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

GDF Suez Wins Normandy Channel Race
The Class40 GDF Suez and its pair of skippers secured victory this Saturday 31 May in the fifth Normandy Channel Race. Groupement Flo And L'express - Trepia complete the podium.

Sebastien Rogues and Bertrand Castelnerac, on GDF Suez, made landfall in Normandy in 10 knots of breeze, powering along under spinnaker to cross the finish line at 0728 GMT Saturday morning after covering 974 miles at an average speed of 6.98 knots, which equates to a race time of 5 days, 19 hours, 28 minutes and 30 seconds.

A little over 20 minutes later, Groupement Flo, skippered by the business manager-come-sailor from Lower Normandy, Brieuc Maisonneuve and Breton Remi Aubrun, crossed the finish line at 0751 GMT.

An hour after the arrival of GDF Suez, it was the turn of L'Express - Trepia, skippered by Pierre-Yves Lautrou and Thomas Ruyant, to cross the finish line and secure the third and final place on the podium at 0849 GMT this morning.

There has been a succession of finishes throughout the day for the top 10 Class40s. ERDF - Des pieds et Des mains (Damien Seguin and Jeanne Gregoire) finished 4th after a superbly close-fought battle with Team Work (Bertrand Delesne and David Raison). Campagne De France, skippered by the Franco-British pairing (Miranda Merron and Halvard Mabire), just snatched 6th place ahead of Team Picoty - Lac de Vassivière (Jean-Christophe Caso and Aymeric Chappellier). Serenis Consulting (Jean Galfione and Roland Jourdain) brought its epic race to a close in 5 days and 22 hours in 8th position ahead of Le Conservateur (Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur), which crossed the finish line at 1044 GMT. Finally Advanced Energies - Carac skippered by Louis Duc and Damien Rousseau completed the arrivals in this first pack at 1326 GMT, securing 10th place in the overall ranking. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Race tracking chart:

On The Way To Barcelona
On Sunday the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race set sail at 1210 local time. On the start line directly off North Cove Marina in the shadow of the One World Trade Centre, newly built on the site of Ground Zero, it was GAES Centros Auditivos and Team Neutrogena that got the best start in the light conditions, making the most of the ebb on the Hudson River.

But in a great display of tactical prowess it was Hugo Boss, sailed by American-Spanish crew Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes, that headed off to the left side of the course. They benefitted from the best current close to Governors Island. As the rest of the fleet was becalmed in the centre of New York Harbour's Upper Bay, the silver IMOCA 60 was able to slip past the fleet, into first place.

Hugo Boss was first to reach the turning mark off Ellis Island, some three minutes ahead of the French crew Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière aboard Safran with Spain's Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin on Gaes Centros Auditivos holding third in turn just over two minutes ahead of Team Neutrogena.

Once under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the boats were heading for a mark at the entrance to the channel leading towards New York harbour. This mark is in the same position as the Ambrose Light and it is from here that the record passage between New York and Barcelona will be measured.

As the boats now head out into the Atlantic, tactically the next 24-48 hours will be among the race's most crucial. To minimise the chance of contact with icebergs the race management team has including an ice zone the boats are prohibited from entering, which extends all the way down to 40degS. So the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona boats are now heading due east, but directly in their way is a depression, centred some 650 miles off the coast. As a result the boats will encounter building northeasterly winds the further offshore they sail tonight and will have to make the decision to head north or the south of the depression.

Hudson Wight Day Jacket Proves Its Worth
Hudson Wight's new Day Jacket for 2014 is manufactured using OceanVent Technical Fabrics, developed exclusively for Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear. This great looking, high spec Day Jacket is designed for use afloat and ashore and is highly waterproof, very breathable and already looks like being a best seller at only £115.00 inc VAT.

Key features:

- OceanVent Technical Fabrics outer layer
- Waterproof (over 20,000mm) and breathable (12,000g/sqm/24hrs)
- Treated with Dupont® Teflon® Shield Pro+ giving fabric protection and extremely durable water repellency
- Anti-pill fleece body lining for extra warmth and comfort
- Insulated easy on/off sleeve lining
- YKK AquaGuard® zips with "zip garage"
- Extra high collar for when it gets nasty
- Easily accessible adjustable stowaway hood for when it gets really nasty
- External fleeced lined stowage pockets for warmth
- Two internal storage pockets
- Adjustable Velcro cuffs for warmth & wind-resistance
- Twin adjustable waist drawing toggles for shape, comfort and wind-resistance
- Excellent flexible arm articulation

The Day Jacket is available in two colourways, Blue or Grey and in sizes XS-XXL.

If you are after the perfect high quality Day Jacket get your's ordered today from:

Team Russia Leads Nord Stream Race
On 2nd of June at 11 am the Nord Stream Race fleet will leave for the third and final part of the regatta across the Baltic Sea. After the first leg from Saint Petersburg to Helsinki and three short inshore races, the Russian Team with skipper Igor Frolov is in the lead by a large margin. Team Germany and Team Europe follow behind on rank 2 and 3 level on points.

Up to now Nord Stream Race 2014 was mainly characterised by light wind. The first leg of 150 nautical miles from Saint Petersburg to the Finnish capital had to be shortened by the race committee due to a lack of wind. At 3 am the ranking of the yachts was determined after only having sailed a little more than half the way. At that point Russian "Bronenosec" was in the lead followed by Team China and Team Estonia. Subsequent protests against the second and third placed for entering a restricted area were withdrawn later. Both yachts accepted a one-point-penalty.

Sunday, 1st of June, had inshore races on the programme. The results were also going to count towards the overall ranking. These races, too, although in beautiful sunshine, only saw little and often shifting wind. Laying out the course for 0.7 nm of leeward-windward racing was not an easy task for the race committee. Right from the start the German "SGM" dominated the first of three races and brought the victory home safely.

During the second race the fleet got properly mixed up due to a 180-degree wind shift. So Team Europe could pass the leading Russian team and win the race. For the last race the wind picked up again and Team Russia made use of this chance to secure their first win of the day by a large margin.

The leg from Helsinki to Warnemunde is doubtlessly the biggest challenge of Nord Stream Race 2014. The yachts will have to pass by Gotland and Bornholm and will cross busy shipping routes. The forecast for the start predicts conditions with 15 to 20 knots of wind from a north-easterly direction.

Standings after Leg 1 and Inshore Races
1. Bronenosec / Team Russia
2. SGM / Team Germany
3. Spirit of Europe / Team Europe
4. Windward / Team China
5. Petite Flamme / Team Estonia
6. Tsaar Peter / Team Russia Youth

Henri Lloyd Extends Clipper Race Lead With Triple Points Sweep
Henri Lloyd crossed Race 13: The Grange Hotels Trophy finish line in first place at 14:25 UTC (10:25 local) Sunday, to seal a remarkable triple triumph that will further extend its overall lead in the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

In the most successful points overhaul of the Clipper 2013-14 Race so far, Henri Lloyd will pick up the total, maximum 17 race points as in addition to the race win (12 points), the team also won the two bonus point opportunities for Race 13, the Scoring Gate (3 points) and Ocean Sprint (2 points).

Long term rivals and second place overall team GREAT Britain claimed second place, crossing the finish line at 16:54 UTC (12:54 local). OneDLL held off tough competition from Switzerland to claim the final podium position at 18:06 UTC (14:06 local time). Switzerland finished at 19:17 UTC (16:17 local) in fourth place, narrowly missing its chance for a second consecutive pennant.

The 1,500 mile Race 13: The Grange Hotels Trophy, which started in Port Antonio was a very tightly contested race with no margin for error. Many of the fleet were in sight of each other as they raced up the windward passage to head out of the Caribbean Sea, through the notorious Bermuda triangle and into the North Atlantic Ocean.

Light and variable winds did slow the fleet however and the Race Office shortened the course at the Norfolk Gate, the second, most northerly gate in the course. This gate had been included in the course instructions to be used in the eventuality of adverse weather conditions.

The Clipper Race fleet will start to arrive at Liberty Landing Marina, New Jersey tomorrow night where they will berth until 4 June when the fleet transfers to North Cove Marina, Manhattan. Race 14 to Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland starts from NYC on 7 June.

Andaman Laser Challenge - World's Longest Laser Sail Attempt
At 1220 yesterday (28 May) Yassine Darkaoui launched himself and his Laser from Ao Yon Sailing School in Phuket, Thailand, and set off on his own personal Andaman Laser Challenge, attempting to break the world record for a non-stop Laser voyage. He has to go five times around his specified route to make the distance - 301nm

The record he is trying to break is that of Tania Elías Calles Wolf, a Mexican Olympian laser sailor who, in 2010, sailed 300nm non-stop in a Laser.

However, it is very likely that Guinness will not accept the Andaman Laser Challenge as a bona fide record attempt - Yassine describes it as 'a kind of free style sailing, with no support boat - but he considers the trip to be more of a private challenge than a public feat. The recorded GPS track will be the proof of the distance, and local media and the French Consul are enrolled as witnesses.

You can follow Yassine Darkaoui's progress on the Andaman Laser Challenge FB page and on


Race Round Britain & Ireland On A Volvo 70 - Are You Up To The Challenge?
Record-breaking Volvo 70 racing charter yacht Monster Project is offering amateur sailors a rare opportunity to join our team for the epic Round Britain & Ireland Race, held only once every four years. Racing on a 70 foot carbon fibre sailing machine with a huge square-topped mainsail, twin daggerboards and a canting keel, you'll be lining up against the professionals on Volvo 65s Abu Dhabi, Dongfeng and SCA and competing for line honours on a boat that circumnavigated the British Isles in 2008 in near-record time.

One of the world's most challenging offshore races, the RBI Race is an 1,800 nautical mile circumnavigation that stretches from the iconic Fastnet Rock in the south to the beautiful Shetland Isles in the north.

On Monster Project you can experience the thrill of sailing a high performance racing yacht as an integral part of the crew, pitting yourself against the elements and testing your mettle against some of the world's best professional yacht racers.

Our RBI Race package includes two qualifying races (11-14 and 26-27 July) where you'll be trained by our Professional Crew and Racing Skipper Andy Budgen, before we cross the start line on 10 August and the real adventure begins… Will you be there?

Team Brunel Christened
On Sunday June 1st 2014, Dutch Radio and TV host Humberto Tan christened the Dutch Volvo Ocean 65 of Team Brunel. The event took place in front of the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam, in the presence of a large audience of employees, sponsors and supporters. The announcement of the new sponsor Robeco made this memorable day extra festive. At the beginning of December 2013, Team Brunel announced their participation in the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.

Protected with gloves, sun glasses and the jacket of skipper Bouwe Bekking, Humberto Tan broke the bottle of Champagne against the bow of Team Brunel. The host of a popular daily evening show on Dutch television and a well-known sports business radio program did that amidst the sailing crew, skipper Bouwe Bekking, COO Volvo Ocean Race Tom Touber and even a couple of visitor's boats on the IJ.

Robeco is delighted to sponsor Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. It marks the next stage of Robeco's journey to become the preferred choice for asset manag

Robeco's CEO, Roderick Munsters: 'Being a proud sponsor of Team Brunel will support Robeco's 2014-2018 strategy to accelerate growth in Europe, the US and Asia. I strongly believe that sponsoring Team Brunel will enable our company to increase rapport with clients all over the world. I look forward to a successful race and wish skipper Bouwe Bekking and his team a successful and safe journey."

Plans For Ben Ainslie Racing Base Face Opposition From Portsmouth Committee
Plans for an America's Cup racing base in Portsmouth have been met with opposition following the formation of a committee looking to fight the proposals.

Old Portsmouth is one of two locations where Sir Ben Ainslie is looking to base his racing team ahead of the next America's Cup.

Locals spoke out against the futuristic design of the proposed 25m-high building in a recent meeting at the Royal Naval Club.

Committee chairman Malcolm Hill claims that Portsmouth City Council was rushing through the planning process for the site.

Speaking to Portsmouth News, he said: "I don't like the way this has been railroaded through and taken as a fait accompli. The public seems to have been kept out of it.

"From the number of people at the meeting, this is clearly a sensitive issue."

Keeping Our Eye On The Prize
In recent years the America's Cup has gone from exemplifying sailing as the ritzy Sport of Kings to becoming one of the kings of televised sporting events.

Traditional notions of yachts and yachtsmen - ketches so very elegant they seem to belong to the fiction of Scott Fitzgerald, not the real world, helmed by Old Money types outfitted in newly pressed white trousers and somewhat ridiculous caps - have been all but obliterated.

The old stereotypes have given way to fleets of stripped-down racing machines crewed by cadres of telegenic and compelling professional sailors.

News that Bermuda is in contention to host the 35th America's Cup in 2017 should be galvanising the entire community, with Government leading the cheerleading efforts to rally the Island behind this prestigious and internationally celebrated event.

For the fact is a successful America's Cup bid would not just provide the Island with unrivalled worldwide media exposure, it would also kick-start the long-stalled Bermudian economy into top gear.

The America's Cup is one of the richest economic prizes among all international sporting events, guaranteeing its host community a triple windfall in terms of increased revenue, jobs and infrastructure investment.

Depending on the final race format decided on by organisers, Bermuda would likely benefit for a minimum of two years from serving as a venue for the America's Cup.

Full editorial in Bermuda's Royal Gazette:

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces Performance Certificate No. 46 for the the establishment of the benchmark time on a new route.

Performance: Singlehanded Bordeaux to Rio de Janeiro.
Yacht: "IDEC" 98ft Tri
Name: Francis Joyon. FRA
Dates:. 8th to the 21st April 2014
Start time: 14;33;00 UTC on 08/04/14
Finish time: 17;38;19 UTC on 21/04/14
Elapsed time: 13 days 3 hours 5 minutes and 19 seconds
Distance: 4812NM
Average speed: 15.27 kts

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Featured Brokerage
2004 TP52. US$399,000. Located in Subic Bay Philippines.

Lucky has been constantly upgraded including a new Nelson Marek bulb and rudder in 2013. Other upgrades include computer systems and electronics. She is the winner of the 2010 Middle Sea Race and 2013 Hong Kong to Vietnam Yacht Race. She also just missed an overall win in the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race. Lucky is a true offshore boat and is a dream to sail either upwind or downwind and is very dry down below while at sea. If you are looking to have a successful offshore program, then Lucky is the boat for you.


Rod Hagebols
+1 5109107847

See the collection at

The Last Word
Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. -- Bob Marley

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see