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

Technical Pit Stop In South New Zealand For Neutrogena
After suffering an engine problem which affects their ability to generate electrical power, Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and Jose Munoz (CHI), who are racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race around the world, have taken the decision to reroute to the south of New Zealand to make a technical repair.

The Spanish-Chilean duo altered course to the NE around 0300hrs UTC this morning and had 585 miles to sail to Invercargill in the south of New Zealand's South Island. Altadill reckoned their ETA in Invercargill would be in about 40 hours.

Neutrogena are sailing in about 25kts of NW'ly breeze which is due to increase to 30kts with big seas.

They are in regular contact with their shore team in England and with Race Direction which are tracking their progress closely.

Race rules require that any technical pit stop is a minimum of 24 hours duration and maximum eight days. After more than 40 days racing this is the first technical pit stop of the eight boat IMOCA 60 fleet which started from Barcelona on 31st January 2014.

Twin Wins For Swinton
Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Keith Swinton struggled through sickness to notch up two wins and zero losses on day two of the Monsoon Cup Malaysia. The skipper of Team Alpari FX, along with bowman Ricky McGarvie, were struck down by a bug that saw them driven off to hospital after their matches were complete. Yet somehow they managed to keep their stuff together to score some vital victories over France's Pierre-Antoine Morvan and fellow Western Australian, David Gilmour.

Swinton now sits on 6 wins and 2 losses, putting him in 4th place in Qualifying. Above him on the leaderboard are some of the usual suspects: Ian Williams, Taylor Canfield and Phil Robertson

The skippers sitting on the cusp of scraping into the Quarters, or heading home for an early bath, are Pierre-Antoine Morvan, Bjorn Hansen, David Gilmour, Eric Monnin and Johnie Berntsson. Hansen often finds himself on the borderline but has an uncanny habit of doing just enough to get through, and then finds a new lease of life in the knock-out stages. The Swede will be hoping that's the case tomorrow.

Results of Qualifying after Flight 12

1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 8-1
2. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 7-0
3. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 6-1
4. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 6-2
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 4-3
6. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 4-4
7. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 4-5
8. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 3-4
9. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 2-5
10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team 2-6
11. Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot 1-8
12. Jeremy Koo (MAS) Sime Darby Foundation / 1 Malaysia Match Racing Team 0-8

PSP Celebrates Mediterranean Sailing With February Offer
Worldwide logistics company PSP is running a special service to help sailors get their yachts to the Mediterranean this spring.

PSP is running its first Mediterranean sailing of 2015, right in time for the start of the new sailing season, and celebrating the launch with discounted rates for those who book before the end of February.

The vessel will depart from Southampton between March 18 and 25, heading first to Palma and then to Genoa. It will be a full water/water, mast up service and space is available for every type of boat, including:

- Sail Yachts
- Motor Yachts
- RIB/Tenders
- Superyachts

The loading will be overseen by PSP's expert loadmaster and carried out using PSP's own lifting gear and fully adjustable shipping cradles.

PSP is renowned worldwide for its specialism in transporting yachts and counts Sunseeker, Fairline and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race among its customers.

To take advantage of PSP's early bird February offer and for a quotation call +44 (0) 1489 565577 or email

To find out more about PSP visit

Gambling On A Northern Route
Sanya, China: Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) and Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) have made a push north for more wind in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race as the fleet entered the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday.

The two crews must wait around a week to discover if their tactics to head towards Taiwan - in apparently totally the wrong direction - have paid off. Early indications are that they could earn rich dividends on the 5,264-nautical mile (nm) leg from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand.

The pair have taken a wider arc, further north, after exiting the Luzon Strait between Taiwan and the Luzon Island of the Philippines.

It is a 'fast lane' route that will mean that they will sail roughly 300nm longer than their four rivals, but they are banking on better wind to propel them clear. Eventually.

"So far, the weather models say they have got it right, but it will be six or seven days - or even more - before we know for sure," said the race's official meteorologist, Gonzalo Infante, on Wednesday.

"The danger for Team SCA and Team Brunel at that point will be as they enter a stretch of Doldrums, which can be random. But they could well end up in a very strong position by the time they reach the South Pacific.

The Tour De Martinique - A New Edition And A Revised Format
The Round Martinique Regatta (Tour de Martinique), created over 50 years ago and co-organized by the Yacht Club Neptune and the association Ven dan Vwel 972 since 2014, was presented in Fort-de-France today. The event forms part of the Caribbean Sailing Association calendar of events and is federated by the French Sailing Federation.

Taking place from 13 to 15 February 2015, the Round Martinique Regatta will gather over 30 entries above 24 feet (7, 30), which will be divided into 5 classes: Cruising, Racing, Melges, Cruising Multihulls and Surprises.

New for 2015, the race will be split into three stages, running anticlockwise round Martinique. The competitors will leave from Fort de France on Friday, February 13 in the morning for the first stage for a finish in Marin, where the crew will spend the first evening.

On 14 February, St. Valentine's Day, they fleet will set off from Marin on the second stage of the race for Robert. The final stage, the longest of the three, will see the competitors race from Robert to Fort-de-France and the finish line which they should reach on Sunday the 15th for sunset in time for the prize giving which will be hosted at the Club Nautique Neptune du Lamentin.

Marc Emig, professional skipper and offshore sailor will sail on the Ven Dan Vwel Martinique, a boat which he has raced on for a number of years and which is due to arrive tonight having competed on the Transquadra 2015 race.

Rodolphe Sepho (Class 40) and Daniel Ecalard (Rum Class) who participated in the last Route du Rhum will also be racing on the Round Martinique Regatta (Tour de Martinique).

Bertrand de Broc, multiple Vendee Globe participant and very experienced offshore sailor is once more ambassador of the 2015 edition and will participate for the second consecutive year on the race.

Silicon Ship Wins Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
The Tasmanian designed and built yacht Silicon Ship has won the Royal Hobart Regatta's centenary race for the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, repeating the performance of the inaugural winner 100 years ago, the Tasmanian One Design class boat Weene on Hobart's River Derwent.

Designed and built by Walter Knoop and owned by David Wyatt and Gordon Clark from Bellerive Yacht Club, the 32-footer won the historic trophy against the entire fleet in the Combined Clubs Harbour Series race, as the yacht with the fastest corrected time over all four groups.

Scotsman Sir Thomas Lipton, a self-made merchant, creator of the Lipton Tea brand, and a yachtsman who was one of the most persistent, but unsuccessful challengers in the history of the America's Cup, presented the ornately sculptured, silver trophy to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in 1914 as a 'Perpetual Challenge Cup' for the Tasmanian One Design Class.

Weene, the original yacht built to this rule, won the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy for nine successive years, from 1915 through to 1921, and again in 1937, 1940, 1941 and 1942, when owned by the Batt family. Weene is now owned in Sydney, still racing at the age of 101. -- Peter Campbell

Dubarry Ultima - Loved By Sailors
It's hard to love a pair of boots. They either do a job or they don't. Some will have great grip and others will send you crashing down to the deck like some slapstick comedian. Some will keep the water out, others will leak like a pair of bespoke footbaths. Some will breathe to keep you comfortable, others will slowly baste your feet in their own sweat. Some will look great, others like you've just escaped from a circus.

Even if you do find a pair that ticks every box, which looks good, grips well and keeps you warm, dry and comfortable, you'd still struggle to love a boot. Unless, of course, it's a Dubarry boot. Take the Ultima, with its blend of rich, supple leather and durable man-made fibres, the hi tech GORE-TEX® liner that acts like an air conditioner, the award-winning grip of the sole - yes, those are all there, recognised benchmarks of quality, but what you can't see or touch or smell is the soul.

Ultima boots have it in abundance because, like you, they change. They gain experience at sea and improve with age just as surely as you do. That's why sailors love them.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

JMST Marine Industry Regatta
The John Merricks Sailing Trust Marine Industry Regatta will return this year on Wednesday April 15 for a sporting day's sailing out on The Solent.

We'll be using the same proven fleet of Sunsail's Match First 40 boats we've used successfully in the past.

But this year, there's a difference. It's a one-day only event.

We turn up at Port Solent at 08:30 to collect breakfast, the boats and the pre-packed lunches. After a safety briefing, we sail down the harbour.

The Portsmouth Harbour Sailing Club Race Officer sets the courses in the Solent and we hope to get three races in - with lunch on the hoof - before returning to Port Solent for tea and buns and the prizegiving.

The cost of this sailing adventure is £990:00. That includes VAT and the £100 donation to the JMST to help young sailors follow in the footsteps of Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy.

To reserve your boat, or for more information, contact Alex Tredget at Sunsail on 02392 222221, or Peter Nash on 01892 545696.

Tony Laurent
It is with great sadness the IHCA announces the passing of Hobie sailor Tony 'Dingo' Laurent. Tony while remembered as the person who sailed the Hobie 18 across the Atlantic he did so much more in Hobie sailing and beyond. He was also a passionate Hobie sailor competing in many Hobie World, European, National Championships and Hog's Breath 1000. Tony continued after his Hobie sailing to Julies Venrne Challenge, around the world and cross Atlantic Races.

After moving to Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday Region with his wife Lolita and daughter Jessie, Tony set up a successful business and was the Airlie Beach Chamber of Commerce President.

Whatever Tony did he put 100% effort into the project. Tony 'Dingo' Laurent will be missed by all that have privilege to race with and against and to know him. The IHCA passes on our most sincere condolences to Lolita (also a Hobie sailor from New Caledonia) and Jessie Laurent. -- David Brookes

The story of Tony and Daniel Prada's sail across the Atlantic on a Hobie 18:

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 Michael Brown: What an appalling decision to exclude disabled sailing from the Olympics and I agree with your many recent correspondents on this subject. In particular Daniel Charles in Scuttlebutt Europe 3271 who, in his penultimate paragraph shows how much sailing is in decline.

Why & should we be worried? An empty Solent on a summer weekend sounds attractive but that is not the point. Is it because our sport is dominated by professional sailors taking part in events that are irrelevant to the most people? Mention the Vendee Globe, Barcelona Race or the Route de Rhum in my local pub & the clientele would think I was talking about a brand of ice cream! Or is it because we are represented by an international body (self-appointed) that is totally out of touch with the grass roots?

When is it going to be realised that the great majority of sailors do just that - go sailing for adventure, skill, love of the sea or even perhaps just for fun but not to race. Unless the young are encouraged & supported the sport will continue to die. Wouldn't sponsors be better off putting their money into entry level dinghies or small cruisers to be made available to clubs, schools & organisations where the young can learn to sail? Having their name blazoned across the sails will earn sponsors far more publicity and goodwill than an individual or even a few yachts in an ocean thousands of miles away.

* From Andy Dare: I really am enjoying this VOR, as the current one design boats are the way to go. Loads of amazing close racing & dedicated media person onboard is great too, as we get to see, watch & hear all about it in great detail. However maybe the PR department do need to calm down a bit, when we can actually see the conditions in the images & video.

I had to chuckle when I read "Huge waves and furious winds in excess of 25 knots have battered, bashed and bruised the fleet"

25k Really !

21 - 27 knots is classed as "Strong breeze", Force 6 on the Beaufort scale, not quite "furious" just yet.

The Whitbread & original VOR races that used to sail round the bottom of the world in the Southern Ocean - now THEY really did see "huge waves"

* From Chris Rowsell: I congratulate 12 year old Gannon Troutman for his success in the J70's at Key West and 18 year old Dominic Jackson on becoming a yacht master. Nevertheless, this news must be very disheartening to sailors of more mature years who have the prospect of being overtaken by such younger sailors. To avoid the associated loss of morale in this older group, it is vital that the RYA initiate a Youth Discouragement Campaign to persuade younger people to stick with video games and other passive activities rather than challenging the status quo...Yours curmudgeonly...

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+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. -- Booker T. Washington

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