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

Three More Crew For Team SCA
The first all-female crew in more than a decade, Team SCA have been trailing candidates for the past 18 months. On Monday they confirmed the participation of three Volvo Ocean Race rookies - the experienced Briton Dee Caffari, Sara Hastreiter from America and Elodie-Jane Mettraux from Switzerland, bringing their total squad to 12.

Caffari is 41 and comes from the UK. She is the only woman to have sailed around the world three times non-stop and to have sailed solo around the world in both directions. She has competed in the Vendée Globe, the Global Challenge, the Barcelona World Race and four transatlantic races.

Hastreiter has sailed over 40,000 nautical miles during her career and many leading events in the States and the Caribbean. Coming from South Dakota, she is 29 and one of four under-30 members of the squad.

Also 29, Mettraux is a renowned Swiss sailor who won the amateur ranking in the 2012 Tour de France a la Voile.

Caffari, Hastreiter and Mettraux join Elodie-Jane's sister Justine Mettraux (SUI), Sally Barkow (USA), Carolijn Brouwer (NED), Sophie Ciszek (AUS), Sam Davies (GBR), Abby Ehler (GBR), Stacey Jackson (AUS), Annie Lush (GBR) and Liz Wardley (AUS). 11 members of the squad will make up the actual race team with the remainder as reserves. More candidates may still be selected in the coming months.

Extreme Sailing Series Media Value Up 26%
Leading independent evaluation agency, Havas Sports & Entertainment Ignition, has confirmed an increase in global media exposure for the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series for the seventh consecutive year of elite level Stadium Racing, with a final 2013 media value of over €35 million. The figure, calculated using the same methodology each year, represents a 26% increase on 2012 figures, in what was a significant year for the Series on all levels, including the addition of Land Rover as Series Main Partner to the ever growing family of commercial partners - with a second partner being actively sought to sit at the same level as the premium British car brand.

The confirmation comes at an ideal time for prospective Host Venues, as the Tender and Selection process for cities interested in hosting an Extreme Sailing Series Act from 2015-2020 is now open.

TV coverage, including the official seven-part TV series, news and dedicated programming, continues to provide the lion's share of coverage, with an impressive 70% increase in value compared to 2012. The TV series (valued at over €7.8million), set a benchmark in global broadcast distribution in 2013, with 54 channels, versus 41 in 2012, around the globe broadcasting the Series, making it the most widely distributed annual sailing TV series in the world, according to leading TV production company Sunset+Vine|APP.

Hudson Wight - Daring To Be Different
Hudson Wight The team at Hudson Wight has combined its sailing experience with proven fabric technology, design and manufacturing expertise to produce great looking, high-performance sailwear at surprisingly low prices. A simple and effective business model delivers a daringly different solution to your sailing clothing needs. In short, you can now buy offshore specification kit made with top quality three-layer OceanVent fabric, at prices only ever seen before on inshore and coastal ranges from the better-known brands.

Hudson Wight only sells direct via its website and offers its products through an Affiliate Scheme with Clubs, Class Associations and other marine-related individuals and organisations, hence being able to sell core products at much lower prices than comparable products from other leading brands.

The feedback has been unanimous in its praise of the OceanVent waterproof and breathable fabrics and how quickly any build up of sweat and related condensation dries out via the hydrophilic breathable membrane.

Hudson Wight will be represented at a number of UK regattas this year, some in support of Affiliate Sail 4 Cancer.

Apart from buying the product and wearing it yourself, the recommendations from sailors now wearing the kit is one of the best ways to get the message across that you can buy top quality performance sailwear at very sensible prices. Read what Delivery Skipper and RYA Yachtmaster Instructor Norrie Forster from Scotland had to say in his forthright appraisal of the HW1s after a testing 5 day delivery trip from Southampton to The Clyde last year.

Elf Honored, Race Planned For May
Click on image to enlarge.

ELF America's oldest racing yacht has turned 125 years old. Elf's birthday was commemorated Feb. 22 with an oyster roast and ceremony at the Rock Hall Yacht Club in Maryland.

The proceeds went to maintain the 1888 Lawley-built 30-footer. Capt. Rick Carrion was given a House of Delegates resolution by Del. Jay Jacobs, a Rock Hall resident.

Carrion, of Earleville, founded the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild to restore the vintage wooden vessel. Graham Ero, of Graham Ero Wooden Boats in Still Pond, carried out years of restoration. The CYRG has had Elf listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Eastern Shore's Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is now her home.

The next chance to see Elf in action, along with at least six other classic yachts, will be Saturday, May 17, at the fourth annual Elf Classic Yacht Race. It begins in Annapolis at the Eastport Yacht Club and crosses the Chesapeake Bay to the Miles River.

The race follows the traditions of the 1880s. Then, races began on shore, with crew members rowing to the moored boat and making sail. To finish, the crews anchored and rowed ashore. The first crew at the Tolchester Bandstand at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will be the winner.

Elf, a gaff cutter, was built in Boston in 1888 by George Lawley & Sons. She cost $3,500 - about $90,000 today. The owner was William H. Wilkinson, who wanted a state-of-the-art racing cutter. George Lawley & Sons built small racers for faster boats of modest hull size carrying impressive rigs. -- Craig O'Donnell in The Kent County News

Warsash Series Springs Into Action
Photo by Iain McLuckie, Click on image for photo gallery.

Warsash Series Springs The weather certainly took a turn for the better in the opening races of the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series on 16th March 2014. With a clear blue sky and temperature soaring to 18 degrees C, the River Hamble suddenly became alive with keelboats making their way to the Solent start, dinghies competing in the Hamble Warming Pan event, plus cyclists and walkers on the riverside path.

The breeze however had tricks to play. Forecast to come largely from the WNW, the wind started at NNW and swung round to the southwest, making life very difficult for the course setters.

Race 2 saw single individual recalls for both J/70 and J/80 classes as the wind became more variable, shifting south to SSW and dropping.

After the weeks of wet and windy weather competitors and race officers agreed it had been a challenging and highly enjoyable start to this year's series which continues next Sunday 23rd March 2014. Further entries are welcome with full details on -- Flavia Bateson

Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series
Provisional Class Winners Day 1 - 16th March 2014

IRC1: Jitterbug (Cornel Riklin - J/111)
IRC2: Salvo (Peter Morton - JND35)
IRC3: IndulJence (Nick and Adam Munday - J/97)
IRC4: Stan the Boat (Toby Gorman - Sigma 33)
J/109: Jagerbomb (Paul Griffiths)
J/70: Races 1, 2, 3 Just4play (Simon Cavey)
J/80: Races 1, 2 Boysterous (Ali Hall), Race 3 Betty (Jon Powell)
SB20: Races 1, 2, 3 Crewsaver Racing (Greg O'Brien)

Delta Lloyd Regatta
After a year of experimenting with new racing formats, the Delta Lloyd Regatta is now following the Olympic ISAF format, to be sailed in RIO 2016. The 2014 Regatta will consist of opening series and a Medal race. The top ten finishers in the opening series will advance to the medal race, provided a minimum of three races have been completed in the opening series. For Paralympic events, the Regatta will consist of a single series. Boats not assigned to the Medal race will sail a last fleet race on the last day of the Delta Lloyd Regatta. All classes will sail 9 to 13 races in total.

This year the race committees that will be present at the Delta Lloyd Regatta are: KZ&NR Hollandia, KNZ&RV Muiden, RZV Rotterdam, KW Sneek, Batavia Sailing Center. Next to these, the Delta Lloyd Regatta has invited SolentXtra from the UK to run the RS:X course in 2014. With this move the Organizing Committee is determined to demonstrate its willing to provide the best race management possible. Mike Garvey will lead the team of 12 with Peter Knight as his deputy. SolentXtra Race Management was appointed to manage the RS:X course at the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth, England The SolentXtra team will be complemented by Dutch members so that they can learn from this experienced race committee.

The jury is selected by Josje Hofland who has done an excellent job putting together an experienced jury. This team of experienced judges is almost completed and includes Olympic London 2012 golden medalist winner in the Laser radial class Xu Lijia.

Robert Lamb has already been invited as the Principal Race Officer for the 4th consecutive year. Robert Lamb has more than 13+ years of race management experience covering Olympic classes, dinghies, boards, keelboats and multihulls. Robert has had several different leading functions within the ISAF and is already busy advising the Delta Lloyd Regatta.

Championship Land Yacht Fuselage Goes Fast Forward Or Backward
Alan Wirtanen, Aptos, CA (yellow) and Bill Dale, Pewaukee, WI (white), in similar land yachts designed and built by Wirtanen, at speed during the 2013 America’s Landsailing Cup Regatta. Photo by NALSA. Click on image to enlarge.

Landsail Santa Cruz, CA, USA: Alan Wirtanen's long, sleek yellow land yacht has won its share of U.S. landsailing regattas during the last ten years in NALSA Classes 2, 3 and 4, with maximum sail areas of 120, 79 and 59 square feet of sail, respectively. He has competed in the smaller classes simply by changing sail sizes.

This championship machine, however, has a unique distinction unlike any previous land yacht: it became the inspiration for a winning gravity car. In the late 1990s/early 2000s there was a high-profile charity event in Northern California's Silicon Valley called the Sand Hill Challenge. Prominent venture capital (VC) firms and high technology companies competed vigorously in a gravity-car competition down a long, steep stretch of famous Sand Hill Road. The vehicles were highly advanced and push-started by extremely fit Olympic bobsledders and other strong, fast athletes. The competition was intense.

In 2000, as Wirtanen was fine-tuning his land yacht on dry lakes, he and current North American Land Sailing Association (NALSA) President Dennis Bassano were contacted by Compaq Computer and asked to build the ultimate vehicle for the Sand Hill event. They agreed and decided that the land yacht fuselage could be the basis for a very streamlined, long, tear drop-shaped, low-drag vehicle. Using Wirtanen's mold, they made a dedicated fuselage for the gravity car. For this vehicle, however, the fuselage was reversed from its original land yacht orientation and also turned upside down. Push-started by members of the San Jose State University rugby team and piloted by a driver Compaq provided, it swept to victory in the prestigious 2001 Sand Hill Challenge.

Landsailing World Championship:

Sorry, Larry, This One's Ours
While $36 million of taxpayers' money may not have secured the America's Cup for New Zealand, a greenstone replica can be yours for a cut-price $70,000.

Te Ha o Aotearoa, a 7/8th scale replica of the cup made from solid Kahurangi pounamu, will go up for auction in Auckland at the end of the month.

The artwork, which weighs 36kg, was commissioned in 1999 by Auckland company Creativision, which had a licence to produce greenstone America's Cup products for that summer's regatta, held in Auckland.

The replica cup will go up for auction for the first time at Auckland auction house Dunbar Sloane on March 28.

Steve Black
Steve Black All the team at World Cruising Club were saddened by the announcement today of the death of Steve Black, founder of the Caribbean 1500 rally, following a long personal battle against cancer.

Steve was an inspiration to very many sailors through his long and varied career in sailing, including numerous offshore races, many of which were single-handed, and a three-year stint as executive director of the U.S. Sailing Association, based in Newport, Rhode Island. However, there is no doubt that his biggest legacy will be the Caribbean 1500 cruising rally, which first set sail in 1990, with a fleet of 50 cruising boats to make landfall in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.

Steve Black in 2011The impetus for the rally started when Steve saw that cruising sailors outnumbered offshore racing sailors, but there were virtually no organized events for cruisers. The Caribbean 1500 rally offered the chance to sail in company, combined with preparatory seminars taught by sailing experts, an SSB radio safety net at sea, and of course a great deal of fun and socializing. Always leading from the front, Steve sailed with the rally, helping to inspire and trouble-shoot the fleet at sea.

He always found time to foster personal connections, spending hours matching crew to boats, allowing those new to sailing to take experienced crew along, or placing novices onto boats with veteran skippers for mile-building. His calm manner and easygoing personality led to many firm friendships being formed over the years.

The 2014 rally will be the 25th edition of the Caribbean 1500, a fitting memorial to a man who encouraged so many cruisers to discover the delights offshore sailing.

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 Sandy Goodall: I was very fortunate to apprentice as a sailmaker under Hans, in Toronto during the late '70s.

When I finished my apprenticeship, Hans generously arranged that I could go to Denmark and work with sailmaking greats Paul Elvstrom and Poul Richard Hoj Jensen.

Hans was not only a terrific sailor, but a wonderful teacher, and he became one of my mentors and role models.

Thank you, Hans. You will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.

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The Last Word
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