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


Next In... Di Benedetto Or Pella?
The next solo finisher on La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe should finish Tuesday evening or night but the big question remains who it will be. With both having around 450 miles to race this morning will it be Alessandro di Benedetto in the IMOCA 60 class or will it be the Class 40 leader Alex Pella.

The Catalan soloist Alex Pella (Tales 2 Santander) has had an incredible race. Not only has he now left his rivals behind but he is threatning to overtake the IMOCA 60 of Alessando di Benedetto (Team Plastique) which of course is 20 feet longer. Pella had a close battle with Kito de Pavant (Otio Bastide-Medical) and Thibault Camus Vauchel (Partners in Platoon) but recently has extended steadily in the downwind conditions, and this morning is over 110 miles ahead of Camus Vauchel, who in turn has 25 miles on Kito de Pavant,

24 Hr Time Penalty for Bestaven in Class 40

On Sunday 16th November Yannick Bestaven (LE CONSERVATEUR), currently in fourth place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe was given a time penalty of 24 hours by the International Jury. This penalty was the consequence of a collision with Phillippa Hutton Squire (Swish) that occurred on the first night of the race. The time will be added to his race time when he completes the race.

The Mind is Willing but the Spirits are Gone!

It is official. This is now a temperence ship! The heat created a high evaporation rate for spirits, so now there is no reason to dilly dally out here and all the more reason to hasten to Guadeloupe.

Dropped one place, by 3 miles. Surprised it was not more after yesterday.

Vento de Sargena has dropped more than 100 miles south so might be sailing a more direct course. I am currently about 10 degrees above the course I require, but can gybe nearer the time. -- Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Cape Town to Abu Dhabi 6,125 Nautical Miles
After 25 days at sea in leg one, the crew of the Dongfeng Race Team are now preparing for the challenge of leg two from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.

This is another exceptionally tough oceanic marathon and although slightly shorter than leg one at 6,125 nautical miles, it is still the third longest leg of the race.

Setting sail from Cape Town on Wednesday, 19th November, the bright red Chinese boat is likely to face strong and potentially boat-breaking headwinds as the crew, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, hammers its way around the bottom of Africa.

Then Dongfeng will battle its way north against the south-flowing Agulhas Current before tackling light winds in the Indian Ocean. The crew will then face another appointment with the light and fickle winds of the Doldrums before beginning the long beat north towards the Gulf in increasingly hot conditions.

After their superb second place finish into Cape Town, just 12 minutes behind pre-race favourites Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skippered by Ian Walker, Caudrelier is not taking anything for granted. His summary of the challenges of leg two is succinct: "complicated and dangerous."

"You can break the boat in the first few days after the start and after that it is going to be very difficult, tackling the Doldrums again," he said. "We know the Atlantic Doldrums very well but not many people have crossed these ones in the Indian Ocean so there is no feedback and no rules."

The two exclusion zones will occur off the coast of East Africa and the Iranian coast.

East African Exclusion Zone

The African Exclusion Zone is a great circle line between: Maputo (east coast of South Africa), Madagascar, Mauritius and the outside of the TSS zone at the eastern edge of Oman. While racing a boat shall not cross this line.

Iranian Exclusion Zone

The Iranian Exclusion Zone is formed by positions used to form a line. Straight lines between adjacent marks shall form an obstruction that boats shall leave to starboard.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Crosshaven 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

Williams picks up a fifth RYA UK National Match Racing Title
Ian Williams confirmed his match racing calibre this weekend (14-16 November) as the quadruple World Champion scooped a fifth RYA National Match Racing title at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

The Lymington based skipper now joins Mark Campbell-James and two-time Olympian and America's Cup sailor Andy Beadsworth at the top of the all-time winners list with five wins each.

The event saw a real hike in standard this year with the quality of sailing in the round-robin stages evidently higher throwing up a real mix of results between sailors.

"We last competed in the RYA National Match Racing Championships two years ago and I think the standard has definitely improved a great deal in that time. We were behind at some point in four out of our nine races and really had to fight for all our wins. It was just really good fun to get out and do some racing in the UK as we don't get to sail at home very often."

Next up for Williams and his GAC Pindar Team are the finals of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour in Malaysia in February where they will be going for a fifth World Title.

Final Results

1. Ian Williams - Gerry Mitchell, Simon Shaw, James French
2. Mark Lees - Matt Haslam, James Hemingway, Scott Flannigan
3. Tom Mallindine - Steve Aiken, James Anderson, Liam Gardener
4. Alistair Hall - Sam Carter, Simon Skinner, Ashley Rudd
5. Nick Thompson - Nic Asher, Richard Mason, Charlotte Lawrence, Lizzy Chellew
6. Annabel Vose - Suzy Russell, Amy Prime, Hannah Peters, Will Semken
7. Connor Millar - Mike Matthews, Harry Houlding, Bruno Van Dyke
8. Mark Campbell-James - Graham Sunderland, Jonathan Taylor, Andy Clark
9. Nick Wilkinson - Cam Douglas, Fergus Barnham, Hermione Stanley, Frederick Brown
10. Tom Harrison - Jamie Diamond, Bradley Mclaughlin, Kate Devereux, Maddy Anderson

Josh Junior Wins New Zealand Match Racing Championships
Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand: Josh Junior has taken out the 2014 NZ Match Racing Championships in an awesome display of speed and tenacity, winning 8 matches from 10 in a gruelling day on the Waitemata Harbour.

Josh and his crew of Jason Saunders, Daniel Willcox, Gemma Jones and Caleb Armit had a day of close races with barely seconds between opponents in most matches. In the finals a fluffed gennaker hoist nearly cost him the regatta giving a huge one minute lead to runner up Chris Steele.

Final Results

1. Josh Junior - Worser Bay Boating Club
2. Chris Steele - RNZYS
3. David Chapman - RSYS
4. Scott Dickson - LBYC
5. Sam Mackay - RPNYC
6. Lucas Chatonnier - RNZYS YTP
7. Susannah Pyatt - MBSC / RNZYS
8. George Brasell - RNZYS YTP
9. Alan Quere - CNC
10. Peter Waring - NSC


Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar
Wight Vodka Submissions continue to come in for the fifth annual contest, where yachties get to nominate their favourite watering hole... and then vote on the world's best.

A slew of submissions are for a bar that your humble narrator has, sadly, never had the opportunity to stumble into (or out of... ). But it sure sounds like a fine place, and in Cowes.

The Union Inn is the first pub you come to on your way into town from Cowes seafront, it is just a short walk from the Red Funnel Hi-Speed passenger terminal in West Cowes. Located in Cowes Old Town it is close to all the Yacht Clubs and in easy walking distance of the Marina.

The Union Inn provides food, drink and lodging... and gets a big thumbs up for being a "dog friendly" pub.

Care to share with us YOUR favourite bar? Send stories, photos and gossip to us here:

EUROSAF 2K Keelboat Team Racing European Championship
Three days of very tight racing on Lake Alster in the centre of Hamburg witnessed some of the best and most exciting team racing in short history of two keel boat team racing. With a full complement of eight teams, from seven countries, this was the first truly European Championship, with sailors from Ireland to Greece, and Hungary to Denmark participating.

In what can only be described as a "cunning plan" and by means of a repercharge knockout, the race management delivered a programme that allowed all teams equal sailing, but also the opportunity to get to the final.

1st GBR Spinnaker Sailing Club
2nd GBR Serpentine
5th IRL
6th GER Bayerischer Yacht Club
7th Team Europe (GRE/HUN)
8th AUT

Listening To The Noises On Board A Yacht, And What They Mean
It only takes a little while of living on a yacht to develop a mental map of sounds. If you are on the right wavelength, a change in the usual symphony of noises can tell you when something is wrong. No matter how deep your sleep off watch, the slightest new sound or change of frequency will wake you, instantly.

The ear soon tunes into some sounds, such as the rumble of chain as the ground tackle moves over the bottom or swings to a wind shift and the chatter and gabble of water along the topsides as she begins to turn at anchor to the new tide. Some of these sounds can be quite peaceful. I love to hear the soft inevitability of water lapping at the hull as the tide turns on a calm night. I enjoy the fox's doze that you can drift into while waiting for a yacht to fall in with the new stream.

Many little noises will tell you that something has changed...

Elaine Bunting's blog in

SYRF Succeeding In 2014
The Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF) is a unique entity in the world of sailing. We are not a yacht club, not an agency that makes rules or administers the sport, not a university that has students and a research agenda, nor a collection of yacht designers looking for an edge.

But we are just a little of all of these, with a mission to help improve the sport through grants and funding the activities that lead to faster, safer and more exciting boats to race.

In 2014 SYRF has been successful in this mission at supporting new and existing initiatives in several important fields:

- Continued development of the HPR rating system for high performance offshore-capable boats

Established the world's first publicly-accessible Online Research Library of published materials related to sailing performance

- Second phase of the Wide Light Boat study on the hydrodynamic qualities of modern race boats.

SYRF actively seeks providing support to worthy studies that will contribute to the science of sailing, and as such may support an analysis program with the Offshore Racing Congress's International Technical Committee on the results of an aerodynamic study on asymmetric downwind sails conducted at the wind tunnel facility at the Milan Polytechnic University, as well as exploring other research initiatives such as wave motion studies.

Your generous contributions can help us in this mission.

Being a 501(c)3 organization, SYRF allows your donations to be tax-deductible.

As you make your charitable giving plans for 2014, consider contributing to the one foundation that supports the science of the sport you love.

RC44 Grand Final Showdown In Oman
The closing event of the 2015 Championship Tour will play out from the 19th - 23rd of November at the RC44 Oman Cup, Muscat. Hosted by Oman Sail, the season finale promises to be a close one. With both the Match Racing and Fleet Racing titles up for grabs and the top three teams all within touching distance, the big question is can anyone topple Team Aqua, to break their three-year domination.

The RC44 Oman Cup will kick off with a day of match racing, where either the professional tactician or owner can take the helm. The remaining four days will be fleet racing.

Currently leading the fleet racing is three times defending champion, Chris Bake's Aqua in their familiar spot, but its not all been plain sailing this year for Bake. A sixth place at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup loosened their iron grip on the leaderboard slightly. Seizing the advantage, home team John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum, took the lead thanks to good teamwork from the crew and tactician Vasco Vascotto.

Returning to the Arabian port of Muscat for the second consecutive year Oman offers crystal clear water and a prevailing north-easterly wind providing great sailing conditions to end the season. The RC44 Oman Cup will take place over 19 - 23 November, with practice racing on Tuesday 18th November, 14.00 GST.

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 Bernard Schopfer: Everyone involved in the sport - any sport - certainly hopes for more money in order to develop its structure and activities. Yacht racing is no different and certainly has a long way to go in comparison to other sports, as was recently shown by Loick Peyron's 50'000 € prize money for winning the Route du Rhum.

The World Yacht Racing Forum brings together experts from all fields - race organizers, sponsors, builders, engineers, marketing or event management - alongside members of the public and sailors, pros and amateurs alike. The purpose of the event is to share everyone's point of view, to listen to the industry leader's experience and help develop the future of the sport by discussing it and sharing ideas.

Everyone's point of view is welcome, during the Forum as well as all year round through the social networks. Michael Brown and what he calls the "average amateur yachtsman" are most welcome to Barcelona on December 10-11.

This year the event will focus on "Growing The Base & Business of the Sport". The sport encompasses everyone from the local club racer through to the America's Cup Skipper and the topics and speakers at the WYRF reflect this.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2007 McConaghy Reichel Pugh IRC 55'. 499,000 Euros. Located in Portsmouth, RI USA

Custom Built in 2007 by McConaghy Yachts, Rima2 is a near sister ship to the Australian racer "Wedgetail" (formerly YENDYS), built just months before. Rima2 is slightly different in its hull and rig design, to favor the moderate conditions of the Northeast USA to provide a more powerful platform. The design brief called for a powerful and fast IRC design capable of competing against TP52's inshore buoy racing yet strong enough to handle the most grueling offshore events. With a more offshore focus, interior volume and headroom were high on the list of priorities. Compared to a TP52, Rima2 offers a considerable interior living space, full-sized bunks, a complete and proper Nav. Station and far greater hull and deck strength.

Rima2 features a high stability keel and bulb; over 50% ballast/displacement ratio. The high modulus carbon rig and composite C6 rigging adds greatly to the stability of this design. Rima2 is a powerful design capable of strong upwind performance in the 9+ knot range and even more exciting downwind rides at well over 20 knots.


Bill O'Malley

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The Last Word
Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. -- Cesar Chavez

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