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

Renault Captur Take Sixth Place and Complete Their Endurance Test
Jorg Riechers (GER) and Sebastien Audigane (FRA) brought their Barcelona World Race to an end today (Thursday 16 April) when they sailed Renault Captur across the finish line off the Catalan capital's landmark W-Hotel at 11:35:22hrs UTC to take sixth place.

The German-French duo complete the 23,321 miles theoretical course in 105 days 23 hours 35 minutes and 22 seconds. Renault Captur finishes 21d 17h 44m 22s behind the Barcelona World Race winners Cheminees Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, and 6d 20h 28m 54s after the fifth positioned Bruno and Willy Garcia on We Are Water. Renault Captur's average speed for the theoretical course is 9.17kts but in reality Riechers and Audigane sailed 29,701.24 miles on the water at an actual average speed of 11,68 knots.

Theirs has been a race which started with moderately high but realistic expectations. On paper a podium position was not beyond their abilities nor their boat. But their two-handed round the world race has been plagued by challenges and disappointments and it has taken all of their proven stamina and inner strength to complete the course. Their biggest problem surfaced between the 15th and 16th of February when Riechers and Audigane suffered an unspecified damage to their starboard rudder blade. They successfully replaced the blade with a spare sheath but it rendered the boat uncontrollable at anything close to high speeds and big waves, resulting in many frightening and debilitating wipe-outs and Chinese gybes.

Lying in fourth at 200 miles behind GAES Centros Auditivos and gaining on the Spanish duo Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin, they had to take the very tough but prudent decision to divert 750 miles, turning back to the NW to stop in Wellington, the nearest haven with a suitable boatbuilding/repair facility to attend to the rudder. They were passed by We Are Water and then One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton as they made their course towards Wellington, dropping to the sixth position that they finish in today.

Vestas Wind Shaping Up Nicely
Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) shore manager Neil Cox has paid tribute to the joint efforts to return the Danish boat into the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - and is cautiously optimistic they are on track.

The team, who did serious damage to their Volvo Ocean 65 on November 29 during Leg 2 when they collided with a reef in the Indian Ocean, are rebuilding the boat in the Persico boatyard in Bergamo, Italy.

They have set themselves a very tight schedule of returning to the current 12th edition by the Lisbon stopover in late May/early June to sail the final two legs. The fleet is scheduled to depart from Portugal for Lorient, France, on June 6.

The immediate target is have the boat ready to be loaded on to a truck from the shed at Persico for the long journey to Lisbon in six weeks.

Meanwhile, work on the racing boats that contested the treacherous Leg 5, has progressed without major issue.

That includes Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA). The boat's mast, which was fractured during the stage and forced their retirement, is being replaced.

Caudrelier and his crew expect to return their boat to the Itajai waters on Thursday, ahead of Saturday's Team Vestas Wind Itajai In-Port Race.

The other teams - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), MAPFRE (Iker Martinez/ESP), Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) and Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) - had much smaller repair lists and are all back in perfect shape for race weekend (April 18-19).

Why Now Is The Right Time For America's Cup Change
Damned if they do, damned if they don't, there is one thing that's for certain in the America's Cup - Win it and you'll never be as popular again, especially with future challengers, says Matthew Sheahan

Debate and disagreement go hand in hand with the oldest trophy in international sport, often because a wealthy individual is considered to be trying to outspend the competition. But rarely is there an outburst over reducing costs.

From having been an avid follower of the event for decades, to my first Cup in Auckland in 2002, (after which I've covered every one since, including virtually all of the inbetween races and series), the last 13 years have delivered a period of huge change.

When a defending yacht club with no coastline set about putting the venue out to tender back in 2004 the bitter controversy that followed set new standards. Yet three years later and the Valencian project that was the 32nd America's Cup, was heralded as a resounding success by all but the resolute diehards. Today, that period now represents the good old days and people have forgotten about the wrangling over TV rights and revenues and the controversy surrounding various commercial deals. Since the Australians ended the longest winning streak in history, the Cup has been hot property and as such will always result in some kind of dispute. -- Matthew Sheahan in

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

Seahorse Magazine

World news
New Imoca 60s are almost as prolific as those TP52s... though currently they all hail from the same designers, a new Class40 for Halvard, turbulent times at Team New Zealand and Jay Hansen joins US Offshore. Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Giuliano Luzzatto, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

Leap of faith
Blue Robinson attempts to prise information out of foiler Moth guru Andrew - Mach2 - Mcdougall about his new people's flyer...

Paul Cayard
And finally there is a new Maxi class worthy of the name. Plus old school in the Molokai Channel

IRC column
And James Dadd wonders if we really are on the cusp of some genuine dual-purpose winners

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

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Concours D'elegance & Single Handed Race At Antigua
Racing for the full fleet at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, starts tomorrow. However today, exponents of solo racing, enjoyed a stand-alone event, testing seamanship and dexterity. The 16th Edition of the Single Handed Race, attracted 20 entries: Argyll, Cruinneag III, Cuilaun, Exodus, Frolic, Genesis, Guiding Light, Lazy Leg, Lorema, Meriva of London, Peter Von Seestermuehe, Samsara, Saphaedra, Seefalke, Sweetheart, Synia, The Blue Peter, Vagabundo II, Windjammer and Zemi.

The Single Handed Race had a reaching start south, followed by an upwind leg to the Pillars of Hercules, a penultimate leg downwind to Rendezvous Bay with a beat back to finish.

Winner of the Under 45' Class was Don Ward's Luders 44, Frolic. The 45' and Over Class was won by Saphaedra.

The overall winner for the Lunenberg Shipyard Alliance Concours d'Elegance was Mary Rose. Class winners where Mary Rose, Dragonera, Elena, Genesis, Katrinka and a special mention for Lorema and Samsara was the winner of the Arne Frizzell Prize presented to the yacht with the greatest attention to structural integrity and safety.

From Friday, 18th April, the magnificent fleet of classic yachts will begin a four-day race programme with fun filled parties ashore. -- Louay Habib

Records Are Meant To Be Broken
Just two weeks ago the maxi-trimaran Lending Club 2 set a new world sailing speed record on the English Channel: from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, to Dinard, France. Driven by Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club, with co-skipper Ryan Breymaier, the 138-nautical mile passage was completed in 5 hours and 15 minutes at an average speed of 26.36 knots; shaving 8 minutes off the record that had stood since 2002.

Now prominently berthed at the Newport Shipyard, the attention commanding 105-foot Lending Club 2 and her crew are in preparation mode for their next challenge: the 635-nautical mile Newport to Bermuda course record.

The current record, which has stood 15 years, is held by Steve Fossett who set a time of 38 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds - at an average speed of 16 knots - with the 125-foot catamaran Playstation in 2000.

Laplanche chartered the racing yacht for the 2015 season with the express goal of conquering three speed sailing records: Cowes-Dinard, Newport-Bermuda and the 2,215-nautical mile Transpac (Los Angeles to Honolulu). With one course record under their belts, Laplanche and Breymaier hope to sail Lending Club 2 - which is capable of speeds over 40 knots in the right conditions - to a new Newport-Bermuda record that is significantly faster than the existing time. The attempt will be observed and ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) and Guinness World Records.

A Great Day For Setting Records
Another serving of clear skies and classic trade winds made it a very good day for promoting racing in the Caribbean, and Les Voiles de St. Barth organizers capitalized on the stellar conditions with a decision to "go big" on the regatta's second day of racing. Making good on an earlier promise to give the largest, fastest boats here a new marquee race designed for flat-out speed, the race committee sent the Maxi 1, Maxi 2 and Multihull classes on a 42 nm course that started off Gustavia and looped around St. Barth before continuing across the Canal de Saint Barthelemy to round the island of Tintamarre (east of Saint Martin) to port and return its players to a finish near where they had started.

"It was a little bit like NASCAR racing out there: drive fast and keep turning left," said Phaedo 3's skipper Lloyd Thornburg about the course, which will be the same one used in future years to establish new records if today's are broken. Thornburg rules for now, however, with his MOD 70 trimaran's zip around the course in one hour, 53 minutes and 35 seconds, giving it line honors in the Multihull class well ahead of the next finisher, Comanche, whose time of 2:33:04 set the course record in the Maxi 1 class. Posting a time of 3:38:07, Odin now holds the record in the Maxi 2 class.

Around Ireland In A Drascombe Lugger
Click on image to enlarge.

Drascombe Lugger Two brothers will begin a circumnavigation of Ireland in an 18ft-Drascombe Lugger dinghy, Lughnasa this June bank holiday. Fergus and Nathaniel Ogden will set off on the c. 1000 mile voyage from Baltimore, West Cork. Hoping to achieve between 15-30 miles a day, they will live on-board the boat, calling into various stopovers along the coast - beginning with Crookhaven.

At an average speed of 3-4 knots, this won't be the fastest circumnavigation of Ireland ever achieved, but the Drascombe's rugged build quality makes it a fine boat for the job, and will be the first time an open Lugger has attempted to sail around Ireland.

They anticipate the voyage to take about a month, though the Atlantic conditions off the West Coast will play an important role in their journey time.

The Ogdens are undertaking this challenge to raise funds for the RNLI, who are officially supporting their adventure.

By doing this they would like to help raise awareness for safety at sea as the number of lifeboat callouts for leisure craft has been increasing in recent years.

To keep up with the Ogden brother's progress visit their website where you can make a donation to the RNLI and follow their blog.

From Afloat:

ISAF Match Racing Rankings
The ISAF Match Racing Rankings for 15 April 2015 have been released.

Great Britain's Ian Williams retains World #1 in the Open Rankings whilst Camilla Ulrikkeholm holds on to World #1 in the Women's Rankings.

Top ten open rankings

1. Ian Willliams, GBR
2. Taylor Canfield, ISV
3. Mathieu Richard, FRA
4. Eric Monnin, SUI
5. Bjorn Hansen, SWE
6. Nicolai Sehested, DEN
7. Pierre-Antoine Morvan, FRA
8. David Gilmour, AUS
9. Joachim Aschenbrenner, DEN
10. Keith Swinton, AUS

Top ten women's rankings

1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN
2. Anna Kjellberg, SWE
3. Stephanie Roble, USA
4. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN
5. Anne-Claire Le Berra, FRA
6. Carolline Sylvan, SWE
7. Milly Bennett, AUS
8. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED
9. Pauline Courtois, FRA
10. Lucy Macgregor, GBR

Fotofringe Is Back!
PPL 100 picture agencies will be there. Will you?
Call in on PPL Photo Agency and ScanCorner UK at Table H2/10
Thursday 23rd April at King's Place, London - 9:30 -5:30pm

PPL is a specialist photo library focusing on watersports, travel, South of England, and Pictures of Yesteryear, covering the heyday of sailing, flight and UK scenes back to the 1850s. Find out about our new collections of historic sailing images of classic yachts and the America's Cup, together with new images in our early days of flight archive.

PPL also offers a very cost-efficient scanning service through its ScanCorner UK division, providing a professional digitisation service for all formats of pictures, film and video tapes

We look forward to meeting you.
Barry Pickthall - MD PPL

Replica Of French Frigate Hermione Set For Historic Visit To U.S. East Coast
On March 19, 1780, and the frigate Hermione left France and made the crossing in 38 days, landing in Boston with the secret news that Lafayette had secured 5500 French troops and five frigates for Washington. The Hermione moved south down to the Chesapeake Bay, where the ship helped in the Chesapeake Bay blockade and Lafayette's troops defeated Cornwallis at the Siege of Yorktown in Virginia.

Hermione returned to France to fight in the French Revolutionary War in 1782, and was later wrecked by heavy seas off the coast of Croisic in Western France.

This April, the Hermione will again set sail for the United States, and although she is a replica of the original ship, she is as close to her predecessor as any tall ship may be.

The Hermione will arrive first in Yorktown, VA, June 5 to revisit the site of Cornwallis's defeat before moving to north through 12 ports.

Gunboat's G4 has been launched in St Maarten, risen to her foils in 14 knots wind and has already hit 30 knots.

Hats off to Gunboat. The company that put the cool into cruising cats has done it again by producing the world's first foiling 'cruising' yacht.

And it seems the G4 lives up to her promise - she actually flies. The G4 launched this week in St Maarten, rose onto her foils in 14 knots wind, and has already hit 30 knots.

"It's insane!" Gunboat's ecstatic founder Peter Johnstone told me after the G4's first trials. "You look at the photos and your instinct and intuition tell you it must be crazy scary. But up there onboard the boat it's mind-bending - it couldn't be smoother or calmer!"

This first official video of the G4 inflight is a must watch. Here it is:



A state-of-the-art electric propulsion and charging system from Oceanvolt is now being offered on the J/88, the 29' performance daysailer from J/Boats.

"There's no quicker buzz kill for sailors than having to turn on the diesel engine," said Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats. "Most of our owners will tell you they sail their boats 90% of the time. We'd like to improve that other 10% and make it an environmentally-friendly solution for sailors who love the sea!"

J/Boats will be installing Oceanvolt's innovative, fully integrated S.E.A. system (Silent Electric Autonomy) on their first 2016 model J/88 slated to launch mid-summer in Newport, RI and then displayed at the Newport and Annapolis Shows.

The S.E.A system is electric propulsion with a twist- it has full hydro-regeneration capabilities so that batteries are recharged while sailing, with added passive recharging thanks to 500 watts of high-performance Sunpower solar cells


The Perini Navi Group has completed the delivery of Perseus3, the second yacht in their new generation 60m series and the first sloop.

Designed by Perini Navi naval architects in collaboration with Ron Holland, the design and development of Perseus3 has been significantly optimized for performance and represents a decisive technical step forward in the group's 60m series. Perseus3 features a twin rudder system with innovative twin rudder control system.

For the first time ever on a Perini, Perseus3 is equipped with a carbon bowsprit. The larger downwind sailing areas gained by this feature together with her towering 75m carbon fiber mast and carbon fiber standing rigging allow Perseus3 to set some of the largest downwind sails in the world. Composed by: 2 Gennakers, 1 Code Zero, 1 Reacher, 1 Blade, 1 Spinnaker Stay Sail, 1 working Jib and an imposing Main Sail for a combined area of 10.000 square meters.



The high tech 35 foot Ventilo M1 multihull Zenith has been rechristened Safram (SUI50) for 2015 and chartered by Rodolphe Gautier to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Swiss pan-European transport company of the same name. The new Swiss sailing campaign is to take on some of the most prestigious long distance events in Europe in 2015.

The season kicks off in June on Lake Geneva with the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve, swiftly followed by the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, before the racing moves to Hungary for the Blue Ribbon (Kekszalag) on Lake Balaton in July and finally Italy for the Trofeo Gorla and the Centomiglia on Lake Garda in August and September.

"The goal is to race the key European long distance lake-based events as these boats don't have their own championship series on Lake Geneva. We will dismantle and reassemble the boat to transport it by lorry across Europe and have planned a few modifications to make the operation a bit easier," explained skipper Rodolphe Gautier who has gathered a passionate multihull team around him.

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 Jim Champ: Is Mr Charles really one of those associated with the catamaran defence affair. If so that's quite a remarkable post.

Historical comparisons/analogies would be offensive to good manners, but, thoroughly unsatisfactory as the conduct of the current defence has been, I suspect most observers from third party nations would agree it is yet to plumb the depths achieved by one or two previous campaigns.

* From Philippe SERENON: In December 2012, I placed an article on UNCL website :

Although in French , considering the current [America's Cup] context, most of it is still relevant.

N.B: Title is a French quote. Cruche = water clay pot

The full quotation is "tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse" meaning "As the pitcher goes to the water at the end it breaks"

I hope you get the meaning since it is hard to explain. Looks like an English idiom...

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 Volvo 70 - MONSTER PROJECT. 425000 EUR. Located in the Caribbean.

Strong and well built Volvo 70. Would make a perfect offshore racing yacht, or promotional line honours vessel. Not available until September 2015.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy. -- Marquis de Lafayette

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