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

Safran-Guy Cotten Wins The Transat AG2R La Mondiale
Gwenole Gahinet and Paul Meilhat crossed the finish line in St Barts on Monday at 1917hrs and 59 secs (French time) to win the 12th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale. After 22 days, 6 hours, 17 minutes and 59 seconds of perfectly controlled racing at an average speed of 8.74 knots on the 4,670-miles of the actual racecourse between Concarneau and St Barts, the crew of Safran-Guy Cotten claimed victory ahead of Skipper Macif.

Under a blazing sun in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, the bow of the Figaro Safran-Guy Cotten finally appeared. Shortly after noon in St Barts, hundreds of locals came to greet the two men of the moment. After 22 days going head to head on the ocean, Gahinet and Meilhat savoured their victory. It was the best possible reward for Gahinet, the young skipper of Safran-Guy Cotten, who was making his debut on the Figaro circuit.

Fabien Delahaye and Yoann Richomme (Skipper Macif) crossed the finish line of the 12th edition of the Transat AG2R line WORLD 20 h 24 min 52 s (French time) in Gustavia, St. Barthelemy. Skipper Macif took second place in the race 1 hour 6 minutes and 53 seconds after Safran-Guy Cotten, their main rival the past 11 days.

After an incredible duel with The Cornwall last 24 hours, Alexia Barrier and Lorenzo Pellecuer crossed the finish line of the 12th edition of the Transat AG2R La Mondiale line in 3rd place at 20 h 54 min 56 s (time French) in Gustavia, St. Barthelemy.

transat.ag2rlamondiale.fr

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl (USA)
'Still a force in the Star class 14 years after their 2000 gold medal in Sydney' - Jonathan Harley; 'Absolute legends and two of the most generous and unassuming guys you will ever meet' - Ed Peel; 'Not only great sailors but also good citizens!' - Christy Schisler; 'Two of the finest ambassadors for the sport' - Jonas Haggbom; 'Both are active supporters of the sport and real gentlemen, Magnus also works tirelessly for disabled sailing' - Bill Sandberg; 'Star sailors rule!' - Jerry Ford; 'They both give back so much' - Steve Shaw.

This month's nominees:


Leigh Mcmillan (GBR)
With several America's Cup teams now taking part, the level of competition in the Extreme Sailing Series has never been higher. And yet after the first two regattas of 2014 defending champion McMillan at the helm of The Wave Muscat had picked up where he left off... Just. With nearly 60 races sailed over 8 days, The Wave was sitting just 1pt in front of Alinghi and 3pt ahead of Emirates TNZ


Dave Perry (USA)
Two of the handful of truly great books for the competitive young sailor are Start to Win by the late Eric Twiname and Winning in One Designs by Dave Perry. The number of sailors to have been weaned on these two genuine tomes is immeasurable, but Perry's own 'instructiveness' ranges much wider than the written word. He also beat some handy young whippersnappers at this year's Cong Cup to finish a pretty respectable 8th overall!


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

Lizzyracing Backed By Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear
Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear, based in Cowes, Isle of Wight, is the Title Sponsor of 23 year-old solo offshore sailor Lizzy Foreman for her 2015 Mini Transat campaign.

"I'm excited to launch my campaign with Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear as my Title Sponsor, along with a number of other product partners. Hudson Wight is a progressive new brand for keelboat sailors using a ground-breaking laminated fabric called OceanVent. I've been wearing my HW1 Jacket & Salopettes, made with 3-Layer OceanVent, throughout my winter training programme and they are excellent. Technical performance is the best I have experienced and the 3-Layer technology makes them lighter and more comfortable than any kit I have used before. They also have exciting products in the pipeline that I will be helping them to develop."

Lizzy has sailed since the age of three, progressing through the ranks of various dinghy classes as a teenager. By the age of 18 she had decided that her overall objective is to compete in the Vendee Globe. Her selection for the British Keelboat Academy (BKA) in 2010 marked the start of that journey.

In 2011 Lizzy was the only female nominated for the Artemis Offshore Academy Squad. She was with the Academy in 2012-2013 and also completing an internship with OC Sport, focusing on campaign management and logistics. Lizzy aims to qualify for the 2015 Mini Transat, competing in the solo 2,600nm Les Sables - Azores - Les Sables race as preparation for the main event in 2015.

www.hudsonwight.com

Clipper San Francisco To Panama - Psp Logistics Panama 100 Cup
With less than a hundred miles now separating the entire fleet, Jamaica Get All Right's gamble to head further east is so far paying off as the team takes the lead in race 11.

As Jamaica Get All Right takes the lead in Race 11 after heading further inshore, making it the most easterly boat in the fleet, Switzerland and GREAT Britain are hot on the heels of their prey, desperate to make gains at the top of the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, as the light and variable winds continue to hamper the fleet's progress, Derry-Londonderry-Doire and Team Garmin have both selected to activate Stealth Mode. Following on from Switzerland's successful Stealth Mode request last week which saw the team climb five places on the leaderboard, Derry-Londonderry-Doire's position will be hidden from the rest of the fleet and the Race Viewer until 0600 UTC tomorrow. Team Garmin's position will be hidden until 1200 UTC tomorrow.

While the close match racing continues Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, commented today in his skipper report that, "This has definitely got to be one of the closest races so far as there is a very small spread considering we have been racing for well over 1000 miles." As tactics start to play out, skipper of Invest Africa Rich Gould hopes that the team's most southerly position will pay off in the long run.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Etchells Second Springs Series
While the weather forecast seems to have kept some teams away a total of sixteen Etchells raced in at least one of the two Cowes Solent Spring Series weekends.

After winning the first of these weekends Shaun Frohlich's Exabyte , with stalwart crew of David Bedford and Duncan Truswell, scored two firsts, two seconds and a third to be crowned Etchells Spring Series Champion of 2014.

Saturday's start was slightly delayed as Race Officer Andrew Millband from Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club waited for the gusty breeze of up to 30 knots to settle down.

Aboard Rob Goddard's Stampede the policy of always wearing buoyancy aids was vindicated as Nigel Wakefield, sailing his first ever Etchells race and hiking extra hard, fell overboard.

Fortunately America's Cup coach and new Cowes resident, Andrew (Dog) Palfrey, was on his coach boat and rescued him. Despite it's being a sunny day, the cold 12 degree water temperature meant that Stampede headed back to Cowes for an early warm bath for their frozen crew. It was instructive to discover that despite wearing a life jacket it was very difficult to haul him back into the rib wearing all his wet clothes, let alone trying to recover him into an Etchells.

Sunday's forecast of continuous rain fortunately did not materialize. South-easterly breezes that topped out at 15 knots gave a great day's racing.

The Etchells Spring series saw not only Cowes sailors but also International visitors: James (Seamus) McHugh from Switzerland with Andy Beadsworth and Stirfry, Stephen O'Flaherty and his crew from Dublin sailing Fetching, and ex Cowes Sailor Anthony Shanks now living in Ireland.

Next weekend for all three days the fleet will race for the prestigious Bedrock Challenge Trophy for which we expect even more entrants. -- Rob Goddard

Overall results are available on the "Cowes Etchells Racing" facebook page
www.facebook.com/groups/etchellscowes/

Reini Gelder Wins Solo Tasman Challenge In Record Time
"Big fun... a little bit tough but the biggest fun in years..." That was how Austrian solo sailor Reini Gelder described his record crossing of the Tasman Sea when he docked at the Mooloolaba Marina just before 7pm on Monday night. He certainly didn't look like a man who had been been battling the elements for over six days.

Sailing the beamy, 12.17m long Crowther trimaran Shark Angels, Gelder smashed the rest of the fleet and broke the race record (unofficially) by nearly two hours. The previous time of 6 days 8 hours and 50 minutes was set back in 1986 by Ian Johnston sailing another trimaran, Bullfrog Sunblock.

When the 13 boat fleet left New Plymouth at 1pm on Tuesday, April 22, it looked as though the battle for line honours would be close between Gelder and Steven Arms, sailing the 10.6m Chamberlin catamaran Nitro. But Arms beat north and Gelder beat south into the fickle north-easterlies that dogged the early stages, and the south paid handsomely.

For the past two days the trimaran has been sailing a direct course towards Mooloolaba at speeds of 12 to 14 knots, bringing the affable Austrian home at record pace. He was greeted by a small but vocal crowd of around 20 people as he passed between the breakwaters and motored to his berth, where he will await Customs clearance in the morning.

Next to finish is likely to be Nitro at around midnight on Tuesday, followed by the leading monohulls, Rhys Bolton's Krakatoa II and Oli Oborn's Dabulamanzi which are 40 and 70 miles astern of Arms respectively.

Positions are updated every 30 minutes on the tracker at www.solo-tasman.co.nz/live-map/#home

From MySailing: www.mysailing.com.au

The Fuel Cell Systems UK Solent 6.50 Race
Fuel Cell Systems UK Solent 6.50 Race This year the single and two-handed Open 6.50 Class boats will race from Hamble to La Trinite-sur-mer and is being organized by the Royal Southern Yacht Club.

Starting on Sat 3rd May 2014, this will be the third year that Fuel Cell Systems has supported it.

Tom Sperrey, managing director of FCS said: "The sailing community has taken the benefits of Fuel Cell seriously and have invested in this clean, quiet and efficient way of generating energy. With no harmful emissions and a compact lightweight design Fuel Cells are a perfect fit for the racing sailor"

He continued: "The Fuel Cell Systems UK Solent 6.50 race is the UK's official race in the Classe Mini Series and we are delighted to continue our sponsorship.

The fuel cell's light compact design and the fact that extra generator diesel is not carried makes a small but important reduction in weight and removes the need for constant monitoring of battery levels.

Experts and demonstrations of fuel cell technology will be available at the event as well as discounts on a range of fuel cells from FCS.

www.fuelcellsystems.co.uk

Gaastra Palmavela Kicks Off The Soto 40 European Championship
Gaastra PalmaVela is set to be the first of the 2014 Soto 40 European Championship. In its 11th edition, the regatta is the first of three events with subsequent ones being held in Palma de Majorca (Spain), Porquerolles (France) and Cascais (Portugal).

The Soto 40 one design class made its debut at Gaastra PalmaVela in 2012. It returned in 2013, when it proved to be the most competitive fleet with the first three boats finishing tied on 12 points after the last day of racing.

Defending champion and European Championship runner-up 'Earlybird' of skipper and helmsman Hendrik Brandis has confirmed her participation in Palma. Tactician Sten Mohr, main trimmer Luc Molloy, upwind trimmer Arnd Howar and bow Jonas Nielsen are also part of the crew.

The Portuguese yacht 'Bigamist', current European Champion, which was second overall here last year, will also be on the start line. Undoubtedly, the boat owned by Pedro Mendoça will arrive in Palma gunning to claim her first victory at Gaastra PalmaVela as well as her first bullet for the European Championship circuit.

They will be up against two boats competing for the first time at the Real Club Nautico de Palma's regatta: 'UON', owned by Portuguese sailor Jose Caldeira and the French 'Glen Ellen XXII', skippered by Dominique Tian.

The Soto 40 class will warm up with a practice race, on Thursday, 1st May. The schedule is then for three days of racing. Those will kick off on Friday and will finish on Sunday. A maximum of nine races are scheduled.

www.palmavela.com

Grins On The Dock On Johnnie Walker Race Day 2
Merry Thought. Photo by Tim Wright, www.photoaction.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Antigua Race Week Sunshine and warm breeze was blowing through Falmouth dock, Antigua this morning and the thousand or so sailors at Antigua Sailing Week knew they were in for a big treat. Sparkling conditions prevailed for the second day of the regatta. A stable easterly breeze of about 13 knots and a choppy sea state produced near picture-perfect racing conditions. Bar the multihull division, all classes had two short-sharp races today and contenders for class titles are beginning to be established.

Start Boat A ran courses from Rendezvous Bay in the vicinity of Carlisle Bay and Curtain Bluff. With tighter courses, manoeuvres and boat-on-boat tactics were much more in play.

Piet Vroon's Tonnerre de Breskens 3 is dominating CSA 0 with a perfect score of three bullets after two days racing. Three other yachts are also unbeaten, David Cullen's J/109, Pocket Rocket, Geoffrey Pidduck's Six Meter, Biwi Magic and Gunboat 62, Zenyatta, skippered by Nils Erickson.

CSA 3 is incredibly competitive with a three-way tie at the top. Lancelot II chartered by Richard Matthews, Quokka 8 - last year's class winner - and a hot South American team on Salona Racing, all have nine points. Last year's Lord Nelson Trophy winner, El Ocaso, is just two points off the lead.

In CSA 1, two yachts won races today. Alan Edwards' British Swan 65, Spirit, took its first ever win in any yacht race and Michael Peacock's American Frers 62, Merrythought, won the second race of the day by a dramatic seven seconds to take the class lead. Yesterday's winner, British Frers 94 Bristolian, skippered by John Burnie scored two third places to stay in touch with the class leader.

Results, pictures, video and more can be found at: www.sailingweek.com

Crew Sought For Greenland-Bound Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
The Royal St George Yacht Club gives word that a crew is needed to sail the Bristol Channel pilot cutter Dolphin on a return trip to Greenland via Iceland this summer.

It promises to be a challenging adventure only for the experienced sailor, with cramped conditions on board and bad weather expected.

But there will also be plenty of opportunity for climbing and walking, as well as creature watching from polar bears to muskoxen and arctic foxes.

The classic boat in question - a 1909 Bristol Channel pilot cutter with 39ft on deck - aims to leave Swansea in late June for return in mid September, with planned stops for crew changes in Reykjavik and Issaford in Northern Iceland (mid July and end of August).

While in Greenland, Dolphin will return to Kangerlussuaq, if possible, and propose to spend two to three weeks in or toward the mountains beyond Kraemer Island at the edge of the icecap, subject to the ice.

The Royal St George has more on the voyage: www.rsgyc.ie/sailing/

From Afloat: afloat.ie/sail/

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

The Last Word
What you've just said... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. -- Billy Madison

Editorial and letter submissions to

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

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