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

Ian Southworth Is The New J/24 World Champion
Photo by Pepe Hartmann. Click on image for photo gallery.

J24 Worlds Boltenhagen, Germany: The Brits did it! Ian Southworth and his crew kept their cool and sailed home an amazing start-to-finish win in the final race of the J/24 worlds in Boltenhagen, Germany. US-guy Mike Ingham, who was very close, finally had to let the prestigious trophy go to Southworth and his crew from the Solent.

As on Thursday, racing was started with a Black Flag after Principal Race Officer Klaus Lahme did a general recall. Southworth, who had already suffered a Black flag disqualification on Thursday, opted for a conservative start, as he couldn´t afford to let opponent Mike Ingham get away or - or even worse - let himself get pushed over the line.

Mike Ingham from Rochester, USA, who was sailing with the 2014 J/24 World Champion, Will Welles, as a tactician, couldn´t cover Ian Southworth in the last race and finished in eighth position. With 26 points of difference, he and his crew became vice champions of the J/24 worlds. With Travis Odenbach, The third also comes from Rochester, USA.

Competition was tight for the title of the best female crew. In the end, Stefanie Köpcke and her team "Vega Ragazza" won, closely followed by Ragna Thönnessen and team "Juelssand", with just one point separating the teams. "Vega Ragazza" have sailed a very good series this year, crowned by the title of the German Champion 2015. -- Lina Nagel

Final top ten:
1. Ian Southworth, GBR, 24 points
2. Mike Ingham, USA, 40
3. Travis Odenbach, USA, 65
4. Tokuma Takesue, JPN, 100
5. Till Pomarius, GER, 102
6. Rodrigo Benedetto, ARG, 109
7. Frank Schonfeldt , GER, 113
8. Iasonas Spanomanolis, GRE, 114
9. Tobias Feuerherdt, GER, 116
10. Ignzio Bonanno, ITA, 125

Safram Wins The Centomiglia
Photo by Roberto Veronesi. Click on image to enlarge.

Centomiglia Gargnano, Lake Garda, Italy: Swiss catamaran Safram won the Centomiglia, Italy's largest lake regatta, on Saturday against a fleet of 120 boats, marking a second victory for the Ventilo M1 skippered by Rodolphe Gautier and helmed by Christophe Peclard,

The Centomiglia is an Italian version of Switzerland's Bol d'Or Mirabaud and is a 'classic' in its own right. The start sounded at 0900 on Saturday morning for the multihulls, just 30 minutes behind the monohulls, and the fleet set off from Bogliaco to the east of the Italian lake and headed north towards Torbole situated at the windiest point of the lake between the mountains.

The 72-nautical mile course (116 kilometres) then took the fleet south and back to the finish line in front of the Circolo Vela Gargnano where Safram finished at 1530. It was a tough race, just short of the legendary Bol d'Or Mirabaud's 123-kilometre course.

The Centomiglia marked the close of the season for the Safram campaign skippered by Rodolphe Gautier and partnered by the European transport company, Safram. The team's objective was to promote Swiss sailing and the Bol d'Or Mirabaud in particular and they have certainly made their mark with four victories out of five raced across Europe, including the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the Blue Ribbon on Lake Balaton in Hungary, the Trofeo Gorla and the Centomiglia on Lake Garda, Italy, plus a 10th place at the Bol d'Or Mirabaud on Lake Geneva.

Event site:

Quantum Key West Race Week Extends Early Entry Deadline To October 1
Quantum Key West Race Week A strong initial turnout for entries has prompted event organizers at the Storm Trysail Club to decide to extend the early discount deadline one month further to October 1st, 2015 for the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week. After October 1st, the entry fee increases by $4/foot of the overall length of the entered boat.

Already the majority of entries to the 2016 event have signed up for one-design competition in several classes: Melges 24, J/70, J/80, Farr 280, Viper 640, J/88, C&C 30, J/111, and J/122 classes. And there are other one-design classes also considering their entry plan to the event.

Among the handicap classes, IRC 1 and 2 have thusfar attracted 9 committed entries, with more expected, but the real growth is expected in three new class offerings at this year's event: ORC Club, Multihulls and Performance Cruisers.

Organizers are also exploring the option of having exhibition race classes at the event to give spectators on shore a taste of the excitement of competitive sailing.

Classes that may be interested in a reduced format of three days of racing over Wednesday-Friday, January 20-22nd, should as soon as possible contact event manager Bill Canfield at .

Entry form and race documents:

Andrew Ashman Dies In Clipper Race
Andrew Ashman We are deeply saddened to report the death of crew member Mr Andrew Ashman (49) a paramedic from Orpington, Kent. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Andy was an experienced yachtsman and was one of the crew aboard the IchorCoal boat (CV21). All other crew are safe and well.

The boat's skipper Darren Ladd reports that Andy was involved in reefing the main sail, reducing its sail area, in moderate seas just after midnight local time in a strong breeze building to Force 6 (24-30 mph / 21-27 knots), approximately 120 nautical miles off the Portuguese coast heading south towards Brazil in the first leg of the race.

Andy was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet and possibly the boom (although not confirmed). He was given immediate medical assistance and attempted resuscitation but failed to regain consciousness. The boat linked immediately by satellite phone to the medical team at Praxes Medical Group, the Clipper Race remote telemedicine support service based in Halifax, Canada, where a doctor provided additional advice and guidance during the emergency.

A full investigation will be carried out, as is standard practice, into the details of this tragic incident in cooperation with the appropriate authorities.

The Clipper Race was established almost 20 years ago and this is its tenth edition. This is the first fatality in the history of the race. Over 3,300 amateur crew have been trained and participated in previous races. 700 crew are due to participate in the 2015-16 edition which left London at the end of August.

Race Director Justin Taylor met with Andrew's next of kin this morning and Sir Robin and members of the race team are on their way to meet the team in Portugal.

The Cup Teams Are Missing A Trick
There I was in Cowes before the Fastnet, my 10th, yey, sipping a pint outside the Pier View, puffing on my new vape - no more fags for this Foxy - when along comes the fastest sailor on the planet, Paul Larsen.

Back in 1993 I wrote for Yachts & Yachting - ah those charmed days of being a cub reporter, gazing over at the lovely Sue Pelling in Clubs & Classes... anyway, ahem, we made a big deal of Yellow Pages Endeavour hitting a new record speed of 46.52 knots. Wow! That's fast over 500m.

A few boards and kites later, in 2012, Paul and his Vestas Sailrocket set the current world speed record over 500m with an astonishing average of 65.45 knots.

That's 121.1 kmh, or 75.2 mph. Quicker than the British motorway speed limit.

"In a hurry were we Sir? Hand over your license, you're nicked."

I was congratulating Paul's partner in crime, Helena, on her amazing video edit of the record, which is one of the best sailing clips I've seen:

... and I asked Paul which Cup team he was working for. "None," he said, "not even a phone call."

Well now... he America's Cup is an intriguing fusion of crew skills and technology, but as we saw in San Francisco, if one team cracks a speed edge, like being able to foil and pass upwind, then boom, game over, jugtastic.

I suspect the speed differences of the next gen AC50s will be infinitesimal. It'll be such a crew work game, as we're seeing in the Louis Vuitton AC World Series now, but if you have an edge, well, just ask Bob Fisher how that's panned out over the years...

There's probably a good story in how the clever designers and computer geeks actually mesh with the real world in making stuff that works. This is what I saw Paul do with my own eyes in his shed in some whacky German town on the edge of Namibian nowhere.

He's a tinkerer, with vision, and conviction.. who's spent 10 years tinkering with wings and foils to smash the outright world speed record. Got to be worth a phone call at least. -- Digby Fox

Never Perfect... But (Definitely) Thumbs Up
Seahorse Magazine The 52 Super Series and TP52 class got more positive feedback after the TP52 Worlds in Puerto Portals than we could hope for, even from this super-competitive fleet. The comfort of the marina and the shore facilities, the ever helpful marina staff, the perfect conditions on the water with racing on the bay that was less one-sided than usual, and also because the race committee showed great skill in picking the right times and places to race.

And of course the shiny fleet of 12 thoroughbred TP52s easily matched the glamour of the quayside parade of 'bees and wannabees' typical of every glitzy venue these days. It all seemed so easy... but in reality getting it right never is.

Part of the fun is that the racing is close, very close. It does not take much to slip backwards in this compact fleet and it is extremely hard work to come back up again. Nearly all the boats are now current designs and very similar in performance, upwind as well as down.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:

2015 Ronstan Bridge To Bridge
Heineken takes the bullet followed closely by Chip Wasson.

Hamlin takes 1st in 18's followed closely by Maersk Lines...

31 Foiling Kiteboard, 7 Foiling Kites, 11 formula and foiling windsurfers, 10 Eighteen foot skiffs and 5 boat menagerie that included the classic 65' Spencer. Ragtime, Don Montague's foiling kite boat and a modified Vanguard 15 that had undergone reassignment surgery and reemerged as a kite boat were among the plethora of entries to enter the 2015 Ronstan Bridge To Bridge sprint from the Golden Gate Bridge downhill to the SF/ Oakland Bay Bridge.

As the afternoon progress and eager contestant rigged their rides, San Francisco Bay began showing signs of the fury she is capable of producing. Winds, building to the mid twenties and the beginning of the ebb tide were giving pause to the experienced and the new to event contestants.

The initial portion is as expected with breeze in the 20's and the fleet dispersing across the bay. The foiling kites with Johnny Heineken, Joey Pasquali, Nico Landauer, Geoff Headington and Chip Wasson pull out to the front, followed closely by a pack of 18's with Harken driving deep and Yamaha , Aon, C-Tech, Maersk and the Notorious P.I.G. in pursuit...

RORC Cherbourg Race
Photo by Mark Lloyd, Click on image to enlarge.

Cherbourg Race The penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points championship produced a dramatic finale to the club's domestic season. Whilst the overall and class winners will not be finalised until after next month's Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Cherbourg race all but sealed victory for the seven classes racing under IRC for the season. Gery Trentesaux's JPK 10.80, Courrier Du Leon is the overall leader with just one race to go.

Piet Vroon's Ker 53, Tonnerre 4 scored a hat-trick of victories in the Cherbourg Race, taking just 6 hours 18 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the 75 nautical mile course, Tonnerre 4 took Line Honours, the overall win under IRC and IRC Zero. The flying Dutchman was over the moon about the victory, which confirmed Tonnerre 4 as the class winner for IRC Zero for the championship.

Mikey Ferguson's IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing was seven minutes behind Tonnerre 4 on the water, to claim second overall under IRC and first in IRC Canting Keel. Edward Broadway's Ker 40, Hooligan VII was third overall and the winner in IRC One. Mike Greville's British Ker 39, Erivale III was second in class one for the Cherbourg Race, giving the past RORC Commodore enough points to retain the class lead for the season.

In IRC Two, British Artemis Offshore Academy sailor, Andrew Baker scored a notable victory, taking Line Honours and the class win. Round the world sailor, Mike Golding was part of the crew. RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine's racing First 40, La Reponse, skippered by Tristan Nelson was second in class with Patrick Ponchelet's French X-40, Exception third. Vincent Willemart and Eric Van Campenhout's MC34, Azawakh was fifth after time correction, giving the Belgian team enough points to take the class lead for the season.

There was an astonishing race in IRC 3, with the entire season of racing being decided by just sixteen seconds. Louis-Marie Dussere's JPK 10.10, Raging Bee, racing two handed with Bruno James, was the class winner. The victory has all but assured Raging Bee of the IRC Two Handed Class for the RORC Season's Points Championship. -- Louay Habib

For full results of the RORC Cherbourg Race:

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 Malcolm McKeag: I was tempted to send this reminiscence of Alastair (Black) when I read Guy's obit, held back only to protect the innocent - but, as memories of a game-changing personality continue to appear, have thought: what the hell?

Alastair's action-packed point-of-view pictures did indeed change the game - and the man himself knew it. It was his mission to raise the standard of what he saw as dull, even lazy, workaday photography of in particular dinghy racing and he felt he should be paid a bit above the going rate for pictures that were undeniably in a class of their own. This was not a view shared by every editor and Alastair had a very poor view of the rates offered by the somewhat hand-to-mouth British yachting magazines of the day. He had submitted some stunning shots - on board an International 14, if I recall correctly - to one particular magazine. They had been used (as a special four-page photo-feature), he had been paid and they went into the Stock Photos filing cabinet. A year - maybe more - later an article on technique needed a picture to fill a hole in the layout. The file was raided and one of Alastair's special-feature shots was used, but fairly small (it was a small hole). As luck would have it that was the only Alastair shot used in that issue. The editor's secretary duly marked-up the finished magazine for 'Contributors' Payments' and sent it to Accounts. Noting that Alastair's picture had been used before and treating it as just another stock photo she marked it "2nd Repro" and Alastair was duly sent his payment - a very modest percentage of the magazine's already modest fee which being based on the published area of the picture was more modest still.

A couple of days later the cheque and payment advice - it had probably cost more to raise and send them than the amount written in the Pay the Bearer slot -arrived back on the editor's desk. 'Dear [name withheld - he's probably reading this!]. I am returning your derisory payment for use of my work as you obviously need the money more than I do...'

Then there was the time he sent the same magazine several sheets of 35mm colour transparencies on spec as potential cover shots. About 100 individual slides. He sent originals, not duplicates. In the ordinary post. For reasons never fully explained an editorial assistant (not me, not me!) took them home in his car. For other reasons again never fully explained the car caught fire and everything in it, including Alastair's colour trannies, was destroyed. Alastair was not amused. The ensuing correspondence was lengthy.

Ah me, happy days...

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2003 Hugh Welbourn DK Yachts 46. Located in Gaeta, Italy.

Welbourn 46ft Racing Yacht, built in 2002 and extensively refitted in 2010/11, composite carbon/epoxy construction. The deck layout of this DK46 racing yacht was also modified in 2011 for short handed cruising in addition to fully crewed racing. Winner of many races including the Rolex Middle Sea in 2012.


Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

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The Last Word
You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. -- Marcus Aurelius

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