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

49er Class Pushes For Theatre Style Conclusion In Rio
Independent statistical analysis and anecdotal accounts confirm that having three shorter races, instead of one longer race, increases the likelihood that the best sailors will win the regatta.

Experience with format trials over the last 18 months indicate that whatever format is used, it must embrace sailing's long and rich history of rewarding consistency. Running multiple final races embraces and exceeds this objective.

Data scientist Christopher Ronnewinkel performed a statistical analysis of sailing in 2013 for one of the 49er class sponsors. Among his key findings: a shorter race is fairer than a longer race and less susceptible to random events. "When comparing the case of a single, long-race regatta with a three short-races regatta, we come to the following conclusions:

For the same randomness, a single long-race regatta shows lower fairness then a three short-races regatta. A single long race encounters more random events and shows lower fairness than a single short race."

His conclusion: "In total, a three short-races regatta will show higher fairness then a single long-race regatta."

At the formal class Annual General Meeting, 87 percent voted in favor of three races and the Theatre Style format. A night earlier, at an open forum of all class members at the 2013 World Championship, a show of hands indicated 80 percent support of the membership.

49er.org/blog/

J/24 North American Championship
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico: Mike Ingham of the United States jumped out to the initial advantage on day one of the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico. Sailing Digger with current J/24 World Champion Tim Healy on board, Ingham placed within the top three in each of Tuesday's three contests (1,2,3) for 6 points thus far. Ian Ilsley's Jobbit of Monaco is just three points back in second place, and previous J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil on Bruschetta is in third with 16 points.

Conditions in the Riviera Nayarit were beautiful as expected for the 37 competitors from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States. Under blue skies with warm temperatures, winds began around 8-10 knots when Ingham won the opening race. Jeronimo Landauer's JJONE of Germany followed in second, and Santa Cruz in third. Breezes increased to 10-12 knots with gusts to 14 in the next battle when the USA's Tony Parker helmed Bangor Packet to first, while Ingham and Ilsley completed the top three. Winds returned to around 8 knots in the day's final bout. Ilsley snatched the bullet, with Javier Valasquez Robinson's Trinquete of Mexico in the runner-up spot, and then Ingham.

Racing continues through Sunday. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier.

j24mex.com/nac2014_copamexico/

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

Dorade, Sinn Fein, Bella Mente, and Spirit Of Bermuda
With two weeks to go before Applications for Entry close on April 1st for the 49th Newport Bermuda Race, 158 boats have filed Applications for Entry. Many boats long identified with the race are coming back, and there is an enthusiastic response from first-time skippers, who make up 20 percent of the total.

The variety of entries is notable. Among the returnees are 2006 and 2008 St. David's Lighthouse Division winner Pete Rebovich with his family crew in Sinn Fein. Remarkably, the nearly 50-year-old Cal 40 was almost entirely destroyed in superstorm Sandy in 2012, but she's been rebuilt and will be on the starting line on June 20. The famous Classic wooden 52' yawl Dorade, built in 1929 for designer Olin Stephens, returns under owner Matt Brooks. Last year Dorade won the Transpac Race in the Pacific Ocean.

Rives Potts' 2010 and 2012 St. David's winner Carina and Hap Fauth's perennial Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division contender and elapsed time top finisher Bella Mente will be at the starting line. Kodiak, winner of the big boat class in St. David's in 2012 under skipper Llwyd Ecclestone, is also racing.

Spirit of Bermuda, owne. by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation and modeled on 19th century Bermudan commercial ships, will race again. In 2012, sailing with a crew of Bermuda youngsters, she was awarded a special seamanship award for her efforts to assist another racing boat that was in trouble.

Applications for Entry are due by 1700 hours, April 1, after which applicants may incur a time penalty.

BermudaRace.com

No Sponsor But Record Number Of Entries
In spite of the financial problems caused by the loss of the main sponsor only a few weeks ago the 45 Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta is about to become a record edition.

Only two weeks to go to the start of the Majorcan regatta, to be held in the bay of Palma from 29th March to 5th April, a large number of entries have been received to confirm the Princesa Sofia as a must do event in the calendar of sailors from all around the world.

With entries still open in some classes and increasing day after day, the 45th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, next to last stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, has 623 boats entered which add to a total of 882 sailors from 55 nations.

High participation in classes Laser, Finn and Nacra 17. With 70 boats entered, the Nacra 17 fleet, the new mixed multihull class, is a big surprise.

Furthermore, all Olympic classes will be present this year in the bay of Palma as it happened last year following some editions in which some class was missing due to a clash in the calendar with its Class event. The 2.4mR Paralympic class will also come again to Mallorca with a new venue at Real Club Náutico de Palma.

"We are very satisfied with the number and quality of entries received this year at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia explains Ferran Muniesa, Race Manager. We have gone through very tough weeks following the loss of our main sponsor, to whom we are grateful for their six-year sponsorship. The number of participants gives us the energy to continue working to deliver one of the best editions ever and confirms we are the favourite event for all sailors".

The Sofia is the starting gun of the European calendar. It is also the next to last stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, following the event in Asia (Qingdao, China), Oceania (Melbourne, Australia) and America (Miami, United States). The next and last stop will be the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, in France at the end of April. From that moment, all teams will focus on the ISAF Sailing World Championships to be held in Santander in September, an event to decide half of the nation slots for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

afloat.ie

OK Dinghy Winters
It was not exactly typical British winter weather as 20 sailors rigged their boats under brilliant blue skies for the 2014 OK Dinghy Winter Championship at Ardleigh Sailing Club in Essex. The fleet dusted off the winter rust in spring like conditions with three furious races sailed in a testing 15-16 knot breeze, with three former national champions and two former world champions complementing some new members to the class. Nick Craig dominated the day winning all three races, but he was made to work for it.

After a break for a two course lunch, included in the £10 entry fee, the final race started with a few sailors staying ashore. Fish had miraculously survived the day with no capsizes,nothing broken and had not even lost his spectacles, so decided to quit while he was ahead. Also Cox lent his Synergy Marine works boat to former national Champion Lee Child to try out, though he already has one on order.

The OK Dinghy Winter Championship has been running for about eight years now and this year the class was delighted to be able to offer a perpetual trophy for the first time, a half model of an OK Dinghy donated by Synergy Marine.

The 2014 Nationals is also being held on the East Coast, at Dabchicks Sailing Club on West Mersea in August. All early entries (before May 18 at the East Coast Championship at Brightlingsea Sailing Club) will go in a prize draw, the star prize of which is a new Synergy Marine rudder. Other prizes will be announced later.

A video of the day was also made and can be seen here: http://youtu.be/PFht7rrFBjA

Top five:
1. Nick Craig, GBR
2. Jim Hunt, GBR
3. Robert Deaves, GBR
4. Lee Child, GBR
5. Simon Cox, GBR

okdia.org

Match Race Thailand Championship
Pattaya, Thailand: In near perfect sailing conditions 11 international teams prepared to race, each team vying for the title and all important ranking points at The Kingdom Property Match Race Thailand Championships.

Spectators were treated with a wealth of top name skippers including Bjorn Hansen of Sweden ranked World #3 and other top match racers from Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, India and Thailand. The organizers supplied well suited boats, identically matched Platu 25 class yachts.

A round robin series with 55 sailing matches was completed on the first two days with each skipper racing against each other to decide the rankings before the semi-finals.

Koo was to race against Liu in the first final. After Koo's impressive round robin result he was the favourite however Liu put in a strong performance beating Koo 2-0 to reach the final.

The second semi-final between Soh and Park was a much tighter affair with each skipper winning a race of the best of three semi-final. In the final race Soh won the pre-start to round each mark in first position, ultimately securing his spot in the final.

A grudge match race awaited in the finals between two very competitive Singaporean teams, Soh and the younger Liu in a best of three series. In a dying wind, the more experienced match racer Soh got the better of his compatriot winning the final 2-0 and ultimately taking the title.

Final rankings:
1. Maximilian Soh, SIN
2. Justin Liu, SIN
3. Gunwoo Park, KOR
4. Jeremy Koo, MAS
5. Jon Eriksson, FIN
6. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
7. Denise Lim, SIN
8. Morten Jakobsen, THA
9. Don Whitcraft, THA
10. Ayaz Shaikh, IND
11. Mati Sepp, EST

ISAF: sailing.org

Snipe European Championship
For the first time in the history of the European Snipe the European Championship will be an open Championship. The regatta will take the form of two separate competitions: for the regatta winner and for the best European competitor. The organizers have taken lots of efforts to acquire numerous sponsors to make the event attractive, but also great involvement of the authorities of the Zachodniopomorskie Province and the mayor of Kamień Pomorski. Each day the sport events will be accompanied by a rich artistic program with performances of folk groups and local stars.

www.eurosnipe2014.com

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Bob Oatley (AUS)
‘Bob has done so much for sailing in Australia and supported so many talented sailors that he definitely deserves this award’ - Jon Roberson. Oatley is best known as owner of a string of Wild Oats, but in Australia he is equally regarded for a great deal of behind the scenes effort to support emerging talent. His family is also keen on innovation, witness the multiple-appendage configuration of Wild Oats XI and the rotating keel Reichel-Pugh design launched two years ago. Sailing technology needs more Oatleys!

This month's nominees:


Glenn Ashby (AUS)
Competing against one of the toughest fleets on record and with no room for mistakes following a race retirement with a rudder failure, Ashby secured his eighth A-Class world title in Takapuna in February... to bring to 15 his total of world championship victories in multihulls. No wonder Grant Dalton was rather keen to re-sign the prodigiously successful Aussie to his very Kiwi Cup team


Seve Jarvin (AUS)
He’s now won the Australian 18ft Skiff championship six times, once as sheet hand and five times as skipper of Gotta Love It 7. And with five consecutive JJ Giltinan wins also under his belt Jarvin’s about to challenge Iain Murray’s all-time record of six wins in a row between 1977 and 1982. Jarvin is also racing the Extreme Sailing Series. Surely a phone call from the organisers of the next Aussie AC challenge is only a matter of time..


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

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

Is Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) The Most Effective Sailing Organisation In The World?
In a quietly but relentlessly forward-moving society like south Dublin, some boats inevitably fall by the wayside, and for wooden racing boats in Dun Laoghaire, size seems to be crucial for survival. The Water Wags may thrive, but the Mermaids - three feet longer - require that little bit of extra work, that final additional straw of shoreside man-handling which breaks the camel's back.

As for the Dublin Bay 21s and 25s and 24s, they're long gone. Whether the old 21s, mouldering in a Wicklow farmyard, ever sail again is a moot point. But it's still possible that their newer bigger sisters, the Dublin Bay 24s, will sail again as pampered toys known as Royal Alfred 38s in the South of France.

There's a considerable irony in this, as the pioneering 24s - boats conceived as slightly beefier seagoing Six Metres - were first suggested at a committee meeting of the Royal Alfred YC in 1934. It was a good idea, but the RAYC could carry it no further, so by the late 1930s they'd become the Dublin Bay 24s, and six were being built. World War II from 1939 to 1945 then interrupted their progress, but in 1947 the new Dublin Bay 24s made their debut, and they re-confirmed Dublin Bay SC in its pre-eminent role. They were brilliant boats for racing in the bay and at East Coast regattas, they could cut the mustard in RORC Racing (one of them won the RORC's Morecambe Bay race overall when it went through a gale in 1964), and they were superb fast cruisers, picking up several major ICC awards.

Yet the fact that the 24s are long gone from Dublin Bay is just the way it is. Life moves on, situations change, and DBSC - in successfully reflecting the sailing environment in which it functions - is in its understated way a genuine power in sailing, a thoroughly good thing.

It achieves this through a code of volunteerism which would be emulated by many other organisations, if only they knew the secret of the secret ingredient. It's difficult to pin it down, but the underlying DBSC ethos is found in all the memberships of the Dun Laoghaire clubs. But not necessarily in all the members. Serving Dublin Bay SC is a high calling, a vocation given only to a special few. And the people who run it are a band of brothers and sisters, who also happen to be the best of friends. The Code of the Bay is something that becomes elusive as you try to analyse it, so let's just be happy to enjoy it, savouring the wonderful sport provided by this extraordinary organisation for thousands of sailors in boats of every type. -- WM Nixon, full editorial in Afloat magazine:

afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/

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

The Last Word
I say whatever's on my mind...and a few things that aren't. -- Stephen Colbert

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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