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

Qualifying Groups Set For Argo Group Gold Cup
Hamilton Bermuda: In spite of Hurricane Gonzalo's thrashing of the Onion Patch last week, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the people of Bermuda are ready to host the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). All 20 teams have arrived safely from their corners of the world and will practice for a day and race on Wednesday.

Thirteen countries are represented in the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup. The teams have been divided into two groups of 10 for the Qualifying Session round-robin knockout matches:

Group 1 features Tour leader leader Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team, Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa , Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Equipe de France, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena sailing Team, Arthur Herreman (FRA) Match the World, David Storrs (USA) Pequot Racing Team, Somers Kempe (BER) Raymarine/Ocean Electronics, and Dirk-Jan Korpershoek (NED) Opportunity Team.

Group 2 is led by 2nd on the Tour Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team One, Mathieu Richard (FRA) Luna Jet, Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour, Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, Eric Monnin (SWI) Swiss Match Racing Team, Marek Staqnczyk (POL) , Chris Poole (USA) Riptide Racing, Lance Fraser (BER) DigiCel Bermuda, and Nathen Outteridge (SWE) Artemis Racing. -- Talbot Wilson

Renre Junior Gold Cup
Hamilton Bermuda: While the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup always offers opportunities for young people to have new experiences, coping with Hurricane Gonzalo offered the 14 competitors traveling from overseas to Bermuda a hurdle that strengthened their respect for this island nation. Many of the 14 competitors spent layover time in either hotels or airports and some are now guests in homes without electricity. Yet, it all builds character and this week's storm certainly gave the young people an appreciation of what Bermudians are made of.

Along with the experience of being in Bermuda for the first time, the young international sailors spent a lot of time checking weather reports and watching the eye of the hurricane pass right over the island while waiting for rescheduled flights. Now that they are in Bermuda, host families have done their very best to get the visitors settled but some are still without power. A few boats are still getting ready.

Interestingly, because electricity and Internet are not at full capacity, the youth sailors are spending a lot of time between practicing simply off the smartphone grid; talking, bonding and relaxing as they prepare for the coming race.

Marinepool Ocean Racing Clothing For The 40Knots+ Category
Marine Pool When Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe will start on November 2nd two exceptional yachts - Spindrift2 and Oman Sail Musandam - will be at the starting line in the super fast Ultime class. Both capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and among the hottest contenders for line honours.

Marinepool is the official clothing supplier to Spindrift Racing and to Oman Sail and skippers Yann Guichard and Sidney Gavignet, respectively, will sail the single handed race in the very latest Marinepool Ocean Racing suits.

Made from revolutionary Dermizax NX fabrics by Toray of Japan the Ocean Racing suit offers ultimate protection from the elements. A smart non porous membrane provides exceptionally high waterproofness, moisture permeability and low condensation. The smooth texture of the fabric, its light weight configuration and high elasticity make the garments comfortable. The 3-layer stretch fabric is highly breathable and abrasion resistant, features include waterproof zippers and 3M™ reflex patches for increased visibility at night. Latex dry suit seals reliably keep the enormous spray at these speeds outside. The top is available with a high offshore collar with signal colour hood or without a hood for conditions when only a full face helmet is the answer.

Designed and developed with the skippers of the ultimate speed machines.

Marinepool | Design. Technology. Passion.

Girls Need Heroes Too
The Volvo Ocean Race is rocking da house. A week in and everyone's been in the lead. Speed up the tracker over a day and it looks like the Tour de France peloton, with SCA cutting a different swathe. They looked stellar in the Med, got a bit of catching up to do now.

Daughter Frances asked me today, Sunday, why they didn't follow Dongfeng's route through the Cape Verdes. They would've had time to see it paying. That's a good point, not sure Frances, I mean, that's how it looks on the App right?

VOR rule chief Jack Lloyd kindly clarified what the score was on teams knowing everyone else's positions, because I thought they'd be online 24/7 with those massive domes and space age internet speeds. (Here in ye olde Somerset, the cows crap faster broadband).

Jack says: "We do not let the teams access the outside world except through our race control, so they can email family etc and make the occasional phone call. They get a position report every six hours which is when they can see each other, otherwise they're on their own."

So, no movie downloading then...

I love the archive film of the first Whitbread in 1973, where they're loading crates of beer onboard. More adventure than today's full-on sport, with its awful freeze-dried food. Wikipedia says freeze drying is also used for "preparing river bottom sludge for hydrocarbon analysis" - says it all.

Fellow Scuttlers have moaned about the VOR site, so forgive my repetition. Get the App! It's amazing. The tracker works brilliantly. And you can whip it out any time and check what's going on. If you're not into smart phones, there are plenty of cheap iPhone 5s on Ebay... The world in your pocket. And music. The best invention since PG Tips. (If I had to choose though, the tea wins).

Here are just two of the coolest things that've hit me between the eyes from this VOR so far:

1. Knut's interview with Genny Tulloch, where he says "never give up." This links straight to that comment, worth a watch:

2. And Corinna Halloran's daily writing off SCA:

I don't know much about Corinna. Her "This is Me" video reveals more questions than answers:

But she writes like an angel – clear, descriptive, insightful. Paul Cayard wrote brilliantly about this race from EF Language in 1997-98. They won. He's a gifted communicator.

And Mark Covell's description of the smell on the Russian boat in 2008 was visceral.

Video is cool. Knut's chat could change the direction of someone's life. It's the best bit of advice I've heard in a long time.

But writing is cooler. It can change the direction of humanity.

Back to the oceans, phew, sign up to Corinna. She's worth the read. -- Digby Fox -

18ft Skiffs Major A. Frizelle Trophy
Photos by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs The brilliant conditions of last week’s opening race of the season were duplicated today when the Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy race was sailed in a 20-knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour.

Current JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why they are the world’s best team when they dominated the fleet to score a 3m4s victory.

Backmarker Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Dave Ewings) also showed their skill to finish second, with Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Calligeros) a further 21s back in third place.

Yandoo (Nick Press) was fourth, followed by Mojo Wine Lee Knapton) and (Micah Lane).

De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) looked certain to finish fourth but a capsize just 50 metres from the finish sent the skiff back into 10th place.

Smeg (David Witt) also suffered a heavy loss of placings when spinnaker halyard problems forced the team back from second position to finish nineth.

Follow all the racing on the Australian 18 Footers League’s website. -- Frank Quealey

IMOCA Foils Or Not? Some Explanations From Jean Kerhoas
The IMOCA General Meeting took place in Nantes on Wednesday 15th October. Two important decisions were taken: foils were allowed and the rule won’t be changed before the end of the next Vendee Globe. So there will be foils on the latest boats. We interviewed the class President, Jean Kerhoas to find out more.

Jean Kerhoas, IMOCA President:

"Firstly, we should stress that the General Meeting went smoothly with 69 attending out of the 77 registered and the discussions were very thorough, constructive and polite with no animosity. SConcerning the matter of whether or not to ban foils, everyone was able to express what they thought - both for and against - and once again, we voted with a very big majority in favour of not changing the rule. That means that there is still freedom to do what you want with the appendages. We also did what was required to ensure that the rules can never change again between two Vendee Globe races. Any modifications to class rules will only be possible at the Meeting following on from the end of each race."

"Today, there are six new boats being built. The designers and the teams obviously looked at where the rules allow innovation, that is to say the hulls and appendages. Some members of the IMOCA were worried by this prospect - which is why this meeting took place and led to this decision. The teams building these new boats are already well down that road, so it was not reasonable for us to tell them that the rule was about to change again. This was a wise decision and once again taken in a calm atmosphere by a very large majority: 53 in favour of not changing the rule, 15 against, 1 abstention.”

So there will be foils on the Vendee Globe boats, but they won’t be flying?

"No, of course not. We’re looking here at ballasted monohulls, not at America Cup multihulls. We can say they are lifted, are lighter and for the moment, no one can say exactly what the gains will be in terms of performance thanks to these new appendages. We’re going to have to wait for the new boats to be launched from early 2015 onwards. We do know that it represents an additional cost (of around 200,000 to 300,000 euros), but that is reasonable in this series and far removed from the sums around four or five times that that we have heard being banded about."

SK2 Dinghy

SK2. Welcome To The New.
The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd and built by Ovington boats.

The SK2 is equally a capable racer for 2-3 crew or a performance day-sailor with family and friends. Developed as a strict one design class in mind it is equally suitable for a wide range of mixed fleet racing. The SK2 has been shown to live happily and be equally competitive amongst dinghies, sportsboats and more varied inshore club fleets. A true cross-over boat.

SK2's thoroughly developed package provides a new experience. The difference is the canting keel. Easily operate manually the canting keel provides additional righting moment and allows full use of SK2's powerful sailplan. Together this makes the SK2 suitable for a wide range of wind conditions. It also offers an ideal trialling vehicle for those with an eye on something bigger.

Weighing in at only 210kg (hull & Keel) it is towable by any car. At this weight an SK2 is also easily launched by hand like a dinghy from the beach or a boat slip.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
All last week the forecasts agreed that this weekend was to be a brutal one. But contrary to the expectations of most of the fleet, the weather gods allowed the race team to fit in one race on this, the third Sunday of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series – but it was in conditions that put boats and their crews to the test.

In IRC 0, the British Keelboat Academy on Kolga continued their run of first places with another bullet, placing themselves atop the overall results by 8 points ahead of Louise Makin's J/111 Journeymaker II and third-placed J/111, Icarus.

Similarly, in IRC 1 Bernard Olesinki's X-40, Xinska, added another first to their results, ahead of Stuart Wilkie's Puma and Tim Octon's Doyle Sails.

Richard Searle's JPK1010, Pincer Movement won the IRC2 class, finishing a minute ahead of HOD35 Malice on corrected time.

In IRC 3, it was local boat, Projection 920 Wee Bear that pulled out all the stops to win the class by four and a half minutes on corrected time. J/97 Blackjack came in second, at the head of a trio of J/97s.

In IRC 4, it was Richard and Ursula Hollis' X-95, Crackajax that finished first, 40 seconds ahead of Toby Gorman's Sigma 33 Stan the Boat, who was four seconds ahead of Impala 28 Polly.

Of the J/109s, Adrian Wheal's Jolly Jack Tar beat Owain Franks' Jynnan Tonnyx to take the top spot.

Finally, the Sigma 38s had a close battle on their hands, but it was Nigel Goodhew's Persephone that added to their string of first places with another bullet.

This weekend also hosted the second of two Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships. Racing on both Saturday and Sunday, the SB20, J/70, J/80 and J/109 classes enjoyed some thrilling, close racing in exciting conditions over the weekend.

Over the two weekends, the J/109s fitted in 9 races. This class was won by Tony Dickin's Jubilee, tied on points but edging ahead of Iain MacKinnon's Tigh Solius II on countback. Steven Tapper's Stalker was in third place.

In the white fleet, the J/70s were racing for a place at their World Championships. Over 10 races, it was David Atkinson's Jawbreaker that topped the fleet, finishing 9 points clear of Simon Cavey's Just4Play. Nick Munday's J7t was third.

The J/80s were won by Douglas Struth and crew in DSP. They finished eight points ahead of second-placed Jalapeno, with Yannig Loyer's J-out of the Box in third place.

The SB20s were led by Jerry Hill's, ahead of Scott Graham's Chill Pill + in second, and Tom Clay's Whyaduck in third. Between Chill Pill and Fourth-placed SBeed, there were only two points separating the three boats.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Antony Matusch: It's been about a month now since the ISAF Executive made known their intent to kill the Sailor Classification system, with no viable recommendations for replacement. Their proposal sends a dreadful message.

It would seem that they no longer want to take an interest in or support amateur sailing, instead opting exclusively for the professional and the elite. If the governing body of sailing no longer takes amateur sailing seriously why should anyone else? Are they so out of touch? We have one of the great participative sports, let's keep it that way.

Sailor Classification is a key tool for use by Keelboat and Offshore events and classes. It enables them to provide affordable and enjoyable racing and still keep their grass roots amateurs involved. Whilst a few owners can afford full professional crews most cannot or do not enjoy doing so. Classification enables these classes and events to not only survive, but flourish. Corinthian keel-boat and offshore sailing is a major and vital part of the sport, please don't let it be wrecked.

I and many others had extensive experience in the '90's of trying to run events with limitations on professionals (as requested by the classes) before the ISAF system was introduced. It was a nightmare to do it effectively in terms of both workload and in arriving at decisions for International sailors and it was grossly inefficient. That is why the RYA was asked to help, which it did, and why in due course the merging of the RYA and US Sailing systems into ISAF was inevitable.

ISAF is the only existing body that can run such a system worldwide and their idea that a multitude of international and local classes and events can set up their own systems instead is unworkable. It will lead to anarchy and chaos, just as it was 20 years ago. Furthermore, now that sailors frequently race in multiple classes, multiple applications by a sailor would be required!

If this submission were to be passed it would take effect immediately. A new international organisation to fill the gap would seem to me to be the only solution but that is a big task and impossible to do quickly.

If you care about our sport I strongly urge you to get hold of your national authority and urge them to vote against this submission.

Time is running out, they meet on November 1st.

* From George Morris: I have always found the theory of apparent wind sailing hard to master (where does the extra energy come from?) but the Volvo website has Bouwe Bekking with a speed of 8 knots and a Vmg of 9.9. While this is obviously a mistake it does seem to me that we need to define our terms - do we mean 'velocity made good towards destination (or waypoint)' or do we mean 'velocity made good up- or down- wind'? And is it over the 3 hr period or is it just the top of a wave? When I followed the Vendee a couple of years ago that information was given on their 'dashboard'. And one of the great pleasures of watching these events is the TV blog from Samantha Davies. I haven't seen anything from her yet.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 King 40. GBP 240, 000. Located in Hamble, United Kingdom.

Any sensible offers will be considered. Tokoloshe has been campaigned by the same owner since new and has had no expense spared in order to keep her competitive and looking good.

All sails by North. 3dl, 3di and panelled delivery sails.
34 sails in total including 2012 and 2013 sails.
Re faired and re painted 2010.
New deck paint 2013

Spare rudder, spinnaker pole and much more.

This yacht is very well equipped and prepared and is ready to sail.

Brokerage by Blue Marine Yachting:

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Complete details

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