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

Voting Is Open In The Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar Competition
The top ten are ready for your review and vote. The King & Queen in Hamble has taken an early, commanding lead after nearly a thousand votes cast in the first 2 days.


Team Vestas Wind Looks At New Boat Option
Team Vestas Wind is 'exploring the opportunity' of re-entering the Volvo Ocean Race with a new boat just over a week after their Volvo Ocean 65 ran into a reef in the Indian Ocean.

With their crew now safely on land, attention has turned to retrieving the stricken vessel, grounded on the Cargados Carajos Shoals (St Brandon), some 260 miles north east of Mauritius - and whether the Danish team will return to the race.

"It is Vestas' clear ambition to get Team Vestas Wind out sailing again," said the sailing team's CEO Morten Albaek, at a press call in Abu Dhabi. "We'll do everything within our means to make that happen.

"That said, the assessment from all parties is that the boat can't be repaired, and therefore one of the options we're looking into is building a new boat," added Albaek, who is also title sponsors Vestas' Chief Marketing Officer.

"Whether that can be done, and done in a time which is meaningful for Team Vestas Wind to re-enter the race, is still to be concluded.

Skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS), who led his crew in an early hours evacuation from the boat on November 29, and on to the remote island of Ile du Sud, where they remained for the next 48 hours before hitching a ride to Mauritius on a local fishing boat, echoed those hopes. Seamounts

"Prior to the crash in the preceding 48 hours, Wouter and I in regard to our normal duties of looking where the boat was going with the routing, noticed that there would be some seamounts. When I saw those I asked what the depths and the currents and the wave conditions would be.

"Wouter's reply was that the depths went from 3000m to 40m, (which) were the extremes of the depths, the current was negligible and we would monitor the wave state as we approached..." Team Vestas Wind navigator Wouter Verbraak (NED) explained the reason for the accident to the media:

"In hindsight we would've continued to zoom in on the area much more, on the electronic charts. Not doing so is the big mistake that I made, but the good thing is that we didn't make any more."

Leg 2 Standings at 9 December 03:40 UTC

1. Team Brunel, 821 nm to leg finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, 14 nm to leader
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 41
4. Team Alvimedica, 309
5. MAPFRE, 320
6. Team SCA, 416
7. Team Vestas Wind - Suspended racing

Sailing Heavyweights To Battle Across The Atlantic In 2015
As the skipper of two successful race boats named Rambler-90 and 100 feet long, respectively-George David has been the favorite for line honors in most of the long-distance yacht races he has entered during the past decade. But this will change next July when David skippers his third Rambler, a soon-to-be-launched 88-footer, in the Transatlantic Race 2015. The boat could well be faster than either of his two previous yachts. But, in terms of raw speed across a range of conditions, David's boat will find itself looking up at Jim Clark's 100-foot Comanche, which will be skippered by two-time Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read.

This time, as David notes with a smile, "We're the little boat."

The Transatlantic Race 2015 will start from Newport, R.I., in late June and early July of 2015 and finish some 2,800 miles away, off the southwestern tip of England. The race, which was last sailed in 2011, is being run by the Royal Yacht Squadron and New York Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club.

An international field of more than 50 boats from 40 to 290 feet in length is expected to take part in the 2015 race. A handicapping system will afford each yacht, regardless of speed potential, the opportunity to compete for overall honors.

"The fleet is more than double what we had in 2011 race, and there are plenty of high-profile competitors," says David, who is also serving as the co-chairman for the event. "An ocean race such as this spreads the fleet out over multiple weather systems. Anyone can win."

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Ultima 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

RORC Transatlantic Race: Rising In The East
In the continued close battle for Line Honours and the IMA Trophy, the Russian Southern Wind 94, Windfall, skippered by Fabrizio Oddone, has extended her lead to over 70 miles on Jeremy Pilkington's RP78, Lupa of London.

The Maxi yachts have been experiencing solid easterly trade winds, hitting top boat speed as they shoot down the Atlantic rollers. Both yachts have an asymmetric sail configuration and the apparent wind angle is producing fast reaching conditions in which Windfall's greater waterline length is a big advantage. Windfall is currently expected to make the finish line of Camper and Nicholsons' Port Louis Marina, Grenada, on Wednesday 10th December, with Lupa of London a few hours behind.

Lupa of London, the British canting keel Maxi, is currently estimated to be leading the fleet overall under IRC. However, while light winds are expected as the leaders approach the finish, which could slow their progress, there is also more wind coming for the yachts further back; hence the race for the overall win is far from over.

American Class40 Oakcliff Racing, skippered by Hobie Ponting, is less than 1000 miles from the finish and posing a threat to Lupa of London for the overall win. Oakcliff Racing has been diving south for the last 24 hours and is almost matching the big Maxis for boat speed. Should the breeze go light ahead, Oakcliff Racing may be able to cover more miles than the Maxis and, with a far lower IRC rating, the young team could easily make up the estimated seven hours difference on corrected time.

Fleet Tracker:

Blinder For Farr 40 Newcomer
Rod Jones' one design comeback with his new Farr 40 called Kindergarten scuttled the familiar finish order of Transfusion then Kokomo, who are both long-standing Farr 40 classmates and pacesetters.

Instead it was Transfusion (MHYC) then Kindergarten thanks to a "blinder" on debut by Jones and his mixed NSW and Queensland crew of a third and two firsts in the final three races of the Farr 40 One Design Trophy Pittwater on Sunday December 7, 2014.

Lang Walker's Kokomo (CYCA) ended up third overall, one point behind the class newcomer. Kokomo's fifth in race four allowed Jones, a two-time Audi IRC Australian champion with previous boats, to slip into the runner-up position Walker and his quality crew held at the halfway point.

Another steamy summer's day on Sydney's picturesque northern beaches produced a light and flicky nor'easter 8-9 knots for the late morning opening race, winding up to 16 knots in the closing stages.

Transfusion is actually an ex-Kokomo Farr 40 now owned by Rob Reynolds and the foot chocks that help the steerer set a good height and have a clear view out of the boat are "built for a giant" says Belgiorno-Nettis, who borrowed the Farr given his is still in transit from the class' recent world championship. "It was good to be on a different boat, the only thing is the chocks aren't made for a vertically challenged man," he joked.

Another owner on debut this weekend, Bob Bennett and his Farr 40 Enigma from RPAYC took out the Corinthian division which allows teams to race with two ranked professional sailors versus the professional category which permits up to four pros among the usual 10-strong crew.

Farr 40 One Design Trophy Pittwater 2014 Series Results [OD] up to Race 6

1. Transfusion, Guido Belgiorno, MHYC, 15.0 points
2. Kindergarten, Rod Jones, RSYS, 18.0
3. Kokomo, Lang Walker, CYCA, 19.0
4. Edake, Jeff Carter, MHYC, 21
5. Zen40, Gordon Ketelbey, MHYC, 21
6. Enigma, Robert Bennett, RPAYC, 34
7. Windy Too, Carl Russett, RPAYC, 40.0

Composite Structural Engineer, Gurit
Gurit Gurit globally delivers composite materials, engineering, processing tools and equipment as well as parts and solutions to a world-class customer list. We work alongside long standing customers in the vertical markets of Transportation, Marine and Wind with continued focus in emerging markets and product development. It is this focus that enables us to continue to deliver the future of composite materials.

Role description

The Composite Structural Engineer is responsible for producing high quality composite structural engineering, design and managing the production of formal documentation.

Key Responsibilities include

- Specifying and developing high quality composite designs and laminate specifications in line with customer requirements

- Developing and identifying innovative and efficient engineering solutions for our customers

- Develop and maintain professional customer relationships

- Facilitating material testing programs

- Working as part of a team to plan and manage engineering projects

The Composite Design Engineer will have good working knowledge of Finite Element Analysis, and analysis of marine and composite structures. High-level analytical computer literacy using Excel will be required as well as medium level 2-D AutoCAD skills.

To apply for this position or for a full listing of opportunities please visit:

Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary International Regatta
Clubs are committing from around the world to send teams to next July's Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary International Regatta. Entries are being received in all classes including the One-Design Fleet which will be locally chartered evenly matched Beneteau First 40s.

Included in the line-up are The New York Yacht Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Gran Canaria Yacht Club and the UK's own Royal Thames Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and of course the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Martin Jones, who has been appointed RYS team captain, says "One design racing is a particular passion of mine and I believe the combination of these identical Beneteau 40s and high quality Corinthian teams from clubs around the world are a recipe for some of the best racing since our club was founded 200 years ago."

In the five day Solent event entries are also increasing in the IRC divisions. Classic and modern yachts will compete under IRC, many of which will have arrived in Cowes at the end of the Transatlantic Race from New York. Other Classics are expected to make their way from the Mediterranean.

Adding to the spectacle will be the participation of the magnificent J Class yachts which have also confirmed that they will be coming to the Solent for the event.

Industry News
Gill, the technical sailing apparel brand is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Powell as their new Marketing Director.

Nick will be joining the Nottingham based management team in January 2015. He has previously worked as Marketing Director Brunswick EMEA, working on Quicksilver, Uttern, Sealine, Hatteras, Arvor and Valiant marine brands. Nick has recently worked in the luxury outdoor furniture market where he was Brand Director for Gloster Furniture.


With effect from 1st December, Alex Southon and Jon Partridge have been promoted to the roles of joint Managing Directors of RS Sailing, with responsibilities for the Technical and Commercial sides of running and building the company. Martin Wadhams will take on the role of Chairman and focus on broader aspects of achieving the company's goals.

Alex and Jon have close to 40 combined years of experience within RS and both have been company directors and shareholders for a number of years. Their unparalleled passion, ideas and experience give RS great strength for the next exciting chapter, building on their ever expanding roles over recent years.

For Martin this presents the chance to take a step back, spend less time in the office and support the next generation in continuing the spread of RS sailing around the globe. He points out "I'm fortunate to have Alex and Jon, backed up our great, longstanding, team to take it forward - better than ever. Our team have characterised RS, helping us win sailing customers and friends and build a very special international dealer network with the same RS enthusiasm".


Parker Hannifin Corporation, a global leader in motion and control technologies will work with ORACLE TEAM USA, the defending champion of the America's Cup, to design and implement hydraulic control systems on its America's Cup racing yachts.

As Official Hydraulic Systems Hardware Supplier to ORACLE TEAM USA, Parker will customize proven aerospace and industrial technologies to a marine environment to help power the team's pursuit of the 35th America's Cup.

Parker will integrate its controls, hydraulics, and actuators into a key motion and control system that helps the boat achieve stability as it lifts onto its foils and accelerates.


Over 200 delegates and more than 50 speakers spanning seventeen countries are heading to Barcelona for the seventh edition of the annual World Yacht Racing Forum, co-located with the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium. The two days conference has once again attracted leading figures, experts and sailing personalities from all over the world.

The event will start on Wednesday 10th December with presentations and sessions focusing amongst others on the development of sailing in emerging markets, sponsorship and media.

Running parallel to the Forum, the Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium will examine where yacht racing technology can be adapted to exploit commercial opportunities in other industries. Other sessions will focus on the effective impact of R&D, the latest developments issued from the America's Cup, foils and flying boats, rigid sails and new materials.

Full details of the Forum and Symposium conference programmes and speakers:


Batavia Sailing Center, the Dutch organising team responsible for staging the brand new fifth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour has scooped the 2014 Flevius Award presented by Flevoland Tourism.

The Dutch Match Cup was shortlisted from thirty applications for the Flevius Award organised annually by the Tourism Board of Flevoland. Since the introduction of the award in 2009, the award recognises contribution towards the tourism and leisure industry in the Flevoland province.

The judging panel particularly looked for the orgnisation of events with a focus on youth programmes. Following a visit to the Dutch Match Cup in September, the panel was impressed by the side activities at the event including the youth sailing program.


Yachting Australia, in partnership with the Member Yachting Associations, has moved closer to providing a "best practice" governance framework and delivering a cohesive whole of sport approach to optimise the future success of Australian sailing and boating.

At a Special General Meeting held in Sydney on Saturday 18 October 2014 with the Board of Yachting Australia, the Presidents of the Member Yachting Associations (State Associations) voted unanimously on the change of constitution and move to convert Yachting Australia to a Company Limited by Guarantee.

The changes are in line with the Australian Sports Commissions' Sport Governance Principles aimed at ensuring the sport maintains a robust and consistent system of governance in Australia and shows Yachting Australia is ready to adopt a corporate governance framework to match the scale of its operations. This is the first phase of the "One Management Program" aimed at providing a legal, governance and management framework for the long term future of the sport. These changes are aimed at bringing better services to Clubs and their members throughout Australia.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2006 Custom IRC 66. Located in Newport, RI, USA.

BLUE YANKEE has won or placed in almost every IRC event she has entered. Fine-tuned to IRC racing, she is a powerful boat with a high prismatic. She is a great offshore boat and she is a dream for buoy inshore racing. North Sails, full safety gear, Ockam wind gear

BLUE YANKEE is very close in design and shape to the 2008/9 R/P 63 sisterships LOKI and LIMIT and they have been dominating races in Australia. BLUE YANKEE is ready to keep winning with the same results anywhere in the world. Recent additions are an IRC prod and bigger spinnakers for 2011.


Bill Jenkins
Thoroughbred Yacht Sales


See the collection at

The Last Word
There has to be a common sense cutoff for craziness, and when that threshold is exceeded, then the criteria for publication should get far, far more stringent. -- Douglas Hofstadter

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

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

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week