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

International 14 Teams Racing World Championship
The traditional International 14 Teams Racing World Championship, has acted as a warm-up event, that saw 24 of the 67 teams entered in the Fleet Racing Worlds, out on Corio Bay over the last two days. It gave these competitors a chance to test their equipment and familiarising themselves with several of their competitors.

The friendly showdown was held by host club, Royal Geelong Yacht Club, close to the shoreline where waterfront visitors and office workers were able to enjoy the spectacle of the fast-paced racing.

The Team Racing trophy was taken out by Australia 1 - Brad Devine, Lindsay Irwin, David Heyter and Stuart Sloss - but not before several dramas almost derailed the campaign.

The Teams Racing course was set up close to shore in a different area to what will be used for the World Championships fleet racing which starts on Thursday. The teams raced in anything between six through to 18 knots.

Banjo Breaks South African Governor's Cup Race Record
Whimsical leading fellow Sydney boat Indulgence on a windy Port Philip. Photo from the International Dragon Class of Australia. Click on image to enlarge.

Kevin Webb, Sarel van der Merwe, and Brad Stemmett sailing Banjo, a Farrier F9AX trimaran, have broken the 1,750-mile Governor's Cup Race record from Simon's Town to St Helena with a time of 9 days 13 hours and 36 seconds.

Webb, van der Merwe and Stemmett arrived in Jamestown, St Helena at 01.53.36 today, in just enough time to shave off five hours from Banjo's previous race record of 9 day,18 hours and 59 minutes set by Frans Loots in 2010.

After an exceptionally lively start from False Bay Yacht Club, Simon's Town on 27 December, when winds gusted up to 40kts, the race developed into a game of tactics with those opting for the more northern route towards St Helena generally benefiting from stronger, more consistent winds.

Webb, van der Merwe and Stemmett weaved their way to an early on-the-water lead soon after the start and were first round Cape Point later that afternoon, which enabled them to slot into a downwind roller coaster ride in the relentless wind that lasted for several days.

Further down the racecourse the conditions are less favourable with many competitors struggling with boat speed in the light airs. With just five days until the cut-off time, the situation looks bleak, particularly for those still with over 700-nautical miles to go.

According the Bram Weller - the Race Officer at the finish line in St Helena - there is a good chance some boats won't make the race deadline. "It is very concerning the wind has dropped so much, and the outlook doesn't look promising either. As it stands at the moment half the fleet is not going to finish the race within the time limit which is 1200 GMT on Saturday 10 January, unless the race committee extends the deadline. At this stage there are just seven boats - Banjo, Black Cat, Avanti, Strumpet, Vulcan 44, Canace, and Revelation, who'll make it, while Carel Jacobs and team of the Baltic 42 Cool Runnings looks like they might miss the cut off by seven hours."

Given the conditions, the overall winner of the Governor's Cup 2014/15 is still uncertain although it is looking more and more certain that it could go to Klaus Wiswedel and team on Avanti (Vikers 41) in Racing division. -- Sue Pelling

SK2. Welcome To The New.
The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd and built by Ovington boats.

The SK2 is equally a capable racer for 2-3 crew or a performance day-sailor with family and friends. Developed as a strict one design class in mind it is equally suitable for a wide range of mixed fleet racing. The SK2 has been shown to live happily and be equally competitive amongst dinghies, sportsboats and more varied inshore club fleets. A true cross-over boat.

SK2's thoroughly developed package provides a new experience. The difference is the canting keel. Easily operate manually the canting keel provides additional righting moment and allows full use of SK2's powerful sailplan. Together this makes the SK2 suitable for a wide range of wind conditions. It also offers an ideal trialling vehicle for those with an eye on something bigger.

Weighing in at only 210kg (hull & Keel) it is towable by any car. At this weight an SK2 is also easily launched by hand like a dinghy from the beach or a boat slip.

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

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

New Member For South West Shingles Yacht Club?
Photo by David Aisher. Click on image to enlarge.

Membership of the South West Shingles Yacht Club, which has often been referred to as 'the world's most exclusive yacht club,' is by invitation only.

David Latchford started the Club when he actually collided with the South West Shingles buoy, a very large red item which is fairly visible, in broad daylight. Owning up to this unpardonable error for a sailor with a high reputation proved a challenging task, and it gave David the idea for the Yacht Club.

So invitations are issued to those who it is considered have performed a humorous and out-of-place incident afloat, and are prepared to admit it to their peer group ashore. Such invitations are the bailiwick of the flag officers and custodians by mutual agreement. -- from,

This week we have a new entrant for membership. Maybe.

A Hoegh Osaka car carrier was deliberately run aground on the Bramble Bank off Cowes to avoid it capsizing, a press conference was told on Sunday evening.

According to Hoegh Autoliners CEO Ingar Skiaker, the vessel's pilot made the decision to ground the ship at around 9.30pm on Saturday after it began listing severely.

Mr Skiaker said at the press conference on Sunday: "At this stage it's too early to speculate on the cause. All we know is that the vessel developed a severe list as it left the Port of Southampton and the pilot and master of ship decided to ground it on the bank.

A 200m exclusion zone is currently in place around the car carrier for safety reasons and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Counter Pollution Team continue to monitor the situation, but as of yet, there is no sign of pollution.

Hoegh Autoliners have now appointed Svitzer to lead a salvage operation of the vessel.

72 Hours Into Leg 3 and Dongfeng Still Leading
Going into day 4 (of what is expected to be a 20+ day leg) Dongfeng Race Team are leading the Volvo Ocean Race fleet by 17 nautical miles with 4,160 miles to go to Sanya, China. Going back to the fact this race is a one-design fleet, a 17 nautical mile lead on day 4 is a not a bad start, not that anyone particularly wants to admit it at this stage for fear of jinxing the situation.

There is currently 23 nautical miles separating the fleet between first and last position. Now past the Iranian exclusion zone they will stay north, close to the Pakistani coast to avoid a high pressure system to the south. Tonight they can expect more winds (15/16 knots) and less drifting as the higher winds mark a change from the light Gulf thermal conditions to the more established monsoon winds of India.

Prince Philip Cup Australasian Dragon Championship
Whimsical leading fellow Sydney boat Indulgence on a windy Port Philip. Photo by the International Dragon Class of Australia. Click on image to enlarge.

Arguably one of the oldest one-design class yachtsmen in the world, 88-year-old Gordon Ingate is showing he is still a remarkably talented helmsman by today sailing his International Dragon class yacht Whimsical into the overall lead in the prestigious 2015 Prince Philip Cup on Melbourne's Port Phillip.

Ingate moved up from third to first on the leaderboard with a second and a first place today against a 16 boat fleet from Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Great Britain, following his 4-3 score on day one of the regatta being conducted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

Over a yachting career spanning more than 75 years, Ingate has represented Australia at the Admiral's Cup and the Olympic Games and has skippered a challenger for the America's Cup. He won the Prince Philip Cup on Hobart's River Derwent several years back, his first win in what is the Australasian championship for the Dragon class after half a century in the class.

He also went close to wining the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with Caprice of Huon in 1972.

After four races, Whimsical is on 10 points, with fellow RSYS member Wolf Breit in second place in Shapes after placings of 1-1-3-6 for 11 points. Among Shapes' experienced crew is Roger Hickman who last week skippered the ocean racing yacht Wild Rose to an overall victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Third overall is the West Australian entry, Wizzardy, skippered by Raymond Chatfield from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club with 16 points from placings of 5-4-5-2.

British yachtsman Robert Campbell and the crew of Indulgence, winners of the Ted Albert Memorial Regatta on Sunday, were OCS in race two yesterday today improved their overall standing to sixth with a first and a third place.

Racing continues Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Royal Brighton Yacht Club. -- Peter Campbell

Sailing and Marine Manager - Middle Island Vacancy
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the oldest sailing and rowing clubs in Hong Kong, is looking for a high calibre individual to fill the post of Sailing and Marine Manager.

This is a full-time contract based in Hong Kong commencing March / April 2015. Reporting to the Marine Services Manager, the successful applicant will lead and manage the sailing development, regatta events and marine activities at RHKYC's Middle Island property. The island is located 8km from central Hong Kong, is accessed daily by a 2 minute club owned ferry ride from the shore. The primary focus of this role shall be to foster and mentor the talents of suitable youth members graduating from the training programs to podium positions at regional and global competition in Optimist, Laser, 29er and 420 classes. The position duties include the supervision of the marina, hardstand, ferry boat services and the repairs and maintenance of a very substantial fleet of club keel boats, sailing dinghies, work boats, rowing and paddling craft. Currently there are 16 full time staff plus casual instructors as reporting staff.

We look for people with:

- Successful results as a participant and coach at ISAF recognized dinghy or keelboat competition.
- Senior management experience in marine operations and preferably sailing school / academy management.
- Experience with special event logistics and international race management.
- Hands on knowledge of fibreglass repairs and deck hardware installation.
- A managerial level of finance and administrative ability.
- A mature and mentoring personality with excellent communication skills.
- The flexibility to work on weekends and midweek shifts.
- An above average level of fitness.

This is a very senior position at the RHKYC. We offer an attractive remuneration and excellent fringe benefits to the right candidate. Closing date for applications is 7 February 2015.

Interested parties should submit a comprehensive CV to The Human Resources Manager, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or e-mail to

Never Before Seen Images Of The Titanic During Her Launch
Click on image to enlarge.

These are the astonishing pictures of RMS Titanic as she touched the waters of Belfast Lough for the first time - from a never-before-seen collection.

The series of amazing sepia images were captured by a Harland and Wolff employee as the 'unsinkable' ship moved slowly down the slipway and into the sea on May 31, 1911.

Although snapped more than 103 years ago, the photographs have a remarkable quality and have never been seen in public, until now.

The album contains 116 black and white images taken by John W Kempster when he was a director and senior engineer at Harland and Wolff at the time of the construction of Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic. They include the unpublished pictures of Titanic and the Olympic during their launch and departure from Belfast and have now gone on display at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

The album contains 13 photographs from Titanic's launch on May 31, 1911 when her prow kissed sea water for the first time.

They include Lord Pirrie, the Harland and Wolff chairman, returning from inspecting the hydraulic rams and the doomed liner descending the slipway into the water, pursued by thousands of excited spectators. -- Harriet Crawford in the Belfast Telegraph

Tomes Cup Presented By Old Mutual
The Tomes Cup pursuit race, organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and presented by Old Mutual International is the third constituent event in the Club's annual Top Dog Trophy Series, designed to identify the most successful helm over a variety of pursuit race courses and conditions.

The series includes the results for Lipton Trophy and Around The Island Race, together with Tomes Cup and the HKRNVR Memorial Vase, scheduled for 1 May 2015.

The race is held in the eastern area of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, taking in Shau Kei Wan, Tai Koo Shing, Kowloon Bay and Hung Hom in the course of the race which is expected to attract between 60 competitors from Hong Kong's one-design fleets and Big Boat classes.

The slowest boats will start first with the higher rated boats spending the afternoon playing 'catch up' and gradually working their way up through the fleet. The finish line will be set at the mark which will finish the first boat as close to the target time of 1630hrs as possible.

The first boat to cross the line will be declared the winner and will lift the Tomes Cup, one of the Club's oldest pieces of silverware which is inscribed with "Sugar Refiners Cup won by Naomi April 1st 1880" and which was gifted to RHKYC by the Tomes family in the 1960's.

Featured Brokerage
2008 Mills 43 Custom. Located South Coast UK.

Full refit in 2012, including topsides Vinyl Wrap, full suit of Doyle Sails, and IRC optimization from Mark Mills. She is complete and ready to race anywhere in the world.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age. -- Sinclair Lewis

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see