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

Caribbean 600 Record Broken
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Phaedo3 Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3 crossed the finish line in Antigua at 20:35:30 AST on 24th February 2015 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds.

Phaedo3 has broken the multihull race record set by Claude Thelier and John Burnie's ORMA 60, Region Guadeloupe by 6 hours, 35 minutes and 35 seconds.

George David's Juan K designed Rambler 88 was the second boat to finish, at 06:35:12 AST on February 25, 2015, taking Monohull Line Honors for the RORC Caribbean 600. Rambler 88 was approximately four hours short of the monohull race record, set by George David's Rambler 100 in 2011.

Just a few minutes before 18.00 local time this evening (23.00 in Italy), Giovanni Soldini announced that Maserati had been forced to pull out of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race after a hydraulic tube fitting for the keel broke. It would be impossible for Maserati to continue the race without being able to move the keel.

"It was a completely unforeseeable and fatal occurrence," Soldini said. "A fitting on a tube that feeds the hydraulic pump for the keel just exploded and the bilge filled with oil. We can't move the keel at all now. It's a real pity because the race was brilliant until then. Thrilling and very competitive. We really were giving it our all. We were going head to head with Bella Mente which we had caught up with again heading for Guadeloupe. Maserati's crew proved themselves to be a great team. When the tube burst, we were lying third overall with Bella Mente, just behind Rambler and Leopard. We were second in adjusted time and first in our class. But now we're going to make our way slowly back to Antigua."

EFG Bank (Monaco) Wins Toughest Leg of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour
Defending champion, Gavignet, and his all-star team including world-class sailors Damian Foxall, Alex Pella, and Nicolas Lunven, are unstoppable. In winds that reached 25kts, they increased their lead overnight and, by the time a shortened course was signaled at Gate 3, they had built up nearly two-miles over second placed Team Renaissance.

Gavignet commented: "This was the toughest leg ever in the history of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour. It was breezy into headwinds all the way, and we had up to 1.5m waves, which is quite something for the Farr 30s."

Commenting on how Team EFG Bank (Monaco) keeps up the momentum on such a long, overnight leg, Gavignet added: "We keep the same speed but we do lots of rotation onboard and no crew is ever on watch for more than two hours, so this helps keep up the speed and avoids struggle when fatigue sets in."

Gavignet's closest threat this week is the UK based Team Averda skippered by Marcel Herrera. Herrera, a veteran of the Tour, and runner up to Gavignet in 2014, maintained second position on Leg 5 in the early stages but Renaissance were ahead at the shortened course finish line. "It was very tough and a real test of endurance and stamina. We fought to hold onto our second place but in the early hours, just before the finish, Renaissance managed to just get ahead and keep their boat going a little bit faster, so well done to Fahad and the guys."

British Olympic sailor, Mary Rook and her all-female team on Al Thuraya (Oman) had a good start but were rolled on the first stretch and ended up well down the fleet.

On Thursday teams will take part in the final inport race off Doha at 1230 before they set off on the final leg of the Tour (Leg 6) to Bahrain, on Friday 27 February at 0830.

Barker Out As Team New Zealand Skipper
Emirates Team New Zealand announced today that the Halsey Street, Auckland, base will be fully operational from Monday, March 2.

The team also announced it had completed the restructuring process that came out of the team-wide review after San Francisco and 50 people have signed on and will be working full time from Monday.

Wing trimmer in 2013 Glenn Ashby has been appointed Sailing Director and he and Peter Burling will take on helming duties.

Ashby is a multiple world and Australian champion in three multihull classes and Burling is current world Moth and, with Blair Tuke, 49er champion.

Dean Barker was involved in the review and restructuring process and Emirates Team New Zealand wants to retain his services as Performance Manager and Sailing Coach with a place on the executive committee.

In the review of Emirates Team New Zealand, the team clearly identified the need for such a role. It is a crucial position for the team and we have been discussing this as a possible option for Dean since last November.

Emirates Team New Zealand recognises that Dean has significant experience and can make a valuable contribution. The role offered him would enable the team to capitalise on his skills.

Emirates Team New Zealand has now made a formal offer to Dean which he is still considering.

Dubarry Crosshaven - 'Race Face' Protection
Dubarry It's pitch-black. We're on the wind halfway across the Irish Sea, heading for 'The Rock' in a Force 6 - and it's building. On the rail we might look like a troop of Japanese snow monkeys on valium but we've huddled into something like comfort when skip calls the headsail change we've been dreading for the last five minutes. Three minutes later I'm clipped on with my feet on the leeward toerail with an armful of changed foresail when a wave engulfs the foredeck. The water clears and I'm still onboard thanks to the combined efforts of my tether and the stanchion lodged in my crotch. Lucky me.

Sail change over I'm back on the rail but my feet are cold and wet and my enthusiasm for this caper ebbs quickly away, unlike the sea water - the boots were still wet a week after the finish in Plymouth. It's 1989 and, though the stylishly weathered Shamrock boot is much in evidence, the Crosshaven is but a dream. Had I been wearing Crosshavens, the gaiter and drawstring would have kept my feet dry and my race face on. Funny how something so simple can be so incredibly effective.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

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Phoenix Rises From The Doldrums As Australian Sydney 38 Champion
At the end of a seven race series, well short of the 12 originally scheduled due to the extreme weather pattern, the long delivery from Geelong to Pittwater became all the more worthwhile when Brenton and Jen Carnell's Phoenix capped off the Sydney 38 Australian title by one point having staved off a late challenge from Mark Griffith's Old School (RPAYC).

Carnell's Royal Geelong Yacht Club crew realised they needed to readjust the boat after day one to have a chance at defeating the locals. They spent Friday evening tweaking and found the extra pace, and went in the right direction on the offshore course thanks to tactician Chris Jones.

Cruelly for Griffith, his final series result means a trifecta of seconds at the nationals, all by one point.

Third Sydney 38 on overall points was Bruce Ferguson's Whisper from RPAYC and Bruce Taylor's Chutzpah from Melbourne was declared the top scoring Corinthian, or amateur-crewed boat.

The class' 2016 Australian title returns to Geelong and the Festival of Sails in January 2016 where it's hoped fleets from South Australia, NSW and Victoria add up to 20-25 starters. Next on the Sydney 38 calendar are the Victorian and NSW state titles planned for the same weekend in April, 18-19. The NSW states fall under the Sail Port Stephens regatta banner. -- Lisa Ratcliff

2015 Mini 6.5 Official Texts Are Online in English and French
The Mini Rules and Mini Rules for Production Boats (in pdf HERE) include information on measurements and what in general is checked during the measurement sessions.

The Mini Class Rules include the administrative and technical criteria necessary to enter an official Mini Event as well as their general organization

The Specific Rules for Events include all the rules in relation to onboard equipment and the conduct of the boat during events.

The 2015 "paper format" Guide Mini will be provided to each skipper from April for his/her 1st race of the year (during the registrations confirmation). 2 versions : French and English langage.

In case of a discrepancy between the French and the English version, the French version of this Guide shall prevail.

The Return Of The Woodie - and the Arrival of the CNC OK Dinghy
With the majority of OK Dinghy World Championship winners over the past two decades being production GRP boats, you could be forgiven for thinking that the home building roots of the class have long been forgotten. However this couldn't be further from the truth.

Homebuilding had never gone away and going into 2015 is at its strongest levels for many years, driven by the knowledge that the top two boats at the 2014 World Championship in Black Rock were both plywood constructed home built boats, that anyone with a basic level of carpentry could build for themselves.

The first CNC cut kit hull was produced in Australia about five years ago, but recently other designs have been developed in New Zealand and Denmark. So far nine boats have been built in New Zealand using this method in the last two years, and three are under construction in Denmark. It also allows newbuilds in various parts of the world traditional OK Dinghy building experience, and opens up new countries to the class, as long as plywood and glues are readily available. It is a it like putting together a giant jigsaw.

The wooden boat resurgence is not limited to New Zealand. Three boats are being built from a different design CNC kit in Denmark, and many other sailors are continuing the traditional approach to OK Dinghy sailing, by building boats at home. With a little bit of skill and thought, a competitive boat can be had for less than half the cost of a production boat. And the CNC process makes it very simple and more available. It's worth thinking about.

The Dan Leech CNC files are available to anyone to build their own boats. Dan can be contacting for pricing on

ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships
The Notice of Race for the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship has been released.

Click here to view the Notice of Race

Set to be held in Middelfart, Denmark from 8-12 July, the 2015 edition of the Women's Match Race Worlds will welcome the world's finest female match racers as they fight for the title.

Organised by Match Racing Denmark and Middelfart Sejlklub in conjunction with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), up to 16 skippers will battle it out in Match 28 boats with four, five or six crew.

As defending champion, Sweden's Anna Kjellberg receives an automatic invitation. Fourteen further invitations will be issued based on the 18 February 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing Ranking release. The final spot will be awarded to a wildcard as agreed by the Danish Sailing Association and ISAF.

Soling To Celebrate 50th Anniversary at 2015 Worlds
The International Soling Class will celebrate its 50th anniversary at its 2015 World Championships in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy from May 21 to 28.

Between 1964 and 1965 Jan Linge finished the design details for what would become the Soling and started production. The boat was constructed using plastic reinforced fiber glass, something quite new at that time and allowed fast production initially in Norway, then Scandinavia, to eventually be sailed around the World.

It is estimated that there are 4,000 boats worldwide, sailing for pleasure or racing using handicap or class rules. All of them come from the same and unique master mould with all its defects, but remain quite the same despite raw material, building and finishing improvements. Nowadays, it is easy to find boats with 30+ year's difference competing closely against each other.

Over its fifty years, Soling's were raced for 28 years as the biggest Olympic sailing vessel. It was arguably the hardest sailing medal to achieve for a few reasons. For three Olympic Games the Soling event combined two different disciplines: Fleet and Match Racing. It required crews of three with different body biotypes in one team.

The organizers of the World Championship announced the Notice of Race and entries are flowing in, not only due to the incredible racing, but for the special 50th year Gala Dinner to celebrate the occasion amongst the racing teams and old class friends. ISAF President Carlo Croce will be one of those in attendance to recognize the likes of Paul Elvstrom, Buddy Melges, Dinny Reed, and Bill Abbott (senior).

ISAF Executive Committee
The Executive Committee met in Agadir, Morocco from 13-15 February and this marks the first time a meeting has been held in Africa. There was a full agenda which also included plans for the forthcoming Annual Conference in Sanya, China.

The ISAF Executive Committee has conducted a thorough review of the announcement by the International Paralympic Committee that sailing will not be included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The review paid particular attention to the comment of IPC that: "The IPC Governing Board is willing to reward robust athlete participation and good sport governance. Herein lies an opportunity for sailing to regroup, reform, rejuvenate and return with an improved proposition when we [IPC] launch the next review cycle in 2018." The Executive Committee has therefore decided it will lead and take full responsibility for future discussions with the IPC.

Following the December 2014 decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the de Ridder case, the Executive Committee has reviewed the full decision. The Executive Committee has agreed that a review of the ISAF disciplinary process should be undertaken to further strengthen them and will engage external sports law experts to advise on this matter.

In respect of the 34th America's Cup, ISAF has received a number of complaints under Regulation 35 (Misconduct and Discipline). As required by the Regulations, the Acting CEO and two ISAF Vice-Presidents will review each of the allegations. This group will determine if these complaints should be referred to the ISAF Disciplinary Commission.

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Seeing Is Believing: Foiling A Laser
Outside of the world of professional racing, a foiling Moth is the closest leisure sailing craft has ever gotten to the added speed and adrenaline of lifting off the surface. But the invention of a new bolt-on foiling kit means the experience is open to more sailors than ever before.

After four years of product and design testing, Peter Stephinson and Ian Ward launched the Glide Free Foil kit for Lasers in 2013. The key element of the kit is a horizontal lifting foil that's controlled by a surface-sensing wand, which is built into the centerboard. A special insert is fitted into the Laser centrecase, which accepts the foil and locks it in position, with no need for fastenings or any alterations to a standard Laser dinghy at all. The system is also unique in the sense that it can be rotated for and aft and retracted for ease of launching.

So far, just under 100 units have been sold across the globe since launching in 2013, with some of the kits heading to Manchester and Stokes Bay here in the UK.

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The Last Word
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