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

First Head Banger
Over the last 24 hours there has been a wholescale change of conditions for the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race boats are they head out into the Atlantic. From hunting down the slightest zephyr since the start, the leaders have dived southwest overnight, into a building breeze, forecast to reach gale force later today. From shorts and flipflops yesterday, the sailors are now into full thermals and foul weather gear, bracing themselves for a big afternoon and night time ahead of them.

On Hugo Boss, New York Times journalist Chris Museler reported that co-skippers Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes yesterday carried out a complete survey of the boat's health in preparation for today's big conditions. "Pepe did an engine check and rig check and Ryan was checking running rigging looking for chafe."

Even so, in the building breeze, a number of technical issues have come to light on the boats. This has even extended to the immaculately prepared Safran: "We have had some serious computer issues last night and the computer is not working anymore," admitted Guillemot.

Nandor Fa, Skipper of Spirit of Hungary, announced at 1200 hrs New York time today his regrettable decision to have to officially retire from the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race. His new boat was put to the test for the first time on the transatlantic crossing from Trieste to New York where he and co-skipper Marcell Goszleth arrived only last Saturday 31st May at 1000 hrs. The boat now needs some repair and maintenance time to get back into shape for Nandor's ongoing sailing programme.

Nandor Fa, the Hungarian Skipper:

"I am terribly disappointed not to be racing with the other boats and skippers and to have to retire from this great race. From the start we took on a big challenge to get here in time with a totally new boat and we just did not have enough time to get everything done. There is no point in taking any risks at this stage - for us as sailors or for the boat - and so I know this is the right decision today - but its still a tough situation to accept. I am happy to have been here in New York with the event, it has given IMOCA Ocean Masters and Spirit of Hungary a great profile and platform to build on."

Live Tracker:

Audi-Tron Sailing Series
Click on image for event site

Audi Tron Talamone, Italy - The third edition of the 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series circuit organized by B.Plan Sport & Events in collaboration with Melges Euope has concluded with American stars and stripes. Congratulations to Wes Whitmyer and his Slingshot crew comprised of tactician Max Fraser and Johnny 'Rockstar' Goldsberry as they triumphed over the more than thirty-five strong Audi Melges 20 fleet in Talamone, Italy. Whitmyer won the final race of the event, sealing the deal on the overall trophy win.

Placing second overall was Dario Levi's Fremito d'Arja, while Achille Onorato's Mascalzone Latino Jr. came third.

Just missing podium position was Richard Davies' Section 16 in fourth, ahead of the ever-increasing competitive Mirko de Falco on Peccere in fifth.

With the third act of the Audi Melges 20 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series now complete, every team now looks forward to preparing for the next challenge - Riva del Garda on 12-13 July. It will be the ultimate warm-up to the World Championship taking place on 25-30 August.

In addition to main sponsor Audi, the Audi Tron is supported by official sponsors Kuehne+Nagel, Torqeedo electric motors and technical partners such as the Ente Fiera di Genova, Nespresso, Olicor, Movidos, Norda and Frantoi Redoro.

Top Ten Results (Final, After Four Races)

1. Wes Whitmyer/Max Fraser, Slingshot, 15 points
2. Dario Levi/Nicolo Bianchi, Fremito D'Arja, 19
3. Achille Onorato/Malcolm Page, Mascalzone Latino Jr, 20
4. Richard Davis/Charlie McKee, Section 16, 25
5. Mirko de Falco/Guglielmo Giordano, Peccere, 25
6. Marco Franchini/Sandro Montefusco, Mezza Luna, 47
7. Lauro Bonora/Carlo Fracassoli, Camay, 50
8. Jan Kuchar/Martin Trcka, Aloha, 50
9. Federico Albano/Giulio Desiderato, 3Menda, 52
10. Pasquale Orofino/Branko Brcin, Raffica, 55

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GC32 Austria Cup Sees Luna Rossa Challenge Take Runaway Win
The final day of the GC32 Austria Cup started just as expected, with ultra-light conditions on the beautiful Lake Traunsee, but as the day progressed, both the Gold and Silver fleets got the opportunity to show off these spectacular flying machines at their best.

Even in the light winds of the morning, the all-pro Gold Fleet line hit their first race with pace, with the exception of America's Cup winning strategist Tom Slingsby at the helm of the AEZ GC32 Sailing Team, who took a few extra minutes to get to the line after a blown tack.

Having recovered from his poor start in Race 1 of the finals, Slingsby's crew demonstrated phenomenal boathandling around the leeward mark, heading to the Eastern shore and more wind; Team AEZ would nearly catch Draper on the beat, but not quite; Luna Rossa powered to their 9th win in 12 races, with Slingsby in second and C3R passing the Danes on Team Sail Racing on the final reach for third.

During between-race practice before Race 3, Team C3R suffered damage to their daggerboard, ending their day.

An emotional Francesco Bruni dedicated the team's victory to Italian Sailing Federation coach Valentin Mankin, who died today after a lifetime of sailing excellence. "Valentin was one of the greatest representatives that the sport of sailing has ever known," said Bruni. "A keen sailor and an exceptional man who was my coach for several years, and I offer an eternal embrace to a great man to whom I owe so much."

Overall Results

1. Luna Rossa Challenge
2. Team C3R
3. AEZ GC32 Sailing Team
4. Team Sail Racing
5. Seb Col Racing
6. Armin Strom Sailing Team
7. Spax Solutions
8. RSM DTM Hungary Sailing Team

The GC32 Class will visit The Foiling Week in Lake Garda in early July, while the next event on the GC32 European Tour is scheduled for July 17-20 at the Land Rover Sailing Cup Kiel in Germany.

160th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
It will be an anniversary to remember when the 160th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex hosts sailing's biggest players on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound this June. The three-day event, distinguished as America's oldest continually run regatta, is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, June 13-15, and hosted by the New York Yacht Club at its on-the-water clubhouse, Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I.

Team Alvimedica, the Rhode Island-led team preparing for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, is on its way across the Atlantic Ocean from Lisbon, Portugal, to debut its just-launched Volvo Ocean 65 in the IRC division at the Annual Regatta's Around-the-Island Race, which kicks off the event's three days of competition on Friday. The 19-mile circumnavigation of Conanicut Island is separately scored from the Annual Regatta's weekend of buoy racing, and Team Alvimedica plans to use it as a further shakedown opportunity as well as a showcase for its Volvo effort.

Also making a trans-oceanic trip (by plane) to race is the Brazilian team onboard the chartered Whitbread MOD 60 Cuba Libre, which will take on other IRC boats of similar size during all three days of Annual Regatta racing.

The weekend classic is garnering extra attention this year as the first of three events in the venerable Onion Patch Series, a multi-regatta series that includes the biennial Newport Bermuda Race. Of the 147 boats currently registered to compete in the Annual Regatta, many go on to participate in the Newport Bermuda Race, which starts the following Friday (June 20). Among those are two IRC Mini Maxis, Alex Schaerer's (New York, NY) Caol Ila R and Hap Fauth's (Minneapolis, Minn./Naples, Fla.) Bella Mente. At 68 feet and 72 feet, respectively, the two have been engaged in an aquatic version of musical chairs all season.

Significant in size will be the Etchells Class, since the Annual Regatta serves as a prelude to the 2014 Etchells World Championship hosted by New York Yacht Club and Sail Newport later in June.

Future Designers In Model Race
A model yacht race that began more than 40 years ago, as a bit of end of term fun for Southampton Solent University yacht design and production students, will take to the waters this June

More than 28 first-year yacht designers of the future will be racing their craft at Gosport Boating Lake on Friday 6 June.

The annual race now forms part of the first-year unit assessment for Southampton Solent University yacht design and production students.

Students have spent 70 hours designing and building the vessels to conform to the 'metre classed' yacht design rules, with 85% of the unit mark awarded on their computer aided design, and the build quality of their models.

The students then have to race them upwind and downwind to pass their design unit, with the final 15% of marks awarded on how their yacht performs on race day.

This year's race will be hosted by Gosport Model Yacht & Boat Club at Gosport Boating Lake on Friday 6 June. Members of the public are welcome to come along and spectate. The students will be practising on the lake from 11am and the races will begin at 2pm.

Dick Durham in Yachting Monthly:

Race Round Britain & Ireland On A Volvo 70 - Are You Up To The Challenge?
Monster Project VOR70 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?

The Jewel In The Crown Of UK Adventure Racing
Another successful Scottish Islands Peaks Race, held on and around the beautiful west coast of Scotland, has finished for 2014. Held annually in May, with a 30 year history, the race is a challenging combination of sailing and hill running.

The race begins in Oban, where competitors start with a taster run up Pulpit Hill before rowing out to their awaiting sailboats. The teams then head over to Salen on Mull, where the runners disembark for a run to the summit of Ben More. The boats then return though the Sound of Mull and sail to Craighouse on Jura for a run across the three Paps. This is followed by a technically challenging sail around the Mull of Kintyre to Lamlash on Arran, for a run up Goatfell. Finally, the teams make the sail from Lamlash to Troon on the mainland of Scotland to the finish. Teams are usually five people (two runners and three sailors), though youth teams have more per team, and all-rounders consist of five members that participate in both the sailing and running during the race.

The weather this year was particularly challenging for both sailors and runners, and all who completed the course are to be heartily congratulated. This years race was won by the team on Clockwork (skipper Peter Foulds, runners David Wars and Richard Mellon, and crew members Colin Rawlings and Richard Ludlow), with an impressive time of 43:25:05.

Next year's race starts 15 May at noon, you tell us! Entries will open 1 November 2014.

Full results of this years race can be found on our website

Ainslie To Sail On Leopard In The Round The Island Race
Could Sir Ben Ainslie be the first yachtsman to hold both the multi & monohull RTI course records?

The ISC is delighted that the four time Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie is returning to participate in this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Sir Ben will join Mike Slade and his crew on board the current monohull Race record holder, Leopard (GBR1R). Sir Ben will co-helm Leopard with Mike and this is a fantastic opportunity for Ben to potentially claim both multi and monohull race records after breaking last year's multihull record on the J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 catamaran.

The 75 year-old and apparently unstoppable veteran sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, is racing his Open 60 Grey Power (GBR749R). This is the man who will compete solo in the infamous transatlantic Route de Rhum in November this year, 45 years after becoming the first man to sail alone non-stop around the world.

At the other end of the scale, 23 year-old Lizzie Foreman from Surrey, is racing her Mini 6.50 Hudson Wight (633), the boat she is campaigning for next year's gruelling Mini Transat. Lizzy, who usually sails solo and offshore, will be three up and inshore for the RTI.

Not Sailing But Very Cool
Solar Impulse 2 is one step away from making the first circumnavigation of the globe in an entirely solar-powered aircraft after it completed its first test flight.

In preparation for the major journey, the craft was able to reach a height of 6,000ft and flew for a total of two hours and 17 minutes before making a perfect landing on a near-by runway.

If it is to make its round-the-world trip however, it will take at least 20 days as it travels at the relatively slow speed of 120km/h.

With this test flight, the team behind the aircraft have now received approval to attempt the huge challenge thanks to the efforts of test pilot Markus Scherdel who will be handing over the reins to the two pilots who are due to take on the main challenge, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Ginny Jones: Russell Coutts has it right when he wrote commenting that sailing has gotten too intense -- for kids. As a grandparent I've been participating in some sailing activities for kids and when they are having fun while learning about sailing they gain enthusiasm as well as skills (and experience). Rather than the intense racing -- as the end goal -- why not give them some competitions on seamanship: who can tie the most knots, who can do a splice), who knows how to read a chart (really read it), who knows how to scull a small boat, or set aside some days just for treasure/scavenger hunts, obstacle courses (water polo in boats), or just about anything that loosens them up and gives them some skills, some laughs, some FUN.

Take away the helicopter parents and the concept that the only point of anything is to be FIRST! Yes, games often require that a winner but there are ways to spread that out so that over time everyone is a winner. The prize that has always appealed to me most (in a long distance yacht race) is the one for the look on the last boat over the finish line. They (probably) deserve it even more than the team who was first over the finish line.

If kids are sailing in somewhat larger boats they could have some instruction in how to do some simple marine repairs (even just doing a routine check on the fluids levels in a marine diesel).

Or , in any size boat -- how to simple sail repairs...make a canvas bucket, use a fid, etc.

Sure this is old fashioned but they can have a lot of fun. How to get home around a course with a piece of equipment that isn't perfect, or where something (one of two oars) is actually missing. Drama is OK but intense Type A behavior isn't.

* From Sadi Claeys: Concerning the great Valentin Mankin:

One day he was sitting on the quai near Jacques Rogge, looking at a harbor and said:

"Jacques you are capitalist, I am communist. The difference is that you have one boat and I have two boats..."

A great sailor, a gentleman.

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See the collection at


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The Last Word
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