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

Ainslie Announces Cup Team
Sir Ben Ainslie has officially launched his campaign and announced plans for a British challenge for the 35th America's Cup. The announcement was made at the Great Hall in Greenwich in which Ainslie unveiled the key members of Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR).

His team will mount its £80million challenge through Yacht Squadron Racing, a club affiliated to the Royal Yacht Squadron. Along with it's renowned prestige, the Royal Yacht Squadron is historically linked to the America's Cup having run the 100 Guinea Cup in 1851 that was won by the yacht America and triggered the start of the America's Cup.

Joining Sir Ben on the board of BAR, fellow yachtsmen Sir Charles Dunstone will take the role of Chairman and be joined by Sir Keith Mills.

The board is also joined by businessmen Jon Wood and Chris Bake who is the current RC44 Championship Tour winner with Team Aqua. In addition, Robert Elliott, senior partner and Chairman of Linklaters and Lord Michael Grade, the former controller of BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and keen yachtsman are two independent board members.

Aside from the board members who each have commercial interests in the team, the group of private investors includes Ian Taylor, Peter Dubens and Lord Irvine Laidlaw.

BAR's technical team includes:
Andy Claughton
Jason Ker
Clay Oliver
Dirk Kramers
Benjamin Muyl
Luc du Bois
James Stagg

BAR's Sailing team includes:
Ben Ainslie
Jono McBeth
David 'Freddie' Carr
Nick Hutton
Matt Cornwell
Andrew McClean

Having set up initially in Whiteley, Fareham the team will move to a purpose built base in Camber Quay, Portsmouth from the summer of 2015 when the building is expected to be completed. -- Matthew Sheahan in Yachting World

Andre Budzien Leads At Finn World Masters
Three-time champion, Andre Budzien (GER) leads the 235 Finn sailors at the 2014 Finn World Masters in Sopot, Poland, after two races were sailed Tuesday, to finally get the championship off to a great, if late, start. Marco Buglielli (ITA) had a 'perfect' day to sit in third, while defending champion Michael Maier (CZE) is third.

While the hot, sunny weather continued, there was another dismal wind forecast for the morning. However, there was a slight hope racing would be possible in the afternoon, after both Sunday's practice race and all Monday's races were cancelled through lack of wind. A light breeze arrived around 11.00 and the fleet set out for another long day afloat, finally coming ashore around 18.00. The wind filled in from the north and built to around 8-10 knots before easing down and settling at 5-7 knots for most of the afternoon. A tricky current also played havoc with the starts with a number of general recalls and black flagged competitors.

The setting here is just fantastic.More than 200 Finns are lined up in ranks along a beautiful sandy beach; there is a very hospitable host club just behind the tree line and the sailors have been treated to simply gorgeous weather. It has the makings of a great championship, despite the lack of wind until today.

The 2014 Finn World Masters consists of a series of eight races scheduled from Monday to Friday, ending with a medal race on Friday afternoon.

Results after 2 races

1. Andre Budzien, GER, 2 points
2. Marco Buglielli, ITA, 4
3. Michael Maier, CZE, 11
4. Allen Burrell, GBR, 14
5. Felix Denikaev, RUS, 15
6. Marc Allain Des Beauvais, FRA, 18
7. Christen Christoph, SUI, 18
8. Walter Riosa, ITA, 21
9. Mikhail Petriga, RUS, 21
10. Greg Davis, RSA, 22

Full results at:


Marinepool Revolution NX Line - The New Generation Of Racing Gear
Marine Pool What if there was a racing top light weight like a shirt, ultra comfortable, made from highly flexible fabric, waterproof like the best offshore sailing gear and more breathable than anything you have ever seen or worn? Impossible? Too good to be true? Well, not any longer!

The new "Revolution" NX top by Marinepool combines all the above mentioned highly regarded qualities in one new innovative garment with Dermizax® NX technology. This high-tech and high-end racing top is one of the stars in the Marinepool 2014 collection. The Marinepool design team and Toray, the producers of the Dermizax® NX fabrics, have been working behind the scenes to bring this new product to market, while the world-class athletes on Extreme Sailing Series Champion "The Wave, Muscat" put it through it´s gears in a thorough testing programme.

The feedback was inspiring the name of this racing top: Revolutionary

Never before has a racing top ticked off the boxes like "Revolution NX" with unrivaled comfort, ease of movement and a breathability at 30,000+ g/m2/24h - 50% higher than most other top of the range products on the market today.

"Revolution NX" features highly flexible neoprene neck and sleeve cuffs, a 3D designed shape, printed reinforcements and an adjustable neoprene hem. Reflective prints provide increased safety. The top is complemented by light-weight and ultra-flexible trousers and bermuda shorts. Both are made from the same high-tech ultra breathable 3-layer fabric with Dermizax NX membrane and feature abrasion resistant Cordura® reinforcements at the knees and bottom, adjustable elastic waistbands, belt loops and a bulky leg pocket with water resistant zipper. The trousers have got pre-shaped knees for increased wearing comfort and mobility and adjustable leg cuffs.

Dermizax® membrane is a nonporous membrane, highly waterproof and breathable. Its smooth and soft texture, super light weight and elasticity significantly increase wearing comfort. Athletes who turn every stone to reduce weight and who always are in pursuit of a competitive advantage will look no further.

"Revolution" NX by Marinepool. Design. Technology. Passion.

Dismasting At The Wolf Rock
Day 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cashemire has seen drama at Wolf Rock. This lunchtime Yann Elies (Groupe Queguiner Leucemie Espoir) rounded the mark, 8nm off the coast of Land's End in first place, one minute later he was forced to abandon the Leg after his boat was dismasted.

Elies is now making his way towards Falmouth, he should arrive in the Cornish port around 2100BST. If he can get his boat repaired in time, he will be able to rejoin the race in Plymouth at the start of Leg 2 on Saturday. Elies will face a time penalty of 2 hours on top of the time taken by the last sailor to finish Leg 1.

With Elies out of the Leg, Charlie Dalin (Normandy Elite Team) now leads the fleet across the channel to Roscoff, followed by Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) and Paul Meilhat (SMA). Artemis Offshore Academy's Sam Matson (Artemis 21) has made great progress along the English coast. From 23rd at Portland Bill, the 23 year old is now up to 9th - top British sailor and top rookie.

The final 160nm of Leg 1 will be challenging weather-wise. Around Wolf Rock the fleet had 20-35kn of SW'ly wind and rough seas with two metre swell. The solo sailors can expect the wind to drop overnight and the crossing from Roscoff to the Plymouth finish-line could be sluggish with just 5-10kn of wind from the SW.

Official Positions 1630 BST
1. Charlie Dalin (Normandy Elite Team) 160 nm to finish
2. Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) +0.5nm
3. Erwan Tabarly (Aror Lux) +0.9nm
4. Paul Meilhat (SMA) +1.1nm
5. Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva) +1.1nm
6. Fabien Delahay (Skipper Macif 2012) +1.2nm
7. Adrien Hardy (Agir) +1.3nm
8. Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) +1.8nm
9. Sam Matson (Artemis 21) +2.2nm
10. Gildas Mahe (Interface Concept) +2.5nm

Quantum Racing Leap To Early World Championship Lead
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

TP52 Worlds Porto Cervo, Sardinia: Two weeks of pent up frustration at their disappointing third place result in Capri's first regatta of the Barclays 52 Super Series, not to mention two hours waiting this afternoon for a decent racing breeze to arrive on the beautiful blue waters off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, almost certainly contributed to the speed that Quantum Racing sling shot themselves off the start line for the first race of the AUDI TP52 World Championship.

The black and green hull of the American-flagged three times world champions came off a strong mid line position with clear air and speed, to jump out to a clear lead at the start of the 15 miles coastal race but even so there was very, very little in at the top turn.

The margins were tiny at the windward mark of a 1.5 mile 'pipe opening' sprint leg, but they really set the hierarchy there and then. Local favourites Azzurra had to duck leader Quantum Racing on the very final approach to the turn downwind, and simultaneously Niklas Zennstrom's title holders on Ran Racing had to duck them both, but that the was the order emerging at the first turn, and so it was too at the finish line two hours later.

Up to three coastal races are planned at the championship with light winds due to continue for the next couple of days.

Overall after 1 race

1. Quantum Racing, USA, Doug De Vos, USA
2. Azzurra, ITA, Alberto Roemmers, ARG
3. Ran Racing, SWE, Niklas Zennstrom, SWE
4. Phoenix, BRA, Eduardo de Souza Ramos, BRA
5. Gladiator, GBR, Tony Langley, GBR
6. Provezza 7, TUR, Ergin Imre, TUR
7. Hurakan, ITA, Giuseppe Parodi, ITA
8. Paprec, FRA, Jean Luc Petithugenin, FRA
9. B2, ITA, Michele Galli, ITA

Is San Francisco Out Of Next AC?
America's Cup officials have reduced the prospective venues for the next regatta from four to three, and it appears San Francisco has been eliminated.

Russell Coutts, the CEO of two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA, told The Associated Press on Monday night that one venue has been eliminated, and that he plans to reduce the field to two by the end of June.

Coutts wouldn't confirm which city is out. But it's been known for months that San Francisco - the hometown of Oracle Team USA - hasn't offered terms as attractive as those offered by San Diego, Bermuda and Chicago to host the final rounds of the 2017 regatta.

Officials in San Francisco didn't respond to requests for comment.

San Diego is believed to be in a strong position, with its bid receiving broad political support ranging from new Mayor Kevin Faulconer to the port. If it is selected, racing would be on the bay rather than miles offshore on the Pacific Ocean when San Diego hosted the America's Cup in 1988, 1992 and 1995.

It's believed that Bermuda's bid contains an income tax break for those participating in the America's Cup, similar to what Valencia offered.

Fast And Fun Can Be Affordable And Accessible
Bolt 37 When introduced a year ago to the marketplace, Jason Ker's Bolt 37 design seemed like an impossible dream: a manageablesized pure race boat that promised to be fast, fun to sail, offshore-capable, and with all the features expected in a modern race boat, but at a price affordable to a broad marketplace. And nearly a year after the launch of the first boat, its speed on paper and in design renderings have translated into reality, with boat-for-boat horizon jobs achieved against many larger racer and cruiser-racer designs.

But how can this be possible for a production boat, and one fitted with a Hall high-modulus carbon spars and Harken hardware, at a base boat price of only €149,000? Anything else that comes this close in performance is usually twice this price.

'Our brief was to create a low-cost high-performance boat that could interest the large market of club-based racers who wanted an accessible, easy-to-race design,' said Jason Ker. 'Furthermore, this boat had deliver excitement and performance, but also at a modest price and good build quality. We think we have achieved this in the Bolt.'

Full article in Seahorse:

Offshore Course Across The Baie De Seine For The M34s
At 0800 GMT this morning, the skippers of the seven M34s competing in Normandy Sailing Week were able to put pedal to the metal as they set sail on the 134-mile offshore course around the Baie de Seine. Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, is setting the pace.

The wind and sunshine were playing timid this morning for the start of the M34s' offshore course. The five to eight knots of SSW'ly wind nevertheless enabled the seven competing boats to slip away towards Antifer and then on to Dieppe.

The weather forecasts and the current speed of the fleet indicate an ETA for the frontrunners of around 1100 GMT on Wednesday. -- Kate Jennings

Ranking at 1300 GMT:
1. Groupama (Franck Cammas)
2. Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet)
3. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel (Nicolas Troussel)
4. Courrier Dunkerque (Daniel Souben)
5. Nantes St-Nazaire (Jean-Baptiste Gellee)
6. Normandy Elite Team (Baptiste Choquenet)
7. Tpm Coych (Florian Simonnot)

Enigma Comes Home With A Class Win & The Spinlock Prize
The first of the Spinlock IRC 30th Anniversary special prizes was presented at the Scottish IRC Championships - held at the Old Pulteney Mudhook Regatta 2014 - over the weekend of 7-8 June at Mudhook Yacht Club. Ian Macdonald, Chairman of the GBR IRC Committee and PRO for the Championship, presented a Spinlock Deckvest LITE Lifejacket and a Deckpack to Howard and Margaret Morrison of Enigma.

Enigma is a Sigma 38 which was first launched and first rated to Channel Handicap (now IRC) in 1993 with certificate number 2967. She won IRC Class 2 at the Championships despite racing throughout the weekend with only four crew. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of IRC, Spinlock special prizes will be awarded at each of this year's IRC Regional and National Championships to the boat with the oldest IRC certificate that completes the event.

Full results of the Scottish IRC Championship:

Spinlock IRC Championships:

Cowes Etchells Fleet Race For The Royal Thames Saida Cup
This year for first time the RTYC presented their 1930 Saida Cup to the Cowes Etchells Fleet, and racing over 2 days in summer sunshine and light 6-12kt SW breezes gave the 12 Etchells great conditions for the event sailed in the hill head Bramble Bank area.

After a first race mark rounding incident and boat handling error Rob Goddard's Stampede GBR1329 sailed the most consistent regatta posting four firsts and a second to win the 7 race regatta as both top ISAF CAT1 boat and overall winner, as this was the Cowes Fleets first dual scored regatta. Other race winners were Peter Rogers, Highlife GBR1331, Richard Burrows' Matatu Dubh IRL 1015, and Thomas Brennan, Ray of Light GBR 1181

ISAF Cat 1 results are
1st, Rob Goddard, Stampede GBR1329, 2nd Andrew Baker, Esprit GBR1036, 3rd Andrew Cooper, Ice GBR1407

Overall Results
1st Rob Goddard, Stampede GBR1329, 2nd Robert Elliott, Time and Tide GBR 1416, 3rd Peter Rogers, Highlife GBR1331

Many of the Solent boats now head to Newport RI for the 2014 Etchells World Championship where 94 Etchells will be taking part, the next Cowes based championship event is on the 5th 6th of July.

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 Robert Wilkes: With reference to the Long Term Athlete Development Plan advocated in #3101, note that the stated long-term objective of the Plan is to WIN.

If this is the objective then the LTAPD is demonstrably incorrect. In almost every sport long-term winners start to compete at a much earlier age than suggested, especially in the "skill" sports. Almost every international sports federation organises world championships at Under-18 or, in most cases, younger.

Whatever about national sports bodies signing up to the LTADP in theory, in practice all of them seem to possess trained athletes able to qualify for the IOC Youth Olympics aged 14-17 - see . Canada, the home of the LTAPD, has qualified 40 athletes in 15 sports.

As regards sailing at the 2010 Youth Olympics, 70% of participants had already competed internationally at Under-16 level. Incidentally the boys winner, Ian Barrows, is currently lead helm of the Yale Bulldogs. The girls winner qualified aged 18 for the London Olympics where over 60% of the boat helms were former Under-16 internationals.

Competitive sport may not be for all and it is the right of families to choose what mix of 'FUN' and racing suits them at various ages. But for the LTAPD to claim that it will produce winners by delaying competition is demonstrably untrue.

* From David Evans: Having read this morning the letter from Tom Chant, in respect of the previous correspondence on the subject of sailing and fun, I think it is quite telling his last sentence "Great to see some of the stories about mucking about on boats reminds me of past days on the water in pursuit of leisure".

I think that this is the crux of the matter. Do we want to bring our children into sailing as a sport and to give them a chance of enjoying a lifetime of sailing, racing perhaps and most importantly comradeship or do we want to pretend that by engaging in RYA this RYA that, constant coaching etc that we can give them a full time career in sailing.

It is noticeable that rarely do professional athletes ever continue in their sport the moment the money stops, and only a very small fraction of over egged children that try ever even reach professional status, the best example of this is soccer.

I mucked around in boats, as a child (and still do), both my boys did the same. It is noticeable at my local Yacht Club that in the 20 somethings age group there are three families' children that dominate local races, they all grew up messing about in boats and there isn't an RYA certificate between them.

So unless your children all wake up one morning with a burning desire to become Ben Ainslie II, then save your money, encourage your children to sail with their friends and they will make life long friends and become better yachtsmen and sailors by learning the only way that really works , by experience!

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 Murtic Yachts Ker 39. €235,000 + VAT. Located in France.

Inis mor is a standard Ker 39 'mark II' probably the most sucessful run of IRC yachts ever built. Work improvements for off shore races (cf ex run-under-deck garage and drains, omegas reinforcement etc).

Keel moved forward during build as per Jason Ker recommendation to improve performance Refit in Nov 2013 (incl boom, mast and deck paint, rod check by radio and replaced when need be).

New sails for 2014 and a refit over the winter make her to be an excellent option for a last minute entry for the Commodores Cup, or any future IRC regatta racing.

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222


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