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. Making a strong pull for second place today was Pier View in Cowes

Vote for your favorite!

Wild Oats XI Wins Big Boat Challenge
Wild Oats XI firmed its position as line honours favourite for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race after blitzing its rivals by more than a minute in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge around Sydney Harbour on Tuesday.

Fifteen boats took on the14 nautical mile course, but all eyes were on the three supermaxis - Wild Oats XI, Perpetual Loyal and Comanche - which were vying for a psychological edge before the Boxing Day race.

The Big Boat Challenge is the traditional lead-up race to the Sydney to Hobart, and is seen by the entrants as a final chance to size up competitors.

In race mode for the first time, sleek American newcomer Comanche showed the feverish hype surrounding its debut has been warranted. It crossed the line in second place, fuelling chatter it could deny Wild Oats an eighth line-honours victory in Hobart.

Comanche's skipper, Ken Read, said his crew, with just three days of practice under its belt, "couldn't be happier" with the outcome.

"The boat is design to do exactly the opposite of what we did today," Read said. "I couldn't be more proud of the crew after three long days of practising, figuring out how to get the sails up and down and not embarrass ourselves."

But Read conceded that Comanche remained a largely untested vessel in the notorious conditions often struck in the Sydney to Hobart race.

"Do we know how it's going to handle? Do we know if it's going to stay in one piece? The answer, quite frankly, is that we have no idea." -- Lisa Visentin in the Sydney Morning Herald

America's Cup Wooed To Bermuda With A $77m Package
Bermuda wooed America's Cup organisers with a US$77 million package to host the 2017 regatta.

The figures have been revealed in an address to the Bermudian House of Assembly by the tiny island's Minister for Economic Development, Dr Grant Gibbons.

Bermuda is still celebrating beating San Diego for the rights to be the next venue for sport's oldest trophy, but it won't take long for the economic realities to become apparent for the 65,000 residents of the British territory in the north Atlantic.

The key figures revealed by Gibbons include:

- a US$15m (NZ$19m) event fee to the America's Cup Events Authority

- a US$25m (NZ$32m) underwrite to cover any sponsorship shortfall by ACEA.

- US$14m (NZ$18m) for site preparation and infrastructure for docks and America's Cup village

- US$11m (NZ$14m) operation expenses for the America's Cup village.

- US$12m (NZ$15m) to cover transport costs, security, emergency services, insurances and legal bills.

Spinning the good side of the equation, Gibbons forecasted that the island could gain "approximately US$250m [NZ$321m] from hosting the event" while US$14m (NZ$18m) was predicted to come in via taxes and duties.

Gibbons said the Bermuda forecasts were based on "on available economic impact studies" of former host venues, including San Francisco, Valencia (Spain), and Auckland.

Coutts' Bermuda Connection
Sir Russell Coutts has become synonymous with the King Edward VII Gold Cup - and it is not difficult to see why.

Between 1990 and 2004, the legendary skipper won the prestigious trophy seven times, the most in the regatta's history.

He is one of only seven skippers to win successive Gold Cups and the first to achieve the feat after the regatta was revamped in 1985.

The Cup, Coutts said, will forever hold a special place in his heart.

"The Gold Cup was important to me and still is," said Coutts, who is the CEO of America's Cup holders Oracle Team USA. "I loved my races here. They were some fantastic races and I had some great duels on Hamilton Harbour."

"It's great to see the Gold Cup going strong," Coutts said. "People have talked to me about coming and sailing in it again. But obviously I wouldn't be prepared as I once was.

"Of course I've got other responsibilities these days. But who knows ... I might come along and have another shot at it and see how it goes.

"It would be fun to try, but I don't know whether I qualify."

"I haven't done a lot of sailing in the Great Sound, but I can just envision what it's going to be like in 2017 with these super fast boats. It's going to be pretty cool." -- Colin Thompson

Composite Structural Engineer, Gurit
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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:

Eighteen Entries Confirmed For Governor's Cup
Simon's Town, South Africa: This year's entries sees family cruising boats with wedding anniversaries and birthdays being celebrated out at sea, a folding trimaran competing with the fast downwind racing yachts vying for line honours, entries hailing from Australia and New Zealand and Saints returning home!

With the entry deadline now closed, this year's Governor's Cup Yacht Race from Simon's Town in South Africa to Jamestown on St Helena, sees 18 boats entered with over 90 crew and supporters taking part in this truly unique race - the final time the race will take place in its current format.

An entry on many sailors' 'bucket list', the Governor's Cup yacht race is recognised as being different from other yacht races, with the 2014 race seeing one of the largest entry lists since the event began in 1996 and attracting a range of yachts from IRC ocean racers, to downwind multihull and monohull cruisers.

While the accent is on fun and camaraderie, this one-way handicap race covering 1700 miles of downwind racing takes the boats past Cape Point and to one of the most remote and extraordinary islands in the world, St Helena. Once at their destination, the crews enjoy traditionally welcoming St Helena hospitality and the wonders of this remote and historic island.

The next challenge is leaving; the only way off the island is by sea - either on the last operating Royal Mail Ship, returning on an upwind sail to South Africa, or cruising onwards across the Atlantic. This, however, is set to change with the opening of a new airport on St Helena due in February 2016 and the subsequent decommission of the RMS St Helena, making this the last time the race will take place in this format.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark Robbed at Knifepoint
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: Mills, from Dinas Powys, and sailing partner Saskia Clark, who both claimed Olympic silver two years ago in the girls 470 class, were stopped by two guys as they walked back to their hotel from their training base and robbed. -- Gareth Griffiths in Wales Online

Sodebo Back as Vendee Globe Partner
Sodebo will return as a partner of the Vendee Globe round-the-world sailing race when it sets off from Les Sables d'Olonne in November 2016.

The French consumer food group has confirmed that it will be a major sponsor of the eighth edition of the single-handed non-stop challenge, confirming its renewal at a launch event in France where the mayorality of Les Sables d'Olonne also confirmed its support.

15 entrants have also been confirmed for the 2016/17 race - eight returning skippers and seven newcomers - with between 20 and 25 expected for the start of the race on 6th November 2015.

SAEM Vendee would provide support to skippers seeking sponsorship for their campaigns.

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

Revised limited edition signed by the author. Now down to the last 37 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

Amendment To IRC 2015 Rules
With effect from 1st January 2015, in IRC 2015 Rules, insert new definition of Headsail Head Point:

Headsail Head Point:
ERS G.4.2 (b) shall not apply. Headsail Head Point is defined as: The intersection of the luff, extended as necessary, and the line through the highest point of the sail, excluding attachments and any luff tape, at 90 degrees to the luff.

Note: IRC 2014 rules are unchanged. This amendment does not therefore take affect in IRC 'South' countries until 1st June 2015. -- IRC Technical Committee

Download PDF version including French text

EUROSAF Championships 2015
EUROSAF is pleased to announce the publication of its Events Calendar for 2015.

The following European Continental Championships are included in the EUROSAF events calendar during 2015:

EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Series (ECSC) 5 Regattas
EUROSAF Youth Sailing, European Championship (EYS.EC)
EUROSAF Match Racing
- Open European Championship (EMR.OEC)
- Youth Open European Championship (EMR.YOEC)
EUROSAF 2K Team Racing, European Championship (E2K.EC)
EUROSAF University Sailing, European Match Racing Championship (EUS.EMRC)
EUROSAF Iberdrola Disabled Sailing European Championship (EDS.EC)

The dates and venues are:

Championship Venue/Organiser Dates
ECSC 1 - Trofeo Princesa Sofia, Palma, Mallorca, Spain 28th March to 4th April
ECSC 2 - Trentino Garda Olympic Week, Riva del Garda, Italy 6th to 10th May
ECSC 3 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands 26th to 30th May
ECSC 4 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany 20th to 24th June
ECSC 5 - Semaine Olympique Française, La Rochelle, France 5th to 10th October

EYS.EC - Societe des Regates de Brest, France 11th to 18th July
EMR.OEC - St Petersburg, Russia. Sail of the White Nights. 2nd to 7th June
EMR.YOEC - Cercle de la Voile de la Societe Nautique de Genève, Switzerland 3rd to 6th September E2K.EC - To be confirmed
EUS.EMRC - Associazione Vela Lago di Ledro, Italy 25th to 28th June
EDS.EC - Real Federacion Española de Vela and the Real Club Náutico de Valencia, Valencia 12th to 18th October

NSW 12ft Skiff Championship Prepares Aussies For Interdominion
Sydney Sailmakers is the boat to beat. Photo courtesy 12 Foot Skiff Class. Click on image to enlarge.

In the closest of shaves, Nick Press/Andrew Stevenson (Sydney Sailmakers) won the NSW 12ft Skiff Championship defeating Brett Hobson/Brad Phillips (Garde) by one point to take the title ahead of the 12ft skiff Interdominion to be sailed on Sydney Harbour in the early New Year.

Press and Stevenson were always going to be hard to stop and won three out of five races and were second in the remaining two, while the Garde duo won two races and took second place in the other three. Their results shut out their opponents in the series sailed over two weekends at different venues on Sydney Harbour. The results could be telling going into the Interdominion. Despite sailing on home turf and getting a good workout in the States, the Aussies will need to stay on their toes to beat their Kiwi counterparts, some of whom will arrive at the end of December to reacquaint themselves with Sydney Harbour.

For the first time in 10 years, the 12's will return to Sydney Harbour proper when the acclaimed Australian versus New Zealand 12ft skiff Interdominion Championship, conducted by the 12ft Skiff Association and hosted by the Australian18 Footers League at Double Bay, is held from 3-10 January, 2015. Entries close on Monday December 15. -- Di Pearson

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 Paul Henderson: To All Old Finn Sailors:

After 42 years in the same house that many of you have slept in invited and some not Mary and I have moved to an apartment.

When moving we had many reminiscences and Mary brought up the Finn Party we had during the 1971 Gold Cup here.

We invited a few Finn Sailors and almost the whole regatta showed up. We ran out of food twice and Hugh Drake and Martha sped down to the local deli and liquor emporium several times to feed the starving congregation.

Martha then told the story about the Finn Party that Richard Clarke had for the younger generation 30 years later.

Richard lived 4 houses down the street and one of the young Finn sailors got really drunk and went for a walk up the street to sober up. He threw up on my front lawn and lay there for an extended period not knowing that I lived there.

For weeks the Finn sailors chided this poor sailor that he was going to be banned from sailing as throwing up on the ISAF President's front lawn was certainly a case of Gross Misconduct.

Finally the harassed young man had enough nerve to come to me and apologize.

I told him I did not even know it had happened and by the way the grass is much greener these days.

Happy Holidays to All of You from the Hendersons.

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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
The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers. -- Carl Jung

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