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

Lending Club Shatters Newport To Bermuda Record
Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club (NYSE: LC), co-skipper Ryan Breymaier, and the crew of the 105' trimaran Lending Club 2 have today established a new world sailing speed record for the 635-nautical mile course from Castle Hill Lighthouse, in Newport, Rhode Island, to Kitchen Shoal Beacon in Bermuda.

The new record, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), is 23 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds at an average speed of 27 knots.

The Lending Club Sailing team had been on standby at Newport Shipyard for a week while the crew prepared the boat and waited for suitable conditions - a moderate reaching breeze and manageable sea conditions which allow Lending Club 2 to reach speeds over 40 knots.

They crossed the starting line at Castle Hill Lighthouse at 05 34 40 UTC (1:34:40 EDT), making roughly 5.5 knots.

Until today, the record for the Newport to Bermuda passage had belonged to the late adventurer Steve Fossett for 15 years. Fossett's record time of 38 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds was achieved on the 125' catamaran Playstation in 2000 at an average speed of 16 knots.

The Lending Club Sailing team is an international crew with a mix of American, French and German sailors: Co-skippers Renaud Laplanche (FRA/USA) and Ryan Breymaier (USA), who is also the Project Manager; Captain Jan Majer (USA); Navigator Boris Herrmann (GER); Roland Jourdain (FRA); Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant (FRA); Stanislas Delbarre (FRA) and Quin Bisset (NZL) who handles onboard media.

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
Photo by Tim Wright, Click on image to enlarge.

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta Racing came to a conclusion today at the 28th edition of Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai. The Windward Course was raced today by all classes and featured a glorious reaching start outside Falmouth Harbour to the deep water Woodstock mark followed by a spectacular downwind surf to Old Road Bluff then a long beat to Cape Shirley. The fleet headed back out to sea reaching to the Woodstock mark in big seas before finishing on a tight reaching leg to Falmouth.

The entire four-race series was blessed with spectacular conditions with 15-20 knots of easterly Trade Winds throughout the regatta.

After tonight's Prize Giving Ceremony, the traditional end to the social festivities for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta will take place tomorrow with gig racing and cream teas at the Admiral's Inn, Nelson's Dockyard. The ACYR Tug of War after the gig racing will be an excellent way to burn off the calories consuming scrumptious homemade cakes.


Baffling Jury Decision Over Refusal To Allow Unusable Sail Replacement
The International Jury for the Volvo Ocean Race has denied Team SCA's request to replace their Race FR0 with their pre-race FR0 after their sail was badly damaged during a crash gybe on Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai.

In their submission to the International Jury, the team stated that they considered that the incident was a racing incident, and one that occurs in trans-ocean races. Indeed two other boats in the fleet also suffered similar wipeouts on the same day/night.

The sail, is used in heavy downwind conditions, and upwind in light airs. The team elected not to try and repair the sail onboard as it was too badly damaged, that opinion was confirmed by the Shore Support crew responsible for servicing sails on all Volvo Ocean Race boats.

The report from the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard Sail Loft deemed that the damaged sail was unusable. It also questioned the structural integrity. The report stated that 'given the size of the tear and the area of damaged cloth it is not possible to repair SCA's FR0 to a standard where it would be suitable for the remaining legs of the Race' and concluded that it was 'not repairable for the purpose of being used for further racing.'

The Jury Decision has not yet been published in regard to this incident.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Karol Jablonski (POL)
Massive turnout this month. 'The ultimate multi-purpose sailor' - Ted Milowski; 'The best allrounder ever' - Gunther Piotr; 'Top of match racing... and this year is his third DN triple, Worlds, Europeans and North Americans' - Bartosz Szymczyk; 'Karol is the best in the world' - Jedrzej Gawlowski; 'Karol was the only ACC helm to frighten Alinghi in Valencia' - Fredrik Lonegren; 'Another year of breathtaking success on the ice' - Stan Macur; 'Who else can straddle the water-ice divide like that?' - Konrad Smolen.

This month's nominees:


Peter Johnstone (USA)
Without wishing to be crude, commissioning a pretty comfortable 40ft cruiser-racer that is designed to foil took some cojones. But that self-belief was not misplaced and the first Gunboat G4 is out there and flying high. Anyone who had become too used to the pace of the non-foiling Gunboat range will have been rudely reminded of what a step forward those original designs also represented. More bravery needed


Bernard Stamm (SUI)
About time too. Two relentless Around Alone solo race wins were followed by something of a results famine for the tough Swiss skipper. Several retirements in major races, plus the loss of his previous Imoca 60 - and nearly his life - mid Atlantic seemed harsh. But with his French co-skipper Jean Le Cam it all came good for Stamm in the latest Barcelona World Race where the pair scored a comfortable overall victory


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Academy Brits Go Head To Head With The Best In The Solo Maitre Coq
The Solo Maitre Coq starts today (Monday 20th April) in Les Sables d'Olonne for the Artemis Offshore Academy sailors. Now in its fifth year, the race is back and is even bigger and better, offering a week of fierce Figaro competition in the iconic home of the Vendee Globe.

Taking place between 20th and 26th April, the event starts with a series of short coastal races (20th/21st April), before culminating in a more traditional 350-mile offshore race around Ile de Re, Ile d'Yeu and Belle ile starting on Thursday 23rd April.

Scored on a co-efficient point system weighted towards the offshore race, the winner of the Solo Maitre Coq will be the skipper with the least points accumulated over the week, all races to count.

An impressive line up of 42 skippers have signed up to take part in this unique Figaro racing regatta, including 12 Rookies, four 2016 Vendee Globe competitors, one Vendee Globe winner (1992/93), two past winners of the Solo Maitre Coq, two multiple Solitaire du Figaro winners, three female skippers, eight Academy Brits, the Classe Figaro Beneteau's first Turkish skipper and a boat load of Figaro talent to boot.

Coastal race rankings, top ten:
1. Gwenole Gahinet, Safran - Guy Cotten
2. Jeremie Beyou, Maitre Coq
3. Vincent Biarnes, Guyot Environnement
4. Benjamin Dutreux, Team Vendee
5. Sebastien Simon, Bretagne Credit Mutuel Espoir
6. Nick Cherry, Redshift
7. Sam Matson, Chatham Marine
8. Yann Elies, Groupe Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir
9. Alain Gautier, Generali 40
10. Alexis Loison, Groupe FIVA

Full rankings

Rombelli's Stig Wins Audi Tron Sailing Series Loano
Loano, Italy - With the breeze blowing 40 knots and gusting higher, no further racing could be completed on the last day of the Melges 32 2015 Audi-Tron Sailing Series Loano edition, an event organized by B.Plan Sports & Events in collaboration with Melges Europe. With this, the results as of Saturday 18 April stand as final.

The International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) moves onto Porto Venere on 15-17 May.

Top Ten Results (Final - After 6 Races and 1 Discard)

1. Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni, STIG, 11 points
2. Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima, 18
3. Roberto Mazzucato/Gabriele Benussi, Margherita, 27
4. Andrea Ferrari/Roberto Spata, Spirit of Nerina, 28
5. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapagio/Branko Brcin, G Spot, 29
6. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta, 32
7. Alec Cutler/Cameron Appleton, Hedgehog, 32
8. Fritz Homann/Nicola Celon, Wilma, 37
9. Edoardo Pavesio/Diogo Cayolla, FRA MARTINA, 38
10. Andrea LaCorte/Jesper Radich, Vitamina, 40

Full Results

ICRA Nationals And Sovereign's Cup Officially Launched
The ICRA Nationals and Sovereigns' Cup 2015 was launched this week on board the Irish Naval vessel LE Eithne by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence who highlighted the importance of marine leisure for coastal communities.

There has been an exceptional response by sailing crews from almost every coastal county in Ireland to the co-hosting of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championship with the 10th biennial Sovereign's Cup regatta at Kinsale Yacht Club on 24th-27th June 2015.

The four-day event will decide four national titles as well as the coveted Sovereign's Cup, ensuring close competition in each class. Already, 89 boats have registered and this figure is expected to exceed 100 over the next two months.

The regatta is sponsored by Cork County Council, that is using the opportunity to promote Kinsale as a tourist venue and the start/finish point for the much acclaimed Wild Atlantic Way.

No More Cash For Team NZ Right Call
Just how much do New Zealanders care about the America's Cup anymore?

It's the question senior government figures may well have been bouncing around as they contemplated whether or not to give more money to Team New Zealand as backing for its next attempt to win back the Auld Mug.

If it was, it looks like the answer they came up with was "not enough to want us to spend more money on another attempt to bring it back to New Zealand".

It's hard to argue that that's anything other than the smart answer, either.

With the qualifying regatta for the next one set to be held in Bermuda, rather than Auckland, there simply can't be any more public money thrown at a team in a sport many New Zealanders see as elitist, a pastime for the rich. If Team NZ really want that cup back, they'll have to get it the hard way, finding corporate backers to fund the campaign.

Win it by that route and they can rightly claim public funding for another home defence. But not before. -- Grant Shimmin in The Timaru Herald

Sailor Crashes Into Floating Rubbish In Rio 2016 Olympic Course
Newly released footage of a sailor crashing into rubbish floating in Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay has raised further concerns about the state's promises to clean up dirty waters where the Olympics sailing events will be disputed next year.

The incident, which took place on 14 February, involved professional sailors Breno Osthoff, 20, and Rafael de Almeida Sampaio, 35, who were training in a 49er class dinghy.

The video registers the moment when the boat, travelling at ten knots, approximately 20kmph, crashed into a plastic box used to transport fish which was discarded in the bay.

According to the Osthoff, the impact was so great that the box broke in half and the boat was forced onto its side.

"The impact broke the keel, damaged the hull, and as we turned we fell on top of the sails and scraped the two sails. The damage was very significant and it is just unacceptable," Osthoff said at a training session on 8 April.

There was costly damage to the boat, but Osthoff says that the potential damage to an athlete's sporting campaign could be much worse. He said that a collision of such kind, were it to take place during a competition, would be almost impossible to recover from. At Olympic level, he said, such a possibility cannot be permitted.

Video here:

Coutts Takes Top Honours In Fun Race
Sir Russell Coutts rolled back the years in Hamilton Harbour yesterday.

The legendary Kiwi sailor was among the crew that captured line honours in two fun-filled races at the same venue where he won a record seven King Edward VII Gold Cup titles in the International One Design racing sloop between 1990 and 2004.

Coutts was among three teams comprised of America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) staff and the Oracle Team USA sailors Matt Cassidy, Sam Newton and Graham Spence who faced off in the J-80 keelboat.

Yesterday's racing was designed as a team-bonding exercise for ACEA staff who also attended various meetings and workshops at the weekend.

The races were organised by RBYC sailor Adam Barboza and Tom Herbert-Evans, the club's sailing academy director.

Evans, who hails from Wales, is the first sailor to circumnavigate the Island in an Optimist dinghy. -- Colin Thompson in The Royal Gazette

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: Cowes to Dinard Outright record.
Yacht: "Lending Club" 105 ft Trimaran
Name: Renaud Laplanche, USA/FRA, Ryan Breymaier, USA, and a crew of six
Dates: 1st April 2015.
Start time: 06;41;34 UTC 01/04/15
Finish time: 11;56;21. UTC 01/04/15
Elapsed time: 5 hours 14 minutes and 47 seconds
Distance: 138 NM
Average speed: 26.28 kts
Comments: Previous record "Maiden II, Thompson/Darvelid, GBR, Sep 02, 5h 23m 38s

John Reed
WSSR Council

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2006 RC44. 150,000 EUR. Located in Austria.

The deck hardware is oversized to provide low maintenance. All the control lines, main sheet, backstays and gennaker retriever system are fitted under the deck to keep the deck as clean as possible. The hardware layout was optimised in extensive sailing trials with Russell Coutts' match race crew.


For more info go to

See the collection at

The Last Word
The most beautiful words in the English language are 'not guilty'. -- Maxim Gorky

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week