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

Darren 'Twirler' Jones Wins Sixth Farr 30 World Title
Sailing mainsheet hand for American Rod Jabin (Ramrod), Australian yachtsman Darren 'Twirler' Jones has won his sixth Farr 30 World Championship, this time in Seattle, USA, where Ramrod dominated from the outset.

Born in Tasmania where he is still a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Jones, who now lives in South Australia, has proven to be a talisman for a variety of owners when it comes to winning Farr 30 world titles. His first was with Richard Perini (AUS) in 2004, then came Guy Stening (AUS) 2008, and Deneen Demourkas (USA) in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Ramrod was declared the winner of the Corinthian Yacht Club hosted event after three days of almost perfect conditions on Puget Sound came to an abrupt end on the fourth and final day of the Championship when breeze failed to materialize on course area.

Jones is looking forward to returning to Australia this week, having competed overseas for three months at major events such as the Melges 32 Worlds in Italy aboard Ishida Yukihiro's Yasha Samurai (finished fifth), and the Farr 40 Worlds in California aboard Martin and Lisa Hill's Estate Master (finished sixth). He also contested six other events across Europe and North America.

Next on the Australian's agenda in the way of major events is the 2016 Farr 40 World Championship, to be held in Sydney early next year, when he will once again sail on Estate Master. -- Di Pearson

Final top five:

1. Ramrod, Rodrick Jabin, USA, 6.0
2. Seabiscuit, Kevin McNeil, USA, 33.0
3. Through, Andrew Hamilton, CAN, 41.0
4. Patricia, Chris Tutmark, USA, 44.0
5. Square One, Matt/Bob Pistay, USA, 45.0

Full results:

Rambler 88 Takes Monohull Line Honours
George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88, crossed the finish line of the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race at the Royal Malta Yacht Club to take Monohull Line Honours at 04.48.43 CET on Tuesday 20th October in an elapsed time of 2 days 16 hours 18 minutes and 43 seconds. George David was greeted by Godwin Zammit, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

Rambler 88 is a far cry from George David's Rambler 90, which set the Rolex Middle Sea Race record in 2007 (47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds). Rambler 88, on the design numbers is 20% faster than Rambler 90. Rambler 88 has an enormous sail area and features five metre vertical daggerboards, as well as three metre horizontal foils, which lift the boat when sailing at top speed. The canting keel also produces significant righting moment, allowing the boat to carry a huge amount of sail area aloft and still remain in control.

The super light conditions over the first two days of the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race, scuppered any chance of breaking Rambler 90s record. On the other hand, to finish over 100 miles clear of eleven other canting keel yachts was proof of the immense power of Rambler 88.

"The overall win under IRC is out of our hands now, it depends what happens to the breeze but I feel that there will be boats that will beat us. We carry an unusual rating penalty, which are side foils. These foils are only effective when boat speed is over 20 knots and that costs us a 2.5% rating penalty and that will probably cost us a place or two in the race but that is a call that we made."

Momo Sets The Bar For The Irc Fleet To Beat
Dieter Schon's German Maxi 72, Momo, finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race on the fourth day of the race, setting the bar for the IRC fleet to beat. Whilst well over 100 yachts are still racing. Momo's time, corrected by their IRC rating, is potentially a race winner.

"The start went well for us and I think we performed perfectly all the way to Sicily but as expected, the first night was very difficult to find the right way. We parked a few times but we passed through the Strait of Messina very well and we were super downwind to Stromboli. In front of Palermo, we parked for maybe five hours. We got going again but came to another stop at Lampedusa, so there were a lot of parking lots around, which made it a difficult race to sail. However, racing in IRC, you have to wait for the last boat before you can win, perhaps we have won our class."

In IRC Two, the biggest threat to Momo's overall lead is from two Italian yachts, Michele Galli's TP52, B2 and Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino.

In IRC Three, the Turkish team racing Ker 40, Arkas Flying Box, was leading the class at Favignana and is currently winning the battle with the young Dutch team, racing Bastiaan de Voogd's Sydney 43, Coin Coin.

The vast majority of the fleet have made slow progress along the north shore of Italy; only 18 yachts had passed Favignana by this afternoon and no yachts from IRC Class 4, 5 or 6 had passed this northwest corner of the course. The early part of the Rolex Middle Sea Race had favoured the smaller yachts, that scenario has now changed.

108 And Counting...Entries Climbing For 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West Race Week The number of entries to the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week has exceeded 100, indicating one of the strongest early turnouts in years to this mainstay on the international sailing calendar held over January 17-22, 2016. Currently there are 16 classes organized: nine one-design and seven monohull and multihull classes racing under handicap. This indicates a diverse range of boat types attracted to race in the winter sun in Key West, with teams from 10 nations represented among the entries thusfar.

One design classes include the following: Melges 24's (14 entries), J/70's (21 entries), J/80's (4 entries), Farr 280's (5 entries), Viper 640's (3 entries), J/88's (7 entries), C&C 30's (10 entries), J/111's (8 entries), and J/122's (2 entries).

Among the handicap classes, IRC 0, 1 and 2 have thusfar attracted 13 committed entries, and the three new class offered at this year's event are also gaining interest: ORC Club (9 entries), Multihulls (4 entries) and Performance Cruisers (3 entries).

Besides providing the best in race management on the water, organizers from the Storm Trysail Club will enhance the shoreside experience for all entries with afternoon seminars, evening prizegivings and social events, and full logistic support through their partners and vendors on the unique ambience offered by time spent in Old Town Key West.

For more information and to enter 2016 Quantum Key West Race Week, visit

America's Cup Economic Assessment Planned
A group economic post-mortem examination is to be conducted to assess the impact of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Bermuda. The Bermuda Government, along with the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the America's Cup Event Authority and ACBDA are working on a joint review of how businesses, vendors, visitor numbers and hotel occupancy were affected.

Economic development minister Grant Gibbons added that the most comprehensive economic impact study would not be held until after the 35th America's Cup in 2017.

He told The Royal Gazette: "The main event for us is 2017 so we are probably not going to do an overall economic assessment until after then but in the meantime we will get feedback.

On water operations chairman Ralph Richardson said that close to 1,200 boats registered as spectators and that he had never seen so many boats together at one event in Bermuda.

Mr Richardson, who is also chairman of the Bermuda Water Safety Council, estimated that there were 10,000 people on the water.

BTA chief executive Bill Hanbury said: "Overall anecdotally we were very happy with the way the event played out. I know hotels had a good weekend and many restaurants and special event companies had a spectacular weekend and a lot of revenue was generated.

"It was a great week for Bermuda tourism and when the figures come back we will see a weekend that was well worth the investment we have made in the event." -- Sarah Lagan in The Royal Gazette

One Ton Cup Revisited 2016
The One Ton Cup regatta's will take place during Breskens Sailing Weekend (Dutch open IRC Championships); a well-known and extremely well organized yearly Dutch event on the beautiful Westerschelde River and estuary in Zeeland, The Netherlands.

In 2016, the Breskens Sailing Weekend, will take place on the 26th, 27th and 28th of August. Especially for the One Tonners there will be an extra regatta day on the 25th of August.

At this moment 10 enthusiastic One Tonner owners, from France, Belgium and The Netherlands, have confirmed their participation.

Our aim is to welcome 30 One Tonners (racers, cruiser/racers and cruisers) in Breskens next year.

The races will be subdivided in 3 divisions: Classic RORC 22 ft., IOR 27,5 ft. and IOR 30,5 ft. There will be a mix of windward/leeward and round the cans races. During the event the IRC rules 2016 will apply.

Please contact Vincent de Vries email

North Sails: Powering The Fleet Of The Transat Jacques Vabre
North Sails Now in its twelfth edition, the Transat Jacques Vabre has certainly become a classic. The two-handed race attracts the biggest names from the world of monohull and multihull offshore racing. And when the starting gun fires on Sunday in Le Havre, North Sails will be powering close to half of the fleet on the 5,400 mile sprint to Brazil.

After 22 years, the race has become legend in France and thousands of sailing fans are expected in Le Havre to celebrate some of the most iconic and exciting skippers from the Class40, Multi50, IMOCA and Ultimate worlds. North Sails is consistently selected to provide the offshore sail inventories to the premium IMOCA boats, with eight boats choosing 100% North Sails products and a further six using a selection of sails.

All four Ultime multihulls are fully equipped by North Sails. Across the entire fleet, 17 of the 42 boats racing to Brazil will be completely powered by North Sails with a further eight using a mix of sails, a reflection of North Sails performance, technology and durability.

#northsails #TJV2015

Clipper Race To Cape Town: Stealth Mode
The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms is set for an exciting finish, with frustrating winds and the wide use of Stealth Mode amongst the fleet leaving race fans in suspense.

Frontrunners Garmin, Derry-Londonderry-Doire and Mission Performance are in Stealth Mode until 1200UTC today when positions will be revealed and followers will see who fared best in the frustratingly light winds of the high pressure ridge. GREAT Britain and Unicef have gone into Stealth Mode too after their 0600 UTC positions were broadcast this morning.

Simon Rowell, the Clipper Race Meteorologist, made some predictions about the final few hundred miles and some surprises the weather may hold.

"It's all about the ridge today, and also possibly Qingdao's Ocean Sprint - they are sitting in a decent band of wind now, so are one to watch. The lead boats will be looking for the wind to fill in again from the south east, once it does that means they are through the ridge and heading in. The coast itself may still hold surprises though, there are a few local traps on the way into Cape Town itself," Simon said.

And finally, the Clipper Race Committee has finalised the list of penalty points to be given to the teams following the assessment of damages and repairs that were needed after the race from London to Rio in the Atlantic Trade Winds leg.

The Race 1 penalty points have been give out for damage incurred while the boats are racing. They do not affect podium positions but they could make a difference to the overall race standings. To find out more and see the points given out:

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 Andrew Hurst, Seahorse magazine: Re Richard Gladwell and AC broadcasting:

Given good wind and good light in Bermuda, the 20-minute 'round up' package of the AC World Series screened last night in the UK was exciting to watch and very well presented. The commentary was targeted more at sailors this time and was better for it (of course, I would say that).

It seems a shame however that such an excellent broadcast is inaccessible - a missed opportunity for both sailing and the Cup.

Getting sailing footage out there is incredibly tough, reflected by the very narrow distribution that Cup organisers have managed to achieve in spite of no doubt pushing hard (in the UK TV coverage is limited to a relatively obscure sport's channel).

That said, for a model aiming to widen the public appeal of the Cup, relying principally upon pay-per view is an obvious mistake. Only existing sailing fans will care enough to pay, and no sailing fan I know of has even done that.

For the absolute peanuts such a charging model will generate, for goodness' sake throw this footage open for free access as widely as humanly possible; achieve real coverage and perhaps then you can drive up revenues from advertisers and sponsors.

Live internet coverage beckons, anything else is either accidentally wrong-headed or deliberately misleading.

* From John Holmberg: I can't believe that in this day and age, when multihulls are finally showing signs of acceptance across large swaths of the maritime world, that our "pinnacle of Yacht racing" can be so hard to view.

I can't think of another sport that makes it so difficult for an avid participant and lifelong enthusiast to view the events after the fact. If I am frustrated, what are the millions of "sometime sailors" or even slightly interested "fans" feeling?

Is it just me?

Last time I could replay YouTube to my heart's content and see all of the wonderful action- even knowing the outcome beforehand- and now I am starting to not care- and this from a 40 plus year multihull sailor!

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The Last Word
I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth. -- Stephen Hawking

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