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

Turning The Corner
The fleet has slightly converged in the past 12 hours as they approach the corner of the South American continent, where the Brazilian coast sketches a right angle at the end of the most easterly littoral of Brazil.

At Cape Calcanhar, located 40 nm north of the city of Natal, there is a lighthouse of 62 meters height that is the tallest in Brazil.

Dongfeng Race Team will approach this point holding an 8.1 nm lead on MAPFRE, who are just half of mile ahead of Team Brunel. 10 nm behind the lead back is Team SCA, currently the most easterly of the six boats, out of the trail of the pack.

Also, 10 nm off the leading group is Team Alvimedica, only 0.5 nm miles ahead of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Once the fleet has passed the shoulder of the continent, they will take up their positions to deal with the doldrums. The good news is that at the moment the routing is showing no big drama to deal with the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

The fleet will be crossing the Equator around Tuesday noon.

Leader: DFRT
Wind speed: 14 knots
Boat speed SOG (15 mins): 14.8 knots
Wind direction: 106º - 112º
Lowest boat speed: MAPF (14.8 knots)
Highest boat speed: DFRT (15.7 knots)
Lowest wind speed: SCA (12.4 knots)
Highest wind speed: MAPF (15.2 knots)


Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series And Spring Championship Draw To A Close
Photo by Iain Mcluckie. Click on image for photo gallery.

Warsash Spring Series Last weekend (25/26 April) saw the deciding races in the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series and the Brooks Macdonald Crewsaver Spring Championship.

The boats were sailing in a force 3-4 south westerly on the Saturday, which veered close to due west for a time but backed once again during race three so the course did become biased for a couple of the classes but was re-aligned to the new wind direction for the remaining two.

Whilst the Sunday (26 April) was overcast, quite chilly and the wind was back to the north/north easterly direction which has prevailed through most of the series, the competitors remained undeterred.

The Sunday afternoon saw a packed Warsash Sailing Club with the last of the weekly champagne prizes presented, with a total of 22 bottles on offer. The prizes were presented by top racing coach Jim Saltonstall and Michael Bartholomew's distinctive black flyer Tokoloshe II not only collected a couple of bottles of champagne but also won the draw for the week's Crewsaver lifejacket.

The Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Brooks Macdonald Group PLC, and supported by race partners Crewsaver, Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear and Rolly Tasker Sails.

Results Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series
IRC1: Antix (Anthony O'Leary)
IRC2: Salvo (Peter Morton - JND 35)
IRC3: Malice (Mike Moxley - Hod 35)
IRC4: Crakajax (Richard & Ursula Hollis)
J109: Jagerbomb (Paul Griffiths)
J70: Little Louise (Jamie Arnell)
J80: Betty (Jon Powell)
SB20: F5 Synthesis (Pieter Heyn)

Results Brooks Macdonald Crewsaver Spring Championship
IRC1: Antix (Anthony O'Leary)
IRC2: Raygun (Mark Devereaux)
IRC3: Malice (Mike Moxley - Hod 35)
IRC4: Umzingeli (Ralph Mason)
J109: Jacobi (Ivan Burden)
J111: Jitterbug: (Cornel Riklin)
J88: Eat, Sleep,J, Repeat (Paul Ward)
Quarter Ton: Aguila (Sam Laidlaw)
Sigma 38: Pavlova III (Max Walker)
J70: (Ian Atkins)
J80: Betty (Jon Powell)
SB20: F5 Synthesis (Pieter Heyn)

Full results:

Hudson Wight Has It Covered
Hudson Wight The team at Hudson Wight has been busy gearing up individuals and teams, clubs and classes in preparation for the season, including developing more great clothing partnerships with MOCRA (Multihull Offshore Cruising & Racing Association), the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series, Fairview Sailing, Dream Yacht Charter UK, Sea-Man-Ship Training School in Austria and Yarmouth Harbour. We have also joined the RYA Membership Partner Benefits Scheme and got involved in the BMF On the Water initiative.

Hudson Wight is delighted to once again be announced as the Official Clothing Sponsor of Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week (20-24 July). Hudson Wight is supplying branded competitor bags that were particularly well received when first introduced in 2014; event-branded polo shirts for around 75 event volunteers, and event-branded Gilets and Fleeces for the team of Chief Race Officers. In addition, the winning boat in each of the 12 classes will receive a Hudson Wight voucher to the value of £100 redeemable against Hudson Wight products purchased online or at the Showroom on Cowes Parade.

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:

Yann Elies Wins Solo Maitre Coq
After a demanding race, the 38 Figaro boats of the Solo Maitre Coq are back in Les Sables d'Olonne. Three coastal twenty miles earlier in the week and a big offshore race.

Yann Elies won the overall ranking with Xavier Macaire taking the long offshore race. Dutreux Benjamin won the Rookie ranking.

Overall top ten

1. Yann Elies (Groupe Queguiner Leucemie espoir), 25.5 points
2. Jeremie Beyou (Maître CoQ), 45
3. Morgan Lagraviere (Safran), 52.2
4. Gildas Morvan (Cercle vert), 67.5
5. Adrien Hardy (Agir recouvrement), 69
5. Yoann Richomme (Skipper Macif 2014), 69
6. Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015), 69
7. Paul Meilhat (SMA), 79.5
8. Xavier Macaire (Skipper Herault), 84
9. Adrien Hardy (Agir recouvrement), 87
10. Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat), 90

Top ten, long offshore race:

1. Xavier Macaire (Skipper Herault)
2. Yann Elies (Groupe Queguiner Leucemie espoir)
4. Jeremie Beyou (maitre CoQ)
5. Gildas Morvan (Cercle vert)
6. Yoann Richomme (Skipper Macif 2014)
7. Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat)
8. Charlie Dalin (Skipper Macif 2015)
9. Morgan Lagraviere (Safran)
10. Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva)

All Three Academy Rookies Selected To Compete In The 2015 Solitaire Du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cachemire
The Artemis Offshore Academy is pleased to confirm that it has selected all three of its British Rookies to compete in the 2015 Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cachemire. Now two races into the season, Andrew Baker, Rob Bunce and Robin Elsey have proved their potential ahead of the 2185-mile race - having this weekend finished an intense week of coastal and offshore racing as part of the Solo Maitre Coq.

All three of the Academy's Figaro freshman have now taken their place on the coveted Rookie podium already this season, with Robin and Andrew finishing first and third Rookies overall in the Solo Basse Normandie and Rob finishing second overall in the recent Solo Maitre Coq regatta. With only Robin having any short-handed experience prior to the Academy, the sailors have progressed well in training and proved themselves competitive on the Classe Figaro Beneteau circuit against both their fellow first timers and the wider and more experienced fleet.

The decision to enter all three Academy Rookies in this year's Solitaire came as the squad finished their second race of the 2015 season, the Solo Maitre Coq.

With two races down, there is now just one to go - the Solo Concarneau Trophee Guy Cotten starting Thursday 7th May. The Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cachemire starts Sunday 31st May.

Two Bullets For Bernie
The second day of Antigua Sailing Week was blessed with cracking conditions with well over a thousand sailors returning to shore, grinning from ear to ear after a spectacular day on the water. The south-easterly breeze often softens the wind strength off Antigua but not this week. The warm Atlantic breeze blew in and whipped up as the wind bent around the cliffs and gorgeous bays giving a solid breeze of 15-20 knots.

Two races were run for all classes with the high performance yachts taking to the south-westerly race area off Rendezvous Bay. Racing on tight windward leeward courses, getting a good start into clear air and nailing the manoeuvres became even more important. The bareboat classes and CSA 6 to CSA 8 raced off Windward Beach beating past the dramatic cliffs east of English Harbour before turning downwind to ride the Caribbean surf.

There were no gaps for Antigua's famous sailing dentist, Bernie Evan-Wong today in CSA 4. Racing his RP37, TAZ with both of his daughters, Bernie's team bolted off the line to win the first race of the day - but only just. Ian Hope-Ross' Melges 32, Kick 'em Jenny 2 was just 32 seconds behind after time correction. TAZ made it a perfect two bullets for Bernie by winning the last race of the day by 44 seconds from Kick 'em Jenny 2. Jim Hightower's Texan team racing King 40, Hot Ticket, was third in both races.

Racing continues tomorrow with the third day of Antigua Sailing Week with two more races scheduled for all classes.

Bol D'Or Mirabaud
TEXT Cowes Week, Centomiglia (Lake Garda), the Blue Ribbon (Balaton) or the Barcolana (Trieste, Italy) share the same philosophy: they are big and popular events, yet they manage to attract some of yacht racing's greatest names thanks to their prestige

These are among Europe's biggest and most prestigious sailboat races... the Bol d'Or Mirabaud (500 boats), Cowes Week (1,000 boats), Round the Island (a record 1,908 boats in 2011), Hungary's Blue Ribbon (550 boats), the Barcolana (1,968 boats in 2002) or Lake Garda's Centomiglia (300 boats).

They share many things: they are open to true amateurs yet they attract some of the world's best professionals, for most participants they represent a personal challenge and they all take place in beautiful surroundings.

On 13 June the 77th edition of the Bol d'Or Mirabaud will be the first of those European classics, gathering a mixture of high-tech carbon multihulls skippered by professional sailors alongside true amateurs sailing on all sorts of boats, ranging from classic wooden designs to one-designs and cruising boats.

Full article in Seahorse:

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne Moves To St Kilda
The first regatta of the 2015-16 ISAF Sailing World Cup runs from December 7-13, and will take place at its new home, the St Kilda Sailing Precinct, located on St Kilda's bustling foreshore.

Hon. John Eren, Minister for Tourism and Major Events says: "The Andrews Labor Government is proud to welcome the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne to its exciting and dynamic new Southern Hemisphere venue on the St Kilda foreshore.

St Kilda attracts visitors from around the world, keen to soak up the atmosphere of cafes, restaurants, beaches, live music venues, art and shopping - the precinct delivers it all. Events of this calibre continue to place Victoria on the world stage as a leading international sailing destination and Victoria as Australia's sporting capital."

A Step Towards The Second Trilogy
The organisers of the Barcelona World Race, the FNOB, and the IMOCA - the International Monohull Open Class Association, have signed an agreement for the Barcelona World Race to continue as a key event on the ocean racing calendar for at least three more editions, consolidating the Catalonian capital city for twelve more years as a reference centre in this sport.

The relationship between the IMOCA class (which includes more than 30 different international skippers racing IMOCA 60s yachts) and the FNOB spans ten years now, with three completed editions of the Barcelona World Race. This new agreement confirms a strong future for the double handed around the world race. Each previous edition has been the subject of a new contract at the end of each race. This longer-term agreement, encompassing three editions over twelve years, is designed to foster continuity and to consolidate future plans for the class and for the city.

With renewed confidence in the long term, IMOCA and the FNOB can focus on planning the race and making future improvements, perhaps looking at the route and the schedule on the IMOCA Ocean Masters circuit.

Innovations in design rule IMOCA 60 boats such as foils, with new and faster boats, some of them already thrown, and others under construction, let anticipate a high international participation with interesting novelties in future editions of the race.

The contract was signed by the President of IMOCA Jean Kerhoas and the CEO of the FNOB, Andor Serra, along with the Delegate General of the IMOCA Gaetan Gouerou and General Secretary of the FNOB, Jordi Cases.

Ida Lewis Distance Race
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: For over a decade, grand prix sailors and racing/cruising enthusiasts alike have flocked to the summer destination of Newport, R.I. to compete in the Ida Lewis Distance Race, and on Friday, August 14, 2015 the tradition will continue with another year of "just-right" overnight racing planned for the hallowed waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island as well as Block Island Sound. Depending on weather and wind conditions, organizers can choose to send IRC, PHRF, One Design, Multihull and Double-Handed boats of 28 feet or longer on one of four coastal round-trip race courses, ranging from between 104 and 177 nautical miles in distance.

"It is an extraordinary event," said Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.) who won IRC and claimed line honors at the race last year with his Carkeek 40 Spookie. "The race is exhilarating, and last year the breezy conditions had us flying around the course. We started shortly after noon (off Fort Adams State Park) and finished at dawn in front of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, which was a great way to see the sunrise."

Organizers have also encouraged a new generation of sailors to try distance racing on for size through the separately scored Youth and Collegiate Challenges. Seven teams in last year's record 47-boat fleet participated in one or the other of these challenges last year.

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: Glenn McCarthy; On Friday, the International Sailing Federation announced via the Associated Press that they want the inside Guanabara Bay race courses moved outside of Guanabara Bay out into the ocean.

This still puts the competitors in the fetid waters sailing from the marina to the race courses, and returning back each day. It also has the boats sailing through the Guanabara Bay waters where the competitors boats have been damaged by the floating debris. While the races might be more "fair" that boats might not hit garbage as much, it still is so full of downside risk that this is not a solution and FAILS.

Read on

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The Last Word
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