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

Windfall Blasts Into Grenada
Southern Wind 94, Windfall, skippered by Fabrizio Oddone and sailed by a crew that includes several Russians, crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada at 14:53:48 UTC on Thursday 11th December 2014 with an elapsed time of 11 days, 04 hours, 53 minutes and 48 seconds. The powerful and impressive 94ft Maxi is the probable winner of IRC Zero.

Windfall received a huge welcome as they arrived at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. James Bremridge, RORC Deputy Racing Manager and Glynn Thomas, GM Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, congratulated them on arrival.

The Russian guests are corinthian sailors who have come together as a team to improve their racing performance through a number of events, including the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the RORC Transatlantic Race. Famous members of the professional crew include Lorenzo Mazza, a seven-time America's Cup veteran and winner of the 32nd edition with Alinghi. Multiple world champion, Francesco Mongelli and Irish Olympic Finn sailor, Tim Goodbody.

Windfall is the second Maxi to complete the RORC Transatlantic Race. The next finisher should be American Class40, Oakcliff Racing. At 1800 UTC on 11th December, Oakcliff Racing had 250 miles to go. None of the four American crew on board has completed an Atlantic Race before and Oakcliff Racing is expected to arrive in Port Louis tomorrow around midday local time (1600 UTC) tomorrow, 12th December.

The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), started on Sunday 30th December 1000 UTC from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Grenada, West Indies, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

Fleet tracker:

Dirk De Ridder Suspension Reduced To 18 Months By The CAS
Lausanne, Switzerland: The Dutch sailor and former member of Oracle Team USA, Dirk de Ridder, has had his three-year suspension reduced to 18 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Mr de Ridder filed an appeal at the CAS in June 2014 against the decisions taken by the Disciplinary Commission (DC) of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the ISAF Review Board in relation to the sailor's alleged involvement in the manipulation of the weight distribution of AC45 yachts used in the inaugural America's Cup World Series (ACWS) and the 2013 America's Cup. The ISAF DC found that he had committed a gross breach of the rule which requires boats to comply with class rules, as well as of good sportsmanship, had brought the sport into disrepute and was therefore open to sanction. The ISAF Review board concurred and imposed a period of ineligibility of three years.

In appealing to the CAS, Mr de Ridder sought to overturn such decisions on the grounds that they were based on insufficient evidence, that the imposed sanction was disproportionate and that the ISAF lacked jurisdiction.

The CAS Panel found that the ISAF had jurisdiction to issue its decisions, and also found, to its comfortable satisfaction, that Mr de Ridder gave instructions, express or implied, to add weight to the forward king post of boat 4 at the Newport Regatta, part of the ACWS competition, held in June/July 2012. However, with respect to the sanction, the Panel found that a period of ineligibility of 3 years was disproportionate in light of the circumstances of the case and compared to previous sanctions imposed by the sailing federation in similar matters.

Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography
Eileen Ramsay - The Queen Of Yachting Photography Eileen Ramsay was at the centre of a unique period in yachting history, and this wonderful book, featuring her classic photography, celebrates an extraordinary woman and her extraordinary subjects. Eileen's heyday was between 1950 and 1970 - a time when eccentrics ruled, records were there for the setting, and women weren't often to be found behind the lens.

But Eileen established herself as one of the greatest yachting photographers of her time, taking famous portraits of sailing icons like Francis Chichester and Eric Tabarly, Olympians, including Rodney Pattisson and Keith Musto, and historic pictures from the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic (OSTAR) Races.

Her unique archive records the explosive growth in dinghy and offshore sailing during post-war years, and includes pictures of the first Enterprises, Mirrors, Ospreys, Optimists and the first America's Cup 12 metres Sceptre and Evaine.

Eileen, now into her 90s can remember just about every photograph she has taken and relate an anecdote or story about each one. Many of these memories are also recorded in the book.

Eileen Ramsay - the Queen of Yachting Photography, is a spectacular celebration of a pioneering photographer and a fascinating time in yachting history.

160 pages, 123 classic pictures. £25 + postage & packing

Quantum Key West Race Week 28th Edition Begins January 18
Key West Florida, USA: High-speed foiling catamarans, powerful 72-foot Maxi yachts, innovative High Performance Racing designs and large classes of exciting sport boats are heading to the Florida Keys. Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 will once again showcase the full spectrum of sailboat racing amid the beautiful setting of aqua-colored waters and warm sunshine.

Many of the world's best sailors will come to the Conch Republic for the 28th edition of Key West Race Week. For the fourth consecutive year, Quantum Sail Design Group will serve as title sponsor of the iconic event, which is organized by Premiere Racing.

A touch of the America's Cup will come to Key West for the first time with the addition of the GC 32 class. GC stands for 'Great Cup' and the state-of-the-art foiling catamarans mimic the larger models used in the most recent America's Cup by providing an airborne racing experience.

The GC32 Racing Tour will be held from May through September out of such European sites as Austria, England, Germany, Italy and France. Key West will serve as somewhat of a training and tuneup event for the Argo program along with at least three others from Switzerland, The Netherlands and France.

From a spectator standpoint, the most majestic racing machines in Key West will be those racing in the Maxi 72 class, which typically requires a crew of 17 to race. Minneapolis-based skipper Hap Fauth and his crew aboard Bella Mente return after capturing class honors in 2014 and will do battle with a pair of familiar foes in Numbers (Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla.) and Shockwave (George Sakellaris, Framingham, Mass.).

Premiere Racing is very pleased to have a pair of J/Boat classes making one design debuts at Key West Race Week. To date , the J/111 has attracted seven boats while J/88 has six on the scratch sheet.

The Farr 280 will make their Key West debut next January. Four boats will battle for one design sub-class trophies within a larger PHRF class.

Regatta dates are January 18 - 23, 2015

Mix A Pitcher Of These And Then Vote...
Wight Vodka ... for your favourite Yachting Bar, that is.

Voting continues in the Wight Vodka Favourite Yachting Bar with the King and Queen, Hamble, still in first place with over 1000 votes cast just for them!

This one's called Jingle Juice:

5 cups orange juice
1 cup Wight vodka
1/3 cup Triple Sec
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice

Garnishes: fruit-flavored candy cane sticks, cherries with stems, orange and lemon slices.

Enjoy! Recipe from

Vote here:

Promising Signs That Bermuda's Got This..
Hotels across the Island have come together as part of a coordinated effort to ensure accommodation demands for the 2017 America's Cup are met.

With Bermuda's good reputation at stake there is a strong focus on eliminating any possibility of price gouging or bookings scalping.

In the ten days since the Island was confirmed as hosts for the 2017 event, hotels have fielded scores of enquiries for room availability during the America's Cup and next October's World Series racing.

While the early enquiries are welcome, hoteliers are waiting for comprehensive guidelines on how the booking process will operate. A meeting was held last week between the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the ACBDA (America's Cup Bermuda) group, the America's Cup Event Authority and hotel representatives.

A source close to the discussions said work was under way to create a central booking organisation, which will contact the hotels to provide details of room requirements.

"This is just the beginning. We met to discuss room allocation for both the World Series and the main event in 2017," said the source, who requested anonymity.

Stephen Todd, CEO of the Bermuda Hotel Association, said: "We are waiting for additional guidelines from the ACBDA to comply with the America's Cup organising committee.

"The guidelines will be provided to ensure there is no opportunity for gouging in terms of prices, or scalping. -- Scott Neil in the Royal Gazette

Seahorse January 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

IRC column - Crazy horses
And chief measurer James Dadd asks whether it has really been 30 years since we first encountered CHS (in a Parisian saloon)

Design - Bigger, faster
The latest mouthwatering performance sloop from Ed Dubois and Royal Huisman Shipyard

RORC news
And, yes, we do get to keep ISAF's sometimes contentious Sailor Classification Code... Eddie Warden-Owen

Sailor of the Month
Les darned Froggies... Zey can go so fast

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

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Industry News
William Ward, Chief Executive of Clipper Race organiser Clipper Ventures plc, has been invited to become a GREAT Britain 'Ambassador' by Prime Minister David Cameron in recognition of his personal support and contribution to the UK's most ambitious international promotional campaign ever.

The Prime Minister hosted a dinner at Downing Street for the first GREAT ambassadors from sport, business, fashion and the arts at which he recognised the importance of their contribution to the GREAT Britain campaign and encouraged them to continue their involvement.

The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK, to deliver jobs and growth at home. A GREAT Britain branded yacht together with British brand partners participated in the last Clipper Race series and will take to the water again in the 2015-16 edition.

Fellow ambassadors at the Downing Street dinner included Olympic medallist and diver Tom Daley, singer Katherine Jenkins, fashion designers Stella McCartney and Paul Smith, plus celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Ken Hom.


Saint-Gobain's 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($2.8 billion) takeover of rival Sika risks being a messy affair after executives at the Swiss chemicals firm said they will quit if the sale goes through.

The Swiss family that owns a controlling stake in Sika put it up for auction in a confidential process, won by the French building materials company with an offer at 80 percent above Friday's closing share price.

Sika's board and management were informed of the sale on Friday and Saint-Gobain started discussions with Sika at the weekend. By Sunday night, Sika executives had concluded they did not want to be taken over by the French firm and would resign.

Sika's Chairman Paul Johann Haelg made it clear at a news conference in Zurich on Monday that the company's executives were not on board: "This transaction is not in the interest of Sika and its public shareholders."

Sika said in a statement that all non-family board members and the entire company's management will resign when and if the transaction goes through.


The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 departure stopover in Alicante generated a boost for the Community of Valenciana valued at €66.3 million and €89.3 for Spain as a whole, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers economic impact study released on Tuesday.

The study, presented at a news conference at the Race's museum in Alicante by the Community's regional minister, Juan Carlos Moragues, showed a rise of 7.1% of financial benefit to the region compared to the last edition in 2011-12.

This improvement was even more impressive bearing in mind that the Alicante race departure stopover last month was held over 10 days (October 2-11 inclusive) compared to 23 in 2011. Alicante has been the departure port for the nine-month global round-the-world race for the past three editions dating back to 2008 and also hosts the Race's headquarters.


The Viper 640 Class Association has continually emphasized the importance of providing a contemporary website to support a modern growing Class. Since its founding the Class was launched with an interactive website that allowed all of their members and prospective members to access information, post stories, share boat tuning tips and engage in friendly banter on the Class forums.

Deservedly, the Class website has won various awards including the One-Design Class Website of the Year.

The Class Association retained Strawberry Marketing to develop a new website, which is now live. This new site combines a modern visual presentation of Vipers, with easier navigation and easier input of content from various Class members around the world.


The seventh edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum and Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium closed its doors on Thursday afternoon following two intense days of presentations and networking in Barcelona. Once again, most key speakers highlighted the need for a stronger governing body.

Some 200 delegates and 50 speakers spanning seventeen nations participated in the seventh edition of the World Yacht Racing Forum and Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium in Barcelona over the past two days.

Whilst the World Yacht Racing Forum focused on the commercial aspects of the sport, the Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium showcased the industry's latest technological developments and innovations. Some sponsors involved in high end yacht racing also attended the event, and shared their experience with the audience.

Founder of Open Sports Management and - amongst others - Deputy Chairman of the London Olympic Games organizing Committee, Sir Keith Mills highlighted the fact that the sport of sailing is too fragmented, difficult to understand by a wide audience and lacks international strategy. " We have a big job to do ", he insisted. " ISAF needs to be much stronger and look at all the sides of the sport instead of just the Olympic Games. What yacht racing needs is a strong base, superstars and heroes, and to be more accessible. It also needs to focus on three or four major pillars, like tennis or car racing do. "

Full story at

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The Last Word
If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones. -- John Steinbeck

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