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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chris Rashley Defies The Odds
Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Moth Worlds British sailor Chris Rashley, currently in fourth place overall in the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds, is once again leading Outteridge, who slipped from second overall to sixth after being caught out in the extremely light and fluky conditions yesterday and being timed out in 19th place. That Rashley is so close to the top of the leaderboard is extraordinary.

At the 2014 Moth Worlds in Rashley's playground of Hayling Island, England, he pulled off five wins to Outteridge's four. It was winning the final race that sealed it for the Australian, the race in which the Brit finished 10th and left him second overall.

Knowing the talent coming to the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds, and determined to better his second overall at the 2014 Moth Worlds. Rashley arrived in Sorrento well before the event to practice and get used to the local conditions. However, not long into his stay, the Englishman suffered a disc protrusion.

"And if you walk the beach at these Worlds, you will find lots of guys who have had this problem and some who have it now; it comes from hiking and not being strong in your core. It's not like I'm the only one."

Racing at the McDougall + McConaghy 2015 International Moth World Championship continues today from 1100 hours. It has been raining for most of a grey and overcast morning, but at least there is breeze. -- Di Pearson

www.mothworlds.org/sorrento/

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
'A magnificent start...' - Bruno Dubois; 'Great job' - Sam Goodchild; 'See you in Abu Dhabi!' - Iker Martínez; 'Skipper and mentor... one in the eye for the naysayers' - Alistair Skinner; 'Tough choice for a Frenchman!' - Christian Granger; 'For sure Loick Peyron is an alien... but Charles's task is so demanding that nobody really expected to see Dongfeng with the leaders so early in the race' - Francois Seguin; 'Fantastic guy... grounded and a living example of the new-generation VOR racer' - Eero Lehtinen.

This month's nominees:

 

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR)
No sooner had he stepped ashore in Guadeloupe having secured the final podium spot in the Rhum Class than Sir Robin - still just a young 75 - was confirming that he would be back in four years for the 2018 Route du Rhum, for which he intends to build a new trimaran... rather smaller and easier to manage than his current ageing and relatively heavy Imoca 60 Grey Power. We need more like him...

 

Alex Pella (ESP)
Pella's dominance of the Class40 division in the Route du Rhum was a performance that has been threatening for some time... Pella is the outstanding Spanish shorthander of the current generation and for the 2014 Rhum he was paired up with designer Marcelo Botín's clearly exceptional latest Class40 Tales 2. After a faltering start with rudder, sail and electronic issues, Pella soon romped to the front - and thereafter was never really challenged

 

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at seahorsemagazine.com/sailor-of-the-month/vote-for-sailor-of-the-month

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital

Henri Lloyd To Launch The Ben Ainslie Racing Merchandise Collection
Henri Lloyd and Ben Ainslie Racing Henri Lloyd and Ben Ainslie Racing are excited to bring the first elements of the official BAR Merchandise Collection to the CWM FX London Boat Show. The new merchandise will comprise men's and ladies' cotton polo shirts, short-sleeved T's including a junior version, a full-zip cotton hoody, technical jacket and a quick-drying peaked cap.

Henri Lloyd will be offering a kit personalisation service at the show, so you can add your name to the products - just like the BAR Sailing Team - and take it home with you on the day.

The range will be on sale from 9th Jan on the BAR stand (F002) at the Show, and online ( www.henrilloyd.com/BARshop ).

www.henrilloyd.com

One Ton Revisited
Wai Aniwa. Click on image to enlarge.

One Ton The entry list for the One Ton Revisited event in February/March has leveled out at seven. We are, however, liaising closely with three more potentials who are working hard to be a part of the action.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will be back on deck on Monday, 19 January, 2015, at which time we will quickly finalise arrangements for any group measure and weigh for validated IRC certification.

The latest to complete that process is Roger Foley's 39ft Carter design Wai Aniwa which has come in at 0.935 (with spinnaker).

Wai Aniwa is one of Chris Bouzaid's two One Ton Cup champions in the line-up. She won back the trophy for New Zealand in Sydney, in 1972. Roger plans to leave Wellington on 17 January and, via East Cape, and should be in Auckland around 22 January although, he says, "We could stall to fish for a day or two en route".

The other Bouzaid OTC champion in the fleet will be the iconic 36ft S&S design Rainbow II, which won the Cup in Heligoland in 1969 and launched New Zealand's drive to dominate world offshore racing and its attendant marine industry.

Rainbow II is still undergoing the extensive restoration that will see her back in fighting trim in time for the five-race OTR event.

Bouzaid has yet to finalise his crew but it could include include 1969 Hobart race win veterans Gil Littler and Steve ("Sticky") Armitage along with stalwart Roy Dickson who was navigator for both of Rainbow's campaigns in Heligoland.

Racing schedule:

Saturday 28th February, Race 1: 35 NM Race to Te Kouma
Monday 2nd March, Race 2: 20 NM Hauraki Gulf
Tuesday 3rd March, Race 3: 20 NM Hauraki Gulf
Thursday 5th March, Race 4: 35-45 Long Gulf Course
Saturday 7th March, Race 5: 25 NM Short Gulf Course

Additionally, we will be staging short-course harbour races in conjunction with the Volvo pro-am races on Thursday, 12 March and Friday, 13 March, and with the Volvo In-Port race on Saturday, 14 March. -- Alan Sefton

The Pope Files Complaint Against America's Cup Jurors
The former head of sailing's governing body has filed complaints of gross misconduct against the five members of an international jury that handed down the harshest penalties in America's Cup history.

Paul Henderson of Toronto has requested hearings by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The action comes weeks after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced sailor Dirk de Ridder's suspension from sanctioned events from three years to 18 months. De Ridder was banned from the 34th America's Cup in September 2013 and Oracle Team USA was docked two points in a scandal involving manipulation of the weight distribution of boats that Oracle sailed in warmup regattas.

Henderson filed individual complaints against jury members Bryan Willis of Great Britain and Graham McKenzie of New Zealand, based on depositions they gave during hearings before CAS, and a single complaint against the other three jury members, David Tillett of Australia, Josje Hofland of the Netherlands and John Doerr of Britain.

"All members of the AC 34 jury failed and violated the principles of ISAF by not providing an equitable and fair hearing to all sailors," Henderson wrote in his complaint against Tillett, Hofland and Doerr. -- Bernie Wilson, AP

Full story: bigstory.ap.org

Plans For America's Cup Team Dropped
A late proposal that would have seen a Bermuda team compete in the 35th America's Cup has fallen by the wayside.

A spokesman for a group behind the ambitious plan confirmed yesterday that they had considered entering a team, but have since had a change of heart.

"We were at one time in loose discussions about possibly entering a Bermuda boat in AC35, " the spokesman told The Royal Gazette. "[But] this is now definitely not going to happen."

The group's decision to drop plans for a home entry came after America's Cup legend Dennis Conner declined an offer to manage the team and help to raise funds to finance the campaign.

"I am not in any position to raise the money or actively manage the effort," said Mr Conner, a four-time America's Cup winner. "Thanks for thinking of me, I do think a challenge for the America's Cup is a good idea. It would be popular with everyone if it is well funded and well run. -- Colin Thompson in The Royal Gazette

www.royalgazette.com

Sailing and Marine Manager - Middle Island Vacancy
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the oldest sailing and rowing clubs in Hong Kong, is looking for a high calibre individual to fill the post of Sailing and Marine Manager.

This is a full-time contract based in Hong Kong commencing March / April 2015. Reporting to the Marine Services Manager, the successful applicant will lead and manage the sailing development, regatta events and marine activities at RHKYC's Middle Island property. The island is located 8km from central Hong Kong, is accessed daily by a 2 minute club owned ferry ride from the shore. The primary focus of this role shall be to foster and mentor the talents of suitable youth members graduating from the training programs to podium positions at regional and global competition in Optimist, Laser, 29er and 420 classes. The position duties include the supervision of the marina, hardstand, ferry boat services and the repairs and maintenance of a very substantial fleet of club keel boats, sailing dinghies, work boats, rowing and paddling craft. Currently there are 16 full time staff plus casual instructors as reporting staff.

We look for people with:

- Successful results as a participant and coach at ISAF recognized dinghy or keelboat competition.
- Senior management experience in marine operations and preferably sailing school / academy management.
- Experience with special event logistics and international race management.
- Hands on knowledge of fibreglass repairs and deck hardware installation.
- A managerial level of finance and administrative ability.
- A mature and mentoring personality with excellent communication skills.
- The flexibility to work on weekends and midweek shifts.
- An above average level of fitness.

This is a very senior position at the RHKYC. We offer an attractive remuneration and excellent fringe benefits to the right candidate. Closing date for applications is 7 February 2015.

Interested parties should submit a comprehensive CV to The Human Resources Manager, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

J Class at the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta
The J Class Association is pleased to confirm at least three J Class yachts will compete at the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta from 27-31 July 2015.

Lionheart, Ranger and Velsheda will arrive in the Solent on or around 20 July and will be moored in Ocean Village, Southampton.

Racing is scheduled from the RYS line from Monday 27 - Friday 31 July in and around the Solent and will be 'round the cans' courses. The event is also expected to include a clockwise round the island race, or coastal course of a similar distance.

The Js will race as a fleet under the JCA handicap rules, with challenging 2-3 hour courses in and beyond the Solent, depending on conditions. Other classes taking part in the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta include Classics, IRC and One-Design sportsboats.

Members of the public will be able to view the fleet from various vantage points and follow details of the racing via the J Class social media pages. Followers around the world logging on to jclassyachts.com will also be able to enjoy every tack and gybe as it happens thanks to live race tracking fitted to every yacht.

jclassyachts.com

Panerai Transat Classique
Photo by James Mitchell. Click on image to enlarge.

Panerai Transat Classique Despite the physically demanding first few days of race the crews of the Panerai Transat Classique 2015 are continuing to push their "old ladies" as hard as they can. With such a marked contrast in the strategies chosen by the competitors, we can expect changes in the trade winds occurring in the next few days to upset the established order.

Clocking up 273 nautical miles in twenty-four hours (an average of 11.4 knots), Altair has broken her previous best of 260 miles in one day. Not only that, the big schooner has covered 1,000 nautical miles in the first four days of the race (an average of 10.4 knots), thus achieving the goal Captain Stephane Benfield set for his antique vessel in the days leading up to the Panerai Transat Classiqe 2015.

Surely William Fife III, the genius Scottish yacht designer, would be delighted to discover that one of his creations has performed so well eighty-four years after her launch. And positively proud after learning that another of his designs, Adventuress, the doyenne of the fleet dating from 1924, is currently leading the pack with a few minutes' advantage over Altair. Prior to the race, pundits expected a duel between the "dragons" (nickname derived from the motifs carved into the bows of every Fife) and they haven't been disappointed.

For Amazon the northern route continues to pay dividends and the big Stephens yawl is determined to catch up with Altair, sailing much further to the south, to claim back the lead in real time. With such hugely different routes, every change in the conditions has the potential to cause an upset on the race board. So far the big girls have been benefitting from the strong winds but the latest forecast suggests the trades might have a change of heart and cast a favourable gaze upon the smaller vessels in the race.

Panerai Transat Classique 2015

Start: 7 January 2015, Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
Finish: Fort-de-France, Martinique.

www.paneraiclassicyachtschallenge.com

Gordon Ingate

Correction and Apology
Correct image of Mr. Ingate at right. Click on image to enlarge.

Your humble narrator ran the wrong photo last night of Gordon Ingate. Mr. Ingate won the Prince Philip Cup in the Dragon Class at age 88, another storied accomplishment for the seemingly immortal and indestructible sailor.

Should I have the pleasure of making his acquantaince some day, drinks and dinner on me...

Best I can do tonight is apologise, raise a glass to him, and wish that I could sail that well and will live that long.

 

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The Last Word
If it's the Captain's Mess, let him clean it up. -- Bugs Bunny

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