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

Off To A Great Start At Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 got off to a strong start with the principal race officers on all three divisions able to complete two good races in 8-14 knot northeasterly winds.

"It was a good day of racing. Conditions were ideal and the courses were good," said Hap Fauth, skipper of the mini maxi Bella Mente.

Fauth had reason to be happy as Bella Mente was atop the standings in IRC 1 after the opening day of action. Tactician Terry Hutchinson played the shifts well as the Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer posted results of first and second.

It was a very good day on the water for skipper William Coates and his crew aboard Otra Vez. The Ker 43 leads both IRC 1 and the High Performance Rule sub-class after getting two good starts and displaying superb upwind speed.

Skipper Jason Carroll and the boys aboard Argo are the early pace-setters in the GC 32 class, which is making its debut in Key West. Winds weren't quite strong enough for the high-performance catamarans to foil upwind, but they were easily able to rise out of the water going downwind.

Ireland skipper Conor Clarke and his crew on Embarr posted a pair of bullets to seize the early lead in Melges 24 class, which has attracted 13 entries.

Bermuda skipper Alec Cutler got off to a good start in his bid to repeat as Melges 32 class champion. Cutler, who has Canadian professional Richard Clarke calling tactics, placed second in both races on Monday.

J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with 54 boats and the goal going into the first day was to avoid that deep finish that could prove costly.

After finishing 11th in Race 1, San Diego skipper Bennett Greenwald got the gun in Race 2 and is the early leader while also earning City of Key West Boat of the Day honors. Hughes, who trails Greenwald by three points and leads Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network) by one, had a similar day with results of 13th and second. In fact, the top five boats on Monday all had one result of fifth or better and another result of 11th or higher.

Event Blog:
Event Website and full results:

A Nice Birthday Present For Peter Burling
Peter Burling (NZL), who turned 24 on January 1, leaves Sorrento with the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship title, hosted by the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) in Victoria.

On the final day, Burling finished sixth in Race 13, the first of the day on the windy and bumpy course on Port Phillip. Initially delayed, racing did get underway on time at 1100am in 15-18 knots on a choppy sea. But competitors were brought ashore after it, while race officials reassessed conditions.

Race 14 saw 25 knot winds, and Burling finished the Worlds in the style he started, with a bullet. Outteridge was second and Rashley third. Josh McKnight was sitting nicely in third until he crashed.

Defending world champion, Outteridge, who finished second in 2013, started his campaign with two bullets, came up with two more and finished second overall. McKnight, Moth world champion in 2012 and third last year, finished third again this year. But the Championship belonged to Burling and Burling alone.

Nine wins from a possible 14 was extraordinary, especially considering the fragile nature of these boats in the big conditions which proved to be the undoing of Tom Slingsby (AUS), Scott Babbage (AUS) and Paul Goodison (GBR).

Final top ten:

1. Peter Burling, NZL, 14 points
2. Nathan Outteridge, AUS, 24
3. Johnn McKnight, AUS, 33
4. Chris Rashley, GBR, 41
5. Chris Draper, GBR, 59
6. Blair Tuke, NZL, 99
7. Chris Rast, SUI, 119
8. David Lister, AUS, 126
9. Anthony Kotoun, ISV, 126
10. Iain Jensen, AUS, 129

Panerai Transat Classique: First Boat Arrives Tomorrow
The coming hours are going to be long, very long. The trade wind has weakened as predicted. All the competitors in the Panerai Transat Classique 2015 are affected and their speeds have dipped below the seven knot mark. Also as predicted Altair, race leader since 11 January, has been hurt the most and her ETA has been put back to some time during the day on 20 January.

rew, under the watchful of owner Joe Pytka, because each minute spent in the calm zone is a minute gained for those pursuing their powerful schooner. And it's an opportunity that Amazon is determined to seize. Olivier Pécoux's crew, upon the advice of navigator Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, gybed twice last night in order to get back on track.

An option also taken up by Corto, under the command of Hacène Abbar and Bruno Jourdren, and she's now sailing in the wake of Argyll, subtly managed by Emmanuel Fontaine, and Faïaoahé, the pretty Esprit de Tradition which Rémy Gérin and his family have been guiding along the northern route for several days now.

To the south, The Blue Peter, worked by the crew of Bel-Ami under the direction of Mathew Barker, and Desiderata, the powerful Alden design commanded by Stuart Armstrong, are attempting to sail around the edge of the windless zone. It's a bold move to outwit their competitors... if the wind doesn't fail them too.

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

Seahorse Magazine

Design - A competitive commission...
Current Mini Maxi world champion designer Mark Mills is thrown down a new gauntlet by the ultra-competitive Roberto Lacorte

RORC news
And a greatly expanded inshore and offshore programme is planned for the club's 90th anniversary season. Eddie Warden-Owen

Seahorse build table
Fire-breathing monster Shaun Carkeek spots a gap in the 'HPR style' market for a new 'upper mid-sized' design...

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ISAF World Cup Regatta In Miami
From 26-31 January 2015, Miami, USA will welcome world class fields in ten Olympic and three Paralympic events for the second regatta of the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series

Biscayne Bay will come alive with the sails of 651 boats, featuring 848 sailors from 63 nations. The stakes are high at the 2015 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, with Abu Dhabi Final qualification spots and valuable ranking points available at the 200-point regatta.

The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, marks the second anniversary of competition for the Nacra 17.

Beijing 2008 Tornado Olympic gold medallist Fernando Echavarri (ESP) will take to Nacra 17 racing for the first time in Miami. Echavarri has paired up with 2011 470 World Champion Tara Pacheco who formerly sailed with Iker Martinez. Pacheco and Martinez, who were coached by Echavarri, split up towards the end of 2014 with Martinez teaming up with Marina Lopez.

Echavarri joins a list of highly experienced competitors in the Miami Nacra 17 fleet. Two time Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), Sofia Bekatorou and Konstantinos Trigonis (GRE), Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) and Puerto Rico's Enrique Figueroa, sailing with Franchesca Valdes Ortega, all have vast experience that they'll put into practice in Miami.

Great Britain's Giles Scott will spearhead the Finn fleet, aiming to defend his title and continue his unbeaten run of six ranked regattas and the Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2014 (Olympic Test Event).

The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking.

A Nice Antidote To The Winter Blues
Finn We think we have the perfect antidote for Finn sailors waiting out the European winter - the second edition of the Finn Masters Magazine. It's bigger, better and will hopefully bring a little sunshine into the room with stories of last year's exploits and previews of the sunny venues on offer in the future. We also interviewed a lot of sailors and what they say is worth reading.

This issue includes interviews with Aleksandr Kuliukin, the Russian bronze medalist from the 2014 World Masters; the indomitable Henry Sprague who took the 2014 Grand Grand Masters title; Chris Watts, a regular jury member at the Finn World Masters; Walter Riosa, boatbuilder and Masters category silver medalist; and Yuri Tokovoi and Vladimir Krutshikh, coaches with Team Fantastica, now returning to Finn sailing.

There is also another great article from Karl Purdie, this time on everything he has learned about downwind technique.

While hard copies are speeding their way to Finn Masters worldwide, you can also read it online here

or download it here

Winning Teams Celebrate Successful Coastal Series
Photo of Buccaroo by Peter Marshall. Click on image to enlarge.

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Bridgetown, Barbados: The concluding races the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Coastal Series took place today. Although the conditions were unusually light and fluky, the racing was intense in all classes with most fighting it out for overall honours right to the bitter end.

The only exception was the J/24 class, which saw Robert Povey and his local hotshot team on Hawkeye walk away with the winning title with a race to spare.

Interestingly, Team Hawkeye who went into the final day's racing with an impressive 1,1,1,2,2,2 scoreline had a disastrous day. They were slow off the start at the pin-end in the first race, and found themselves stuck on the wrong side of the beat. They ended that race in eighth place.

The remaining classes were sent on the same course, which took them once round Carlisle Bay and then on a long leg to Oistins along the south coast of the island. Many struggled in the light airs in the Bay but thankfully there was more pressure on the south coast and all fleets managed to complete the course within the time limit.

The jubilant winner of the multihull/mixed dinghy/windsurfer fleet today was Andy Budgen on his foiling International Moth - Nano Project. Budgen who hadn't managed to finish a race until today, reveled in the light airs and within minutes of the start was halfway up the beat.

The overall winner of the fleet however, was the consistent Danny Paraviccino and his three-man team on Buccaroo (Stiletto) who scored a first and two thirds. -- Sue Pelling

Full results:

Putting Scuttlebutt Europe On Your Website
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Melges 20 Racing Update
The first 2014/2015 Miami Winter Series (MWS) event is in the books. Jason Michas at the helm of Midnight Blue prevailed to win the overall title on the final day with Marc Hollerbach on FU finishing in second. Our great friend from Italy - Achille Onorato aboard Mascalzone Latino, Jr. rounded out the top three. A super big congratulations to Corinthian champ Brian Hill on Atlas with crewmembers John Goller and Adam Burns.

The Audi Melges 20 Class added a new coaching element in Miami which was well received and provided some guidance and confidence for those who do not typically have access to coaching. This very important initiative will help our new and lower ranked teams improve, not to mention grow the class. As a Class, we will continue to explore how coaching from some of the Worlds' best talent can effectively be incorporated further into the 2015 schedule.

On February 6-8, the 2015 Miami Winter Regatta (MWS #2)  will be a three day event and there will be some serious competition for the overall title. Thirty teams are already registered with more expected.

WThe 2015 Audi Melges 20 World Championship in San Francisco, California on September 30-October 3.

Frank Cleeren
Frank Cleeren It is with great sadness that ISAF announces International Judge and ISAF Youth Worlds Sub-committee member Frank Cleeren (BEL) passed away on 14 January 2015.

Everyone in the sailing world knew Frank and knows that he was very active on all levels of the water sport scene in Belgium. He executed each and every task with great efficiency and dedication, which we appreciate tremendously.

Internationally Frank was praised for his competence. He was a much sought-after international official for sailing races and co-worker at international authorities.

Frank was a reliable administrator and collaborator whom never let us down. We will remember him as a great human being who was dedicated with all his heart to the water sport. His death leaves a great void within our club and the water sport scene in general. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and beloved ones.

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 Frank Newton: Sad to see that Staveley Roberts is no longer with us . He had a wonderful dry sense of humour.

He was Chair of a protest hearing in Cowes when  a competitor in a Commodores Cup qualifier objected to myself as PRO ruling their boat OCS at a start. I had played my tape recording to Staveley which clearly counted the boat over the line several seconds before the starting signal.

However at the hearing Staveley let the competitor continue the usual 'I was no where near the line' story for a long while before the tape was played and his appeal was dismissed.

I asked Staveley afterwards why he had waited so long before asking me to play my tape ? Well he replied ' He was digging himself into such  a deep hole that I thought we should see just how far he could go '.

A great and very fair man .

* From John Burnie: I was surprised (nay stunned) to see only two UK yachts on todays scratch list at Quantum / Key West Regatta. Inevitably Joe Woods is there on his latest RED - and Giles Redpath's 56 ft SHINE. And the crew info on SHINE lists 9 Americans plus Giles. Have the Brits abandoned this regatta - or is this merely a temporary blip?

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The Last Word
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