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

America's Cup: New Cup Class Boat
The America's Cup teams have agreed to make changes aimed at significantly reducing costs for the 2017 America's Cup.

Central to these changes is the introduction of an exciting new America's Cup Class - a wing-sailed, foiling catamaran between 45 and 50 feet.

"Collectively, the teams have agreed current costs are neither justified, nor sustainable, and a majority have together taken a sensible course of action to cut costs. I believe this puts the America's Cup on a firm foundation for today and for the future" said Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller, following the vote.

Crucially, the new class will cost much less over the life of a campaign, with potential savings across design, build and operations.

A majority of the current teams favored the new class, with the expectation it will be used in the next edition of the America's Cup as well, in order to lower the barrier to entry - both technological and financial - to new teams.

Numerous one-design components will focus the design effort on areas that have an impact on performance, cutting costs significantly, but not diminishing the design challenge.

Statement From Team New Zealand
Among the changes to the Protocol voted on, ACEA sought to retrospectively change this date to April and disregard the agreement for Auckland to be the location for the America's Cup qualifier.

As a result, Emirates Team New Zealand has now reluctantly filed an application to the America's Cup Arbitration Panel to reinstate Auckland as the qualifier venue based on a signed and accepted bid, notified to the teams in accordance with the Protocol. This needs to be done to satisfy the requirement that all complaints must be filed within 7 days of knowing the facts justifying the complaint.

CEO Grant Dalton said, "Emirates Team New Zealand have filed an application to the America's Cup Arbitration Panel in the belief that ACEA has breached their signed agreement and protocol obligations by discarding Auckland."

"However prior to any hearing Emirates Team New Zealand will continue discussions with all teams and ACEA on the prospect of continuing to bring America's Cup racing to Auckland." Until the outcome of this is known Emirates Team New Zealand continues its work in preparing for the next America's Cup in 2017.

"We are fighting to keep Auckland as a qualifier. This isn't about government funding, this is not the end of Emirates Team New Zealand, it's about enforcing a contract and bringing America's Cup racing to New Zealand as agreed by ACEA." Concluded Dalton.

Statement From Luna Rossa
Team Luna Rossa Challenge is distinctly opposed to the proposal - announced today on the official web site of the America's Cup - to change the Class Rule for the 35th America's Cup and therefore the boat that was previously accepted by all challengers on June 5th 2014.

Luna Rossa does not believe that a sporting event should be disputed in a courtroom and does not intend to initiate a lengthy litigation process that would only bring prejudice to the event.

If the principle of unanimity of all challengers required to change the Class Rule were not to be respected Luna Rossa will be obliged to withdraw from the 35th America's Cup.

Team Luna Rossa trusts that the Defender will quickly announce a public clarification, also to avoid jeopardizing the organization of the America's Cup World Series - Cagliari - Sardinia event planned to take place from June 4 to June 7, 2015.

Opportunities At Gill
Gill Marine The Gill brand is going from strength to strength and this is a great opportunity to join us.

We are recruiting for an extremely enthusiastic and driven person to join our sales team. We want someone that shares our passion and understands the benefits of wearing the right gear out on the water.

Essential qualities are a personable and understanding approach with a strong desire to succeed, completely self-motivated and happy to work on your own initiative as well as part of a team coupled with a strong ability to self-organise and plan.

You will benefit from the backing of a brand that has an excellent reputation for quality and service across the marine and watersports industries, and great support from our renowned in-house customer service team. Covering a geographical area including the Midlands, Northern England, part of the East Coast and Wales you won't mind being on the road and away from home on a regular basis.

We will put a package together of competitive salary, commission and performance bonus, as well as provide a company vehicle, phone, laptop and all the tools to do the job. Of course, we hope that you share our passion for sailing, so you'll also have access to some of the best technical kit on the market!

Please get in touch with a CV outlining your experience to date, and an idea of why you think you'd be perfectly suited for the job.

Contact: Bryan Stewart, Sales Director -

Barcelona World Race
Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill, Jose Munoz) arrival in 2nd place.Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, Click on image for photo gallery.

Barcelona Race Guillermo Altadill and co-skipper Jose Munoz secured second placed in this third edition of the Barcelona World Race, the round the world race for two crew which left the Catalan capital on December 31st 2014.

After pressing the eventual race winners hard until New Zealand, where Altadill and Munoz had to take the tough decision to make a 24 hours pit-stop to repair their engine generator, they finish 5d 5h 56 min 36 secs behind Cheminees Poujoulat's Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam. The winners crossed the line on Wednsday 25th March at 1750hrs UTC, completing the course in 84d 05h 50m 25s.

The Spanish-Chilean partnership, which was only competing in their second major IMOCA race as a duo, finished the theroretical 23,321 Nms course in 89 days 11hrs 47mins at an average of 10.86kts.

* Catalans Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin take third place and complete the podium for this 2014-15 edition of the Barcelona World Race.

Sailing GAES Centros Auditivos the female-male duo crossed the finish line off Barcelona's W-Hotel this Wednesday afternoon April 1st at 17h 09min 28sec UTC. Their elapsed time for theoretical course of 23,321 miles from Barcelona to Barcelona via the three great capes, Good Hope, Leeuwin and Cape Horn is 91days 05hours 9 mins 28 sec. They sailed at a theoretical average speed of 10.65kts

For both of them, finishing today completes their second racing circumnavigation. Corbella now has two non stop races to her name after becoming the first Spanish woman to sail around the world non stop when she finished the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race in sixth position with Briton Dee Caffari on a previous GAES Centros Auditivos. Marin finished eighth in that same race.

They are the first all-Catalan duo to finish on the podium of the Barcelona World Race.

Dongfeng Retires From Leg 5
Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) announced late on Tuesday that they plan to retire from Leg 5 after breaking their mast in the Southern Ocean

Caudrelier had considered attempting to re-join the 6,776-nautical mile stage from Auckland to Itajai after successfully nursing Dongfeng to Ushuaia, Argentina, earlier in the day.

But on Tuesday night, a statement from the team read: "The decision has been made to motor-sail to Itajai and not rejoin the race - although skipper Caudrelier has yet to officially retire from the leg at this time, it is just a matter of protocol now.

"He will not relish this part of the administrative process and if there had been any other timely and effective way to rejoin the race and get to Brazil, he would have undoubtedly taken it.

"But even under motor-sail the delivery trip is expected to take around 10-12 days and then add the days needed to refit the boat in time for the start of Leg 6 to Newport.

How Did We Get Here
Seahorse Ben Ainslie Racing technical director Andy Claughton looks at the America's Cup's latest journey...

In 24 June 2017 Oracle Team USA will line up against the winner of the challenger elimination series to contest the 35th America's Cup. It will be 10 years since Alinghi defeated Emirates Team New Zealand in the 32nd Cup match. Those races were held in ACC Version 5 sloops, which sailed at 10kt upwind, and disappointingly at 10kt downwind. An average race would take 90 minutes and include a handful of tacks and gybes. It was a straightline drag race - success and failure were separated by one or two seconds per mile of speed difference. In truth the races were also a drag to watch unless you really cared about who won and who lost.

Full article in Seahorse:

Clipper Fleet To Sail In Round The Island Race
Three months from now, the world's largest fleet of matched ocean racers will make its debut on the start line of the 84th JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (RTI) against 1,600 competitors.

It will be the eleventh time that Clipper Events has entered the largest single sailing race in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK. This year, a record of sixteen Clipper Events yachts will compete, including the newest fleet of twelve Clipper 70-foot ocean racers, and four Clipper 68-foot yachts.

At the helm on board the fleet of Clipper 70s will be 144 employees from RTI Race Title Sponsor, JP Morgan Asset Management.

The leading global financial service will be racing in the Clipper Yacht class for the chance to win the Vaphio Cup against four Clipper 68's, chartered by private clients and companies Standard Chartered Bank and the RTI official clothing partner, Henri Lloyd. The class was created in 2009 after event organisers the Island Sailing Club donated the Cup to Clipper Events for its class and each yacht design will race under its ITC handicap.

San Fernando Race Start
In Hong Kong today, even though the original Philippine destination of San Fernando was ruled off limits because of the activity of super typhoon Maysak, 17 boats from the original entry list of 25 elected to go offshore racing over Easter.

Using the scheduled Victoria Harbour start, a 330nm combination of physical and virtual marks was put together to take the boats south west of Hong Kong, leaving the Lema Islands on starboard, before completing a figure of eight around four waypoints, then returning via Dangan Dao to finish at Shek O Rock.

Inside the harbor, spectators were treated to some close racing between IRC Premier boats Xena and Explorer, while Mills 41 Ambush showed off her new lines as she made up ground on Antipodes.

At 1600hrs, OneSails Racing was leading on the water, albeit at a speed of around 5 to 6kts with an ETA of midnight on Friday night, while in IRC Premier, Moonblue 2 had already signed off and declared that she was going fishing.

Keeping The Fun In Sailing
For some reason, the teaching of sailing skills in many countries where sailing is an active pursuit has over the years changed from learning the ropes on a local body of water from an experienced friend to a rigorously structured multi-year racing-based certification process.

How did it evolve this way, and who says racing is the only way to acquire the necessary fundamentals?

I say bring back the fun and watch the numbers grow.

* Editor: As the former owner of a large sailing school, this really is a must read for sailing program organisers. Some brilliant ideas and empirical observations that back them up.

Daria Blackwell's guest blog in

Clare Landmark Lights Up The Wild Atlantic Way
Click on image to enlarge.

Loop Head Lighthouse The historic Loop Head Lighthouse reopens to the public this Friday.

The 19th century West Clare landmark will be looking to capitalise on its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way by exceeding the 20,368 visitors it recorded during its six-month opening period during 2014.

Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until 4th October 2015.

61% of the total visitor figure for 2014 was represented by Irish visitors, with North America, the United Kingdom and Germany each accounting for 8% of the overall figure. Italian and French visitors meanwhile, represented just over 5% of the total figure.

Loop Head Lighthouse, located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary, has origins dating back to the 1670s. The existing tower style lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and was operated and maintained by a keeper who lived within the lighthouse compound.

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 Gordon Davies: re: April 1 issue, One World One Rule article:

Would not the proposed OWOR rule not be better known as the Rating INternational Grouping or RING

The slogan for such a rule could well be:

One RING to rule them all, One RING to find them,
One RING to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

The head of the rating organisation would naturally be known as the 'Lord of the Rings'. The administrative headquarters of the rating organisation would naturally be located in New Zealand, as I understand that a now redundant film set is available.

* From Tom Power: re: April Fool's issue:

Good one.

Ireland are entering four AC entries. One for each province crewed by the rugby teams from that province. Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connaght.

* From Glenn T. McCarthy: I am sure all of you have read about the massive pollution in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To put it mildly, it is grotesque and the "Olympic Industry" is showing no concerns about making a change. The Olympic Industry includes the IOC, ISAF, Member National Authorities, and the Sailors themselves. No one within the Olympic Industry is trying to make a change, though ISAF last week did recommend moving all events into the open ocean, which leaves the sailors using the marina inside the bay and having to traverse the bay to get back and forth to the courses.

I ask you to imagine what will the Public's Opinion of Sailing be after the 2016 Olympics are over?

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The Last Word
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