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

Clipper: Derry~Londonderry~Doire Takes First Win In Race 7
Following a challenging 28 day race in which crew faced a whole range of conditions, Derry~Londonderry~Doire has won the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race, taking its first race victory of the series. The team also won the Ocean Sprint and came second in the Scoring Gate so take home an overall 16 points.

After another very close dual, Garmin finished second and GREAT Britain is third but will also pick up an additional three points for winning the Scoring Gate early on in the race. Three hours and four minutes redress was applied to LMAX Exchange's overall finish and was based on average speed, after it assisted an abandoned yacht on Day 7, though this did not change its overall position and it retains its fourth place finish position.

From starting off with a fast downwind sprint in scorchng 40+ degree heat as teams headed north through the tropics and across the Equator line for the second and final time in the series, to winds that gusted over 50 knots in lumpy swells, plus upwind conditions in cooler conditions, and then dying winds in the final stages, this race really has thrown it all at the crew.

The Clipper Race fleet is approaching Da Nang, Vietnam with race victors Derry~Londonderry~Doire expected to arrive between 0900-1000 local time (+7 UTC) on Wednesday 17 February.

The rest of the fleet is anticipated to arrive at hourly intervals throughout Wednesday.

Pay To Play Charter Opportunities At Antigua Sailing Week 2016
From Russia to Australia, yachts and crew from over 20 nations will be competing at the 49th edition of Antigua Sailing Week. The tropical climate, trade winds and ocean swell combined with the legendary shoreside atmosphere are irresistible to sailors from around the globe. If you want to take part in the Caribbean's longest running and most famous regatta you still can.

In recent years competing at Antigua Sailing Week has become far easier with the availability of all manner of race charters, offering everything from bareboats to a single berth for individuals to high-tech machines for top racing crew.

Antigua Sailing Week is sponsored by Sunsail and demand for its yachts in the bareboat division has once again been a sell out in Antigua. However, Sunsail yachts remain available from neighbouring islands so no one has to miss out on the opportunity to participate with a bareboat option.

Aside from the bareboat classes, there are some very exciting race charter options available. In recent years the demand from sailors opting to 'pay to play' has created a large group of like-minded people who not only race in class but also race each other. Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster has been chartered by members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club this year

Lucy Jones of Performance Yacht Charter will be racing against her partner Chris Jackson of Sailing Logic. The two British skippers will go head to head with charter guests on identical First 40s; Lancelot II and Southern Child.

Race charter places are still available on other highly-competitive yachts that have been coming to Antigua Sailing Week for a number of years.

Antigua Sailing Week provides details of charter options available on its official web site at:

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Antigua Classic Regatta - Antigua Sailing Week
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Gold For Inga, A Corinthian Kind Of Day
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA: The final day of the 2016 Melges 32 Gold Cup hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) produced three final races to complete the scheduled eight-part series. Richard Goransson and his Inga From Sweden team have won the Gold Cup, his second win in the Melges 32 Class. His team included tactician Vasco Vascotto and crew members Federico Michetti, Giovanni Cassinari, Cesare Bozzetti, Marco Carpinello, Gosse de Boer and Alastair Gair.

Beyond first place, the scoreboard gives insight into the very tight and intense competition that the Melges 32 fosters. Benjamin Schwartz on Pisces can consider his re-entrance to the Class a successful one as he finished second overall, ahead of Alessandro Rombelli on STIG in third. Each shared equal points in the end, but it was Schwartz who won second place on countback. The same can be said for fourth and fifth place finishers. Dick DeVos on Volpe, thanks to a bullet on Saturday, won the tiebreaker with International Class Chairman Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio on G-SPOT.

Teams got an early start on Sunday with a warning one hour earlier than originally scheduled so that three races, instead of two could be completed. Big wave action and a moderate breeze greeted teams to the final showdown.

Top Five Results (Final - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1. Richard Goransson/Vasco Vascotto, Inga From Sweden, 19 points
2. Benjamin Schwartz/Mike Buckley, Pisces, 34
3. Alessandro Rombelli/Manuel Weiller, STIG, 34
4. Dick DeVos/Lorenzo Bressani, Volpe, 35
5. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Branko Brcin, G-SPOT, 35

Corinthian Results (Final - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1. Morgan Kiss/Alex Post; Team Hydra, 43
2. Grant Hood/Rossi Milev, Quest, 53

Full results

Record Number Of Entries Received For Volvo Cork Week
It's an event whose attendances fluctuated with the economy, but now with a new sponsor 'on board' (literally), and greenshoots of economic recovery permeating through society (according to the current Government) Volvo Cork Week receiving a record number of entries.

This year's event will take place 10th - 15th July 2016. The inaugural IRC Europeans are getting a fantastic response from all across Europe and further afield. So far, entries have been received from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and France, and interest shown from the USA, Australia and South Africa.

The sports boat fleet is looking very strong with the J80's, Viper 640 and 1720's all confirmed to be at the event. We see some familiar faces returning from previous years as Volvo Cork Week welcomes back racer Martin Sykes' Carter 36 "Mischief of Mersea" from the UK, local man Anthony O'Leary's Ker 40 "Antix", Tony Ackland's Ber Sloop "Dark Angel" from the UK, Patrick Beckett's J92 "Jostler", Jay Colville's First 40 "Forty Licks", Thomas Roche's Salona 45 "Meridian", Ronan Fenton's J35 "Skyhunter" as well as the overall winner from the last event, Michael Boyd, Commodore of the RORC, with a new JPK 10.80, which is currently being built in France.

Irish competitors signed up to date include Timothy and Richard Goodbody's J109 "White Mischief", Paul and Deirdre Tingle with their X34 "Alpaca", and Kevin Murray's Sun Odyssey 35 "Objection!"

With a high number of UK entries also coming through, Crosshaven will host Mike Walker's HANSE 400 "Kayachtic", John Spottiswood's Reflex 38 "Lynx Clipper", John Allson's J109 "Jumbuck" and Richard Matthews' 38ft Humphreys "Oystercatcher XXXI." -- David O'Sullivan

Skip Novak: Where Have All The America's Cup Tycoons Gone? We Miss Them
The new America's Cup show is spectacular, but I have to admit to missing some of the shenanigans of the old-style game, says Skip

I recently became aware of the new rules in the America's Cup whereby the challengers are subject to fines if they publicly criticise the Cup organisation. It is US$25,000 for the first offence (small beer), $100,000 for the second (makes you think now) and $250,000 for any subsequent offence (lose your job time).

This really signals the end of the America's Cup as we knew it - well, for those of us of a certain vintage, pre-foiling at least. I mean, lest we forget, espionage, subterfuge and at times plain mendacity resulting in vitriolic exchanges were without doubt a feature of all America's Cups heretofore and were certainly entertaining.

Some of those shenanigans inevitably led to litigation followed by a media storm, most of which had little to do with the actual sailing. To be honest, this is what always interested me about the America's Cup: how the captains of industry and finance apparently relished these battles via their floating proxies.

Voyeuristically, we loved the tycoons and their eccentricities.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Crosshaven Round the world racing teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in 2008. There are several reasons for that. First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as freezing winds snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

WMRT In Fremantle
One of the world's most exciting international yacht races, the M32 World Matching Racing Tour, will compete in Australia next month for the first time, off Fremantle's Bathers Beach in Perth.

The close-to-the-shore races are designed to attract spectators and are to sailing what 20-20 is to cricket: fast-paced, exciting and highly competitive.

Swedish entrepreneur Hakan Svensson, who bought the professional racing series event last year, has spent about $700,000 transporting eight carbon-fibre catamarans to Perth for the race.

Twenty teams of top sailors from around the world will compete for a share of $US250,000 in the first leg of the tour. The tour involves five stages across three continents. The winning skipper takes home $US1 million ($1.4 million).

To put that in context, the line honours and handicap winners of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race don't get prize money (but receive a Rolex watch courtesy of the race sponsor).

The World Match Racing Tour provides a platform for Mr Svensson to sell his $US240,000 M32 catamarans, which are built by his company Aston Harald.

The course measures 800 metres by 250 metres and is so close to shore that sailors have been cautioned to watch their language just in case spectators hear.

M32 Australasia tour director James Boag said the company chose Fremantle because of its heritage and ideal conditions for racing. Next summer will mark the 30th anniversary of Australia's America's Cup defence off the Fremantle coast.

"There's a passion for match racing here," Mr Boag said. -- Julie-anne Sprague, Australian Financial Review

America's Cup Dreams
Oman's top young sailors are set for a day to remember when they compete in a special race as part of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman in Muscat (February 26-28) then get the chance to chat with the superstar America's Cup skippers.

Part of a joint venture between Oman Sail and the America's Cup Endeavour programme aimed at inspiring young sailors, the once-in-a-lifetime experience will leave members of Oman's National Youth Squad with a clear understanding of the America's Cup and what it takes to compete at the highest level.

David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail said the importance of engaging youth in the top sailing events could never be underestimated.

"Everything we do at Oman Sail is geared to inspire and create opportunities for our youth sailors with the aim to one day have an Omani sailor racing in the America's Cup or winning an Olympic medal," he said.


Viking Longboats Return To The River Boyne, Blame The Rumballs!
Photo courtesy Click on image to enlarge.

The Vikings are back on the River Boyne after a 1000 year absence. The marauders have returned alright but this time in the more benign form of a film set for the latest episode of the hit TV show Vikings.

Alistair Rumball and his Irish National Sailing Club Marine Services team provide marine suppport for the water based scenes for the exciting series and they have recently pitched up outside Drogheda.


Dr Raymond Fielding 1935-2016
Raymond Fielding With the death of Ray Fielding at the age of 80, Irish sailing in general and Cork sailing in particular has said farewell to an enthusiast whose active involvement, combined with fascination and knowledge in the lore and technology of boats and sailing, had few equals. While cruising was his main interest, for a brief period in the 1970s he was involved with international offshore racing at the highest level. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of his long life afloat was the sheer variety of boats he owned, each one a very good example of her general type.

He was making his mark afloat in Cork Harbour by his late teens, crewing with the Cudmores - notably Harold Cudmore Senr with the 7-tonner Auretta - to such good effect that in 1956 at the age of 20 he became a member of the Royal Munster Yacht Club at Crosshaven, and qualified as a member of the Irish Cruising Club.

Thus at the time of his death he had achieved the notable total of sixty years membership of both organisations, and when - accompanied by many friends - he went to his final appointment this week, he was wearing his Royal Munster tie. For although he was officially recognised as a Royal Cork YC member of 1956 vintage since the amalgamation of the two clubs for the Royal Cork's Quarter Millennium in 1970, like many old Royal Munster sailors he retained a special fondness for the original club setup at Crosshaven.

One of his final gestures for the Royal Cork in Crosshaven was made through the discovery that the antique globe light, which had originally provided gaslit illumination in the hallway of the old Royal Cork YC building in Cobh, was neglected and in danger of being forgotten. He arranged for it to be completely restored at a specialised workshop in Cork, and properly converted for use with electric power. It was a classic Fielding project in its attention to detail. And while it began while Peter Deasy was Admiral, the new light was finally installed with Pat Lyons as Admiral, becoming the centrepiece of the Globe Restaurant in the clubhouse, a very tangible link to the long and extraordinary history of this unique club.

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The Last Word
Once you get the kids raised and the mortgage paid off and accomplish what you wanted to do in life, there's a great feeling of: 'Hey, I'm free as a bird.' -- Dick Van Dyke

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