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

Volvo Ocean Race Leg Five Start On Wednesday
Auckland, New Zealand: "We see a significant change between leaving Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning in easier conditions, and this was also the preference of the majority of the teams," commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, coming straight out of a meeting with the six teams' skippers, navigators and weather experts in Auckland.

The fleet is now leaving on Wednesday instead of last Sunday as initially planned.

"We had a discussion about whether we should start on Tuesday or Wednesday morning," said Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's skipper Ian Walker.

"Four of the six teams very strongly felt that we should leave on Wednesday, so the organisers decided that we should leave at 09:00 Wednesday morning."

Estimated Time of Arrival in Brazil:

The initial range of ETAs in Itajaí was from April 1 - 5, 2015. However, this is now likely to be delayed and at this stage there are still too many uncertainties in the forecast to establish a clearer range.

All In The Atlantic
With race leader Cheminees Poujoulat now at less than 2000 miles to the finish line in Barcelona and Spirit of Hungary now safely passing Cape Horn early this morning, the Barcelona World Race fleet is all safely in the Atlantic.

Release came for Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman at 0613hrs UTC this morning when they passed the mythical light. After having a nasty low pressure nipping at their transom for the last week, the Hungarian-Kiwi duo have had light to moderate winds since passing Cape Horn, a chance to enjoy some respite after a very intense week of stress and continuous effort.

For Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, leading brings no less stress than their rivals endure. Cheminees Poujoulat was obliged to work east last night and this morning in a fitful shifty breeze and during yesterday evening and night made five tacks - probably as many as they have they have done since leaving Gibraltar. Nearly eight hundred miles SE by E of the Canary islands, the top duo are now expected to pass Gibraltar on 22nd March. The countdown to their finish has begun. This is their last Monday in the Atlantic. But with a lead now at 906 miles (corrected today) they will stil l be pressing on, not least because Neutrogena has gained 600 miles in a week.

Rankings Monday 16th March at 1400hrs UTC

1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B Stamm - J Le Cam) at  1908 miles to finish
2. Neutrogena (G Altadill - J Munoz) + 948 miles to leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marin) + 997
4. We Are Water (B Garcia - W Garcia) + 2355
5. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - D Costa) + 2356
6. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) + 3478
7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa - C Colman) + 4921
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

Sail Racing - Official Clothing Partner of the America's Cup and Oracle Team USA
Sail Racing The Swedish company Sail Racing International has been appointed as official clothing partner of the America's Cup and ORACLE TEAM USA, defender of the prestigious America's Cup trophy. Sail Racing will provide technical and shore gear for the America's Cup and ORACLE TEAM USA along with official merchandise collections for each America's Cup World Series Events in 2015 and 2016, as well as the America's Cup finals in Bermuda in 2017.

The partnership with ORACLE TEAM USA, defender of the 35th Americas Cup, skippered by the Sailor of The Year, Jimmy Spithill, allows Sail Racing to supply all shore and technical sailing gear to the team. This collaboration will provide Sail Racing the base to develop clothing for a new generation of sailing athletes. "We are very proud to be the official clothing partner of ORACLE TEAM USA, the fastest sailing team in the world's most prestigious sailing series," says Joakim Berne, Project Manager at Sail Racing International. "The sailors will be highly involved in the development of our new technical products. All the feedback on existing products, new ideas and evaluation of our products in a demanding environment will be very important for our product and development team."

Sail Racing International is focused on technical products for high speed sailing. Now the brand will be featured in the heart of the most spectacular sailing competition in the world. "Sailing has changed tremendously over the past several years," Berne says. "The power and speed of the boats have created a much greater demand on the sailor's physique and agility, which requires different equipment ," he continues. "Our approach has changed from producing garments for sailors, to developing technical gear for sailing athletes. Over the last two years, we have spent a lot of time and effort together with our fabric suppliers, designers and pattern constructors searching for lighter materials, better features and more functional fits. Now we will apply and evaluate this with Jimmy Spithill and the rest of the crew of ORACLE TEAM USA." 

More info at

How To Get The Best IRC Rating
Designers work hard to create fast yachts, but much can be done to optimise a boat's IRC rating. Jonty Sherwill asked measurement experts for their 5 tips

It's the same type of boat going the same speed, but how come their IRC rating is so much lower than yours? Although getting your rating as low possible is important, making a boat go faster with little additional rating penalty can be even more effective.

Five topics covered:

- Sail measurement
- Spars and bands
- Waterline length
- Displacement
- Sail inventory


America's Cup: Courts and Sailor Compensation
For those that didn't catch this on our sister publication Scuttlebutt... a must read from legal eagle Cory E. Friedman...

In today's media market, if it bleeds it leads, and the arrest of an AC 45 owned by Oracle Racing, Larry Ellison's America's Cup (AC) racing team, has been headlined around the world and even made the Wall Street Journal - not to mention generating oceans of schadenfreude.

Immediately following the AC 34 victory in San Francisco in 2013, Oracle Racing and Joseph Spooner entered into what amounted to a preliminary contract to run through AC 35 which was intended to be superseded by a final, much more detailed, contract, but never was. As headlined in the press, Spooner's compensation was generous - US$25,000/month plus a US$4,000/month housing allowance plus many other benefits including, for example, annual tickets back to New Zealand for the family.

Given his age, AC 35 might well have been Spooner's valedictory and he then could have moved into some other less physically demanding AC related role. Now he likely is done as a professional sailor.

After signing the preliminary contract Oracle announced that AC 35 would be in Bermuda and Spooner discovered that Bermuda is even more expensive than San Francisco (hard to believe, but I am not making this up) and a three bedroom home meeting his family standards could not be rented for US$4,000/month (the Bermuda Dollar is at par with the US dollar). He apparently did not feel he should pay any of his housing costs out of salary as most of us do.

Therefore, he demanded a raise if he was to relocate to Bermuda. On behalf of Oracle Racing, Grant Simmer told him no to the raise, exercised the termination for any reason on two weeks' notice provision of the preliminary contract, for which he would be paid two weeks wages, and basically told him not to let the door hit him in the ass on his way out.

Spooner then sued for the AC 45 he claims he sailed on and Oracle Racing for over $700,000, claiming that number includes, but is not limited to, the total wages and win bonus he would have received had he not been fired.

Full story:

Chilly Start To The Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series
Competitors in the opening races of the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series were undeterred by the heavy grey sky and chilly wind in the Solent on Sunday 15 March 2015.

12-18 knots of breeze, with just the occasional 20 knot gust, from the ENE throughout the day provided a good breeze for competitors. The wind tracking showed a 20 degree shift cycle coming off the Meon shore which took about an hour to go from left to right, and back to left again, thereby favouring the right hand side of the courses set for the day.

Looking ahead to next weekend's racing Peter's thoughts are: "Next Sunday we've got big tides to contend with so we'll be looking for the same kind of breeze as we had today but a few degrees warmer would be nice!"

The Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Brooks Macdonald Group PLC, and supported by race partners Crewsaver, Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear and Rolly Tasker Sails.

Enquiries regarding the event can be made to 

Provisional results
IRC 1: Alice (Simon Henning - Mumm36)
IRC 2: Salvo (Peter Mortan - JND 35)
IRC 3: Malice (Mike Moxley - Hod 35)
IRC 4: Crakajax (Richard and Urdual Hollis - X-95)
J/109: Jagerbomb (Paul Griffiths)
J/70: Just4Play (Simon Cavey)
J/80: Betty (Jon Powell)
SB20: F5 Synthesis (Pieter Heyn)

Novel Composite Sail Structure Introduced Exclusively By Onesails
Onesails In 2007, OneSails introduced the first continuous fibre sails built without the use of resin or glue, eliminating delamination issues at a stroke. In 2013 OneSails went a step further by introducing 4T FORTE™ membranes made from exclusive Multi Micro Structure (MMS™) technology (patent pending). 4T FORTE™ sails are not only free from adhesives, they are also filmless. Removing the glue and film has effectively removed the two weakest links in laminate sail structures at a stroke.

24 months after its market launch, OneSails has now unveiled details of the novel structure which makes up the 4T FORTE composite. In a display first seen at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, MMS is shown to have as many as 19 individual layers, each with specific properties, which when fused together combine to create the final 4T FORTE™ composite which exhibits exceptional physical and mechanical performance.

The 4T FORTE™ demonstration cabinet can be seen at international boat shows throughout the year.

More information can be found at

Click on images to enlarge.

Salt The 55-meter vessel, christened Salt, isn't real (yet), but there's no doubt a band of obscenely wealthy people clamoring to change that. Salt is the work of Lujac Desautel, an architecture student at San Francisco's California College of the Arts. He designed the ship as an entry to a young boat designers competition, which asked participants to take an existing hull of a sailboat and go crazy.

Desautel's design features a simple glass rectangle that sits atop the hull like a cage of luxury. The glass facade can be pulled open like a sliding door to create an even more direct connection with the sea. The idea came to him after spending most of his summers between classes working on the crew of yachts in the south of France. "I would stand in the living room or guest room and think, 'I can't even see the water, it doesn't even feel like the ocean,'" he recalls. "I thought, what if we could start borrowing elements used in architectural practice?"

Things like using glass a structural element or eliminating walls to produce an open, airy feeling. It's reminiscent of Philip Johnson's Glass House, the famed modernist home in New Canaan, Connecticut, that's almost fully transparent. "There's something so simple and powerful in its raw connection from the exterior to interior," Desautel says of Johnson's home. "I thought, what if I just took this idea and placed it on the boat?"



The British shipyard Spirit Yachts has announced their participation in the upcoming London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show (LYJAPCS), where they will be displaying the new Spirit 110' superyacht.

Commissioned as a custom build and conceived by Spirit CEO Sean McMillan, Managing Director Nigel Stuart will present the 110' at the show and discuss expansion plans for Spirit in 2015 and beyond.

The vessel accommodates up to six guests and a crew of four. A characteristic of many Spirit designed yachts include fan skylights in the coach roof, allowing the saloon below to be inundated with natural light, though alternative layouts are also available to potential owners.

The London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show will be held from 8th to 10th April. -- Gemma Fottles


J Class Yankee

Dykstra Naval Architects and Holland Jachtbouw has released a rendering and further information regarding the construction of the highly anticipated replica of Yankee, the J Class Yacht that defended the America's Cup in 1930.

‚ÄčThe original Yankee was designed by Frank Paine. Dykstra Naval Architects has retained the same clean design and flush deck layout and focused their efforts on optimising performance within the new JCA rating system using their own VPP programs and CFD and FEM analyses derived from over 30 years' experience in rebuilding, refitting and building new replicas of seven J Class yachts.

Holland Jachtbouw has exclusive ownership of the rights to build the Yankee designs and, following the latest refinements, is now ready to begin construction. Upon her completion, Yankee will return to race in the America's Cup in 2017, marking the first time in history that more than five J Class yachts have ever raced against each other.


J Class J9

Holland Jachtbouw, which enjoys close ties to Js, has become a partner to the JCA at a pivotal point in the history of this majestic class. The very latest J (J9) is due to launch from the shipyard in Zaandam during Spring 2015, joining her stablemate Rainbow launched from HJB in 2012.

In terms of the predicted performance for J8, the Naval Architect, Andre Hoek explains, "When Frank Paine originally drew this vessel in 1935, he was prepared to take a sail area to displacement penalty in order to gain the extra length required. By optimising the design for the modern handicap rules of the JCA, we paid enormous attention to J8's stiffness to weight ratio and lightweight aluminium hull."


TP52 Provezza

The new Provezza launched and has begun sail testing. Owner Ergin Imre and complete Provezza sailing team in Auckland take delivery of the boat. Andy Beadsworth still to join as he just finished the Caribbean 600 on TP52 Sorcha (2nd place overall in IRC and CSA).

Design Rolf Vrolijk, builder Mick Cookson, on site team project managers Chris Hosking and Tony Evans.


The Safran monohull, which will be skippered by Morgan Lagraviere in the next Vendee Globe, was officially named on Saturday in Lorient in the presence of the of sponsoring godmother Catherine Maunoury, director of France's Museum of Air and Space, and sponsoring godfather, Jean-Paul Herteman, chairman and CEO of Safran. Morgan Lagraviere thanked the partners, his team and all the Safran employees who participated in the design and construction of the new IMOCA 60.

This is the first of the new generation of IMOCA 60s, designed specifically to compete in the next Vendee Globe.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only J Class Rainbow. 10,450,000 EUR. Located in the Caribbean.

Rarely does an opportunity arise to acquire such an elegant and iconic yacht. A replica of the 1934 America's Cup winner and re-designed in 2012 by Dykstra Naval Architects for racing and cruising. Built to superb Dutch quality by Holland Jachtbouw, with a unique hybrid propulsion system and a luxurious Art Deco interior. Fantastic regatta achievements and fully equipped with Southern Spars carbon rig and spars and a full inventory of North Sails cruising and racing sails.


Pieter van der Weide

See the collection at

The Last Word
I'm gonna put a curse on you and all your kids will be born completely naked. -- Jimi Hendrix

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