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

Dongfeng Set For In-Port Race Return
Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) breathed a huge sigh of relief on Monday after the boat arrived in Itajai right on schedule ready for the refit of a new mast.

It has been a long journey for the stricken boat since the top of its mast fractured 200 nautical miles (nm) from Cape Horn in heinous Southern Ocean conditions on March 30 during the treacherous Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai, south-east Brazil.

Suppliers, Southern Spars transported a new mast from Dubai, via Amsterdam, to Brazil and despite some major logistical challenges, that had arrived safely too by Sunday.

Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard chief, Nick Bice, and his team will be working flat out with the Dongfeng Race Team shore team to ensure the boat is in optimum condition for the weekend’s Team Vestas Wind Itajai In-Port Race on Saturday.

The ambition is to have the boat back in the water by Thursday with the new rig fitted and any other minor repairs carried out.

Leg 6 sets off from Itajai to Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday, April 19, and three more follow it including the transatlantic trip from USA to Lisbon (Leg 7).

Ernesto Bertarelli Weighs In...
The AC 48 is an interesting boat but registration costs for the AC have become higher than the boats...! It’s just a shame that the organizers can’t establish clear and transparent rules. I don’t know if they mean this, but the way they run things is quite obscure... Today, they want to revert to smaller boats; perhaps tomorrow they will do the opposite.

I am amazed to observe that they managed to upset Patrizio Bertelli, who played such an important role in the modern America’s Cup. It proves that Alinghi was right to pull out. Bertelli spent several tens of millions of Euros to develop a new boat and suddenly he is being told he did it for nothing...

I love the America’s Cup, I have won it and it will be part of me forever, so of course I follow what’s happening. But it is disappointing to see what’s happening. Just think about the fact that they decided not to respect the rules of ISAF! This is an open door to any sort of trouble. It’s very disappointing.

There needs to be a proper Defender and a proper Challenger. That’s the base of the America’s Cup: two yacht clubs challenge each other and decide - together - the rules of the event. However, in the last two editions, the Defender chose a challenger that withdrew soon after, leaving full control to the Defender. I therefore ask a question: can we still call this the America’s Cup when it doesn’t follow the basic rules of the event?

If I was the Defender, I would call the strongest teams - Emirates Team New Zealand or Luna Rossa Challenge - and ask them to become the Challenger of Record. Today, people like Bruno Trouble say it’s a beach event that smells of french fries... It’s his opinion but when someone like him makes such comments, it means there is a problem.

I am happy I don’t find myself in Patrizio Bertelli’s place. I’ve had my share of frustrations, but now I have turned this page. My history with the America’s Cup ended in 2010. It might start again one day, for example if the kiwis win the Cup and put fair rules in place. But not today!

LX Sailing:

Lizzy Foreman’s Checklist
Hudson Wight “Flapjacks made by Mum; ✔
Teabags; ✔
21ft boat with no toilet, bed, cooking facilities; ✔
Qualify & entry into Mini Transat solo transatlantic yacht race; ✔
Wet weather gear ?

Now that’s usually a complicated business as there’s so much choice and it’s hard to find great kit that doesn’t break the bank. I need to stay warm, dry and comfortable...for over 10,000 nautical miles.

I have a two-year racing campaign to fund. Every penny counts. The well-known brand names in the chandleries want a minimum of £500 for a quality offshore jacket alone. I need a smock, salopettes & midshell too! I’ve heard of a new brand of foulweather kit. Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear...waterproof, durable, breathable?

They have 3 colour options & 5 sizes to choose from in their HW1s and do a Jacket and a Smock, Salopettes and Midshell and offer excellent customer service, and free returns? Everything needed for inshore or offshore racing, for less than £900? Too good to be true?

Eighteen months on since the company was founded and I have now sailed over 5,000 nautical miles purely in Hudson Wight kit; offshore, alone, for up to 12 days at a time at sea. Owing to the OceanVent 3-layer technical fabric, the kit quickly sheds any moisture build-up on the inner layer, even when worn for days on end.

Believe me, I should know! There's no catch to this lightweight, good looking and high performance sailwear. Forget about tearing up money in the shower. Get a set of Hudson Wight HW1s. Not only will you stay dry, but there will be cash left in your pocket too.

Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear all the way (& back). ✔ ”

Designers Back To The Drawing Board
The revised class rule for the 35th America’s Cup has presented team designers with another obstacle to overcome in their quest to build the fastest boat capable of winning or defending the “Auld Mug”.

It is the first time in America’s Cup history that the class rule has been revised in midstream and the smallest boats to be used in the event’s history.

Loick Peyron, a designer with Swedish challenger Artemis Racing:

“There are some one-design elements in new America’s Cup Class, but one area that is free is the appendages and the controls and there is a lot of room to refine and improve here,” he said.

“The main area of importance on this boat is the drag - aero and hydro. So the appendages are so much more important. The small little details in shape and surface are problems we need to solve. Getting this right can make such a big difference.”

Peyron is well versed in designing multihulls having sailed with Alinghi 5, defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, which was then regarded as one of the most incredible boats ever built at the time.

“Speed is restricted by drag and by righting moment. That’s why a smaller foiling boat can be quite fast compared to a bigger one. That’s why the boats we have today are so much faster than those monster boats we built in 2010, for example. But it all started from there.” -- Colin Thompson in Bermuda's Royal Gazette

Royal Southern Match Cup Qualifier
Hamble, Hampshire, UK: Matt Reid won his last match racing outing at one of the RYA Winter Series events at WPNSA, and Annabel Vose won hers.  They then came head to head in the final of the Royal Southern Match Cup Qualifier on Saturday 11 April in Hamble when Matt, after a seemingly disastrous Round Robin stage, got a grip in the knock out stages.   The top two prizes were Invitations to take part in the Royal Southern Match Cup from 10-14 June - the first ever official World Match Race Tour event to be held in the UK.  With five times World No.1 Ian Williams and several other Tour card holders taking part, the Match Cup presents a great opportunity for some of the rising GBR stars to take on the world's best, on home waters.

Overall results:
1. Matt Reid
2. Annabel Vose
3. Henry Arnold
4. Bruno Van Dyke

Full results

Mobile Race Campaign HQ
Mobile Race Campaign HQ Success on the racing circuit often depends upon small, even tiny components for a race yacht – requiring good access and storage.

The company pcube on the outskirts of Kiel creates custombuilt containers for sailing teams, mainly for use as workshops and sail storage. These units, which are 20 or 40ft long, can also be modified to serve as a travelling cafe, chill-out refuge or even a retail shop.

The company tailors individual criteria for storage, use and transport according to the size of boat. Storage areas, for example, are matched precisely to different-sized sail bags for the racing class in question. Several top teams from the Melges 24, RC44, TP52 and Maxi 72s have known the value of such a tailored product for some time. Among pcube’s blue chip clients are Artemis Racing, Rán and Quantum Racing.

At the head of pcube is Marc Pickel, now in great demand as a top sailor in the Dragon class. Pickel also finished seventh in the Star class at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Seahorse magazine:

Cagliari Cancelled - America’s Cup World Series To Start In Portsmouth
The first America’s Cup World Series regatta is confirmed for Portsmouth, England, with racing on July 25-26.

The full event in Portsmouth runs from July 23 through July 26, with a wide variety of activities scheduled in the home port of the British challenger, Ben Ainslie Racing.

The event in Cagliari, Italy, previously scheduled for June, has now been cancelled following the announcement that Luna Rossa, the Italian challenger, has withdrawn from the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup World Series in 2015 will consist of the following events:
Portsmouth, Great Britain - July 23-26, 2015
Gothenburg, Sweden - August 28-30, 2015
Hamilton, Bermuda - October 16-18, 2015

Les Voiles De St. Barth: This Is It
Right here, right now. This is it. Seventy teams have finished practice and final preparations for Les Voiles de St. Barth and will start racing tomorrow (Tuesday, April 13th)

Headlining as a first-time matchup between the marine industry's newest break-through speed creations are Comanche and Rambler. A balance of eight other Maxis between 63 and 90 feet in length with highly recognizable names such as Bella Mente, Lucky, Odin, Lupa of London, Selene and Aragon makes this the most formidable Maxi Division that has shown up here since the regatta's inception six years ago. Extremely tight competition also will be found in five Spinnaker Division classes as well as in classes for Racing Multihull, Non-Spinnaker and Melges 24 one-designs. Forerunners in these classes will no doubt distinguish themselves before the Lay Day on Thursday (April 16), if not sooner. (The second half of racing for Les Voiles de St. Barth resumes on Friday and Saturday, April 17th and 18th, for a total of four racing days.)

Comanche and Rambler will sail in the Maxi 1 class with Bella Mente and Lucky but will start on the same line as the other Maxis, which will be sailing in Maxi 2 class. Scores will be tallied separately for each class; however, a combined score for all Maxi Division entries at the regatta's conclusion will determine the winner of the Richard Mille Caliber RM 60-01 Regatta watch. (Richard Mille is the principal sponsor of the event.)

The two Maxi classes and five Spinnaker classes are sailing under the CSA rating, as defined by the Caribbean Sailing Association, and have been split into their classes according to rating bands.

“We're not here for rating honors,” said Comanche's helmsman Ken Read. “Our goal is to be first to finish (over the line), and clearly it will be a lot of fun lining up against Rambler, a very similar boat, for the first time. They'd like to beat us boat-for-boat, and we'd like to beat them boat-for-boat, so I think the sailing world is excited to see this. We're excited to see this.”

Howth RNLI Announces Retirement Of Rupert Jeffares
RNLI Rupert Jeffares Howth RNLI has announced its Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM), Rupert Jeffares will be retiring from his post after over 50 years of tireless dedication to Howth RNLI.

Mr. Jeffares has contributed to saving hundreds of lives at sea, since he joined as a volunteer crew member in the 1960's and in more recent years as he authorised the launch of Howth's lifeboats and assisted with the efficient management of the lifeboat station.

Last year, at the RNLI awards ceremony in the Barbican Centre in London, Rupert received a Bar to the Gold Badge, the second highest accolade awarded by the lifesaving institution in acknowledgement of his commitment to the charity.

The new Lifeboat Operations Manager for Howth RNLI, Colm Newport, will take up his post at the start of May.

Celebrating 40 Years Of Starlights Magazine
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the International Star Class's Starlights Magazine, first created and published by former Star Class Editor J. F. Miller in January of 1925.

Check out the first few editions:
January 1925

February 1925

March 1925

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 Alistair Skinner: I have just read Bob (the Fish)  Fisher's open letter to ACEA. All I would say is that he has perfectly echoed the sentiments of many aficionados of 'The Auld Mug'.

To mess with the oldest international sporting competition in the manner the current 'trustees' have done makes it no more than so many other sailing events.

You want exciting cat racing - watch the Extreme Sailing Series with cats of not too dissimilar size to the AC48.

You want exciting foiling - an 11 foot Moth doing 26knots is infinitely faster for its size than the AC48 will be.

You want combative math racing look no further than the World match Race Tour (WMRT).

Running a 4 or 5 boat regatta in the middle of a bunch of islands off the Atlantic Coast of the USA is no USP (Unique Selling Point) at all.

ACEA, a Bob so rightly says has alienated one of the longest running teams in the America's Cup, competing from way before Mr. Coutts paymaster had the idea of entering the event and most likely cut off potentially vital funding for his boss's most dangerous challenger.

This smells so much of 'my bat and my ball" syndrome.

* From Robin  Aisher: Reading Bob's letter  reminds me of a book called The Sham Of the Fame of Yacht America which tells all about the first RIR, if that could happen then, there is nothing new in the present extraordinary goings on.  But it has sadly diminished the standing, to a small boat race, of not much importance.

All the Magic has gone out of it.

 No doubt it will be a fun regatta to do.

Well done Bob for bringing this to the fore.

* From Martin Nichol: We humble fans [of the America's Cup] can only watch and wonder at the pre-race manipulation of rules to eliminate serious contenders.  Perhaps it was just too close for comfort last time.

* Glenn McCarthy: Today, I point out how the Olympics bans drug use, but for athletes to compete in the sewage filled waters of Guanabara Bay in the 2016 Rio Olympics, they must take antibiotics and immunizations.

This makes the IOC a hypocrite.

Read why -

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Liesbeth Groeneveld:

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The Last Word
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