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

'A Monster Of A Leg' Ends In Glory
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) buried the miserable memories of three years ago to win an epic Southern Ocean/south Atlantic crossing in Leg 5 and claim their second stage victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

In 2012, Walker's crew were forced to return to Auckland with hull damage and eventually retired from the leg to Itajaí, Brazil.

They must have feared more of the same when Cyclone Pam delayed the departure from New Zealand for three days, but despite taking the worst that the Southern Ocean and then the south Atlantic could throw at them, the Emirati team emerged triumphant after nearly 19 days of ultra-challenging, super-tight sailing.

Amazingly, skipper Ian Walker reported that they had reached Itajaí with the least amount of work for their shore crew to do of any leg so far in this edition.

To add the icing to their cake, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing set the new best mark in the chase for IWC prize for the most nautical miles (nm) sailed in 24 hours with 551nm leading up to Cape Horn.

The stage victory leaves Walker's team seven points clear at the top of the standings with five of the nine legs now completed.

Leg 5 finishing times
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 18 days 23 hours 30 minutes 10 seconds
2. MAFPRE - 19d 00h 02min 56s
3. Team Alvimedica - 19d 00h 24min 32s
4. Team Brunel - 19d 00h 25min 48s

Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) had more than their share of problems, damaging three sails and then suffering a port rudder breakage on Sunday. They are expected to finish the leg on Tuesday.

Khalid Set For Volvo Ocean Race Return
Emirati sailor Adil Khalid, who is part of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Volvo Ocean Race squad, will return to the team after recovering from illness.

The trimmer and helmsman was forced to skip legs four and five of the round-the-world yacht race after being struck down with food poisoning on the eve of the fleet's departure from Sanya, China on February 8.

Since then, the 27-year-old has embarked on intensive rehabilitation in his hometown of Abu Dhabi, including a seven-day camp on Sir Bani Yas Island. He has also signed up to compete in the GCC Sailing Championships in an effort to regain his sea legs ahead of rejoining his crewmates aboard Azzam for the start of leg six, which departs Itajai, Brazil for Newport, USA on April 19.

"I'm desperate to get back to the boys and help keep this stretch going. I want to be onboard for all the remaining finish lines to raise the UAE flag, hopefully in triumph.

"The next leg I could compete in, leg six, is a really quick leg; straight sailing from Brazil up to Newport. Twelve to 15 days of fast, fast sailing, so I'm eager to get back for the excitement of that stage," he added.

Expect Better For Less
Hudson Wight The Hudson Wight Affiliate Scheme, launched in 2014, is being used to greatest effect as a member benefit for Clubs and Class Associations, and as a way of controlling costs for Training Centres.

We are now introducing additional levels to our Affiliate Scheme that will make it easier for clubs to offer exclusive offers to their members, offers that are not generally available anywhere else. These will be promoted through our new partnership with the RYA through the Membership Benefits Scheme.

However, any Club, Class Association or Training establishment can join the Hudson Wight Enhanced Affiliate Scheme by purchasing one of the following 'starter packs':

- Pack 1: 2 x sets of HW1 Jacket or Smock and Salopettes branded with Club name and logo - £600 (saving £400) inc. VAT
- Pack 2: 2 x HW Performance Jackets branded with Club name and logo - £200 (saving £150) inc. VAT.

Terms & Conditions apply.

Subscribers to Scuttlebutt Europe should contact their nearest Affiliate to check out the latest offers:

Hudson Wight looks forward to welcoming you on board this season.

Contact us via:

Trofeo Sofia Iberostar
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) have successfully defended their title in the 470 with command and prove once more they deserve their world #1 status. The Olympic Gold medallists will also be awarded tonight by the Her Majesty Queen Sofia, the prestigious Trofeo denoting the best team during the week.

The prestigious prize giving ceremony took place under the Cathedral to honour all the winners. Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain presented the awards.

Top three by class:

470 Men
1. Lucas Calabrese / Juan De La Fuente, ARG
2. Luke Patience / Elliot Willis, GBR
3. Johan Molund / Sebastian Ostling, SWE

470 Women
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL
2. Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA
3. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR

1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL
2. Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel, GER
3. Dante Bianchi / Thomas Lowbeer, BRA

49er FX
1. Maiken Foght Schitt / Anne-Julie Foght Schutt, DEN
2. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thuagaard Olsen, DEN
3. Olivia Price / Eliza Solly, AUS

1. Giles Scott, GBR
2. Ivan Kljukovic Gaspic, CRO
3. Tapio Nirkko, FIN

1. Philipp Buhl, GER
2. Jesper Stalheim, SWE
3. Nicholas Heiner, NED

Laser Radial
1. Evi Van Acker, BEL
2. Alison Young, GBR
3. Anne-Marine Rindom, DEN

1. Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA
2. John Gimson / Hannah Diamond, GBR
3. Franck Cammas / Sophie De Turckheim, FRA

RS:X Men
1. Kiran Badlow, NED
2. Julien Bontemps, FRA
3. Sebastian Fleischer, DEN

RS: X Women
1. Charline Picon, FRA
2. Lilian De Geus, NED
3. Eugenie Ricard, FRA

2.4 Metre
1. Helena Lucas, GBR
2. Megan Pascoe, GBR
3. Bjornar Erikstad, NOR

Kiteboard Men
1. Florian Trittel, ESP
2. Alejandro Climent Hernandez, ESP
3. Ivan Doronin, RUS

Kiteboard Women
1. Elena Kalinina, RUS
2. Anastasia Akopova, RUS
3. Jade O Connor, IRL

1. Marc Patimo / Pau Balaguer, ESP
2. Patrick Monteiro De Barros / Pedro Manuel, POR
3. C. Carbajal / J. Company/N.Sanchez, ESP

The Easter Procession
There are just hours left for One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton in the Atlantic. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa are predicted to cross into their home Mediterranean Sea early this Easter Sunday evening, becoming the fourth team in the Barcelona World Race to do so.

Following in their footsteps, We Are Water are just 70 miles behind - having shed just 5 miles over the past 24 hours.

Light and unstable breezes south-westerlies in the Gulf of Cadiz have slowed One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton, and We Are Water, to just under 6 knots for this afternoon.

This easterly Levante wind in the Alboran Sea is likely to shift to a north-easterly direction, meaning that the battle for fourth place could yet be decided by a long beat to Barcelona.

Rankings Sunday 5th April at 1400hrs UTC

1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B. Stamm - J. Le Cam) - finished 25/03/2015 at 17:50:25 UTC in 84d 05h 50min 25s
2. Neutrogena (G Altadill - J Munoz) finished 30/03/2015 at 23:47:00 UTC in 89d 11h 47min
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marín) finished 01/04/2015 at 17:09:28 UTC in 91d 05h 9min 28s
4. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - D Costa) + 557.6 miles to Barcelona
5. We Are Water (B Garcia - W Garcia) + 70.5 miles leader
6. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) + 1488.8 miles to leader
7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa - C Colman) + 2192.7 miles to leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

The Other Teams Hit Back at Luna Rossa and TNZ...
We are disappointed to see how Team New Zealand are characterizing the rule changes that reflect the collective will of the America's Cup teams.

During discussions last month, ALL six teams, including Team new Zealand, agreed on the need to change to a smaller boat to reduce costs.

While Luna Rossa supported a less dramatic change, a majority of teams agreed on what has become the America's Cup Class, a new rule written in consultation with ALL teams, with drafts of the rule sent to ALL teams for comment and feedback.

Each team that voted for this new America's Cup Class made compromises and sacrifices to get this done for the betterment of the America's Cup.

Taking these important decisions by a majority vote is something that was insisted upon by Luna Rossa and written into the rules of the event.

Regrettably, abiding by the results of the majority vote appears to be something neither they, nor Team New Zealand, are willing to do... unless they are part of the majority.

We hope that Team New Zealand can see a way forward, as we all have, and look forward to racing them in the Americas Cup World Series later this year.

- On behalf of Ben Ainslie (BAR), Franck Cammas (Team France), Iain Percy (Artemis Racing), Jimmy Spithill (ORACLE TEAM USA)

Bruno Trouble - Organiser Mistakes Are Killing The Cup
Trouble told Sail-World that in the 34th America's Cup a change was also made to reduce the size of the boat : 'we had the same move in 2012. Looking at the shrinking challenger list, Russell tried to convince us to go back to AC 45s.

'We (LV, Main partner and Bertelli ) said NO THANKS !

'The event would have been so different with small boats in San Francisco!!'

'I am away on my boat in Venice, enjoying spring in La Serenissima, far from the boiling controversy of the America's Cup. All those witches and sorcerers trying to do good to the America's Cup are instead slowly killing her. There have been so many mistakes over the last couple years!

Golden Gate Yacht Club, and their Oracle Team USA, are great sailors but hopeless guards of the Myth. They managed to kill the style and elegance which prevailed for decades, those unique aspects of the America's Cup for which was our main aim at Louis Vuitton for 30 years.

They have discouraged the high level partners and put an end to the exclusive positioning of THE Cup. They have betrayed the long saga of incredible personalities who made the Cup so special. And they are now organizing a one design catamaran contest with no style and anonymous people beyond the sailing circles.

What we have now is a vulgar beach event smelling of sunscreen and french fries. This is definitely NOT the Cup.

Still Growin'
Seahorse Magazine Southern Spars' acquisition of Future Fibres brings together two of the leading specialists in the field of composite rigging and spars. Once competitors, the combined companies now give customers access to multi-faceted research and design and a global sales team to provide need-specific rigging solutions.

Southern Spars' reputation is built as much on its masts as on its rigging division. Another feature of the purchase is the milled aluminium mast moulds that Future Fibres' partner Persico Marine had built for the company. These tools are made in 4m sections to provide flexibility of shape. The same tool can also produce optimised fixed and rotating sections.

Another benefit to the customer is access to the R&D and sales teams of both businesses. Southern and Future Fibres, over the years, took different paths to develop rigging: Southern Spars used carbon fibre and Future Fibres initially used PBO. Now there is a combined 11-person R&D team with complementary knowledge and test data from all of the different materials.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:

Sailing Record Set On English Channel
The San Francisco-based Lending Club said Wednesday that CEO Renaud Laplanche and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier established a new world speed sailing record across the English Channel.

The sailors went from the Royal Yacht Squadron Cowes, Isle of Wight to Dinard, France, in 5 hours, 15 minutes, subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council, aboard their 105-foot offshore trimaran Lending Club 2 at an average speed of 26.36 knots.

Other crewmembers included Jan Majer, Stanislas Delbarre, Olivier Laplanche, navigator Boris Herrmann, French racing veterans Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant and Roland Jourdain, and OBR Quin Bisset. Shore-based weather routing was provided by Wouter Verbraak.

The previous record of 5 hours, 23 minutes was established by skipper Brian Thompson, navigator Adrienne Cahalan and the crew of Maiden II, a 110-foot catamaran, in September 2002 at an average speed of 25.6 knots.

The UK-based RORC Rating Office, the technical arm of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), has joined forces with IRC sponsors Spinlock to launch a social media campaign using the hashtag #ThisBoatCan.

The campaign launch is timed to coincide with the all-encompassing Spi Ouest regatta taking place from 2-6 April in La Trinite- sur-Mer. Last year they hosted 146 boats racing across five Spinlock IRC classes. The class winners ranged from a 2007 TP 52 to a 1978 Half Tonner, but the top ten places in each class were notably filled by popular production designs of all sizes and ages.

#ThisBoatCan is aimed squarely at encouraging more IRC participation around the world using wide-ranging examples and thereby helping to refute the oft-held impression that racing under Spinlock IRC is only for larger high-performance, grand prix yachts. Nothing could be further from the truth but then perception often takes precedence over reality. In 2014 the Rating Office issued over 8200 certificates to 6200 boats, with the majority of these falling into the 26 to 50 feet bracket.

The #ThisBoatCan campaign will run for six months until the end of September 2015 and comprises free to enter monthly prize draws. Three winners per month will win a Spinlock new WING or FOIL Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Full details of the campaign are available here including full terms & conditions of entry.

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 John Walker: In the light of the current America's Cup shenanigans, and in the immortal words of American yachting journalist, Bob Black, "Proof, should proof be needed, that God, in Her infinite wisdom and majesty, made more horses arses than She made horses." Says it all really.

* From John Horn, Five Star Sailing, Palma de Mallorca: There must be some AC 62's finished or under completion. So Luna Rosa and Team New Zeeland and anyone else with a finished AC62 should get together and create a new regatta possibly based in Italy, and Nz, and possibly the Uk.

I would be surprised if some of the teams haven't already thought about it!

Good luck I would certainly be watching.

P.S. RCNP In Palma de Mallorca could do a good job running the new event!

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2004 Ker 39 - ERIVALE III (ex. FLYING GLOVE). 110,000 GBP. Located Cowes, IOW.

Slippery Kers design and one of the best all round IRC yachts you can buy. Available after the Fastnet Race and all for a paltry sum.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

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