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

World Numbers 1 (Canfield) And 2 (Williams) Finish That Way

The sound was heard by the spectators all the way up on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier and over the lower part of the race course for the 50th Congressional Cup on the Long Beach outer harbor Sunday.

It was startling for all and heartbreaking for others, like those rooting for Ian Williams of the UK to win his third traditional Crimson Blazer in four years.

Instead, the fortunes of fate swung to Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the last minute of the pre-start choreography. First he noticed the six-inch chunk missing from the transom behind his feet, then he reached for the protest flag and moments later saw the on-water umpires affirm his protest with a blue flag, matching Williams' ID for that race.

Although there remained a decisive race twice around the half-mile windward-leeward course in 10 knots of chilly breeze, with Williams behind and owing a penalty turn, it seemed over before the start. Canfield, 25, said he knew it wasn't.

"We knew it was going to be tough all the way through the race," he said---and Williams made it so with tacking duels upwind and jibing his spinnaker to steal Canfield's air downwind.

But Canfield and his crew sailed an unforgiving and mistake-free defense to win the championship sailoff with two wins to Williams' one and collect the booty: the traditional Crimson Blazer and $17,500 of the $75,000 total purse.

Earlier, Canfield dispatched Keith Swinton of Australia in the semifinals, 2-0, while Williams defeated Francesco Bruni of Australia, 2-1. Bruni then defeated Swinton, 2-1, in the petite sailoff. 

Phil Robertson's New Zealand team won the fleet race around the harbor for the six competitors who didn't reach the sailoffs. -- Rich Roberts

Final standings

1. Taylor Canfield, USVI
2. Ian Williams, UK
3. Francesco Bruni, Italy
4. Keith Swinton, Australia
5. Simone Ferrarese, Italy
6. Mathieu Richard, France
7. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden
8. Dave Perry, U.S.
9. Phil Robertson, Australia
10. Scott Dickson, U.S.
11. Dustin Durant, U.S.
12. Chris Poole, U.S.

Audi Tron Sailing Series: Spirit Of Nerina Claims Lead In Naples
Photo by Studio Borlenghi/Stefano Gattini, Click on image for photo gallery.

Audi Tron Naples, April 13th 2014 - A total of 6 races have been sailed on this first event of the Audi tron Sailing Series Melges 32 organised by B.Plan Sport&Events and Melges Europe.

Today the total lack of wind did not allow race offices to run the two remaining races.

Last night protest discussions changed some podium positions.

Spirit of Nerina, the Melges 32 of Andrea Ferrari, co-owner Andrea Cantamesse and tactician Roberto Spata, winner of two races, have won over Torpyone (Lupi/Pessina-Bressani) ranking second followed by Azimut by Stig (Rombelli-Stig).

Among other winners we count Synergy (Zavadnikov-Michele Ivaldi), finished fourth place, five points margin with respect to the third place and winner of the opening race and Malafemmena (Di Lorenzo-Matteo Ivaldi), brilliant fifth making its opening debut.

The Audi tron Sailing Series will resume in Porto Ercole, where the Audi Melges 20 will be racing 10-11. May and the Melges 32, 16-18th May.

Full results:

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:

America's Cup: Next Generation To Be Fully Foiling Catamaran
Gino Morelli hosted a seminar at the Strictly Sail Pacific show on Friday, providing some additional insight into the next boat for the America's Cup. Here are some bullet points from his presentation:

- The design rule is completed. The boats are designed to sail in a range of 6 to 30 knots, but the final rig size will be determined when the venue is selected.

- Reducing the size of the boat from 72-feet to 62-feet will reduce the loads by half, which will reduce structural costs.

- The smaller size boat will require less sailing crew (from 11 to 8) and less support crew, thus reducing the budget needed.

- Wing dimensions will be tightly specified, which will reduce design costs.

- Hull shape will have more bow volume to improve safety.

- Boats will foil on all points of sail.

- Daggerboard adjustment will be simplified slightly to reduce costs, and rudder angle will be adjustable to improve foiling control.

Craig Leweck in Scuttlebutt:

Emirates Team NZ Up Against Funding Hurdle For Year
With no sign of the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup in sight, Emirates Team NZ CEO, Grant Dalton, confirmed last night in a TV3 interview that the funding advance from the New Zealand Government would run out in June 2014, or just over two months.

Beyond that the team would be relying on the generosity of private backers. 'We won't see any significant sponsorship money, this year,' Dalton told TV3's John Campbell. 'You can't make it out of this year with sponsors - you never do,' he added.

Dalton confirmed they had offers on the table from some of their existing sponsors, despite not having a Protocol, or Venue for the 35th Cup announced.

He pointed out that they expected the next America's Cup was expected to be just as expensive as the last despite all the talk of cost cutting. However the team were hamstrung by the lack of Protocol and a venue which had to have some marketing value to sponsors. When pushed that this would surely he a given in the new Cup equation, Dalton quipped 'don't count on it - this is the America's Cup!'

Of the four locations on the table, Cup pundits believe that San Francisco would be the best for the team and the event, due to the massive marketing success achieved by one of Emirates Team New Zealand's backers, NZ Trade and Enterprise in the last event, over achieving expectations.

The [Protocol] process has now been running for over six months, and all indications are that it is a long way from a conclusion. 'Don't hold your breath' was the comment of one source close to the negotiations, when contacted by Sail-World yesterday as to the likely release day for the Protocol. -- Richard Gladwell

Last Places Available On Volvo 70 Monster Project For Antigua Sailing Week And Transatlantic Adventure
RORC Caribbean 600 Monster Project Monster Project offers sailors a unique opportunity to experience "Formula 1" sailing on a Volvo Open 70.

After a successful first Caribbean season featuring two Line Honours wins and a new race record, two exciting events remain before we return to the UK.

Season finale: Antigua Sailing Week

Join us for this highlight of the Caribbean season! Spend your days racing on Monster Project with the keel fully canted, huge sails flying and grinding on the pedestals in the sunshine! Then kick up your heels at the Regatta's famous parties or relax on one of Antigua's glorious beaches.

Join us for our 8 day package or tailor your own combination of training and racing days.

- Training: 24-25 April
- Round the Island Race: 26 April
- Antigua Sailing Week: 27 April - 2 May

Transatlantic Adventure

After Antigua Sailing Week comes something many sailors dream of - a voyage across the Atlantic. Our Transatlantic Adventure takes us from the Caribbean to England in two legs. First leg (5 - 29 May): a 2,500 mile journey beginning in Sint Maarten, past Bermuda and ending in the stunning Azores, combining beautiful locations with all the challenges and glory of a long ocean passage.

Second leg (2 - 12 June): a shorter but no less challenging hop from the Azores to Southampton via the infamous Bay of Biscay.

Packages available for either or both legs of this epic voyage!

For more information visit or email:

Sailing Artefacts Prove Irish Yacht Clubs Are The Oldest In The World
Instituted in 1822, the Ladies' Cup of Sligo YC is the world's oldest continually-contested annual sailing trophy. Click on image to enlarge.

Irish Cup The antiquity of Irish recreational sailing is beyond dispute, even if arguments arise as to when it started, and whether or not the Royal Cork YC really is the world's oldest club in its descent from the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork from 1720. But all this seems academic when compared with the impression made by relics of Ireland's ancient sailing traditions.

In just six short years, the Royal Cork Yacht Club will be celebrating its Tercentenary. In Ireland, we could use a lot of worthwhile anniversaries these days, and this 300th has to be one of the best. The club is so firmly and happily embedded in its community, its area, its harbour, in Munster, in Ireland and in the world beyond, that it is simply impossible to imagine sailing life without it.

While the Royal Cork is the oldest, it's quite possible it wasn't the first. That was probably something as prosaic as a sort of berth holder's association among the owners of the ornamental pleasure yachts which flourished during the great days of the Dutch civilisation in the 16th and 17th Centuries. They were based in their own purpose-built little harbours along the myriad waterways in or near the flourishing cities of The Netherlands. Any civilisation which could generate delightful bourgeois vanities like Rembrandt's Night Watch, or extravagant lunacies such as the tulip mania, would have had naval-inspired organised sailing for pleasure and simple showing-off as central elements of its waterborne life.

Just sailing for pleasure and relaxation, rather than going unwillingly and arduously afloat in your line of work, seems to have been enough for most. Thus racing - which is the surest way to get some sort of record kept of pioneering activities - was slow to develop, even if inter-yacht matches were held, particularly once the sport had spread to England with the restoration of Charles II in 1660.

Ireland had not the wealth and style of either Holland or England, but it had lots of water, and it was in the very watery Fermanagh region that our first hints of leisure sailing appeared. -- Short excerpt from WM Nixon's article in Afloat:

Garmin Summer Series Kicks Off In Just Over A Month
Photo by Keith Appleby. Click on image to enlarge.

Garmin Summer Series Carsington Water SC will be running the opening event of the brand new Garmin Summer Series on Sunday 11th May 2014, the Carsington Summer Trophy. With over 700 acres of open water set in the Peak District the venue boasts stunning views coupled with fantastic facilities in the stone-built clubhouse.

The event will consist of 3 mixed fleet handicap races and classes are invited to designate the event as part of their own series - results can be extrapolated from the overall finishing order. Entry is limited to 100 boats. First prize is the very latest, GPS enabled, Garmin VIRB action camera with other prizes throughout the fleet. The Garmin Summer Series gives smaller classes the opportunity to race on larger stretches of water such as Carsington, often limited to the smaller venues as they cannot raise the numbers for the bigger lakes

All boats will be fitted with SailRacer's GPS tracker units with the live action shown on a big screen in the comfort of the clubhouse. Tracking data and a live commentary will be streamed via the internet and replays will be available via the Garmin Summer Series website. Garmin VIRB cameras will be set around the course, and on selected boats, to record footage available to view after the event.

Joyon's 'Friendship Route'
Around 800 north-west of the Cape Verde Islands, Francis Joyon is playing a game of cat and mouse with the low-pressure area centred over the Canaries.

It would be something of an understatement to say that the weather was very unusual for this first edition of the Friendship Route. It is in fact extremely rare at this time of year for an area of low pressure to be centred for so long over the Canaries. This weather system lis upsetting the usual pattern for the trade winds, which blowing from east to west offer downwind conditions for sailors crossing the Atlantic and tend to give them comfortable, steady speeds and smooth sailing.

It's not a bit like that for the moment for Francis Joyon, who has no choice but to go right around this area of low pressure via the north west. That is taking him along way from the direct route to Rio de Janeiro - the theoretical route is more than 750 miles to his left (almost 1400 km), but this is the only way for him to make headway towards the finish without geting held up in light headwinds and calms (see yesterday's article).

At 0800hrs this morning - Sunday 13th April 2014, Francis Joyon is sailing on IDEC at 17.8 knots on a bearing of 238° (south west), at 25°30 North and 36°12 West. Distance sailed since the start in Bordeaux: 1740 miles. Distance to the finish (Rio de Janeiro): 3071 miles.

No Wind Today Leaves Spookie The Winner In Charleston
Spookie Charleston, South Carolina, USA: The warm summer-like conditions today in Charleston could not overcome a strong high-pressure ridge hovering over the offshore course area of Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week. So with no wind to set a course race manager Wayne Bretsch had to call it quits after a 3-hour wait, leaving Steve and Heidi Benjamin's Carkeek HPR 40 Spookie the overall winner in the HPR Class, their second consecutive class victory in this event.

The team's perfect winning scores throughout the regatta were the result of a year-long concentrated focus on teamwork, boat speed, and practice.

Spookie is Hull #3 of three Carkeek HPR 40 designs competing this week in Charleston, with the other two filling the remaining positions on the podium: Steven Murray's Decision took second place and Bill McKinley's Denali took third. Rounding out the HPR Class was Jim Grundy's brand-new Carkeek 47 Grundoom.

Benjamin went on to say that having the other 40-foot sisterships was an excellent opportunity for all to tune each other and push the competitive limits so that all would learn. This was shown in part by the finish times getting closer and closer throughout the event.

The next two regattas to use HPR scoring in the US will be on opposite coasts: the American YC Spring Series, held over April 26-27th and May 3-4th on Long Island Sound, and the San Diego Yachting Cup, held over May 2-4 at San Diego YC, with one more Pacific coast event in May being the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta held in San Francisco at St Francis YC. -- Dobbs Davis

New &Pound;1 Coin Could Feature Nautical Design
Click on image to enlarge.

Pound Coin The new 12-sided pound coin could feature Lord Nelson's warship HMS Victory following a design bid from Portsmouth City Council.

The council announced their ambitions for the new coin, which is due to come into circulation in 2017, earlier this week.

Councillor Gerald Vernon Jackson also wants the city's Spinnaker Tower to feature on the new coin.

HMS Victory is world-famous and symbolises our amazing heritage as the home of the Royal Navy, while the Spinnaker Tower has become an iconic modern image for the whole of the south of England," he said.

The current £1 is being replaced with a 12-sided coin in order to tackle the number of fake ones currently in circulation. -- Isobel Smith

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2005 IMOCA 60. 200,000 Euros. Located in Spain.

PAKEA BIZKAIA is an Open 60 IMOCA class sailboat, design by Andy Dovell and built under the direction of Kanga Birtles (B.O.C 90/91) in Jervis Bay, Australia. Recent races: 3rd in Velux 5 Oceans 2006 Competed in Vendee Globe 2008 (forced to abandon)



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The Last Word
Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the idea is quite staggering. -- Arthur C. Clarke

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