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


Bermuda To Host 2017 America's Cup
The tax haven of Bermuda has been picked over San Diego to host the 2017 America's Cup, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because defending champion Oracle Team USA, based in San Francisco, hasn't made the decision public.

The person said software billionaire Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) made the decision after consulting with the CEO of his sailing team, Russell Coutts, a New Zealander who also is director of the America's Cup Event Authority.

Reached in New Zealand, Coutts declined to confirm the decision, saying he was under a nondisclosure agreement.

Members of San Diego's bid effort, as well as officials with the Port of San Diego, also declined to comment, saying they were under a nondisclosure agreement.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer wouldn't comment, his spokesman said, declining to give a reason. The spokesman wouldn't say if the mayor's office was also bound by a nondisclosure agreement.

Officials in Bermuda didn't return an email seeking comment. -- Bernie Wilson, The Associated Press

* The formal announcement date:

The Americs's Cup Event Authority announces the venue selection for the 35th America's Cup.

The announcement is on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, 11:30 am - 2:00pm.

The Crosby Hotel and Screening Room, 79 Crosby St, Manhattan, NY USA.

Team Nika Master the Conditions at RC44 Oman Cup
After finishing third in the annual RC44 match race championships, Team Nika seem to have got a taste for the podium. It was a tough day on the water for the start of the fleet racing at the RC44 Oman Cup, with many teams struggling for consistency; but Vladimir Prosikhin and Terry Hutchinson quickly mastered the conditions, picking up just six points from three races to take Team Nika to the top of the overnight leaderboard.

The final event of the Tour cannot be discarded; all points scored in Oman will be added to the year's overall standings, leaving the top four boats all in with a shot at the title.

Chris Bake's Team Aqua lead this season's Championship Tour with six-points from four events, BVI's, Cascais, Sotogrande and Marstrand. John Bassadone and his Gibraltar based Peninsula Petroleum are one-point behind on seven, Bronenosec third counting 9-points and new-boys Charisma are still in with a shot at the title on 14-points.

Racing got off on time, in an eight-knot breeze from the north west.

The RC44 Oman Cup supported by Mercedes Benz Oman and United Engineering Services (UMS) continues through to 23 November. Day two of fleet championships will get underway on Friday 20th November, 12.00 GST, 08:00 GMT.

ORC Announces Rule Improvements For 2015
Rating system will now include defined classes for ORC championship events, the VPP has better treatment for Code 0's, and a new method will be used for implied wind scoring; ORC grows by 10% in 2014, with over 9000 certificates issued worldwide

Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Amidst a 10% growth report on having issued over 9000 certificates worldwide in 2014, the recent Annual General Meeting of the Offshore Racing Congress is pleased to announces numerous improvements approved for use in the ORC Rules and policies for 2015.

These include the invention of a new parameter named CDL to aid organizers in class divisions, changes in the format and scoring of ORC championship events, improvement on the handling of Code 0 sails, and several other minor adjustments and clarifications to the rules that reflect the wishes of the constituency through the submission process.

The beta version of the ORC Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) is still under development, but trials runs on the ORC test fleet indicate only minor changes in ratings for 2015, with less than 1% change for most boats.

A significant innovation is a new parameter devised by the International Technical Committee (ITC) to help define class limits in ORC championship events. This parameter, called Class Division Length (CDL), relates the upwind performance of an entry to the boat's rated length, and will be used by event organizers to better group boats of similar performance. CDL is therefore expressed not in terms of rating, but in meters of boat length.

Improvements to the ORC VPP for 2015 include better treatment of headsails set flying with a smaller minimum area for headsails set flying and updated aerodynamic coefficients for a smooth transition in rating changes for between 110% jibs and 130% genoas.

Scoring software programs will be re-programmed in 2015 to reflect this new and more accurate approach to PCS scoring.

A complete summary of the Changes to the Rules will be available once the final rules texts are finalized, with the target release date to be 1 January 2015. The complete Minutes of the ITC are available here:

the Minutes of the various ORC Committees are available here

and the Minutes of the AGM will be available soon.

39270 - The Official Pictorial Record of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 12
Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 12 The 11th edition of this legendary round the world race was arguably the most visually dazzling yacht race ever. Seldom has photography documented the quest to master the oceans or the ingredients of world-class sporting endeavour better or more vividly than in this Volvo Ocean Race.

From intense racing to the high emotion of life onboard and the festive atmosphere of the race villages, this magnificent fleet captured the imagination of millions through the media.

39270 provides the ultimate hard-copy keepsake of this global spectacle. Published for an international audience with text translations in English, Spanish, French and Chinese, this book documents one of the all-time great adventures by compiling the very best photography from all angles of this global event, to tell a visual story more vividly than every before.

39270 - the official pictorial record of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011 - 12
192 pages
280 x 220mm Hardcover with dust jacket
Text: English/Spanish/ French/Chinese
250 emotive pictures
Official Race Statistics + full crew lists
Price: £30 + postage and packing

Available from

Meet The Weatherman
Team Alvimedica is currently leading the fleet in Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Will Oxley, Team Alvimedica Navigator, spoke to Cobham SATCOM reporter, Louay Habib before the start of the leg from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.

Ian Walker, skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing spoke exclusively to Cobham SATCOM about their focus on boat speed, which has been the telling factor in the race so far.

"Fundamentally, it is how you trim the sails and steer the boat. However, we have ballast tanks, dagger boards and a swing keel and all the gear on board. The most important factor is the sail settings and choice of sail combination but all of these factors contribute to performance. We spent all of our training trying to figure out how to make the boat go quick.

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

Seahorse Magazine

(Not so) new kid on the superyacht block
Malcolm Mckeon certainly hit the ground running when he established his new yacht design studio at the end of 2012

Fashionable logic
Merfyn Owen is fulsome in his praise of twin-rudder installations... if and when they are being applied correctly

J-Class leads the way
How C-Designs gave Velsheda a welcome boost

Rod Davis
And an upbeat State of the Union address

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65

1yr Digital Sub for £30:

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine

Pyewacket Trophy
At the Royal Cork Yacht Clubs Junior laying up supper last weekend Seafra Guilfoyle once again won the Pyewacket Trophy for his excellent sailing achievements in 2014.

Claire Bateman gives us the story behind the Pyewacket, which you will see was more than just a trophy but a legacy to support Youth Sailing programmes.

"Keen sailing giant of world stature, Roy Disney, nephew of the legendary Walt Disney first came to sail in Cork Week in 1992, sailing a turbo charged Santa Cruz 70. He had always yearned to have a home in Ireland and fulfilled his dream by purchasing Coolmaine Castle in in Kilbrittain, Co. Cork. He became friendly with many of the Royal Cork members including the late Hugh Coveney and Bernie Cahill, and not forgetting to mention his friendship with Donal McClement who frequently sailed with him. In the year 2000 he shipped his latest 'Pyewacket', a Reichel Pugh 77, to Crosshaven for Ford Cork Week 2000. The now familiar 'Pyewacket' with the green eyed cat on her topsides, was a most welcome sight in Crosshaven. Incidentally, Pyewacket was the witch's famed cat in Bell, Book and Candle.

Moving on to 2001, the sailing supremo was very impressed with the youth sailing activities at the Royal Cork and particularly with Peter O'Leary's sailing successes that year and so the Pyewacket Perpetual Trophy came to be, together with a Bursary. This was to be used for a pioneering programme to further develop youth sailing and to provide generous funding for the Club over a five year period to assist in the running of Youth Regional or National Regattas. Top Coaching Clinics were also provided.

The first recipient of this perpetual award was Peter O'Leary for his magnificent 6th result at the ISAF Youth Worlds 2001 . In 2014 the recipient of the Pyewacket Perpetual Trophy was Royal Cork's Seafra Guilfoyle who achieved an outstanding result of second place at the ISAF Youth Worlds Championships at Travira, Portugal.

This was Seafra's fourth time being awarded the trophy.

The last event in Ireland Roy Disney sailed in was 2004 Cork Week to which he brought his latest 'Pyewacket' a Reichel Pugh Z86 and this was his last racing engagement here. Crewing with him on this occasion were Harold Cudmore and Donal McClement. Competing against him was Hasso Plattner in a sister ship, 'Morning Glory', and she sailed with Star Class Olympian Mark Mansfield, providing local knowledge. In 2005 Roy Disney retired from sailing and donated his last 'Pyewacket' to the Orange College School of Sailing and Seamanship.

Sadly, in 2009 Roy E. Disney passed away but his legacy from that period lives on and this can be seen in the success of the younger Royal Cork sailors and their proud sailing achievements to date."

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 Kirk Brown: I appreciate Malcom McKeag's letter (Scuttlebutt Europe 3217) and his recollections. Actually, the concept of on-the-water observers was brought into play with the NAYRU 1976 Prince of Wales Match Race Championship. 'Judges were to be in small maneuverable boats so they could witness an event and would not have to rely on the testimony of the crews'.

So the concept of 'field of play' officiating had been around for some time before it made its way back across the pond. What was innovative in 1988 (not the early 90s) was that a field of play call was made on the water at the time of the incident and the penalty was assessed immediately. We tried a number of penalty schemes at that 1988 Congressional Cup from a jib drop to a 720 and, with the help of the skippers at the evenings debrief, settled on an immediate 270. The debriefs each night refined the on-the-water work, so what we did today might not be what we would do tomorrow as the game was being refined in real time in a partnership between the umpires and the sailors.

That first umpire team brought Tom Ehman as the Chief as well as Bryan Willis, Goran Petersson, Pete Ives, Chuck Kober, Chuck Fuller, Robbie Haynes, Grealdo Seliger, Alex Forsythe, Bob Fisher, Dick Deaver, Hans Kurt-Anderson, Cy Gilette, and they needed one more to make 14 so they brought in the Jury Secretary, Kirk Brown.

What was innovative was that the umpires were making field-of-play decisions in real time. We were not going back to the same old protest room and bringing a tape recorder to have a Jury sort out what happened on the water whilst listening to Harold Cudmore (Crimson Blazer 1986, 1995) offer his view.

So, while the Royal Lymington Jury would still be in the protest room listening to the tape; the Congressional Cup Umpires would be done and would be at the bar. In California, we call that innovation. As we begin our 51st Congressional Cup, we would welcome Royal Lymington's reappearance on the world match race stage.

* From Bob Fisher: I find myself torn between Malcolm McKeag's promoting the cause of the Royal Lymington YC, of which I too am a member, and the truth about the introduction of On-the-Water umpiring's introduction into match racing at the 1988 Congressional Cup, as I was there and one of the team of umpires carefully chosen by Tom Ehman to launch this innovation into the discipline.

As McKeag states the R.Lym.Y.C. instituted a form of judging that was later finally dealt with by a Protest Committee, which had access to the observers' evidence, but at Long Beach in 1988, the on-the water umpires levied penalties, which had to be taken on the spot. We tried several alternatives before racing began, like dropping the head of the jib to the deck and re-hoisting, before we settled for a 360 degree penalty taken immediately. It therefore was the first effective on the water umpiring at an international match race.

It is worth noting that the system was used at the following year's World Championship of Match Racing, which was held by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. I remember that because I was also one of the umpiring team at that regatta and fellow club member Nigel Brooks was my driver. That was the start of a long partnership in RIBs of various sizes that continues to today.

Malcolm is very right in one statement: "one cannot expect to right all the wrongs of even just the sailing world in one letter to Scuttlebutt Europe." Would that one could.

* From Lindsay May,1985 Navigator Another Concubine and Navigator with Harold on Atara - winner Sydney Hobart 1991 and Southern Cross Cup for Ireland

re: Letter re Harold Cudmore

"Perhaps another catalyst for Harold Cudmore wanting to do away with all night protest meetings stems from his 1985 Southern Cross Cup campaign in Sydney in a lead up to the Sydney Hobart race, when Highland Fling lost a spinnaker over the side at the bottom mark and Harold suffered 3 protests against him.

Mary Pera was the International Jury Chair and Harold was found to have infringed and had received 2 by 40% penalties.

As he was about to enter the protest room (a container in the adjacent park) at 1230am for the 3rd time, Harold quipped in that delightful Irish accent "Well this time I'll run out of points so I suppose they will start fining me money".

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Her major achievement was at the Antigua Classics Regatta 2014, where she beat all of her similar sized competitors and was only beaten by one much larger yacht. In the 2013 and 2014 Round the Island races, England, she performed outstandingly well against modern race yachts, beating most across the water. In 2014, she also won the Modern Classics Class. Her IRC rating offers a good prospect of winning races at many of the regattas and sailing events around the world. In racing mode she is a pleasure to sail, well balanced right up through the wind range and easily steered.

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The Last Word
Married couples resemble a pair of scissors, often moving in opposite directions, yet punishing anyone who gets in between them. -- Sydney Smith

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