Brought to you by Boats.com Europe, Yachtworld.com Europe, 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

Sanya China Chosen For Vor Leg Three Finish
Alicante, Spain: Sanya, the southernmost city on the golden coast of Hainan Province, China, has won the bid to host the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Building on the success of the Qingdao stopover during the 2008-09 event, the resort city of Sanya will be the finish of leg three, which starts from Abu Dhabi.

As the 2011-12 route takes shape, the port of Sanya is now confirmed as the only stopover in Asia. Other ports on the course include the start in Alicante, where the Volvo Ocean Race now has its base, stopovers in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Lisbon, Lorient and the finish in Galway. The entire route for this classic round the world race will be revealed by the end of March, when details on scoring, leg lengths and other details will be confirmed.

Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan, the only tropical island province in China, features golden sandy beaches and enjoys a good year-round climate. The Sanya Municipal Government will use the Volvo Ocean Race as part of its plans to develop the city into a top international tourism destination. It already has an excellent transport system, which will be integral to the building of a new high-level marina.

The remaining ports yet to be revealed will be unveiled throughout March.

volvooceanrace.com

The Pendulum Effect
In the disturbed air flow stretching right across the Atlantic, Groupama 3 is continuing her rapid progress towards the finish line and has substantially increased her lead over the reference time. Her arrival off the Creac'h lighthouse is still scheduled for Saturday, but the ETA remains open for the whole of Saturday as the low pressure area could slow down the giant trimaran.

Though the weather window for the departure was narrow, the doors to the finish are now wide open! However, 1,500 miles from Ushant, Franck Cammas and his men are not yet done with the changing conditions: by having to approach the centre of low pressure which is currently pushing the giant trimaran along, the wind will become more unstable and is likely to switch suddenly from the SW to the NW. The wind will also strengthen to over thirty knots with gusts in the squalls and as such the crew will have a number of manoeuvres to perform before they enter the Bay of Biscay.

After 46 days at sea, the crew is starting to get impatient and although the distance between the land and the sailors has come down to a few large surfs, it was clear during the video conference with Franck Cammas that the crew was eager to return to their families ... and to normal food!

"We're going to have a good steak because dried food looks more like dog food! Eating is not a delight every day: fortunately we've got fish dishes and sauces prepared by Philippe Rochat to give us a bit of flavour... We are still sailing too fast to fish and we have only raised a small flying fish out of this world tour, which was so small that we returned it to the sea."

Groupama's Race HQ has this Thursday evening moved to Brest to prepare for the arrival of the giant trimaran which should make the Brittany coast on Saturday. Once this low pressure area has rolled over tonight the ETA (estimated time of arrival) can be refined to one or two hours. However, so far, the possible arrival time lies between 0700 and 1900 UTC, depending on the sea state and the regularity of the wind. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Groupama 3's log (departure on 31st January at 13h 55' 53'' UTC)
(Number of miles covered in relation to the optimum course for the Jules Verne Trophy)
Day 43 (15th March 1400 UTC): 482 miles (deficit = 216 miles)
Day 44 (16th March 1400 UTC): 401 miles (lead = 72 miles)
Day 45 (17th March 1400 UTC): 441 miles (lead = 412 miles)
Day 46 (18th March 1400 UTC): 579 miles (lead = 828 miles)

Jules Verne Trophy record
Orange 2 (2005): 50d 16h 20'

www.cammas-groupama.com

Ullman Sails Norway Joins Ullman Group
Norwegian Seilmaker Peter Høeg has rejoined the Ullman Sails group! Established in 1767, his family-owned business is among the oldest sailmaking companies in the world. Peter has a long history with the Ullman group - he spent three years training with David Ullman in the late 1980s before taking charge of his family's sailmaking operations in Drammen, Norway.

After a five-year absence from Ullman, we are delighted that he is again a member of our team. Peter's loft has been a leader in both one design and offshore racing/cruising sail development.

You can find Norway and our other lofts at www.ullmansails.com

Bravo Bruno!
Ben Ainslie is a nice guy. So is Iain Percy. Mike Sanderson? Lovely bloke. Andrew "Bart" Simpson? Tremendous. Ian Moore? Fantastic guy.

Whatever you do - just don't get in their way when they are at work.

I did...

Work this week for the afterguard and TeamOrigin crew was at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Auckland, competing on Version 5 America's Cup boats provided and maintained by Emirates Team New Zealand. I was 18th man onboard the Swedish team Artemis, who Origin was up against, with Paul Cayard as skipper and Terry Hutchinson helming. A duo that seem to communicate by intuition and telepathy they know each other so well: briefly speaking just to confirm which tactical scenario they were mentally scrolling through at that particular moment.

Good? They were brilliant. But TeamOrigin didn't care; they just got amongst it.

The race with Artemis featured four or five lead changes and three penalties. At the final windward mark, Ainslie slotted his bow between Artemis and the buoy, calling us up as they roared into the picture. I was directly between him and Hutchinson, so it felt like three Olympic Gold medalists and a Volvo winner were roaring for me to get the hell out of the way as they sliced through. Noise? Think of all the noise you have heard on a yacht and double it. Nerves? Mine took the sensible option and were in my boots. Standing on board Artemis I was closer to the TeamOrigin Bowman than any of the Swedish crew - and the freeze-frame image was so powerful I woke up with a start the next morning at 3am, with an image of Ainslie's bow slicing just past my right ear - wondering how the hell TeamOrigin got a V5 boat in my hotel room. Come to think of it, if they wanted to, the Origin afterguard could probably slot a Version 5 A/C yacht into a phone box...

Paul Cayard said this match ranks right up there with some of the all time races he has had in 20 years of racing in this class of boat. The racing was simply stunning. If you are going to mix it at this level, in 20+ knots of breeze on a short course with this size boat - you are going to get scorch marks. Everybody does. So there was contact, penalties, winners and losers. But thanks to Bruno Trouble' and the vision of Louis Vuitton, we were able to see some phenomenal racing and I saw two remarkable teams up very close - TeamOrigin and Artemis. So thank you to the crew, shore teams and admin. Et Merci Bruno! -- Blue Robinson,

The Maxi-Trimaran Sodeb'o Turns Over A New Leaf
Click on image to enlarge.

Sodebo Trimaran A month from the completion of a long and important refit which has already stretched over four months, the maxi trimaran is beginning to reveal her new look. Indeed, Sodeb'O will be able to boast a brand new trim, thanks to the installation of foils designed to give her a turbo boost, added to which the livery has been completely revamped.

It's the first time since her launch in June 2007 that the maxi trimaran has spent so many months on land. Questioned about the appeal of the foils, Thierry Briend, boat captain, admits how keen the sailing team is "to check out the pertinence of these magnificent technical choices". "The idea behind the modifications was to have a boat with the potential for advancement over time, bearing in mind that breaking records is becoming increasingly demanding and also with a view to participating in races like the Route du Rhum" explained Benoît Cabaret at the start of the refit.

"The aim is to reduce the drag as much as possible to be able to accelerate. A foil is similar to an aeroplane wing, which goes through each float and can be submerged on demand, according to the point of sail and the wind and sea conditions. Once making speed, the foil relieves the stresses on the float, which lifts out of the water. The weight of the boat thus rests on the small section of the foil which remains submerged and hence the drag is reduced to a bare minimum".

After all these months reflecting on the best way forward, calling different aspects into question and refitting the boat, the team are eager to measure the gains on the water. "The choice of foils is also about consolidating the way in which Thomas is already using Sodeb'O, with the central hull kissing the surface of the water and the leeward hull lightened as much as possible to optimise the speed and equilibrium. In the heavy seas, the system also helps to prevent the boat's bows from burying into the wave dangerously, which is a plus for both safety and performance" concludes Benoît Cabaret. Together with John Levell and Martin Fischer, he has studied all the different foil shapes for Sodeb'O. The flat ones, the short ones and the S-shaped ones, before opting for a classic shape reminiscent of those on Groupama 3 and Banque Populaire.

www.sodebo-voile.com

Summer 2010 Corporate Sailing Charters
Mainsail Charters Finding the right type of boat for your corporate sailing event can be tricky, especially if you are not used to boats or sailing.

In order to make things easier for you, Mainsail has several fantastic yachts available for you to charter, from a magnificent Swan 70 to exciting racing boats and imposing power vessels. Each boat has been carefully selected to offer guests a fabulous day afloat.

We have availability throughout the summer and some openings remain for the JP Morgan Round the Island Race and Cowes Week. To view the boats we have on offer, please visit our website www.mainsail.co.uk/corporate-sailing.html or email tel +44 1983 200901.

Sign up for our Email Newsletter: www.mainsail.co.uk/newsletter.html

Delta Lloyd Regatta Aims To Boost Quality
Medemblik/Netherlands: In 2010, the organization of the Delta Lloyd Regatta, part of the ISAF World Cup Series, aims to boost its quality. That concerns the sailing competition on the IJsselmeer at Medemblik, as well as the reporting about it. Josje Hofland (NED), jury member for the 32nd America's Cup, composed a skilled jury and the race committees are highly focussed on their job after a tour along the involved clubs. A professional media team will innovatively picture the Olympic sailing on Dutch waters, including live web coverage of the Medal Races.

"In the last 25 years, we were well-known for our progressive ideas and the implementation of it. Now, we think it is time to work on the improvement of quality in general", says organizer Arjen Rahusen (NED) from Amsterdam based Trefpunt Sports & Entertainment. In example, the evaluation showed that the pressure on the international jury was too high. Rahusen: "That is why we asked Josje Hofland to solve that issue. She put together a new jury, in consultation with the ISAF." The list includes skilful persons, who gained their extensive experience with events as the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and Olympic Games. They represent nine nationalities, under the leadership of Chairman Jan Stage (DEN).

Traditionally, the Medal Races in the ten Olympic classes will take place close to the shore. Now it is possible to have a closer eye on it. Rahusen: "We will broadcast them live on the internet. We are using cameras on top of the Radboud Castle, a cradle elevator, in a RIB with reporter, in a helium balloon above a buoy and in a mini helicopter. The TV truck for editing work will be parked next to the course and the images will be directly beamed to the shore. Of course there is a small time difference, so there will be a little delay in broadcast." The organization will also add tracing & tracking to the live video reporting.

The Delta Lloyd Regatta 2010 commences on Wednesday May 26 and finishes on Sunday May 30. The event belongs to the international ISAF World Cup series for Olympic and Paralympic classes. The first two Medal Races are scheduled on Saturday May 29 and the following eight on the day after.

www.deltalloydregatta.org

2010 ORC Sportboat European Championship Ready For Entries
St. Petersburg, Russia: The St. Petersburg Sailing Union (SPSU), the Russian Offshore Race Association and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased to announce the 2010 ORC Sportboat European Championship has published its Notice of Race and is ready to accept entries.

The event will be held over 3-10 July 2010 in St. Petersburg, with six days of racing scheduled over 5-10 July, with all shoreside activities being held at the Hercules Yacht Club.

Boat types which are eligible to compete in the ORC Sportboat class are defined in the ORC "Green Book" of Championship rules, but include the following criteria:

- Length (LOA) 6.0 - 9.0 m
- Displacement (DSPM) <2000 kg
- DSPM/LOA^3 (DLR) < 4.50
- 50% crew must be ISAF Group 1 sailors

Typical boat types which qualify as ORC Sportboats include popular boats in western Europe such as the Laser SB3, Elliott 6M, Melges 24, Beneteau 25, GP26, and J/80, and other popular boats in Russia and eastern Europe. For teams unable to bring their own boat to the event, organizers at SPSU are making Santer 760's available for charter.

These and other sportboats have become very popular in the last decade or so for their relatively low cost, high-speed style of performance and the skill and athleticism necessary to race these boats. And while there are many types of sportboats sailing, it's rare to have the opportunity to race them against each other in such a high-level event. Using the power of the ORC handicap system to equalize these disparate boat types, the ORC Sportboat European Championship therefore provides a valuable opportunity to have teams from many different classes come together and prove to each other who is the fastest and who is the best.

For more information and application for entry to the 2010 ORC Sportboat European Championship, visit the event website at sailingunion.ru/eng_sportboat-2010

For more information about ORC and other ORC events, visit www.orc.org

46th Congressional Cup
Long Beach, California, USA: The 46th Congressional Cup scheduled next Tuesday through Saturday will be sailed on Catalina 37s, but that's nothing new.

They've been sailed in the United States' only Grade 1 Open match racing event for 20 years, and that doesn't seem about to change.

The 10 skippers who will sail next week, with current International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rankings:

Sally Barkow, Nashotah, Wis. (99), Pine Lake YC
Johnie Berntsson (9), Sweden, Royal Gothenburg YC
Gavin Brady, New Zealand, Royal Hong Kong YC
Francesco Bruni (24), Italy, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Simone Ferrarese (32), Italy, Yacht Club Cortina
Bill Hardesty, San Diego, Chicago Match Race Center
Damien Iehl, (3) France, APCC Voile Sportive
Eric Monnin (31), Switzerland, Yacht Club Immensee
Evgeniy Neugodnikov (20), Russia , Team Synergy
Dave Perry (45), Southport, Conn., Long Beach YC

If anything, the Catalina 37s have grown in popularity since Catalina Yachts President Frank Butler and chief engineer Gerry Douglas brought 11 of them, including a spare, to the Congressional Cup organizing Long Beach Yacht Club, which later placed them under the administration of the Long Beach Sailing Foundation for charter.

Scott Dickson has probably raced them more than anybody. Since migrating to Long Beach from New Zealand in the early 90s he has raced them as a skipper in 12 Congressional Cups and several Ficker Cups, the qualifier event---and the same door that Sally Barkow used to qualify as only the event's fourth woman skipper in nearly half a century.

Dickson, who also has raced other boats in other international events, sees no reason to change.

"They're a good open platform and they're simple, which really enables you to sail a big boat with a small team, which is very challenging," Dickson said. "The 37s are hanging on from a previous generation where you had heavier displacement and bigger boats. Displacement for match racing is a very, very good thing … [being] slow to accelerate, slow to decelerate makes it a lot more technical. You have to plan ahead a lot more.

"Because the boats are not high tech and there's not too many strings to play with has put a premium on boat handling and crew work---and you can't get any better than that for match racing." -- Rich Roberts

www.lbyc.org

2010 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds
When the Farr 40s arrive in the Dominican Republic later next month, April 21-24, all eyes will be on the defending World Champion, Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (USA). A three-time Rolex Farr 40 World Champion in 2009 (Porto Cervo), 2004 (San Francisco), and 1998 (Miami), Richardson will be back with most of his all-star crew, including tactician Terry Hutchinson, 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in the USA.

The 2010 venue - the second time the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship has been hosted in the Caribbean - makes full use of the stunning 7,000 acre Casa de Campo Resort and Marina located on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. The Marina offers great access to sailing conditions the Caribbean is well known for: steady south-easterly breezes, turquoise waters and shirt-sleeve sailing.

Lining up Barking Mad in their sights, will be more than a few teams who have proven in the past that they are capable of winning not just races, but more importantly whole series: Helmut Jahn on Flash Gordon 6 (USA) with tactician Bill Hardesty, won the 2009 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship and is fresh from winning the Farr 40 class at the 2010 Miami Grand Prix last week. Most of the Miami fleet will be moving on to the Dominican Republic and if the racing in Florida, where Flash Gordon held off 2nd placed Nerone (ITA) by a mere point, is any indication, the Worlds will be hotly contested.

Still other teams offer up a strong challenge, including Guido Belgiorno-Nettis on Transfusion (AUS), with tactician Tom Slingsby, who last week in Sydney won the 2010 Farr 40 Australian Championship for the second year in a row; Wolfgang Schaefer on Struntje Light (GER); Doug Douglass on Goombay Smash (USA), with tactician Morgan Larson; Alex Roepers on Plenty (USA), with tactician Tony Rey; Alberto Rossi on Enfant Terrible (ITA); Lisa & Martin Hill on Estate Master (AUS), with tactician Hamish Pepper; and Alessandro Barnaba on Fiamma (ITA). New to the Farr 40 fleet this past year is Nico Poons on Charisma (MON), who is the reigning Swan 45 World Champion.

To date, the Farr 40 class is well represented with 11 entries from five countries. The fleet will warm up with two days of racing in the Rolex Farr 40 Pre-World Championships on Saturday, 17 April and Sunday, 18 April. The Rolex Farr 40 World Championship racing begins on Wednesday, 21 April and finishes on Saturday, 24 April.

www.farr40worlds.com

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 Tom Hayhoe: I've just followed the link from Scuttlebutt #2051 to www.louisvuittontrophy.com and taken look at some of the TV coverage of the Louis Vuitton series. If anyone has any lingering doubts about the format for ACC34 - take a look at the regatta currently taking place in Auckland. Compared to the excitement offered by closely matched AC Rule boats, watching the multihulls lumbering around in Valencia had all the interest of watching paint dry.

Objectively BMW Oracle and Alinghi may be fast, but as a spectacle they're dull as ditchwater compared to the boats they replaced.

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The Last Word
Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever. -- Aristophanes

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