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

30th Primo Cup
"At this time of year the only place you can sail is Monaco!" - those were the words of the Frenchman Nicolas Berenger, four-time winner in the Longtze Premier, and assisted on tactics for the first time by Bertrand Pace. There was domination too by Stephen Molle (Grun), who led the German armada in the well-represented Platu 25 series, and in the J/70s where Frenchman Ludovic Senechal (Lulu la Nantaise) won three races. The Italian Ferdinando Battistella (Diva) won in the SB20 category, as did his compatriot Manfredi Vianini Tolomei (Maolca) in the Melges 20. Honours too for the women in the Smeralda 888 class with victory going to Blandine Medecin (Bear Essentials).

Conditions were tough for this 30th edition of the Primo Cup-Trophee Credit Suisse which lived up to its reputation as a demanding winter regatta that attracts a high level among the 800 sailors who come from all over the world early February each year. In total, there were 160 entries, representing 17 nationalities over the two weekends.

The next and final stage of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series is on from 6th to 9th March 2014.

Final rankings

SB20 after 5 races 1 throwout
1. Diva, Ferdinando Battistella (ITA) 20 pts
2. Black Magic, Ed Russo (FRA) 22 pts
3. Un'altra Claudia, Carlo Brenco (ITA) 33 pts

Melges 20 after 4 races 1 throwout
1. Maolca, Manfredi Vianini Tolomei (ITA) 4 pts
2. Cinghiale, Robert Wilber (USA) 7 pts
3. Matteo, Matteo Marenghi Vaselli (ITA) 12 pts

Smeralda 888 after 4 races 1 throwout
1. Bear Essentials, Blandine Medecin (MON) 6 pts
2. Botta Dritta, Adalberto Miani (MON) 6 pts
3. Vamos Mi Amor, Charles Bourbon de Sicile (MON) 9 pts

Longtze Premier after 5 races 1 throwout
1. Beijaflore, Nicolas Berenger (FRA) 5 pts
2. Shensu, Jarmo Wieland (SUI) 13 pts
3. Wetfeet, Eckhard Kaller (GER) 13 pts

J/70 after 4 races 1 throwout
1. Lulu la Nantaise, Senechal Ludovic (FRA) 3 pts
2. Carpe Diem, Jacopo Carrain (MON) 8 pts
3. Jump around, Thomas Mellanoi (FRA) 9 pts

Platu 25 after 5 races 1 throwout
1. Grun, Stephen Molle (GER) 5 pts
2. Kamladei, Morten Nickel (GER) 11 pts
3. Aramis, Martin Sigrist (SUI) 12 pts

Yacht Club de Monaco:

Two Wins In A Row
Overall series leader, Sidney Gavignet and team on EFG Bank (Monaco), won Leg 4 of the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2014, from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah yesterday, despite being one of two teams over the line at the start.

This was a great pre cursor to an inport sailing where close teams are eager to put points between them in the standings

The team managed to wriggle its way through into the lead in the shifty conditions, leaving Messe Frankfurt Sailing Team skippered by Marcel Herrera, and initial race leader, Team Delft Challenge - TU Delft, skippered by Kay Heemskerk, in second and third places respectively.

"A key to our win was tweaking the rig. We have been working on the rig from the start of the series and we are now close to very good trim for this mainsail, which is a very positive point. "It was also very important to be first at the first mark because from there on it was difficult to overtake. We had to play with a few fishing nets too in the latter stages of the race but managed them well. The fishermen came to us with a torch. In fact there seemed to be one fisherman per net which helped the fleet a lot."

The team is now preparing for the third Inport races in Ras Al Khaimah at Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club today.

The short windward/leeward course will be set close to the shore.

UK's 2014 JJ Giltinan Challenge
The UK will have a strong four-boat team to challenge for the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, which begins on Sydney Harbour on 1 March.

Heading the challenge will be Rick Peacock (skipper), Tristan Hutt (sheet) and Nick Murray (f'ard), sailing Haier Appliances.

Rick was a member of the GBR 49er Performance Squad and finished 2nd and 4th at world championships. Tristan and Nick have won several European and UK championships as well as European and UK Grand Prix in the 18s.

The team's progression has been good, particularly as the conditions on the harbour this season have been very difficult for all teams.

As well as the Australian 18 Footers League and Haier Appliances providing the team with a skiff for the season, they have also received support from Allen Sailboat Hardware, Desk Hardware and Zhik.

Three other UK teams will join Haier Appliances at the championship - Pica (Jamie Mears), Black Dog (Jarrod Simpson) and Hyde Sails (Jack Grogan).

The UK has already won two JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championships. Tim Robinson was successful with Rockport in 1999 and Rob Greenhalgh with RMW Marine in 2004. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Race The RORC Caribbean 600 On A Volvo 70!
RORC Caribbean 600 Monster Project Do you dream of sailing a Volvo 70? The keel fully canted. Flying a huge spinnaker with six of your crewmates grinding on the pedestals in tropical sunshine. Feeling the power as the boat accelerates down a wave at 25+ knots in warm Caribbean winds...

This could be you!

Monster Project, Team Russia's boat (Kosatka) in the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race, is the only Volvo Open 70 available for charter - a unique opportunity for amateur sailors to experience these amazing racing machines!

The RORC Caribbean 600 is the headline offshore racing event in the Caribbean. With a 600 mile course around 10 islands, it's an epic race to rival the Fastnet - but much warmer!

Join us on Monster Project for our RORC Caribbean 600 program:

- Tuesday 18 through Saturday 22 February: pre-race training at Falmouth Harbour in beautiful Antigua
- Saturday 22 February: Welcome Party, Antigua Yacht Club
- Sunday 23 February: final boat preparations / rest day
- Monday 24 February: RORC Caribbean 600 starts at 1050h
- Friday 28 February: Prize-giving Ceremony, Antigua Yacht Club

Monster Project's RORC Caribbean 600 package includes:

- Race entry
- Berthing fees
- Pre-race training
- Professional Racing Skipper and Crew
- Food and bottled water during sailing
- Monster Project race clothing
- Safety equipment (loan)
- Wet-weather clothing (loan)

Can't make it to the RORC? Monster Project also operates Caribbean, UK, European and Trans-Atlantic Racing and Adventure Sailing charters for groups, corporates and individuals.

See the Calendar on our website:

What Does It Take To Win On The Singapore Racecourse?
The Marina Bay racecourse in the heart of Singapore is notoriously tricky. Nestled under the gaze of the towering downtown city skyline, in 2013 big wind shifts made the racing unpredictable, resulting in big gains - but also big loses - on the racecourse.

Understanding what happens out on the water isn't always easy. To help solve this challenge and bring the excitement of sailing to the fans, SAP has developed a leaderboard based on SAP analytics. Through analysing GPS data together with integrated wind measurements from sensors on the racecourse, the leaderboard displays information such as in-race ranking, average speeds, distance travelled, ETA (estimated time of arrival at the next mark rounding), gaps to leader, gains and losses per leg.

Alinghi (SUI) had a resounding victory in Singapore in 2013, finishing the Act 35 points clear of second placed Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), who were two points ahead of SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN). How did they do it? Interestingly, Alinghi were the slowest average boat on the racecourse, over four days, and 23 races. But they sailed the least distance - 4,000 metres in fact less than any other team - completed less maneuvers and generally sailed a 'smarter' and more efficient course. Ultimately, these tactics led to more race wins - eight compared to three-a-piece for GAC Pindar, Realteam, Red Bull Sailing Ream and The Wave, Muscat.

Act 1 Singapore starts February 20.

The Mystery Of Why Cheminees Poujoulat Split In Two
Why Cheminees Poujoulat split in two still remains a mystery over a month later. The incident is especially puzzling considering how the design of the Vendee Globe's IMOCA class boats are supposed to be significantly safer and sturdier than they were a decade ago.

"Something like this has never happened before in the history of the IMOCA class," said Merfyn Owen, of Owen Clarke Design, which designed Acciona.

It was widely reported that Cheminees Poujoulat had sunk and that the two sailors were rescued in just the nick of time. But about two weeks later, a French customs patrol boat found the wreck of Cheminees Poujoulat floating off the French island of Vierge. The boat, mostly submerged, was barely intact, while the back deck remained attached by cables. "Needless to say, I was surprised to see Cheminees Poujoulat after I witnessed it sinking," Stamm said. "Maybe the boat reached the surface again after the keel fell off."

We may never learn why Cheminees Poujoulat, which remains tied up and half-submerged at the port of Aberwrach, France, cracked up

"We will know more once Cheminees Poujoulat is taken out of the water," he said. "But you have to remember that a large chunk of the boat is missing."

Rematches and Redemption
Middle Harbour Yacht Club has so far attracted over 140 quality entries for the upcoming Sydney Harbour Regatta (SHR), and the scene is set for rematches and redemption from some of the best in the business.

For those yet to join the fray, entries for the 9th edition of the regatta, to be held over the weekend of 8 and 9 March, close this Friday at midnight. Late entries will be accepted until midnight of Friday February 28, but attract a late entry fee.

Among the prominent competitors in the Premier IRC class is Matt Allen and his latest Ichi Ban. The Yachting Australia president is still making adjustments to his Carkeek 60 and is pleased with the results to-date.

Ichi Ban's rivals include locals: two-time Audi IRC champion, Peter Sorensen with The Philosopher's Club, Phil Dash's 2013 SSORC Division 2 winner JustaDash, and the two DK46's; Bob Cox and his evolving Nine Dragons and Rob Reynolds' Exile, the 2012 SHR Division 2 victor. Bob Steel's 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Quest, will also be a threat.

Patrice, Wild Rose and Balance come to the Sydney Harbour Regatta looking for redemption. The three have proved their worth in the last year but came up short in the Sydney Hobart.

Launched in November, Tony Kirby's new Ker 46 proved her worth early on. Patrice's stand-out performance was winning Division 1 of the SSORC, but she has also made the podium in other events. In the top five throughout the Hobart race, a pounding sea took its toll on Patrice's hull off the Tasmanian coast, causing Kirby to retire.

A trio of wins was instrumental in Roger Hickman's victory in the CYCA's 2013 Blue Water Point Score with his 28 year-old Farr 43, Wild Rose - and there were other top results along the way. Hickman held Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire to ransom for overall victory in the Hobart race, but the weather cut short his ambition and 11th overall was the end result.

Claimant of multiple wins and podium places, 37th overall in the Hobart was not Paul Clitheroe's master plan for Balance. -- Di Pearson,

Marine Industry Regatta Returns
After taking a year off last year, the current business buoyancy - and some very interested participants - made us decide to bring the regatta back this year, writes Peter Nash. We'll be using the excellent Sunsail F40 fleet based out of Port Solent and - with early Bank Holidays - we've decided to drop the event to May for this year.

So we'll collect the boats at 19:00 in Port Solent on Tuesday 13 May. After that, we'll have an evening meal and a few drinks. But not too many, because we're expected to attend the skippers' Race Briefing at 07:45 on the Wednesday morning.

After breakfast and the Skipper's Race Briefing, we collect the packed lunches and soft drinks packs for the day's racing.

We then set off down the harbour to meet up somewhere off Gilkicker Point to start the day's racing. Ideally we'll get three races in (with lunch on the hoof, so to speak), but this is entirely up to the Portsmouth Harbour Yacht Club race officer.

The cost of this sailing extravaganza is a mere £1200.00 (inc VAT) per boat and includes:

- Hire of one of Sunsail's identically matched fleet of Sunsail F40 Yachts
- Breakfast in the Portsmouth Harbour Yacht club on Race Day
- Packed lunch on board
- Overnight accommodation on board on Tuesday evening
- Evening buffet on Tuesday
- Prize giving coffee, tea and
- Charity Donation to the John Merrick Sailing Trust
- All pre-event and on-site management

To enter, call Andy Wallace at Sunsail on 02392 222221, or Peter Nash at Boating Business on 01892 545696.

RORC Transatlantic Race Bound For Grenada
Grenada has been chosen by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) as the destination for the finish of the 2,800 nm east-west race across the Atlantic.

Grenada Tourism Authority with Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, will host the first edition of the race starting on November 29th 2014 from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote.

The Caribbean Island of Grenada is on the southern tip of the chain of islands known as the Windward Isles and the gateway to the stunning cruising area of the Grenadines. The chain of over 600 islands extends between Grenada in the south and St Vincent to the north.

Camper and Nicholsons Marinas are supporting the race by giving all finishers free berthing after arrival and discounted berthing for those who wish to stay for an extended period. The boats will be berthed in Port Louis Marina in St George's, the island's capital.

Alongside the Maxi's and Superyachts, the fleet will include the typical seasoned RORC racer. RORC Rear Commodore Steven Anderson was first to sign up for the race with his Corby 40 Cracklin Rosie, and was joined by Nigel Passmore with his J/133, Apollo 7. The first foreign entry was from Spain, Ernesto Cortina's Baracuda 72, Gran Jotiti.

For the latest entries and 'expressions of interest' follow the event minisite:

Looking For $100M
The past few months have been something of a crash course in business for Sir Ben Ainslie, Britain's most successful Olympic sailor.

He has begun the process of raising $100m (£60m) to fund his dream of leading a British team in the America's Cup.

"It's a huge amount of money to get the right designers, sailors together and get the right management in place. I'm working very hard on that," he says.

"The budgets last time round - they were pretty high. And the goal is certainly for them to come down, but we're starting with no illusions," Ainslie says.

Ainslie thinks that Ellison is unlikely to want a competition that is so expensive other teams cannot afford to join.

"I think he sees a bit of it as his legacy, so he wants to try to reduce the cost - obviously that needs to be done through changing the design of the boat to make it more cost effective," he says. -- Ben Morris, BBC News

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 A40 RC. 140,000 Euros. Located in the South of France.

Racing boat A40 RC GERANIUM KILLER is the fastest sailing boat in the RC market. Her structure is optimised for racing and she is much lighter than other boats of her type, meaning that she has won most races and regattas that she has entered: le Tour de Course, la Giraglia, les Voiles de St. Tropez, le Trophée Semac, etc. Her 3 separate cabins, kitchen and bathroom facilities also make her an excellent fast cruising sailboat, ideal for a short-handed crew.


Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage:

See the collection at

The Last Word
If you think the world is about to end you don't get to vote on next year's budget. -- Bill Maher

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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