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 editor@scuttlebutteurope.com

South With No Pause?
Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes, the British and Spanish co-skippers, should pass another milestone of the Barcelona World Race, when they ease Hugo Boss into the Southern Hemisphere this Sunday night, first across the Equator, just as they were also first out of the Med and into the Atlantic nine days ago.

They have their nearest rivals splitting slightly west, separated away 35 miles this afternoon, while Hugo Boss was evidently feeling the Doldrums effects, slowed to 3.5kts for a period this morning and having to gybe east to escape from a nasty area of cloud activity.

Both Cheminees Poujoulat and Neutrogena might have picked up a smidgen more wind pressure to the west, but are still 25 miles behind Hugo Boss in terms of direct line distance to the Equator.

After 12 days of racing there is just six miles between Bernard Stamm and Jean LeCam's Cheminees Poujoulat and the Neutrogena of Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz.

In the strict terms of actual distance to the next 'mark' Cape of Good Hope, Renault Captur, Jorg Riechers and Sebastien Audigane are actually closest but they are still 176 miles further to the north of the latitude of Hugo Boss.

Rankings at 1400hrs TU Sunday 11th January 2015 :

1. Renault Captur, J Riechers - S Audigane, 21231 miles to finish
2. Hugo Boss, A Thomson - P Ribes, 15
3. Cheminees Poujoulat, B Stamm - J Le Cam, 59
4. GAES Centros Auditivos, A Corbella - G Marin, 59
5. Neutrogena, G Altadill - J Munoz, 62
6. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton, A Gelabert - D Costa, 321
7. We Are Water, B Garcia - W Garcia, 359
8. Spirit of Hungary, N Fa - C Colman, 710

barcelonaworldrace.com

Peter Burling's Perfect Day Out
Scott Babbage. Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image to enlarge.

New Zealand's Peter Burling reeled off four straight wins to take the lead on Day 2 of the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship on Port Phillip in Sorrento, Victoria, sounding the warning bell for the other 159 competitors.

With the fleet split into Blue and Yellow, Burling was in the Blue group on a course closer to shore. Defending world champion Nathan Outteridge (AUS) was in the Yellow on a course further out and on the receiving end of bumpier conditions and scored 3-2-2-1 results.

Two drops are in place following the seven qualifying races. Burling is on 5 points and Outteridge on 7. Tomorrow the fleet will be divided into Gold and Silver, with the top half of leaderboard going through to the Gold fleet.

Sixteen countries are represented in the record fleet of 160: Australia (97), Austria (2), Denmark (1), France (5), Great Britain (7), Hong Kong (1), Ireland (3), Italy (5), Japan (5), New Zealand (1), Norway (8), South Africa (1), Sweden (2), Switzerland (7), the US Virgin Islands (1) and USA (13). -- Di Pearson

Top five
1. Peter Burling, AUS
2. Nathan Outteridge, AUS
3. Scott Babbage, AUS
4. Tom Slingsby, AUS
5. Josh McNight, AUS

Full results, news, photos and video at: www.mothworlds.org/sorrento/

Sales Manager - Rigging And Systems
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Located in Ipswich on the River Orwell, Fox's is the most comprehensive service centre on the UK's east coast. With well-established workshops for rigging, marine engineering and electronics, stainless fabrication and all general repair and refit work, Fox's provides a complete range of services to power, sail and commercial customers.

The successful candidate is likely to be an experienced yachtsman with keen commercial aptitude, excellent customer relationship skills and a very good level of computer literacy.

A competitive salary package is available for the right candidate.
Please apply in confidence to: recruitment@foxsmarina.com

foxsmarina.com

International 14 Worlds
Photo by Christophe Favreau, www.christophefavreau.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

After yesterday's windy afternoon race, the 67-boat International 14 World Championships fleet are today expected to enjoy a much milder day on Corio Bay in Geelong.

The race management team at Royal Geelong Yacht Club are preparing to set a course for a south-easterly breeze of between six and 10 knots.

This forecast will come as a relief for several of the exhausted crews who, like the British team of Julian Pearson and David Edge, have had gear repair work to do overnight. If they can get their boat ready in time, the pair will deserve, as a minimum, an encouragement award. Early in the regatta they broke their mast. They then had a super start to Race 2 leading the fleet before a costly capsize. Then there was yesterday.

"We had major gear problems yesterday. A shroud gave way and it was game over. It then took us an hour and a half to get back to shore. In the process we lost our boom, but we have been able to borrow another one from a UK team. And, we have had to get some sail repairs done," Edge said. -- Tracey Johnstone

Top five after three races:

1. Glen Truswell / Sam Pascoe, GBR, 4 points
2. Ben McGrane / James Hughes, GBR, 6
3. Archie Massey / Harvey Hillary, GBR, 12
4. Andy Partington / Tom Partington, GBR, 14
5. Brad Devine / Ian Furlong, AUS, 16

Full results: www.topyacht.net.au/results/

www.i14worlds2015.com

18ft Skiffs NSW Championship, Race 1
Photo by Frank Quealey. Click on image for photo gallery.

Sydney Harbour: Following a three-week layoff over Christmas-New Year, the Australian 18 Footers League's 18ft Skiff fleet returned to Sydney Harbour today to contest Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

Conditions were far from perfect for the 15 teams with a variable south wind the order of the day.

Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton won his second consecutive scratch race in the 18s when he teamed with Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey to bring Mojo Wine home just 4s ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, John Winning Jr.).

Third place went to Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O'Connor, Charles Dorron), which finished a further 1m9s behind Gotta Love It 7.

On the final spinnaker run the 'ímpossible' happened and 7s spinnaker went overboard off Bradley's Head.

Seizing the opportunity, the Mojo Wine team challenged hard and trailed narrowly as the two teams headed for home.

As the skiffs set for the windward beat back from Athol Bay to the finish line off Clarke Island, Mojo Wine picked up a slight wind shift was enough to see it grab victory only 20 metres from the finish line.

Race 2 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com

12ft Skiff Interdominion
The Sydney Sailmakers crew of Nick Press and Andrew Stevenson are the 12ft Skiff Interdominion title holders for 2015 after leading the annual stoush between Australia and New Zealand from the get go to the end on the Sydney Harbour courses.

In today's final Race 10, sailed in patchy and light north-east and east-nor' easterly winds, the Sydney Sailmakers crew was able to race without constraint and won the final race by nearly four minutes.

This is Press' sixth Interdominion title and crew Andrew Stevenson's third. With Brad Yabsley, Press, from Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club won the title in 2005, 2010 and 2011. In 2012, 2013 and this time around, it was with Stevenson as for'ard hand. The two's name will be added to the Silasec Trophy once again for the event alternately in Australia and New Zealand.

The defending champions, Alex Vailings/Fraser Brown (C-Tech White) were an outside chance to make it onto the podium, so it goes without saying that the three were always going to go to battle. In the end, the bigger rigged Kiwis beat Geotherm to the punch, sealing second place overall for Little Bus, third for Geotherm and fourth to C-Tech White. -- Di Pearson

Final top five results after 10 races and two drops:

1. Nick Press / Andrew Stevenson, AUS, 11 points
2. Chris Reid / Andrew Clarke, NZL, 18
3. Brett Hobson / Brad Phillips, AUS, 21
4. Alex Vallings / Fraser Brown, NZL, 26
5. Murray Press / Scott Lanham, AUS, 43

Full results

www.skiff.org.au

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

Caribbean (race) charter...
From boats to regattas to nightclubs... how to go about it and how to make the correct choices

Revolution in the village
Pontos... and a new paradigm in winch control

An iconic gathering
Rob Weiland finds himself on an illuminating voyage down offshore racing's own memory lane

Update
Ian Walker has very clear views about taking on the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, Terry Hutchinson wraps up 2014 at the Melges 32 worlds and Guy Nowell takes a (warm) look at the Raja Muda Selangor's 25th anniversary...

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Star Midwinter Championship
Magnus and I came out determined to get back what was ours, and we did. We finished with a 1, 2 which was enough to move us up from 11th to 6th in the mid winters and save the overall Star Winter Series Championship by just one point.

After yesterday's broken mast, and it's 32 point cost to our score, we were down. But we worked late last night to put our spare mast together, tuned it this morning and went out and won the first race in the 18 knot easterly. That set the tone and we followed that up with a second in the last race. Lars Grael won the last race and Augie Diaz from finished close in third.

The three of us battled it out most of yesterday and today…great competition. -- Paul Cayard

Final top five:
1. Augie Diaz / Arnis Baltins, USA, 34 points
2. Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 42
3. Peter Vessella / Guy Avellon, USA, 56
4. Tom Loefstedt / Jesper Sundman, SWE, 59
5. Brian Cramer / Cam Lymburner, CAN, 65

Full results:
www.yachtscoring.com

'New Classes' Celebrate Their 50th Anniversary At Cowes Classics Week 2015
Cowes Classics Week has an eligibility policy with a rolling 50 year design date. This means that three new classes become eligible in 2015 and are preparing to celebrate their anniversary at Cowes Classics Week 2015.

Tempest: designed by Ian Proctor for the 1965 trials for the new Olympic Keelboat used alongside the Star in 1972 in which the British won the Silver Medal and as the two-handed keelboat in 1976. The Tempest is unusual for a keelboat in having a trapeze and can reach remarkable speeds.

Soling: designed by Jan Linge of Norway in 1965 based on ideas that emerged while tank testing a 5.5mR for the 1960 Olympics, ideas which were outside the 5.5mR rules. The Soling was selected as the men's triple-handed boat for the 1972 Olympics in selection trails at which it was the only survivor in heavy conditions at Kiel and remained an Olympic class until 2000.

Contessa 26: designed by Jeremy Rogers and heavily influenced by David Sadler and the Folkboat to produce a 25.6ft fibreglass boat that proved to be a very successful racer and capable of long-distance, blue-water cruising. -- David Elliot in Afloat

afloat.ie

Ocean Cruising Club Announces Awards For 2014
London, UK: The Ocean Cruising Club (The OCC) has announced the recipients of the OCC Awards for 2014. Each year the OCC recognises the achievements of ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things on the world's oceans and brings those achievements to the attention of the sailing community at large. The OCC Awards Sub-Committee, composed of accomplished members from around the world, made the announcement at the Club's annual January dinner.

The recipient of the club's premier award for members, The Barton Cup, is OCC Member the Reverend Bob Shepton. Having won this award previously in 1995, Bob is now recognised for his recent Northwest Passage and Greenland sailing/climbing expeditions. His writing regularly appears in sailing and climbing magazines worldwide and his book, Addicted to Adventure: Between rocks and cold places, released in 2014 has received critical acclaim.

The OCC Award of Merit, an award that recognises both members and non-members, goes to Peter Semotiuk (non-member) for his exceptional radio service to sailors transiting the NW Passage.

The Awards will be formally presented to the winners at the Annual Awards Dinner aboard the HQS Wellington in London on the 28th of March.

Full list of awards: www.oceancruisingclub.org

Ingate Sets Another Age Record In Prince Philip Cup
Click on image to enlarge.

Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Melbourne, Australia: Six years ago, Sydney yachtsman Gordon Ingate became the oldest yachtsman ever to win an Australian championship, the prestigious Prince Philip Cup for the International Dragon class. Today, six years on, he did it again - at the age of 88!

Ingate, helmed Whimsical to a one point victory in the 2015 Prince Philip Cup, sailed out of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club on Melbourne's Port Phillip, narrowly outsailing a fleet that included boats from Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and Great Britain.

In a last day duel, sailed in steady rain and light winds, Whimsical finished just one point clear of British yachtsman Robert Campbell, sailing the borrowed Sydney boat Indulgence.

Third place overall went to another RSYS entry, skippered by Wolfe Breit with an experienced crew that included Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winning skipper Roger Hickman.

The victory climaxes a remarkable sailing career for Ingate spanning some 75 years, including 58 years sailing in Dragons, which has seen Ingate represent Australia at the Olympic Games, the Admiral's Cup, the America's Cup and at world championships in the International Dragon and 5.5 metres classes. -- Peter Campbell

Final top five:

1. Whimsical (Gordon Ingate, RSYS) (4)-3-2-1-1-2, net 9 points.
2. Indulgence (Robert Campbell, Burnham-on-Crouch Yacht Club, UK) 2-(OCS)-1-3-3-2, 10 points.
3. Shapes (Wolf Breit, RSYS) 1-1-3-(6)-2-3, 10 points
4. Wizzzardry (Raymond Chatfield, RFBYC) 5-4-52-4-(8), 20 points
5. Ridgeway (Jeff Rose, RTYC) 3-5-4-5-5-(9), 22 points.

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The Last Word
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