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

Tale Of Two Halves Across Palma Bay
Photo by Richard Langdon/Ocean Images, Click on image for photo gallery.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia Gold fleet racing at Trofeo Princesa Sofia - ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca commenced on the third day with a mixed bag of conditions thrown out. South east winds reaching 20 knots and regular three metre swells on the race courses closest to Club Nautico s'Arenal were a strong contrast to the light fickle breeze on the race courses by C.M. San Antonio de la Playa on the other side of the bay.

The 2.4mR, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X's were unable to race due to light winds.

Racing got underway in the Men's and Women's 470, 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 with the 2.4mR, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X's unable to race due to light winds. With strong breeze present for the six classes that raced it made for an exciting and intense day of racing.

Racing resumes at 11:00 on Thursday 3 April 2014 with the Medal Races on Saturday 5 April bringing the regatta to a close.

Top three by class:

1. Helena Lucas, GBR
2. Bjornar Erikstad, NOR
3. Megan Pascoe, GBR

Men 470
1. Mathew Belcher / William Ryan, AUS
2. Sime Fantelaa / Igor Marenic, CRO
3. Lucas Calabrese / Juan de la Fuente, ARG

Women 470
1. Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA
2. Hannnah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR
3. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL

1. Peter Burling / Blaire Tuke, NZL
2. David Evans / Edward Powys, GBR
3. Diego Botin / Pablo Turrado, ESP

1. Marine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA
2. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen, DEN
3. Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth, GBR

1. Giles Scott, GBR
2. Thomas Le Breton, FRA
3. Deniss Karpak, EST

1. Robert Scheidt, BRA
2. Emil Cedergardh, SWE
3. Ashley Brunning, AUS

Laser Radial
1. Marit Bouwmeester, NED
2. Chloe Martin, GBR
3. Dongshuang Zhang, CHN

Nacra 17
1. Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA
2. Franck Cammas / Sophie de Turckheim, FRA
3. Darren Bundock / Ninna Curtis, AUS

RS:X Men
1. Pierre le Coq, FRA
2. Byron Kokalanis, GRE
3. Louis Giard, FRA

RS:X Women
1. Peina Chen, CHN
2. Charline Picon, FRA
3. Bryony Shaw, GBR

ORC Worlds 2014 Makes Class Splits
Kiel, Germany: After a careful analysis of the current fleet of over 160 entries from 18 countries, organizers from Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC) and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) have decided to divide the fleet into the following Classes for the 2014 ORC World Championship:

Class A: ≥420.0 and <550.0 sec/mi GPH

Class B: ≥550.0 and <615.0 sec/mi GPH

Class C:≥615.0 and ≤700.0 sec/mi GPH

Currently, this places approximately 30 boats in Class A, 65 boats in Class B, and 65 boats in Class C. The exact numbers will not be determined until the close of entries on July 28th, and all boats have submitted their final 2014 ORCi certificates for entry.

Dates for this event, the official ISAF Offshore World Championship, are scheduled for August 2-9, 2014.

Due to the large number of entries in Class B and Class C, and a desire to keep starting lines and race courses to a manageable size, race managers Eckart Reinke and Stefan Kunstmann have also decided to further divide these classes for the racing to be held in two separate course areas: for the first four scheduled days of racing the entries in each of two groups from Class B and Class C will be racing each other, and results will be used to determine a final Gold and Silver group in each class.

Gold group competitors in each class will thus be competing for the overall Championship trophies. A similar scheme was used successfully in the very large Class B fleet at the 2012 Audi ORCi World Championship in Helsinki.

Hudson Wight HW1s Are Put Through Their Paces
Hudson Wight "In summary, I would now without hesitation consider the Hudson Wight Jacket & Salopettes (HW1s) as my first choice; indeed I feel strongly enough about the significant increase in effectiveness that I find myself regularly evangelising about this new brand and its future in the sailing marketplace." -- Norrie Forster (Delivery Skipper and RYA Yachtmaster Instructor)

Weather range: F1 - F7/Sea states: Slight - Rough/Sailing for over 80% of 850nm passage.

Suit performance: Ease of donning/removal - The suit is remarkably straightforward to fit, even with multiple layers. The finish on the inside enabled it to slip on even over fairly bulky layers with ease.

Waterproof effectiveness: I used the suit in extremes of sailing weather from flat calm to gusts nearing 40knots at one juncture. Having been drenched in 'green water' from waves to an incredibly heavy conventional downpour/thunderstorm on approaches to Falmouth for an hour, I can without any hesitation say the Hudson Wight suit performed faultlessly.

Perspiration retention: Most impressively, I have had no occasion where I have noted ANY dampness on my inner layers or the suit as a result of perspiration. This is significant since I have always noted and come to expect some amounts of perspiration, especially after a passage where there has been a lot of beating to wind or, sail/sheet management throughout rough weather sailing.

Read Norrie's no-holes-barred report here:

For details of products, OceanVent technical fabric and pricing details, visit:

Fireball Worlds
Pattaya, Thailand: After two days of racing the leader board has a familiar ring to it - a British crew is sitting on top of the pile, though there is a health warning with this report - the results (as they stand) are subject to a gear weight confirmation.

Day 1 of the Worlds saw wind strengths of the order of 8 - 12 knots, but enough to allow the pumping flag to be flown. This seemingly took its toll on a lot of the crews but this correspondent can't imagine that Sam Brearey was afflicted given all the gym photos he was posting to Facebook in advance of the event. Birrell and Brearey took both races to register the perfect score for the day.

Day 2 saw ten knots of breeze and glorious sunshine! However, the wind was shifty with 15 degree shits at the bottom of the course and 20 degree shifts at the top. Some of the bigger crews - Messrs Egli and Nouel (Canada and French) found these conditions testing! The windward legs saw the fleet sailing against an adverse tide resulting in lots of effort being expended to keep the boats moving.

Recovery in the surf conditions was aided by the RVYC boat boys which prevented further draining of energy levels and prompting an adjournment to the RVYC verandah for some recovering beverages.

Fireball Worlds top five after 2 days of racing

1. Nathan Batchelor & Sam Pascoe, GBR, 10.0 points
2. Heather McFarlane & Chris Payne, AUS, 14.0
3. Ben Schulz & Doug Sheppard, AUS, 14.0
4. Greg Allison & Allen Blenkle, AUS, 19.0
5. Thomas Gordon & Jack Fletcher , AUS, 21.0

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston Returns To Solo Ocean Racing
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, will return to his solo ocean racing roots this November when he takes part in French single-handed classic, the Route de Rhum on his Open 60 entry, Grey Power.

The founder of the Clipper Race and first ever man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69, will compete in the tenth anniversary edition of the 3,500 mile Transatlantic rac. from St Malo, France which starts on 2 November 2014.

Knox-Johnston last did this race in 1982 in his 70-foot catamaran Olympus, better known as Sea Falcon. He is the oldest participant entered so far at the age of 75.

The first edition of the race in 1978 was won by Canadian Mike Birch after a nail biting finish but was marred by the disappearance of French sailor, Alain Colas, who was lost at sea.

The 2014 race is open to mono and multihull boats across four classes with almost 80 entrants. Sir Robin will be racing in the Rhum class and will start serious practice once the current Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finishes in July.

Knox-Johnston will celebrate the 45th anniversary of his inaugural circumnavigation on April 22 2014. The voyage took 312 days.

Welcome To Stockholm and the AF Offshore Race
Photo by Oskar Kihlborg, Click on image for photo gallery.

AF Offshore Race Starting in downtown Stockholm on Sunday 29th of June and racing through the archipelago via Sandhamn and Round Gotland. Finish and prize giving ceremony at Sandhamn on Wednesday 2nd of July.

A couple of years ago we made a big change when renaming the raceAF Offshore Race and moving it to the center of Stockholm. You are very welcome to join us as participant or spectator, ashore or in a boat somewhere along the course in the archipelago. The event area is open for the public and participants from Thursday June 26th.

Offshore racers measured in ORC Int or SRS are welcome. ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, Category 3 Monohulls with life raft will apply.

Start in the center of Stockholm, close to Kastellholmen, via Sandhamn and round Gotland with finish in Sandhamn. Approximate length of course is 350 Nm.

Prizes: Perpetual trophies and KSSS prizes in each class. Official speed records: 14,38 knots for multihull and 10,88 for monohull, registered at ISAF World Sailing Speed Record Council

Classic Yachts are invited to race from Stockholm via Sandhamn to Visby and back on a course with an approximate length of 260 Nm.

Classic Yachts are defined as boats built before 31st of December 1967 and remaining mainly conformal to her original plans. Alternatively a replica built anytime, which is built in conformity with, or is a copy of an existing boat, or according to an original one off design prior to 31st of December 1967. Race Committee decides if a boat is allowed to enter as a Classic Yacht.

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

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Corrosion is blamed for Bernard Stamm's near-sinking, Charles Caudrelier gets the Dongfeng call, two-handed round New Zealand, why Chris Nicholson can't wait for the 2014 Volvo to begin and Ken Read is voting 'two-hull'. Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Carlos Pich, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier

A new twist...
Southern Spars' new headsail furling system is lighter and it also furls faster. Scott Vogel

Paul Cayard
And it's great to be sailboat racing once again

The genesis of a mad idea - Part 1
Jocelyn Bleriot celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Trophee Jules Verne

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

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Global Ocean Race Moves With The Times
Organisers of the Global Ocean Race announced some significant changes to their event today. In response to a clear demand from potential entrants to shorten the event's overall timespan and further reduce the costs of competing in the GOR, an exciting and challenging new format has been created. In addition, to provide more time for prospective entries to line up on the race start line, the event has been postponed for one calendar year to September 2015.

"Whilst the Global Ocean Race is already the most cost-effective competitive round-the-world race, we have consistently been asked by sailors to make it even more so and to reduce the time the event takes," explains Josh Hall, GOR Race Director. "As a predominantly owner-driver event we appreciate these desires and want the race to evolve into a popular format. Therefore, we have decided to strip out all of the time and cost-intensive stopovers except for one - Auckland," confirms Hall.

"We know from previous GOR's that the boats are perfectly capable of longer legs from a reliability perspective," Hall continues. "So the next GOR will have just two legs reducing race duration to less than six months and saving each race project an average of 50,000 Euros. This new format certainly increases the challenge for the sailors which in turn, we believe, will increase its following," says Hall.

To ensure that existing and potential entries have sufficient time to prepare for this new format, it has been decided to postpone the race start to September 2015. The re-vamped GOR will be open to solo and double-handed entrants and the event already has a healthy list of international sailors keen to compete.

Race Start Southampton, UK, September 2015
Stopover The Waterfront, Auckland estimated dates December 15th 2015 - Mid January 2016
Race Finish Portsmouth Harbour, UK, ETA end of March 2016

The Friendship Route
At a special launch night this Monday in Paris, Francis Joyon, skipper of the IDEC maxi trimaran, took another step forward towards the Friendship Route, the ocean crossing record between Bordeaux and Rio de Janeiro. This brand new route across the Atlantic has brought together many famous people offering their support to the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (the ICM). All of these French and Brazilian ambassadors have signed or will be signing the Sail of Hope, which will be a symbol of Franco-Brazilian friendship and will be leading the way to Brazil. For Francis Joyon, the clock is ticking, as he will be going on stand-by in Bordeaux from Friday 4th April.

Clearly, Francis will have a lot of support as he attempts this latest record, as he will be flying the Sail of Hope. Many footballers, including the whole of the 2014 French football team, led by their manager Didier Deschamps, teams from the League, including the Olympique de Marseille, OGC Nice, AS Saint-Etienne, Montpellier HSC, and the Olympique Lyonnais have already signed it, 1998 world football champion Franck Leboeuf, the former manager of the French team, Michel Hidalgo, the producer, Dominique Besnehard and the triple paralympic medallist, Marie-Amelie Le Fur. This prestigious symbol of Franco-Brazilian friendship will then be auctioned for charity at the end of 2014 at a special gala evening in Paris. All of the profits will be handed over to charities and the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute.

After a delivery trip from his home port of la Trinite-sur-Mer (Morbihan), the sailor will be putting on a show in Bordeaux. Leading up to the start of the Friendship Route, the big red trimaran will be sailing under the Chaban-Delmas Bridge at 10 o'clock on Friday 4th April. Then, Francis Joyon will come alongside the pontoon in front of the Place de la Bourse. At 1100hrs, the Girondins de Bordeaux football team will be signing the Sail of Hope with other celebrities. This will mark the start of the official stand-by period. Francis will wait for a weather opportunity before setting sail for Rio.

ISAF Confirms New Strategy for the ISAF Sailing World Cup
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has confirmed plans for the future of the ISAF Sailing World Cup and the appointment of John Craig to the new position of Head of the ISAF Sailing World Cup to deliver the strategy.

The Grand Final will bring together the top 20 boats in each Olympic event at a four day regatta, providing them with an annual challenge to compete against the best of the best for the crown of ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion and the ISAF Sailing World Cup prize purse.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup gives ISAF, MNAs, sailors and sponsors the benefits of a high-profile annual regatta series, culminating in the live finale at the Grand Final.

In order to implement ISAFs commercial strategy for the ISAF Sailing World Cup and the Grand Final, ISAF has appointed John Craig to a new role as Head of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Craig, a renowned International Race Officer joined the ISAF Secretariat on 1 April 2014.

The first ISAF Sailing World Cup Grand Final will take place in December 2014 in the Middle East.

Qualification for the 2014 Grand Final will be based on results at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships, 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and the ISAF World Sailing Rankings released on 22 September 2014.

The number of boats in each event will be either 15 or 20. Prize money and shipping support will be provided by the organizers.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2009 Reichel/Pugh IRC 52. $695,000 USD. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

This Reichel/Pugh designed Southern Cross 52 was built by Davie Norris Boatbuilders - NZL as a semi-custom IRC racer. The Southern Cross 52 is similar in design concept to the Transpac 52 but incorporates interior conveniences such as a proper galley, enclosed head, comfortable berths, and a wood cabin sole presenting a more finished interior. The Southern Cross 52's additional freeboard and deck house provide substantially more interior volume and comfort when compared to the TP52. The deck layout is designed for racing and versatility, especially offshore and features a large open cockpit with linked pedestal grinders for the primary and mainsheet winches.

Contact: Ian Gordon
T. +1 410 267 6550
M. +1 443 994 3978
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The Last Word
There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made. -- Richard Feynman

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