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

Star Sailors League
Nassau Bahamas: Forty of the World's best sailors with compete in the next four days for a $200,000 prize fund and their credential read like a Who's Who of sailing. It has been drawn primarily from mature sailors in the Star Sailors League, but it has been extended to include the top sailors from other Olympic classes.

Conditions were near-perfect for the opening day of the Star Sailors League Finals - a north-easterly breeze of 15 knots and a flattish sea - for the 20-boat fleet of the world's best sailors. It was also a day for surprises despite the fact that at the end of the day, the defending champion was on the top of the points table, with or without a discard.

It was not, however a runaway performance by the Brazilian pair of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada; they faced stiff competition from the others, notably Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Faith of the USA, who are with a point of them at the end of the day. Mendleblatt won the first of the three races, overlapped with both Emilios Papathanassiou and Antonio Tsotras (GRE) and Evind Mellerby (NOR) and Mark Strube (USA); it was a photo-finish between the three.

The defending champions did win the second race after a close battle with the French pair, Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot. They, in turn, were chased by the Germans Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy, with a bunched fleet behind them. By then the wind had dropped to 10-11 knots.

The third race saw the Brazilians Jorge Zarif (two-time Finn World Champion) and Henry Boening use a streak of extra breeze on the left hand side of the course to lead the fleet and to hold this position ahead of Scheidt and Mendelblatt. Strangely the five-time Olympic medallist, Torben Grael is 19th - he claims he has had no time to train for this event as he has been looking after the Brazilian Olympic squad.

There are a possible seven more qualifying races with all 20 competitors by the end of Friday when the top ten teams will progress to the quarter-finals. -- Bob Fisher

Provisional ranking after three.
1. Scheidt/Prada (BRA) - (7)+1+2 = 3
2. Mendelblatt/Fatih (USA) - 1+(10)+3 = 4
3. Zarif/Boening (BRA) - (13)+7+1 = 8
4. Rohart/Ponsot (FRE) - 6+2+(13) = 8
5. Loof/Ekstrom (SUI) - 4+(12)+4 = 8
6. Polgar/Koy (GER) - (9)+3+6 = 9
7. Scott/Milne (ENG) - (15)+4+5 = 9
8. Negri/Lambertenghi (ITA) - 5+5+(10) = 10
9. Papathanasious/Tsotras (GRE) - 2+9+(9) = 11
10. Junior(NZL)/Pritchard (BAH) - 8+6+(18) = 14

Melges 32 World Championship
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Melges 32 World Championship Miami, Florida, USA: There's an old saying in racing: You can't win a World Championship on the first day of the regatta, but you can certainly lose it. And for more than half of the talented 17-boat Melges 32 World Championship fleet, the points spread is almost unimportant. "We're looking at the top nine boats separated by just nine points after two races," explained Race Officer Anderson Reggio, leader of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club-based Race Committee that braved steep, choppy seas and 15-20 knots of breeze to set the racecourse for the ultra-high performance Melges 32 racers. In contrast to those nine boats, the bottom half of the fleet finds itself with an uphill climb in the quest for a podium finish on Sunday.

After sailing a mistake free Race One and collecting a fourth place, Naofumi Kamei and his mostly Spanish team showed good speed and smarts to take the second spot in Race Two behind Carroll. Kamei's six points is good enough for the overall Championship lead.

Former World Champions William Douglass on Goombay Smash and John Kilroy, Jr. on Samba Pa Ti found themselves on the back foot after just two races. Douglass suffered a knockdown on the first downwind leg of the day, damaging a spinnaker and retiring. While Kilroy was disqualified for a rules infringement at the chaotic top mark of Race 2.

Top Ten Results (After Two Races)

1. Naofumi Kamei/Manu Weiller, Mamma Aiuto; 4-2 = 6 points
2. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; 7-1 = 8
3. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 2-7 = 9
4. Pierre Casiraghi/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 1-9 = 10
5. Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG; 5-6 = 11
6. Richard Goransson/Morgan Larson, Inga From Sweden; 3-10 = 13
7. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, hedgehog; 10-4 = 14
8. Ryan DeVos/James Spithill, Volpe; 6-8 = 14
9. Deneen Demourkas/Flavio Favini, Groovederci; 12-3 = 15
10. Edoardo Lupi/Gabriele Benussi, Torpyone; 8-14 = 22

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

Leopard Breaks Atlantic Record
Mike Slade's canting keel 100ft Maxi, Leopard took Line Honours for the 2014 ARC Race (IRC Racing Division) crossing the finish line off Rodney Bay, St.Lucia on 3 December at 01:09:51 UTC. Leopard by Finland, co-skippered by Chris Sherlock, GBR and Samuli Leisti, FIN set a new record for the race.

In an elapsed time of 8d 14h 39m 51s, this sets a new record for the 2700 nautical mile course, which has been run for over 30 years. The previous record was set last year by Max Klink's Knierim 65, Caro. Leopard's time beat the previous record by 2d 6h 45m 19s.

For the race, Leopard by Finland was chartered to Samuli Leisti 'This project started 18 months ago when I decided to charter Leopard and put a team together to work with Leopard's team 50/50. There has not been any bigger project from Finland since 1989/1990 Whitbread Race, hopefully this will be a big push for Finnish big boat racing. I think all sailors dream of doing a record transatlantic run and this has been the best way to do it. Hopefully we can announce future projects soon.'

Leopard by Finland had excellent sailing conditions with a consistent breeze throughout.

Leopard currently holds four Transatlantic records beginning with the WRSSC powered sailing systems record from Ambrose light to the lizard in the UK (7 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes), the South Atlantic race record from Cape town to Brazil (10 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 35 seconds), the IMA maxi association race from Tenerife to Virgin Gorda (7 days, 8 hours, 59 minutes, 12 seconds), and now the ARC race record from Gran Canaria to St Lucia.

Phuket King's Cup Regatta
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Phuket Kings Cup Phuket, Thailand: Very little early wind today brought most of the classes to a momentary rest, with racing action to resume tomorrow. Thursday is traditionally reserved as a 'reserve day' to accommodate days of very light weather such as this, and will be used tomorrow as a full racing day. Several of the boats did take to the water today, the partial fleet comprised of keelboat classes which began later in the day and consequentially picked up on late winds.

Bareboat Charter Class A ran a single race, culminating in a nicely tight group at the finish; Uhuru skippered by Andrey Duvanov did enough to secure victory over similarly handicapped opposition, compatriot Anatoly Kuzmenko in Isabella.

Open Charter was won by Tony Pfeiffer's Kata Rocks 3 team ahead of rivals Sailplane, making it three wins out of three. The boats were close over the finishing line but Sailplane's handicap saw it drop some six minutes on corrected time.

Modern Classics played host to a great run by Thai team Sansiri (Windstar), which came home in under an hour and by a tidy margin over the rest of the field. New Zealand team Farrgo Express was runner-up.

2015 Foiling Week
The Foiling Week is the first and only global event dedicated to the amazingly fast foiling boats, their sailors, designers and builders.

The first edition (2014) was announced in December 2013 and held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy in July 2014.

More than 60 boats including foiling monohulls, multihulls, kite-surf boards, windsurfers, and a wide variety of prototypes were sailed by 100+ sailors including professionals such as Sebastian Col, Nils Frey, Josh McKnight, Rob Gough, Stefano Rizzi, to name just a few...

The 2015 Foiling Week edition will be held during the first week of July in Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy.

Class Regattas, Long Distance Races and a Speed Contest will take place from Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th July.

Forums and Workshops will be scheduled during the mornings and at the end of racing in the afternoons from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th July.

A number of new foiling designs have been launched this year and have joined the Foling Week 2015, so up to six different dedicated classes are expected to be racing on the waters of Lake Garda.

Race Coach Vacancy
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the oldest sailing and rowing clubs in Hong Kong, is looking for a high calibre individual to fill the post of Race Coach.

This is a full-time contract based in Hong Kong commencing February 15. Reporting to the Sailing Development Manager, the successful applicant will coach up and coming teenagers to high levels of racing expertise. The racing program aims to instil skill, confidence and ability within participants in order to achieve high levels of success in regional and international competition. Classes of boats include the Optimist, Laser, 29er and 49er. Coaching and mentoring at international events will be involved. Responsibilities include communication with parents and other stakeholders plus some basic administration tasks. Based at RHKYC's Middle Island facility, the Race Coach will be part of a professional development team. Middle Island has a clubhouse, hardstand, marina and launching areas serviced by a regular club ferry.

We look for people with:

- Extensive dinghy sailing experience and graduation from a internationally recognised sail training academy.

- Superior racing results at National, International or ISAF endorsed events board Olympic Class boats.

- Excellent interpersonal, team and leadership skills.

- Work history as an instructor / coach with a respected club or academy.

- Technical knowledge and experience in maintaining Optimist, Laser, 29er and other Olympic class boats.

- Flexibility to work weekends and midweek shifts.

- Good command of written and spoken English is required while Chinese would be an advantage.

- Athletic standard of fitness and health.

We offer attractive remuneration and excellent fringe benefits to the right candidate. Closing date for applications is 15 December 2015. Interested parties should submit a comprehensive CV to The Human Resources Manager, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or e-mail:

McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds
Nathan Outteridge on the way to his 2014 Moth World title. Photo by Thierry Martinez, Click on image to enlarge.

Moth Worlds America's Cup stars, Olympic medallists and world champions are among the record 150 plus sailors who will converge on Port Phillip in the New Year when the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) in Victoria hosts the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth World Championship from 9-16 January, 2015, on Port Phillip.

Defending Moth world champion and Artemis America's Cup helm, Nathan Outteridge (AUS), heads the line-up. Like so many others, Outteridge, the 2012 Olympic 49er gold medallist, will take on fellow crew and rivals from the Olympics and the America's Cup, among them his 49er medallist crew and fellow Artemis member, Iain 'Goobs' Jensen.

Other Artemis entries are Loick Peyron (FRA), who has four ORMA titles and a Transat win among his illustrious results, and 2008 Beijing Laser gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR).

Intermingled with other big names are winning Oracle Team members Tom Slingsby (AUS), Philippe Presti (FRA), Rome Kirby (USA) and Joey Newton (AUS), while Emirates Team New Zealand boats Glenn Ashby (AUS) and Kiwis Dean Barker, Ray Davies, and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, the 2012 Olympic 49er silver medallists.

Spectators can catch a glimpse of what is to come when the SSCBC hosts a round of the Victorian Moth Grand Prix sponsored by KA Sails this weekend and the McDougall + McConaghy Moth Australian Championship ahead of the Worlds from 6-8 January. Those keen to go on the water to view the Worlds can register their interest with Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. -- Di Pearson

Antlers and Horse Bones Dating Back 1,500 Years Found on Galway Beach
Red deer antlers and horse bones dating back 1,500 years from north Galway Bay could have formed part of a ritual ceremony.

The antlers, skulls, jaws and bones of the animals were located by Brian O'Carra and Mike Williams on an inter-tidal zone west of Galway city.

Cut marks on bones indicate that they were consumed for subsistence or ritually sacrificed, at a time when Christianity was already taking hold in Ireland, Prof Williams says.

Prof Mike Williams, geologist wtih NUI Galway Earth and Ocean Sciences, recording data on the remains of an oak trackway, estimated to be between 3,700 years old, on the shoreline near Furbo. The trackway was uncovered by last winter's storms.

Radiocarbon dating of one antler has estimated its age range as being between 430 AD and 548 AD.

Prof Williams and Mr O'Carra have already collaborated in charting how Galway Bay was once an area of lagoons and forests before the sea level rose thousands of years ago.

This "palaeoenvironment of still water conditions" contrasts strongly with the current character of the area as a "high energy" coastal environment, they state in a paper with fellow authors Brian Mercer and Bill Wood for the Irish Naturalists' Journal.

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 Jonathan Manser: I do hope that now Vestas have laid claim to a rock in the Indian Ocean that they will do the decent thing and stick one of their wind turbines on it; it could power a light to alert other wayward sailors to the presence of a reef!

* From Brian Thompson: Ref Eddie Mays letter on Team Vestas Wind:

Easy, really. Set your course with the magnification on your Chart Plotter too low! Luckily, I've got away with it once in daylight, but once is enough!!

* From Tim Thornton: Following on from Eddie Mays' letter about Vestas' grounding, whilst all of today's modern electronics are obviously a huge asset, they cannot make up for poor quality charts.

The most detailed charts for the area are from surveys about 150 years ago, using lead line and sextant, and roughly at a scale of 1cm to 1km. And this state of affairs is not uncommon - around the UK only 49% of our coastal waters are adequately surveyed according to the UKHO, and things are significantly worse in the US.

One intiative to improve the state of charts is TeamSurv's crowd sourced bathymetry, where boats log GPS and depth data as they go about their normal activities. Wouldn't it be great if all readers of Scuttlebutt fitted a logger to their boats, so the data can be fed to the chart publishers?

* From Michael Brown: Eddie Mays asks a very reasonable question (Scuttlebutt Europe 3225) but it is not complete. He should have added " and crewed by the World's finest professional sailors", at least that is what the press releases would have us believe!

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

See the collection at

The Last Word
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. -- Thomas Jefferson

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