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

New 'Navigators Race Series' Added To Onion Patch
Hamilton Bermuda: As the three-event Onion Patch Series turns 50 this summer, organizers have decided to add a new, more relaxed Navigators Race Series format for the 25th running of the traditional series. The new series for more cruiser oriented race programs will be scored with ORR ratings. The traditional series raced for the Onion Patch Trophy and Henry B. DuPont Trophy will continue to be scored under IRC.

The new Navigators Race Series will allow those skippers not interested in racing intense windward-leeward courses in the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta or not interested in racing on a Great Sound course with the professional grand prix boats and more intense racers in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Anniversary Regatta to sail separate scenic and fun "round the buoys" races in their own series.

One Navigators Race will be scheduled each day for the June 14-15 NYYC Annual Regatta in Newport RI. The group will then sail to Bermuda in their regular Bermuda Race divisions and be scored against each other as an overlay event. On Friday June 27th, they will sail one race in the RBYC Anniversary Regatta around a scenic course following the start of the last regular Onion Patch Series Anniversary Regatta race.

ORR Scoring will be used in Newport and in Bermuda for 'Navigators', so all yachts in the Newport Bermuda Race, which uses that system for all divisions, will be eligible. The traditional Onion Patch Series races under IRC ratings, so only the Newport Bermuda's Gibbs Hill and St. David's Division's IRC entries may compete for those prizes. See www.onionpatchseries.com

The new series will have its own prizes for performance in the events and for the series. The top series prize will be dedicated to the late Richard "Dick" Kempe who was instrumental in establishing the Cruiser Division of the Newport Bermuda Race in 1990.

"We began planning for this new series last fall," said series Chairman and past RBYC Commodore Brian Billings. "We had been talking about adding a fun-style race for boats in Royal Bermuda's Anniversary Regatta. We wanted to do an event for our foreign friends that would get them out sailing locally and allow them to experience more of what Bermuda has to offer cruising sailors."

"With the help of past Newport Bermuda Chairman John Winder," Billings noted, "we approached the NYYC race committee with the idea. John had been discussing their use of ORR for two round the buoys races in their regatta. Steve Benjamin of NYYC supported the idea. So here we are 4 months later with a new addition to a historic series."

"Our initial goal was to have 50 boats in the Onion Patch Series," Billings added. "Maybe with this new Navigators Race series we should target for 75 boats. And remember, if you can't make the whole series, you can still sail these fun Navigator Race courses in Newport or Bermuda."

Of course, to race the Onion Patch Series boats must race to Bermuda. The deadline for entry in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race (without a potential late entry time penalty) is April 1st. Enter now at the race portal: bermudarace.com/entry/race-entry-portal/

Separate entry in the NYYC Annual Regatta, the RBYC Anniversary Regatta and the Series will be from the NYYC web site.

Lymington To Host 2014 Edinburgh Cup
The 2014 Edinburgh Cup for the Open British Dragon Championship, to be hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club from 5-11 July, will see both a return to a more traditional Edinburgh Cup format and the introduction of an exciting new additional race series.

Racing will take place on full championship courses in open water with minimal tidal influence. Courses will be laid in Christchurch Bay with the option to race in the more sheltered Western Solent in the event of poor weather. Boats will be moored on marina pontoon berths and entry includes launching and recovery (there will be a discounted rate for boats sailing to the event and not requiring launching/recovery).

Alongside the formal Edinburgh Cup racing, which will incorporate the Corinthian competition for all amateur crews, there will also be the traditional Crews' Race and an optional second handicap racing series, entitled the Chairman's Decanter, featuring three races in which everyone has a chance to win. The handicap system will favour older boats, and penalise boats with professionals and helms that have done well in previous Edinburgh Cup and International races. The helm in the Chairman's Decanter series can be different from that in the Edinburgh Cup giving a chance for other crew members to "have a go".

The Notices of Race for both the Edinburgh Cup and the Chairman's Decanter are now available online and the entry system will open shortly.

www.edinburghcup.org

Audi tron Sailing Series
Naples, Porto Ercole, Talamone, Riva del Garda and Genoa: these are the hosting cities of the 2014 Audi tron Sailing Series, the first environmentally-friendly sailing circuit taking place from April to December dedicated to the Audi Melges 20 and the Melges 32 boats created and managed by sportmarketing agency B.Plan Sport&Events.

This year the Audi Sailing Series will be taking the name of Audi tron Sailing Series, whilst the Audi Italia Sailing Team boats will be named as follow: Audi tron the Melges 24 the Audi Melges 20 will become Audi g-tron and the Melges 32 will become Audi e-tron.

The increasing attention to environment of the Audi tron Sailing Series has also given birth to a new partnership between B.Plan Sport&Events (BPSE) and the German company Torqeedo, specialised in electric outboard engines that will be used on all competing Audi Melges 20 and Melges 32 boats, making the Audi tron Sailing Series the first environmentally-friendly sailing circuit.

Fleets will be making their own debut in Naples, hosted by the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia (CRVI). At the Napolitan city the whole fleet will be starting off competing beginning of April (5-6 April the Audi Melges 20, 11-13 April the Melges 32).

Porto Ercole will be hosting the second act. At the Argentario regattas will be taking place in May (10-11 with the Audi Melges 20, 16-18 the Melges 32) at the Circolo Nautico e della Vela Argentario (CNVA).

Act 3 will be set very close to Porto Ercole precisely in Talamone, absolute new venue for the Audi Sailing Series happening 31 May - 1 June with the Audi Melges 20 and 6 - 8 June the Melges 32 at the Circolo della Vela Talamone (CVT).

The Garda Lake act will be the most appreciated of all. This year BPSE has chosen the Fraglia Vela Riva (FVR) Yacht Club as hosting partner, racings will be kicking off 12-13 July with the Audi Melges 20, while Melges 32 on 17-20 July competing on the Benaco lake side for the European title.

The Audi Melges 20 will be competing on the Garda until the end of August (25-30) with the Audi Melges 20 World Championship. Valid as the last act of the Audi Sailing Series, the world championship dedicated to the small boats of the Melges, is one of the most important event of the international sailing calendar and should call for more than fifty teams.

The Melges 32 will be completing their Mediterranean racing season during the international Boat Show in Genoa happening 3-5 October.

www.audisailingseries.com

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

Garmin Summer Series Launched
Garmin, in conjunction with SailRacer, the sailing data and events specialists, are delighted to announce the launch of the Garmin Summer Series. Five venues, spread around the UK, are signed up for the 2014 Series which runs from May to the end of August.

All of the events will feature media coverage with SailRacer's GPS tracking services, now with the ability to integrate onboard footage using the new Garmin VIRB Elite action camera. Each venue will be presenting a Garmin VIRB Elite to the overall winner of their event - or to a lower placed team at their discretion if the first placed has already won a VIRB at a previous event.

Class representatives are welcome to contact the organisers to include one, or all of the events within their own summer schedule. SailRacer can extract results from overall series results and will produce individual class leader boards for followers throughout the season.

Dates and venues for the Garmin Summer Series 2014 events, also supported by Gul and Trident, are:

Carsington Summer Trophy - Sunday 11 May
Datchet Summer Flyer - 31 May & 1 June
Oxford Summertime Blue - Saturday 21 June
The Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy - 5 & 6 July
GJW Direct SailFest 14, Calshot - 23 to 25 August

garmin.sailracer.org

America's Cup: No Defender Series
The America's Cup defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club, does not intend to hold a defender series to select the team to represent the club in the 35th America's Cup. This information was disclosed in a document recently submitted to the New York State Supreme Court.

Historically, it is the discretion of the defending club as to how they select their representative. The Protocol for the 34th America's Cup did include a provision for there to be a defender series, but only the Larry Ellison owned Oracle Team USA was submitted as a defense candidate.

The Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, which will define all the terms for the event, has not yet been released.

www.sailingscuttlebutt.com

Document (PDF)

Deb and Molly Update
Exciting sailing news from Debbie Cappozzi and Molly Vandemoer! Since January of this year Deb and I have been sailing the 49erFX together. Deb is skippering and I am back in the front of the boat crewing. We both decided with our love of sailing and Olympic skills we would make a dynamic team. I am particularly excited for this pairing because as crews, we live in the shadows of our skippers in the sailing world. This campaign will shine light on the unspoken ability of the team behind the name. It will empower those that tend to not have a voice and will inspire youth, especially women, to follow their dreams.

We have put in a total of 25 days in the past two months to help us fast track on the road to Rio. We are confident that our sailing knowledge, experience, work ethic and drive will get us there. Visit our website debandmolly2016 to find out more.

We are currently in Palma de Mallorca, Spain for the next stop of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. We are training for a week with our US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider teammates and then we will compete in the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia regatta. We are really excited to sail against the international girls and see how we match up.

www.debandmolly2016.com

Industry News
An award-winning superyacht exporter has been forced to axe more than 70 jobs and is blaming the Government for failing to take action against the strong NZ dollar.

Henderson-based Alloy Yachts' workforce has plunged from 330 to 225 since September because of lay-offs and resignations and it warns of more redundancies if business does not improve.

Marketing manager Linda Berry said global superyacht orders had shrunk considerably in recent years and the Government had failed to take any action against the high Kiwi dollar, which makes local boatbuilders less competitive compared with their overseas rivals.

"With a very high New Zealand dollar, its continued rise and a Government that is doing nothing to alleviate the situation we are finding it very challenging to compete against European and American shipyards."

www.nzherald.co.nz

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Cowes Week Limited (CWL) is delighted to welcome Laithwaite's Wine to join its family of sponsors as the Official Wine and Champagne Sponsor of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, for an initial two year term.

As part of the sponsorship deal, Laithwaite's will establish a Wine Corner enabling those connected with the Regatta to enjoy great wine deals throughout the year. During the event itself (2-9 August), Laithwaite's will create a wine garden in Cowes Yacht Haven for visitors and competitors to relax with a glass (or bottle) of wine or Champagne after a day's racing, they will also have a wine 'hub' on The Parade where visitors can sample wine and take part in tutored tastings.

A range of Laithwaite's wine, sparkling wine, and Champagne products will be available during the regatta, which takes place 2 - 9 August 2014.

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Beneteau has appointed Francois Rodrigues as international sales manager. He was previously general manager of Beneteau Asia/Pacific

https://plus.ibinews.com

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The Malta Transport Authority breached yacht owners' fundamental human right to enjoyment of their property when it changed permanent berthing contracts at the Ta' Xbiex Yacht Marina to annual ones, a court ruled yesterday.

Mr Justice Joseph Zammit McKeon delivered this judgment following a constitutional application filed by 19 yacht owners against the authority.

They told the court that for many years they had berthed their yachts at the marina on the basis of a rental agreement against a reasonable annual berthing fee. But in 2011 the authority told them that the terms and conditions of their berthing agreements would change and that they were obliged to enter into a new contract.

The yacht owners told the court the new contracts were prejudicial to their interests. The previous contracts all stated that the berthing agreement was permanent and their rental receipts also included the term that the rent was permanent.

In the new proposed agreement, the berthing was on an annual basis and the berthing fees were to increase substantially.

The owners added the enforcement of this new agreement was in violation of their property rights as they contended that the rights they enjoyed in respect of berthing were property rights subject to protection.

In yesterday's judgment Mr Justice Zammit McKeon agreed with the yacht owners and declared that the rights they had acquired in terms of their original berthing agreements were property rights subject to human rights' protection. The state was bound to ensure that the individual had peaceful enjoyment of his or her property.

www.timesofmalta.com

Andre Raoult
It is with great sadness that ISAF reports that Andre Raoult has passed away, aged 70.

Andre slipped away from us all in Marseille, France at 20.30 on Thursday 20 March 2014. Andre died of cancer. On behalf of each one of you I have conveyed our deepest condolences and love and respect to Andre's wife Linda and all their family on this very sad occasion.

Andre the sailor, Andre the coach, Andre the instructor, Andre the international Judge, Andre the mentor and Andre the friend. These amazing capacities, personal resources and living images are in themselves a staggering sign of the intensity, completeness and success of Andre's life.

From Andre's Brittany boyhood to Africa, to French Polynesia, to Cook Islands and the Pacific Islands and countries of Oceania to the very last days of his life in Oceania all were so fully engaged with the ocean and sailing that it was only in February this year while Andre and Linda were in Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand at the 2014 A-Class Catamaran World Championships as an International Judge that he learned the news that he had cancer.

One of the last activities as our President of Oceania Sailing Federation was that Andre completed and presented his OSAF Annual Report for 2013 and this was finalised just two weeks ago. Much of the considerable work achieved in 2013 and indeed over the last 10 years since our first meeting in Suva Fiji in 2003 is through the vision and commitment of our President. -- John Tierney

www.sailing.org/news/37581.php

Featured Brokerage
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The Last Word
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. -- Thomas Paine

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