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

A Racecourse Built Of Shifts
One measure of the success of Olympic class racing on Biscayne Bay is the steadily growing participation. The numbers in 2015 - 599 boats from 63 countries - make this a record turnout. But make that 64 countries. Add Cuba to the list.

At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, Cuba's Yuseily Gonzalez Luis is coming in late (obviously) with no hope of qualifying for the Medal Races on Saturday. Even so, she wants to bring her RS:X windsurfer to the start line, if only for a day, to put her punctuation on the thaw in international relations. And see some friends on the water. And in a small way, make history.

Luis is likely to find single-digit winds on the course on Friday, down from the teens on Thursday. Once again, the racecourse was built out of shifts, whichever one of six racing areas you might have in mind. Once again, everyone struggled, but a few people turned in the kind of results that don't show it.

Top three by class:

2.4mR - One Person Keelboat
1. Bja Rnar Erikstad, NOR, 16
2. Megan Pascoe, GBR, 17
3. Allan Leibel, CAN, 25

470 - Men's Two Person Dinghy
1. Luke Patience / Elliot WIllis, GBR, 17
2. Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan, AUS, 32
3. Onan Barreiros / Juan Curbelo Cabrera, ESP, 45

470 - Women's Two Person Dinghy
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL, 11
2. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR, 30
3. Al Kondo Yoshida / Miho Yoshioka, JPN, 44

49er - Men's Skiff
1. Nico Delle Karth / Nikolaus Resch, AUT, 66
2. Joel Turner / Iain Jensen, AUS, 67
3. Carlos Paz / Anton Paz Blanco, ESP, 80

49erFX - Women's Skiff
1. Alexandra Maloney / Molly Meech, NZL, 70
2. Charlotte Dobson / Sophie Ainsworth, GBR, 126
3. Giulia Conti / Francesca Clapcich, ITA, 133

Finn - Men's One Person Dinghy
1. Giles Scott, GBR, 16
2. Jake Lilley, AUS, 26
3. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 34

Laser - Men's One Person Dinghy
1. Nick Thompson, GBR, 38
2. Philipp Buhl, GER, 48
3. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 50

Laser Radial - Women's One Person Dinghy
1. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 29
2. Evi Van Acker, BEL, 34
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 36

Nacra17 - Mixed Multihull
1. Vittorio Bissaro / Silvia Sicouri, ITA, 63
2. Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves, GBR, 65
3. Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA, 75

RS:X - Men's Windsurfer
1. Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED, 56
2. Thomas Goyard, FRA, 59
3. Byron Kokkalanis, GRE, 63

RS:X - Women's Windsurfer
1. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 24
2. Lilian de Geus, NED, 51
3. Flavia Tartaglinni, ITA, 64

Skud 18 - Two Person Keelboat
1. Daniel Fitzgibbon / Liesl Tesch, AUS, 13
2. Alexandra Rickham / Niki Birrell, GBR, 17
3. Marco Gualandris / Marta Zanetti, ITA, 22

Sonar - Three Person Keelboat
1. Aleksander Wang-Hansen / Per Eugen Kristiansen / Marie Solberg, NOR, 15
2. Alphonsus Doerr / Brad Kendell / Hugh Freund, USA, 16
3. Paul Tingley / Logan Campbell / Scott Lutes, CAN, 20

Solidarity and Becalmed In The South
Becalmed in the South Indian Ocean with no escape south becuase of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone means a painful waiting game for Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin on GAES Centros Auditivos.

For all that the Southern Ocean is renowned for big winds and big seas, the Spanish duo which lies in third place in the Barcelona Round the World Race maybe found it incongruous that they spent time today trying to make just two or three knots of boat speed in next to no wind, but all the time fourth placed Renault Captur were catching miles back on them, and the two leaders were moving further away.

Corbella and Marin were putting a brave face on their delicate predicament, and reported that they would use the enforced downtime to make small repairs and get their IMOCA 60 close to 100% potential again.

GAES Centros Auditivos have seen Jorg Riechers and Sebastien Audigane on Renault Captur gain 60 miles on them in the last 24 hours to 1400hrs UTC this afternoon, while Cheminees Poujoulat, race leaders for two weeks now, have moved another 121 miles ahead of GAES Centros Auditivos.

Ranking at 1400hrs Thursday 29th January 2015
1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B Stamm - J Le Cam) 16 154,8 miles to finish
2. Neutrogena (G Altadill - J Munoz) +225 miles to leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marin) + 721.9
4. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) + 1193.4
5. We Are Water (B Garcia - W Garcia) + 1728.2
6. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - D Costa) + 2333.7
7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa - C Colman) + 2890.7

Three Nations Share The Lead
Perth, Western Australia: In the tightest event in the history of the Warren Jones Youth Regatta, three skippers from three nations share the top spot on the leader board at the end of the double round robin. Australia's Matt Jerwood, Dane Joachim Aschenbrenner and Chris Steele from New Zealand are level with 18 wins each.

After a tie-break it was the local hero Matt Jerwood who came out as number one, ahead for Chris Steele, and the Dane third, with the winner afforded the privilege of first choice of opponent for the quarter-finals.

There was also a scramble to claim the bottom places in the cut into the quarter-finals, with American Peter Holz and Japan's Kohei Ichikawa just getting in, despite Holz having a half point penalty imposed for causing damage as a result of a collision.

There will be a tight schedule of races on Friday to complete the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. The regatta is being hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, which this weekend celebrates its 150th anniversary, the event is managed by Swan River Sailing. -- John Roberson

Results after 2 round robins

1. Matt Jerwood, South of Perth Y.C.
2. Joachim Aschenbrenner, Royal Dansh Y.C.
3. Chris Steele, Royal New Zealand Y.S.
4. Sam Gilmour, Royal Freshwater Bay Y.C.
5. Lachy Gilmour, Royal Freshwater Bay Y.C.
6. Jay Griffin, Cruising Y.C. of Australia
7. Kohei Ichikawa, Japan Sailing Federation
8. Peter Holz, Chicago Match Racing Centre
9. Sam Ellis, Cruising Y.C. of Australia
10. Mark Lees, Royal Southern Y.C.
11. Will Boulden, Royal Freshwater Bay Y.C.
12. Malcolm Parker, Royal Prince Alfred Y.C.

Race On A Volvo Open 70 - The Caribbean 600 Challenge
Monster 70 Record-breaking Volvo Open 70 racing charter Monster Project is offering experienced sailors and enthusiastic newcomers a rare opportunity to join our team for the epic RORC Caribbean 600 Race, 21st - 27th February 2015.

Monster Project's Caribbean 600 package includes pre-race training days 17th - 21st February 2015 - where you'll be trained by our Professional Crew and Racing Skipper Andy Budgen, before Monster Project cross the start line on 21st February 2015 and the real adventure begins.

Will you join an international fleet of over 50 yachts, which has now entered the offshore blast around the Caribbean, one of yacht racing's most exhilarating playgrounds with the warm trade winds and a Caribbean swell providing superb sailing conditions. The RORC Caribbean 600 course, starting and finishing in Antigua, is designed to provide a challenging, high speed racetrack.

As an integral part of the crew, experience the thrill of sailing Monster Project's Formula - 1 racing machine. Tackle the worlds elite, and take on tasks such as grinding, hoisting, trimming and even driving a Volvo Open 70 in an extreme racing atmosphere.

This 70 foot technological and architectural masterpiece, forged of carbon fibre and resins, with towering mast, huge square-topped mainsail, twin daggerboards and a canting keel; has a magic combination of displacement, length and sail area and Andrew Budgen, will be skippering the boat to win. Already the battle for Line Honours includes Ragamuffin, Maserati, Rambler 88, Leopard, and of course Monster Project.

For more information on:

- The Caribbean 600 (21 - 27 February 2015)
- St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (5 - 8 March 2015)
- Antigua Sailing Week (25 April - 1 May 2015)
- Fastnet (16 August 2015)
- Transatlantic 2015 Newport, Rhode Island to Cowes, Isle of Wight - held only once every 4 years (5 July 2015)
- Volvo Ocean Race Events


Marchand Misses Leg To Root Out Tooth Trouble
Dental problems - one of the worse curses that can strike an offshore sailor in the middle of the ocean - have forced MAPFRE's Anthony Marchand out of the next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Sanya to Auckland.

The Frenchman, 29, is one of the Spanish team's obligatory under-30 sailors on board but was plagued with tooth trouble for several, debilitating days during the middle of Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi to Sanya on the southern tip of China.

"I was ill for about a week with a high temperature. Luckily, Xabi (skipper Fernandez/ESP) covered my watches for five days to ensure the crew were covered," he said from Sanya. "I rested and recovered my strength to be able to finish the leg well."

MAPFRE will confirm in the next few days who will replace Marchand for Leg 4.

Their skipper Iker Martinez missed Leg 3 to concentrate on Rio Olympic preparation training for 2016 but is expected to take over again from Fernandez for the stage from Sanya to Auckland, New Zealand, starting on February 8.

Team Oracle Submits Plans For Bermuda Base
Plans for Team Oracle's America's Cup headquarters have been submitted for approval, including a master plan hinting at possible future projects.

The application, submitted by ACBDA, focuses on Team Oracle's base, which will take up about 7.2 acres on the northern side of the South Basin dock.

Included on the site will be four new buildings to house boats and sails, two tents, seven containers, a 160-foot crane, an ancillary building to house fibre-optic infrastructure, and two floating docks.

According to the plan, an existing structure on the property would be adapted into shower and toilet facilities.

While the application was placed online at the Department of Planning website, as of Friday the physical application also included a layout of event marinas, dated January 20, which as of yesterday did not appear online. The layout suggests possible future developments in Dockyard linked to the 2017 America's Cup, including other marina structures.

The document shows two team bases next to Team Oracle - Sweden's Artemis Racing Team and a second, unspecified team - while another three team bases are earmarked for reclaimed land inside the South Basin's arm.

Also included on the document are two marina structures to the southwest of the basin's arm, and marinas inside Kings Wharf and Heritage Wharf. An entertainment stage in the North camber slipway is also listed, while parking and utility storage are shown on Boaz Island Field.

Spinlock IRC Start Up
Two new clubs have taken up the Spinlock IRC Start Up scheme already for 2015, so their club racing will be under IRC this year. Scarborough Yacht Club now has 18 boats IRC rated, and we have had an enquiry from another club in NE England so are hopeful that more IRC fleets will become established in the area. At the opposite end of the country clubs in Weymouth on the south coast are joining forces to get IRC rated, and we are now receiving their applications. Flushing SC are also renewing certificates after a successful first year using IRC in 2014.

If your Club does not currently use IRC for its racing and is interested in finding out more, why not show them

* The 2015 IRC Yearbook is online

Spindrift Racing Joins The GC32 Racing Tour
Multihull experts Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard and their Spindrift racing team are passionate about innovation and elite international competition, and have decided to join the GC32 Racing Tour 2015.

Spindrift racing has also confirmed its participation in the Tour de France à la Voile in July, this year to be sailed in Diam 24 trimarans, as well the D35 championship on Lake Geneva, where Dona Bertarelli will be at the helm of Ladycat for the 9th consecutive season. Offshore, the team will make its first attempt at beating the Jules Verne Trophy record aboard the maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2. 

So why take part in the GC32 circuit? "It's clear that the future of sailing is currently leaning towards these foiling boats," explains Yann Guichard. "It's not just in the America's Cup - it's happening with other contact racing boats too, such as the GC32. Even in offshore racing, the new Vendee Globe monohulls have foils to partially raise the boats into the air so they can sail faster. Performance and innovation are part of Spindrift racing's DNA, as is our desire to compete at the very top level of international sailing. The GC32 circuit is a perfect match to satisfy both our sporting goals and our partners' objectives, who will benefit from international exposure in the five host countries. We are excited by the opportunity to learn to foil in a matter of weeks and to compete against the crème de la crème in what promises to be an ultra-competitive circuit."

Rainbow II Restored
Click on image to enlarge.

Rainbox II The fully restored Rainbow II emerged from the Vos Shed in Hamer Street today and was taken straight to Pier 21 where the rig was stepped and final preparations are being made for the boat's launching at 10am on Monday (2 February, 2015).

Rainbow's skipper Chris Bouzaid was on hand for the move along with key people in the restoration.

Mrs Lorraine Street, wife of Auckland waterfront identity John Street, will do the traditional honours to rechristen Rainbow II at Pier 21.

John Street is the driving force behind, and chairman of, the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust which now owns Rainbow II. The iconic Sparkman & Stephens 36-footer was donated to the Trust by Bouzaid who, in 2012, bought back the yacht that he sold to Bermuda after she won the One Ton Cup in 1969 and, with the help of some friends, had her shipped home to New Zealand.

She was in a sad way but has now been fully restored by the Trust and, as a modern classic, will make a racing return to the Hauraki Gulf on the 28th of February when she features in the fleet for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's five-race One Ton Revisited regatta. -- Alan Sefton

Alan Buchanan
Alan Buchanan We're sad to report the death of Alan Buchanan, who died peacefully yesterday in Jersey. Alan's design business, which began at his home in Enfield, Middlesex in 1948 and then moved to Burnham on Crouch before settling in Jersey in the early 1970s, is credited with drawing around 2,400 boats. His designs dominated yacht racing in the 1950s with yachts like Taeping 1954, the all teak Vashti, 1958 and Taitsing, 1961 leading the fleet. Indeed around half the east coast fleet were Buchanans in those years.

Unlike many naval architects he seemed to move effortlessly into the age of glassfibre having worked with it while in aircraft construction design during the war. -- Dan Houston

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 Malcolm McKeag: Scuttlebutt Europe reports that "Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizers have "no plan B" for the 2016 games' sailing competitions, despite a recent admission by the state's top environment official that it will be impossible to meet pledges to clean up the raw sewage- and trash-filled waters where the events are to be staged."

Which surely and immediately prompts the question "Does ISAF have a Plan B - and if so what is it?" Our international governing body, usually so ready to insist that it knows best and has only the best interests of sailors at the heart of its policies and actions, surely cannot sit idly by and just abandon its Olympic sailors to this open sewer. Can it? Will it?

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The Last Word
In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. -- Bill Watterson

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