race of the day, ahead of HOD35 Malice. They finished 2nd in the second race behind Richard Searle's JPL1010 Pincer Movement.

IRC 3 saw a first and second apiece for two J/97s, BlackJack II and ETB Tyres Just Like That, who now sit a point apart at the top of the leaderboard. John Noe's La Nef IV had two thirds.

In the J/109s, Roger Philips' Designstar 2 extended her lead over the rest of the fleet with another two first places. Nigel Goodhew's Persephone did the same in the Sigma 38 class, giving her a 3-point lead over Chris and Vanessa Choules in With Alacrity.

As last week, IRC 4 had the smallest boats but the biggest entry and some of the closest racing in the fleet. Toby Gorman's Sigma 33, Stan the Boat sailed a blinding day to win both races.

The weekend also hosted the first of two MDL Hamble Big Boat Series weekend, featuring racing for Farr 45s, J/111s and IRC0 and 1 classes keen to finish off their season with some close and exciting racing.

 In IRC 0, Tokoloshe II, a GP42 owned by Michael Bartholemew, leads overall after two firsts and two second places. She is four points ahead of Niklas Zennstrom's Kolga, which scored three third places and one first, and Ben Saunders' Ker 40 Keronimo in third place.

In IRC 1, Bernard Olesinski's X-40 Xinska scored four bullets to top the class. Behind her, Jim Macgregor's Premier Flair took three seconds and a fourth to sit second overall, ahead of Nick Rawbone's 40.7 Playing Around in third, tied on points with Stuart Wilkie's Puma in fourth.

The J/111 class was topped by Cornel Riklin's Jitterbug, which scored two firsts and two seconds to place them 6 points clear of Chris Body's Icarus. Martin Dent's JElvis finished the weekend equal on points with JElvis but a place behind her on countback, in third.

The  MDL Hamble Big Boat Championship returns for its final weekend in a fortnight. Next weekend sees the third Garmin Hamble Winter Series race day and the final weekend of the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships.

Student Yachting World Cup
La Rochelle, France: The SYWoC is an event organized every year in France by students for students. Created in 1979 under the name of Course de l'Europe, the cup was just meant to great participants from Western Europe. But, as time went by, more and more Eastern European countries joined the cup. That's why the Course de l'Europe changed its name to become the SYWoC.

Now, any country can take part at this yearly-event. For now, one country is represented by only one team, who represents its university (or school) too. The university winning the SYWoC is pre-selected to take part to the next edition to defend their tittle.

The regatta lasts one whole week in France and gathers about 150 competitors, representing 15 countries from all around the world. During this week, the atmosphere is both sportive and multicultural. The first night, every team has to participate at the crews' dinner by bringing some dishes or some beverage representing their country. This way, the students have an opportunity to meet and discover other culture before the cup begins. Each night, students can also meet at the dinner room and have some nice time with the participants.

This year's event is from October 15 to 22.

Featured Brokerage
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Built by Franklin Boat Works in New Zealand and launched in California for a very knowledgeable yachtsman. Built entirely in carbon fibre pre-preg, with carbon rig by Southern Spars, carbon rigging and locking halyards. Pendragon VI is easily driven by her very extensive North Sails inventory. All halyards and control lines are led aft under the cabin and deck making for a clean uncluttered deck. The keel is a lifting foil, with bulb. The 75hp Volvo Penta diesel auxiliary has a retractable drive for drag free speeds while sailing. Twin rudders make steering positive in all conditions, with off wind speeds of 30+ knots attainable. The interior ends are finished in high gloss clear, while the center area is painted and has American Maple trim with red upholstery. Boat is being sold for a fraction of it's original cost.


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The Last Word
For me, a bit of anthropology in the evening is always better than staying and watching the telly. -- Nick Rhodes

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