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

Bacardi Cup
Coconut Grove, Florida: Another perfect day for sailing today. A bit windier than yesterday with winds 12 to 14 knots from the East which built of some short chop on Biscayne Bay. We had one general recall on the first start and then the committee went straight to the Black Flag. Brian and I had a very good start and were in the front pack half way up the first leg. Unfortunately we "over stood" the windward mark. Not by a little bit but by at least .25 of a mile.

The marks are very hard to see being red instead of the usual yellow or orange and at 2.4 miles of distance. A few others were caught out with us like yesterdays winner, Larry Whipple and local Augie Diaz.

That pretty much took us out of contention as we rounded the first mark in the 40's. We manage to get back to 23rd but that isn't going to cut it for winning the regatta.

Jorge Zariff, a newcomer to the Star class, but a veteran Finn sailor is doing very well. He was second yesterday and 1st today. He has Bruno Prada crewing for him who won two World Championships and a bronze and a Silver in the Star class Olympics, with Robert Scheidt. Jorge is young, big and strong which is great combo for a Star helmsman and he is sailing pretty smart too!

Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl has a another solid day.

Tomorrow's forecast is for East winds, 12 knots. In fact, all week the winds are forecast to be between 10 and 15 knots so it should be a great week for racing. -- Paul Cayard

Top ten after three races:

1. Al Hamed , Jorge Joao Zarif / Bruno Prada, BRA, 11.0 points
2. Quantum, Mark Reynolds / Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 15.0
3. Renata, Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 16.0
4. Vida Bandida, Torben S. Grael / Guilherme de Almeida, BRA, 20.0
5. 8465, Augie Diaz / Arnis Baltins, USA, 22.0
6. Pawseidon, Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter , USA, 26.0
7. Akimbo, Brian Ledbetter / Josh Revkin, USA, 31.0
8. 8000, Arthur Anosov / Andrey Shafranuk, USA, 34.0
9. Marrackesh, Paul Cayard / Brian Terhaar, USA, 34.0
10. Barakablue, Larry Whipple / Austin Sperry, USA, 37.0

Full results:

New Canadian C-Class Challenger
With the next Little America's Cup set to be held on Lake Geneva this September a new project has emerged from Montreal.

The Rafale C-class catamaran project was started in autumn 2013 by students at the Ecole de Technologie Superieure. It's aim is to design and build a catamaran to compete in the next C-Class Catamaran World Championship.

Supported by Julien Chaussee, a former member of the British C-Class team Invictus and Simon Joncas, a professor at ETS and specialist in composite materials, 20 undergraduate BAcc and MAcc students are working hard to build this cutting edge catamaran.

With an estimated budget of $ 130,000, the C-Class catamaran project is significant to get to the start line in Geneva in September 2015 with a brand new boat 'made-in Quebec' . Thanks to partnerships with different companies, who make high quality materials and services available for the team, the boat is scheduled to be on the water in the summer of 2015. -- James Boyd in

This Summer's Golden Ticket
This summer's 'must have' tickets for The America's Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires.

Up to 500,000 visitors are expected to attend the four day sporting and entertainment spectacular (Thursday 23rd - Sunday 26th July 2015) providing opportunities to watch the world's best sailors battling it out on high speed AC45 foiling catamarans. The spectator experience will cater for all tastes with both free-to-view and paid ticket options. The paid tickets will provide access to the official event "Fanzone Arena", allowing up to 5,000 fans per day to immerse themselves in the world of the America's Cup whilst enjoying prime views of the race course and access to exclusive event entertainment.

The free-to-view area will be located on Southsea Common, to be named 'The Waterfront Festival Arena" where only pre-registered ticket holders will gain access.

All tickets are only available through

Damian's Back!
Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming treacherous Leg 5.

Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. The Irishman was the natural choice when Dongfeng's skipper looked for an experienced sailor to bolster his line-up for the 6,776-nautical mile (nm) stage from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, through the Southern Ocean and round Cape Horn.

Foxall, who has competed in four previous Volvo Ocean Races, arrived in Auckland fresh from victory in the EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour (SATT), sailing with the renowned French sailor, Sidney Gavignet.

Foxall could not be joining the race at a more challenging time. The first three boats finished the 5,264nm Leg 4 within just over eight minutes of each other after 20 days at sea with MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez/ESP) becoming the fourth team to win a leg.

Dongfeng Race Team won the second leg into their home port of Sanya from Abu Dhabi in January.

Foxall will replace Thomas Rouxel (FRA) on this leg, continuing the crew rotation programme set by Caudrelier to ensure his eight-man crew are fighting fit and bringing fresh energy into the team.

Ben Ainslie Racing Develop Virtual Flying Machine
Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America's Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport.

The virtual flying machine will support the vital link between sailors and designers, creating an important feedback mechanism between the two core parts of the performance team. It also provides an equally important feedback loop within the design team's optimisation process.

The man leading the team behind BAR's (virtual) flying machine is Dr. James Roche, formerly of McLaren Applied Technologies, where he had worked on the design of the skeleton sled that Lizzy Yarnold used to slide to gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

By the time of the 35th America's Cup in 2017, the simulator will be generations on from the first version, but the truth is; the simulator will never be finished. It's in constant use, and every time the team run a session something new is learned that can be used to improve it, the boat and the sailors. And the better it gets, the more use it gets - and the more it will become one of the most vital tools in BAR's America's Cup preparations.

Farr 40 Circuit Returns To The West Coast
The Farr 40 International Circuit is returning to the West Coast for the 2015 season with competition kicking off next week with the Midwinter Championship, being held March 4-7 and hosted by San Diego Yacht Club.

"Based off the massive success of last year's circuit and the very positive response from the owners, we felt it was appropriate to return to California again this year," said Geoff Stagg, manager of the Farr 40 class. "And we are thrilled to hold an official circuit event in San Diego for the first time. It's an iconic venue that has long been associated with high-level sailboat racing and the San Diego Yacht Club has proven experience with running big-time events."

The Farr 40 Class Association conducted several owner's meetings toward the end of last season and there was unanimous agreement about returning to the West Coast.

"We were all very pleased with the venues and the overall setup of the circuit," Roepers said. "I think a big consideration is that the local fleet in California is very strong, very motivated and that adds to the overall caliber of competition."

San Diego Yacht Club has hosted a large contingent of Farr 40s in the past as part of the Yachting Cup. Other major regattas held out of San Diego Yacht Club in recent years include the J/105 North Americans, Etchells World Championships, Star World Championships, J/70 North Americans, Finn Nationals and ISAF Nation's Cup. SDYC also annually hosts the San Diego stop of the National Offshore One-Design Series and the Lipton Cup.

IRC Solent Region Championship
Expanded for 2015 the series now includes eight days of racing hosted by eight top Solent clubs.

Spanning the full length of the Solent from the Portsmouth Regatta in the East to the Royal Solent Regatta off Yarmouth, this series aims to encourage larger fleets of IRC-rated yachts in a wide range of competitive racing.

Post-race hospitality at the host clubs provides the opportunity to experience the unique atmosphere of each, as well as socialising with your fellow competitors.

Saturday 16 May - Royal Southampton Yacht Club
Saturday 06 June - RORC Cowes
Saturday 20 June - Royal Southern Yacht Club
Saturday 25 July - Royal Solent Yacht Club
Saturday 05 September - Royal Air Force Yacht Club
Saturday 26 September - Portsmouth Regatta
Saturday 03 October - Island Sailing Club
Sunday 04 October - Hamble River Sailing Club

The series is open to all IRC boats with a TCC between 0.820 and 1.360.
Best five results to count.

Boats can enter any combination of individual events or the whole series. Race documents and on-line entry will be available on the web sites soon.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Preferred By Professionals
Dubarry If you had to invent the most punishing ordeal for offshore sailing footwear - an extreme boot camp you might say - then you couldn't do much better than the Volvo Ocean Race. It's a 37,000-mile ocean-bashing, boat-trashing dash around the planet, and if there's even the slightest imperfection in boat, man or gear, the VOR will find it, break it, then tell everyone about it.

For most of us, it's the ultimate contest of man and machine against nature. For Dubarry, it's R&D. After supplying its ever-green classic, the Shamrock boot, to the professional crew of Ireland's Green Dragon entry for the 2008-09 Volvo, Dubarry's most fanatical designers listened, developed, tested, listened some more, tweaked, analysed and tested again. The result was the Crosshaven boot.

When Green Dragon arrived in Galway at the end of Leg 7 for the best party the race has ever seen, elbowing their way through the "craic addicts" was Dubarry's research team, wanting yet more feedback. Their finishing touches sealed the Crosshaven's reputation as the offshore professional's boot of choice. Where's the proof of that? Competing teams chose Crosshaven in the 2011-12 VOR and again in the 2014-15 race.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

Industry News
The biggest changes to the race management structure at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week in many years have just been agreed by the organising yacht clubs of Cowes Combined Clubs.

Under the previous triumvirate system, three different groups of race officers ran most of the racing, with each group in charge for periods of just two or three days. However, the event had already started to move away from that model, with Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club running the White Group committee boat for the entire event, the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club running the Black Group committee boat, and a consistent team of course setters through the event.

"These new changes are therefore evolution, not revolution," says Stuart Quarrie, "but they are still a big step forward. Since 1964 Cowes Week has become much more complex as the event has got bigger and at the same time competitors, understandably, demand better race management."

Each of the organising clubs (Cowes Combined Clubs) will be taking responsibility for specific areas of responsibility for the duration of the event for 2015, as follows:

RORC (incorporating Royal Corinthian Yacht Club): Black Group Committee Boat
Royal Southampton Yacht Club: White Group Committee Boat
Royal Southern Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club: Bramble and Shrape lines
Royal London Yacht Club and Royal Thames Yacht Club: RYS line (first half of week)
Royal Yacht Squadron Racing: RYS line (Wednesday to Friday)

In addition, Cowes Town Regatta, assisted by the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club will run all racing on the final Saturday. -- Rupert Holmes


This year's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show saw thousands of visitors flock to Alexandra Palace, London, to see what the best of what the industry has to offer.

The show, which is the world's only exhibition dedicated exclusively to dinghy sailing, gave visitors the chance to see the best in boats, developments, kit, brands, clubs and class associations and more.

"We were delighted to see some 9,500 visitors attending this year's show with a fantastic 20% increase of tickets being purchased in advance" said Charlotte Pearson, RYA shows coordinator.

Main stage talks attracted big crowds with speakers including BAR sailors Freddie Carr and Nick Hutton and record breaking dinghy cruisers Jeremy Warren and Phil Kirk.


Sailors competing at this summer's Optimist European Championships 2015 in Pwllheli will have the chance to win a range of World Class performance sailing gear after Harken UK were unveiled as an official Championship event partner at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show on Saturday (28 February).

Around 250 of the World's top young Optimist sailors from over 45 countries will do battle on the waters of Cardigan Bay in North Wales from 17-24 July in what will be the first event staged at the new Plas Heli Welsh Sailing Academy and Events Centre.

Harken UK have come onboard in supplying £1,000 worth of prizes for the event, while sailors will also have the chance to check out Harken's latest gear on display at stand G8 during the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

Harken join Olimpic Sails, official event sailmakers, and Pwllheli-based company Jones O Gymru crisps, who will be supplying packed lunches for all teams, volunteers and event staff, as official Optimist European Championships 2015 event partners.


Oyster Yachts has appointed Jane Wilkinson as Head of Marketing and Simon Haynes as Finance Director, both of whom will be based at Oyster's new HQ in Southampton.

The new appointments follow the recent relocation from Ipswich, restructure of the successful British business and the expansion of their production facilities.

Jane joins Oyster from P&O Cruises where she developed and led the Marketing and Planning, working to establish a 'through the line' communications strategy.

Having started her career at the Royal Southern Yacht Club as Assistant Sailing Secretary, Jane has a broad understanding of the yachting scene, with marketing roles at the Tour de France a la Voile, GBR Challenge for the America's cup and with the winning Alinghi team in the 2003 America's Cup.

Simon Haynes has recently been appointed as Director and is managing the commercial accounting and financial operation of the business. Simon's background spans over 15 years working as a senior finance professional across a number of SME, private equity and listed companies.


The 2015 Helsinki International Boat Show (Vene 15 Bat) attracted around 73,000 people during its 10-day run this month, with several exhibitors reporting brisk sales. The event was held at the Messukeskus Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre from February 6-15.

According to Finnish marine industries association Finnboat, the show is an important platform for generating sales, as three out of four visitors say the event will have an effect on their purchasing decision.

As a result, Finnboat CEO Jouko Huju says he anticipates growth in the sale of boats and related products in the upcoming years. "The number of visitors increased by 4,000, which indicates an increasing interest towards boating," he says. "The sales will also pick up. Also the feedback from the exhibitors supports this belief as more boats were sold at the event this year."

A survey conducted by TNS Gallup shows that 92% of visitors were satisfied with the event. The majority, at 64%, primarily came to see motorboats, although boating equipment and gear was also high on the list at 52%. Diving (12%) and fishing (29%) also lured more visitors.


Crewsaver is to sponsor the John Merricks Sailing Trust Marine Industry Regatta this year when it returns on Wednesday April 15 for a Sunsail run sporting day's sailing on The Solent.

In addition to its overall sponsorship, Crewsaver will lend its latest Crewfit 180N Pro lifejacket to each crew (to be returned at the end of the day's racing).

Everyone will get a safety and lifejacket briefing before the event and Crewsaver will award each of the crew of the winning boat their own Crewfit 180N Pro lifejacket to keep.

The company will also make available two of its Crewfit Anniversary Gift Packs - worth £1200 - to be raffled off by Sunsail at a suitable event to raise further funds for the John Merricks Sailing Trust.

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Still a hugely competitive IRC race yacht and line honours contender. In superb condition and professionally looked after.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

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