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

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Seven New IMOCA 60 Boats For 2015
The fleet will take to the water in a series of staggered launches from the spring of 2015. The first major confrontations for these latest generation boats will be the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Transat B to B revenge match from Brazil back to Europe in the autumn of 2015. The new projects:

Banque Populaire for Armel Le Cleac'h (VPLP - Verdier)
Safran for Morgan Lagraviere (VPLP - Verdier)
Edmond de Rothschild for Sebastien Josse (VPLP - Verdier)
Hugo Boss for Alex Thomson (VPLP Verdier)
Saint-Michel-Virbac for Jean-Pierre Dick (VPLP - Verdier)
Vento di Sardegna for Andrea Mura (VPLP Verdier)
Spirit of Hungary for Nandor Fa (N. Fa & A. Dery)

A number of new projects have already seen the light of day, which augurs well for an increase in power for the IMOCA class. In all likelihood, we'll have a fleet of 20 to 25 craft for the next Vendee Globe. Among these projects we have Armel Tripon, who's bought Kito de Pavant's former Groupe Bel, Yann Elies who's just bought Marc Guillemot's Safran and Eric Bellion from the Comme un seul homme (As one man) project aboard Marc Thiercelin's former DCNS, a Finot Conq design from 2007.

Finally, MACIF, the winner of the last Vendee Globe is officially sold, even though the name of the happy buyer has yet to be revealed. Perhaps the surprise will be unwrapped during the Christmas festivities.

ISAF World Sailing Rankings
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 15 December 2014 have been released.

Top three by class:

470 (Men)
1. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
2. Panagiotis Matins / Pavlos Kagialis, GRE
3. Sime Fantela / Igor Marenic, CRO

470 (Women)
1. Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA
2. Anne Haeger / Briana Provancha, USA
3. Tina Mral / Veronika Macarol, SLO

49er (Men)
1. Jonas Warrer / Peter Lang / Anders Thomsen, DEN
2. John Pink / Stuart Bithell, GBR
3. Nico Delle - Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT

49er FX (Women)
1. Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA
2. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen, DEN
3. Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth, GBR

Laser (Men)
1. Tom Burton, AUS
2. Robert Scheidt, BRA
3. Nick Thompson, GBR

Laser Radial (Women)
1. Marit Bouwmeester, NED
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL
3. Anne-Marine Rindom, DEN

Finn (Men)
1. Ivan Lkjakovic Gaspic, CRO
2. Caleb Paine, USA
3. Bjorn Allansson, SWE

Nacra 17 (Mixed)
1. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA
2. Thomas Zajac / Tanja Chiara Frank, AUT
3. Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin, AUS

RS:X (Men)
1. Byron Kokkalanis, GRE
2. Ricardo Santos, BRA
3. Max Oberemko, RUS

RS:X (Women)
1. Flavia Tartaglini, ITA
2. Bryony Shaw, GBR
3. Laura Linares, ITA

The full ISAF World Sailing Ranking lists, results from all ISAF Graded events, lists of Graded events throughout the year, Ranking release dates and the method of calculation for the Rankings can be found on the ISAF website at

18ft Skiffs Syd. Barnett Memorial Trophy
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiff Sydney Harbour: Ash Rooklyn replaced Jonathan Whitty on Lumix and scored his first 18ft Skiff win as a skipper when he teamed with Aron Everett and Daniel Nixon to win the Syd. Barnett Memorial Trophy race on Sydney Harbour today.

Lumix grabbed the lead after rounding the first set of windward marks and was never in any real danger of defeat as the team sailed faultlessly around the North-East course. (Micah Lane, Tom Anderson, Paul Montague) was 33s behind the winner, in second place, with (Keagan York, Greg Dixon, Matt Stenta) a further 1m25s back in thid place.

This was the final race before the Christmas-New Year break. Racing will resume on 11 January with Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

The J.J. Giltinan 18ft skiff championship will be sailed from 14-22 February 2015. -- Frank Quealey

'Super-Bacteria' In Rio Sailing Waters
Sao Paulo: Scientists at a Rio de Janeiro research institute have found what they call a new "super-bacteria" that is resistant to antibiotics in the waters where sailors will compete in the Olympic sailing events in 2016.

The bacteria is normally found in hospital waste and can cause urinary, gastrointestinal and pulmonary infections, officials with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation said on Monday.

They discovered the bacteria in water samples taken at three spots along the Rio Carioca, a small river that runs into the Guanabara Bay, where the sailing events will take place.

The bacteria is similar to other known strains but is resistant to the usual drugs, said Ana Paula D'Alincourt Carvalho Assef, the coordinator of the study that was published on the Oswaldo Cruz's website.

More than half the water that flows into the Guanabara Bay is sewage and organizers have vowed to reduce that amount by 80 percent by the time the events start in Aug. 2016. -- Andrew Downie

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

Yachtsman Of The Year Awards In Doubt After Sponsor Goes Bust
Nick Davis, who had entered a 3-year deal to sponsor the YJA Yachtsman of the Year Awards through his company Apollo Boats, has gone to ground without paying for last year's bash won by The Reverend Bob Shepton and young sailor Natasha Lambert.

The defaulting entrepreneur has left a huge hole in the finances of the Yachting Journalists's Association, organisers of the awards, and the annual lunch at Trinity House, where the winners are traditionally announced, may have to be cancelled this January unless a new sponsor can be found.

June Hamilton, Secretary of the YJA reports that Nick Davis, through his Enterprises and associated companies, maritime security specialist, GoAgt, the franchised Local Letter Box, and boatbuilders Apollo Boats Ltd - have all collapsed in spectacular fashion.

GoAgt has left hundreds of ex-military personnel based in the Middle and Far East unpaid with no way to get home. It was through his Cowes based company, Apollo Boats Ltd that Davis signed up to three years of sponsorship of the prestigious YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards but reneged on his contract without paying what he owed after receiving all the benefits of the first year.

The awards were founded by the late Sir Max Aitken, a wartime Spitfire pilot, highly skilled yachtsman in both sail and power and co-founder of the London International Boat Show which he sponsored through his Express Newspaper empire. Sir Max Aitken bequeathed the exquisite silver Yachtsman of the Year trophy to the YJA in 1979 so that the awards would continue after his death.

Previous sponsors of the Awards include Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, Raymarine, MDL Marinas, and British Telecom. -- Barry Pickthall

Craig & Roberts Narrowly Win The Datchet Flyer
Click on image for photo gallery.

Datchet Flyer Nick Craig and Alan Roberts raced their Merlin Rocket to victory in the Datchet Flyer, which tested competitors across a variety of wind conditions. The second of eight events in this season's GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, the battle for overall honours was incredibly tight, with just 7 points separating the top six.

On Saturday, Datchet delivered crisp sunshine and blue skies - but a fickle 5-knot breeze.

Met by substantially more breeze on the second day of the Datchet Flyer, the fleet went afloat at 10.30 for the 100-minute pursuit race. The innovative format involved the fleet being divided in two to give the faster boats more time on the water, hopefully meaning that more of the fleet sail for more time in the same wind conditions. Feedback on the day seemed very positive, but the organisers would always welcome more comments. The pursuit race was a double-points, non-discardable race, making it critical for competitors to sail well until the very end.

With this format all but four classes started within the first 15 minutes. But then the wind dropped to its lowest at just about the time the Solos, Laser Radials, Merlin Rockets and D-Ones started at the 11am datum time.

Despite perhaps being slightly disadvantaged by starting in the light breeze for the pursuit race, Nick Craig and Alan Roberts won the event overall with two other Merlins in the top five. Second place was filled by the SK2 (McGrane/Wade/Vidal), Barnham and Ratcliffe's Merlin in 3rd, with 4th place going to the 505 (Gillard & Anderton).

Top six overall at Datchet Flyer
1. Nick Craig & Alan Roberts (Merlin Rocket), Frensham Ponds SC, 21 points
2. Ben McGrane/ Dave Wade/ Olivier Vidal (SK2) Netley SC, 23
3. Jasper Barnham & Jonny Ratcliffe (Merlin Rocket), Snettisham Beach SC, 23.5
4. Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton (505), Sheffield Viking SC SC, 24
5. Tim Fells & Oli Wells (Merlin Rocket 3753), Northampton SC, 27
6. Charlie Cumbley (OK), Teign Corinthian, 28

Full results

To enter other events in the Series:

New Formats For The 10th Edition Of Normandy Sailing Week
Created in 2006 in Deauville, Normandy Sailing Week will celebrate its 10th edition in 2015 and in that time it has become one of the major race meets in the English Channel. In this its 6th edition in Le Havre the event is really breaking new ground, shaking things up for the benefit of its competitors.

The first innovation involves the arrival of the new series from the Tour de France a la Voile and the implementation of some new race formats. The Tour de France a la Voile is undergoing a major transformation in 2015 by opting to race a multihull craft for the first time in the form of the 7.5m Diam24 One Design and offering the public much more visible courses hugging the coastline, as well as a series of coastal challenges.

Positioned a few weeks prior to the summer's major sailing meet, Normandy Sailing Week has always played host to the Tour's competitors, who view the event as a very useful warm-up for the teams. And the tradition is very much intact with 4 days of racing on the cards, comprising courses close to the beaches and the local public and coastal challenges around the Baie de Seine (2 challenges from 25 to 50 miles). The obvious success of the new formula (31 entries in the Tour de France) suggests that there will be a far-reaching participation in the Le Havre meet, which forms part of the event schedule for the Diam24 class. Furthermore, the line-up for this new series comprises a host of big names, including Franck Cammas, Thomas Coville, Yann Guichard, Daniel Souben, Sebastien Rogues, Vincent Riou, Lionel Lemonchois, Bernard Stamm and Jeremie Beyou....

A second major format change relates to a 100-mile race that will form part of the event programme for the cruiser-racers. This long sprint will range from 70 to 110 miles in length, according to the series, and it is scheduled to set sail on Friday evening and run through the night into Saturday morning.

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

2015 ISAF Youth Worlds Notice Of Race Released
The Notice of Race for the 2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship that will be held in Langkawi, Malaysia from 27 December 2015 to 3 January 2016 has been released.

The ISAF Youth Worlds has seen a whole host of star studded names compete and take honours across its 44 year history. Over 300 of the world's top youth sailors are expected to compete in Langkawi.

The 2015 ISAF Youth Worlds, the 45th edition of the regatta, will see the addition of the Girl's Skiff - 29er where the winner will be awarded with a brand new ISAF perpetual trophy, the Malaysia Sailing Association President's Trophy.

Thirteen races are scheduled in the boy's and girl's windsurfing (RS:X), boy's and girl's skiff (29er) and open multihull (SL16) whilst there will be nine in the boy's and girl's one person dinghy (Laser Radial) and boy's and girl's two person dinghy (420).

On-line registration opens on 1 February 2015 via the event website

Yachting Included In Today's HPSNZ Investment Announcement
High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) has announced today that Yachting New Zealand's High Performance Programme will receive a financial boost in the two years leading into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The announcement comes as part of a wider public release of HPSNZ investment in sports for 2015 and 2016 intended to lift New Zealand's chances of success in Rio, at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018, and also getting in behind those with potential at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

HPSNZ Chief Executive Alex Baumann described how he views Yachting New Zealand's current position, "A highly successful programme, they achieved excellent results at Rio test events and are on track to win multiple medals for New Zealand in Rio."

Yachting New Zealand works in partnership with HPSNZ and today's announcement, which will see our High Performance Programme receive additional financial support in 2015 and

The financial investment announced today by HPSNZ will see Yachting New Zealand's High Performance Programme, including the NZL Sailing Team and recently launched Aon Fast Track squad, receive an extra $200,000 in both 2015 and 2016. The total investment from HPSNZ over the four year period from 2013 to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will amount to NZ$12.4 million and Yachting remains one of three HPSNZ Tier 1 sports, and follows Rowing and Cycling in the investment schedule.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2000 Farr 40 OD Hull # 58. 150,000 USD

The Farr 40 One Design was conceived as a high performance 40 footer that would gather the benefits of modern materials into an economic platform for short course racing that was demanding, exciting and not beyond the capabilities of relatively inexperienced crew members. The boat also had to be capable of competing in the offshore classes and be a competitive IMS performer to give the purchaser a wide range of events in which to compete and to carry through times before class fleets were established. The design of the boat and the formation of Class Rules and Constitution proceeded in parallel allowing input from the operator and builder side of the equation. The Owner/Driver class rule was an influencing factor in the conceptual phase of the design, encouraging us towards easy to tune, simple arrangements that would not take time and energy from the primary activity of sailboat racing.

Honour has been maintained in top condition by a fastidious owner. Topsides and bottom fully repainted in 2014 with gray Durepox and a full deck repaint and non-skid in white Durepox also in 2014. A great opportunity for a turnkey class racing boat. Honour is an ideal and highly competitive purchase for a Corinthian team wishing to join the competition having placed second in Corinthian boats at both the 2012 and 2014 World Championships.

Visit for full listing.

Contact: Tink Chambers

See the collection at

The Last Word
There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. -- Will Rogers

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