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

34th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, www.oceanimages.co.uk. Click on image to enlarge.

Gunboat Simpson Bay, St. MaartenL In one of the closest and most dramatic concluding days in the long history of the Caribbean's biggest annual regatta, 20 division winners in a fleet of 210 boats were crowned this afternoon to wrap up the 34th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

In so many diverse ways - the ages of the crews, the national flags they flew, the size and types of boats they sailed - the championship teams represented a wide cross-section of international sailors who saved their very best for the last day of racing.

At the outset of this third and final day of competition, the final results, and potential victors, in nearly a dozen individual classes were too close to call. With just a few points - or less - separating the top boats in nearly all nine of the CSA classes, in two of the Bareboat divisions, and even in a Lottery class, everything was riding on the last race of the series from Marigot to Simpson Bay. It was unprecedented and thrilling.

"This is the tightest bloody regatta I've ever seen," said official scorer Paul Miller, the guru of the race management website regattaguru.com, as the racing fleets gathered off Marigot early today. "There are about 11 classes that are wide open. It's anybody's guess who will end up on the podium. That never happens."

Except, of course, on those great days of sailboat racing when it does.

* The closest contest in the ten year history of the Gunboat Class played out to dramatic conclusion on the last day of the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta. Shifty winds with a massive rain squall provided high drama for the decisive race for the Gunboat fleet. Right from the start line, in Marigot Bay, the battle was on. Coca de Mer and Slim came in on Port with Tigerlily, Tribe and Elvis choosing starboard. All five Gunboats hit the line in unison and something had to give. Gunboat 66, Slim fouled Tigerllly and returned to restart.

Once again Gunboat 62, Elvis got the mojo going and made the top mark first, leading the fleet across the Anguilla Channel.

After three days of sensational Gunboat racing, Gunboat 62, Elvis was crowned King of the Gunboats by a single point. Gunboat 66, Coca de Mer had sailed consistently all regatta to claim a worthy second place with Gunboat 62, Tribe in third. -- Louay Habib

www.facebook.com/gunboatcatamarans

Full results of all classes at www.heinekenregatta.com

IMOCA 60 Class 'Ocean Masters New York To Barcelona Race'
A new era for the IMOCA 60ft monohull class begins in less than three months with the Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race. This will be the first event run by Sir Keith Mills' Lausanne-based Open Sports Management (OSM), commercial rights holder to the IMOCA class and will be supported by the Fundacio per la Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona (FNOB) and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV). It is also the first event to count towards the new Ocean Masters World Championship.

The double-handed New York to Barcelona is the only race scheduled this summer for IMOCA, allowing teams ample time to prepare for this autumn and winter's other major Ocean Masters World Championship events - the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race.

The event kicks off with a prologue on Saturday 24th May. Competitors will sail from Newport, Rhode Island on a 142 mile overnight race to New York Harbour.

In New York for the next week, the boats will be berthed at Manhattan's North Cove Marina, close to the World Trade Centre site in Battery Park. On Thursday 29th May, they will compete in the 'Hudson River Race', allowing spectators a bird's eye view from Manhattan's western shore. The day will conclude with a reception in the New York Yacht Club's magnificent Model Room.

The start of the transatlantic race itself will be off North Cove Marina on Sunday 1st June.

Competitors will sail pass the Statue of Liberty before exiting New York Harbour. The 3700 mile course crosses the North Atlantic, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, where crews will have to negotiate a tactical 525 miles along the Spanish coast before reaching the finish.

The prize giving will be held in Barcelona on 20th June. En route competitors will be out to better the 12 days, 6 hours and 3 minutes course record set by Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer aboard the IMOCA 60 Estrella Damm in 2010.

Five teams are officially entered, although more are expected:
Hugo Boss: Alex Thomson (GBR) and Pepe Ribes (ESP)
Neutrogena: Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and Jose Munoz (CHI)
Safran: Marc Guillemot (FRA) and Morgan Lagraviere (FRA)
GAES Centros Auditivos: Anna Corbella (ESP) and Gerard Marin (ESP)
Spirit of Hungary : Nandor Fa (HUN) and Marcell Goszleth (HUN)

www.oceanmasters.com
www.imoca.org
www.barcelonaworldrace.com
www.fnob.org

Hudson Wight - Ringing The Changes
Hudson Wight As we hurtle towards the start of the new sailing season, a new clothing brand, aimed squarely at inshore and offshore racing and cruising keelboat sailors, is clearly making its mark. Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear was introduced last Summer and the brand has been building a loyal following within the sailing fraternity ever since. 

Hudson Wight only sells direct and its Affiliate Scheme is at the heart of that business model. It allows Hudson Wight to give 15% of all its sales to its Affiliates, who are typically volunteer-run Clubs and Class Associations, or marine-related organisations and individuals.

"The aim is build a top-level brand with the sport of sailing as a key stakeholder in our success. With that approach we hope our Affiliate Scheme will lead to more people getting out on the water," says Hudson Wight's Managing Director Jamie Scrimgeour.

To introduce the Hudson Wight range to the discerning Scuttlebutt reader and encourage you to try it yourself, we are offering every subscriber the opportunity to use the unique Affiliate Code SCUTTBUTT to get at least 10% off a set of HW1s - Jacket and Salopettes - made with Hudson Wight's own 3-layer OceanVent fabric. Plus you will be eligible to receive a free Sailing Bag, Sailing Gloves and a snazzy Cap.

Not a single order has yet been returned and the customer feedback is really positive. www.hudsonwight.com/testimonials

Click here to secure your SCUTTBUTT order (offer ends 31st March): www.hudsonwight.com/?affiliate=scuttbutt

Andrew Cambpell Joins Oracle Team USA
American Andrew Campbell is the newest recruit to join Oracle Team USA and he is making his debut with the team during its training camp in Sydney Australia this week.

A four-time All-American, Campbell was a standout sailor at the collegiate level, leading his Georgetown University sailing team to three single-handed national championships, among other titles. Incredibly, on a list dominated by football and basketball players, Campbell has been named among Georgetown's all-time Top 10 Athletes by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Following up his college sailing with Olympic campaigns in the Laser and Star class, Campbell sailed for the United States in the Laser in the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

And it's from a relationship formed in the Laser that he comes to ORACLE TEAM USA.

"I've been racing a lot against (ORACLE TEAM USA tactician and sailing team manager) Tom Slingsby over the last 12 years," Campbell says. "We went to the youth worlds in 2002 and competed against each other in the Laser and we've either been racing each other or at least racing in events on the same circuit as each other for a long time. Tom is my main connection here."

Campbell also knows American sailor Rome Kirby - both of their fathers worked with the America3 campaigns in San Diego in the 1990s.

oracle-team-usa.americascup.com

Early Corporate Interest Buoys Oatley Bid For America's Cup
The Oatley family are hopeful of attracting corporate interest locally and abroad to help cover at least some of the $70 million budget for Team Australia's bid for the next America's Cup, which could include a lead-up race held in Sydney.

Sandy Oatley, son of billionaire and family patriarch Bob Oatley, says he has been buoyed by the preliminary interest shown by prospective sponsors and wealthy individuals in helping back the team.

"There's a lot of goodwill out there for this and that's why we called it Team Australia - it's for everyone," Oatley says. "There are people that are keen to be involved and we will be able to do more when we have sorted out the rules and regulations. We think there will be support in Australia but also from overseas, as it is a global property really."

The team, organised through the Hamilton Island Yacht Club and skippered by Olympic gold medallist Mathew Belcher, has the right to organise the challengers to defending champion Team Oracle, owned by United States billionaire Larry Ellison.

Oatley says he is hopeful the negotiations, which have been ongoing since the end of September, will be finalised by the end of this month or April at the latest. -- John Stensholt in the Australian Financial Review

www.afr.com

International Maxi Association Supports RORC Transatlantic Race
The International Maxi Association (IMA) has joined forces with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in the organisation of the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race and will be awarding an exquisite vintage sterling silver trophy to the Line Honours winner.

The IMA invites the expanding Maxi fleet to a new format of a classic autumn competition, starting from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote on 29 November and racing 2,800 n miles across the Atlantic to the inviting waters of Grenada in the Caribbean.

The International Maxi Association has been expanding its activities since 2010 when the first Mini Maxi World Championship took place in Porto Cervo, Italy with 24 entries from two continents and 49 Maxis participating in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Its growing membership boasts 12 Honorary Members and 60 Members with boats such as RAN; Sojana; Alegre; Bella Mente and Nilaya regularly competing in the RORC's international racing programme of over 20 races, including the RORC Caribbean 600 and Rolex Fastnet Race.

It is anticipated that a strong fleet of Maxi, Mini-Maxi and Superyachts will take part in the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race which also allows them to compete in Caribbean regattas before heading back to the yacht racing season both sides of the Atlantic.

rorctransatlantic.rorc.org
www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

Seahorse April 2014
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

A long-lasting commitment
Dona Bertarelli and a serious step up in the sailing activities of her new sponsor Mirabaud

Making the difference
Mike Sanderson, Ian Walker and Jules Salter look at what it will take to win the first ever one-design race around the planet

Rod Davis
Building that (most) perfect America’s Cup sailing team

Sailor of the Month
It’s an all-Australia battle this month

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub for UK residents: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/

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Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine

Scottish Yachtsman Rescued After Storm Hits Coast Of Chile
A Scottish solo round-the-world yachtsman has been rescued after his boat was badly damaged in a storm off the tip of South America.

Andrew Halcrow, 54, was west of Cape Horn on his second attempt to circumnavigate the globe single-handed when the mast of the Elsi Arrub snapped on Saturday, according to his website.

His first attempt in the 32ft boat in 2006 also ended with him having to be rescued, after he became ill off Australia.

He was picked up on Sunday afternoon by a Chilean naval helicopter which flew him to the far southern city of Punta Arenas, around 240 miles east of the yacht's position in the south Pacific, according to his website.

He has previously managed to successfully sail around the world on the yacht, making a successful circumnavigation in 1998 with his brother Terry.

www.theguardian.com

Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series - Ready For Action
There was a distinct hint of spring in the air when the 50-strong race management team from Warsash Sailing Club took to the water for their "practice day" on 9th March 2014. All systems were checked afloat and ashore in readiness for the first races in this premier season-opening event which begins next Sunday 16th March 2014.

Entries are already fast approaching 100 in total. Mike Bridges, winner of IRC3 last year, returns to defend his title in Elaine as does Tim Rees in Menace (IRC4). Michael Bartholomew won IRC1 in both the Spring Series and Spring Championship 2013 with his Mills 40 Tokoloshe and will be competing in the Spring Championship with Tokoloshe II, a GP42. Six J/111s will be vying for position in IRC1 and the J/80s continue in popularity including a French entry.

As well as six Spring Series Sundays, the Spring Championship is being held over the final two weekends of 12th/13th and 26th/27th April. The full Notice of Race and entry details are published on warsashspringseries.org.uk . Spring Series, Spring Championship and day entries are all welcome.

Sailing Instructions and competitor packs have been posted to those currently entered and the final class splits for the IRC division will be published on Thursday 13th March. The event uses the standard Solent Cruising and Racing Association buoy coding system and a free 2014 "Buoy Racer" laminated chart is also included for each entry. Skippers can download a GPS-friendly version of the main marks list from the website.

www.warsashspringseries.org.uk

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 Virginia C. Jones: I write to you to alert the readers of Scuttlebutt Europe to a important opportunity to acquire the hull of a California 32, a hull that is now at risk.

Gunboat

The California 32's were a class of 8 racing cruisers designed by Nick Potter (the W. Coast N G Herreshoff was his nick name) in the mid thirties and a number of sisters were built, Five before WW II and three after (seven on the west coast and one in the far east). One was lost at sea and seven survive . Several of the boats -- CHOLITA and ANDELE -- have been rebuilt or restored and are in Europe where they are very highly regarded.

Hull number 2, named ALTAMAR, launched in 1936, was rescued by Doug Jones and Doug Peterson when the yard where she was stored in San Diego was renovated in 2007, and has been in storage at Traditional Boat Works on Hancock Street in San Diego ever since. Doug Jones, the owner of TBW (and ALTAMAR) has now moved his yard to Port Townsend, in Washington State and is closing down the facility in San Diego. She must be moved or disposed of very soon.

Doug hopes to find a new owner for the hull, an owner who can make the commitment to take on a major project. Much of the hull is salvageable but the scope of the project will require someone with requisite resources to undertake what will be a rebuild of the hull, interior and deck, a new rig and all the systems. In return they will own an important piece of American yachting history and a lovely classic yacht which can comfortably cruise or race. The California 32's are comparable to the New York 32's and there is a lot of information and details available for a prospective owner.

Doug J can be reached via cell phone on Pacific time at 1-619-993-9295. Doug P would be available for consultation while Doug J has plans and other details. He has in mind a very low price for the hull and the design material, and would be available to help prepare the boat for transport. He also would be happy to give an estimate to rebuild the boat if she is moved to Port Townsend.

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The CM 60 concept was established to meet the client's demands for an exciting but easily handled boat, competitive under multiple racing handicaps, with the ability for simple conversion to a performance cruiser at some time in the future. The Concordia 62 extends on this platform to produce a comfortable cruising yacht with exceptional speed and performance.

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See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy. -- Tyrion Lannister

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