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


International Red Carpet Awaits
Catalan solo skipper Alex Pella passed another mental milestone this afternoon as he seeks to close out victory in Classe40 in La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeluope, but he needs to remain totally focused to avoid any mishaps in the final stage of the solo race from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe.

Fish nets and traps and weed, as well as the swirling light winds in the lee of the island are among the reasons Pella needs to hold back his maximum energy to concentrate through the last hours of his race. He had slowed this afternoon - perhaps with a small technical problem - but was still making good progress towards the finish line.

Pella should still be in good shape. This Tuesday afternoon he passed under 100 miles to the finish with his leading margin back to second placed Transatlantic rookie Thibault Vauchel-Camus at 115 miles. His nearest rival was making between 10 and 12.5kts and Pella a more conservative nine knots.

Pointe a Pitre and La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe's red carpet pontoon and La Place de Victoire is set for a truly international 24 hours or so. Alessandro di Benedetto, the Italian skipper who has been adopted by Les Sables d'Olonne as their own since he sailed from there solo around the world on his Mini650 in 2009-10, was due to finish later this afternoon. He had been slowed to between 5 and 7kts down the west side of the island. Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Coeur) was around 42 miles behind making 10 kts but had yet to enter the real lee of the island.

Di Benedetto will add to his own incredible ocean going record, now completing the set of Vendee Globe, Transat Jacques Vabre and now Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

Congressional Cup Joins Alpari World Match Racing Tour
James Pleasance, Executive Director of AWMRT with Bill Durant, Chairman of the Congressional Cup. Photo by LBYC. Click on image to enlarge.

Congressional Cup The Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) today announced the addition of the Congressional Cup to the 2015 World Championship Tour schedule. The announcement follows this year's 50th anniversary of the historic Congressional Cup event, organised by Long Beach Yacht Club, in Long Beach, California.

The Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing since 1965; introducing on-the-water umpiring in the early 1990s, and embracing a high level of organization with a unique volunteer force of more than 300 members of Long Beach Yacht Club - one of the premiere boating institutions in the United States since 1929.

Each spring, five days of heated competition take place directly in front of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier on the Long Beach waterfront, providing a natural stadium atmosphere for spectators to enjoy. Since 1990 the regatta has been sailed in identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event, and still used today.

The 2015 Congressional Cup will host 12 competing teams from 13th-17th May, including eight AWMRT Card Skippers, winner of the 2014 US Grand Slam of Match Racing, two qualifying entries from the Ficker Cup, and a Long Beach Yacht Club representative.

The full 2015 Alpari World Match Racing Tour schedule will be announced before the end of the year.

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.

RORC Transatlantic Race: Little And Large
There are 11 days to go until a highly competitive fleet competes in the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada. The race across the Atlantic will be a very different experience for the crews from 12 different nations taking part. Whatever the size of boat, or whether or not they have crossed the vast Atlantic Ocean before, all have one goal; to make a safe passage and to get to Grenada fast.

The 94ft (28m) Southern Wind, Windfall, will be trying their best to keep up with the largest boat in the fleet, the 100ft (30m) Finot Conq, Nomad IV, and pushing the crew hard all the way across the Atlantic.

Chartered by passionate Russian sailor, Igor Katalevskiy, some of his High Spirit Sailing Team - a group of Russian friends and sailors - will compete in the RORC Transatlantic Race as the final goal to achieve their Ocean Yacht Master certificate; all part of a special Southern Wind Sailing Academy training program in collaboration with the VMB RYA Training centre that began in Genoa in May and has run throughout the year.

Dependent on what the weather gods throw at them, two French 40ft (12m) contenders, with experienced offshore sailors on board, could be in the running for the impressive solid silver trophy awarded to the overall IRC winner of this first RORC Transatlantic Race. Seasoned racers, Frank Lang's X 40, Optim'x (FRA) and Yves Haudiquet's Pogo 40, Bingo (FRA) will have to make some good tactical decisions and keep the crew fully focused for the entire 2,700nm crossing as other similar sized boats will be hot on their heels as they surf the tradewinds to the West Indies and the finish port of Grenada: Nigel Passmore's J/133, Apollo 7, Denis Villotte's JNP 12 Biquille, Serenade, and the young graduates on the newly donated Class40, Oakcliff Racing.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Photo by Paul Wyeth, Click on image for photo gallery.

Hamble Winter Series Menacing skies, a torrential rain squall and an indecisive breeze couldn't stop the assembled Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet from getting in some cracking racing on the sixth weekend of the series.

After a vicious rainsquall caught the fleet on the way out, the wind shifted around between southeast and northerly until it settled in the northeast for long enough to get a good race in for all classes. The race team combined some starts to get everyone away in good time, with all classes sailing short courses between Royal Southern and East Knoll buoys. This led to some close-quarters racing to keep everyone on their toes, but the frequent windshifts gave tacticians the chance to make some big gains up the beats and down the runs.

In IRC 0, Chris Body's J/111 Icarus added a first place to her scoreline which leaves her equal on points with fellow J/111, JourneyMaker II. Tony Lambert's Night Owl 2 finished 2nd, with Paul Aisher's Tangent Minus One in third.

In IRC 1, It's Bernard Olesinski's Xinska that has been dominating the series, but this week Stuart Wilkie's Puma and Tim Octon's Doyle Sails finished 1st and 2nd respectively, pushing Xinska into 3rd.

As ever things were close in the IRC 4 class. This week it was quarter tonner Flashheart who got clear of the fleet and finished first on the water and corrected time.

Next week sees the penultimate weekend of racing in the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

Cyclone Season Awaits Leg 2 Fleet
Cape Townn, South Africa: Volvo Ocean Race sailors set out again for the open seas on Wednesday with no piracy activity on their radar, but the threat of cyclones ahead on Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.

Sailing conditions in Cape Town look challenging for the 1800 start (local time)/1600 UTC, with plenty of wind, but flat seas forecast.

Then the seven-strong fleet heads for the south Indian Ocean past Mauritius and there the sailing will become even more interesting.

The Volvo Ocean Race's meteorologist, Gonzalo Infante, explains: "We have just started the tropical cyclone season in the south Indian Ocean and it seems like we will have plenty of this activity for this leg.

"One tropical cyclone is forecast to be in the area just before the fleet reaches these latitudes, but forecasts need to be confirmed. Obviously, the weather will be key - if it's possible to use it or keep out of its influence."

With all the teams sailing identical boats, it once again promises to be anybody's leg although the team to beat is undoubtedly Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) who followed up their Leg 1 triumph - by a mere 12 minutes from Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) - with victory in the Cape Town in-port race on Saturday.

The latter win puts them three points clear in the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series after two races.

Sailing Legends - The Story of the World's Greatest Ocean Race
Sailing Legends - The Story of the World's Greatest Ocean Race A special numbered limited edition signed by the authors to make the perfect Christmas gift

The Whitbread Round the World Race - now the Volvo Ocean Race - spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.

Millions have been spent, legends created and six men have died. No one takes the race lightly and no one tells the story better than journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall who have been there for every race from the first in 1973. They mark the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing's greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners. They also detail the awesome advances in design and construction that make today's yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.

176 pages. 128 colour pictures and illustrations.

By Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall - Endeavour Books
£40 + postage and packing

Order online:

Industry News
Bill Dixon, chairman of the jury, presented the DAME Award 2014 at the commencement of METS this morning to the Steering Traveller from Jefa Steering ApS of Denmark.

The jury praised the product for the way it offers a genuine solution to chain/wire steering. In addition to this overall winner, six DAME category winners were also announced during the Breakfast Briefing, the official start of METS 2014 which will run until Thursday 20 November in the Amsterdam RAI.

In its comments the jury stated it is always on the lookout for clever design solutions that challenge the status quo to deliver obvious improvements for boat owners and builders. There were several examples this year but the standout entry was the Jefa Steering Traveller. This product removes the need for bulky steering quadrants and improves rudder feedback at the helm for twin rudder, twin wheel sailing yachts.

Special attention has been paid to save installation space and weight as well as to eliminate backlash, which improves yacht handling.

This year's Category Winners are:

Marine electronics and marine related software
weBBoat 4G by Glomex SrL, Italy

Interior equipment, furnishing, materials and electrical fittings used in cabins
SilKEN2 Induction Cooktopby Kenyon International inc, USA

Marina equipment, boatyard equipment and boat construction tools and materials
Seabung by Seabung, United Kingdom

Deck equipment, sails and rigging
Steering Traveller byJefa Steering ApS, Denmark

Clothing and crew accessories
No winner of this category was declared this year

Lifesaving and safety equipment
MOB Search Light by Exposure Marine, United Kingdom

Machinery, propulsion, mechanical and electrical systems and fittings
Pro-Installer EZ-Mount Battery Switches by Marinco by BEP, New Zealand


Yachting Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of experienced and respected sports administrator Matt Carroll to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Matt commences with Yachting Australia on Monday 24 November 2014, replacing Phil Jones who is leaving the organisation after 17 years at the helm.

Yachting Australia President Matt Allen said Matt's reputation as an experienced administrator with a comprehensive understanding of the business of sport, as well as the requirements of the national body, State Associations, Clubs, members, partners and participants, provides an opportunity to take the organisation to the next phase of its growth.

Matt has had an extensive career spending more than two decades in Rugby Union and has recently returned from Japan where he was Interim COO for Japan Rugby World Cup 2019. At Australian Rugby Union in a career spanning over 15 years at staggered intervals, Matt held the roles of Deputy Chief Executive and General Manager, leading the Commercial department responsible for sponsorship, broadcast, membership, ticketing, hospitality and travel. As General Manager for the Rugby World Cup 2003, he planned, organised and delivered the Tournament in Australia. During his time at Football Federation Australia, Matt established the A-League and completed a comprehensive review of community football to maximise participation for FFA, State Associations and Clubs.


PRAXES Medical Group will return to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as a fleet sponsor in the 2015-16 edition as Global Medical Emergency Support Partner. The Canadian-based company will provide worldwide, fast access, to medical advice and will also supply the comprehensive Cat A on board medical kits required by the Cat Zero coded Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts.

PRAXES medical experts include emergency and occupational physicians with years of experience of providing remote medical access to patients injured or ill in the world's most hostile environments where there are limited options for a medical evacuation and there is no rapid access to x-rays or hi-tech hospital equipment.


On the opening of the Marine Equipment Show in Amsterdam (METS) Lewmar reveals that the company is entering a new chapter with an "aggressive" growth strategy designed to boost sales by around 30% by 2017.

Lewmar is investing £2m on the creation of a new Glass Division at the existing factory in Havant, UK, as well as the development of new products in the hatch and portlight, winch, hardware, steering and - more predominantly - the windlass and thruster divisions.

"On the market front, we're concentrating on the US which is showing strong signs of growth and recovery," comment Peter Tierney, Chairman and CEO. "We're also concentrating on improving our retail presence and increasing market share with the smaller and medium size OEMs worldwide."

A large area has been allocated to the new Glass Division at our Havant factory on Britain's south coast, where equipment capable of handling large sheets of glass, CNC cutting and edge finishing machinery, drilling full colour printing, toughening and laminating equipment is currently being installed. All machinery will be commissioned and new staff trained in the first quarter of 2015.

Lewmar is forecasting growth of around 10-15% in 2014, dependent on US recovery.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2011 Pogo 40 Class 40. 260,000 Euros. Located in Normandy, France.

CAMPAGNE DE FRANCE is probably the best ever built Class 40. Designed by Finot/Conq and built by Structures & Mora under the supervision of Halvard Mabire & Miranda Merron, in 2011. She has only been prepared and raced by them ever since, one of the most famous Franco/British short handed teams and renowned racing project managers. She is the quintessence of Class 40 boats, winner of the Transat Quebec Saint Malo. Available at the finish of next Route du Rhum. One of the only "OSR Cat0" Class40 on the market.



See the collection at

The Last Word
Blame is just a lazy person's way of making sense of chaos. -- Doug Coupland

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka

Robline Ropes


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week