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

Mark Mendelblatt Champion Of The Star Sailors League
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, Click on image for photo gallery.

Star Sailor League Nassau, Bahamas, Saturday 6th December 2014: The Star Sailors League has a new champion. After four days of stunning racing on Montague Bay, the final series, condensed into a single day, was the ultimate adrenaline run. It had everything.

The first race of the day saw four of the top ten - (numbers 2-11 in the qualifying rounds) eliminated. Just one race to sudden death was the feature of the final day. The six left were joined by the winner of the qualifying round, Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom for another sudden death round when three more were eliminated, leaving four to race for the championship.

Negri/Lambertenghi (ITA), Polgar/Hoy and Stanjek/Olesen (both GER) together with Gaspic/Silic were the eliminated teams after a double windward/leeward race, with 1.2 mile legs, in 15 knots of north-easterly breeze.

The teams eliminated were the Croatians, Ivan Gaspic and Ante Silic; Robert Syanjec and Claus Olesen together with fellow Germans, Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy; and Italians Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi.

Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom re-joined the competition for the semi-final race which was dominated by the American pair Mendelblatt and Fatih who held off Zarif and Boening to win. The three teams eliminated were the defending champions Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil, Rohart and Ponsot (FRA) and Scott/Milne (GBR).

The wind for the final, a six legged race with 0.8 mile legs had shifted more to the north but was anything but stable. Mendelblatt, trapped in the lee of Zarif, put in a port tack and headed away from Rose Island. It proved to be the winning move. -- Bob Fisher

Star Sailors League Finals 2014 results:

1. Mark Mendelblatt - Brian Fatih
2. Freddy Loof - Anders Ekstrom
3. Mateusz Kusznierewicz - Dominik Zycki
4. Jorge Zarif - Henry Boening
5.Robert Scheidt - Bruno Prada
6. Xavier Rohart - Pierre-Alexis Ponsot
7. Giles Scott - Stephen Milne
8. Johannes Polgar - Markus Koy
9. Diego Negri - Sergio Lambertenghi
10. Robert Stanjek - Claus Olesen
11. Ivan Kliakovic Gaspic - Ante Sitic

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

Melges 32 World Championship Miami, Florida: For the first time in the history of the Melges 32 class, there is a back-to-back Melges 32 World Champion. After a few up and down finishes early the event and some Houdini-esque comebacks late in the event, Jason Carroll on Argo with tactician Cameron Appleton, and crew comprised of Anthony Kouton, Scott Norris, Weston Barlow, Graham Landy, Phillip Wehrheim and Mike Kuschner put the fleet in a sleeper hold on days 4 and 5 to secure the overall win. Edoardo Lupi and co-owner Massimo Pessina's Torpyone with tactician Lorenzo Bressani finished second, while Naofumi Kamei's Mamma Aiuto! with Manu Weiller on tactics placed third overall.

The one and only, final showdown race for the World title and trophy commenced under the lightest conditions seen yet with a pulsing NW wind at 6-9 kts.

Top Ten Results (Final - After Ten Races, One Discard)

1. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo, 32 points
2. Edoardo Lupi & Massimo Pessina/Lorenzo Bressani, Torpyone, 39
3. Naofumi Kamei/Manu Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!, 53
4. Ryan DeVos/James Spithill, Volpe, 55
5. Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG, 60
6. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta, 60
7. Alec Cutler/Richard Clarke, hedgehog, 60
8. William Douglass/Chris Larson, Goombay Smash, 62
9. Pierre Casiraghi/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima, 63.6
10. Richard Goransson/Morgan Larson, Inga From Sweden III, 68

Voting Is Open! Our Top Ten Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bars...
Pictured: The Inn at Alderney

Wight Vodka From all the submissions for best yachting bar, we've narrowed the field based on number of submissions and the quality of comments.

The top ten for 2014 and ready for your voting are:

Clipper Bar, Porto Cervo
Bitter End Yacht Club
Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke
King and Queen, Hamble
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
The Divers Inn, Alderney
The Haven, Lymington
The Pier View, Cowes
The Union Inn, Cowes

Here's one from a new submission to the contest, the Divers Inn Alderney, Channel Islands:

" After a channel crossing, the bar would move in a soothing way when you leant on it. Used to close at mealtimes so the bar staff could serve meals in the hotel. used to be the only bar in Alderney owned by an island family. Sand drifted in through the open window of the Gents downstairs. Was always the first point of contact in the channel islands. Full of happy memories for me."

Check the Facebook page for the Inn

And then VOTE for the world's best... at

Rolex Sydney To Hobart - Wilds Oats XI: Winging It To Hobart
She's the Grande Dame of ocean yacht racing and had near a dozen makeovers in the past 10 years.

Now it's hoped her latest upgrade will literally wing her to unsurpassed levels of acclaim on the international sailing scene.

The 'Grande Dame' is the 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI - already the most successful yacht to have contested the famous Rolex Sydney Hobart classic in the event's 70-year history.

In little more than three weeks, when the 628 nautical mile race gets underway on Sydney Harbour, Wild Oats XI's owner, businessman and philanthropist Bob Oatley AO, will know he has done everything possible to give his sleek silver yacht the chance of making sailing history by being the first to finish in Hobart for an unprecedented eighth time.

At the same time he will be hoping that a development of the radical hydrofoil wing concept he pioneered on the yacht last year will make a significant contribution to her success this time around.

The retractable horizontal wing was used to dramatic effect in the 2013 Hobart race. It helped Wild Oats XI come from behind and claim line honours over Anthony Bell's highly fancied supermaxi, Perpetual Loyal. Now 86-year-old Oatley has decided bigger is better: after consulting with his design team, and the yacht's skipper, Mark Richards, the decision was made to make the wing longer for this year's race so the benefits it delivered could be achieved in lighter winds. -- Rob Mundle

Auckland Council Sees Cup Benefits
Auckland Council's major events funding body is interested in working with Team New Zealand to secure hosting rights for the America's Cup Qualifying regatta ahead of the challenger finals and 35th Cup match in Bermuda.

America's Cup organisers revealed this week they had received a "serious proposal" from the Kiwi syndicate to host a "major event or events" in the lead-up to the big show in Bermuda in 2017.

Emirates Team New Zealand have been reluctant to discuss the details of that bid, pointing to commercial sensitivities.

Given Team NZ's continued involvement in the America's Cup now looks to hinge on securing the hosting rights for the key pre-regatta, their caution around revealing their plans is understandable.

Brett O'Riley, chief executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed), said his organisation was made aware Team NZ would be pursuing the opportunity to host the America's Cup qualifiers, slated for early 2017, but he had yet to receive any formal proposal. "If we can manage to secure a challenger series here, that's something that we certainly would be very interested in," said O'Riley.

Ateed previously conducted feasibility studies on hosting a round of the America's Cup World Series, sailed in the smaller AC45 catamarans, during the last America's Cup cycle, but the high hosting fee was considered prohibitive.

However the World Series rounds only ran for five days and O'Riley believes the cup qualifiers will create a lot more leveraging opportunities. -- Dana Johannsen in the New Zealand Herald

An Absorbing Interest. The America's Cup - A History
The America's Cup - A History By Bob Fisher (£250 + p&p)

Revised limited edition signed by the author. Now down to the last 35 copies... for the sailor on your gift list who seemingly has everything... a very unique gift.

This coveted  2-volume slip-case edition has become a collector's item as important to the history of the Cup, as Lawson's original 'History of the America's Cup' published in 1901. 

There will be no reprint: the remaining copies are the final ones for sale.

These two beautifully designed tomes chart the history of sailing's most enigmatic and greatest prize, covering  the dramas, designs, and personalities from the first race around the Isle of Wight in 1851 to 2003 in Auckland where Ernesto Bertarelli and his largely Kiwi renegade team stole the Cup away to Europe. It is this rich history that has  led to the sheer fascination of what has become the oldest international sporting event. Heavily illustrated with rare etchings, lithographs, line drawings, paintings and pictures, all chosen to complement the text, this collector's edition charts every Cup match in great detail and can rightly claim to be a definitive history. 

The perfect gift for all those fascinated by the Cup

"This is the Bible of the America's Cup." Bruno Troublé - Louis Vuitton

View sample pages:

Purchase online at

2015 ORC Designer VPP Now Available For Download
Milan, Italy: The ORC VPP (Velocity Prediction Program) is the core of the ORC International and ORC Club Rating Systems, and is available now for download at

The DVP software is accompanied by the ORC Manager program that includes an IMS Editor program for entering and editing measurement data as well as an Offset Toolbox for editing hull offset files. Input data in DXT and OFF file formats can then be used to produce hydrostatics data and polar diagrams that predict boat speed for wind conditions over 6 - 20 knots of true wind speed at the following true wind angles: Optimum Beat, 52, 60, 75, 90, 110, 120, 135, 150 degrees and Optimum Run.

The ORC DVP uses the same software used by ORC Rating Officers to issue certificates, but cannot be used to print actual valid certificates - this function is reserved only for the national rating authorities.

However, the results data does include all the ratings and time allowances shown on the certificate, together with a complete set of calculated hydro and aerodynamic data and that defined by the ORC Rules. The ORC DVP can produce reports such as the ORC Stability and Hydrostatics Datasheet, the ORC Speed Guide that include polar diagrams as well as theoretical speeds for various wind conditions and every possible sail combination, and ORC Target Speeds for performance target wind speeds and angles on windward/leeward courses.

The software will also be able to generate the new CDL figures used in class divisions at ORC World Championship and ORC European Championship events.

The ORC DVP is Windows based software, easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and standard Windows functions.

'Kite Man Of Berkeley' Believed Lost At Sea
Nearly three weeks overdue on a passage from El Salvador to Acapulco, the unusual 40-ft 'hybrid wave-piercer' sloop Seven Sisters was recently found by the Coast Guard, upside-down 400 miles southwest of Acapulco. Thomas Kardos, the boat's owner/inventor, aka 'The Kite Man of Berkeley', was nowhere to be found. There were indications that Kardos, described as being "in his mid-50s," may have tried to strap himself to the main hull of his overturned boat.

Seven Sisters was a very unusual design in that she had a main hull like a monohull, but little if any keel. She also had two wave-piercing amas, thus the 'hybrid' name, but wasn't particularly beamy. She had no boom, and had an electric outboard for auxiliary power.

Kardos was as unusual as his boat. Flying a hang glider, he stunned the 76,000 spectators - and both teams on the field - during the second quarter of the 1979 Cal-USC football game at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium by landing on the 10-yard line.

Video of the 1979 stunt:

Dickie Brown 1933-2014
Dickie Brown Dickie Brown of Portaferry, builder of the Ruffian range of yachts and one of Ireland's most accomplished sailors, has died at the age of 81 after a long and well-lived life. His three abiding passions were his family, his boats and their interaction with the sea, and devoting his working career towards increasing the prosperity and quality of life in his home town of Portaferry.

By 1967 Dickie had done his first Fastnet Race as a crewman, and after his second in 1969 he decided to build himself a 35-footer to his own ideas with the design created by brother Billy, who by this time had moved back to live in Portaferry and raise a family. Billy was to find that he did his best yacht design work after about three o'clock in the morning, "when the air isn't cluttered by other people thoughts".

Ruffian made an impressive debut during 1971, but it was 1972 which saw her at her best on the offshore scene at home and abroad, winning practically everything she took part in. Yet she was already for sale, as the genesis of Weatherly Yachts was well under way, and in March 1973 the prototype of the GRP Ruffian 23, designed in Portaferry, built in Portaferry, and first sailed in Portaferry, made her successful debut.

My own last sight of him out in a boat was just last year. We were coming in to Strangford Narrows with the new flood, and there was a useful little fishing launch bobbing about on the bar, having come down with the last of the ebb to take advantage of any good fish coming in on the new tide.

As we shaped on our course into the Narrows, the little boat completed her brief but successful task and started to head home to Portaferry, motoring alongside us for a while to say hello. It was Dickie and some friends, in good form and out for a spot of neatly-timed fishing before Sunday lunch.

It was a moment to treasure, a good way to remember a great man of the sea and the coast, a man who enriched the lives of all who knew him. Our thoughts are with Joyce, and Richie, Fraser (a former Olympic sailor for Ireland in 2004) and Karen and the grandchildren at this sad time. -- W M Nixon

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 Brian Thompson: re: recent letters... I suppose I should point out that I am not the professional Brian Thompson and that my racing and cruising is confined to the N Atlantic, a small bit of Arctic, NW France, E Med, more or less.

On the other hand, I had the name first!

It also seems to help get the letters published, so I intend to keep on using it.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2004 Beneteau First 36.7. 80000 EUR. Located in Italy.

Bluone is a First 36.7 - Vice Champion of 2014 ORC Italian Offshore Championship. Standard boat but Offshore tuned, 100cm carbon bowsprit and a new 2014 set of 8 sails Millennium One. Professionally maintained.


Leonardo Servi
+39 3356812190

See the collection at

The Last Word
This is New York, and there's no law against being annoying. -- William Kunstler

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