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

Into The Southern Ocean
The decision by the race committee to delay the start of Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race due to Cyclone Pam has caused some debate but also highlighted the vital importance of communications during the remote 6,776 mile leg from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajia, Brazil. Leg 5 takes the fleet through the remote Southern Ocean.

The presence of cyclone Pam and the potential for more cyclonic activity later in the leg, has increased the awareness that communication in this remote area is absolutely vital. Louay Habib details the importance of the communications on board the boats and discusses the pros and cons of the decision to delay the start with tactical weather expert and professional navigator, Campbell Field in an exclusive interview.

"It is only my opinion but I think that the organisers may have delayed the race a bit too long." commented Campbell Field. "The predicted conditions for the start and the first five maybe seven days will be very little wind but a significant sea sate and that combination can be actually worse. If the race had started 12 hours earlier, the sea state would still be signifiant but the teams would have had more wind and the ability to decide how close they would go to the cyclone. These yachts are built to withstand racing across the world's oceans and the crew are well trained and highly experienced. Several teams have changed crew for this leg, bringing in really experienced people and it isn't for their good looks!"

Read the full article at:

To The Finish. And Beyond.
Cheminees Poujoulat, Barcelona World Race leaders, are expected to make their tack towards the Mediterannean this evening, albeit still with about 1100 miles to sail to Gibraltar. Current routing has them into the Med on Sunday 22nd March. The final stage to Barcelona should take around two and a half to three days which, everything remaining equal, would see the Swiss-French duo finishing some time on 25th March.

For the moment the pacemakers are still in relatively settled 12-14kts NE'ly trade winds in the south of the Azores high pressure system. They are expected to tack east, passing between the Canary Islands and Madeira and then route closer to the African coast where there is better breeze.

About now reality starts to bite. While the Barcelona World Race duos have been racing around the world, the competitive sailing world has still been spinning around too. A whole new generation of IMOCA 60s are on the stocks, launched or ready to be launched. Some Barcelona skippers no doubt have their future mapped out, but life beyond the finish line is also looming large.

For the duos in second and third just 92 miles separates Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz are a click faster than Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín. Corbella has mixed feelings about the race soon being over.

She is clear that their passing lanes have largely run out and their reality is that final chances are really limited to the approach to the Mediterranean and the final four or five hundred miles in the home sea of three of the four Catalan co-skippers.

Rankings Tuesday 17th March at 1400hrs UTC

1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B Stamm - J Le Cam) 1760 miles to finish
2. Neutrogena (G Altadill - J Mumoz) + 918 miles to leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marin) + 1010
4. We Are Water (B Garcia - W Garcia) + 2281
5. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - D Costa) + 2293
6. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) + 3369
7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa - C Colman) + 4796
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

St. Thomas International Regatta
A fleet of some 80 yachts is expected to compete in the St. Thomas International Regatta.

Set for March 27-29 and hosted out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, entries include a spectacular mix of newcomers from abroad and regional favorites with crews ranging from Olympic and America's Cup sailors to yacht club and family teams.

Fresh off an IRC class win with an award for Best Performance Yacht in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race in January, Steve and Heidi Benjamin, will sail their Carkeek 40, Spookie, in St. Thomas.

The Benjamins, from Norwalk, Conn., will race with 12 crew, including Peter Holmberg of St. Thomas, an Olympic silver medalist and America's Cup sailor, as strategist. In addition, Detroit's Bora Gulari, a two-time Moth World Champion, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and America's Cup sailor, will serve as navigator.

Benjamin, who will helm, is an Olympic silver medalist.

With his talented team behind him, Benjamin is a strong contender to pocket a TAG Heuer Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch, the prize for STIR's class winning skippers.

Class wins in the Fastnet, Cowes Week and Round the Island Race make Peter Scholfield of the United Kingdom's HOD 35, Zarafa, an entry to watch.

His crew include members of the Royal Armored Corps Yacht Club.

Sunset Child, a J/120 in Performance Yacht Racing USA's charter fleet, most recently competed in the Pineapple Cup to Montego Bay Race in February with a Jamaican team onboard.

"This is the first time we will sail with her in St. Thomas," skipper Marcus Cholerton-Brown said. "We have a whole family racing onboard, plus some PYR-USA crew and myself. We can't wait to get stuck in." -- Carol Bareuther in the Virgin Islands Daily News


Seahorse March 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Bernard Stamm and 'King' Jean make for the dominant pairing, the TP52s start to get organised in Auckland, Team Vestas begin to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, Burling the magnificent, and a little too much whining in Key West? Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Giuliano Luzzatto, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

Terry Hutchinson suffers a 'hump' day in Key West while Andy Rice catches up with Volvo Race sensation Charles Caudrelier

Rod Davis
And it's a wonder that today's America's Cup crews can actually stand up and walk to their boats

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Azzurra 2015, First Sail In Valencia
In preparation for the 52 Super Series 2015, the new Azzurra has taken her first sail in the waters off Valencia. The first impression on the boat flying the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's burgee is excellent.

Salt water first touched the new Azzurra's hull just after her technical launch held Saturday March 14th at the Port America's Cup in Valencia.

Monday March 16th the crew headed by skipper Guillermo Parada and tactician Vasco Vascotto boarded the new TP52, designed by Marcelino Botin and constructed under the supervision of project manager Miguel Costa, for the first time.

The new 2015 version of Azzurra can be spotted from afar thanks to a silver racing stripe that accents her hull lines. This is a modernised call back to the classic elegance of previous versions of Azzurra that raced in the 1980's challenges for the America's Cup.

Azzurra 2015 was built following new class rules for the upcoming season. The new rules allow for a larger sail plan and deeper draft on lighter boats to further enhance performance. The boat has beamy and flared lines that come from careful study of fluid dynamics for top performance both up and down wind. Special attention was paid to structural engineering for maximum rigidity and resistance at the lowest possible weight. The deck is clean and unencumbered with no coachroof and the cockpit is free of lines as they run under the deck.

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Good News For Offshore Sailors
The Offshore Racing Association (ORA), owners of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR), is pleased to announce significant enhancements to its already strong service-based mission. Phasing in later this year, ORA will begin to process and issue all ORR certificates in-house in order to provide seamless 1-stop services for boat owners and organizing authorities (OA's). With this move, boat owners will not have to contact and coordinate with 4 different parties - boat measurers, certificate processors, OA's, and the ORA.

ORA's Board of Directors and staff are working hard to create a better and simplified experience for ORR customers. ORA's Technical Director, Jim Teeters, is working with his team to complete a new and improved rule for 2016, all in an effort to make the best rule better.

The ORA's Offshore Racing Rule, the ORR, with its multiple features and custom event organizing authority benefits like course configuration adjustments continues grow. With over 650 plus certificates in circulation, ORR is now used in the following events:

TransPac Race, Newport Bermuda Race, Chicago Mac Race, Pacific Cup, Ensenada Race, ECOS, NYYC Annual Regatta, Rolex Big Boat, Puerto Vallarta Race, Cabo Race, Marion Bermuda Race, Aldo Alessio Race, Corum Cup, Verve Cup, Islands Race, Annapolis to Newport Race, Phyllis Klienmann Swiftsure Regatta, Mexorc, Ocean Race North, Marblehead to Halifax Race, Hamilton Trophy, The Corinthians Yacht Race, Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston Race, Charleston Race Week, Fast 50 Class, and many more.

For more information please contact

Bjorn Johnson

Last Call For RYA Youth Nationals Entries
The countdown to the 2015 RYA Youth National Championships is well underway, with just six days left to enter the premier annual event for the UK's young sailing talents.

Competitors have up until Sunday 22 March to sign up for the regatta (4-10 April), where racing will take place on the famed Olympic and Paralympic waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, and where RYA Youth National Champions will be crowned across six classes.

Racing will take place for under 21-year-old boys in Laser Standards, girls and boys in Laser Radials and Neil Pryde RS:X 8.5 windsurfers, and for all-boy, all-girl or mixed crews in 420s, 29ers and Spitfire catamarans.

The event also doubles up as a selection event for the British Youth Sailing Team to compete at the EUROSAF Youth European Championships in Brest, France (26 July-2 August), and will determine invitees for the British Youth Sailing Team Selection Event for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, to be held at Hayling Island Sailing Club from 29-31 August 2015. The 2015 ISAF Youth Worlds is to be staged in Langkawi, Malaysia, from 27 December-2 January.

To enter the event and for further information

Industry News
A major dredging project is underway at Cowes Yacht Haven, which will allow the marina to continue to cater for small superyachts and large boats over coming years.

Substantial investment has been made in the dredge, which started on Monday (March 9) and is being carried out by Jenkins Marine.

Once the dredging is complete the marina, home to international sailing events including Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, will have safeguarded its ability to accommodate large boats for the next three years. It will have a depth of up to 7.5m during high tides and a minimum of 3.5m even in low spring tides.


After 12 years of stewardship of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, the American Boat and Yacht Council is looking to private investors to fund the 84-year-old institution as it shifts to an online school.

"In order to be an attractive choice for today's students seeking this type of niche education, it became clear that another group would need to invest some capital to take Westlawn into the 21st century," ABYC president John Adey said in a statement. "We're pleased and thankful that a group of investors led by David Smyth stepped up to the plate to take on this significant and worthy challenge."

Smyth is now Westlawn's director, president and vice chancellor.

The institution has a new board of directors from the yachting and academic worlds. An immediate change was accreditation by the Royal Institute of Naval Architecture.

From Soundings Trade Only:


Training and a lack of skilled personnel is fast becoming one of the major challenges facing the global marine industry as it gears up for growth.

Following seven lean years since the financial crisis that saw boatbuilders shed jobs and cut capacity, the industry now finds itself in a vulnerable position, struggling to attract fresh talent into the fold, whilst ensuring those personnel that have remained are in step with the latest technologies as boats and the boatbuilding process become increasingly complex.

The UK government announced last week that Trailblazer standards - where training is developed by employer groups - had been approved for apprenticeships across a range of sectors including boatbuilding.

Co-ordinated by the British Marine Federation (BMF), the employer group for the UK marine industry is being led by Berthon Boat Company and includes Sunseeker International, Princess Yachts, RNLI, Pioneer Sailing Trust, Pendennis Shipyard, Fairline Boats, Broom Boats, Green Marine, English Harbour Yachts, Windboats and Cockwells.

So far more than 50 employer-designed apprenticeships are aiming to have their first apprentices starts as early as September 2015.


The Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week, is delighted to announce that Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear is continuing its valued sponsorship of the fastest growing regatta in the country, and has been re-appointed as official clothing supplier for 2015.

Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week has been growing at over 20% per year since its inception in 2008 and expects to further expand in 2015 by increasing the number of boats participating in established classes - particularly XODs, Classic Yachts and Classic Dayboats.

Hudson Wight is supplying A4 branded competitor bags, event-branded polo shirts for every event volunteer, expected to number around 75, and event-branded Gilets and Fleeces for the team of Chief Race Officers.

In addition, the winning boat in each of the 12 classes will receive a Hudson Wight voucher to the value of £100 redeemable against Hudson Wight products purchased online or at the Showroom in Cowes.


ACI is very pleased to announce Marine Scotland as sponsors of the 2nd World Ocean Power Summit, 24th & 25 June 2015, Edinburgh, UK

As the Scottish Government's marine management directorate, Marine Scotland is responsible for managing Scotland's seas. 

Marine Scotland is ambitious about the development of the marine energy sector and will ensure that it is done in a planned and sustainable manner, supported by the best regulatory practice, coherent marine policy and planning and high quality science.


Dominion Marine Media, the division of Dominion Enterprises that operates Boat Trader, YachtWorld, and Cosas De Barcos, has made the 2015 MDCE Best Ideas White Paper available for download.

In the white paper, sponsored by Dominion Marine Media and produced by Boating Industry magazine, are 52 of the best ideas from the 2015 Marine Dealer Conference and Expo. The ideas have been tested and proven by boat dealers across the U.S. and Canada, and cover topics such as business management, customer satisfaction, sales, marketing, events and service departments. 

Download the 2015 Best Ideas eWhitepaper


Organisers Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week are delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Johnson as the Commercial and Marketing Director for the event.

Kate is a keen sailor with a strong background in brand strategy & marketing. She began her career at Accenture before specialising in marketing consultancy, at the advertising agency St Luke's followed by Clear (part of the M&C Saatchi group) where she led projects for clients including Unilever, Mars and Boots. Kate learnt to sail on the Solent and grew up watching the Cowes Week racing from the family beach hut at Calshot. She has since competed in the regatta a number of times

Kate will join the team in mid March and replaces Michelle Warner who, after ten years with CWL, has departed for pastures new - exchanging the world of boats for classic cars.

This year's regatta takes place from the 8 - 15 August and more information is at

Featured Brokerage
Click on image to enlarge.

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Disp. 3,990

Pure breed for racing. Hall carbon mast, Harken deckware, B&G electronics, Doyle Stratis racing sails, 20 hp Yanmar inboard diesel.Only half season used, top conditions, ready to race.

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Mine Sardag - Cahit Uren TAYK-Atakoy Marina-Istanbul

The Last Word
Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age. -- Anais Nin

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