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

Williams Early Co-Leader As Swinton Works Into The Picture
There were no perfect days as Stage Two of the Congressional Cup got under way Wednesday. Taylor Canfield, speaking for all said afterward, "We're still dusting a little rust off. We haven't sailed together with our crews in five months."

That might partly explain why the top-ranked match racer in the world is in a three-way tie for third place with three wins in his first five matches, behind early leaders Ian Williams of the UK and Australia's Keith Swinton, each at 4-1 following opening tests of the first round-robin.

Thirteen more flights remain on the Long Beach outer harbor over the next three days to determine the four semifinalists who will mix it up Sunday.

Racing is scheduled to start daily at 11:30 a.m., conditions permitting. -- Rich Roberts

Standings after 5 of 18 flights

1. Tie between Ian Williams, UK, and Keith Swinton, Australia, 4-1
3. tie among Mathieu Richard, France; Dave Perry, U.S., Francesco Bruni, Italy, and Taylor Canfield, USVI, 3-2
7. Phil Robertson, New Zealand, 2-3
8. tie among Simone Ferrarese, Italy; Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, and Scott Dickson, U.S., 1-4

www.thecongressionalcup.com

Strong Line-Up For The Transat AG2R La Mondiale
The great and the good of French shorthanded offshore racing set off on the Transat AG2R La Mondiale today, including an unprecidented number of past winners and a large number of the 'old guard' including Roland Jourdain, Michel Desjoyeaux, Kito de Pavant and Jean le Cam.

This is the 12th running of the Figaro class' biennial doublehanded race from Concarneau to St Barts - course of 3890 miles - and among the 15 teams entered, there are eight former and four winners of La Solitaire du Figaro.

The past Transat AG2R winners competing this time are: Michel Desjoyeaux (1992), Jean Le Cam (1994), Roland Jourdain (1994), Kito de Pavant (2006), Laurent Pellecuer (2008), Fabien Delahaye (2010 ), Gildas Morvan and Charlie Dalin (2012). (The only ever double winner of the race has been Armel Le Cleac'h - in 2006 and 2010.)

One of the interesting aspects of this race to watch will be how the new guard fares against the old. Many of the experienced hands are racing with young blades, such as MichDes with Corentin Horeau on Bretagne-Credit Mutuel Performance and Roland Jourdain with the young Martin Pope on La Cornouaille and former Groupe Bel IMOCA 60 skipper of Solitaire winner Kito de Pavant with Gwen Gbick on Made in Midi. The wily Jean le Cam is sailing with experienced Figaro sailor Gildas Mahe on Interface Concept. -- James Boyd in TheDailySail.com

Top ten at 10/04/2014 05h00

1. Made In Midi, Gwenael Gbick / Kito De Pavant, 3129.1 nm to finish
2. 30 Corsaires, Alexia Barrier / Laurent Pellecuer, 0.69 nm to leader
3. Skipper Macif, Fabien Delahaye / Yoann Richomme, 1.68
4. Safran - Guy Cotten, Gwenole Gahinet / Paul Meilhat, 2.82
5. Generali, Nicolas Lunven / Eric Peron, 3.49
6. Interface Concept, Jean Le Cam / Gildas Mahe, 3.92
7. La Cornouaille, Roland Jourdain / Martin Le Pape, 5.84
8. Gedimat / Thierry Chabagny / Erwan Tabarly, 9.02
9. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Performance, Corentin Horeau / Michel Desjoyeaux, 16.47
10. Scutum, Gerald Veniard / Jeanne Gregoire, 17.03

www.thedailysail.com

Event: transat.ag2rlamondiale.fr

Marinepool NTS Dinghy Collection
The National Team Series (NTS) convinces with revolutionary design ideas, inventive features, high class materials and outstanding finish right down to the smallest detail.

The National Team Series by Marinepool provides novelties in the area of neoprene but also new dry suits. A great variety of neoprene suits in different thicknesses, rash guards and flex shirts (both short-sleeve and long-sleeve), accessories such as knee pads, removable sleeves, neoprene boots and gloves as well as matching life jackets, hiking pants and trapeze harnesses result in a comprehensive dinghy collection with a benchmark setting quality.

Indeed, dinghy wear for Olympic racing requires highest standards in terms of fabric selection and design. Body climate management is crucial for an athlete┬┤s performance and thus the selection of the right materials and the combinability of styles to suit a wide range of weather conditions and venues like the cold Solent and hot Rio is of utmost importance.

The NTS neoprene suits by Marinepool are made from durable and flexible materials. Strong reinforcements at knees and bottom with extra inside patches ensure high abrasion resistance at stressed parts while elastic flex neoprene at shoulders and along the sides all the way down to the ankles allow great mobility, comfort and a perfect fit. Additionally the collars, cuffs at sleeves and legs of all neoprene suits and drysuits have been designed with a focus on waterproofness.

Besides of the outstanding functionality of the National Team Dinghy Series, the products draw remarkable attention due to their attractive design: the basic colours grey and black are combined with jazzy highlights in neon colours. The result is an aggressive and speedy high performance look.

The new Dinghy Series by Marinepool

Design. Technology. Passion.

marinepool.com

Clipper ETAs For San Francisco
The Clipper Race fleet will soon see the Golden Gate Bridge on the horizon, which marks the finish line for Race 10, from Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA.

After spending approximately 25 days at sea across the world's largest expanse of water, the Pacific Ocean, the crews will be pleased to finally see dry land for the first time since leaving China.

The latest ETAs for the Clipper Race fleet are detailed below (times are local time in San Francisco, -7 UTC/-8 BST). The yachts will take approximately 90 minutes to transit from the finish line to the South Beach Yacht Club.

GREAT Britain - Weds 09 April 2100-2200
Henri Lloyd - Weds 09 April 2200-2300
Invest Africa - Weds 09 April 2300-0100
Qingdao - Thurs 10 April 0500-0800
OneDLL - Thurs 10 April 0600-0900
Derry-Londonderry-Doire - Fri 11 April 0800-1400
Old Pulteney - Fri 11 April 1000-1600
Switzerland - Fri 11 April 1400-2000
Team Garmin - Sat 12 April Early AM
Mission Performance - Sun 13 April Early AM
Jamaica Get All Right - Sun 13 April AM
PSP Logistics - Sun 13 April PM

Although some of the fleet are still to complete the Ocean Sprint, the fastest boat to date, OneDLL, has been dealt a bitter blow by being disqualified by the Clipper Race Committee for failing to report their start time within the required time frame of three hours. This means that Henri Lloyd, which actually took 17 minutes longer than OneDLL, is currently in line to take two bonus points if no other boat beats their sprint time of 22 hours and 22 minutes.

The result for Race 10 will be provisional until all boats have finished racing and PSP Logistics' place is confirmed on an elapsed time basis as the team started 36 hours behind the rest of the fleet.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

RORC Easter Challenge: Friday 18th April - Sunday 20th April, Cowes
There's still time to sign up to the season opener, the RORC Easter Challenge, which offers a unique training ground for owners and crews over a three-day inshore regatta starting on Good Friday. A new initiative for 2014 is the North U. Regatta Service that will enhance what is already a popular and unique coaching event in the UK.

"It will be a great service to the boats who want to improve their all-round performance ready for a full race season," says RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott.

Coaching guru, Jim Saltonstall's inimitable on-the-water tuition and post-race video debriefs will be augmented by the North U. Regatta Service team from the USA, who will be providing coaching and performance analysis tailored to sail trim and speed.

"The fleet for the RORC Easter Challenge is looking good," adds Elliott. "As well as being joined by regular RORC competitors and boats from France, The Netherlands and as far as Hong Kong, we are also seeing potential candidates interested in the RYA Selection Trials for this summer's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. They'll be a competitive fleet on the start line in Cowes, fighting it out for Easter eggs and prizes."

The RORC Easter Challenge is open to Spinlock IRC rated yachts and the entry fee includes pre-race weather related informal chats, on-the-water coaching and post-race debrief sessions in Cowes.

Enter using REMUS, the online entry system: remus.rorc.org or contact the RORC Race Team for more details: T: +44 (0) 207 518 3131,

A Fond Farewell To David Glenn
There were a few tears today, though outnumbered by big laughs and colourful stories as the staff of Yachting World, past and present, said goodbye to David Glenn as he retires as Editor. He left in appropriate style for any self-respecting journalist, with an epic session down the pub.

Yachting World today, and all that it stands for, has been very much shaped by David's professional seriousness and his unrelenting (and sometimes affectionately parodied) enthusiasm for every aspect of boats and sailing.

David has been with our parent company IPC since 1972 after completing the Daily Mirror training scheme as a newspaper journalist. He joined sister magazine Motor Boat & Yachting and following a seven-year stint there he moved to Yachting World, where he became features editor, deputy editor and finally editor in 2010. -- Elaine Bunting

Read more at www.yachtingworld.com

America's Cup: Italians Confirm Minoprio as Match Race Tactician
A media release from Italian America's Cup Challenger Luna Rossa has confirmed that Adam Minoprio (NZL) has slotted into the tactician's role on the match racing circuit with helmsman Francesco Bruni.

Minoprio was formerly with Emirates Team New Zealand, and sailed for the team in the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race aboard Camper, but did not continue into the America's Cup when that event finished in July 2013, about the time the team's first AC72 was launched.

In February 2014, it emerged that Minoprio had signed for the Italian team, and he has been named in the match racing crew for the 50th edition of the Congressional Cup. His role with the team, outside the match racing circuit is yet to be confirmed. Minoprio is a former world match racing champion, which he won at the age of just 24 years after competing for four years in the World Match Racing Tour.

www.sail-world.com

A Fresh Approach - Volvo Ocean Race
In one Volvo Ocean Race cycle teams have gone from being chockablock with the most seasoned ocean racing veterans to more than half the teams full of first-time roundthe- world sailors for the 2014/15 race. The reasons for this global change are many, and reaping the benefits of race CEO Knut Frostad's management of this evolution are two young Americans and a Turkish medical equipment company. Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, the leaders of newly formed Team Alvimedica, are set to be poster boys for this new model of ocean racing where next-generation stars are identified early and shopped around to sponsors knocking at Frostad's door wanting in on a race where new design builds are no longer a prerequisite for entry.

Towill says he and Enright put together their sponsorship package with seed money they had raised, hired graphic designers for their visualisations and funded their own travel. Volvo lent guidance, he says, in each aspect as well. 'But before Alicante,' says Towill, 'it was still a dream.'

It has been reported that this team will be an all 'under-30' team and all American sailors. Enright says neither is true. When asked if they are looking for sailors who have done the race, he says, 'That'd be great. We're looking to surround ourselves with a great team that works well together. Being the youngest team will happen organically.'

Full article in Seahorse magazine:
www.seahorsemagazine.com

Time To Go Racing In Naples
Naples, Italy - Thirteen Melges 32 teams are in attendance and ready to line up for the opening act of the 2014 Audi Tron Sailing Series, organized and managed by B.Plan Sport&Events (BPSE) in collaboration with Melges Europe.

Hosted by the Comitato Grande Vela, the fleet will be fighting hard over eight races to collect the first points of the season starting this Friday and concluding on Sunday, in front of the Naples shoreline under a predicted mild breeze.

The "masters of the house" Mascalzone Latino, helmed by Vincenzo Onorato will be racing with 2-time olympic silver medalist Nick Rogers (Athens, 2004 and Beijing, 2008). A few other olympic giants will be challenging aboard Filippo Pacinotti's Brontolo, together with a very skilfull team as they rely on olympic sailor Gabrio Zandonà as tactician. Aboard Alessandro Rombelli's STIG we'll see another olympic champion - Freddy Loof, and on Giangiacomo Serena di Lapagio's G Spot, the crew features portuguese bronze medallist Hugo Rocha.

Malafemmena, Synergy and Celadrin Vitamina each one of them will have the skills of the Ivaldi brothers (Matteo, Michele and Francesco), all olympic champions for the first time together on a racing field. -- Joy Dunigan

melges32.com

Bluenose II - No Way To Restore A Schooner
The new construction/restoration of the Canadian schooner Bluenose II has not gone well. Years behind schedule and millions over budget. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is calling it a "boondoggle" and is demanding an investigation into the project. Recent lawsuits involving the schooner have cost more in legal fees alone than the cost of the original Bluenose II in 1963. The total cost of the current project is $16.7 million dollars and expected to rise still further.

The original Bluenose was a Canadian fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia built in 1921. The schooner became famous for winning the International Fishing Challenge Cup off Gloucester, Massachusetts for many years. The Bluenose is considered by many to be an iconic symbol of Canada. The schooner appears on the Canadian dime and the current Nova Scotia licence plate.

In July 2010, the Nova Scotia government awarded a $12.5 million contract for the restoration of Bluenose II to a consortium of three Nova Scotia shipyards. The total project budget was $14.4 million. The word "restoration" is a something of a misnomer. The original schooner was largely scrapped and the "restored" schooner was built from keel up with new materials. Some equipment and sections of the old schooner were retained, but the schooner is essentially a new vessel.

The new Bluenose II was supposed to be sailing in the summer of 2012. She was launched in 2013 and then hauled back ashore for additional work. The schooner is currently tied up at at a wharf in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

www.oldsaltblog.com

Six Bells Sportsboat Regatta and Pursuit Race
There has been great interest in Sportsboat racing in the last few seasons, with the development and promotion of various sportsboat classes, all offering high performance, fun racing with the stability of a keel. The 2014 Sportsboat Regatta is open to all boats up to 8 metres, with a keel, forward launching pole and asymmetric spinnaker. The regatta will promote the growth of these thrilling small yachts that benefit from small crew numbers and low running costs. The format is to provide racing under the IRC rating system.

Entries are expected from a number of classes, including the Viper 640, VX One, SB20, J70, K6, 1720 and Melges 20/Melges 24. The event offers a fantastic opportunity to race against similar sportsboats. Some yachts are expected to arrive by trailer and others by sea from local clubs, hence the format for Sunday, when the Pursuit Race will allow for yachts to sail back to their bases.

The programme starts with a practice race on Friday afternoon, 25th July. Saturday's programme will comprise of a number of windward - leeward races based in the Western Solent followed by an EFG prize giving at the Mayflower Public House, right alongside the Lymington pontoons.

Sunday's race is planned to be a longer Pursuit Race around the Western Solent

www.sixbellssc.co.uk

Featured Brokerage
2008 Elliott Super Sport. 180000. Located in Auckland, New Zealand.

Elliott 9metre Super Sport OVERLOAD is a carbon fiber 30ft canting keel race yacht, designed by Greg Elliott. It was set up and built for inshore/coastal and even offshore racing, launched in September 2008.

OVERLOAD has a carbon mast, carbon prod, full set of North sails, Ronstan/Harken deck gear, Lewmar winches, cradle. The yacht is well maintained and in like new condition. OVERLOAD has a large winning race history, currently holding the 124nm coastal classic record for 30 and 40 footers of 10hrs 23minutes.

Details

Contact Ian Gordon,

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

The Last Word
We all understand that genius doesn't guarantee success, but it's seductive to assume that success must come from genius. -- Leonard Mlodinow

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