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

Volvo Ocean Race Sets Up Report Into Team Vestas Wind Grounding
Alicante, Spain: An independent report into the grounding of Team Vestas Wind's boat on a reef in the Indian Ocean has been set up by the Volvo Ocean Race.

A panel, to be chaired by Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould (Rtd), is to provide the Volvo Ocean Race with its final report by January 31, 2015.

Volvo Ocean Race intends to make the report publicly available to make sure its learnings benefit the whole sailing world and not only the race. This is scheduled for no later than during the Auckland stopover (February 27-March 15).

Rear Admiral Oxenbould is a former deputy chief of the Australian Navy and an experienced ocean racing yachtsman with a particular expertise in navigation. He is also the chairman of the Yachting Australia National Safety Committee.

Ocean navigational expert, Stan Honey who won the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 as navigator onboard ABN AMRO ONE, and Chuck Hawley who serves as the chairman of the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Committee, will assist the Rear Admiral Oxenbould on the report.

Class40 Campagne De France, Winner Of The 2014 Class40 Championship
Pogo S2 "Campagne de France", sailed by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron (6th of the Route du Rhum) wins the 2014 Class40 Championship just in front Damien Seguin's Akilaria RC3 and Bertrand Delesne's Mach40 TeamWork40, rookie and already on the podium.

This ranking rewards the attendance and regularity of the results throughout the season.

Top ten 2014 Championship ranking

1. Campagne de France, Miranda Merron / Halvard Mabire
2. ERDF Des pies et des mains, Damien Seguin
3. Teamwork40, Bertrand Delesne
4. L'Express-Trepia, Pierre-Yves Lautrou
5. IXBlue - BRS, Stephane Le Diraison
6. Maison Tirel Guerin, Valentin Lemarchand / Yannick Bestaven
7. Picoty-Lac de Vassiviere, Jean-Christophe Caso / Jacques Fournier
8. Matourba, Pierre Brasseur / Bertrand Guillonneau
9. Santander 2014, Alex Pella / Gonzalo Botin
10. Solidaires en Peloton, Thibaut Vauchel-Camus / Olivier Toupin

Full rankings:

In order to enhance the performance of the skippers evolving on first generation boats, a classification Vintage 2015 is currently being discussed.

2015 Provisional Calendar

1st - 4th May : Grand Prix Guyader
24th - 31st May : Normandy Channel Race
18th - 23rd June : Record SNSM
28th June - 26th July : Les Sables - Horta - Les Sables
16th - 23rd August : Rolex Fastnet Race
1st - 29th November : Transat Jacques Vabre

SK2 Dinghy

SK2 - On Display
The SK2 can be seen on the water this winter in the GJW Sail Juice Series. It is starting to post notable results with a 2nd overall at the Datchet Flyer.

Demo Days - Try it for yourself.
Queen Mary 17-18.01.2015
Grafham 21.02.2015
Register your interest at or

Boat Shows - Come and take a look.
Dusseldorf 17-25.01.2015 Hall 17, Stand B53
London Dinghy Show 28.02-01.03.2015 Stand F30

Irish Match Racing Open
The much anticipated Irish Match Racing Open has been succesful writes Diana Kissane albeit strong winds on Sunday curtailed the running of a full programme. With 7 domestic teams and 3 UK entries the event attracted some of the top sailors of the British Isles including a host pf sailors competing on the premier mens and womens world tours, former and current national champions. An incredible 36 races were sailed on Saturday between dawn and dusk without a minute being wasted, with the fancied runners establishing a clear lead. With the lead boats all having raced each other, it was possible to obtain a clear result.

Given Sunday's forecast, it was decided to attempt to run semi finals and finals.

Teams Lees, Vose, Grant and O'Leary went to sea to battle it out but after an hour or so returned with conditions having prevented the run-off.

The final standings were Mark Lees overall winner, Annabel Vose runner-up, third placed Graeme Grant the first Irish boat and Marty O'Leary a close 4th. A fantastic weekend all round!

There are plans in motion for open training sessions and mini reggattas to take place in January.

Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar Competition
Wight Vodka The King & Queen in Hamble continue to hold the lead in our annual voting competition, with mid month surges from Pier View (Cowes) and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

While you make your choice, we recommend this festive libation:

1/2 cup Wight Vodka
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup club soda
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice (about 3 limes)
Crushed ice
Key lime slices (optional)

Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool.

Combine sugar syrup, club soda, pomegranate juice, vodka, and lime juice. Place crushed ice in a martini shaker; add about 3/4 cup pomegranate mixture. Cover and shake. Strain into a glass. Garnish with lime slice, if desired. Repeat procedure with remaining pomegranate mixture.

Now.. convince yourself that the presence of pomegranate juice and the scurvy-fighting properties of limes makes this a very healthy drink. One that you should celebrate repeatedly while considering which of the ten bars in the competion is this year's best.

Vote here:

Zhik Mothapolooza
The 2015 McDougall + McConaghy Moth World Championship is set to be even more of a spectacle this year, with the return of the Zhik 'Mothapolooza' which promises a potential head-to-head with teams of America's Cup and Olympic sailors.

The event will take place alongside the Moth Worlds in Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, between10-16 January 2015.

This year, the Zhik Mothapolooza has evolved into a unique two-event series for individuals and teams, all devised to test the competitors' innovative foiling skills and boat handling to the extreme.

An individual event, 'How Slow Can You Go' is a test to find the 'slowest foiler' sailing between two points. You read that right - the slowest! Competitors will sail at 90 degrees to the wind over a straight 100 metre course.

Whichever sailor takes the longest time while still keeping their boat foiling at all times, without tacking or gybing, will be the winner! Anyone who has tried foiling for themselves will quickly recognise just how difficult this test will be.

The team event will be the World's first foiling 'Sailing Relay Race'. Teams of four, many of whom are Olympic and America's Cup sailors will have to pick up, carry and deliver a baton to a floating bucket, then get out of the way so the next team mate can grab the baton and head back in the opposite direction.

OK Dinghy Worlds
It may be the last world championship of 2014, but it is certainly not the least. The 2014 OK Dinghy World Championship opens at Black Rock Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Australia, on December 28th and so far there are around 80 entries, with perhaps a few more before registration closes.

This 52nd OK Dinghy World Championship will be the third time that Black Rock YC has hosted the event, following 1982 and 1990. Traditionally the class brings its world championship 'down under' once every four years and this is split between Australia and New Zealand, so Australia only gets to host the event every eight years, and they are making the most of it with half the entries coming from the host nation.

One of the main favourites will be the host club's defending World Champion Roger Blasse (AUS). He took his second title last year in Thailand, so a third at his home club would be a significant achievement.

Last week's Sail Melbourne was a good indicator of form with Blasse coming in just one point behind Mark Jackson (AUS), but comfortably ahead of another strong competitor, Mike Williams (AUS), who has taken medals in his last two OK Dinghy World titles

Class website:
Event website:
Club website:

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:

Roger Hickman Named CYCA Ocean Racer Of The Year
Roger Hickman has been named the Ocean Racer of the Year by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, at a gala cocktail party hosted at the Club this evening. The CYCA Ocean Racer of the Year Awards recognises yachting excellence for the twelve month period of July 2013-July 2014 and Hickman's win caps off a stellar 12 months for the owner of Wild Rose, a Farr 43.

Hickman holds over 40 years of ocean racing experience, and in 2013-14 notched up his 7th CYCA Blue Water Championship, after winning first overall in the CYCA Blue Water Championship, Cape Byron Series and Tasman Performance Series.

He finished first in both his IRC and ORCi divisions in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, first in division in both the IRC Australian and used South Wales Championships in April and their team finished first overall in the Southern Cross Cup.

Since its inception in 1985, the Ocean Racer of the Year Award has gone to many of Australia's most notable ocean racing skippers.

Kristy Hinze-Clark On Weather Watch Before Attempting Sydney To Hobart
Kristy Hinze-Clark will decide at the last minute whether or not to brave the high seas in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race.

She says her final decision will be based on weather and being away from her daughters — Dylan, three, and Harper, four months.

"I think they'd be really proud of me in the future to know that I did it. If there was going to be a time to do it, this crew is full of rock stars so I wouldn't feel any more unsafe than what anyone would in a ginormous ocean. It really is weather dependent and I'm not going to go if there is any risk at all."

Hinze-Clark's 70-year-old husband, Jim Clark, has ruled himself out of the race because of arthritis in his wrists and ankles.

However, Clark is supportive of his wife taking part in the race and will be at the start and finish line.

"Anything I can do, she can do better," he said.

The Clarks' 100-foot ocean racer Comanche is the latest in their fleet of boats.

A total of 118 boats will take part in the 628-nautical-mile race starting on Boxing Day.

Clark, 70, is the founder of computer services company Netscape as well as being a big investor in Apple, Facebook and Twitter.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=-3zoK6XltTU, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Pilgrim's Progress
Towed from Plymouth, Mass., the historic replica ship Mayflower II arrived at Mystic Seaport on Sunday for a restoration at the southeastern Connecticut museum's Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard.

Restoration work will begin this month, honoring the Mayflower II's original construction and using traditional methods with the goal of restoring the ship to her original state when she arrived to Plymouth in 1957.

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 Owen Sharpe: The same Scuttlebutt that tells me extra funding is available to sailors in NZ on their way to Rio tells me also that if they get there they'll sail on "super-bug" infected waters. Can't wait. Rio is starting to make the Americas Cup look attractive.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 1998 Farr 40 OD Virago. 140,000. Located in Chicago, IL, USA.

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.

Virago has been maintained in excellent condition by a caring owner. The included sails, trailer and tow vehicle make Virago an ideal boat for a new owner. The boat has been stored inside a heated facility when not in use.

Visit for full listing.

Contact Tink Chambers:

See the collection at

The Last Word
What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em? -- Calvin

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Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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